with love to the people we practice on

So apparently today is Siblings Day.

Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, shaking your head and muttering under your breath…as you some of you sometimes do over things like this that you might find silly.


The day was created by Claudia Evart, who lost both of her siblings earlier on in life. She chose the date to honor her late sister, Lisette. After losing her two siblings to separate accidents early in life, Claudia realized the importance of remembering our siblings, both living and no longer with us. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the bond of brother and sister is forever recognized as the special gift it is.

Like many, I have these pictures of my brother and sister, who are both gone, but remain with me daily, not just in these pictures, but in my daily thoughts and in my heart. I lost both of them in tragic accidents, making me understand the everlasting bond we have with our siblings.

Yes, I am sentimental, and sometimes very emotional when I remember my late brother, Randy and think of where the consequences of life, our choices and others’ choices brought Randy, Billy, Valerie and me.


So many memories…good, bad, ugly and even WTF parents?! But they are/were ours and as Randy once told me, they are the one thing that we share and share only with each other. No one will ever get any of it and that is okay. Memories like that romper Billy is wearing…that haircut of mine which would be in the WTF parents? column. But ultimately the good is what I think of looking at this picture and other pictures of the four of us. Anything else would likely have destroyed me as it crushed my younger brothers and sister. And so I focus on the magic we created together, the four of us and I give thanks.

Then I celebrate some more because, yes, I have more siblngs!

Sisters…so awesome are they! So much younger than me, so much more smarter than me, more amazing than me and even taller than me now. Our memories are different, still they are good and always make me smile. I’m pretty lucky to have you, Angela and Elana both, as sisters.

But not to be left out, my own clowns began to share today celebrating their siblings.

Nobody tell those kids of mine that this is a dream come true especially when I recall the knock-down-drag-out fights that always ended up in tears, blood drawn and a broken nose or two in the past and maybe even last month.

Honestly, kids!

Zoë shared

And because only siblings are great in that way, Hollie declared this to be probably the worst picture to share.

Oh kids!

So I offer perhaps a better picture.

I have more…lots more…Hollie found some.

Oh the secrets, promises, laughter and tears these four have shared…and the fighting…with blood and a broken nose too that these sisters have shared!

Hollie shared: “Hey Daniel, thanks for being our brother. You kind of didn’t have choice in the matter (does any sibling ever have a choice, I wonder?). But you are literally the best thing to happen to this family. You’re crazy, and awesome, and weird in the best way. You’re brilliant and inquisitive, and so much like the four of us. You’re going to drive mom and dad crazy when you’re a teen (next year, OMG!). You were meant for us. And I love you so much. Happy Sibling Day!”

My heart just exploded with glitter and rainbows and unicorns.

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way. – Pamela Dugdale




curly top

Back in the day when she was just a curly topped little moppet, Abigael Rose knew exactly who she resembled…

and she began to study her, imitate her and become her.

Animal Crackers from 1935′s Curly Top was probably her most favorite. She would strut, sing and dance under the Big Top performing this classic any chance she had. How much easier it was for little Miss Abigael with her curly top, the way she talked and the fact that her mommy insisted on dressing her (and her sisters) in overalls.

Like so many little girls for generations, Abby was inspired by that sweet, dimpled, precocious, determined child star of 23 different movies. Her mother as a little girl, on the other hand, was super impressed that this super adorable little girl grew up to be a delegate of the United Nations, Ambassador to Ghana and years later, Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. But I am super nerdy that way.

Hearing today of Shirley Temple Black’s passing at age 85 I couldn’t help but recall how much she inspired my own little curly top who was and is just as precocious and determined then as she is now. Yes, Abby remembered the same…a mother-daughter bonding moment…yay!

RIP Shirley Temple Black and thank you for the smiles, the memories and the inspiration for us all; but most of all for my own bright eyed, dimpled, determined curly top then

and now.

we did the Jam, we did the Monster Jam!

We did.

Last night at the Sleep Train Arena, Bill, Daniel and I came for opening night of Monster Jam.

...insert awkward family photo here…

Actually, my circus clowns weren’t being awkward at all. It is just LOUD!






Sorry, I guess I was shouting. But yes, it was loud because these Monster Trucks are indeed loud.

And seriously awesome. I won’t lie, the first time the driver of Double Trouble went vertical, I was yelling “WHOAAA!!!” while I was taking pictures.

Did I say it was loud? I did. Still it was thrilling. The drivers of each and every Monster Truck featured did not disappoint with their skill but also with their obvious love and regard for the audience.

That’s Jon Zimmer, member of Team Grave Digger.

Come to any of the shows today or tomorrow prepared to give them lots of love and I promise you that they won’t disappoint in giving the love right back to you coming up into the audience ready to share their awards.

There was one brief, scary moment that makes you realize that while this is super fun, it can be dangerous too. Thankfully, John Seasock, driver of Batman was okay and he assured the audience that Batman will be ready to compete today and tomorrow.

Lucky you, today’s show and tomorrow’s Monster Jam include the Party in the Pits pre-show experience which gives fans unparalleled access to view their favorite trucks up-close, meet the star drivers for autographs and take photos!

There’s pretty much no snow up in the Sierras so what else are you going to do this holiday weekend? Looking for some family fun that won’t break the bank? This is it. Monster Jam! Just bring ear protection and be prepared to whoop and holler for your favorite monster truck and driver because during the second half of the show that will determine the winner. This is most definitely a LOUD, family-fun event that will not disappoint.

I would also like to add that I was quite impressed with the Sleep Train Arena staff. While waiting for my press credentials, so that I could have access to take these (and more) amazing shots, I observed a number of them go out of their way to assist guests and listen to their concerns as they tried their best to meet the needs of the guests attending the show. Well done, Sleep Train Arena!

WHERE: Sleep Train Arena One Sports Parkway, Sacramento, CA 95834


Saturday, January 18th, Pit party – open 5:00 PM-6:30 PM
                                                    Show Time – 7:30 PM
Sunday January 19th, Pit Party – open 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
                                                   Show Time – 2:00 PM


Day-Of Event ticket and Pit Pass required for entry each day.
(Pit Pass purchase price $5 for kids, $10 for Adults)


TICKETS: Ticket prices start as low as $20 Adults, ticket prices range from $20 – $50
                  Kids tickets (ages 2-12)) are only $5 each for select seating (limit 4 kids per
                  adult  ticket purchase)
                  Pit passes will be available to purchase for $10 Adults/ $5 kids (ages 2-12)


Tickets and Pit Passes available for purchase online at Ticketmaster, all Ticketmaster retail outlets, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or at the Sleep Train Arena Box Office.

Above ticket prices are advance purchase only; all tickets are $2 more day of show. Marketing pricing applies to all tickets; rates may fluctuate based on supply and demand. Tickets subject to convenience, service and handling fees.

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows.



just in case you ever wondered

If you were to ask me what is my favorite book I would not be able to tell you. A favorite book…book…singular book?


There are just too many for me to name for you.

But if pressed to share one title, just one I would share with you a children’s book I grew to love as I read it to my own children, Just In Case You Wonder by Max Lucado. I loved this book so much I even illustrated it with pictures of my own girls making it their own book.

Just in case you ever wondered.

I’ll always love you.

I’ll always hug you.

I’ll always be on your side.

And I want you to know that…

just in case you ever wonder.

I just love the words in this book and the sentiment they express. It’s kind of like Love You Forever except not in that crazy, creepy, helicopter, stalker-parent kind of way. Now that my kids are older, more than ever it is a sentiment I want them to always keep in their hearts.

I’ll always love them.

I’ll always hug them.

I’ll always be on their side.

There is so much more I want to do for them…wish that I could offer them that I never can…unless I were to win the lottery…if I played the lottery.

But I can promise them that I will always love them.

I will always hug them.

I will always be on their side.


Especially now.

Just in case they ever wondered.

NaPhoPoMo day 14

the outdoor education of Daniel

…as told by Daniel in his science camp journal.


  • being away from Mom and Dad for 4 days.
  • making friends
  • having fun
  • playing

New sights seen – bats

New smells smelled – leaves

New sounds heard – deer and grasshoppers

New foods tasted – lifesavers…clearly this child’s parents have been depriving him

New things touched – turtles, snakes and tide pools

The night hike was probably the scariest time of his young life because they were hiking along the edge in the dark of night…THE EDGETHE DARK…people he could have died! At least that is how he tells it. Abby agreed that the night hike was scary back in the day when she attended science camp. Daniel, in turn, doubts that it was as scary of an experience for her as it was for him because he was hiking on the edge and he could have died.

Still, science camp was a lot of fun. Ace, his Naturalist instructor, taught him and his friends a lot about plant and animal life in the coastal redwoods region of California. Like what, you might ask? Well, it is all there in the journal, he will tell you. He will also tell you that the playground at the camp is fun. Oh, and dessert was served at every single lunch and dinner…unlike here under the Big Top.

Yes, clearly this poor child’s parents are depriving him!

Welcome home, son!

NaphoPoMo day 10