Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm the Biggest Loser!

My sister and I have entered into a weight-loss challenge with each other. We both have to lose 5% of our current body weight by May 14. The loser (aka Sarah) gets to buy the winner (aka Becky) meat pies from the Australian Bakery in Atlanta. She has even posted a link to the bakery on her website for her ordering convenience. She must be pretty sure that I'm going to win!
And for the record, I'm already down 2 pounds in just 3 days. I can smell the Aussie goodness already!

Bendin' It Like Beckham!

Ashlee is playing soccer on the Bobcats team this season and is really enjoying it so far.

Here she is after her first practice. My little David Beckham in training!

I find that I keep screaming, "Ashlee! Chase the ball! Take it down to the goal!" over and over again.

Practicing good sportsmanship (she's number 7.)

Taking my advice (because she can really hear me over everyone else!)

An excellent save as the goalie! Great job Ash!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nick's Art Show

Nicholas recently had an art piece of his displayed at the Bank of Ann Arbor on Ellsworth. He was honored at a gathering at Palio's Restaurant downtown. Here he is telling everyone his name and the school he is from. He was then awarded with a special certificate signed by the mayor.

This is his "paper weaving" piece that was displayed in the window at the bank. Good job Nick!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

That Time of Year

Ann Arbor is such a great city to live in. It has pretty decent shopping, good restaurants, tons of really nice parks and awesome thrift stores. I would want to live here forever if I could just reduce the amount of time we have to spend indoors from 7-8 months out of the year to just one or two. It would also be great to transplant some family members here. But one of the hardest parts about living here is all the people that you have to say goodbye to every spring. Pretty much everyone I have ever met here comes to Ann Arbor for school. Sometimes that means 2-3 years for an MBA or law school, or 4-5 years for a residency or dental school, or 5+ years for a PhD. When Spring rolls around, many of them graduate and move out of state. Some just leave for the summer for an internship and the rest spend a lot of the summer on vacations or travels to see the family members that they haven't seen for the whole previous year. And then there's me. I'm now on my tenth year of "staying behind" while everyone moves on to greener pastures. Quite frankly, it sucks. I try not to get too attached to them, especially the MBA's or law school friends (they only stick around for 2 years, like I mentioned) but somehow they all work themselves into a little spot on my radar screen and it always feels really lonely after they're gone. The worst part is going to Relief Society and looking around to discover that you're now attending with only 7 people and 3 of them are in the presidency. This is especially disconcerting when you're used to being packed in like sardines. So I'm glad I've got a little group of friends who have been here for many if not all of the past ten years. But even for some of them, their time is drawing nigh. Goodbyes are extremely hard for me and I'm getting tired of doing them, but I'm glad that I've gotten to know so many awesome people in the meantime who will always be lifetime friends. And thank goodness for blogs so that we can always keep tabs on each other!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Giving Thanks

Many years ago, I was watching Oprah and she talked about how important it was to give thanks everyday. She said that she had started a Gratitude Journal where she would write down all the things she was grateful for everyday. She also added that doing this had changed her life. I was all inspired and almost went and started a journal myself. Unfortunately, I never got around to it and even though my life feels overwhelmingly difficult right now, I'd like to show my thanks.

This is what I'm thankful for today (in no particular order):

1. Nick and Ashlee
2. A warm & extremely comfortable bed to sleep in every night
3. The fact that I have never had to go hungry in my life
4. To live in a country that offers so many opportunities to improve your lot in life
5. An amazing network of supportive family members and friends
6. An insulin pump that allows me to live like a normal person even though I have diabetes
7. A six-year-old who still gives me snuggle time, kisses and hugs

Thursday, April 3, 2008

An Anniversary

Yesterday was the anniversary of the day my parents passed away. They've been gone now for twenty-four excruciatingly long years. I just wanted to take some time to remember them. Mum & Dad, you are so loved and missed!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Animal Lover

Ashlee and her boys, Frankie and Bruno. So sweet! I love how Bruno looks like he took a sleeping pill that just knocked him right out!

Written by Nicholas John

Everyday when the kids get home from school, I pull all their papers out of their backpacks. The other day, I found the beginnings of some writing that Nick had done. I thought it was very well written, especially for an 8-year-old, so I decided to post it here:

'How Hard Life Was: Collection 1: Book 1/10'

Chapter 1/10: 10,000 B.C.
Here in the unknown abyss, I lie in my only shelter, a cave, captured. I was trying to find lizard eggs but when I found the 5th egg, I got captured. I tried to get my knife but it was too late. So I am about to get burned in this cave when my thoughts were disrupted by the social studies teacher. I looked at the board and knew the answer immediately . . .

Chapter 2/10: "Classical" Time Machine
11:59:10 a.m. It's almost time to go in, I told myself. I made a bet with someone that I wouldn't sweat. I felt a drop of sweat forming.

Not too bad! I'll post more if he writes the rest, but for now I just wanted to show off my boy!