happy birthday ashley!

It’s her “golden” birthday! Meaning she turned 23 on the 23rd, something I just learned. Ashley married my brother last August, and has been a great addition to our family. She is a Diet Coke drinking, Desperate Housewives watching, aspiring reporter, that is a lot of fun to have around. She even gets competitive when playing the boardgame Sorry. So watchout.

One of the best and funniest memories I have of her is from last summer when my Mom and I tagged along on her bridal portrait photo shoot. At some point that afternoon my Mom realized and told me that she had lost one of her shoulder pads(yes, she still wears shoulder pads but they aren’t gigantic, so don’t judge). Well Ashley came up to me later that evening and in very hushed tones asked if I had lost something as she showed me this padded semi-circular thing. I was about eight months pregnant at the time, so maybe she thought I needed something like that for something relating to the female anatomy when one is pregnant. But once I realized what it was, I lost it and consequentially almost lost control of my bladder too. We had a good laugh and now it’s blogged. Forever.

We are so glad you are a part of our family Ashley! Happy, happy birthday!

coronado island

I really miss the beach. Even kelp covered ones.Our thanks again to the Whites and Barkers for a great time on the island. I have been feeling very nostalgic as I look through our vacation pictures. One day at the beach just wasn’t enough for me. Dave still isn’t sold on the beach now that we have kids which makes it that much harder. But that is true about anything in life. Every now and then I get this longing for it, living here in Utah. Landlocked.

I miss the warm sand in my toes when laying in the warm sun. I miss the sound of the waves crashing. When we were in Coronado and we could hear them at night, it took me right back to BYU-Hawaii. What a lucky little 20 year-old I was to be living there well, for many reasons. But one of the things I miss the most is falling asleep to the crashing waves.

I miss how good hot dogs and s’mores are when you roast them on the beach. I miss watching the sunset, and the sunset at Sunset for that matter. I miss cutetanlines. I miss the smell of coppertone mixed with the smell of the beach. I miss standing in the surf and feeling the sand being pulled out beneath you. I miss the beachy breeze. I miss it all…the good and bad, tan and sunburn.

Here is my nephew Charles’ recent experience at the beach. I wonder if he misses it at all.

What do you love and/or miss about the beach?

sea world

One of our days on vacation was spent at Sea World. Inez really loved watching Shamu as well as the dolphin show. Since returning home, she has named this little wooden dolphin Dolly, after the high jumping dolphin from Sea World. I love Sea World, it makes me miss living near the beach and also reminds me that I once wanted to pursue oceanography. That is until I actually took oceanography at BYU-Hawaii and there was way too much chemistry. Ick.

Here we are feeding the bat rays. Inez was really excited to do this until I fed the first one and kind of let out a little squeal because it was a bit startling.

Feeding the dolphins

sprinkles of makaafi

So when we were in So Cal, we visited Beth, my very dear and old friend (as in longtime, not age), and her cute little family.

So we (as in the Lesues) visited them (as in the Makaafis) whilst in the real O.C. We let the kiddies run around awhile and then we went to Sprinkles for some delicious fatness. After that, we headed on over to the Newport Beach Temple where the children were perfectly reverent angels. Except that Inez stole a rock from the fountain. They are all glued down or sealed or cemented or something, but she must have pulled one loose somehow. Oops. Maybe we’ll put it in the fountain of the Provo temple.

Here are some pictures of the Makaafi children, who should all be modeling and putting their parents through vacations and houses and such. My children couldn’t look whiter next to them, and rightly so since that is what they are. Beth’s children are half Tongan and once again, rightly so since their father is Tongan himself. Ilai, Inez, Gwen, Eden and Anela (or “Vanilla” as Inez called her).

I was also priveledged enough to taste some taro (is that right Beth?) with coconut milk. It wasn’t too bad. The coconut milk helped, I think.

Then Sprinkles…

It looks like someone is presenting them in this picture, but it is just Inez going for the one with the candy dot on top. The flavors are (left to right, top row): banana, chocolate peanut butter and dark chocolate, (bottom row) black and white, another chocolate p.b., and vanilla. They are very rich, and very yummy.

And not too far from Sprinkles is the Newport Beach Temple.

Beth and Fo’ou posed for the Prom

Here’s our perfectly reverent angel.

happy birthday sammie!

My niece, Samantha, turns 3 today! She is one funny kid, as you will see in this clip from her family’s blog.

Here she is with her Uncle Jon on his wedding day:

To see more clips and pictures of Sammie, visit their blog.

We love you Sammie! Happy Birthday cutie pie!

on the road

I don’t know what it is, but I love roadtrips. Admitedly more fun without kids, but we managed anyway. Eating, singing, reading, watching DVDs, playing road games, eating both good snacks and junk food (by the way, I’ve lost two of the five pounds that I had gained!). The music we listened to varied from Weezer to the Beach Boys and Ben Folds to Justin Timberlake (a guilty pleasure of mine). And my car is still in desperate need of a good cleaning, inside and out. Here are a few snippets from I-15 (and two from the 57).

The mandatory stop at In-n-Out Burger.

Gwen with her fast little hands is learning quickly that there is much out there that tastes better than baby food.

I have to say that there are some really dumb people out there. This actually looked worse if you were driving right behind this person, but once we moved over into the other lane we were a bit nervous to be behind this loaded truck again.

These are for you James! I saw a flyer at church for Mormon Night at Angel Stadium. I totally miss that.

unexepected goodies

We came home to a few good surprises…
A wonderful welcome home sign (a Kewish family tradition) by Mom, Dad, Jon and Ashley. Replete with an illustration of the Matterhorn and “Harold” the monster because that was the first roller coaster that Nezzie conquered—albeit with covered eyes and head ducked down the whole time. By the way, I like that Dave and I are an afterthought.
A fully bloomed Amaryllis, which is a bit of a late bloomer as they usually bloom in the winter! I think I need to use the word “bloom” once more in that sentence.
A beautiful newly painted room, where Gwenie is currently residing.
And my beloved measuring cups by Nigella from Brooke.

She took my wish list seriously (hint, hint everyone). Brooke, YTB. Seriously. And they are so beautiful, I almost don’t want to use them.

Especially because the first time I use them it will be for my yummy chocolate chip cookies. And the problem is that I just can’t make them right now because I gained FIVE pounds over the last week & a half!

Vacations are fun, but it’s great when you have wonderful things and people to come home to!

california, here we come

…right back where we started from. Well, at least I did. And when I say “started,” I mean from age one, since I was actually born in Boston.

Anyhoo, we are off on a little family vacation. We are going to hang with some of our good friends, James and Melissa, go to Disneyland, Coronado Island and Sea World.

So, we will be taking a bit of a blog break. We promise lots of pictures when we return.

Beth, I will be calling you, I want to see you!

happy birthday charles!

Today Charles turns FIVE!! He is the first child of my brother Joe and his wife Liz.

Charles is one of the brightest five-year-olds ever, as evidenced by this clip from Christmas of 2005. Let me just preface this clip with the fact that Joe and Liz didn’t make him memorize this, he picked it up on his own.

He is such a good brother, so sweet and also very obedient. We love our little nephew/cousin and can’t wait to see him in about a month! You can read more about Charles and his family on their blog.

happy birthday james!

James Mallea was born today in 1979 (on Heather’s b-day, see previous post) in Orange, California. As the sixth of seven children, James certainly knew how to get attention (it is taking a lot of will power to refrain from posting a picture of James from when he was about six, wearing a wire hanger on his head and a plastic grocery bag on his shoulders that, I believe, he was going to use as a parachute).

Towering over the rest of us at 6′6″, James is a passionate Angels fan, as well as baseball in general (I think Field of Dreams is one of his favorite movies). He hates clowns. We used to tease him about clowns until we realized that it’s a true hatred of them. I think his first girlfriend was named Bianca Swan (I can still tease him about that though). Dave and I lived with him and Natalie for about a month while we were in between houses and it was so fun, at least for Dave and me. We watched Paradise Hotel together—a true bonding experience, and he and Dave would sometimes stay up until three in the morning playing PlayStation (while Natalie and I sewed). I believe it was around this time that “bird heroine” came about (which is not a real drug for those of you that have NO idea what I’m talking about). Ah, the memories.

After graduating from BYU in 2005 James moved his family all the way to the East Coast, which is WAY too far in my opinion. He now works for Pulte Homes and will go back to school for a business degree. He and his wife Natalie (who was my visiting teacher in my singles ward) have two darling girls, Sammie, who will be three next month, and Lexi who is almost eight months old.

I am so glad that James is my bro and will always be my little bro no matter how tall, old and wise he becomes! I love you Chauchiebolo!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Click here to read more about James and his girls.