Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas EVE!

Merry Christmas all! It has been such a wonderful Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, like most, I had to work this morning. But the salon was busy, so the work day came and went. We are spending the night over at my dad's house. My whole family was here tonight. Brittany and her friend Tiffany, drove up from Vegas this morning. Kalie & Jesse came over and Robyn & Jarron stopped by for a bit as well. When we're together, there is A LOT of noise and some yelling. All good of course!!! We always have such a good time. Getting the family together is one of my favorite memories and past times. We had a wonderful dinner, thank you dad. APRICOT CHICKEN!! Yummy! There was a good game of Apples to Apples as well - can't wait for the rematch tomorrow! We've had a few Christmas movies on in the background. Home Alone 1 & 2, Mickey's Christmas Carol and believe it or not Havana Nights. (Don't know where that one came from...but hey, its 11:30pm...)

But now we are up wrapping presents and sharing some good times. Kalie & Jesse and Robyn & Jarron have headed home, to get their kids in bed. Santa's coming!!! And the rest of us are listening to Havana Nights, wrapping gifts or jamming to Rock Band downstairs. The rest of us are having 1 big sleep over. Joe & I, Andee & KJ, plus Brittany & Tiffany, and Jessica, Dad & Nancy!!!! I love this time of year! I love my family and all the good times we've had! Joe and I are so lucky...we both have such loving families. Plus, we get Grandma's quiche in the morning - HECK YES!!!!

Happy Holidays to everyone! I'm just psyched for tomorrow and I hope you all are as well. I wish you all a VERY MERRY Christmas!

I must go...we're now putting in The Hangover....where did the Christmas movies go? Oh well, I'm up for some more laughter!! Good night - and hope you've been good....Santa knows it!

Love to all!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I made gingerbread people!!! That was my one and only holiday indulgence. Its tradition in my family to make toffee or sugar cookies...well I started my own tradition! A ginger kid making more GINGERS!!! Not homemade unfortunately, I used a mix, but I decorated each and every one all by myself!

I made about 3 dozen, so I don't have lots to pass out - but you just might get one!!!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Got blogs?

Come on people! There are so many of you who aren't updating regularly..... I want something to read. Get blogging!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Thanksgiving...

Turkey day has come and gone. Oh my heck did we have some good food! It was a wonderful day, spent with wonderful people.

As I posted before, I'm grateful for many things in this life. I'm blessed every single day. I was able to spend today with my family and I know there are some who weren't as lucky. I feel so bad for anyone working retail today. Or any "emergency" type positions as well. Our neighbors had a visit from Roter Rooter plumbing....bummer. There really are so many people who were unable to be with their families today and I feel for them. How hard must it be to work on a holiday that should be filled with visiting and eating with family? I honestly try to NOT make them work; by getting all my grocery shopping done the day before. Getting last minute odds and ends at Wal-Mart at 11pm last night. However, I had to make a run to the gas station for ice today. Thank you Holiday Oil for being open!! And we all ended up seeing a movie today - bless all the employees at The District - it was PACKED and I'm sure it had been all day long! I tried to avoid it, but something always comes up. Thank you to anyone and everyone that had to work today and sacrifice their time with family and loved ones. I was thinking of you today.

I hope everyone was able to take a moment and reflect on what's most important today - and to realize just how much we should all be thankful for.

I know I am blessed. I never take any of this for granted. Thank you to all - I love you!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It finally arrived!!!

I ordered this kick-butt cake pan well over a month ago. We held a party for Kalie's 30th birthday and I wanted to make a cake, just for her - from scratch!! But I wanted to find a really different pan to bake it in and make it just that much more unique. Enter! I saw this on The View and I knew in a second it would be a great idea!

The party was on Oct 23rd, so I ordered it around the 1st, so it would arrive on time........well it didn't. 3 days before the party I checked my bank account and there wasn't even a transaction for it. Of course I assumed the order didn't go through correctly and I was s.o.l. on making something creative. I opted for purchasing a cake instead - red velvet - her favorite. It went over well, but I was still bummed.

Well here is, over a month later. I was looking at my bank account online and on the 12th of November, sure enough, a charge went through from the website. Gee, like its useful now!!!

I received the package today with the intent on just shipping it back and getting a refund. But then I remembered what drew me to the product in the first place. Then I got all excited again and decided tonight was the night to back my Big Top Cupcake. Silly to pick today, of all days. (Joe's grandpa passed away last night, so we're kinda in mourning.) But what better way to cheer us up!

I ran to the store for some eggs and I baked it all by myself - ok, not from scratch. I wasn't feeling as ambitious as I was for Kalie's party. Plus, this cake is just for me and Joe. He doesn't care if it comes from a box!! ;)

Here are a few pictures. The pan comes with an insert, so you can "fill" it with something. I decided to fill it will banana creme pudding. It turned out amazing and I just can't stop smiling!!

Sorry I couldn't make this for you Kalie. I really tried. Maybe I'll surprise you with a random cake day!! But enjoy the pictures and know this creative idea came from the heart. I LOVE YOU!

Don't you just love when something so simple can turn your attitude completely around? This just made the day. YAY!!

Monday, November 16, 2009


I am thankful.

This is a month to reflect all the things
and people in this world that we are
thankful for. There are so
many things going on in my life that I
am truly and completely thankful for.

First and foremost, is my family.
My family is my life.
Not only my wonderful husband
(that I am most thankful for)
but my sisters, my brothers,
my parents and everyone else.
I have such a huge, blended
family and I'm so grateful for
all of them. There are always
there when I need them. They
are there to laugh with, cry with,
tell stories and gossip. Anything
and everything, they are always
there for me.

And of course I am thankful for
my extended family and my
friends. Honestly, you are ALL
family to me. There are so many
of you that I wish I saw more
often or had a closer relationship
with. But the fact that there is still
communication, no matter the
distance or frequency, is awesome!

I'm thankful for my job as well. Some
days being a manager tests every bit
of my being, but I really enjoy what
I do. Making people feel beautiful and
happy with themselves is truly
rewarding. Plus I have some amazing
stylists. Ones that have come and gone
and some that continue to flourish. All
of them have been so supportive and
cooperative; I am lucky to have a job at
all in this day and age. I'm so blessed.

And last, but certainly no least - I am
extremely thankful for this life. Every
day is a new adventure. Sure, some
are a little mundane, but the fact that I'm
able to get up every morning and breathe
that fresh air, is perfection in my mind.
I have a busy schedule, filled with
appointments and gatherings with friends
and family. I get to spend EVERY Monday
with my favorite little nephew. I have weekly
dinner with my dad & Nancy. I have
everything I could ever ask for.

This is such a wonderful month. I am thankful all year, but I'm going to make sure to let everyone know this month. I couldn't be more lucky.

Make sure you take some time this month
and reflect on all the wonderful things in
your life. We are all blessed in one way or

Thank YOU for reading this. Whether
we're close or even if we know each other,
I am thankful for you. I love having this blog
and I wouldn't have it if someone wasn't
reading it. So thank you for taking time out of
your day to read what I am most thankful for.

Love to all - ERICA

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just a lil bit

This picture just sums up my whole California vacation.

It was an amazing week. So wonderful to get away and relax & enjoy time with my sisters and my nephew. Seriously, Jesse is amazing. I can't express how much I love this little guy. He just gets cuter and cuter. The things he says, the looks he gives me and every time he wants to hold my hand. I'm such a lucky aunt.

I'll post more photos soon. I'll try and figure our some kind of slide show to make it easier to see.

Thank you Kalie & Andee (and the husbands) for such an awesome week. So many laughs and memories. You're the greatest.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Most people who read this are also reading my it may sound repetitive...sorry.

I just have to say how much I love Disneyland and California. I am currently sitting on our Newport Coast resort balcony, surrounded by a cloud of mist thinking about the awesome day I just had in Disneyland.

We arrived in California yesterday morning. I'm traveling with Joe, my 2 sisters, their husbands and 1 little nephew. The trip started out awful and frustrating. We booked our flights back in the wonderful days of summer and apparently the flight departure time had changed and the email alert was over looked. In normal preparation, we arrived at the airport an hour and 10 minutes before what we thought was the correct time. ****Thank you to my Dad & Nancy for taking us all and sparing us the Park-n-Jet fee. They got up before 5:30am!!!**** Once we checked in, we were told that our 8:10 flight had changed to 11:30!! Well since our ride had left and we were already there, we decided to just hang out by our terminal for 4 hours. (Luckily we did score some breakfast vouchers for the inconvenience - gee thanks!)

We finally arrived in California around 12:30 (Pacific Time). And not only did we go back an hour with the time zone, we just HAD to fly out on the day of daylight savings. What frustration! We all thought our cell phones would automatically change - but when a few of ours didn't, we ended up being WAY ahead of schedule. We did some grocery shopping before checking in to the resort and needless to say we realized we were an hour off after the we had to sit out in the heat, with groceries melting in the car, while we waiting for our room to get ready. Seriously, the best 1st day ever! ;) All we did was wait - wait for the plane, wait for the rental car, wait for the room....errrr.....

However the day did redeem itself when we opened the door to our 2 bedroom villa. We had an OCEAN VIEW ROOM!!! (pics to come) Oh my gosh this place is beautiful. Andee was in charge of Sunday dinner, so we all ate on the balcony and watched the sun set over the ocean. All our aggravation and stress from the hours earlier, had disappeared.

To top off the "actual" start to our vacation, we got to sleep in this morning and spent the entire day at Disneyland in 85 degree weather. No lines, good attitudes, slight breeze and a happy 3 year old. Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth.

We are here the rest of the week. Flying home late Friday night - our flight for that night also changed, but luckily we got a call yesterday afternoon reminding us. Thank you Jet Blue. We are doing a lounge day tomorrow. Maybe hit the beach, wax museum or just hang out at the resort pool. Then its Disneyland Wed, Thurs & Fri.

So far we're all getting along, even though we're sharing a villa and a van - plus we are all experiencing Disneyland as a group. Andee & I aren't fighting - yay!! (well we still have 4 more days....) But its been exciting and I just love it here. I could never live here, but it makes for a primo vacation spot. (Or I'm sorry Kalie, a PRY-MO vacation spot!)

This blog turned out longer than I expected, but thanks for reading. I've got a new phone right before the trip and I have EASY access to facebook, so I'm sure I'm annoying almost everyone already!!!

I can't wait to add photos. Cheers to 2 wonderful days and 4 unexpected ones to come.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kalie is 30!!

Today is Kalie's birthday. My older sister, my friend and my example.

Having an older sister is When we were kids...not so much. I never did anything as good as Kalie did. Kalie could do it, but I couldn't. She always got the bigger room, she had that beautiful, long blonde hair. She was smarter, faster and she always got first pick.

But as time has passed, so have all those petty reasons to despise my older sister. She is now one of my best friends. She is an amazing mother and a great example for me and my future. I feel like Jay Leno when I'm around her. She laughs at everything!!! Plus she comes to ME for fashion advice, party planning ideas, just to talk and get support. We talk, pretty much, everyday. I am so lucky to have my older sister.

She has always been there for me. Sharing in every wonderful experience. I know she's a quick call or text away any time I need to talk. I really couldn't ask for a better sister.

If you were to tell me, like 20 years ago, that we'd be such good friends...I would have laughed and stuck my tongue out at you.

Happy 30th Birthday Kalie. I love you so much and the last 10 years have been amazing. We've grown so close and now that Andee is shaping in to such an amazing adult, I can only look forward to our future together as best friends.

Couldn't be luckier.

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19th

Today is our anniversary.

October 19, 2001: Our first date
Joe & I met at work back in Sept '01. I thought he was cute and funny, so I did what every other teenager with a crush would do; I switched my schedule to match his, so we'd have the chance to get to know each other at work AND be able to hang out after work. My family was completely against it because I went from working 9-5 Mon-Fri, to 1-9pm Mon-Fri. They were just bummed because I would be working every night and I would miss out on dinners, parties, get togethers and they'd just never see me. But little did they know, my plan worked and he finally asked me out!

He took me on what he called a "group date." However it wasn't a group date, it was us and all his guy friends. I was the only girl. Kind of awkward. (Finding out years later, it was a test. To see if I got along with the crew and if the crew got along with me. Haha, Joe had a plan of his own!) Well obviously I passed because we started dating casually after that. Joe was also dating another girl at this same time - jerk... - but in December 2001, we made our relationship exclusive.


October 19, 2005: Our wedding
It was probably the best day ever! We waited for so long for that special day. Most of you know Joe and I were engaged briefly in 2003, but called it off because we both felt we were rushing into it. But after 2 years of working hard together and preparing for our future, Joe proposed again on January 1, 2005. And of course January 2nd I was looking at reception centers and dates. We both decided on Oct 19th. We already celebrated that anniversary of our first date, by going back to the same restaurant and reminiscing, why not expand the celebration?
We are lucky enough to share 2 of the most important events on the same day.

Our wedding was beautiful and I remember like it was yesterday. The roses were perfect, my best friends were there and Nancy made sure I was happy and content. I really owe that whole day to Nancy. She put together the wedding of my dreams and I will forever be grateful.
Of course I cried the whole way down the isle. But I was smiling from ear to ear on the way back. We had a small ceremony, only immediate family and close friends. I wish EVERYONE could have been there, but my father-in-law didn't want the guest list above a certain point. But everyone who mattered showed up to our reception and shared in our joy. So many people came from out off town just for us. I will always remember them and the love they showed us.
For those who couldn't make it, we completely understood. It was our fault for planning a wedding on a Wednesday.
But the date was important to us.

I'm going to watch our wedding video today. Unfortunately Joe is working and will have to go to school tonight, but we got to spend the entire day together yesterday. We love our Sundays together.

Happy Anniversary Joe!
Both for our first date and our wedding.
2 events I will never forget.
Thank you to all family and friends that continue to support and love us both. We went through such a rough time when we first started dating. But for those we stuck with us, we continue to appreciate all that support.

Today is the best day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My 2¢

I just have to say I hate hunting season. I hate hearing about the "kill" and seeing pictures of their trophies. There isn't anything about hunting that makes sense to me. Its barbaric, cruel and disgusting.

There are other forms of recreation, are there not?

I'm not asking you to agree with me, just sharing my distaste. Eh.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Joe is many things...

I just HAD to post a few pictures.

He's weird, he's strange, odd, nerdy, crazy, creative, confusing, loving, quirky AND
luckily he's mine.

Oh Joe and the smiles and laughter he creates. So...unique.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

God gave me Elizabeth

I seriously needed a pick me up today and someone was listening, because the heavens opened up at just the right moment. I was in the most unusual spot for a Tuesday afternoon and all of sudden Elizabeth appears out of nowhere. She was driving a completely different route than she normal does and then spotted me.

I desperately needed some girl time and chance put us in the same place at the same time.

Thank you Geoff for having me over this afternoon. Thank you Amy for having Elizabeth pick up Willow at a different location. And thank you Elizabeth for stopping and taking me with you. You were just the person I needed to see today. You brighten my day all the time, but this was an occasion where I was extremely grateful for you...just being there.

Today was rough...and God gave me Elizabeth.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Never too old for school?

Joe starts school today. Its about a month into the semester already; there was some paper work and tuition adjustments that set us back. But now he is jumping in...and jumping in deep.

He is taking some classes related to his working field. He will be getting quite a few different certifications for electrical work. He's already doing most of what he'll be learning, but to 'actually' get those certificates will help out a lot. Not only with increasing his pay, but also for his future. He'll be able to work in any field involving electrical work, not just with elevators. Which is a huge range and will definitely help us out, if we were to ever relocate.

The class he is taking is self paced, which is nice...sort of. When he signed up, he was going to go Monday & Wednesday from 5:30p-9:30p. But last week, when he got everything sorted out, he's decided to sign up for the class on Mon, Tues, Wed AND Thurs from 5:30p-9:30p!!! HELLO?!?!? That's a lot of school to just jump into! He already works 8-5ish and now will have to go straight to school and won't be home until late. And he'll be doing this 4 nights a week!!!!!!!

Of course I'm excited for him. (He's totally pysched by the way) But I can't help but feel a little bummed. We are both workaholics and don't get to see each other much as it is. Now we'll only have weekends to be together and I WORK WEEKENDS!?!?!?!? How's that going to work??

I guess I figured, since we are both nearing our 30's, we'd never have to worry about anymore schooling. I had so many friends that were crazy busy with work, school, marriage AND kids, but they were in their early 20's. Maybe I just assumed since I have my career and Joe's got his, our lives would start to slow down...and maybe think of starting a family. (HEY! I said "maybe.") But now life isn't slowing down, its only going to get more complicated. Chaotic. Overwhelming. EXHAUSTING!

Maybe I just needed to vent. Joe and I value the time we get to spend together. And most of you know, we don't get much quality time. We always have something. I'm either working late or long hours, Joe's working late or we have something planned with family and friends.

What do I expect? Other than our simple life at home, my life is my work. Managing a salon is hard work and I'm always overwhelming myself. Now Joe will be doing the same. Its only natural to want to succeed in your own line of work and be the best you can be. This is Joe's way. And I know it will REALLY help his career. His boss will appreciate him more and learning more is never a bad thing. I guess I'll just have to cope and support his decision.

There is an advantage to going to school so many hours a week, believe it or not. He'll get done faster. Of course we don't know how much faster. Joe is currently working as an 'electrician', so we're hoping some of his working hours will work as credit towards school. We won't know until he gets to talk with his professor about it. It could be anywhere from 6 months to over a year!!

I'm sure some of you reading this are probably just rolling your eyes. School is a normal part of life. So is work. Most people have experienced 12+ hours a day of work and school. I did it while going to beauty school. I had 65 hour weeks with school & full time work for 2 years. But that feels like ages ago!!

Really why am I complaining? Sure it'll be tough now, but it will be very rewarding in the future....right???

Thanks for reading...and thanks for letting me vent. We'll take it one day at a time. I'll keep a smile on my face and I'll look to Andee, Kalie and my family to keep me entertained.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Drum roll please.

I told you I would dedicate a post to you, so here you go Smalls.

Andee is 23 today. She is seriously one of my favorite people. Not only because I live with her and I "have" to get along with her, but because I always have such a good time when I'm around her. Anyone who knows us sisters, knows that we cluck like hens whenever we're together. Telling funny stories, gossiping, or just talking about life, its always good time.

And most of you know I make fun of Andee...a lot. I don't know what it is, but she makes it so easy. Whether its her works acronyms for everything, her sleeping schedule, how blond she is or how naive she can be. There is just so much material!! But despite all my jokes, there are some things I just LOVE about her. She adores her family. She would drop everything to hang out with us or go out of her way to make one of us feel special. She's always complimenting people. (Me included) Any new jewelry I get or a new outfit I buy, she's the first to tell me how good I look, even if it looks awful on me. She is a HUGE romantic movie fanatic. Any chick flick, she's seen it or owns it. Definitely a romantic that one and I know she dreams of all those hot guys and unrealistic gentlemen in those movies. Especially the rich ones!! ;)

She can also be very understanding. At times, maybe not, but most of the time she is so accepting and welcoming. Putting up with me and Joe for a whole year is remarkable. And the one thing I love most, is that she's my best friend. Any time I need her, she's there. Any time something exciting or crappy happens in my life, she is the first person I call. We have such a fun time together and I always look forward to hanging out. Especially when we're with Kalie or Jessica. Man we have a great time.

I love you Smalls and I really hope you have a terrific birthday. You are an amazing sister and friend! I'm so pumped up for your "Pretty in Pink" birthday dinner tonight. Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Annivesary roomies!!!

Villa de Nelda has been occupied by the Blackstroms for a whole year!! Can you believe it? We have been so lucky! Its been a good experience and we've really learned a lot about each other! (Maybe a little too much!)


Wow we've had some good memories this past year. So many parties, get togethers and BBQ's. And quite a few dinners together up in Andee & Kelly's kitchen or on our patio. This house has come a long way in just a short time. The landscaping has probably been the biggest change and we have Kelly to thank for that. The house looks so different. From taking out bushes, cutting down trees, ripping out ivy, to mowing the lawn twice a week!! And even trimming trees a little too much. Our poor Jordan Commons tree hasn't come back...someone got a little carried away! :) (Sorry Kel, we'll never let you live that down!) Our backyard has changed dramatically too. The fire pit and sitting area, party lights and a 90% finished dog run. Things are going so well!! I love showing off our house. Its our home and we are all so proud of it!!

We've shared some good arguments too. I'm sure Andee doesn't want to remember the "pitcher" incident!! The parking controversies, strangers in the kitchen, late nights with surround sound, power bills, dog situations, different schedules. Its hard keeping boundaries and privacy in a communal living arrangement. Walking around naked is just not an option! ;) But overcoming all the "issues" has been so rewarding. The past 6 months have really been the best. We've found our grooves and have really gotten to know each other better. Plus it really is a bonus to have my sister just 10 feet away from me. She's there for long chats, borrowing jewelry, cooking me food. My favorite is when we are IM'ing/texting each other and we're either in the same room or just a few feet away! Plus with Andee [usually] taking Mondays off, we get to spend quality time with each other and our nephew. (Oh and Elizabeth too!!)

It's been a great year. According to our "contract" we only have 1 year left. Well, with the way things are going here and the economy, I'm sure we'll be here much longer than that. We've been so lucky and I can't wait for all the memories yet to come.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ode to Joy

I just want to take some time to show my good friend Joy a little appreciation.

Joy, you are amazing!! It takes a special person to go out of their way to help another. I know I expressed it to you earlier, but I really wanted to make sure you understand how much I appreciated your gesture. I've been lucky to have some great clients over the years. Clients that have turned into friends. And I'm so glad I can call you a friend.

I had such a rough day and not only did you bring me dinner, but you listened to my woes. You have been such a loyal customer and friend and I want you to know that I appreciate everything you have done. Tips, food, compliments, your listening ear AND your friendship. I couldn't ever repay you.

I love visiting with you and I look forward to your bi-weekly appointment!

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for thinking of me and going out of you way to show that extra special kindness. I love you Joy!!! And I love the new red color we put in your hair. I hope you like it too!!!

See you in 2 weeks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Optimistic or bust

This is an "I'm on my soap box" blog. So if you don't want to read about me whining, then click away now.

I changed the hair - so it looked more like me...don't have the skills to change the outfit...but you get the idea!

I'm breathing today. One breath at a time. Its been an incredibly chaotic 5 days. Luckily the worst is out of the way and I'm forcing myself to stay positive.

As manager of my salon, I have to deal with hiring and firing....yuck. Hiring is a piece of cake. I enjoy that part of it, but having to let someone go, it torture. I'm sure you know where this is going, yes I had to let someone go last week. Well, I didn't personally, but my manager's manager drove in from out of state to deal with the situation in person. I'm grateful for that because I was about to throw up just thinking of what I would have to say.

I can't give many details, especially because I'd get fired. But I can stress my frustration of my staffing problems. For real, what is up? Since I've started there as manager (January 09) 7 people have come and gone!!! 7 people!!! Five of which left voluntarily pursuing other areas of their career, one left due to a mutual agreement and now one was let go! Its so aggravating to lose people and to be considered a salon with high turnover. I hate that phrase "high turnover." I've worked for the company 3+ years!!! Why does no one else have my same work ethic or stability?

Most of my customers are probably wondering what is wrong with me. They don't hear that my stylists left on their own. All they see is me, constantly under staffed and frustrated. Now I'm down to just 1 stylist. Just me and Megan. And since there is only 2 of us, my manager has asked me to cut the salon's hours! Oh my gosh I'm going to die. CUT THE HOURS?!?! I wanna make money, hello?? But I also don't want to work 72+ hours a week. There is nothing I can do at this point. I have hired someone that is starting on the 1st of September and I have one amazing stylist that, so far, is sticking with me through this whole mess.

I just get so frustrated with managing. Its not in me to be a leader. I'm a hardcore follower. Anyone read 'One Minute Manager?' Its brilliant!! Why can't I turn my life around or adapt different skills?

One of these days I'll figure it out. I'll get through this storm. Luckily I have amazing, positive people surrounding me. They pull me back to normal life and bring the cheerful side of me out again. I only have 1 choice in this matter. I'm not willing to give up; I'm not willing to back down; I can't make people stay in my salon. I can only be optimistic about the future. Positive thinking when I hire someone new. This could be another stylist with my same ambition. This could be a candidate to replace me one day.

I love doing hair. I love my salon. I love making clients happy and boosting their self esteem. I know I'm in the right business. So what can I do now to keep my salon successful and STAFFED!?!?! Any advice would be appreciated. I always feel like I go above and beyond for my girls. But I'm sure I need improvement somewhere.

My apology's go out to anyone I'm going to inconvenience over the next few weeks. My hours at the salon will be unpredictable and I'm going to miss out on certain important events. I've had to move around so many plans because my work schedule keeps changing. Your patience and understanding is VERY much appreciated. Handling my salon with just 2 of us there is a lot of work and so stressful/overwhelming. Err...

And to all of you who keep a smile on my face...thank you. A true smile is really a sigh of relief in my book. One breath at a time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August = birthdays galore!

I have so many family members with birthdays in August. (And Andee's birthday is in the first week of September.) So basically we have a birthday party almost every weekend until after Labor day. But its all good! I love celebrating the lives of my family. I thought I'd write a little blurb about each of them.


First, JESSICA!!! Her 18th birthday was August 11th.

I just love the crap out of this girl. I mean really, every time I see her I can't help but smile. She is the epitome of silly, dorky, pretty & fun. She can make me laugh when I'm in a bad mood, cheer me up when I'm sad and comfort me when I'm stressed. Most of you know her and you all know what I'm talking about. I hardly ever see this girl in a bad mood.

She is a dedicated dancer; which makes spending time with her VERY difficult. You almost need to check with her coach before talking to her. But she loves, eats and sleeps Jordan Drill. I have nothing but the utmost respect for her and her dedication. Long practices, competitions, tight outfits, sore muscles and the endless kicking. I get exhausted just thinking about what a drill practice is like. I love watching her doing watch she loves most. Its so inspiring.

Jessica, my sweet, I love you dearly. You are my baby sister and my happiness. Thank you for always being there to put a huge smile on my face. Happy birthday!! I can't believe you're 18!!! Seriously, it makes me feel so old. I hope your day was wonderful and I can't wait to celebrate with you tomorrow. (Thanks for making time to go to breakfast with me on Friday...or should I thank Chandra??) :P


Second there is KELLY (KJ). My sister Andee's husband. His 30th birthday is on the 25th.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KJ!! You're're old!! ;)

This guy is another reason I smile all the time. So sarcastic and witty. We've had many good jokes!! He is a very motivated landscaper. Not only does he mow our lawn twice a week, he deals with trimming, cutting, clipping, weeding, poop scooping, decorating and trapping rats!! (Or coaching my Simon on how to catch rats!) I can't thank this guy enough for all he has done for our house. It looks so much better on the outside and really gives this place a "home" feeling. Thank you for keeping this place looking nice. Oh and thank you for dealing with my sister. She's a handful that one!! You're a patient man....(just teasing Andee!!!) Plus you agreed to buy a house with me, Andee's twin. Again, you're a very patient man. And thanks for cleaning up after my dogs - that's the biggest thanks.


Now there is my Dad and my nephew Dallin. Both born on August 31st...but MANY years apart! ;)

I wish I had more pics of him

DALLIN! He is Joe's Luke Skywalker. His padawan, his pupil, his apprentice. They share some of the same "gamer" passions and dreams. He's a smart kid that will definitely be inspired by technology. He loves playing with other kids and enjoys hanging out with little Jesse. They're always getting into trouble together. Dallin has always been such a sweet boy and he always gives me goodbye hugs.

Happy birthday Dallin...I'm sorry you have to share your day with my Dad. Your birthday will never be as important.


Which brings me to my Dad. Although his birthday is on the 31st, we start celebrating it after Jessica's and all the way to Andee's. (He truly believes the month of August is all about him.) Ask him where we're going to dinner...its his birthday, he decides. What movie are we going to see? Well whatever he wants...its his birthday! Hee hee.

DAD will be 55 this year. (Sorry for outing your age) I've always been a huge daddy's girl and he really does mean the world to me. Whenever I have a mathematical, geological, technical, or any other type of question, I know he's just a phone call away. I am so lucky to have a dad that can be so understanding and accepting - okay well most of the time! I know he loves me unconditionally, even though sometimes I disappoint. He is proud of my career choice, husband choice and life choice. Whether it was the life he wanted for me or not, I know he's proud nonetheless.

You all know "Uncle Al the Kiddies Pal!" He's always been great with kids. Laughing, spoiling, teaching, frustrating and guiding! My dad has done SO MUCH for me over the years. I'm grateful to have such a supporting figure in my life. Even though he can be extremely ornery sometimes and constantly inquisitive..."What? What's going on?" "What's happening?" He still is a great role model. Luckily I married a man very similar to my dad. Both logical thinkers (lucky me!) Both dorky, nerdy and fascinated by anything sci-fi. They're big Trekkers too. I love it though. I get my time with Nancy and Joe gets his time with my dad. Its a perfect situation!!

Happy birthday Dad. Your month long birthday celebration has officially started. Although I celebrate you every day! NO TIME!!!


Okay, those are the 4 birthdays in August. (It doesn't seem like a lot, but considering its the only month we celebrate more than 2 people, it gets hectic trying to plan parties) But each of these people mean so much to me, in so many different ways. My sister, brother-in-law, nephew and dad. I appreciate each of you and really want you to know that I am celebrating you. Happy birthday guys!!! **** I also want to give a shout out to everyone else who has a birthday in August. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I have some friends and Joe has a niece who were also born this month - hope your birthdays were and will be great!!! ****

P.S. Sorry Andee, technically you're a September baby and will have to wait for that September post. Even though your birthday is thrown into the "August chaos of celebration," I'll dedicate a post just for you. Love you Smalls!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Oh I'm so excited for this coming weekend. My family is headed down to Pine Valley, Utah. (Kinda in the mountains between Cedar City & St. George) Its just gorgeous down there and I have so many memories from that little place. Its been a annual tradition in my family to go down every 24th of July. Of course as we've all gotten older, its harder to make it down there EVERY year, but we try! My dad's side of the family are part of this tradition and I'm very excited to see family I haven't seen in a long time.

Its going to be beautiful weather, lots of fun & games, plus peaceful time in the breath taking valley. I'm making a stop in Enterprise of course to see my Aunt & Uncle and I'm attending a wedding in St. George for my buddy Travis. Plus we're doing family photos and going to Tuacahn!

What a perfect way to spend my weekend. My ENTIRE family will be going and some of my cousins I can't wait to see. Yay for Pine Valley! We're leaving Thursday night, so I'll post some pics when we return.
Here's the church. Just seeing this photo,
my whole childhood flashes in front of me.

This is the Pine Valley reservoir.
Everyone will be fishin' at some point. Isn't it beautiful??

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Cox kiddos

Okay this blog is mainly pictures. But they were so fun, I had to share.

We had a "birthday picnic" for my mom's birthday tonight at the West Jordan Veterans park. We all brought our own meals, spread out a blanket & had a good time. My brother Chad wanted to go back to the hospital to see Kelsey and my mom & Kelly went along. After Kalie & her family went home, we stayed and played. KJ and Joe played Frisbee, while Andee & I took Garrett, Lauren and Caleb all throughout the playgrounds. Man we were exhausted. But we had such a good time and got to take some silly photos in the process.

That Lauren is such a ham. Anytime a camera shows up, she either wants to take the picture or decide what faces we get to make.

These kids are just a blast to hang out with. Enjoy our silliness!!! (sorry, there's a bunch of pictures. I hate slide shows...they take too long to download!)


Aww, cute girlies

Silly face!

Lauren wanted us to do "scary" faces....we tried, okay?

With Lauren behind the camera we tried scary faces again. It worked, I'm scared.

Lauren is quite the photographer. We're center & everything.


He wouldn't smile.

He made my ride along. Yeah, my legs hurt from trying to keep myself up! Not an adult toy.

Caleb took a turn taking photos. He's still learning!

(he didn't want his picture taken, so this is all we got)

We got Popsicles from the ice cream man.
This is supposed to be Dora?!?!

And Spongebob. Wow, they should really work on those!! hee hee

And of course pictures of me & Andee. Lauren is the best
photographer. She picked the faces!!

What a good night. Thanks Chad & Amanda for letting us be apart of their lives this week. Its been a blessing to get to know them and share in their joys. We're serious about the BIG sleepover. When Kelsey's better its gonna be a part-TAY at the Blackstroms!! We love the Cox Family!!!