Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Movie Stars and Tea

Doll holder in the bathroom!

Los Angeles...a mere hour and a half away from my sleepy little suburban town, but a world of difference! For the girls' sixth birthday, we were off to the American Girls Store. There are only three American Girls Stores: one in Chicago, one in New York, and one in LA. LA it was, and I told my mom that I was convinced that we were going to see a movie star.

Now...I've lived in Southern California since 1993. You'd think I would be over the idea that it would be cool to run into someone famous. You'd think...

However, you can take the girl out of Bishop, but never Bishop out of the girl.

So...I had our entire carload (Megan, Mom, and the girls) diligently scoping out movie stars.

(Jeff lucked out, and his masculinity wasn't questioned since he had to work. The American Girl Store is like Disneyland for little girls; every poor dad and brother that we saw there looked like they were in a world of hurt!)

On our way to The Grove, where the American Girl Store is located, we saw the Hollywood sign. (Emma and Grace think it's called HollyWorld.) We say the high rise buildings, Nickelodeon, CBS, CNN...but no movie stars. Not a single one.

I remained hopeful. The last time I went to the LA area was when I took Grandma Otti to Huntington Gardens, and we saw Jennifer Garner filming a scene from Alias at the museum! Don't think I didn't FULLY take advantage of the fact that I had an elderly woman in a wheel chair in order to sneak digital photos AND get up close.

Another time, Jeff and I saw Jarod Leto at Citywalk near Universal Studios. This was in his My So-Called Life Years, and I was giddy with excitement. I stealthily trailed Jarod Leto (Jeff would say I chased him) until I drew a large crowd of freakishly loud girls, and then I backed off. After all, what do people actually SAY to someone famous once they "catch up" to them? That seems like it would be awkward.

Other than a quick Disneyland sighting of Mark Hoppus (one of the Blink-182 members), and a Melrose sighting of the cheesy Kid-n-Play (a rapper with crazy hair), my search celebrities has been fruitless.

Continueing on our quest to see movie stars, we thought we hit the jackpot when Grace shouted out, "I see Hannah Montana!" For those of you who don't live with a girl between the ages of 5 and 13, Hannah Montana is a show on Disney Channel starring Mylie Cyrus. That's right, Cyrus. As in Billy Ray's daughter. Billy Ray Cyrus plays her dad on the show. ANYWAY, Hannah Montana is a very big deal! Like the Beatles for elementary and preteen girls! We looked around in excitement...did Grace REALLY see Hannah?

No. No Hannah. It was merely a limousine. However, Grace was pretty sure that Hannah MUST be in that limo, because who else rides in a limo?

Overall, it was a disappointing day when it came to movie star sightings until we were going into the Cafe for tea at the American Girl store. I heard a voice behind me say, "Where do I know you from?" and another voice say, "Desperate Housewives."

I cautiously looked behind me. Was it Terry Hatcher? Eva Longoria? The dude who plays Carlos? "movie star" was one of the employees of the American Girl Store. She was on the show, but she played one of the angry mothers during Gabriela's stint as a beauty pageant advisor.

My mom and I were dieing laughing as I had her take a photo of me with my "movie star."

Maybe next time I'll meet Reese Witherspoon and her daughter as they sit sipping beverages at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Awww, who am I kidding? My real movie stars are my shining almost-six year olds. Their autographs are more precious to me than meeting any movie star in the world!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Wrapping up 2006

Christmas 2006 may be my favorite one yet. This is probably because it seemed that this year we were able to get to the heart of what Christmas is all about.

The season started when, in late November, Grandma Otti turned 90! She amazes us with her witty comments and feisty ways. I can't imagine what the world will be like when I'm 90, but my prayer is that my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren will gather around me (as Grandma Otti's did) to celebrate.

Before school got out in December, Emma and Grace's Kindergarten put on a production of The Nutcracker. Emma and Grace and the girls in their class were the sugar plum fairies, and I'm telling you, there is nothing cuter than a five-year-old in a tutu doing plie's to Nutcracker music. My mom, dad, Jeff, and I were laughing so hard. I adore the girls' Kindergarten, and their teacher, Mrs. Sehorn. She exemplifies what a Kindergarten teacher should be: not only is she patient, kind, loving, and sweet, but she knows a lot about how a five-year-old's brain develops (when they're ready to read, etc.). To top it off, she has this creative side, and she'll bring in her surfboard and tell stories about how it is made, or slide down the slide at recess. She also goes to our church, and when the girls see her there, you'd think they saw a celebrity.

Jeff and I made no traveling plans for our holiday. We just stayed home with the gals, and cooked a lot, caught up on movies, and worked a bit on our house. Jeff made me the most beautiful bookshelf I have ever seen (you can see it in the corner of one of the pictures). ALL my books fit on it, and also a lot of the children's books I've collected (some from when I was little and some from along the way.) Jeff is so good at building things. He has a lot of our friends asking him to build shelves or entertainment centers for them as well. I'm amazed at his talent.

Christmas Eve was at our house this year. It was the best! We had a hot chocolate bar for the kids, complete with different types of shaved chocolate, cinnamon sticks, candy canes, and marshmallows (plus some Bailey's for the adults). I also made Oprah's Pomegranate Martinis (they were a hit!) and my mom's Chicken Tortilla Casserole (a Christmas Eve tradition). The kids tracked Santa on the computer, and we just hung out and enjoyed each other.

On Christmas morning, we opened presents at our house (see pic of the girls coming around the corner to see the tree...bookshelf in background!) and then went up to my parent's house. This year Grace received the infamous "Santa". Santa is a hideously ugly toy Santa that my Grandma Irene (?) gave out one year (years and years ago). Every year, we wrap it up, and someone new gets it. The year I got it, I was terribly disappointed, it being my LAST gift! This year, however, when Grace got it, she got so excited! "I got the Santa! Yeah!" She held the ugly thing on her lap half the morning! Grace secretly plans to give it to Emma next year. :)

Our wonderful Christmas was coming to a close as we sat down for dinner without Miss Emma...our poor gal was tuckered out. She had passed out on my mom's Lazy Boy and slept through the dinner, waking up much later to eat her dinner while all of us had pie and played charades. Sometimes taking a cozy nap in a warm house full of people you love is the nicest way to wrap up a holiday.