Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year In Review

It's New Year's Eve and I am home trying not to worry about my offspring who are out for the night...Matthew is driving to friends and will be sleeping there (just waiting for the text that tells me he is there and IN for the night...our only request of him was NO DRIVING and he, thankfully, is a smart cookie) and Alex is just a few blocks away at a friends...we'll pick him up just after midnight.

Moms + New Year's Eve just DO NOT mix well. At all.

The rest of us are home, having RSVP'd 'no' to all the parties. We're hunkered down, though we might gather at the neighbors beginning at 11pm...depending on how engrossed in the Star Trek movie we are. And whether or not I feel like putting real clothes back on.


This year has flown by.


Let's face it...this DECADE has flown by. The 00's brought us much...tonsils out of 2 kids, ear tubes times 8, broken bones, stitches, knees...oh my!, plus a total of 5 months all together in Europe, a house remodel, graduations and one of us 5 leaving the nest for college.

So, here it is...2009, simplified:

January...the knee. Funny how the way we began this year is how we are ending it. Actually NOT funny, but all part of God's plan for this child of mine.
January was also a GREAT beach month here in the SoCal...Brian and his boogie board were one. His favorite Christmas gift this year? A orthopedists dream.
February brought my clean cut, all american, good graded, well mannered son's 19th birthday.
February was also the end of Alex's choir journey...and yes, we all survived.
March...Brian discovered that as the youngest, there are many, many perks. Suppers out with just mom and dad and he gets to ORDER. OFF. THE. MENU.

April was when Mendelssohn, who had been an inhabitant of our home for a long, long time, came to life. It was a smashing success and he is now in the past, whereas Handel has taken his place.
May was when I realized that my oldest was not only growing up, but had made a wise decision as to his career choice. May also showed me that I had done my job and that he was ready to fly solo...a rather sad day, I might add...but a proud one also.
June ended my latest addiction with FarmTown on Facebook. It was a life changing event. We also celebrated our 23rd year of marriage. (not that Farm Town was more important...)
July found 3 out of the 5 of us completely immersed in the final book of Harry Potter. Wow.
July also brought us tomatoes and zucchini and eggplant and peppers and all sorts of other home grown bounty out of my not so little sanctuary, also known as my garden. Who would have EVER thought that I would become a gardener?
August found me at LAX picking up my clean cut, good graded, always polite oldest son after missing him terribly while he travelled the summer away...who was still polite but was sporting a rather severe mohawk and pierced ears. It's OK...we still like him.
September is when my youngest shrub turned 11 and found that he and his skateboard were BFF's. Brian started 6th grade, Alex - 10th and Matthew returned to college life as a sophomore.
October...the month of skin heads on my rather tall children.
November...Alex, the boy in the middle, turns 16. He continues to make us laugh CONSTANTLY...and keeps me in constant conversation with God.
December. Concerts. Basketball games. Injuries. A jewelry business that has flourished. A home we love. A baby born to save us. Thankfulness.
Happy New Year, my friends...Happy New Year.

See you on the flip side.


Monday, December 28, 2009

The Holiday in a Nutshell

Christmas has come and gone.

And, just in case you wondering, I am not referring to the Jesus part...he has come and is NOT gone.


BUT...the shopping is done. (not a single return this year, too!) The cooking is done. The planning and prepping are done. The visit by my evil twin sister (who opens her big fat mouth at inappropriate times) has come. And gone.

And here I sit in the kinda quiet...kinda because it is Monday night, which means football after all, and discussions are happening in my little house just like they are in households across America.

The 'WHAT was Bret Favre thinking?' conversations.

Christmas Eve brought us to church and then to Maggiano's for a late supper.

And here is where you see a great picture of my boys...NOT, because blogger 'misplaced' it somewhere. If you find it, let me know.

Anyway, we ordered Brian's favorite. The child who will not touch things like american cheese or macaroni and cheese from the box or spaghettio's, LOVES things like mussels steamed in white wine and garlic.

Our table was laden with other favorites...gnocchi, for example. Because all tables should be laden with gnocchi on Christmas Eve.
The young prince, the lover of all things strange, prefers grilled salmon over gnocchi. And when you are the youngest of the houseful, you get to eat salmon on Christmas Eve.

It's the rule.
And for me, the true measure of the perfect cappuccino...the kind I search high and low for, is when the one sugar I dump in sits gently on top and takes hours to sink in.

Not that I wait hours for it to sink in.
Home for the annual tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas jammies, which this year were quite fitting. And age appropriate.
Christmas Day was packed full of activity. And fun presents.
And a wee little baby.

The day after Christmas brought 2 away basketball games ( with 6 hours in between, thankyouverymuch), which Alex's team won. So today was another game, which they also won...and also caused the parents in the stands to get overly excited. Which was kinda fun.

And then I, along with that guy that I like so much, weeded my garden and picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Gotta love winter in SoCal.
Tonight, in an attempt to reclaim my refrigerator, I set out every sort of left-over...everything from tamales to chinese food to chicken saltimbocca to lasagne to prime rib.

Handed everyone a plate and said, BON APPETIT.

(which means, eat up and then put your own plate in the dishwasher, please.)
Tomorrow morning is yet another basketball game, this time against the private school that beat us a few weeks back...and our coach's alma mater.

Which basically means there will be celebrity sightings and a momma with no voice for the rest of the week.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

The First Part of the Week

The other night, I made the mother of all lasagne's and Brian offered to take a picture.

Quite artistic, I think.

That guy that I like so much and I went on a run to finish up some last minute gifts...and stopped for breakfast at Champagne Bakery on the way.

I ordered a peppermint meringue hot chocolate.

I couldn't help it.

It was on a big sign that said, 'IF your name is Michele, then you MUST order this!'

So I did.

And boy, was I happy...because it just might've been the best thing I have ever had.

=0) the spinach omelet wasn't bad either. But that hot chocolate? I'm still dreaming of it!
Long gone are the days where the children go to bed, the parents throw in White Christmas, pop open a bottle of champagne and wrap gifts by the roaring fire.

Long gone because we are fast asleep before they go to bed.

So, we grilled burgers, made a pitcher of Sangria, threw in White Christmas, skipped the roaring fire (too warm of an evening!) and forbid the children from coming out of the back of the house.

And they actually listened.

Not sure of the threat if no gifts had anything to do with it, but could have been.
The gifts are wrapped, the food is bought, the house is clean.

OK, so the house is not clean...but two out of three ain't bad.


Grandma and Grandpa arrived and Grandma brought cookies...including my very favorites.

It appears that I wrote about my favorite cookie on my blog. It also appears that my in-laws read my blog. It then appears that my mother-in-law felt like maybe it was sign that I wanted her to make my favorite cookies and so she did.

It appears that she was right on the money.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yes He Did

I'm having camera issues.

Issues that happen to only me, so in an attempt to demonstrate to that guy that I like so much, I aimed my camera toward the lit corner.

And then my son did THIS:

Let's just say that my blood pressure rose significantly.


Friday, December 18, 2009

What I Did Today

After working early this morning, I drove to the next town over and stopped here:

And visited her:
And him:
And waited. And waited. And waited.
And on the 18th of December, in the 18th Labor & Delivery room, at newest niece was born.

Introducing Baby Ella!
And, just in case you were ever wondering, matchmaking really does work. Just trust me on this.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What I Did Yesterday

Yesterday, in between working as a crossing guard at the crack of dawn (because COME many people can possibly get sick all at the same time?) and attending Brian's DARE graduation (you know, the whole say NO to drugs campaign), that guy that I like so much and I hopped into his cute little car, put the top down on our somewhat chilly (as in, high 60's) day and ventured to our local Italian market. many words can I put into one sentence???


It was stock up day for the little market and outside, they had box upon box of panettone.

And have I mentioned my love for panettone lately?

Have I?

I told Michael to drive the car right over and we could load those puppies right on in.

But apparently he's one of those kind of people who doesn't think stealing is OK.

It's OK, I still like him...and he really likes my laptop.

We also brought home a struffoli...a lovely honey covered concoction that I used to make but nobody eats but me and so now I don't make and just buy a little one, which everyone digs into and remembers that they don't really like it.

Except me.

And what's with the long, run on sentences tonight?
The day ended with brotherly love and affection.
Sort of.
Oh...and have I mentioned that we have yet to get a Christmas tree?



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wishing I Could Sleep's keeping me awake.


The very last of the Christmas jewelry orders went off with my girlfriend this afternoon...she is handling all my packaging and shipping for me this holiday season in an attempt for me to keep sane. I have had orders flying in from two different boutiques, so her help has been amazing...thank you, Lisa!

My house, sadly, still looks as if there was a large party here, ummmm...almost 2 days ago. I worked yesterday morning, worked out, showered, made jewelry, volunteered for 4 hours at Brians' school, went to an away basketball game, drove thru McD's (GASP), picked up Alex from school and came home to work on science with Brian.

Towards the end of all that, that guy that I like so much arrived home after an extremely long day himself and did what he does best...jumped right in. He filled me in on our oldest, who played at the honors recital while I was at basketball. He heated me up some dinner. He took over with the science packet and was, thankfully, just as stumped on it as I was. He listened to me go on and on about the fact that every crossing guard seems to need Thursday and Friday off and how can I work every single corner my self???

And now it is the middle of the night and he is sleeping, and all I can think is...did I even ask him about his day?

I'm not sure I did.


When we were dating way back when...back when I was still in high school and he was in college, we used to spend every Wednesday together. All day long. He only had Tuesday, Thursday classes and I might have mentioned to him that I didn't have class at all on Wednesdays at my high school.

Because most high schools back then didn't hold classes on Wednesdays, you know.

And most boys in love, or at least in extreme like, even if they have a 4.0 GPA (until that semester anyway) will believe anything their 17 year old girlfriend will say to them.

Remember that, boys!


So on Wednesday mornings, my then boyfriend would drive on over to my end of town in his Toyota Corolla hatchback...we used to live like 30 minutes away form each other, and we would start our morning at Little John's...where we would share an order of buckwheat pancakes.

It wasn't until years later that I learned that that guy that I liked so much HATED buckwheat pancakes. But I guess he liked the company.

Little John's had a little game machine in the lobby that for a quarter would read your bio-rhythms, whatever bio-rhythms are, and every week it would tell us how in love we were, when our magic dates of happiness would be and also offer a tidbit of advice...kind of like a fortune cookie.

And every week we put in a quarter.

Let's face it, I was 17 and he was 19...and we were young, in love and (one of us, anyway) extremely gullible.

But one week our little piece of advice was to 'ask each other about their day every day' and I still remember reading the card and thinking that was so profound. be 17 again.

So, honey, how are you?


Monday, December 14, 2009

Yet Another Par-Tay

Yesterday, I made meatballs.

200, to be exact.

I made gravy.

3 pots full, to be exact.
While I did that, that guy that I like so much cleaned the backyard.

1 backyard, to be exact.

(ok...that sounds like he didn't do much, but if you had seen the shape of our backyard you would know that I had the easy job.)
Students came. Students ate. Students howled and caroled and hooted and howled.

And I, once the last had left, seriously thought about selling our little house on our little street 'as is'.
And then, while I was changing, that guy that I like so much cleaned it all up, put in my very favorite Christmas movie and opened a bottle of wine that was a tad bit out of our extremely-cash-poor-it's-the-holidays selves price range.

I really like him.


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