Wednesday, January 30, 2008

a glimpse of days past

the other day i was perusing through my little brother's facebook and i came upon this:

wow! this picture brought forth a whole sleu of different emotions (fond rememberance, amazement, hope, and "huh? what were you thinking", just to name a few)!

first of all, i was reminded of the day this picture was taken. my older brother, gavan was so upset because my mom absolutely would not let him stand on a phonebook! no amount of begging and pleading on his part would make my mom budge on her decision. he was definitely struggling with the fact that his kid sister, who is 3 + years his junior, was almost as tall as him. i remember i was feeling a bit smug about the whole thing! i don't know, though, if you add my bangs, i would say i was as tall, if not taller than him, don't you think! although, at second glance, his hair is pretty big, too.

the second thing i noticed was my cute baby sister. when this picture was taken she was probably about the same age as lala. i can't help but see a lot of lala in her, even their facial expressions and smiles are the same! if lala takes after her auntie, she is one lucky girl because my sister is beautiful!!

next, i looked at my dad and noticed that he hasn't aged one bit in the past 20 years! i sure hope i got that gene!

the only thought that came to me when i saw the lovely vision of my youthful self was, "what were you thinking?!" the pale lavendar eyeshadow has to go! and the hair, what was that all about? that is definitely a perm gone bad, if i've ever seen one! and the bangs, oh the bangs, could i have teased them any higher?! you gotta love the faux, double strand pearls hanging around my little neck. i'm positive that if we could take a closer look, the paint would be chipped and peeling off!

the thing that gets me the most, is that on that day of family photos back in 1987, i thought i looked HOT!

Monday, January 28, 2008

all in a days work

playdates at our house are no laughing business! there's no playing, no goofin' off, and definitely no fun! if your child comes to "play" at our house they will be put to work creating graphs and flowcharts for pcd and plm! mitch has no qualms about delegating his responsibilities. he fully believes in outsourcing, and the labor is cheap! so cheap, it's free!!


our driveway rocks!

we were all so excited to wake up to see a white, winter wonderland outside! the girls have been dying all year for a "snow day" that had enough snow so we could go sledding down our driveway on the "rocket". well, today was the answer to their prayers!




sledding is the best thing about our driveway! when it snows, we have the primo sledding "hill" right in our front yard! not only that, but our driveway dumps us onto the street which quickly continues downhill!! the girls always try to continue down the street from the driveway, but being the "mean mommie" that i am (i value their safety over their fun when it comes to playing in the street! i know, i'm so mean!!) they must stop at the the bottom of our driveway! even still, it is a pretty sweet ride!

video

(note: i just have to say that i L.O.V.E our new camera! it is so fast, it's almost like watching a movie! 5 frames per second! wow! okay, that's all i have to say, on with the story...)


i was just excited to be able to go out and take pictures again! the gloomy, wet oregon weather is not conducive to taking pictures (have you noticed the lack of photos on my blog recently?!)! so, i strapped on my new camera bag (thank you mom and dad!), placed the new camera around my neck and headed out with the girls! here are a few of my favorite close-ups (because i love close-ups):

lala enjoyed, not only sledding, but making many snowballs. at one point, i think she had 8 snowballs that she was carefully protecting on the side of the driveway. here she is showing off 2 of her lovely snowballs!






i just love these two girls!! and they love snow!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Our Beloved Prophet!


we just found out that President Gordon B. Hinckley, age 97, died tonight surrounded by his family! i know that he was a prophet of God and i will dearly miss him! it is sad for us, but what a blessing for him to be reunited with his beloved wife and mother of his children!

i loved his sense of humor and his sincere love of all people! he was always such a happy, positive influence on everyone he came in contact with and i will dearly miss seeing his smile and hearing his sweet voice! he was such an example of faith, service and legacy! and his legacy will live on!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

american gladiators, part II

okay, so i'm really NOT obsessed with the american gladiators, though it may look like i am, but i must mention them at least one more time (maybe more)! this time it isn't so much about them, but about my kid brother, kawika.
i just have to say that my kid brother totally rocks!! do you know where he was today? in venice beach at gold's gym.

do you know who that is behind him? it's titan, the american gladiator! today, they held the try-outs for the next season of american gladiator and my little brother tried out!! isn't that awesome!?

i called him after it was all done and i asked him how it went. before he got there he had to fill out the application which consisted of about sixty very random short essay questions (a few examples: "if you had alladin's lamp and 3 wishes what would you wish for? rule: you can't wish for money or more wishes" "write a short poem or rap" "draw a picture of yourself" huh? okay?! random!). apparently, the questions are to gauge personality.

once there, the contender hopefuls got to compete in a physical test consisting of 4 parts all completed one after another with very little rest.
  • first, he had to do as many pull-ups as he could do in 30 seconds
  • second, he did as many up-downs (similar to what you see football players do at practice) as he could in 30 seconds
  • third, he had to do that thing where you run sideways criss-crossing your legs as you run across a ladder-like thing on the ground having your feet go in the square holes. i know i'm not doing justice to what he actually had to do. i don't know how to describe it, use your imagination!
  • last, was an endurance test to see how much more he had left in him after completing the first 3 things. there were 2 cones about 15 yards apart and he had to run back and forth between the two cones touching the cones each time. he had to do that 20 times!

he said that he was pretty tired towards the end, but he pushed himself hard and it paid off! he set a new record on the pull-ups! now, you have to understand that the record is an overall record of both contenders and gladiators!!! wow! my brother beat all of the gladiators! the previous record was held by the american gladiator, titan! here's a picture of kawika(the new pull-ups record holder, my little bro) with titan(the previous pull-ups record holder, the american gladiator!) can you tell i'm just a tad bit proud?!:

when they told titan that my brother broke his record (titan's record was 35 pull-ups in 30 seconds), titan said, "oh really? did you do 36?" my brother's answer, "no, actually i did 38!" you go, beek!!

needless to say, he made the first cut! in the next few weeks they will call him in for a video interview! you know, so they can make sure his personality shines through on camera and to make sure he doesn't freeze! to this i just chuckled and said, "all you've got to do is show them the barenaked ladies video where you're on stage dancing around in a green dress!" he definitely won't have a problem with freezing on camera!!

life's short...eat dessert first!

have you ever gone to a restaurant for dinner and ordered dessert first?

when mitch and i were engaged, we went to macaroni grill in provo (we eat there often because we have a sentimental connection with this restaurant; it was our first date). while we were waiting to order, we spotted the dessert tray near our table. this sparked an interesting conversation. we began complaining about how we never have room for dessert after our delicious dinner!

dessert is usually something that needs to be eaten as soon as it is placed in front of you because it is fresh out of the oven, or it has ice cream on top of it, or it will get soggy if left to sit too long. so, it's never really an option to take it home in a doggie bag. mitch and i also agree that italian food is always better the next day, after the flavors have had time to blend.

that is when mitch came up with this brilliant life-altering idea, "why don't we just order dessert first!" the practical, non-adventurous me spoke up first, "we can't do that! they'll think we're weird!" but the more i thought about it the more i thought, "why not!? that would be totally cool!"

so, that night, for the first time, but definitely not the last, at the beginning of our meal we told our waiter that we wanted to order dessert. he looked a little disappointed, probably because from an earnings standpoint he wouldn't make as much money. after we ordered our dessert we also ordered our dinner. he kind of looked at us with that confused sideways glance and asked, "so, you want dinner and then dessert, right?"

"no, we want dessert and then dinner!"

same confused look, "you want dessert first?"

"yup!"

confusion beginning to be replaced with awe, "and then dinner.....okay! that's pretty cool!"

several times throughout the night our waiter, who was probably young enough to be preparing for or just returning home from a mission, kept telling us how "cool" he thought we were. before the night was over he had convinced himself that he was going to have to try the "dessert first" thing next time he went out to dinner! that night we were celebrities!

so, last night mitch and i were going out to celebrate his successful completion of the gmat test! then janine called to invite us out on a "last minute" double date with her and eric! we were so excited! we already had babysitting arranged so all we had to do was decide on where to eat!

while we were waiting for them to arrive at macaroni grill we revisited the "eat dessert before dinner" conversation and asked our waitress if we could see the dessert tray. once they arrived we asked them if they had ever ordered dessert first at a restaurant. they hadn't, but they were more than happy to try it!

it was fun to find someone else willing to do things out of the ordinary. so, eric and janine started their dinner out with the lemon passion cake, pictured at the top (we asked if it was passion fruit and the waitress said, "no it's just like passion in your mouth!" that made us laugh). while mitch and i started with the snickers ravioli's, pictured on left. (we just enjoyed our leftover dinner for lunch!)

it was the perfect beginning to a very fun night!

if you haven't tried it, i highly recommend having dessert first, because life is short!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

ninety-second percentile!!

sorry, in advanced, but this is a bragging post from a very proud wife! you've been forewarned!

in this post, i mentioned that my husband could not fix our fridge because he was too busy studying. well, the studying is over, thank goodness, and today was the big test! my strappingly handsome husband proved, yet again, that you can have brains and brawn (i sure hope our girls got his brains!!)!

the results are in and mitch scored in the ninety-second percentile, that's the top 8%, of the nation on his GMAT test!

way to go! you are my hero, my life, and my love! and i couldn't be prouder of you right now!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

why didn't i think of this sooner?

oh wait, i did!

two weeks ago, while surrounded by yet another 6 loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away, i was wallowing in self-pity. how the heck do 2 adults and three little people create so much laundry?! i knew that something had to be done to change this weekly scenario! i had had enough!

this is when i decided to implement, again, the "if it doesn't stink and there are no visible spots or stains, then you will wear it again until it does" rule. i am happy to report that i just finished folding the last of the 3 loads of laundry from the last 2 weeks. did you notice that i went from 6 loads to 3 loads in two weeks!! hallelujah!

however, there are drawbacks to this rule, which previously became too much for me. hence, i stopped enforcing the rule. what are the drawbacks, you ask? well, every night i must inspect the girls clothes for spots, and i must smell them! if they are deemed clean, then the girls take them upstairs and put them away in their drawer, or on the dresser for me to hang up in the closet.

i know, i know, it really isn't that big of a deal, right? but as most moms know, it is just one more thing to add to the long list of things to do! apparently it was too much for me to handle the first time i set this rule, but i am back again with renewed motivation (remember the 6 loads of laundry!?) and determination!

plus, think of all the time (folding the 6 loads of laundry), energy (not running the washer and dryer as many times, and folding the laundry), water (washer), and money (utility bills) i am saving! hurray for conservation!

viva la "if it doesn't stink and there are no visible spots or stains, then you will wear it again until it does" rule!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

taken for a ride

do you ever feel like you've been taken for a ride when a service person comes to fix something that is broken in your house? be it a freezer that's not freezing, or a dryer that's not drying, or a washing machine that's leaking water, or an oven that stops baking in the middle of preparing dinner. well, these are all things that we have had to deal with in our 7 years of living in our home! let me tell you, we have an issue with almost every appliance that we have either purchased or that came with our home! don't even get me started!

luckily, my strapping, man of a husband can fix just about anything and he usually does, saving us a bunch of money! and i'm all about saving money! but sometimes, like today, when the husband is busy studying and doesn't have a minute of extra time,while our food is going bad in a non-cooling refrigerator/freezer, you've just got to bite the bullet. so, bite the bullet is what we did.

but, oh my goodness, can you say "total rip-off"?! sure, the guy came and he fixed our refrigerator, for which i am VERY grateful, but at what cost?

he was here for a total of 15 minutes, and i am not exaggerating! about 5 of that was taken up by him using our bathroom because he had "too many cups of coffee this morning", after which he did not wash his hands (don't even get me started on that one, either!), and writing up the overpriced receipt! that leaves 10 minutes of actual labor, which, come on, he pulled the fridge out from the wall, unscrewed about 7 screws, removed the cardboard backing, clipped the bad part out and replaced it with the new working part, replaced the cardboard backing, and replaced the 7 screws. how hard is that?!

the part came to a whooping $58.50, which i'm okay with. what i'm not okay with was the $50 he charged for the 10 minutes, if it was even that much, for labor, on top of the $62.50 for the service call!

i was taken for a ride this morning! and it wasn't a fun ride!

Monday, January 21, 2008

they're back!

do you remember these guys? laser, zap, turbo, tower, ice, nitro, gemini, blaze, lace, thunder?!

it was way back in 1989! okay, so most of you are probably too young to remember the american gladiators, but my family loved this show! we watched it almost religiously! it was such a rush to watch these ginormous gladiators (i mean, look at those muscles) pummel and pound the contestants! i loved the joust, where the contestant and the gladiator would pound each other with a huge padded q-tip trying to knock their opponent ofF the high pedestal! and the ultimate test was the eliminator, the coolest obstacle course that ever was!

in fact, we liked it so much that my dad was talking about trying out to be a contestant. he wanted to be the oldest guy to compete! that would have been the best to see my dad going up against these huge guys, considering that my dad is only 5' 5"! actually, one of our friends that used to go on river rafting trips with us went all the way to the finals. his name was eldon and he was the oldest contestant! we were rootin' for him, but he was beat out at the eliminator! i don't know why, but it is just so fun to cheer on the contestants! i was sad when they stopped airing the show.

when i was in california, my brothers told me that the american gladiators were back!! yipee! i was so excited!
here's the new crew for 2008: crush, fury, hellga (the name is so fitting) wolf, justice, mayhem, militia, siren, stealth, titan, toa, and venom. you really should watch it, it's so entertaining!

last week, mitch and i watched all of the episodes on the internet (i love that you can watch tv shows on the internet since we have no tv!). the show was so fun to watch, it totally took me back to the days when i'd watch it with my family! they have most of the same challenges, but with a little addded excitement.

watch it tonight! it's on nbc at 8:00pm! we'll be watching it on the internet!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

glad that's done!

sorry, i've had another blogger's dry spell! at least this time i have a good excuse! i have been neglecting my blog all week because of this. last tuesday i found out about it here and have been working on my book ever since! it was a huge undertaking, but you can't beat the price!

i made a similar book 2 christmases ago (through mypublisher.com, they are on the costco photo center website) to give as gifts to the grandparent's, tutu's and great grandma. and, of course, we had one made for us, too! it was the best gift and we love having the book. what makes it that much awesomer this time around is the price!! when i did the book 2 years ago, we printed 4 copies of it. at the time, there was a deal for 50% off $100 or more. so, when all was said and done, the books cost about $35 each, which is a great price! however, the books were only about 60 pages each (they charge per page). when i saw that i could have 100 pages for $20, i was all over that! and believe me i filled the 100 pages, easy!!

since we had our sabbatical last year, i've been wanting to put together another book of all the places we went and the family we visited, but i didn't want to pay full price. i've been waiting for a sale, but hadn't seen any until last tuesday! this was the opportunity i had been waiting for!

well, i am happy to say that i finished it this morning! i am sending it off to print tomorrow!

so, that is where i have been my fellow bloggers. sorry for not keeping up with my posts, but every spare minute i had i was working on "our 2007 sabbatical trip" book! if you have ever wanted to have a hardbound book of your pictures you've gotta do this, but the deal ends january 29th, so hurry!! only 9 days left!!!

i feel like a car salesman!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

cleaning this gun

since i have music on my blog, as i am out and about running errands i keep my ears perked for new and exciting music on the radio to add to my playlist.

i have to tell you about one of the newest songs that i added yesterday. if you haven't heard cleaning this gun, you have to scroll down on my playlist (i think it is almost the last song) and click on it so you can listen to it while you read this! it is hillarious! okay, maybe not all of you will appreciate it for its humor, but those of you out there with girls who will be dating in the next ten years, it's for you!

the reason i HAD to put it on my playlist, is that this will so totally be mitch in ten years or so! what with three teenage girls in the house, goodness help us! i don't look forward to those days!

the first time i heard this song i could just picture mitch sitting in our living room welcoming nani's date into the house. he asks him to sit down and tell us about himself. mitch then tells the poor guy how wonderful and special we think nani is and how she deserves respect. all the while, he is calmly cleaning the shotgun he has sitting in his lap! come on, any of you who know mitch can picture it, can't you??!

when i told mitch that i put the song on my playlist his response was, with dread in his voice, "yeah! i need to get some guns!"

Monday, January 14, 2008

what do you think?

after posting the pictures from our surprise, az visit with mitch's family here, i was talking to darilyn on this night and she mentioned that mitch didn't look like his mom. so, she was wondering if he looked like his dad. i told her that we aren't really sure who he looks like and we've always wondered, jokingly, of course, if he was adopted!

maybe you can help us figure out who he looks like. so, to help you out, here are pictures of mitch's family:

mitch's dad with kawena




mona, mitch's sister, and her family






lala giving hugs goodbye


so, what do you think? does he look like any of them? or do you agree with us that he must be adopted?

(disclaimer: of course, we know that mitch's mom did in fact give birth to him, she complains enough about what a hard time she had with him kicking her in the ribs, but it's just a little joke of ours)

the littlest cinderella

once upon a time there was a little girl, well... more like a little toddler. she was the cutest thing ever (i can say that! i'm her mom!) who found joy in helping her mom. starting from the very young age of 13 months, after getting her diaper changed she will put away the wipes, "fold" the changing mat and put it back in the basket. but her favorite thing is to take care of the diaper by throwing it down the stairs. when cleaning up the kitchen she will put potholders back in their drawer. when her sisters are cleaning up their toys she is always willing to help. and just last week she started helping mommie with the laundry:


my sweet, sweet cinderella! if only they could always be this willing to help!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

oh yummy!

on friday, a few of us girls descended on sarah's house to enjoy yummy soups and salad, and of course, to relish in great conversation and, most importantly, to bask in the joys of time without kids.

and while we were there, we figured we might as well take five hours to watch pride and prejudice (a & e version). i mean, come on, we didn't have to take care of any kids, so might as well take our time getting home, right?!

this was during a dvd change around 10:30pm, about 3 hours into the movie! (l to r: elizabeth, janine, darilyn, bridget, merilee, stephanie. along the back is sarah, and i am across the middle) you probably can't see the red vines, buttered popcorn, dark chocolate m & m's, toffee covered peanuts and wassil littering the table, but we sure indulged ourselves that night!

there's not much better than a great night with friends! i always enjoy getting together with the girls. the talk is always stimulating and full of laughter! it refuels me for another week of tackling kids and household chores!

plus, who, besides bridget, wouldn't want to look at him for 5 hours??

because...you just never know!

i just have to say to all of you bloggers out there, whether you be family, friend, acquaintance, or stranger, KEEP IT UP! you guys rock!

this whole blogging world has amazed me from the time i joined ranks and started my own blog! i've made new friends that i may never meet face to face, i've come to know a different side of those friends i see weekly, and have learned things about them i probably never would have learned were it not for the blog! i've been able to stay a little more connected to my sister who lives on an island in the pacific that i talk to weekly, but still miss dearly! i'm able to share more pictures with my family than i ever was able to before! i've laughed, i've cried, i've rejoiced, i've pondered, i've resolved to be better as i've read so many, of your posts. i've gained so much from each one of you, whether you know it or not!

then, just last week i received a comment from a perfect stranger. he thanked me for my blog and told me that me and my blog had really made a difference in his day. then, this morning i received another comment, this time from his wife, in which she thanked me for being an inspiration for her.

so, i mosied over to their blog and found this (mind you, this is from someone i've never met, and probably never will meet)!!

in short, your little blog could make a difference in the lives of one or many! so, keep plunking away on your little keyboards and sharing your lives!

because....you just never know!

Friday, January 11, 2008

please, tell me i'm not the only crazy out there!

several weeks ago, or maybe it was months, i've lost track, i was doing some grocery shopping at the local safeway. i just needed a few items, so because it is closer than the winco i stopped there. i typically don't shop there because i know that it is a waste of money, i could buy the same things at winco for way cheaper.

anyway, as i walked in the door i happened to walk past one of the baggers as he was telling a customer about this:
now, if you know me, i very, very, very rarely buy candy bars. for the simple reason that if i buy them i will eat them and if i eat them it is not good for my girlish figure. but for some reason, at that very moment when i heard "snickers dark", i had to have one! i'd never had one, but it sounded so scumpdilyicious that i needed one right then and there!

i tried to put off the urgent need for a snickers dark while i made my way through the few items on my list. but the feeling persisted and i inevitably found myself in the candy aisle. i searched in vain, for there was not a snickers dark to be found! i was bound and determined, by some unknown force, to find one. i casually went from check stand to check stand, as to not draw attention to myself, in search of my snickers dark. but to no avail! so, instead of just admitting defeat and moving on i spotted this:

now, i've had milky way midnight before, and i could safely say that it is one of my favorite candy bars. so, to satisfy my "need" for dark chocolate, i grab one and threw it into my basket.

now this is when the crazy me gets even crazier. once in the car, i put it in my purse and refuse to eat it because it is not good for me and i don't need the extra calories, not to mention the fat. and there it stayed for the next week or two until i found myself back in the grocery store. not just in the grocery store, but in the candy aisle of the grocery store staring at the snickers dark on the shelf! tasting sweet success i hastily grabbed up the snickers dark and threw it into my basket.

at that moment, the thought never even crossed my mind that i would probably just tuck it away refusing to eat it once it had been purchased! sure enough, when i got into the car i grabbed it out of the plastic grocery bag and the reasonable me kicked in. i couldn't let myself eat it, you know, the fat and the calories that i didn't need!! i know i'm crazy! so, i stash it away in the console in my car where it lays undisturbed.

now, i have a month old milky way midnight in my purse, and a snickers dark in my car! two perfectly delicious candy bars that i spent money on that i will not let myself eat! why??!! because i am a nut case!

i've been thinking about this whole craziness and knowing that i needed to blog about it because i am looney. so, yesterday i was running late and had to leave the house without eating lunch. i was driving to my appointment and my stomach was telling me it was hungry. i glanced into my purse and saw the milky way midnight. but then i thought, "i can't eat it because i haven't blogged about it yet!" looney, i tell ya, looney, that's me!!

after my appointment, i ran into safeway to grab some celery for dinner. as i waited in line at the checkout stand, i glanced at the candy and saw this:

the crazy me took over and tossed it onto the conveyor belt. i can't even recall where this one ended up! but i do know that i wouldn't let myself eat it!

for someone that very, very, very rarely buys candy bars, i have a pretty good stash in my possession. who knows when i will finally give in and eat them? maybe now that i have blogged about it i'll be able to let myself eat them.....

probably not!

thanks snickers dark for bringing out the crazy in me!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

surprise!

it has taken me the better part of the last 4 days to recuperate from our thirty dollar vacation. i still have laundry to do, but i am slowly chipping away at my long to do list since returning home early, early monday morning (that's a whole post of it's own!). one of which is to get back to blogging!! sheesh, it's been way too long!

we had a wonderful time with ALL of our family! it was amazing that we were able to see all of my siblings and parents, as well as mitch's sister and parents! we flew into california to spend 4 days with my family, then we hopped into my mom's odyssey (thank you so much mom!!) and made the 6 hour drive to surprise, az. after which we drove back to california to fly back home.

while in arizona, i went golfing for the first time! mitch's mom, mona (his sister), and i had a ladies day of golf. i was a little hesitant because the only golf i had done was miniature! they assured me they would teach me what to do. i wish i had my camera to document such a momentous occasion, but sadly i did not! i didn't do too bad, in fact, i want to go again with mitch (any golfers out there? we could double!)

the next day the guys had their golf day!

the best part of the visit was spending time with family and seeing the girls with their cousin logan. she is 2 months younger than kale'a and doesn't look a thing like our girls!




but she is definitely just as silly as our girls!


nani and lala loved riding around the happy trails rv park in grandma's golf cart! in fact, grandma had stopped to talk with a friend and lala got impatient and stepped on the gas pedal, nearly running over grandma friend! i tell you, that girl has no patience for red lights or talking grandma's, when she wants to go, she wants to go!!

because we had just gotten our new camera that week, we were trying to figure it out. it took us a few days, but once we figured it out, oh my goodness, do we LOVE it! this camera is amazing!! so, of course we had to take lots of pictures to test out the different settings, etc. here are some of my favorite random shots of our surprise trip:



here is nani goofing off with grandma. she was trying not to smile for the camera, but grandma did a good job at working a few smiles out of nani!

nani got the game connect four from her cousin for christmas. so, the girls played it quite a bit in arizona. i guess lala just lost the game!


here lala was playing a game with rocks. if you notice the "line" of rocks she has created that is actually a road to the queen. the queen, of course, was me! the bad guys, one of which was chick hicks from the movie cars (a gift from grandma) were trying to use the road to get to the queen. lala's job was protector of the queen! we've trained her well!!



when lala was bored playing connect four and done playing "save the queen", she kicked off her boots and took off her socks, settling into a stimulating game of ratatouille on her new leapster. i'm not quite sure why she chose her carseat as the seat of choice, but she did! such cute little feet!

just because she is so dang cute in those boots!!



is that not the cutest face ever?! i know i am biased, but come on how could you not love that face!



and before we left, we actually remembered to get a family picture! the only thing i would change in this picture is the golf shirt mitch is wearing (and maybe eliminate the motorhome in the background). no he doesn't own any golf shirts, especially not the one he is wearing! one of the rules of the golf course they went to was that men had to wear a collared shirt. well, mitch didn't have one, so he had to borrow one. unfortunately, he didn't have a different shirt to wear for the family photo!

okay, let's get going! i'm ready to head to california!

don't they look thrilled! thank goodness for dual screen portable dvd players!

california here we come!

a new year, a new me!

remember this post? you guys were awesome giving me your thoughts and input. if we had been taking a vote the results were almost split down the middle, but in the end it weighed heavier for bangs.

after thinking long and hard, i decided to give mitch an early christmas present and i made an appointment with kara to give my husband the bangs he wanted.

at first i was very excited about my little secret and the surprise i had planned for mitch. but as the day neared, i was having second thoughts:

  • did i really want all of the added hassle of bangs?
  • was i sure i looked okay with bangs?
  • what if i hated them?
  • how long would it take me to grow them out again if they were horrid?
  • having no bangs was so easy!

but i stayed my course and did it! here are the before shots:


this was the last picture before i headed off to kara's. snip snip!



and here's the new me!

but, since i was changing my hair, why not do a little more than just snip some off the front?! i was feeling a little crazy, so i decided to do something that i have never done before....

i added a splash of color! i had no idea how it would turn out because my hair is so stinkin' dark, close to black, but i thought, "hey, why not!" i was going for golden highlights. mitch voted red, but i was not wantin' red. however, with a red-headed mom i think it was inevitable that whatever color we put in my hair it would end up red. sure enough:


here i am "au natural" (please ignore my non-make-uped face and look at the hair!). notice, it turned red!! arrgh! i am still trying to decide if i like the red or not. as soon as i got home i told mitch, with disappointment in my voice, that it was more red than golden. his response, "alright!! i like it!" with a huge grin on his face!


despite all of my misgivings, i absolutely love my bangs! the color, well, i could go for somthing different. but, there's always next time! right?

the bangs are a lot different than my last stint with bangs and that is why i like them better! this time we cut them thicker and layered them. the best part they are super easy to fix! no hassle! that was my biggest reason for not wanting them! they even look decent after sleeping on them, and i wore a hat the other day and they looked good even after taking the hat off! wow!

but that isn't even the best part! what's the best part? the best part is the subtle grin mitch has on his face every time he looks at me! the best part is the numerous times mitch tells me, daily, how beautiful i am and how much he loves my hair! the best part is that this was a gift for mitch and he absolutely loves it! that's the best part!