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2014 Year in Review

It’s been a few years since I’ve done a year-in-review. I was looking back at my blog posts and it seems that 2011 was the last one I did. So this year, I’ll bring it back.

2014 saw some good and bad. Some ups and downs. Some successes and frustrations.

The new year started with my middle child having two broken wrists.

Getting the second one.

Getting the second cast put on.

and a new car for the family!


My husband and son both celebrated birthdays – and my son became a teenager. How on earth did that happen?!

The big 1-3

The big 1-3

He also participated in a local Science Olympiad invitational, started playing basketball, and gave his first tour at the Gamble House as a junior docent.

In February, my second book was released!


It’s always exciting to find your own book on the local bookstore shelves.

On Valentine’s Day, my son gave a tour to my youngest daughter’s class. Here he is talking about the grounds.


In February I also started substitute teaching. My first day I had to go into town to get lunch, and they were filming something. They turned our little town square into Breezy Shore, NJ.IMG_2333

We also finally finished our backyard by tiling the bbq area!!IMG_2531

In March I finally got to see the Space Shuttle. Amazing.IMG_2676

And the boy competed in Math Field Day for his 7th grade team.IMG_2776

In April, we celebrated my father’s retirement.

My dad is adorable.

My dad is adorable.

and celebrated Easter


My 10-year-old made a from-scratch coconut cake and it was delicious!

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The brownies went camping in covered wagons.IMG_3812

In May, my darling girls performed in their 3rd musical.IMG_4162

and the 5th grader performed in her last dance show at school.IMG_7435

She also “graduated” from 5th grade.


In June, she turned 11.IMG_4430

We started swimming again.IMG_4599

We also headed out of town and went on vacation.IMG_4744

We saw snow in June!IMG_4760

We visited Seattle and saw my brothers and sister-in-law.IMG_4840


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We went sailing.

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After Seattle, we headed down to Ashland, Oregon.


The kids saw “Into the Woods” and “The Coconuts” and Wayne and I saw “The Tempest.” We met my parents there, which was fun – and they watched the kids while we had a date! 🙂IMG_5239

We also explored Lithia Park together, after a picnic.IMG_5290IMG_5303

In July, the youngest and I marched in the 4th of July parade with the local Brownie chapters.


We saw a few shows at the Hollywood Bowl – one of our favorite summer traditions.IMG_5965

And my best friend since 4th grade came to visit – and brought her oldest daughter. ❤IMG_5931 IMG_5927

In August, we did more swimming, and went to the beach (it’d been years).


We also went to Legoland.


The kids started school (it’s earlier every year, it seems) and started 8th, 6th, and 4th grades.IMG_9241

In September, the girls started silks and gymnastics. It’s a change of pace from tapdancing, and they’re loving the new classes.



We made our annual trek to Oak Glen for apple picking with friends.IMG_9355

We saw dinosaurs.


In October, I participated in an Author Fair at Art Night, which was fun. I only sold one book, but it was a good experience.


We went to JPL’s Open House, which they haven’t done in a few years. Here’s Sean posing with “Mohawk Guy” (aka Bobak Ferdowski).


The 4th grade performance.


And, all 3 of my kids participated in the local window painting contest. My middle child’s group won 2nd place in their age group.

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Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year. My kids went as a zombie baker, Marty McFly, and young Maleficent.


November brought a wonderful trip to Disneyland. It was our first time going for 2 days and staying in the hotel. Love seeing the Haunted Mansion decked out for the holidays!IMG_8829

My youngest had a birthday, and turned 9, two days after my birthday, where I turned a much bigger number than 9.


And Thanksgiving was fun – somehow my kids convinced the family to do improv together. Here’s my husband and my sister-in-law doing a scene together.IMG_9433

Finally, in December we met a brand new baby, Riley Sophia, born on 12-13-14.


The girls performed in another musical – this time with bigger parts! Here they are, each getting ready to go on stage.

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We also had a wonderful Christmas. Each of my kids made each other – and Mom and Dad – special gifts. Every year they blow me away with their thoughtfulness.IMG_7983

We saw my family, too. Here we are after brunch before one brother and his wife went back to Seattle. It’s almost everyone – missing brother Terry, who’d already gone home, and the husband, who’s taking the photo.IMG_8105

These are all mostly good things. Each year brings sadness and tragedy. This year was no exception. We said goodbye to my husband’s uncle, to a dear family friend, to a work friend of Wayne’s, and a friend from our world of preschool and community. Each loss was felt deeply, and always brings on reflection of how we live our own lives, how we hold our dear ones, and makes us remember others we have lost.

I hope for everyone that 2015 brings many wonderful things. I know there will be sadness, but I wish for nothing but love and peace and happiness for all those dear.

Happy New Year.

Confession Time

Posted on

It’s 10:30am and I’m eating a chocolate covered marshmallow egg.

I went to the mall yesterday to get Easter stuff for the kids. I wasn’t too crazy about what they had at Target, so I headed to the mall to go to See’s and see if I could score some cute little toys or something.

When I got to See’s, I realized I already had quite a bit of candy. I didn’t really NEED to go there. Except, well, see… there are these amazing chocolate covered marshmallow eggs that only come out at Easter time and I just had to buy one. Or two. When I got into line and realized that my shopping trip “for the kids” left me holding two eggs intended only for me, I figured I should probably get at least something for them.

So I got some chocolate bunnies. That makes it okay, right?

Well, I found out quickly that our mall doesn’t really have a “toy” store. I looked all over for bunnies, and finally found a darling pink bunny at babygap. Hopefully my youngest won’t get that it’s a “baby” toy. I suppose the EB should cut the tag off just to make sure. One gift down, 2 to go, and I see a big SALE sign at Loft. So, naturally, my body just found itself inside the store. I’m not quite sure how I got there, but I left with a cute dress, a belt to go with the dress, cute earrings, and a big fun ring. All 40% off.

Now, I’m not that big of a shopper normally. I’m currently wearing a long sleeved tee I’ve had for 4 years and jeans I’ve had for 3. I don’t have an overabundance of shoes in my closet, or even that many clothes, really. I still felt guilty, though, when I brought home that bag full of goodies. Yet, despite this, I still found myself walking into a makeup store. In my defense, I needed to replenish what I was running out of, but I suppose buying the few extra things simply to “get a good deal” wasn’t 100% necessary. (Who needs necessary, ayway? It’s totally overrated.)

So, I went to the mall to get Easter stuff for the kids and instead came home with chocolates, clothes, accessories, and makeup for myself.

So of course I’m going back out to shop today. Let’s hope my quest for KIDS’ stuff will be more successful today than yesterday.