It sounds so much nicer in Spanish, doesn’t it?


Today, my mother turns 60. And just as she always tells me, “I’m not old enough to have a son that’s ____ (whatever age I happen to be at the time),” today, I’m thinking, I’m not old enough to have a mom that’s 60!


Since my sister already beat me to saying all of the lovely, sentimental things, I’ll just say this:


I couldn’t have asked for a better mom, a better Nana for our daughter (soon to be daughters), or a better family to have been a part of.

Rachel and Grandma

We love you, and miss you down here deep in the heart of Texas.


Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is Dad’s 61st birthday. Sixty one, and still going strong.

This was the first time in several years that we’ve been able to celebrate Dad’s birthday with him in person. It’s so nice to have Mom and Dad down here for a few months, even if it is temporary.

Rachel is thoroughly enjoying her time with Nanna and Dodd, and I think the feeling is mutual.

Happy Birthday Dad, and many more to come!

We all love you very much!

Why, hello there!

Yes, yes, I realize it’s been almost a month since I posted anything.

I managed to be at home for three weeks and not write a thing, and then when I had to go back to work, I’ve been working 10 hour days and just haven’t had the energy to do much of anything when I get home.

So here I am, back again. It was incredible to see everyone this past weekend. We’re really glad that we and so many others decided to make the trip.

Pictures from the weekend are up at Flickr (you can see them over there on the right), but I’m going to post a few of my favorite.

The whole gang



Fishin for a frisbee

Max the cheerleader

She looks so natural


We made it back from our trip to New York. It was a great trip, and all of my worries about going there turned out to be just that…worries. Nothing more.

We had a wonderful time and I’m glad I don’t have to be back at work right away so I can take some time to recover. We walked way more in those 5 days than I think we walked the rest of the year!

Instead of posting a bunch of pictures here (I took over 300) I’ll just direct you to my Flickr photostream. If you’ve been checking in over the past couple of days, I’m sure you’ve seen those four thumbnails on the right changing every couple of hours as I upload.

I’ve created a few sets on Flickr to kind of categorize things, so if you want to see the wedding pictures or touristy things, or architecture, pictures of our family, gargoyles, or pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge (yes, I took enough pictures of it for its own category), they’re all there. You don’t have to go wading through all of them to see the things you like.

I think we’re going to have to go back. Soon. The list of things we didn’t do is about as long as the list of things we did do.

What’s Old is New Again

I just received my Grandparent’s ‘weather station’ this evening via UPS (thanks, Mom for sending it!). You know the one…it used to hang just to the right of the doorway. Here…let me show you:

OK, so not the most flattering picture of Grandma, but it’s the only one I could find that showed where this thing was in her house.

Anyway, as you can tell from the picture, it has three dials on it. A thermometer, a barometer and a hygrometer (You know, it measures the humidity. Ha! Betcha didn’t know that I actually knew the name for that. Well, I didn’t. I had to look it up.)

It’s been hanging in that same spot in Grandma’s house for as long as I can remember. In fact, when I think of Grandma’s house, it’s one of the first things I remember. So anyway, when we were up north, I told Mom I was going to take it with me, and she said something about it needing a good cleaning. So when I got it this evening, I set about trying to clean it.

It’s amazing what a difference a little glass cleaner can make. These first two were taken after I’d cleaned the thermometer, but not the other two:


And you can see what cleaning just half of the face of the barometer looked like:


Now it’s all clean and shiny, and hanging in our house.

An unexpected trip

So, as most of you who read this blog already know, my Grandma Jean (mom’s mom) passed away on St. Patrick’s Day. This, of course, prompted a flurry of activity on our part in order to get up here for the memorial service on Friday.

Since trying to find airfare last minute is a financial nightmare, I decided to go with a “last minute” deal that you can find on certain websites. Unfortunately, this last minute fare had us leaving from Austin at 6 AM Friday.


That wasn’t the bad part, though. The weather had a little winter in store for us, and flying into Chicago turned out to be a bit more tricky than planned.

The reason we left Illinois

Luckily, we did make it, just 30 minutes late, which gave us plenty of time to get our car and drive to Geneseo. The memorial service was wonderful, and Mom made it through her speech about Grandma without too much trouble. Afterward, we had cookies and lemonade in the church basement, then went over to Grandma’s house to say goodbye.

(Thanks to Aunt Linda for the pictures from Grandma’s house)

Friday night, we hung out with the rest of the Laleman clan at Grandma Betty and Grandpa Al’s house. Since they’re in Florida, we had a house party and Rachel got totally trashed.


We’ll be in Illinois until Monday…enjoying this lovely weather.

My turn

We took the final fishing trip of the month on Saturday. There were a lot of things that Dad didn’t get to do on this trip, like go fishing with a guide, but I think that overall, he’s just happy that he got to go fishing in February.

After not catching much at all during our previous trips, I finally landed a big one on my first cast.

A good day of fishin'

Even Monica got in on the action, hooking this little guy…

Big Fish

Mom and Dad are leaving Tuesday morning (weather permitting), and we’ll all be sad to see them go. I think Rachel is going to miss them most of all. She’s gotten very used to having “Nana” and “Dodd” around.

More to come in a few days…

Better Late than Never

If you’ve been waiting with baited breath for the Laleman family Christmas card in the mail, don’t hold that baited breath. As I said last year, the likelihood of us getting Christmas cards in the mail is somewhere between slim and none.

And from the looks of it this year, the likelihood of me getting our cyber-cards out on time stood about the same chances.

So here I present to you, the if-I-had-gotten-my-butt-in-gear Laleman family Christmas card choices for this past Christmas, which, yes, I know, was a week ago.

Both are photoshop jobs because the originals didn’t quite cut it, but have a look for yourself to see if you can spot any mistakes. I think I did a pretty good job with them.

You can see the huge versions of these cards by clicking on them.