Friday, January 25, 2013

Thirty! {Part 4}

The last of the celebrating was on my actual birthday, Tuesday, January 22nd. Robby took me to the Cheesecake Factory in Fresno. I love going there not only because I love cheesecake but also because it's right next to Anthropologie and Sephora. It's become a little birthday tradition to have dinner and then walk over and get my free birthday treat from Sephora. Anthro gives a nice birthday discount, so I bought myself a sweet gift for $8! Yes. Amazing.

Our dinner was so fun, and once again my husband completely spoiled me! He gave me an iPhone! I can't say I had been subtle about my hope for this gift, but it was a great surprise anyway. After officially joining the data phone club, we walked to the mall to get a cute case, then did a little browsing in the shops. What a great night!
This has been one fun month! My twenties were good to me, but it seems thirty will be good, as well. Maybe even better :)
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Thirty! {Parts 2 & 3}

The birthmonth celebration continued! Saturday we celebrated with my side of the family and received an extra special surprise - Chels and Roger made it, even though Chels had said she was too sick to come! Luckily she forced herself to get better, and she and her hub made a quick trip to V-town. Dinner was great and fun and truly felt special. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so the pictures I have are from Roger's phone. Not bad, actually, but I'm still kicking myself that I didn't get a great one of all of us that night.
The next day we had lunch with the Feely's at Henry Salazar's. It was another great afternoon, and except for the flan, the food was fantastic. (Not sure what happened to their great dessert -- but no charge, so it worked out.)
I love the little card Debbie made! 3 candles x 10 = 30 :)
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

THIRTY with a Twist! {Part 1}

We don't do true birthday celebrations around here. We drag them out as long as possible, so it becomes more of a birthmonth celebration.

This month I turn thirty, and it seems the partying begins early with this big of a day! Our good friend Ben turned thirty on the 17th, so we did a joint party with friends. We all dressed up in black and white and added a twist of color...fitting for the big 3-0, I think. Yes, we're headed closer and closer to that over-the-hill mark, but there's still lots of neon and color in our lives.

We had the party at Ben and Steph's. Steph is an awesome wife and friend -- she threw a party for Ben and me even though she was five days away from her due date! (Incidentally, that baby girl came last night! Healthy and beautiful!)
Me and Steph (with her turquoise twist)
30 candles!
Me and my handsome hub, happily wearing his glow-necklace
Tons of friends showed up for the celebration, which included delectable home-made desserts, appetizers, drinks, smores, a bonfire, and neon glow-sticks.
Chels, me, and Steph - twisted with pink and orange
Darren and Cristi - with pops of red and piink
Natalie and Shannon wearing bright pants
Grant and Carly - with a gold twist
Stephen, Steve, Trevor, and Alan
Ben with the Neece's wearing pops of red
Fun gifts! And fitting for the theme!
See my orange twist? And that necklace is from Chels, one of those awesome 31 Bits designs!
(I had borrowed hers a while ago and didn't want to give it back.)
Ben (orange twist), Ellie, and Steve
The birthday kids!
We had such a fun night. AND I'm technically not thirty yet -- a few more days. Tonight is celebration #2, and more are to come. I guess it makes turning thirty not so bad when I'm surrounded by family and friends I love :)
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Carly turns twenty-five!

On January 4th, we celebrated Carly's 25th birthday! In honor of Carly's milestone day (a quarter of a century! That's big!), I thought I'd write a bit about her.
Birthday lunch at the Vintage Press in Visalia
Carly is the third of us four girls. Chels and I are 19 months apart, then there's a gap of a couple years, and then Car and Camille are 19 months apart. It's funny - Carly and I are January girls, and Camille and Chels are August girls. And usually, that's how the rooming situation went. Carly and I nearly always shared a room together, so with my sleep-talking and her sleep-smacking (yes, it's a thing. and she does it.), it's amazing either one of us got any rest.

Carly loves animals--always has. And since she also loves cozying up on the couch more than anyone I know, the animals love her. She's a homebody at heart, but that girl is also busy, always hanging out with family or friends. She's got a great laugh, and it's a fact that people just love her.

She's a fan of ridiculous Lifetime movies, Mexican food, soft blankets, cozy slippers (she'll steal any pair that's lying around, so beware), Christmas decorations, fireplaces, and her family. She has no shame hanging out with mom and dad on a Friday night. She mixes all of her food together and makes anything and everything into a "dip." If there's a chip nearby, she's using it to scoop up her meal.

She's a warm, beautiful person, and we love her so much. We hope this year brings her many blessings!

Happy 25th, Carly!
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Christmas Part 3

Our final Christmas celebration was on Christmas Day. Since I've been part of this family, each Christmas morning begins with Robby and me waking up, saying "Merry Christmas" to each other, and then heading over to his family's house for breakfast and stockings. I love it. It's warm and cozy and peaceful, and the day's festivities begin with Jerry reading the Christmas story.

Stockings are always lots of fun. There are the usual items--a fresh-picked orange (makes me think of Little Women every time) and a gold coin (real or chocolate...it's always a surprise), sometimes something fun and silly, like the tasty coal we received from Santa this year. Usually there is a favorite treat or the promise of one in the form of a gift card :) We each open our stocking and enjoy coffee and breakfast together. It really is a favorite time for me.

After we opened our stockings, we had a wonderful lunch and opened presents.
Bearing gifts!
Stocking time!
iPad mini -- yep, one spoiled girl
Jeff's new Kindle!
Debbie in cozies of her favorite color
Grandma and Jerry
Fancy shoes!
We spent most of the day at Robby's parents home, and ran over to my parents' just for a few minutes to wish them a merry Christmas.

I'm not sure why, but this year was one of my favorites. It helped that we didn't have a youth event planned two days later (that always is a bit stressful), but I also think things just came together this year. Schedules worked out, events lined up, and somehow amidst all the busyness I felt a calmness, which allowed me to focus on the true meaning of this season: our Savior's birth and the life he brings to us.
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Christmas Part 2

We had three full days of Christmas joy, which tagged onto the two days of Robby's birthday celebrations immediately before, equals five non-stop days of fun. On December 24th, Christmas Eve, we went to my parents' house for dinner, then all (including the Feely's) headed to church for our Christmas Eve service, then back again for presents and more good food.

Since we've "grown up," we have always done a name exchange for Christmas gifts, and usually all the kids chip in for something for Mama and Daddy-o. We usually figure out who has whose name by the time the exchange rolls around, but it's lots of fun shopping and dreaming up that perfect gift.

This year,--
--I had Roger and gave him warm swim stuff so he can swim in the freezing San Francisco ocean without getting hypothermia
--Roger had Camille and no doubt gave something awesome, although for the life of me I can't remember what it was. But I know it was great because Roger had my name last year and gave me a gorgeous dress that no doubt did not fit in our price limit!
--Camille had me, and she gave me a fabulous MAC bronzer and blush.
--Robby had Chelsea and gave her a spiffy necklace, which has become part of her daily outfit.
--Chelsea had Carly and gave her wonderful perfume that we all wished we had.
--Carly had Scott and gave him new biking gear so now he'll look extra cool.
--Scott had Robby and gave him batting gloves, special Schuil coffee, and Taco Bell moolah. That pretty much sums up Robby's favorite things.

We all went in and gave Mom a beautiful piece of artwork by an artist on Etsy, Bleu de Toi. I'll have to post more about it later, but you may have heard of these fingerprint art pieces. They're so amazing. Dad got an industrial-sized outdoor heater. This thing is not only amazingly hot but also quite beautiful! We're looking forward to hanging outside nice and toasty during the winter months. Mom and Dad of course spoiled each one of us.

I know it's not about the gifts at Christmas time, but it is such a blast thinking about those we love so very much and trying to find a little something that says just that.
The whole fam
Mom & Dad
Chels & Roger
Robby & Can
Scott & Camille
Honey
Mike & Carly
Carly
Big hug for a big thanks
New Uggs! Lucky us!
Special gift
Joy!
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