Monday, February 20, 2017

Putting on the Ritz

I remember dancing to a song when I was little called "Putting on the Ritz."
Now putting on the Ritz refers to a semi-formal dance for 7th and 8th graders
at our local junior high.

Macy is part of the leadership team that helped to decide the theme and colors
for this year's Ritz.

She was very excited to participate, get dressed up, and go to the dance.

Coincidentally, it was held on the same night as the Father-Daughter dance
at the elementary school.
The heart does things when these realizations are made.

So, for the first time instead of staying at the dance with her,
Steve and I drove her, took a few pictures and left.

She danced with her friends.
She laughed.
She radiated beauty.
The heart does things when you see that in your daughter.

So proud of this glowing young lady.
So very proud of her poise.
So very proud of her confidence.
So very proud.
The heart does things when you feel that proud.


Hello 2017

Pretty sure this year is going to be sweet.
At least it started off as such.
January 1 included pajamas, hanging out at home, and s'mores for lunch.
Pretty sweet.
 We worked on a family puzzle.
The puzzle showed all different kinds of vintage cereals.
 I got a new sign for the bathroom.
It has proven to be way too much fun.
 We tried out a new food place right next to Fresno State called Farm Fresh Bowls.
We are fans.

 We are nearing even closer to the arrival of baby boy V!
Getting so excited to meet him!

 Macy participated in a tournament for the junior high team.  
They won 2/3 games.
I got teased for reading my book.
Here's the thing.
I look around and all these people are reading updates on their phones.
Text messages, Facebook, instagram, whatever...they are looking at something else too.
Mine happens to be legit literature.
End rant.
 Zach was in charge of setting the table one night.
He's pretty good at this setting the table gig while his sister cooks.
I'm impressed Z.
Very impressed.

 One weekend I put them in charge of making lunch.
They did wonderfully.
The kitchen took a beating for it, but the best part all cleans up!

 We spent a great afternoon with my nephew Sage.
He's a riot.
Busy busy toddler.

 Again with the reading.
It's something we like to do around here.
 I had a rough week, a cold that wouldn't quit and wanted to eat all my feelings while I read.
Hotpants to the rescue.
He brought all the goods.

 Macy had her 1/2 birthday and made her own cake.
Sometimes getting to make your own cake is a celebration in itself.
 Again with the feelings.
Baking bread on a gloomy day is satisfying.
Especially when it's Portuguese sweet bread.
 Homemade chili too.
That's great on gloomy rainy days.....of which we have had many.
Did I mention it's been raining most of the month?
 So when there is not enough sunshine to go outside and talk to my plants, I like to carve out time to read.  Especially if I am reading kid literature.  The time I invest in reading these books is time invested in children's literacy in my mind.  The more I read, the more I can recommend to kids who need to have their nose in a book.  It's the equivalent of research.  It also happens to be incredibly satisfying.
 And finally a book my mom lent to me.
She insisted I read it.
Beautiful love story.
If you liked Romeo and Juliet and you like historical fiction...
you should read this.
At the end of January Macy got to attend Hume Lake Christian Camp with her girlfriends.
What a happy memory to make.
She even tried snowboarding for the first time.

December Rewind

The first weekend of December we closed out the soccer season with the Allstar game against Yosemite.  The Sierra boys won 3-2.

As per our normal after soccer tradition, we trekked down to Clovis to see the lights of Cindy Lane (aka Candy Cane Lane)
 Z started helping me with the laundry and although we love our super capacity washer, it isn't the easiest to deal with for shorties like us. 
Macy finished up her Junior-High Basketball playing on the varsity team.
She learned so much this year playing with some amazing talent and it helped her grow as a more confident player.
I really started embracing the holidays at home and at school.

 Despite my many talents (especially as the succulent whisperer) I have to confess that I am a horrid present wrapper.
Not my specialty. 
 We had so much fun celebrating at our staff party.
Feels good to laugh with those you work with.
Oh we laughed.

 We continued the laughter at home playing some headbands together.
We need to work on our game enthusiasm here Mr. Hotpants.

 We hosted our 2nd Ugly Sweater party.

 Zach sang his little heart out at the Christmas program.
They sang, "Children Go Where I Send Thee" and "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
Maybe it should have been more like, 
"Zach, please go unload the dishwasher..." and "Did you hear what I asked you to do?"

Growing up my aunt and uncle always coordinated a neighborhood caroling party.
As our kids grow up I feel so fortunate for them to experience some of my most favorite traditions as well.  We coordinated a neighborhood caroling experience with some new faces.
It was wonderful and really got me into the Christmas Spirit.

 Christmas break really allowed Macy to spend some time perfecting her cooking skills.
She loves to try out recipes and has quite a knack for picking out some tasty things to try.
Foodie in the making!
 Here she made french toast roll ups.
 I let the kids make cookies from start to finish all on their own.
The best part is, my kitchen was still standing at the end.

 We spent more time at the little cabin in the woods.
We sipped cocoa.
 Roasted hot dogs.

 For Christmas this year Steve repainted the bathroom with me and we gave it a much needed facelift.
Merry Christmas to us!

 While Macy was at youth group, Steve and I decided to take Zach out for his first Sushi experience.
He wasn't a big fan of the seaweed wrap, next time we are going to try the soy wrap instead.

 In the days leading up to Christmas, the kids get very restless around the house so I took them out for a date in town.  I was hoping that a change in zip code would change the fussy behaviors we were having in our own zip code.  Apparently that's not a thing.  Fussy just travels.

 On a different day, we met up with some friends to watch the movie SING and have some Boba!

 When you are bored you take selfies and send them to your husband.
 Instead of swapping gifts with adults on Steve's side of the family, we decided to get together and just spend time together.  The gift of time.
I like it. I was a great gift.

 As Christmas finally rolled around, I managed to get all the gifts wrapped and hide the awful wrap job with some pretty bows.  Bows make all the difference.
 We spent Christmas Eve at my Sito's house.
Long time traditions are good for the soul.

 Christmas morning at home is also one of my most favorite traditions.
Steve reads from the bible before we start presents and we savor these joyful moments.

 As soon as my parents and family leave, we hustle to clean up the house and get Christmas put away.
We travel to Fresno after our morning celebrations and come home late in the evening.
Steve usually has to work the next day so I get super efficient and clean up while I have him there to help.  It takes forever for me to put up Christmas and very little time to take it down.
 Hours later we are at Steve's side of the family for more celebrations. 
 ...including Kristi's birthday.

 One of the gifts I got Steve this year was a backgammon game board.
This man hates to lose.
I had a winning streak once.
Maybe that was his gift to me.
I don't win very often anymore.

 These were my lucky socks.
I should bring them back out.
 The weather in California this winter has given us ample rainfall and snow, for the remaining days of vacation we decided to play.

 We also chose to embrace Macy's infatuation with cooking by signing up for Blue Apron so that we could try out new kinds of foods and recipes that we might not otherwise try.
Most of the recipes Macy can do on her own.

 We spent a little time with cousins, at Cal Skate, movies, and sleepover.
 The kids couldn't decide on what bagel to get, so we got many different flavors for them to taste test and pick their favorites.

 The chocolate chip was a top contender. 
 We celebrated New Year's Eve at a basketball game with some of our favorite people.
This was a great way to end the year.
We are ready for 2017.