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Everybody Tells Me This Is Crazy, Yes I Know It

18 Jul

I had the very best kind of weekend!

On Friday night we went to a motocross extravaganza at the Plaza de Toros.  I had never been (acquiring tickets to see los toros is difficult and regardless I am not a very avid bull fighting fan) so it was exciting to see the plaza for the first time!

I spent most of the evening with my eyes open as wide as saucers, biting my knuckles, completely awed by the kind of stunts they performed!  It was unreal–I kept jamming my elbow into Santi and marveling, but how do they do that?

On Saturday I spent the day with Maggie–lunch at Lateral and dinner at Vips and then a night out dancing (with a stop at Zara mixed into the afternoon)!

We had a bit of a If You Give a Mouse a Cookie moment after we ordered some tropical sorbet for dessert at Vips (the delicious dessert then inspiring us to trot down to llaollao for some frozen yogurt with fruit).

Maggie kept me laughing, asking what kinds of fruits grow in the forest and quoting this goofy video.

By Sunday I was grateful to be able to curl up on the sofa for a cat nap!

And finally, 5 points extra credit if you knew that this entry’s title comes straight from this catchy little song!

Day in Review

29 Jun

Yesterday I spent the morning with Inés and Santi (Almu had a sleepover at her cousin Fatima’s house on Monday night and did not come home until later in the afternoon).

Inés and Santi, getting organized for a quick photo shoot on Tuesday morning.

And the two little beans, smiling for me.

In the afternoon I braved the suffocating heat and walked to the library to return the best book I have read in a long, long time, A Thousand Splendid Suns.  The novel was just too good although I cried my way through the last few chapters.

The novel, sitting on my shelf.

Then I stopped at our supermarket for bread, cheese, ham, and pears to make a simple dinner at Santi’s house (the designer grilled cheese sandwiches are actually an idea of Martha’s).  They were so tasty I couldn’t wait for mine to cool before beginning to devour it (and I burned the roof of my mouth)!

My fancy grilled cheese.

Today we spent the morning in the pool and now the three beans are napping (and I am considering following suit and closing my eyes for a short siesta).

Update: while perusing iTunes earlier tonight I stumbled across a rash of singles from The Voice.  And while I still am not completely sure what exactly The Voice is (possibly the new American Idol) I am completly sure that the few covers I listened to were pretty, pretty, and pretty!

I especially like the “Dog Days Are Over” and “Heartless.”  And Javier Colon’s version of “Fix You”  is almost as lovely as the original (and the Coldplay classic is one of my favorite songs ever).

Please and Thank You

7 Apr

Around our house with the three small beans, we talk quite a bit about minding our manners.  Constantly hearing myself insist on the word “gracias” made me think all the things for which I am so, so thankful.  And today I compiled a list of things that I am grateful for this week.

So, here they are (in no particular order):

1.  Really good reads.

The trip to the beach a few weeks ago inspired me to crack open a book (Cutting for Stone) after taking a long hiatus from literature (unless we can count Diez Minutos as literature).  Currently I am tearing my way through The Help; I nearly missed my metro stop this morning I was so engrossed in the story!  Next up on the docket is White Teeth.

I know I will have to make another trip to the adorable used bookstore (stocked with English works) in Nerja during Semana Santa to pick up a few more paperbacks (and trade in the small collection I have accumulated).

Novels stacked on my narrow bookshelf.

2.  The sunshine in Madrid.

The weather forecast for the city.

Our street, drenched in sunlight.

The Ayuntamiento de Pozuelo de Alarcón.

3.  An over-the-top care package.

My parents sent us an enormous box stuffed, and I mean stuffed, full of art supplies, coloring books, dress-up clothes, toy cars, and stickers–essentially a package filled with everything that the three beans love!

Our box of treasures.

And my family did not forget about me–I was thrilled to receive a copy of Elle, sweet Easter treats, and a brand new Lululemon headband, courtesy of my Auntie Monica (that I am wearing as I type)!

And a few of my favorite American treats.

4.  The infamous beans.

The beans and their presents earlier tonight!

Almu was gifted a princess costume, Santi a car that talks and zooms around, and Inés a lip gloss phone.

Checking out the lip gloss phone. Almu's first question was, "is it a real phone?" I had to inform her that my mother evidently decided against buying the three-year-old an actual cellular phone...

Santi, applying Almu's lip gloss.

Almu, grabbing the cell phone.

And "taking some photos" of me.

Inés, cradling her new gadget.

And examining the buttons.

Santi, Almu, and the new yellow car.

Yes, I will be the first person to  admit that sometimes we have rough days–but the majority of the time the three beans are very sweet, well-behaved children.

5.  New music.

We all get tired of our music now and then but I heard this song a few days ago and I think it could freshen up any hum-drum playlist.

What Kind of Day Is It?

10 Mar

Yesterday was my boss’ birthday, Ash Wednesday, and also a precious day off from my running regime.

Homemade cards we crafted for Nacho's birthday.

The family assembled and admiring the cake.

And blowing out the candles!

Today I went for a serious kind of run (16 kilometers) and then spent the rest of the day hobbling around after the three beans.

It was such a gorgeous Thursday (23° C)– my cheeks are pink and my nose is spotted with freckles from the hours I spent outdoors today!

And while I firmly banned Pepa from the dinner table earlier tonight Almudenita found a way for her doll to enjoy a dinner (of a tomato and slice of cake).

This is what I found when I walked into the girls' bedroom a few hours ago. I laughed out loud!

On on a different (and very exciting) note, while Santi (mayor) and I drank beers and picked at croquetas last night firm plans were laid for a weekend getaway to the beach.  The vacation days have been procured and my bikinis have been dug out of the corner of my bottom drawer–in one short week we are heading to Nerja (I am thrilled)!

Nerja (Málaga)

And I can promise that we will be listening to “Good Life” by OneRepublic at least once or twice on our four hour drive to the Costa del Sol.  I just cannot stop humming, “I say, ‘I got this feeling that you can’t fight’…Like this city is on fire tonight…”

I Was Gone for a Minute

18 Jan

Baby Bash can explain, in this lovely song, exactly (maybe not exactly, but basically) what I’d like to write today.

But seriously, setting all rappers you’ve forgotten about aside, I found out this weekend that the Spaniards are letting me back into their country!  In honor of la buena noticia, here are a few pictures of the little beans I will be seeing (and hugging) in a few weeks…

Almudenita, showing off her birthday cake in Costa Ballena in August.

A few weeks before the birthday party, on the opposite coast of Spain in Fuenterrabía, Inésita and Almudenita perching above the ocean. What do you think Inés is explaining to Almu? Something complex!

Santi, showing off his million-dollar smile.

Inésita, posing in a precious little dress.

And another photo of Inésita, loving her strawberry popsicle, representing the Carleton Knights, and waiting to see the winning World Cup soccer team at Atocha (love, love, love the belly).

And just one more shot I love, love, love, Almudena (mother) and Santi marching off to check out an appearance of the World Cup champions at Atocha.

Have a terrific Tuesday night, you guys!

The Best and the Worst: Holiday Edition

23 Dec

I consider myself somewhat of a Christmas music expert (a Christmas music expert and a chuche expert) and these are my most favorite and least favorite seasonal tunes…

The best: Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “A Christmas to Remember”

This song is a classic!  The album it is off (Once Upon a Christmas) is a classic!  The ridiculous mannequin-filled video is a classic!  And I love, love, love Dolly’s voice!  (Did I include enough exclamation points for you?)

Kenny and Dolly

And now for the worst: “The Little Drummer Boy”

This song is a real stinker!  I can’t put my finger on what it is I don’t like about it but…I don’t like it one bit!

New Jams, Etc.

19 Nov

It’s Friday!

Just in time for Pink Day let me tell you about someone I truly love.

Strange cover, solid album.

This is what I’ve been listening to lately (it’s all Nicki Minaj and it’s all really good, you guys):

1. “Automatic” (feat. Teairra Mari)

2. “I Bought That” (Remix, feat. Era)

3. “Up All Night” (feat. Drake)

4. “WooHoo” (feat. Christina Aguilera)

5. “I’m the Best”

6. “Blazin” (feat. Kayne West)

(Or just download every Nicki track you can get your little hands on because the woman doesn’t record average songs).

On a different note, earlier this week we made these Nutmeg Sparklers:

Festive little cookies (just to be clear there is wax paper under the cookies, we don't cool them directly on the counter tops, I promise).

We found our recipie in Penzeys Spices' magazine!

To change the subject again Figgy has been two parts naughty and one part nice lately.  Hopefully as she grows up she’ll become less of a furry little troublemaker.

Unrolling a roll of toilet paper. This is naughty.

Taking a nap in my bed. This is nice.

Well, I can’t think of any other news to report so here’s some Nicki for your weekends…“I’m the best now, anybody with some money should invest now.”

Go listen to Nicki and I'm going to go buy some bold pink lipstick, alright?