Friday, June 10, 2011


I got to take my oldest girl yesterday to visit her new school! 

I went to beauty college, not that there is ANYTHING wrong with beauty college but it's just not the same as what I got to see yesterday!

The campus at this school was filled with huge trees some of them full of purple or pink flowers (wish I had taken more pics.) There were lots of little areas with benches under trees for students to sit and do their homework or just ponder the meaning of life and all that lies ahead of them.

My sweet girl and her boyfriend under one of those giant gorgeous trees!

But the thing that won me over, that made me want to enroll MYSELF yesterday were all of the activities available to the kids.

There are . . . 
free concerts (Gwen Steffani performed there before anyone knew who she was)
free movies on the grass
a free gym with a rock climbing wall
a underground area full of games and lots of other fun stuff
free food, free food, free food
lots of clubs to join with activities of their own,
and even a snow day in December (p.s. it does not snow in the OC) they truck the snow in and fill the quad and serve the college kids hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows!

Activities are my middle name, they make the world a better, or at least a more fun place to be!
Oh ya, I forgot to mention that we did get to hear about the 8 different college at this great University. (Am I the only one who never knew there were multiple colleges IN a University?) Just another reason I might need to get myself signed up today.

It was just a fantastic day!

After all the school stuff was finished we did a little eating, a little shopping and a little more eating. 

Then we took the scenic route home down the PCH through Laguna. (I could live the rest of my days in Laguna! It's my favorite place on earth, at least so far.)

Pretty is . . . CSUF (California State University Fullerton)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Fire & a Broken Sprinkler

Two nights ago I went for a walk around my neighborhood.

I walked because I'm 40. I walked because even if I only ate one saltine all day long everyday for a week I would not lose 1 pound! Since I turned 40 things have changed.

By the way, when I say I'm 40 I mean I'm in the 40's (actually 41) but I think for the whole decade of my 40's I will just refer to myself as 40. OK? OK.

While I was walking I noticed a couple of things that I cannot stop thinking about. Now, I am not the kind of person who can turn an everyday ordinary circumstance or object into a life lesson or sermon like some of my wonderful friends (Dana & Mark). But what I saw has got me thinking.

The first was a house. I walked down this particular street because a few nights before it had been blocked off by tape and there was a fire engine and an ambulance. I wanted to see if there had been a fire. (I'm kinda curious by nature) While walking I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Then turning the corner of this street I glanced back thinking hmmm, I guess it was a false alarm, nothing actually wrong. That's when I saw it. On one of the homes, which still looked completely perfect, even beautiful from the front, the roof in the back was completely gone. All that was left were the charred beams that once held up the roof that provided shelter for this family.

I stood in shock for a few minutes, amazed that I had just walked right on by, not being able to see anything wrong. Saddened for the family or people who called this home.

I walked on.

The next thing I noticed on my walk was a broken sprinkler in front of another house. The water was shooting in the air at least 15 feet high! I went up to the door and knocked . . . no answer. I stood watching the water for a minuet. It was ALOT of water. Flooding their yard and running down the street.

One a simple problem with a simple solution. One a catastrophe with a very long, hard, costly solution.

I've been thinking how we, individuals or families are like this at different times in our lives.

Sometimes we have problems that are simple to solve, annoying but manageable. Sometimes they are right there out in the open for everyone to see and a good friend can come along and say "hey, you've got a problem there, can I help?"

Other times our individual or family problems are huge. There is damage that seems insurmountable. From the outside there may be no evidence of the damage at all. No way others would know the devastation on the inside.

What I've been thinking, am thinking, is, how can we help or receive help when no one knows.
No one person may know the pain, the turmoil, the hurt or the suffering but there is One who does. 
Thank you Lord that you not only know, you love.
As for us, we can be more compassionate towards others, more understanding and less judgemental, more forgiving and more loving, remembering that we don't always know what pain someone else is going through.

Pretty is . . . compassion

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sleeping Babies

Well hello! 

It's April. 

I don't know what happened to March (except I've been working like 70 hours a week!) but it's gone.

March is gone.

I've wanted to blog but just haven't had one spare second, not one.

My house is a filthy mess but like I said, not one spare second!

Today I wanted to share a photo I took yesterday.

It's my baby girl. 

She's a napper. I can say she comes by it honestly. I used to keep a nap blanket and pillow under my desk at work!  It is an AMAZING blanket and pillow from Brookstone.

This is how happy you really are when you have this super snugglie blankie! Really!

Anyway . . .

I was planning on posting the photo on facebook as soon as I took it.

But then my precious woke up and said "Do NOT post that!"

She meant on facebook I'm sure :)

Pretty is . . .

a sleeping "baby" :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Where Are All The Older Ladies?

I recently went to the bridal shower for one of my best friends daughters. 


I love her so much. 

She calls me her Other Mother :)

I can't believe she is getting married.

That's all I can say, I just can't believe it.

It was a beautiful shower. Very Anthropologie, so cool.

But something funny happened while she was opening her gifts. Another friend and I looked around the room and began to wonder, "Where are all the older ladies?" 

All we see are these young beautiful faces. 

Aren't they gorgeous!

Wait a minute, hold the phone. 

WE are the older ladies!

What is this world coming too!

Congratulations to Morgan and Joe and their families!

Pretty is . . . a wedding shower!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bead In My Nose!

Today a little 3rd grade boy was sent to the office to see me. It seems that somehow he had gotten a rock IN his ear. As an elementary secretary/nurse the adventures are limitless! When he got to me in the office I did a little investigating.

Me "So how did you get a rock in your ear honey? Did it happen at home?"
Boy "I dunno. (tears are coming now) No it happened in class"
Me "Where did the rock come from?"
Boy "My backpack"
Hmmmm, my wheels are turning now.
Me "So, did you accidentally put one in your ear?"
Boy "Mmhmm." (lots of tears now!)
Now he must have really shoved that baby in there because I couldn't see a thing. But I knew it was in there. Sometimes you just know. Ya know?
Me "OK, don't you worry honey, you're gonna be just fine. Let me tell you a little story."

So I began to tell him, this sweet little frightened 3rd grade boy, about the time my own precious first born girl put a plastic bean from the game Don't Spill The Beans right up her nose.

She was almost the same age, well maybe younger, but I didn't tell him that. She was supposed to be napping when she came out of her room and said with a stuffy nose,

First born "Bob, i got a bead up by dose." 
Me "What? A bead up your nose?'
First born "Dow! A bead! From by game!"

That's when I realized she had mysteriously gotten a plastic bean up her nose. How it happened was beyond me. Certainly my very intelligent daughter would not push a plastic bean up her nose, right? Wrong.

Her claim, she was just lying there, trying to sleep, when that darn bean just JUMPED right up her nose!

All I can say is praise the Lord for doctors and the special nasal bean removing tools they own. 

I am praying today that for Boy they have a special ear canal rock removing tool as well.

OMG! I gotta go, another 3rd grader , stung by a bee. 

Which reminds me of the time I was watching my daughters friend and a bee flew up her nose and stung her inside her nose! But that's another story for another time!

Pretty is . . . a life experience that gives us compassion for others!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dear Birthday,

How are you? 
It's been a year since we've seen each other!

Last year was sooo fun.

Every year I look forward to seeing you. 

But this year . . . not so much.

It's not that I'm upset to see you, I just don't having any feelings towards you at all. I don't know whats happening between us. I used to love you sooo much! I wanted to celebrate you with everyone. I can't put my finger on exactly what has changed between us. I'm sure it's me and has nothing to do with you. Don't be sad. Maybe we should just take a break from each other.

Yes, birthday, I think I'm breaking up with you.

Good bye for now,

Friday, January 28, 2011


My firstborn daughter, Jade, is turning 21 in less than 1 week.

It's weird.

It's sad.

It's happy.

It's a roller coaster of emotion!
I'm preparing myself.

How is it that I can have a daughter that's 21.

More to come next week (Feb 3rd specifically.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Handmade (sorta) Valentines

 Last Friday I visited a wonderful blog called The Shabby Nest . She had a post that day called Frugal Friday. I'm not sure if she does this every Friday or not but it's so great! There were so many wonderful ideas! It was also my very first time linking to another blog :)

Anyway, one of the links I clicked on was a blog called "Take the Side Street." Anna had posted a blog with a free printable design for Valentines Day. 

Since my girls were little I have always done baskets for them for Valentines and Easter. But now that they are in college I have had to get a little more creative 

Chocolate bunnies and sidewalk chalk have been replaced with bikinis, jewelry and packs of gum.

Last year I hand made their Valentines day cards for the first time. It was SOOOO fun for me (and I think they liked them too!)

So when I saw this cute little idea I got going!

First I printed out the adorable e.e. cummings quote. I did just as Anna had suggested and sprinkled a little glitter on the heart.

never mind the messy desk!

I also tore the edges of this card and the pink scrapbook paper I used as a matte.

I used rubber cement to glue the cute little card onto the matte and then onto the black card I had left over from when I made their graduation announcements (oh the time is whizzing by!) But you could use spray adhesive also.

Soooo cute! Thanks so much Anna :)
And then . . . . I thought, what about the envelope! 


Not sure what I'll write on the inside yet :) 

Something to let them know how much I love them, 
how I've given my whole life to them, 
how extremely heartbroken 
and depressed, 
and alone I'll be when they leave me. 

Well maybe I'll leave that part out, save the guilt for another holiday. 

Most of all I will let them know that they are one of the greatest gifts God has ever blessed me with!

Pretty is . . . a handmade Valentine.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Two things I LOVE right now

 Let me just begin by saying that I am a copycat.
Aren't we all?
It's the greatest form of flattery right?

I see something adorable in a movie or on a co-worker and I WANT it (or I wanna try to make it, like my cross bottles

Here are two things I've received as gifts lately that I LOVE. 
The first is an adorable pair of sandals

from the Walking Company (mine are brown.) 
My sweet girls got them for me for Christmas. I first saw them on our 1st grade teacher and fell in love. I thought about them for over a year! :)

Then there are these adorable initial charms 

I saw first in the movie "The Proposal" worn by Mary Steenburgen. Since then I have seen them in other movies like, "Little Fockers" and "How Do You Know." 

So this year for Christmas I got each of my girls one by an artist named Charlene K.
I got them one and not myself, because that's what mom's do, right?

The ones by Charlene K are just a little bit different and are carried right here in Palm Springs at a little boutique at the Riviera Hotel. 

Then for my anniversary in January my husband got me one! I love, love, love it.

Pretty is . . . a copycat :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cross Bottles

I have been making cross bottle art for about 6 years (I think) now.
I love it. 
Before that I made beaded wire crosses and before that . . I can't remember, probably something country crafty (I used to be kinda into that, not anymore.)

I first saw a cross bottle in a little boutique here in Palm Springs that's closed now and LOVED it. I thought to myself, I bet I could make that!

I went home and began to try to figure it out. I had never done stained glass or anything with a soldering iron so it was trial and error for me. I asked around to a few friends and eventually figured it out! 

I decided the first year of making them that I would only give them as gifts and not sell any. It was so fun for me to look for a special bottle that perfectly fit each girlfriend (we are pretty big on birthday parties!) I love to look in antique stores and sometimes get carried away. I have more bottles than I know what to do with!

(Not really, I could never have too many!)
One of my friends husbands name is Tom and I found an antique Tom's soda bottle to make her cross on. My youngest daughter has been wearing the same perfume for a few years now and the bottle is a cute little red bottle with a rose on it, so I made a little one for her. My good friend Dana loves anything to do with the sea and wanted a collection of bottles with shells and starfish on top.

This week I've been working on one for a friend whose daughter was married in Italy. She saved a wine bottle from their wedding and asked me to make a cross for their first anniversary. Another mom saved a Jones soda bottle from her sons wedding and some sand from the beach they were married on. I put some of the sand in the bottle and made a cross on the top for them. 
What wonderful gifts for these newlyweds! 
What wonderful moms to think to save the bottles :)

Six years later I have made so many bottles for so many people I've lost count. Each bottle is unique, speciall and has so much character just like it's owner.

Pretty is . . . a cross bottle.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ADVENTURE #2, Day 2!

I know you've been on pins and needles just waiting to hear what happened. 

Waiting to hear if we made it up to the mysterious building that we had been turned away from. 

I bet you haven't gotten any work done, slept or eaten.

OK, here it is!

Chantel and I headed off in the direction of the glass building on the hill, you remember the one. The one full of movie stars and producers just waiting to discover me. Or, the one where they hypnotize you and make you chant and give up all your shoes and purses.
Yes, we bravely headed up the hill. As we walked I began to feel a slight let down. What if it was impossible to get up there. What if it was nothing exciting at all and I had imagined to big (ha!). As we got close to the top of the hill I saw a gate with a sign that said
(From far away I could only see the word CLOSED)

I told Chantel,  "listen missy, I don't care if that gate is closed and locked or not, we are going over, under or around, whatever it takes." (groans from my friend)

As we got closer I saw the gate was open! It was our lucky break! We were going to get up there!!!

When we got to the gate we saw another sign

OMG, this was the entrance to a Visitors Center for a public hiking area. 
No movie stars.
No cults. 

A little let down but still determined to get to the top we kept going. When we finally arrived at the Visitors Center we talked to a girl and asked about the "sheriff" that had turned us away from crossing the wash (we thought we might take a pic with him.) She said "oh that's our park ranger, so YOU'RE the hot chicks that were trying to cross the wash!"

YES! YES!  That's us! The hot chicks!!! :)

Soooo Steven Spielberg wasn't there to offer me a movie contract but the park ranger thinks we're hot!

Pretty is . . . a park ranger!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I know I said I would write about adventure #2 yesterday but what can I say, 
I got busy, 
I got tired,
 I remembered a few times but ultimately I forgot!

I hadn't had that sense of excitement and mischief that causes me to slightly misbehave, even break the law, for some time now. The last time I can remember was the trip to the beach with those crazy girls, that doesn't mean there hasn't been any ADVENTURE since then but this week I experienced an overwhelming sense of ADVENTURE!
I have started walking on my lunch breaks here at the school (it feels great). I have two choices when I walk, 
in the high school girls locker room on a treadmill or . . . 


Surrounded by God's amazingly gorgeous creation!


is winter

in the desert!

I don't want to walk on a track or in a gym or even the same route outside everyday. There is so much to see, new houses to look at, new streets to walk down, new ADVENTURES to be had!

So on Monday I walked alone down a street near the school headed toward our beautiful San Jacinto Mountains. 

I got to the end of the road and looked out at the desert hills at the foot of the mountain and saw a house on the hill, a few water towers and between those a building with a large glass window front. There were a bunch of cars in front. And I wondered what in the world was going on up there on the mountainside!

 But no time to find out, lunch is only an hour after all.

On Tuesday, my great friend and coworker Chantel walked with me. She agreed to walk up the same street with me even though she likes the track (she's driven, she likes to keep track of mileage, she likes to do marathons, she's amazing!) When we got to the top of the street, I pointed out to her the building and the cars.

 Now mind you I had been thinking about that building and what might be up there since the day before. 

I have to tell you that I have quite the imagination and I can dream up a story or a scenario in a matter of seconds and get my self pretty excited. 
There could be tons of movie stars up there, it is film festival time in Palm Springs right now. 
They might see me in my yoga pants and want me to be in one of their movies.
 It could be some kind of crazy cult where we would be kidnapped and made to humm all day long. 
It could be anything!

So I suggested to my almost equally adventurous friend that we traipse through the desert and see what it was, she agreed! 
Oh the joy! 
Oh the excitement!
 I could hardly stand it!

 We walked and hiked, we saw little tents of a few homeless dwellers. We saw an abandoned duffel bag and were tempted to stop and look inside (there could be a million dollars in there after all) but we pressed on. 
We could see that we were separated from the building by a large wash, with water streaming down from the snow melting on the mountain. At the top of the hill there was a concrete dam that we could cross so we headed for that.
Almost to the top we came across a small deterrent,
 a barbed wire fence and a sign that said NO TRESPASSING.

Small deterrent :)

We were sooooo close, I was not stopping! "C'mon!" I said," it's no big deal, there's no danger, we can do it!" 

Pressure, I know, I'm sorry but it's what I do when I really want something, ask anyone.

So we crossed the wire, and we pressed on! As we got to the top of the dam, my dear, sweet friend (who had been pressured to break the law and risk being shredded by the barbed wire, and who is also married to a police officer by the way) said "Oh my gosh, there's a sheriff on the other side!"

"Sheriff, I don't see any sheriff!" I said, "C'mon!" 

"Well Renee, do you see that man in the green jacket pointing us in the other direction over there? That's a sheriff!"

Let the giggling begin! We turned around and hightailed it back down that mountain so fast I almost wet my pants (which happens to me but thats another story!)

As we got to the bottom of the hill, I began my lament. 

"Ugh, I am soooo bummed, we were so close!
 I really have to know whats up there! 
Why were there people over there? 
How can we get over there!?"

On our walk back to the school we hatched a plan! We would return the next day. We would start on the other side of the wash and we WOULD get up there!

Now I'm afraid I've lost you since this is the most I've ever written in one blog entry so I'm going to stop and tell you what happened the next day on my next entry! 
Can you stand it? 
Are you dying to know? 
Is your imagination running wild like mine does? 
What do you think happened? 
Did we make it? 
What do you suppose we found?!

Pretty is . . . a good imagination!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


OK, I was on a walk today with my friend Chantel and I came to the realization that I am starving for "ADVENTURE!" We stumbled across one (adventure) yesterday and finished it today! I'm gonna tell you more about that tomorrow when I have time to load a few photos.

Something inside me is so curious, so mischievous, so ADVENTUROUS. I have a freak flag and I'm (usually) not afraid to wave it! (Family Stone, you gotta see it)

I think that some part of it is the way I grew up, in a small town, out on a dirt road and dirt poor :)
Another contributor to my adventurous side is the fact that I got married and had my first sweet baby girl at the tender young age of 20. Now don't get me wrong, changing diapers, carpooling, cooking dinner, running around to sporting events are all part of life's greatest adventure of being part of a crazy family. I wouldn't change a thing! 

But, now I want to do what I want to do!
I want to see things, go places, experience danger and excitement (with my friends and family of course!)

I want to sneak into a hotel jacuzzi with a bunch of my girlfriends after a cold day at the beach! "ADVENTURE!"

I want to pull over at the drop of a hat to try to pet a cow. "ADVENTURE!"

I want to spy on the secret Scientology center (might just see Tom and Katie there!). "ADVENTURE!"
These pics are from a wonderful day with friends and every time we stopped to do something new and crazy and exciting we would screech at the top of our lungs "ADVENTURE!" (By the way, we were asked to leave the grounds of the Scientology compound by the security guards. I have never seen so many security cameras in my life!)


It was our theme song for the day. 

It is the new theme song for my life!

Pretty is . . . ADVENTURE!

Monday, January 10, 2011


I had a cupcake for breakfast!
I don't have an actual picture of the one I ate because I scarfed it down in a matter of seconds on the way to school.
But it looked pretty close to this one thanks to my handy-dandy pampered chef cupcake decorator. Only mine was white cake and had sprinkles on the top. 
Sprinkles are wonderful.
I know I should eat a healthy breakfast and sometimes I actually do but not today :)

Pretty is . . . a cupcake (morning, noon or night!)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Challenge

I recently agreed to join my friend Becky in a challenge for the new year. 

To memorize 2 verses a month for the whole year.

I told my daughters and husband about this great idea (thinking, hoping they might want to join me). I finished by telling them "Just think, by the end of the year I'll have memorized 12 verses!" 

OK I'm not really that slow, well maybe in math, it was just another blond moment but it had them cracking up :)

Anyway, I just thought that today I would share the two verses I have chosen for January. These are from the Living translation and to me they are beautiful. My heart grows with love each time I read them. 
And yes, I am still reading them off the note cards, it is after all only the 5th of the month and I don't have them memorized yet.

#1 Eph 3:16
That out of His glorious, unlimited resources He will give me the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit.
#2 Eph 3:17
And I pray Christ will be more and more at home in my heart, living with me as I trust in Him. May my roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.

I actually like this whole section of scripture and am going to use the next two verses for Feb. (hope this is not cheating cause I am a definite rule follower!)

Pretty (Beautiful) is . . . God's Word

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Goodbye Comfy Clothes and 2010

I have LOVED having the last two weeks off. 
Really I can't express it enough, I think I loved it more than you can imagine!
No work, no time restraints, no commitments (other than Christmas parties!) and NO uncomfortable, professional, restraining clothes! 

I love waking up, washing my face, throwing on some sweats and just being home ALL day! I think there might have been one or two times in the last few weeks that I didn't even shower for like 2 days, fabulous!

This Christmas break I:

Went through EVERY photo album (24) and pulled out a family Christmas photo for each year to make a Christmas memory journal. I also spent a day or two putting in duplicate photos I had in a shoe box into their correct album. All while watching movies, movies, movies in my sweats or yoga pants! Cold Mountain, You've Got Mail and Family Stone just to name a few.

I cleaned out my linen closet(while wearing sweats).

Cleaned out the pots and pan cabinet(yoga pants).

I put away Christmas all by myself, carefully organizing each of my daughters ornaments by year. Each girl has her own box  holding all of the ornaments they have received from my mother for the last 21 years. (OK, it is starting to sound like I may be a little bit of an organized freak but take my word for it, I am not!)

I was like a cat some days, laying anywhere warm (in my sweats), next to the fireplace or my new favorite place next to the windows in my youngest daughters room. The sunlight pours in, it's the warmest spot in the house during the day!

Tonight we all happened to be home at one time and so I had a little project I wanted to do. I thought for sure they would all think it was as neat an idea as I did (not so much, ha ha).

We each got a different colored piece of paper and wrote down our goals for 2011.
 A list of things small and large.  
We each wrote our lists and then rolled them up, tied them with a ribbon and put them in a jar to be opened next year on New Years :)
(I might need a smaller jar, there are only 4 of us :)

It's the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. 
Whether you made a list or not of your resolutions, determinations, or goals, what your aiming towards, 
I pray that your year would be full of blessing, answered prayer, adventures and love, 
oh and also . . . comfy clothes!

Pretty are . . . comfy clothes!