Monday, December 28, 2009

The Countdown-One More Day!

It's almost here...I'm so excited, I only have one more work day this year. We leave on Wednesday for our 10 year anniversary getaway! It's very rare that we ever get away. We have so many kids that we always have something going on. My friend Debbie is staying with us right now since she moved here from Chicago. It makes it a lot easier to get away...we won't have to find somewhere for the kids and our dog to stay.

Here is a picture of some of the places we are going to visit & stay:

How gorgeous is that...I CAN'T WAIT TILL WEDNESDAY! I'm taking three memory cards for my camera...hope it's enough!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Blues

Do you ever feel a little let down after Christmas? I often feel the Christmas blues. I mean, we spend a whole month getting ready for Christmas, planning, rushing around, shopping, taking pictures, getting Christmas cards mailed out. And them's over, just like that! One quick morning of ripping packages open, then sitting back and saying, "Wow, all that time preparing and it's over in 20 minutes (my family is fast present openers!)

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and the meaning behind it, but I wish the day would somehow last longer. I wish we had a remote control that you could put on slow motion and spend the whole day opening presents, hit the pause button, and enjoy the look on everyone's faces as they receive the gift they've been hoping for. Then hit slow motion again and let it go on the entire day. Imagine...a whole day of non-stop joy and excitement.

My husbands family celebrates Chrismas Eve (his mom's Costa Rican & his dads Italian) its their Latin tradition. This makes it last a little longer. We went to my sister-in-laws house and ate Costa Rican & Mexican tamales and opened presents. I'll post some pictures later...there's always tons of family members there, it's crazy! We stayed pretty late & then had to come home & finish wrapping our presents, we were up till 2:00 am.

Now that the kids are older I thought they would let us sleep in a little bit. Nope...6:00 a.m., they were pounding on the door to get up to open presents, (4 hrs. of sleep may have contributed to the Christmas blues.) After 20 minutes, my step kids left to go to their moms house to open more presents. That I headed upstairs to go back to sleep for a little bit, I thought, "Another Christmas over...where have the years gone?"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Watch The Elf Dance!

Our friend sent us this Elf Yourself's a CRACK UP! I did one for my husband and his kids & one for Elijah. I'm going to add one of me & my kids tomorrow. I wanted to do one with the whole family, but they only let you do five elves...we need 8. Click on the two links to watch the dances:

Petrarca Christmas Ho Down

Elijah's Christmas Hip Hop Routine

I have so much to do and instead of working on that, I would rather post funny dances. I'm going to be soooo stressed tomorrow...finishing everything up. I did get a lot of shopping done today, I dragged my husband out with me. That's always a lot of fun...NOT!

Hope you enjoy the dances! I'll post the other one tomorrow. Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time Crunch

With football season over for Edison, I thought my schedule would free up a little bit. Even though my kids play so many sports & they always seems to demand most of my time (I took all the pictures for the Freshman A & B team this year).

This weekend continued to be jam packed with must do's. I had to laugh at my friend Debbie who has moved back here from Chicago and is staying with us until she's able to get back on her feet. I dragged her around with me and my never ending schedule. We were driving home from a dinner party that my boss had on Saturday night and she was wiped out. We spent Friday & Saturday rushing around ALL day. She said, "Man I can hardly wait until Monday so I can relax!" I was cracking up...I was exhausted too and I'm used to being constantly on the go.

Today we went to church in the morning, I had a photography shoot for a family's Christmas pictures right after and then straight to the kids basketball game (they lost by 4). Back to the family's house to review the pictures and then dinner at 8:00. I'm not looking forward to Monday...I'M TIRED!

In the mix of everything else, I've been planning our 10 year anniversary trip. I finally found a really cool place in Mendocino County. I've never been there but the pictures look gorgeous. I found a cabin overlooking the ocean, in the middle of huge Redwood trees (it's been featured on E!, Eye on LA & Channel 2 travel). We'll stay there 3 days and then explore after that.

I always need adventure on every trip, so on the way back we're just going to wing it. Going through little towns, exploring, visiting state parks (Pfeiffer Falls, etc.) and staying wherever we end up. I love just winging it! My husband is a planner & a scheduler, but I think after 2 years of dating & 10 years of marriage, my crazy "lets just go and see what happens" attitude has rubbed off on him. It's so much better not having a plan. When you have preconceived expectations, you always seem to get let down when things don't go exactly as planned.

Even though I'll be stressed the next 4 days...I'll finally be able to relax on our big getaway.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

I wrote about our Christmas tree shopping on the previous post (read below). My stepson Adam came over today to decorate the tree with us and said, "How long did it take to find the tree this time?" I laughed and said, "Only 20 minutes!" He didn't believe me because I always play jokes on everyone, so they never know if I'm messing with them or not. So here's the pics from our QUICK trip:

Josh (aka: Joshy-my oldest) & Charmaine

Jullien (aka: JuJu-my middle son)

Elijah (aka: Lijey-my youngest son) & Hubby (aka: Anthony)

Everybody shocked & amazed that we found one! See how short it is!LOL!

Me..."the librarian look"

My Boys!

Here's my whole family...on my birthday night.

Last Minute Christmas

All the Grandkids on my Husbands side.

My Family-They're so grown up!

Me & Jullien (I'm standing on my toes to look taller)

My Hubby & His Sisters

Sister In Law Brigett & her kids

Sister in Law Erika & her kids
Stepdaughter Tashy & Niece Adrianna

Me & my Sister In Laws-I'm liking the Black & White
Anthony's Parents & ALL of us (except Josh-left for work)
Adrianna & my Sister in Law Vivian

Why does it always feel like the older you get the faster the time goes by? Christmas is almost here and I haven't even started shopping! We just barely took Christmas pictures, and got our tree last week, which is still not decorated.

Anthony's family came over to have me take Christmas pictures of everyone. We had it all planned to go down to our normal spot in Corona Del Mar, but Josh had to work and so everyone came over and we just took them at our house. Not the picture perfect area, but we made it work. Luckily my husband has our tropical back yard looking good.

It was quite a fiasco! We were pressed for time because the boys had a basketball game, someone left the door open and our husky got out, ran across a busy street, almost got hit twice. We were all chasing her down yelling and freaking out. We finally got her across the street in a shopping center and some guy started yelling at me to keep her on a leash! I've been working on my mouth so I actually kept my cool and didn't let him have it! PROGRESS...yay!

Every year I make the whole family go together to get the Christmas tree. This is always a big deal for me, I love traditions. They however don't look forward to it. I can't get just any tree, it has to be the perfect tree, a Noble at least 7-8 ft tall and perfectly shaped. This isn't easy to find and can take a few hours! LOL! The kids start getting frustrated with me after the first 30 minutes. Anthony usually has had enough after 15 min. Then it's total drama the whole time...and it happens like this every year...awwwwe traditions!

This year Anthony's kids couldn't make it...which I'm sure didn't upset them too much, but I missed them. I was happy that all three of my boys were able to go. My oldest son Josh even brought his girlfriend. It was different this year, the lot didn't have anything over 6ft., we found the perfect tree after Anthony & the boys lifted and turned them so I could carefully examine them. It only took three trees & 20 minutes...a new record! I wish it was taller though...I know, I know...I'm a freak!

As for shopping...which I can't stand doing under normal circumstance let alone in the holiday rush, I will be out Christmas Eve, this too seems to be a tradition for me. Not one I plan...just me procrastinating!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Edison vs. Servite CIF Championship-Curse of the Rain

The rain poured down ALL night. The field was covered in several inches of water. Edison struggled offensively as the ball was continually stripped from our running backs and our receivers dropped pass after pass.

The defense was on the field the entire first half. They also struggled with several missed tackles, but still managed to hold Servite to only a single field goal in the first half. After 3 turnovers, Edison could not get any momentum on offense. It was frustrating to watch, knowing that if it wasn't raining, we would be winning! The fact that Servite was only able to score 3 points on three separate turnovers said alot about the way this game would have progressed under normal conditions.

In the rain however, the Servite quarterback, Cody Fajardo scrambled his way around the field and continued to make plays. We were down 10-0 when we were finally able to score early in the 4th quarter, but missed the extra point...leaving us down by 4. Knowing that we needed a touchdown to win, and as the clock ticked away, adding even more pressure to our rain, crumbling offense. On our last drive, quarterback Matt Viles tried to make something happen, but we were unable to convert, giving Servite the ball back. The defense was worn out and obviously defeated as Servite scrambled into the end zone to seal our fate.

We lost our CIF Championship game & the opportunity to play in the State Championship game, all due to R A I N and our inablility to overcome it. Servite came prepared and received some much needed help from mother nature. I truly believe that if Edison was able to play under normal conditions, the result would have been the same as our first meeting early in the season.

Another CIF Championship ending much like the 2006 game...THE EDISON CIF CURSE OF THE RAIN.

FINAL SCORE: Servite: 16 Edison: 6

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Edison vs. Servite CIF Championship Game

Tonight is the big night...we play Servite for the CIF Pac 5 Championship at Angels Stadium at 7:30. It will also be shown on Primeticket, but we'll be there! We've had a great season, UNDEFEATED.

I feel bad for Jullien, he should have been in this graduating class but I started him in school when he was 4. He constantly lets me know it too! Last year he received 1st Team All Sunset League Linebacker and had an amazing season. He said, "Imagine how good I could've been if I had one more year with the kids my own age." Last year he missed the last game, which we lost to Esperanza, due to a concussion. It was the worst possible thing...5 way Sunset League tie for 1st place. They pulled names out of the hat and we were not picked to go to CIF playoffs. It was devastating for the seniors! It's sad to see them at the games this year...just dreaming about what could've been last year.

It's going to be a tough game. Even though we handed Servite their only loss this year, they're going to be ready. The thing that worries me is the rain. My oldest son, Josh was on the 2006 Edison team that went to the CIF Championship game by defeating Servite twice to get there. The problem in that CIF game, which we lost lost to Orange Lutheran...R A I N!

We are a passing team. This presents a lot of opportunity for errors when it's raining. Servite has a quarterback who scrambles...makes it a little easier for them. This year however, Edison has so many weapons. They mixed in the Wildcat offense to throw our opponents off in a couple games. It worked! This may be a great alternative for Edison this year if we run into the same problem as the 2006 team. It will be the first CIF championship for Edison since 1985. I know the boys can pull it off...we just need to continue with the same "Refuse to Lose" attitude.

**If you watch it on t.v., be sure to look for my stepson on the sidelines #26 (he's only a sophomore). During last weeks game he kept standing behind our quarterback, Matt Viles, every time the camera was around. We were teasing him and told him to make sure he waves to all his fans this game! He's no dummy, he knows the cameras are going to be on Viles & strategically positions himself...he loves attention!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Birthday Surprise

Today was my birthday and it was really special. I got home from work and standing at the top of the stairs was my son Jullien. He told me he wouldn't be back from NY at all this month and would not even be able to be here for Christmas. He said he was going to be working all day but would try to call me on his break.

He found a cheap flight, booked it, and arranged a ride from the airport, just to be here for my birthday! No one is ever able to pull anything like that on me...I'm known as the family detective. I can always tell when somethings up and figure it out. This caught me completely off guard! I hope my age isn't affecting my skills?

Anthony cooked tacos and all the kids came over, along with two of my sister in laws. It was so much fun. I'm one lucky lady...what an amazing family I have!

Thank you everyone for making my day sooooo special!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Xerox & You-Thanking the Troops

Every Christmas season I want to do something to help others. Unfortunately I never know where to begin. In the holiday seems to pass me by. I always have good intentions but it doesn't usually go past that. This year I received the following email about Xerox making it easy to send Thank You cards to those serving in the armed forces this Holiday Season. IT WAS's the info:


If you go to this web site, (Click this Link~ you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq . You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services. How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!

It is FREE and it only takes a second.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? This takes just 10 seconds and it's a wonderful way to say thank you. Please take the time to send to our troops and then please take the time to pass it on for others to do. We can never say enough thank you's.
Thanks for taking to time to support our military!


Children have decorated several cards, you just have to choose one you like. You can click on a pre-written letter, or you can click "other" and leave your own. This was such a simple way to reach out to the troops who will be unable to be at home this holiday season as they fight for our freedom.

Continue to stop by and join me as I post new ways to reach out and do things this Christmas season!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Can I do the 31 Day Challenge?

I've been developing quite the holiday body lately. You know, a little mushy around the middle, jiggly around the thighs and back end. I reach up to wave to someone and my arm continues to flap underneath long after I've stopped. I'm usually like the rest of you..."Oh, it's winter and the holidays so I will start getting in shape as my New Year's resolution."

This year, on December 31 will be my ten year wedding anniversary. We actually have been together 12 years. The day after Thanksgiving, I was trying to find something to wear and just felt ugly in everything. Nothing fit right. That's when it hit me. "I'm going to get in shape before we go away on our romantic 10th anniversary. I'm going to get the body that I had ten years ago back...and I'm going to do it in 31 days !"

On Dec. 1st, I hit the gym with my friend Debbie. She moved back here from Chicago, which was perfect timing because it's so much easier doing the buddy system. We push each other! I was going to do 30 min. of cardio and then know, easing this out of shape, achy body into it. But Debbie saw that they had a Pilates class starting and dragged me in. kicked my butt! I was hurting in areas that I didn't even know existed. It felt good though to be moving again. We ended with weights and the Butt Blaster...woo hoo...blast this thing back into shape!

We heard that a ZUMBA dance class was just starting up. Dance is my favorite...I was on the dance team in high school and college. I've missed it sooo much. I jumped into the class and picked it right up. So, Zumba class 2x a week, pilates 2x a week and cardio/bike/stairmaster mixed with weights the rest of the days.

I hope this will work! We'll's different as you get older, you're body doesn't want to shape up as quick, I hate that!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Son's Nickelodeon BrainSurge Debut

Today at 4:30 p.m. CA time, my son Elijah has his Nickelodeon BrainSurge game show debut. It was filmed in the summertime and we have been anxiously waiting to see it. My step sons Adam's episode already aired (he was the one in the commercials with both hands on his cheeks).

Check your local listings and tune in to watch him.

I Blogged about the whole audition experience...CLICK HERE to read.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Thanks!

I didn't have to cook! THANKS
I didn't have to bake! THANKS
I didn't have to clean! THANKS
I only had to eat! THANKS (I think)

Food, Family, Friends and that's a THANKSGIVING!


Me, Adam, Elijah, Anthony, Natascha & Dillon~Missing Josh & Jullien

My Boys~Joshy & Elijah...MISSING Jullien

The Kids...Natascha's glowing due to her recent engagement.

THE PETRARCA FAMILY~My Hubby, Seidy, Benny,Vivian, Brigett & Erica

Brigett & Erica's Boys

Me & My Friend Debbie

The Petrarca Crew-EATING STOP # 1

The Balibrea House-EATING STOP #2

Deb & My Brother-In-Law Jay

Anthony Hitting the Desert Table First!

I'm so thankful to have such an amazing family &'s always so much fun to hang out and be together.

Hope you all had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jullien Herrera in Details Magazine

Fotos: Eric Ogden
Styling: Wayne Gross C

I was excited to see my son Julliens pictures in Details Magazine (December 2009 Issue). The new issue features John Mayer on the cover. Jullien is in a photo spread for Lord and Taylor Street Smarts.

He is staying in New York for Thanksgiving. I was sad that he wouldn't be able to come home, but luckily his girlfriend Chelsea, well kind of his girlfriend...they broke up because he lives in New York now but they still act like they're together whenever they see each other. Anyways, Chelsea's dad took the family to New York for Chelsea's birthday on the 23rd & Thanksgiving. It's nice to know that he wont be alone during his first Holiday away.

I hope he will be able to come home for Christmas, but it just depends on his schedule. This is hard to get used to but I'm so proud of him and happy that he is able to experience so much at such a young age.