Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010


The Happiest Place on Earth

In another surprise filled weekend, we hit one of LA's most renowned attractions. With the Christmas spirit in full swing, we were able to catch the holiday parade and feel the magic of Disney.

If you look close enough, you will see that they used the same blue snowflakes that we have on our tree ;)

Goofy making gingerbread cookies...


Beauty & the Beast

The 7 Dwarfs

On Dancer and Prancer...

The myth, the man, the legend: Santa Claus

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A California Thanksgiving Feast

...just a little sneak peak at our Thanksgiving here on the West Coast

annual morning of hike...views were spectacular

stopped for a photo op on the beach

nothing sexier than a man in a pink apron...official turkey carver

somewhat skinny pre-feast

yummy to my tummy
(dishes served include turkey & gravy, stuffing, mac n' cheese, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberries, mashed potatoes, salad, corn, scalloped potatoes, noodle souffle, pumpkin pie, apple pie, blueberry, pie, cheesecake, and yogurt)

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It is no secret that Christmas is my favorite holiday. Ever since I was a child, the warmth and happiness of the spirit has made me smile inside and outside. The gift of giving is like nothing else.

I live for the traditions that our family holds. The routine hasn't changed at all. All four kids sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve. We still rise way too early for our parents' liking to see what Santa dropped off the night before. We each have our own designated "Santa Spot". We gasp and admire the gifts. Then I play gift giver, passing out the wrapped presents from the family. Without fail, I am the last to open my gifts as the joy of seeing everyone else open their presents is my favorite part. We open the stockings last, nibbling on a piece of candy or two pre-breakfast. After a little clean up, the 6 of us race to the kitchen for a prime spot at the table. Our signature mugs are filled with milk and our Christmas plates piled with mommy's famous poppy seed bread. A mini brawl usually breaks out over the last piece. Everyone disperses to take their presents to their room and generally catch a catnap. 27 years have gone by since the tradition began and I am determined to make sure it keeps on living.

So since Thanksgiving is officially over...let the decorating begin

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It is in Giving that We Receive

...and when we give all of ourselves, we fully receive allowing us to give thanks.

2010's Top 10 Things that I am
MOST Thankful for...

10. the news of a new niece or nephew
9. being confirmed into the Catholic church
8. the friendship of people from all decades of my life
7. weekly phone calls with my Mama Collins
6. mental toughness to overcome difficult thoughts and past situations
5. two visits with my best friends (courtesy of JL & Davis tying the knot)
4. my gift for writing and being able to express my emotions through such an inspiring outlet
3. physical ability to conquer challenges such as Half Dome and Mount Whitney
2. enough financial stability to be able to travel home to enjoy time with family
1. growth in faith, hope, and love within my relationship with Ryan

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lifehouse- Smoke & Mirrors

I tribute to an awesome concert with Rach...

(click on the play button below to hear Lifehouse's Everything)

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Lifehouse - Everything .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday Surprises

I heart surprises...especially when they are on our list o' stuff to do! Totally didn't see this one coming. And it was particularly fun because our old hometown team battled (er, dominated really) our new hometown team.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors

I kid you not, despite the Lakers taking on a basic high school team, there was not an empty seat in the Staples Center. That's loyalty...or prayers of a 3-peat!

Friday, November 19, 2010

No More...

...Wake ups!

That is what Ryan and I say when we get to see each other. The worst part about the distance is not waking up to his "good morning sweets" or not getting tucked into bed by him at night.

So we count down how many wake-ups until we are together again...no more countdowns for awhile ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Tunes

In honor of my boo & I's first movie date and my concert rendezvous with Rach tonight...


say a prayer for my daddy today. He is having surgery, and we are hopeful for am easy, painless operation as well as a speedy recovery!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

It has been a long time since I have cried on account of being happy. Anyone who knows me, knows that I need a good cry at least once or twice a month. And here lately, the streamline of tears have been those of sadness, fear, exhaustion, and a little more fear. But this week, I have found myself smiling more, relaxing more, and living in the moment more. I have found myself crying on account of being happy.

It is no secret that my relationship is more dynamic than most (and more than I would ideally care for). With dynamics comes complication, and with complication comes insecurities. I don't handle insecurities all to well so I found out. I managed to make an important event and time in Ryan's life rather unpleasant to say the least. It wasn't my intent at all, but I was unable to control my outlandish thoughts and wild emotions.


Something about having a fresh start, a new place to call "ours" has aided in putting my worries and greatest fears at ease (for now). Something about taking time for us has made me realize that I all too often let others be too big a part of our story. Something about the prospect of being a family one day has helped me realize that I am really loved and really treated like a princess. Something about living in the moment has allowed me to see that what we have is real and true and more wonderful than anything that came before "us".

Something about opening my heart to the Lord has let me delight in all that He has planned for me, for my life.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sights of San Francisco

A little peek into what I've been up to...

Riding cable cars

Cruising to Alcatraz

Being obsessed with criminals such as Al Capone

Thanking God I do not live in a prison cell

And laughing at what Ryan's cell would look like
(not pictured is the knitted blanket)

Admiring the architecture of the Golden Gate Bridge

Enjoying the scenery of Golden Gate Park

Catching rays at the beach in NorCal

Indulging in fall treats such as scarves and Starbucks

Listening to jams at Hard Rock

With one of my best friends ;)

Feasting on great breakfast items
(eggs benedict in honor of L. Marquette)

Loving this man

I hope the fall is bringing as much fun to you as it is to me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010


I don't think that I will ever lose that Friday feeling. You know, the one when you hit the snooze (without feeling bad) an extra time or two. When your face has a stellar smile all day no matter who cuts you off in traffic or curses you at work. When the sun seems to always shine bright despite hurricane-like weather all week. When good music seems to just flow on the radio. When you get butterflies anticipating an ice cold glass of wine or beer after work. Yeah that feeling will probably never leave me (or at least I hope it doesn't as that would solidify adulthood).

Well, today is Friday my friends, and I have had that feeling all day long. The sun is a shining, and this girl is ready for the weekend. Hope you all have a glorious fall weekend wherever you might be!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spring Clean...More Like Fall Frenzy

My sincerest apologies to the 3 people who read this blog for being M.I.A. the past week. I was forced to take a mini-hiatus from life. More deets to come at a later time for reasons that I am unable to share at the present (do not worry, nothing catastrophic has happened in my life).

I will post pics and topical info on my past week in due time but for now let's look to the future. My future includes small spaces, less closet room, storage bins, and LOTS of sharing. In lieu of this new change, I have been decluttering. Spring cleaning? How about fall frenzy?

I have been furiously cleaning, organizing, sorting, and gifting my things room by room. In my former dining area, I have two piles: "keepers" and "possible sales". Accompanying these lovely piles in the far corner next to the front door is the "goodwill/salvation army/for charity/tax break" pile. Each of these piles has a considerable amount of stuff.

Pack rat would not be a valid term for me; however, collector of mementos might be more appropriate and better received. I usually do a good once a year cleaning, but I have to force myself to "let go" of various items. For example, nearly 10 years after pledging ADPi, I have decided to gift some picture frames, purses, and t-shirts to the Alpha Chi chapter at UCLA. I also retired 97% of my t-shirts (I literally have one from each date party of my 3 1/2 years plus alum ones and wore them religiously, er occasionally still wear one). I begged my mom to make an ADPi quilt out of the t-shirts. Pathetic I know. Nonetheless, I am using will-power to recognize what I have not used in oh say years and pass it along to someone else who might get enjoyment from it.

Whew it feels good to be back. Happy Hump Day Y'All!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nieces & Nephews

One of my favorite things is picture texts of my nephew (and my adopted niece and nephew ;) ) so that I can monitor his life even from 2,500 miles away.