Monday, November 24, 2008

End of Santa photos?

Today I had hoped to take Cooper and Katie to visit Santa (the real Santa!). I know, it's before Thanksgiving. But I want to avoid long lines. And Thanksgiving is late this year!

Cooper said no. He says he doesn't want or need anything for Christmas this year, so he doesn't need to visit.

I told him I need a photo of him with Santa and his sister.

He couldn't be convinced. We'll try again next week. And then I may need to give up and just have Katie in the photo.

Nice surprise

Last year I worked on two projects for Fodor's -- updating Web listings for the Dallas-Fort Worth area and writing the D-FW chapter for the new Texas guidebook.

My editor on both projects was Mike Nalepa, who works for Random House in New York. He was so gracious about this time last year, when I turned in the chapter about 95 percent complete. My deadline was the day after Steve's first MRI. I knew that if I touched the text from that point forward, I would likely make mistakes.

He arranged for others to help with parts of the chapter and filled in the rest himself. He was the kind of editor you want to work for again.

Today we received in the mail four different books from Mike -- Fodor's guidebooks for London! I'm guessing he reads the Steve blog and discovered our big summer getaway. What a great guy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


For months I've been training to run the Dallas White Rock half-marathon in Steve's honor.

I am not a natural runner. In high school, the mandatory 12-minute run was more like a 1-minute run, 11-minute walk for me. I always hurt my shins, and my breathing wasn't right, and I didn't like to sweat.

For years Steve has been running, for fun and in races. I never joined him. I would walk at night or sometimes swim, but never run.

Last year I started running and then stopped when the weather turned cold. And then Steve was diagnosed with cancer, and I didn't do any exercise at all. I did lots of running around, but no running.

This summer Liz convinced a small group of us to run in some way to honor and support Steve. Sadly, she hurt her knee and hasn't been able to train, though she is an excellent motivator.

Allison has been my steady running partner. We run for 2.5 minutes and walk for 1, over and over. We've worked our way up a little at a time, and last Friday morning we ran 10 miles!

We ran past grocery stores, restaurants, banks, child-care centers. We ran all the way to a major highway, and then we turned around and ran home.

When we run we talk. It's a great way to get ideas, talk through troubles, set goals and vent when necessary.

Our schedules don't mesh well this week, so I ran 3 miles on my own this afternoon. I knew I would miss Allison's conversation, so I grabbed Steve's iPod. My little iPod Shuffle is loaded with relaxing music -- not ideal for running.

On a day like today, when Steve is feeling extremely wobbly and sluggish, running is a little emotional for me. We both wish he were able to zip up and down Teel Parkway like he used to. I am running for him, but I wish I were running with him.

Well, those emotions were compounded when I decided to listen to Steve's running playlist. A U2 song and a Coldplay song had me in tears. But that didn't last long. A Beastie Boys song came on, and there was nothing to do but smile and laugh. I could so picture Steve singing/rapping along. Later tonight, I'll play it again for the full Steve effect.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Some kind of Berry

Before this morning's rounds to work and school, Katie grabbed a pink Hello Kitty pretend cell phone for the drive.

She said more than once, "You need to be quiet now, please, I'm going to make a phone call." (Think she's heard that a few times?)

After her "calls," she started pushing the camera button on the phone. It doesn't actually take photos, but it makes a satisfying clicking noise.

She exclaimed happily, "I have a raspberry! Not a Blackberry!"

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Katie's curls

Stephanie suggested we braid Katie's hair while it's damp to create some wave.

We tried it and acheived success for a hours. She was so happy!

I wrote about her wish for curly hair in today's Briefing.