Trip # 1: Home

•June 28, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This is the summer of travel for us.  It’s a bit happenstance, and a bit on purpose, as with Chuck in Montreal, we needed distractions (and I needed childcare help so I can work) and also it happened to be the Memorial service for Grandma and Grandpa Shagoury.  So Trip #1 was home for me, and boy was it ever.  From the minute we landed in Boston to the airport shops filled with Boston Strong t-shirts (first sniffle of the trip, but definitely not the last) and the first Boston accent (the cop at our gate, saying into his walkie talkie “What you gotta do, is go to Johnny Rockets” which sounded like “jawnie raaackets”) I felt like I was home again.

Nostalgia Stop #1 was Horseneck Beach and a too quick visit with Dad, Mary Ellen and Grandpa Hubbard.  Here’s pictures from that visit, which was amazing.  Dad played games with Jacob endlessly (to his delight) and played with Mol (to hers).  After a visit to the beach to see Grandpa, who is doing incredibly well and was wonderful to see, and a bonus visit with Amy and Pauline (I’ve missed you all!) we got lobster from the fisherman, got strawberries and eggs from the farm, that had loads of animals for us to visit, and then fell asleep watching the Red Sox. (For all these slide shows, you can right click on any image, then select “view image” to see it larger…)

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Then we drove up to Merrymeeting for the Memorial Service.  I’m not sure I have enough distance from it yet to write anything about it, except that it was profoundly touching.  It was so incredible to see all my cousins and aunts and uncles, meet their kids, and realize how very much I miss being with them, and having my kids grow up surrounded by family.  It was hard yet deeply moving to go to Wolfeboro to sort through Grandma and Grandpa’s things.  And the memorial itself I think was a fitting tribute to the brilliant, loving and amazing people that created such a large and loving family.  We had a celebratory dinner Friday night, the memorial service Saturday that we all worked to pull together (though the bulk of the planning was all Paul, Rannah and Ailene) and a Sunday Father’s Day brunch, where all the kids became fast friends and we all just enjoyed and reveled in family.  I’ll end this with Jacob’s words to me, just this morning: “I think when I have a memorial service, I want to do it before I’m dead, so I can be there to hear all the nice things people say about me.  That was really neat.”  (He also added, “And I can find out who is mad at me!” – I don’t know where that came from, as certainly no one was mad at Grandma and Grandpa!)

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But it wasn’t all crazy emotions!  We also (thank you Mum and Jim!) rented a gorgeous cabin on Merrymeeting to stay at and play at inbetween all the events.  We stayed there with Nathan and Lisa and had lots of time for swimming, playing, s’more roasting, canoeing, lobster roll eating and just hanging out, playing games, drinking coffee and talking.

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And lastly, for the kids to have for posterity… here are come pictures of the Memorial gathering that Uncle Skip (it was so wonderful to see him and Ann, looking so wonderful, and Skip reminding us all so very much of Grandpa) took.

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Two weekends in June

•June 7, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Well, last weekend of May, first weekend of June…

First of all!  Schools out for summer, and now we have a couple of third graders.  Insane!IMG_6757These are reading and math awards for the end of the year.  Smart kids!


And a Dodgers game with Daddy, since the last one we went to, he was out of town.  Everyone was decked in their Dodger finest.

Now we’re up to Daddy birthday weekend…

outings_0100Part of what Chuck wanted for his birthday was to get gifts for the kids, so we got Jacob a bike and Molly some new clothes (they’re so them with what they want!).  So the boys took their bikes to CicLAvia


While we played and parks and went shopping.


Then we met up for a sushi lunch.

outings_0124Then the real birthday celebration was this weekend, when we rented a BMW 6 series convertible and did a PCH drive to Malibu.

outings_0079We played at the bluffs


Lunched at the Pier,


and went to Paradise Cove for dinner.

photo(1)We ended the night watching the sunset at point Dume.  No pictures, but pretty spectacular!


Then today we got all dressed up for tea at the Langham.  It was amazing – the tea, and the setting AND the fact that it was a magic tea with strolling magicians.  The kids were enthralled.


Both by the spread

outings_0015And the magic.  And we were sure to take plenty of pictures with Daddy for people who miss each other to look at this summer.

outings_0037And how much do these boys look alike?

outings_0046We found an empty ballroom on the way out, and after the kids were done playing, there was a very sweet Daddy/Daughter dance.

outings_0052What a sweet way to end the weekend…


Easter, Passover, Grandparents and More!

•April 29, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Chuck is in Montreal shooting his TV show (!!), the kids are a month away from finishing second grade (!!), Jacob is getting glasses, and things in general are busy and crazy, which is to say usual…

I owe so many pictures, but have been swamped (again, usual) so here’s a whole bunch of pictures.  We’re getting glasses for Jacob this week, so I will at least try to get some pictures of that soon!  I tried to do these in order, and put a little caption with each… but they keep changing how slideshows work, so tell me if anything doesn’t make sense!

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Just a big old picture dump…

•March 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Between Chuck working around the clock and me trying to keep up with work and school and get a tiny bit ahead so I don’t have to work through all of Spring Break next week, it’s been an insane month.  So I’ve neglected updates of pictures of the kids.  As grandparents have let me know.  Mostly it’s because I’ve just been snapping low res low light stuff on my crappy phone, and forgetting to download it.  So while the kids watch Get Smart with Chick right now, that’s what I’m doing.  And between Jim and I, hopefully we’ll get some fun and good stuff next week, too.

photo(6)So first we have Art Show at school.  They did a clay section.

photo(7)Continuing the art theme, Molly did a painting badge for Girl Scouts.  This is the day they did abstract art.  Now Molly wants to be a famous abstract artist when she grows of Girl Scouts, we went to a UCLA Gymnastics meet where the Girl Scouts got to parade.  Jacob and I ate hot dogs and watched.  Molly and her friend Mahalia paraded.

FullSizeRenderThis is cameraman Jacob filming a scene for his filmmaking class.

photo(9)While Mol takes Flower Arranging.


And another later scene fromt he new Zombie movie they’re making now…  Jacob is Zombie tie-dye in the back row.

Jenis_0006And Mol loves flower arranging and we took a friend for a birthday present.  Here’s Molly’s arrangement.  In her Canada cutie shirt that Chuck got her when he was in Montreal.  They are VERY excited about Daddy’s show shooting there.


Going to the opera.  We saw the LA Opera production of Barber of Seville.  All 3 hours.  It was amazing and the kids loved it.

marchmj_0093There was a preshow for kids…


Which Molly took part in.


And Jacob watched.


Then Jeff visited and we went to the Pier to win minions.  Daddy and Jeff each won one, which made for two happy kids.

photo(1)And we did a late celebration of my birthday spending the day at the pier in Malibu.


And finally, the school had a March-A-Thon as a fundraiser.  Here they are stretching with their Kinder teacher before running.  Well, Jacob is.


Molly was goofing with a friend.

marchmj_0044Jacob ran all 30 laps (well, ran/walked) which was 7 1/2 miles!

marchmj_0067Molly zipped along and then cute out at 13.  Still pretty good.  Then she helped me hand out snacks and cheer friends on.

marchmj_0052And just to end with pics I took yesterday for work of kids enjoying ice cream at the newest place in town (it’s amazing – the first LA outpost of a Jeni’s).  Thought it might be on interest to see how big they seem to look right this very minute.


Molly is giving the side eye to her friend Ava.  I think she had designs on her cone, too.

Jenis_0043And now we’re on Spring Break, which covers Passover and Easter, so I will definitely have the camera out!

Now We Are 8

•February 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Eight!  Holy cow.  I can’t believe it.  But I love it.  It seems (so far) to be the perfect balance of insightful little beings that say amazing things and snuggle monkeys who still adore their parents.  So we’re prediction a good year.  We sure kicked it off in style.


The weekend before their actual birthday, Molly had her celebration… a two night sleep sleepover with her friend August.  First was dress up, then the next morning the girls had me do their hair to match.


And we played all morning and after lunch went to make candy bars.


While the bars were setting, the girls tried on lipsticks.

turning8_0153And then picked up their bars.  They thought they did a spectacular job.  I’m just glad they were happy, as I don’t think gummy bears, Nutella, peppermint and cookie dough all together is a flavor the world is clamoring for, but they loved them.


Movie time at the El Capitan.  Got to meet Tinkerbell, too.turning8_0108

Then they built lego cars for a car convention when we got home.


After a sushi dinner out, we opened presents at home.


And watched Annie and slept in tents.


Then…  actual birthday day was the next Friday.  And any good birthday starts with a donut.




It happened to be the day we had a parent teacher conference – they are brilliant, in case you were wondering – which also means it was book fair day at school.  So after great conferences, they got to pick out a book, which they read all the way to the car.


After dinner (stuffed shells and cloud cake was their pick), it was present time.


Needless to say, that was a very happy part of the day.


Very happy.


And then we lost Molly to her books.


And Jacob to his Legos.


Moll models her new nightie and

And the next morning started Jacob’s sleepover extravaganza.  We picked up 3 friends and hit sushi.


And they all ate until they were so full they said they couldn’t ride in the car until they ran off some of the sushi…  Apparently, if you’re an 8 year old boy, the best way to work off lunch is tackling each other.


Next stop, Chuck E. Cheese.


Then home for Nerf wars.  Darth Vader showed up.


And the boys all attacked him with their new nerf clone shooters.


Then after hours of running and attacking, it was time for pizza and clone wars tv show.


The next morning they had Princess Leia buns and bacon and ate themselves silly until everyone went home and Jacob and Chuck went to play golf.  Meanwhile, Molly and I went to see Swan Lake.  After all that (awesome, but exhausting) boy energy, that was a delight for both of us.

photoAnd that was the birthday!

And now here are all the pictures we remembered to take from the two birthday weekends.  CLICK HERE to see the slideshow.

This long weekend is pretty busy, and I will update with pictures from Jacob doing a fencing demonstration and Harlem Globetrotters, too!  Speaking of which, we had a Girl Scout cookie booth early this morning, so Molly and I need to nap (or maybe read, but rest is the key!) before we head to the Globetrotters, so that’s my update for the afternoon!

Wow! It’s been a while. Here’s the Holidays in a nutshell.

•January 17, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Yikes!  Between Hanukkah, getting sick (me and Mol), Christmas, a trip to Portland, New Years, and getting back to school, we haven’t had a free minute to upload pictures.  On the downside, we haven’t even had much time to take that many.  But still, not that many with all that activity is a few, so settle in.  This one will get long…


So, right before the holidays, we went to this really cool flower arranging place where the kids made these amazing flower arrangements.  I have to include some pics because the bright colors matched the bright faces.

fleurish_0008They were both so deliberate with the flowers they chose and then the arrangements they made.  No surprise, Jacob loved the tools best.


Then, we had the annual cookie party.  Unfortunately, Molly got sick and I got very few pictures.  But Jacob helped out a lot, making a Krispy Treat tree…

fleurish_0047Next was the holiday concert at school.  Needless to say, they were adorable, gorgeous and brought tears to my eyes.  I also video taped it, and one of these days we’ll get that uploaded, too.christmas14_0189

Hanukkah was the first holiday this year, so here is a slideshow with a few pictures from the first and last nights. (Click on an image to launch the mini slide show.)

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After Hanukkah comes Christmas, with a Christmas Eve dinner at Miceli’s, , new Christmas pjs, anticipation and staring at the presents under the tree, letters to Santa and Christmas morning… you can see Molly and Jaocb with their favorite presents.  Molly adores the book El Deafo, and read it through over and over and over.  Jacob got Legos.  And more Legos. And he was a very happy boy. (Again, slide show, launch it by licking on any picture.)

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Before heading to Portland, we had one more family outing, to the Getty and out for lobster.


Getty boy.

holiday2014_0099Getty girl. (Posing.)

holiday2014_0077Getty monster (Daddy).

holiday2014_0102Getty duo. (Posing.)

holiday2014_0119And Molly’s first lobster.  Jacob was true to form, and stuck with hot dogs.

Then Portland!  You can see in this last slide show their second Christmas, adoring and adores uncles, aunt and grandparents, a sampling of the fun that was had by all (story time, hot dog contest and crazy dress up).

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And finally we got home and went back to school… One last thing.  That book Molly adores that she got for Christmas?  The author came to a local bookstore this week, and we got to go hear her talk and then Mol got her copy signed.  She was rapturous.  It was so delightful to see.

photo(1)That’s Molly with her hero, Cece Bell.

photo(2)And that’s her getting her book signed (it says “WOW!  Molly, you’re amazing.  xo, Cece”).  She adores it.

And now we have a long weekend with a party and football and then a day off!  All before we plunge into birthday planning…  :)

Happy New Year!

A Little Pre Christmas Action

•December 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

We’ve been Christmas-ing and Vacationing since a week before Thanksgiving, so it’s been crazy.  I’ll do a quick overview to catch up.

The week of Thanksgiving we had off from school, so we kicked it off by going to the “tree” lighting in Beverly Hills.  Where else does Santa arrive by rappelling down the side of a fancy hotel before the ice skating, singing, fireworks show to countdown to light the Baccarat Crystal chandeliers that line Rodeo Drive?  Where you stand by Mel Gibson (shirt unbuttoned and gold chained) and Dawson?  Which was all very funny and a bit cheesy, but since it ended with snowfall and then the kids tossing up the “snow” in the air and playing for ages, it made for a memorable night.


Here you can see them throwing it in the air.


We also took advantage of the decked streets to take a few pictures.


And I took some end of year pictures of the kids with Daddy.


Both of ’em!


Then that week we had playdates, and Daddy day at the car show (kids were in heaven for this yearly excursion) and Thanksgiving (for which I have zero pictures, but it was a lovely day where we took and bike and hike and then had friends over for a low key dinner and cricket catching party, because we have a cricket farm in the back yard and the friend we had to diner has lizards… of course!).  Then early the next morning we headed for a weekend in La Jolla!  I’m going to insert a quick slide show filled with pictures of us on our rooftop breakfast and at the cove playing.  It was a gorgeous 80 degree weekend and it’s our favorite family getaway.

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Then!  We got home and got up to go to the opera.  I thought the kids would maybe last halfway through, with me bribing them with treats to make it to intermission.  But it turns out that they loved it (Florencia en el Amazonas), and we stayed for the whole thing AND went to the kids post show where we played with props, learned about butterflies in the Amazon, had snacks and even met the stars of the opera.  Molly was second in line to meet the star of the opera and she was so shy and delighted to have her sign her program.


But she was too shy to pose for a picture with her.  Not Jacob, who charmed the diva completely.


Then the week as school flew by, and we were ready to take another long weekend – for work!  I was invited to La Costa to judge a gingerbread contest, so we decided to make a weekend of it and use the spa as a jumping off spot to surprise the kids with a trip to Legoland.  They had a wonderful time feeling very important at the gingerbread judging, ceremony, and then just a blast taking over the place and playing tennis, swimming in as many pools as they could (I think we made it to three pools, one splash pad and two jacuzzis in their quest to try them all…) and making s’mores to watch the truly terrible and fun Peter Pan from our hotel beds.  I think they didn’t want to leave, but once we got to Legoland, all else was forgotten.

Too many pics to do anything but another slideshow:

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We got home last Saturday night quite late and had a birthday party Sunday morning then went tree getting Sunday night.  Because we had a ton to do this week to get ready for our cookie party, which is tomorrow.  Oh, we also snuck Disney on Ice in this week.  And today we took a baking break to see the LA Ballet’s Nutcracker with Mol’s Girl Scout troop.  That was fantastic, and worth the fact that we had to stay up a bit late to get our gingerbread house decorated AND watch the beginning of The Sound of Music, which we’d been planning on all week.  Whew!  But I had to catch up before I take pics of the kids and all their friends tomorrow.  And their awesome gingerbread house that they decorated themselves – not to mention the rice krispy tree they made…  So, last pics are with the Nutcracker today:




Happy Holidays!  We will try and post sooner, but our next update may be a Hanukkah/Christmas post…

(WordPress is playing with formatting, so I can’t publish pics bigger, but you can always click on them to see them larger.  And I’m trying out the embedded slideshow…)


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