Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31, 2010-The End Of The Year....

To be honest, I can't decide if I'm happy to see this year go or not. There have been some wonderful, amazing, life-changing moments that have taken place during 2010...moments I have waited for and looked forward to my whole life.

If I am being completely honest, there are also some portions of this year that have felt like "the perfect storm". As much as I have been sad, uncomfortable and downright discouraged during these times, I am grateful for the love and support of wonderful family members, friends and loved ones who have paddled along side me and even at times told me to "stop it"! You have helped me keep my chin up and I will forever be grateful. I am also grateful for the comfort and companionship of my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ; I have learned to rely on them more and when I didn't think I had any strength left, I have known that I was being supported by my Father In Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ. I've learned to look to them for help and guidance.
This has definitely been a year of learning - and in many ways, it's not over yet. But here's to 2010 - thanks for all the amazing ups and downs and to 2011 I say "welcome"!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Taylor....

Dear Taylor...
In our house you are a heroine - which I don't mind at all, because you seem to be a teenager with substance and a good head on her shoulders. Coming from a mom, that's saying a lot.
I also enjoy, and dare I even say 'admire', how you seem to be able to take your irritation out by writing hit songs about the offenders. I think I have some material for you - in fact, maybe enough for a new hit album.
Call me if you're interested....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8, 2010- A Few Of My Favorite Things....

*I love hearing "P" sing - it doesn't matter if she sings in a choir, duet or solo...she's got an amazing voice and I love hearing her sing. Her CAHS choir concert last week was really good. *I have a soft spot for high school sports. We went to the VHS game against Mira Mesa for the CIF finals. It was fun, fun, fun and cold, cold, cold! Okay, cold by California standards. I wore a turtle-neck, jacket, scarf, gloves, hat and pea-coat. I may have overreacted to the cool evening a little bit. *The other day I was with "P" and "B"; they reminded me about a time several years ago when two of my sisters from Utah mysteriously showed up at my door one night. This has to be one of my all-time favorite memories. *For FHE the other day, we did a crazy video for "R"; I remember when we did the same thing for "S" when he was in the mission field. For some reason, these silly videos always put a smile on my face. Of course, if I mysteriously find it on you-tube someday, it won't seem quite so funny. *"P" got me hooked on "Gilmore Girls". I wish it was still on tv - Rory and Loralie bear a strong resemblance to "B", "P" and me. I don't know what that says about us.... *Notto imply that my life is all about tv similarities, myall-time favorite sitcom "Modern Family" always puts a smile on my face. Can't wait to see you tonight, Claire and Phil. Who needs real friends? haha.... *"P" got her driving permit. I remember what an exciting time that was...I'm excited for her. However, I definitely wish I bought stock in Tylenol PM. Being the parent of a teenager driver isn't easy. *"B" announced that she's going to follow in "R's" footsteps and is going to try out for the school basketball team. HOW FUN IS THAT!! I love it!! *14 days until "S" and "E" come and stay for Christmas...I can't wait. *17 days until we get to hear the voice of our beautiful Argentinian missionary...can't wait for that either.

Friday, November 12, 2010

You're 50! You Are 50!!

Yesterday I hit the big 5-0. I've been ready for this milestone for sometime, so it really didn't feel like the big deal that it is to some people. If I'm being completely honest, I'm not a big fan of all the birthday hoopla...I love other people's birthdays, but I'd just rather have mine be much more low-key. And this year it really ended up being a fun day. I'm going to give a little recap, but I'm going to start backwards at the end of the day...
Just as Mark was coming to bed, he said, "I hope it's been a good birthday." I assured him that it had been absolutely wonderful. Then he said, "You're 50. YOU ARE 50! YOU ARE 50 YEARS OLD!!" He then went on to remind me that he married me when I was only 22 and that we had been together more years than we had been apart. By the time he finished, I couldn't sleep - I am actually 50!
I thought the day was going to be perfect - the Lakers were even going to win their game against Denver in my honor. Okay, that might have been a stretch. However, somewhere in the 3rd quarter they lost control and the Nuggets stole my birthday win away from them. Bummer.
During the game I got a cute call from "S" and "E" wishing me a happy birthday. I adore them...and it was a fun diversion since by that time I could tell the Lakers were blowing my birthday win.
I'm going to publically acknowledge that I'm not a big fan of FB (if you don't know what that is, email me) HOWEVER, last night "P" wrote a birthday message on my wall that I'll probably love forever. You're a pretty amazing teenager if you don't mind telling the world via FB how much you love your mom.
I love my birthday for a variety of reasons - one being the date - 11/11. It just seems lucky...and next year it will be 11/11/11! I've got to have some type of amazing party or something for that. Another reason I love it is because here sunny CA, we actually honor our veterans and so that day is a holiday...unlike other states which shall remain nameless but rhyme with Btah. Since the girls had the day off of school, the four of us had lunch together and then to truly ring in my 50th I had dessert - which I almost never do and afterwards wished I didn't. We did a little birthday shopping together and had a great time being together. I remember a few years ago - the first year Sean was home from his mission and before Ryan had left for school; we all spent the day together and I can't even tell you how much I love those times.
First thing in the morning I got a couple of texts - one from "B" who had spent the night at a friends. She had set an alarm so that even though she was up late, she could wake up early and text me a happy birthday. How sweet is that. I also got a sweet text from "S" who wished me a happy day also. When I picked up the girls, they jumped into the car all chanting "Happy Birthday."
Now, how can you top that day? 50 is off to a pretty good start.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Day Of Giggles....

When I woke up this morning I was immediately sad because my #1 favorite sitcom wasn't going to be on tonight. I LOVE this show; it's the perfect thing to get me over hump day. The other day, "P" told one of my friends that Mark and I were just like Phil and Claire...hummmm. I've thought that myself a time or two.
As depressed as I was over the fact that I was going to actually have to come up with a Plan B for tonight, there were a couple of things that happened today that almost made me laugh right out loud.
I was in WalMart and this little boy was walking with his mother, who was obviously very preoccupied. He was rattling off some little story and she wasn't paying a bit of attention. Out of nowhere, this little kid says to his preoccupied mom, "Look what I can do." Preoccupied Mom says: "I don't have time to look. Can you just tell me about it." Little boy: "I am licking my armpit." Preoccupied mom looks stunned, stops and says, "Ewww...don't do that, it's gross." She may have thought it was gross, but I thought it was hilarious. I miss those little kid moments which brings me to my next laugh....
Last time "S" and "E" were visiting, "S" who always delights in getting a reaction out of me informs me what when he and "E" have kids he's thinking seriously about naming his first boy Odom. Yes, that's right - as in Lamar. Why not just put a "kick me" sign on little Odom's back. He also told me that he liked the girl's name Skye. I felt myself flinch when he said it, but I don't think I actually said anything. Good thing I have some time to practice my poker face.
Who would have thought that a day without Modern Family could still be funny....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Is In The Air...

You'd never know it by our glorious California weather, but fall is here! I love, love, love the fall!! It usually brings with it a certain crispness in the air along with my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving!! The thought of fall also brings to mind things like Halloween, football games, dances, fun times with friends, new opportunities...and even a birthday of the greatest guy I know (happy birthday, babes) - all of which we've experienced. Here is just a small sampling of all the fun.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I found these pictures from this summer of "P" and the "B's". They were just too cute not to post. I was thinking about the fact that inspite of the fact that they live in separate states these girls know and love each other fiercely. Put them all in a room together and you have love and laugher spilling out all over the place...not a bad thing at all.

A Thought Worth Remembering....

Here's my thought of the day; it's beautiful and can give each one of us hope.
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace Of God will not protect you."

Simple? Yes. True? Without a doubt.
As ups and downs come and go, this is one that's definitely worth remembering.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Ghosts Of Christmas Past

I'm well aware that it's not even close to Christmas yet; however, I was looking for some pictures and happened across these "Santa" pictures and figured why not humiliate myself and best yet humiliate my sisters in the process. Yep, me and three of my little sisters all posing with the jolly old guy.
My mom tells a story about being in the store doing some shopping and not even realizing that three of us had disappeared - until the Santa picture arrived in the mail! (Notice how pretty we all looked? I'm thinking it was the end of the day and poor, rattled Mom thought she'd dash into the store for something quickly, not realizing that her three unkept rugrats would immortalize the experience with a picture! Sorry Mom.)
I have to admit...I'm already excited for Christmas!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Final Summer Vacation Post....

Okay, so I have to write about the last leg of our vacation - a couple of days in Park City. I LOVE Park City; my parents bought a house there when I was a "tween" and we spent many happy weekends there. It's still one of my all-time favorite places to go - it's definitely one of my happy places.
I always love it when we luck out and get there for the yearly Art's Festival. The family house has such an ideal location that we can walk downtown easily and not have to hassle with a car. This year we were in luck and the festival was in full swing. We loved walking up and down Main Street looking at all the artist's contributions.
It just so happens that a few years ago, "S" went there with a few of his friends; that trip was the product of one of my favorite pictures (which I've included here).
Park City always seems to bring a smile to my face.....

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Love Birds 4 Month Anniversary

Tomorrow, August 24 is the 4 month anniversary of our family love birds. I put "Forever" by Chris Brown on my playlist especially so that you can play it while you read this and think of these two love birds. For some reason this song reminds me of all the fun they've had in just a few short months and what a kick we get out of the two of them...and I still think that we should have danced to into the Open House to it. Now that would have been memorable! Happy anniversary, "S" and "E". You're off to a great start and we wish you love and happiness throughout the eternities. SURE love you!

Celebrating With My Favorite Guy...

I love you, honey. You're the most amazing guy I know. Thanks for 27 great years.

27 Years And Counting...

Well, at this exact moment in time Mark and I have been married for 27 years!
I woke Mark up with the traditional "Happy Anniversary, honey!" only to hear him reply, "I have the worst migraine in the world." I'm hoping that our 27 years of marital bliss didn't bring it on!
I remember our first few anniversaries and how they always involved dinner out together and a small token to remember the day by. I used to put a lot into the "token", but now somehow these things seem less important to me. Tonight we will celebrate this milestone along with our girlies and undoubtedly we will sit in the restaraunt and talk about all the funny, happy, crazy times that we've experienced a couple and as a family - and that is more wonderful to me than any gift bought in a store.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Fun - Weddings and Reunions

When we decided to spend part of our summer in Utah, we didn't dream that we would be fortunate enough to attend another temple wedding of the infamous "FAB FIVE". Idaho was just a short drive away, so "S", "E", Mark and I jumped in the car and were fortunate enough to attend the wedding of "A" and "S". It was beautiful. Several weeks before, "D" and "A" got married in the Oakland Temple and although we weren't able to attend that, "S" and "E" went and have a lovely time. Three "FAB FIVE" temple weddings this summer. That's something to celebrate about. And those boys have never looked happier....

The Hall Reunion was another contributor to our "summer of fun". It was held at the Heber City Girl's Camp. It was absolutely beautiful. The cabins were great, the activities were amazing, the weather was perfect (we even loved it when it was raining) and it was great fun to catch up with family members. This time around there are two missionaries serving in the field and missing from all the fun - "R" and "B" - and one more waiting in the wings to go (can't wait Miss "M"!!). We love and miss them, but we're so glad they are when they are.
A fun time was had by all and we have many more things to giggle over.

Summer Fun - Part III

One day that was tons of fun involved us crashing the Farmington Youth's Waterskiing trip to Pineview. It was such a beautiful day and while the girls had an amazing time in the water (and checking out adorable boys), Krista and I had an amazing time soaking up some sun. At least Krista helped - I did nothing. But they put up with me anyway. It was a great day. Good company, good fun= great life.

It is a rare luxury for me to hang out with my mom. She is the ultimate go-getter and game for almost anything - including helping at The British Car Show at a local park AND (most importantly) cutting down a "historical" (and dead) branch from her apricot tree. Man, she did NOT want to lose that branch. It's a branch that my sister's and I hung from and sat on all through our childhood. It's featured on a Christmas card. Sometime when I really feel like incriminating myself, maybe I'll post the picture. Anyway, now all that's left of the branch is this great picture of my mom clinging to it. Maybe she'd feel better if I put this on a t-shirt for her. Love you, Mom!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Driving Into The Fun...

Our summer fun continued as we drove to Utah and stayed with Jeff, Krista, the "M" twins and reluctantly returned "Cookie" to her home. Krista made the excellent suggestion that we take "P" (who we picked up from "S" and "E's" on the drive toward Farmington) go visit "M" who is working and going to school at Utah State in Logan; we jumped in the car and took a beautiful drive through Logan Canyon. Happily, "M" had the day off from work so she gave us a tour of campus and then we headed to a yummy diner on Main Street for lunch. By this time, "P" was already sold on the idea of going to school there and when "M" suggested that they could be roomies, that pretty much sealed the deal! It was the perfect girl's day!
Mark, Jeff and "S" had headed out on a fishing trip - I'm sure "S" will detail that in his own blog - and happily we talked "E" into coming up and spending the weekend with "the girls" in Farmington. It was a fun, relaxing weekend and when July 24th rolled around, we piled into the car and drove to what had to be one of the highest streets in the city to watch the fireworks. Looking over the city, I found myself wondering what the pioneers would think of all these amazing lights and this area populated by people who owe them such a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice and dedication. It was a sweet weekend...

Summer Fun...Where Do I Begin?

Our summer was so much fun, but a complete whirlwind! On July 2nd, "S" and "E" drove down with cousin "Cookie" for "P" and "B's" annual dance recital. We had so much fun with them! The girls did an amazing job in their recital and we're already looking forward to seeing their progress in next year's recital. I am especiall excited because both girls will be taking Hip Hop AND Ballet.
We were so happy that "S" and "E" were here for the 4th of July. A few years ago, after we moved into this house, we quit trying to fight the crowds at the park on the 4th and we found we had a KILLER view of the fireworks in the parking lot of one of our local stores. Ta da - a new tradition was born and now we go there every year, see the awesome fireworks and still beat the crowds home.
Several days later, our two Utah kids had to make their way home and they took an excited "P" with them and left "Cookie" to hang with "B" for some summer fun. "P" had the time of her life in Provo and it will no doubt be some of her favorite memories.
As for "Cookie" and "B", they had many beach days and a few excursions throughout San Diego - one to the newly renovated Mormon Battalion - it's beautiful and well worth the trip.
Is this the end of our summer fun? Not even close - in fact, the fun is just beginning. Stay tuned for more summer fun....Hall-a-mania style.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Missing Modern Family

Dear Claire and Phil,
I REALLY miss you. The only reason I'm anxious for summer to come to an end is so that I can see you again every week. You two remind me way too much of my own marriage - some episodes make me think you are spying on us. I think if I was lining up the perfect neighborhood you guys would be my next door neighbors (and Tim McGraw would live on the other side - you're welcome, Claire). Please come see me soon. Wednesdays became my favorite day of the week and it's just not the same without you and your hilarious family. Hurry back - can't wait to see you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blog Fever

I have a fever...I wish it was a simple as staying in bed for a few days and drinking plenty of liquids, but the truth is that my fever runs high day after day. I have "Blog Fever". I LOVE blogs. I especially love writing my own blog; I'd like to be a professional blogger - is there even such a thing or is that just me wishing for something that hasn't even been invented yet? One thing that makes me LOVE blogging is Memory Mixer (beware, I'm plugging a product-but it's too great not to). It is the coolest digital scrapbooking program around and I was introduced to it by a darling girl in my ward. Every week I wait patiently (that is a lie - I do not wait patiently) until I get their weekly newsletter and then I pounce to read the new "digi-know" section and learn some very cool new technique to make my scrapbook/blog look better. This has become more of an obsession than "Pringles" used to be...and that is saying a lot because at one point in my life I should have belonged to "Pringles Anoymous". Any who...I've spent the last week or so updating "R's" missionary scrapbook. I thought I'd just share a little of what I've done. It's not finished yet, but I'm sure having a great time working on it. And just for the record, this week I've not only had "Blog Fever", but I've also suffered from "Achy-Breaky Heart Syndrome". Scrapbooking for your missionary will do that to you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More Harbor Fun....

The proof is in the pictures!

What A Weekend!

This weekend had to go down in my book as a favorite! When I got home Friday morning from working out, whose car did I see in the driveway - "S" and "E"! I couldn't have been more fact, I think my exact words were "NO WAY" for at least the first five minutes. I knew they were coming, but I thought it would be early evening. I was so excited that I ALMOST forgive them for driving through the night! We had a great day together catching up and hanging out together. They also brought a little "bonus" with them - cousin "B"! Our "B" has been waiting for months for the two of them to get together and now the dream had come true.
Saturday found "P" and "B" spending the entire day getting ready for their dance recital "Born To Fly". Mark, "S", "E" and "B" hit the beach and by the time we met them for an early dinner they looked like lobsters - ouch! After dinner (which we ate in the parking lot because of parking space at the diner - but it added to the fun, so it only added to the experience), we went to the much anticipated dance recital. The girls did an amazing job and had a lot of fun doing it.
Sunday was July 4th so we celebrated by meeting a bunch of friends at our favorite spot for fireworks - the Albertson's parking lot! There was tons of fun, food and I think they may have even been a game of Phase Ten to keep Dad happy. It was really nice hanging out all together.
Monday we got a dose of reality when "S" and "E" headed back to Utah - they even took "P" for a fun little get-away of her own. We missed them before they even made it to the bottom of the driveway. Happily for us, the Bittons invited us to drown our sorrows (okay, that may be a tad dramatic) by riding jet-skis and going boating with them at the beach. It was cloudy outside, but man oh man did we have a blast. If you want a BIG laugh, ask "B" about a dunk that she and Sister Bitton took on the jet-ski. Heehee. We even attempted to find some dolphins, but the weather was getting pretty wild and we didn't want to make our own version of "The Perfect Storm" so we headed back to the harbor. It was such a fun day - thanks, Grace, VJ and Dylan for such a great time!
It was a weekend that we had been looking forward to for some time and it sure didn't disappoint us.
Oh and by the way - Happy Birthday, America!