Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blessed


I am feeling very thankful for life...I am realizing that I have a pretty great life. It's not that I didn't already know that, it's that I am taking a moment to step back and reflect and be grateful for all that I have and know that I am a happy lady. I have everything...health, a loving family with the best brothers a girl could ask for, amazing kids, a fantastic husband who I love so very much and I am so very much in love with (who is supportive, present, attentive, and a great dad).
I love my house; I love my neighborhood. I have such amazing kids (I realize I already mentioned them, but they truly are fantastic). I have some super special amazing friends and great in-laws. I feel blessed and content. It really is a great place to be...is everything perfect? No, but, that's not realistic. And for now, I'm just going to be glad to be me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First grade begins


Today is Vander's first day as a first grader. He has decided that it is going to be really boring with lots of homework. I have NO idea where he got this idea, but I think he is going to love 1st grade. He was a bit hesitant this morning. I am going to make him a quiche for dinner (his request) and I made him a quesadilla with an egg on top as a special breakfast and now the rest is up to him. His teacher's name this year is Mrs. DeRome and she seems really great.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch Camping in Gilroy

  We spent the weekend in Gilroy camping with our good friends, the Rogerson family. Unfortunately, Justin, Vander and I were all a bit sick. Vander makes sure to share when he gets a cold, but we managed to have a pretty good time out in nature despite our nose blowing needs. We forgot a few things the first night (like the air mattress, that REALLY helped make sleeping more enjoyable night number 2). We went with a site close to home and we were able to get a super awesome shady spot. #53...it was big and shaded all day. It was right next to a Lake, though it didn't have much water due to the severe drought we are having in California right now. It was fun to walk around and throw rocks into.
The kids all enjoyed scootering around, playing with fire. Everyone agreed the high light was making s'mores and Justin absolutely loved that we got to play four strategy games. Justin slept in the car so he could be more upright and we went with simple foods that weren't too involved for cooking. The bathrooms were really close and clean and overall we really liked the camp sites. Justin said he preferred the yurts at Mt. Madonna, but the shade was really very nice. We always enjoy hanging out with Michael and Nicole and the boys get along really well with Cynthia and Maia. I think I will win Justin over with camping after all. ;)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lake Tahoe for a summer getaway


We had so much fun in the Winter at Lake Tahoe we decided to take a summer trip as well...We set up a cabin with the Lim family. The boys could not understand why there was no snow on the ground and why the Lake wasn't frozen like usual. We had some good times hanging out at the cabin relaxing. We played a few games and we spent a whole day at the Lake. We wanted to rent jet ski's, but they were $85 for 30 minutes! Nope...so, we paddle boated around. I liked the rocky beach, everyone else (except Justin) said they prefer sand.
  We had some good food and enjoyed the company of our friends in comfort. What could be better? Vander did not sleep well at all and he made Justin and I miserable, so that could have been better, but Tahoe in general was pretty fun.

Las Vegas for our 10 year anniversary


  This trip was very needed, and appreciated. Justin and I try really hard to keep our lives in balance. We work hard on being good parents with lots of quality time with our children. It can be difficult to balance this with being a good couple. We love each other very much and I am so in love with my husband. I know that I am super lucky to have that...many people don't. He is so good to me and so helpful around the house. He is a great dad and an even better partner. He makes me feel special, appreciated and loved. It is really nice some times to just step back and be us together. To get a chance to not worry about anyone else but each other is a luxury we don't often have, but we did for 3 1/2 days in Las Vegas and it was fantastic. It was refreshing and rejuvenating as a couple. We chose Las Vegas because it is close enough to not spend all our time flying and once you get there opportunities are endless. We chose to stay at the Vdara. It's a hotel with no smoking or gambling,  right next to the Bellagio, so a great location. When we got into the airport we took a shuttle to the hotel and we booked our activities first, then proceeded to enjoy our time in Vegas.

   The first day we walked around a bit and decided to see if we could get into Giada's restaurant (that is brand new on the strip for lunch). We couldn't get reservations, but by getting there 1/2 hour before they opened, we were seated and ordering before the restaurant was even scheduled to be open. It was super delicious. Everything was little, decently priced, and the best bite you ever had. Finger lickin' good. It was the best food we had all weekend. We had a cheese infused with black truffle with an apricot jam, a carbonara pizza with a fried egg on top. Bon Apetito! I even had bubbly water with the meal. Or, frizzante as they call it in Italy. The ambiance was delightful and the view was superb. It was an elegant and unforgettable meal. Justin wanted to get an ice cream at Serendipity afterwards (though next time I am staying for a cappuccino at least), so we walked over in the heat and enjoyed our quickly deflating ice cream supreme covered in melted whip cream under the misters right outside.
On our way back to the hotel we ventured into CVS to grab Vodka, pineapple juice and sun screen. We went back to our room and drank together. Suffice to say it was really fun...lots of silliness and giggling, a long bath for an enjoyable evening. Justin had so much fun he promised to drink with me again in 10 years. Even while intoxicated I couldn't get him to agree on 5 years. I wanted to walk to Penn and Teller at the Flamingo, but at that point a taxi made more sense. Justin ate a very dry french dip sandwich (I tried to eat some, but while Justin was pretty sober, I was not). Luckily, by the time the show started we were both doing well. (I may have rested a few minutes on my elbow before the show started- I poured the drinks and I had the same amount of alcohol as Justin, which was too much for me... it was about 4 shots of vodka with pineapple in a few hours).
   Anyway, the show was amazing! They were very good, and used the element of misdirection expertly. We both really enjoyed the show and left the theater thinking, "seriously, how did they do that, and that and that???" After the show I took a picture of Justin with Penn (who we watched recently on Celebrity cook-off, and he is both a good cook and a pretty cool guy). We got our exercise walking back to the Vdara.
   In the morning (not surprisingly, I wasn't able to sleep in any of the days, though we did get a few naps in), we went to Paris for brunch. I asked the ladies at the front desk specifically if they still had crepes and cheese blintzes. I told them that we hadn't been to Vegas in a while and that is why we came here. They said yes and we went in...there were no cheese blinzes, so after the meal we talked to the manager and he gave us vouchers to come back for a free meal. Which ended up being about a $70 value. Sweet deal.
We had a good brunch (I am never a big fan of all you can eat cause I feel obligated to get my money's worth, but then I over eat and the quality is never as good, it's just not my thing). Justin thoroughly enjoyed all the sea food. Justin grabbed 12 mini cookies for the road. That is what we basically ate the rest of the day...that night we went to see O. It was amazing. They have a giant pool that the people use to the fullest with a floor that can be opened and closed or moved up and down. You can't tell exactly what they are doing with it from the audience. It was phenomenal. We went to see the Bellagio fountain show three times afterwards.
  The next day, I woke up fighting a migraine, but with no medicine to take and couldn't find it anywhere. (We finally did and a tiny bottle was like $30), so we decided that we would just see how it went since we were having a relaxing couples massage and spa day. It was great. We went to Holsteins for burgers first. Several people recommended it and it lived up to the hype. They were super yummy! It started with chili popcorn, which was delish, and then Justy got a burger with crispy sweet potato shoe strings and fried avocado on it. How can you beat that? Then, we headed back to our hotel to relax. We started out just enjoying the sauna, hot tub, steam room area in the guys/girls areas (they were separate), then met up for our 1 hour couples massage in the same room. It was so relaxing and it was fun to be in the same room. I got to hear Justin ask the masseuse to be more gentle like three times. He cracks me up. Afterwards, they take you to a coed warm meditation room. I fell asleep holding Justin's hand. We were on separate beds, but near each other. Then, we headed back to take showers and enjoy the amenities while we cooled off. They had razors, lotions, hair products of all kinds, juices, a variety of trail mixes. We met back up at the room and decided to head over to Paris for an all you can eat dinner.
  The next morning we had to catch the shuttle pretty early (the down side of taking a shuttle instead of a taxi), so we had lots of time to hang out at the airport.
  In the mean time Theresa and Larry stayed with Vander and Oliven and they had a great time. They went to the Children's Discovery Museum, Gilroy Gardens, went to see Planes 2 in the theater, out to frozen yogurt, Van went to Vacation Bible School and they enjoyed the quality time  with their grandparents. I hope Larry and Theresa had as much fun as the boys did!