Monday, February 8, 2010

Daddy/Daughter Dance

Realizing that you're going to be Daddy's only little girl has it's advantages. Take going to the Daddy/Daughter dance, for instance. In the past you've gone to these dances and have been content to wear a Sunday dress while Daddy wears nice slacks and a shirt & tie. But knowing that this is your last Daddy/Daughter dance at your elementary school before moving on to junior high and knowing that your Daddy won't have any other daughters to take to one of these dances AND knowing that you don't have to contend with any other sisters for room on Daddy's pinky finger... you can request anything you want.

And get it.

This is the angle Mercedes worked this year. Dinner before the dance would be nice but wearing formal attire to the very last Daddy/Daughter Dance? Perfection. Top it off by having a sleepover with some friends your mom and dad have been praying for (another post) and you've got a night to remember.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I love where I live!!

If you ask me, California is the best place to live. Yes, it is by nature a liberal state but even as conservative as I am I still love it. Yes, I was born in Utah and lived there until I was 13 but I've now spent the last 19 years here and can't imagine being anywhere else. Where I live I am only 30 minutes from the nearest beach. I can drive to the snow for a day and then drive back out of it. There are beautiful lakes polka-dotted throughout the state. We've got palm trees and sun and sea breeze and Disneyland and year round flip-flops!! We don't have 4 distinct seasons here, and I do miss the fall, but when other parts of the nation are dealing with blizzards, frozen pipes and digging themselves out of their driveways I am driving down the road enjoying the beautiful green hills that the seesaw of rain and sun has left growing here. True, it's short lived as the hot sun begins around the end of March (don't be hatin') and things begin to dry up and turn brown but that's when you head to the coast and enjoy the ocean air and beauty that abounds at the western edge of our nation.

This weekend I was reminded again of my love for where I live. One day I was in Monterey on a whale-watching field trip and the next day I was enjoying the city of San Francisco while taking our family to watch Supercross. Both days offered a break from the recent rain, which I was grateful for, because it allowed my children some experiences that I know they will remember for a long time to come.

I took Reef along to Monterey so I wouldn't have to pawn him off on friends or family. I wasn't going on the boat anyway... not sure how my normally strong belly would handle the movement (and smells) now that there's a baby on board. I rode on the boat last year, anyway. I just followed Reef around wherever he wanted to go. We played in the Pirate Store for a bit then walked around and watched the seals and birds. We ate gummy bears and watched taffy being pulled. We enjoyed samples of fresh Clam Chowder from all of the wharf restaurants. Then we reserved an oceanside table for lunch.

The 5th graders were not disappointed. They saw whales and even some dolphins.

The next day we were off to the races. This year we decided to get Pit Passes and try to meet the pros.

As far as my kids were concerned there was only one guy worthy enough for us me to wait in line for. Ryan Dungey. Not only did he sign the number plates that we brought him but he asked each of my kids' their name and autographed a poster for each of them as well. They were starstruck for sure.

Especially Reef. He pretends to be Dungey when he's out riding his bike. He was not going to let Dungey get away with not remembering him or how to spell his name. Here he is making sure he gets it right. "It's R-E-E-F".

Brandon and I were happy to meet a "veteran" of the sport, Jeff Emig. He retired in 2000 and my kids only really know him as one of the SuperCross announcers they see on TV. But fame is fame to them and they were happy to pose for a picture with him anyway. He was just walking around in the Pits and was very approachable and friendly.

Another favorite rider of theirs is Chad Reed. He broke a bone in his hand racing 2 weeks ago so he was recuperating but his team was there anyway and my kids got to sit on his bike. (Probably a replica specifically for this type of thing but we won't tell them that!)

Due to the rain forecast we almost didn't go and that nearly broke my kids' hearts. I'm glad the weather held up and we were able to give our kids this opportunity. We live near so many great and awesome things here in Cali. and I need to remember not to take it for granted.

Some people think you should have to carry a passport to visit. And maybe someday you will. We have Hollywood and hippies. We also have augmentations and Arnold. And I wouldn't trade it for anything....