Saturday, December 26, 2009


Greetings from my laptop! Looking forward to posting some pictures from Christmas and the updates in the house since we've moved back. We still don't have a complete kitchen, but it's coming together, and everyone's been so much more at ease.

We're grateful (again) for the well-wishes, neighbor gifts, cards, and service everyone has offered. We love our neighborhood, our friends and family.

Is it bad that I'm sort of glad that Christmas is over? It was a fabulous one, but normalcy is high on my priority list right now. Ahhh.

Love to all of you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grand Dadda

My dad has been so kind to come up once a week for the last month or so to spend time with the kids and give me a couple hours off. Though I've become quite efficient at tile shopping, carpet hunting, and meeting with sub-contractors with the kiddos in tow, it's aaahhhhmazing to be able to do some of these things in quiet solitude!

The kids love spending time with Grandpa reading books, playing games, and taking walks. It touches me because these are the things I adored growing up. My dad always had time for us, and there were so many Saturday mornings that he'd take us kidlets to Griffith Park to ride ponies and the merry-go-round, feed the ducks, or to play at the park. I know he genuinely loved doing these things with us, and it was evident in the chats we'd have with him, all his picture-taking, and his singing while playing the drums on the steering wheel of the car as we'd travel.

I realize these are some of the things I'll do with my kids, but it's a much better legacy that Grandpa gets the chance to make these memories with them.
Thanks, Dad.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween Evening

Dad with Darth and 'Gator

Though often unkind to her cousin, the holiday spirit brought out a Cass who wanted to hug and watch out for Jason.

The love those cousins. And how nice for photos when the majority of kids are in masks!

My kids are taking after their dad. They love holidays (I guess that's only noteworthy if you're an adult...all kids love holidays!). What they've been obsessed with most recently are the lawn decorations. Every day when we'd pass this one house with a graveyard, heads, and skeletons, they'd beg to drive by it (twice: once so the yard was on Cass' side, and once for Boston). We've been to the Halloween stores half a dozen times. Cassidy adores the spooky displays and creepy noises. I'm sure next year she'll lose some of this fearlessness, but it's hilarious to watch. There was a dummy in a body bag that basically shook on the floor and she'd just clap at it trying to set it off over and over. The disturbing baby statues with spinning heads and gorey faces were even more intriguing. At one store there was a holographic mirror with a mummy image inside that would shout, "Help! Let me out! Can anyone hear me?" She'd whine when we'd have to leave it. Is it weird that it would melt my heart when she'd wiggle her hands and reinact it for Dad? She is her own person.

Cassidy picked this out to try on. Boston and Boomer followed along.

We hit up Bridget's trunk-or-treat early Halloween evening, then checked out a few spooky houses we'd been admiring, and then hit our neighborhood (apparently there's a guy who rides on a real horse as the headless horseman--we missed him this year, but next year we'll see him!). We finished the night off with munchies at Bridget's house.

My friend, Kelly, let us sift through her overflowing costume supply. Cassidy went right to the alligator (dinosaur? you decide). Maybe next year she'll consider the cute butterfuly or fairy costume.

Halloween Morning and The Boston 5

My blogging may be somewhat abridged. By the time the late hours of the night hit and I have a quiet house, I'm not necessarily motivated.

On Halloween morning we let Boston take his neighborhood buddies to Chuck E. Cheese for his 5th birthday. He loves this place and was thrilled that he and four friends would get to ride there together, play, eat pizza and cake, and of course share in some gift fun. I managed to squeeze 5 boosters in my van, and I was tickled to hear them interact with one another. They sang songs to me the whole way home (go sugar!). It made me think of my birthday gigs long ago: pool parties, ice-blocking, and slumber parties. I wonder if some of these little dudes will be soul mates.

Tanner, Tad, and Adam

Boston and the Boomer

Cassidy loves snuggling creatures. Watch for an upcoming 'raccoon' posting.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Woes: Me

I haven't taken too many pictures of the progress on the house, but here's an idea of what's been going on: lighting is in, floors are laid on main level, paint is done on main level, tile almost complete, fireplaces up and rolling, carpet ordered (just bits and pieces to fix the stairs and hallway that got saturated). Still yet to be done is the installation and painting of the kids' bathroom, floor staining, basement prime and painting, all the finish-work, kitchen and other built-in installation, countertops, backsplash, and of course—duh duh duh—moving everything back into the house. Travis has promised me his spectacular Thanksgiving feast. The insurance company expressed their doubts about things being done before Christmas, but I'm thinking the hubby's determination and many (many!) late nights will pay off.

The recent frustrations have been in contracting labor. No one seems to look at the bigger picture. Each (this especially applies to you, Mr. Tile!) tries to do what they want without attention to the grand scope of the project. But we're working through the kinks and trying to keep things positive.

We feel so blessed with the help people have offered. I'm going to have to make a speech when this thing is over. We simply could not have done this without the many hours people have generously given. I will (I promise) repay the favors!

There's no place like home!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Of course I don't have access to some of my old pictures right now, so I can't show some old cheerleading pix of the fabulous Faarnaz, but I thought I MUST mention that Faarnaz, aka "Naz" has made it to Round 2 for the Models of the Runway casting for Lifetime. This tv show will focus on the models who strut the catwalk for Project Runway, and will also document the life and drama of models when they're not workin' it in the spotlight. Vote for her! She's still the bright, bubbly, fun and sweet girl you remember. Love her! Best of luck, beautiful girl!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Floody Hell

Most of you know the little 'situation' at the Green House. We went to a birthday party in Park City around 10 a.m. on Aug. 23rd and came home around 2 p.m. to a raining house. Something with the toilet in the kids' upstairs bathroom exploded and water basically was shooting out of the back of the toilet (I'm assuming the whole time we were gone).

Trav was the first to discover the mess when he ran in to change his clothes while I was waiting in the car with the kids. When he opened the front door, I could hear the smoke detectors beeping and Emma ran out soaking. I told the kids to stay put and basically followed Trav around aimlessly(he had a purpose...trying to figure out the origination of the flood and turning off the water and power) with my jaw hanging open (alternating with my hands on my head in disbelief) saying, "Oh my gosh, what are we going to do?! We can't live here! Did I do that?" I'm sure it was priceless. I surprisingly didn't cry but was quick to ask, "Do you think they'll have to replace the kitchen cabinets?" I know it'll be worth it in the end, but it has been quite the ordeal!

The water basically ran out of the bathroom, down the hall into each bedroom (luckily just a few feet into each room). It then poured through the floor and down both sets of stairs through the main level and into the basement. Gallons of water were dumping through the ceiling in the kitchen, and the walls downstairs were bulging and ready to pop.

Travis' 16-year-old sister, Sara, had moved in with us just a week prior, and her basement bedroom was basically demolished. Overall, with a week of hotels, a move to a rental house, lots of random takeout, and a messed up routine, we've all managed pretty well. Fortunately, most of our personal belongings were spared and we're excited about the unplanned remodel.

There really is no place like home. Many of my days with the kids at the rental house have been slow, and some days are so busy that I meet Travis at the church after work, and throw some dinner and the kids his way so that I can fulfill my scouting responsibilities. A short hour later we swap the kids back so that he can coach football or attend an activity with the young men. And it isn't uncommon for us to stop by the Home Depot where one of us will hop out and run in to check out a kitchen or accessory option while the other circles around hoping for the kids to get just one much-needed nap.

Travis handles a lot of stress with ease, and is a dynamo when it comes to managing the many tasks on his plate. I'm glad to be on his team during life's little speed bumps! It doesn't hurt, either, to have wonderful neighbors, family, and friends who have come for a late-night pantry and fireplace demo, help install recessed lighting, offered to help paint, and, most amazingly, serve us a meal or watch the kids.

We're hoping to be back home for Thanksgiving. We will definitely be throwing a party to celebrate!

These are shots of what we came home to. Thankfully, I had just thoroughly cleaned the previous day...which made meeting the insurance and clean-up crew much less embarrassing than it could have been!

There were many spots where the paint had stretched like fabric from the constant water flow.

Post demolition:

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Had a faaabulous weekend with some of my favorite girls. As a 30th birthday celebration, we met up at Charlotte's in San Diego. So fun. Could I like SD as much as OC? The company couldn't be beat. I have beautiful, talented, amazing friends.
Charlotte is this fashionista, soul-mate girl with this unquenchable entrepreneurial spirit, patience and positivity. She has walls up to those she may not trust, but there's an endearing vulnerability about her. When you’re in with her, it’s for life. It has been a blessing to grow with her by my side.
Maren is unjaded, unaffected, and focused. She has a strength and power she may not always wear on her sleeve, but she knows it because she uses it when push comes to shove. Her family is so lucky to know her passion for them. Her determination is unyielding!
Julyssa is driven. She's competitive, loyal, and determined. I love me an athletic girl, and that's Julyss. She's a mom I could see every day, and she saves me with her listening ear on the phone. One day when I first had Boston I called her crying because I felt I didn't even have a moment to eat. She immediately asked if I needed her to come down from AZ, and I knew she would.
Nikki. My Nikki. Besides being practically my sister, we have this understanding. She is smart, assured, teachable, and quietly persistent. She doesn’t go on and on about what she’s going to do, she just gets to it. She is so smart and hardworking. While we are different in many ways, I know that she appreciates me for who I am. Did I say humble? She can’t be more embarrassed that I point out to everyone that she’s my favorite doctor!
Judy is true and honest. She doesn’t know how smart she really is. She’s well-read, informed, and has always been spiritual. She is the real deal, and if you ask her about her challenges and triumphs, there will be no ego overshadowing her response. She puts it all out on the table, which is refreshing, because I have grown from her candor and intellect. She makes no apologies for who she is, and is incredibly tender and willing.

Some of the things we ate (because really, it always comes back to food, right?):
Phil's BBQ
Brady's BBQ
Char's famous sticky buns
Extraordinary Desserts
Richard Walker's Pancake House (notice the picture with Mr. Richard Walker himself!)
Delightful pasta in Little Italy

We also enjoyed kayaking, a hike with an ocean view, shopping, singing karaoke, playing games, and, of course, chatting 'til the wee hours of the night (which some nights meant 10, and others, 2:15! Judy: "Come on, Chels, you promised you'd play Scattergories with me!"

Can't wait for the big 3-1 celebration!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I took the kids to the duck pond the other day and there was a marathon going on. Cass saw a shirtless guy stretching and pointed, saying, "Naked!" But she didn't think that was enough. She walked right up to and said, "You're naked." He smiled and took out his ipod headphone. I apologized, but he said he was more concerned with how this little girl knew his name. Apparently his name is Nathan and he thought she was just identifying him. I told him his new name could be Naked Nathan.

I love this girl. I'm starting to write my personal history (Memoirs of a Chelsea, as Trav has entitled it), so I haven't written a ton on these kidlets, but I'll catch up...someday!.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Been excited to post a few pictures from my amazing mother's graduation in May. She is a tremendous example to me. I know, you've heard it all before.

In typical 'mom' fashion, she made the decision to go back to school and within a week was enrolled. She has worked full-time while earning her master's degree. It was so much fun to celebrate this milestone with her, and I know she will help so many as a therapist. Although she's a mover and a powerhouse, she has a gentle, beautiful way of communicating. There's no other way to put it than that she just gets it.

It was such a privilege to travel with my siblings. We really are great friends.

My mom had a number of friends come to the graduation ceremony. Pictured are Eleanor, Bettywoman, and Bev!

My other sisters, Nikki and Jen Cu Cu.

The best part of her graduation weekend that started in Pasadena and ended in Carpinteria was the fun family time we got to spend with my uncles, grandma, and siblings. This was the first time I had been able to really get to know my uncles and have quality time with them. It was non-stop laughing, banter, food, and beach. Pretty perfect.

Christy's too-cute daughter Olivia. She came to meet us at the beach and I was immediately in love with this sweet angel.

She even cuddled up for some food and snuggles with my uncle.

Busy Bee: MIA

I have tried to post, but this new internet (I'm not thrilled with it), has kicked me off in the photo downloading step of posting. It has been a fun and busy July, but yes, I'm still here. Just behind!

July in a nutshell:
4th of July festivities, including the annual 3-day softball tournament in Perry and family bbq (loved having Auntie El in from CA!)
Bridget has surgery (doing fabulous and feeling grateful for modern meds!)
Mom comes to town
Jenny comes to town (What a friend! She helped Bridge with kids and did what she does best...cook/bake!)
Travis goes to scout camp for 4 days
Camping in the Uintahs
Busily cleaned and repaired our little SL rental to get it ready for new tenants
Julyssa comes to town (5 days of fun late nights, partyin' with the kids, and a little girl time)
Trav's grandpa dies, so he heads to Malad, ID for funeral and family time while I'm in CA for girls' 30th birthday celebration at Char's in SD
Trav also started a new job (same overall employer, different entity/position)

Phew! It's been crazy fun.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just Shoot Me: Julyssa

Had to send a shout out and ginormous thank you to Julyssa for lending her magical talents at our photo shoot. She has a gift of making things beautiful. In fact, all of my friends have a special way of making life beautiful for me. Thanks a million, you. All of you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thanks, Eastah Bunny, Bok Bok!

Only some of you will get the Cadbury reference of the title. We had a fun Easter. It's always a time of reflection and new beginnings, and we enjoy all the festivities that accompany it.

Of course Travis planned the egg decorating, complete with multiple shades of blues, greens, and golds. He was also very intent on making some colorful masterpieces. This one didn't turn out quite as he planned...apparently the "C" faded away...

We always do a big Easter egg hunt with Trav's family. I think this year there were over 100 eggs.

Gramps of Joy

Silly Grandpa stopped in for a visit. I think Cassidy and Grandpa bonded. How could she resist his unfailing efforts to make her smile.

She's as loving as she is feisty.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Justin Face

Although I need to post about Mother's Day, fabulous Julyssa and her visit, and a couple other random nuggets, all I'm going to say at this lovely midnight hour is that Justin Timberlake is my new favorite person in Hollywood. Sure, he's easy on the eyes, but he is so funny. We'd be good friends, I'm sure of it. Call me, Justin. I'll be in your 'hood this weekend for my mom's graduation. We could meet up at Cheesecake Factory. Or In-N-Out (I'll be there a few times over my visit). Or we could keep it casual and meet over delightful imports at Trader Joe's.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sprayin' Alive

I'm going for my first spray tan tonight. My friend owns a tanning salon, and since artificial toasting may not be the safest for this pastey princess, I figure I'll give it a go! I've always found oompa loompas somewhat intriguing. . .

And since swimsuits are a part of the inevitable future, here's another old pic.

You know how when you're a teenager the older ladies say things like, "Enjoy your figure because even though you may not love every part of it now, it only goes downhill!" or "Something happens to your metabolism once you hit 30."?

Those ladies may have been right. . .

I tried this swimsuit on the other day and I'll be honest, my thighs/love handles almost swallowed the sides of the bikini bottoms. Anyone interested in one of those pix?!

I love my friends. And these were some of the best days of my life!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Am Soccer. I Am Mom.

Who knew getting a minivan would be as controversial as government bailouts? Many seem to have opinions, so I tried to investigate this 'van stigma'.

What People Are Saying:
Not hip
Made for people overly-anxious to reproduce (fill all those seats!)
Soccer moms
Everyone's got 'em

Well, I soon realized. . .
It's the prettiest car I've owned (which I suppose doesn't say much!)
I'm not so hip myself
I'm not eager for more kids, but I practice (is that distasteful?!)
I play soccer and hope my kids will.
There must be a reason?

Anyhoo, I can't stop smiling as I open those automatic doors and change the radio with the touch of a button on my steering wheel. Ahhhh.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Remember how I had previously mentioned that I like getting dirty?

Came across these baby gems and realized that I have passed that morsel of goodness on to my kidlets. (you really need to click on the photo to enlarge it for maximum food particle exposure.)

I think it really was more about buying myself a few extra minutes sans-kidlet. There were moments when I had this little lady that I was wondering why women weren't born with kangaroo pouches. It'd save you the 80 bucks spent on a Baby Bjorn and allow for more hands-free mobility. Instead, I have a pouch that's useless, and as Judy says, doesn't even hold up your pants. My how evolved we've become.

On a separate note, Boston last night said, "What the freak?" I told him a big no on that expression. Then he said, "What about 'what the heck'?". Go Utah. And thanks, buddy Aidan.

Cassidy's recent vocab updates include: footsteps, shadow, crumbs, snagglenail (this is what I call hang nails), some random Spanish words, and . . .surprise surprise, "What the heck!"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Growing Like Weeds

Haven't seen some of these kids in a while. Consider yourselves invited.

*Note to my kids: these are just some of the friends I have preselected for your enjoyment.

Some are not posted, and some have yet to make their debut!