This year we had five Christmas Eve services with kids ministry. I have to admit, I was overwhelmed going into the services, especially since they came right between two full weekends with their own programming. It took a lot to get everything prepped and ready to go, and honestly I was pooped by the time the first service came around. I had a GREAT time at the first service. It was fun, there was purpose to the activities, we had tons of volunteers, and the kiddos seemed to be having a great time. The morning of Christmas Eve was really busy trying to finish baking, and visit with my Grandparents since we wouldn't get to see them on Christmas. I spilled nail polish all over myself on the way into work, and must admit that my attitude totally needed a check.....and boy did it get one!

I was scheduled to go to church during the noon service. It was GREAT. It's hard to put into words how incredibly moving it was. I feel that it was the best Christmas service I've ever attended. Hands down. The Spirit of God was so thick in that room. What a great start to the day! The next two services were great. Alex was chosen to be the Christmas tree during one of our games ::
Around the time that the 6pm service started, I realized that I was actually going to be able to leave to be with my family for our annual Christmas Eve dinner. I was STOKED to be able to leave, and extremely thankful for the people that were staying to finish up. On the way to my sister's house, Alex and I were reflecting on the night and although it was hard to be "on" for all of those services, I don't know that we would have chosen to be anywhere else. Was it hard? Yes. Was it a TON of work? Yep. Was it worth it? Absolutely. All I could think about was how blessed I am to have been chosen for this time at this church. I know that I am incredibly undeserving, but He picked me. I think that we were able to convey the birth of Christ in a biblical, God honoring, FUN way for our kids, and how great is it that their parents were given the opportunity to experience something totally life changing at the same time?!

We are now almost a month removed from those services, yet I think that the feelings we felt during those services will guide us in 2009. Being able to do ministry with my husband is probably the greatest feeling, and I know that it makes my experience all the richer.


why i don't take days off

So, I've been planning some time off around Christmas and the first week of the new year. This may sound wonderful, and I know that it will be nice to have a break, but I honestly don't know if it's worth the craziness that I will endure to get myself there. I will be off the 25th, 26th, and 27th. Sounds great, right? Well, yes. Except the 27th is a Saturday. Saturday, the rooms need to be set up with curriculum and the offices will be locked down the 25th and 26th so the set-up volunteers will not be able to come. With me also gone, how will the rooms get set up? Oh, maybe I could set them up after the last Christmas Eve service? Nope. I am trying my hardest to leave during that last service because my family is getting together during that time for the big Christmas Eve dinner. Soo....that leaves me at the mercy of my volunteers. Hopefully they will be VERY flexible with me!

Then, I will be back to work on Sunday the 28th. At the end of the services, I'll be taking down all of the Chrismas decorations since they need to be down by Saturday and I have the entire week off. I also have to set up the curriculum for the following weekend since the building will be locked and the set-up volunteers will be unable to get in! This might not sound that bad, but that's only because you haven't seen my rooms...Alex climbed on our ceiling to put some trees on the roof and hung lots of lights and garland from a VERY high wall in the Playhouse. So, Alex should be able to get them down, right? WRONG! This happens to be the one day that Alex is going somewhere without me and will not be around at all! Yikes!

So, that gives you some insight into my life right now. Logistics are crazy. Christmas IS coming and I do need to be ready. My plate is full. My volunteers are amazing. My volunteers are also vacationing. There is curriculum to be written, volunteers to schedule, rooms to be stocked, curriculum to be prepped, emails to be answered and details to be ironed out. I know it will be a crazy few weeks, and at the end of it all, I just pray that Jesus is glorified in all that happens in the Preschool Playhouse...whether I am there or not!


maliah's cuteness

Maliah had a Christmas performance at school. Since this is one of the busiest times of year for me at work, I couldn't afford to take a morning off, but Alex was able to go with my dad and he got some pics for us. She's so cute! My mom and I were both jealous that they got to see her and we didn't! :)


we love our home.

We love our little home, but there was some white space that had been driving me crazy.

One trip to Ikea solved my white space problems! We got some wall decals for our closet doors. I have been wanting decals since I moved in, but Alex thought they were too girly. He finally gave in and we're both pretty stoked with the result. These ones matched the green in our bathroom perfectly!

We also picked up some frames at Ikea. I was trying to recreate something I had seen on a website (probably www.ikea.com). Of course my super creative husband was able to create something even better than I had pictured! Not only were we trying to fill white space, but we also wanted a place to put our friends and family on display. Prior to having this, all of our pictures were wedding pics, or ones Alex already had here before I moved in. I'm so thrilled with this piece...


it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

(again, I've been trying to post these for the past week, but haven't been able to add pics!)

Our little apartment is quite festive these days...we bought our tree last week, and got some other Christmas decorations since neither of us really had any...

Our tree is only 5 feet and we were able to fit it in our backseat!

In case you missed the star in that last photo, here's a close up (we really like black and white!)::

We had a BLAST decorating our tree and our little place. It makes us both so happy to see all the lights and decorations (and the smell of the tree is amazing too!)

My mother in law made us an awesome Advent calendar. We decided to add a little twist by eating the candy (since I LOVE candy canes) and reading a scripture each day. It's been a fun tradition for us to start, and a little way to not miss Christmas for ourselves while trying to bring it to the masses in just 1.5 weeks!


Our First Thanksgiving

Well, our first Thanksgiving as a married couple! (i've been trying to post this since the 1st, but my pics wouldn't load!)

We had a wonderful week that started with the Bennetts returning to California! We were excited to make our way down to San Marcos for the night to welcome them home. Here are a few pics::

I had to get back to work on Tuesday, but I was already in vacation mode (as was the rest of the office), so I decided to take Wednesday off too! We had so much fun on the days I had off! We were reminded of all we have to be thankful for....first was spending a little time at my grandparents' house...
...then off to the campground with the Pavones and Bennetts...

All in all, we had an extremely busy few days, but they were awesome!


Pilgrims and Indians?

Yesterday, this story was all over the news.

I started wrestling with it, and it was interesting to me that people are SO grounded in tradition that they are willing to perpetuate a false history that we've created. Now, don't get me wrong, I think kids dressed up is just about the cutest thing there is, but is it really healthy to keep something going that we know is inaccurate? Is dressing our children up as pilgrims and indians really that important? Apparently to the parents at Condit Elementary school, it is.

I would love to see a day where Thanksgiving would be a day set aside to simply be thankful. Forget the Pilgrims and Indians and all of the things that did or did not happen. Just gather together with family and be thankful for the blessings in our life and the God who bestowed them on us.


alex makes a good mexican.

Since Alex and I got married (and even before) my family has said that he makes a good Mexican and I tend to agree! He loves all things spicy...especially my mom's homemade kind! He also just had his first taste of chicken mole, and LOVED it. We thought that he might have to take some time to acquire a taste for it, but nope, he didn't, he ate it all! And this last one is probably my favorite. You see, Alex had never tasted jicama before he met me, and now he eats it with a chile lime seasoning that is SO mexican! We love our Tajin!!



I don't watch a lot of commercials. I don't like them. I don't like the way portray people, and I don't like the way that everything from coffee to perfume to sports is advertised with sex. It's awful. I think the product with the worst commercials is Axe deodorant spray. My sister-in-law Nicole wrote a very good post here about some fishy marketing.

So...the other day, a commercial starts to come on, Alex recognizes the opening music and was expecting this to come on::

Yes, that commercial is very funny, and I enjoyed it (when I finally saw it) HOWEVER, that is NOT the commercial we saw that day. We saw Heidi Klum in a very skimpy bra and panty set dancing around to the same song. It was awful. Both Alex and I were bummed that this was on ESPN during some sort of sporting event. Its sad that parents sitting there with their kids watching sports have to rethink that. Something that should be simple is now complicated. Alex and I obviously don't have kids, but we've even talked about not watching live games when we do have kids because the commercials are so bad. It's very clear who ESPN is advertising to...and it's not us.

On a similar note, Alex and I were driving home from Yogurtland last night and an ad came on the radio (on a very poplular station) for adult toys...it wasn't even 10pm! What the heck?! We were shocked. Now, we're not the type to be overly sensitive (well, maybe I am, but Alex is not) but both of us have been continually shocked over the past few months at what is on tv and the radio. Thankfully we can record something and watch it later (we love DVR!), and I think for this reason, we will keep our DVR as long as possible!


Black Friday

I saw this in Real Simple and thought it was interesting::

  • Shoppers have spent big on this weekend for decades. Indeed, in 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up a week to extend the shopping season and help business.
  • This day was first called Black Friday in the 1960s. The term derives from the old accounting practice of using red ink for debts and black ink for profits.
  • Last year more than 147 million people hit the sales that weekend (and 14 percent of them were at it before 4 A.M.), with each spending an average of $347.
My mom, sisters and I (and sometimes even my brother!) have gone shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving for as long as I remember. We were never the shoppers who wait in line for hours or spend gobs of money, but it has been a tradition to wake up early, bundle up (because it's freeeezing at 5am!), grab something warm to drink and head out to the mall. We love the walking and looking around. The funny thing is that we normally don't even buy a lot, but it's just the fun of the tradition! There are some amazingly awesome sales though. I think my best sale buy was a knife set that I got at WalMart the day after Thanksgiving right before I moved out of my parents' house. My roommate still has them! So...needless to say, I am looking forward to that morning!


a little behind.

I'm definitely behind on blogging! Funny enough, I am totally caught up on my Reader, but haven't posted anything! So instead of catching up on an entire week, I'll just post some Halloween photos!

Shaggy and Velma::
Cutest Ladybug::

Daphne...or Amy Winehouse with red hair::

The dread Pirate Roberts::

one last Shaggy pic::


five months.

Today, Alex and I have been married for five months! It may not seem like a big deal, but in that five months my heart has changed and grown in ways I hadn't expected. As we go through life as a newly married couple and clearly point out things we want in our marriage, and even more specifically, how we're going to do the first year together, I am more certain with each day that I could not be happier. The funny thing is that although we don't have a significant second income right now, we are content. We are happy with where we live, the cars we drive and the "stuff" we have (okay, so we're both BIG fans of clothes and would probably like some new ones some time soon...we still have more than enough!). Amazingly, God has provided for us in some really remarkable ways. He has given us random goodies that save some money a la my parents, some references through friends who have given Alex some free lance work, very random odd jobs (for Alex) that people need done and don't have anyone who can do them, a very wonderful (and reasonable!) studio to live in, and babysitting that is good for my soul and gives us some spending money. God's provision, and our dependence have marked these first five months and what a joy it is to have these stories to tell.

Another thing that has marked these five months is time. I am so spoiled. I spend nearly all of my time with Alex! This might sound normal, but let me tell you it's not! With Alex still looking for a full time position, we get to be with each other on my weekends (thursday and friday) and normal weekends since he volunteers in RH//kids. So fun! I can't think of another time outside of retirement when we'll have so much time so I can't help but see it as a huge blessing! So....all this to say, I love my husband, I love being married, and I love being spoiled :).


Halloweenie Fun

Last weekend was super fun for the Pavones! A couple of weeks ago, we decided to invite my siblings over to carve pumpkins with us. Of course that quickly turned into a bbq, because what fun is it to have people over with no food?? We quickly realized that our little barbecue wouldn't really fit much, so hot dogs were in order! We had fun choosing our pumpkins at the pumpkin patch on Thursday (which you can see at alex's blog.), went to Disneyland on Friday to see all of the fun Hallowen Time festivities, and had our Halloweenie party on Sunday. It was a great day, and so fun to carve pumpkins! Of course, the kids were done in about 5 minutes leaving the adults to finish the work! Here are some photos of the fun!

Main St. USA::

The Haunted Mansion!

Alex and I enjoying the fun decor::

My pumpkin cupcakes!!
Rudy carving Triniti's pumpkin!
Look how big my smoocher is!! (Maliah nicknamed her smooch when she was first born :))
Maliah and Triniti love posing for the camera!
My pumpkin is the one with the spiderweb...Alex made the skull. Alex actually ended up finishing mine since I made a hole in the web!



I'd like to welcome my wonderful husband to the blogging world.... Go visit him here!

ice skating with a 5 year old...

I am waaay behind on posting, but we had a hilarious experience with ice skating. Alex tried to teach Maliah to skate...key word is tried...she never ended up standing on her own! it was probably one of funniest things I've ever seen! Here you Go!


family fun!

This past week, my sister-in-law Nicole and our niece Gigi came to California! We drove down on Tuesday after work and spent a few days with the family. It was fun to see everyone. On Friday, we went to the San Diego Zoo (I had NEVER been beforee!) and Alex got some fun shots...unfortunately, blogger hasn't been letting me post pictures all week long!grrr....

If you're really interested, you can see them here.


Palmer for President!

Do you ever watch TV and really fall in love with the characters? Well...Alex and I totally do! I am pretty much depressed over the awfulness of both presidential (and vice presidential) candidates this election season, and I'm really wishing that two of my favorite characters would be real! You see, I am a HUGE fan of 24, and could there be a better president than David Palmer?
I don't really think so. We don't know if it would be possible to find a better candidate...however there is another contender....Robert McCallister. He's pretty much wonderful....and I like his TV politics too! Do I really have to choose one of the real life candidates??


How awesome would it be to go to Israel, Egypt and Jordan?! If only I could take an entire month off work before the busiest time of the year!!


Time to vote!

It's time to do an Alex plug! He's got three shirts up in a contest on the C28 website. Go there and vote for this one::

this one

AND this one::