Friday, August 28, 2009

Fun For Friday

The following conversation took place over dinner one night. Just goes to show you how we roll around these parts.

Maggie: Dad, why do I have hair in my nose?

Dad: It catches the dirt in the air, and the germs, and makes boogers.

Maggie: Why do I need boogers? Can't I cut out all my nose hair?

Dad: No, you can't cut out your nose hair. You need it to filter out all the dust so you don't get sick.

Maggie: What does 'filter' mean?

Dad: It's like when you fart in the shower, and it stinks super bad. That's because you don't have your undies on to filter out the smell.

Maggie: OH! Okay. Thanks dad.

Yep, of all the ways to describe what 'filter' means, it instinctively goes to potty humor. So just be forewarned if you ever come to dinner at our house.

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009


The other day, in what seems like a futile effort to keep my lawn green, I sat outside and sprayed down the grass. One of my sprinklers is broken, so while the one in the front yard sprayed on and on, I manually watered the back yard.

As I dragged the hose from place to place, I was taken back a few years to those summers when my mom would have to drag the sprinkler over our entire yard every day to keep the grass green. I distinctly see her throwing the sprinkler end of the hose as far away from her as she could, while she "ran" in the opposite direction, trying to avoid the spray of the water.

You see, my mom was always an early riser. I think this had more to do with stress than genetics, although her dad was a farmer, and he was up between 4 and 5 every morning. Now that I think about it, his early waking was probably due to stress, as well. So she routinely woke up at 4 AM, and started with the watering. By the time I dragged my sleepy head out of bed around 9, most of the yard was watered sufficiently. But there were always times when the watering had to continue throughout the day, due to heat, or needing to get the grass extra nice for a back yard party, or whatever reason.

Standing in the middle of my own yard, and feeling the sense of pride that comes with taking care of it, I was moved to tears, and my eyes watered as I watered the lawn. I won't see her moving that sprinkler around again. I won't see her slipping her shoes off as she comes in the house fluffing her hair to get the water droplets off of it. It's those little things that get me when I least expect it.

I miss her.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vacay Day 10

Monday, August 3, 2009

Today was the big day. After spending the morning running a few last minute errands, and doing Meg's highlights, and possibly my own, unless you believe I'm a "natural" blond, we ran back to the in-laws to get ready for the wedding!

Not before a quick picture was taken with Grandma and all the (available) grandkids.

The little kids loved this swing. It's outside on the patio at The Gathering Place at Gardner Village. This was taken while we were waiting for the wedding to start.

A quick shot of the sisters, sans Jill. I don't know where she was when we took this picture. Probably sopping up some of her armpit sweat. She had on a silk dress, and lets just say it's not conducive to discreet sweating in early August heat. He he he.

Here comes the bride.... And the groom. Both looking nervous, but happy.

And Mags sneaking in for a quick hug after the ceremony. She thinks Noma is the bomb, because Noma is a crafter like herself. They have bonded over glitter glue.

We stayed and chatted with all the guests over dinner, and when the time came, the newlyweds were treated to a decorated truck. It may or may not have had empty beer cans tied to the back, and perhaps a nod to something about Viagra written on the windows. Who would possibly be crass enough to buy beer and empty it all out just for the sake of humor? I don't know. But it wasn't me that wrote the Viagra stuff. I would never do something like that!

We had a fun night, but we were sad to see it end. We had to leave for the airport at 4 the next morning, so we had to say our goodbyes that evening. It never gets easy leaving my sisters and brother. They fulfill me now in a way I never thought sibling could. We have become so much more than just relatives, we are friends. We are so very different, but we work together, and it makes life fun. I just love the gift that my mom gave us last summer by needing us all to work together and find strength in each other. Her joy lives on through our relationships. It's the one thing she always loved about our family, and we will surely keep it going!

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Today I let my kids go off into the big blue (or gray, as the weather would be here in the Midwest) yonder. Decked out in all pink, my Maggie climbed the stairs of that big yellow bus, and suddenly grew up.

I'm gonna be completely honest here. I wasn't sad to see her go. I'm sad to see her grow up and not be my baby anymore, but she is more than ready to be at school. Since she is almost 6, she is the oldest for her grade, and it shows.

Emma started 5th grade, and that completely blows my mind. I distinctly remember being in 5th grade. It feels like I was there just yesterday. I think Sugar Daddy and I even had the same teacher. To think that Emma may possibly be in the same class as her future spouse makes me a little sick to my stomach.

Here's the Chicas getting their model on. You can't really tell from the picture, but it was pouring rain. Just the kind of day to go home and snuggle back under the covers for an hour or two.

And here goes Mags. That bus has never seemed so big. She could barely get up the first step! At least she has morning Kindergarten, so she and Emma can sit together on the bus on the way to school, and then she'll come home on the Kindergarten bus when it's not so crowded and loud with the big kids letting off after-school steam.

Normally, I do a little table dance for back to school. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of dancing going on , but due to an ongoing hip issue, I can't climb up on the table anymore! I guess I'm out of a job now, too. I don't think Workmans Comp covers that sort of injury.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Vacay Day 9

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday brought us deciding if we were going to church or not. You see, my family (meaning me) has this long standing tradition that if you're on vacation, you don't have to go to church. I figured since I was technically on vacation, we could take the day off and not feel guilty about it. So we did. And we didn't.

Instead, we drove around the valley, and even though we've only been gone just short of 2 years, we felt like tourists. We saw things for the first time, again. Sugarhouse is still a cool place, and it felt nice seeing it with new eyes. Though we wanted to go up to Park City and Deer Valley, we had to return home to Troy and Kelli's to host my dad and Noma and their pre-wedding dinner.

The dinner went well. Her kids were all there, almost. Joni wasn't able to make it, and I'm sad because I don't know her at all. But the other kids were fun, and their kids and our kids all played really well together. It was nice to see that despite our families quirks, we can still blend with "normal" people.

My dad looked happy. Noma looked happy. And that's all that matters to me. It is still a little strange to see my dad moving on, but I don't have to look too far to see that we all have. So why not him? I think being a daughter will always come as a first reaction, but now I have to focus on being an adult first. It's tough, but it's okay.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vacay Day 8

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Emma's big day!

Stupid blogger, I forgot it uploads pictures in reverse order, so these pictures are kind of anticlimactic.

Emma scoring a DS. It's about time, too, everyone else on the planet has one. She was so excited. We had her open her other gifts first, which included a little Burberry inspired purse to carry a DS, an accessory pack for the DS, and a DS game. She still hadn't put it together that she might be getting one for her last present. Duh.

Here she is in the midst of opening the last present, which was wrapped in baby paper, more baby paper, birthday paper, and more birthday paper. It took her forever to finally get to the goods inside.

She was thrilled.

I can't believe my kid has survived 10 years! I mean, really, not only has she survived, she has actually flourished, despite my lack of parenting abilites. She is a fairly well adapted kid, makes friends easily, and loves to have fun. She loves her Grandma, misses Nunny, and wants to be a fashion designer. She is a great big sister, babysits when we need her to, and appreciates the extra things we do for her, like waking her up in the middle of the night to go to Coasters After Dark with mom. She is a great singer, reader, and student.

We love you Emma!

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Vacay Day 7

Thursday, July 31, 2009

Honestly, I cannot remember what we did this day. I know we had to do some shopping for Emma's birthday, and some running around to get ready for the wedding.

I'm pretty sure this is the day I bought a new dress, 2 new shirts, and a new skirt.

Nothing exciting, I know, but the next post is Emma's birthday post!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Have You Seen Her?

Does anyone read NieNie? Did you see her? She has posted a picture of herself, finally after this whole year of her recovery.

And she's just as beautiful now as she was before.

Please take a moment to send her an email telling her so. I'm sure she needs all the support and love she can possibly handle.

We love you, NieNie!

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Vacay Day 6

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday dawned bright and clear, and it seemed like a good idea to grab a couple of extra kids, and head to Lagoon. We picked up Madison and Kinney, and headed with the in-laws to Farmington. It was Mimi's work Lagoon Day, so we got the kids in for free. Then, leave it up to the FIL, as we were getting there to buy tickets, he spots someone selling them with the Stake Lagoon Day price. Only in Utah. So we got in for a pretty big discount. Nice.

This next paragraph will probably bring the wrath of Karma upon me, but I have good reasoning behind it, I promise.

You see, not only did we get into Lagoon for cheap, we also scored a very.front.row parking spot. Like as in, front row next to the ticket booth. Like as in the Handicap parking. (shaking head in shame), I know, I know. But do you want to hear my reasoning? You see, when my mom was so sick, the doctor gave us a Handicap placard to use in her car. They only gave her 3 months to live, but the placard doesn't expire for 2 years! Ironic, I know. Anyhoo, I figure there are very few advantages to having your mom die of cancer. Hell if I'm letting one tiny little thing that I can benefit from, and give the cancer the finger in the process, slip by me. Dont' worry, there were a bazillion Handicap spots, so I didn't take on from someone who needed it, I do have my standards. But we did use it at Wal-Mart, which was totally awesome, because finding a spot at Wal-Mart is like finding a needle in a haystack. We may have also used it at P.F. Changs. And Sam's Club. And the mall. But that's it, I promise!

Okay, stop passing judgement, and just look at my cute pictures now. Even though you think less of me. If that's possible. ;)

Mimi, Josh, and Maggie going on Ladybug Bop. It's like Bouncin' With Wags for you Six Flaggers out there. Mimi screamed like she was on Colossus, though, and it was funny. And yes, my kid has no pants on. Just swimsuit bottoms. She sort of dropped her shorts in the toilet while she was changing. Don't worry, the water was clean.

Gretta on the boats. Not sure who the other girl is, but Gretta didn't seem to mind sharing.

And Gretta on the whales. Shortly after this photo was taken and the ride began going, she broke out into complete hysteria, and screamed until it stopped. Like snot running down her face, gasping for breath kind of screaming. It was hilarious!

So that's it for now. I've got to step up this day by day crap if I'm ever going to finish this darn vacation. I promise, I'll be better.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Vacay Day 5

Okay, I'm back. All the children survived their banishment to the bedroom, and I'm proud to report, have been getting along much better the last few days.

Now let the crap storm begin, because that's how we roll around here. Just when I think I can have a moment or two of peace and quiet, it all starts again.

But I digress.

Here we go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday brought us nice warm (HOT!) weather, and a trip to the zoo with the Clayton side of the fam. We packed a lunch, and headed up to Hogle Zoo to enjoy the dreary hotness that is caged animals. Really, the zoo has come a long way from when I was a kid, but lets face it, it could use some improvements.

The kids didn't seem to care, though. They were happy to be with grandma and grandpa, and all the cousins.

See, there's Grandma. We love her. I love her. I've been known to say that sometimes I think I married Sean just to have his mom as my mom. Now that she is my only mom, I think I'm right on. She is so good to the kids since she is kind of a big kid herself. She is very giving, and unselfish, even when it's hard on her. She called me every day when I was in my little depression a few months ago, and those phone calls mean more than she'll ever know. I love her.

Anyway, the kids. They had so much fun. They walked and walked and walked, and I don't think they really even complained. And this time I didn't plant my butt in a patch of tar, so we all came out ahead.

Here they are with Grandpa. Abby is in the blue flowery shirt, Maggie is next to her, Claire is in the pink shirt with the flower, then Gretta, Emma has the hat on, and Jacob is on Grandpa's lap. Apparently I missed Tressa, or she wasn't on the train. But she was with us at the zoo. I think.

And here's the whole group. Yep, there's Tressa, and Kaitlyn. They were with us. I knew it.

We headed home to change and freshen up so we could go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house. Meg got us tickets, and we met up with some good friends. The temple is so beautiful, and what a blessing it is for the Utah members to have so many temples so close. I realize that now more than ever, since our temple is an hour away.

We also went and saw my dad's new house, which is nothing more than a hole in the ground with a concrete foundation, but still, it's exciting. We discovered they are just steps from the new Herriman Beach, which will be fun when my kids go out to spend the summers with Poppa and Noma. ;)

I also stopped by to see one of my besties, Heidi, but she wasn't home. I guess that's what I get for stopping by unannounced. I'm sad I missed her. She is such a great woman. She has her crap together, and does pretty much everything, and does it all very well.

I think that was it for that day. I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch of stuff by now, but I'll remember it when it's totally unrelated to anything.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Would Love To Continue, But

You see, I have these 2 daughters. The middle and the youngest. They cannot get along to save their lives.

And honestly, that is about the only that is going to save them, these days.

I have had it up to here with them fighting over every.little.thing all.the.time! If it's not toys, it's food. If it's not food, it's something, anything, else. (Don't think we don't have any food and it's every man for himself around here. It's not like that kind of fighting over food. They just can't seem to get over the fact that one of them can have something without the other being involved.)

So I've locked them in Gretta's room together until they can learn to get along. I don't care if it takes all day. They will learn to be friends. Or they'll learn self defense in a darn tootin' hurry.

So stay tuned for more of the vacay updates. I promise there will be more. That is if I can live through today.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vacay Day 4

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday brought us waking at Jill's to a breakfast of Biscuits and Gravy. Yum! The kids barely contained themselves long enough to sit and eat before they were off to the back yard to play on the swings and dig in the dirt.

By the afternoon, it was approaching 1200 degrees, so we decided it was time for a dip in Elise's pool. Elise is married to our cousin, and she's one of the nicest ladies I've ever met. I love her.

Good call on the swimming.

Gretta, Maggie, Gracie, Emma, and Livvy.

Her pool is awesome, with a raised hot tub (kind of a moot point in Vegas in July), a small 1 foot deep kids shelf, and then the entire rest of the pool is 12' deep. Gretta spent her time swimming in the kiddie area, while Gracie entertained all of us with her sweet swimming skills with her floaties on. The big kids took to jumping off the ledge and splashing all of us.

After a quick trip back to Jill's to shower and change, we grabbed lunch at Port O Subs, and headed out for our drive to Utah. Luckily this time there was no puking, but plenty of fighting from the back seat. We made a pit stop in Fillmore, of course, and got shorted on our order at the Carl's Jr there. So we ended up making the kids all share one 4 piece chicken stars meal. That didn't go over too well, but soon enough they were asleep, so it didn't matter.

We finally rolled in to Riverton around 11. It was good to be home. We had to stop by my dad's to pick up his car, so we could return our rental, and I spent a few moments in my mom's room.

Last year on this day was the day after she died. I miss her. Her stuff is still there. Her lotion and her watches and her books. It's like she's still there, just on vacation or something. Except that the feeling of her is gone. I guess that's something I'll never get used to. I think the initial pain of losing her is gone, but now it's just a distant ache. It's not overwhelming on a daily basis anymore, but if I sit still long enough, and think back to those last days, I still get that panicky feeling like it's more than I can take.

One year. Wow. So much has changed. But time marches on, and life continues.

Stay tuned for more adventures.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Vacay Day 3

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday brought us waking early to get a start on the day. We hugged Harry and Barbara goodbye, and hopped into our car to head to Grandma Mary's. We hadn't been there for a few years, and a lot has changed since then. She has had her windows replaced, a new driveway added, and new grass planted. The house looks great.

We spent time visiting with Donna, Mary, Adam and Grandma before they had to head off to church. Then we headed off to Vegas.

It's only a 4 hour drive to Las Vegas from LA. Unless you have to stop on the side of the road just before Victorville so your middle child can vomit on the shoulder of the road in 110 degree heat.

Then it takes 4 hours and 15 minutes because mom makes you hurriedly puke so she doesn't get sweaty and more bitchy standing out in the heat.

We arrived at Jill's just in time for Sunday dinner (totally not planned, I promise), with all the kids still living and breathing, despite endless bickering from the back seat. After good food, great conversation, and a failed attempt at making ice cream outside in 90 degree temperatures, we headed off to bed.

Ironically, Sugar Daddy and I slept in the bed we gave to Jill about 10 years ago. It was our first bed. My, how things have changed in those 10 years. 3 kids, 3 homes, and lots of good and bad memories along the way.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

I've Been Nominated

Thanks to my BFF Carlie, I've been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award.

She obviously doesn't know me at all, because I've been called a lot of things in my day, but lovely isn't usually one of them!

I would call myself silly, or sarcastic, or down right bitchy, but not usually lovely.

So thanks, Carlie. You're a sweetie.

Now I have to follow the rules. Here they are:

1. Put the award on your blog.

2. Include a link to the person who gave you the award.

3. Nominate 6 or more blogs

4. Leave a message on their blog letting them know they have an award on your blog.

I'm nominating some of my favorite blogs, so here goes.

Heidi. Love her. She has her hands in many pots, but does them all very well. Her heart has been broken many times, but she always surfaces stronger and wiser, and blogs to tell about it. She also runs a foundation called Angel Babies, you can find out more about that here.

Meg. My little sis. She and I are like peas and carrots. Totally opposite, but yummy together. She's a newlywed, and the proud owner of a new Passat Wagon, and a new boat! Her style is flawless, and it's all captured on her (almost) daily updated blog. She is also raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness in memory of our mom, you can see more about how to donate here.

Clisty. This woman cracks me up. I became friends with her first in blog land through my sister Kelli, and then later in real life when I spent time in Utah last summer. She is neighbors with Kelli, and she has been a great friend to her, and all of us. She gives of herself freely, with no guise of perfection at all.

Allison. I highlighted her a while back on my blog, and I think she's just super. She has a beautiful life, and captures cute quirky moments with great photography. She is very stylish, and has great taste in music. Be sure and stick around her blog long enough to enjoy some of her playlist.

Hannah. She and her husband recently moved to Paris for a summer study program. She has traveled all over Europe in the past few months, and has catalogued it nicely with self-portraits. Her style is spot-on, and she is brilliant to boot. What more could a girl ask for in life?

Mom. We miss her every day. I miss her so much it hurts sometimes. But even through the pain, we all took time to write down our feelings as she battled a short but sweet killer. Cancer Sucks is one blog that is priceless to me. If you'd like the entire story, go back to June of '08 and read on. It doesn't take long, just a few posts. She only lasted 5 weeks, but she'll live a lifetime in our hearts.

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We Interrupt This Vacay To Bring You.....


Happy day to me.

Also, I have to send out some props to my mom's mom. Her name was Bee, but we named her Nunn Bee, after my mom, and she and I share this special day. She named me Keli Bee, and it stuck. I miss her, but I know she and my mom are chillin' up there catching up on some good gossip.

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Vacay Day 2

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Even though we were in the land of the Disney magic, we decided that for the one day we had, Disneyland wasn't going to be worth it. We have season passes to Six Flags here in Chicago, and they work for the other parks as well, so we headed to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia. The girls and I all got in free, and we only had to pay half price for Sugar Daddy. Even our parking pass worked, so we saved a bunch of money on that! The girls were a little disappointed about Disneyland, but after we showed them how far it was to drive there, and how much time we wouldn't really have to spend at the park, they understood and were excited about our new plans. What good kids.

Here we are in front of Bugs Bunny Land. This is where we spent most of the day. All the kiddie rides are here, and Maggie was right at home.

Here's Sugar Daddy and the girls truckin' along on one of the kiddie rides. I don't think he looks too big for this ride, what do you think?

Emma and Maggie going on the Thomas the Train roller coaster. This was Maggie's first time on any sort of roller coaster. She did an excellent job, and even went around for a second time. She has gotten so brave this last year. Emma loved it, too. As you can see from the swimsuit top, it was mighty hot that day. We sunscreened up, and avoided getting burned, though.

Emma and Mags just where I like them; all caged up! These are cute little Tweety Bird cages that spin around. I think they were adorable.

Sean and the girls going on one of the 3 log rides. Maggie was nervous about this one, so the attendant told her they would send her boat down the little hill. She lied. But Mags still had fun. Emma loved it, too, and Sugar Daddy always loves a ride where he can splash and irritate fellow passengers.

I had fun, too. There are a lot of crazy roller coasters that are right up my alley. I even made friends with a couple of cute Mexican boys while I was waiting in line. We ended up getting paired up since there were 3 of them and 1 of me. I don't mind waiting in line and riding alone. I think of it as a little mini vacation from the kids. The only problem with one of the rides was that the line was so long, and in the sun, and they vending machines only had gross Vitamin Water that was $4! Leave it up to a theme park to completely rape you on the price of water. I think they put the line in the sun on purpose!

After a long day at Six Flags, we headed back to Barbara's and pretty much died that evening. We were exhausted. The girls all slept on a mattress on the floor, and normally there is some bickering and arguing about who sleeps where, but this night they were asleep before they even hit the pillow. If only every other night could be that way!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Vacay Day 1

Friday, July 24th, 2009.

We boarded our plane for LA (that's Los Angeles, not Louisiana) early in the morning. The kids did great on the flight, thank goodness. We actually had an awesome pilot who pointed out interesting landmarks as we flew over them. We got to see the Mississippi (yes, I totally sounded that out letter by letter in my head as I typed it), Shiprock New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, and the crater just outside of Flagstaff.

We landed in LA, rented our car*, and headed for the beach. Aunt Barbara told us to head to Dockweiler State Beach right near the airport. If you read down the info on Wikipedia, it says it's a famous beach for both the waves and the rush of being so close to the airplanes as they take off. There is also a famous incident of a jet losing parts onto the beach as it took off.

The kids with Aunt Barbara. She made us feel so welcome. It's funny how blogging can bring families together. I feel as if I know Barb better than Sean does, and she's the aunt on his side of the family! We were pleased to have the Presidential Suite to ourselves, and thanks to So Cals mild evening temperatures, we slept quite well.

The kids with Grandma Mary. She is getting on in age, but you'd never know it. She's as spry as ever, and I think she looks great. She always has great advice, and sees life from a very valuable perspective. She's pretty much been there, done that. After raising 12 kids, I believe it! Gretta was in love at first sight, and I think Grandma was too!

Here we see footprints in the sand. Or my version thereof. Also in this picture was supposed to be a refreshing beverage. We had set it with our shoes. When we turned around to get it to quench our salty thirst, it was gone! As we left the beach an hour later, we realized the family behind us had helped themselves to it. We decided it was best left with them, obviously they needed it more than we did.

Gretta loved the beach. She wasn't too sure of the water, but then again, the waves were pretty big. The sand was just her speed. She dug and dug, and sifted and sifted. She buried my feet several times, and was surprised to see my toes emerge each and every time. Like a game of podiatrical peek a boo.

And finally, the big girls. They didn't want to change into their swimsuits, but we sort of forced them. I mean, changing in the car is never fun, but I knew they would be glad they did. And they were. Maggie was the first to fall in the water. She was shocked by the saltiness (I always am at first, too), but she was so brave and just played and played. Emma was also shocked by the salt, and she was brave enough to get in up to her waist, and even more when the really big waves would wash in.

We saw a couple of rescues while we were there. It was interesting to see how dumb people can be when it comes to water safety. We love the beach, and LA is such a cool town. Aunt Barbara lives 2 houses from the house where part of Father Of The Bride was filmed, one of my favorite movies ever! Her street is so quaint, and as a bonus there is an Old Spaghetti Factory right down the road. I was pretty tempted to smuggle some Mizithra back home with me, since we can't find it anywhere out here.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more pics and words. I know, you're waiting with baited breath.

*Speaking of rental cars, what's the difference between a 4 wheel drive and a rental car?

Rental cars can go anywhere.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stay Tuned

I've returned from the Motherland.

There will be many posts ahead, so fear not, there is an oasis in sight after this long blogging desert.

That sounded pretty cool, right?

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