Life is Good at the Beach

It has been a while since I've put anything on the blog. I've got projects to share that I'll be posting soon. Like everyone else, we've been busy and time flies by like clouds passing in the sky. We've had many beautiful days playing at the beach. We've chased birds, built sand castles, and played in the ocean. We've visited with family, gone on many walks, and splashed around in the swimming pool. Recently we went to the pumpkin patch, ran around in the hay and fed the goats. It has been a great past two months. Here are a few pics to capture some of these memorable moments. Love the beach!So much fun playing in the sandRunning aroundFeeding babyMore funLife is goodAt my friend from first grade- Rachelle's wedding in SBHangin with a horse and a few goatsPumpkin patch fun … [Read more...]

Our Trip to the Eastern Caribbean

We recently got back from being on a cruise and it was 1o days of bliss! I had never been on a cruise and didn't have too many expectations. Our experience far exceeded what I thought it would be. The weather was beautiful, the beaches we went to were paradise, and the activities and everything about the ship was fabulous. I would absolutely do it again! I did miss my little Sophia but I must admit it was nice to have a break. Next time, I think I'll bring her along. I know she would love it! Here are just a few pics from our vacation. This was our first night on the ship after dinner. Happy to be on vacation! It was a little breezy this night (had to hold my dress down!).  Hanging out at the pool after dinner one night. The morning we arrived to St. Thomas.  Laying out on the ship, reading books and listening to music.  Cruising around the ship.  We rented a seadoo in Antigua. This was fun!  This was at the beach in St. Thomas.  The water was perfectly clear and warm.  What a great day at the most beautiful beach in Antigua. A beautiful beach in Tortola.  Departing one of the ports before dinner.  Feeling blessed.  Sunset before departing a port.  Driving to one of the beaches in St. Thomas, looking down at our ship.  Just got off the ship- visiting Nassau in the Caribbean.  Enjoying dinner.  Picture of the ship.  Pictures before dinner. How's the fake background?! Totally cheesy but it was fun!  It was fun getting dressed up.  Tortola  Another … [Read more...]

Around the Table

I miss family. You know, the every one sitting around the dinner table kind of family.  Before dinner, kids bustling about in and out of the house, mom yelling, “Just stay in or out! Not both!”  The pangs of hunger racking my guts so bad that I truly believe, “If I don’t eat soon I’ll die!” I yell out! Around dinner time when the meal is simmering, stewing or whatever it’s doing to produce its aroma aloft in the air seems to be a time of congregation around the kitchen.  My two older brothers and I are roaming around the half cooked meal like lions circling their next prey.  Being the youngest of three boys in our family meant that I was lucky if I was tossed a scrap of something ninety percent eaten by my older brothers.  Mom would chase us out of “her” kitchen with a wooden spoon bellowing, “Get outta here! It’s not ready yet,” with all the love she could muster! My mom’s dinners were so good that a lot of times my brothers and I would be perfectly willing to put up with a few swats from the dreaded wooden spoon for a bite of this, a nibble of that.  Actually laughing while mom beat our behinds with her wooden spoon.  It did sting but like I said, Mom’s cookin is Moms cookin!  On the other hand, dad’s belt was something to fear. But thankfully that’s another story on another topic. As the five of us sit down at the table for the nightly feast, no prayers are said, no thankful words.  It’s all business.  My brothers and I are attacking the meal with great fervor.  … [Read more...]

Change

I myself have spent the last 13 years hovering in the clouds.  Living at high elevation seemed to be my calling.  Actually it has been my passion for small mountain life and the snowboarding that comes every winter.  I recently saw a bumper sticker in my town of Mammoth Lakes that simply red “My life is your vacation: Mammoth Local”.  It Couldn’t be better said than this.  Can you imagine living in a town where everyone knows you?  The checkers at the super market call you by your first name. I see my friends daily whether they are strolling down the the “main drag” in town or pull up next to me in our “four light” town.  Four traffic lights!  That’s right…four, Quattro.  But of course with any good comes the not-so-good. Get pulled over and everyone knows.  Get injured or seriously ill, everyone knows.  Marital problems, everyone’s a therapist.  Kid on drugs, you’re totally screwed.  Go to 12 step meetings…well, that could go either way I suppose.  My point is that choosing a life of intimacy in a small town has been part of my life, our lives, and the only life Sophia has known for her duration of eighteen months.  Change is coming. Through life’s circumstances my family and I will soon find ourselves in the clutches of another small town surrounded by another small town and so on and so on.  Life in San Clemente, California.  How can a town call themselves “small” when it is surrounded by a megalopolis?  What am I going to do?  Will I succeed at the supermarket … [Read more...]

Trip To Incline Village, Lake Tahoe

Summer has officially arrived and we kicked it off with a family getaway to Incline Village in Lake Tahoe. It was fun and tiring at the same time. We had a few days of June gloom that could have put a damper on the mood of the trip however we made the best of it and had fun anyway. When the sun came out, we were very happy. Nothing beats the crystal blue waters of the lake and the crisp clean air in Lake Tahoe. It's a beautiful place to be. The best part of the trip for me was that it was an O'Connell family reunion (my Dad's family). My Dad and his four siblings were all there with a number of my cousins and their kids. I grew up spending Summers in Lake Tahoe with my cousins and aunts and uncles and it had been a number of years since we had a get together in Tahoe. So it was great to be back with everyone. I'm bummed I hardly got any pictures of the group but here are a few. Sophia with my brother Billy and his girlfriend Chelsea Sophia and Dada Loving the sand and frigid lake water Sophia, Bailey (Brandon's girlfriend), and Lauren Brett and I My cousin's wife Brynn and their daughter Cici Brynn with my cousin Matt's kids My aunt Karen and cousins Mike and Sean My cousin Maureen and I Sophia with my cousin's girls Ryan and Mckenna I hardly got any decent pictures! Bailey, Brandon, Devon, and Matt (my cousin Maureen's husband) My Uncle Bill, Aunt Kathleen, Mike, and Aunt Mary Beth The only picture I have with the lake in the background! Devon, Brett, and … [Read more...]

An Eventful Weekend

It was an eventful weekend for our family. There is nothing more rewarding and valuable than spending time with people you care about. That was what this past weekend was all about. First we celebrated Brandon, my stepson's high school graduation and Sunday we enjoyed Father's Day together. The graduation was great. All of Brandon's family came to honor his big day. There was a lot of excitement, joy, and celebration. It was an important milestone for Brandon and I'm glad we could all be there for him. Father's Day was another great day of time spent together. I wish I would have taken more pictures. The boys played golf. Sophia and I played at the park and later we had a great dinner and opened presents. … [Read more...]

Dana Point and Lake Tahoe Retreats

We recently spent a couple of days at my mom's house at the beach in Dana Point then headed up to Incline Village in Lake Tahoe for Brandon's snowboarding contest. It's always fun to take a road trip and getaway on a mini vacation. Both places are beautiful and were equally enjoyed. Sophia had a great time, especially visiting C (grandma), Uncle Bilbo, and Aunt Marybeth and friends. Beautiful low tide day at Monarch Loves her Dadada Brandon took  first in both contests (slopestyle and pipe)! At Northstar Resort … [Read more...]