#tbt

Heres to that year I decided to take part in the 365 Project amongst photographers. Basically you take one picture a day and post it. Trust me its a lot harder than it sounds!!! But even with that in mind I have decided to do it again for the year 2015. Look for me to add a new page with all the new pictures starting Jan 1. Take a stroll down memory land and see all the daily pics I took in 2011. (CLICK HERE)

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

Ketchup

So according to the Princesses I haven’t written in a while and they have been looking for some updates.

Last weekend we drove out to AZ for a day of baking. We got in pretty late Friday night and then were up early Saturday to begin baking. The boys headed out to Top Golf. Nicole quickly made some Puerto Rican Egg Nog, Coquito, it was pretty darn good! Rose made the dough for the Pecan Sandies and Sugar Cookies the night before so we were able to jump right in. The little Prince was eager to start helping. Once we got the Pecan Sandies, Snicker Doodles and some Sugar Cookies made we started decorating. This is always messy and fun. A couple dozen later and we were all done. After some lunch the boys returned from Top Golf and they were all pretty buzzed. In effort to keep the momentum going we went to the Paradise Lounge. Drinks in hand we played Yahtzee. For every Yahtzee you had to do a shot. You can guess by the end of the night we were all pretty trashed. We got back to the house put all the drunks to bed and then made some s’mores by the fire pit with the kids before heading to bed ourselves.

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Sunday after breakfast we headed back home.

Monday after dinner we got our xmas tree. The kids picked out a good one. This is our first Noble Fur, I like it and think it’s not as messy as the Douglas Fur.

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Tuesday the Princess had her volleyball banquet. A fun night of Tacos, gifts, awards and video. I was very proud she received a Scholar Athlete award.

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Thursday and Friday we were slammed with a storm that brought us some much needed rain. I loved every minute of it. Friday night after dinner a quick down pour came through and the kids and I went outside to splash in puddles.

Saturday after the Princess’ club practice we drove out to Grandpas for dinner. The kids were super excited to see the horses. Fannie is the brown horse and she is super mellow. Jazz is the black horse and she has a lot of spunk. Eventually we will have chickens and a pig. The kids love it. After dinner the kids played video games and built a ginger bread house.

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Sunday princess and I volunteered at the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen from 730-1230. It was a very rewarding experience and we plan on spending much more time there. I was very impressed with how well the kitchen operated and was run by all volunteers. All food was prepared by hand that morning. We cut up fruit for fruit salad and yogurt, large vats of eggs were cooked and scrambled, over 400 pancakes were made along with a large ham and 20 gallons of oatmeal. Food was served from 9-11 and each person can get three helpings, then we spend the last hour cleaning the entire kitchen and dining hall. I was thankful to work the front line serving oatmeal and get the opportunity to put a smile on all the faces I fed. I hope that everyone that was served is appreciative to have a place like that to go for a hot meal.

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After we headed back out to grandpas to fix his computer and do some more work with the horses. The kids absolutely love it out there. On the way home we dropped off the eldest Princess at home, picked up Tommys (disappointing), got some Yogurtland and then finally made it home for the night.

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

#GivingTuesday

Every year I try and do my part in giving back in any means possible. I would like to take this chance to tell you about a local organization going above and beyond to give back, Someone Cares.  Someone Cares is a soup kitchen operating 7 days a week including holidays. Orange County has over 35,000 homeless people, of that 58% are fed by Someone Cares. Someone Cares Soup Kitchen is a non profit organization and operates solely on volunteer and donations. Someone Care Soup Kitchen has been in operation since 1986.

Christmas is one of the busiest days at the Soup Kitchen. During this time, a toy drive is organized that allows them to give to nearly 1,000 deserving children, where each child takes a picture with Santa Claus and then receives a present. It is truly wonderful to see these less fortunate kids celebrate and experience a traditional Christmas celebration.

In addition to providing meals in 2001  Someone Cares began offering an afterschool tutouring program for children that live within the neighborhood. The Someone Cares Tutoring Program operates Monday through Thursday from 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. They currently serve 45 children, and each child receives 4 hours of individual instruction

I encourage you to donate your time or money.

720 West 19th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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Weekend Wrap Up

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I was home for a fabulous 5 days. Matt and I last minute decided to go to Vegas after Thanksgiving dinner. We have done this before in the past and had a really good time. I think our secret is out though because Vegas was packed with tons of people and KIDS. I am sorry but I do not think Vegas is a place for children. We got into town at 9pm Thursday night, checked into the Mandalay Bay and once at the room we cracked open a bottle of wine, had two glasses and then headed down to the tables. I was unable to find any Pai Gow tables so I sat at the bar and played video poker. $20 and three FULL glasses of wine later and I was trashed. We made our way back to the room and it was all over for me. I can definitely say it will be some time before I touch red wine again. Friday morning we were up by noon, showered and then ventured out for some food. We finally ended up at the NyNy and I played PaiGow for hours while Matt played Black Jack. We had dinner reservations at Gallaghers. This is Matts number one steak house. Steaks are mouthwatering and never disappoint. After dinner we had some time to kill before our show at 10pm. We gambled some more before walking to down to Caesars. We had tickets to see Absinthe. The show was an hour and half long, it was fantastic and I highly recommend seeing it. It was dirty, racial comedy that had us laughing into tears. It is not for anyone who is easily offended. After the show we walked back to NyNy for some more gambling and by 3am I was exhausted. Saturday morning we checked out and headed home. It was a much needed adult get away and worth every penny.

Sunday I literally slept all day I woke up at noon for some lunch and then back to bed till 630 when the kids got home.

Back to reality

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

Happy Bday Lil Man!

Six years ago today you were born.

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You have brought me nothing but pure joy since that very first moment. Watching you grow, absorbing the world around you, delighted to learn, I’m reminded each day of the treasure you bring into my world.

As all mothers do, I have goals, dreams and wishes for you.

Don’t ever apologize for who you are, for what you want, for how hard you have worked or where you are going in life. I don’t doubt you will work hard. Stand your ground, be proud of you. Do not live to make others happy or to measure up to someone else’s expectations.

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I wish for the kind heart I see you in now to stay firmly in place. Keep it, nurture it, handle it with care. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too sensitive. The best part of my day is the joy infused by your smile and your hugs. I couldn’t live without your affection and kindness.

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Seek joy. Every single day, find something that makes you happy and do it. Be it big or small – an act of kindness, listening to a song you love, calling a friend, watching a ball game it quite simply doesn’t matter. What matters is that you spend a portion of each day smiling and laughing.

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You are dirty and messy, you snuggle and love me. I melt when you say, “I haven’t had my morning kisses yet today”. I adore that you need to have your cold blanket in bed at night in order to sleep. I will never forget your need for the hall light, how you still climb in to my bed in the morning (sometimes in the middle of the night) just to snuggle.

Thank you for completing our family. I ♥ you! oxox

 

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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…
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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