Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Some call it Thirty. I call it Twentyten. Why? Because I don't feel any different. I still feel like a twentysomething. I guess that's the trick about aging. It's so gradual you can't point to one day and say, "Yep, that's when I got old." Yet there's something significant about turning the page on another decade. Here's a few things that come to mind:
1) I can run for US Senate. I don't know about the rest of you but that sounds like a great way to spend the next 6+ years. Watch out Boxer.
2) I can wear loafers without being laughed at. (hopefully)
3) I can fix my own appliances. OK, maybe this isn't age dependant, but I never worked on my own appliances until I turned 30. So far I've been incredibly successful, already fixing our dryer that broke last week.
4) I can talk about the good old days. Like when vending machines sold 12oz cans of soda, bicycle helmets were optional, Mario Brothers was cool, gas was under a buck a gallon, and cell phones were the size of car batteries. OK, not everything about the old days was better.

Philosophy aside, my birthday was indeed one to remember. I was surrounded by many of my closest friends and reminded how blessed I am to have them in my life. My brother came into town just for the event. The love of my life planned the most amazing party, down to the last detail. It was a 3 course progressive dinner. The main dish was upper crust take out. Yummy. There was a quite amusing white elephant exchange and another fun Tim trivia game. I love games! Debra even looked into an RV to transport everyone during the progressive dinner. It didn't work out but how cool is that? She's the best.
The rest of the day was pretty cool too. Debra made me breakfast and she let me do whatever I want, even wear my blue cords that she can't stand!

Merry Christmas

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with fun, family, and health.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Look familiar?

The house got a facelift. It's quite the transformation if any of you remember the brown trimmed bungalow full of cobwebs. Not to mention the brown lawn and old landscaping past its prime. So this is for all of you that don't have the time or the wherewithall to visit. We have a delightful guest bedroom with a well-appointed private bath (might be a slight exageration but we still love to have company!)

O Christmas Tree

Once again it's the time of year for decorating the tree. This beauty was obtained from a high school fundraiser. It was a little scary committing to a tree without seeing it, but I was assured it would be a good one. I'll let you be the judge.

This is our first Christmas so every little thing becomes symbolic. Our first tree, our first ornament, even the decorating routine... we spent the good part of a saturday morning listening to Christmas tunes and refreshing all the memories of each ornament as we hung them on the tree. We were amazed at how many ornaments we have between the two of us! This is a big tree and we couldn't even fit all our ornaments on it!

Another amazing thing about this Christmas tree is that it is already fully loaded with gifts. That's right, Debra decided to get the gift shopping done early so we had everything wrapped before Thanksgiving. I don't know what I'm going to do this year for Christmas Eve because I normally spend it shopping and wrapping. This is going to be a Christmas to remember!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Just a few pics from Thanksgiving in the valley. Tim and I were in Fresno this year with the Richards. It was great to see the family and be with the grandparents. My 92 year old grandma even made it! We've officially started splitting the holidays between the families. So this year it will be Christmas in Orange County with the Romano Family. It will be awfully weird waking up on Christmas morning without the fog we know as our "white Christmas" in the valley, but it might be a nice change of pace to see a little more sunshine.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Warm Central Coast Weekend

Tim and I decided to put aside the house projects this weekend and get outside to enjoy some great weather. It was so warm in SLO (Close to 90) so we headed to the beach. We started at Montana de Oro, then walked around Baywood Park, (Los Osos) climbed Black Hill in Morro Bay, and took a stroll on the beach in Cayucos.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fall Fun

Just a few pics from a fun weekend with the fam. Tim's parents came up for some fresh apples from See Canyon, some wine tasting, and of course to see the kids. I thought I had better post these before fall is over. It seems like Christmas gets here earlier and earlier every year.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Our Energetic Lab

Well, it's been a while since we have updated anyone on the dog. This was her status last week after our lovely $200 vet bill. Cali decided to stop eating, moving, and started having very irregular bowel movements. We never did find out what was wrong with her, after about three days she just snapped out of it. We were worried to say the least, and it made me think about having kids and how the worry-o-meter must rise with a sick child. I started to even tell myself that it would be ok if the dog died because we just got the dog a few months ago not years ago. That logic would not work on a child and who was I kidding, there would definitely be tears if Cali was dead.
She is feeling much better this week. She even pulled one of her regular Houdini tricks. Cali has been having regular play dates with her pit bull friend Coral while we are away at work. This way she tends to stay out of trouble. Well the strangest thing happened today. Coral got dropped off in the morning as usual to play, but today Coral decided not to stay for long. Keep in mind all gates were shut, Coral decided to escape and literally head home. She walked across busy intersections over the railroad tracks and back to her owners home to sit and wait for him on his doorstep until he got home for lunch. Meanwhile, Cali (who is a runner when let out) decided she would stay and sleep in her doghouse. It was a relief that she didn't escape as well because we know she would have been long gone. So now Houdini officially has a sidekick and we have come up with endless stories of how Coral got out. But in the end, we'll never know the truth no matter how many times I ask Cali to fess up.

Oh, Vegetables....

I must say that I have eaten more vegetables in the last two months than the last two years. You wouldn't know it by this picture. This was dinner the other night. It was one of those lazy nights where I got home from work late, and I decided to settle on the Mac and Cheese (yes, with a giant sausage for protein of course) And Tim went for the brussel sprouts. Tim and I have subscribed to getting an organic veggie box for the last two months through my school from a local farm. Each week we receive a new box full of vegetables in which I sometimes recognize and sometimes do not. I am receiving quite an education. I am just not a vegetable person and would be perfectly content eating a bowl of cereal every night for dinner. (Which I often did, not too long ago, before we were married) So our fridge is overflowing with greenery. The funny thing is the different viewpoints that Tim and I have about these veggies. Since receiving our weekly box (did I mention I split the box with a friend so we only have to endure half?) our fridge constantly seems to be full. I open the fridge in search of food, and deduce that we need to go to the grocery store, while Tim opens the fridge and assumes that it is full of food just because it contains about 10 different types of vegetables. What more could you want? I also find it shocking that Tim has grown to like the taste of lettuce and therefore will not put an ounce of salad dressing on a salad. Isn't that why they made salad dressing? To mask the taste of lettuce? I have discovered fennel for the first time as I dipped it into peanut butter and took a large bite mistaking it for celery. Not recommended! I am, however, becoming more open minded about vegetables as I learn to cook them. Two weeks in I told Tim at the dinner table I wasn't sure if I could handle any more veggies. Now we only have two weeks left in our subscription and I am finally beginning to enjoy it. So I will leave you with a recipe for beets that I have learned to enjoy. Warning: beets will turn your bowell movements red. Don't be alarmed.

Cooked Beets

Preheat oven to 400
Wrap beats in foil (like a baked potato) enclosing all steam inside
Bake for 45 min-1hr
Let cool and peel off the skins
Enjoy with oil and vinegar.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Celebrating Tammy and Joe!

Another great weekend spent down south. This time we were in Huntington Beach to celebrate Tammy and Joe tying the knot! The wedding was a blast. Highlights included the In and Out Burger truck pulling up to serve dinner, different kinds of pink candy all over the tables to sample, and the first dance not being what Tammy expected. (Joe inserted a song that he wrote for Tammy after a few seconds of the actual song they were supposed to dance to)

We are Blessed

This is a picture from a couple of weekends ago when the Nespers invited us to spend a weekend at a friends beach house close to Ventura. It was a great weekend of absolutely beautiful weather, good waves, (I actually surfed) and lots of laughs with friends.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Summer has come to an end...

My days of laying around relaxing came to a quick halt almost a month ago. I can't believe I have already been in school that long. I have been through two grueling 45 min. back to school night speeches, a bus ride to Salinas for a conference (in which the bus broke down on the way), and my first parent complaint that I am making the kids nervous when it comes to their grades. I keep getting the common question of, "How's your school year going?" So I thought I would just put it out there. I can't believe this is my fifth year in the fifth grade. Mission is definitely aging me. I think I forget how hard it is for new beginnings as the kids walk in the door day 1. I just expect them to act like my last year's class. Totally whipped into shape, walking in silently, raising their hand for everything, never misbehaving, and at the end of the day thanking me for teaching them. Oh no, my class is not shy this year. I have an overabundance of boys, very ACTIVE boys, that I do believe live for recess so that they can check out equipment for the playground. I am always shocked when we are in the middle of a science lesson and a boy raises his hand and asks if he can check out the rubber ball for recess. Mind you, recess is a good half hour away. Having 35 students this year is something I am also getting used to. Last year I only had 28 and thought I was living the life! Tim and I starting helping in the children't ministry at church. We only have 6 student in the 2-3 grade class we are helping out in and they always have a helper. I found myself thinking, why on earth would you need a helper? 6 kids...piece of cake I deal with 35 everyday! I also have two lovely students both boys, that love to raise their hands. Most of the day I just have to remind myself that patience is a virtue. Handraiser #1 loves to raise his hand when I ask if anyone has a question and tricks us all into listening to a story about the old school he just came from. I now clarify to the class that, "If you are raising your hand to tell us a story about your old school and not ask us a question, then you need to put it down. I would love to hear that story at recess." Works every time. Handraiser #2 loves to ask questions out of the blue when I am in my busiest moments. For example, one day when the bell was about to ring and I was dealing with many students, Handraiser #2 walks up and very loudly asks me why the desk he was sitting in was so small. I think my response was, "You'll have to live with it." Definitely a day where my patience was lacking. Maybe not the best answer, but who asks a question like that when we are writing down what we have for homework that night? Handraiser #2 has also gotten quite good at sneaking in a question after I ask him to read a paragraph in the book. He finishes the paragraph in a mumble so he can practically continue the last sentence with his question as if it were one. He has gotten me a few times with this one. Very clever. I must say that my job never really gets boring when you put an eclectic goup of 35 ten and eleven year olds together. And I know I could never sit in a cubicle all day long. So I take the good with the bad and hopefully teach these 35 students some knowledge about life, how to love Jesus, and all that other important stuff like math and grammar.

Monday, September 8, 2008


60 years together! My great Aunt and Uncle celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Fresno (the same weekend as the big proposal) The surprise brunch was not at all expected. They were thrilled to have friends and family surrounding them on this momentous occasion.

It's official! After quite a few years of dating, Rudy asked my sister to marry him. She showed up to my parent's house in Fresno with a pretty big rock on her finger last weekend. It was super fun because we were all home for the weekend. Rudy took her to Fresno Pacific, (where they both attended school) found the place that they had their first conversation, and proposed to her. It was about 105 degrees and Rudy took a knee on the hot asphalt. Now that's love! So we're looking at next June for another wedding. Let the planning begin!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bananas Foster

The Coalwells were all excited about making their own bananas foster dessert after discovering the recipe over the weekend at a Cambria restaurant. The boys were super excited to try out the recipe because it involved the use of a blow torch. I was a little nervous until I remembered Brendan was a firefighter. The excitement fizzled when the dish didn't exactly light on fire. So we enjoyed carmalized bananas and sugar over ice cream. The recipe will get perfected, I have hope.


Not to overdo the postings on the new dog but I couldn't resist one more post. Cali loves Tim. I was pretty much invisible the first week as Cali followed Tim's every step. I don't blame her, he is the one that wakes up every morning at 6 and takes her for a walk and gives her a bath every time she decides to find the mud puddle at the park (she's had 4 baths in the last 5 days) Now that's love.

Tammy's Shower

My sweet friend Tammy is getting married at the end of Sept. Tammy and I went to Cal Poly together and were roomies. We celebrated Tammy this weekend with a lingerie shower in Irvine. After the shower we headed to downtown San Juan Capistrano to have fondue at La Fondue. I have never been to a fondue restaurant (apparently it is the thing to do down south) We dipped just about everything you can imagine in chocolate. It was delicious!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

She's All Ours

With much anticipation this past week, we picked up Cali from the vet. As we entered the vet's office we were warned that we had a "vocal" one. Apparently she barked from the moment she arrived there until we picked her up. (A good 8 hrs.) Of course this was a shock to us because she was the one in the pound that didn't bark once the entire time we were there. So we took her home and she was obviously in pain from being spayed. She whined the entire first night, so loud we could hardly hear the tv. There was no consoling her. Needless to say, we were a little worried about what kind of dog we had chosen. Upon waking up on Day 2, she was a completely different dog. She was really mellow, just followed us around everywhere, and slept. She has been like that for the past 4 days and we are loving her. Nothing like the first night! I think her pain meds have something to do with this because she is finally starting to be a little more playful today. So far her favorite things are chasing birds during walks, chewing on her bone, and sleeping.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Meet Cali!

We just couldn't resist this face as we walked the aisles of the SLO animal shelter. The newest addition to the Romano family is this loveable yellow lab retreiver. During summer lonesomeness while Tim works all day, I have been searching for dogs. I realized that I had an exact dog in mind and wouldn't give up until I found her. We can't wait to get her out of the pound, and out from behind bars to bring home. She has to get spayed first so we will have her on Tuesday. She is about 2 or 3 yrs old, so hopefully the puppy stage is mostly over. (Especially since I found the dog 3 days before I have to start school again) We have never been to a pound to see the dogs, let alone rescue one, but it was definitely a rewarding feeling knowing that we saved her from the kill shelter. I'm sure there will be lots more pictures of her to come as soon as they let her out of that cage!

Steve and Cole

Introducing....Mr. and Mrs. Shipley! Cole and Steve tied the knot at the Dana Powers house in Nipomo. It was absolutely beautiful! Cole and I lived together for two years. The weather was great, sushi for appetizers, and exquisite strawberry shortcake pastries for dessert. I realized that I have a new dream to someday own a beautiful Victorian house such as this, garden all day, and host weddings on this weekends. Wouldn't that make a great day job? Now we just have to start looking for that beautiful home on property. (I guess I can dream right?) I was just excited to be able to attend as this was one of my first outings after sinus surgery a week ago.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Midstate Fair

Every year we head to the Midstate Fair to see a concert, eat some fair food, and this year ride the ferris wheel! Much to my shock, Tim has never in his life ridden a ferris wheel. I think it is one of those things in life that he had to do before he turned 30. As for the concert, we didn't exactly pay to see one this year. We watched Matchbox 20 play as we sat on top of the 15 ft. Colossal Gelato Machine (which our friend owns) while of course enjoying all the free gelato we could stomach after munching down Old West Cinnamon Rolls.