Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Moonlight on the Mountain

So the husband just called asking me to pick between braised beef or chicken?! Huh what??

Surprise he says, we are going to Moonlight on the Mountain!!! My first reaction was how did you pay for that? It would be $700 for us to both go, and while you all know how much I LOVE my mountain and support Save Mt Diablo....that's just not in our budget.

CSAA IG (Where Brian works) is a sponsor, and gets one table with 10 seats....I'm not sure how it worked, but he put in his name with me for his +1 and we are going!!  I'm so excited!!! It's something I've always wanted to get to do!  Dinner, on the mountain, under the stars.......I've run past that area in years past as they were setting it up, and thought how cool it would be to get to go someday.
In the above picture, you see China Wall which is that line of rock, and the dinner will be set up just to the left of it.  Picture Source

Someday is September 10th!!  THANK YOU, BRIAN!!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Boys of Fall

I love that Emma's school posted the link to this video this morning.  The first official football game of the season is tonight. The past two evenings we've finally had cool crisp air after the sun goes down. I can't wait to be in the bleachers with my family cheering on the home team, snuggling up under our blankets!  Brings back so many good memories of time with my mom, doing the same thing on Friday nights. I'm getting our Football Bag ready today, with our "football" fuzzy blanket, and seat cushions, and some treats.  Dinner will be at the game, either brisket or burgers, they fire up the grill.

And here's a little longer version that I LOVE. I love the coaches words at the beginning.


Emma came out after school yesterday fresh from PE.  They have PE out on the football field.  The team does 3 practices a day, one of which is during Emma's PE period.  She informed me that they practice with their shirts off, and are super muscley, like men, not boys.  And have facial hair.  Lord.  All I could say was that if she doesn't get an A in PE this year, at least I know what was distracting her.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Getting My "Mom/Wife" Alone Time

 Turkey print next to my size 11's, and below, bobcat print.

 See how the grass is all trampled down? Seems to be the animals popular route down to the pond.


These are all taken on Diablo, some from Castle Rock, but majority were taken out of Mitchell Canyon. All from Monday and Tuesday. So nice to have the kiddos all at school : )

Monday, August 22, 2016

Second Wave of 1st Day of School!

Already my house seems too quiet and it's been all of 20 minutes!

They are all back at school today!!! Woo Hoo.  I can't decide if I want to get out on the mountain, or clean my house and enjoy it staying clean ALL day : )

I'm so excited for all my kiddo's this year.  Emma is loving high school so far. She's adjusting to such a crowded campus (over 2200 kids, 650 freshman) and the waves of anxiety she has in crowded spaces. We are trying some over the counter remedies (think Calms).  She in enjoying PE so far and getting to run the track around the fancy football field.  This is also the first year she's taken a non academic elective. She has been taking Spanish as an elective up till this year.  We talked her into a "fun" class as we knew she had a heavy, intense schedule (including Principals of Biomedical Science?!)  So that class is photography....and she's loving it!

This kid got braces last week!

For Sophie, this is her first year not having a sibling at school with her, ever.  I've sold, and she's bought, this year as her first year to be "her".  Her style, her classes, her friends, her teachers.  She's not "Emma's little sister", or "Myles older sister".  She's "Sophie".   She has several teachers that Emma never had, and is taking classes Emma never took, like art.  She's super stoked for her art class, and already has her eye on the Art Academy at the high school.  Even clothes wise....Emma was always a sweats and t-shirt middle schooler, not into fashion at all, and that rubbed off on Sophie.  This year, however, she's all about cute clothes and bracelets and no pony tail, she wanted me to straighten her hair this morning.  She's doing 'her' and I think it's going to be a great year for her!

Myles has a great teacher this year.  I'm sure he'd be mortified to ever read this as he is very quiet ( I heard him speak for the first time this morning)....but he's that cool, quiet dude around campus.  He has a goatee, earrings, hip clothes, Star Wars shoes and baseball caps, plays the bagpipes, has 2 little girls....seems like a super nice, cool, dude.    I'm super optimistic that Myles is going to have a great year!  He has his 2 best buddies in his class, and a teacher who loves Disney.  He has his special services in place with now having an IEP.  I think we've done all we can to set him up to have a great year!

This is getting long...but we also had a very exciting, unexpected weekend.  Our van that Brian has been driving wouldn't start Friday after work.  With some help for the battery, he got home, but also the brakes are going out again.  We've replaced them many times, there's some issue that keeps wearing out the calipers really quick, like ever 20k miles.  And the registration is up this month and it needs smogged, and most likely wouldn't pass.    I'll do a separate post on CARMAX  and how much I love them...but let's just say Brian called and gave our info, said text me what I'm approved for, here's the 2 cars I'm interested in.  They text back the amount.  We went in, all the paper work was pre filled out on the comp, the 2 cars were sitting right in front of the store, Brian said I want to test drive that one, we did, took it, they printed out the papers, we signed and were done.  It was awesome. We were in and out in 1 hour.  Seriously.  It was like having a personal car shopper.  The next day we took the van in (it wasn't worth trading in) and they gave us $700 for it.  We were shocked, thought we'd get $400 tops, but would have even taken $1 just to be rid of it and not have all the expense of keeping it. So he now has a 2013 Chevy Equinox.

Ok.....decision time...mountain or clean house....OR BOTH! Woo Hoo!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

School Clothes Shopping

Ok guys....so I totally feel like I had one of those rare moments....a mom "drop the mike" moment. I totally nailed school clothes this year!! I think it was the smartest shopping plan of attack I've had so far, and most importantly, all three kids were thrilled with what they got.

First, we split it up between different paychecks.  2 teen/pre teen girls can quickly break the bank with just the basic needs....throw a boy in there too, and splitting things up was key.

Second, they each had their own "day" to shop.  Emma has extreme shopping anxiety. She hates choosing things, hates spending money, hates the whole process. Add to that she's been having panic attacks in crowds (the throat closing up, can't breath kind)....and I knew I was going to have to really be on top of my game to make sure the day was fun for her.  I already did a post about her shopping day...but the short version is it was a success. Next up was Myles, a 9 almost 10 yr old boy who is particular, but also easy to please.  He was most happy with his Puma back pack, and John Cena "Never Give UP" sweat pants.  He scored some sweet shoes and hats on clearance for under $3!!  He took half of Friday and was done.  His loot is below-

 That brings us to Sophie, my 12 year old who's going into 7th grade.  She is also pretty sensitive about money.  If we go out to eat, we hide the total because she feels bad (eating out with 5 isn't cheap), pretty much anytime we spend money on her she gets upset.  So, I wanted to break her day down even more minutely because I knew she'd be keeping track of what was spent or how much things cost and she'd melt down or just stop shopping before we got everything she needed.

So, I did all her basics at the same time as we were shopping for Myles.  So back pack, lunch bag, under garments, socks, and shoes. There was no way for her to know what I spent on her because it was mixed in with Myles stuff.
You might notice a watch in there. She made a list of "wants" and "needs". The watch was on her "wants" list, and we found a cute, cheap one at Kmart.

 She was super stoked to find these Converse in her size at Ross.  99% of all shopping this year was at Ross and Kmart.  We are really good at finding cute deals!

Saturday was Sophie's shopping day, and all we had left was the fun stuff - tops and bottoms.  Just like with Emma, we started off with Pete's coffee and breakfast.  She's also nervous in crowds, so I parked in a sunny spot and dropped the tailgate for a parking lot breakfast for two.  It was nice to sit and eat/drink/talk/soak up some sun before we got started.  Our first stop was Ross.  Emma had done really well there, and I as hoping Sophie would, too.
 After 2.5 hours of this process....
 We were done!!  She scored some darn cute clothes and was thrilled with everything.  Yes....done at the first store!  That made me so happy.  And that shirt doesn't say "mething", there's an S before the heart, so it says "something".
 You might spy some new Saucony's in there, that was papa's contribution from Sports Basement. They were having a great sale, so he snagged her a pair. (she broke those in on the trail this morning)
 I love that my kids know who they are and have their own individual styles.
 Boom!! I got it done like a boss. I feel like the waters get a little harder to navigate each year as each kid has their own quirks and needs, but somehow everyone enjoyed the process this year, including me!  Now....lets get them all back to school already....momma wants more mountain time!

Friday, August 12, 2016


We love summer at our house.  If you've followed along, you know we lived it up this summer.  Lots of trips and visits and fun.  The one thing I personally hate about summer is the lack of routine.  The first month off is great....but after that I miss having a daily routine and knowing exactly what's happening.  I grasp at straws trying to keep some sort of structure by making lists of what needs done, and having planners visible on the fridge and in my purse.  Everything is written down from dr appointments, to play dates, dinner dates, days shopping needs done....but the nitty gritty of our daily lives have no structure.  Bedtimes go out the window, wake up times go away, my normal daily routine disappears.  I guess that's what summers all about?? Relaxing, enjoying the break from real life??  Well, I'm over it!

Thankfully, with Emma starting high school this week, I was able to jump on the opportunity it gives to get back into a routine!  Yes, only 1 out of 3 kids is back to school, but what the hay....they can all go back on school routine, right? Works for me.  Beds at 9, and they are up at 6:30.  We get Emma off to school at 7:30, and are on the mountain at 8.  The first few days, Myles was not that enthusiastic...but he quickly got on board and is really enjoying starting our day off with an hour hike out of Mitchel Canyon.  Then it's home for Myles to do an hour of school work on the computer using the program he uses at school.  Sophie and I sit at the table with him and play cards while he works.  He sometimes needs help, so that way I'm right there with him, but able to spend time with Sophie, too. Then he has to write me a paragraph, rough and final copy.  After that, they do xbox for their 1 hr a day that they get on it, and then it's darn close to lunch time.  After that, well it's chaos......but I'm happy to have at least half a day of routine!

Here's some pictures for you, starting with my day school clothes shopping with Emma.  This was the first year she and I went alone, and made a day of it. We started at Pete's for breakfast, and then shopped till 6 that night.  It was a blast : )
This was at the end of the day, we were showing Brian everything we got.  He looks happy, no? Yes, she's taller than me now.
Heading out for the first day of high school!

 That tree is in our front yard and if you look at the top you can see that it's changing color already, and covering the yard with leaves already.
 Sometimes he wants to ride his bike instead of hike. 

A little mountain friend.

Another mountain friend.

And another...

Feels so, so good to get back on my mountain! It smells so good, and the air in the morning is so clean and crisp.  It's been such a great way to start the day!

Another added element to our routine....Friday night high school football games!  Starting tonight!!
Have a great weekend!