RIP Laptop

It was the moment I haven't been waiting for.
My laptop is dead.
As in..
...black screen,
Everything is gone.
Every program, every file, every picture.
For the past 4 months my laptop has been acting sketchy.
Like really sketchy.
Not booting up, freezing up, not holding a battery charge, randomly shutting off, etc.
So, I wasn't surprised when I turned it on Saturday evening & after I booted it up, I saw this message, "Windows Error Recovery".
I immediately panicked, had Kevin come check out the computer & I didn't push any buttons until he told me to (he is the computer savvy one).
We ran the start up repair on it & it didn't work, now when I turn on the laptop, I get the dreaded black screen with a blinking cursor on the upper left hand corner. Not good.
Yesterday, we tried running the Recovery Back up disks, but the CD Rom of the laptop doesn't work, so that won't work either.

Oh yeah, and on top of all this, Kate had the stomach flu this weekend, so the crashed laptop was just the icing on the cake.

I am bummed my laptop crashed because it was only 2.5 years old.
I thought it would last at least 3-4 years.
I am not getting a new lap top anytime soon. Kevin has a laptop, so I will just use that.

But the good news out of all of this? Because my laptop was acting sketchy the past 4 months, I have had a bad feeling that it was going to crash, so I have been backing up all my files & pictures on my external hard drive every week. Just 2 weeks ago, I even backed up all my fonts!

I did lose a few things that I have worked on the past week (like cupcake toppers & favor tags for Claire's party) but I can recreate those.

So, the moral of the story? Back up your files/pictures AT LEAST once a week!

I got this laptop when I was 5 months preggo with Claire, so every single picture that I have taken of her was on that laptop. I am SO glad they are all saved on my external hard drive. And, luckily all the photo shoot pictures I have taken & edited were backed up.

And, because I am so paranoid, after the girls wake up from their naps today, I am going to buy another external hard drive so that I have a back up if anything happens to the original external hard drive. Yes, I am crazy, but I would FREAK if I lost all the pictures of my girls lives. I would have to commit myself to a mental hospital if I had lost all the pictures of their lives.

So, stop what you are doing and go back up your files & pictures!


Flashback Friday: Hurricane Katrina

This weekend marks the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
It was one of worst natural disasters to hit the United States.
5 years later, people in New Orleans & the Mississippi Gulf region are still not back in their homes.

After Katrina hit, I knew I wanted to help in some way, even though I lived across the country in California. During my Spring Break of 2006, my younger sister Rebecca & I went with our church on a mission trip to New Orleans & the gulf shores of Mississippi to help build houses for people who lost their home when Katrina hit.

This was the 2nd mission trip I have done within the United States, the first one was 9/11 relief which you can read about here.
(Becks & I)

Churches from all over the country were involved in the project.
Sponsor churches built the framing of the houses in church parking lots & all the framing was sent on trucks to Mississippi/New Orleans for a neighborhood project called Victory Park.
Another group of churches had been there the week before pouring the foundation, so when we got there, our jobs were to get the framing up, put up the siding and windows, plumbing and electricity & then paint the houses.
This is the house framing that our church did & then they were shipped to Mississippi on a truck:
A total of 16 new homes were built.
Becks and I volunteered for the painting team. It was a lot of fun!
Scafolding was fun to be on!
A view of some of the new houses:
Becks & I painted the majority of this house along with 2 other people.
In front of one of the houses we painted:
The second to last day we were there, they had a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the houses. People in the community who were hoping to put a bid on one of the homes were there.
It was amazing & inspiring meeting them & hearing their Katrina stories. It really put things in perspective.
We had the opportunity to go to a Sunday service at one of the local Baptist churches.
We were the only white people there. In fact, we were the first white people to ever attend a service there. It was shocking to see how segregated it still was in this little town in Mississippi. The people at the church were WONDERFUL. The pastor, Greg was amazing. We were there on Palm Sunday. It was one of the best services I have ever been to in my entire life. I will never, ever forget it. Ever. Pastor Greg is an amazing man & we got along great. His family is awesome.I send him a Christmas card every year!

Here is Pastor Greg helping us on the work site:
One of evenings after our work day, we took a drive to the gulf coast and saw the devastation in Biloxi, Mississippi. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what damage Katrina had done to this city. It pretty much wiped it out.
Gorgeous sea front homes were unrecognizable.
We were there 6 months after Katrina hit & nothing had been cleaned up. It was incredibly sad.
It was an amazing week...a week I will never ever forget.
My heart has a special place for the people of New Orleans & the Mississippi Gulf.
I am still praying for them, 5 years later.


The Summer List in Pictures

Summer is officially over.
I have been back at school for a couple of days getting my classroom ready.
Students come on Monday. *sigh*
I thought I would re-cap our Summer List Picture Style.
Did we complete everything on our list? No. Not even close!
But, we still had a great summer!
Here is our checked off list:
Here is the summer list in pictures!
1. Go to Lake Tahoe:
and have Christmas:
2. Make a polka dot (funfetti) cake:
we actually made a polka dot cake and cupcakes!
3. Go to the zoo:
We went twice!
and Here.
4. Music Class
5. Walk Downtown for Pink Bagels
6. Make Coffee Cake
7. Go to Dance Class
(didn't happen..maybe this Fall or Winter)

8. Learn how to swim
(didn't happen...hopefully next summer, although both girls are very comfortable in the water)

9. Have a pool party in our backyard (we had several!)
10. Help Jimmy make homemade ice cream
(We didn't help him make it this year, but we sure did eat some!)

11. Go to the 4th of July parade
12. Make chocolate dipped pretzels:
So good & so easy to make!
13. Make S'mores
14. Watch a movie outside
(didn't happen...hopefully this Fall...or next summer!)

15. Have a picnic
Not just any picnic...a Chinese food picnic!
16. Mommy & Kate go on a date
17. Go on Jimmy's Boat
(didn't happen...maybe this Fall or next Spring/Summer)

18. Go to the Fair
19. Farmers Market
(we went several times! Love it!)
20. Play Soccer
21. Paint a Flower Pot
with a purple flower, of course!
22. Sleepover at Grandma's
(I don't have any pictures of this, but they had 3 sleepovers at Grandma's this summer!)

So, we completed 17 out of 22 items on our list.
That is a 77% or C+ for all you teachers out there!
(just trying to get myself back in the school mode! ha!)

It has been a great summer!
Kevin said this has been one of his favorite summer's in a while.
It has also been the coldest summer in over 40 years.
We have only gone in our pool TWICE in the month of August!
It didn't even reach triple digits this summer!
That is just UNHEARD of.
The weather has just been cold, in the 70's mostly.
I bet September & October are going to be hot. ugh.

I hope you all had a great summer full of memories with your family & friends!
Now...Bring on the Fall!!!!!

Linking up with I heart faces on 9-7-10


A Date with Kate

After we had Claire, several of our friends (who had older kids) told us about the importance of making sure you do 1 on 1 time with each of your kids & have intentional time so that they have a special day just focused on them.
Well, Claire is almost 2 and we have yet to do this with either girl (parenting fail)
(Now, we do have occasional 1 on 1 time with each of them, we just haven't done a special "date" day.)
On Monday, I dropped Claire off at my mom's so Kate and I could have our date.
(this was yet another item on the summer list)
I told Kate that it was just her & I for some special time and she got to tell me what she wanted to do!
But, first I had to go to the post office to mail a package.
It turned out to be Kate's lucky day at the post office, because the lady behind the counter gave Kate a Post Office coloring book! Kate was thrilled, she LOVES to color!
After the post office, Kate was in charge of our next destination.
What did she pick?
She wanted to go get a pink bagel (and chocolate milk, of course!)
She specifically wanted to sit in the booth and wanted me to sit next to her, not across from her :)
After our pink bagels, Kate wanted to go to Target to pick out a backpack for preschool
(she starts in 3 weeks. Tears!)
I am not even sure she needs a backpack for preschool, but Kate INSISTED that she get a backpack. Not just any backpack....Kate wanted a princess backpack.
If you know me, I am not a big fan of characters on things (like clothing, bedding, shoes, etc)
But, Kate really, really, really wanted a Princess backpack that was purple.
And, what do you know...Target had one. Lucky for Kate.
Granted, the backpack is WAY too big & I don't even think she needs one for school, but you know what? It made Kate SO happy. She was smiling ear to ear. It was a great way to spend $10 (even though I cringed silently to myself when she picked it out)
I wanted to get her THIS ONE from Pottery Barn Kids. Oh well.
*sidenote: Kate realized after we got home that her backpack didn't have Cinderella on it (which is her favorite princess). She was bummed for a few minutes but then informed me that it was okay & that she would get a Cinderella lunchbox to go inside her backpack.) The best part about this that my mom already got her a Cinderella lunchbox a few weeks ago & was planning on giving it to Kate as a Back to School present! phew.

After Target, Kate told me she wanted to go to the library.
The first thing she wanted to do at the library was play on the kid computer & make a picture (they have a Paint program, it was pretty fun)
That lasted less than 5 minutes & then we went to go read some books.
Kate is very serious about her books.
I let her choose 3 books to check out (because she is 3)
But, then she asked if we could check out another one for Claire (because she is 1)
So sweet of her to think of her sister!

After the library, it was time to go get Claire.
Kate and I had a great date.
I asked Kate what her favorite thing of the entire day was and she told me it was the library.
So glad she is a book lover like her mommy!
It was so fun for me to just focus on her & have cute conversations with her.
I wish we had done something like this before!
I am going to do this regularly with each of them. And, so is Kevin.
Claire's turn is next!
And, one of the biggest benefits of our date is that for the rest of the afternoon after we got home, she was in such a good mood, extra helpful with Claire and was so eager to share her toys with Claire.
Was this a coincidence? I think not.
Kids just need some 1 on 1 time every now & then.
It is good for the kids (and the parents!)


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