Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mellandagarna continue...

Back to what we've been up to over the "mellandagarna" (the middle days - the days between Christmas and New Year's)...

Friday, we had a "Gröt lunch" (porridge lunch) here at the house for select relatives. Not really select - just the ones who felt like getting out in the dreary cold and travel either by train or car to see me and the family. It ended up being a lot of my favorite (not that I have any) relatives such as Lisa with family, Rebecka with boyfriend Anders, Tomas & Ulrika with family, Anders & Runa with sons, and of course aunt Kina (she always brings presents).

It was nice to see their smiling faces and catch up since last time. The gröt was obviously fantastic and my mother pulled off another perfect get-together - as always.

Saturday, we went to visit David, Emily, Ester and Levi in their home in Bagarmossen. We ate a lovely lunch, played hide-and-seek and enjoyed good conversation.

Like father, like son...

Then it was time to get dressed and head down toward the subway station to catch a ride into "Gamla Stan" (Old Town). There we wandered around in drizzling rain, popping into a little nick-knack store here, taking a little coffee break there, and just having a grand time. I found several little treasures, including a little red, wooden pig candle holder that greatly resembled a candle holder that we grew up with each Christmas. I just *had* to buy it!

We eventually made our way back to the subway and started walking back to the apartment. Ester was a little tired and cranky, so we ended up singing songs as per her wishes all the way home to stop the crying. I never realized how hard it is to sing and push a stroller up hills at the same time... I am all the more impressed with Madonna and the way she can sing and dance around on the stage like she does.

Later that evening, I went with my brother Tobias to see "The Holiday" - it is sooooo cute! Definitely will buy the DVD when it comes out. Highly recommend it. It was a nice time.

Whew - I feel like that is a lot of activity and I'm not even done yet...

This morning I sang again at my parents' church with Miriam and Rebecka. It was a lot of fun. Rebecka and I both have the performance gene and have a certain craving to be on "stage". Not that the church podium should be compared with a stage, but it is still a beautiful feeling of singing and playing for the enjoyment/happiness of other people that is just breath-taking. I love every second of it.

Additional New Year's resolutions: Sing and play more, take voice lessons, buy a guitar (whew - my list is getting so massive!)...

Less than 24 hours left here now... We're having a small, intimate New Year's party at home tonight. Need to go shopping for that. Need to pack. Need to get a New Year's letter out to friends and family. Need to stop blogging.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Another Tabita!

Fredrik (potential bro-in-law) came back from a personal retreat at a monastery yesterday. The biggest news from his time there (for me) is that there was a monastery dog (Jack Russel Terrier) named Tabita. Apparently, it had a little jacket that had T-A-B-I-T-A written in big letters. He found it rather amusing...

I always thought that my name was a little weird and kind of annoying. Annoying in the sense that I always have to spell it out for any new person that has to write it down for some reason. I will never forget my week in high school:

We had recently moved to Värnamo and I had applied to the Economics program. The first day of school, all first year students were supposed to gather in the large auditorium to hear their class assignment. They called the name of each class and the names of all the students that were supposed to be in that class. They called the two economics classes, but not me. In fact, they called all the classes, but not me. At the end of the ordeal, I was sitting alone in the middle of the auditorium with only the principal and a couple of administrative people left on the stage. At this time, I was extremely shy with new people and mostly felt like running out the back doors and never coming back... but I wobbled down the stairs (the big kind, where you almost have to take two steps on each stair, but not quite) and reported the error. It seems all the class lists had been printed before my application processed completely. They eventually figured out in which class I was supposed to belong (E1B) and a nice lady escorted me to my homeroom.

When I entered the classroom, 30 curious 16-year-olds switched their attention away from the teacher and turned to stare at me. Uncomfortable! I quickly slid into an empty seat toward the front and waited for the next steps. The teacher asked for my name and instead of waiting for the "How do you spell that?" question, I decided to spell out my name immediately, so I replied with a rather loud and exasperated voice:

"Tabita, T-A-B-I-T-A."

Whew - did I hear about that one for at least a year from my classmates. Great first impression... That's me!

These days I have learned to appreciate the uniqueness of my name, the beautiful story that goes along with it (see Bible - Letter of Acts), and the fact that the only other creature I know of with this name is a Jack Russel Terrier at a Swedish Monastery.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sophie News

We're missing Sophie.

She is spending Christmas with a very nice family in Nashville. They occasionally send us little notes to tell us how she's doing. Here is an excerpt:

"She loves our back yard and standing like she's king of the world on top of the picnic table. It's kinda funny to see her up there! We've got lots of dogs around us and she doesn't even bark at them any more. So I know that means shes settled."

Rebecka also received news that Sophie has crossed the state line! Yes - the other day, she ventured all the way into Kentucky with her temporary foster family.

Last night, Todd and I were speculating what Sophie might be thinking at this point. She probably thinks that she simply has a new, cool family. We're not even sure she'll want to come back to our house... There are five people to love on her in the current home - at our house there are just three - and one of them (me) is gone half the time.

Well, hopefully she'll still remember us and jump for joy when she sees us, just as we're secretly hoping and imagining.

Sophie is so cool...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Swedish Runner!

On our run today, Todd and I saw another runner! We have been wondering during our runs why we are not bumping into Swedish people who share our affinity for the sport. Perhaps because it's too cold (!?!?!), or maybe they all have treadmills in their houses, or maybe they only run when they're late for the bus/train?

We have received curious stares (very discrete stares - we are in Sweden after all) as we run along "Storgatan" (Big Street), the main shopping street of the town. I think we stick out just a bit with our fancy shoes and running gear - but maybe just because we are running for recreation, not to serve a purpose (other than feeling great!)...

Anyway, I gave the man a runner's wave and for a second he had a mixture of confusion and pleasure on his face. Then he returned the gesture and went on his merry way. Todd and I looked at each other and I did a little jump of joy. Another Swedish runner!

They really do exist!

PS - Rebecka and I have been in our PJs for over 24 hours (except for above-mentioned run).


I am dreaming so much while here in Sweden on vacation. Or at least I am remembering my dreams. Before I came here, I can't remember the last dream I had and now they're vivid and occurring every night.

Maybe it's as simple as that my modified sleeping schedule here (never waking up before 8:30 or 9 AM) is allowing me to wake up right after REM sleep? Most days I am able to continue with the dream - if it is intriguing - in a half-awake state. I am sleeping more than I have in a long, long time, so I guess it makes sense that I would get the opportunity for more dreaming.

We have a dream group at church. I'm not sure what they do - it always sounded a little fishy to me. Maybe I should check it out - now that I actually remember some of my dreams. Or not - I'd rather spend valuable free-time singing in some choir. Anyway, it's actually quite interesting that many Christians (including myself) are so skeptical to dream interpretations and the like. It seems too "mystical," I suppose. The thing is that dreams have a fairly prominent role in the Bible:

Think about Joseph - he saved a whole nation (or two - in a way) with his dream about the skinny and fat cows. Although, he did get into a lot of trouble with this brothers with the dream about the bowing sheafs... And remember when God warned Joseph and Mary in a dream that they had to leave Bethlehem to avoid the slaughter? Good thing they paid attention to their dreams.

Perhaps it's time that I listen more to my dreams - when I do have the luxury of remembering them...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Password Grumbles

Why in the world do financial institutions come up with stupid password rules like: "Can contain only numbers and letters from a-z"???

Do they not understand that passwords can be come so much more difficult to crack if you open up the spectrum of characters that are allowed? And financial institutions of all... It would be one thing if it was my neopets password (yes - I have one - a green elephant named Ganesh Green - not sure if it is still alive) or something like that, but my bank account!?!?!?

Anyway, just had to vent.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

God Fortsättning...

As I met my brother David today at Skansen, I struggled to find the correct Swedish greeting for the days following Christmas. He corrected me and said: "God Fortsättning." That's right - "Merry Continuation".

We are continuing to squeeze every bit of enjoyment out of this holiday season. Yesterday, 4/5 of the Åhlén siblings took the "stage" at the 11 AM Christmas Day service in Södertälje Baptist Church for a singing reunion. We sang several of our favorite Christmas songs, but the one that I want to linger on for just a second is "När Juldagsmorgon Glimmar" (When Christmas Morning Glistens). It is a beautiful traditional Swedish Christmas song that is best sung by young children with tender voices. I don't know how many times we have sung this song together, but I know the first time: Christmas morning in San Francisco, 1978. We were 4, 3, and 2 years old at the time and made plenty of old Swedes in the church cry that day.

Today, as previously mentioned, we met up with David's family to go to Skansen. This was their Christmas present to the extended family. We had a grand time listening to "Stjärngossar" (star boys) singing in a small cottage, watching Nordic animals like wolverines, wolves, and bobcats get their daily piece of meat, and feeling the warmth of the fires that were lit along our path. We also made a mandatory stop for a photo shoot at the very large "dalahästar":

These wooden horses are one of the trademarks of Sweden. Made in the province of "Dalarna," they are now sold everywhere in their traditional form (wooden, hand painted horses) as well as printed on shirts, aprons, and towels, in key chain form, napkin holders, and pretty much "you name it"...

We finished off our pleasant Skansen visit with a "fika" in a cozy cafe. A random man came and sat down at our table, since all other tables were full. It was strange and cool at the same time. I feel bad that we didn't really include him in our conversation - it isn't a very Swedish thing to talk to strangers. However, this is one of the "not-so-cool" Swedish traits that I wish I could shake. You can learn so many interesting things by talking to total strangers. Maybe I should include this in my very large list of New Year's resolutions: Make more conversation with total strangers. Anyway, we all had a fabulous time... especially Priscilla and Miriam:

Now we're back at home and it's time to watch one of the movies that Rebecka received for Christmas. It is an Astrid Lindgren book called "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" adopted for the screen. I haven't seen it in years and have a bad feeling that it will not seem quite as good as it did 15 years ago. We're so spoiled with the LOTR and Harry Potter movies. Maybe it will be refreshing...

Monday, December 25, 2006

God Jul!

Well, Christmas has come and gone. In a way. Like my sister Scilla expressed last night, it is a little bit of a letdown when all the gifts are given and received, the Christmas porridge eaten, and family members who live nearby have taken off to their homes. Then it's just a matter of starting the building up of the anticipation for next year.

Letdown or not, yesterday (Julafton) was a wonderful day filled with joy, love, harmony, and very good food. It will be a day to remember.

The morning was spent preparing for the big Christmas lunch. We were all put in charge of a dish. Todd peeled and cut potatoes for potatisgratäng, I was in charge of the fruit salad, my mom was in charge of most everything else, except for the red cabbage salad, which Fredrik lovingly prepared:

And the outcome was marvelous! Todd and I were quite pleased with ourselves that we managed not to cave in and get seconds. We'll eat the leftovers today instead. :)

Well, after partaking in the meal, those of us with kids (and those who are still kids at heart) went downstairs to the TV room to watch the traditional 3 PM Donald Duck Christmas. This is a tradition that has been with the Swedish people for over 40 years and has more viewers than any other Swedish television show. It aired in the US the first time in 1958 under the name From All of Us to All of You and consists of snippets from various Walt Disney movies. The best part about it this year was watching my little niece Ester watch it for the first time. She was ecstatic! They don't have a TV at home, so this was especially exciting.

After that little piece of tradition, it was time for afternoon treats (candy, gingerbread, glögg). All of a sudden, we realized we had visitors who had snuck into the house (well, they were spotted by Rebecka, but she kept their secret). It was my aunt and uncle from Linköping on their way up to their second home in the north. They stayed for some goodies, but moved on when we got yet another couple of visitors: It was Mr and Mrs Clause!

And thus began the handing out and opening of the Christmas gifts. It was a rowdy time with lots of happy yelps and big thank-you hugs. Imagine 13 fairly loud people opening presents all at once... But nobody was more excited than Rebecka. She got everything on her list...

...including the present of the year: the iPod nano. We gave some to my brothers and sisters and I got a special edition red with my name engraved on the back (Todd is a rockin' gift giver). I think everybody was pleased and very tired. When all the gifts had been unwrapped and we had collected all the paper from the floor and stuffed it into large plastic bags, it was time for the traditional Christmas porridge (risgryns gröt). There's nothing like it - especially when accompanied by some homemade bread and leftover ham from the lunch table.

I love Christmas in Sweden. Hopefully it won't be another 9 years before we make it over here in December again.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Getting ready...

People get ready
There's a train a-coming
You don't need no baggage
You just get on board
All you need is faith
To hear the diesels humming
Don't need no ticket
You just thank the lord

My last children's choir sang this one fine MLK weekend at our church. Somehow, that was one of my most favorite performances with that group - and in general.

It seemed an appropriate intro to this post about getting ready. Getting ready for Christmas, that is. It's really been pretty calm, because there are so many of us to share the work. A little cleaning yesterday, a little "marsipan" baking today - Rebecka's creations below:

Rebecka and her aunts made a doll house out of cardboard for little cousin Ester - it is an amazing work of art. The interior design spans several decades and there is even an accompanying outhouse (there was no room for a bathroom inside the house). They are also making a special gift for Scilla's boyfriend, Fredrick. I am discovering with age that homemade gifts are the sweetest.

Mormor wraps the last presents:

It is julafton (Christmas Eve) tomorrow after all. In our tradition, we distribute and open the presents on Christmas Eve. Rebecka was not quite sure about that to begin with, but now she seems to have embraced a tradition that allows her to open her presents 24 hours earlier than her friends.

Speaking of Christmas presents, I had a Christmas present nightmare last night. I am really excited about the presents I'm giving to my family this year and in the dream, I hid them in an easy-to-forget place and forgot to hand them out on Christmas Eve. I did not remember until we had already left my parents' house and it was not feasible to go back and get them. I was so disappointed!!! I really wanted to see the look on everyone's faces when they unwrapped the treasures. When I woke up, I was so relieved and happy that it was just a dream.

Todd and I are getting ready for the traditional "julbord" (Christmas lunch) by going for wintry long runs every day. Yesterday, we kind of lost track of the time and ended up being out there for almost 1 1/2 hours! It felt so good. As I told Todd: "So this is what it feels like to run when fully rested..." What a difference sleep makes.

Stockholm sunrise and sunset:
Sunrise: 8:45 AM
Sunset: 2:49 PM

Plenty of opportunity for sleep... Now that we're all ready for "dopparedan".

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Out on the Town

Todd and I went to Stockholm today. It rocked. First we took a bus out to Ersta Diakoni to check out Todd's place of research. It was really cozy (except apparently for the archives in the basement that I didn't get to see). We also got a nice view of Stockholm across the water.

Next, after a sprint to catch the bus back to "Slussen," we went to a very sophisticated used book store so that Todd could see if they had any new books of interest. I spent my time perusing a photography book about a Jewish getto during WWII. Not the most uplifting of reads, but a good reminder of the evil that occurred and how important it is that we as humans do not forget.

Lunch time!! Kebab Palace was the winner of the "Where do we eat?" game. It served up traditional kebabs (gyros) and Swedish-style pizza. Good times.

Ok - then came the fun part (no offense Todd) - shopping! I have been on a mission since Thanksgiving to find a cool pair of boots. We looked at a lot of different stores, but finally came back to the first one we visited, Mixage (see above). This store was awesome. It had shoes that actually fit my deformed feet - and more than one pair. There I found my new boots:

After a lot of shopping excitement and crowded stores, we eventually made it to Gamla Stan, which is a wonderful old part of Stockholm from the Middle Ages. There we browsed the Christmas market on the town square and enjoyed of some "fika" (Chai Tea and Cinnamon bun for me) at possibly the coziest cafe in town, "Kaffe Koppen."

We were welcomed home by a house the smelled of gingerbread baking and joy. Luckily, we made it back just in time to put the finishing touches on these traditional Swedish cookies, at which Rebecka and Miriam had already been hard at work:

It was a good day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sibling QT

I'm spending quality time with my brothers and sisters... The other day, I went shopping a good portion of the day with David. Our main objective with the shopping trip was to find a new teddy bear "with a soul" for his daughter, Ester. Apparently, they had been searching near and far for the perfect bear. It took me approximately 3 1/2 minutes in the toy store, "Bra Lek". I'm so good! We also had standard Swedish pizza. Mmmmm.

Last night, I sang for a long time with my bro Tobias at the piano. At midnight we sand a traditional Swedish Christmas song called "Midnatt Råder" (Midnight Rules) and decided we should probably stop because everybody else had gone to bed. Then we chatted into the wee hours of the morning.

Today, I assisted my sister Miriam with her Christmas shopping. We were very efficient and found some time at the end to go to a traditional Swedish "konditori" for sweet delicacies. At first she suggested "Wayne's Coffee," which is like the Swedish Starbucks and I was like: "No way! It has to be an independent, cozy cafe without English words in the title." It was swell.

Now, there's just Priscilla left. And she's not here yet, so it's hard to have QT. But there's plenty of time. We should be OK.

Vacation is cool.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

feeling better...

After two days of sleep, Alka Seltzer, and Nyquil (I love US drugs), I actually feel much better. Still a little hung-over from the last dose of Nyquil (took it just a little too late last night), but good.

Need to jump in the shower so that I can get ready to leave with my mom, dad, and Becka to go see my grandma (farmor). She is 96. I can't wait to see her. She loves to cook and play Yatzee. We definitely have the Yatzee part in common.

Vacation has been great fun so far, despite the pesky cold. Have yet to see my sis Scilla and her love, Fredrick tho. They will join us on Friday. We'll have 13 people here for "julafton" (Christmas Eve). Good times (as my friend Katie would say).

Saturday, December 16, 2006

i'm sick...

Yep - that's what happens when you go on vacation.

I guess.

It's not cool.

I look like Rudolph.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, that is.

At least they have Kleenex in Sweden now. The real thing.

My mom got me some nature medicine called "Esberitox". Hopefully it will help ease the drip.

Todd and Rebecka arrive tomorrow. Fun!

I just had a meal of salmon and pasta and vegetables and apple pie. It's good to be home.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Yes - I made it back to the motherland (Sweden). Took a little detour to London for a quick business trip and now I'm in my bedroom in my parents' house in Järna.

It's late. I need to go to bed. But I just *have* to check my email first...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

chocolate mousse

I love chocolate mousse. It is so decadent and at the same time not that bad for you. I'm having some right now. Life is good.

Earlier, I engaged in two different relaxation activities: Singing and the piano and snuggling with Sophie. It was relaxing. I need all the relaxation I can get right now.

I'm in Nashville. That is kind of weird. You become kind of popular when you're never around. It's a bit overwhelming, in fact.
So, I came back on Thursday night and my regular house had turned into a beautiful house decorated for Christmas. It was clean and had two Christmas trees. My husband rocks. As does my daughter. As does my dog. In fact, Todd just said to Sophie that she has more personality than all the other people in this house. I think he's right...

Alright, time to get back to work.


Monday, November 27, 2006


I just ordered pizza online. Again. They called back and said it would be 1 - 1 1/2 hours. I said OK. But I can't wait that long for food. So now I'm having cereal for dinner. It happens a lot. I like cereal for dinner. I'm writing very short sentences. I'm not sure why. It is mindless - writing short sentences.

OK, I will shut up now.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Following through...

I've recently realized that one of the worst things I know is when people say they are going to do something and then they don't follow through - or even communicate that they are not going to be able to follow through.

So I started investigating myself to see if I do the same thing. I think I do to a certain extent... Like backing out of doing the St. Lucia party at our house - but I sent an email out saying that I wasn't going to be able to do it. Or promising that I would finish something on a certain date and then not finishing on time.

Thus, my resolution for the day is to follow through. This means saying no to things that I am not going to be able to follow through on. That will be hard. I need to practice: "No, I'm sorry, I will not have time to do that until 2008." "No, I am not going to be able to do that. Did you check with XYZ person?"

Practice makes perfect. Or so they say. I just ordered pizza online. It was fun. Took probably twice as long as calling in the order and then I got a confirmation call anyway. So much for avoiding phone conversation.


I have a fortune taped to my laptop. It says: "You find beauty in ordinary things. Do not lose this ability."

Ordinary things... like oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon at the office after a hard morning run, or an interesting conversation with a good friend, or a tight hug from my favorite 9 year old... All beautiful things that one may very well take for granted.

I want to seize each moment, cherish the ordinary, and live an extraordinary life. Then I can die satisfied that no time was wasted taking ordinary things for granted.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Cold run and Thanksgiving fun

Well, here is the synopsis of the Thanks giving vacation. Yes, I actually did take some vacation. It was weird. I'm not sure how I will snap back into work...

Anyway, highlights included a visit to the Swedish Embassy / House of Sweden for some exhibits of Swedish art work. It was awesome. I learned that we invented the monkey wrench.

We also did some good eating at various restaurants and at David's house. Everybody chipped in to help with the Thanksgiving meal - even Rebecka! David's "little brother" and his mom also came over and brought some Bolivian treats.

On Thanksgiving morning, Todd and I went for an awesome run. It started drizzling in the middle, but it was pretty fun. I love my new warm running clothes. I should have worn them today - freezing - hello, what were you thinking Todd? "Yeh, shorts should be fine..."

Hmmm, what else? Oh! Yesterday, Rebecka and I went to the Museum of Natural History. We mostly enjoyed the gems and precious stones part. I learned that the Hope Diamond is from India. Isn't it cool?? We also saw an IMAX film about wild animals in Africa. Made me want to go!

Now we're back in Nashville and I need to take a shower so that I can go pick up Sophie from her doggie hotel (sounds better than the kennel). I miss her!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Back home...

...for 18 hours. Then it's off to Wisconsin.

We had a fun-filled time in DC. More to come with pictures and all that. It was nice to sleep in and be lazy and eat good food and be lazy some more. Hopefully the bags under my eyes are slightly diminished. I feel better. Slightly more relaxed. Ate too much though... Time to get back on that diet - ah hahahaha!!!!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

mad dash

I have exactly two hours and 45 minutes between leaving the airport and having to be back at the airport to unpack, do laundry, eat some food (found out that we had Golden Grahams at home - very exciting), run to the office to turn in my expense report, blog (what the...?), do more laundry, sing a couple of songs at the piano, go through the mail, take out the trash, remember to bring the camera and a long sleeved shirt for Todd, do my time sheet for the week, pack...

I should probably stop blogging now, looking at all that. Off to DC for five whole days off. Weird.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


when people mix fonts haphazardly in documents.


Yeh baby! What the heck was I doing for four hours?

I'm sleepy. I should go to bed early. Or not.

I'm getting comments about baggy eyes lately - not good. Maybe there is something to that "beauty rest" concept. Sleeping is just such a waste of time. There is so much living to do. So much to learn and experience. So much fun to have and interesting conversations in which to partake.

So, we'll see what the evening brings.


The number of emails in my inbox four hours later.


That is the time right now. I am weirdly pleased by everyday life groupings of numbers that are symmetrical and interesting. Like a license plate that has 2 4 8. 2^1; 2^2; 2^3. Awesome.

Or like my brother's birthdate and time: 760707 - 00:07. It would have been cool if it had been 1977, but oh well.

I have 365 emails in my inbox that I need to address in some form or fashion. That means that if I stopped all incoming mail and answered one a day, I could finish in one year. Or - I could do one per minute and finish in 6 hours and 5 minutes. That'll work. See ya!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Sophie, The Diva
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Halloween 2006 - trying to get home early from work to do makeup for our little witch (not Fluffy). Phone calls keep me at the office until almost 5. Great - traffic galore. Finally make it home - the witch awaits. She doesn't want lipstick after all, but she'll take blush and mascara. Her friends are over for a pre-party. Cute.

We get Sophie dressed in her Diva costume. She is not pleased. We all walk up the street. About half of the houses have welcoming lights turned on - not a bad ratio these days. We walk back down the street.

Todd and I trade places. I am now in charge of candy distribution. We have a special Halloween bowl with a hand in the middle that tries to grab little hands as they go after the candy. It's fun to watch them startle and then quickly grab what they can before they get attacked again.

One of the trick-or-treaters plays a Suzuki tune on the violin - impressive. I try to make conversation about the fact that I too play the violin. He isn't interested. He's got candy to collect.

Todd and Sophie return. Our Diva is now a very dirty Diva (it has been raining today). I take her picture. Then I relieve her of her suffering. She is pleased.

Rebecka is at her friend's house. Todd is reviewing something. I need to review something. Sohpie is wandering into the closet. I should probably go retrieve her before she does some form of damage.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday fun

Todd is at the grocery store to buy the ingredients for the chocolate fondue for tonight's get-together with some friends, I am eating oatmeal after a hard run and blogging, Rebecka is getting into her witch costume so that we can go the the special Halloween edition of the weekly recycling at her school, and Sophie is trying to tear her new squeeky stuffed beaver to shreds.

It's an average Saturday morning at the Green household.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

badly written...

There are few things that I find more disturbing than bad writing. I continously try to understand how colleges and universities allow their students to graduate without basic writing skills. Every other job description out there demands "Excellent verbal and written communication skills." Ha! Good luck with that.

It's not "it's" it's "its." Why can people not get this? Or "The children went their to meet there parents." Ugh!

And then there is passive and ending sentences with a "with." Yes, I understand this is how we speak, but write is different from speak. Unless you are "chatting," which seems to be a mixture between speak and write. Especially with the audio options these days.

I fear that in 15-20 years, the art of writing will have deteriorated to a point beyond repair. Sigh.

But I will not give up! I will continue to mark up every document that I review like I was teaching Writing 101. The only difference is purple and green MS Word comments replacing the red ink. It does take away some of the thrill, but it is still fun. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


So I laced up my new shoes and headed down to the "fitness center" at this God-forsaken hotel that I'm staying at this week (no mints on the pillow, no banana pancakes in the morning, no Bath & Body Works shampoo). The door was locked, so I went to the front desk to get the key. I unlocked the door, swung the TV over to face the treadmill and started to step up onto the treadmill.... and there it was - the dreaded sign: "Out of Order".


After all that. New shoes. Got up early. Drank 20 oz of water. Guh.

So, I did lunges, abs, and other fun-filled activities in my room.

I guess I'll have to face the WI weather and go running in the business park after work.

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New Shoes...

After a fairly long drive (I don't think the online map was quite to scale) and a pleasant chat with the owners of Performance Running Outfitters, I am now the proud owner of a new pair of Brooks Glycerin 4.


I'm losing my mind!!!

Last night, I tried to check in to the wrong hotel... Yep.


I left my running shoes in Nashville!!!! What to do? Well, there's only one thing to do: Go get some new shoes tomorrow... I think I'm past the 300 mile limit anyway.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

"I love me!"

Yesterday, as Rebecka and I were driving home from dinner at Panera, she made some comment that lead me to say: "You are such a cool kid."

To which Rebecka enthusiastically responded : "I know! I love me!"

Yes! We have officially succeeded as parents.

Btw, this is exciting: My favorite brand of granola bar (Nature Valley's Sweet and Salty Nut Granola Bars) has released a new flavor to the market... CASHEW!!! It is delicious.

OK - Back to work...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Extreme Makeover

Rebecka and I had a date night last night. The plan was that we would both go get our hair cut (and I would get my eyebrows waxed), go to dinner at Rebecka's favorite spot (Royal Thai), and go to the mall and buy some long pants (since she outgrows pants as you walk out the store with them). Well, we did all of that, but we also threw an extra little twist into the mix: Rebecka decided to get her ears pierced! I never thought she would go through with it, but sure enough, she now has cute little pink flowers in her ears and she is Queen of the World. :)

We finished off the evening with a movie (Monster's Inc), popcorn, and a sleepover in the bonus room (that got slightly interrupted when of of our offshore teams called me for an emergency at 1:30 AM).

It was an awesome evening!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dressed for Success

Sophie Profile
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Studies show that people who wear more powerful looking clothing and clothing that is appropriate for their profession have a change of mindset. They go from "relaxed mode" to "professional mode" and it is reflected in their behavior.

And think about it - don't you behave differently when you're in a suit than when you're wearing cozy pj bottoms and a long wrap-around sweater (which is what I'm wearing right now)?

Well, I never knew that this also applies to dogs... Since Sophie got back from the groomer, she has been a little angel. In fact, she is so good that we (Todd and I) are no longer in a constant mode of plotting about how to get rid of her.

The only other option we can think of...

They gave her drugs at the groomer's. How else would they get the little devil to stand still?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sissy Dog

Sissy Dog
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Sophie got her haircut today. She has pink bows on her ears... She looks like a girl dog for the first time in her life.

So other than Sophie... Well, I'm working around the clock. Todd is working around the clock. Rebecka is having fun around the clock. Just like it should be.

We have booked tickets for get-aways both at Thanksgiving and Christmas so there is no backing out of vacation now.

We need it!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

in a daze...

got up at 4 AM on Wed morning to catch a flight to London... sat in meetings for two days and got up at 4 AM on Sat morning to catch a flight to Nashville...

spent about 3 hours in rebecka's bed last night (she wasn't feeling well) and lots of hours in my own (some including rebecka). dreamed of polar bears and friends. not what you would call a sound night's sleep.

now i'm watching "The Perfect Man" (for the 3rd time) with Rebecka and i'm working hard to stay awake... this is what my weekends have turned into - sleeping and watching movies - it rocks.


Thursday, September 07, 2006


Got up at 4... Now I'm sitting in my hotel room and there is a horrific band playing lousy covers with terrible "harmony."

Apparently, it's the hotel "Re-Grand Opening." Yippee!!

I'm so tired I can barely think straight... It was all I could do to muster up enough energy to drive from the office to the hotel.

I can't take this music any more!!!!!! It's like they are in my room - that is how loud it is...

Have a nice day. :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Fun-filled activities

I'm working and watching Rent - at the same time... Could there be a better combination of activities for Labor Day? I don't think so.

Btw, isn't it weird to call a holiday "Labor Day"... Seems like that is the one day of the year one should be working... It's all very confusing.

Sophie at work

Sophie at work
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Sophie is the most social dog on the planet... Of course, she prefers humans. We went to the dog park and she spent most of her time under benches and in random people's laps. I don't blame her though... it was pug day at the park and those dogs were not super friendly.

Working at home while Sophie is out and about is a near impossible task. The problem is if we leave her behind her gate, she commences to produce the most annoying and at the same time pitiful whining that makes us feel like losers and comitters of animal cruelty.

She is a very smart little dog - and lucky for her - very cute. Otherwise she would have been the victim of an "accident" a long time ago. :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Gatorade Saturday.

Just got back from the traditional Saturday run with Todd where he debriefed me on his progress on his dissertation and job search. It was an interesting history lesson on Herrestad gård (Herrestad estate) and one of its owners who was integral in the development of the deaconess movement in Sweden in the 19th century. The said estate is now a mental hospital where my family and I used to do a Christmas program every year. It's a small world.

Now its time for Dog Park Saturday. Lucky Sophie.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

1 lb down, 9 to go...

Well, that was Monday morning. Now I have been in WI for a couple of days and eaten not the healthiest food in the world. But - I have also gone for two runs with my pal Katie. And this morning another colleague joined us and really pushed us pretty hard - it was great!

Btw, I'm back!!! As far as running goes. On Sunday, I did an hour run and felt like I could have gone on forever. Yay!

Considering that I'm still at work and it is 1:22 AM, I probably won't go for a run tomorrow. It's deployment time. Fun! Pizza galore. At least this time, I remembered to give a tip to the delivery guy. He seemed glad to know that I was not brain-dead today.

I'm rambling, am I not? Because I feel like a zombie... Too much of a zombie to actually work, but yet I feel like I need to be here and support the team. My eyes are so dry that my contacts keep sticking to my eyeballs - not good.

I need sleep. Lots of it. Why in the world did I agree to an 8 o'clock in the morning? Craziness.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Adventures in WI & TN

At the dog park
Originally uploaded by tabita.
I missed my flight last night. First time ever. It was not cool. I was sitting in the Midwest Best Care Club and nobody told me that my flight was boarding. Doh!

Well, I finally got home this morning and went almost straight to the dog park (we had to come back home first and get the dog). Sophie was scared for the most part and hid under select benches. She did venture out toward the end of our time there.

Now we're all kind of pooped, so Rebecka and I are going to go lie down and attempt to nap. We'll see how it goes.

Date night tonight - got reservations at Maggiano's Little Italy at 5:45 PM. No tiramisu this time though... :(

It will pay off!!! (this is what I keep telling myself)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tired, oh so tired...

I'm going home now. I'm done. I'm exhausted. I'm going to watch TV and probably eat something unhealthy... I won't be able to stop myself. It was that kind of a day.

All of my sentences started with an 'I'. Weird.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Breakfast thoughts

The difference between a high quality hotel and a quality hotel is that a high quality hotel offers complimentary, made-to-order banana panncakes with hot syrup for breakfast. This is a high quality hotel.

All cleansers are not created equal...

So I just found out the hard way that the hotel-provided cleanser can not be used in the same way as the Oil of Olay cleanser that I typically use (and which I left at home). I.e., it cannot be used anywhere close to the eye. Aaaaahhhh - it stings.

Btw, another way to differentiate between a high quality hotel and a quality hotel is that the high quality hotel has soap, shampoo, lotion, etc from Bath and Body Works. This is a high quality hotel
- even if the cleanser isn't designed to remove mascara.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Day 1 status

I didn't have a cookie on the plane - they don't serve cookies on the morning flight. They did however serve small blueberry/peach and oreo muffins - I made the "healthy" choice and picked the blueberry/peach muffin.

Victory #1: I sat next to a box of Panera Bread cookies from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM and didn't even have a crumb. My developers enjoyed them very much though. Cookies are the #1 tool in the Project Manager's tool kit.

Weakness #1: I ate eight very yummy (and very small) chocolate mints in my hotel room this evening. You know the difference between a high quality hotel and a quality hotel in that the high quality hotel has chocolate mints on the night stand or pillow. This is a high quality hotel.

I would say the victory wins over the weakness.

Good job me.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Announcing to the world...

OK - I am officially going on a diet. I'm 10 lbs heavier than I was when we moved here 4 years ago and - well - I'm sick and tired of it...

I figure if I declare it here for all to read, then I will feel more compelled to stick with it. It's so freakin' hard when you travel all the time to eat healthy, but I'm motivated.

So - 10 weeks - 10 lbs. That's the goal. I'll give you an update on October 29. Hmmm, just in time for Halloween - how convenient.

Well folks, have a pleasant week. I'm in WI Mon - Fri. Good times.

At Panera

I'm working.

I had a Morning Glory bagel.

Rebecka is reading.

She lost her 17th tooth in her Chocolate Chip bagel.

Todd is working.

He is taking notes on an article in Febe - a 19th century deaconess periodical.

Life is good.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My hotel...

...this week has an indoor water park. it is so big that they gave me a map to guide me to my room... which is an "executive suite," but doesn't even have a refrigerator for me to keep my water and rice milk in.

yes, my ritual these days is to go to the organic grocery store the first evening i'm here (WI) and stock up for the week: rice milk, soy milk, cherries, bananas, various organic granola bars, and fruit leather. no need to go out for dinner with such treats "at home."

today, i tried the evening workout concept. it was awesome! i watched Friends for an hour and ran almost 6 miles. felt so good. now a shower and some random sitcom later, i think it's time for bed. i'm trying all kinds of new things - like not working right up until it's time for bed. let's see how it goes.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Took the weekend off...

It rocked. Mamma, are you reading this??!?!

On Saturday, after an oh so painful run with Todd, Rebecka and I did some shopping, read books at Panera, and planned and executed an early surprise birthday party for Todd (he was soooooo surprised!). During one of the birthday party activities (watching HP2), I passed out and woke up the next morning feeling oh so much better.

On Sunday (after a much better morning run than on Saturday), Rebecka and I spent the day at Nashville Shores splashing in the water. Rebecka had an exciting adventure involving falling off an innertube right before starting a water slide ride. "I didn't think I would live to tell the tale," was her comment after the "accident." We had tons of fun and now both have very red noses (yes, the sun still does shine behind those clouds) that can fortunately be covered up by powder.

Rebecka started 4th grade today. She is so big! Cool thing is that she ended up in her Kindergarten room, so it's like everything is coming full circle. She also got to sit next to one of her best friends from Kindergarten, Elizabeth. They haven't been in the same class since - just same choir, Sunday School class, etc... Now they are finally back together. It's all good.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

getting back into running

Ever since I went to India back in Sept/Oct (and didn't run for 3 weeks), I haven't been in the zone with my running. No more running back home from dessert parties on Christmas Day or freaking out if I have to skip two days in a row.

Yes, I completed a half marathon in the spring, but I'm still not where I was.

This is about to change. I have now run 1+ hour runs two days in a row and I'm determined to get back to the point where a run under 60 minutes just isn't worth the time it takes to put on my running shoes. The hot, humid weather (even at 6:30 in the morning) isn't helping, but I figure if I can get back into it in this heat, there is nothing that will make me stop.

Biggest motivator: catching up with Todd. No, I'm not competitive...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

sleeping soundly

i took a nap today. it was a happy thing. when i fell asleep todd was next to me. when i woke up rebecka was next to me and sophie was getting ready to lick my face. not sure what happened there.

last night i slept through all sorts of adventures (todd was up all night trying to convince the electric company that they had missed our part of the street when the turned the power back on after the storm - he finally convinced them at 4:30).

of course, if my phone makes the smallest beep, i immediately wake up. todd says it's part of my disease - what disease?


Friday, August 04, 2006

stuck in the airport

good think i just signed up for Midwest Best Care Club. free food, drinks and, most importantly, wireless internet access.

i love comfort.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Would you rather run a fireworks store OR...

Tennessee Alabama Fireworks store
Originally uploaded by tabita.
The beautiful drive from Atlanta to Nashville is somewhat ruined by a row of fireworks stores on the Tennessee Alabama border.

As we drove by the most massive one, the Tennessee Alabama Fireworks, with it's Vegas-like lights, we started talking about why these huge fireworks stores were sitting here on the interstate, in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. We determined that one of the states must not allow fireworks stores, so the clientele was probably from accross the border.

Then Todd said, "maybe we should just open a fireworks store." To which I responded: "that would probably be the last thing I would want to do."

This spawned a new game called "Would you rather run a fireworks store OR..." (we're working on a patent). We ended up playing it off and on for the rest of the drive home (mostly to stay awake) until we had to stop because I was laughing so hard I was having trouble driving in a straight line.

You can learn a lot about a person from this game (and that running a fireworks store really isn't the worst job imaginable).

For example, Todd would rather be a park ranger and a downhill skiing instructor than run a fireworks store. I found this quite surprising considering that he enjoys the "Great Indoors" and considers anything below a 3-star hotel roughing it.

Todd found out that I would rather run a fireworks store than be Miss February in the Nascar nude calendar or pose for Playboy Magazine. However, I would rather work at Hooters than in a fireworks store.

Most jobs involving a lot of handling of butts/feces/dead people ranked below the fireworks store - however, if it was only a small portion of the job, it could still rank higher (e.g. working in a nursery home).

For me, anything with music won out - even teaching the 6th grade obligatory choir with a bunch of kids who couldn't sing (I believe everybody can learn how to sing).

Todd would rather work in a cigar shop, because it sounds more distinguished (it's important how cool your job sounds when you tell other people).

I would rather be an anchor on Fox and Friends, but Todd would not (one of the rules is that you can't do anything that would get you fired) - anything to be in the spotlight...

Todd would rather drive a cab in NYC - this way, he can go see Rent as often as he wants to.

Finally - and I really struggled with this one since it involves living in India, my favorite new culture/country/world - I would rather run a fireworks store than be the caretaker of the rats in Rajastan's famous Karni Mata Temple.

Where does the fireworks store rank in your list of worst jobs?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

See this face...?

Sophie in her new bed
Originally uploaded by tabita.
This is how Sophie gets us to take her out when it is pouring down rain, play "Go to your mat!" when we're supposed to be working, and generally work our schedules around her food and bathroom schedule.

Dogs like Sophie *have* to be cute to survive. Right now Todd is saying with his high-pitched Sophie voice: "Go get your keys! Where's your squirrel?"

Why do we even care where her squirrel is?!?!?!

Oh wait - because if she is chewing on the squirrel, it means she won't chew on us OR try to jump up in our laps as we're trying to post important blog entries OR get into our gym bags and destroy our headphones.

We love Sophie.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

In Nashville

Isn't it amazing? These days, it feels like I'm more away than home. The committee in Rebecka's head decided that she does not like my job (apparently the only good thing about my job is that I get money for doing it).

Now I totally know why they have stuffed animals in every store at every airport... It's for the guilty parents! We're going to go broke here soon on guilt gifts. This week it was a TY cow, which Rebecka named Mrs. Mooooooo.

People actually seem excited to see me now that I'm rarely around. But nobody gets more excited than Sophie when I get back from one of my trips. She just vibrates from head to tail.

I gave Sophie a bath today. It was one of my TODOs on my home list. Check. If she hadn't gotten herself covered with mud, it would still be unchecked.

I'm such a procrastinator. I taught someone that word today. It's a good one.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

My TODO list...

...has 56 bullets. This is just for work.

Took care of some of my TODOs for home this weekend: Exchanging Sophie's luxurious bed for a larger (and more expensive) luxurious bed, returning banged-up luggage (they said bring it back if anything breaks - i guess they did not envision 2 India trips and weekly domestic travel), trying on clothes and deciding that currently I'm right in between size 4 and 6 (two solutions: gain 5 pounds or loose 5 pounds - i'm going with the second option), getting Prasad's mail, and paying all the bills. Whew!

Today it's work, work, work. Better get to it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pleasant Surprise

The Peewauke Panera has natural peanut butter! It's so happy! Imagine expecting disgusting sugary, transfat-filled, slimey Jif (or similar) and instead getting finely crushed, pure natural peanut butter.

Totally makes up for the fact that I had to toast my own bagel, they only gave me one water bottle even though I asked for two, and I had to go back to the counter after I sat down to ask for my large fruit cup.

Time for some fun-filled BRD writing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Actual count: 38

My bug bites kept me up half the night and bothered me so much throughout the day, that I eventually broke down and drove to Walmart (not because I like Walmart, but because it was the only place I knew of with a pharmacy) to see if I could find something helpful in the pharmacy section.

I told a nice lady behind the "consultation" desk my problem and she guided me to the Benadryl - Extra Strength Anti Itch section (they were conveniently out of the generic version).

As I raced back to the hotel to put the stuff on, it felt like it was getting worse every minute (my brain is kind of crazy like that). When I finally got there (btw, they put me in a very cushy room to make up for the mishap of putting me in a smoking room - I love good customer service) and started putting it on, I thought that it might be fun to count how many bites I really have.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

One step away...

New Deck Furniture
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Inspired by our friends Pete and Emi's new deck and deck furniture (from Mr. T's Patio - free delivery), we decided to finally do what we've been meaning to do for years and actually get some good outdoor furniture.

It arrived today! Todd has promised "fika" on the deck when I return from WI on Friday. Swell.

Now the only thing left is a dining room table - although the card table that is currently sitting there to fill up the space is really starting to grow on me...

20 bug bites +

I went for a lovely walk around my favorite lake with my fabulous friend Allison last night. We hadn't seen each other/talked in 6 months, so, needless to say, we had a lot of catching up to do.

So much catching up, in fact, that we stood by the car for at least 45 minutes in the dark with bugs swarming around us and having a feast. Today, my legs are *covered* with bites. It is insane!

And to top it off, I'm staying in a smoking room in a hotel in Waukesha, WI. Lovely... At least they are moving me tomorrow. Can't wait. But by that time everything will be smoke infested anyway.

So I'll be walking around with bug-bitten legs smelling like smoke for the next three days. Should be fun.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sunday Morning

It's Sunday morning at 6:16 AM and I'm sitting in front of my laptop trying to motivate myself to work... I have so many things due, like, today. It's almost worse when I set my own deadlines than have other people do it. I'm brutal.

Sophie is whining in her kennel. I guess she wants to go out. But I took her out at 9:30 PM last night!! Just so I wouldn't have to take her out early in the morning. This dog (@%$&!!)...

Todd is asleep and Rebecka is at a sleepover. If the whining would just stop, this would be a very serene moment. Oh - it stopped. Maybe she gave up.

I think this is inspiring me to get back to my latest and greatest (ehm...?) design document.

Rebecka is singing in church today, btw. Should be cute! I love my child. She is so rockin'.

I wish that I had Sophie's squirrel...

Sophie is a friend,
And I know she's been a good friend of mine.
But lately something's changed
And it ain't hard to define.
Sophie's got herself a squirrel
And I want to make it mine.

You know, I wish that I had Sophie's squirrel.
I wish that I had Sophie's squirrel.
Where can I hurl a squirrel like that?

Courtesy Todd H Green Song Rewriting Company... Still need to work on the rest of the verses I think. But it is so funny!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

She's back!

Back from DC
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Our princess has returned from her journey to the US Capitol. She had a swell time (especially in the wave pool) and misses her "Apple" David and Caroline.

We're glad to have her back safe and sound.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Garage Cleaning

Garage Cleaning 3
Originally uploaded by tabita.
So, we have been in our house for 10 months and for all those months our garage has been a wreck. At some point I moved things around so that we could at least get one car in there (since that is the purpose for garages), but we were never able to get to 100% (or even 55%).

Last weekend I had a revelation that we would spend 4th of July cleaning out the garage - and it materialized (I have this amazing power to get my husband to do whatever I want him to do). We spent most of the day tearing boxes and sweeping and driving things to Goodwill and sweeping some more and the result was amazing...

We can actually fit both cars into the garage now. It is so exciting! Apparently, the car is much cooler if it's been sitting in the garage during the summer and much less icy if it's been sitting in the garage during the winter. I can't wait to experience this for myself.

Now we're exhausted and plan to spend the evening watching the fireworks from our house - because we can do that.

Happy 4th!


Originally uploaded by tabita.
Spent a good 4-5 hours at IKEA yesterday. We started with the "browse". This is when you walk through the store, making notes of what you may want to pick up later and check on availability of larger items.

Second came lunch. This is when we eat Swedish meatballs in the IKEA restaurant. Oh, I forgot that before "browse", we did a mini-browse of the Swedish food shoppe and sampled Swedish food.

Third was the actual picking up of the items. By this time, we were kind of tired, but kept reminding ourselves about how much less "jobbigt" this was than our last trip (when we spent approximately 12 hours there).

Fourth was going back to the food shoppe and getting all the Swedish food. Todd was set on frozen Swedish meatballs. He bought two packs. This was the cause for step #5:

Drive off and find the nearest gas station to buy ice to make sure that the meatballs survive the 4-hour drive back to Nashville.

It all ended well. We still have one piece of furniture to put together - but that is it!!

I'm sure I'll be back within a month.

Back from India

In Delhi
Originally uploaded by tabita.
I feel like I should at least mention that I went to India - again... It was amazing as always.

This time I visited a third city - Delhi. It was HOT! I had thought about doing some sightseeing there - like go to the Taj, but it was just too crazy hot. In fact, in this picture, my bottom is soooo hot, that we barely had time to take the picture. It was also the only place we actually got out of the car (except for going to the office/hotel/restaurant).

Hope to go back soon. I feel like it is my third home country now. I'm even learning how to speak Telugu!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Todd Day

Since every day is Tabita, Rebecka, and Sophie day, we decided to have a Todd Day yesterday.

"What is Todd Day?" you may ask.

Well, it starts with a very sweaty and totally exhausting run in the neighborhood followed by a shower and light breakfast. It also involves no Sophie-duties on Todd's part as well as no cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, or other house-care-related activities.

This is followed by a trip to the nicest mall in town where we go to Todd's favorite stores and buy stuff. Lunch is at the Mellow Mushroom - Todd's favorite pizza place in town - and somehow we magically get a legal parking spot. Btw, Todd does not have to drive on Todd Day.

After lunch, we go back to the house so that someone other than Todd can let Sophie out to do her business. In the meantime, Todd sits in the reading room and reads Entertainment Weekly while he sips a carefully prepared root beer float.

Next, it's off to see Superman Returns at the 100 Oaks Mall. Rebecka somehow got out of this one and spent the rest of the afternoon in her friend's backyard. Todd really enjoyed the movie. Tabita enjoyed the parts that she was awake for.

Evening = eat junk food and play video games.

What a day! Can't wait for Tabita Day. Oh wait - that's today (and tomorrow, and the day after that...).

Well, friends - we're off to DC (Rebecka) and Atlanta/IKEA (T&T). Sophie is staying in Nashville to watch the house with our friend Katie. More later.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


We're obsessed with Rent. Our whole family. We watch Rent, sing Rent, listen to Rent, dream about Rent, pay our Rent, work to Rent...

Today I was experiencing severe Rent withdrawals, because I was in meetings all day and didn't get to listen to it at all. It was not a good thing (just ask the poor people who had to be around me today).

We have downloaded almost all the songs from Rent - except for Rent.

If you haven't seen Rent - you must. Now - got rent it.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Taxes suck...

Yes - even with TurboTax. Does anybody know how the whole property tax thing works if you buy and sell a house in the tax year? We're confused.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Levi and Family

Namur and Family
Originally uploaded by tabita.
My little nephew Levi was dedicated in his church last Sunday. Here he is. Isn't he the cutest???

Speaking of that family, Levi's dad, David, aka Namur, recently released his 3rd album. Please buy it. It is awesome.


Saturday, March 25, 2006


We ran 10 miles today... Actually 10.34 miles to be exact. Whew. I'm exhausted. Need a Frappuccino. Todd is going to go get one after he wakes up from his nap. Yay!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

East Coast to West Coast

So we finished up our romantic weekend in New York with more shopping and walking and eating. All good things. Flew back to Nashville on Monday evening. Re-packed and slept for a few hours. Got up at 4 AM and said goodbye to my mom (she was going to leave before I got back) and headed out to the airport. Many hours later I landed in SF and got shuttled to the Hyatt Regency at San Francisco Airport. "What's going on there?", you may wonder. Well, let me tell you:

A gathering of nerds for the 29th Internationalization and Unicode Conference. Wow! These people are into their stuff. I learned lots and made a new friend: a Finnish guy working for Nokia. I asked him a ton of questions about I18n and testing and other fun things. Very smart. I like smart people.

Last night I had dinner with some friends that we knew when we lived here in the late 70s/early 80s. It was a lot of fun to see them and find out what is going on with all their kids (who were my age and older).

Had an awesome run this morning. Recovery time really does make you stronger. I'm on this 1/2 marathon plan where you only run 3 days a week, but the workouts are very focused (and intense). Today it was speed training (3 x 1600 at 9:30). I felt like I could've gone on forever. I love that feeling!!!

OK - time to head out to the airport for the fun-filled flight(s) home. It takes all day!

Monday, March 06, 2006

One big highlight

Todd asked last night: "What was the highlight of the day?" I started rattling off the various things we had done and realized: "It's all one big highlight!"

So here is the highlight broken down:

6 mile run in the hotel gym (yes - we're losers... we didn't feel like weathering the cold at Central Park - next time).

Breakfast at Ess-a-Bagel - yum.

Walking around in the Village and browsing hand-made jewelry. I *love* that stuff.

Lunch at a mediocre Thai restaurant. Ok - not a highlight, but it taught us that breaking out of our research and planning mode even for one small meal can be disastrous... :)

A loooong afternoon stroll in Central Park. Whew - I bet we walked 6 miles or more over the course of the day (not counting the morning run, of course). I particularly enjoyed the breaks on the bench parts.

Dinner at a cozy Italian restaurant on 44th Street - Osteria Al Doge. We got to sit on the second floor overlooking the rest of the restaurant, so that was cool. I felt like I was in "Love Actually".

Running from the restaurant to the subway station to our hotel back to the subway station back to Broadway - just so I could change into nice outfit for the show. Rent was awesome. The performers were awesome. The twizzlers I ate during the show were awesome. The trip back to the hotel was awesome (because we weren't running).

Falling asleep to the end of the Oscars. Why do I even watch? Todd already knows ahead of time who is going to win every category.

Now we're getting ready to check out before we head out for some final shopping. Yay for shopping!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Big Apple

Yes - we actually saw one walking around today during the first day of our 3-day mini vacation to New York City. It's awesome to be here together - first time in almost 12 years.

Todd did some high quality research on what to do and where to eat before we left and we have been using his "report" extensively. Some highlights of the day:

NOT waking up at 5 AM to leave for the airport...

Eating pizza at John's Pizzeria (church turned restaurant - nice stained glass dome) after a *very* cold walk from the hotel (Omni Berkshire) to 44th Street.

Browsing Macy's on 5th Street and buying the best charcoal wool/cashmere coat ever (I've been looking for a good winter coat most of my adult life). I was on a buying high for several hours after that purchase.

Walking through Central Park on the way to DT-UT, a totally cozy coffee house on the upper east side of NY.

Making (and eating) s'mores at above mentioned coffee house and reading a good book curled up in a cozy chair.

And the fun continues... Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


They just handed out the medals - just waiting for the national anthem - "Du Gamla, Du Fria".

Sweden rocks!!! Yeh.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


Sweden is rockin' and rollin' in the Olympics this year. It makes me very happy.

And tomorrow I'm watching the men's hockey final LIVE!!! Yes! I love life.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

a real weekend

So this is what it is like to take the weekend completely off... (Ok - except for a quick feature review and filling my timecard for last week). It kicks ass!!!

I have gone through all the papers lying around in the kitchen, paid the bills, played the piano (a lot), visited an African American church in the neighborhood (black gospel rocks!!!), played Pictionary Junior and Apples to Apples, eaten good food (tack mamma!), slept in (two days in a row), read Runner's World in the reading room, taught Sophie how to lay down, gone to the grocery store, blogged (!!!), and, and, and...

Wow - I should do this more often.

Rebecka and Snowy

Rebecka and Snowy
Originally uploaded by tabita.
We've had a "good" amount of snow these past couple of weeks. This is quite exciting for me, since it feels like home and extremely exciting for Rebecka, since she hasn't seen "playable" snow for three years.

Here is the masterpiece we came up with after the last snowfall. :)

Btw, it's not good to have a slanted driveway on icy days. Yesterday, we got "iced in" because we couldn't get the cars out... It was great!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

sledding time

Originally uploaded by tabita.
We went sledding today!!! And whatever grumpiness I had left over from dealing with a three-friend-sleepover is all gone!

Sledding rocks. Snow is cool. And now I'm going to have some yummy leftovers.

It's Saturday and it's a long weekend. Life is good.

Keep smilin'...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Missing someone...

Airport Fun
Originally uploaded by tabita.
12 days... Man.

Todd is having scanning problems. Apparently the little portable scanner doesn't like very old and dusty documents. Everybody please pray that his new scanner works better than the $200 one that he brought with him...

Good Lord! Is there no quality assurance anywhere?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

people moving about

My mom came from Sweden on Thursday. It's very happy.

Todd is leaving for Sweden on Sunday. It's very sad.

I guess in the end, it all evens out...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

breakfast in bed

I had breakfast in bed today.

Yes - Todd went all the way to Hardee's to get buttered biscuits with strawberry jam. We had been reminiscing about the days when going to Hardee's for Sunday breakfast was the big treat of the week. And today I got to relive it - in the comfort of my own home.

My hubby rocks.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

still tired, busy, and happy...

Actually, today not too tired, except for that really good tired feeling you get from running 7 miles (yay!). Gearing up for the half marathon in April. New shoes on the way (Brooks Glycerin 4 - I've been on Glycerin 3 for a while). No knee issues yet. It's all good.

So, to you Fox News fans out there. Tomorrow, they will be showing a "fair and balanced" interview with Howard Dean. Ah hahahahahahahaha!!!! Ok. Just had to share that piece of amusement.

What else...? Working like crazy. It's good though. My friend Katie came back from India yesterday. Can't wait to hear about her experiences there... And apparently, she's bringing something back for me... :)

Watched the movie "Born into Brothels" last week. Too good. Sad though. I really want to do something for the poorest people in India. There are so many of them. Will let you all know when the plan is finalized - and you can all donate to the cause! :)

Rebecka is at her first chess tournament ever today. She's such a geek... Kidding! She's smart, that's all. Just like Todd. He's editing and indexing a book. Fun times. He survived LASIK surgery last Wednesday - without passing out or anything! Good job, honey. :)

OK - Excel is waiting. Number crunching time.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

tired, busy, and happy...

Whew - the weeks just fly by. It is pure craziness!

Last night, my hubby took me for an early birthday dinner at Tin Angel. Cozy doesn't even begin to describe that place... I had the Mahi Mahi special with sweet potato fries. Oh my gosh! Too good. It was a swell evening.

This morning, I had to get up early to go sing at the early service at our church. I sang a song from Sweden called "River of Love." It felt good to be singing in church again after over 6 months of nothing. Rebecka and I sang a duet in the 11 o'clock service - she got lots of compliments!! :)

OK - so now for the happy part... ;) I ate tiramisu today! I love it so much. It means "pick me up" or something like that in Italian and boy is that the right phrase for that dessert. I'm still in heaven (although I may soon have to go back to the fridge for another piece)...

Sophie is still nuts. But oh so cute. I'll be giving her a bath today. Joy.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Little Evil

This is one of the many terms of endearment that we use for our little dog. She chews on everything! Her toys (good girl!), the carpet, us (no bite!), you name it... She spends most of her days in time-out.

We need help... Tips anyone?