Friday, September 23, 2016

20th Wedding Anniversary

Six months ago on this date, Steven and I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary.

Twenty Years. I can't believe it's been twenty years.

On one hand, it hardly seems possible for it to have been that long, and yet on the other hand, it feels like that day was an entirely different lifetime.

The last couple of years we kept saying we were going to go to Hawaii for our 20th anniversary. But as our anniversary got closer, we knew Hawaii wasn't going to happen. But we wanted to do something extra special for our big anniversary.

So we stayed at The Hotel del Coronado!!! It was absolutely wonderful!! While it would have been the icing on the cake to have a room with a full ocean view, this was the view from our room....

On our actual anniversary, we dressed up and had dinner at one of the hotel restaurants. It was on the patio and we had an amazing view of the sunset and had an amazing evening celebrating. 

March 23, 2016 ~ Our 20th Anniversary

Monday, September 19, 2016

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood!

One of the big events here in Southern California this past weekend was the return of Garth Brooks touring. It's been 20 years since he last toured and he was in Anaheim for the last 3 nights. My Facebook newsfeed had several friends posting pictures of themselves at the concert on Saturday night.

Yesterday morning before church started my friend texted, said she had a ticket to that night's concert, her husband did not want to go, the ticket was mine if I wanted to go with her. Um, yeah!!!!

This is Garth Brooks returning World Tour after not touring for 20 years. What a concert!!! One things for sure, Garth puts on an amazing concert! Once he finally graced the stage at 9:20pm, he sang until midnight!!! With the exception of 4 songs by Trisha Yearwood in the middle of his set.

I cannot remember the last time I went to a Country Concert. I'm thinking before Hannah was born. I've seen Randy Travis a couple of times at our old church, but that wasn't a true concert. I had a GREAT time and I forgot how much fun a country concert can be and how much I enjoy the good old country music of years past!!! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Work for Hire

The girls are getting older and there are opportunities arising for them to be more social, go places, do things. Translation: money is usually needed.

Last month, we let Hannah drive to a friends house on a Friday afternoon. Because her friend is always treating her to Starbucks, Hannah wanted to reciprocate. Thus, a $10 stop off at Starbucks. There's a possibility she could have her own car in the next few months, thus she'll need gas money.

Last week, on the day Rachel get's out for minimum day, she wanted to go to the local yogurt shop because that's where all the kids go on minimum day. I dropped her off and ran to the grocery store just a block away. But her yogurt cost money. I see more opportunities arising for her to be social as well.

We've never given our kids an allowance. There are just certain things you do when you're part of a family (dishes, cleaning rooms, cleaning their bathroom, things like that).

Our kids also lack for nothing. They each have a working iPhone (Rachel's is a hand me down), they each have an iPad and/or laptop, we buy things for them. We go places together, go to the movies, out to eat, treats here and there, etc.

But I got to thinking with all these opportunities arising to be social, why not make them work a little bit. Therefore I created a "Work for Hire" Board.

I'd see the idea on Pinterest and made ours to fit our family. I first wrote out a list of jobs I wanted done, and then attached a monetary value to it. I made a list of jobs not eligible for pay (their normal everyday/weekly chores), as well as even included an extra advertisement in the corner of someone else with "work for hire" jobs (Gramma!!) and then I printed it all out. And finally I went to the bank and got enough cash to cover the jobs so that the girls could be paid upon completion. With Hannah, she has the option of taking the cash, or I can transfer funds to her debit card.

I put it all together yesterday and it hangs in our laundry room. Hannah spotted it. I don't know if Rachel has yet. With the weekend upon us, perhaps there might be some little worker bees about our home!! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Las Vegas!!!

Our family are big time reality television junkies and one of our family's favorite shows is American Ninja Warrior. In April, Steven, Hannah, and I went to the Los Angeles taping and loved it. So when the tickets became available for the National Finals in Las Vegas, I jumped at the chance for tickets!! 

I have lived my entire life in Southern California, about 3 1/2 hours from Las Vegas, and HAD never been until this last June!! I've half jokingly suggested Vegas as a get away for Steven and I over the years and he's never liked that idea because he hates Vegas, or he did over 20 years ago when he last went. I've always wanted to go.

It happened that Steven would be in London for business the week of the Finals and would not be able to go, but that didn't stop us girls! I love road trips and had no problem going just the three of us.

Our tickets were for 8:00pm on a Thursday night. Because I wanted to make the most of our time and see all I could see, we left our house at 6:00am. We made it to Vegas by 9:30am and for the next 6 hours, we walked half the strip, in and out of all the big hotels and shops and malls.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!! I love Vegas, I love the glitz, the lights, the big hotels, the big gaming tables in the casinos, all of it. I would go back in a heart beat!!!

Mind you, I know that this is "Sin City" and there is a lot of improper stuff going on around there. I was warned about literature that we'd see or try to be handed and I was warned of the street walkers. But I gave my girls the lecture ahead of time about staying close, not accepting ANYTHING from anyone, and to listen to me. And let me tell you, our experience was absolutely pleasant!! We saw nothing inappropriate, was given nothing, and were not bothered in any shape or form. It might have helped that we did not walk The Strip after dark, but we had no problems in broad daylight. 

We checked into our hotel about 4:00 and freshened up before heading out to where we needed to be for American Ninja Warrior. The ANW experience itself wasn't successful, we stood in a line for over two hours before obtaining a wristband that sat us where we absolutely could not see anything. And because so few of people had made it past Stage 1 (the night before) there was a slim chance that anyone would even make it to where we were seated (Stage 4). So we left shortly after 11:00pm. We went back to our hotel and got Starbucks at one of the three locations in our hotel, and then went for a drive down The Strip to see the lights and glitz of the night!

The next day we got up and did the other half of The Strip, exploring some more hotels and shops, etc. before heading for home mid afternoon. While I wouldn't try for tickets for ANW Finals again, I would definitely go back to Vegas without any hesitation! It was a great start to our summer vacation adventures for the girls and I!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hellllooooo from Disneyland!!!

The girls have been in school 3 weeks now and with a longer time frame between dropping them off and picking them up, today was a perfect day for working out of my Anaheim office! 

It's a beautiful day! Crowds aren't too bad, nice breeze, but really, I'm just happy to be here! And yes, I am here alone. 

As I was walking through the parking structure to get to the tram, there were so many moms strapping their kids into the stroller, loading it up for a fun Disney day ahead, just as I did for many years! I was never afraid to come to Disneyland by myself with the girls like so many moms I do know. It's hard to believe that one of those girls could technically and legally drive herself to Disneyland!! 

Today, there are a lot of summer day camps in the park. I imagine the majority of these kids are in summer camp as a result of both parents working. How neat that they get to have such Dave tired during the summer break! And at the same time, I am so very grateful to be a Stay at Home mom who is able to take her girls on summer time adventures! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A New Way of Eating

For years, I've suffered from chronic headaches. It wasn't uncommon for me to have a headache 6-7 days out of the week, ranging from migraines, to sinus headaches, to hormonal headaches.  Over the counter medicines absolutely did nothing for my headaches and I did not want to go to the doctor and get put on some heavy medication.

Wanting to try the homeopathic route,  I went to to an essential oils party last Fall. I learned which oils worked for headaches, and I purchased some outside of that party at a local health food store. They worked a little, but not a whole lot.

For months a friend kept telling me I should go see her chiropractor for my headaches. And for months, I kept saying I was going to go, I should go, etc. The first week in February I did it. I saw this chiropractor who also specialized in wellness and nutrition. My life has been forever changed since seeing Dr. Brian.

The first month, I was put on a special diet, whereas I ate foods off an approved food list. It was free of sugars, preservatives, artificial foods, processed foods, etc, etc. I was clean / whole eating, taking a variety of supplements as well. Dr. Brian diagnosed me with a fungus (candida) in my intestines and the new diet and supplements would ail that from my body. A month later, I was fungus free, but most importantly..... I was HEADACHE FREE!!!!!

Through my new way of eating, and with Dr. Brian's help, it was discovered that I have a sensitivity to soy!!!! I also have a dairy sensitivity, which I kinda new I had.

From there, I did a 10 day liver detox and had other supplements added. I lost 25lbs in about 7 weeks!!

From the start, I became an avid label reader! I never knew how much crap was in our food. All the preservatives, added fillers, etc, are not good for our bodies! I am astonished at how much better I feel and I didn't even realize how crappy I felt!!

It was sometime during the second month of my new way of eating, that I took away all the breakfast processed foods my girls ate. Our mornings are crazy and early and convenience foods (frozen waffles, frozen pancakes, french toast sticks, breakfast corn dogs, etc) were always readily available in the mornings. I stopped buying it all together, and now the girls have Cheerios, egg burritos, homemade waffles, homemade french toast. Since then, I've also slowly started getting away from the processed lunchbox snacks and replacing them with homemade cookies, although it's been hard the last month with it being so hot and not wanting to turn the oven on!

It was also at the end of February, that Steven and I started working out on our Bowflex three times a week for strength training. When I started out, my total weight volume was 3,900 lbs spreadout in 7 exercises.  And now, my total weight volume is 21,300 lbs!! Tonights workout is my 75th workout! I'm stronger, I can feel definition in my biceps and triceps.

I continue to clean/whole eat with very little refined sugar in my diet. Once a Milk Chocolate Girl, I am now a lover of dark chocolate!!!! I also stay away from processed foods.

Unfortunately, I've been experiencing a plateau in my weight loss for the last 4 months. But Dr. Brian keeps giving me tips and advice and I'm currently working on getting in 10 servings of vegetables a day and really boosting up my protein intake. It is a challenge to say nonetheless!!

But I feel better, I only suffer from headaches if I accidentally eat something with soy in it (soy is literally in EVERYTHING!!! Soybean oil, protein, etc). Choosing and watching what I eat now a days isn't only about wanting to loose weight, but it boils down to not wanting to feel crappy as a result of eating certain foods!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hello, My Name is Darcy...

Hello, my name is Darcy and I used to be an avid blogger on all three of my blogs.

And then, well, a busy life set in, but I'm not really sure that's a good excuse. I was a ton better at blogging when my girls were little!

I've not really been "Mommy Busy" for a few years. Oh I've still been busy - playing taxi driver to two different schools with two different start and dismissal times, etc. But our girls are now 16 and almost 12, they are pretty self sufficient at this age.

At any rate, it's my goal to get back to blogging. I know, I know, I've said it before, but I'm really going to try and follow through!

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


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


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 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."