Ella’s 10th Birthday

May 20th, 2016

I have fallen so far behind but I am determined to catch up.  Ella is now 10 and becomes more of an amazing person every day!  On the actual day of Ella’s birthday, we brought cupcakes to school, picked up Ella and a bunch of her friends and took them to K1 Speed for a fun afternoon of racing!  Everyone had a blast and Sunny made another one of her amazing Disney cakes at Ella’s request.


Ella and her friends had a blast.  They drove around the track like pros!

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After K-1, the Kim-Arena’s came over for some cake.IMG_0529

One weekend later, we flew to Las Vegas to spend the weekend with grandma and papa.  We had a really great time.  We stayed at the Venetian and Ella had her first “gondola” ride.

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Here is a super sweet series of Ella and Grandma in the lobby.

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We came home for another week and then headed to Disney World for Ella’s big 10th birthday celebration.  Before we left, we got to meet our friend Sheila’s new puppy Olivia.  Ella fell in love immediately.

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Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for… our big trip to Disney World!  This is gonna be great!

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Here we are all ready to take on Disney World.  The bracelets are called “magic bands” and they get us into the parks, they are our fast passes, they are our hotel keys and they are our money!


Meeting up with Jesse and Heather at the airport.

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Ella and Milo meeting up at the hotel.

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Sporting our Ella 10 hoodies.

IMG_0703 IMG_0727 IMG_0733 IMG_0711 IMG_0738We all were having so much fun with each other.  It was so great to be together.

IMG_0742About to go onto Everest.

IMG_0750The kids having fun at the Frozen Show.

IMG_0788 IMG_0791 IMG_0795Small World with Papa and Grandma.

IMG_0793SIL love.

IMG_0798 IMG_0800A kind stranger took these amazing shots of the 10 of us.  Go team Ella!


IMG_0807 IMG_0810Beauty and the Beast!

IMG_0818 IMG_0820 IMG_0821 IMG_0822 IMG_0825Heading into dinner at Be Our Guest.

IMG_0831Try the grey stuff it’s delicious.

IMG_0834While eating at Be Our Guest, Heather noticed that Josh Gadd (the voice of Olaf) was at another table in the restaurant.  Ella LOVES Olaf and wanted to meet him.  She went up to him and said, “I’m a huge fan”.  He was really sweet and asked her if she wanted to take a picture with him.  Pretty amazing!

IMG_0836 IMG_0537 IMG_0538More pics from our great dinner/

IMG_0542 IMG_0541 IMG_0540We had a fantastic time on the Mine Train ride.

IMG_0544 IMG_0547Magic at night.

IMG_0845 IMG_0849 IMG_0859We all couldn’t stop smiling!

IMG_0862 IMG_0865 IMG_0869Nemo and the Little Mermaid.

IMG_0549 IMG_0550Check it out – Heather, Jesse, Sunny, Ella and I were in one car (the one with the hands up) and Grandma, Papa, AJ, Michael and Milo were in the other one – very careful riders.

IMG_0881 IMG_0886 IMG_0895 IMG_0894 IMG_0553 IMG_0555Olaf T-Shirt day!  We had a fantastic day at Epcot.

IMG_0907Ella holding magic in the palm of her hand.

IMG_0913Sweet happy Ella.

IMG_0915The end of a beautiful night.











November 11th, 2015

Dear Ella –

Today is your 10th birthday and we just wanted to let you know that we love you so much.  You are such a beautiful, smart, loving, kind, fun, funny, spunky, interesting, and amazing person.  We feel so lucky that you are our daughter.  Now – let the celebrations begin!

We love you,

Mama and Mommy

 1minute.jpgHere you are one minute old.  All of our lives changed for the better the moment we met you!

October 2015 – Beautiful visit from Grandma and Papa, Halloween and much more

November 10th, 2015

1-1.jpg1-8.jpgElla was testing out the fan on her Baymax costume.  It worked perfectly up until Halloween!

1-9.jpg1-10.jpgReactions from Ella and Juliet when we tried to talk to the about puberty! It’s going to be a long few years.

1-24.jpg1-25.jpg A beautiful day on the Embarcadero.

1-3.jpg Baymax visited with Emmi and Panda today!1-4.jpg1-5.jpg1-6.jpg We took Ella and some friends rock climbing.  Ella really loves it.1-51.jpg1-52.jpgWalking over to a new restaurant called Zero Zero.


1-17.jpgLove these guys!

1-18.jpg Ella was not happy about Grandma writing “sex” in her Bananagrams words.1-40.jpg1-41.jpg1-42.jpg1-43.jpg1-44.jpgSweet day at the Berkeley Botanical Gardens. 1-12.jpg1-13.jpgWe had an awesome dinner at Alexanders.  Nothing like cotton candy after a 3 hour meal!

1-27.jpg1-28.jpg1-29.jpg1-30.jpg We decided to mix it up and go to Coyote Point.  We all had a great time with Grandma and Papa.

1-31.jpgThis was the face that Ella used to make when she had to pee.

1-11.jpg So  this is a little inside joke that Ella and Grandma have…Grandma once took Ella to see an Alvin and The Chipmunks movie and she felt tortured!  Guess what grandma -there’s a new Alvin and The Chipmunks movie coming out and Ella can’t wait to see it with you!

1-2.jpg Sweet Ella having her tea before school. 1-47.jpg1-48.jpgThese two are growing up way too fast!

1-49.jpg 1-1-1.jpgA bunch of staff members from my school had a bonfire at the beach.  Sunny was the master marshmallow cooker.

1-22.jpg Racquetball anyone?

1-23.jpg Ella giving Panda a bath.

1-46.jpgHere are Sunny and Ella at a farmer’s market by our house.  They were learning to bake an apple pie.

1-45.jpg Beautiful rainbow in my work parking lot.1-14.jpg1-15.jpg1-16.jpg Ella’s 4th grade class did an amazing assembly on National Parks.1-32.jpg1-33.jpg1-34.jpg1-35.jpg1-36.jpg1-37.jpgI flew to NY for an amazing show that AJ wrote and performed.  The weekend was Halloween weekend so although I missed Halloween with Ella and Sunny, I did get to spend Halloween with your NY family!  Here are some pics from a little party that Jordin and Kevin had.

1-38.jpg1-39.jpg Here is Grandma and Papa’s house on Halloween.  Hen and Grandma did a great job!

1-19.jpg1-20.jpg1-21.jpg1-26.jpgMeanwhile, back in SF, Ella switched from Baymax to a vampire and had an amazing Halloween with friends.

September 2015 – First Day Of 4th Grade, Strike Out Violence Day and more fun!

November 9th, 2015

 September was a fantastic month!  Ella started the 4th grade.  This will be her last year on the 16th Street campus and then onto Middle School!  Ella has a teacher who is new to CDS – her name is Skye.  So far, Ella is loving the 4th grade.  Strike Out Violence Day was a great day as usually.  The 3 of us were together on the field and it was a sweet ceremony.  Ella had a wonderful visit with her friend Sakura who now lives in Japan and came to my back to school night.

1-17.jpg1-18.jpg1-19.jpgFirst day of fourth grade!1-15.jpg1-16.jpgFrolicking in the grass.

1-5.jpg1-6.jpg1-7.jpg1-8.jpgStrike Out Violence Day!1-4.jpgHere is Ella playing the bass in my classroom.  Eventually I will put together a video that shows Ella playing the drums and shredding on the electric guitar.

1-1.jpgThis is what was on Ella’s table for us on back to school night.  Who knew that she was looking forward to drinking coffee this much!

1-2.jpg1-3.jpgHere are some more beautiful examples of Ella’s heart.

1-20.jpgMust have been a very sunny day.

1-12.jpgElla leading the red belts in some kicks.

1-10.jpg1-11.jpgViting with Sakura.  Ella’s Halloween costume arrived and she couldn’t wait to try it on.1-9.jpgElla got her face painted after doing a breast cancer walk.

1-14.jpg1-13.jpgThe picture before was of Ella waiting for the blood moon and here are Ella and Colette on the yard.  Ella manages to get in hugs with Colette and Alicia whenever she can.

August 2015 – Back in San Francisco

November 9th, 2015

 August was a fantastic month.  Once we came home from our Anguilla/NY amazing vacation, I had to go back to work, Sunny’s work never stopped, and Ella spent some great time with friends and went to SPCA camp, Circus Camp and tennis/skateboard camp.  Here are some pics from some of Ella’s amazing experiences… 


1-13.jpgHanging out with Jeremy Affeldt and Bruce Bochy.

1-14.jpgHanging with Rocky – Julie and Justin’s beautiful son.



1-11.jpgA little trip to the beach in SF.




1-7.jpgWe took Ella and Emmi to see Matilda.  What a great show!

1-3.jpgElla in her Circus Camp make-up.

1-8.jpg Nothing like a ballgame on a beautiful August night.

1-17.jpgElla is so graceful on the ice!

1-1.jpgNever too old for this.

1-2.jpgSweet trip on the E line.

Amazing summer part 2

September 8th, 2015

So we got home from Anguilla and had some more amazing time with our family and friends.  Here are some pics from the rest of our New Jersey trip…

We went to the New York Botanical Gardens to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit.  It was beautiful and we took a lot of pictures of beautiful flowers but I am not going to post those pics here because there are too many!


That evening, Grandma and Papa treated us to “The King and I”.  It was wonderful…


Now I am going to post a bunch of shots that are all about love and fun!


And now for scenes at Papa’s club…

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Ella and Milo had some sweet cousin time with Georgia…

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We all had a great time with Jordin and Twyla…


Had a blast with Nikki B…


Super fun family time in the pool…


Big night out in Leonia…


Ella and Milo took golf lessons…


Ella hung out with Ashley…


She did a lot of diving…(I have so much video that I need to put together)


Took a great picture of the sisters and parents…


Most importantly, spent so much time and shared so much love with Grandma, Papa and Milo…

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Dog cousins hanging out one last time for the summer of 2015…


And then we had to go home to SF… we love you guys so much and summers are super special!


Beautiful memories from the summer

September 2nd, 2015

We had an amazing summer!  After Ella came back from Camp Winnarainbow, I went to Colorado for a conference and Ella and mommy had a week without me!  Ella went to an ice skating and bowling camp and fell in love with ice skating.  When I got back from Colorado, Ella and I headed to NJ and were met by mommy a week later.  During the first week, we celebrated Milo’s 6th birthday, did a lot of swimming, saw Inside Out again and also saw the Minion Movie.  We had an amazing time in NJ and then headed for Anguilla.  Anguilla was a fantastic trip.  We mostly stayed with KK and then ended our trip at the Frangipani.  Here are pictures from the first week in NJ and our trip to Anguilla.  The rest of the NJ trip and the rest of our summer will follow.

1.jpg Ella, Panda and I on our way to NJ.

2-1.jpg Grandma and Panda watching us catch fireflies.

3-1.jpg Ella and Milo reunited!  They were catching fireflies on the first night.

4-1.jpg Ella made this birthday card for Milo.

5-1.jpgSweet Milo very focused at the Leonia pool.

6-1.jpg Ella was super happy to see her friend Emma again.

7-1.jpg Ella and Papa before Milo’s birthday dinner.

8-1.jpg Happy birthday Milo!

9-1.jpg10-1.jpg11-1.jpgSweet and goofy family photos at Kiku.

12-1.jpg Ella practicing her shot.

13-1.jpg Ella and Emma had a great time together.

14-1.jpg Cousins in the sun!

15-1.jpg Our mermaid.

16-1.jpg Beautiful cousins.

17-1.jpg The Minion movie!

18-1.jpg Milo drying himself off!

19-1.jpg Fun and love on the front yard!

20-1.jpg Chillin at the club!

21-1.jpg6:00 am and we’re on our journey to Anguilla!

22-1.jpg It took Ella about 4 minutes to get comfortable.

23-1.jpg So happy to get some quality time with KK!

24-1.jpg First family ocean shot!

25-1.jpg26-1.jpg We were swimming in the ocean with this beautiful creatures.  I was pretty freaked out by the ray.

27-1.jpg Reading…

28-1.jpg Building sand castles…

29-1.jpg Baking a cake… life is pretty incredible on the island!

30-1.jpg Ella checking out the water while we have lunch.

31-1.jpg32-1.jpg33-1.jpg34-1.jpg35-1.jpg36-1.jpgThis is the life!

37-1.jpg Best family shot EVER!

38-1.jpg39-1.jpg40-1.jpg41-1.jpg 42-1.jpgWe did a dolphin experience.  It was amazing.  I will have to find our disc full of pictures of us with the dolphins and post it.  

43-1.jpgLater on that day we went to Junk’s Hole where we were invaded by seaweed.  Ella wasn’t very happy about the sea weed!

44-1.jpg45-1.jpg We did manage to get a few smiles out of Ella despite the sea weed.

46-1.jpg47-1.jpg49-1.jpg50-1.jpg51-1.jpg52-1.jpg53-1.jpg54-1.jpg Here are some shots from a gorgeous day at Da Vida.  We all tried paddle boarding.  Ella was awesome!

55-1.jpg56-1.jpg57-1.jpg We had a beautiful dinner at Malliouhana with KK.

58-1.jpg We love you Ella!

59-1.jpg Love in Anguilla.

60-1.jpg A view from the pool at Frangipani.

61-1.jpg62-1.jpg Nothing like having a delicious dinner on the beach at Smokey’s and Ella getting to play in the sand.

63-1.jpg63-1.jpg64-1.jpg65-1.jpg66-1.jpg Ella had a fantastic time tubing.


68-1.jpg69-1.jpg Lunch at Blanchards.

70-1.jpgElla and KK taking a dip at Frangipani.

71-1.jpg Attempting the skim board.

73-1.jpg Last day of lounging around for us!


Sending a lantern off into the moonlight.

77-1.jpg Boat ride back to St. Maarten.

78-1.jpg Panda and his buddies.

Marriage equality, Pride and of course, Disneyland!

July 6th, 2015

Last week was pure happiness for all of us.  The three of us were on the steps of City Hall when the city celebrated marriage equality in all 50 states!  It was a beautiful morning and there is a lot to celebrate.  We marched in the pride parade with the independent schools, which meant that we got to march with the Kim/Arenas.  It was so much fun and Isaac was the hit of our section of the parade.  He would walk, face the crowd, say “Hi” and then like 50 people would respond back “Hi” to him.  He loved it!  On Tuesday evening, we flew to LA, had a really sweet evening with Jesse and Heather (although there was a big black out and we went to sleep with no power) and then spent about 14 hours in Disneyland the next day seeing all of the Diamond 60th Anniversary additions.  It was so much fun and we were totally knocked out the next day!  Thank you Jesse and Heather for a wonderful 36 hours in LA!

1.jpg Here we are on the steps of City Hall.  Looks like we may tie the knot!

2.jpg Decorating the wagon with rainbow streamers.

3.jpg4.jpgGetting ready to march.  It took a while!

5.jpg Our sister Helen!

6.jpg Pride parade gang signs “PEACE”

7.jpg8.jpg Walking through the crowd sprinkling rainbow confetti which the kids were calling Unicorn Barf!

9.jpg After the parade waiting for a table at Dim Sum.

10.jpg Waiting for the train to take us home!  What a fun day!

11.jpg12.jpg Now in LA, it looks like the Minions have taken over the Cinema Theatre!  Ella took these pics and was thrilled to see these guys larger than life.

131.jpg14.jpg Ella just LOVES Jesse and Heather!

15.jpgTram selfie!

16.jpg Pure happiness and joy.

17.jpg First ride of the day.  Mommy and Ella are rocking it on Cars.

18.jpg Jesse got to ride the Matterhorn twice!

21.jpg Waiting on line for Peter Pan.

22.jpg Love this ride so much!  That’s a Go Pro on my head.  I will edit video at a later time.

23.jpg24.jpg25.jpg On line for Space Mountain.

26.jpg Space Mountain Sshot.  Ella was supposed to be pretend sleeping but she was too excited!

27.jpg Starting to get dark out.  We look pretty good going on our 11th hour!

28.jpg Saw an incredible fireworks show and parade.  Here is one of Ella’s favorites from the parade.

Fun week so far!

June 25th, 2015

Ella, Stella and Juliet are at rock climbing camp this week.  They are having so much fun together.  Tonight, we went to see the movie “Inside Out”.  It was a hit with everyone.

117.jpg217.jpg Planet Granite is located in a beautiful spot right near the Golden Gate Bridge.  Not a bad place to hang out!

310.jpg All of the kids are having a blast!

45.jpg Ella can’t wait for this movie to come out!

55.jpg65.jpg75.jpg Acting aout all of the different emotions.  The movie had joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

84.jpg Very clever movie ad!

Ella’s week at Camp Winnarainbow

June 23rd, 2015

Ella had an amazing week at Camp Winnarainbow – her first time at sleep away camp, and her moms made it through the week without missing her too much!  The pictures in the first part of this blog were taken by Ella.  She took a camera with her to camp and took some sweet shots and fun videos.  Here are the pics.

1a.jpgThe teepee circle

1b.jpg Tight rope practice place.

1c.jpg Aerial practice place.

1d.jpgNurse’s dome.

1e.jpg Dinner menu!

1f.jpg Chocolate pudding.

1g.jpgTurquoise teepee (the place where Ella slept for the week!)

1h.jpgThe rainbow stage.

1j.jpg Another look at the tightrope area.

1i.jpgAnother shot of the turquoise tent.

1k.jpg The road to the lake.

1l.jpg The lake – Ella passed the difficult swim test.

1m.jpg The campfire!

1n.jpg Great shot.

115.jpgLooks like a selfie to me!

215.jpg39.jpg44.jpg54.jpg64.jpg74.jpg83.jpg93.jpg123.jpg163.jpgElla explained her teepee experience as a group of girls who were sisters for the week.  She said that they felt like a family.  I know that she loved being there with Stella and Juliet and that she also made some new friends.  The counselors told us that they were the best group of girls that they ever had.  Ella even bragged about the teepee winning the cleanest tent award!  They were rewarded with M&M’s.  Here are a few more pics from Ella’s camera.

103.jpg116.jpg133.jpg142.jpg153.jpg The next group of pics are taken from my perspective.  The shots of Sunny, Ella and I were taken by Karen who was visiting from NY.  Thank you for taking these pics!

173.jpg183.jpg Not exactly your “traditional” camp!

193.jpg203.jpg216.jpg223.jpg232.jpg Reunited and it feels so good!  We love you so much Ella!

242.jpg A little unicycle action.

252.jpg A new friend Cadence.

262.jpg272.jpg Very sweet closing show.  I have videos that I will throw together which show Ella doing gymnastics and some aerial stuff.

282.jpg291.jpg301.jpg Back in SF, Ella started rock climbing camp today.  She successfully did the purple path today!