Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Walk with Papa Dan

My dad took Danny and Stone on a walk the other night, and Deborah and I joined. Stone was mostly into my Dad's phone. He wouldn't let it go. My dad just completed his 4th marathon a couple weeks ago!
Below: Stone leading the way with cell phone in hand.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve in the West Texas Town of El Paso

Finally, a post! Two Flashback Fridays in a row is not suitable. We are on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in El Paso, LOVING all the food and family. Every Christmas Eve, Cliff's mom's side has a party. When we're in town, we're there. Stone was the g├╝ero (white boy--which by the way, I just learned how to spell after years of living on the border). He is such a ham. One of Cliff's uncles kept taking pictures, and he'd run over to see himself in the camera after, as if he was giving his stamp of approval (you know how we all do that when we take pictures).

Below: My awesome in-laws. Seriously, I hear the worst stories about in-laws, and I couldn't have it any better. Kevin (Cliff's dad) thinks I'm loud, but tell me something I don't already know. :) They really are so wonderful.

Below: Grandpa Espinoza (Cliff's grandpa) with Stone.

Flashback Friday: "Make my day..."

Lately, Stone has quite the little temper. I blame it on his Latino side (you hear about the stereotypical Latin tempers), but this week, my dad confirmed I had a temper and dug my toe repeatedly, as fast as I could, into the floor. Cliff's parents have said he did not have a temper when he was little. Instead, he took punishment like a big, grown man.

One day, Clifford did something he was not supposed to. His dad warned him of a spanking, and he said, "Go ahead. Make my day." And so, he got one. He didn't let a single tear fall until he got to his room. Though Stone has a similar temper from my toddler days, I'm pretty sure he will be just as fiesty and witty as his dad.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flashback Friday: Marshmallows

Stone recently fell in love with the spongy confection we know as a marshmallow. While he could barely catch a breath between handfuls to the mouth, Cliff nonchalantly gagged to himself in the background. Let me tell you why...

Years ago, Cliff was at his family's ranch roasting marshmallows. After indulging in a few too many, it all came right back up. The way Cliff explains the process (regurgitating marshmallows), is quite disgusting, actually. Because of the consistency, it does not simply come right up and out. Rather, Cliff had to manually pull the white spongy substance out--it does not separate. And it kept coming and coming. Cliff has a strong stomach most of the time, but when we pass by them at the grocery store, he seriously gags. I'm not exaggerating, in case you were wondering. Did you know that Americans eat about 90 million pounds of marshmallows a year? Needless to say, my mom made Cliff his own dish of yams for Thanksgiving with no marshmallows.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

Last night we got a babysitter and headed to an Ugly Sweater Holiday Party (thank you Steve and Marissa for hosting!). Cliff is actually proud of his sweater, and every winter that rolls around, he gets really excited and pulls it out to wear, and then sees my fake smile of approval, and it goes back in the box. This year he got to sport it! And, after receiving several compliments, he says it can now really become part of his wardrobe. As you will see, his sweater hosts a built in, sweet leather vest.

I went out looking for an ugly sweater, found one, and thought it was pretty ugly until I saw some of the heinous apparel at the party. I will admit that my oversized 1980-something sweater was COMFY!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Head Stops Spinning

WOW, what an incredibly busy two weeks here! I returned Wednesday from a business trip to North and South Carolina, and Cliff just finished his last final today! Leading up to my trip, I put many, many hours into preparation. And good ole' Cliff juggled single parenting duties while studying for finals while I was gone. Though I came back to a 17 month old, monstrous monkey that now climbs and jumps on top of everything, Cliff did a fantastic job!! And thank you Julie and Kristi for helping while Cliff took a couple finals! This was the first time away from both hubby AND baby. Though a little lonely, I had fantastic co-workers on the trip, and we may have indulged in a PF Changs Great Wall of Chocolate (hello Allison and Becky!) among other things (can you say Dean and Delucas brownies?).

Coming home, my flight was delayed (thankfully not canceled) in Houston. It snowed, and apparently, the city/airport is not equipped to deal with such weather. After sitting in the Houston airport for 7 hours (after an hour on the runway waiting to de-plane AND 2 hours on the Asheville runway prior to take off), I made it home around 3am. I wish that was the worse part, but Cliff witnessed a fatal accident on the way to the airport. He and Stone were literally a second away from being involved. After picking me up, Cliff was asked to report to the police station for a statement, so by the time all was said and done, it was 4 am. Something like that is not easy to shake (still trying to two days later). Events like this really put things in perspective and help us to count our many blessings. WOW.

Well, our heads have stopped least for a few days.

Here are some shots Cliff got of Stone while I was gone. All boy, LOVING the leaves.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback Friday: The Forgotten (actually...never known) Solo

I love singing. I often sang solos and duets in church growing up, my BFF/"sister", Lauren, and I always "jammed out" on our guitars together, performed at a coffee shop, talent shows, etc. Well, my senior year in high school, I was asked to sing a solo in Young Women's. For those unfamiliar with my church, "Young Women" are girls age 12-18 that meet together on Sundays for an hour of the church block. I had completely forgotten I was asked to sing in church, and so, just before I was supposed to go up, I pulled out the hymn book. It just so happened to be a hymn that you have never heard of. ...or that I had never heard of. You know--those hymns that are SO unfamiliar. Well, I thought I could wing it and sight read, but it did not go so smooth. I kept hitting the piano keys to find my notes--the WHOLE way through the song. It was a disaster. I was mortified. Never again will I be so unprepared.

I wish I could say that was my only humiliating singing experience, but there are 2 more. One was with my cousins, Lyndsie and Ashley--we sang in church the Sunday prior to my cousin leaving on his mission, and we ended up laughing during the song. Then, there's Cliff's farewell. I sang a favorite song of his dad's and it goes REALLY high. I just so happened to be sick that weekend, and hardly had a voice. I shouldn't have gone through with it, but I did, and let's just say the high notes were not pleasant.

It's been a BUSY week, but an update is soon to come!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Valley of the Sun

Well, we're back from a fun-filled trip to Arizona! We went for the Thanksgiving holiday, and had a blast with the usual: family and food!

My brothers and their wives went down, as well, and we all stayed with my mom. My brother, Tanner, and his wife, Charee, and baby, Chloe, actually moved down during the holiday break. And sis-in-law, prego Rachel, had a cute belly to show off.We had a blast! Stone could not get enough of Chloe. They had a blast together. For the most part, Stone played nice, but we found him possesive of certain toys (such as the car below). He couldn't stop giving Chloe kisses and hugs.
Below: Getting ready to eat Thanksgiving dinner:We spent time at my aunt, Lorette's, as well. I got some work done at her house one day, and she kept Stone entertained. She has SUCH a cute, fun play room. Stone was in heaven. Thanks, Lor! We also headed over to her house Thanksgiving night for pies, where we got to see more cousins. While there, we had a little shower for Rachel.

Below: My cousin, Bracken, playing with Chloe.
We also got to meet Dallen! cousin, Mark's new son. He is adorable.
Below left to right: Dallen, Chloe, Stone.

We headed over to see my Grandpa and aunt, Charisse, while we there. We had fun catching up, and Stone and Chloe were entertained by their dogs.

Below: The morning Jordan and Rachel headed back up to Utah. Below: The spouses & babes: Cliff and Stone (mine!), Charee and Chloe(Tanners!), Rachel and baby boy Brown (Jordan's!)

We also got to play at this fabulous park:

Below: Stone was fascinated by this dog until the gold dog (behind) snapped at his face, in an attempt to grab Stone's piece of bread (that he was feeding (and eating) to the ducks).
Below: My mom and me.

Above: Tanner and Chloe.

Stone feeding the ducks:

And afterwards, Stone had his accident (read about it here).
And now we're back, and I'm catching up with the blog! I have been SUPER busy with work these last few days, getting ready for some big meetings for work. But of course, I can find time to update my blog.

Flashback Friday: Pedaling Through the Red

For my 20th birthday (the first birthday we were married), Cliff got me a cute bike for my birthday--exactly what I wanted. We lived too close to campus to drive, but too far to be regularly on time for class by walking. Therefore, the bike was PERFECT.

One day, I was riding home, and didn't wait for a light to turn green. No one was around (or so I thought), and so, I pedaled through the light. Next thing I know, a cop is behind me with his lights on. "Are you for real??" I thought.
I peddled fast through the stadium parking lot, thinking there's no way he would chase me down the large sidewalk. I pedaled faster and faster, but could not gain fast enough speed to outride the cop. I wasn't even sure if he was actually after me...until I heard in an intercom/megaphone? ... "Excuse me....please stop!!"
Yeah, I finally stopped, and he threatened to give me a ticket for riding through a red light (LOW traffic area, in case you were wondering). He was "nice" and let me off with a warning.

How pathetic is that?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thank you, Reader Family!

We have been having a blast in Arizona this past week. A post is soon to come with pictures and details from our week, but I had to give an update on our eventful evening tonight.
It started off with a FUN trip to a GREAT park (Freestone--pictures to come). We then went to my cousins, the Klepingers (thanks for the popcorn and cookies. Sorry about the spill!). Stone was having a blast playing with Carson's little cars, when he took a nasty fall onto a speaker.

After major blood, but without freaking out too much, we decided to make a surprise visit to the Reader's home around the corner. Rob is an anesthesiologist and my dad's cousin and parter-in-crime growing up. I wanted a quick professional opinion, so that's where we headed. Although it's been years since I've seen them, and therefore thought it may be random, we totally felt comfortable. And thanks to the blogging world, I felt like I knew what they have been up to. The Readers are great. To make a long story short (oh wait, I'm still making it long), we went to Urgent Care, who advised us to get our anesthesiologist friend (to sedate Stone) and head to the hospital if we wanted to stitch it up. He busted his lip on the vermillion border, which would require precision and a still baby. And I couldn't provide the calm baby. I, of course, started crying in the car. It all seemed a little much for a gash on the lip!

We got back to the Readers, and Rob called his friend who is a plastic surgeon. He agreed to see Stone and offer an opinion. So, good ole' Rob headed over with us, and the plastic surgeon told us we'd be safe to let him heal on his own. He said if it does not heal absolutly correctly, we could follow through with the same procedure that would have taken place tonight, in a few years. Thank goodness! It all seemed like SO MUCH for something that I know will happen again. Stone was a champ. After the initial shock, he kept playing with his cars. It just felt good to get two professional opinions.

I feel grateful to have an awesome family, extended included. Even though we had not seen the Readers in years, we totally felt comfortable, and we knew we could trust Rob. Rob and Robby (his son) both got online to find the different Urgent Care centers, and made calls to find one that was open. I am glad that if something like this had to happen, we were so close to their home when it did happen. Thank you, Reader family!
AFTER (blood stains and all):