Sunday, August 31, 2008

All Is Well

This morning, the four of us woke up and had a rather leisurely morning and then drove up to church.

Found gas for a steal after...down here, Costco had it for $3.89.  Ouch.

Good thing, because my car got a whopping 12.8 miles to the gallon.


We stopped in at our new favorite dive.  Gotta love a HUGE pastrami sandwich...HUGE.
Dropped the younger boys off at home so M and I could tackle Costco.  I always love a guy who not only loads my car with all the heavy stuff but who also PAYS for it all first.


Came home to the prodigal son.  In his honor, we killed the fatted calf...or at least threw one on the grill.  Gotta feed him well while I get the chance.  
He didn't come alone...he brought his laundry.

Which I happily washed, dried and folded...and will whenever he comes home.  Maybe.


Brothers will be brothers will be brothers.  Oh my.

The Buffs played their season opener today (it's college football season, people!), so boys were draped everywhere watching the game.

But we were all together today.  All together.

Fed him, cut his hair, spoiled him and sent him on his way...with food.  

I am one happy mama.


Saturday, August 30, 2008


After a long day of auditions and call backs, M came home with Josh and Alison for supper.

And a whole lotta wine.

They're newlyweds and very, very sweet.


Went thru a whole lotta glasses, too.
M and Mollie...I would describe their relationship as lukewarm.  If that.  I think he's telling her that the only reason she has a home is because of me...and she's saying 'yeah, right.'
Alex and Dre...they may go to different schools, but they'll meet up on the basketball court.
Hung a few pictures, did a load of wash, loaded the dishwasher.

That's about it.

The boys each have friends over and M is working on his computer.  Supper tonight will either be something on the grill (if I feel up to running to Costco) or some sort of pasta.  Oh, and cookies.  We have new neighbors and I have already made cookies twice for them, but somehow they never made it from our door to theirs.

Third time is a charm.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Before, During and After

Since a few have asked.


New pantry:
Still 1282 sq feet, but now with an amazing dance floor.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


  • 7:45am - register Alex for high school.  Wow.  High school.  Sports make music seem cheap.  Oh wait...I have one in music AND one in sports.  Matthew's books yesterday were a little over $600.00.  Gasp.
  • 9:00am - Met with a woman who is making new 'curtains' for my family room and is also ordering all the new blinds for me.  In the meantime, we have nothing covering our windows, which is actually how I like it, so if you want to see me in my jammies, just walk on by.  Oh wait, I am usually outside talking with one neighbor or another in my jammies.  Scary.
  • 10:30am - Brian's friends arrive to play, which they do for 15 minutes before I have to load them all up in the car.
  • 10:45am - pick up Alex on the side of the road, for reals, and do my Meals on Wheels run with 4 kids.  Matthew is, at the same time, playing for the opening service at school and I am missing it.  (she says sadly.)
  • 12:15pm - finish Meals on Wheels (boy oh boy, do those old ladies love my middle son or what?) and drive my carload thru the drive-thru at In N Out.  Praise God for gift certificates.
  • 12:30pm - home to a group of teens laying on our front lawn.  In they come to play video games; out the little boys go to climb the trash cans.  Yes, that is the newest activity, but is the end of summer and he is a 3rd child.  Climb away, son.
  • 2:45pm - big boys leave for the pool and Brian's friends go home.  Brian is still outside with neighborhood kids and I am blogging while waiting for his soccer clothes to dry.  And no, I shouldn't be unloading the dishwasher or sweeping the floor.  Nope.
  • Soccer is from 4 - 5:30pm.  I'll drop Brian, run to the store and try and come up with something creative for supper.  Any ideas?  Alex has training from 6:30pm - 7:30pm, so now I am thinking of skipping the store and just making TJ's orange chicken.  Perfect...thanks for helping.
  • Once home, maybe, just maybe, that guy that I share a life with will be home at a decent hour.  1st round of crushing lives was yesterday (when the call back list was posted) and the 2nd is tomorrow...after call backs and that list is posted.  Makes him stressed.  
Ohhhh...just got a phone call that training is cancelled.  Life is good.  Champagne is chilling.  


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Winding Down

The long, lazy days of summer are winding down, but the neighborhood kids are holding on to every last minute of playtime.

Yesterday, they broke out the mother of all nerf guns.


Our house is finished.  Completely finished.  Now I can tend to my poor garden...Brian helped pick carrots while I picked roughly 10 lbs of tomatoes.

No joke.
Mmmmm.  Supper tonight is my version of stuffed peppers with homemade roasted tomato marinara...all from my garden, with a side of sausage for my carnivores...not from my garden.

Brian starts soccer practice tonight, followed by a training session for Alex, so it'll be awhile before I finally get home.  It's starting...all the driving.

I don't mind...GREAT conversations happen in the car.

'Hey, Mom...what's for dinner?'
'Hey, Mom...where's my gatorade?'
'Hey, Mom...did you wash my jersey?'
'Hey, Mom...I need $10.00.'
'Hey, Mom...can you drive faster?' that last question is never asked.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Change of Subject

And then they shall be done.


Moving On

Yesterday was hard...the whole driving off into the sunset and leaving the kid at college kind of hard.


We had the most amazingly amazing worship service yesterday morning.


Most of M's students were involved and it was so moving and touching and thoughtful and....wellllll...amazing.


Our best friend preached and as I sat there with my family intermingled with his family...with all these boys, I just wept.  Wept.  (Didn't help that M had tears streaming down his face, either....)


But not for the 'oh my, I can't do this.'  This time it was for the overwhelming gratitude that I have for God...that He gave me this child in the 1st place.  Wow.

What a blast it's been.


18 summers.

6 spent in Colorado.  3 spent in foreign countries. 4 spent touring the United States in drum corps and 5 spent here, in our little house.

What. A. Blast.


We worshipped, we ate, we said goodbye.  And all is well.  And last night, Matthew scored a great bookcase in the huge annual scavenger hunt...and texted me all about it.

Praise God for text messaging.  


Lunch yesterday.
Matthew's dorm.
My boys.
Unpacked and settled in.
In case you need Him...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Move In

Last night, Matthew began packing at 9:30pm and was done by 9:45pm.


Woke up this morning, loaded up the cars, dropped off brothers, and headed for college!

Checked in and ready to go!
Matthew and Zachary have been friends forever.  Forever.  
Just dads for today...nothing more!

The parents attended a helicopter parenting seminar taught by a good friend of ours.  

Loved this!
We got Matthew moved in and unpacked...his huge (really!) closet has 2 sweatshirts hanging in it plus 3 pairs of shoes.  Not sure what his plan is clothing wise, but I am sure he'll figure it out.


The day was fun...full of lectures and receptions and unpacking and meals.  

After dinner, the boys were off.  We'll be back tomorrow for church, lunch and the opening service...remind to take some pictures of his room!
Came home and had a party...with margaritas, of course!  
Everyone just left and Brian has been tucked in.  M and Alex are staying up to watch the gold medal basketball starts at 11:30pm.  


I am sipping a hot tea and am going to curl up and watch a movie.  I am tired...


Friday, August 22, 2008

Baby Steps

I didn't realize until earlier today that we only get 18 summers.


It often comes up that we have 18 years, but let's face it...years seem much longer than summers.  Summertime flies by.

I ran to Target this morning for some last minute dorm stuff and it hit me.  Like a brick wall.  It's time for him to go.

 He is ready.  I've done my job.

In the middle of Target I started to cry.  The kind of cry that you cannot stop even if you wanted to...the kind of cry I am thankful happened today and not tomorrow.

I've done my job.

And he is so ready.

As I was crying in the middle of the school supplies, my girlfriend called and told me she just felt the need to call.  I couldn't even talk and she was so perfect...she didn't tell me that everything would be ok or that he would be fine or that we will still see him or that moving to college is not that big of a deal.

She just listened.   She didn't offer advice or flippant comments.  She just listened and cried with me and I needed that today.

I've done my job.  All 18 summers' worth.  And he is ready.


Thursday, August 21, 2008


Thursday, Thursday, Thursday.

Last night we had a few students over and they taught me lots about Facebook.  I guess I had a bunch of unread messages...who would've ever known?


Among other things, we ate tomatoes from the garden.  

This morning, Brian and I did Meals on Wheels while those teeny bopper boys slept.  And, by the way, are still sleeping.

It's like 1:30pm.

I'm letting them...Matthew's new life begins on Saturday;  Alex's on Wednesday.  Sleep away, boys.

Anyway, Brian and I stopped by BJ's and picked up a pizza for Josephine, who had fallen this morning and really banged herself up.  Poor thing.  I asked her if she needed anything and she asked for a Chicago pizza cuz you can move a Chicago gal to California and she'll do just fine, but she'll miss pizza like crazy.

Her words, not mine.


So pizza it was.

Came home and found this bugger.  Simple Green works wonders.
Matthew and I are supposed to be shopping, but he is not budging.  Alex is going to a movie soon...he also has a training session and then it's the last teen splash night at our pool for the summer.  Michael is on faculty retreat and Brian is having a friend come over to play.

Summer is coming to an end.

We had ordered new windows and just got a call that the company is in financial trouble.  We used a big name company that bunches of our neighbors have used...a company that has been around forever and a day,  so I wasn't at all worried.  The windows are done being made but they need the rest of their money in order to get the windows from the manufacturer...and then they'll come to install.

So I asked the guy how I could guarantee that they'll even deliver and install them, since they won't be using my money as an incentive?

Because I am such a nice person, he tells me.  And I can trust him.

I am nice, but deliver my windows, install them properly and I will pay you the balance.  Thankyouverymuch.  

Option #2 is that I'll pay him the balance and he can sign over the pink slip to his car to me, which I will then hold onto until I have my windows...and then I'll sign it back to him.  It's OK, he can trust me.  Because I am nice.

Was it only 2 days ago that I was on the beach?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Still More

This morning we walked out of our room in search of water.

Ocean water.
Across a little bridge... the beach.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, smells like the beach in the morning.
Knowing we had to head back to real life, we drove to my new favorite place.  And yes, I have a lot of favorite places, but this one is near the top.

San Luis Obispo...home of the Splash Cafe'.
This place had the best coffee and the best pastry case...all made there.


They were hiring...I almost applied.

We decided to explore a bit...I must say, Monterey Street rocks.  Big time.
We found an olive oil shop that offered tastings.  M jumped right in...I watched.  I just couldn't do oils while still working on my morning coffee.

So, the guy working there took an immediate liking to my husband. 

And intense.

He wouldn't even acknowledge my presence.  At all.  It was just a tad bit annoying AND THEN he turned to me and suggested the Mediterranean way of life.

AKA diet.

Remind me to send him a Christmas card.


BUT, we bought some local oil anyway.  And I smiled nicely as we left while trying hard to not wish locusts onto his land.  


Driving home, we got talking about Laetitia and the amazing 1/2 barrels they had on sale. 

So we made a quick turn-off to look again.
Too cute to pass up even if we had the tiny car.

Sure made the car smell good.

We came home to a wee little one who isn't wee any longer, but he didn't feel very well.  Poor baby.  Got him all comfy and fed him a good dinner of scrambled egg sandwiches...just what the DR ordered.
Back home to a rather disgustingly dirty house which I love so much.  Sure wish I could pluck this little house from here and drop it into the middle of a vineyard...


The Getaway

Monday morning, that guy that I like so much left the mounds and mounds of work that was waiting for him and whisked me away for the night.

He was ordering choral music from the car, but that's OK.  Threw in a little Gabe Dixon and hit the road, driving north in search of grapes.

The fermented kind.


Over hills and through cities, until we hit the ocean.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

We stopped just outside of Santa Barbara at a local dive called the Kahuna Grill.

Oh my.
The best, and messiest, grilled fish sandwich, eaten at a surfboard table.
Back in the car until we reached here.  Love, love, love this place.
Watched them make champagne on old french presses...fascinating.  Made me want to take off my shoes and join on in.
Back in the car, the towns we drove through were amazing.
I wanted to stop, but there wasn't much time...after all, we had places to go and people to see.
Next stop...DA wines.
The place with all the grapes.
We had read that it wasn't much to look at, and that was pretty much true, though if you wanted to find tons of college students, this was the place to be.
We sampled a little, bought a little and drove onward to Shell beach and our stop for the night.

The view from our room.


Real life?  Where?  I am pretty sure I could stare at this alllll dayyyyy longggg...
We needed food, so following the advice of some guy we never met before, we drove onto a rather shaky pier, parked our car and ate some rather incredible seafood that was caught that very day.

Oh, and watched the sunset.


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