Sunday, August 30, 2009

a special ceremony

so my brother is getting married and we were so excited to be invited to the bride's traditional vietnamese wedding ceremony... my teeny family (parents, chris, girls) were just blown away by all the colors and rituals. it was really quite sweet, much more interesting than a traditional american style wedding (which comes next month, wedding part 2) the girls loved it and bragged to everyone that this was their first ever wedding! i know my brother's new wife to be gets shy about her family's culture (she and her siblings are very "american" now) but i think learning about cultures that differ from your own is intriguing and special. chris and i both felt privileged to be included, lucky to be gaining such a large extended family to share the future with. here are a few snapshots i caught with my camera... iphone of course, it was hard to be sneaky with the camera when we didnt know what was really going on, i was mesmerized!


stay tuned for the traditional "american style" wedding coming up next month, we will be fancied up and photographed to the hilt and hoping for cooler weather!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

matts wedding

getting ready for my baby brothers wedding, liz will be a a flower girl with her cousin natalia and emily will be the ring bearer... here is liz in her dress


and a picture chris sent me when i was in vegas...our butterfly
emerged... so cool! back to work tomorrow (busy busy work week) and i have a trip to portland oregon coming up (well not until thanksgiving) but we found a cool hotel to stay in and the flight is booked. so excited to hang with cousins i have lost touch with and are reacquainted now thanks to facebook! yeah oregon!

Friday, August 21, 2009

rocky mountain national park

yep, i am officially a fan of all national parks. you just cant beat them!


we stumbled on to rainbow corner or bridge or something like that, EXACTLY at the tail end of a misty rain when the sun came out and produced the most amazing rainbow ever
with the glorious valley below
we go to this park whenever we are in colorado and were hoping to move to estes park at one time (ahhhh maybe someday!) it is just a glorious community and an overload of beauty. we are planning a thanksgiving trip to portland oregon now, so my thoughts are still in vacation mode even though i am physically back to the grind. gotta have something exciting on the planning table at all times, thats how i do it anyways.
happy friday!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

close encounters of the family kind

i had to use that title again (i had it on my facebook status and really liked it) i could use it for our entire vacation so far actually, close close close. we are road tripping each day, seeing the local sights of colorado, wyoming and southern south dakota and have settled in to a pretty good routine. i have always enjoyed reading books on families who take a year off and travel the world together, what an awesome gift you could give your kids. i am not willing to sell my house and do that just yet, but i really admire those who can manage it. the girls are finally able to entertain themselves and work together on projects without constant help, it makes the sight seeing so much easier. all this togetherness has its ups and downs, mostly ups which include lots of lovely conversations with the girls. lizzie is growing up so fast, she has wonderful ideas and thoughts, so chatty and fun. being the baby of the bunch, her neediness and whining can get on nerves and its nice to see her maturing and joining in on conversations in a productive way. of course she still has her moments (like pooping out halfway around the tower)
this is devils tower in wyoming, it is the first national monument and a sacred area to the indians who lived here. it was also used in the movie "close encounters of the third kind" which we are dying to see now. i recommend it as a nice day trip visit, it is relatively close to mt. rushmore. we really enjoyed coming over the rolling hills to see it off in the distance (the surrounding farm land is gorgeous right now as well). we took the short hike around it (liz made it about halfway) and enjoyed it from all angles.
i'll leave you with some prairie views on our way back to colorado
being the bookaholic that i am, i always choose a book to read to give my trip a "theme" and this trip i brought the third olive farm book (i had read the first third but couldnt get into it, moving on to the twilight books). it was a perfect choice and i have enjoyed moments of quiet reading, traveling to the south of france each day. carol drinkwater is a fantastic writer, very sensuous and lyrical, i cannot get enough! lucky for me she has two new books out making that FIVE olive farm books (i also have the companion photo book which is glorious all by itself) so i get to continue my journey with her when i get back home.
we have one more day here and then its a two day drive back to so cal, back to house cleaning and work...back to school starting and camp fire meetings... energized, refreshed and ready to go!

Friday, August 14, 2009

black hills adventure

this trip: black hills tour (southern south dakota), mt rushmore visit, custer state park and devils tower (wyoming). i would highly recommend this part of the country to families, lots of beautiful scenery and kid friendly sights. my only complaint is the food (expensive and BAD for the most part) we did best when we made sandwiches from our cooler and stayed away from restaurants. the best place on our trip was a super grungy mexican place in wyoming, just off the highway that was EXCELLENT and cheap. here is some of the tour:
this is custer state park and mt rushmore, i will post more photos and add devils tower later...more adventure today. we are off to estes park (we once had BIG plans to move there and a visit is always in order when we are in town). stay tuned!

Monday, August 10, 2009

colorado summer

well i spent 4 days in vegas at an ultrasound seminar stuffing my brain full of ultrasound physics and vascular facts. having been to vegas many times, i am afraid i am not much of a vegas person. the lights and over-the-topness of it is interesting but the gambling and seediness is overwhelming to me. i dont think i have never seen so many straight up WEIRD people. risque clothing on all the wrong bodies, kids in tow through the casinos in the middle of the night (oh wait, that was US!) and gross expensive food (what happened to the CHEAP food vegas used to lure people in with? GONE!) i enjoyed my first night alone, read for hours and hours but by day three i was ready for the family to arrive.
they spent the last night with me and then drove on to colorado where i met them that evening (i flew). so here we are in colorado!! it is gloriously green here and i spent the day learning how to can tomatoes, FINALLY!!


maybe a little out of order (and yes i am still using the phone for pictures, so dang lazy these days!) i finally got to hear the POP of the lids sealing and am very proud of myself (it was soooo much easier than i thought it would be) cant wait to do some different sauces when i get home, hoping my tomatoes are still producing. i will leave you with some amazing clouds, the skies in colorado are thrilling to me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

my day

ikea visit
20 minutes on the trainer = 200 calories burned
sewing projects
the tutorial for these was found here and last
the tree fabric from ikea i have been dying for...found at last! i saw the idea to make pillows by just cutting out the trees somewhere but cant remember!! there were examples that had embellishments like birds and critters in the tree that i really liked. i just dont have the time for that right now. getting ready to visit family in colorado and wanted to make some quick gifts.

i havent mentioned here that i am in training for a half marathon in october, on my second week of serious training and so excited! i feel so good and am up to 6 miles (just run/walking) already! it is hotter than hell here right now so we are spending time in our little blow up pool and drinking gallons of water. really feels like summer!

so my day off went well, back to work tomorrow and then off to vegas (for an ultrasound conference) then colorado (with a visit to mt. rushmore thrown in) i will try to post pictures of our trip!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

summer in full swing

yesterday we spent the day at the beach, here in so cal the beaches are packed on the weekends. most of us go during the week if we go at all, funny how the beach just isn't in the plans most days. for me, i love the beach but i hate the packing of the gear, the sunscreen, the crowds of people, sunburns, the clean up... i just feel lazy about it all. chris had planned a reunion (thanks facebook!) for his elementary school and because of the weekend crowds, had to go at 530am to secure a fire ring. the girls and i arrived about 11am to almost zero parking (people in large campers hog up two or three spots each!) but managed to squeeze into a spot. we did enjoy the waves and lunch over the camp fire but it became evident that the parking lot was full and his classmates weren't going to be able to park. the event was a bust and had to be rescheduled. so what did we do?



i would say it worked out well. please forgive my horrid phone photos lately, i haven't had my camera out in months. the quality of this bunch really aren't so hot so i will be packing the camera more often. we will be off to colorado next week, can't wait!