Thursday, December 5, 2013


Luck is not something that has been on my side in the last 3 years.  It has really felt like everything has been stacked against us.  And then Tuesday happened and everything changed. 

My sister and I got tickets to go to the Ellen show for Tuesday.  We were so excited.  I love Ellen.  I don't watch T.V. during the day, but I will always make sure to watch Ellen.  We knew that the date we received was close to when she was filming her 12 days of giveaways.  So we got pumped up thinking we might be able to get on one of those shows.  When we arrived at the show we realized we weren't at a giveaway show.  In fact we were one day before she started her giveaways.  We were bummed.  I couldn't believe it. We just missed it by one day!  But then I got over it fast because really that wasn't why we got the tickets.  We got them so my sister and I could do something fun together. And fun it was!  You seriously don't stop dancing.  And clapping.  And singing.  It's so rad!  Then the show finally started and Ellen came out.  She started in on her monologue and then surprised the whole audience when she announced that we were coming back for 12 days of giveaways!!  Well we about lost it! I still can't believe it.  I am not lucky.  And I never win anything.  And this is like a big win.  I mean what are the odds?? 

The fun doesn't end there though.  In August I got tickets for myself, my 3 sister in laws and mother in law to go see Beyoncé in concert.  I was only able to get the worst seats ever.  I mean nose bleed.  But we didn't care.  We all love Beyoncé. My sister in laws husband works for South Park and was able to grab some VIP tickets for the show.  We had no idea what the tickets were for.  Neither did he.  He thought maybe we could get some free drinks with the tickets.  So we really had no idea what to expect.  So after Ellen I headed over to Staples center to meet up with my family.  We went in expecting to go all the way up to the top level, but were redirected to the floor level.  Yes those tickets weren't for free drinks but for floor access! And they also got us into the "chairmans room" which is a fancy room where celebrities get to hang out before the show.  So there we were just hanging out with Bruno Mars (who my mother in law hugged, it was adorable), Jessica Alba and Khloe Kardashian (only I don't consider Khloe Kardashian a celebrity, cuz really what is she?) Then after rubbing elbows with the rich and famous we headed out to the show.  Beyoncé is amazing!  She puts on a great show. We were so close.  Oh and she looked me right in the eyes when singing Love on top.  I about died.  She is beautiful and oh so talented.  I didn't get home till 1 in the morning and I totally lost my voice.  But it was so worth it.  It was 100% the best day I have had in a long time.
This is my sister in law and I dorking out before the show. But seriously it was unbelievable that we were on the floor.
This picture is terrible but it just gives an idea of how close we were to her.  Gosh it was awesome!



Monday, December 2, 2013


Our annual visit to Santa went remarkably well.  Nobody cried.  Everybody remembered what they wanted to ask him for.  And we even got a decent picture out of it.

Now it is officially Christmas season.  Let the holiday rush begin.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy #3

I love story time at the library. It's free. It's fun. It takes up at least 45 minutes of your day.  And it's educational.  Did I mention that it was free?  I never understand why there aren't more moms and kids there when I go.  This week we went on Tuesday, usually we go on Monday. What a lucky Tuesday it turned out to be.  Lucy won a pumpkin! 

She spied that itty bitty pumpkin the moment we went in.  She kept asking me about it.  I told her I'm sure it's for a story.  After story time the librarian said she would be raffling off some of the pumpkins.  I knew if she didn't win this would not end well.  Luckily she won.  What a happy girl she was!!  She kissed that pumpkin and has carried it with her ever since.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy #2

2 weeks ago was my sons birthday, my sister came down to visit.  Everyone loves when she comes.  She always has the best accessories and phone apps.  She is really cool.

I am so thankful to have a sister.  For so many reasons.  She is really the best aunt and my best friend.  She makes our family so happy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy #1

My father in law had a phrase that he would say...."Life is short, make it happy." Since he passed away we have tried to adopt that motto to our life.  I decided that I would love to post something happy here every week. Every Friday I will post something happy. Would you like to join in?  Let's find the happy.

We are huge Dodger fans.  Huge.  Like we named our sons middle name Dodger after the LA Dodgers. Yeah we are serious.  We were lucky enough to get tickets to game 4 of the NLDS series game.  They won!  Which means they advance to the next series and if they win that series they will go to the WORLD SERIES!!!  This is the girls and my husbands reaction to the win.  It was such an awesome happy game!  Go Blue!!!

I would love for you to post happy thoughts to your blog.  Leave a comment with the link. Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


After being diagnosed with kidney failure I was given so much information it was overwhelming.  Besides having to be on dialysis I also had to follow a very strict diet.  In the hospital the dietician came in to talk to me about what I could and could not eat.  It was terrible.  She read over a list of foods that were not good for me because of the amount of sodium, phosphorous and potassium.  All of which when you have working kidneys can be eaten, but when your kidneys don't work those things turn into toxins that build up in your body and can make you feel awful.  The list of foods that were off limits to me made me cry.
No more:
ice cream
Peanut butter
nothing with salt
pasta sauce
I want you to understand that I loved all these foods.  Reeses peanut butter cups were my go to treat. Guacamole is my world.  No more cereal and banana for breakfast.  What?! After the mourning period was over for what I couldn't eat anymore.  I had a hard time finding things to eat.  I was almost scared to eat.  I was finally feeling good after feeling so sick for so long and the thought that food could make me feel sick again scared me. So for the first week all I ate was chicken and rice.  Because another part of this diet is it is high protein.  I need to eat protein at every meal.  I wasn't used to eating like this.  You know healthy eating.  I was so lost.  Then slowly but surely I started figuring out yummy recipes.  I realized that in moderation I could enjoy those foods.  And the that the real key to sticking to this diet is cooking at home.  Restaurant food is so loaded with sodium it's crazy!  At home I can control my ingredients. Everything is fresh.  I can withhold the salt.  You know what else is terrible?  Fast food.  I mean duh, of course it's bad for you but seriously it's way worse than I ever thought.  And the "healthier" options on the menu seem to be the ones loaded with sodium.  My doctor told me that not just people with kidney disease should be on a low sodium diet, but EVERYONE should be on one. Restaurants have to post the nutritional information for their menu.  Pay attention to it. Ask the waiter for a list before ordering.  You will be surprised at how much sodium is put into food.  People are so concerned with the calorie intake but there is so much more to it than fat.  My point is this, what you put into your body is so important.  I never really paid any attention to it.  I was so busy taking care of 4 kids that I would just eat as fast as I could.  Sure I cooked dinners for my family, but they were not as healthy as they are now.  And we ate way more fast food than I care to admit.  But after a long day of school, homework, after school sports I just couldn't whip together a meal. So fast food it was.  But no more.  And I'm not so sad about it anymore. 

Just for fun here is yummy recipe I came up with that is easy to make and delicous:
Moms Meatloaf
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound turkey meat
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 white onion chopped up
1 1/2 cup of milk
2 cups of panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 cups of ketchup
Combine everything in a bowl.  Make 2 loaves with the meat mixture.  Bake at 400 for about 30-40 minutes.  It's really so yummy and delicious. And perfect for fall.

 And just for something cute to look at here is my Lucy, so proud of herself for figuring out how to "hang like a monkey"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Hello. It's been awhile.  Summer was busy. But so fun.  It went by in flash, like it always does.  And now school has started and I have two 4th graders and a 1st grader.  How did that happen?  Upper grade, it's too much.  The girls only have 3 more years of elementarty school left.  Time needs to slow down.

Lucy is doing amazing!  She is talking so much.  Insurance decided a couple months ago that she was done with speech.  I hate insurance.  Her speech teacher said she would have liked to see Lucy continue speech, but I just couldn't swing the $200 a session cost. So we said good bye to speech.  But this last month she has started to talk so much. Sentences and thoughts coming out in the cutest voice ever. 

The summer was full of swimming, lazy days, a big family road trip to San Francisco and our annual camping trip with family.  It was awesome.  San Francisco was so fun.  My sister lives there and she was the best tour guide.  We went everywhere. Watched the Dodgers kill the Giants.  The kids thought the city was so cool.  And Lily wants to live there when she is a grown up. 

The summer ended with drama.  As seems to be the theme of our life.  The last 2 1/2 years have been so hard.  Definitely some beautiful moments mixed in with it all.  But challenging to say the least.  I ended up back in the hospital 3 days before the kids started school.  I hadn't been feeling well for awhile, but I just attributed to having 4 kids, lack of sleep and eating poorly.  But then I got the flu and it knocked me out.  After many tests, I was told that I have acute kidney failure.  Because of course.  So I have started dialysis and I will hopefully be put on the transplant list.  There is a possibility of finding a live donor (my sister, husband, sister in law, mother in law, a couple friends have all said they would give me their kidney.  It's just too much to even comprehend) If I find a match in a live donor than I may have the transplant within a year.  That is the ultimate hope.  The good news is that this a manageable disease.  Dialysis sucks. The clinic is so depressing.  But I feel so much better.  Better than I have in months. So it's working.  So I look at it as my job.  I spend 3 days a week 3 1/2 hours at the clinic.  I am determined to continue to improve my health.  I am on a strict diet.  Which at first was hard, but now it's making sense.  I am eating healthier than I have ever eaten.  It feels good to treat my body better. Because I am the only mom these 4 have and I will be damned if I die before watching them grow and become who they were born to be. I am taking it one day at a time.  Enjoying my days off of dialysis.  And taking the time at dialysis to write and reflect on everything.  The kids are doing well with this new change. At first they were scared, which is understandable but we have been very open about everything.  They girls have asked lots of questions.  Brady seems to be the most quiet about it all, but he is always trying to lighten the mood.  I just love him.

So that's been the last 3 months.  Always busy, always grateful for this life.  It is challenging.  It can feel like everything is against us. But really we are lucky.  I am lucky.  I am married to a man who loves me just as much as I love him.  4 kids who are full of beauty, humor, creativity and kindness.  And really isn't that what life is about.  Family and love. Oh and baseball.  Cuz seriously the Dodgers are killing it.  For this dodger loving family, we are loving every minute of their success.  Go Blue!!

Monday, May 6, 2013


                                    My handsome hubby and my happy Lucy.  Life is good.

Friday, May 3, 2013

insta #1

I am having a serious love affair with instagram.  I love that I can capture the little moments that I know my frazzled brain will forget.

These 2 love each other.  So very much.  I will catch them hugging and snuggling all the time.  My heart explodes each time.

 My sister sent me this cute dress and I wanted her opinion of what she thought and Miss Lucy decided to photo bomb.  She is the cutest little thing. I love that she looks so excited.

Eating healthy is hard.  Like I have to try really hard to not just feed them fast food.  I am making a huge effort to cook more and make better choices not just for me but for the kids as well.  I made chicken fajitas and they turned out amazing.  Plus all those colors were so fun to look at while cooking.

 My husband started back a school and for extra credit for one of his classes he had to go to a museum.  We decided to make it a family affair and went to the Getty.  We have never been.  It's awesome.  So beautiful and peaceful.  The kids did great.  Up until the end when Brady decided to pull his hood over his head and run around in circles.  He ran into about 6 people before I could stop him. Boys.

Oh you know they are just sharpening his light saber.  Very stone age era.  Totally normal.

Lucy started a dance class.  I can't handle how cute it is.  She is a little unsure about the whole thing until she puts on her tap shoes.  Then she loves it and throws a fit when I have to take them off.  So that's fun.
Linking up with Life Rearranged.
life rearranged

Thursday, March 21, 2013


My mom loved numbers.  She was amazing at math.  I suck at numbers.  The furthest I went in my math career was pre-algebra, which I failed.  After my mom died I began to notice that often when I would look at the clock the time would say 12:34.  I began to think how strange that was, day after day I would randomly look to see what time it was and 12:34 would be staring back at me.  I mean what are the chances.  My mom could have told you, I can not.  What I can tell is this.  I think it is a sign from my mom.  I know I sound crazy.  Maybe a little desperate to still some how have her here with me.  But I honestly feel it.  Those first few months when she was gone and Lucy was in the hospital every single day I would see that time.  Then not too long ago it stopped.  I got very sad.  Now it's happening again.  I believe it's because right now in my life there is so much going on.  Lots of new stresses and worries.  She is here to say it's all going to be ok.  Why though would she choose those numbers?  Well here is the answer.  She was born on 12/24 and she died on 12/31.  Those numbers are all represented in that time. 12:34. Weird.  And Cool. And one of my favorite things. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Pretty much how I feel every morning since the time change.  Only I don't look as cute as her.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


With Valentines Day happening tomorrow I wanted to share my love story about my husband and I.  I always love to hear about how other couples have met and the ups and downs of their realtionships.  No two couples are alike and their story is unique.  This is ours. The shortened version.

I met Mike when I was 22 at a party at his parents house.
I didn't want to go.
His sister made me.  I thank God for that every day.
We met.  Kissed. Fell in love.  Not kidding.  It was seriously love at first sight. 
One and a half years of young love.  Then one day out of the blue he wanted to break up.  Just like that it was over.  I was crushed.
4 days later I found out I was pregnant.  I was shocked and crushed and scared.
We got back together.  On December 30th 2003, he asked me to marry him.  I said yes.
On January 14th, 2004 we found out we were having twins. Unbelievable.
We moved into the tiniest apartment ever.  We loved it.
In May we bought our condo.
On June 6th, our beautiful twin girls were born.
On April 16th, 2005 we were married.  By the ocean.  Watching dolphins jump through the surf.  Still my most favorite day ever.
On October 12th, 2006 we welcomed our son.
Enter the hardest 2 years of marriage ever.  Talk of divorce.  Counseling. Lots of fighting. Lots of forgiving.  Soul searching and agreement.  We made it through.  Just barely.
August 2010 we found out we were pregnant with Lucy.  After 1 year of trying.  We were so excited.
October 2010 my mom finds out she has cancer.  Mike stood by my side and held me up the entire time.  I couldn't have made it through with out him.
December 31st, 2010 my mom lost her battle.  My heart is broken.  Mike mends it back together.
January 14th, 2011 Lucy is born.  26 weeks early.  I almost die.  So does she.
3 months of Lucy in the NICU was hard on our marriage.  We lived at his parents and went back and forth from their home to the hospital.  Lots of long talks took place in their driveway.  Scary talks.  Relationship changing conversations.  Mental breakdowns and emotional exhaustion took hold of our marriage.  It was hard.  It was the darkest time in my life. Then Lucy almost died. And we took eachothers hands and prayed.  We let go of the pettiness and held onto the hope that our daughter would make it.  And she did.
April 11th, 2011 Lucy came home.  Halleluiah!!
One year of joy and grieving for my mom.  Mike showed me a side of him I had never seen.  I fell in love with him all over again.  I couldn't believe the love I felt.
April 21, 2012 his dad passes away from a heart attack.  We are crushed again.
This time it was my turn to mend his broken heart.  It has been hard.  But beautiful to be the person he usually is in our relationship.  The caretaker. He needs me more than I need him.
11 years of bliss, heartache, challenges, beauty, breath taking love.
It is my favorite love story.  I can't wait to see the rest of it.  With him by my side.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Just in case you were having a not so great Friday here is a little something to cheer you up.....
you're welcome.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Dearest Lucy,
Today you turn 2!  What an amazing adventure the last 2 years have been.  I am forever honored to be your mother.  I witnessed your strength so early in your little life.  Strength that I know I don't have.  You fought hard for this life.  You are here for a reason.  To change the world.  You have already changed mine.  Every time I start to worry about you.  You show me that you are okay.  You are always one step ahead of my worries.  Thank you.  Thank you for teaching me what the word miracle really means.  That life is fragile and getting hung up on nonsense just isn't worth it.  You are so wise.  I see it in your eyes.  You know so much about life, more than most and you are only 2.  I am so excited to watch you grow this next year.  To see you explore more and teach me more about loving and letting go of what life should be like. Just truly living for each day.  I sometimes wonder how I got so lucky to be your mom.  Thank you God for giving me Lucy.  My wish for you, sweet Lucy, is that you never loose your spark.  You always remember how grateful I am for you.  That you know you are the light in our family and you give us so many reasons to smile.  Happy Birthday!! I love you to the moon and back.

Here are some of my favorites of Lucy this last year: