Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thankfulness and Resolutions

I know I am a little late for the usual Thanks stuff but the start of a whole new year makes one reflective and I figured why do the usual resolutions that break within the first month anyways?
So, here are a few things I am very thankful for:

1) Jeff: It's been 5 years since I met, 3 years since we got married and 2 years since we ghot married again ;-)। Some days it feels like I have known him forever; other times, I feel like we met so late in life that it's not enough time together. Either way though, I couldn't imagine life with anybody else. He's a calming force in my whirlwind life. Anyone who knows me closely knows that I am at my best when I have multiple things going and maybe even when there's a crisis looming on the horizon. I am sure if that's how I lived my life all the time, I'd crash and burn soon. But, Jeff's always there to slow me down, make me relax and just enjoy life.

2) Suheir: My sister moved in with us earlier this year and I wasn't sure how that would work out। I felt a little trepidation; understandable since we hadn't lived together in 11 years. We've had our tiffs, she's the younger one so she reserves the right to be a pain in the butt and I reserve the right as older sister to be the know it all :-). However, it's been really good to have her here. She's known me the longest next to my parents, she's heard all my secrets and she's still my biggest supporter. I couldn't ask for a better younger sister.

3) My parents: All I have to say is they seem to have forgotten anything I did to make them tear their hair out in my younger days। They will always be in my corner, applauding my successes and sharing in my losses. I love and miss my parents.

4) My in-laws: What a word "in-law" is. I don't know how it is in other cultures by Bollywood has perpetuated this image of an in-law that makes us cringe at that word. I am very happy to say that my in-laws are nowheer near those images। I got lucky in that area. I have the most loving and caring in-laws: parents who care about us and have even taken my sister under their wings. I have also gained 2 sisters who share embarrassing stories about Jeff from his childhood. And their husbands couldn't be nicer. So, all in all, I might have picked the best in-laws in the whole entire world.

5) Friends: I have moved around so much I am surprised I have any friends. But, it says something about their tenacity that they've stuck with me through all my adventures and misadventures. I thank all of you for being my pillars and my crying shoulders. I thank you for coming over sick in the rain to help put lights up. I thank you for letting me call you in the middle of the night and complain about anything. I thank you for spending hours in the aisles of DSW helping me find the perfect shoe। I thank you for going to Indian restaurants when you don't even like the food.

6) Co-workers: For my first job, I sure did get lucky। I have a boss who's also a friend. Our puppies are in love with each other. I have coworkers I can tolerate on weekends too.

7) Smokey: How could I forget him? I never thought an animal could invoke the feelings of love that Smokey does. And the love he gives back; it's unconditional and completely trusting. He is the bestest puppy in the whole entire world (as we tell him again and again).

My 1 resolution for the new year would apply to everyone named above: try and be more patient. I am impatient with a hair trigger temper. It does come down as fast as it goes up. But, i resolve to work on being a little more patient with all the people who matter and to stop and smell the roses (cliche but true) every now and then.

With that, I wish you all a happy ending to 2008 and a wonderful beginning to 2009।
सब को २००९ की शुभ कामनाएं!

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Green Card

Got my renewed Green Card. Now, I am legal here for the next 10 years, yay!

Also, big difference in photo:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Festivities

Even though we've alternately been sick in our household, with me almost well and Suheir on her last leg of sickness (Jeff started it all), we've managed to have some fun in the past few weeks.

We got a tree and decorated it. This was Suheir's first Christmas tree decoration at her house (we both went to a Catholic school and would decorate trees at school every year). She got a couple ornaments, one that says "SISTER" and one that is a doctor and has her name on it. Jeff got a Starbucks cup ornament with his favorite beverage on it. Even Smokey got in on the action :-).

Then, Jeff and I got to go to the Lockheed annual holiday dinner and dance. We enjoyed that so much, we danced for close to 3 hours, including to some awesome bhangra music the DJ played. In the 3 years I have gone to this event, this year, I felt the best about myself and in turn, enjoyed myself so much more. And, that was with only one drink the whole night.

Last but not the least, we went to what's becoming an annual tradition at my boss and friend, Kathi's house. She hosts a holiday dinner and gift exchange/steal, where we each bring a gift and then pull numbers to see who goes first. The second person onwards has two choices - pick up a wrapped gift or steal somebody's already unwrapped one. Just like last year, the booze and chocolates were much fought over. Jeff came away with a Magic 8-ball and Suheir stole a Starbucks gift card from Kathi (which I somehow imagine will land in Jeff's stocking). We also surprised Kathi with a candle on a cookie cake, since it was her birthday 2 days later.

As you can see in the pictures, I did not go with the jeans and t-shirt look. I wore a sari. Yay! There's still a slight belly bulge but I felt comfortable enough to wear one and that says a lot about how I feel about myself on a whole. I haven't talked about it much but since the surgery, I've now lost 90 some pounds. I still have 30 to go but having lost what I have, I have so much more energy and pep that I surprise myself. I have loads more self esteem than the same time last year. I think that makes for a better relationship with my family, friends and even coworkers.

Monday, December 01, 2008

My first Thanksgiving dinner

Jeff's mom and dad visited for a few days the weekend before Thanksgiving. Jeff doesn't get time off around the actual holidays so it was nice they came the weekend before. We did a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with them. We roasted a chicken, had crab stuffed mushrooms for appetizers, enjoyed some nice wine, a good football game and wonderful company. Even Smokey ate well that night.

Just an example of how well we dined:

National Museum of Crime and Punishment

It was awesome!!! We really enjoyed it; Suheir got to see what being in a lineup felt like and Jeff and I practiced passing time in lockup.

Click on any photo to see the rest of the photos; they are cool!

I guess I am not the best driver

So, my Honda Element was taken in to the shop today because I could hear air escaping from the power steering and one of the tires looked really low and well, it was due for maintenance. And among the things they need to do is to flush and fill the power steering fluid. Why does that need to be done?

The power steering fluid flush is due to the fact that the fluid was both low and very dirty. They said this could be from heavy use of the power steering (i.e. cranking the wheel all the way over often or for long periods of time. this will bur and burn off fluid).

Another thing they need to do is align the tires. The alignment on the tires was poor and the tires were wearing unevenly. Caused by potholes, bumping curbs, speed-bumps, etc.

Umm, I guess I should stop driving my car like a NASCAR driver :-(

Please visit us

Now, it's not that we're starved for company or are tired of each other's company. But, Jeff and I would like to request that somebody from our group of family, friends or acquaintances visit us once a month. The reason being I need motivation to clean. When my in-laws were here last month, I spent 3 days cleaning the house from top to bottom. Furniture was moved, things were dusted, dead bugs were vaccuumed and Smokey was bathed. And now, a mere 2 weeks later, our house is filthy. I lay down on the living room floor (my stomach was acting up and the only way to make it fel better is to lie on it, another story for another time), and I realized how dirty the carpet was. Granted it was right by the door we come in and go out of, right by the patio and the dirt and the mulch but still. It made me sad. I now my weakness. I will clean if somebody is about to visit.

So, please won't you help us out and accounce a visit?