Day of the Dead

After many years of saying we were going to go Shanna and I finally made it to downtown Santa Ana to celebrate Dia de Muertos.  Over the years I have heard many things about this tradition, but until this weekend I never fully understood the ritual. Like for instance I had no idea it was actually a three day celebration. “On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.” -Frances Ann Day

As we walked the streets viewing altar after altar I was in awe of the amount of time, effort and creativity that went into each one. Families coming together to celebrate the dead, giving just a glimpse of what these lives were like. This for me was a problem, it left me wanting more.  I was not satisfied, I wanted to know more of there story, I wanted to know how they died. Perhaps this is just my morbid tendencies but I had no choice but to accept the amount of information that was provided.

Regardless of your beliefes, religion or culture we all have a way of celebrating/honoring/remembering the dead this we have in common. Dia de Muertos was something I always wanted to experience and I look forward to doing it again next year.

Have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

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Happy Birthday Grandma

Today is Oct 29. My Grandma’s birthday.
She’s been gone for a couple years now. Some days it seems longer than that. Other days it still doesn’t feel real.
Grandma, Grandmother – Either way you say it, is there a sweeter name anywhere?
The word Grand and Mother together, joined for now and forever as one united Grand concept. The mere word brings up images of baking cookies, cuddling for stories, and secrets whispered in little girl sleepovers.
I am not sure why I have these images. They are not at all who my Grandmother really was.
My Grandmother was no ordinary Grandmother. She was more.
Although she passed away, she lives on in the hearts of so many who knew and loved her. Please let me share some of my memories of Grandma…
No Ordinary Grandma
Weekends were spent barbecuing and chowing down on Grandma’s potato salad, the kind no one else has mastered.
Grandma was also my biggest cheerleader. She was no quiet knitter on the side lines. She attended many of my games and let everyone know she was there.
One of my favorite memories is camping as a child. Camping was a lot of fun but hard work too so, on those special trips when my grandparents met up with us, I would always be incredibly thankful. Camping with them meant looking up at the stars for stories of “the old days.”
It meant love and laughter.
How do I put so much love in a post?
I can’t. As trite as it sounds, I wish I could go back and tell my Grandmother one more time how much I love her still.
And, now, I look at my mother, who has inherited so many of her mother’s traits: Her kind heartedness, her ability to laugh, her willingness to do anything to help her children – and I know that some of those good traits will be passed on to me and I cannot express my thankfulness or my gratitude or my appreciation or my love in words, but they are there.
And, as much as we are different, all three of us women, as much as I will cringe re-reading this at times, I know I could do much worse than to turn out like my Grandmother or my Mother. They are strong and intelligent. There’s not much on this Earth that can top those traits.
And for that, I want to thank them both.

I have been truly blessed.

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Weekend Recap

We had a very HOT weekend here in SoCal. Of all the years our AC takes a shit and we have a heat wave. I told the hubster we are getting the AC fixed before next summer! I can’t wait for a night I don’t have to sleep in a pool of sweat, I am more than ready for fall. Maybe if I put out my Halloween decorations Mother Nature will get the hint to change seasons! I love everything about fall, the weather, the decorations, and the food. Saturday night Matt and I had a date night and I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. It’s never too hot in my world for coffee. We went to our favorite place to eat FoGo de Chao. We love everything about this restaurant.

Sunday the Princess went to volleyball clinic, Matt went to see his uncle, who has been very ill and then the Prince had his first game of the fall ball season. It was right in the middle heat of the day. The game couldn’t have been at a worse time. The boys all played well and won the game. I was impressed at how well their hitting has turned around. I am excited to see the Princes continued growth as a ball player. The Princess is continuing to have a great season on Varsity. I love seeing the progress she has made mentally and physically. I am very proud of both my athletes.

Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

Monday

Ugh is it Monday already?!?! I am so tired. I am not sure why, I got plenty of sleep. I think it just lack of good sleep because it is so hot at night. You can bet we will have the AC fixed by next summer. At this point I think everyone has complained about the heat at some point or another. It’s frustrating at night when it is so much cooler outside. I have fans in every room and I still can’t get that cool air in the house.

Saturday morning we were up early, the Princess had a tournament and the Prince had practice. It was a long day on the court.

Sunday we went to Silkys for breakfast. This a annual tradition to meet friends here for opening day every year. The kids and I eat breakfast and then go home, leaving Matt. The Princess and Cousin drove to Hollywood and Beverly Hills to act like tourists for a while. The Prince and I stayed home, did laundry, ironed and cleaned the house. We headed back to pick up Matt about 4pm.

After dinner we did cake and sang Happy Birthday to Paul. It was a good weekend.

Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

Survived

The week has gone by in a flash especially considering I only worked two days!! Monday we did our school shopping and got the kids all new clothes. I think we saved a great deal of money with Labor Day sales. Tuesday we just chilled and enjoyed our last official day of spring break. Matt and I both had the day off to ensure the kids got off safely. The Princess was excited to get back to school and it was her first varsity game as well.

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Next up was the Prince. We got kind of screwed this year because by the time they approved his interdistrict transfer the morning kinder session was already full so we got stuck in the late session. Matt and I anxiously waited with the boy at the gate. He walked to his class room, we got him settled into his desk and then away we went. I am so proud of the big boy he is becoming.

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After dropping off the kid, Matt and I went for some much needed adult time. First up Mani/Pedis!!! After this pampering we headed to Hollingshead for some killer sandwiches and beer. After lunch we headed back to the Princes school to ensure he transitioned to after school care ok. Sure enough he was doing great! We had a few more hours to chill at home before we picked him up and then went to the Princesses first game of the season. We lost in three, but boy did she have a good game. Her hits and serves were on point. I was very proud of her. All of the hard work and dedication is paying off. Maybe its the wings!! I will be posting her stats after every game as well as pictures on the Volleyball page.

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Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

Life Happens

It feels like just yesterday summer began and now its over. The days go by faster and faster. So much stuff going on, its hard to find the time to download, edit photos, upload and actually write a post. Today I had some free time so I caught up. The pictures go as far back as the Princes preK graduation.  PICS Its hard to believe that tomorrow he will start kindergarten in a brand new school. This will be a big step for him considering he was at Tutor Time since he was 4 months old. New school, new faces and a new routine. I am confident he will succeed this year because he is one smart kid.

This summer we spent a lot of days at the beach. The Princess and Prince love the beach so I am always eager to take them. We managed to go to Venice, Newport and a new spot in Laguna, Pearl Street. Every beach has its own character and its always fun to people watch. PICS

The Princess started off her summer by taking a trip to the Delta with her dad. From the looks of the pictures they had a blast. PICS

Once the Prince finished school we had a few days before vacation so the Princess took him to the Santa Ana Zoo. These two had a great time looking at all there favorite animals and going on a few rides. This is a great, inexpensive local attraction. PICS

Our annual trip to Lake Mead was next up on the list. The kids look forward to this trip every year. This will be our first with our own jet skiis. I don’t know who was more excited the Prince or the Princess. We always spend the first night at State Line doing a little shopping and gambling before we board the boat the next day. Each day we encountered some winds, which always make for an interesting trip on the house boat. On our second to last night there the house boat broke loose about 3am that was fun. We spent the next night on the dock ready to go home. But all in all the kids had a blast as did the puppies. Its always nice to disconnect for a week. We love this trip. PICS

A couple weeks home and we then headed to Arizona to hang out with family. We drove in early Friday, hung out by the pool and did some BBQ. Saturday we then went to Salt River. I think this is ending up to be an annual event as well. I love that we get a large group of people together, tie some tubes together and spend 3-4 hours floating down the river partying. PICS

Now we start to get back into some normalcy. My favorite time of year is upon us school starts tomorrow, volleyball season kicks off, fall ball has begun and Fall is around the corner. I can already taste the Pumpkin Lattes. Soon we will be planning our annual trip apple picking at Oak Glenn. This is my favorite season!

I hope this post finds you well. I will be updating more often I promise.

Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

Fate

Today I feel like writing. I am feeling rather nostalgic. Summer is almost over and the kids will be easing into the new school year. The princess will be a junior and the prince starts kindergarten. I am looking forward to a good school year. It’s a big year for the prince, new school, new teachers and new friends. The princess will be on varsity this year so she has a big volleyball season ahead of her. I am proud of all the accomplishments she has made. This past weekend my great grandma was put to rest. She lived a long and full life. The poor woman buried 5 of 7 children. No parent should out live there children. I am fortunate to have a 5 generation picture with her. My great grandmother did not live close and I did not have a close relationship with her. This makes me sad. I have been around more death in the last few years than I have my entire life. I suppose this is a normal part of the life cycle, I just never had to face it. I am not sure how to handle death, perhaps denial is easiest for me. I suspect as time goes by I will be attending more and more. This is something I don’t look forward to as I am sure no one does. My question is what do you think happens to a person after they die? Every religion has their own theory, but what if it’s not religion based at all. Because I do not affiliate with any particular religion my answer for my children has been they go on to live amongst the stars. In the wake of my great grandmothers passing and sharing my theory a very fitting cartoon crossed my path.

Coincidence???

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Do you believe in fate?

Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

 

FACK #!%$#

I think it is time we catch up! This past weekend the hubby, BF and I went to see Led Zapagain at the House of Blues on Sunset. We headed down early to seek out the Motley Crue star on Hollywood Blvd. Stopped at the Rusty Mullet for a drink then headed up the street for a mile only to discover we were going the wrong direction.

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We decided we were running out of time so we parked across from the House of Blues and walked half a mile to Pink Taco for some dinner and drinks. By at 8pm we headed in to watch the show. We were able to get the last table on the balcony in the VIP section. This actually worked out perfect because we didn’t have to leave our seats to get drinks! The opening band was an ACDC cover band, Bonfire. They were really good. I was impressed. Then it was time for Led Zeppagain, they started out ok but I wasn’t impressed and hubby was less than enthused. While we were listening to the show the ACDC guys came up by us, had some drinks and watched the rest of the show. They were pretty cool guys. The show wasn’t over and we decided to head out, they were that bad. But in spite of everything we all had a really awesome night.

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Sunday we did nothing and it felt pretty damn good.

Yesterday my week was doing pretty good until I was leaving the little princes school and I reached back to hand him the ipad and I proceeded to clip the curb of the driveway flattening both my passenger side tires. That was a $500 mistake!!! The princess picked us up while the car was towed away. Then we went to Concerts in the Park and it turned out to be a better night.

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Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

 

Migraines

In the last 5 years I have become aware that I suffer from migraines. I think in my case they are hereditary and hormone related. I can usually predict when they are going to happen and in most cases dull them with massive amounts of Advil. Yesterday I had a migraine that was out of the norm. As the afternoon went on I could feel the pressure building in my head as if it was sinus related. My normal migraines are pounding on one side of my head, this was definitely different. I got home at 430 took some Advil hoping to dull the pain enough to go on with my night. Shanna arrived at 5 to go to concerts in the park, but my head was worsening. By this time I began to feel nauseous. The princess headed out to her volleyball game and I stayed home with the prince. Shanna quickly realized I was in no shape to go to the concerts in the park so she headed home. The prince was content playing Titan Fall while I laid in bed. Finally after praying to the porcelain god, I felt slightly better. Hubby came home, quickly changed and headed out to watch the princesses games. Lucky for me the prince was pretty low maintenance and we were both passed out by 9.

Today the pain has moved to the other side of my head and dulled enough for me to work. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox