The Queen: Michelle

The Queen: Michelle
I am 28 years old. Still a princess but the queen of my family. Spoiled beyond belief. Lucky and truely blessed. A lover. A crafter. A mother. A wife. A friend. This is me.

My King: Junior

My King: Junior
The LOVE of my life! He completes me and balances me out in every way. He's a workaholic. He's loud, blunt, and crazy. He drinks Monsters like his life depends on it. Above all he is the greatest Daddy I could ever ask for, for my children. And he treats me like his Queen (and he calls me that too).

The Model Child: Diego Ray

The Model Child: Diego Ray
9 years old. My only boy. He is the epitome of the perfect child. He is so responsible and independent. Wise beyond his years. He is laughter, he is love, he is compassion, he is simply amazing. He keeps me grounded and reminds me always that I am beautiful. He is a natural born leader and takes care of the household and family better than me!

The Diva: Alayna Danae

The Diva: Alayna Danae
7 years old. She is drama. My fashionista for sure with a style all her own. Sensitive and loving when she wants to be. Thumbsucker. My biggest headache because she is the most like me. She is the only one who can cause me to become uncontrollably angry. She loves to dance. She loves to model. My bookworm and most academic.

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace

The Wild Child: Arielle Marie-Grace
4 years old. This one is something else. She is pure comedy. Never a dull moment with her crazy antics. She is also the crybaby. She does things her own way. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to be cute to get it. My Disney loving pal. So girly. Her favorite color is pink. Loves Rapunzel. Will wear a dress every single day. Can't leave the house without a bow in her hair. She refuses.

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle

The Munchkin: Atalie Belle
2 years old. My sweet baby. She loves her Mommy above all else. She is a cuddlebug for sure. The calmest most well behaved baby ever! But she has TONS of energy. She is so small and petite. She loves to sing and dance. She so SO ready for ballet and has yet to even step foot in a class. She loves Minnie Mouse and watching Disney Jr. She is hilarious and talks way too much.
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Decorating for Christmas

Yesterday I finally got my husband off his lazy butt to help me find the boxes of christmas stuff in the garage. The kids were so excited to finally be able to put up the christmas tree. Alayna doesn't really get the concept yet but Diego sure does. So Junior got to fixing my lights while I set up the tree.
Oh and Diego helped daddy fix the lights too. He thought he was so cool.

But then we noticed that a box of stuff was missing because I couldn't find the ornaments. So again I had to send my husband to the garage to look for the box. As we're out there browsing through the mess in the garage... I suddenly hear the pitter patter of little feet. No not baby feet. And I tell my husband, "Shh! I think I hear a rat!" He jumps down and starts looking around. I wanted no part of that so I stood on top of a chair. Then he finds him! A baby mouse stuck inside of a tub that we use for drinks at parties.

My husband and son wanted to keep the gross little thing. And my daughter wanted to hold him. I was like NOOO! Where there's a baby mouse, there's a mama rat. Eww.

So anyway. We went back inside after our little adventure and the mouse stayed in that dang tub. We didn't know what to do with it. So we went back to decorating. My husband helped me put the lights on our tree and had my daughter put the star on top.

The kids loved seeing the tree all lit up! The wanted to play underneath it and I had to snap some shots of them. It was adorable! Diego was explaining to Alayna that Santa was gonna put the presents under the tree.

So finally it was time to add our ornaments. Each ornament on the tree was either given to us, bought for a certain person, or made by my sister and I when we were little. So that's usually my favorite part.

Last year for Christmas my husband took me to Disneyland without the kids and we brought them back each an ornament. Diego of course got Lightning McQueen. And Alayna got a Mickey Mouse Santa antenna ball that we turned into an ornament. They felt so special putting them on the tree.

Here I am admiring one of our ornaments.
We had fun putting together the tree. It was something we did as a family and I love to see my kids feel so special because they were involved. They can't wait for it to be christmas.

Here's all our stockings. All 14 of them! One for each one of us. And to think... next year we'll have one more for my new baby.

Here's Diego with the tree today. After they went to bed my sister and I put all the gifts, that were being stored in my parents bathtub, under the tree. The kids were so surprised to see that Santa had come during the night to drop off some gifts early!

Don't you just love Christmastime?!

My Blessing - Our Thanksgiving

These are two of my greatest blessings in life.

My little Rockstar Diego.

My Little Princess Alayna.

Our Thanksgiving was great and I hope yours was too. With such big families on both mine and my husbands sides... things get very hectic around this time of year. But somehow we are able to make it work.

Thanksgiving morning we woke up and went to my Mother in Law's house to help cook. I have NEVER helped cook before not even with my family so I was scared. My Mother in Law, who usually does all the cooking by herself, was barely coming back from a cruise and that's why we were commissioned to help. When I got there the only thing I did was make mashed potatoes because by the time we got there my sister, and sister in law, had already done everything. So I was pretty much off the hook. The rest of the afternoon was just spent lounging around.

I did let my son do a mini photoshoot of my daughter and I though. The following are two shots that I thought came out decent. Everything else was just a mess.

And a family shot with Alayna not looking as always!
So my Mother in Law finally arrives at about 3:30pm and we're starving by this time. As soon as everyone arrives we say Grace and start digging in. Above is a picture of my kids waiting patiently for some food!
Then it was off to my parents to celebrate with my family as well. Where I ate a second plate full of food. Yummy! We usually have a lot of family from California that join us... but this year it was a few of us only. It was nice though. The food was great! And the pumpkin pie was even better!
Then it was time to mentally prepare ourselves for... BLACK FRIDAY shopping! Oh yeah! We started doing this 3 years ago (My sister, my brother in law, my husband and I) and we get some good sales. Mostly on presents for our children. This year we are so very broke that we had to take advantage of the amazing sales. So we took off at 1am to secure a spot in line at Toys R Us. When we got there the line was still pretty short! We were among the first 50 people in line. I was so excited! The only drawback was that it was freezing cold and that was something we were not expecting, nor were we prepared for.
We expected it to be cold so we did have sweaters and pants... but the temps got down to 60 degrees and we had slight wind. For living in Arizona, and having such nice weather throughout the day, we were shocked that it was so cold. The cold was hard to bear. The 2 guys had to end up driving back to our house and bringing like 6 blankets that we layed across the floor and wrapped ourselves up in to keep warm. We slept maybe 30 minutes while the guys stayed awake waiting. It was an adventure for sure.
Here's me and my cousin Chris goofing off!
They finally opened Toys R Us at 5am, on schedule and I got pretty much everything I was looking for. Although it was pure madness in there and my cousin Chris followed me around like a hawk so that no one would bump into my tummy. We managed to make it out alive! And in 20 minutes.
Afterward we went to Walmart and got there very shortly after they opened... so I got very good deals there as well. By the time we were done it was about 7am. We had to stop and McDonalds and have some breakfast before heading home to FINALLY get some rest! But it was all worth it. I got $250 worth of toys and clothes for my kids for $100! Oh yeah! Santa did some good shopping this year!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off of your thighs!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I've been extremely busy this week but, I thought I'd let you all know that my husband and I found out on Thursday that we're expecting another Girl! We are very excited and can't wait to welcome Arielle Marie-Grace to our family this April. Just 20 more weeks! We're halfway there!

Breast Cancer Walk: Brides Making Strides

So today was my 3k Breast Cancer walk. And before all the aches and pains set in I figured I'd let you all know how it went.A group of girls who I chat on a wedding message board with everyday decided we all wanted to do this together. These girls, although I haven't met them all in person yet, are the best girls ever. Each one is sweet and I am happy that I have them to talk to everyday. We're all very good friends and we're like a family on there. So it's no wonder why we'd all get together and do something for a good cause. Not everyone was able to make it but regardless we had a good turnout. Our team raised $1,650!

So the walk was held by Tempe Town Lake right down the street from ASU. It was a great turnout! So many people and groups there. Everyone was decked out in pink and cheering all along the way. It was good to see many women out there wearing sashes saying "survivor" on them there. They had so much enthusiasm!

We also found out that Tiffany LOVES to clap. Here she is clapping up a storm!

Top: Tiffany and I very excited to start! Bottom: Our new friend Sarah who brought me a sleeper for my new baby girl.

So the walk started at 8am and we were all very excited. I had never done a walk before and was very motivated for this one. My husband didn't believe I'd be able to make it since I'm 4 1/2 months pregnant... but I was surprised to find out that it wasn't as bad as I thought! I called him as soon as we were done and he was proud that I made it and I was proud that I suceeded in something that meant so much to me.

We talked along the way and it helped to pass time. It gave us a good chance to be girls, and mess around, and get to know eachother a lot better. And of course we had to stop and take pictures of us on our journey.

Here we are posing in the middle of the mountains.

Here we are in front of Tempe Town Lake, nearing the end of the walk.
Left to Right: Jenni, Nicole, Monika, Sarah.Lisa, Tiffany and I
Tiff's socks demonstrate how we felt when we were done.

So all in all it was a very good morning for us. By the time we were done we were hungry so some of us went to In n Out and got burgers. Who does that? Burgers after walking??? Well apparently us! It was goooood too!
Here we are resting afterward. We did it girls! Yay!
I wanna say Thanks to all the girls who participated or collected donations for us!
Jenni - Thanks for stepping up as team Captain and getting us all on board with this still.
Tiff - Thanks for being my carpool buddy/driver. I love you! Let's get ready for May!
Sarah - Thanks so much for the adorable sleeper! My husband and I truly appreciate it. It was good to finally meet you and get to know you!
Also a big thank you to everyone who donated on my behalf and supported me on this. And a big THANK YOU to my aunt Angelica who made a very generous donation for me! It meant the world to me and I'd like you to know that!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Hi... I just wanted to let you know that my Mother and I will be walking with a group of girls on Saturday Nov 17 for the Breast Cancer walk they are holding at Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, Arizona.

The money raised through Making Strides Against Breast Cancer helps the American Cancer Society fight breast cancer. Any donations big or small would be much appreciated. Please help me raise the money to find a CURE.

I hope you will support my efforts by making a donation on my behalf using my personal online fundraising page below. It's safe and simple. All you have to do is click the link below and follow the few easy steps. If you wish to donate in cash, let me know. Last year, 450,000 Making Strides participants raised $45 million ... and they did it one donation at a time. So, whether you're able to give $5 or $500, every bit truly does help.

Hope starts one dollar at a time. Hope starts with me. And hope can start with you.
Thank you in advance for any support you may be able to offer.

<3Michelle Duckworth


**Remember all donations are tax deductible**

Once again thank you so much for your help.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Tribute

Tim McGraw - If You're Reading This (Already Home)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Birthday Wishes!

Today, I would to send birthday wishes to 3 very important people in my life. My mom turned... well she turned 30 today! 30... because my older brother is 29 already. Wow he caught up to her quick! Also my two cousins Valerie (14) and Alexis (15). It's funny to have 3 people on the same side of my family share a birthday. So happy birthday to you all! And many many more!

(Alexis as a baby)
Now I especially want to tell you about my cousin Alexis who turned 15 today. Here she is. Isn't she gorgeous?

Alexis holds a very special place in my heart. She's my little cousin, and she's my friend, but she's also so much more. I am 8 years older than her but I have also felt like she was a daughter to me. Yes, I understand that it would be quite impossible for her to be my daughter with such an age gap between us... but that's what I feel.

I have watched Alexis grow up to be a beautiful young lady. When she was little, she was my mini-me. We were ALWAYS together and she followed me everywhere. I never got tired of her. She did everything with me and I used to love dressing her like me. We matched a lot of the time. Pretty much we were inseperable. And of course I grew very attached to her.

By the time she hit her pre-teen years and I was a teenager... we didn't spend as much time together. But I always tried to make sure she knew I was there for her. I watched her accomplish many things. She has made me proud in so many ways. I don't know if she even knows this but she has.

I've watched her grow into her own person and discover who she is. She is beautiful both inside and out. She loves everyone and although she is quiet and reserved she has a heart of gold. I see her take care of her younger brother and sister and love them when most people wouldn't even want to put up with them. She loves her parents and you can tell by the look in her eyes. Ok so maybe her mom stalks her from windows with video cameras... but it's good to see she is rarely embarrassed by her parents. Once you realy get to know her you'd see that she is funny, loves to read and always has her head stuck in a book, she loves animals, she also enjoys watching scary movies which is something we definately have in common, and she truly just has a love for life.

So my baby, today on your "quinceaƱera", I wish you all the best that life can bring to you. You are a hard worker and I know that you will go far in this life without a doubt. It doesn't matter what you decide to do, you will succeed and make a difference. My life is better because of you... better because you are a part of my life. I want you to always know that I am here for you whenever you need anything. I love you more than words. Happy Birthday.

Love your cousin Michelle

Alexis and my aunt... the lady resposible for raising such a wonderful child

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My New Pets

I've been dying for a puppy for some time now. But living with my parents has prohibited me from owning one. My daddy hates pets and won't let us bring a dog to the house. Even if I promise to take good care of it. So as we were walking out of the house two nights ago... my husband walked into the rocks in front of our house and caught me this!

I don't know how he saw it in the dark, in the rocks, and with him being sooooo tiny! He's no more than an inch and a half long including his tail! Growing up in Arizona we're used to these little lizards everywhere. Not a day goes by when we don't see a few. After he picked it up (Can you tell he grew up here in the desert? These suckers are quick and he's a pro at catching them.) he came over to me and said, "Baby, I got you a pet. He proceeded tp show it to me. I had no idea what he was even doing in the first place so I was scared at what he might show me. But it was a teeny tiny baby lizard.

I always have my camera on me so I immediately snapped the above picture!

We brought it into the house and remembering that my Brother-in-Law had an unopened brand new reptile tank... we went to his room and showed him my pet and he quickly got up to open the tank. My husband and his brother were like little kids putting the tank together and playing with the lizard... who I was calling "Tiny".

Soon my sister and nephew (my kids were in bed already) came over to see what all the commotion was about. My nephew was so curious to see what was in my husbands hand. So my husband holds out his hand to show him and the lizard jumps out of his hand and onto the floor. Panic broke out and my husband quickly picked up the lizard before we lost it under furniture. My nephew had us laughing so hard because he kept saying, "No I'm scared!" The best part was when he came over to me and said, "Tia, I'm scared... No! The dinosaur is gonna get me!" He had us in tears laughing so hard. So with that I decided to name him Dinosaur... Dino for short.

(This is Dino in his new habitat)

After he was all set up my husband decided that one was not enough and he went into the front yard and caught me another one. This one is regular sized and not as cute. But he did it for me and that's all that counts. Plus who finds so many lizards at 12:00 at night?

(This is T-rex... but I call him Rex for short)

So now I have two little pets courtesy of my husband Junior. I may not like creepy crawly things... but he sure does know how to make my day (or night in this case) because he thinks of me always. He said I wanted a pet and for now this was the best he could do. To go through all the trouble of setting up a home and catching them for me is incredible. I can't believe he he thought of me when he saw a baby lizard. He the best, more than I can ask for!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Baby Juan Jr Part II

I just can't get enough of this kid right now... so I'm sharing with you 2 of my favorite pictures from this weekend. WOW! Two posts in one day? I'm setting a personal record!

These are some little slippers I bought him while he was here this weekend. I LOVE them so much and he looked adorable in them!