Monday, June 28, 2010

My first digital scrapbook

I have taken up a new hobby - digital scrapbooking. I still have a lot to learn and figure out, but I decided to just go for it my first time by making a photo book as a house warming gift for my brother who just bought his first house. The subject of the photo book? Our trip to California for Laura & Kyle's wedding! Here is just a small sample of some of the pages I created:

I know, I have a long way to go before I get the pages looking really cool but this is ok for my first attempt, right? I'm currently working on another photo book from Dave's grandma's 80th birthday party this past weekend so I hope that one will turn out a little better. I'll post pages from that when I get a little further into the project.

I've also started to create some cool Twitter backgrounds for Dave and myself.


Still pretty basic but I'm learning and growing with each new thing I do. I hope to keep practicing and get pretty good so that I can make yearly photo books for my family as the years go by. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tom update

We started growing Tom back at the beginning of May and I thought it was time to show you how he is doing so far. Right now there are five large and still growing tomatoes as well as five smaller tomatoes which are just beginning to grow!

I must say, all of the credit for Tom doing so well is going to Dave because he has done such a good job remembering to water that plant every morning (and sometimes in the afternoons too).

I have done my best to stay away from Tom because I kill plants. In fact, I have managed to kill a Gerber daisy plant and a rosebud plant and have almost finished off an orange star plant all in the last month.What can I say, I'm just that talented. This is why I have fake flower pens and plastic plants in my office at work and none of my friends ask me to water their plants when they go out of town.

Anyway, we're looking forward to some ripe red tomatoes soon. I hope they taste as good as they're looking!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why so much hate?

A certain hate group (they call themselves Christians) has announced that they are planning a visit to my community to protest a few religious establishments as well as an educational institution. I will not tell you which group this is because I don't feel the need to give their group any kind of publicity or satisfaction that they are bugging me. None.

What I want to talk about here is how a group of self proclaimed Christians, or for that matter, human beings, can be so full of hate. I get so worked up over this, and I shouldn't, but I do. So, if you don't want to get fired up, stop reading here. Why am I talking about this on my blog? Well, my soapbox, my rules.

First, God is all about love.
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
  • This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:9-11
  • And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. - 1 John 4:16
  • We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. – 1 John 4:19-20
  • Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. – Proverbs 10:12

These are messages of LOVE from God! I take these and apply them to all people - people of different religions, people with different sexual orientations, people with different heritages, people with different colored skin, people with different colored hair, people with different political views, people who make different choices than I do, and the list goes on and on and on. I believe that everyone was created by God and is loved by God and therefore should not be hated by me.

I can not understand how any one person or group of people could have so much hate towards another group of people with a different belief or way of living. And I can not understand how such a hate filled group of people have the balls (excuse me) to picket and protest these other groups of people who have done nothing wrong to them. We have all seen what hate can do... remember World War II? And I completely understand and respect all aspects of the 1st Amendment regarding freedom of speech, freedom of the press, religious freedom, freedom of assembly, and right to petition. This is why I get to have a blog and say whatever I want. And this is why this hate group can assemble and protest and say what they want. I just don't buy their reasons for hating people.

I also believe that it is in no way my duty to judge people for their decisions here on Earth. That responsibility lies with God as these people pass beyond their human bodies on to their judgment day. My job, as defined by God, is to love others. I don't have to agree with you, think the way that you do, or even like you, but I do respect that you are a child of the Lord and deserve better than hate. Which is why I feel so terribly for these groups being targeted not only in my community, but also across the country and around the globe.

I'm so wound up over this that I've considered protesting the protest group and even doing other things that I won't mention here. Then I remember that by reacting to this group I'm giving them and their cause power that it doesn't really have. What I want to do is support these groups being targeted and show then that they are supported in the community and that this group of "Christians" is absolutely not representative of all Christians and that hate is not what God is about. So, I have decided that my course of action is to pray for the hate group.

I pray that this hate group finds peace in their lives and that one day they will truly come to know God's love for them and the people they currently hate. I pray that this group, should they show up here, respect the boundaries of the groups they are protesting.

I pray that the groups being targeted aren't scared or ashamed of what they believe in. I hope that these folks don't think all Christians have the same feelings of hate within them. I pray that these people come to know God's love for them, if they don't already know it.

Let's all try harder to love our neighbors and those with different views, opinions and looks. We were all put here on this earth together for a reason and I'm pretty sure that reason was not to hate each other, but to learn from one another and to love one another despite our many differences.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A beautiful morning hike

This was the view I got to see after reluctantly agreeing to go on a morning hike (rather than a nice walk around the park) on Saturday morning. How beautiful! I'm certainly glad I decided to do it. Dave and Gromit seemed to enjoy our little adventure as well.

Dave told me that this (the picture below) is a part of the trail that he likes to mountain bike up and down. Yikes! I think I'll stick to walking up and down this trail, thank you very much.

Maybe we should make a habit of doing more walks/hikes like this on our non-busy weekends - it would be good for all of us! Happy Monday everyone! Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another wild wedding weekend

Whew! I have survived another wild wedding weekend! This past weekend our good friends Jessy and Steve were married and we are so happy for them.

The festivities began on Thursday night with Jessy's bachelorette party. As the Maid (Matron) of Honor I had the privilege of planning that gathering. It was a golf-themed party and all of the party attendees were instructed to wear their best golf-themed attire including knee high socks, polo shirts, sweater vests or anything argyle or plaid.  I called it "Jessy's 9 Hole Bachelorette Classic" and each bar that we were going to visit was a different hole. I also made foam visors for the party attendees with "Caddy Crew" written on the sides. I made a score card for each hole with two or three tasks that Jessy had to complete at that hole before we could continue to the next. I was so excited and I knew we were going to have a great time.

We met up at Jessy's mom's house and then after a bit of a late start we headed out to The Cheesecake Factory for a delicious dinner and then went to the first hole (bar). We had so much fun that we only made it to two bars before we all decided we were tired and needed to go sleep. After all, it was 1:00 in the morning when we decided to leave.

We got up on Friday morning and went to get manicures and pedicures done so we could all look and feel pretty for the wedding. I got acrylic nails which I haven't had in years. I am still getting used to having those on my nails but Dave is certainly enjoying the back rubs with them on, so I guess they'll be on for at least a little while.

When our nails were done we all headed over to the church for the wedding rehearsal. Despite some lost in-laws and bridal party members everything went well. The rehearsal dinner was fantastic and Jessy's mom and her friends really outdid themselves with all of the homemade food. Everyone had a great time and had to be rolled out the door after eating all of the delicious food!

The wedding day was finally here and Jessy and I headed out to a salon to get our hair done. Nerves and emotions were running high. I took Jessy's phone away from her so that she wouldn't be stressed out by phone calls coming in about wedding details but she still somehow managed to sneak the phone out of my purse a few times.

I went to put on my dress and there was a broken tooth in the zipper of my bridesmaid dress. .It took three people pulling hard to get the zipper over the broken tooth and the dress was on! And then the zipper split right where the broken tooth was. NO! It was 30 minutes until the wedding and I was panicked as people were working on trying to fix my dress without the bride seeing. Dave came to try to help and ended up taking the zipper pull completely off and re-attaching it. Then I had someone sew the two sides of the zipper together before it split again and that held up all night. Thank goodness!

We finally got everyone ready, dressed and looking beautiful and we headed to the church to get Jessy married! The ceremony was beautiful. We took some pictures with the photographer and headed across the street to the reception to dance the night away.

The food was great and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. When it came to toasting time I gave the toast I had prepared and there wasn't a dry eye in the place! Overall it was a great day for a great couple. We wish you a very happy ever after, Jessy and Steve!

The bride and groom


After the past couple of months of bridal showers, bachelorette parties, traveling, rehearsal dinners, getting ready, having pictures taken, wedding ceremonies and receptions I am ready for vacation - or just a long nap.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

California Dreamin'

I'm currently sitting at the airport waiting for our flight to board back to Colorado (and then I finished up this post while flying on the plane). We have been in California since Wednesday and we have had a great time. Our purpose for coming out here was because I was a bridesmaid in my dear friend Laura's wedding. Since we were coming out anyway, we decided to add a day on to each end of the trip and make it a mini vacation for Dave and me. My brother, Curtis, was also coming out to sing at the wedding so he joined us for most of the trip.

We all landed in San Francisco on Wednesday within an hour of each other, picked up a rental car and headed out to Napa Valley to do some wine tasting. After a delicious lunch at In-N-Out Burger (a favorite stop of all of ours) we stopped and did some quick wine tasting at Beringer and St. Clement. We then headed over to Castello di Amorosa for a tour of the castle and a private tasting.

The castle was so beautiful and we all learned a lot about wine making and tasting. Both Curtis and us left with two bottles of wine to take home with us - since this winery doesn't distribute anywhere but on site. We can't wait to pop the corks on those bottles for our next celebration or special occasion. 

On Thursday morning we woke up, got ready and headed out to the Golden Gate Bridge. We had a lot of fun driving across it, walking across it and then driving across it again. It was really foggy that day and I never actually saw the whole bridge at once but still managed to get a few good pictures.

After we were done touring the Golden Gate Bridge we headed over to Chinatown via cable car to see what that was all about. We weren’t sure what to expect but were pleasantly surprised to find a ton of interesting sites, shops and restaurants.

After purchasing some new snazzy chopsticks and trying on some hats we went to lunch at a Chinese food restaurant recommended to us by our tour guide at Castillo di Amorosa called R&G Lounge. This was some of the best Chinese food I have ever had! They didn’t have a lot of the type of Chinese food I was used to like Egg Drop soup, Sesame Chicken and Sweet & Sour Pork so I was forced to try something new and different, and I liked it! I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone headed to San Francisco.

Once done with the delicious lunch we headed out to Sacramento for the wedding rehearsal for Laura and Kyle’s wedding. Everything went smoothly during the rehearsal despite someone forgetting the list of who in the wedding party was walking with whom and in what order. After that we headed to the western-themed rehearsal dinner at a local BBQ restaurant. Honoring Laura’s party tradition, a few of us put on fake mustaches (something that, for some odd reason, we do at almost every group gathering) along with some bandanas to make us feel more festive. Laura’s mom really outdid herself with the western decorations she made especially for this gathering. Once we were all full to the brim from the BBQ dinner Laura presented us bridesmaids with “Bridesmaid Survival Kits” and original, handmade jewelry which matched our dresses to wear at the wedding. One of my dear friends does jewelry design and she made the jewelry for my wedding as well as this wedding – and she was also a bridesmaid. If you get a chance, check out some of her work at She is amazing!

Friday morning finally arrived and I joined up with Laura and the other bridesmaids to get ready for the evening event. There were two hairstylists at the house we were getting ready at and those two gals did a fantastic job getting everyone’s hair done beautifully and on time. The only snag was that poor Laura got a horrific sunburn during the rehearsal and her chest was bright red! Not good when she is so fair skinned and wearing a strapless white gown in just a few hours. Luckily two of the bridesmaids saved the day by going to get some super strength cover-up makeup used to cover tattoos. After applying a few layers Laura looked great and you couldn’t even tell she had been out in the sun the day before. Awesome! Way to save the day girls!

When everyone was dolled up and ready to go we drove over to the mansion where the wedding and reception were to be held. We got dressed, helped the bride get dressed and then headed down to take some pictures. I was able to sneak a picture with my hubby too.

The wedding was gorgeous, the bride beautiful, the groom handsome and the vows meaningful. Curtis did an awesome job singing the song the couple chose while lighting their unity candle. We celebrated the night away with good food, great wine and even better friends. After some midnight pizza for the bridal party we all crashed in the rooms we were given at the wedding site.

We enjoyed a light breakfast the next morning and the sent the bride and groom off to their honeymoon with many, many bubbles. Curt, Lisa, Dave and I headed to the Sacramento airport so Curt and Lisa could catch their departing flights, but of course we had to stop at another In-N-Out Burger on the way so that we could all enjoy another delicious meal together in the form of a Double-Double animal style. So good! But I’m sure that if they had In-N-Out Burgers in Colorado they wouldn’t be so desirable and would lose their prestigious place in my heart… er… stomach.

Dave and I spent the rest of Saturday afternoon and evening back in San Francisco walking around Fisherman’s Wharf and taking the night tour of Alcatraz. That place, although not haunted, is really spooky at night. Dave and I had a lot of fun touring Alcatraz and we both agree that we are big nerds for finding that place so interesting. With unruly inmates and various escape attempts that place would have been a hoot to visit while still open. We bought a book written by a former inmate and attempted escapee called “ALCATRAZ From Inside” by Jim Quillen. Dave just started reading it during this flight and I can’t wait to dive in over the next few weeks.

Thank goodness we were allowed to “escape” Alcatraz by tour boat so we headed to eat dinner at a seafood restaurant on one of the piers. Once again I stepped outside of my comfort zone and ordered something I wouldn’t normally get – mahi-mahi, salmon and grilled prawns. It turned out to be really good! I think I am beginning to like trying all of these new foods. We had planned to go to a local club that night but after Alcatraz and dinner it was nearly 11:00 and we were exhausted so we decided to take a cable car back to the hotel and call it a night.

This morning (Sunday) we got up and drove out to visit Muir Woods. Little did we know that today was one of their free days and the parking lots were packed. Boy did we pick the wrong day to go there! We finally found a place to park and were able to head into the park – at least the entry was free! Muir Woods is a beautiful place and we were lucky to be able to visit. On our walk through the park we saw a mama doe and her two fawns. Too cute! It was the perfect addition to such a beautiful place.

After a scrumptious Italian lunch in a nice nearby town we headed back to the airport to return our rental car and catch our flight back to Colorado. We had an awesome time on our mini vacation and were truly honored and privileged to be a part of Laura and Kyle’s special day.

Laura and Kyle, we wish you all the best and may you live happily ever after.