Thursday, September 30, 2010


Andrew's dear, precious grandfather passed away yesterday. He was an amazing man who immigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela as a boy. He was married to Grandmama for over 60 years, and he was a successful businessman who also loved his family dearly.

My favorite thing about Grandpapa was his sparkly eyes. Those eyes were the very first characteristic I noticed about him. I met Grandpapa at Texas A&M when he came to see Andrew's march-in (or something) as a senior. We had some time to kill, so I wondered through the Corps of Cadets museum with Grandpapa. In addition to his sparkly eyes, he had a great sense of humor and was always smiling. He was kind and sincere. I'm so thankful that Andy was able to at least meet his great-grandfather, even if he won't remember his first Easter in Tennessee!

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to know this beloved gentleman, who will be greatly missed. We love you, Grandpapa.

San Francisco

Andrew and I were able to take a little vacation together for the first time in 3 years. We have missed California a LOT, so we decided to head to the cooler weather of San Francisco. It was a wonderful time to just hang out together. We missed Andy a lot, but he was in very good hands with my mom, dad, Anna and Benjamin. I don't know if they'll ever be up for that adventure again, but we were so thankful that they were willing to keep Andy this time!

I haven't found an authentic Tunisian restaurant in Houston (surprisingly), but there was one just down the hill (literally) from our hotel in San Francisco. We had super-sweet Tunisian tea, which brought back floods of memories from my days in Tunis. The restaurant also had terrific breek, which I haven't had since I was in Tunis. Actually, that's not completely true. A Tunisian co-worker from Cheniere brought me the philo-like dough for breek one time, and Andrew and I attempted the dish. Not so hot. I love breek - a flaky, cripsy pocket filled with eggs, tuna, and capers, with lemon. I know that probably doesn't sound good, but my Tunisian "mom" made the best. Cafe Zituna in San Francisco made an agreeable attempt, although I don't think Andrew is as much of a fan of breek as I am.
We stayed in Monterey for a couple of days at the Old Saint Angela Inn, our old stomping grounds that is as lovely as we remembered.

Our friends Matt and Megan just happened to be in Monterey at the same time (craziness!), and we did a little wine tasting at the Taste of Monterey.

The best part of the trip was driving down the 1 from San Francisco to Monterey. It was beautiful, chilly, and there were several great lighthouses and little farm stands. We bought a crate of organic strawberries from one place. I told Andrew that we shouldn't have bought so many because they would go to waste . . . . yeah, I was wrong - they were GONE by the next day. Best strawberries I've ever eaten, even better than the strawberries in Tunisia. I ate so many strawberries in Tunisia that they called me Mademoiselle Fraise (Miss Strawberry). San Francisco has that beat. I guess I am now Madam Fraise. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Got milk?

Well, this was actually homemade, organic yogurt, but it was still a cute milk-shache!

Andrew borrowed his mom's yogurt maker, and it's been a lot of fun and super easy to make our own. We just add in some of Andrew's mom's homemade, organic strawberry jam, and we all chow down.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Not a Baby Anymore

Andy started walking at 9 1/2 months! He's getting better daily, and he prefers to walk instead of crawling, even though it takes him 3 times as long right now. He's so cute!
Andy will be 10 months on Sunday, and he looks like a little boy and not a baby anymore. I'm trying not to be too sad. At each stage, I think, "He's so much fun at this age; I don't want him to change!" But each stage has its joys and trails. At this point, he's so busy that I can't get anything done like I want. At least Andy has decided to help his Mom "fold the clothes" by dragging all of the clothes out of the basket and shrewing them across the room.

Isn't this a look you're not supposed to give your mom until you're a teenager?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hairdresser Friends

My dear friend Joan played with Andy this afternoon so that I could get a haircut. My friend Azar has been cutting my hair since we moved back to Houston 4 years ago. She and I occassionaly meet for coffee or lunch, and she is an absolute doll.

Azar walked up as I was waiting and checked the computer. She called, "Vanessa?" as though she were waiting for the next patient at the doctor's office.

She must not have realized that I was coming in because she is usually really excited to see me. I decided to help her out. "Shannon!" I piped up.

She looked at me with no recognition whatsoever and called again, "Vanessa?"

I thought that was really strange. Had being a mother really made me look that ragged to the point of non-recognition? Had I not become the friend to her that she is to me?

I got up and mustered all my cheerfulness, "It's Shannon!"

She seriously looked straight at me and questioned, "Shannon?"

I was almost in tears by this time - how could she not realize it was me at point blank range? I tried one more time: "Azar, it's me, SHANNON!"

She replied, "Azar? I'm not Azar." (I'm sure I gave her the are-you-from-the-moon look at this point.) "I'm Ira, her twin sister!"

Relief. Oh, yeah, and a fun day at the hair salon. I now have two Iranian friends who are going to take me to their favorite Perisan restaurant on their day off!