Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sea Day Highlights

We had 4 days at sea. 2 in the beginning of the week and 2 at the end. Here are some of the highlights while afloat on the boat....

1)Working out. This ship had a great gym. It's true that we only made it to the gym twice but we committed ourselves to stair usage the entire week. (These pictures were taken as proof for our personal trainers. And for our posterity when we get old and decrepit and are bedridden.)

2) Soaking up the sun on deck. I enjoyed myself despite the "granny bottoms" of my bathing suit. I almost didn't post this picture because of this but then I looked up in the right corner and saw what that guy is wearing...... cut off denim shorts (rolled-up) for heaven's sake. Somebody get this guy some board shorts.... and some self-respect!!!

As I lounged poolside I heard a little kid whining and pleading with his mom for something. I laid back and secretly enjoyed it because his cute little voice reminded me of my kids back at home and I was already missing them terribly. I was basking in this sound when surprisingly my husband leaned over and said.... "Ahhhh, music to my ears." Apparently he was enjoying it all just as much as I was.

3)Formal Nights. How often do you get to strut around in a formal gown on the arm of a hunk in a tuxedo? Many people find the formal nights of cruising a nuissance but we enjoy every last second of it.

4) Sushi. This ship had a sushi bar every night. We were pushed back to late dining so we were able to take advantage of the raw fish & seaweed being served when 5 o'clock rolled round. Brandon, Eric and Lydia enjoy sushi a little differently than I do, though. They like it this way:

I prefer this:

5) Not losing any money in the casino. Now whether it's because we didn't frequent the tables or because we just have mad gambling skills I will not say. You can make up your own mind and judge us accordingly.

6) Losing to Eric at Spades. This is the only card game any of us knew how to play. And I'm sure we played it incorrectly. But we still had fun. And we still lost just about every single hand to Eric. Beginner's Luck, Enrique. Don't expect us to go so easy on you next time.

7) A hot stone massage & rejuvenation facial that my sweet husband surprised me with.

8) Self-serve ice cream 24/7!!!! This is actually a highlight as well as a lowlight. It was a highlight at the time. It is now a lowlight since I have to work it all off of my booty.

9) Staying up until 5a.m.

10) Sleeping in until lunchtime.

11) Karaoke. Lydia sang "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse. Brandon crooned to the tune of "Last Kiss" by Pearl Jam. And I couldn't help but join all of the women in the room while we shook our money-makers to "My Humps" by Fergie. (Eric has video footage of this which I have yet to see. Heaven help us.)

12) Mini-golf on the sun deck.

13)Playing cornhole with the Ellis'. I'll let Lydia explain that one. They're pro's at it now that they're Ohioans. (You've been Cornhole tagged, Lyd!!)

On sea days you didn't feel any pressure to get up early. You didn't have any fear of missing out on anything. You could speak English the entire day. You didn't have hands all up in your face begging for money, offering you "good price, today only". You could read without guilt. You could gorge yourself on buffet food (with delayed guilt.) It was great. But it's about time I move on to the ports of call.....

Bon Voyage!!

2 weeks ago today was Valentine's Day. There were no roses. No chocolate. No romance. The only significant thing about that day was... spray tan. I was headed for the Mexican Riviera and I'd be darned if I was gonna board that ship lookin' like a "gringa". I wasn't dissapointed about the roses. I like Birds of Paradise better, anyway. And the chocolate and the romance? Well, let's just say that plenty of those things would be waiting for me on the cruise ship. (hee-hee) So spray tanning was the highlight of my love day. It was cold. It was sticky. It washed off after 3 days. It wasn't worth it.

2 days later we were on a flight to San Diego. Eager to meet the Ellis' for 8 fun-filled nights aboard the Carnival Spirit. After many texts, giggles, and my first ever American taxi ride, we met up with our dear friends at the cruise terminal.

I don't know if our ship had an official "Bon Voyage" party up on deck or not. We had just unpacked when the alarm went off telling us to "muster". So muster we did. Then we went to the Ellis' room to have a Bon Voyage party of our own. I'm pretty sure the husbands loved the photo shoot. It was probably the highlight of their day.

Adios, San Diego. See ya in ocho dias!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love Week 2009 - Day 5

I Love "Mommy Friends". This is what Reef calls my friends. Because we're all mommies. I was able to spend some fun time with my "Mommy Friends" this week. Let me introduce you to them and what I love about them. They share many of the same qualities. And some qualities are unique to them. But I just went off the cusp with the first thoughts that came to mind. And I knew I needed to keep it short. Because, really.... I could go on and on about these women who touch my life in so many ways.

In order of appearance during the week:

1) Melinda. She is the Service Queen. Always thinking of others. She is my sounding board. Always willing to listen and full of great advice. I have a blast with this girl. We think alike in many ways. We both love to play practical jokes on our kids & husbands. We are very "common sensical" but when we get silly we get very "non-sensical." She has a great laugh. She is strong, physically, spiritually, mentally. I love that Melinda appreciates the "real me" and doesn't judge me for all of my obvious imperfections. I love that Melinda thinks about me and calls or texts even during a busy day. It makes me feel special. Making time for friends in a hectic world is not always easy but Melinda makes the time and I love her for it.

2)Amy. (I'm sorry, friend... this is the only close-up picture I have of you.) Amy becomes a fast friend to anyone who meets her. She's just one of those people who is totally...approachable. She's sincere. She's understanding. I love this picture of her & my baby Reef during a camping trip to Trinity. I love that she let me in on the thoughts running through her mind as she bonded with my baby boy. I love that our sons are only 6 days apart and will be the best of friends. I love that Amy makes me feel like "family".

Amy has accomplished huge goals in the health & fitness area of her life and I am very proud of her for it.

3) Annette. This picture totally captures the Essence of Annette. She's a listener. She is very interested in what others have to say and gives you her full, undivided attention. It's been said that Annette is a "closet athlete". And it's true. She was my very first friend here in Hollister. We lived here less than a week and she & Loren called to invite us out on a double date. She loves babies. She's a total Martha Stewart only way, way better. She's like a human tornado but rather than roll through and make messes, she speeds around cleaning things up in mere seconds! I've seen it with my own eyes! She's amazing. She inspires me to be better.

4)Stefani. This is one talented chick! I could probably bring her the contents of my bathroom garbage & junk drawer and she would create something beautiful. Stef gives the best, most sincere hugs! I love that she encourages others to branch out and try new things. She could be the poster child for Bright Smile; her teeth are a beautiful, brilliant white. If you find yourself lacking confidence with something then just have a chat with Stef. You'll be ready to take on the world. She is the record keeper of the group. Many memories have been preserved because of her. Thanks, Stef!

5)Caroline. Doesn't the name alone sound... saintly? Because that's what Caroline is. A total saint. Brandon always said that Mother Theresa had a daughter -- and it's Caroline!! She has such a fun sense of humor. Sometimes she surprises me by saying something a little "un-saintly" and it only makes me love her all the more. And Caroline is handy! I bet she could build a house from the ground up if she tried. She is a total babe even without make-up. Don't believe me? This picture was taken after a gruelling 2 hour workout with her personal trainer!! And I'm sure she would disagree but I don't think the woman has ever raised her voice! EVER! She's just.....that.....sweet!

6) Erin. Spank me now, but I don't think I have a single picture of Erin. Pretend you're looking at a picture of unbearably beautiful blue-green eyes. There. That's Erin! Oh, and her hair looks super cute all funked out in a daring style. I think Erin shares my love for shoes. Not only does she own some cute pairs herself but her daughters have shoes that make me wish I had bound my feet (like in that old Chinese tradition) so that we could shoe swap. And if you're looking for stand-up comedy then Erin is your gal. I love listening to her speak. She can bring you from tears of laughter to tears of tenderness with her strong testimony all in the same sentence. And Erin is THE BEST visiting teacher EVER! I should know... I used to be her companion. She's also the artsy-fartsy type. She can do wonders with a piece of cardstock.

7)Marisa. She is the most mellow, laid-back, easy-going person you could ever meet. I love Marisa because she sits back and just lets people be themselves. I love that she has such a great sense of humor and can laugh at herself when she needs to.(That's something that used to be impossible for me to do. And we ALL need to laugh at ourselves once in a while) Marisa is just real. There is no pretense. She doesn't try to be anybody else but herself and I think that is very important. Marisa is very loyal which is a quality that I think is very important in a friend. And she let's me call her "Mud". And my kids call her "Auntie Mud". How can you not love that?

8)Deborah. I have much love for Deborah. We started hanging out a few summers back and it was just such a natural thing. We totally "got" eachother right away. We just clicked. Hanging out just came so easy. Deborah is always up for doing fun things. She is sensitive and caring and passionate. We have a lot of laughs together. She is extremely helpful. I love that I can speak my mind around Deborah and she still accepts and loves me as her friend. I really missed her this school year when summer ended and it became harder to get together. I felt an unmistakeable void in my life during that time. There is a certain ease and comfort in being her friend. We are each other's biggest fans when it comes to wakeboarding. We cheer eachother on and enjoy one another's successes. I love summers because it means a lot of Deborah time! Deborah is my kind of people.

9)Michele. AKA "Mishi". AKA my cousin & friend. I talked about Michele a bit in a recent post. Does it get any better than having your family as a friend and a friend as your family? I love that Michele and I think the same. We are so similiar in so many ways. I don't have to explain a lot of things to her. She just gets where I'm coming from. There is never a moment of silence when we're together. We always have something to talk about. She truly takes an interest in the life of my kids which I adore about her. We laugh a lot. We giggle a lot. I think that if Michele and I had grown up together we would have been the best of friends from a very young age. We met as adults but we still have become the best of friends and get to remain that way through our old age. I imagine us sitting in our rockers not only reminiscing but still giggling and still making new jokes and new memories. And still having humongous crushes on our hubbies. Michele's an angel. She has wings. (hint, hint. nudge, nudge. wink, wink.)

10)Jen. This woman is an amazing mom. She is so on the ball with her kids. She is also a good listener. She is very confident which I admire very much. Jen is very giving and selfless. This woman knows how to prioritize and put first things first. If there was ever to be a female Eagle Scout then it would be Jen. She's always so prepared. She is very sweet and very mellow. I think she has a calming effect on people. There is a very motherly feel to her that just makes you feel comfortable and safe. Jen is very firm and steadfast in her beliefs. She is a very classy lady and I am happy to have met her and be able to count her as a friend I love.

11)Ronny Jean.!!! And I miss her dearly. She is so crazy and off the wall but in a very good way. Ronny and I also became friends very quickly. I love how Ronny let me take care of her when she needed it and that she took care of me when I needed it. She has moved to the other end of the nation but we still keep in touch. I can still hear Ronny's laugh. Ronny just kept it real and wasn't afraid to try new things or new styles. She is a very touchy-feely person which I love. I was never afraid to show any emotion around her. I wasn't afraid to act goofy and immature around her, either. Ronny was so great about finding others who needed a friend and welcoming them into her circle of friends. Ronny is a social butterfly.

And last but certainly, definitely, never, ever ,EVER least is

12)Lydia. OK. I'm starting to cry just thinking about her. Lydia is my "sister from another mister". I love this lady. She is so wise. She has such a down-to-earth, real, and very raw way of looking at things. She just says it the way it is with no apologies because she is not offensive in any way. She's not at all afraid to speak up and say what she's thinking. She is very, very loyal and I know she's got my back at all times and in all situations. I have never had to be anybody but myself with her. I can trust her with anything. I love that our friendship has grown nothing but stronger even though she keeps moving farther and farther away from me. (Would you stop doing that? Please?) She is beautifully exotic with a larger than life smile and fabulous cat-like eyes. I've always loved her eyes. (Her son Calvin has the exact same eyes as her.) I feel like she just looks right into my soul and understands everything about me.... even the things I try to hide..... and she loves me anyway. I love her sense of humor. We have lots of laughs together. She is certainly a kindred spirit. I love her and am so ecstatic that I will be spending a whole week with her in just a few short days! Lydia is my sister at heart.

I told you yesterday that this would be a long post. If you're still reading then thanks for enduring. I hope you have had fun meeting these awesome women that I love. There are many others who I did not mention here. It does not mean I love them any less. Especially the women in my family. And I have an idea for them. For a future post. It will be worth the wait, guys. I love you. Thanks for Love Week, D-Dawg. What a great tradition.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Week 2009 - Day 4

1) I love If you ever need a good laugh then I highly suggest you go to this site. Browse around a bit. It is full of "engrish". If you don't know what that is then, once again, visit the site. Just don't hold me accountable for anything you find offensive. I'm assuming we're all mature adults here. Don't like what you see on the site? Read on. Move on. Log off. Whatever. Just don't judge me for my appreciation for this type of humor.

2) I love the way my family treats me on my birthday. I woke up this morning to my mom calling me on the phone and sharing some precious memories of the day I was born. She also sent me a beautifully written e-mail. Then my kids dog-piled me in bed & sang "Happy Birthday". We cuddled in bed, laughed, and made the snap decision to keep them home from school today. Easily justified since it was early day and we're going out of town in 3 days. I received many other phone calls throughout the day from family & treasured friends. Brandon & the kids took me to breakfast. I received a flower delivery from my dad. I blogged with no guilt. I got my hair done. Beau wrote me a letter. I l-o-v-e-d today!!

3) New hair cuts. I love the way I feel when walking out of the salon with a good cut. It's refreshing. I also love it when my husband loves it. It took him a few hours but I think he's gotten used to it. Change is good. And man, was I ready for a change!

This isn't the best picture of my new do. It's not as black as it looks. You can't really see all of the textured, choppy pieces with the dark color and artificial lighting. (& it doesn't help that I'm not wearing make-up, either) But it had the fresh-from-salon look that I can never duplicate. Jenn Riggs @ Attitudes & Images is the bomb! Give her a call and tell her that Tiffiny, her "gym friend" sent you.

4) I love finding my kids in the strangest of places. Like in the fruit bowl for instance.....

5) I love my bright kitchen. I was afraid that putting this coral color on this one wall would look a bit juvenile but I did it anyway. Hey, if you're going to paint your wall then paint your wall!! I love bold colors. And I love how cheery & happy my kitchen is when it's nice & clean. And I also love that I was able to find my Kitchen-Aid in such a fun color. This is quite possibly one of my favorite rooms to buy accessories for.

6) I love my husband's comment when he walked into the office just now:

"What are you doing? You can't do 2 blog posts in one day!"

And I love that I could comment with:

"Yes I can. It's my birthday."

And I loved that he agreed.

So just 2 more days of Love Week left. Tomorrow is the day that I'm looking forward to the most. It might be a long one but don't be surprised if you find yourself as one of the things I love.

Much random ado about nothing......

I'm interrupting Love Week 2009 for this one post. Because it's my birthday. So I can. And I have no guilt wasting away the past few hours on-line even though I have laundry to fold, a kitchen to clean, and a trip to pack for. Because it's my birthday. So I'm freed from those obligations. Right? But I would feel guilty and unproductive if I spent all of this time at the computer and didn't post anything (and I'm not ready to post for Love Week, yet.) So here I am. And guess what today is? It's my birthday. So I'm allowed to give in to to selfish indulgences simply because they make me happy. At least this one time a year, anyway. Oops, I'm forgetting Mother's Day. OK that gives me another wasteful day to look forward to! And my 1/2 birthday which is in exactly 6 months. So 3 wasteful days. But I like even numbers so let's use Groundhog Day, too... Oops... I missed that one. I'll make it up on Arbor Day.
So now that I've rambled on and on about nothing (which I am allowed to do because it's my birthday, mind you) I will share my thoughts with you. And I have some things to get off of my chest.
I'm wierd. Some of you know this. Some of you don't. And if you don't believe me then here's some proof. I "air-type". I'ts kind of like air guitar but I am very subtle and incognito about it. You see, I have this invisible keyboard (in my mind) and when I hear people talk, or when I listen to songs or watch a movie, I type the words. Not always. But often enough to be concerned for myself. I even "backspace" if I know I spelled incorrectly or didn't capitaize or punctuate appropriately. I started this crazy, borderline OCD habit when first learning to type in 5th grade. It helped me learn the key placement on the keyboard but I have not been able to kick this annoying habit. Not that I've really tried. It's been going on for about 12 years now. So if you see a slight tapping of my fingers just know that it's not because I'm bored with our conversation. It's just because I'm weird.
I also memorize license plates. I started doing this (accidentally) because there were so many gold Hondas and white Expeditions and silver Durangos on the road that I never knew if it was one of my friends until it was too late to wave. My friend Caroline does this, too but she's super sweet & drop-dead gorgeous so she can get away with it. I'm not calling her wierd, though. Only myself. (And since it's my birthday I can excuse anyone I want from being classified as weird.)
I killed a bee today. Just for fun. It landed on my windshield. I turned on my window cleaner and swiped it to death. Now I'm guilty. I'll never eat honey again.
Then I parked in a handi-capable stall for about 20 seconds while I checked my mail. I hope the local law enforcement is not scanning the web for confessions. It would stink to be arrested for such a heinous charge on your birthday.
So that's it. I feel lighter somehow. And I guess I'll go be productive. Because it's my birthday. And I can be productive if I want to.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love Week 2009

2 minutes ago, I decided to follow along with my friend D-Dawg and do "Love Week" to celebrate Valentine's Day. Don't think of me as shallow for some of the following "loves". They're just things I love right now in this current stage of life that I thought would be fun to document. And I will get more sentimental as the week ends. Trust me.

Follow the link for her instructions if you want to join in. It's not too late!! Love is in the air!!!

1) Jillian Michaels is my homegirl. She doesn't know it. But I do. And that's enough for me. I'm following one of her fitness regimens and let me tell ya..... it's gruelling. She kicks my butt and I like it! It's torturous in an oddly pleasing way. And I'm seeing results which I also like. Oh, yes..... Tiffy like. Tiffy likey fo' sho'!

2)Family night. Especially the ones when these two peeps roll out to my 'hood. It's my FIL & MIL. Some people think of their in-laws coming to visit and their gut begins to twist & turn and they break into cold sweats. Not me. Oh no.... NOT ME! I think of my hubby's parents and get warm fuzzies. They come to our house every few months for Family Night. They bring a lesson, some games, and dessert. And all I have to do is feed them! How sweet is that? I love them so much it's not even legal. Well, it actually is legal.... it's just not the norm, I guess.

3)Sleeping in. But this is only a recent love. In fact it's probably not even a love. I think me and my snooze button are just having a meaningless fling. I'm usually bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning. But lately I've been finding it really hard to roll out of bed when my alarm goes off. It could be the cold weather. Or the fact that I haven't been falling asleep until well after 1 a.m. But I think it's just a phase. And my husband has been quite accomodating and understanding about it all. I know I could be getting so much done if was "early to bed, early to rise". And I've heard all about the early bird getting the worm. But has anybody ever thought about the early worm? Just think how that poor worms fate would have been different if it only pushed the snooze button a couple of times.

4) Playing dress up. Oh no... a girl is never too old for that. As we age we just go about it differently. My preferred way to play? Going on a cruise. And guess what... even Disneyland Daddy plays along! He looks quite handsome and dapper in his tuxedo. Here are my two favorite "dress-ups". And I'll be wearing them both next week. Can't wait!!!

5) The honesty of my children even when it can be quite incriminating. Tonight the kids were writing out their valentines. Mercedes went about it very quietly and with no help needed. Beau didn't really need help but he did want my opinion;
Beau: "Mom, who do you think I should give the biggest Valentine to?
Me: "O, I don't know. Who do you want to give it to?"
Beau: "I think I'll give it to my very bestest friend."
Me: "That's a good idea. Who is your very bestest friend?"
Beau: "Uuummmmm... my very bestest friend would be...... Bodie."
Me; "I thought you would say that. So why is he your very bestest friend? Is it because he's nice and you guys get along or is it because he has the same name as our dog?"
Beau: "Well.... it's because he's nice. And even though he tattles on me sometimes I still like him."

6)This show. I don't know what it is. Dog and Beth are just cool. They keep it real. They're little boy sports a mullet for heavens sake. Does it get more real than that? I just like them. For no good reason. The end.

7) Shopping with my husband. I'm not kidding. He is my most favorite person to shop with. He's kind of like a girlfriend in that way. And I mean that as a compliment.

So that's it. Sorry for so many loves on my first Love Week post but now I feel caught up. And isn't that what we all want out of life? Oh, and chocolate. I had that love today, too. Ooops. Sorry Jillian.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I am definitely strong-willed, stubborn, determined, tenacious, confident, and daring. But this kid is all of those things times 10!

He received a bike from Santa this year. And Santa was a little bit concerned about a pedal of that bike not rotating quite the way it should. Santa was quite worried and even lost sleep over the issue. How would this little guy learn to ride this bike if the pedal stayed stuck in one position? How would he advance in his bike riding skills in time to be ready to remove the training wheels shortly before entering kindergarten.

Well, Santa can sleep easy now. This kid couldn't wait until just before kindergarten. 2 weeks after Santa's delivery Reef started begging Daddy to remove those trainling wheels. His desire to do all the same things his older siblings do would not allow him to wait. He wanted them off and he wanted them off NOW! So Daddy removed those wheels (against Mommy's better judgement) and worked with that strong-willed, stubborn, determined, tenacious, confident, and daring 3 year old. 1 hour later, ill-functioning pedal notwithstanding, he was cruising around on 2 wheels.

What a big boy!! Now if I could just get him to stop eatting his boogers....................

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Manly Men

This is what I saw when I walked through the living room tonight.

Brandon and his BFF Troy. OK, so it's totally lame to call these guys BFF's but what else do you call somebody that you've been friends with for 20 years, whose houses you used to walk into without knocking, who you've served as the Best Man at each other's weddings, whose daughters are also BFF's, and who you can communicate with without uttering a single word?

Don't let their cozy position on the loveseat fool you. They're actually doing something very, very viril and masculine.

They are watching a UFC fight. Does it get any manlier than that? Yes, I know that UFC is chock full of men in spandex hot pants rolling around on a rubber mat together but trust me.... it's just for sport. And although I just heard Troy say, "Man. He's looking pretty soft. I wonder if he quit working out", I know he only said it because he can appreciate the hard core shape that these athletes are expected to be in when they get in that octagon cage.

As I continued snapping pictures of them they continued to sit there. Not moving a muscle. Not changing position one iota. Well, they did move enough face muscles to laugh at me. Ha! As if I'm the one in a position to be laughed at! Yes, I can see how my standing behind a camera is way more humorous than finding two men sitting close on a loveseat, in a darkened room, one with an arm around the other. And when Brandon fecitiously said, "What are you gonna do, go put this up on your blog???" I thought, "What a delightful idea." So thanks guys. I was looking for something I could blog about.

And thanks for being such good sports!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A SUPER Weekend

This is going to be way out of character for me. I don't know... dare I say it? At the risk of sounding grown up and responsible I will say it. I think we had way too much fun this weekend.

What? Who said that? What has gotten into me? I'm so ashamed....
This weekend exhausted me. But it was a lot of fun.

Brandon & Beau left for a friend's cabin Thursday night for a fun "guys only" ski trip. Beau ripped it up on his skis and Brandon had fun on his super slider snow skates (thus dubbed by Bradley Meyer; friend and fellow skier). To be fair, I took Mercedes & Reef to a movie Friday with some friends. Then it was a girls night out. No husbands. No brothers. Just us moms & daughters doing what we do best. Shopping. Talking. Eatting.

Then Melinda hatched a plan to "Heart Attack" a couple of girls from church. (I cursed myself all night long for not thinking to bring the camera.) We got home very, very late. So late, in fact, that I'm sure my ski bums were a tiny bit disappointed that we weren't here to welcome them home. So late that it was actually.... tomorrow.

Saturday morning we set off to San Jose to see this Super cool kid get baptized.

Noah Michael Sowards

Ben & Michele Sowards. Noah's parents....

..... and 2 of our most favorite people EVER.

Noah is our 2nd cousin. But I don't really like to think of him that way. That seems so...distant. You see, Ben & Brandon are first cousins. They're also great friends and favorite surfing buddies. So it's only natural that Michele and I have become very close over the past decade. We have many, many memories with these guys. Many, many inside jokes. And many, many similarities. Their family has just moved back to the Bay Area from Southern California and I can't tell you how thrilled we are to have them back home. We are "Uncle B" and "Aunt Tiff" to Noah & his siblings. Our kids call his parents "Uncle Ben" and "Aunt Mishi". That's just the way we roll here at "Team Cuz".

It was very hard to pull ourselves away from the fun festivities and great company. But we had a surprise for the kids. We were on our way to AT&T Park in San Francisco to watch Supercross. The kids were stoked when we told them. You might think they're too young to follow the dirtbiking circuit but then you've never caught my boys outside playing "dirtbike". They call eachother the names of the pro racers. They attempt wheelies on their bikes. They pull off pretend jumps and stage fake crashes. They eat this stuff up. It was so fun to watch them wide-eyed as their favorites were introduced amongst an awesome fireworks & laser show. Mercedes screamed at each introduction as if she were at some tweeny rock concert. We fed them ballpark classics like hot dogs, churros, french fries, soda, and cotton candy. But all of the yummy grub was an easily forgotten sidenote to actually being in the same stadium as these racers who now rank up there with Super heroes. Watching my childrens faces full of wonderment, excitement, and awe made the trip out there and the money spent on tickets soooo worth it. Beau leaned over to me once the 2-Stroke exhaust had billowed up to our seats and said, "Aaaaahhhhh, that smells goooooooood."Well... that was almost more rewarding than the Main Event for me. (Have I ever told you how much I love that smell? He's a boy after my own heart.) I also marveled at how a sea of people from all different walks of life respectfully stood, removed hats, and placed hands over hearts as the Air Force marched in with the American Flag and the National Anthem was sung. You won't find that at a PETA convention! (Or in most schools these days come to think of it.) So we had a blast that night and were in such a state of euphoria (or maybe we were just intoxicated from all of the exhaust) that it didn't even bother us to sit, parked on the pier, for over an hour before finally being able to wiggle our way out of the parking lot.

We returned home late that night. Or early Sunday morning. Take your pick. I have no shame in telling you that we slept in until *gasp* 11am. We were super tired. After church it was back to Ben & Mishi's for a Superbowl party. And a super funny 1 hour episode of The Office. ("Stanley was attacked by his own heart." Hilarious.) We returned home late, once again but it was all worth it.

So now you see how we've had too much fun this past weekend. This is why my kids' have been fed Mac n Cheese, Ravioli's, and eggs & toast for dinners this week. This is why I was in my PJ's before 7 pm on Monday night and fast asleep by 9. This is why there was a mountain of dishes in the kitchen sink until about 45 minutes ago. But it's just what we do. We are a family that works hard& plays hard. And I can't think of better playmates to make these super memories with.