Monday, May 30, 2011

Life Through My Lens

Isn’t she lovely ~ May 2011

Missy has been harassing me to buy an Apple computer for nearly a decade (no joke)!  The past couple of times she came home she brought her Mac and wowed us with her video and photo editing software!  Once she showed me the awesome stuff she was able to do with digital video I was sold.  We’re pretty good about uploading and ordering prints of our photos however we are seriously slacking on the home video front.  I take a ton of video and I have yet to make any DVD’s of our videos which basically means that I would be totally screwed if something were to happen to my laptop!  So here I am in day two of life with my beautiful MacBook Pro and I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’ve left the island of PC without so much as a flotation device!  Thank goodness Apple offers courses (I signed up for a year).  Here goes...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Disney World of Color

The next time you visit Disneyland, you MUST see the California Adventures World of Color show!  It was so beautiful that Georgia and I agreed it needed its own post.  Before our visit to Disneyland last weekend I had never heard of the show.  Luckily for me everyone else did so they made sure to get in line the moment we arrived to reserve our tickets.  I had never seen anything like it.  The soundtrack was all the most popular classic Disney tunes.  They projected scenes from different Disney movies against a wall of water.  There was amazing pyrotechnics and the light show was awesome.  We had great seats and were warned before the show that we would get wet… boy were they telling the truth!  I think that’s what actually made it such an experience.  It was a total sensory overload and I loved every minute of it!

During the show I was able to get a few photos while Georgia shot some home video!  Here’s a few favorite pics ~     

We took a TON of pictures on our California vacation… more to come soon :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I'm totally blogging while flying in a plane! How cool is that?!

... and I'm blogging from my iPhone for the first time which is also very cool! I wish I could add a pic or two from our trip but I haven't figured out how to do that yet... to be continued :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guestroom Reveal

I’ve been meaning to post these pictures for weeks… better late than never I guess.  This room was a lot of work for us, but it was also a really fun DIY project!  Delays in the shipping and install of carpet, as well as the many coats of paint we ended up applying, added a few weeks to the process.  We could have gone with fewer but it didn’t look as good and if you’re going to do something – you may as well do it right the first time!  I’m sure Missy’s going to be super excited to visit her new room the next time she comes home.  The last time she was here she informed Georgia and I that after years of staying in the “purple princess room”, she was ready for a change.  Ha!  Aside from Georgia dropping the bed on my head (true story) the project went off without a hitch!  

Here’s what we did:

-  Replaced flooring with Martha Stewart Living carpet
-  TSP and patched walls
-  New primer and paint
-  Installed window treatments/hardware
-  Re-routed cable connection to the west wall
-  Completely redesigned the closet (craft closet post coming soon)!

Behold our new guestroom! 

Before/After view from hall entrance:

Before/After view of west wall:

Before/After view of east corner:  

Before/After closet view:  

Done and done :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Water Babies

Our babies LOVE playing in their baby pool!  Every summer Georgia buys a new pool for Samoya, Kenya and Rocco and they spend weeks splashing in the water, making mud and eventually chewing through the plastic!  With these three, it’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy – just another life lesson that our doggies teach us every day.

Don’t you just love their smiling faces ~   

Bucket List #14: Take the Rail Runner up North to Santa Fe

Last week our VP and Campus Director surprised the management team with a trip to Santa Fe!  We all left work in the morning and took the Rail Runner up North for the afternoon.  This was my first time ridding the RR and I was surprised that it was such a smooth and fast ride.  Georgia and I have visited Santa Fe about a hundred times and although we love the drive, I really liked taking a different route and seeing a new landscape.  The team was taken to lunch at the Ore House on the Plaza and then left to explore the wonders of Santa Fe for the remainder of the day.  We made plans to grab a drink and then visit museums and do some shopping.  Our plans ended up changing a bit and we never made it to the museums… but we had a blast!

It worked out great that our retreat destination happened to be an item on the bucket list!  Two birds with one stone :) 

4 down – 26 to go!  I should probably pick up the pace… October will be here before we know it! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

In Full Bloom

Summer is alive and well at the Roybal pad and I’m lovin it!  I have a tendency to kill most plant life (seriously… it’s pretty bad) so I’m a little shocked and proud of how well our foliage is looking these days :)

Flowers and honeysuckle and trees, oh my!  

She lives!  I love that my iphone takes HDR photos :)

These roses are my favorite because they totally look like the singing roses from
Alice in Wonderland! 

After 2 years of the dogs eating this tree down to a sad little nub, it finally started to thrive last summer.  This summer it’s bloomed for the first time!  So beautiful.


The honeysuckle is finally showing signs of life!!  I went outside today to cut it down because I thought it was dead and as I was chopping away I noticed these little leaves! 
If I can bring this sucker back I can do anything!      

Speaking of beautiful things – I love this commercial so much I had to share!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother’s Day Brunch

It doesn’t get much better than spending a beautiful Sunday afternoon surrounded by inspiring women!  This year for Mother’s Day, Georgia and I joined my ma, our beautiful great grandma Chris, my mom-in-law Grace, Mike and his family, as well as Dom, Ang and the boys for brunch.  We all got together at Romano’s and enjoyed yummy food on the patio under the sun.  I sat next to Devin so naturally we spent the afternoon coloring, laughing and goofing off.  Devin still seems to be adjusting to the idea of becoming a big brother (and middle) child, but according to Angela he kisses her belly when he thinks she’s not paying attention.  He is so darn cute! 

Following brunch we spent the evening planting flowers and working on the yard.  The good news is that I think the rosebush is going to make it!  We’ve tied it down in about 20 places so even if a hurricane blows through the 505, I’m confident it’ll be ok.  We were able to fill all of the pots in the front yard with an assortment of pink and purple flowers.  Now that the front side of the house is done, we can focus on the back… ugh.  The backyard drains my soul a little bit – it’s not the cutest.  The only thing the backyard has going for it is the beautiful umbrella tree growing in the middle of what looks like a desert…  

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend and a beautiful Mother’s Day as well.  Here are a few pictures and some video of our day honoring the mamas!  Love you mom :) 

Nani and the boys

Georgia with the mamas!

Picture courtesy of Devin...Ha!

Me and Ma :)

Finally he poses for Nina!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

52 Things about Dad

This weekend my dad would have turned 52 years old.  When I stop and think about that, and the fact that 13 birthdays have passed since we celebrated his 39th – I honestly can’t believe it.  I truly can’t believe that he has almost been gone for as long as I had him in my life. 

I was picking up some chicken at Costco a few weeks ago and I noticed one of his friends in the bread section.  I literally put down my chicken, left my cart and walked toward him completely dumbfounded.  This was someone I used to see on a regular basis but it had literally been more than 10 years since I last saw him.  His hair was completely grey.  He looked much older but really happy.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I followed him throughout the store just staring for quite awhile.  I think what captivated me and what was running through my mind were thoughts of my dad.  Would he look like his friend?  He was getting a little grey but would his hair be completely grey by now?  What would he be doing today?  Would he have been here at Costco with me?  I know it may sound silly, but those are the things that came to mind in that moment.

I am completely aware of the number of years that have passed since he left us.  This is something I think about every single day.  The crazy thing is that up to that day at Costco, I had never really thought about how much we’ve all changed during these past 13 years.  I had also never thought about what he would look like today.  You see, for me my dad will forever be 39 years old.  I don’t know if he would have turned grey in his 40’s, or if he would have had wrinkles by 52.  I don’t know if he would have lost his hair or what he would have looked like as a grandpa, and while I know that this may sound like me feeling sorry for myself – I’m really not.  I am thankful for the 17 years I did have with him, as short as it may have been. 

Sometimes I get scared because I feel like I’m forgetting things about him.  Missy, Dom or my mom will say stuff sometimes and I’ll think – my God, I totally forgot about that.  It scares me because I can’t forget these things.  My stories are going to be my babies only connection to their Grandpa Rudy.  In thinking about this, I decided it was important that I take note of some of my memories.  So here are a few things (in no particular order) about my pop.

Happy 52nd birthday Dad ~

1.    He was a good dancer who LOVED music.
2.    He could draw a perfect looking yucca freehand.  I think this was his favorite plant because he drew yuccas on all his drafts of homes.
3.    He loved his family more than he loved himself.
4.    He collected loose change and would often give it to us – as long as we agreed to roll it.
5.    Next to construction, landscaping was his passion.  He had such a green thumb and could bring anything back to life.
6.    He had such an appreciation for vintage things and rarely purchased anything new.  His home was filled with amazing stuff he either discovered at a garage sale or bartered for with someone.
7.    He loved Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
8.    Every summer, he grew beautiful honey suckle all over the yard.
9.    He was a very successful business owner. 
10.  He was a great cook.  I try to following in his footsteps but he never wrote his recipes down and I doubt I’ll ever be as good as him.
11.  He always gave food and money to the homeless.
12.  He had the softest forehead.  I would kiss it all the time.
13.  Green chile was something he had with almost every meal.  He loved it HOT and always looked like he was in pain while eating it… Ha!
14.  It was so important to him that my sis and I grew to be confident women.  He told us we were beautiful and that he loved us every day.
15.  His favorite candy was Jelly Beans.
16.  He rarely locked his doors or windows.  Everyone knew it was okay to knock twice and come on in.
17.  He had a great head of hair.  Perfectly fluffed!
18.  Home Depot is a place my dad took us almost every weekend.  To this day the sounds, the smells and the people at HD remind me of him. I think that’s why I spend so much time and money there…
19.  He loved to record home videos and often played the role of a Channel 7 New reporter.
20.  My dad was a big guy who always let his kids jump and pull and climb all over him.  We would follow him all over the place – yet he never got sick of us.
21.  He really valued his friendships.
22.  We all know – he made a ridiculously delicious breakfast.
23.  His favorite place to relax was at the lake or in the mountains camping.
24.  He loved cinnamon suckers!
25.  He had more friends than anyone I know.  He could make friends with a tree.
26.  When I was in Elementary School we would write stories together.  I wish I could find that notebook. 
27.  He hired workers that no one else would because he believed in giving people a chance.
28.  He snored louder than anyone I’ve ever met.  To this day, my mom can’t sleep unless the TV is on full blast!
29.  He gave me cards for everything…first day of school, cheerleading competitions, holidays, etc. and he would write a novel in each one!  I have all of them and read them often.
30.  He ate sunflower seeds all the time.
31.  He had a perfect tan 365 days a year!
32.  He loved the Blues Brothers – thought they were hilarious!
33.  Following in my grandpa’s footsteps, he accidently cut one of his fingers off at work….Dom better watch out!  Just sayin…
34.  He only listened to music at ridiculously high volumes.
35.  When I was younger my little cousin called him auntie Rudy for some reason.  Whenever someone tried to correct him my dad would say – no, no, let him called me whatever he wants… lol! 
36.  He was very emotional and cried whenever he felt the needed to.  I remember watching the Titanic with him…when she had to say goodbye to Jack, he cried more than me.
37.  He seldom called me by my first name.  It was usually Kristianna or Kristianna banana.
38.  I wasn’t allowed to put him on hold.  If I did, he hung up and I was grounded…I didn’t understand this as a kid but I’m pretty sure I’m going to expect the same from my kids.
39.  He would make up little songs and sing them to us all the time…’little rubber ducks…small pick-up trucks…grapes on the vine and wine’…
40.  Every Valentine’s Day he would buy roses for not only my mom, but me and missy too!
41.  He didn’t really laugh out loud – it was more of a giggle. 
42.  He was a really great uncle who loved his nieces and nephews.
43.  When listening to music in the Truck he didn’t hold anything back!  He would play a full-out drum set on his steering wheel regardless of who was watching!
44.  He was an Orozco through and through.  Because I look so much like him I get asked by strangers all the time – “are you related to Rudy or Germaine Orozco”?
45.  He loved the movie Wedding Singer.  We watched it together about 20 times.
46.  He was the ultimate Dallas Cowboys Fan (and the Celtics).
47.  He always had a project he was working on and could never just sit.  Even on weekends he would wake up the house yelling “time to get up – you’re wasting the day”!
48.  When I was little he used to sing Whitney Houston songs with me.
49.  He always stopped at the side of the road to buy pinons.
50.  He loved the outdoors.
51.  He had very unique hands that were worn and full of character.  When I close my eyes I can see them like it was just yesterday.
52. There are so many things that remind me of him every day.  The sound of sprinklers, the smell of pine wood, Summer and Spring, painted ceramic tile, the North Valley, beautifully carved vigas, the smell of a camp fire, Ford trucks, warm evenings, the Rio Grande, German Shepherds, roses, adobe homes, the lake, I could go on and on…

I know how much we all loved him and that we all hold so many stories in our hearts.  I would love to hear any memories you all may have. 

Love you dad.            

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Only in New Mexico…

Can you have sunshine, warm weather, hurricane like winds, rain and SNOW all in the same week!  Yup, only in NM.  At this time last Sunday, we were playing in the park in shorts and dresses and this Sunday we’ve spent the entire day on the couch under several blankets to stay warm (which is perfect weather for blogging).  Our day began at the crack of dawn this morning at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.  I checked my weather app last night to see just how cold it would be today and let’s just say the app was wrong… In just a few hours time, the app went from showing a little sun with clouds reading a high of 49 degrees, to showing rain, snowflakes and temperatures in the 30’s.  This was of course after we left the house and were headed to the walk without jackets.  Even though it was freezing, I’m really glad we made it.  This is the 4th or 5th year that we’ve done the walk and this year was by far the smallest turn out I’ve seen.  I just hope people still brought their donations.  I’m so proud of Team UOPX!  We were a Flagship sponsor for the first time and our team raised the 2nd highest amount of money!  Whoo, hoo!  

It will be interested to see what Mother Nature throws our way this week – I just hope my other roses survive.  The honeysuckle didn’t make it back this year and my beautiful rosebush suffered a near death experience due to the wind.  At least the umbrella tree is thriving (considering it’s the only plant we have in the backyard) lol!  

My poor rosebush… Georgia found it like this last Tuesday and immediately called while I was on the way home to warn me.  She knew I would be upset and she was right.  We immediately went into rescue mode and I think we saved it.  We both scratched the heck out of our hands and arms but it was worth it!

Our morning at the walk ~

The balloons were no match for the wind! 

Happy Spring,  
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