Monday, October 14, 2013

A few Europe photos

Bakery in Rome right outside our hotel. Yum!

The Colosseum

Trevi Fountain

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

St. Peter's square
The Pantheon
 On the train from Rome to Verona
 Countryside view from the train
Verona alley
Going shopping in Verona
The arena in Verona
Dinner in Verona
Verona at night
                     Sofia, Bulgaria



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Summer vacation 2013

I can't believe it, Omar and I are headed to EUROPE!!!  I know I'll have a million photos of our Europe trip to so I wanted to post our summer vacation pics and blogger won't let me. I've been trying  to post pictures for over a month now. ARRGGH!!  Here's the post that I wrote though...hopefully I can get it all figured out soon. 

For the longest time we had been planning to go to San Diego the summer of 2013 and accompany Omar for a conference there. We figured it was family friendly and had never gone. After revisiting Omar's schedule for the week, I decided I didn't want to go because he would be working most of the time. Omar had accumulated enough miles for each one of us to fly free and I quickly realized it made more sense to go anywhere we chose later and he could take time off for a "real" vacation. 

We brainstormed locations, and me the California lover wanted to go there and show the girls the bay area, where we lived.  Well, just as I had remembered, the bay area is expensive and we wouldn't be able to spend a lot of time there. Somehow Omar's free hotel nights decreased to two anywhere in the bay area. He looked at Portland and that would be 3 nights. Finally, after much back and forth Omar decided and then decided to keep it a surprise for a short while. I was skeptical but remembered what a wonderful surprise he planned for our 10 year anniversary.

Well, I was definitely surprised when he told me we'd visit Milwaukee Wisconsin!! "What, are you kidding, I asked?" Of course I knew nothing about it, but I also didn't know anyone to choose it as a vacation destination.  Turns out, it was just what I wanted in a summer vacation.  It wasn't scorching hot like in Texas in August. It was cool enough to wear jeans and stay at the zoo from open to close without ever breaking a sweat!! Normally, in Texas we go to the zoo quickly planning how soon to leave before we melt.   But it was also perfect because it was a take it easy type vacation. We did just the right amount of activities per day for our 3 little kids and didn't stress or feel like we needed a vacation from our vacation afterward. It was the kind of vacation that made you dread returning home because you were worry free. I love that it was low cost too but still did many things that we would've done in a bigger, more touristy type city.  We stayed at Staybridge for two nights. They have free breakfast and dinner there! Highly recommend it for families. Then we stayed at another suite type hotel for another two nights.  We got 3 free nights as opposed to the two we would've gotten in CA.  Finally, there was the salt less beach! How cool is that?  The girls now wish Texas had fresh water beaches.  Of course we explained that this beach was in fact a giant lake.  Here are the recap photos.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Karina's 1st day!

"Not a tear," her teacher said.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013


I think the trick to keeping up with my blog is to immediately journal events as they happen. Don't know if it's possible but here's a post at the beginning of the month which has been rare these days. I've always wanted to go to a hot air balloon festival. Apparently they have a balloon lift of here near Lake Travis in August at sunrise. Not a festival, and maybe only 6 balloons total, but we were close enough to feel the heat of the fire and the crowd was manageable. Learning that this event was at sunrise and 20 minutes away seemed daunting at first, but once I told the girls about it they were excited. In the morning Elena said, "this is going to be the best day ever!" Omar is on his way home from a work trip in Buenos Aires and we were sad he missed it but on the other hand I didn't have to convince him or any other adult for that matter that waking up little kids to see large balloons at 5am was a smart idea. He may have made me change my mind and it turned out well and totally worth the drive and the early wake up. We'll see how the rest of the day goes. Karina was scared of the loud noises that were coming from the flame, but she calmed down on my back with my still trusty SSC and then quickly fell asleep despite the noise. She woke up in time for the lift offs and waved, "bye, bye, globo" as they took off one by one. My sister Yvette and her husbandcousins

Friday, June 14, 2013

E's first sleepover

She had her first sleepover!! How is she a big girl already? She did great and I had no doubt she wouldn't miss us overnight. Of course now she's planning her next sleepover party at our house. I don't even know how to plan one!

Camp Josie

Josies yogurt shop So I had the bright idea of inviting my nieces and nephews over for 5 days and decided to call their stay, "Camp Josie." With 9 people including 7 children and then later one more adult and one more child, I have to say that it was a really enjoyable week full of new memories. I didn't doubt that it would be fun. My childhood consisted of this exact amount of members in my family and I always loved having a busy, noisy household, full of life. I have to give a lot of credit to my MIL who helped out a lot too. Many of our excursions around town were possible because she willingly stayed behind with Karina while I took all the kids out. I got a glimpse of what life would be like with older mostly self sufficient children and I loved it! For once I began to look beyond the baby/preschool years and not feel a sad loss for those sweet young years. I have so much to look forward to! For reference the kids ages including my own kids were--2,5,7,8,12,13,17. I now understand why some mothers of multiple children say it is easier with more children. It really felt that way! I was more motivated to implement true structure. I posted rules and a chore chart and everyone pulled their weight with no fuss. Just like in the classroom the power of peer pressure worked wonders. The older kids reminded the little kids of things they missed, but they guided them too. What I also loved was enjoying trips out with everyone and seeing things through their eyes, remembering the excitement of summer and how exciting new experiences were. Isn't that the joy of having children?
We couldn't fit 9 in the minivan so we rode the bus downtown. Karina was in love with Jackie.
cousins Barton Springs Barton Springs!! Robbie's 13th birthday
< .