Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baby Names

Picking a baby name is really hard.  Phil and I have some girl names we really like, but we can't narrow it down.  Please vote on the sidebar for your favorite.  As far as boy's names go, we're really undecided.  We would love it if you would leave us a suggestion in the comment area.  Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Stuff

I have been loving working part time during the holidays because I've actually had time to decorate the house this year.  Last year, we had a tree, and nothing else because I didn't have time.  This year, I put out nativities, stockings, and the Christmas village.  Phil even put Christmas lights on Ryan's bed.  Yesterday, I baked sugar cookies.  I'm even almost done Christmas shopping.  There have been many years where I've hardly started at this point, so I'm really proud of my accomplishments.  The one thing that has seemingly gone by the wayside is our family Christmas card.  Because this has been an oversight on my part, I've decided to include our card on our blog.  So Merry Christmas from all of us!  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baby News

I went to my 12 week check up today and got to hear the baby's heartbeat. I'm so happy! I was a little worried at first because it took the doctor a long time to find it, but then, there it was ... and then it moved away. Luckily, she found it again. She said she hoped the baby would be a little more cooperative at the next appointment, but I was thinking, if this one is at all like Ryan, it won't stay still for long.

Monday, December 1, 2008


This weekend we went to Cayucos with Phil's family for Thanksgiving and had a great time. While we were in the area, I had to stop by Cotton Ball and look at all their gorgeous fabric. I of course found some fabrics that I adore and have been inspired... to have a girl so I can decorate a girl's bedroom. I feel guilty in case I am not having a girl, but I must share my inspiration because it is so darn cute!

This is my first inspiration piece. It is called "Starling" by Alexander Henry. I love it beyond words. I think there are so many cute things I could do with this fabric.

This second inspiration came to me in today's new Anthropolgie catalog. I saw the painted walls titled, "Drawn Home," and knew this is what the walls should look like to accompany this gorgeous fabric. I could duplicate the black and white drawing on the fabric and paint it on the walls. Then using felt, I could make large versions of the birds and hang them up in the room. The crib and the dresser would need to be painted black to make the room perfect. And I was planning an easy transformation of linens if I had a girl.... Phil will kill me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Family Photos

Blogger and I have had a long struggle today over whether or not it would allow me to post my pictures. I have conquered in this situation. Anyway, once again, the fabulous Ellie Grover took pictures of our family. I wanted to share a few of my favorites. Here they are. Isn't Ellie great?!?!?!?

Ogden 9

Ogden 145

Ogden 136

Ogden 135

Ogden 83

Ogden 67

Ogden 50

Ogden 31

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Big Brother

It turns out that Ryan is going to be a big brother. A baby brother or sister is due to arrive June 15, 2009.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Busy Weekend

This weekend was very busy for us. Friday was Halloween. Ryan dressed as Mickey Mouse. He loved his costume and insisted on wearing it again on Saturday. He wanted to wear it again on Sunday, but lucky for me, it was dirty. Ryan loved ringing the doorbell and yelling, "Trick or Treat!", but he was really afraid of "scary guys." (Kids wearing ghoulish masks and scary ghost decorations.) We had a great night.

On Saturday, the fifth annual Night of Hospitality was held at my church. In the picture, you can see the table my mom decorated with different kinds of silverware. It was very cute. Anna attended with me and we had a great time.
Yesterday was my grandma's 80th birthday. We had a fun time. Ryan felt that it took a little too long to get our dinner. At one point, he put his head down on the table and said, "corn dog," (which he had ordered for dinner). When the waitress finally brought his food, his face lit up as if it was Christmas and he saw all his presents for the first time. I wonder who he takes after? As soon as he finished eating, he started asking for "happy cake."

Grandma let him stick his fingers in the cake and eat the frosting. He told her, "me feel better now."

Finally, the waitress came and lit the candles and Ryan and Grandma blew them out. I really enjoyed our whole family being together and having dinner together. I think Grandma had a great time too. Below is a picture of what I made for Grandma's present. The text is written out below.

You are such a special person to me and our entire family. I am so thankful for you and all the special memories I have with you. I thought I’d share a few recollections with you.

  • The toy bedroom and all its loot has always been a favorite memory for me. I remember being full of giddy anticipation when you would tell me there was a new addition in that room.
  • You helped me paint my first nativity scene at your house on a giant desk pad sheet.
  • I think I also wrote my first newspaper at your house with you. You helped me publish it on your copy machine.
  • Thanks for helping Julie and me with our AWANA sections and special projects.
  • When my mom went back to work, I loved that you were our daily baby sitter until she got home. I also loved the few surprise days when Grandpa came to watch us.
  • I loved the fog delays from RBG because it meant Julie, Katie, Denise and I could all play at your house together all day (if they cancelled).
  • Your house and yard and haystack are all magical and have all transformed into many different things. The calf stall has been a ship, the haystack turned into a cabin in the 1800’s, and the old cotton picker cab has been too many things to remember.
  • I appreciate that you taught me how to squeeze out my first zwiebach and twist the ears of my first Easter Bunny.
  • You helped me quilt my first Barbie quilt.
  • You only ever got mad at us girls once and we deserved it.
  • Thanks for always being my number one fan and always telling me that I am great.
  • I loved the special movie trips that you took the grandkids to and I appreciate that you wanted us to know that we should be careful because it was dark.
  • Thanks for our girl trips to Morro Bay. I remember peddling the bike cart with you while Katie, Denise, and Julie rode in the basket. I will also never forget taking the boat across to the sandspit where you caught the leg of your pants and fell in.
  • Christmas Eve is still and always has been my favorite moment of the year because you have made it so special for us. I love it when our whole family is together and everyone is laughing and tearing paper simultaneously.
  • Monday lunches are still an event I look forward to each week and I’m so happy that Ryan gets to now anticipate those with me.
  • I love experiencing your house through Ryan’s eyes and reliving my special memories.
  • I love the wisdom you’ve given me over the years regarding many things including fog delays, elections, sewing, cooking, and maternity clothes shopping.
  • Thanks for letting Rita be your part time dog and loving her as much as I do.

Grandma, you are a Great-Grandma now, but I think “great” has always been part of your title. I love you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, Phil, Ryan, and I went to the pumpkin patch. Ryan loved it. There were goats to pet, pumpkins to touch, tractors to see, and and bridges to climb over. There were also tons of people and kids, which equaled a fun afternoon for all of us. Below are some pictures of the event.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Going to the Vet

Last Friday, Rita, being the ferocious little dog that she is, went out to chase some birds at my grandma's house. She came back limping. Phil knew I'd be worried because of Rita's previous limp and subsequent surgery in January, so he called and told me before I even had a chance to see the poor girl. Regardless of the warning, I have been worried ever since, and have thought that she probably did the same thing to the other leg.

Today was the day of reckoning and we went to the vet. Ryan asked what we would see at the vet so I told him there would be lots of animals at the vet and they would all be waiting to go see the doctor. He wanted to know if he could see an elephant today. I had to let him know that the vet we were seeing really only specialized in dogs and cats. He was happy with that for a while and talked about petting different dogs and cats when we arrived. He was quiet for a while, then asked if Rita would get a sucker from the doctor. I had to laugh and tell him no. He asked the receptionist again about the suckers when we got there. He was able to get a coloring book and crayons for himself, which made him really happy.

Unfortunately, Rita did indeed tear a ligament in her knee yet again, and will require a surgery next Wednesday. I think the poor dog needs to wear doggy knee braces from now on. She is turning out to be one expensive, but loved, little dog. As Ryan says, "Poor Rita Baby."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The other day I was driving and talking to Phil on the phone via my ear piece. Ryan kept yelling, "Mommy, mommy, mommy," as I talked. Finally I ended the conversation and pulled the ear piece out of my ear. Ryan looked at me funny and asked, "ear passy?" I laughed and said yes it was. Ryan then asked to have one and I said he couldn't. He then kept saying "ear passy, ear passy," until I looked at him. He had stuck his thumb in his ear to make his own ear passy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's My Birthday!

Hey, so it's my birthday tomorrow and I'll be 30. Kinda weird. In honor of my birthday, I'll post some tidbits about myself (and because Katie tagged me).

1. I turn 30 tomorrow. On my birthday, I try and keep a clear separation from what took place on September 11, 2001 and my birthday celebration.

2. I want to be Beverly Cleary when I grow up, or kind of like her. I love the idea of being a children's book author and living in the Bay Area. I imagine myself waking up to a cold, foggy morning, and drinking my coffee while reading over my latest manuscript.

3. I know how to change a starter on a 1975 mail Jeep and have done it before. My dad believed in raising Julie and I to be independent and self sufficient. When I worked for him on the farm, and the starter went out on the Jeep, he made me figure our how to fix it myself.

4. I almost drowned in the Arcularius when I was 4 years old. My sister, my friends Aaron and Laura, and I were all supposed to be napping while my parents were fishing in the river. Aaron and I woke up and were thirsty and decided we should fill our thermos with water from the river. We thought the best way to do it would be to make a human chain. Aaron would hold on to me while I bent over and filled the thermos with water. Our idea was not successful, and we fell in. We drifted down stream to where our parents were fishing and my dad grabbed us and pulled us out of the rushing river. Aaron's mom Judy, put a Snoopy band aid over the sore spot from my dad pulling us out. It made me feel a lot better.

5. I love to travel. I'd love to visit every continent, excluding Antartica, before I die. So far I've made it to Europe, Asia, and of course, North America.

6. When Julie and I were high school/ junior high age, and my parents would go out to dinner and leave us home for the evening, we would cook orange dinner. We would have mac n cheese, cheetoes, and orange soda. Healthy.

7. I love watching documentaries. I don't know what it is about them, but they suck me in. Some favorites are Trekkies (long story, but I met Gabriel from the movie), King of Kong, and Spellbound.

I tag Ellie, Malisa, Phil, Ben, and Alli.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sewing Extravaganza

This week has been a great week in sewing for me. I got to make to baby gifts for friends that are expecting.

I was so happy to get to sew some girl things with the fabric I had been saving.

I also completed a purse I had been struggling with. I had bought the fabric at Hancock's in July, but couldn't find a pattern that I liked and I also couldn't find a lining that I thought would go. Ellie came over on Friday night and helped talk it through with me. I showed her the patterns I liked, including a pattern from jcaroline creative, which she thought I should use. I agreed and printed it out (the patterns are free from that website). Seeing Ellie with her new fabulous purse also made me think back to her retired and wonderful purse, which inspired my color choices for my purse. Thanks Ellie! I went back to Hancock's on Saturday morning to find a gigantic Labor Day sale. I found the fake leather fabric for $5 per yard and the lining fabric for $4.50 per yard (I think). Ryan took a great nap for me yesterday and I was able to complete the purse. I'm really happy with it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

JM's Closeout Center

JM's childrens store now has a closeout center across the street from their original store. I went out of curiosity yesterday and they have great deals on cribs, dressers and strollers. Just thought I'd pass the word.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New School Year

The start of this school year has been great. I love my teaching partner and am so happy that I get to job share. I just want to pinch myself to make sure its true that I don't have to go back to work until Thursday next week. I have really enjoyed moving up a grade level with last years' students and seeing how much they've all grown. I also like that I'm able to take these students to the next level with their studies and that I get to learn a new curriculum. I do have to say that although there were two of us teaching all week, I have still be worn out at the end of the day. I don't know what it is about starting a school year, but its exhausting. Good thing I have time to recuperate this week.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Portland was an amazing city to visit. I only wish we could have spent more time exploring. Our first full day was on Phil's birthday. We took Ryan to Oaks Park, which is like a large version of Playland. We thought he would enjoy the rides but to our dismay, he was grumpy almost the whole time there. While he was on one ride, he would see another that he'd rather ride and then he'd cry, or he'd notice that the ride he wanted on was closed. We finally just bought him some M&M's to cheer him up and called it a day. That evening, we went out for Phil's birthday and had a great dinner with Doug and also got a tour of the Crystal Ballroom. We then met up with Ben and Alli for drinks at Portland City Grill and also got to meet one of Vanessa's bridesmaids, Mary.

On Thursday, we went to Portland, just the three of us, and went to Powell's and read books, and then did a little shopping. We ended up at a great little cafe called Sip & Kranz. This place was amazing. It was a swanky little coffee house/cafe in the front, with a glass enclosed playroom in the back for the kiddos. Ingenious I tell you! Ryan loved it as did Phil and I. They even had a kids menu where every entree is served with a side of goldfish, a carton of milk, and a little tootsie roll. Someone needs to capitalize on this idea in Bakersfield. Check out the pictures below.

Doug and Vanessa's Wedding

We went to Portland for our vacation/Doug and Vanessa's wedding and had a great time. Here are some pictures from the occassion.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


After we installed the wood flooring, I started shopping for a larger area rug for the room. I haven't been able to decide on anything that I like, which made me do some design soul searching. What did I like about the room? What did I want to change? Would changing something allow me to like an area rug? I came to the conclusion, that I still really liked the lamps, the end tables, and of course, the floors. I still like the window treatments because I like the foliage aspect of them and they give an open, outdoor-sy feeling. The couch is really worn and uncomfortable and certainly isn't large enough for my 6'3'' husband. And I'm tired of it. And the recliner really, truly, must go. I married Phil, but not the chair.

Below are pictures of my current living room:
Here are some ideas I had after shopping and perusing a Potterybarn catalogue:

Each of the pictures can be clicked on to make larger so you can see them better. Now, the only thing I am looking to replace at the present time is the area rug, but I'd like to have a comprehensive design plan before making any purchases so that I can be moving in the right direction to create the room I'd like. The above picture has swatches of the color palette I'd like to have, the couch that I like, the window treatments I have, the chairs I'm looking at, and another foliage idea in the pillows. It also has the style area rug that I think I'd like, although sisal rugs are not comfortable.

I welcome your comments and ideas please! Let me know what you would do with the above ideas to create a better room. I am very open to any new ideas and would love to be inspired. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


This weekend, our family went on our annual trip to Carpinteria. My parents rent a condo each year and invite us to visit. We arrived on Saturday and headed straight to the beach. Ryan has been an avid fan of the sand since he was old enough to crawl, but he didn't care too much for the waves. Every time a wave washed up on the sand, he would yell, "STAY!" And of course it wouldn't, so he would get angry and start to cry. We tried jumping over the waves and splashing in them, but he would not change his mind. I was surprised because he loves to swim in the pool so much.

The one thing he really has mentioned since he got home from our trip is that he played with baby Hank, the son of some family friends, who spilled his bucket of water while they were playing. At this point in his retelling, he wags his finger and says, "no, no!", to baby Hank. Too funny.

Checking out the sand

Running from Daddy (and the scary speedo man)

Chasing seagulls

Contemplating the waves

Montecito Inn and Cafe

Our Saturday ended with a date to the Montecito Cafe while Ryan stayed with Pa and Grandma. I love this restaurant more than any other eatery. We started out with a salad of mixed greens and slices of baked apple and fried brie. Next, Phil had lamb with a tomato, Kalamata olive, and mint sauce, and I had grilled Ahi with a saffron caper sauce.
Dessert is my favorite part of any meal and to my delight, the cafe had added something new to the menu; a red velvet cupcake. Our table was across from the dessert prep station and I looked at that cupcake all evening. I knew I had to have it. It was beautiful when it arrived. The cupcake had a delicious swirl of cream cheese frosting with a dark chocolate wafer sticking out of the top. The wafer was first to be eaten, followed by a bite of the decadent cake. When I cut into it, I thought perhaps there was a flaw, as the centered appeared to be undercooked. I investigated with a fork, and discovered, that it was perfection after all. It's center was filled with raspberry jam. Below is a picture of what I sadly could not finish. If ever you find yourself in the Santa Barbara area, this restaurant will not disappoint.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Storyland Nostalgia

Our visit to Storyland brought back memories of a friend's wedding that took place at the venue. This wedding was probably one of the most enjoyable weddings I've ever attended.

Jessi and I sitting on the toadstools with Heather in the background

Jessi and Sara posing on the clock

Our train ride through the magically land

Justin, Jessi, and I in front of King Arthur's Castle


This weekend, Phil, Ryan, and I went to Fresno to visit Phil's mom and Don and his dad and Pat. On Saturday, Grammy Beth and Papa Don took all of us to the zoo. The first thing that I discovered upon arrival is that my camera had a dead battery, however, Grammy has posted pictures on her blog and I also stole some pictures from her blog.

Ryan was a little overwhelmed by the zoo and how big the animals were, but the petting zoo really suited him fine.

We spent about 2 hours there, then we took Ryan to Storyland to ride the train, which he had been asking to ride for most of the morning.

While in line to buy our tickets, I got caught up in the moment and the nostalgia, and decided that we should get the Storyland pass as well as train tickets, not thinking how long we had been out in the sun and how much longer we would be there with the Storyland pass. We had to wait 15 minutes for the next train to run, so we took Ryan to Hansel and Gretel's candy house and up and down a slide. Phil, Ryan, Grammy, and I all took turns going down the slide, which tickled Ryan.

The train finally arrived and and Ryan was elated. The train fascinated him and he was engrossed in every turn and bump. The train made a stop at Playland, where Ryan could see kids on a race car carousel ride, at which point he reached for the ride and started yelling, "help! help!" Grammy, of course, came to the rescue and bought Ryan tickets to ride. Lucky for Ryan, his height was to his advantage, and he was tall enough to ride the cars by himself. He grinned for the whole ride as turned his little steering wheel.

As the ride was ending, the train whistled for us to board. We quickly grabbed Ryan and jumped back on board. The train took us to Storyland, where we all realized just how hungry and tired we were. Phil and Don sprang to action and went to Piemonte's to pick up some delicious sandwiches for a picnic lunch while Grammy and I took Ryan through Storyland. We went to King Arthur's castle first, which was air conditioned and heavenly.

Ryan sat down at the round table and asked, "Eat? Pray?". We told him no and that we would have to wait some more for our food. We visited the Three Bears house next, which is one of Ryan's FAVORITE and most life changing stories as he reminds us that big things are, "PAPAS", and little things are "babies".

He loved sitting in each of the bears' chairs, but again he asked us, "Eat? Pray?". We visited each one of the little vignettes at record speeds and continued to be asked, "Eat? Pray?", until we finally sat at the picnic tables outside Storyland and Phil and Papa arrived with our glorious sandwiches and saved the day. Phil now says that Piemonte's is one of the best lunches of all times, partly because their sandwiches are the best, and partly because he was near "starvation."

I can't wait to visit the parks again, but maybe just separately next time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Best Tacos

Yesterday, Phil took me to Tacos Las Salsas for lunch. He's been raving about their tacos for months and had been promising to take me. This restaurant lived up to his hype. It is a tiny hole in the wall restaurant in Greenacres, next to Car Quest and we had to arrive at 11:45 in order to miss the lunch rush and get a table. Phil ordered the adovada (pork steak) tacos and I had an asada taco and a barbacoa taco. The salsa on the tacos was amazing. My dilemma is that I had a definite favorite of the two tacos, although, I'm not sure which taco was which, so I don't know which one to recommend. I think it was the barbocoa that I loved, but Phil's tacos were also delicious. Ryan had rice and beans and they were the best I've ever tasted. If the food wasn't wonderful enough, the price surely justifies everything; Tacos are only $.75! Our whole meal including tip was $9.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Attention Grandparents...

Here is a video of Ryan doing his ABC puzzle. I thought you all might enjoy.

Monday, June 30, 2008

San Francisco

Day 1

Phil and I had a fantastic weekend in the city. We arrived by BART Friday afternoon before Doug and Vanessa (Phil's brother and our future sister-in-law). I was instantly enamored with the hustle and bustle of the city and was thrilled to be away from our life in suburbia. Phil was starving (as usual) so we squeezed into a little cafe with our giant suitcase and got a bite to eat, then meandered around some shops until we could drop off our luggage in our hotel room.
After Doug and Vanessa arrived, we visited H&M, then headed toward North Beach. We decided to walk all the way so we could pass through the gates of Chinatown.
Phil and I were extremely proud of each other for remembering to get pictures of ourselves, which we seldom do. We popped into a few shops, window shopped, and observed people enjoying the tea tasting rooms.
We walked through St. Mary's Square, which is where Phil snapped this really cool picture of Sun Yat-Sen. He also took the above picture of the clock to satisfy Ryan's obsession.

Doug and Vanessa were kind enough to pose for this picture.

Our feet were getting pretty tired, and mine were very blistered from an earlier shoe debacle, but it was only about three more blocks until North Beach, so we pressed on.
Seeing Jack Kerouac's name embedded in the cement was our first notion that we had arrived. When I stopped and looked around at the buildings to get my bearings straight, I noticed that I was standing next to City Light's book store and the Vesuvio, both infamous land marks of the beatnik movement.
We perused the books for quite sometime, then decided that it was time to get some dinner. Our friends, Chris and Amanda, were coincidentally in the city for a teaching conference and were able to meet up with us.
We went to one of our favorite North Beach haunts; Pinocchio's. We had an unfortunately long wait, which provided us with great conversation and lots of laughs. Our food and company couldn't have been better.

Day 2

One of my favorite brunch places in the city is Crepes on Cole, which is just up the hill from Haight Ashbury in the Cole Valley neighborhood (a neighborhood where I have often said, "If I ever moved to the city, this is where I would live"). We had a wonderful breakfast, then meandered down the hill to Amoeba records. We indulged our collective love of music for quite a while, then wandered down Haight until we reached Buena Vista Park. We caught a MUNI and headed back to Market.

We did a little more shopping, then went back to our hotel to rest up. That evening, we caught an F Line MUNI down to Fisherman's Wharf where we visited the Musee Mecanique, which previously was located at the Cliff House.
We ate a great dinner at Alioto's and enjoyed our view of the bay.

Notice Doug holding his "Murse" (man+purse). Really, it was Vanessa's.
This laughing lady was one of the oddities at the Musee Mecanique.

After dinner, we walked down to Ghirardelli square and partook of some complimentary chocolate. Our final stop of the day was at the top of the Hyatt in Union Square for a night cap.

Day 3

The next morning, we MUNI-ed to my most favorite coffee house ever: Caffe Greco. I was concerned that Caffe Greco would only serve pastries for breakfast, which would never work for my hypo-glycemic husband. Phil called ahead to see what they had. An obvioulsly Italian man answered the phone and told Phil, "We have whatever you need. You come down and find a seat. We very busy."
Right before Phil was able to annihilate everyone in the restaurant with his hateful, hunger-filled stares, a steaming plate containing a bagel slathered with cream cheese, ham, tomato, and egg, was set before him and saved us all from certain death.
After Phil silently consumed everything on his plate and the twinkle returned to his eyes, he was able to snap the above picture of the Hotel Boheme where we stayed on our honeymoon almost five years ago. Our last tourist attraction was Lombard street. We made the arduous trek up the hill, where I was able to snap this picture of Coit Tower.

Our weekend was a refreshing trip away from the hum-drum monotony of everyday life and was a great meeting spot to spend time with the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Doug Ogden.