Friday, August 31, 2012

you make me happy

this labor day bobby and i will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary.  it's hard to believe that we've been married that long.  it really does get better and better every year.  maybe because we understand each other better.  or because we tolerate each other more.  or our communication is clear - ok we are still working on that.  or we value each other and our family so much that nothing else matters.

whatever it is, it has worked for 18 years.  i still love him and he still loves me.  he still makes me laugh - out loud.  he supports me and encourages me and believes in me.  he challenges me - in all ways.  he calls me out, but he also let's me be.  he hugs and kisses me.  he holds my hand. he dances with me.  he reminds me that adventure can be fun and safe.  he knows my limits and pushes me to go beyond them.  he respects me and the life we have built.  he honors his commitments. he is a man of integrity, compassion and strength.  he lights up my heart and my life.  he's all that and a bag of chips.

he makes me happy.

B&B from Gioconda Mitas on Vimeo.

have a lovely 3-day weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

he, he and she

he is starting his last year at cha, a school he has attended for 9 years.  he is big man on campus, literally. he has grown 6 1/2 inches over the last year.  he is starting his final year of swim team for our church next week.  he has mastered a few songs on the drums.  it's actually nice to hear him play.  he is adding volleyball to his sport list this year. he made a goal to try something new at school.  he is at a middle school retreat until tomorrow.

he is starting his first year of middle school.  he has his own locker (i hope he remembers the combination). he will have electives for the first time. he got to try out the new ipads in his class.  he will start wearing glasses in the next few weeks - after we order them.  he grew 3 and 3/4 inches over the last year. he refused to get his haircut any shorter. he enjoys watching the republican national convention and giving side comments. he is at a middle school retreat until tomorrow.

she is part of the lower school now.  she has lunch in the cafeteria and plays on the big yard.  she has her own desk. she loves her new grey high tops. she adores her teacher. she is greeted by every teacher, and a lot of students, as she makes her way up to class.  she is going to dinner with me and bobby tonight - her choice.  she gave me homework on the first day.

they are excited about the coming year.  they are having a hard time adjusting to the new schedule - we all are.  they are all at carpool together which makes it so much easier for me.  they love listening to the same songs in the car and sing out loud occasionally. they love going to the same school.

it's gonna be a great year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

a thousand words are worth a picture

i know you will find this hard to believe but last night at our back to school bbq i didn't take a single picture.

not one of me (nervously) speaking at the new parent orientation.
not one of me standing at the pto table getting parents to volunteer.
not one of my half eaten veggie burger because i was so busy talking to everyone.
not one of sofia hanging out with the first graders, 5th graders and 8th graders. she fits in anywhere.
not one of bobby talking to parents about charting the future and building our new school.
not one of andrew playing on the sports court with his friends and totally forgetting that this was a bbq so he didn't eat dinner until we got home. "oh yeah, i forgot to eat"
not one of jordan walking around with his friends as an 8th grader - his last year at our beloved cha.
not one of all of us sitting in the 8th grade meeting talking about graduation and washington, d.c and chapter presentation.  is this really happening?!

nope, not one picture.

but it was great to see everyone.  meet new parents.  see the excitement in (some) of the kids, and in all of the parents.  get started on some of the plans i've been working on over the summer.  

it really is going to be great year, filled with great memories.  looking forward to all of it.

goodbye summer... hello new school year.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

weekly menu: week 35

well it's here.  the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year.  2 more days and these kids will be at school for most of the day.  we spent the weekend getting ready. writing names in books, sharpening pencils, filling backpacks.  we have just a few more things to do, including haircuts and one more dr. appointment.

we'll enjoy these next two days together and be ready for what's to come.  bobby and i have compared our calendars, work, school and personal.  we have a very busy month coming up.  from day one we will be running at 100 mph.  hope we make it out alive.

making this week:
monday: milanese, arugula and tomato salad, bacon and corn hash
tuesday: back to school bbq
wednesday: pasta with turkey sausage
thursday: fish tacos, watermelon
friday: pizza
saturday: wedding
sunday: eat out

hope your week is a calm one.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


we left the valley on wednesday evening.  car packed stuffed with tents, suitcases, bikes and food.  we drove about 3 hours to independence, ca for the night.

the next morning we drove 10 minutes to manzanar.

bobby is a huge history buff and wanted to visit this site for research on a project.  we've driven by here before, but not since they opened the museum.  and it was something we wanted the kids to see.

i knew only the basic history of this place.  a "relocation camp" for japanese detainees during wwii.  i had no idea how emotional and gripping this visit would be.  imagining life here on a day to day basis.  families taken away from their homes and forced into barracks with no privacy.  families torn apart, lives lost, the emotion, confusion and fear must have been overwhelming.

this spot is now a national historical site with recreated areas like the mess hall, the barracks and japanese gardens.
a cemetary as well.

i was interested in reading more about the day to day life at manzanar.  so i am reading, farewell to manzanar.  it brought everything to life for me.  imagining the confusion of being taken away from their homes, leaving all that they worked for behind.  forced to live in harsh conditions but make the best of it.  the japanese attitude of honor and going along with it to do what was best for themselves and  the country. "shikata ga nai", it must be done, it cannot be helped.
i'm so glad we had a chance to stop and visit this place.  it was something that brought tears and made an impression on all of us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

around here

we are soaking up the last few days of summer vacation.
we are enjoying sleeping in and staying up late. (we're getting back on schedule this week though.)
i am giving my blog a lot of thought. hoping to redesign soon.
i am taking the pressure off.
i am running again.
we are excited to see this.
i am gearing up for a year of being pto president.

i just started my christmas wish list with this kit.
we are making jam this week with grandma.
we are ordering new beds for the boys' room.

i am reading this.
the kids are visiting the pediatrician and the optometrist.
the kids are getting new shoes and haircuts - both much needed.
school books are arriving.

i am so happy i saw this.
life is good.

Monday, August 20, 2012

weekly menu: week 34

got back last night from our mini vacation to mammoth. 4 days of camping, hiking, cooking, fishing, biking, and playing.  can't wait to share the pictures.  we had a great time with great friends but we were happy to be home last night for a hot shower and sleep in our own beds.

today lots of laundry, grocery shopping and trying to get rid of the campfire smell.  this is our last full week of summer vacation.  wondering if we can finish off our summer list.  we'll try.

making this week:
monday: caprese sandwiches, salad
tuesday: honey mustard salmon and green beans
wednesday: appetizers for dinner; hummus, bruschetta, pot stickers, vegetables and dip  
thursday: teriyaki chicken bowls
friday: pizza
saturday: eat out
sunday: grill something

hope this is a good week for everyone!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

chinese chicken salad

here's a recipe we've been having a lot over the last few weeks.  it's a copy of a salad from california chicken cafe that we love.  and in this hot summer weather it's a refreshing dinner or side dish.

chinese chicken salad
1 bag of chopped romaine lettuce
2 carrots, shredded
2 green onions, sliced
2 cups of cooked pasta, i use fusilli
1 15oz can of mandarin oranges, drained
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (i use rotisserie chicken)
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup chinese rice noodles
1/4 cup asian salad dressing

toss first 5 ingredients together in a bowl.  add salad dressing and gently mix.  top with almonds and noodles.  serve.

i use this dressing on the salad.  it's a little spicy from the ginger but good.

i made this for a get together at my parents over the weekend and had leftover ingredients to make it again for dinner without the chicken. i served it with steamed chicken shu mai and chicken fried rice from trader joe's.  dinner was ready in 10 minutes.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

photo adventure:: venice

aside from getting another thing crossed off our summer to-do list, this outing to venice helped me pull out my "real" camera and take some shots of the vibrancy that is the venice boardwalk.

we went to the beach with my sister-in-law and nephews.  they had this on their summer list as well, so it was great to go together.

i wanted to get a gourmet sandwich at zelda's corner, but discovered that they are closed on wednesdays.  so i had to settle for a slice of pizza.

definitely not gourmet.

then we walked and explored.
a lot of the artists who display their creations wouldn't allow photos, unless you paid them a dollar.  they have to make a living somehow i guess.

then we took the kids to the water. to get their feet wet and sand in their toes.

love these of sofia.  so happy she wore this dress.

 ciao venice!

Monday, August 13, 2012

weekly menu: week 33

feeling sad now that the games are over.
luckily i have a few nights of the games recorded in case i need to get my fix.
at least i get time back now.
time for all those things i haven't done in the last two weeks.

summer is definitely winding down.
but we'll squeeze in one more getaway.
and a little more relaxing time before it's back to the books.

making this week:
monday: shrimp tacos (didn't make those last week)
tuesday: chicken shu mai, rice, salad
wednesday: eat out
thursday: bbq 
friday: turkey chili
saturday: pasta with turkey meatballs
sunday: eat out

wishing you a happy {non-olympic} week!

Friday, August 10, 2012

looking forward to...

-getting back to the beach one more time.
-getting over this cold.  where did it come from?
-buying the boys' new beds.  their rooms are almost done.
-watching the closing ceremony on sunday. not so excited that the olympics will be over.
-having menchies for dessert tonight.
-a weekend at home.
-dancing the night away with the kids tomorrow.
-tomorrow's 1/2 marathon meeting.  asking myself if i can want to do it again.
-fall weather.
-fall clothing.
-a little adventure.
-the next 2 1/2 weeks before school starts.

have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

currents 8.9.12

time: 10:26am
place: my room
eating: a sun dried tomato bagel with light cream cheese
drinking: coffee with caramel macchiato creamer
feeling: rested
watching: the olympics, what else?
thinking: i need to clean our room
creating: lots of great summer memories
hoping: to get them all documented
needing: to go to target to finish school supply shopping (almost done)
wishing: we didn't have to go out in this heat

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

beach day

"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"
-Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

love and marriage

this past weekend we were with family celebrating the wedding of yesenia and mark.  over the past 13 months bobby's family has gotten together for five weddings.  all cousins, all so special, all unique and romantic in their own way.

this was the 3rd wedding that bobby has officiated.  what made this an even more special occasion was that he wasn't just joining together this man and this woman, but their family.  she has a son and a daughter. this day was about completing a family.

yesenia looked beautiful as her dad and son walked her down the aisle.

the ceremony was touching, funny and inspirational.

the vows blew us away.  i've been touched by all of the vows at the different weddings.  true proclamations of love and dedication.

 bobby really wanted to do something different at this wedding.  in the past he's done the hand ceremony which is so beautiful.  after some research, we found this hand fasting ceremony and it just seemed to fit.
jose and janizette actually did the binding as a symbol of unifying the whole family.  then they pulled their arms apart and "tied the knot."  not a dry eye in the house.

it was just perfect.

the next generation of cousins.  no weddings for them for a long time.

the reception was on the same grounds under a big tent.  music, italian dinner and lots of dancing.  bobby and i especially loved the photo booth.  so much fun for the guests.

the first dance was a highlight of the night.  they started with a traditional dance, but this is not a traditional couple.  they played all kinds of music as the bride and groom had a "dance off".  songs like ymca, staying alive, can't touch this, macarena, and the chicken dance.  it was a huge surprise and a lot of fun.  what a great way to get the party started.
we had a wonderful time with everyone dancing the night away.

this wedding may mark the end of the weddings in this family for a while.  but you know what that means?  lots of baby showers!!  no pressure guys.

we wish mark, yesenia, jose and janizette all the happiness in the world.  we love you guys!