When I was 16, my mom was pregnant. In case you can't remember being 16, having a pregnant mom is basically the absolute worst thing that could ever happen. But, on May 28, 2002 one of the greatest things of my life happened. My adorable little brother Tyler was born. Ty is hilarious, so smart, and just fun to be around. Tyler also thinks that Bryan is the greatest thing to ever happen in his life. He's told me multiple times, "I miss you a little bit Rach, but I really miss Bryan the most." Ugh.

Anyway, one of the worst parts about living in Utah is being away from this cute little guy who is growing so quick. I hardly recognize him! But, it is always fun to hear stories of what's going on back home. My mom told me this one the other day and I thought it was so cute, I had to share.

Ty has a little friend in his class whose dad just passed away from stomach cancer. His first grade teacher went over to the little girl's house to see how she was doing. The teacher was talking about telling the class about what had happened and Tyler's friend said, "You can tell Tyler because he believes in God."



The Tradeoff

Tonight was the dreaded and all to frequent laundry night. Especially since it is -8 degrees outside, I was dreading going up and down the stairs carrying the massive laundry basket. Bryan was dreading this night for a completely different reason- he hates folding laundry. So, I came up with a brilliant plan. I told Bry that if he would do all of the carrying and loading I would do all of the folding. It's funny because we both felt like we were totally getting the better end of the bargain. At the end of the very successful night we enjoyed bowls of ice cream- I felt cozy and warm, and Bryan's folding muscles felt nice and unused. That's what love is, folks.


Queen of Crafts

If I were in charge of the world (consequently I am not, but a girl can dream) I would designate my fabulous sister in law Amy as Queen of Crafts. Not only is she full of the cutest and most original ideas, she's constantly sharing her beautiful creations, unlike selfish Rachel would do. All of her Christmas presents are homemade, and they are so thoughtful and absolutely darling. Here are my presents from this year:

A darling clipboard and stationary that says "A Note from Mrs. Martinez"

She decorated these ice cream bowls herself! And, yes they do make ice cream taste even better!

I know what you're thinking, "Gosh, that's gotta be tough being her sister in law." Don't worry, you are correct. Except she's so sweet and never makes you feel like the complete loser you are. So Thank You Amy for being so amazing and talented and for always sharing with us!!!

Do you think my kids will notice if I pay Amy to make gifts for them??


Proud Mama

Today the Mother Hen in me had a very triumphant moment. It was the Canyon Crest Geography Bee and my little Thomas, the finalist from our class, was nervous. Not just any kind of nervous, the can't stop that twitching in your legs, funny smile stuck on your face, and freezing cold no matter what you do kinda nervous. Who could blame him, he was going against 5th and 6th graders that were about 5 times his size (don't even get me started about 5th and 6th graders...I'm still trying to figure out how my little darlings turn into those hideous huge monsters.)


It wasn't a very impressive event. Question after question was answered incorrectly. (In 2008 Hurricane Ike hit Galveston, which is a city in what state... California??? Don't think so.) But, to the kids' credit, the questions were pretty tough. We suffered through a few rounds, and finally they picked the 2 finalists and Thomas was one of them!

This is when Mama Martinez started to get really nervous. I knew Thomas wanted it so bad, and I knew he could beat those icky 5th and 6th graders. He was asked the most random question- What Canadian province was some random place in (who really cares about Canada anyway??) Luckily, the stars aligned for Thomas today because his family owns a cabin in Canada, and he has been going there for many years. So, with the answer Manitoba, my little Thomas became the C.C. Geography Bee champ. He was so cute and excited, and I was so proud of my little geography genius.


Terrific to be Twenty-Three

My birthday was over a week ago, but I'm not ready to stop celebrating... and I just really wanted to post some fun pics. So, here is my first ever California birthday experience.

{Part One: Dinner (complete with free sombrero) at Chevy's}

{Part Two: Partay with the familia
*highlight was completely amazing homemade ice cream cake*}

{Part Three: Loving Life (and Bryan) at fabulous Carmel Beach}

{Part Four: Beautiful Seventeen Mile Drive including picnic lunch}

{Part Five: Strolling the shops of Monterey, Taking a surrey ride on the boardwalk, Eating fish and chips on the water while watching pelicans and sea lions play}

I could probably handle a few more birthdays like this...