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January 2011

December 2010

So Long...

adieu, adios, bye-bye, cheerio, ciao, godspeed, leave-taking, parting, so long, swan song, toodle-oo...


I know everyone is on the same boat when I say.. "Where did 2010 go?"

Wherever you are in life.. I hope 2010 was filled with lots of happiness, great memories, unforgettable life experiences.. and most of all LOVE.

I'm taking this moment to reflect.. which I do every year, on what 2010 brought to my life and what I look forward to in 2011.

  • Looking back, I see that I was still busier than ever. That is to be expected, of a mother of 3 and a wife to a very busy Airman whose job requires most of his time, and all the meanwhile trying to maintain my own business along with some sanity. Very difficult to balance.
  • I lost a steady job that I loved in February.. who knew that when I lost that job, my creativity went with it. I didn't pick up my scrapbook materials till a few weeks ago, doing my December Daily. I did miss it, but I loved being home most. I have to say, it's been one of the best year ever.. being able to be home with my children. Lots of struggles along the way, financially with so many unexpected moments, which put a stunt in many areas of our lives especially the holidays... but we make due with what we have... and push through.
  • We got news of being here for four more years... (and yes, we are still excited about that) despite these long winter nights. 
  • We welcomed Kai into our lives... best moment ever!!! We, err, I love him to bits!!! I never thought in my life, I could love an animal this much... I never grew up with one, never wanted one, and afraid of them really... till we got one.. now I melt whenever I see him or any puppy :)
  • Did a couple 5K's..  Hard to believe I even attempted.  I haven't been on the running scene consistently.. but I do miss it and will try my damnest to incorporate it into my daily life in 2011.
  • Summer comes early for us, starts in May... and I feel like we made the most of it.. we did tons of hiking adventures, camping, fishing, and more fishing, cabin with the Newbys, Kenai with The Pepins, sat outdoors with my book, went on walks every single day, potty trained the puppy, and enjoyed being home with my amazing kids.
  • Tons, Tons, Tons of photoshoots... wow we really booked over the summer.. more like over booked.
  • Fall came in the blink of an eye.. the weather got colder, the kids are gearing up for school again, change of work schedule for hubby who started a day job, for the first time in years! And I'm back to being home, alone, with no kids ...
  • Winter.. upon us... feeling blessed over the holidays. Ready for a new year. Ready to make some changes. And hopeful for another blessed year!

I will be ringing in the new year with the family.. hanging out at home. We may go check out downtown since it looks like the weather will be a tad warmer. But for the most part we will enjoy a nice evening at home. I hope everyone has a safe New Year's Eve Celebration.

December Daily l Day Ten-Twenty Five


I actually did it. Finished the album that is. If it wasn't for the hubby asking how my December Daily was, I probably wouldn't have even finished the first week. But thank goodness he did, because I really did miss paper scrap booking. Less is more.. is the way I've always scrapped. So don't expect anything magical :)




































































Merry Christmas 2010



The overall feeling for this Christmas.. just extremely blessed.

I tried not to think of the fewer gifts under the tree, compared to the years before.. It's just the way it is, right now. It's been a rougher year, but nonetheless, oddly feeling richer than ever. Maybe I do have to thank the "tough times" the unexpected "changes" we've faced as a family to really appreciate what we have and the real meaning of Christmas... 

I didn't grow up quite as "fortunate" as my children do today. In fact, every year I tell them the story of how my mom would wrap empty Liberty House boxes under the tree to make it look fuller... even though we knew they were empty, and Santa wasn't gonna come and unexpectedly give my mom another month's salary from her housekeeping job just because it was Christmas. But rather, we got what we got and I was content about it and never asked for more. I knew when my mom had the chance she would give it all to her children, she always did. So after a while, Christmas, was really.. just another day. We stopped decorating. We even stop putting up a tree, instead she worked hard, I found a few jobs as a teenager.  That kept everyone in the house busy. That was that. I don't remember the last time wrapping up an actual gift for my mom or receiving an actual wrapped up gift from my mom and dad as well. Instead she would give me her tips for that day or week and I'd go and get a pair of jeans or something. But regardless, our lack of 'season greetings' did not stop me from enjoying the season. I did love what the season brought.  The malls are busier than ever, the sense of Christmas Cheer, and the overall mood it brought to everyone.

So this Christmas, a lot of unexpected moments put a financial stunt on all of us.. and I knew that it was gonna be a challenge getting all the things on my kids list. But when you have a teenager who wants an iPhone, or video games that cost $60 a pop... it made me long for those lego days when they were content with a hot wheel. But those days are long gone. They are teenagers now. And how do I compete with all the teens at school who walk around with iPods, expensive jeans and shoes, and yes even iPhone 4G.  So under that tree may have only been a couple of gifts for the boys, but they were a chunk of our savings! But overall, they were very Thankful... and for that I am grateful.  Sure Izzy had TONS of gifts under the tree, maybe because a single T-shirt was on sale for $3.99 and I happen to buy 4 that day and individually wrap them! She got almost everything on her extensive list.. some of which included a Pillow Pet, a T-Shirt with a dog on it, or a dog bookmark.. very specific, I know.. but she did not get that giant doll house she wanted. Sorry, sis... maybe for your birthday :)

At the end of the 15 minutes of unwrapping the gifts... I just felt... lucky. Lucky to have all of them (even the dog who has cost us a fortune in his 10 months of life). I love them all.. and appreciate what life has given me.

Life is good.

December 23

-7 Degrees.
Great day to go to the zoo for a photoshoot. :)

I really did not mind it at all.
I figure if I can stand outside for 6 hours in 10-15 degrees.. What's an hour in -7 degrees?

The zoo was illuminated with beautiful lights :)
I'm a total... sucker... for lights.
I think it's what make Christmas... feel.. Christ-masy


I've learned to dress warm, equipped with tons of layers, feet warmers, and hand warmers and I'm good to go!
Only if hubby and Izzy was dressed a bit warmer, we would've walked around a bit longer!

So this little adventure was probably more fun for me than the kids in the photos :)


Note to self.. I should attach a few feet warmers onto my portable lights  LOL!  just thought of that as we drove off :)  Thanks Sweet Family :) Can't wait for next year..

December 22

Snowboarding, Tubing, Skiing + 5 Degrees.

Yup, the Barut Ohana braved the single digits and spent the entire afternoon/evening at Hillberg.

Caelan has been very INTO snowboarding! (Thanks to Erica & Logan for letting him borrow his gear!) He caught on REAL quick! And I'm so GLAD he's finding other things to spend his time on (instead of spending his time wondering what happened with his ex-girlfriend)...



Rudy tried skiing, again (minus Tighe, this time) and he fell so many times.. I lost count.

Skiing lessons filled up for the other two...
So we went tubing instead.




What a day! Exhausted (And painful for Rudy 0_0 )



Ended the night.. with a little more wrapping and a cuddly pup who missed us while we were all gone.. he was ready to snuggle on my lap :)


December 21

Just enjoying the day with my gir(s) + Jazzy + Kai.
It's been difficult to keep the dog low-key after his surgery.
So I decided to take him out to see if he could play, calmly. (?)
Yeah, right!
He was all over the snow and then some.. running around like he's been caged up for weeks!
Meanwhile, the girls had fun as I pulled them on the sled to the park!








December 20

We're all officially counting down.
So is hubby.. who has a short week of work.
Working half days up to Wednesday and off for the rest of the week (and then some).

We started our Monday morning with breakfast.
Yes, this is driving to breakfast in pitch dark :)


I had to take a photo of the parking meters that all accept Credit Cards! Ergo, the coins :)


My all time favorite meal, The Steiner.. just no one to split it with (Erica) :)


Then we spent MOST of the morning here.. at the Post office :0


The snow came down that day.. and it kept coming all day ! I think I shoveled three times that day!


December 15-19 (Photos + Journaling)

Wednesday December 15
(No Photo Day)... yup. It was bound to happen.. right?
But I decided to use my back up plan... What's that you ask? Well, the photos of the tree and decor, and write a little somethin', somethin' about this time of year.  So in other words.. tons of jouraling, less photos.


Thursday December 16
The last day of school before the kids are out for their Winter Break.  I decided to keep Izzy home.. Why? Just because. Her teacher already left for her vacation, she was having a sub with just movies all day, and her BFF, Jazzy had a dental appointment.  So.. why not? So instead of her sitting in class (boring) we went sledding instead!  (Insert, bad mom..)


Kai pulled her to the hill.


This photo (below) is classic.. LOVE IT!
Me, yelling at Kai to MOVE.. I'm yelling "KAI!!!"
And there he is.. (day before his THIRD eye surgery) Mr. Dopey.. probably thinking "Uh, what? Me?"


Izzy took a shot of me sitting there.. waiting for my turn to go down that hill :)
And LOVE my boots btw :)
I seriously wear them ALL the time.
I will be the only one struttin them in the Spring, then in the Summer.. you name it :)



Friday December 17
No school for the kids.
Kai's third surgery scheduled for today. (Nervous)
I literally could start crying every time I drop him off there for his surgery. It is his third time in there.. His left eye, seems to be the stubborn one. His cherry eye popped back out only after 2 months after trying to seal it shut. I did my research (aka googled a lot) and I know their last resort is to remove the entire gland because it's the one that produces his tears... So what they did this time was cut off a chunk of it so they could seal it over.

While he was there, Izzy and I had a "girls day" out. We ate at iHop, went to Kohls to find me an outfit for the wedding the next day... and just hung out.

Before we knew it, we headed over to pick up Kai and (no photos) but he looked horrible. He was whining the entire ride home and then when we got home too.

We wrapped some gifts later that night...together. (We've been doing things 'together' ever since) Mmm.. Hmm.. that's what I get when my last child is the only girl... A super 'cling-on'.

We've been hooked on our iPhones/iPod Touch playing this game..Bakery Story.



Saturday December 18
Wedding Day!

A shot with the happy couple :)


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I had to throw in the UNCROPPED version (Paula).. I'm not sure if you notice the moose next to Paula?  ha ha!  It's so wrong.. why did they carve him this way??  And what's up with me, hugging on the groom? LOL!


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Dancing, Preggo-Photographer Diva... How low can she go? Well unfortunately not that low.. Her 8 month belly wasn't letting her.. :)


(drum roll please)

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We like to call this masterpiece:
Lost in Ball (?)
Ornament Love (?)

Who knows.. all I know is that, the DJ thought we were simply out of our mind. :)


Sunday December 19
I am literally still recovering.
Recovering from an all day/night wedding.
I did manage to sneak away to the Toy Store


The lines weren't that bad.. I wish I could say the same for the grocery store though.