Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Photo Sneak Peak

We have a crazy story to go along with this years holiday pictures.
More to come once I get my Holiday cards in the mail and have more time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Hair

1. Use a large-barrel curling iron to create loose curls all around your head, from the ears down.
2. Part your hair in the middle, and use your fingers to loosen and separate the curls.
3. Starting halfway down the part, begin spritzing your roots with hairspray. Continue to the crown.
4. To create height and volume, tease the sprayed hair with a fine-tooth comb.
5. Use a brush to gently smooth the teased hair, and gather the sides up into a half ponytail.
6. Secure the sides with pins, then use your fingers to gently shape the curls into place.
7. End with shine spray. Try John Frieda Frizz-Ease 100% Shine Glossing Mist, at drugstores.
8. Voila! A hairdo worthy of Brigitte Bardot

Snagged from here:

Amelia in November

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Things that happened during this year's Thanksgiving:

1. Jesse, my brother-in-law, informed us that he will be getting married to his new girlfriend, the one we all thought was a rebound fling. The wedding will take place in Korea this summer. I am excited to take an exotic vacation.

2. I forgot to make cranberries which are mine and Andrew's favorite side dish; also I neglected to make my Grandmother's apple pie.

3. Today, my father-in-law gifted Jacob with a case of Mexican Coca-Cola for his 11th birthday which is on next Friday. He always buys people food products for their birthdays. I think it is strange. Jacob was super into it though.

4. Before our meal I forced people to hula hoop. There is nothing more hysterical than watching grown people attempt to hula hoop.

5. The best thing I ate today was stuffing. I love stuffing. If I were stuck on an island I would be okay with only eating stuffing for the rest of my life.

6. At 10pm this evening Aaron got up from the coach, walked two feet and fell right on his face. This happens to him from time to time because his legs fall asleep and buckle when he attempts to walk. I laughed for ten consecutive minutes. So did my friend Nicole and her brother Danny.

7. This year I made Thanksgiving jars for everyone that came over for dinner. We wrote down our favorite things about each guest and placed them in the jar. We read them during dinner. It was fun. I think I will make it a tradition.

8. It is currently 11:24 and we are watching a film about a drug addicted writer played by Bradley Copper. It's not so good.

Thankful jars

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I wish I had this

I have become increasingly addicted to pinterest. My friend/hairdresser turned me on to it a few weeks ago. I found this amazing poster there the other day. I am love with it and want it for my entryway:

Thank You Rebecca Kiperts

I was starting to feel out of sorts when my Reader article didn’t accumulate any hate mail. Luckily, someone wrote a scathing letter to the editor. It is in this week’s letter section of the San Diego Reader. This is what they had to say:

Career Counselor

I believe Siobhan Braun needs a reality check (“For My Birthday, My Husband Bought Me a House,” Cover Story, November 17). You should be on your knees every night thanking God for a husband who loves you and three healthy (I assume, since you hardly mentioned them) children, as well as your house. If you got off your tush and got a job, you might realize how hard it is to earn a dollar these days, rather than whining that employers only want to look at your body. Go take a couple of classes at a community college so you can use their counseling office to see what you might be interested in learning to become good at: something besides housework and picking up dog poop. I’m not belittling those activities, they can be very rewarding and a blessing to your family, but once kids are in school, they don’t need you quite as much. Marriage is a partnership, and your husband is asking for your help (in a sort of roundabout, male way) — renegotiate! Have you saved for your retirement? Your children’s college education? Made a living trust in case, God forbid, he gets hit by a truck? Do you have enough life insurance? All these things cost money, just like those windows he researched so carefully, so as not to waste money. Sure, it’s easy to criticize when you’re not earning those dollars.

You write quite well; perhaps you could be an editor — maybe the Reader could use your skills — be a school bus driver — they’ll teach you how to discipline all kinds of kids — be a nurse (although you sound a bit too selfish for that), be a dog trainer (who doesn’t like golden retrievers?), just do something! It will be a good example to your kids that Mom worked hard to find a job. And your husband will be so grateful he might pick up his socks or learn to do laundry himself — do your kids do chores? Their future spouses will be grateful if they have skills as well!

Rebecca Kiperts
Mission Village

I read it to Aaron and he got a big huge chuckle. I think I will print it out and affix it to the fridge, that way any time I am feeling too pleased with myself I can read it and be reminded that I am seen as a poop picker-upper and as an individual far too selfish for nursing. Love it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Growing Up

Last night Andrew went to his first girl/boy party. When he got back I asked him if he kissed a girl. He was not amused. Not at all.

Pictures from his recent etiquette dinner at school:

Wishlist for my Kids

Coat-Anthropologie kids, Shirt-Crew cuts, Other shirt-Etsy

Saturday, November 19, 2011

All I want for Christmas

Dress-modcloth, boots-Anthropologie, art-etsy, Bubble necklace-Jcrew, Bike-Urban Outiftters.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I am sitting in Cosmo’s, my favorite coffee shop. I come here in the afternoons often to work on my novel. Yes, I am writing a novel, and yes I am aware how ridiculous that is. I almost always sit on the black leather coach that faces the window because I like to watch the people walking by and those sitting on the patio out front. Currently there is a woman with cropped red spikey hair sitting out there. She is wearing fingerless gloves, Madonna style, and drinking an ice tea. Across from her is a two-toned blonde smoking a cigarette. I am equally fascinated by both them. Everyone fascinates me.

The man sitting on one of stools to my left is thumbing through a San Diego Reader. I am on the cover of this week’s Reader. I wonder if he will notice. I hope he will not. A handful of people have picked them up while I have been here. It mortifies me for two reasons, the first being that I look like an idiot. My hands look crippled and my face chubby. The second reason—I think the story is ridiculous.

I always feel this way the moment the Reader publishes something of mine. Before it comes out in print I am okay with it but afterwards the very idea that something I have written is being read by other people makes me feel silly and exposed. I wish I could be more normal about it. I think I really need to branch out and stop writing about myself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I had a dream last night that I was swimming in the Western Springs Community Pool. The WS pool is a place where I spent countless summer days as a child. Dad was the one who always took me there. I don’t recall my mom every going with us. He would pretend to be a dolphin and I would ride on his back.

Dad was visibly missing from my dream last night. While I was dreaming, I was looking for him. It was one of those dreams where I was fully aware that everything was make-believe. Does that happen to other people, I wonder? Do other people know they are dreaming while they are dreaming? This happens to me often. It sucks the the thrill out a really good dream.

I couldn’t get passed the idea that I was dreaming of the Western Springs pool and dad wasn’t there. It annoyed me. Where is he, I kept thinking. Oddly my pastor was in the dream. He was my fake dad. Only he was doing things that my dad would never do, like swimming in the deep end where his feet couldn't touch and jumping off the divingboard. It was like he was trying to be a fill in, but doing a really bad job at it. Didn't he know that my dad had a fear of deep water? I kept calling him dad. It was peculiar.

When I woke up I could hear the water running—Aaron was in the shower. Maybe that’s where the dream came from? I haven’t been able to get the dream out of my mind. All morning I have been obsessing over it. I think my pastor represented my dad because he just learned he has a tumor growing behind his eye. He has lost nearly all of his vision in his right eye. He has been told that his loss of sight has nothing to do with the tumor. His doctors are baffled. I am concerned because I remember all the confusion when my dad first became ill. My mom sought out the best docotors and got numerous opinions. Because of this, years were tacked on to dad's life. Whenever I see my pastor I worry about him. I feel like I need to urgently persuade him to get the opinions of the very best doctors but I don’t want to be alarmist. I say nothing. Instead I am dreaming that my pastor is my father. Weird.

How to Curl your Hair using a Curling Iron

My friend Heather always has perfectly curled hair. It gives me a severe case of hair envy. She uses hot rollers. Hot rollers make me look stupid and old.I found a good alternative--the curling iron. Here is a link to a great tutorial from refinery 29 on how to get perfect curling iron curls. I'm going to try it today.

Jacob the Grump

Jacob is becoming mean. I knew this would happen. I should’ve been prepared. Andrew was the same way right around 11. It’s how boys get.

Jacob is grumpy and difficult; He rolls his eyes at me and talks back constantly. He wants to know “why do I have to!!” anytime I ask him to do anything. He is constantly sighing.

Jacob has always been my sweet kid. Since he was a baby he has been sensitive and considerate. I have never met another boy that smiled more than he did. It’s hard for me to get used to the grumpy version of him. I know that it will pass. He is growing up,learning, and developing. He has a lot going on in his world.

At 12, nearly 13, Andrew has almost outgrown his grump phase. He is like the 5 foot 2 version of a grown man.  I am certain that I will not have to suffer through Jacob’s meanness for that much longer. It’s just kind of a bummer. I miss my kid. It really is true that kids grow up far too quickly.
Jacob and Andrew messing around with their friends at school

Jacob meeting a camel on a recent field trip.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Midweek Adventure

Last Tuesday a friend of mine invited me to a film opening in LA.  At first I declined the invitation.  It was a school night and I would need to secure a babysitter for the kids because Aaron was out of town.  It seemed like too much work to make it happen.  But then she told me that she was actually in the film and would be part of a Q and A afterward.

 "It's a documentary and kind of controversial. I'm wearing a wig in it to hide my identity. If you don't come I'll never tell you what it's about it."

By nature I am nosey, so I made it happen.  It was a fun midweek adventure.  We stayed later than we should and had drinks with the producers and a few other documentary film makers.  It was fun chatting with a group of highly creative minds.  It was the most interesting Tuesday night I have had in a really long time. I'm glad I went.

I was going to attach the trailer for the film but I think a few of my regular blog readers would recognize my friend.  So I won't.  In case you're wondering it  had nothing to do with porn. It's not really controversial as much as an oxymoron if that makes sense.

Favorite Places

Slowly but surely our house is starting to come together.  We still have a few major projects left (a new fence, new garage doors, exterior paint, and wood floors). It's starting to feel more and more like us everyday. 

I love our house.  Each time I drive down the tree lined streets leading to home, I smile because I am so glad that we waited as long as we did to find the perfect home for us.  I love that we have set down our roots.  Our home is where we will stay into old age.  It will be the place that our children have the fondest memories in and where they will return with their own children.

Here are a few of my favorite spots in our house:
In our upstairs hallway we have a really cool vintage dresser that holds our linens.  On top of it is one of my most beloved material possessions, my typewriter.  I found it at an antique fair in La Mesa a few months after we moved here.  Another woman was haggling with the seller over the price and angrily stomped off when she didn't get her way.  I swooped in and purchased it.  It makes me happy.

Above the typewriter are last years family portraits.  A friend and I took photos together.  She took ours and I took theirs.  We plan to do the same this year.  So soon those photos will be replaced with our new ones soon.

I have been struggling with how to decorate this area in our living room since moving in.  I am finally happy with the results.  The chalkboard doesn't photograph well but it looks cool in real life.  It's a pottery barn piece that I scored at the thrift store for $3.99!  I change the quote weekly.  Currently it has  1 Peter 4:8 on it : Above all Love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sin.

We have numerous bookshelves in our home.  They are everywhere.  I decided to get those hand bookends so we could feature our favorite books.  More importantly it is where we keep our library books so we don't have to search everywhere when it is time to return them. We are obsessed with the library so it comes in handy to have a special spot for these books.

My two other favorite items are the vintage San Francisco trolley music box and the volcano rock.  Both represent our annual family trip where we drive up the 101 stopping in San Fran to visit my brother.  I look forward to the trip every year and believe that Northern California is the closest place to heaven i have ever seen.  It is shockingly beautiful. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Poofed or Pooped

Before Amelia goes to bed we take turns making up stories.  Here is one she made up last night:

Why Do I Torture Myself

I really think that Trader Joe's should add horns to their shopping carts.  Every time I set foot in that place I suffer from severe shopping cart rage. I am shocked that I have yet to scream, "Move Bitch." like I do while in my car. People are perpetually in my way whenever I shop there.  I don't know why I continually punish myself by buying my groceries there.  It's just not worth it.

My friend Shannon once told me that if Jesus were alive he would shop at Trader Joe's.  I disagree.  It is too small and too packed and it makes people grumpy. I saw a middle aged woman tell off an elderly man for lingering in the overcrowded produce department. I'm going to have to buy my flat bread, Mediterranean hummus, persimmons, and my granola somewhere else! I am breaking up with Trader Joe's!

Disney Fanatics

I never thought I would be one of those people that is all, “OMG I love Disneyland! It is awesome! I want to go their all the time, blah blah, blah.” But I am that person.

Years ago, my parents treated the boys, Aaron, and I with a mini Disney vacation for Andrew’s 5th birthday.  Jacob was in tears the entire time. He thought all the characters dressed up as Mickey, Goofy, and Pooh Bear intended to kill him. The rides terrified him because they were dark and had fluorescent things popping out at him. He wanted to go home. He spent the day in constant fear for his life while I spent my time trying to calm him down. When we left I had no interest in ever going back.

Nearly 8 years later we decided to give it another try for the sake of Amelia, who is in the only kid in her class that has yet to spend the day at Disneyland. The boys stayed with friends because they thought the idea of sleepover at someone else’s house sounded like more fun.

It was just Aaron, Amelia, and I. For thirty six hours Amelia had a constant grin on her face (except when we went in the haunted hotel which terrified her). We went on Space Mountain five times, we had breakfast with the Disney Princesses, we slept at the Disneyland hotel, we rode the monorail, the teacups, we toured the homes of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and we watched the parade in the evening, and saw the World of Colors show. It was fantastic. I am officially a Disneyland fanatic.

Amelia paraded around Disneyland first in a Snow White costume, and the next day in and Ariel one. We gave her a map and she circled all the places she wanted to go to. She enthusiastically led us around the prak. It was one of the best 36 hours of my life. I want to go back like right now! Here are some pictures: