Tag Archives: celebrating birthdays

Dude … The Magic of Garth and Shark Week Living on 42

30 Jul

I felt like I was riding a wave of electricity in a thundolt-filled sky.

The energy brought life into my life, and for the third time in my existence, I crossed off a Bucket List Item in honor of my birthday. I wasn’t sure how I would celebrate the big 42. I wasn’t worried as much as when I turned 40. Not because it wasn’t a big day, it always is, but because both Jackie Robinson and James Worthy wore No. 42 jerseys, so that had to be a sign of awesomeness to come in my year of 42 … At least that’s what I thought.

But it was even better.

The Magic of Garth can overpower any bad spells on any given day, and turn a good day into a great night — the unforgettable ones that belong in The Jar of Awesome.

In spite of a couple of personal snags that evening, which could have sucked the blue out of the sky, I was still … STILL able to enjoy the sparkle and wonder of the Big Magic that is Garth Brooks. I had a little bit of it sprinkled on me as I experienced the musical testimony of of this cowboy dude. He had the power to erase bad conversations, frustrations, anger, and ill thoughts. He had the power of the ocean.

Two Pina Coladas. That Summer. Thunder Rolls. Unanswered Prayers. Shameless. Friends in Low Places. And … And his new song  Ask Me How I Know. Not to mention his duet with Trisha Yearwood and her solo songs that night.

And it was awesome. He left it all out on the stage and it was inspiring, contagious, live-your-life-like-this energy.

Definitely a great way to celebrate a birthday and live in the moment, in that live-your- life-like-Shark-Week moment I was talking about last week. Every single person surrounding me surged with the good vibes of country music’s finest.

 

I had never been to one of his concerts before, and now I know what I’ve been missing out on. It was a never-disappointed nighttime adventure.

The birthday celebration began with the greatness of the sandy beaches on a California coast with my kids, coupled with good food. Then the night …the night was filled with The Magic of Garth.

It was the kind of birthday weekend I like to imagine. It gave me a day to spend with my family and live the best mom life on the beach, riding waves and building sand castles under the Californian sun, and then The Night with Garth which fed my feel-good feelings soul of the regular Chapsiptick girl in me.

Blowing out birthday candles, wishing for big dreams, and Bucket List Adventures involving The Magic of Garth Brooks was a good way to ring in the Year of 42. Shark Week Living and Garth Brooks … Definitely a great combination.

 

Buen Camino my friends!

 

 

 

Looking Through The Right Lens …

29 Jul

Turning the corner feels so good, when the day before seemed like such a nightmare.

I was secretly hoping things were going to get better but I didn’t want to jinx myself. It’s weird when people think like that, I know. But I was just hoping for a little luck from the universe, and it turns out, the universe was definitely conspiring with me that day.

Even though we had to cancel our Bucket List Adventures that day, turning 41 ended up being pretty good. I found so many tiny blessings that added up to such a cool day, small moments to be super grateful for, and if I hadn’t been looking, my perspective would have been so different. So glad I was looking through the right lens …

beach

🙂

 

101-degree fevers and vomit gone …

No traffic on the way and Flock of Seagulls on the radio …

Realizing it’s 99 degrees where you live but a cool 77 on your beach spot …

Warm sand, low tide, cool waters, and no beach space invaders …

Catching some awesome boogie board waves that make you feel like you’re on a the Travel Channel Special, in slow motion, and Morgan Freeman is narrating  …

Great picnic with no sand in the sandwiches …

Splashing in the waves, hearing my kids laugh, hearing my own laugh …

Relaxing on a Tommy Bahama Beach Chair and taking a moment, a couple actually, to check out the peaceful scene …

Driving out for an early dinner and not getting lost on the way …

Eating the best fish tacos I’ve had in 12 years … Duuuuude.

Driving home, in traffic, but kids watching Despicable Me and I’m bopping my head to The Boss, The Zac Brown Band, The Rolling Stones,Tears for Fears, The Beastie Boys, New Edition, and La Pollera Colorada … ahhh best mixed tape ever …

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, flan, triple chocolate mousse, one candle, a happy birthday song, and a great wish waiting for me at home …

Buen Camino my friends.

 

 

Small Moments On A Buen Camino …

25 Jul

101-degree fevers accompanied by vomit and tears?

It might end up being a tradition.

Maybe.

Three years in a row when everything that can go wrong does go wrong on the night before? Yeah, maybe. It’s Birthday Eve and I’m remembering last year and being in a somewhat similar position where things beyond my control were out of control. Well it’s happened again, only this time I had to cancel a trip because of it.

sea-cave-kayaing-santa-barbara

Image from Santa Barbara Adventure Company at Channel Islands National Park

 

No bucket list adventures for me this time around, no sea cave kayaking off the coast of California to ring in another year. The Birthday Eve bad luck bandit has struck again.

But …

It was Birthday Eve … it was Birthday Eve two years in  a row where I had to ask for grace and work hard to find the bits and pieces of gratitude throughout the day. It happened on Birthday Eve and I expected it continue onto the next day. But come sunrise things changed.

The universe decided to rain sunshine down on me and helped turn things around. I found spectacular moments to be grateful for on my adventure last year, and so I’m counting on that happening again. I’m counting on all that bad luck hitting the night before, making way for blessings and happy moments for the next day.  The day.

I was sad about cancelling our trip, our little get away on such short notice, but vomit, fever, and kids are unpredictable on vacation. So no hotels, no kayaks, no sea adventures.

So now Plan B is in full effect …

They’re turning the corner and health is looking up. So day trip is in my future tomorrow. Just a single day trip with small moments of happiness and gratitude throughout. That’s  what I’m hoping for …small moments that will eventually add up … small moments that turn the corner on a Buen Camino.

 

1

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superheroes To The Rescue

16 Jul

The emotional highs and lows of this weekend was more than any chocolate could handle. It took superhero strength to get me through Saturday and Sunday … the Batman and Wonder Woman kind.

 

:)

🙂

 

Celebrating my kids birthday party one day and then remembering the anniversary of my father’s death the next definitely took me for roller coaster ride of monstrous proportions. Thinking about my dad and knowing how much he would have loved our Superhero Bowling Party made it difficult for it to be a cartwheel-worthy experience.

Seeing my dad laugh and give my son a high five on his spectacular spare would have been great. Having him teach my daughter how to roll the ball down the lane and hit that one awesome pin that would eventually wobble and fall would have been even better.

 

My dad with my son ... thinking about future Grandpa stuff.

My dad with my son … thinking about future Grandpa stuff.

 

Not seeing him on lanes 11 and 12 celebrating my little Guats birthday party was a little difficult to handle, but seeing my son and daughter dressed up in their Justice League attire creating their own high-five moments made it a little easier. I don’t know how it’s possible to be happy and sad at the same time, but I was … emotions were all over the place, which was why I took a three-day weekend away from writing.

Luckily my two superheroes created moments that I wanted to witness and be present for, stuff like tiny bowling shoes, rolling their first strike, bustin’ out their best Justice-League-Defend-The-Universe pose, blowing out the candles on their awesome superhero cake, playing arcade games and being able to hit the 100+ ticket jackpot in the Slam-A-Winner Game that sent everyone in high-five mode. That was the stuff that helped me get through the day … well that and the craziness of a freeway closure due to an overturned semi-truck that made many people late to the party.

In addition the chaos of preschoolers, their parents, food party platters, and the bowling alley staff kept me busy enough to keep my emotions from spilling over in public. Although I don’t think that would have happened, I had more of a private chocolate-induced coma at the cemetery the day after the party. Those kind of emotions tend to put a damper on the Happy-Birthday-To-You moment as well as the unwrapping of the presents, so I kept them reserved for the next day. This was my weekend of roller coasters, so glad I had Wonder Woman and Batman riding along with me.

 

A little souvenir to get the party started ...

A little souvenir to get the party started …

 

Waiting ... waiting ... waiting for people to get passed the Sigalert on the highway and make it to the party.

Waiting … waiting … waiting for people to get passed the Sigalert on the highway and make it to the party.

 

My little Wonder Woman waiting for her turn to knock down some pins ... she bowled an 85 that day :)

My little Wonder Woman waiting for her turn to knock down some pins … she bowled an 85 that day 🙂

 

Getting reading to put the candles on the birthday cake ... so hoping I wouldn't drop it when I took it out of the box.

Getting ready to put the candles on the birthday cake … so hoping I wouldn’t drop it when I took it out of the box.

 

The Jackpot

The Jackpot

 

My daughter helping her older brother cash in his tickets

My daughter helping her older brother cash in his tickets

 

While opening his presents I made sure he opened all the cards. As a knock-knock enthusiast I was glad that my card cracked him up.

While opening his presents I made sure he opened all the cards. As a knock-knock joke enthusiast I was glad that my card cracked him up.

 

:)

🙂

 

Dozens of Argentinean and Chilean Penguins. Eight Stamps. One Nerd. And One Bike.

19 Jul

Today brought together a motley crew of highlights that seemed to blend together at the end of the day and make me smile. It was a fun-filled day, officially my son’s fourth birthday, and an awesome adventure for the nerd in me at The Aquarium of The Pacific.

The Aquarium

I mean really Argentinean and Chilean Penguins? I had no idea that penguins existed outside of arctic, glacier-filled environments, and said stuff like “Oye, todo bien, Che?”

I mean who knew? The Aquarium people knew. They got skills. Mad penguin and ocean animal skills.

Stuff like that seemed to fascinate me, it’s the nerd in me. Apparently there are seventeen kinds of penguins on Earth and most of them live in temperate regions. The ones I got to hang out with today were the Magellanic Penguins, which sadly happen to be an endangered species. I’m glad I got a chance to hang out with the Oye Che penguins.

The Penguins

But this little fact wasn’t the top contributor to my escalating nerd factor of the day. It was the stamps. The eight stamps. White Sea Bass, Pacific Seahorse, Collard Aracari, Whitetip Reef Shark, Magellanic Penguins, Anchovy, Dragon Sea Moth, and the Bonnethead Shark. I mean even before I put my hands on the Map & Visitor Guide I was vaguely familiar with half of these creatures, but by the end of the day I happen to know certain Trivial Pursuit-Jeopardy! type of information. It happens when the nerd comes out. It happens when you get stamp crazy.

As soon as I got that Map & Visitor Guide it was on. I saw the empty circles hanging out on the top-right corner of the pages. I mean I wasn’t a middle-school student trying to finish an Earth Science assignment for my third period teacher. I wasn’t going to get a prize from the aquarium volunteers for getting all eight stamps. But I was still on a mission to get all of the embossing stamps on my map and visitor guide. My son found this scavenger hunt pretty enjoyable, but in truth it was the nerd in me that enjoyed it too. Maybe more than my son.

At the end of the day I was missing just one: The Pacific Seahorse. It was past lunch time. Past nap time. But the nerd in me overpowered the mom in me and I took an extra five minutes to return to the Southern California Baja Gallery to look for the embossing station. And there it was hanging out by the exhibit, being used by elementary and middle school students. I was last in a line of three.

The Guide

As I finished getting the last stamp in my book, I felt a woo-hoo! resonate in my Pointdexter soul. I smiled, excited to tell my son who was hanging out by the Nemo tropical fish tank. As I turned to see other kids waiting to use the station I felt a little out-of-place. But then I noticed two adults holding onto their visitor guides. Page 11 sticking out, ready to get the stamp and then it was all good, because the visitor guide brought out the nerd in everybody.

And yes he was as excited. My son was as excited as I’d hoped he’d be. Maybe not as excited as when he got his miniature scuba diving guy for the bathtub, but nevertheless excited. Mission complete.

But his birthday wasn’t quite over yet we stopped by Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., which is awesome by the way. So awesome that I might have to write a separate post on this restaurant tomorrow. They sang him happy birthday and he dove into a hot fudge sundae.

But that wasn’t even the best part …

The Red Racer

We made our way through traffic, which sort of dazed the excitement factor, and finally made it home. And there it was sitting in the patio waiting for him.

A red Specialized super awesome bike, to replace the one they stole. No SpiderMan decals this time, just a clean read bike. And an ecstatic four-year old with his Lightning McQueen helmet.

Dozens of Argentinean and Chilean Penguins. Eight stamps. One nerd. And one bike. This is what my son got for his fourth birthday.

The Initiation of the Little Guat

13 Jul

I didn’t get there last time and believe me, it wasn’t because I didn’t try. We were making all kinds of traffic infractions, but I just didn’t make it. The process happened so fast so I missed the window of opportunity.

Even though people tell you, you forget the pain, they lie. Because you recognize it when it hits your abdomen. Then comes your back. Your aching back. It’s so excruciating that profanity constantly fills the room. You try not to, but it just comes out. Even in a Catholic Hospital.

Granted everyone’s experience is quite different, but everyone feels pain, even a little. If they say they don’t, that’s probably because the drugs are working.

These pains caused me such agony that I was calling on all Gods and Powers that be to make sure I had made it in time — made it to the window of opportunity. The Epidural Opportunity.

Now I’m not a wuss, and my pain threshold is pretty high, but there was no need to test my limits. Really there wasn’t. I had gone through that entire process before and let’s just say that I’m not a fan pain. Just because I can take it, doesn’t mean I should do it again.

And yes … yes this time, the window of opportunity was still there.

But all that pain, agony, swearing, and needles shoved into my veins brought me the joys of motherhood once again. A year ago today my daughter was born, and we celebrated her initiation into The Guat Family with a little cake, a little bouncer, and a few games. Her big party, along with my son’s is on Sunday, but the memory was created today.

Trying to play some games

One year of limited sleep.

One year of 2 a.m. feedings.

One year of 6 a.m. wake up calls.

One year of washing 20 Doctor Brown baby bottle parts a day.

One year of dirty Huggies diapers.

One year of random screaming.

One year of purchasing multiple pacifiers.

One year of people trying to give me pink things even though they know I hate pink.

One year of baby-proofing stuff that is never really baby proof.

One year of vaccinations and the crying that goes with it.

One year of crying because she’s sleepy.

One year of crying because she’s hungry.

One year of crying because she’s teething.

One year of crying for no reason.

One year of losing my mind.

One year of giggles.

One year of enthusiastic screaming when I enter the room.

One year of baby dancing when she hears music.

One year of watching a brother love his sister.

One year of smiles.

One year of puppy-dog eyes.

One year of ten tiny toes and ten tiny fingers.

One year of another little Guat hanging around.

One year today.