50 before 50

wanderYesterday my dad accomplished a big goal. He went to his last 2 states out of 50! He has now been to all 50 states! Ever since I can remember he’s been keeping a list of the states he’s been to, saying that one day he was going to go to every single one, even the boring ones like South Dakota (sorry to all the South Dakota folks out there, but it seems like a pretty boring state.) I’m so proud of him and excited for him! How many people can say they’ve been to all 50 states before they are 50 years old?! My guess is, not many!

I wouldn’t necessarily say my dad loves to travel, but I would say he likes to see new places. He traveled a lot for work when I was a kid and he would always bring me and my sister something cool, like chocolate eggs with toys inside from England and meditations balls from China.

I think I got my love of travel from my dad. As a kid he took me to a conference with him in Buffalo, New York. I thought it was the best trip because I walked around the tech conference, the only kid there, collecting little gadgets from each booth. While there he took me to Niagara Falls (the Canadian side) and taught me about Canadian coins and introduced me to the Hard Rock Cafe (my dad always tried to hit up Hard Rock on trips so he could get a milkshake in their souvenir glass and bring it home to his collection.)

As a senior in high school he said he would take me and my mom on a trip as my “Senior trip,” which has now become a tradition in our family. We went to Italy where I experience my first taste of Europe and gelato. It was such an amazing experience and one I will never forget. It gave me the hunger for culture and seeing the world, which led me to go to Europe with Mark.

So, congratulations dad! And thank you for opening my eyes to the world.

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Confession time

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This is a completely unrelated pic of Leo. It makes me laugh because he totally posed for this.

When me and Mark were dating he would come over to my house a lot, obviously. My neighbor two houses down was a few years older than us and was always having problems. It seems like not a day passed without a visit from the cops. He and his girl friend seemed to have a toxic relationship and often took it out to the curb so they could smoke while they yelled at each other. One of mine and M’s favorite pass times was to put our ears against the window and listen to them. But that didn’t ease our curiosity and we found ourselves hiding behind his parked car to get a better hearing range. It was bad, but oh so entertaining.

Well, the other day I came home from work and as I was walking from my car to the front door I heard people talking, really loud. I looked around trying to figure out where it was coming from. As I looked around I noticed Mark and Leo sitting in the window. A big smile came to my face as I thought they were sitting there waiting for me! I said “Hiiii!” apparently loudly, and Mark whispers through the window “Shhhh, come inside.” When I get inside he tells me that our upstairs neighbor is fighting with his girlfriend, trying to break up with her. It was the best welcome home gift! Mark and I sat there with our ears to the window giggling as she whined and sounded so pathetic asking why he deleted her on facebook and that she still wants to be friends and facebook is harmless….blah blah. As I sat there like an immature 6 year old  sister I realized 1. that I am sick and 2. that I am so glad I’m not dating anymore and M is wonderful and I am so lucky to have found him.

8th grade promotion and visitors

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Please excuse my dumbo ears, I hadn’t quite grown into them yet. But how cute is baby Courtney as a bunny?!

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sisters

The past week was a busy one for our family. My baby sister had her 8th grade promotion and is now on to high school! Courtney and I are 10 years apart in age but so close. I am very blessed to have close relationships with all three of my beautiful sisters. But I think the thing that brought Court and I so close was that I was the only one who could understand her toddler talk! She had a hard time pronouncing her vowels but for some reason I could almost always understand what she was saying. Courtney is one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She’s very thoughtful of others and is a light to everyone around her. She is growing into a beautiful young woman and I’m so excited to see what’s around the corner for her, even though she is going to my rival high school, Monte Vista…traitor! 😉

We also had the wonderful pleasure of spending time with my Sister-in-law Dani, her husband Scott, and their three adorable kids, Paige, Emma and Colton. I have the three best Sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law I could ever ask for. I love spending time with them and their cute kids. They each have made my life better and I can’t thank them all enough for welcoming me to the family the way they have. We had a blast having Scott & Dani’s family here and wish they never had to leave.

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kids

Father’s Day

New ImageA little late, but better late than never. Happy father’s day dad! You are the best father a girl could ask for. You were my “pal pal” when I was little and my guiding light as a young adult. You have taught me so much from how to ride a bike to financial responsibility. Words can’t express how grateful I am for you and how much I love you.

With sprinkles on top

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I’ve driven past this donut joint everyday on my way to work for the past 4 months. It’s in a little junky shopping center in between a sewing center and a “Creperie and Thai” place, sounds like a horrible combination to me.  But you can’t go wrong with donuts right? This morning I finally convinced M to go with me! Of course he didn’t get any because he is healthy but I got two, and feel great about it!

The donuts are delish and the store was so cute. I loved the retro feel. Happy national donut day, a day late.

Beginnings of summer

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One of my favorite things about summer is the farmers market. M saw signs on his way home from work for the Pleasanton farmers market, and yes, Pleasanton is as cute as it sounds. So after a quick dinner we headed downtown and made our way through the hoards of teens in hoochie mama shorts, despite it being pretty chilly out, and couples with strollers and numerous dogs. I have to confess, I get a little anxiety at things like this. I don’t know if it’s my Italian blood beginning to boil or maybe I’m just a bit crazy, but I can’t stand people obliviously walking into you or cutting you off or, worst of all, stopping right in front of you. What is that?! It’s as if all of a sudden their legs forget how to move and just stop. But I tried to keep my temper under control and enjoy our little outing. We maneuvered throught the swarms of people and made it to the fruit stands. We got ourselves a nice little selection of cherries. Then we walked main street stopping here and there to look at booths and did a little people watching. I would officially like to welcome summer, Welcome! If only work was like school and we got a couple months off…

rekindling the fire

I’ve been MIA from this blog lately, mostly in part because I have been unhappy with the look/feel of my blog. I don’t feel like it’s really portraying my style, whatever that is. But also because I have felt like I don’t have anything of much importance to talk about. My life is pretty ordinary and low key right now. Until I realized the other night that that is my life right now and although it may be mundane, it’s exactly what I need to write about during this stage of  life.

So I am currently working on my blog look and design and have rekindled my blogging passion. You will be seeing much more of me on here!

In the meantime, here is a little video of us taking Leo on a walk with our nieces. I sent it in to AFV, I’m just waiting for them to highlight it on their next animal episode. Enjoy!