Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I got home from visiting family a few hours ago. It was so good to give everyone a big hug, cry, laugh, watch the kids play and just enjoy family. It was especially good to see my cousin. I got to be there after he was moved from ICU and his little girls, ages two and one, came to visit. I snapped this photo him and his two year old. She was pretty overwhelmed with all the machines and tubes and bandages but she held his hand almost the whole time. She kept listing all the movies she would watch with him when he got home. The amazing thing is he came home last night! Less than a week after being shot five times, having a foot and a half of intestine removed as well as his gall bladder and part of his liver!! The whole drive up to see them it crossed my mind that I could have been making this drive to attend his funeral. The only shot that missed his body was aimed at his head, there is a bullet hole on the top of the drivers side door. He has no idea who the woman was, police have yet to find her or establish what her motive may have been. We don't know if she was just out of her mind or if it was some sort of gang initiation. All of this has left us wondering why. Why did this have to happen? For now, I will just thank God he is alive, he will be able to see his little girls grow, to meet his new baby in May, to hug his wife. If you think of him please continue to pray for him. His body is young and strong and has and will continue to heal quickly, it is the emotional wounds that can be so crippling.
Lord have mercy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Please pray for my cousin, Jesse. He got off work in downtown LA early this morning and was at a drive thru window when a woman approached him and shot him 4-6 times. Amazingly, he is alive but is in surgery. Please pray for his pregnant wife, two young daughters, mother and father and his entire family who love him and are worried sick about him right now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Thoughts..

It's always so much easier for me to think about the injustice, frustrations and disappointments of life. So, I am going to a take a few moments and think about what is making me happy today.
Here's my happy list..
-I haven't yelled at Johnny today. ( I am working on that)
-The kids sat on the patio eating a snack and truly enjoyed each others company today.
-I know what is for dinner and have all the food I need to prepare it.
-Running. I have been running for a few months now. I am up to 3 miles and try to go 3-5 times a week. It really does make me happy and I've dropped two sizes!
-Evan. I love him, he's a good man.
-The hilarious jib jab video I made using the faces of my kids and my nieces and nephew.
-Tomorrows forecast calls for a cool down. Hurray!! Maybe it will actually feel like Fall.(oops, I think that was a complaint in disguise)
-When Pearl dances to Ancient Faith radio. That kid will dance to anything!
-My dishwasher.
-The library which is in walking distance and is loved by my children.
-Happy noises filling my house.

Glory to God for all things!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sweet Pea

She wore her sailor dress to church on Sunday. We left the pipe and hat at home.

Cute pictures from my least favorite Holiday

I am always torn about how to approach Halloween in our house, especially since Evan and I both grew up only attending church alternatives to the "evil" day. For now we've decided to not spend a lot of money and not make a big deal about but just let Johnny dress up and have a little fun. We had a lot of fun. Our neighborhood is so friendly and has all these adorable old homes and I just love the excuse trick or treating provides to look into each one and see all the character and different styles of decor. Johnny just loved getting all that candy!
We made Johnny's costume this year. ( I say we because Evan did everything from sew the collar to hand paint the spinach can) Can you tell who he is?? All the adults knew but very few kids recognized him. Pearls costume was a hand me down I've had for years. She was supposed to be a ladybug but she wouldn't wear the hood and everyone thought she was a strawberry.

Grandma came trick or treating with us!

Johnny owned that costume, he WAS Popeye. Maybe I should say, he IS Popeye because he has been wearing the hat nearly everyday since and would have the pipe in his mouth at all times if I let him. (he is holding his spinach felt and donning the hat as I type)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Blah Blah Blah

I wrote the following a couple months ago when I was trying to play catch up with this blog. I never meant to neglect it for so long. I decided to just go ahead and post this even though it seems so irrelevant now and I meant to include lots of pictures but I just want to get this posted and move on to the present. Hopefully, I can get back in the swing of things and make blogging part of my life again. I've missed it and my friends out there.

I have bloggers block, apparently. Summer has come and almost gone (although we still have a couple hot months left in Southern California) and I have hardly posted a thing. I could blame it on Johnny and Pearl not napping as well these days, or Evan being in school and have side projects which mean he is on the computer or I could just say it's been a very busy summer with lots of birthdays, family events and visits with friends. To say, I've just been busy would be a lie. I have just felt very blah. My passion, excitement for things is just not there. We have had some disappointments the past few months and I have been struggling, no, drowning in discontent. Avoiding my blog has not helped me because blogging usually allows me to reflect a little on my days and reminds me of all the blessed things in my life and how much I really have to say thank you for. Instead, though, my head has been stuck in this place where all I see is what I don't have and how unfair it is. It has been pretty consuming. Sick, huh? I say all this because I didn't want to just come back with a picture of my kid and or cute little antidote. I need this place to be a little more honest than that. I've been holding so much in and I have finally opened up and confessed these thoughts and feelings to God, to my priest, to Evan. So, I now I am going to let out a big SIGH to have gotten that off my back and tell you about the things I should have been reflecting on the past few months because there really have been fun, good things happening in our life.
-Pearl turned ONE!

Pearl is a light, she makes everyone around her smile. When we are out she will stare someone down and even holler at them just so she can look them in the eye and give them a big grin and a wave. It's really great to see Johnny enjoying her more, too. He thinks she's really funny and they will sit and just laugh at each other. Music to my ears.
- Our goddaughters came to town. (as well as their awesome parents)We had so much fun seeing the girls. We hate that they live so far but their visit was a big highlight of our summer.
-My family visited and we took a trip to Sea world. Oh, so fun. I have a pass now, so, if any of you have Sea World plans I'd love to meet up with you!
Other than that time was spent with our godson and family who happen to be Johnny's godparents. Lots of trips to the beach, various pools and parks.
It was fun but I am so ready for fall!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Johnny turns 3!

My little man, is a little less little these days. He is a whopping three years old now and I really cannot believe it! Ever since seeing a Veggie tale with "the pirates who don't do anything", Johnny has loved all things pirate. So, of course, we had to have a pirate party. (i ignored him when two days before the celebration he said, "actually, mama, I think I want a superman party") My talented mother-in-law made all the kids pirate bandanas, eye patches and pirate loot bags and I made some really fun cupcakes. Throw in a piñata and a bunch of super cute kids and you've got one heck of a party.

John Henry, you make me smile EVERYDAY. Even on the days when you make me pull my hair out, you'll still manage to say or do something to make me laugh. Thank you, thank God, for the three years of joy your Papa and I have experienced from you, just being you. God grant you many, many years!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Out of the Mouthes of Babes..

..Orthodox babes, that is.

Johnny and I were looking at pictures of him from about two years ago right before he turned one. When he saw this one he exclaimed, " I have a circle around my head. I'm a saint!"

I keep saying I need to write down the things he says, so I think I will start blogging them. I don't expect others to enjoy them as much as I do, I just need a place to record them.
We are trying to help Johnny and Pearl develop a close sibling relationship.
When conflicts arise we encourage them try different ways to find resolution..

There's the talk it through approach. Pearl seems to do most of the talking.

Sometimes they just need to hug it out.

When all else fails we just let them fight it out. Winner takes all.

Kidding, of course. I just thought these pictures were funny. They are having a lot more fun together. Although, there are times when I think they would fight it out if I let them. Pearl is feisty enough, I think she could take him!

Friday, June 13, 2008


I totally ripped this idea off someone else's blog, but it's just too funny!

Don't send a lame eCard.
Try JibJab Sendables!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Johnny: (upon eyeing the easter egg decorating kit I left out) "What's that?
Mama: "Oh, we're going to DYE easter eggs for Pascha."
Johnny: "Are they going to DIE on the cross like Jesus?"

It has been really amazing and inspiring to walk through this Lent and these first days of Holy Week with my two year old. It's a beautiful thing to watch a child's faith grow and I am humbled by it.
To all my orthodox friends, have a blessed Holy Week.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Water Babies

It's been downright hot the past few days here in SoCal. This is how we beat the heat.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When you combine potty training and Great Lent..

Johnny, yelling to me from the bathroom the other day,
"Mama, I went poo poo on the potty and Jesus died on the cross!!!"

I include this picture because if you look closely you see his chonies peeking out. Yep, he's potty trained. Hurray!
Also, it's his first time bowling and pretty darn cute.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

8 years

This picture always makes me laugh. Why are we sitting so far apart? I suppose it's because we had only been dating a few months and Evan was meeting my parents for the first time. One of them took the picture. We were so young!
Eight years ago I married Evan. I was twenty and he was twenty-two. We had no idea what life had in store for us. We weren't orthodox yet, he had not finished college, I had never lived on my own and got my drivers license only weeks before our wedding. We were definitely young and maybe a little stupid but I think things turned out pretty well. Between a sassy toddler, a teething baby and loads of laundry I haven't had a chance to get terribly sentimental and gush over our love but I did dig up a these old pictures and they make me happy. I love this man and he loves me. May God grant us many more years!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Sweet x2

I love these pictures of Pearl and her pal, Jonas. Jonas belongs to my dear friend, Shae. We got to be pregnant together for the second time with these cuties. Jonas is exactly a month older than Pearl and we love watching them interact. Pearl, who is very excitable, mostly just slaps and smiles at him, while Jonas, who is more quiet and sweet, stares back at her with a "what the heck" sort of expression. They are very cute!

Where we've been, what we've done....

My parents, who live in England, were in California for couple weeks visiting their newest grand baby, Elinor. The wonderful thing was that it worked out for my whole family (brother and his wife and baby, sister, her husband and two kids) to meet up at Disneyland. We went to Disneyland the first day and the Disney California park the next. I hadn't been since right before Evan and I got married eight years ago. It was really different being back with my own children. We made the mistake of riding Pirates of the Caribbean first. Johnny was terrified. He's just never seen anything like it and it was all too overwhelming. It took him awhile to warm up to other rides after that but by midday he was having fun. I was just enjoying being with my siblings an their kids as well as some extended family that joined us on the first day. We were also able to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday together. It's rare that I get to spend time with my whole family and it's made me miss them all more and wish we all lived closer.
I have a ticket that allows me one more visit to either park until the end of the month. Anyone want to meet me there? I know some of you have passes. Let me know!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

a first..

Pearl is getting a little too big for her tummy tub (sigh). We put her in the bath with Johnny last night. She was pretty excited about the whole thing and she was extremely slippery. I am enjoying seeing them play as much as they really can at this point. What I really love is that he genuinely enjoys her. As challenging as it can be to raise multiple children, it's really beautiful to watch them and realize that they will have each other forever. I pray for wisdom in guiding their relationship to be one of lasting friendship and support.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Pearlie is six months today. She is my chubby, healthy and very happy girl. At her doctors appointment last week she weighed in at 18.5 lbs and is 28 inches long. (off the charts!) I am pretty amazed and blessed by what a content and sweet baby she is. She is, however, very attached to her family; adores her Papa and can't get enough of her crazy big brother. He is the only one who can always make her laugh. She gets the giggles with him and it entertains all of us. We've had some very warm days and it's been so nice to be outside at the park or the lake. What I really love is being able to put summer dresses on her and show off those chunky arms and legs!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Watching Johnny nap today, it struck me that this kid is growing up fast! We have so much fun these days but I know he's not always going to want to be with his mama. He probably won't be calling me "mama' at all. Here are some things I would want the teenage Johnny to know about the two year old Johnny.

-You think I am VERY funny.
-You still have no idea what guns are. When I asked you about one at an arcade you said it was a telescope.
-You wear my nursing cover (hooter hider) as a superhero cape and fly around the house.
- You love music and will tell us what instrument is being played. ie.."that's a banjo!'..."that guys playing a trumpet!" You're usually right.
- You tell me you love me around 10 times a day, quite randomly. Sometimes you even proclaim it when we are out in public.
- You love your Papa. He lets you stall him and play for a good half hour when your supposed to be going to bed.
-You like to dance with me and you call me the princess and say that you are the lumberjack.
- You are very interested in Jesus and the Saints. You even named named your stuffed animals, St. Herman and St. John.(of Damascus) I think they are your two favorites right now.
- You LOVE watching music videos on youtube. This is your new favorite.

-You still let me get away with calling you whatever silly, sweet term of endearment I want.

I love you, bubbie!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Pearl

with her round face and smooth white skin, i think she looks like a little pearl