Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Been far too long...

It's been a while huh? This time of year is always so nuts for my family with all of our birthdays, our anniversary, as well as the holidays to contend with... Looking forward to breaking out the Christmas decorations this weekend and decking our halls. Hopefully the rain will hold off for a bit so we can go and find the perfect Christmas tree. I'll post a few pics once we get it all set up :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

5 years ago right now...

My beautiful baby boy was being born....

Happy Birthday big boy!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I feel like a ball of questions today...

I've had a few questions lately from folks around me as to why we decided to foreclose on our house, so I'm going to answer them as best as I can...

When we bought our home we both believed in the American dream; a house, a white picket fence and 2.5 children. What we didn't know was that the housing market would implode on itself within a year. Believe it or not, I was the hold out for quite a while hoping that we wouldn't have to take it to the extreme of having to file for foreclosure. I hoped, with no evidence supporting those hopes, that the market would rebound and we'd be ok. What's funny about it all is that I work in the real estate business, generating new home loans and basically have my finger on the pulse of the real estate industry. I heard folks around me talking about flipping, buying a new home and then foreclosing on their existing property, but I knew that that was not for us. We had the money and could have done it, but it's downright lying on a credit application and I'm not ok with that.

When we realized that this was our best option to eliminate our house as a liability, we only assumed we'd be in the house for a few months. We never dreamed that 12 months later there would still not be an NOD (Notice of Default) on file with no clear cut end in sight. We've been saving all of our regular mortgage payment money, as this will only happen once in our life. We were both raised to fulfill our obligations and trust authority, but sometimes you need to trust yourself. We know that in the long run what we did is the best for our family, but people still choose to judge. If your choice was to pay into a losing investment for the next 30 years, or cut bait, take the hit on your credit, and start to re-build, what would you do?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Car Envy

We are only a bit more moolah away from my dream car. I can't wait for the chance to not have to duck and tuck kids into the Camry 4 times a day. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Camry, more than I've ever loved any other inanimate object, but it's time for an upgrade. It's time for DVD players and movies on long trips, room to stretch out (and not be able to touch each other while in their car seats!), and space to finally be able to take the dog on trips again. She's just getting too old to be wedged into a one foot space between the kids' car seats anymore. So, hopefully in a few months I'll be able to post pictures of the kiddos in the back seat of our new baby!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

That Time of Year Again

Anyone else heading into the busiest time of the year for their family? In the next 4 months, we will celebrate all 4 of our birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, 8 close and extended family birthdays, and the birth of 2 close friends' babies. Stress and anxiety abound :)

Luke's B-Day is up first so I've got invitations ordered, waiting on arrival to mail out ASAP, the bounce house place booked, decor ordered, his birthday boy T-shirt is ordered, and I'm scoping out presents on my lunch hours. He made me a pretty good list this year, so if you need any ideas, feel free to ask.

Did I mention that I LOVE this time of year (since fall only really last here in CA for about 2 months if we're lucky!), but who the hell decided it was OK for it to be 95 degrees outside?

Planning ahead is key; if only I could remember to plan ahead?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Gone for a while

Our vacation went great until the last day and then I think we'd just all had enough and wanted to be home... The aquarium was beautiful and breathtaking as usual and the kids loved the giant kelp tank which has always been my favorite. The beach house that we rented was prefect for the 4 of us and it was really nice to have a "home base" to go back to during the trip... It's just too difficult to not have a full kitchen with two small children on vacation.

Being able to blog and download my pictures on the new laptop was perfect and I'm so happy Hubs convinced me to pull the trigger before we left :)

Have you gone on vacation yet this summer? Where did you go? What was your favorite moment???

Mommy D

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cioppino: Best Ever!

We got a sweet tip off from one of the girls that I work with about a fish market in Marina that won the Cioppino battle on Bobby Flay's "Throwd@wn..." So, one our way down to Pacific Grove we stopped off at Phil's Fish Market for a little grub before checking into our hotel. The Cioppino was AMAZING, to say the least. They serve it family style, one giant bowl and two serving bowls for each of us.

We sat out on the deck, watching the fog roll in and allowing my crazy munchkins ample room to run around like crazy people. The clam chowder was, wait, I have to whisper it, it tasted like something my mom would make (in her less healthy cooking days), but better. I tasted clams, potato, carrots and celery, and a TON of butter and cream. It was beautiful.

I can't even begin to describe the Cioppino. It was tomatoey, and fishy and crabby and all so amazing. There was a TON of seafood in each bowl and I only wish we had had time to savor it. I can tell you that I think it was the best I'd ever had, even if I was trying to catch run away kids the entire time :) I think we did pretty good with our meal :)

In Transit

We made it up to Vacaville yesterday in time to cook a yummy meal and settle in to watch a movie with Grandpa on travel day 1. I was kinda worried about the multiple stops before we actually touch down in Pacific Grove, but so far, it's been more than good.

We are on the road in our greatly appreciated extra cab, long bed F150 (borrowed from Grandpa John), the kiddos are comfortable and not crammed in with all of our crap like in the Camry, snacking on Pirates Booty and watching all of the cars pass by. While I am feeling very spoiled as I ride shotgun and blog at the same time! Rare is the trip that I don't do much of the driving, but who knew how much you could get done while sitting in the passenger seat? I've already updated my facebook, pulled directions to the place we are headed to for lunch (PHIL'S FISH MARKET in Moss Landing, CA), balanced my checkbook, finalized reservations for the hotel tonight and am know halfway through a blog post.... Crazyness and we are only in San Jose!

More to come from lunch.... Stay tuned for the best cioppino on the West Coast!

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Prep

*Clean out car and car seats (no week old Cheerios or pirates' booty from April allowed!)
*Pack mondo bag for all 4 of us, try to make it all fit in one bag
*clean house so when we return exhausted, we can crash, not clean (re-visit idea of cleaning lady... Oh how I need you!!!!)
*Empty garbages, an 80 degree house that smells like week old diapers is NO BUENO
*Kiss big, spoiled pup: sad she can't come with us, set thermostat to keep DIVA comfy
*Write out, scratch out, re-write packing lists: panic over forgetting something
* Sit, chill, and enjoy a beer... Anything forgotten (other than baby bear or Lukey's B) can be replaced, the only thing that matters is time with my babies.

*** See you there! ***

Trip highlights and photos to follow as soon as we can figure out how to fit all of our crap into our car :)

Fridays suck

Why is it that one crappy day can just bury you in black rain clouds? I wonder what would happen if I didn't take pride in what I do for a living? What if I could give a sh!t? Then what?

I wish others could appreciate what I do...

Anyway, in the words of Bob Marley, " One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain."

Tomorrow is another day and I am bigger than what I'm feeling.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vacation Next Week!

So we are headed out for our yearly 1 week vacation as of this Sat and we are so excited! Matt & I have both been totally checked out at work for the past few days and are starting the daunting task of packing... We're still trying to figure out how we are going to get 2 kids, 2 car seats, a tandem stroller, a cooler full of a weeks worth of food, toys, clothing, beach toys and ourselves into our Toyota Camry!!

Our itinerary:

** Sat night into Sun morning: Head to Vacaville and spend the night at Grandpa's new house :)
** Sun morning: climb back into the car and drive from Vacaville to Marina (right outside of Monterrey)
** Sun night: Spend the night at hotel on the beach in Marina, play in the sand and enjoy some seafood
** Monday morning: pack everything back into the car and head up to Pacific Grove to our beach house on Lover's Point

** Monday night: Dinner at our favorite restaurant in Pacific Grove, Fishwife

** Tuesday morning: Spend the morning / afternoon @ the Monterrey Bay Aquarium

** Tuesday afternoon: Lunch at the Fish Hopper and then back to the beach house for a nap!

** Weds: Play on the beach and enjoy some relaxing kiddo time :)
** Thurs Morning: Going to attempt a hike at spectacular Point Lobos; we'll see how far we can get with 2 kids!

** Thurs afternoon: Pack everything up and head back home... Boo!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The girls from work

Why I love them:

* They put up with so much crap and always seem to have time to listen to all of mine
* They are CRAZY hilarious and make work so much more do-able
* The stories that we tell are Hollywood worthy
* They are the most sarcastic, and loving chics I've ever met and I love them for that
* Not even stand up comedians can hold a candle to the speedy comebacks and jabs that fly out so effortlessly
* They have my back 100% as I do theirs and we are the most solid of teams

** I couldn't ask for better chics to work with, and I couldn't get better friends **

I'm in LOVE

Just got back from Best Buy with a new baby! We've been without a computer or internet access at home for almost a year, and to have it again is a beautiful thing. It's fast, it's red, and ended up being $100 less than when we originally decided on buying it 6 months ago. By the way, wireless internet is the Sh!t!!!!! My kids are inhaling edamame and soy sauce while watching "Fast and the Furious, Tokyo Drift" and I'm blogging... How behind the times was I?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Monster to Flea

Funny how facing down a fear and coming to terms with it makes it almost inconsequential.

Now 3 months post discharge of our BK, we are 40 points shy of a 700 credit score, just like that. Crazy, huh? I've been spending a lunch a week at work correcting mistakes on our credit reports and disputing errors with the 3 bureaus and I've managed to FINALLY get everything to report correctly. Funny how trying to convince banks to report your account as included in your BK is ten times harder and time consuming than the actual BK.

We've been saving the equivalent of our mortgage payment plus some every month, and have built up enough to be at peace with leaving this house and heading forward on our journey. I will be sad the day we lock the door for the last time, but losing the house doesn't mean we lose our memories....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day @ the River Cats Game

The game was great, aside from it being pretty hot outside (thank GOD for umbrellas!!)and everyone had a blast! I took a bunch of photos so here are a few to tide ya'll over :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

2000 HITS!

We did it! Well, the majority of those hits are probably from me logging in to post, but who the hell cares! My cute little munchkin worshipping site has achieved 2000 visits! Yay for us!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


After both kids coming down with the flu last week and puking all over every soft surface in the house, the hub and I managed to both catch it at exactly the same time, laying us both up to the point that "SUPER GRANDMA" had to step in and save the day earlier this week...

We both were shaking with fever, not able to keep ANYTHING down and still had two munchkins that felt great and wanted to play. In true super trooper fashion, my mom was there with bells on in a flash! It's hard for me to imagine NOT having my parents there for me whenever/wherever. Their support is so amazing and so appreciated and so selfless that I can't truly explain how lucky I really am.

Anyway, my mom showed up at my house like super nanny with a bag of their favorite foods in hand after a shaky call begging for help feeding/bathing/chasing my super active children. She plopped my icky-sick butt onto my couch and ordered me to let her take care of everything as daddy-o couldn't even make it out of bed except to puke. Food, games, baths, teeth and bedtime all handled, she demanded to do the dishes (like I'm going to say no)and then headed home leaving me a quiet house and the chance to head off to bed and finally pass out.

She's amazing ya'll, a true rock star of a mom and grandma...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A day in the pool

Cheap entertainment rocks! A $10 kiddie pool, $2 worth of goggles for both squirts and a beautiful sunny day, who could ask for more!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm bad and I've neglected you!

I've been patiently waiting for photos from the wedding to post and after some technical difficulties I have a few to share, of my kiddos of course! I can't get over how handsome my little guy looked in his mini tux! ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I love weddings

* I bet I'm not the only one who cries at each and every wedding I attend
* The glitz and glamour of it all is enough to make anyone feel like a princess
* There's nothing like wedding cake.... YUM!
* Watching a bride and groom dance together for the first time and witnessing the looks exchanged is magical
* I love the teeny little ring bearers and flower girls: They make we ALMOST want to have more babies :)
* Watching love gush from a crowd of family and friends is incredibly humbling
* They always seem to make me want my hubby more and more, and I LOVE seeing my cargo short and flip flop adoring man all gorgeous in a suit :)

Pictures to follow as soon I can get my camera plugged in and the photos downloaded!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The wedding is SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!

Do I really need to say anything else?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My, how your garden grows!

The garden is LOVING the last few weeks of weird weather we've had here in Sacramento... It's been 2 or 3 days of beautiful 70 plus degrees followed by several days of rain, wind, you name it... Check out my happy little veggies!

How is your garden doing???

Monday, May 3, 2010

2 Weeks to GO!!!

We are only two weeks away from the wedding and I can't believe we're here already!

My dress finally made it in to the alterations lady this afternoon and I got exactly what I was thinking... Rebuilding a dress from the inside out can be kinda costly :) But, I was planning for the cost and more than willing to do anything and everything to make my dress look lovely and this wedding go off perfectly. So, in the end my dress needs to have the existing darts on the bust line ripped out and re-done (as the maker of the dress was so kind to put them on the outsides on my boobs so they look like they are running away from each other!), The sash removed, shortened and re-attached, a good chunk of the width removed as the A-line right now makes we look like I'm wearing a Hefty bag, the train removed, and the dress length shortened. Once I was all pinned in to it, it looked AMAZING.

I can't wait to wear it and see all of the girls lined up looking fabulous! The countdown has begun.... Are you ready??

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Being a girl is hard work!

I swear, in the past month I've spent more time waxing, tanning, smoothing, exfoliating and bleaching then I ever thought possible.

I've never been one of those women who dedicate a large amount of time to my appearance, until lately. I mastered the art of the 10 minute makeup application after Luke was born, and have worn my hair scrunched with gel and still wet from the shower to work more times than I can count. Not that I don't CARE about how I look, I just value my sleep more than manicured nails and a perfect blowout.

In preparation for my sister's wedding I re-opened my tanning membership 3 months ago (from when we went to Mexico 2 years ago)and got right down to the task of not looking sickly and pale by D Day. This task is probably pretty easy for most people but thanks to my mom's french skin, low and slow has been the name of the game. I've learned through horrible experience that attempting to rush a tan on my skin can result in purple-toned sunburns followed by weeks of itching and peeling, followed again by sickly pale skin.

I know it's not very good for my skin but I'm really enjoying the little kick in my self-esteem's ass that it has given me. Riding the self-esteem high, I then began bleaching my teeth about a week ago and have a shopping trip planned for my lunch on Friday to go pick up a new pair of Spanx. What, you don't know what SPANX are? Where have you been? My Spanx and I are BFFs. I actually bought my Spanx right before I returned to work after Miss B to give me a teeny bit of extra confidence in my pre-baby work clothes. Boy do they rock!!!! Off to buy a brand new one for the wedding!!!


March of Dimes March for Babies Re-Cap

The walk went awesome, the weather was amazing and the crowd was immense like last year which always makes it feel so motivating. Our team managed to raise nearly $8000 and bested our record from last year.... I put my sister on picture duty as she is madly in love with my digital Canon (if I had the funds sis, it would be your wedding present!!), and she took some great shots of our fellow walkers and the kiddos as they were pushed about in their double stroller. I promise I'll post them as soon as I get a free moment... My time right now seems to be inordinately preoccupied with primping, something I'm not readily used to spending a ton of time on.... More on this later...


Friday, April 23, 2010

Last Call for March of Dimes Donations!

It's that time of year again! Last year I was invited to join Team Matthew to walk in the March of Dimes March for Babies here is Sacramento in memory of a mutual friend's baby boy who passed away in his sleep from SIDS. Here's a little background on baby Matthew, the motivation behind our team to walk and raise money for March of Dimes:

In January of 2007, we were blessed with the amazing news that we were pregnant and expecting our second child!

Kaitlyn was already 2 when we found out and considering how easy the pregnancy with her was, we expected nothing different. Boy, were we wrong!

At 23 weeks and 5 days pregnant, my water unexpectedly broke (preterm, premature rupture of membranes, pPROM) and we were given the news that survival was not likely since there was no fluid to assist with lung development or growth. We made the difficult decision to continue on with the pregnancy.

After 10 weeks of strict hospital bed rest, that tested our family time and time again, Matthew was born at 33 weeks gestation weighing in at a healthy 4 lbs and 14 ounces. He cried at birth.

Matthew endured a 26 day NICU stay before coming home to his adoring family. He spent the next 10 weeks being loved, spoiled, kissed, hugged, played with and adored before falling asleep on the night of October 14, 2007. Matthew never woke up, he passed away in his sleep and became a victim of SIDS.

Losing Matthew has been a tragedy to his entire family. He left behind parents who love him, a big sister who adored him, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

In April of 2008, we started walking with March for Babies as Matthew's Team. It is a way we can not only honor Matthew, but we can also help raise awareness to prematurity and raise funds to help research find cures and screenings to prevent more families from suffering through this loss.

Please, if you can, donate to this extremely worthy cause in honor of Matthew and all of the other babies and families touched by the tragedy of SIDS, pPROM and infant mortality. The walk is tomorrow, and I'm so grateful to be invited to walk with this team in honor of baby Matthew...


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Weekend

So the Davis Picnic Day thing was a bust...

We made a valiant effort to pack a picnic, dress the kids comfy and get down there, but the traffic and weirdo Gods were against us. For my hubby, if a trip starts out with 30 minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic, count it as a bust. He was actually texting me from the drivers' seat that "Davis and traffic suck," and he wanted to just keep driving straight to Vacaville and find a park for the kids to play in there...I asked him to suck it up and try to muscle through just a drive-by to see what the campus looked like and we'd decide then.

We were totally expecting this:

But got a lot more of this than we wanted:

We were watching beer pong tournaments on the lawn of the frat houses across from the campus, and were amazed to see kids kicked back in lawn chairs in the center divide enjoy a few beers and acting like they were tripping and falling in front of the oncoming traffic!! How fun, NOT!!!

We kept driving.

By the time we hit Vacaville, Lukey Duke was beyond antsy to get out and run... We parked at a park by Grandpa John's house and saw a beautiful site... A baseball field, open to run on, with the bases still in the ground! Most fields are open to the public but rarely do the little league coaches leave the bases, so we took full advantage of the rarity!

Check it out!

Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Vacaville Baseball Field
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Please watch and tell every parent you know...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our busy "down time" weekend

So, a few weeks ago Matt and I decided that this weekend was going to be our big deep breath before the final sprint to Melanie's Wedding May 16th.

I think somewhere along the line we've forgotten what "down time" means. Tonight we are headed to Raley Field, one of the most beautiful minor league ball fields around, to watch the opening night of River Cats baseball. Saturday we will be up bright and early for Picnic Day @ the UC Davis campus, followed by a BBQ at Grandpa John's new house in Vacaville Sat night and I'm hoping to squeeze in dropping my maid of honor's dress off at the alteration shop and a 10am appointment to be fitted for my bridesmaid dress for my friend Tami's wedding in August.


Luke is jumping out his skin to go to the home opener for the Sacramento River Cats tonight. We've gone to many games over the years and we've yet to have a bad time. What's not to like about cheap grass seats, hot dogs, beer, AMAZING garlic fries, kids rolling down the giant grass hills and laying out on a blanket watching great baseball in perfect weather? The field is located right near the American River so you get a nice breeze at night which is a huge relief when it's 105 out and you're sitting in the sun all game long. We've packed up the backpacks and are counting down to the end of the workday!


We're hoping to get up and out of the house by 10 am to drive down to the UC Davis campus for their annual Picnic Day. This is an open house event, run entirely by students, to showcase the many aspects of study and student life available at UC Davis and is open to the general public, free of charge. This year's line up of activities available to watch/participate in/enjoy are extensive and are all over the board. We're hoping to catch the sheep dog exhibition, tie-dye station, cockroach races, giant bug display, as well as the tour of the famous arboretum. There are actually so many different things to do and see that you need to schedule out your time so you don't end up missing something simply because you were on the other side of the campus.

Hopefully the kids won't be too cranky after their long day and we'll pile back into the car and head a little farther toward SF and stop off at Grandpa John's new house in Vacaville for a BBQ with Matt's dad and sisters. Luckily we got to skip out of bringing anything, which makes life much easier so we don't have to stop and buy something on the way there...

There's more, but I'm exhausted just writing about it...

Here they are!

The much anticipated photos from the bridal shower are here!!! We had so much fun and I'm so thrilled that it was just what Mel wanted...

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Mel's Bridal Shower
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Best Party Throwers in the West!

Mom, you rock. I try to tell you that as often as I can, but you REALLY rock! The house was crazy clean, the food was amazing, and everyone had a blast.... Kisses!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mel's Bridal Shower: The Prep

Have I mentioned how amazing my family is? Not only did my parents cook/prep the majority of the food for my sister's bridal shower, but they also came to my house Friday afternoon and helped me de-kid my house and empty out ALL of my furniture! Then I dragged my exhausted mother to Ross and Walmart to try and find decorations for my bathroom and living room, had her drop me back off at my house and then she had to feed/entertain my aunts and my cousin Summer who flew in for the weekend from LA around 10:45pm that night. My mom later told me that they stayed up until almost 2am slicing bread, mixing fillings and assembling tea sandwiches.

Saturday morning was a whirlwind of assembling centerpieces, greeting the caterer, arranging and prepping food, setting up the "registration area" with name badges and everyone's wine glass for the wine tasting, and then rushing to get ourselves ready in time for the party. After a nervous glass of wine for my mother and a beer for me, we smacked a high five and headed off to the crowd to conquer the party!

Pictures of the day to follow

Friday, April 9, 2010

Freaky Friday!!

I think she was hungry!!

My mom is hot!!

I love this picture... It'll probably end up in his high school yearbook!

Baby Lukey Duke rocking my favorite beanie....