Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
I took a stroll through Naples the other day and am always in awe of the beautiful city that Long Beach is and the gorgeous homes in this area. As I strolled by the homes, I wondered what these people did for a living to live here. I came across two older homeowners who were very friendly and one younger homeowner that wasn't. I wondered if it was a case of "old money" vs "new money". ;)
As I walked along the canal I saw boats going by, a gondola with a couple having a nice afternoon, paddle boarders, etc. Maybe Al and I will rent a canoe or something this summer and have that experience too!
I just snapped a couple of images that I found interesting/pretty. Enjoy!
And one of my new favorites of Little Miss. :)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I'm a few days late on this post... :/
Dear Riley Grace,
You are now 13 months! I can't believe it. Not much else has changed since the last month. You are still NOT walking! You are trying...but not quite ready to take your little steps in this big world. I know it will happen when YOU are ready. That's how everything happens around here. :)
You have a couple of new things you know how to do:
- give kisses
- blow kisses
- say "Elmo" Ha!!
- you put a couple of shapes in your shape sorter ball today (with Daddy's help)
- you recognize a lot of words and will do what we ask or look for what we ask you to find, but not a whole lot of "real" words coming from you yet. You definitely know how to say "Elmo" though. You LOVE Elmo! Daddy had me pick up an Elmo doll for you when I was out and I think it was a neat coincidence that the only one I came across was one that blew kisses...and you had just started doing that a few days earlier.
You definitely have your moments where you show us your "attitude" but you've become a lot more affectionate in the last month. These past few days you'd lean over and give me kisses without me saying "give mommy kisses?" and I LOVE that.
Here are a few images of some of our times this past month:
We have a Disneyland annual pass so we've been going about once a week. I LOVE this time with you and you seem to enjoy it more and more each time we go. This was the second time we went and you had no idea what to think of this blonde lady. You LOVE Minnie though!
I was kinda hoping you wouldn't get curly hair because I have a love/hate relationship with mine...but seeing how your hair curls up in certain spots, I now love that you have some curls and I hope that you get more. :)
I love our time at the park in the swings. I tried to take you this last week but it was all swampy underneath from the rain. I felt bad disappointing you since I kept telling you we were going to the park and going to go on the swings, but luckily you're still young enough to not get upset about disappointments like that. :)
Having fun in Daddy's BIG hat from Mexico. We actually got this hat on our honeymoon.
Daddy found the exact wagon we were looking to buy you on Craigs List and got an awesome deal on it. You seem to like it and I can't wait to take it out a lot this summer. It will be great for 4th of July if we go to the military base again!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this image of you.
Our best cell phone self portrait during a parade at Disneyland last week:
I love you, little miss. Love, love, love you.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Three years ago today I married my bestEST friend. I am so blessed.
I was married before and had my heart shattered.
I cried until I thought I couldn't cry anymore and then I cried even harder.
I can remember this song coming on the radio and feeling like my breath was being sucked out of me and trying to drive to work through the tears.
I got divorced in November, turned the big 3-0 in December and was supposed to "celebrate" a new year just five/six days after that.
I felt I was supposed to be on my way to being a "mom" by this time.
Yet, somehow, someway, I kept my faith and I still had hope. It was not easy. There were a lot of days/nights crying on the couch. And in my bed. And in the shower. Too many. But I kept the faith.
I felt that I would meet someone significant in about three years. I told people this. I just couldn't see myself getting really serious until then. If it happened, it happened, but three years just kept coming back to me.
To make a long story short I was on MySpace and somehow, someway came across my (now) husband's page. His pictures were funny so I sent him a note letting him know they made me laugh and soon we became pen pals. Then we started talking on the phone. Then we wondered where this was going.
He lived in New York so we decided that he'd come visit one weekend and we'd see if anything was there. If there wasn't, we'd just chalk it up to having another friend in this big world. We went to Disneyland the first day he was out here, Catalina the day after that and when he left on the third day, I was crying at the airport.
A couple of months later he moved out here to be with me. We got engaged a couple of months after that and were married almost a year after that. We had our baby girl almost two years later. Which brings us to 3 years today.
But going back to the "other" 3 years. Remember, the one where I felt like I'd meet someone significant in about 3 years? Well, my husband came out to visit me for the first time on November 4, 2005. One day I decided to pull out my divorce papers and realized that I signed them on November 4, 2002. Exactly three years earlier.
Thank you, God, for letting me feel the rain before I could truly enjoy the sunshine. Thank you for letting me feel the pain of a broken heart so that I could truly know what it is to "feel" something, which is now more love. Thank you for "crushing my world" in order to give me a backbone for the future. Thank you for all of your mysterious ways from those things to how you used the internet to have me find someone who lived cross country that fit me perfectly. I am so thankful. I am in awe. And I just am soooo blessed.
Al, I am so thankful for you. I feel so blessed to have found you in this big, crazy world. I hope we live happily ever after until we're 100 or so and I hope I go first because I would never want to live a day without you. And now, this song is the one that brings tears to my eyes.
Love, love, love,
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I can't say enough good things about Stephanie! We met through a modeling website (she models, not me! Ha!) and I've shot her (with a camera ;)) three times now and I just love her! She is so relaxed, so easy, so beautiful. She just has a natural beauty and her skin is like porcelain! She's up for anything. You might remember this shoot from the laundromat...I just emailed her asking her if she'd be up for it and she got up early in the morning to meet me there. I emailed her again the other day asking if she wanted to shoot for fun and she was game. She's just always willing and a trooper about anything. I love this girl!!
Anyway, we just spent an hour up one alley and down the bay on 2nd Street/Belmont Shore. Here are just of a few that I pulled from the shoot. More to come later. Stephanie, if you're reading this, thank for always being a willing model and just so easy to be around. I appreciate you and your attitude. You're wonderful! :)
Oh, and Belmont Shore had a chocolate festival today and Stephanie went to it - she even showed up with a chocolate truffle for me. Like I said, the girl is wonderful. ;)
I just love that there is soooo much going on in this pic. That piece of lumber really bugs my husband but I purposely composed the shot so that it's just so much to look at. I think if another photographer took this shot, it might bug me too. :)
Seriously, there is like maybe 5-10% photoshop to this next image. This is literally how Stephanie appears in person. Beautiful!
Friday, February 5, 2010
I don't know what happened but ever since Christmas time I've started baking and cooking more than I have in the past couple of years! I'm constantly wanting to try something new or create something fun. I have a killer chocolate mint cookie that always draws rave reviews, but really, you can only eat cookies so many times for dinner. ;)
While in the store a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a box of spaghetti. Now that Riley is on table food, I figured it was an easy, fool-proof, tasty meal for a one year old. She liked the Gerber 3rd Stage pureed kind so why wouldn't she love some pasta prepared at home with love, right?
Well, Mommy did even better...I started eyeing the lasagna packages. I have never attempted lasagna in my life. I was the Costco frozen lasagna queen until that crazy day in the supermarket! I saw the box recipe and figured, "This doesn't look so difficult" and decided to buy all the ingredients and go home and make it that night. You can imagine my husband's surprise when he texted me and asked what I wanted to do for dinner. I don't think he ever imagined he'd see "I've got a homemade lasagna in the oven" in a text message from me. ;)
Fast forward to how it turned out. It was EXCELLENT except for the fact that it needed some more spice to it. I'll definitely make it again but add some more italian touches to it. It was REALLY good the next day too! I was so proud of myself!
So here is my simple lasagna recipe. I actually didn't add beef (this recipe with beef added wasn't on the box but it was the only one I could find online), but next time I'll probably add beef too. Watch out, Giada. ;) Oh, and by the way, the baby girl LOVED it! Sorry, Gerber. :)