Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meeting Baby!

How could you resist visiting this little cutie?  Isn't she precious?!?  When I got a phone call from my sister-in-law, Christine, asking me to join her in San Francisco and then drive down to Monterey to visit my other sister-in-law, Cat, I couldn't say no.  In fact, I invited myself to stay almost a week longer so that I could hang out with Cat and her kids.  (Thanks, Cat for putting up with me!)

My favorite thing of all was just to hold Baby (she doesn't have a name yet) and chat with Cat.

Unfortunately, I got really sick on one of my first days and spent a large amount of the week doing this . . .

But, despite being sick, I still got to see Matt's school Christmas play

and witness Matt losing two teeth!

Thanks for an awesome week, Cat!  Can I come again sometime?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What a Snoog!

I am trying to get caught up on my blogging, so some of the upcoming posts may be pictures from quite awhile ago.  That being said, they are still cute and I want a record of them, so forgive the tardiness. 

At the beginning of November, Sary called me pretty stressed out.  You know the best thing about being unemployed?  I could do something about it!  She needed a fairy godmother, but instead she got . . .


We had fun just hanging out, making jewelry, cooking, going out with Auntie Muriel, and, OBVIOUSLY, cooing over Cal.


Cal loves to press his forehead against your face.  Those are "Cal kisses."

 What a big boy!

I miss you guys!  Can't wait to see you for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Too good of a cause to pass up

Many of you may have already heard about this cause from my sisters, but with it being gift buying season and a cause is near and dear to my heart, I thought I would put in my two cents as well.  

Remember the orphanage in El Sal that Sam and I volunteered at last summer?  Well the most recent pair of volunteers just so happened to include an amazing photographer who spent all summer trying to capture the spirits of the residents.  See for yourself . . .

Aren't they adorable?  Well, they created a calendar from the pictures and are selling them to raise money for the Hogar.  They are only $15 and 100% of the proceeds go directly to the orphanage.  So if you want to help these cuties and see them everyday as a reminder, you should contact me.  Or you could pull a George Costanza and give your friends and family's gifts to someone else . . . Only a real someone in this instance.  :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I've joined the club

You know those girls who have a weakness for men in uniform?  That never used to be me.  Then I married Sam.

MEOW!  I love those dress uniforms.

Here we are all gussied up for Sam's graduation, but I have had to come to terms with the idea that he will always out-dress me at fancy functions from now on.  I guess he can be my arm candy. :)


Friday, November 27, 2009

No more hotel

When we pulled back into San Diego for good Wednesday after spending three months in the world's most claustrophobic hotel, I rejoiced.  I gazed lovingly into my full sized fridge, spun with outstretched arms in our second bedroom, intentionally dirtied more dishes than necessary just to have the joy of sticking them in the dishwasher, and strongly fought the desire to lay face down on the dining room table from the sheer joy of not having to eat three meals a day on a loveseat anymore.  Then reality hit . . .

Sam: "We should probably clean this place before putting everything away.  It is pretty dusty."
Laura: "Clean?!? Oh crap."

As I grudgingly got out the 409, I found part of me wishing I was back in Port Hueneme, conveniently vacating my room at approximately 1:30 everyday for housekeeping.  Sigh.  The grass is always greener on the other side.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I can prove it . . . I'm the real deal.

 I know, I know--I haven't blogged in like a month.  I go on kicks and just haven't felt like it.  Maybe I will start being better and maybe I won't.  But here is one for now . . .


That's right, people.  That is my name on the official group fitness schedule!

I got my group exercise certification (actually months ago but I have been putting off posting),  and I taught classes up in Port Hueneme for the past couple months.  Woohoo!  I have now taught Step, Pilates, Weight Training, Zumba, and even started a Hip Hop class on base.  I LOVED IT!  I have to say that my favorite class to teach was Zumba Gold, aka. Zumba for senior citizens.  Hilarious.  There are about six little old ladies (and I mean probably late 70s or early 80s) that would come to shake it on Friday mornings.  Awesome.  My goal: be the spunky when I am 80!

Now I just need to find a job down here in San Diego.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Have a "Hard Core" Halloween!

A few weeks ago (don't ask me WHY they had it so early), the base had a big Halloween party. Everyone in Sam's training class was supposed to go in a united theme--the 80s. Really creative, I know. So instead of being the typical, side pony-tailed aerobics instructor type, Sam got his own idea.

(Side Note: Many of you probably don't know this, but Sam gets SUPER into dressing up when it is his own idea. If I try to force him into a costume of my own creation, he is not so interested. But when he comes up with the idea, he runs with it! )

Another thing you may or may not know about Sam, he is a HUGE music buff.  So he decided we should go as Slash and Axl Rose from Guns 'n Roses. I was shocked by how many people actually recognized who we were. I guess that just proves that I am not really a child of the 80s.

For some reason, the picture of Axl that we used as inspiration won't link into my blog.  Annoying!  But Sam drew the tattoos exactly to match, and I really did look just like the original picture (minus the fact that he was topless--meow).  We decided the cigarette was too nasty to include, even if it would make Sam more authentic. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009


That's right, folks.  It is October 23rd . . . Mole Day!  Today is entirely devoted to celebrating that fabulous number, 6.022 x 1023.  For those of you non-chemistry lovers out there, a mole is a number similar to a dozen.  You could say you have twelve donuts or a dozen donuts.  Same with a mole.  You could say you have a mole of atoms or 6.022 x 1023 atoms.  Lovely, isn't it?

So to celebrate mole day, I decided to do a little real-life chemistry.  I cleaned all of the rust off my beautiful chrome handlebars and fenders with aluminum foil.  Yep, no fancy products needed.  Rust is just oxidized iron, so I wet some aluminum foil and scrub, scrub, scrub, looks like new.  The aluminum acts as a reducing agent to get rid of rust.

Now you see it . . . 

 Now you don't!

Go for it!  Do some chemistry today, even if it is just pouring vinegar on some baking soda and watching it bubble.

Sew and Tell Numero Dos

I did it again!  I successfully sewed something for Amy's "Sew and Tell." I followed the free Amy Butler Nigella Yoga Bag Pattern.

I LOVE this fabric and part of me wishes I had done something with it that I would carry more often than my yoga mat.  Especially because this pattern was a pain and I made a lot of mistakes.  Oh well.  I daresay that I can find other stuff I like too.

I can definitely see how this is addicting.  Sam asked if I am going to need a new bag for everything I own soon.  The answer--yes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sew and Tell

My sister-in-law hosts a "sew and tell" on her blog every Friday, and I finally have something to contribute. Hooray for sewing my first bag ever and only having to call Amy once. I figured out everything else on my own (admittedly using google a few times). I am pretty proud of myself.

The glorious product:



What do you think? I think I will modify the pattern a little next time, but this was a good place to start.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My losing streak

That's right. I am a a natural loser. I enter all sorts of door raffles, giveaways, you name it, and I never win. Then there are those freaks out there (-cough- Amy) who win everything they ever enter. So not fair. I did win a door prize ONCE at the American Chemical Society teachers' luncheon--a chemistry demo book. The way I reacted, you would have thought I won a car. I was that thrilled.

So here I go again to try to win another giveaway on my cousin Amber's blog. If Amy is my sickening sister in law, then Amber is my sickening cousin. :) She has a Halloween goodie box up for grabs, and I want it.  So here it goes . . .

My favorite Halloween photo--the KILLER Yzma pumpkin Sam and I (fine, mostly Sam) carved last year.


1. What is your all time best Halloween costume?
When I was in Kindergarten, my mom made me an awesome princess riding on a horse costume. I wish I had a photo with me. My legs were the horse's two front legs. So cute!

2. What is your favorite Halloween tradition?
Busting out the Halloween bows my mom made us and the decorations on October 1st.

3. What is your favorite Fall tradition?
Stuffing my face with pumpkin chocolate chip bread--over and over and over.

4. What is your favorite book?
I can't pick favorites!!! But probably the whole Harry Potter series, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

5. Name 3 great things that happened to you today.
I just woke up thirty minutes ago, so sleeping in until almost 10 should definitely count! But yesterday Sam and I went thrift store shopping for Halloween, and Sam surprised later last night me with a frosty. YUM!

6. What is your all time favorite dessert?
Hot brownies straight from the oven with ice cream on top.

7. Tell me something you look forward to doing in the next month.
Meeting my new niece!

8. Tell me something you are going to give someone else for Christmas.
The only presents I have picked out are for people who read this blog. So I am pleading the fifth. All I can say is that maybe I will use my new sewing skills . . .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Love at first sight DOES exist

I had been searching on the internet for months to find the perfect bike. Then I saw it--and I knew. We were made for each other. A beautiful pink and silver beach cruiser with speeds. (Those of you who aren't in the market may not appreciate how unusual that is.) I LOVE IT! Aren't we a perfect match?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Costume Contest

My sister, Sarah, is hosting a costume contest on her blog. The problem is, I don't have access to the family photo albums with photos of all my my mom's masterpieces. So this is the best I can do . . .I was Tiger Lily (a fabulous costume made by my mom for Sarah), and Sam was a cruise boat captain. (Please note the skin tight turtleneck from the ladies' department and fake cocktail--he is a good sport.)

Although this has to be my favorite costume Sam has ever worn. He hopped on one leg for HOURS!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Playing catch up

So I busted out my camera for the first time in awhile the other day and discovered some stuff I never posted. So here it goes . . .

The best thing about our current location--only 1.5 miles to the beach, baby!!! And it is a perfect bike ride. That's right, be jealous. It isn't as nice of a beach as the ones in San Diego, but it is a lot closer. The one annoying thing about this beach is that it is covered in seagulls (and I still haven't forgiven them for pooping on my head a few months ago). So I found this too irresistible to pass up.

Also, as I mentioned in the post about my dad, Sam had to spend a week out in the middle of nowhere doing "hard core" field exercises. Well they commissioned him about a million pounds of combat gear (seriously), and I couldn't get over how anyone could even walk in that much stuff, let alone dodge bullets. Sam got a kick out of me trying on his armored vest and gigantic helmet. Notice the crotch protector? I got a kick out of that.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Seriously.  I know everyone's real favorite holiday is Christmas because of seeing family and all that jazz, but I think my very close second is Halloween.  I start wearing the adorable Halloween bows my mom made us girls on October 1st.  And you know what?  It makes people smile for the whole month.  I remember one year in high school that I wore one every day of the whole month.  (I am not that extreme anymore.)

And do you think living in a hotel over the holidays was gonna cramp my style?  Think again!  I am not sure housekeeping knows what to think of my orange lights all over or my Halloween decals/towels/etc. :) (I couldn't take a good picture--sorry)

I also brought my mom's sewing machine back to California with me so that I can learn how to sew in all my free time.  My first project--Halloween purse!  I mean, just look at that fabric--how could I pass it up?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Guess who has the best dad ever?


I called my dad last week to whine that Sam was going on field exercises for a week and leaving me in the stupid hotel by myself.  (I wouldn't mind so much if we were in San Diego, but I don't know a soul at Port Hueneme yet, so I was feeling sorry for myself.)  Next thing I know, I am flying to Denver for the whole week!!!  Funnest.  I get to hang out with my dad, my beyond adorable grandparents, and my two best friends.  Doesn't get any better than that.  Ok, fine . . . maybe if my sisters were here.  But I am not complaining.

Thanks, Dad!  I love you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Pros and Cons

We moved up to Port Hueneme a few weeks ago so Sam could begin his training up here.  We are staying at a hotel on base for three months and it has its pros and cons.

What I miss about San Diego. . . (in no particular order Amby)

1. Fiji Yogurt--my favorite of the new "fat free yogurt" craze (any Seinfeld fans out there? Yes. I think it is too good to be true as well).  They don't have any up here.  Dang.

2. Girl's night in my ward with divine treats and Project Runway.  I had never seen it before but I got sucked in.

3. Amber and her boys!!!

4. Going to the beach every Saturday (especially when combined with above).  See photo for proof of fun and cuteness. 
I promise I had clothes on.  Awkward. 

5. My large, spacious apartment.  Especially my full sized fridge, oven, and kitchen aid mixer. That is the worst thing about this place--the kitchen!  We have a half sized oven that is a relic of the WWII era and a college dorm sized fridge.  What the?!?

What I don't miss . . .  

1.  Cleaning the bathroom.  Best thing about living in a hotel?  MAID SERVICE.  So nice.  The only thing she doesn't clean is the kitchen.

2.  Having to drive everywhere.  I ride my bike to the gym, post office, grocery store, doctor, etc.  Very pleasant.  (More on my bike to come)

Friday, September 11, 2009

My feeble attempt at creativity

I once went to Michael's during a big sale with my crafty sister, Sarah. As she coveted the scrapbooking supplies, beads, ribbon, and other craft goodies, I stood there wishing she would hurry up. She quickly informed me that I am boring because I have no hobbies. My retort? Nu-uh . . . I read. :) And it's true--I read A LOT. But then I find myself seeing all the women around me expressing their creativity through sewing or making cards or designing jewelry and I feel like a total lame-o.

Then I bought a hat with potential to be adorable but just a little lacking. So I decided to try being creative. You know what? It was fun! And somewhat addicting.

  I know the flower is a tad too large, but it is on a pin so I can remove it and make something even better.  Give me a break--it was my first attempt. 

I decided to try it out on a headband too!  Sam told me that it was cute but then hestitantly added, "Is everything in our house going to be covered in flowers soon?"  Ha! 

The buttons are actually an adorable hot pink, but the bad light made them look red. Grr.

So there it is.  Admire it.  Pat me on the back.  Somehow my sickeningly creative sister-in-law made me promise to post this for her "sew-and-tell" with all her crafty blogger buddies--embarrassing!!!  

Want to make one?  Just follow this tutorial.  Although, let's face it . . . I would rather you didn't since now i can make them as gifts.  I'm just saying.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fun in Monterey

Sam and I took a side trip on our way to Port Hueneme to visit Sam's sister Cat and her family in Monterey.  You all know how I despise car trips, but the extra 6 hours there and back weren't so bad with Sam driving the entire way and the breathtaking scenery along the coast!  (He is such a good sport.)

Isn't this gorgeous?  And this wasn't even the prettiest stop--it just happened to be one where we could pull off for pictures.

The weather was perfect and we spent the day exploring Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row (be jealous all you fellow Steinbeck lovers out there).

The marina at Fisherman's Wharf.  Sam LOVES sailboats. 

But the best part of all was just hanging out with Cat, Mark, and the kids.  They have lived in Okinawa since Sam and I started dating, so I am just now really getting to know them well.  And I love them!!! They are so fun, and I am glad we get to see them more often now.  Honestly, how could I not love these cuties? 

Ethan even sleeps in this hat :) And he puts his "treasures" (aka. trash) in the tiny pocket on it.

Matt is a sweetheart who is always willing to give big hugs.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Awesome speech!

I never watch long videos on the internet, but this one was SO worth it!  It is the speech President Obama gave today that was broadcast to all kids attending school in America.  It was wonderful and inspiring, and, as a teacher, I wanted to give him a standing ovation.

Friday, August 21, 2009

More fun in the Buff

Question: What could make an awesome trip even better?

Answer: A cute, little fattie and another sister!!!

Sary and Cal joined us a few days after I arrived. Don't ask me how this is even possible, but he has gotten cuter! Don't believe me?

Bet you do now! I know I am making a weird face but doesn't he look precious? We took this picture to highlight the cool shoes I bought Cal. What a stud.

The only downside is that they brought the heat with them. I swear it was a billion degrees in the Buff and Rachel's apartment isn't air conditioned--YIKES! Needless to say, that made us all a little grumpy and obsessed with finding things to cool us off and get out of that apartment.

We . . .
1. went on a scenic boat cruise on Lake Erie and the Erie Canal and then ate frozen custard and yaked on the pier.

Cal was fussy with us
but content with Ryan. That seemed to be the pattern for the whole trip.

It was there that I discovered that a sure way to make Cal laugh is to hold him up over your head.
Unfortunately, THIS is an all-too-frequent side effect.

2. got haircuts together and then spent the day shopping on a cute little street in Downtown. (Very Steel Magnolias-esque if you ask me.) But no pics to show for it. Boo.

3. had a picnic in the park. 4. Met some famous people--went out for BBQ with Deb and made breakfast with the Lemons. If you want the full scoop on these peeps, follow the links to Rachel's blog. (Highly amusing!)
And of course, we spent a lot of time just cooing over Cal and catching up. What a fun trip! I miss my sissies already!!!