Sunday, November 23, 2008

Post-race recap

So this was a while ago now, but I wanted to post some pictures from the LiveStrong Challenge--my first 5k!! This was the view walking up to the starting area. A very inspiring view for an early Saturday morning. That's the Texas Capital in the background, for those not familiar with the Austin skyline.

My time at the 1st mile marker. (Not breaking any records here, but managed to keep a steady pace throughout the race.)

My time at the 2nd mile marker.

These pedicabs rode participants throughout the race. Most of those riding were young children who were battling cancer.

The inspiration for our team: Think Candy, Think Cure, ThinkStreet.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Personal Challenge

Those that know me well are aware that I'm not really into running or much exercise of any kind right now. But I have entered the LIVESTRONG Challenge 5k in Austin and am taking bets on whether I will even finish the course! Use this link to search for my name as a participant if you don't believe it:

But more seriously... instead of really taking bets I am looking for donations to support our team, Think Candy Think Cure. One of the partners at ThinkStreet was diagnosed with lung cancer and is going through treatment right now. We are supporting her efforts by participating in the race and raising money to help others diagnosed with cancer.

You can see my fundraising goals and where I'm at right now with the gauge on my blog homepage. There is a link you can click on to donate and find more about our team. I appreciate any amount you might be able to give.

When I finish the race I will post more info on how things went!

Friday, August 15, 2008


My apologies to those that haven't heard from us recently--either via e-mail or phone. We've been adjusting to new schedules because I got a job! I'd been looking for about a month but hadn't found anything.

While I was waiting for things to happen on the job front, I decided to participate in a production that our church was doing called "Savior of the World". It was mainly for the teenage youth, but they had a full orchestra and needed some adults to fill in. So I got to play viola in the orchestra. The rehearsal schedule was pretty intense the week of the performances (Fri-Sat, Aug 1-2) and I realized how long it had been since I'd played on a regular basis. Especially after my left pinky cramped up and my fingertips felt like they had little cuts inside. The production was awesome, though I really didn't get to see much of it in the pit. Several of you were able to make it, but I should be getting a DVD copy if anyone still wants to see it.

So just as things started ramping up with rehersals, I got a phone call from a company indicating that they had my resume passed along to them and they wanted to interview me for a position that had opened up. I was a little worried that we would be able to coordinate schedules, but within 48 hours of that first phone call I had the interview and was offered the job. I obviously accepted and now am working at ThinkStreet. It's a much smaller company than my last venture--there's only about 12 employees here--but I'm excited about the opportunities to work on more media outlets and learn more things. Most of their media is for various state of Texas campaigns. Check out some of their work at

And as if that wasn't great, the kids were able to get back into the UT Child Development Center immediately. I've never known of a time that they didn't have a wait. I was amazed and very grateful for everything working out so well.

So if you are looking for me during the day here is my work contact info:
ph: 512.444.7900
Google chat: tfviola

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

All Things Old Are New Again

Today was the first day for Mikhael & Kathryn back at daycare. Why's that, you ask? After looking for work over the last month or so with no solid leads, an opportunity came up last week where I talked to a company and accepted a job within 48 hours! So I am working at ThinkStreet now, managing their media team. It's a small company, but a great group of people to work with so far.

Here are pictures of the kids from their first day at "school".

They are back at the UT Child Development Center, however this time at the San Jacinto location. Kathryn is in the Sea Turtle classroom and Mikhael is in the Rainbows classroom. There is normally a wait list, so I feel very lucky that they had immediate openings for both children.

It's got to be right, with everything falling into place so well??? Regardless, Chris and I feel very blessed with how everything has been working out. And I am very grateful for all those who have kept us in their thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy 8th!

Before the clock turns over to a new day, I wanted to say YAY for our 8th anniversary! It's hard to believe that it has been that long already. But it's great to remember all the fun times that Chris and I have had together.

We had a low-key celebration this year--going out to Pei Wei with the kids. Though we hope to take advantage of The Cheesecake Factory's special tomorrow night of $1.50 for any slice of cheesecake! Yes, I know that's still pretty tame. But you have to enjoy what you can get, right? :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beware, you will lose sleep

So I happened across an internet game called Traveler IQ that can help test geography knowledge. Problem is that it's very addictive. I've stayed up until 2am the last couple nights trying to increase my score. Good news is that I am currently #2 on the leaderboard for the USA Challenge! :} See how you compare to this score:
98,726 pts
Level: 7
Trav. IQ: 156

I'm playing on Bebo so it will track my results. Click HERE for the link if you want to link up with me. I'm registered as tfviola on Bebo, so add me as a friend when you get there!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Who's been eating my candy?

As most parents--or anyone that's had to deal with children for an extended period--know, you sometimes have to be creative and a little bit sneaky to get children to do what you want. A couple months ago my husband came up with a brilliant strategy to get our kids, Mikhael in particular right now, to turn off lights, water, shut the doors, etc. around the house. He told Mikhael that if he let these things go, that it would eat up his candy. So now, for example, whenever he's in there washing his hands and just playing in the water, all we have to do is say "Mikhael, the water is eating your candy." And the water gets turned off faster than you can imagine!

I guess I'm just posting about this now, because it was finally tonight that it struck me how creative this was on my husband's part. We all remember our parents' saying things like "Do you live in a barn?" or "I'm not paying to air condition the outdoors" if a door got left open. Funny sayings to us now, but really as children what did we care? But this little phrase that he devised obviously hits home and is a very effective tool around our house right now.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Bikes

So Mikhael wore out his first bike a few months ago. We finally got him a new bike yesterday. It's in his favorite color--green. And of course Kathryn had to get a Disney Princess tricycle to keep up with her brother. They rode around on the driveway a little bit this afternoon. As soon as mom and dad get their own bikes we'll start touring the neighborhood, so watch out!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More pictures from Father's Day weekend

I ran across some more pictures from Father's Day weekend.

The first one is from Thursday night. We had a full day of playing with cousins and swimming. That night we had tamales for dinner. Mikhael was still eating when I went upstairs to put Kathryn in bed. When I came down, he was crashed out at the table.

Next two pictures are of Bell & Mikhael. They were on Grandma's bed watching cartoons.

Then last one is Kathryn having fun with Grandma's kitchen gloves.

Lots of fun for all!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Birthday Remembrance

In memory of it's previous owner, Planty put out a beautiful bloom this week. Here is a picture of what it looks like today. It would have been my friend's 33rd birthday.

And here is a picture of the redbud tree that was planted in her honor. I visited it today and remembered some of the fun times that we had together.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kathryn's Day

We have unfortunately followed the trend of the second child having fewer pictures and other documentation of their milestones. So if only for one day, it's all about Kathryn and how much she is growing up!

Earlier today we went to my mother-in-law's company picnic out at Shady Springs. The kids had a great time. But the most memorable thing was that for the first time Kathryn went on a pony ride. She did so well holding onto the saddle horn as the pony trotted around in a circle. I barely had to hold onto her. (Yes, she apparently has her mother's bad habit of closing her eyes during pictures. Because of the line, we had limited time to take pictures and this was the best one...)

Then later this evening, as Mikhael and I were playing the Wii, Kathryn was entertaining herself with the toys around the house. She got a baby doll over Christmas, but hadn't played with it much before. (She's been all about trains, balls and trucks since that's what she sees her big brother playing with.) Tonight, she ran across the little doll and picked it up. After cradling it in her arms, she held the doll's hand up and gave it a high five. Then she carried it around for the rest of the evening.

The last thing is that before going to bed we had a snack in the living room. I'd finished eating everything in the little bowl and Kathryn saw that it was empty. So without me saying anything to her, she took the bowl into the kitchen and dropped it in the sink. We've been teaching her to put dishes in the sink when she's done with them. But it was a surprise to see her do it for someone else and without any prompting.

Now if only we could get her to stay at the table while she is eating! Hopefully when we hit that milestone I'll be diligent enough to recognize and document that one too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend Getaway

Had to post a couple cute pictures from our San Antonio visit this past weekend. This is Kathryn and her cousin Adia, on the swing in my parents' backyard.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Some nerve

I'll start this out by saying that I know a 2-hour trip to Sam's Club with a 3 year-old and 1 year-old is entirely too long, so something was bound to go bad.

For the most part, the shopping trip was fine. Chris and I would tag-team: one person getting things off the shelf while the other kept children in check. The kids even had a break playing in a little wooden playhouse that was on display. But when it came to checkout time, that's when the meltdown happened. Mikhael was running around and ended up plowing over Kathryn knocking her to the floor. As Chris was paying I was trying to get screaming children back into the cart so we could get out as fast as possible.

Then we come up to the receipt check at the door. Fortunately there was only one person in front of us who was finishing up so I thought we'd be okay. All of a sudden this old man comes pushing his way to the front saying he only has one item. The checker takes his receipt and marks it and he starts walking out. At this point I lost it--throwing up my hands and commenting something along the lines of, "We have 2 screaming children and you think that your one item gets you to the front of the line???" I don't even know if he heard me or Chris in our disbelief, but I know the checker and customer service desk did.

Since I've had a chance to cool down, I realize that it probably took only an extra 30 seconds for us to get through the door and I shouldn't have gotten upset. But I'm still annoyed about how some people feel they are entitled to do whatever is for their convenience, without any regard to other's circumstances.

And this one too...

It's Official...

Saw this on a friend's website and thought it was cool, so had to try it out.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Virginia Trip

The first weekend in May, I was able to travel with my parents and Bracken to see Ben & Sandy graduate from Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista, VA.

It was a quick trip, but we had a good time. Here are some pictures:

Virginia Trip


So maybe against my better judgement (and the advice of my husband), I've decided to attempt keeping up a blog yet again. I think this would make my 3rd attempt at something like this.

One of the problems I realized in keeping up with a blog is that I was trying to fit one single theme--family, work, humor, recipes, parenting, sports, music, etc--into my blog. I'm all over the place with my interests and it was hard to figure out what to post so I didn't do it at all. This time around I will post a variety of items and will take advantage of the labels to categorize my posts. Feel free to browse only what interests you.

I'll also try to e-mail when I've updated for big events. But be sure to hit that RSS feed as that will be the most reliable way to know when I have put something new on the site!