Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year - 2009!!!
Happy New YearHappy New Year

So I just wanted to take a moment- as the last 10 minutes of 2008 are slipping away (and as my kid keeps waking up in the other room- lol) to reflect on what a year it was for me.
  • Ella and I joined a great playgroup at the end of 2007 and 2008 allowed us to cultivate some amazing friendships with a great group of women!
  • I grew closer with many of my friends in my neighborhood over 2008 and even met some new friends!
  • Jimmy and I added a beautiful baby with such a patient and adorable demeanor and personality to our family (which balances Miss Ella nicely so far- lol).
  • Related to the above, I saw my parents become Grandparents for the FOURTH time!
  • I started working with a life coach and gained amazing clarity on parts of my life that had brought me much anxiety/stress.
  • One of my sisters got engaged (YEAH!) and one sister moved in with her boyfriend who I think is a wonderful addition to her life!
  • My family SURVIVED and got even better at adjusting to the difficulties of having a one income household- (experts say we are doing this today with 60% less money then families who were one income households in the 70's- due to inflation and the increase in cost of goods/services far outpacing the increase in salaries.) We are not perfect yet but we have many more years to get better at adjusting and BUDGETING!!!! Yeah for us =)
  • And much much more this past year...
{side note: as I am typing this at 11:58 a neighbor somewhere behind me just started BLASTING "Celebration" I feel like I am at a cheezy family reunion right now... "WOO HOO!" And now I hear some fireworks!}

Anyhow, I am not saying I didn't hit some bumps in 2008, as I certainly had my share. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that 2008 was a really hard year for millions of people around the US, especially for many homeowners who found themselves losing their homes and many families who suddenly found themselves unable to make ends meet and put food on the table due to the ridiculous increases in gas and grocery prices. But as I enter 2009 I am thankful for what I am fortunate to have in my life, and I am filled with so much hope... I have such hope for the new Presidency, the housing market, the economy etc. I hope 2009 is a turnaround year for many people.

Anyhow I hope all of you have a wonderful safe and healthy 2009 and that there is much happiness and peace and love in all your hearts this year!

{for those wondering, yes the neighbors behind me are STILL blasting music and I am dreadingly wondering how much longer they are going to do this, since I wont be able to sleep with it playing and my kids windows are open tonight... Oh Well! Good thing I have a good book to occupy me till they stop the partying!}

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!!

Myspace Graphics

Guess what??? I turn 31 today! Yeah!! Happy Birthday to ME! But I share this birthday with my Twin Lori so it is only right that I say Happy Birthday to her too! So, my gift to myself this year is... DA-DA-DA-DA.... I just signed up to participate in my first TRIATHLON!!! Yeah...ummmm... no! That was not a TYPO. You read it correctly!


I am super excited for this. It is April 19th, which is the weekend after my sisters wedding in Boston! I have always wanted to participate in one of these but always thought I would do a half or full marathon before attempting this. But it actually doesn't seem so bad. This year's the event will take place in Chandler on the Chandler High School Campus. The swim will take place in a 50 meter pool. The event will involve a swim of 8 laps, 8 miles biking and a 2.25 mile run that finishes Olympics style on the Chandler High School track. My family or friends will be able to cheer me on and watch the whole way!

So why this Triathlon you ask? Well basically I figure I spent the first half of my twenties lending my body to the right of passage I like to refer to as excessive drinking and partying! The second half of my Twenties I lent my body to childbearing. Now that I am 31 and done with both of these, I figure it is time I lent my body to fitness and health and make an investment in ME! Also see the logo below... The Triathlon benefits Susan G Komen for The Cure to raise money for Breast Cancer, which as everyone knows by now, is an important cause for me (and one that is prompting me to walk in my FOURTH three day walk next Nov.)

Jimmy and I got a sitter on Sat night and went to dinner at The Keg Steakhouse. We then went to a "new" Irish bar in Downtown Chandler called Murphy's Law. They have a really big and cool bar in there! Today I relaxed and spent the day with the kids and Jimmy and then we had birthday cake. Ella insisted I use an Elmo candle and she wanted to blow it out with me! =) She waited all day (very patiently) for this cake! We decorated it half for her and half for me! Here are a couple photos:

My hubby also gave me my new laptop today! Yeah!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008 and ZOOLights

We had a very low-key Christmas here at home. We didn't have any family or friends to spend it with so we hunkered down as a family and had a nice breakfast, opened presents and then watched the fake yuletide log on our big screen for a while... GHETTO! LOL Here are some pics below...
After nap-time the girls opened their stockings! After an early Ham dinner at 3pm we played with the girls till bedtime. After Jimmy and I put the girls to bed we hopped in the hot-tub for a while. It felt so nice in there and the wind died down as soon as we got in. It was awesome! We have been trying to use it more often lately and it is great. Here are some more Christmas photos below (no hot tub photos- lol):
We also went to ZooLights on Christmas Eve with our friends The Palevskys and their two boys Hudson and Sawyer. We went last year too, and intend to do this every Christmas Eve. My Twin Sister Lori is hoping to be living here next Christmas to get to see this with her family. Enjoy the Slideshow I created below. Sorry some are blurry but it is hard to capture all the Christmas Lights with the camera! We hope you all had a Merry Christmas too!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Fun and Yummy Treats!!

Ok. So here I am sitting on my computer getting ready to blog and post about the fun Christmas dinner I had with a group of my girlfriends recently. We had a Secret Santa Gift Exchange and a wonderful dinner at Buca di Beppo. There is a slide show below for fun.

As I am sitting here writing this my cell phone rings. It is my friend Yolanda (one of the girls from our Christmas dinner slide show above). She asks me to come to the front door and as I open it, has a bagful of the most delicious looking cookies and goodies I have ever seen! She must have been reading my mind because I was just thinking I could curl up in bed under my warm covers with a hot cup of peppermint mocha coffee and some type of goodie/sweet but I didn't have anything sweet in the house (till now thanks to her). And not only was she just in time with some sweet treats but her sweet kids are yelling MERRY CHRISTMAS from the car while their Mom is getting rained on to bring my family something yummy. How sweet is that? No Pun Intended! Yolanda is a great cook and a great friend who opens her home up to her friends and family during the Holidays and generously cooks huge portions of yummy food for anyone who feels like celebrating with her and her wonderful family, or who doesn't have any family here of their own. And during the craziness of the Holidays every year she finds the time to bake either cookies or loaves of bread for her friends and neighbors. Thank you Yolanda for the most delicious "dessert thingy with creamy filling and hard chocolate top layer thingy" that I have ever had. I just gobbled it down, let my dog lick my fingers and am restraining myself from not eating the other one tonight!!!

I love Christmas! Another gift exchange with a group of friends is tomorrow!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Ok so for those that dont know, I am a huge Football Fan and a HUGE Fantasy Football Fanatic! These photos below are my fantasy football icons. These are what my opponents see when they play me each week... One is Ella making her famous "chucky doll" face and one is of Ryen flipping everyone off at a couple weeks old! LOL!

I am SO SO happy and excited right now because I just came in first place in one of my fantasy football leagues AND as if that wasn't enough, I won $225 bucks for coming in first! (I had to beat my sister Lisa to win the championship so the victory is bitter sweet, as she had a great season and I know she wanted to take the trophy this year... Sorry Sis!)

Fantasy football is the most entertaining, nail-biting, frustrating and exciting game to play. It is a great and sometimes horrible way to spend your Sundays! And I LOVE IT!

This is my fifth season playing fantasy football and my outcomes are below:
2004- 7th place out of 8 (MY ROOKIE YEAR)
2005- 5th place out of 12 (nice improvement)
2006- 2nd place out of 8 (my first time making the championship playoffs!)
2007- 5th place out of 8 (injury ridden year)
2008- 1st place out of 8 (WOO-HOO!!!)

This year I was in THREE fantasy football leagues. I made the playoffs in two of them (not easy to make the playoffs as I only made the playoffs twice in five years before this year) AND I just missed the playoffs in my third league. I finished 4th out of 10 and 6th out of 10 in my other two leagues. Pretty respectable!!

Anyhow the end of the fantasy football season is a sad day. On the one hand I can sit back and relax and cheer on The Patriots in their bid to make the playoffs (and hopefully watch them make it and succeed); but on the other hand I know I have to wait till next SEPTEMBER before I can play fantasy football again. This is a PAINFULLY LONG time for football fans to wait.

So although tonight I will bask in my glory, next Sunday I will be depressed that I have no team to stress over, to analyze, no players to scream at or jump up and down in joy over. No watching 8 games at a time on one channel thanks to The NFL Sunday TICKET and the brilliant guys over at DirecTV. What is a mother of two kids to do.....???? YEAH RIGHT!!!! I am sure I will find plenty! LOL! =)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thanks to Sue!!

So my friend Sue turned me on to this GREAT website called where I can post videos of my kids and create video "montages" of short video clips that I take with my camera. This is the coolest site I have seen in a long time. Sharing videos with family is the hardest because of their size, download time, etc... So this is perfect for me! Here is a video I made of Ryen talking below followed by Ella singing laughing and dancing!

Enjoy the video.

Ella Video:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Chandler Christmas Tree Lighting

Every year Jimmy and I attend the Chandler Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in downtown Chandler. They had free photos with Santa in Santa's house! Ella did not cry or freak out at all! She LOVES Santa! Ryen had her first photo taken with Santa too, although someone needs to teach Santa how to hold a baby! LOL! CLICK ANY PHOTO TO ZOOM IN

This is a real cute event which features lots of cool stuff for kids! There were free pony rides, Radio Disney performances and local dance troupe performances, a bunch of bouncy houses, food vendors, a Christmas Light parade and it all ends with the official tumbleweed tree lighting! For those non-AZ residents the city creates a "Christmas" tree using stacked tumbleweed. See the photos below! We had a blast again!

Family Photo Shoot #1!! Yeah! (Another one to come!)

Ok so my friend Tanya (her blog is on the right) has been practicing her photography and is having a lot of fun with it! I asked her if she would like to shoot our family for practice and she was all for it! Lucky us! She gave me the proofs and allowed me to do some editing on them. Here is a slide show of the photos below! I hope you enjoy and thank you Tanya!!

FYI Tanya- I mostly just sharpened some photos, cropped a few, added some blur or glow, removed Ryen's baby acne, made some black and white or combo pics and threw in a few sepia tones.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Really Cool


If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . These thank you cards were designed by children and are really cool!

You can't pick out who gets the cards, but it will go to a member of the armed services. How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! It is FREE and it only takes a second. You can send as many as you want. I sent 5 yesterday!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them.
This takes just 10 seconds and it's a wonderful way to say thank you. Please take the time and please pass it on for others to do.

I also want to add the following that was sent to me by my friend Adrianna! When you are sending our your Holiday Cards this year, consider sending one to a soldier recovering at Walter Reed. Here is how- just mail it to:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

We can never say enough thank you's. Please take the time to support our military!