Sunday, December 17, 2006

All I Want For Christmas Is....

Well, you get the gist of it. Jamie lost 2 teeth in one week & scored $10 from the toothfairy. I am just loving this new smile. So cute. Of course, those teeth couldn't have waited to fall out until AFTER the Christmas pictures right? Such is life.

Spent a lovely day in the Sierras yesterday. Absolutely beautiful. Kieran & Gavin have never seen snow & Jamie was just a baby the last time we went so they were all very excited. We were supposed to stay the whole weekend but the kids just were not cooperating at the place we stayed at so we spent just one night & had a nice long drive home. It was actually very nice because we were able to take our time driving home & stopped at a few places I've always wanted to but never had the time to. It was freezing up there but so pretty with all of the snow. 18 degrees when we woke up yesterday. I would so never survive living in a cold climate. I am such a wuss I'd be crying in a half hour from being cold. But visiting is just fine with me. It was nice because this gave us an idea of what we'll have to deal with when we go to Disneyland next Summer. My mistake was not bringing enough activities for the kids to amuse themselves with while we were in the room. But live & learn.

Did get one ok family picture. Jamie was NOT cooperating so he is hiding behind my head. And I didn't realize that I got some sun glare on my lens because I was in a hurry to get the pic before the kids took a swim in the ice cold lake. I wanted to take more pictures but the kids were freezing & dying to get in the car so I only got 2. Trust me, the second one was worse than this.

While my family was not cooperating, thankfully, the environment was. I plan on going up again sometime & getting more pictures. I hate being on a schedule or rushed when I am in the mood to take pics. It just ain't fun. I can easily shoot a hundred pictures by myself but throw some person who's in a hurry in the mix & I'm lucky to get 20 shots.

This is the pier that was by the condo. You could see the entire lake from the beach & it was breathtaking. Got to Donner Lake & Jamie & Kie actually stood still long enough for me to get 2 really cute pictures of them.

All in all, it was a nice weekend & I am really glad they were able to enjoy the snow. Hopefully our trip to Disneyland will go smoother.

And of course, Christmas is 8 days away. Where did this year go??? Maybe it's because I'm older or maybe it's because I have kids now but the years seem to be flying by now. Seems like just yesterday the boys were babies & now Gavin is yammering away non-stop. And in just a couple of months Jim & I will be celebrating 8 years together. It's a miracle the poor guy tolerated me for this long. What a lucky gal I am. Really. No REALLY. I am very lucky. Just look at those faces. Makes it all worth it. Have a great week & if you haven't done it yet, throw that family in front of a camera & take some pictures. Even if you get uncooperative kids, it'll be a worth the memories.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sad Day

Not sure if all of you have heard but if you live in the Bay Area this story has been all over the news. A couple from San Francisco and their 2 daughters, aged 4 and 7 months (I think) got lost on their way home from Oregon the day after Thanksgiving. Thankfully, rescuers found the wife and daughters 2 days ago but the other day they found the husband and unfortunately he did not survive. I feel so sorry for this family and cannot begin to imagine what they must be going through right now. So please take a moment and say a quick prayer for them to make it through this rough time. And take an even longer moment to hug your family and let them know how much you love them and how grateful you are to have them.

On the homefront, life is hectic as always but we're trucking right along. The twins are very active and kicking like crazy which is so exciting. The only problem I am having is daily migraines but so far I am managing. Even though the doctors say it's safe to take some meds I just worry about that slight chance of something going wrong. If I could make it through 4 pregnancies with no meds then I can make it through #5 the same way. It is so worth it in the long run.

We are prepping for our little weekend trip to Tahoe next weekend. The kids are so excited about going up to the snow and I am anxious to really try out the camera. If you are into the whole driving around & checking out the holiday lights, a must see is a house on Cortsen street in Pleasant Hill. This is right off of Gregory Lane & absolutely amazing. I haven't downloaded the pictures I took last night but I felt like a little kid when I drove up. Santa is there to take pictures with the kids. There's a $5 donation & you have to bring your own camera & all of the proceeds are donated to children's charities. Amazing & so wonderful that there are still people out there who do stuff like this.

So here are a couple of pictures I took on my venture into the city a couple of weeks ago. We dropped my sister off at SFO at 7:15AM & decided to take a quick drive through the wharf, the Presidio & Golden Gate Bridge.

If you've been to the LA are these are everywhere. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf blows Starbuck's out of the water. OMG thanks to F & J for hooking me up while I was down there but alas, there are only TWO in our area & both are in San Francisco. Yet there is a stinkin' Starbuck's every 20 feet. So needless to say when we were driving by Ghiradelli Square & I saw this place AND noticed that there were several parking spaces right in front, we whipped around & I had the yummiest drink I've had in months. Green tea & Japanese Cherry latte. Heaven in a little cardboard cup.

Next stop was the always beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. Kieran has been bugging to see this for a couple of months so he was very excited to see it in person. Rain or shine it is still an amazing sight.
Alrighty, I'm off to do some Christmas baking. Jim is sure to gain 10 pounds before the season is over. Have a wonderful weekend & stay warm! It's cold out there!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How could I forget?

The guys flew up last week for the 'big' sonogram. We were all very anxious to know what they're expecting & if the babies are still doing well. For those of you who haven't found out yet it's: A BOY & A GIRL!! We are all very excited & I have to say, she is gorgeous. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of the boy but here she is:

Of course, the next question is names but they haven't been chosen yet. Doc says they look fantastic & healthy & I feel great. This has been the smoothest pregnancy I've ever had so that's good.

Loving the new camera still. Today is picture day for the kids. If I can get them to cooperate! We are in the process of potty training Gavin which is just an absolute joy. God love him but the kid tells me just as he's going that he has to go potty. Needless to say I have about 20 pairs of pants & underwear for back up. I am praying for success by this weekend but that may be wishful thinking. But I can't wait until I don't have to look at another diaper! At least not until I have grandchildren!

Well, gotta get crackin' on some Thanksgiving preperations. Jim makes THE best turkey gravy in the whole world. Last year he decided to do something different & used CORNSTARCH instead of flour even though I told him not to. But I'm just a woman so what would I know about cooking right? Mind you, I wait all freakin' year for his gravy. So what happens? It turns into a big lumpy disgusting mess & guess what? NO FREAKIN' GRAVY! I didn't even want to eat. So this year I reminded him, you screw up the gravy, I'm making another turkey on Friday & you are making my fat pregnant butt some gravy!! I doubt that he'll screw it up this year. Poor guy.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you're traveling, drive safe, leave early & enjoy your trip. Happy holidays!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Birthday to Vinnie & Gino!

Can't believe it's been 14 years! Vinnie is actually about an inch taller than me and has had the shadow of a moustache for a year. We had a slumber party for him at his dad's and he had a lot of fun. Vinnie, Clayton, Ben & Suzanna played foosball while I took pictures with my lovely new camera. Yep, I finally got it. But not the D20 like I had planned. I was gagging on spending $1500 on a camera even though it did come with a lot of stuff. But I decided to get the Digital Rebel XT instead & I am very happy with it. So I am all set to start taking those professional shots! Kids are all geared up for having a camera in their face 24/7. Gavin is the only one that doesn't cooperate but since it's a lot faster than my small digital that kid can run all he wants, I can still get him.
So I have to admit, I am quite the baker. I cook pretty good but I kick ass at baking. So Vinnie asked me to make his cake. This kid will not eat a store bought cake but he'll eat mine. So it must be good. Saturday morning I pull out the old Kitchen Aid and whip out a beautiful devil's food cake. And I decided instead of taking a chance and driving with it in the cake dome in the car, I would put the cake together at Ben's. And here is the end result:

This is by far, the UGLIEST cake I have ever made. When I put the cake on the plate, I put the flat side on the bottom. Then I forgot to trip the dome off the top & tried to put the second layer on. Here is the result. We were cracking up. I joked that it was the California Earthquake cake, fault line included. And while it looked hideous it actually tasted really good. Poor kid, mom gives him an ugly cake for his birthday.

Friday night I had my second Designing Memories party at Miss Corinne's. And I have to say my album came out darn cute. And everyone liked it or at least said they did. I am so loving this & I realize now I have to put myself out there more & start marketing this venture of mine. I had a lot of fun & Nancie was a sweetheart & came & helped me after a long day at work. I was so glad to have her there because she knew all these little tricks that I didn't so I got to learn some stuff too. That smartie girl! If you want to check out the album, I created a blog for the business and it's DesigningMemories.Blogspot.COM. And please feel free to give me some input! I'd appreciate it.

Last but not least, it is Thanksgiving vacation. The kiddies are all home to drive me crazy. Luckily I am only solo for 3 days because Jim is off on Thursday & Friday. So I am trying to plan some activities so they don't get stir crazy. It's foggy & freezing outside but being boys, they want out! They are going to have to settle for going for a ride because the last thing we need is 4 sick kids on Thanksgiving. And I am so excited because my sister is flying in on Wednesday night for the rest of the week. We haven't seen her since July & I can't wait. Just wish my brother could have made it too but hopefully he will be home in January. We are praying. So everyone, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, eat lots of turkey & hug your families even if they drive you nuts. Happy holidays!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sleep...Need sleep

So Gavin has decided he really doesn't need to go to sleep at 8:30 with everyone else. Which is just a joy to me because I love watching him run around like he's had a pot of coffee at 10pm. Here's how it goes: we put the kids to bed and 5 minutes later Mr. Sunshine is up and in the living room. Yes, we've tried putting him back to bed but short of strapping him to the bed, it ain't happenin'. Then at 9:45: It's Showtime at the Apollo. Gavin will stand in front of the television and just dance, sing, make a total fool of himself while Jim & I are at our wits end. Usually he'll do that until he collapses on the couch, exhausted with lots of dollar bills in his waistband. Now Jamie is the complete opposite. We're lucky if that kid stays up past 7pm. Then wakes up at 6am. And last night I had a shoot so Jim was watching the kids. Disaster. Jamie fell asleep at 6 and do you think he woke him up?? Heck no. He was thinking, one less kid to chase and let him sleep. So guess who woke up at 5 freakin' 30am??? JAMIE. Singing, laughing, basically waking the whole house up. Never mind that it's still dark. This kid walks in my room and says, mom, mom. It's time to get up.' And I'm like, 'It's still DARK! Go back to sleep!' Too late. He's up and ready to go. Needless to say, by 1pm I'll be passed out on the couch. Ahhh the joys of parenthood.
And then there are the true joys of parenthood. Like this:

And even though Vinnie is too big to go trick or treating, he managed to put a mask on for our amusement:

Took the kids to SunValley for trick or treating and then went to Haagen Das for ice cream. YUM! Gavin stole my Bailey's shake and gave me his mini cup of chocolate ice cream. Isn't that sweet? All in all we had fun and the kids got some candy. And now we're gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If all goes well, my brother will be home in less than 2 weeks. We can't wait and pray all goes well and he gets the leave still.

The twins are doing great and moving more every day. I finally got a little pooch and if you look closely you can see the first signs of babies. Other than the kids keeping me up, this is the smoothest pregnancy I've had (knock on wood) and I am feeling great. We're doing the big ultrasound on the 16th and hopefully we'll find out what they are. Looking forward to seeing the guys again and very excited about the ultrasound.

Last but not least, did a shoot in Brentwood last night for a basketball league. And can I just say I rock? Yes, I am normally modest but I shot over 200 kids in less than 3 hours. And we are supposed to shoot each team in 10 minutes and I was timed at 8 minutes per team. I was very proud of myself and finally feeling very comfortable doing this. I am also learning a lot on the big fancy digital we use and it's not so intimidating anymore. When I first started using the digital at work I was petrified to touch any of the buttons fearing I would screw something up.

Alrighty, that's it for now. Hope everyone is staying warm & dry. Drive safely out there! It's wet!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tag Team 'Em

When you can't get them to do what you want. So Kieran has been insitent on not going Trick or Treating which is just freaky for a 5 year old. I've been bringing it up to him on a daily basis trying my best to talk him into it. Even my friend Corinne tried to talk him into it with no success. So yesterday morning we're all sitting there having breakfast and Jim and I are telling him how we're dressing up for Halloween. And he's all, really? What's daddy gonna be?' And Jim's looking at me like, ok now what the hell do I say? And I say, Daddy's gonna be a big pirate. And he looks at Jim and goes, 'OK, I'll be Woody' and goes back to eating. SUCCESS!! So all is well in the McIntyre house.
Saturday night I had a Body Shop party and the girls all came by for pedicures. Thanks to Eunice for being such an awesome rep and providing us a night of pampering. And a HUMONGOUS thanks to my wonderful husband who not only helped make all the hors d'ourves but didn't say a word when he walked into the living room and saw 5 women with their feet soaking in tubs. What a great guy. As for the Body Shop, I can't say enough about their products. Everything is awesome and smells soooo yummy. And having them come to your home now is great.
Got Kieran in front of the camera on Friday and he was actually cooperative. I am dying to get my new camera because Gavin won't sit still for nothing so my little nickel ninety-nine digital is out with him. But here's the end result of great window lighting, a white comforter and one adorable little 5 year old who is now going Trick or Treating. Gotta love that.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It's That Time of Year

I love Halloween and I am so excited that the kids decided to NOT dress up like Buzz & Woody for the first time in 2 years. The Disney store had all of the costumes for 50% off. Notice Kie? This kid decided he doesn't want to go trick or treating this year. What's up with that? He wants to stay home with Vinnie and hand out candy. I bought him the Pirates of the Caribbean telescope, eye patch, pirate ring set in hopes that he will change his mind. Crossing my fingers. He is walking around with the eye patch so there's hope for him yet!

Meanwhile, babies are doing great. I felt my first kicks 2 days ago and we're very excited. That was one thing I really missed about being pregnant. Just feeling that life inside of you growing and moving. It's amazing.

And it looks like my brother may be home for Thanksgiving. Nothing definite yet but he says it looks like he'll be home for 2 weeks. We'll know closer to the date since the Army is good about telling these guys at the absolute LAST minute. But we don't care, as long as he's home. I just can't wait for all of this to be over so they can all come home.

Last but not least, I am finally taking the plunge and getting this photography thing off the ground. Going to start building my portfolio over the next couple of months, set up a website and whatnot. I am so excited to get this going. And my new camera should be here sometime beginning November. Big thanks to Miss Corinne for helping me with my decision.

Alrighty people, get out there and get those costumes ready for all hallows eve!! Enjoy this wonderful Autumn weather!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

That's me at 39. The tired looking one on the right not the beautiful, fresh looking one on the left. It was actually the nicest birthday I've had in a really long time thanks to some great great friends and a wonderful family. Jim and I took the boys out to dinner at Chili's. Dinner out is an adventure because we never know how the kids are going to act. Trust me, if it wasn't for my insistence, we would never go out to dinner with the kids. Jim gets that deer in the headlights look everytime I suggest it. And since it was MY birthday, I decided to take advantage of that and say I wanted dinner out. In a RESTAURANT. Where I would get served. And surprisingly, the kids were great. With the exception of Gavin spitting water on the floor once, they were really good. It was nice to get out as a family and the kids had fun too.
Today was a different story. Awhile back a friend of ours gave the boys this cool dinosaur game. It's like Operation but it's a dinosaur's body. Cool right? It was until Gavin snuck it out of my room and decided to give himself a home perm by sticking the tweezers into a light socket. Oh sure, the sockets are covered but these kids are shifty, they know how to pull them off. So here I am working away and all of a sudden big hum and everything in my bedroom goes off. And then I hear Gavin crying and realize immediately what this kid did. Luckily he was ok just scared. In the meantime, I have no electricity in half of my house because he blew a circuit. Soooooo, I get to venture out to the garage, search for the circuit breaker and reset everything. This takes 40 minutes because my garage is like an obstacle course right now. Now I sit here, grateful that he's ok but rattled nonetheless. Another medical emergency diverted. The key here is NO GAMES THAT INVOLVE TWEEZERS AND ELECTRICITY. I never liked Operation as a kid. What kind of sadistic game is that anyway? You get SHOCKED if you screw up???? Nice.
This weekend we are going to venture out to the city. I've been wanting to take the kids to the zoo for awhile and also to the beach. I figure if we leave early enough we can do both. Good photo ops! Looking forward to a day in SF especially since it's been so long since we've been there. The kids will get a kick out of it too.
So that's my crazy week so far. Crossing my fingers we have no more mishaps with electricity or broken bones or blood. Have I told you lately how fun it is to have boys????

THis is them freakin' out because they couldn't go inside Nancie's with me. Ain't it great to be loved????

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Good food, good friends, great movie

These are two of the five amazing women I had the pleasure of having dinner with last night. Nancie, Corinne, Katherine, Laura, Daniela and I all went to dinner to celebrate September birthdays (Corinne, Daniela & I). We ate at Tahoe Joe's and it was super yummy. Nothing I love better than a good steak. And fantastic cheesecake. After dinner, Nancie, Corinne, Katherine and I went to see 'Little Miss Sunshine' which was an amazing movie. Definitely one of those feel good ones. Laughed like I haven't laughed in a long time and it was so much fun to share it with these ladies that bring so much joy to my life. If you haven't seen the movie, go see it. Definitely worth my money. Just ask Nance, she's seen it FOUR TIMES!!!
Happy to report the twins are doing very well. Had another sonogram on Friday and the doctor says all looks well. And I still feel great aside from being sleepy. Lately I've been going to bed at 8:30. I feel like a little kid but I am just so wiped out that as soon as the kids are in bed, I am too. That means lucky Jim can watch all the boring man shows he likes without me complaining. So we're both happy, he gets to watch television in peace and I get a little more sleep.
Now that we're in the swing of things with school life is getting back to normal. It seems like the first 3 weeks are a whirlwind of activities, PTA, open house, ugh. But looks like this week begins the calming, less activities and maybe I can be home for dinner a few times this week. And maybe even have time for doing more scrapbooking and completing projects like this:

And this

Loves that football.......

Monday, September 11, 2006

Never Forget

I can't believe it's been 5 years. It flew by. 5 years since I woke up with my 2 month old son next to me, turned on the television and realized something horrible happened. 5 years since my brother called me and said point blank, 'we're at war now'. It's mind numbing to believe how quickly things changed in these 5 years. Not just for me but for every American, every person, living in America. We were now targets. Our children, our families, our country. Anyone who knows me knows I am extremely patriotic. I've always been proud to call myself an American and proud of the opportunities this country provides for not only it's citizens but people who come from other countries and want to call America home. That day, I sat glued to the television, intermittently crying and waiting. Waiting to hear it was all a mistake. This couldn't have happened here. Not in the U.S. Who would have the nerve to do this? Like many other Americans, I had grown comfortable, thinking no one would have the gall to attack us, one of the strongest if not THE strongest nation in the world. Now, 5 years later, I realize we are not invulnerable. If someone wants to get to us, they will do their damnedest. So we have to be prepared for the worst and just pray it never happens again. We keep our children a little closer, tell our families we love them more often. My brother is in Iraq and will be for the next year. He's been in the Army for 18 years and the thought of ever losing him to a war never crossed my mind. Now the thought is there. Lurking there in the back of mind though I try to ignore it. I pray more often, I'm more cautious out in public. I avoid going to San Francisco especially on major holidays. What better time to strike than when there's people gathered to celebrate?
So on this, the 5 year anniversary of 9/11, I am still grateful and immensely proud to be an American. I pray that this war will be over soon and ALL of our service men and women will come home safe and sound. And that they will be honored as the heroes they are. That we will never forget why we are there. I pray that we will never forget what happened on that awful day 5 years ago. And that we will always remember that it is because our men and women volunteer to serve our country that we remain free and safe.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


For those of you who know the horror story with my HP digital camera, you know that I am none to pleased with their company. However, I did have a few remaining HP products including my lovely printer. So today when I finally go to start my circle journal, I go to print what I need and get this stupid error message. I go to the HP website, do everything it tells me to do and still get the message. So I break down and get a tech online and after doing the same thing the troubleshooting guide tells me to do, the tech tells me, well your printer is past warranty but we can offer you an upgrade at a discount. Yeah HP, you can bite my discount. I'm switching to Epson. So now I'm shopping for another stinkin' printer. Oh the joys of computers.
Had a wonderful weekend. It all started on Friday when we finally got the confirmation that it's twins! We are all thrilled and things have been good so far. Hopefully the entire pregnancy will go smoothly and I'll give birth to 2 healthy babies. And they are so lucky because their daddies are such awesome guys. It has been truly a joy getting to know them and see how excited they are about becoming parents.
Saturday I had a pretty easy shoot in Campbell. Then came home and spent some time with the family, ran some errands. And then the guys came by last night to meet the kids. They were typical boys, wrestling, showing off and basically being goofy.
Today we just relaxed and had a nice family day, hanging out and just being lazy. Tomorrow we might take a drive out to Donner Lake just to get away for the day. It's been a couple of years since we drove out there and the kids will love it.
Well, my Little House on the Prairie marathon is on so I'm going to kick back a little longer and enjoy that. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend. And if you get a chance, say a quick prayer for all of our brave men and women serving around the world. Let them all be safe and come home soon.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Summer is Almost Over

And I just can't believe it. Every year I start the Summer saying we're going to do this, we're going to go there and somehow it never pans out. Of course, the kids were totally content playing on the Slip n' Slide and in the pool but I really wanted to take them places this Summer. BUT I do have plans over the next few months. This weekend is Muir Heritage weekend so we are taking the kids to the John Muir House in Martinez. And if all goes well Jim and Vinnie will be going to Six Flags this weekend. No roller coasters for me so I'll stay home with the kiddies and do fun stuff in the backyard. Also planning an outing to the zoo sometime in September. The kids haven't been in a couple of years but now with them being older I think they'll appreciate it more. So we have a few things lined up. I think I'm more bugged about not doing much than the kids are. That's those old insecurities about being a good mom creeping up on me. But look at those faces up there. Aren't they the sweetest? And do you think they care that we didn't go to the zoo? They are honestly the best kids. I know, I'm prejudiced but they are so patient when I walk out that door every Saturday night to go crop. And they try so hard to sit still while mom takes the 1,089,492 picture of them.
ANYWAY, enough about my kids!! I actually did a really cool project this week. I made a planner for my sister and it came out great.

I'll be shipping it to her this week. I hope she likes it. Pregnancy is progressing pretty well. No morning sickness so far! We go for the sonogram next week to see if it's twins. Keeping my fingers crossed that it is but as long as they're healthy that'll be a blessing.
OK Kids have registration for school today. Can I just say how convenient it is that they scheduled Vinnie and Jamie's at the SAME freakin' time?? So I have to go to Vinnie's school, get him set up and then fly to Jamie's school to get him set up before they close. Oh joy! But thankfully their school schedules worked out perfect so it won't be too crazy. I can't believe Vinnie is going to be in 8th grade already. Next year, high school! Where does the time go??

Friday, August 11, 2006


I have been dragging my butt allllll week. But today I am determined to accomplish some stuff that I have to get done. SO this is my first task. Been bad about updating this thing but life has been a whirlwind of activity starting with my trip to LA.
The trip was FANTASTIC and made even better by the fact that I had my wonderful Nancie with me. She was an awesome field trip companion and we had so much fun driving, being the total tourists and just relaxing when we had the time. We stayed at the Bel Age in West Hollywood and get this, the hotel was PINK! How perfect is that? The room was beautiful and the roof had a swimming pool & jacuzzi with palm trees all around it and the most beautiful view of Los Angeles. We were lucky enough to have lunch up there on a chaise lounge in the sun and we felt like royalty.

Anytime I've gone to LA it was strictly to go to Disneyland and nothing else. This time, I actually went sight seeing. Well, if looking for scrapbook stores qualifies as sight seeing. Of course, along the way we got to see some sights of interest. We drove through Beverly Hills and guess what? They have homeless people sleeping on the park benches too. Guess even the rich aren't immune to poverty. So the first store we went to was Scrap Session. Interesting little store. And when I say little, I mean little. This was the tiniest scrapbook store I've ever been too but this girl maximized her space. That store was PACKED with stuff. 2 little rooms with tons of stuff, wall to wall embellishments, paper, stickers. She also had the Cricut which Nancie and I have decided we HAVE to have. Waiting for that 50% Michael's coupon for that though.
The next store was AMAZING. The best most awesome beautiful scrapbook store I've ever been to. It was called Sweetpeas and Snapshots-A Paperie.
Now this was no ordinary scrapbook store. They not only had scrapbook supplies but also vintage baby clothes, furniture and toys. It was truly amazing. They had a lot of unique stuff that we had never seen before including some of the new Chatterbox which was lovely. We actually had to tear ourselves away from the store and decided we need to make a trip specifially to spend more time there.
OK So my real reason for going to LA was for the transfer. Which was incredible. It never ceases to amaze me the advances in medicine we have made over the years. I was both anxious and excited at the prospect of what I was doing. These people were entrusting me to carry their children. What an amazing thing. OK I know I keep saying beautiful, amazing, incredible but I just can't get over everything that we did that weekend. F & J were amazing hosts. They were there for the transfer and we even got to see the embryos before they did the transfer. If all goes well, I'll be having twins in May of next year.
F & J were super sweet and I am really glad I had the opportunity to spend more time with them. They took us to dinner at a beautiful Italian restaurant in a shopping area called The Grove. We sat on the balcony and the weather was perfect. Down below they had a man made pond with a water show that shot water up in the air to the beat of the music. There was a live band that played in the center of the Grove and the food was divine.

Then they took us to Man's Chinese Theatre and we got to check out the handprints and signatures in the cement. Got to see some of the stars on the walk of fame, the El Capitan Theatre and then they took us for ice cream and this Disney store that had an ice cream parlor inside. So as we're walking inside I peek in and who's sitting there having ice cream? None other than Leonard Maltin. I know, who the heck is Leonard Maltin. So to refresh your memory:

That's the man. Does the movie reviews on Entertainment Tonight. It figures the one celebrity we see is someone who no one knows unless they see his picture. Couldn't have run into Patrick Dempsey or maybe even Matthew McConnaughey could we? But nonetheless, we saw a celebrity.
After our wonderful little sight seeing trip with the guys we went back to the hotel to 'sleep' but we were restless. So we went back to the roof and stuck our feet in the hot tub under the cool starless LA sky.

Got up bright & early the next morning and Nancie finally got to have that fancy French toast she was eyeing on the room service menu. Let me just say, everyone and everything there was beautiful. Even the stinkin' food. Not like here where they pretty much smack it on a plate and you eat it figuring it's gonna get mixed up in your stomach anyway. It was P R E T T Y food.

See what I mean? Even the lunch we had a California Adventure was pretty. All arranged nicely. SOOOO enough about the food (but you know that's what we love) after a lovely leisurely breakfast the guys picked us up and took us to California Adventure. It was an hour's drive so we got to chat a lot more and really learned a lot about them. They have traveled and experienced so much and it made me realize how much I HAVEN'T done. Yes, I'm a mom, that's my job and I love it. But that doesn't mean I can't travel with them. So that's my new goal. After this pregnancy I am going to make it my goal to take these kids more places, experience more things. Believe it or not, these kids have never been to the beach. That's me being paranoid. I have this fear of open water and the thought of losing one of my kids out there terrifies me. But why should they miss out on the sight of the beautiful open sea because their mom is a big chicken?

Anyway, California Adventure was great. Since F works for Disney they go there pretty frequently so they knew all the neat little facts and small details that we never would have noticed had they not been with us. I'm your typical amusement park hound: hit as many rides as you can before the park closes. But this time we walked around and took in everything. We went to some shows and we had so much fun listening to the stories of how certain things came to be and the work that went into different attractions. It was a wonderful day.

Alas, we had to leave but it was a wonderful weekend . So my 10 favorite things about this trip:

1. The opportunity to give someone something they want and the amazement that I can do that

2. Listening to Nancie sing Don McClean's 'American Pie' as we drove over the Grapevine

3. Spending time getting to know F & J. What great and interesting guys!

4. Having lunch by the pool with Nance and both of us marveling at how special we felt

5. Sweetpeas & Snapshots and getting to go with my best bud

6. Seeing the amazing sights of Los Angeles. Who knew there were places besides Disneyland to see????

7. The hotel. Amazing, beautiful and more than a small town girl like me expected.

8. California Adventure. Also, Disney's California Grand Hotel. If you haven't been inside, go. It's is beautiful.

9. Just relaxing and dipping our tootsies in the hot tub.

10. The Grove. I want to go again and walk around, take more pictures and shop, shop, shop!!

Oh, and one last thing (that makes it 11)

We got to meet Woody!!!! Whew! This was a long one but I think we're caught up!

Friday, July 21, 2006

One Year

Well today is the day. My brother is leaving for Iraq today. I am trying not to freak out but the thought of him going back there makes me so sick to my stomach. He is honestly the most courageous, selfless person I know and I am so blessed to be able to say he is my brother. So he flies out of paradise today (Hawaii) and back into hell. I am soooo ready for this war to be over. In the meantime, I will pray every single day that God will watch over him, keep him safe and bring him home to us as soon possible. So prayers from you guys will help and be greatly appreciated!
On the home front, Vinnie is in Santa Cruz with his dad for the week and will be home on Sunday. Which is entirely too long for me to be away from my boy. I love that he is spending more time with his dad because I think it is helping them rebuild their relationship. Plus he loves his dad so much. But I hate being away from him just like I hate being away from all my boys. I wonder if I'll still feel like this when they get older? Probably.
Went for coffee with Miss Nance last night. A couple of other people were supposed to come but it ended up being just us two and we had a nice time chatting. Wandered over to FatBurger and shared some chili cheese fries and onion rings. We've been spending a lot of time together and I just love her company. There's just a certain kismet about my relationship with Nance. Love that girl like crazy! And tomorrow night we're going cropping with the gals including Miss Mallory. Went to see her at MDW and she looked gorgeous. All young and glowing making me miss my glory days. Ah to be young again. But right now, life is good. I feel like I'm where I belong, taking care of my boys, being creative and just enjoying the simple things: time with my family, my friends and taking in some sun. It doesn't get better than that. Unless you throw Patrick Dempsey in the mix. And then it does get better. Considerably. Hey, a girl can dream can't she????

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Slippin' n Slidin'

Whoever created the Slip n' Slide is a freakin' genius. The kids love this thing and spend a couple hours a day running back and forth. This serves 3 purposes: they get some excercise, some sun and mom gets to relax and read. So nice for all of us. I love Summer and while this one has been hotter than most, the Slip n' Slide has made it more bearable. The kids play so well together and it gives me tons of photo ops. And lord knows I don't have enough pictures of these boys right? And check it out, even the big one gets in on the action:

Things are progressing nicely with my little venture. I'm looking forward to my trip to Los Angeles which should be either next Thursday or the week after. Nancie is going with me and we are anxiously anticipating our mini vacation. She gets to meet the guys and it makes such a huge difference having her support through all of this. Of course, having Jim's support means the most but it's not the same as having your best friend holding your hand (literally) through this process. I'm so excited!!
Made a nice little bundle selling my unused scrapbook stuff at the Stamper's flea market last weekend. $169!!! And Nance made $89!! Can you say, S H O P P I N G??? We're cropping there Saturday night and Nancie and I are going to be shopping fools. I can't wait! What more could a gal ask for? A little shoppin', a little croppin' and some time with my gals!
Last but not least, gotta give a big CONGRATS to my oldest pal Lisa. She had a sweet baby boy on July 7th. Blake was born with a full head of dark hair and I can't wait to go take a peek at him.
Hope everyone is having a great week and enjoying their Summer. And if you haven't already, go buy a darn Slip n' Slide! The kids will thank you!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Patience is a virtue

See this guy? That's my husband. My man. My buddy. Yeah, I piss and moan a lot about him and Lord knows I give this guy a hard time. But he's has to be the most patient guy I know. Especially when it comes to me. And I have been a pain lately. Between me running around constantly and my sister moving suddenly to Hawaii, I have been pretty grouchy. And that's putting it mildly. How he tolerates me is beyond me. Ahhhh, it must be love.
Life has been a bit hectic. As I mentioned before, my sister left for Hawaii. Today. Actually this morning. Loaded up the kiddies at 5am and took the quick drive to the airport. All was fine until I got out to help her unload her luggage and then I realized, my little sister is leaving. I don't know if she's coming back. I know if I went to Hawaii I probably wouldn't want to come back. And sure, we've had our misunderstandings. Even if she is 33 years old, she's my little sister. And I love her and I'll miss her. But I hope this is a great new beginning and opens up a whole new world for her.
OK So my goal this week is to R E L A X. Take a deep breath and not stress about things that are beyond my control. Nancie has been the most awesome, most understanding, most loving friend I have ever had in my entire life. I don't know what I'd do without her. And she has been the best nurse in the world giving me the most pain-free shots I've ever had. Crossing my fingers that the next round are just as pain-free. I'm off to kick up my feet, watch some cartoons with the kids and think happy thoughts!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006


This boy is five today. I can't believe it. He is an amazing jumble of emotions on a daily basis. Once minute happy, the next minute mad. Funny, crazy, daring. This is my heart attack. The one who climbs to the highest point and then jumps. The daredevil. But oh how I love that face. Wouldn't change that personality for anything in the world. I love that he is so confident and unafraid. So different from me at that age.
Summer is moving along a lot faster than I thought it would. Doesn't it always? Finally got the Slip n' Slide out this weekend and the kids had a blast. Thanks Nancie!!! Of course, they tried to get mom to do it but I wasn't trying to break any bones this weekend. Jim got a hefty dose of my world when we took the kids to the park. I love that he thinks it's so easy amd then I get to show him how it so ISN'T! 3 toddlers at a public park is excercise. It's constant running to make sure they don't fall off anything tall, don't hit or get hit by another kid, no don't put sand in your mouth! And stop taking toys from the other kids. Yeah, fun for them, exhausting for me. But with my trusty back-up, all was well. Kids got to play, Daddy got a reality check. I know Jim appreciates all I do but he really has no idea how MUCH I do on a daily basis. I love being home with the boys but it's a lot of work keeping this house running. And I'd like to end that with 'like the well oiled machine it is' but well oiled it ain't. It's like the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz, just getting that first taste of oil and starting to move around. But I do my best. As long as the kids are happy and provided for, it's all good.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

All Tuckered Out

So my dad bought Jamie these cowboy boots when he was about Gavin's age. Beautiful, shiny black cowboy boots. We had them hidden away and when Gavin found them, they were his. Doesn't matter what he's wearing, he wants those boots on. In his shorts, even in just his underwear, that kid is a true cowboy at heart. And the other thing that goes with this lovely ensemble is his mitten. Only one. Michael Jackson style. Which is frightening but he's too little to know Michael Jackson is scary. I have to literally wait until he's asleep to get this mitten
off of him. And yes we have back-ups. I have to say, boys are the funniest creatures. Sure, I was a tomboy but that's not the same as being an actual boy.
OK so I am fiending a creative night. I have been itching to crop but it's been crazy busy the last couple of weeks so I haven't gotten a darn thing done. So finally I'll get some creative time tomorrow night at Remember When with Corinne. I soooo need this.
On that note, if you haven't done something creative for YOU lately, take some time for yourself, pull out those artsy supplies and whip up something pretty. I don't know about you but that definitely relaxes me and being with my gals makes it even better. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What a Week!

It's been crazy around here and I haven't had time to post but here I am! Vinnie left on Saturday to go to DisneyWorld with Ben. Now I totally trust Ben but regardless, I am a nervous wreck whenever he takes Vinnie far away. And of course, he takes off and Sunday I'm flicking past CNN and what do I see? A freakin' tropical storm barrelling towards Orlando. Where my child is. 13 or not, he's still my child. Needless to say I've been on the phone with him several times a day to make sure he's ok. And I won't wrest until he's home safely. Which isn't for another 5 days. UGH! Isn't it fun being a parent? Actually, it's a blast. I don't mind the continual worrying, praying, holding my breath everytime they trip, slip or fall. It was funny because I was talking to someone I met the other day and he asked, what's your job? And I pointed to the boys. That's my job. To take care of them. To make sure they are fed, clothed, bathed (OK relatively clean and not smelly) and loved every single second of their lives. And I love love LOVE my job. It doesn't pay in money but in MOMENTS. The moments when I hear my sweet Jamie exclaiming, 'I'm getting bigger!' or when Kieran can sit there and tell me a story that completely cracks him up. Gavin starting to actually form words we understand. And Vinnie proudly giving me his baseball pictures and seeing the shadow of moustache on my growing son. It's the best and most rewarding job in the world.
OK so I found this on another blog but it's a cool challenge. Copy, paste & add your own answers. Love it!! Have a great day!!

I AM: a happy mom & wife
I WANT: good health and happiness for family and friends.
I HAVE: a very full, busy life with 4 boys (5 if you count Jim)that keep me running
I WISH: to find the perfect house in the perfect location for our little family to settle
I HATE: rude people, reality TV (Is it reality???)
I HEAR: my loud ass AlienWare Harddrive and Kie playing XBox
I WONDER: what my life will be like in a year
I REGRET: Not pursuing a career in law enforcement
I AM NOT: Tired for once!!
I DANCE: with the kids all the time
I SING: only to my kids.
I CRY: when I am alone & frustrated
I AM NOT ALWAYS: As strong as my friends think
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: Scrapbooks and food (my passions!)
I WRITE: Cheesy romance novels that will never get published
I CONFUSE: Jim a lot because I talk too fast
I NEED: to work out, relax, spend more quality time with the kids, not let little things bug me
I SHOULD: go to church more often
I START: new projects all the time and have a hard time finishing them.
I FINISH: my important projects

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Simply Adorable

This is my friend Corinne's daughter Grace & my sweet Jamie at his 6th birthday party. They've only met each other twice before but as soon as she arrived Jamie was stuck to her like glue. She is just the sweetest thing and has the tiniest little voice. She is 100% girl and I love it.
We had a great time and the best part was that my brother was actually here for a birthday party. Being in the Army and gone a lot he has missed almost every birthday so we were so excited to have him here. Seeing pictures just isn't the same as being here to celebrate. We had planned on going to the local kid's amusement park, Pixieland, for the party but 2 days before the news was saying it was going to rain. A few last minute adjustments and we ended up here at our house and the kids had a blast playing in the backyard. It turned out perfect.
9 days left before school is out and the kids are free for the summer. Jamie has summer school for a month starting the end of June but that's only for a few hours a day. But for the most part, we'll be relaxing and enjoying the sun. Vinnie leaves Saturday morning for Florida with Ben. He hasn't flown since 9/11 and I know he's scared even though he doesn't say so. Hopefully the excitement of spending a week at DisneyWorld will ease his mind. I, on the other had, will be missing him like crazy. It doesn't matter that he's 13 and that his dad and I are getting along great. I'm a mom, I worry. That's my job.
Going to get some cleaning done so my house is in order before I go to baseball tonight. Last game of the season already and Vinnie has the scrapes and bruises to show it. Thankfully there's still the major league season so I won't be totally deprived of baseball. GO YANKS!! Woohoo!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Look out Roger Clemens!

That's my boy. #1. The first of 5 and ain't he something? 13 years old and full of confidence and talent. His whole life is ahead of him. I can't believe how quickly he grew up. People always tell you how fast they grow up but you never really believe them until one day you wake up and that baby you held just a few years ago is now as tall as you and growing a moustache. Scary. He is an incredible kid though. Awesome big brother and I love that he has the confidence I didn't have as a kid.
So we are at the end of another school year. Very exciting. Vinnie will be going to 8th grade, Jamie to first and Kieran to kindergarten kicking and screaming. This kid does not want to go to school. I think it's a little separation anxiety combined with not knowing what to expect. But we have until the end of August to prepare him.
Gavin is just the talking fool now. He is becoming quite the character, doing little dances and stunts to make us laugh. The latest is copying Bruce Lee with judo chops. They truly are like little sponges.
Looking forward to a trip to Berkeley with the girls. We're going to hit Scrapbook Territory for their anniversary sale and go see Nicole at her new job. Fun stuff and I definitely need some girl time. And tonight a last minute photo shoot to get me back on track. It's been 3 weeks and that's just too long.
Enjoy your weekend and get out in that beautiful sunny weather!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Salute Our Servicemen & Women

This is my brother. Most of you know I adore him. Nicest guy you could meet and really, I'm not just saying this because he's my brother. He has been in the service of over 18 years and traveled all over the world. He has sacrificed a lot, mostly being away from his family for long periods of time. This is the first time he's been home in almost 2 years. Being in the service is not like having a regular job. You can't just quit when you don't like it. You're stuck. And you can't just go wherever you want, you are tied to your unit for anywhere from 2-4 or more years. Which means where your unit goes, you go. And if you have a family, you're leaving them behind everytime you're deployed. And now it's even scarier than ever. Because you're not getting deployed to do peacekeeping missions, now it's a war in an extremely hostile country where you're not wanted. And these people do this voluntarily. They voluntarily enlist to protect our country and it's citizens and even non-citizens. So that we can be free, we can live where we want, we have free speech and our children, regardless of race, religion or sex, get a FREE education. How fortunate are we? And how often do we take these things for granted? So today, take a moment and pray for our soldiers who are fighting in a far away country. Pray for them to be warm, safe and protected. And be grateful for all these blessings we enjoy in this great country because people like my brother protect us. God Bless America.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Welcome to Sunny California!

NOT! Where the heck did this rain come from? It is absolutely pouring right now when just a week ago it was sunny & warm. Let's hope this is the last of it.
Been super busy because my brother is finally home. YAY! We are all so happy to have him here & it's like he was never gone. He'll be here until the 29th & the time is flying by as usual. Never enough time but we are grateful for what we get. He is doing great & all prepared to go back to Iraq. He should be there for a year but he does get a 2 week leave mid-tour so we will be looking forward to that. I pray that he is safe there & comes home safe & sound.
Spent some time with the gals last night & realize how very much these great ladies mean to me. I can share anything with them & know I will get an honest answer or opinion. And right now their support means so much to me.
So here's the pic for the week.

Future hall of famer? All natural, no steroids like it hopefully will be in the future. Lookin' forward to seeing that MCINTYRE on the back of a jersey. That's my boy.

Monday, May 08, 2006

This is what it's all about

When I was younger I didn't want kids. Couldn't stand 'em. Sure, I liked other people's kids but never in a million years did I want them. Didn't want to change diapers, hear whining or God forbid, clean up puke. But when I was 23 I felt that tug. A lot of my friends started having babies and I realized they weren't so bad. Then a good friend of mine had a baby girl. I was there the day after she gave birth & when I held her in my arms, I knew. I wanted this. This tiny little thing to love & nurture & watch grow. And 2 years later I had twin boys. Amazing. Nothing in the world prepares you for how you're going to feel the first time you hold that little person in your arms & know at that moment, this is what life is all about. I can't imagine life without them. They bring me joy, drive me nuts, keep me running & make my life complete. And I feel so lucky everyday that I get to be home with them. Thank God for my husband being well employed & giving me the opportunity so raise these little men. I don't miss a moment, not a step or a first word. All the milestones I am lucky enough to witness.

I am also grateful for the wonderful ladies I am lucky enough to call my friends though I feel like they are more like sisters. Had a great time cropping at a new store in Tracy for National Scrapbook Day but it wasn't the same without Nancie. Could not believe how huge this place was. And they had a great selection of products. I would definitely make the trip out there again. If you get a chance or are in the area, check out Young Play Memories. Cool place.

So is that enough mush for the day? Good. 'Cuz that's all you're getting outta me this week. I've gone over my mush quota.

Advice for the week? Get out there & enjoy this weather! Take a walk, take the kids to the park. And do something for yourself? As stay at home moms & working ladies, we rarely take time out for ourselves so find the time to do it now. You deserve it!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006


If you get a chance & want to check out some amazing pictures, check out this photographer's site. Simply beautiful work.

Decisions, decisions

Everday life forces us to make multiple decisions, some big, most little. Should I let the kids eat popsicles in the living room while they watch cartoons? Can I not get up now & sleep in an extra 15 minutes or will I regret it? Some only take you a second to decide while others you have to mull over for days, even weeks. Jim & I have been going through this the last couple of weeks & trying to figure out how this decision will impact the rest of our life, our family & our marriage. No, we're not getting divorced. Bet you thought we were huh? Nope, we're stuck together. And that's just fine with us. I'll fill you in when the decision is made but it's a big one & I hope the people I care about are supportive enough to understand.
Now on a happy note, kids are wonderful. Jamie is doing great in school & improving leaps & bounds. Kieran seems to be more receptive to the idea of starting school especially when he found out he gets to play on the same playground Jamie does. Remember when all that mattered was that at some point during the day you got to go outside & play? We should be more like that. Forget about going to work, cooking, cleaning & all the other yucky stuff we have to do as adults. We should set aside some time during the day to just P L A Y. Whether it be relaxing with a good book or sitting outside & enjoying this (FINALLY) beautiful weather. My play today is going to be hitting my garage & getting ready for the sale this weekend. Lord knows we have a ton of stuff to get rid of. And at the end of my ever so long day hopefully I will be able to sleep as well as Gavin does.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Ever see something that just gets you going? I was doing my usual lurking in various blogs (I know, I have to stop) and found this link to an amazing photographer in Houston. Seriously made me want to grab my camera & start shooting all day. Absolutely amazing stuff. I really need to take more pictures.

Had a wonderful somewhat creative evening with the gals last night. Even Miss Nancie Fancy Pants made it! Stamper's is always fun and has so much stuff it's hard not to blow all your cash there. But I was good! I did buy a ScrapTrends Magazine & it was a little pricey ($5.95) but worth every penny for the fabulous layouts & ideas inside. Also had a great dinner at El Balazo, yummy nachos. All a gal could want on a Saturday night: good food, good fun & good friends.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Finally some pictures!

Boy Shoes

I love me some boy shoes. Comfy, well worn & who cares if they get dirty? Just throw those suckers in the wash & they're good as new!

I finally got some current prints of my brood & was able to download them from disc. Now maybe my blog won't look so BLAH!

Easter vacation & we are loving it. The weather has been beautiful so the guys cleaned up the backyard last weekend & the kids have been outside everyday. I love it & so do they. Baseball is finally back on track & we got a couple of practices in & games this Saturday. And I finally have a shoot that won't be cancelled! Woohoo! Getting the swing of things though I really need to learn more about spot meters, F-Stops (what the hell are those?), etc. Never realized how much I didn't know about photography. But this job is really getting me going & it sounds like we'll be doing some fun stuff in a couple of months. Greg says we'll be doing some action stuff soon & I can't wait to dig right in. FUN!

Here's the first picture of brotherly love. Jamie had Kie in a chokehold. Nice.