Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Afternoon Bike Ride

Last June, we got a hitch put on our new van in order to put a bike rack on the back and cart our bikes with us to the beach when we camped. Not only did we do it for that reason, but we also wanted to be able to take our bikes somewhere and bike ride in places other than the bike trail that we can catch directly behind our housing tract. When we went camping last July was the only time we've actually loaded our bikes onto the rack, until today!

Last night on my Facebook page, I asked for suggestions as to where we could go and several people suggested the Yorba Linda Regional Park, so that's where we went! We rode through the park and then hit the Santa Ana River Bike Trail that parallels the Santa Ana River. We rode on the trail about 5 miles before stopping for a rest and a snack. And then we turned around and headed back.


We had to travel across the Santa Ana River on this beautiful wooden bridge.
Rachel was very leery of this and decided it was best to actually walk her bike across. 
Riding back to Yorba Linda Regional Park. That is the 91 freeway on the right side of the picture. 

We rode 10.5 miles. It was a beautiful day to be outside and exercising. I loved loading up the bikes and going to someplace new to ride and enjoy. I'm hoping that we can get down to the beach one of these coming weekends and ride the board walk, etc. 

We were pretty quick on loading the bikes back on to the rack and had them hanging back up in the garage and the bike rack put away in no time. With more practice, more frequently, we'll only get quicker!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Back to Routine

It was Back to School today for our household! 

Having been out since December 19th, we've had three weeks of no homework, no regular bed time, and lots of relaxing, lots of movies, and of course the holidays thrown in there. 

The first day is always the hardest. But so far so good! The girls all got up without too much trouble and drama. We got lunches packed, breakfast eaten, and to school on time. From there I hit a Jazzercise class and just kinda did a few odds and ends around here until it was time to dawn my Taxi Cab hat and head out for school pick up. Homework has been relatively easy as well! 

As much as I do love having the girls off from school, I very much enjoy the routine that being on track has for our household, especially our evening routine. It's dinner, dishes, maybe Just Dance on the Wii, showers, snack, and bedtime. The girls have set bed times and after 8:00, it's mine and Steven's time to watch TV together, and have our time. 

Being back on routine also helps me get my exercise in. I usually do it right after I drop the girls off at school, whether it's walking or an 8:00 Jazzercise class. I like exercising in the morning as it gives me a boost of energy for the remainder of the day and of course because then it's done and behind me! 

The routine won't last for too long, we have a three day weekend coming up!! I think that calls for a trip to Disneyland! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Two Books in Four Days


Hannah has been a HUGE Hunger Games fanatic since she first saw the movie in June 2012. She's read the trilogy two times and has started them a third time. Steven has also read the trilogy twice.

For over a year, the two of them have been telling me I should read the books! Last Spring I was just too busy with PTA duties, etc. When summer came, I was reading other books and kinda wasn't interested in reading the trilogy.

I've seen the movie, Catching Fire, three times and was not at all happy with how it left you hanging when it ended. On Monday, I decided I simply cannot wait until November when the first part of the third book comes out in movie form at the theaters. I simply would have to read the books to see where MockingJay picks up!

So I convinced Hannah to let me read her brand spanking new hardcover books she got for Christmas and in in four days, I've read two of the three books!! Tuesday evening upon finishing The Hunger Games, I watched the movie. I finished Catching Fire this evening about 8:30, so my plan, to hit the 10:05 movie tomorrow morning! And then tomorrow afternoon, I'll start MockingJay.

And then I too will be anxiously awaiting for November 21 of this year. When MockingJay is released to the theaters!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

SICK?? Then STAY Home!!!!

Tis the season for cold, upper respiratory infections, stomach bugs, you name it!!!

I know many a people who've been struck with the nasty 24 hour stomach bug going around. I also have heard via my Mom that my brother and his family have been hit hard with the upper respiratory stuff, aka influenza. Thankfully, our house has escaped all the above mentioned thus far and have only dealt with a simple head cold, despite all the masses of refined sugar and immune system weakening food we've eaten in the last few weeks. We are thankful to be healthy.

But what kills me, what really chaps my hide, are the people who post on Facebook how sick they are, how they are fighting a sore throat, or fighting off this cold. The people who update their status when they've coughed up a lung, etc. It's not the posting of their sickness on Facebook that I despise, it's when they have been complaining all week how poorly they've felt and then come out in public!!! Or in a particular instance, they come to church on Sunday!!

The past couple of weeks, I've had several different people at church tell me how sick they've been, or even gone as far as telling me they still have diarrhea (which by the way, it TMI!!!), etc, etc, and they are at church!! Contagious. Spreading the unwanted love of their germs and illness!!

Our family has been blessed with good health this holiday/cold/flu season. We don't want to get sick!!

Please, please, please, if you're sick, STAY HOME!! It not only helps the spread of the viruses, but your own body needs the rest to get better. By going out in public - shopping, church, or even to work, you only prolong your body getting better. So do us all a favor, stay home if you're sick!!!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Blogging from The Happiest Place on Earth

It's still Christmastime at The Happiest Place on Earth for a few more days. 

With the girls out of school, we decided to make our first trip of 2014!! I think everyone else in Southern California, Northern California, the entire West Coast had the same idea!! But that's okay, we've been catching shows and shopping. We are currently sitting and waiting for the 8:45 showing of The World of Color. There's a special Frozen segment and Olaf is the host!! We love the movie and had to see this before the holiday/winter festivities end for this season. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

All Set for Success!

Tomorrow is January 2nd and that means back to closely counting calories and exercising!! And the house is all set for success!

The cupboards have been gone through, purging all the little baggies of leftover junk. Boxes of Special K Cracker Crisps and Multigrain Crackers from Trader Joes have been measured out on our Weight Watchers food scale and put into ziploc bags in individual servings for easy portion control. This makes for easy grabbing when you're on the go or really hungry. This has always proved to be a HUGE factor in helping me be successful when seriously dieting.

The refrigerator has been purged of all the leftovers, all the jars of things I bought for special holiday recipes, etc. Made it a lot easier with tomorrow being trash day!

My menu for the next two weeks has been thought out, planned out, and from that I made my grocery list and got major groceries yesterday. I will need to get some more fresh produce in a couple of days, but for now, dinners for the next two weeks are planned out. This is also another huge help in being successful when dieting/counting calories.

I'm ready! Ready to hit it strong like I did last January 2nd. I was very successful the first few months of the year, and I'm hoping these few first months of 2014 will hold the same for me. Tomorrow I will weigh in and make a few adjustments on Sparkpeople as to my goal and then it's all steam ahead!!!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Recap of 2013

It's the last day of December. It's the last day of 2013. Where has the year gone?? It seems like every year goes by quicker and quicker. Like I recently pointed out, I've lacked in the blogging department in the last year, but as I sit here and reflect back at this year, there are a lot of highlights!

 As the post I wrote yesterday explained, one of my goals for 2013 was to loose weight and become more active. One of the highlights has been all the bike rides we've taken as a family. There is an entrance to the bike trail that parallels the river bottom behind our house and it's a route we love to hop on and ride. I've enjoyed our rides as a family and the few times that just Steven and I have gone.  I look forward to many more bike rides in 2014 as a family!!



In March, we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary by spending a few days on Coronado Island in San Diego. While on our get away, we bought a new car! A 2013 Grand Caravan! Our old van had over 190,000 miles on it and had a ton of issues. We have loved our new car (I've never had a brand spanking new car!!!) and appreciate all the things we were missing out on in our old car - windows that go up and down, air conditioning, cruise control, etc, etc. 


We spent Memorial Day Weekend, as well as a week in July, tent camping at the beach. Both times were with friends and family and was a great time of rest and relaxation! 

2013 will also be remembered for the year I developed a kidney stone too large to pass on my own and required shockwave lithotripsy to break it up!  Getting older is NOT fun! LOL

Speaking of getting older, I celebrated a milestone of a birthday in 2013. I turned 40 the end of October, and for the past year, all I've wanted was a big birthday party! And that's what I did, we had a party that had about 60 friends and family help celebrate!
In November, long story short, a friend and I set out to earn the "Mom of the Year" award by surprising our teenage daughters (and their younger sisters) and trying to get as close to the Los Angeles Red Carpet Premiere of The Huger Games: Catching Fire. Well, we not only managed to get close to the action, we actually got on the sidelines of the red carpet, at the very beginning of the arrival of the stars!!! We got tons of pictures, and our girls got autographs from the likes of Josh Hutcherson and Liam Helmsworth, and many others! As if that wasn't enough, when we exited the red carpet grand stands, we were presented with tickets INTO the premiere of the movie! Yeah, this was a HUGE highlight of 2013!!
And last but not least, 2013 wouldn't have been complete without all our trips to Disneyland! Hannah has developed a new love for going to Disneyland and it's been great! Every trip has been different, we've gone by ourselves, we went with my parents once or twice, with my uncle, met up with friends, even met up with my dear friend that came all the way out from Pennsylvania! One of the highlighted trips of the year was in mid November when I had tickets to when The View was taping from Disneyland! That's a special memory for Disneyland for the year!

These are just a handful of highlights of 2013. As I look forward to the new year that is quickly approaching, I can't help but wonder what adventures and things 2014 will hold for us!! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Goal for the Year

On January 2nd of this year, I set a goal. I set a very specific goal that I wanted to meet by October 29, my 40th Birthday. My goal was a weight loss goal. 

In order to meet my goal, I set an exercise goal of walking 2-3 times a week and doing some sort of exercise as a family on the weekend, via walking, hiking Mt. Rubidoux, bike riding, etc. I soon exceeded that goal and was walking 6-7 times a week, on a few occasions, exercising twice a day. 

My 40th birthday has come and gone and I’m a little disappointed that I did not meet my goal. But I would never have guessed in a million years of the challenges I would face along the journey of this goal. 

As I increased my walking more and more, hitting 83 miles walked just in the month of March, I developed Plantar Fasicitis in my one foot that set me back in my walking. I wasn't walking as frequently and was really focusing on getting my foot better.

Another speed bump in the road hit in June, when I experienced some blood in my urine the morning after an 11 mile bike ride. I went to Urgent Care, after some tests, etc, I was told that sometimes with excessive exercise you can have blood in your urine. I was fine with that information and tucked it away and didn't think twice about it. I had another episode after another bike ride in early September, this time I made an appointment with my Primary Care Doctor. I had a CT Scan done of my abdomen and two weeks later I was seeing a Urologist for a 6mm kidney stone!

My urologist said the stone was too large to let me try and pass it on my own without complications, and by the second week of October I went into the hospital for an outpatient procedure of shockwave lithotripsy, where while under general anesthesia, my doctor broke up the stone into tiny pieces that would make passing it much easier. And yet again my exercise had to be scaled back while my kidney healed.

But here I am, the end of December, and I have lost 50 lbs (it was a little more, but you know, the holidays, etc), have walked 456 miles, and developed an enjoyment for physical activities - walking, bike riding, hiking, and even started going to Jazzercise in September and absolutely LOVE it!

Other highlights from the last 12 months include packing the exercising clothes and paying to use the hotel gym while away for our anniversary, walking and doing the stairs while vacationing at the beach, and purposing exercising on a few holidays to off set some of the calories that would be consumed! 

My goal for the New Year ... to continue on this journey to a slimmer and more fit me. Becoming even more active in walking, bike riding, hiking, and continuing with my Jazzercise classes. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Love Days Like This!

I love days like the one we had yesterday! A day where we go and do something fun as a family!

This last year, we've had San Diego Zoo/Safari Park annual passes and they were due to expire today. With Steven being on vacation, it was a perfect day to go! We left a little after 9:00a and made a stop at Starbucks along the way and arrived to a very crowded zoo parking lot. Thankfully we got into an overflow parking lot just before it became full.

We saw everything we wanted to see, probably walking at least a couple of miles, or more specifically 14,400 steps according to Steven's Fit Bit! LOL. The Pandas are always on our must see list, and as always, they are as cute as can be! We also saw one of the scariest animals at the zoo...a teenage girl!!! Oh wait, she's with us!







The zoo was open until 8:00, but it was getting dark, and getting harder to see the animals, so we left around 5:30. Which was perfect, we made our way across the Coronado Bridge to one of the locations of our favorite Mexican restaurant in San Diego. We discovered this particular location this last March when we stayed on Coronado for our anniversary. There was a 45-60 minute wait when we arrived, which we expected as it was Friday night. But we made the best of it and walked across the street to walk around the grounds of The Hotel del Coronado which was festively decorated for Christmas. 
Standing on the sandy shore with the Hotel del Coronado as our backdrop.
We found two amazing sand castles built on their private beach. This picture doesn't do it justice, and it's just of the one castle, but getting a decent picture of something in the pitch darkness was extremely difficult. But they were amazing to see!


Shortly after discovering the sand castles, we headed back to wait out the remainder of our time at the restaurant. We finished off our wonderful day with a yummy Mexican food dinner, and not without enjoying the white queso dip and chips! 

The only picture I took of the four of us. Hannah was clearly in need of food as she was pretending not to know us!
After our meal, we made our way back over the main land and hit the road for home. I love San Diego. The city holds many memories for our own little family, as well as many childhood memories for myself. So thankful for days like yesterday when we can get away on a day trip and spend time as a family!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

A friend contacted in the last few days and told me how much she missed my blogging. Truth is, I miss blogging too! And if this had been this time last year, I'd have plenty excuses as to why I wasn't blogging - busy at the school, PTA President, etc, etc. But I have absolutely NO EXCUSES as to why I shouldn't or couldn't be blogging this year. I wrote her back to say I'd definitely try to be better at it in the New Year. Won't she be surprised when she sees I didn't wait until January 1 to blog. :)

It's the day after Christmas. It was a different Christmas this year, and I have a feeling it's the first of many different Christmases to come in the years ahead. The reasons that made this holiday different don't need to be blogged about, but they did leave me disappointed and sad.

The Christmas Season is my most favorite season of the year, and as I sat here on the couch last night looking at our Christmas tree and it's emptiness below it, as I sat here and watched Rachel playing with one of her new treasures, the overflowing trash cans dragged out to the street, the overflowing fridge of leftovers, I couldn't believe Christmas has come and gone. It was a much shorter season this year with Thanksgiving being so late in the month, so we were 'robbed' of that extra week of the festive season. But it's hard to believe that today is December 26th. Where has the season gone??? Where has 2013 gone???


Steven is on vacation, with the way the holidays fell, he only had to take 4 or 5 days off in order to have 12 days off from work, he'll go back to work on January 2nd. As for the girls, they  have 3 weeks off from school and don't return until January 13th! So just like any other vacation day, our day is starting off slow, relaxing, playing with new toys, watching episodes of Sherlock on Netflix. And me, I'm cleaning up odd and ends, starting to dismantle some of the Christmas decor. Our plans for the rest of the day.... well shopping of course! There's a return to be made, and of course gift cards to be spent! Rachel has made a shopping list and counted all her money and gift cards and she's ready to shop! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blogging From My Mobile Device



I'm trying something g new today, blogging from my iPhone, as I sit on the sandy shore, listening to the crashing waves pounding on the shore, watching Rachel and my niece working with other kids to build a sand castle.

It's Friday afternoon and our weeklong camping at the beach is quickly coming to an end. It's been a great week of resting, reading, relaxing with friends and with family. I am desperately trying not to think about what happens a little less than two weeks from now. 

Soon it'll be back to school, back to homework, back to packing lunches, back to more of a structured routine. 

I am so not ready.  

It's been a great summer vacation with my girls and we've done a lot! I am not ready for it to be over...

But like they say, "all good things must come to an end", therefore I shall go and enjoy the pounding waves, giggling girls, and the salty air. For this time tomorrow, we will be home, all unpacked, the only evidence of a vacation will be the mounds of laundry...


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Adventures with My Girls

Our Summer Vacation is a little more than half way over, but my girls and I have been having a ton of fun thus far. 

In the 6 1/2 weeks that we've been on summer vacation, we've gone to Disneyland five times, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Safari Park, the Fashion District in Los Angeles, lunch and swimming at a friends house, swimming with the cousins, and lots of other things! It's been a great summer thus far and there's still much to do in the final 3 weeks of our vacation, including a week long camping trip, and most definitely one more trip to Disneyland!






Monday, July 1, 2013

Hannah

I love my girl, but she can sure drive me crazy with all her obsessiveness when it comes to her fandom celebrities crushes. 

For the longest time it's been Josh Hutcherson, aka Peeta Mellark, from Hunger Games. But in the last month it's become actual Cast Members and characters at Disneyland! 

Last Thursday, we went to Disneyland because Hannah really wanted to go. She had an agenda. One was to see the new amazing performance of Mickey and the Magical Map and get pictures of a particular male performer. The other was to get a picture with Peter Pan. She rarely asks to go to Disneyland so I was happy to oblige her requests and try to fulfill her agenda. Although I was pretty skeptical that we'd find Peter Pan. He's kinda a hit and miss character. But low and behold she spotted him from afar and in line we got so she could get her picture!


It's been a very long time since she's asked to have her picture taken with any character, so I was beyond happy to snap away. Peter Pan and Wendy were amazing! They spent time chatting with Hannah and posed for this great picture. Thus a new crush has been formed. LOL. And needless to say, I have no doubt we'll be looking for Peter on our next trip to Disneyland! 


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bike Rides

The last couple of months, we've gone on a few long bike rides.

We live near an entrance to a bike trail that parallels the river. It's a nice paved flat trail where you don't have to worry about cars, or traffic, crossing busy intersection, or noise! The bike trail is great, you only have occasional bike riders that pass you. This bike trail is secluded really, not near any streets, highways, etc.

We went on a bike ride Monday evening after dinner. We hoped on the bike trail and went the opposite direction in which we've gone before. We rode to a little rest stop where there was a few picnic tables and a restroom. It was 4.90 miles there. Once there we debated on making the 2 mile trek up to my parents house, knowing that the ride home from there would be down hill all the way home. But we decided to turn around and go the way we'd came as we would have have had to have made it up a hill in order to get to my parents.


Bike rides are a great way to get in extra exercise that isn't weight bearing on my bummed foot. It's also something fun we can do together as a family. We recently got Hannah's bike all tuned up and adjusted, which was most needed after her bike accident two years ago. And I got my first helmet! We've always been a family that promoted helmets when bike riding, scooter riding, even rollar skating at the local rink, and up until recently, I'd never had a helmet. Not any more. Our entire family now has helmets!


We'll be getting a hitch put on the new car in the next two weeks and then we can take our bikes with us when we go camping at the beach for a week next month! And I'm very much looking forward to that!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Walking

I knew I had to get back on track with getting some exercise in. My foot has been feeling much better, and as much as I miss walking, I don't miss the excruciating pain I'd have in my foot when I get up in the  night to go to the bathroom, or first thing in the morning, or any time I get up after having sat for an extended amount of time.

We walked last Saturday, up Mt Rubidoux. It'd been the first time I'd walked in two weeks. Let's just say it was a BIG MISTAKE. My foot had been feeling really good, and then we walked up the mountain and I could hardly walk by the time we got home. Someone suggested that all the incline wasn't a good idea on my feet that hadn't walked in two weeks. So for the time being, I've sworn off walking Mt. Rubidoux.

But this morning, I got up, got going, dawned my walking shoes and grabbed my ear buds and walked. I'm starting off easy. I only walked 1.6 miles and I'm thinking maybe I should try every other day for a while. I didn't walk very fast, but I did get out there and walk. My foot did hurt/ache with just about every step the first half of my walking. But I came home and stretched and hopefully it'll be good to go walking again in another day.
I looked at Runkeeper this afternoon at my records for the last six months. June has been by far the worst month of my walking! I've only walked 12 miles this month! I'm trying not to get too depressed about that as I really was needing to rest my foot. On a more positive uplook, I've walked 348 miles since January 2nd! That's way more miles than I walked (for exercise) last year!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Exercise: It's Dangerous for Your Heath!

Exercise, it's dangerous for your health!!!

If you read my prior post about the weight loss and exercise kick I'm on, then you're up to speed as to how I've been exercising. But I'm tellin ya, it's given me problems! LOL.

So I've dropped a good amount of weight. I've got some weight off my knees, and my feet, but for the last 2-3 months I've had this horrible pain in my heel. I thought it was heel spurs, but after inquiring as to what it could be as a post on my Facebook page, and then researching it on the internet, I'm pretty sure, I have plantar fasciitis. It's horribly painful and is only in my right foot. I've been  doing some stretching exercises I found online and have absolutely not been going around the house barefoot, in addition to taking some time off from my excessive walking, as a result it's starting to feel a lot better this week!!

But,  as if that wasn't enough! Two weeks ago, I spent almost three hours in Urgent Care as a result of finding excessive blood in my urine. My history was taken, as was some blood work, and an Xray to rule out a possible kidney stone. The diagnosis: the blood was a result of an excessive exercise session the night before in the form of an eleven mile bike ride! Turns out that excessive exercise in a single session can cause blood in your urine! Google it, then you'll really believe me!

See, they say exercise is good for you, but I have proof it's harmful! LOL.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Goal for 2013

This October, I will celebrate a milestone of a birthday. I'll be turning 40!!!When 2013 started, I set a goal for myself to loose a certain amount of weight by my birthday.

Therefore, on January 2, I started counting calories with the help of Sparkpeople.com. In this day and age of technology and smart phones, counting calories has never been easier, with convenient Apps on the smart phone, and restaurant websites at your fingertips for looking up nutritional values.

In addition to counting calories, I also started exercising in the form of walking. My goal was to walk three days a week at the track, and then some sort of exercise on the weekend as a family, whether it be a bike ride, or walk up Mt. Rubidoux, etc. But I exceeded that goal and was walking 6-7 days a week, my minimum was 2 miles every time I walked, but rarely did I walk just 2 miles. I was walking 20+ miles a week! It wasn't long before I hit 100 miles walked, then 200 miles, then 300 miles!   I found that I'd become 'addicted' to walking. I had to get my walk in everyday, at some point. I've had many a stressful situations over the last few months and I always felt much better after dawning my walking shoes and hitting the neighborhood or track for 3+ miles. In March, Steven and I went away for our anniversary for a few days to Coronado, and we even packed our walking shoes and workout clothes and wound up PAYING to use the hotel's gym one day so we could use the treadmill and elliptical! Exercising, let alone paying for it, while on vacation was something I'd NEVER ever done before, but I was proud that I'd come that far! Same held true for me last month when we camped over Memorial Day weekend. I walked the campground, walked the beach, and climbed the 100+ stairs that led from the sandy beaches up to various spots of the campground. I'm proud of how far I've come in the exercise department. 

The last two months have been rather slow for me in the loosing department. I'm playing around with the same 5 lbs over and over. A couple people have suggested I've hit a plateau and that my body may not remember being below the weight I am right now and is holding on to where it's at. At any rate, I need to figure out how to break this plateau and get back to loosing some pounds!!!!


Alive and Well

I am alive and well, and life is slowing waaaaay down for me. I really want to try to get back into blogging. My three blogs are so neglected, there's no way I can make up for a year of not blogging. So I'm just going to start afresh at this point.

The 2012-2013 school year officially ended on May 30th and it's been a great two and a half weeks of sleeping in, lounging about, reading for pleasure, Disneyland trips, and doing lots of fun things with my girls. 

The end of the school year was a huge relief for me as I completed my two year stent as PTA President at our Elementary School. The final weeks of the school year were especially busy and stressful for me.    Being PTA President wasn't an easy job. I loved the organizing and administration part of it all, as I do feel that's one of my God given gifts, but there was a lot of stress that comes with such a position. I had  never ever been called to the Principals office more times than I have had in the last two years! All I will say is the difference I was trying to make, wasn't sitting well with some of the teachers at the school. But enough of that, needless to say, I am happy to have the last two years behind me...

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Grandparents House

My last living Grandparent died the end of August. While I was not real close to my Grandma, it's still weird to think I no longer have any grandparents here on earth. My grandfather passed away nine years ago, and now that my Grandma is gone, the time has come to sell the house.


This house is filled with many, many years of memories. My grandparents were the original owners of the house, it's the house my Dad grew up in as a teenager. 

Growing up, we had a family tradition of a Christmas Progressive Dinner, whereas we went to the four houses within the family, always ending at Grandma and Grandpa's house for dessert and a fun activity.    Grandma always did things up creatively and fun.

Almost my entire life, with the exception of the last couple of years, this is where we spent Christmas Eve. The family would gather together for a traditional Christmas dinner  and a gift exchange, and in the last twelve or so years, a fun game or activity that the entire family would participate in, organized by my Uncle. Over the years, our family has grown with the adding of spouses, us grandkids getting married and having kids of our own. We kinda outgrew the house years ago as far as big family functions went.

Within two weeks of the house being on the market, it sold! And after a couple of trips to go through things, as of this week, escrow has closed, and it's no longer "my grandparents house", but it's a place that will be in our memories for many years to come. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Getting Married the "Right Way"

In the last couple of weeks, there's been some postings on Facebook from people about their impending marriage.

For days leading up to their special day, the bride posted about how excited she was for the big day, how she couldn't wait to spend the rest of her life waking up beside her soon to be husband, and other statements like that. One bride put as her status the morning of her wedding that she felt like a kid on Christmas morning.

Those are all very touching and meaninigful statements when you're embarking on the adventure of marriage. I know I said the same statements. However, in my opinion, those statements loose something when you've already been shacking up and already sleeping together. Really, what's changing, beside the fact that you'll now have his name, and have made a life long commitment to one another (which in this day and age, sadly, we know for a lot of people isn't really true). You're already living with each other, already having sex, already waking up to the man. Not much is going to be different, aside from the titles and such.

Steven and I were both excited to get married. Our lives, once we said those vows, were forever changed. I had still been living at home, with my parents and brother,  it was AFTER we were married that I moved in to Steven's condo. We hadn't already been sleeping together, we were saving that until AFTER we were married. There was so much for us to be excited about.

Over the weekend, we were sitting and chatting, and I was telling him about my Facebook friends and their statements and how it made no sense to me, he told me about this article, Getting Married the Right Way and it hit the nail on the head, it was a really great article for those of us who've gotten married the "Right Way."


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Helloooooo Out There!

It's been a very long time since I've updated this blog, or any of my three blogs for that matter. I've missed writing, I've missed keeping a journal of what life has held for me, for our family.

It's been well over six months since I've last updated and so much has happened in that time. I have been putting off blogging until I could go back and write 'catch up' posts from everything our life has held for us since my last posting in January. But I've come to the conclusion, that if I want get back into blogging, I need to just start afresh and not try to go back and write posts from the past. However, I will highlight some of the big things of the last 8+ months.

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My position at school kept me very busy. In addition to my duties as PTA President, I was the chairperson for Teacher Appreciation Week, headed up the Year Long Perfect Attendance Lunch with the Principal, and many, many other little things that definitely kept me busy. As for this current school year, I am once again PTA President, but know the role better this year and have learned to really delegate and not overextend myself. I'll be honest and say I've lost some of my steam as two of my closet PTA girlfriends have "abandoned me". LOL. One left the school completely, and the other was just fed up with all the drama and isn't a part of PTA at all, I don't blame her one bit.

The beginning of May found Steven scheduled to go to Maryland for a week on business. The company in which he is employed with, is located in Maryland. This company bought out the old company last October and have expressed interest in him coming out once or twice a year. May was his second time in going out. There's been several times through the years that he's been scheduled for business trips and he always suggests finding a way to have me join him, etc. But it's just never worked out due to finances, the girls ages, their school schedules, and just life in general. But this time, it was looking like I'd be able to join him! And I was beyond excited!

He flew out early Monday morning and I would join him Thursday and together we'd spend the weekend touring Washington DC!! I flew out Wednesday night and took a red eye flight, my air travel coming to an end around 9:00 Thursday morning! I picked up my rental car and found my way to the hotel in which Steven had been staying. I had all of Thursday to relax, nap, and unwind from what had been an extremely busy few weeks, while he worked his normal work day.

On Friday, I met a dear, dear girlfriend for lunch. She lived a little over an hour and a half from where we were and there was no way either of us was going to miss the opportunity to see each other. We met for lunch and spent hours talking. That evening when Steven was done working we made our way to our hotel in downtown Washington DC. We had booked a room on Priceline.com that landed us just two blocks from the White House! We dropped our bags in our room and set off to see the first thing on my list...The White House!

There are no words to express the emotions of seeing something you've always seen in pictures, on the TV, heard about. I was truly in awe, and couldn't believe I was actually in Washington DC!!

Saturday morning we hit the ground running. We spent the next 12 hours INTENSELY sight seeing!! You name it, we probably saw it. We packed days of sightseeing into that day, as well as the few hours on Sunday morning we had before flying home.

We flew home Sunday afternoon (Mother's Day). I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to have had this trip. The girls stayed with my parents, and I had a girlfriend pick up the girls from school along with her daughter and drop them off at my parents house the two days they had school while I was gone.

To see our Nations history left me speechless. Seeing the White House and the Lincoln Memorial brought tears to my eyes. And all I can think of is I cannot wait to go back! There is still so much more to see of our Nation's history. I loved traveling, I'd never flown by myself but enjoyed it, and I LOVED the red eye experience and having an entire extra day on that end. I can't say enough great things about those four very full days. I will say that within weeks of getting home, we'd opened up a credit card that gives you points that can be applied towards traveling - hotel, airfare, etc, and I've started using it EVERYWHERE I can to earn more points! THAT's how much I wand to go back. And in my mind, it's not a matter of "if", it's "when", because as long as Steven works for this particular company, there's always the chance he'll be going back!

Once the girls finished the school year, we had 8 1/2 weeks of summer break and we tried to make the most of it! We took day trips to the beach with friends, went to Hollywood, to the movies, and so much more! Including a week long of VBS where Steven and I were both very much involved.

We also spent a week camping at our favorite beach campground! Normally a large group of people from church go, but no one got reservations this year, which meant, there'd be no kids there to entertain our kids. But I had the bright idea of taking our nieces with us for the week and that worked out wonderfully! The four girls had a tent to themselves and got along all week and had a blast....all the while making memories!! It was a great way to end our summer break, as Rachel started school the very next week!

The school year started with a bang....Rachel fell and hit her head and sustained a concussion and couldn't go the first day of school! But she went the second day. Hannah started Jr High a week later, which gave her and I some mother/daughter days....shopping, shopping with a friend and her daughter, lunch, etc. And then once she started school....my taxi services started right back up, however, now I go to two different schools. I think I'm finally used to it, however, it's the afternoon pick up time that's starting to really wear me down. Rachel gets out of school at 1:55 and Hannah at 3:00. There's no since in coming home for such a short time, so Rachel and I have to find things to do in that hour between schools letting out. I created a homework basket that is stocked with everything needed for doing homework (pencils, crayons, scissors, gluestick, etc) and we've gone to the library, gone to my parents house to visit Gramma, we've run errands, and this week, with the temperatures cooling down a bit, we've been able to go to the park. But there's two hours every day that's taken up with pick up, waiting, and then pick up again. Once the weather cools down even more, I can have Hannah walk to my parents house some days and she can spend time with my parents and come home after dinner.

There's so many more things I can think of to write about, but we'll save those for another day. I'm happy to have written this post and look forward to blogging again!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Special Project

Thursday evening, we attended a reception for participants, and their families, of a recent project done at Loma Linda University Medical Center, the place where Rachel has had all of her surgeries, where her team of doctors practice.

The special project was that of a makeover to a major hallway on the 1st floor of the hospital. It's the hallway that leads from the elevators to the cafeteria as well as connects the Medical Center with the Children's Hospital. So it's a highly traveled hallway. The project name is called the "I Am Hallway". And in this hallway, now hangs about twenty pictures, up and down the hallway. These pictures are huge, maybe three feet by three feet?? If not bigger. The individuals chosen for the project have each been given an "I Am" statement. For example, "I am a Survivor", "I am a medical marvel", "I am Loved", and the list goes on and on. In the corner of each of these pictures, there is a paragraph that tells the story of the person and how it is that they represent their "I am statement".

Rachel's "I Am Statement" is "I Am Beautiful". To read and see pictures of it, visit her blog, Rachel's Journey, and read the post titled "The I Am Hallway".

So back to Thursday evening, this reception was attended by all the amazing people that participated in this project. There were young (one little girl was younger than Rachel), there were not so young, there were men, there were women, there were perfectly healthy looking individuals, and there were some that weren't. But every participant had a story. And as we got into the car after this event, I felt exhausted, emotionally and physically exhausted. I'd been fighting tears back most of the evening.

When Rachel was born with undetected birth defect, we were devastated. Deep down, we knew things were going to be okay, she had a long road ahead of her. But it was still hard nonetheless.

The evening represented a few different things in my mind.

For us, it was a celebration of how far we'd come with Rachel. That picture that now hangs on the wall in a major medical establishment, is a testament to God's unfailing love, His unfailing concern, and of answered prayer, many, many answered prayers.

The evening also made me think about people's outside appearance. To look at quite a few of those people, you would have no idea what things people had gone through. Others, it's obvious what people are going through, or gone through, - the boy in the wheelchair suffering from muscular dystrophy or the little boy about Rachel's age walking around the room with a walker and a tracheostomy, living his life with Spina Bifida, but just as happy and outgoing as he could possibly be. Every person has a story, some stories just aren't obvious. I need to take more time to learn people's story, who they are, how far they've come in life, do they know Jesus.

This week, one morning while the girls are in school, I want to go back to the Medical Center and stroll down the hallway, looking at every single one of the pictures, reading each and every one of the stories. The few I did read the other night were touching, I'm sure the rest will be too...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012!

It hardly seems possible that Christmas has come and gone and we are almost a week into the New Year! Growing up, I always felt as if it were a lifetime between Christmases and now that I'm grown up, it just doesn't seem that way.

The last month has been a busy one with lots happening.

The last week of November/first week of December had me living the Single Mom life, as Steven went to Maryland on business for a week. I was up really early most of the mornings, and staying up late most evenings. I don't sleep well when he's away, which isn't very often. And life around our house is very different when Steven's gone. He works from home and very rarely leaves the house with the exception of Bible Study every other week and a meeting here and there. So to not have him home, is strange to say the least. But we all survived. :)

The early part of December, our school district and the teachers were struggling to come to an agreement on their contract that was time for renewal. Upon returning to school from our Thanksgiving break the teachers were working only their contracted hours (7:45-3:00) and nothing extra. There was so much going on, and for someone like me who is always at the school, involved, I had no idea. So at for our December 6th PTA meeting, I invited the Superintendent to come speak and give the district's side of the feud. When opening the meeting, I said that PTA was not endorsing one side or the other, but were acting as a means to getting the word out. Sadly, the responses following that meeting that I received, as well as other PTA board members were not good. Some of the teachers became bullies and told PTA we needed to pick a side, and it should be the side of the teachers. It became a huge mess that resulted in myself, the Vice President, and the Parliamentarian having a meeting the very next afternoon, whereas all but six of our thirty three teachers were present. They gave us their side, and we were able to share how we'd felt after being treated the way he had in the previous 24 hours, and defend ourselves. In the end, for the most part, things are okay between the PTA and the teachers, but upon going on vacation, there were some teachers who still were not speaking to us. Time will tell how things are next week when we return to school after a three week holiday break.

The final week of school, both the girls tried out for our schools musical production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. And after four days of auditions, letters went home on that Friday letting the students know if they had or hadn't landed a spot. I was very skeptical of my girls trying out. I know the commitment for this production is HUGE. And I was praying that both the girls got a spot, or neither of them did, so as to not mean so much running for me once rehearsals start (next week!). I am proud to say that both the girls were accepted and will be performing in this grand production. Dates are April 12, 13, and 14th.

On Monday, December 19th, Steven and I went into Hollywood to the Pantages theater to see WICKED! He bought me the tickets for my birthday as I absolutely fell in love with the production when we saw it for the first time three years ago. It was amazing. I loved it and of course left wanting to see it again, just like the first time!!

Christmas was very different this year as it fell on a Sunday. Not only did our church have our usual Sunday morning service, but we also did a Christmas Eve service. We attended both. We had a good Christmas. And again I'll say I can't believe it's come and gone. Every year, I say to myself that I want the season to just slow down so that I could enjoy it, and while I did enjoy it, it wasn't quite slow enough for me. LOL.
Picture taken on Christmas Eve

With the way the holidays fell this year, and the need to take a personal day from work, or he'd loose it, Steven had two four day weekends! We did several fun things as a family.

On Friday, December 30th, mid morning, we headed into Hollywood to the Pantages Theater to participate in the matinee lottery for $25.00 Orchestra seats for WICKED. With the girls getting ready to embark on their own broadway-like adventure in performing Beauty and the Beast, we wanted them to see something big and spectacular. And with the months and months of being subject to the listening of my soundtrack, as well as viewing a recorded show on DVD, Hannah was interested. Unfortunately, not one of us won the lottery, but following the ending of the lottery, the Pantages offers discounted tickets for $45.00. We decided that price was still a great deal and got in line to purchase tickets. Originally they had announced these discounted tickets were for the Mezzanine seats. But upon my purchasing the tickets, we were given seats for not only the Orchestra floor section, but it was the 9th row, four seats on an inside aisle!!! I was so excited to discover the location of our seats, and for the price!! We paid $45 a seat for seats that normally go for $163.00!!! The show was just as amazing as it had been eleven days earlier. Although this time we were close enough to see a lot of detail you miss when you sit in the balcony, even if it is first row balcony. This time, not only did I leave loving it just as the times before, so did Hannah, and before we were even out of the theater, she was stating the fact that she'd love to see it again! That day will forever be etched in my memory of a wonderful spontaneous adventure!!

The consolation adventure, had we not scored tickets in the lottery for WICKED, was that we had free tickets to the Long Beach Aquarium that were expiring on the 31st. When Rachel learned that we would not be going to the Aquarium that day, we promised we would take her the very next day. Which was the adventure for New Years Eve Day. We hit the road by 8:30, stopping at McDonalds for breakfast and got to the Aquarium an hour after it'd opened. Steven and mines goal was to get there and get home late afternoon/early evening before the craziness of New Years Eve set in. We met up with our good friends who also had tickets for the Aquarium. We spent the day together admiring the beautiful creatures that God placed in the sea and ended our time together with a late lunch / early dinner. We spent New Years Eve home, just the four of us. It was a quiet evening and relaxing for me as Steven worked on church work on the laptop. It was a nice way to end our two days of great adventures!

The New Year is off to a good start. I hope do get back to blogging more regularly in 2012. The girls go back to school on Monday, so it's back to our school routine. The next few months are going to go by rather quickly I have a feeling. And before too long, we'll be attending our daughters promotion ceremony from Elementary School!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This and That

The girls returned to school on Monday after having had a two week break.

It was a nice break from the regular routine of getting up and out the door so early every morning, from homework, and for me, the busyness of being so involved at school.

While we were off, I didn't touch my black PTA bag once! I vowed to finish up all my little projects on the last day of school and then put my bag away for the two weeks and I was able to do just that! Yea Me! LOL.

I had every intention of catching up on my blogs while we were off, but I never accomplished that. I'm such a slacker. I do miss blogging.

We had a great time off. The girls and I got one trip in to Disneyland, in addition to the private annual passholder party that Steven and I got to go to one weekday night! The girls spent the night with my parents and Steven and I went with some good friends of ours. It was a great date night and we had a great time! I love Disneyland this time of year!!We had a nice Thanksgiving. I cooked this year for the four of us, my parents, and my brother and sister in law and two nieces. It was a quiet very low key day with lots of yummy leftovers!

This is the second year in a row that I've pulled an all nighter for Black Friday shopping! And boy, is it ever fun, especially when you go with a couple friends! I scored some amazing deals and think this very well be my new tradition of literally shopping til I drop. LOL.

We went back to school on Monday for three weeks and already I'm back to the busyness of projects. The PTA recently sold See's Candy for a fundraiser and that arrived yesterday, which required it to be sorted and bagged for all the orders the kids brought in. Today is pick up for the candy. So I'll be at school a few hours today for that. Next week is Hannah's Christmas Choir performance and the teacher has already cornered me into video taping it and processing it, there's the December PTA meeting next week. The following week is our last week of school before going off for three weeks for Christmas and the New Year. And that week holds a field trip for Hannah to Medieval Times, musical auditions that Rachel is participating in, and Christmas parties for each of the girls classes. This busy and this is just my school projects. LOL. But I love it and I love being able to stay home and be so involved...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For most of my life, I've always had long, long hair. But at the beginning of summer, two years ago, I had ten inches taken off and I donated my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

I donated my hair on behalf of three women. My longtime friend Diana, diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer of 2008 and went home to be with the Lord in January 2010, and for the sister-in-laws of my friend Amy, both who had been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier that year.

You can read about it and see the before and after pictures on the post I wrote "Taking a Load Off".

Who would ever have thought that as my friend Trudi cut my hair that warm summer evening, that less than two years later she too would be diagnosed with breast cancer.

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This afternoon, I went to "Dancing for a Cure", a dance recital put together where all proceeds go to breast cancer research. This afternoon, and at the show this evening, Trudi got up before two almost sold out audiences, and told her story.

She told her story of how one weekend morning, as she rolled over in bed, she found two lumps and how she put off going to the doctor until weeks later when she couldn't lift her arm up to get something high out of the cupboard without pain.

She told of the day she and her husband were told that the biopsy revealed, "it's Breast Cancer".

She told of how she thought that having only 9 of the 31 lymph nodes testing positive for cancer was a relatively positive thing, while her doctor thought otherwise and upgraded her to Stage 3.

She told of the two rounds of chemo. The effects of loosing her hair. The five weeks of radiation, five days a week.

She told of the booth at opening day of our local town soccer club. They were taking pledges for an upcoming walk for Breast Cancer. Trudi signed up to walk. A year ago, breast cancer awareness wasn't as close a topic as it had become in the last nine months.

I'll never forget the morning she told me. It was at school, kids were running about on the blacktop, waiting for the bell to ring to begin their school day. She wanted to be the one to tell me before I heard it from anyone else. Her news hit me hard.

I've known people who knew people diagnosed with breast cancer, or so and so's Mom, or the friend of so and so. Or so and so. But never had I had a friend who'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. Now I personally KNEW someone who had breast cancer. She's my age (a couple years older, but close enough). She had two kids the same ages as our girls. I remember calling my mom once I got in the car and tearing up upon telling her. Trudi's cancer has touched many a hearts.

This is Trudi with her eight year old daughter. Trudi is a Breast Cancer Thriver. The last eleven months have been horrible ones. Filled with doctor appointments, Chemo appointments, radiation appointments. But she's alive. She's thriving. And she's an inspiration to many....

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's been a Busy Month!

October has turned out to be a very busy month for me. And slowly, one by one, I'm checking things off my list!

Myself and another Mom were in charge of the 6th grade fundraiser that ran the last part of September into the first week of October. The kids sold raffle tickets and are raising money for Science Camp in April. There were three different deadlines for the kids with and each deadline meant a trip to the classrooms to pick up any tickets that had been turned in. And then there was the counting of the money and the raffle tickets, etc, etc. The buying of the prizes to be raffled off, etc. I spent countless hours working on the record keeping and making sure everything would be easy for the teachers to stay informed of the students who paid, who still have a balance, etc. Last week, myself and the other Mom were finally able to turn over all the money and the balances to our office manager and to the teachers in preparation for parent conferences to be held this week. I was sure happy to hand all that over!

On October 13th, our family attended our first Fall Ball at the school. In the six years that Hannah's been attending the school, we've never once gone to any of the dances. But this year, rather than the traditional Monster Mash that's been done in recent years, our Fall Ball Committee did a Country Hoedown! I had the best committee chairmans overseeing and planning the entire thing (Thank You Letti!!!) It was a fun evening of line dancing, face painting, food, and a country photo booth! We had all kinds of props that made for great and fun pictures! I've heard nothing but wonderful things about the evening and how much fun families had and what a great change it was from years past. I think we may have a new tradition!
Members of the 2011-2012 PTA

In addition to to 6th grade fund raiser, and the hoedown, I also had a school wide Box Tops contest come to an end last week. Which for me, means counting all the Box Tops that have been held on to until the last minute and then verifying the count and ready them for shipment, and then printing up notifications for the winning classes, etc. We collected almost 20,000 Box Tops!
This is what 15,800 individual Box Tops looks like. 316 bags of 50!

The other thing that's been on my plate this month is a project at church. October is Pastor Appreciation Month and for the second year in a row, I've taken on the project of collecting donations and special cards, etc, and then purchasing gift cards and putting together a gift for our Pastor and his family. Numerous emails having gone out, as well as printed copies of the letter handed out at church, proved very successful and we were able to bless our Pastor and his family by presenting them with a package of beautifully written cards, gift cards for dinners out, as well as a Visa gift card to go away as a family for a few days. That was presented to them yesterday, and thus another project finished for me for the month...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Day in Pictures...

I had nothing on the calendar today. Nothing going on that needed my attention at school (PTA, 6th grade science camp fundraiser, Box Tops, etc). My laundry is all caught up. It was a day that was totally open. So what better way to spend the day than make a trip to My Happy Place. It's my favorite time of year at the Disneyland Resort - Fall and soon it'll be be Christmas. I dawned my tennis shoes, transferred the necessities from my big purse into a small shoulder purse, and once the girls were dropped off at school, I was on my way.

There was a little hesitation when I first hit the freeway. The weather forecast had rain forecasted for tomorrow, so I thought I'd be safe. But there were reports of rain in the neighboring cities between here and Disneyland. I called Disneyland to see what the weather was like there, and while it had already rained there this morning, the sun was beginning to make an appearance.

I debated back and forth on whether to continue going and finally came to the conclusion to go anyway, no matter rain or shine. I hit patches of sprinkles here and there, an the morning traffic was cooperating all the way from here until I had to get on the other freeway. And then it was STOP and GO for the entire time until my exit!!!! Which I think is approximately 20 miles. It took me an hour and a half to get to Disneyland, when it normally would take me about 50 minutes!!!

This picture was taken as I was getting off the freeway! Yippeee! I reached my off ramp!Upon arriving to the parking structure I had already decided to throw caution to the wind and just deal with the sprinkling rain which had started when I exited the freeway, but once a few cars from where I'd parked, I noticed it had begun to rain harder, so returned to the car to get my umbrella. Now only if I'd had a jacket in the car, I would have been set!

And this is the view I saw quite often throughout the morning, the bottom of my umbrella in my line of vision. It began raining once I got inside the gates. Main Street was clear as most people had gathered into the shops of Main Street or under the eaves to get situated with rain ponchos, etc. I had my big umbrella so I waltzed my way down Main Street. I strolled through Tomorrowland to see what the wait was for Star Tours, only 30 minutes, but the line was outdoors and I didn't want to wait in the line. So I kept strolling. I ended up riding the Monorail and taking in the soggy sights of the park and some of the construction going on over at California Adventure that is hidden to the eye at street level.

People everywhere obviously came prepared, or found the nearest Dollar Tree, and had ponchos. I couldn't help but snap a picture of this adorable line up. All these little Asian girls had matching rain jackets!! That was sure going to make keep track of them all a lot easier!! And for the rest of the people who didn't come prepared, good ole Disney was prepared with their ponchos for sale! There were lots of these! Walking close to any of the people who had Disney ponchos on you could smell the newness of the poncho. LOL. I must have hit the line in the bakery just right, it was actually short. So a chocolate chocolate chip muffin and a nice cold Coke was my breakfast for the day and I staked out a dry table along Main Street to sit and people watch. I love to people watch at Disneyland. It's entertaining. I browsed through the stores of Main Street, and then through the big Disney store in Downtown Disney, as well as the candy store in Downtown Disney. I eventually made my way to the car. I wanted to give myself some extra traveling time back to the school just in case there were accidents on the freeway from the rain. I stopped off at the discounted Disney Warehouse to see what they had in stock. Christmas is coming and I was keeping my eye open for POTC shirts for Hannah. The warehouse didn't have much that caught my eye, except for this purse. It's a pin collectors bag really, that comes with an album to display your collectors pins, but I've had my eye on it for a long time to use as a purse. It had been $64.95 when it was in the parks. And now at the discount warehouse, it was $49.99, which really wasn't that great of a deal, so I passed. I left empty handed. And on the freeway I got.

Heading back towards home, there is one more Disney discount warehouse right off the freeway on the way home. I wavered back and forth on stopping. I decided I had the time to stop, so I might as well stop. They had practically all the same stuff, a little more clothes. But they also had the purse I had just seen!! However, here, at this Disney warehouse it was $20.99!!! Almost $30.00 cheaper than where'd I had just seen it a half hour before!! I had a gift card I'd recently been given by a teacher at school, so I bought it! I have a discount card for the discount Disney warehouse (isn't that a funny one) and it gave me an extra 15% off! So I got it for $19.80!!! When it was originally $64.95! I was pretty happy, even more happier that I hadn't bought it at the previous discount warehouse!

The other thing I contemplated briefly buying, was for my Star Wars loving geeks in my family...They were $27.99 each. So I passed.

It was a wonderful day! I love my quick trips to Disneyland. I love strolling through the park, seeing what's going on, people watching, and just taking a day off from the busyness of life outside the magical gates. I'm thankful to be able to do such days! And I look forward to more in the future!!