Thursday, May 27, 2010


As my favorite super hero Chuck would say, I will probably be "off the grid" for most of the weekend as we are moving this...Yeah (I think).

As I was getting into my 4.5 mile run this morning a lot was going through my mind.  Usually on my runs I have simple thoughts and make simple decisions.  I figure out what I am going to wear or what I am going to have for lunch.  Sometimes I will plan a lesson, get some ideas for class, or just enjoy the scenery. In other words the deepest thought is trying to figure out how I can get out of the house without having to use an iron.

However, today was a little different.  I have been feeling very stressed for a lot of reasons.  I have been promoting a new sense of gratitude in my you are already quite aware of, but it really has changed the way I view things.  I am trying to be thankful for things in my life that are causing a bit of pain.  It is easy to be thankful when things are going good, but when we have any sort of stress in our lives, which for most of us is daily, we forget to be thankful in lieu of being grumpy and complaining, which by the way is WAY easier.

But so many stressful things in my life have turned around by just looking at it in a different way, to be thankful even in my pain.  So I decided then and there between thinking about sandwich or leftovers and sandals or tennies that I was going to start being thankful about my exercise and eating habits.  I am going to be thankful for each day that I am able to exercise.  Thankful that I never have to worry about food or having enough to eat.  I am going to use these challenges to make myself a better and stronger person. 

This being thankful has really changed my life.  I sometimes slip back into my old "poor me" ways, but they are fewer and far between.  God has blessed me with so much to be thankful for, even with the stresses in my life.  I know that I can tackle them as long as I have the right attitude...

...and the right outfit.

More Later

- A Ro

P.S. Thanks for all the moving well wishes, and I'll have a lot of pictures to post when it is done.  As long as the nice Direct TV guy can get our Internet up and running within the allotted 4 hours. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't Look Now it's the Random Dozen

I know, I know, answering a Random Dozen, and on time!!  Don't panic, I'll be back to procrastinating in the name of moving tomorrow...needed a break tonight. 

Lucky you :)

Here goes my Random Dozen.  Head over to Lidna's and see what randomness everyone else has put forth.  If you are feeling particularly random then you can answer the questions and link up...very fun.

Here goes it:

1. Would you rather host party or simply attend a party?
I love being a hostess.  I love hostess-wear (serving dishes).  I love doing up my place and cooking.  You don't think it is the diva in me, needing to be in charge and the center of attention do you???...nah

2. Tell us about the most memorable party you've been to.
I can't think of anything specific, but in general I love parties that have people I know, good food, places to talk and socialize, and a nice casual atmosphere.  I hate stuffy, small talking, showy parties.

3. What is one thing you hope for in the after-life?
That I really do get to see all the people who have died before me.

4. What do you enjoy most about sunshine?
The way it makes me feel warm.  I remember being in Colorado and it was very chilly outside but the sun was shining so brightly and I just laid in a hammock and let the warmth wash over was such an amazing feeling.

5. When you attend a bridal/baby shower, do you prefer to bring your own gift or chip in with others to buy a larger gift?
I really like to bring my own gift.  I love picking up that right gift for someone and making them a little happier.  I also think this is tied into the same reason why I like to throw my own parties.  My ideas, my me me...

Just in case you are starting to get worried...I am a very generous person.

6. Would you rather have a FREE week of having your house cleaned or all of your meals cooked for you and your family?
I LOVE TO COOK...sorry for the yelling.  I would SO rather have my house cleaned than my meals cooked.

7. What song describes your mood today?

Under Pressure by Queen.  This move is going to do me in.

8. What is something you received for your own bridal shower/wedding that you still own or use? (If you are not married, feel free to sub a gift you received a long time ago.
Isn't it sad that people spent all that money on us and I can't even think of ONE thing that I still have and use??  I do have a casserole dish that I THINK came from my wedding...not sure though.  This is why when Rich and I get married instead of gifts we are asking people to donate to the American Heart Association in either my dad or Rich's dad's name.  They both died of heart attacks way too young.  This, hopefully, will honor them and help others.  Way better than getting another crock pot or fondue set, although I do love fondue!!

9. Your favorite flavor of ice cream is?
Peanut Butter Cup.  Yum...

10. When was the last time you felt "tested?"
Lately pretty much daily.  I feel that it only makes me practice being a better person.  Each day when the challenges hit me I think "what can I learn from this"...this is of course after I take deep breathes, count to 10, eat some chocolate, and scream.

11. "[Fill in the blank] is a food that once I start eating I find really hard to stop."
Any sort of snack chip.  I love salty things.  I also have a hard time with M&M's.  I wish I could say carrots and apples, but that would be a big fat lie, no pun intended.

12. "-----" is the best motivation.
I can't wait to see everybodys answers to this one.  I am in need of some serious motivational ideas.  When it comes to exercise (and this is probably where most people are going to go) I have to just remember how amazing I feel when I am done and how great my day goes when I get that blood moving first thing.  It is really hard to give that speech to myself when it is 4:10 am and the alarm is screaming at me.  Most of the time I do it though...

In Summary:  I am totally craving potato chips and Peanut Butter Ice Cream right now...not together, but that might be good too??  I am in need of putting one foot in front of the other you better give me some ideas in all of your #12's...I love throwing parties and gift giving, such a great way to be a diva AND give something to win is the way I look at that one.  Mostly, I really hope that I get to have a nice long conversation with my dad, and Rich's dad in the much to ask them and tell them.

More Later

- A Ro

Project 365 Week 21 (finally)

Better late than never is my new blog mantra.  Mind you it is the only time I use that mantra as most of the time I equate being late with you just don't do it.

We found a place to live so my weekend was spent packing, packing, and yep you guessed it more didn't get any time to sit down and upload my weeks worth of pictures.

So if you forgive me then read on and see what my week looked like.

A Handsome Cellist

Andrew had his big orchestra gala on Sunday night.  I love watching him play, he is such a good musician and I am so proud of him.
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

To get to our new house...this is our patio and our new neighbor.  So funny that this Iowa girl is going to live next to chickens in California.  The problem is where there are chickens there is usually loud roosters...

Talented Singers

I chose this picture for a couple of reasons.  1.  I had my Middle School Choral concert Tuesday night. 2.  It was our final piece with all my students on stage.  3.  My butt doesn't look TOO gi-normous, and 4.  I had good hair that night.  I love my job.

Another Group of Talented Kids

My Middle School Theater kids had their showcase on Friday, today was a big rehearsal.  They did songs of Rogers and Hammerstein.  Some of this kids had to muster up all their courage to get up on stage and sing their solos or duets.  They did a fantastic job.

Bella Gets to Show Off
It was Bella's Open House tonight.  We got to walk around her classrooms and see all the things she has done this year.  Here she is with an art project that she did.  I got this picture made into some cards for my mom.  She has on her ballet shoes and she is stretching.  Such a cute girl and picture.

A Visitor

Zach came to visit me on Friday.  What a great surprise!!  I had so much fun catching up and hanging out.  It is really great when my alumni come back to see me and tell me how wonderful they are doing.  It really makes me proud of them and gives me such a good feeling that I had a small part in who they have become.  I love my job.

Good Friends

Bella got to go to her friends birthday party on Saturday night.  She adores Alex (and Chloe whos arms are sticking out of their heads).  I am so lucky that Bella has such great friends and that she is a good friend in return. 

In Summary:

It is obvious from this week's pictures that I am so blessed.  We found a place to live, my kids work so hard and their efforts really pay off.  They have great friends and I actually have a picture of my backside that isn't so bad.  What a great week!!

More Later

-A Ro

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Dressed to Impress

School uniforms are a total get-out-of-the-house-on-time blessing.  I mean how hard can it be??  Pants or skort and red or blue polo shirt. That is it.  You reach into your closet and grab two things and put them on.  I love it.

Even on free dress days it is pretty easy around my house.  Bella, for being a 4th grade girl, isn't all that into fashion.  She really doesn't obsess over clothes or shoes, and so far her idea of accessorizing is which peace scarf should she wear, or whether should she wear her penguin earrings or her turtle earrings.  Even though I am painfully aware that all of that will change, I am enjoying her carefree attitude towards fashion.

However, today was wear your pajamas to school.  You would have though she was dressing to meet the president or at the very least Justin Bieber...

wait a minute I forgot that Bella doesn't like Justin Bieber (thank goodness) and per our last conversation about favorite bands she informed me that The Beastie Boys was her favorite band...YIKES...

Anyway, getting back to pajama day drama.  She wanted to wear her silkie monkey pajamas but they are long sleeved and she was worried that she would get girl.

Then she wanted to wear her candy pajama bottoms but that would require her to wear a tank top shirt that kind showed her belly and she thought that was just not girl.

Then she wanted to wear her froggie pajamas but they were shorts and she thought the shorts were too short and she doesn't like her shorts to be "too" girl.

So I suggested some pajama bottoms and just a plain old t-shirt really pushing this idea as comfortable and practical AND we needed to move on to the what-she-is-going-to-have-for-breakfast conversation.  As I didn't allot this much time for the what-am-I-going-to-wear conversation. 

Eventaully she comes downstairs still in her what-I-wore-to-bed pajamas and informs me that she likes my idea of the plaid pajama bottoms and the art center t-shirt because they go together and even though it is just going to school in your pajamas day a girl has to at least look coordinated.
Maybe the Beastie Boys are coming to school...

Or maybe, just maybe we have entered the I need to look good phase...

Help me...

More Later

- A Ro

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bigger Than Blue Eye Shadow and Braces

As you might have already realized I didn't do a Random Dozen yesterday.  I have a very good reason and it may or may not have anything to do with my suddenly overloaded week.  I am not complaining at all.  I have had an enjoyable and fulfilling week, just a little overloaded.

Rich and I are looking for a place to live.  We are getting discouraged about not finding anything and have some feelings of...frustration.  I have to remind him me that only two short years ago we were saying good bye to each other as he was moving back to Iowa and I really thought I might not ever see him again.  I need to remind him me that we should be thankful that we are having this problem of trying to find a place to start our new life together.  We are lucky that our paths in life continue to cross and that this time our paths are the sappy story short we have been busy looking at overpriced places whos idea of a backyard is a small piece of concrete out back.   We even looked at a place that we would only be able to fit one of our three couches...and let me tell you I am in trouble when I judge a living room based on whether or not our whole family can watch Chuck at once without having to sit on each others laps.  I have my standards.

I also had my Middle School choral concert on Tuesday night.  My Sixth Grade Chorus performed and my Middle School Chorus performed. 

Now my memories of Middle School include a lot of issues with my braces, the fact that my stringy straight hair wouldn't feather even with an ozone depleating amount of Aqua Net, and that the cute football player Mike Martens didn't even know I existed dispite my feeble attempts to sit next to him in study hall and bat my blue eye shadowed eyes at him. 

Let me tell you these Middle Schoolers have such a harder deal.  Not only do they have the same preteen agnst that we all had they are also constantly worried about grades and achievements, things that I never remembered worrying about.  So I am very honored that these kids get up on stage and sing their hearts out for me.  Something that takes a lot of guts and hard work.  Hard work that doesn't involve flash cards and tutors.  Hard work that uses that other part of the brain and that shows them that being part of a team doesn't always involve winners and losers.  This kind of hard work is a release for them and I am always in awe of all they can accomplish.

My Middle School Chorus especially take the gutsy cake.  They amaze me.   
If I can direct your eyes away from the fact that yes once again my posterior is the center of attention long enough to notice a couple of things.  1) There are only 6 students in this choir.  2)  There is only 1 boy in this choir and 3) They are on stage about to sing in front of a full house and they are smiling.

Again, I will ask you to go back...way those preteen years.  Those years where we tried so hard to NOT draw attention to ourselves, to blend in, to fit in, to hide amoungst the crowd until we figured out who we were and what we wanted.  These kids fight all those instincts and stand on stage and sing.  I am constantly impressed and oh so proud. 
They are the reason I do what I do...I love them dearly.

More Later

-A Ro

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday, Monday, La la la la la

You were supposed to be singing along with me to the Mamas and the Papas...just in case you didn't get it.

My weekend came and went like a kid home from college with dirty laundry.  We were so a good way, but here it is Monday morning and my head is reeling from the escaping weekend. 

Why was it so busy, you ask?? 

OK just pretend here

Well eager reader here it goes:

Friday - Andrew had his final regular season game and if they won they would be league champs.

It went a little like this:
Bottom of the 8th all tied up with bases loaded, 2 outs, 2 strikes to and WE GET A HIT AND WIN THE GAME!!!!! Crowd goes wild aaaaahhhhaaaahhhhaaaahhh

Andrew got a game ball without stepping onto the field.  He was keeping such good stats in the dugout that he was letting the coaches know what pitches to throw based upon what pitches each batter could and couldn't hit.  My freshman on the varsity team, usin' his noggin...gotta love that!!

Saturday - My vocal jazz group performed at our schools benefit.  We got to get all dressed up and they sang their little hearts out.  We all went to dinner at a local restaurant and had a blast.  I love my job and the kids I get to spend time with.

Sunday - Andrew had his final Youth Orchestra concert today.  He got to play percussion on one of the pieces for the younger group with his dad.  His dad is the musical director for the whole youth orchestra system and conducts the top orchestra, the one Andrew plays in.  I love this picture...look how tall my boy is.

Here is Andrew playing his cello for his portion of the concert:

WHOOSH...there it went.  At least I wasn't bored...ha ha!!

And just because it is Monday, and it is raining, just a few more pictures to make my day (and yours too).  Plus I miss them very very much!!
What did you see JoJo??
Sami Loves Ice Cream
I am glad to see Tyler takes his ice cream cone eating very seriously.

Stop it right now, Abby!!  My heart is breaking into a million pieces.

Don't worry Aunt Amy is coming soon!!

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Project 365 Week 20

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I have been a little awol around here lately.  When I don't blog much I actually miss it...crazy huh??  I'll get back to it this week.

HOWEVER, I did manage to keep up on my Project 365, so here it is week 20...

 MMMM Good (and the stew looks good too)

Rich cooked me my favorite beef stew for dinner. This is a very high maintenance recipe and he did a fantastic job.  There is nothing better than seeing a man cooking in the I right???
Look Ma There's A 'Coon in Our Tree

Monday morning as we are getting ready for school Maggie was just barking like crazy at our tree.  Bella went out and spied a raccoon perched up in the tree.  She got this picture just before I made her come in, didn't want no 'coon deciding he didn't like my girl takin' his picture.


Rich loves his little girl Sarah more than anything in this world.  He misses her and wishes he could talk and see her more often.  To say Bella is replacing Sarah couldn't be farther from the truth.  Likewise, Bella loves her dad very much, and Rich could never take his place.  However,  I think that Bella and Rich are finding small places in their hearts for each other.  It really warms my heart to know that Bella has Rich in her life and that he has her.

Bella Makes My Day 

I found this note in my ipod case.  Bella is always leaving me notes everywhere.  She is such a kind and wonderful girl.

Bella Dancerella
Bella had her open house assembly today.  She danced and sang in the choir.  She amazes me every time I see her up on stage.  She is so poised and beautiful without a trace of arrogance.  I love watching her perform.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Andrew's baseball team won their division tonight.  It was a hard pressed win.  Bottom of the 7th (they only play 7 innings) and they tied it up.  Top of the 8th the other team scored and then bottom of the 8th we tied it up and then...2 outs...bases loaded...and we got a hit to win the game.  Andrew got a game ball even though he didn't play, because he stole the other teams signs and kept such good stats on the bench that he knew which pitches they were going to throw AND which pitches the other teams batters couldn't hit.  That is my boy!!

Look at that Lovely Bunch

My vocal jazz group got asked to sing at this years benefit.  We got all dressed up and went to the Four Seasons and performed.  It was a lot of fun and they sounded SO good.  We then went out to dinner at a local restaurant.  It was a great night. (More pictures to follow)

In Summary:  I am so blessed to have such a sweet and loving husband-to-be.  I am thankful that the raccoon stayed in our tree, and didn't decide to have Maggie for breakfast.  My very talented kids are very lucky to have Rich in their lives, and so am I.  We are ALL very lucky to be in this together, I couldn't pick better companions. It was a truly great week.

More Later

- A Ro

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Pomp and Circumstances of the Random Dozen

Randomness is my take on Linda's Random Dozen.

1. Please share one memory of your high school graduation. Pics would be great!
Couldn't come up with a picture, but man did I have a cute dress and really good hair that day.  I had an awesome party (open house) and lots of friends there.  Rich teases me to this day that I didn't invite him, but I don't remember him even being in town.  He says he was and was dying to come. 

Sorry, honey...I'll spend the rest of my life making it up to you!!!

2. What is one "emergency use" item you keep in your vehicle at all times?
I like how emergency use is in quotes.  Which means that my stash of Twizzlers might just count.  Seriously, my answer is just as lame as the Twizzlers one.  I keep a heavier jacket in the car because I am ALWAYS cold, so I am ALWAYS prepared in case of a weather "emergency".

3. In your region, do you celebrate graduation open houses? Addendum: (If so,) how many open houses/bridal showers/weddings are on your upcoming events calendar?
When I was graduating from high school we did open houses, but I graduated in the midwest.   Out here in California we don't do them, as much. 

4. Tell me one truth you believe about motherhood.
It is on-the-job-training at its finest.

5. What was the last thing you broke?
It is a wonder that I don't have a daily list of things that I have broken...especially a body part, as I am a clutz.  I trip, I fall, I knock things over, I try to carry too many things at once, but for the moment I cannot think of one thing that I have actually broken lately.  I am taking that as sign that my guardian angel is keeping up with me.

6. On average, how many pieces of junk mail do you receive daily?
Too much!!  I think of all the wasted trees...sigh.  At least with junk e-mail no trees were harmed.  I get about 3 pieces a day, which seems a lot less than I usually get.  I guess with the economy the way it is no one wants to give anyone credit, so that cuts out about half of the crap I used to get in the mail...ha ha.

7. Do you like to shop by catalog?
With clothes, I like to think I do, but when I get something I usually send it back and that is a hassle.  I live in LA so I usually can get most anything I want here and don't need a catalog, with the exception of rice paper and if there was a catalog for that I would surely use it.

8. Is lawn maintenance at your house a "his job," a "her job" or "his/her job" or "that's why we have teenagers" job?
It is a "his job" all the way.  If it were up to me we would need a machette to get out of our house, I just don't care and hate doing it, really a not such a good combination.

9. Which room would you like to redecorate in your home?
MY KITCHEN (said with emphasis and exasperation)  I love to cook but have to cook in a very archaic kitchen.  I hate tile countertops, and guess what I have in my kitchen.  My cupboards are too low for my countertop as I cannot use my Kitchen-Aid mixer without turning it sideways.  My oven is so tiny that I cannot cook even three small sheets of cookies at once...and don't get me started on how it always burns the bottoms and hardly cooks the tops.

ok...all done.

10. Do you read a newspaper regularly, or do you read most of your news on line?
I love my Sunday LA Times.  I love the Calendar and Arts and Books sections.  I also do the crossword puzzle, and I love the ink on paper quality of that, would never do it on-line.  However, most day to day news I get on-line.

11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
Yes I do.  Meeting Rich the way that we did, and the timing of it all really proved that to me.  The pain in your life often becomes a blessing in disguise.  You just have to believe...all the time.


12. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
I am more worried about doing the right things.  I know that if I choose the right path then I will be successful.  That is to say, I can usualy get things done the right way as long as I am on the right path.  It is choosing the right path that is difficult.

In summary:  I am so thankful that the one day where it mattered most I had a good hair day.  I do believe that things happen for a reason, except can't quite figure out how my horrid kitchen fits into that line of thinking.  Motherhood is the hardest job you'll ever love, and boy do I hope that I am on the right path with that one.  Finally, I am so glad that even though I didn't invite him to my graduation party, Rich's is still willing to do the yard work, because I certainly do not know how to use a machette.

More Later

- A Ro

Monday, May 10, 2010


My Mother's Day was wonderful. 


I didn't lay in bed all day with a good book.

I didn't get served breakfast in bed.

I didn't get to go to an all day spa.

I didn't get a new car.

I didn't get expensive jewelry.

I didn't get taken out to a fancy dress-up brunch.

I didn't get flowers.

I didn't get chocolate.

Now before you get all upset for me let me tell you what I did get...

I didn't get to lay in my bed all day and read a book, but I did get to take my very sweet kindhearted daughter to her friends house for a play date, and see her smiling face and hear her genuine "Thank you Mom"

I didn't get breakfast in bed, but I did get a nice long morning run that will add years to my life.

I didn't go to an all day spa, but I did get to do laundry (with a lot of help).

I didn't get a new car, but I got a mico-planer and a new utility knife (thanks Rich for paying attention when I drop hints about what I want)

I didn't get expensive jewelry, but I did get a new blue butterfly beaded necklace from my daughter.

I didn't get taken out to a fancy dress-up brunch, but I did get to go eat lunch at my favorite BBQ restaurant Reds.

I didn't get flowers, but I did get some new Bath and Body Works shower gel and lotion, in my very favorite (and Rich's too) scent, warm vanilla sugar.  In fact I am not the kind of girl who likes flowers, I mean I like flowers, but buying me a dozen roses doesn't thrill me at all.  Now some daisies, that might do the trick, but generally I would rather have something that will last a little longer.

I didn't get chocolate, but I did get my very favorite (and not easy to make) Beef Stew fixed by Rich for dinner.

In other words I got to be an appreciated Mom, and with my loving family...that pretty much happens everyday.

Thanks Rich, Andrew, and Isabella for taking such good care of me every day of my life.

I love you all.

More Later

- A Ro

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day

To my mom...

To Moms of little girls...

 and Moms of big girls...
To Moms of big boys...
and Moms of little boys...
To new Moms...

and...veteran Moms...

Because good Moms turn boys into good Daddies.

...of the present...

 ...and the future.

Thank You

More Later

- A Ro

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Project 365 Week 19

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Sara calls us to link up our project 365 over at her blog.   I am excited to share my week with all of you.  Head over to Sara's and check out everyone elses pics.

Where Is Your Ball Maggie?
Either she is very patient or follows "the out of sight out of mind" mentality of a baby.  She just sat there with her ball in her collar.  She didn't try to get it at all.  She usually only gets it if we throw it.  If we put it on the floor in front of her she will just look at it and look at us.  She is such a good dog.


 Waiting Patiently...Sorta
As I was trying to be patient and thankful while waiting for my coffee, I decided to snap a picture of the beauty that I have to look at while waiting.  It really made me appreciate that morning...even the waiting.


 My Kidlets
Got a shot of Bella watching Andrew (number 2) warm up to hit.  She found this table and chair and worked on homework at the game.  She got it ALL done.  I like this picture.

My old phone stopped working and was, thankfully, under warranty.  They sent me a new one and instead of a beautiful rosy color, as I had before, I got ORANGE.  Oh well, it is orange and black my high school colors.  Plus if you think I am going through the hassle of trying to get my old color back...think again.

 Silly Girl...As Usual
You can always count on Bella for some daily silliness.  I so love this girl.

Giggly Girls
We went to my schools Middle School play last night.  Isabella invited her friend Alex to come with us to dinner and to the show.  They both loved teasing Rich, and secretly he had fun too.  


I have been looking and looking for this cup for about a year now.  I have the smaller one, and just love it.  In trying to use less plastic, I started my hunt again.  I went to about a dozen stores and they all were sold out.  I went on-line and couldn't find any, except the $40.00 ones on e-bay...psh..yeah right.  I decided to just stop looking and focus on being thankful for the one I had...lesson learned from my new book.  Then all of the sudden last night while in Starbucks, there she sat on the shelf, as if to say  "Hi friend, here I am"...

In Summary:  Good things happen to good people.  I know reality and I know who I am.  I am a gal who loves my kids, who loves all things orange, and who is blessed to live (and wait) in a beautiful town.  The universe is good to me.

More Later

- A Ro