I have been dying to see Sammy J in concert ever since I found out that he was coming to California way back in January. At the time, I was pretty obsessed with his song Waiting and with his voice as well. I remember sitting in the stands at Brenna’s game one night, singing along to the song playing on my phone when I started googling his tour dates. I found out that he was going to be in town in April and immediately asked my friends to go with me.
I got responses immediately from most of them and they were all a go…and this is one of the things we planned on that we actually followed through on. Mulu and I didn’t make it out to Vegas for the Rugby tournament but I wasn’t going to miss out on Sammy J too.
I had a blast. We missed the first opening act, The Late Ones (haha, we were the late ones that night) which was a bummer because I actually know those kids. I know their parents and I remember them as little kids but my kids kept me from getting to the venue earlier to catch their performance.
Still, the concert was fantastic. We caught Tenelle’s performance and while she sang a lot of covers, she did rock the hell out of them and had Meghan and I scream singing our asses off to the two songs of hers that I knew. Haha. She was great.
The crowd was jamming hard when Tenelle was on stage but the minute that Sammy J came out, the crowd somehow got bigger and they just erupted. It was complete madness and that guy from New Zealand rocked the hell out of that crowd. It was one of the funnest things that I’ve done in a while.
I didn’t get a lot of videos of the concert cause I was too busy scream singing my way through the show but here are some that I took. Please excuse Meghan’s big ass head in front of me. Haha.
Sammy J singing Waiting (my song!)
Sammy J and Tenelle singing Say That You Love Me (my other song!)
Also? Please excuse the shakiness of the video too. My arms got tired. LMAO! Freaking Meghan wouldn’t get her damn hand and phone out of my way either. Ehh.
Still, all in all the concert was great. I had a good time with Sammy J (haha), with my girls and I only felt a little bad that Brenna and Makenna (who wanted to go to the concert) stayed behind to babysit Hanah’s kids so that Hanah can go.
Here are some pictures from our night out with Sammy J!
Hanah and I are trying to figure out what our next adventure will be so I’ll update when we figure that out.
Porto’s 8233 Firestone Blvd
Downey, CA 90241 Hours of Operation: Mon-Sat 6:30 am – 8:30 pm, Sunday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
It’s the second month of the year and I got together with my friends to try a new to us place again. Well, new to some of us. This month we did lunch and we drove out to Downey to try out Porto’s. Did you guys know that Porto’s is the #1 food place choice on Yelp? Mulu and Therese haven’t eaten there yet so we went so they can try it out for themselves.
Porto’s is known for its potato balls and bakery but they have great sandwiches and salads as well. I didn’t take any pictures of our food but we tried something from everywhere. Theresa had the Raspberry Mojito (great), I tried the Caprese sandwich with banana chips (good), Mulu and Hanah had the Turkey Croissant sandwich (yum) and then we tried chocolate croissants, beef empenadas and the creme brulee. Everything was good, very tasty. Not one complaint.
This place was great and it got two thumbs up from all of us. If you’re going to the Porto’s in Downey on a Saturday, make sure you have the time cause there’s always a line that wraps around the building. On the upside, the lines move fast so you won’t spend your entire day there.
Next month is Dinner and we’re thinking Indian…but we shall see.
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. 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
One of my favorite YA authors, Sarah Dessen used to do a weekly meme on her blog called Friday Five. Every Friday, she would post about five things and those things were really random things. Things she was obsessed with that week, great news that happened to her, things that caught her interest in the news and just anything and everything. I’m going to bring that to this blog and just post about five things.
Here are this week’s five things: Five Things I’m Grateful For.
Thanksgiving is coming up and it’s a time when everyone is showing their gratitude toward anything and everything. I thought I’d share five things that I’m grateful for this week…cause why not?
 This one.
This is probably one of the most recent pictures of Brenna and I really like it. I’m eternally grateful for this girl. She gives my life purpose and even when I’m so rip roaring pissed at her, I’m thankful she’s in my life. I’m grateful to be her Mom because if anyone knows my struggle, it’s her. Yet, despite hearing no more than yes, she’s one of the happiest people that I know. She is the very best part of me and I’m so stinking thankful she’s my kid.
 These two.
There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to explain how much these two mean to me. How thankful I am to have had my Mom as long as I did and to still have my Dad around now.
My Mom was one of the strongest people that I know. I mean, she had nine kids! There wasn’t a thing she wouldn’t do for any of us kids and her grandkids. I’m grateful that Brenna grew up with her, that she was able to have a solid relationship with her because despite the attack of the Lilies thing (shut up Mulu, haha), she was a great Mom…especially when I became an adult. She was funny and she was always trying to be cool and I will always miss her.
My Dad is one of the coolest people I know. He’s definitely the coolest Dad cause only my Dad can sit in his mini van in front of the house, banging Silent Night (in Samoan, no less) like it’s DJ Quik. Only my Dad can run errands with two different tennis shoes on and not give a damn. Only my Dad’s old man ass can phone bang on the phone while blaring Boyz II Men on the boombox in his room. Only my Dad can lock his keys in his car and then go from auto part store to auto part store asking if they sell, “you know, that illegal thing that opens cars” then wonder what he said wrong. Haha, only my Dad can do all of that cause that’s how cool he is. He takes good care of me and Brenna and I’m hella thankful for him.
 These guys.
This is one of the last pictures, if not the last picture that we took as a complete family. Mom’s gone now and so is Seko so our pictures are always missing them but not this one.
I’m thankful for each and every single one of my siblings. They make me mad sometimes but for the most part, they make me laugh to the point that I almost pee my pants. Our group texts never fail to crack me up no matter where I am. In my room, in the office, at the DMV office. They’re the best support system anyone could ask for and I’m thankful to have each and every single one of them in my life cause they’re always donating money every year and eating at Aloha Pizza every time for Brenna’s many basketball fundraisers and I love the hell out of them!
 These dudes.
One of my favorite things to do is laugh and with each and every single one of these guys, I do a lot of laughing. I’m also a notorious flake and these guys still keep me around so heck yeah, I’m thankful to have fantastic friends like these guys.
My days would not be the same without my daily emails with Holly, Ames, B Nice and Tasha. I love talking, venting and hearing about their lives. Work would be such a drag to get through without these guys keeping me sane, especially with Palagi Valea.
Lilo and Kia were good sports when I forced encouraged them to be a part of my book club and I loved laughing it up with them every month. I grew up with these two and the older I got, the closer I got to these two and I love having them in my life.
Which leaves me with my oldest friends: Theresa, Hanah, Foti, Ralph and Mulu. The people that have seen me at my best and have been there right next to me through my worst. These are the ones that held me together through the whispers back when I first had Brenna, the ones that have literally bailed me out of everything that I could have possibly gotten myself into, danced on bar tables and dropped down and got their eagle on with me, drove me around town and let me cry the night I found out that my nephew was diagnosed with cancer and the ones that have been my rock through my Mom and Seko’s funerals and every other time I needed them.
I’m an avid reader, I love my TV Shows and I can get all of the above on my iPad. So you know hot damn well that I’m very grateful for this little bad boy that keeps me connected, well-read and entertained. Haha, I’m not kidding.
As I mentioned before, I just turned 35 and most all of my friends are either in serious relationships or they’re married. They’re starting families and their kids are all young (except you, Holly and Tasha. You have old kids just like me, haha) and still in that need a babysitter age. My kid is sixteen and is almost the age I was when I had her (hold me). She’s going to house parties and hanging out with friends until all hours of the night whether it’s on FaceTime or at our house. I don’t need to be in her pocket at every hour of the day to make sure she doesn’t accidentally eat a golf ball or something.
My child rearing days are pretty much behind me. I’m at the “let them go and hope for the best” stage of mothering but through all of the stages of Brenna’s life, I’ve gone it alone.
I’m serially single.
I’m not pining after some lost love or anything like that. I just haven’t met anyone that I want to date, let alone “have relations” with.
I haven’t really let myself think about being single. It’s just something that I am. I’m independent and I like that I don’t have to answer to anyone or check in with anyone. I do what I want when my bank account tells me I can and that’s that.
But, Jessica Day in the picture above is me because though I haven’t found my other half, my soulmate or what have you…my friends have.
I’m happy for them, thrilled even because all of my friends have awesome partners. Holly? MM is the perfect match for you. He’s everything that I would want for you. Tasha? John is such an awesome husband and father to you and the kids. Hanah? Leo is a great husband and father and he’s extremely cool (he’s related to the Rock’s stunt double guys) and finally…Mulu? Pedro has passed every single friends test that I could have put to him and I have come to love the hell out of him.
Really guys, I’m happy for all of you but the reason I started writing this post is because on freaking Monday, I got an email from Mulu.
The gist of the email was…
“I’m going to get to know him so I can see if he’d be a good fit for Wena!”
I’ve lived through my parents trying to set me up with people, guys who have approached my Dad to ask permission to date me (my Dad had a good laugh at that one and his response was, why are you asking me? Ask her! Haha, I love my Pops!) and apparently, it’s time that I live through my friends trying to set me up.
I’m that freaking single friend that my friends are trying to play matchmaker with.