Thankful

Anthony, Family, Friends, Holidays, Nicholas, Uncategorized No Comments

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I am so thankful for Preschool Artwork made with love (and little boy handprints).

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I am thankful for school aged projects that make my son think about the things that he is most thankful for. Included in his collage were: Darth Vader (because “he is an awesome bad guy”), our family – including Lucy, kiwi (his favorite fruit), yams (his favorite veggie), and the Fort & Brother combo.

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I am SO thankful for friends. Jen dropped off these awesome pilgrim hat treats for us the other night. We are so blessed to have amazing friends surrounding us.

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I am thankful for sweet naps with Anthony. He is such a joy to rest with. So snuggly and warm. My sweet baby boy.

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I am thankful for ‘dates‘ with my two little guys. It seems to be so much easier and fun to go out with the boys. I can take them shopping or to get (me) a pedicure or coffee. They ‘usually’ behave pretty well (definitely when I just have one of them, alone). The 1:1 time with the boys is so special. I love it.

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I am thankful for protection. Thankful to all our troops near and far – for protecting our country. As you can see from above, the boys also like to protect our house ‘from bad guys’. I am thankful for their bravery.

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I am thankful for family. ALL of our family, near and far. I am thankful for the family we have just up the street – and thankful for impromptu story time when we stop by to drop something off. I am thankful for FaceTime/video chats with our family afar.

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I am thankful for our weather in San Diego. At the end of November, we are still out front riding bikes and working on chores. We are SO fortunate to be able to do this every month of the year.

*I don’t have a picture of Joe & I on my phone (currently) but I am (always) thankful to be married. And not just to have the title or the status — I am REALLY thankful to have a ‘partner in crime’ to join me on this great life adventure. It is a lot of hard work — but our life comes with so many amazing rewards. More than either of is could have ever imagined. I am thankful that, 15+ years ago, that he loved me.

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Here are a few pictures from our Thanksgiving festivities.

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Numbers: 6 and 10

Family, Friends, Nicholas No Comments

2 Important numbers happened in October.

The first happened on October 4th and it certainly wasn’t a small, insignificant deal.  Joe and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary.

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On the actual day, Joe came up to my office and we went out on a lunch date.  We have been talking about ways to celebrate this milestone anniversary for months – but haven’t been able to come up with anything.  It seems like we haven’t had a lot of ‘extra time’ to plan a trip away.  Maybe we will get to do something in the spring – a long weekend away, or something….

I just looked back at the LaGreca Family blog archives and I have captured MOST of our married life on this site (8 out of the 10 years).  When I look back at our photo archives, I have all 15+ years captured in digital (mostly) photos and it is SO fun to look back at ‘old times’ when we were dating, in college, first married, etc.

Of course, I could go on an on about all the things we have done together. The adventures, the struggles, the fun, the tears….but really what I want to capture at this marriage marker is:

Babe, this is ONLY the beginning.  We have a TON to do still. Lots of important tasks – raising the boys. Lots of fun trips – all over the country (and world, hopefully). Lots of dates to go on.  Food to enjoy.  New wines and beers to try.  And remember, we have to rake up a WHOLE lot more anniversaries before we can win the “Anniversary Dance” at one of our grandkids’ weddings. I pray that someday, we will be crowned the “Longest married couple” :)  Make sure you are thinking about your advice to the newly married couple. Write it down if it comes to you over the years – chances are, we will forget by the time we get the mic.

The second was Nicholas’ 6th Birthday on October 29th.

We had a fun (house) party for Nicholas the weekend before his actual birthday (it’s so hard since his birthday is SO close to Halloween!)  Pepere and Penny came down for the weekend – and with them, came a WHOLE lot of campfire wood.  NCL was such a good helper – and the picture below shows how BIG he is looking these days.

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Instead of party favors – this year, Joe wanted to do something extra special. He put together Stomp Rocket Kits for each of the families to take home (made out of PVC pipe and 2 liter soda bottles).  As a craft at the party, everyone had a chance to make and decorate their own rockets!

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As if that wasn’t enough – Joe also got this AMAZING Death Star Pinata! It. Was. HUGE! And it was filled with enough candy for all the families to give away on Halloween night.

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These two LaGreca boys can really melt my heart. They are getting SO good at posing for pictures (together) when I ask them to. I can’t even believe it! It used to be SO hard to get them in the same area – let alone LOOKING at the camera. Now, I don’t even have to ask them to smile – they just do it. I love it!

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(above: refrigerator ‘art’ by Auntie Dani and Neal)

Nicholas is learning all kinds of great stuff in Kindergarten this year; one important thing is learning to tie his shoes (below, he is practicing with Daddy’s shoes since he doesn’t have shoes with laces right now). Nicholas has also memorized Joe’s phone number (with the area code!) That didn’t seem to be a hard task for him — and he also loves doing math homework and counting games…I wonder where he could have gotten that from…???

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Grandpa and Grandma LaGreca got him a giant map of the US for his birthday, so we hung it up on the wall in the dining room.  He can draw & write on the map with a dry erase pen  – kind of fun to draw out all of our RV adventures over the years.  He can also see how far Buffalo and CT are from San Diego (the boys BOTH say that it’s too far..Joe and I both agree).

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Above: Mom and the gang came to town towards the end of October for a quick weekend visit. I took the boys to get haircuts that weekend snapped this picture right after Nicholas was done.  Nicholas really loves his grandparents.

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The night before his real birthday, I had to take Nicholas to Urgent Care.  He got some kind of a bite on his belly (right in his belly  button) and it was super itchy and puffy on his stomach.  He got the royal treatment since everyone there knew he was turning 6 the next morning.  He was pretty excited to tell everyone about his awesome birthday party. What a joy to celebrate our first ‘baby’ turning 6 (although, I will admit – I have been watching Nicholas lately and looking at recent pictures – and it makes me a bit sad to see HOW grown up he really is.  Of course, I love him and I love watching him grow – but man, it’s going TOO fast!)  The day after Nicholas turned 6 – he told us at the dinner table that he was going to be 7 soon….I nearly had a heart attack and told him to slow down. I want to enjoy 6 for all 365 days :)

 

October at the Beach

Family, Friends, Vacation No Comments

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We spent the weekend of October 11-13th at San Elijo State Beach and it was beautiful (as you can see from the picture above). I am telling you – EVERY time we camp at the beach, I am always in complete AWE of the amazing sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.  I always pause and remember to be thankful that we live in a such a beautiful part of the country.

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As usual, the boys could not WAIT to get to the beach on Friday night.  Above, they were looking out the window as we pulled into the campground – anxiously anticipating all the friends they would have to play with for the whole weekend.

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On Friday night, we gave Nicholas his birthday gift (a few weeks early, but the timing was right). He got an awesome ‘new’ BIKE for this 6th birthday (Mommy got it slightly used from her old boss)! It’s a little big for him, but he jumped right on and started practicing. The new bike has gears and brakes on the handles (instead of the pedals).  With a little more practice, he will be able to mountain bike with Auntie Dani :)

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All our amazing kiddos at our potluck breakfast (above). Have I mentioned how FUN our camping group is?  These kids LOVE camping together (as you can see from the smiles up and down the table.  And let’s not leave out the awesome parents, too :)  One of them, in particular, can make an amazing happy hour beverage (you know who you are).

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Lucy has been a pretty good traveler so far.  She hangs out with us outside, most of the day – while we are camping.  AND – the best part – she doesn’t mind when we put her in the RV when we go down to the beach! She doesn’t even cry or bark. She just curls up on the couch and takes a nap.

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BEST CAMPING GAME EVER!

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Above: Daddy was trying to encourage AJ to ride a two-wheeler (eek! I am not ready for him to be such a BIG boy yet!)

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Above: My favorite picture from the weekend. Love those two boys.

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For the first time ever – thanks to Kristen, we had a pinata while we were camping. The kids had a blast with it!

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Unfortunately, the above picture of AJ was nearly the last from the weekend (on Saturday afternoon).  He was clearly not feeling well all afternoon and by the evening, his breathing was VERY fast and labored (you would NOT be able to tell from the picture and that sweet baby boy smile – but he was in my lap for hours and didn’t want to play with his friends)  I had to call Joe’s parents to come and pick us (AJ and I) up so we could get home for a breathing treatment.  Otherwise, we were going to have to pack up the entire camp and head home.  THANKS so much, Mom & Dad, for coming to get us — it was totally the right thing for us to be at home so AJ could sleep in his own bed (and get the medicine he needed).

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Before AJ and I left, I took one more sunset picture.  The view from our campsite was awesome.  I wish we could have stayed for another week. In fact, one of these days, I want to book a site for at least a week – and just stay down at the beach the whole time.  We have to take advantage of this beauty as much as we can — AND — it also REALLY tires out the boys. They usually sleep REALLY well after a long day of beach play. Success.

Epic Halloween 2013

Family, Friends, Holidays No Comments

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Halloween 2013 had to be one of my two favorite Halloween’s EVER! I know everyone has already seen a few of the pictures from that Thursday night, but I figured it would be fun to document the story of how it all came together.

Months ago, we picked a family theme but hadn’t yet started work on our trunk or costumes…imagine that, I was procrastinating (it’s never happened before). Then, at the beginning of October, we happened upon a Barnes & Noble free kid event that happened to be a Star Wars theme. The Miller’s (Mike and the kids) met us there – and they were already dressed in their Halloween costumes. The next day….the idea was born. A Two-Family, Two-Trunk Star Wars Halloween Theme.

Since the Miller’s already had their costumes – we knew what NOT to pick. They were going to be Darth Vader, a Jedi, and two little Storm Troopers. That left MANY characters available for the LG Fam.

 AJ (with a little coaxing) picked Yoda:

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And Nicholas chose Boba Fett (because he has a gun AND a jet-pack, of course)

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Joe and I just HAD to be Han Solo and Princess Leia :)  So fun! But..the hard part had yet to come….

The Sunday before Halloween, we all met at our house to figure out how we were going to decorate our cars.  We decided to attempt to build the Millennium Falcon with a bunch of awesome cardboard pieces that Mike came upon.

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We formed what we thought looked sort-of like the front of the Millennium Falcon while Joe “over-saw” the work..proof in the picture above…ha ha. We labeled each of the pieces of cardboard and Mike said he would take them  home and try to spray paint them to make it look more like the Falcon.

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The night before Halloween, Joe carved our pumpkin while I worked a few other projects in the garage.

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Thanks to the girls at work – they talked me into making ‘sock-buns’ for my hair and I actually pulled it off!

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And…it was FINALLY Game Time. I left work early on Halloween (to avoid traffic and to be sure I had plenty of time to help get the cars ready).

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And then….Mike brought out the cardboard. It. Was. AMAZING! I was in total shock. He spray painted the whole thing!

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My two Littles – they had been asking for weeks when they could dress up ‘for real’ (green face paint and all).

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(The Death Star pinata from Nicholas birthday party made it’s Final appearance before ending up in the trash)

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We all had so much fun at Trunk-or-Treat that night.  It was fun to watch everyone’s face when they walked up to Trick-or-Treat at our Trunk. The Mom’s would all say “oh, look how cute!” and the Dad’s were all saying “Whoa! That is so awesome!” The kids there were dressed up as a Darth Vader or little jedi’s were REALLY excited to battle our Darth Vader and get their pictures when us.

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We were missing our little girl Storm Trooper – she was home sick on Halloween night :(  And it’s nearly a miracle that we were able to get all 7 of us in the group picture above. If you have ever been to our Trunk-or-Treat, you know how BUSY it is and how fast the kids run off and do their own thing! Oh, and Joe also helps with the food every year, so he was manning his area on the other side of the parking lot for the first hour.

My favorite picture from the night has to be the picture of Han Solo and Princess Leia with the Falcon in the background. A perfect match :)

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Thanks to Mike – our Trunk won FIRST place in the annual decorating contest.  He definitely went above and beyond with his amazing artistic ability.

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I didn’t want the night to end.  It was such a fun family night — although I didn’t actually see the boys all that much. Nicholas was off with his friends on the giant slide and the obstacle course jumpy. AJ spent quite a bit of time watching Star Wars (the movie) on the iPad by our trunk.  Joe was cooking and then I had volunteered to be one of the MC’s to close out the event.  What a great night. It. Was. EPIC!

May the Force Be with You…always :)

The Beach

Family, Friends, Vacation No Comments

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Another successful trip to the beach. I am not sure why I am always amazed by the beach/ocean but every time we go…I find it amazing, again.

We had a super big group at Carlsbad State Beach this weekend. I just counted and I think we ended up with 18 kids, 20+ adults, 2 dogs and a bunch of visitors. We had plenty of room for: 5 RV’s, a trailer, a tent trailer, a 5th wheel, and 3 tents. It may sound like a recipe for chaos but I assure you it wasn’t complete chaos. We did 3 pot-luck meals, campfires, bike/scooter riding, boogie boarding, sand castles building, ladder ball playing, Nerts learning and more.

It may not sound like ‘fun’ for everyone but it was an amazing way spend the weekend. I am not exactly sure how I landed this life. It seems like it’s ‘too good to be true’ – but I know it’s true because I live it!!

I will stop talking now and just post pictures (after all, that is what everyone cares more about, right?)

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Nicholas learned how to boogie board this weekend and by this morning – he was out there by himself!! He did really great!!

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I wish we could have stayed our there another week. It was wonderful.

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