Adventures in motherhood, marriage, and DIY.

{Gobble}dygook

by Lauren Moraca

I’ve already written a post about giving thanks, but thought it necessary to refreash my memory on what I have and who I love and looking on the positive side of life.

First off, I’m thankful for completing my first 5K on Turkey Day itself, the friends who inspired me to do it, and being inspired to train up to a 10K.

I’m thankful for our new home and our wonderful landlords who treat us like their own children.

I’m thankful for a sister who turned 21 on Wednesday, who had a DD and had a wonderful time.

I’m thankful for my parents. Period.

I’m thankful for the wonderful baby, Elizabeth Jay, who fills my heart with love and wonder, and gives me my baby fix every time.

I’m thankful for the wonderful friends that push me through my Jillian Michael’s DVD and let me borrow their Christmas stamps last minute.

And of course, I’m thankful for my husband, who worships the ground I walk on, and lets me have my way a lot more than I want to admit.

Here’s to the start of a wonderful holiday season! Happy 29 days until Christmas!


Summer Sisters

by Lauren Moraca

I’ve never done a book review, and I don’t really want to.

Instead, I would just like to advise all women to read Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. I really connected with one of the characters, Vix, about never quite fitting in, always second guessing myself. The story made me realize what wonderful friends I have, what a wonderful husband I have, and how my life may not be perfect, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Please, please, please read it.


I love snow.

by Lauren Moraca

We all know what snow is. That natural phenomenon where tiny flecks of ice fall from the sky and coat everything in a lovely white blanket of glittery crunchiness. Well, being a girl from the Central Valley, this was something I often heard of, and got to see every few years. So, it wasn’t an every year thing, nor did I really appreciate it when I was little.

Our cabin up by Lake Tahoe is always coverd in snow every winter. But, we always close it down before the phenomenon happens (otherwise, the pipes would burst) so I never went up to our summer vacation spot during the winter. Until this weekend.

We woke up on Sunday in our cozy motel room to, guess what??? SNOW! Covering everything!!! My little baby car was all icy, and I actually jammed my keyhole with ice and couldn’t unlock my door!

You would think, by the way I was acting, that I’d never seen snow before. Totally not true.  But for some reason, it was really thrilling and spiritual and I felt alive and in awe. I realized for the first time how much I  love snow.

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Now, I don’t know about living in it, as I would have to trade in my cute Yaris for something a little more hefty with 4-wheel drive, but it made me want to visit more. To be in the snow more, enjoy the sunshine glittering upon it, everything.

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...after


A Nevada Wedding…

by Lauren Moraca

Something sweeter than a baby? A wedding. Random, I know, but I’ve been putting in a lot of baby time lately with my new little sissy, Izzy.

But yes, a wedding. Yesterday, Brian and I left and headed for the mountains, and reached our destination at North Lake Tahoe. If I ever complained about the Central Valley not getting cold enough, I shure got my fill here! It’s been constant 40s and colder. A nice change.

My good friend and old roommate Kellie and her main squeeze Greg got married today at The Chateau at Incline Village. Her colors were green and brown, with bright fall colors mixed all around. The groom and his groomsmen wore Converse, and Kellie and her dad walked down the isle to an instrumental version of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” I cried like a baby.

The food was amazing, the venue was amazing, the whole shebang was amazing! I’m so happy for Kellie and Greg, and am so thankful that we have stayed friends way after college. Here’s to growing up!


All Hallows Eve

by Lauren Moraca

Before I jump in with all my Halloween excursions, I’d like to share a little history blerp on Halloween by History.com:

Halloween, celebrated each year on October 31, is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic  and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity and life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to the earth, and ancient Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off these roaming ghosts. The Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Catholic Hallowmas period of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and the Roman festival of Feralia all influenced the modern holiday of Halloween. In the 19th century, Halloween began to lose its religious connotation, becoming a more secular community-based children’s holiday. Although the superstitions and beliefs surrounding Halloween may have evolved over the years, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people can still look forward to parades, costumes and sweet treats to usher in the winter season.

I got a jump start on the spooky season a few weeks back by hosting a Halloween Stampin’ Up! party at our new house. After many a revision, my “BOO” banner turned into a great success! Check out my latest blog for a supply list and see all my SU! projects from last quarter.

Next on my list to get in the spirit, I volunteered to take on the Halloween enrichment project for work as an After School Educator. This project was inspired by my mentor and master teacher, Betty Wells, who introduced me to it during the fall season when I was student teaching 4th grade. I knew junior highers were less likely to enjoy it as much, but I thoroughly enjoyed creating the demo. Simply watercolor a sunset effect on white paper, then draw and cut out your design on black paper. Tip: the white paper may shrink, so keeping a boarder in the black paper is a good safety net for when you have to glue.

It isn’t Halloween without pumpkin carving, am I right? I have yet to have my husband participate in this ritual, as he doesn’t like the smell or the sliminess. So, I substituted him for his sisters! Ellie and Alex came over to enjoy the sticky goodness with me.

Elly did a rearing cat pattern, using one of the patterns that came with our cutting utensils.

Alex did a cute nerdy pumpkin with glasses and freckles.

With the internet and my watercolor project as my guide, I free-handed my spooky haunted house, complete with a bat. (We took them into the laundry room to see them lit up, as it’s the only room in the house without windows. Say hello to my clean laundry waiting to be put away. (: )

Next on the agenda? Why, roasting pumpkin seeds of course! I adjusted one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten, recipes for Rosemary Cashews, but used pumpkin seeds instead! Rinse and dry the seeds, coat with Ina’s recipe, and roast for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees until crispy brown. Be warned, it’s a little spicy! My father-in-law loved them! For me personally, next time I’m going to use less cayenne powder and more brown sugar. Less healthy, yes, but my mouth won’t be on fire!

After a pre-carving nap, we took our little pumpkin on her first trick-or-treat adventure! She hated the costume. Be warned! She may look serene, but this was between glares and whines.

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, we visited the other cutie in our lives, my birthday buddy, Andrew! He was Batman this year. He wasn’t so shure of the baby at first, and got really clingy when Mommy held Izzy. He cuddled for almost 10 minutes, a record for him lately, being such a going going going boy! He was very sweet and patted Izzy on the back many times. He’s going to be a great big brother someday.

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Fall is settling in…

by Lauren Moraca

September is already half over! A quick happy birthday to my mom, my brother, my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law! So many New Years babies…

Hello from a mild Modesto afternoon. I’m so glad the weather has cooled down, though I did rather enjoy the summer. Brian and I are all moved in to our new home, and yes, still unpacking. I’m in no hurry though, and find that taking my time brings out the creative side of me…

Speaking of creative side, I’ve been doing very well with my new “business” as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator! I’ve had two very successful parties and two more lined up for October. I’ve over-exceeded my goals and sales, and am looking everywhere for new clients. Hostesses get great benefits, so if you’re interested, give me a call or drop me an e-mail!

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My bestest friend Roberta turned 25 a couple weeks ago, and we had the best time wine tasting around the Livermore wineries. Some good-old-fashioned girlie time, plus some new experiences: AKA a live Greenday concert in the standing area. Not my ideal situation, but I loved every minute of it!

We are preparing to embark on new adventures with matrimony for our friends and family. My good friend Kellie is getting married in November, and my other good friend Kelsey just announced her engagement! She’s aiming for March, so two weddings in five months, sounds like fun to me!

My new job is going well. I love being in my field again, and although it isn’t all kittens and rainbows, I really do feel good about what I do at the end of the day. Hopefully it will lead to a full-time teaching opportunity and a chance to think about starting a family. As Elly suggested, we are taking donations for the “Lauren and Brian have a baby” fund, lol. Don’t even ask  people, it freaks us out!picture-027


The First Year…

by Lauren Moraca

Greetings from our new house in Modesto!

No, we haven’t actually bought a house yet, but Brian and I were fortunate to find wonderful landlords in our hometown of Modesto. Beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with space to spare. Roses, a three car garage, and two  linen closets. We have been space deprived for several years now, and it’s so nice to have FREE space! Trying hard not to find new things to fill all the empty shelves :) . A special thanks to Tami, Anna, and Michael for their hard work and organizational skills. And for Sam, who has claimed a new rule that only one child can move a year from now on.

One week ago marked our one-year-anniversary! Can’t believe it’s been a whole year since that wonderful day. To celebrate on the actual day of, we took one last load from our old apartment, had a macaroni-and-cheese lunch followed by an afternoon of furniture assembly. A quick dinner at Applebee’s, and I was off to Sacramento to an orientation for my new job.

Yesterday we celebrated a little more civilized with a homemade dinner in our new home. I think it was the first full meal we actually made ourselves since we’ve been in our new kitchen, nothing boxed or frozen. A delight, and delicious, to say the least. Bruchetta, salad, potatoes and flank steak. Oh, and champagne and cake from our wedding! We took two bites, got grossed out by the oxidized bananas, and decided that was enough; it’s the symbolizm that counts.

We are eager to seek new adventures in our new home, and a new job for me to boot! It’s been a busy two weeks, but I am greatful to finally be settled in time for the first day of school tomorrow.


Vegas Vacay

by Lauren Moraca

We apologize for the long delay between posts, but life sure gets busy really fast! For a quick update, Lauren has been working at Raley’s and subbing since September, and Brian is still working hard at Adtech. We had a wonderful first Christmas, and am looking forward to our first anniversary in a few short months! In the meantime, here’s a little bit about our recent vacay!

Vegas, NV! Doesn’t the name just say it all?

We were fortunate enough to have Brian’s boss, Jim, fly us in his little baby plane. Lauren realized all over again how much she hates flying, especially in a little plane. As a copilot though, it was nice to actually see where the plane was going instead of flying blinde. Avoiding the metal detectors and checking your luggage was also a definate plus.  Brian can probably convince her to do it again.

Takeoff!

Takeoff!

We stayed in the Luxor, the hotel that’s shaped like a pyramid. Soooo cool inside, with all the engineering that had to take place. The elevators were actually inclinators, so we went sideways instead of up and down.

Inside the Luxor
Inside the Luxor