“A woman of strength, and courage.  She was beautiful, and now peaceful and free as a dove….”

Sun in NOLA

My grandmother passed away a week ago and UNFORTUNATELY I’m unable to attend the funeral…with a newborn at home, it’s hard travelling at this time of year. Thought about leaving him here with my husband, but I’m breastfeeding! (that wouldn’t work, right?)

So, what I’ve decided to do is have my own memorial. Here. Now. Right where – I AM.

I’ll always remember your smile….


I remember your nickname for me as a kid was “Blacky.”  Yep, makes me laugh aloud thinking about it.  I’d never physically FELT a curse word before until I HEARD you speak it.  Yes, I recognized a professional bad ass early on!

As a teenager, pumpkin pies became my new favorite after trying yours one Thanksgiving.  Still is to this day!
You were a cougar, before the term existed.

Anytime I here the song, More Bounce to the Ounce – I always remember you dancing in the kitchen.

You lived your life to the fullest and your memory will live on.

Loving you always,

Your granddaughter, Sun

Gate A-4


I, too want to live in that place.

Originally posted on Live & Learn:


Gate A-4 By Naomi Shihab Nye:

Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement: “If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately.” Well— one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.

An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing. “Help,” said the flight agent. “Talk to her . What is her problem? We told her the flight was going to be late and she did this.”

I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke haltingly. “Shu-dow-a, shu-bid-uck, habibti? Stani schway, min fadlick, shu-bit-se-wee?” The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be…

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Field Trip to U.T.!!!


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Today, the kid accompanied me to the University of Texas for a visit with an old friend who’s also a student there.  For months, he’d inquired about UT as we’d often pass it walking or driving along the drag.   So, I thought I’d plan a lunch date with “Ms. Nikki!”  My son was filled with great excitement as this was his first time visiting the university.  “WOW!  It’s HUGE!”  Is what he said.


When we arrived, he noticed students with a boyfriend or girlfriend.  He’d look up at me, frown and say, “YUCK!”  Normal for a young boy, right? After lunch, “Ms. Nikki” took him on a brief tour of the campus – he was really thrilled to be there!

He later discovered the George Washington and Martin Luther King statues on Campus which was perfect, as we’d recently read about the American Revolution and Civil Rights.

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It was a great adventure for him to eat and hang around all of  the “young adults” as he referred to them…  He created his own play area -SLIDE INCLUDED- and the students passing by smiled and admired his high energy level and tenacity!  I was totally amazed to see him comfortably interacting with UT students at such a young age! blah, blah, blah….not surprised one bit.


This kid IS a social butterfly!.  He was in a superb mood as he gallivanted around the UT campus exploring and chatting with students.  His face and this moment brought up a pleasant smile within me. The kid had a great day and the world is HIS playground!


May MADNESS! recap!


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This is my first opportunity to post since Food Allergy Awareness Week.  My boy has had a busy month!

We attended a Kyle Dine concert hosted by the Austin Families with Food Allergies and as the PR volunteer – I was busy snapping photos.  I didn’t realize that the NPR/ KUT Austin crew who were there to interview, snapped a shot of the boy!  I received a call from a friend travelling in Iowa.  She’d gone to NPR’s website and was tickled to see the kid’s face on their homepage.  I must admit…so was I!

Then, there’s the 3rd Annual Food Allergy Retreat.  Instead of the usual 6 and under obstacle courses, my bravehearted 5 year old was persistent on going with the 6 and up crowd.  He wanted to hang out with his 9 year old buddy, Noah.  – AND to our dismay, climbed a 40 foot rock wall and ziplined for the first time!

During Food Allergy Awareness Week, we announced, Danny’s Pantry:

Danny's Pantry

We’re collecting non-persishable food items FREE of the top 8 food allergens.  I was inspired 3 years ago, as I read an article in Living Without Magazine titled, “Special Diet Pantries.”  It made me think about the food insecure and families with food allergies right here in the Austin community.  We’re currently in the phase of collecting food, but also collecting donations via the Austin Community Foundation.

We also received news coverage during Food Allergy Awareness Week – with a little help from our allergist and friend, Dr. Allen Lieberman at the Asthma and Allergy Center of Austin.  Here “he” is again!

If I include our Houston trip and the Austin parks we frequented – It was March ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!!!  Fun and exhausting.


Our new pit stop to beat the heat!


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Casey’s New Orleans Snowballs!

My buddy, Carl Webb suggested we attend the grand opening a few months ago.  So glad he did because the kid tried the rainbow flavored sno – ball for the first time and it’s now his favorite! Even with the long lines, Mars and crew took their time to find food allergy friendly flavors for our order.  THANK YOU!

Casey’s New Orleans Snoballs “food allergy friendly” Rain – Bo (flavors):

Bubble Gum
Tiger’s Blood
Custard or Pineapple


My ADVENTUROUS 5 year old ziplined for the first time this month!


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Earlier this month we attended the annual Food Allergy Retreat at Peaceable Kingdom hosted every year by the Austin Families with Food Allergies.   It’s always a treat to connect with other families with food allergies within the community.   Every year our son has enjoyed the kiddie obstacle courses, theater, archery, arcade room and other amenities. This year was different.

Instead of our usual routine of connecting with the 5 and under crowd – the kid asked if he could join the “BIG BOY” group.  Initially, I was a little hesitant…but, realized my bravehearted son has always been FEARLESS.  So, I asked a staff member if we could give it a try and the rest, shall we say, is history!

Looking up at the rock wall before climbing, FOCUSED!

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The kid climbing the 40 foot rock wall to get to the 175 foot zip line.

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Video of of the kid zip lining. He had a a blast! :)



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