Introducing Audrey to October

Having been born in February, Audrey has never met October before, so today I took the opportunity to introduce her to my favorite month. We stood outside and I explained that whooshing sound was the drying leaves scattering in the cooler breeze. I explained the clouds in the sky gave the month a feeling of mystery and suspense. The cooler weather makes you want to bundle up in warm blankets in a cozy house. I also told her about the coming holidays that October always alludes to and heightens my sense of anticipation. She's never experienced Thanksgiving or Christmas, the two best holidays of the year. When you are with the people you love most in the world, when daddy gets over a week off work, when you decorate the house with beautiful lights and ornaments, when you open presents and feel that rush of excitement upon receiving one, and giving one, when we celebrate the most Wonderful Present of all time. She doesn't understand it all right now, but it makes me even more excited about things to come. My favorite month always brings that anticipation, and that's why I love it so much. And having a child to share it with this year makes it exponentially better.

Goodbye, Hyderabad

Today is my last day in Hyderabad, India.  And while I am so excited to enter the next stage of my life back in the States, I will certainly miss some things about living here.  So I want to take some time right now and remember some of my favorite things (a la The Sound of Music).

  • having my own bathroom (even though Ryan tried to poach it near the end)
  • bottled water delivered straight to our door for $2/50 liters.
  • days at the spa (for cheap!)
  • a wide variety of wonderful restaurants (for cheap!)
  • living here was something that made me interesting (am I revealing my inner insecurities?)
  • furniture made just how you like it (for relatively cheap!)
  • meeting people from all over the world
  • learning some Hindi (I hope I can continue learning!)
  • feeling like a celebrity (being stared at, people wanting my picture)
  • our beautiful, beautiful apartment (something I already miss, as we are staying in a hotel now)
  • our sweet driver (pic below with Ryan)

Ryan and Laxman

Of course, there are things I won't miss.  But I prefer to remember the positives (in print, at least!).   So goodbye, Hyderabad!  It has been an amazing experience living here.  I will always hold the city close to my heart.

Bangles!

You want to know the best thing about Hyderabad?  The glass bangles!  Laad Bazaar is the place to get them, and I go crazy there.  So just to let you share in my excitement, take a look at the following pictures and movie and then maybe you'll see why.

And here's a here's an even better hint at the extent of the bangles:

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This is just one little alley off of the main road, a road which is filled with alleys like this and more stores like this, all full of bangles.  (I told Ryan he should have talked to that kid more; he seemed so excited to be on camera!)

Snoopy

I've heard more than one Indian refer to Hugo as "Snoopy" as they slowly back away from him in fear.  I suppose that since so many dogs in the city are wild, people are just not used to interacting with friendly pets.  And Hugo is overly friendly.  He even decided to bark when I wouldn't let him play with the water-delivery men.  Their faces were horrified as they asked, "What was that?!"  I answered, "A dog?"  Did they really not recognize a bark? Recently he's taken to climbing on the back of the furniture, and this seems to especially startle people who are visiting our house.  Below are some of the terrifying images that you might face when you first walk through our front door.

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Watch out!  He's coming for you!

Maui

By the way, if anyone is interested in seeing some pictures of our honeymoon in Hawaii, please click here.  I would post them all up here on the site, but I don't feel like it.  Also, I posted a few on venustas, but if you click the link I just provided, you will be able to view many more.   

(Update: The first link no longer works.  For the pictures, click venustas)

Harry Pottered Out

Between re-reading all the books, listening to them on CD on my way to and from work, discussing them with my husband as he reads them, and watching the movies every weekend, I must confess to being slightly tired of it all! Wow, I feel almost guilty saying that... I am a very adamant fan. So I am on a bit of a Harry Potter hiatus. For me, this will probably last a couple weeks. After all, as soon as Ryan finishes book 4, we will have to watch the movie! I will take the time now to catch up on Lord of the Rings (I have all those on audio CD too). I have started with The Hobbit and will continue through the end, watching the movies when I finish each one.

I have found that these types of epic books can be read over and over! The detail is absolutely incredible and I am amazed after reading and listening to The Hobbit many times that I don't even remember the whole story! The same is true for nearly all the Harry Potter books, especially the long ones. This does lead me to wonder if this says more about my memory than the detail of the books... Oh well, I will choose to believe the latter.

I think the reason for my attraction to these types of books is that they really are romantic in the true sense of the word. The characters are larger-than-life and there is a strong emphasis on the individuals and their personalities. The themes are similar in both sets of books as well: There is a chosen one who must do a certain deed to save the rest of the world. It's an interesting and appealing concept, and certainly not new. Many movies explore the same idea! But maybe one of the reasons for its appeal on my own behalf is that it is the same theme of the Bible. The entire Old Testament is the story of a people waiting for the One who will finally redeem them. He finally comes as an unlikely hero - most people don't even believe he will do the job. But His sacrifice does indeed save all of mankind - if we choose to accept it.

I could go on and on... but this certainly is not the place for an essay.

Anyway, even as I write this post I realize I will never be able to continue my hiatus. As much as I read, listen, and watch, I will never grow tired of Harry Potter! But I guess the break is good, so that when I begin listening again (probably around October), each book will carry the same magic for me (no pun intended) as the first time.

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I love you, Harry!! (don't tell Ryan...)

Golf Schmolf

Yep - I went golfing today. You may have guessed that I did not do as well as I'd hoped. Although, I cannot totally blame my ability. The past three times we have been golfing together, my score has dropped by around 12 strokes. I will not reveal from what to what, however. I think the poor performance of today was due entirely to the weather. The reports say it felt like 104 degrees, because of the humidity. It was horrible! Nevertheless, we had a nice time and I got some cute pics out of it. Here are just a couple - perhaps I will post more later. golf.JPG

My dad putting and Ryan holding the flag.

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My mom - she'll hate this picture because she was sweating, like we all were, but I think she looks cute. Besides, no one ever looks at this blog, right?