Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tooth Fairy Time

Last night Connor decided it was time to take his loose tooth out. So he pushed and he pulled until finally it was only hanging by a thread...and the cleaner came in (that's me!) to take care of business!

One little tug and out it came!

He called everyone (including Daddy who was at a friend's house) to share the news as he inspected the new gap in his mouth.

Amidst all of this, we noticed the one next door is loose too...the Tooth Fairy needs to start saving her money:)

After things settled down, Connor and I began our evening prayers. Connor in excitement, with hands folded and eyes closed, said, "I am growing up!" It was so precious. Oh how I wanted to tell him not to be too excited about growing up!

And the next morning...yup! The Tooth Fairy had come!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Whole New World

I got it! I got it! I got it!
I have been saving for M.O.N.T.H.S. and it is finally mine!
All I have been asking for for my birthday, Mother's Day, money and Best Buy gift cards in order to help me in my quest for a DSLR.
You see, my kind and loving hubby did not like my idea to get a new camera. (Sound familiar?) "Our camera works fine."
So I knew there would be no agreeing to spend that kind of money on a "non-necessity" this year. That's when I decided that I could start saving...and eventually I would have enough to get it.
The best surprise was for my birthday. Jeff gave me some of his very own, stashed away money, to go toward the purchase. This was his way of saying, "I give! And I love you!" Best present ever! Ok, almost...for our anniversary, even though I only had about half the money saved up, Jeff said that I could get it. (This is an example of how our relationship works...most of the time I'm in charge of the money and spending...but every once in a while...not so much!) So after our anniversary dinner Tuesday night, we went on another little excursion...

The kids and I have been playing ever since...

Oh camera, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. We are still getting to know eachother but you have brought a whole new outlook on life!

Thank you to my hubby and all of you who have helped support the cause :)

Until next time...!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Thursday

A Little Down Time

Hope your day included a little dress up and a little quiet time too!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Staycation 2011

Woohoo! Last week was our first week of Summer vacation, in the sense that Jeff and I both had the week off and we had intended on taking the kids camping for a few days. The camping ended up not working out. So we had a Staycation instead. Here is how our week went...

Monday we had the morning free before Dominic started rehearsals for his Summer play, so we headed up to Mt. Diablo (AKA Mike Dadablo according to Connor!) We drove up to the tippy top, looked around a little and found a great picnic spot. This was all we had time for. Sad. I would've loved to have done some more hiking and exploring. Nonetheless we all had a really fun time.

Monday night I got together with some girlfriends to celebrate a couple June birthdays.

Tuesday was project day. And it was HOT. So we got started early. My dad came over and helped put stepping stones in our front lawn. (Ever since we got the van, Jeff has had to park on the right side of the driveway, leaving no room to walk up to the front door without walking across the lawn. I have wanted to add stepping stones for a long time to make it easier for our guests, especially in the rainy, soggy months.) It was more difficult than I had thought it would be and Jeff wasn't thrilled about this project to begin with. But as usual ;) he really likes the end result!

(This picture is before we finished, but gives an idea of what it looks like.)

Wednesday evening Jeff's sister had us over for dinner. It was a super hot day as well...Summer has finally hit here in California and the kids had a blast!

Connor had Summer camp almost every morning with his cousin, Cale.

And a couple afternoons he had swim lessons with his friend, Lydia.

He graduated to Orange Decided at Taekwondo. (This basically means he now has a headband and his next step is Yellow Belt.)

Thursday night I had some girlfriends over to watch Monday night's Bachelorette. I tell you...that Ashley girl is going to drive me crazy!

And we finished up the week with a little getaway to Monterrey. Just Jeff and I for 30 hours away. By ourselves. No kids. This hasn't happened for a year and a half. Ahhhh! It was really nice... and a great way to finish up the week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Anniversary

8 years ago today I married my best friend. And even though we've been married for 8 years, we have been together for 14 1/2 years...WOW! Crazy!

I met Jeff because he was my older brother's high school and college buddy. I was in junior high when they were in high school and Jeff would come over once in a while to hang with Scott. To tell you the truth...I never really had an interest in him. However, looking back on my BFF, Roseanne's, 16th birthday, in which Scott and Jeff so graciously provided their DJ expertise, I remember walking up to Jeff and saying, "If you weren't so old, Jeff, I'd date you." Yes I really did say that to him! And then there was the search for my Senior Ball date...I remember having a conversation with my mom, saying, "Do you think Jeff would go? I just want someone to go with and have a good time, without any drama." I then decided that a college guy would probably not want to go to a high school Senior Ball, especially with a girl who had a 3 month old baby.

Early the following year, Jeff called my brother and asked him if he could take me out. Scott could hardly say no, considering he had dated many of my girlfriends over the years ;) So when Jeff called and asked, I considered all the guys that were calling and begging for dates...and said, "Sure!" It didn't take long to realize that we had a little something goin' on.

1997: (Shortly after we started dating) OMG! We were young!

In 1998, I caught the bouquet at Scott and Jeff's best friend, Matt's, wedding.

December 2000:

Finally Jeff proposed to me on "The Christmas Train" in the Chapel Car in front of all our family on December 1, 2001. It was a night I'll never forget. (He even bought one of those Ring Pop's for Dominic to include him as well...but not before taking my parents out to dinner to ask for my hand. If you know Jeff, you know that was a BIG deal!)

And one of the best days of my life: June 21, 2003. The first day of Summer. The longest day of the year!

It was P.E.R.F.E.C.T.

Anniversary 2007 on vacation with the fam in Mendocino:

Rose's wedding in September 2008:

And this past weekend in Carmel:

I cannot even begin to tell you how special this man is. He has a quiet simplicity about him. He lets me take the reigns and run the show. For the most part. Every once in a while he pulls me back down to earth and reminds me "who's boss." He loves me know matter what and he just...gets me! "Get out of my head!" is often a phrase we say to eachother.

We have had a lot of laughter. And a lot of tears. But the Lord has blessed me with a partner to share it all with. I cannot imagine my life without him in it and pray everyday that we continue to work at this thing we've got goin'. Cuz it's pretty darn good!

I love you honey!

Happy Anniversary!

(And thank you for being patient while I finish up this post.)

P.S. The guy just gets cuter and cuter with age, huh?!?!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

This Father's Day was a little different than the typical Father's Day around here. Usually we are hopping around to different places trying to see everyone, or entertaining. This year, as it turned out...our only plans were to go to my parents for dinner. So that meant we had the rest of the day to do whatever Jeff wanted. I thought this was awesome! Jeff had a surprisingly difficult time with it. Everytime I asked him what he wanted to do...Lunch? Activities? He wanted to know what I wanted or he was thinking about what was best for the kids.

It was a real eye-opener for me as to how little he voices what he really wants and how much he cares about his family. Both heart-warming and sad in my opinion. We are going to have to work on that :)

He did finally decide he wanted to go ride the train at the railroad museum where he volunteers. He goes down there about once a month and works on the engines, but very rarely does he get to sit back and enjoy a train ride. So off we went!

Connor was super excited that Dad wanted to do something train-related!

It was a little hot but other than that, a beautiful day.

We were supposed to be at my parents by about 4:30 but when we got home from the train ride there was a message on the house phone from the police department saying that the front door of the bank where I work was unlocked. Oh we go...after some phone calls Jeff and I decided that we would pack everyone up for my parents and stop at the bank on the way.

A few police officers and a K-9 met me there to clear the building before we locked up. To the boys' dismay, they had to stay in the car.

However, I had mentioned that my family was waiting in the car, so after clearing the building, the officers suggested I go get the kids so they could watch the dog in action! Woohoo! Were they excited! Apparantly whenever the police don't find anybody in a building like that, they do a little training with the dog, so he doesn't lose interest. The kids got to see the dog chase after "the bad guy," (another officer with a big padded sleeve on) and "get him!"

It was really cool and a great example of how sometimes the biggest inconveniences in life have a way of working out.

We finally met up at my parents a little late, but had some drinks a delicious dinner.

The day before, Dominic had dug a hole in their side yard (just because) about 4 1/2 feet deep. Seriously, that thing was so deep! So Connor helped and they spent quite a bit of time filling it back up. Who needs toys or electronics?!?!

It was my brother's first Father's Day and I am really bummed that this was the only picture I got if him. (Maybe sometime soon I'll get a better camera!!!) But it was really nice to celebrate this day with him. I always knew he would make a great dad. And now, seeing him with his son is such a gift.

And then there's my dad...what a guy! Half the time he frustrates the hell out of me and half the time I love him like crazy. He is such a great grandpa and dad. If he has taught me anything, it is that family sticks together no matter what, especially when the going gets tough. I can still remember the day, at 17years old, when I told him I was pregnant. I was terrified! He just looked at me with so much love (and of course pain) and told me, "We're going to get through this."

And I remember the days I told him that Jeff and I were expecting Connor and Emma Kate. I remember the look of pride and excitement on his face as his eyes welled up with tears.

He has taught me that man or woman, it's ok to wear your heart on your sleeve and let people in.

And then there's my hubby...there are so many wonderful things I can say about this man. But I'll stick to the father stuff. I think just the fact that he married a woman who had a 7 year old son, adopted that son, and is raising him as his own, speaks volumes. But this man, like many others, would give anything for his kids. He is so involved and even after a long, tiring day at work, reaches deep inside of himself and finds the energy to give to his family. There is no one in the world whom I would rather be raising these children with.

And of course I can't post on Father's Day without thanking the one Father who has blessed me with these men in my life. It is only through Him that I am so blessed. He shows me such grace and forgiveness in my life. For that I am eternally grateful.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Fun

Summer fun has begun! We are now in full swing June Madness...I think I over-extended ourselves this month. Rather...over-extended myself! The kids are having a blast!

Last week Connor began swim lessons, which start only 1 hour before Karate starts. (I only scheduled it this way for the month of June though...thank the Lord...because it's crazy!) He also started a Summer program at his pre-school last week. He's going with his cousin, Cale, and they absolutely love spending so much time together.

This week Dominic started rehearsals for his Summer show, Fiddler On the Roof. I love this show and can't wait to see it.

As for Emma Kate...she goes wherever we go, and gets a little extra time with me one on one...yeah! I have taken one extra day a week off of work this Summer to be with the kids, so I'm only working two days a week and some occasional Saturday's. It has been SO nice thus far.

And even though the weather has been so weird this Spring, finally the day of our first swim lesson...sunshine and warm Summer weather...

I can't get enough of this last picture and how big Miss Kate is getting! LOVE that girl!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Night

Yup! That's right. It's Monday night! You know what that means?!?!

The Bachelorette is on! Yes. This is a guilty pleasure of mine. I have company in this guilty pleasure though. Andrea, Lisa, and I try to get together whenever possible to share in the magical time between 8 and 10 pm every Monday night. To escape being moms and wives. And just be girls. I love it!

And even though we aren't particularly enamored with Ashley this season, it is the first season that we have created this:

I guess it's a girl's version of the NFL Top Picks.

The hearts next to Ryan P. and J.P. mean that they are our favorites...!

As of Week 2, William had a heart by his name also. But that got removed last week. We are not so impressed by his "charm" lately. Ben C. got moved from a "Maybe" to a definite "No." And Bentley, oh Bentley, he went home last week, but from what we have read, we haven't seen the last of him yet. Hmmm...Girls can be some dumb! That boy is bad news!

Unfortunately...and fortunately...we have our official Girls' Night tonight so we will not be watching, but make no mistake, the DVR's will be recording. And hopefully tomorrow night we will be sitting around with our Predictions and enjoying some Bachelorette time!

Are you watching this season? What do you think? If not, what's your guilty pleasure?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wrapping Up: Dominic

We made it! Dominic's Freshman year, his first year of high school, went by in a flash! And as of this last Thursday, he is no longer a Freshman. It is so hard to believe how fast the time is going.

The biggest part of Dominic's Freshman year was his new found love for running. He improved his time so much this year. Actually, at one track meet, he had just gotten a pretty big hair cut, he PR'd (Personal Record) by 2 whole seconds in the 400 meter! Jeff and I are convinced it was due to less wind resistance! He made it to the Championships (which you have to qualify to be in). We all went out to watch him; he made us proud. He got a mysterious quad strain toward the end of the year and had it wrapped by the trainer for the last few runs. Unfortunately, during his last race, the ACE bandage unravelled. Scary! It was dangling loose and got caught under a spike on his shoes....Considering all of this, he managed to stay on his feet and still not finish last in the race!

We attended two awards ceremony's during the past couple of academic and one sports. I think it is a true test of a student's abilities when he can manage participating in sports, and maintaining good grades. He got a 4.0 GPA all year! Yeah! A parent's dream!

Dominic has changed so much this year...both inside and out. We are so proud of the man that he is becoming and pray that the Lord continues to guide him in the right direction during these next few years of high school.

August 2010

June 2011

We love you Dom!