Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Fun

After a slightly more intense post earlier this week, I thought would post something light. That is, my new favorite pair of pumps. Purchased from TJ Maxx a few weeks ago. I love them. They are a little more yellow than this picture shows. But they are very summery and fun. I am trying to avoid wearing them to EVERY event that I go to this summer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dear Mom

July 18, 2011

Dear Mom,

It has been nine years since you died. I am tripped out by this, considering that this year, you will be gone for half as much time as I knew you on this earth. Weird.

Compared to when you first passed away, I miss you more this year than I have any year prior. I think mainly because this has been the hardest year of my life, and I don’t really have a mother-figure to share it with or to get advice from. I know there are plenty of people that care, but none are you, and it is not the same.

There is not one portion of my life that looks like I thought it would look when you were still on this earth. That is not something negative about my life now, I love my husband, and loved that I left school of ministry and got a degree, and I love that I live in Sonora and am able to be a part of every ones life here. When you were here, I very much thought I would somehow end up working for a church or being in ministry, that I would live someplace else, that you would still be alive. None of that was in the cards though. School of Ministry showed me that though I love God, the "ministry" is not for me. For me, it was separating so many people that I did not want to be separated from. I realized that often it built walls, and I wanted to build bridges. After Greg died, I realized that I needed to be in Sonora for a while longer, that being in Redding through it all was not going to work anymore. At the end of the day, I wanted to be like you, and just love people. And while, being in Sonora again has been great, it is where I met Steve, and so many other great things have happened, I know that this time will not last forever. The winds of change are always blowing.

People often try to say what you would say about something or think about a situation. "Your mom would love..." or "Mom would not..." I cannot really do that though. I am sure of the fact that you would love me and everyone you came in contact with, other than that, we have all changed, and you would have changed too.

I found this picture of you the other day while going through some pictures, and it caught me off guard. The same way it catches me off guard when I randomly see your hand-writing somewhere. I almost lose my breath for a moment. I believe that this picture is before you were married or had any children, but it is just so, you. Honestly, I cried when I saw it.

I knew when you died that you would never meet my husband, never meet so many grandchildren, and that every important and so many less important life events will just somehow be lacking because you are not there. People frequently say that you are looking down on us and watching us during these events, and I get that they are saying that to try and give comfort and be supportive in the midst of those events, it does not give me comfort though. Quite frankly it just feels like we were robbed of so much time with you.

At the end of the day, I believe that there is a support and a love that only a mother can give, and I have been lacking that for nine years now. Though I know that I am not alone, sometimes it feels like that because you are not here, and like I said earlier, it has been worse this year than any year prior, and today in particular.

I love you so very much, and I miss you. With all of me, I miss you.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Girls Night Out

For those who don't know, I work at Milliaire Winery between 3 and 5 days a week. The other two girls that work in the Tasting Room and I decided to go for a girls night out the other day. We had a lot of customers come in and say how good the Full Monty was that was playing at the playhouse in Sonora, so we decided to make an evening of it, first a little dinner and then the play to follow.

Jana, myself and Terri.

We were very excited to see they had Friday Night Wine Down going on before the play, so we got to enjoy some tasty Newsome Harlow wines and the have a glass while waiting for the play to begin.

The play was awesome! We laughed pretty much the whole way through. It was thoroughly appropriate for a girls night out too.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hard Truth

I went to the grocery store yesterday, and I was very saddened as I was leaving to realize that the baby formula is locked behind some windows next to the cigarettes.

I 100% understand the need of this grocery store to protect their product, but what saddened me is that here, in my little community, mothers are struggling so much that the formula is locked up. I understand that too, I am sure I would steal to feed my baby.

Mothers are so in need all around me that stealing formula becomes the best option. It never ceases to amaze me how people all around, even here in the US, struggle to have their basic needs met.

Back in the days of seminary I prayed once, that my heart would be broken by the things that break the heart of God, and I think this is just one more example of how this is working in my life. Perhaps not the smartest thing I ever prayed... What is one to do to help these people, all around us, that are in need?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May Birthday's

My sister and her family do not mess around with the May Birthdays.

May 1st, is when this precious baby girl was born.

Her mom's birthday is May 7th.
I think she looks great here, especially for having the baby six days before this!

And her son's birthday is May 11th.

Dad's birthday is not in May though. Still 3 out of the 4 in the family in a two week period.
Happy Birth-Day LeiLani!
Happy Birthday Anniversary Amber & Bradley!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cap'n Bobby

My husband and Cap'n Bobby have a bro-mance. Something I appreciate most days, because because I know to many men that don't really have any friends other than their wives...

Cap'n Bobby is everyone's favorite uncle/buddy/drinking partner/friend. We went over there the other day when it was cold and rainy to go in the hot tub, and this is what he came out in, ready to go in the hot tub.

Yes ladies, he is single, and a sexy beast.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Birthday Extravaganza

My birthday, was well over a month ago. In the midst of having three part time jobs I have not put up the pictures from that day yet. Wait, who am I kidding, in the midst of being unemployed it is not like I got pictures up any sooner. In my defense, I do not have internet at home. If I did, I am quite confident that I would get posts up in a more timely fashion.

So, my birthday was on a Saturday, so I wanted to go wine tasting with all of my friends. Even with a month's notice, most of them could not show up at the end of the day, so here is who we had.

My brother-in-law is on the end, who does not normally have a black beard, and is in fact blond, but was going to a giants game later in the weekend, and died it for the occasion. Dirk, my friend from Sacramento is next to him, then me, and then the husband. This is our first or second stop of the day.

This is my sister, aka the driver's, self portrait. Sad face here for not being able to taste with us. In our defense, she was driving because she was pregnant.

And the husband and I somewhere along the road.
Shortly after this, and me being disappointed that most of my friends bailed out, we decided that next year we are not going to have any b-day parties.

Monday, May 16, 2011

New shoes, new shoes, la, la, la, la, la, la!

For those who read my site semi-consistently, they know that I love my TOMS SHOES. So, I have been wanting to personalize a pair for a long time now. The primary problem with this is that I am not artistic, at all.

Enter my bestie's cousin. A "starving student/artist" who isn't starving at all, but is going to SF Academy of Art, and looking for ways to get a little extra side cash coming in. So, the bestie bought me the shoes for my b-day and delivered them to her cousin. I wrote here a note saying I was thinking a paisley/floral/grassy something... And, this is what I ended up with a month later.

Oh yes, they are AWE (wait for it) SOME!

The problem continues to be, that they have so many awesome shoes on their website, I want more. I love the green crochet TOMS they have in right now for summer, but I think the next pair I need to get should be a pair of high hills, since I have heard good things about them... So many shoes, so little time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Baran's

Something you need to know about the Baran's, is that they pretty much don't pass up an opportunity to drink, my in-laws, my husband, and his brother are all like this.

So, here we are on Sunday after I have had about 2 hours of sleep, and just before we go to see Baby LeiLani, doing some wine tasting, in true Baran form.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Day

The most precious May Day gift did not come in a basket this year, but from my sister. My newest niece was born May 1st at about 5:21 am weighing 7 lbs, 12 oz.

Here she is, LeiLani Angelina Silva being weighed.
And the family, Dad, Thomas, and Mom, Amber.

Her big brother did come meet her a couple hours later. Apparently he was disappointed she was not bigger. He wanted her to be big enough so he could play with her now. He was there for a few minutes, then announced that he needed to go because he had a party to go to and he had to go see his friends.

Auntie Pie finally getting to hold her, with the the doctor in the background.
Uncle Steve meeting her for the first time later that day.

My MIL and FIL were in town too. So, they would not pass up the opportunity to meet her. Especially since she gave her five home-made stuffed animals that were very precious. I am quite sure after holding this precious baby, my MIL will not be satisfied until the husband and I have one.

My oldest niece was very excited about finally having a girl cousin. Since she is the only girl with two brothers, and four boy cousins. I asked her the other day if she was going to be ok with another princess in the group, and she informed me that she could teach LeiLani everything that it takes to be a princess. I told her that was good, since she is the oldest and will frequently have to set the example. However, after realizing that she is the oldest princess, she thought for a moment, then exclaimed, "I could be QUEEN!!!!"

Congratulations Amber, Thomas and Bradley...
Jenica too, who has wanted another girl cousin for a long time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Due Date

Today is Amber's due date. I just took a beautiful picture of her, but I cannot find the cord to my camera, so no picture will go up here :( Hopefully Baby LeiLani will grace us with her presence soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


In the last week I have acquired two part time jobs. I now have a total of 3 part time jobs. I think I am going to have about one day a week off. So, how many part-time jobs do I have to have before I can say I work full time?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mini Muffin Making Machine

My beautiful sister is pregnant, as many of you know. For her baby shower we decided to do a tea of sorts. I somehow became the person responsible to make all the mini muffins.

The set-up for making the mini tartlettes.
I probably made 200 tartlette pastries.
Here is one bowl of them.

Next, I made a whole bunch of mini cheesecakes.

This is how part of the spread came

Here are my lemon tartlettes, chocolate mousse tartlettes, and mini cheesecakes.

I also made tons of mini muffins, but somehow, got no pictures of that anywhere in the process. I guess you'll just have to take my word on that one.

At the end of the day, I threw away TONS of mini tartlettes, cheesecakes, and muffins. Se La Vi. The mama felt loved.

My step-mom, Heidi, niece, Jenica, little-big sister, Amber and myself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Tree

While working at the home and garden show this last weekend I got a phone call from the husband informing me that the power is out... Bummer... The husband was packing up to leave for a week of work out of town, so I had him pack me up some clothes so I didn't have to deal with no husband and no power on the Baran estate.

I was planning on going to Redding and hanging out with the old friends, and since the power was out and more storms were coming. The husband and I decided I should just drive up there a couple days early.

I drive home on Monday morning to pack some clothes, and come home to this disaster.
You can't really tell from this picture, but this tree is covering our whole driveway and goes all the way up to the road.

Upon further inspection, this is what I see.

A few expletives and some hyper-ventilating here. Get a hold of the husband who tells me to call the insurance company and file the claim...

So, yet again, when crisis comes, the husband is out of town. I don't know what the universe is trying to do, make me a stronger mountain woman according to one friend. Let me give you a few examples of things that happen when the husband is gone...

  • Found out I was miscarrying
  • Found out my grandpa might not make it through the day
  • Got laid off
  • Had a tree come through the corner of our house

Oh, and there are more, much more... but, I won't bore you with all of that.

Right now they are saying it is going to be another day or two before the power comes back on. Another huge storm is coming in tonight. I am pretty sure that I am not going to stay in that house until all of the storms have passed and the power comes back on.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Special Delivery

So, I got this in the mail about a month ago. A $75 gift card that I won off of a friend's blog.From Toms shoes... These are the shoes that for every pair that is purchased they donate a pair to a child in need. Very cool.
I already have one pair of toms, and I love them. My dad comments on them every time he sees me wear them, and he always says how he wants a pair. So, at first I thought about buying him a pair with my gift card, until I realized, there is no way he would buy me a pair if the shoe was on the other foot, so to say...

So, I decided to get some shoes for myself. I have been wanting some gray shoes for a while, and so that is what I decided to go with. Finally, this is what arrived in the mail.

Which started to look like this.

And finally, the new shoes. They are as comfortable as my old ones. I was torn between the twill and the canvas. After talking to a girlfriend and who had the canvas, and loves them, and knowing the ones I have now are burlap, I thought someone should try out the twill. I have, and love them. They are still very comfy, and are as thick and good quality as the other ones I have (this was part of the debate with my girlfriend).

I have scarcely taken them off since I have received them. So, go online and support the cause. They have all sorts of different styles. Also, Shark, thanks for the new shoes... I think of you when I put them on...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Everybody was kung-fu fighting...

Or dancing... Or a mix of both...

These are my nephews Brayden and Bradley.

Brayden is the tall one, and Bradley is the one who wants to hang out in his underwear whenever possible.

This is the same night of Steve's birthday party.

These two make my heart very happy.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baran Birthday

The husband's birthday is February 11th. Last year we had a big shin-dig for his 40th. This year was more mellow with just inviting some friends over for dinner for the big b-day.

However, this is what happens in regards to pictures when I am to busy cooking food in the kitchen so the husband is the one who grabs the camera....

The husband, in all of his glory.

The wife, aka, me...

Thomas (bro-in-law)


Rob, Robert, Roberto, Cap'n Bobby...

The beautiful and pregnant sister, Amber. Mine, not Steve's.


Caleb, my brother.

Mr. Wendy, aka Flan, or Shawnn.

This also means there were no pics of the mass quantities of food I made or the TWO beautiful desserts (lemon tart and the uncle's pear pie)... Just so you know what kind of a night it was, all of these people had to crash at my house after the party sans the pregnant sister and her husband...
On a side note, that is of a similar tone... I don't think I have ever been so hung over in my life. I won't share all of those gorey details with you though. Count yourself blessed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I am re-committed to finding joy in the little things. I always try to, but every now and then need to be reminded of this.

This is my nephew Brayden just before his pirate birthday got going, with the most awesome pinata of all time. Only slightly more awesome than this was when he was fighting the pirate just before this. The pictures did not do it justice though.