In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and as my beloved Trojan’s regular football season comes to a close, here is a list of things I’m thankful for:

1. Thank you seniors, for sticking with us through all the sanctions that had nothing to do with you. Your loyalty and fighting spirit showed all the fans (and rivals) what it means to be a Trojan.

2. Thank you Matt Barkley, for staying. It didn’t work out the way we had hoped, but your optimism and leadership was inspiring. Hopefully you will still do well in the draft. Or at the very least, Pete Carroll will draft you and pay you the $30 million you deserve, after promptly abandoning you following your freshmen year.

3. Thank you Lane Kiffin. Yes, even you. You kept our team from falling into oblivion and even got us ranked #1 in a few polls since the sanctions. But please stop with the gimmicks and antics both on and off the field. Your team, your fans, and your donors just want to see our Trojans go back to playing the kind of football we can all be proud of and root for.

4. Thank you Coliseum, for not being a pit like the Rose Bowl. Your convenient location, organized tunnels, and awesome food vendors make going to games with 2 toddlers in tow on Saturdays a joy.

5. Thank you ESPN Radio, for broadcasting every game and providing an alternative to listening to the dumb ass broadcasters on TV.

6. Thank you bacon-wrapped hotdog ladies, for my clogged arteries and extra 10 lbs.

7. Thank you ucla, for attracting the kind of lame-ass, trash-talking, loser fans who cheer when a player falls and continue to talk about a “win” days and weeks after because they obviously don’t come by one of those very often in life and in the game. Your fans make even our very worst fans look awesome.

8. Thank you Spirit of Troy, for being the greatest marching band in the history of the universe.

9. Thank you Stubhub, for providing a safe forum to sell our tickets. But your 15% fee per ticket is really like highway robbery.

10. And finally, thank you loyal and true Trojan fans. We’ve stuck together through the ups of the 2000s and downs of the 90s. Together, we celebrated our wins and commiserated our losses. We cheered on our players and collectively pulled for our opponents when a player fell. Our regular season may be over, but there’s always next year. And I can’t wait to join the sea of Cardinal and Gold at the Coliseum to cheer on our Trojans.  And for that, I am truly thankful.

Fight on!

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My grandmother passed away unexpectedly in her sleep 2 days ago. It was the nurse who visited her everyday who found her in the morning. She looked peaceful and comfortable. There really wasn’t much else we could have hoped for her…other than the opportunity for us to say good bye.

More and more recently, the thought of death terrifies me. I lay awake in the middle of the night wondering what happens after we die. It’s something that every single being have to go through, yet we know absolutely nothing about it. Is there an afterlife? Are we reincarnated into a new life? Does our spirit wander around waiting for our loved ones to join us?

Growing up in a household where my mother’s side were mostly Christians and dad’s side were Buddhists, I naturally didn’t believe in anything having to do with the afterlife. And unless otherwise proven, I can only assume that once we die–other than what other people remember about us–our mind, body, and spirit ceased to exist. 

Sometimes, I wished that I was religious. Then, there would be something for me to look forward to–or at least wish for–when I die. But for now, all I can think about is how lucky I am to have lived my life thus far…to have had the experiences in my life which made me who I am…to have had the honor of being surrounded by people like my grandma, my grandfather, my parents, my sister, my husband, my two girls…each and every one of my loved ones and friends. It makes me think that I was dealt a winning hand and that I’m the luckiest person in the world…and it scares me to death knowing that it will all end some day. And when it does, my loved ones who are still living will remember me, but what about me? Will I remember them? Will I wander the afterlife waiting for them to join me? Will I reincarnate into a new life and have brand new people to call my loved ones and friends?…and will I be as lucky?

My grandmother’s passing reminded me that life takes unexpected turns. It reminded me that even though she has moved on and may not remember me anymore, I will always remember her for as long as I live. And it reminded me to love and appreciate everything and everyone around me as much as I possibly can while I still can, before it’s my turn to move on.

This past weekend we went here, there, and everywhere! Even the zoo! We had such a great time. And Tyler was such a trooper. It was difficult keeping up with her daily routine and nap schedule, but she was a good sport and kept her sense of humor. If only we had more long weekends throughout the year.

At the park on 4th of July

Who needs Dora the Explorer when you've got Tyler the Adventurer!

We spent a great day at the park today. The weather was beautiful, the company was great…at one point, I think we had as many dogs around as we did people! Haha!

Yesterday, the munchkin, the hubs, and I, along with the Dodges went to Disneyland for Mother’s Day. While there, I took a sleeping Tyler along for a walk around the park while everyone else went on rides. During our walk, I went into one of the stores and saw these little figurines called Vinylmations. Basically, they are figurines shaped like Mickey but decorated by different artists. They are “collectables” but the catch is that you can’t choose which one you want. You have to pick a sealed box, buy it, and then open it and hope that it’s the one you want. If it’s not–and chances are, it won’t be–then you can “trade” your’s with one of several places around the park who have them to trade. But only ones that are displayed in a special acrylic case by the register are available to trade. Usually, there are 3 to trade from. If you’re lucky and find that the one you’re looking for is one that’s being traded at one of these spots, then you can trade your’s and the one you traded will then replace the one you took. There are several series of these Vinylmations, and each series has 12 different designs plus one mystery one you can collect.

Anyway, as I was walking around, I noticed kids and adults alike  running around the stores where these Vinylmations were available to buy and trade looking for the one they’re missing. I never noticed this before…and I found myself obsessing over wanting to start collecting them too! Specifically, I had my eye on one that had chinese writing on it. So I took my chance and bought one. Of course, when I opened the sealed box, it wasn’t ‘the one I wanted. I was a little disappointed but decided that all was not lost and I would go around and look for all the spots that traded these and hope that I’d find the one I wanted.

By this time, the rest of the gang were done with their rides and I told them about my new found obsession.  I found out that Charlie and Chase were already collectors and had several of these at home (none of which were the one that I wanted). Before we left, Charlie and Chase went to one of the stores to look for souvenirs when Chase came up to me and said that she wanted to trade me for my figurine with the one she bought, and then handed me the little black figurine with chinese writing on it!!!!!

Her parents later told me that when Chase found out that I was on a mission to find my figurine, she decided to use her allowance to buy one and hope that she’d get the one I wanted just so she could trade me. Later, when she was buying the figurine, she told her mom that she had a good feeling about the one she chose… 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!

The hubs and I took advantage of the Cash for Appliances program and got ourselves a new fridge with part of our tax return. 😛

Isn’t it pretty??? I’ve always wanted a stainless steel fridge with french doors.

I don’t know why we waited so long to get a video baby monitor. We finally got one a couple of weeks ago. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best invention since sliced bread. Now, we no longer have to go into the room to check on her and every time I feel like she’s being TOO quiet, all I have to do is turn on the monitor. It even has night vision.