Monday, March 23, 2009

March Madness

No bouquet was tossed, no garter thrown (was there a garter?), not a cake to be seen...much less cut and no maid of honor or best call this a wedding? On top of that there was karaoke...WHAT? Karaoke, who's tacky idea was that? Well friends, this was definately Courtney and Cameron's wedding...Created and directed by Courtney; art direction, hair and makeup by Rachel; graphics by Jorge; heavy lifting and transportation by Drew; grandchild wrangling by Maria Clara, Leah, Tyler Rick and Kathleen; key grips: Alicia and Lynn; underwritten and produced by John. (thank you sweetheart for throwing the best party ever!) Of course we would be amiss to not mention all the friends and family that helped and supported us and worried about my sanity...thank you dear, dear friends for your love and support!

While this was not your typical wedding reception, it was one rockin' bash. After the pictures come back I will post them, but for now I wanted to give you a teaser and also share my gratitude for the entire day.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Great Crescendo

Grandma Maria Clara, Jorge, Rachel and Helena Mia Ambrocio

Since my last post in October so much has happened...a great crescendo in the symphony that is my life. Some of it has been like the scary crescendo in say, a disney movie when the villain is giving chase, but other times it has been when the hero triumphs...such as Thanksgiving dinner with my aunt, uncle and cousins; or when Courtney got engaged; when Jorge and Rachel brought Helena into the world, or when we got together with dear friends we had not seen for a while. I must say, I could not have dreamed of a more beautiful symphony. I have so much to be grateful for. Here are some photos of the people who have made the last few months so special:

Aunt Denie and Uncle Lloyd Turner

Harlan's, us, Blackham's, Conforto's Orme's
These are friends from my Seattle days. I owe so much to them for their love, support, kindness and friendship throughout the years. They all live in the San Diego county area (with the exception of the Harlan's who live in Yorba Linda and soon to be Utah). Kim and Collette Blackham are the cruise directors of the group (additionally, Kim is the "Father of Fun") and had us over for a beautiful Valentine's Day dinner. Dennis Conforto kept us laughing out loud till our sides split sharing the "flame-on" days of scout camping when Steve Orme was the older "more experienced" kid they all looked to for guidance...thanks Steve for teaching the timeless skill of fart lighting! Linda and I were nearly inseperatable in our senior year of high school until the day her mother informed her she was having "too much fun" which apparently is not a good thing. Who knew? Stephan (the yellboy at Queen Anne HS) to my knowledge has always been the solid, straight shooter of the group. He's lucky to be where he is today as he was greatly influenced by Dennis in high school...that could have been bad but it all seemed to work out in the end. We have all been through alot since the good old days on Magnolia (Hold your nose in t he air!) and still our faith is strong and rooted in the strength of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all.

This is our family home evening group. The Sommer's, Mori's and Mosley's. We rotate having dinner and a lesson once a month in each other's homes. We have been doing this since 2001. A lot has happened in those years and we have shared it all. And...they have supported me and loved me and been my great friends along the way There will be more on them in a later post.

So for now I will close. Thanks to all my family and friends who make my life so rich and full of joy and happiness.

Friday, October 24, 2008

October isn't too scary!

Let the destruction begin!

Once again we had some of the wardies over to watch general conference. It was a great weekend full of inspiring messages and the requisite cinnamon rolls.

Here's Zoe with Auntie Courtney and her mommy and daddy in her pumpkin outfit. She is so darn cute. I can't wait to see her Halloween's a surprise.

Homecoming is today and tomorrow, woohoo...then it will be over for another year! Next post ought to show some improvement to the house. Grandma Van Dusen is still in the hospital and improving, albeit slowly. I visited Grandpa Van Dusen at the Alzheimer's home on Monday, it was a discouraging visit, he had no idea who I was. Maybe next time he'll be better. Grandma Forester has been in Utah for a week, she went up for Twink's shower. She's having a great time staying with Aunt Ruth and visiting friends and family. John and I are plugging along, trying to stay one step ahead of the contractors. The world is pretty crazy these days, between this insane presidential race, the state of the economy and Prop 8 one could get pretty discouraged. But there is hope and it comes by way of faith in our Savior and His loving example. After all is said and done, I am so grateful to live in this day and time and see God's hand in my life. I know He lives.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Goodbye September

I am so glad I had September but I am so glad to see it go!

Here are the things I am glad to see go:
My mom having a near death experience.
The start of school.
The first dance of the school year.
3 Friday night football games I had to work at.
The Damien football game. (Catholic High School fans are not Christian!)
The aftermath of having a wedding at your home.
My mom moving far too many things to my already bursting at the seams house.
Moving my mom out of her apartment.
Crazy parent week at work.
Slacker student month at work.

Here are the things that made it worth living through:
My mom having a near death experience and living to tell about it.
One month of work is finished.
One dance is over.
We don't play Damien again until 2011.
Rachel is married to an awesome man.
We were able to pare down my mom's s belongings to a manageable amount...
The next move will be easy.
The crazy parents give you the best stories to tell your friends.
Slacker students need mothering...and I'm good at that.
Going to New York for our 33rd anniversary and my 53rd birthday...seeing 3 plays (Mary Poppins, Patti Lapone in Gypsy, Young Frankenstein), 3 public art waterfalls, eating tomato soup at Sarabeths, attending the Manhattan Temple, watching BYU beat the pants off UCLA, having room service (for my first time ever), relaxing, walking, shopped at Macy's and had a great Reuben sandwich.
Having a picnic with baby Drew.
And last but not least...Baby Zoe's blessing.

As I look back at the month I can't help but see how the good times always outweigh the bad and that most experiences turn out for the best. Now if I can just remember that when I'm going through the worst of it so I will be able to show more gratitude for all the lords blessings. October looks lets get on with it!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I know I should be posting my August entry on Rachel and Jorge's wedding, but I don't have the pictures yet, sooooo, I will rant about the presidential race, sans photos. Last year I withdrew membership in the republican party and jumped up on the undecided fence. While I don't know and understand nearly as much as I should about the final two viable candidates, John McCain put a nail in his coffin for me yesterday with his VP pick. I'm sure she is a nice lady...but John McCain is well down the dementia/old age is hazardous to your health road and his best choice to lead the country is a former beauty queen who's current job is the equivalent to being the mayor Memphis. Come on!!! I'm not stupid! I know he did this to increase his odds of winning, not to increase our security as a nation...but it begs the question, is this what a statesman does for the country he promises to protect? John McCain and the rest of your republican cronies are pathetic...give us women and anyone else who values equality some credit...this isn't a game you win or's our future and more importantly the future of our children and grandchildren. Wake up!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Finally...the Debut!

So Miss Zoe long last. This sweet angel doesn't stand a chance of not being spoiled. So, she was born on Friday (7/11...grandpa's little "slurpee") and we just can't get enough of her! Weighing in at 6 pounds 10 ounces and 19 inches long...with a debut time of 10:32 pm. Trying to be polite and wait our turn to hold far no one has been a challenge We are using our best kindergarten manners, but at any moment all could change. Needless to say, Grandma and Grandpa Forester are pleased as can be with their first official granddaughter...and the aunts and uncles are just as excited. Tyler and Leah are doing great...Leah said last night that she's ready to do it again and I'm holding her to it! Tyler is walking about 3 feet off the ground...he is so happy....and Leah is just so content and peaceful...Zoe couldn't have asked for better parents. Heavenly Father won't have to worry too much over this one...her parents are the best! I'll be breif with this post as the photos should speak for themselves.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

School's Out For Summer

Well, the blessed day has finally arrived...the end of the school year and the end of work for the summer. I have to say, the count down to today has been outstanding. It started on June 9th with a trip to Disneyland (a work responsibility) that just happened to coincide with Drew's birthday. What made it even better was the fact that Courtney, Cameron (is he an official member of the family yet?) Rachel, Alicia and Drew were all there. We had a great you can see by going to Drew and Alicia's they got to my pictures before I did!

Following graduation preparations on Thursday 6/12 I hopped a flight to Oakland to stay with Courtney and together travel up to Napa Valley on Saturday morning to stay with John. John is working on an Adam Sandler film, "Bedtime Stories" in Calistoga. Courtney worked on Friday so I had a leisurely day that consisted of a citrus/pecan scone from Jay's...around the corner from her apartment and then continued up the street to Nancy's for a manicure and a pedicure. Am I boring you yet? Walking around Alameda is so charming, it reminds me of the walks "up-town" in Coronado with my Uncle Hoyt when I was young. We would always start at the bakery on Orange Avenue and usually get a few groceries at the market. Unlce Hoyt would always wear a hat and a jacket with a collared shirt. Whenever he passed anyone on the sidewalk he would tip his hat and say Good Day. (He also always had lifesavers in his pocket! Isn't there a commercial about that?) That afternoon Courtney came home and we went to Berkeley where she had a work meeting at the Cal campus. While she was in her meeting I visited another of my favorite places..."Games of Berkeley". I could hang out there for hours. From there I did a little baby shopping...I had to! After all, a good grandma knows her I'm doing my due diligence. Later we went to the Crate and Barrel gotta do what you gotta do! That evening Courtney and Cameron's softball team had a double header to determine the league championship. They won the first game handily...the second game was not quite as good. The other team came with a vengeance and played as if their very souls would be damned to hell if they did not win. So...they won...good for them, their souls are safe.

The trip to Napa to see John was fantastic. For a non drinker, Napa has a lot to offer. The views are pastoral and soothing. The architechture as diverse as one could imagine with a scenic vista at every glance. These people have money and they know how to spend it well! John was filming in a castle that a man had built for $38 million. Around the back of the castle is a lake...with his wine cellar under it for temperature control.

Not to mention the food...we dined at The Farm, a beautiful relaxing resort just off the main highway. The food was all we hoped for, innovative, seasonal, fresh and done to perfection. I wish I had taken pictures of all our dishes...they were so lovely...I think we were too excited to taste everything and didn't think about it. At any is yet another picture of Courtney and Cameron mugging for the camera.

On Saturday we visited the di Rosa Preserve, (peacocks freely stalk the visitors there) a quirky, off the beaten path estate owned by a quirky off the beaten path art collector/winery owner/bon vivant/eccentric. The estate boasts a beautiful main residence, art gallery, various outbuildings, a lake complete with a "tropical" island and a sculpture meadow...and everywhere you look there is art...not everybody's art, but art none the less. Rene di Rosa is an amazing collector and it was so fun to see his collection. As I close, I will include 2 what I will call tribute a tribute to Cameron's tie collection and finally a tribute to John's long lost finger which apparently is now an art piece! TTFN I will return shortly with what I hope will be baby news! Let the countdown begin...23 days and counting.