It’s About Time…

6 10 2009

FOR MY BLOG’S FACELIFT!! Hooray! From now on, please, check my blog here: Update your bookmarks, your feeds, your minds, because this is old news, people!


The Big 5-0…

24 09 2009

My Mom turned 50!! Woohoo! And thanks to my father and one of her best friends, we managed to surprise her at her favorite restaurant with about 30 of her friends!! IT WAS SO GREAT! Why is it that when people are surprised they jump backward? Hmm. Anyway, my mom jumped back about a foot upon entering the room where we were all waiting at Casalinga. We ate, we roasted her, my dad gave her a simply beautiful 17 minute slideshow of their 30 years of marriage, and we ate some more. Seriously, if you live near Raleigh, you should try Casalinga. It is amazing Italian food, and even more amazing is the cheesecake. I don’t like cheesecake. But I could marry this one. Seriously.

This is actually where we had my after wedding lunch with the out-of-town- family before we flew out to St. Lucia. We ate leftover eggplant and cabernet for breakfast before jumping on the plane to the Caribbean. Oh good times.

Anyway. I also made my mom a slideshow for her birthday. Well, I made one of her Ethiopia trip. I managed to snatch the jump drive with all her pics thanks to my cousin George, who was the video/photographer, as I mentioned in this post and here it is:

Too bad I can’t embed it. Anyway, we also framed this picture for her hallway. This was the last family photo taken with my Grandpa. Oh, how cute is he??


Everyone likes a little facelift…

23 09 2009

Especially when it comes to this blog!!  I have been wanting to update the blog for months and months… so stay tuned, because it’ll be updated before you know it!

mm mm good.

19 09 2009

So, if you know me, you know I am a foodie, “an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink.” ( Thanks, Wikipedia.) And you would know that if I am watching television it’s probably HGTV or the Food Network (unless, of course, it’s Noggin or Sesame Street.) Well, last year sometime I got the recipe for delicious gooey chocolate cookies from Paula Deen. No, they are not healthy for you, no they are not low on sugar, and no, I did not feel guilty. I think I may have been pregnant at the time… Anyway, I made them and they were really tasty. Last week, Randy got the hankerin for them and made them himself. Not only are they tasty flying solo, but they were AMAZING as ice cream sandwiches!! Yes, Randy got the genius idea to put lactose free vanilla ice cream between two cookies and it was heavenlyyyy.  They tasted like real ice cream sandwiches… only BETTER. I even photographed them.


Also, yesterday, my friend Sara came over with her little man, Ethan (4.5 months old) to help watch the kids so I could study. Such a great blessing, and I was able to finish my heaviest reading and some laundry- woohoo!! She blogged about it here, and the pics are super cute!!!

Honoring a 9/11 Hero

12 09 2009

Stephen Siller, beloved husband and father of five, was a firefighter from Squad 1, Park Slope Brooklyn. On 9/11, he was off-duty, and on his way to golf with his 3 older brothers.

When Stephen heard on his scanner that the World Trade Center had been hit, he turned his vehicle around and headed towards the site. When his truck was prohibited from entering the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, typically of him, he raced on foot towards the site with his gear strapped to his back.

He was last seen alive on West and Liberty Streets where he, more than likely, went looking for his Squad, all of whom perished.

There will be a race to commemorate his efforts in NYC on Sept 27th. Today there was one in Wake Forest, NC. The only town that was permitted to do the same in honor of this hero. WFFD dressed in full turnout and ran 5k through town, under the railroad tunnel, ending at the water tower.

















Below are Stephen Siller’s brother and sister giving Jonathan Mestas the award for the first firefighter to complete the race.



And the summer days draw to a close…

9 09 2009

Growing up, I remember getting excited that summer was coming. The days in San Gabriel were getting longer, the Santa Ana winds meant the hot days felt hotter, and the heat of afternoon recess made me drowsy. Didn’t help that school didn’t have A/C. Which usually wasn’t a problem until those last couple weeks before the year ended. I remember looking forward to days in the pool, pretending to be the little mermaid with my cousins, and then laying on the sidewalk to dry off, which never took that long. I remember going to Lacey Park, playing with My Little Ponies, and going to Hotel Del Coronado. I remember waking up to the delicious smell of the sprinklers creating steam on the sidewalk and watching Under the Umbrella Tree (did anyone else watch that show??) with Cocoa Puffs in the mornings. I loved reading as many books as I could every day, keeping a tally, and then when the new school year started we did something for the amount of books we read… too bad I don’t remember what? Anyway. I loved summers. Most days. The only disadvantage to going to private school meant that your friends didn’t really live nearby. And the cousins couldn’t always come over. Summers were full of lazy days and seemingly endless possibilities. And then by the time September drew near, I was so excited to buy new school supplies and meet my teacher. (Yes, I am a self-proclaimed dork. I love buying new notebooks, pencils, pencil boxes, stickies, pens, etc…)

Now, I can’t believe the summer is already over! I guess that’s what responsibility does. I hope my kids will enjoy their summers as much as I did. This year, well, Cana was born in June, so it was a busy one, but I think it was still a fun one for Vaden Elliot. He started walking, talking, and eating “cookies” (his new favorite word for anything that looks good. Especially animal crackers.)  He loved going to the pool, the park, playing with his auntie, tios and tias, he loves his new room (since we moved in May), and he got to make some new friends.


He got his first haircut of many already.



One of my high school buddies –Daniel, his wife, Ashley, and their son, Jacob were in town from AZ, and we not only enjoyed dinner together, but our boys (10 days apart or so) sure did play!



Right before I sold this car, the gang joined Vaden for some loving.


Vaden liked the sand…not entirely thrilled with the water. I think his most fave thing was running away from it!






And then he melted down.


A big thank you to the Byrds who cared for the babies while we shot Emily & Andy’s Wedding!


We love the new Joyner Park!





Ethiopia: a journey of love

31 08 2009

So for those of you who know me (melissa),  you know I come from a very *lively* family. Yeah, we’re loud, we eat a lot, we talk with our hands, we speak spangliharic…but we our family is full of love. For those of you who know my family recently, you know that six years ago my parents first adopted my brothers Jeremiah and James. Two years ago, they added Josiah, Keziah and Keren to the household. And all along the way there have been others who were not legally adopted, but were “adopted” in love. Solomon Bekele is one of those boys. My parents met him in November 2007 at Kolfe Boys Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He stood out to my mom immediately, and she got his email address and began mothering a young man through email, letters and care packages. This boy was orphaned, and entered the orphanage at the age of ten with no living family.

Long story short, my mom went out to Addis to be there with Solomon for his graduation and help him transition out of orphanage life into living with a family we came into contact with through their son, who was studying here this past year. Our cousin George went along to video/photograph the trip. I can’t wait to see the footage! Solomon was the first boy from Kolfe to be accepted into Infonet College, and he not only graduated as a top scorer in his marketing division, but he succeeded as valedictorian for the entire school! Read my mom’s blog for the latest. It’s a tearjerker post. Amazing.
Check out this slideshow my sister made from their first trip.
View this montage created at One True Media
The Kolfe Orphanage, Ethiopia