Archive for May, 2013

Right now the boys are really into money.  Whether it is from gifts, finding it on the ground or collecting it from their chores, they love to see their savings build.  Over the years we have spent a lot of time discussing the need to save their money and it is working.  They understand that it is important to put it away rather than spend it at every chance they get.  We can thank the finance hubby for this.  Me, I tend to not be an amazing saver.  But that is a story for another day.

Even though we have spent a lot of time discussing the need to “save” their money, we have really just touched the surface of discussing the need to “give” their money.  It has been mentioned once or twice, and they love to hand out our money at church, but they had not really understood the concept of giving away their own money to others.  Though the hubby and I try to donate whenever possible, we have never really explained this to them.  So, that was our “giving back” exercise for May.

After First Communion, chores, birthday and some great saving, the boys had accumulated a nice amount of cash and they were anxious to spend some.  They added up everything and told me all that they could afford.  My first question to them was, “well, how much are you going to give to those less fortunate?”.  They had never really had that questioned asked of them before and they had no idea.  I think I was offered a dollar.

This led to a nice long conversation on “the more you have, the more you give”.  We discussed the donations we make to their school, the church, charities and others and just how important this was to do.  We discussed that any amount is great but that they should always assume 10% of their money should go back.  After a little math, they realized how much they would need to give of their own money.  The greatest part of this conversation is that when told their amount, it didn’t even phase them.  They didn’t question it.  They simply said, “okay, well we will bring it to church on Sunday”.  I was proud of them for being so willing to give, but I wasn’t sure how long it was going to last.

After a month of discussing this, it is apparent that they will not forget.  They continue to save money and add it to the jar but every time they mention something they want to buy with it, they also mention how much money they will give.  Though it was our May exercise, we will continue to instill this in them each day, month, year.  I am crossing my fingers that they stay generous and aware as they grow up and always remember “the more you have, the more you give”.

Happy Friday Everyone.

I promise this is my last Santa Ynez post.  I just thought that since this truly is one of my favorites places ever, I would share some places that have made the trips there so amazing.  Perhaps this helps you plan a trip there or just gives you a little more insight into this little town.  Either way, it was fun to pull together and it makes me excited to go back.


Breakfast and Coffee
Corner House Coffee 


Horseback Riding:

Bar and Line Dancing:
If you are interested in looking back at some of our previous trips to Santa Ynez this year, here is JanuaryFebruary and May 

As I mentioned yesterday, we spent our Memorial Day weekend in Los Olivos with friends.  Back when we were all there in February, we had decided that we MUST plan another weekend back and so we did.

This weekend could not have come at a better time.  I needed a weekend away!  We rented a house in downtown Los Olivos and spent our days horseback riding, wine tasting, resting, exercising, cooking, eating, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.  And I just love that even though we do not live close, all of our kids are becoming friends.  Just like last time, it was incredibly hard to say goodbye.  And yes, I am already thinking about our next trip up there.

These pictures could go on for days but I am going to try and show just a few of my favorites.

Yesterday we returned from four days in Los Olivos and I am just not ready to get back to “real life”.  We had such an amazing time, which I will tell you all about, but here is just a quick glimpse from the iPhone.  More to come soon!

And I can’t take credit for all of these.  Our friend takes some pretty fab photos so I stole them from his instagram (@mcclain922).  Thanks C for sharing!

Tomorrow the family and I are heading out to one of our favorite places for a long weekend with friends.  Because it takes forever to get 5 people packed and ready to go, I am checking out now and will be back next week.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, where ever you may be!

Cheers to kicking off the summer!

Yesterday I attended the Friends of CASA, Orange County Luncheon and M Missoni Fashion Show.  Not only was the event supporting an amazing organization but the fashion show did not disappoint.

In true Missoni fashion, the prints were bold while still versatile and left everyone there anxious to see more.  We could not stop talking about how perfect each piece was for vacation and I think the entire collection heightened the need for school to end and summer to begin.  From the clothes and handbags to the shoes and the accessories, there was really nothing I didn’t love.

You can preview the entire M Missoni Summer 2013 collection here
Worry.  Fear.  Anxiety.

Yes, I know that you are all aware that I have anxiety and that I continue to work on coping with it.  That is old news.  This is a different side of anxiety.  Ninety nine percent of the time, I think that my anxiety is something that is irrational and not always necessary, and I work on that.  Then there is the one percent.

One percent of the time, life hits me like a truck and I realize that for all the times I try to not feel anxious, sometimes I am justified to feel as much as I want.  How could I not?  I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter and a friend.  When events like Oklahoma occur, the reality that I could lose someone that means so much to me smacks me in the face.  Of course I feel sadness for those affected, but I am not going to lie.  The feeling also turns selfish, making me think about how terrible it would be if that were me, or my child, or my parent, or my friend.  I wish it didn’t, but it is human nature.  You can’t fight it.

The truth is, I am scared of these types of situations.  9/11, Newtown, Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon, the Cincinnati abductions, Texas and Oklahoma.  This actually makes me sad that it only took seconds to list all these without thinking about it.  These are only a few that bring an anxiety of loss that I cannot fight and feel completely justified with having.  Will I change my life?  No.  Will I let this affect who I am?  No.  But for once, I am allowing myself to be anxious and not telling myself to “stop it”.  Life is scary sometimes.  It just is.

I know that anything can happen.  I know that someone I have today may not be here tomorrow.  I know, thanks to my faith, that this is not the end.  I know all of this.  But it doesn’t mean loss doesn’t scare me.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way right?  Anyone else?  

It is a funny thing this adulthood isn’t it?  When I look at my children, they do not see the possibility of loss, hurt, and pain.  They enjoy each day as if it could be their last, without even knowing it.  They love unconditionally and they celebrate the little things.  I wish I had the ability to always see things this way.

For those affected by the disaster in Oklahoma, please know that many are thinking about you and your families.  The strength and support the community has shown is something to live up to.  The prayers will not end.

And for those of us who are watching this all unfold, tearing up at the loss and thinking about the many “what if’s” in our lives, may we have some peace, learning from the example we see from these communities who cope with loss with immeasurable strength and grace, and feel HOPEFUL instead of HOPELESS.

Even though there are a few pieces we are still looking for to put in the family room, I am beginning to start gathering inspiration for the formal living room.  Right now, there are only three things I know about this room.  One, I already own pillows for the couches.  This is because when you find one of a kind pillows that you love, you buy them.  This education came directly from my interior designer and I quickly passed this knowledge on to the husband.  They are sitting in the closet just ready to make their debut!  Two, we know we are purchasing emerald green velvet couches.  This is because when you find fabulous pillows, the couches need to be equally fabulous.  And three, there MUST be book shelves.

I have always dreamed of a formal sitting room with a wall filled with my favorite books.  Old books, new books, kids books, art books.  You name it, I want it on the wall.  The big question right now is, what will the shelves look like.  I have changed my mind numerous times with this, stretching from traditional to modern.  Thanks to Pinterest, the ideas are endless.  Here is some of my current inspiration…

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Baby Girl, how did you go from this…

to this?

Tomorrow she turns 3 and I know this is so cliche but the youngest seems to get older the fastest.

She is independent, happy, determined, loving, and stubborn.
She loves clothes and refuses to let me get her dressed in the morning.
She cannot get enough of her brothers and absolutely loves to be with with them.  
She is as tall as a 5 year old and tells people that is how old she is turning.
She walks around in my heels and carries as many dolls as she can.
She brings the spunk to this family and we all love her to pieces.

Happy 3rd Birthday Baby Girl!