Monday, December 29, 2008

Holidays 2008

We celebrated many things this holiday season...our newest family member, the precious Miss Katie-Bug, our sweetheart of a son, Lucas, our family, our health and the (almost) completion of a major remodel. The pics of the remodel are coming (I know - I keep promising them, Allie...but I PROMISE I'll get to it as soon as I have a moment to spare). For now, we hope you enjoy some pics of the past month of life happenings around here and we wish all of you a very happy New Year.
Lucas & Kate's elf, Aloysius. He reported to Santa every night how good they both were so that Santa would bring them everything on their lists.
We lit a menorah for little honor of her birthfamily. (She also got some cool vintage dreidels from her Aunt Stacey & Uncle Neil).
Oh, to have the best of both worlds! Miss Kate LOVED opening presents!
Lucas gets a sharp new hat from Dorothy.

...and a Speed Racer car that has so many cool action features!

Hey, left your hat, you silly!

Santa! You got me that big-boy bike with NO TRAINING WHEELS! Its the coolest!

Miss Kate got a new high chair - she LOVES it!

Some of our decorations...our collection of nativity scenes.

The coffee table decorations were SO TEMPTING for Kate now that she can pull herself up to it!

Our Christmas tree(s) - a bosque of 5 live trees, one in Jeff's new antique kids' wheelbarrow.

Christmas Eve dinner with Grammy & Stacey & Neil. Complete with Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding & Crackers to pop for our Christmas crowns & silly jokes (what's up with that British humor?)
Grammy gives Kate some walking lessons. Kate is sporting her cousin Emma's "Baby's First Christmas" sleeper. Thanks little Ems!

Do I really have to pose in front of the presents when I'd much rather be ripping into them!

Gratuitous shot of my little cowpokes - two days before Christmas. Lucas wanted to wear his new boots & he is wearing MY FRINGE JACKET FROM WHEN I WAS HIS AGE (talk about bringing tears to my eyes)! Miss Katie Bug is sporting some fancy red ropers (Justin, of course!)

Our annual gathering of the kids from SF & Laguna - L-R Jesse, Benjamin, Evan, Kate, Lucas & Avery.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Wow, what a great turkey day we had! Our tradition (for the past 5 or so years) has been to head over to the Smiths' house for Thanksgiving. Julie makes an AMAZING turkey and everyone brings something to enjoy. Jeff's stuffing is always a hit as are Joanne's delicious pies. The day after, we headed up to Lake Arrowhead for a weekend in the cold mountains. Cozy fires, leftovers and Mexican food at Papagayo's made for a great time. The Smith girls couldn't keep their hands off Miss Katie Bug. Needless to say, Kate enjoyed the attention.

Turkey-hand pie crusts, compliments of Lucas & Kate

Our hosts, Ray & Julie

Ray poses with Jeff, Greg & Joanne (with her gorgeous new 'do)

Summer & Lucas toast the feast...

Julie & Jeff enjoying a tale...most likely something Ray did...

Macy gets some Kate time...

Julie tiakes a turn...Kate is in HEAVEN with all this attention...

Poppa steals some lovin'...

Saige shows off her home-made antlers to Miss Katie Bug...

Lucas & Summer have a good 'ole fashion pillow fight...

Hey, who let all these girls in my fort???

A surprise visit from Charmeen ;o)

There's nothing like a cozy cabin morning with good friends.

Lucas & Summer help Ray make a bird feeder out of a stump.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What do we want? Equal Rice!

When do we want it? NOW!

This was one of the many chants at our rallies this past weekend.

Here is our conversation:
Daddy: Actually, Lucas, its equal RIGHTS, not Rice...
Lucas: Oh, But do I have equal rights, Daddy?
Daddy: Yes, sweetheart.
Lucas: Do YOU have equal rights, Daddy?
Daddy: Not anymore. That's why we're here today, to let people know we're not happy that they took our rights away.
Lucas: Who took your rights, Daddy?
Daddy: People who don't understand that civil rights are for everyone.
Lucas: That's not Fair!

Me on Poppa's shoulders with my Daddy holding Miss Katie Bug at an Irvine Protest Rally - photo by OC Register

My family hasn't been all that motivated lately. Basically, Daddy & Poppa have been depressed that our community worked so hard to educate people about a ballot initiative designed to revoke our basic rights as a family unit and we lost by a slight majority. The elections were bittersweet. We were elated to finally have a President with intellect, compassion and vision for turning this country in a positive direction. The past 8 years have been so grim (even though I've only been around for the last 4, thank goodness!) Yet as the confetti settled we learned the following day that Proposition 8 passed by a narrow margin. We've slowly been coming out of our funk, but it has taken alot of reading, rallying and commiserating with like-minded allys to get us over the hump.

Poppa & I wave Old Glory with friends at Irvine City Hall
So here's my family's take on all this:

It turns out that a slight majority of Californians (52%) voted to take away a constitutional right to a minority group of its citizens. The issue of same-gender marriage is a big one now that election night is over and Proposition 8 passed. Now the lawsuits are flying, the rallies are organizing and the fight is on to reclaim the fundamental right to define our family just like everyone else gets to define theirs. Kate & I should be able to say that our parents are married, just like my friends who have married parents. It's not fair for us to have to say our parents are "partnered", or "unioned".
The same thing happened when in 1967, the Supreme Court heard the case of Loving v. Virginia where an interacial married couple was arrested for living together. Had their marriage gone to the popular vote, they would surely be in the same predicament we are in today. The majority vote would have been against them. Miscegenation was considered an "abomination of the bible". Fortunately, the courts are there to protect our equal rights in situations like this from the "tyranny of the majority". Here again, we are in a fight for civil rights as the majority is imposing their religious values on a minority group of citizens, undermining basic tenets of government - separation of church and state and equal rights for all.

Most likely, the state supreme court will hear the case and determine if Prop 8 is actually a revision, rather than an amendment to the state's constitution. An amendment only requires a simple majority. A revision, however, requires a super majority (2/3) vote by the legislature and then if passed, can become an initiative to place on a ballot. If the courts determine that changing the constitution to declare marriage in the state of California as only between a man and a woman is a REVISION, Prop 8 will be thrown out and my parents' rights will be once again restored. Fingers are crossed. There are only a few cases which guide the distinction between a revision and an amendment. However, there stands a chance the state's Supreme Court will rule in our favor based on the amicus briefs filed with the court favoring throwing the Proposition out by 44 Democratic Legislators, Senator Feinstein, LA Mayor Villaraigosa, several major cities & counties (Laguna, San Fran, LA, etc) the CA Education Board and many others. This in addition to the court's May 2008 ruling that equal rights belong to all of California's citizens.

Time is on our side. In addition to the general movement toward acceptance of same-gender marriage, Obama recently released his updated statement re. his goals for ensuring civil rights for all American citizens on This is huge. The fact that a President-elect publishes his intentions for such incredible social advancements for this country is not only long overdue, it is essential for our nation to recognize the unique diversity that is our nation's hallmark. This country was founded on equality for all and freedom of religion. Prop 8 was a huge step backwards that hopefully will be corrected soon. Children deserve the same social standing as their peers who are being raised in opposite-gender households. To deny them sends a message that they and their families are second class. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has provided their love and support on this incredible social issue. Our family, along with thousands of others will continue to let our voices be heard.
Enjoy the pics....

Oh, and one more thing...I encourage everyone to watch Keith Olbermann's video on same-gender marriage, found at:
And our mugshots on Sunday's OC Register:
(click on more photos associated with the story)
An attorney, Edson McLellan, organized this rally with his wife, kids and many friends to demonstrate that "straight" families are opposed to Prop 8 too. These families spent their Saturday night making up signs, and their Sunday marching in San Clemente (a conservative stronghold in the OC) to show their dissatisfaction with the recent outcome, eliminating rights of same-gender families. Way to go Edson!!!

Clark & Greg Collins with their son, Jackson join us in San Clemente.

Our first march, in Laguna Beach. The mayor and several others spoke on the back of a pickup truck as their stage. Talk about grass roots effort! This was a HUGE rally/march from City Hall down to the Beach.
More protesters in front of Irvine City Hall
Our dear friend, Michelle Bartlett & her daughter, Lillian get some press coverage during the protest at Irvine City Hall.

Lucas watches Maxwell Bartlett during his mom's interview.

Is that Sarah Palin on our side? NOT! This gal mocks the ultra-conservative Palin with her "Miss Take" beauty pageant banner. When asked if we could take her picture, she replied "You betcha!"

Complete with Neiman Marcus price tag $150,000 and the back of her banner reading "Rogue Maverick". Watch out Tina Fey! Looks like you've got some competition...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

FINALLY! Election Day is Here!

Lucas & Kate show their Election Day spirit. I wonder who Daddy & Poppa will be voting for???

Thanks to our dear friend, Sarah and her blog,

for her tireless support and for providing the following NO on 8 campaign images:

Halloween 2008

Lucas and Kate had a terrific time at the neighborhood Halloween street party. I'd say their costumes were pretty darn cute!

Lucas (Speed Racer) & Kate (Our little lamb) are ready to hit the street!

Here we go!!!

Our hosts for the "after-party", Paulo (GI Joe) & Lucca (Indiana Jones) DeLancellotti

The three musketeers, Paulo, Lucas & Kai

Michelle & Poppa introduce Max & Kate - these two are only a few months apart. I'm thinkin' there's gonna be some fun playdates in their not-so-distant future!

At Lucas' preschool, they have "Trunk or Treat" where cars are decorated and candy handed out. Grammy went all out with her "Mary had a little lamb" theme!

Miss Borel's class - such great costumes!