Monday, December 27, 2010

My Christmas Story

I only read about these stories online or hear about them on the news... people doing amazing things to help other people. Someone being very kind to someone in need. This is a true story that happened to us last week... us... out of anyone in the world, someone picked us!

Wednesday night I was in the kitchen baking for my work Potluck the next day. The door bells rings and V and I look at each other and say "Are you expecting anyone?". We both shake our heads no. I flip the front porch light on and open the door. This lady was standing there and said "Merry Christmas". I said Thank you. I didn't recognize her, I thought she might live in my neighborhood somewhere but I couldn't be sure. She was a well dressed Mexican lady holding a blue Christmas tin. She said "This is for you" and started to show me the box. I opened the screen door and started to grab it from her and she said "this is from someone who would like to remain anonymous". Because it was a tin, I thought it might be some baked goods and kind of gave her a weird look. She said God Bless you and Merry Christmas, handed me the tin and headed back to the car that was waiting for her on the curb. I couldn't place the lady, in fact I don't think I've ever seen her before. She wasn't one of my neighbors. So I took the tin and put it on the counter. In my mind I was saying... I don't know who that was, I'm not eating anything in that box... that was really random.

Victor came over and asked who that was, so I told him I had no idea but they gave us this tin. I told him he had to open it... haha. If it was anthrax I didn't want to be the one to open it! So he took the red ribbon off the tin and opened it. The bottom of the tin was filled with Ghirardelli squares, in the packages, all sealed up. On top of the chocolates was a white envelope with a Christmas card in it. The Christmas card had a cute saying inside it about Christmas and I hope this can help your Christmas to be a bit brighter... inside the card was a ton of cash... Chocolates and cash... as Victor took out the cash to count it I burst into tears! Who the heck would go to all that trouble to do that for us? Who has that kind of extra cash to give to anyone? And why us? Yes, Victor has been out of a job for a few months now but we are doing ok. Sure, money is tight for us, just like for everyone I'm sure. Someone decided that this Christmas we needed to be blessed. I stood in the kitchen and cried. The kind gesture of someone, the fact that someone loves me, us, that much to do that for us. It was the most amazing thing in the world. Victor and I stood there and looked at each other for a good hour, in amazement of what just happened. Victor asked me 20 questions about the lady who left the box.... clearly I didn't know who she was and it wasn't from her. Was it a random act of kindness? We live in a nice neighborhood, if someone was going to give that to a random house, I'm sure it wouldn't have been in our neighborhood.... Victor and I ran through a list of people who would or even could do that for us. People's name came up and then in the same breath were dismissed. It could be ____, it could be ____... Clearly someone went to a LOT of trouble to do it anonymously so they couldn't be thanked or I couldn't return the money to them. Because God knows I would never take money from someone if I didn't really, really need it. And at this moment we don't really, really need it. Not saying that in a few months we won't. But HOLY MOLY! I still cry when I tell the story! I've told everyone I know! I can't believe that someone would do that for us! Or that someone would do that for anyone!

There are kind people in this world, kind selfless people. While I have had MANY sleepless nights thinking who and why.... I am just grateful! I have looked at the tin and card inside and out trying to find a clue... nothing. I am grateful to this person for their thoughtfulness, grateful to this person for their love. Grateful to this friend/familymember/co-worker/randomperson for thinking of our family this Christmas. Victor and I feel very blessed and have decided that we will do whatever we can to Pay it Forward. If you are out there reading my blog, please know that I can not put into words how grateful we are. Not only are we completely amazed that someone would do that, but you have made us feel very loved and blessed and would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Videos

For Christmas my VERY generous boss game me the Flip video camera! Since then I've been trying to use it as much as possible. It was such a great gift for me and clearly my boss knows me well! It's an awesome little camera! It has video in HD and it's really compact!

We knew this year would be by far the best yet for Alana understanding Santa and presents. She just all of a sudden seems to get it. Just like that! Christmas morning Santa came and Alana heard his bells early in the morning! Victor and I layed in bed and waited for her to run down the hall. This video is super dark, but listen to her and her Christmas morning!

Aunt Ashley and Uncle David in Colorado sent a few fun presents to Alana for Christmas. Her favorite is the Mickey Mouse guitar. She had some fun dancing to the songs that play on it! I'm not sure who she learned it from but after dancing she has started to bow! It's so funny!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday time!

Christmas started for us last weekend and it was madness! The entire weekend was jam packed with stuff! Saturday was our "Harp family" Christmas party! It's always so much fun to hang with that side of the family! Lots of drinking, visiting and fun games!
My big beautiful family!

Me and my pops!

Alana and Ellie

Jacquie, Donovan, my dad and the girls!

My dad and his girls!

J, B, H and dad

Grandkids waiting to open presents

Kisses from Lexie
We also celebrated with Victor's family this weekend before they left for vacation through Christmas. We mostly celebrated with everyone except my dad and JQ and the girls the weekend before Christmas. Then Christmas morning we headed out to my dads house.
Grandpa and Alana Rose
After we opened present and JQ made a great breakfast we grabbed the boys and the kids and headed out into the sun! I'm so glad the rain decided to break for Christmas day! The boys and JQ played football in the street.
I hung out with these cute girls!!
Cousinly love!
Donovan's brother RJ also joined us for Christmas morning which was a treat for everyone!
These girls love to hug!!
Lots of screaming and playing for the girls!
Me and my love!
Aunt Julie gave Alana skates for Christmas and she's had them on almost every day since last week!
Rosie trying to be Santa with her bath bubbles!
Christmas afternoon my friend Martha and her husband Paul came to have dinner with us! Since they don't have any family here and we didn't have any other family to see on Christmas we decided to host a dinner for them! We are so blessed to have such great friends! We ate and then they introduced us to a new game that we played for a few hours! It was a great way to end Christmas day! M&P are expecting a baby girl soon and I can't WAIT!!!! If they would have it, I'd love to do dinner with them every year on Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Birthday Girl

My little sester turned the big 2-5 this weekend!!! We celebrated with a very fun birthday party at her boy D's house! They spent a lot of time cleaning and organizing the garage so we could have the party in there. They put their TV in the garage so we could karaoke. Donovan has tons and tons of songs to karaoke, mix that with some yummy alcohol and we are good to go! Lots of Jacquie's friends came out, Jacquie made some yummy food and we had a great time!

Happy 25th birthday to my lil sis!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Last weekend we went to see my Grandparents up at the lake. It was a beautiful day out there, little gloomy but very nice! Alana doesn't get to see her Great Grandparents all that often but she does so well every time she does see them. I love spending time up at the lake with my grandparents we need to do it a LOT more often then we do!

Alana spent time reading to Riley, their dog! She loves that dog!!

Alana and her Great Grandpa

And Great Grandma
Me and the gramps
Me and Grandma

Old black and whites

Before we knew how sick mom was and before she died, I had found these amazing black and white pictures of my mom when she was in her early 20's, I feel in LOVE with them. I've posted many of them. Victor took my favorite and started to draw it (poster size) and it was going to be a gift for my mom on her 62nd birthday. She never made it to that birthday and in fact, never even got to see the drawing that Victor had done for her. After mom died I asked Victor to take his drawing down and get it framed for the funeral. Mom was to be cremated so her body would not be at the funeral but we put this drawing all nice and framed up on the stage and it was the most perfect thing for a funeral. We told my dad that he could have the drawing and ever since then he's had it hanging in his bedroom on her side of the wall. It's pretty much hidden from view anytime you go to the house, because it's in his bedroom. I almost forget about it. A few weeks ago when we were at my dads house Victor asked to see his drawing. We went into the room and I sat on her side of the bed and we looked up at it. It was very sad to be in her room knowing she wasn't there to sit and chat with me like normal. Man I miss this lady!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day!

Last weekend Anaheim had a Holiday festival that we went to check out! It was a very cold day and they were brining in snow for the kids!! We meet Chrissy and Kali there! This would be Alana's first time in the snow so we were so excited! It's nothing like going to the acutal snow, but it would do for Decmeber in Anaheim!

These girls love each other!
Kali was showing Alana how to make a snowman!
Building their snowman
Lots of snow to go around

Alana enjoyed playing in the snow and loved just picking it up and holding it in her hands.
After the snow Alana and I rode the little train around. This girls loves her some train!

And her balloons! Time to head out, but Alana was not done playing yet,
So we took her to the park so she could run some extra energy out before heading home!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

Little late on the Turkey post I know....
Going into the week of Thanksgiving I wasn't all that excited about it this year. Last year wasn't so fun so I assumed this year wouldn't be either. Last year my sister and her husband left us and went out to Arizona. That would be the first year without my mom, and my older sister just took off, not thinking about the family... of course. Neither my younger sister or I have ever cooked Thanksgiving and we pretty much had to just get through the day, as a matter of fact we didn't even want to do it but we knew we had to for my dad, for my grandparents... So we just did. My grandparents were nice enough to purchase the "Pre made" box of Thanksgiving dinner so that Jacquie and I could heat it up. That was a task in itself. Last year I'm pretty sure we just sat and ate and then everyone left...

Needless to say this year I was thinking it would be the same except my grandparents weren't even coming. It's like my mom dies and everyone forgets how to be a family on the holidays. Some how because she's gone its every one's excuse to miss out on the Holidays in some way or another... I get that my grandparents are old and don't want to drive, it just never seemed like it would be the same without them.

Although we did miss them and my uncle this year, this year turned out to be a LOT better then last and a LOT better then I thought! We still had a full house and this year my sister was staying for Thanksgiving. Julie and Brian did all the cooking, which was awesome, but even so, my brother and his family came from Utah! It was great to see them! We got to my parents house and said hello to everyone. Right away they were serving up Bloody Mary's so I knew this would be better then last year... We hung out and visited for awhile before eating! We ate early, Victor and I still had his family to go to for dinner. Lunch was great... it was all missing my moms touch though. Her yams, her baking... Her insisting that we use china to eat from... But she was there with us. Her ashes sitting up on the mantle in a box that had an inch thick of dust on. I took it down to dust off, but she was there...

Seeing my brother and the family made it a happy day. Standing outside with the smokers was kind of weird. It was definitely weird to be out there without her. What I thought was more weird and sad is that her shoes that she wore outside to do yard work in sat there on the porch like at any time she'd come out and slip them on. She was definitely missed that day.

I am thankful that we had a good Thanksgiving together. I am thankful for a lot of things this year. We have our health, we have each other, lots of family and friends. We have a warm house and all the necessities we need. I am thankful for that!
Me and my brother

Alana and Grandpa Rick
My brother and his wife
Me and my hunny
My pops and I
My Hailey just turned the big 1-5!! She's 15 and that to me seems crazy!
Rosie and daddy

My bro and sisters

My oldest Nephew and Niece! Making me feel old!!
Our second dinner at Victor's parents house was just as yummy! I made the decision next year that both sides of the family can come to me and I will prepare my first Thanksgiving dinner!!