Merry belated Christmas!

Did you have a good Christmas?
I hope so! 
Ours was good. Really quiet. 
We loved it. Our morning started off with a wake up at 4:55am. Yes A.M. 
We opened presents and then I made french toast for breakfast and sent my husband on his way to 
his 12 hour work day.
I spent the day relaxing and just enjoying Christ's birth. It was splendid! 
Then our friend returned from Afghanistan and I went to give her a big hug! 
Such a good Christmas present not only for her, but for us too. So happy to have her home safe after six months. Then returned home to make my husband baked potatoes and white wine artichoke chicken.
Here are a few photos from our Christmas season this year. 

Our little family

Our crazy mutt on a log!

Made completely of white carnations

Bellagio Gardens 2010
  Hope you had a fabulous holiday season! I know I did. 
Don't know how much I'll be blogging, heading to Paris and Romania on Sunday! 


Small Reminder

So I'm not really one to analyze dreams much,
but this one has me just pondering all morning. 
I can't even drink my coffee this morning without wandering 
off in my thoughts. 
I dreamt last night my grandmother was calling my phone. 
I saw the name on the phone and the only thing I could do
was stare at the phone while I held it in my hand. I was in shock. 
Thoughts across my mind included wondering if my aunt was calling for
whatever reason off her phone. I started crying uncontrollably and next thing 
I know, I turned around and woke up. It was shocking to me. Completely 
Anyone else ever experienced something like this? 
What was your reaction? How did you respond? 
I miss her dearly. 



Ever see something you absolutely LOVE and CAN'T life without? 
That's about how I feel whenever I look at anything from the Pottery Barn.
It's a problem. One of many in my life I've discovered. 

Take this for example
VIA Pottery Barn
I would love to be able to share advent times with our future children. 
Isn't it per-tty??? I was thinking about going to pick up some branches from Mt. Charleston and some 
thick wire and trying to put them together for a fraction of the price tag Pottery Barn has them at. 
That being $219.99. YIKES. 

Maybe I'll put it on my 'To-Make' list. :)


Collection gone GALORE!

I don't know about you but I'm weird.
Personally I think everyone has a little bit of weird in them. Buuuut that's just my opinion.
Anyway, the reason I say this is because I collect the most random things. 
Like buttons. Yup. The extra little button that comes on the inside of your new shirt, 
jacket or pants. Yeah...I've kept every single one...for years. Needless to say I don't think my collection is good enough...I need more. I like the different shapes, sizes, textures, etc. Buttons are just so, so, SO 
There I said it. They are 'neat'. I know that word hasn't been used since forever, 
but would you expect anything less? 
Well, I'm not here to talk about buttons. I am here to talk about movie ticket stubs.
Yes ma'am (or sir). I probably have double in movie ticket stubs than I do buttons. Another
weird fact about myself. But it's true. Yes. 
See??? Image via me.

( You thought I was kidding didn't you? )

Well I'm coming to you my faithful readers. I've been trying to be creative with something to do with all these stubs. Decoupage, gift tags and framed art is the only thing I've been able to come up with. 

I NEED ideas! 
I NEED YOUR help. 
HELP ME? Please? 
I'll stop screaming now.


Pet photo!

I know I talk about our nutcase of a dog all the time. But it is pet week at Iheartfaces and I decided to enter the contest. :) 

Our dog Nizmo (Nee-Z-mo) is a crazy mutt to say the least. But we love him to death. :) 
Here's the photo I entered into the contest.
His ears were bigger than his head! He was so little!
Photo via me

Thanks Becky for the great idea!
For those of you wondering he is a Pug/Beagle (Puggle) mix. 

Photography love...



day 30. a photo of you when you were happy
Our first anniversary.
Screw (pardon my french) birthdays, holidays and other special days.
This was our first anniversary and nothing else was more special to me at the time than spending
it with him. In the future he might be gone for that day, but we will always have our first together. :) 
Nothing else matters in my heart. 

This challenge was fun, it brought back memories galore. I hope you all enjoyed it too. 
Merry Christmas to all.



day 29. a photo of someone you find attractive.
My husband
This man right here is so attractive to me. :) And he's ALL mine.



day 28. a photo of what you ate today
Well if I would have known about this photo beforehand I would have taken a picture of the
focaccia bread we ate...but it's all gone. Yep, between the hubby and I focaccia doesn't last
with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was nummy! To say the least. 
BUT I did roast chestnuts tonight, first time ever, and they are delicious. 
At least I think so, the hubby is not so convinced. Oh well. 
Hope you all have a wonderful evening. 



day 27. a photo of you last summer
Our favorite gelato maker
For our wedding we didn't do cake for our guests, we did gelato instead! I hate cake. End of story. 
Anyway, this woman provided us with the most delicious gelato EVER! She's been our favorite since forever
If your ever in Seattle please check out Maria's Gelatiamo. It's well worth the trip to Seattle, I promise.



day 26. a photo of your favorite weekend
Lots of weekends come to mind with this one. The weekend we got engaged, 
the weekend we got married, the weekend we started dating! Maybe I should
take this post in a different route. How about the weekend we got our doggy! 
That was fun. 
He was so little!

Soon came to realize his curiosity factor was through the roof!



day 25. a photo of a night you loved
This night was a lot of fun! Bon Jovi opened up his tour in Seattle, last March (I think). My sister, Aunt, Uncle and myself all attended. It was AWESOME! 

 I love this photo for the man's arm just shows so much emotion for me.



day 24. a photo of you that your hair looks nice in
I got these photo's done with our doggy for my husbands birthday while he was deployed. 
Added all of them to a scrapbook I made for him. He really enjoyed it. :) My amazing 
hairdresser back home in Seattle did my hair for this event. She is AMAZING.



day 23. a photo of your best friend as a baby
via. her daddy's facebook
Well I had to scour her facebook for this one. But I finally found one.
She's the one in the back with the giant bow on her head.
Yep, that's my best friend. Couldn't exactly find a 'baby' photo of her. This will have to do.



day 22. a photo of your town
Well I don't think this one will be hard. 
Las Vegas has got to be one of the most photographed towns ever! 
via. google images
Here is a photo I took from our hotel room at Vdara when Josh returned from Afghanistan
via. Me!
Yep. Las Vegas, sin city, city of lights. Whatever you want to refer to it as. 
This is where we call home currently.


Past to Present

Oh hello there. How are you? 
I'm good. 

Any-who.....I was looking back through previous posts I've done on my blog when I first started this little get-away. Wow. I wrote A LOT. It's crazy to think how life has changed in just a matter of months since the hubby returned. As much as I hate the idea of him leaving again int eh future, I must say it is the reality I face with him being in the military. The most honorable thing about my husband is he knows his duty. I've met a lot of people in this world that do what they do because they have to, not because they enjoy it. I can honestly say Josh enjoys doing his job. As heart wrenching, breaking and impossible it may seem at times, he really does enjoy doing what he does. I'm proud of him for that. How many people in your life can you say they enjoy giving up their rights for your own? 
He is the most selfless person I know. Truly. Sometimes I wish I could be more laid back, relaxed and selfless like him, but God did create us to be different people. As hard of a reality as that is to some. 
I think I've referenced in different posts what his deployment taught me, but never all compiled together. 

I've learned to be more;
-Better listener 
(although I'm still not great)
 -Faithful to God
-Lean more on others
-Accepting of help and prayer 
-Open heart(ed) about my emotions
Most importantly, I've learned to be a
-Better wife.

To think, I couldn't have learned most of this without Josh being deployed. That's one way to look at the positive I suppose. It was hard and I hate to think of the chance again, but at least next time I'll know what types of emotions I'll be dealing with and how to handle them. Of course I'll always have my blog to escape to. Hope you all don't mind the tediously long posts at those times. :)


day 21. a photo of you standing up
Because a photo of me sitting is different? Weird. 
Most recent photo of me taken while standing. 
My sisters and 'brother' are all next to me.
From left: Lavinia, Me, Emily and Gabriela. Little white fluff ball is our 
'brother' Sammy. :)


No thank you?

So this may sound like ranting and raving (ultimately it probably is).
As most of you know, I work for Starbucks. The mean green coffee making machine. 
It's true. 

I am eternally grateful for my job, don't get me wrong. But today was just frustrating.To say the least. 
On top of completely NEW software which we were not trained properly for, our customers were the LEAST bit of understanding. We have NO idea where any of the buttons on our screens are and basically have to relearn everything. So our customers are frustrated we are slow and we are frustrated with the system and ourselves. 

Scenario 1 today:
Woman comes to the counter with her friends and asks for a "Zen Tea." 
-I respond to her, "I'm sorry we are currently out of Zen Tea. May I offer you something else?"
-Woman, "No, Zen is the ONLY tea I drink here, everything else is gross." (She scoffed at me!)
-Me, "Well I'm sorry ma'am, I was going to offer you our Refresh tea which has the peppermint qualities of Zen."
-Woman, "Oh yeah! Refresh is great! I'll take that."

Scenario 2 today:
Woman comes in with her sister (they looked alike so I assume they are related)
-Woman 2, "Have you guys gotten gingerbread syrup in yet?" 
-Me, "No I'm sorry, most of our district is out actually. Our supplier was completely shorted. How about a Caramel Brulee latte? It's rather good actually."
-Woman 2 sister, "That crap tastes fake! Why would you even offer that?!"
-Me, "Ok what would you like instead?"
-Woman 2, "Nothing, I ONLY drink gingerbread latte's"
Woman 2 sister orders and then woman 2 decided she actually wanted something instead after all. 

I just don't understand why people have to be so mean to OTHER people? What ever happened to courtesy or saying , "No thank you?" I just don't understand. 
After work today my husband came, picked me up and headed to Mount Charleston. North of Las Vegas about 30 minutes. We took our pooch up and went to play in the snow. It was a blast, needless to say (pictures to come). After we headed down the mountain to head back home a couple of teenage guys were flagging us down to stop. We slowed down to hear them out, they had pulled to the side of the road to let a car pass them and got themselves stuck in a snow bank. Their little mazdaspeed 6 was as stuck as it would have ever been! No hope without multiple men or a tow truck. (Wish I would have taken a picture, but I don't think that would have been appropriate.) We pulled over to give them ideas, told them to head to the road telephone and see if they could call AAA. Another car slowed down to offer help, only to have three other men sitting in the car. PERFECT. With my husband, the three other men and the two teenage guys they were able to get their car unstuck in a matter of five minutes! Praise the Lord! No pennies spent on AAA or another tow truck. 
What frustrated me most was nobody else slowed down, multiple large trucks passed us and didn't offer a hand. What has happened to humanity lately? What happened to being nice?? Is that such an impossible concept nowadays? It saddens, upsets, throws me up a wall and drives me crazy all in one. Especially because I am in customer service. 
I'm sorry if I've ranted and raved too much for your liking, I needed to get that off my chest. Seriously. My goal this holiday season is to avoid 'me' and give to 'you' or anyone else. It's what Christ's whole ministry was about when he was on earth and it is what we should follow as an example too. 

What can you do this holiday season to be nice? I would LOVE to know your ideas. 


day 20. a photo of something you enjoy doing
I really enjoy hiking or camping or playing in the snow or basically anything outside. 
:) Oh and I really enjoy side computer smiley's like this -----> :) or this ----> :-)



day 19. a photo of you on a school trip
I had to volunteer for my environmental science class, so I volunteered with the Washington State Trails Association to help clean up the state trails. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding. :)



Well we are back home now. Back from Los Angeles, back from the funeral, back to reality. Reality is setting in and my grandmother is still gone. It's hard for my to realize it because I did love her so much. She was an amazing person, nobody can deny that. Godly, loving and motherly. It's not nearly as hard for me as it is for my father and his siblings. Especially my aunt Simona, she passed on in her house. There's going to be an empty seat at Christmas, New Years and all the other holidays, but I think there will be an empty void in most everyone until we all take the time to heal. She was beautiful, the funeral was beautiful and I can't wait to see how Christ has added to her beauty in heaven. See you soon. 
If anyone reading this believes in the power of prayer, do me a favor and just pray. For the whole family. 
Thank you

Now to finish what I have begun,
day 18. a photo of one of your classes
I think this one is weird. 
via google
I couldn't find a picture of one of my actual classes, but this is where I got my A.A. from. :)



day 17. a drunk photo of you
Ummm I'm going to skip this one. :)



day 16. a photo of you at the last party you went
Sadly the last party I went to was my grandmothers 70th birthday party. That was the last time I saw her alive. This past September. I'm happy I got to see her then, it was nice. :)



All of you know of my grandmother's passing this last weekend. Needless to say, it's been hard to know she is gone. It has been hard on my Dad and all of his siblings. I'm sorry if I start to skip out on this challenge, I will do my best to keep it going, but due to the circumstances I'm sure I'll miss a few days. Her funeral is actually this Saturday in Los Angeles, CA. For those of you that believe in the power of prayer, please pray for my whole family and everyone else attending. It won't be easy. 

Thank you.

day 14. a photo of one of your favorite family members
I think it's only right to post a picture of my grandmother with this days challenge.  

day 15. a photo of you and someone you love
I would post another photo of my grandmother here, but I feel like I might be overwhelming you guys too much.  
The hubby and I in 2009