June 27, 2012

Best day(s) of my life

My wedding day - where I married the love of my life



The day I met the little guy - the second love of my life!



A random day during the first six weeks of A's life. I was on maternity leave, my husband was home, I felt happier than I ever had. My heart was full.




June 26, 2012

"Me" Time...

Day 25: An ideal day of "me" time

I'm not even sure what "me" time is anymore :) I do know if I had a day alone, I'd really just love to curl up with a good book. I'd watch some cheesy dance movie, have some wine and cheese. Maybe get a massage, a pedicure and take a long nap.

If there were a beach involved, I'd be even happier!


June 25, 2012

My garden!

Day 24: Favorite eco-friendly thing to do


I try to be  sustainable in my life...making eco-friendly choices as often as possible.


One thing I've tried to do this year is grow my own vegetables. I don't have a lot of sun in my yard, so it isn't as easy as I'd like! But I have some awesome broccoli, carrots and strawberries. The jury is still out on whether the peppers and squash will be successful....


We've also started composting as well. It is amazing how much waste we produce, and more amazing still how much can be recycled or composted. 



Even A "Thinks Green" and helps with the gardening



It's HOT in Palm Desert

My parents were here last weekend and mentioned that we should visit them...which I think is a wonderful idea...but then I remembered...Where not to go in summer? Palm Desert :)

A and I went to go visit the grandparents last summer...and it was HOT.

So we went to the pool.

While we were at the pool it was lunch time. Grandpa bought these spoons...they turn white when the food temperature is too hot. Just by sitting in the sun at the pool, they turned white. Clearly, Palm Desert is TOO hot.

Morning walks to the park were lots of fun however :) And sleeping in the pack n' play - super exciting!

But I really think that we will wait at least until the fall to venture down there again...warm enough to enjoy the awesome community pool, yet not hot enough to melt anything (my ATM card once melted in the car, true story!).

It's lots of fun to hang out with the grandparents - but perhaps in more mellow climate! I sometimes can't beleive I grew up there.

So, it was wonderful to see you mom and dad - come visit us this summer!

June 24, 2012

Something I am proud of

Day 19: Something you're proud of from the last few days

The last few days have sort of been a blur. I feel like I am in that lull period after you finish a big project and it's hard to get the energy up again. Things are moving along, work, home...everyday everything. However, I don't feel that there is anything particularly out of the ordinary going on for myself...now my son, that's another story :)

As you all know by now, I think A is amazing~how could I not? In the last few days he's picked up a few new words, which is exciting to me. He isn't exactly behind verbally, but it gets me excited when he starts being more verbal. He's been saying bow wow/guau guau, more/mas, uh-oh (a lot!), and overall trying to copy what you are saying - making penguin noises etc.

Also, the fun part has been that he has started using his imagination when he plays :) He makes the little people walk and talk and go places. He has figured out that stuffed animals are certain types of animals and that they can do things - like fly or growl! It is just so much fun to watch him learn and explore. I'm one proud mama!

June 23, 2012

Blast from the Past

Day 23: Favorite Blog post previous to this challenge...

This was a tough one...I think I have to go with a sentimental one. Thinking about our first camping trip! I hope there are Many Many More!

Worst Injury I've ever had and a cooking disaster

Day 12: Worst Injury I've Ever Had

OK, knocking on wood over here. I haven't really had a horrible injury...I had a stress fracture in my foot when I was in high school that required crutches...but that is really it. No broken bones, no major surgeries, I hope it stays that way!!!

Day 9: Worst Cooking Disaster

Again, nothing too horrible here. My friend and I were making cookies in middle school and forgot the flour :) That was not good. When I was in the Peace Corps I managed to burn rice...which resulted in my neighbor not letting me cook for myself anymore! So that was a huge plus :)

Does it count as "reading" if I'm reading teen books?

Day 8: Not including blogging ;) my favorite guilty pleasure...

I loved the Hunger Games.

I stumbled upon the first book in 2009 and then had to WAIT for each subsequent book. Everyone else I knew had a Hunger Games weekend - where they were able to curl up with the trilogy and enjoy it from beginning to end.

This summer I have been trying so hard to find another young adult series that sucked me in like the hunger games did...

In my quest I have read many, many teen books recently. Perhaps more than I care to admit! There is now a proliferation of them, some probably due to the popularity of The Hunger Games. Though some were written concurrently. None have pulled me in quite like Hunger Games, but a few game close...I did enjoy the first book in all the series listed below. Apparently there is now a genre called Teen Dystopian Novels - what? Yep, my guilty pleasure is teen books about screwed up worlds!

Some of my favorites in the last few months...
1. The Selection - Kiera Cass
2. Divergent - Veronica Roth
3. Starters - Lissa Price
4. Matched - Ally Condie
5. The Maze Runer - James Dashner

Enjoy...and please let me know if you have any suggestions for me!

June 22, 2012

When I grow up...

Day 22: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very little, I wanted to be a ballerina. I still secretly love to watch cheesy movies and tv shows about dancing, partially because it talks to my unfulfilled dream. I would dance for long stretches in the backyard (in the sprinklers) - pretending I was competing in the olympics as a gymnast or onstage as a ballerina. At some point it was clear that I was going to be too big (you know, normal sized) to be a ballerina. Also, the thought of torturing my feet became less and less attractive.

Then I wanted to be a teacher, just like my dad. This stage lasted a long time. When you have a wonderful role-model, it's easy to want to be just like them! I peripherally work in education, but don't nearly have enough patience to actually be a teacher! I am so amazed and proud of those who are able to teach.

While I may not be a teacher or ballerina, I still appreciate dance and have a strong respect for teachers.

What did I end up doing? Being a park ranger...the most amazing job in the world! So I got really lucky...even if I don't get to dance at work, I do get to hike, be in amazing places and work with amazing people!

Funny (if a bit sexist) take on being a ranger! I don't actually have a wife...many rangers are women!


A family dinner - join us!

In continuation of the house tour...this week I invite you over to the the dining room. It's always been important to me to make sure we eat together as a family (as much as possible). I think making your dining room - or wherever you eat - inviting, cozy, comfortable and functional is all important.

When we were buying the house, the windows of this room pretty much sold me :). But the lamp was awful! One of my favorites home improvements was the new lamp and wall sconces. I think we've done a nice job making it our own...I hope one day you can come over and join us for dinner!

 My favorite pics of my dining room? Ones where friends and family are enjoying a meal!

A's first Thanksgiving!
Meals need good food and lots of love!



New and improved lamp!
The old ugly lamp!

Enjoying Mother's Day Brunch!

Love the window!



Want to see the dining rooms of some of your favorite bloggers?
Make sure you check Kelly's Korner for an inside look!






June 21, 2012

June Goals

Day 5: Short term goals for this month

Goals are such strange things. At the beginning of every year, we set lofty goals, that I, at least, generally fail at. We set daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals, lifetime goals. We are a very end-game focused society.

I have been trying recently to spend some more time enjoying what IS, what is happening right now, instead of trying to dwell on how this WILL be. Imagining that there is something better in the future, if only I take these certain steps. If only I complete X, then it will lead me to Y. Why can't I just enjoy that right now I am exercising - enjoy the lunch walk with my friend and co-worker, enjoy the experience of running wihtout ticking down to the next race? Instead of always thinking of the things undone, celebrate that I make it through everyday intact and happy (mostly!). That I have a happy and healthy son, a smart and supportive husband and that I even find time in my busy life to keep up on some good books. Why do I beat myself up if the house isn't as clean as it could be...is that really the end-all-be-all of the world?

For example, this month, I want to make a habit of meal planning, I want to train for the 5k I signed up for on July 4th, get ready for my cousin's wedding, celan out my closet, file the piles of papers that stare at me every day at work.....and so forth. But, even if I finish those things, won't there be more? More planning, more filing, more cleaning? I'm going to try my best to do these things, and try even harder to enjoy the process. To enjoy the little moments that occur while I am trying my best to meet these goals, even if I don't succeed.

Wish me luck!

June 20, 2012

Not enough time!

June 21--Most recent words of wisdom you heard that stuck with you


I was recently at a meeting of my peers. Amazingly dedicated and talented people - people who do amazing things with few resources to back them up. People who believe in the mission of their work and will work extra to make sure they do everything they can fulfill that mission.


It's always energizing to be around people with whom you can share ideas, successes, failures, crazy thoughts and more. It's also a safe place to vent and complain :) Everyone needs an outlet. I found myself complaining about the multitude of things including the lack of time to do things!


One of my co-workers said that there is plenty of time. There is only what we choose to do with that time. I get to prioritize what is important. I get to choose what my time is spent on. It is not time - time is the same, every day. I need to remember that it is in my control. It was wonderful to have someone to clarify what I know, but sometimes forget. It stuck with me, hopefully I remember it when it's important!



Smiles & Happiness

Good Morning! I'm going to try and play catch-up in the Summer Blog Challenge.

Day 2: A picture of me smiling.

I actually found this much harder than I anticipated. Since becoming a mom, I realize the camera is more often than not, in my hands. It is almost always pointed at A, not at me. A symptom of becoming a parent - those kids often steal the show! Finding a photo of myself was harder than I imagined :) This is one on a work day, enjoying views of Los Angeles from an urban park. It was cold and windy, but oh-so-nice to get out of the office.


Day 7: Picture of Something that Makes me Happy

Hands down, the thing that makes me happiest in this world is my family - my wonderful husband and my adorable son.


Day 20: Photo of me as a young child


June 19, 2012

Why Crazy Casa K?

Day 4: Meaning Behind my Blog Name

I wish that my blog name had some deeper meaning, I really do. That perhaps I was more clever or creative, but really, it is pretty straightforward!

Crazy: Things in my house are sometimes (always?) crazy. We have a loving but attention-needy dog, an adorably active 17 month old son and two jobs that keep us very busy - therefore, the crazy part.

Casa: For those of you that don't know, casa means house in Spanish..."mi casa es su casa," my house is your house. I am inviting you into my crazy home to laugh, cry, enjoy (I hope). I also spent 2 years in the Peace Corps in Panama, so I love the Spanish language and Panamanian culture. We made sure to hire a full-time baby-sitter for A that speaks Spanish so that he learns another language growing up. Since the Spanish is an important part of my life, I wanted it reflected in the blog!

K: I'm sure you can figure that out...

Together? I like the alliteration :)

Summer Blog Challenge - Day 1


Going Green with the Grizls

As I was reading through some of my favorite blogs last night, I saw that one (The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom) was doing a summer blog challenge...so I clicked on the link to check it out. Though I am starting two weeks late, I am still excited to join in, we'll have to see if it's possible to catch up! With all my "real" work lately, it's been tough to keep up with blogging. I love to write and feel like I haven't been setting aside any time to do so. I am hoping this challenge will, forgive me, challenge me to make sure I set aside a little time each day to just write.

I am so impressed with people that really set aside the time to write and make it a priority. One of my friends, Kayse, over at "Finding Hope" is incredibly inspiring. She made it a goal to actually publish a book - and I admire her dedication! Though I am far from that stage of writing, I at least want to get my creative juices flowing, so we'll see what happens! There are many other bloggers joing in on the challenge, so check them out below...

June 18, 2012

My Wonderful Husband

All my boys


Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am. Not only do I have a wonderful husband, but he turned out to be an amazing father. I love seeing my son with his daddy.

Right now, A wants to be just like his dad, and it makes me so happy. He follows him around and imitates everything he does. Stretches like him, relaxes like him, tries to do yard work just like him (shovel, rake...you name it)....he's even learning to use the bluetooth like daddy.



I know it sounds a little cliche, but my heart really does melt when I see them together. I am so lucky that A has a good role model and father who loves him.

Happy Father's Day to an amazing father...

June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day to my Dad

I just want to say a Happy Father's Day to all the father's out there. In particular, of course, to my own!

I'm lucky to be able to spend it with him today. I am lucky that we live close by and he gets to be there to watch A grow up. I am lucky to have him as a father. He was always there for me growing up - he was there at every sporting event, every band concert and everything else in between. He is my biggest fan and I know he will be A's as well. A's has my dad's name as his middle name, and I know he has big shoes to fill!

Thank you dad. I love you!










June 16, 2012

How do they grow up so quickly?

I swear that yesterday he was a little bitty baby in my arms. Now he is a walking, babbling, running, imitating BOY. 

I can't even begin to describe how much I love this kid! He is amazing.



June 15, 2012

Home Tour: My Sanctuary

In following with my Friday tour of the house, this week, it's the bedroom. My place of sanctuary and relaxation! I love the duvet cover - the print and color - it makes me feel so serene. We recently bought a bedroom set that I also love. I am really happy with the furniture. However, apparently I have a mental block regarding hanging photos. I was thinking of getting some of these made...what do you think? Some more decoration and I think I will have the perfect bedroom.

The bedroom itself is sort of an odd configuration...with the bathroom sink open to the bedroom, but we make it work. I love the sliding doors to the courtyard. I also would love to change the rug, but am a bit gun shy. My dream is a fuzzy white shag rug. I'd love to put my feet down on that in the morning!

Well, welcome!


Simple - perfect for me! But I need some photos above the bed!

Here you can see the bedroom set and how the bathroom is open (above) to the bathroom

Love the windows! So does my puppy dog :)

By book obsession - one of many stashes...


Want to see the bedrooms of some of your favorite bloggers?
Make sure you check Kelly's Korner for an inside look!


June 14, 2012

Fishing with a toddler

On a whim, we decided to try out "Troutdale." It was fun, but no fish were caught. A tried really hard to jump in the fairly gross water. He probably scared all the fish away by hitting the pole in the water. I think that we will be waiting until he gets a bit older to try again. In the meantime - he really was adorable. The cutest little fisherman ever!



June 12, 2012

Why is it?

That when something in life goes really right, something else has to go wrong? I guess there always needs to be a balance in the world...

Anyway, the good stuff! My Visitor Center opening was a great success. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has a visitor center to be proud of...and I got to play a small role in making that happen :) I am so lucky to work with amazing people that helped pull it off! Now I can relax at work a bit...at least for a couple of days! Then the next project will kick in...

Thanks again to everyone who made the opening a success! (and to my friends for letting me borrow their photos!)

Lots of wonderful people at the event!

The Courtyard after the event

Two of my favorite people!



June 10, 2012

My little angel...

...has been starting to be a little bit less angelic...

I feel like I must be doing something wrong! He's been pinching me, our baby-sitter and sometimes daddy too. When he is extra tired, he occasionally hits too. I know he doesn't understand, but I have to get him to stop. Discipline is not easy. And the guilt. I feel like I must have done something wrong!

Any suggestions?


June 7, 2012

Welcome to my Kitchen!

Welcome Back! This week I wanted to share my kitchen. This is one of the area's in my home that I have little influence over. Other than buying the fridge, the kitchen was redone when we bought the house. I really like it - it opens into the dining room and den, which makes it feel even bigger than it is.  I used to spend more time in the kitchen cooking for myself and my husband before A - now it's a lot of baby/toddler food :)

I still really like our kitchen, especially after my talented husband added the track lighting! So come on in - and enjoy :)

View from the Den

My fridge has been taken over with calendars, coloring and baby pics :)

Every fridge needs a good magnet game!
Talk to the drawer

Sometime we still cook :)

My drawer!



Want to see the kitchens of some of your favorite bloggers?
Make sure you check Kelly's Korner for an inside look!


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