Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mackenzie Thorpe

Went down to La Jolla's Fingerhut Gallery last night for an evening with amazingly passionate artist, Mackenzie Thorpe. His work is absolutely gorgeous, incredibly emotional and touching. Several of his pieces caused tears to well up in my eyes--just SO conveying the feelings of loneliness that we all feel at the "crossroads" of life.
The top piece is "The Bringer" (quite possibly my favorite). The middle piece is "The Shepherd" ...what a contrast, huh? Many of them reflect images of the heart.
The smaller image is "Leaning on Love"...really admire that one.
More of Mackenzie's work can be seen at the Fingerhut Gallery in Laguna Beach.
Take a minute and visit his website

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Google Analytics

I love Google Analytics. If you have not signed up for this AMAZING service, you are seriously missing out on some utterly mind boggling information about your blog. It's designed for people who have businesses which would render this information very valuable...for bloggers, it's just totally intriguing and incentive to keep writing.
Here's the information I retrieved tonight through Google Analytics about my blog.
In the month of June (and we still have two days left!)
there have been
2003 visitors to my blog
31 countries (including India, Russia and Palestinian Territory)
the blog has been translated into 22 languages!
Within the United States there have been visits from
37 States--the majority are from California with Arizona and Texas in a tie for 2nd place
23 different cities in California--the majority show up under RSM (Cox cable users) with Irvine and Santa Ana closely following
The "referrals" come from 34 different sites. The top 5:
  1. Allison Hibbard
  3. Brian Forsberg
  4. Andrea Petty
  5. Josh Treece
People "googled" 19 different things and ended up on my blog. The top 5:
  1. Julie Hibbard
  2. Reasons I love my job
  3. Things that didn't exist 10 years ago
  4. Waitress
  5. Complete my Album
There were 291 new visitors in June.
Thanks Everybody!

Sit Ubu sit...good blog...*

My (66 year old) dad sent me a text message this morning:
"Good blog today.
Texting you so that you can tell everyone I am cool
Luv ya"
Seriously, he's the coolest of dads!
He's so cool that he even has a blog
Check it out HERE
Love ya Pops!
*finish it with a "ruff", Allison!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One year ago today...

I flew to Rome to begin my three-week European tour.
..and, honestly, it was the best thing I've ever done.
In August, Allison and I will be touring Budapest, Vienna and Prague.
I am sure it will be the best thing I've ever done.

Thanks Einstein...I agree.

"A photograph never grows old."
Albert Einstein

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Alice in Wonderland

About a month ago, Elizabeth at work came by my desk and said, "Oh my gosh--I just figured out who you look like--Alice in Wonderland...."
A couple of weeks later a man was at my desk and said, "Good morning, Alice." (I never correct a guest and answer to just about anything.) He continued, "You look just like Alice in Wonderland." Seriously!
I told him that I had actually heard that before and thanked him.
Today, Lupe from HR told me that she had a new job for me!
She said that she was at Disneyland with her kids over the weekend and that when she saw Alice in Wonderland in the parade she yelled out , "Oh my gosh, it's Julie Hibbard!" She continued, "You could totally get a job in that parade as Alice in Wonderland!"
I laughed and told her I had been told that several times now...but I don't think so.
I don't think I could be Alice...but maybe Alice's slightly older sister...?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Shuffle and deal....

Brent "tagged" me with this. Put your ipod on shuffle and see which 15 songs come up....
I have 2225 songs on goes.

  1. When I Fall in Love-Nat King Cole
  2. The Real Thing-Gwen Stefani
  3. No One Is to Blame-Howard Jones
  4. Your Body is a Wonderland-John Mayer
  5. This Time-Allison Hibbard
  6. Somewhere Over the Rainbow-Ray Charles and Johnny Mathis
  7. Let's get it Started-Black Eyed Peas
  8. The Way You Look Tonight-Frank Sinatra
  9. The Reason-Hoobastank
  10. Kissing a Fool-George Michael
  11. Golden Lady-Stevie Wonder
  12. How Great is Our God-Chris Tomlin
  13. Always on Your Side-Sheryl Crow and Sting
  14. You Could be Happy-Snow Patrol
  15. Hopelessly Devoted to You-Olivia Newton John-Grease
Quite diverse, huh?

I am a blog master...

Matt Jensen and I helped Rick Graves, put together a great new blog for his business.

Click HERE and check it out

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Every little thing...was magic!

In February we bought the tickets to the Police concert...and it had finally arrived!
We had arranged for a limo to pick us up and take us so we could enjoy dinner, along with a little wine, on the way up!

Richard and I always have our mouths open...
Nothing better than knowing EVERY song...and singing along...
and dancing with Richard (please notice open mouths again!)
SOOOO fun!

This was the view from our AMAZING seats right behind home plate. The Police were spectacular...the concert was probably the best I have ever been to...incredible stage, lights, sound (not TOO loud!)...great songs, great memories, great magnificent night!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Sunny night at the ballgame!

Aunt Gina had given Sunny an Angel hat and tee shirt earlier in the day. We packed up our snacks and sang "Take me out to the Ballgame" all the way to Anaheim!
We arrived at the Stadium around 5:00 so we could watch batting practice, have a hot dog and a bag of peanuts and enjoy the beautiful surroundings!
On the way up I asked Sunny who her favorite singer was. She said, "Damion Marley." I told her that I had never heard of him. She said, "Have you heard of BOB Marley? It's his son!"
(OK, she's SEVEN!)

Sunny and her "triplet" peanut

Gina and Thatcher joined us!
We were celebrating Gina's Birthday...with Surprise Eyes and LidsThe Angels were losing 4-1 in the 7th...
so here came the Rally Monkey! It is so crazy...the crowd totally gets into it!
And it worked....eventually! The Angels tied it up in the 9th and went on to win in the 11th!

And then...the spectacular Fireworks! Sunny just loved did I!
After the game and fireworks...Sunny is still pumped (could it be the two cokes, large bag of M&M's and the ice cream sandwich?) and Aunt Juju is up way past her bedtime!
Any night at the ballgame is a great night...but this little gal sure makes it a little more Sunny.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Graduation Logan!

Just returned from my nephew, Logan's high school graduation! Logan is just the sweetest, kindest, most loving person I know! He received honorable mention for
Logan was also wearing a special ribbon which noted that he was part of the French Honors Society, meaning that he took French all four years, was part of the French Club and passed the French Honors Test.
Logan will attend Irvine Valley College in the Fall.
Logan with his VERY proud Mom

We sat with my very dear friend, Crystal, whose son, Christopher was also graduating. I met Crystal in 1989, when she was 8 months pregnant with Christopher!
We've been friends for a LONG time..

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

You can leave your hat on...

Yesterday, I was treated to afternoon tea at the "Posh Peasant" in San Clemente. My sister in law, Christine and my beautiful niece, Laura (affectionately called, "Beebs") took me for--YES--my birthday!!! We had to re-schedule a couple of times and I believe it was the first time that I EVER celebrated my birthday ONE month after the date! We had scones and I had a fruity ice tea and it was delicious
...the place is also a shop full of antiques and old dishes...yep, I walked out with six bags...
(Please note that the hats were in the store and we only wore them for the picture--mine's the best tho, don't you agree?)

My little Italian Journal...

A dear friend gave me this journal the day that I started my new job at Montage. It was symbolic really, because as I was starting my new job, I was also beginning a whole new life.
I came across the little journal last's been through a lot with me over the last couple of years. It survived a lot of cuss words, confusion and tears that first year. And was my traveling companion in Europe, taking in all my thoughts as I saw sunflowers in Tuscany, flew above the Matterhorn in Zermatt and heard "Unchained Melody" as I walked through Piazza San Marco in Venice.
As I prepared to move into my new home, the journal became my book of to do, to buy, to quick budget and spending log.

And then toward the back, there is the page with the verse:
Proverbs 31:25 "She is facing the future with a smile."
A women on my Europe trip told me this verse one morning on the bus and I had it printed on my new address announcements when I moved into my beautiful home.
So glad I opened the journal last night. I needed the reminder of how happy and peaceful I have become.
I am, indeed, facing the future--one day at a time--with a smile.
And I have half of a sweet, memory-filled little Italian journal left to soak it all up.
I think I'll need a bigger one soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Elijah on the mainland!

Elijah has finally met his family...doesn't he look excited? Tonight he met two new aunts (I know I am already his favorite) three new cousins, his Bum and Papa and MANY assorted friends of all of the above. I love him!
Elijah brought his beautiful big sister, Sunny, with him too! She's lost two front teeth since the last time I saw her...but she's still sweet as ever. We practiced "Take me out to the Ballgame" for Friday night...She's definitely my little buddy...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Funeral for a friend

Went to Bud's funeral this afternoon...There was good music, dozens of great stories and LOTS of laughter. When the pastor asked if anyone wanted to come up and say something, at least 10 people stood up (including me) and more kept coming. EVERYONE loved Bud! And Bud made sure that everyone knew that he loved them! The service was packed and the hall was FILLED with the sound of happiness.
Bud made us all happy.
I left there today hoping that my funeral would be just like that. That there would be people lined up to tell GREAT stories of the fun times we had together, of our travels, our laughter, our inside jokes, of baseball games and movies, of special memories and of our AMAZING shared meals!! I LOVE to make people happy--I LOVE to hear people laugh...and I hope--more than anything--that I make KNOWN how very much I love them!
As long as the days seem sometime, today was another reminder that we are all terminal. Bud had so much fun and loved life so very much and he made everyone around him happy and feel loved...THAT is what people remember and, seriously, in the end, that is all that matters.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

HAPPY Father's Day!

We celebrated Father's Day at Gina's house today.
Here's my dad with 3/5 of his daughters...
My dad just wanted to sit and watch the US Open...which we gladly let him do.
(After taking quite a few pictures!)
On top of celebrating Father's Day, we celebrated the birthdays of Logan, Gina and my mom.
(This is their attempt at "surprise eyes"--my mom gets into it!)
Me and Alli with her Papa (he's is also trying to do "surprise eyes")
And, to top it all off, we celebrated Logan's upcoming high school graduation.
Gina ordered him these very cool custom designed M & M's.
As crazy as it all seems when we get together...
I sure am grateful for my family.

...that's my girl...

I got a call this morning from my 7 year old niece, Sunny. She lives in Hawaii and they are coming for a two week visit beginning this Tuesday. Last year I took her to her first ever Angels game (this photo) and she called it "the best day of her life."

Sunny was very excited when she called this morning. She said, "Juju--are you gonna take me to a baseball game? I packed my mitt!"

I have tickets for Friday night...

To all the great fathers I know!
Especially to my own amazing Dad
-may you get to watch golf all day...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Love is a mix tape

So good. I made mix tapes for years from my record albums and 45s, by holding a tape recorder microphone up to the turntable. I still make mix tapes, only now they are off itunes and burned on disc. I always have music playing...
The subtitle of the book is, "Life and loss, one song at a time..." and each chapter starts with a song list from a mix tape.
Excellent brings such joy to life. So many memories and thoughts are sparked through song.


OK...I surrender! I have spent the last couple of hours trying to add a header to my blog. I even tried just WRITING something in the header...
I can't seem to make it happen.
You know me, I can do EVERYTHING! Change a tire, move a couch up the stairs, build a wall of shelves, break into my own house...
I can't *&^%$#*!! figure it out.

It's June 16th

Friday, June 15, 2007

Question Mark

How many times have you walked through the mall and you see a dozen things you'd love to buy...if only you had the money...
Then, you get a gift certificate for your birthday or Christmas and you go back to the mall...and can't find anything you like!

This is the analogy I have come up with for my life.
I spent the majority of my life working and going to school while taking great care of a home and family. I had thousands of thoughts, ideas and dreams about what I would do "someday" when I had the time...
And, I got a gift--a gift of a second life and all the free time a person could ever want...
and I can't for the life of me figure out what to do.
I've DONE everything a person "wants" to do in life: I have great kids, a college degree, a job that I love, and amazing friends and family. I've fixed up my beautiful home, I've planned another trip to Europe, I read books, watch movies, go to dinner with friends 2 or 3 times a week...I am even going to the Police concert next week!
...but, the QUESTION MARK is FAR bigger than all that.
Please note that I am asking this with a SMILE on my face, JOY in my heart and amazing PEACE of mind...but I am still asking:
What am I going to do for the rest of my life?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Aloha Bud...

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Bud, died yesterday. Bud and his wife traveled on many trips with us when my kids were little...our weeks in New York and Hawaii being the most memorable. Bud made us laugh...mostly because he was laughing so hard at himself...he could not tell a joke or a story without laughing and hardly being able to finish...
This photo is probably the MOST repeated "Bud Story" of all time...every time my kids mention Bud, they mention the time "Bud played the palm tree." We were in Hawaii and a live band was playing...Bud (having had a tad too much to drink) "joined" the band pretending the palm tree was a bass...he played that tree for quite a while...Bud smiled and laughed and had us all rolling the entire time!
Bud and his wife, Diana were like family to us and loved my kids as if they were...Once Bud retired, he spent most of his mornings sitting at the Coco's counter solving the issues of the world. He liked cold butter with his raisin toast and I obliged him each day by going to the walk in and getting the hardest butter available. "Hard Butter Bud" was his affectionate counter creature name.
I had not seen Bud since Christmas, though we had planned many times for the three of us to get together.

Bud's sudden death is a HUGE reminder to LIVE life...LOVE life....and LAUGH a lot!!
It is truly all too short...

My friend, Jana

I had dinner tonight "On the Border" with my good friend, Jana...we talked and enjoyed our time together so much, that I actually forgot to take a picture of us! (And I didn't even have a margarita!) I had to take this picture from her kids' blog!
Jana is one of the most encouraging and uplifting woman I have ever known.
She truly is one of my favorite people in the world...

Trash Day

Is "trash day" the day that you put the trash cans OUT
OR the day that the trash is picked up?

I consider "trash day" Wednesday. I gather all the trash from the cans in the house and put the containers outside on Wednesday night. Trash Day.
The trash collectors come to pick it up on Thursday.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Dodgers sweep the Mets.
So sweet.

Angels come up to play at Dodger Stadium this weekend.
Go Dodgers.

Mad Libs

When I was ________ I remember how much _____
.................adjective ...................................noun
we had playing this________.
Anytime it would _______while we were at school, condition
the ________would bring this
.........................authority figure
out and we'd ______during our recess or ________.
..................verb .......................................meal

Now I realize that it was educational as well as entertaining...
They were trying to _____us into learning grammar!
And it worked. And most of the time, it was hilarious...