Tuesday, December 25, 2012

xmas 2012








we had a little family dinner for lizzie a couple nights ago and found the "elf yourself" app fun as well as the guitar hero game


Looking forward to a movie and maybe a nap before dinner... back to work tomorrow but will FINALLY have a weekend completely off so we can head up to the cabin for New Years. This has been such an awesome year, so many good things to be thankful for, really the best ever. Hoping to keep this going for 2013! Planning a Florida/Disneyworld trip and maybe take another mom and me adventure (Scotland!!) I was surprised by many Padre Pio gifts from chris, having been introduced while driving through Italy. I do wish I hadn't done any research on him though, as the mystery was better than the reality but that's what I get for being curious all the time. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December happenings

I started out the month way ahead of schedule and it FEELS GREAT!! I have done most of my shopping and even wrapped most of my gifts, a definite first for me. Having two kids who are at such different maturity levels has proven hard for me this year. Lizzie is just 8 (soon to be 9) but Emily is closer to 13 than 12. This means that toys are pretty much off both their lists, even Lizzie! Last year eveyone wanted dolls (boy barbies too ???) and I obliged because I could feel the end of the doll era approaching. I guess it makes me a little sad to be moving out of the toy section and into the "curling irons, nail polish, make up, clothes" tween/teen world. Oh well! At least SANTA can still bring toys, right??


Karate and New Trucks, yay!! (food is not allowed in the new truck, yet)

Talent show and awards ceremony, we have almost gone a full year of karate, can't recommend it highly enough (especially for those kids who really really really need it)

On the Camp Fire front: we have done progressive xmas dinner parties, potluck parties and many parties at a very special grandma's house... but we have never just gone out to dinner for the heck of it! This year I decided to set our Xmas party at our local mexican food restaurant. It turned out great and I enjoyed letting the girls just "hang out" We left a nice big tip, hugs all around (hugging is BIG right now with the middle schoolers, so cute!!) and full bellies after a quick handmade gift exchange.

Some things i am enjoying right now:
1. Rachel Khoo
especially her new cooking show on the cooking channel, so fun!
2. this cookbook
3. and this one too
4. this blog (I stumbled onto this blog about the time she delivered her twins and thought it was a really refreshing blog about parenting. since then i have been just smitten with it, i love her mom as well. when my kids were babies i didn't have a girlfriend to hang with or talk to and i remember feeling really lonely sometimes. i was lucky to find a really homey nurturing day care for my daughters and i met some other working moms i could talk with. it still wasn't that "dream girlfriend to hang at the park with" situation, but it did help me feel less neurotic! anyways, this blog is what i was looking for then and i don't mind taking a little trip back to the baby days sometimes, it's that good)
5. this blog totally inspiring, she has a video i watched and wow, what a lovely lady!!
6. and this one, are you KIDDING ME?? can these people be any cooler? sheeesh!!
ok, off to my date with the laundry and super quick house pick up... we have had some algebra issues so today we meet the new tutor... yippee!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Belmont Shore Parade

one of the first things i blogged about was the annual belmont shore christmas parade 7 years ago, wow! having two groups i try to be with both and sometimes it works out, sometimes not. this year we were able to stay together so it was a pretty smooth event


the younger kids still clowning around

my older group a little more reserved




parade photos always seem to come out dreamy and fuzzy and surreal... sorta how it feels while you are walking in it. never stops amazing me how exciting and fun it is to march down the parade route with all the noise, music, lights and action. another year down, getting ready for christmas, for once i am organized and early!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


just a quickie (after the fact) halloween post. i turned 45 this year! seems like a milestone but i feel pretty much the same. i have been in midlife crisis mode for about a dozen years anyway, right?


i like homemade, handmade costumes but the girls begged to look at the cheapy costumes at the store so i went along. it was actually fun and surprisingly easy !!
Lizzie is some character from the monster high books? cartoons? not totally sure


emily was little red riding hood, always a favorite in our house (lizzie still has the cape my mom made her when she was about 4 or 5)


we used the "fish" game again at our camp fire carnival. it is so easy to set up and has a nice big look to it. our halloween carnival is super corny and retro, which i love, but we are trying to elevate it a bit so the kids don't get bored. the big kids REALLY get into it


they did a gross out booth... which was very popular!!


this cracked me up because i remember sorting out my candy with my friends and my brother.... the girls were so excited! another halloween (and birthday) has passed! on to thanksgiving and christmas we go...

Friday, October 19, 2012

London, chasing the sun

my mom and i would decide what to do each day depending on the weather. we actually got lucky with a few sunny days



it was a challenge to find the Dulwich Picture Gallery, but we made it! a beautiful park was adjacent to it so we took the scenic route

and caught a glimpse of the London Eye on our bus ride back

one of my favorite trees was in full autumn show:

and on one or our last days i saw a vespa club zoom by on regent street

just out and about

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cemetery tour

London: hmmmmmm.... what to do? been here many times and seen so many things.... let's check out ANOTHER cemetery! Actually, my mom and i have a "thing" for any ancient cemetery. they can be creepy, yes, but i find them extraordinarily beautiful too. we decided to hoof it out to hampstead heath to one of the oldest victorian cemeteries called "highgate cemetery" it is a good 30 minute bus ride and then a little hike, plus you have to go when they are offering tours... only took us 2 tries to get it right. :)



the tour was very informative: i learned that London became industrialized much earlier than many other cities with the population swarming into the city... there became a large demand for places to bury the dead. there were no cemeteries in the city and people were traditionally buried beneath churches where with the increase in bodies, fumes began to fill the churches and made people sick


cemeteries were not allowed within the city so around the edge of London, many cemeteries sprang up. highgate is one of the first


victorians liked to bury their dead in the ground rather than putting them in crypts above ground. they chose decorations from a catalogue, it was quite a big business


a rare example of a crypt


common victorian decoration: upside down torch still burning


church above the cemetery, many victorians visited the cemetery weekly after church services


angels were a common decoration, most were picked from a catalogue but this is a custom made sleeping angel


snake chasing it's tail


i would recommend this cemetery if you could only see one in London, it is very special!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

paris dog cemetery

today we visited the paris dog cemetery











we also took a walk around the tuileries gardens, it was raining but not too hard so umbrella in hand... we took a little tour


the louvre is here as well



d'orsay museum



fontaine st michel




italian lunch in paris and a metro ride home: fun day!!