31 December 2007

it feels like saturday.

it is 2pm on monday and i am home alone. this rarely...if ever...happens. even if i do happen to find myself alone in the house...it is usually only for a short amount of time...and for the most part, my precious boys are only a shout down the street away (at grandma's typically). but not today. no, today, they are miles away. i told myself that these next few hours alone shouldn't bring such exhilaration to my soul...but honestly...i can't lie. i welcome the unexpected aloneness and relish the ability to do whatever i want, listen to whatever music i want (even christmas music) at whatever volume i choose. i almost feel guilty about it. but then i remember how good this is for me, and i get excited again.
john took his nephew, miggy and elijah on a little drive up into the foothills where john's uncle has a cabin. we spent the day there yesterday (pictures to come) with john's parents and aunt and uncle. john's parents decided to stay the night last night while we came home instead. therefore, they need a ride back since john's aunt and uncle aren't coming back until tomorrow evening. john, miggy and elijah will get to play in the snow for a bit and then they'll head back home and we'll all trek over to john's cousin's house for a new year's eve party. the cabin is only an hour-ish drive away so it's not super far...but far enough to give me a few precious hours to do whatever i want.

so. i'm off to do something i normally can't when they're around...hmmm...what to do? what to do?

my prayer for the coming year...let US be the remedy.

and the problem is this
we were bought with a kiss
but the cheek still turned
even when it wasn't hit

and i don't know
what to do with a love like that
and i don't know
how to be a love like that

when all the love in the world
is right here among us
and hatred too
and so we must choose
what our hands will do

where there is pain
let there be grace
where there is suffering
bring serenity
for those afraid
help them be brave
where there is misery
bring expectancy
and surely we can change
surely we can change...

and the problem it seems
is with you and me
not the Love who came
to repair everything

where there is pain
let there be grace
where there is suffering
bring serenity
for those afraid
help them be brave
where there is misery
let us bring them relief
and surely we can change
surely we can change
oh surely we can change...

oh, the world's about to change
the whole world's about to change.


david crowder*band
the remedy
surely we can change
written by david crowder

29 December 2007

silly boy.

my sweet boy.
at the park.
enjoying the sunshine.
making silly faces and noises that match.
too cute.
so special.
my love.

23 december 2007

28 December 2007

joy to the world...

ok. to be honest. i am completely overwhelmed by the amount of holiday stuff i feel i must share on my blog. ridiculously, utterly blindsided by the hundreds of photos, memories and magical moments i want to remember and relish and reminisce about...*sigh*...it's making it hard for me to even start. so. as i have done in the past...i will try and do a little bit at a time...like maybe once a day for a week. or maybe once every other day. we're still kinda in holiday mode here. at least i am. it's so hard to jump back into normal, daily life after a week of lazy, celebratory days.
anyways. to start things off...let's talk about christmas...the actual day...the 25th of december. seems like a good place to start.

it was chilly here...not as chilly as it has been (my birthday was frigid.) but still...cold enough that it induced much snuggling down underneath the covers...that is until elijah got impatient and wanted to get down and play (which was only about 5 minutes). john's niece also called around 7.30am to ask why we weren't at grandma's house yet...i think the word lazy was used in the conversation. the nerve. anyways...

after a hurried reading of the christmas story from the gospel of luke...
and an even more hurried opening of gifts...we headed over to elijah's grandparents house for breakfast. e was a bit too excited to eat much...he saw the presents he'd opened the night before (a post on that later) and simply wanted to play.
so...play we did...while watching the cheesy of all cheesy-ness disney christmas parade on tv. did i mention it was cheesy? well, it was. after the parade was over...it was naptime for e so back to the house we trooped, gifts in tow. elijah slept the afternoon away while john and i just kinda dinked around...cleaning up wrapping paper, washing three day old dishes...the usual.
after elijah's nap, we went for a walk over to john's parent's old house (which they still own and are renting out to friends) and picked oranges from the copious amounts of heavily laden trees. yum. we came back with a bucket full of citrus-y goodness, along with frosty noses and chilly fingers (especially elijah's since he refuses to wear gloves).
elijah and i visited the infamous, inflatable santa across the street (which he loves...for some silly reason. he's not scared of the ten foot tall, fake santa but he was very apprehensive about the "real" santa at the mall. weird, no?). the rest of the day, we just hung out at home, enjoying a restful evening of bad, made-for-tv christmas movies, popcorn and elijah's crazy antics. all in all, it was a nice day. nothing over the top...no huge meal to plan, cook and clean up after...a small number of gifts...just family. and that was nice. i definitely missed my family...but knowing that we'll all be together in hawaii in just a few short weeks helped ease the ache of homesickness. can't wait for that...

definitely much more to tell...
i promise...it'll be coming soon.

27 December 2007

it's a comin'...

new posts are brewing...got tons of pictures to catch up on first.

hopefully tomorrow will deliver the goods.

until then...here's a picture to tide you over. love what's in the bottom right corner. :D

hope your holidays were happy and merry.

22 December 2007

my twenty-seventh year.

today is my birthday. i am 27. i feel i must announce this simply because it is 22 december. three whole days before the biggest holiday of the year. most people are out shopping today...buying sweaters and video games and slippers that will be worn once out of politeness. they are scrambling to finish up the wrapping, the baking, the preparations. they're sitting in traffic, or at home, making family memories and the like. they are not, for the most part, thinking of anyone's birthday except for the one that is celebrated on the 25th (even if they're not aware of the true reason for the celebration). yes. it's true. i get forgotten. and really, i'm ok with that. i wasn't always ok with it...but i've come to terms with my unenviable fate. so. please don't feel obligated to go out of your way to wish me a happy birthday. i will have a great day regardless of the number of birthday greetings i receive. i actually had a chance (however brief) to read in bed this morning before e decided to wake up. that was birthday gift enough. after that, i had a very yummy breakfast at my in-laws, topped off with a wonderful mimosa. my sweet little boy helped me open my presents (pictures to come later). i am wearing fabulous, brand-new clothes and my husband is taking me to the nutcracker in a couple hours and then out to eat at my favorite restaurant. it has been and will continue to be a great day. i will be sure to post pictures later. for now...here's a picture of what i was doing last year on this day. crazy how time flies...

20 December 2007

a suggestion.

nay...a recommendation.

no...really. an urgent bit of advice.

from me to you. consider it a christmas gift of sorts.

i repeat. never.
just for good measure...i repeat again. NEVER.
never ever ever ever go to toys 'r' us on the 19th of december at 7pm.

just don't do it.

normally, i wouldn't need to pass this bit of advice on to you as i would never have experienced what i experienced last night under normal circumstances. but...against my will...it happened.

i went to that blasted store six days before christmas.


first of all...i feel i must tell you...i hate toys 'r' us. to me, it's just another example of mass consumerism and the gross consumption of the american people. ugh.

plus...the store in modesto is never clean. i feel the need to shower after i go in.

whatever happened to the sweet little toy stores of yore? honestly...some of my favorite memories from my childhood stem from trips to anchorage and a unique toy store called classic toys. the name says it all. what a great little place. how i wish there was something like that here. i remember spending hours in that store with my brothers. i'd always run to the playmobil section first...then to the dolls...then to the legos...and around i'd go. i'd search every aisle, every display at least twice...sometimes three times. up until i was about twelve (and maybe even some after that), the majority of the items on my christmas list could be found on the shelves at 341 east benson boulevard (i love that it is still there!). seriously...a great little place. if you ever visit anchorage...be sure to go (and mom, next time you're there...just go for nostalgia's sake!).

but anyways.
back to my story of why i was at toys 'r' us last night.

my mother-in-law, bless her sweet heart, wanted to get elijah a christmas present. obviously.

so. after spending two hours at the mall (another event i'd recommend you avoid as i wish i had...however...i was present in order to pick out a birthday outfit for myself, at the request of my mother-in-law. i was happy to obilge. and such a great outfit i got too! anyways...), we maneuvered through going home/shopping traffic to the toy store. i had to circle the parking lot several times just to find a parking spot. not a good sign. the store was crowded. the shelves were not. it was dirty. it was messy. i was nauseous. and hungry. not a good combination. but at least elijah was entertained.

after quickly perusing the empty shelves...we found the ride-on car section. it was, as the majority of the store was, mostly empty, very messy, and very, very crowded. we let elijah play on a couple of the cars and then decided he was a bit young for something like that...maybe next year.

in the end, after an hour of searching, we found a few things. and i'm actually pleased with them. elijah will be unwrapping on christmas morning: a set of "first crayons" (called tadoodles which i've been meaning to get him for a while), a set of wooden blocks (another thing i've been meaning to get as e has chewed through his foam ones) and a "racin' ramp garage" that he wouldn't leave alone. i just hope he enjoys it as much out of the packaging as he did while it still in the box. so. all in all...not a bad haul. i just couldn't bring myself to tell john's mom, "sorry. all the toys i want for elijah cannot be found in this town. you have to order them online". nah...this was just easier...albeit a bit more stressful. maybe next year, if there's something i really want elijah to have...even if it is online...i'll tell john to get the money from her and we can order it in november and avoid all this craziness.

a good plan, i think.

16 December 2007

about a boy.

well. i survived. my son is officially one year old and i am here to tell about it. kinda amazing. there were days when i wasn't so sure i'd survive. but regardless...it has flown by.

elijah's party was a success. i will blog about it later. right now...i want to share his "first year" album with you. i'm really excited about how it turned out and would love to hear what you think. it's called "about a boy". here goes!

to view the pictures bigger, please visit my facebook page or my flicker site or simply click on the image.

14 December 2007

frosty winds...

been having some super cold weather lately...well...super cold for here anyways. the last few mornings we've woken up to a world of frosty white. love it. not as much as i love waking up to a snowy landscape...but i'll take what i can get. speaking of snow...i wrote out a christmas list for john a couple weeks ago (at his request) and one of the last things i put on it was a white christmas. he came to me later after reading it and was like, "what gives? i can't control the weather!". silly john. i had to explain to him that i didn't want him to bring the snow to me...i wanted him to bring me to the snow. took him a few minutes but he finally got it. and then we briefly discussed going to tahoe for a couple days to hang out in the snow...but in the end, decided not to. we're just going to stay here and have some precious, relaxing family time. no agenda, no commitments. just family, christmas jammies, and yummy food. can't wait.

thought i'd share a bit of our christmas decor. while the tree is still depressingly bare, the rest of the house is quite festive. here's a couple pictures to prove it.

here's my little advent calendar. yes i did get it at starbucks. but it was on sale! only $10. i just found another one at michael's today...it was on sale also...from martha stewart crafts that i'm super excited to use next year. it's a way cute little house with flaps hidden all over it.

this is what our family room looks like right now. i've been meaning to hang a wreath over the "noel" sign but just haven't gotten around to it. maybe this weekend? the lovely poinsettia is from john's mom and it is gorgeous. i wish i could have it sitting on the ground so i could enjoy it a bit more...but the fact that it's poisonous and elijah can't keep his hands off it...well...on top of the tv it will stay.

this is one of my favorite things in the house...my collection of berry wreaths. i hope to continue adding more as the years go on...for now...i'm content with three. i might just leave them up through the entire winter months...they're just so happy hanging on the wall right there. i know it sounds cheesy but i like looking at them when i'm doing the dishes. i know. i'm weird...

i do think that's it for now. i have been working on elijah's "one year" album that i'm excited to share with you. it's almost done...just the december 2007 page and the cover to do. i'll be finishing it up today and hopefully posting pictures sometime this weekend. elijah's birthday party is saturday afternoon though...so we'll see. pictures of that will definitely be coming by monday at the latest.

happy weekend!

11 December 2007

i need your help!

edited: thank you all for your comments! i have finally choosen just one and sent it in. the one i decided on was number two. so. we'll see how it goes! i'll know by monday, the 17th, if it made it into the finalists. i'll be sure to let you know so you can stop by and vote! thanks again.

ok. i need your opinion. there's a photo contest going on on this blog and i'd really like to enter. only problem...i can't decide which photo to pick! so...that's where you come in. please help me choose between these four beautiful photos. the theme is feet...can you tell? i've got too much sentimental attachment to them to choose just one. help me please!

10 December 2007


our great tree hunt...in pictures.

yesterday was tree day at the anaya house. finally. typically, i am adamant about getting a tree the day after thanksgiving. however...this year it just didn't happen. and for some reason, i didn't push it. i think part of me just really didn't want to deal with teaching elijah that the tree is just for looking. at this point...he's really not a great listener. surprise. and i was envisioning a trip to the emergency room with a pine needle stuck in elijah's little throat. not fun. so. with john gone all last week...we weren't able to actually get a tree until yesterday. and after much discussion, (do we get a small tree and put it up out of e's reach (and be extra vigilant about cleaning up the needles)...or get a big tree and put a gate around it?) we decided to go neither route and instead decided to buy a tree we can plant outside after christmas is over. it is a smaller tree, that sits up out of elijah's curious fingers but since it's a live tree, it doesn't drop as many needles. a good compromise, i think. it's not decorated yet...i'm saving that for this evening after john gets home from work. pictures will follow. speaking of pictures...the kids (as in john's niece and nephew, jackie and miggie) and i also made christmas cookies this weekend. tres fun. i will have pictures of those soon. until then...

04 December 2007

christmas pictures.

i snagged these pics the other day while e was playing before his morning nap. love the christmas jammies. while john and i don't get to wear our special christmas pajamas until christmas eve...i figured i'd let e wear his throughout the whole month. no harm in that right? especially since he's so darn cute in them! i considered using these pictures for our christmas card...just because i wanted to get them sent out this week...but seeing as how that hasn't happened yet...i may hold out til john gets home so we can do a family shot. i have so few pictures of all three of us...it'll be a good thing. even though it means my christmas cards will go out much later than i had hoped. oh well...in the scheme of things...not a big deal.

john should be home sometime saturday...definitely looking forward to that. it has literally been the longest week of my life. not that it's been that hard being a single mom for the week...it's just so lonely. although...i have gotten a lot more done in the evenings than i would have with john here...simply because i don't have as many "wifely" responsibilities (cooking, cleaning up after cooking, etc.). it's not that i don't do those things...it's just that i'm only doing them for me and e...it's less somehow.

i'm off to go work on some more christmas presents. kinda cutting it close here...hopefully i can get everything done in time.

02 December 2007


happy december everyone!
the month of birthdays.
at our house anyways.
we celebrate four birthdays in december.
one a week.
it's true.

first, we have my mom's birthday...on the 8th (not that we really celebrate it here...but still...it's a birthday. and there is usually a card and a present and a phone call involved...does that count as a celebration? i think so.).
then...the next week...we celebrate elijah's birthday (16).
and then...the week after that...we celebrate MY birthday (22).
and then...finally...just three days after my birthday on the 25th, we celebrate the most important birthday.
so. december is busy with celebration. obviously.

speaking of celebrations, after much deliberation and discussion...we decided to have a party for elijah. i'm still not really sure why we're doing it...but john's parents were simply aghast that we would even consider not throwing him a party. but really? he doesn't know the difference. we were just going to bake him a cupcake and let him have at it, cameras at the ready. maybe let him play with some wrapping paper or something. but...at the insistence of john's parents...we are having a party after all. it's going to be at their house...and it will hopefully be a low-key affair. hopefully. anaya parties are rarely low-key. so. we shall see.

well...john left this morning for new jersey. poor guy...he had to leave the house at 3.30am in order to be at the airport on time for his 6am flight. no fun. he's made it phoenix...and is currently winging his way to the philadelphia airport where i suppose he will pick up a rental car and drive to new jersey. it's all so crammed together over there...hopefully the hotel he's staying at isn't too far. heard on the news that the east coast is supposed to get slammed with a storm this week. seriously hoping it doesn't delay john's homecoming in any way. oh...and just an fyi...my mom decided not to come down...so as is turns out...it is going to be just e and me this week. should be good times. i'll be sure to update...

i'm off to go work on some christmas gifts...happy sunday.