Thursday, September 27, 2012

Summer Reunion

I found this on my desktop and forgot to share it.  Good times!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Opening Day

I will get back to those summer memories, but we interrupt to bring you a soccer update.

Saturday was the official start of soccer season and for the first time in six years, we got to wake at the crack of dawn to attend the traditional soccer parade downtown.  And for the first time in six years, we watched two children play soccer.  We have been waiting for this day and Jack did not disappoint.

Chris is the coach.  I am the photographer.  So I gave Morgan the job of video taping.   Knowing how big soccer has been for our family, I decided I wanted Jack's very first goal to be recorded.  And one minute after kick off, I got that first goal forever recorded.  And then he followed through with about 15 more!

What I loved most about the pictures below is how happy Jack is.  He had a huge smile on his face all day.

After we packed up, we headed over to Garrett's game.  And when we got home for the day, Jack begged to go outside and practice.  I think somebody loves this sport.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Palm Desert

So moving backwards here...this is the second half of the trip.  Are you following so far?  Ha!

Last week Morgan, Jack and I flew with Jenifer and Arianna to So Cal to spend the week out in Palm Desert.  108 degrees.  Hot.  But a great visit and some fun activities thrown in the mix.

On the drive out to the desert we saw a billboard for a local hotel that looked like a fun place to entertain the kids.   One of the pluses of visiting the desert in the summer is the cheap room rates.  Rancho Las Palmas is an awesome resort.  The rooms are recently remodeled and the swim area referred to as Splashtopia is geared toward families.  We got a room with easy access to the Splashtopia area which made coming and going easy.  There was a huge pool, lazy river, a couple long slides, a beach entry pool and a water park.  It may have been 108 degrees, but this was a great way to cool off.

And Jack went down his first slide. He barely made the height requirement, but he was fearless and went again and again.

The last night we went to the Palm Springs Aerial Tram.  I'm not sure why after living most of my life in Southern California I never managed to do this, but this was great.  First of all as we rose 8,500 feet we went from 100 degree weather to 70 degree.  Ahhh, natural air condition how I have missed you!!  The tram ride? Awesome-it rotates so you get spectacular 360 degree views.  At the top?  Amazing.  Talk about a contrast in terrains.  And again more views.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Backwards Week

Long neglected little blog...

Sleeping in our own beds, catching up around the house, and enjoying the last half of summer-that is what on the agenda this week.

Our summer so far has been busy.  I like busy, it keeps everybody from whining and gives me an excuse not to get everything on my to do list done.  But there is something to be said for having a lazy day or two.  And that is exactly what I have planned this week.  However, I'll catch you up on our busy-promising to share a little every day for the rest of the week.

I think I'll start backwards.

On Saturday, Morgan, Jack and I flew from So Cal to Sacramento (and might I add that Sacramento may just have the nicest airport I've ever been in!) and were picked up by Chris, Garrett and a soccer friend for a weekend tournament in Elk Grove.  We had just left the desert, so I was very much looking forward to a weekend in the low 90's!  But low 90's on an AstroTurf field is more like 100-sigh!

Once again, I'm the team photographer, so escaping under an umbrella from the heat was not an option.  But at least I wasn't running around, it was tough in that heat.

This was Garrett's first tournament of the season.  They came in third which sounds impressive, but it was a pretty small tournament.  They only had 3 goals scored on them and they scored 3 goals in four games.  So not a lot of excitement.  But Garrett did get 2 of the 3 goals so he was happy. 
We ended up in the consolation bracket against against the Ptown team.  Trust me, we were all scratching our heads that we had to wait around for a 4:30 game to play a team from our own city.

Jack has been coming to Garrett's soccer games since he was a couple weeks old. Of all the teams Garrett has been on, this is the first year there is a little boy the same age as Jack. Jack was thrilled (and we were thrilled that he would be entertained). This is a definite bonus to the team this year.

We did not get home until 7:00 on Sunday and let me tell you a bed has never looked so inviting.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just a sneak

So many pictures...just giving a little taste of our vacation.  Piles of laundry await, so will share more later.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Cheer season wrapped up on Sunday with a 2nd place finish at the USA Jr. Nationals at California Adventure. The girls did such a great job and were so close to first. Can't be disappointed when they had such a great experience.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12

1. My poor sick little one. Day 3 of some type of flu, his fever ranged from 98.6 to 104.7 today.
2. Chris took a pity trip to buy Jack a little something to cheer him up-a garbage truck which he loved.
3. That would be Garrett driving. He's doing really well and I'm now the passenger most of the time I'm in the car with him.
4. Garrett's high school soccer team had a post season picnic. Beautiful day outside and the boys played some type of game for 3 hours.
5. Garrett with his two buddies, Andrew and Chet, were the victors of the game today.
6. Kind of a down day for Morgan. She had been sick this week so I've kept her isolated from Jack and being busy with Garrett's activities she had Facebook to keep her company.
7. Still had time to cross things off my 40 bags in 40 days list. I'm falling a bit behind, but even today I got a couple more things accomplished.
8. Moving on from Facebook, Morgan painted her nails, listened to music and surfed the web. Not a very exciting day for her.
9. You don't know how excited I am to dump this box of cords in the trash. I don't have a clue what any of them go to and frankly, they are such a mess I could never find the cord I was looking for.
10. Garrett in the last game of the winter futsal session.
11. His team had a 7-4 victory and won the championship.
12. Late dinner. Stopped to pick up dinner at La Salsa.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Follow Up-40 Bags

So it's been 40 days since I said I was hopping aboard the 40 bags in 40 days challenge. Did I do it?

You bet your sweet patootie I did! And boy, does it feel good!

I ended up convincing 4 other friends to join me and that was great motivation along the way. I think we're all going to go out and celebrate and share our accomplishments.

So, 40 bags-where did they go?

Well the trash cans were full each week.
But I have to say, I have a much easier time parting with my belonging if I know they are going to a place where they can be used. So here's where some of the bags went.
  • My niece Arianna got a box of adorable clothes that belonged to Morgan and she has a bag here that I'll be passing off to my mom to bring to her in person.
  • The SPCA got a bag of older towels and blankets that they use for the animals.
  • Charities such as Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Shepherd's Gate got clothes, shoes, household items, toys, and furniture.
  • I found a box of Garrett's shirts that were barely worn, some still new. And while I could have passed them along to a charity above, there's an upscale thrift store that supports the American Cancer Society. I think it's a worthwhile charity and know they would be able to get some good prices on the clothes. I added some tablecloths and other items I knew would sell well.
  • I consigned a bench and two table lamps.
  • We took many old cans of paint to the hazardous waste recycling plant.
  • We recycled a big container of batteries.
  • We donated a lot of old electronics to an E-waste fundraiser.
  • I sold/gave away items through The Mother's Club.
  • I brought a large bag to Office Max to have papers shredded.

I wouldn't say it was hard coming up with my list of 40 items. But as I moved through different areas of the house and garage, I realized my list could have been much so longer. So going to take a bit of a purging break and then tackle a few more areas.

Monday, February 6, 2012


So I heard on the news this morning that there was a big football game yesterday.
Just kidding, we spent the day at UC Davis at a Cheer competition. Priorities people, priorities :-)

If you recall, their last competition they placed third and this week placed second. Next stop, Nationals at California Adventure in a month. I predict a lot of practices ahead, they are coming in as the defending champions and want to repeat!

I found a real nice girl who took the video for me. Morgan is in the last stunt on the right. I don't know much about cheerleading, but her coach she can do that stunt better than most high school girls. I'm just glad she didn't fall!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Painting With a Broad Brush

When Jack was a baby, I began to notice that a particular population would stop and speak with us. No matter where we were, Gymboree, the mall, grocery shopping, I noticed that older Asian women would strike up a conversation with me about Jack. All. The. Time. More often than not, they were limited in their English skills and I found it strangely fascinating that they would initiate a conversation with me. I'm not positive, but I think it was the curly brown hair and boy combo that drew them to us as patting the hair was always part of the conversation. Well after the curls were cut, so did our conversations.

Well Jack has a new group of conversationalists: older, white gentlemen. You see, Jack can whistle. I mean, he can't whistle tunes, but he can whistle long and loud. His whistling skill far surpass my abilities so of course I think he's pretty good for four years old. There are days that he whistles constantly-at home and out in public. Cue the older, white gentlemen. And I should preface this by saying that by in large, older, white gentlemen generally have nothing to say to us (him) and tend to look right past him. But apparently there's something about a four year old whistler that warms their heart because they stop dead in their tracks to say something to him. Perhaps it reminds them of a bygone era when whistling was a way to pass time, I'm not sure. But for now, we're enjoying his new found popularity with strangers.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A New Year

Happy 2012!
We spent New Year's in Santa Barbara. Garrett had a soccer camp so the rest of us stayed at the Fess Parker Doubletree and had a great time enjoying the beautiful weather and the beach across the street.

I guess you can say that Morgan and Jack did the polar bear plunge!

So we came home and I was ready to join in the momentum of all those New Year resolution and then I got sick....
So I may be midway through the month, but I'm still hopping aboard that bandwagon although I like to see them as goals as opposed to resolutions. Just that subtle change in semantics makes it feel less daunting and more attainable.

So writing it down to be accountable for all...
1.Lose 10 pounds, eat healthy, exercise more, blah,blah, blah
(yep, you can tell I'm not too excited about this one. I do need to, no doubt-maybe once my energy is back, I'll show a bit more enthusiasm.)
2. Read 24 books-I did this last year and think that 24 is a realistic number for me.
3. Date nights-going to make an effort to plan one kid free night out a month-yes, you read that right, Chris :-)
4. Photography-I have all the equipment and I have so many tools to help me improve, I just need to focus and set aside some time and make it a priority this year.

5. Organization-So I'm always one to grasp on to a catchy name. I read about 40 bags in 40 days
and I couldn't help but think this would be a great way to get through lots of cluttered areas in my house in a short amount of time. So I made my list (below) and have set a date (2/22) and I'm already 2 bags down 38 to go~woo hoo! I have 3 friends that are joining me in this goal so it will be nice to have friends to help motivate me along the way.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Best of 2011

Well I can wrap up my best of 2011 real's the Christmas card we sent out.

Here a few more details of the best of 2011...

Favorite scrapbook pages-I don't know how many pages I did this year, but here's my favorite 5.





Favorite Books of 2011-
Last January, one of my resolutions was to read more. I hoped to read 24 books, thinking that 2 books a month was a realistic goal. Unfortunately I didn't keep track, but I'd say I was pretty darn close. I read anything from chick lit to more meatier literature. Most of my favorites were also turned into movies. Coincidence??

1. The Help-I don't know anybody who didn't love this book.
The Help Pictures, Images and Photos

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-It took me four years to pick up the last book even though I stood in line at midnight to be one of the first to get it. But if you do the math...Jack arrived and after reading 6 books and loving every one of them, I wanted to enjoy and savor the last one. And I did.
harry potter and the deathly hallows Pictures, Images and Photos

3. The Kitchen House-I hear a lot of people mention this book and The Help in the same breath. Certainly they both take place in the South, but this book is quite different, but it will stick with you long after you read the last page.
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom Pictures, Images and Photos

4. Water For Elephants-This is another book I've been wanting to read for a couple years and knowing the movie was coming out got me going on this.
Water For Elephants Pictures, Images and Photos

5. The Hunger Games-I did not expect to like this as much as I did. I heard this book recommended for well over a year, but the title didn't really appeal to me. I guess I'm kind of a title snob~lol.
the hunger games Pictures, Images and Photos
Other favorites included The Thirteenth Tale and Sarah's Key.

Favorite New Television Shows of 2011-
I really don't watch as much network tv as I used to. Kind of getting tired of investing my time in a new show only to have the network cancel it. Enter Netflix. I'm discovering older series and love being able to watch multiple seasons at a time without a long break in between.
Far and away my favorite was Breaking Bad.
Breaking Bad Pictures, Images and Photos
I know I'm not the demographic this show was intended for, but I found this to be one of the best written shows I've ever seen.
And far from being a "best written show" (except Sue Sylvester's lines), I really love watching Glee.
glee Pictures, Images and Photos

Favorite Pictures of 2011-
I used a new template from Shutterfly to make a book of my favorite pictures this year. You can click on the book to take a look.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Visit to create your own personalized photobook.

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