Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

For the first time since we've been married, Charlie & I decided not to go anywhere for Thanksgiving. It was nice to be able to stay home and enjoy the holiday, and have family come visit us. Charlie's parents came from New Mexico, and Charlie's brother Kelly & his wife Cassi came from Utah. We also had my sister Sandy & her family come over to join us for dinner. The food was fantastic and we enjoyed eating leftovers for several days afterwards.

Cassi & Kelly

Charlie's Parents: Karl & Janelle

Sandy, baby Hailey, and Ryan

Chris & Katie

Charlie & Carrie (and Isaac in the corner)

Earlier in the day we went to the park across the street to play bocci ball and enjoy the sunny 84 degree weather! Isaac had a great time playing & digging with his trucks in the dirt... until he realized he was missing out on all the fun with the bocci balls. The game came to an end when he decided to get in on the action and start grabbing the balls off the court!

Isaac before he discovered the bocci balls!

Every time Charlie's dad has come to visit us he has wanted to go fishing, but it has never worked out before. So this time we made sure to work it in! The day after Thanskgiving Charlie, Karl, Kelly & Cassi took a half day fishing trip out of the Newport harbor. They caught over 30 Perch, which are pretty small little fish, but they had a good time. Janelle, Isaac, and I stayed home and hit up a few Black Friday sales, went to lunch, and then relaxed and watched a movie.

Kelly, Cassi & Karl

Saturday night after Charlie's parents left, we took Kelly & Cassi up to LA for a Mariachi show! This place is the real deal. We were the only white people in the entire restaurant. It was a fun night and Isaac really got into it. He kept standing up in his seat to dance and clapping with the audience at the end of each song.

We had a fun holiday and are now looking forward to a quiet Christmas at home.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Watch out for these two little sharks! Here they are last night at the church "Trunk or Treat."

And today playing in the backyard.

Isaac actually likes wearing his costume! He thinks it is fun to put it on and go look at himself in the mirror. We think he makes a pretty cute little shark.

I have never been a big fan of Halloween, but I must admit it is pretty fun dressing Isaac & Cracker up! Here they are in 2007 and 2008. Any suggestions for 2010?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Back to the Blog

Yes, it has been nearly 5 months since our last blog post. No, I don't have any great excuses. I kept meaning to update it but then I felt overwhelmed by all of the stuff I missed and think I should write about. So I am just going to go forward from today. Maybe I'll catch up on the older stuff later... and maybe I won't.

This morning we went to the Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch with some friends. I have known this place existed, but I had no idea how huge it was! We took a wagon ride around the farm and over to the pumpkin patch. Isaac loves tractors, so he was excited to ride on the wagon being pulled by a big tractor.

Inside the tents - another tractor! And pumpkins.

The ride back took us through all the fields and Isaac enjoyed checking out the scenery.

In other news, the A/C in our car broke this week. It was cool and rainy the day that it happened so I didn't think it would be a big deal. But then yesterday it was 85 and today it was close to 90 and Isaac and I were being cooked! I didn't know if I could be without a car and get to & from the mechanic to pick it up, since Charlie is in China right now and our other car is sitting in the parking lot at LAX. Luckily I have known my mechanic for years (way back to the days of my old Corolla), so he offered to give me a loaner car. And here it is:

A 1995 Chrysler Lebaron. After sitting on the shredded driver's seat, with my hands literally sticking to the steering wheel, listening to all sorts of rattling, and praying the roof didn't blow off on the drive home, I have never been so grateful for our Acura!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


At the end of April, we took our annual trip to Hawaii. We went to the island of Kauai. We had a nice relaxing time. Unfortunately, it already seems like it was so long ago!

We spent the week relaxing, waking up late, going to the beach, relaxing at night, and spending good quality time as a family.

We rented a condo on Poipu Beach. It was the perfect location and had beautiful grass lawns and Isaac loved to run around and chase the birds

Here is the beach in front on our condo. It was perfect. We spent most of the week laying on this beach.

We also enjoyed the food- The Shrimp Station in Waimea.

Last year- we tooks a great picture of Isaac on this wave. He was only 9 months old and he waved perfectly at the camera while we was riding the wave. This year- at 20 months, he wasn't so cooperative.

We took a day trip to Oahu and explored the island. In the picture below is 'China Man's Hat'

We also wen to the North Shore and went to the famous 'Pipeline' where the surfers ride very big waves. Unfortunately- the waves were not big and there weren't many surfers. We must have gone the wrong time of day.

Here is Isaac and Charlie at the Pipeline

We also visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Isaac thought these fish were really cool!

Isaac and Mom

We had a nice time seeing Pearl Harbor.

Isaac didn't like going in the water- but he loved laying out in the sun! (Don't worry- he was lathered in SPF 50 all week long.)

And he was a pretty good traveler. On the afternoon flight over- he was great. On the red-eye flight back- he didn't sleep at all, but didn't do too bad.

We are already looking forward to next year's trip.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


One of the reasons that we bought this condo was because of the yard. Considering we live in California, and in Irvine, and in a condo... our yard is actually quite huge! We spent several hours on Saturday getting it cleaned up and ready for spring. And that's when Isaac discovered the joy of a garden hose.
He probably spent half an hour playing in the water. It was really fun to watch him play and giggle in delight.

Our ward boundaries for church were changed a few weeks ago, so now we have a whole new ward and new callings too. Charlie & I are now teaching the 9 year olds in Primary. This Sunday was our first week teaching and meeting our new class: Jonathan, Joe, Rider, Staten, Anna-Julia, Maya, Audrey, and Alex. We are looking forward to a fun year with these kids!

Also on Sunday our friends brought over their dog Bubba; a 15-month old Golden Retriever. They left Bubba with us for the day while they were down in San Diego.

Bubba is a big, playful, rambunctious puppy! We all had fun with him except for Cracker. Cracker is a little prejudice and does not like other dogs unless they are dachshunds. He did like Bubba's big bone though!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Real Housewife of Orange County

From looking at our blog, some of you might think that all we do is travel. False. The real truth is just that most of my life is not that exciting to write about! I've looked through my photos from the last few weeks and tried to find something that might be interesting enough to post and here's what I've got...

80's Party!

My friend Erin turned 30 and had a fun 80's themed birthday party. We got to go all out and get dressed up for the occasion. We even hired a baby sitter for the night!

Charlie Broke His Foot

My parents moved to Utah at the end of February and we went over to help them finish packing and load up the truck. If anyone knows my mom, you know that she has one of the cleanest homes you will ever enter. So in order to keep the carpet from getting dirty during the move (even though it is not her carpet anymore), she lined the stairs with plastic. Plastic stairs = slippery stairs. Next thing you know, Charlie is on the ground and all of the boxes he was carrying are on his foot.

I Broke the Trash Can

Like I said, my everyday life is not that interesting. But since we are on the subject of things that are broken, why not? I was just going to empty it but it slipped out of my hand. Charlie is out of town so of course I had to take a picture for him to see what happened. And now you all get to see too!

On Mondays I Baby Sit

My friend Sherri takes a pilates class on Monday mornings and I watch Daniel and Lucie for her. It is kind of fun having double kids and double dachshunds for a few hours! And Sherri watches Isaac for me too so it is a great trade off.

St. Patrick's Day

For St. Patrick's Day we made corned beef & brocolli. Yes, brocolli not cabbage. We made cabbage the year that I was pregnant and the smell made me so sick that I don't think I'll ever be able to eat cooked cabbage again. Anyway, Isaac loved the corned beef AND the brocolli! He is a great little eater. Sometimes I have to trick him into taking that first bite of something new, but once he tastes it, he'll eat pretty much anything.

Santa Ana Zoo

For all of you locals, did you know that there is a zoo in Santa Ana? I didn't! But now I know and so do you. It is much closer than San Diego or LA and much cheaper too - only $7 (and kids 2 and under are free). Of course, as you might expect, it is also much smaller. Charlie was out of town over the weekend so I was looking for things to keep Isaac & I busy. Sherri & her family joined us on Saturday and we spent a couple hours at the zoo. The highlights for Isaac were (see photos above): the elephant, the train, and the goats. Next time maybe we will even get to ride the elephant.

And last but not least...

I Painted the Baseboards!

I totally just went and took a picture so I could show off all my hard work. Charlie is at his big event of the year in Chicago (standing on his broken foot all day, poor guy!) so what better time for me to paint the baseboards, right? Especially since we have had them for over a year now! They came primed white so it wasn't that noticeable (please tell me you haven't all been noticing my ugly baseboards for the past year), but you could still see nail holes and unfinished spots. Not anymore! My baseboards are pretty and semi-glossy white now.

And that is what I have been up to in the past few weeks. Or at least what I took pictures of.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

South Beach

Lucky me! Last weekend I got to tag along on another one of Charlie's business trips. It felt a lot more like a vacation to me though. Charlie's company was a sponsor of the Food Network's South Beach Wine & Food Festival. It is a fantastic event! I was actually a little jealous that Charlie was working at this festival while I was laying by the pool!

We landed in Miami on Thursday afternoon and checked into the Hilton Vacation Club in South Beach. It was the perfect location, right on Ocean Drive and just yards away from the beach. (One side of Ocean Drive is lined with vintage Art Deco hotels, shops & restaurants and the other side is the beach.) The Hilton was perfect because we had a suite, so there was a kitchen and an extra room which made it much easier to put Isaac to bed.

Charlie headed off to the Burger Bash, hosted by Rachel Ray. They had dozens of famous chefs, and restaurants from around the country competing to make the best burger. Here's a few that Charlie tried:
  • Morimoto- Saga Wagyu Burger (Saga Wagyu patty topped with barbecue saga wagyu slices, served with shredded cabbage and sweet red miso sauce)
  • Love Food Cafe Burger - Cheddar Jalapeno Burger (Aged cheddar, fresh salsa, lettuce, sour cream, served on a NY roll.)
  • SW Steakhouse Wynn Las Vegas - Ground Prime Sirloin Burger (Robiola cheese, black truffle mushroom duxelle on girdled muffin)
  • Ubuntu - Vegan 'Boudin Noir' (Apple, Sauerkraut, and Caraway)
Yeah, I wouldn't have minded "working" that night either! He said the event was a lot of fun and his favorite burger was the Cheddar Jalapeno one. As Rachel would say, Yum-O!
While Charlie was gone Isaac & I headed out on our own little adventure. We hit up the McDonald's a few blocks away and shared some cheeseburgers & fries. Almost as good as the Burger Bash, right? Then since we were still on CA time we walked the path along the beach and then stopped for Isaac to play on the swings & the playground. We had the playground all to ourselves, the weather was perfect, and we could feel the breeze from the ocean and see all of the night life across Ocean Drive.

Every morning we all went out for breakfast at one of the many restaurants on Ocean Drive. Most of the crowd there is visiting from somewhere much colder, so everyone sits out on the patios in the sunshine. Just the fact that everyone there is on vacation makes the whole vibe of South Beach so relaxing and fun.

Isaac & I spent most of our time at the beach or the pool. The ocean was much too cold for my taste (I am pretty picky about this) but I don't think Isaac would have gone in willingly no matter what the temperature! When we were in Hawaii last year Isaac loved the beach. Every chance he got he would crawl straight towards the ocean. And he didn't mind the sand one bit. Apparently he has changed his mind. In Miami he did not want that sand to touch his feet and refused to even try walking in it. And when we got close to the ocean he was clinging to me like crazy. I finally got him to put his feet down in the wet sand but as soon as the water touched him he freaked out. Oh dear! I have exactly eight weeks to get him over this problem before we leave for Kauai. Anyone want to go to the beach with us?

The nice thing was that most of the hotels in South Beach rent lounge chairs & umbrellas out on the beach. Why don't they do this in CA? Anyway, Isaac was able to safely up on the chairs and away from that awful sand. It was actually quite nice! I had planned on having to chase him all around and instead I just got to sit and relax. We ate lunch and watched the sea gulls and Isaac waved hi to all of the topless ladies on the beach. Yes, apparently topless is okay in Miami.

Our hotel did not have a pool but someone from Charlie's PR firm was staying at the Loews and gave us his pool key. Thank you Mr. Glass! We loved this pool and here is why. 1) It had a kid section where the water gently eased into the pool and was only inches deep. It was perfect for Isaac to splash around in. 2) The water was heated. 3) It had a great ambiance. 4) The best part of all were the lounge chairs! They were padded and the pool attendants came and put fresh cozy covers on for us and brought us clean towels. The weather was gorgeous and it was so relaxing to lay out and enjoy the sun and the palm trees and a few airplanes passing by for Isaac to point out and get so excited over. It took Isaac a little while to warm up to the idea of the swimming pool again, but once he did he had a blast. And I must have worn him out pretty good because he even sat & relaxed in the lounge chairs with me afterwards. It was so funny to see this tiny little guy just chillin' in such a big chair. I wished Charlie could have been there with us.
I couldn't go to any of the Festival events because I had Isaac with me. Next year we will have to bring a baby-sitter along. (Any volunteers?) But one morning Charlie gave me his pass to go check out the Grand Tasting Village before all of his work stuff started. It was even better than I had imagine! They have these huge white tents right out on the beach and there is all of this cool stuff going on. There are three stages and each one has a celebrity chef cooking before a live audience. I got to see Martha Steward, Rocco DiSpirito, and Rick Bayless! There was a book signing tent, a Paula Deen tasting tent, Evian had this cool lounge area with big round bean bag chairs to relax in, and so much more! My favorite was the Whole Foods tasting area. You just went through a line and got to sample all sorts of cheeses, fruit, pastries, the "chef specials", salads, drinks, etc. It was just too bad my plate was so little! Then behind all of this is another set of tents where all of the real tasting goes on. I was there early so everyone was just setting up, but it was booth after booth with tons of gourmet food & wine samples. I probably would not ever pay the $200 to get in, but it was fun to get a free sneak peak.

Another dinner that Charlie had to go to was the Emeril Lagasse Tribute Dinner. This dinner was a $550/person event. Again, there were all sorts of famous chefs preparing the menu and it was a big five course meal. Charlie reported the food to be pretty average tasting, and the old saying held true: the higher the price, the smaller the portions! It was a long drawn out event, but he did get to have dinner with Emeril, Martha Stewart, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, and a few others.

I got to experience a new luxury on this trip. A First Class airline seat. With Charlie's Executive Platinum status comes free upgrades whenever there is a seat available. They normally will not allow me to be upgraded because I am flying on a reward ticket, but they made an exception. And now I really don't want to go back to coach! Because First Class just has so much SPACE. And FOOD. The regular airline seats can feel pretty cramped, especially when you are sharing yours with a wiggly toddler. But First Class? The seat was like a double-wide, but that barely mattered because there was also floor space so Isaac could sit or stand down there all he wanted. And the food - it just kept coming. Nuts (they are warm), salad, rolls, sandwich, ice cream, cookies, chocolates, drinks, more drinks, bottled water, and warm wash cloths. And much nicer flight attendants. Like I said, I'd really rather not go back to coach.

Unfortunately, my renewed appreciation of American Airlines came to a screeching halt about 10 minutes after we landed. Because then we got our stroller back and it was broken. AGAIN. We didn't even bother arguing with baggage services this time. And I don't think we'll be buying this same "fragile" $70 stroller again.

Even with the stroller casualty, it was a great trip. It felt like a mini vacation for me. But before you start thinking that Charlie has a dream job, let me just say that he really was working most of the time. And this is by far his most fun event of the year. At least I think so!