Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Kierls and their kids came for a visit

This darling family stopped by on their way up to Tahoe and spent the day with us on Saturday. 
The kids spent most of the afternoon in the pool, 
only getting out to grab a piece of pizza and a popsicle.
It was a hot day with the temperature reaching 100 degrees that day
so I really can't blame the kids.
They spent a good share of the afternoon in the jacuzzi, always a favorite spot in the pool!
This was our view from the patio, as we sat and watched the kids 
and visited with our dear friends, Mike and Ann.
Mike and Mark were residents together at OU about 25 years ago.
These two shared an office with each other and we used to joke that Mike
 (who was single during those residency years) spent more time with Mark than I did.
I'm pretty sure... actually I know that he did.  But don't worry, I didn't get jealous at all
because I adore Mike and his sweet family (his mom, dad and all his siblings), 
who live in OKC, and were so kind to us during our time in Oklahoma.
 We have loved getting to know Ann and their darling kids
and with each visit we fall more and more in love with the Kierl family.
 One of the many things that I love about Ann is that she loves taking pictures as much as me:)!
I know, it's hard to believe but it's true!
It is obvious that these kids are trained to take photos.
They didn't even fuss when I started bossing them around and told them to do a jumping picture!
They just politely obeyed and did exactly what I told them!
Gotta love that:)!
 So I kind of pushed my luck and told them to do it again...
and they climbed up on the ledge and followed my orders without any complaint!
So I rewarded their good behavior and with their mother's permission,
I told them they could go get a treat from my pantry.
Those who have visited the Holt house know what fills the shelves of my pantry:)!
These darling kids were so excited!  And I heard one of them shout with joy,
"This is the best pantry ever!!"

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The California State Fair...this one's for Brooke!

Most of the time Mark and I think that we did a fairly good job... 
or I should say an adequate job of parenting 
but one thing that we definitely slipped up on was that we never took Brooke 
to the California State Fair and she often brings it to our attention.
I've never had a real desire to go to the State Fair because 
the lines are always long, it takes a LOT of tickets to go on any of the rides,
and it's always in the summer, right when we have record heat in Sacramento.
I actually think that we took the kids once but Brooke was too young to remember.
We weren't that impressed so we checked it off our list of "things that we should do with our kids"
and never really wanted to go there again.
Yes, Brooke asked us to take her year after year, but we were able to distract her
by taking her out to Folsom lake, or over to get frozen yogurt at Nuyo 
or we told her that all that walking around wouldn't be good for her feet and might affect her running.
Yikes!  If Brooke is reading this, she NOW knows the truth...
as parents, we tricked her and were negligent because we never took her to the California State Fair!!
We kind of felt bad... but not too bad!  Then Dad was asked to work the Invisalign booth at the Fair and
he asked me to join him for a "date night" at the State Fair, and of course, I said, "YES!"
And then we thought about Brooke and how she would have loved to go with us
 and we kind of felt bad and possibly even a little bit guilty about not ever taking her to the Fair!
So Brooke, if you are reading this, Mom and Dad apologize.  
We are sorry for depriving you of a childhood adventure that most California kids get to experience.
So just for you, we attended the California State Fair on Thursday in your honor.
After Dad worked at the Invisalign booth in the afternoon, 
where he talked to many parents and kids about Invisalign,
 and met Coco Jones, Disney's up and coming teen star, 
we took full advantage of our free pass to all that the Fair had to offer us.
And of course, I documented all of the activities that we participated in while at the Fair,
so that perhaps, Brooke, you can enjoy them and hopefully live vicariously through your parents:)!
The Invisalign booth where Dad spent most of the afternoon, 
chatting it up with teens and their moms and answering questions.
Dad at the booth, looking official.
They had the kids playing games at the booth.
Dad with the crew from Invisalign, Mike and Jennifer.
Dad had a good time meeting and greeting the kids that were waiting to meet Coco Jones.
Dad got his picture taken with Coco Jones.
I made Dad pet a goat!
He made me try chocolate covered bacon.
I was a little disappointed... I thought I would like it more than I did...
I mean I love chocolate and I love bacon,
but when you put them together, it just wasn't right!
We traipsed all over the park looking for the Placer County booth 
and finally found it so I made Dad take this cheesy picture for Brooke!
And we had to eat a funnel cake!
And we had to get a picture with the golden bear in honor of our Brooke, the bear!
It was fun, but to be honest, Brooke didn't miss too much and
I actually felt better about never taking her to the State Fair.
Brooke, if you are really good, maybe I'll take you to Lagoon someday 
or if you are in NYC next summer we can go to Coney Island.
And don't worry, Dad will buy you a hot dog and I'll eat a funnel cake with you 
and it will be so fun that you will forget that we never took you to the California State Fair:)!
Or at least you won't feel the need to write a book 
about all the things that your parents deprived you of when you were a kid!
Love you Bear!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A fun weekend with some of our favorite GBHS alumni couples

Having the kids come home for a visit is always wonderful and I love it! 
But what made it even more wonderful this weekend 
 was having our "other GB kids" here to join in on all of the fun!
Jason and Lindsey Howell have been staying with us for a couple of weeks
while they have been looking for a place to live.
We are so happy that they will moving back to Granite Bay
because I consider the Howell kids part of our extended family
 and having them here is as if we have kids back home again.
It's been really, really fun!  Sorry I use "really" so much but it was just that fun!
Allie and Justin arrived late Wednesday night on my birthday.
What a great way to celebrate!
And then Jeff and Caitlin Howell arrived Friday night, 
driving the UHaul out from Utah with Jason and Lindsey's stuff.
It was so fun sitting around the kitchen table with a bunch of kids,
reminiscing about the good ole days at GBHS, sharing a few student government stories,
 munching down on goodies and catching up! 
We downed one and a half dozen cupcakes from Icing on the Cupcake 
and 13 cookies from Cookie Connection in 2 days!
I think I've met my match!   That cute little Lindsey can keep up with me 
bite for bite when it comes to treats:)!
And I love having someone that gets as excited as I do
 about eating anything chocolate and sweet!
While everyone was here, we went boating, ate out at some of our favorite GB dining spots,
 BBQed a couple of nights and played a little paddle tennis.
It was just as if the kids had never left home.
The front door was accidentally left opened a couple of times
(in the kids defense, that door has always been hard to close),
we all squished onto a much too small bench at church on Sunday
 (causing a little bit of a spectacle but we fit:)!),
and as Mark and I feel asleep one night, 
we could hear the kids out in the family room talking and laughing 
and it was wonderful!
Our home, once again, felt like our home... and gosh, I'm getting teary eyed as I write this...
but I realized how very much I miss all the noise and laughter 
and yes, even the chaos that comes with having all the kids at home.
And so I'm sorry if I use the word "really" again but it really was a great weekend!
 Boating at Folsom Lake and Beach Hut Deli sandwiches are always a great combination!
Dad and his Surfin' Bird, always a family favorite!
Turkey, bacon, cream cheese, and avocado.  YUM!
Jason had to study for the CPA exam so these three felt really bad that he had to miss the fun!
Don't they look sad!?
After enjoying her Beach Hut sandwich, Allie is ready to do some wakeboarding!
Jumping the wake!
And then it was Justin's turn...
and he didn't waste anytime showing us how it's done!
These two are so happy to be back on the lake on a warm summer night!
Then it was time to blow up the tube and take a ride!
And that is exactly what Dad gave them, dumping Allie and Justin into the lake!
And since Lindsey tried a new trick*, she got to pick out a treat at AM/PM.
And as you can see, Dad is getting soft in his old age and let Allie and Justin get a treat too!

*When the kids were little, if they tried a new trick (jumped the wake or did a 360 on the kneeboard) 
dad would let them go in and pick out a treat while he was putting gas in the boat...
it was a really big deal!  And trust me, there was always a lot of convincing and begging, 
and sometimes a few tears were shed at this point of the evening 
by those that didn't perform:)!  Ha! Ha!  Good times!
Jason and Lindsey, Jeff and Caitlin and Justin and Allie.
Some of my favorite GBHS alumni couples!
Dad was so excited and could hardly wait to take everyone to one of his favorite places to eat, Jack's Urban Eats!
The kids all agreed, "Jack's is the best!" That made Dad so happy!
The main reason that Allie and Justin came home this weekend 
was to be at Miles Burris and Jenna Grondona's wedding!
A Granite Bay High School sweetheart success!!
I hope Allie doesn't mind, but I had to share a few photos that she took at the wedding!
Another cute GBHS sweetheart success!
Miles will be reporting to the Raiders camp in a couple of weeks and we wish him the very best!
Graduating from college, signing with the Raiders and getting married to his high school sweetheart, Jenna,
it's been a great year for this guy and we are proud of him!
Thanks, Allie and Justin, for a wonderful visit this weekend!
It really was a great birthday gift and a fabulous way to start another year!

Monday, July 16, 2012

It was a very Happy Birthday!

Our bike riding group of gals planned to be up in Tahoe on my birthday.
Sue Jack was hosting a "girls get away" for the gals at her beautiful place in Glenbrook.
A couple of us could only go for the day and we didn't want to miss out on the fun.
So Kim Nash and I drove up and back together, chatting the entire way!
It was so fun to catch up with her and before we knew it we arrived at our destination in no time!
Check out this view of the lake at Gar Woods, where we enjoyed a yummy lunch!
Such a great place to celebrate the day and sharing it with my dear friend, Karen Duffey,
 who is celebrating her birthday this week.  It was perfect!
Don't we look like quite the party animals with our birthday hats?!
The view of Lake Tahoe from Garwoods.
The birthday girls with the party planner, Sue!
The girls from "The Hood!"  Love those Weddington neighbors!
 Janice, Paige and Peggy.
More gorgeous views of the lake!
Cute Peggy and Sue.
And the lovely Liz!
My yummy lunch, Peppered Tenderloin & Blue Cheese Salad. 
It was delicious!!
My adorable friend, Liz, gave me these adorable baby socks for my new granddaughter-to-be!
So fun!  Just the beginning for this soon-to-be grandma!
It was so fun to share my birthday with my dear friend, Karen, who I absolutely love and adore!
As you can see, it was quite the birthday celebration!
These girls know how to party!
Afterwards, we all went to the 7/11 across the street and enjoyed a free slurpee!
Remember last years free slurpee adventure with Ashley?
You can read about it here if you don't!
Me and my free slurpee!
We made it to Sue's place in Glenbrook and enjoyed the amazing view from her back deck!
It was such a gorgeous day and we just couldn't get enough of the view of that lake!
Really quite amazing!
Me and the lovely Liz!
Kim and I took one last view and then headed back down the mountain.
Such a great group of gals to spend the day with!
I seriously couldn't ask for a better way to celebrate!
I got home just in time to go to dinner with Dad and he spoiled me by taking me to Ruth's Chris.
We used a gift certificate that had been kicking around forever and we really didn't know how much was on it.
So when the bill came, they ran the card and it had just enough for the total and tip.  Yay!
 After dinner, we headed to the airport to pick up Allie and Justin
and this is what was waiting for me at the curb!
Don't you love these two!?
And this is the cute "Grandma Kit" that Allie and Justin put together for me for my birthday!
What a great day filled with so many fun celebrations with fabulous friends and sweet family!
Turning 51... I mean 29 (again)... wasn't so bad:)!
Every birthday just seems to be getting better and better
and I have lots to look forward to in the coming year!