Friday, March 28, 2014

Monday, November 18, 2013


I've been trying to post something for what seems like ages now.  Been too busy...even after getting laid off.  Sadly, my job ended after 10 years working at Pacific Hospital of Long Beach.  It was such a great flexible, good paying, rewarding job.  It fulfilled me, but a part of me had been wanting to make a career change for the past couple years.  I didn't act on it, because I loved my job and I was comfortable.  When College Hospital told us our salary would be almost 30% less if they hired us, I realized how unappreciated social work is.  Even if I had my Masters, which I would not get in Social Work, I would then make what I was making if College hired me.  In the end, they rescinded the offer and everyone is social services got laid off.  Our job was broken up and assigned to LCSWs and LVNs.  So, here I am the soccer team mom and Girl Scout co-leader, driving back and forth to school, trying to get what little accomplished I can in between taking care of the kids.  I called the college about maybe updating my teaching credential, applied for unemployment (and got denied because I said I can only work part time due to the cost of childcare) and filed a claim with the state labor board because I wasn't paid for the three weeks we were promised and other employees were....and surfing a lot, working out some, yoga...spending time with friends.  Robby and I celebrated our anniversary.  We went to eat at the restaurant we had our wedding reception at.  Then, last week we went to see Ben Harper live at Claremont University.  It was amazing and somewhat definitive for me.  We sat down in the beatiful orchestra hall, Ben Harper quietly started playing, then he told stories.  He told about how he got signed to Virgin and how he came to find his manager that helped make it happen.  I guess he's from there, so I think it brought back all those memories he wanted to share...but I left feeling so inspired to do in life what makes you happy and to be authentic to yourself, not selling your sole for a price tag.  That type of thing.  Anyway, I loved it.  Novermber has been more than beautiful.  Weather in the high 60's to 70's, glassy water.  I turn 35 in a few days.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Surf, surfy, surf

Every once in a while the stars align and we have a beautiful surf day where tons of surf mamas get together and play on the beach and catch waves.  Yesterday was one of those days.  This is not even everyone.  Some of the moms were surfing.  The waves were glassy, big and fast and the water was warm.  What a great last full week of summer.  I'm so glad Maria brought her camera.  Some of these ladies have been surfing for only a couple years and they are catching head high, even bigger waves.  I am so proud of them.
We went to San O Wednesday night for bonfire/surf.  Last night, we watched a movie on the sand at the Newport Bay Dunes.  This summer has been great, but I am getting more excited for school to start too now.  I just remember missing Monet last year because I work all weekend, then during the week she is at school.  I'm trying to soak it all in now.  Also, my job has been on the fritz for a while as our hospital has been officially bought by College Hospital.  It is a good thing because College is financially stable and our hospital was not  But, it has also lit a fire in me to go back to school or re-evaluate my career.  I've been lazily enjoying the comfort of this job for a long time.  Nine years to be exact.  It has been so good to me.  When Isaac is in school I will have the freedom to make some changes.  I would love to make more money so I can continue to work part time and enjoy life instead of running in a hamster wheel working my life away and not getting much for it.  I already did that for several years when I worked full time and had Monet in day care.   

Me going right which is obviously uncomfortable haha.  But, who cares, I got to surf in a bikini!  That never happens.

One of my favorite pictures from San O.  At San O, there are these bunches of bamboo that people have built over the years with showers and board racks inside them.  The kids call them the jungle.  We usually get there on Wednesday evenings after five.  Robby always surfs first since he's been working all day, so I get the evening session and I love it.  The water is almost always calm.  The orange sun is setting.  When it goes down, you can see the bonfires start up on the beach, the rock wall backdrop and all these bamboo jungles and tiki huts lining the beach.  It is a magical place.
Monet's Grandma Challi made this mermaid outfit just for her.  Monet wore it all day.  Her grandma is so sweet.  I wish she lived closer.  Monet takes after her side of the family in every way. 
Just some girls at a bonfire.  No big deal. :)  Waiting from "shmores" as Isaac calls them.
I have a crush on VWs.  The turquoise one is Billy's.  He had some leftover wood from doing the floors in his house, so he did the van floor as well.  So awesome.  The van in front belongs to Dennis.  They just painted it this color.  It was red before.  They used rollers and brushes even for the chrome.  These guys are at the beach everyday.  We stop by and say hi every once in a while on our way to meet the surf mamas.  Dennis lives on 5th Street in Sunset Beach.  One day when we were at his house, we realized he saw our wedding from his window.

We did a lot of kid swapping this week.  My friend Melinda watched our kids on Monday so I could work, so we watched hers Wednesday night so she could work.  I am so greatful for good friends.  So greatful. 
Ashley's birthday.  I always debate if its worth getting a babysitter and going out.  Its so expensive and we couldn't swap babysitting with friends because most of them were going to be there.  We ate at a delicious organic restaurant called True Foods.  I got a coconut curry shrimp dish.  I have been craving shrimp a lot lately.  It was really good and it was fun to dance and laugh with friends.
Chris getting ready to paddle out at San Onofre.  She got a couple super cute wetsuits from the Billabong sample sale. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer time

Monet and Gator Coach Alec
Yes, my mom put mascara on Monet.  Awesome.  
Monet in her birthday bikini.  She's an 8 year old now.
Our mermaid friend, Julianna

Good times at one of the US Open events at the Shorebreak hotel on the Strand downtown.  They played a surf documentary on the street.  We could see it from the balcony.  We convinced Pete the be in the center of the picture with us ladies.  

This past week and month have been great fun filled with good times, surf days, friends...Between work and playing our summer is flying by.  I can't believe school starts in less than one month.  When the kids are driving me crazy, which hasn't been too often, I try to remember how much I miss them when they're in school.  We had Monet's birthday party at the park this year.  I made a Sponge Bob pinata and we played games and had lunch.  I did some face painting.  The next day, on Monet's actual birthday, we played at Soak City.  Monet loves the big water slides and has to swim to the deepest part of the wave pool where it is so crowded that I lose her, giving me a heart attack.  We left exhausted with cotton candy stuck to our teeth and a sunburn on our cheeks.

Wednesday nights we've been going down to San Onofre for our evening surf/bonfire session.  It's been so relaxing and I guess it could be considered a stay-cation.  This past Wednesday the atmosphere was breathtaking.  The water was 70 degrees, the sunset was so bright and orange and when the stars came out they lit up the sky.  One of these times, I'll remember to bring my guitar with.

My job has been on the fritz.  My supervisor of the past 9 years got laid off last week.  She called me Friday night and I had a split second thought that something was wrong.  She proceeded to tell me she had gotten laid off.  She hired me and she's had my back.  She is one of the only people who knew what kind of job I do.  As a social worker, a lot of work you do goes unnoticed.  We might refer a patient to 10 places before they get accepted to one.  Anyway, there is a rumor that our hospital has been bought by another one, however no one has told us anything.  All middle management was let go.  So, I'm enjoying my job while it's here. 

Yesterday, we spent the day at Bolsa Jetty with the surf moms.  The morning was chilly and gray as it has been almost all summer and the waves were glassy and small.  Isaac boogie boarded with the older boys and Monet played with the babies on the beach.  We surfed, then took the kids to explore the rocks that make-up the jetty.  The sun came out around noon so we decided to go in for a second surf session.  The water was so glassy.  Amber and I were the only mom's left.  She switched off with me and all the kids went back in the water to boogie board and swim.  I love days like that.  On the way home, we stopped at Fiesta Grill for fish tacos and floutas.  Love summer time.

Happy day at San O. Eating hot dogs and resting on the beach.

Our crew at the Modest Mouse concert at the US Open.  Matt Costa opened.
Such cute little beach bums.

Some of the girls at Monet's birthday party.
This last Tuesday at 9th Street.  The waves were super slow and the water was glassy.  I caught this one that reformed on the inside and I was about to launch over it here.  
Inside the Shorebreak with my man and my girls.  Such a fun night.  The DJ was playing all these 80's and 90's jams.  We would be dancing and laughing at the same time.  We don't go out often, so this was extra fun.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Apt Found

found here

We have secured an apt, or so we've been told.  It's not ideal at all, but its in Monet's school district and is within our parameters of how far we want to live from the beach.  I know it sounds stupid.  Why do you have to live by the beach in a small, crappy, expensive apartment??  Our rent is more than my sister's mortgage payment on a three bedroom double garage home!!  Because everything is good at the beach.  You put your toes in the sand, watch the waves wash up on the shore...back and forth.  The fresh air.  The sunshine.  It's peacefulness is worth more than any amount of money.  
We haven't signed for the apt yet, the property manager has only told me we have it and he's drafting the lease.  Hopefully that will happen soon.  I just can't wait to get out of our current situation and have our own place.  Robby and I are both stressed to the max.   

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May; The Month of the Apt Search

It's been a while.  Keeping it real, life for our family has been so busy and stressful for me at the moment.  Everyday, I try to take time for myself and enjoy the moments that are peaceful.  We are moving June 1st...actually we are packing.  We don't even have a place to move into. That is why I am stressed.  We have a horrible roommate situation right now.  So, Robby and I decided we are done living with roommates because we don't want there to be a chance of this happening again.  We have lived in the same house for four years.  We've had great roommates until now.  It's a huge house.  It's really hard to keep clean.  It's also dated and our landlord/friend doesn't put any money into it to keep it up.  A lot of the furniture in it is his, which I've never liked.  So, I was happy to finally get Robby's support in moving.  However, there is NOTHING available!!  I am freaking out.  Every time we find something, it's already taken.  Places are going on the market for literally one day and then they are rented.  We found the perfect dream apt on 17th street with an ocean view under our budget and by the time I turned our apps in that same day, it had already been promised to someone.  I'm trying to stay positive.  To stay sane, I've been going to the gym or running outside everyday.  I take the kids to swim lessons and look for rentals.  Then, today I was leaving for work and Monet complained of not feeling good.  She has a fever and sinus infection symptoms...again!!!  Always on the weekend.  Always.  Hopefully it will go away on it's own.  Last time, I avoided the doctor and tried to let her body heal itself and it turned into an ear infection, bronchitis and early signs of pneumonia.  So, I will be going to the doctor if it isn't gone in three days or less.  Other than that, life is good.  I still have my job.  Work has been going really well for Robby.  Summer is slowly creeping in.  I feel so lucky and blessed to have such good friends who support me with positive energy.   

Isaac rode his bike all the way to swim lessons.  He had a permi-grin on his face the entire time. 
The surf has been less than ideal for the past couple weeks.  Notice all the surf mamas and babies and the lack of boards.  It was a beautiful day though and always good company.
The kids finally filled up their chore/obedience charts; Good for them, bad for my bank account.  Isaac got a remote control motorcycle and Monet got a toy puppy that barks and walks.  Poor girl, she wants a dog so badly.  We kind of do too, but now that we're moving her chances are slim.

Swimming galore.  Isaac's lessons are at the City Gym and Monet practices everyday with her swim team.  I love this little dude.  I would love it even more if he didn't scream everything he says.  He screams if he's excited and he screams if he's mad. 

We've been spending a lot of time with our friends.  Here is Isaac with Finley Harper, Ashley (just after getting her tattoo filled in) and Sophia.  So many sweet babies.

One of the many apartments we've looked at.  This is a dream place.  We have some must-haves on the list.  This one has a shared garage which now I'm regretting not offering to pay more for the entire garage and of course it's no longer sad.  Our must-haves are two bedrooms, an enclosed garage for Robby's tools, an actual place for a dining table and close to the beach.  So little, yet so hard to find. Sigh. 
And one of myself.  Since I am usually the ghost writer.  Here's a "selfie."  Taken today.  And, yes those are neon yellow pants and I love them.  Our Goodwill gets a lot of stuff that doesn't sell from Target.  I had been lusting after these after seeing them at Target, but they were way too much.  I found these and a fuchsia pair at Goodwill for like 7$ each.  Brand new!!

On a side note...I am obsessed with (healthy) body transformations.  They are so motivating.  I love health and fitness and to hear how other people change their lives for the better always motivates me.  They put new ones up once a week.  I love this guy's story.  Look how stoked he is to be fit!!  Awesome.
Transformation found here at

Monday, March 25, 2013

Camper Vans, Puppies and Swim Team

dreaming of these lately...We considered getting an Australian Shepherd recently.  But, decided it needed to wait.  I hope we didn't miss our window of golden opportunity.  I was browsing a dog rescue website and found just down the street from us a box of seven pups had been dropped at the Petsmart.  There were a couple left and this one melted my heart.  Due to a couple reasons, we decided to wait a while though.

 The camera I've been looking at, I decided to get with my tax money.  However, I still haven't gotten it.  Too busy.
The camper vans I look at occasionally.  Whenever I see one I feel like I should be driving one.  They are so awesome.  Why can't VW make a Westfalia that is completely solar powered?  That would be my dream car.

Liz took these when we met up at Avila Beach.  I used them for a business card I was working on for yoga.  It's a start.  We had so much fun on our short trip up north, even though I did have the flu when we were there.  My favorite parts of the trip were sitting in the hot springs mineral pool, watching the kids slide down the slides at the RV park and walking around San Luis Obispo.  The view of the ocean framed by the rocky green  cliffs was breath taking.  What a relaxing place.   

 I'm almost done with my hot yoga teacher training.  I got pretty burnt out after last week. We have to take five classes per week and observe six classes total.  Of course I crammed too much in too soon.  So, I surfed Friday and Saturday.  Saturday was one of those days I'll never forget.  Typically, I work, but I had the afternoon off because of the yoga training.   The whole family and friends met up at Blackies.  The waves were perfect, smooth and peaky.  Robby and I caught a nice shoulder high plus left together.  He was already on it, but he cut back so I could drop in.  All the kids played on the beach and Robby and I and our friends got to surf for a couple hours.

Monet's first day of swim team stroke practice was today.  I might be more excited than she is.  I have so many good memories of being on the swim team.  It took me two years of begging my mom to be on it.  We practiced for two hours sometimes twice a day.

This week should be interesting.  My parents and sister, Mariah, will be here from Tues-Thurs.  Then, Robby's sister, niece and her two friends will be here Wed-Sunday.  It's their Spring break.  Ours is the following week.  Maybe we'll sneak in a date night since we'll have babysitters...