Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade in Reveiw

2000: I rang in the New Millennium in Houston, where I had recently moved. Happily Y2K arrived and nothing horrible happened. The computers kept running and so did the stop lights. I registered for my first personal e-mail account, and I still use it today!

2001: Mom, Jill and I went on a "girls' trip" on a tour of the Holy Land. It was awesome. I was cast as the lead in June Moon at Main Street Theatre. My Mom married John!

2002: I worked a lot this year in theatre, doing An Experiment with an Air Pump and The Three Cornered Hat at Main Street Theater and Parade at The Masquerade Theatre. I moved to Spain and made friends with a wonderful group of people who I still adore today! I also found my wedding dress in a store-front window--no groom in sight, but it was love at first sight when I found that dress!

2003: I met my best friend, Anne, when she moved to Spain and joined the team I was working with. Jilly got married! Mom and John came to visit me in Spain, and we bought the wedding dress! Our wonderful John passed away. I moved back to Houston.

2004: I turned 30! I did In the Garden of Live Flowers and Seussical at Main Street Theater. I went back to Spain for a visit with my friends and had a great time.

2005: I decided to moved to Los Angeles. On the drive out to LA, my mom, sister and I met up with my Dad and the four of us had lunch together. It was the first time since I was 18 years old that the four of us had been together like that, and it was powerful in a way that is hard to put into words. I wanted to freeze time.

2006: My Dad gave me a laptop computer, and I joined eHarmony and met Brian! I also started this blog to chronicle my life in LA and my eHarmony experience.

2007: Brian proposed to me on New Year's Day and we married six months later. We had an awesome honeymoon in Kauai and now I'm a married woman!

2008: My father passed away. We flew to Texas for his funeral and to San Francisco for another funeral and his burial. He is buried next to his parents. I was in my first play in Los Angeles--How the Other Half Loves at Long Beach Playhouse. Brian was offered a job in the Houston area, and we decided to take the job! We looked for houses the day after Christmas and made an offer by the end of the year!

2009: I was in the play Our Leading Lady in Palos Verdes, and got reveiwed by Variety! We moved to Houston, TX, and love it here! We began the adoption process and are finishing the decade waiting to be matched with our child/ren.

I think 2010 will be the year we become parents, and I imagine the upcoming decade will have a lot to do with raising kids!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Two Ways to Melt my Heart

Today when my nephew Sam woke up from his nap, he came and sat on my lap and settled in for a cuddle by laying his head on my shoulder.

Later, he ran across the kitchen and right into my arms for a big hug.

It doesn't take much to make my day!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sammy and Nana both had a Very Merry Christmas!

Actually, we all did, but this photo was just too cute not to post it!

We had a wonderful Christmas! My family was all together, and I felt such a great sense of contentment in our togetherness. Sam is a total joy, and having a 20 month old to celebrate Christmas with made it all the merrier!

Love to you all as you celebrate the rest of the Christmas holidays with your loved ones!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Brian wrote ...

...a beautiful post on our adoption blog!

Go read it, now! :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

'Tis the Season for Cookies and Icing, Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

For a fun and easy recipe that results in chewy gingerbread cookies, click here!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mary and Joseph

Mary. A young virgin living in a small town. Engaged to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter.

Mary was just going about her day. Perhaps doing mundane chores. Perhaps dreaming about her wedding day. Maybe even trying to sneak a peek of her future husband as she walked past his carpentry workshop. That day, that most ordinary of days, was about to become the most extraordinary she’d ever lived.

A visit from an angel. An angel! A messenger of God Himself with a very special message for Mary. A message that would not only change her life forever, but one that would change the world.

The message? That Mary would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She would give birth to the Son of God. Humbly, Mary accepted the angel’s declaration. “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

I wonder if Mary went home and contemplated if the prophecy in Isaiah she had heard all through her growing up years was about to be fulfilled.

The prophecy? “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders.”

Could this long-awaited prophesied child possibly be the same child growing in her womb?

Joseph. A young man living in the same small town as his fiancée, Mary.

Joseph was just going about his day. Perhaps doing mundane chores. Perhaps dreaming about his bride. Maybe even trying to sneak a peek of her as she walked down the street of his carpentry workshop.

That day, that most ordinary of days was about to take a turn for the worse. Mary told him that she was pregnant, and he knew he wasn’t the father. She insisted that she hadn’t been unfaithful—that the child inside her was a miracle created by God Himself. As much as Joseph wanted to believe her, he just couldn’t, and they parted ways, both with tears in their eyes. As Joseph lay down to sleep that night, he thought to himself, “I’ll divorce her quietly, so she won’t be disgraced.” And then?

A visit in a dream from an angel. An angel! A messenger of God Himself with a very special message for Joseph. A message that would not only change his life forever, but one that would change the world. The message? That Joseph should not be afraid to take Mary home as his wife, because the baby inside of her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you, Joseph, are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

I wonder if Joseph’s first thought when he woke up was if the prophecy in Isaiah he had heard all through his growing up years was about to be fulfilled. The prophecy? “The Lord himself will give you a sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us').”

Could his beloved Mary be the pregnant virgin of the prophecy? Could the promised “Immanuel”, the promised “God with us” be the very baby to be born to his dear Mary?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Messina Hof: A Texas Vineyard and Winery

Who knew that in Bryan, TX there was a thriving winery? That's right, y'all--a little bit of Napa right here in the Lone Star State!

The parents of a good friend arranged a private wine tasting and tour for a group of us their friends. It was fun to see the vineyard, which still managed to be beautiful in its fruitless state.

The tasting was fun, mostly because it was served with some delicious cheeses. You may remember that as much as I want to appreciate and (dare I say it?) like wine, I just always seem to well, not like it. I always hope that a wine tasting will change my mind, or at the very least, introduce me to a wine that I'll fall in love with.

In truth, the list of wines I like is very short:

Lambrusco (My Spanish friends turned me onto this bubbly blush!)
White Zinfandel (My mother tells me that this shouldn't even be considered wine.)
Riesling (A nice, sweet white.)

Not a red wine in the bunch, but at least, if I'm out at a nice restaurant and I'm in the mood to have a glass of wine, I know of three I can order that I'll like. That is, if I don't just go with a Diet Coke. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

If you ask him what Santa says, he replies, "Oh, Oh, Oh!"

Checking out the manger scene. Jill asked him, "Where is Jesus?", and he would point to the manger. So sweet.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Precious Baby Girl

One of my good friends is adopting this sweet baby girl. It was so fun to meet her today, to hold all eight pounds of her, and of course, to take her pictures. I think she's a beautiful model!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Lovely Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving in Virginia. We got to spend a week with Brian's mom and family. It was chilly and fall-ish outside, and we spent part of an afternoon hiking around this campground.

I have a great mother-in-law, so visits to Virginia are always great because she's such wonderful company. On top of that, I'm so taken with the natural beauty (4 seasons!) and the architecture (so Rockwellian!) of the east coast. Add it all together, and it's the perfect place to spend Thanksgiving!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

What an amazing day we had today! It snowed here! It broke a record today for being the earliest snow Houston has had on record. Cool, huh?! This was the view out my front door when it really started coming down:

Growing up in Texas where snow is as rare as tumbleweeds are in New York City, I just can't get enough of snow. My inner child just lights up, and I was gleefully jumping around the house. Then I pretty much just stared out the window, because I knew it wouldn't last forever. After a couple of hours, our lawn was covered in snow. Here's the backyard. I love the irony of palm trees and snow!

Some of our friends came over this evening with their kids. It was so much fun. We had a fire going in the fire place, our Christmas tree lights were on, music was playing, and our friends made Mayan hot chocolate. It was so fun and felt so Christmas-y!

It's going down into the 20s tonight. Brrrr! But so much fun!