Monday, December 31, 2012


I came here to do a year-in-review post but then realized I hadn't posted about some of the things we did in December, or Christmas so I thought I would do that first.  It's mostly just pictures.

We went to Roger's Gardens a couple of weeks before Christmas to soak up the Christmasy goodness.  They never fail to disappoint in that department.  The lights are magical.

Christmas tree hat!

They have some pretty cool gardening ideas. Joe was in love with this living wall thingy  to grow things in small spaces.

They have the cutest train set up.  I love the mini trees

How cute is this bear?

The biggest draw for me has to be the decorated Christmas trees.  I love to see the different themes and drool over the (overpriced)ornaments. So pretty!

This would be so cute for someone planning to propose on Christmas 

There were quite a few variations on the Santa theme

I loved this silver tree

Loved loved loved this church as well.  I miss my little collection of churches.  I might have to start re-collecting.  Lisa started me off with one for Christmas.

This is right before they kicked us out because they closed at 9:00.  9:00.  On a Saturday night.  Lame.  We didn't get to see everything we wanted and we told ourselves we would go back but of course we never did. Oh well, there is always next year!

The next weekend after that was the Christmas party for my job.  A fabulous time was had again this year.  I love where I work and the girls(and doctors) I work with.

My boss bought these headbands for myself and my co-workers. They.  Are.  Awesome.  I wore mine for a whole week.  Joe humored me and let me stick them on him and take a picture.

Last weekend we headed up North to spend Christmas with my sister and the kids. The kids were with their dad until Christmas eve so Joe and I drove up the coast to the Santa Cruz mountains to spend the day with Lisa.

Unfortunately Mother Nature did not want to cooperate with our plans and we battled monsoon-like conditions all the way there. We were not deterred.

The coast is still beautiful, even in the rain.

It was raining pretty hard when we set out for our hike but we were determined. One of my favorite things is walking in the rain so I was actually looking forward to it.

Ummmm....yeah, that was until about 15 minutes in and I was soaked to the bone and my jeans started feeling like they weighed ten pounds.  I had on a light rain slicker on top but from the waist down it felt like I had gone swimming.  In a very cold pool.  Brrrrrr.  But we soldiered on.

Slogging through the mud and the muck

I have to admit, the view from the top was worth it.

A well deserved rest at the top

Okay so when we crossed this bridge on the way up the water was running UNDER it and not OVER it. It wasn't until later that we found out there were flash flood warnings for that area.  Oops.  We very well could have been those stupid tourists that you see on the news who get swept away in flash floods and drown.  We were lucky.  We won't be doing anything dumb like that again any time soon!

Warm and safe back at the cabin

Drying off. Thankfully I had the foresight to bring an extra pair of clothes or I would have been miserable.

Despite the possible danger we had a great time on our little adventure.  We had a lovely dinner at the lodge before heading back to Lisa's house to let her dogs out(we let the dogs out-LOL).  They had obviously been bored because Sawyer opened a couple of the Christmas presents I had brought the kids. Just the paper and not the actual gift thankfully! 

The next day was Christmas Eve.  We picked up my Dad from the airport and settled in for two days of Christmas  fun.

We should have bought stock in Apple.  Seriously.  

A Christmas Eve tradition.  "You'll shoot your eye out kid"

Christmas morning the kids were up bright and early to check out the loot underneath the tree.

Grace painted this picture for her Papa.  She really is quite talented

I think one of Grace's favorite presents was this stuffed blueberry pie.  Kids are funny.  

Cameron got this goofy sweatshirt that he asked for.  When you zip the hood up over your face it looks like a skeleton face and you can actually see through the eyes. Like I said, kids are funny! He also got the IPod touch he was coveting, so it was a pretty good Christmas as far as he was concerned.

I got a couple of Christmas ornaments, since we lost all of ours in the move(don't even ask me how sad I am about that).  I also got some pajamas and a card reader for my Ipad so I can transfer pictures onto it. Oh, and I got an Ipod. That's right, my sister saw me eye-ing the Ipods(still cracks me up) and she bought me one for Christmas. It was a complete surprise.  

The rest of the day we lazed around in our pajamas and ate way too much.  It was perfect.  

My favorite part of the holidays:  The cheese plate.  yum.

I kept a close eye on this guy to make sure we didn't have a repeat of Thanksgiving. 

We had to come home on the 28th so I could work on Friday.  An hour and a half into our trip we came upon this:

Not something you want to see at the beginning of your six hour drive home!  Thankfully it only waylaid us by a half hour or so and we made it home safely in time for me to go into work on Friday.  We had no doctors in that day but my co-worker had family in town and I wanted to give her the extra day with them before the long weekend.

All in all it was a wonderful holiday season.  How was yours?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Christmas.  In two days.  Wow, that went fast!

It's hard to believe that in two shorts days it will all be over. The preparation, the presents, the over indulgence of food(back to WW after the new year for me).

 I love the holidays but they are such a whirlwind of activity and sometimes stress.

It's rainy and cold here.  Downright stormy even, and I love it.  I probably wouldn't love it if I lived here and it rained all the time but for Christmas it's cozy to stay inside by the fire while it rains outside.

It's our version of snow I guess.

So I suppose by the weather you have now guessed that we are up North again, visiting my sister and the kids.  We tried something new this time. Instead of our usual four a.m. wake up call and getting on the road by five, when Joe picked me up last night after an appointment he said "How about we leave right now?"

It was eight o'clock at night.  I was skeptical but Joe wanted to do it so we gave it a go.  I drove until midnight and then Joe took over. We made it here at around three thirty a.m.

I am not a fan. I cannot sleep in the car but I was too drowsy to drive the entire way, like I do when we go up during the day.  Me not sleeping all night after a day of work puts me up for 22 hours straight.  No Bueno.  When we got here I slept from about 4 am to 9:30 am, so about five hours sleep. I felt like crap.

It's funny because usually I would go to bed at eleven and get up at four, which is also five hours sleep and I feel ok.  It's the way the time is broken up I think. 22 hours without sleep is brutal.   I could never work the night shift.  I just don't think my body would ever adjust to that.

But we made it here safely and it actually was really nice to wake up on Saturday morning and be here already, even though I needed a nap later in the day.

In the afternoon we found ourselves at the Apple store so Lisa could get her phone fixed. It was packed, as usual.

While Lisa waited for her genius at the genius bar(that's what they told her when she checked in for her appt.  "Have a seat at the genius bar and your genius will be right with you".  LOL), Joe and I had a look around.

Of course when you go into that store you immediately start lusting after things that you can't have(afford). Envy starts to set in when you see other people buying the things you wish you could have.

Judging by the Apple store, the economy appears to be improving.  One woman walked in, picked up an Ipad and said "Honey, can I have this?  It's six hundred and fifty dollars".  To which he replied "Yes you can. Go ahead and take it".

Another family bought four Ipads, one for each of their kids.  FOUR. IPADS.

It boggles my mind, especially when I am struggling to pay rent and my husband has no place to live.  That is a whole other blog post and one that I will probably never write.

So we are in the Apple store three days before Christmas drooling over all of the toys that we want.

I was looking at the Ipods. I would love to have one to listen to music to when I walk,  because my cell phone is so outdated I can't get it to play music.  But hey, it was cheap!  :)

 I'm looking at Ipods and Joe is looking at computers.  He comes up behind me and sees me eyeing the Ipods(haha...EYE-ing the I pods).

He puts his arms around my waist and says "If I had a job I would totally buy you that Ipod".

It almost brought me to tears right there in the middle of the Apple store because I know how heartfelt that statement was.  I know that he meant it.  He really wanted to buy me that Ipod and it pained him that he couldn't.

Isn't that what  they always say?  It's the thought that counts?

Usually when I say that or hear it said it is with a touch of sarcasm.   People don't really *mean* that.  It's just something you say when you didn't get what you wanted.  Usually you mean the opposite, that you would much have preferred to have the item than the thought that someone might have given it to you.

But in this case it was completely true.  It was the thought that counted.  The thought that he really wanted to buy me that Ipod was just as good as if he had bought it for me.    I wanted it but I don't need it.

I guess in that way this Christmas I am struck by the real meaning.

It's not about the gifts.  It's about spending time with your loved ones and reflecting on how blessed you are with what you have.

I truly got that this year.

I am blessed.

I have much to be thankful for and I am not in need of anything.

 P.S. I am not lacking for electronic equipment.  I have a macbook. It is eight years old but I have one.  I have an Ipad.  Only through the help of family members,  but I have one. The Apple store brings out the I WANTS in people, including myself.  It's one of the reasons I don't go there very often. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Bah humbug

I want to write about how christmas  makes me sad but I can't get blogger to work on my I pad and it's frustrating.  I can type on my phone but that's tedious.  I have a key board for my ipad but blogger won't work so I end up just not posting  anything at all.

Like I said, frustrating.

I'm going to give it a go on my phone anyway and see how far I get.

I have always been one of those people who says they love christmas.  The tree, the lights,the presents, I love it all.

But then every year christmas comes around and every year I end up feeling sad.

I can't quite put my finger on why that might be.

I think part of it is that christmas makes me remember christmases past.  When I think about that I think about the people that aren't here to celebrate with us anymore, especially my mom.  My mom truly loved christmas.  She went all out with the decorations and the lights.  She loved buying and giving gifts and she always went overboard with the presents.  I know that isn't what christmas is about but it was always fun opening her presents.  She really took the time to look for gifts that she knew we would love.

I think about the other people in my life who aren't here anymore either.  My uncle.  My friend steffanie, who has been gone a little over a year now, and most recently my aunt. I know how hard the first christmas is without your mom, and I think about how sad my cousins will be this christmas without her.

The whole gift giving thing gets me down a little too.  I'm a lot like my mom in that I love giving gifts,  and I just don't have the money to buy the gifts I want, or give to everyone I would like to.  Like I said, it isn't about that but it's something I enjoy doing and it bums me out that I can't.  I did make some hand made gifts this year (o.k if I am being perfectly honest, my sister made most of my hand made gifts this year.  But they are still hand made!  LOL).  I wish I had the funds to buy presents for everyone special in my life.

The whole kid thing really gets me down this time of year.  I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that we will never have children to share the magic of christmas with.  I had a good long cry about it last night.   I couldn't even verbalize what I was crying about when joe asked me why I was sobbing uncontrollably in the car on our way home from grocery shopping but I realized later that I am still grieving the loss of our daughter and the reality that our dream is over.  It makes me incredibly sad.

Our whole situation this year makes me a bit sad. This is the first christmas in twenty five years that we aren't living together. I miss the griswold-esque lights joe always put on the outside of our apartment.  I miss having a tree with our ornaments on it.  I miss putting reindeer antlers on gizmo and trying to get a good photo of her wearing them(i never could).  I just miss gizmo period.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I love it,  christmas makes me a bit melancholy.  I wish that wasn't the case but it is.  (Sigh).

Maybe what I need to do is accept that it makes me sad and try to embrace the parts of it that don't make me sad and just do the best I can with the what I have.

Sometimes that's all you can do, and that's ok.

I guess typing on my phone didn't deter me from posting after all.    :)

Does christmas make anyone else sad or is it just me?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


The first of December.  Wow.

And Christmas is in full swing, although it feels like it has been in full swing for a couple of weeks now.

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  Truly fabulous.  We went up North again this year.  It was a last minute decision, as we had decided that maybe this year we should stay home. I'm glad we went.  we had a wonderful time.

We drove up on Thanksgiving day, leaving at four a.m.  As painful as it is to hear the alarm buzzing at such an ungodly hour, it is so nice to arrive at  your destination before twelve o' clock in the afternoon.  We made it just in time for some Thanksgiving appetizers.  Yum.

It was a quiet Thanksgiving this year, with just Lisa, the kids and us.

The kids were with their Dad for most of the weekend after Thanksgiving so it was pretty peaceful, which was nice.  Don't get me wrong, we missed the kids, but peaceful is nice too.

Joe and I went into Laguna the week before thanksgiving. It was a beautiful fall day. He took this picture of me at the beach. I'm looking directly into the sun, thus the squinty picture.

One day we went to Tiburon.  It's such a quaint little town and we had beautiful weather. Joe and I are almost always blessed with beautiful weather when we visit San Fran.  It's kind of funny because the last few times Lisa has visited us we had crummy weather but whenever we go up there it is usually beautiful.

Breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge

Lisa asked to take some quick pictures of her and the kids for their Christmas cards so we took a couple just for fun.  I won't be sending out cards this year but if I was, one of these pictures would be perfect.

I looked over into the dining room and this is how I found Finn.  He tried to get off when he saw me coming but I made him sit and pose for a picture first. I love how guilty he looks here.  He won't even look at me! So funny.

So that pretty much sums up our thanksgiving. I am pretty ahead of the game this year as far as Christmas shopping goes. I'm not buying much but I am almost finished with what I am buying.

Aside from that I'm not feeling that much Christmas cheer. Things are so different this year and I have been feeling kind of sad.

Our office Christmas party is coming up in two weeks so I'm sure that will cheer me up. I had such a fabulous time last year, as many of my co workers like to remind me!