Thursday, October 27, 2011

A New Season

It happened the other night.

I knew it would, as sure as the sun rises and sets...but that doesn't mean that I was any more prepared for it.

My baby...not just any baby, but the baby I prayed for for years before he was conceived, well, he shunned me.


I should have been more prepared for it.  I mean, he is the 3rd of mine to go through this...and like his brothers before him, I know in my head that this is only temporary.

But still.

It caught me off guard.

I saw it unfold as if in slow motion, too.  The middle school band was performing with all the high schoolers and he was surrounded by friends.  I watched my 13 year old laughing and joking and having such a fun time and then talking with the cute little blond girl and her friend and I should have known.

But I forgot.

"Brian!  Brian!" I called out, trying to get his attention. 

And then it happened.  The slight nod of his head, the unspoken universal signal that says, 'PLEASE don't talk to me in public!'

I know that it is only temporary before he swings back around, like his brothers before him.

  Maybe it was only a one time thing?

Or maybe it is the beginning of that separation that has to take place in order for a boy to begin to grow into a man...the beginning of the time when he feels the need to not tell me everything that is going on.

But then, as sure as the sun rises and sets, he climbed into the car and asked for ice cream...which I, as sure as the sun rises and sets, said yes to.  Because one thing I've learned from his brothers before him is that those stolen little moments in the car, those detours through the drive-thru, are some of the sweetest moments we can have.

And so we enter a new season...not a bad season, but a different season.

A growing up season.

My head is ready.  My heart is not.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Jury duty.

The pantry in my house.
(Brian, on the right, and his buddy...before the dance.)

Boys in my house.

Cats in my house.

Laundry in my house.
Piled high.

(Saturday morning chocolate chip pancakes.  LOVE.)

Mama in the house.

A little behind, but happy.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Still Serving

Serving my country (haha) as Juror #9 is the strangest thing's like having a giant peep hole into someone else's life, which is just a tad bit awkward.  And kinda cool all at the same time.

But most of is exhausting sitting there all day long.  

I've got my eye on the prize, though...and that prize is the $15 a day that my state pays me to be there.  

(parmesan fries and a Spaten at The Counter...both half price during Happy Hour!)

The lesson I am learning in all this is that I need to relinquish some control...a lesson that for me, is one in progress.

Asking for help?  Not one of my strong suits...but one thing I've realized is that I am so often blessed by helping others and that by allowing others to help me it blesses them, which in turn blesses me.

Does that make sense?
(a most amazing chicken sandwich with pineapple salsa...YUM!)

Anyway, I am thankful.  Thankful for a friend who took Brian to the dentist.  Thankful for a friend who delivered some jewelry orders.  Thankful for a friend who sends me 5 bazillion text messages to read during the breaks.


In the meantime, I sit...and in between all the parts I need to pay attention to, there are huge long breaks where we (the jury) can't talk to one another or move other than to stand up and stretch.

So I'm taking advantage of it.  I've made lists...lots and lots of lists.  Christmas lists, Thanksgiving menu lists, home improvement lists, menu plans for the upcoming weeks, grocery name it and I've got a list going for it.

And while it's been interesting...I am SO ready for it to be over.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jury Duty

I am currently Juror #9.

Because obviously God thinks I don't have enough on my plate.

The 'random' computer picked my name and into the courtroom I went.

Not just the courtroom, but straight up to the jury box.  They interviewed me and I proudly stated that I support the American judicial system; however, I enjoy supporting it from my home where my children and all their laundry lives.

I also stated (and my father-in-law just might want to stop reading here) that if everyone just stopped talking so much, we could be in and out of here in an hour and on our happy way.  That 3 days of 'he said, she said' is crazy...I'm a mother of a bunch of boys and the one thing I try and teach them is that it is not all about them.  That the good Lord didn't put them on this planet alone, but with other people, so swallow your pride and move on.

I thought that would get me off.

Instead?  They slapped me on that jury faster than the speed of light.


Some people totally dig this stuff...though I have a feeling that those people aren't trying to figure out how to get kids to the dentist and orthodontist and the eye doctor while sitting on a jury.

And how am I going to get Brian to the dentist on Monday afternoon...and takers?  =0(

I have to say, it is quite fascinating to see how our judicial system works.  

I also have to say that if this were on TV, we would've been in and out of there in 2 hours, including commercial breaks.

Instead, it'll take a week.  Or more.

It's SO hard to not shout out, "SPIT IT OUT and MOVE ON!" while sitting there...instead, I chew gum like a a crazy woman.
(took this right before they confiscated my phone)
I am trying to embrace this disruption in my life...though it is not easy.  I keep thinking about everything I am missing...home, my boys, work...but for some reason,  God wants me to spend an awful lot of time sitting.

So I am sitting.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ups And Downs

My day today was a roller coaster.  

Without the cotton candy.  

Just ups and downs so drastic it made my stomach hurt.
(pumpkins at the market were $2 each!  My neighbor and I stocked up!)


We found out on Friday when trying to book an appointment for his behind the wheel test that Alex's driving permit had expired four months ago.  Let me repeat that:  FOUR MONTHS AGO, Alex's permit expired and we had no clue...which means that he has been driving for FOUR MONTHS without a permit.

We're good parents.  Aware.  On top of things.  Smart.


This morning we went to the DMV on a Monday morning in Southern California with about 8 million other people so that he could retake the test.  Turns out we had fun, just me and him, chatting about really strange stuff for two hours.

And, thankfully, he passed.
(she has her Fall make-up on)


A call from my work about a mistake I made.  It was a mistake.  I apologized and fixed it.  No one was killed or put in harms way or sued...but the phone calls about the issue kept coming.  As did the insults.


I was then told that 'these things happen when you hire incompetent people.'

Meaning ME.


Swallow THAT pill.
(an american version of panforte...YUM)


Macaroni and cheese.  And not the kind from the box.


A visit to Sonic for a diet cherry limeade with a real cherry and a real lime in it with their really fabulous funky ice.
(so many new things to list in the shop!)


The engine light in my car.  On.  Of course.  Cuz we are rollin' in dough right now and can afford every single thing that is coming our way.  Not. Even. Close.


Every evening, that guy that I like so much and I have been walking around our neighborhood, wine glasses in hand.  We always end up pausing in front of our little house, all 1282 square feet of it, and thanking God for such a happy little house.  It's not big or mighty, but it's us.

(boy cousin love)


The X Factor.  We are LOVING this show.  

Dear Simon Cowell,
I am sorry to tell you that I am happily married but if ever I am not, please marry me.
Love, Me.


Baseball keeps pre-empting it.

(the leaves are turning!)


It's Autumn, baby!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Happiness From The Last Week

Vin Goat.  A cheese shop in Corona Del Mar owned by a friend of that guy that I like so much and all I can say is...GO THERE.  We had the best picnic ever thanks to Hans.  Please visit...and try the orange aged gouda.  It's life changing.  For reals.

Our mantle.  Purty.  Too bad the picture is blurry.

Black kitty parade on the front porch.

Afternoon espresso with three very little spoonfuls of sugar.  And a small piece of fig and honey bread.  Helps make mama more human.  Who says the witching hour is just for little children?

Aunt Joanna and Brian.  Love.  And wow...he's gotten tall.  Or she's shrunk.

That guy that I like so much got a new iPhone and keeps telling me how iHappy he is.  Personally, it's been a tad bit iNnoying at the amount of time he's spent asking his new girlfriend questions.


Pretty sure she doesn't do laundry, so my place in his life is secure.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stressful Day

I had a teeny tiny melt down today in between a really phenomenal bible study (involving Jonah and a really, really yummy pumpkin desserty thingy that was served at snack and wasn't in any way more important than the word of God but did leave a lasting impression) and the arrival of my nieces and nephew for a little playtime and supper.

I'm caught up in a strange work situation and in between my bible study/pumpkin heaven and family supper night (involving a massive meatloaf and homemade mac n cheese) there were a ton of very, very rude phone calls.

All directed toward me.  

After the last one involving a creepy guy who kept calling me 'hun' (and excuse me, but I am NOT his 'hun'...I am his BOSS, which I don't normally throw around but in this case it's true), I just kinda had a weepy moment.

It felt good.  


Tomorrow is a new that will involve even more people calling and telling me off and I plan on handling it better than I did today.

I love that cell phones have an 'ignore call' feature.


And now all I can think about is that pumpkin dessert...I overheard that it is pumpkin and a cake mix and a few other ingredients.

I need one.  Badly.  I don't want to make it myself...I just want one to show up on my doorstep.  With cool whip, please.  

Pretty please?


And just so you know, my little house on my little street...all gussied up with her new coat of paint, is NEVER this clean.

Lots of BIG boys live here you know. 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Living In LaLa-Land

My week was going along swimmingly until the call from the school came informing me that one of the children I not only carried inside me for 36 weeks, but hurled my guts out 6 or 7 times a day FOR THAT WHOLE TIME was not doing well in one of his classes.


I mean, come on.  Mama had JUST finished telling someone how well my boys were doing an hour or so before the phone call came.  Life was good and I was at peace living in lala-land.

I like living in lala-land.

It's my happy place.

No one is grumpy there and everyone has a smile on their face and no one has gray hairs on their heads that are unwanted or bad grades or dirty dishes in the sink and salted caramel mochas from Starbucks are calorie free.

Oh well.  Welcome to real life.

Weekends highlights included two basketball games, a play, a concert, a dinner party, church and more laundry than you would think would be humanly possible to accomplish.

And one pan of pumpkin stuffed shells that had me (and 2 of my 3 menfolk that live with me) weeping with joy.


One boy didn't have any appreciation for them.  He's the same boy that told me that he's heard about this really cool thing...spaghetti in a CAN, and how come all his friends get to eat so many cool things like that?

He's the same one who will tell you, without an ounce of hesitation, that when he grows up he wants to be a boss.

And I tell him, without an ounce of hesitation, that when he is grown up and a boss that he can eat spaghetti out of a can...just like all the other kids.

Win, win.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Watching The Sunset

Sunday night following a beautiful concert, we (that guy that I like so much, my oldest son and the amazing composer) headed down to the beach for a little supper.

Or a lotta supper, depending on which person was eating.


Sunset at the beach is one of those breathtaking, beautiful things in life that we (the peoples who live 6 miles away from it) take advantage of far too infrequently...something about the timing of that whole sunset thing that coincides with husbands arriving home from work and children who have reached the witching hour and mothers who are thinking of nothing more than a martini and a hot bath.

Something like that anyway.

I always wonder when watching that big ball of fire that is provided to give us warmth and when it lowers and lowers itself until it is just sitting on top of the water, how that moment is so quiet and beautiful, how one cannot believe in God?

Our conversation that night was all light and fun in the beginning...everything from real estate prices in Indiana vs. California to raising free spirited children to traveling the world with young children.

But by the time dessert rolled around things changed.  Not in a bad way, but in a thought provoking way that has me still thinking two days later.

It began with a simple ' have you seen the face of Jesus?' question...a question I was able to answer pretty simply.  


In that guy that I like so much, who works so unselfishly.
In my middle son, who has such a servants heart.
In my girlfriend, who is always there with a smile.
In my niece Sophie, who gives the best hugs.
In my girlfriend, who hangs with her students during lunch rather than hiding in her office.

Seeing the face of Jesus around me is pretty easy if I slow down long enough to look for it.

But then came the next question.

"Have you BEEN the face of Jesus lately?"

Whoa.  Was I the face of Jesus while I was frustrated with my boys about their wet towels on the floor?  Was I when I called the driver in front of me this morning (who WAS going too slow, by the way....) a not so kind and loving name?  Was I when I grumbled (again) about our financial state?  Was I when I chose to watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills instead of finish my bible study?


But that's where grace comes into play, I guess.  God doesn't need me to be perfect...He just needs me to be aware. 


How about you?  Have you seen the face of Jesus lately?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday Morning

This morning when I woke up (after a night of the strangest dreams I have EVER had...what DID I eat last night???),  it felt like Autumn.

Like, totally.

The windows in our little house on our little street were wide open and the air was chilly and fresh and clean.  That guy that I like so much, who I think still lives here after arriving home late last night, was already gone for a long, long day.  My youngest was sound asleep which meant that the whole quiet house was all mine.


Muffins seemed fitting...pumpkin muffins, with chocolate chips in them.  I'd like to say that they were homemade but Trader Joe's does it SO well...but I can say that they were home 'stirred'.

How's that sound?


It's so easy on quiet mornings like this when the early day sun is shining into the house to stop and's as if the light is saying 'all will be well'.

And I cling to that hope like the ivy that is clinging to my little stuccoed house.  

Like glue.

I need reminders of this...not just when the sun is shining, but also when the skies are grey and cloudy.  Reminders that the sun is still there behind the gloom and doom...that even when we can't see the light, or feel the warmth, it is always there.


It's a concert weekend for that guy that I like so much, as well as doing a clinic of some sort or another and the hosting of a guest composer.  In other words,  that means he won't be around much at all for the next few days.  


On the home front I have one teen who is arguing his point for going to an upcoming concert (and I can assure you that it is NOT a choral concert) at a small theater in LA.  On a school night.  An hour away.  One that a bunch of his friends already have permission to go to and I am the final hold out.  And my teen...well, let's just say that he would make a fine attorney.

The other teen is hanging out with friends at a festival in our town, hopping from one food stand to another.  He got out of the car this morning with his saggy jeans and a beanie on his head and all I could think (after telling him to pull up his pants) was,  'here we go again...'

Have I mentioned how much I love free will?


As for me...not much today.  The grocery shopping is done and the house is picked just might be a hallmark movie kinda day.  I've got a pumpkin baking for a new recipe that I am trying for pumpkin ravioli...smells pretty good in here!


How about you...what are your weekend plans?
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