Now that we are done with 2017 and Christmas pics, let's move onto our return to sunny SoCal! Upon flying back to California, we discovered, of course, that the bedrooms the contractors worked on while we were on travel were not done. Ha, I was not surprised one bit by it. Thankfully, with foresight and a glass-half-empty attitude, I packed enough clothes for the kids so that we would not need to access their closets for a long while. We ended up spending a few more nights at our aunt's house in San Juan Capistrano while she was still out of town. Her generosity to us is simply amazing.

Before I show you some pictures of our "forced mini vacation" to the southern beaches of LA, let me tell you a little bit about my philosophy on New Years resolutions, which so many people like to put together each year. You see, I don't believe in them. Why not, you ask? Well, I live my life based on my needs and what makes me happy. I guess I've always known what I want and what makes me happy. So I've always had goals to achieve and things to do. Each day, each year, I work slowly and steadily towards those big goals. I never felt the need to make resolutions at the beginning of each year because my big goals don't usually change. Also, making resolutions, to me, feels like I need to force myself to be doing something I should be doing anyway. Isn't that what a list of resolutions are? Things you should be doing but are not? I'm not saying that I'm always doing the right things at the right time, but I try my best to be doing what I should be doing. And if I'm not already doing it, then I'm not likely going to start just because it's January 1st. New Years Resolutions feels like a pretty lipstick my mother would put in a drawer to save for a special occasion. I've always found it strange...if there's something to make you feel pretty, wouldn't you want to use it everyday? Why would you only want to feel pretty on one or two days out of a year? Anyway, maybe New Year's resolutions work for others, but they are just not for me.

After 12 days in Iowa, I was very happy to come back to my laid back, sunny LA life style. And no better picture can demonstrate that then a little bright yellow convertible with two happy dogs driving down a highway! We drove behind this car for a while and I was so jealous of this guy with his two companions in the backseat. It definitely put a huge smile on my face. Since we were south, we spent the morning at the park in San Juan Capistrano and sipping hot chocolate while watching the trains go by and then headed up to Laguna Beach for a day. The southern beaches have a different feel to the LA beaches. The southern beaches (Laguna, Newport, and Dana Point) are just a little more up-scale, a little more classy. The little toy store next to the beach sent someone out to make giant bubbles and put smiles on a lot of peoples' faces. Enjoy the pictures.

Posted on January 12, 2018

White Christmas 2017

When I first looked up the weather in Iowa back in November, I was both happy and a little sad at the same time. The forecast showed no snow for the entire time we'd be in Iowa. It was good that we would not have to endure a blizzard and that flying into Chicago would not be an issue. But if I had to pack heavy winter coats, I would like to have a white Christmas. Well, as it turned out, we hit the lottery jackpot of weather. For an entire week, we had mild (~30-40degF) temperatures with no precipitaion so that we may enjoy day trips to different places. Then, as if magically controlled by my BIL, the evening before Christmas Eve, it started to snow!! By Christmas Eve day, the whole state became a winter wonderland! The kids got to play in the snow and by Christmas Eve, it truly felt like Christmas. We flew home the next day and temperatures plummeted down to 0degF. Enjoy the last of my Christmas pictures! Oh, the picture of me shoveling snow is purely posed...ha, I couldn't even push the shovel an inch! I never realized how hard packed snow can be!

Posted on January 6, 2018

Happy New Year!

Wow, 2017 was a pretty crazy year. Although it felt like it would never end at times, it also flew by with a blink of an eye. I had to look back at my past blogs to remember what we had done the past year. But none-the-less, I'm glad to have 2017 behind us. We are sadly still in the heavy midst of our major home remodel, with seemingly no end in sight. But 2018 will be the year we complete the project, fingers crossed.

The kids are doing well in school and are continuing to grow and learn. It's been interesting to see their friendships and relationships grow and change with time as kids interests change with time. The "best friends" they've had at pre-school and kindergarten are no longer the same by second grade. But that's life and I'm happy that both kids have the skills to make new friends. The other day, when we went to pick the kids up from the after school program, we saw Ahgoo eating her snack sitting with four other girls and they were just hanging out and chatting. They are only kindergarteners but the maturity they exhibited, they may as well be teenagers. It warmed my heart to see her with so many friends. In the car, I had to ask her what they were chatting about at the snack table. She told me that they were talking about who has a piano at home and she told her friends that she used to have a toy piano but we donated it. I secretly smiled, glad that they are not discussing boys yet.

Before we march onto 2018, I have some more Iowa trip pictures to share with you. We took a day trip about two hours north of Bettendorf to the beautiful resort town of Galena for some shopping and sight seeing. The shop keepers told me that Winter is actually their slow season, unless they have a lot of snow. Their normal busy season is Spring and Summer when outdoor sports are popular. It was definitely quiet when we visited. Though the air was chilly, ~30degF, the skies were clear. I thoroughly enjoyed the charming shops and thanks to the men and a fantastic popcorn and ice cream store to keep the kids busy, the ladies (myself included) were able to do tons of shopping. So although it would've been beautiful with snow, I'm glad we got to walk around town and soak in all the charm.

Posted on January 5, 2018



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