Sunday, November 30, 2008

Looking Back At This Week...

It sure seems like Thanksgiving came and went so quickly this year.

It's so funny how we spent a week or two prior to the Thanksgiving feast getting everything ready to accommodate 18 people. We rented tables and chairs, bought tableware and decorations. We did everything we could to make the day beautiful for everyone. We then spent a day and a half cleaning and getting everything in order for our guests on Thursday. We spent a good portion of the day cooking for everyone. Then everyone was done eating in about 20 minutes!

It's amazing how much time you spend only for it to be over in the blink of an eye!

But it was a GREAT Thanksgiving filled with family that Erik hasn't seen in a long time, and some of his family I have never met and have never met Emily.

Our turkey was delicious (we BBQ it) and everything else was just SO yummy. I am assuming I blew my Weight Watchers diet (well...there is no need to assume - I DID) but hopefully I'll have enough time to do damage control before I weigh in on Wednesday!

Here are some pics from Thanksgiving:

Emily trying some mashed potatoes and turkey!



Cute Little Munchkin...




The Family At Their Candlelight Dinner... (Not the best picture - from where we were sitting we couldn't get everyone and you can't tell it was by candlelight!)



The day after Thanksgiving, I decided I was not going to attempt Black Friday. I think getting a migraine the night before solidified that decision for me. However...upon waking up at 6ish with Emily...I started getting the bug. I took out the ads my dad brought to me (we don't get the paper) and started going through them. I then decided I'd go to ONE place and get something that was on sale. I loaded the munchkin up and off we went. Only to find that we were too late and they were sold out! Figures!

After I got home...Erik mentioned going and looking at washer and dryers because our dryer is going out. When it takes 3 times to dry clothes...it's time for a new dryer! So we went and looked. We found the ones we liked but decided we'd better sleep on it and make sure. Erik went back the next day and got the ones we looked at...and this:



We won't get it until the middle of the month - and although I don't think we NEED it...I can't wait to get it! :) Gotta love Black Friday! :)

In other news...my uncle was in the hospital for having heart problems. He ended up having heart surgery yesterday and is doing SO much better. They put in 2 stints (for now) and will monitor him to see if he may need more. The surgery was a little tricky so it took longer than normal but his heart is doing okay now! It was SO cool to see the pictures they took and to learn about the heart! I think it's also amazing how you can go in, have surgery on your heart (and be awake during it) and then be released the next day! Technology sure has come a long way!!! I am SO glad he's doing okay now! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

I know Thanksgiving isn't today - it's tomorrow in fact - but I am posting this now because I HIGHLY doubt I'll make it on tomorrow! I will be hosting Thanksgiving for 17 people!

So from our family to yours...I wish all of you the Happiest of Thanksgivings! :)

I am thankful for each and every one of you and I hope your holiday is as wonderful as you are! :)

I MAY not be back for Fun Foto Friday this week but definitely will be next week!

Love you all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Am So Thankful for My Family...

So today is Thankful Tuesday! If you would like to play along - please read the post under this one for the rules! :)

What a great day to be thankful for family! Thanksgiving is fast approaching (as in 2 days!) and as I am preparing to cook for 17 people and have 19 people over (2 are not eating with us) - I have found it a bit overwhelming. I need to remember what family is all about and this is my list...

1. I am so thankful for my grandmother. Although she is no longer with us, words could never express how much she means to me. If it was not for her, none of us alive in our family today would be here. She created my mom and my uncles and in turn they blessed all of us with their children and then their children's children and so on and so forth. She was the matriarch of our family and I am SO thankful that she is my grandmother. It's been a hard month for me. First, her birthday was earlier this month and then with Thanksgiving fast approaching, it is another reminder she is no longer with us. It's only been 3.5 months since she passed, but it feels like it has been years already.

2. I am so thankful for my mother. She is not only my mother, but she is also my best friend. I am truly truly blessed to have such a wonderful mother and an inspiration in my life. She means the world to me.

3. I am so thankful for my father. He means the world to me. I am definitely Daddy's Little Girl. He has taught me a lot about life and a lot about business and I couldn't be more thankful for such an amazing person in my life! I am truly honored to be able to call him "Dad".

4. As weird as this will sound...I am so thankful my parents got divorced. They have blessed me with AMAZING step-parents who have been in my life for over 27 years! My step-mom is just an amazing woman who has taught me a lot about life. I love her immensely. My step-dad is an amazing man with a heart of gold. There aren't many things he wouldn't do for those he loves.

5. I am VERY thankful - so thankful in fact that I cannot even really put it into words - for my husband. He has helped start our little family. Because of HIM - I am able to have a family of my own! I am SO thankful that he chose ME!

6. I am BEYOND thankful for my daughter. She is my everything. Words could never ever express the love I feel for her. She is not only the most beautiful creature on this planet...but the most wonderful thing to ever enhance my life!

7. I am so thankful for my in-laws! Yes...I am one that actually loves her in-laws! My mother-in-law has a heart of gold. She would give you the shirt off her back - even if she wasn't wearing one! My father-in-law is equally as wonderful as well! He has a heart of gold and there isn't anything he wouldn't do for his children (meaning me too!).

8. I am so thankful for my sister-in-law. She is not only my sister, but also one of my best friends! She has been there for me during times when others walked out. She has been there for me through A LOT of major life events and I cannot put into words how much I thank her for that! I am so thankful that she has given me a ton of laughter - the tears-rolling-down-your-face-rolling-on-the-floor-(literally)-can't-catch-your-breath-about-to-pee-your-pants type of laughter, a billion memories and most of all...unconditional love! She has reminded me of who I am and where I need to be at in my life and has encouraged me along the way! I truly thank her for that!

9. I am thankful for my friends that I consider my family. There are some that I sometimes forget that aren't related! They have been there for me when I needed a helping hand. They have been there to listen. They have been there to make me laugh to where I almost pee myself. They have been there to do dorky things with me and not care if they are dorky too! They have been there to remind me that I am a great person - even when I don't always feel that way. They have been there to hold my hand when needed. They have shown me what TRUE friends are - when I thought I had true friends - only to find out that some of them never were! I couldn't be more thankful for the amazing friends in my life right now. I wouldn't change them for the world!

10. I am thankful for all the other relatives in my life. My aunts and uncles, my cousins and all of Erik's family. THEY are what makes life more funny, more warm and fuzzy and just more beautiful. I am TRULY TRULY TRULY blessed for having them all a part of my life!

Thankful Tuesday! :)

Welcome to Thankful Tuesday! I hope you all will take time to participate this week! It is a great feeling to stop and reflect on all the things you are thankful for! It can do wonders for a bad mood and can do wonders to remind you of the little things that sometimes we all take for granted!

So for this week's assignment...

Your topic is:

Family. I couldn't think of a better thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week!

So what you do is simple...

1. Post a new blog listing ten things (you can always do more!) that you are thankful for in regards to this week's topic!

2. Be sure to link my blog somewhere in your post. (Shameless plug...I know!)

3. Come back later on in the day (after I have posted my post (which will probably be some time around 10 California time)) and sign Mr. Linky that will be at the bottom of my post. This will let everyone know you have participated.

4. Leave a comment for the person that signed above you (or if you are first, leave a comment for me).

5. If you are feeling generous, leave a comment for at least 3 people...or even more!

That's it! :) Pretty simple! Now get to work! ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am so honored! :)

I have been given awards lately that I have not even mentioned on my blog. I have been busy posting assignments and such and today I REALLY need to mention them! PLUS - I REALLY REALLY appreciated the thoughtfulness and I can't go a minute more without thanking everyone that thought of me! :)

So here goes...

First...a long time ago...October 16th to be exact, Mimi bestowed the following award on me...

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Also, today, as I was blog stalking reading, I found that Jori also thought I should get the award! How awesome is that! :)

Here is what the blog award means:

“This blog invests and believes, in ‘proximity’ [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy] "They are all charming blogs, and the majority of them aim to show the marvels of friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate?"Then let’s try to give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.”

So my understanding is that this award goes to people who are charming, unselfish, and I want to give them more attention.

So I want to pass this award along to some wonderful ladies whose blogs I have grown to love! :)

1. Saundra at An Italian Mama

2. Trina over at Trina's Place to Blog

3. Susan at The Gonzalez Family

4. Kimmy over at Our Life's Journey; and

5. Serenity over at Russell Party of Five

Now the next award comes from the wonderful blog from the Mama of Romance over at Sex Diaries of a Mom

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She honored me with this award back on November 18th.

This blog award has rules to it so here they are...

Here are the rules for this one:

1. Mention the blog that gave it to you and comment on their blog to let them know you’ve posted your award.
2. Publish these rules.
3. Share 6 values that are important to you and 6 things you do not support.
4. Grant the prize to 6 people.

Six Important Values/Beliefs:

1. Love with everything inside of you
2. Learn to forgive
3. Laugh every single day
4. Never be afraid to ask for help
5. Learn that it is okay to be vulnerable sometimes
6. Reach out a helping hand to those that need it

Six Values/Beliefs I do NOT support:

1. Telling lies
2. Abuse of any kind
3. Selfishness when someone really needs you
4. Discrimination
5. Hatred of any kind
6. Being mean to others

I'm passing the Kreative Blogger Award on to:

1. Kimmy again over at Our Life's Journey

2. Mimi over at Minxy Mimi Unplugged

3. Jori over at Jeff & Me + Three

4. Darcie over at Mommy on the Edge

5. Susan again over at The Gonzales Family

6. And last but never least...Trina again over at Trina's Place to Blog

I urge all of you to visit all these blogs listed and go and give them some comment love! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Silliness





Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun Foto Friday! :)

So today is Fun Foto Friday! I participate on another blog but know that some of my friends don't. So...I am offering my new bloggy friends (and all my old bloggy friends) the opportunity to show off their pictures for the world to see! :)

If you want to play along...please do! The rules are quite simple!

All you do is post a picture or two or three or however many you want. If you'd rather post videos - go for it! If you want to post both videos AND pictures...that would rock!!! If you are feeling nice, please be sure to link back to my page! (I know a lot of you post on other sites for Photo Fridays - so I won't make you post a link to my page too - only if you want!) :)

After you are all done posting - come back here and sign Mr. Linky below so we know to take a look at your page! :)

Be sure to comment on the person above you. If you want to comment on more than one person - I'd love that...and I am sure they would too! :)

--

So for my entry today...we have a new hairdo for the munchkin! :) She FINALLY has enough hair to do something with! :) I think she's wayyyy too cute for words!











Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Forgiveness...

This week Mama Kat is back with her weekly writing assignment!

The prompts this week were:

1.) The last time I laughed really hard...

2.) Forgive and forget...I think.

3.) I remember when...

4.) Write about something that bothered you this week.

5.) Write a poem about a favorite color.

I thought long and hard about which one I would choose - I could actually do them all. Okay...maybe not the last one. But...I chose number 2! :)

Finding forgiveness is NOT an easy thing to do. When we have been wronged, our first, and I must say natural, instinct is to put a wall, remove that person from your life in whatever capacity they hurt you, and protect yourself. Easier said than done.

To find a place in your heart where true forgiveness has taken place is not an easy task! I have learned that when you CAN forgive someone...part of your heart tends to feel a little less heavy...a little more healthy....and a lot more relaxed!

Once my pregnancy lead me to bed rest, a lot of things for me just stopped. Friends didn't visit as much. Family didn't visit as much. Friends stopped emailing, calling and IMing. I was now the pregnant lady with extremely swollen feet, stuck in bed (or for me - it was the couch), watching tv all day. It became depressing really fast.

Then...my daughter arrived. It was amazing. SHE was amazing. But...I had even more friends take a step back from my life. I wasn't around in the capacity I was...even before she was born and I was stuck on bed rest. I now had a daughter, who had some medical issues for the first 3 months, that took A LOT of my time. I was no longer available via IM or email, barely by phone, and only in person if people made their way to my house.

I assume it felt neglectful to my friends. I mean, they stopped calling, they stopped emailing, they stopped IMing and they stopped coming over. They could have been in the same town I live in, but not take 10 minutes to come by and meet my daughter. It was VERY hurtful. Just as I think it must have been very hurtful to them that I was no longer around the way I was.

I had other friends that pulled away, making a billion assumptions that just WERE NOT true. They formed opinions and started collaborating with one another about what I was REALLY up to, instead of just taking the time to come and talk to ME about what they were feeling. I wasn't up to anything other than being a mommy. A daughter with special needs during her first few months of life took most of my time, most of my effort and I was EXTREMELY exhausted. I didn't have the time to give to people like I once had. My priorities changed. It didn't mean I didn't love them and didn't miss them and didn't need them. I just needed to take care of Emily.

The assumptions grew bigger, they collaborated more, making up lies and stories with one another about me behind my back. It was VERY hurtful at the time. They probably don't even realize the things I found out that were said...but I found them out. I then knew I had to cut them out of my life. I can't have friends that can't be just that...A FRIEND.

I was devestated to have lost some of my closest friends. It was downright depressing. It hurt me deeply and it was something I vowed to never forgive. Never to forget.

But what did that get me? Nothing but MORE anger, more frustration, more sadness, more depression, more negative thoughts, less sleep, and a crappy attitude.

So I took some time, and I forgave. I forgave them for how they hurt me. I forgave them for the things said behind my back. I forgave them for not being true friends. I realized they were human and although I was hurting, perhaps they were hurting too. I also forgave myself.

All the secrets and things we shared with one another were done for a reason. We were friends for a reason. I know inside what those reasons are. I doubt they do. But I do. I forgive what happened. Forgetting is another story...but I am working on it.

I am a VERY happy person now. It's amazing the new friends I have made, the closeness I have experienced with other friends, and just the overall amazing turn my life has taken.

I realized that each person comes into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

I will leave you with some words that I always hold dear to my heart:

A Reason, A Season Or A Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a reason, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a god-send, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, your desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered, and now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a season, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Regardless of whether the people in your life are here for a reason, a season or a lifetime, go show them that you love them!

Because I Was Tagged...And Because It's Fun!

Mimi tagged me to do this a few days ago and I am finally getting around to it! :)

Five Things On My To Do List

1. Re-schedule pictures for Erik, Emily and myself.
2. Pay my tuition.
3. Drink more water!
4. Do my writing assignment from Mama Kat
5. Laundry. Blah!

Five Things I Like To Snack On

1. Ice Cream!
2. Chocolate
3. Chips
4. Popcorn (different flavored popcorn)
5. Bread and butter

I hate that one I just did - I am back on Weight Watchers and it does not allow for any of those - well...except number 1! :)

Five Things I Would Do If I Was a Millionaire

1. Pay off all our bills
2. Pay off our families bills
3. Buy a house for us and for a few others
4. Invest
5. Travel


Five Places I Have Lived: I have only lived In California

1. Keepin' it a secret
2. Keepin' it a secret
3. Keepin' it a secret
4. Keepin' it a secret
5. There is no number 5! :)

Five Jobs I Have Had

1. Working for my dad at his trophy business.
2. Working at the Campanil Cinema
3. Emporium
4. Bass Tickets (which I guess would be Ticketmaster now???)
5. Mommy! :)

And finally…

The Five People I’m Tagging

1. Ms. Brandy. She is VERY new to blogging - so if you have time - go pay her some love! :)
2. Ms. Trina. She is another newbie to blogging - so be sure to pay her some love too! :)
3. Ms. Serenity. She isn't new to blogging but you should still pay her some love!
4. Ms. Kimmy. She also needs you to pay her some love too!!!
5. Anyone and everyone else that is bored and wants something fun to do! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thank you Honey...

So for the first installment of Thankful Tuesday (sorry to everyone that already posted and I happened to change the rules!) - the assignment was to write ten things I am thankful for for this week's topic.

This week, it is about my husband.

1. I am thankful that he goes to work and works as hard as he does to provide for our family.

2. I am and will forever be thankful that he gave me the best birthday present a woman could EVER ask for...our daughter.

3. I am thankful he is SUCH an amazing father! I couldn't have picked a better man to have a child with!

4. I am thankful he actually cleans the house! :) Sometimes I have so much going on and Emily takes up so much of my time that he will come home and actually clean! :) Thanks honey! By the way...the house looks great right now - thanks!

5. I am VERY thankful he can cook! If he couldn't cook...we would be in big trouble! Sure...I can cook - but am just not confident in my cooking. Although...I am experimenting more and cooking more lately - I am thankful he at least eats it and doesn't throw up! :)

6. I am thankful he is going to put up our Christmas lights when he gets off work. If you are reading this honey...I am really thankful you are doing that - even though I know it is your LEAST favorite thing to do! :)

7. I am thankful that although he complains about the holidays, and doesn't care for them, he usually gives in and does all the holiday-type stuff with me...and doesn't complain...much! :)

8. I am thankful he is funny! Life would be pretty boring if he couldn't make me laugh - and sometimes laugh so hard I cry!

9. I am thankful he chose ME to marry. Out of all the women in this world...he chose ME. I am so thankful for that.

10. I am thankful for his encouragement with everything. I am about to head down a new path, a VERY scary path for me, but he is right there encouraging me and reminding me I CAN DO IT - even if I don't always believe that myself! :)

So now it is your turn...join me in today's assignment and let me know what YOU are thankful for! :)

Be sure to sign below when you do! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thankful Tuesday! :)

Normally people have a Thankful Thursday but with so many other assignments to do during the week, Tuesday is usually the day that doesn't have much going on! I decided to change that and offer all of us a Thankful Tuesday!

So for this week's assignment...

Your topic is:

Your husband/significant other. (If you don't have a husband or significant other, please write about another male figure in your life).

So what you do is simple...

1. Post a new blog listing ten things (you can always do more!) that you are thankful for in regards to this week's topic!

2. Be sure to link my blog somewhere in your post. (Shameless plug...I know!)

3. Come back later on in the day (after I have posted my post (which will probably be some time around 10 California time)) and sign Mr. Linky that will be at the bottom of my post. This will let everyone know you have participated.

4. Leave a comment for the person that signed above you (or if you are first, leave a comment for me).

5. If you are feeling generous, leave a comment for at least 3 people...or even more!

That's it! :) Pretty simple! Now get to work! ;)

Too-Toos and Goaks

This weekend was another busy one! The weather was absolutely gorgeous (mid-80s)! We decided to pack up and head out to Train Town in Sonoma with some friends and their son on Saturday.

We started off on the Merry-Go-Round and Emily was NOT having it. She didn't feel good (her molars are being extra mean to her) and she cried the entire time while sitting on the horse. After we got done torturing her the ride was over, we waited for the train to arrive to take us through the park.

It's always a nice scenic ride with a stop at a make-believe town that offers a petting zoo.

Waiting on the train for the ride to begin...


Poor mean molars!


Going through a tunnel! This pic cracked me up! She didn't cry - her eyes just got huge!


And feeding the "goaks"


Emily has learned two new words in regards to Train Town. For the first one, she has learned what a train "says". When asking her "Emily...what does a train say?" she says "too too". It's so cute.

She also learned what a goat is...but to her it isn't a "goat" it is a "goaK". It's adorable!

In other family news...I registered for school today! I am super excited but also super nervous. I have not been in school for ELEVEN years! I was wondering today if kids (look at me calling 20-somethings "kids") really do bring lap-tops to class like I see in the movies or if people actually do it the old fashioned way...the way I always did it...with paper and pen! I tend to think I would learn more with paper and pen but I also don't want to be the odd one out!

I am taking biology and chemistry this semeseter. I was told they are both really difficult classes and that both have about a 50% chance of passing. I sure hope going back to school is like riding a bike...but I have a weird feeling...it isn't!

At any rate...be sure to come back tomorrow for your new assignment for Thankful Tuesday! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Stroll...

I saw these pictures again and just CANNOT believe how much the munchkin has grown! Has it REALLY been that long (and by that long, only 14 months) since she was brand new and still in the hospital?

I LOVE this picture because it was our preview of the most beautiful person...


And then she arrived! I just LOVE this photo - she is about a minute old!


And this picture will FOREVER be one of THE most important and precious pictures to me! This is my grandma, who passed away in August, with my daughter.


This is Emily and myself right before we left the hospital


Erik and Emily before we left!


CRAZY how time flies!

Thanks Carrie for the stroll down memory lane!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Tuesday???

Okay...I had a few emails and a couple of posts about doing the thankful thread on a different day.

So I will switch it to Tuesday to see if it helps any of you out time-wise! :)

I Am So Thankful...

I am hoping you all will consider participating in Thankful Thursday with me! :) It's not always easy to come up with one thing, let alone 10, when you are having a bad day! BUT...if you take time to do it...perhaps it will give you some positivity to your day! :)

So this week I am thankful for...

1. Myself. I have stayed focused on treating myself well. I have learned if I do that, everyone else gets taken care of too!

2. My daughter. I think I will forever and always be thankful for her. She did SO WELL today at the mall visiting with a friend of mine - I couldn't have been more thankful for that!

3. My husband. I am thankful he is at work making money to provide for us.

4. My Sister in Law. I am thankful that I will see my sister-in-law for a bit today! It will be good to catch up.

5. 3.6. That is how many pounds I lost this week!

6. My friend Trina. I am thankful she is doing this weight-loss journey with me. I have learned that going it alone isn't always a good idea! I am thankful I am not alone doing this!

7. Pizza. I am thankful for the "diet" pizza I will have tonight. It really isn't all THAT bad! :)

8. Grey's Anatomy. I LOVE "GA" night! My friends come over, we wear our pjs, eat pizza, (use to drink champagne prior to the diet!) and watch our show! :)

9. Catching-up. I am thankful that I was able to catch up with my friend Jeanine today. Her and I use to be the best of friends growing up. We were practically joined at the hip. What was even better...she lived right next door. Lives change and people go off and do their own thing, but I am thankful that we are still able to catch up!

10. My blog readers. I am thankful for the people that read my blog and leave such nice comments! I am also thankful for all of you that are going to participate in Thankful Thursday! :) (just a little push there! LOL!)

Now...if you are participating, please sign Mr. Linky below and be sure to click on the person above you and comment on their page!

Thankful Thursday...

When I first started my blog I use to do a "Thankful Thursday". I never had many responses to it but I thought I'd try it again since I have more readers now!

A long time ago I use to keep a journal and would always write five things I was thankful for each day. I learned that some days it wasn't as easy as others but it always put a positive spin on my day, regardless of how bad it was! I encourage all of you to take this ONE day of the week and participate. You might actually enjoy it! :)

Here are the rules (and they are extremely simple!):

1. Post a new blog listing ten things (you can always do more!) that you are thankful for this week! That's it!

2. Come back later on in the day after I have posted and sign Mr. Linky to let me and others know you have participated.

3. Leave a comment for the person that signed above you (or if you are first, leave a comment for me).

4. If you are feeling adventurous, leave a comment for at least 3 people!

That's it! Pretty simple! :)

Now come on...let me know what you are thankful for this week! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Thought I Saw...

Weekly Assignment time again - thanks to Mama Kat!

This weeks prompts were:

1.) Write a haiku about what you see out the window.
2.) Begin with "I thought I saw..."
3.) If I could live in any era of history, what would it be -- list 10 reasons why.
4.) Write a light hearted piece on how to get along with an enemy.
5.) The first time you...

I pick number 2.

I thought I saw it coming...

I thought I could see my future...

I thought I knew exactly where I would be life-wise and career-wise at this very moment.

I was wrong.

As some of you know, I am a business owner. I own and operate my own business providing paralegal support to individuals seeking help with family law matters (divorce, custody, etc) who cannot afford an attorney or do not want to hire an attorney.

I have worked in the legal field for almost 17 years now. I am 34 years old young and for half of my existence I have been working in law. About five years ago I met the man I am to spend the rest of my life with and saw my business go from part-time, to full-time, to actually being out of the house and IN an office, to now...almost non-existent.

Why non-existent?

Because of the most beautiful creature on this planet surprising us the day before New Years Eve in 2006. That is the day I found out I was pregnant.

Erik and I were not married at the time and were able to plan a very small, very personal wedding in February of 2007, before the munchkin arrived in September.

Both Erik and I had long talks during all those months. We were SO SURE that once the baby arrived, I would still be able to run my business full time and also stay home to watch the munchkin. We figured that the days he was on shift, I would work from home and when he got off shift, I'd go into the office. It all sounded logical and everything was falling into place.

During the pregnancy we went through countless doctor's appointments, high blood pressure (which lead to bed-rest for the remaining 4 months of my pregnancy), threats of inductions, an excruciating fibroid that was absolutely horrible and then...the birth.

Life as I knew it has COMPLETELY changed. I am no longer the career woman I was. I no longer have a very successful business. Our plan of me working AND taking care of the munchkin was obviously VERY prematurely developed. I have found it almost impossible to provide my clients the attention they need AND provide the munchkin the attention she needs.

So now we are at a crossroads. My business is surviving on only a day or two of office time a week. For anyone that owns a business, you know that you just CANNOT keep a business thriving on that.

Our plans of having a two-income family have also changed. We are now a one-income family. My husband works his ass you-know-what off to make sure we are all provided for. I couldn't be more grateful.

So now...I have decisions to make for my part in our story. I need to decide what to do about my business. I need to decide what to do with our future. I am enrolling in school for the spring semester and seeing how that goes. If I like it, I will probably consider an entire career change. The career I am considering takes a lot of schooling, as well as wait-lists, so by the time that rolls around, the munchkin will be in school. That will allow me to pursue either a new career, or pick up where I have left off. I NEVER never thought I'd be so old (not saying 40 is old!), changing my career. Heck, I never thought I would be changing my career! If that isn't the route I go, I will be starting over in a field that I have been in, but that will present challenges in itself. Since laws change and rules change in the legal field more often than I change my chonies, most places will want someone that has been consistently working while everything changed.

It's been a VERY hard struggle for me. But you know what? It's worth it. No matter how much I have cried, complained and threw tantrums, it's worth it. My daughter is worth it. I LOVE being able to be the one taking care of her. I don't want to send her off to day care, ESPECIALLY when we can afford for me to stay home. And just looking at her, and seeing how happy she is...I know this is the RIGHT choice for right now. How can you NOT love seeing this face every single day:


My husband is worth it. No matter how much I bitch complain about him working so much, HE is worth it.


And most importantly...our family is worth it.



So yes, I THOUGHT I saw it coming. I THOUGHT I saw exactly where we would be right at this moment. But I couldn't have been more wrong...WE couldn't have been more wrong...and I am glad we were.

Monday, November 10, 2008

WEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

The past few days have been non-stop - or at least it feels that way! I don't even know what I have been doing, but I just feel like I have been busy!

Erik had a cousin in from Sweden that we were able to have a really nice lunch with. This was the first time he met Emily or I. I must say he was the funniest person I think I have ever met! His accent and his humor were AWESOME!





We also found a new park for Emily to hang out at. I think the park was meant to be because the entire park is firefighter themed! It's also great because there are NO wood chips (which translates to no wood chips found in odd places like her diaper) and it is made for younger kids! :)

Emily has FINALLY mastered going down the slide. I think it is her favorite thing to do! If we are getting ready to go somewhere she will ask "bye bye?" and we say "yes" and then she will ask "weee?" to see if we are going to the park. It's cute! :) We also ask her..."What does Emily say on the slide?" and she will yell out "weeeeeeeeeee!". :)





Every time we arrive at the park and she realizes that is where we are, she gets really excited and starts screaming "weeeeeee!". I think that is her new favorite word! The whole time she is at the park she is also saying "weeeee!" in regards to the slide, the swing, the little fire engine rocking-horse type thing, and the big steering wheels you can turn in the "fire engine". It's soooo cute!



Her hair is also getting so long! It's not quite time for a haircut (she is still called a boy every so often when we are out(it must be the blue clothing she hardly ever wears)) but it's amazing how much it has grown since she was born! :)



Erik has been blessed with wonderful poison oak from his chainsaw class he took for work. Poor guy is miserable! He was given a prescription today and will hopefully start feeling better soon!

So that is my extremely boring family-update for today!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Breaking the Rules...

I have a rule. The rule is to NEVER discuss politics with people. I have my opinions and I know A LOT of people who are very passionate about theirs. Don't get me wrong, I am very passionate about my beliefs, but I have seen one too many heated arguments arise out of political differences and to me, it's not worth the drama.

But...there was one thing on our California ballots I was VERY passionate about. It was Proposition 8. For my out of state blog stalkers readers, Prop 8 was on our state ballot to amend the state Constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman. It would overturn a recent California Supreme Court decision that had recognized same-sex marriage in California as a fundamental right.

Fifty-two percent of Californians felt it was THEIR right to take away rights of their fellow citizens.

Did you know that this would be the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY that they would change the state constitution and TAKE RIGHTS AWAY from someone?

I thought we had come so far in this country. I thought we were for equality whether Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Gay, Straight, Catholic, Mormon, Christian, Buddhist, Democrat or Republican. I thought we had fought long and hard FOR equality and to see this happening is mind-boggling.

I had a lot of friends and family that voted FOR Prop 8. They recited what most proponents for 8 recited and that was that they did not think that gay marriage should be taught in school. Did you know that schools are not even required to talk about marriage at all? It is up to the local school districts to decide to teach about marriage or not. Did you know that I can honestly say that I don't EVER remember being taught marriage in school. Our school district obviously felt it wasn't a requirement to teach us about marriage. In asking other friends, I got the same answer.

In Education Code Section 51933(b)(7), (come on, I work in the legal field, you know I am going to throw in some legal codes!) it states schools that DO decide to teach about marriage are ONLY required to teach respect for marriage and committed relationships. That is it. It's amazing that Prop 8 had NOTHING to even do with curriculum but everything to do with RIGHTS yet it was twisted and turned to make others believe it had to do with our children. It's sad. It really is.

Now I know some of you voted for it and you are allowed to vote exactly how you feel you should. I DON'T discuss politics because it is always a sore subject with people, but this one, I felt compelled to talk about. I went against what the majority of my family voted and I know this post may spark a debate (which is why I never like to discuss this stuff). But this country is SO GREAT and has come A LONG way in the fight for equality. It's great that all of us have a RIGHT to be who we are. We have the RIGHT to eat in the same restaurants, attend the same schools, ride the same bus, walk down the same side of the street, become the President of the United States and...LOVE and respect whom we want.

For those of you who voted with me and voted NO on Prop 8, I URGE you to sign the Petition to to Re-Open Prop 8

For those that voted for it, I urge you to read up on it and educate yourself as this Petition, as well as the Education Code has A LOT of great information concerning this!

Please don't hate me for my decision to vote how I did. I don't hate you if you decied to vote for it. That is what makes this country wonderful. We all have the RIGHT to vote how we want and BE who we want. I would NEVER tell you that you didn't have the right to do something. I would also never make a law taking away your rights.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pet Peeves...

Okay Mama Kat, I was only going to do one part of your assignment this week. After my horrible attempt at a 16-line poem, I told myself I was done and let's see what happens next week. I did think about doing the pet peeve post but I ALWAYS do the "list 10 things" prompts.

But...after the morning I have had...it felt fitting! I think I experienced almost every single one of my pet peeves before 1030 this morning! Amazingly, I did not let it get to me and ruin my day like I normally would!

So...here goes my list...

1. Liars. I did not experience anyone lying to me today so far which is good. I CANNOT stand people that lie. What is the point? Okay, sure, I have told little lies - ALL of us have. If you say you have never lied...you are lying. But what gets me are the people that make up ridiculous stories that you KNOW are not true. I mean seriously, do you REALLY think anyone is believing you? People are being polite and nodding because there is no sense in trying to tell you that you are lying. I also CANNOT STAND those that lie about other people. I had a person in my life that I found out lied about me - A LOT. She lied to my face and lied behind my back. I was blessed to have someone forward me the emails she was saying behind my back and that ended the ties I had with her. Just a word of advice...if you are going to lie...keep in mind that the truth will ALWAYS come out. It may not be today, it may not be next month or even next year...but it will ALWAYS come out.

2. Other moms. Now let me preface by saying that there are other moms that I LOVE. I learn from them, I laugh with them, I complain with them and I sympathize with them. But then...there are those ones that you DON'T really know...those ones lurking behind the corner (or rather, by the shopping carts at Old Navy today) that have to say those little remarks about your parenting. So to the Old-Navy-Nosy-Annoying-Lady...

No, she doesn't need a jacket. She was in a sweater and was actually pretty warm. No, she doesn't need a shopping cart cover for this trip. Yes, we have a shopping cart cover but I didn't plan on stopping here so it's at home. Yes, I know how to buckle her into the shopping cart, believe it or not, I have done it for 14 months, today. No, she isn't mad and wanting to leave the store when she says "bye bye" - she says "bye bye" ALLLLLLLL the time. No, I am not incompetent clipping her in the cart and no she doesn't think I am either. She says "whoa" to a lot of things too. It doesn't mean I am bothering her. No, I did not pinch her when I buckled her in. If I had, she wouldn't have said "whoa", she would have screamed and cried. Trust me, I have done it before. Yes, the strap was tight, but I loosened it - give me a minute. No, I didn't bring her diaper bag in for the quick trip I was in there. And once again...no...she didn't need you, nor did I, to go get a jacket that I should buy for her so she is warm. SHE WAS ALREADY WARM ENOUGH.

There is a reason I bought this shirt a while ago, but no worries, I bought it in pink. Today the munchkin was in blue and as the Old-Navy-lady pointed out, with her short hair, wearing blue will make her look like a boy. Thanks Old-Navy-lady. I meant it when I said I KNOW how to take care of my daughter...and yes...I REALLY meant to say it the way I did.

3. Tailgaters. I know I have been guilty of doing this myself. I am not going to lie. I have even been ticketed for it...twice. Since then, and especially if Emily is in the car, I have REALLY backed off on doing that. But Mr.-Tailgaiter-on-780-today-who-rudely-flipped-me-off, you aren't going to get that much further when there is someone in front of me going just as *slow* (slow meaning 78) as I am. Get off my ass. I am sure you could see my daughter in the back looking at you. Now come to think of it, YOU are probably the reason she started crying. There was no need to flash your lights and honk and then when I get over, flip me off. Yeah, now I am convinced. It wasn't that the munchkin was hungry that she cried...it was because of you! Jerk. I can only go as fast as the car in front of me. Funny how when I got off the freeway...you were RIGHT in front of me!

4. Impatient people waiting for my parking spot. Sorry Costco lady that I took "FOREVER" (as I heard you say to your passenger) getting in my car. Dont' follow me down the aisle in the first place! I had a cart to unload (as I am sure you noticed), a baby to put inside the car, and a cart to return. Yes lady, I do return carts. I heard you get annoyed with that too. You getting pissy...makes me PURPOSELY go slower! Didn't you see the spot about 5 spaces up from me? Quit being lazy and park there and quit complaining!

5. Complainers. We all complain. Life isn't always easy so there are times we complain. Lord knows I am pretty guilty about this one. BUT...the ones that bug me...are the ones that complain about the election but DON'T vote. Mr.-I-Didn't-Vote-But-Hated-How-Things-Turned-Out...there is a REASON people vote. Yes, I agree, by the times our polls closed, Obama was announced. BUT...the other things you were complaining about were specific to California. YOU could have cast your vote. You are certainly old enough to vote. The Registrar office was JUST down the street from where we were. You even said "I should have voted". And yes...you should have. Here is a sticker for you!

6. Blog Stalkers. You know who you are. You come to my blog and read and then never leave a comment - EVER. Don't you know that I see you?? Leave me a comment...at lease once!! I don't bite...promise! :)

7. Kissing the Munchkin. Okay...if I know you - go ahead and love on the munchkin all you want! But...this has now happened TWICE where a random stranger KISSED my baby. I am okay with touching for the most part but kissing? NO. So to the little-lady-at-Costco-today...DO NOT KISS MY BABY. Just because she waves and says "hi" 390580325832058 times DOES NOT translate to "please come kiss me!". I do not know you and that is MY child. PLEASE don't ever do that again to my child - or anyone elses for that matter. It is NOT okay.

8. Line Cutters. There is a reason there is a line. You need to stand in it and wait your turn just like EVERYONE else does. So today...to Ms-Thinks-That-Just-Because-You-Talked-To-The-Clerk-Earlier-That-You-Can-Cut-In-Front-of-Everyone-In-Line...YOU CAN'T DO THAT. See the sign? First of all, the line you are in is for ATTORNEYS. You are not one. Get into the Pro Per Line and wait just like everyone else. I have experienced this SO many times - not just at the court - but a lot of other places. It's already annoying to be in a SLOWWWWW line - but when someone jumps in front of you - makes it even worse. Grow some patience and wait like everyone else.

9. Getting in My Personal Space. If I am at the checkstand, PLEASE don't stand 10 inches from me. GIVE ME SPACE. To the lady at Old Navy...had I took a stepbackwards or to the left, I would have stepped on you. Thankfully I moved to the right to avoid that but SERIOUSLY???? Why do you need to be that close? There was NO ONE behind you. SCOOT THE HECK BACK!

10. The Munchkin's Aquarium. I love my daughter - more than words could EVER express. I LOVE when she naps and when she is asleep. Not because I don't like to be around her - but just because sometimes I need a break! She has this aquarium in her crib that she is obsessed with. It isn't her fault it bugs me. She doesn't know any better. It is my own fault for having it in there. I can't take it away from her crib because she loves it THAT much. But...when she wakes up - the FIRST thing she does is hit the button on her aquarium. I think sometimes she even hits it in her sleep. At any given moment in the night I will hear it go off. This will happen at 2 or 3 or whenever she feels like it. I usually try and set it to the ocean-sounding mode but she has learned how to change it and she prefers the music so if she is awake enough, she'll stand up and change it. Somehow...she always seems to change it to the LONGEST one. The music on that thing seems SO SO SO SO loud as it blares through the monitor in the middle of the night - or just when I am having my much needed break. And would you look at that...she just hit the button - break time is over! :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Weekly Assignment...

Back again for my weekly assignment! Thanks Mama Kat for giving me something to think about each week!

So this week the prompts were:

1.) You awaken with amnesia in what looks to be an igloo. You have $4 and a rock in one pocket, and a toothbrush in the other. Someone is staring at you. Write this scene.

2.) Write a 16-line poem (rhyming or non-rhyming) about a moment from your childhood that changed your life for the better.

3.) You're sitting at work one day and receive a text message from an unrecognized number. The text says, "I have the money and hid the body." You think this is a practical joke from a friend, so you play along at first. But the more texts you receive, the more you realize that it isn't a joke. Write the text conversation you have with this unknown texter.

4.) 10 of my absolute worst pet peeves...

5.) Fictionalize an event that happened to one of your parents, friends, or siblings.

I am DEFINITELY not a poet (as you will read) but I chose to do number 2.

The Clock...

Hurry Hurry
It's almost time
To listen to the
Three o'clock chime

Run run run
As fast I can
Grandma I see you
Waving your hand

We rush inside
I am out of breath
We stand and wait
Just a few seconds left

And then it happens
We hear the sound
Now when I think of that memory
I know you are around


This was written in memory of my grandmother who passed away in August. She has been on my mind SO MUCH lately. Perhaps because it's that time of the year when family get-togethers are inevitable? Perhaps because they finally laid her headstone on her grave? Perhaps because her birthday is coming up next week? But probably perhaps because all of the above.

Growing up she had this beautiful grandfather clock (which my mom now has). Every day after school I would run home (we lived with her) as fast as I could to listen to that 3:00 chime. If I was running a little late she would always be outside waving at me to hurry along so we could listen to it together. I can picture her standing outside right now. It's definitely a memory I shall never forget! That memory will stay with me forever and will always be able to bring a smile to my face. Because of that...something that small...it definitely changed my life for the better!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I AM...

This was taken from the book The Fireman's Wife and it couldn't be more accurate to my own life! If you are the wife of a fireman, I reccomend this book (and to anyone that just wants a good read!)

Just had to share the poem! Like I said, it sums up my life so accurately!

I am thankful. This has not always been an easy walk for me.

I am disappointed. We have missed family gatherings, weddings, dinner engagements, birthday parties, and holidays because of shift schedules and overtime.

I am patient. There have been dinners spent at the firehouse waiting for Daddy to return from a call while the kids get cranky and the food gets cold.

I am nervous. I awake at 3:00 A.M. hearing creaks in the house and don't have the comfort of my husband beside me.

I am tired. The house is full of sick kids and there is no relief in site because Daddy is on a seventy-two-hour shift.

I am jealous. Jealous of all the women whose husbands came home at 5:00 P.M. to have dinner and hold them at the end of their day.

I am worried. I worry that he may not come home one day. This I try to tuck away.

I am content. We have decided to give up my career so I can stay home and raise our children. We no longer have an abundance of money or things. It is the greatest freedom I have ever known.

I am incompetent. There was a time when I considered myself moderately intelligent. I now struggle to remember where I left my car keys, the diaper bag, and, occasionally, the baby.

I am waiting. Knowing the phone may one day ring for me.

I am doubting. Doubting that God hears all my prayers. Doubting I am the kind of wife and mother He needs me to be.

I am trusting. Trusting that my husband will come home again.

I am confident, I am embarrassed, I am lonely, I am surprised, I am overworked, I am underpaid.

I am...The Fireman's Wife.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oh Shoot!

My daughter is just so darn cute! She has learned to say"oh shoot!" thanks to her Auntie Amy! I think it cracks us up every single time we hear her version of it! :)

It's hard to see her - she was grabbing for the phone the entire time...but regardless...I just had to share:



Oh doot...she is just too cute! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick-or-Treat

Yesterday was a busy day for us! It started early in the morning as we made our way out to my mom's house to wish her a Happy Birthday. We took her to breakfast, made our way to the cemetery to visit my Grandma's grave, visited my step-mom and then visited my dad. We then made our way home to get ready for Emily's first night of trick-or-treating! We only went to people's houses that we knew but I must admit...she looked ADORABLE! I just loved looking at her in her costume! When I first dressed her in it at my mom's house she kept saying "pretty!". It was heart-melting! :)

After we got home, the munchkin went to bed and Erik, his dad and I stayed up playing cards and handing out candy. It was a fun night!

Getting ready to go...







Walking up to a house...




Not too sure about this...


Okay...I will take a Peanut Butter Cup...it's mommy's favorite




I just LOVE this picture...I say she is looking up at my grandma!