Thursday, January 27, 2011

Randomness With Pictures

So, post Christmas, I got a new nifty little camera. Well, not little I guess. I purchased my first Digital SLR. I've been having fun taking random pictures, but it is waaaaaaaaaaaaay more complicated than my little Sony point and shoot and my Droid camera. So I got me some homework to do, classes to take and never ending strings of questions for my friends who already have digital SLR's (sorry friends...don't ignore me :)) BUT, I have mastered turning the thing on, switching the little dial thingy to a green square (which takes good pictures), adjust the zoom, auto-focusing, taking the picture, AND even able to go back and check them out. are just some random pictures, totally playing around and getting used to it!

First Picture!!!

Love this pic...Meg's owies from falling out of the chair


E posing...dancing with Just Dance 2 (so fun)

??? No Idea ???

My awesome cat...well, one of them.

Kickn' it

Attempting a snow angel

E loving her first snow experience

Snow Cave!!!!

I have no words...BUT...favorite pic EVER

Cheap and CLEAN entertainment

Starting The Year Over

OK, well, January...not so great. In fact, January SUCKED. So I will NOT be counting January into my year. Nope! Sorry January, you LOSE! As the clock strikes midnight on Jan 31, 2011 and we embark on to Feb 1, year will begin!

I know technically this does not change anything, but hey, it makes me feel better. So everything that I had mentioned previously holds true...beginning Feb 1!!!!

These past couple weeks have been super busy! Last weekend I headed back home, to Pismo Beach, for my friends funeral. I still can't believe what has happened. Lots of tears and hugs that day. Melinda was just beautiful, all around beautiful.

Ugh....the struggles with Meghan. Her seizures are still under control, but we are still dealing with teething (2 year molars). This leads to one unhappy, sleep deprived, all around cranky parents child.We finally got around to converting her bed from the crib to a toddler bed since she was continuously climbing out...although more graceful since the first time!Well with this new found freedom she has, she feels that she can take it upon herself to get up at 2:00 am to watch a bit of TV, and seriously protest when made to go back to bed. Hello dear are only 2 years old!

Elizabeth! Minus her serious attitude that she has developed...hello dear are only 6 years old...she is doing really good! I actually see improvement with her reading! Thank you God!!!! She did however, lose some ground in Math. So being the type A mom that I am, she goes to a math group, at school, four days a week before school starts. And two days a week she stays after for reading group!! AND, on those two days, she goes over to do friends house and do homework with him! For the first time in months, I feel like she just might make it to 2nd grade (Yes I stress).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow Day

I've have lived in Sacramento for 12 years now...12 years! Since my move up here, I can count on one hand how many times I have been to the snow. Sadly, the snow is only an hour away. AND, what is even more the past 7 years...I have gone zero...0...times. So with that said...Elizabeth, who is now 6, has never been to the snow. I tried last year, when it was so cold and rained...well "snowed" (it stuck for 10 minutes)...tried to pass it off to Elizabeth as going to the snow. That so did not work! So as summer was coming to a close, as school shopping was in full swing, I saw a great price on snow boots! I snatched a pair up for both Elizabeth and Meghan fully knowing if I buy the shoes, then we MUST go!!! A simple call to a friend provided us with snow clothes (only for Elizabeth and Meghan), 2 sleds, and a disk sled! Matt, my mom, the girls and I piled in the truck yesterday and headed east. Where we were clue!!! First we would find the snow, then we would find the park!! Awesome friend A suggested we go to Yuba Gap, a road sign said to stop at Soda Springs, but my hungry tummy had us stop at Nyack. Nyack had this huge parking lot with this huge play area!!! So that is where we ended up!!!

The girls absolutely LOVED the snow!!! As a was one of the happiest moments of my mom life!! Going up in the truck, Elizabeth and I formed a snow ball alliance...we were suppose to be on one team...but the minute she set foot on the was every man for themselves! Meghan...she found a nice comfortable which mommy made sure there was only "white" colored snow...and she ate and ate!

There was awesome little hills to sled down. An already started snowman, and a cool little snow cave! PERFECT day! The irony in this little snow trip is we had to go to the snow for the sunny warm weather as Sacramento has been nothing but foggy drizzly weather for the past two weeks! Just to keep things in perspective...I managed to successfully lock the keys in the truck. HUGE shout out to AAA roadside...they were there within 20 minutes. Love them! AND hubby wasn't too mad at me, although he questions why I ever put the keys on the dash!

In light of this past week, yesterday was so perfect and much needed! It is the first of many family days to come!!

                                                                Ready for the road trip

                                                                         Snow or bust

                                                                   First time snow bunnies

                                                        Happy Meg...not so happy E

                                                                      Hello happy E

                                                                  Loving the snow

                                           Loving eating the snow (it's white worries)

                                                                       E's first snow ball

                                                                    Fantastic babysitter

Attempting a snow angel...I think

                                                 Yes he pushed her..she coulda got hurt

                                              Yes...I pushed her and..No..she didn't get hurt

                                                    Meg and the already started snowman

                                                                  Cheesy snow pic

The snow awesome

                                                Yep...she sure knows how to throw the looks

                                                                            Snow ride

                                                          Personal touches to the snowman

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Friend, Melinda

My friend of 26 years was killed Friday, Jan 7, 2011. Melinda Tackett Yager was one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met on the soccer field in 1985. We became fast friends and remained that way since JR High.

I graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 1994 whereas Melinda graduated in 1995. We both attended Alan Hancock College together and tried our hardest to take the same classes. For a few years I would pick Melinda up in the morning, we would stop at 7-11, get a machine made capaccino, a Tigers Milk bar, and head off to college. After school we would drive back home, drive by the Five Cities Ambulance station...hello central coast folks, weren't they all HOT...just to see who was working...then end up at her house to change for work. From there we would head on over to Burger King to make the most fabulous meals for all to eat.

I have tons of memories of Melinda that would bring a smile to anyone's face! My most favorite is this:
I had moved up to Sacramento to attend California State University Sacramento. It was my very first semester, 5 hours away from home. My besties Crystal and Melinda came up from Pismo Beach to visit me. We went to this random club...The Sacramento. After closing, Melinda, Crystal and I drove through a Del Taco to get a mid-night, hang over helping snack. We got back to my apartment, parked and started walking up to my door. As we were walking, I expressed my complete displeasure about this stupid motorcycle who parked in the most "prime spot" of all! So the three of us got the brilliant idea of moving this motorcycle from the parking spot up on to the sidewalk. So we carefully set down our Del Taco bags and the three of us, with all our might, tried to push the motorcycle up over the curb on to the side walk. are way heavier than they look. Ten minutes, in our intoxicated stupor, we lost interest in attempting to move the motorcycle...we pick up our Del Taco...and proceeded to the apartment to dine in pleasure! Oh we laughed and laughed about that night.

Melinda...I will miss you so much. I've never ever thought I would experience the loss of a friend like this. Kaylee has the most special guardian angel watching over her. A day will never go by where you are not in my thoughts or prayers. Thank you for the laughs Mel...I love you so much my friend.

Melinda died at the hands of her husband. They were in the process of a divorce and she so wanted to come back to California, from Colorado. Melinda being the responsible person she was, she was trying to make sure that all legal requirements were met prior to leaving the state (she was divorcing him and bringing her daughter Kaylee to California). Friday, 1/7/11, they had a court date which did not go in his favor. He went to the house. She called the cops to report him, in which they dispatched a trespassing call. I don't know what happened then, but the corner said she put up a good fight. Melinda was found in a neighbors yard, by the railroad tracks, dead. She had bleed to death from cuts to her throat. She bleed to death while running from him to get help.

Here are some pictures of Melinda some years back!

Me and Melinda

Melinda in the Gap hat

Melinda in the Gap hat

Melinda...bottom row...second in from the right (long blond curly hair). 1988

Kaylee...Melinda's 15 month old precious baby girl is left without her mother. A trust fund had been set  up for this adorable little girl who will never know her mother. Please, if you can, find it in your heart to help little Kaylee Yager! She is just another innocent victim in this unfathomable tragedy! Or, please just say a prayer for little Kaylee and Melinda, and for her family!!! I love you Melinda! RIP my sweet friend!

For donations for Kaylee Yaeger...please go here...

Thank your so much for your prayers, or donations for Melinda and Kaylee.

Friday, January 7, 2011


I've gone through bad news, I've cried until I have had no more tears. Today though...I hurt. Today, I lost a friend, a dear friend that has touched so many lives.

It wasn't an accident, it wasn't an illness. It was her husband. My friend was shot and killed by her husband. I've read about this, I've seen this on the news and CNN's Nancy Grace. But today, my heart is a part of that hurt.

See, not only did I lose a friend today, but a 1 year old precious angel lost her mother at the hands of her father.

Melinda...RIP my friend. You defined the word amazing in so many ways. The lives and the hearts you touched are beyond words. I love you and will always cherish in my heart those many times that we spent together.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...

1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...

1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...

1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.

1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.

1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.

2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.

3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.

4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, Yo Gabba Gabba and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!

For anyone else reading this - I'm thrilled that you are all enjoying it, as I did - immensely. However, I DID NOT write it! It was sent in an email from a friend of mine... and I'm not sure who the original author is.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year...A New Chapter

Ahhh, a new year. I get a little nervous starting new years lately. Since Meghan became sick, I always end the year with the prayer and hope that next year will be better. I don't know what I have been looking for over the past years to make "them better" but I still end in hopes that the following year will be better.

So at this moment, these are the things, if they happen, will make 2011 an unbeatable year:

1. Talking - I want Meghan to say more than "up". If she can have like a 15 word vocabulary by the end of the year, I will be totally ecstatic!

2. No Emergency Hospital Stays - We only had one last year which was a total improvement over the previous, but I want to end is ZERO (hospital stays due to testing are not included).

3. Elizabeth Passes First Grade - OK, I'm a hard mom when it comes school. I cried when I graduated college because I was .01 away from top honors! Elizabeth went into Kindergarten at 4, so I know that for at least the first couple years she is at a disadvantage, and will be a little behind her peers. So with LOTS of hard work on both our parts, we WILL pass 1st grade...God willing, PLEASE.

4. No More "Bad News" Neurologist Visits - 2010 and 2009 was full of downer appointments. SO, I am hoping, since we are 2 years into this seizure battle, we can escape negative, heartbreaking news.

If those 4 came true, this year would be the best year I have had in quite a while! OK, so on to my resolutions, which I fully intend to accomplish :)

1. Half Marathon - I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving...loved it. So, technically I have a head start on this, but in May I AM going to run a half! If all goes well, I will end 2011 by running a full Marathon an the beginning of December (I should make the Marathon a resolution, but I would prefer to go above and beyond my resolutions).

2. More Water, Less Martini's - I LOVE my martini's! But I will be 35 this year, so it is time to listen to Tim McGraw's advice (a whole 5 years later) and lay off! Water is my nemesis! I have totally had to make myself drink water. Even when I was pregnant, I would always get lectured how I don't drink enough water. So thank goodness for those little bottle of lemon juice, maybe I can trick myself into thinking I am having a lemon drop...LOL.

3. Patience - I think sometimes I run negative in this area, so I hope to be able to learn how to have more patience (especially with Meghan). I think this will be the hardest of all, but I know that I can do it.

4. Regular Exercise - Well, whether it be a half or a full marathon, this is a must! I do have to admit that I pulled a muscle in my thigh 3 weeks ago, and it is still giving me problems. So bring it treadmill and stair stepper...I will own you!

5. Read A Book A Month - I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading. Yes, I am a book nerd folks. But since kids, reading takes a back seat. I love getting lost in the stories and characters...very therapeutic for me!

6. Less Debt - Matt and I sometimes have that "champagne taste on a beer budget" going on. We like toys, we do. However, we don't go on vacation, so toys are our escape. Two days into the new year, and we are already upside down (do not buy a fish tank on Craigslist folks)

7. Photography - I'm did it!!! I don't know if I am jumping on some sort of band wagon or if I am getting older and I want to capture as much as life, my kids, family, friends, cats...etc. as I can. I purchased my first DSLR!! Thinking back...I don't think I have made a purchase that big for myself (at one time) except for my cars and house. But I am so excited to learn all I can about it. Hey...might even go back to school and take some photography classes (given the chance though, I could be a career college student)! Thank you Erika at Flip Flops & Sippy Cups, your Christmas present pushed me over...LOL. AND...I even plan on doing a little project with it!

8. Take A Bath At Least Once A Week - Before you get all grossed out I shower at least once, even sometimes, twice a day! But there is something so serene and relaxing about a bath. I give baths every night, but at least once a week, I will pull those toys out and soak in some awesome hot, good smelling water!

There it is, put out there for all to see, MY New Years Resolutions! Hold me too them, give me crap if I don't meet them. This is what I want for 2011. I put a lot of thought into them and I will make every attempt to meet them :)

Six months ago I started this blog. It started as an outlet to keep family and friends updated on our lives. But over these last 6 months I have met and read about some amazing, life changing people. I have laughed, cried, prayed, and shared/talked about your blog posts. You all have an impact in my daily life and thank you so much for taking the time to share your lives! Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Random New Years Eve pics....Matt drank a little too lot, so we ended up having some fun thanks to him...LOL

9pm...Just got home from work

E into taking self portraits

Getting too full of herself

1 bottle Yaeger down

I <3 my niece

Meg partied as best she could!

E and Meg dancing to the Kinect

Anna (niece) comment

This is what a bottle of Yeager will do folks

Best Hug Ever

Niece and Nanny (my mom)

Posing with the drunk one

He was able to get vertical for a moment

E had a blast

Best family ever. Happy New Years!