Friday, December 25, 2009

One of the thing that I look forward to during the holidays is a yearly visit to Disneyland.... They seriously go all out in the decorations, and everthing always looks Amazingly Great!!! :) This year I joined the Fanzo's in the visit!!! We had a Great time as always... Here are some pictures from our adventure, Thanks Jessica for taking these!!! :)
The Castle was Amazing!!! :)
Ella's legs were tired so she got a piggy back ride!! :)
Our first stop was dinner, I tried the chicken apple salad at California adventure for the first time and it was delicious just like Jessica said!! YUMMMM..... and then we treated ourselves to a hot chocolate!! now we're ready for our adventure!! :)

It's a small world!
Sitting on Santa's sleigh!!
The haunted mansion

I LOVE this picture! Ella was telling Mrs. Claus that she had been a good girl!! :)
Lukey and Bobby were there too..... :) what a great time we had!!! I hope everyone had a delightful holiday season!!! Until next time!! :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Life is what happens when we're too busy "making plans"....

I feel like the last few weeks I've been on somewhat of a rollercoaster ride....... up, down, up, down..... It hasn't been the easiest ride at all, and the "best" part or should I say the most stressful part is that all of this is happening right around the holidays.... GREAT!!! I have a feeling that this is going to be the year of nontraditional holidays for my family. My dad ended up in the hospital the week of Thanksgiving, so we got to spend Thanksgiving day in a hospital room/waiting room, my brother brought some tostadas and ceviche and my brother-in-law's family sent us some leftover thanksgiving food..... we were all together with my dad though, and really that's all that mattered to us. Thanksgiving marks the official start of Christmas festivities for us, the weekend after we always decorate, we do lights and a tree, and tamales, ALWAYS tamales the weekend after Thanksgiving..... This year everything has been different, there was no tamale making/decorating weekend, and to add to the busyness of the year my sister and her husband moved to a new place and planned a Christmas Party for 3 days after getting the keys, talk about stressful..... that marked the dbeginning of the holiday season, we ended up doing tamales and tree decorations during the week, and then my dad ended up in the hospital again... pheew.... at least we got some decorating done and tamales, that was the most important part for my mom!!! then we were back to the hospital again, for another week..... they let him go home on the monday of Christmas week, and he thought he was feeling better, as did we.... we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day surrounded with family and friends, he seemed to be doing well until right about Christmas Day night, and sure enough yesterday, 2 days after Christmas, we were back to the hospital again, and here we are.... at the beginning of another week long stay at the hospital, I do feel like I got some answers though..... but it's going to be a long process, at least this time we know what to expect and how long it's going to take to "fix" the problem..... but that's a whole other blog!!! :/
It's funny though, yesterday at work I told my friend, isn't it weird that Christmas kinda came and went this year?? I feel like it literaly passed me by, there was no baking of cookies this year, no family was "adopted", which I feel badly about, and although there was holiday related things that I did with my friends, it still doesn't seem like the holiday was here as long as it should of been..... It's weird, but now I have a completely new understanding of people who spend the holidays in hospitals.... who knew..... that while everyone was going to be planning holiday parties and shopping for presents I'd be spending days working and then driving to the hospital.... there were people in there who never got visitors, I felt so sad for them, but at the same time I was "selfishly" grateful that there was people visiting "us", and yes I mean us..... because we were there too!! I also felt grateful that people called and txt messaged just to check in and see how things were going.... And that is what Christmas is all about, caring about one another and being together with those that we love, wether it's in a hospital waiting room or at home, it's really not about all the presents and the baking.... although that REALLY helps!!! ;) so in a nutshell that's how my holidays went..... :) Now I'm ready to bring in a new year full of new beginnings and hopefullya year in which my dad is all better.....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oh! how the smell of Christmas fills the air!! :)

ahhhhhh..... I can smell it now!!! the fresh smell of cooking tamales!!! At my house the "holiday" season is not necessarily marked by the holiday decorations, it is marked by the succulent smells of freshly baked cookies, and tamale "weekend"!!! Tamale making at my house is usually a two day event, but this year there are were so many other things going on that it turned into a whole weekend event for my mom.... poor lady's exhausted right now, but as she said.... at least the tamales are done!!! YIIIPPPEEE!!! She went back to work this year so we had to work around her weekend off work schedule, which happened to be on the weekend when i had something planned for literally everyday, and my sister did too..... but it all worked out anyway, as with every other year my brother came over to cook the masa on friday night, which allowed him to spend some quality time with my parents..... it's funny he got "given" that job years ago, because the pot my mom cooks the masa in, is SOOOO big and tall that no one used to be able to reach into it to stir it, once it was on the stove.... that is until my sister's husband started helping..... :) so the masa and banana leaves were cooked on friday night, while I was out celebrating a birthday party..... hahaha!!! :) then on saturday my mom woke up early to start cooking the "recado", which is the red sauce that goes with them..... yummmmm.... this has to be my favorite part..... I could probably sit down to a bowl of that with just rice, but since I was at work and then another party I missed my chance this year..... ugh!!! oh well there's always next year!!! :) this morning (sunday) after I got back from watching my friends kids perform a Christmas Play at their church we started putting together the tamales..... here is what the set up looked like.... :) yummm..... the meat my mom uses is Turkey!! other people use different stuff, but I guess we're "picky" here!!! at least that's what I'm told!!! ;) Guatemalan tamales, are wrapped in a banana leaf which gives them a very yummy flavor..... they also have olives, capers, (both of which I pick out before eating) :) and cooked stewed bell peppers, my mom makes these herself.... hence the 2 days needed for tamale making! ;)

the pot of masa!!!
This is what the tamale looked like on the banana leaf before we cooked it..... I know it may not look that appealing, but they're soooo tasty!!! :)

This year my sister got to try her hand at "wrapping" them..... she did very well if I do say so myself!!! We had to wait another hour, for the first batch to cook so we could eat one..... while that was cooking we finished the rest, it gave us motivation, since we knew that as soon as we finished, there would be a steaming hot freshly made tamale waiting for us for dinner..... and let me tell you that I could hardly contain myself when they were done!!!

The finished product, once again, looks kinda weird, my camera phone isn't very good I guess!! :/ oh and pardon my mom's fine china.... if only she knew I had posted this picture on that plate...... hahahaha!!!! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yummmm.... Cranberry Bliss Bars

The holiday season is amongst us...... and with that comes the annual ornament/cookie exchange party.... last year I tried my hand at pecan bites,, which I thought of making again this year, since they were such a hit with everyone last year, that is..... until I stumbled across the recipe for these cranberry bliss bars, a personal favorite from starbucks!!! and they turned out to be as delicious as i expected them to be..... :-D the top picture is the crust/cake part!, it also had fresh cranberries, which I had to chop into small pieces!
the rest of the ingredients!! :)

halfway done!!! :)

finally done, now it just needed to cool, so I could cut them!!

and the final product!!! Allow me to say that they were very tastylicious!!! :) They were so good that I indulged in too many to count!!! hahaha!!

A much needed get away....... :)

I think the week of Thanksgiving was by far one of the longest and most stressful weeks I've thru in my life..... hahaha!!! YES, it was that "hectic" because of the way the holiday fell I worked for like seemed like forever with only one day off in between, but since I had gotten the weekend off I booked a trip to visit my cousins in San Francisco, it IS what I was looking forward to, until, my dad ended up in the hospital 2 days before Thanksgiving, now I was tired, and worried too..... I almost cancelled my trip, but after a few days of hanging out at the hospital we got confirmation that all was going in the right direction, and that he was going to be ok.... I was still apprehensive, but he insisted that I go, so I did, against my wishes at first though..... Everything turned out ok and I had a GREAT time!! I am so glad that he insisted I go, but not as glad as I am that he is well on his way to recovery!!! :-D I flew out friday after noon, right after work, it was the easiest trip I've ever taken..... I made it from work to John Wayne, and thru security in less than an hour and a half!!! It was terrific!!! :) My cousin and the family picked me up in San Francisco, and we went directly to dinner, I was starved!!! I know what a surprise.... I'm always hungry!! ;) then on saturday we hung out at home, did some online shopping, some "real" shopping, and then we got ready to go to Union Square to check out the Ginormous tree and all the store windows!!! It was so beautiful there, and EVERYTHING was decked out for the upcoming Christmas Season!! :)
The Macy's window was amazing, at least to me..... I'd never seen anything like it before!! WOW!!

My cousin and I at Union Square!! :)It was sooooo chilly!!! brrrr.....
Then on sunday we woke up and met my other cousin and his wife for breakfast on the bay..... and we did some more shopping!!! I LOVE the beach it's always been a peaceful and stressful free place for me!!! :) after breakfast my cousin Bea, the baby, V and I went to play on the beach.....
It was a beautiful day, even though it was super chilly!!!

Vides wanted to build sand castles, so build she did!!! don't let her fool you.... it was cold!!! :)

she even stopped for me to take her picture!!! hahaha!! I guess I've taught her well!! ;)

hahaha!!! This picture cracks me up!! I was freezing, and the only way I could occupy myself was to take photographs of me!!! hahaha!!! amazing, I know!! ;)
Say Cheese nnnnnjjjjjjjjjjjjj!!! :)
I love my cousin!!! she's the best!!
Then we headed back home to pick up my stuff, so we could go straight to the airport after visiting Pier 39, the tree here was GIANT too!!! Look at all the presents underneath!!! I LOVE Christmas trees, almost as much as I LOVE snowmen!! ;)
Can I please have all of these??? hahaha!!!
I was shocked to see that all of the seaotters were gone this time of the year?? I wonder if they go somewhere for the winter, usually they're all over the place on these wooden plank things!! hmmmmm.....
The tree was even more beautiful when it was lit!!
we found a reindeer !! :)
The Chavez'...... I LOVE this picture!!

YAY!!!! It's a 5 month baby bump!!! I can't wait for baby girl Chavez to arrive!!! :)
And that was the end to a funfilled weekend in the Bay!!! :)

4 baby boys in less than a month!!!! WOW!!!

baby Mateo

baby william

baby Robert Valentino

and Baby Xavier, who I have no picture of!! :(

Congratulations to all the new parents!!! all 4 boys are so cute!! my friends are family were truly blessed by these beautiful new arivals! I can't wait until next year, for baby girl chavez in february, and baby fanzo in june..... and all the other babies due next year, I currently know 8 pregnant people!!! YIKES! I should not drink whatever it is they're all drinking!!! ;)

My new "man"! :-) he was sooo cute i had to bring him home! :-) ....... it's a sickness i know! ;)

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it was time for a change!!! :)

soooo I did it, I requested to have short hair!!! hahaha!!! Mary my hair lady was in charge of not letting me change my mind!!! and she did a terrific job!!! she cut off 6 inches I think, the pile of hair on the floor was enough to make a small wig!!! :) and I LOVE it!!! I think next time I might go a little shorter!! ..... wait a minute.... did I really just say that??? ;)