Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Playing Hooky on Tuesday

I have a 14 year old (and also a 19 and a 23 year old) who LOVE sushi.  I'm a new convert...sort of.  I like to call it 'fushi'...fake sushi.  All cooked, no seaweed, sub soy paper.  It's really just a roll of rice with veggies and maybe some cooked crab...but it is eaten with chopsticks, just like everyone else.

My boys?  They've got mad chopstick skills.

Alex had his championship game on Sunday night and boy oh boy, is my boy a beast on the court.  Fun times, watching him play again.  He is...well, such a great kid.  I mean, really great.  I look at him and see just the kind of person I had dreamed he would be...big hearted, wickedly funny, kind, hard working.  

I'm actually feeling this way about all my boys right now...I'm in a big happiness bubble.  If you know something I should know, please wait until tomorrow to tell me...I'd like to relish in this feeling a bit longer.  Raising boys to be men...very, very tiring.  Mama needs a little rest today.


My girlfriend had the day off from work and those are my favorite days because she spends them in the kitchen.  Her kitchen, not mine...though I still reap the benefits.  Today?  Stuffed everything.  Eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, and her very own grape leaves.

I had made tacos for my crew but had something much better for myself.


That guy that I like so much is thinking of converting to Turkish-ism.   The food?  ROCKS.


He's been working lots, that guy that I like so much.  LOTS.  Every day.  Every night.

I've missed him.

Today, though?  When you read this?  We'll be playing hooky...at Disneyland.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Fresh Beets and Basketball

On Friday morning I found myself at the chiropractors office in tears, begging him to do something, anything to fix my pesky shoulder.  I'm calling it 'yoga shoulder' because somewhere between downward dog and some other funky move I hurt myself.  Badly.

Love yoga but we are breaking up for awhile.

Anyway, fix me he did.  I was pummeled and shifted and iced and massaged and finally taped (think Kerri Walsh in the Olympics) and while laying on ice at the end, I heard a girlfriends voice.  Not only that but it was her birthday and she had no lunch plans.  Yet.  And neither did I.  Soon there were three, lunching at Nordstrom Cafe where we spent a few hours doing what women have done for generations before us...lunching and laughing and drinking coffee from groovy cups with saucers.

Coffee is so much more grown-up when it involves a cup and a saucer.


And after...after I visited the lounge following two diet cokes and three cups of coffee and before returning home to work, I saw it.  This shirt.  My girlfriend talked me into trying it on and I fell in love. Seriously in love.  The price tag?  OUTRAGEOUS.  I mean, seriously outrageous.  And here's the deal...I've never shopped at Nordstrom before and now, I'm no longer a virgin.  And you know what they say...once you've gone all the way, you can't go back to holding hands.

I'm doomed.


Friday night I was in charge of feeding a bunch and so off we went to Panera to visit Alex.  His manager gave me a huge discount and Alex cooked cooked for us.  Two days later we are all still alive and kicking.


And actually, I didn't eat.  That guy that I like so much and I went on a very late night date (9:00pm...he ahd to work until then and I had a new shirt to show off!) to PF Changs where we sipped cocktails and shared some yummy eats.  Oh, and shared our faith with our server...not necessarily unusual for us but this was a pretty deep conversation and one that I pray takes hold.

Maybe you could pray for that, too?

Saturday morning, early, was basketball.  Feels good to be back in the bleachers cheering one of ours on.  He's on a new team which means we've lost our friend base yet again, too...but this too shall pass.  Or we'll just be loners until he moves up again next year.


 After the game we dropped him at home and the parental unit strolled the farmers market.  The big score?  Beets.  Big, beautiful, sweet beets.  Yummy, yummy beets.

A pain to prepare.  A bloody pain to prepare.  

Those puppies stain everything within 100 miles and had me, well...swearing like a sailor.  Yeah, I was.  What can I say except...well, it wasn't pretty.

The end result, though, was totally groovy.  Roasted at 400 degrees with lots of olive oil and kosher salt for about 20-25 minutes and they were to. die. for.


Best thing ever.  We nibbled on them all afternoon but then I tossed them into a salad with a simple vinaigrette.  And some goat cheese.  And some pine nuts.

Yum to the tenth degree.


The rest of the weekend was just the norm...laundry and a closet cleaning and dishes and hanging with my boys and playing candy crush on my phone and church and even, sigh, a bit of work on my part.  Oh, and a Hallmark movie or two.

I'm feeling rested and ready for the week.  This is a big one for me...it's the week our pilot program at work goes live and it's all on my shoulders.  Up until now it's been a bit of a test program but tomorrow morning at 5:30am, it's up and running for reals.  Exciting and scary, all at the same time.  Big, big consequences if this puppy doesn't fly...but I'm choosing to think positively.



Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Friday Already

I guess I just don't know what to say except that I am struggling to figure out how to fit everything in now that I am working so much during the day.  The blessing is that my family hasn't been affected too much because everything happens while they are at work and/or school and at night I am trying to just be.  

To just be Michele the wife and Michele the mom...not Michele the girl who does anything else.   

So far, so good.


Here's a recap of this week.  There was a super yummy lunch with that guy that I like so much...a last minute 'hey! can you go to lunch?' kinda lunch date.  In all honesty we were both shot and spent some time just staring at each other...and then we both totally laughed.  Summer is coming.  Summer is coming.  Summer is coming.

Matteo was home all weekend and it was so very, very nice.  I just love having him around.  He's bigger than life in that there is never any question that Matthew is home...his stuff is everywhere.  Somehow it's all ok though...it's just nice to have him home, sleeping under the same roof as his brothers.

But, his life is away now and on Tuesday I had to drive him back.  It. Is. Far.  After I dropped him off I picked up the largest diet coke I could find, put Pandora on the Aerosmith channel and creeped and crawled home...which was fine until that large diet coke made me wish I hadn't had it.


Hikes this week were warm and sunny.  I love that they give me a chance to clear my brain...to help me transition from work to play.  

That guy that I like so much had to work late one night so I fed the boys and we had a date night out in the garden, under the heaters.  We were able to get a little taste of summer...a teaser, if you will.

I can't wait.

The garden is blooming.

Is there any better sight than a tomato plant growing tomatoes?  Nope, I don't think so either.

I did it again...snuck into Disney for an hour.  I parked, walked in and rode Soarin' Over California as a single rider and walked back to my car.  Such a luxury!  My pass expires in less than a month and we're still on the fence as to whether to renew or not...they are pricey, but we do get lots of use out of them.

We'll see.  In the meantime, I am squeezing in lots of visits.

Our two cats are litter mates...sisters.  And they hate each other.  I mean, HATE each other.  This was a big, big deal and lasted for about three minutes, but it was so sweet while it lasted.

My new job involves things I never knew existed...things like 'go to' meetings and conference calls and mass emails and faxes.

This mornings conference call...2 hours and 26 minutes.  Put everyone on speaker phone, cleaned a bathroom, folded laundry, made some ranch dressing and did yoga.  The funny part?  I was an integral part of the meeting and they probably had no clue I was a multi tasking fool.


Meetings this week?


(I hope.)

A fun surprise came in the mail today.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE these bracelets.  Totally expensive in real life (but for a great cause) but I scored an online deal and bought them for myself.  The best part?  There are 10 of them...wear them all or just a few at a time.


 Sometimes you just need to be a girl.  

Plus, it makes long, long conference calls seem worth it.

I am so happy it's the weekend.  The house is clean and the laundry is under control. Not much is going on for me, though that guy that I like so much is going to be working a lot.  We are going to sneak out for a late night date tonight...late, as in we have a 9:00pm dinner reservation at a place with great food and even better cocktails.

The perfect Friday night.  Hope I stay awake.


Monday, April 22, 2013

On The Go Go Go

Pictures...it's all you're gonna get today because I'm in that go go go place and I can't seem to come up for air.  This weekend?  A whirlwind.  A fun whirlwind.  A crazy busy whirlwind.  A 'I'm tired but there is no rest for the weary' whirlwind.

So here you go.


The end of last week?  88 degrees.  Pretty darn near perfect, if I do say so myself.

Matteo is home for a long weekend.  Happy, happy mama.  His stuff is everywhere but we are continually serenaded with free music.  Even the scales are beautiful.

 That guy that I like so much was gifted a great gift from his choir...and they threw in a little somethin' somethin' for me.  My very own, very favorite candy.  And nope.  Mama isn't sharing!

Also for me?  A Facebook pay it forward gift.  Blessed, that's what I am.  Blessed.

The morning before a big dinner party and I finally have a moment to plan.  And then shop.  And then prep.  Crazy times, I tell ya.

 Saturday morning...Turkish breakfast.  I love turkish breakfast.  LOTS.  

Saturday night...Elijah.  The conductor is my personal favorite...as is the trumpet player in the paid orchestra.  Kinda cool that the dad can now hire the son.

Saturday late, late, late...me, that guy that I like so much and a really expensive restaurant.  I was wearing a new rockin' dress and he was sporting a tux.  Lobster mashed potatoes, great music and a rather interesting clientele...let's just say that there were a lot of 50 something year old men sporting really, really young women.  It was...strange.  I wanted to walk over and tell the men to grow up and the women to get a backbone.  But I didn't.  Next time, though...I might.

Sunday's hike.  Big hills and a wait for the porta potty.

Sunday afternoon...party prep.  

Sunday night a party was a happenin' in the garden.  Also Sunday night?  My husband, who does not 'friend' students on Facebook, told them that as a pre-graduation gift (2 weeks from now) to get out their phones and friend away.  There was much rejoicing in all the land.  Pretty soon they'll find out that he's never on it anyway, but it's the whole idea of it I guess.


A fun, fun weekend.  Sleep will come...next weekend maybe?


Friday, April 19, 2013

Normal Life Stuff

It was a good day today...busy and full but not too busy and full that I lost track of what's important.  Meaning, I did a few loads of laundry in between work meetings.  I cooked dinner ahead of time and had it warming so that all my boys could eat before church choir and training and practice while I ran off for a hair appointment.  I showered, quickly, while my work phone was downloading messages so that during the lull between 5:45am and 6:00am when my work becomes 'live', I could spend some quiet time reading and praying.

it was just one of those days where I felt very...centered.

The funny thing is that the kitchen is a wreck.  My bed never got made.  The floors are sticky.

But tonight, when all those things could have been done...well, instead I spent an hour on the phone with my cousin.  And then I played Wedding Dash on my iPad while watching Everyone Loves Raymond with my boys.  

Today I just lived life.  Normal life.  It wasn't all picture perfect but it was simple and ordinary and good.  Tomorrow there will be time to clean up the kitchen and finish the laundry and sweep the floors.


Brian's new favorite Pandora station is Aerosmith...as in 'Hey Mom!  Have you ever heard of a group called Aerosmith?  They're really good!' and so tonight I introduced him to Guns N Roses and we sang, loudly, all the way home from his practice.  The kid has got good taste in music....and he thinks I do, too.


This weekend is packed full...Brian has his first basketball game of Spring season, we're going to Turkish breakfast (yay! my favorite!) on Saturday morning, Saturday night and Sunday are big concerts for that guy that I like so much, we're hosting his Seniors for supper on Sunday night, and there's all the prepping and planning and primping that go with most of those things.  BUT...it's all good stuff.  Fun stuff.  Not burdensome stuff.  Real, ordinary, good, living life stuff.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Yesterday I made homemade bread...homemade rye bread.  There is something so amazingly comforting about working with dough...you take warm water and yeast and flour and then you knead and knead and knead it.  Just when you think your hands are going to fall off something magical happens...it becomes smooth and elastic.  And then there's that first peek into the bowl after it's been left to rise...I'm always surprised when I see what's happened.

Plan and simple...I love making homemade bread.  It's like a really good therapy session...for free.


I went to bed last night and the kitchen was clean...but somehow overnight elves came and ate lots of food and left lots of dishes.  Those elves are nameless and they also refuse to throw a brother under the bus, so as of yet I have no one to blame.

And a message for my boys future wives....I'm sorry. You are going to blame me and hate me for all the quirky things these boys do and you know what?  You're right.  I am guilty.  They do this thing where they can see I'm losing it so they make me laugh.  They give me hugs and kisses and tell me how good I look and then they leave me with the mess and I am so happy that they were talking to me that I just clean up after them.

It's the mama curse.  Shoot me.  You'll experience it someday, too.

My work car plays the BEST music ever.  I drove so much today...that music was my saving grace.  How loud can one person sing when they are alone in the car anyway?

Extremely loud, FYI.


That guy that I like so much brought home a produce box from work this afternoon...a local grower was selling them for cheap.  The fresh peas are gone, as are the strawberries and grapefruit.  Everything else is put away and there was only one mystery veggie...it's big and leafy and I have no idea what it is.  I figure everything tastes good with olive oil and garlic so that's how it'll be prepared.

I think.

After a supper of pot roast and risotto and an avocado/grapefruit salad,  we began to daydream about our next trip.  I love dreaming...it's right in my budget.


I'm beginning to use my work time a lot more wisely...and because of that I am feeling a bit more sane.  I'm out and about for work a lot tomorrow, but I'm also getting a haircut and shopping for a bunch of weekend parties.   A good nights sleep seems to help everything feel just a bit more manageable, so I'm praying for another of those tonight...yet I'm thankful for the one I had last night.

It helped my mood.  Lots.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Lunch Date

Just me.  All by myself.  And an empty monorail.


I had yet another big meeting this morning...I must say, I'm getting tired of big meetings.  I had to lead this one and it just makes me laugh inside...I mean, I am just a mom.  But as of yet they haven't caught on, so I'm running with it and playing their game.


Anyway, I was just down the street from Disneyland, it was lunchtime and I was hungry.

How convenient, eh?

I parked at Downtown Disney and hopped on the monorail into the park.  Once in, I headed towards Main Street, grabbed a corn dog, sat and people watched while I ate.  If you've never had a Disney corn dog...well let me tell you somethin'.  There is NUTHIN' better than a Disney corn dog.  I don't know what they put in the corn part of the dog but oh my...they are sooooo good.

I went on Pirates, hopped on the train back to Tomorrowland where I rode yet another empty monorail back towards my car.

It was a lovely 90 minute break from real life.


Oh, and my boss resubscribed me to Syrius radio.  Yowza.  Roy Orbison?  You are one of my very favorites.  When you sing 'you got it',  I totally believe that I've got it.  I tend to roll down my windows and sing at the top of my lungs...good thing I will never see any of the people who drive by me ever again.  I hope.


Also today?  Dinner out with friends.  Homemade rye bread. (with butter.) Sad news from the orthodontist for Brian. (a minimum of five more months for those pesky braces) Army Wives...love that show.  A new Country Living magazine.  Fresh smelling laundry.  

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