Monday, February 18, 2013

Staycation Weekend

Not only was it a four day weekend but Nana also came to visit.  HAPPY-HAPPY, JOY-JOY!!!

Nevertheless, we had to get the rugrats out of the house, to keep them from putting graffiti on the walls!  Luckily the girls have their "SB Passport", given to them at school, which gives us FREE admission to a ton of Santa Barbara attractions.

Soooooo, here's what we did. . . 

Old Santa Barbara Mission - Talk about a history lesson!  This historical mission was so fun to explore and we learned a lot too!!

Our next stop was the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History - We have been here before and we will go here again, it's definitely a "favorite place" in our household!

We ended the day by going to State Street and having some ice cream, and of course what trip to Santa Barbara is complete without a stop at Costco! 

My awesome hubby was nice enough to keep the kids busy so my mom and I could do a little shopping and wine tasting!

While we had our fun, the kids were busy at the movies and miniature golf with Daddy! 

We said goodbye to Nana, but had more friends on the way!  Hamid's best friend Frank and his wife drove up for the day to visit and take us to lunch at Dos Carlitos (GREAT friends, eh?!).  Meanwhile, the kids had a playdate with Auntie Carol (aka "Our Neighbor"), eating pizza and decorating cupcakes.  Then we ended the day with a trip to the pet store, because, after all, MOMMY PROMISED to take them!  (Mommy seriously needs to stop making promises!!)

It was a day of rest, well sort of!  We decided to take an afternoon bike ride to visit our friends (The Hazard Girls) at their lemonade stand.  They were selling lemonade, hot chocolate, cookies, brownies and some super cute crafts to raise money for their gymnastic class, which is a pretty good idea if you ask me!!!

I am POOPED from our staycation!!  Tomorrow the kids go back to school and this mamma is going to REST!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pinterest Success

I have a confession.  I am obsessed with Pinterest.  I love looking at all of my pins, like they are little trophies.  It's so easy just to click 'pin' and then have this little clip of the internet immortalized on my personal board.  The problem is, the pins just keep piling up. .. there are recipes, home decorating ideas, crafts and fashion hopes and they just sit there waiting for me to do something with them.  The reality is these pins are ridiculously easy to collect and even easier to do NOTHING with!  Well, I am going to put a change to that.  My goal is to 'do' at least one Pinterest idea a week, and I plan to share with you how it turns out!  Here's my first accomplished pin. .. .

I am NOT a big beauty buff.  My skin has always been blah, acne prone and oily.  I feel like I have tried every over the counter remedy and nothing ever works, so why bother.  As a result, my nightly facial cleansing routine has turned into a whole lot of nothing!  Until I saw this pin about the oil cleansing method on Pinterest.  It peaked my interested, especially since it is basically free, super easy to execute and all natural.  The basic idea is oil dissolves oil, so using an oil to cleanse your face helps to clean pores, dissolve dirt and balance natural oils.  I was skeptical how could adding oil to my already super oily, acne prone skin really benefit me, nevertheless I wanted to test it. 

After reading the original post on Wellness Mama, I went to work mixing an oil concoction for my skin.  The mixture I ended up with is 1/4 castor oil and 3/4 olive oil.  (If you go to the website they give you recommendations on what to use for your skin type and explain the method in more detail). 

I just finished three weeks of the oil cleansing method, and my skin has never looked (or felt) better!!!  The first week, my skin had to adjust to the oil, I had a few breakouts and even dry patches on my face.  The second week my skin started smoothing out and blackheads were coming to the surface.  During the third week, I feel like my skins looks and feels like I just had a facial.  My skin is smooth, soft and even glows (I know, I sound like and infomercial, but it's true!).  Even the whole routine of washing my face is enjoyable.  It's crazy, but I am hooked! 

Needless to say, I would say the Pinterest Oil Cleansing Method is a SUCCESS!!    

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am a princess

I love this video, it makes me cry every time I see it!  Leave it to Disney.  I can only hope my daughters will possess the traits of a 'real' princess.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My Alter Ego

My poor little blog has spiderwebs all over it, it's been a very long time since it has been given any attention.  So I have decided to try and put a little life back into it.  Hopefully along the way, my old readers will return and I will pick up some new ones (if you are new to the blog, feel free to catch up with old posts!).

I most definitely think 2013 is going to be a shifty year for our family; with a new family business in the works, the possibility of me going back to work full-time and trying to balance our family life with three tireless little girls - change is definitely in the air!  Hope you enjoy my first post. . . . . 

Friends who know me really well, know that I like diets.  I think I have tried them ALL.  I know what your thinking, "She must be really thin."  Well that probably wouldn't be the first word you would use to describe me, but nonetheless I still love a good diet!  I think what interests me most about a diet is learning a new way to eat, cook and survive!  Diets are like mini-challenges to me.  Plus,  I love to try new recipes and spend hours in the kitchen.  Yes, I know, I AM SICK!  Honestly, I think my alter ego is an hippie who shops exclusively at farmer's markets, smirks at the thought of eating fast food, grows my own food, only buys organic and totally enjoys tofu.  Too bad the real me is sipping on a diet coke while typing this post!     

My newest eating kick is totally going to feed my alter ego, it is what is referred to as 'clean eating'.  I am basically trying to cut out highly processed foods, sugars and white flour.  On a weekly basis, I am fairly good about making dinner from scratch (using an occasional boxed food item).  Of course breakfast, lunch and snacks have always been easier for me to "prepare" with a little help from my packaged friends!

Sometime ago I stumbled upon the website 100 Days of Real Food, and have been wanting to take their 100 day challenge of eating REAL food.  After looking through my pantry and comparing it to their list of REAL foods, I realized that my family was eating A LOT more 'junk' then I was admitting too.  As a mom, I feel like we are continually inundated by the fact that we should be feeding our kids healthy food the majority of the time, yet it's so much easier to turn to packaged/processed food because of our busy lifestyles.  I have to admit, I have heard numerous times how processed foods are horrible for us, but for some reason I keep buying them.  I chose to ignore the facts and take the easy way out.  But let's face it, cooking healthy foods should be a priority and my Facebook habit should probably be put on the back burner!  

Enough is enough, I have decided to give this 'clean eating' phenomenon a try and at the very least break some of my family's bad eating habits, if not become a total health nut (gasp!).  Lucky for you, I am going to use this blog as a source of accountability.  Since I am giving this REAL food 'diet' a try, I have decided to be REAL about how it is actually working for our family!  So stay tuned while my alter ego takes over, if only temporarily.     

{Sidenote:  for those of you who know me really well you totally have permission to rouse me in approximately two weeks when I have totally blown off this new fad, thanks in advance for your support!}

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Another Comeback

There once was a mom who wrote a blog.  She loved to write about the every day moments that made life real, until one day that mom got busy. . .

She got very, very, very busy and writing on her blog no longer seemed like fun.

So she took a break, a BIG-LONG break.

Then one day, out of the blue, she decided to come back, spruce up the blog and share a little more about her life!

Welcome Back!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dear Dad

NOTE:  I know it's been a while since I have updated my blog, but every year since my dad has passed I write him a letter. . . right here on this blog.  It may seem a little weird, sad or crazy, but it's how I remember, honor and cope.  

Dear Dad,

I can't believe it has been three years since you left this earth.  Losing you, I truly have a sense of just how precious life is and how quickly it passes.  But, oh how lucky we are that God gave us memories.  Memories that we can cherish, hold on to and play back in our minds like a favorite movie.  For the last couple of days I have been thinking a lot about you, dad, and some favorite times together.  I've tried to just let my mind drift to see what memories played back, moments that I haven't thought about in a long time.  Of course there are the obvious ones that shaped our family and my life:  moving from our tiny little town in Arkansas to big-time Kansas City, then moving again from KC to California, high school and college graduation, when you met Hamid, our wedding day and the first time you held Emma.  Those big memories are the unforgettable, but I wanted to marinate in the small moments too.  

Like our times together in Kansas City. . . and how you made every Saturday 'family day.'  It was your mission to show us some cool thing about KC each and every weekend.  Jeremy and I were about 9 and 10 years old and thinking we were a little too cool to be bumming around with our parents on the weekends.  But you didn't care. . . you showed us museums, parks, malls, amusement parks, universities, farmer's markets and baseball games.  Knowing what I know now, I am pretty certain our family was flat-broke, but at that time I would have never guessed it!  And although I might have thought it was pretty lame to have 'family days' then, those are the memories that warm my heart.  You cared about us, you wanted to be with us, we were loved.  I think that's why I find excitement in new places and crave exploration in my life today.  Of course my poor children are now subject to the tradition of 'family days' on Saturdays, I will tell them they have YOU to thank!  

My mind stayed in Kansas City and how we lived in a two bedroom apartment on seminary.  That apartment must not have been more than 900 square feet, sharing a room with Jeremy for 4 years, each of us living large with our water beds!  I remember how you worked three jobs to make ends meet.  My favorite was your job at the seminary library; I LOVED going to visit you there.  You would always take us on the service elevator, and showed us secret parts of the library.  It was always so quiet and mysterious in that library.  I remember you would come home smelling like books.  The cool thing is you probably read most of the books in that library.  Unfortunately, I did not inherit your love for books, but you would be happy to know that Emma certainly has!    
Another memory that plays so clear in my head is when we lived in Arkansas.  It was a hot, humid summer day.  I don't recall if we had air conditioning in that house, and even if we did we were probably too poor to turn it on!  Jeremy and I were laying on your bed and you started singing this song. . . 'Lying here a dying.  It's too hot to pop.'  Then Jeremy and I chimed in and we just kept singing it over and over as loud as we could, and then we would laugh at ourselves!  

Or how about when I was moving away to college.  The car was all loaded and you came out to the driveway to say your goodbyes.  As mom and I drove away, I remember you waving with one hand and wiping away tears with your other hand.  Very rarely did I see you cry.

I could go on and on remembering moments together. . . I am sure if you were here we would sit and reminisce together.  It's so cool how all these moments make up a life, a life spent together! 

Now that I am a parent too, all the moments I shared with you seem even more poignant.  I miss that my girls aren't able to have those type of moments with you.  Whether you would have read a book to them or taught them a new song, I know you would have helped fill precious moments in their lives.  Luckily, Mom and Jeremy go overboard and help fill in those gaps!  

Our exciting family news is the newest addition to the Amon clan. . . Jeremy and Bit are going to have a baby BOY!  The first boy grand-baby, I know you would be SO proud of him.  Jeremy is going to be an amazing father, and I am pretty sure he's going to teach him how to swing a baseball bat as soon as he starts to walk!  I think he will be a true Amon with blonde hair and those Amon ears!  Don't worry, we plan to spoil him rotten, give him lots of love and tell him stories about you.       

I hope you have peace in knowing that your memory lives on in all of us who love you.  More importantly you have made an impression on our lives, and that impression has spilled over into how we LIVE our lives.  The traditions, songs, words and moments you gave us I am also trying to give to my children and I am certain Jeremy will do the same!   

Miss you dad, and love you immensely!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm a Big Girl!

Someone LOVES her new big girl bed. .. .

Now if only she would sleep in it! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All the Funny Faces

The girls LOVE to make funny faces at Alyssa and Alyssa LOVES to return the favor and make her sisters laugh.  Here's our littlest comedian in action.  You can only imagine the giggles in the background!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's in the Blood

These girls have been on the soccer field pretty much their entire lives thus far.

In fact, soccer is a pretty big part of their lives.

They love to wear soccer clothes, cleats and 'soccer hair'.

 They love the soccer field and learning new soccer moves.

But most of all, they LOVE to impress their coach!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Call It A Comeback

No doubt, it's been awhile FOREVER since I have blogged.  Honestly, I forgot my password when I was trying to sign-in.  I have million and two excuses as to why it's been so long. . . but no one really cares about that, right?!  I am just going to chalk it up to L.I.F.E. . .  well that and three extremely busy little bodies! 

(there is no hope in getting all three of them to look at the camera AND smile at the same time!)

Now to fill you in on the last several months. .

Our Big-in' (aka Emma, aka 'The First Grader')
She can officially read and write.  And with this rite of passage she has a new found pass time of reading my text messages. . . so be careful what you send me people!  She kicks butt in school, but if you ask her she will tell you she wants to go back to kindergarten. 

Our Bridge (aka Chloe, aka 'The Kindergartner')

This girl has a flare for style, she is a little flambouant and tends to accessorize too much. . . but that's the cool thing about being five years old, right?!  She is thriving in kindergarten, and is convinced that she knows everything there is to know in life.  She gets really mad when I try to set her straight, so I spend most of my time just smiling and nodding.

Our Baby (aka Alyssa, aka "Terrible Two-meister")

Where do I even begin?  She's two. .. she tantrums, demands, over uses the word 'no' and wrecks a clean house, but she is has us laughing the whole day long!  She thinks she's just as big as her sisters and insists on wearing their clothes, playing with their toys and even going with them to school.  She is smitten by her big sisters and watches copies their every move!  They love to make her repeat crazy words/phrases and make silly faces.  Their laughter fuels her, she's a riot! 

So there you have it. . . my attempt to come back into the world of bloggers!  I promise not to stay gone so long, but then again L.I.F.E. is unpredictable! 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

These Days

These days I have been loving. . . .
My Bigg'In
As we watch her transform from a little girl to a young lady, and experience a whole new set of "firsts" like . . .

Slumber Parties with school friends

Bike Rides (with NO training wheels!). . .

and Ear Piercings (with absolutely NO tears!). . .

My Bridge
She never fails to make me laugh, warm my heart and teach me something new. . .

My Baby
Many have told me that the third child is supposed to be mellow, easy, go-with-the-flow. . . well not mine!  She is determined (a.k.a. stubborn), social (a.k.a. attention lovin') and down right cute (a.k.a. spoiled rotten).   

Lys and her BFF Mercy

A favorite past time. . . climbing

I'm definitely loving my kids these days!! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,
I can’t believe it’s already been two years since you have passed.  I have peace knowing that your body is no longer in pain, but I miss you so.  It’s funny how death can physically take a person away, but I can still feel your presence and hear your voice. 
The girls are growing and changing so much.  Although Alyssa never got the chance to meet you, her sisters do a good job of letting her know who you are.  They point at your picture and say, “That is Pa-Pa, say ‘Pa-Pa’.”  You would have definitely gotten a kick out of baby Alyssa.  She gives us a run for our money, and is smart as a whip.  When I get frustrated with her I say her full name in a loud voice, “ALYSSA DALE.”  Then immediately a smile comes across my face as I remember she was named after you, and there is no doubt that she got some of Pa-Pa's attitude!  Chloe still talks about you the most; she wants to send every balloon she gets your way.  She is convinced that you are collecting them all for her.  She talks about reuniting with you someday in heaven.  She has a kind, sweet heart and a beautiful voice.  When she sings I think to myself, she got that voice from her Pa-Pa!  And then there is our Emma, she has finally learned to ride a bike without training wheels.  When I was teaching her to ride, I was flooded with memories of how you taught us to ride our bikes, thank you for teaching us so much Dad!  Emma is one smart girl; she is learning to read and has an amazing memory.  I think about all the things that you would have taken the time to teach her, I envision you two having philosophical conversations.  She definitely got some of Pa-Pa’s intellect! 
Jeremy is doing well, they have finally moved into their brand new home.  I know you are beaming with pride, at such a huge accomplishment!!  He is an amazing uncle, he spoils the girls rotten and makes every effort to play with them.  He definitely fills in the gaps when we go visit Nana!!  Of course the one who spoils the girls the very most is Nana!  I can just see you shaking your head with a slight smirk on your face, at the fact that she tends to be a little overboard when it comes to the girls, but that’s Mom.  She is actually doing great!  She is happy, and I know that would make you happy.  I have to admit, there is a sense that something is missing when we are all together and you aren’t with us.  We miss you dad!
Recently, Hamid and I read through the wedding service that you wrote for us.  I love that the whole service was handwritten by you, I love looking at your handwriting.  I love the words you strung together.  My heart is fill with joy to know that you experienced that intimate moment with us.  There is no doubt, I can think about all the moments you are missing right now, but I also feel so blessed about all the moments that you were able to spend with us.  Losing you is a constant reminder that life is precious, life is short and every day counts. 
You remain alive in the lives of the people you have touched.  I love you so much Dad!!!   
Your Punky

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wonderful Ones

Oh the Wonderful Things Our One-Year-Old Can Do. . .

1. Brush her own teeth.

2. Entertain the kitty.

3. Get her own juice.

4. Exercise on the treadmill.

5. Get some work done on the Ipad.

6. Organize the kitchen junk drawer.

7. And crash her sister's preschool Valentine party.

Oh the ONE-DERFUL things our sweet Alyssa can do and this is just to name a FEW!!!! 
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