Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

WOW! If you don't know what it means to need a vacation from your vacation, you should hang around here for a few days during the holidays. Here's a condensed version of the last ten days . . .

My mom arrived on the 21st and we headed straight to San Diego to go ice skating with Ed's parents and all their kids and grandkids. That was fun!

We celebrated on Christmas Eve with Ed's aunts, uncles and cousins and were treated to a special dance performance by Max, Isabella, Aaron, Sophia, Mason and even Abby. They reminded us that entertainment doesn't have to be sophisticated or well planned. Sometimes being together is as good as it gets.

Christmas Day was quiet and perfect. Max and Sophia each got one gift from Santa and LOVED it. Ed, the kids, my Mom and I ate lunch at home, watched the Laker game and napped. Ideal!

Ed and I had date night while my Mom was in town to enjoy the kids. We saw two movies on the same night and even had time for dinner and a little shopping. Those nights are rare and much treasured. It's too bad that it takes us a full day to recover anytime we get home after midnight!

An overnight trip to LA with my Mom was fun and action packed. Dinner in Malibu, a visit to the Santa Monica Pier, another movie, lunch and an all day shopping trip in Glendale were almost accomplished in under 24 hours. We try hard to get it all in when we get a chance to be together and it almost works!

New puzzles, Barbies, Star Wars galore, Disneyland, Wii, new DVDs, uploading iPods, lots of dinners out and one old dog that got skunked (not recommended, BTW)!!!! We are blessed, worn out and looking forward to another terrific year. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family and the coming year brings good health and more happiness than you need. HAPPY NEW YEAR. God Bless you and yours . . .

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pray for Ema, please


Ema made it home to celebrate Christmas with her family. Surgery went better than expected making her recovery less painful and easier on her little body. Thank you all for your prayers for Laura, Tony and their girls.


If you regularly visit our blog, you know that we have been praying for our friends the Prater Family. Their daughter Ema was hospitalized in October for complications from pneumonia. A battery of tests revealed that she has cavities in a portion of her right lung that are an invitation for infection. While they don’t know yet how or why this is occurring (the high dosages of antibiotics mask most diagnostic cultures) they have determined through constant monitoring that Ema will require surgery on Friday morning.

From the CAT scan, they know that surgery will require taking at least the upper lobe of her right lung with the possibility of also impacting the middle lobe. The surgery is rare and challenging as they will access her lung by separating her ribcage through an incision in her side.

Please make an effort to take time from your holiday schedule to say a prayer for this family. Ema needs our prayers for strength and recovery. Her sisters, Devyn & Halle, need our prayers for comfort and reassurance. And most of all, their parents, need our prayers for the strength to watch their baby suffer knowing it’s for the best, clarity of thought to navigate through all of the details and faith that a divine plan will be revealed to them in time.

I urge you to share your love for your own family and friends. Life moves so rapidly that we forget sometimes (I am the MOST guilty of all) that every moment is delicate and any one of us may well need prayers sometime soon for a tragic loss or unthinkable fear. God Bless you at Christmas, and always.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Going to See Santa

Max was ecstatic to get the chance to see Santa over the weekend. I love that he has dance moves for EVERYTHING. I hope that the kid in your heart will let you be this excited about the holidays, too. There is nothing better than the magic that Christmas brings. Have a great week!

p.s. with the promise of some candy and hot chocolate, Sophia gave in to her Santa aversion. It was a successful and sugar~filled trip for everyone!

Before and After

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Go Rockets!

Shutterfly Shared Picture Detail
(click the link for photos from game)

Max Montoya played his first rookie league basketball game today under the watchful eye of Coach Eddy, aka Dad. Our poor Rockets didn't fare so well against the Lakers, but it was an exciting game and the fans were wild. That's mostly because half of the stands were filled with Max's family and our dearest friends. Max was able to come say hi to his fan club at half time and he loves that crazy crew almost as much as I do.

We are so blessed to be surrounded with people that love us and support us. Their love is what gets us through the tough times and makes the good times even better. I am not sure if we can fill the stands at every game, but a crushing loss is a lot easier when you're with the ones you love.

Go Rockets!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Update for Prater Family

I checked in with my girlfriend Laura this week to see how she and her family are doing. They were going to do additional xrays of Ema’s chest this week to see if the cavities were still present in her lower lung. Her update is below. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. I trust Laura and Tony to do what is very best for their girls and think that maybe our prayers could even be for their sanity. God Bless them for staying in with their three ladies at such a busy time of year. That’s a job!!!

Have a great weekend wherever you are!

Ema's good, thank you for checking in. Last week’s appointment showed the cavities are still there, as expected. Her blood work is looking good, but
Infectious Disease is getting concerned about going into week 7 of this antibiotic. Can cause issues that are rare, but they'd probably happen to us. It's a marathon - we really won’t know whether they'll need to take part of her lung until Spring. In the meantime, we need to protect her from getting any upper respiratory infection. With that, Halle has also been pulled from school. Such a bummer for her - she LOVES school. Devyn has strict hygiene rules when she gets home. We're trying to live in a bubble
as much as possible. No Santa visit, no Birthday party (the twins turn 3 on the 12th), no holiday parties, no outside visitors and reducing exposure to others as much as possible. Our Dr. is concerned about the influenza virus, which could be dangerous for her. Taking it all week by week and trying to be patient. It's a lot of family bonding until we get to Spring and hope that our lives go back to normal.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nothing to Say

My Nanny used to tell me "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all." I will let that statement stand on it's own and just post this cute photo of my babes from Thanksgiving in San Diego last week. It was warm, sunny and peaceful. We are so blessed. Hope everyone is having a great week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving is a State of Mind

As we head into the holidays again, I am conflicted with being homesick and not quite living in the spirit of the rapidly approaching season. I miss my friends, I wish I was with my family in Florida and not so burdened by professional obligations and restrained financially. This was shared with me by someone very special and I thought I would share it here. From our family to yours, a very Happy Thanksgiving

This article was originally written for and published in World Magazine, November 18, 1995.

Even in the midst of temporal troubles, there is always something to be thankful for. Thanks-giving isn't easy. Two things make it difficult.

(1) Our sinful natures act like a ship's anchor let down at sea. When we try to stir ourselves to give thanks, we find our souls are "dragging anchor." In the Bible, lack of gratitude is a characteristic of the unbelieving heart. Even Christians have to struggle against this "tendency to ingratitude" that remains with us. As Bishop Ryle once observed in his quaint way, we are prone to hide our blessings under a bushel and to set our troubles on a hill.

(2) That brings us to the second hindrance to thanks-giving, which is the troubles we all experience in our lives. It seems that every time we get the wind of thanksgiving in our sails, a front of reality moves through our lives, and our souls are becalmed.

This Thanksgiving many of us will be struggling with such things as ill health, job uncertainties, inadequate finances, family tensions, spiritual depression, disappointed hopes, fresh grief, and lonely isolation. It's not easy for your soul to feel gratitude or to give thanks when it struggles against the drag of natural ingratitude and the becalming effects of reality. But let me give you one fundamental reason to be thankful. You're supposed to! One verse among scores is sufficient.

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"

(I Thessalonians 5:19).

Maybe you were expecting me to say something different, but don't discount the value of knowing it's a Christian duty to give thanks. Sometimes I ask my wife if she loves me. Usually she answers, "Yes." Then I ask, "Why?" and her usual answer is, "Because I'm supposed to."

I might prefer to hear that she's compelled to love me by irresistiblepassion, or that I'm so wonderful that she can't help but love me. But I've learned to take comfort and to feel security in her commitment to love me because it's her duty as a wife and a Christian.

The Pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving in America were similar in their outlook. They arrived in December 1620 as a band of 102 men, women, and children. By April 1621 only 50 remained. But they planted crops, hunted, and fished, and when the fall arrived they decided they had much to be thankful for. So in October, a community of Christians, who had lost half their population the previous winter, who had no more than a toehold on their new homeland, did their duty and set aside a day as a feast of Thanksgiving.

Giving thanks because you're supposed to is not an impossible task. If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit has planted a seed of gratitude in your heart. As you look at life through the eyes of faith, you'll see many expressions of your heavenly Father's goodness. And as you face with faith the sometimes harsh realities of life, you'll see that the really important things can't be taken away. The Father's love, the forgiveness of sins, the promise of the resurrection are blessings you can't lose. The seed of gratitude, watered with faith, can produce a great harvest of thanksgiving in your life.

Let us give thanks. It's our duty!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Precious Ema Prater

Below is an email update from Laura. Sweet Ema has come home and is being monitored closely. Please continue to pray for their family and remember to hug your own sweet peas every chance you get. You just never know when it's going to be your turn to request prayers.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, support, and fabulous dinners! We're so blessed to have such wonderful friends surrounding our family.

Ema is on oral antibiotics for a few weeks and is thankfully tolerating the taste. She'll continue each week with lab work, x-ray, and doctor appointments. The first of December we'll have another cat scan done to take a closer look at the progress of her lung. We're hoping the cavities that are developing will scar and she'll be over this crazy infection. Otherwise, she'll need surgery to remove any remaining infected tissue in her lung. Please continue to pray for Ema's ability to heal without the need for surgery.

She's so happy to be home, and we just love having our three beautiful girls playing together again!

Thank you again for your continued prayers and friendship.

The Prater Family

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Differences Between Grandfathers and Grandmothers

A friend, who worked away from home all week, always made a special effort with his family on the weekends. Every Sunday morning he would take his 7-year old granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some bonding time. Just he and his granddaughter.

One particular Sunday however, he had a bad cold and really didn't feel like being up at all. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter out. When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see her grandfather.

'Well, did you enjoy your ride with grandma?'

'Oh yes, PaPa' the girl replied, 'and do you know what? We didn't see a single dumb ass or lousy shit head anywhere we went today!'

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Halloween, Birthdays, Anniversaries and More!

November is Celebration Month. We celebrate the birthdays of my Dad, his wife, Ed’s Mom, a couple of cousins, lots of good friends and their kids. It’s also Anniversary month for Ed & me, and several other couples that are near to us. Whew! It’s a good thing we have a whole two weeks before Thanksgiving ; )
We ended October and had a great time celebrating Halloween with two parades, a lunch party and trick or treating in San Clemente. My Dad and Lana were here for the weekend as part of their US Tour and the kids had a great time enjoying the great outdoors at their Grandparents’ RV. We cooked hot dogs over an open fire and LOVED the smores. We got lucky enough to treat Lana to dinner ON her birthday and celebrate the special part of our family that she is.

The same week saw a rowdy softball game in honor of my “That Friend” Amy’s birthday. I think we may be getting too old (or out of shape) to (try to) run that fast, throw that hard and drink beer simultaneously. Good times!!

Less than a week later we celebrated my super special Mother in Law’s birthday. A Girls Only Surprise Party was just what the Dr. ordered for the busy lady and boy was she surprised. We had a great time playing birthday bunco and even more fun toasting her.

Ed and I have decided we officially that we need a break before the hoopla of the holidays. I have cancelled all of our plans for the coming weekend and are looking forward to a little Thanksgiving getaway with the kids in San Diego. I have a couple of quick trips to Vegas in between, but I am hoping that my willingness to get on an airplane will directly correlate to collecting a paycheck. Business is NOT booming around here, ya know?

I am praying for the well-being and care of everyone who is being affected by the tough economic times. We have lots of friends and acquaintances that aren’t faring so well and I continually search for the lessons that are being shared so that I can glean something good from a bad situation. I continue to pray for our friends, The Praters, and their baby girl, Ema. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Please Pray

Our friends, the Prater Family, have sent us a prayer request. I am in turn asking you to pray for them, too. I worked with Laura at Ingram Micro in the late 90’s and she and Tony were our neighbors in Las Flores. They are a wonderful couple and parents to three gorgeous little girls. Devyn is 8 (with a crush on Max following a late summer BBQ : ) and their twins Halle & Ema will turn 3 in December. Their family sacrificed a lot to conceive their girls through IVF and this family praises God every day for the special blessing of their daughters. Below is a frantic note from a mother who has been at the hospital with her little girl for over a week. I spoke with her this morning and while Ema is not currently a candidate for the surgery, the stakes are higher. They’ve found that they can’t simply drain the abscess, the surgeon will need to take part of this baby girl’s lung. She is currently on high doses of antibiotics and steroids and they are taking every day with a wait and see approach. Please pray for the healing of Sweet Ema and for patience and strength for her parents and loved ones. Don’t forget to hug your loved ones today.

ema has been in the hospital at mission, choc since monday with complications with pneumonia. figured out today that she has a pulmonary abscess the size of a tennis ball. very serious surgery required - transferred to choc in orange. please pray and pass along. she needs prayers for recovery and her strength.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This was confirmed on Snopes with the CFIA sending out a notice as recently as October 8. The candy was said to have only been distributed in Canada, but it's good to know.


With Halloween fast approaching comes a warning to parents and kids regarding Sherwood brand Pirate's Gold milk chocolate coins imported from China. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning the public not to eat, distribute or sell the candy. It is sold across Canada by Costco and may also have been sold in bulk packages or as individual pieces at various dollar and bulk stores. The chocolate contains melamine which is the same chemical responsible
for killing several babies in China, and sickening thousands more.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

As always, it's been a busy month. We are helping Max transition from public school to St. Edward the Confessor Parish School - Go Monarchs! He's in Miss Schreiber's first grade class and so far so good. I am especially fond of him in his collared shirt and vest, his Friday mass uniform.

Pia had her first try at cheerleading through a clinic and performance at San Clemente High School. She liked it a lot and cheers in the car now and around the house. She is a finicky girl, so we'll see if it sticks . . .

Ed's sister was a gorgeous bride and the whole lot of us enjoyed celebrating her marriage to Eric. Max and Pia have a new cousin, Ashland. The verdict is still out on whether or not she's as crazy for them as they are for her!

We are preparing this weekend for a visit from my Dad and stepmom. They have been traveling the US in an RV since October 4. That is not my cup of tea, but they seem to be loving it. Stops that I know of include an air museum in Iowa; Cody, Wyoming and Spokane, Washington. Clearly there have been more since they've been gone almost a month, but they are enjoying their time together and I just check in periodically to be sure they're safe and to gauge when they're headed for San Clemente. You never know where our gang will be on any given day!

And, of course, Halloween is our next big thing. Be on the lookout for photos of Sleeping Beauty and a Star Wars fighter, guy, thing . . . Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween will be super scary this year!!

A funny from my friend, Laura. I thought we could all use a laugh going into the weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself this week because I have “too much on my plate”. I don’t know about your world, but in mine (particularly in the office) that is said a LOT. The current state of the real estate industry and the general plight of the economy makes working for a financial services company a little more tense than usual. Add to that picture that my boss, and very good friend, has temporarily moved to the UK to handle some family business leaving me to run a Department that was already overloaded.

Poor me, right? Not even. I force myself to remember just how good I’ve got it.

My husband and I are genuinely happy to be married to each other. We have two of the most beautiful, funny, charming children EVER. We have a warm, comfortable home with a bed for everyone. We’re blessed to have two cars to drive, clothes to wear and food to eat. We have an amazing support system in our families and friends that we treasure. And most of all, we have each other and every day together to cherish.

My Mom’s good friend, Cherie, recently her 18 year-old son in a tragic car accident at the end of September. Her husband died of a heart attack exactly two weeks later. I sent her a sympathy card this week and was so struck by how there was NOTHING I could say or do to make it better. If I were in her shoes the only thing that would make it better for me would be to have them back. I pray for her peace every day and for her two surviving sons.

If you’re like me and you can barely muster the energy to smile some days. Please take five minutes to remember why you’re lucky. You may have to stop and physically force yourself to think of it, but I know from my own experience you’ll be glad you did. From a toast that my brother-in-law gave at his wedding this weekend . . .

“Tomorrow is a blessing. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present”

God Bless you and yours. Please keep those less fortunate than you in your prayers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

School Day Storage

Does anyone have a brilliant suggestion for how to store school projects/art? My heart is overrun with spelling tests (already!), sponge painting masterpieces and paper mache renderings. What do I do with it all?

Please help if you're a scrapbooker/collector/saver of all things. I am not ready to let good work go, but it can't continue to live on my desk in the kitchen. Any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Super What?

It's official - my cape has been lost. I took it off earlier to help me wade through the 8 million loads of laundry littering the baskets in my house and I just can't seem to find it again.

Sometimes it has an enormous M on it for Super Mom. That's definitely not today. Max is struggling with being a first grader in a fifth grade world (at recess, that is). Pia is not sleeping as punishment to me for working too hard. And I am certain that I have no idea what is best for either one of them and I will be directly responsible for ruining their lives.

Sometimes my cape has a fancy little f on it for friend. That's not today either. I did devour sushi with my dear, dear friend Amy, but I think my cape was already lost by then. We just shared calories today! It's my Ya Ya's birthday and we sang to her on the phone this morning, but I didn't get around to getting a card in the mail to her from Arizona this week and feel terrible. I don't think I should be looking for that cape today.

There are even days when my cape has a big, bold W on it for Super Wife. Seeing as how today is my first day in town since Monday I think the title is lost. It seems somehow when the other party is not available to make life easier, say something sweet and end the day together the "Super" label needs to be re-earned. I'm sure that's not the cape I was wearing before I got buried in laundry.

Then there's cape with the B. It could mean Super Boss, but after this week's trip, I am confident that there's no one on my team thinks the that Boss is what a Big B stands for. It's my least favorite of the titles I wear, so I can live without finding that one right now.

So where to go in search of my Super Hero, Super Fun, Super Charged cape to roll into a Friday night? It's definitely not in the bottom of our laundry baskets, I have tried that - several times so far. I didn't find it at the grocery store, but that was a good start. At least we have vegetables in the house again. Maybe I'll find it when I pick up my babes from school. We seem to lose a lot of money there, our dignity sometimes and our kids for several hours a day. That might be the ticket. If the cape's not there, I give up.

I will have to settle for wearing Max & Pia's hugs, Ed's warm smile and a pair of flip flops through the weekend. Sometimes that's all a San Clemente girl needs at the end of a week like mine! Love and hugs to you and yours for a Super Weekend, too!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11/01 ~ We will not forget

My dear husband left for the airport at 4 AM this morning and was catching a non~stop flight from LA to New York City. I would not be honest if I didn't tell you that my heart dropped and I flashed back to that terrible time in 2001 where our whole country watched in horror as our own Commercial aircraft were used against us. Will my heart let me believe that it's going to happen again 7 years later? Not entirely. Does it make me sad to think of all of those families who started their days like any other and had their lives changed forever? Absolutely.

Max was happy to put on his red, white & blue for Patriot Day at school. The Principal said he should and he took it as gospel. I don't know how or when to share with him the terrible things that happened on this date the year I was pregnant with him, so I just hugged him tight and told him that I was proud of his patriotism. Pia, of course, got in on the action. I am a proud American this morning and felt good walking the kids to school.

Please say a quick prayer for Ed's safety today (and my Ya Ya who's flying here from Tampa) and those families who dread this day coming around every single year. God Bless the USA

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to School

We officially have two KIDS ~ one in First Grade, one in Pre-Kindergarten. No more babies, no more toddlers ~ kids! Max cruised right into first grade this morning with a wave over his shoulder and a thumbs up to me (as I choked back tears). He was part of the student body as they started their morning with the pledge of allegiance and then filed into their classrooms.

I then had to drive home and try to drag Pia out of bed and get her dressed for her first day. She is not as big a fan of school as Max and wasn't quite as interested to get up and out. After several tries we found something that she was willing to wear, we slicked her hair to her head and agreed on a pair of shoes. These are MAJOR accomplishments with Pia. Once we left the house she happily went on her way and joined her class (already in progress) quietly.

Ed and I have started researching private schools for her to begin Kindergarten next year and for Max to start second grade. I don't think we'll have an opportunity to get them started this year, but after this morning, I think a uniform sounds mighty good . . . And, of course, the faith based curriculum, special interest offerings and controlled class sizes.

I am sure we're going to miss the casual schedule of summer sometime soon, but I am pleased to get everyone back on track. Happy Back to School to you and your gang, too! Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I know I am long overdue to get back on the blog horse and share all of our funny stories about life in San Clemente and the escapades of Max & Pia. I'll get there, but today I just want to wish my amazing husband a very happy birthday! I am so lucky that I married the right guy for me, the very first time AND he is the best Dad I could ever wish for my children. We are getting away this weekend without our favorite tiny people and I am super excited to celebrate!

Happy Birthday, E. All my love is yours ~ K

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sweet Summertime

The old saying “time flies when you’re having fun” just couldn’t be more true. Our family has officially kicked off summer and the last three weeks have flown by.

Max lost another tooth and finished Kindergarten on the same day that I flew to Hawaii for a program. He loved his first year of school and is already showing apprehension about starting first grade and trying something new. I think I have figured out about him that he’s pretty relaxed about most things unless it’s something he sees as being important. Thus, the anxiety about school. I just read the comments on his final report card this weekend and I am so proud of the impression he made in Kindergarten. He is reading and writing well and is a “Math Whiz”. Clearly he’s his Father’s son. He gets his exotic good looks from me : ) You would only believe that if you’ve never laid eyes on the Senior version of him, my handsome husband. The two of them are identical to me sometimes. Both physically and in their attitudes.

Pia Grace is a golden goddess. She got multiple two piece bathing suits for her birthday (my baby girl turned 4!!) and she wants to wear one every single day. I didn’t expect her to have terrific Montoya skin when she sprouted her shiny blond hair and her crystal blue eyes, but she is brown and beautiful. I coat her (and her brother) heavily in sunscreen when we go out, but their genes take over somewhere and she glows. She is doing her best lately to cover it up with the eye shadow she got for her birthday (thanks a LOT David & Annie!!) but you just have to love a girly girl! She finished her first round of swim lessons last week and is a newly christened water bug. She LOVES swimming and I love seeing her confidence soar as she learns something new. Today was her first day back to school in two weeks and according to her Dad she was not thrilled. I’m sure she’ll get right back into the swing of things after she gets to tell all of her little friends about her vacation adventures.

Ed rounded up the kids, found a sitter for the dogs and flew to Hawaii to meet me at the close of my program and we spent a week in Honolulu. His Mom & Russ came too, which we love, and it’s our third vacation with them in the last twelve months. Lucky us!! They are fabulous travel partners and Max & Pia love vacationing with Grandma and Grandpa. I don’t think any of us will be in a rush to go back to the island of Oahu, but we did have a great time relaxing on Hawaiian beaches and being tourists in a VERY busy city. I think it’s been 10 years since Ed I were there last and a lot has changed. We still have a soft spot for Maui but will leave Oahu for others to enjoy. We’re all geared up for lots of summer fun and just from looking at our calendar I know the time will pass all too quickly. Ed and I have committed to ourselves and to each other that we will take full advantage of our beach neighborhood this year. Our golf cart is already proving to be a great aid in that campaign. We drive it to the bottom of the hill and then ride/run/walk on the beach trail or just have a picnic and watch the sunset. There’s something about being that close to the ocean and the sand makes us happy. Ed and I were running on Saturday evening and loving seeing people out and about with their families and friends and enjoying a summer afternoon. This week is the start of summer camp for Max, we have three birthday parties this month, five more weeks of swim lessons and hopefully plenty of beach days in between. The end of this month will take us to Palm Desert for a few days with our friends the Grays. We love summer!

My sweet sister-in-law, Stacy, has wedding plans that are moving full-steam ahead and we are starting to get involved with that. She was a beautiful bride-to-be last night when she cruised by to show us her veil. Max and Pia are very excited to be part of the wedding party and Max told me this morning that he was “honored” to be in his Aunt’s wedding and that he would be sure to get a hair cut before he put on his wedding suit. I’m not so sure about Pia, since she seems to get a case of stage fright lately. At the very worst we will put her in a frilly dress and get her some new shoes. Shower season will start on August 3 with a family shower and a fun couple’s shower at our house on August 23. Let the fun begin!!

I was feeling a little guilty for not blogging lately and this should be more info than you ever wanted on what’s up with us. It’s back to work for now, but the weekend is just around the corner . . . HAPPY SUMMER!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We had a terrific Father's Day weekend. It was action packed, of course, but that must be the way we like it. My amazing husband ran in the World Famous Camp Pendelton Mud Run on Saturday. It's an annual event held on the Marine Base, Camp Pendleton, for two weekends in June. A 10K run complete with military style obstacle course, and aptly named, lots of mud. This is the third year that he has run and only the first year that the rest of us tagged along. Fantastic!

Max was beyond excited just to be able to go onto the Marine Base. He declared it was the best day of his life before we ever even made it to the race site. He saw helicopters, tanks and "Army Guys" before 9 AM. You really can't imagine his delight! He had been looking forward to it for days and he and Pia even made a poster for their Dad while he was out of town earlier in the week.

We had a great time from our ringside seats alongside the final mud pit and we were all beside ourselves when Ed belly crawled over to us to say hi. After 14 years together (that's right, this week is 14 years!!) he still impresses me constantly. I was so proud of him for pushing himself physically and honoring a tradition and a commitment to his classmates. His kids were proud just because he's their terrific Dad and the fact that he was swimming in mud didn't hurt!!

God Bless Daddies for every reason they're loved. I hope your weekend was just as special.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Refreshingly Honest

There are times that being a parent just reels me into reality and makes me realize that there is nothing more important than hearing what my kids say and being able to laugh at them ~ and myself!!

Max was following me to the kitchen this morning and I commented that my jeans were a little big while I was pulling them up on my waist. Innocently walking behind me he says,

“They’re still tight on your butt.”

If that’s not an ego check and a reason to laugh on Friday then I don’t know what is. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"That" Girl

It's official, I've become "That Girl".

That Girl is a phrase that I coined after my friend, Laura, who is her husband's wife ~ first and foremost in her life, without apologies. I used to laugh at her because she was not shy about saying how much she needed her husband in every way. She needed him to change light bulbs, she needed him to bring her ice cream in bed when she was pregnant . . . She is the first person to say that she is not complete without her husband. That used to be so funny to me. I thought it was super cute, but I truly did not get it. Way back then (7+ years ago) I was a super independent, hard-working, newlywed that loved her husband, but I definitely did NOT need him. Not anymore . . .

Now I am That Girl. I can't sleep when Ed's not home. I don't know where our checkbook is (that's actually ridiculous, I know). I need him to have the Laker game on really loud after dinner. I need him to brush his teeth and check e-mail while I am reading in bed. I need him to kiss me goodnight. I truly, deeply miss him when I am not here and even more when is the one away from home.

Giggle first, and then say a little prayer for me. I hardly slept at all last night and Ed's not home until tomorrow. I miss my guy, because I'm That Girl. I am SO lucky!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tiny, yet mighty

Pia Grace will be 4 on June 30 and still hasn't topped the scale at 30 pounds. She came home from her Grandma's recently in an old skirt that was 12-18 mos, and it FIT! She's not a big girl, but it seems to suit her. Don't let her size fool you, though, she is one tough cookie. We all went out on our bikes today and she rode over two miles on her pink Princess bicycle. Almost at the end of our trek she literally went head over heels down an enbankment and ended up face first. I was horrified and convinced that she had broken her arm, or worse. She definitely cried and has a few scrapes to show off, but she finished crying and got right back on her bicycle. The first thing she said was "I'm gonna beat those boys!" I'm so proud of that tiny girl!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

End of the Season

We had a great time at Max's last baseball game yesterday and the End of Season party that followed. The boys got to play their final game "machine pitch" with the balls coming to them mechanically instead of being aimed right at their bat by their own coach. Everyone did great and they loved it! Max and I have both admitted to being sad the season is over and I am sure that Ed and Pia will miss it, too. Actually, Pia will be thrilled. She has complained for weeks about going to Max's games. Poor girl! The rest of Max's female fan club is going to miss the chance to cheer for him every week.

Each boy got a pennant with his name on it last night and a phrase that fits them. "Most improved" "Big Hitter" Max's was very funny and way too appropriate . . .

This isn't just playtime folks. This is baseball.

Sounds like Montoya to me. Until next season . . .

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Calgon . . . take me away

Do you remember those commercials? The busy woman in heels who was begging for a bubble bath and no noise. That's me (and my husband, and most of our friends!) When does it all end and we feel like we are actually ahead of the game? I am starting to understand that life goes directly from this to complaining about an empty nest - in a matter of minutes. I am not necessarily complaining, but I am lamenting the lack of resources to do all the things that my family is committed to in a 24 hour period. This week alone our schedule looks like this -

Costco trip after school(we're officially out of food), a Dentist appointment, Swim Lessons - twice for each kid, a Doctor's appointment, a 9 PM Basketball game, a mid-week Little League Game, End of Year party (complete with DVD slideshow, coach's gifts, flowers for helpers and a baseball cake), three early morning meetings, volunteering in Max's class, twelve loads of laundry, Little League Closing Day, a Legoland date with Max & Pia's cousins AND two parents with full time jobs with a commute thrown in at $4.35 a gallon. Woe is me!

Time starved, check.

Emotionally overwhelmed, check.

Needing a vacation, check.

Gloriously blessed, double check.

I wish I had more time to Blog. I wish I lived closer to my family and old friends. I wish I had unlimited cash to buy my way out my hassles. But I don't wish for anything more than my heart will allow. I know this is as good as it gets, I wish it just came with more than 24 hours in a day. These two are looking forward to some downtime!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Missing our Manners

If you don’t know this (I am SURE you do) I have been smitten with Max Edward since the very moment he came into this world. He was such a great baby, an entertaining and easy toddler and has been a pleasure to watch in his first year of Kindergarten.

Alas, he is entering a phase that I am not familiar with and it breaks my heart. My well mannered, sweet little man seems to be turning into an adolescent, complete with back talk and surliness. OH NO! I traveled Monday through Friday last week and I am quite accustomed to the punishment that Pia serves up after I’ve been gone. She is a nightmare in the first few days after I return, but one that I am prepared for. I am only hoping that Max’s current lack of manners and overall obnoxiousness is because he missed me and he will get over it.

He lost his privilege to play Wii over the weekend and is working towards missing his baseball game this week. This is serious! Please pray for his safe return. I’ll keep you posted . . .

p.s. My sweet boy's manners have returned, sort of. I think he's a little overextended right now, like everyone in our house, and isn't quite sure how to handle himself. A little sleep and a summer vacation should be just what the Dr. ordered.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dancing with the Stars

How much do you love Dancing with the Stars?!??! I don't vote, but if I did it would be for Jason & Edyta. I can't wait to see who wins!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where did the month go?

I could be bummed about not having more time to update our blog if we weren't so busy living this crazy, fantastic life of ours. I am not any sort of religious fanatic, nor do I think everything is puppy dogs and ice cream all the time. I MUST say, however, that Ed and I are living a charmed life. It is hectic, and stressful and all of the things a busy life should be, but we are extraordinarily blessed to have each other, our children and our extended family to keep us grounded and sane. The last month has been a blast . . .

FIRST - we got a golf cart!! That is big news at our house. A golf cart in our neighborhood is THE thing. We can take it on any 25 MPH street which leaves almost nothing off limits. So far, we have been to Max's last four baseball games in it, Pia and I cruised to the beach (FABULOUS!), we've been to weekend breakfast and lunch a few times and we just like to take it out and cruise. When we're done for the day, we plug it in to an outlet in the garage. With gas right at $4 per gallon, we are loving that!

We've celebrated three special family birthdays and enjoyed every minute of that. First, we got to see the whole Montoya gang (and more!!) when we celebrated Stacy's fiance' Eric's birthday with a party at their house. Then Max & Pia's beloved Aunt Stacy gave us a good reason for a family dinner celebration at Mario's, our longtime favorite (Thanks, Stace!!) Finally, our wild nephew, Graham, celebrated his 3rd birthday with us and that was fun for everyone! He was the cutest little redhead you have EVER seen when we sang to him.

And Max & Pia's Nana just left for Tallahassee after a long Mother's Day weekend celebration with us. She got treated to Mother's Day tea at Pia's preschool and got to see our baseball star in action. We had a great time around San Clemente and on an overnight trip to San Diego. We went to a Padres game, had dinner in the Gaslamp District and all enjoyed our time together. Max was not very happy when he woke up for the first time and his Nana was gone. For as little as they are able to be together, it warms my heart that he is so fond of her.

The end of May is bringing some business travel for Ed and me and lots of catching up from all of our recent fun. Such is the nature of the beast, I suppose. All of this good stuff is definitely not free so we keep showing up for work and hoping there's a paycheck at the end of the week!! We're definitely counting down the days until we leave for Hawaii! Those are the times that make the rest of the madness seem worth it somehow. Aloha for now

Monday, April 28, 2008

From the mouths of babes

Max plays all of his baseball games at his elementary school. At his game over the weekend, Pia was playing on the playground with her Grandma.

“Pia, is this going to be your school?”

“No way.”

“Don’t you want to be a big girl and go to Kindergarten like Max?”


“Honey, why don’t you want to go here for school?”

“If you go here, you lose your teeth!!”

Have a good week ; )

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Primetime Television Debut

OMG - my life is so busy right now, and chock FULL of happy moments I could write on my blog for days. But that would be a little self-serving right? My family is far more interesting, charming and deserving of my shameless praise and promotion. But I did have a great time with my Super Great Girlfriend yesterday that I have to share! We went to a taping of The Bachelor: The Women Tell All. We laughed for hours because the whole situation seemed so unreal.

It is VERY hot in California right now and it was over 100 degrees in Glendale yesterday when we drove up. The "call time" was 2 PM and we got to where we were supposed to be a little after 1. We hadn't eaten and went in search of a restroom and something to eat. We laughed and laughed because the neighborhood we were in was a LOT different from San Clemente. I was wearing a sleeveless black undershirt and I could NOT put on my jacket because I didn't want to wilt before my primetime debut. So there we are in a Jack in the Box and we've never felt so squeaky clean and shiny white! We are pure comedy together sometimes and this was no exception. Of course we were standing in a Jack in the Box in Glendale together, me in a tube top and her in this gorgeous silk blouse with freshly highlighted, shiny blond hair. Of course!!

So we parked at a church where there was a single posterboard painted with WTE AUDIENCE PARKING. We were being shuttled to the studio! Who knew? We quickly learned how serious they were about confidentiality when we signed confidentiality agreements acknowledging that the show would suffer immeasurable damages if we leaked information and we could be sued for up to Five Million dollars. Needless to say, I won't be sharing with you who Matt picks ; )

After we took a van to the studio from the barrio, I mean church, we waited in line outside for what seemed like a reeeallllly long time. Remember 100+ degrees outside. There were assistants roaming with clipboards and headsets asking people if they were willing to ask a question. Hello, of course I'm willing. I'd love to!!! So I give them my question and push Amy out of line to ask her question, too. It's our big chance to be on TV, right? We finally file into the studio in small groups and they check our handbags for cameras, cell phones, random contraband and pass us through a metal detector. I've been lucky enough in the last few years to see some major stage productions and understand what it takes to turn nothing into something special. The Producers of The Bachelor clearly understand, also. There were a million candles, flowers, lights and monitors in exactly the right places in this empty studio in the middle of nowhere. There were so many flowers that it actually smelled good in the room. Niiiiice

Amy and I were still having fun just being part of this. We would look at each other and crack up for really no good reason at all. About ten minutes into being in our seats we realized that we weren't part of the group that was going to be able to ask questions. Bummer! We were there to be on TV,and we were missing our chance. Well, not so long after that we realized that we WERE going to be on TV. We were sitting right behind Chris Harrison!!! For someone that thought they wanted to be on TV, I did not respond favorably. I was terrified. We sat in that studio for three or four hours and I hardly moved a muscle. I was so nervous and artificial and mesmerized. I am just dreading seeing the episode air in two weeks to see how silly I look as I sit paralyzed behind Chris Harrison the ENTIRE TIME.
The girls filed in - all of whom are incredibly thin and gorgeous. I mean really, really thin and gorgeous. If you need to put your ego in check, ever, I recommend watching a show where you are critical of other people. Then see them in person and realize that it must be absolutely true that the camera adds 50 pounds and washes you out. And THEN realize that you're going to be on camera!! Humbling is not a good enough word. These girls were beautiful and most of them seemed genuinely happy to see each other. Good for them because the rest of the experience for them seemed like it might not have been so fun.

Much later Matt came out. Holy hot! He is very tall, much more handsome in person than on the show, and incredibly witty. I don't have the personality (or the spray tanned, 95 lb body) to be willing to go through what these women went through should I ever not be married to my terrific husband, but I have to say that I think the isolation and hardships might have been worth it to the girl that snagged him. He truly seemed to be genuine and charming and in love with his brand new fiance. Good for her!

We had a lot of fun, I would definitely do it again (in a different seat) and I can't wait to see the final shows air. We got to watch the episode that will air tomorrow night where they go on their exotic dates on Barbados. It's GOOD! You'll especially like his date with Chelsea! If you watch the episode of the Women Tell All when it airs in two weeks be sure to look for us. I hope we're harder to find than it seemed when we were there. Amy is the beautiful blond and I am the statue to her left! I should keep my day job because I don't see this weekend as my big break into television ; )

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

All I want for Christmas . . .

The Tooth Fairy is coming to San Clemente tonight!

Max had an unfortunate accident at school yesterday that left him with a badly cracked front tooth. He was a brave little soul and I realize now that he wasn't complaining because he was afraid of having it pulled. We did have to make a trip to his Dentist's office, but after some strawberry-scented nitrous oxide and a huge cup of ice cream, he's as good as new!

The crack went all the way through his tooth to the root and was exposing the nerve. We wouldn't have made it through one more day without a problem. We have a plastic tooth container with the four pieces of his tooth under his pillow tonight. Max has assured me that Santa told the Tooth Fairy how to get to our house. Smart kid!! What exactly does the Tooth Fairy bring these days? I guess we'll find out shortly. I need to be sure the Tooth Fairy has some cash. Oh, Tooth Fairy, where are you . . .


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