Monday, March 29, 2010


On Sunday we got the keys to our new place. We start moving on Thursday and Friday. I'm not as sad as I thought I'd be, but then again, we don't have to be out of our house for a while, which gives us time to move things in slowly.

I'm sure when its time to turn the keys over to the new buyers, it will hit me.

Sometimes I think we get so comfortable in our life, that God comes in and shakes things up.

I'm looking at this as a fresh start. All of the older kids have moved out so we really don't need a big place anymore. Change is always hard but sometimes necessary.

One of my bosses was walking around work the other day saying, "Bloom where you're planted" over & over again. He thought he was being funny...I laughed, but then thought, "How true!"

Cheers to New Beginnings!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Random Stranger Conversation

I always found it strange how everyone would always come up and talk to my mom & older sister Stacy. Anytime we went anywhere, people would just start talking to them like they've known them for years. I would sit there in amazement. Afterwords I would ask them, "What's up with one ever just comes up and talks to me?

I guess it kind of bugged me.

Do I look mean, snobby, unapproachable? I just didn't get it.

I've never been one to strike up a conversation first, but once someone talks to me, I'm fine & can go on & on with the best of them.

Imagine my surprise when TWO yep TWO random strangers sat by me at my sons track meet in Laguna Hills this weekend and started talking to me.

They were interesting. They were full of information, very open, telling me about their kids, their experiences coaching baseball (which I was able to have an in depth conversation about because my husband & I both coached our kids in baseball together) and coaching a Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Nebraska in the 70's. Which I found fascinating (I'm a football fanatic!)

I have to tell you that I really enjoyed the random conversations.

So I tried to figure out what made me more approachable that day?

Was it the funky, trendy plaid hat I wore. Did I look like someone who would be fun to talk to?

I don't really know, all I do know is...people are interesting. Maybe I should try to step outside of my comfort zone & talk to people first.

So my question to all of you is...

~Do people approach you and strike up conversations?
~What's the most interesting story a stranger has ever told you?

Can't wait to hear!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Shoot Part II

To finish yesterdays post I'm adding Part II from "A Dancer's Life" Shoot by:
NY Photographer: Gregory Kramer
Model: Jullien Herrera

The Shoot

If you've been following my Blog, you know how proud I am of my boys and every opportunity I get, I post pics. So here's Jullien's (Red Model Management) latest shoot by New York based Photographer Gregory Kramer. Styled by Timothy Reukauf.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What a Weekend

On Friday night Elijah (my youngest~14 yrs. old) had a track meet. Last week he didn't perform as well as he had hoped. He ran in 4 events (100m, 200m, 4 x 100m & 4 x 400m) I don't think he was in as good of shape as he had hoped to be in for the first meet.

This meet however, they had him run in only two events & he did AWESOME! They placed 1st in the 4 x 100m race (he ran the anchor leg~last) and placed 2nd in the 400m.

He felt much better!

Elijah (on the right-Freshman) practicing against the Varsity Sprinters

I can't believe how buff he's getting since he's been lifting for football!

The 4 x 100m race~running the anchor Leg

Pulling ahead of the pack

Look at the distance he gained against the 2nd place team!

On Saturday he had his big CIBACS presentation before four very tough judges. They had to present a Business/Marketing plan to a Catamaran Co. They have been doing research and took a field trip to learn about the Co. they were representing...etc.

He did so good...I could've never memorized all the information that he did. He had to dress in a suit & stand in front of the judges and give a speech during a Power Point presentation.

CIBACS is such a wonderful program which not only prepares them for college but the business world.

I'm a proud mama! Not only is he a top athlete, but a brainiac too!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Place To Give

We will be moving on April 3rd. We have soooo much stuff in our house after being here for 8 years. I was planning on selling some furniture and stuff on Craig's List. My husband said, "Why don't we donate it all instead."

To be honest, at first I thought, "Ya that's a good idea, but we could really use the money to help us with the cost of this move."

But the more I thought about it, he's right...we've been blessed with so much...too much. There are so many homeless families out there right now. It would be good to make a difference in some small way.

I decided to find someplace that will give directly to the families, not just a drop off center that ends up selling the stuff in their stores, but an actual shelter that helps people get back on their feet & into a place of their own.

I found the perfect place!

Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter

I printed up the info and then noticed that they also need volunteers. Once things settle down a little bit, I would love to help with the kids 1 night a week.

I've felt a pull on my heart for a while now to do something for others.

I want to encourage you all to seek out shelters in your area and see if you can make a difference in some way...we all have something to give.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wow...You Like Me, You Really Like Me

I'm so excited, my Blog is featured on a Travel Website all the way around the world in the Mediterranean Island of Nicosia, CYPRUS!


Philip (Travel Blog Writer) let me know a few days ago that he wanted to feature my "Random California Shots" post. me think about it.

Ya right...I said yes immediately!

His blog is amazing! If you're like me and wish you could travel, but never have enough money, you must visit his Blog! It takes you to exotic places around the world.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Trip to Jurassic Park...Sort of

On our 10 year anniversary most of you know that we went to Northern California (Mendocino County). I shared some pictures but I didn't get to post the incredible Pygmy Forest photos & info. I found it so interesting that these trees could be so old and yet so small.

So we left our ocean view cottage

We drove approximately 5 min. to the VAN DAMME STATE PARK (Fern Forest & Pygmy Forest)~We felt as though we had stepped directly into Jurassic Park. Every tree was covered with moss & the entire mountains were full of large, exotic ferns.

Pulling in to the Forest was just breathtaking!

This is the river along the path before you get up into the steeper trails.

If you hike through the fern forest you eventually come to the Pygmy Forest.


This is the moss that protects the soil...

Causing what should be enormous trees to become dwarfed.

To protect the soil, they built this walkway that takes you through the forest. The further you travel along it, the older & smaller the trees are...(Anthony checking things out).

Time to head to our next destination~Mendocino

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wrestling With Why

It's been a long time since I let so many days go by without updating my Blog. I somehow found myself in a rut. Usually my Blog & writing is my escape. But following the death of my friends two boys, Zach & Drake, I found myself just at a complete loss for words.

Anything that I could write about was just so trivial in comparison. So I just stayed away, trying to deal with it by reading my Bible a lot, hoping to find an answer to "WHY could this happen to this family?" They have been through so much.

The dad, Steve, almost died in 2000.

It started out as just a normal day. He went to a pizza party, got a mug of beer from the tap and drank it.

All restaurants have someone come in & clean out the drink lines with chemicals. The person who had cleaned out the lines on this particular day didn't drain out all of the cleaning fluid.

Steve ingested all of the remaining chemicals. It instantly ate away his esophagus. He dropped to the ground grasping his throat as his oldest son Steven looked on in horror.

Steve was in ICU for months. No one ever expected him to live. They eventually manufactured an esophagus from his intestines. He was a miracle.

At his sons funeral he recalled that he told himself he had to pull through, his boys needed him & he refused to leave them.

From that point on, his life changed. He could never sleep lying down, he had to be completely upright. If he bent over after eating, all of his food would fall out. He went from a healthy 220 lb. man to about 135 lbs.

The stress of this event, eventually took its toll on his marriage. He divorced and raised his three boys on his own.

Both Steve & Steven spoke at Drakes funeral. It was incredible. His inner strength and love for his boys was evident to all who attended. He said he didn't know why so much has happened to his family, but wanted to encourage everyone to continually show and tell their kids, spouses, parents and the people in their life that they love them. Look them in the eye, not a text or a phone call, but TELL them face to face. Stop what your doing everyday in your busy life and spend time with your kids/family members. You never know how much time you have with them. MAKE EVERYDAY COUNT.

As I sat listening to him, I couldn't help but think about how caught up I get in little everyday tasks. I get flustered, stressed & find myself sitting behind the computer, isolating to escape. I needed to hear that, I need to make more time for my family. I need to write when everyone is at their activities so that I will be able to be there emotionally for them.

As I was praying & reading the Bible, I realized that God knows exactly how Steve feels. He too lost his son. He had to witness his son, Jesus Christ, in unbearable pain & suffering.

When things like this happen, and the question is WHY...the only one who truly knows the answer & can help in your pain & suffering is God.

What an incredible man...I pray for him, His fiance Shannon, his son Steven and Venus daily.

Be sure to count your blessings & look for the good in your life everyday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Loss of Two Boys

On Sunday I received a phone call from my son in New York that his friend Drake had passed away. He was so upset he could barely talk.

I had just moved to Huntington Beach from La Habra. Steve, Venus & their boys were the first people that I met, they lived in the front unit of the apartment complex we lived in. We had a lot in common, we each had three boys. They were almost all the same age. It was also perfect because we would take turns babysitting each others kids. That way, every other weekend we would be able to go out and know that our kids were in good hands (it was hard finding someone willing to babysit three rambunctious boys.)

Venus & I would take daily bike rides down the board walk, with my little 2 year old Elijah in the bike seat. All the other boys were in school. We had so much fun, getting in shape & enjoying the beach, just having "girl therapy" which is always a MUST!

My oldest son Josh became really close with Steven & Zach, while Jullien and Drake seemed to have a rougher time hitting it off. They both were hot heads and their "play time" eventually would turn into a boxing/wrestling matches. Drake out weighed Jullien by about 30 lbs. So I wasn't surprised when I heard screaming and yelling one day. I ran outside, turned the corner to see the two 5 year olds...Drake sitting on top of Jullien, hands on both sides of Jullien's head, smacking it into the pavement.

Now, I'm not a mom who freaks I pulled him off, picked up Jullien & told them that they both were not allowed to play with each other anymore until they could get along.

Once I got Jullien back home, I told him the same thing my dad told me when I was little, "It doesn't matter how big they are, make sure that you never let them get the upper hand on you, handle your business." LOL...I know not a very nice mom...but being a tomboy & raising my boys alone for so long, I didn't want to have a bunch of little sissy's so I was pretty tough.

Jullien really took that to heart, the boys would continue to have "scuffles" but I never had to pick him up off the ground again. Once Drake knew that Jullien could "handle his business" the fighting stopped. They were the best of friends after that.

When they were older, they grew closer. It's funny how the love-hate relationship in the beginning left a strong bond between the two boys.

Drake was such a fun loving kid. Always cracking jokes & making everyone laugh. He was a loyal friend, ready to defend anyone who messed with the people he cared about.

Drake's older brother Zach (21), had just passed away three months before in a freak car accident.

My heart just aches for Steve, Venus & Steven. The loss of two sons is absolutely unimaginable. Steve sent me an email asking for people to please pray for them...they are at a total loss!

Tonight we will be attending a candlelight vigil for Drake.

R.I.P. Zach & are loved & will be missed!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Random California Shots

I finally was able to get pictures uploaded after I cleaned up my computer. I broke down and purchased an external hard drive (which took 24hrs. to pull all the pictures I had off of my computer) no wonder it was running so slow...duh!

So here's to random Southern & Northern California Coastal Shots
~Hope you enjoy the trip it's beautiful here~

This Was Taken After Walking Out of The Grocery Store One Night (IT IS NOT PHOTO SHOPPED)

Homeless man & his friend-Santa Monica, CA

Young Love & Old Love Enjoying a Moment

Aerial Silk Performance on Santa Monica Pier

Life On Santa Monica, CA Pier

Street Performers Flipping

Northern California Coast

Hiking in Big Sur, CA

Famous Redwood Trees

Carmel By The Sea, CA

Shadow Posing-My Babies Are Never serious! Long Beach, CA

Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA~a.k.a Surf City, USA

This Resulted In a Fight-The surfer on the right of this picture was supposed to pull out & he didn't-not cool! (Surfer's Have Rules)

Elijah & Cousin Tyce~Huntington Beach, CA

My Sister April-Aren't Her Eyes GORGEOUS!

Attacking Pelican-Then He Did This..Weird!

Mmmmm Sand!

Northern California Coast