November 30, 2011

  • Shutterfly Party + Giveaway!

    Sometimes life’s messy and unscripted moments are the finest.

    Shutterfly Party 

    Do you remember the Shutterfly party I had last year?  I threw another party this year and it was soo fun!  I wanted to get the moms together to talk about and compare different photo products and companies.  I also wanted to try to get some cute holiday photos of the kiddos so I asked everyone to dress in holiday gear.  Here are a few of my favorites~

    This might be one of my favorite photos of the year.  The kids look so cute and it reminds me of a Gap holiday ad. 

     

    One of the things we looked at were photo calendars.  I love making these as gifts for family.  They’re so much simpler to make than photo books and they’re such wonderful & useful keepsakes. 

      

    Giveaway

    Everyone who came to the party got special gifts from Shutterfly and goodies from me!  I have more Shutterfly gift packets to give away here!  Each gift packet includes 1 photo calendar, 15 holiday cards and a $10 gift card to Plum District.  Leave a comment if you’re interested and I’ll randomly pick 4 in the next few days!  [Yay for Miriam, Sharon, Gina & Sooki!  I will message you soon!]

    Disneyland

    It all started with an advertisement we received in the mail.  There was a photo of a kid hugging Minnie Mouse.  After Evan saw it he asked us every single day…Evan hug Minnie Mouse?  Evan go Disneyland?


    We got an annual pass!  It was Andy’s birthday so it was nice to start the pass on a special day. 

    And this is what happens after a few hours at Disneyland…

     

    Thanksgiving 2011

    Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  We had such a wonderful time at my in-laws’ place~! 

     

    There are so many things to be thankful for.  Whenever I find myself complaining or grumpy I close my eyes and think of how blessed I am.  I’m so lucky to even have these things to complain about.  I don’t want to take any of it for granted.  It might be hard being up in the middle of the night to feed Joy but at least I’m not losing sleep worrying about having a roof over my head or finding food to eat.  I might complain about how hard it is to handle Evan’s tantrums but thank goodness he has the strength and conviction to struggle instead of being chronically ill or too weak to care.  Try it the next time you’re feeling grumpy…just think how lucky you are to even have the luxury to complain!

    iPhone Love

    1 – my silly girls

    2 – staring in awe at my Joy

    3 – 90% in weight at her 2 month appointment!

    4 – my happy baby

    5 – I want to stay in this moment forever

    6 – fabulous mini photographer thanks to Miny Eemo!

    7 – must never forget how tiny these fingers started out

    8 – these two carry on such fascinating conversations all in Chinese

    9 – people say Bella looks more like me than my kiddos do!

    heart

November 4, 2011

  • Hospital Photos & Halloween 2011

     

    Hello buddies~~ I can’t believe it’s already November!  I got the best CD in the mail~ Sky Blue Seed’s photos from when Joy was born! 

    Hospital Photos

    I remember with Evan’s birth that we hardly had any photos yet those few images from the first days are so precious to us.  I feel so blessed that Sako of Sky Blue Seed was there to document our first days as a family of four.  She is such a talented photographer and has a gift for capturing perfect moments.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from Joy’s birthday and from Evan & Joy’s first meeting.  You can see the rest on the Sky Blue Seed blog here and here.

    Here are a few things that helped make Evan & Joy’s first meeting a smooth & memorable one: 

    * A gift from Evan to Joy and vice versa.  I had the gift and his outfit all picked out and set aside.  Each day leading up to the birth I would tell him that he would wear that outfit and bring the gift to see us at the hospital.

    * I printed out photos of Evan to have in the hospital room and in Joy’s bassinet.  It made Evan happy to see that he was included in everything that was going on.

    * Our pediatrician said not to have Joy in the room when Evan first arrived.  It might be upsetting for him to walk in and see her already with us…as if we went off and made a new family without him!

    * I made a simple birthday card for Joy and had Evan color it in.

    A Gift to Myself

    It was just about a year ago that I returned to blogging after a long absence.  I’m so happy that I haven’t given up.  Blogging is a gift to myself.  Even when the laundry is piled high and there are almost 2,000 emails in my inbox I still like to step away and reflect.  Life moves so quickly and it’s easy to just get caught up in the daily to dos.  Blogging gives me a chance to appreciate, to reflect and to truly see the blessings in my life.  Also, if I didn’t post my favorite photos then all of my photos would just remain in a giant abyss on my hard drive!

    I just want to thank all of you for always being there to cheer me on and encourage me to continue blogging.  I received such a nice comment recently.  Thanks V for taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment!  If I ever get discouraged about blogging I’ll remember this… 

    Hi Jenny - I just want to say, “Hang in there!”  While we don’t actually know each other, I’ve been a silent lurker on and off for a few years (no, I’m not a stalker – just enjoy seeing your updates! :) ).  I just wanted to post because it seems you’re having a tough time, so maybe a few positive words would help a little.  You really have an inspirational and awesome blog.  I’m so impressed that you are able to maintain it despite all the changes going on in your life!  If I ever need a pick me up, I check your site and see if you have any posts.  Even when you’re stressed out, I love how you maintain a positive attitude (as hard as it can be).  It’s made me re-think some things and change my attitude when things are tough!  Bella, Evan, and Joy are all just adorable, and you and Andy seem like the perfect couple!  I also think it’s so great that you can look back and reflect on everything – it inspires me to start a blog as well!  Please keep up the posts (but not if you’re TOOOO sleep deprived – even mommies of two young kids need to sleep, though it seems you don’t need much given all that you have going on on the side ;) ), because I’m sure you’re making an impact on not just my life but those of others as well by setting a great example! :)  Take care!

    Halloween 2011 

    I love Halloween!  Last year Evan was Mickey & a pumpkin.  This year he was Tigger & a fireman.

    We were overzealous and ready to go trick or treating at 5pm.  It wasn’t dark so no one was out yet.  I told Evan we had to wait until it got dark.  We waited outside and he kept saying…Where did dark go?  Dark~ where are you?  LOL!

    Hope you all had a fabulous Halloween!  

October 26, 2011

  • Second Month + Sewing + Giveaways!


    Hi buddies!  I’m here for a quick update before having to get back to keeping track of 1 toddler, 1 newborn & 1 furbaby.  There’s a lot of pee, poop and sleep that I need to keep track of on a daily basis! 

    Monumental Meltdowns & Magical Moments

    There were a few weeks when I didn’t have any help and I really struggled.  I couldn’t help but wonder…Am I doing something wrong?  Is it supposed to be this hard?  I really appreciated how honest my friend was when she told me that the first year after having her second kid was the hardest year of her life.  It made me realize that I’m not alone.  I’m not the only one who thinks this transition is sooo tough.

     

    You hear lots of crying at our house these days – Evan throwing a tantrum, Joy crying because she’s hungry, Bella barking at a cat outside.  Evan’s meltdowns have been monumental.  Sometimes we’re just baffled and don’t know what to do. 

    As hard as it’s been to handle the tantrums, there are so many magical moments that just seem to make everything better in an instant. 

    A Sewing Dream Come True 

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew.  A lifelong dream has finally come true~ I can proudly say that I can sew!  Here are a few of my first sewing projects.

     

    I love fabric so even before I knew how to sew I started collecting fabric.  My collection was a mess until I ran into this awesome tutorial.

    iPhone/iTouch Case

    I really wanted this Leica iPhone case from Clickin Moms but never had a chance to get it.  I saw a giveaway online and gave it a shot.  I was totally surprised when they said I got one!  The best part is they said I could have one to give away too!

     [photo source]

    The case is super cute and looks like a vintage Leica camera!  It also has an anti-glare camera ring.  Since I take so many photos with my iPhone any upgrades to the camera are a big bonus.  I’ve had lots of cases before (good & bad) and this is my favorite so far!  It’s sturdy, cute and makes me smile whenever I see it.

     [photo source]

    So if you think this case is as fabulous as I do then just leave a comment by midnight PST on 10/30/11 and I’ll randomly pick someone!  [Congrats HSookiC!]  You can also buy your own on the Clickin Moms website.

    Target Missoni

    I’m not familiar with the real Missoni line but I love chevron patterns~ lol!  The whole Target Missoni craziness happened last month and I couldn’t get in on the great deals because it was right after I had Joy.  I heard that some stores were sold out within minutes of opening and the website kept crashing.  I was able to talk to a very nice customer service person who tracked down a handful of makeup bags for me!

    I felt so lucky that I nabbed these for myself and a few friends so I’d like to share one with you too!  Just leave a comment by midnight PST on 10/30/11 and I’ll randomly pick someone!  [Congrats Stacy Sung!]

    iPhone Love

    Funny how of all the photos I took of Evan & Eleni my favorite ones ended up being iPhone photos. 

    Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!  Can’t wait to see your costumes~~!  Here’s a peek at a little tiger…

October 3, 2011

  • First Month

    Hi buddies~!  Thank you for all your kind words about the newest addition to our family!  I meant to update sooner but having a toddler plus newborn means no time for anything else.  We made it through the first month though!   

    Tired!

    I know all about sleep deprivation~ having experienced all-nighters throughout my life.  However, the kind of tiredness that comes from having a newborn is just a whole new level of exhaustion.  Sleeping for only 1.5-2 hours at a time really takes a toll!  I think it’s harder this time around because I can’t just sleep all day~ I need to be up for Evan. 

    I realized though that I need to make an effort to capture these fleeting moments through photos and writing or else they’ll just be lost in a tired haze.  I love looking back at old photos/posts from years ago.  It’s so nice that I can see all the newborn updates I had for Evan all in one place.  Although I’m sure I won’t be able to update as much now…I’m going to try!

    Joy

    Joy went from 7lb 3oz at birth down to 6lb 9 oz a week later then up to 10 pounds at one month.  She’s so different from what I remember with Evan.  She’s more vocal and lets you know if she doesn’t like something~ lol!  She loves to snuggle and is always content sleeping on me.

    5 Year Anniversary! 

    We just celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary!  5 years ago we were running around preparing last minute details for our wedding and packing for our honeymoon in Italy & Bora Bora.  5 years later we were rushing to get all the baby things ready for Joy and packing for our hospital stay.  

    A lot may have changed but the one thing that always stays the same is our love & friendship.  I feel so blessed to have the most wonderful person in the world as my hubby! 

    I haven’t been able to wear my engagement ring for a long time now.  Andy surprised me with a ring~ a creative rendition of my engagement ring.

    I was cleaning and found something from our wedding.  I couldn’t believe it~ I had forgotten all about this little sign.  I don’t know what made us write it that way and capitalize Joy.  It was all meant to be!

    Favorite Dress

    You’ll never see me doing a fashion post~ lol!  I’m the least fashionable person ever but luckily I have awesome friends.  Gina, my super fashionista buddy, got me an H&M dress a long time ago.  I thought it was funny to see how much I love this dress~ I’ve taken it all around the world!

    Happy Birthday Teresa!

    I remember watching her from afar on the first day of law school.  She was really pretty and had long black hair.  I couldn’t hear what she was saying but something about her exuded confidence.  I’m pretty reserved so I just kept to myself but I could see her chatting it up with all sorts of people.  I remember thinking…I wish we could be friends. Lol!  Little did I know then that she would become one of my best friends.

    You see, Teresa is my person and I’m her person.  We always keep tabs on each other.  We know when the other one is about to leave on vacation and note in our minds when they’ll be back.  We know when the other person is sick with a cold or just has stomach issues.  We talk about deeply personal issues or about just how many exclamation points is too many in one e-mail.

     

    Teresa makes me want to be the person she believes I am.  I’m often humbled by her perception of me.  She sees the good in me that I have a hard time seeing.  It makes me happy though and gives me motivation to want to become that better person.  She’s just so wonderful I can’t even describe in words.

    When I was pregnant with Evan she did tons of research and made me an incredible basket filled with things I’d need during my pregnancy.  As busy as she is as an attorney she still reads my blog and makes it a point to comment about it.  It’s really mind boggling that as smart as Teresa is (UCLA Law even paid for her schooling so she’d go there!), she’s also so creative and can bake and take photos like a pro.

    I love how Teresa can be friends with and talk to anyone.  She even brings back presents from her vacation for her nail lady and used to bake cookies for her favorite retail store manager.  I always watch the timer on my phone as I listen to her voicemails because it’ll certainly pass the 1 minute mark and it cracks me up.  I love how “stopping by” means sitting around and talking for 1 or 2 or maybe even 3 hours.  I love how she loves Evan and Joy.  I love how we’re just like family now.  

    In my heart I’m always wishing and praying that great things will happen for Teresa.  She undoubtedly deserves it.  Teresa, if you’re reading this, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Thanks for being you.  

    iPhone Love

    These days my iPhone has become my #1 camera~ lol! 

    Until next time~ hope your days are filled with lots of love & laughter!  happy

September 12, 2011

  • Introducing…Joy!

    Hi everyone!  Joy is here!  She was born on August 30, 2011.

    It seems like it wasn’t even that long ago that Evan was born and now we have another little one! 

    Labor & Delivery 

    Everyone said labor would be really fast with the second one so I was surprised this labor was almost as long as it was the first time around!  Thank goodness for Andy and my buddies (via text/email/FB) who kept me company through a very long night and day. 

    Hospital Days

    Our first visitors to the hospital were Miny & Steve. I’ll never forget how Miny brought me sushi~ my first time eating it in a year!  I’ll never forget how Steve asked his friend for a photography lesson just so he could take good photos of Joy.  Most of all, I’ll never forget how much they loved and adored Joy from the first moment they met her.  

    The hospital stay was short but it was nice having time to ourselves getting to know our newest love.

    It might be too early to tell but it looks like Joy could be a girl version of Evan~ lol!

    We missed Evan so much but he was always close by~ we had photos of him everywhere!

    First Visits

    My sister-in-law gave us the biggest surprise ever.  Sandy happened to be on a business trip to California when Joy was born.  We were beyond thrilled that Sandy & Marvin were able to meet Joy.  I already know they’re going to be such awesome parents.  They’re so good with both Evan & Joy!  Evan loves them so so so much.

    I don’t know what we’d do without my mother-in-law and father-in-law.  They’ve been helping us so much!  

    My parents have been trying to fill in when they can!  Gina & Albert came to shower Evan with lots of love and meet Joy.  We’re so blessed to have such amazing family & friends!

    First Family Photo

    Thanks to the incredibly talented Sako~ we have our first family photo.  You have to check out her work~ Sky Blue Seed!  She’s so wonderful to work with and I can’t wait to share more photos with you soon. 

    iPhone Love

    Here’s a glimpse of the first few days of JOY.  Evan is so gentle and loving with Joy but the transition has been tough on him.  He’s acting up in other ways.  Maybe it’s just typical 2.5-year-old behavior though?  I don’t know!  It’s so heartbreaking and stressful.  Mamas of two…can you offer any advice?

    Hope you’ve all been doing great!  I miss being part of the Internet world but we’re in survival mode right now…trying to get bits of sleep here & there and figuring out how to be a family of four.  Hopefully I’ll be back soon with more updates! 

August 4, 2011

  • Hello Goodbye!

    Leaving

    It isn’t really saying goodbye…I told myself again and again.  It’s just saying hello to so much more in a brand new home.  It was still really hard saying goodbye though.  Not only did I leave our first home behind but also a city I had lived in for a decade. 

    I first arrived in West LA fresh out of college ready to start law school at UCLA.  I lived in a tiny run down studio on my own for the first time.  I felt like a country mouse in the big city even though most wouldn’t consider Westwood a big city.  I spent the next 3 years studying and falling in love.

    [Bella, Esq. and late night dates after work]

    After law school I spent 5 years working at law firms near by.  I spent so many late nights working away.  After Evan came those late nights were spent taking care of a newborn and not corporations. 

    When we first moved in I remember sitting on the ground and running my hands across the bamboo floors in awe.  This was the nicest place I had ever lived in.  I spent my entire twenties in this “big city” and I’m so thankful for all the memories.  So you can see why I might’ve been super sentimental and weepy about leaving this place.  I wanted to leave everything on a happy note but we’re having so many issues with the buyer.  We had to sell our place for almost a complete loss and they got such a great deal yet some people are never satisfied.  I just pray that all this stress will be over soon! 

    Packing

    Moving with a toddler and while 34/35 weeks pregnant is not advisable.  Yet we somehow managed~ thanks to my in-laws and parents!

     

    [Evan kept wanting everyone to sit in the boxes!  Bella~ inside~ picture!]  

    Hospital Goody Bags 

    I wanted to make hospital goody bags for two of my dearest pregnant buddies~ Jeanette & Sue.  They both just had their babies~ congrats!!!  It was such a blessing to go through our second pregnancies at the same time.  If we weren’t right in the middle of moving I could’ve made the bags so much nicer!  I just tried putting together some goodies that might not ordinarily have been on their hospital packing list. 

     

    List of goodies:  bunny basket, tissues (for happy tears), Altoids & gum (to keep breath fresh for visitors), socks (to keep feet warm), lip balm, antibacterial wipes (to clean up yucky germs), fiber bar (to keep regular), magazine, folder/pen/paper (to take notes and for important hospital docs), hair ties & pins (to keep hair in place), make-up remover wipes (in case you can’t wash your face easily), Luna bar & fruit snacks (yummy treats for after delivery), nursing pads, lotion (because hospital air is cold and dry) 

    Additional things I wanted to include but didn’t have time:  special photos of their older kiddos, travel shampoo/conditioner, flip flops/slippers, hand sanitizer, change for the vending machine, more yummy snacks/candy, cute hospital packing list

    I love these bunny baskets!  They’re perfect for our babies born in the year of the bunny.  Plus, I’m going to use mine as a mini diaper caddy or toy basket.  I actually have two extras to share~ one pink, one blue [both taken!].  If you love them too then let me know~! 

    Also, I gave my all-time favorite EOS lip balms to my buddies but also bought 6 extras to share.  [Originally 6 but can't say no to my darling buddies so I'll pick up some more for anyone who asked up until now.  Then I'm all lip-balmed out!]  They’re organic and help my forever chapped lips.  Let me know if you want to try one! 

    A Peek

    We’re officially moved in but everything is still a mess!  I only have a few more weeks before Joy gets here to finish unpacking/cleaning.  It’s so hard though because I’m in a lot of pain and even picking something up from the ground is hard!  At my 34 week appointment (last week) Joy was already estimated at 5 lb 3 oz and her head was measuring at 37 weeks~ lol!

    Hope you’ve all been doing great!  So sorry for the late responses to messages.  Things have been so hectic!  This was my one big break…now back to work! 

July 8, 2011

  • Moving!

    Hi hi!  We’re moving!!!  It’s been really stressful the last few months as we found our dream home but couldn’t sell our current place.  We’re still in the middle of everything now but we’re definitely set to move in a few weeks.  Although I’m so excited for the big move…there’s a part of me that’s sad to leave our first home. 


    Our First Home


    Instead of fancy fields or anywhere fabulous, I really wanted to just capture the magic of our day to day life at home.  Our first home together – where Andy & I returned to from our honeymoon, where Bella wandered into our hearts as a 1 pound puppy, where Evan came back from the hospital to bring us so much happiness and where we found out that Joy would be completing our family.  We’ve spent countless hours here laughing, crying and making memories. 

     

    I’m so thankful to the super talented Hazel for giving us the gift of forever memorializing this special place and time in our lives.  This place has been the backdrop of our lives for the past five years.

        

    This pregnancy hasn’t been easy so if I ever see any photos of myself I find myself cringing!  So I almost just gave up on the idea of having any photos taken of us.  I’m so glad we did because even amidst any imperfections I see in myself I see such beauty in our little family.  I see so much love and happiness. 

    I’m such a sentimental person.  These photos of us walking on the stairs brought tears to my eyes remembering how many times we’ve taken that walk together…up and down, up and down.   

    The rest of the photos are on Hazel’s blog!  More on the new house next time~~ but for now I’m just enjoying the days we have left here in our little home. 

       

    07.04.11

    We had a little BBQ with our family & friends for the Fourth of July!  We spent the whole day together just eating and relaxing.  While we were all busy laughing and taking photos in our pseudo photobooth…Bella went and stole a piece of meat!  

June 24, 2011

  • A Story of Joy

    Hello dear buddies~ hope all is well!  Wanted to stop by for a quick update.  There are so many things going on and I’m running out of time before our baby bunny gets here.  I just keep getting heavier and slower.  I leaned on a cabinet door and it broke off.  My mom told me to make sure I’m not having twins since my belly is so big~ lol!  Aside from lots of aches & pains I’m just hanging in there and trying to be diligent.  Hope to catch up with you soon!  *hug*

    A Story of Joy

    There are many pieces to this story of Joy.

    * The greatest compliment:  I went to this salon for over 6 years but had never actually had any conversations with this one stylist until that day.  She told me that she had been watching me over the years and could see that I was a really happy and content person.  She said that I inspire other people to also strive for that kind of joy in their lives.  That was one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received. 

    * A gift:  Last year for our four year anniversary (before I was pregnant) Andy got me a blog.  He surprised me by transferring all of my old Xanga posts and even setting up my own domain name.  [I know I’m still not there yet but one day soon!]  Here is an excerpt from the surprise message he wrote to me…

    I wish that we continue to find happiness and Joy in our lives.

    * A Christmas sign:  Last Christmas we brought out our tree but never ended up putting any decorations on it because we were busy planning Evan’s birthday party.  One day I was at a craft shop and found an ornament I loved.  I ended up hanging it up on the tree and it was actually the only one for the entire season.  This was all before even knowing I was pregnant!

    So yes, our baby bunny’s name will be Joy!  The best reactions I’ve gotten so far are~ Jenny, that’s so you!, that’s a perfect name! and that word reminds me of you!  Thanks buddies!!!

    Father’s Day

    iPhone Love

    heart

June 10, 2011

  • Gina & Albert’s Wedding!

    Hi buddies!  Hope you’ve been doing great!  I can’t believe I’m already in my third trimester.  I didn’t pass the initial glucose test so I just had to go in for the 3 hour test where they had to draw my blood 7 times.  Ouch!  Anyways~ remember Gina’s bridal shower?  Well, a very fabulous wedding happened just a few months later last October!

    Gina & Albert’s Wedding

    I’m pretty sure I loved her from the moment I met her back in junior high.  I’ve always admired her naturally perfect teeth, sparkling eyes and laugh that can always be heard from across the room.  Beyond the beauty there’s also a heart of pure gold.   

    [Here we are at some point in the early nineties.  LOL!] 

    Our friendship has stood the test of time, distance and everything else in between.  If you saw us together you might question whether we’re grown women or two silly kids.  Take a look at the video below which gives you a glimpse:

    [Video of us on my iMac~ makes me laugh every single time I see it.]

    I knew one day my best friend would marry the man of her dreams and I’d be right by her side wishing the best for her.  I started collecting things for her wedding even a decade before…little snippets of cuteness or inspiration.  I was so excited to give it to her when she got engaged. 

    The wedding was such an incredible event!  I wish I could’ve taken more photos to capture everything.  Gina did an amazing job pulling all of the details together.  I’ve never seen her look more beautiful.

    Gina’s mom is like an aunt to me.  I was truly proud and happy to see her shine as the mother-of-the-bride. 

    I was so touched that Gina asked Evan to be the ring bearer.  She even invited my parents & brother!

    A Few Crafts

    Gina asked me to make the cake topper…I was honored but so nervous!  I had never made one before and didn’t know where to start.  Luckily it turned out okay!  I don’t have the time/energy to make a wedding one for us but in the future I’d love to make birthday cake toppers for my baby bear & baby bunny.  

    Here are a few other things I made (nothing compared to the awesome details Gina did for the wedding though!)…

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  happy

May 26, 2011

  • May Days

    Helloooo!  While I should be relaxing in Vegas right now I’m sitting at home.  Last night we had everything set~ babysitting for Evan, babysitting for Bella, packed bags, a flight, car, hotel, etc.  We sat around at the airport debating whether we should wait around for the 3 hour flight delay.  We decided to just come back home.  There’s always next time!  At least I have a little time to relax before embarking on our weekend adventure to Palm Springs. 

    Oprah

    Yesterday was the final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.  I thought this would be a fitting moment to recap my blissful trip to see the show.  Back in September I got a call from Andy asking if I wanted to go to Chicago.  I just thought he had a meeting there.  Then he asked if I wanted to go see Oprah!!!  He had been writing to the show for the past year trying to get tickets knowing that it was the last season and that it was one of my lifelong dreams. 

    I was so surprised and overjoyed.  I was able to take one person so I picked my sister-in-law.  Andy sent us both off to Chicago for a whirlwind day.  The best part was that because he had written a special letter~ they gave us VIP 2nd row seats.  I felt like I won the lotto when we were sitting in the crowd of over 300 people and they suddenly called my name.

    The show was really strict about bringing anything into the studio – no phones, cameras, anything!  Although I don’t think I need photos to remember the thrill of being there~ being so close to Oprah and feeling the magic.  What a dream come true!

    [My Oprah debut was a close up of when they made a shocking announcement.  Too close~ lol!]

    It was coincidental that the episode featured the show Modern Family.  The next day I got to be an extra on the show! 

     

    Birthday 2011

    For someone who isn’t into making a big deal out of my own birthday I sure do get a ton of love from my family & friends!  In fact, Andy was laughing that there’s still yet another celebration coming up in a few weeks (way after my actual birthday).  How did I get so lucky?!  Thank you for all of you who made my birthday so special this year!

    I had a dinner with my mommy buddies, a joint celebration with my mil, a joint celebration with Gina and a dinner with my law school buddies!

    [A special thanks to Captain Kim~ on a stopover from his duties in Iraq as a JAG attorney!]

    Gratitude 

    I’ve been under a lot of stress lately…too complicated to detail here.  Although it’s hard to remember gratitude in unpleasant situations I think it really does help.  The other day I was backing my car out and hit a pole.  The first estimate we got was up to $3000.  I was bummed but realized I should be thankful~ instead of the pole I could’ve hit my neighbor’s brand new $150k car (which was parked on the other side)~ lol!  That’s just a small example but even for bigger things it helps me to try to feel gratitude.  There are so many other things in life to be thankful for.  This is what I repeat to myself when things are tough.  Try it sometime~ maybe it’ll give you a little hope too.  happy

    May Days

    Evan is at an age where he can drive us crazy one moment but then also have us laughing until our bellies hurt.  One minute he’s scratching up the floor with his blocks because he’s frustrated about something or laying on the ground in the garage refusing to move.  Then in just an instant he’ll be gently holding Bella’s face and giving her a kiss or using a spatula as a mic as he dances around the house.  There are many moments I don’t know whether to cry or laugh~ lol! 

    [Lazy days at the park with buddies.]

    [A llama, a giant bunny and strawberries at a farmers’ market.]

    [Helping Bella fall asleep with his blankie and stuffed buddies.]

    Hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend!  Don’t forget to take lots of photos & share!  happy