Sunday, March 19, 2017

"Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” » Mother Teresa

This week someone got a new smile.

Lauren's still is going to be changing and evolving over the next two years. We are on day 4 and thankfully the pain is starting to subside.   I am fascinated by the whole process of getting braces.  I am that Mom who is leaning over watching every detail and taking pictures for posterity. . . .or to entertain her dates if I feel the need to get even and embarrass her a little.

 Even though she will have her braces for about 2 years she only has to go in for appointments every 8 weeks.   They only put on her top braces this visit and at the next visit in 8 weeks they will put on her bottom braces and then 8 weeks after that they will put on her bands.  This way she will have time to get used to having them on and hopefully the whole process won't be so overwhelming to her.  Thankfully Lauren's teeth are pretty straight, she just has a major overbite that doesn't require headgear but simply bands.  Her bottom teeth are in more of a "V" than a "U" so they need a little moving as well.  After her two years of braces are up, she will have to wear a retainer.  

The next day was St. Patricks Day and the girls let me make them a fun shirt to celebrate the holiday. Katelyn wanted hers a little fancier and asked to have her name and her class number on the back.   (I think they turned out okay for having no template and doing it all free-hand and guessing on the placement since I did it while the girls were at school.  Katelyn's hair doesn't even cover her last name.)

In other news, our weather has been gorgeous and we are excited to see all of the plants and trees blossoming in our backyard.  Since we purchased our home in the winter, we weren't able to see just hope pretty our trees and shrubs are.  It's been fun watching as trees blossom white and pink, as shrubs sprout yellow or pink flowers, and as our roses bloom.   I have had fun purchasing and planting some extra flowers to add in amongst the greenery.   James has been fixing up and adding to the light fixtures that were already there.  He also added some lights around our patio.  It is so beautiful to be in the backyard in the daytime as well as in the evening when the lights come on.

Our first rose.  It's gorgeous and smells absolutely divine!

We loved watching the blossoms basically double each day until the tree was covered in pink blossoms.
The yellow bush is beautiful and we have another in a corner but it is much smaller. We hope it will grow just
as big as the one pictured by the end of summer--or in a few years.
(There is a white blossoming tree that I forgot to take a picture of right outside Lauren's window that is fun to watch)

We love these beautiful flowers on this bush. Again we have another one in another spot and love seeing
the extra vibrant color 

I just couldn't resist these pansies. I mean, look at those gorgeous shades of purple.  I also have pansies
in blue, yellow, white, and mauve.  They are just too beautiful.  I also purchased Gerber Daisies.
I had to get some in pink, yellow, and orange.  I have two more that I can't wait to blooms so I can see their colors.

There were a few lights in the backyard when we moved in. However, James added in more to
make it even more appealing. He also purchased spotlights and put them on our 3 redwood trees.
Then he put the lights up on our patio.  I love looking out our back sliding doors and windows to see that view!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"Family traditions help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable, and safe in a confusing world" Unknown

You know that sinking feeling when you see something that you just don't want to see, where your mind just can't seem to accept what it's actually seeing? That's what I experience Wednesday as I was talking and crossed my arms only to feel a sharp poke.  When I looked down I just didn't want to accept what I was actually seeing--there on my ring finger was a ring with only prongs, no diamond.  I couldn't believe it. I was sick.  Where in the world had my diamond gone?   I couldn't remember looking at my ring and noticing it that day and I couldn't think of anything that I had done like hitting my hand against anything that would make it come loose.  I just felt so discouraged in even beginning to try and look for it. Everyone has been so good to look around the house and outside to see if we can see it, however,  it's now Saturday and I know it's just gone and I'm going to have to get it replaced.  But for now, for the first time in over 15 years, my ring finger is naked.  But only until later today when my cheap CZ replacement ring arrives in the mail because something is better than nothing.

Friday James and I jumped through all the necessary hoops and passed our tests to get our California drivers licenses.  We walked out with our temporary licenses and are excited to receive our real ones in 2 weeks.  (Thursday I finally made an appointment with an eye doctor and was able to get new contacts, which greatly helped me to pass the eye test at the DMV).  When we got home I received a text from one of Lauren's friends moms saying that the girl Lauren has been having some trouble with had been in Lauren's face screaming at her and another friend.  A little while later that afternoon I received a call from Katelyn's school nurse letting me know that Katelyn had been running at recess and had fallen on her arm and hurt it but they didn't think it was broken.  I talked to Katelyn and decided since school was almost over I would just come check her out.  Her arm is still tender and is probably just sprained so we've put a little brace on it so she can keep it from getting injured any further.

Yes, this week was a little crazy as well but thankfully last week I had decided that life is just too hard and short not to make the most of our time together at home so I decided to start a few fun family traditions to make our day-to-day life a little more fun.  I drew inspiration from a few traditions my family had growing up as well as some traditions my sister has started with her family.  On Sunday nights we have Sundaes. I made a trip to the dollar store and purchased some fun and cute ice-cream bowls that are only to be used on Sundays.  I also purchased ice-cream and lots of fun toppings.  Monday will be Italian night with any kind of fun pasta so I still need to purchase a red-and-white-checkered table cloth (they didn't have any that day at the Dollar Store), Tuesdays, of course, are Taco Tuesdays (we have a few fun clay pots James has brought back from his trips to Mexico), Wednesdays are Baked Potato and Salad bar nights, (I still need to find some fun dishes/accessories for this night), Thursday is Chinese Night (we have some fun chopsticks already but I think I might try for some paper lanterns to hang up over the table) It is also family movie/popcorn night. (I purchased some cute big bowls only to be used for Popcorn.  I also have an air popper and some butter flavored oil so we can always have buttered popcorn, but then each week we'll try a new fun flavor like Carmel, Peanut Butter, candy etc.) Friday nights are pizza nights, Saturday mornings are Crepes for breakfasts and paninis for lunch, Sundays are French Toast for breakfast and we'll finish the night off with Sundaes. We've now gone an entire week and I'm so grateful I started it when we did because we've all had some rough days and it's been nice to sit down and have a fun dinner together.  I'm really excited to keep this going.  I hope the girls will really enjoy coming home and look forward to the fun we have together as a family. Who knows, maybe one day, they will do some of these things with their own families.

Today we are celebrating our amazing weather by playing in our pool.  Currently it is 70 degrees and sunny.  It feels like summer.  We turned on our pool heater and the water is up to 78 degrees.  We have spent the afternoon swimming, playing, and floating in our backyard.  It's been so wonderful to just totally relax, to just enjoy floating in the water while the sun warms me up, I can hear the soft tingling of the wind chimes, and the sound of a lawn mower in the distance, there are birds chirping and the scent of blooming trees and flowers in the air.  This is the life.

I hope wherever you are, your weather is nice and warm as well. It's amazing what a little sunshine can do for one's happiness!

P.S.  I am happy to report that Pipsqueak has made a full and complete recovery!  We are so glad his sore has completely healed and the only sign of anything ever being wrong is that he is missing a little bit of fur.  :)

The girls enjoying Taco Tuesday

Sundae Nights are our favorite!

Enjoying the beautiful weather from our pool.  These amazing loungers
were gifts from our Real Estate Agent--isn't she awesome?!?!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” ― Bruce Lee

The past few weeks have seemed especially busy and last week was crazy as we were just coming off of Lauren's birthday party sleepover with six12 year-old girls running around laughing and being crazy all day and night.   Unfortunately, Saturday morning I had woken up feeling under the weather and by that afternoon when all the girls had gone home, it had turned into a fever.  Thankfully, it only lasted 24 hours but I was really looking forward to some time off.  This past week was one that I had actually been looking forward to. Thankfully the kids had Monday and Tuesday off from school and a super minimum day on Friday, now that's a great week.  We have FINALLY arrived at the end of Term 2.  Which means just 1 term left, we are 2/3rds of the way through this school year--HALLELUJAH!!   When I had turned the calendar page from January to February and saw this short week I thought, "PHEW finally, I need this nice short easy week.  After all this moving and cleaning it will be so nice to have a relaxing week." I don't know why I ever think this, I should know better by now, I should know with those kind of thoughts I am only setting myself up for disaster.  

So I've been trying to get all of us in to see the dentist. We were supposed to have had our 6 months' check-up by our regular dentist right before we moved.  So it's coming up on a year since we've been to the dentist.  After having insurance issues and then new insurance starting January 1, I finally had things figured out and could make dentist appointments and of course, the best times were for Monday (for the girls) and Tuesday (for me) when there was no school.  This dentist has new client hours of 7 a.m. so let's just say the kids weren't very happy with me that instead of sleeping in on their days off, they had to wake up extra early so we could be to the dentist by 7 a.m.  But thankfully they are now over with and the kids could just come home and sleep.  And oh yeah, why don't I start a new diet that involves eating breakfast exactly a half hour after waking up and one that you can only eat certain foods and where you have to eat every 3 hours, you know, just to make things easier on myself, right?    Thankfully Katelyn whom I was most worried about had no cavities, YAY!!!  Unfortunately, Lauren had 2 cavities, on opposite sides of her mouth of course (which requires another shot) so I had to set up another appointment on Friday afternoon. Which worked great since she wouldn't have to miss any school.

Tuesday, it was back up super early for me (because you know I had to eat a half hour after waking up but before leaving for the dentist).  Thankfully no cavities for me either, YAY!!!   Then it was back home.   There was shopping that needed to be done and Lauren wanted to come with me which was nice to have her company, but she of course, had her own agenda of different stores she wanted to go to so she could spend her allowance.  Unfortunately, both Monday and Tuesday were grey rainy cold days so the kids didn't want to play outside.  On a high note, one of the series on Netflix that Lauren and I like to watch together FINALLY put on a new season that we had been dying to see so Lauren and I were able to sit down and cuddle to our show.  It was for sure the highlight of our time off.

Wednesday and Thursday the kids were back to school and it was regular cleaning, shopping, and errand running for me.

Friday was super minimum day and a rush to get in everything I needed to do before it was time to turn around to start picking them up.  Of course, right as I was to Lauren's school she called to ask if it was okay if one of her friends came home with us.  (This girls is a great girl and her divorced parents both work full time so she is often coming home to hang out until one of them gets off work and picks her up).   So we brought the friend home with us, fed the girls lunch, and then took Lauren to the dentist.  Unfortunately, Lauren's last shots at the dentist have left her scarred for life. She was very nervous about this and really dreading it.  I knew it wasn't going to be an easy appointment.  I was hoping that having her friend there would make it a little better.   Lauren was doing pretty good there in the chair waiting but when the dentist took out the numbing swabs and was ready to do her shot she freaked out.  She starting waving her hands in the air and yelling "stop, wait, don't, I'm not ready".  So they gave her some time to calm down and to go to the bathroom.   So we waited some more, when the dentist checked in she started worrying again so he left to give her a few more minutes.  We are now at the 45 minute mark and I really just wanted to get this over with so after lots of reassuring talks with Lauren, and some bribing, she is now finally ready to get this over this.   I am standing right next to her holding her hand and she lets the dentist give her a shot.  She does a pretty good job and is able to get through it.  When he starts drilling she starts really tensing up and moving around and I'm trying to help hold her down a little but the dentist has to stop and explain to Lauren that he can't do his job when she is moving around like that.  So she takes a deep breath and lets him continue.   The next shot and filling went a little better and when she is finally through with everything, she says in a fast voice, "ah, thank you so much can I give you hug?" and without waiting for an answer, she launches herself at him and gives him a huge tight hug as he says, "sure I'd love a hug."  She then turns to the dental assistant and gives her a big hug as well.   Thankfully Lauren agrees it wasn't as bad as she thought it would be.  I am hoping our next dental visit will go better.   On our way out, I of course being a glutton for punishment, set up an orthodontic consult for  Monday right after school.

So now it's the end of the week, we should be through with the drama, right?  Wrong.  Now it's the hamsters turn.

Katelyn's hamster Pipsqueak had a large bump on the side of his cheek.  It could just be food or some of his fluff, but chances are it's probably an abscess.   We decide to watch him for a day and see what happens.  Saturday the bump is even bigger and is now red and honestly quite painful looking.   I had looked around online and read various articles about what it could be and how you treat it. Of course, every article said that you should take the hamster to the vet.   I called a local vet Saturday morning and was told they were booked up for 2 weeks but they kindly gave me the name and number of another vet who might have some time. So I called the second place.  Just to bring the hamster in to have him looked over would cost $60. Chances are the vet would need to lance and drain the bump, so they would need to sedate him, then of course there would be antibiotics to pay for afterwards so we're looking at well over $100 to take care of poor Pipsqueak.  Now, Katelyn has had him for about 18 months and loves him very much, however, he is a $15 animal and we'd really like not to spend lots of money on him.  Especially since we have been thinking about getting a dog and hamsters and dogs don't really mesh well. (At least we don't want to have both pets at the same time).  So I used some diluted hydrogen peroxide and cleaned out his mouth and the top of his abscess and covered it with Neosporin just to see if it would make anything better.

Sunday morning Pipsqueak is looking worse, thankfully, Lauren had been talking to a good friend of hers who has Chinchillas and other animals and knows a bit about small sick animals.  So she and her mom come over with some herbs and a needle and played vet to our sick little Pipsqueak.  With James' help, they were able to lance the abscess and get out all of the puss.  (it was pretty disgusting to watch).  Then they disinfected it and used some turmeric and goldenseal mixed with coconut oil and made a nice paste to cover his sore with.   We made him some oatmeal and rice and have been feeding him soft foods and applying his paste every hour.  At night we try to put on a nice layer of Neosporin to keep everything clean and soft.

It's been a couple of days and Pipsqueak is looking so much better. It looks like his cheek is healing nicely.  We have given him lots of extra love and attention and are really hoping he will make a full recovery.

Yes, this is just a sample of everyday life here at the Gilbride house right now. With the kids getting bigger, life is getting busier and crazier all the time. These are the times I know I will look back on with fondness when the girls have graduated high school and moved away from home, when it's just me and James and the quiet of the house is deafening, then I will pull out these memories and smile at all the noise that used to fill our home and make us happy.

Friday, February 17, 2017

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work". Thomas Edison

So normally this blog contains all the really fun stories of life like our travels, family vacations, and big events.  It's not to brag or say look at me, but rather to share our happiness. Because let's face it, life is hard.  Some days are REALLY hard and I feel like taking the time to savor each and every good thing that happens is so important.  But I promise, our everyday life doesn't look like our blog posts.  Stepping into our home and spending a day with us is usually nothing like the special and fun moments I capture on film and share with you, especially lately.

In the less than 2 years since we moved from our Riverton home, the girls have attended 2 different schools and lived in 3 apartments and 1 home which equals 4 moves.  Our life has definitely been more chaotic than ever. I am still working on getting us all into a good daily routine.  Most days it feels like I'm just winging it and I'm happy as long as the girls are happy, feel loved, have friends and are safe.  Other days it's a fight just trying to get in homework and dinner. And lots of days I feel like all the balls I'm trying to juggle are just falling to the ground.  But then, I have to remember what I tell my girls, "if you're trying you're best, that's all you can do and it's good enough."  And when I find myself feeling like I've totally screwed up as a parent and have completely failed my kids, I look at all the things they do that amaze me and it gives me hope that I haven't failed completely, yet.

Just the other day when I was picking Katelyn up from school, we walked past the Principal and Katelyn said hi and then told him that the lunch/recess experiment he started was working great and she loved it.  He stopped and chatted with her for a few minutes before walking off.   Then the next day, we were walking past one of the crossing guards and Katelyn thanked her for her help in the classroom with an art project.  I am always impressed with Katelyn's kindness. She is truly a sweet child.  She is also very outgoing.  We moved into our new house on Friday and Monday she was out walking to the house across the street and knocking on the door to introduce herself and see if there was anyone her age to play with.  She has since made her way further up the street and found a few more friends to play with. She has played with someone almost every day since.  She is also very independent. She is fine to sit and read, invent things, color, or even play by herself.  She doesn't even mind eating lunch by herself.  She is an amazing girl and I am so grateful she has handled all of life's changes so gracefully. She is an example to me and I am so proud of her.

Life for Lauren has been dramatic.  Not only has it been constantly changing, but she just turned 12 and it feels like it.  There is the constant hormones and attitudes that accompany a girl this age as well as friend drama and school drama.  Life in middle school is just completely filled with drama. However, she has made some really great friends. I don't think I could have hand picked better friends for her.  She has a group of 5 friends and the 6 of them have a great time together. Lauren is also very outgoing as well.  I am impressed at how willing she is to try new things and never seems to shy away from new situations.  I love watching her just jump right in and be a part of whatever is going on around her. She can be completely silly or completely grown-up.  (But my favorite times are the times she cuddles up next to me or sits on my lap and the two of us spend time together)  She is growing up to be quite an impressive young woman and I am very proud of the person she is becoming.

I look at both of these amazing girls and am amazed at the whole process of life. I feel so fortunate that I got to be there to see them take their very first breath, to see them open their eyes, eat their first bite of food, take their first step, learn to walk, learn to talk, become potty-trained, and learn how to  ride a bike.  I have watched them make friends, go off to school, and become more and more independent.  These girls can be so frustrating sometimes, but more often than not, they simply amaze me.

So I guess this rambling posts is just my way of saying that I am so far from perfect. My posts are not reflective of everyday life just of my greatest and happiest moments, and that I haven't failed as long as I haven't quit trying, and even though I look at how far we still have to go, looking at what I have already is far more important.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Home Sweet Home

 We are offically moved into our new home.  We are in love and happy to be here.  (And I, for one, am beyond thrilled thinking I might never have to move again!  Fingers crossed!)  We signed, recorded, and received our keys Wednesday. I called and arranged a 2 men moving team and truck for Friday, and got 25 large boxes from Home Depot.  Thursday, I packed up and moved all of the kitchen (including fridge and pantry) into the new house.  Then I ran to the school to attend Lauren's P.E. Dance Recital, picked Katelyn up from school, and made one last trip to the new house.  After dinner, we finished boxing up the apartment.

Friday morning James drove the girls to school while I packed up our bedding and all other last minute items and the movers were right on time at 9 a.m.   They moved out all our furniture and boxes in 2 hours and we drove the 2 minutes down the street to our new house and started the unloading process.   The movers unpacked and put together all of our furniture and unloaded boxes into the garage, from the garage I distributed all the boxes throughout the house while James went over pool maintenance with the pool guy, and the movers left by 1.  We unpacked a few boxes then headed to the school to bring the girls home.

Lauren and Katelyn were so excited to show off their new house that they immediately waked over to Lauren's friend Sophia's house to go get her.  (Sophia has a little sister who is also 9 and in 4th grade just like Katelyn.  They had never met before but Katelyn invited her over as well.  They seemed to hit it right off and had a great time together).   Sophia and her sister Gabriella came over from 3-8.  They had a great time looking around the house, playing hide-and-seek, and because James had been able to get the spa up to 105 they decided to sit in the spa.  James also made spaghetti for dinner and we enjoyed our first meal with friends in our new house.  By that night, we had all but just a few boxes completely unpacked and put away and it was SO nice to be able to climb into bed and sleep in our new house.  Lauren and Katelyn were so excited to be in their very own rooms!!

Waking up Saturday morning  the first thing I noticed was my incredible view; blue skies and green pine trees!  It has been over a year and a half since I've gotten to see anything but parking lots.  It was a moment to savor and one that I will enjoy now. (it really is those little things that make such a huge difference.  I'm also super excited not to get woken up in the wee hours of the morning to the upstairs neighbors vacuuming).

Over the weekend, we were able to get more unpacking and rearranging finished. We also worked on cleaning up our side yard.  The people before us had a huge pool cover, however, they left it out and didn't take care of it so it was completely ruined.  James was able to cut a piece out big enough to cover the spa so we can keep it warmer, but the rest James had to cut up and put in the trash.  (poor guy got a huge blister from the scissors since he was out there cutting it up for a couple hours).  We hung up all of our pictures and enjoyed getting settled into our new home.

Monday was fun to be able to leave and come home from school to our new house! I also finished unpacking the very last box!!! There are now 25 flattened boxes lying in the garage as proof.  Lauren had one of her friends come see the house and "hang out" and Katelyn went across the street and introduced herself.  She now has a cute little new friend named Gabby.  James was able to have his desk, chair, and area rug delivered and set-up so he can finally enjoy having an office at home. We also enjoyed a family night out in the spa after dark.  It was a great day!

Today, Tuesday, the washer and dryer were delivered and installed and I was able to get our old apartment cleaned and scrubbed out.  It feels SO good to be all moved in and ready to check out of the apartment.   Phew, it was one crazy week, but a good week.

Here are the first pictures of the place. We, of course, will still be working on getting our rooms a little more filled in but we are thrilled with having a home once again.

Lauren Dancing Cotton-Eye Joe for her PE Dance Recital
She is the second from the bottom on the right in the coral
and black dress. 

Lauren doing the Cha-Cha

Friday night with friends in the spa

The master bedroom (there are pictures on the wall, just
not the walls you can see in the picture)

Lauren's room 

At the bottom of Lauren's bed is a nice nook.  We will hopefully
be getting her a desk to put here soon.

Katelyn's room.  She has a great framed window that
we'd love to make a window seat with bookcases
on the sides. 

Our family room.  (Sorry about the lighting it was night)
Our family room looking at the couch in the daytime

James' Office

Our laundry room
We are getting into a pretty good routine and enjoying all the fun that comes with having more rooms and more space.

Friday, January 20, 2017

We're Moving, again

But this time it is just down the street and into a house of our very own.  We are so incredibly excited for this house.  We fell in love with it from the very second we walked in.  It just felt right.  This is the place where we want to live forever.  It's a place where the kids can grow-up and where they can bring their own children home to visit.   It is in a fantastic neighborhood.  (We are SO excited to finally be living on a side street and not a main thoroughfare.) One of Lauren's best friends just lives a few streets over and in 3 years they can walk to high school since it is close by.  There is also an elementary school just around the corner where the girls can play basketball or play on the playground.  There is also a park next to the school with a playground as well.  There are bathrooms, water fountains, pavilions, wide open grassy fields, nature trails, and a baseball field too so they have  plenty of space to play and have fun!

The house was built in 1999 and the original owners lived there until 2 years ago when they were transferred back home to Korea.  They rented the house for 2 years until this past August when the renters left and the owners decided to put the house on the market.  James and I were shocked that nobody had snatched this house up already.  Since there is nobody currently living in the house we hope to be able to get everything finished up so we can move in as soon as possible. So without further ado, here are some pictures of our new home:

Front view of our new home
461 Higgins St

Front walkway (You can't see it bet there is a nice bench behind the front column)
Front Entrance and living room
Formal Dining room 
Kitchen and family room

Kitchen with gas stove and pull-out drawers (the kids
are excited for the ice maker on the front of the fridge--we've never had one before)

family room with gas fireplace
James' office (off the family room)
Downstairs bathroom next to James's office

Laundry Room across from the bathroom and next to garage door
 The tile floor leads into James' office  and in the middle of the picture you can see a
doorway--or bright spot where the set of kitchen stairs lead up to the middle platform to join the staircase
Lauren and Katelyn think the best part about the stairs is that there is a secret place to play under the stairs. As you can see, the stairs are very long so they have a lot of room to play under these stairs.

Master bedroom (just to the right at the top of the stairs)
Master bathroom with soaking tub (not jetted), shower, and double vanity

one of the his and her walk-in closets (I'm so excited for my very own walk-in closet!!!)
View from Master bedroom down hallway to other rooms.  On the left there are 2 bedrooms with a bathroom in the middle.  There is a linen/hall closet at the end of the hall, and on the right side next to the linen closet is another bedroom.
Upstairs bathroom

Our backyard with pool.  At the top is a spa that spills into the pool to heat the pool
(In this picture you can see our nice table and chairs we got with the house)
Also good to note is that we don't have any backyard neighbors! (there is a road behind
us, but it is not very noisy)

Along the tallest blue tiles there are 3 waterfalls we can turn on
(at the bottom of the picture is a nice shallow seating area. If you look
closely you can see a black circle, this is where you can put in a pool umbrella--just
perfect for lounging or reading) 

At the far end of the right side of the picture is a swinging bench
Lauren and Katelyn already love it.  At the top left there are
2 lounge chairs and a small table.  There is also a small lemon tree!

We are so in love with this house and are so excited to call it home.  We feel like everything has come together for us so perfectly and we are so very happy.  It would make us even happier to be able to play host to any friends and family who would like to come visit us!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The rains came down and the floods came up

Or that's at least how it is feeling living in Folsom right now.   I have NEVER seen rain like this before, and apparently the residents of Folsom haven't either, at least not for a very long time.  It's funny how James and I always tend to bring bad weather wherever we go.  It happens almost every time we travel, we always hear what "unusual" weather they are having.

The funniest thing to me is that James asked as soon as he arrived here in August how often it rained in the winter and the answer was "it doesn't" However, after some rainy days in October, more rainy days in November, and LOTS of rainy days in December, people started really being shocked at how much rain we were receiving. Now that it is January and it's almost been constant rain day-in and day-out, it has been record breaking amounts of rain.

I was driving home and I heard on the radio that Sacramento has received so much rain that they are having to open the levees to let water out!  This hasn't happened in the past 10 years!   In fact, we just set a new 30 year record,  "Sacramento's wettest water year, the winter of 1982 and 1983, saw more than 32 inches of rain by Jan. 8, and as of last night the current total is 36.3 inches."  I think Sacramento should be thanking the Gilbride family for moving here, we have saved them from the decade long drought. :)  Ha ha ha ha    

Even though we have been receiving so much rain, it hasn't been very cold. We are still in the 50's and on the rare occasion the sun can break through, it is very nice outside.  We haven't even been turning on our heat inside our apartment.  Although, we get a LOT of condensation on our windows.  So much so that I have to clean the windows every.single.morning because there will be a pool of water on the windowsill  and if it doesn't get cleaned off it will become mold.  (Yes, I know this from experience. It is no fun cleaning black molded window casings).  

Just after Christmas we noticed that our ceiling was wet and then dripped. Being on a bottom floor apartment makes you wonder if the upstairs neighbors are flooding, or at least have leaky pipes. After talking with maintenance and having them cut a hole into our ceiling it was discovered that the pipes are experiencing so much condensation that it is causing our ceiling to drip. (Also, because we have been having so much rain our living room wall is growing wet spots.  Again, after talking to maintenance, the roof apparently is leaking).  It has been an adventure in dealing with water everywhere. We are however, still very grateful that it is only water and not snow that we would have to deal with if we were still living in Utah.  (Although I do miss shoveling the driveway after a night of massive snow and hearing how "silent" everything is.  I miss the mornings that dawn bright and sunny and where the trees are covered in beautiful glistening snow.  I also miss seeing how excited the kids get when they have enough snow to rush right out and play in.)  I do not miss, however, driving in the snow and seeing cars that have slid off the roads, or being stuck in traffic due to the snow, and worst of all not being able to see where you are driving because of the snow.  I am grateful that if I do want to experience snow, I am only about 20 minutes away.  It is nice knowing it is still close by.  

Today we experienced a nice break in the rain and the sun came out.  So I rushed outside to enjoy the sun and fresh air. It was heavenly to be out in the sun. I walked to our little Willow Springs Reservoir and sat on a moss covered rock and watched the ducks swim and listened to the birds and crickets chirping.  It felt just like spring and made my little heart so happy.  It's amazing what some sun can do for a body!

Here are a few fun pictures of Folsom in the winter:

Just after Christmas we enjoyed some time out on our trail

This pond is covered in green algae.  Even though the trees are bare, there are so many green vines and bushes

I LOVED how bright green the grass is

There is moss everywhere!  LOVE seeing it on the trees

Very green grass and mossy trees

My moss covered rock where I watched the ducks

Stay tuned for more excited adventures coming up!!!