Monday, October 25, 2004

Survivor Crop 2004

How It Went...

The Survivor Crop is a fundraiser I participated in on October 16 & 17 to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation... It was a huge 24-hour scrapbooking event, hosted by Ever After Scrapbooks in Carlsbad, CA, where scrapbookers raised money on their own, then formed groups which were called "Islands." The islands then competed against each other for various prizes throughout the event. This was my first time attending this event, and although I came up a little short on my own personal goal of $500, our island raised the most money of all the islands and received recongnition for that... Very cool...

Who was there...

Our table, Table #7, was entirely composed of people I've "met" on the message boards. Although I had not met most of them (all but one) in person before the Survivor Crop, I felt like we all were friends already. We named our group the "Ta-Ta Sisterhood" and our Island Hostess did an awesome job at keeping up with the theme and putting together a great table display for us... We wore crowns and glittery beads, and definitely made our statement there at the event. I had the best time with these awesome ladies and I can't wait to get together again...

What we did...

There were product demos, (I particularly loved the generosity at the HP table), make-and-takes, a page layout contest, and lots of free time to get our own scrapbooking pages done! Yeah! I was particularly happy about the free time because it's something I don't have much of when I'm at home taking care of the kids...

We ate, drank virgin daiquiris, consumed large amounts of coffee to stay awake all night, and engaged in great converstaion between the ten or so of us... Basically, we all had a kick-ass time; getting our pages done and hanging out with cool people from our table. And I had some "me" time... Now that's something I don't say too often! The lack of sleep was a little tough on me and was really getting to me in the wee hours of the morning, but I seemed to get my second wind by mid-morning. By closing ceremonies at noon, I was pumped up and full of energy again! But alas, there was the one-hour drive home! Ugh...

In closing...

This Survivor Crop was an event that I definitely want to do again next year... It's such a worthwhile cause, and the idea is so unique! Ever After Scrapbooks has put together an awesome thing and I plan to be there year after year to support the cause! Not to mention I had a great time and loved the hours I had to dedicate to my scrapbooking! (Yes, I'm fanatic about my scrapbooking... so what???) ha ha

p.s. A great big thanks to everyone who sent in a donation to assist me with my fundraising. I appreciate it so much and it's going to do so much for so many people!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Rah! Rah! CKU!

My CKU-San Jose experience

I just returned from my trip to San Jose to attend Creating Keepsakes University. For those who aren't much into scrapbooking, it's basically a huge scrapbooking convention. If you aren't into scrapbooking or other paper crafts, you probably won't be interested in this blog entry because I'm going to review what I did at CKU.

Driving up to San Jose...

I met up with my friend, Felecia, at Starbucks at about 5:30am in Moreno Valley. We both live in the same general area of the Inland Empire region of Southern California so we thought it would be a good idea to share the ride. Things got off to a late start... First off, I was supposed to meet her at Starbucks at a little before 5:00am. Well, things didn't go as planned so I didn't get there until almost 5:30. Thank goodness my friend didn't mind. Then there was the sleep issue; I got absolutely none on the night before. There was just too much to do! Not only did I have to pack clothes and scrapbooking supplies for myself, but I had to be sure that my family was all taken care of before I left! I made sure that there was food in the freezer, plenty of clean clothes for the triplets, schedules written out, directions to their playdate all typed up, etc... I kept thinking of more and more things to do, and before I knew it, it was about an hour before I had to meet Felecia! I just had time for a quick shower before heading out the door. Moises helped me get my things into the Explorer and we headed to Moreno Valley. I told him to take good care of our kids and we said our good-bye. Once he drove away, I realized that I was on my own, doing my own thing for the first time in like 16 years. I've never left my husband or my children at home for more than a day or two in the past. This was definitely going to be something different for me. It would be four full days without them all...

The drive went pretty well! Felecia was great company, and we made great time considering we hit some traffic near the Pasadena area. We listened to a bunch of CDs and talked about lots of things. We made one stop along Interstate 5 for gas and a bathroom break and headed back out on the road. We arrived in Gilroy at about noon. Again, we took a quick bathroom break, got a sandwich for me for lunch, said a quick hello to my brother, Rich, who was working at one of the outlet stores and then headed off for our first stop at at local scrapbook store in downtown Gilroy. It was here that we met up with two other friends from the Los Angeles area who were also going to CKU.

The store, Got Memories, was a pretty decent store and more than I had expected for Gilroy... (Remember, I was born and raised there...) I bought some patterned paper, adhesive and foam stamps and once we all finished our shopping, we got back into the car and made our way to next store in San Jose. The reason we were stopping at all these stores was because they all offered discounts off of their regular prices for CKU attendees.

Scrapbook Island, in south San Jose, was the next store on the list and I was impressed with the selection. Again, I picked up more patterned paper and paint for my foam stamps. They had cookies set out for the shoppers and even a massage therapist on hand for anyone who wanted a quick chair massage. I would have been temped to get one myself if it would have been just a little cheaper. So I passed and headed to the Doubletree Hotel with Felecia to check in.

The Hotel and a little more shopping...

The Doubletree in San Jose is a very nice hotel. Nothing too fancy, but very clean and polished. My roommate, Cris, wasn't in her room when I called for her because her plane hadn't arrived yet, so I had to keep my luggage in Felecia's room for awhile. She was very gracious!

We stopped at another store, Memories Live On, I think... There wasn't much to this store, or the next one... Scrapbook Mania. I did pick up a rubber stamp and some ink at one of these stores, although I can't remember which one. I'm sure they fill a need for what some scrapbookers use in their albums, but they just didn't have much of what I was looking for, personally.


In between the two stores I listed above, we stopped at Chevy's at Westgate for dinner and MARGARITAS! I can't even remember what I ate for dinner, but the Mandarin Orange Margarita I drank was so yummy! It felt so good to just relax and enjoy that margarita... We shared some conversation and lots of giggles... But we had to move on!!! There was still another store to get to before we went back to the hotel!

Saved the Best for Last...

There was one more store that we had heard great things about; Picture Passion in Campbell. WHOA! I devoured this store!!! They had tons of stuff that I really dig for my albums, and a 25% discount to sweeten the deal. Not to mention the freebies and tote bag they gave to everyone!!! Of course, I laid down some serious cash in this store. It was MY store... I found albums, paper, embellishments, and more that I absolutely needed. (he he) We stayed late, stopped at Starbucks to re-fuel and stopped by Memories, another store in SJ, which was just OK for me... I'm not even sure what I bought there, although I know it was a small purchase. Probably more adhesives... never can have too much adhesive!

A New Friend...

After a full day of shopping, the four of us went back to the hotel to get some rest before our big day the next morning. I picked up my stuff from Felecia's room and headed to the room I shared with my "online" friend, Cris, and her mother, Ann. I couldn't wait to finally meet Cris!

When I got there, she was just kicking back enjoying her room service meal and watching baseball on tv. She turned out to be such a cool girl! We chatted for quite awhile and got to know each other a bit before I finally just had to crash on account of my lack of sleep the night before. Cris' mom strolled in after midnight, after a full day of shopping and after a quick introduction, I crashed again. I was out for the night!

CKU Begins...

Registration was early in the morning, and leave it to me to be a little late! Still, all was good and I got loads of make-and-take projects and freebies that day. I loved almost everything we did (Cris, Ann and I hung out for most of the time). Hmmm... I think my own favorite that day would have to be either the Making Memories painted CD tin or one of the mini-books we put together (sorry I can't remember the names of the vendors off-hand), or the layout I did at the Hero Arts table. I even sat at the Anna Griffin table, which is way outta my scope when I scrapbook, but found the layout to be better than I had expected, and probably something I really will use. One of the highlights of the day for me was meeting and talking with Karen Burniston with Creative Imaginations. She's an awesome chick, and her AlphaWear line is the bomb. (Which reminds me... I must get more!) Unfortunately, I didn't get to sit at the Bazzill table or the SEI table on account of long lines and lack of time. But Cris did score me a SEI kit, so that was kewl.

In the evening after dinner, (my dinner consisted of a peanut butter sandwich, Chee-tos and a Diet Pepsi... who has time for food when there's so much to do?) we went to the "Tailgate Party" which was the "official" start of the convention and where all the CK celebreties came out to meet and greet. I took a picture with BH & LB... I found them to be very personable...

The next three days were jam-packed with workshops, freebies galore, crops, dorm activities and celebrity sightings. My favorite classes were "Stampbooking" taught by Jennifer Ditz McGuire, "Just the Two of Us", taught by Lisa Bearnson, and "BH Style", by Becky Higgins. Although the last two instructors are major celebrities in the scrapbooking world, I didn't choose their classes as my favorites simply because of that... I truly learned new techniques and fresh layout ideas from them. Out of the three, Jen's class on stamping was my absolute fave. Awesome altered tin project and kewl techniques. I think I may be biased though, since I'm so addicted to rubber stamps!

Then of course, there was the shopping... I made one more trip to Picture Passion before the weekend was over. I just had to buy more! This store is definitely going to be one of my must-sees whenever I'm back in the area visiting my family.

In Closing...

All in all I had an excellent time for my very first CKU. I would love to attend another CKU if I could. I think it is coming back to San Jose in 2006, so that could be a plan. If only I could get over being away from my children for so long... (4 days)...

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Wine Tasting & Getting Ready for CKU...

Wine Tasting in Temecula Valley

I went wine tasting this weekend with my fellow Book Club members. We had an awesome time... We went to Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula and it was so kewl. I tasted six wines for $5, what a deal! I tried the Meritage, the Temecula Rose and the Riesling (along with others I can't remember.) My favorite turned out to be the Riesling, what a surprise... I hardly ever drink white wine. I'm definitely going back for more, but next time with my husband. We are thinking about going to a Bed & Breakfast out there for my birthday in November. Then we can hit a few of the wineries in the Temecula Wine Country and take the winery tour van so we don't have to drive!

They had a covered patio area and a deli, so we all gathered outside to eat cheese and french bread, drink a bottle of Chardonnay, and to discuss our most recent book, The Time Traveler's Wife. Let me say that this is an excellent read. The story is so complex, so intelligent; I just devoured it! It's a meaty book, though; it took me a couple of weeks to finish it. Still, it really was one of my favorite books so far and I think you should pick it up if you are a serious bookworm like me.

Creating Keepsakes University

CKU is just around the corner. I leave in exactly one week for my drive up to San Jose and I just get so tickled when I think about it! I can't wait to get there to shop the scrapbook stores with my fellow Southern Californian scrappers, meet my friends from, and meet the scrapbooking celebrities I love to read about in my magazines! And let's don't forget all the awesome classes I am signed up for... I can't wait to learn a thing or two and put my new ideas to work in my own scrapbooks at home! And then there are the swaps I'm signed up for! I am so anxious to get my hands on all the tags and 6x6 pages from other addicted scrappers like me! Tomorrow I'm going to get my lists together and I'll start packing my things. I know our departure date will just creep up on me and will be here before I know it.

In closing...

Yeah, I didn't have a whole lot to say in my blog tonight. I guess it's because I'm kinda sleepy and feeling lazy. I wish I could update my blog during the day, but there is just no extra time when I'm taking care of my darling triplets. Oh well, at least I'm keeping up with my journaling... even if it's online and even if it's short sometimes.

Oh, I wanted to say hey to all my relatives up north who felt that big earthquake today... Hope you all are doing okay.

Thanks for reading; see you soon!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Seasons, a Trip, Running and More...

The Cool-Down

The weather is changing here in Southern California... I love it! Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the autumn leaves, the cool air, and the APPLES! Yep, you got it... APPLES. Autumn is apple season and I love to drive down to
Julian for caramel apples and hot apple pie! Anyone care to join me? Just let me know!

Plus, autumn means it's close to my birthday! (Nov 28) Don't forget!

Do You Know the Way?

I'm heading up to San Jose in just two weeks. I can't wait. Some scrapbooking buddies and I are driving up there to attend a big scrapbooking convention. I just know it's going to be awesome. Hey, if you haven't seen any of my scrapbooks yet, be sure to ask me about them the next time you see me. I love sharing my addiction! Also, I'm hoping that I can see a few of my favorite friends and family while I'm there. Give me a call on my cellie if you have any free time!

So yeah, I'm going to be in San Jose for at least four days without my children. HUH? Yep, and it's the first time ever. My oldest is 16 years old and I've never been away from her for more than a couple of days. Well, this is with the exception of the time that they went away to visit my parents for 10 days... And that was tough! They called me every night crying! I'm guessing that they may be happy to see me go this time, since they're a few years older now. But then there are my babies... I have never even left them for more than a few HOURS. I hope we all can handle this. But the good thing is that my husband will also be driving to Northern CA while I'm there, so that we can all drive back down together. Thank goodness.


So my sister (and others) seems to think that I need to get out more... since I have enough time to draft and publish this blog. Hmmm... let me think. Yeah, I guess I've got the extra time; because I MAKE THE TIME! I make the time for myself because so much of my days are spent taking care of others. Shoot, when I worked a full-time job and went to school at night, it was MUCH easier and less hectic than my life is now. With 3 one-year olds and 2 teenagers to look after, as well as taking care of our home, playdates with the triplets, soccer practices and games, doing for my husband and anything else that comes up, I'm usually left with a precious few hours in the wee of the night! That's when I get MY stuff done. So yeah, I have time to blog because I think it's a fun thing to do and it's just for ME. Why not?

:::OK, now that I've got that off my chest, I'm feeling much better! Let me also mention that I wuv my sister!:::

A Marathon?

Have you ever considered running a marathon? Not me! But actually, I've been considering a smaller feat; say, a 5 or 10k? Now, believe me when I say that even the shorter races would be a feat for me. I haven't run in AGES. But I've been thinking about it lately. I was thinking maybe I'd like to start exercising again and then run a race or two here in the L.A. or San Diego areas by next Spring. What do you think? Any comments or advice? I think I'm gonna do it. I'll keep you posted. Wish me luck.

In Closing...

The night is not-so-young, so I must be going. It's already past 11pm and I still have so much to do before I head off to bed at about 1:30am. I'll be back, so join me again soon! And leave me some comments, I'd love to hear what you think. About anything!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

bathtime beauties! Posted by Hello

Another Milestone...

The Ba-Ba's gone...

My darling triplets, Malia, Kaia and Marisa, turned 18 months old yesterday. This is an important age for them because their dad and I decided that at exactly 18 months old we'd stop giving them a bottle. Well, the time has come. How did it come upon us so fast?

:::Okay now, I was just having the "growing-up" issue with Kimberley the other day, but now the triplets??? Ugh. Weren't my little darlings just born the other day?:::

Actually, it was on March 17, 2003, in Honolulu, Hawaii, that they came into the world and blessed the life of our family as a whole. They came 2 months premature at 3 lbs 12 oz, 3 lbs 14 oz, and 3lbs 14.5 oz, respectively. They've changed our whole world. They were the very first triplets I had ever seen in real life, and they were so beautiful. All the nurses in the NICU complimented us on what beauties they were. They were born on St. Patrick's Day and they have truly been our lucky charms. And I just want them to stay babies forever and always. OK?

I'm not sure how this is going to go; I'm hoping that they won't even notice that they don't get a bottle tonight and that they will drift off to sleep content nonetheless. Hmmm... Do you think there's really a chance? For the sake of my sanity, and my husband's as well, I sure hope so. I sure hope they don't sit there and realize, "Hey... Mom and Dad just gave us our very last bottles ever!"

Okay, I'm off to deal with the rest of the day... About four more hours and we'll see how this all pans out. Keep your fingers crossed for us, please?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

September 15th...

Today is September 15. My baby, Kimberley, is fourteen years old today. Okay, technically she is not THE baby anymore, but she was THE baby for the first twelve years of her life. I can't believe she is now a freshman in high school and fourteen years old. How did this happen?

I look at both of my older daughters and sometimes I just can't believe my eyes... Who are these beautiful young women? What happened to the cute and adorable girls that I grew up with? I gave birth to Julia when I was just 17 and to Kimberley when I was only 19, so really... we were all kids. I stare at them and I wonder... "How long will I be able to keep them with me?" If it were up to me, they'd never leave me. I remember when Kim was little, she used to tell me that she would marry her Daddy and me and we'd be together forever. Something tells me this is not so anymore. What is it that changes in kids that makes them want to stop kissing and hugging and being lovey-dovey with their Mommy when they reach their teenage years? I can't stand it! I just want to yell, "STOP!" "Stop all this growing up that has gone on without my consent!" But of couse, it still happens.

We took Kim out to dinner tonight, just a simple something to celebrate. We all went to Olive Garden and had a nice time. We ordered a small birthday cake and it was delivered to our table with a candle... all ready for Kim's wish. She was a little embarrassed about it being her birthday, so I quietly sang the "Happy Birthday" song, so as not to bring too much attention to our table. (Wouldn't want to do that, now!) After blowing out the candle, the triplets and I dug in! (Kim didn't want any of the yummy chocolate cake!)

As I sit here thinking about our day before I head off for bed, I'm so full of memories and love... I just want my kids to STAY kids! But I'm thankful for all the cherised moments we've shared so far. And of course, I look forward for many, many more.

Big (((( HUGS )))) for my Kimmy! I love you Kim!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Colds in the summertime...

Doesn't it seem a shame to have a cold in the summertime? It was 90 degrees outside today, a typical Southern California summer day, and I'm cooped-up here in my house- SICK. But not only am I sick today, my one-year-old triplets are sick and that makes me even more miserable. They're so fussy, so I'm fussy now.

Why doesn't some genius invent the cure for the common cold? I mean this is the year 2004! Isn't it long overdue?

I hate this. I feel like shit. Excuse me while I get some Ginger & Lemon tea. See ya laters.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Short week, short blog...

Yeah, I'm not feeling much up to blogging today. The triplets have come down with some type of virus with runny noses and I seem to have joined them. Ugh. I really hate being sick. It slows me down so much, especially when I'm trying to take care of them by myself. I'm hoping to feel better tomorrow morning because I really wanted to head down to the Temecula Farmer's Market if I can. We'll see how that pans out...

So the weekend is here, I should embrace it but really... all I want to do right now is sleep. The babes are in slumberland already (down for a nap) so I may as well take advantage. G'night!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

So much for my blogging habit...

I really wanted to keep up with this darn blog! Don't get me wrong, I really love to blog when I have the time, but who has the time? Certainly not me these days... With visitors from Northern California for the past 2 weeks, and lots of stuff going on here at home... I'm just failing at my blog.

My Newest Love

I've joined a book club, did I tell ya? I am loving this group so much! The first book we read was Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons and I'd recommend it to anyone! It's an easy and fast read, and the writing keeps you hanging on. I love the stories of friendship and camaraderie between women… Lots of laughs too! If you like watching chick-flicks at the movies, you’ll definitely want to read this book. Be sure to pick it up next time you’re in a bookstore… (Did I just sound like a commercial?)

We met on the last Sunday afternoon in August at our Book Club Meeting and it was great. In keeping with the theme of the Angry Housewives, the hostess served Appletini's, bon-bons, and other good treats. It was the best time I've had in a very long time. Can’t wait for the September meeting.

The next book is The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm having some trouble keeping up with this book; sometimes I get lost between chapters. But it was listed as one of the 10 best books of the year, so I'm going to hang in there and hope I "get it" somewhere before the end of story! I mean, it must be a good book, right?

Housewarming Party

Suffice it to say that it was a low turnout for this one. I invited most of my relatives and good friends from the Northern and Central California areas, but with the exception of our immediate families, no one showed up. I was so bummed. To be fair, though, we do live a ½ days’ drive from most of them so I can understand why they didn’t want to make the trek to Southern California over Labor Day Weekend. Still. Oh well. Anyone want some beef or chicken enchiladas? I’ve got a ton of them just sitting in my freezer. Margarita mix, too… Margaritas anyone? Anyone?

Personal Training

I met a really nice girl named Kelly at the Temecula Mall this summer. She kinda scoped me out because I had my triplets with me and she is a triplet mom as well. Kewl! She approached us, introduced herself and mentioned that she was starting her own business as a Personal Trainer/Nutrition Consultant. Well, she’s just beautiful so it’s obvious that she knows that of which she speaks… I contacted her recently to talk to her about Personal Training and she gave me her fees… Turns out that for 10 personal training sessions and 8 weeks of nutrition consultation, she charges 1K. OUCH! Now, this wouldn’t have been a problem when I was working full-time outside the home, but now that my sailor is the only one in our household earning an income, things are a little different. I must admit though, that my sailor is very supportive of anything I want to do, but I can clearly see that he’d rather have me spend the money on landscaping or buying other things for our new home. Ugh. I really want to do this. I will be crunching, shuffling, and whatever else I can do with our numbers to see what I can come up with… But if it isn’t meant to be this year, then so be it. I will definitely do it next year when I get our tax refund. We’re expecting a big one next time…

In closing...

I've got lots on my mind right now and tons of things on my to-do list dancing around in my head. I'm starting to lose focus here at my pc, so I'll just close for now. We'll get together again soon, ok?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Wakin' Up Early to Blog...

I am up before the babes this morning... my attempt to get to the pc and actually sit down to blog. My intentions are good every day; I plan to make time to type another entry, but it just doesn't happen. Life gets in the way. So I've decided to just blog when I have the time. Sorry to my fans who check this blog every day! (Yeah, whatever!)

Saturday Crop

This past weekend was a good one. At least Saturday was. I woke up early to pack up my CIS Navigator with all my scrapbooking supplies and I headed out to Irvine to meet some girls for a crop at the Scrapbook Oasis. We are all going to CKU-San Jose in October and we decided to get together and meet ahead of time. They are the best chicks you would ever want to meet. Totally Unscrappable. None of them have heard of yet, though. I mentioned the site to them, but forgot to give them all the details, the url, etc. I'll have to follow up on that.

So one of these girls grew up not too far from where I was raised in Northern California. Kewl. Another is an awesome singer and a pretty good artist! The other one rides a Harley to and from work each and every day. Unbelieveable. You'd never guess by looking at her. I'm so happy that I met these ladies and I can't wait to hang out with them at CKU. I also can't wait for another chance to get out of the house for an entire day by myself!

Housewarming Party

Plans are coming along with the Housewarming Party over Labor Day Weekend... Slowly but surely. Honestly, this is going to be a totally laid-back thing. Eating Mexican food, drinking some sangrias and/or margaritas, and hanging out with friends and family. Very simple. Still, the simple things still require some planning and I've been lagging on this a little bit. But I'm confident that things will all come together and turn out fine. If you are reading my blog, consider yourself invited to my party. Email me for the details... :)

Cancel That Vacation... By order of the U.S. Navy

Well, I've been informed by my sailor that we are going to have to cancel our planned vacation to Hawaii next June. It seems that the USN has other plans. My sailor will be leaving for the Persian Gulf at that time and he'll be gone until December. Ugh. This is the part of being a military wife that I really hate. After 17 years, I still can't get used to it. It still sucks. So there goes our 2-week, fun filled stay in the beautiful Hawaiian Islands with our girls... Instead, my darling will be sweating his ass off in the Persian Gulf. So I'm thinking of taking my girls on a mini-vacation next Fall, while Dad is still away. I'm thinking that I'd like to visit either Arizona or New Mexico in either October or November. Anyone have suggestions? I'd really appreciate any input here... I'm going to have to become very creative on what to do with my time while we're apart. It helps the days pass more quickly... It's still a half-year away though, so I have some time to plan my activities.

Book Club

I'm reading Lorna Landvik's Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. So far, so good. It's all about friendship between women, so I'm really digging this book. It's taking me a little longer than I would usually take to read a book (in the times prior to triplets), but that's because I can barely find time alone to curl up and get into it! I'm always getting disturbed by three little rugrats who think that this book is one of their toys!

I'll give an informal review of it as soon as I'm done. (And after I meet with my Book Club on Sunday.)

In Closing...

Two of the three Masters of my Universe have awakened from their slumber, so my time alone has come to an end. Check in with me in another day or two. I should have more to write by then.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Here I am!

Hey, this blog thing is awesome. Muchisimas gracias to Cherry for turning me on to blog. I 'm excited to have my own place to let it all out and to express myself when the words aren't leaving my lips the way I intended them to... I'm hopeful that by doing this for myself, it will keep me focused on who I am and the person I intend to be. Sometimes my life is so focused around my family and others that I really lose sight of myself. This will be my sacred space, for me, and for those who care to know what I'm really about.