Thursday, December 31, 2009

first evers of 2009

from left to right

1. recycled t-shirt dress 2. bald me 3. self~made apron 4. home~made Christmas tree 5. tea~ party 6. helicopter ride 7. trip to Europe with my sweet girl 8. handmade advent chain 9. my very own surfboard 10. beautiful homegrown garden 11. made from scratch wedding cake 12. baby-blanket recycled elephant 13. candy cane drive 14. child-free trip with mum 15. homemade wreath....whew!

Looking forward to a joyful 2010 and the firsts that are yet to come.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I present to you...

the shortest vacation in family history

This is the view driving up to June Lake around 1pm December 27

The beautiful sight from our room overlooking the lake the morning of Dec 28 after a full night of sleep deprivation due to the sudden onset of fever, coughing and discomfort by our four year old.

A look at Mr. Handsome starting the descent from our 14 hour stay in the glimmering white mountains. After a brutal night of helping to nurse our youngest and the decision that we needed to say goodbye to our snowy dreams he repacked the car and we headed for home.

A glimpse of the snow we longed to play in.
We'll be back.
And next time, we may need to leave the kids at home.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Frosty fun

We're off for some cold adventures over the next few days. It's becoming our holiday season tradition. Can't wait to romp and play in the snow with my family and am looking forward to greeting the new year when we return.
Sending happiness to you as you finish out 2009.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Merry little Christmas

It's been a while since my last post, I know. I filled my time with holiday preparations and the all~consuming task of pondering what kind of gifts I might make...making them right up to the last day. Although this is not the way I like to spend the weeks before Christmas, I find myself doing the same thing each and every year. The resulting gifts though were worth the effort. In the end, our day was beautiful~spent with family and an appreciation for life and all creation.

Sending you wishes of joy, peace and love this Christmas and all year long!

See you again in 2010!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wintery magic

Since there will be no snow ball fights, no white flocked pines and no sledding anywhere in sight this Christmas ~ we brought some sparkly snowflakes indoors to remind us of our favorite winter powder...supersized.
These were the easiest things to make and so much fun! Bri and I cut the snowflakes out of white copy paper (a little flimsy is the only drawback) then used spray glue to attach the glitter and hung with ric-rac. My favorite part is the dancing snowflake shadows they make on the wall...beautiful!
There is one girl in our house though who won't be fooled by our home snipped snow...

Sorry girl, we'd love to get you out to your favorite playground sometime soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What was I thinking...

...always waiting well into December to decorate for Christmas? I've got the bug this year and am loving all the fun we are having making our own merry decor. First up is the advent chain that I read about on stitch/craft. It took a few days to get it completed, but we are excited to check a link every day to find out what fun awaits. Every link has a numbered button sewn on for each day until Christmas with an activity taped to the inside. So far.... drinking hot cider and taking a family photo. I think tomorrow we get to pick out a new Christmas movie. Yippee!

This could also be done with any kind of sturdy paper and the kids will surely love it (except when you get to the Christmas caroling day, which will probably make your teenager cringe ~ but hey, what fun is being a parent if you can't embarrass your kids once in a while?).
Next stop, snow flakes...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sweet buddies

The little miss has a wide variety of imaginary beings in her life including her friends Vanilla Twirly Whirly Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream (whose daddy I refer to as Mr. Fudge). Since I've been trying to figure out what they might look like for the past several months, I decided to do a sketch of how I imagined them and what do ya know...the little miss confirmed it, I was right on.
They come over every week for a few days at a time to play, eat dinner and have slumber parties. They really are the easiest houseguests ever and I just love having them over. I'm diggin the beehive style they've got and am tempted to try and create some chocolate and vanilla dolls for the fun of it.
Thanks girls for being such good friends to my little miss!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

for all the beauty...

and blessings that surround my life every minute of every day. What a gift this life is.

Wishing you a day filled with gratitude and happiness.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Birdie birthday

Yesterday we were invited to celebrate another birthday child, but this time with birds all aflutter. There were birdie cupcakes, paper birds to decorate, bird-watching binoculars and little feathered creatures perched in the trees watching over the festivities. It was a thing of beauty, but most beautiful was the birthday girl as she enjoyed her day.
Happy, happy birthday little friend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A little R&R

Last weekend our friends Kim & Ben invited us to a big sleepover at their house along with another couple that always keeps us in stitches. Their house is around a hundred years old and has a third story room that would satisfy any teenage girl's slumber party dreams as it is equipped with three built in full size beds, has vaulted ceilings and a window with a view.
We had such a great time eating apple pancakes, going to the farmer's market, the park, hiking, playing bad mitten, eating homemade pizza, staying up late discussing our incredibly important opinions on life, parenting and religion, celebrating a birthday child and soaking up the Santa Barbara sights, oh and eating some more. It was such a fun and relaxing time.
Thanks guys for sharing your new home with us! Looking forward to our gathering.

A preschooler's loyalty

The little miss has been a mama's girl as of late and prefers not to let me out of her sight. So last night when I wanted to go for a run with Bri, the protests and whining began.
LM: Mommy I want to go with you (as she permanently attaches herself to my leg)
Me: You are going to have dinner with daddy and then go to the library (in my excited~it's going to be so much fun~kind of voice)
LM: But I want to go with you. wah, wah, wah....
Me: (Lightbulb moment) But you and daddy get to have a date night. You can dress up for dinner and we'll light candles and you can have a special dinner just with daddy.
LM: (Running back to her room in a flash). Yeah, yeah, yeah! I'm gonna dress up and have a date night!
Me: Happy sigh as I lace up my shoes.
Mission accomplished.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Date night

(photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil website, click to view)

at Cirque du Soleil.

Last night my main squeeze invited me out for a date filled with wining, dining and jaw dropping entertainment. After a wonderful dinner at JiRaffe we headed down to the big tents on the beach for some acrobatic action. I had never been to a Cirque du Soleil performance before and really didn't know what to expect. It was phenomenal! Each act left me astonished at the talents these performers have. From the high wire to contortionists to incredible balancing acts to the live band throughout ~ I was in awe from beginning to end. I walked away with a new appreciation for physical discipline of the human body. The way these people moved there bodies was, well....inhuman ~ but so inspiring to watch.

Ironically, the name of the show was Kooza which also happens to be the name our little miss gave to her first "baby". I figure she'll be some kind of marketing genius when she gets older. That or she'll just have children with really scary names.

To my Mr:

Thanks for treating me to such a fun night! I am so lucky to be traveling through life with you and am grateful for your loving spirit.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Candy shmandy

These girls are all the treat I need.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What friends are for...

someone to wash your hair~

to have pajama parties with~

enjoy a good flick together~

to hold each other when things get scary~
Good buddies make life so much sweeter.
Thanks for hanging with us K/D/L

Saturday, October 24, 2009

French finale

There's really nothing I didn't love about France on our trip. Granted, we only visited a very small part of the country...but it was the perfect place to be introduced and get a taste of french living. I gained a new perspective on so many things while we were there bringing me back home refreshed, relaxed and ready for another adventure back to this beautiful country.

When we left for France I had been experiencing back pain for over a year. It was pretty miserable and I had tried every possible avenue to figure out what was going on. Between the doctor visits, the physical therapy and the acupuncture nothing was really solving my problem. Nothing that is, until I arrived in France. Call me crazy ~ but France was my therapy, and not only because I was on holiday....but because of where I was on holiday.

Our french adventures really made a huge impact on me and taught me some lessons that are leading my life in a new direction.

French Lesson #1:

Food. It should be local. It should be fresh. It should be savored and eaten slowly with wine and good company...always.

French Lesson #2:

Slowwwww down. The energy and pace of life in So. France is comfortably slower. People aren't rushing here and there to fit 100 errands into their days. The farming tractors are rolling through town, people are tending to their work and chores but not it a hurried manner. It is something I am constantly reminding myself as even when I put my mind in a more relaxed state, just outside my door the energy & busy-ness of life is zooming by.

French Lesson #3:

Rest is good. Not just the evening snooze, but a break in the midafternoon gives a chance to (again) slow down, regroup, connect with yourself. I loved that the shops & restaurants would shut down for a couple hours after lunch. So different from my experiences in the states, where the drive of life is purely business~profits~sales.

French Lesson #4:

Laughter for hours on end makes my face hurt...and I like it. This lesson really has very little to do with France itself, but was such a good reminder while I was there. Being in a foreign country with 5 other women was the best! We laughed for days (mostly at ourselves) and formed bonds that will always be remembered & cherished.

Life changing, it was.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I turned my back for a small window of time yesterday to two sick teenagers lying on the couch groaning in misery. Yet this morning when I plugged my camera into the is what they left me. Whodu thunk fresh produce could be so much fun! Oh how they love to surprise me!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Hair √

Makeup √

Nails √

Date √

Mom's AnXiEtY √ √ √

The first real dance/date for my sweet (big) baby girl. How did we get to this point? Can't we wait a couple more years? Is that his hand around her waist?

Ready. I am not.

Missing this...

The sun is blazing this weekend and I am ready for the fall weather we splashed in 3 short days ago.
How about you?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The cathedrals ~ part trois

The churches in France were breathtaking. The first church we stopped to admire coincidentally had been studied in a college class by one of our friends from So. Cal. Sheila had an abundance of knowledge about the architecture, the history and the purpose for each individual section of the building. It was truly fascinating and so exciting for her to stumble upon a cathedral that she had come to know so well through her studies. She turned out to be an amazing tour guide for all of us...thanks Sheila! The story of Mary Magdalene's travels in this area of France was displayed in one of the churches we visited and was absolutely beautiful. I loved having the opportunity to walk into these buildings and along the cobbled streets that spoke of so much history, so many stories, so many generations.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


When we made our move back to the coast, I decided that the denim slipcovered hand-me-down sofa that my husband grew up with had to be retired and replaced with something new. This is where my memory gets slightly fuzzy. The photo above is proof enough that I wasn't really thinking clearly when custom ordering Oscar the Couch, yet here it resides comfortably taking up space in our little home. I have kind of a love/hate relationship with the 300 lb beast in our living room. We have enjoyed many a movie, wonderful conversation, and some fun sleepover guests on this chartreuse beauty. And nare I leave out the forgiveness that comes with a slipcovered wash and we're good as new! Alas I have found a new love for the white beauty pictured below. She called my name from our neighborhood thrift shop and I just could NOT resist. I know, I know...white? With kids and a dog? Am I crazy? Yes. Maybe. But she's just so happy (and washable mind you) don't you think???

Hope you find a happy home Oscar. You will be missed ~ a little.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

France ~ part deux

Our visit to Southern France was specific to the Languedoc region where we explored different towns, beaches, cathedrals and amazing restaurants. In every direction, on every street the villages were painted in brightly washed color. Every house had shutters of every hue, not the perfectly sanded and painted look we're used to here, but the weathered, splintered, and sunwashed beauty that only comes with time. Every door, gate and balcony was crafted with amazing detail. It was truly a feast for the eyes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

France ~ part un

Bienvenue a Puisserguier
Our trip to France this summer began with a flight to Barcelona. Being the savvy traveler that I am, I decided my teenage daughter and I could easily manage a ride into the city via public transportation (nevermind that we just landed in a country where we don't know the language and haven't quite figured out the euro system yet). We hop onto the train as if we've lived there for years when I realize after about 15 minutes....I have no idea where we are ~or where we're going. As we drag our luggage off the subway & down the city streets I start to ask directions to our prebooked hotel address but of course NO ONE has any idea where the place is. At this moment I'm feeling a bit out of my comfort zone and use my better judgement to flag down a taxi who gets us there in a flash. An adventure those first 30 minutes were...and hey I saved a whole 15 euro in the process. SO NOT WORTH IT.
Once we were settled in Barcelona we headed out on the town to witness a passionate flamenco show before heading out for some bad tapas at a late night restaurant. The next day we perused the shops a bit before we carpooled with our traveling circus through the French countryside to the quaint village of Puisserguier (pwee sair geeay...still working on that one) which was our home base in Southern France. We stayed in a charming seven room three story "hotel" (house) in this tiny village that was surrounded by miles upon miles of pristine green vineyards. Our room was gorgeous and took in the view of the back courtyard with vines traveling along the buildings reaching for the sun. The town was equipped with everything we could possibly need, but small enough to feed the one desire I was unknowingly longing for....complete relaxation.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Looking back

On the streets in Southern France

Today I had that oh-so-exciting (I'd rather be napping) trip to the oral investigator. After the dentist adjusted to my new hair do he asked how my summer was and whether I did anything fun. As I sat there thinking about it (with my mouth full of dental intstruments) I realized how many adventures we had this summer that I failed to share and journal into my blog. There is a huge chunk of summer that I selfishly hoarded in my memory box, which I am determined to change in this next week or so. Therefore I am commiting to a post a day until I have regurgitated all of the goodness we consumed this past summer. Hope you can stomach it!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Full of wonder

The local zoo is always a new and fun experience no matter how many times we go.
Yesterday's visit was no exception.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"fundraiser" bangs

I noticed some hair on the floor a few days ago that definitely was not resembling dog hair (the usual offender). So as I go to pick it up, I look over at miss M to ask why there is a chunk of blond hair decorating our floor and notice the new do.
Her response:
"I was having a fundraiser. "
Luckily the hair stylist's scissors were confiscated before she went too crazy. I have to say in the end though...she did a pretty good job. Maybe I'll let her have a go with my hair once it grows out a bit. Really, how much damage could she do???

Monday, September 28, 2009

Success for St. Baldrick's

Last week, after many months of planning, my dear husband saw his vision come together to raise funds for kids cancer research. The event in Santa Monica raised $13,000 to go to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. It was a such an emotional day filled with smiles, tears, laughter, music and many stories of cancer battles lost and won. There were 38 men, women and children who came out to show their support through giving up their hair. It was a day that I cherish & will not soon forget.

My own head was shaved after exceeding my $3,000 goal through donations from amazing friends, family and people just passing by the event. What a gift it has been to participate in this effort bringing awareness and money to the needs of so many children with cancer. I have been truly blessed by this experience and all the support that has been given by the small community of people in our lives.

My littlest miss wasn't thrilled with my decision to remove my hair. She cried as the shears ran across my head and the brown locks fell, but I gave her a small offering of my hair in a ponytail which she loves and keeps on her nightstand. Even though my head looks "like a man" in her eyes, she is accepting the new hair"less" style and realizing that I'm her mama no matter what. It is such a great reminder, not only to my children but also to myself that we are not made up of what we may appear to be on the outside. A lesson in acceptance of our differences is a lesson deeper in love.

Thank you so very much for all the support, donations and encouraging words. You are a gift!


Friday, September 25, 2009

So much to say...

...but for now, just asking for prayer.

Little Daisy just underwent surgery yesterday to remove a malignant tumor from her kidney area. It is such a blessing that they have removed the entire tumor, yet the battle is far from over. To read more about Daisy Love and support her and her family in prayer go to Pray for Daisy Love

Yesterday was a great success for our goal to raise money for St. Baldricks. I have so much to share and I will very soon. Promise.