Monday, March 31, 2014


On Friday night a girlfriend and I were sitting on a particularly uncomfortable portable  set of bleachers while watching our boys play a rather late (8:00pm...followed by a 9:00pm) basketball game, when we felt a little jolt.  We were in a massive gym and there were at least a dozen other games going on around us, so we thought nothing of it...until a little bit later when the ground began rolling about under our feet.

Shaker, was a quaker.  A big one...5.1 and it lasted quite a bit.  The basketball team?  They didn't even notice and kept right on playing.  The parents?  Well, we laughed the nervous laughs and talked the nervous talk and texted all our families to make sure everyone was A-OK.

They were.


Brian, the baby of our family, got his permit last week.  Sigh.  I just don't know if I can teach yet another boy who thinks they are the best driver in the world how to drive.

It ain't easy, ya'll.  

Round we come!

 On a funner (sorry grammar peeps) note...this is my dog.  He's perfect and sweet and I love him.  Like, really love him.  Like, I am totally sorry for making fun of dog people before.  I just didn't get it...but now I do.

I. Love. My. Dog.


Saturday morning my girlfriend and I tried a new trail, which turned out to be not much of a trail but a million stairs up a big hill.  It was an absolute killer workout and I've been feeling it ever since. 

I love that.


Move a kids dresser and what do I find?

A bazillion batteries, a hundred candy wrappers, a dozen or so coins and ONE BEER CAN.

Gotta love boys.

Speaking of boy in the middle is a heart tugger.  I couldn't be more proud of the man he is becoming, of the work ethic he has, of the fact that he talked me into getting a dog.

The dark days?  Brighter now.  

Thank you, God.

We've had out supper, discussed Bach (again), shared a rather decent California Cabernet, listened to Diana Krall, and he's now settled into marking scores and I'm ready to settle into the latest book I'm reading.

We haven't spent more than 30 minutes in the same room all weekend, until tonight, yet I feel like we've just had the longest weekend away.  It's crazy how that a moment can become more than just a moment.

Tonight was needed and I think we are both ready to jump head first into the week that is to come.'s coming.  I can feel it.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Good Morning


I'm sleepy...and I just woke up.  Today just might be a nap kind of day...I'm kind of locked in anyway.  All the windows and doors are covered with plastic and the painters are working their magic repainting our little house the exact same color it was before...a rather unremarkable shade of beige.  Associations can be annoying...I live in a rather beige one, and I tend to moan and groan about the dues we pay.

But then they fix my termite damage and give us a new pretty fence and a new roof and new paint and well, that's just in the last year.  We're well taken care of...even if it's all beige.

Now if only they'd work on the inside of my house.  Oh wait...I have to pay for that part.


My boss was in my car a few weeks ago and we got talking about satellite radio and boom!  The next day it was in my car again.  It's a I'd never pay for, but when you're on the road like I am it is an awesome luxury.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I am a total car sing at the top of my lungs pretending I am Celine Dion kind of singer.  And to me?  Totally sound like her, too.  

This next 6 weeks are going to be the craziest busiest ever.  That guy that I like so much has a huge concert he's conducting (Bach's St. Matthew Passion), our son is giving his final recital and graduating with his (wait. for. it) Master's degree, we are hosting a few major parties at our little house on our little street, that guy that I like so much has a bazillion student recitals to attend, there's Holy Week and Easter and work and school and a dog to walk and lots of out of town company coming for visits.

It's packed full but it's all exciting stuff, too.  I'm not at all stressed...I'll just do what I do.  Make massive amounts of food, open bottle after bottle of wine and all will be well.    

Today I am painting a bedroom door...the door that has a rather large hole in it thanks to 'I didn't do it' or 'not me' or 'he did it'.  One of those people.  Anyway, I priced out new doors and the cost of having it cut to fit our not standard sized doorways and I would much rather have my $$ go to a feed my family than to replacing a silly door.

So a lot of spackle and a little paint and we'll be good to go.

Well, I guess I should begin my day...though maybe I'll hop back into bed for just a few more minutes.


Monday, March 24, 2014

It Was A Rough Week's the low down.  The nitty gritty.  The real truth.

This weekend, that guy that I like so much and I had (kinda sorta) a day off.  Together.  As in we were off of work, ignored work, pretended we don't work kind of day.  It was a Sunday...a day of Sabbath that we should have had off anyway but, well, don't usually get off because he has a church job and is in the middle of that (insert profanity here) Bach project that he is in the middle of.

But for one day...he put Bach on the back burner and me on the front burner.

Can you hear the angels singing?????

(I can....)

And if you believe I am ever really on the back burner, then, well, you don't know us in real life.  But still...a girl can whine a little, can't she????


This week turned out to be a week that challenged me in a way that I had never before been challenged.  In fact, I actually reached my breaking point as I was being screamed at by someone who works for me.  That person was frustrated and said things (many things) they shouldn't have and I ended up just hanging up the phone.  It was, to put it mildly, intense.

I didn't like it.  At all.  

I didn't like how I was being spoken to, I didn't like how I was reacting, I didn't like how I was being tested....and yes, I felt like I was being tested.  Not by man, but by God.  As in, 'hey chick....can you handle what I'm throwing at you????  Oh yeah, well, let me throw MORE your way!'

I actually pulled my car over and took a bunch of deep breaths and then cried.  Hard.  I tried calling that guy that I like so much but he was teaching.  My closest girlfriends were all working.  No one was available to listen to me cry hysterically.

But God?  He was waiting, ever so patiently, for me to come to Him.  He was waiting for me to say 'help me'.  He was sitting there, quietly, waiting for me to lay all of this on Him.

Now in the perfect world, I would have done all that at that moment.  But instead? It took me almost 3 days to come to that place.  In between there was a dinner at a friends house, where they had the most incredible ceviche and tacos and hospitality in their beautiful backyard on one night and a wedding of two of that guy that I like so much's students (where so many former students whom we ADORE were in attendance) on another night....and then almost a whole day off, running errands and hanging out at home before I came to that realization.

It took DAYS.

I needed to dump it on God.  I needed to let Him carry this burden.  I'm the human....He's not.  He's stronger and bigger and more kind and just better than my human self is...and I need to remember that.

So now it's Sunday night.  We went to church, lunched out, shopped for shoes, roasted some chickens, dismantled our backyard (our house is being painted tomorrow) and sat and drank a bottle of wine with my family at the table.  We danced a little, Brian is making cookies, Alex is walking the dog, Matthew sent a few texts.  My world is feeling a bit more balanced...a bit more ready for the new week to begin.'s not always easy.  But for now, what I have at this moment, is all good.  I need to focus on the bigger picture...and I'm trying.  It's easy after a few days off, after some quiet and some fun and some wine.  Hoping it remains easy once the alarm goes off early tomorrow.  


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Highs and Lows

Up:  Boys.  They've been rather fun lately.  Hungry, but fun.
Down: That guy that I like so much...I haven't seen him in days.  His schedule, to put it nicely, sucks right now.  For both him and me.

Up: Work.  It's been a good week where I've felt like I'm actually making a difference.  
Low: Work.  Am I making a difference?


Gotta love a woman's brain.


High: Daffodil season is upon us.
Low: Totally random but what was that puddle of water in the kitchen this morning?  Did a male spill something and leave it?  Did the dishwasher leak?  Did the dog leak? 

So many questions; so few answers.

The highlight of Brian's life is in this video.  He's constantly compared to his big brother and let me tell you, that's not always easy.  This, though, made him stand quite a bit taller.


3:07 am.  Insomnia.  Might as well work a little bit and hope for a little nap in the garden tomorrow afternoon.

One can hope.


Monday, March 17, 2014

So Much For Quiet

Spring is here and I am so very, very happy. 

I like warm...well, unless I am trying to sleep (like's 3:30am).

Oh well.

So this weekend?  Well, it started with a long hike.  Just me and my dog and 5 miles of trail.  I needed it and so did he; immediately afterward he had a one on one with the groomer who bathed him and clipped his nails.  For a scaredy dog, this was a big deal.  Poor pup.

Cutest concert program ever, inspired by our middle son and his friends and a collage they made while sitting at the donut shop in the middle of the night.

The concert on Friday was lovely.  The cocktails after were lovely.

And then they packed up and left town on tour and the rest of the weekend, while lovely, was extremely quiet.  And maybe a little lonely.

 Saturday morning was another hike, minus the dog and plus one girlfriend.  I came home to a still sleeping houseful of boys and made homemade biscuits with sausage gravy.  Not a norm in our house but so very, very yummy.  

The garden got a good watering, my desk got cleaned out, the bookshelf in my bedroom got cleaned out and the laundry was laundered.

All in all...a very productive day.

My produce box came (can't wait for my garden to bloom!) and in it was 2 stalks of sugar cane.


Yeah,  my thoughts exactly.

 Sunday, a walk around our lake.  Church.  Some more cleaning.  A nap.

Sunday afternoon...Brian's basketball banquet.  The food was good, the parents were intense, I was a bit melancholy of the old days, and Brian got a really cool award.  All in all...a nice event.

I did dash out to hold a new baby boy.  Oh my...I do love a new baby.  


And then that guy that I like so much came home and all was well in the land.  Well...sort of.  He's exhausted, Brian had a computer issue, there was a houseful of boys here playing video games, the dog needed to be walked, there are two sugar canes on the counter that my crew can't keep their hands off of, someone forgot to put the milk back in the fridge and the trash smelled.

Welome home, honey.  Life on a bus with 50 college students was probably more relaxing.


Friday, March 14, 2014

This Week

1. This is what you'll see most afternoons...late in the day in between school and work and homework.  Old school video games are the happy I kept them!

2. Our 48 (I found the missing one in the dirt!) olives are officially curing.  After 6 weeks and 6 gallons of salted water, we will have enough olives for one cocktail hour.  But that little tree in the garden?  It's gonna get bigger!

3. I made a lasagne this week and I've been eating it for lunches ever since.  Yum.  Homemade b├ęchamel, homemade bolognese, fresh mozzarella.  What could be bad?

4. Brian texted me his 'tattoo'.  I approve.  First off, it says MOM.  Second, it washes off.  The perfect tattoo in my mind.  

5. Man's best friend.  That guy that I like so much was anti-pet and now we live in a zoo.  And guess who they all like more than anyone else in our little house on our little street?  Him.  Seriously.  And you know what else?  He likes them (a lot), too.


6.  Daffodil season is here.


7. I have this habit of just handing my phone to people and occasionally I'll find funny pictures or the occasional inappropriate app.  But never have I had a 'collect free fish' reminder come up in my calendar...and the best part?  No one remembers adding it...well, they sort of do but then they're not sure.


 8. Calendar alerts that show up on all our phones, followed by silly midday texts.  I sure do like him...can't wait until May when I actually get to spend time with him.  

All in all, a very productive week.  Work has been worked, trails have been hiked, food has been cooked, boys have been loved, the garden has been sat in.  I love daylight savings time until my alarm goes off every morning...there is just something really hard about leaving the house when it is still pitch black out.  

That being said, there is something totally, totally cool about watching the sun wake up the world around you.  This season is short so I'm choosing to embrace it.

Coffee helps.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Opening Weekend

Ah...the weekend.

The sun shined brightly on SoCal...not just shined but spread it's warmth.  The pup and I have become hiking partners...he needs (and enjoys) the long, hard walks and I like the distraction he brings during miles 1, 2, 3 and 4.

The distraction from complaining, whining, whimpering and full out screaming.

He's a good distraction.


By Friday I was tired.  Tired of work, which seems to be almost overwhelmingly busy right now.  Tired of a dirty house.  Tired of sleeplessness that always seems to come in the middle of the night.  Tired of the leaking washing machine.

Just kinda tired.

That guy that I like so much?  He's working 7 days a week, pretty much until May, and is beyond tired.  His boss, the Big Guy (that would be God, in case you were wondering), is pushing him hard, asking for a lot, not letting up.

My guy is tired, too.

The weekend began with a long hike followed by what I wanted more than anything...a warm meal prepared by someone other than me.  And put on the table by someone who I didn't have to tip.

The boys and I went to my neighbors, where my new favorite dish of all times was set in front of me...moussaka.  Warm, creamy, eggplanty...oh my.

A moment of silence, please.  


The perfect Friday night...friends, food, lots of boys, an old friend who joined us, husbands who wandered in late from working long and hard.  

Oh...and wine.

Saturday morning that guy that I like so much was long gone when I got a text from Matthew inventing me to lunch.  Moms out me.  When your kid lets start growing up, they become human again.  They stop demanding sandwiches and socks and rides places and they start asking to meet up for lunch.

I'm 1/3 of the way there...and I'll take it.

Alex tagged along, we drove to the circle in Orange and lunched at Felix's...just me and my older two boys.  Oh, how I love watching them together.  Oh, how short I've become.


And yep...91 degrees.  Spring, my friends, has sprung.

Saturday night, that guy that I like so much and I went out for a fancy dinner at The Bungalow in Corona Del Mar.  Great food, fun vibe, a wait staff that seemed to want to hurry us out of there.

Hate that...but the truffled mac n cheese was out. of. this. world.


Sunday night, while cooking supper, I was texting my neighbor and convinced her to come for a glass of wine.  My little supper then stretched to feed 9...with a crowd of boys eating every leftover from my fridge. 

It was so impromtu, so perfect...just some of my favorite people sitting in the garden the night before we all had to begin an incredibly busy week. 

It didn't matter though...for just a few short hours it felt like summer.  The music was playing and there was some dancing and maybe, just maybe we shouldn't have opened that extra bottle of wine...but who cares.

The garden is now officially open for the season.  Come one; come all.


That being said...Monday was a bit rough.  The time change brings great darkness early, early in the mornings...which makes it harder to be up and out of the house.  

I can't help but smile though...the garden is open.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Looking For The Little Things

Yesterday was the perfect day for a hike...the sky was blue and the air was warm and the birds were singing.

But nope.  No hike.  Just me, my shoe box of receipts from the past year and my looming tax appointment were all that the DR ordered for the whole lovely day.

The good news?  It's finished.  The bad news?  Ouch to the pocketbook.

Oh well.

Today is a brand new day.  I'm so swamped at work...the kind of swamped where I look at my to do list and know that there is no way it can all be done.  I'm the one who figures out the solutions to problems and sometimes my brain just needs a today I am going to take a good, old fashioned lunch hour.

At least that's the plan for now.


Lent began yesterday and I had all these grand plans of how my Ash Wednesday would be spent.  Praying at the beach.  A service in my favorite little church.  A time to make a quiet list of things I had hoped to accomplish this Lenten season.

None of that happened.  

I worked.  I dumped a LARGE lemonade in my work car.  I walked a stubborn dog who is afraid of open spaces.  I worked on taxes.  I dealt with a very difficult person at work.  

I felt sorry for myself.

And then we went to church last night.  I didn't want to be there.  The laundry really needed to be folded, the dishes on the counter needed to be cleaned,  the taxes needed to be finished.

But I went...more out of a'the boys need to be here and I need to set an example' than out of a 'I am here because I NEED to be here'.

Does that make sense?

In the end, as always happens, I was fed.  It's not always the obvious things either.  Tonight it was a very grumpy 15 year old, who's schedule is giving him a run for his money, and an older brother.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw that older brothers arm go around the shoulders of his younger brother, encouraging him to sit up a little straighter.  It was a quiet movement...not the typical slap, push, pull that seems to be the norm in my houseful of boys.

And I was once again showed that God's answers to prayers aren't always dynamite blowing up, but are simply noticed out of the corner of your eye.  

So here's to another day.  A new beginning.  A new day to mop and vacuum and clean the kitchen.  A new day to cook for my family.  A new day to serve.  A new day to look for the little things.


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