Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

(My beautiful sister, Nicole, 5 1/2 months pregnant & her "baby" Brewer)

This was today's Dream Lab challenge. I'm making a list of who to ding-dong ditch. Dare you to join me.

Also, my parents are back from Vegas. My dad did not get his first choice in entertainment. Instead, he and my mom saw Donny & Marie. My mom loved it.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Feel What You Feel

(Mexican Feather Grass growing in Los Gatos)

“What reason on earth would you have to be sad?” the Voice of Judgment asks the Vulnerable Heart.

Poor, Heart. This line of questioning makes her feel selfish and small.

But no one ever asks her to justify her happiness (and she is happy most of the time).

So she decides it is OK to feel what she feels and to let some questions go unanswered.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Dangers of Vacation

(Sculpted stone wall at the Basilica de la Immaculada Concepcion Central Cathedral in Mazatlan)

You finally go on vacation. You get some sleep and a break. You start to see your life a bit clearer. Which is good and scary.

You realize all your busyness all the time is a blessing and a buffer. You love your life packed full and spilling over with work and friends and things to do. But it keeps you from sitting still and from moving forward.

Between the beach and the sun and the sleeping in, certain things float to the top. Certain desires that are probably screaming all the time to be heard can finally be heard because everything else is quiet. Really quiet. And it makes you uncomfortable and grateful.

When it’s time to come home, you’re ready. Your life is waiting. Not the one you left behind, but the one that has been quietly begging for your attention.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Supper

It doesn't matter how simple a dish is. If I cook, the kitchen ends up destroyed. But yummy is worth messy.

Pasta Salad made with Salad:
  • Barilla Plus angel hair pasta, cooked
  • Cibo Naturals artichoke lemon bruschetta
  • Onion, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Black olives, chopped
  • Fresh basil
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Tuna
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice and zest
  • Salt, pepper and red Chile pepper
*All ingredients to taste. Mix and serve.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sweet Home

As it turns out, I love adventure, but my favorite part is coming home. More about Mazatlan soon. xo, Christina 

PS: Self-portrait taken for Kylie at the San Jose Airport with my favorite new iPhone application, Hipstamtic. I used the John S. lens and Ina's 1969 film.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Destination: Mazatlan

The Napa and camping trips were just practice (and a lot of fun). But now we're putting our travel skills to the test and heading south of the border to Mazatlan, Mexico. Our trip is a combination of work followed by play, play, play.

Wish us luck and safety and pretty photos. 

Be back before the end of June.

Love, Christina


Monday, June 14, 2010


My grandpa is 91 today. It is his first birthday in 64 years without his wife. I can't even imagine what that must feel like. Please send him a happy thought filled with birthday love and cheer.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Camper

I have to tell you, a lot was at stake with this trip. An unfortunate Fourth of July incident in 2004 wrongly convinced John that Nature and I don't get along. It only took me six years (SIX YEARS) to change his mind. Not that I'm going to be backpacking miles away from a toilet anytime soon, but car camping with no cell service is definitely something I can do and now John knows it, too.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Into the Woods

We are headed out for our wilderness adventure straight after work tomorrow. Lucky for us, the cutest 3-1/2-year-old camper has volunteered to help set up our borrowed tent.

Be back Sunday.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Short Prayers in Times of Stress

No need to go on and on. God knows my troubles, which is one reason why I favor simple, to-the-point prayers. This one seems to be coming up a lot lately, “Lord, I put it in your hands. You decide.”


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I must be on some kind of self-inflicted mission to prove there is always enough time to have fun. It is the only explanation I can think of for the two-night camping trip I planned right before we leave for Mazatlan. The thing is we don’t even own a tent (or any gear) and neither one of us has been camping for at least 12 years.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Travel Tips

If you’ve got them, I want them, especially if your advice pertains to packing light. For all my love of minimalism, I leave the house with two bags (a purse and a tote) every day. So you can imagine what I look like packing for an actual vacation. Part of my problem is a tendency to pack for the unexpected, a skill I developed as a nanny, cops reporter and photographer’s assistant. Before all that, I swear I was a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl. Oh, who am I kidding?

PS: If anyone has experience successfully using the Travelpro Maxlite 22” Expandable Rollaboard suitcase as a carry-on, please let me know. I find height and weight requirements utterly confusing. Thanks a million!


Sunday, June 6, 2010


Remember this tiny bit of wonderful? She was baptized today to the joy of her family and friends. A baptism the day after a funeral seemed like the perfect way to bring this week full circle.


Saturday, June 5, 2010


At the cemetery, my grandpa said, “Goodbye, Marcella. Goodbye, Honey. Goodbye, Sweetie. Goodbye, Sweetheart.”
This was followed by a rush for tissues from handbags.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Sadness & Celebrations

Today was my grandmother’s vigil service. It was also my 33rd birthday. I typically prefer to keep all sadness out of my celebrations. That said, praying, crying and laughing with family and friends as you celebrate the life of someone you love isn’t the worst way to spend a birthday.

As a bonus, it was also National Donut Day. My grandma loved donuts, so we headed to her favorite spot after the rosary.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Business Trip

Remember how last week I said I was bracing for June? Well, part of this month's busyness was a business trip to Napa. In light of this week's events, I almost cancelled. I am glad I didn't. Napa is one of the most beautiful places in the world, a perfect hideout for adult runaways. I will be returning to life tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Today, John and I worked on the Prayers of the Faithful for my grandmother's funeral Mass. Not making the cut was, "For all the Tic-Tac popping, Crunch-bar eating, bingo-playing former secretaries of this church, we pray to the Lord."

Today, I told more than one complete stranger that my grandmother died yesterday. Not because I want sympathy, but because I want people to know something is missing in my world and it is her.

Today, I shared with someone I barely know how my grandma taught me to pray to St. Anthony. Actually, this is important information everyone should know. If you lose something and need help, pray, "Dear St. Anthony, I hate to bother you. I know you are very busy looking for lost souls, and I pray that you find them. But if you have a spare moment, please help me find ___ (fill in the blank). Thank you. Amen." If that didn't work, she resorted to bribery.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Grandma Marcella

I’m pretty sure I’ve never gotten good news before 6 a.m. So when my phone rang at 5:44 this morning, I wasn’t surprised to hear Grandma had gone to that Big Bingo Hall in the Sky.

This last week had been especially hard, but she was surrounded with love and her favorite things.

Today’s psalm reads, “Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong.” She was 84. May she rest in peace and know everlasting joy.


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