Saturday, January 30, 2010

Great Excuses

Tiffany was a little embarassed that we wanted to throw her a baby shower for her fourth baby. But we were all so excited for her and the upcoming arrival of little LizaJayne. We just wanted a night to celebrate with her.
Besides who would really pass up an opportunity to dip every imaginable kind of treat into chocolate
and indulge in all of the yummy treats we try so hard to stay away from
Who would want to pass up on a night with dear friends
and new additions
All we women really need to get together
Is a great excuse!
Thanks ladies for such a fun night catching up. And thanks Tiffany for giving us the best reason to celebrate with you. Congratulations on your sweet little girl. I'm certain she will be as beautiful as her mother, inside and out!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Flashback Friday

In 1978 my parents bought their first home. They put in the yard druing the hot Sacramento summer.

My mom was thrilled with the updated kitchen compared to her last one.

I was 2 years old and remember lots of little details about living in the house on Dinsmore Way. I remember a boy named Mikey that lived across the street who had a pool table in the garage that we used to climb up and play on. More than once I remember dumping a whole bag of peanut M&Ms onto the table and rolling them into the pockets. I remember Kimmy Cooper who lived two doors down. I remember my stuffed Kangaroo that got grease on its tail from her daddy's truck. While I don't remember his name, I will never forget what her brother told me to go home and tell my mom. I got my mouth washed out with soap.

What I remember most about this house though is my bedroom. It was magical. My dad painted a mural on my wall 11 feet long and four feet tall. complete with a castle suitable for any princess, a waterfall, the wicked forest and a trail leading to a dark castle on the far right. My dad would tell me stories about Princess Jenalynn (My mom says at one point my dad wanted to name me Jenalynn instead of Jenifer Lynn) and would occationally add in characters to his stories like Bambi and Thumper. While I was sleeping he would paint the new characters into my mural.

These are the only two pictures we have of it, still in it's unfinished state. We moved from this house when I was just 4 years old, but every few years we would stop by the old house to see if the mural was still there. For about 20 years it was. The owners of the home would tell stories of teenaged sons who occupied the room only being allowed to cover it with posters but their parents wouldn't let them paint over it. They said you could tell how much detail and love went into the painting.

If my life had a soundtrack The Carpenters Crystal Lullaby would play as the background for this time period. My dad would play his guitar and sing that song to me....he can't get through it now without getting a little choked up. I can hear the words as I look at these pictures...

Crystal Lullaby
by The Carpenters
Listen to the song he sings Can't you see his music brings her Crystal sleep  As her heavy eyelids fall He's taking her to where the dolls rule the world  And in that land of make believe Is where he'll leave her sleeping Softly warm In a crystal lullaby  He's weaving her a paper castle Where dancing clowns with tassels made of fur Welcome her into their world That lives inside the dreams  Of every little girl  She's guarded by a brave tin soldier Sitting on her shoulder Taken there In a crystal lullaby  Sometimes when I listen to The velvet song that fills a summer afternoon Something deep within me sighs And wishes for the peaceful skies of long ago  That wrapped my cares In silver air And carried them away Leaving me And a crystal lullaby

Sunday, January 24, 2010

So Close...

Saturday was gorgeous so we decided we'd head up the hill to Sierra Summit with some friends. The boys had been begging to snow board and I have been wanting to learn how to ski. This was going to be my day.
We were all so excited as we drove up and saw just how much snow covered everything in sight.

I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures out the window of the car
When we were within 2 miles of our destination we started seeing car loads of people in their gear coming back down the mountain and motioning for us to turn around. My sister was a little ways ahead of us and when we saw them heading back they delivered the bad news.

All the parking lots were full and they were no longer selling lift tickets. Sierra Summit was sold out! I have never heard of such a thing! We were so close, and now so disappointed. Luckily we were able to get a refund on our rentals and the McCauley's had us all back to the cabin for some sledding.

We ended up having a great time throwing snow at each other,

Garrett was so sneaky getting us from the deck while we least expected it,

Haley and her girls made giant snow balls
Tara and Jason took it all in looking like they should be on a magazine cover
Wes found a spot to take his board down a few times

Next time if we get up even earlier, and rent our gear the night before, maybe I'll finally get my chance to ski.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashback Friday

Flashback Fridays should be fun. I'll post some old pictures and take you on a stroll down my memory lane. I'm hoping this will keep me progressing through the stacks of photos I need to scan into the computer and get some journaling done along the way.

Since today is Tara's birthday I thought I'd share some old pics of the two of us. We are just two years apart and have been hanging out for as long as I can remember!

Here we are with Tara just a few weeks old

I love this one! Both of us are clearly having a great time and the tongue out of the side of Tara's mouth is awesome, but what I love is that while Tara's arms are high in the air, one of them is wrapped around mine for a bit of support.

Love ya little sister! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This was the scene at my next door neighbors house today.

It looks like the rain and a bit of wind,
combined with some seriously shallow roots

was just a bit too much for this guy. He just tipped right over, blocking about half of the street! This is what is left of him now.

What I find interesting is that the City of Clovis will send out workers to chop off and clean up the part that covers the street, but the rest of it is up to you to take care of!

So long big fella!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

To Make an End is to Make a Beginning

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Last year I could have kept in better touch with my little brother

taken less pictures standing next to my gorgeous sister

and appreciated my mother even more.

Last year I should have furthered my education
laughed more,
and been more grateful for the health of my loved ones.
Last year I should have spent more time with family
listened better
and relaxed more.
Last year I may have worn too many hats
not given enough hugs,
or spent enough one on one time.
Last year I could have been a better friend,
been more patient,
and learned to just let go of what I can't control.

Last year I should have worried less about what others might think

But last year went out with a bang, and a language I no longer choose to speak,
This is the beginning of a new voice, a better sister, a better listener, a better friend. More patient, more grateful, more kind. More love and more hugs. Less hats, and less in control. More laughter, more learning, more time. Now is the beginning and its all mine.

Happy New Year!