Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Red Carpet Affair in San Juan Capistrano

The occasion... Madie B's 10th Birthday. The theme... a Hollywood Premier. And the night did not disappoint with the appropriate glitz, glamour and girls - "Hollywood Style." They started arriving around 6:00 p.m. (dropped off by their parents in their Mercedez Benz, Lexus and Hummers) and were greeted by Madison, the red carpet and the paparazzi. All dolled up like movie stars, the party goers walked the red carpet and were full of smiles for the exciting night ahead. Of course, the birthday girl was dressed to kill in her designer dress and gloves with a bright blue boa accessorizing the outfit. To think that not too many years ago she was just a cute little baby. Don't grow up too quickly Madie. Enjoy your childhood. These are truly precious moments.
Peace, love and curly locks as Sammy strikes a pose for the cameras and onlookers.Even Lindsay Lohan's little sister showed up to the party with her designer luggage. j/k... Maggie is actually Irelyn's (pictured above) younger sister by a year. Don't they have the bluest eyes?Isn't Cha-cha soooooo adorable? You just can't take a bad picture with her in front of the lens. We love you, Charlotte! The night wouldn't be complete without a "Lights, Camera, Action" birthday cake. Here are all the stars of the evening: (back row from left) Judy, Madison Miller, Hailey, Charlotte, Sammy, Emily and (front row from left) Maggie, Sam, Madison, Savannah and Irelyn. Happy 10th birthday Madie B! And congratulations on your election as 5th grade Class President. Can you do something about the gas prices?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Honor, Sacrifice and Bravery

Last summer we had the honor of volunteering at a homecoming event on Camp Pendleton, California, hosted by Cynthia Martinez of Words of Comfort, Hope & Promise. We helped welcome home hundreds of men and women returning from Iraq with a flag ceremony. This flag ceremony was like nothing I had ever seen. The flag was provided by Superflag and I love what they stand for - to bring patriotism, nationalism and American sentiment back into our society. There were over 150 volunteers who participated in the ceremony and on that afternoon patriotism was thick in the air as so many volunteers came together to make the day possible. What a wonderful day it was celebrating the service of our soldiers.As the soldiers’ faces made their way through the cheering rows of supporters a tear rolled down my face. I realized at that moment how disconnected I had been to the reality of the war in Iraq and how many lives were personally affected by it. You see… I am one that has a hard time watching the news and seeing all that is bad in this world, so on many occasions I disconnect. This disconnection changed that afternoon.

Being surrounded by the men and women of our armed forces I could not help but notice how young they were. Some seemed like boys still in high school causing my heart to be deeply moved. None of this seemed right but the reality of it all was brought to the forefront of my consciousness. Seeing them face-to-face and listening to their stories changed me forever and I instantly became connected to these brave souls. We pray for the many men and women fighting for our country today. And we do not forget the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made in risking each precious life for our freedoms and our nation. As Memorial Day commemorates we must also never forget the many U.S. soldiers who have given their lives while serving our country. We thank the families of our fallen heroes from the bottom of our hearts. We desire to continue our support for the soldiers and their families in any way possible.

On this day I learned more about the importance of not only staying connected to the world but also acting upon our beliefs. Thank you to all who do so - the volunteers, Superflag and most importantly our soldiers and their families.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Stuff that Dreams are Made of...

I can remember our family’s daily routine as a child. Listening to Pastor Chuck Smith in the mornings on KWVE. We always knew we were running late if the program’s closing song started and we were just getting on the freeway. And on the way home from school, driving down the freeway on a hot spring afternoon in our Dodge Van with the windows rolled down, it was Carly Simon or Kenny G on 94.7 The WAVE. There was a song Carly Simon would sing, "The Stuff that Dreams are Made of," and it seemed to strike a chord within the melodies of my heart. It was deep even to my little elementary ears and I can still hear the chorus playing over and over in my head...

It's the stuff that dreams are made of
It's the slow and steady fire
It's the stuff that dreams are made of
It's your heart and souls desire

It's the stuff that dreams are made of

I have never forgotten the power of a dream. We all have them. Some dreams are easy to share with others and some we often keep hidden in the corners of our hearts, afraid to let them see the light of the world.A couple of weeks ago our amazing logo designer Rachelle W. Chuang introduced me to these work/live loft-style homes in Aliso Viejo, California. As I walked up to the models Carly Simon’s voice began to ring through my ears. What was standing in front of me was my lifelong dream of a photography studio attached to a beautiful home. Though the timing isn't right for now I was inspired and reminded to keep on dreaming, as we never know what God has around the corner for us and with Him all things are possible. I will continue to dream and pray. Tony and I had a blast going through the models and spending a few moments playing around and having wishful thoughts.

One dream that did come true was that we got the new Nikon D300 added to our equipment bag. Thank you to our silent partner! Our dreams could not come true without loved ones who believe in us. 

Check out this great quote I found - 

"Excellence can be obtained if you: more than others think is wise;

...risk more than others think is safe;
...dream more than others think is practical;

...expect more than others think is possible.”
(author unknown)

WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS? I challenge you to have the courage to share your dream that has been locked up in the corner of your heart with someone you love and trust. Believe me this is the first step in having your dreams come true.
Mac & Jonas are two perfect blessings from God that we never could have even dreamed of!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dancing with the Stars

Who wins your vote? Kristi Yamaguchi has definitely won ours. She is an amazing competitor. She proves what hard work and determination can make happen. We have had fun watching all the stars this season. You can bet we will be watching the season finale of Dancing With The Stars tonight. Will you be?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Person!

Last night I had dinner with my Godfather, Syl, to celebrate his special day. We went to dinner at his favorite local hangout Canyon Fireside Grille. The experience there always reminds me of the gold ol' days of Cheers. You know… "Where everybody knows your name". You can be sure to find Syl there every Friday night catching up with his newfound friends. They sure know how to take care of him. Syl, I am truly blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for being you! Happy, Happy Birthday!
Love, Danny