WOW! I am about to post my 365th picture. I'm not going to lie, I think this blog challenge has been one of my greatest accomplishments. I have never really stayed true to a new years resolution, but I smacked this one out of the ballpark I think!!! It all started with a brand new camera and an idea I got from my Aunt Amie & Uncle Scott in AZ. This blog challenge got me a lot of attention with my close friends, acquaintances and even strangers. I didn't get the media attention I had hope...wink, wink. But I guess that was unrealistic. I do, however, want to print out my photos and make a book so I'll always remember this challenge and my continuing determination to complete it. Well, that and it was such a great journal through an entire year of my life; it'll be nice to have that in printed form. Now to find a website or company that will print 365+ photos with blurbs and long stories!!! That might be a pricey book. Maybe I should ask for donations from all my loyal readers!!!! LOL, any takers?? :)

I'll get on with the inevitable. Tonight was New Year's Eve and I celebrated it with parts of my family. We had a yummy Chinese dinner, games, more food, laughs, Just Dance 3 (where I pulled my groin muscle...yay me!) and made great memories. My idea for my last photo was better in my head than it was in real life. I bought a bunch of those 'champagne poppers' from the store and I was hoping to get an action shot of someone pulling the string and releasing the streamers and confetti. I enlisted my entire family to help me out! I'm really glad I bought a TON of those things, because take, after take, after take, after take, I just couldn't seem to get one. It happens in a millisecond and my shutter speed couldn't keep up. My family is always great supporters and tried to help me in ANY way possible. We ended up making a gigantic mess on my dad's kitchen floor. Confetti was everywhere and on everyone! After going through the hundreds of attempts, this one was my favorite and is a perfect close to my life's story in 2011. Now I'm on to bigger and better things...okay maybe not. I might just be on to blogger withdrawals...we'll see!!

My last picture, #365 - That's All Folks!

Now, who's up for the challenge in 2012?? Any takers? If you're interested but don't know how to blog or post, let me know. I'm always up for a quick tutorial!! Or take my sisters advice and skip the blogging part. Just post a photo everyday. Either here on blogger or on facebook. (And you don't have to be as anal as I have been. Don't worry about posting EVERY single day. Take the pictures everyday but post weekly.) Whatever you decide...if you're thinking about it...DO IT!!!! I have top pass the torch to someone.

Thank you, thank you to ALL my readers, followers and stalkers. This wouldn't have been fun without someone else enjoying it. This really was my life in 2011.  THE END!



1 day left!!! Oh my heck I'm so excited!

Well people, I'm finally starting to feel better. Just in time for the New Year celebrations to begin. [insert knock on wood here]. Tonight was my first night out of the house since Mondays family reunion get together. Parts of my family gathered to see the 2nd Sherlock Holmes movie tonight. I had originally canceled on this plan because of my sickness, but since I started feeling better I changed my mind just hours before. And I'm soooo glad I went too, because the movie was FABULOUS! If you enjoyed the first one, you will definitely enjoy this one.

Since today's photo is my 2nd to last, I asked my family to participate. My original idea was just to have them holding up 'peace' signs commemorating my 2nd to last picture, but Jessica came up with a better idea. Andee, this one's for you! (Our 'MICKEY' go 'round number TWO!)

364 down only 1 to go!

Oh and pay no attention to my husbands wardrobe. Apparently no one else got the memo that it was "Hawaiian Shirt Day."
My family is awesome!



2 more after today and I'm DONE!!

Holy crap. I have just 2 more pictures to post up on this 365-day photo challenge. And I am soooooo ready for a break!! Wahoo!

My puppies were being extra affectionate with each other. Not sure why, but they kept cuddling with one another. I'd look down and Simon would literally be laying on top of a sleeping Lucas. Later I saw Charlie resting his head at Simon's feet. Then at one point they were cuddled up in a 'tri-fecta' ball next to Joe on the couch. I swear its like these 3 had some "Love Potion #9!" I know they love each other, but they are usually snapping at each other for stealing their toy away or snipping as they take our attention away from themselves. Its pretty funny how similar these 3 are to actual 3 human brothers. Apparently its a love/hate relationship. I pulled out my camera to capture all the lovin' going on and I was happy to snap this one, my #363's - Lucas loves his Simon!

I was able to snap this just milliseconds before Lucas' wet tongue smeared over Simon's face!! Yeah, glad I didn't get a picture of that mess!!! Haha!! But look at those cute whiskers on my little Simon. I love how his nose is perfectly in focus, but the rest of his body is blurry. Man I just love my boys!!!

And here is my Charlie. He was curled up next to Joe while Lucas & Simon were making out. Charlie is currently on steroids for his back problems and he's 'beefing' up a bit. Hopefully this guy won't need surgery. For now he's on limited activity and lots of food & water. For a pup, that's the life, right? Lazy & full!!!



pictures left people!

I wish I had more exciting things to post about this week, it being my last week and all.... But alas, I'm sick and nothing picture worthy is happening to me this week. Well unless you count the impressive pile of tissues next to me on the couch. I'm pretty sure my eco-friendly followers woudn't appreciate that and there is just something gross about used tissues! I went the more 'clean' or 'sanitary' route.

My #362 - Fresh Tissues!! However I found out the hard way that these were VICKS vapor tissues. My eyes have been watering like crazy the last few days, so now they are dry and sore. I wiped my eyes with these tissues and man did it burn!!! How sad is it that my sweet hubby put 2 tissue boxes next to me as I laid on the couch? I have VICKS tissues for my stuffy nose and then ALOE VERA ones for my watering eyes.  That's just another sign that he loves me unconditionally...I'm a little high maintenance!



4 pictures left!

Its been going around, in various forms and I've caught it. I'm sick. It started Christmas night and has knocked me on my butt today. I did have to work a bit today, but I've been in bed ever since I got home. Had some yummy soup in a bread bowl for lunch/dinner and I've been drinking lots of fluids. Lots! I'm so happy I already had my favorite orange juice stocked up in my fridge.

My #361 - Nothing like some good ol' vitamin C!



5 photos left!!

Wahoo, down to my last 5 posts! Today marked the last day of my Christmas celebration. Joe and I spent some time with my Mom & Kelly and enjoyed catching up with each other, then we got to go to a huge family party with my Mom's side. Her brother, my uncle Randy, put together the whole thing and it was fantastic. Almost everyone was there (minus 2 of my cousins and my Uncle & Aunt). We had yummy pizza & salad, gifts, games & socializing, which is my favorite! Randy has always been great at getting everyone together and making sure we're having fun. Our first game involved both white elephant gifts & regular gifts. We all took turns grabbing a gift not knowing if it was a regular gift or a white elephant gift. Then we got the chance to steal gifts from other! It was a great time!! My cousin Laurie (Randy's daughter) brought this gift as a white elephant, but Joe picked it up and we're pretty happy about it!

#360 - Our very own Fertility God!

Okay it really isn't a fertility god. Someone she knew used to have this up as a decoration. She was able to get a hold of it, named it a Fertility God and brought it as a laugh. Well everyone thinks its a Fertility God and no one stole it away from Joe because they knew out of everyone, we need it the most!! Haha, I love my family! Welp, we're gonna hang it up and see if it works. It might just be our year in 2012! Thanks Dave & Laurie for sending this our way. Guess we'll see!

Thanks to my Mom and all her family for creating a wonderful night. I'm so glad I got to see everyone, catch up and play some fun games! Here are a few extra pictures of the night. We played "Tornado" or as I call it, "Lightening." We also played his really FUN game called Human Rock Paper Scissors!! We laughed so hard with that game - it was fantastic!!



6 Pictures left!

Merry Christmas everyone! I had a fabulous, kick back kind of day with my family. I almost felt like I had been drugged by something because I was in a daze all day today. Just tired and exhausted. Whew. The holidays can do that to you I guess! Joe and I are actually back at home and in bed for the night. Been here since 6:30pm. We're watching the Green Bay game and cuddling in our heated blankets! I'm actually hoping to go to sleep pretty soon. How funny is that. Its only 9 o'clock!!

Both Joe and I felt very lucky this year and got totally spoiled. My dad & Nancy gave us our Disneyland passes for Christmas, so we didn't have much to open this morning. But we had a wonderful time in DL and I'm so grateful for my parents and their kindness. One of my favorite things as a kid was my stocking. I loved hanging them up all season and having them filled to the brim the Christmas morning. Plus the excitement of digging all the way down and finding all the hidden treasures. I'm not sure what started the tradition; my parents could have just need something to weigh the stocking down or create a nice round shape at the bottom, but the last thing to pull out of the stocking was always an orange. Oranges are great this time of year and ever since I was a kid, its always a must have on Christmas. Even through my teenage years & adulthood, my dad & Nancy have kept the tradition and continue to give us an orange. (My older sister Kalie has now passed that tradition on with her boys!) My family makes fun of me a little bit because when I was a kid, I actually called it a 'peel' instead of an orange and we have a home video of me pulling it out of my stocking, utterly excited, claiming 'I got a peel!!!" Well here I am 29 years old and I was extremely excited to get an orange yet again this year. Thanks Dad & Nancy!!!

#359 - I got another 'peel'!

Now I'm looking forward to spending time with my Mom & Kelly tomorrow as well as the whole PECK family during our get together tomorrow night! Its gonna be great fun!


7 photos left!!!

Its Christmas Eve! I can't believe its already here. With my vacation last week, December has seem to fly by so fast! In fact with my countdown going until the end of this blog, I've had to literally count the days left just to make sure I'm right!! I REALLY only have 7 more photos! I want to make sure this last week is special and  I hope to try and put a lot of thought & time into my last week of pictures. Gotta leave my followers wanting more!! ;)

I'm not going to write much tonight. My heart is full of love, excitement and anticipation for the events of tomorrow & Monday. I love all the family time and the memories we'll be making. Joe and I spent the night with my Dad, step-mom & my siblings. Lots of food, movies, games & laughter! Now we are home, cuddled in bed with our boys and enjoying 'our' little family. Our hearts ache a little knowing we won't be playing Santa Claus again this year...but we are still hopeful that we'll get to participate in the full enthusiasm for the holiday in the future.

Wishing all my readers, followers, friends and family a wonderful holiday. I hope you are able to spend time with the people you love. May your hearts be full of the true meaning of Christmas. God bless!

My #358 - Stockings are hung. Presents are under the tree. Cookies are laid out. And children are deep in dreams of the spectacular morning to come. Merry Christmas!!



8 photos left!!

Today was a whirlwind of a day. It was my last work day before the holiday weekend and I was booked solid for 8 1/2 hours! After work, instead of running necessary errands, I spent the an hour at the vet finding out some awful news about my puppy Charlie. We're saying prayers like crazy at my house tonight. However there was a few highlights to the evening. Yet another great Christmas tradition!!! My family has season tickets to a local playhouse, Hale Center Theatre, which I've posted about before, but every holiday season they put on A Christmas Carol and of course EVERY December 23rd, we have our tickets to see the show. I can't even remember how many years we've done this, but its been at least 10 years. It has always been the 'official' start to the Christmas celebration with Christmas Eve the next day. Tonight did not disappoint!! My family got together - in style - with an 'Ugly Sweater' contest to go along with it. Shopping for a sweater was on my huge list of errands this week, but I just never found the time, so I didn't participate. I'm glad I didn't though because the competition was fierce! I was really impressed with not only the creations & diamonds in the rough, but with the participants! Both my brother-in-laws joined in on the fun and that is really out of character! We had a vote at dinner and my step-mom Nancy passed out the prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place. It was a great turnout!!

And the winners are.... - #357

3rd place was my husband Joe. He didn't technically wear an ugly sweater, but he pulled off the "Cousin Eddie" blue leisure suit from Christmas Vacation. (He did this on the same night last year, but did the white sweater with dark black 'dicky' turtle neck instead.)

2nd place was my sister (and roommate) Andee. She was clever enough to actually make hers! It was 3D! Balls, holly leaves, crocheted doily, ornament earrings and all!! (She was talked into keeping the sweater and adding to it every year. I guess we've now made this a tradition alongside the Christmas Carol night!)

And 1st place my brother-in-law Jesse! His was great not only because it really was an UGLY sweater but because it was a woman's sweater and clearly 2 sizes too small!! He was such a great sport and we all loved that he played along!! He took home the $25 prize AND the coveted Ugly Sweater ornament for his tree!

Such great fun!! I'm excited to participate next year. I now have 364 days to get something together. I CAN DO THIS!



9 pictures left!!

Another wonderful thing about this Christmas season, is all the Christmas cards!! Checking the mail each day has become the best part of the day, rather than the most boring. I love reading the great stories and seeing the cute family pictures. With not seeing my [far away] family and friends all the time, its so nice to get that yearly 'catch up!' And I'm not gonna lie, the pictures really are my favorite!! I slacked this year and didn't get my cards out in time...in fact I never got them printed. :(  However I still think I'm going to send them out, just after Christmas. It'll be more like a Happy 2012 card rather than a Christmas card. So, no worries people, I'll get them out soon.

Thank you to everyone who thought of us and sent a card. I'm excited to see the ones we have yet to receive. I love each of you and the time you spent sending them out. The thought was very sweet! Happy Holidays to all!!!

Holiday LOVE sent via snail mail! - #356



Wow. I'm freaking out here people. I have 10...just 10...days left in this photo challenge. To think I've taken that many photos and have posted THAT many times as well - sheesh! Who would have ever thought I'd stay true to my word!

With the wonderful holiday season, comes chaotic schedules!! Since I took a week off work & life to go to Disneyland, I'm now paying for it. Not only with work, but everything else! Laundry, cleaning, CHRISTMAS SHOPPING, cooking, etc etc etc! I kind of had a melt down today and ask Joe to help me out. Tonight was my LAST opportunity to shop before Christmas. I am literally booked from tomorrow until Saturday night. No time people, NO TIME! But after my family calmed me down this evening and offered to help run errands, I feel much better. Plus I was able to accomplish a lot tonight and it turns out I really only need 1 more present and Joe is in charge of that. I just now have to worry about work, work, work, dinner & a play with family on Friday, work, wrapping gifts, finishing laundry and cleaning my house. Oh and did I mention I have to work?? I really booked myself out and not in a good way. I should have planned that better. But the money will be good, so I can't complain, right??

However while running amok tonight, I did stop to enjoy the peaceful snow fall. Where I'm in SLC, it was lightly falling down most of the evening. Enough to stick and make the roads icy, but there is nothing better than a calm, peaceful snow fall. As we were leaving Target, I noticed you could see individual snowflakes just piling on top of each other, ever so delicately. Of course it was hard to capture, but I had to try.

Sometimes I need to stop, take a deep breath and enjoy this holiday season. I'm surrounded by many amazing friends and family. Time is precious and I need to not stress it away. Happy Holidays everyone!!

The last 10 photos - #355 - A moment of peace



This is my first picture that I didn't actually take. AW! I know, technically its against my rules, but forget the rules. This challenge is almost over and I don't care about the rules anymore. Plus I really wanted to blog about this and I tried taking a picture by myself and it just didn't work.

I got tattoo tonight. Yes, 'another' one! I do have many, but I am very proud of my collection, despite the haters out there. I'm aware tattoos are not for everyone, but I'm a tattoo lover and there is deep meaning behind each of my pieces and I love sharing that with everyone. Its a choice and I respect the belief in keeping your skin clean & clear, but its definitely not for me. I'm especially proud of all my recent ones because I have personally drawn & designed them. Permanently altering my skin with meaning, love & passion is a thrill for me and knowing its my own art, makes it even more special. This last year I have wanted to get a tattoo of hair shears. I hit my 5th year mark of graduating Beauty School this last February and I wanted to celebrate my accomplishment, but trying to find a drawing or picture was extremely difficult and that is why I hadn't done it yet. I recently contacted an old friend (and previous manager) who is now does tattooing and my dream was created.

Shannon was the first person to hire me when my hairstylist career started and it just seemed so fitting that she was the one to do it for me. I found a few pictures I liked and both her and I started brainstorming and sketching. I haven't really 'drawn' in years and I was really afraid of what it would look like. The other tattoos that I've drawn are simple line doodles, but the shears I wanted detailed and shaded. Drawing was a huge passion of mine back in my high school days, but I put it all behind me after graduation. Of course I dabbled here and there with other art projects but over the last few days its like my inner art fanatic 17 year old, is making a comeback. I couldn't put my pencil down yesterday and it felt good. Really good. I might just have to pull out a sketch book from my hope chest and pick things up were I left off almost 12 years ago. We'll see.

Wow, so...sorry for the long story, I'm just amazed I feel excited to draw again. Weird. But thankfully Shannon was able to not only duplicate, but enhance my drawing and made it a permanent piece on my forearm. Shannon, its absolutely incredible and I couldn't be more pleased. You and I have very similar perspective and I'm SO GLAD you were the one to do it. No one else could have created my vision so perfectly! I'm pretty sure you now have a customer for life! I can't thank you enough!!!

So here is my #354 - My 5th Anniversary present! (just 2 months shy of hitting my 6th year mark!)  I LOVE doing hair!!!



Alright, it was high time I watched this movie in its entirety. Its true folks, I had never seen in it in my entire 29 years. I cried, I cheered, I laughed and felt all warm and fuzzy. Now I know what all the hype is about and I really enjoyed this view on the true meaning of Christmas, honesty and respect. Even though its very depressing at points, I do believe its now one of my favorite Christmas movies. A new tradition in our line up of must watch Christmas flicks.

#353 - It really IS a wonderful life! (And yes, this is a bootleg copy. Don't judge.)



Now that I'm back from Disneyland, it is time for another Christmas post. This is another one of my favorite traditions - Making TOFFEE!!! My step-mom Nancy introduced this to us when our families joined together and we do it every year. Each one of us likes to give it out to our friends or co-workers, so the rule is, if you wanna pass some out, you have to be here to help make it! Its only fair right? Right! Plus the more the merrier, because an assmebly line is needed. Everyone has their stations and then we have shifts, so everyone can take a break now and then. We need a "Stir-er," a "Clean-er," a "Prep-er," a "Chocolatier," and a "Runner." Luckily with our large family volunteers for each position are always available. I'm always a designated stir-er. Nancy is the best cleaner & prep-er. The youngest sister Jessica is the designated chocolatier and sometimes a runner. Everyone else kinda fills in where needed.

Toffee making is quite the process. Obviously there are many positions and parts to play, but you also have to stay on top of things. The weather has to be below 30 degrees outside or it takes longer for the toffee to set. The chocolate has to go in and out of the oven several times to stay warm, but not too warm. The toffee can't get too cold outside or the chocolate won't stick and the stir-er can't let the toffee stick to the bottom of the pan. Its a serious process!!!

I'm not going to include the entire recipe, because that would be giving out a family secret, but I'm going to post the step by step process, just because its so fun to watch! Here are my #352's - Christmas Toffee!

First here are a few key ingredients...

THEE spoon! I have no idea how many years we used it, but its got some serious wear & tear. Not to mention the pressure cooker we use!



And here is the step by step process...

 Step one is to stir the sugar with your hands until the bottom of the pan is too hot for your fingers. This helps the sugar heat up without sticking to the bottom. Once its too hot, add the ingredients and start stirring!!

Once the stirring starts, it can't stop. This is the hardest process because its on going for over 10 minutes.

 This is when it starts to get sticky and VERY HOT! Bubbles pop up and burn your arm!! Wearing an oven mitt is best, but makes it hard to stir. I go without, because I'm hardcore! LOL

 Once the toffee is poured on a pan and set outside to cool, the chocolate is then spread on top. Mmm, when I was a kid, this was my FAVORITE part, because....

 YOU GET TO SPREAD IT WITH YOUR HANDS! :)  Of course a spoon or spatula is the more sanitary choice, but you can feel the eveness of the spread when you use your hands. We use our hands a lot when making toffee, so everyone is constantly washing thier hands...especially when you want to lick the chocolate off your fingers!!! Mmmmmm... (This also causes some chocolate fights. Jessica is prone to rubbing her chocolated hands on everyones face. This year Cory got it!!)

Then the last step is 'breaking' the toffee. Again both sides have to have chocolate and it can't be warm at all or else it doesn't break easily and we smear the chocolate. (We also do batches with crushed walnuts, but since some people are allergic to nuts, we do the plain first, then box it up and use the nuts on the rest of the batches we have done.)

The toffee has to cool and set for about 24 hours before we enclose it in bags and pass them out. A lot goes into making candy, so all our friends and family know its made with LOTS OF LOVE!!! My favorite part about making toffee is the chaos all around. People running everywhere, lots of talking and teasing. Also having Christmas movies play in the background. Tonight we watched "A Christmas Story" and "Elf." YAY CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!!!


Welp, nothing like 2 posts in one day. If you didn't catch my photo yesterday, its because I didn't post one. However I did get to it this morning, so make sure you see "yesterdays" photo along with todays.
**And I forgot to mention my countdown update. Yipee I have 14 days left!!!!!!!

We left Disneyland today. Left California all together actually. It was bittersweet, but 4 days was enough. Plus today was SUPER crowded! The most of any of the days we were there. The weather was really crappy as well! Raining on and off, cold chill and major humidity. Yes, I was ready to say good-bye and come home. We always make a yearly visit, so I know it won't be long before I'm back walking 10 miles a day, going from ride to ride and eating everything in site!

It was a good family trip though, with only a few altercations. Unfortunately with any family, you can't go too long without something going wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of confrontation!! Its nice that we can all 'swallow' the irritation and just ... breathe! But spending time with my family is always my favorite and most memorable. In fact on the way to the airport tonight, we were reliving past California trips and our favorite memories. We also thought about what we would take from this trip and remember most. Family time is just awesome and even when things don't go the way I'd hoped or planned, I need to remember how extremely lucky I am.

With that being said, here is my picture for tonight. Saying good-bye to Disneyland and reliving all the wonderful memories we have had there as a family. I know there are MANY more trips in the future and I just can't wait. Its incredible to know that this vacation hot-spot is always our GO-TO vacation and its because "It all started with a mouse." My #351 - Walt & Mickey



So, I don't know if anyone noticed that I didn't post a picture last night. (Well except for my friend Joy who commented.) But yes I skipped a day. After a crazy busy day at Disneyland, my sister Andee and I, along with the twin girls, headed back to the hotel early to start cleaning up and prepping for 'check out' the next morning. Which is when I took my picture. However I got carried away with cleaning up, I forgot to post it. Then I was disturbed by a very sick husband that had to rush back from the park for me to take care. Taking care of him and making sure  he was okay enough to go to bed, also put me to sleep. Oh well...I'm almost done with this blog and I chose to skip last night. Shoulda done it when I first got back to the hotel. Anyways, here it is...

I finally purchased some 'Mickey Ears!' In all the years I have made an annual trip to Disneyland, I have never bought any. You see people with them EVERYWHERE in Disneyland and the designers are coming up with some great ones so almost everyone is unique. especially if people bring back their old ones, you rarely see 2 people with the same ears. I buckled down this time because I saw this "Dumbo" version on someone while were in line for the Matterhorn. I just couldn't resist!! Its so cute and it looks girly with the little skirt around the edges! Joe ended up getting one as well, so we walked around Disneyland all day yesterday in our 'ears!' I felt like I had finally been welcomed into some club!!

#350 - I conformed with 75% of Disney goers.

Andee took this picture of us in our hats!!



Alright. Everyone deserves a "Get Out Of Jail For Free" card and I'm taking mine tonight. No picture for my #350th day. I have it, I just don't have the time to post it and I'm literally exhausted. I will put it up as soon as I wake up in the morning.

Sorry to disappoint ... if you anyone actually sees this.

Much love.



Today was a rainy/cold day in Disneyland. The first part of the day was bearable, but by 7 o'clock, we were done. Skipped World of Color and shopping and now we're back at the hotel ready to brave the cold again and go into the heated pool & hot tub! :)

Again I decided not to take my camera. It started as forgetfulness, but I was later grateful because it was wet most of the day and muggy. Nothing like carrying around an expensive/bulky camera when you're wet & sticky. When there was an opportunity to snap a picture, I just used my cell phone.

One of our favorite family rides is The Tower of Terror. (I used to be terrified of this ride, but it starting to become a highlight!) Each time the big "drop" of the elevator happens, they have a motion camera to snap the horror in your face. Of course we've been on this ride several times, so we know when & where the camera will snap a photo. We usually take this time to make silly faces or look overly terrified but this time my sister Andee, the brainiac, decided we should do something completely different. Since we're in Disneyland, she thought it would be fun if each of the six of us made a letter, using our hands and spell out something. We chose the word MICKEY. (Watching Andee brainstorm about this idea was more fun than actually doing it. Luckily Joe got it all on camera so we can relive the humorous moment over and over again!) We were hoping to get the back seat of the elevator so we would all sit in a row, therefore spelling it out correctly, but as luck would have it we were put in different rows and sat 3 and 3. However we did it anyway and I'm pretty impressed. You can't see my "E" very well because my hands are turned too far, but I think we did a good job!! Thanks Andee for the idea and thanks for 20 minutes of non-stop laughter!!! I did purchase this picture from the gift shop and printed out wallets for all of us to keep. Great keepsake that will keep me laughing every time I remember Andee's "quiet time to think."

#349 - The TV's projected result of our M.I.C.K.E.Y.


Our first day in Disneyland was a huge success!! Yesterday was such a horrible day with lots of mis-communication issues and the added frustration that comes with it; as well as early signs of getting sick. Luckily yesterday is over and today was a fresh start!! And I'm VERY happy to report that with the meds we've all been taking (yesterday's photo) we're all making great progress. The cold-like symptoms I was feeling, have vanished! Wahoo!!! (Hopefully I'm not speaking to soon here. [insert knocking on wood] )

I was having such a great time, I noticed that today was a great reminder of how excited I am that this whole challenge is almost over. My cell phone internet service is awful so I can't ever get online outside of the hotel. Plus the so called 'high speed' internet absolutely stinks. I guess its a good thing to be without the pressure of the constant world connection, but trying to blog or facebook when you can't, is really an annoyance. But soon, very soon, I won't have to worry about this daily chore. In regards to all my loved ones that have messaged me or commented on my facebook: I apologize for not getting back to you. I'm enjoying my vacation!! :) xoxox

My dad and I have decided to take turns holding the camera and since today was the first EXCITING day, I gave him the responsibility. Which the of course took away my 'awareness' of having to take a photo. Ugh. To think of the million "photo-ops" we had today and I was without my camera. Oh well, I do have this cute cell phone picture of my nieces taking a nap. You can't see them because they are covered from the cold breeze, but what you can see is pretty dang cute and drew a lot of attention from passersby. Love those little feet!!!

#348 - Day 1 of Disneyland. I'm about as exhausted as these little girls were!!



My week vacation started this evening; how lucky am I to be in Anaheim, California right now? That's right folks, I'm going to DISNEYLAND!! About half of my family was able to come along on this trip and I'm super excited to be here during their Christmas celebration! We actually just flew in this evening and our first day of Disney isn't until tomorrow. But we've been to dinner, the grocery store and took about 20 minutes getting comfortable in our hotel room. Joe and I are sharing a hotel room with my sister Andee, her husband and their twin girls. This room is pretty crowded, but we've laid it out so it should be organized for the week.

I am feeling poorly health wise today and apparently I'm not the only one. After the plane ride, we all noticed we had some sort of ailment. Our stop at the grocery store not only consisted of getting food supplies for the twins & our breakfast necessities, but we all seemed to gather in the medicine aisle. Hopefully we'll make it through the week without an instacare visit or even just be able to ENJOY our time here without feeling miserable. Pray for us all!

Here is my #347 - Instead of filling up our bathroom counter with hair supplies, makeup, face wash and lotions, we have our very own pharmacy! 



All I can say is Freal! That's right 'Freal!' Most people know that this is my made up word. I'm a huge fan of the response 'for real?' (in ANY situation or conversation.) I've said it forever and in the past I say year or so, I've shortened it just Freal or Freals. I even added it to my phone's predictive text dictionary for texting and I know a few people around me use it as well. I actually started it as a joke, but its kinda catchy, so I've kept it. A while back, my dad was surfing the web and found some shake machine called a "F'real." I don't know how he stumbled across it, but it surprised me to see the word made into a machine. Of course I've never seen this machine, so its hasn't really been a conflicted issue...until today. That's right, I went into a Maverick convenience store and after filling up a fountain soda drink, I set it down to put the lid on and I literally set it down right in front of this new machine. It was funny because I actually gasped out loud and shook my head. My word is now a manufactured milkshake machine! I find it strange that someone would name this machine a "F'real" anyway. What does that mean? How does it relate to a milkshake???

Oh well, I'm still gonna use it! #346 - All I can say is Freal???



Wahoo!! I've only got 20 days left to go!

I get to blog about another wonderful Christmas happening!! I love this time of year! My mom & stepdad put together a family dinner at a local steakhouse tonight, then we went back to their house for dessert & white elephant gifts. Its always a great time, because this side of my family is THE best when it comes to white elephants. Everyone is so creative and funny!! This year we even had a real life 'hermit crab' passed around!!! Plus we've had a couple of gifts make several appearances. For quite a few years in a row, we had a porcelain Clown statue that we just re-gifted each year and we got some good laughs out of that silly clown for many Christmas parties. To go the whole year completely forgetting about it, then it reappears at the next Christmas party! Finally about 2 or 3 years ago, someone put an end to the clown. I believe I was the last one with it and its head broke off. However, we now a new 're-gift' to pass around. I was the lucky one that got to bring it home this year! Guess I'll have to tuck it away somewhere and save it for next year!! ;)

#354 - White Elephant fun! This awesome statue is actually a wine bottle holder. Its more just to smile at because the lobster is so cute and if I had a wine bottle....or a seafood themed kitchen, he'd be welcomed to stay on my counter. Too bad for him, he'll probably be bubble wrapped and stuffed in my closet. (Wouldn't want his head falling off and ruining another great white elephant tradition!!!)

Thanks Mom & Kelly. As always, tonight was great fun!! Thank you for spoiling us! LOVE YOU!


Man my pups are cute!!

Joe and I spent most of the evening just hanging out in our living room. We watched a movie with a nice roaring fire going and then later we turned on some music and we both read books. (I continued to read while Joe hopped on Call Of Duty and here is almost 2AM!!) All while we were being lazy and cozy in our front room, our dogs were even lazier! I swear it was like they were drugged. They were comfy with the heat of the fire and were 'chill-laxing' because Joe and I were being quite & relaxed.

At one point I looked up from reading and saw Joe had set his Nook down & dozed off. Of course the cutest part was that our newest pup Charlie was curled up on his chest, lying with him. They both were sound asleep. (In fact it was Charlie's snore that took me away from my book in the first place.) Not having kids to enjoy, we sure do cherish all the precious moments we have with our dogs - especially those super cute moments that literally make you say 'Awe!' out loud! I know some folks think we're crazy dog people, but hey - they are my only babies!! Let me love 'em how I want!!!

#344 - Down time together. LOVE IT!



Man tonight was awesome! I can't stop smiling, I had so much fun!!! Joe and I have some great friends that invited us to a "Couples Christmas Dinner." She went all out, even creating decorations from ideas she saw on Pinterest (my new obsession). There was food & snacks galore, plus candles, wine, laughs, good conversation and then my favorite - decorating little cakes & cookies for dessert!

I've mention Lynda & Paul Lopez on this blog before, but I don't have enough blog memory to express how truly grateful I am for all that they have done (and continue to do) for me. Being included in their life & into their group of friends has completely changed my whole life. We now have a larger group of friends to share, and Joe & I are lucky to have such GENUINELY awesome supporters in our lives. LyLo & PLo have been there for me in many ways and I will be forever indebted to them.

Spending the evening with them and all our shared friends just made for an incredible night. (They throw some killer parties!!) Here are a few pictures from tonight. Like I said Lynda did a great job on the decor and my OCD went crazy when I started decorating my cakes & cookies. I just had to post some good ones!! Thanks again Lopez clan for including us and spoiling us rotten. You're the best!!

My awesome #343's - The annual Lopez's "Couples Christmas Dinner" Spectacular!

 Lynda's awesome name settings

 The centerpiece on one table

 Another centerpiece (also a candy dish)

 My plate of cookies

Mmmmm ... cookies!



Are you a shoe hoarder? Well I am! I have many collections of different things and shoes is one of my fondest. Joe on the other hand HATES it. He is constantly moaning about how many pairs I have. We share a closet and he complains that my shoes are over-taking his side. He begs me to clean it out or at least organize it. Well I'm one of those people that doesn't organize my shoes. Nope, I love a good hunt early in the morning or when I'm running late to something. Its true though, isn't it? You can NEVER find a 'set' when you're half asleep or in a hurry! I don't know why I don't just sit and organize it all...maybe its out of spite for my other half! Just cause he wants me to, I refuse! LOL

I bought 2 pairs of work shoes recently and I decided it was time. Time to clean out and organize. Joe noticed my huge pile of unwanted shoes and about blew a gasket. At first he was super impressed I finally started to clean it out and get rid of the ones I don't wear. But then he got frustrated thinking of all the money I've spent on those shoes and now I'm getting rid of them. (Hey Joe! I'll keep them if you'd rather not waste money!!! ;)  )  Men! Sometimes you just can't win, huh?

#342 - Thought I'd make him happy...but turns out he's more frugal that I thought! I'm still getting rid of them. A few are garbage and I think my sister may want a pair or two. The rest - DONATE!



We had tickets to see BLUE MAN GROUP tonight and it was awesome!! They always put on an amazing performance that's both mesmerizing and comedic. I love how the get the audience involved too; that's lots of fun!! Plus the music is fantastic, light shows and tricks are worth the ticket price!

My parents have season tickets with the Broadway Theater and this was one of the shows. When they opened up ticket sales to the season ticket holders late summer, my parents asked if we would like extra tickets to any of them. Blue Man Group was the first one and we booked it as soon as we could! Joe is a big BMG fan, we own 2 of their CD's and we have matching shirts!! We've seen them twice in Las Vegas and we're always entertained. Thank you Dad & Nancy for giving us the option to go! We look forward to all the other exciting shows in the future.

#341's - Rock concert movement #3 - Wave your hands like you just don't care!

Technically they don't allow photography during the show, but towards the end, they had the whole audience up on their feet, dancing and throwing these massive colored balls in the air. Since it was a little chaotic, I thought I could sneak a few pictures in. It was a great show!!!!



Whoa now. I'm seriously in shock.  I have 25 days left. Just 25 more photos!!!!

My day today was pretty uneventful. That is, until this kid came in to visit me at work.
My #340 - This guy! {Insert his cute little thumbs pointing to himself!} After cutting his hair short and into a faux hawk, I swear I aged this kid a few years. I can't believe he'll be 6 in a few weeks. He has been my #1 buddy for so many years and I'm hoping he continues to think I'm cool. I'm one lucky Auntie! Thanks wee-man for letting me change up your style. (My sister Kalie told me he couldn't stop looking at himself in the mirror!!!)



Joe's been on a Jurassic Park kick as of late. We don't own any of the movies, so he's been on a quest trying to find them. Without wanting to pay too much for a fix, he has been trying to borrow it from someone or queing it up on Netflix. Well on a quick trip to the bank, I passed an FYE store and decided to drop in to see if they had a 'used' copy. Sure enough they had the trilogy box-set in the 'used' section and for a great price.

I brought it home and wrapped it with a bow to surprise Joe. He was pretty excited when he got home and we snuggled up with a fire and watched one of the movies.

My surprise #339 - The Jurassic trilogy.