Seriously, it was a "hike". Today we walked down to the ravine and up the dry and frostbit water bed, and then up the slopes of our neighbors property till we got to his awesome handmade trails (he's done a fantastic job, and there's no reason we should ever have to pay to get into a national park to do some hiking). It was really interesting how it was a micro climate in the ravine, with mud and twigs with leaves totally frosted over and covered with snow (even the big rocks we had to climb over). We were dressed warm enough as long as we kept moving, and Emilie enjoyed the whole hike from my back (I still can't put her on my back by myself, but perhaps after some practice). As for George, he did an incredible good job hiking, though he did need a little help from daddy since the path we normally took was covered with a fallen tree and branches our neighbor cut down and threw there in the dry stream bed. The obstacles made it all the more exciting though, so we didn't mind (well, George did, but he was helped over and across). Well, it was a fantastic day, and we're thankful that it shouldn't get colder than it already has! Love and hugs, Mary.
What a fabulous birthday party we had! Mom, Emilie, my niece Kaydon and I, each have birthdays within a week of each other. This year we decided to have a girls time out, and have a tea party! It was a very nice time, the tea was good, and we had a splendid time chatting. In the back were plastic beads and hats to put on (though mom brought her own), and we got to try on various ones in the mirror in back before sitting down for tea. The place we went to was called Tea Upon Chatsworth. It was little on the more expensive side for a sit-down with some herbal tea, so next time I think we may try elsewhere (we might make a tradition of having a girls tea party for our birthdays! ;)), but it was really very nice! It was both Emilie's and Kaydon's first tea, and they both did lovely with manners (Emilie didn't scream as long as she had morsels to chew, and Kaydon learned etiquette from Nana very well). After our three course tea meal, we opened presents and then headed to the library across the street, where Kaydon finally got to see George and visa versa and they got to play! ... we did get a light chiding from the librarian, but she was very kind about it, and we really tired to whisper. ;)
This morning I woke up, and Emilie had crawled into bed with George! I grinned, it was so cute! I also noticed in amaze that it had snowed outside! I consider this our first snow of the year (though we did technically had a pile of it beside the house and garage but I wouldn’t really consider that our first snow… and we had some really light flurries yesterday, but I wouldn’t consider that a “first snow” either. Anyway, this is our first “substantial snow” (I can just hear everyone back east laughing at me…). Ooh! Big puffy snow flakes are falling right at this moment! Oh, how beautiful…. There’s nothing more beautiful than snow in the mountains… which can only be appreciated by hiding in our heated bedroom looking out threw the window. ;)
For Thanksgiving last night, we decided to try something as a family which we never tried before, we had a thanksgiving meal dining out! I never would have considered trying this, but since we already had our Thanksgiving celebration early when family could come out and visit, I wasn’t about to prepare another ordeal. ;) Well, it was an interesting experience. We went to Claim Jumper and were presented with Thanksgiving menus, and then proceeded to wait and watch football on an overhanging TV and chat as we waited for food. The food took forever, but it was really really good! If I had the chance to do it again though, I’d still opt for being with family at home rather than out, but it really was a fantastic experience. The menu was quite expensive, the whole meal per person starting at $23 each! Luckily this included a three course meal. We were floored at the end however that the waitress informed us that our meal was entirely taken care of and paid for by someone else! I couldn’t believe it! How kind of those people! I was really shy and didn’t know how to respond to the whole situation, this has never happened to me before! I really think it was the couple across from us, they had been chatting with the waitress and I remember it seeming odd that she had been sitting down with them to chat! I couldn’t be sure though, but apparently they didn’t want credit even if it was them! Oh how sweet. Thank you to whoever you are who were so kind.
It seems funny, but with not being in a frenzy this year in the kitchen and being out and about with Scott and the kids, I realized and felt how close Thanksgiving and Christmas relate to one another as I was feeling so thankful, being in the moment with them. I realized that being in the moment and with being thankful, I felt more happy and even more thankful too! Gratitude is far more important than finding presents for others and going crazy during Black Thursday Friday sales, and that gratitude and kindness to others, I think (like the sweet-thinking folks who paid for our meal), are the sweetest gifts we can give to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, don’t you think? It was so interesting how, with not being in a rush, how you can stop and really appreciate… Maybe, just maybe, we go too overboard with Thanksgiving if we can’t see how they truly tie together with Christmas. Being out and about and hearing Christmas music helped me connect the two too I think. ;)
I’m so thankful for my family, here and abroad, and I love you all. I hope you had a splendid Thanksgiving and are having a wonderful Christmas season, and we send our love!
Lucky Elvis Schwarzenegger Comer-Cutler was Lucky’s name. I first saw him in a pin at a pet shop, overlooking the San Diego temple. I was battling with depression and my parents thought a puppy would help. When I saw Lucky, I knew he was the one. His beautiful brown eyes looking up at me, his reddish golden hair, with a beautiful flag like waving tail. I picked him up, I was so content. My dad was trying to guilt me into getting a mangled looking dog that looked like Benji who had crawled it’s miserable way out of a storm drain. I was about to get that mangy looking dog just out of pity, when my parents said if I really wanted Lucky, that I needed to pick him up and hold him then and not let him go. I didn’t realize why then, but I picked him up anyway. The reason they wanted me to hold him was because the family who had “claimed him” two hours ago had said they’d be back in one and needed to get their child or children to double check with them (they had been taken away with him too). The woman had agreed to hold him for one hour. Now that it had been two, she was off the hook. I didn’t let him go, and I took him home with me. I remember walking to the car with him and saying, “I’ll name him Lucky”. Oh, how my world seemed to look up from that moment on… even though I did end up getting taken by the CPS and my parents divorced… it worked out for the best though! ;)
Lucky loved life by my side and I by his, he was my baby, and I was a mom by age 11. Though we didn’t always have the dream pet-owner relationship (I was a kid after all), it worked out in the end. At a particularly hard time of my life, I was always yelling and just angry at him (in my defense, he barked all the time). One day it hit me, "why am I being so mean and angry at my dog?". Guilt hit me and I realized I really didn’t like the way I had become and it really wasn’t appropriate. After that rough spot in my teen years, I made a change, and again became close with him and decided to treat him with the love, kindness and respect he needed and deserved. That was probably the best lesson Lucky blessed me with, and I’m only now thinking of it...
Later in life, I met my husband Scott. It made me so happy that Lucky was alive and there for me on my wedding day, and be the “Best Dog” of the wedding. Lucky was there to give me a dance after my Sweetheart, Scott, was there to give a few barks and even bring the ring down the isle during the ring ceremony at Balboa Park! He was such a good ring bearer and I remember him clearly running down the isle with his long floppy ears flapping in the wind, his tail wagging, and getting caught by Scott at the isles end! Oh, what a wonderful day that was. That day was September 23, 2011.
A little short of a year later, Lucky was there to greet George when he came home from the hospital. Two years after that, he was able to meet our new born daughter, Emilie. It greaves me to miss him so, but I always wanted him to meet my little ones! He was there for the most momentous moments of my life, the biggest most spectacular times... Times that I most desperately wanted him to see and be there for, and he was. He’s bestowed licks on both my children, and blessed me with a friendship with him that will scope all of eternity, and I will love him forever!
The last few years or so of his life were hard, but also one filled with adventure and excitement. Because my husband grew up in a very different setting and upbringing, and due to his sensitive nature, Lucky had to become an outdoor dog after a lifetime of being an indoor one. Though this was very hard on him socially, it was a time of adventure and experience. Our whole 6 acre property has been throughly explored and patrolled by Lucky. During a family hike last Thanks Giving, with my whole side of the family, we went exploring the corners of our lot up hills and bush. Lucky was right there, digging and crawling right under the brush going places, while everyone else worked through partial clearings and paths. Even in my most recent memories of hikes, Lucky loved to take shortcuts and explore places the rest of us couldn’t. There has been times when he’s found fresh bones, dead birds, and even mice and able to eat the delicacies that he was never really able to eat and enjoy before. Indeed, he was able to be a dog and enjoy the sights and smells of nature.
The last day of his life, his tail was still wagging. He gave all of us licks at the Vet before his journey across to the next life began. He was then given a 5x dose of opiates to take away the pain, and for the first time in a long time, he was able to feel at peace and have the deepest most comfortable sleep he could have. He was then given a shot to put him under anesthesia and help him cross over, the day being November 20th, 2015. The Vet was so kind to all of us as we underwent the process. It still hurts so badly to think of it all, but I’m so happy he doesn’t have to endure a cold, cold winter in his old age, with zero body fat, cooped up in a garage for warmth. He had a wonderful last few days of his life with the warmer weather, and we were so blessed to have him here with us and be able to spend some more time with him. Dear Lucky, I love you. We’ll all see you again soon.
Brrr, it's getting cold! Luckily we had a few days warm streak, so I'm not complaining (I hear it's 9 inches of snow in Chicago!). The temperature is dropping again to the 40's and 50's on average and as cold as the 30's. The 60's have been awesome for outdoor fun but alas, goodbye. George, Emilie, Scott and I have had some nice outdoor time. All from letting the goats out, to eat the long grass out of reach, to letting the chickens out of their coop in experiment to see if they wouldn't die in our site. We've also had some fun hikes around the harder to reach parts of our property, and some playing, with rolling wheels down the driveway and throwing balls up at the roof! Yes, it's been fun! Now we'll have to get George some snow pants... and Emilie a new snow suit that fits!
My blog just totally deleted itself, Weebly, I thought you changed! Ugh. Well, family was up around the 18th for an early Thanks Giving. We had fun. The kids had so much fun with Scott, as you can see from the picture to the left! George had so much fun with his cousins too and was in complete tears when they had to say their goodbyes and go home. Do you see that car to the right of them? They all crowded in and on that thing together. Hilarious right?
For thanks giving meal, it was a nice one! I wish I would have remembered that one of Kat's girls (she has a remarkable fear of becoming famous so I can't show her face on my blog or probably even mention her name...) is vegetarian, then I would have focused more efforts on vegetarian food! Well, it was a great meal we had. I have to give a shout out to my sis Kat and her hubby Jesse for taking over the Turkey again this year and also making the yummiest apple pies! I'm so scared to cook a Turkey, but I suppose I'll have to do it one year (or maybe I'll just buy a rotisserie chicken...?). I've also decided I need to learn to make my own apple pie, it's a really cool process.
It was so nice all being together this year again. It wasn't perfect, at times it was stressful, but we still managed to have a great time together as a family. I love my nieces, I love my sis and brother and their families too. You guys are awesome, and I love you. <3
This I thought to add... on the way to church we saw two pigs walking in front of us on the way to church. Man, I love my neighborhood...
Thank you to all the family who read my blog. You mean the world to me.
Exciting news on a hard day, I got my glasses for $22 including lenses and with a discount, and now I can finally see in glasses other than threw my squint-through oval ones. I'm pretty happy with them, though I don't know how "flattering" huge glasses can be, though I did want huge ones (I love that the prescription is sharp and that there's bigger viewing than with my small oval ones). If you need glasses and try eyebuydirect.com, you can use my referral coupon and get 15% off (IFNIIYCJ5M). My mom has gotten them before, but I didn't really know what to expect, but am really happy with them. They come with a case too. ;)
Getting glasses was added some excitement to my day since it took a turn for the worst this morning when George walked up to me unconsolable. I ended up taking him to Nana's room and curling up in bed with him at 10am and he went right to sleep, and later as he was napping it sunk in that he was sick. Now, it being 3:09pm, he's been drifting on and off (now snoring) between watching Octonauts. I don't really know what he has, but he had a slight temperature of 100.9 and I oiled his feet with Thieves essential oil blend and some lemon and giving him some electrolytes to drink. He's doing much better (sleeping). Helping both George and Emilie has proven challenging, but as long as I have something yummy in hand, Emilie can be distracted most of the time, and as long as I have Octonauts on, George is distracted most of the time. Before I had that show on though, oh my gosh I was dying. Emilie was on my leg tugging and crying and George was grabbing at my chest with tears of misery. I'm so thankful my mom is here to help! Now that both of my little ones are sleeping, it's a nice break and a relaxing time to blog. I think George will be better in no time, and mostly back to his normal self tomorrow. I really wish he could communicate more and tell me how he is feeling (apparently "sick" isn't in a three year olds vocabulary, and the only word is "no" when sick). I Love You My Bugaboo. <3
Yesterday, we had an awesome time down the hill, to soak up some sun in San Diego! It did get cold in the evening, but the day was rather nice and in the 70's. In addition to getting some warmer sunshine on our skin, we got a little Christmas shopping done and picked up some more warmer clothes for Emilie (and a pair of shirt and pants for George too, seen in the pic above). George and Emilie did splendidly well while shopping and I was really proud at how well they did! After some shopping, we had a nice long walk and George got in some nice running. I tried my best to take some good shots of both George and Emilie but it seems impossible to get one that's not blurry! Here are some of the best pics I took. ;)
Falltime is getting cold, really cold. Waking up last morning we were surprised to find a small pile of snow the corner between the house and garage. Even though it's cold though with 50's and below I'm making a point of getting George and Emilie outside every day! Bundled up, we go out for a brisk walk with Lucky and clean the goat pin (I've learned the consequences of neglecting them, and the results are complete inhumane filth. Gotta get out there, especially when it rains or snows!). It was really nice getting out and it helped a little bit with seasonal depression (getting as much limited sunlight on the skin as possible). Later today also, we made an unplanned trip to our small town and did some window and Christmas shopping. Emilie got lots of coos as we made our rounds and George some complements as well as we explored stores that I've never set foot in. Though we ended up getting nothing (only because I left the diaper bag in the car with my personals), we had an awesome time. After going back to the car though, we made a pit stop on the way home and grabbed a little treat, which we had after dinner. It was amazing how fast the time flied, but then again, I guess that's what you want because it means your having a good time. :) I've laid my eyes on a few possible Christmas gifts too! Now I have time to sit with the ideas as well and think if they'd be good ideas (since I practically forced myself into a corner to not be able to buy things). Impulse buys are never good, but so easy to do! If you're like me, perhaps it is a good idea to leave the wallet behind and sit on ideas. Oh goodness, that $30 hat was beautiful, now I have some time to get over it (it wasn't even a Christmas present either!)...
One of our favorite places is the Library! George (and mostly, Emile too) have had such a fun time there. It is always an exhilarating experience loading up library bag and then taking them to the self checkout, sweeping them across the counter for a magnetic scan to take them away for weeks at a time. Today, we checked out over 20 books for both George and Emilie and two educational movies! The library has so many awesome things going all the time too. If a child reads 5 books before Nov 14th, they get a free In N Out Burger with a parent and librarian signature. They also have the "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten" program going on now too, which is completely awesome (we've totally read a thousand books in George's lifetime, but we just started doing the program a few months ago... and I don't always keep track of our readings!). There doesn't seem to be anything wanting at our library, and it's awesome how much is invested in our public libraries. Sometimes we get a few looks as we're loading our bag like the apocalypse just happened, but I really don't care as long as the Librarians don't mind! Sometimes we stretch out our library visits to every several weeks, but sometimes more often. It's always awesome to get George sparked over a 'new' book, and every time we come back from the library, all he wants to do is read! I'm so proud of him and I hope I can instill a love of reading in him, and also Emilie. There's power in learning to read and in reading!
This Halloween was a bit different this year! Instead of Trick or Treating, we went to Walmart, loaded up with our favorite candies and a Boston Cream cake and took it home to celebrate. We started off with a big feast of Tilapia fish, homemade sour cream mashed potatoes, and Fresh & Easy’s blend of delicious assorted veggies. After we stuffed ourselves (and let George eat his full and also at required least half a bowl of veggies if he wanted candy), we headed upstairs to celebrate! George was very excited as he helped me bring the big heavy bag of candy upstairs (he actually had to have me help him it was so heavy)! After opening our party upstairs with a little prayer, we watched Studio C’s Halloween special and laughed ourselves silly and afterwards rented the movie Tomorrow Land. Having a "no restrictions on candy" night with movies and chatting was really fun, and I think we’ll do it again! With a big special meal before hand, George didn’t eat as much as I was worried he would too. Costume wise, George dressed up as a dragon (though he only wanted to wear it at the beginning of the day), and Emilie dressed up as a fairy princess. Nana had her eye surgery on her other eye the day before, but luckily was feeling well enough to join in the festivities. We had such a fun time, and I think the kids will love to have this tradition stay going! The meal was seriously as much work as thanksgiving with doing it by myself with two crying upset children, but I must say it was totally worth it... though I did end up cracking under the pressure and ended up playing "un moto di gioja" (an emotion of joy), a 1 minute and 51 second song, over and over and over again. When Scott walked in from working in the garage, he didn't say a word about it. He must of known I was on the fringe of crazy there. Well, the dinner ended up great and we all lived, so I'll call the night a success! ;)
Just one of those average amazing moms... Cause you know, mommy = amazing.