Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My 2008 reflections

Saw this on my friend Wendy's Blog and thought what a cute idea.
Now that I have decided to sit down and reflect I am drawing a blank.
I have done a lot of searching within myself this year and am trying to grow more as a person and not let things that I went through growing up affect me so much. I have learned that it is ok to let people go that are not health for me to go even if they are family.
I have had my baby girl graduate from high school. As I sat watching her walk across the field to get her diploma I felt so proud.
Had a great family vacation to Mazatlan. I really wish that we could do more family vacation.
I have joined a wonderful design team for my scrapbooking. See it is not just my hobby, I am making money also.
I have made new friends and have let some other friends go and reconnected more with some old friends.
I have had the pleasure to share some wonderful moments with many of you.
We have also gone through some struggles with Daren's business. This economy is not good for an engineering firm.
And yes even hit a few bumps in the marriage, but I believe that they have only made us stronger because we have been able to work through them.
My children have been a constant wonder to me. How did these little babies grow so much. They are becoming little people with their own ideas and yet I still see so much of both Daren and I in them. I doesn't matter how old they are I will always call them my babies.
There is more but I don't want to put you all to sleep.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of 2008. I will hopefully see you in 2009

Dumont Dunes

The day after Christmas we headed out for some motorcycle riding. It was kinda a last minute plan when we found out a bunch of Daren's family was going. I don't have any pictures because I left my battery at home in the charger.
The first night did involve some drama because our dog ended up in a fight. I don't believe our dog started it and if you know him he is a big teddy bear. My poor baby was so scared and just wanted to cuddle afterwards. After that was all settled we ended up drinking. I did my first Jager Bomb and a few more after that along with other stuff. I will tell you that it is not pretty coming back up. So Saturday I spent most of the day in our trailer laying on the couch in and out of sleep. Sunday was fun though, we went on a nice long trail ride which is always a treat for the kids because I don't ride as much as they would like. We stayed until Monday and just relaxed and hang out.
Ok I found Daren did have a few pictures on his camera but his battery was low we didn't use it much. I think we must have been feeling might good at this point.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas this year.
Our family had a good one. Christmas Eve was at our house this year so we had both sides of the family. The theme this year was Mexican potluck so we had tamales, enchiladas, rice and all the good stuff. I really enjoy hosting big get together at the house. The food was good, the drinks were flowing, Warm apple cider and spiced rum was the drink of the night and later my special chocolate martinis were mixed.
Yes that is what Daren is drinking. Maybe one day you will get lucky and I will post my recipe.
Christmas morning was also nice. The kids slept past 8, infact we were awake waiting for them to get up and then like every year I get a picture of the kids on the stairs before they go downstairs. I'm sure I will hear from Ashley how horrible the picture is.

The first Santa present being opened is the family gift. Guitar Hero world tour band set, the whoo-hoos could be heard throughout the neighborhood.
It was nice having Ashley home for Christmas. She even stayed with us and didn't go visit friends though I'm sure she made a few stops on her way home.
What is Christmas day without a trip to the movies. We saw Marley and Me. It was so cute and a few tears were shed near the end. After the movie we had to go look at Christmas lights. Almost every house get decorated for Christmas and not just a string of lights on the roof they go all out. This street is amazing but I don't think I would want to live here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gingerbread House

During a recent trip to Trader Joe's the boys talked me into buying them a Gingerbread House that they could put together. I wasn't to excited because in the past I have bought them and they just end up being a mess. But they won and I caved in. If you are ever in the need for a gingerbread house buy it from Traders, they are so easy and the frosting is sticky and dries fast.
I pulled out my handy dandy cake decorating tools and they went to work. It turned out super cute. Now it is sitting on the table growing stale. I now that they are going to want to break into it when they get back from Aunt Stacy's house. I'm just hoping that when don't get more snow in the next couple days. It would be horrible for them to get snowed in away from home over Christmas.

My Layout Challenge

Being on a the design team at the Scrapping Lounge sometimes means that you have to come up with a layout using paper you may not be fond of at first sight. That was me with this paper by Glitz, it is not something I would normally pick up and think how cute is this. I had no clue what I was going to do but then inspiration hit me that night. I really like how it turned out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joseph's Chorus proformace

Joseph decided that this year he wanted to join the chorus at school. This came out of left field because he had shown no interest in the past. He has really gotten into it and will sing around the house and he even got up at a Christmas party last weekend and sang some songs. I never realized how deep his voice was, it should be interesting when it starts to crack.
He looked so cute in his tie that is a little to long but he refused to let me buy him a clip-on. I loved watching the boys both learn to how to tie them, because you know that Hunter wanted one as soon as Joseph said he needed one.
Joseph is in the front next to the boy that looks like he wants to crawl under a rock and hide.
Also you don't have to watch the video but I'm a mom and thought they were cute. To you they are just some kid singing

This wasn't the video I wanted to post but it was the only one that was loading

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More New York Pictures

I was informed today that I am a blog slacker. OK maybe not those exact words but that was the point right Wendy =)
So here are a few more pictures from when I went to New York

A few years ago I would give Ashley a hard time because I thought Uggs were the ugliest things but I love them now and they kept my feet all toasty warm

Yes this is ice on the fountain. It was cold

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New York City

It is official......I love New York City. Which is kinda crazy because I am so not a city girl. Maybe I would get tired of it if I lived the life for awhile, but for now I'm gonna just going to go on with my love affair for this one big city.
I was so glad that one of my oldest and dearest friends was able to fly out and meet me for a few days. I'm just sorry that Tina was in the middle of a family crisis and couldn't make it, but we I kept he up dated on what we were doing. I think I did more texting in those few days then I have in a long time.
Spent the first few days with Ali and when she had to fly home Daren who was staying with his friend packed up and stayed the last night with me. It was perfect.
We stayed in the Upper West Side in a cute little hotel. It only had a few drawbacks. Shared Bathrooms, yes we had to share the bathroom with a few other rooms but it wasn't as bad as I was thinking. My first shower was possibly the fastest and coldest one I have ever taken, found out later that the hold and cold settings were backwards. Our room was cold and the radiator made some really horrible sounds
The window displays were really neat to look at and all the stores were decorated for Christmas. We tried to see most of them but I know we missed some. The city was so crowded that in some areas you could hardly walk. We just stayed bundled up and walked past as many as we could find.
This was a must on our places to eat. Serendipity is the cutest little spot. On Sunday Ali and I put our name on the list because it was a 2 hour wait and went walking. The wait really was worth it because the Frozen Hot Chocolate was so yummy. I even took Daren the next night just so he could see it and it had no wait so I had to have another. It was still just as good.

I loved walking through the park. I couldn't believe that we ended up walking through the whole park. It really didn't seem so bad until you realized how many blocks it was that we walked. Let's just say our Hotel was 94th st and the park ends around 60th st and then from there we walked to Macy's on 34th. Yeah a little crazy.

Daren and I found this cute little arch in the park on our last day. It was kinda funny I was so intent on getting pictures that I didn't even realize that all over the ground were pages torn from a dirty magazine. I happen to glance down and thought gross. I would have picked them up and put them in a trash can but I was afraid of what was on them.

I will post more pictures in a few days.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Photo Shoot

Last week I was lucky enough to have 2 friends let me practice on them and their kids. My kids get tired of always having me take pictures and it has been awhile since I have had little ones. I forgot how challenging it can be to get a smile out of them sometimes.

Wendy and her son were so much fun. He has the prettiest eyes.

Olivia and her kids were also hilarious. It wasn't until we were almost done that the relaxed and forgot the camera was around.

Thanks girls, I really hope you and the kids had fun.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sea World

Sunday we took the kids to Sea World for the day. With Thanksgiving break that week we thought this would be a good time to go. I like visiting Sea World when it's cooler because it never seems to be a crowded, plus the kids don't want to be cold so they stay out of the wet zones.

As a treat I surprised them and made reservations to dine with Shamu. They have been wanting to do this for awhile. If you ever get the chance it is something you should try and do. The boys loved that our table was right on the edge of the pool and we were able to just sit and watch him swim by. The trainers were there telling us about different things and answering questions.

In the video one of the whales was being a little troublemaker, he caught a bird that was flying around.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Need some good energy

I am asking for prayer, good vibes, or whatever else you believe in.
Last night I found out that my friend Tina's Brother-in-law was involved in a very bad accident.
He is a Fontana police officer who was hit by a car while on the job. He is surrounded by family and fellow officers offering support, but they can still use all your positive thoughts right now also.
When you hear about these things it just kinda throws you for a loop.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


You all know that I love twilight. I am reading the last book and hope to finish it by this weekend. I have closed my ears to any talk about what happens so the way the story has gone has really surprised me. I should have seen them coming but I didn't.
We got to the theater an hour before the movie started. Found pretty good seats among a sea of teenagers screaming "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob" I got a little worried but the screaming stopped and only a few times it resumed. I really enjoyed the movie. It followed the book almost exactly( notice I said almost). I think the big thing you need to remember going in is that it didn't have a huge budget so if you are expecting something like Harry Potter you will be disappointed. My boys LOVED it. We walked out with them both saying I gotta read the books that was so good. Hello I had been trying to get you to pick up the book for a few weeks now. So they got home an started reading. There is really nothing better then seeing kids excited to read and that is what this series has done so congrats to Stephanie Meyer for giving that to our kids.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sandra Tagged Me

I've been tagged... by Sandra! OK, you need to post the 4th picture in the 4th folder of your picture files( or if your a MAC owner like me the forth album in IPhoto). I was tagged by Sandra to post & tell about it, then tag 4 more friends to do the same. Here is my picture

This is from our trip in 2007 to Washington DC. We had just parked the car and getting ready for the miles and miles of walking we were about to do, little did we know that halfway through we would be stuck in a rain storm out of nowhere.

I am now tagging Tammy , Olivia, Cherish and Priscilla

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Laguna Beach

We headed to the beach for this years Christmas Card pictures. I was a little worried because I wasn't sure how the fires nearby would affect the air. The winds were blowing in our favor. I pulled out the good old tri-pod and clicked away.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Carrie Underwood Concert

Last night we took the boys to see Carrie Underwood. They just built a new arena close to us and she happen to be the first to perform in concert. The boys had fun but towards the end Hunter looked like he was ready to crash. That is one thing about my boys, when they are tired it doesn't matter what is going on around them they will sleep. I couldn't allow that so I pulled Hunter up and started dancing around with him. She totally deserved to win American Idol she is so talented. I had a few goose bump moments and all my boys have a little crush on her. Yes I said all of them even Daren. I also really liked her opening act Little Big Town. But the Bon Jovi concert still holds the number one spot for the year.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dear lord give me strength

This is what happened just a few short days after turning 18. My beautiful little girl has permanently and forever marked her body. I was really hoping that the one she tried to sneak by me just months before turning 18 on her foot would satisfy her and she would wait awhile but as you can see that didn't happen. I knew she was thinking about getting something, I just didn't think it would be so big. At least I can be happy she went with something pretty and once it is finished it will look nice and not all scary and gross. I just pray that this will be it and she doesn't get all crazy and go for more. Not that I don't like tattoos or anything, I mean I have 2 myself. I just think that some people go overboard. I will say that after looking at it closely it is pretty and she is lucky to be able to say that she she got inked by Kat.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cover your trunk

Cover Your trunk
November 30th 12-3 pm
without trunk $ 78.00
With your own trunk $ 28.00

Have you been drooling over the new Tammyi trunk when you see others at a crop. Well now they are going to be wanting yours. We are taking the trunk to the next level and covering it to your liking

Be sure to sign up at the lounge before all the spots are gone

Monday, November 3, 2008

Reminder to sign up

Canvas Class
November 13th 5:30-7:30
Cost $26.00
This is a great gift idea for the holidays. We are turning a plain canvas into a beautiful scrapbook page you can display anywhere in your house

If you haven't signed up be sure to call the lounge reserve your spot. We only have limited spots.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween treats

Hope everyone had fun either trick-or-treating or staying home giving treats. My boys wanted no parents following this year so they got a group of friends from the neighborhood together and off they went. Me and Daren stayed home as requested and gave out candy but a few other parents weren't quite ready to give that much freedom so they did end up with some tag-along parents. They ended up coming home with a pillowcase so heavy and full of candy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We went searching today for our pumpkin. The boys each picked one of their own to carve. It is kinda nice because they are old enough to tackle this solo now so that means no pumpkin guts for me this year.
They really were not willing participates in any of my picture taking though. First I don't think they were to happy that I made them change clothes before we even left the house. Don't they realize that they will treasure this pictures when they are older. I wish my mom had half the pictures of my childhood that I have from one of their years. It was like pulling teeth just to get a half decent smile from them, you would think that they could humor me.

We didn't end up buying any pumpkins from this patch because I really didn't feel like spending $20 for just one so we headed to a store a bought 2 pumpkins and still paid half of what the patch was selling one for.

Friday, October 24, 2008

18 years ago

What was I doing 18 years ago? Well to be exact it is the night before her birthday. I was in the hospital crying and asking my mom to make the pain go away. It is true when they say it is worth it but they don't warn you that labor is the easiest part of the whole thing.

Does it mean success that we have all made it to Ashley's 18th Birthday? Yes I will call it a success. We had some speed bumps along the way. Does it mean that at 18 my job is done. I don't think so, I sure I will still have many years of sleepless nights. The worry never goes away.

I am proud of who she is at this point and hope and pray that she will continue to grow and become the wonderful woman that I know she is.

Happy Birthday my baby girl.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time with friends

We are back from a nice trip. After Daren went to his meeting in North Carolina we headed to Virginia to see my friend Ali. We have been friends since grade school and she was my best friend in middle school. The first night we went to dinner with Sarah another middle school friend that I haven't seen in over 20 years. We laughed so much remembering old times and looking at our year book. I will admit we googled a few people but didn't have to much luck. Why was is that all the boys we thought were cute have such a common name that when googled so many people pop up.
Ali was brave enough to hand over her camera to Daren so he could get a few shots of us. My man is learning.
I had such a good time catching up with Ali. We even spent Monday night currled up in her bed watching The Hills and sharing secrets during commercials. It feels so good to be able to still be great friends with someone that you grew up with. We were the 2 shy girls in schools and I guess you can say we are still the two shy girls ( well not as shy ).
I am in love with all the pictures she took of me and Daren. If you are ever in the Washington D.C area you should think about booking a session with Ali McLaughlin Photography.


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