Thursday, March 29, 2012

Best Local Blogger

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw someone nominated me for the Best Local Blogger in Sacramento.

I am not usually one for competitions, but I thought this was pretty cool :)

I put a link over on the left hand side of my blog - also at the end of this post.  If you click it, it will take you to the site to vote.

It just takes a minute, and I would be so happy to have your support!

Thank you... and Happy Friday!!






Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whale Watching in Carmel

TL, my dad, and I took a trip over to Carmel last weekend.
I love spending time with them, it's always fun to see my two favorite guys together.
They are two peas in a pod - so different, but they compliment each other.
I'm so lucky that they have such a strong relationship.
I love them both so much!

The whales along the central coast were putting on quite a show for us.  If you kept your eyes on the horizon, you would see spouts floating up and down across the water.  We couldn't believe how many we saw!

Carmel is so beautiful, and I have many great memories with these two guys there!


I was laughing because I couldn't see much through those little binoculars, but they were so close, you could see the spouts with out them. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tail Wagging Tuesday... Instagram Edition

I have a serious problem of taking waaay too many pictures of my pups. {at least a thousand}
 I just love them to pieces!  
Every day they are always so stinking adorable, I have to take a picture.
If you follow me on instagram, you've already met Maximus & Zeus.
They are short haired miniature dachshunds.
{aka: models}
This is a link up with C Mae at Happiness is for her Tail Wagging Tuesday!

Hope you're having a wonderful week so far!

Friday, March 23, 2012

gratitude, life's simple gifts, and feeling connected

My BIL Joe (TL's bro) and I have a very special relationship.  Since I met him, he's always intrigued me.  He's really smart.

He loves to read, research, and explore so many things.  I love having conversations with him (sometimes they can be over my head, i'll admit) - but often times, I learn something new or look at something differently because of his thoughtful approach.  We don't always agree, but I like that.

Recently, Joe and I have had a few really wonderful conversations.  I don't mean "the sky is blue" or "how are you" convos... I mean the full blown lets talk about life conversations that can be hard to have with others.  More recently, one of those talks lasted for hours.

I am so lucky to have him as my BIL.  I love him dearly and I am so happy that we have formed a special bond and that we can talk about life and our experiences with the trust that the other may not fully understand, but accepts us.

He is a genuine guy, with a really big heart.

A couple days ago, he sent me these two videos to watch.
One has a very intellectual feel about life and gratitude... the other has a more scientific feel about the universe and our role in it.  You may not fully agree or believe them (and that's okay), but they might make you look out your window and up at the sky.

They definitely make you think... and if you ever are feeling small, or down... watch these and remind yourself what a special part you have in the world. :)  Let me know your own thoughts about them.  (The second one down has an interesting message)


"Begin by opening your eyes and be surprised that you have eyes that you can open.  That incredible array of colors that is constantly offered to us for pure enjoyment."
love that quote.
Me and Joe.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

St. Patty's Bunco Brunch

Bunco this month was hosted by Jess at my house.
It's always fun getting together with these ladies.  I am so lucky to have them all in my life :)

Even though it was bunco brunch... it was still at our normal time, 5:30pm.
On the menu: Scones, Yogurt & Granola, Quiche, and our signature drink was Bailey's & Coffee.

We were all supposed so wear green... but I don't own any green.  So my somewhat green necklace had to do.

It's always a fun time with these ladies!
Hope you're having a wonderful week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mama Mia with my Girls!

"You can dance... you can jive... having the time of your life"
I had ABBA stuck in my head all day and night thinking about Mama Mia.  I love the music from the play.

The girls and I went to see the Mama Mia traveling Broadway Play in Sacramento on St. Patty's Day.  (I took it easy on the pub crawl so I could enjoy myself... I changed clothes and quickly got ready to meet up with them)

First, we all met at Lucca, a restaurant downtown across from the theatre.  The food is really good and we were tucked away on the patio right next to the fire place.  It was wonderful.

The play was great.  The mom, Donna, was wonderful in the play.  Her voice was fantastic!  The rest of the cast was pretty good, too.  I love musicals! :)
Now, the songs are stuck in my head again ;)
Have I mentioned I love these girls... what a fun night!
Make it a great day today!

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Patty's Pub Crawl

For the past few years, TL's buddies from work and their friends (this year about 200 of them) get together for a giant pub crawl.   With a bunch of firefighters, you're always guaranteed an entertaining day.

The crawl started at 8:00am... but don't worry, we aren't that crazy, we joined in at about 10:30am after getting settled in our Downtown Sacramento hotel room.  I am not sure about the final number of bars we made it to - but we stayed about an hour at each place.

It was a very fun day!  We went strong from the morning hours until late in the evening.  I ended up leaving the party at 5:30 to go meet up with my girlfriends.  We saw Mama Mia (more on that later) :)
The organizers purchased more than 200 shirts!  We were everywhere :)
Me and my sweet guy!
 Some of our guys took control of the stage for a nice little sing-a-long. :)
The singers (our friends) called TL up on stage to join them :)
 This was our team.

There are small teams within the entire crawl group.  One member from each team switches off being the "runner".  The Runner goes to the bar at the first whistle (before everyone else) to buy the next round of drinks.  That way, when the second whistle blows and everyone goes to the next place - the drinks are already waiting for them.

It's always a lot of fun!
Hope you had a wonderful St. Patty's Day!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm an auntie again!

My sister, Kel, gave me another beautiful nephew on Monday, March 12th... her second boy, Adam, and my second nephew.

We are so blessed.
He is absolutely adorable - 10 fingers and toes, the sweetest face... he's perfect.

I'll admit, I was a little nervous about baby Adam.  I love his big brother Ry so much, I wasn't sure if I could ever love another baby boy so much... but I do.  They are both so precious.

On Monday, I was distracted all morning.  I knew my sister was going in for her C Section at 1:30pm... I wanted to arrive at 2:30 so I could see them in recovery.  Everything happened so fast.  He arrived at 2:30pm on the nose, weighing in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces.  A big baby for my very petite sister.

My heart is content, thankful, and bursting with love.
I'm so happy for my sister and bro in law and their sweet, beautiful family of 4.
What an abundant blessing... we are all forever grateful!
Meeting his little brother for the first time... doesn't my sister look amazing!
These are just a few pics - we have about 1725 million of them... I will share more soon!
Hope you're having a beautiful week!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Brunch With Bloggers

I was so excited to meet up with a small group of girls who blog in our area - Sacramento!
We met at Tower Cafe in downtown, and our morning brunch turned into several hours of chatting.  I learned so much about all of these lovely ladies.  We talked about traveling, marriage, life, love, kids... you name it.  It was wonderful to get to know them and realize how much more we have in common then just blogging :)

It's always interesting to meet someone after reading about their journey on the internet.  They were all real and they all had so many fabulous and unique things about them.

Thank you Bailey, Ana, Alex, Hayley, Meg, and Kimberly.  It was so much fun!
{Bailey, thanks for coordinating!}
 Tower Cafe has a great brunch!
 Thanks, Ana, for the desserts - red velvet cupcake in there!
 It was beautiful outside...
 People who get my obsession with taking pics - we all came prepared ;)

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 9, 2012

judging others... thoughts from a 12 year old.

With the non profit I work for, I am so fortunate to be involved with some pretty incredible youth.
They range in ages, some as young as 5 or 6 years old all the way through seniors in high school.
Often times, these kids say things and I think... "wow!"
Many of them are intelligent and wise beyond their years.

{A little background} 
I work for an organization that helps youth to find areas of need in their communities (through guest speakers and partnerships with other agencies) and fulfill these needs through volunteering.  This means we have youth volunteers of all ages hand making food and feeding the homeless, working at local food closets, collecting food, toiletries, and clothing for people who need them, working along side other homeless youth from shelters, and so much more.  Our organization hopes to inspire compassion and a desire to be involved in their communities through hands on service learning.  We hope to empower them and give them the realization that they can make a difference.


Recently, I was interviewing a very vibrant 12 year old boy... Dylan.  He said something in his interview that really captured me.

While talking to Dylan, he said said at first he was struck by some of the people {homeless} he was serving.  He wondered how they had cell phones and bikes if they were homeless.  
He pondered why these people were here, if they were addicted to drugs, alcohol, committed a crime, or if they just have struggled financially.
At first, he said it really rubbed him wrong.  He felt unsure about it... and admittedly, I have felt this way before as well.
Then... he paused for a second, leaned his head in a little and thoughtfully said,
"but then I realized, my job isn't to judge or make guesses about any of these people.  Some people are just born into this but I don't need to judge them, I just need to help them."

And there you have it.  Wise words from the mouth of a 12 year old.

Here are some photos from our most recent homeless outreach:
Making more than 250 sandwiches is a lot of work!
So is separating 250 bags of chips!
 Greeting people and serving them home made sack lunches...
Helping others pick out toiletries, socks, or books from our drives.
photo courtesy Inga&Todd
Have a beautiful weekend!