Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sorry, Out of Area

Remember when cell phones used to tell you something along the lines, "Sorry, you are out of area. You cannot make that phone call."? This week, that was me that was out of area. My cell phone was left in my ride home from the airport due to Shawners' bed having to be made immediately for a very tired little boy to crawl straight into bed at 3am after getting home from the airport, and my cell phone was forgotten in all the hubbub. Once I realized where my cell phone was, now thirty minutes away, I left it there, partially wanting to save the gas from having to go pick it up and partially not wanting to be inundated with catching up with the week of my life missed here but fully lived being out of town on vacation. I decided to wait until my son had to be taken down there any way. Only, I later discovered, he didn't have to go down there this week. So my phone was left there any way. Yesterday, when I finally made some effort to go get it there was nobody at the house it was at. Today, I will finally get my cell phone.

In the meantime, I have enjoyed every minute of my cell phoneless moments. From unpacking all six suitcases - thank you, wonderful grandparents, for all the Christmas presents, from talking on my kids' phone to my sister for three hours - something that would in general be interrupted by umpteen million texts I would inevitably get off the phone to reply to, and/or call back, to running a whole list of errands - including stocking the fridge I emptied out of all the old food, replacing it with delicious fresh fruit, vegetables, mozzarella, and herb roasted turkey breast.

My kids' cell phone, which I have been using to maintain a little contact with the world aka Brando, is like fingernails on a chalkboard to text, "gH-ghI-_T-gH-ghI-pqrS_ghI-pqrS_P-pqrS-D." Remember those days? Therefore, I have not been tempted to text, but have been able to use it for emergencies.

My best friend left me a letter on my door wondering if I am okay, sweetest letter ever. And, today, when I get my phone I will be catching up with all the life that I missed, now, not just from vacation, but from four days of being incognito, catching up with my house, my fridge, my boys - who, incidentally, have been on movie overload and the silence of no wrestling is golden. I will call my best friend and plan to have coffee with her, I will call my good friend and see if we can work out New Year's plan, I will text my girls' night girls and see what their plans are for New Year's and if one of them is excited about her trip to Colorado this weekend and when exactly she is going and coming back. I will come back to life.

In the meantime, the break from constant contact, upkeep, and social norms was thoroughly enjoyed. Sometimes, juggling all the balls I have in the air, along with the things that keep me sane (my amazing, beautiful girlfriends) gets tiring. And it's okay for me to take a break.

Monday, December 27, 2010


One thing I love about being obsessive is my obsession about the ocean. Every time I see the massive stretch of blue going on forever into the distance and hear the sound of the seagulls combined with the waves crashing against the rocks, I breathe in a huge sigh of relief and could sit there watching the power of the waves forever. Of course, this means Brando and I go down there every chance we get. Sometimes I drag him there. Other times, like this time, I don't have to say a word and he drives us there without saying anything.
Checking out a new vista point neither of us had ever seen before

Revisiting our vow renewal (and proposal!) place from a different view - the sandy looking patch which is really rock in the distance before the cliff rises and turns green is where we renewed our vows this year and where Brando proposed to me ten years ago.
This is what I do when I get bored while Brando is taking photos
Gorgeous West Cliff coastline
It's hard to capture the awe of the ocean in a photo, but these pictures come close for me
And I love having these memories to look back on.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Snowboarding at Northstar was amazing! This year I was determined we would make it to the snow, and that's how we ended up at Northstar for Christmas week. Special thanks to Brando's Mom for loaning, borrowing, and buying enough snow gear so that the only thing we had to rent was snow boots for Justinbustin.
At Northstar we took advantage of the small ratio of students to instructors at Burton Academy. While it was more costly, I figured since we only had one day there we might as well make the most out of it. I definitely didn't want to walk away without knowing how to snowboard, and I wanted Brando to actually have some time to have fun boarding the slopes and not have to be stuck like glue to us the entire time.
I'm so glad I took lessons while Brando took the runs from the top of the mountain to the bottom more than several times. My knees were burning but I was able to go down the bunny hill four or five times, and I can definitely get on my new snowboard with a gorgeous peacock on it that I heart, and do a little shredding. The kids took their lessons separate from me - thank goodness because I saw too many parents dragging crying children down the slopes. Justinbustin was catching air by the end of the day, taking the bunny hill by himself and trying to catch the fresh powder in the trees. In between boarding lessons we had lunch together and convinced a cold handed Shawners to go back out and finish his lesson by lining his gloves with hand warmers and another pair of gloves. Shawners was more on my level by the end of the day, but loved it, telling me he caught air then flipped and his board hit his head, he finished his story by saying how awesome it was.

The day was clear and gorgeous. Just before the end of the day the resort turned into a winter wonderland with gorgeous huge flakes of snow for a bit.
Before the end of the day, we boarded around together for a bit, watched Justinbustin come down the run a few times, and watched Shawners walk in knee high snow before heading back down the mountain on the gondola.

Going on our first trip to the snow ever as a family (and the kids and my first time ever) was a complete success and I still can hardly believe we went. What an amazing trip!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Time

We haven't decorated at all for Christmas as we will be elsewhere, but tonight we made Christmas crafts. Specifically, Shawners made crafts because crafts get all up in my business of annoyance. I love when other people set up a craft, show me how to do it, and then seeing the end product, but the actual buying of the materials, setting it up, and then half the time ending up with a dud? No, thanks. Fortunately, my son has much more patience than I and spent an hour alternating between putting beads in a metal frame with tweezers
and painting etching cream on a glass ornament via a design punched laminate stencil while his brother created an animated cartoon movie. Shawner's finished product was nothing short of amazing. Unfortunately, I don't have a finished shot of the Christmas tree ornament, but you can already tell from the before shot that it is even more stunning afterwards. The glass etched ornaments were new to me, but I used to love these make it and bake it ornaments as a kid! I was so happy to introduce Shawners to them, and am so glad he loved them, too.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Most Romantic Date Ever

Ice skating on top Whole Foods has to be one of my most favorite dates ever. So very romantic skating around hand in hand,
giggling and laughing at each other, squealing as Brando pushes me from behind, hands on my hips, pushing me to go faster and faster and reminding me to turn, tracing hearts in the ice. Leaning side-by-side over the edge and looking out onto the city lights. Perma-smiles as we walk down the stairs, hardly able to wait until the next time we go.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Leggings = Love

I've been wanting to try the legging, short dress or long shirt, and boots look forEVER.

Fortunately I still had a birthday gift card left over from Forever 21. Yes, my birthday was in July. I found the most adorable fuzzy, warm, short sleeve cowl neck sweater similar to this one for only $20. Mine has a same color tie instead of the belt, no ribbing, and is definitely cuter and fuzzier - perfect to go with the adorable leggings I found.
(photo of Jackie & I, in the sweater,
but with dark, skinny jeans, and knee high black boots
at Tolly's fabulous Bleetup)

Over Thanksgiving, I grabbed the cutest pair of Steve Madden leggings I never would've paid $17 for, but since Mom was footing the bill I went for it. I'd been searching for a pair with buttons down the side and found them at DSW Shoe Warehouse.

I already had the boots from my MIL a few winters ago. Though mine are more versatile with a lighter suede and slightly shorter, these are similar. Not sure what the cost was at the time, but we found them at Dillard's.
Wish I had a picture of me in my cute outfit, not just the top, but I'm taking a break from overloading my life with camera moments.

Total cost to me = free. Thanks, Mom & MIL!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

My Boys are Growing Up


Driving into my garage tugs at my heart strings as I see Shawner's new vibrant green bike next to Justinbustin's bike & realize how much they are growing up. That's my bike above theirs. Justinbustin can already ride my bike as well, which boggles my mind ever more.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Pretty sure each one of you would love to get free holiday cards. I definitely do, so I am passing this promotion on as a Christmas gift to you!

The cards people send me that aren't too Christmas-y end up staying up in my home year round, which I love. I chose my favorite pretty & elegant enough to pass for non-Christmas cards from shutterfly, and to make it even more special I designed my Christmas photo cards for YOU! Forgive the absence of the children - I don't like to put their photos up here.

Registration closes on December 10, 2010. Register here for 50 free holiday cards and make your own Christmas gifts.

Thanks, Christy, for the heads up.


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