Thursday, December 27, 2012


Happy Anniversary to us!

“It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.” 
            -Patrick Rothfuss

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas!

We talked a lot about going away for Christmas this year like we did last year. A short trip and then a small celebration at home, the perfect holiday with teenagers. Sometime during these discussions I realized that this would be Dagny's last Christmas as a child. (!) Last childhood Christmas not spent at home?  I don't think so.  We went full steam ahead with all our traditions and had a good old-fashioned family Christmas. (just like the Griswold's) We celebrated Christmas Eve with Grandpa and Sue, Chinese food, presents, and lots of picture taking. We got up late the next morning and made crepes before opening the rest of the presents.  Then we spent the day in our pajamas and played games and watched old family movies.  I'm thinking that as far as last childhood Christmases go, this was a pretty good one. Merry Christmas! 

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Decorating

All my holiday decorating this year revolved around  "brown paper packages tied up with string".  I fell in love with the idea of simply wrapped gifts so I bought brown paper at Home Depot (The kind painters use to cover the floor while they work.  Do you have any idea how inexpensive that stuff is? Compared to wrapping paper it's practically free. And it's recyclable.  Double win.) and some twine and wrapped everything up.  That's when my idea didn't seem so great anymore.  The presents looked sad.  Really sad.  I realized that I couldn't transition from sparkly gifts to plain gifts in just one year, the shock to my glitter-loving heart was too great.  I had to pretty them up.  I bought all kinds of red ribbon and had fun tying beautiful bows on my brown gifts.  They no longer looked sad, I thought they were gorgeous.  Now that the presents were tied up in red, I decided to do everything in red.  I wrapped the tree in Magic Mesh (which I have never worked with before but I liked) and dug out ornaments from years past and ended up with a red and white tree.  Instead of something large and fancy on the top I did a spray of wire loops and curls and I think I liked it better than any other tree-topper I've ever made.  It all felt simpler than what I usually do and I loved that.  Less is more, even at Christmas.  

I also downloaded a picture collage app that I am having way too much fun using.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Long Expected Party

I don't think anybody would be surprised to hear that we've been looking forward to seeing The Hobbit.  I wrote about it here, and frankly, our Lord of the Rings geekiness is common knowledge. Since we've been waiting so long to go back to Middle Earth we decided not to wait any longer than we had to and see the movie the moment it was released. Midnight movie premieres are a good time.  While you're waiting you get to hang out in line with people who are as excited to see the movie as you are and they are usually interesting and friendly, and sometimes they are even in costume. The waiting is fun and so is the anticipation, it's a big party and a good time.  Steve and I have been to several midnight shows but we've never taken Dagny and Dane. (we're good parents like that)  The Hobbit premiere seemed like the perfect time to indoctrinate them into the midnight madness.  (the fact that it was a school night and they wouldn't get to bed until 4:00 AM wasn't really a big deal, they're young, they can handle it) Every time we have gone to a midnight show there has been a long line of waiting people, we planned for that and got to the theater around 8:00.  Much to our surprise, we were the only one's there.  Just us, no line.  Every other theater had a line a mile long, but the small, out-of-the-way theater I had chosen had no line.  We were the line.  The theater isn't far from home, we could have turned around and come back later, but we decided to just stay. Why not get the full midnight movie experience even if it was just us?  We camped out in the hall and Dagny and Dane did some homework, we played cards, (thoughtfully brought by Austin) Steve read a book, I played on my phone, and we all pretended that the theater workers weren't laughing at us. Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours. At 10:00 they let us into the theater and that's when things got fun.  Being the only people in the entire theater it seemed like the thing to do was run around and chase each other.  Mature?  Maybe not, but sometimes maturity is overrated. If you are ever in a completely empty theater late at night I hope you do the same thing, it was that fun.  I ran with the kids until my sides ached, then they played tag and did other crazy stuff  that only ended when Dane rugby tackled Dagny.  By then other people had shown up and it was time to settle down and watch the movie.  

We are the line!
Somehow Dane got ahold of an extra pair of 3D glasses,
he popped the lenses out and made himself  a hipster 

pick a seat, any seat
Austin, carrying Dagny to her seat after the tackle
My review of the movie is short and sweet; it was great, go and see it.  I very much like how Peter Jackson is tying in The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings,  it's very clever and it makes me excited about the next two installments.   

Monday, December 10, 2012

Marshmallow World

Back in November I got a new iPhone as an early Christmas present.  I love it, of course, but I have yet to put any music on it.  Which is weird, considering my need for a soundtrack to my daily life, but I still  have an empty iTunes library.  Pandora to the rescue.  Pandora is just about the greatest thing ever and it is fulfilling my life soundtrack needs and filling my days with all the best Christmas music.  I am very picky about my holiday music, I think that Christmas should sound like a 50's holiday cocktail party.  I need Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Nancy Wilson, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald... That is Christmas to me.  I do like some of the modern Christmas offerings, (Elton John, Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder... and since I grew up in the 80's I am obligated to love Last Christmas by Wham!.  I know, not a good song, but I just can't help it) but mostly I think they are horrible and they do not put me in a Christmassy mood.  (to be fair, there is also old stuff that I dislike, no matter who is singing it.  My all-time least favorite holiday song? The Little Drummer Boy followed closely by Silver Bells) Pandora made me a 'Swingin' Christmas' station and that fulfilled every holiday cocktail party fantasy I have ever had.  My favorite thing Pandora gave me was Christmas with the Rat Pack.  All the best songs in the same place. Merry Christmas to me.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Happy Birthday Steve! 

Steve with puppy Steve
A coffee, a morning walk,
and a little baby Frenchie.
It's good to be Steve. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

'Tis The Season

This year I am completely in love with December.  Even more than I normally am. (and that is a lot)  This holiday season is going to be spectacular.  The Christmas music is already playing, the tree is up waiting for me to smother it in ornaments, (it's been standing there naked for a week while I figure out what I want to do with it.  I feel like it's mocking me, it really needs to get decorated) and my clicking finger is itching to do all the on-line present shopping. December is much more than just Christmas around here, it's also Steve's birthday, our 21st anniversary, the kids and Steve having weeks of vacation, and us having lots of time to do all kinds of things together.  Oh, the plans I've made. Stay tuned, it's going to be good.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


A couple of peculiar things happened on Thanksgiving this year - I cooked the entire meal all by myself, and I didn't take a single picture of anything all day.  

Since there is no photographic evidence of the holiday, let's just pretend that it looked like this

Preparing the meal wasn't too difficult, I used some of my sister Sabrina's recipes, kept the menu simple, and since I was only cooking for 6 people it wasn't stressful at all.  I cooked a turkey breast in the slow-cooker and that was amazing, everything ended up on the table warm and at the same time so I felt pretty great about the whole thing.  We had Steve's dad and his wife join us and it was an intimate, lovely meal.  Every year we have much to be thankful for, but this year I think we all felt an extra bit of thankfulness for each other and that we have had yet another year together. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Jersey Girl

Dagny has wanted a Giants jersey for forever.  Last year I promised that if they won the World Series I would buy her one. They didn't win last year, but they did this year, so I had to pony up. It was a promise I enjoyed keeping.  We took Dagny to the Dugout Store in Walnut Creek and let her pick her jersey and have it customized.   She had them put CHAMPS 12 on the back. Pretty clever, don't you think?   

Monday, November 5, 2012

Doctor Who Costumes

The price Dagny pays for me putting together her costumes is letting me take lots of pictures of said costumes.  A small price for such amazing costumes and one I am pretty sure she enjoys paying.  This year she talked her friends into dressing up with her and then she talked them into a photo shoot.  That's my girl.   

Amy Pond

Amy and Rory

 The Pond's

River Song, Amy, The 11th Doctor, Rory

Amy's Boys

Doctor Who at High School

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Count Rugen

“As you know, the concept of the suction pump is centuries old. Really that’s all this is except that instead of sucking water, we’re sucking time. We’ve just sucked one hour of your life away. We might one day go as high as five, but we really don’t know what that would do to you. So, let’s just start with what we have. What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Deja Vu

Second World Series championship in three years, that means San Francisco gets another parade. I think this one was even louder and more crowded than 2010, it was such a party.  Steve and I were on our own this time, neither one of the kids could get out of school. (there are no words to describe Dagny's devastation) We got there early and got an excellent viewing spot and then had fun people watching before the parade. (Giants parade on Halloween in SF, you can bet there was a lot of interesting things to see) I loved watching the players go by, they were having as much fun as the fans. The atmosphere all day was pure joy, it was love and madness all dressed up in orange and black.  An entire city gathered in celebration, completely amazing. Oh, and Tony Bennett was there. What city could possibly be more awesome than San Francisco?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Whovian Halloween

The Halloween costumes this year require a bit of backstory.

Last spring I got sick. Some nasty bug Dagny brought home from school got me and I was out for about a week.  If my kids were younger and needier I couldn't have spent a week in bed but because they are old enough to (mostly) fend for themselves and they have such a helpful father, I was actually able to be sick.  My head hurt too badly to concentrate on a book so I decided to just watch stuff on my iPad to pass the time.  I went through my Netflix cue looking for something that wouldn't be too involved and I settled on Doctor Who.  The next thing I knew I had watched 6 seasons of the show. (I may, or may not, have stayed in bed a day longer than I needed to just so I could finish season 6) So much for not getting involved.  For the next month I talked about Doctor Who in hopes of getting some member of my family interested in watching it so I would have somebody to share in my Doctor love. (I did get some of my friends to watch but what I really wanted was an in-house confidant)  None of them were buying it and they actually made fun of me. (like any of them have room to talk, being as geeky as they are) One day Dagny makes a comment and I realize that she has secretly been watching Doctor Who and she just didn't want to admit it to me. Now that she had been outed her love for the Doctor was in the open and we could obsess together.  (Dagny found out that most of her friends watch the show and she talked her boyfriend into watching so she feels very cool about the whole thing, but lets just remember who started it) Over the summer she discussed The Doctor with her Doctor obsessed friends and they came up with the idea of dressing up as characters from the show for Halloween.  The idea stuck, and they even talked other people into dressing up as Who characters.  So, there is the background. Me watching Doctor Who has turned into Dagny dressing up as Amy Pond and Austin as Rory Williams.  I have been working on their costumes and they are going to be authentic and amazing.  (I think they are even cosplay quality and they can wear them to WonderCon next year, how exciting) 

These are the looks they've chosen -

Rory from Vampires in Venice

Amy from Time of Angles/Flesh and Stone
(Dagny may have picked that particular look because it
 means she will get a brand new pair Converse, smart girl)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Giants Win The Series!

For us, the Giants 2012 season was 162 regular season games either watched or read about, and then thoroughly discussed over the morning paper. There were afternoons spent together at AT&T Park seeing it all live, and there was the night where we watched every pitch of a perfect game.  Giants games were a family gathering and a shared passion.  We followed every up and down from April through September and then watched on a tiny TV at the hospital by Steve's bedside as the clinched the NL West.  And finally, it was 3 epic post-season battles that ended in the Giants sweeping the Tigers and becoming the World Series Champions.  What a ride.

After the last out of the World Series Dagny and Dane rushed outside and ran around screaming.  Dane took his shirt off and was swinging it around over his head and then, before you knew it, Steve had joined them.  Two shirtless screaming guys and a completely ecstatic girl whooping it up for all to see.  Best Celebration Ever.

Friday, October 26, 2012


One day I was walking along and was suddenly startled by the large man walking next to me. It turned out to be Dane.  He had recently become taller than me and I wasn't used to it.  That was several years ago, Dane has been taller than me (and Steve!) for quite awhile and I still don't think I've gotten used to it.  It's a strange thing when you have to look up at your little boy.  Dane's birthday this year landed on a school day but we still managed to celebrate and Dane got just what he asked for - BBQ, presents and cake.  Happy Birthday Dane!  


no, he didn't eat it all himself