Wednesday, January 1, 2014


ME... I'm MOST proud of organizing a simple, small wedding ceremony in 6 days! Stephanie & Mazen got married on Sunday, November 10th... at the Santa Monica Pier! An AMAZING fete considering she lives on the East Coast & we live on the West Coast.

Actually, Tasha took this i-Phone picture right before the wedding began. LOVE YOU, JPE for officiating the wedding.

Each winter we take an hour drive up the coast to see the elephant seals! STILL LAUGHING about their grunts, groans & barks! Hilarious!  

Driving 5 hours to the Big Bear cabin is such a treat... especially for a WINTER WONDERLAND! ACE & Lola play chase in the snow... the birds have gone for the winter... & Lydia, Tasha & JPE built this snow-bear!

Lydia turned 10 this past July... JPE made her some bear pancakes & then caught a huge fish for her birthday dinner! Another amazing BIRTHDAY celebration.

Did I mention Steph & Mazen's wedding was a small, intimate ceremony with some FAMILY & FRIENDS? The Santa Monica Pier was being renovated, hence the "industrial look" for most of the wedding photos.

I'm INSPIRED BY rain... fog... anything but warm, humid weather. Which is odd, as I was a sun-lover when I was younger. 

During our Spring Break, we traveled north to San Francisco & Nevada City... SPRING had arrived! Pictures were taken at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco.

Lydia VACATIONED with us the week before school started! We camped at Plaskett Creek (southern section of Big Sur) Campground... due to the danger of fire & the low-water table, we had to buy bottled water & ended up cooking our so'mores over the stove... no campfires allowed!

Our SUMMER included a visit to So California.  Matthew & Derek LOVE helping JPE set-off the 4th of July fireworks.

Aren't I lucky? A DAY IN MY LIFE includes driving along the ocean to & from work... When it's "high tide" the waves splash up the wooden staircase in Shell Beach. At "low tide" you can walk along the narrow strip of beach looking in the tide pools...

Loved this picture of Stephanie & Mazen - ALL SMILES! the wedding guests showered them with bubbles! Lars (the girl's dad, in the white shirt) will be able to remember their wedding date --- it's also his birthday!

Avila Barn & Ice Cream Parlor is "THE" place to enjoy the AUTUMN HARVEST. Stopping on the way home from work is a love-ly treat at the end of the day.

Instead of taking a vacation overseas, we did some HOME renovations... we had the popcorn ceilings removed, had new bamboo floors installed upstairs, had the master shower re-tiled (they found mold in the walls) and then WE painted the ENTIRE condo (yep, I spent several weekends with my paintbrushes). 

Steph & Mazen chose the Santa Monica Pier for their wedding CELEBRATION... it was the location for their first date (five years ago - Steph was attending UCLA School of Law & Mazen was an attorney in San Francisco). I made the sign for their wedding & included Sebastian (Mazen's guide-dog) as one of the "three" joined in LOVE.

Mom, Katie (9 year old grandniece) & I took a trip to Washington DC over the Memorial Day weekend. Katie got the "traveling bug" - so if I mention a trip to visit Stephanie, Mazen & Sebastian... she'll be the first to say LET'S DO IT AGAIN!

I gave them wings and when they left for college, I never dreamed the girls would settle in other cities. Allison lives & works in Sunnyvale (south of San Francisco, CA) and Stephanie lives in Arlington, VA (& works in Washington DC). Needless to say, I MISS THEM (thank goodness for FaceTime)! It's not often that we are ALL together in person... Steph & Mazen had flown out for Andrew & Talia's wedding (Saturday November 9th).

Following a snowstorm (at the Big Bear cabin in February), JPE & I noticed a BEAUTIFUL rainbow of ice particles in the sky. It looked like glitter floating through the sky.

Allison, Lola & Brian DRESSED for the snow. Check out Allie's owl hat & Lola's red parka! Lola even had red boots, which can be seen HERE!

A stem of dried flowers peeking out of the snow. MACRO shot taken with my Canon Rebel.

Mom & Katie came for a visit in December... to attend the Nutcracker Ballet, see a performance of Mary Poppins & celebrate my birthday. It was fun to share my HOLIDAY decorations & SANTA ornaments... a treasured collection.

Some of our favorite pictures have been taken during our visits to the Big Bear cabin. We appreciate being able to make MEMORIES with Tasha, Jack, Lydia, Taylor & Morgan. The "something beautiful" picture was taken the same morning as this photo.

For Christmas, we gave Lydia a set of bongos! She's taken flute & guitar lessons... JPE has played string instruments in bands, getting his start (at the age of 10) in a band with his dad (a drummer) & uncles. Lydia... we're hoping you DON'T EVER CHANGE & continue your interest in music.

JUST BECAUSE... I loved this picture of Matthew swinging on the rope... he looks like his mom, doesn't he? Don't know if Jodi will appreciate having this picture posted, but, I loved her expression!! (& her pups, Archie & Felix).

Well... my HOPES & DREAMS are to continue to travel. We're thinking of visiting Turkey, Morocco or Russia in the fall of 2014. And, of course, I hope for "great health" to allow this to happen.

Wishing all my visitors happiness, health and memory-making opportunities in 2014!

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  1. Looks like an awesome year. Great shots!

  2. It was a fabulous year when I take time to reflect on it!

  3. What an amazing year. Such a great recap...and my congratulations on the wedding, it must have been wonderful, everyone looks like they are having so much fun.

  4. that was a great reflections of your past year. What a beautiful wedding and you did a great job getting everything ready! I wish I could of been there to see my niece get hitched. She looked really beautiful that day.

  5. What a year - so many smiles!!

  6. What strikes me about your year is how people-filled your life and photos are. I'm such an introvert that I could easily be a hermit. Normally I'm fine with that, but I loved seeing all the happy faces in your pictures. It makes me feel just the tiniest bit envious! I hope your new year will be filled with as much love and joy as the last one so clearly was. PS - I'd love to see some "afters" of your renovations. I'll bet everything turned out great.

  7. It looks like it was such a happy year!

  8. Chris - Loved seeing all your pictures!!! Stephanie and Mazen's wedding pictures were great. Hope you can do your traveling 2014!!! Love, Sandy



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