Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Yesterday I turned 35. Not sure why it is so hard for me to believe? Not sure why I feel like it is SUCH A BIG DEAL? Not sure why I think it is SO old when in reality I really know it is not. I'll especially think the age 35 is still a child when I am in my 70's. I think it's a big birthday - after this I am closer to forty. How is this possible when I only feel 23 most days? On the other hand I am a lot more tired than I was at 23, and I make a lot more noise when getting out of the car! Grunting in fact. On the other hand - what a beautiful life I have and have had at (really) such a young age. God has blessed me with not only His presence in my life, but has given me an abundant amount of blessings and gifts that are truly countless. To name the top FIVE - PATRICK, JACK, STENN, MY HALL/GUERRINI/WOODS FAMILY & FRIENDS. I have been to many countries, traveled to exotic places, volunteered in tiny Mexican villages, lived in fun towns, own a home (that's completely upside down but that's beside the point!), went to a great high school, a fantastic university, I've been zip lining in Puerto Vallarta, I've laughed so hard so many times I've wet my pants (especially AFTER giving birth to the two bowling ball heads known as Jack & Stenn), I've danced so hard I've become drenched in sweat, I've never broken a bone (knock on wood), I have a precious relationship with my Aunties, I have lost a best friend to death, have lost a best friend to differences, but have gained intimate-loving friends along the way, I've experienced unconditional love as well as two divorces as a daughter, but daily experience a beautiful marriage and precious children as a wife and mother, I have been to countless birthday parties of my loved ones cherishing their lives, I have been honored to attend many funerals celebrating lives that I have loved. I had four wonderful grandparents and an awesome grandmother-in-law. I was honored to be a teacher to amazing children (and some not so amazing), I am serving on the preschool board this year and TONIGHT MY FOUR YEAR OLD STARTS HIS FIRST OFFICIAL SOCCER PRACTICE!!! How is that happening?

I still have a lot more to learn and a lot more to experience. Don't know much about politics, don't really care and probably should. Hardly know enough about world history - I only wish I paid more attention in those high school and college history classes. Would like to have a more consistent exercise routine that really takes care of my body so when I am forty I can say I feel SO YOUNG, FIT, and FANTASTIC! And patience. I need more patience. My family (mom, aunts, etc.) think I am patient. But I see some of my friends mother and it BLOWS my MIND! Their patience is something to admire, treasure and strive toward.

All done with my 35 year old soap box. Jack has been interrupting me the entire time I have been writing this as well as accidentally gotten a sticker stuck to his penis- and I have shown a bit of patience.

Today - my first official day of being 35, I will embrace it, appreciate it, be proud of it, be thankful for it, be grateful for it and look forward to the next 35 PLUS years of my life!


We are home! We actually got home last Wednesday. Just takes a little time to get it together. We unfortunately came home to a no power refrigerator filled with mold, stench and surrounded by hundreds of flies - it was terrible. ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE!


I have more pictures - better pictures - on Patrick's phone that I will post later. Pictures of us encountering a bear only a few feet away in the meadow!!! Pictures of half dome, the boys etc.


Yosemite Falls

The faces of Yosemite!

The Vernal Fall Hike - SOOOOOO difficult - we did not realize we were doing it until we were half way up (long story). This was P's birthday - at times he was carrying both kids - such a champ! It's like going up a six foot wide San Francisco hill for almost 2 miles! The day before we arrived three young people fell over the fall - the family and friends were there praying and crying. So sad and so awkward because their death was so unnecessary and soooooo disturbing. Seeing the fall and knowing what had just happened left such an eery energy in the air. Honestly such a gruesome, tragic, ridiculous, thoughtless mistake.

The next two photos are off the internet - we did not take pictures in order to concentrate. We got this far - The Mist trail - we decided not to go any further because Patrick was holding Jack and Stenn was on my back in the back pack. It was too much of a risk for us with the boys. But can you see the enormity of it? So powerful.

And the rocks that you see to the right are apparently the rocks the three people were taking pictures on when they slipped. I was shocked when I saw this. I thought for sure the fall would be far enough away for them to think it was safe enough to take pictures. Absolutely boggles my mind.

Washing Stenn in a basin just like my Aunt Adaleen did forty-ish years ago with my cousin, Jason - my Auntie El has the same picture of Jason! This idea was genius!

Stenn discovered his bike helmet and all things mobile this trip! Everytime we turned around he had his helmet on and was pulling out either Jack's scooter or bike saying "Bike" Bike." Such a big boy - such a risk taker at this age - UNlike his big brother :)

Landon and Jack playing in the Merced River

Happy Isles - one of the most beautiful places on earth

Patrick's 36th Birthday Dinner!!!