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New address!

29 May


I am WAY more excited about this than I probably should be!  But we have searched High. Low. In town. Out of town. Big yards. Small yards. And we FINALLY found our new home!  Moving soon!

Celebrating a DECADE!

21 Jan

I met the man I would marry 11 years ago. I married him the next year. We are celebrating TEN YEARS! of marriage this month.

Joe’s work schedule has been crazy. We only had a 4 day weekend to celebrate, thinking we might go somewhere more special later in the year. Our friends overheard us talking about this 4 days free, and where we might go. They decided to plan a weekend with us, and before I ever knew it, we were suddenly planning a trip to VEGAS  – with 6 of our “closest friends”! This was definitely not the trip I had in mind for my tenth wedding anniversary, but I have to admit it was the most fun trip I have ever been on.

The group had a blast. We partied – hard – like we were 20. But this time we had more money, so we also had more fun. We purchased a table at a super top secret bar, and we went to fancy shows and restaurants. We rode in a limo on the strip, stopping at In-and-out burger and Pawn Stars. We saw the fountains at Bellagio and ate at the restaurant at the top of the building. We shopped at high end boutiques and I even brought home Louis Vuitton sunglasses. We gambled – black jack and craps – and we all brought home extra money in our pockets.

The day and night of our anniversary was ours alone. The group went to zipline on the red rocks. Joe and I took a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, which neither of us had ever seen. It was a whole day trip and it was AMAZING. Here we are in the little area where we landed in the canyon.





Hoover Dam

That night we had special reservations at a secret restaurant. It was by chef Jose Andres and only allowed 8 people per evening!  We had to order tickets for dinner weeks and weeks before we left. The golden ticket arrive in the mail and was our pass to get inside.

Once we were seated at the 8 person table, the chefs prepared a very extensive menu for us, bordering on art and chemistry combined.


They worked so hard on every little detail. Each course was tiny, just a few bites at most, but there were probably 23 courses in all!  Each was presented in an amazing artful fashion. These flowers were edible:

Part of our dinner!

These little bites were bubbles with food inside. They were prepared right in front of our eyes.

IMG_2454This was a dessert finished off with a blowtorch.


This is us, back at Aria, dressed for dinner.

Our date night at Aria


Vegas will always bring me memories of fun and friends. Happy ten years!  Here is to many more!


Happy 6th birthday to our Boo!

12 Jan

This was a birthday party for the books. Belle decided she wanted a skating party. An ICE SKATING PARTY. We are not sure why she wanted this kind of party. She did not know how to ice skate. Recently the winter Olympics were on television and she did see a lot of skating. We can only figure this is how she got the idea. I think she was more into the decor and the idea of wearing a skating outfit than actually ice skating. The decor was definitely on point:


Even her American Girl was there, dressed to skate as well.


And this girl is a FAN of a beautiful cake.




The panic started to set in when I got RSVPs. She had invited BOTH kindergarten classes to skate. KINDERGARTEN. Few of them had even been skating before. None of them actually knew how. Start the valium IV drip. I was not going to make it through this party without a nervous breakdown.


At the end of the day, it was awesome. Lots of parents were terrific sports and skated with their kids, some really mastering the skills that day. My kids had a BALL. They skated with their dad until they skated with their friends until they were soon flying around the rink all on their own.

Ice Skating
Interestingly, this guy had a blast too. Later in the month, we would visit his aunt Kim. Our family would discuss baseball sign ups and how we were going to get to the park on the day they were scheduled. He spoke up and said he didn’t want to do baseball this spring. (!!) A former college catcher, his dad’s heart may or may not have broken into tiny bits, but he didn’t show it, thankfully. We encouraged him to sign up for it. Sports are fun, we said.

I want to ice skate, he said.

!!!  You just never know what a skating party will bring.

For this guy it became his #1 sport and several all star teams and tournaments. All from a 6 year old party.


12 Dec

She planned every detail of her perfect day.  And by planning, I mean we had it all worked out that she would have her party at one place, and then after the invitations were printed, she decided she wanted a party “just like last year’s party.”  As in, at a different place than planned.  And she invited all her friends to the same place as last year. So I had to have the invitations re-printed.

Oh yes, this really happened.


She also “designed” her cake.


She LOVED it. Which is all that really matters.


To her, it was the PERFECT party.

And just like that: she was FOUR!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Celebration!

9 Dec

Photo from 2010 December AC Bday party!

Exactly a year ago we celebrated her third birthday.  Tomorrow she celebrates turning four.

The Bird of Time has but a little way to flutter and

The Bird is on the Wing.

                                                                                                                                –Omar Khayyam

First Day of School

14 Aug

That first day rolls around too soon again!



And oh, be still my heart. This one’s going to KINDERGARTEN.

And as anxious as she might have been in her younger years, she’s said goodbye to being shy.

She walked right into that classroom and picked up a book and made herself right at home.


It’s going to be a great year!

Happy Birthday, America

4 Jul


You know what this means, right?


That’s right! BIKE PARADE!


And we are READY!


(We even decorated a tank.)


Time to roll!


The neighborhood bike parade is one of the highlights of our summer.


Overshadowed only by the cotton candy at the pool after the parade.


No Boundaries

31 May

Memorial Day meant summer for our family. We decided to kick it off right with a family Fun Run at the Cotton Row Race.

First, we prepared:









The fashionistas in the family ensuring all were appropriately attired in red, white, and blue.

Next we hydrated. A lot. It was, after all, 96 blazing degrees.

But this was a small matter, because when we got there we were ready to take on the race!


And with all these people:

It took some strategy:

It was truly a Memorial Day event. Approximately 2000 people said the Pledge of Allegiance in unison, joined in singing God Bless America, and listened to TAPS played in memory of fallen heros.

But once the cannon fired, we were off!

The GMH headed out quickly with J3 and polished off a mile in just over 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, the smaller variety chugged along at their own pace

And as far as you know they didn’t even take a shortcut or anything like that (just don’t confuse that with a haircut, like the youngest did…it made for a confusing conversation during race time).

With the end finally in sight, they finished their own course in 17:07. Not bad for short legs!

The water shower was a highlight, as was the free food and chocolate milk.

It was a day of huge accomplishment. In addition to our entire family enjoying this activity of patriotism and exercise, it was a special labor of love for my children and my husband to come out to the race for me.

Because really, that is why they were there to begin with.

I’ve been training for the 5K race for the past couple of months with my local Fleet Feet store, specifically with my No Boundaries coach, Jeri. She is the person who encouraged me to sign up for the race and who walked me through every step of training to be sure I would complete it successfully. Jeri always knew what to say, when to push me harder, and when to make me slow down. She was sincere in wanting me to truly experience the race itself, and soak it all in. And I did! I enjoyed every little detail, from everyone cheering on runners to the thrill of running over the strip. It was an experience I will never forget and I owe it to Jeri that I even did it (and completed it, in that heat!). I am truly grateful for her experience and her friendship.

Meanwhile, at home, my sweet family has been encouraging and supportive of my endeavor, and today, not only did they come out to see me at the start line, and mile one, and the finish line, but they even ran the fun run afterwards to show me their support and to share in the experience! It made me feel so proud to have them all rally around me like that and take something I have truly worked hard for as their own.

It was super hot and I learned a lot from this race. My goal was to finish, regardless of time. When Jeri asked me my goal, I naively told her I knew I couldn’t finish in my regular time but would be pleased if I could get close. (Now, after starting with almost 2000 people, I realize what a lofty goal that probably was!) However, in the end, Jeri did what she does best: she coached me through my first “Personal Best” and one I can be proud of!

Time: 31:48
22nd in age group out of 149!

Happy Memorial Day, it’s one I will surely remember!

The One in the Middle

21 May

First it happened that my baby

was suddenly no longer the baby,

which suited her just fine.

But somewhere along the way her own little personality blossomed

her own interests took shape

and she was ready to take on the world.

And with charm like this, there isn’t much she can’t conquer.

She’s our star for sure.

And now she’s been given her walking papers for Kindergarten.

It’s here and it’s official. And while I know it was a process in the making, it feels like I forgot to pencil it in on my calendar and I missed it coming.

But I sure am proud.

Another Gold Medal

15 May

Today was the culmination of a year of bragging rights for Gold Medal Husband.

Because of his busy work schedule he doesn’t get a lot of guy time with his friends.  Usually it comes in the form of weekend trips away, like the annual turkey hinting trip he’s been on for the past 20 years.  About three years ago, his buddies implemented a golf tournament.  They call it the “Woody,” named after the organizer of the tournament.  GMH loves to play golf — in fact, he’s pretty good at it — but he rarely has time to pick up his sticks anymore.  He was really just going out to have fun.

It seems he had more than fun at the Woody that year.  He came home with enough cash winnings to buy us a flat screen TV!  Awesome.

Soon after, he played in a local charity tournament, for our hospital.  He was paired with an amateur who was playing for pro status the following week.  Guess what?  They won.  This time, being a charity tournament and all, he won a crystal bowl…and bragging rights. He was happy to take the bragging rights!

The past couple of years he’s played in the same two tournaments, again with little practice time.  This time it showed: he came in dead last (AKA Wee Willie) at the Woody and not-so-great at the charity tournament.  Ah, well, you can’t win ’em all, right?  Well.  I don’t play games with GMH.  He has loads and loads of lovely qualities, but you see, playing games is not one of them.  I don’t even play Uno or Monopoly with him for fear that he will cheat to win.  So the whole “just play for fun” strategy was not getting it with him.  So he tried a different tactic:  bragging.  Without the rights.  He has bragged and trash-talked and cocked all over town in a cumulative fashion for the entire past year about how he is going to win the 2011 tournaments.  He has “prepped” by playing every weekend for the past two months.    And the whole. world. has. heard. about. it.

The charity tournament weekend has finally arrived. He’s been so arrogant he’s been downright hard to live with. Really it’s all been just jokes and mostly ribbing (with a lot of eye-rolling thrown in on my end).

He had a great time.
He didn’t win the tournament.
But he did win the chipping contest.
And the prize was….
a brand new car!
My husband won a car today.
When is the Woody again???




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