Monday, November 26, 2012

Caroline's Visit - Part One

We had a fantastic time with Caroline!
Several pics from our visit. 

Always stop for See's Candy!

California Adventure!


The elf was fantastic.  Jack and Laine both had autograph books.  So fun!


Doesn't Caroline look amazing?  Best I have seen her in years.

This is the bench Walt Disney used to sit on.
We watched a video on how Disneyland came to life so many decades ago.  Brought tears to my eyes.  I love this happy place.
Who is this kid?
Nope.  Jackie.  Such a big guy!

Stefan and Bella made their debut at the hotel.

Lots of breaks from the park.  Back at night for the parade and lights.
Look at my strong sister holding Lainey.


Fireworks from the sunset deck on the roof of our hotel were fantasic.  Warm and cozy in footie pjs.  No crowds and craziness.
 Back soon with more pics.
10 days until NYC!
The countdown has begun.  Still so much to do.  After today, I have one day off from work until we go.  Busy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012


Thanks for the tips on NYC. I'm grateful!
Operation Christmas Child wrapped up beautifully this year.

My little givers.
Warms my heart.

The cutest pilgrm in the class helped make applesauce for Thanksgiving.

And, then we all went out to see Carter win his game, catch 3 interceptions and score one touchdown.
He's good, peeps!

 Football is fun, but so are the funky food trucks that share the evening with us.

Happy faces.

Back to watch the game.
Love this big guy. 
Who turned 12 on Saturday.
Pictures from his party coming soon.

Other scoop:
*Caroline arrives tomorrow!
*I've lost 20 pounds since starting back to work.  Exhaustion, calorie counting, and running through the store on a daily basis made it happen.  On my way!
*Laine's knee sock love has influenced me to try them.  I love them, too.  Preppy dress, pearls and knee socks.  Fun.
*Giving Lainey pearls at our afternoon tea at the Plaza.  Got her the cutest dress to wear and a trench coat with tutu built in.
Watch out Carrie Bradshaw!
*Each time I say that, Blake cringes.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas 2012

I couldn't be more excited for this year's holiday season. We get to see Caroline next week for Thanksgiving. And, then a couple of weeks later, we will surprise the kids with a trip to NYC. Picking them up from school on a Friday.....driving to LAX.....and flying overnight to the mecca of all holiday fun......New York City. We'll stay 3 nights and then fly back late on Tuesday.
We have many things planned, but I want to cover everything.
Here are some initial stops:
Circle Line Tour (to get a broad picture of the island, see the Statue of Liberty, etc)
FAO Schwartz
Rockefeller Center
Central Park
Serendipity for hot chocolate
Ice Skating
Tea for Lainey and Mom at the Plaza
Empire State Building or Top of the Rock
Other ideas? 
This will be the majority of Christmas from us.  We're on a tight budget, but I know we can make it memorable.  And, I love that the kids have no idea.  They'll each get their own carry on suitcase (no fee to fly with those!) when we pick them up from school.  We are still debating as to when to tell them.
When we pick them up?
At the airport?
At the gate?
Would love some input!

I am beyond excited to have my sweet family in the city for 4 days of fun and exploring. 
It's what we do best!

Friday, November 09, 2012


Hello, friends!
We're in the midst of parent-teacher conferences, Thanksgiving prep, meal planning and planning Caroline's visit!
We can't wait to see her.
Especially Finn.

Carter turns 12 in a few days.
12!  I almost have a teenager.
We're celebrating over the next week or so with a gift last night (Iphone!), a birthday party at the house and a little bit of shopping.

Thankful Turkey time! 
It's more glorious than ever this year.

All 3 kids wrote on their own feathers this year.
Jack immediately launched into naming family members and purposely excluding Laine.
So sweet.

Lainey still included Jack.  Sweet girl.

Disco turkey!

Finn is at her wit's end.  And, Lainey's only getting warmed up.

Back soon with a sneak peak into our Christmas surprise for the kids.  Need some suggestions from you!

Sunday, November 04, 2012


It's official. This whole "working" thing is affecting my blogging.  Apologies.
We've been super busy.  I'm working 5 days a week at White House Black Market and 7 with Just Hatched, from home, en route to work and even on breaks at WHBM. 
My feet and legs are finally up to speed with retail.  It took 3 weeks.  Ouch.  I'm finally in tune, though, with most store operations and am enjoying it.
Election is on Tuesday!  Hoping our boy, Romney, fairs well.  I've seen a surprising number of signs here in liberal-ville.  Crazy.
Off to work and the kids are off to CCD.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween 2012

Let's start with the shoes.  Pa bought these on a trip out here once and we've teased him about it ever since.

Blake figured out a way to incorporate them into a costume and did it well.  He called me on the way home from work asking to pick up some "white" spray for his hair.

I was clueless.

Little did I know I would have walked home into the dude from "Up".


Off to a party with friends.  So thrilled to know so many peeps in California.

This family has the MOST AMAZING DECK EVER.

Watching the sunset was fantastic.

4 story "tree house" (don't call it a play house), with underground tunnels, lighting and a balcony?

Yes, please.

Lainey (brilliant) was all, "Mom, we could totally live here."

We could.

Anyhoo, we headed back to the casa to see our own usual neighbors and met a few we had been meaning to visit with.

In Jack's words:  "Mom, you can't go up to any houzez anymore.  You fwirt too much and den we never get to weave."

Actually, I'm just finally meeting some people we've been hoping to make contact with.
Awesome.  New friends make me happy.

One of my usual signs.  "Please take 3.  Otherwise, there will be consequences."

It worked!  

We arrived back home with a basket in tact.  Surely, it could be laced with rat poison.  Who knows.

A few glimpses of the rest of our night.  I love this crazy family.


Happy Halloween, peeps.

It was a good one.