Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 136 - On The Shelf

This little piggy went to market...
This little piggy stayed on the shelf.
The end. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 135 - Bathroom

Interesting. I'm sitting and writing this in the bathroom right now. In a chair, not the..anyway...

“If I want to be alone, some place I can write, I can read, I can pray, I can cry, I can do whatever I want - I go to the bathroom.” - Alicia Keys

Day 134 - Where I Shop

It's an exclusive shop filled with wonderful things. Anything you can want or need, really. I'm not at liberty to reveal it's name, but I can tell you this, it's synonymous with bull's-eye, destination, objective, purpose, and spot. Ssshhhhh.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 133 - Something Cute

June 25th is a day in our family where we make the best with what we have been handed in life. Many people don't know, but Cara wasn't our first child. Our first son, Billy, would have been eight years old today. Although we didn't have him here with us for long, he has made a long-lasting impression on us and our kids forever.

I went in for my routine ultrasound appointment during my pregnancy with Billy where they discovered there was something very wrong with his heart. We went on to find out that the diagnosis was Fetal Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). His heart rate was double what it should have been. It was so fast that the fetal heart monitors at the hospital were unable to track it. The best way to treat it is by loading the mother up with toxic levels of heart stabilizing medication usually used in very small doses for the elderly. After weeks of living in a hospital bed (with my wonderful mother-in-law at my bedside the entire time!) to be monitored around the clock and receiving treatment by the nations best specialists, it was on to months of treatment at home. Billy was born via c-section on June 25, 2004. We were able to visit with him in the NICU and touch his foot. He was a beautiful little baby with bright blue eyes. He put up a strong fight, but we lost him the following night just after having him baptized. Needless to say, we were devastated. It felt as if our world had just collapsed on us.

When we found out I was pregnant with Cara (above, right) we were thrilled! We were so, so nervous about how the pregnancy would go, but were also assured that what we went through before would never happen again. It was just a fluke, thankfully. We realized that one day we'd have to decide what to tell Cara and our future kids about Billy. Do we just sort of skim over that part of our lives? Do we tell them little bits? No, we decided that we would tell them his whole story. Although he's not here with us, he's a part of our family forever and deserves to be talked about, thought about, and celebrated! They especially love knowing that they have a special guardian angel with them everywhere they go. He's also the keeper of all of our goldfish and frogs that have gone to heaven throughout the years. It makes them happy to know that although they lost a pet, Billy now has another one. :)

Before the kids were old enough to really comprehend everything, his birthday was always kind of a sad day for the hubs and I. We would imagine what we'd be doing with him on his birthday. What he would look like and sound like. Now, I think we just tie him in with the rest of the kids and know that he would have fit right in. His birthday is now a day to celebrate him and his short life. We make a birthday cake for him, sing, and blow out his candles (tonight we re-lit the candles about 5 times because each kid had to make sure their breath was the one to blow the candles out..or else). The girls had so much fun helping me make his cake today :)  They love their big brother! <3

Day 132 - On My Mind

Love. Family. Past. Future. Life. I cooked and cleaned a lot today, and that's when I do a lot of thinking. Coming down from a relaxing, fun weekend with our little family, a big thought on my mind was how much, in my opinion, more fulfilling life is after you have kids. Yes, it's hectic and there are sacrifices made after having children, but I can't imagine going through life without them. Holidays would feel empty and weekends wouldn't be full of giggles, silliness, playing, and family outings.

It's funny how the idea of "family" also changes when you have your priorities straight in life. To me, family means people you love, enjoy (maybe not all the time) being around, and spending life's little moments together that might seem insignificant at the time, but will be remembered forever. Family also means a group of people that stick together. Family doesn't have to be a blood or legal relation. Sometimes good friends prove to be wonderful additions to your family circle. Family supports one another, loves, and holds each other up when nobody else will. A family is a wonderful, special thing and shouldn't be taken for granted! The family that I hold dear to my heart is made up of so many warm, loving people that I'm so grateful for <3

When I think of the past, I think of a lot of storm clouds that have tried to overcome my normally sunny life. Some dark clouds are harder to fight off than others, but every time the sun comes out again, I emerge stronger and wiser.

I know the future will be full of wonderful things for our little family. The amount of change, growth, and unexpected bumps along the way in the 8 years of our marriage has helped to strengthen our foundation. Together, we have been through some very unique experiences. Through it all, we have developed the recipe for the glue that will bind the six of us together for life. Love, respect, and determination.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 131 - Movement

We have a bit of a sugar high issue going on in our house at the moment. From jumping on beds to cross-dressing toddlers..we got it all tonight! Plenty of movement from the crazies! 

Day 130 - From A High Angle

We took the kids to see "Brave" in 3D today! They have been waiting for so long for it to come out. That movie is absolutely perfect for our family. #1, it's about a princess! #2, It's about a princess in Scotland! (To them, it's the same as Ireland, which they are a little obsessed with). #3, It has all kinds of swords and bows & arrows! Carter loved that part. With the help of tons of candy and popcorn, it was a successful trip to the movie theater.

Day 129 - Where I Slept

This evening just felt right for a family swim. I joined them all for a while, then decided this chair looked pretty inviting. It was possibly too inviting, though. It sucked me in and I fell asleep in the warm summer air. Ahhhh :)

Day 102 - Unusual

Avery surprised us all with something unusual at her preschool promotion! Her spanish class only has two students, so when it came time to go on stage, she headed up there for their performance, but the other little girl was too nervous. So, my little Avery stood up there, head held high, and sang two songs into the microphone, counted to ten in spanish, and answered questions in complete spanish sentences!! She's usually shy around people, but not this time! She became a performer for the whole audience. Proud mommy <3

Day 128 - Fave Photo I've Ever Taken

Seaport Village in San Diego is such a beautiful place to relax and take an afternoon stroll. These trees just struck me as being really cool. Their shape reminded me of a heart and the way they framed the sunlight on the water was just perfect :)  That was a day we'll always remember. We sat right by those trees and had a picnic on the grass with sandwiches from the nearby deli. The Harbor House was right next to us and everyone was so dressed up and going to enjoy a gourmet, ocean view dinner, but we kind of liked our spontaneous version of an anniversary dinner <3

Day 127 - Imperfect

Today I did my best to make healthier, homemade pop-tarts for the kids! I saw the pictures that were posted with the recipe and I made the dough, rolled it out, filled them, threw them in the oven and daydreamed of my perfect "mom-tarts" that the kids would immediately fall in love with and never want store-bought again. They came out looking a little less than perfect, but were still pretty yummy! Three out of four of the kids, plus one hubs liked them. I consider my little imperfect mom-tarts a success!

Day 126 - Something You May Not Know About Me

This is the stuff my nightmares are made of. Uuuuggghhh. I have a deep, deep disgust for mayo. Just taking this picture made me nauseous. Not joking. I have a problem. As the hubs says, it's more than just a's a full-blown phobia. A mayophobia. I used to deny it, but now I realize he's right. Everyone asks what it is that weirds me out so much, but I don't have a good answer. It's just a horrible, disgusting-in-every-way, man-made material. That's all on that subject. >:{

Day 125 - In My Bag

When choosing a new purse, I'm always careful to find one big enough to hold all of my important stuff. I mean, I can't possibly go anywhere without my Pokemon characters. This might look like a staged photo, but no, nothing was added or removed beforehand! It's just how I roll :P

Day 124 - Out & About

Today we took our daddy out for an early Father's Day lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Here are the four crazies being..crazy!! It was actually a successful outing! With four kids, things can get a little unpredictable. It's always a gamble. We've had plenty of times at restaurants where we sit down, order, realize there's no way the kids can be in the presence of civilized human beings, and have our food packed up to-go. It seems to be getting a little easier lately, though. I'm glad it is because going out to dinner, then hanging out at the "outdoor mall" to play, look through stores, and get ice cream has always been a favorite thing for our family to do. It's the perfect family date :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 123 - Yellow

The hubs and I were lucky enough to have a morning breakfast date :)  We went to a little restaurant in Downtown Chandler and walked around a little after. This winery has yummy lunch and wine..and it's yellow!

Day 122 - Time

Family swim time!! It's hot as...well, I consider the current temps to be unearthly...but anyway, it's that time of year in Arizona! Kids in our area turn into aquatic creatures and everyone walks around with golden tans :)  It's funny how people adapt to where they live. Before we moved here, I figured everyone turned into hermits until fall. Not so much, actually. With our area being such a popular place for families with kids, there are plenty of things to fill the daytime hours. From splash pads at local parks, to indoor playgrounds, to summer day camps..there's not a lot of time to be a bored hermit ;) Some days, it's nice to just soak up the cold A/C at home and relax in the pool!  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 121 - Art

The hubs painted this in high school. Love this cow! It just has such personality. Turns out, a lot of people loved it because it was in an art contest in Laguna Beach, CA! He is such an amazing artist. I love watching him draw. The intense focus he has when creating something is unbelievable. I'm totally envious of his artistic talent and I really hope our kids inherit some of those skills.

Day 120 - From A Low Angle

The time came to head home from California. We packed up our suitcases, said goodbye to our loved ones, and headed home! Our kids' favorite spot to stop on the way home is at the giant dinosaurs off of Interstate 10 near Palm Springs. They're not the first generation to love stopping here. I'm sure my mom has similar pictures of me and my brothers when we were kids!

Day 119 - Door

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls" - Joseph Campbell <3

Day 118 - Best Bit Of My Weekend

It was such a great weekend in California! It's impossible to choose an absolute favorite part, so I'll choose one of the highlights :)  Here are my three girls with their "new to them" cousin! They met once (which is beyond ridiculous) when they were babies, but their natural friendship just blossomed immediately! Her dad is my mom's cousin and was always one of my favorite people growing up. It's just so much fun to be able to see my kids play with one of his daughters! They had such a blast all day at the park. Tons of cuteness, giggles, playing, imagining, and sharing all day long!

The kids and I also spent the day at the park in Huntington Beach with a longtime, childhood friend of mine, Sarah, and her brand new baby boy, Tommy! He is just way too cute for words. It was such a pleasure to be able to meet him and spend some time with them. The whole day was just a big, impromptu friends and  family reunion with my great-aunt, cousins, in-laws, brothers, my mom, friends, and a dog! This needs to be a common occurrence with even more fun, friends, and family <3

Day 117 - My View Today

We went to Oak Glen, CA, which has always been a family favorite for relaxing and getting away from the city. The day was pretty much perfect. We got there a little late, so everything was closing down. We were able to get into the petting zoo area before it closed.We were some of the only people in there, so it was great. We spent a long time feeding the animals, petting the animals, getting chewed on by the animals, and taking a lot of fun pictures :) The kids had a blast being silly with grandad and chasing eachother around the trails. We had a nice family dinner before heading home. Perfect!

Day 116 - 6pm

At about 6pm, we pulled in to have dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory in California. It's always such a nice place to have a family dinner (but, we missed our daddy!). The guest list included the in-laws, my mom, and all four kidlings! So fun to just relax, eat yum food, and talk about the day! :)

Day 115 - Drink

Cara and I took a timeout for a drink at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. Everyone else went into the bird exhibit. I'm not a fan of having birds flying around me and landing on me. Eeek! Creeps me out. So, we got some snacks and smoothies instead. It was a good day to be outdoors to enjoy the residents of the aquarium!

Day 114 - Hat

Avery loves this hat. We were at Disneyland and it reminded her of Justin Bieber, so she had to have it. It's so cute on her! It totally fits the "Avery style". 

Day 113 - Sign

Can anyone guess where this sign is from? Disneyland! As we passed under the bridge for the railroad tracks and entered Main Street, I looked up and saw this. It was the beginning of a great day..with it's bumps along the way. My mother-in-law and I took them to Disneyland. We were outnumbered 2 to 1 by kids, but figured, hey, it's Disneyland, how can it be anything but a happy, nice day?? Not 100% true. Well, don't get me wrong, it was wonderful. We laughed, cried, smiled, made a ton of new memories, and remembered old ones. Something we've never done with the kids, is actually sit down and watch a parade there. So, we did this time. We spent approximately $1 million on snacks and drinks, parked ourselves on the sidewalk and waited. It was a long wait for them, but once it started..totally worth it. The excitement on their faces was just priceless! The were able to see most of their favorite Disney characters all in one spot! Although, it was hard to maneuver around the, "Mommy, how is that really Ariel when she needs to be under water to breathe?" question.

 It was a little more crowded than expected, but we were still able to do most of their favorite rides: Teacups, Snow White, Peter Pan, Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and some others. My highlight of the day?? Spotting Drea de Matteo (dressed very similar to how I'd imagine a homeless person from the 1980's would look) enjoying the day with her kids and someone who didn't look like her husband, but looked a lot like Jax from Sons of Anarchy (scandal!) ;) Very exciting thing if you're a Desperate Housewives and/or Sons of Anarchy fan! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 112 - Close-Up

We went on a grand adventure in California today! Along with my mom and mother-in-law, I decided to take the kids on a 20 minute train ride from Irvine to San Juan Capistrano. We like to go down there and visit Zoomars, a petting zoo with bunnies and guinea pigs, pony rides, and all kinds of other fun things. We thought a train ride would be a lot more fun for the kids than sitting on the freeway.

This picture was taken at the Irvine train station right before we embarked. The kids had a great time watching everything fly by on our short trip south. As we approached the San Juan Capistrano train station (the next stop from Irvine), we grabbed all four kids and tried to quickly get down the stairs and exit the train. Well, unfortunately a flood of about fifteen teenagers came charging up the stairs, blocking our exit, and changed our plans for the day. By the time we got down, the doors were closed and we were movin' again! We were trapped on the train, unsure what to do, and on our way to Oceanside..ready or not! Meanwhile, my brother had driven to San Juan Capistrano and was waiting to meet us when we got off of the train. We definitely did not hold up our end of the bargain. Hooray for unexpected detours! We embraced our misfortune, laughed, watched the beautiful ocean views out of the train windows, and waited the thirty minutes to the Oceanside stop. After running (yes, we actually did run) to catch the train back the other way, we were on our way to have some fun!

The rest of the day was full of eating yum food, the kids bathing in ice cream cones, shopping, taking pictures, and watching the kids put on a fashion show (with their new-found gift shop treasures) in the middle of old town San Juan Capistrano for a very captive audience ;)  Not what was planned for the day, in fact,  Zoomars was completely taken off of the agenda, but still a great day and will definitely always be remembered fondly!

Day 111 - On My Plate

Lunch with the family at a yummy grill!

Day 110 - Empty

A quiet corner tucked away in a bustling town. Good find :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 109 - Morning

My crazy man woke up early this morning, yelled long enough to wake Rylee up, then fell asleep. So, Rylee and I parked ourselves in front of the TV and were lazy while everyone else slept. Streeeetch it out Bug :)

Day 108 - Something Beautiful

This beautiful flower popped up in a bush full of yellow flowers. Very vibrant!

Day 107 - My Personality

Lately, my mothering instincts are coming out in full force. I feel the need to feed everyone! I make mass amounts of food and bring it to people, whether they want it or not! Hahaha.  This was one of the nicer personality traits I was able to think of. There were many other types to list... ;)

Day 106 - A Number

Batting next for the Purple Tigers..Number 5..Ryleeeee Dean!

Day 105 - The Weather Today

Sunny and Warm! Absolutely beautiful for an off-roading adventure through the desert. Yeeehaaaaww!

Day 104 - Something Sweet

Daddy and his girls hunting and digging for treasures :)  They also were looking for "pets" to bring home...  These pests..i'm sorry, i meant pets..include, but are not limited to, tarantulas, gila monsters (Found one! Luckily, it wasn't caught.), squirrels, snakes, scorpions, etc.

Day 103 - 12 o'clock

Ok, I'll be honest. This was not at 12pm. At that time, we were rushing around like crazy people trying to get our glam girls ready for their big dance recital!! I hadn't even thought about the photo of the day at that point. So, here is a picture of the end product of what we were busy with at noon ;D

Day 101 - Something New

I got a new purse as a Mother's Day gift from my in-laws :)  I'm in love with it, although it was completely unnecessary! I. Am. Spoiled. :D

Day 99 - Pink

Pink little Rylee Princess after her dance recital. Her and Avery were absolutely A-dorable!!!

Day 91 - Grass

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken." 

Day 98 - Where I Stand

Despite what it may look like, it isn't the end of the world. Just a big dust storm, or haboob. Love that word. I don't even say dust storm anymore. Why would anyone if you can just say "haboob" instead? Hahaha, but yes, I took this not where I was standing, but driving. Fun stuff to drive in!

Day 97 - Something I Can't Live Without

Hmmm..something I can't live without? My crazies being..crazy! I know this pic is blurry and odd, but I felt that it went nicely with the general craziness of the photo. We have a lot of crazy, family fun together :)

Day 96 - A Favorite Place

The hubs and I had THE best time walking around Seaport Village in San Diego. We'll have to spend more time there and have a nice dinner next time. I was feeling a bit..tired..from our night out in Downtown the night before, so we decided to relax and have a picnic dinner on the lawn by the water :)

Day 95 - Something I Made

I made this as a small teacher appreciation gift for the most caring, giving lady around! Debi, the owner of Wee Blessings Preschool, has not only provided an excellent preschool for all our kids throughout the years, but she also has spent many hours being Cara's homework "coach". She's amazing and deserves much more than a little candy bouquet!!!

Day 94 - Snack

She is delicious! It's a daddy snack-attack!!! <3

Day 92 - Love

To me, this is just a perfect display of love. My twinsies really do love eachother <3

Day 90 - Mom

My wonderful mom with my baby boy :)  Striving to be as supportive, strong, and as wonderful of a mother and best friend as she is!

Day 89 - Something That Makes Me Happy

Watching my baby Bug, aka Rylee, graduate from kindergarten was a very happy moment :) She did an excellent job this school year! She tested in to kindergarten when she was four. She is now five and is reading very well, writing, adding, subtracting, and is excelling in being awesome! ;)

Day 88 - Kitchen

Frankly, I've been spending waaaay too much time in the kitchen lately and not nearly enough time at the gym! It's a problem. No way to sugar-coat it..mmm sugar.

Day 87 - Favorite Word(s)

I love these words because they are from my babies' mouths, spoken about an amazing man!

Day 86 - Something I Do Every Day

I've been so bad about posting my photos, but I do try everyday to look around me and appreciate the beautiful little things in life. It's important to slow down and take a look around to appreciate. Otherwise, what are we doing with our lives?? When I find something that strikes my fancy, I take a picture of it ;)

Day 85 - A Smell I Adore

I love being at the beach and smelling the salty ocean air. It reminds me of being a kid. Back then, my family spent a lot of time at the beach. Along with the smell of the ocean air, I also think of the smell of suntan lotion. Many memories come back along with those smells. The taste of tuna sandwiches and fritos (all mixed with sand, of course) come to mind. The feeling of putting your sandy feet back into your shoes to avoid scorching your feet on the long hike through the sand of Huntington Beach at the end of the day. Getting home and being exhausted, sunburnt, and thoroughly covered in sand from between the toes to the tip of my sand-filled hair. Ahhhh to be a kid at the beach again :)