Sunday, November 25, 2007

My BrandiRae Original

For those of you who have commented on my cute new purse, no, you cannot buy it in stores. This is my BrandiRae original handbag, made specially for my birthday. Isn't it so cute? And functional too, with 3 inside pockets and a snap closure. I LOVE the fabric she chose. My sister Heidi got a super cute tan and blue design. Thanks Brand! I am always so impressed by your sewing skills! Oh, and that's my cute new wallet from Jason's mom. Love it too! It was a good birthday...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

These are days to remember...

My kids are in heaven with Grampa and their cousins on the ranch!
It just doesn't get any better.

Friday, November 23, 2007


birthday lunch at Dakota's with Jason's mom and sisters

birthday dinner at Chili's

My birthday celebration at my parent's house was the day after Thanksgiving,
thus the pumpkin pie birthday cake!

November birthday girls: Hayley, Ginger, and Isabelle

In both of our families combined,
Jason and I have 11 November birthdays!

Daddy and Holly

Giving Thanks for Family

A few favorite pictures from our wonderful Thanksgiving holiday...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

San Francisco Birthday Trip!

I really wanted to do something special for my 30th (gasp!) birthday. When I say "something special" what that really means is a long romantic retreat with my husband to a tropical location where we could just soak up the sun and lounge on the beach for hours. Well, presently, I am lucky enough to have a little baby girl that I'm crazy about and she's pretty crazy about me too. Leaving her was not an option. Consequently, I had to sacrifice a few key adjectives of my "something special"-- good-bye to long, romantic, tropical, and lounge.
I'd never been to San Francisco and it turned out to be the perfect choice for a quick trip with it's close location, famous sights, and great restaurants. We did a lot of walking around with Holly strapped to us in the baby pack thing (apparently we were quite a spectacle because everyone walking by us stared and pointed, no kidding!) and we got pretty good at the public transportation using trains, buses, and taxis. We did have some rainy weather one day, but I was just happy it wasn't too hot because we were outside the majority of the time. One of Jason's high school friends, Tim, lives just a few blocks from where our hotel was. It was fun to visit with him and it really helped to get advice and recommendations from a "local."
a few places we went:
Union Square Mall (8 stories tall! see picture)
Ghiradelli Square ice cream shop (yum)
the Golden Gate Bridge (two days in a row because the first day it was so foggy we couldn't see it AT ALL even though we were walking on it.)
Pier 39 at Fisherman's Warf (Jason had the clam chowder in a bread bowl and I opted for the chili)
The Stinking Rose famous garlic-obsessed restaurant (even ordered the garlic ice cream for dessert...would not recommend, but at least we tried it!)
I love that Jason and I don't stress about cramming too many activites into our days when we're vacationing. We didn't have any time schedules or much of a plan. We walked out of our hotel room each morning and let the city dictate what we'd do that day. It was so enjoyable and I was captivated by the city itself. I had no idea it was so "New York-like" just on a much smaller scale. The architecture and the history is amazing. It was an ideal way to get away for my birthday with a baby. Holly was such an angel. And why wouldn't she be? We held her ALL DAY! I really appreciated the time to give her our undivided attention without other interuptions or distractions.
Thank you for a memorable 30th birthday honey! I promise we'll be baby-less for our 10 year anniversary, and that'll be the time for long, romantic, tropical, and lounging...start planning!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another reason to love this house we're renting...

I saw the OCEAN from our house this morning. I was literally standing on our backyard grass taking this picture. The realtor and our neighbor told us we would be able to see it on a clear day, but I didn't really believe it. Today was clear because of the wind, and there it was!
If you enlarge the picture by clicking on it, you can see a boat beside that big telephone tower. Now if I could just catch a glimpse of some dolphins swimming by...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let Me Clarify

I have gotten some feedback about my #4 below that makes me feel like I should take a moment to explain a little bit better.
To be blunt, what I'm saying is that I'm selfish. I know I am a selfish person. I am happy to take, receive, benefit from, other people's talents and abilities, but I'm unwilling to take the time or put in the effort to be the "go to" person in return. I don't know why I am that way. I guess I don't like the responsibility of giving advice or being a mentor. For me, it is stressful. Besides that, I can barely handle my own everyday stuff and I don't want to take on more. That's why I hide in the background and avoid seeming like the right person to ask. Does that make me totally crazy? Yes, and selfish, like I said.
Don't question how genuine I am in my compliments. I mean what I say. Everyone deserves to be praised for things they are good at. I really do need A LOT of help in a lot of areas and by being vocal about my appreciation, I am hopeful that people will continue to be willing to be UNselfish with what they have to offer. My life is full of talented, capable people who are willing to share even if they don't "want" to or live a busy life. I want to be like that. This is an invitation to ask me to do stuff for you so I can practice stepping out of my comfort zone and give back a little. See, there I go asking for help in yet another area of my life that needs improvement. (sigh)
Maybe I should have never written what I did, but when I was considering what makes me "me" it was something I thought about and wanted to put into words. I'm glad I did. It has helped step back and learn a few things about myself.

Blogging is cheap therapy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm "IT" and you could be next!

There's a game of tag going on and I got caught. I have to tell 6 little known facts/weird, quirky things about myself. Please still be my friend even after I tell you these...promise? Here they are, in no particular order...

1. I think feet are disgusting, including my own and especially my husband's. I CANNOT stand when someone puts their bare feet near me or on me. I can hardly touch dirty socks when I do laundry. I would NEVER give someone a pedicure. I only clip my children's toenails after they've been soaking in the bathtub and only because it is absolutely necessary. Funny thing is, I LOVE baby feet. They're so soft and playdough-y. I'm always kissing Holly's feet when she's laying on my lap. Go figure.

2. I never make my bed. Correction: I never make my bed in the MORNING. Just lazy I guess. However, I HAVE to straighten the sheets and blankets before I get in bed at night. It bugs me if they aren't smooth and even. Sometimes I accidently wake up Jason (who goes to bed hours before I do) because I'm tugging at the blankets that are tangled under him. See, he falls right into the bed that's in the same messy state it was in when we woke up. Somehow, it doesn't bother him.

3. I can only drink milk if it is ICE cold. I don't like the TASTE of milk, I like the COLD, refreshingness of it. To get it to that perfect state of icy coldness, naturally, I add ice. Yes, I know it's cold right out of the fridge, but it does not maintain that temperature for long. Ice is the solution to this problem. Thank you Dad, I learned this from you. A glass of milk with a brownie? 3 ice cubes & milk. A bowl of cold cereal? 4 ice cubes, milk, and say, Grape-nuts. Some people think it's disgusting, I think it is delicious and a must. No ice, no milk. Try it sometime.

4. I like to keep people's expectations for me low. I don't want to let on how talented, creative, and able I am. I like to ask a lot of questions, seek advice, and give praise for other people's abilities. It makes them feel good and appreciated, and this also puts me in a "student" position where I get to learn from those who take pity on me and want to help me. I'm not saying that I'm exceptionally proficient at a lot of stuff, but I'm better than I let on. You don't believe me, do you? Man, I'm good.

5. This one is dangerous. Being in a car is an instant sleeping pill for me. If I'm the passenger, not so bad. When I'm the driver, it's torture. I would NEVER take a long road trip alone. Even on a short drive, like picking up my girls from school, which is only about 10-15 minutes, I get extremely drowsy and can hardly keep my eyes open. I've never gotten in an accident, but I've had several close calls. It's scary and annoying.

6. I secretly enjoy children's TV shows. I sit and watch them with my kids. I love "That's So Raven." It cracks me up. I love "Arthur." It's so clever and funny. I've even watched it without my kids! Am I really admitting this? Oh well. I sing along with "Pinky Dinky Doo" ("yes sir-roonie, posit-toonie..." Sing it Winks!) and the Berenstein Bears' theme song. I like "Miss Spider," "Oswald," and "Little Bill." These are all sweet and slow and nice. I DO NOT like obnoxious and over-the-top-silly cartoons (Spongebob, for example), nor do I let my kids watch them. Watching TV is bad enough without that extra over-stimulation. Anyway, now you know my secret. I know, I'm easily entertained.

Well, do you feel like you know me a little better now? Maybe too much information? You have to still be my friend. You promised.

I get to tag 3 people now. Heidi, Kate, and Melinda---TAG, you're it!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

There is NO Crying at Disneyland

That was our family motto yesterday at the "Happiest Place on Earth:" NO crying. It sort of worked.
Our recipe for some quality family time:
Combine an ample amount of Halloween candy with a very late night.
Add waking up early and the excitement of a surprise trip to Disneyland.
Mix together two determined, yet skeptical parents.
Toss in a couple of bickering sisters.
Vigorously stir in an almost 3 year old with a tendency to bolt at full throttle with no warning.
Gently fold in an innocent 5 month old who simply wants to be held all day long.
Just for good measure, add a pinch of terrified moments, including but not limited to: sobbing, cowering, and begging to get off, on rides that resulted in uncontrollable giggling LAST year.
Sprinkle with "It's a Small World" unless it happens to be closed for Christmas decorating,
and serve with the parade that never was.
But hey, it was fun. Really. I bet it will be even more fun the next time we go...when our kids are teenagers.