Friday, January 20, 2012

The Name Game

Taking a break from our holidays...I wanted to solicit some thoughts on naming of items. In high school, I learned that some people name their cars. I always thought this was odd since my family never named anything mechanical and so I didn't really think about it. But since being married to Tim, whimsy and fun seems the norm and so I named his little house the Bergon Bungalow. When we bought our Chevy, I started calling it "Chuck" the truck to distinguish it from Tim's little pick-up (which is unnamed). So, I'm hoping to find a suitable name for our rental and was wondering if your home has a name, how it came to have a name and suggestions on finding a name--all for fun. If you've never considered naming your home, don't's definitely a UK thing to do.
Love, Lauren

"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names"-Chinese proverb

The Holidays 2011: SMPFFA Children's Christmas Party

The day after we got back from Kim's, Tim took the girls to church and I stayed at home to wrap up the loose ends on the San Marco Professional Firefighters Association's Children's Christmas Party. (seriously?) Every year, the San Marcos Kiwana's club puts on a street parade with Santa riding the fire engine to cap it off and then Santa enjoys handing out gifts to the firefighter's children at station 1. Tim and I volunteered to organize the whole thing this year. Yeah. It was fun, and we had A LOT of help from some wonderful friends. Kristin B. ran a craft table that was amazing. Nikki V. made all the sugar cookies. Lauren H. and Erin A. helped run the tables and Kaitlin F.was also a wing girl, even though she was sick. A huge thanks to Amy F. for holding Gracie almost the entire day. They were a huge blessing to me and Tim as we were running like crazy trying to pull the food, decor, Santa, gifts and more together. Now that we've done it once, we'll probably have some great ideas for next year. 

The kids wait for Santa to call their name and give them a gift out of his bag:
 Madeleine's first memorable "Santa" experience. We don't really do Santa at our house (though she knows who he is), so the thought of sitting on this strange man's lap was...strange. She basically deferred in every sense of the word:
 group shot:
 G money making some waves in the bouncy house:
 and Madeleine loved it too:
Love, Lauren

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Holidays 2011: Kim & the kids

During the first week of December, we made a trip out to Arizona to visit Kim & her 4 kids. We wanted to see their Christmas musical performance at school and David's basketball game and just generally let them know we love them.

We had to stop in Cabazon to show the girls the dinos. 

 everybody say "Rawr!"

On the way out, we made some stops to just let girls out and break up the drive:

When we arrived, we went straight to David's game just in time to see his team win!
That night, we had a chance to visit with Kim and we three tried to stay awake, but it was a long day and Tim was done from driving, but still a nice night.
The next day, the kids had school and Kim had to work, so we hung out at the house.

Who doesn't sit on the counter -top and eat Apple Straws when the kids are at school and Auntie Kim's at work?:

 That night was the school performance; by this time, Gary & Cindy (Tim' parents) had joined us from California and we all went to see the kids play. Later that night, I actually watched The Christmas Story for the first time. 

Madeleine does moose-face:
 Grammi & Papa with six of their 8 grandkids:

The next morning, Kim made a fabulous breakfast. Madeleine was covered with animals by her cousin and all the kids got to hang out and play. Matthew and Hannah went with me and Madeleine to the park while Tim, David, Daniel and Gary strung lights on the house and did some needed home maintenance.

 Look at that spread! Oh yum-french toast. Thanks Kim!

 We love you Kim, David, Daniel, Hannah & Matthew. We look forward to seeing you soon in 2012 (which happens to actually include Hannah's leap year b-day!)
Love, Auntie Lauren

Holidays 2011: Happy Birthday Lauren

I turned 31 the day after Thanksgiving this year. It was definitely low-key for us and still fun because I was with the people I adore. The previous Monday I had rallied the girls and taken them to my friend Sarah Seto's house for a Thanksgiving play date. Right after I left, I could barely make it home because I was feeling sick. I called my mom over and once I was home, went right to bed. I was freezing, freezing, freezing. I was thinking I might be pregnant, so I didn't take any medication and broke my fever in about 6 hours. Tim had taken an overtime that day and his relief at the station was late, so he came home around 6:30 to relieve my mom. Then, he got sick the next few days. Unfortunately, his was a different bug causing vomiting. Thank the Lord our kids were spared, but this was the first time I have been sick with kids and it is not fun at all. I  just wanted to crawl in bed and sleep forever, but that is not even possible with little ones. Anyways, we were all still recovering on Thanksgiving and the next birthday. Tim gave me a new point and click camera and a lovely candle. My parents gifted me a new ipod, but because of the awesome Apple replacement program, I got a new one from Apple for free (in return for my 1st gen. nano) and returned my parents. I was able to go out to lunch with my two grandmothers, my mom and my brother's girlfriend Leigh which was delightful and more than a gift to me. All in all, a wonderful few days celebrating birth- and who doesn't want to celebrate birth? It's wonderful!

One of the first pics on my birthday-trying the camera out: 

The day after my birthday, Tim took Madeleine to the park so I could nap when G went down for her nap. He took my new camera and captured some sweet pics of our little 2.5 year old. She is growing up so fast, I am loving this age:

 I love this little lady:

Love, Lauren

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Holidays 2011: JTNP 4th Anniversary

We went to Joshua Tree for our 4th anniversary. I (finally) okayed a TWO day trip instead of just an overnight and Tim got right to planning. The goal: "to get bored". We had no schedule, no plans, just packed some rock-climbing stuff in case we got the urge and books if we wanted. Tim booked Coyote's Rest a few miles outside the park and it was perfect for just two people to lounge around. On the drive out we hit Hadley's in Cabazon for some snacks and enjoyed a coffee and talking without being interrupted! We checked into Coyote's Rest, hit up a redbox, had dinner at Crossroad's Cafe (which was much better 5 years ago before new ownership) and generally stayed in bed for movies and books and warmth (it was drizzling and cool)the rest of the night. The next morning, we just lounged in bed until almost noon- what a treat! We decided to casually meander into the park and maybe do some climbing:
Boulder pad ready:

Just enjoying stretching:

this rock looks like a lion to me:

lots of jumping shots as we left the park: 

Joshua Tree saloon, where we had a few beers and sang karaoke (I did, at least): 

On our way home we stopped off at the windmill things in the pass: 

and we also got a few treats for the girls at the Cabazon Dinosaurs:

We had a great time, and although we never got bored, we did get some needed r & r
Thanks to both sets of grandparents who shared the childtending duties- we appreciate it.
Love, Lauren (&Tim)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome 2012

Happy New Year!
Every year I make resolutions, and I really have no intention of working on them...I think I love the idea of a resolution, to actually have the resolve to be resolute in my pursuit of attaining a goal...but I never really do. So, for the sake of my tradition, here are a few (and maybe I will actually work on these throughout this year):

1. Lose 20 lbs.  Yay! This resolution has been on my list every year I made resolutions (sometimes I don't) and I don't actually need to lose that much. Weight is a number, and like many numbers (like your SAT scores or your credit score) it doesn't reflect the big picture. So, yes. If truth be told, I would like to lose 14 lbs. but more than that, I would like to start exercising again, following Weight Watchers faithfully and being fit and healthy for myself and family. Most years, I try to stave off the holiday weight gain, but for some reason, I've been way too okay with letting it all go in 2011. I enjoyed so many cold beers, mixed drinks, cookies and sugary treats that I am pretty much back up to my pre-pregnancy weight with both girls. It's in my healthy weight range and it's still my Lifetime maintenance weight at WW, but it doesn't feel right. I have also completely stopped exercising. I think it's the season of stress related to two little ones, but I know I need to do it just for the stress relief. So, I'd like to post this for those of you in the same boat:

If you lost one pound a week for the next year:
By Valentine's Day- 7 pounds lighter
By St. Patrick's Day- 11 pounds lighter
By Easter- 16 pounds lighter
By Memorial Day- 23 pounds lighter
By Flag Day- 25 pounds lighter
By Independence Day- 27 pounds lighter
By Labor Day- 36 pounds lighter
By Columbus Day- 41 pounds lighter
By Halloween- 44 pounds lighter
By Thanksgiving- 47 pounds lighter
By Christmas Eve- 51 pounds lighter
By New Year's Eve- 52 pounds lighter!

So, if I lost a pound a week until Tim's birthday I'd be 15 lbs lighter! What a treat for the both of us. Losing a pound a week can be really tough though! And, I'm already a week behind. I'm also struggling with the thought that my body just won't lose that much. Since college, I haven't been my same standard 150. It seems like my set point in 160. Can I really get down to 145?! More than the weight, I want to feel better. My back is killing me (or rather, my kids are killing my back). I'm ready for baby #3, but I'd like to be a little lighter before that begins (if I can help it- who knows when it might happen!). So, if you're thinking what I've been thinking, will you reply a little note of encouragement. I've always done better when people are watching and I'm ready to lose some weight and muscle up for my health.

2. Be a better neighbor. I didn't really think about this one until I was over at Jaime's house and was telling her about our upcoming move. Our escrow closes at the end of the month, and it seems like we've almost secured a rental (hopefully). Tim and I are packing, and I've already pulled the pictures off the wall- I mean business about being ready to go! One thing I am looking forward to doing is being a better neighbor. Our street is super quiet, with a lot of previous drama that led to some tension amongst homes, so we tried our best to just be nice to everyone, but when people are different (or they smoke or have dogs that pee on your yard) it's just difficult sometimes. So, I want to make some efforts to be a blessing to our new neighbors. Cookies, parties, visits, whatever...I want to be available, open and loving...not for my own sake (cause I naturally dislike most people) but because Jesus naturally loves all people and wants me to be like him (and I wanna be like him too). Oh, and if you wanne be like Jesus and help a mother out...we're moving the first week of February and we're going to need some manly arms; if you have manly arms...mark the date.

3. Be on time. Ugh; most people know that I am an A-type; I claim it is in my blood (and it is, I'm an A...actually A+ if you can believe it). Oh, and I prefer Analytical to Anal, for even stating that I'm an A-type makes me crinkle my nose at myself knowing that it would serve my public relations if I could just relax about things and be "organic". However, there is one way that I am a little too lax and that's in getting to places on time. I think it's because I'm trying to cram too many items into my agenda and totally misjudge my available time. And now that I have kids, I'm still adjusting to the whole "things take 5 hours longer than you think they will" mentality. So, I want to be on time. Not sure how that works, but it'd be good (and it would save me some money in library fines to get my books to be on time too).

4. Learn to play the frickin' guitar. My brother gave me one 5 years ago for Christmas, Tim gave me a book on learning to play 2 years ago. If you asked me what is the one thing I want to do to vastly improve my life, it would be this. So why is it not happening? Maybe I don't really want to- actions speak louder than words...or maybe something else, but I just want it...I want to be able to sing with the support of music. I say it every year, but maybe this year it will magically happen and I will be so thankful.

5. Practice gratitude. I'm a critic, ok, I know. I've been reading this blog and I'm hoping to get this book. But, I want to start seeing everything as a gift, because it truly is! Every sunset, every breath, every meal, every tear, every trial, a new nailpolish, a gingerbread latte, clean water, and oh thank you God, my sweet girls and their adoring (and adorable)'s all a gift that my Father, my Daddy in heaven, on His throne said: You, Lauren Michelle, are MY BELOVED DAUGHTER and I have beautiful things to give you- not because you deserve them, but because I am Loving and Good and True and Beautiful- because you are Beloved by ME.

Love, Lauren