A Weekend in Atlanta

On Friday we flew from Houston to Atlanta for our cousin Stan’s wedding. He’s from Chicago, and his wife Lisa is from Atlanta. This was the kids’ first plane ride since their India trip two years ago. They really soaked up the adventure of it all!

Sajan was supposed to catch a flight to Tampa to spend time with Jolly’s family after her dad’s funeral, but our flight landed late and took some time to get to the gate, so he didn’t make his next flight.

Our excruciatingly terrible car rental place did not have cars available, though we had booked a month in advance. So Sajan had to search around to finally find a place with a car available. The price difference was painful.

Finally, to hop in a car and head to our destination felt so good. We decided to get a taste of some Georgia ribs before meeting up family.

I had had the chance to try Cue Barbecue last year on an Atlanta trip, so we tried out a different Cue’s location this time. It was delicious!

We checked into our hotel, the Hilton Atlanta Northeast, then met up family at the rehearsal dinner. It’s always nice to have an occasion to see my out-of-town cousins and their kiddos!

The next day, the wedding and reception were beautiful. There were surprise songs and heartfelt speeches. It was kinda cool having the ease of going upstairs to our room afterward.

We decided to go to the Georgia Aquarium that afternoon with my mom, brother, and Houston aunts and uncles.

Continue reading

Advertisements

37 Years of Sajan-ness

Today is Sajan’s 37th birthday. 3 and 7 were Will Smith’s lucky numbers on episode 16 of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, so we’ll call this a lucky birthday.

I think we’ve known each other 19 years now! In honor of his birthday, here are 37 photos of Sajan being Sajan.

1. I think this is one of the oldest photos I have of him, circa 2004.

2. Sajan with his creative partner Josh.

3. Mexico mission trip 2005.

4. Morning meditations in Mexico.

5. Rapper Sajan Continue reading

Weekend Getaway in Austin – Day 3

At 8 a.m. the sun was brightly shining, but we couldn’t tell because our hotel blackout curtains were shut. We peeled our eyes open, got up, and drove to Rainey Street.

It was almost impossible to find parking, but we eventually did. We walked a ways over to Bangers, a hot brunch spot. The line was out the door. There was a full marching band playing in the patio. We decided to try somewhere else.

Luckily, we got to see and have a quick chat with Matt and Liz on their first morning as a married duo.

We didn’t get to have brunch together as planned, but no big deal.

Sajan and I ended up at L’estelle, a tiny French cafe with only patio seating. Later, we saw Wes, Kasey, Blesson, and Jolly zooming down the street on electric scooters. They parked and joined us. Arianna and Julio stopped in to say hello. Then Stan joined us.

Continue reading

Liz & Matt’s Fantastical Wedding #MattGoesMalu

It was 1:30ish when we arrived at Smith Family Chapel. Liz’s parents were beaming and beautiful in anticipation of the nuptials. Everyone grabbed a little pod of communion wafer and juice.

We sat in a pew and saw familiar faces filter in. I snapped a few quick shots on my phone but put it away to leave the work to the professionals!

I loved how there were a mix of bridesmaids and brides men. Liz looked absolutely stunning as she cascaded down the aisle. I think the whole wedding was a big cry and laugh fest.

Jessica, Sherene, and another talented lady gave everyone goosebumps as they sang. The harmony on the Malayalam songs had jaws dropping and tears forming.

The couple exchanged vows. Soon it was done, and every moment was spectacular.

We left asap to get to the reception and prep for MCing. Brodie Homestead was decked out inside. It was an intimate venue. Continue reading

Weekend Getaway in Austin – Day 2

On Saturday, we woke up, had some coffee and tea, and headed to Counter Cafe. We literally sat at a counter at a cafe. I wonder how the chefs felt with us sitting right behind them gazing and ooohing and aahing as they did their thing.

I had poached eggs on cheesy grits and collard greens. Sajan had a honey butter biscuit with cheesy grits. We were over-the-top satisfied with the food! We split a pancake on the side.

After breakfast, we waddled to the car and headed to Zilker Park to burn some calories. We ended up at the botanical gardens. I loved this place. They had a cacti and succulent garden. Continue reading

Weekend Getaway in Austin – Day 1

I’ve been to Austin plenty of times, but this past weekend’s trip had the feeling like we’d picked up and flown to California or Europe. It had such a destination feel to it. My love for the city got deeper — I think I could live there!

We headed to Austin for Liz and Matt’s wedding festivities. This post breaks down how we spent our Friday.

A funny thing. Every time we drive to Austin, we see this cloud factory puffing away. Who knew that’s where clouds come from???

IMG_4471

Magnolia Cafe South

With a few hours before check-in time at the Holiday Inn Express – Sunset Valley, we searched Yelp and Google Maps for a brunch spot.

img_4564

At noon, we pulled into Magnolia Cafe South. We were nervous about parking, but they had a decent size lot across the street with open spots.

We wrote our names on the check-in sheet. I picked up a copy of the Austin Chronicle to read during the wait. It wasn’t more than 5 or 10 minutes til we were seated. The place is bigger than it looks. We were seated outside. I enjoyed the feel of the place, the plants scattered around.

IMG_4488Sajan had the T-Rex omelette with shredded smoked turkey, cheese, avocado, and pico de gallo. I chowed down on the Eggs Zapatino smothered in what is noted on the menu as “legendary queso.”

We each indulged in a side of a hotcake/pancake. Mine was buttermilk, his was gingerbread. He found it a little too gingerbready. Mine was just right. On each pancake was a little golden wrapped rectangle of butter, which when opened, melted all over the pancake. Continue reading

A Decade of Married Memories

IMG_2155

Ages 36 and 34 – 10 years in

The idea of marriage had never entered my ambitions or dreams as a child or even as a young adult. Then, when I was 23 and he was 25, Sajan and I became an item. Here’s how we told our friends. This happened to be at a basketball tournament, where we went up to random friends one at a time.

“Hey guess what. We’re dating!”

The response: “Yea! You two together was my idea in the first place! You can thank me later!” (Said almost everyone!)

Then we threw in what could have been a grenade or icing on the cake: “Oh and something else. We’re getting married!”

The response: Gaping mouths, a mixture of shock and joy.

Here we are 10 years later.

I wanted to add a little something to this recap of the first five years.

After year five, we were raising two little Abrahams.

IMG2187

We have the pleasure of living close to our parents and siblings.

IMG_4580.JPGpb-6

We’ve ziplined and paddle boated in Puerto Rico.

IMG_1382

We made trips to Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, and Oklahoma City to see family and friends. We took a couples vacation weekend in Cancun.

We even made a last minute trip to San Francisco for Kristen & Eric’s wedding of the century!

That same weekend, 15-month-old Ezra was diagnosed with a rare disease, Kawasaki’s Disease, which affected his heart. But he was treated by the best and recovered quickly. His treatment was made of blood donations, so his story is now used to encourage people to donate blood.

In 2016, the kids and I did a trip to India with my mom. It was different being away from Sajan for two weeks! But thanks to the miracle of phones and video chat, we stayed in close contact.

In 2017, Sajan and I did a Europe getaway for Sarah and Kash’s wedding.

We’ve had anniversary dinners at Michelangelo’s, North Italia, and Eddie V’s. It’s getting to the point where it’s hard to remember without the help of Google Photos, Shutterfly, and Sajan’s blog!

Surely I’m forgetting some important moments, but this is a taste.

I think the last five years has been about learning to parent and getting systems down to run our lives! While still finding time to figure out how to be ourselves, be with people, and have purpose without life flying by.