Monday, October 20, 2008

My Little Secret

So, I'm going to let you in on a little secret I've been keeping: I'm curing my home!  This confession is a little bit embarrassing, because I am going to show you some photos of our home that are not so glamorous. 

Last week was the first week of Apartment Therapy's Fall 2008 Eight Step Home Cure.  One of my favorite blogs to read, Apartment Therapy is great for home inspiration and ideas and their Cure strategy is life changing.  It is a fresh approach to designing a functional home and living environment.  I unofficially participated during their Spring Cure earlier this year and it made a huge difference in our home. 

I'm really excited to get more organized and finish making our house a functional space that works for us and can truly be our home.  If you want to play along you can visit their website and/or buy the book.  I highly recommend purchasing a copy of Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure.

During the next eight weeks, I will be updating my blog with my progress and will be posting some photos of the changes as well.  Wish me luck!

You are now officially a witness of my house before the Cure.  How exciting will it be to see it afterwards?

Let me know if you want to join me and cure your home.  Leave us a link in the comments so we can see your progress.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fire 'em Up!

Photos by Bob Stender of Tibidabo Photography

So, we've had two rather successful birthdays this month.  And I really enjoy birthdays.

For David's birthday we had coffee, of course; an assortment of desserts; and some home-made chai.

Every time we go to Starbucks, Elliott asks me about their rice crispy treats and I tell him, "We can make those at home."  So this last time we went to Starbucks, we were standing in line when all of sudden Elliott cries out, "Oh!  We forgot to make those!"  So I promised him we would make them for Daddy's birthday and that is just what we did.  We also had the trusty toasted oat cookies, which I highly recommend, as well as this chocolate torte.

The party was a hit and I can't tell you what a big, huge blessing these photos are--courtesy of Bob Stender (a fellow birthday lover) who dropped by with his wife, Becky, with birthday wishes for David.  Truly rare are any photos that happen to include both David and me in the same shot since he is usually behind the camera.  So these pictures are truly a treasure.  Thank you, Bob!

***Photos of Caiden's birthday to come, I promise!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Verse of the Day

Photo by David Escalante

Psalm 90:15
"Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."

Finding My Way

Is there anything more exciting in life than discovery?

'X marks the spot where the treasure be'

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Congratulation, Genius

Just a quick break from vacation photos to give you all a pat on the back for your reading skills.  Apparently you must be a genius if you are able to read my blog! 

blog readability test

Now you can all feel good about yourselves and go about your day with renewed worth...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Perspective

"rachel, robert, and me. throw rocks in the water. run back to the campsite and have s'mores. play at the beach and we had some- mores, got in the tent and go to bed. then we ride bikes and we looked at the train...  wrote that down." Quoted from Elliott Escalante regarding our trip to Carpinteria.

Week 2: Carpinteria

Photos by David Escalante
Photos in order from the top, left to right: Carpinteria at dusk, Elliott chucking rocks; Darlene's (David's mom) elaborately beautiful camp setup; Elliott and Caiden chillin' in the pop-up tent trailer; longboards resting atop the trailer after a busy day in the surf; one of many delicious dinners; thievin' rascals!; Elliott riding his bike into "town" to the candy store; Rachel teaching me how to stretch out after a day of surfing; long exposure of the night sky from the bridge above a little ocean marsh looking out to the sea (campgrounds to the left and right).

September Getaway Continued

The first week of our trip consisted mostly of just hanging around the house for nap times, getting coffee, and shopping (yes, my husband loves to shop... incredible, isn't it?!).  We did manage to take our little monkeys to the zoo, though...

Monday, October 13, 2008

September Getaway Day 1

First things first, as they say and in this situation that means beginning at the beginning of our trip--the road part...  We woke up early and got on the road at about 5 am or so.  Below are some shots from our stop along the six and a half hour trip (pulling off along an off-ramp to let Elliott kindly water the weeds doesn't count).  Below are some shots, courtesy of David, of the Terrible Two, the Tornadoes, the Tame-less Tikes, the Tiny Terrors, the Timid Tyrannosaurus'... (that's fun!)

We arrived in Santa Ana around 11:30 or so and went straight to Grandpa's work...  Quite possibly one of the coolest places on earth, second only to Grandpa's garage where he has many a jar and cabinet full of collected items that have been gathered over the years with future grandchildren in mind.  You wouldn't believe the sorts of the things that Elliott comes eagerly carrying into the house, eyes glowing and fingers itching to play with the prize he is so proudly carrying in his arms; age-old McDonalds' Happy Meal toys still in the packages they came in; Hot Wheels in every variety; jars and jars of odds and ends; dice and checkers and dominos and marbles...  I'm tellin' ya.  Its quite something.  You'll have to ask Elliott about it someday, because I myself have not even seen the full extent of Grandpa's Mary-Poppins-like never-ending goody supply.  Here are some snapshots of the Packard shop where Grandpa works.

Prejudice aside, these guys are the best in the business.  Restoring and caring for Packards, they see many gems come and go through their shop.  A family team.  Its truly beautiful.  From the back left going clockwise we have my David (or little David), cousin Toby, Uncle Sandy, Grandpa Alfred, baby Caiden, David (David the Dad or Big David), and Elliott Escalante.  (Uncle Robert owns the business, but was not there for the photo, nor was Cal the one other mechanic there who is also a long time family friend)

After saying hello at the shop, we headed over to Grandpa's house and played there until Grandma arrived...  Oh, what a joyous moment.  Recorded in my mind are Elliott's ecstatic whoops of delight and Grandma's equally ecstatic reaction of pure joy (maybe mixed in with some tears).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Birthday Wishes

The first order of business for today is to wish my love a very warm and happy birthday.
"Happy Birthday, David! There is cool, crisp, fall weather just for you today on your birthday..."

Send him a birthday shout-out at davidescalante (at) mac (dot) com.

We're Back!

Hey guys. I didn't keep my promise (obviously) about keeping the blog updated while we were on vacation. Apparently when you go on vacation with your kids there is not much "resting" involved.

However, we had a wonderful time (thanks to David's folks' hospitality and care for us). Consequently we have arrived home with peaceful hearts, new resolve, and strengthened family bonds.

I've decided to do multiple posts regarding our vacation to avoid overload. David got some great photos of our trip. Some things to look forward to from the recap are: treasure hunts, birthday parties, sunsets, and adorable faces.