Monday, January 19, 2009

Catch Us If You Can

First of all - thanks to those of you who have posted comments and second of all - we apologize to those of you who have tried to post a comment but have been unable to. We're trying to figure out why some of you aren't being allowed here. It certainly isn't us, so keep trying!!

We've mentioned in this blog about how "crazy" we are and here's our chance to prove it. Here is a list of all the adventures, parties, dinners, friends and family we have hosted since September. Another title for this entry which was rejected: Try To Keep Up. And, of course, we did most of these things in HD - Thanks Panasonic. As they say - it's all about connections!

This high speed adventure began before this date, of course, because when you are a Calandro the fun never ends; but just as a reference point, we will begin with the date Panasonic (or anything Panasonic related) officially walked through our front door. Hold on to your hats and glasses folks, 'cause here we go!

Saturday, September 13:
Create With Context interview

Saturday, September 20:
Miles' third birthday; Firefighter theme, 60 guests, 26 were children
Thanks SLO Firefighters for showing up with a huge fire engine!!!

Saturday, September 27:
Travel to Huntington Lake for Neil and Tina Wood's wedding
What a beautiful day to celebrate a wonderful couple!!

Wednesday, October 8:
Panasonic equipment delivered and Greg Harper arrives in SLO. Dinner at Applebee's - sorry!!!

Thursday, October 9:
Panasonic Equipment is installed
Greg Harper is a Rock Star!!!!

Sunday, October 12:
Eileen runs the local City to Sea Half Marathon and betters her time by a full eight minutes and is a "top finisher" - I'm just a tiny bit proud :)!!

Friday, October 17
Max enters a local Lego contest at Whiz Kids with four of his friends. They worked on their entries for weeks and coordinated their huge Hoth battle entry. So impressive, if I can brag a bit!

Saturday, October 18
Travel to Santa Barbara for Papa John's 70th birthday bash at Harry's Bar and Grill
A terrific night for an amazing man - John created an HD slide show to honor John and I was proud to do the flowers for the night

Sunday, October 19 - 2:30 AM
Clean up vomit for an hour and a half at our friend's house - thanks for letting us stay!!
Too many Shirley Temples don't agree with Matthew's tummy!!!

Sunday, October 19 - 10:30 AM:
Show up late to Papa's birthday brunch at the Calandro home in Goleta - SORRY!!! (see vomit entry above) - We couldn't get ourselves out of bed on time.

Monday, October 20:
Welcome Barbara Krahn to our home to view the beautiful mobile sculpture she funded for our living room by local artist, Jim Jacobson. What a treasured, beautiful piece of art.

Wednesday, October 22:
Lego Contest winners announced: Max and his friends won the group entry category! WAHOO!

Saturday, October 25
Neighborhood garage sale - anyone want a couch that didn't sell?

Friday, October 31 - Halloween
Co-hosted neighborhood party for all the kids in our 'hood - so much fun!!!
Trick-or-treating single-parent style because John was at a school dance - more fun than being thrown into a barrel of leeches, but not by much - God Bless the single parents out there!!

Saturday, November 1
John and I drive to Santa Barbara for a private 40th birthday party with our dear friends Tara and Sam at John's favorite restaurant: The Palace Grill. What a great night!

Wednesday, November 5
John turns the big 4-0!! Celebrate in traditional Calandro style at the Madonna Inn with dinner and dessert delivered to our table all at the same time

Saturday, November 15
Johnnie's birthday bash! 58 friends and family helped John welcome in his new decade - thanks to my sister for her food prep help and Bill for tending bar. Eileen created an interactive true/false HD slide show with photographic evidence for answers. Lost more than one party guest upstairs due to the impromptu Wii golf tourney that occurred. Good times! Surprise guests from Wisconsin! WOW! What a night!!!

Sunday, November 16
Family birthday brunch for out-of town guests in town for the party. Thanks for rescuing the eggs, Papa John! You are the egg man.

Wednesday, November 26
Travel to Pleasanton to celebrate Thanksgiving at Eileen's sister and brother-in-law's

Wednesday, November 26 about 9:00 PM after the kids are in bed
Lori and Bill announce they are awaiting the birth of a baby due Christmas Day for them to adopt - Is this going to be the one that makes them parents, finally? High-speed, non-stop praying begins

Thursday, November 27
Thanksgiving Day -what a feast!!! So many things to be thankful for it's amazing - the thankfulness runs in to Friday because the list is so long.

Friday, November 28
Travel back to SLO and start decorating for the legend that has become the Calandro Christmas Crazy Party - this is it's eleventh year

Saturday, November 29
Greg Harper asks us if we would be interested in travelling to Las Vegas for CES in January - we debate for all of thirty seconds - HECK YEAH!! See you in Vegas, Baby!!! (We are SO crazy!!!)

Friday December 5
Downtown SLO Christmas parade - more goats and tractors than should be allowed

Saturday, December 6
Snow is delivered to our front lawn and three hours later we welcome family and friends to our home to celebrate the season. We ask everyone to bring unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items for a local charity. Total number of guests: 137 which includes 58 kids. The donations were incredible this year!! Our friends give until it hurts!! You all rock!!!

Saturday December 13
Tara and her two boys here at the Calandro B&B because they are in town for a wedding.
Greg Harper and Owen here from 11:00AM until 11:30PM filming footage to be used in Vegas for CES. Day also includes a basketball game for Max, photo swapping with a friend, and the creation of a slide show for another friend's wedding reception. Pasta feed for twelve!! Phew!

Friday, December 19
Adam Broitman and Jody Gnant here to train us in all things social media. They join us for the infamous Calandro Pizza Night on our beautiful big screen TV. They are informative and fun!

Saturday, December 20
John drives kids to Goleta so they can go to a show with Grandma C and Papa and their cousins. He drives home again. Eileen stays home to try to get Christmas under control. AAAAAAA!!!!!

Sunday, December 21
Pick up kids in Goleta and drive to LAX to pick up Luke who is visiting from Australia for a month. Keep in mind all entries from here on involve one more family member that is fed, driven around and coordinated into the Crazy Calandro mix.

Tuesday, December 23
Grandma Frog and Grandpa Richard arrive from the Bay Area to spend Christmas with us - are they nuts?!?!?!? Light neighborhood luminaries at 5:30 and stroll the 'hood. Love living here!!!

Wednesday, December 24 - Christmas Eve, 2008
Head to Pismo Beach to watch the sunset. Prayers for no rain are answered and the tradition lives on for another year. Home for crab cakes with our neighbors, put cookies out for Santa and sprinkle reindeer food on the lawn. Kids go to bed and the adults prepare for the next day.

Thursday, December 25 - Christmas, 2008
Our kids managed to be good enough for Santa to come to our house for one more year! He brought Legos galore and we gave our kids Rock Band for Wii - Watch out Jonas brothers!! Auntie Lisa, Auntie Jo, Grandma C and Papa arrive for the traditional Christmas Brunch and we eat ourselves silly. Grandma C takes on Matthew in a Wii bowling match and then braves Wii boxing. Nothing creates Christmas memories like seeing your son beating up his Grandma! (WHAT?!?)

Friday, December 26:
Inhospitably kick out our house guests (except Luke, of course) because Eileen starts working on Becky and Bob's wedding reception flowers. Side note: No baby news yet for Lori and Bill - the baby is now overdue - we are still praying for the miracle of adoption for our family

Saturday, December 27:
Finish flower arrangements, load them in the minivan, and drive to Nipomo for the reception. The event goes off without a hitch at the beautiful Monarch Club at Trilogy. John created a fabulous HD slide show for all to see and burned extra copies for family members of the bride and groom. All five of us dance ourselves silly to relieve some stress and have a great time. (Luke stayed at home for a little quiet time - smart boy!!)

Sunday, December 28:
Day of rest so we go on a four mile hike up one of our favorite peaks in SLO: San Luis Mountain. There for the tree lighting. Have we mentioned we love living here??!?!?!?

Monday, December 29:
Dear, close friend Vince arrives for a visit and to celebrate New Year's Eve with us. Watch The Dark Knight in HD on our big TV. Did you know the Joker's string is purple in the bank robbery scene? Unless you're living in HD, I didn't think so.

Tuesday, December 30:
Another day of rest so we travel thirty miles up the coast to explore Hearst Castle with Vince and Luke. Spectacular day!!! (Someday we will swim in that pool - mark our words - any inside tracks out there? - you know it's all about connections....)

Wednesday, December 31 - New Year's Eve
See earlier blog entry
Other news not in that entry: The baby Lori and Bill have been waiting for is born at 5:30 EST. At 11:45 PM PST, John and Eileen are frantically looking into booking a flight to Maryland for Eileen and almost cause everyone to miss the Ball Drop!

Thursday, January 1, 2009, 1:00 AM
Back home from ball drop and John books a flight online for Eileen to go to Maryland that same day. Eileen can't think straight enough to do anything. Drink champagne and mourn the end of an incredibly amazing Living in HD year. The fun has just begun!!

Thursday, January 1 5:40 AM
John drives me to SLO airport for 6:20AM flight to Maryland. This little niece is closer than she's ever been, but nothing is final until papers are signed. Eileen wonders if the butterflies in her stomach could fly her to Maryland instead of an airplane. She goes for the sure thing and gets on her flight, abandoning five house guests, Luke and her family for the hope ahead.

Thursday, January 1
Back in SLO our guests leave after John makes them a killer New Year's Day brunch

Thursday, January 1, 5:00PM
Eileen crosses the Potomac river and wonders about how crazy life can get. Puts the thought aside and drives to the future of her family. God bless GPS and Visa!!

Thursday, January 1, 5:30 PM
Arrive at hospital, am greeted by the Birth Mom and my sister (the Future Mom) in the lobby. Baby Grace is beautiful!!!! Lori, Bill and I go out to dinner later to celebrate.

Friday, January 2:
Bright and early we all go to the hospital to sign the papers for the adoption. As Lori and Bill sign the documents, I get private time with Grace who officially becomes our niece in the middle of our special time alone. Grace leaves the hospital with her Mommy and Daddy. What a journey!

Saturday, January 3:
Home in SLO John prepares for the final interview with Create With Context - sorry to miss that, but I'm sure you understand the circumstances!
In Maryland, I pry myself away from my sister and brother-in-law (who are awesome) and baby Grace to head home on a flight to SLO. I have to sprint three-quarters of a mile in the Phoenix airport to make my connecting flight. I am so motivated to get home I am only passed up by a six foot-two college student. If I didn't have on a twenty pound back-pack I could have taken him! Arrive in SLO in time for dinner with the fam.

Tuesday, January 6, 4:30 PM:
Celebrate Matthew's 6th birthday a day early at the Madonna Inn - you know by now, dinner and dessert all at the same time!! YUMMY!! I certainly wasn't doing that six years ago!

Tuesday, January 6, 8:20 PM:
We get on our plane for Vegas. This is the first flight for Matthew and Miles. Hooray and thanks, again, Panasonic!

Wednesday, January 7 - January 11:
CES in Vegas - you can see the other entries

Monday, January 12:
Max and Matthew go to school, but I end up taking Matthew home. He is officially the casualty of Vegas. He has a fever and a cough, poor kid. He stays home Tuesday and Wednesday as well.

Wednesday, January 14:
Luke's last day in SLO is a full one. He watches the kids so Eileen can attend a funeral. RIP Phil Nolan - you will be missed. Luke takes us out to dinner downtown at Mo's, then we go to Arroyo Grande to Doc Burnstein's for dessert. Back home to pack and then Luke and Eileen head downtown SLO to celebrate his twenty-first birthday. Three bars and beers and shots later we head home to prepare for tomorrow....

Thursday, January 15:
Travel to Disney's California Adventure to celebrate Matthew's sixth birthday. This is the traditional birthday treat in lieu of a party (thank goodness!!!) What a great day! Meet up with Grandma Frog and Grandpa Richard who have flown in to celebrate with us. They ROCK!!

Friday, January 16:
Celebrate at the Big D. Matthew is so tired by the end of the day he almost falls asleep in his ice cream. Are we attentive parents, or what?!?!? We all had a terrific day together.

Saturday, January 17:
Up bright and early to get Luke to LAX. Said goodbye and were on the road to SLO by 9:04 AM. Max changed his clothes in the car and we drove him straight to his basketball game. Had make-up pizza night that night.

Sunday, January 18
John's brother David and his wife Donna and their two sweet kiddos, Nicolas and Ava, arrive for lunch and to hang out. They live in San Diego so we don't get to see them nearly enough. They are in town for business that could move them closer. We are crossing our fingers! They leave around 3:00 and later that night we have dinner just the five of us, at our dinner table, for the first time in over a month. Whew! John and I have been saying, "Closer than we've ever been," for months as we faced the journeys ahead. We drank champagne and said, "We've arrived!"

Monday, January 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
I am sick with a cough and a runny nose. I held it off for as long as I could and my body just can't take any more. We have put a shield around the house for the day: unless you are bringing us food or a massage table to use on me, we are shut down. Only the five of us are allowed at our house today. Thanks for understanding.

So there you have it. I think the last time John and I had this much going on was when we got married. At least then we got to go on a honeymoon!! We know we brought most of this on ourselves, if not all of it, and we wouldn't change a thing. Thanks, again, to all of you who came along for this craziness. According to our calculations, we hosted 286 people, in some form or another, at our home in the last four months. I'm sure we have missed a few guests along the way, and we apologize for leaving you out of our count. We also traveled countless miles - we could count them, but we're too tired to do it!

During all of this, John managed to do his job as an Assistant Principal at Templeton High, Eileen managed to manage the kids and all that entails, we decorated our house for Christmas and tore it all down, we coordinated all of the logistics and paper work on our end for CES, sent out Christmas cards, bought, made, wrapped and mailed gifts for people, and basically we lived our lives during our busiest time of year. No wonder I'm sick and we're all exhausted. We aren't sure what our next adventure is, we rarely are, but there's a baby up in Pleasanton that hasn't met her Uncle John or her Calandro cousins yet....ONWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. wow, you guys have sure been busy!

    I am a little offended I was not invited to Disney World ;)

  2. busy isn't the word busy 10x man what a ride you guys had sounds like a ton of fun.
    Would you do that again if you could and would you change anything?

    Now with the HD Panasonic gear you will be able to relive some of your memories again,and again that is why I enjoy it.

    Question is what are you planning on to do this year to top that? just kidding have fun.
    Bell's # 20