Mary Jacqueline


A place for family updates and random musings... Keeping loved ones informed and providing useless but sometimes entertaining reading to others.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Catching up on Christmas & Spring, with pictures of just about everything!

As of today, I have been working at the following job for 1 year, 9 months, and 15 days, with approximately 18 years left to go (25 if I'm being realistic).


Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment.

Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.

Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.

Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.

Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.  Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.  Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.  Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.  Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery-operated devices.

Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.

Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.


None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually-exhausting basis.


None.  On the contrary, you will pay those in your care, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18, on the assumption that college will help them become financially independent (which is not guaranteed, and is in fact, highly unlikely).

When you die, you give them whatever is left.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and, if you play your cards right, you will find it one of the most personally rewarding jobs you have ever done.

Modified from

In light of my current job detail, please excuse the rather long delays in between blog posts these days!  If I am blogging, it is likely that meanwhile, there is a sink (and counter top) full of dishes, a few loads of laundry waiting to be done, and I need a shower badly.

So, on that note, let's work backwards here.  I'll start my catch-up post with a slideshow from our first warm Saturday in Houston this Spring, spent at a birthday party for a little friend who turned three.  Samara played on a backyard swing set, pretended to be a bunny (a la the Max and Ruby birthday party theme), and then took a stroll down to the park and thoroughly enjoyed the many slides on the playground while the rest of us soaked in the amazing weather.

Now let's try to think back to Christmas of 2010.  I know, I know, almost two months ago...  Sorry about that.  At any rate, we spent Christmas in Florida, at which point I got my brand spankin' new Canon T1i DSLR camera from Garrett.  I started practicing my photography skills and am still FAR from the quality level I would like to reach, but I know if I take about 800 million pictures, I will probably get at least 5 I can work with.  That's not bad, is it???

These are the pictures from Christmas in Florida up to Valentine's Day, which Samara celebrated with her little preschool class.  She had a great time stuffing the little mailboxes we got for each of her classmates with a little toy, a piece of candy, and a Valentine card.  She also discovered a new love for suckers, thanks to another classmate's Valentine gift.

It's been a wonderful start to 2011, and the activities and excitement continue every day.  Hope your year is going as great as ours thus far!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Merry Christmas!


See you after the holidays!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Falling for Fall

Our friend, Jessi, a budding photography hobbyist, took a fall photoshoot of just the kids and me down in the Heights one afternoon this week.  After a scrumptious brownie, a latte for me, and an iced chai for Jessi at Waldo's Coffee House, we walked down Heights Blvd. toward Donovan Park to take pictures as planned.  Unfortunately, however, the park was closed (said to reopen on December 4th).  

Instead, we found a pretty street lined with beautiful Victorian houses and colorful flowers, and decided to take the pictures there.  I think they turned out just perfect.  Samara had a grand time throwing leaves into the air (and later, pea gravel and dirt...), inspecting dried berries and twigs, watching some friendly dogs play in one of the yards (and taunting them with screeches), and just getting into mischief as usual.

Mitchell found Samara's antics fairly entertaining, but also enjoyed a game of flying under a pretty tree.  It was a lovely afternoon!  Here are the pictures:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Houston Halloween

I do realize it's already December and I haven't posted Thanksgiving pictures either, but cut me some slack.  I barely have time to take a shower these days!  Here is a compilation of our Halloween festivities this year.  We've been busy, busy, and attending some sort of activity almost every day of the week!  My brain can barely keep up, but we're having a great time!

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