birthday weekend

Rob and I celebrated our birthdays last weekend in Catalina. We had been planning to go away for the weekend, but Rob decided to keep the destination a surprise until the last minute. This was the first time Rob surprised me with a weekend away and I loved it! {Honey, you can surprise me with a weekend away anytime!}

Here's our birthday weekend in pictures:

Ready to sail away (we totally didn't plan to match)
Our bed & breakfast
Our first roam around the island
Arcade time...
"I lost"

More roaming, except Rob wouldn't walk on the dirt with his new Jacks

Sunday, Rob's birthday, we rented a golf cart and explored for a few hours.

We hung out at this point for a couple of hours, just reading and relaxing. It was perfect! The view and weather was awesome!

Rob reading his iPhone

It was my turn to take the wheel...
Thirsty birdy
We left in peace with ice cream in hand
Final photographs as we sailed away...

Until next time, Catalina. We really enjoyed your beauty and it was the perfect way to ring in 31 and 36!

cutest {and happiest} kids EVER

I'm really behind on blogging. Here are some photographs from a recent dinner with the Malouf family. We always love hanging with them - there's never a dull moment with a 3-year old and a 1-year old!

Daniel's 1!
Model shot #1
Model shot #2
Sarah isn't shy at all!
It's crazy how they feed off one another - tons of giggles!

The whole gang
Pretending for a moment what it would be like to have 2 kids

Sarah loves her Uncle Rob-O
Ken, Sarah, and Kelly
Beautiful Sarah
Disclaimer: We have lots of friends with kids and we think those kids are also the cutest {and happiest} kids ever, too.


31 flavors

Is the 31st birthday as random to you as it is to me? It's just kind of a miscellaneous age. Nothing terrifying or sad about it. It's just sort of boring. I'd like to think that with each passing year, my experiences and accomplishments help to make me a more colorful person. To ring in 31, I thought I'd create a couple of lists {a favorite pastime of mine}:

Accomplishments made in my 30th year & Accomplishments I'd like to reach in my 31st year

Here it goes...

In my 30th year, I {in no particular order}:
1. celebrated a first wedding anniversary
2. taught a full school year, with a contract
3. saw Legally Blonde on Broadway in NYC
4. discovered the courage to take {conservative} boudoir photos
5. bought an iPhone and learned how to work it
6. realized I have the innate ability to help my mom, despite a rocky history
7. signed up for the Breast Cancer 3-Day
8. went to Maui
9. threw a surprise party for my hubby
10. led a group of motivated 8th graders to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation
11. became a business owner! officially launched my juku
12. went on a girls' weekend trip with a couple of my besties to Sonoma
13. joined Weight Watchers {and actually lost like 10 pounds}
14. weened myself off of Weight Watchers {and gained back the 10 pounds}
15. cut my hair super short
16. got stitches in my finger
17. rob and I celebrated our first married Christmas with a Christmas tree
18. met more blogger friends face-to-face
19. made eye contact with Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes in the lovely city of Telluride
20. created wedding albums for our moms
21. finally visited my Arizona relatives
22. watched the entire Sex and the City DVD set, with the commentary {can't wait to do it again}
23. made it through my first year as a middle school teacher
24. joined Facebook
25. went to my first Bat Mitzvah {thank you, Liann}
26. enjoyed my first summer vacation
27. dabbled with cooking using meat
28. ran a 5k
29. started scrapbooking {I think, this may have actually been during my 29th year}
30. reconnected with the Glombs

In my 31st year, I would like to {in no particular order}:
1. create a wedding album for us
2. make curtains in place of having no closet doors {though we do have very organized closets thanks to Closet World}
3. edit and finalize our wedding video {a collaborative effort}
4. install shower doors in the master bathroom {since 2003, only the guest bathroom shower has been used. Totally wasteful!}
5. get a new passport with my new last name
6. finish school, once and for all!
7. get up-to-date with the scrapbook I'm currently working on
8. start our anniversary scrapbook/album
9. cook more
10. revisit how good yoga makes me feel
11. actually complete the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk
12. travel to Italy
13. see Legally Blonde on Broadway in Orange County
14. go on another girls' weekend with my besties
15. continue working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation
16. go fully {or mostly} organic
17. learn new teaching strategies on how to manage my really behaviorally challenging students
18. continue repairing my relationship with my mom
19. accrue more hours to become Gate certified
20. celebrate a 2nd wedding anniversary
21. sell our condo and buy a house/townhouse {basically, something with lots more space}
22. help to make our finances/investments more efficient
23. run a 5k {perhaps the Turkey Trot again}
24. watch the entire Gilmore Girls series, plus the commentary
25. go to a professional baseball, football, or basketball game {I don't know why, just seems fun}
26. learn how to play the tambourine well enough so I can play on Sundays at church
27. be consistent with Weight Watchers
28. become a better daughter-in-law and sister-in-law {more regular phone calls/emails/visits}
29. take a calligraphy class
30. attend a professional ballet performance
31. grow my hair

Here's to a fabulous year complete with continued unconditional love, growing friendships, warmth and compassion, self-discovery, meaningful experiences, acceptance and peace, and simple accomplishments!