Month: December 2015

My Top Ten Highlights of 2015

Posted December 31, 2015 by Rowena in All Things Me, Family, Friends | 1 Comment

2015 held its fair share of sad news around the world. With all of the shootings, massacres and just bad shit that went down in Paris, in San Bernardino and in the Middle East, there was a lot to be sad about. But on a more personal level, 2015 was a memorable year for me and my family. There were a lot of highlights that far surpassed the lowlights. 🙂

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1. Winning CIF and getting rings.

We have five champions in the family this year.

It started with Brenna and Cheridan winning their early morning CIF championship game against El Dorado. It was a nail biter, coming down to the last seconds of the game where we came out winners by one point.

Later that same day, Makenna and her Lady Seahawks would go on to defeat their cross town rivals, Mira Costa by hella points. It was a pretty boring game since Redondo came out and just put Costa to work. Meghan was injured so she didn’t play in the game but she cheered her pants off from the bench.

Jenna’s game didn’t come until way later since her softball season is long after basketball but her Torrance Tartars are champs too!

Team RJ 2015

2. Team RJ Shenanigans at Relay for Life.

Team RJ participated in the Torrance Relay for Life again this year for the third year straight (it’s three years, right Ingrid?) and every year, the experience gets more and more special. We did this year’s relay without RJ and Chance for the first year since we started as both RJ and Chance are on their missions but it was still a good turn out and a lot of memories were made for a good cause. Can’t wait for next year!

Colorado 2

3. Spring Break in Colorado.

For Spring Break this year, Brenna and I went to Colorado and spent a week with the Nikos. We wanted to just get away for a little bit and relax. It was a great week filled with hanging with the boys, going up to Crested Butte and watching Arrow. We were there for General Conference weekend so Easter Sunday was spent with Helen, Rob and the boys and with the McLaughlins and like always, the food was plentiful and great! It was nice to get away from the office for the week and just wake up when I want to wake up, do whatever I wanted to do and be free. I need to get away again, do that a couple of times a year.

2015 Wilson Reunion

4. Wilson Family Reunion.

This year kicked off our Wilson family reunion, something we haven’t done since about 1991 or 1992 since Chloe was a baby at the last Wilson family reunion I attended (she’s an old lady now, getting married next year!) but this year’s reunion was so much fun! We had a games day filled with human hungry, hungry hippo and minute to win it games, we met and hung out with long, lost relatives, met new relatives and enjoyed being together as one family. I can’t wait for the next one!

Old Friends

5. Reconnecting with old friends.

People come in and out of your life as the years pass but one of my favorite things to happen this year was reconnecting with a childhood friend that I haven’t talked to regularly in a long ass time. In the upcoming Throwback Thursday posts, you’ll see a lot of pictures from my teenage years and the person that was standing right beside me through most of them was Ms. Hanahlei. Reconnecting with Hanah through Church this year has been a blast and I’m so glad to have her in my life again. My kid loves her kids and her kids are great with my kid and I love that. I love that after all of this time, we can reconnect like no time has passed.

Long Beach Wilsons

6. Henry and Les are expecting Baby #5.

A few months ago, I was having dinner with B Nice at Furusato (one of my go to Korean BBQ places) when I read the news that my brother Henry and Les were expecting again. They have four kids right now, Maleah, Makaela, Brody and Lily and come the end of January, we’ll be welcoming another Wilson grand baby into the fold. I can’t wait!

My favorite conversation about the new baby happened with Lily. I was over the house, making dinner when she came up to me and said, “Aunty, did you know that my baby brother is naked inside my Mommy’s stomach? That’s gross!”

Haha, love that kid!

Luka Joe

7. Lukey started Kindergarten!

I remember when this kid was born. I remember when he was me and Chloe’s favorite kid and we spoiled him rotten. I remember everything about this kid so it blows my mind that Baby No Name Peneueta is now in freaking Kindergarten. He likes school. He has friends, his teacher looks like a vampire (his words, not mine) and he doesn’t even mind waking up in the morning to get ready for school, which is saying something from Mr. Never used to wake up before noon. He’s enjoying his first year in school and even though his penmanship sucks, the kid is smart as hell. Best thing about Luke starting school? Listening to him sing about strippers while he’s doing his homework. LOL!

This song is particular:

SMH, that damn Ken.


8. Chloe got engaged to Markus!

Markus proposed to Chloe!!

Earlier this year, Chloe came to town after a first date that she didn’t even want to go on but couldn’t cancel cause the guy was on his way to her house to pick her up. She sucked it up and went on the date and was surprised at how much fun she had and how cool the guy turned out to be. She had so much fun that the date didn’t end until he took her to the airport the next morning so she can come to California. Haha, Hoey Chloe!

The following month, Markus came to California with Chloe for Relay for Life and to meet the family. A few months of dating and Markus proposed to her in the beginning of November and they’re getting married in 2016. This makes me so happy because Chloe is going to be an amazing wife. Markus is one lucky guy and I’m over the moon that she’s finally over that no good, piece of you know what ex-boyfriend of hers.


9. The 99’s graduate from High School and Maleah gets promoted to High School!

Meghan, Seth and Chach are known as the 97’s in our family and they graduated from high school this year! I was fortunate to be able to make it to all three graduations (even Seth’s in Colorado) and spend time with the family celebrating great achievements. Maleah was promoted from middle school to high school this year too. I went to that promotion ceremony too. Busy, busy. Lots of great things in store for these guys.

Since they graduated (or were promoted in Leah’s case), Leah has started high school at North, Chach started college at BYU in Provo, Meghan started at El Camino and Seth entered the work force with plans to turn in his mission papers. See? Lots of great things in store for these guys!

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10. Steroline and Olicity get together!

There’s really nothing left to say about this one since I’ve been walking around like this:

So there you have it, my top ten highlights of the year. How was yours?

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Week in Books (4)

Posted December 28, 2015 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments


Currently Reading

my american duchess
My American Duchess by Eloisa James.

The arrogant Duke of Trent intends to marry a well-bred Englishwoman. The last woman he would ever consider marrying is the adventuresome Merry Pelford— an American heiress who has infamously jilted two fiancés.

But after one provocative encounter with the captivating Merry, Trent desires her more than any woman he has ever met. He is determined to have her as his wife, no matter what it takes. And Trent is a man who always gets what he wants.

The problem is, Merry is already betrothed, and the former runaway bride has vowed to make it all the way to the altar. As honor clashes with irresistible passion, Trent realizes the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. In his battle to save Merry and win her heart, one thing becomes clear:

All is fair in love and war.

This past week, I’ve read quite a bit of historical romances and I’m not even a little bit mad about it. I’m reading some great romances so I guess I want to keep the historical party going. I haven’t started this one yet but I will be reading this one tonight and I can’t wait.


Did I Mention I Love You by Estelle Maskame | 2.75 out of 5
Dukes Prefer Blondes (Dressmakers #4) by Loretta Chase | 4.75 out of 5
Lord Dashwood Missed Out (Spindle Cove #4.5) by Tessa Dare | 3.5 out of 5
Scorched (Frigid #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout | 3 out of 5
The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy | 5 out of 5
The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy | 4.5 out of 5

My favorite read of the week is probably my re-read of The Deal by Elle Kennedy because damn that Garrett Graham but of the new reads, hands down my favorite read is Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase. That was such a fun book with a steamy romance that had me sighing and laughing all over the damn place. So freaking good!

My least favorite read of the week goes to Did I Mention I Love You by Estelle Maskame. I think I’m starting to get over YA’s and while that makes me sad, there is still plenty of things for me to read so I’m sure I’ll be okay.


Heat Exchange (Boston Fire #1) by Shannon Stacey
Dirty Deeds (Mechanics of Love #3) by Megan Erickson
Sustained (Legal Briefs #2) by Emma Chase
Overruled (Legal Briefs #1) by Emma Chase

New Additions

Dare to Run (Sons of Steel Row #1) by Jen McLaughlin
The Earl Takes All (Hellions of Havisham #2) by Lorraine Heath

The blurb for The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath had me gasping and OMG-ing all over the damn place because WHAT???!!! I can’t wait to dig into that one. Holy shitballs!

There you have it, my week in books. How did your week go?

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Throwback Thursday (3)

Posted December 17, 2015 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments


It’s been a crazy last couple of weeks so I haven’t been able to blog on here as much as I wanted or thought I would. I need to get Brenna her own computer so that she can use that for her homework.

Anyway, this week’s Throwback picture is a goody. It’s one that had me cracking up at how young we all look. It’s from my high school graduation.

Saxons Graduate 1998

From L-R: Manu, Me, Foti and Dee Dee

Manu was the most popular kid in this picture, followed by Foti. They were the athletes. Manu played football and Foti played soccer. Dee and I were on Pep Squad for a year together (short flags squad) before I quit to become a water girl for the football team. Yep, I was a freaking cheerleader. Don’t hate. Haha.

This picture was taken on June 19, 1998…17 years ago.

I was 17.

Brenna turns 17 in three months. It blows my mind that I have a daughter that is the same age that I was in this picture. I can’t believe how freaking old I am. Where did the time go?

Looking at this picture, takes me right back to high school. To all of the football games, the parties, the dances, the goofing around in the quad at lunchtime. CHICK FIL-A sandwiches at the red carts. The friends I had that I don’t keep in contact with anymore and the friends that I do keep in contact with. Brenna goes to North now and did you know that they don’t have outside food sold in the quad anymore? No more Chick Fil-A, no more Taco Bell, it’s all school lunches for them. Sucks to be them, for sure. What also sucks is they don’t eat bagels with cream cheese, hashbrowns and ham either. That was a staple back when I was at North. It was the freaking Saxon bagel. Kids these days, missing out on the good stuff.

You know what’s annoying about this week’s picture? How Foti looks exactly the same now as he did in this picture. I think hate him.

Anyway, that does it for this week’s Throwback Thursday. I’ll be back with another goody next week.

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