Friday, July 01, 2022

Marcelo is NINE!!!

Oh my gosh do I love this boy.  This NINE year old!! 

My little Silly-Cell.  He is such a funny boy.  Sweet and loving but also,  a tough cookie.  He sometimes makes me laugh and cry in the same day.  ha! He has a will like no other I have experienced.  He knows what he wants (everything!) and debates it like a lawyer why he should have it, often stumping me to come up with a why not! 😩

Mostly he is a happy guy and gets along with everyone ...except his siblings....just kidding.  But not kidding.  Being the middle child, he is best friends with Mateo one minute and then getting in a physical fight with him the next. He will be pretending/playing with Paloma one minute and teasing her and I blow a gasket the next.  

He is adventurous beyond belief, racing around and jumping scooters -and trying to ride without a helmet.  "Marcelo, you have to wear a helmet when you are riding!" A few minutes later I notice him riding with his helmet on and the strap IS NOT BUCKLED. 😡😡😡. 

Marcelo LOVES fashion! He is concerned with his look at all times.  Since arriving in San Diego this Summer he is all about skater clothes.  Anything at the store Zumiez. The baggier the better! 

We do but heads -this nine year old and I -but you know what? Every night he wants to cuddle with me and we have meaningful connection.  I love my baby boy! 

Because our flight back to Atlanta was actually the morning of Marcelo's birthday, we celebrated the night before with birthday cupcakes and singing over at Jalyn & Jessicas house. 
Marcelo opened a Fornite gift card from the neighbours, some baggy skater jeans, a beanie and new vans.

Unfortunately our flight home was the next morning ON Marcelo's actual birthday. 
He wanted to celebrate with a couple friends in Atlanta once we were home. (can you blame him for wanting to celebrate twice!? LOL)  

The week before I saw a friend post on FB about Midieval Times and I said...."oh this is right up Marcelo's alley!"  We collected two of his best buddies Joshua and Xavier and headed north.  I have seen the commercials for Midieval Times, but had no idea what was in store. 

I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.  Mateo was out of town at a BMX race, so he missed out, but Paloma loved it and somehow she never minds being the only girl.  😂
Of course the lobby was one huge gift shop and you know how that goes.  Swords, shields and axes were purchased and swung.  Paloma picked an adorable flowing flowery headband too.
If you have never been here, just know that you will be taken back in time.  MID EVIL TIME. The whole night is a interactive show.  You are seated in the stands of a horse show at a castle, complete with a king and queen.  There are different colour teams which you will be part of and you will cheer for your team. 

The show was entertaining.  Dinner was served in 4 courses (like we were royalty) and the food was good.  Soup, bread.  Chicken and potatoes. Desert. The kids were sooooo into it. Screaming cheering laughing.  It was fun to watch.  I just patted myself on the back for another successful birthday party with very little effort.  👏👏👏

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Babes Backpacking Premier Trip!

HOLA HOLA!  Do you guys remember back in 2018 we rented an airstream and glamped at FDR State Park?  We hiked a few little little trails and something that got my attention was a 24 mile trail called The Pine Mountain Trail.  I thought....wouldn't that be awesome to backpack the whole thing at once?  

Well, a few years have gone by but a few months ago I mentioned this trail to my friend Virginia and she was all "YES LET'S DO IT!"  And I'll be darned.... last weekend it happened! 

Virginia had 2 friends and a sister interested in hiking it too!  So it was set!  Five girls, 24 miles, and 2 nights of back country camping.  All while carrying everything in our packs! 😳

Here we are: Me, Virginia, Rosanne, Samera and Kate.

The overnight backpacking was a first for all of us, but no one was a stranger to camping.  
I already had some of the essentials for an overnight backpacking trip, and between the 5 of us, I didn't need to buy too much to prepare.  I had the backpack, water bladder, sleeping bag and hiking shoes.  Three girls had the little pocket stoves and pans.  Kate let me borrow her husbands sleep mat and I slept in her two person tent.  I would have been fine sleeping by myself, but was actually much happier to share!

FDR State Park is about 90 minutes south of Atlanta.  This was the PERFECT trail for us, all five being rookies at overnight backpacking.  Almosth 24 miles in length, the Pine Mountain Trail is not challenging terrain.  There were rolling hills but nothing strenuous. Adding a 30+ pound backpack was the challenge, but we all felt up for it.  This was a sort of test to see if we #1 like overnight backpacking and #2 can finish this trail and move up to something a little more challenging. (like in the North Georgia mountains)

We met at the Visitors Center to eat lunch before setting out on the trail around 1pm.

Once one the trail, we just followed the blue blazes and did not need to consult any map.

The PMT was so nice and well taken care of but we only saw one other group set up on one of the back-country camp sites.  Not once did we actually pass someone on the trail.  What we did see was a big 'ol snake on the edge of the water and I did not like that one bit.  No other wildlife to mention though, beyond the birds. 

The trail winds through a lush fern filled forest, tunnelling through a canopy of dense mountain laurel. The hike crosses a shallow streams by stepping stones and passes a series of wood plank bridges.

While hiking I snacked on dried fruit (mangos, apples, cherries) and some trail mix.  All of which was super satisfying.  We stopped at a beautiful clearing with rocks to eat our official lunch.  
I packed buffalo tuna packets and rice crackers.  I also brought a hunk of cheese and a stick of summer sausage, but because it was warm, I didn't find it appetizing at all.  It's a learning experience out here in the woods!

The campsites were well marked and situated near water. Each of us had a water filter and refilled our bladders from the stream.  NOW THAT'S REAL BACKPACKIN'!!

Kate and I were the only two that shared tents.  The other girls set up one person tents.  

The sites were spacious and cleared out.  The firepits were set up and even had some logs ready to go thanks to the people before us. 

At the campsites, tents were set up and fires were made (thank you Virginia and Rosanne).

We water heated and cooked dinners on the little pocket stoves. Those things are amazing! So light!  (see bottom right of above picture)  As a rookie, I just picked up a couple dried meals at REI that needed hot water.  They were fine, but I think I will get a bit more creative with my dinner next time.  (maybe ramen with bone broth for protein?) 

For breakfast, Virginia gave me two packs of instant grits and it hit the spot so good.  Definitely bringing that next time.  Coffee hit the spot and also caused the which I grabbed the little shovel and sought out a secluded tree for cover. 💩

The second morning when we were packing up the tent, we found this guy on the tent footprint. 😬😬😬

Ah yeah...that is a SCORPION!!! Yikes!

Rosanne actually came prepared for any scorpion stings, or any other bug bites.  She had this little Bug Bite Thing (it's actually called that).  It's a syringe-like thing that you put on any bug bite and it extracts the poison/saliva that causes the itching, pain and swelling.

They tried it out on a mosquito bite Virginia had on her bootie. LOL

We stepped back on the trail around 9am for the last 8 miles! Although most of the trail is under tall trees there were a few parts where the views were amazing! Below, we are probably a mile or so away from the end!

I really enjoyed this first taste of overnight backpacking and Im excited to do it again soon.  All five of us were doing this for the first time and by the end we were talking about the next destination.

Im ready to try the north side of GA (mountains!) barring the threat of bear activity. 😬

Saturday, May 07, 2022

50 Years of Ernesto

Mi Neto turned 50 years old the other day!!! Whaaaaaa???? 
I knew I had to put something special together.  Because 50.
He had an idea to go to Spain for a European JuJitsu tournament and I was 100% on board with that idea.
But unfortunately childcare is hard to come by these days. 😂😂
He decided to join a tournament in Atlanta, which surprise, surprise, he won GOLD!  

I am so proud of him.   He is dedicated. He practices jujitsu 5 days a week and has for the last 4 years. He is also a competition junkie and has flown all over the country to bust out his skillz in tournaments. 
All but once, he walks out with the gold metal. 👏👏👏
Ernesto doesn't need much in the way of gifts, but we did wrap up some Chaco flip flops and a new family game called NINE, that we have yet to break out.  Its a golf card game and I've heard it is fun.  Here the kids are opening his presents.  Yes, we are still in that phase.
I had the idea of a "50 years of Ernesto" video, and knew that would be the best gift I could give.  It was so fun to put together. 
I started with baby pictures.  A lot of them Ernesto's mom sent me.  I continued on with young boy to teenage to young man to college to marriage to father to jujitsu champion.   All of these baby pics didn't make it into the video (which is posted at the bottom of this page) but they are too cute not to share. 

I requested that people in Ernesto's life (past and present) send me a little video clip with a message for him and they started pouring in...he has a lot of people that love him.  
I dropped all of the video clips into iMovie with all the pictures. 
It turned out so awesome....if I do say so myself! 👏👏👏👏👏👏

Cinco de Mayo fell on a Thursday.  Ernesto actually had a lighting job that day.  He also didn't want any kind of party as he was competing 2 days later. He was actually watching everything that he ate/drank to make sure his weight was in check.  I knew that I had a great present with the video, but I was unsure what to do for him that day with all his restrictions.

Our friends Virginia and Rodney came over for Tostadas and cupcakes.  That is when I played the finished video.  Of course he loved it! 
Please enjoy below!
Happy Birthday mi amorrrrrrrrr!  You look sooooooooo good at 50! I love you mucho!


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