Thursday, July 28, 2011

On A Jet Plane

It's safe to say that I haven't been myself the last few months.

I've been feeling overwhelmed.  And scattered.  And tired.  And alone.

Isn't it interesting that you can feel alone even when you are surrounded by people?

(personally?  I think that is a very common feeling that women experience every now and's just how we are wired.)

And before you think I need to be committed's not THAT bad.  It's just been a rather crazy year so far.  


But right now...RIGHT NOW, I am on an airplane for a little R&R.  That guy that I like so much is staying home with the remaining males in our little house on our little street (Matthew is in the deep south, Atlanta to be exact) and I am heading out for some girlie time with almost every single one of my cousins.

I am so very, very excited.  Not to leave that guy that I like so much, cuz I really like him.  But the two of us can't leave frick and frack (otherwise known as Brian and Alex) unattended and he had a lovely week in Hawaii for work a few months back, so this time around it's my turn.  

(not that we usually keep track.  really.)

I am looking forward to four days of some of my very favorite peeps and letting everybody else make every single decision.  

And then there's the Paul McCartney 'thang'.  He and I have a date on Sunday night at Wrigley Field, thanks to my very generous Uncle Pauly.

Crazy fun.'s to a weekend of recharging my batteries, spilling my guts, laughing until I cry and eating, drinking and being merry.  

Selfish?  Maybe to some.  Necessary?  Yes.

I need this.


Oh...and these pictures?  All taken at The Counter, where on Tuesday nights you can get the gourmet mini burger and beer pairings for a whopping $14.  Add the sampler...sweet fries, regular fries, onion strings and fried pickles (don't knock it until you try it!) and you have just a little sense of what heaven will taste like.

Trust me.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hiding Out

If I were a bug, I wouldn't come into this house for the life of me.  

Because I've gotta cat.  A guard cat who protects me from all things scary.

(Reason #833 why cats are so great.)

Last night, for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, a full bottle of red wine has broken inside my refrigerator.

That's TWO FULL BOTTLES OF RED WINE spilled inside my refrigerator.  

The first time, that guy that I like so much and I scoured the fridge clean and marveled at how great a super clean fridge is.

So here's the deal.  Last night I just couldn't do it.  I wiped up the droplets I could see and the rest of it is still underneath all the drawers...the drawers that require a man to pull the refrigerator out from the wall so I can take them out to clean under.  

And it just wasn't going to happen last night while I had a houseful of my boys and their friends who were starving after a day at the beach.

(a day where a lifeguard had to rescue my son and his boogie board, but I am not ready to talk about that yet.  But THANK GOD for lifeguards at the beach.  And for boys who know how to swim.)

Speaking of dinner...this was dinner.  Brats and fries and grapes.  Simple.  To the point.  Fed a crowd. 

Since there was no wine, we broke out the last of the amaretto that I carried home from Italy.

It was an extremely happy/sad, yet tasty,  moment.

Angry Birds has been replaced by Harbor Master.

Have you played it?  And while it is entertaining on an iPhone, it is killer on a bigger screen.

Yep.  We are weirdo's.

Brian has discovered Hulu.

Lots of shows, so little time.

I am on Day 2 of being a bum.  Hallmark movies.  PJ's until 3:00pm. Spilled wine in the bottom of the fridge.

Sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do...which is to hide from real life for just a bit.

Hiding is better than dealing with the stress of finding a job....right?


Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Randomness

While cleaning, the boys found their old mini pool table and it was resurrected once again.  

And now it is already back under a bed, probably for another 3 years...but the hour of joy it brings for those every 3 years is kinda cool.

The cousins came to visit and no, my house is not really that color.

Brian's last day of summer music school involved some sort of dressing up contest.

And Matthew?  He's discovered your t-shirt collection and thinks you should take your time on tour.


Sunday lunch out at Portillo's.

The best way to order...italian beef, sweet, mozzarella, dipped.

Trust me on this.

Sunday night supper...still full from Sunday lunch.  

Pasta with fresh asparagus, proscuitto, and mozzarella...bread and tuscan melon on the side.  Eaten in the garden to the sounds of ABBA, followed by (yet another) heavy discussion between the grown-up's about prayer.

More about that later.

A common sight in my little house on my little street.

Darts. Everywhere. All. The. Time.

Another common sight?

That guy that I like so much sitting in our cute backyard with his iPad, reading a book from it.  

And FYI, angry birds is the most funnest game ever.  

It's Monday morning and I am moving slow. 

Must.  Make.  Coffee.


(In Matthew news...Louisiana today, Mississippi tomorrow.  Shows both days.  Packages mailed!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday Morning Muffins

My little house on my little street was full of boys last night (shocking, I know) and while they terrorized each other with the new Tommy 20 nerf guns that we found on clearance at Target (and now I know why they were on clearance because they are big and loud and annoying...I bought bunches to give out as Christmas presents in order to share the love), the over 25 crowd sat in the garden and drank a little chianti and listened to Michael Buble.

Summer.  Is.  Here.

And when the late night chill set in, we moved into the family room and watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...and soon found that we were surrounded by boys of all ages laughing at the fun-ness (yes, fun-ness is a word in my book) of that movie and the catchiness of the songs.

Toot Sweets?


This morning I once again woke up seems that my internal alarm clock just doesn't want me to sleep past 6:30am.   While I could continue to lay in bed and enter the worry zone, (you know, that place where your body isn't yet awake but your mind is racing 100 mph?  will my boys be ok?  will I have a job next year?  when will my 'prayer block' be over?  who really ate the last of my hidden chocolate?) I instead forced myself to get up and make muffins. 

Deep dark place or warm muffins?

Muffins won out.

Not just any blueberry muffins, but Ina's Coffee Cake Blueberry Muffins.  (my advice?  add a little orange zest and a few more blueberries.)

These muffins are so good, perfection really...and best yet, they make the house smell less like smelly feet and more like a bakery.

I'll take whatever help that I can get.

Shockingly, these have been out of the oven for almost an hour and not one boy has stumbled sleepily out of their rooms...which tells me one thing.

It's time to make bacon.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Brian's Big Night

Brian has been going to music summer school again this year and really, really likes it...lots of the same kids that he knows from years past are there and they have a lot of fun together.

Tonight, at the same time as Alex's championship basketball game, was Brian's concert...and rather than divide and conquer (which is our standard way of handling things) we both went to the concert.  

One concert.  Lots of basketball games.  Concert wins.

(lots of friends texting score updates helps, too)


Can't believe how tall my little one has gotten...crazy!

And he had a solo.  So fun!  

In Matthew news...Arizona yesterday.  Texas (Odessa) today.  
In Alex news...his team won the championship by ONE point!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And...He's Off! (again)

For the 7th summer, my oldest has chosen to live a strange sort of life...traveling 10,000 miles across the United States on a bus, sleeping on gym floors, rehearsing 12 hours by day (outside in all sorts of fun weather conditions) and performing by night in major stadiums around the country.

Welcome to drum and bugle corps.

He assured me he had the packing 'thang' down, though one hour before we had to leave for drop off, he still wasn't home and hadn't packed one. single. thing.

(which totally stressed me out.  hello?  you're leaving for a month with only two laundry days and two mail days?  pack, already!)


BUT...he and his very white feet weren't a bit stressed and pulled it all together.  He not only packed but we had our first (and last) family supper together this month.  

All was well.

And then we loaded up for our very last send off...for drum corps, that is.


Be safe, Matteo!

(and dad says to do the readings you guys talked about before lights out every night...can't ever completely escape parental guidance!  love you...lots!)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back and Forth

Yesterday, I went to Costco 3 times.

Not once.  Not twice.  


The first time was to pick up all the loot that Matthew needs for tour.
The second time was to go back and pick up the pizza I ordered while waiting in line, paid for and then forgot about until I walked in my front door.  
The third time was after I had returned home with the pizza and the optical department called to tell me that Alex's contacts were in and since I was on a roll, I turned around and went back.  Again.

I'm losing my mind.  


Brian came out of music camp with his mouthpiece stuck on his trumpet and after lots of peeps around here tried to loosen it (and two of those peeps are music peeps) they decided to just leave it on.

He'll be the kid who is carrying his trumpet in a shopping bag.


And then I played hooky.  Matthew was at his last night of rehearsal.  Alex had a game which Michael and Brian went to.

I stayed home, caught up on Real Housewives of New York while eating all the marshmallows out of a box of Lucky Charms...are Lucky Charms still magically delicious if they have no marshmallows left in them?

And do you think the boys will notice?

I needed just a little quiet.  I should have been doing laundry or cleaning bathrooms or sweeping the floor but the fact is, all those things can be done in the midst of everyday life.

Quiet?  Quiet doesn't happen often during the summer months.  And isn't it interesting that the best part about quiet is when everyone comes home and it is loud and crazy...and they are all excited to tell you everything they've been doing?

Love that.


Monday, July 18, 2011

A Few More Days

I would like to point out that in the last three weeks,  I have cooked twice.

TWO times in THREE weeks.  

Hope I remember how...if ever given the opportunity again.


The month of July has involved a ton of basketball (featuring an amazing come back by fun to watch!)...with almost every single game during a normal mealtime.

Does making sandwiches count as cooking?

And then there's my oldest, who I have seen in person twice in the last month even though he (supposedly) has been living at home...daily rehearsals from 9am - 9pm (an hour away) are responsible for that.

Plus he has a social life.


Saw him perform last night, though!


But guess what?

It's all about to change.

Matthew leaves on tour (for a month) on Tuesday night.
Alex plays his last game for the summer (ok, unless they win and then the last game will be next Monday) on Wednesday night.
Brian finishes music summer school with a big concert on Wednesday night.

And while I love being a part of all my boys activities, I am really looking forward to a sitting in my backyard with that guy that I like so much and Frank Sinatra and a bottle of chianti while eating a meal that does not involve a sandwich.

Just a few more days.


Saturday, July 16, 2011


I've had nothing to share.

Nothing exciting, that is.

I've started to write and then stopped and then started and then stopped and then finally gave up and watched movies.

Some Secretariat.
Some The Tourist.

What else?

That guy that I like so much and I went and saw Harry Potter on opening night at 12:01am...but first saw part 1 at 9:00pm.  When was the last time you saw a double feature?  I'm not sure I ever really have....and it was a blast.  I cried because I have loved the books and movies and am sad that it is ending.

I washed my car this week after our big road trip and found $10.00 while folding up the 3rd row.  No one has come forward so it's all mine.

We've had 6 basketball games this week.  So far.  Two more tomorrow.

I ate a rather incredible piece of pizza with pesto, ricotta and chicken on it and I cannot stop thinking about it.  YUM.

And finally...on Thursday I got laid off from my job.  And to be honest, I cannot even go there yet.  I'm just too tired of things being thrown my way in the last few months.

Too tired.  Too tired.  Too tired.  Too tired.

Too tired.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Road Trippin', Part Deux

Lake Tahoe was incredible.

The boys played basketball.

The parents had cocktails and played Words with Friends with each other while sitting right next to each other...helps to control the cheating, and just had fun hanging out.


And then we had to come home.

My nephew needed to be dropped off, so we met my sister-in-law at the 2nd most happy place on earth.

Huge warehouse on the outside, dinky little store on the inside and only one bathroom.  

Kinda strange, actually.

The upside?

Lotsa chocolate.

And lotsa cousins.

Loaded up on sugar, we drove all the way back down the longest state ever and headed home.

It took for-ev-er.  

But we made it safe and sound...just in time for more basketball.  The things we do for our kids, eh...but it was SO FUN (and much needed!!) to be able to get away for awhile!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Road Trippin', Part 1

I'm not going to lie...the past few months have been stressful and all I wanted to do was to get out of dodge.

Or Orange County.

Thankfully the opportunity arose, so we loaded up the two younger boys and added one 13yr old nephew and drove and drove and drove.

And drove.

Seriously, we live in a wickedly long state.  It goes on and on and on and while traveling roads that we have never driven before I learned something state is GORGEOUS.

And diverse.

Desert and redwoods and mountains and big cities and little towns and farmland...on our 10 hour drive we saw it all and I loved every bit of it.

Well...almost.  The part where that guy that I like so much got the big 'ole speeding ticket I could have done without, but oh well.  You can't have it all.


The main reason for our trip was for a basketball tournament.  The team stayed at a cheap-o motel where they did team bonding sort of things that involved all kinds of things that I would rather not know about...though it wasn't hard to notice that they all had mohawks after the first night.

I am happy to report that the clippers did not come from my house.

The parents stayed around the corner at a nice hotel and we had a ball...I am seriously going to miss all of this next year when our boys graduate.  

In between games and hanging out with friends, we had plenty of time for fun stuff in Lake Tahoe with Brian and his cousin Nate.

They skateboarded and swam and played video games and ate everything in sight and went with us on a gondola 10,000 feet up to the top of the mountain.
 The best part?

SNOW in July!


My #25 played well and I couldn't help but think back to one year ago at this very same tournament where Alex was recovering from major knee surgery that kept him off the court for close to 7 months.

God is good.


To be continued...


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