30 Years Young

I can't believe I am celebrating my 30th birthday.  I remember when 30 sounded soooooo old, now 60 sounds young to me.  I think during this milestone birthday I should reflect on my 30 short years.  My accomplishments include(not in any particular order):

1. Getting Married
2. Having two beautiful girls
3. Top Salesperson at Guarantee and being involved at my local association of Realtors.
4. Graduating Summa Cum Laude from FSU
5. Having faith and being spiritual
6. Being a Godmother, an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a mother, a cousin, a wife, and a friend to many wonderful people
7. Living in a beautiful home
8. I know I'm forgetting something (maybe it's because I'm old now and don't have my memory)

There have been many hard and sad times, some regrets (if you can call learning experiences regrets), some points of questioning, and some trying times.  But I've learned to appreciate most of them and continuing to learn from the rest of them because they make me who I am today, they help me appreciate the "good" in life, and they've forced me to grow as a person.

I keep hearing Tim McGraw's song, "In My Next 30 Years," over and over and over in my head.  I'm trying to think of what I'd like to do in the years ahead.  There are a lot of fun items I'd like to check off the list but the super important things I'm really blessed to say they are in place.

Bucket List
1. Travel To Greece, Argentina, Nashville, and Chicago
2. Ride on a Yacht
3. Go White Water Rafting
4. Pet a panda
5. Make a million dollars
6. Have dinner at The Boathouse in Central Park
7. Ride in a Nascar
8. Ride an elephant in a foreign land

MANY MANY years ago I wrote down a bucket list and I just pulled it out to review and I'm happy to see quite a few items checked off.
This is what I've completed:

1. Have children
2. Marry the love of my life
3. Travel to Italy (January of 2009)
4. Travel to Costa Rica (August of 2009)
5. Marry in a Catholic Church (August of 2009)
6. Go Ziplining in a rainforest (August of 2009)
7. Travel to Paris (July of 2007)
8. Go horseback riding on a beach (Did this on our honeymoon in Costa Rica)

Thank you to all those in my life who have shared memories with me, supported me, challenged me, held my hand (or my hair-you know who you are), wiped my tears, laughed with me, and traveled the road with me. An extra thank you, but words don't express my gratitude to my mom and husband for everything they do for me and just being who they are. 

Looking forward to the next 30 years! Cheers to 30!

Mommy Monday-Preparing to Leave

I am leaving this week for a business trip in Southern CA.  I am taking Madi and my mom (to watch Madi while I'm in meetings) since I am still nursing so it should be rather interesting to juggle the conference, staying on top of my business at home, and nursing a baby!  
Even though I'm taking Madi, I'm leaving Em home.  This Mommy Monday is about leaving home but leaving a kid behind.  Boy o boy it's a lot of work!  I had to line up care for Emily everyday this week, I laid out her clothes for each day down to the socks and underwear, I packed all of her lunches and snacks, I packed her bags to take to school and where she's staying the other days, I made a big batch of pancakes this morning so Kevin could just throw a few in the microwave each morning for Emily, I put dinners in the freezer so it's not pizza or mac and cheese every night, I did all the laundry, and I'm sure I'm missing something else.  On top of making sure Em is all lined up.  I had to pack myself and Madi, get the car washed and gassed up, make enough baby food for the trip, pack snacks, and say a few prayers I'm not forgetting anything:(
For those moms who travel regularly my praises and sympathy go out to you.
I will be traveling at least two other times this year for work so any tips/suggestions and handling it all?

Thank you in advance to everyone pitching it to help with Emily.  If you want to help with Emily next week too let me know I'm sure I'll need a vacation after this trip:)

Fresno Friday-1920 Tea Station

It's been forever since I did, "Fresno Friday."  In the cold months I don't get out much so I don't have much to post.  However, this last weekend my mom and I stopped into the 1920 Tea Station for a cup a tea.  We were so surprised by our discovery.  It's a hip and chic spot that feels like San Fran not Fresno.  We were also surprised by their menu. They have a huge variety of teas as well as unique appetizers and over the top desserts.  As we were ordering our tea, marshmallow toast came out and you wouldn't believe your eyes.  I can't wait to go back when I'm hungry to try some of their desserts.  I sure hope that Fresno supports this local business.  I suggest everyone stop in for a break from reality, grab a cup of tea, and something to eat.
Check out their Facebook to get more info.

Madi 8 Months

The baby has left the building!!!  Tear, tear, sniffle, sniffle...Madi is like a big girl already.  As I posted last week Madi is crawling, pulling up, and sitting like a champ.
She's wearing 6-9 month clothing and were finally on the last box of size 2 diapers!
She still nurses at 7 am, 11 am, 3 pm, and gets a bottle at 7 pm.  She gets solid food around 12:15 and 5:00 pm.  She flipped a switch a few weeks ago and LOVES solid food.  She's had avocado (the only thing she doesn't like), yams, butternut squash, zucchini, and carrots.  She's also had the food puffs a few times to work on her fine motor skills.  It's really funny to watch her pick it up and try to get it into her mouth.  She's still napping from 9-11 am, 1-3 pm, and a catnap around 5:30 pm.  The schedule isn't strict.  If she's sleeping I don't really wake her anymore.
I am super happy to report that she's totally in her crib.  The huge negative is now she's addicted to her binkie:(  You win some, you lose some.
Still four teeth but acts like more are coming every now and then.
Her mood continues to improve but she's still dramatic and high maintenance.  We're currently weaning her off her acid reflux medicine and it's going well.  I think she's starting to outgrow the reflux but I'm also thinking a lot of it was just her high maintenance personality, lol.  To give you an idea of her drama when I take away something she can't have she screams like I hit her with a frying pan.  She cracks me up.  I can't wait for the teen years if she's this dramatic already.
She loves playing with her sister and playing with her own toys.  However, her newest favorite novelty is climbing the two steps in our family room.  I'm sitting down even less in the last couple of weeks because I keep getting her away from the steps.

Taking her photo is next to impossible now.  She lunges forward in this chair so I tried putting her in front of it which she crawls off immediately.  Lastly I tried standing her next to it which was ok.  She's a mover and a shaker!

I will love you forever Miss Madison.  Happy 8 Months!

Mommy Monday-If I Could Keep You Little

A couple of months ago I was out of town shopping and inside a store I stumbled upon the book If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond.  I had tears in my eyes instantly.  I didn't buy it that day (because it was way overpriced) but later I ordered it online.  Today was the first day that I read it to my girls and it was a special moment.  Emily sat in my lap and listened with intent and Madi was crawling around us.  Now that Madi really seems to not be a baby anymore it was bittersweet to read this book.  It really captures exactly how a mom feels about watching her children grow.  You want to freeze them and keep them from growing up but on the other hand you thoroughly enjoy watching all of their milestones, their personalities developing, and how they become independent little human beings.  Here's a little sneak peak of the book, "If I could keep you little, I'd keep you close to me.  But then I'd miss you growing into who you're meant to be!"
May I recommend that ALL moms order this book immediately and read it to your kids; it's heartwarming!

Speaking of freezing your children.  Emily continues to say the cutest things.  I'm going to try and use Mommy Monday to document some of the precious/funny things she says.

Recently she has said, "Will you take care of me forever?"

"Mom, I want to be with you forever and ever.  No wait...I want to be with dad forever."  She melted my heart and broke it all within 20 seconds.  Since then she's told both Kevin and I that she wants to be with us forever:) 

Madi-Sitting, Crawling, Pulling Up and Chowing Down

Madi has been sitting really well for at least a month but starting a week and half ago she started getting herself from laying down to sitting up all by herself.  (I saved her milestone sticker until she could go from laying to sitting.)
She also started crawling for real last week while we were out of town.  She's totally mobile now which makes things really difficult when you have a toddler.  Now I have to police what Emily has out and on the ground.  Madi tries to grab everything and of course everything goes straight to the mouth.  I thought Madi was dramatic before but now that she's moving and grabbing everything I keep having to take things away from her.  When I do she screams bloody murder like I've hurt her.  So DRAMATIC!
Right after we got home from the coast Madi started pulling up.  Everything started all at once.  I'm sure in trouble now.
Also while we were gone Madi started loving her baby food.  A light bulb just switched and she loves it.  So far she's had butternut squash, zucchini, and yams.  She's my little porker now; she can't get enough.

Taking a photo in this chair now is almost impossible.  She moves too much and launches out of it.

Pulled herself up and standing on her own.

Annual Girls Trip 2015-Shell Beach

For many years now my Mom and I have taken a girls coastal trip in January.  This was the first year of 4 girls (all in one room, yay!).  We went to Shell Beach and stayed at one of our favorite places, The Cliffs.  On Sunday we drove to SLO, ate at Firestone and shopped around Downtown.  Then we went to Avila Valley Barn where Emily got to feed the animals.  We then went to our hotel and got in the spa because Emily was dying to, then watched the beautiful sunset and had dinner.  Monday we had massages, walked to the beach, had lunch and went to the pool.  Yes the pool in January.  The weather was high 70's and gorgeous.  
I started feeling sick on our trip so our other activities got cut short. All in all it was a great trip.

Thank you Mom for treating us to such a fun time.

Holiday Game Night

A few of weeks before Christmas we hosted a Holiday Game Night at our house with our friends.  The night was epic!  We first played Holiday Family Feud with two teams and I moderated.  Our second round was Christmas Minute to Win It.  Everyone broke into teams of two but it couldn't be with your significant other.  There were 5 rounds:  Solo Cup Christmas Tree, The Ornaments were Hung by the Chimney with Care, Nutstacker, Christmas Kiss,  and Face the Cookie.  Each team had 60 seconds to complete each round.
A few of the rounds were just absolutely hilarious.  I almost peed my pants a few times.
Most of this is harder than it sounds/looks.
I took lots of videos but to spare total embarrassment I'm not posting them but I am holding them in case I need blackmail!
Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a fun night.

Round 1: Solo Cup Christmas Tree
One player from each team made a tree from red solo cups with one hand in 60 seconds.  The person with the biggest tree won that round.

Round 2: The Ornaments were hung by the chimney with care
Both team members played and had to hang as many ornaments as possible on a yard stick that was balancing on a paper towel roll.  If it fell you were disqualified.  Again you had 60 seconds.

Round 3: Nutstacker
Second team member had to stack nuts with a candy cane.  The team that stacked the most nuts in 60 seconds won that round.

Round 4: Christmas Kiss
Both members kissed a bulb with their lips and without using hands they had to hang the bulb on a suspended string.  The team that hung the most bulbs in 60 seconds won that round.
This was my personal favorite.

Round 5: Face the Cookie
Without your hands you have to get an Oreo from your forehead to your mouth.  The person who got the most cookies in 60 seconds won that round.

I only have videos of this round.


Shaver Snow Trip

Between Christmas and NYE we went up to Shaver with the Marsh's. We just had a super relaxing weekend hanging out, eating, and playing in the snow.  We had so much fun and Emily had a blast sledding.  She couldn't get enough; she is an adrenaline junkie.
Thank you Mike and Pam for inviting us; we had the best time.

Is my husband a lucky man or what?

My goddaughter Tinsley and I

Madi with her Godmother Pam