Thursday, December 17, 2009

A New Sheriff is in Town

My parents purchased a set of boy dress up clothes a few years ago. My Nephew still pulls them out every once in awhile. He had no idea I was watching him as he meticulously created his new persona.

Um... OK not so authoritative, but still cute none the less.

A little better... I think a "bad guy" would take this seriously. Granted his head is to big for the hat.

Please note the dagger, because he would want you to. It adds to the coolness factor so does the soccer ball shirt.

I love this kid and miss him A LOT! At least I have these pics to make me smile.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

OK so it was 3 weeks ago but here are a few pics of Thanksgiving weekend.
Oh my goodness it is so much fun to have a baby in the family again. I am happy my sisters and I look similar because she had no problem letting me hold her even though I am never around her.

My Mom must have known that I was missing her cinnamon rolls. I didn't care that dinner was an hour away, I just had to eat one.

I could eat here everyday I am in SL, and have been known to do so. Nothing compares.

My Mom got a rockin deal on a Barbie condo and tons of Barbies/slash clothes. My younger nieces were in heaven! Not that there are plenty of toys in the play room but this is the newest/coolest item.

Obligatory photos of the Nieces and Nephews.. You must look and think they are the cutest ever.

I want this T-shirt

Chaos in the playroom. BARBIES and Train-sets. If Barbies weren't such a pain to dress the adults would be able to do something else.

The day after dying Ali's hair. She has so much hair it took ages to do. It's not that her hair isn't dark as it is, she just wanted it a bit darker.

All in all I am so glad I went. It has been a long time since I have been to my parents for Thanksgiving. I had a fabulous time with my family!

Puzzle Mania...

or is it insanity? Every year my Mother buys a new "Christmas" puzzle and every year we spend ridiculous amounts of time putting it together. I will never forget the Star Wars puzzle, I think we were all swearing by the time it was finished (it was basically black with pin dot stars).

This year she bought a box set with 4 individual puzzles thinking it would be easier. Was it? NO. There were so many critters in each one, ugh, birds, dogs, cats, raccoons and every piece looked like the other.
Then the confession came out.... My Mom doesn't really care for puzzles. Yeah I think she likes to watch us get frustrated, watch us compete to see who is the first to finish and watch us hide pieces from each other. Yeah we don't play nice.

Yet we had to finish them... so we must enjoy doing them. Regardless it is time well spent with each other.
It begins, this was the first. Melissa and I stayed up well past Midnight just to finish, our backs were aching, our eyes were tired, but we finished it.

First of four complete. Seriously I was so done with the birds and the rabbit looking squirrel.

Puzzle 2 under way. Another one that took forever thanks to a 4 year old who considered shooting pieces off of the table "helpful".

Puzzle 3. This had to be moved off of the table to the computer room. I didn't get to see the finished product because of my flight but it to was a killer. How many cats and dogs can be shoved into one puzzle?

Regardless of the complaining and aching backs these puzzles cause I am sure the tradition will live on. Why? We are addicted.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Table Decor

My Sister Emily came up with the place card idea for Thanksgiving this year and I thought it was such a cute idea.
She printed baby pictures of each of us instead of just our names. It was fun to remember how cute we all were. Plus it added to the fun table setting.

When my Nieces and Nephews came over later they would play the guessing game trying to figure out who was who. The only one they guessed right was Baby I other than that they had to really look at each of us long and hard before they got it.

Weren't my parents adorable babies!?!?! If you know my Dad you know his hair left him long ago, above is proof he once had gorgeous black curly locks.

A note about the Chocolate Turkey's also used as place settings. My Niece and Nephew noticed mine the day I was leaving and decided that I wanted to share with them. Apparently I tortured them while I was unwrapping it super slowly. My Sister Melissa thought it was quite funny that they couldn't take their eyes off it, while my mind was engrossed elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dean Martin - Baby It's Cold Outside

Christmas Season or Greetings Season, as one of my customers would say has officially begun.
Technically it's not as "cold outside" in Northern CA but the lights are out and the trees are starting to show in windows. So to start the season off I give you one of my favorite Holiday songs. I prefer Deans version over any other.

It's My Party

This year I threw myself a Birthday Party. I wanted complete control over the food and friends invited. It was a bit much to take on considering that week was completely full with church obligations, but I managed and I think it turned out well.

I made yummy appetizers and cupcakes. A new favorite are the goat cheese, sun dried tomato, basil skewers. They were delicious! Thanks Brian Boitano (yes he has his own cooking show), click here for recipe. I did modify to make them more bite size.

I found vintage Mad Libs and we broke into teams to play. It was fantastic fun!

It was a fabulous night to celebrate another year with great friends. I hope a few of my wishes come true, regardless it will still be a glorious year.

Part of the guests, most had left by the time the camera came out.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Raven Haired

I am tired of my brown hair fading to red so I tried black. Maybe it will fade to brown and then again it might not.
So far 99.5% of the consensus is good, they other .5% doesn't count, that person is socially awkward.
It makes my eyes pop and goes well with my skin, so it's a keeper. Maybe just maybe this is what my Grandma Ermine looked like.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Noah And The Whale - Blue Skies - Live In Session

Noah and The Whale's new album The First Days of Spring will break your heart and start to mend it again. It is extraordinary, stunning, yet simple masterpiece. I have been absorbing it for a month now and every time I listen it becomes just what I need it to be.

It must be listened straight through a few times to get the beauty behind it. The mini Film that coincides with the album is perfection also. I highly recommend this album and their previous album, which I thoroughly love, Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down. They are both must listens (and own for that matter).

Go here or here or anywhere else you buy your music to get yourself a copy, and prepare to break your heart.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Letter to the Birthday Fairy

Dear Birthday Fairy,
I am writing to let you know that I would like to reject a gift you gave. You know the one you put in my left eye, which then promptly shared with my right eye. It is a gift that I did not wish for nor do I want. Pink eye is not the way I want to begin a new and exciting year. Yes I do know it is pink eye because the strange little Doctor I saw confirmed it. So please remove the gift so that I can enjoy my Birthday week.

Also when you come to take the gift back, please leave some $$ because I now need to replace my eye makeup and as you know it can be a bit expensive. I am also not to happy about starting out the new year makeup less for the next few days. I will cope because I am a trooper that way, but if I run into the hot guy in the building, I will be a bit dismayed.

As for the other gifts, I enjoyed them immensely and they are all well received.

Sincerely Yours,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Birthday....

to Me!

My Mom loves this picture of me and so do I. She said she always thinks that I am about to do something mischievous.
Today is my Birthday and it is a pretty great day to have one. Who else can say they share it with Dia de la Muerta (Day of the Dead). Kinda cool don't ya think!
I am taking it easy tonight with Cactus Tacos and a movie, Thanks Anne. (partly due to an eye infection which has made for an interesting day). A party will be forthcoming.
Thanks for the Facebook love and phone calls from loved ones! You all really know how to make my day.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween-The Cliff Notes Version

Yep I dressed up this year. Believe me it was hard to figure out a costume since everything is now in the "sexy" style, but after trying several, Olive Oyl won out.

Friday at work I was somehow put in charge of a potluck party. It was fun but really when did I become the event planner. Maybe I'll get a raise.

Friday night was a fabulous party at a Marielle and Sam's house, it was fun to hang out with friends and eat yummy food.

On Halloween there was the Carnival and Trunk or Treat put on by the primary. It's amazing how many kids show up for this every year, it really is a fantastic party. I loved seeing all of the kids creative costumes; my favorites on absolute creativity go to these two:

Turning J's standing wheel chair into a Chariot. She loved it and so did every one else!

T is currently obsessed with garbage cans and when he saw what his dad created for him, he about passed out with excitement.

Halloween night was spent at Masha and Chris's watching It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, eating delicious food and hanging out with amazing friends.

All in all it was a wonderful Halloween, I am currently suffering from a candy coma but will hopefully recover soon before the Birthday festivities begin.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Music Memory R.E.M. - Half A World Away

R.E.M. was and is iconic to me. Most if not all of their songs hold a special place in my heart and trigger quite a few memories especially the albums of my youth. I was struggling to find how to post a memory of another song when I came across this gem and changed.

This song is beautiful and always takes me back to Swan Valley, Idaho. Imagine sitting in the back seat of a car, the window down, wind kissing my face and playing with my hair. Sun is setting, the Snake River saunters along and the Tetons loom in the background. The song makes the moment perfect.

It is one of my favorite places, songs, and memories. This may be the first memory of R.E.M. but it won't be the last, there are just too many.

Monday, October 26, 2009

If She Could Talk...

She would be telling her Mommy and Daddy that she wants to visit her favorite Aunt in California. Spring time would be best. Yep I just know that is exactly what she would say.

On a side note, I received this picture because I sent her the outfit she it wearing. I must admit when it comes to my Nieces and Nephews I can't help but spoil them a bit. Especially when I see a cool T-shirt. It's a sickness I know but they look super cute in them and they wear them all of the time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Great Northwest...

I received the following email from my Brother in Law the morning after I returned from my recent vacation:

I can't help but feel a slight bit of disappointment that here we are in the age of instant information and facebook and blogs and cell phones and yet my two tech savvy sisters-in-law go on a cool vacation to the Northwest and here I am update-less. I went over my checklist this morning:
Cool Pictures? - nope
Humorous Anecdotes? - nope
Travel Nightmare Stories? - nope
Travel Activity Narratives? - nope
Streaming Video? -nope

All I got was a lousy facebook notice that Jamie had left . . . and come back. It's like the entire weekend was a gigantic black hole!
Is this to be borne? It is not!

So to appease him the narrative is a bit like this:
My Sister and I had a fabulous vacation up North. I really feel at home in the Northwest, having the Mountains near and the water makes me feel alive. I may just one day move up there.

When we were walking to the rental car we started to get worried that it was going to be one of the many PT Cruisers that M loathes we breathed a sigh of relief when it was an ugly red Cobalt instead. Once we realized that it had UT plates however we groaned and then laughed. Proof that M can't leave UT behind and I can't vacation without having UT around.

We promptly drove down to Tacoma to see the UW campus. It was a really cool and small campus. I think M was in love and will most likely be enrolling for her graduate work. We walked around and enjoyed all of the Chihuly glass.

Afterwards we drove to Mt. Rainier, unfortunately the entrance we chose was closed but the drive was beautiful. We walked around a bit and enjoyed the view.

Off to Seattle, that is where we chose to stay. Our Hotel was near the Space Needle so that night we walked over and enjoyed the park without a lot of people. It was quite a lovely way to do it.

The next day we chose to drive up to Vancouver B.C. for no other reason than we wanted to go. It is only a couple of hours away and it was a fabulous way to spend a Friday. Next time we will plan better on what exactly we want to see. Stanley Park was gorgeous. Other than sitting in the customs lines, the blinking traffic lights (which drove M mad) and the fact my hair decided to curl on its own for the first time ever. I loved Vancouver and will be planning another vacation there soon.

Saturday was our Seattle day, it was also the day that it rained (we thought it was always like that, apparently not according to the news it was a big storm). Our pant legs were perpetually wet and who knows what our hair looked like. We went to the Aquarium which was a bit of a disappointment, only because we have seen better ones. Then we walked up to the Seattle Art Museum. They were having a kids festival so the first floor was LOUD and filled with Children's artist's singing away. I am sure if I were a parent I might have tolerated it a bit more but no, had to get up to the other floors fast.

It's a great museum and really easy to get to. They currently have a Michelangelo exhibit which was pretty amazing especially with the Chorale singers that were performing. It is always entertaining to peruse a Museum with M, she just does not like Modern Art, so she provides amusing commentary on how she could make that or way is that considered Art.
We walked around and found Pikes Market, Yeah not my favorite place but we can say we were there. I prefer non-touristy destinations myself, besides it was crowded!

Sunday we decided to drive around the area and see the scenery. First we went down to Olympia, the fall colors along the highway were amazing. I had to call our Mom because she always freaks out when the place is beautiful. Then we crossed over to Tacoma Narrows and drove up to Bremerton.

I really enjoyed Bremerton and I think my Parents should move there instead constantly talking about Idaho (not that there is anything wrong with that). We ate really bad Mexican food and then drove along the Olympic National Park which was stunning, up to Port Angeles. Yes the same town that is in those Twilight books at least we didn't go to Forks (that would be lame). We were there long enough to fill up with gas and that is about it.

Monday it was our last day and we weren't ready to leave. I fell absolutely in love with the place. We found Kerry Park which really had amazing views of Seattle and the Puget Sound, and then went to a somewhat dodgy Chinese restaurant, only because of the flies.

As far as nightmare stories, there weren't really any except for the kid above us whose parents let him jump around until 1 am every night. I swear he weighed 400 lbs.

If you have an itching to go, do so and do it in the fall. The colors are brilliant! I can't wait for the next trip up there.

Thanks to M for making it a fun trip, it was lovely to spend time with my sister and watch her relax a bit away from the stresses of school and work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quilts In Trees

Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore presents a Quilt show one weekend every year. A few of the Quilting Ladies at Church have gone in the past. This year I joined, granted I am not a quilter and the youngest in the group, I am glad I went.

My Aunts quilt and though I love to see their work, I have little will power to take it on myself, maybe one day when I get a place with a bit more closet space. (my tiny closet barely fits my clothes).

Not only were the Quilts gorgeous but the setting was enchanting. The old Oaks curling and bending gave off a surreal view, the flowers and plants at the nursery were gorgeous. I was in picture heaven as you can see below.

One day I would love to walk through with my Aunts, I really think they would be in heaven.

I loved this massive oak, it's branches twisting into roots

How could you not love a Tomato and Peppers with arms and legs made out of garden hose.

If you get a chance and you are in the Bay area it is a great way to spend a fall morning. You should plan on it next year.

Oh to Serve

So this post is a little delayed due to the fact this happened almost 2 months ago. My friend Dauny and I were put in charge of gathering a group for a service project. It was fun to plan, but there was that nagging feeling it wouldn't work out. Well it did! We had plenty of people show up to help and we worked super hard on one of the hottest days of the summer.
It felt great to help beautify Oakland and get to work along side some really amazing people.

By the way the Woman in the blue pants standing is in her 90's, if she can plant, dig and rake then there is no excuse for the rest of us.

The picture was taken when we were almost done, we were one hot and dirty group, literally.