Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

S's first time at the pumpkin patch! He picked his pumpkin and ate some straw :) We loved going on this adventure as a family!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

1 year ago...

It has been over a year since I last updated my blog. I can't believe it! I have had so much to blog about last summer but when I finally got around to doing so I just couldn't. I couldn't because I felt that nothing was as special and noteworthy as the secret we had just found out and were wanting to keep (although I wanted to shout out to the world!) We were pregnant!! One year ago our lives went into a whole new place! We went into pure baby mode! We couldn't believe it and were so excited that every second of our conversation, thoughts, and energy went into baby orbit!

3 months ago last week we were blessed with the love of our lives! Mr. Sawyer! I could write a novel about our love for this amazing boy!

Needless to say I have a lot of backdate blogging to do. So I will postdate entries to line up with when they should have occurred. More to come!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lake's Nursery

Lake's Nursery is in Northern California off of 80, near Auburn. It was worth the drive and absolutely beautiful! I didn't even care that it was sprinkling while we checking out the hundreds of varieties!

Bree's "secret" shopping spree:10 Japanese Maple Trees

Thumbs up for Bree's purchases: Japanese Maples!

Not quite sure how Greg was going to respond to my coming home with 10 unique Japanese Maples, but this is the reaction I got, "Wow! Where are we going to put them all? Well, next time we can get the bigger ones!" Much to my shock, Greg was down for the cause! (Not really shock dad had sent Greg the Timber Press Pocket Guide to Japanese Maples, secretly in the mail without my knowing, because they both love them! Check out the link for the book above, there are some great pictures! What's the big deal you ask? I'll fill you in on the varieties we purchased, what they look like in the fall (beautiful!!) and about this gorgeous nursery way up in the hills of Auburn.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Planting pays off : )

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A little sunshine in the midst of big storms = garden time!

I have been dying to get out in the gardens! My amazing husband has planted hundreds of bulbs (daffodils, tulips, and others) and they are all shooting up! The daffodil stems are about a foot tall and the tulips are around 4 inches. We did not get our paper whites in yet.. is it too late?

So since I have done nothing in the garden for a month it has been quite neglected! (maybe I feel neglected? hmm? Gardening IS quite therapeutic. Cliche I know, but true.) Nevertheless, Greg is turning into quite the amazing gardner so he has been keeping up while I was away..but still! I need to get out there! So right after I am done typing this...outside I go! But before I go, I want to share with you a little monthly calendar that I found VERY helpful as a new gardner in 2009. Before I went outside, I had to look up the January 2010 calendar. I looked at it, found it helpful, and wanted to quickly share it with you before I forgot!

Here's the link to January calendar. Hope it helps! I subscribe to their emails and love them! They are far and few between and I wish they came more often, but I have the website or the monthly web magazine bookmarked and frequently visit.

PS: I just went back to look at the website to see who the editor is so I can give credit where credit is wonder why I love the Weekend Gardner Web Magazine! The editor went to Cal Poly College of Agriculture. Her name is Hilary Rinaldi.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prosciutto alfredo

I was given 3 fabulous cookbooks for Christmas, "Williams-Sonoma Pasta," another that is simply titled, "Italian," and the coveted Julia Child's, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." I have yet to dive into these considering I have only been home for a few days since Christmas Eve! (I just took down all my decorations and today the tree needs to be put away! Next year wherever I may be in the US, I will come home and take it down the day after Christmas!!) Anywho... This week has been crazy busy and I have been home one night to cook dinner (started at 9PM). I decided that I must open a new cook book for a quick but scrumptious recipe. Scruptious it was! I will never make an alfredo without prosciutto again!

Here's the very, very simple recipe....
  • 1/2 c. Sliced Prosiutto crudo
  • 1/4 c. Butter (mmm!)
  • 2 Shallots, very finely chopped (I did not have shallots, so I used a quarter of an onion and a somewhere around 2-3tsp. of garlic)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 12 oz. fettucine (I was bored of fettucine and at my last grocery trip I bought a ton of different, fun, colorful, and funky pastas.. so use what you want! I can't remember the name of the one I used, but it was a fun twist)
  • 1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I didn't have a fresh 1/4 of parmesan, but I did have shaved parmesan from the deli
  • sprig of fresh parsley to garnish
  1. Cut the fat from the prosciutto, and chop both the lean and fat parts separately into small quarters.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium frying pan, and add the shallots and the squares of prosciutto fat. Cook until golden. Add the lean prosciutto, and cook for 2 more minutes. Season with pepper. Stir in cream, and keep warm over low heat while the pasta is cooking. Don't forget to keep stirring.
  3. Boil the pasta in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water. Drain. Turn into a armed serving bowl, and toss with the sauce. Stir in the parmesan and serve right away.
We LOVED the rich flavor of this dish!! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

400 Bulbs to plant!

It is that time of year....Time to prep the garden for a beautiful early spring garden! Finally our beds will be overflowing and I cannot wait! For the front yard plantings we have 240 Daffodils, 60 Paperwhites, 60 Deep Purple Tulips. For the back we have a measly 30 red tulips. I will post some pictures soon! Here is a link to an idea of what it will look like. Click here to see the picture!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Julie and Julia!

I absolutely loved the movie! I loved every single second of it. I laughed a lot and even got teary eyed from laughing so hard! The movie is so inspiring to me. I love cooking, trying new and difficult recipes and I love all that goes into having people over! With our busy lives it has been a struggle figuring out when we can sit down to a nice dinner (that is not take out!) at a decent hour much less taking the time to try new recipes, shop for the sometimes hard to find unique ingredients (like Farro! I'll explain in another post) and then prep/cook!

The movie has made me smile in the middle of the day and I just can't get it off my mind! Hilarious one-liner (was originally quoted elsewhere, but funny to hear Mr. Child say it in the movie... "I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by." There were a couple other hilarious lines but maybe inappropriate to type on here! If you even remotely enjoy cooking-see the movie! It's great!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What does Greg "do" for work?

We get this question all the time! It's a little funny to explain, so I'll let NBC news explain. Click the link for the article:

or read below.... (and no Greg's not the security guard in the picture.) Read below or in the link. He does the cooling portion...I think! : )

The Fort Knox of the South Bay

The "man trap" is one of the many sophisticated security features at Equinix IBX center in San Jose. If you'd like to see first-hand, why they call it this place the "Fort Knox of the South Bay," click here for a video tour.

When a company brings in the team of architects who designed the Federal Reserve Building, it's fair to assume that security is a pretty big deal.

Ernest Holloway is the Senior Manager of Facilities Operations at Equinix. His job helps to keep our lives online.

Throw in some armed guards, 800 surveillance cameras, a five-barrier entrance complete with a double-sided "man trap" and biometric hand readers at every gate and you can be sure that it's not messing around when it comes to security.

The company is Equinix IBX data center in the Silicon Valley. It offers direct access to more than 90-percent of the world's Internet networks and users, so it's no wonder the place is locked down like Fort Knox.

Online, Equinix makes it possible for us to send an email from a Yahoo! address to a Comcast subscriber, seamlessly.

On-site, Equinix has its hands full with complex operations to ensure that customer equipment is protected and functioning properly at all times.

The first order of business is power and cooling.

Now, before we start to yawn, let's all take a second and think about our day-to-day routines.

At work.

At home.

In our cars.

On our smart phones.

Internet. Internet. Internet. Internet.

Without the 15 gargantuan fans pumping 2-thousand tons of cooling at 60mph through air ducts big enough to drive a Hummer through. Some of our important emails, financial transactions or navigation searches might not be completed.

Imagine if that update didn't get to the boss on time or if the alert from a child's school wasn't received.

The power and cooling systems are so important. They make it possible for the machines at Equinix to run, so that we can go about our Internet-dependent lives.

The fans are our friends.

A man by the name of Ernest Holloway is our best friend.

He's on site every day taking readings and monitoring these systems to make sure that everything is running smoothly.

"There is no room for error. We don't take any chances or cut any corners here at Equinix," Holloway said.

More than 200 networks operate at this data center, including all of the big dogs ... Amazon, Google, Yahoo! and IBM.

Being in the same room with 2.5 megawatt generators that countries are in line to order. Supercomputers that are loaded with the kind of power that will bend your mind. Giant trays full of fiber snaking overhead in every direction as far as the eye can see, with 90 percent of the world's virtual energy pulsing through them. Well, it's enough to make anyone go weak-in-the-knees geeky.

Equinix is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Program. All of the data centers here in the Bay Area are certified green by Santa Clara County.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

H Street Designs...

We need to come up with a name for my dad and sus's designs!
My Dad and Susie are the hardest workers I know and are not afraid to tackle the smallest or largest of projects. They create these amazing spaces for 1-2 people to sit over a glass of wine and candle lit atmosphere to enjoy the aroma of all the flowers they plant and the warm summer nights. One of my favorite moments was sitting with my dad behind our brick fireplace having a precious conversation right before I got married. I will never forget that moment in that space.

This summer they have taken on a much larger project that has expanded the back deck that we've traditionally used for morning coffee and family gatherings in the evening. Our family has become a big fan of bocce ball on the grass. My dad has never played on a professional court, but throughly enjoys beating the rest of us on the lawn. For a couple years they have dreamed of building bocce ball courts somewhere on the property. This summer they have chosen to take the project on! Not in the cool of spring or fall..but the end of June-beginning of August. For those of you who do not live near Biggs...There have not been many days under 100 degrees this July! July 14-27 were all well over 100 extending into 107. Mind you these temps were taken in the shade! They were working in FULL SUN WITH NO SHADE! They are crazy!

Here is a before picture:

Here is a during photo (As of this weekend, more of the pergola has been built and part of the horseshoe pits)

Bocce Ball Court Progress....

Look at all those brick still on the pallets that they laid all by hand-just the two of them! I'm still in awe at the passion they have for landscaping and the amount of sweat and hard work they are willing to make a beautiful place that we will enjoy forever!

Dad working on the bocce ball floor

View from the fruit grove looking at the house and old patio.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Brooklynn & Richard Clark's Wedding!

(Thanks Scotty for the pic of Em and I and wine barrels) (Thanks Morgan for the picture of us with Ed and Em)

I had the privilege of standing by Brooklynn's side as she married Rich! They are the most precious couple with awesome personalities that make every person they come into contact with feel loved and valued. I had SO much fun the day of their wedding. It was a gorgeous location in the middle of vineyards at Meridian in Paso Robles! We were able to stay with our great friends Chris and Ashley and their sweet little girl, Addie! We also got to spend time with Scott and Jamie Hansen and their soon to be baby Van! (maybe : ). I got to spend a lot of time with my wonderful friend Emily (she was in our wedding) and Nuge (he was also in our wedding)! We enjoyed every second of the wedding weekend! We spent Sunday in San Luis Obispo having breakfast with Emily and Ed at Breakfast Buzz (mmm breakfast buzz burritos!) and then shopped around downtown. Oh how we miss San Luis!! Greg's and my favorite memories together are in SLO where we first met and dated until we got engaged! We had a late lunch with Nuge at Firestone's. Yes we got our standards... Greg got a trip-tip sandwich and I got a small steak cobb salad, hold the onion, with ranch! Great shopping, great food, and the best of friends in the whole world!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Romantic little getaway...

Side Yard Before and After!!!

The new BEAUTIFUL YARD! All my Dad and Sus' amazing idea and design (and three days of labor too! They are incredibly hard workers! CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO SEE THE LARGER IMAGE)

After! Three nursery trips, two trips to the rockery for top soil and compost, three days of digging in rock hard (literally massive quanitities of rocks), digging a curve in the hillside, building a wall, building a patio, planting nearly 100 plants, and a lot of hard work from Dad, Sus, Tommy, Greg, Bryanna and I we did it!!
During! Cutting down three ugly bush/trees! 
Before. We never went to this side of our house because it is very dark and there are just a lot of overgrown shrubs and trees. There is also a broken, falling down fence that blocked off the yard from the larger deck and barbeque area. Just a pretty ugly area in general....

My family and husband are simply amazing! They worked so hard at making such a beautiful place!

The yard is phenomenal! I love it!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Side Yard Renovation aka Yard Crashers!

My dad and Sus came down on today ready to crash our yard! They had ideas, a plan and were are ready to work! Can't wait to see what our ugly side yard will become!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hardwood Upstairs

Greg's mom and stepdad, Leslie and Butch were here this weekend and they helped install our BEAUTIFUL hardwood floors upstairs! The floor is just beautiful! That was our last huge project! (I think...the only other large interior project are the base, crown molding, door and window casings) Okay so that's still a big job, but not like all the rest! I love it! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


OUR KITCHEN IS SO CLOSE TO BEING FINISHED! WOOHOO!! We still need to put up all of the crown molding, find places for things, etc. We were so excited to get the oven in! It is a double oven and it's amazing : ) 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kitchen with new cabinets! We're getting there!

The recessed lights are in, the large cabinet over the island is gone and replaced with sheet rock, it's been textured, no stove or microwave or paint yet.. but it will come! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Reminder of kitchen before

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! We've had a few different guests stay the weekend or come for dinner since we've moved in and have loved every minute of hosting in our new home! (I especially love it! And Greg, well, he's learning to love it : ) I've had the urge to have friends over although our house is not at all complete!  I have also been really enjoying spending time with my college aged friends that are now coming to our Young Life College Fellowship, are new leaders in our area, etc. so at last week's college fellowship I invited them all over for Saint Patrick's Day dinner and game night! So fun! I loved picking the menu..all green of course!  Since most college students dislike Cabbage and I do not know how to make Corn Beef...we had Green Mexican food instead haha! 

Shopping List: My mission was to find ALL green food products!

Guacamole Chips
Basil and White Bean Hummus
Green French Bread- Thank you Safeway for getting creative! 

Farolitos (Green mexican lime drink) (Safeway, Mexican Food aisle)
Green mini Gatorades
Emerald Isle Punch (see recipe below)
 -1 Can Frozen Limeade Concentrate
 -1 Qt. Lime Sherbert ( I could not find this anywhere, so I got orange and made it into the "Pot of Gold" instead : )
-2 Litres Lemon Lime Carbonated Soda (7-Up)
-4 Cups Crushed Ice
    Mix together Frozen Limead and Sherbert. When ready to serve to guests pour 7-Up and ice       into limeade/sherbert mixture and it will start to fizz and make a fun drink!
San Pelligrino's (Trader Joe's)
Source Perrier (Trader Joe's)

Chili Verde Enchiladas
Chili Verde Sauce on top (Trader Joe's)
Mexican Rice
Beans (Made in my new bean pot from the Okun's!) I believe it's called an oye!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day...Young Life's Ski Utah!


Greg and I were excited to take 48 YL Kids and Leaders from our area to Park City, UT!  In years past (in San Jose and San Luis) we have gone to Young Life's Mountain Lodge in Tahoe.  Young Life is selling the Mt. Lodge and therefore we needed to check out some alternate locations.  We were told of this beautiful lodge owned by a previous Area Director and his family- The Zwahlen's! The lodge was beautiful!! We flew out of San Jose early Saturday morning and arrived in Utah that afternoon.  The kids did night skiing the first day we arrived. It was SOOO cold!  We rode at Park City Mountain Resort (where the Olympics were held).  It was a great mountain and the snow was amazing! Our friend and Area Director in Arizona, Sean McGever, came out for the second year in a row to be our camp speaker. Kids love him and he shared Good News with our kids!  Todd and Aaron did our program and were absolutely hilarious! I'm so glad they were on the trip. Also, Sharon, our committee chair, came! Woohoo! And leaders, Rod, Katie, Ricky and Jory! Was such an awesome weekend!! Can't wait for next year!