Sunday, November 30, 2008


Today is the first day of Advent.  A four week preparation for Christmas.  A time to quiet the soul and clear the mind.  A time to stop and realize what this season truly means.  A time to celebrate a faith that has lasted over two thousand years.  It is not about gifts.  It is not about Santa. It IS about faith....hope....peace..... and mostly LOVE.   Let us try and love each other even more than usual this Christmas season.  Love the slow person in front of you at the grocery store.  Love the person cutting you off on the freeway.  Love the neighbor you forget lives only a few houses away. Let's take time to work harder at loving.   Our world needs us to.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Multiple personality disorder

So, I am pretty sure I am suffering from multiple personality disorder.....or something like a mid-life crisis.  Half of the time I really want to embrace the "mom" personality.  The one who wants to bake cookies everyday for her kids and make sure they are sparkly clean and perfectly pressed in the morning.  The mom who doesn't really care if she is wearing "mom jeans" or gains a few pounds because these are not important in the scheme of things.  What is important is a happy and well cared for family which includes taking impeccable care of my husband.

The other half of me still thinks she is 24 and wants to wear the latest fashions, dance perfect hip hop moves, listens to the latest music and knows every slang word in the updated dictionary.   She has her own blog and updates her facebook account.  She shops on eBay and texts her friends. 

These two personalities seem to be co-existing quite well and I seem to be able to turn them on and off at will.  There is an internal battle between them though.  They each want more face time than the other.   I am pretty sure the "mom" personality is going to win eventually and when she does I think I will feel more peaceful and content.   Perhaps Ms 24 is just my youth tugging at me and hanging on with all its might.  For now I think I will let it.  I am not quite ready to let it go. For now I will try and bake cookies, fix nice meals, take good care of my family and still blast the stereo in the car on the way to the gym and chair dance all the way there.... 

Friday, November 28, 2008

re- cap

Back to routine.  Here are some pics from the past week.  The brunch, wicked and thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

I hope today finds you healthy and happy. I hope today you find countless things to be thankful for. I can't begin to explain my gratitude, my appreciation and my awe and all of the good things that surround me. This most certainly includes all of you. Thank you for your love, thank you for your trust, thank you for your friendship. Simply, thank you is not enough. I love you all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wicked and Rain

What a magical night! Julia stayed up until midnight watching the show. It was incredible!! What a fantastic story and the talent and music was amazing. I really wasn't ready for it to end. I could easily see it again. Thank you Adele for taking us to this fantastic show! We came home to Jack and John sleeping at the house (they drove down last night) and woke up to rain this morning. The kids are really enjoying each other (it is amazing how much they miss each other when they don't see each other for a few days). Just a lazy day cooking and staying warm inside. I wish all of you a fun and enjoyable Thanksgiving and hope you have much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


A quick entry. Julia and I went to Adele's watercolor painting class (I have a whole new appreciation for anyone who can paint) then we went bowling and re-did the thrift store window. We are now very excited and getting ready for Wicked! Yay! More tomorrow on that one!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Wow, I love malls. I didn't used to when they were so readily available but now that we don't have one I miss them. We went to South Coast Plaza today and mostly looked because most everything was WAAAAAAAAY too expensive for my wallet. How fun to see all of the designer shops and pretend for a few hours that you live in that world. After we went to the mall we crossed the street and went to Nordstrom's Rack. LOVE that store. Mental note to go there again in the near future. What great bargains on beautiful things. Just a fun day out with my Mother in Law, Adele, and Julia. On the way home we had a dark chocolate candy bar.....I love being a girl!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Today Julia and I went to the Downey Assistance league brunch with Adele and Alex. We attended this brunch a couple of years ago when Julia was 6. She was extremely lucky and won 2 decorated Christmas trees with $200 on them. She said at the time that she wanted to win this particular set of 2 trees so she could share one with her brother. She also said she prayed before she won them. This year she prayed and prayed and prayed and unfortunately did not win a tree. I could see in her sweet face the disappointment and the tears began to fall. On the way home I explained that maybe God had a different plan the trees. Maybe they were meant for a sick child or an elderly person who did not have the strength to decorate a tree this year. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the sparkle return to her sweet face. I knew she understood that God sometimes has bigger plans that we are unaware of but we are always in his heart.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We are off

Julia and I are heading down to Grandele's to go to the annual assistance league brunch.  We are then going to see Wicked on Tuesday night and have Thanksgiving dinner and Aunt Dane and Uncle Vince's house.  I will try and blog but I don't know if I will have a good internet connection.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I was thinking today about all of our numbers.  You know the ones that try to define who you are. The number of years you have been alive, the number of pounds you weigh, the number of inches you take up.  How about your cholesterol numbers or your blood pressure.  Your phone number, your street number, your zip code your income.  They seem to want to contain you and put you into this little box and categorize you.  "Yes you mam, the really tall, average weight, middle class, middle aged mother of 2".  Makes you feel pretty small.  But then I started to think about the numbers that make you bigger.  The nine months I was able to spend with my children inside of me.  The 14 years of marital bliss (yes honey, bliss).  The 23 years I spent learning who my Mother was.  The 60 minutes I spent this morning improving my health and others.  The number of true friends I have.  The number of amazing family members I have.  The number of minutes left in the day to do something incredible.  The endless number of days I will spend in heaven with everyone I love.   

Numbers.....something to ponder. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008


A friend recently told me that my blog kind of takes the mystery out of who I am.  Apparently he thought that I had a very lavish life of parties and ski resorts and big fluffy robes and spa days.... Well, just so you all know....these were my best friends today along with the washer and dryer.   Of course I was not sitting in an office and I enjoyed peace and quiet while fluffing and folding.  It may not be glamorous..... but this is me.   

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I am so happy that my kids have each other.  Even though they taunt each other all of the time it is in the spirit of playfulness.   I love watching the empathy they have - especially when one gets the other in trouble and then regrets it.  They are both very protective of one another and I know that if something ever happened to John and I they would look out for each other.  Sibling love is such a unique kind of love and I am glad they get to experience it.  I snapped this picture this morning before school and I love how Jack just wraps his arm around Julia and she leans into him.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I recently transferred old photos over to my new computer and was shocked at how much has happened in the last 3 years but also how quickly it all seems to be racing by.  I must have received my digital camera 3 years ago because that is how far back the pictures go (it is also the last time I actually printed a photograph that was not a Christmas card).  Three years in the life of my children is so long.  I hate to think that I have been asleep at the wheel while life has been racing by me but I fear that is just the case.  I have spent countless hours on the phone and the computer telling them "hold on a second" when what I should be doing is dropping everything to watch them grow.  How could I spend a single second not enjoying their youth.  My life with John has had so much activity until we moved here.  Moving from place to place, changing careers, meeting new people.  It surprises me how 7 years have flown by in this quiet part of our lives.  I remember when my first grandparent passed away when I was 11 and thinking then that those 11 years were so good - with family gatherings and years filled with health and wellness.  This is one of those times - a quiet and peaceful time where for the most part everyone is well and content.  I have to remember to enjoy this precious time of goodness and hold in my heart the sweet smiles of my children, my husband, my family and friends.  These are the moments that will make the hard times easier....


It hasn't even been a month and I already forgot to write yesterday.  I sat down to do it and couldn't think of anything interesting to say.....  lets see what will come into my brain today.... more later.... maybe.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Last night John wasn't quite ready for vacation to end so he took Jack, Julia, Ben and uncle Rico (our adopted camper van) camping on the beach.  It has been unseasonably warm so it was the perfect time to go.  I, on the other hand, wanted to sleep in my own bed so I enjoyed some quality time with some great friends.    We sat around and ate sushi, drank cosmos and watched a funny movie.  What would we do without our friends - they make your heart lighter and help push uncertainty and fear away.  They remind us how much we are loved and how deeply we can love.  My friends make me laugh so much and are so beautiful to me.  Another daily reminder that God is all around us.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Still dreaming....

So I figure if we save all of our money, don't eat for a couple of months, have 30 or so garage sales, we can go back to Mexico next year.  I am sure John would rather go somewhere new but that was the best vacation I have ever had.  I am so thankful we were able to go when we did.  The kids thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and even liked being around us (I am guessing that wont last much longer).  The Mexican people were so kind and worked so incredibly hard.   That God made this beautiful place for us to enjoy blows me away.  The blueness of the sky and the ocean, the white sand and shell beach,  The perfect melody of the crashing waves.  The smell of well prepared food, the smile in the eyes of a local.  The beauty of God's creatures (turtles, crabs, birds, horses....).  My wish is that you too have had or will enjoy an experience like we just did.  I have a new sense of appreciation and love and know the magic of life.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Sad, refreshed, enlightened, tired, inspired, thankful........blessed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Today Julia was super excited to get her hair braided. She also made some friends from lake tahoe. Jack played water volleyball and took water aerobics. Fun day at the beach and very lazy. Sad to be coming home tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trip of a lifetime

Today was amazing!!!! We woke to our usual amazing breakfast and then John and Jack went on a bike tour while Julia and I went hunting for shells on the beach. The boys then went to one of the local surf shops and rented boards and went surfing - John is very happy. The best part of the day though would have to be when we went to the beach and released baby sea turtles into the ocean. They were born today and only 10 0r 12 people were able to hold them and release them and watch them race to the surf. Truely awe inspiring. The kids could not believe it. Then we enjoyed a mexican we have to come home???

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008


You will have to wait for photos until we get back. We are having a complete blast! We love Mexico. It is so beautiful here! Clean and pristine and the people are amazingly nice. Our hotel is completely fine and the pools are great. The food has been more than satifactory. We had a great time this morning stuffing ourselves silly and enjoying one of the 5 pools - we then went for a beautiful walk on the beach and put our feet in the water. The only bummer so far is that I was stung pretty bad by a jelly fish (OUCH!!!!!!!!!) and Julia wanted to pick up a cocroach and it ran into her shirt and freaked her out. We have seen moths the size of dollar bills and unique birds and crabs.

So far so good - we love Mexico. More tomorrow!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I quick entry because I have time before we leave for a full day of travel.  The kids are so excited they could not sleep.  Ben is pouting and has been since last night when we packed our bags, he knows what is coming.  We are all praying that this will be a fun experience and nobody gets sick.  Jack is very nervous about traveling to a different country and especially since we told him not to drink the water - typical first born.  Julia is hoping to see a sea turtle - I hope she does.  I hope John can enjoy the trip and relax - he deserves it.  I am content knowing we are all together.  It is only when we are split up that I begin to worry.  Have a great week everyone and if you need to contact us just shoot us an email - we will be checking it regularly.

Love to all of you!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Bug Party

Today we had a bug party for Julia.  She just loves bugs!  We had 12 kids (some of them Jack's friends) and had a down home party.  I have decided I like these parties the best.   Much better than bounce houses or chuck e cheeses.  I had fun decorating and playing with the theme.  The kids enjoyed just being kids and playing a few games and doing a craft.

We are leaving for Mexico in the morning so I will try and blog from there.....If I can not get online you will see my daily entries when I return next Friday!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I just got home from the club and I realize that even with all of the aches and pains I absolutely LOVE my job (it doesn't hurt that I love my boss too).  I especially love learning and teaching Dance.  I can not imagine living without it.   Such a fun way to improve the health of your body and your mind.   Always challenging and always rewarding.  I wish other people loved it as much as I do.  It is so liberating to just move your body and feel the music and not care at all if you look goofy doing it.  I wish I hadn't let so much of my life go by before I discovered the joy of dance.  Maybe that is the problem.  My body is saying "what the hell are you thinking old woman? Ya shoulda started years ago!".    For now I am  content that I started at all.  It motivates me to see the 60 -70 year old men and women with their knee replacements and hip replacements in there groovin' as much or more than the younger ones.  I will take the aches and pains  - it is all worth it in the end and maybe if you are feeling like you need a bit of fun and excitement in your life you will join me for a jam session sometime - It works wonders on the soul.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


So here I am - 39 years old - and wondering if I will EVER stop caring about the way I look.  The maintenance alone takes up so much more time than it used to.  I am really glad that I don't have enough money for plastic surgery because I know I would end up looking like Michael Jackson. "Take a little off of here and a little off of there" until there would be nothing left and I would look like some sort of alien creature.  With all of the options to stop time out there those movie stars must have a beauty manager.  Someone to schedule their zoom whitening and laser treatments, their botox and their butt lifts.  I am trying to grow old gracefully but I fear grace will have nothing to do with it.  I am going to fight this battle as hard as I can - it is just in my nature.   I do have to say that I LOVE my hair dresser.   He makes me feel like I am Charlize Theron and I walk out of the salon  thinking I am pretty smokin'.....if only for a couple of hours.  Thank you Todd for being the master of my hair - I wish I had a quiver of Todds in my arsenal to work on my skin and teeth and body......maybe someday.......   Until then my best friend is apparently gravity - it just wont leave me alone.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Baby Girl

Today is Julia's 8th birthday.   I can't believe how fast the time has flown by.  I remember being pregnant with her and just knowing she was a girl.  When she was born I was not surprised to find out she was indeed a girl.  I remember the first night in the hospital with her sleeping next to me - happy I could look at her and hold her in my arms but missing that connection I had when she was inside me.  I will not soon forget the many sleepless nights of her crying and crying when we put her to bed in her room as an infant.   I asked her recently why she cried so much when she was a baby and she told me " I just didn't want to be alone ".  If only they could talk at such a young age.  Now I see a beautiful, talented and intelligent person emerging.  Such a pleasure to watch in slow motion how a seed becomes a beautiful flower.  She has compassion for others that I wish I had.   A confidence that is unique at such a young age.  A longing to be close to people and immeasurable love for others.  She strives for perfection in herself which sometimes causes her pain.  A challenge she will hopefully overcome.  Her imagination and talent will take her far in everything she does.  She is an example to me and I learn from her everyday.

Julia, I love you more that words can say.  I would do anything for you and will try my best to be the mother you deserve.  Please forgive me if I fall short.  You are my beautiful rising star, my angel and my baby - no matter how old you get.  I know you will do so many amazing things in your life and become everything you want to be.  I pray that God will watch over you and protect you.  Keep you safe and healthy.  I pray that he covers you with His wisdom, protection and love.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!                  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today we get to vote.   What an incredible privilege.  How amazing that we get to live in this country where we, as a people, do have say and we do have a vote.  A country where I can write my political views on this blog.......or not if I choose.  This is freedom.  This is what living in this country is all about.  This is what I want my children to experience and there children after that.  Today  I will vote and hopefully you will too and the people will govern this nation and not the other way around.  This is our right.  This is our choice.  This is our freedom...don't waste it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I love my mac too much

I always wanted a smaller nose ;)

I wonder when I am going to see my kids again.  I am having way too much fun on this thing.  This morning Jack gave me a kiss goodbye and said "I bet when I get home you will be sitting here on your computer still in your robe....".  I guess I better go get dressed because it is 11am and I am STILL in my robe.  I did pay bills online and confirmed all of our travel plans though.  2 days until Julia's 8Th birthday and 5 days until Mexico.  Woo Hoo!

Now.....go take on the day!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Souls Day

Today we woke up quite early because of day light savings to a valley full of fog.  The kids enjoyed the new Tinkerbell movie, while John took Ben for a walk and I enjoyed my new Mac and a cup of coffee.

Today is also All Souls Day.  I was sitting in church reflecting on all of the people I know who have died and wondering how incredibly large heaven must be.  It also confirmed for me once again that God works in ways we least expect it.  You see, a very dear friend of mine took me out to lunch for my birthday last week.  While we were enjoying the beautiful fall day he presented me with a gift.  As I started to open this gift he began to tell me the story behind it.  I could see the emotion as he told me how this gift had belonged to his dear Grandmother.  His Grandmother had very recently passed away and was an anchor of strength and wisdom in his life.  I stopped opening the gift.  Surely I was not suppose to receive such a treasure that had belonged to someone I had never met and clearly meant so much to him.   He reassured me that yes, he wanted me to have it so  I continued to open it.  Inside was a beautiful cross.   My friend knows how much my faith means to me and knew I would appreciate it.  I left feeling thankful but still very unworthy.  It did not become clear until today, while I was kneeling in Saint Patrick's church that God most clearly was working through my friend.   As I sat there I thought of his Grandmother and how incredible happy she must be sitting in heaven, her faith confirmed after so many years and here I was, a fairly new catholic, carrying on in the same way she had.  The two of us linked only by this cross and our faith.   I hope after  I am gone perhaps one of my children will pass this cross onto someone else.  Someone who never knew me.  Someone who finds comfort in the hands of God.   Until then I will proudly wear this cross in honor of an amazing woman and do my best to be the kind of example that she was to my dear friend.     Thank you God for my dear friend Stephen.  Thank you Stephen for sharing your Grandmother with me, for giving me a piece of your heart and for bringing me closer to my dear friend God.

Saturday, November 1, 2008