Tag Archives: friends

Giving Thanks

First anniversary - we made it!

I’m thankful for my husband. He puts up with a lot – my mood swings, some tears, my obsessive compulsive personality, and my long ramblings about what happened today and why it was such a BIG deal. After all of this, he still rakes leaves and gives me back rubs. He takes the dogs out at 2:00 in the morning when I’m too lazy, and he rides the moped in the cold weather because I’m a wuss.

Bella the Cat

I’m thankful for my pets. My dogs Orson and Nana jump all over me and wag their tails all around just because I come home after work each day! They also have a wonderful smell. If the verb “home” could have a smell, it would smell like my dogs. My cat Bella is a diva. She wants people to open and close doors for her (even though she can use the pet door), and she wants to be picked up and carried past the dogs (even though she knows perfectly well that they’re harmless and she could totally take them). My pets can sense when I’m having a bad day, and their temperaments change. The dogs settle down and the cat becomes more affectionate. I love this sixth sense of theirs. It’s like they have a emotional radar or something.

With Mom and Dad in Zihuatanejo

I’m thankful for my parents, who worked their whole lives so that their kids could have innumerable luxuries and opportunities. As an adult, I’m finally beginning to appreciate how much work they do everyday and that doesn’t include raising kids – because my husband and I haven’t gotten that far yet. Sans kids, the adult stuff (i.e., taxes, cars, insurance, bills, work, relationships) is really hard. I hate to say they told me so, but yes, I do miss those days when I was a kid. And yes, I do understand what life is really like now that I’m older.

Sisters don't let sisters get married without lip gloss

I’m thankful for my sister. She’s so smart, beautiful, and hardworking. She’s my confidant, my adviser, and my friend. And she’s the only person who can eat more ice cream, more often, than I can and still not have it “go to her hips.” Way to go girl. No matter what my sister does in life, she’s going to be successful. Caitlin, if you’re reading this, take a break from the books and have some fun.

Peter and Kate on their wedding day

I’m thankful for my friends Peter and Kate. They are two of my best friends who happen to be married to one another, which makes it really convenient for me to keep in touch with both of them. They are always there to support me in good times and in bad, and they’re always down for a fun time. I’m amazed that a med student and a future business tycoon (the good kind) have time for a crunchy-granola friend like me. Peter visits RVA once a month, and Kate calls “her wife” religiously. Gracias amigos!

St. Christopher's students and faculty in formation for the commemorative Saintennial photo

I’m thankful for my colleagues at St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s. I’ve never felt so welcomed by a community in all my life. Literally, I have felt at home since my first day at both of these schools. The faculty are amazing. They can switch from talking about pedagogy to tatooes in about 30 seconds. I’m proud to be a small part of such an accomplished and fun group.

Who wouldn't want to pet-sit for these angels???

I’m thankful for my neighbors Gene and Julie Bruner. These guys are rockstars. Not only do they manage their own jobs, family, and pets, but they also pitch in once every two weeks to help us with our pets. We couldn’t ask for more generous and kind neighbors. Oh, and did I mention that they’re both runners and Gene is a bad-ass kayaker and stand-up-paddler? Totally cool. My neighbor can out run and probably beat up your neighbor.

I’m thankful for blogging, because – aside from cooking – it’s my only outlet for creative expression. I’ve never been able to draw, paint, or sculpt; I stopped playing the piano in high school; and I definitely can’t carry a tune. I’m not much of a fiction writer (in fact, I don’t consider myself much of a non-fiction writer either), but I do find that blogging about my life, my family, and my reactions to the world around me is a fantastically cathartic process. I wish I had more time to blog (and to cook). Perhaps I’ll take the Post-a-Week Challenge in 2012…

Happy Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for?


Filed under Family, Friends, Holidays, Pets

Giving Thanks for Friends and Asylum

Christian volunteers for the Center for Survivors of Torture, and one of his mentees – and dear friend – Suresh Pokhrel was recently granted asylum by the United States Government. It was a long, difficult road from the mountains of Nepal to the courts of San Antonio, but Suresh and his wife Manju finally won their freedom after years of persecution and struggle. Suresh is a poet and a lawyer, who speaks Nepali, Hindi, English, German, and is learning Spanish and French. Recently, he earned his certification to translate between English and Nepali speakers here in the U.S. He and Manju currently manage a convenience store in North Austin. Within weeks, Suresh and Manju will be reunited with their children, who have been living in Nepal for six years without their parents. Suresh and Manju recently invited us to their home to celebrate this great victory for their family.

Suresh presents us with gifts - journals to record our moments together

Suresh and Manju in their home in North Austin

Christian signs the Pokhrel's guest book. They are collecting memories from all their friends in Austin.

Christian, Manju and Suresh

Suresh drove us (in his NEW CAR!) to an Indian restaurant that Manju’s friend had recommended.

Suresh in his new car (a gift from Manju)

We let Suresh do the ordering: Chicken Tikka (skewered chicken cooked in tandoor with spices and yogurt), Goat Biriyani (a savory mixture of basmati rice and goat meat), Masoor Dal (split red lentils, very spicy but very good), Naan (one of many Indian flat breads), Raita (a tangy sour yogurt mixture, perfect for cooling your tongue after spicy dal), and for dessert: Gulab Jamun (deep-friend dough balls in a sugar syrup), Ras Malai (sugary white paneer cheese soaked in cream spiced with cardamom), and Pistachio Kulfi (creamy pistachio-flavored ice cream).

Passing the goat biriyani, mmmmm so good!

Sharing a feast with friends

Thank you for a wonderful dinner Suresh and Manju! We are so blessed to count you as friends!

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Filed under Austin, Food, Friends