Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birthday Club Girls

Here's a picture of the famous Birthday Club Girls. We've been meeting every month (or every two months) for I believe over 13 years now. I started attending the dinners just after Sean was born. It started out as my mom's friends meeting for dinner every month and then the daughters started going and a tradition was born. Over the years we've seen each other go through ups & downs, engagements, marriages, babies, kids, family troubles and the passing of loved ones. These are the women I would call in a crisis and I know for a fact that they would swoop in, take charge, bring food and laughter and make everything all-right. We may not talk to each other every week, but we know that in a few weeks we'll be getting together for some laughs.

Last night we got together at Sisley's for some March cheer. Everyone wore some type of black clothing to mourn the passing of my "30's"!!

From the left: Jen P., Terri, Becky, Me, J-Lo, Bonnie P., Bonnie B., Phyllis
Front Row: Toni, Dobbin (not pictured - Krysty - we'll catch you next time)

Here's the scoop on each one:

Jen P. - She's expecting her FOURTH BOY in June! As expected, her life is crazy! We're afraid to ask if she's going to keep going until she get a girl. Can't wait to meet baby K in June.

Terri - The BEST sister in the world! She makes my day brighter just by hearing her voice.

Becky - Brand new mom to the cutest baby with the biggest cheeks (Sofia)! She's the "Queen" of her blog and for a sleep deprived woman she looks fabulous! I'm jealous that she looks this good after giving birth a couple of months ago.

J-Lo - Some of you might recognize her. She's Almost Famous. Yes, and she is that gorgeous in real life! Jen is also one of the craziest girls I know. Just when I think she can no longer shock me with her antics, she goes ahead & surpasses anything I've ever heard come out of her mouth. Last night this quote made me spit my drink out..."Stephan from Top Chef kinda makes my pee-pee tingle - in a good way"!

Bonnie P. - When you retire, you're life is supposed to slow down, right? Not according to Bonnie. She's the busiest person I know. She's also one of those people you meet and you feel like you've known them your entire life. She's fun, caring and has lived the most romantic love story that I've ever heard. It should be made into a Lifetime movie!

Bonnie B. - (a.k.a. Buckets - I don't even know why, but some people call her Buckets). She's J-lo & Becky's mom. Bonnie has traveled so much and has taken so many cruises, it's hard to keep track. She throws the best showers and cookie swaps and is a great hostess. Bonnie gave my mom a flowering tree when she had her heart surgery eight years ago. It's planted in my backyard and it's known as "the Grandma tree". Every year when it blooms, I think of my mom and Bonnie's family and I'm thankful that my mom made it through her surgery.

Phyllis - I've known Phyllis since I was 10 years old. She's old friends with my mom and I worked my very first job with Phyllis' mom, LaVerne. Phyllis is a hoot! She's always up for a card game, or a trip to Vegas. The best is playing Bingo with Phyllis. She can watch six bingo sheets, carry on a conversation, rip open pull tabs, and eat a sandwich all at the same time. She's amazing!

Toni - Toni is also a long time friend of my parents. She is one of the nicest people I know. She never seems to stress about anything and she has a peaceful, "zen-like" quality to her. She makes beautiful scrapbooks and can make gorgeous things out of junk (picture frames, furniture, etc.).

Dobbin - You can't help but fall in love with Dobbin. She is a positive, bubbly person that has an infectious laugh. She not afraid of anything and is always the life of the party! She doesn't sweat the small stuff and I wish that I could be more like her!

I'm honored to know each and every one of these ladies. We all have different personalities, but a common goal of trying to enjoy life while doing the best we can at holding it all together. Thanks, again girls for a fabulous dinner! See you next month.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

High School???!!!

I went to the High School Orientation meeting last night and I just sat there stunned and overwhelmed. I even got a little teary-eyed (for those of you who know me in real life - this is not surprising). Another mom asked me if I was okay and told me to "get a grip" (in a nice way) and then she started getting teary-eyed!

How can it be that this little red head will be starting 9th grade in the Fall? Where did the time go? Does he plan on attending UC or State? What is his career path? We were told, "two years of a language is required, but three years is recommended, which means you'd better put in for that third year." WHAT?? It seemed like yesterday he just learned to tie his shoes!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Chris that there was going to be a High School Orientation meeting that we needed to go to. His reply, "Why do we need to go? Who's going to be in High School?" At least I'm not the only one in denial.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Terri!!!!

Today is a special day!!! Not only is it St. Patrick's Day, but......

It's My Sister's Birthday!!!!

Terri is one of my most favorite people in the world! Even if we weren't sisters, I'd like to think that we'd still be friends. She's one of those people that NEVER lets you down and ALWAYS knows the right thing to say. Whenever I'm having a bad day (week or month) all I have to do is give Terri a call and she gets me laughing. I always feel better just hearing her voice. AND...nobody knows you the way your siblings do. That one person has known you for your entire life, experienced the same things growing up, and is privy to actions and humiliating moments that your parents, or spouses will never know about!!!

Just to tell you what a nice sister she is....when I graduated from high school, Terri paid my way to Hawaii. Air-fare and condo accommodations for two weeks!!! There were seven people on the trip so it wasn't like she needed me to keep her company. Think about it...I was 18, Terri was 21. What 21 year old girl will save for an entire year to take her bratty (& I was) sister to Hawaii??!!! Did I mention at the time that she had two jobs? Yep, styling hair Tuesday through Saturday and working at the local Hallmark store on Sunday & Mondays.

That's the kind of person she is!

At the time, I just thought, "Oh My God - Bitchin - Like Totally" ( it WAS the 80's), NOW....as an adult, I realize how much she had to save up for and give up to give me that opportunity. Come to think of it...I really owe her one. We had a fabulous trip and memories to last a lifetime! I'll have to dig out the old photos to share.
Terri is also my biggest cheerleader. Whatever new venture I try, she's always tells me that I'd be great at it. Even when I'm convinced that my boys will be in therapy one day, she always tell me that I'm the best mom ever.

Terri is certainly a giver and she has tons of friends. She has been with us through life's ups & downs. And through it all, she was there lending a hand, lending an ear, sending a Hallmark card, and making us laugh! Terri has never asked for anything in return and only thinks of doing for others. Terri is a true friend to all that know her, but I'm the lucky one that gets to call her my sister.

I love you, Terri & Happy Birthday!!! May all of your birthday wishes come true!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vegas, Baby!

Chris whisked me away to Las Vegas for the weekend! Okay, it's been planned for months, but we were so excited to get away without the boys for an adult weekend! Thanks, Grandma Toni & Grandpa Chuck for watching the boys! We had a fabulous time!
We stayed at the New York, New York Casino. This is a picture of it (through the car windshield as we drove down the strip. We were in bumper to bumper traffic for 30 minutes, but as soon as I wanted to take a photo of our hotel, traffic sped up and this is the shot I got.

This is our hotel room. For $30 more a night, you can upgrade to a deluxe suite. We decided to go for it. This hotel room was bigger than our 1 bedroom condo we lived in when we first got married. It took 28 steps from the bed to the bathroom (yes, I counted). And I only tripped on the seat at the end of the bed four times before I committed it to memory that it was there.

Did I mention that the suite had a bathtub jacuzzi? This was the view from our room. We've never had a view of the strip before (it doesn't take much to make me happy). Friday night we gambled a bit, ate a late dinner and had some fruity drinks. We even got carded!! I thought it was because I just had a facial last week and my skin was looking luminous. Chris said it was because we're such dorks and we still don't know how to order drinks from the bar without acting like we're doing something that we shouldn't be doing. Whatever!! The bartender did look at our I.D.'s laughed and said, "OOOPS, Sorry"! I was totally stoked, though.

On Saturday, I got a massage (thanks, Terri & Mike). It was FAB-U-LOUS!!! Probably one of the best massages that I've ever had. Chris played poker in the Poker Room at the MGM. We met up for lunch, saw a movie, did some shopping, and then stopped at the Bellagio so that I could check out their atrium.

The atrium at the Bellagio is spectacular. They change it for every season (or holiday). A few tulips were blooming, but by next week, the place will be a blast of color! Below is a picture of a tulip bed that was in full bloom and it's one of my favorites.

We had a fancy dinner on Saturday night. I should have taken pictures (especially of the dessert), but I didn't want to look like more of a dork than I already am. I shouldn't have really cared because Vegas is full of some crazies. It's great people watching, which is one of my favorite things to do. We gambled some more, drank some more, and went to bed entirely too late! Thanks, Chris for a terrific weekend! Let's not wait too long before we go away again!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


No! Not here in California, but in North Carolina. My sister-in-law emailed these pictures last week when they got 6 inches of snow!! They moved to North Carolina 4 years ago and all three of them (Charlie, Bambi & Paige) are California natives. Boy, were they surprised to wake up to this much snow in their front yard.

This is my niece, Paige. She's Chris' brothers' daughter. Isn't she gorgeous? She's 11 years old and I know that her parents want her to stay this way FOREVER! We don't get to see her very much, but her family does make the trek back to California twice a year (summer & Christmas). Every time I see her, it seems like she's grown 12 inches and she just gets prettier & prettier. She's the whole package..smart, athletic, funny & outgoing. Watch out, Charlie! You're going to have to scare a lot of boys away!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

AYSO State Semi-Finals

This past Saturday, we spent the day in Bakersfield for the AYSO League Team State Semi-Finals (yep, it's a mouthful). We were up at 4:00 am and hit the road by 5. Brian's team had to arrive at the field by 7:00 am to check-in and be ready to play for their 8:00 game. Did I mention that this was just the first of three games that they had to play this day? It was a great day weather wise. Not too hot and not too cold. In fact, it was a little overcast and we all got our faces sunburned.

If you're into soccer, you should check out the soccer fields in Bakersfield. I know, your thinking Bakersfield? But seriously, the complex has 25 soccer fields!!! It's HUGE! Games are played from 8 am until 4 pm non-stop. Somehow, it all works out smoothly with games, traffic, parking, food stands, and restrooms. I'm not really into soccer besides that I like watching my boys play. After the eight years that my boys have been playing, I still don't know all the rules (like "off-sides"), but I was impressed with the fields in Bakersfield and in awe of the family and community support that all of these children have.

The team was a little nervous starting out. This is the big-time in AYSO standards. Brian played hard and was always where he should be. He plays mid-fielder, which means he's trying to move the ball forward to the strikers to make a goal, but when the other team has the ball, he has to run back and support the defenders. In short, the kid is constantly running back & forth. He has asthma, so I'm always a little anxious when he plays. He did great, but the team lost all three games. Oh well, everyone had a great day absorbed in soccer!

This is what he looked liked after the third game when I said, "Brian, turn this way and smile!". I got the death look. You'd think that the kid had been running all day or something. I always think it's hysterical when parents yell, "Run faster! First to the ball! Get your head in the game!" 99% of the parents on the side-lines (me included) couldn't run for 5 minutes, let alone for an hour and 10 minutes! I understand this and I try to just yell things like "good job and "way to hustle", but I just wanted a cute picture of him smiling. Whatever!

But he always has a smile for Grandma! This was taken after the third game (and 3 losses). Grandma Toni congratulated him on playing his best and he gave her a smile. Congratulations Brian on a great season! Now we only have practice two days a week instead of four. Yippeee!!!