The busy life of a full time employee, student, mom and wife

Monday, April 16, 2012

Vacation countown

In 21 days, Brandon and I will be on a plane, jetting across the Pacific ocean to the Hawaiian island of Maui to celebrate our third year of marriage. Not that I'm counting or anything... who am I kidding, I am literally counting down the days. Do you have kids? Then you understand. I love my kids more than life itself. I would do anything for them, I would go hungry so they could eat, I would go cold so they would be warm, any need they may have, I'm there to fulfill. But sometimes, even to my surprise, I remember that I'm still a human with....get own needs too. I know, crazy right? One of those needs is to get the hell out of town sometimes. I need occasional breaks from life to stay sane. I haven't had one of those breaks in far too long, so we decided this year that we're taking a vacation. A kid free vacation. When I actually speak logistics about being away from my kids for 6 days my anxiety sky rockets. But then I remember where we're going. I daydream of peaceful meals without battles, of naps... taken by me! I daydream of beautiful crystal blue waters on the beach right outside our vacation condo. I think about the fact that we can do what we want, when we want, for as long as we want. We aren't working on the whims of a bored baby, or to avoid the meltdown of a sleepy toddler. No, we will be doing nothing other than whatever the hell we want. And I remember that my kids will be in the very loving and capable hands of wolves my sister, and I know that they'll be just fine.

The condos we're staying in

We're staying just outside of Lahaina at a beachfront resort. We decided since we don't vacation often and its for our anniversary to go all out and actually booked a beach front room. We plan to embarrass ourselves at some surf lessons, hopefully get lost on the road to Hana, and over indulge at a Luau. Other than that we're keeping our schedule open. I plan to drift. Maybe I'll drink a bottle of wine and pass out fall asleep on the beach. Or maybe we'll go snorkeling. Or maybe we'll whale watch. Or maybe we'll just cruise and walk around Lahaina. I don't know what we do and honestly I don't care. As long as I'm in paradise with my husband, I'm happy. 21 more days.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Shannon v.s diaper cake

Diaper cakes are my favorite things to make for people for baby shower gifts. They're not only functional, but they're pretty dang cute. If you have a baby shower you can pretty much guarantee im gunna bring you a diaper cake. I made one for my own baby shower to serve as the center piece, and now apparently i've become the resident diaper cake centerpiece maker in the family. My sister is throwing a baby shower for her sister-in-law and guess who gets to make the centerpiece? This girl! I really don't mind, I enjoy making them.  I'm a busy person though, so my only time I get to really focus and get something done right is after the boys are in bed. So that means I didn't get started on my diaper cake until 9pm last night. And after 9pm isn't really creative juices flowing prime time for me. But it had to get done either way so I grabbed my box of crafty goodies, plugged in my hot glue gun, poured a glass of wine and got started.

Bows. They're so cute and festive, until you can't figure out what to do with them.

Zebra bow in the middle? No....

Pink bow in the middle? Yeah... yeah thats better.
Zebra on bottom with a bow behind? No... too may bows.

No bow beind the zebra? No... too plain.
And as you can see by the empty spool to the left, I have now run out of pink ribbon.

Double pink ribbon on bottom? Yeah... yeah I like that.

But I cut the pink ribbon for a bow and its now too short to wrap around, so I improvise! glue it together with a patch!
Hot glue oops. Dont drink and craft.  

You can also see I attempted to put some zebra bows there on the middle teir. A decision I regretted pretty shortly after doing it. It made the middle teir too heavy and the bottom didn't really match after that. It was lopsided with the heavy flowers on top, heavy bows in the middle then the one, lonesome zebra on the bottom. So I decided I had to do something to beef up the bottom tier.  

So I add gems? Nope. Dont like that at all.
Take the bows from the middle and put them on the bottom? Nope, don't like the either.
I decide i'm trying to get too fancy. I need to just keep it simple. So the zebra bows and the gems get the boot and this is what remains.
The finished product. 
It IS pretty simple, but I think with the pattern of the zebra stripe, the flowers and the bright pink it's busy enough to hold its own. If it was just solid colors it would be too plain but the patterns livens it up.
In the two hour battle of Shannon v.s diaper cake, I think Shannon won. I went to bed tired, drained of any and all creativity and not ready to wake up in 5 hours, but victorious non the less.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I know, I know... I'm a few days late on the Easter post. But hey, I'm busy! Cut me some slack!

Our easter was really good. Brandon and I both come from divorced families so we have ten million places to go come holiday time. We spent Saturday with Brandons family, first an Easter egg hunt at his Nana's house then dinner with his mom.

Me and my Nono waiting to easter egg hunt on Saturday

Anthony and his dinosaur

Don't mind the candy on his face

Family photo
 Sunday we spent with my family, an Easter egg hunt at my Grandma's then dinner at home. This was the first year I got the pleasure to make our own Easter dinner. It was a lot of work, I spent a majority of my day in the kitchen but it was a lot of fun. This is the second holiday dinner i've gotten to do (I did Christmas this past year) and I think I love making holiday dinners. I don't have a whole lot to really explain, so i'll just share pictures. :)

Noey wants to hunt for eggs too!
Anthony's an egg huntin' fool
My Grandma with all her great-grandbabies. It's a good thing I had boys. Girls severely outnumber them.
For my Easter dinner I made a ham (duh) cheddar bacon deviled eggs, which were SO incredibly good, cream cheese mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and asparagus. Definitely not the most health concious menu, but a delicious one none the less.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Play ball!

I love baseball. I mean I love baseball. I love other sports too, but not the way I love baseball. Luckily, the love of my life also loves baseball, which means come baseball season, we go to as many Padre games as possible.  Back in our no kids days we went to as many as 13 games in a single season. Yesterday was opening day at Petco Park, so Brandon and I left work early and made the trip down to take part in the festivities.

Swieners, beer and baseball. Life is good. 

There was a block party outside the staduim with a beer garden and more food trucks than anyone would know what to do with. The beer garden was a tad pathetic, three different beer vendors.... that was it. Three? Really? But we soldiered through and made due with what we had available. There is a vendor that we discovered around Christmas time called Swieners. It's heaven. They take a baguette and warm it up, then hollow it out basically, scrape bubbly melty cheese off of a giant cheese wheel into the roll then stuff a spicy bratwurst in there. It's cheesy, bratwrusty heaven in my mouth.

I love the pagentry of opening day. Everything is so monumental and dramatic. The first pitch of the season! First out of the season! First hit of the season! Unfortunately the Padres fell victim to the nasty Dodgers, not getting a great start. (First loss of the season!) But we had fun either way. Our seats this year around a man with dreads and a quite clever sense of humor was 100x better than our seats last year, with some college kids in front of us too drunk to even sit up right. With one girl so incredibly drunk that she proceeded to throw up in the walk way. Charming.

When we got to our seats there was an envelope with Brandons name written on it taped to his seat. Inside there was a note saying we had been chosen to receive a free prize! I assume it was because we bought our tickets the day they went on sale. My guess was the first xxxxx number of customers to buy tickets got this prize. It was just a license plate holder haha but it was cool to feel special for a minute!

National Anthem
Sometime in the near future I we'll take Anthony down, let him experience a big league game. He hasn't been old enough before but I think he might enjoy it now. I hope at least, because he's going to play little league whether he likes it or not. Wait.. what?? I mean... He'll love it :) If he's anything like his parents,  he'll love it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Relay For Life

When I was a sophomore in high school my older brother was diagnosed with cancer, a common, easily defeated form we were told.  When his treatments weren't working and the cancer was running rampant in his body, they re-tested. We were wrong, they told us, its actually a very rare form, which is why we didn't initially recognize it. By this time, it was too far advanced. After about a year, my brother lost his battle with cancer. He was 24 years old.

My handsome brother on the left

Initially I didn't handle it well, I don't know what 16 year old would. But in my older years I've grown into my grieving. It takes a different form now, in the form of a fight. My brother may not be fighting anymore, but I can fight for him. I have chosen to fight so his battle wasn't in vein, and wont be forgotten. I have chosen to embrace the community that my family was involuntarily shoved into.

About a year and a half ago I decided to go back to school. I want to make fighting against cancer into my career. I am currently in my sophomore year of college, in pursuit of my bachelors degree in Public Administration with a minor in Non-Profit Management. I hope to work for an organization like American Cancer Society, working in fundraising and event planning to help fund the fight. It's definitely not easy working and going to school full time all with two kids and a husband at home, but I make it work. I even sleep a few hours. It's something that I feel very passionate about and feel very strongly is what I'm supposed to be doing, so I wont be giving it up any time soon.

Lastly I've taken up my fight by volunteering. Five years ago I got an email through work about a volunteer opportunity with the American Cancer Society. It was working a registration booth at an event called the Relay for Life. I thought it sounded interesting and signed up. What I saw at that first relay in 2007 amazed me. I felt such a sense of community. It was therapeutic. People weren't defeated by their diagnos', they were proud of their fights. People laughed, cried, hugged, and walked. And walked some more. It was happy, it was sad, but most importantly it was supportive. Everyone understood. I decided at that point that I needed to take part in this event. And have every year since then. (except for 2009, because my wedding was a few short weeks after the Relay and I was a TAD busy).

This year is going to mark my 5th year being a part of Relay. One as a volunteer and four as a participant. It's therapy for me. Every year I get to take a day out to remember my brother. To let him know I haven't forgotten what he went through and let him know I'm continuing his fight for him.

If you wish to support my walk this year, just let me know and I will send you the link to my page. I don't want to post it because I don't want this post to be taken as a solicitation for donations.