Monday, December 29, 2008

Donating, movies, and girl talk

Yesterday I picked up the girls and my mom. We did a little shopping and then delivered a bunch of cereal and other items to the Ronald McDonald house Donate here.
If you are interested in donating there are many different ways you can do this. We did the Inkind Donation and if you click on the link it will take you to the wish list.
We also took in 20lbs of soda pop tabs POP TABS
The girls are becoming vary familiar with what the Ronald McDonald house does for our community and I hope to keep this tradition up for years to come and even add on.
After the Ronald McDonald house, we headed to the movies to see Marley and Me. Now, I figured this would be a fun movie being the girls love animals and I LOVE labs. I knew the ending would be sad but had no clue how it would effect Faith. She just cried and cried. It broke my heart! What the heck did I do to her? Well, after the movie, I dropped Morgan off at home and took Faith for a little drive to talk about why she was so upset. She asked me "why do people put down dogs". She was crying. How the heck am I suppose to answer that??? Well, I figured it out and I think we had a really good talk about death {well as good as you can get when you are discussing death}. I love that kid! It tears me apart when she is sad and I just want to fix it and make everything better for her. We talked about school too and how smart she is. How she likes math and she could become an engineer! She said she wants to travel {this would be why I love her so much!}. As she struggles with reading, I am trying to help her understand that she can do anything she wants to and build her little self esteem right out of this world! We had a really good time together and I need to remember more one on one time with the girls. They both are amazing as usual but they are growing up so quickly. I went as far to discuss scholarships with Morgan for college!

Happy Monday~


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
Traditions stayed the same for me as I went to Gold Canyon on Christmas Eve night to spend time with the girls. We had a good time. They both got a 2009 calendar (tradition), a singing toothbrush (they were totally excited), and a toy (Morgan a Hannah Montana Barbie and Faith a Fur Real Tiger). Not to mention the Wii at my house including a couple of games they have yet to open! And no, I did not get a new puppy. The one I am holding is up for adoption so if anyone is interested, let me know. She is absolutely adorable... oh how I want to bring her home but I am sticking to my rule of only labs from now on (that's when I am actually ready for a new dog).
Dixie and I

A yummy desert I made {Thanks to Cherrye at My Bella Vita for the recipe! This was a great hit and so easy to make. I even made it again for Christmas day at my aunt and uncle's house}

Morgan {This is one of my favorite pictures of her, she is beautiful!}

Morgan with her Hannah Montana calendar.

Faith opening up her Fur Real... I love the look on her face in this one.

Faith with her calendar of puppy's, kitty's, and bunny's
Morgan, Faith, little Faith, and I {Little Faith is Susie's daughter. She is a doll and wants to spend time with the girls and I... I'm trying to keep it just the girls and I but every once in awhile definitely try to include her. I will always be the aunt who has gum...}

At my mom's house on Christmas morning. I went over to put the mud pie and fruit salad together while my mom finished the hard boiled eggs. She has never carried a purse but recently has been carrying a small bag around that she puts stuff in. I thought it was time for her to have her own official Coach purse. This is a little bigger than what she is used to but I think with time, she'll get use to it. Well, at least I LOVE it {she secretly does too}!

Finally, my fruit salad for Christmas day. Very simple and extremely fabulous!

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
3 medium firm bananas, cut into chunks
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used almond slivers)

{I added strawberries, grapes, apples, and extra pineapple}

In a large bowl, combine the milk and whipped topping until well blended. Fold in pie filling, bananas, pineapple {additional fruit} and nuts.

Have a Happy Weekend!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I am officially finished with my first MBA class... and I got an A. Go ME!!! {whew}

Started the second class and I now have a 2 week break from school. For some, you might think that is nice. In reality, this is the only 2 weeks I will have off of school until next year this time{unless I schedule a break which I might need to do}.

Happy freedom from writing papers!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So tonight my mom put her dog, Mocha down. She found out a few months ago that she had a tumor aka: CANCER in her shoulder. I don't think I've ever shared with you all how much I HATE CANCER! IT SUCKS!!! Mocha is the 4th lab we've had. Brutus was our first one, from the time I was 8 to 18 (he was my favorite with the exception of my Casp). Then we got Bruno, a chocolate lab who died from valley fever. I got Casper when I was married and had custody of him after the divorce. One day I'll post some stories of that cute puppy. He died when he was 4 from... valley fever (I hate that as much as cancer!). And finally Mocha. I will miss her...
If it should be that I grow weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.
You will be sad, I understand.
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day, more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.
We've had so many happy years.
What is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so;
The time has come -- please let me go.
Take me where my need they'll tend,
And please stay with me till the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me,
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.
Please do not grieve -- it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years;
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.
--- Anonymous ---

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Lights

After we finished the tree, we went to look at the Temple lights. We also drove around my neighborhood where there is a cul-de-sac which is always lit up. They have a huge snowman {see picture below}. We picked up pizza and came home. The girls played the Wii and then we watched Elf. Fun night!

Christmas.... Tree

Yesterday morning I set out to find the "perfect" tree. I had to get my mom's truck so the tree didn't have to go on top of my jeep. Then stopping at lots to find the tree {I'm a bit picky!}. I finally made it to A&P nursery, around the corner from my house and spotted the tree. I asked the guy if he would put it in the stand for me and pretty much make it so all I had to do was bring it in the house and decorate it. No problem he said... so I get my tree home and... it is crooked! Like I know how to get a saw out and straighten it up. So... My tree is a bit crooked. I suppose it adds character though. Actually the way it is facing, it is not that bad. Anyways...
Next onto lights. Now, I love a lot of lights and I have never had problems with stringing them. Everyone tells me they are getting artificial trees because the lights are already done and they hate putting lights on the trees... Oh whatever! Well let me tell you.... this year.. I HATED putting lights on! What the heck!!! I think everyone cursed me. For some reason, I started at the top. I usually start at the bottom. The last row of lights... did not work. Now, my lights are old so ok, I'll go get new ones. Which I did. Then, those were not enough. CRAP... I do not want to go back to the store! So I decided to space the lights out a bit... so unwrap the lights and place them farther apart. YAY... it works. I plug them in. The top strand of lights {which remember are probably 12+ years old} well, half the friggin strand works and half does not. Now let me ask you this.... HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Plus... I plugged them in 30 minutes ago before I put them up there. Now, I am frustrated. So back to Target I go... but when I get there, I decide I don't want to fight the crowd so I turn around and go to Walgreens... who cares if I spend more money. It's the convenience, right? Well... Walgreens has a "buy 1 get 1 free" deal. SCORE!!! I come back home, finishing putting the lights up... and waited for the girls to show up.
I let them help decorate the tree this year. It was fun! {The angel ornament is what I picked up in Venice made of Murano glass... it is one of my favorite ornaments}

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happiness follows frustration!

So... as I am reading for school and about to fall asleep, I get a phone call from "the boy" at Michael's. It is 8:30 at night and he says he found my frames, I can come back down and he'll frame my paintings for me. HOLY HAPPINESS!!!!


So yesterday I got a phone call from Michael's telling me that my frames were ready for my paintings I purchased in Italy. Last night, I seriously forgot to take them down there and get them framed! {What was I thinking???} So, tonight, I head down totally excited to bring them home, hang them on my newly painted wall, and admire them for the night.

I show up at Michael's, the nice boy looks for the frames, looks a second time, and comes back to tell me he cannot find them! Seriously... it is NOT that big in the framing room!!! GRRRR...

So I sadly take my unframed paintings back home with me and wait to call tomorrow to find out WHERE the frames are so I can bring my drawings back in tomorrow night.

That my friends... makes me sad!

Here is what the paintings are of: Roman Forum & Colosseo (the drawing is the outside, I put a photo up of the inside), the Santa Maria Maggiore, Trevi Fountain

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Girls church musical

The girls had a Christmas musical at church tonight. Faith has gotten so good at being more sociable. She did not figet or anything tonight... She did so great! She was even Mary {with no lines though}. Morgan had lines throughout the entire program. She was awesome and so animated with her lines. I remember her first church Christmas program back at Gilbert Christian. I think Paula was going to have a heart attack because Morgan was so shy.
{my camera or the lighting in the building did some wacky things to the eyes!}

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Random- Max

So it is kind of weird not blogging every single day. My November committment went pretty well. I missed a couple days and more toward the end because I just could not think of anything else to write about.

So nothing too exciting at this point. It seems that I am constantly doing homework. I feel completely overwhelmed but I know this is worth it in the end! I just need to stay focused and not procrastinate too much. {like I am now}
Here are some pic's I took of me and Max the other day. Every once in awhile I think he might die so I take some photo's because I'll feel bad when he dies and I don't have any! He is getting old... 13 now. He does not even bark as much when people show up. He's mellowing out and we totally get along now... well I like him more, he's always loved me WAY too much! Is that such a bad thing? Nah....

Now, if anyone has input on operations management, accounting, financing, something about banks and financing, a paper on problem solving... let me know! You know, the good thing is... I painted my house and it feels more comfy which is a good thing, why? Because I think for the next 18 months I will not see very far past these walls!

Pull me out sometime... K!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Improvements

So after years of living in what I call "white trash ghetto" and being grateful for a roof over my head but not so happy with the look of the house, I took a huge leap and added some color! Now, I am beginning to feel like I can call it "home".

I was a bit nervous and excited at the same time so below... you can see what I did. And if you keep scrolling down, you'll see how incredible the wall looks with my couch! I also took my paintings from Italy to Michael's yesterday to order the frames, OH I CANNOT wait til they come in! Yes, I will post pictures! They are black frames with brown matting!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It's that time of year when we give thanks...
so today I decided to give 36 things I am thankful for:
1. My mom and dad {they have always supported me and show me what true unconditional love is}
2. Morgan and Faith {they bring joy into my days and they are kind of incredible young girls!}
3. My job {with the Economy the way it is... how can I not be? I have great benefits, a good income, and free school!}
4. Paula {she is still an inspiration to me and I miss her!!!! She is my hero}
5. Friends in my life at this moment {the ones I can call with concerns, worrys, and happy moments}
6. Friends I have had in the past {they have helped me become who I am today}
7. My house {I might call it white trash ghetto but I have a roof over my head}
8. Co-workers... aka friends {they continuously keep me sane at work and make me laugh}
9. My trip to Italy
10. My bed {it's big and comfy and I love it!}
11. Rain and cold weather
12. Max, my dog {yes, I know I've complained about him all these years but old age has made him a bit more calm and he loves me no matter what!}
13. My blackberry {it can keep me in touch with the world}
14. My computer {see above}
15. God {he kind of rocks}
16. My health
17. Color {Paint on the walls makes me happy and makes my house seem more like a home}
18. DVR {I get to dvr Lipstick Jungle, Prison Break, 24, all my shows and watch them when I get a chance, even if it's a year later}
19. Olive Oil from Italy
20. My desire to help others
21. My family {aka: cousins, aunts, uncles, ect}
22. America
23. Freedom!!!
24. Appletini's and nights out with friends
25. My hearing and eyesight
26. My independence and ability to speak up for myself
27. Good movies
28. Ice {in Italy, they usually do not give you ice... I never realized how much I like ice until then}
29. Amy Row for encouraging me to go back to school.
30. The ability to walk where I want or need to go.
31. Roast and Potatoes {All American food}
32. That the cost of gas is going down
33.That there is a GPS that detects photo radar {so I heard... I just need to find this handy little device}
34. The beach
35. Life
36. Endings that only made me stronger
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving~

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Arizona = Heat

So as you know, I was born here in Arizona and I have lived here my entire life. Growing up, I HATED the heat! I wanted to move... anywhere! As long as it was out of this city of hell.
Did you know the house I grew up in only had a swamp cooler? No wonder I HATED it here!
Well, as I got older, I grew to love Arizona and learned to deal with the summers. Not that I enjoy them... but I deal with them. It also seems that every year it takes longer and longer for the cold weather to arrive. We have been able to wear t-shirts and flip flops and it is still in the 80's. Now, did you all realize that tomorrow is THANKSGIVING!!! I swear, something is wrong. Wasn't Thanksgiving all about jeans and sweaters? What happened? Why is it every year when my family gets together and we eat outside, it is still a bit warm? I mean, you could wear a long sleeve shirt in the shade but you definitely do not need to pull out winter items. Ok, wait, Arizona winter clothes are long sleeve shirts! HA~
Well, today it rained. Today it is cold (for Arizona). I LOVE it!!!
I love cold weather.
Bundling up in warm clothes.
Drinking hot chocolate.
Warm soup.
I love being able to use the scarves I bought in Italy.
The only thing I dislike... is my feet get cold in flip flops still.
But I'm a flip flop girl so that is a hard habit to break.
Enjoy the Arizona winter....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Decision Time

A half marathon is a road running event of 21,097.5 meters, or 13+7⁄64 miles, about 13.1 miles. It is half the distance of a marathon and usually run on roads. It is a popular race for runners of all abilities, long enough to be a serious challenge for most people, but not requiring the level of training of a marathon. In consequence, many towns and cities hold annual all-comers half marathon races through their streets. It is also common for a half marathon event to be held concurrently with a marathon, using almost the same course with an early finish.

So I am thinkin I might start training for one of these... What do I have to lose? I'll keep ya posted!!!

Happy Tuesday~


Monday, November 24, 2008


Update on the IRONMAN: They both finished! And our cheering section did not quite until they both crossed the finish line! Ron, he rocks! He is such a great husband to Dara and I adore the man. Dara though... she has been such an inspiration to so many people. She has no idea and maybe that is what makes her so incredible. Just an fyi for those of you (me included) who sometimes think we "can't" do it... this amazing woman completed an entire Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run) without being able to move her back or neck due to an injury! I am so proud of her (and Ron too!). I think she belongs on a box of Wheaties! She is that awesome!!! Below are some pictures I took throughout our cheering night. It was so much fun being out there cheering on Ironmen. If you have never done it, I suggest giving it a try one time. It is very motivational. I know one guy who crossed the finish line... was 71 years old! Imagine that...

Watching intently to make sure we did not miss her cross the line. Ron got too close for us to get a picture of him.

Chiara and Luca (Simone's kids) up late and cheering on the athlete's. They were so cute and so excited to be there to watch Dara finish. They held their hand out for hours as athlete's passed and gave them "five".

Simone and I - by the way... it is almost winter time in Arizona... It was a bit cold out!

Dara passed us and on her way to cross the finish line!
I think we were all most in tears... ok, I know I was!!!!
And you should have seen the smile on Ron's face as he found us in the bleachers to say she was on her way.

After the Race: Simone (hold Luca who fell asleep), Chiara, Me, Ron, Dara, Missy, and Becky

Ron and Dara!

The Girls: Simone, Chiara, Me, Ron, Dara, Missy, and Jocelyn

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Remember my friend Dara? The amazing woman who was training for the Ironman a few years ago and hit by a car while riding her bike? Remember how she did not let her injuries stand in her way and when she was given permission by the doctor's she started training again? Remember that this woman has had more obstacles come her way than most people I know. And remember how today she got in the water at Tempe town lake and began her journey through the 2008 Ford Ironman?

I will be at the finish line with other friends waiting for her tonight, cheering her on.

Because she is that AMAZING and deserves every cheer that we have!

She is kind of a ROCKSTAR like that!

Oh- and just one more of my hero's!!!