Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Boys In the Boat

I highly recommend Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat. The book was published almost two years ago, in June of 2013, but recently the COO of my firm recommended we read this book since it's a brilliant example of what it means to be on a winning team.

This book makes me realize our modern world problems are nothing compared to the hardships and problems faced in the Great Depression and in the World Wars by Americans at the time.

One quote from the book:

"...Great oarsmen and oarswomen are necessarily made of conflicting stuff - of oil and water, fire and earth.  On the one hand they must possess enormous self-confidence, strong egos, and titanic willpower.  They must be almost immune to frustration.  Nobody who does not believe deeply in himself or herself - in his or her ability to endure hardship and to prevail over adversity - is likely even to attempt something as audacious as competitive rowing at the highest levels.  The sport offers so many opportunities for suffering and so few opportunities for glory that only the most tenaciously self-reliant and self-motivated are likely to succeed at it..."

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Did you see the news about the April 8 birth of the first all female quintuplets born in the United States?

I sent our surrogate a link to the article.  Here.

I informed her that in July if we implant two embryos and one embryo splits into twins and the second embryo splits into triplets, then we too could have quintuplets!!!

She replied to my humor:

"My uterus is not a clown car."


This is why we're such a good match.

House Warming

My parents just built a second house in the oil fields of New Mexico.  Some people are lucky enough to have a second house at the beach, on a lake, or in the mountains...but since my father's career has him in the oil plays of New Mexico for the next few years - my parents' second home is a short drive from an oil refinery.  Ha!  My parents are together, which is what matters most...a home is where your heart is...and my parents home is lovely.  To celebrate this occasion, we gave my parents this Paola Navone ceramic vase as a house warming gift.  My taste and my mother's taste are very similar...we love all things blue!  There's not a shade of blue we don't love!

My mother loved the vase, as I knew she would.  I loved the vase too, as I knew I would.  So I bought one for me too.  One for you and one for me! 

My husband says I have a hard time separating NEEDS from WANTS, but in Texas when I walk in my front door and see this fun vase I think of my mother in New Mexico and her fun vase too.  Who doesn't NEED that?

A Bubble

We live in a bubble.  That's not necessarily a good thing.  For example,  my husband and I live on a quiet cul-de-sac across from Lakewood Country Club's 9th hole fairway.  Our daily comings and goings put us in direct observation of the golfers on the course, and when we first moved into this house a year ago we started asking ourselves: When do you think we will see a minority playing golf?

It's been one year and we've only seen white people playing golf.  We have both friends and neighbors that are members of the club and they claim to have minority members.

But we haven't seen them playing golf.

Sometimes I worry about raising our children in an environment that's too full of white people and white culture - will that set them up for success in this great big world of ours?

Am I going to spend the next two decades of my life worrying about raising well rounded, intelligent, and caring children?!

Bat Mitzvah

Recently we were invited to our friends' daughter's Bat Mitzvah.  It was the first Bat or Bar Mitzvah invitation we've received, which was exciting.  We have a few Jewish friends, but we're not plugged into a larger Jewish community.  Our favorite Jewish friend lives in LA and we haven't caught up with her in a year or so.  (Note to self, call Amy.)

I did a little research on Google for the Bat Mitzvah etiquette.  One website suggested if we wanted to be "in the know" we should give money in multiples of 18.  The number 18 is significant: In Hebrew, it is the numerical value for “chai” (pronounced like a guttural “hi”), meaning “life.” Giving money in multiples of $18 ($18, $36, $54 and so on) is symbolic of giving life.

We gave $54 in celebration of the Bat Mitzvah.

They were impressed that we knew about the significance of 18.

I was okay with them thinking we were sophisticated, worldly individuals that are in tune with Jewish traditions.

But when we were asked, how did we know about 18? - my husband answered (honestly) that Google was our friend.

We're not really sophisticated, but we know how to Google.

Mazel Tov!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oh Rats

When the weather is nice, I love working in our yard.  As you know, we live in east Dallas, which is supposed to be the city...but it feels like the frontier.  We have rats!  I'm okay with one rat wanting to retire in our backyard, but my husband informed me that there is never just one rat - there's always more.  I ignored him for a week.  However....

This weekend I felt like the final scene in the Thomas Crown Affair  where the man in the bowler hat appeared everywhere in the museum...I kept catching glimpses of rats in every corner of our backyard.  Plus, our neighbors informed us that they have at least one rat in their attic.  Yikes!

The rats are living in the railroad ties between our houses.  So unfortunately, we've had to set out rat poison to ensure we get rid of the rats.  I don't like killing animals for no reason - but I don't want rats in our attic too!

And yes, things have gotten awkward between us and our little beasts...

Trigger and Dooley, why can't you keep our backyard rat free?  This is embarrassing.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

I enjoy family traditions.  Easter is our holiday to host!  I love having everyone (both sides of the family) in our home eating our food, but the afternoon moves entirely too fast.   Our family arrives and then all too soon (it seems) they were leaving.

My 85 year old grandfather (who scored a hole-in-one on the golf course this past week) told my parents on the drive to Dallas that he cannot believe he's 85 years old.  To him it seems like recently he turned 60, and then all the sudden he's 85 years old.  The key takeaway from my grandfather's experience is to enjoy the moment because life happens quickly.

I'm really enjoying the many moments with our nieces, they are at a very fun age, and I'm hopeful that next Easter we will give them cousins!

Lone Iris

On Good Friday I recharged myself by spending most of the day outside in our yard: digging, planting, trimming, weeding,  and enjoying the beautiful day.  I decided to remove some ground cover in our circle drive because I wanted to plant some irises; however at the nursery they only had one iris, a crowned head tall bearded iris, which cost $11.   I thought that was expensive for the most beautiful and most under appreciated flowering perennial, which was at least not undervalued at $11!  I planted the beauty.
My husband came home and said, "Your iris looks nice.  I wish I could say 'your irises look nice', but you've only got one."

I thought that was funny.

The next day we happened to be in my hometown where my grandfather encouraged me to dig up as many plants as I wanted from a patch of purple irises that my great grandmother had planted in the 1940's.  I did.

Now I have irises.

Now I'm waiting for my husband to come home and tell me my irises look nice.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


"Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does."

I think this quote of the day represents an important concept. Especially with all the hoopla in Indiana and now Arkansas.  Twenty states have “religious freedom” laws. Indiana’s law, written more expansively than other states, has caused a national uproar since it could be used by businesses to deny services to gay and lesbian couples.