Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle, gentle autumn rain

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
When you awake in the morning hush
I am the sweet uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft, soft starlight, starlight at night
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep"

Whenever I see snow, I hear this poem in my head. It snowed last winter too, never could have imagined that it would happen again in Texas. It was beautiful to see it fall.

My Grandma "S" used to carry that poem in her wallet. She would think of my Grandpa when she read it. He was taken away from her too soon. After she died I used to look at it a lot too. Since then, every time I see snow, I think of her. I think of all my grandparents.

I mentioned in a earlier post that when my mom was here, Gabe sang a song at one of his concerts- this poem set to music. It was a surprise for my Mom and I. It was incredibly moving and emotional. It seemed unreal to be reading this text, and hearing it come from his mouth so beautifully. My heart felt full. As I watched him, I felt a confirmation that he was my true companion. I knew it, I've always known it. But the Lord likes to remind me from time to time.

Love you all. Merry Christmas!



I have been very patient. The wait is over today. I might scream at any given moment.


Mom and Linda Visit

This weekend Mom and Linda stopped in Houston a few days while on their own Amazing Race. We stayed busy and had so much fun! First stop was the galleria for shopping and dinner with Gabe that night. Friday we went to the Kemah boardwalk. We rode rides, ate funnel cake and had some seafood. The weather was perfect and it was just nice to sit back and take in the scenery. The roller coaster was crazy scary. I screamed like a baby and Mom and I both had our eyes closed the entire time! Gabe sang in a beautiful concert that night with a requiem that had only been sung in the U.S. once. It was in recognition of all the soldiers who lost their lives in WWI. He sang a solo that featured the words to a favorite poem of my grandmother's that she used to keep in her purse everyday. It was special to have mom there for that. The next day we did some golfing, ate at a couple of our favorite restaurants Barnaby's and Shade, and had Swirl for the second time and went to the museum. The butterfly conservatory was unbelievable. The room was beautiful with a huge waterfall and of course, butterflies everywhere. They were flying all around us. So amazing. Thanks for coming to visit!


My favorite blog

I should be getting ready to go out to dinner with friends, but first I had to stop and read this post. I'm so happy I did. If you do not read her blog, I assure you this post will surely help you to understand why so many people I know love her and read her blog everyday. She is so inspirational. By the way, she has the same nickname as me, just spelled differently. (I love her even more because of that.)


Love to you all,


October Festivities

"Double, Double, toil and trouble,
Something wicked this way comes..."
Happy Halloween everyone! Here are come pictures we've taken the last few weeks. Just below are pictures from Halloween yesterday. We went with a Harry Potter theme. Professor Trewlany and Mad Eye Moody. The pics were taken on my cell so the quality isn't great. But we had fun, that is until we went to a haunted house and actually payed money to scream so loud my throat ached. It was great to be with our friends, but next year, I might stay in the car.

Professor Trewlany
Mad Eye Moody

At the zoo, Halloween Day

Gabe recently finished Il Viaggio a Reims, his first opera this season at U of H. It was hysterical and he did a great job. Gabe's mom flew here to spend the weekend with us and to see the show. Thanks for coming, we had so much fun!
A very proud wife :)

Amanda and Gabe after show

Gabe and Jack backstage

Then, a pumpkin was carved. We roasted pumpkin seeds and drank strawberry smoothies. The pumpkin turned out great. A few days later we particiapted in Trunk or Treat and church. We brought the pumkin and Gabe dressed up as a doctor with a bloody knife and we had bones around the ground. He kept asking the kids if they wanted an incision. Thankfully, most of them laughed. It worked though because we won "Spookiest Trunk." We got a trophy and everything. It has a pumpkin on top. Way to go team!

"ooh, this is fun"

"Here, Mom, you do some."

And he was called "Seigfreid"

Fun Day


On the Radio!!

A local classical music station KUHF did a promo for the Moores Opera Center's production of Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims featuring Gabe as a soloist singing an aria from the opera which opens this weekend. His aria begins at 6:20 on the clip and there's a lengthy explanation that comes before. The gist is Gabe's character along with several other international VIPs is going on a trip to Reims, Paris. He takes inventory of each character's belongings singing with a different accent for each character. The order is first Don Profondo-that's Gabe's character, then lo Spagnolo or the Spanish guy, la Polacca or the Polish lady, la Francese or French lady, il Tedesco or German guy, l'Inglese or English guy, il Francese or French guy, and il Russo or Russian guy. See if you can keep track of who's who. Good luck!

To listen follow the link below and scroll down to where it says Moores Opera Center and click on listen or download.



Sewing again

Babies, babies and more babies. It seems that we know a lot of pregnant ladies. Most of them expecting boys, by the way. I love making the burp cloths (first attempt here). They are so simple and are so cute. But, I wanted to try something new. I got the idea from Etsy. Just take a simple shirt or onesie and embelish with an applique. It was an easy thought, but did take some experimentation.

First I added Heat 'n Bond to the wrong side of the fabric and cut out any shape, in this case I used a tie. Then, just iron on the tie to the onesie and sew around the edges. I thought I would have to do that by hand at first, but I was able to do it with the machine with some trickery.

Finished product

Cute, right?

If they weren't all over Etsy, I would think of selling them. By the way, I am obsessed with Etsy now. If you are not familiar with it I suggest you browse sometime. It provides a way for people to sell handmade or vintage items online if they don't have the time or money to sell them in a store. Brilliant.


One year down, one to go

Gabe has officially started his last year of graduate school. Busy is his middle name. Just as he likes it. A new semester brought auditions for this upcoming opera season. The news is reeeeal good. Two of the shows we are most excited about. "Why?" do you ask? In the opera Don Giovanni, Gabe was cast as...Don Giovanni. The second, Elmer Gantry, he was cast as...Elmer Gantry. Two title roles. Hello. This upcoming show called Il Viaggio a Reims he is playing a role called Don Profondo, a basso buffo role or comedic role. The show will be at the end of October. We will be sure to provide you with any updates about the upcoming shows. Gabe's also singing a gig with Opera Louisiane in October and with the Bach Choir in Houston. In November, he's singing Vaughan William's Mystical Songs with UH Chamber Choir and an art song recital at church. Like I said, busy!! As for me...I talk to people a lot about urine. :) Love to you all.


The Grove

On Saturday night Gabe and I went to a restaurant downtown called The Grove to support Houston restaurant week. For two weeks every summer 84 restaurants in town make a specific menu with 3-5 courses. You pay a flat fee per person and choose from several different menu options. Then part of the proceeds go the The Houston Food Bank. The restaurant looks over Discovery Green, an artsy park downtown. It was a great date night. We highly recommend the restaurant! For starters Gabe ordered a cheese and meat sampler and I had ceviche with plaintain chips. Main course for Gabe was a lamb t-bone with veggies and I had pasta with scallops, then for dessert a flourless chocolate torte and frozen key lime mousse with cherry compote. Pretty fancy for us, and delicious!


Amish Friendship Bread and Saturday Lunches

My friend Julia gave me a zip-lock bag last Sunday with a gooey mixture inside. She told me it was a starter for Amish friendship bread and that I needed to follow the instructions and in a few days I would make bread. Wow, I thought. I have never made bread before. Gabe's mom makes amazing wheat bread during the holidays every year and Gabe used to eat homemade bread a lot as a kid. I was perfectly fine with Nature's Made honey wheat. (Still am) When we first got married we had some spoiled milk in the fridge and Gabe very sweetly said "Oh honey, save it. You can make some bread with that." To which I said (very sweetly), "Gabe I'm not sure about you...but I do not make bread." Three and a half years later, I made bread with the help of my friend Julia. And guess what...it was very good, and Gabe loved it. (insert smile of satisfaction)

Since Gabe's return home we have been making the most of our weekends. Typically during the school year he is always busy with rehearsals and I find myself at the mall most Saturdays. Lately we have been waking up and going to the gym together. I have introduced Gabe to pilates. Yes, I have. He liked that too. He did moan a few times, just like the rest of us but I think he walked away finding a new appreciation for how difficult it really is. Gotta love free family days at the gym. Then, off to lunch to load up on calories again. Below is a priceless pic of Gabe sinking into a pastrami sandwhich at his new favorite place. Kenny and Ziggy's.

It was huge.
He ate it all, then some of mine.
Love him.


Hello Again

Back to blogging. Wow, it's been over a month. A lot has been going on in our little world. Gabe got back home from Des Moines three weeks ago. Having him back has felt like taking a much needed deep breath. Welcome home honey. We've been taking walks, going to eat at our favorite places, and just spending lazy time on the couch. He starts his last year of graduate school in a few weeks. We've have been in Houston for one year now. Crazy! Let's hope for calm weather and no hurricanes. :)

Gabe started a new hobby after coming home. Here's to serenades...

Thanks for everyone's prayers for Linda and Mom. They are both doing well and staying strong and positive. If you haven't read their blog recently, the cancer has reduced greatly and they are hearing hopeful things. We are grateful for all these blessings and see God's hand in every answered prayer. Thank You.


Four years

Dear Elder,

You came home four years ago today. You were happy and smiling and exduded the Spirit. You were someone I remembered, yet someone brand new. We welcomed you home with tears and love. Welcome home Elder.

The day you left, was a day quite different. I was scared, unsure of the journey ahead, and sad to say goodbye to my best friend. What would it be like to not talk to you everyday or see your smiling face...or hear you sing.

You quickly fell in love with Brazil and with the Gospel you taught. You learned so much everyday and stayed busy. I loved receiving your letters. The mailbox was my new favorite place. I loved opening the letters, just like a present. Filled with prayers, inspirations and "I love yous."

I threw myself into school, trying to move forward and yet had to stay in a place filled with memories of you. I felt you close to me everyday. I learned how to take care of people while you learned how to change a life. I had amazing friends that made me laugh everyday and your letters brought me peace.

I learned many lessons while you were gone. One being, two years goes by very fast in the grand scheme of things. The day came closer and closer and the nerves started again. What would I say? Would I still love you the same? I did not sleep the night before you came home.

Then...there you were. Someone I'd loved so long, even with an ocean between us. Thank you for coming home and loving me even more. My heart grew for you. Thank you for making me your wife six months later. I could not imagine being happier. The most amazing place in the world is anywhere when you're next to me.

And one more thing Elder...thank you for leaving.

Neither of us would be the people we are today without the time apart. I could never have imagined you becoming even more wondeful, loving, respectful and caring. You became the person I was meant to marry. Thank you my husband for everything.

Love you forever.



Our bedding. I made the duvet cover out of two queen flat sheets. At first I was kind of bored with it, but the pillows help bring the look together. It was all inspired by the beautiful shams and the neck pillow that I got for a steal at Pottery Barn. Then to add something extra I made the Euro Pillows (I think that's what they're called) after seeing some pictures on the Pottery Barn website that had amazing huge pillows in the background. I just copied the dimensions and then found the fabric by designer Joel Dewberry. Fun right?

Then, because I am obsessive about the garden, some more pics. Keep growing beauties...

First red tomato. It was amazing!

My very own hidden Mickey

Great Recipe

Indian Cauliflower Curry Stew

First off, I'd like to start by mentioning this is my first ever "recipe" post. There are many reasons why...

1. I admittedly am not a great cook. I'm more of the "you cook, I'll clean" kind of wife. My poor husband.

2. I rarely come across really great vegetarian recipes that Gabe would also love. So take my advise, it's worth a try and healthy too.

3. I don't really understand how women that are married or have children actually take pictures of their finished dinners. I could not get away with that. Especially since my cooking is such a rarity. Gabe gets very excited. Hence the fact that I used an image I got from the Good Housekeeping mag that I got the recipe from. Hope you enjoy!


1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup(s) brown rice
1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon(s) curry powder
2 1/2 cup(s) vegetable broth
1 medium (2-pound) head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 can(s) (15 to 19 ounces each) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup(s) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup(s) plain low-fat yogurt plus additional for serving

1.In a large pot, heat oil on medium-high until hot. Add carrots and onion, and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring frequently.

2. Meanwhile, prepare rice as label directs; keep warm.

3. Stir ginger, curry, and 3/4 teaspoon salt into carrot mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth; cover and heat to boiling on high. Stir in cauliflower and garbanzo beans; cover and cook on medium 15 to 20 minutes longer, gently stirring every 5 minutes until cauliflower is tender.

4.To serve, stir chopped cilantro and 1/4 cup yogurt into cauliflower stew. Spoon rice into serving bowls; top with stew. Serve cauliflower stew with additional yogurt to dollop on top if you like. Makes about 8 cups. (or 3.5 Gabe servings)


Garden Delights

Our garden is finally giving us some rewards. Beautiful yellow pear tomoatoes are ready for picking, and the green peppers are almost there. The creole tomatoes which are larger have not turned red yet, but they are getting bigger and new ones seem to be forming everyday. I'm impressed with this little container garden.

Cluster of yellow pear tomatoes
Creole tomato




The Mother of all parties!!!

For Mother's Day weekend I made a very quick trip to Orlando for a very fun party my Mom and Linda threw. Here are some pics from the fun weekend!!!!