Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dear Daddy,

I use to think a lot about that first year. It was all about the 'firsts' without you. The first birthday. The first Thanksgiving. The first Christmas. The first Father's Day. My first true heartache. 

Now I have come upon the 4th birthday without you. Your birthday. Your 79th birthday. And it's no longer about those 'firsts' but about those 'lasts.' I savor my every lasts with you. From trivial to meaningful; it's all in my heart. 

Happy birthday. I love you.

~ Your Little Girl

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Let's Catch Up

Summer was fun and fast! Here is the condensed version . . . 

Annual Hope Ranch Beach Campout
(aka Shipwrecked)
 Spur of the moment trip to Vegas with these crazy people!
 Hume Lake Camping Trip
The not-so-fun part of this camping trip.
Rock 1 Jim 0
First day of school, Jackson Browne, & Journey
 Labor Day Beach Fest

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I Made Crack

Let me introduce you to, Crack:
Probably, the most addicting things I've made in awhile. 
Almost as good as the Christmas Crack I make every year. 

The brown sugar shortbread crust adds moisture without having to use tons of butter. Pair that with sweetened condensed milk (yes, you read that correctly), chocolate, and toffee...well need I say more?

Preheat oven to 350 F
Line 9x13 pan with foil and coat with cooking spray

3/4 cup room temperature butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, not packed
1 3/4 cups flour

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 T butter

2 cups chocolate chips
1 8 ounce bag of toffee bits

Beat butter and brown sugar for 3 minutes,
Add flour and combine.
Press mixture into prepared pan.
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes (shortbread should look golden)

Let cool for a bit.

In a saucepan, heat remaining butter and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
Pour over shortbread crust and put in oven for another 15 minutes (should be bubbly and brown, like a light caramel).

Take out of oven and spread chocolate chips. Put back into oven for 2 minutes (or until chips are glistening). Take out of oven and spread the melted chocolate. Lastly, sprinkle toffee bits evenly and lightly press into chocolate.

Let cool completely before cutting into bars. I like to refrigerate the whole pan, then lift foil out and cut into bars. I also store my bars in the fridge too.
Adapted from Cookies & Cups

Friday, May 27, 2016

Catching Up with The Halls

We have had a jam-packed couple of months and I am so ready for summer break! Here is a little catch-up . . .
Golf Pros & Tennis Hoes
40th surprise birthday bash for Todd.
Marcy pulled it off!
 A quick trip to Fresno and impromptu lunch with
these special gals - friends for over 20 years!
Our school's Spring Luau themed Gala kept me pretty busy the last couple of months.
Love these fundraising ladies!
The only time I saw David at the event (the beginning).
Duty calls!
Chris Stapleton concert at the Bowl

A little snack at Benchmark before the Adam Sandler show
On the way to the show . . .
Feeling the Journey vibe:
 I swear the Bowl is the best venue!
I don't when I laughed so hard!
So surprised and a little teary-eyed to have received an Honorary Service Award 
for this school year. I truly love being at the school with the girls.
 I am a better person because I can give back to all our amazing teachers.
I want to be the most important role model (along with David) 
in Sophia & Kalista's life. And I can't be that person without our teachers.
So really, it is a win-win!
David just had his annual office party for their referrals.
It is always a themed party and this year was the best . . .
Super Heroes!
The food was so yummy. Omni Catering did not disappoint! 
I loved the roasted veggie platter. Beautiful, colorful, and scrumptious!
 And this antipasto platter was gorgeous!
 Favorite bites came from the stations: Sliders, empanadas, and gourmet grilled cheese.
My personal fave was the bacon, mozzarella, tomato, and pesto. 
 Me and Captain America :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Age is Just a Number

It's just another day. It's just a number. Some people get all weird about getting older. I mean really, one day you are 43 and the next 44. Did anything change overnight? It's kind of like being 17 one day and then one day later you have a birthday and turn18. You can vote now because 24 hours haveI have passed. Are you any wiser than the day before and have clarity on our government system? Or one day you are 20 and then twenty-four hours later . . .  BAM! 21. Can you handle your alcohol better than the day before? Will you make better decisions? It's just a number!

I think if people really thought about what was giving them grief around their birthday, they would find it's not because they were turning a year older. It's because of a reflection or reflections. Or maybe even because of their foresight(s) of what might be in store for the future.

So the fact that I am feeling a little bluesy about having an upcoming birthday isn't because I am going to be 44. It's because of the reflections I have been having. Or really reflection. I miss my dad. 

Birthdays are not the same without him. My life is not the same without him. And that will never change. No dramatization behind my words. Just the truth.

Despite how I feel, I do know I have a pretty good run going on in my life. And I don't ever and will never take that for granted. I just want what I can't have. And so even with getting older & wiser, that part never changes.