Thursday, October 27, 2011

Haunted House 2011.

Halloween is almost here!
Halloween is my fiance's favorite holiday of the year. More than Christmas, more than Thanksgiving, more than the 4th of July. He loves the ghosts and goblins and horror movies, so I have come to love the scary stuff too. Every year, going all the way back to when we first started dating in high school, Corey and I have gone to a different haunted house for Halloween. Corey hardly ever gets scared, so every year it's quite a challenge to find a haunted house that has what it takes to make the man jump. This year, we went to one of Northern California's most popular haunted houses, the Pirates of Emerson.
This place is awesome! They completely take over about an acre of the fairgrounds, and they do a great job with the decorations. It's very dark, very creepy, and all the scary costumed workers that walk around and stalk people stay in character so well. One "dead" pirate looked at me, then looked up at Corey, and in a perfect pirate voice said "How much fer thee lady?" and Corey promptly responded "she's not for sale." How sweet.
This place was more than just a haunted house you walk through once and you're out. In addition to 5 different themed haunted houses, there was a corn maze, a "carn-evil" with fun games, a creepy pumpkin patch, a strobe light maze (which made me a tiny bit nauseous), and of course, the poop deck (aka the bathrooms!).
Our scared faces.
For years, when we would walk through haunted houses, Corey would point out every person that was about to pop out before they had half a chance to scare me, so I never got any good scream-worthy scares. The last few years, I told Corey to let them scare me, so I go first, hands firmly fixed in front of my face (as if they're going to hit me or something), and I scream my little heart out. I'm not sure why we like the feeling of being scared so much, but these haunted houses are quite a thrill!
Corey loves Pirates. I'm convinced he was one in another lifetime.
This was fun. Although quite creepy looking.
Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween weekend! Watch Hocus Pocus & eat lots of candy :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Built in best friends.

How did I get so lucky?
My entire life, I've been known as #2. I am the second of four girls, and man did I hit the jackpot when I was born into this amazing family. My sisters and I are all pretty close in age and extremely close in life. Whenever I tell people we have 4 girls in our family, I usually get the standard "What? No boys? Your poor dad!" But minus the minimal bathroom time, my dad has it pretty good!
Daddy and his 4 girls. Circa 1992.
Growing up, we never really needed that many other friends, because we always had eachother. And when there's 4 of you, you always have someone to shop with, go to the movies with, or go eat out with. You've got options, and you're never alone! We are always there for eachother no matter what we're going through, and we've always got the biggest cheering section wherever we go.
All the girls at grandma's house. Circa 2002.
One of the best things about having so many sisters is that we have so much fun together. When we all get together, it's usually for some good ol' fashion girl talk which inevitably leads to lots of laughter. All of my favorite memories in life include all 3 of these gorgeous girls and I'm happiest when we are all together.
The girls at the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy. 2008. 
In addition to my amazing sisters, we are blessed with the best mom on the planet. A lot of times when we are all out together, people think she's a sister too! Although not one of us got her blonde hair and blue eyes. This of course means we get to hear the "milk man" joke a bajillion times, only it wasn't ever really funny because when we were little, my dad was the mik man! 
We got it from our mama! Mom & girls, summer 2010.
Everyday I thank God for giving me these girls. When people do double takes and ask "are you sisters?" I beam with pride when I say "yes we are!" and then it always turns into the guessing game...which one is older? (and for the record, people always think I am the youngest, when in fact I am second oldest!) And when people call our house and try to guess which girl they are talking to, they rarely get it on the first try. It usually takes a good 3 or 4 guesses to get it right. It makes me laugh.
Me and my girls.
These girls are my world and I'd do anything for any one of them. My entire life, I've always been surrounded by so much love and I am so thankful for that. I love our big family and it just keeps on getting bigger!
My family. 
Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wedding Update: The Registry.

First off, I'm really kicking myself in the butt for not starting this blog the second I started planning my wedding, because you've already missed out on selecting the venue (including location & catering), DJ, cupcakes, and the flowers. I would love to have an archive of all those decision, but I'm hoping you guys don't mind jumping on board mid-flight. From now on I plan on posting every step of this fun, exciting, and sometimes stressful process!

Today we tackled our wedding registry. In theory, this should be the funnest part of the whole deal. Point & shoot at all the things you want, and 10 months from now they magicaly arrive at your doorstep with a big ol' bow on them. We registered at 3 places to give our guests a few options:

We got off to a great start...scanning our little hearts away. "Oooh that would be nice" and "I've always wanted one of these!" Corey was having a great time with his new friend, the scan gun.
I was approaching it way more seriously than I should have. Over thinking things, as usual. We are currently in an apartment in the city, but we hope to have a house before the wedding, so I was trying to visualize our theoretical dream home and decorate it in my mind. And while the fun things are nice to have, I was worried more about the essentials. The things we need. Like Egyptian cotton sheets, for example.
I've never been too concerned about the thread count of my sheets, but people swear by these beauties, so I went for it. By our third hour of flashing the little red line over bar code after bar code, my mind started going crazy and Corey started getting hungry. Uh oh. ((remember to always feed the boy, and take breaks in between stores! You'll thank me later!)) I started to worry about things like "what if everyone goes to Macy's, then no one will get the Target stuff" and "should we register for some similar items at the different stores so we are guaranteed to get the stuff we really want?" I am no registry expert, and what I thought was right was far from an educated guess.

As in every other decision-making step of this whole wedding process, we did what was right for us. We registered for the things we wanted or would like to have, and we'll be thankful for whatever we get. And thank goodness you can always alter your registries online!


On an unrelated note, I am humbled and a bit baffled by my baby blog's first big achievement: The Liebster Award!

Given to me by the lovely Lay over at The Next Chapter (go check her out!), the Liebster Award is apparently given to up and coming blogs who have less than 200 followers to help bring some love to their blog.

The Rules are as follows:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog
2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers

Now it is my turn to pass it on to some of my new blog buddies! I would like to share this honor with some of my favorite up and coming blogs, and hope that you go pay them a visit!

Hope all my wonderful blog friends are having a fabulous Saturday night!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Meet Mr. Colt.

love dogs.
And I'll be the first to admit....I'm one of those crazy dog people that talks to their dogs like they're human. I've convinced myself that I know what my dog is thinking, and I often speak for him. I'd never use my dog voice in public, for fear of losing my job or losing my credibility as a perfectly normal human being. But since the day I was born, dogs have always been a big part of my family, and I'll never deny that my dogs are undoubtedly some of my best friends. 

Now that I've made so many new blog friends, I thought now would be a good time to introduce you to the other love of my life, the very handsome Colt. 
From the moment I laid on eyes on Colt when he was just a little puppy, he made my heart melt. His expressive eye brows, soft ears, and slobbery face are just so dang cute. He's one of the most loving and loyal doggies on the planet!
He loves to swim...
And when he's not swimming, he's patiently waiting for his squirrel friend "Rocky" to come over & play...
He's not the biggest fan of Halloween costumes...
But he does love hangin' with his best friend, Corey...
He always sleeps on the couch...
And he's quite the party animal...
He's the only other guy that gets to kiss me whenever he wants.
((Let's just pretend I didn't have braces when I was in college!))
So now when I refer to "Mr. Colt" in my blog, you can associate the sweet face with the name. And he told me to tell you all thanks for following my blog :)
Hope everyone has a playful weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Proposal.

The night that Corey proposed to me was one of the best nights of my life so far. You would think after being together for 10 years that I would see it coming. Not so much. We were on a family vacation in Las Vegas, and I had no clue what was about to unfold...

This past July, the entire Rosa clan and some family friends headed to Vegas to celebrate my dad's birthday. It had been planned for months. About 2 weeks before our trip, Corey mentioned that his family was going to Vegas too, at the same time and were staying at the same hotel. I thought "awesome! The more the merrier!" but for a very brief second something crossed my mind that this was unusual. He was very casual about it, saying they hadn't been in a long time, and when they heard we were going, they thought it would be fun. Sounds perfectly normal to me! So the whole big, happy family headed to Vegas.

Some of the gang on the first night.
On the second day of our stay in sin city, we spent most of the day at our pool at Ceasar's. We had all planned to meet at the sports bar to watch the first few innings of the MLB All-Star game and then head to dinner. So everyone is there at the sports bar, just hangin out, and it gets to be about 8:30 when I start taking my usual poll "where does everyone want to go to dinner?" I started getting slightly irritated when no one had any preference and everyone kept saying "wherever you want to go Steph!" After about half an hour of some back and forth, we finally decided on Margaritaville. So we all start walking. Let the fun begin...
My mom, sisters, and I with Corey's sister and his mom at dinner.
During dinner, all my sisters were taking a TON of pictures. Not really out of the ordinary, so didn't think anything of it. Corey was being a little quiet and only ordered a salad, saying he wasn't really hungry and that being in the sun all day made him really tired. Made sense to me. Towards the end of the meal, my parents' friends started showing up, just to hang out with us after we were done. Thought nothing of it. Finally, after dinner we were again debating what we should do next. I really wanted to see the volcanoe at the Mirage, but everyone said they really didn't want to walk that far. I was confused because it was only about 2 blocks from the restaurant, so it really wouldn't have been that far to walk. After Corey assured me we would see the volcanoe the next day, I unwillingly started to walk down the street to the Bellagio to watch the fountains. The magical fountains.
Corey and I at of our last photos as just boyfriend/girlfriend.
On our walk there, everyone separated. Corey and my sisters were nowhere to be found, people were lagging was a hot mess. I ended up walking with Corey's sister, who had never seen the fountains before, so it became my mission in life to get her to the front and make sure she had the best possible view for her first experience with the fountains. I was clueless to everything else around me.

While I could write the rest of this story like it was yesterday, I am happy to say that we have the video! Just to set the scene, everyone ended up at the fountains, right on time. In the beginning of the video, there is a picture of Corey rubbing my shoulders. I was trying to record the fountains, but he was nervously rubbing my shoulders, making my video very shaky. I was a tad bummed, but I turned off my camera and decided to enjoy the fountains with him. What an experience it was...

As you could see, I was shocked! I think I said "WHAAAAT?" about 5 times. I was so thankful that I could share this moment with my family and our friends that mean so much to us. And so thankful to have the pictures and video to watch it over and over again! Corey knew how important it was to me to have my family there, and he went above and beyond to make it such a special moment in our lives. It is definitely an experience I will cherish forever.
Corey and I in our hotel room, celebrating our engagement.
Being engaged to my best friend and the love of my life has been amazing so far, and I can't wait to be married!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Miss Marisa.

Today is both an extraordinarily exciting and a strikingly sad day. 
One of my very best friends and favorite co-workers, Marisa, just landed her dream job as a weekend sports anchor and reporter for a local station in good ol' Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Today is her last day at work. I am so unbelievably proud of her for following her dream, excited for the adventure she has ahead, and selfishly sad to see her go. 
Marisa and I in the edit bay at work.
I met Marisa even before we worked together in the press box at an Oakland Raiders game. At the time, I was just an intern at the local ABC affiliate, and she was a field producer for NBC. The second I saw her, I knew she was someone I would enjoy talking to. And the second she opened her mouth, I hoped that some day we would be friends. I never imagined I would get so lucky a few years down the road...
Marisa walked through the doors of Comcast Sportsnet about 2 years ago, and I instantly remembered her warm smile. Once we started talking that day, it was the beginning of a friendship that I know will last a lifetime.
Marisa and I at an Oakland A's game celebrating the finale of our show "All A's"
I'm sad that I won't get to see her smiling face at work every day. She brings treats for us when we work together, I talk to her about everything, and she is always positive. Marisa is literally one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I'm so grateful to even know her.
I wish Marisa all the luck in the world as she embarks on her new journey in the land of the hodags (that's her new town's mascot...amazing right?). I know she'll do big things! 
Marisa, Kelly, me at my birthday party this summer
For me, this just means more time on Skype, more snail mail, and a constant lookout for cheap flights to Rhinelander. All these things I can do.
It's only a coincidence that I have always called her "miss Marisa" because now I will very literally miss Marisa.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our love story.

I am currently in full-on wedding planning mode, but before I get too ahead of myself, I wanted to share the story of how I met the man of my dreams. Forgive the novel I'm about to write, but 10 years have already past since we met eachother, and I want to preserve my memories to the fullest so that when I'm old I can remember every single detail of our love story.

It was a rainy day in Sacramento {December 19th, 2001 to be exact} when I first laid eyes on Corey. My basketball team was warming up for a game when I saw him and his baseball team huddled in the corner of the gym. I noticed him because he was hott, but mostly because he was way taller than the rest of the guys. My friends and I saw him and girly giggled about him, but it was close to tip-off and we had to focus on the game! The baseball team moved into the stands and I continued to keep my eye on him throughout the game (yes, I'm a little ashamed to admit that the game I was playing clearly took a back seat to this hottie in the crowd) but he was gone before half time. I felt a moment of disappointment, like "dang it!" but I just turned my attention to where it should have been all a long. Back to the game.

One of my childhood friends who went to the school we were playing at was at the game, and I mentioned to her after the game there was a hot guy in the stands and that I thought he was on the baseball team, mentioning he was by far the tallest one. She replied "Corey? Oh I know him. He's on my brother's baseball team. I'll talk to him at school tomorrow." Thinking it was a long shot, I went back to my regularly scheduled life.

The next day, my friend called back with great news. She had asked Corey if he noticed any cute girls at the basketbal game, and he said that there was one he was watching in particular. {Side note: I had forgotten my red warm up shirt that day, which I NEVER do, so I was the only rebel wearing a black shirt. Back to the story.} She told me that he noticed the girl wearing a black shirt, and I squeeled with excitement when I told her "that was ME!" She connected Corey and I through the wildly popular "Instant Messenger" (so old school, I know!) and I let out another scream when a day later, a message popped up from jfkbbplaya. It was him! And I happily replied under my screen name candygirl1344. Such appropriate names! We've talked to eachother every single day of our lives since that first message.
Our very first picture. April 2001.
We were inseperable for a year, but I told Corey I couldn't be his girlfriend until he got his driver's license (I was so demanding!). On May 7th, 2002, Corey showed up at my house, dangling a yellow piece of paper in my kichen window. I opened the door to let him in, and he excitedly said, "So this means you're my girlfriend now right?" A little confuzed, I glanced at the piece of paper and it had a big PASS stamped on it. He had passed his driver's license test and driven straight to my house. We've been boyfriend/girlfriend ever since.
Our first dance. November of 2002.
My high school graduation. June 2004.
Corey and I have grown up together
We've been there for eachother every step of the way, and we can't wait to see what comes next. We know that no matter where life takes us, we will always have eachother.
Corey & I. Engaged 2011.

I'll tell you all about the proposal soon :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A fun run.

Very rarely will I ever use the words fun and run in the same sentence.
And in all honesty, it was more like a jog/walk. But this morning my sisters, my brother-in-law, my mom & I all ran the Hot Pink 5k to raise money for breast cancer research.

Nellie, Pixie, mom, me, Bryan & Shawna all gear up for the run.
It was the most beautiful fall morning you could ask for, and the turn out was amazing! Our grandma is a breast cancer survivor, so we do anything we can to support the cause
Nellie & Mom near the finish line!
It feels good to get out in the sun, get some exercise, join the community and do some good all at the same time. Plus, I love spending time with my awesome family. 

Bryan, me & Pixie happy to be done!
Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A blessing and a curse.

I'm a perfectionist

I suppose sometimes it's a good thing. It's probably the reason I've gotten all the jobs & internships I've ever had, it's undoubtedly the reason I did so well in school, and it's certainly the reason my place is always sparkly clean and organized. Being a perfectionist can sometimes be a blessing...but more often times than not, it's a curse.

My blog has barely been up for 5 days and I've already given it a complete makeover. I'm sure it's normal as a new blogger to be undecided about fonts and colors and gadgets...but a complete redesign? That's reserved for the perfectionist freaks like myself.

More proof that it's a curse? I'm in my mid-twenties and I've recently been pulling out little grey hairs. I'm sorry, not grey...they are white. Yes, when I am a spunky old lady I will have long, flowy white hair. Wonderful.

Another thing being a perfectionist plagues me with is that my mind is constantly going a million miles an hour. When I'm doing something, I'm already thinking about the next 10 things I have to do. And when I lay down at night to go to sleep, I'm worrying about things like did I tivo my show last night? I wonder if my sisters remembered to call grandma on her birthday... or my personal favorite what should I cook for dinner tomorrow night? These are just a couple of the thousands of thoughts that pop in my head over the course of a few seconds. I wish there was a stop button or an off switch. 

But that's just me. A worrier, organized to a fault, and a persevering perfectionist.
Today is actually my Friday, so I'm excited to relax and recharge over the weekend! Hope you guys have a great weekend too!
Thank you to all my new followers. And I sincerely appreciate every single comment on my posts. This blog thing has definitly been a blessing...or with my personality, maybe a curse.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Classics.

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a summer kind of girl. But now that fall is upon us, I've decided to do one of those "things I love about fall" posts to show my appreciation for the recent change in weather.
The changing colors of the leaves (so cliche, but how can you deny the refreshing change in shrubbery?)
Hot apple cider
Decorating for Halloween (we're talking skeletons, headstones, purple lights & pumpkins galore. It's the Fiance's favorite holiday, so we go all out)
Playoff baseball
Any wonderful smelling candle with "spice" in its name
Carving pumpkins & baking the pumpkin seeds
Sitting by the fire (a cozy fireplace is my #1 requirement when I buy a home)
Watching one of my favorite movies, "Hocus Pocus" every other night
Going to Apple Hill to pick apples (I've only done it once, but it was great)
Ellen's Halloween episode (her costume is always hilarious!)
Ugg boots & sweats (if I could live in sweats, I would)
The sound of football on Sunday mornings
Family time (I could never get enough of this!)
Scouting a new haunted house to go to every year
There's candy everywhere! (reese's peanut butter pumpkins, anyone?)

Food for thought: Something I don't love about fall: candy corn. These weird little things freak me out. What are they, any way? 
Fall is such a colorful time of year. I'm glad it's finally here! 
What are some of your favorite fall features?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Keith Urban concert.

Over the weekend I went to see one of the best live performers in all of country music, Keith Urban, sing in San Jose. I had been to two of his concerts before, and loved both of them, so I knew to expect a good show. But this time, even without knowing some of his newer songs, I was blown away!
He loves what he does so much, you can just feel his energy. I was up on my feet, dancing and singing all night long. My favorite song of the night was "Long Hot Summer" with a glimmering disco ball spreading sparkles all over the arena.
I went with my best friend, Kari, and my fiance Corey. Kari is no stranger to Keith Urban concerts (this was her 4th) but it was Corey's first. It was so fun seeing him up on his feet and singing a long! He's now a big Keith Urban fan!
If you haven't seen Keith Urban live, you're missing out!