Fall/Winter 2015

Gabby has had a really good school year this far because she has benefitted from having two different teachers. Mrs. Boxler was pregnant with twins at the beginning of the school year and wasn’t in the classroom very long before she had to take maternity leave. Mr. Shackley, who I believe graduated as valedictorian from Meadows around the time Gabby was born, took her place. He was a great match for Gabby and really played to her strengths. He also awarded her the good citizen award very early in the school year. Needless to say, I was thrilled. I took a video of Gabby when I told her she won the award while we were in our hotel room at Disneyland. She missed the surprise presentation because of the trip. I am not posting the video to YouTube because Coleman was so upset that she won the award, and he didn’t. In his mind, this means she is a “better kid.” It took him about a day in Disneyland to get over it.

She was called up to get her certificate two weeks later. Here she is with her good friend Billy Pengilly.

Brian had a Yardi conference at Disney, and we tagged along because the tickets were discounted. It was September and at least 100 degrees with humidity. This was the very first ride we did, so we were all relatively happy at this point.

I made everyone walk through Toontown, and gosh (think Goofy) was I glad we could get a picture with a character. It reminds me of our first incredibly awesome visit to Toontown in 2012 when Mickey personally walked us through his house. Gabby has changed a lot in three years.

Gigi took a break from walking whenever she could get one!

At this point we were all still glad to be there because the park wasn’t crowded at all. Of our three-day trip, our first few hours on our first day were the best.

As it started getting hotter and more crowded, Brian, Paul and Coleman went back to the room, and Gigi, Gabby and I stuck around. It was a good move to break up the group. We stopped for ice cream sundaes so we could enjoy some air conditioning. Check out the size of those sundaes!

And then we waited for my favorite part of Disney with my daughter - the parade.

Gabby was bummed that her favorite princess, Tiana, didn’t wave to her (although Cinderella did).

Ever since her first visit, she has loved waving to all of the characters and getting their attention. Even though Tiana didn’t notice her, some of the villains did - Captain Hook and Mr. Smee! Hook got her nose!

My pictures from 2012 don’t come close to how cool this experience was. Bert from Mary Poppins!

When Gabby had her face painted at a pre-football game party, she didn’t take into account that it was a teenage boy doing the face painting. She wanted to wash it all off as soon as she realized what had happened.

We had great lighting and location for our family photo this year.

Gabby watched Gone with the Wind with Gigi and loved the movie. I convinced her she should be Scarlett O’Hara for Halloween. None of her friends knew who she was, but all of the adults did.

We went to her school to watch everyone parade around in their costumes. The kids love seeing parents dressed up. Brian went as Coleman’s twin - Fat Elvis (he’s not fat, but it was funny when Coleman called him Fat Elvis.)

I encouraged Gabby to say the following lines in true Scarlett fashion (with a Southern accent):

“Oh, fiddle dee dee.”

“Ashley, Ashley!”

“As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!”

“After all, tomorrow is another day!”

While Brian and I attended a concert at Brooklyn Bowl, Gabby hung out with Mari and her dog Scooter at Wendy and Richard’s house.

Jillian came over too with her baby chef.

We spent a Saturday night pretending to be Las Vegas tourists. We ate at Spago, walked down the Strip, watched the Bellagio fountains, and even took a picture with a Dorothy ballerina street performer. Gabby also collected cards of naked ladies from the sketchy dudes who hand them out.

We also came across this Brahma shrine (a Hindu and Buddhist temple) in front of Caesar’s Palace.

Gabby and Coleman both took great school photos this year. Thanks to Dulce for always making her hair look great.

We spent part of Nevada Day hiking Calico Basin with Gabby’s school friends. There were a lot of people on the hike, so we didn’t go too far.

Kelly Maxwell and Susan Perry invited us to a 10-bedroom house in Zion this year. Gabby was in heaven because she had 15 other kids to hang out with. I spent some one-on-one time with her walking exploring the property when she came upon a muddy sheet of ice.

Besides the Maxwell-Perrys, we knew the Westermans and the Shulmans (Eli and Lucy pictured here.) Just like Gabby, I enjoyed meeting lots of new people.

On the way home we had to drive back through the park and were able to convince the kids to go on a quick hike.

That’s right kids. Please get the goofiness out so we can have a pleasant ride home.

I love parent observation week and seeing Gabby dance with her peers. It’s always a joy watching her dance.

This year’s Thanksgiving was the best meal Brian and I’ve hosted to date.

And we got the only group photo we’ve ever taken. I hope we can remember to make this a tradition.

We hiked Calico Basin on Thanksgiving weekend.

Besides trucking up a hill for about 10 minutes, the kids had a great time.

It helped that we took lots of breaks.

I let Gabby put the tree topper on the kids’ tree for the first time. Watch the video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jixaYmeXoG0. She did a great job. However, I’m not sure I’ll buy a second tree next year since they didn’t seem all that interested in helping me decorate.

We had a very busy December, which started with the Santa Run. It’s pretty cool to see thousands of people dressed up like Santa. Gabby did a great job on the run. I think she finished in about 40 minutes. She and I ran together and let Brian, Paul and Coleman go ahead of us. Gabby complained a lot, so we walked as much as she wanted.

Nevada Ballet asked me to host a mommy/child party at Stella McCartney this year at Crystal’s. Gabby had a great time eating cookies and doing art projects. I had a great time drinking prosecco and trying on clothes!

The Nutcracker was in attendance, and Jeanne Frederick let us go into a dressing room so Gabby could try on the head. It was fun, but Gabby prefers to not be anonymous!

The kids went to their second rodeo and even met a real cowboy.

I had a major allergic reaction once the rodeo got started. I’m glad the kids didn’t have the same reaction.

I attended a holiday party in Gabby’s class. Mrs. Boxler had just come back from maternity leave. She has baby twins at home and 20 energetic kids in her classroom. Yikes! Here is Gabby with her friends Bella and Ethan.

Gabby’s go-to trick is to see if she can pick you up. I don’t mind if she does this with kids, but she has to stop trying it with adults. Someone is going to get hurt!

Gabby was a ghost in her after-school drama program fall production.

I am already looking forward to her being in middle school productions.

This particular play was a bit tedious because Mr. Burris read most of the lines and then the kid would repeat it. I’m guessing a lot of kids already knew their lines and didn’t need this prompting. I know Gabby did!

The Binion Christmas Party was the best one yet. This year they built a winter wonderland on the front lawn that had snow, elves, a toy workshop . . .

and beautiful dancers.

Gabby loves the party for many reasons, but especially because her friends are there. Here she is with Gigi Gonya on the dance floor.

Wendy and Richard sponsored the Nutcracker performance we went to this year, and we sat in the box. This was the second Nutcracker Gabby and I saw this season. That’s how much she loves it. She can’t wait to be in the production in two years. I hope tryouts go well!

Gabby and Coleman were invited backstage to hand out flowers to the ballerinas.

They wasted no time getting on and off stage.

Each year Gabby gets a new Nutcracker when she goes to the performance. Gabby also gets new pajamas from her Granny Gigi, which Gabby usually isn’t thrilled about (it’s not a toy!), but then she learns to love her new sleepwear.

Brian took the kids and Morgan to ski at Eagle Point, Utah. They got off to a rough start the first day because they left Vegas early and then skied that afternoon.

I feel like a loser for not skiing with them, but I have zero desire. This is Brian’s activity with the kids, and I’ll make them swim long distance races with me when they are older. Or maybe do sprint triathlons. Now that I put that in writing, I realize that Brian has picked the sport they will enjoy more.

Brian was confident enough to let them ride a lift by themselves. I see this picture and get heart palpitations. Brian figured that Gabby knew it was not in her best interest to fall off of the lift.

At 6 and 8 years old, they are already old pros.

When it comes to skiing with the kids, Brian is Super Dad. It is hard work getting them all geared up and ready to go.

While Gabby really loves her cousin Ezra, she has admitted that she is “one percent jealous” when he is around because he gets more attention than she does. This reminds me why I didn’t have a third kid!!!!!

Santa brought Gabby what she asked for - a car for her American Girl doll. Granted, the car she wanted was $350. Santa brought a cheaper version that Gabby was still very happy about, thank goodness.

Gabby got a really cool Dance hat and red dance high tops from the Westermans. Now she can go to hip hop in style.

Ezra celebrated his first Christmas.

The Bresnahan side of the family.

Gabby and Aunt Mari.

Gabby spent some time with Martini too. He enjoys all of the attention he can get.

We spent four nights in Santa Monica after Christmas. The kids enjoyed riding bikes on the beach, although Gabby just told me she didn’t really like it when she fell over in the sand.

We let the kids enjoy the beach for a few minutes.

We had New Year’s Eve dinner at Baltaire with Wendy, Richard and Randall. Gabby sat at the table for a little while and then found the jazz band in the bar and decided she’d rather dance to their music, by herself I might add.

Randall brought decorations, party hats and fun candy for the kids.

What does Gabby want in 2016? World peace!

A rare photo of just Gabby and Grandma. Such beauty.

It was a great meal with great company. Now that the kids seem capable of sitting through a long meal, I might ask them to do it more often.

We visited Randall at his art deco apartment building, the Mauretania, and Brian took this awesome shot of Gabby. She is growing up so fast.

Then we went to Pasadena to see the floats from the Rose Parade that happened the day before.

It was crowded but totally worth it.

Brian is still good with Gabby on his shoulders, but he admits that it won’t be much longer.

Randall is a pretty great friend (and patient!) to spend an entire day with us, touring us around L.A. and Pasadena. We owe him one big time.

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