Friday, July 31, 2009

My Cup Of Tea

My birthday celebration continued through today! How blessed am I?

My buddies Mimi and Susan picked me up and whooshed me away to My Cup Of Tea here in Grass Valley. I love this little tea house! I had not been back here for a few years and very much missed the place. Today was wonderful!

We dined on quiche and chicken salad and I simply had to have a scone too. Because of the heat, we had ice tea instead of a pot of hot tea. But we were so excited to see our glass rims edged in colored sugar! And it was so refreshing too.

I felt a bit sorry for our beautiful server, who also happened to be the owner of the tea house, as every time she came to bring us our bill, we added more on to the tab. And then we just kept giggling and talking.

This was Lemonaid Pie and it was so delicious and light, and so pretty too!

Chocolate mousse, so fluffy!

Melissa (Mimi) is a very gifted paper artist. I used to think she "just" scrapbooked but she can do anything, and she does it all so well! She makes the most beautiful cards and they are truly lovely gifts by themselves.

Susan is making my birthday gift. She is talented in so many areas, from quilting to gardening to jewelry making and more. She will not give me a hint as to what the gift will be. However she has intrigued me, or terrified me, with the command that I must "come alone" when the gift is ready to be picked up. This will definitely be interesting I fear!

But my day with my girlfriends was a girly blessing and one I do not take for granted. I am blessed with good friends who love me.

Mimi and Susan, thank you both for loving me and taking me to tea.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, actually it was yesterday, but I am just getting the pictures up.

Yes. It was my birthday and I am 42 years old.

The day began much too early with Ahnalin singing Happy Birthday to me at about 6:00AM. I thanked her and then encouraged her (that is the right word, right?) to go back to sleep for another 6 hours or so. Fat chance that! Yup! Didn't happen. Don took her upstairs for some breakfast to get me a few more minutes of sleep but I still was treated to multiple choruses of said song before 7:30AM. So, I was up.

I logged on to Facebook to read lots of Birthday wishes and smiled because I love all my friends. Ok, if you have to be up way too early on your birthday, you should at least be smiling, right?
Then I headed upstairs to find some lovely birthday cards from my family.

Both of my beautiful daughters made me cards. Ahnalin drew me a picture with a rainbow and lots of happy sunflowers. Thank you precious girl!
And India made me a card with a poem inside that made me cry in a good way. She put a picture of a pink Singer Featherweight sewing machine on the front and wrote about how she wished she could buy me one. So sweet!

Both my hubby and my inlaws chose cards with computer chips inside to verbally assault me with my age as soon as I opened the cards. Funny. Haha.
But Don had chocolate for me and my inlaws had turquoise earrings for me so all is forgiven. Yes. I am learning to become magnanimous in my advancing years. Cheers.

After several false starts, a few screaming fits from Ahnalin, eighty gajillion phone calls, and a fill-up of gas, we were ready leave town and head to Truckee to meet my parents at Panda Express for lunch. I had forgotten about the road construction on 80 through the pass, so it took us quite a bit longer to get there. In addition, we drove right into a thunderstorm. We thought it would at least be warm since it has been so hot lately, but it was cold! Weird!

Anyway, we got there an hour late and finally got our lunch. We had planned to go to a park after lunch to let Ahnalin run, and to have cake. But the rain was gushing from the sky so my mom asked the manager of the Panda Express, Juan (Is that a Chinese name that I am unfamiliar with?????), if we could have our little birthday party on their patio. He obliged, so my mom moved the chairs under the overhang. The tables were bolted to the ground out in the open so we just sat in the chairs. Did I mention it was cold? It was getting pretty funny at this point!

Knowing my extreme love of all things chocolate, my mom had brought a chocolate fudge cake with pink and green polka dots. Yummy!

Then I got to open my gifts from them.

I got a cozy pink bathrobe.

I LOVE these shoes! They were from my Mommy and Daddy too. Good job picking!

Then India felt the need to take a few pictures to make me feel really lovely. Thanks Dida. Just wait until you are famous and I hand embarrassing picture over to Star magazine! Your time is coming girlfriend!

Yes. She took this one with the camera upside down intentionally.

After lunch, we got back in our respective cars and headed for home. Truckee is about halfway between our home and theirs so it works well.

The rest of the day was just normal. Ahnalin is in a difficult place with her PTSD and attachment stuff, so it was challenging. But Don took her to her swimming lesson so I could have some quiet time. Thanks Bun!

And I just had to post a pic of my cute hubby. He wore a pink shirt today because it is my favorite color. What a rockin' hubby I have!

So, that was my birthday. We are entering a busy few months of birthdays and anniversaries. My mom's is next, followed closely by Ahnalin and Don. I had better take a big breath to prepare for them all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just a little bit of Pink Baby Goodness

I know I have not posted much sewing lately. My beloved Janome Memory Craft 9700 has been at the spa for almost a month waiting for a part so it can be repaired and then come back home. I am borrowing my mom's machine, also a Janome, but with only a few stitches.

But I managed to finish a little baby outfit for my dear friend Lyndsey's baby Ava Noelle. Melissa and I get to go visit next Monday and I am hoping to hold the little precious.

I made her a little fall cozy outfit of leggings and a lap shoulder dress. I can barely part with it because I love it so much. Hm......maybe we should adopt again so I can cuddle my own baby........uh....not at this time... Maybe someday.

I can't wait to see this on little Ava!

No Doubt concert with my girl and my besties

Me and my buddy Melissa. Yeah. I went to a rock concert with no make-up on and wearing a "Wicked" t-shirt. I am pretty comfortable with being uncool.

Melissa's daughter Katie and my India. Let's just say that buying these tickets earned me a few "cool" points even without the make-up.

Yeah, yeah. I am super late in posting this. I have been trying to post the incredible pics that India's friend Katie took of the concert but I am pathetically bad at it. So, just believe me when I say that she took some great pictures!

But last Friday night my dear friend Melissa and I treated our teenage daughters to the No Doubt concert at Sleep Train Amphitheater. The concert was opened by a Swedish band called "The Sound" and then "Paramore" played. The Sound was not impressive. They were very free in their use of foul language which I felt was unnecessary. The girls loved Paramore and they put on a good show. But I was positively star struck by No Doubt. They were INCREDIBLE! I pretty much screamed, sang and danced the whole concert. Yeah, me, the 41 (at that time) year old mom who actually had smocking in her purse, behaved like a teenager. However, I was pretty shamed by the lovely Gwen Stefani. That woman will be 40 this year and she is in such good shape that she can sing while jumping through an entire song. Not just little bouncing, but out right jumping! Yikes! And I know she was actually singing, because she dropped her microphone twice and her voice dropped out.
We sat on the lawn, which was the bargain of the century. The tickets, which I had purchased 3 weeks before the concert, were only $15.00!!! Imax movies are more than that! It was such a deal! However, I heard that the tickets sold out later that day, so we just made it.
The concert was jammed and I have never been in the midst of so many people in my life! There were reportedly 18,500 ticket holders there. That does not even account for the gazillions of vendors, for service people and event staff. But the sound was amazing! Really good! And the special effects were pretty mind boggling.

I have to admit that I did not get crazy and start dancing until No Doubt started their show. So, this was our view for the first two hours of the show!

It was great. We had fun. And that is the end of this story!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Friday!

And I am a happy girl!

Tonight I have a date with my precious India. We are going to rock out with "No Doubt" and "Paramour" at the Sleep Train Amphitheater! WAAAAHOOOOOO!!!!
We are going with our besties, Melissa and Katie and enjoying lots of rockin' goodness!

But the other big news is that my incredible, handsome, amazing, and gifted Hot Rockin' Hubby figured out how to fix my pattern piece! Did I already mention that I love this man so much? Yeah, and he is taking Ahnalin on a date tonight to the park and donuts while I get to rock out with India. Yep! That man rocks! testers have the pattern and I will be posting pics of their creations soon! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Week on the Lake, Vampires and Other Adventures

We arrived home yesterday!

Last Sunday, after working like crazy to get the first draft of the pattern out to testers, the girls and I loaded into my parent's car, along with our pillows, suitcases, I-pods, markers, coloring books and flip-flops. Yes, I took some smocking to do, but did not get much done. I had planned on updating my blog, Facebook and email, but didn't want to battle dial-up on a borrowed computer, so I just didn't.

Don stayed home, and frankly, I think he was looking forward to a week of quiet so he could work on his new CD. He got a lot done and it sounds great, but he was ready for his noisy family to come home yesterday.

So, last Sunday night, we stuffed ourselves into the car and left Grass Valley to head up to Ashland, where we spent the night with my mom's brother and sis-in-love. We got into Ashland at just after midnight and crashed into bed. The next morning, we hugged quick goodbyes and headed out for coffee on our way to Port Angeles, WA.

Now I must explain a few things here....

My parents are amazing travelers. They climb into the car and do not stop until they reach their destination. They may slow down to hit a restroom, switch drivers, or look for whatever is the "Objet de désir" of the trip. However, traveling is very different with me........and the girls, in the car. I do believe we should rename our trip "The Great Restroom Tour of the Western States". Yes. We would get loaded in, carseat and all, drive for a few miles, and then one of us would have to go again. It does not matter that we all went just a few miles back. There are bathrooms to see and we do not want them to feel unappreciated! Girls of the tiny blatter unite!
So, what should have been an eight hour drive, became a 12 hour drive. But hey! We got there in the same 24 hour day! Party on!

This trip was a dream of my mother's and her cousin Darlene for many years. My girls had never met their Washington cousins and, since so many would be graduating high school this coming year, time was getting away from us. So, Darlene and Jim graciously invited us to visit their cozy house on Lake Sutherland and get to know all the cousins.

Cousins Nikita and Madelyn were incredible with Ahnalin, teaching her to swim and fish and never letting on if they were bugged by the constant demands of an inquisitive four-year-old.

Me, wearing the "Lucy's Cloche" hat I tested for Dawn. More on this later. Don't I look cute?

India looked especially "Alice" so I had to take some pics. She loves "Alice in Wonderland".
My cousin Brent gave us a tour of the lake on his boat.

Like so many teenaged girls, India loves the "Twilight" book series. The series happens to be set in Port Angeles as well as the teeny town of Forks. So a tour of the "Twilight Sites" was included in our adventure. Now I must say, and I am sure there will be gasps, but I am not a lover of the "Twilight" books or the movie. Just not my thing...not enough colorful fabric or cheerful music I suppose. However, India was thrilled to see the sights.

Edward's truck

Darlene bought the girls vampire teeth, and then we were given some more at "Sully's Burgers" after we ordered the "Bella Burger".

India glamour posing on Chief Swan's police cruiser at the Forks police station.

The girls outside of the "Cullen House" which was actually a super stinkin' cute bed and breakfast in Forks.
On Thursday, everyone came out to the lake house for dinner, boating and pictures. I saw some cousins I had not seen in probably 25 years, as well as some I had never met.

Darlene, with brothers and sisses-in-love and my parents.

All the kiddos!

Jeremy, India, and Brent will all turn 18 this year. They had never met before this trip!

Jeff, Wendy, me and my cousin Brent

Darlene and my mom on the dock of the lake house
Twins, separated at birth!
They talk the same (FAST!), they drive the same (ALSO FAST!), they shop the same (amazingly frugal and creative) and they both take the world by storm. They are unstoppable!

Yes, that would be my mom, the fabulous Barbara Jean waterskiing on Jeff's boat.

After all the fun of the week on Lake Sutherland, we packed up and headed back to Ashland on Saturday. Yes, we stopped at more restrooms, as well as several discount and tech stores. My Daddy was searching for a certain hard drive for his computer. But we did make it to Eugene in time for dinner at my all time favorite restaurant, Mazzi's. I forgot to take pics! What was wrong with me??? Then we continued to Ashland, where we stayed again with my aunt and uncle.

On Sunday, we went to Lithia park and played on the playground and in the creek.

We love the browsing the shops in town and Ahnalin got to pick out some little babies for her dollhouse because she had done such a good job in waking up dry all week! Yippee!!
Later in the afternoon, we had a bar-b-q at the little park near Trevor and Simone's house. I got to hold new baby Gabe too!

Later that night, Cameron let Ahnalin pet his horses but the pics did not turn out. Sad, because they were so cute.

Then yesterday morning, Garin, Sandra and the kids came over to see us before we left for home. Ahnalin wanted them all on the trampoline, but Cole and India were too cool to jump, I think.

This whole trip was incredible and so very fun. But there was a surprise blessing! Remember when I wrote about my grandmother's old sewing machine? Well, as it turns out, we did not sell it!!! I thought we did, but my aunt and uncle have had it in their garage for years!!!!! So when Don and I get a house again, we are going to bring it home! WOOHOO!!!!! I could not believe it was there all along, waiting for me. Tears of joy!

After that discovery, we loaded up the car and headed home to Grass Valley. We stopped in Corning and loaded up on olives at the Olive Pit. YUMMY!

And we actually arrived home in time for Ahnalin to start swim lessons. YAY! She was a champ. We picked up Kevin because India was just dying to see him.... oh....young love...

So, back to work. I will post some pics of bloomer skirt testers this week! YIPPEEEE!!!!