Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to Mike... Happy wedding to Lauren

Happy 30th Birthday to my wonderful Mike. Today is the day I have been waiting for for 2.5 years. I've felt pretty old the past couple of years while I have been in my thirties and my youngun Mike has still been in his twenties. Here's to a great decade!!
In other news, my oldest niece Lauren is getting married on Saturday. This makes me feel really OLD. We went down to San Diego for a family bridal shower this past Saturday and had a great time. I can't wait to see all my family at the wedding. And I can't wait to go to Spain the very next day for a 12 day vacation with Mike and my brother Andy and his wife.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I completely agree-professionally at least

The Texas court of appeals ruled today that the lower court has 10 days to vacate the order that placed 450 children in the state's custody. I completely agree with this ruling and am actually surprised that it did not happen sooner.
Although I find this group of people very creepy (for lack of a better word) and I personally would love to see ALL the children given to parents who were not going to indoctrinate them with their creepy beliefs, I was very troubled last month when I found out that the state of Texas had detained all of these chidren. Here's why: I spent 3 years interning and then working for Los Angeles County DCFS(Department of Children and Family Services). Many times I had to make the difficult decision about whether or not to detain a child from his/her home. There were many times when I FELT that the home was not suitable for the child, but I could not remove him/her because after the detention comes the court hearing where the burden is on the State to prove that the conditions merited a detention. For ex: Personally I think it a shame that many children grow up watching their parents spend more time doing drugs than taking care of them. However, drug use in and of itself is not grounds for first time removal. DCFS must prove that the drug use impedes the parent's ability to parent. Do you know how hard that is to prove? People have the right to do many things as parents that we may not agree with, but that doesn't give us the jurisdiction to detain their children.
I was completely baffled as to how Texas got away with systematically detaining so many children without PROVING that abuse or imminent danger of abuse was happening with EACH ONE . Each family should have been dealt with on a case to case basis and not just treated as a giant whole. I have no doubt that there is abuse going on in some of the families, but they must be dealt with individually. Should some of those children been removed- of course, but I can only imagine what a judge in Children's Court in LA would have said to seen over 450 kids show up for detention hearings without proof of anything. Was it a witch hunt-yes!!
Also, detention is the LAST option. Why was it used first? There are many other things that could have been done such as taking away the men.
This is when I actually wish I was still in school because I would love to hear what all my professors think about this case.
What do you think?

Monday, May 19, 2008

I didn't pee [in] my pants and other adventures....

I am pleased to report that I DID NOT pee [in] my pants this past Saturday when I ran the Palos Verdes half marathon. I was extremely anxious about this considering what happened 8 months ago when I ran the Disneyland half marathon. After the horrible Disneyland experience in extremely hot weather I was horrified when I saw the forecast call for record breaking heat on Saturday. The weather had been wonderful the previous times I have done this race, but unfortunately Saturday was pretty hot. I just love the course. It is pretty hilly and challenging, but the view of the ocean is absolutely breathtaking. I really enjoyed myself. Afterwards we all went to the beach and had a great time.
And a special thanks to Tiffany who always gets suckered into running this thing with me.

What a great weekend!!!!
(Alyssa-what part of this post did I do just for you?)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Toots Anyone????

I love Marzipan!!!
Last night we went to dinner with some friends at a Persian restaurant. Afterwards, we stopped at the little Persian market next door and my eyes were drawn towards this fascinating treat. The man told me it was marzipan and so I decided to give it a try. I about died laughing when I read the label "toot" on this product. This wasn't just any marzipan, this was marzipan with a definite Persian twist. Each one tasted strongly of rose water. Very interesting combo, not bad but definitely not what I was expecting. And sorry I can't share because I already ate all the toots.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Strawberries for Mother's Day

Yesterday I woke up to a yummy smell coming from my kitchen. On the table I found a very delicious homemade strawberry coffee cake, a bowl of cut strawberries and some grapefruit. What a great Mother's Day breakfast. For dinner we went over to Jean's house where Mike and Chad made us a great meal of chicken, potatoes, spinach salad and strawberry shortcake. Thanks for the great day Mike!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Because She's Carol

The day before Blake's birthday he got a card in the mail from my sister Carol. As I showed him the card I couldn't help but think how remarkable it was that she had the time, energy and remembrance to send him a card. But then again, she is Carol. Let me explain. For the past 2 years, Carol has been living in Spain with her husband, presiding over 100 plus missionaries who are serving our church in that region of the country. She is also the mother of 4 children, one of whom is getting married at the end of this month. Planning a wedding from thousands of miles away is not an easy or fun chore. But she is Carol. I have always been in awe of my oldest sibling. She is literally the most talented, organized and efficient person I have ever met. (you couldn't find any "junk" in this woman's house if you peeked in every drawer, nook and cranny. Everything is labeled and filed away neatly. The rest goes in the trash) She is a fabulous cook, entertainer, seamstress, and interior designer. She is also an amazing example of a wonderful mother and wife and I have always looked up to her.

Oftentimes I wonder how she gets it all done. Out of the seven of us she is the one who is the most like my Dad. I see so much of him in her and it is so nice to have his wonderful qualities live on even though he has been gone for such a long time.

When I grow up, I want to be like her!!! I am so lucky that she is my sister. I'm so excited that all 7 of us will be together on May 31st for Lauren's wedding. It should be quite a party. And mostly I am excited to see Carol who I haven't seen for 2 years.

Monday, May 5, 2008

36 hour getaway

I was so excited for my little weekend getaway to Alyssa's home to see her new little baby Stratton. I stepped on the train heading for the airport on Friday afternoon giddy to have the whole weekend to spend with good friends. As I glanced down at my itinerary I realized to my horror that my plane was not leaving on Friday afternoon as I had thought, but was leaving on Saturday afternoon. Needless to say I was not a happy camper that my weekend was in reality a 36 hour getaway. (mike almost lost his head as he was the one who booked the flight, but don't worry, he is still alive) So a day later I set off for the airport again, and this time I really did fly away.

I had a wonderful time. I got to go out to dinner with Catherine, Kristen and Alyssa on Saturday night and then saw Emily and her family Sunday afternoon. I am so impressed by how talented, accomplished and amazing these women are. If only I could see all of my BYU friends more. (that's a hint for any and all of you to move near me)

Baby Stratton is adorable!!!

And the moral of the story is: Always book your own flight!