Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hiking in Carmel

While in Carmel for the Thanksgiving holiday, my mom, TL, my BIL Joe, and I went for a little hike at a beach near her house.  It's a little steep getting there, but the views are gorgeous!
The pups went too - and it's their absolute favorite!
A bridge going over Highway 1
 The poison oak filled trails
TL playing with the pups. The tide was high
Loving the sand and water!
 Chasing sticks
 They are good little hikers!
My mom and Joe coming across the little bridge

I absolutely love the CA central coast!  We were so lucky with the great weather.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Celebrations

I can't believe Thanksgiving is over.  It is one of my favorite holidays... and for the second year in a row, I got to spend it with both our families (minus my sister, BIL, and nephew {missed them}).

We celebrated at my MIL's house in Carmel (again) and enjoyed being together.
My sister Julie and her new hub Matty came to celebrate with us for a couple nights after they spent time with his family.
We played board games {cranium, catch phrase, and farkle}, and ate so much delicious food that I could pop just thinking about it.  We also decorated her house for Christmas.
My MIL is such a fabulous cook.  It was absolutely some of the best food I have ever had!!
 Me and my lovable MIL
 The pups playing with toys galore!
 Dad carving the turkey!
 The Turkey Day spread... everything is homemade (even stuffing & gravy) and delicious!!
 The sunset during dinner... spectacular! 
 gobble gobble
 my mom and dad
 BIL Joe, Me, Julie, TL, & BIL Matty
Decorating the tree
 This is not photo enhanced!  It was so gorgeous!
The boys doing some cleaning and trying on some of the Christmas fashions!

I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving.
I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.  I will never ever forget this week and how much fun it was to be together.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
(and GO Niners!!)

I am so thankful for the numerous blessings in my life, including my sweet husband :)

Football is on, the turkey is cooking, and my mom and MIL are enjoying a glass of wine together before dinner.  I am so happy to be with family today.  This is the second Thanksgiving in a row that I have my parents and TL's family together to celebrate at my MIL's house in Carmel.  It's beautiful.  The memories we are making now will always be some of my favorite.

I am so excited for a delicious dinner tonight (thanks to my MIL) and just relaxing and playing games with them.

I hope you all are enjoying your day surrounded by the people you love.

So thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sienna Happy Hour

My girlfriends and I love a good weekly happy hour, mainly because it gives us time to catch up!
Last week, we went to Sienna, a delicious little restaurant in our town.  We also celebrated the birthday of two wonderful friends, Jen & Kelly!
Kelly & Jen
Me, Trish, & Nikki
Love them and so lucky to have met them when I moved here!

Anyone else have Happy Hour traditions?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turkey Collection at the Sacramento Food Bank

Last year, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to distribute turkeys to people in our community who couldn't afford a thanksgiving dinner.
It was touching to actually talk to them, hand them all the food they need for a big meal, and wish them a happy Thanksgiving.

This year, I wanted to see what it's like to be on the other side... the collecting side.

I lined up with 5 other ladies from my Junior League and many others from the community - and helped collect turkeys from the generous people in our area.

The goal this year was 8,000 turkeys... and we made it!

At first... I was a little hesitant to be on this side of it because I didn't think I would feel as much satisfaction.  But I was wrong.  It was so touching to see people taking time out of their day, and money out of their bank account to help feed a family in need.
The giant Savemart shopping cart!
 Getting ready for drop off!
It was easy to donate... you just pulled up in your car and we got it from your trunk or car.
 Me and my JLS girls
 A few organizations and groups from the community had big donations!
It was truly a wonderful experience and it makes you appreciate the little things in life.

I was talking to a food bank director and she was telling me that many of the people who line up to receive a donated meal are families struggling in this down economy.

It felt good to know we helped make a difference to more than 8,000 families this Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting Our Christmas Tree

Each year, my parents have a tradition that we always do in preparation for the holidays!
For almost 40 years, my mom and dad have been driving up to Apple Hill to the same place to pick out and cut down a fresh Christmas Tree.  It's called Indian Rock Tree Farm!  I've blogged about it for 4 years now...  2010  2009  2008

It's so fun to see how we all change and grow through the years.  This year, it was the first year we were all married (Jul & Matt were married in July) and we all picked out our own trees together.
brotherly love 
J, Kel, Ryan... and Baby O!
Me and TL
Gramz, Pops, and Ry
TL and my mama 
My sisters and I

We ended the hunt with a big lunch together.  It was perfect weather!
Can't wait to get my tree up on Wednesday... can you believe the holidays are here?!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Meeting Former First Lady Laura Bush

Earlier this week, TL's family and I had the opportunity to meet Laura Bush and listen to her speak at The Lesher Speaker Series in Walnut Creek.
We also got the chance to meet her and take pictures with her.  She's very pleasant!
She spoke about her time in the White House, how she met George, and what it was like to be The First Lady during September 11.  She also talked about everything they've done since leaving The White House.  It was very interesting to hear about her personal experiences.

First, we went to dinner at Massimo's, across the street from The Lesher Center of the Arts, the theatre we saw her speak at.
Security was so tight, you would have thought the President was with her.  Secret Service everywhere, not to mention many members of the police department - armed and ready.

Dinner was delicious!
My fabulous MIL and me
TL, me, Laura, Cindy, Joe
The whole gang!
Not a great picture... but this is her after her presentation getting questions from the audience.  (I was nervous to take this picture because Secret Service people were watching everyone like hawks!)

She was very nice and it was interesting to hear her speak about all of her experiences that we've watched unfold in the media for more than a decade.
She also is a firm believer in the power of a woman!