25 July 2012

Count down to the Olympics!

Guess what?!?  The Olympics will soon begin!  I am so excited!  I was spending some time today pondering what Country I wanted to support this year, and found this blog: http://eattheolympics.com/about  In support of the Olympics, this couple has set out to eat a dish from each of the 204 competing countries.  I might have to try some of their recipes. 

16 July 2012

Happy Birthday Karenna!

Yesterday Karenna and I made a princess cake for her birthday:

I think it turned out really well!  I think my favorite part is the pearl necklace.  That girl has a serious vision on what she wants, in pretty much all aspects of her life.  I'm really happy she kept her expectation realistic on this one. 

28 June 2012

I'm A Nerd

I didn't realize how well that statement fits me.  It's almost embarrassing.  Almost.  But I think I'm okay with it because it is so much fun for me!  A group of friends and I decided we want to learn Spanish, so instead of showing up and practicing stuff, and creating a plan together, I decided I needed to take charge of this one by making flash cards for the whole group (12 of us) along with "blue cards."  When I was learning Portuguese I was given a Yellow Card, with all the conjugations, on the front and some irregular verbs on the back.  I loved that card.  Loved it.  I carried it with me everywhere.  So I decided we need one of those for Spanish.  And not only did I made it, but I also laminated it and made a tri-fold out of it.  I love how it has turned out!  I'm so excited for our next meeting!  I'm going to do common phrases on the next batch of flash cards--  Including "Dame um beso." and "¿Quieres bailar?" Any other suggestions on really important things we should know?

22 June 2012

Sing With Me

How have I never been to a Sing-Along at the Disney Concert Hall?!?  So. Much. Fun.  This particular one was Disney songs, but they do different themes, too.  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world, because not only do I have fabulous friends who take me to events like this, but they also do it up VIP style with food, and the front of the line, and prime seating!  Thanks, ladies!  I'm so in for next month!

14 June 2012

I've been negligent, haven't I?

I know, I know...but my posts have started ending up like my letters used to:  unfinished, forgotten, and eventually discarded.  I have several that I've started, and then never finished, usually because I haven't been able to upload the accompanying pictures, and everyone knows that blogs are better with pictures.  Well, I'm going to start doing that again (I hope)!  And as I was catching up on some older drafts that were waiting for pictures, I also found some posts that were never published for unknown reasons...so I've published them too.  There are some really old posts that I'm finally posting, and to make it easier for you, here's a list of their links:

Feel the Burn
Longer than it should be:  you have been warned.
Dear Coworkers,
Christmas Eve
Mother Teressa Said:
Memorial Day
Basketball Champs
Track Meet!
National Train Day
Happy Retirement Pablo!
Weekend in Havasu

10 June 2012

Weekend in Havasu

Yesterday I drove out to Havasu because I needed a vacation...I probably spent as much time in my car as I did in Havasu, but it was away from home (well, really, away from work...) so I took it.   

I took the ferry boat across to the Casino for lunch.  The Security guy there was being nice and carded me-- It was funny because he looks like he's a teenager, and while I might look young, I definitely don't look like a teenager any more.  

I don't really remember why these guys are famous, but when you see a statue like this, you've gotta get a picture with it, right?  Read on sir-- let's map out this town!  (Maybe?)
After lunch,  we took a drive up to Oatman, a ghost town.  We got there pretty late, so most things were already closed, but the few shops that were open were full of super friendly people.  I love those small town folk!  
There were burros (Really? When did we stop using the word donkey?) wondering all over this town, with flashing signs warning that they were crossing, and every where you looked they were called another word...I'd tell you what it was, but my mom wouldn't approve. ;-)

To get there I was driving in the middle of no where for what felt like forever.  But just because you are in the middle of the desert, doesn't mean you can get anywhere any faster, because the speed limit was 40. Except for the town we passed through, where the speed limit was 25.  All the way through it.  And I didn't see a single person.  Not even in a passing car. 

And through all of this I realized that I super miss being able to take vacations like this. Have you been wondering why you haven't see blog posts about my vacations?  It's because I didn't have a dependable car.   I knew the end of my Jetta's life was coming so I'd done some research and found a new car that I wanted to buy and on the way there my baby girl pretty much exploded...Luckily the car I was going to test drive was a good deal, because there was no way my Jetta was gonna make it home.  So now I have a new car (!!!) and the freedom to take off just because I want to.  I'm so excited!

20 May 2012


It's so cool to "see" an eclipse.  I'm still amazed that this works:

I tried to take pictures with my camera, but shockingly this is what I got:

19 May 2012

Happy Retirement Pablo!

High School was a long time ago for me, but even so, I remember Pablo.  He was an amazing teacher for me.  I entered his class behind, but really felt he helped me improve.  I remember how uplifting he made the class.  I don't think anyone ever felt dumb or wrong.  Even when a mistake was made, a joke would be made, along with the correction, and an explanation, but all in a loving way that helped improve, instead of put down.

I was an awkward, quiet kid, so he would have no reason to notice me, but he was always very warm and friendly.  I never expected him to remember me, but I still wanted to see off because I will never forget him.  The line was 4 years long, and I had a few other things to do so I took off.  But I did get an email address from his wife, and if I can find my way with words, I will try to let him know how much he helped me.  Even though I don't really speak much Spanish, I do understand a lot of it.  And I know for sure that I would have had a much harder time learning Portuguese if I had not started with his Spanish foundation.

Thanks Pablo! Enjoy your retirement-- you deserve it!

12 May 2012

National Train Day

Happy National Train day!!!  I've always been a huge fan of trains, and then last year I became a train travel convert.  I love it so much! So, this year I had to celebrate somehow.  My sister and I got weekend passes for $10 and spent the day in LA,

there was a lot to see in the station,

free stuff to be collected,

a trip across the street for taquitos at Cielito Lindo, where I made friends with a fireman who was super excited to see me. Shrugs.

And the ever fun run-in with with weird people.

PS-- did you know there are LA Sheriff's patrolling the train taking tickets? That was a surprise to me! I think that would be my favorite assignment, if I were a Sheriff (not that I ever want to be...because I'd be really bad at it).

05 May 2012

Track Meet!

Who knew the elementary school has track meets?  I didn't know it, at least not until I was watching the kids this week and got to take them to theirs.  My boys did really well, and came home with all sorts of metals.
I had to leave before all the awards were given, but I did get to watch a friend receive her metal! Yay! Isn't she so cute?
I also got to see some pretty fashionable people.  Like this one...that's denim blue jeans, under baggy corduroy shorts, in case you can't tell. 

04 May 2012

Basketball Champs

I caught the last game of two of the kid's teams, and they were both really good!*  I didn't get any pictures of the younger team, but this team had decided to use superhero names on their shirts--so funny! That's Professor X, Hancock, Wonder Woman, Batman, Spiderman, The Hulk, Dead Pool, Mr. Showtime,** Ms. Incredible and Superman

* That's high praise coming from a non-sport's fan.
**I don't actually know the story behind Mr Showtime, but the 7 people taking pictures had a hard time getting pictures that show everyone's names, mostly because Mr Showtime's arms were in the way of other names...I guess his name really fits him! 

28 April 2012

Memorial Day

I'm such a nut for Memorial Day!  I love going to as many celebrations and commemorations as I possibly can. I always feel such gratitude for people who have done so much for me.  Every time I think about our service men and women, I feel guilty that I don't do more to help protect our liberties, or give back to those who have given so much.  But I do honor them all in deep within my heart.  Thank you.

25 March 2012


I'm pretty excited about how this birthday cake turned out.  The people I dance with think I'm a pastry chef because I will take cupcakes in for birthdays, or holidays.  I just like doing it.  I am not really good at it, but it's fun to get out my mom's old cake decorating tools and play around.

27 February 2012

Mother Teressa Said:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, People may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, They may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.

I know I fall into the trap mind set of "what's the point?" all the time. I like this quote because it's also a good way to start the ball rolling on the right foot. It is totally true that when it comes down to the final day, the only important opinions of your actions are yours and God's; but also, if you are doing your best and putting all that good out there, there are going to be a lot of other people who will in turn offer you their best. I find myself in a regular debate with a friend about a certain relationship which doesn't seem to measure up. My friend feels betrayed by a family member and wants to punish the betrayer, which is totally understandable, but that is a relationship is long term, and there will be a lot of future interaction. It is more likely that forgiveness and kindness will bring about better reciprocal action than the alternative. My friend understands this, but it's more difficult in practice.

It makes me think about myself, and how often I "know" I should behave differently than I do. Last night, I was talking to another friend about our interactions with certain people. We are both fairly kind people and don't have many difficult interactions, but it is still a struggle sometimes. We each have a difficult person in our lives, and we always discuss (not in a gossipy way, just in an observational way) how they need to be more considerate of the people around them. But it makes me wonder who could be having a similar conversation about me...And it reminds me to make sure I'm living my life in a way that allows me to feel comfortable with the aftermath of my actions.

I feel like I've finally begun to accept that I am who I am, and people can take that or leave it, but I'm doing what I think is best for me. I still want people to like me, and I want to do what's right, but now I want to do things because I want to, and not because someone else expects me to. When dancing, I'm okay with saying "I'd rather not dance with you this song" or "It is not okay to treat me that way."