Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter

We had a fantastic Easter weekend! On Saturday, we went to the Easter Eggstravaganza at Ft. Mac, which is our little mini-base here in San Pedro. They put on such a great event every year! And I couldn't believe it when Kendall not only wanted to see the Easter Bunny, but she reached for him, so he could put her in his lap. I even got the picture to prove it!  (Oh, about the pictures from Saturday, I totally forgot the memory card to my camera, so I took these with my phone.)



They also have bouncy castles, a petting zoo, karaoke, face painting, balloon animals, food, and lots of freebies!  After we left the Easter Bunny, we made our way to the easter egg hunt.  It's kind of random, they just throw a bunch of eggs and candy in a field, and section the field off for different ages, and have the kids just go for it when they say go.  It's not really a hunt, but they still have fun.


The girls had these cute matching shirts that they got from their Grandma Betty, and they had their names on them.  I don't think I got a good picture of the whole shirt, but they were super cute.

After that, we just came home, and took it easy the rest of the day.

Sunday, the girls wore dresses and barrettes that I made them (for more on that, you can check out my sewing blog here), and we headed off to church.  For some reason, they were not doing very well that morning.  They were grumpy and tired and whiney and moody.  Not fun.  I was so happy that the plans we made were for dinner, not lunch, so they could come back and take a good nap.  And they did. 

Around 4, we headed over to my friend Michelle's parents house.  We went there for Thanksgiving, too.  When you don't have your own family to celebrate with, it's so nice to still celebrate with people you love!  Michelle has two boys the same ages as the girls, and for the most part, they love each other.  We started out with an egg hunt for the kids. 











It's hard getting four kids to look at the camera at the same time!  Two out of four ain't bad, I guess.


Here's one of just the sisters...


Then it was time to eat!


We had a fantastic menu that we all contributed to, thanks to Michelle's suggestions.  Seriously, everything was so delicious.  I should've gotten pictures of the food.

It was such a great weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oscars Extravaganza...What? It's Only Two Months Late!

Back in February, my friend Michelle and I had a fantastic Oscars Extravaganza!  You might remember last year, that I did some Oscars stuff with some other friends.  Well, this year, Michelle and I blew that out of the water!

First, we started out our day at the early service at church.  Yes, before we went to celebrate Hollywood in all it's glory, we went to church.  Ironic, maybe, but whatever. 

After the early service, we made our way to The Ivy, which is a very trendy restaurant in the heart of it all.  If you pick up an Us Weekly or any other tabloid, you might see pictures of celebrities eating here.  I went there last year with my friends, and it was a lot of fun.  So we went, and had a great time!  The problem with this restaurant is the PRICE!  It's way more than I'm used to spending when I eat out, but I kept telling myself that this was an extravaganza, after all, so I should just make the best of it.  So I went all out, kind of.  I started out with a fancy drink.  I can't remember now what it was, but it was something like champagne with crushed raspberries?  I don't know...it was good, though.  Then I splurged, and got the lobster club.  LOBSTER. CLUB.  I had to.  I had no choice!  Look!


Michelle got a delicious salad



We had a great time, and the day was perfect for sitting outside!


After lunch, we decided to try to check in to our hotel.  Oh yeah, you heard me right!  Michelle thought it would be a good idea to stay in Hollywood overnight.  Which hotel, you ask?  None other than the Roosevelt Hotel, which is right in the middle of everything - pretty much across the street from the Kodak Theatre!  Michelle wins the award for best idea ever!

Pulling up to the hotel was a little intimidating, I'm not gonna lie.  First of all, the streets going up to Hollywood Blvd were blocked off.  So we kind of felt like superstars when we drove past the barricades and told the guards that we were checking into the Roosevelt.  So we went down this back alley, and into the back parking lot of the hotel, which was valet parking.  I don't really do valet parking, so I really didn't know what I was doing.  But we figured it out and went to the front desk.

It was so cool inside, because there was all this hustle and bustle going on!  As soon as we walked in, there was a check in desk for E! personnel.  Apparently, the E! channel was filming a pre-Oscars thing inside the hotel!

So we check in...oh wait.  I have to talk about the little joke that I made at the front desk.  Everything is just going on all around us, and it's kind of crazy in the lobby, so I asked the front desk people what was going on that was making it so busy that day?  One of them stopped what she was doing and just stared at me like I was the biggest idiot she's ever seen, and the other realized I was joking and laughed.  I was pretty proud of myself for that one!  Oh, and the drunk guy next to us thought it was pretty funny, too.  Yes, it was only about noon, but he was already drunk.  Or still drunk from the night before?  I'm not sure...

We got to our room on the seventh floor, and realized that we weren't quite cool enough to actually stay there!  The room was very trendy.  This is a picture I took before we checked out...


But the view was pretty cool!  Our window wasn't over Hollywood Blvd, but we could see the boulevard from our room, and the side of the Kodak.


And this is the outside of the hotel


After we dropped everything off in the room, we decided to head out to the boulevard to see what we could see.  Last year, I was out there the day before the Oscars, and I was able to stand directly across from the red carpet.  I guess since this was the day of, they weren't letting that happen, so they had it all gated off.  Not only did they have it gated off, but they had these huge fences, with black tarp covering them, so you literally couldn't see anything.  See?  This was what it looked like.  You can just barely see Oscar.


There was this kind of bridge set up, where E! and some other TV stations were going to be set up, and at first I thought we would see some famous people going up the stairs to the bridge, but the only one I saw was Kelly Osbourne.


As you can see, we weren't really in a prime spot. 

So I stayed here, while Michelle walked to the other side of the barricade, meaning she had to go down the street, walk down Sunset, then walk back up another street to get to the Hollywood and Highland area.  She texted me saying that she could see the red carpet from where she was, and they were about to let everyone get closer, so I should start heading that way.

Once I got there, I just knew this was going to be the place to be!  There were so many more people here than where we first started out at!  Long story short, after I got harrassed by a cop, and miraculously finding Michelle in a sea of hundreds of people, we had to go through a security check point to get close to the fences, where we would be able to see people getting dropped off at the red carpet.

Yeah, not so much.

This was about the best view I had. 


After that, and we actually got to the place we ended up standing, this is what I saw...



video

I cannot even express in words how annoying this particular time was.  And we spent way too long here.  We just kept holding out hope that people would leave, and we'd get right up on the fence, but that never happened.  And the screaming!  Screaming for no reason!  The people in front of us weren't American, so the only words I could ever make out that they said were celebrities names.  And then screaming.  Michelle and I were.not.screaming.  We couldn't see anything, so what was there to scream about?  The girl next to me I think was the worst, because she could kind of see better than I could, and at one point, she started jumping up and down and screaming.  I asked her who it was, and she said, "I don't know!"  I was in shock.

Here's another little video showing what I'm talking about...


video

After all that excitement, we wanted to get back to the hotel in time to actually watch the show!  And rest our feet after all that standing.  So that's what we did!  Michelle has a yearly Oscars-watching food tradition that she kindly shared with me - wine, prosciutto, cheese, crackers, and grapes.  It was wonderful!


At some point while we were watching the show, it hit me that all of this was happening right across the street!  It was a pretty surreal moment.

About 3/4 of the way through, we headed out for the next leg of our adventure.  Let me back up and explain how I found out about this little secret.  Two years ago, my friend was going around Hollywood, acting as a tourguide for her friend who was visiting from Michigan.  It just happened to be Oscars night, and they just happened to wind up across the street from the Vanity Fair party, where celebrities were showing up left and right.  So last year, when I did my Oscars thing, I went to the same place with my friends.  And this year, Michelle and I went.  Basically, you go to the Saddle Ranch, and hang out outside.  There's hardly anyone there, so it's really great!  The people at the Saddle Ranch are always s nice, too.  They don't make you buy anything, you can use their bathrooms, whatever.  They also have heaters set up and TVs, so you can watch the rest of the Oscars while waiting to see celebrities. 

At first, while the show was still going on, the celebrities weren't coming that often, but once the show was over, it really started to pick up.  Some pictures I took turned out great, others, not so much.  Here's a rundown some celebrities we saw...Sandra Bullock, Justin Bieber, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey, Jr, Jude Law, Larry David, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Russell Simmons, Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks, Jane Lynch, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zoe Saldana, Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Williams, Hugh Jackman, Shaun White, Keven Spacey, and Charlize Theron.  And here's some of the pictures.  Like I said, some turned out better than others...















There's one person that I left out, because it's just funny!  So, I'm a big watcher of shows on Bravo - Top Chef, most of the Real Housewives, etc.  Andy Cohen pretty much runs Bravo, and I'm a pretty big fan of his.  I love watching Watch What Happens Live, because he's just so funny, and I love the way he handles alot of the Housewives.  Well, he got out of one of the limos, and I was like, "Is that Andy Cohen?  That's Andy Cohen!"  Let's be honest, here.  If you don't watch Bravo, you have no idea who he is.  So when people heard me say his name, there was this collective, "Who's that?"  So I start screaming "ANDY!!!!!!!!   ANDY!!!!!!!!!!"  I was the only one yelling his name, so he heard me, and waved!  I didn't get a picture, so I just kept yelling his name.  I was pretty excited, and I like to think I made his night!  Okay, maybe the fact that he was at the Oscars, and went to the Vanity Fair party made his night, but I'm just going to keep telling myself that I did.  I never got a great picture of him, so this is the best I got...


And lucky for you, Michelle (who was manning the video camera) got the whole ordeal on video.  Andy Cohen and Larry David are both in this clip, and they were probably the two I was most excited about.  Enjoy my embarrassment...

video

There was a bit of an annoying factor here, too.  The people we were standing next to had no clue who anyone was, or basically any knowledge of pop culture.  So I just had to wonder why they were there?  For instance, when Gwyneth Paltrow got out of the limo, they were like, "Who's that?"  Which was fine, because it was hard to see.  But when I told them who it was, they said, "Who?  Never heard of her."  Okay.  Then when the director of The Social Network got out, the girl said to the guy, "I think that's that movie about Facebook?"  She got it right, but she was definitley unsure.  And it went on like that the whole time they were standing there.  Again I ask, Why were they there?!  If you're not a follower of pop culture, that's totally fine, but why would you stand outside in the cold (it was actually very cold that night) for hours, waiting to see people you don't even know about?  Strange.

That's pretty much it.  We went back to our hotel room, went to sleep, then got up early the next morning to go back to reality.  We had a lot of fun, and it's definitely a weekend that I won't soon forget.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot!  As we were getting in the elevator on our way to check out of the hotel Monday morning, there were these two women in the elevator.  Apparently, they were pretty important.  Or at least they thought they were, because they treated us like we were the scum of the earth!  They were in a big hurry, and were annoyed that the elevator had the audacity to stop for us.  And we weren't quick enough when we got on the elevator (even though it probably took about 7 seconds...not quick enough for them).  And then Michelle pushed the wrong button, which was acutally kind of hilarious.  The one lady was so annoyed that she did that!  We finally got down to the floor we were supposed to get off at, and they pretty much pushed us over getting out of the elevator.  I'm not kidding.  From the time the elevator doors opened on our floor to the time we got down to the first floor was probably about 45 seconds, even with the wrong floor pushed.  But from the way they were acting, you would think it took an hour, and it totally threw off their busy schedule.  It was actually pretty funny, and it was a perfect end to our whole Hollywood experience!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie Musings

We don't watch a lot of movies, but in the last week, we've seen 3 new ones (not theatre-new, but released on DVD-new), and I enjoyed them all, so I thought I'd share some thoughts...

Tangled - I was a little apprehensive about this one, because the last few Disney movies I've seen (save Toy Story), I haven't been thrilled with.  But I really enjoyed this one.  Rapunzel is one of the most likeable of all the Disney princesses, in my opinion - even if her likeability is a little unrealistic (I find it hard to believe that someone who's locked in a tower for 18 years is as fun, outgoing, and well-rounded as Rapunzel is).  The animation was beautiful, too.  Sometimes I forgot the scenes were drawn, and not real.  Kendall thoroughly enjoyed it, too.  Although, as with all Disney movies, there is a pretty scary scene at the end. 

127 Hours - we've all heard about Aron Ralston, who had to cut his own arm off after being trapped for 5 days in a canyon.  And when I was telling my brother about it, he wondered how they could make a full-length movie out of that story.  But while watching the movie, I never once thought it dragged, or it could've ended sooner.  This is such a great story of determination and the will to live, and at times you almost forget that this actually happened to someone!  And that he lives at the end!  There were several times I thought to myself, "There's no way he's getting out of there...oh, wait.  He did!"  I really recommend this one.

Red - You wouldn't think that an action movie about a group of retired assassins, involving lots of killing could be cute, but it was!  You kind of have to check your logic at the door, because Grant and I found lots of holes in the storyline, but it was a very enjoyable movie to watch, and the acting is great.  Helen Mirren's character is great (she's a mix of Martha Stewart and Jason Bourne), and John Malkovitch's character is hilarious.

As an aside, I love watching movies that are set in places I used to live.  In Red, they go to Pensacola (although it's not really Pensacola - I think it was filmed in Louisiana).  And then they go to Mobile, Alabama, which I never lived in, but it's only 45 minutes away from Pensacola.  And before we had kids, I used to fly in and out of Mobile all the time when I would go home to Pensacola, because it was cheaper.  The part of "Mobile" that they showed was the airport, and since I had all those airport experiences, I was very quick to point out that what they showed was, in fact, definitely NOT the Mobile airport.  The Mobile airport is one of the smallest I've ever been to, and is pretty far outside the city.  What they showed wasn't a very big airport, but it was surrounded by tall buildings, and the real one is not.  Oh, and they showed mountains in the background, and there are NO mountains anywhere near Mobile.  Also, Mary-Louise Parker's character mispronounces the city's name.  She pronounces it the way you would say mobile phone, but it's supposed to be pronounced "moh-beel."

Okay, that's the end of my nerdy geography-in-movies moment.

Like I said, we don't watch a ton of movies.  So when we do, I tend to be a little picky in what I want to see.  I really did enjoy all of these movies!  Up next is a toss up - Grant really wants to see Tron, and I really don't.  I really want to see The Fighter, and he really doesn't.  So we'll see!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just Cami - Part 2

Here's the 2nd of 5 videos of Cami just being herself.  If you missed the first one, go here.


Just Cami - Part 2 from Kelly Spear on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Women's Retreat Recap!

As I said in the previous post, despite the very dramatic events that happened last week, I still made it to the Southern California Women's Retreat for the OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church).  I left Friday afternoon around 4 pm, and in true LA fashion, hit tons and tons of traffic on my way to Idyllwild, which is where the retreat was.  What should have taken about 2 1/2 hours, took more like 3 1/2.  But that's okay.  I called people, I listened to music, and really, I don't mind being in the car by myself.

As I got closer to the camp, I started seeing signs of snow.  Which kind of surprised me, because I hadn't checked the weather, and I was not prepared for snow!  I just kept hoping and praying that where I was going was not where that snow was coming from.  But then as I was driving up this mountain, and snow-covered cars were coming down, I started losing hope.

Sure enough, I pull into the town of Idyllwild, and it's like a winter wonderland.  I missed the turn for the camp, and keep climbing up this mountain, and it starts snowing harder and harder, and all I can think is that I did not have warm clothes!  I did bring a sweatshirt and tennis shoes, and at the last minute, I packed gloves, but that was it!  Once I got out of Idyllwild, I realized I missed my turn, so I turned around, and figured out where to go.

I arrived after the check in time, which meant that pretty much everyone who was coming was already there.  So, I pull into this dark, quiet camp, not knowing where I was supposed to go.  I figured that was a good time to change out of my flip flops and put on my tennis shoes.  As I was doing that, a car pulled up, and I heard, "Hey, lady!"  It was my friend Michelle!  Michelle and the group she was with left a couple hours before me.  While we were all driving, Michelle called to check on me, and I found out that they were quite a ways ahead of me.  Until they pulled up right then, I had assumed they were already there.  But they stopped somewhere to get dinner, it took longer than they anticipated, so they happened to get there the same time I did.  I was so relieved, because I really didn't know where to go!

We all figured it out together, and walked into the main room where our sessions would be.  I found Megan, who doesn't go to my church, but she does go to Harvest OPC in San Marcos.  And then we found another group from our church.  All in all, I think there were 11 churches represented (?), and about 86 women.  It was a great turnout!

We mingled for a while, and then we had our first session.  Our speaker was Donna McIlhenney, who is (along with her husband) a chaplain in some Los Angeles area hospitals.  She was a great choice for a speaker, and I enjoyed her talks throughout the whole weekend.  It was encouraging, emotional, uplifting - everything you would want to hear at a retreat!

After that, we went to our rooms (I was sharing a room with Megan, Michelle, Michelle's mom Brigitte, and Lissett), and after chatting for a while (this is a women's retreat, after all - there was LOTS of chatting!), we finally went to sleep.

The next morning when we woke up, we were finally able to check out the beautiful scenery, and the crazy snow (this is April, right?  Did I mention I wasn't expecting snow?).




We made our way to breakfast, and we soon found out that the food was delicious!  After breakfast we had our second session, a break, and then the third session.  After that was lunch.  Here's a picture to show the dining hall and all the women (and there's Lissett, Megan, and Michelle in deep theological conversation.  Really!).


After lunch, we had the whole afternoon off.  Being the young moms we are, we decided to go back to our room to "nap," although I think Megan was the only one who did.  Me, Lissett, and Michelle did more chatting, and I was able to get some embroidery done.  After our "naptime," we decided to go into town and stroll around.  Megan's friend Melissa from her church came with us.

Oh, the stories I could tell about our time in town!  But I won't.  I'll just leave you all in suspense.  Needless to say, we had a super fun time on our quest to find a place to get drinks.  Here's the first place we stopped, and it wasn't quite what we were looking for...


So we went to Gastrognome, which was exactly what we were looking for!  Look how cute and cozy it was!  The fireplace, the decor, the drinks - it was perfect!  We stayed here for a while, chatting it up, until it was time to go back to the camp for dinner.



Megan's church got a group picture, so I thought it would be good to get a picture of everyone that came from our church, Branch of Hope.  So here we are!


After dinner, we had our 4th and final session, then a talent show, which was fantastic.  There are some funny and creative women in the OPC!

We went back to our rooms - actually, we went to someone else's room to do more chatting, then made our way back to our room for some sleep. 

The next morning, there was going to be breakfast and a church service followed by lunch, and after that it was time to leave.  However, everyone in my room left before all of that.  I needed to get back to our own church, because Grant teaches Sunday School.  So I promised him when we decided that I would be going to this retreat that I'd be back for church, so he didn't have to juggle everything he needed to do with the two girls by himself.  Michelle and Megan needed to get back for similar reasons, so we all left around 7:15.  It had lightly hailed and snowed the previous day, along with freezing some of the melt the night before, so we were a little nervous heading down the mountain, but everyone survived! 

I made it to church before Grant did (despite accidentally veering onto the 55 in Orange County, and going a little out of my way) and our little family had a reunion in the parking lot before church started.  Oh, and I was worried all weekend that the stomach bug the girls and I had would hit Grant while I was gone, but it never did - thank God!

It was a fantastic weekend - one that will not be forgotten soon!  That was my first retreat, and while it might be my last with the So Cal OPC, I hope it won't be my last one ever.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Last Week

Last week was going to be one of the busiest we've had in a while - we had something going on everyday of the week.  Then it all changed, but was still busy, just in a different way.  So bear with me while I relive it all for you!

MONDAY - I went for a walk along Paseo del Mar, stopped at the playground halfway through the walk, and had a random meeting with some friends I hadn't seen in a while at the playground.  Then we went to storytime at the library.  During the girls naptime, I got dinner ready, showered, and did some other things around the house, because I had my monthly Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild meeting that evening, which was awesome, as usual.

TUESDAY - Picked my sewing machine up from the repair place, and took the girls to the duck pond.  While we were there, I got a call from Barb, who is in charge of our small group.  We were supposed to meet that night, but she said two other families cancelled, so she was leaving it up to us to still have it or not.  I made the decision to not go, since we had such a crazy busy week ahead of us, and normally we wouldn't cancel, but since other people were, we'd just go ahead and follow suit.  That ended up being a really good decision, unbeknownst to me, because...

Tuesday night around 11, Grant and I were woken up to the sounds of Kendall crying.  Which is unusual. 

Let me give some background here...Over the last few months, friends of ours who have small kids have gotten the stomach flu.  We've never had that - Kendall's never thrown up before, and I started realizing that for a 3 1/2 year old, that was pretty good.  But I was not so naive to think that it wouldn't ever happen.  So after hearing about my friends who've gotten the flu, I've been mentally preparing myself for it.  In fact, a few weeks ago, Kendall cried, and I woke up saying, "She's throwing up!"  She wasn't, but that just shows that I had it in the back of my head that it might happen soon.

So that night, I kind of did the same thing, except that night it was true.  She really was throwing up.  At first, and in our sleepy fog, we weren't sure what was really going on, but when she kept throwing up I realized that this wasn't a one-time thing, and that she was really sick.  So I told Grant to go back to bed, and I'd stay with Kendall in her room. 

Every 15-20 minutes, she was throwing up.  But she handled it like a pro (if there were such a thing as a pro puker).  We would lay in her bed, and when she was feeling sick, she'd just say, "Mama, I need to throw up."  So I'd get the trash can for her, and she'd do her business, then get back in bed, and actually sleep until the next episode.

That went on until about 3:30 am.  Which brings us to...

WEDNESDAY - Kendall woke up happy, and feeling totally better!  I, on the other hand, was exhausted.  Because, while she slept in between pukings, I did not.  And I didn't really sleep after it was all over, so I was going on about 2 hours of sleep.  Except for being tired, I was fine - not pukey, or anything. 

But we had tickets to be in the audience of American Idol that afternoon!  It was going to be me, Grant, and my two girlfriends (Michelle and Deb), and I already had a babysitter scheduled and everything.  Needless to say, I really didn't want to go.  But the tickets were in my name.  So I called the ticket place to see if I could transfer the tickets to either Michelle or Deb's name, because I didn't want them to miss out on going.  Of course, they said I couldn't.  I had to cancel the sitter, because I didn't want her to get sick.  So I was stuck.  My sweet, loving husband decided to come home early from work to stay with the girls, sacrificing his chance to go to American Idol.

So that's what happened.  Michelle, Deb, and I made our way up to the show!  We waited, and waited, and waited, and were told that we might not get in (the tickets are not guaranteed).  While we waited, we were starving, and started talking about our favorite foods, which was not a good idea, because that just made us more hungry.  As we kept waiting, they told us that if we didn't get in, we'd get guaranteed tickets for another show.  At that point, with our hunger in full-force, I was secretly hoping that we wouldn't get in, so we could go EAT!  Which is what ended up happening. 

So we made our way over to The Grove, which is right behind the studios they film the show at, and went to the Cheesecake Factory, and had a great time.  For being such a good sport, I got Grant two slices of cheesecake, and my delicious leftovers.  Actually, one of the slices was supposed to be mine, BUT...

THURSDAY - I woke up not feeling too hot.  I kind of felt nauseated all morning, but not to the point I felt like throwing up.  Those cheesecakes were staring me in the face, and I didn't want them.  I knew something was wrong.  I did eat breakfast, but that's all I had all day.  I gave the girls their lunch, put them down for their naps, and I laid down to rest, because I just didn't feel good.

Shortly after I laid them down, Cami started crying.  That's not totally unusual, and I usually let her cry it out.  But something was different about her cry.  I started thinking to myself, If I'm feeling sick, I wonder if she is, too?  So I went to check on her.  And as I opened her door, I smelled it.  She had thrown up all over her crib, and was standing there, looking so sad and confused.  I cleaned her up and brought her downstairs with me, bracing for what I knew was coming.

It was the same as Kendall - every 15-20 minutes for a few hours.  Seeing your babies throw up is horrible.  I know there are worse things they could be going through, but this was definitely a low point for me.  Kendall kind of grasped what was going on, but poor Cami.  She's only 18 months old!  She had no idea what was going on, and it was just so sad.

Around 2, it hit me.  I like to call what Cami and I were doing, "tag team puking."  It was interesting, to say the least.

I was supposed to babysit my friend's kids that night, so obviously, I had to cancel.  And on top of that, I did the unthinkable - I asked Grant to come home early, yet again.  With his job, it's very hard for him to get off early, but he did.  He's awesome.

Cami finished throwing up around 5?  6?  I don't know.  To be honest, most of that day is a blur.  I had my last episode after I had gone to bed that night.  Which brings us to...

FRIDAY - I was still feeling a little nauseated, but mostly just tired and weak.  Cami was back to her normal self, which was great.  And Kendall's sickness was a distant memory.  The only problem was, I was supposed to go to the Annual Southern California Regional Women's Retreat for the OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church).  I needed to leave around 3 or 4 pm, so I had a sitter set up to watch the girls until Grant could come home.  Could I even go to something like that feeling the way I did, and having just gone through what I went through?

Grant was encouraging me to go, and I tossed around the idea of going up Saturday morning.  I mulled it over, prayed about it, talked about it with my friend Michelle, and since I started feeling better as the day progressed, decided I would go Friday afternoon, like I had intended.  But what about the sitter?  I couldn't bring someone into this pukey house!  So, for the third day in a row, Grant got off work early, so I could go on my retreat.  Husband of the year, anyone?

The retreat will get a post by itself, but for now I just wanted to recap what the last week was like in the Spear household.  Not a fun one, but definitely one to remember.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Modern Relief - Japan (Week 1)

Okay, guys, I really try to keep my quilting stuff to my quilting blog, but over the next few weeks, I'll be mentioning a little about it here.  But trust me, it's for a good cause!

Head on over to Modern Relief to see how you can buy raffle tickets (as low as $10!) to possibly win a beautiful handmade quilt!  Best of all, the proceeds will go to Mercy Corps, which is an organization helping out in the relief efforts for Japan. 

Each Monday until May 16, Modern Relief will be unveiling a new set of quilts up for grabs (you can see the quilts revealed this week here).  It just started today, so head on over there and see some of the beautiful things people have made...who knows, maybe one of them could be yours!  (Mine will be revealed on Modern Relief's site next week, but you can see it on my other blog here)

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Showing Off

I'm just looking through some pictures, and I got inspired to show off my cute little family!!!

Okay, so as a background for this first set of pictures...I've mentioned it before, but we're moving from California in a few months. 

The good news is that we're moving closer to family.  Alot closer.  And that's huge!  During my husband's 8 year career in the Air Force, we've been anything but close to our families, and we've missed being near them.

The bad news is, we really don't want to leave California.  If only there was someway we could merge everything California has to offer and still being close to our families in Florida!  But there's not.

Anyways, it hit me the other day that I have precious few moments left, and I need to take advantage of it.  I live in a beautiful suburb of LA called San Pedro.  We had some gorgeous weather last week, so I went for a walk with my girls along Paseo del Mar in San Pedro.  Paseo del Mar is this short, but incredibly scenic street on top of the cliffs over the ocean, with beautiful views of Catalina Island.  I walked from one end to the other and back again, which is maybe a mile and a half round trip?  That's alot for this out of shape Mama!  So once I made it to one end, we took a break so my girls could play on the playground there.  That's where these pictures come from.

I love Cami's face in this one, and Kendall's in the next one...



Happy Cami!


These next two are...not so cute.  The first one is totally random, and is from last September, when my friend was about to move to Chicago.  But I just saw it for the first time right now, because I was uploading pictures from a camera we hardly ever use.  All I can say for the face I'm making is that I'm pretty sure I was trying to get my husband to not take a picture of me.  Guess that didn't work.  But see how beautiful the location is?  This is below Paseo del Mar where I took that walk, and is about 1/2 mile from my house.  This, folks, is why we don't want to move!!


Now for the next not-so-cute picture, was taken on the last day of Mustache March - which, by the way, my husband ended up winning the title of "Mr. Mustache March," for the best overall mustache grown for his office.  I cannot tell you how I happy I am that he shaved it the next day.


Okay, back to some real cuteness.  One nice perk about being in the military in a town like LA is that Grant gets free tickets to stuff quite a bit, like NHL Hockey tickets.  Being from Florida, we're not huge hockey fans, but it's a free pro sporting event, so we'll take it!  This particular game happened to be right during nap time for the girls, so I suggested he just take Kendall, and I'd stay home with Cami, since she's not quite at the age where she's okay if she skips a nap.  Kendall handled it like a pro, though.

  

And this was a super sweet thing Grant did that I didn't know about until they came home, but he took Kendall to Little Tokyo after the game to get ice cream, and he saw this Hello Kitty store, so they stopped in and he got her a little notepad, and they got their picture with the Cat herself!  So, so glad that mustache is gone!


So that's all.  This was a totally unplanned post, but I just had to share the cuteness!