Tuesday, December 31, 2013

all alright

it's new years eve.  the end of one year and the beginning of another.  my motivation for doing much of anything has been lacking in the last week.  my ideal christmas break includes a lot of coffee and a lot of tv.  these two things have been solidly accomplished.  oh, and I've slapped myself upside the head for being a whiner and I've started eating like an adult.  clean, healthy, in moderation.  it was a tough fall.  that's my only lame-ass excuse.

restore was my word for 2013.  it was a really great word.  needed in a time where my focus needed to be inward.  "He restores my soul" was my mantra for this year.  and in many ways, this has come to fruition.  yet, I'm not feeling very restored.  I'm feeling tired.  asleep.  unmotivated.  hesitant.

I'm listening to mumford & sons right now:

how fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
and now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
my weakness I feel I must finally show
lend me you hand and we'll conquer them all
but lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
lend me your eyes I can change what you see
but your soul you must keep totally free

awake my soul.

{my word for 2014 may have just found me.  that's for tomorrow though.}  although I don't feel it right in this moment, there has been a lot of restoration, reconstruction, resurrection in my world this past year.  change has been a prevalent theme for many around me.  although touched by change in my own little world, I could have never predicted that when the word restore found it's way into my heart that I would have the opportunity to be instrumental in the restoration of others as well.  and the refrain of my life plays again:  it's not all about you, cor.

I deeply contemplated keeping the word restore for another year.  I feel like I touched just the tip of the iceberg with it.  "there's no good reason why I can't move on...it was all alright and now it's all all wrong," sings the zac brown band in my ear right now.  okay, so they're singing a break up song, but you get the picture.  oh, and my boyfriend dave is on drums.  that's important.  "I'm as lost as a feather in a hurricane" - love that lyric.  okay, so I got off track and distracted by dave grohl.  fickle, I know!

maybe that's why I like new years eve.  it's like that last dance with a boyfriend that you know you can't hold on to anymore.  time to break up with the old and embrace what the new year brings.  time to shut the door on a year that was difficult and laborious and open up to the opportunities that 2014 will bring.

and in it all, it's me who has changed.  even if just a little bit.  I am not the same as I was 365 days ago.

neither are you.  one last dance.  then it's goodbye.  you were fun to play with, 2013, but far too difficult to live with for longer than necessary.  I'll wear the good memories like a badge in my {partially} restored heart.


Sunday, December 22, 2013


it's cold.  it's snowy.  we're on movie #2 in the "the santa clause" series.  but the sun is shining and there is baileys in my coffee.  have I done any shopping yet?  HECK NO!  ha!  okay, well there has been some on-line shopping but nothing is here yet.  EEEKKKK!  oh well.  I have a plan b.  it's ALL good. sigh.

A Christmas Version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah that will Give You Chills! from theremix on GodTube.

then there was this.  man, I need to get my piano tuned.  I keep wearing "bah humbug" t-shirts...and it's how I feel.  it's time to start spreading the joy.  three more sleeps!

Monday, December 16, 2013

o christmas tree

I hate that song.  way to start a post on "choosing joy" with such a negative slant, eh?  ha!  it's late, I'm tired, this week is stupid busy and I didn't really want to write.  that said, my oven has less than four minutes left on the timer, then I get to go to bed and watch some justified!  so today, I want to make a list of things I'm grateful for:

1.  my car hasn't called it quits yet.
2.  my hubs got a promotion at work.
3.  concert rehearsals went well today at school, considering we have a sick music teacher {not me} and a piano play who hasn't played any of the music until today {me}.
4.  we had a major scheduling crisis in jr high that got solved quite easily.
5.  my secret santa likes me!
6.  the kids went to bed without a fight.
7.  I got to pay for coffee for the car behind me in line at starbucks this morning.
8.  justified.  season 1.
9.  the grohl sessions - the zac brown band.
10.  getting on the scale this morning and being pushed into action.  sheesh.
11.  new teas.
12.  I can't think of a number 12.  and my buzzer went off.  sweet potatoes for tomorrow are done!

what are you grateful for?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

bridge over troubled waters

I had big plans to do a countdown to christmas based on the idea of joy.  choose joy to be exact.  you know, as in the tattoo I wear on my arm.  I've been learning over the past week is that a grateful, generous heart is a joy-filled heart.  this is a very loaded sentence.  one that I need to work on unpacking.  it's filled with truth and intensity and a way of living that I want to meet head on.

I have not been filled with joy in the last while.  I've been cranky.  quite horrible to be around.  and I'm hating on my bad attitude.  I wore my humbug t-shirt for #funshirtfriday {I'm trying to start something, people.  join me!!} and it's really how I feel.  sad but true.

well, I'm done.  I'm miserable because I'm choosing to be.  time to choose something different.  I've been wallowing in the busy that is my life for the last few months.  school has been ridiculously difficult.  I am tired.  I am weak.  I am worn.  and I'm done.  so, I'm going to end 2013 with a bang.

join with me.  choose joy.  blog about it, instagram it, tweet it, or don't talk about it at all.  but make a decision to be a mirror this season, reflecting the reason for why we celebrate christmas.  and I'm going to try blogging about it for the next 10 days!  join with me.  choose joy.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

shot at the night

there is a close dance between night and day.  between winter and spring.  between grief and hope.  when is that moment when you can say, "yes! there is more light than dark!"?  I would argue it depends on which direction you're looking.  when your feet are pointing east, you see it first.  that pink, red, orange hue coming up as a warning to the sun.  the dance.  slight, varying moments in our lives that take it from dark to light and then into darkness again.  so much not at our doing.  so much of the spinning of this earth taking it's toll.  its years.  its moments.

but the things I know to be true remain.  the human story is one of resilience.  and redemption.  and forgiveness.  I'd like to think that my feet are pointing east, yet I await.  I feel like I'm sitting in the dark, just waiting.  and apparently I'm totally over thinking things.  shocking.

I don't really know where I'm going with this post.  I had an odd dream last night and I woke up feeling sad.  disappointed.  irritated.  I hate that.  I've been sick the last couple of days and the amount of work piling up is a bit crazy.  hence the strange dream.  darn cold meds!  it could also be that the sun hasn't made an appearance in days.  I see the clouds are breaking up right now, but the grey does change my mood.

in a couple of hours I get 24 hours of a kid-less house.  I need to work on report cards more than anything in the world, but really I just want to sit.  and I want to wish that all would be well in the world.  that my friends who are the kindest, most giving people find fulfilling relationships.  that my friends that would be the most absolute wonderful parents ever would be able to have healthy pregnancies.  that the sting of death would be less.  that change would move people from a place of insecurity and loss to a place of growth and hope.  that the biggest risk that one of my friends is wanting to take will lead to some peace.  I wish I could take my magic wand and just make the world better for all of them.

and that I'd just be able to choose joy.  today.  tomorrow.  forever.  without hesitancy or fear.  remembering that the night isn't forever.  joy comes in the morning.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

dead for the day

I have no voice.  okay, well I have a bit of a raspy bit of loveliness, but I really have nothing.  my chest is heavy and the cough deep, so it's been a day of coffee, the voice - the blind rounds, facebook and NOT TALKING.  oh, and John bought me a blizzard.  what a good man.  so I am not a reality show watching kinda girl.  I like my crime dramas.  I watch the chew - ck, baby.  freakin' fabulous.  and the voice.  I had 14 episodes sitting on my pvr and today I needed the inspiration.  music is my jive.  yes, I may be home on a couple of sick days, but emotionally I've needed a break as well.  I kinda eluded to it in my last post, but things have been a bit nuts in my world lately.  and not even for me, but for the people I love most.

loss.  pain.  disappointment.  hurt.  it's tentacles have touched me in direct and indirect ways.  mainly indirect.  but it's my peeps that are being touched directly, so it's me too.  does that make sense?  breakups, death, miscarriages, relationship crap, more death.  for real.  all since the beginning of october.

so I have a very unique job.  I say it often, but I am the most blessed person in the world.  I get to go to work every day with people I adore.  love.  admire.  and I get to be the go-to person in my building.  and I don't say that in an arrogant way, but I sit in a most lovely office that just begs people to come in, take a chair and pour their hearts out.  and it's my privilege to hear their stories.  it's a privilege to laugh with them and cry with them.  it really is.  but like I said, my office has seen more tears than laughter lately.  I feel it all, I've walked it all with them.  so my heart is heavy at news that one of my dear friends has again today experienced another loss.  we can't seem to get a win.

I know in my soul that joy comes in the morning.  that the sun rises again.  spring always comes.  hope.  it's there.  I just need to get healthy.  physically and emotionally.  to refill my soul so I have something to give.  it's what I'm good at.  it's what I am so lucky to be able to do every day.  self care is what I preach, yet I often forget to take my own advice.  so today is about taking care of me.  hence my pjs, hours and hours of the voice {and some AMAZING music, by the way!}, lots of coffee and my couch.    and I'm going to hit the repeat button tomorrow.

this song came across my fb feed this morning.  it made me smile, just because dave grohl is playing the drums.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

time warp

so first, if you've been checking up on me to see if I'm still around, thank you.  it's been just over two months since my last post and I'm sorry for not being around.  that said, apparently I've been on an accidental sabbatical.  or maybe not so accidental if you believe in "everything happening for a reason".  I did not begin september with the idea of taking a writing break, but as we head into november, a break was taken for me.  alas, rest.  kinda.  I could make the argument that spending some time blogging each day would have created less stress, but time is perhaps the thing that has been against me for the last while.

I can't remember the last time that a school start up has been this draining.  it's been busy in the past - I'll site last year on that front - but this has just been damn exhausting.  I am in bed at least one night a week, by 730/800.  and I sleep soundly for 10+ hrs.  that is unheard of in my world.  until now.  so sometimes taking care of myself and my boys becomes ridiculously important.  so there's my explanation.  thanks for sticking with me though.

so, I've had somethings on my heart lately, and they're too much for me to hold close.  I need to talk them out.  write them out.  process.

the changes I've had to go through in the last six months have been overwhelming.  they've all been work related, but considering I spend almost half of my day at work, well it's a pretty big thing.  there is nothing like huge change to develop some "in the field" research on how people deal with change.  how I deal with change.  I suck at it.  outwardly I'm really good at it, so people would say.  inwardly, I suck.

what I know to be true is that every change comes some sort of loss.  loss requires grieving.  and from the ashes, one must arise again.  hopefully a different person.  hopefully a better person.  unfortunately, often loss breaks people.  I am in the middle of a season that requires me to experience restoration.  hope.  joy.  it will come in the morning.  the sun always rises.  even on a season of dark loss.  this I know to be true.

I have a whole post on this.  I just need to mull it around in my head a bit more.

it's good to be back.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Paul Newman vs. The Demons

it's been too long.  I'm not too sure where the summer has gone... {oh, and go discover the avett brothers.  AMAZING!}

{hockey.  yep, it never ends!}


{cute belly at the lake}

{a great way to enjoy great music, and meet new people!}

 {...like shakey graves!}

{a trip to the country}

{cousin sleepovers}

{a new-to-us car}

{volunteering at the edmonton marathon}

{crazy car adventures on the highway...sheesh!}

{and today, this started.}

I've been back at school for two weeks already {kids start on tuesday!} and I've struggled to get back into a routine.  but I feel gross.  and bloated.  and just icky.  time to refocus and start the work again.  I have to be honest though, the summer hasn't been full of stupid eating.  just not at the level I know I can be at.  not all is awful, just needing another fresh start.  it's all good.  that said, it's been a journey this summer.  a journey to realize that even if I never lose another pound ever, that I can be okay in my skin.  I'm not totally "there" yet, but I'm getting there...

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


so the new civil wars album dropped today.  this is important for a lot of reasons:
1. I was in need of some really great blog post titles
2. I needed a good cry.  not a lot of music stirs this kind of emotion in me.
3. I was pretty sure this album was never going to happen.  the band took a break.  I read an interview with joy and it kinda broke my heart.  then I realized that I totally get it, on far too many levels.  and now when I listen to this album, there is this sort of angst and sadness.  and it makes me sad.  
4.  I saw this review today and it resonated with me.  especially the title.  tension and grace.  and it got me thinking.  
5. I also read this blog post today and I may have had an ugly cry.  tension and grace.  

why am I always fighting?  why can't I just surrender?  there is such a deep self-loathing in my heart paired with such an incredible desire to be pursued that I can't buy that I have been pursued.  that I'm not worthy.  I do not feel worthy.  of grace.  of love.  I push away.  I shove my heart away.  I move.  I run. I escape.  I do not feel worthy.  am I just having a moment?  yeah, probably.  but as I work through the word "restore", and I take time to rest, the truth about myself rises to the surface.  and it's ugly.  

interesting enough, I'm feeling close to the breaking point.  that I've almost been pinned down long enough and I'm ready to say "uncle".  but I'm afraid.  what happens when I give in?  what do I lose?  what do I gain?  I'm afraid.  what I do know is that it's time to quit acting like a kid and just start pull up my socks, get off my ass and just start moving instead of wallowing.  sometimes behaviour needs to lead when your attitude is acting like a petulant little girl whining in the corner.  I love how I have this pep talk every couple of weeks.  are y'all getting tired of it yet?  I am.  

Friday, August 02, 2013

same old same old

I know, I know.  my blogging has been sporadic at best.  but I've been reading.  and going out with kids.  and getting my sun on.  and watching a crapload of tv.  I've been busy.  and my schedule is off.  we've been going to bed way too late and waking up way too late.  as much as I love sleeping in, it's august already people.  I need to get everything back on schedule.  oh, and I haven't done anything all summer, so I need to get at least one project done!  I feel like I've been hampered but the financial crisis that has been the summer of 2013 - we've poured almost $1500 into john's car then add the whole "cori getting pulled over by the cops" thing that happened this week; okay, so it's been a super expensive summer.  grrrr.  my project motivation has been low.  I'm rambling.  and maybe I'm having a little pity party.

so, I need a plan of attack.

1.  I need to start getting up a bit earlier.  I start back at work in two weeks.  and I read THIS today.  sigh.  I need to get my ass up out of bed earlier.  I think I'll start on monday!!

2.  hydration - must drink more water.  really, there's no explanation needed.  it means drinking less booze, I'm sure.  maybe I'll start this on on monday too.  ha!  never mind, I'll go get my water bottle right now.  I made another cup of coffee too.

3.  if you're looking for a book to read this summer, jack of diamonds by bryce courtenay is totally worth your time.  I may have been up until 2am finishing it last night.  it's a bit over the top, and not my favourite bryce courtenay book {that would be the power of one and jessica...tied for first place!}, but it's a great ending to a wonderful career.

4.  two weeks until I'm back at work.  and the next two weeks are pretty jammed packed.  folk fest {I'm volunteering this year!}, a trip to the north country {two nights with my bestie}, maybe more lake, john working on weekends instead of weekdays, hockey...well it's going to be busy.  so by the 15th, I'm getting my whole30 back on.

5.  I moved the pictures from my mom's camera to my computer.  so yes, you're being tormented with more vacation pictures!! {but these ones were not in my constant instagram feed while on vacay!}

 {I love this one of nate and minnie.}

 {wow, a family photo...and we're all looking at the camera!}

{the boys and I in line for something...maybe it's the boat ride at legoland?}

{neon in hollywoood}

{I think this is my favourite picture from the whole trip.  my dad and the boys.}

{the hunky hubs}

{the boys at the angels game}

Monday, July 22, 2013

neon tiger

it's tough getting to the psychosis that is my brain.  I've been avoiding writing this for awhile.  in fact, I've been avoiding even thinking about the reasons I'm so screwed up.  auto pilot.  I rock the auto pilot. so you know the drill, more random that leads {hopefully} somewhere.

1.  I crave approval from the people around me.  this is really hard for me to write.  I'd like to think that I'm better than that.  that I live my life with an eff you attitude.  truth is that approval means everything to me.  this is a huge issue.  it's easy for me to act differently.  to play it cool.  I'm good at that.  but what I've realized is that this has impacted me far deeper than I ever realized.  I don't actually think that needing approval is a bad thing, but when it runs your life, it's officially a bad thing.  this has been running my life.  for a long, long time.  I have no plan.  I don't know what to do with this.  maybe I just need to process this for a bit.

2.  I'm a bit of an all or nothing person.  no surprises there.  ha!

3.  I self-sabotage most good things in my world.  okay, so usually the things that are fiercely personal are the things I sabotage.  the things that require some self care.  my diet {says the girl who thought a second piece of nate's birthday cake would be a good idea.  oh, that's right, I'm dealing with my emotional baggage, of course I'd eat more cake.}.  my finances.  I could keep going.

4.  there are three or four people in this world whose opinion of me matters more than it should.  when I don't get approval from them, it matters to me.  and because I'm an all or nothing kind of girl, these things matter.  and then I sabotage myself.  see.  I told you something would come of this.  I just don't like the outcome.  at all.

5.  I suck.  but there's hope.  I'm surrounded by people who love me.  I know I'm not perfect.  I have a good life.  but this shit needs to be dealt with.  I need to figure all this out.  and I have no idea what that needs to look like.  knowing there's a problem is a big part of dealing with the problem, right?

I'll revisit this.  soon.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

from this moment

if you know the song reference, you get some ol' school brownie points!  it's stuck in my head, what can I say?

so I've had a lot of random rattling around in my head as of late.  it's really the same old shit, different day, but apparently this demon hasn't been laid to rest.  yet.  so, let me ramble my way through the unconnected and see if you can follow my thread.  I know, I ask a lot of you.  that's why I love you best.

I have been feeling really blah since we got back from vacation.  kinda normal, right?  well, it's gotten old.  really fast.  there is stuff that needs to get done around this house.

I really worked my ass off this spring, and at the end of june I was down a total of 20lbs and feeling really good.  I came back from vacation and was up 8.  not a huge deal, but a bit of a biggish deal.

this past week I tried a kazillon times to get my eating back on track.  my days were solid {for the most part} but then when john was at work at nights, I fell apart.  and there may have been an incident with the bottom of a jar of nutella last night.

blah + tight clothes + no motivation = more blah.  makes sense, right?  plus, I've been really bitchy with the kids.  I am flying off the handle just a bit too much.  it's kinda reminiscent of the summer of 2010.  the summer of CRAZYTOWN coming to live in my head.  THAT summer.

sugar is my nemesis.  the sugar dragon has it's claws in my head.  motivation is not my problem, but eating sugar in every form possible is totally my problem.  something I'm eating {that I think is healthy} has sugar in it.  it's making me crave more.  okay, so maybe I'm being over dramatic; what I know to be true is that all the will power in the world can't beat the chemicals and sugar in processed foods.  it sucks, but I need to cut that crap out.  all of it...{good bye yummy organic maple almond butter}.

then this morning, I had a bit of a revelation.  part of my revelation was this:  last night, my nephew slept over.  the kids were up too late and by the the time we got home from our movie, they were hyper and done all at the same time.  ty had sugar flowing through his veins and nate was whiney beyond control.  first he was hungry.  then he wasn't.  then he wanted toast.  then he wanted grapes.  then he expected that I'd just hop to it.  then he got mad.  he was having an-almost-ten-year-old-style temper tantrum.  and I was frustrated.  why can't the kid just pull it together for crying out loud?  you see where I'm going with this?  I've been having a tantrum.  a big one.  I'm tired.  I'm lonely.  I'm sad.  {insert whining and stomping noises here} I'm bored.  you get the idea.  so lets try the math on this one:  tantrum + tight clothes + the sugar dragon = an absolute bitch.  that's the reality.  and I'm trying to sell it in a nice pretty package of "post-vacation-blues".  eff that.

so, it's time to put on the big girl panties and start acting like a friggin' adult already.  kids can't say no to sweets.  I can.  kids have tantrums.  I don't need to.  kids push the boundaries with the rules.  been there, done that, have the t-shirt.  you get my point, right?  I am not a child.  it's time for me to start acting my age.  I can say no to the third glass of wine, knowing then I'll want to eat crap.  I can say no to ice cream, because I know it gets that sugar dragon roaring in my head.  I can say no to all of it.  I have that power.

so there are lots of reasons why I fall back into the same old habits.  and I'm not sure I want to get into them all tonight.  I'll do that later this week, I promise.  let's just say that seeing this quote today really hit close to home.

and just for the record, I was a big girl today.  there was no sugar binge.  there were some really healthy meals and some really great conversations with my "I knew her in kindergarten" lunch/shopping date today.  and perhaps a wee tweet that said this:  it's time to call bullshit on myself.  I'm done with the 10 year old pity party.  and I'll need this reminder tomorrow.  I'm old people, what can I say...

crazy in love

10 years ago.
10 years ago, I had no idea how my life was about to change.
10 years ago, I couldn't predict how one person would change my life.
10 years ago, I didn't get it.
10 years ago, I wouldn't realize how difficult and wonderful and amazing it would be.
10 years ago, I had no clue.

it seems like a lifetime ago that I drove myself to the hospital, hoping John got the message that I was heading to the hospital.  and it seems like yesterday, that I was standing in my friend's kitchen wondering if I had peed my pants, when really my water had just broken.  Nate's birth story isn't super exciting, but it had its drama.  induction.  epidural.  baby in trouble.  c-section.  baby out.  done.  and then the blur.  learning how to breast feed {THAT was fun}.  navigating the pain of a c-section with the need to take care of a new born.  being afraid to use the washroom, even in the hospital, because he was unattended.  wondering where the "I'm in LOVE with my baby" feelings were.  not knowing I was suppose to keep track of my pain meds {sheesh!}.  but also knowing that we were now responsible for this little boy, this sweet, wonderful, perfect little boy.  totally overwhelmed and totally under prepared.

and on the eve of his 10th birthday, I'm still clueless.  I still don't get it.  and I am still amazed by this young man that lives in our house and that we are blessed to call our son.  he drives me crazy, yet every night I get to pray with him, kiss his head and hold his hand.  he knows how to push my buttons, but he's totally okay with cuddling with me on the couch.  he isn't the most outgoing kid, but he's coming out of his shell and I can't bear to think that in the next 10 years, my influence will decrease.  my sweet boy, my sensitive, kind boy.  may your heart always be soft and your mind keen.  I don't think I've treasured the last 10 years the way I should have, but I know that you are a part of me.  you were the one to first call me mom.  you are my firstborn.  you are my son.  I love you, Nate and I'm so proud of the boy you are growing up to be.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

keep holding on

usually the summer is my prime blogging time.  I've been known to push out a post a day in past summers.  apparently I'm in "fall apart mode" this summer.  I think I have the post-vacation blues.

the boys have had swimming lessons this week {and next week as well!}, so I've had to be out of the house everyday.  that said, lessons aren't until 1145, so I've been able to sleep in until 10 every morning.  totally lazy.  my house is a mess.  ty's hair is a DISASTER area.  I've literally sat on my butt, drank a lot of coffee, watched a ton of tv and I've read 3 books already this summer.  either I'm the laziest person around or I rock.  okay, I've thought it over.  I'm going with the "I rock" category.

so, let me give you some book reviews.  THAT I can do!!

#1:  casino by nicholas pileggi

I bought this book for John after going to the mob museum for the first time last summer.  then I thought I should read it before going back to the museum.  well, I read 80% of it before going back and wow, did a lot of things make sense.  I need to watch the movie now, just because I'm curious how much they changed events for the movie.  however, the book in it's own right, was really well written.  and seriously FULL of interesting information.  I'm not usually a true crime kind of girl, but pileggi is a really good story teller.  which leads to book #2...

#2: wise guy by nicholas pileggi

I bought this at the end of my second trip to the mob museum.  and good thing, since we were stuck in the las vegas airport for a kazillion hours.  if you at all like mob history, this book is worth your time.  it's darn good!  and no, I haven't seen goodfellas...yet.  if you have, then you know the story of henry hill.  I was clueless.  sigh.  now another movie to watch.  ha!

#3: the eyre affair by jasper fforde

okay, so it took me awhile to get into this book.  it's a bit of a sci-fi book, with a literary/geek twist.  the really great thing about this book {and hopefully the follow up books}, is the heroine, thursday next.  she makes this book.  I have the next two or three books in the series, but I have a couple of other books I need to read before I get to them.  now that I get that the whole thing takes place in an alternative reality, I'm thinking they'll be an easier read!

#4: jack of diamonds by bryce courtenay

this is my next book...I'll let you know how it goes.  I'm super excited about this book for a couple of reasons.  bryce courtenay has always been my favourite author, and this is his last book.  he passed away last fall and so I've been saving this one so I can really take some time with it.  does that make sense?

okay, so I need more coffee.  I think it's a perfect time to start a new book...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

viva las vegas

phase two of our trip was vegas.  john and I drove the four hours through the desert heat to the fabulous las vegas.  we took a wee stop to visit my friend tim along the way.  by saturday afternoon, and a near disaster on the freeway, we had parked the car and had a drink in hand.  and then I took a nap.  holy exhaustion!!  I'm not giving you the play-by-play, but we did some cool stuff on this trip, so I'll give you the low-down on the coolness!

{no idea where this picture was taken.  that said, I wore this hat on our museum day, and it's proof that john was with me!  we met up with some friends in vegas and on our first day together we went outlet shopping.  some SERIOUS deals, as in I got a $150 dress for $20.  yep.  that good.  then the next day we hit up some museums.  I've said this before, and I'll say it again, the mob museum is worth your time. plus, I did some research prior to going and read the book casino.  LOVE.  I'm a bit obsessed, I know.}

{after the mob museum, we went to fremont street and got our two for one steak meals.  yep.  gotta love downtown vegas.}

{then we went to the neon museum.  at dusk.  the smoke from the fire outside the city created an interesting haze in the sky.  our tour guide was amazing and we learned so much about the history of vegas from her.  and it was HOT.  I took a ton of pictures.  I LOVE urban history.  it was amazing!}

{so the lido sign is from the stardust, where the show ran for 32 years.  started in 1958 and it had some juicy mob connections.  love this stuff!}

{lots of great, old signs.}

{then we went to new york new york to have some drinks at my all time fave vegas bar - nine fine irishmen and ride the roller coaster, 'cause why not?}

{I love staying at the flamingo.}

{wow.  I look tired.  ha!  john took me to mesa grill for my birthday.  I think I love bobby flay.  best meal ever.  seriously.  caramel chocolate pudding for desert.  yummmmm.}

{this sums up our stay in vegas - reading books like casino and wise guy and drinking coffee!  okay, well that sums up the flight delay out of mccarran. grrr.  they gave us food vouchers, but six hours in the airport was a bit icky.}

{leaving.  I love her, but we need to break up for a while.  gonna watch a bunch of gangster movies.  that'll make me feel better, right?}

Monday, July 15, 2013

california dreamin'

so...california.  hot, lovely, fun.  everything I know it to be!  I'll give you the run down in pictures, since that's more fun anyways!  I'm trying not to post instagram pics, but I know some made it in the mix...forgive me for the doubles?  

woohoo!  we have a map.  where do we begin?  tomorrowland, of course.  space mountain, star tours, buzz lightyear.  I think that our 30ish minute wait at space mountain was the longest wait we had all day.  and it was totally everything I remembered it to be!

and we conned the boys into going on it's a small world.  ty was smiling at the beginning and right pissed with my by the end.  but my parents forced us to go on it 24 years ago, so I felt the need to share the love.  only fair, right?

day one at disneyland was super fun.  splash mountain, pirates of the caribbean, indiana jones.  it was all good.  my dad figured out the shuttle busses and that made it easier to come and go, as in we went back to the hotel everyday for a break and a swim in the pool.  then we'd go for dinner and head back to the park.  it was a great way to break up the day.  harbor road has these manhole covers with maps on them...pretty cool, eh?

day two was our day one at california adventures.  california screamin' {the roller coaster in this picture} was the highlight of the trip...for all of us!  we went on it twice each day we were in the park, and we would have gone on it even more, if they didn't shut down the pier rides for the world of color show.  best roller coaster evah!

pretty, right?

and then there was the daily dud ride - the ferris wheel.  okay, so I enjoyed it, but no one else did.  sigh.

but we loved the tower of terror!

and we went to the world of color show.  I was kinda meh on it.  the ferris wheel lights were super pretty though...

the next day we went to lego land.  it was over an hour away...I think my tired kids needed the break!  lego land was pretty cool, but it's really geared towards smaller kids.  nate liked it, but the rides were a bit babyish for him.  the coolest thing was the minilego.  and hey, I like lego.  I like star wars.  this was a match made in heaven!

it's like foreshadowing!!

we spend july 4th in disneyland.  not too sure if that was stupid or smart, but holy crazy busy, batman!  we hadn't really dealt with a ton of line ups or crowds until that day.  and ty was DONE.  he had no desire to see fireworks or to even be close to disneyland.  yeah.  learned my lesson.

then on the last full day in CA, we did some sightseeing.  we drove up into the hollywood hills to find the best view of the hollywood sign.  and we did it!  okay, so the road up there is the smallest road ever.  doing it in a mini van was FUN.  ha!

then we went to hollywood blvd.  we walked around for a bit {after the express warning to my kids to NOT TOUCH ANYTHING!}, went for lunch at hard rock and took some pictures of the stars.

then the boys {nate, ty, john & my dad} went to see the anaheim angels take on the boston red sox.  my mom and I went for dinner, shopping and we packed!  this little one may have had a solid 24 hours of bad attitude, but he pulled it together at the end!

and that was phase one of the trip.  on saturday morning john and I dropped my parents and the boys off at the airport and began phase two...vegas!  I'll leave that for tomorrow!