Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monster Trek

Up until the other day, I hadn't noticed that people have been leaving comments on my blog. When I finally did discover them, it was like the excitement of reading yearbook entries on the last day of high school. Thank you thank you for your words, and keep 'em coming! Next on my agenda is learning how to leave them on your blogs!

We are embarking on our pioneer trek shortly, so more soon. Upon return, I'm sure I'll have stories to share about ticks, wind-burn, obnoxious teenage rebuttle, and, oh yes, appreciation for those who have paved the way before us.

Thought I'd have to leave you with a photo. I'm sure in love with my big lug. Maybe I'll make him carry me on part of this looong walk?!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Wombmate

I meant to have this blog done on her birthday, but alas, other duties called. My best friend, Charlotte, my wombmate, turned 29 on April 26, and folks, this girl loves birthdays!

For those of you unfamiliar with the ‘wombmate’ history: Charlotte’s mom and my mom were pregnant at the same time and once I entered this blessed world, dear Char only took 9 short days before she joined me. It seems in retrospect that we were always chasing each other’s tails in life’s milestones: who could drink her milk faster, who was taller (her mom would always have a stand back to back to compare—guessing she didn’t get the memo on basic genetics), who could sell more homemade hair bows in junior high, who would be the first to kiss a boy (thanks Jason Jamora, really unforgettable), who could score higher than 41% on our college bio test, etc. etc. But it’s important to mention that, though we were competitive, this crazy sisterly bond always prevailed. While some people have horrific memories of junior high and high school, I have these fantastic, funny (sometimes embarrassing), precious memories due mostly to the fact that I had a fiercely loyal best friend.

When I think about her, I either want to cry these tears of grateful joy or pee my pants, and, seriously, we all know the latter has happened. This may gross you out, but honestly, aren’t you a bit jealous that you haven’t laughed that hard?

Some One on One

Last weekend Travis took Boston with camping with his scouts. After numerous warnings to Travis to look out for bears and to zip the tent tight so Boston couldn't sleep walk (he doesn't normally, but one never knows!), Cassidy and I set off for the pool for some girl time. We had so much fun and took our sweet ol' time. Cassidy does really well as an only child. And without Boston to chat with in the back seat, I discovered that she actually can sleep in the car!

Boston didn't enjoy the rocking canoe, but he is becoming quite a fisherman! He caught the biggest fish of the day.

The big gap you may see on that proud grin is, yes, well, a gap. He had his tooth pulled last week because he damaged it and it couldn't be repaired. Gotta love kids. He is so proud that he is missing a tooth like his cousin Alex and totes the little box with his tooth everywhere and will show it to strangers if requested. And p.s.: that is not chocolate around Boston's mouth. Boys + dirt= joy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Last night my sis, bro, and I took my dad out to dinner for Father's Day. It's hilarious when we get together because it's almost as if each of us could be our own one-man/woman-show. Put 4 at a table together and it becomes chaotic humor. Of course Dadda brought the classic video camera with it's permanently affixed Bush/Cheney sticker. We captured some classic coversation, but I think our waitress was surprised to come to our table and see that my dad had turned on the camera's light to make up for dim restaurant lighting!

My siblings and I were reflecting on what life lessons our dad has taught us. It's interesting to see what memories really stick out after all these years. I always remember my dad being so kind and gracious to waiters/waitresses, hotel staff when we were on vacation, grocery baggers and the like. He always taught us to be aware of others and to not make unnecessary work for others.

I learned from my dad to never be afraid of people different from me. Many Sundays growing up I recall my dad racing a sweet older woman with cerebral palsy in her wheelchair around the gym after church. She would laugh hysterically as he'd pop wheelies and treat her like a queen. He held her brittle, contorted hands with quiet compassion at the rest home on many occasions before she finally passed away.

We took food to homeless people in downtown Los Angeles at Christmas and that was life-changing. From my father I learned to be grateful and to serve others.

Even when going through the awkward (pear-shaped) pre-teen phase, I always knew my dad felt I was beautiful. I knew that whatever curve balls the outside world would throw my way, home would be a soft place to land and my dad would always see my heart.

I'm so happy that my dad has been such an active part of my life. There are hundreds of memories I have of the way he has loved and cared for me through special Saturday outings, father/daughter dates, blowing lights out before bed (accompanied with a somersault finale), yelling at the jr. high teacher who mistreated me, doing the cheerleader "gooo team" jump at my football games, fun park swingset fun (he'd swing us all at different intervals and run across so we could try to kick him!), countless picture-taking opps, his pretending to be secret service at the airport as I would walk to my gate, typing and editing my papers for school, special letters while I was at college, and, most of all, believing in me. If I need a boost or someone to fill my ego-balloon, he's my guy; and I'm so thankful to know he's always there.

Watch for later poetry posting. I forgot to mention that he's the best writer I know and one of the smartest guys ever! Loooove you!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fish 'n' Frenzy

We took the kids to a fish farm in Ogden. It seems their fave thing to do these days is feed animals. We love the fish farm because it's quite a show for little dough. The kids loved watching the fish practically jump out of the water for the food.

Trav and I also had fun, as we'd bait the fish by throwing food near the little waterfall to see how many we could lure off the edge and down into the lower ponds. Trav stuck his hand in wondering if they'd eat from his hand. No luck, so I gave it a try...hello! One of those little buggers got his munchers completely around my digit. It hurt, but we could not stop laughing. It's not every day you almost lose a finger to a vicious trout!

Cass enjoyed munching her toes the entire ride home. Whatever makes you happy, Girlfriend.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hey Barr Barr

Patrick and Ashley have just started themselves a little family. These are their new babies, Bella and Smithers. So so cute.

Running Sheepless

Last Sunday we went to one of our buddy's houses for their son's birthday party. They live only about 10 minutes from our house and have two sheep and a goat. The kids had a blast chasing them around the field. It was hilarious. Boston stayed out there for almost an hour, rosey-cheeked and exhausted. Places like these are magical for kids (and me; I always love a good petting zoo).

Memorial Day Part 2: Bikes and a Jen-uine Partay

My hubby spoiled me rotten last weekend. We spent most of Saturday shopping for a bike for me (he has one but I've been envious!). He's the best to shop with because just when you thought you got a screamin' deal, he brings out his innocent eyes and asks, "Can you go any lower?" Somehow they always manage to find an applicable discount. He also knows a lot about...a lot, and he does his research!

So my new ride is a mountain bike that really is road-friendly. I wanted something I could use around the neighborhood and also have the option to get crazy (later!). We also bought a little trailer for the kids so we could have a fun family activity. Boston just loves it and is always sitting in it waiting for me to take him out. Cassidy, the wee li'l provoker, usually pulls his hair or yells at him, but we're going to manage. I've been going out every day in it and I feel like a little kid again, though I don't remember my quads burning so much as a kid!

I also got a whooole day of girl time with Bridget and my Filipino sister, Jen Cu Cu, who was in town from Los Angeles. In the morning we went and got massages, overate at Cheesecake Factory, did some shopping, and ate again, and then maybe once more. It's also our tradition to sing karaoke (Jenny has a little system that plugs into any tv).

Though Jen was on a vacation from her mom-duties, she was kind enough to play Monopoly with Alex and Gabriel and let Boston shoot her repeatedly with Nerf bullets. And she always cooks/bakes for us when she's in town (because there's always room for cookies!).

Memorial Day Part 1: Ribs & Reading

I'm starting to see more of Travis these days, which is such a treat. Cassidy is big enough now that she enjoys all the outings. One outing I don't really enjoy with the kids is going to restaurants (unless the restaurant has a playground, in which case you can hardly call it a restaurant!).

My Uncle John and Aunt Val from NY were in town over Memorial Day weekend and wanted to attempt this whole dining experience thing, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. We all (my fam, Bridget's fam, Dad and Renita, John, Val, and my Uncle Mark) went to Famous Dave's. The barbecue yumminess is served on upside-down trash can lids. It's a fun place but I was still wondering how long Cassidy would stay seated. Well, guess what?! This chick loooves (and I mean loves) ribs! She's my meat eater, but I couldn't have imagined how much she'd enjoy gnawing on those bones. In fact, we gathered all the bones to take to Emma and I'm pretty sure she licked off any last remains before surrendering the them.

After dinner everyone came back to our house to eat cheesecake (thanks, Bridge!) and visit. Cassidy is so social, and I think she really bonded with everyone. She loves reading and it's hard to resist that sweet face and her little voice, "Peeaase?"

It's been a joy seeing more of our East Coast family. Just love you!