April 2010


So this post is rather late … since my birthday was 2 months ago. But I still have to blog about it, because I believe it was the best birthday ever! My parents were able to come down for the weekend right before my birthday, which was so fun! I haven’t really been home to celebrate my birthday in a long while, so this was a special treat to have home come to me! They got to Santa Clarita on Friday, and we went to my favorite restaurant for dinner (Piccola Trattoria – yes, of course it’s Italiano) with my roomie, Polly, and Rita and Larry. The food, the company, the service, the dessert, basically EvErYtHiNg was amazing! πŸ™‚ They brought me out a special birthday dessert that was to die for. (Actually it’s not on the menu but when I was there the other night, the chef made it for us!)

Dinner at Piccola Trattoria

One word: yum!

Me and my roomie!

Then we went back to Rita and Larry’s, where my parents gave me my main birthday gift … they just couldn’t wait. I was utterly and completely shocked to open this …

Wow ... still can't believe they got this for me ...

On Saturday, my parents and I met Jenn and Ruben at probably my all time favorite spot … Aroma Cafe. Such a fun morning eating pastries, sipping on coffee and enjoying sweet fellowship. And so fun for my parents to finally meet Ruben (who’s about to marry my best friend … hhmmmm, Jenn there’s still time to back out!), who they of course loved (don’t back out Jenn! He’s a crazy Spaniard, but it’s ok – we all love him). After Aroma, my parents and I went to the beach near Malibu. It was a gorgeous day – couldn’t have asked for better weather! We went to the Getty Villa, which was a new experience to me. I highly recommend it, because we thoroughly enjoyed it! Part of what was so fun to me was that it’s modeled after a villa in Italy and some things after a museum in Naples that I’ve been to. A lot of the artifacts have to do with Italy and different things I learned about during my time in Israel, so I was fascinated!

Self portrait!

Makes me want to go back ...

We ended up having dinner at The Melting Pot that night, which was fun to experience with my parents. I’d like to add a note here … just for the record, I do not enjoy sharing my bday with Valentine’s Day (no my bday isn’t the 14th, but it’s close enough). Here’s the problem … when you want to go out to dinner for your bday on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day … you almost have to have reservations. Everyone else and their brother is out celebrating Valentine’s Day. Well, some people just want to celebrate their bday without the rest of the world being out and about. Ok, I’m done. πŸ™‚

Sunday was a pretty chill day – church, a little Starbucks, a little hanging out. My mom and I got to spend time in the kitchen (one of my fave things to do with her) – we made pizzas and had some friends over and watched the Olympics. Oh – we also made these delicious individual chocolate cakes with caramel sauce and whipped cream. And I just had an image of the first batch of caramel – that brought lots of laughter!! πŸ™‚ My parents left Monday morning, and I spent some time reading at Aroma. But that’s not where the birthday fun ended! There’s more!!

On my actual birthday, Jenn and Polly took me to dinner at Granville Cafe – so great! And I was completely surprised as to where we were going … I could not figure it out for the longest time. I did give them a hard time on picking a place since I basically went to all my favorites during the weekend with my parents. πŸ™‚

The 3 of us

I knew we were going back to the house afterward, because Polly had made me a cake … a kind which I had requested, practically begged for. It was the cake of peanut butter chocolate goodness! I figured that something was up, and I expected people to be at the house … especially when I saw one of my friend’s cars parked out front. πŸ™‚ But, I was so surprised by some of my friends who were there (and I’m not that easy to surprise), and I was totally blessed and it was so special!! We just hung out and ate cake and laughed and had fun! Oh and I had to answer the best and worst bday question. This one is definitely on top of the “best” list!

I think I was just a tad excited there πŸ™‚

I love my friends! Thanks roomies!!!

A birthday just wouldn't be complete without a crazy picture ... and of course, fish lips

Surprise!! Totally unexpected to have Joey and Evan show up!

My birthday was wonderful in every way, shape, and form. Thanks to every one of you who made it so special!! The dreaded “quarter of a century”/”half way to fifty” turned out not to be so bad after all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

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was an interesting day. I had grand plans … and none of them happened. I think the Lord does that sometimes just to remind us that He’s the one in control. I felt pretty sick and ended up being on the couch for most of the day. In one sense I feel like the day was wasted, but as I thought back over it … it wasn’t. I got to talk with my parents for a long time, which was a wonderful blessing! I read a little and was reminded that God is my Help and my Deliverer. His love is steadfast. He provides “plentiful redemption” (Ps. 130:7). I read an amazing prayer out of The Valley of Vision about the Holy Spirit. I’ll seriously have to post that and some others. I enjoyed the kindness of a friend bringing me Gingerale and Saltines (the best Saltines ever – don’t know why they tasted so good to me, but they were amazing!) … once again, thanks!Β  Then, despite the great movie collection I’d brought up to the loft with me … I ended up getting caught up on the last few weeks of Lost. I know of some who’ve not been real impressed with this season thus far, and I admit, I’ve been enjoying it but not absolutely loving it! Well the three episodes I watched today … made me once again LoVe Lost! In the entire series, I think I’ve only teared up once (the very end of the season 5 finale – who didn’t tear up Juliet said “I love you” to Sawyer?!?). But today … I was on the verge of tears several times (I just love Desmond and Penny!). And I just can’t wait to see what happens! This evening I started to perk up a little so I decided to take the plunge and get my taxes out of the way (not like I had much of a choice to procrastinate any longer). I am happy to report that I’m getting money back from the government … yay! πŸ™‚ I wrote a post that I’ll be putting up later this week … and now I’m gonna check my email and go to bed! All in all, I’d say a pretty decent day.

Just wanted to give a quick update on my weekend trip to Sacramento. First off, I did take my camera … but it never got out of the case. I think that made it difficult to take pics … not sure. πŸ™‚

So Jenn and I left after work Thursday night, and had a great time catching up on life since we don’t see each other every day any more. WeΒ got home late and enjoyed our beds. Friday we went to Karen’s Bakery (LoVe this place … definitely hit it up almost every time I’m home). We then wentΒ on a bit of a shopping spree … I love the Outlets (yay for GAP and Banana Republic!). Friday night we chilled at home and introduced Jenn to the best bean burrito in NorCalΒ from Jimboy’s. Saturday we had a wedding to go to outside of Modesto, and my mom ended up joining us. We enjoyed great conversation in the car, preparing Jenn for her upcoming marriage to a certain Spaniard she kinda likes. πŸ™‚ Oh, and the wedding was a blessing too! Got to see Heidi on the way back, and her new house! Love it! Heid, I’m almost tempted to move back to Sac and move in with you … especially with that baby grand. πŸ™‚ Saturday night Jenn and I finally saw a movie we planned to watch months ago (funny story about that) and …Β Did you Hear about the Morgans was hilarious! Sunday morning started out with mochas at Peet’s coffee, and then I got to go to my home church and sit with my sweet friend! Church was a wonderful focus on the Gospel and the truth that we are in Christ and do not have to sin (Romans 6). Praise God! After church, we went to my aunt’s house. So great to see my grandparents, some of my cousins, and my aunt and uncle. I swear, my boy cousins grow so huge every time I see them! My papa and I were laughing at me standing next to my “little” cousin. πŸ™‚ It was special to spend some time with them, since I don’t normally get to on Easter Sunday. And this time was extra special because I got to sit on my Papa’s lap for awhile. πŸ™‚ I’m so thankful for my wonderful grandparents! Sally got a couple good pics, that I hope to get a copy of. I will post them if I get them. The ride back … it may or may not have included Jenn and I rocking out to Abba, The Beatles, Miley Cyrus (I put my hands up, they’re playing my song!), and Jonas Brothers. πŸ™‚ So all in all … a wonderful weekend … couldn’t have asked for a better one! God is so kind and gracious, and He delights in lavishing good gifts upon His children.