Sunday, December 14, 2014

Favorite Things Party

This party has fast become one of my favorite Christmas traditions !!
We have this party with my moms group who I meet with once a month for dinner. Most of them I have known since my kids were in kindergarten, and their friendships are so treasured and faithful
And once again our sweet friend Vickie flew in from Seattle to join in the fun !
We miss her terribly and love that she comes "home" at Christmas to join the party

Janice, Caren and Susan
Cute Janice explaining  her gift

Kim and Vickie

Sherie opening her gift

We each brought five , $7.00 gifts and we each put our name in the basket five times.
You select the five girls who will receive your gift and hand them out explaining why this is one of your favorite things.

This year we did a sing along to Julie Andrews " Favorite Things" and I also had a question for each of the girls at dinner that turned out to be really fun too ! What was your favorite book this year? What was your favorite Costco purchase?  What was your favorite dinner your mom made growing up ? It was fun to hear the answers and then most shared their answer too !
Good conversations are always one of my favorite things 
I made two different soups, biscuits, and dessert  and our friend Susan brought a yummy salad. I wish I had taken pics of all the gifts but was able to take a few of the gifts I received.

Caren brought darling scarves and cute candle holders 
Sherie brought her favorite mason jar that she loves to drink out of, and yummy Dasani coconut pineapple drops

Kim brought her favorite Mary Kay mascara and curling ribbon.
She also gave us the most amazing gift. Her son Allen plays pro baseball so we each got a  signed baseball card, So  meaningful to all of us who watched him grow up !

Janice brought her hubby's famous fudge,her favorite bees wax cream from the farmers market, favorite floss and her favorite chips of all time Maple Bacon ...
They sound so good but I haven't tried them yet  { the fudge however is gone.. ahhhmazing   

Vickie brought her favorite oven liner ! Such a cool idea, you put it on your lower oven rack and it catches the spills and you simply wash it when it gets yucky . She also made us the cutest button ornaments like these... 

And my gift was my favorite battery lights that you can place anywhere around your house not worrying about a cord. I love the soft glow that they cast . I also gave my favorite Crystal Light peach mango green tea and a box of tinsel ! Just for nostalgia's sake we are adding a bit of tinsel to our tree this year....While hearing my moms sweet voice asking us to be careful not to glob it on but to add a strand at a time

It was such a memorable night and we had a BLAST !! I think we all did so good and were quite creative on such a tight little budget
I am going to start planning another for my bunco girls at the first of the yea r  !
Who says gifts are just for Christmas

Wishing you joy and peace this week leading up to Christmas !!
I pray your life is filled with the gifts that matter most.....
Friends, Family and Faith...
And cozy fires to sit by

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Merry Christmas

It's hard to believe Christmas is 3 weeks away
It is my very favorite time of year....
I have been listening to carols long before Thanksgiving and loving every decoration and ring of the Salvation Army bell
My heart is so filled with love and gratitude for another year to be with my family and have sweet grand babies to love

Thanksgiving was so fun !! I had to work the next day at 3am so we only had a very small group
I missed the Greeks so much, but enjoyed a quiet day and a small table for  7
Kenny,Lindsay and Chloe came and so did Chad and his girlfriend Gabby
{ who is darling by the way, and we all loved having her spend the day with us }
I cooked and had everything done in record time, and it was all fabulous. I guess when you dont cook in bulk it's easier to dial it all in. We took a long walk in the meadow with the pups. played games, and just enjoyed a sweet Thanksgiving  day

And now I am planning the Big Fat Greek Christmas !!
Menu planning, shopping,wrapping,hosting a couple of parties and trying to squeeze as much time as possible with my kids and darling grand babies !!
Poppa and I babysat last Sunday and Travis text me that Beckham woke up the next morning  yelling  "YaYa"
My heart melted, They are the most precious,  sweet babies and the joy they bring us is unmeasurable

What a incredible reminder of how God gave his very own son for us
His sweet baby boy
A savior who was born, grew up with his family, and then sacrificed his life for US

Oh holy night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear savior's birth
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
'Til he appeared
And the soul felt it's worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

I dont want to spend so much time doing " Christmas" without thinking of the meaning of Christmas
So even though I am busy, I am thankful for all the quiet moments to enjoy His birthday

I wish you  all a Happy Christmas !!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A love like no other ...

Yesterday after a quick shift at work I headed down to see the kids
I just cant stay away !! 
My arms ache to hold our little peanut
And Beckham's smile when he sees me melts my heart and fills it with joy like no other 
We like just hanging out together,doing ordinary things ...
a walk to pick lemons
cracking macadamia nuts off their tree
reading books
singing silly songs 
and yesterday while Ash and Beckham were taking a little nap
I held Amelie on my chest for over a hour
smelling her sweet breath
hearing her breathe
and praying for her while trying not to cry
my heart is overwhelmed with love
Blessed !!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pumpkin Aplenty !!

If you know much about me, you know I am moderately obsessed with all things PUMPKIN !! 
{ or as my boss says " Punkin" Every year for a month or two we hear it and smile, because none of us has the heart to tell him }

My love is a sickness really and I try my hardest to resist but lets face it the retailers heard our cries and there are millions of pumpkin products now !
So I thought I would share my " hits and misses "  and help you make wise pumpkin choices
That way I can honestly say I tried these for " research "
You're welcome !
ps I did not buy all these because word has gotten out so some of these were thoughtful gifts and " you gotta try these "  Ya'll are so sweet !!
Pumpkins you are

The long stemmed real pumpkins are darling !!!  I love the rustic look of these...
The Chobani yogurt a win 
The rolls a loss { we actually threw them out , not good or butt worthy }
The croissant is pretty darn good and kinda feels healthy with those nuts on top :) 
Trader Joes pumpkin bread is always a WIN!!!
And if you add chocolate chips even better
The petite scones  from Traders are ok....didn't love them
Pumpkin Oreos....if you generally love Oreos you might really like these but I am just not a fan of  Oreos in general so for me these were a pass
Pumpkin granola bars ...delish but we love all the " this ? walks into a bar" from Traders
And the BEST treat was the pumpkin almonds from  World Market !!
Made by Sconza they are to die for !! Just the right amount of yogurt coating and pumpkin pie flavor!!  So so good !! A gift from my sweet Barbie and I ran over the same day and bought five more bags as gifts. They are that good  

And of course my favorite lotion...Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter !! Get it while its hot because this stuff sells out fast and I had to enlist my friend and sister in law to find it for me !
Its amazing!!! Last year I gave it away as one of my Favorite Things !! 
Another fun gift was the pumpkin cupcake soap from Bath and Body works
My sweet Lindsay got me some and its so yummy in the downstairs bathroom !
And my sweet friend Paula sent this darling bowl with candy corn for my birthday !!
Yep words out....
I am a pumpkinaholic and I'm thankful that the kids from my block still stop over for treats so after a bite or four I can get some of these treats out of the house !! 

So that's my roundup from Pumpkin central !!
Wishing you lovely days filled with things you love and a Fall that is full of wonder and JOY 

And Honeycrisp apples !!
They are only here for a short season so enjoy your apple a day
We love them !  


Sunday, September 28, 2014


A perfect time in life captured by an amazing photographer !!
The sweetness is almost too much to bear

They make my heart explode with love and gratitude
My sweet son has been so blessed with this family of his and we are overwhelmed with joy for us all  !! 
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted
Job 5-9

Amelie Jewel

Our precious new grand baby  arrived August 29th at 743 am weighing 9 pounds 1 oz
And she is beautiful !!!
A perfect gift straight from the lap of God and we all fell in love at first sight
Ashlyn is a rock star and delivered her naturally just like she did Beckham
To hear Travis tell the birth story was one of the funniest things I ever heard
They labored in a tub in a birthing center at UCSD, and when it came time for her to be born Ashlyn stood up and delivered her right there. Trav was wearing his board shorts and said it was way "gnarly" and they felt like hippies !
I am so proud of these guys for being such a team and such a support for each other
When we arrived Ashlyn looked incredible and was glowing !!
A hour after she had her...Gorgeous !!
It has been the happiest month with lots of visits to help, and bond with this sweet baby !

We feel so incredibly blessed and  love these grand babies with a  
love like no other
Amelie I pray you always feel this loved and cared for !! 
Welcome to the world sweet girl ...........

And wait until you get to know your big brother !! He is the sweetest boy and loves you already

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Dittos and Wallabees

This past week  my mind has been so nostalgic.
It all started with a cute new top I bought, I thought it was darling and I had to have it !   

It immediately brought me back to my childhood when all I  wore were " angel tops"
And I wore them with my saddleback dittos which I had in almost every color
I probably paired them with " Wallabies"  or Dr Scholl sandals !
Funny how something can trigger a memory and you are brought right back to another time
I remember when my mom insisted that I have my own room and moved the boys in a room together so it could happen.
I got a beautiful canopy bed with a yellow bedspread
I LOVED it !! I would sit on my bed for hours  and dream and read
I felt like a princess and she had so much joy that she was able to make it happen
With four kids such luxuries were not the norm, and I know how much she saved to get me my new room
I wish that I could find a picture of it, but I am thankful the picture in my mind is so clear.

We lived in a very simple house with a "Osborne6-0626" phone number. I remember having to make emergency breakthroughs because she was on the phone too long with her family
We would call the operator to make a "break through" or a "collect call" if you were somewhere without a dime   
We would often get a party line and my mom would make us hang up but I loved to secretly listen in. I begged to have a "jack" put in my room so the boys wouldn't listen to my conversations from the kitchen phone
Funny how operators and busy signals are things our kids will never know ?
Or Blue Chip Stamps !  Pasting them to take to the " Blue Chip" store to pick out a new ironing board or toaster and maybe a "bean bag"  ashtray with the leftovers 
I used to ride my bike to Food Giant with my friend Renee with a note from her mom to buy her a pack of cigarettes { we were maybe all of 12? }
Dr Pepper Bonne Bell ...Ice cream cups with wooden spoons...My Holly Hobbie lunchbox with hopefully a space food stick inside !
I always had a "Frito Bandito" eraser on my pencil that was tucked into my Pee Chee folder.  

And I hated to have to dry my hair with this , so I would just sit in front of the wall heater in the bathroom until it dried

All these thoughts from a simple trip to Macys ......

Wishing you all a week of joy & giggles and a memory that takes you back and makes you smile !!! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

With a grateful heart

If you know me , you know I am a horrible, ugly crier and if there was a pill to keep me from  crying at every single thing happy or sad I would take it! Just last week I was telling my boss a story and the tears flowed and I was stuck there trying to swallow and recover
{ although he is so sweet his own eyes filled with tears }
But I'm also thankful that my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for so many things in my life. When you look at things with a heart of thankfulness it changes the way you live and you always feel like you have more than enough and way more than you ever deserve !

I was telling him about my sweet Chad.....
I didn't share too much about this situation but kept it close to my heart and we simply prayed our hearts out over it. Steve was asked to join a new company with a guy he worked with for years and they knew each other well. This man offered him a great job with less driving and Steve decided to take it. He gave his notice and was going to start the following week. But instead he got news that the job was postponed.
It could be as long as three months.  We felt sucker punched and kept wondering  " did we step out without knowing Gods will ?  He couldn't file for unemployment because he quit so there was zero money coming in. I was so ANGRY that someone would do this, to have him leave a good job if it wasn't 100% certain. Steve said the guy felt bad enough and he couldn't add any pressure to speed up the process  { he is a much better person than I am , I was beyond angry }

Well in the interim of job searching he took on a remodel of a home in Solana Beach. Mind you he has been a project manager and has not done physical labor in years. He didn't even have a truck. He drives a Chrysler 300 "pimp daddy" car.  So he needed to switch cars with Chad so he could get materials. So Chad came to the job site to let his dad use his truck

And Chad came to the job site every week after that !! 
He would just "show up" to help

Steve was overwhelmed with gratitude to have his help but more than anything he was blown away that after working a full week ,he would drive up on his days off to hang with his pop and help in any way he could
Steve told  Chad he would never forget that in one of the darkest times in his life Chad reached out that way. 
He made him laugh and kept him company  and worked his butt off ! When I asked Chad why he kept going he said he couldn't let him do it alone, that it broke his heart to see his dad working so dang hard 

This boy of ours has a heart of pure gold !!
So fast forward a month, Steve thankfully has a great new job, the remodel is done,he sold the Chrysler and found a nice  "used"   truck
But mostly he still wells up with pride when he talks about the incredible man his boy has become !  
We are truly successful with the things that matter
Our kids and Ashlyn make us proud every single day of our life
God is good and He often has lessons to teach us that cant be learned in the sunshine but He uses the storms to change us, to draw us close to him and to trust Him !!
And I am so proud of my husband for being such a great provider and being humble to do whatever is needed to provide for us !  Those "rainy days" your parents tell you to save for really do come, and thankfully one of us is a good saver and shares his umbrella

Wishing you all days of joy and enough days of challenge that you can only survive by clinging to your faith and each other.

I am so thankful we have each other to cling to and that they lovingly cling to us !! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer 2014

I  dont love Summer...
LOVE Winter, Spring and Fall
But Summer... not so much
But I remember loving summer when the kids were home and we had long lazy days ! The pool,  beach , staying out late, smores and camping in the back yard.
Or when I was a kid just knowing you had those three months to play  !
Nothing better than being carefree and doing whatever
Well guess what?
I am going to have that kind of Summer this year
I decided to make a list of all the fun things I want to do and be deliberate about filling the days and making great memories
We dont have any "vacations" on the books but who says we cant have fun right here ! 
So Carter and I both wrote down some ideas and put them up on the fridge and hopefully will be checking them off

We started yesterday off right with a spontaneous  trip to Carlsbad ! We packed a lunch, some drinks and our boogie boards. And it was such a blast !
One of my favorite episodes of "Friends" is when Phoebe runs with Rachel .She runs like a dork with such abandon and joy !
Well that's kinda like me when I swim. I feel like a big dork and I love the freedom of knowing  I can have fun without always being self conscious and nervous. I do handstands, I twirl and I dive to the bottom then float to the top !
I'm just not going to listen to that voice that says " you're too chubby" or "you're too old"  "people might think you're nuts"    
Yesterday it felt so good to get in the salt water and play !
Yep thats my summer tag phrase
"Lets go somewhere"
Here's a peek at some of our list~
Knotts Berry Farm
Reagan Museum 
Rose Bowl swap meet
Swim in the ocean at least once a month
Attempt Paddle boarding { Travis thinks we can do it? } 
Take Beckham to Sea World
Read three books 
Kayak Mission Bay
Have The Greeks for a family Crab Boil
Getty Museum
Have my friend Sandy out for a sleepover 
Rent a camper for a weekend and go to the Lake
Play a golf game or two with my hubby
Fly my niece Sara out for a few days of pedicures, movies, swimming and fun !

Whats on your summer bucket list?
Any fun ideas ? Let me know...
I have lots of room to add more fun ! 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Just thinkin ...

I stumbled upon a blog of a fun, young writer who is the daughter of a friend of mine
And she did this cool post " If we were on a coffee date with you " and shared what she would be filling you in on if she was sitting across from you sharing a coffee.
I just liked the concept so much that I decided to try it too

If I were on a coffee date with you ....
I would be drinking a Apricot Ceylon iced tea from Coffee Bean because it is by far MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE !  It has been for years, and I don't get to enjoy them near enough
I have them brew it fresh for me and then ice it because it is extra strong that way
And I  love their crunch ice ...perfection

I would tell you how much I have LOVED reading lately ! I devour one book and move onto the next with such excitement. I am on Goodreads so come find me ! I love this site so much because it keeps you organized and allows you to see what your friends are reading and loving !  I can spend hours browsing for new books and getting excited about what to read next. This morning I found the 2014 Beach Read guide and already added a few to my list.  I am currently reading " The invention of wings " and so enjoying it 

I would also tell you about my day with my best friends. Last week  I spent a belated Mothers Day with the boys and Ashlyn. We had such a nice day. Ashlyn had gotten us all  lunch from my favorite place in San Diego " Con Pane"  {The Turkey club is the bomb}  And they all gave me the sweetest , most tender cards. And Travlyn gave me a beautiful framed pic of Beckham and I and some amazing Meyer lemon olive oil. I have been obsessed with Meyer Lemons this year ! It was a fun day and I always drive away with the happiest heart and a smile that lasts for days.

And lastly I would tell you how much I love Tim McGraws new song " meanwhile back at mommas"  There is something about that song that makes me happy ! If you haven't heard it click here and give it a listen. So sweet, and nostalgic  

Well thanks for meeting me for coffee
I am off to go float in the pool and swim !  I feel terrible for ditching out on church today but am wiped out and needing a little bit of quiet time. My sweet hubby just left without me. I love that he is such a Godly man who will go alone even if I dont. Please forgive me Lord
But I will chat with Him while I float and thank Him for all the blessings in my life.  I am overwhelmed with thankfulness  !
Wishing you all a beautiful week filled with love and giggles!!   

And speaking of giggles, sadly this reminded me of me ....