Friday, December 30, 2011

12 Goals for 2012

I'm not one to make resolutions, but I thought it would be fun to set some goals for 2012.

1.  Continue with my adventure days (try to do one a week, if not, every other week)
2.  Try my best to get pregnant (though I know this is not all in my control)
3.  Lose weight
4.  Exercise more (30+ minutes a day)
5.  Accept people for what/who they are (realize they aren't going to change)
6.  Focus on enjoying life to the fullest
7.  Take some fun trips (there are a couple in the making)
8.  Continue to grow as a teacher and try new things in my classroom
9.  Be the best wife I can be
10.  Try to manage my time better at school so I don't live there (I've been doing better with this)
11.  Stick with my book club and read one book a month
12.  Complete a couple of our house projects (one being putting up new gates)

I'm so happy to say goodbye to 2011 (though there were some great times) and can't wait for the new year!

**11 Highlights/Accomplishments from 2011**
1.  I had the greatest class I've ever had.  They were so awesome!
2.  I went to Germany for a week and got to meet many of my relatives.
3.  I went to Las Vegas, Palm Desert, Washington DC and Oregon.
4.  I was pregnant, for three months.  The best time of my life.
5.  I started adventure days and have done some really fun things.
6.  I have realized how precious life really is.
7.  I have realized how strong I am.
8.  I have found a wonderful message board that I love.
9.  I successfully ran and taught summer school.
10.  I successfully took over doing supplies at school.
11.  I chopped off my hair (see post below).
**Cheers to a New Year**

Sunday, December 25, 2011

AD #8 - Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  Today was a little bit of a wacky adventure today.  We were planning on taking the pups to El Dorado Park.  It's a huge park by our house with paths for walking and looking at all the beautiful nature.  Well, we found out they were closed last night (guess we should have checked sooner).  So our new plan was to grab breakfast somewhere fun, then take the dogs on a long walk along the beach. When we got up this morning, Alex let the dogs out of their kennel and come sleep with us for a bit.  One of our dogs jumped up on the bed and started to squeal.  We got up and she wouldn't put any pressure on her leg.  We waited about an hour and she still was not putting her leg down.  So off to the emergency vet hospital we went.  We were there for an hour or so, and she seemed to be doing much better.  The doctor thinks her knee cap may have went out of place and popped back in.  We got her some medicine for the next few days and that was it.  I'm so happy it was nothing more serious than that.

So we decided to have Roscoes Chicken and Waffles for breakfast/lunch (a famous spot here in California.  I have always wanted to eat there.  They serve waffles with fried chicken.  I know, wierd combination, but it was delicious!  We got take out and came back to our house to eat it.  We ate in our beautiful backyard and enjoyed the 70 degree weather.  Gotta love Southern California.  For the rest of our day, we are going to hang out and then go to our families' houses for dinner.  We also have to stop by the cemetery to visit Alex's dad and wish him a Merry Christmas. <3  The highlight of the day so far..we finally beat the new Super Mario Brothers on Wii (we are such dorks)!

The day didn't go as planned, but it was still a wonderful day filled with all the things I love and some adventure as well!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Goodbye Hair!

Today was the day!  I chopped off 12 inches!  I started this tradition six years ago.  I wanted to grow out my hair and donate it to Locks of Love.  It has to be at least 10 inches to donate.  I have found it takes my hair about two years to do that (with a trim or two in the middle).  This was my third time doing it and it always feels just as great each time.  I always feel like a new person after and this is coming at a perfect time.  Can't wait to do this again in another two years!

Monday, December 19, 2011

AD #7 - Temcula

This wasn't really an adventure day, it was more like an adventure weekend.  We just got back from two nights in Temecula and we had a wonderful time.  Before we left Saturday, we went to Rosemary's funeral and burial, which was beautiful.  It was very important for me to be there.  When I went to pay my condolences to her husband, he told me how much she loved me.  I will cherish that moment forever.  We got seeds to plant in her remembrance.  I planted them today and can't wait to see them bloom.  Now I have flowers to remember her and my rose bush in remembrance of my little one.

We got into Temecula about 5pm.  We hung out in the room for a bit and then went to Old Town.  We had dinner at a lovely restaurant called Bailys.  They also have a winery, so I had a tiny sampling of wine before we ate.  Dinner was delicious.  We each got a four course meal for $60 altogether.  We walked around Old Town when we were finished.  It was decorated so nicely for Christmas.  This city has been around since 1882!
 Old Town Temecula

My sampling at dinner

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and I passed out.  It was a long day.

Sunday morning we went back to Old Town for a good ol' fashioned breakfast.  We ate at the Swing Inn Cafe.  This cafe has been here since 1927 and they still serve things from their original menu (though it's not the same price).  We had a good, hearty breakfast before our tour.  After breakfast, we went back to the hotel to wait for the Grapeline Shuttle to pick us up.  We booked a wine tasting tour for the day.  We have done it twice before and always have a great time!  We went to four different wineries and had so much fun.  Our shuttle was full and the people were so fun.  The tour guide was awesome and played great music.  At our first winery, we had a private tour and got to pick off grapes straight from the vines!  At the other wineries, we had time to relax and look at the beautiful views, while sipping great wine.  
 Riding on the shuttle
 Our private tasting at Leonesse (first stop)
 Beautiful view of Temecula
 Walking through the vineyards
 Stopping for a taste
 Private tasting room at Leonesse
 Lunch and tasting at Mount Palomar Winery
 Third tasting at Longshadow Ranch
My favorite port comes from Longshadow Ranch.  We got to have it in a chocolate boot.  It is my favorite thing to do when I'm in Temecula.  How cute is this decoration?  Our last stop was at Oak Mountain Winery, but I didn't get any pictures (too busy drinking).

After our last winery, we were on our way back to the hotel.  The tour guide was playing great old school rap and we were all singing and dancing.  Somehow in the middle of all that, we made plans to go out in Old Town with another couple staying at our hotel.  When we got back to our hotel, we were told the power was completely out.  We could stay or go down the street to another hotel.  It was crazy.  So we went upstairs in the total dark and realized we didn't have our room key.  My husband had to go back downstairs to get it.  I will include the picture I took as I was sitting there waiting (totally drunk by this point).  After we packed up all our stuff, we moved to the new hotel.  
 I will call this one "Drunk girl and a flashlight".
We met up with our new friends and went out to Old Town.  We had dinner and some drinks back at Bailys, we were at the downstairs restaurant this time.  The food there was outstanding as well!  After that, we walked around trying to find another bar, but nothing was open.  We took a cab (we made friends with the cab driver, so we called him again) to the Tilted Kilt and ended up playing shuffle board and drinking there for a few hours.  The other couple was super nice!  After that, we decided to walk back to our hotel, which took about 30 minutes and included walking over a freeway.  It was quite the adventure.  I passed out as soon as we got back to the hotel.  I couldn't believe I made it.  We drank from 12 noon until 10pm, non stop.  I'm proud of myself, haha.  

Pretty lights in Old Town
We left early this morning to make sure we got back in time to pick up the pups before 12 (or else the daycare charges you for the day).  I'm so happy to be home with my babies.  I'm going to spend the rest of the day lounging and recovering!!  We had so much fun and made two new friends.  We needed this for sure.  I can't forget the two yummy bottles of wine we brought home too.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Another Rose...

God has decided he needed another angel in Heaven.  My dad's good friend Rosemary lost her battle with cancer Monday night.  She was a very spiritual person and I know she is in Heaven, smiling down on all of us.  I wonder if she has found my Rose?  Rosemary was a beautiful person, inside and out.  She was always there for my dad and was the one he always went to for advice.  Though I didn't know her that well, she was my number one cheerleader.  She would always tell my dad I would be okay (especially when I was in high school and got in trouble).  She was one of the women I invited to my wedding (only immediate family were invited).  She was such a special person.  I had to dedicate this post to her.

To Rosemary - the definition of what a true woman is.  I will miss you.  Please find Rose and hold her for me. I will think of you often.  I know you will continue to be there for my dad and for that I am forever thankful.  Love - Danielle
Pouring you a glass of one of your favorite drinks. :]

Sunday, December 11, 2011

AD #6 - Balboa Island

Who wouldn't love going on a little ferry to an island?  Well, that's what we did today.  Balboa Island is in Newport Beach, which is about 30 minutes away from our house.   I loved walking around and looking at all the little shops.  There are beautiful homes here too, some decorated for Christmas.  Overall, it was a very simple and relaxing afternoon.  Just what I needed!  I feel pictures tell so much more of a story than actually writing it.
 Ferry to Balboa Island
 It only fits three cars
 Ferry ride lasts about five minutes
 Downtown shopping area (we bought some cute stuff!)
 So cute
 We stopped for some yummy candy.  I had sour straws and ate too many.  Which led to a stomachache. I haven't had that in forever, but it was worth it.
 There is something so wrong about this, but I remember having these as a kid!

 Loved how cute this house was decorated.
 They have their own private pier, also decorated.
 Private piers
Balboa Harbor

Thursday, December 8, 2011

...A Letter to You...

Dear Little Rose,
Hi my angel.  How are you?  I've been thinking about you lately and decided to write to you.  I think it may be because Christmas was suppose to be such a happy time for me, all because of you.  Or maybe it's all the babies I see and hear about all the time.  It could maybe be the fact that I was suppose to find out your sex at this time too (my gut tells me you were a girl).  Whatever reason, you have been on my mind a lot this week.  I made you an ornament when I went to Color Me Mine last week.  I wanted to make sure you had a special spot on our tree.  I look at your ornament every day and think of you.  Every time I pass a rose, I stop to smell it, and of course think of you.  People think I can just have another baby, but I'm not sure if I can.  On top of that, having another baby won't bring you back.  I want YOU in my life.  I hope one day I will get to meet you.

I try not to think of you too much because the pain is unbearable.  I long to have you back in my life.  I physically hurt when I think of how much I miss you.  I don't cry much anymore, but sometimes I'm not so strong and I let myself break down.  It's only because I loved you so much and am so sad we had to part. Everyone around me has forgotten about you, but your mommy never will.  I carried you for almost three months, and I will never forget those wonderful moments I got to have with you.

Please know that I am happy and cherish all the wonderful blessings in my life.  I'm just not whole without you.  I bought a necklace based on one of my favorite stories about God.  On one side it has two sets of footprints and on the other it says "It was then that I carried you".  It is in the shape of a heart.  It's a story about how God carries you when you are so sad you can't walk yourself.  The story has a double meaning for me.  I wear it sometimes, and when I feel sad I just hold it.  It makes me feel good to wear it because I feel like I have you with me.  I had a dream about you a few weeks ago and would love for you to visit me again in my dreams.  Until we meet...


PS - I included a picture of your ornament.  Daddy and I called you Baby B (B was for bean).  He misses you very much too.  He loved you just as much as I did.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

AD #5 - The Pueblo & Griffith Park

Today we continued our journey through the history of California.  We started off my going to the El Pueblo de Los Angeles.  It was founded in 1781 as a settlement.  People came and began building houses around the plaza.  The main street is called Olvera Street and is part of the pueblo.  There are a bunch of cute shops and restaurants.  Surrounding this street are old homes, a firehouse, church, and other old buildings.  Here are some pictures of our adventure at the oldest place in Los Angeles!
 DH and I both threw a penny in this wishing well.  I don't think I need to tell you what I wished for and I'm sure DH wished for the same thing.
 Avila Adobe - Built in 1818 - It is the oldest house in Los Angeles
 Inside the house - Kitchen
 Main plaza at the pueblo
 Built by the last Mexican governor, the first 3 story building in Los Angeles
 The Old Plaza Firehouse - last used in 1897 - was all run by volunteers
 Old Plaza Church - Built in 1822
 Union Station (where we took the train to San Juan Capistrano)
 Famous painting - Every year there is a ceremony where people can bring their animals to be blessed.  Animals are important too.
 Olvera Street
Los Angeles Post Office

Right across the way from the pueblo was a very famous restaurant, Phillippe.  It is home of the french dip sandwich.  It is one of the oldest and best known restaurants in Southern California.  It has been in business since 1908.  It was delicious!  I got a turkey sandwich and we split a piece of blueberry pie.  I got a glass of iced tea for 75 cents, I loved that.  I can't wait to try this place again.
After lunch we decided to make one more stop.  We drove up the hills to see the Griffith Observatory which is in Griffith Park.  We parked towards the bottom of the hill and took a beautiful walk to the observatory.  I didn't know how well we would be able to see the Hollywood sign.  It was so cool.  We also got to see a beautiful view of Los Angeles.
 Griffith Observatory in the distance
 We made it!
 Beautiful Los Angeles
 Close to the Hollywood sign

On our way back home we made two quick stops.  The first stop was to see a Banksy's Foreclosure art.  Too bad there was a gate put up and we couldn't really see it.  There was a small crack and I got to see it.  I really wanted to take a picture.  Here is a picture of it I found from the internet.  DH and I are really into street art!
Our last stop...the famous Watts Towers.  I never knew how pretty they were.  I always thought they were tall, brown water towers in a dangerous city.  I had no idea they were a historical landmark created by an Italian immigrant in the early 1900's.  He built them by hand with little equipment.  He decorated them with tiles, shells, sea glass, and other materials.  It's too bad the surrounding neighborhood is so dangerous and isn't well taken care of.  I would love to spend more time here.  This is a true gem.