Posts Tagged ‘Rebecca’

First family vacation: visiting Miranda, Rebecca, and Ben!

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

As our girls approached two, and began occassionally to let us sleep 6 or 7 hours at a stretch, and I contemplated weaning once and for all, Bill and I decided we were ready to attempt traveling with children.

That said, we weren’t quite ready to brave airports and TSA checkpoints, so we opted for a car trip. When we considered destinations that are a 2-5 hour-drive away with people we’d want to see, the obvious choice was San Antonio.

So on Friday, Nov 8th, we headed out to SA and spent the weekend with our friends Ben, Rebecca, and their daughter, Miranda. They’ve come to visit us before, and our girls were excited to “go see Miranda’s house.”

The three girls played together Friday night in our hotel room, and Saturday and Sunday at their house. Miranda was part hostess and part Big Sister, showing the girls around, sharing her bricks, teaching them how to flush the toilet, and reading to them.

When I asked the girls Sunday what their favorite part of our trip was, both girls reported that “playing bricks with Miranda” was the best part.

Along the way, we got to catch up with Rebecca and Ben, and enjoy a lovely home-cooked meal.

First splash day!

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Our friends Ben, Rebecca, and their daughter, Miranda visited Houston this weekend. While Ben spent Friday getting some legal edumacation, Rebecca and Miranda hung out with us. After walking to Walgreens to buy some swim diapers, everything came together for our girls to enjoy their very first Splash Day!

Thanks Gram Nancy for the one-ring pool, Susan Hawes for all of the bath toys, and Rebecca and Miranda for the excellent company! Thanks also to Emily Braswell for some cute baby girl swimsuits, although we decided to start out au naturel, and to Claudia, our nanny, for keeping the girls above water when tired Mama Bob got distracted by conversation.

Bill cleverly inflating the pool using the electric pump from the air mattress

Sam and Cate using the bath rings as teethers

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Miranda splashing in the sprinkler

Now it feels like summer! (And on a tangential note, this may be my favorite use to date of the wood deck behind our house that our friends came together to fund and build for our wedding in 2001. You all rock! When we eventually move to a newer house, whether in Houston or elsewhere, the deck and the love it represents is one of the things I will be sad to leave behind.)

Also, here are cute indoor pics of Rebecca and Ben with the girls:

Rebecca with Miranda, Cate, and Sam

Ben holding Sam and Bill holding Cate

Miranda improvised and used my watercolor (non-washable) markers to make blue hand prints

We sure enjoyed seeing you all. Please come back soon!

Happy belated Mothers’ Day!

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, our friends Ben & Rebecca came back to Houston for a weekend, and we made plans to go to brunch together Sunday. As Bill made us reservations at America’s, it struck me as odd that we were going out for Mother’s Day brunch with our friends, instead of our mothers.

Only later did it dawn on me that Rebecca is a mother, and now I am, too. So we celebrated my first Mother’s Day together. And we enjoyed a lovely meal!

Rebecca and Miranda

Ben and Bill

It’s always fun to catch up with Rebecca and Ben, and their daughter Miranda is engaging and adorable. We had a good time!

* * *
Later in the afternoon — after a much-needed nap! — I met up with my Mom and Gran’mom at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to see an exhibition of Impressionist paintings that were visiting from the National Gallery in DC. We borrowed a wheelchair from the museum so Sarah could save her energy for enjoying the art.

Jean and Sarah admiring a still-life by Paul Cezanne

The three of us have enjoyed seeing Impressionist art together many times in several cities. This time, we moved leisurely through the galleries and I played personal docent, identifying the artists, summarizing the placards, and then highlighting some tidbit to get Sarah talking about the art.

Claude Monet’s “The Water-Lily Pond”, painted in 1899

For example, Claude Monet produced this painting of the Japanese bridge over his water lily pond in Giverny, a small town just northwest of Paris. Not only did Sarah and I visit this place together in 2006, but she also visited it in the 1980s with her late husband, Roger, and she hung reproductions of Monet’s water lillies in her dining room for many years. I was delighted that she still remembers visiting Giverny with Roger and she declared delightedly, “It really looked like that!”

With other paintings, we talked about composition. Sarah used to paint, and as a clinical chemist, her still-“life” work was more likely to include beakers and flasks than fruit and flowers. While her hands tremble too much to paint now, her neurologist observed that the part of Sarah’s brain that understands spatial relationships is still remarkably intact. As a result, she’s still interested in and able to talk about the underlying geometries, massing, and spatial arrangement of the compositions we saw, and observe differences between the styles of different artists. That’s pretty cool.

Sarah and Robin at the MFAH

Sarah and Jean back at Belmont Village

After two hours of gallery gazing, Sarah and I were both exhausted, and Mom took each of us home. But we really enjoyed our afternoon together!

Hanging in San Antonio and meeting Miranda

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Months and months ago, Bill declared that he wanted to go to San Antonio on December 5th to participate in the Rotary Club’s Mission to Mission charity bike tour. It would be a great excuse to finally go visit Ben & Rebecca and meet their daughter Miranda, so we signed him up.

But Friday morning as we contemplated the drive, a winter storm moved through Texas and it started to snow. The ground was too warm for it to stick, but it snowed most of the day and jumping on IH-10 to drive 200 miles didn’t seem smart.

winter storm doppler

snow on Fairview

Then Bill had to stick around for a late-afternoon work call. We decided to blow off his bike ride and just go visit our friends. We got to San Antonio early Saturday afternoon and enjoyed two leisurely days just hanging out. Miranda warmed up to us quickly, especially after Bill presented her with a tiny yellow Livestrong bracelet. We had fun!

Miranda enjoyed the package almost as much as the bracelet

Miranda is really good at sharing

The relaxed, happy family

Miranda already has Ben’s ability to regard the camera

walking to HEB
While I’m making the grownups pose, Miranda is checking traffic

Miranda mid-giggle

Miranda checking in with mom before racing off again

Miranda is going to grow up quickly and I really wanted to capture some great images of her. I did manage to get a few, but I felt especially photographically challenged this weekend. These shots have great light, natural expressions, or sharp focus, but never all three at the same time. Cindy tells me it’s because 17-month-olds are in constant motion. She’s obviously right!

A great day for frisbee golf…

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Our mid-thirties don’t lend themselves to many of our college pastimes, but one is still super fun. Yesterday was a glorious day for a round of frisbee golf on the Rice campus. The weather was perfect, and the majority of the staff and student body were elsewhere enjoying the holiday break.

Sallyport hole
I caught up with the group tapping out the Sallyport hole, and joined them for the back nine.

Willy's statue
Pedestrians precluded playing for Willy’s statue, but the rest of the course was clear (unlike my lens. Sorry Ben!)

Bill's disc in Hamman tree
At Hamman Hall, Bill caught his disc in a pine tree…

Ben atop Hamman
… but Ben clambered up and rescued it

Bill in the cloisters
At the cloisters, Bill took a one-stroke penalty for accidentally playing over the student center instead of through the walkway…

Bill's disc atop cloisters
… and lost his disc on the roof as well. I expect it will stay there until the next big rain. Fortunately, I was carrying a spare.

Baker flyby
The tiny white spec near the shadow at the corner of the building is a disc flying past Baker College. (click to enlarge)

Paul Bunyan's flowersBen closed out the round by hitting Paul Bunyan’s flowers with a phenomenal throw from the middle of the Lovett quad

Bob's disc
I always finish with the highest score (which in golf is not the goal), but I love this game!

Rice Owls win Texas Bowl?!?

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

During high school, I watched a LOT of football games. Not because I was suddenly living in Texas and people are crazy about Texas high school football, but because I marched in the band. For four years, I went to every football game. And it was mostly fun, in part because the Galveston Ball Tornadoes were generally one of the best teams in the district and they won a lot. One year, I learned that big stadia like The Astrodome have miserable acoustics and that marching on Astroturf is harder than you would expect, because the football team went to state.

By the time I got to Rice in 1989, I was done with band and sick of going to football games. In fact, I didn’t manage to attend a single Rice game while I was there. While I missed out on seeing classic MOB (marching owl band) half-time performances, I didn’t miss much else, because the brainy Rice Owls were NOT one of the strongest teams in the Southwest Conference.

As recently as 2005, the Owls won just one of ten games. They don’t win whole seasons, they play in very few bowl games, and you won’t see them on national television. Rice is a “smart” school, not a “sports” school, and I’m okay with that.

Rice winning Texas Bowl

In that historical context, the Rice Owls 2008 season has seemed pretty surreal. They apparently won 8 of the first 11 games. (I say “apparently” because we weren’t following the team closely. Why would we?) The last game of the regular season — the “Bayou Bucket” against intown rival University of Houston — got picked up by CBS to air nationally on College Sports TV. Watching the Owls play on TV — and win — was novel and fun!

The Bucket victory got Rice into the Texas Bowl, which aired nationally last night on NFL Network. (I know, it’s cable, but it’s still national!) Our friends Rob, Mike & Susan, their kids, and my cousin Sharon all came over to watch the game over hot pizza from Star and cold beer.

boys watching the game
Tibbs and the men folk watched the game…

Elizabeth and Robert

… while Elizabeth, Robert, and John read, battled light sabers…

Elizabeth talked with Dora
… and talked with a “Dora” show

Even Ben & Rebecca got in from San Antonio before the game ended. We had a good time, and Rice beat Western Michigan 38 to 14, winning their first bowl game since the 1954 Cotton Bowl. HOOT!