Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas morning

Enjoying one of their new books before heading to Gigi & Poppa's house for breakfast and gifts.

Skyler and I got matching aprons from my parents. The kids were given some bean bag chairs (behind Rian) for their reading nook upstairs.

The night before this (Christmas Eve) was spent at Rian's parents. Wallace received his long awaited dream of a Panda Pillow Pet. He was a very happy and grateful little boy.

Skyler on her new bike from Grandma & Grandpa.

And the night before this (Christmas Eve-Eve), I was able to enjoy a Christmas night out with my girlfriends, a tradition us 7 have had for probably more than a dozen years. It was perfect. And the best part? We all fit together in the new MINIVAN. We haven't done that since high school days in the minivans belonging to our moms! So life comes full circle.

Throughout the month our little elf, Leo, has been hiding around the house each morning. The kids loved waking up and searching all over for him. Here are some snapshots of him:

Post Christmas trip to Cambria

Each year after Christmas we take a little vacation with my family to a secret destination. This year my parents revealed it ahead of time in order to plan for a slightly longer trip and farther destination... Cambria!! It was beautiful. The weather was perfect. The view of the coast from our house was incredible. I loved driving around finding ranch after ranch full of rolling hills, grazing cows and the occasional family of deer. The boys went golfing, us girls explored the town, we did a tour of Hearst Castle, watched the elephant seals on the beach, played games and watched movies.

Walking down our street to the beach.

Elephant Seals

Nothing better than a cheese stick and juice box with your Uncle Bumble.

The bus ride up to Hearst Castle was Wallace's favorite event of all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Pre-Christmas

At the Grove in LA. Each December we meet up as a family to have dinner, see Santa, watch the "snow" fall and the fountains dance to Christmas carols, get warm drinks and walk around the shops. The Grove is pretty magical during Christmas.

Our annual (extended extended) Wallace Family Christmas party was at the Burgess home this year. Each year Rian and I leave saying how fun it was to hang out and catch up with all my second cousins, hilarious uncles and the rest of this family. I'm so lucky to have such a huge family full of people I love so much. A blurry shot of us kids after dinner:

Uncle Burge jamming on the piano with Skye.

Gift exchange and stealing!

Tee-Ball. Each week we think it's over... but it's stillllll going. Here's Wally during batting practice.

Wallace & Liv on the Christmas train. The far right one is this year and the others are previous years. Such a fun tradition!

We are so thankful to Rian's parents & my parents for all the free babysitting we get, especially during the holidays, allowing us to get out to some parties. Last weekend, the kids made gingerbread men with GiGi while they stayed there for the night.

And while they were decorating gingerbread men, we were enjoying ourselves at the Rasmussen's martini party:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Lucky Day!

Today my little notepad was featured on one of my favorite blogs, NieNie Dialogues (mine is the black and white pic near the bottom of her post). How sweet of Nie to pick mine out of the hundreds of homemade items sent to her. I've gotten some orders today and it's fun to be mailing off packages to Norway, England, Canada and within the states. I hope they get there before Christmas!

Our Tree

This was back when we picked out our Christmas tree, Thanksgiving weekend. Wally & Skyler loved running through the trees...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

a good start to the day

we spent our early morning with sara & beth today. sara fed the kids toast and pulled a splinter out of wally's finger. beth showed me her new gorgeous office. i drank coconut iced coffee. then i mentioned that i'm a maternity fashion disaster and, as if i snapped my fingers, there was a pile of clothes in front of me to take home. i can't wait to try everything on. and i can't wait to go back to that cozy home (perhaps without kids), put my feet up, and relax!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


i've decided that thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday. families together, all the yummy food, the anticipation of christmas decorating, music & celebrations, people sharing what they're thankful for (instead of grumbling about the other stuff).... it's such a magical weekend, thanksgiving. here are some snapshots of ours:

some early morning football and breakfast... a great way to kick off thanksgiving day.

rian and the kids with the blue pacific in the background.

thanksgiving day at rian's parents home in fullerton. the kids put on a good show.

cooking with grandma.

joel came out from arizona (on couch with rian) and maceo spent some good time playing with the kids.

while the rest of the world was shopping on black friday and rian went into the office for a bit, the kids and i set up for christmas. the next morning we cut down our tree at peltzer pines in silverado canyon. it was a chilly crisp morning, with crystal clear views of the city below as we drove over the hill. we found a cute little tree, perfect for our family!


ever since rian and i have been married (this is our 9th christmas!) we have slept under the tree on the first night. the tradition continues, only now with juice boxes, christmas cartoons and lots of bouncing around the tree.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010


Five things I am thankful for this year.

1. Our home. Our game plan did not include us still living in the condo we bought 7 years ago. But here we are and I am so thankful that we chose a place that can easily hold all our kids, give us a back “yard”, a huge front yard, wonderful (and quiet!) neighbors, a fixed and affordable mortgage payment and to be so close to everything important to us. I have been feeling so content in our cozy home.

2. Rian’s work. While so many people are out of jobs or struggling to work multiple jobs to pay the rent, Rian’s work has been consistent and even enjoyable. It is such a huge blessing to watch your husband be excited to go into work each day. And an added bonus is that his office is 5 minutes away allowing him to have lunch with us a few days each week, stop by if we need anything, and be home minutes after he calls saying he’s left the office.

3. My Mama’s Group. Some are new friends, some I’ve known for years. I’ve been meeting with these girls for over 2 years on Thursday nights. Part of our time is spent discussing the current book we’re reading (books on parenting, marriage or spiritual growth). The other part of our time is spent sharing what’s going on in our lives and how we need specific prayer that week- for ourselves, each kid, and our husbands. People tell me what a rare thing this is. The depth of the things we share, the acceptance we have for each other, the parenting ideas we give/receive, and the constant reminder that we’re not alone in this season… it's an amazing thing to have these girls and my parenting would look totally different without them in my life.

4. My kids. It is a gift from God to be able to get pregnant and literally a miracle when the baby grows healthy and ends up in your arms nine months later. I am so thankful for Wallace & Skyler. They are truly a gift. They have brought so much joy to Rian and I. They have taught me so much about myself and given me perspective on God’s love for me as His own child.

5. Supper Swap. I am so lucky to have Juliana & Heather! The three of us teamed up over a year ago to swap meals each week. Every week I cook a meal three times, one to keep and the others for the girl’s families. They do the same on their certain days. So our week looks like this: Monday we have dinner delivered to us by Heather. Tuesday we have dinner delivered to us by Juliana. Wednesday there are plenty of leftovers. Thursday we eat our own meal and I deliver it to the other families too. Over the weekend I might cook once, or we’ll have leftovers or dinner out. I cook about twice each week and in return get a full weeks worth of homemade healthy and delicious meals. So thankful for how smooth this makes my afternoons!

Monday, November 08, 2010

L.A. by Train

We celebrated our 8th anniversary on November 2nd and Rian planned an awesome weekend away in LA. We took the train from Santa Ana to Union Station.

We started in Little Tokyo at Rian's favorite ramen shop. It was amazing. Maybe even my favorite meal of the weekend.

Then we walked to our hotel, Hilton Checkers, and enjoyed some reading by the rooftop pool.

This was one view from our room.

This was the view out our other window. It was a gorgeous weekend. On the verge of rain, which never came, only big beautiful clouds

On our way to dinner, I tried to show off my bump in the hallway mirror.

Enjoying the bar at Chaya. Dinner however, brought us possibly the worst waiter ever. But the rest of the night made up for it.

Across the street from our hotel is the Biltmore. We got dessert and played cards while watching a fantastic jazz band play late into the night.

Sunday morning we enjoyed a yummy breakfast at the Original Pantry. It was really fun. The line was out the door around the building but they got us in really fast.

After breakfast we walked around LA Live and explored the top of the Ritz Carlton, towering over the city, which made my stomach almost fall out. We took a cab back and strolled around Grand Central Market, Pershing Square, and then sat at Starbucks watching people and hanging out.

Another highlight of the weekend was dropping the kids off Friday and meeting my sister and brother-in-law for dinner in Laguna Beach. They celebrate their anniversary a week before ours and we switched places... they left LA to come to stay in Newport for the weekend and we left for LA! We had a blast this night with them. After dinner we walked here to get shakes. And I'm really excited about something.

Here we are home from the weekend, watching the new addition to our family. GiGi and Poppa let Wallace pick out his first pet!