Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sariah at Twelve Months

Sariah will celebrate her first birthday next week. She has grown into a beautiful dog. Still a puppy at heart, she is large and doesn't know her own strength. She will pop up to nose your face and doesn't realize that she could knock someone over with this unexpected gesture, combined with her size. She is obedient and obeys our commands pretty well. She'll still destroys a new toy in a matter of minutes, so we've stopped buying as many. She loves chew bones and really is just super content if she can be near us.  If the girls sit on the ground to watch t.v. or do homework, Sariah is right there wanting in on the action. She loves her trail time, and sometimes we all go together as a family. If we're not able to do that, Sariah and Kelly go and get a more vigorous workout. We love this cute pup!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Watching Jenna Grow

Watching Jenna grow into a young woman has been kind of fun.  Heather and I have had the same passion for reading books, watching movies and hanging out with our friends.  Jenna doesn't care much for books or movies.  She likes spending time with friends, and she is really, really, artistic and creative.  She loves hairstyles and nail styles.  She recently purchased a stand for her nail polishes that she's collecting, and she's saving her money for some other supplies.  She frequently asks if she can try braiding my hair, and she does a great job.  She is wearing a little make up, and it's great to see her caring about her appearance.  Her friends are a big part of her life, and our photo stream is often filled with selfies and friend pictures.  Jenna will be mortified that I have written this post, but by the time she reads it, I'm hoping she'll let me have my indulgence in posting about my amazing daughter and the young woman she is becoming.  When she's older and away from home, I'll be happy to have documented these moments.  Besides, none of her friends read my blog, so there is no chance of me damaging her social life, right?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Birthday Time for Melissa

I love birthdays. I love my own birthday. Not so much because of the presents, but because it's the best time to celebrate with friends and bask in the blessing of being alive, healthy and graced with such special people in my life.  This week I  had lunch with friends who surprised me by taking turns telling me things they liked about me (unnecessary, but kind of nice), dinner with my family, and presents included some chocolate from a specialty chocolate shop in San Francisco as well as a much needed washer and dryer pair. Yes, I'm old enough to be excited about appliances for my birthday. Let's face it--jewelry is pretty, but it can't get your family's clothes clean! Hahaha.  On my actual birthday, I went over to my friend, Nora's, house to meet her 4th baby, Thomas.  What a cutie. Thomas is my new baby friend.  I'm finally old enough and in that in-between stage where I like to hold babies because I miss it.  It reminds me how grown-up my daughters are. Time going to fast and all. Thanks to everyone who made this an extra special birthday.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Do You Dress Up?

It's that time of year when the light changes, the air is crisper, and the temperature beings to change.  If you're in California, that would be fall!  I know, not quite the same fall changes that happen elsewhere, but to we natives, we know when fall arrives.

There are so many blog posts I need to catch up on, but I will get to those.  Tonight I am contemplating Halloween, one of my favorite holidays.  I remember my costumes as a little girl--the smell of a plastic mask, the tickle of make up, the feel of my plastic pumpkin in my little hand, and the sweater my mom made me wear underneath my costume so I wouldn't get cold.  The best memories were of going from house to house with my Dad walking along side us.  When we were older and less likely to go out, Dad would bring doughnuts home, orange frosting and sprinkles, which we would eat while watching, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," or "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"

Of course I was ecstatic to share our daughter's first Halloween with her and begin our own traditions.  She was only three months old, but she made a very cute pumpkin!  There was one thing about that first Halloween that had to happen...

I had to dress up.

You bet'cha!  I feel like a kid inside each and every Halloween, and I need to be in a costume.  It's so fun, and I get downright giddy inside thinking about the possibilities each year.  My husband hasn't shared my desire to don festive apparel, but that hasn't stopped me.  I have managed to find something to wear each and every Halloween regardless of how I was feeling about the quality of my garb.  I don't know if my girls will remember my exuberance, and Jenna even told me last year that I need to dress up because I haven't done it for a few years.  This prompted a search through the digital archives which produced proof that, yes in deedy, I haven't missed a year.  I just can't.  It's too fun. Will my girls remember that I was a stinkin' fun momma? Actually, they will thanks to, as mentioned above, the digital age.  Ha!  Even if they don't, they each get into planning their own costumes every year, often several months in advance.  Where do they get that enthusiasm from?  Yep.

So I would love to know...do you dress up?  I bet your kids would LOVE it if you did.  If you need any help with costume ideas, give me a jingle.  I'll be happy to share my costume selecting eagerness (aka, passion, exhilaration, craziness) with you.

Happy Haunting!

p.s.  Yes, it's only September 22, but this affords you PLENTY of time to start thinking.  Come on, you know you want to.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Heather has been out of school for over a week with a headache that will not go away. We were told that the low blood pressure she presented with in the doctor's office last week was not an issue since it was up a few days later at her cardiology screening. Today we went for a family walk. Heather has been trying to go out and do something active like swimming or walking to see if the activity will get the blood flowing and help her headache. The headache just gets worse. On the way back today, she paused to throw up in the bushes. I don't know how to help which is maddening since I can help my own headaches. We need to see what the next step is.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Girls Night Out

My neighbor who is also my friend and boss, hosted a Girls Night Out for her friends. We met at her house and were transported via a limo bus to two lovely locations.  The first location was The Cliffs in Laguna Beach where we enjoyed appetizers and beverages.  The second was Mastro's Ocean Club in Newport Beach for dinner.  We had a private room overlooking PCH and the ocean which was simply stunning.  The menu and table decor that Tammy planned was so beautiful and made us all feel very pampered.  Dinner was delicious, and I got to know some of Tammy's friends better.  Since Tammy entertains a lot, it was great to get to know some of the special people in her life.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Heat and Headaches

We've had a heat wave this week, and the pool has been refreshing. Heather had a headache start on the eleventh that has kept her down, but she has been attempting to cool off and take her mind off it.  This little blow up pool continues to be a great asset to our pool-less home.  When swimming invitations come, we travel to our friends with in-ground pools.  But when they don't, our little pool can at least cool us off.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

YW Speed Dating Style Questions

Great Young Women activity tonight!  With a newly combined ward, we needed to mingle and get to know one another.  I pulled questions from some different get-to-know you activities on Pinterest, clipped them in to strips, and set up tables and chairs speed-dating style.  We ran a question and answer activity switching every 2 minutes until the girls had had a chance to meet most everyone and talk with them.  Cell phones were put to the side to allow for maximum interaction.  After this activity, we had the girls take turns sitting in the "hot seat" while the other girls wrote positive messages on sticky notes and placed those on the girl's picture right behind her.  The girls got to take the pictures home with all the nice notes on them.  This was a really fun night, and a lot of the girls commented on how much fun they had.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pool Time and Back-to-School Dinner

Jenna and her friends got some much-needed pool time during this warm week.  It was a great opportunity to say so-long to summer one last time.  We're grateful to our friends who invite us to swim. We like our little inflatable pool, but it is a pool.

In the evening we had our Back-to-School dinner which was a little late this year considering Heather started school last week, but better late than never. We focused on the message that fear and faith cannot exist at the same moment in our brains, and that if we rely on our faith we can push away the doubt and fear.  We used the simple meme from the New Era as our visual reminder, and we had a lovely dinner and discussion as well.  Here's to a great school year!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Day of 7th Grade

Jenna started 7th grade today. She picked out a great outfit and accessories, and she asked if I would to her hair.  It turned out pretty cute.  We're excited to see what great things she will do this year!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jenna's Last Day of Freedom

On Jenna's last day of freedom, we went and had mani-pedis.  Jenna picked some cool colors, and the girls at the salon put flowers on for free.  We also spent some time shopping for accessories and last minute school clothes and supplies.  She picked up some fun accessories for her outfits.  It was great to have one last mother-daughter outing before school starts tomorrow.  Jenna is super fun to shop with too.