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.

What’s Going On?

Elizabeth, Family 2 Comments

Last night we (Joe and I) were laying in bed and Joe said:

Hey Hon, You haven’t posted anything on the blog in awhile. What’s going on?

I had to laugh because (1) not a day has passed that I haven’t thought “Finish a post! You are so far behind!” and (2) if Joe is asking me about blogging, I KNOW it’s been a ridiculous amount of time since I posted something :/

I can’t even blame ‘writer’s block’ because I am not a real writer.  I have already used the “I’ve been too busy” card (1 too many times on the blog).  And I certainly can’t blame it on a LACK of things to post about because the last few months have been busy, fun and full of pictures! So, what does that mean? What’s really going on?

I have started two different posts in the last month and thought about at least 5 other topics.  I think, maybe, I have just lost interest. And I think the other big factor is my Priority List. When I get home from work, it’s dinner time with the family — then bath time and story time. And by the time the kids go to sleep, I find a few hours of quiet time that I usually fill with work :/  It’s better than staying late at the office and missing dinner with the family but it stinks because after 8pm is really the only time of day that I have to myself. And honestly, blogging isn’t at the top of my list.

I am not happy with myself for letting the blog go, not only for the family & friends that pay attention to my ranting and photo-taking, but also because the more time that goes on, the LESS I can remember! If I don’t write it here, there is a good change it will be lost forever.

Rest assured that I have been spending time with the boys (and the girl) as much as possible.  And I have been taking pictures along the way (Tidbits here and there,  make it onto Instagram, for easy, real time updates).

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The above picture was my view from this past Sunday afternoon. We were waiting for Daddy to get home from an errand and the boys were playing a game on the iPad. I sat in the chair across from them, while Lucy napped at my feet.  It was fun to watch them interact with each other. Nicholas was helping AJ pass a level of a kid game and AJ was intently watching how he did it.

I am going to do my best to get caught up – at least on a few of the BIG things that have happened in the last few months :) Thanks for sticking with me…through the UPS and the DOWNS.

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 :)

And…That’s THREE!!

Family 1 Comment

****Before you get excited – no, it’s not 3 children. There is no ’3rd LaGreca child’. Just had to clear that up, in case you were thinking you knew what the title meant. ****

We can pat ourselves on the back for successfully pulling off not one, not two, but THREE huge surprise parties this year. (1) In January, we pulled off a surprise 40th anniversary party for Joe’s parents (thanks Meg & Steve – and friends!). (2) In May, we successfully fooled my Dad into thinking he was going Salt river rafting & pulled off a surprise visit from his 2 CT sisters and all 3 of his daughters in SD – and a 60th birthday party (thank you Penny, all sisters, and the ‘big’ boys). And (3) this last weekend, we shocked my Mom with a visit to SD to visit the boys, a surprise visit from Steph & Nigel (who drove from Colorado) AND a surprise 60th birthday party with her SoCal friends. (Thank you sisters, the ‘big’ boys and all the friends!)

What a weekend — and what a year!! First of all, I would like to thank all our parents for keeping us SUPER busy in 2013 – I am really not sure what we would have done w/o these huge milestones to plan for (and STRESS about keeping secrets and telling lies!!)
Three BIG milestones all in one year — we did it!! (I know that NONE of them are about me — but man — I am glad the secrets are over. It wasn’t easy!!)

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Mom arrived on Thursday night and surprised the boys first thing in the AM on Friday. Nicholas was SOOOO excited to see Grandma D when he woke up!

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On Friday night, we all went to Dani & Neal’s house for dinner — and guess who was hiding in the spare room?!?!?

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Steph & Nigel! All the way from Colorado! Mom was COMPLETELY shocked – she could NOT believe they were in San Diego!

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I have to admit – I wish the surprises had stopped there – but we still had to get through another day of ‘lies’ and secrets!

So…we went for pedicures.. To relax a bit.

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And then we tricked mom into thinking we were going to take family pictures in Point Loma. She TOTALLY believed us.

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Dani gold her that she knew of a restaurant with a nice courtyard — and we walked into Stone Brewery….and there, on the patio, were {almost} all of her SoCal friends.

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And then…..we could FINALLY relax :)

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Dinner was fabulous – we all highly recommend Stone Brewery at Liberty Station. Wow.

We headed back to our house for birthday dessert and presents.

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It was a really nice evening. I think Mom had a great time and felt really special 😀

The next day was a day of fun in the sun – and pool!

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What an action-packed weekend! It was worth the effort just to see the smile on Mom’s face all weekend.

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!! I hope the ‘actual’ day is great! Let the celebrating begin!!

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…..and, if you thought it was crazy for us to have THREE parental milestones in one year…..it doesn’t stop there…those aren’t the ONLY 2013 ‘big deals’…October 4, 2013 is just around the corner…. ❤️

Charlotte’s Web

Elizabeth, Family 1 Comment

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One of my fondest childhood memories (and probably one of my first real memories as a 4-5 year old) was my Mom reading Charlotte’s Web to me. She would read one or two chapters every night until it was over and then I would beg her to start it over.

I can remember laying on the top bunk with my Mom (in my old room, in Connecticut, on Indian Hill Rd), just listening to her read this story.

I am sure probably most/all know the story (you have either read the book or watched the movie) – so you know how it ends…. :(

We have been reading Charlotte’s Web in our house, for the first time! Nicholas has LOVED it. He is so interested in the story and he has been worrying about Wilbur – hoping that Charlotte can save him from becoming breakfast bacon for the Zuckerman’s.

Tonight we read the 2nd to the last chapter….and it was a HARD read for me. Charlotte died…and I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks. And I KNEW it was coming. But man, it was STILL so sad. Nicholas kept saying “did she really die?” and “why did she have to die?”

Joe came home from walking Lucy and I told him that I cried while reading. He said – That’s why he doesn’t like the book…”It’s like Old Yeller. It’s sad…I saw it once and never wanted to see it again. Too sad!”

Despite my tears, I love the story. It’s such a sweet story about how a friend helps another — and ultimately saves his life! I told the boys that after we finish the book, we can have a movie night to watch Charlotte’s Web (yes, I am signing myself up to cry again!!)

Thanks, Mom…for the great memories, the book, and the tears….

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