Monday, November 30, 2009

bootleg christmas

uh, how hard is it to put christmas lights up?
well, i have learned the hard way this may be a difficult job. our house looks pretty "bootleg" of emma's descriptive words for the lights that are crooked and half hanging off, and of course the strand which only half of it works. and to make matters worse, the guys who put them up, have failed to show up, after many promises to come. so, we are officially the ones with the "bootleg" lights, and this year i was so prepared, had them up BEFORE thanksgiving was even here. all we need now is an old rocking chair on the porch and some beer cans strewn on the lawn...and maybe they should just stay up all year round. yeah, that sounds good.

 so, if you see some old lady on my roof.
that would be me.
call 911 if i go over the edge, please.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

miss them already

just as i am getting used to the organized chaos, the positive energy, unbridled laughter and mess these two bring...they leave. another trip to the long beach airport at 6am. my life as an emotional roller coaster is alive and well. i will be lost for a day or so. i will hopefully snap out of it by tomorrow and get back on track. however, today i will just sulk, make their beds and pick up after them.
one of the perks of being a mother.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

real men eat quiche

round two.
butternut squash soup and vegetable and sausage and cream cheese quiche.
this has gotta stop.

Friday, November 27, 2009

turkey al fresco

dined outside this year. the weather was unbelievable. everything was perfect...especially being able to come to the table in boxers. poor eden, her pain level set the dress code...pajamas ruled the table. one of the benefits of not having relatives close "come as you are" a whole new meaning.
the favorite was the sweet potato casserole who's recipe was retrieved from facebook via an old high school friend from manhattan beach...and the rolls were glorious little perfect puffs...perfectly timed to come out of the oven as we were sitting down. my personal favorite...the brussel sprouts with cheese sauce. however, aenon and i were the only ones who would eat those little beauties.

ok, now i can turn on the christmas lights.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

top ten grateful list

1. heated seats in my car
2. flannel sheets
3. sourdough toast in the morning
4. sunny, southern california skies
5. parents who are still around
6. sugar scrub in the shower
7. children with good grades
8. long beach airport
9. body still working fairly well
10. all kids under one roof

and a happy thanksgiving to all.
hope your day is full of good food and good times.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

bake fest

the baking festivities are starting. we are trying to set a record for preparing and consuming the largest amount of highly caloric food possible. so far, we are winning. let's see...last night was pumpkin and apple pie and marble swirl cheesecake baking time. nicole came over to take part in the baking party, talk about london with emma and make her first apple pie. tomorrow will be even worse (or better, which ever way you want to look at it)...we are cooking this year. the st regis is overrated. although i will say leaving the clean up to someone else is bliss. good thing i have lots of dish
washers in the house...and i pick up aenon today.
so happy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

poor girl

wisdom teeth extraction time for eden today. her orthodontia was being jeopardized, so it was high time to make it happen. we drove to see dr marshall in temecula, because we can save about a 1000 bucks in the process. so poor eden is miserable now, sleeping the pain away, swollen face and all.
however, nothing better than vanilla pudding and a vicodin.

Monday, November 23, 2009

yearbook editor

so i casually volunteered to put together the boys water polo banquet program. just think mini (or not so mini) water polo yearbook complete with billions of photos and intricate stats. now i am worried about what boy has more photos, and what boy's parents might be upset with the placement of their particular photo (or lack of), and wrong stats and incorrect information about who helped who with what, etc etc. i am so glad it is finally coming to an end. have been working on it and pulling my hair out for WEEKS! one thing for sure, i know my little mac laptop so intimately now. has become my new forever friend, and who knew he (i think it is a "he") was so incredibly multi-talented.
so, today, thank you kinkos for taking this monster off my hands.
and to all the water polo parents who might find a mistake...
get over it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

feel good movie

im sort of not a big movie goer. usually dont see the latest movies and such. however, during the holidays, it is tradition, that we see every sappy, family show out there. i cant handle too much drama in the movies i see. not emotionally equipped to withstand the earth ending and people
running for their lives dying all around me.
just cant do it.

so we saw this one yesterday, and i was fortunate to sit next to my wiggly boy eating the grossest "treat" imaginable-cookie dough candy. yuk. anyway, despite this, i was pretty happy. i realize the reviews are not that great, probably because it has no special effects, no sex, no violence and not one bad word. i dont want to sound like a prude or anything, but i like that. i felt good when i emerged from the theatre. had a smile on my face. a good cry does wonders for the soul. if a movie, or a book for that matter makes us re-examine our lives for one split second, it is worth experiencing.
so, on that note. see this.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

emma is here

this is what emma does when she comes home.

Friday, November 20, 2009

small space smiles

i dont know about you, but i have a few spots around my yard and my home which are my little favorites. small areas which are perfect. tiny little spaces which make my eyes happy, my heart sing with good design love. granted the areas are few and far between, as i have many areas in my home which i my office which is filled with a stash of boxes, or my entry which is at this very moment, a sterile bare space, just waiting to be adorned and a few chairs and such which need reupholstering.
i have a feeling, however my new velvet drapes will become a little slice of visual heaven.
cant wait to get them hung.

so my little happy spot in my yard is the left entry gate to my backyard. when my friend april, lugged that huge wine barrel over, and we plunked it down amongst the roses and junipers and the rusting mckenzie childs wrought iron bell attached to the wall, we both just sighed with delight and smiled. it was perfect. the best gift anyone could have given me, and now my favorite little
eye feast when i pull into the driveway.
every time i look at that rustic old barrel, my heart sings.

who knew that old thing could cause so much joy?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

sight for sore eyes

look who i picked up at the long beach airport...
the troops are coming home.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

new scent

discovered a new favorite blossom.
get one.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

dirty dog

apparently you are supposed to bathe your dog on a regular basis. toby has NEVER had a bath. until yesterday. he got his first one in 5 years, and actually was a good boy for maria. and she said the water was really, really dirty, had to wash him twice. he actually looks blue now,
after all, he is a blue weimaraner...
and his coat just glistens.

how was i supposed to know?

Monday, November 16, 2009

they're calling my name

i think the homeless, destitude and needy call my name on a regular basis. when dane's school has it's "care and share" i make sure i take dane to target and he goes to school the next day with a big bag full of neccessities for the needy. today we will go to target to fill a shoebox for those who dont have much for the holidays...i think these kinds of activities have my name written all over them for some reason. i am a big sucker, for sure. however, i get a lot of personal satisfaction from doing these little acts of service. i wish i could do more. hopefully my kids remember all of this, and im not just spinning my wheels.

so when some dear friends started a charitable foundation, and a few years ago ventured to mississippi to help those who had lost everything in katrina, i was there. what a rewarding experience not only for me, but my two kids i had in tow. we worked very hard, and experienced first hand what true sacrifice is...what real need is. my most charitable friends donated more money and service than anyone can count...and i am positive the people who's lives they affected, thank them every day for their unmeasurable good works.
when you just get down to it, it feels good, and it's the right thing to do.
just like the time we visited a shelter in santa ana one winter with the young women and young men of our ward. we were led to a warehouse of a building where we helped lay out mats for them to come in and bed for the night, then helped serve a hot meal and distribute some used clothing. there they were lined up outside the building...hungry and cold. two things happened that night which changed me. one was the scene of a woman who may have been about my age, maybe a little younger, there with her about 6 year old son. she carefully spread out some tattered blankets, and brought out a book to read to him. she cradled him in her lap, and rubbed his little forehead, pretending for the both of them, that they were at home getting ready for bed, in a typical house in a typical little boys room. however, their bed for this night was a cavernous, drafty warehouse, with strangers looking on. a very pregnant woman in her 20's showed up too. my heart bled for her trying to get comfortable on that hard floor...and wondered what would happen to the child who would be born shortly. then, when a certain young men's leader was asked by a man in need if there were any shoes his size in the donated used clothing we had brought with us, he searched feverishly to not find a single pair in this man's size. this kind, Christian man, behind the pile of donated clothing, reached down and untied his own shoes and handed them over. he drove home in stocking feet.
now this affected me. this was real. this made me think....
about just how fortunate we all are. i swear i count my blessings daily, because it could all be gone in a flash.
and dane thanks his Heavenly Father at night for his "nice warm bed".
wholly appropriate, dont ya think?

so thats why when my fingers were drawn to send an email to the mercy house in santa ana (advocates for the homeless), i was compelled to offer to donate a bunch of christmas stockings for the homeless. at first i offered to donate 100...thinking that would not be a big deal. after much thinking and worrying about it all way too much, i had to call them back and reduce the number of stockings...i was basically in over my head...was having anxiety attacks and losing sleep over it all. i cant imagine my friends who helped with katrina, their anxiety when they had promised to build a house from the ground up to multiple families must have been overwhelming (well, i think they handled it better than me). its all relative, i guess.

so i am now engrossed in filling these stockings for these poor homeless people. my little contribution to the world. the mercy house puts them up in motels for the this little project of mine IS their christmas. so for 50 people, i AM their christmas...i guess if you put it that way, it is overwhelming.
so, i am asking for your help.
i am planning a pot luck get together at my home, where we will make the little crafty
"doo dah" (we gotta make it cute, you know) which we will attach to the stocking (actually a santa hat turned upside down and tied with a ribbon)...filled with all the "ingredients" for my little service project, the beautiful little somethings which are brought will go inside the cap. a fun little service project and a valid excuse to get together and
feel the real spirit of what Christmas is all about.
i will even make craig play some Christmas carols on the piano.

as of right now, this little service holiday shin dig is planned for
monday, december 7 at 5pm.
and yes, this qualifies as an official family home evening.
your admission ticket...bring your 50 special little "ingredients" and a tasty dish to share. email me with what you are bringing, or what you are thinking about bringing so we dont have any duplicates. some items i have thought about are, socks, gloves, hand warmers, card games, toiletries, snacks and candy etc etc...and you may even have something better to throw in there. i have already purchased toothbrushes and some little checkers games...

so all you blog readers out there, i am calling your name (i seriously have no idea who even reads this...maybe i am talking to the wall). and we will have fun doing it together.
this is what Christmas is all about.

and thanks from the bottom of my anxiety ridden heart.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

lots of boys in my house

i was able to pull off a surprise birthday get together for hunter. about 30 kids showed up and only 2 of them were girls (brittany and eden dont count)...cute ones i might add. really i did this so i had an excuse to order 2 of ballparks giant pizzas...and pretty much all of it is gone (why do i love it when kids eat my food?). these cute boys ended up watching "up" (yes, brendans choice...i thought they would want to watch transformers, who knew these big boys would prefer a sappy cartoon), all cuddled on the couch, lots of going back and forth from outside to inside, with the doors wide open, freezing cold in this house...fires roaring both inside and out. one group inside for awhile, then a group huddled by the fireplace outside, then a group upstairs in front of a video game. had to break out every blanket i possess. i think i pulled it off...and he was actually surprised, but didnt have much of a reaction. classic hunter. he just quietly came upstairs while i was staying out of the way, and laid down beside me and hugged me with his big beefy arms, and told me he loved me. felt so good. thats all the thanks i needed. are welcome hunter.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

birthday boy

today is hunter's birthday. i am actually up at the same time i was back then, 15 years ago...getting ready to be induced. i was calm and composed. after eden's horrific (with a capital H) birth with absolutely no medication, and lots of tearing (where youre not supposed to tear) and unbelievable pain (on a scale from 1-10...a 20), i told my OB, this time i will NOT be delivering when nature calls. I will NOT wait till my water breaks, and i will NOT repeat history. period. i WILL BE delivered under the beautiful umbrella of an epidural. end of story. not budging on this one. i think he got the message loud and clear. (and he was also probably pretty happy when i didnt return when i was pregnant with dane).

so he scheduled an induction.

i think he probably feared for his life if he didnt.
hunter arrived with no surprises,
and all went as planned. it was wonderful compared to the torture
chamber i had experienced a few years prior
(eden was well worth it though...)

he was darling (isnt that what i am supposed to say?)...although i look back on photos now, and as a newborn he wasnt so darling. he sort of had a abnormally large mouth and was very dark with black swirls of hair all over his head. a cowlick nightmare his little head was. we called him our little mexican baby. and let me just assure you, in case you are wondering...he is mine, all mine, and the blonde guy i live with...he is his too, ok?

anyway, he is a good boy. and he turned out not so dark, (although he gets a mean tan in the summer), and i dont know where the large nutcracker mouth went, but it did not stay. he's adorable and smart and very funny. my gentle giant. he is my helper and the "beast" on the water polo team. he is fun loving and oh so silly. when he was on a summer basketball team, they nicknamed him "sunshine". i know if he was playing today on that team,
that would be his name.
he brings happiness and fun to those around him. he has a tender heart and is a softie.
i love this boy, and am so glad he came to me.
and i am baking him his favorite cakes this morning (yes, i said cakes, plural) as we speak...
texas sheet cake and white strawberry jello poke cake.
love a boy too, who eats my food.

so, happy birthday, big boy.
i love you with all my heart and soul.

Friday, November 13, 2009

breakfast at ruth's

my posts are more often than not inspired by the photos i take. i usually have my camera with me 24/7...although i am tempted to buy a little tiny one for my pocket, as lugging around this huge slr becomes a chore in itself.
so when i didnt upload these photos immediately after my little utah trip, they somehow got temporarily forgotten. so here's the late post.
the girls and i met leigh at ruth's diner last week, while i was there for my craft fix. if you havent visited this cute little place in immigration canyon (the sheer location is a treat) you are missing out. very good breakfast grub. and we proceeded to eat a large quantity of cinnamon roll french toast and eggs benedict. loved dining with all the bikers and earthy utah people on a sunday (the mormons were not there-they were in church, where i should have been-but my excuse is i was traveling, had a plane to catch, you know...wink wink).
so next time you are in the beautiful city of salt lake, visit this place. you wont be disappointed.
just go to church first.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

shades of summer

no that is not a dead body wrapped in a blanket on my floor. that body has a name. his name is carson. theres another hidden body on the other side of the couch, that body's name is max and of course the large body...that would be hunter. if i didnt know better i would think it was summer, when this happened on a regular basis.
i miss this.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

thanks to my veteran

i cant believe it is time again to write about my favorite veteran. it seems like just a few months ago i was writing about my dad and his service in the air corp, during world war II, last veterans day. thank goodness i have 2 photos of him in his uniform.
i will have to have him dig up a few more photos for me.

so i have this weird thing that happens to me when i see a man in a uniform. i melt, and sometimes i cry. there is something about the courage, and integrity of the men (and women) who choose to serve in the military.

so to all the veterans out there young and old...thank you for doing what you do. and a special shout out to my dad, who trained many, many pilots (at the ripe old age of 19) who ventured overseas and flew those magnificent b-25's well because they were taught by the finest instructor there was. when i think about it, my dad is an awesome teacher. he is an awesome man, plain and simple.
so thanks dad...for everything.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

best hot dog on the planet

visited the la fabric mart today. ordered gorgeous mocha colored heavy velvet drapes. the guy took me in the back to show me the lining, then asked if i wanted the thermal, thicker lining. i asked him what the price difference would be. he said $15. i had to catch my breath. it took a lot for me to not to say, "are you kidding me, did i hear you correctly?" and only $39 a panel for labor. am i dreaming? on the right planet? best deal i think i have ever heard of...and i get to go back next week, pick them up and have another bacon wrapped hot dog from the street vendor, complete with salsa and caramelized onions and peppers. well worth the drive. claudine and i decided we were experiencing hot dog ecstasy while eating them haphazardly on the sidewalk. i swear, if that little mexican lady brought her cart to the oc, she would make a fortune,
and she could charge 8 bucks a pop.
but she'd have to provide chairs.

Monday, November 9, 2009

real life...

now i am back, another wonderful morning...even if it is dark outside. missed my kids. they missed me. even got a report of a few tears shed on my behalf. makes me feel important. and toby missed me so much he slept smack dab in the middle of the bed, his big body literally hugging me...then because he sleeps on top of the bedding, it is virtually impossible to move after he settles in, and he did hog all the covers.
welcome home.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

fourth and final day

ten things i learned at SPARK

1. its easy and fun to make new friends.
2. what a cuttlebug is.
3. just how much i love cole slaw.
4. utah isnt so bad.
5. am a real pioneer deep down.
6. that i want a clip it up and ribbon organizer-really bad.
7. i am visual learner. cant follow a pattern for my life.
8. i dont like scrapbooking-at all.
9. how to take a photo on manual.
10. im a woman of worth.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

beehive state day 3

the site of this fun little "craft convention" i am attending is the 'this is the place' monument. so before i ventured into the fun, i took a little hike by myself up to the actual monument. chills ran through me as i envisioned what these pioneers went through. the incredible strength and courage they had. one of my ancestors, william henrie made this trek. in fact he was one of brigham youngs right hand men.
the spirit spoke to me loud and clear as i stood on that grassy hill.

i changed gears, and drove around to another area and entered into SPARK. so fun and festive. started a conversation with a nice lady who was looking at the same jewelry i we are friends (she's famous too). another woman i met online who said she was coming by herself found me, so i have two friends now. so fun to be in a place where no one knows you. refreshing for some reason. wonder what that says about me? took part in some very interesting demos in old brick buildings complete with antique glass windows and enormous farm tables spread out throughout the space. crafted with a darling lady who will make my daughters wedding dresses...(simply amazing), and met many more very talented women. today we are actually doing more hands on classes.
this is a very interesting concept.
very glad i am here. and who knew i would actually like being out of my element.

Friday, November 6, 2009

beehive state day 2

my brain is filled with all sorts of good information now. had to make a choice between a photo class and an illustrator class...chose the photo class. learned that only real photographers shoot in manual. i must not be one yet, as i am an automatic girl. very confusing all that talk about f-stops, shutter speed and iso mumbo jumbo. i have an old brain for sure. now i wish i had taken the illustrator class...maybe i will just have to come back next time. took an etsy class too. learned about blogging and all that stuff 20 year olds are doing. so fun.
but have come to the realization i am a young person in an old body.
next fun adventure was gurus in provo. i walked in and immediately was drawn to their bulletin board full of all sorts of local events. there was aenon, in living color. got to take that little poster home with me, thanks to the cute cashier man.
ate the best sweet potato fries and cilantro lime pasta ever,
and dined with 2 of emmas darling friends. even splurged on a german chocolate iceberg shake
(emma and i split a small-still HUGE portion-if i lived here I would be HUGE).
so all in all a fun filled day in the beehive state.
and love all the wonderful architecture and old stuff here. and my favorite building in the whole world (and i am assuming EVERYONE has a favorite building), i think, is the welfare square one, just off the freeway, outside of downtown. love the logo with the wheat. makes me happy for some strange reason.

and did i mention that the weather is divine?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

only in utah

i am in the lovely beehive state. already had a five guys burger and slept soundly at the marriott. getting ready for my "creative journey" at
click on the link to check it out. pretty cool. i am also attending classes today at
i will come back with my head swimming full of ideas. hopefully this old brain will be able to retain it all. ive been only making peanut butter and honey sandwiches and unloading dishwashers for way too long. need to make a change...and that is why i am here. need to get my groove back. the groove ive always had, just been dormant for awhile.

as i was leaving the terminal yesterday, walking down the escalator, i was greeted with this happy sight. loved the anticipation on their faces, and i couldnt help but think that will be me one day. however, my sign will be much better, because i went to spark.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

happy boys

these boys dominated aliso.
finally smiles after a game.