Sunday, December 6, 2009

SLC Lights Adventure

So yesterday A and I had the great idea to take the kids to see the lights on Temple Square. We thought about driving, but after the snow storm that entered our little valley, we decided that neither one of us really wanted to drive and have to deal with other drivers, so why not take the front runner train down town.

The girls were ecstatic about the train option, especially K who is a really big fan of all things trains. I have to admit that her obsession with trains is a new thing for me especially since Ave never really showed this much interest in them, but I guess to each their
own, and I should just enjoy her love of all things choo choo.

So we bought our tickets and off we went to board the train and of course found seats on the top level which Ave says is where you have to sit every time you ride the train.

Now I should also mention that along with the recent snow, Mother Nature has also treated us to a pretty sever drop in temperatures. So needless to say it was cold, and if you as
ked A how cold I am sure he would have some phrase remembered from his childhood about freezing the "B's" off some animal/person or whatnot and he would be right. Even being as bundled up as we could be, it was still really really cold.

Luckily we were able to warm up by first eating dinner at The Gateway and then by getting on to the Trax and heading up to Temple Square. The lights were beautiful, at least from the little bit that what we were able to see. There was something about being out in the cold that seemed to trigger little K's bladder and she ended up needing to use the bathroom more than usual. So after taking care of that little business a few times, just as we were getting ready to take our first picture with the lights in the background, they shut them off. Guess you could say we closed down the place.

uckily for us there were still some lights left on in the plaza in between Temple Square and The Church Office Bldgs, so we were able to get a few pictures there and I have to say that the little floaty lights on the infinity pond were beautiful to see.

By now though the cold temps and the late night hour were catching up with the girls and there were tired and wanted to go home. K feel asleep the second we got back on the front runner and A got to enjoy a rare snuggle session with her as he was carrying her (I say rare because usually she won't let him do anything for her, it has to be mom) Ave feel asleep the second we got back to the car and so both girls were carried upstairs and tucked into bed once we got home.

So despite the cold temps and not getting to see all that twinkled and glittered, it was still a very good night!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I am Thankful for Many, Many Things

My Life - This really encompasses so many things, but mainly the fact that I am alive, and have a healthy body, an active mind and that I have the chance to live in a land that offers so many freedoms to do whatever it is I want to do to improve myself, my family and my community. I also have to give it up to the men and women who work on a daily bases to protect those freedoms and I don't just mean soldiers (although they are pretty darn incredible at what they do), but also give thanks to the people who every day try to make a difference like police men and women, nurses, teachers. Without you my life would be a little less safe and so I am grateful to have you in it!!

My Husband - How thankful I am that we found each, even after all these years together. We have managed to get through some pretty crazy ups and downs that life always seems to throw at you especially when you least expect it or want it. I guess it's a good thing we both like roller coaster rides, cause we may be on one for life and I wouldn't want to be on it with anyone else. We have grown together, yelled together, laughed together, cried together, been afraid together and come out on the other side of things stronger than before. I love the time we are able to spend alone together and I hope we continue to grow in our love and respect and friendship in the years to come. What more can be said but that I love you babe!

My Kids - I promise not to make this the longest section of this post, but seriously, I am thankful for my two girls, for coming into my life and making me a mom (I was always afraid I would never get to be one) and for bringing so much joy and sunshine and laughter into my life. I know I will make mistakes and not always do things the right way, but I will always love you two with all that I am and I hope in those difficult moments my love for you will be enough. I love watching you grow and learn all about the world around you. You are my angels!!

My Friends (You all know who you are) - You give me strength when I need it the most and just by being in my life I am a better person. I love that there is never any judgement and there are always sets of listening ears to hear the latest news whether it be good or bad or just plain crazy. Thanks for making me feel like I have a place in the world where I can turn whenever I need a friend - life without you would be no life at all!!

My Family - Even though we live apart and never get together as often as I like, we are a family and whenever we do get together, I love hearing and seeing and watching all that you have made of your lives. I love seeing my nieces and nephews and all the cuteness that they bring to this family (seriously, we have some cute kids) and I love hearing about the struggles, accomplishments and moments in life that bring you happiness. I will always be here if you ever need anything and I know you will be there for me as well, through the good times and the bad.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Halloween pics - Yah, I know I'm late!

So it has taken me this long to finally download the pictures from my camera from Halloween and given that it is not quite Thanksgiving yet (I still have 5 days) I figured I can still share them and not run the risk of being TOO late and overlapping on holidays, Plus the pictures are too fun not to share, so enjoy!

A carved this pumpkin all by herself. She picked out the design and punched out the picture and carved it all by herself. I think she did an amazing job and she had so much fun. She even managed to make it through the "guts" part of the pumpkin.

The night before Halloween, we took the girls to Lagoon for the last time on our season passes (there was no way I was going to take them on the actual last day which was Halloween) for Frightmares. They had a blast going through the different Spook alleys and riding on their favorite rides one last time.

I have to admit some of the high school kids they had working there were more annoying than scary, but I guess that's what you get when 15 year olds run a theme park!

t was a little chilly for full costumes so we just painted faces and wore hats, but K was the best little witch and A was her trusty black cat. They loved the fact that they got their face painted (by yours truly) and they turned out looking pretty good, although I am really glad that K does not have those eyebrows in real life.

One of the spook houses ended up being a little more scary than we planned on (at one point I screamed like a little girl) and K was a trooper and just screamed right back at anything that jumped out at her that she did not like. Needless to say in the Haunted High School she did a lot of screaming at various and random creatures. I wish I could have had video of that as it was too funny. A just stayed really close and kept really quite, probably hoping that no one would notice her.

Calling all Princesses, Calling all Princesses - On Halloween Night we went to the little hot dog roast that a neighbor up the street hosts each year before heading out and trick-or-treating.

The girls pulled in some serious candy and this year we had to stop halfway and get a grocery bag from a friend to dump their pumpkins into as they (and the pockets on my jacket) were already overflowing and we were only about halfway around our neighborhood.

In case you can't tell, A was a Renaissance princess and K was a Parisian Princess and both looked beautiful. They loved that they got to wear mommy's make-up and have "sparkly" eyes (that was K's description of how she looked
) A was especially proud of her gold sparkly shoes and dangly grown-up earrings.

By nights end they were both pretty tired, but you could tell they had a blast!!
I think the picture of K and the smile on her face as she was trick or treating really says it all. She loved that she had a friend to go from house to house with, especially since her big sister keep taking off and leaving her in the dust (literally).

loved that she got to spend the nights with her BFF M (the Zombie Bride) and J - the Egyptian Queen. They had so much fun just laughing and giggling and comparing what candy or treat each other got, it totally reminded me of the joys of just being a kid.

Hope your Halloween was as fun as ours was this year!! My girls will be eating candy until Christmas!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

US Virgin Island - St. Johns - January 2010

Duration - 7 days

ost - **FREE** --> all expenses are going to be paid by A's company. we only have to bring our swimsuits and personal items, and maybe some $ for souvinours for the girls.

hy --> Because my husband ROCKS in a major way as he ended the year in the #3 position for sales in terms of $$$ sold in medical diagnostic equipment and reagents and they take the top 10 reps who each get to bring 1 guest on an absolutely incredible trip. Seriously, we are talking over 200 sales reps and he was #3. He ROCKS!!

I get to go along as his "+1" and I plan to fully enjoy my time there. I can't wait to walk on the white sandy beaches, swim in the turquoise blue ocean and bays and partake of all that St. John's has to offer during our stay!!

My mind is spinning with images of leisurely massages, snorkeling with shiny/colorful fishes and turtles, lounging by the pool, tons of great food and fabulous fruity concoctions, uninterrupted relaxation and oh so much more.

This is why I CrossFit

I am trying to improve myself in the following areas - Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, Accuracy. All the skill areas required for optimal physical competence.

I don't watch TV while I work out - it's a distraction.

I don't use treadmills and fancy big machines. - they are not functional.

What you will see everyday is a lot of sweat and you will use a lot of chalk.

My hands are no longer soft and wimpy, they are callused and torn up, but they are my battle wounds and I wear them with pride.

New friendships are made every day because you can only suffer alongside someone for so long without learning who they really are.

The CrossFit Mindset:
1 - I will promise to do my best. My best will vary from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute. But in that minute, I will do the very best that I can.
2 - If I can run, I run. If I can walk, I walk. If I must crawl, I crawl. And when I make it, I will rest. And live to fight another day.
3 - I fear no man, but I fear my workout. If I don't fear my workout, it isn't hard enough.
4 - I may puke. I may cry. But I will not quit...Ever!
5 - I will not cheat. There is no honor in cheating. I will call out cheater when I see them, as they have no place in my gym.
6 - If you see someone puking or passed out, they are merely resting.
(the above points were written by author unknown, but he/she really nailed what is at the heart of a crossfitter mind and put it down better then I ever could)

Makes you want to run right out and join a CrossFit Gym in your area, right?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Just my thought for today!

I don't know who originally wrote this, so I can't really give the proper credit to the right person, but whoever you are, we could be friends, because you get me - thanks for putting this down into words I can share. (my own commentary added just because!!)
I'm impatient (oh yes, yes I am)
and a little insecure (especially under my brave outer shell)
I make mistakes (oh so many mistakes, I have stopped trying to count)
I'm out of control (if you knew what really goes through my head sometimes, you might think i was a little crazy)
and sometimes a little hard to handle (especially if you mess with someone I love and care about)

But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you absolutely don't deserve me at my best.

(the last statement is truth, pure truth!)

Thanks for listening!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Remember when...

I was really good about writing on my blog and posting pictures of the latest and greatest going ons with my family and telling you all about our grand adventures in life as well as sharing my own thoughts on many various topics???

well - I haven't been doing that as much lately....(duh, as if you haven't noticed)

and I find myself wondering when I am going to get my act back together and start sharing again (hey, doesn't this post count?)

seriously, i don't mean to be so remise...

just promise you will keep checking up on me and mine to see what we are up too and I promise to try and start posting again.


BTW - this is my 100th post. I know I should do something cool like give something away or promise the 1st person to comment a million dollars or something, but let's face it...I don't have a million dollars and if I did I would probably be paying someone to remind me to write on my blog so you wouldn't have to wait so long to hear what we have been up too. That's really why you check my blog in the first place, right?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Monster Mash

Monster Mash Up Fun
(thanks CeeCee for sending the link - it was too much fun)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Florida & all that is Disney!!

Since it has been almost 3 months since we went on our family vacation to Florida and because I REALLY don't want another month to go by before I share the pictures from the trip, I am taking a minute while the girls are all playing really nicely together upstairs and before I begin making dinner to get these pictures out into cyberspace so that you, my dearest friends and family can all enjoy them and see the good times that can be had in Florida.

Quick trip highlights:
- getting to go up and inside the huge silver orb that is Epcot Center and being treated like 1st class superstars. We got to hang out in a pretty cool super technical lobby and were then escorted to the front of the line like rockstars (and saving ourselves about an hour wait) for the ride that is in the globe. (1st class treatment courtesy of the company Aaron works for -> sometimes it pays to take advantage of employee benefits -> so thanks Siemens)
- K calling Donald Duck "my duck" Every time we saw him she would go - look mom, my duck!! I loved it!!
- A taking on every single roller coaster and not being scared of any of them. I love that she now loves Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain.

- running through the Swiss Family Robinson's Tree house and having both girls ask if we could build a house just like that one. I'm game!
-For K thinking the world was her stage and taking every minute to entertain everyone!!
- Realizing that the best day was spent at Epcot, when we really thought it would be the lamest!! Thanks Germany and Italy, France for making Epcot so much fun! And until we can get there in person, the Epcot version will do just fine.

Things to remember for next time or anyone else wanting to go in the near future:
- take rain ponchos - you'll use them!!
- make reservation at least 3 months in advance if you want to have lunch with the princesses in the castle. Do this especially if you don't want to be given a dirty look or mocked unceasingly behind your back by the hostess at the princess castle by thinking you can walk up and get in that day without a reservation. Note: the lady we asked did not do any of the above, but I am sure it used up all her energy not too.
- same thing is true for if you want to swim with dolphins. You will need to make reservations at least 2 month in advance to have that aquatic experience.

Now on to the pictures - There are a lot of them, so no worries if you need to speed up the slide show to get through them all. Enjoy!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Steamboat Springs over 4th of July

Above are some pictures taken from my camera (why do I feel like I missed out on some things) Nat - hopefully you have them on you camera and can share when you get a moment.

There is absolutely nothing better than getting together with good friends for a fun filled action packed weekend in a beautiful resort town to celebrate the independence and freedom that we all enjoy on a daily basis. Small towns seems to revel in all things related to parades and cattle runs and fire work shows and street fairs and we took them all in alone with some other fun activities.

We did the alpine slide and had a blast. A took a pretty nasty spill after trying (and succeeding) to beat her dad who was on the opposite track. She got scratched and banged up pretty good, but like the brave little girl that she is, once she was bandaged up, she went back up the chair lift and rode down the slide like a real champion.

We also took the kids horse back riding for the very first time. If you can believe it, K actually feel asleep on the horse she was riding. Luckily I was right behind her (on the same horse) and somehow manage to hold on to her (she was total dead weight) and control one very strong willed horse named Ox who seemed to only want to stop and eat all the tall grass alongside the trail. Guess it's a good thing I have been working out and have such immense upper body and arm strength. (insert Tim "the tool man" Taylor manly grunting here...auugghh auugghh auugghh)

Some of the best moments for me though were:
- setting up to watch fireworks while snuggling under 2 blankets that in now way should have covered 8 people and hoping that we were in the right spot.
- breakfast at Winona's which still has the best Chia Tea Latte I have ever had and from the bakery some pretty darn good cookies. Next trip we take in the cinnamon rolls with the pound of frosting on top.
- relaxing by the pool and catching up as girlfriends are meant to do. The only thing missing was being fanned by palm fronds and foot massages. We will save that for the next trip.
- taking the kids on a nature walk and coming back with handfuls of some of the prettiest flowers that can only grow in the wild and on a mountainside.
- watching our kids play like they haven't spent any time apart and loving that they think they are cousins.

and can I really end this post without mentioning the oh so spectacular fire work show put on by the guys with lighters in hand and the kids all bundled up in the backs of the car, quivering with anticipation for sparklers and whistles and bangs (conducted in a construction parking lot) with that fabulous array of "popper" fireworks. Seriously - BEST SHOW EVER!!

Thanks for the laughs - may they never ever end!!

Swim Lessons

So in an effort to help my girls develop more confidence when it comes to swimming and all things pool related, I signed them up for swim lessons at our gym.

A was in a class of about 6 other kids and K was in a class of only 3. The girls loved getting to splash around and learned how to float on their backs, hold their breath under water and all the basics you would expect from a beginning level swim class.
The best part is that A is swimming like a fish (of course being in Florida definitely helped with that) and K was the only kid in her class that was so ready for anything and everything the teacher asked her to do.

(the other 2 kids wanted absolutely nothing to do with the teacher or the class. One kid actually never came back after crying for the whole 1st lesson, and the other kid moved over into A's class because she didn't want a "boy" to be her teacher.)
K was up for everything from blowing bubbles in the water, to getting her face wet (which most kids hate) to doing "chugga chugga" (which is where they hold on to the side of the pool and move to stairs or ladders to climb out) and literally was ready to jump in and get swimming from the very first moment.

I love her bravery and "can-do-anything" attitude. It seems that very little scares her or makes her take pause.

...ummm....should I start worrying now or later?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Taking a break

but just for a moment - be sure to scroll down to see all the fun things I have posted about so far today!!

Tree House Museum Fun

Since moving to UT we have always had a membership to the Children's Museum in SLC. Both of my girls have loved going and spending the day hanging out and playing in all the various exhibits and participating in the crafts and activities.

But with times being what they are and wanting to find ways to be more conscious about the amount of driving and subsequent gas consumption we are using, as well as trying to just find the time to spend the day "playing", we started looking around for options a little closer to home.

I was very happy to find that we have a place called the Tree House Museum located just up the way in Downtown Ogden. They are redoing where the old mall used to be and the area is developing pretty nicely into an entertainment haven. There are restaurants and movie theaters and Fat Cats (bowling, arcade games and mini golf) but I digress as this post is really about the Tree House Museum which is made for kids of all ages and very hands on with all their exhibits.

Here are some of the pictures of our time there. I could barely get K away from the choo choo trains and A was having a blast pretending to be the teacher with K as her very willing student. I also think A and K were checking into a variety of future career options such as Radiologist, researcher, musicians, actresses and maybe even fire fighters. All great choices, right?

All in all a great way to spend the day a little closer to home! Enjoy!

4 Wheeling Fun

I think the phrase goes something like "When you fall off a horse, the best thing to do is get back on". Well that couldn't be more true for A, who for quite some time after the whole "crash- through-a-garage-door-due-to-a-malfunctioning-ATV" episode back in January, to say she was a little bit skittish about getting back on "the horse" was an understatement.
She really had no interest in getting back on the bike, but her dad made plans one weekend to going down to his brothers house and he was going to take his ATV down to ride, and she asked if he could bring hers as well.
Major step forward, so of course he agreed,
and with final reassurances that the ATV was fixed and that there were no garage doors for her to worry about, just plenty of wide open spaces and mom and dad standing close by, she got on the bike and started to ride and after taking it at her own pace ended up having quite a good time!! I included a little video. You can see how cautious she is being (which makes me happy) but that she having a great time as well. Too bad the helmet covers up most of her smile :o) but it's doing it's intended job just fine.

Personally - I am more worried for when K gets big enough to ride given how fearless she already is...

7th Birthday Fun

Just some of the funny and entertaining pictures from A's 7th "Friend" Birthday Party and her slightly less energetic family party a few days later. Such good times!!

Wheeler Fun

So this year instead of doing the traditional picnic at Lagoon, Gpa L's company did a BBQ on site at thier SLC location and it ended up being so much more fun. The girls (and even the dads aka big little boys) ended up having a blast. We all got to walk around and ride on and even operate some of the big construction equipment that they are always seeing on the road.

Here are some pictures to show the highlites of the day.

Summer Haircuts

So with the heat that usually accompanies summers here, I figured it was time to give the girls a cute summer do. Plus I was getting a little tired of having to brush and style their hair every day to keep it from becoming a tangled mess by days end.

Both A and K were all over that idea especially since A has been asking to get her hair cute for the last few months, ever since I got mine cut short. So off to the girl that cuts my hair and I just have to say she did an awesome job. Combined the girls lost a total of 11 inches of hair (A got 6 inches cut off and K got 5 inches taken off).

Here are the before and after pictures. So totally cute!!

What was missing

is now found. I know that I have been totally MIA this summer, but luckily for you, I am back and I have about 10 posts worth of stuff to share so happy reading. Maybe take it in over the next couple of days since we never know when the next post will come (just kidding - I will try to be more "on time" with our going ons!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!

Just a quick note to all the wonderful men I have known in my life, whether you be a husband, father, brother, cousin, brother-in-law, grandfather or friend, this day is to celebrate you and all that you do, from working so hard to provide, to providing comfort and patching up skinned knees, to encouragement and to support and being the best cheerleader ever - you guys are the real rock stars of the world. My life has been made better just by knowing you and I am grateful for all that you do!!

So whether you spent the day golfing, relaxing, BBQing, getting a massage, hanging with your family or friends or just plain sleeping in, I hope your Fathers Day was everything you wanted it to be - YOU DESERVE IT and then some!!

XOXO from J, A and K!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's never too early... start thinking about the holidays and what is a "good" present and a "bad" present.

Just click on the following link. So worth it!!

I hope you enjoy the clip and get your laugh on for the day!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Joys of bubble wrap!

Just had to share this with the world!

The jumping went of about another 10 minutes!!
Her calf muscles must have been on FIRE!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is that WATER or something ELSE falling from my ceiling?!?

This is a question I never want to ask myself ever again - seriously, not ever!

Here's what happened. Last week we had the girls bathroom re-tiled. We had to check for a suspected leak in the shower plumbing, so why not just redo the tile that we didn't like in the first place, fix the problem and put up something we liked better. I should mention that the job gets done not by our contractor, but by someone he works with and trusted to do a good job. (that's another issue, but not for now) So, the job is finished, bathroom gets reassembled and is ready for normal use...

Flash forward one week - I am going about my normal mom duties while also working on painting the downstairs bathroom. I am also watching another little girl for a neighbor, and our contractor is here, because what do you know, the toilet in the girls room and the master bathroom were backing up/acting up at the same time and we thought it had something to do a stupid tile being stuck in the pipes.

See apparently while putting up the new tile, a small 2x2 piece of tile fell down the toilet hole in the floor pipe thing (don't ask for the official name if you get what I am talking about) and the piece of tile WAS NEVER PULLED OUT before the toilet was put back together and sealed up for use.

So we called our contractor and explained what was going on and he came out and had been here for about 2+ hours, working on clearing out the tile, etc. He found the blockage due to the tile and got it pushed out . . toilets reassembled (again) and everything put back together. Not a big deal right, everything is fixed . . . right - well that's what I thought and oh was I wrong.

So our contractor leaves, and I go back to painting the bathroom, K and her little friend are playing in the family room, and I decided to run upstairs to throw in a load of laundry (you know multi-tasking as all moms usually do) and that's when all you-know-what breaks loose. K starts screaming and so I run downstairs to see her standing directly UNDER a waterfall that is pouring out of my ceiling. It is coming out of the recessed lighting holes, right above were the girls bathroom is located and I can't even begin to share all of the thoughts that were going through my mind in that moment. Lets just say it hasn't even been 10 minutes since our contractor has left. . .

The next 10 minutes consists of all of the following:
*Me calling our contractor and telling him to get back here as there is water coming out of my ceiling,

*Running upstairs and then downstairs (to the basement) to shut off ever possible water source I can think off - at least 3 times.

*Telling K and her little friend AT LEAST 5 TIMES to stop standing directly under the down poring water.

*Getting every single towel in the house to try and soak up the water that has already fallen

*Grabbing the biggest bowls in the house to try and catch the water and prevent further damage to hardwood floors, carpet.

*drying off two very wet little girls!

*Calling A and telling him to get home RIGHT NOW!

The picture I took doesn't even begin to share the shear amount of water that was coming down (guess it was moving to fast to be caught on film) but you get the gist.

LUCKILY - the water was clean water, not something far worse!

LUCKILY - our contractor was able to come back and fix the problem and stop the water from coming out of our ceiling

LUCKILY - dry wall dries out and it out of pre-existing holes and didn't cause the ceiling to fall down.

LUCKILY - little girls dry off pretty quickly.

Can you tell I am trying to see the positive in all of this?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

K on her 3rd birthday!!


My little baby - you are growing up way too fast. It doesn't seem like you should be turning 3 already, but here you are on your birthday, loving every moment and telling everyone you meet that today is your birthday and you are 3!!

Can you please slow down just a little bit? I don't think I am ready for you to be quite so independent and grown-up. You have always been the best little snuggler in the world, and I love how you still like to just run up to me and hug me whenever the moment strikes you. Know that my arms will always be open to receive one of your "big squeezes" any time.

You have more spunk and attitude in your personality than I think should be about to fit into your little body and yet you are the sweetest, most lovable little thing I know. I love how into your dress-up and playing you get with acting out whatever little stories are playing through your head. Your imagination knows no bounds and I hope it never stops growing.

I love how much you love your mom and dad and big sister. Your laughter and smile can brighten even the worst of days. You telling me and your dad how much you love us to the moon and back right before you fall asleep is the best way to end the day.

I love how you are ready and oh so willing to strike a pose and smile your biggest smile for the camera whenever I turn it your way. You are finally fully potty trained (which is the best birthday present you could give to me) and oh so proud of being such a big girl.

I just have to share how 2 days before your birthday you were "practicing" how to blow out birthday candles with your PB&J and the pretzels which were your "candles" just so you would be ready for when it was time for the real birthday cake and that you came up with this idea all on your own. Your imagination truly has no boundaries. I think all your practicing paid off.

Happy Birthday K!!

I hope your birthday wishes come true!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2 cents

Just my thoughts on our new presidents speech given to congress the other night...

While I can appreciate that you have speech writers at your beck call who have probably spent hours, days, if not weeks and maybe even months helping you come up with your speech . . . and while one might also give you credit for being a really good public speaker (...the title of "one of the best in our history" is still up to debate... sorry to burst your bubble local channel 2 news anchor) can I make a couple of know - just little "take away points" from a single American citizen.

Instead of more flowery words and promises of recovery and restoration of our great nation, can we please get down to the dirty business (yes, it will be dirty and ugly as all hard work ends up being) of actually mapping out a strategic plan for how we are going to fix the problems that we as a nation are facing? The time for talking and talking about what we are facing is past. We all know on some level what we are facing, some more worse off than others.

Now is the time for some maybe even a rough outline as to what steps are going to be taken to get our economy back on track would be appreciated. I don't mind if things here and there have to be tweaked and changed around, because lets face it with huge problems there is no way you can account for every little scenario, but let's get this show on the road... lets get going....enough with the pretty speeches and the pep talks - we are ready for some action. Maybe you already have the outline in place and are just now ready to share it with the public, as of yet, but soon would be better rather than later. Just so we know that you are really on this one. I guess you could say it's important.

Also, one part in your speech really bothered me. Mind you I am really paraphrasing here, but to say that we are no longer going to tolerate behaviours from corporate executives (or anyone for that matter) that result in massive market and company destabilization going forward, is a lot like telling a bank robber that even though we know you stole a lot money and still have in your possesion all that illegally obtained money -> just know that we won't let you do it again!! This seems to be missing a pretty big point. How about we go about it from the stance that since you (the deceitful, dishonest awful "people") who stole/defrauded/embezzled* (*feel free to add in your own word if mine aren't doing it justice) all that money and then still walked away with your "golden parachutes", we (the United States of America) are going to take it ALL back and use that money to get our economy back up and running. You know, give it back to the people/companies etc. you defrauded, so that we can try and maybe recover just a little bit quicker.

Seriously, does the concept of seizing funds that these people gained through illegally/ deceitful means mean anything. Our government could (and should) do it to a drug cartel or to any organized crime unit who blatantly profits at the expense of others, why not take away the funds from the people who knew what they were doing was wrong (on so many different levels and in so many different ways) and made off like bandits??

Think about what all those millions (if not billions) of $$$'s would do if put back into the economy and not just hanging around, sitting in some CEO's or CFO's bank or off shore account. Atleast, it's a start!

Also, I am so NOT down with continuing free handouts / benefits / whatever - to anyone. Sorry, this is my opinion, but I work hard for everything I have as I know my family and friends and neighbors are doing as well, and if you think I am ok with you giving free money to people who AREN'T WILLING to lift a finger and get whatever they need to become an American citizen (for some that is the 1st step) and/or getting the training, education, or whatever it takes for them to become a contributing member of this nation, then that is where we may also differ in terms of opinion.

So, again just my 2 cents, but I for one and ready to see some action points and get away from the talk and talk and talk . . . and talk . . . guess you can say I am an action kind of girl.

It's just the way I am . . .

Thursday, February 12, 2009

This post is for you, little sis!

Ok - I know technically I can't call you my little sis anymore, because we are all grown up, but I read your comment on Facebook and it made me realize that I need to be better about keeping my blog up to date, becuase it does let you and everyone else in the family, as well as my friends who don't live close by, into the fun, little, every day things we go through. So thanks for the friendly reminder to update and I promise to try harder!!

So where did I leave things - oh yah - A and I went to San Francisco for 10
glorious days without the kids to celebrate 11 years (gasp) of marriage. We had the best weather on days 1, 2, and 3. Seriously it was 70+ and sunny with the clearest skys. Of course, such good weather couldn't last and the rest of the time it turned to typical January San Fran weather - which translates to cloudy, misty and cold! But we didn't let it stop us or get us down.

We purchased the city pass and traveled around like a full time san fransican. Muni, Trolley cars, walking - we did them all. We even walked (or should I say hiked) up to Telegraph Hill on one of the days with good weather.
The views were amazing.

We did Fisherman's Wharf, the Boudin Bread Factory, Ghirardelli Square and the Chocolate Factory (free chocolate - need I say more), China Town (right before Chinese New Years - it was insane), the De Young Museum of Fine Art (the picture of the girl in the yellow dress was made of glass, but it looked so fragile - it was my favorite piece.).

We went to the California Academy of Sciences, watched the Sea Lions and did all that there is to do at Pier 39 (see the video of Aaron at the Aquarium below). We took a Harbor Cruise which took us out to the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island. We also went to the Palace of Fine Arts and walked around Fort Mason and all over the Marina District. Talk about a place with views. There are some amazing homes in S.F., it's just too bad you have to be a millionare to live there.

The only thing we didn't get to do was because of the weather, and it was to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. My sister C and her husband did it on thier trip to S.F a whileback and raved about, so I was a little bummed about not getting to do it, but I got over it really quickly with the rainy and freezing cold weather. The picture of me and the GG bridge doesn't even do justice of depicting how cold it was and I live in Utah with snow - I know cold!

We also ate at some of the best little sidewalk cafes in Little Italy, had the best Indian food EVER, ate more clam chowder
and sourdough bread than I want to even think about. I totally wanted to get one of the lobster sourdough bread loafed but not at $20. But still it's the cutest thing ever.

We took in an Irish pub during a very heated football game and ended up getting into a political discussion with two business men from Canada (of all places). I know more about socialized health care and what some Candians really think about our government that I really need to know.

We even took in a comedy show "7 Sins" by James Judd. It was seriously the best one man comedy bit, I have heard in a while. It was at a little theater in the Tenderloin, and I now know why it is called the Tenderlion and it's not the best place to hang out after dark. "Get into your defensive clusters now!!" -> If you are in the area, go
see the show and you will know what I am talking about.

We honestly enjoyed every moment we were there!!

We also went back to where our happy married lives officially began. Aaron proposed to me at the Cliff House
restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It has been totally redone in the last 10+ years, but it still has amazing views and it was fun just to go back and remember the moment and celebrate that we have made it this far, even with the ups and downs life has thrown at us.

So now were are back to our normal lives. Our two little girls missed us like crazy (yah, we really missed them too) and school has started back up for me, I am also still working part-time and being full time mom. It keeps the day pretty full, but I am managing to keep my head on pretty straight about it all.

So what's up in the next upcoming months - well . . .

For Spring break we will be taking a family vacation. Avery won't let us go anywhere again by ourselves until we have been somewhere together as a family. She already knows it's all about balance. We don't know where we are going or what we will be doing. ** N & B - are you guys available for us to come visit?? It's our turn!!

There is the 1st Official Leach Family Reunion - Summer 2009 - DON'T FORGET!!

**I hope you enjoy the little clip of Aaron at the aquarium.
BTW - my new camera ROCKS!!