Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Brag Box!

My wonderful, talented, adorable (MA) husband is getting ready to take the step from serious amateur to professional photographer.  I just wanted to share so of my favorite images he's taken this year, because I am so proud of him!  Here are a few of the photos I chose to make a calendar from this year.  All pictures are copyright S.M. Husain.

Old Red Courthouse, Dallas, TX

White Rock Lake, Dallas Texas

Missions National Park, San Antonio, Texas

Glacier National Park, Montana

Shah Jehan Masjid, Thatta, Sindh, Pakistan

Creative Arts Center, Dallas, Texas

Glacial Lagoon, Vatnajokull Glacier, Iceland

Cedar Hill State Park, Dallas, Texas

Prismatic Pools, Yellowstone National Park

Thanks for putting up with my bragging.  I love his pictures and I hope you do too!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hello, hello, is this thing still on?

I know, I am the worst blogger in the world, and despite it all there are some of you who are still out there who occasionally drop by to see if I'm still here.  If I can make any exscuse, its that I've been really busy in the last year.  My in-laws moved in with us in July being the main thing that has changed, along with getting busier with work and a very active almost three year old!  I still want to catch up with chronicling what has happened in my life since I started this blog in 2006, but I will post some new stuff too as we go along.

Watched the Oscars last night, realized that I am fully in the throes of mommy-hood.  The only movie I had seen out of all ten nominated  for best picture was Toy Story 3!  The only ones I had seen nominated in any other category were kids' movies too!  How to Train Your Dragon and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows (well, that one I definitely did not watch with my two year old, but I'm a huge Harry Potter fan and insist on seeing all the movies as soon as they come out!).  The only way we got to watch Harry Potter was by going to the drive in and giving Little D a movie to watch on the iPad while we watched HP on the big screen. 

Big thing at our house right now is the ICC world cup (one-day Cricket world cup for those of you not following!)  I have learned a bit about cricket and the rules, etc.  I actually learned most of what I know from watching Lagaan with M and him explaining the rules to me.  I'll never love cricket like I do soccer or American football, but it beats out baseball and basketball for me now on the list of sports I will watch on TV.  (And creams golf, man, golf is so boring). 

So I'll leave you with this image of my favorite Pakistani cricket player:

  Picture credit

Go Pakistan!

Also, I am taking the word verification off my blog because it has been brought to my attention that some of you can't post comments with it on.  So I hope you all can comment now!  I love to get your comments.   

Friday, April 16, 2010

Velvet Cloaks in May in Atlanta Do Not Make You Look Nice In Graduation Photos

You know, I just haven't felt like blogging much lately.  It's been so hectic since getting back from my trip, then the boys coming home and trying to catch up with work.  Plus, the weather has been so amazing that whenever I am not at work, I try to be outside as much as possible.  I have really gotten into gardening lately, and want to really make our backyard a cozy welcoming place for our family.  I feel like we're getting there slowly, after having somewhat neglected the yard for the past two years, as we have been working on the inside of our house. 

So, this post is basically going to cover the time period from when I got back from Karachi in 2006, until my graduation from law school in May of 2007.  Having already received and accepted a job offer at the firm where I currently work, my third year of law school was basically sitting in a holding pattern, making it through my classes with semi-decent grades and preparing to move to Texas to take the bar and start work.  Also, by that time we had set the date for our U.S. wedding for August of 2007, so I was starting to work on preparations and plans for ANOTHER wedding! 

My last year of law school was great solely for the reason that I was a research assistant for one of my favorite professors, Professor Abdullahi An'naim.  He is a professor of Islamic law at my law school, and I worked with him, helping to edit his latest book on Shar'iah.  His classes and my interactions with him really have shaped my own faith and interaction with the world as a Muslim.  As a lawyer and a Muslim, I really agree with the principles he sets for for governance of predominantly Muslim countries.  He is an amazing mind and an inspirational person, and I would highly recommend checking his stuff out if you have any interest in progressive Islamic government and Shar'iah.

In May of 2007, my parents came out to Atlanta, and attended my graduation, along with my sister and some of M's relatives who were living nearby.  My sister was graduating from nursing school at the same time, so it was convenient for them to come back East for both graduations at once.  As I was hooded, I really felt like I was getting ready to move on to the next stage of my life.  And I was, we had just a few days to pack up all our stuff, finish negotiating the purchase of our first house, and get to Texas.

In which I embark on the next major stage of my life in a floppy purple velvet hat with a gold tassel.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's Wrong With Your Hands?

I'm in the end stages of the henna on the palms of my hands fading.  The tops of my hands and wrists have already scrubbed off.  The bottom of my hands looks like either (a) I've developed some kind of rare skin disease, or (b) I didn't wipe my hands very well after eating a basket of buffalo wings.  I love wearing henna, but the end stages are not very pretty!  I thought it would probably fade before I got back, or at least not be very noticeable, yet here it is.  So far, I have had quite a few people at work ask me what is wrong with my hands, although some people (surprising number actually), have recognized it for what it is.  I wonder about the people who haven't said anything at all.  Do they just not notice, or do they really think there is something wrong with me, and are to polite to say anything?

Monday, March 08, 2010

I'm Back

I'm back from my month long blog hiatus.  I was traveling, to Pakistan to be specific!  I don't announce trips publicly prior to leaving because of security reasons (even though this blog is semi-anonymous, I don't want to take any chances).  We went to Karachi for two weeks for my sister in law's wedding, which was a tons-of-fun, full blown Pakistani Shaadi in all its glory.  I plan to blog it all on here once I recover.  I didn't get home until last night around midnight, and I am totally exhausted now, but forcing myself to stay awake through the jet lag to get over it more quickly.  I promise to resume my regular blogging schedule now that I am back, which means more track back over the past couple of years.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Apples Cause National Security Alerts

We left Karachi at the end of August, just a few days before my third year of law school was scheduled to start.  We had three days to fly from Karachi to Dallas, then get in a car and drive 12 hours back to Atlanta.  We were young, we could rough it, we thought.  What we didn't expect was that I would get massively, disgustingly sick on the way home.  Yep, I spent seven weeks in South Asia without so much as a gurgle, but when I got to the airport in Karachi, I started to get the hint that I might not be having a nice flight home.  The worst thing about it was that we got perks all the way home that I wasn't able to enjoy.  We got upgraded to first class for the flight from Karachi to Muscat, but I was feeling so sick, I couldn't even take a bite of my gourmet first-class meal.  Then, when we got to Muscat, we had a nine hour layover, so Gulf Airways put us up in a hotel.  We were standing in line to get our room in the hotel lobby, there were a lot of people in front of us since it appeared our whole flight was transiting.  As we waited, I was feeling worse and worse.  Unexpectedly, a hotel worker whisked us out of the line, and took us up to the penthouse suite of the hotel.  (I have suspicions that we were not "randomly" selected for the royal treatment, that maybe it is some special "blue passport" treatment that we got because of me, but who knows...)  Any way, the suite was gorgeous, with a giant balcony overlooking downtown Muscat, with (according to M) wonderful views.  I don't know about the view, because I spent the entire nine hours either lying on the floor of the (very nice) bathroom, or lying in the bed.  I have never been that viscerally sick in my life (I will spare you the disgusting details).  I was still really sick when we left to get on our next flight (although at least I wasn't puking anymore).  Before we left the hotel in Muscat, I slipped a few apples in M's carry-on bag, since they were the only thing I thought I might be able to eat. 

A view of what I missed in Muscat.  Maybe one day we will get to go back.

We transitted through Germany, and finally got to Dallas.  As we were going through customs, M, of course, had to be specially screened, or whatever they call it when you have to go into a little room to the side and get questioned extra because you come from the "wrong" country.  Anyway, I waited for him the waiting room while he was taken back to a private room.  I always get kind of anxious waiting for him to come out (key reason why I refuse to watch the movie "Extraordinary Rendition").  Finally he came out, looking quite a bit perturbed (with me--anyone who has been married for a while can tell when their husband is not too happy without a word having to be said).  Turns out that the immigration officer had asked him whether he was carrying any food on him, and he said no, not knowing that I had stashed some apples in his bag.  Then the officer searched his bag, found the apples, and berated him for "lying."  Then he took out our customs form and wrote APPLES on it in big red letters with a permanent marker and told M it would be a $500 fine for illegally bringing fruit into the country.  M was so mad at me!

When we got to the customs inspector, he looked at our form, and said "I see here you have some apples, how much do you have?" obviously holding back a smirk.  "Three." I said.  "Three apples?" he said incredulously.  "Well, it seems like you all have had a long enough day already, so why don't you just give me the apples, and you can go on your way."  I gratefully gave him the apples, and we finally made it out of the airport and met my dad, who was wondering why it was over two hours since our flight had gotten in, and he still hadn't seen us.  A few days later, after recuperating at my parents' house, we made the drive to Atlanta, and it was the only time in my life I ever missed the first day of school.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Treasures from Karachi

One of my favorite things about visiting Karachi is the shopping.  I love the atmosphere, the variety, and of course, the prices!  The first time I visited Karachi, since I was there for six weeks, I had a broad variety of shopping experiences, including Zainab Market, Tariq Road, Millennium Mall, Dolman Mall, Pak Towers, ZamZama, to name just a few.  One of my favorite things to buy is home goods, because I like the style of traditional Pakistani textiles, and the home goods are just so much more affordable in Pakistan compared to here.  The first time we went, we brought back a lot of rugs, wall hangings, etc.  Of course, I also like to go clothes shopping, and shoe shopping (ZamZama day was nothing but shoes, I think I bought 8-9 pairs in one go).  Zainab Market is great for souvenirs, especially pashmina shawls, I always go there to pick up some pashmina shawls as gifts for people back home (I have quite a nice collection of my own as well).

Here is some of the stuff from my first trip that we use at our house.  I love all this stuff.

Rug in the foyer of my house.  We bought this from a rug sale that was going on at a hotel that M heard about.  This is an Afghani rug. 

Wood carvings from Zainab market, the top says "Allah" and the bottom one says "Muhammad."

This smaller rug is in my downstairs hallway.  We received this rug as a wedding present

Wall hanging in our family room.  This is also from Zainab market

We use these large pillows as floor pillows in our bedroom.  We also got these covers as wedding presents. 

This rug is in our bedroom sitting area, we also got it  from the same rug sale.  This is a handmade silk rug.  The ja namaz (prayer rugs) are from Pakistan too.  M brought back the small one for Little D last time we went to Karachi.  

Last year we went to Karachi again, and, although I didn't go out as much, we did manage to pack our bags full of treasures once more.  This time, we decided to get curtains made for our house.  Having custom made curtains done in the States costs thousands of dollars, and takes weeks.  But in Karachi, you can have them custom made in just a few days, and for only a couple of hundred dollars.  The curtain man came to our house and brought tons of samples.  I looked through all the books and chose the patterns I liked.  Then M went back with him to the store and told him how he wanted them finished out, and they were done and back to us by the next day.  

Dining room curtains

Living room curtains

Bedroom Curtains
Last time, I left early because I had to get back to work, and M and Little D stayed a week longer.  M went shopping some more and brought back some pottery, and other knick knacks as well. 

Sindhi style pottery that I display in my kitchen. 

Decorative animals.  Little D is always very sad that he can't play with the "booo" (elephant).

A decorated toy truck for Little D's room.  This is what big trucks in Pakistan actually look like.  I have a miniature rickshaw too, that I keep in my office.  On the back of it, it says "Look at me, but with love" in Urdu.

A sampling of my pashmina collection.  These are just the first few I happened to pull off my shelf.