Friday, December 28, 2012

cousins at the zoo

we all went to the zoo today. what a fun time we had. miles and i with our three kids, ray with their two, and our friends kim and sammy with their five kids! we had a huge crowd. it was great. kim and sammy are so nice and we don't get to hang out with them very often. it was nice to catch up. they are super laid back and it made the trip extra fun.

after the zoo ray stayed for dinner with his kids. we had a delicous salmon dinner with couscous and carrots. a staple around here. it is nice to have miles home with us for a while.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

christmas at the beach

my very good friend rebecca has been renting this amazing place on the beach for the last year and i finally got to see it. my sisters and i all met at her place today. her house is right on the sand. she has an amazing view of the ocean from her kitchen and living room. i took the picture above from her balcony. it is so nice. i would love to live there.

we had a delicious lunch of salad, soup, and wine. when we were done eating we went for a walk in her neighborhood. she lives in seal beach and there is the cutest little street with seashell shops, coffeehouses, and other cute stores. i bought some sea shell ornaments, and a lavender olive oil lotion that smells amazing. i felt like i was on vacation. i can't wait for our next get together. it is so fun to hang out with the girls.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

merry christmas

this christmas was a blur. i am sick. i somehow got a terrible cold. i ended up missing church and miles' family christmas party on christmas eve. after five glorious hours of sleep i got up on christmas morning feeling much better.

the kids woke us up at nine am and were so excited. santa brought connor a tricycle, dahlia a baby changing table, and mason a tie fighter lego set. we opened up some more gifts and got to spend a little time playing together before it was time to go to christina's house.

christmas at christina's was very relaxed this year. she served italian food. we left for a bit to stop by our friend rebecca's house. it was nice to say hi to friends on christmas.

the kids had fun playing with their cousins all day and enjoying their new toys. miles spent most of the time building lego sets with mason and connor. i didn't take very many pictures. i didn't even get one of dahlia in her pretty christmas dress. ugh. despite my disappointment at being sick for christmas i had a nice holiday and am happy to finally be able to rest.

Monday, December 24, 2012

christmas eve

it's six am. christmas eve. what are you doing? miles and i are baking cookies and making candy. this is not the romantic storybook kind of baking that comes with christmas but more of a super tired i just want to be finished kind of baking. we again decided to give homemade gifts for christmas and this year it is just too much. we woke up at 2 am to finish baking and are still at it. ugh.

we are supposed to be delivering christmas gifts to all his family tonight. lets see if we can get it done. i swear next year we are buying gifts.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

christmas card

we finally got our christmas cards out today. the 22nd of course. luckily most of the people on our list live super close so they will get them before christmas. the others are most likely used to getting the cards late from us.

we were terrible this year and basically ripped off a design i saw online. so bad i know, but i did not have any time to design something myself. next year i swear i will just order cards from somewhere. it is just too much work to design, print, and cut them. i even think we would save money having someone else do them. printer ink is so expensive. am i complaining? bah humbug. i think i am just a little bit too tired and starting to get a cold this year.

at least the card is cute.

Monday, December 17, 2012

christmas card photos

this year i do not have a theme for the christmas card. am i losing my touch? i usually have a very clear idea of what i want to do but this year i am just drawing a blank. i did manage to buy them matching pajamas that were simply adorable but that was it. i told miles to just "take some cute pictures of them by the fire."

he took all these great pictures tonight. thank goodness. the kids are really good together. i think you can tell how much they like each other. i am so relieved. now i just need to come up with a design for the card. yikes! what day is it?

we picked a shot and just for fun here are the outtakes.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


i finally got around to decorating the christmas tree last night. yes, yes, i know we got the tree three days ago. man. i have just been too busy to get it done. so last night was the night. the kids helped to unwrap the ornaments and put a few on the tree but it wasn't near being done by bed time. after they fell asleep i stayed up late finishing decorating and cleaning up.

this morning they were all excited to see the tree done and couldn't help playing under it. they were so silly pretending to sleep under the tree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

gingerbread house

mason and dahlia decorated their gingerbread house today. i tried to not intervene and art direct them so they ended up with a very random design. i am pretty sure a lot of the supplies ended up getting eaten before they made it onto the house. it is cute though. it is all them.

connor missed out on the fun because he was taking a nap. i didn't really want to wake him up to feed him candy though. the kids have been so tired lately. me too! there is so much to do before christmas.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

picking a tree

i am still buzzing from the excitement last night and keep singing it's a holly jolly christmas. we went to our local home depot and picked out our christmas tree today. our schedule this year is crazy busy. we had an hour to go pick out our tree and get it home before i had to leave for a luncheon. we just made it.

mason picked the tree this year and i think he picked the best one. it is so perfect. we got it home and set it up. it still has to be decorated but it makes me so happy to see it in our living room.

christmas party

after the busy day with two dance recitals i was sure the kids would want to go straight home and relax but no. we had been invited to an annual christmas party that is a favorite of theirs and they did not want to miss it.

miles decided to stay home with connor because it was so late and the party is an hour drive from our house. i took mason and dahlia with me. with the long drive i was sure they would fall asleep on the way but they surprised me and stayed awake the whole time chatting with each other. once we got there i was glad i went. it really is a fun party. there is always lots of food and a band playing music.

the kids love to play in the pretend fifties style soda shop and saloon. there is lots of fake food that they find fascinating to look at. their cousins were there so they had a blast running around and laughing. i had a great time. of course they fell fast asleep on the way home.

christmas recital

dahlia was in her very first dance recital this weekend. oh my gosh. she was crazy cute. i was so proud of her. she did great. i was so nervous for her but she didn't get scared up on stage at all.

her dance studio puts on a christmas recital every year and i signed dahlia up. it is an extra class that you take for eight weeks on saturdays to learn the routine. she was in the youngest group of girls. she did a tap performance to a song called christmas in the ocean. all the little girls were just adorable and i was beaming to have her up there.

she did get sad before and after the performance while she had to wait in the back with the teacher. they called me back there to sit with her. she was crying because she missed me. i think at the next recital i will volunteer as a stage mom so i can be back there the whole time. they did two performances and it ended up being a long day for her. she was great on stage though. she did her routine and was just beautiful. most of my family came to see her. it was so fun to have everyone there.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


we are making big changes here at our house. yay! we have finally decided that the kids have outgrown their current bedroom and we need to move the boys into their own room. all three of them have been sharing the smallest room in the house. our plan is for dahlia to keep the small bedroom for herself. we are going to convert the bedroom next to it that we use as a tv room into the boys room. then we will move the tv into our living room that really doesn't get used much.

we are so excited about this idea. we ordered bunk beds for the boys room. they should be here soon so miles started painting this weekend. he painted dahlia's room pink. it looks so cute. dahlia was a great helper. now we will have to find her a bed. she is so excited to get her own room.

the next step will be to paint the boys room blue and move their dressers in there. we also have to get rid of a set of couches and miles is talking about buying a bigger tv. i am so excited about the change. we have been talking about how to give the boys their own room and i am so happy to see us finally making a decision.

i plan on posting pictures of the before and after when we finally get it done.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

the circus

the circus came to our town. what? how crazy is that. this is the first year ever that we had a circus come to our town. the kids and i were so excited. how fun! a circus! we passed by it every day while i picked up mason from school and dahlia would ask when we were going to the circus. of course we waited until the final weekend it was here to go see it. christina and zena went with us.

honestly it was not what i was expecting. they didn't have an elephant. they had llamas and camels and little dogs. i am not sure why i was expecting them to have an elephant but i was really bummed that they didn't. this was more of a low budget circus. that fact made it fascinating and at the same time kind of sad. i kept thinking about the circus family that ran the show and traveled from town to town. how weird. what a strange life they must have. anyway, the show was ok. it was super expensive for what it was. adults were $25.00 but the kids were free with a coupon. free that is until they wanted a $5.00 popcorn, balloon, cotton candy, and light up wand. the kids loved it. they thought it was the best thing ever. miles and i were kind of saying never again but i bet if it comes to town next year you will see us there. the dog act was very cute.

Friday, November 30, 2012

school pictures

my cutie pie took school pictures. her preschool takes lots of pictures and lets us choose which one(s) we want. of course we couldn't decide so we ended up with lots of them. ha. i bet that is exactly what they want you to do. we are such suckers. but really they are so cute and just in time for christmas.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

condor exhibit

the husbands were having their lan party this weekend so to escape the gaming madness jen and i took the kids to the zoo. it was a great day. their favorite part was the condor rescue zone. it is a kids interactive learning center dedicated to saving the condors. the kids can play with a backpack filled with explorer supplies such as flashlights, walkie talkies, and binoculars. they get learn about the california condors while role playing. there is also a play animal hospital where they can dress up as a vet and perform play operations on a condor to remove toxic things that it has eaten. they love it there. it is a super fun play space that we always enjoy.

connor was cracking me up wearing a backpack that was almost as large as he is. they all loved playing with the walkie talkies. so cute. it was a nice end to the holiday weekend.

Friday, November 23, 2012

happy thanksgiving

we hosted thanksgiving this year. it has been quite a while since we have had it at our house. i was worried i would forget something. with all the parties we have had the last couple of months i didn't have my usual time to prepare. i usually start a month ahead of time but this time i only had a week to get everything done.

everything was great. miles and i didn't cook as many of the dishes we usually do. we only had to cook the turkey, green beans, cranberry sauce, mushroom gravy, regular gravy, and put out shrimp cocktail for appetizers. we also made a spiced cranberry syrup for a champagne cocktail. everything else was delegated to my family. it was so nice to not have to make the stuffing and mashed potatoes. i got a 23 pound fresh turkey from whole foods and brined it starting wednesday morning. everyone said it was so moist and delicious. next year i think i need to get it in the oven sooner. we put it in at 11:30 and it was one of the last things done at 3:00. we ended up eating around 3:30.

for thanksgiving i like to make one long table for the adults and then set up the kids tables next to it. i like the look of the one big table. it looks so elegant. we had thirteen adults and six kids. for my center pieces i found these adorable and delicious crab apples that i arranged in a shallow bowls. i also did a traditional arrangement of while roses for the middle of the table. i used my brown linen runners and had little brown candle holders filled with battery powered tea lights. i love the new battery powered candles. i can safely have candles around the little kids. i even bought a large set that came with a remote control. it is so cool.

i loved having everyone over for thanksgiving. it is such a nice holiday. a whole day to focus on everything we are grateful for. there is so much. things have been really good for us lately and i am feeling super blessed.

dahlia is five

my sweet little girl turned five yesterday. i just can't believe how fast this time has gone by. my little baby is growing up. her birthday was on thanksgiving again this year just like when she was born. the whole family was over and she was excited to have everyone here on her special day.

she is so sweet. i adore her. she is very mature for her age. she still loves to be girly and i hope this does not change. she loves to dress up and wear fancy shoes. she asks to wear my makeup and i let her put on lip gloss. she is way too young for makeup. she keeps asking me when i will buy her some high heels. i tell her when she is much older.

she loves her gymnastic class and is always practicing cart wheels and hand stands at home. she also has become quite good at hula hooping. i should take lessons from her. she can do it for a long period of time.

she has been doing really well in preschool. she is really ready for kindergarten but i am glad that she had this time to just play at a school.

even though she is girly she loves to play outside. she will go outside by herself and dig in the dirt. she is always asking to plant things and insists on buying flowers when we shop at trader joes. i have a hard time saying no to this. i love flowers too.

she also loves to play with her baby dolls apple and orange and a little stuffed dog named plum. she is not the best eater in the world. she only likes white flat eggs (fried egg whites), white rice, strawberries, and raw mini carrots. picky picky. hopefully that will change soon.

i am so blessed to have such a beautiful little girl. happy birthday angel. i love you very much.

Monday, November 19, 2012

mermaid party

dahlia wanted an ariel party for her fifth birthday this year. i went with more of a mermaid under the sea theme. i had so much fun looking for ideas for this party. i love throwing a girl party because everything gets to be cute.

decorating for the party was so much fun. i wanted the dining room to look like we are under water so i bought some tulle and draped it from the edge of the ceiling to the center chandelier. the tulle was in two different shades of blue and was supposed to be similar to the god ray effect of sun shining through water. i thought it turned out so beautiful. it will be a shame to take it down in three days before thanksgiving. i also hung small iridescent glass bulbs from the chandelier to look like bubbles in the water. for center pieces i used sea shells and balloons tied to an ariel paper weight.

we served sandwiches from corner bakery. they were delicious. we had a nice selection of salads including potato, pasta, and green salad. we also had our usual veggies and dip and a cheese and grape plate. all the food looked so pretty and tasted so good.

for dessert my sister jen made this amazing cake that looked like a sand castle. the cake was covered with crushed graham crackers and chocolate sea shells. she even made the chocolate shells herself. it was quite stunning and we displayed it as a centerpiece throughout the party. we also had some beautiful cookies that my other sister susan made and some jello in clear cups with a gummy fish in the center.

we rented a bounce house for the kids and also had a fun craft where they could make jellyfish out of paper bowls and ribbon or decorate cardboard fish with glitter glue and paint. they were so cute. for favors dahlia and i decorated white bags with sea inspired stamps and filled them with golfish crackers, a wooden fish craft, stickers, bubbles, and some swedish fish.

dahlia had so much fun at her party. it was a great day. happy birthday to my little doll.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

treehouse update

i bet you thought we forgot about our treehouse project. nope. we are just slow. miles only works on it if he has some spare time on the weekends and things have been pretty busy around here. he did have this weekend free so he managed to finish the deck. he was bolting everything down. it looks great. now he just has to do the railing.

the kids couldn't wait so they climbed right up there with miles and had a picnic while he worked. they packed a little lunchbox with milks, granola bars, and candy. dahlia even brought her little baby doll up there. it will be so fun when they can really play up there.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

happy halloween

we had a fun halloween this year. dahlia was so cute saying "today is going to be the best day ever" when she woke up.

miles had to work late so i took the kids to orange county after mason got out of school. we did not go to the church fair this year. we didn't have time since it was a school day. we met christina and zena at my mom's house for trick or treating. mason dressed up as a clone trooper, dahlia was ariel, and connor wore his skeleton pajamas. he didn't want to wear his spiderman pajamas. zena dressed up as jack skellington.

connor was so funny trick or treating. he kept saying "i'm going in" before he would walk up to the front door. he was on a mission. they all loved the trick or treating. they got tons of candy. this was the first year that the kids got tired before christina and i did. they were asking us to go home. we ended up carrying dahlia and connor home. poor sleepy kids.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

connor is three

today is connor's real birthday. he is officially three! this crazy cute kid is just bursting with personality. he is so happy. always laughing and smiling. i love that he has become a little boy. i always find little rocks and lego's in his pockets when i go to do laundry. he loves to be barefoot. it is impossible to keep shoes on him for any length of time.

dahlia and connor spend a lot of time playing together. connor loves ninjago and he and dahlia will play the princess and the ninja where connor protects her from evil forces. they also love to cook together on their play stove. they steal vegetables from the refrigerator and make me salads. the salads are really quite good. they are filled with bell pepper, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes. i let them cut the veggies with a butter knife on their little cutting board.

connor is still not potty trained and he still has a bottle at night. i really need to work on these things. it is time for him to be a big boy. he is really smart. he knows all his letters already. he likes to pick out letter shapes from things he finds in nature. he will bring a tree branch to me and say "look a Y." it is really cute.

he also loves to spend time with mason. mostly they will play video games together on the ipad. mason will also help connor build with legos.

happy birthday connor. i love you so much.

Monday, October 29, 2012

monster party

i had a combo party for the boys again this year. i figure i might as well do it while i can. we had a monster theme. i thought this would be great for both a three and seven year old and take advantage of the fact that the party is so close to halloween.

i had tons of ideas for their monster party. i of course ran out of time and didn't get around to most of them but i still think the party was fun. we had a bounce house for the kids to jump in. there was also a small crafting station where the kids could make monster lollypops with foam stickers and googly eyes. they could also make a halloween eye mask and decorate it with stickers. miles set up the giant spin art box so the kids could make spin art paintings with glow in the dark paint and halloween colors. this is always a big hit with the kids.

for food we had a taco bar with chicken and carne asada and a variety of salsa's. we had chips and guacamole, a fruit salad, rice, beans, ceasar salad, quesadillas, and a seven layer dip. there was a large selection of food to choose from. for dessert jen made monster cookies and i made chocolate cupcakes that miles decorated to look like monsters. we also made jello in individual cups with our party colors of orange, green, and purple.

i glued googly eyes on all the plastic cups. this was a lot of fun and they looked so cute. it's funny how just a pair of eyes can make something look like a monster. i also made monster faces on all the goody bags and filled them with a wooden monster craft, mini reese's peanut butter cups with eyes glued on, some vampire fangs, monster rings, and some stickers.

it was a really fun party. the kids all had a blast running around. i had fun talking to all my friends. happy birthday my little monsters. i love you tons.