Thursday, March 31, 2011

Our New Journey

That guy that I like so much and I ran into Target last weekend and walked out with the most interesting array of items...and among them was a cat chaise.

And for the record, I did not pick it out.

He did.

(see? he really does like the cats...)

The only problem is...we bought one chaise for two cats, so there are a lot of jealousy issues happening.

It's not pretty.


Our little house on our little street has been over run by snails...this morning there was one in the kitchen sink.

Ewww. I am assuming that someone brought in a glass from outside and it was in there because the thought of a snail slithering through my house totally gives me the willies.

The weather yesterday was in the 80's...I opened every window in the house and let the fresh air just pour on in.

Brian's PE class took advantage of the weather, too...wouldn't you have loved to play ping pong in gym class?

Life is settling into what will be our new normal around here for awhile...not a normal I necessarily would have a chosen, but a new normal nonetheless.

I'll be honest, this week has been one of the hardest I have ever experienced. Everything is in place for a certain son of mine to succeed...should he choose. The consequences have been great, but nothing that he can't handle along this next path of his journey. He has the most amazing team of people surrounding him and I pray that he will come to see that as a blessing and not as a burden.

That's not necessarily the case right now.

A girlfriend asked how I can believe in God through all of this and I told her that even as a believer I struggle.

My faith seems small.

But my God is big.

He's got me covered.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Continuing On

I spent yesterday morning walking on the beach, crying. Actually, I'd call it weeping...but tears are tears. Right?

An older woman walked by me and very kindly said, "this ocean is made up of mothers' tears" which made me many mothers have cried their hearts out over their children?

Every single one, I suppose...for one reason or another.


In between meetings with the fabulous support circle my son has surrounding him, I squeezed in a teary coffee with a girlfriend...and walked away exhausted but calm.

I'll take it.

In the midst of chaos God has presented the calm of my backyard which is bursting into life...though I am in a raging battle with the snails.

Snails are icky.

When we first moved here from Colorado, my boys had never seen snails before and thought they were the coolest thing ever...they'd collect pails full of them and beg me to let them keep them as pets.

Life was simpler then.

Our lemon and lime trees are in full many new buds that have me dreaming of tall, iced cold glasses of lemonade made from our very own fruit. Funny, but they are winter trees so I'll just have to wait until October when they ripen.


In all honesty, I am weary. The burden feels too heavy. I want to fix what is broken, but I can't...instead I have a front row seat on the sidelines of my boys life. A life that is at a crossroads. We (his family and those that love him so very, VERY much) are on one side, smiling and laughing and waiving our arms, jumping up and down and cheering for him to walk down our path. Plain and simple...satan, with his destruction and despair and loneliness, is on the other road. He, too, is encouraging my boy to travel his way.

So I pray. And wait. And watch.

And hope.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Prayers Needed

Blogging is an interesting thing and while I share lots of the fun stuff of my everyday life and the lives of those close to me, I (obviously) don't share everything.

But I will share this.

A few months ago, the bottom fell out of my (our) world. Actually, it was not my world so much as the world of one of my boys...which as any mama knows, that is my world.

I chose not to blog about it because it's not my story to tell. It's his story, and while it affects every member of our household, it is his story to share if and when he chooses.

What I thought was the bottom actually wasn't because this weekend, the bottom truly fell out. I now see that God was preparing me for the actual falling out by having it happen in stages.

I guess we needed that.


But here's where you come in....could you pray for us? Specifically, prayers that that guy that I like so much and I can be the best parents for our son (God will know which one) right now. And prayers that we can best guide him through the next phase of his journey.

I'd appreciate it.

In regular bloggy news, weekend eats included a fantastic rum cake that was made by the hostess of a get together we went to. I'll try and get the recipe.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Rainy Friday

The rain seems to have fallen in love with southern California and just when we think it is going to go away, back it comes again.

I, personally, am done with wet, soggy ground for the season.

(especially since the weather is responsible for the loss of my one and only fig.)

I huddled in at home this morning, working on paperwork and handling one work problem after another.

It's taken awhile, but I have learned that I have no control over other peoples happiness...and they have no control over mine.

So basically, I am not going to let them bug me.


Actually, I wish it was as easy as that...the whole not letting people get to me.

But it's not.

Seems I am a work in progress.


What's the weather like in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Poor Fig

A few years ago, that guy that I like so much planted me a fig tree.

I have this thing for figs and fall into the camp of 'hate them or love them.'

Hate when I don't have them, love them when I do.


The first season, my lovely tree produced quite a few figs and then last year?

Not a one.

But I was patient and spoke kindly to it all the time in the backyard and lo and behold, ONE FIG began to grow this year.

And so today when I went outside to eat my PB&J in my pretty little garden, the first thing I did was to walk over and say, "Hullo, Figgy."

But the fig was no where to be found on the tree and when I looked down, I saw it laying there in the dirt.

My poor, poor fig.

The winds must've been responsible. Big, bad, horrible and naughty winds that I actually didn't think were bad or horrible or naughty because I was safe and sound inside my little house watching movies in front of my fireplace.

But my fig?

My fig was too little and the winds blew it away.

It is a sad day in our house.

A sad day indeed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Pretty Drive

One thing we miss out on here in SoCal are the big, beautiful, white and fluffy clouds like they have in other parts of the country...but this winter has been different.

We've actually had a real winter, minus the snow, that has me longing for springtime. And warm toes.

But the clouds? Glorious.

(and no...these pictures don't really show them, but they were there. promise.)

I had a few hours to kill yesterday afternoon in between work appointments, so I took a drive towards the ocean and ended up stopping at Crystal Cove for a quick walk along the's so hard to be standing on our side of the ocean knowing all the devastation that is on the other side of it.

Gotta love a GPS that looks like this...that would be a mighty wet left turn, I guess.


Lunch...a (gasp) goat cheese ravioli salad from Bristol Farms. Cheese ravioli, goat cheese, fresh spinach and the most wonderful sun dried tomatoes I think I have ever had.

And a little People magazine on the side. I am embarrassed at how caught up I am in Emily and Brad's relationship. Will they make it work or not?


Supper last night was courtesy of that guy that I like so much...I'm telling you, he throws together a rather mean pasta. I sat on a stool at the bar and watched while he sliced and diced and chopped, catching him up (I talk a lot) on all the things he needed to be caught up on...including the status of The Bachelor's relationship.

He was appreciative.


Yummy...want to come for supper?


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sitting In The Passenger Seat

Yesterday, after a big morning spent in a work meeting where we discussed all the do's and don't's of managing crossing guards (not an easy task, I must say)...lunch was mandatory.

It was pouring rain and cold as all get out ('all get out' in southern California means 62 degrees, in case you were wondering), but that was all forgotten when a warm spinach salad with a hunk of toasted goat cheese was set down in front of me.

A perfect, perfect, perfect lunch.

I then drove home in time to pick up the boys and heard the words no mother of a teenager wants to hear.

"Bring my permit, Mom!"

I honestly can't think of anything more terrifying (yes, that is an exaggeration. Sort of.) than sitting in the passenger seat while calmly teaching a teen to drive.
He did well.

And I think I did, too.

I will say this...I will NEVER make a career out of being a driving instructor.

Just sayin'.


Tuesday mornings are late start days for our middle school, which always calls for a special breakfast...and today that meant eggs in a basket.

I'd actually never made them before and now I am wondering why...I mean, it's just toast and an egg but made all at the same time in the same pan.

Thumbs up from the 12 year old.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend With Grandma

My mom came to visit for the weekend and we ran her much so that she lost her voice.

It was a quiet visit.


She hung with all the grandboys...

...and lunched with my youngest niece.

She watched Alex squeeze into a mini cooper...

...for his first behind the wheel lesson.

And last but not least, she was able to see Matthew perform.

And while the above is just a glimpse of the performance, I highly recommend you watch the full piece HERE because his pianist ROCKS.

So all in all, we did lots...she'll be the Grandma who is napping on the train ride home.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Lunch At The Lime Truck

I called that guy that I like so much at work to ask him for some afternoon driving help (did I really book two boys for appointments at the same time on opposite ends of town?) and ended up with both driving help AND a lunch date.

I'll take it.


We ended up searching out our beloved Lime Truck, parked in a business park nearby.

I love their menu. Different everyday but always amazing.

We shared a bunch of stuff...the cuban, the ahi and (a moment of silence, please)...the goat cheese.

Oh, and an apricot limeade.

A free apricot limeade, because that guy that I like so much and the lime truck guy became BFF's (not surprising) and he ended up giving us some free stuff.

Pays to know people?

So here's my shameless plug. If you live in SoCal, please seek these guys out and try their food.

It's THAT good...I mean, who can resist eating california beach cuisine made in a bright green truck?

And then we got into our respective cars and drove our separate ways...but happy that we snuck in a few minutes of alone time.

Gotta grab it when we can!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dark Mornings

Mornings since the time change have become a little rough.

Brutal, even.

It has everything to do with the fact that it is now PITCH black when my alarm 1st goes off...and then stays pitch black for another whole hour.

(my neighbors birthday cake, made by her mom...layer after layer of perfection)

My alarm, because of my job (not my mom job or wife job or jewelry job but the crossing guard supervisor job) has me up super early so that I can turn my phone on and be available for every crossing guard within a 25 mile radius that might want to call me at some crazy early hour and I, I guess.

The blessing in all of this is that I have learned to take that time and spend some quiet time in prayer and to work on my bible study. And maybe play a little scrabble on facebook, but I'm not going to admit to that.
(my bed is the perfect place for napping...just ask Alex)

But since this time change, it has been HARD. It is SO dark and SO cold in the mornings, that all I want to do is stay in bed where it is warm and cozy and full of cat hair.

Evenings are hard, too, because these children of mine don't have the cue of darkness to start on homework...which means they (that would be the royal 'they' since one of my sons doesn't ever have homework...sigh) are starting it later and ending it later.

My new thinking is that for every year old I am, it takes me a full day to adjust to the time change...which means my body will be caught up by next month.
(it's strawberry season in SoCal!)

The upside to all of this is the glorious sunshine that pours into my backyard and kitchen every afternoon and settles there, as if it were going to stay there until the end of time.

I love that.
(flowers in a pitcher on the kitchen counter)

Today is St Patrick's Day and I am pretty sure that a naughty leprechaun or two will visit our house and turn some part of our supper green.

It's tradition.

I don't recommend turning meatloaf green, though. Especially if you are having company over that you don't know all that well. It will shock them in a not so good way and they might never come back to your house ever again.

Not that I would know.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuscan White Beans

(excuse my half eaten plate...)

My newest favorite thing...tuscan white beans. They are so simple and everyone in my little house loves them:

1 lb dried white beans, rinsed
8 cups water
6-8 whole cloves of garlic
8 whole fresh sage leaves

Put everything in a pot and bake in the oven at 300 for 3 hours. Stir with a wooden spoon to break them up (they will be very soft, as will the garlic), adding salt (I usually add 1 tsp...maybe a little more) and a little fresh cracked pepper to taste. Drizzle with a little olive oil when serving, if you'd like.

I do.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Planting

Living in southern CA means land comes at a premium, especially in the town where I live...there's a high price for that ocean breeze and great schools and a 10 minute commute for that guy that I like so much.

Our little house on our little street truly is little at 1200 sq feet, but in a place where we can keep our windows open all but a few weeks out of the year, it's the price we pay.

A half million dollar price, believe it or not. Sigh.

But when God plants you somewhere, what are you gonna do...aside from smiling and making it home.

OK...and complain a little bit.


My friend Ambra who lives in Rome tells great stories of shopping daily in the market and cooking up beautiful meals and eating in her gloriously large backyard, which they call 'il giardina', which translates to 'the garden'.

Gloriously large in the heart of Rome is smaller than my backyard (by half), but thanks to her, we now lovingly call our backyard our 'garden' because of her.

This year, we are trying something a little different...rather than plant the same sort of big vegetable garden that I normally do, that guy that I like so much has figured out a way to piece meal it all together.

He put together all sorts of ways for us to squeeze it while we are enjoying our spring and summer meals outside, we'll be surrounded not just by flowers, but by tomatoes and cukes and radishes and green beans. All nestled in amongst the fruit trees and herbs.

And one hollow pumpkin.


And to make me feel like I am in Italy, a big barrel filled with a broom plant and wild daisies.


I have Spring Fever in a big, big way.


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