Vegas ROCKED!

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We had the greatest time in Vegas! Cadillac Matt was there too so he entertained me while Drew was working. He also helped guide me around the hotels when I was... um... having vision problems. My martini glasses were on the whole time. *LOL* Sorry, no photos of our shenanigans. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! Except for this..... while we were in Las Vegas I had the opportunity to meet some pea pals for lunch. Chris (fiend4scrappin) set everything up and garciously came to my hotel to pick me up. We met Jessie (speckledbird) and Jennifer (jennscraps) at PF Changs for a huge feast. The girls were all very nice and I am so glad to have met them all. Thanks, girls!


I Walk For Life

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Last Sunday I participated in the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Race For The Cure 5k in Temecula, California. I do this walk every year with my Mom (except for the two times that I was pregnant and unable to participate.) I walk in honor of my Mother and in memory of my Aunt Yvonne. Before the race begins, the survivors gathered for the annual group photo to the tune of Melissa Etheridge's "I Run For Life" (which brings me to tears every single time I hear it) blaring from the speakers. As these women huddled together at the starting line with their arms around one another I noticed that they were ALL smiling! Smiling? Can you imagine? I am so inspired by their bravery and strength. I watched as they raised their pink roses in the air like torches of victory! As I gave my Mom a thumbs up, I was thinking of all of the people each one of these local women represents. What looked like a sea of pink hats and scarves was in reality just a tiny portion of those who have suffered. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, more than 200,000 individuals will be diagnosed this year and 40,000 will die from the disease. This thought sends shivers down my spine. Will I one day find my self lifting a pink rose into the air at the starting line?


Today, an old friend who I went to school with since first grade informed me that she was just diagnosed with Pagets disease of the breast. She is only 36!! She is scheduled for a mastectomy on November 1st. (Please keep her in your thoughts that day.) She will undergo chemo for 6 months then possibly radiation and hormone therapy. She has a very long road ahead of her (so does her family). My heart is breaking for Bridgitte. I want to comfort her, but I don't know how. I want to take her pain away, but I can't. All I can do is hope. Next year I will also be walking in honor of Bridgitte.

I RUN FOR LIFE
(by Melissa Etheridge)

It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She'll tell you it makes her complete

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend I run for life

It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I'm still learning the lesson
To waken when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I'll tell you I run for us all

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more


My Gray Heaven

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I know most people love the sunshine and a blue sky, but give me pouring rain and gray skies any day. Heck, give it to me every day! I am happiest when it rains. I feel refreshed and relaxed. Right now the rain is pounding on our roof and there is even the low rumble of thunder in the distance. Thunder is something that usually bothers me, but today it's very soft so I am actually enjoying it. It's the loud CRASHING thunder that scares me out of my wits. I am sincerely hoping this rain will hang around for a couple of days at least.

This is the view outside of my front door today. PERFECT!


Awe Sooky Sooky

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Our good friends, Rich & Sarah invited us to a Dancadelic Groovy Night Gala! It was the 6th Annual Founder's Event for Kids Konnected, a charity that Rich is on the Board of Directors for. (check it out at www.kidskonnected.org) Drew & I put on our foxiest disco attire, while Rich sported a huge black pompador and gold chains. Sarah was looking pretty groovy in a brown feathered evening gown and mink earrings. The dance floor was packed as a band called "Flock of 80's" performed some old favorites in their own rather "unique" style. There were hundreds of amazing auctions including original artwork by an incredible artist named Zoey Stevens, who painted a portrait upside down during the auction. (The painting was upside down - not the artist.) It was a very touching and fun evening! Can you dig it?

Saturday morning I attended a cooking class in Nana Helen's kitchen. She is the mother of one of Drew's coworkers and she has decided to start sharing her talents with others by holding small classes in her home. She taught me so much - fresh, handmade pasta, amazing tomato sauce, fantastic meatballs and even pizzelles!! We had a wonderful time and when the meal was complete we all sat down to eat! That was the best part. Nana Helen is an amazing chef!!! If you are in the OC area and are interested in attending one of her classes, let me know. I will be happy to share her class info with you. : ) You won't be sorry!

This morning I got up at 5:30 am to go to Temecula to walk with my Mom. We race for the cure every single year and it really means a lot to me. My mother is a survivor. Sadly, her sister, Yvonne was not so fortunate. It is very emotional to see so many women affected by breast cancer. Breaks my heart.


Passion, Obsession, Addiction

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I admit it!! I am a Starbucks junkie. No kidding around here.... this is serious! I am madly in love with Starbucks and Caramel Macchiatos are my current favorite. Too bad they are loaded with calories and fat. I am trying to get my weight and health in order before the holidays, so I decided that I was going to have to cut back dramatically on my espresso drinks unless I started ordering non-fat versions. To my surprise, a non-fat Caramel Macchiato tastes EXACTLY like the regular one. I am not a big fan of low-fat and fat-free foods so this is fantastic news to me! I would not be able to tell them apart in a side by side taste test. It's true! JOY JOY JOY!!! I don't have to give up my precious espresso drinks after all. The non-fat venti caramel macchiato has 280 calories and only 1 gram of fat (compare to the whole milk version at 380 calories and 15 grams of fat). That's a huge difference.
Now, if they would just make a low-fat Chantico life would be perfect! Oooh, Chantico!

(this is a page in my "Things I Love" mini scrapbook)


It's Official

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Biscuit will be going to live with Matt & Tasha. Kate is thrilled, Cole will be thrilled and Noah is accepting of the situation. I have mixed feelings. I love my little Biscuit dog. He was my best companion for 6 months while Drew was at work and I was stuck at home pregnant and sick day in and day out. He came into my life at the hardest spot (when my Dad was dying) and brought a little comfort and laughter to the whole family. I will miss his freshly bathed noggin and his tiny sweaters too. On the other hand, he drives me nuts by digging out of the yard and running all over the streets. He hates to be left alone in the house and shows it in very unpleasant ways. He is very needy and seems to need the most attention when I am the busiest. He is more than a handful! I won't miss chasing him or worrying about him being eaten by the coyotes. I won't miss the medication he requires daily and I sure as heck won't miss poop patrol! I know he will be happier with a big, grassy yard and Sherlock to play with. He'll be fine. I hope I will.


Carter Family Adventure Team... WE ROCK!!!!

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Yes, that is our family/team motto and we are proud of it!! We really enjoy spending time together as a family. This weekend went by too fast. Drew spent Friday and Saturday at American Supercamp (for the second time this year) and he had a terrific time. He's really good! Cute too!!
On Sunday, we took the boys to the Aquarium of the Pacific. They were really into it. The sharks were a big hit. Noah enjoyed petting the rays with Dad and Cole liked the jelly fish exhibit like his Mom. The first half of the day was great, but then Cole got cranky and went into meltdown mode. That is never fun for anyone, so we called it a day.
On the way home we were discussing Biscuit and his recent behavior problems. So what do we find when we turn onto our street? Biscuit tied to our mailbox AGAIN!! It's a good thing Will is such a kind neighbor. Ever since we moved to Anaheim Hills he has been escaping from the yard. We have tried dozens of different ways to secure the yard, but he is so determined to get out that he will even hurt himself to do it. It's too dangerous to have him running around in the streets and the area is crawling with coyotes and they even recently jumped into our neighbors yard and snatched his dog. He was fortunate to see it happen and chased the coyote who let his dog go a couple of blocks over. If we leave him in the house then he leaves us "presents" in protest and I'm sorry, but that is NOT alright with me. Matt & Tasha really enjoy having him at their house and have even asked to keep him. We keep wavering between our love for Biscuit and what is really the best situation for him. Sadly, I have realized that Biscuit really would be safer and happier with them. I have talked to Noah and he understands and seems to be OK with the idea of Biscuit living somewhere else. I plan on calling Matt this afternoon to tell him that he is now the proud owner of a very sweet, but naughty pup. My heart is breaking, but I know it's for the best.

What a good life I lead. I am just so happy with my family and the direction we are headed. My marriage is strong and loving. My children are healthy and happy. What more could a person want? Well, maybe a well-behaved dog.


My new look

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Today I was inspired by my friend, Emily's blog. She has the coolest photo/title bar and I (being a newbie) had no clue that was even possible! So I started doing a little research and goofed around with a photo. So, what do you think? I added a few new links too.


Viva Las Vegas!

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Woo Hoo! We're going to Vegas! Drew has to go to Vegas for an expo/conference/job stuff and his boss asked if I wanted to join him. I am so excited! Drew's dad & stepmom have offered to watch the boys so I will get some much needed R&R. We have only had one night away from the boys in over 4 1/2 years. Can you believe that? I don't even care that Drew has to work suring the day. I'm going to sleep in, take long baths and check out the local scrap stores. I think I'll go to Borders and pick up a new book before we go in case I decide to lounge around in the spa all day! It will be so nice to have dinner with my handsome husband without fussing kids at the table. We don't get a lot of quality time alone together so this is going to be GREAT!


I don't want to hear about it!!!!!

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I am so sick of receiving forwarded emails demanding I pray or have bad luck. How about the ignorant ravings about god and politics belonging hand in hand. GIVE ME A FREAKIN' BREAK!!! I mean, c'mon.... how christian is this particular message anyway?

----------------------------------
LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!
I was asked to send this on if I agree or delete if I don't. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having "In God We Trust" on our money and having "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don't we just tell the 14% to SHUT UP AND BE QUIET!!!
If you agree, pass this on, if not delete. . .
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I was so saddened by the number of people who actually sent it to me. I got this SIX times! Yikes! Are these people for real? It just shows me that they really don't know me at all or they would already know that I don't want to hear about it. Do they really think it's a positive message they are sending? "SHUT UP AND BE QUIET"? Besides the fact that it's redundant, Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion about our government, culture and society. Does that only apply to christians? I am 'one of those people' who feels it is a contradiction to the constitution to say "one nation under God" because I personally believe in "liberty and justice for ALL" regardless of one's religious beliefs. Our founding father's separated church and state for the good of this country. My own personal opinion is that the Pledge of Allegiance should be recited the way it was first written and it should have never been tampered with in the first place.

You don't have to agree with me, just PLEASE, stop sending me your narrow-minded rants! (Yes, I do know this is a bit of a rant as well, but it's my blog and you don't have to come here or read it if you don't want to.) So there!


Rosie's Cucina

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My family lived in a small house in Hawthorne from before I was born until I was in the third grade. Our nextdoor neighbors were Rosie & Harry. on the left and Bib & Mike lived to the left of Rosie. Sadly, Harry has passed away, but Rosie still lives in that house and the Sailor's still live in their home too. This morning I packed the kids in the car and we were off to meet my mother at Rosie's house! HURRAY!

I remember being a little girl and going to Rosie's backdoor and peeking in the window to see if my Mom was there. It was a really big treat to sit at Rosie's kitchen table with her, Bib and my mom while they drank coffee and snacked on delicious Italian treats. Rosie would always be cooking up something fabulous and often she would make salami sandwiches on the softest Italian bread. Bib was always armed with the very best Pizzelles on Earth. Sometimes I would be lucky enough to get a spoonful of sugar dipped in milk and coffee. I was hooked! To this very day I am still a coffee drinker and I love it best with lots of sugar & cream and the smell of Pizelles takes me right back to Rosie's kitchen table.

Today was fun and it was especially heartwarming to just relax, drink coffee and eat steak & grilled pepper sandwiches with my beloved neighbors and to share Pizzelles with my sons at Rosie's table.
(This photo of Bib, Rosie & Mom was actually taken in 2004.)

A few more memories of the old neighborhood....
- eating guavas straight off Harry's tree
- Easter egg hunts in Rosie's backyard with Bib's granddaughters (Tina & Lisa)
- swimming lessons with Mary Reyburn when I was 3 years old
- "Don't walk through Harry's ivy!!!!"
- Maude's chihuahuas yapping across the street
- Mary's musical door chimes and candy bowl
- white chalk rocks in our garden
- "You better not let Harry catch you playing in his ivy!!"
- sitting on our back porch and dipping rhubarb from the garden in sugar
- sitting on our front porch with an orange measuring cup filled with Tang and eating it with our fingers

Life was so much easier when I was 7 (as long as I stayed out of Harry's ivy).


Where did I stray?

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When I think about the 36 year old woman I have become it really sort of freaks me out!! Drew (my adorable husband) once asked me what my 17 year old self would think if she was confronted with the adult version of me. Great question, huh?! I think the 17 year old Karen would HATE me on some levels, but she might actually sort of like me too. She would hate to know that she will one day scrapbook, wear Levis and live in Orange County. She would actually like to know that her 2 year old will have a mohawk and that she'll get to have her own dirt bike though. Miss Skinny Seventeen would be disgusted at my waistline, but would appreciate that I still guzzle coffee like a fiend. She would be totally grossed out by my collection of tea cups, but would dig that I have tattoos. I think she would approve of my continued love for horror movies and good music, but would be saddened to know I have added David Wilcox and blogging into the mix. I am not always sure how I made the leap from docs to flip flops, but I know it was a wild ride. If I could pick any time in my life to do over it would be 17 and I wouldn't change a thing, except maybe to appreciate my skinny body a bit more!


To know me is to love me.... or hate me... whatever!

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Got one of those quizzes in my email this morning and I actually took the time to fill it out. I rarely do, but I was bored, so now I will bore you by posting it here.

What is your occupation? SAHM

What was the last thing you ate? sour gummy bears and a Red Bull

Do you wish on stars? Yes, and I always wish for the same thing.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Bright pink with glitter flecks in it.

How is the weather right now? Too hot and sunny. I prefer the dark and rainy days.

Last person you spoke to on the phone? My husband, Drew calling to ask if he could bring me lunch. aaaah!

Favorite drink? Starbucks venti caramel machiato with whipped cream. I would buy it by the gallon if I could. I’m dead serious!!

Favorite sport(s) to watch? Supercross, surfing and hockey

Have you ever dyed your hair? HA! Are you serious? I have no clue what my natural hair color is anymore.

Did you ever have braces on your teeth? No, but I had a permanent retainer on the inside of my teeth. That sucked! I need braces now though.

Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Yes, I wear glasses.

When was the last time you cried? Last week. I really miss my Dad and it breaks my heart that my children never had a chance to meet him.

Favorite Holiday? Halloween and Christmas are the only ones I get nuts over.

What was the last Halloween costume you wore? A witch.

How many states have you lived in? Just one - California.

How many cities have you lived in? Seven - Hawthorne, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Whittier, Murrieta, Anaheim Hills.

Where did you go on your last vacation? We just went to Shaver Lake last weekend. Not much of a vacation when you're chasing kids around though.

What are your favorite food(s)? I love jambalaya, gumbo & hush puppies from Ragin’ Cajun in Hermosa Beach. I also love filet mignon and potatoes! Chocolate – anything chocolate!

What is the last movie you watched at a theater? It was March of The Penguins. Loved it!

What kind of movies to do you like best? I love horror movies, but don’t know anyone else who will go with me and I am too chicken to go alone.

Favorite day of the year? April 16th. That was the day I married the greatest guy on the planet!!

What was your favorite toy(s) as a child? I loved my big wheel and Barbies the best. I also loved to play board games. I still love game night!

Who is the friend you've had the longest? (Kelly L.) Karelly’s Forever!!!!

What did you do last night? Got caught up on CSI and ate chili cheese dogs while surfin’ the net.

Favorite smell(s)? Le Couvent des Minimes Verbena & Lemon bath gel, Harvest Spice Yankee Candles, fresh gardenias, hot coffee and sizzling bacon in the morning (cooked by someone else!)

What are you afraid of? Geesh! Here we go…. heights, dentists, confined spaces, bugs, lake water, thunder, bad neighborhoods and home invasions.

What is your all time favorite book? James Clavell’s “Shogun”

What TV shows do you watch regularly? CSI Las Vegas, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Closing Arguments, Reunion, Big Brother

Who are your favorite actors and actress? Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, Samuel L Jackson, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Grant

Tell 3 things most people would never guess about you: I have been known to swear up a storm. I love to race go-karts with my husband. I used to tandem surf.

Which 3 words best describe you? Sassy, exhausted, opinionated

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Red Rider

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Back in June Drew shocked me with a brand new Honda CRF100. I say shocked because it was way bigger than a surprise! I didn't see that coming at all. He and my brother, Matt, took me to Elsinore and taught me the basics. It was lots of fun. I didn't ride again until September when I went to Honda's riding school. What a day that was! I learned a lot of great stuff and even crashed their bike - HARD! I was so sore that I could barely walk for several days. These photos are from that day. My kids think I'm pretty cool and that makes me really happy! Now if I can just get babysitters lined up so I can ride more.


The good old days.....

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A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a guy I went to grade school with (Bobby Mayo). After chatting it up and reconnecting with Matt Jones as well, I decided I would jump right in and start planning a reunion. It's been 22 years since I have seen most of my St Catherines classmates. I wonder what their lives have been like. I wonder if they will still think I am a giant spaz. I wonder if I will hear horrible news about any of them. I wonder about a lot of things. Most of all, I am excited by the possibility of renewing these friendships.


About me

  • I'm Karen (Cupcake) Carter
  • From Orange County, California, United States
  • I am happily married to my best friend and proud to be the Mommy of two sweet little boys. My world revolves around these three handsome guys. Everything I do is for or because of them. I am happy to the core!
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