Friday, June 27, 2014


My brother told me this story on Sunday, and every time I think about it it makes me smile...

My brother and my 4-year-old niece (his daughter) were at the grocery store.  Paxten still hasn't been able to buckle herself into her car seat, so my brother challenged her.  He placed her in her car seat and told Paxten to race to see if she could get her car seat buckled before he loaded the groceries into the car.

My brother was at the back of his Yukon loading groceries into the car when he hears the sound of one of the latches sliding into the car seat buckle.  It makes a click sound.

"Did you hear the click, daddy?" she asked.

"Good job Paxten, what about the other one?"  he asked her from the back of the car.

There was silence, and then my brother hears the sound of my 4-year-old niece saying the word "click."

"Did you hear another click, daddy?"

"Yes I did Paxten, but that one sounded different."

"No it's not."

Of course when my brother finished loading the groceries he checked on her car seat, and only one of the latches was fully buckled.  I cracked up that my niece couldn't get her car seat latched, so she just said "click" in hopes of winning.  I love Pax.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


"The U.S. Conference of Mayors in Dallas on Monday passed a resolution reaffirming the organization’s support for gay marriage rights."

Friday, June 20, 2014


We have a Georgian tradition.  When we're in the country at some point my cousin takes us through the narrow streets, the busy streets, and the back rooms of stores to shop for a vintage carpet.  It's a nice souvenir to remind us of our great Georgian adventures.  I love Georgia!

My husband picked up our newest rug from the Oriental Rug Cleaning company yesterday.  It looks beautiful at the bottom of the stairs.  Seeing the rug reminded me of our fun time purchasing it.  My cousin played "bad cop" as she informed the owners that their prices are too high.  My husband tried to speak to me in Spanish to figure out (without the store owner knowing) if I really liked the carpet.  Anytime the store owner dropped the price a $100 I was ready to hand over cash, but my husband and cousin wouldn't let me...

My husband acted like he didn't like the rug; even though he did.  My cousin kept saying "no one would pay that price" and "what's the real price" to the store owners.  It was fun seeing my cousin (who's a successful business woman) give the rug selling men such a hard time on price.  I tried to not get in trouble by paying for the rug before my husband and cousin had found the price floor.  In the end we gave the man our phone number and we walked away .  It was so hard to walk away!  My cousin waved away her driver, she didn't want them see that we had a driver, and we walked down the street.

Within 10 minutes the store owner called and said he agreed with our price, which was 45% off his starting price.

If you ever see my cousin and my husband walk into your store, then you are doomed.  They are tough negotiators.

Here's a current picture of the carpet we purchased on a first Georgian adventure, I think they said it was made in the 1950's...
Here's another picture of our Uzbekistan or Central Asian 80 to 90 year old carpet...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Boat Bath

Last weekend, on Father's Day, my husband's father invited us to the lake for lunch and a work day.  We gave the pontoon boat and sail boat (not pictured) a good washing.  We also power-washed parts of the dock.

This weekend, on Saturday, we've invited ourselves to the lake to play with the clean boats.

We are winning.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thank you Mildred Loving

I recently read a 2008 obituary in The New York Times for Mildred Loving.  She was one half of the mixed race marriage that lead to the landmark 1967 Supreme Court ruling (Loving v Virginia) overturning state miscegenation laws.

The details of the case are terrifying. The couple was in their home, in bed, five weeks after their wedding when the county sheriff and two deputies burst into their bedroom.  The couple was arrested.

One part of the 2008 obituary made my heart smile: "Mrs. Loving stopped giving interviews, but last year issued a statement on the 40th anniversary of the announcement of the Supreme Court ruling, urging that gay men and lesbians be allowed to marry."

Thank you Mildred Loving.


Anthropologie, who rarely has sales, had a 20% off "house & home" sale this past weekend.  Last night, I told my husband I was proud of myself because they had a sale and I didn't buy anything.

He laughed in my face.

I defended myself.  There's always items I "need" from Anthropologie.

He continued to laugh at me, and my accomplishment.

I'm proud of myself control. I should reward myself for being so strong....and go shopping.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dance Dance Dance

Since we're uncles, we're learning what it's like to be a parent in the modern world.  Our nieces had a dance recital this weekend, and although I was worried (see reality show: Dance Moms) it was a fun and supportive event.  This wasn't a dance competition (if it would have been a competition we would have won) it was just a fun non-stop string of dances from 3-year-olds to 17-year-olds.  Our nieces were on stage twice each and they were magnificent.  Plus, they loved dancing with all their friends.

Instead of using surrogacy to bring children into this world, maybe we should just clone our nieces?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

La Croch

We've had a multi-year love affair with La Croix (affectionately called 'La Croch' in our realm).   My husband has a photo from our 2006 honeymoon of me walking on the beach carrying a can of lime La Croix. My husband loves orange flavored.  I love lime flavored.  We both enjoy the bubbly calorie free drink.  Over the past two weeks I've started adding fresh lime juice to my lime La Croch, and it's a tart-treat.

It's good to enjoy the simple things in an ice cold beverage in the heat-y Texas summers.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our Little Ladies

My husband and I kept our nieces for a few hours so that my brother and his wife could have a date night.  The little ladies are 6 and 4 years old now, and I sound like my uncle Charlie, I know, but I want to say to both of them: You're growing up too fast!  I'm going to have to put a rock on your head!

I love my time with the girls.  They teach us important little lessons.  For example, Paxten thinks it's best to brush your teeth in disguise...

And Presley knows how to convince us that the best family activity is to watch Sophia Grace & Rosie's Royal Adventure...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mitch and Cam Get Married

I'm finally catching up on our DVR and I watched the season finale of ABC's Modern Family.  I love that show - it's so entertaining.  I recognize that in order to be entertaining normally Mitch and Cam have constant conflict, which is different from my relationship with my husband.  (It's the difference between television and real life.)  Therefore, I was so pleased to finally see the couple get officially married in such a happy (conflict-free) moment.

The moment that touched me deeply was when Jay escorted Mitchell down the aisle at the fourth attempted to have a wedding.  
That was a sweet straight father and gay son moment that is remarkable.
I also like that Gloria jumped in to add her support.  It was a glorious moment of love.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Texas Republican Party Platform

How can the Texas Republican party be the party of the future when they continue to include anti-gay language in their platform?

From Newsweek: "This past weekend, the Texas Republican Party (“Fight to Keep Texas Red”) adopted a party platform for 2014 that includes support of so-called “reparative therapy,” a psychological approach that claims to be able to change the sexual orientation of adults, from gay to straight. Reparative therapy is a long-held cornerstone of the religious right, and the Texas GOP’s inclusion of the therapy in its platform could be an indication that Tea Party and religious right’s pull in the Lone Star State."

Texas Republicans are best when they focus on inclusion, focus on solutions, and focus on creating a more efficient government, but Texas Republican are at their worst when they champion an anti-gay agenda.  

Why?  How will including anti-gay language in the party platform help Texas Republicans solve problems?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Balsamic Reduction

The Pioneer Woman has rocked my world. (In a very good way.)  She opened my eyes to the brilliance of Caprese salads with balsamic reduction.

Balsamic reduction is delicious, and I hope you try it too!

We Do Not Agree

We moved into our current house at the end of April.  The kitchen in our home opens to the main living room.  This is a common design in houses, and our previous home had a similar design.  However, in our previous home we did not have a television in the great room off the kitchen.  This is the view from the breakfast nook kitchen table...
My husband thinks this is a problem.  He doesn't like the lamp blocking his view of the television from the kitchen table.  So he thinks the table lamp should be a floor lamp...
I'm always finding the lamp on the ground around meal time...
I don't understand why we have to watch television from the kitchen table.  My husband doesn't understand why he cannot relocate the lamp, permanently.  This is the house we plan to raise our children in, and I fear for the next twenty years I'm going to be yelling: "turn the television off" during meal times!  We're fat Americans that must have a television going at all times?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Brick and Balconies

I'm a fan of the traditional Georgian building designs.  I love their exquisite flat brick construction, and large balconies.  If I ever get a chance to build a home, then I'm definitely going to use my Georgian inspiration.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


"I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2014 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender pride month.  I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudices everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people."

-President Barack Obama

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Vacation Time Out

I had to take a vacation "time-out" because I had issues with my tummy.  My American belly was not used to the farm-to-table Georgian culture.  All the food is fresh.  At a restaurant I think I picked up a little too much bacteria from the delicious fresh food.  My husband said if I would start drinking alcohol, then it'd help kill things in my stomach during meals.  Ha.

One morning it hit me, and I stayed in bed for most of the day.  My illness coincided with my cousin's cook's day off.  To help me heal, my cousin wanted to make me chicken soup.  She called her cook and asked how much water she needed to boil with the chicken bouillon cubes, and my cousin also asked what vegetables she should boil?

My cousin's cook yelled over the phone: "Stop what you're doing.  Get out of my kitchen.  I'm coming in."

My cousin's cook came in on her day off to make the most delicious chicken soup and to oversee my recovery by telling my cousin what to do.  Her soup was made with a whole chicken (no bouillon cubes!), fresh vegetables, and love.  The cook was very concerned about my health.  I thought it was sweet.  I felt like an infant because I had my husband, my cousin, and my cousin's cook nursing me back to health.  My cousin's cook told me I couldn't drink Sprite (even though the Nanny brought me Sprite) because the bubbles would be bad for me - the cook ordered my cousin to stir the Sprite a little bit to release some bubbles before she would give it to me.  It was an entertaining situation.

I bounced back after 24-hours.  And to help heal my "traveler's tummy" my first meal post a chicken soup breakfast was at McDonald's.  The Georgians only build architectural significant McDonald's.  Chicken nuggets and french fries seemed to kill anything alive remaining in my stomach!  I was back in business to continue the adventure...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Making Out with a Dolphin

My husband has always made me feel valued, appreciated, and special.  When I graduated from college (even though we had only been dating for six months) my husband surprised me with a trip to Cozumel, Mexico where we could swim with dolphins.  My husband knew that I had dreamed about swimming with dolphins, and my husband wanted to make my dreams come true.

That was ten years ago.  I still remember the way my spirit soared when I was interacting with the dolphins in the water.  I felt connected to them by some invisible string, and spending time with dolphins made me feel like I was part of something bigger than myself.   It's similar to the feeling I had when my brother's wife let me hold my nieces within their first ten minutes of life.

While we were in Georgia we spent time on the black sea in Batumi, and my cousin arranged for us to swim with dolphins.  It was the same magical feeling all over again, and this time I also got to make out with my dolphin.   My dolphin was male, he had sired at least one baby dolphin in captivity, but I guess after he saw me in my swim trunks he knew we should take our relationship to the next level...

 Okay, maybe the trainer had him perform this trick.  Also, I was shocked at the power of the dolphin.  I had to use the wall to keep me up.  He was so strong and completely in control.  I was not in control.

Georgia the Incredible

Hi.  I'm back.  We were traveling for two weeks.  Our first destination was Philadelphia to watch my husband collect his MBA, and then we hit up New York City, Paris, and Germany while we were in route to Georgia (the country), and we had very little down time to connect to our real world while we were connecting with our cousin's fantasy world of Georgia.

Georgia is ancient.  We toured ruins from 400 BC.

Georgia is bountiful.  We couldn't get enough of the mountains, the rivers, the forest, and the sea.  We saw snow capped mountains on our way to the beach.

Although I know it's impossible, I wish everyone could witness Georgia today while sitting shotgun with my cousin - we were treated like kings in her home and among her friends.  The country is still raw and it's a spectacular place right now...but in the three years since our last trip Georgia has continued to modernize.  I hope Georgia can continue to emerge into a modern economy while still preserving it's raw and unpolished state.