Tag Archives: San Antonio

One-Word Wednesday


Jake snaps a photo of himself, Josh, Chase, and C.J. at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. The boys (plus Ben and Brandon) went on a buddy trip to San Antonio and Schlitterbahn last weekend.

Jake snaps a photo of himself, Josh, Chase, and C.J. before going in to Six Flags Fiesta Texas. The boys (plus Ben and Brandon) went on a buddy trip to San Antonio and Schlitterbahn last weekend.


My Half & Half Anniversary

Gosh, I hate the cold!

Gosh, I hate the cold!

Thirty years ago tomorrow, I made a momentous decision: I left Chicago, where I had celebrated my 30th birthday in mid-August, and followed a guy to San Antonio. Like pioneers in the 1800s, I put a “gone to Texas” sign on my apartment door (well, not really, since I didn’t know my Texas history back then), and off I went on a wing and a prayer.

Much better!

Much better!

After spending about a year in San Antonio, I moved to Houston, as did the guy. It was there on August 25, 1988, that my life changed for the better: I met the Mister on the Rice University bike track as I trained for a duathlon (run-bike-run). The rest, as they say, is history. I traded icy, cold winters for ridiculously hot and humid summers. But I also found a warm and welcoming home.

Ironically, today I’m in Chicago, my old stomping grounds, visiting my mom and freezing my butt off. Karma perhaps?

Brothers and besties

Brothers and besties

Looking at all that I’ve gained over the last 30 years—the Mister and our sons, as well as my wonderful in-laws and lots of cherished friends—I’d say I have a lot to celebrate tomorrow.

On Sunday, I will be more of a Texan than a Midwesterner. As much as I adore Chicago and Illinois and always will, my true loves live in the Lone Star state.

And so will I, probably for the rest of my life. I’m truly and wholly thankful!

Continuing Education

Comb needed STAT for two of us!

Comb needed STAT for two of us!

This is what I learned during a loooooong day-into-night trip to and from San Antonio yesterday to visit our older son:

1) A lot about Tommy James (and a little about the Shondells) on the way there (he hosted his own show) and back (Cousin Brucie talked to him) on Sirius XM’s Sixties on 6. It was fascinating! Children behave!!

2) We always always always love seeing our sons! It was such a boost to my heart to spend time with my sweet, blue-eyed boy for the first time in seven weeks. Skyping simply isn’t enough for this mama bear.

3) We’re looking forward to our UTSA collegian graduating in May and moving back to the Houston area, so we don’t have to endure those long car rides, though.

4) Despite all the fun the Mister and I had harmonizing (well, to our tin ears) to all that fab and groovy 1960s music, I did contemplate divorcing him when he ordered the St. Louis-style ribs at Tony Roma’s after I told him not to. He knows how this lifelong Cubs fan feels about the Cardinals!

5) Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger make a good team (it’s hard to understand both of them) in “Escape Plan,” the movie we saw with our son. Yes, there was plenty of bad language and a ridiculous amount of violence. But the story was good, and we loved the ending.

6) Finally, it’s very tough to take a selfie plus two on my iPhone 5S and properly center it (as the evidence above proves). As my clever son quipped, “That’s why they call it a ‘selfie’ and not a ‘triofie!'”

Miss you already, kiddo!

A Little Traveling Music, Please

Still can’t resist my older son’s beautiful blue eyes!

Still can’t resist my older son’s beautiful blue eyes!

The Mister and I pulled on our traveling pants (big pockets for lots of snacks) Saturday and yesterday and put about 560 miles on the Honda Odyssey.

Our goal? To take our sons out to lunch at their individual colleges.

Result? Mission accomplished!

Our older son was first on our list. Saturday we drove the 190 miles to San Antonio, picked him up, and went to see “We’re the Millers,” which was surprisingly good despite the awful, woeful, disgusting abundance of foul language, even by Jennifer Aniston (you’re better than that, Jen!). Then we enjoyed lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings and chilled for a bit at his nice apartment.

Love that Sirius XM!

No commercials rock

Finally, the Mister and I hugged our senior collegian goodbye (we probably won’t see him until Thanksgiving) and made the three-hour trip back home. We lightened the load by attempting to harmonize to songs played on Sirius XM’s the Bridge station. Usually putting that capital L to our foreheads, though, is the Mister’s inability to remember most of the lyrics despite his fine singing voice coupled with my out-of-tune pipes despite knowing most of the words.

Our finest moment? Our rendition of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville.” Even Simon Cowell might have been impressed! And, yes, we were 1 for what seemed like 236 songs. At least we weren’t shut out!

RJ and the kid

RJ and the kid

Yesterday we pretty much repeated the procedure, but without the movie. Fortunately, Huntsville is only 88 miles from our house; it takes about 90 minutes to get there. We picked up our younger son and his roommate, RJ, at their dorm and made the scene at Chili’s, which was their choice.



Naturally, the kid needed a molten dessert pick-me-up. It doesn’t take much to raise his spirits, thank goodness. After a stop at Walmart and a small disc golf course to play a few holes, we returned to Sam Houston Village. There we deposited the boys, gave our freshman a hug (we’ll see him a few times this month thanks to disc golf and SHSU football games), and then it was back to our horrible harmonizing.

Whew! Glad we don’t have to labor on Labor Day!!

A New Chapter Begins

Items ready to be loaded into the Highlander

Items ready to be loaded into the Highlander

At about 10 a.m. today, something unusual happened to me.

I officially became an empty nester.

This is an easy move.

Lots of room remains.

We moved my younger son into his dorm at Sam Houston State Saturday. This morning his older brother and I loaded up the Toyota Highlander, and then he left to drive to UTSA.

Hard to believe he’s a college senior!

Hard to believe he’s a college senior!

UTSA begins classes Wednesday, so there was no need for my #1 boy to rush back. He’s living in the same apartment, so he easily can move himself in. This is the first year we haven’t helped him transport his stuff; I’ll admit that I won’t miss the three-hour trek to and then from San Antonio.

But, of course, I will miss my clever, handsome, blue-eyed boy! We’ve had a great summer together, and it’s always hard seeing him return to college.

Drive safely!

Drive safely!

As I watched him drive away, one thought popped into my head:

There goes half of my blogging material!

My Shaggy Son

An iPhone self-portrait snapped before his haircut

A few weeks ago when I glanced at my older son on our iMac screen during his Skyping session with his younger brother, I just had to stop and stare.

Where did that collegiate caveman come from?

My #1 son’s hair sports a natural curl, which only is tamed by frequent haircuts. He hadn’t stepped into a salon since school started in August. This led to the following conversation:

Practical Mom: “Have all the haircut places closed down in San Antonio?”

Older son: “I don’t feel like getting my haircut.”

His mom who has suddenly been replaced by my mom: “This is like being transported back to the 1960s! You look like a hippie!! How can any girl notice your beautiful blue eyes if all they can see is all that hair?”

Even though my collegian wants so badly to be a rebel either with or without a cause, he’s cursed with being a first-born child. Which means his inner compass compels him to toe the line and usually listen to his parents. Especially when he knows we can see him via Skype or FaceTime.

And would be visiting him that weekend.

And after!

Ahhhh! Much better!

A Smoky Highway

Black smoke adds to a darkening sky.

We noticed dark smoke billowing over I-10 near Columbus as we drove home after visiting our older son in San Antonio last Sunday. Last time that happened, it was caused by wildfires spurred on by our terrible drought.

There’s the problem!

This time a small car was engulfed in flames on the other side of the highway. The traffic was backed up for miles.

You can just make out a firefighter spraying water on the vehicle.

Nothing good ever comes of smoke drifting over I-10.

Soft Toss


No matter where my sons are, they like to toss things at each other.

I think it’s a boy thing, because the Mister often joins in.

Plus they like to invent games to keep boredom at bay. Of course, these activities include the aforementioned throwing. No spelling bees or geography quizzes for my guys. Should learning be involved? Perish the thought!

The kid tosses a King Dedede plushie up the stairs.

So it was only natural that when we visited my older son recently at his two-story apartment in San Antonio, my guys devised a new sport that involved hurling objects up and down the stairs. We live in a one-story house, so stairs actually are a novelty to them (yep, they’re so deprived).

Can my older son catch Boo?

Fortunately, my collegian owns a wonderful collection of plushies that were perfect for the game due to their squish factor. Which led me to dub this fun diversion as “soft toss.”

Got it!

Naturally, both boys tried to throw these cute, stuffed toys as hard as possible. My younger son hit me square in my Nikon 50mm lens with Boo while I was defenselessly snapping away (he claims it wasn’t on purpose, but I’d like him to take a lie detector test anyway).

Boo may be a ghost in the Mario world, but in real life smacking into the Nikon D700 up against my face? It kinda stung.

King Dedede and Rowdy the roadrunner are on their way up while #2 tries to catch Boo.

Watching my sons have so much fun together made me smile. I’m thankful that they get along so well and have no trouble battling boredom.

I have a feeling that every time we visit my collegian, a game of soft toss will be on the agenda. Next time I think I’ll just watch . . . from a protected area.

My Smiling Sons

Those swinging brothers!

Like last year, we drove to San Antonio yesterday to spend the day with my older son. We hadn’t seen him in a couple weeks, so it was nice reconnecting with him and catching up in person.

Plus it’s always good therapy for the brothers to enjoy quality time together . . . even if it does mean posing for mom on the porch swing outside my #1 son’s duplex.

I can never get enough of those precious smiles!

Our Household Downsizes Again

The bins and incidentals ready for the Odyssey and Highlander last Friday night.

Now there are three of us at home once more.

The kitchen has granite . . . unlike ours.

Last Saturday the Mister and I helped our older son move back to San Antonio in anticipation of his junior year (hard to believe!) at the University of Texas branch there. Even though he’s back at the same college, this starts a season of change for him.

My son picked out this cute frog shower curtain. He loves frogs. I don’t.

After two years he’s out of the dorm and in a new duplex, two-story apartment a mile or so from campus. It’s nicer than any place I’d ever lived in until we built our house. Downstairs is a lovely kitchen, living room with comfy couches, large guest bathroom, and . . . most important . . . a washer and dryer.

My big kid hated when the girls in the dorm monopolized all the laundry equipment, even going so far as taking his clothes out of the machines before he could. You would think that he would see that as an opportunity to actually meet and talk to the fairer sex, but he’s kind of a shy guy. Now he has ended the laundry war.

Upstairs my son and his roommate have their own bedrooms and bathrooms. Not much sharing going on with this duplex. That works well for my kid.

An apple a day helps keep my son healthy.

Speaking of roommates, my son will have a new one. Our neighbor Ben, his roomie of two years, will spend the fall semester studying in Italy. When he returns to San Antonio, he’ll have an apartment near UTSA’s downtown campus where all his classes are. I know my guy will really miss Ben, as will we.

We didn’t get a chance to meet Marcell, my #1 son’s pot-luck roommate, because he hadn’t fully moved in yet. But we’re looking forward to getting to know him during a future visit.

So now my son has a new place, roomie, and routine. To go along with 15 hours of business classes, none of which starts before 12:30 p.m. (definitely his idea).

My boy smiles . . . despite having bins behind him that need to be unpacked.

I hope he has an amazing school year filled with lots of learning, good grades, and wonderful experiences. We miss you, sweet boy!