Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Things...

(These are in no particular order, I wrote them down as I thought of them!! S:)

1) I am madly in love and in awe of my husband. He surprises me daily with his talents and love for me, and others.
2) I was born in Umtali, Rhodesia, which is now Mutare, Zimbabwe
3) My forefathers go back to 1820 settlers in Zimbabwe – I am a direct descendent of the Pioneers, and in my own immediate family, I consider myself the pioneer to America!
4) The first time I slept through the night as a baby, was in an underground bunker, while the city was under a mortar attack - as Rhodesia was at war at the time
5) The smell of freshly cut grass makes me feel claustrophobic
6) I however, LOVE the smell of Comet- the cleaner - wierd, I know!
7) I love frogs. I used to catch them as a child, and I still crave the feelinf of their cold clammy little bodies in the palm of my hands.
8) I’ve held a baby crocodile & I’ve ridden a camel
9) I WANT to hold a baby monkey some time in my life, preferably a chimp or orangutan with clothes on.
10) I absolutely LOVE my family and friends…I consider myself TRULY blessed with the people the Lord has placed in my life.
11) I love traveling the world with Steve; we’ve been to Mexico, Bahamas, South Africa, England, Paris & Vienna together. I can’t wait to go more places with him.
12) I love road trips, BUT I need to be comfortable: pillow, blanket, yummy snacks, restroom stops when needed, and GOOD music – I love hearing that music later on in life, and being taken RIGHT back to that trip.
13) I love swallowing big chunks of ice – it’s like a dare with myself
14) I can’t stand it when people chew with their mouth open, and smack their gum loudly
15) I’ve taken up snowboarding, knitting, sewing, AND the gym…2 of which I never dreamt I’d ever do!
16) I miss the Zimbabwean thunderstorms…there is NO smell like the rain in Zimbabwe!
17) My top spiritual gifts are Hospitality, Serving & Compassion. I inherited those from my amazing parents, who I get to witness demonstrating those daily.
18) I LOVE laughing so hard, I can’t breath– it makes me giddy and there is no better feeling.
19) I consider myself blessed in that I married my first love.
20) I am one of the few (apparently) who is blessed with the MOST amazing in-laws, not only are they my other parents, but they are my friends too, just like my parents.
21) I swallowed a blazer (jacket) brass button when I was about 8. There was a shortage of brass buttons in Zim, and I was told whatever I did, NOT to lose them…haha
22) I had malaria as a child
23) I’ve been a citizen of 3 countries, on 2 continents in my life so far. I hope I'm done!
24) I was classically trained on the piano.
25) I’m a glass is half full kind of girl.

Friday, January 09, 2009


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Grand Floridian

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Christmas Letter 2008

Dear Friends & Family,

We want to wish you a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Speaking of a blessed year…
What an INCREDIBLE year this has been in the Hughes Household! The Lord has truly blessed us beyond our imagination.

The first few months of the year were rather mellow, yet enjoyable! We were blessed to be able to go to Mammoth three times, and I’d like to say that I’m actually improving at snowboarding! We came home in one piece, no broken bones this time!! J

In the spring, Steve had an amazing opportunity open up for him job-wise, it had been a work-in-progress for months, and finally, the perfect position was created for him. He is now the IT Manager for a large international investment company in Irvine. No more daily commute to San Diego! YEAH! He absolutely loves his job and they love him. It’s a great position to be in!

The summer months were filled with weddings and parties, including the BIG 3-0 for me! Steve and I also enjoyed spending a day at Forest Home - which is where our story began over 9 years ago! It’s always fun to go back up there where it all started, and reminisce!

August brought HOT weather and some exciting events, including my parent’s immigration interview! After many hiccups during the long process, they were approved and were given the green light to start their immigration plans - Praise the Lord!

Looking back, September is the “MVP” of the year! It started with Steve and I celebrating our 6th Anniversary! What made this year particularly special was that it was spent packing up our condo! We had been in the housing market for over a year, and finally found the house of our dreams in Laguna Niguel! We put in an offer, signed the documents and were meant to close escrow mid-September. However, nothing is certain in this world, and our “house-buying” was no exception! The Lord worked it out perfectly though as September ended with a BANG: we closed escrow on the 26th, and my parents arrived on the 30th!!!!!!!!!! For the most part we had everything unpacked and in it’s place for their arrival! We have just been so blessed and excited to finally see all these milestones come to fruition! We picked my folks up at the airport in a limo, much to their delight! The best part for me (and I’m sure the rest of the family) was that we knew we wouldn’t be reconvening at the airport 3 weeks later to say good-bye!!
This wasn’t a vacation - this was it!!!!

We spent October doing a lot of firsts together with Steve’s family & mine, as well as doing repairs to the house and entertaining family and friends. November was exciting for me in particular, as I voted for the first time!

Speaking of “first time”, Steve’s new job is amazing & we’ll have the joy of going on an all expense paid cruise to the Bahamas the week before Christmas- DV! Neither of us has been there before and we’re looking forward to a well-deserved break! We‘re to visit Nassau, Castaway Cay and when we return to Florida, will stay at the Grand Floridian for a few days & visit Disney World and the Epcot Center!!

We look forward to spending another year with you all and we trust that the Lord will bless you this coming year! Thank you for your love, continued support and friendship!

God Bless

Steve, Shaz & Domino

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of PEACE. Isaiah 9 v 6.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bahamas Cruise/Grand Floridian

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

In A Christmas Mood

A little Christmas quiz, I hope you'll copy and paste on your blog:

1. Getting kissed under the mistletoe or in the snow?
In the snow

2. Santa or Rudolph?
Santa (or Father Christmas for those in Southern Hemispheres)

3. Stocking or presents?
Well, they say the best things come in small packages…so, stockings!

4. Egg nog or hot cider?
I WANT to like eggnog so much, but I’m afraid it’s not happening, so hot cider…but the Starbucks kind!!

5. Angel or Star?

6. Decorating the tree or putting lights on the outside?
Decorating the tree for sure!

7. Warm fires or sleigh rides?
I’d LOVE to go on a sleigh ride, but until then, warm fires.

8. Expensive presents or presents that come from the heart?
From the heart any day over expensive!
9. Snow ball fight or snowman?
Snowman is fun, but so are snowball fights!

10. Will you be getting coal or presents?
I certainly hope presents!

11. Giving or Receiving presents?
I LOVE giving gifts, especially when I think I’ve found the ‘perfect” gift for someone!

12. Open presents quick or slow?
Depends on who’s watching!

13. Caroling or Christmas stories?
Christmas stories, but I enjoy caroling too!

14. Snowy days or icy days?
Snowy days

15. Red or Green?

16. Nightmare before Christmas or The Santa Clause?
I don’t think I’ve seen The Santa Clause, and I didn’t love the Nightmare one, so neither.

17. Dasher or Dancer?
Well, I don’t know who they are…all I know is Rudolph! Must be an American thing! haha

18. Prancer or Vixen?
same as above

19. Comet or Cupid?
same as above

20. Donner or Blitzen?
same as above

21. Fake tree or Real tree?
Real, awesome smelling, fresh cut, CHUBBY tree! The only way to go!!

22. Prime Rib or Ham?
Prime Rib

23. Red and White Candy Canes or Colorful Candy Canes?
Red and White

24. Get up early or sleep in late?
Early! Then maybe take a mid-day nap!! haha

25. Old Christmas Movies or New ones?
A bit of both! I love watching Little Women at Christmas and I enjoy The Holiday.

26. The Santa Clause 1 or The Santa Clause 2?
I’m pretty sure I hadn’t seen either!

27. The Grinch movie or Elf movie?
ELF! That is so funny!

28. Scrooge or Tiny Tim?

29. Ornaments or a Wreath?
Sparkling gold & red ornaments AND a red and green wreath!

30. Christmas Eve or Christmas day?
Christmas Day for sure!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Parents & New Home


We have been incredibly busy as well as incredible blessed this past month! It started with our home closing escrow and 3 days later my folks arriving! Steve and I kicked butt, getting our belongings moved in, so as to look like we’d lived there a while for their arrival! I took off a week of work to spend some time with my folks while they stayed with us and then they moved to my sister’s house. It’s been so WONDEFFUL having them just down the street and talking daily on the phone and seeing them all the time. We’re so thankful that they are here and can physically be a part of our day-to-day life!

We just LOVE our home too!! We’re so blessed! It so cute as Domino is also a huge fan of it! She’s not used to stairs and so by the end of the day she’s exhausted! Now she’s gotten smart and in the mornings, only goes as far as the landing, and watches me in the kitchen from there. It’s only when she sees me grab her treat that she bothers coming downstairs!

We have been busy entertaining friends & family, which has been awesome to have the space to do so! We were also woken up with SUCH a GREAT surprise last Saturday! Two of Steve’s colleagues/friends wanted to show their gratitude to him for all his hard work and also wanted to give us a house-warming gift…, which came in the form of a 53inch plasma!!!! WOW- talk about generous!!!

We also leave in just over a month for the Bahamas/Cruise with Steve’s company! We are both looking forward to having a really nice break!

That’s just a bit of an update for anyone who reads this!! Have a great rest of your week!!
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I realize that it has been sometime since I gave an update on my blog. So, for those of you who aren't my Facebook friends, I apologize for the lack of communications!!

There are so many HUGE changes happening in our lives right now, that its super exciting and overwhelming all at once! Steve and I bought a house!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!! We're so excited about it and DV, will be moving this weekend!! If escrow closes, of course!! It's in Laguna Niguel, and even closer to the beach! It has a yard from DomDom (and kids once day!) and even a doggie door which she fits through perfectly!

And then the BIGGEST news of all, my parents are on the plane as I type this! They will be arriving in New York, via Senegal, at 3am tomorrow California time! they'll stay with my dad's brother in New Jersey for a few days and then fly out to their new home in California!!! YEAH!! Please pray for safe travel! It's an 18hr flight with a 1-hr refuel stop in Senegal! Apparently, they aren't even allowed off the plane!!

They will hopefully stay with Steve and I for the first week (hoepfully in our new home) and then move on to Ruth's for however long they'd like!

So, between those 2 things, we've been kept VERY busy and rather stressed, while super excited as well!! We're going to need a nice vacation soon! oh, wait...thats right!! We get to go on the Disney Cruise to Nassua and Cast Away Cay, as well as stay at the Floridian and go to Disneyworld! ALL EXPENSE PAID!! Through Steve's awesome job!! Thats in December, but the way time is flying right now, might as well be tomorrow!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Garrod Photo's


Herewith some photo's that I took of my sister and her family, while Steve took their "official" Christmas photos!!!
I've attached the link to view the rest of them...
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