Friday, November 30, 2012

This Week's Recap

This week I put on long sleeves and (gasp) closed toe shoes (as in clogs), tucked my work phone into one back pocket and my personal phone in the other and headed to Disneyland with that guy that I like so much.

I gave up on the hair argument long ago...I mean, it's JUST hair.  The moment I did, all my boys buzzed their heads and became super low maintenance in the hair department...but this kid?  His mother must be biting her tongue.


 The reason for the Disney trip was because I NEEDED a corn dog.  Main Street USA seriously has the BEST corn dogs on the planet and I had to have one.  The we walked by the Carnation Plaza on our way to get lunch, I smelled pancakes.  And not just any pancakes, but oatmeal apple cinnamon granola pancakes.

Forget the corn dog...I needed pancakes.  And let me tell you, they were worth every. single. bite.

There's always next week for a corn dog.


I bought the candy for the boys Advent calendars (made by my Mom many years ago.  And Happy Birthday, Mom!)) and got a little teary eyed as I was filling them.  Matteo no longer lives here, but I filled it with his favorites anyway and then threatened the duo that does sleep under this not touch his candy.

He can eat it when he comes home for Christmas.  

We've been living at the gym.  The babe of the family is known as 'bull dog' on his fun watching him play.  We finally bit the bullet and met the other parents and (gulp) we like them.  It's going to be fun.


Today was a big meeting for work, followed by laundry, followed by supper, followed by a basketball game.  Once home tonight I had one of those ugly parenting moments with my middle son that I'd rather not think about but will keep me awake most of tonight as I over analyze it again and again.  

Oh well.

I'm in need of a weekend.  I'm glad I don't' have to wait long for it.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tonight We're Home

Our little house on our little street is all decked out in her Christmas finery...but the best part?  The day after Thanksgiving when that guy that I like so much was up on the roof, lots of neighbors (rather begrudgingly, I might add) decided to follow suit.

So now it's safe to safe that our little neighborhood on our little street is all decked out in her Christmas finery...all while spreading guilt to those that have chosen to not yet hang lights.


I hit the ground running on Monday morning and while I felt rested from having a glorious week of, I am now back to my early morning wake up time.  BUT, I am thankful.  Tired, but thankful.

Yesterday, that guy that  like so much and I embarked on the beginnings of 'gotta start this Christmas shopping at some point' and also grabbed a little lunch.  We have a sweet spot right near our little house called Mustard's and they have the best sandwiches and salads (and a tomato soup that is to. die. for.) and also a cute outdoor area to that's where we sat and shared an apple pecan salad and a proscuitto, sun dried tomato panini.


Hello, basketball season!  This week, 5 games in a pre-season tournament in Huntington Beach.  Next week, let the fun begin.  Brian (#25, in his older brothers jersey/number) is having fun...and so are we.  It's different this time around...we're a LOT more chill about the whole thing.

But's early.  I'm sure that will change.


I nearly tackled the UPS man who delivered the last shipment of last years Christmas gift...I'm sure hoping I get the exact same thing this year.

Dear Guy That I Like So Much,
You got that?


We had a calendar synching meeting at the table last night and I found myself holding my many games, concerts, parties can one couple have in a one month period of time?  And he's on sabbatical...yowza!  It's going to be a fun ride...and a busy one!  


Tonight is a home night.  I'm making meatloaf and homemade mac n cheese and fresh green beans.  I'm taking a hot bubbly bath.  I'm watching a show or two from an almost full (so many Hallmark movies, so little time) DVR.  

Big plans, I tell ya...big plans.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Feeling Rested

The day after Thanksgiving I had a moment of panic...there was just enough turkey for a handful of sandwiches.  What to do?  What to do?

And then it came to me...thaw the extra turkey and cook it, because everyone should cook another 20 lb turkey the day after Thanksgiving.   And while it might seem crazy...and while most of the males in my house thought I was seriously off my rocker, not one of them complained when they were shoving huge sandwiches in their faces at 11:00pm each night.


The baby was the only one who didn't question...his prize?  The drumstick.  He became mighty popular while his brothers tried to bribe him out of no avail.


I took a deep breath and ran my old favorite trail on Saturday morning...the trail that the rattlesnakes love just much as I do.  The weather has cooled down so I gave it a snakes for the 5 miles that I was on it, but I was so tense by the time that I was done that it just wasn't worth it.

The snakes win.  They can have it.  I'll only go back if I am with someone butch.

Sunday found us eating Turkish brunch at my favorite place to neighbors house.  Man oh man oh man...I sat at that table and didn't speak.  Too many good things to eat at one table.  Yum.  Plus, I have totally adopted my family into theirs...they have absolutely no say in the matter.

There is laughter and fun stories and lovely people and great just makes me remember my childhood.  I love that.


The tribe.  Their stories had me rolling on the floor...though I have decided to start charging them for every grey hair they've given me.  

I'm going to be a wealthy woman.

Monday  It's back to real life after a most wonderful week off.  The house is in pretty good shape and the laundry is not only done, but folded and put away.  I need to be on the road and in a city 30 minutes away before the sun even rises but I feel so rested and relaxed from this past week that I am ready to hit the ground running.

Ask me on Wednesday if I'm still feeling that way...I'm hoping I'll say yes.


Friday, November 23, 2012


This year, I am just thankful.  I can't even begin to begin...if that makes any sense at all, but I will try.

I am thankful for my health.  A little over a year ago, I was facing a rather scary for me diagnosis and was forced to change things up in my life.  And, with the help of some great doctors and a bigger than me God, I did.  A year ago, I never would have stepped foot into boot camp but this year?  I'm (gulp) 85 pounds lighter than last year.   I'm thankful.

 I'm thankful that my boys were all home over this Thanksgiving break.  I love that they take over the whole house.  I love that they eat a lot.  I love that they keep late hours and sleep half the day.  I love that they drive me absolutely crazy.

The night before Thanksgiving found all 5 of us at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles for, well... chicken and waffles.  We then went to church, sat in our favorite pew and sang hymns, prayed prayers and took communion.  

To say that I was moved would be putting it mildly...and I am thankful for all of it.

After church?  Ice cream.  Lots and lots of ice cream.  Thankful for that, too.


I'd also like to put on my thankful list...friends.  I have so many, many 'best' friends.  I love that I was taught from a young age that women need girlfriends, because it is so true.  Friends who laugh, who hold me accountable, who cry when I cry, who pray with me and for me, who love me just because I am me.  

I'm thankful for family.  I was blessed with one and then married into another.  Where to begin...I just can't, but I am reminded yet again of how much my life is planned for.  From this man that chose to marry me, whom I don't deserve, to these children I was told that I would never have to parents and cousins and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews and everything in between.  Blessed.  Very, very blessed.

I'm thankful for my little house on my little street.  It's small.  It's cookie cutter.  It costs a lot because of where it sits.  But it's ours and we've worked hard for it....and still need to.  I was home with my boys, not working, for 19 years...a dream of mine that I lived.  The sacrifice?  Real estate.  I can easily live with that.

I'm thankful for laughter.  Man, do I love to laugh.  I know that sounds cooky, but there are many who choose not to laugh...and life just seems so dreadful without laughter.  I actually get that because there have been times when life's been hard and laughter didn't come easy.  Thankfully, my little world is filled with crazy, wacky people who make me laugh on a daily basis...they also make me cry, but that's another story.


I'm thankful for some really strange things...and one of those would be the art of bathing.  Give me my tub filled with warm, bubbly water, a few candles lit and a movie on my computer and I can easily soak for an hour.  It's quiet, it's calm, it's warm, and it's boy-free.  

I'm thankful for that guy that I like so much.  Basically...he likes me and I like him.  We've got a good thing going and the ride we're on?  Fun.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pushing Hard

This morning at the crack of dawn I was once again at boot camp, doing things I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to do.  Turns out I CAN do a push up.  Only one, but's better than none.


The tribe is back together for the week.  I love these boys.  Lots.  They ran in (while waiting for the 4th amigo to shower), ate a bunch of tacos and a plate of cannoli and ran out again.

I took 3 advil, soaked in a hot, hot bath and crawled my way onto my bed, where I plan on staying until (gulp) boot camp tomorrow morning.

I'm seriously deranged.

I have never in my life been this sore...but at the same time, it feels good.  I never quite understood that before, but it's true.  Doesn't help with the fact that I can't brush my hair or tie my shoes, but oh well.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Very Sore

This morning I helped support a friend who needs to wear a 'mother of the groom' dress in March and went to boot camp with her...because I am a good friend.  And seriously, the only part of my body that doesn't currently hurt are the tips of my fingers.

Two things that stuck out to me during the hour of torture:

1. When your girlfriend tells you 'don't look at the clock', DON'T look at the clock.  I almost cried when I saw that only 15 minutes had passed and I was already out of breath and drenched with sweat.

2. I never EVER thought I'd be relieved to hear the cute young flexible drill sergeant say 'take two laps' because for reals, running caused me less pain than the other things she had us doing.

But hello!  I did it!  It wasn't pretty, but I did it!  Is the 30 days over yet?


After I showered (not easy when your arms feel like lead weights), that guy that I like so much and I headed to Costco along with every other person who currently lives in Orange County, California.  Gotta love Costco and holidays.  We bought a wide selection of things...all new Christmas lights (expensive, but we are making the switch to LED which will hopefully save me some money?), lemons, ground beef and a pumpkin pie.

The pie was put into the fridge, where pumpkin pies are supposed to be kept.  We headed out for a coffee and a basketball game and came home to the above picture.  My middle son came home from school and helped himself.  Brat.  In our house, if it's not marked it is considered fair game...turns out I forgot to say do NOT eat the Thanksgiving pie before Thanksgiving.

Oh well.  There are worse things in life than an extremely happy (and full) 18 year old.


I think one of my favorite parts about that guy that I like so much being on his soon to be ending Sabbatical have been the afternoon coffee dates.  Real mugs, California sunshine and 15 minutes of vegging.


Today we sat (and I almost didn't get up thanks to my morning torture session) and then went to Brian's basketball game.  I've been in mourning...last year was so fun and this year I just haven't felt up to meeting anyone new, but I bit the bullet and have realized that this next 4 years is going to be fun, too.



I am headed for a long, hot bath and trying not to think about the fact that the drill sergeant is waiting for me in the morning. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

What's Been Up Lately

I got a new phone last week which is kinda fun...especially since there is NO learning curve.  That's my favorite works just like my old phone.


I trained someone new on a rather sweet corner.  How cool to say that you live on Memory Lane?  And while it looks pretty, it was sooooo windy.  Oh, and I was training someone in Spanish and learned that ojos means eyes and osos means bears...good to know because you definitely want to keep your eyes on the crosswalk and not your bears.

Dear Senor Torres,  I apologize for not paying attention in your class.  Sincerely, Miguelita.

 Brian is training at a new to us facility in Huntington Beach and as I sat in my car for the 1 1/2 hours waiting for him, I started wondering how many hours I have spent sitting and waiting for boys in my car.


Brian (right side, red shorts, grey sweaty shirt) has the nickname 'bull dog' on the court.  Turns out all those years of fighting off big brothers has given him invaluable skills on the basketball court.  


A late night supper with that guy that I like so much...a rustic form of eggs benedict.  Toasted bread, poached eggs, roasted asparagus and homemade hollandaise.  Delicious.

I married well.


Church on Sunday morning found us in the balcony because I had to leave one boy behind...he would not get out of the shower and I hate to be late.  Kinda nice that church is less than a mile away and he could come meet us...but I don't like getting there with no time to spare.  I need a few minutes to settle in to have a quiet minute or two with God once I sit down.

It all worked out....turns out the view from the balcony rocks.  So did the sermon, which my middle son (the one I left at home and who arrived 6 minutes after the rest of us) felt spoke directly to him.  


After church we squeezed in one last hug with our bestest friends from Colorado...I figured out we have 9 different ways that we could become related, if only some of our offspring would just figure it out.


Sunday night supper...stuffed peppers. 


I also took a long, hot bath and read a whole library book.  

It's the little things, you know.

I am so excited for this week...I'm on vacation!  I've got a bunch of things to organize for basketball season, a few lunches planned with friends, a gift certificate for a massage and a big 'ole bird to cook.

Oh...and boot camp at the crack of dawn.  Not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for that but hopefully I'll be able to move afterwards.  


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Warm and Thankful

Gas prices in the the midwest are definitely more manageable than gas prices out west.

Like $1.00 a gallon more manageable.

I was all set to move back until the temperatures dropped below 40 degrees.  Turns out I like toasty toes and fingers and all things sunny and warm.  Call me a wimp and I'll just nod and smile.


I would just like to publicly state that I have the cutest baby cousin in the world.

Yep.  I do.


Last weekend we went to a place called Pappy's for bbq in St. Louis.

Man, was it ever good.  That guy that I like so much now wants a smoker...and I want him to have a smoker.  We neeeeeed a smoker.

I cannot stop thinking about those finger licking utterly deliciously smoky ribs.  SO YUMMY.

I'm feeling extremely thankful...thankful for fun travels and thankful for coming home.  Thankful for the sunshine and for new workout clothes.   Thankful for clean laundry and for coffee with a girlfriend.  Thankful that Costco sells garbage disposals as well as milk and eggs and toilet paper.  Thankful that the aforementioned garbage disposal broke before Thanksgiving and not during Thanksgiving.  Thankful for clean laundry and for a secret stash of See's candy that no one else knows about.

Thankful for this time...the right here and now that God has given me.  


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Call Us Crazy

This past weekend, being the responsible adults that we are, we boarded a plane.

Alone.  No boys.  Just us.

Hello, Saint Louis!

Neither of us had ever been so we crammed as much as we could in to a very short amount of time.

We saw the arch, spent a quarter or two at the casino, and visited the basilica...which was by far the most beautiful church I have seen on American soil.

We saw Autumn (and felt it!) and also saw beautiful homes with that were for sale for half the price of our little house on our little street.  

We met some of my very favorite people Italian famiglia, so it was fitting that in between eating barbecue and frozen custard that we should hang out in Little Italy.

Cucidati are Italian fig very, very yummy.


We toured Anheuser-Busch and flashed our ID's (our last name?  Busch!) with hopes that someone might think it was cool.  I'm thinking lots of Busch's visit there because they weren't overly impressed.

Oh...and note to self.  If on a tour with a large group of people and the tour guide asks, 'what is better than beer?' don't shout out 'FREE BEER!'

Turns out the answer is supposed to be 'pretzels'...



BUT...after the free tour they do give free beer.  Actually, they give TWO free beers.  Big beers.  And nothing against Uncle Anheuser, but they make good tasting beer too.


But the real reason behind this crazy little trip of ours?


Million dollar airfare?  Check.
Million dollar concert tickets?  Check.
Memories made?  Priceless.

Flying home was an adventure in itself, but we made it home safe and sound.  The house was still standing and with only 5 hours of sleep, I was back at work this morning.  And all day today, in between a 5 mile hike I forced myself to go on and the trip to Costco to buy a new garbage disposal and the piles of laundry that seem to be everywhere, I just can't seem to wipe the smile off my face.

We're back to being responsible grown-up's today...and that's just fine.  But being responsible adults will disappear the next time Paul tours...I can promise you that.


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