Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Random Phone Photos

Going through my phone photos last night made me miss taking those quick, spontaneous photos vs. lugging out my gigantic, professional camera - although the quality is not even comparable even in the least bit. But, sometimes it's nice to just quickly point and shoot.

Crazy Jake

What a beauty!

Sneaking a close-up picture of Matsui while at the commercial

Brady with the commercial crew and Matsui

such a sweet moment of Lily and Brady watching the water and light show at Chandler Mall

The Forrest wedding money tree I made

This is the inspiration for Charlie's first birthday. Let's see if I can pull off anything even close. Check out this post and thank you to style for this photo...even if it is a picture from my phone in which I took a picture of the computer screen.

p.s....does anyone want to try to make a cake like this for me? I'd be ever so grateful!

Monday, March 28, 2011


That's us.
Instead of trying to catch up with millions of posts...this is what we've been up to.

1. Spring Break - much to Brady's dismay, we did NOT go anywhere. He complained for the entire week that he was going to be the ONLY person in his class that did not go on a trip. Somehow, I seriously doubt that. He did get to hang out with his cousins during the day and have a sleepover at Nanny and Poppy's. Even though he "staycationed it," - he had a blast!

2. Team Mom duties are overwhelming me. I have the kind of personality that when a "general" email or comment is made to a group of people, I always think it is being made directly to me. You know what I mean. For example, if someone says we need a volunteer for blah, blah, blah...I hear, "Dawn, you must volunteer for blah, blah, blah." So, when the coach asked for a team mom and no one volunteered...I couldn't ignore the request any longer. I stepped up. And I now know, Team Mom is hard. It's not just creating a sign up's emails, phone calls, snack sign ups, t-shirt pickups, sponsor coordinator, money collector, hat embroidery drop off and pick up, decision maker, fundraiser promoter, opening day communicator, and fundraiser basket creator. It's awful. It's been the most expensive season of little league for us so far. It's not fun to front money and then run around trying to collect from the rest of the parents. It makes me feel good knowing that all of the other seasons (that I wasn't team mom) I was quick to pay for all the extras. Don't people know I don't have all this extra money sitting around to pay for their kids' little league stuff? It's not fun even in the least bit to constantly ask people for money. Believe me. p.s...I just re-read this paragraph and it's nasty...but, I'm keeping it.

3. Robin's Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Party/Spa Day - Robin wanted to skip the shower and bachelorette and instead we had a girls spa day with just a few of us. It was....FABULOUS! We enjoyed a spa treatment and then partied the night away at the Valley Ho. Watching everyone come out of the spa after their treatment was priceless. Our room was unbelievable. We drank, laughed, ate, and drank some more.

4. Gunnar's Birthday Party - One of Bryan's oldest friends recently moved to South Carolina. They were back in town for a vacation and had their son's 3rd birthday party while they were here. It's always so nice to see such good friends.

5. The TomKat Studio - I'm a follower of the TomKat Studio. Are you? She posts the most amazing party ideas and examples from other blogs. She started her blog back in December of 2008 and it her party blog literally just took off. She sells some party decor and invitations on Etsy. She was the guest speaker at the Cornerstone church Working Women group...and even though I don't go to that church, I made a trip with my friend Julie to listen.

6. Farm League practice and scrimmage. Yep, loads of practice for Brady.

7. Wrapping up of spring training. This year, the Hottie worked a load of spring training games since the Dbacks and Rockies now spring train in Scottsdale. Nice extra money for the Hottie and lots of mommy/cutie time. Nice....but, exhausting. For both of us!

8. Little League opening day - this was the first year we participated in opening day for Brady's little league. They announce (all 43) teams. There were silent auctions, raffles, bouncy houses, baseball events, popcorn, food, was actually pretty nice.

9. Robin and Aaron's wedding.  What a fantastic wedding. I was the wedding organizer. Clipboard and pen...and lots of directions...right up my alley. Once my duties were over, I partied the night away. Drinking and lots and lots and lots of dancing. I'm pretty sure I didn't leave the dance floor. Even the Hottie danced. And he doesn't dance. There was a photo booth...and I'm pretty sure the Hottie has the record for the most pictures taken of the night. The ceremony was so beautiful and intimate. Our cousin, George (AKA Father George) was the "minister" and he married the two of them. It was a perfect, home-y, comfortable, fun, and loving celebration. Lincoln was so stinkin' cute on the dance floor.

10. Taxes. We had our taxes done. Whew. We were dreading it. And, it was actually a nice surprise vs. a terrible bill to be paid. Thank goodness!

11. New computer. We've got a new family member. We got a Mac. A new computer was a long time coming (almost as long as the TV that we still need). But, the TV still works and the computer...well, it didn't. So, the computer won out. It was actually the Hottie's idea. I even tried to encourage the purchase of a TV. But...the good ole Hottie. His vote was for a new computer. So, he won. Or I did. I guess it depends on how you look at it :)

12. Charlotte is mobile. She's a sprint crawler. She moves pretty quick. She's pulling herself up on all of the furniture and each morning we find her standing in her crib yelling for someone to come and save her. She's beginning to "walk" with her walker...and her cute pudgy thighs are dang adorable! She went in for her 9 month (but, really she was 10 months) appointment and she weighed 19 pounds 7 ounces (50%) and she was 27.5 inches long (almost 50%). Her head circumference...well, it was 90%. Holy cow!!!

Aunt Eileen at the Valley Ho


The girls at the Valley Ho...after our treatments

Our fundraiser "money tree" for Brady's Farm Little League

Charlie and Lil with Nanny hair 
Grandma and Dad dancing at Robin and Aaron's wedding

Rainie and Michael

Marty and Jamie

Bart and Me...the wedding organizer and her assistant :)

Versace during his toast

The bride and groom with Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby...52 years!
13. Lots and Lots of ear infections, pneumonia, and the flu. Lily and Charlie...passing it back and forth and back and forth. Lots of doctor visits...and money! Poor guys. Lily was so sick for about 2 weeks...and Charlie is now finishing her last (hopefully) dose of antibiotics.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Reminiscing Spring Break

 A few nights ago, long, long after the cuties had fallen asleep, the hottie and I sat around watching TV. The weather could literally not have been more beautiful. The windows and doors were open and in blew a "chilly" Arizona breeze. The clock struck 11pm and in the distance we heard the sounds of adolescence.

We listened.

We heard our teenager neighbors out running around laughing, giddily screaming, and truly just enjoying their spring break. They were loud. But, I didn't care. They were enjoying their teen years like they should - carefree and happy.

We reminisced.

No bills. No responsibilities. No work. No children. A time of selfishness. ACCEPTABLE selfishness. All you had to care about was YOU. Nothing else. Your biggest worry was studying for a test...or picking out an outfit for a date. A time when you could REALLY enjoy spring break. You could stay up all night and sleep until 2pm and it didn't matter. Of course, there was always lots of drama (especially for teen girls) but, even though it didn't feel like was SOOO not a big deal. Those days were awesome. SO awesome. It really is too bad you don't know just how awesome they are until later.

Now, don't get me wrong...I don't want to do those years over. It was just so nice to sneakily listen to our teen neighbors as they were enjoying their spring break....and be just a teensy-bit jealous.

But, later as I kissed the cuties goodnight (because I'm the psycho mom that checks on them multiple times before bed) I thought how I wouldn't trade this for anything. Not even a true, carefree, exciting, spring break do over.

Senior Prom 1997

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty's Breakfast

I did it.  
I actually made it awake early...super early enough to prepare a hot breakfast for the cuties. Rainbow pancakes. This was really just pancakes with rainbow sprinkles. But...they were a hit. They loved them. I guess how couldn't was basically sugar on a plate.

I also tinted the milk.
Lily loved it. Brady couldn't do it. It was a mental thing. Green milk...he just couldn't. It really tasted no different. I even tinted Charlotte's formula. She was oblivious.

Charlotte even pigged out on pancakes. She loves her food and is getting quite good at picking up her food and feeding herself. Charlotte and her food. They're tight.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

I'm Irish.
Word on the street is my Nan was 100% Irish.
So...that makes my mom 50%.
And, me 25%.
And, the cuties 1/8.
I always think of my Nan on St. Patty's Day.
On other days, too.
But, especially on St. Patty's Day.
I won't be bar hopping.
Or indulging in any Guinness.
(no sitter)
But, I will celebrate by wearing green.
That is if I actually get dressed.
I'll be working from home.
And, that typically means I shower and throw on comfy clothes.
I will be making a special breakfast for the Cuties.
(they normally have cold cereal)
Don't feel bad for them.
We love cereal around here.
Could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
But, tomorrow - the Cuties will celebrate St. Patty's Day with rainbow pancakes.
And of course, green milk.
I'll be waking up extra early.
SUPER early.
It will be worth it.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

1st Grade Music Performance

Gilbert Public Schools puts on a 1st Grade Music Performance and on March 8th...Sonoma Ranch had their turn. Oh boy - Brady has been practicing and practicing and practicing for the last several months. Each 1st grader even had the chance to step up to the microphone and read 1-2 lines of a poem. It was very cute.

But, cute.
Exactly perfect!

The best part of the night was seeing all of the kids all dressed up in their "Sunday best" as was requested by their music teacher. If they only knew that our Sunday best is comfy clothes!! Brady wore his Christmas outfit with a non-Christmas-y sweater that I recently purchased. And of course, he had cool hair. All the girls were all dressed up in frilly Easter-like dresses. So cute!

My parents, Ash and the kids, and Cori and Aidyn came to support Brady. Oh was he so excited.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 Years

Today we celebrate 10 years.
The Hottie and Me.
10 Years of marital bliss.
We were married on a Friday evening.
We partied late into the night.
Best wedding ever.
But of course, I'm biased.
In some ways it seems like forever ago.
And, in other ways it seems like yesterday.
We were so young.
I still feel so young.
I'm not that young.

Dear Bryan,

Wow. 10 years...where have they gone?

I can still remember when we first met 12 years ago. Instant connection. Just about as close as you can get to love at first sight. That certainly says a lot...since you didn't think too much of me before we met :)

And we are, celebrating our 10 year anniversary. 10 years ago, I was a 22 year old girl prepping for her nuptials with 6 of my bridesmaids and my mom at the salon. We snacked on bagels and drank mimosas. We then headed back to the hotel where we dressed, took pictures, and then party bussed it to the church for the wedding. What a day that was. So quick does it pass. All that planning for a whirlwind of a day. But...the memories. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

And today, 10 years and 3 kids later - we have built ourselves quite a family. You have shown me friendship, companionship, and love like I have never known. You have given our kids the most amazing, fun, and loving dad. And throughout it all - we've only grown closer, stronger, and more in love.

I have been lucky enough to spend the last 10 years with you - my husband and my very best friend.

Happy 10 year anniversary, Babe! I love you!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mom and Photographer...It's HARD!

I SOOOO don't think I can do a photo shoot with my own kids. It's rough being the mom AND the photographer. At least I've got one great model. He listens, smiles...and never complains. I think he likes it!

Lily on the other hand...does absolutely ZERO listening.

And, Charlotte...well - she just goes along for the ride. If one turns out's a miracle. Usually it's either great of Charlotte and not so great of the other two. Or vice-versa. See below.

But, for some reason - THIS one is my favorite. Totally my kids.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Introducing Our Newest Family Member...

Rylee Campbell.

Brady got the opportunity to adopt a critter at school. The critter options were 1) guppy, 2) pill bug (AKA rolly polly or potato bug), 3) snail, or 4) millipede. We were instructed to send a note to the teacher giving permission to adopt a critter. Brady really, really, really wanted a guppy (thank goodness!) our note went something like this:

Dear Mrs. Nguyen,
Brady is allowed to adopt a critter. He would prefer a guppy, but any of the critters will do.
Thank you!

I believe pretty much everyone in class was given the okay to adopt a critter. Thankfully, there was enough for all. So...the teacher held a lottery to select the new "parents." There were 8 guppies...Brady we got one.

Brady had already decided if his guppy was a girl - it would be named Rylee. And, if he got a boy - it would be named Jake. Brady told us that his guppy is a girl because it has a black spot. I have no idea if this is even true or if this is something the kids made up in class....but, needless to say - we are calling our guppy Rylee. I'm embarrassed to say I don't even know if guppies have a they?

We were told to bring in a plastic container so that the critter could come home. So yesterday, Brady came home with a guppy inside a plastic IKEA container that we had sent to school that morning. Bryan has since moved the guppy over to a small dollar store glass bowl that we had hidden in the cabinet.

Since the "adoption," we now realize that it is a forever adoption. I'm not sure that I really understood that part. I guess I thought it was temporary...kind of like a class pet that rotates. But, it's not. So, Rylee has joined us for the long haul.

We've been preparing Brady that guppies don't often live for that long...just in case. I mean...he did bring home a small sunflower plant a few weeks back and I've already killed it off. I think I over watered it. Seriously.

Whew...I am very thankful we ended up with a guppy. Although, Brady thinks it is pretty cool that the students that were selected for the snails and pill bugs were able to take home several of each. 

I'm now off to to care for a guppy.