Monday, February 24, 2014

A Weekend Away

Last Thursday I left town with that guy that I like so much for a little getaway.  He had a conference in Santa Barbara and I tagged along...the promise of a beautiful hotel on the beach, hours upon hours of free time while he conferenced and long dinners out with cocktails was pretty enticing.

Dreamy even.

 I bummed a bit in the hotel and did a few little excursions on my own...some shopping on State Street (bought myself a super cute sweater) and a visit to the mission.  I fielded irate phone calls and texts from work...turns out none of the direct deposits went through and NO ONE got paid like they were supposed to (including me) and even though I had nothing to do with it and couldn't fix it, I still had to deal with it all. day. long.

So basically...I was grumpy.  I couldn't find my groove.  For the life of me,  I couldn't relax.

 And then I went to the Monastery of the Poor Clare's.  I slipped into Mass (I love me a good Catholic Mass) and as I was sitting there after it was over, I noticed people walking through a little side door with slips of paper in their hands.

They were writing their intentions, their prayers, and taking them to the nuns who would pray for them.

I grabbed a slip of paper, wrote a couple of things down, walked through that little door and handed the nun my paper.  She told me that the Poor Clare's would be praying for me, smiled at me (seriously...nuns have the nicest smiles ever) and on I went about my day.

Just knowing that someone was praying for me lightened my step.

That night in the hotel, I started to think about all the little things I wished someone was praying for me.  I started a list and filled both sides of a sheet of notebook paper.  I wrote and wrote and wrote and the next morning found myself at that little side door again, standing in front of the smiley nun with my scribbly sheet of paper.

I felt I should apologize to her...I mean, I was just there the day before.  I didn't want to hog their time with my 68 prayer requests.  But the knowledge that someone would pray for me far out weighed the embarrassment of being there a 2nd morning in a row, scribbly paper and all.

I handed my lengthy list to her, thanked her, and went about my day.  How nice to know that someone is praying for me (and my boys and my husband and my family and yes, my dog) and that had me thinking...why don't we ask for prayers more often?  Why do we wait for the big stuff before asking someone to pray for us?  

The rest of our getaway was nice.  We had a Europe planning meeting the last morning and lunched with Alex (who was up there for the weekend, too) and his girlfriend before heading back home.  We arrived just in time for a party at our house...17 people (my sis in law and her family, their friends and my bro in law and his my family) eating pizza and drinking wine in the garden on an ordinary Saturday in February about an hour after we walked in the door.

It was fun.


And now.  Let's see.  That guy that I like so much is on Spring Break.  I'm not, but we'll be able to squeeze in a Disney day at some point...and maybe a breakfast at Snooze.  He's going to spruce up the garden and submerge himself in Bach...and maybe, if I can time it just right, do a few honey-do's for me.  

It'll be nice to have him around...he can help with that early morning driving, too.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ten things

1. Yesterday I had 4 cups of coffee...a record for me.  It's that amaretto very, very delicious.  

2. The Valentine's flowers (that were all over the house) are now done, yet I haven't tossed them yet.  I should, but they kind of fit my mood lately...tired.  And no, the coffee didn't help.

3. 5:30pm on a Tuesday night and my neighbor came for a glass of wine.  She brought her dinner and cooked it here, I cooked my dinner and we put them all together and fed our families.  I love things that aren't planned but just come together...and I love having a bunch (5 of them that night) of teens who just hang out at home with us.

4. I really like 4 day work weeks.  Doesn't happen often in my world but I'll take them whenever I can.

5. I did 11 loads of laundry yesterday and would be completely caught up if everyone stopped wearing clothes.  Brian is the biggest culprit clothes and school clothes and basketball clothes and sleeping clothes and towels from multiple showers a day.

6. I still make my own laundry detergent.  Cheap, easy and lasts forever.  Recipe here: Laundry Detergent

7. Yep.  I still love my pup.  Sweetest dog ever.

8. That guy that I like so much tolerated the cats but truly loves this dog.  If I had known how easy it was to win him over, I would've brought one home years ago.  Don't tell him I said that though.

9. Gold card member.  Part of the secret society.  

10.  Currently in the car heading out on a weekend getaway with my boyfriend.  A much needed weekend getaway.  The plan is to sleep, walk the beach, eat, watch movies, sleep, repeat for 3 days.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Making Wise Choices

This morning came early...well, it actually came at the same time it usually does but for some reason it always seems a bit earlier the morning after a 3 day weekend.  I've got one who is up and out of the house by 4:30am and another who has to be driven to football practice (yes, I said it out loud.  The baby is playing football this year because he begged and we, in a moment of weakness, caved) at 5:30am.

And I'm going to say something else that I have never said out loud.

I can't wait for him to be able to drive himself there.

What can I say?  Third child, extremely early mornings, exhausted, older mama.  

I've been thinking a lot about how our thought processes change as we get older.  I've parented my boys with the same core values that I have and they are firmly woven into the fabric of who they are,  yet they still make decisions that have me scratching my head as to where their ideas are coming from.

Did I teach them that?  Would I have chosen that path?

But then, in a moment of quietness, I got it.  We've taught them to think for themselves.  To experience life.  To make choices based on what they know to be true.  

Their life choices aren't necessarily what I would choose now, at the age I am.  But back when I was younger, before experience came to play, I would have.  They are living their lives the way I lived mine.  They don't have the knowledge (and worry and fear) that a 40 something year old has...they have the freedom to make mistakes and not freak out over them.  

They aren't making bad choices...they are just living their lives.  Did we worry about health insurance (we had a baby without it) and moving without jobs (we did that a few times) and never making enough money (uh...story of our lives)?

Our parents had all those worries for us and we rolled our eyes and now we are doing the same thing.


The core values?  Very present.

God has whispered a very quiet whisper.  'I've got it covered. You pray for them, talk to them, love them.  I'll do the rest.'


Today is a brand new day.  It's come early but the coffee is brewing.  There's work to be done, a bible study to go to, bread to be made, floors to be mopped, a pup to be walked, children to be prayed for.

And I'll continue to text them my advice, because that's my job.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Weekend

Valentine's Day was spent at the Dr...the youngest shrub has an ear infection.  He's now on meds and is feeling much better.  Poor thing.  

Lunch after, while waiting for the prescription, was an artichoke pizza from Mod Pizza. It's a pretty good and not very expensive and a whole lot healthier than a traditional pizza.  

Plus they have good shakes, which totally makes up for the healthier pizza.

 Valentine's night involved a bottle of champagne and homemade pasta and a few chocolates for dessert.  I think there was a movie being watched, too, but since I had been up all night the night before with Brian, I was asleep by 8:30pm.


And not to be left out...our dog.  The confused dog who is on his FOURTH name in two weeks.

His new name...and it's an original one:



The TP'ers who hit our house this weekend were interrupted by an older brother who came home while they were at it.

I'd run, too, if caught by Alex.


It's always a good day when the neighbors show up with a snack.

Please do it more often.


Baguette plus goat cheese plus basil plus turkish figs equals two adults who weren't hungry for dinner after eating the whole plate.

Utter perfection.


And then the door opened and in walked Matthew!  I hadn't seen him since Christmas and while he was a bit (a bit? a lot!) hairier, it was nice to have him home for a few hours.  


Time goes fast, doesn't it?

That guy that I like so much is working today and Alex is back after 3 1/2 months off.  Brian is off school and I am off work, though I forgot to turn my alarm off and was awoken at 5:30am.  Oops.  Todays going to be a long hike, banana bread baking and bible study finishing kind of day.

Sounds good.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Photos On My Phone

The obligatory 'hey! that's my last name!' photo.

That moment when you tell everyone you are with that the guy in line at the grocery store is wearing a Bronco's jacket...and then you realize you are in Colorado and not California.


The baby you once held in your arms is now bigger than you are.

 Seriously...a bazillion pictures of our dog are now taken daily.

He poses for them, too...which is refreshing.  Not refreshing?  His smell.  The pup needs a bath.  Also, we decided we don't like his name and want to change it again.  Ideas?

 Chicken piccata for supper.  Flour first, then egg, then into a hot pan with olive oil.  Add white wine, lemon juice and capers and lots of salt and pepper.  Nothing more; nothing less.

A weeknight staple around these parts.

No chance of us having a snow day, but there is a cold front moving in next Tuesday.

Watching people take selfies is quite comical.

Remind me when I am doing it.

Happy, happy Friday!  It's also Valentine's Day...we're going to grill something from the animal that goes 'moo', make something chocolatey for dessert, drink ridiculously priced bubbly and catch up on all the TV shows that have taped this week.

The perfect date night.

But first?

A sick 15 year old needs a trip to the DR...he's been up most of the night with an earache.  Poor thing.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Weekend Away

Last week I escaped reality for approximately 60 hours, hopping a plane for the place I called home for a good chunk of my adult life.

I left behind that guy that I like so much with our newest family member...the dog.  They've bonded and all is well in our little house on our little street. 


My girlfriend Alev, our two youngest kiddos and I hopped a plane and headed to the snow and cold of the Colorado mountains.  These two are like brother and sister and are an amazingly fun duo to travel with...they both want to see and go and do and experience whatever there is to experience, which just made the whole crazy weekend easy and fun.

We left sunny SoCal in the early morning darkness on Friday, landing a few hours later in the freezing cold of Colorado.  We rented a car and headed straight to my happy place, Boulder.  We saw all my favorite spots and then had breakfast at Snooze.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats a Colorado blue sky.  

Nothing beats frozen nose hairs either.


The reason for the trip, though?

Girl time.

Pure girl time.

Tammy and I have known each other since they lived upstairs from us at CU Boulder.  We had babies together and became insta-friends (hey...a new word!) a long, long time ago.  Alev and I have known each other since I moved to Cali...our boys have been best friends since Kinder.

Tammy and Alev met at Thanksgiving, became instant friends and suddenly we were on a plane to spend a weekend all together.  

How amazingly cool is that???

Snow.  Lots and lots of it.  We saw it on the ground.  We saw it fall from the sky.  We threw it and slid on it and built a snowman.  

Well...I sat inside and drank wine while the kids built a snowman.  Close enough.

The kids all had a blast hanging out together.  The moms?  Laughed.  Cried.  Talked.  Ate. Watched movies.  Talked some more. 

My BFF's are BFF's.

Is there anything better than that?

I have said it before and I'll say it again...I am brilliant when it comes to girl friends.  Seriously brilliant.  Somehow I find these smart, beautiful, successful, funny, rather perfect gals and I grab on to their coat tails and just hang on.  They are all so incredible and I feel so very, very blessed to know them.

It was a whirlwind but a really great whirlwind.  We're back home now and home is always a nice place to be...though I feel so at home there, too.  I guess home is purely a state of mind and anywhere you are with people you love makes it feel like home.

Though now things have changed just a bit.  Home is where my pup is.


How did we ever live without him?

(Don't ask that guy that I like so much that question...yet.)


Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I have one male in my house who is driving me absolutely crazy.  He says my name (MOM) about 50,000 times a day and it always precedes things like 'can you make me a sandwich?' or 'can you make me eggs?' or 'can you get me a glass of water?'

He seems to think that is my calling in make him a sandwich.

Yet he still asks, I still say no and the cycle repeats itself over and over and over again.

Basically, I'm just kinda sorta irritable lately.  Only at the male species, which seems to make my blood boil every time one comes within 100 yards of me.

Girl trip anyone? Anywhere? 


 And because I have now become one of THOSE is my dog.  We're making he ate and went potty and wagged his tail.

Basically, he's perfect.


Work today, followed by bible study, followed by sandwich making, followed by more work, followed by a basketball game, followed by eggs in purgatory for supper, followed by Downton Abbey and The Bachelor.

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Never Ever Say Never Ever

Please meet our newest addition.

His name yesterday?  Zorro.

His name today?  Champ.

He needed a new beginning and he's getting one.  A new home.  A houseful of boys who are smitten. A couple of cats who are indifferent.


Champ is a 2 1/2 year old rescue; a black lab mix.  He's sweet and quiet and gentle and a scaredy cat.

We are all in love.


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