Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas time in the Soares Household

Christmas time is here, and so is the stress! I love the holidays but getting everything together has made things pretty crazy around here. The holidays are in full swing and the kids are very excited for Christmas. Okay, Amelia doesn't know what is going on but Alex is very excited. Even Ernie is in the Christmas spirit as you can see!

The day after Thanksgiving we had all the Christmas decorations up and I was out shopping at 3 a.m. on Black Friday for gifts. Alex has been in the "I want this" mode so buying for him has been easy. Amelia is at the age where she is a bit tough, she is too old for infant toys but a lot of the toddler toys are too big for her. She is very into baby dolls so I have been going that route.

This past weekend my mom came down and we made cookies, toffee, homemade marshmellows and fudge. Both kids were estatic to help with this task and Alex is turning into quite the little baker.

Our plan is to take the kids to see Santa this week, Alex is very excited to tell Santa about the Batman toy he wants and we anticipate the infamous screaming photo out of Amelia. Every parent has to have one! Check back to see how it goes.....!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What I am Thankful For.....

There are so many things to be thankful for this holiday season. I have a loving husband who is a wonderful father and great provider for us (and awfully good looking too!), I have children who are healthy and each day are growing up to be unique and wonderful little people and we have a little black furry creature who loves us and the warm laps we provide for him. Whenever I am having a stressful day and bemoan my life I try to remember all of the wonderful blessings I do have, and remember all of the people out there who are not as fortunate.

Here are some recent photos of my little blessings. I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving and encourage you to recognize and cherish all of the blessings in your life.

The other night Amelia refused to let anyone else feed her other than her big was very sweet.

I got the kids dressed up and took some photos for our Christmas card this was a bit challenging but these are the photos that turned out well (out of about 100 that I shot!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The finish line....

One week ago today Paul and I completed the Trail of Two Cities Half Marathon here in Fresno. It was a great run and a very well put together event. This was my 3rd half marathon and Paul's first. We both did well, finishing in respectable times. Paul completed the run in 1:55 and I did it in 2:06, which is 4 minutes faster than my last half marathon. We were sore and tired Sunday night and Paul swore he'd never do another run....and then a few days later we signed up for another half marathon in Huntington Beach. So February 7, 2010 we will run yet another 13 miles and hopefully improve our times again!

The photos of the half marathon just posted to the website and we plan to order some, so check back later for photos of the run to be posted!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Little Pumpkins...

What a busy week with all the Halloween festivities going on. While Amelia didn't really get what was going on, Alex was in a frenzy waiting for Halloween to come.

On Monday we took the kids to the pumpkin patch for our annual pumpkin photos and to pick our pumpkin to carve. The kids didn't disappoint with cute photos this year!

On Thursday we carved our two pumpkins. Paul worked on the big one, carving the Batman symbol at Alex's request (thank heavens for pumpkin stencils online!) while Alex and I worked on his small pumpkin.

On Halloween it was craziness around the Soares household! Alex had his last soccer game and then soccer team celebration. He received a trophy which he was very proud of. He really enjoyed playing soccer and I was impressed with the dedication of his coaches. The presented all the parents with a DVD of the season they had put together! I was touched by the thoughtfulness, especially since I am so crazy about documenting every moment of my kid's case you haven't noticed.

After nap time we headed over to our good friend's house for some trick or treating. Alex and Sean were both dressed up as Batman and declared themselves "Batman Brothers." They shared this with every house they visited for trick or treating and everyone seemed to find it quite amusing. Amelia was the cutest little pig you have ever seen and Paul and I dressed up as Jon and Kate Gosselin and I think it turned out pretty well!

Paul and I also were quite accomplished this week, both running 10 miles in preparation for our half marathon next weekend. Even though I have run 2 half marathon's before I am feeling nervous for next weekend's event. With all the craziness going on lately I don't feel as well trained as I have in year's past but I am looking forward to running it with Paul. Check back for photos!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Memorable Weekend

This was a big weekend for Paul and I. For Paul he reached a big milestone - he turned 30 on Saturday! Since he is such an amazing father and husband I planned a big birthday bash for him that night, but before we could get down to the party we dedicated our morning to doing the Susan G. Komen run at Fresno State.

The event is a 5k run that raises funds and awareness surrounding breast cancer. This horrible disease has touched our lives in several ways and unfortunately, I fear there will be future people we know that will fight this disease. This year I ran for my aunt Cheryl who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 breast cancer. One of Paul's close childhood friends has a mother who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer so he ran in honor of her recent diagnosis with breast cancer.

I ordered shirts for the event that said "Save Second Base" and was able to get several co-workers and friends to do the run. Paul had the best time by far in running it in 24 minutes! I set a new personal best for my 5K record at 27 minutes. But everyone who finished did awesome! This event was the first for my friend Debbie and she really rocked it!

Me and some of my work friends after the run.

After the race that morning Paul came home to relax and enjoy his birthday while I ran all over Fresno getting everything prepared for the party. But I have to say that it was all worth it because our backyard looked beautiful and everything turned out really nice for Paul's birthday party that night. Everyone came in cocktail attire, with no kids, and we enjoyed desserts, appetizers and just a few drinks.

The set up in our backyard...

Paul's birthday cake...

A few of his gifts friends brought...

Some chocolate dipped strawberries I made...

And some mini cupcakes I got (you can never have enough dessert!)...

Me and my handsome husband!

The house is now cleaned up and put back together, our rugrats have returned from Grandma and Grandpa's house, the cake is just about gone, but we have some lasting memories from a great weekend. Happy 30th Birthday Paul, I can't imagine my life without you and I hope you know all the joy you bring into our life. We love you so much.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This past weekend was a busy one full of celebrations. I feel so blessed to have so much to celebrate in my life! October 9th I celebrated my 29th birthday. I was initially pretty bummed out that I had to work on my birthday but once I got to work I immediately found myself feeling better after I found my office decorated and cupcakes waiting for me.

That evening Paul, Alex and I drove down to Santa Monica to see my childhood friend, Natalie, get married on Saturday. I wouldn't have missed this day for all the money in the world. I have known Natalie as long as I can remember, her parents are like my second parents - in fact my kids call them Grandma and Papa Toy. The ceremony was so beautiful, out on the Santa Monica beach. I was glad that it was such a beautiful day for them and it was a great chance to catch up with the Toy family and see many faces I hadn't seen in a long time, including Natalie's brother Jonathan who was her "man of honor." Natalie was a beautiful bride and was positively glowing. Alex, being the flirt he is, followed her around all day and was quite smitting. Congratulations Natalie and Marc!

Natalie, Jonathan and I.

Natalie & Marc with us after the ceremony.

Alex goofing around on the playground on the beach.

Natalie and Alex posing, very sweet!

Another celebration that took place this week was welcoming a four legged friend into our family. We adopted Ernie on Sunday and he has quickly become a solid addition to our family and secured a place in all of our hearts. With his quirky little underbite and funny personality we just love him to pieces. Alex ran around a good part of the day saying "I'm so glad Ernie is here!" He loves to run after him saying "Ernie, Ernie, Ernie" and Amelia follows behind saying "Onie Onie Onie" in her attempt to call him as well. Some people may think I am crazy taking on another responsibility in my life right now (and I probably am) but rescuing this little guy and seeing the delight on my children's face makes it all worth it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The blushing bride....

Not me, it has been 6 years already since I was a blushing bride, but my cousin Sarah is getting married!! She and her boyfriend (now fiance) Josh have decided to walk down the aisle this coming April. Since the big day is only 6 months away, we went dress shopping at David's Bridal for her today. My little cousin has always been adorable, she was so stinking cute as a toddler, but to see her today all grown up in her beautiful wedding gown, full of excitement for her future, was a beautiful thing to witness. As you can see, she will make a gorgeous bride and I hope her fiance realizes how lucky he is.
Sarah's friend Ashley and I also tried on bridesmaid dresses and decided upon this one (but pay NO attention to the hideous color, they will be yellow).

Besides playing "wedding planner" this weekend with Sarah, our household took it easy. I continued with my training for my half marathon next month, completing 7 miles this morning. I had gotten off track this past week so I was happy to be able to complete this much mileage today. However, my muscles are none to happy right now.

Alex has been under the weather all weekend with a virus that is giving him a horrible sounding cough and fever. So far, fingers crossed, Amelia hasn't gotten it. Alex's weekend consisted mostly of him laying in bed watching Batman or Shrek in our bed. Amelia thought this was a great idea and climbed into bed with him several times.

Well, I am off to ice my knees and turn in early tonight. Wishing everyone else out there a happy, and healthy, week.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trip up North

Yikes, I am such a slacker! Not only have I not been blogging, but I haven't even been taking photos of my children - shameful I know. So this weekend while Paul was away in Vegas, doing an early 30th birthday celebration, I decided to head up north to Sacramento to visit family and friends - all the while determined to get some great photos of the kids. As you will see below, I think I did pretty good.

As always, Olivia and Amelia being together is a non-stop photo op. Those girls are just so darling and every time they see each other they seem to get more and more interactive with one another. I cannot wait for Kim to finish up nursing school (as is she!) so we can plan more regular play dates with the girls. But we got Kim and Livy almost all to ourselves this weekend and took full advantage, going to the mall, park and just hanging out at my mom's house.

While we were at the mall (yes, I had my camera at the mall) we went on a carosuel ride with the girls. While Alex is a seasoned professional, Amelia and Olivia had never been on one before - and it turns out they aren't big fans. Alex had a blast though riding a dragon with Nana.

We also went and got the kids fall shoes. I discovered I am a horrible mother and had been letting Alex walk around in size 9 shoes when he measured to be a size 11!! Eek! So needless to say he got a new pair and so did Amelia.

The mall out in Roseville has a great play area that the kids just loved. It was so bright and colorful so it was excellent for some very cute photos.

Saturday night my mother watched the kids for me (thank you Mom!!) and I was able to go out and meet up with some good friends from high school. We had a girls night out with no dinner and Kim was able to come along too. It was so great to catch up with Becky and Shannon. They are both awesome mothers and had some really great advice and stories to share with me. Shannon is pregnant with her 4th baby and is looking fabulous! Becky looks awesome too, as she always has. It was a great night filled with some margaritas, shopping and lots of chatting.

On Sunday my aunt, cousin and her two boys came down to visit us and we went to the park for a little picnic. The kids had a blast running around (even though it was 100 degrees) and got some energy out before our long ride back to Fresno.

Now I am back to work, work and more work. Hope you all have a wonderful week out there!