Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chemo day

Today is my Dad's third round of chemo out of 12 rounds.  The last one was a  bit rough so I am praying that this one will be a bit easier.  These every other Wednesdays loom over me so I can not imagine what he is going through.  I will label these Wednesdays Chemo days so a prayer or two would be appreciated.  I love you Papa!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How old is too old?

We had a Body Jam launch tonight.  If you don't know what that is - it is when we release new music and choreography into our class.  We usually make a big deal out of it and have an opening number and decorate the room etc.  Tonight we did decorate (no opening number ) and we all had matching outfits.  Our theme was really bright colors.  So imagine for a second a 39 year old with black pants, a neon yellow bustier, black shiny dance shoes with neon yellow laces, hair in 20 braids and piled on top of her head and neon yellow nail polish......  Should I be embarrassed?  If I saw even a 20 year old dressed like that I think I would snicker a bit.  Thankfully I don't have a photo of this disaster.   My poor children are going to need LOTS of therapy.....

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mary Monday



We celebrated Mary's Birthday tonight.  I made empanadas from scratch, a California Pizza Kitchen salad recipe and lemon cupcakes - yum!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lake Lopez






I spent the weekend camping (yes, camping) in Uncle Rico (yes, Uncle Rico - I have the photo to prove it) at Lake Lopez and......  had a fantastic time!  It was so beautiful there.  The usual white trash littering campers with their stereos blasting hadn't arrived for summer yet and the lake was quiet.  We enjoyed seeing many wild turkeys and deer and rented a boat and fished on the lake.  I can't believe we live so close to such a beautiful place.  We did bring a bit of white trash with us as we had chili- cheese hot dogs for dinner and steak but John made the most delicious banana pancakes for breakfast.  I wish I could put these moments in a snow globe and enjoy them again and again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Double Scoop Birthdays!


I am celebrating two amazing people today!  The first is my sister Sarah.  I will call her the explorer.  She is the third born in our family and perhaps the most unique.  She was such a fun baby to have around.  She was super, super skinny and had these big eyes and a funny laugh.  I remember thinking she was my little doll to play with.  She definitely has her own style and I think Julia gets a lot of her characteristics from her.  We could always find Sarah squatting down on the ground examining a treasure she found - either a bug or a rock or a flower.  You will often find Julia doing the same thing and attempting to keep all of them (right now Julia has a potato bug in a plastic container in her room).  Sarah loves beauty and sparkly things and adores animals (again all things Julia loves).  Sarah has become the independent career woman.  She drives a nice car and has successfully purchased her own home.  She has a good job and volunteers at the Natural Museum of History.  She is always learning and expanding her knowledge either through school or books or workshops and she is very intelligent.  Sarah is the fun aunt that taught my kids that they could just eat the ketchup off of the french fry without actually eating the french fry.   They adore her.  I think what I admire most in Sarah is her artistic ability.  She is extremely gifted and has vision I wish I had a tenth of.  The things she has made are as unique she she is and just as beautiful.  Happy birthday Sarah!  You have accomplished so much in your young (yes you are young) life.  I hope you never stop exploring and learning and trying new things.  I hope this year your artwork finds its way into the world and you are embraced by new love.  You deserve every happiness and I know you have the courage and ability to attain it.  Remember that your family loves you and are always here for support or to bounce ideas off of.  Remember you are never alone.  We love you so very much!!


The second is our cousin Mary who I will call the survivor.  We met Mary once when Adele and Alex were married and then didn't see her or her family again until we moved up here 7 years ago.  Mary took us in immediately like family.  We were able to stay at her home while we looked for a house and once we moved in she had us over for every holiday and random Sundays for dinner.  We immediately fell in love with all of them.  Mary is an amazing mother to her 4 children and a very strong wife to her late husband Richard.   Mary's life was completely turned upside down and inside out when Richard became ill.  It is so hard to watch someone go through pain knowing there is not much you can do to help.  Mary is one of the strongest women I know.  Even though I am sure there are days still when she would like to not even get out of bed she perseveres.  She has found a way to survive and support her children.  She never stops working for them - helping them fill out college applications, attending track meets, encouraging them through tough classes and job interviews.  As hard as life has been over the last few years she still manages to smile and ask how you are doing.  Mary, I hope this next chapter in your life is a calmer one, a more peaceful one and one that fills you with joy.  I hope this year you can find time to nurture yourself.  Even though your to-do list may be long I hope towards the top is some time to take care of you.  I am so happy we live even closer to you and I think we will find more time to connect over the next year.  You are young, and beautiful and strong and I completely admire you!  We love you Mary!  Happy Birthday!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Small town

I absolutely love the fact that wherever I go I usually see someone I know.  Today I came to realize that a friend I have known for awhile at the gym has a husband that has known John for years.  After talking we found quite a few connections between us and discovered that we were at the same event 7 years ago.  As much as I loved living near big cities like San Francisco, San Diego and Denver now I would rather visit and explore them for a short time and enjoy my daily life surrounded by the comfort of familiarity.  Is that a sign I am getting old?  I don't think so.  I think it is just my personality.  I am a very social person but like to stay within my close knit network of friends.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day

Yesterday was earth day.  I am all about conservation and recycling and taking care of this planet but I think it is a good reminder that we should not put too much stock in our lives here on earth.  I want our children and our grandchildren and their grandchildren to grow up in a healthy environment with clean water and mild temperatures and beautiful green trees.   I will do what I can to protect that for them and prepare this place for them just like I know God has prepared a  place for us when we are done here on earth.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Myrah



Today is my niece Myrah's 12Th birthday!   I can clearly remember the day she was born.  I was not there but anxiously waiting for the phone call and I remember how incredibly beautiful she was.  She was a perfect little new born.   I was so enthralled with this new little life  - so much in fact that Jack was born 9 months later.  Today she is still beautiful.  Even though we don't live near her I get to watch her grow up with visits and pictures.  She is turning into an intelligent, fun, and caring young woman.  My children adore their sweet cousin - the wise older one.  Myrah, I hope this year brings you comfort in your new school and a confidence that you can attain anything your heart desires.  Enjoy these years of self exploration and worldly insight.  Make sure to foster your amazing talents and creativity and you will move mountains.  Know that you are surrounded by love and that love will always be there for you.  Happy birthday darling girl!  We love you so much!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life

Sometimes don't you wish you could just push the snooze button?

Monday, April 20, 2009

5th grade project



Well once again Jack left a project to the last minute so we were scrambling last night to finish his "bottle person".  They had to write a report on a famous person and make a bottle person statue.  Jack chose Kelly Slater who is a world class professional surfer.  He is ranked #1 in the world right now.  This is his interpretation of Kelly......  I kind of think it looks like a spray tanned, surfing priest myself but what do you think?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tribute

This afternoon I went to a tribute at the gym for Ed who passed away last week.  He did not want a service so this was just a bunch of people from the gym getting together because we didn't quite know what to do with ourselves.  What I realized is how many families we all have.  The gym family I have is very close.  I don't think you would find that at other gyms so much but the turn out at this one and the amount of tears and hugs going around really proved what a close knit family we are there - members and instructors.  Make sure to acknowledge those around you that brighten your day.  Even if they are on the outskirts of your life.  You never know what other people are going through on the inside and a sincere appreciation can do wonders for people.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ahhhhmmaaaaazzzing!!!!







California Academy of Sciences.  You have to experience it to understand.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

buzz kill.....




We headed up to the museum today and arrived just before noon but found it almost impossible to even get into Golden Gate Park there were so many people.   After driving around for at least a half hour we found the parking garage with a sign saying the museum was already sold out for the day...... are you kidding me?  I thought if I planned this trip on a Friday when the San Francisco kids were not on spring break I would be OK.  Ooopps.   Ok well, change of plans.  We checked into the hotel (which was an adventure because we booked it through hotwire and you don't know what your are getting until AFTER you pay for it) and it was beautiful.  A fantastic hotel a block from Union Square with free internet, and ipod docking station and John's favorite bath products L'Occitane.  So what do we do with a few hours to kill before dinner?  Shop of course.  Union square was fun.  Dinner in North Beach was disappointing only because we know how amazing the food can be there and this particular restaurant was far under par.  At least now we know where not to go next time.  The plan is to wake up early tomorrow and try the museum again....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

San Fran trip day 1




After the long drive up to San Fran and running by one of John's customers we were left with a few hours to kill before meeting John's really good friends Robert and Laura and their boys Jake and Josh.  So, what does Kristin do with a couple of spare hours?  Shop of course!  We found an amazing mall in San Jose with every store you could ever imagine.   Now if you know me at all you know it takes a lot for me to pay full price for anything so it was just a looking trip which was wonderful.  We spent a long time in the mens department of Nordstom's trying on hats and sunglasses.  It was a great family time.  Once we arrived at our friend's house the kids had fun riding on a miniature motorcycle before we hit the hay for the next day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just Kick me where the sun don't shine

Well,  I finally did it.  I sent every spare dollar to the IRS today.  On top of the two days of cramming I did to file (remember my procrastination post?) John and I just signed our life away once again to re-finance the house.  For some strange reason I just feel violated today.  Something about signing your name about 35 times on documents that you would never read and let alone understand along with stating every possible personal statistic on the 1040 makes me feel like my skin has been ripped off and my bones trampled on.  Oh well.  I guess I don't have to think about it for another whole year. I am going to try and forget about it on our way up to San Francisco tomorrow.  A quick trip with the kids to find some culture.  Look for pics of the Golden Gate!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Backache

I am starting to really feel the affects of age on this poor body.  I had a fairly annoying backache for the past 3 days - enough for me to take pain medication around the clock.  I was questioning whether or not I should teach dance tonight but decided I would just go easy.  The problem (and I should know better) is that I NEVER go easy.  I start having fun and lose myself in the moment but the miraculous thing is that when I walked out of class my back felt fine!  Dance was a cure!  So next time your body is bummin' you out put on some tunes and get your swagger on!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Emily


Today is my beautiful sister Emily's birthday.  She is the forth born (I am the first) and although quite a few years come between us we are very, very close.  She is a hero in so many ways.  She became a single mother at a very young age and although she has had more than her fair share of hardships she has managed to make a wonderful life for herself and her daughter.  She is an amazing mother and her daughter is turning into a very beautiful young lady - inside and out.  I can not even begin to imagine how life would be as a parent without another parent to bat around decisions with.  Everything she does is by her own choices and she has proven over and over again what an amazing person she truly is.  She has had to grow up much sooner than the rest of us and her values and morals are spot on.  She instills these in her daughter and it really shows.  She has abundant love for others and is extremely nurturing.  She showers other peoples children with love for a living - a career not for the faint of heart - and those children love her back in return.  She is the glue that keeps our family together.  She is the communicator and the designated "neat" one.  When she comes to visit I never want her to leave - in fact last year I tried to make her move out here just so I could be closer to her.  I love you Emily.  You are an amazing sister, mother and daughter.  I know Mom would be so extremely proud of you just as we are all so proud of you.  I hope you realize your talents and gifts and the abundant love we all have for you.  You have blessed my life in ways no one else ever could.  Happy Birthday Emily!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!




I hope this Easter you find yourself at peace with your life.  I loved the homily the priest had this morning.  He was talking about his favorite movies and how most of them leave you wanting more.   Even at the end of a very long movie - if you love it you don't want it to end.   He finds, and I find too, comfort in knowing what happens at the end of our life on earth.  I am so content knowing that I will continue on long after this life here.  I am content knowing that I will be spending it with God and everyone I love.  I am content not knowing all of the answers but knowing that the answers will be good and full of love.  I am happy to know that the movie that is my life will end predictably with "and she lived happily ever after" and when you leave the theater you are content and satisfied.  

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday fun!

Today I forgot to bring my camera (aarrggg!)  but we spent the afternoon at the mission plaza for children's day.  The kids had a bunch of fun and then we walked around SLO for a bit.  We have Grandele and Nonno here for the weekend so it was fun to explore with them.  They had a sardine sandwich (who knew Julie?) and loved it from an italian deli.  We finished off the day with some pizza on the grill and a DVD.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Getting Ready




Way ahead of the game (strangely unusual) I have already prepped my table for Easter.  John brought me some beautiful flowers so this is what I did.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Beginnings






This week Stephen opened his store!  He is running his design business out of the back of the store so it is fun to walk in and see all of his fabric samples etc.  He also has very nice furniture, artwork and accessories.   If you get a chance you should check it out.  I am sure he will have a web presence soon.  


Our next door neighbors just bought baby chicks - they are going to live down the hill in the cutest little coop you have ever seen and they are going to be big and black.  We can't wait to watch them grow.   Don't you love new beginnings?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What should we do?



This is the mop Jack has.  Should we cut it all off?  Give him a mullet? or just trim the sides and back?  I wish I had his hair......

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ed

A dear man from our gym took his life on Sunday.  This came as a major shock to all of us.  He regularly attended every one of my classes for many years.  He would always let us know many days in advance if he was going to be out of town and wouldn't be coming in because he knew we would worry about him.  We talked after every class, sometimes for only a minute or two and sometimes a bit longer.  I knew he was lonely, he lived alone and really didn't have any family except his ex wife who lived in Santa Barbara.  He would visit her on weekends sometimes and help her with the up keep of her home.  I know they were friendly with each other and went out to dinner.  He was always talking about finding his soul mate.  He said he was just one of those men who needed to be with a woman.  He had trouble sleeping and always said it would be better if he had someone lying next to him.   I think he was waiting for her to find him.  He spent his days mostly at the gym (he sometimes took 4 classes a day) and taking long walks on the beach.  We all thought we were his family.  All of the instructors and many members talked with him daily and we all loved having him as a permanent fixture at the gym.  He appreciated good food and good movies.  The way he spoke of meals and described them made me think he should be a food critic and I told him so.  He always made me hungry.  He loved movies with relationships and usually sad ones.  I could tell he was a very passionate man.  He smiled every day and always seemed to be very happy in class.  Sometimes he would just close his eyes in body jam and really get into the music and the dance.  He appreciated the simple things in life - like a sunset or a cool breeze.  He would cut out comic strips and bring them to me just to make me laugh.  He always had a compliment ready for everyone.  

He was my friend.  I am going to miss him.  I will miss seeing him in his spot in the room.  I will miss his smile and his sweetness. I am so sad that I did not realize the depth of his pain and didn't do more for him.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yes I take ownership of them

video
This is what happens when you leave kids alone with a mac.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunburn


Yep, April 5th and I have a sunburn.  Shorts and tank tops baby!  Spent the morning watching the rest of my family surf at Pismo Beach.  Ahhhhh ........  summer is coming.........

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Walking.....


Today was absolutely beautiful and so Suzanne, Janell and I decided to take a long walk on the Bob Jones trail.  Now whenever I have walked on this trail we usually park half way down and don't walk the entire way.  This is a very flat and beautiful walk but when Suzanne turned in to park at the very beginning of the trail I knew I was in for it.  It really isn't that long and I shouldn't complain - I mean I am a fitness professional for Pete's sake but when we were only half way back I started whining.  Janell tried her best to encourage me to keep going but I just couldn't wait to get to the car.  Maybe I need to get outside more often and exercise like normal people do instead of being entertained by loud music and other people in the gym.  I guess life doesn't always have a soundtrack going on in the background.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pool

As the weather changes  I am finding myself wanting our own pool more and more.  I love the fact that our neighbors have one that we can pretty much use whenever we want to (and they get to pay for it) but the idea of having our own for the kids to really enjoy over the next 10 years is pretty golden.  We never did get a swing set or a trampoline - does that count?  We live in such a beautiful area so the need to go on vacations are not quite as tempting as just spending less money and staying right here.  Thoughts?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Procrastination

I have done it.  I have turned into the parent I never wanted to turn into.   Jack has been procrastinating with his homework, cleaning his room, taking out the trash.....etc.  It makes me SO angry when he tells me at 8pm that he has 2 rough drafts due tomorrow and he hasn't even started on them yet.  I am trying to teach him to spread the work out and do a little each day but it doesn't matter how many times I tell him he continues to wait until the very last second.  Now how can I blame the poor kid when this is probably my biggest downfall?  I have yet to do our taxes and I usually wait until the last minute to clean before guests arrive.  I am probably the worst procrastinator I know - how can I expect any more from my own children when they learn from example.  I can't even teach myself! AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!  I do have to say I have learned to cope with my disability and usually get it done but it is always down to the wire.  Honestly how can parents live with themselves?  Our flaws become so crystal clear when we look at our children.  All I can do is try harder I guess, and maybe cut the poor guy some slack.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

11:42pm

I  am still awake.  I just had my good friends Stephen and Todd over for lasagna and salad and a little american idol.  We had so much fun and enjoyed some great red wine.  They make me laugh until I cry and my make up runs all over the place.  We also had some fun teaching them how to play the wii.  Stephen is quite the hula hooper and Todd was great at the ski jump.  Jack and Julia loved beating them in everything.  John missed the occasion but is up visiting his good friend Bobby and their new puppy so I am sure he is in heaven.  All in all a good day but I am thinking about my Dad who started chemo today.  Say a prayer that it all goes well and his side effects are minor.