Archive for the 'Julie' Category


James says I’m officially a Texan now

Today marks my 32nd and a half birthday!  I moved to Texas, from southern California, just after I turned 16.  You do the math, and I have lived in Texas now more than I have lived in California because I am 32 1/2!  I remember doing the math when I was 16 years old and thinking 32 years old!  Wow…that is sooooo far away!  Crazy to think how much has happened and that I’m so established in this state now!  I’ll probably never move out of it!  So, James says I’m officially a Texan now.  Hmmmm, I don’t know about “official”, but it is kinda cool to acknowledge a fun date such as 11-11-11 as the day I became an “unofficial” Texan.

And in the spirit of flashback Friday, here is our Christmas card photo on our last Christmas in Texas (1994).  We moved in early July of ’95.  I’m sure you aren’t surprised to hear that this photo was my idea.  I just love creative Christmas cards!  🙂  So, here we are as the Beverly Hillbillies!  (And yes, I actually thought most Texans wore cowboy hats, bolero ties, rode horses around town, etc.)

Texas or Bust!

flashback Friday-Halloween at my house

We always “did it up” for Halloween every year.  Especially when I got into jr. high and wasn’t going trick or treating anymore.  I claimed it my duty to decorate the front of the house and pass out candy.

Remember on Monday I said I wasn’t afraid of gruesome?  Well, check out the balcony of our house.  Yep, I taped half a plastic knife to an old doll and taped red paper around it as blood.  Nice.  If I was a mom in my neighborhood, I wouldn’t go up to my house!  Geesh!

And I still “dressed up”. You can see me with one of my friends here (and my little sis!), passing out candy. Painted face, glow in the dark bat boxers (yes I wore men’s boxers that day), pumpkin antenna, pumpkin socks…

I wish I could see the faces of those kids!

flashback friday-pumpkin patch

James reminds me that our kids will not want to take pictures at the pumpkin patch forever…sigh.

It is true.  My own mother might of tried to force pumpkin patch pictures for too long…

You might be too old to be taking pictures at the pumpkin patch when the only picture you can get of your teenager, who just got finished with soccer practice, and is still wearing her shinguards, while drinking a diet Pepsi…
is when she is not looking.

I promise not to take any Gotcha! pictures at the patch like the one above. For one thing, I would never let my kids go to the patch wearing what I was wearing! 😉


California vacation day 8

Sunday was my cousin’s wedding day!  My kids did very well being the flower girls and ring bearer and were party animals at the reception!  Seriously, they had a photo booth at the reception, and Rilyn was taking pictures with bridesmaids that we didn’t even know!  The girls were in the center of dance circles and dancing with strangers.  It was crazy to see how extroverted they were!  Asher was spinning out of control on the dance floor and falling half the time.  He loved it (and all the attention), and laughed the entire time!

*All professional photographs by Bluephoto

coming down the aisle

I got to sit in the second row and had a pretty good view!


I love this shot I took of Ella sitting on great grandpa Erickson’s lap during the ceremony.

I also love this one! He was so cute in his lime green bow tie and never fussed with it once!

All dressed up!

*Professional photography-The wedding party! I love this shot because we had just pulled up Asher’s pants and apparently we pulled them up too high! 🙂

He never smiled for the group shot BUT he didn’t cry either!

*Professional-The reception. You can see James and Ella dancing in the bottom middle of the photograph.


Asher dancing with the bride!

so sweet

*Professional shot-the girls dancing with the groom!

swinging good time!


The girls always wanted to dance near the bride!

The busta’ man bustin’ a move!

*Professional shot-spinning!

Needless to say, nobody wanted to leave early, but we had to get up at 3:30 a.m. the next morning to catch our early flight from LAX (not a fan of that airport) to Austin. It was the best family vacation yet! And we just get more excited thinking about our kids getting older and being able to do more fun things together!!!!


california vacation day 7

Saturday was spent doing the rehearsal for my cousin’s wedding on Sunday evening.  My kids were the flower girls and ring bearer!  They had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner at my grandpa’s house where we were staying for the week.  My grandpa’s backyard is huge and beautiful.  There is every kind of fruit tree, a pool, shuffle board court, fire pit,  flowers and plants galore!

rehearsal time!
Asher’s ring bearer shirt!
this is my gorgeous cousin’s daughter.  I think she looks a lot like my nephew Caden!
couples shot!
mom/daughter shot!
cupcakes for dessert!

california vacation day 6

Friday was spent at Knott’s Berry Farm!  This was another amusement park that I spent a lot of time at in my childhood.  I wanted to “relive” some memories with my own kids, so off we went!  The park has changed a LOT since my younger days, but the kids still had a blast!  The big difference between Knott’s and Disneyland is the thrill rides.  We discovered Asher loves thrill rides, and Knott’s had a lot of kid friendly thrill rides.  (Disney is magical because of all the characters and fantasy story rides.)  We didn’t stay the whole day (we left at 6) because, well, we were on day 3 of amusement parks and we were tired!  🙂

Snoopy is to Knott’s as Mickey is to Disneyland
quick drops up and down were a thrill for all three!

This next picture is the Sidewinder roller coaster. It is like a normal roller coaster except each “cart” spins around while you are going fast on the tracks. Rilyn wasn’t prepared for the feeling of “falling out” and screamed “MOMMY!!!!!!!!” on the whole ride! 🙂

I am sitting with Rilyn at the very end (in the middle of the picture with a blue shirt on) with my hair flying and Rilyn screaming!
This was another thrill ride.   A giant “skateboard” that teetered back and forth.  Asher loved it as you can tell!  (I like the girl in the

front’s face!)

This was one of my favorite rides at Camp Snoopy when I was little. The “Huff N Puff”. My kids LOVED this ride. Even Rilyn wanted to go on again and again!

You have to pump the handle in order to go!
Asher was the last car on another time that they went and well, he got very left behind!  He really huffed and puffed for sure!
ferris wheel!

Rilyn’s favorite ride was the swings. She said she could take a nap on there! 🙂 (Ella was too small to ride.)

Rilyn in orange and pink with James in the yellow hat

One of my favorite things at Knott’s when I was little was the train ride because a “robber” would come into your cart and harass you. I thought it would be funny to go on and not tell the kids that a robber was coming!

Give me all your money!
Asher, as usual, could care less.
They got a little scared!
this was another thrill ride, the cars would speed around the corners and the kids loved it!
I think Asher likes it!

california vacation day 5

Day 5 was spent relaxing.  We spent the day at one of my favorite parks where I played at as a child.  The slides looked a lot shorter then I remember!  🙂  We ate In N Out and enjoyed the gorgeous weather!  That night I went to dinner with 4 of my friends from 2nd grade (and 1 from Jr. High)!  Thanks to Facebook, we all stay connected! In true flashback Friday fashion, I’ve included pictures of my friends from the younger years!

me, Elizabeth, Vivian, Erik, Stacy, and Annie

And here four of us are in 3rd grade!

Viv and Stacy in the back row.  Erik and me in the middle row

And me and Annie at one of my birthday parties:

Annie is sitting next to me with the very short hair

California vacation day 4

Day 4 took us back to Disneyland!  This time we took more opportunities to meet characters and see shows.  We hit 16 attractions in 12 hours.

Asher refused to wear a Mickey Ears hat.  So sad for this mommy!

Our first stop was Space Mountain. We made Ella and Rilyn go on it. We had a switch pass so after the first ride, James was going to go on with the girls. Ella hated the ride, so only Rilyn went back with daddy (and that was only because she knew daddy really wanted to go on it! See one of the pictures below.)

this is before the ride started!
during the ride
Both girls look like they’ve been through the washing machine after the ride, but Rilyn

went again just for daddy!

We went on the Nemo Submarine ride!

We met Fawn!
Peter Pan!
Tow Mater and McQueen
Toy Story Mania ride-James’ favorite!
Sully from Monsters Inc.!

We took the girls to a princess show while Asher was napping where they teach you “how to be a princess”.  I think this picture is hilarious because the princesses are teaching the girls how to curtsy, and Ella is pulling out a wedgy.

Ella in plaid shorts, white top
Ella ribbon dancing with Snow White!

We headed to Toon Town in the evening. I love this picture. Check out Rilyn!

This is heavy!

Here is Roger Rabbit Toon Spin ride. Ella did this on pretty much every dark ride. She hates loud noises and surprises.

Our tradition is to end our visit to Disneyland on It’s A Small World. This still is our kid’s favorite ride!

Small World After All!

California vacation day 3

On Tuesday we went to the beach!  The kids had so much fun and could of stayed there all day!  The weather was perfect, and Asher was in heaven with so much sand and water!  When we first saw the beach I asked him what it was and he said, “A big pool and lots of sand boxes!!!”  You can tell he’s not a Californian!
You can also tell he’s not a Californian by the way he rubbed his eyes with sandy fingers. My kids could not figure out how to eat their lunch at the beach without getting sand all over their food. Such rookies!

salt water plus sandy eyes=tantrum
Rilyn running to the beach!
family shot
Ella the mermaid!

Asher could of done this all day. Random people got chunks of sand thrown on them as they were walking by!

building a sand castle!
I’ll “head” to the ocean in a minute!  hehe
one of the many times Asher got knocked down by the tide
future surfer dude?
building with grandpa

That night, me and James went to an Angels baseball game (with my cousin, dad, and uncle) because they were playing the Texas Rangers! How lucky was James? I grew up going to Angels games and so it was fun for me to bring out my old hat and cheer on the home team!

Anaheim stadium

I brought the “past into the present” again with a picture of me and my cousin, John, at an Angels game about 20 years ago.

John and me

The Rangers won so James was happy! I did catch James eyeing the Angels World Series trophy. The Rangers were so close last year!


California vacation day 2

Monday we went to Disneyland!  This is the day we made the girls go on Thunder Mountain!  🙂  We had a great day!!  Vacations are definitely a lot more fun now that the kids are getting older.  We spent 13 hours there, did 26 attractions (achievers like to count), and only had 3 meltdowns.  (One for each kid.)  Here is Ella’s meltdown (on Splash Mountain.) She was screaming and crying on the whole ride, even when we were going slow.

we told her she had to sit in the front because she was the smallest (this rule is not true, but I wanted her to experience the thrill!)

Rilyn had a meltdown at the end of the night because she couldn’t walk anymore, and so we doubled up one stroller (we only rented two.)

Asher’s meltdown was after he woke up from his nap. Not a happy boy. I had to hold him while he was thrashing about. No pictures, just lots of frustration for about 30 minutes.

I uploaded this next picture before I realized I hadn’t finished erasing all the people, so you see some headless people on our left.  Sorry, I’m on vacation and I’m blogging, and that’s what you get!




Peter Pan
Rilyn and grandpa!
my mom, Ella, Asher, and me on the tea cups!
I think Rilyn liked this ride!
Casey Jr. Train

We made Rilyn go on the Indiana Jones ride. Only Rilyn was tall enough for this ride so Grandma sat out with Ella and Asher. This is a thrill ride and Rilyn decided she didn’t like it at the end. 🙂

Wow, this looks like it could be scary!
Daddy, hold my hand!
A bumpy ride!
I don’t want to go on that again! (don’t worry she will one day.)
nap time!

Our goal was to meet characters that we didn’t meet in 2009. (Again, the achiever in me comes out.) My girls even told characters they had met before that they couldn’t sign their autograph book because they already got their signature before. Here was a good find! The Fairy Godmother from Cinderella!

Bippity Boppity Boo!

All Ella wanted was to meet Rapunzel, and she got her wish!

The girls were speechless when Rapunzel asked them questions!
Buzz Lightyear ride!
the new Ariel ride
California Adventure park
A Bug’s Life 3-D  (this was too scary for the kids, they all were crying at the end)
bumper cars
World of Color show at California Adventure

My photography business!

September 2021