Friday, December 20, 2013


I love signs.

I pretty much felt like I was falling apart.  It's so easy to go to that place...that place where you start believing that you can't do everything rather than settling in to that place where you do what you can and feel ok with that.  Part of it for me is this time of year...letting myself think about what was and is no more and forgetting what I do have and what is so good in my life.  

Ah, the holidays.  Happiness, good cheer...and mind games.


I was given SO MANY reminders, signs if you will, of all that I need to celebrate.  A pitcher of prosecco while cooking supper, surrounded by boys and their friends who all were waiting to eat.  A rousing game of Sorry at the kitchen table, which I almost bowed out of because I felt I had too much to do.  Housecleaners that showed up in the brink of time and made everything shiny and clean, even it  only stayed that way for an hour or so.  A red coat that makes me feel happy every time I put it on.

Signs.  Signs to stop wallowing, appreciate the good, live in the moment.

This morning, that guy that I like so much and I are going out for breakfast.  We've got a Costco stock up to do, a few little gifts left to wrap, and then a basketball game snack bar to run.  After all that is done, we're going on another date...sort of.  We're picking up a pizza from Nick's, putting on White Christmas and sitting in our little house on our little street in our pj's.  

It's vacation time, my friends.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lots On My Plate

Just popping in.  Our internet is taking a vacation; turns out our 2004 modem is, well, done with us.  A new one will be had tomorrow but until then, things are a bit slow and iffy and definitely not high speed.

It's actually nice...unless you want to blog.


It's my last week of work for a few weeks and I am looking forward to the rest.  Today we're having our holiday party so I'm heading up to LA for that; tomorrow is just finishing up loose ends.  I'm tired and I need the break...and so do my people.  They have worked so very, very hard; I've done their job and I know what they are dealing with.  

I had a complete, falling apart cry yesterday.  It's all just been too much.  Managing a household.  A son with a broken foot.  Basketball season and running the snack bar.  Christmas.  Stretching dollars that cannot be stretched any more than what they are being stretched.  Wrapping.  Planning meals.  Work.  

It all just hit me at once.

I cried...hard.  And then I put on my big girl britches and cleaned my house, finished the laundry, cooked dinner, set up the coaches room and snack bar at the game, came home and spent time with my family and then sat in the bathtub and cried some more.

And in the middle of that cry it came to me.  There was, in the outside freezer, a container of spumoni.  And boy oh boy oh boy...did mama ever need that ice cream.

I threw on my fluffy pink bathrobe, grabbed a spoon and ate straight out of the container.  First the green.  Then the pink.  Repeat.  Every third or so pass, a little bit of the brown.  

Just what the doctor ordered.  Well, probably not since I have blood sugar issues but WHO CARES.  

Health or sanity????  Sanity for the win!

That being said, this morning was an ugly work morning...and it's only 7:25am.  My day begins at 5:30am, so it's like noon already in the real world.  The dishwasher is still broken, the internet is still iffy (but better without any one else hogging it) and the house is, quite frankly, a wreck.  I'm still feeling frazzled and anxious and am struggling to let God carry this load for me.  And I don't know why...but in all honesty, I haven't even asked Him to which now makes me feel even more sad.

Sigh. will be hour by hour.  I'm going to pop into my favorite little church for some quiet time on my way to my party.  And I'm going to eat the rest of that ice cream...spoonful by spoonful.

Monday, December 16, 2013

From My Phone

My middle born....well, he definitely falls into the category of 'marches to his own drum', even if his marching is on crutches.  

We (and yes, I use the royal 'we' in this case) are entering week 7 of healing.  And no driving.  And barely leaving the house.

Seven down; two to go.

Thankfully, the one who makes him smile is home from school.


The babe of the family is now brace-less.  He looks so different to me...and I'm his mama!  

Not winning means I will have dishpan hands for a while longer.

There are worse things, but still.  A girl can dream, can't she?

Seriously, I am truly the mother of all males.


My neighbor sent me this picture of Brian...oh, how I miss that red hair.  So fun in the early days to see the looks people gave us...a brunette, a tow head and a ginger.

They've all darkened up quite a bit (even Matteo, who was dark to begin with) and the traces of red are there, but not like this!

Let's see...5 concerts.  4 parties, two of which we almost saw the sun rise.  

Sleep.  We need sleep.

My oldest is funny.  Like really, really funny.

He's also coming home for Christmas!  Hooray!  


Happy Monday morning.  Work is expected to be nothing short of a nightmare this week...seatbelts are fastened and my team is ready to go.  Five days until vacation begins...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Enjoying The Season

Basketball season is here.  Concert season is here.  Christmas is here.

In the midst of the busyness, my neighbor and I went to a big Christmas brunch at a local church.  Great speaker, fun people, yummy food.


Week 2 of no dishwasher.  I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.  A dishwasher truly is a luxury...especially when you have a houseful of boys and a lot of people to feed in the coming weeks.  

It is what it is.

Suppers have been interesting.  Sadly, we've eaten our fill of pizza and Taco Tuesday's and Costco chicken pot pie.  Knowing a revolt was imminent, I whipped out a couple of roast chickens with roasted potatoes and veggies.

That should hold the troops for a few season is upon us and mama is once again running the snack bar (because no one else would step up to the plate), so we're all just holding it together.

No one is complaining...except me.  I'm just failing in the 'running the household' department.  Big time.

For Christmas?  I'd like a wife.  Please.

Not that any broken foot is fun, but when you break the right foot you can't drive which is just a big bummer.  Week 6.  He's a fun lunch partner but I think he's getting tired of all my stories.

I still laugh when I tell them, though.


The tree is lit, but is still undecorated.

Add it to the list.  Sigh.

SoCal is COLD, people.

41 degrees yesterday morning.  Not to mention that my work car now has 10,000 miles on it.  Yowza. 

 And today, week 6 in and the day the cast was to come off, we found out the cast is not coming off.  In fact, it's not coming off for at least a few more weeks.  The X-ray was not good and it looks like he reinjured his foot somehow.

My boy is sad which makes me sad...but we're praying it's off by New Years Eve.

That guy that I like so much had to pick up his computer from the mall and we went right before closing...and it was empty.  Brought back memories of when my babes were little...I'd take them early in the morning (when it was cold and snowy) and walk the mall before it opened just to get us out of the house.

No snowsuits needed inside the mall!


I can't believe Christmas is 2 weeks away...I'm ready, but I'm not.  My shopping is done and I have elves (especially a big one with a broken foot) helping with the wrapping, we have a weekend of concerts and parties and I'm trying to just soak up the season.  I don't want to speed through it...I want to soak it in, savor it, be thankful for it.

I'm trying.  It's not easy, but I'm trying.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013


The below picture is my screensaver on my phone and it makes me laugh so hard.  Kamryn was trying to take a picture of the other kids and Alex reached in (with his baboon arms...seriously, the kid has the longest arms in the known universe) and hit the flip button on the phone so that she actually took the picture of the two of them instead.

First off, she has the most gorgeous eyes in the whole wide world...even when she makes funny faces.

And two?  This is what my boy looks like 90% of the time.  This is why I've asked for prayers.  The boy was born with a mischievous look on his face.


It's an interesting week so far.  Our house seems so quiet...and disorganized.  Our friends are gone and I am missing them so much, but I've had a mind shift...rather than being sad (like I was all weekend) that they are gone, I am so thankful that we all had the last 10 days together.  And that 10 days comes after a week this summer.  

How blessed that we can live so far apart yet have been able to see each other twice in one year?

The problem is...I'm hungry for more.  I want more time with all of them.  More time to laugh and cry and play hugely competitive games.  I want more time.

But instead, I'm focusing on putting my little house on my little street in order.  There's some painting happening around here...both boys rooms need to be done and it's happening soon.  I'm choosing lighter and brighter this time around.  In all honesty neither of them cares about any of this, which is slightly annoying, so I'm picking the colors.

I'd pick them any way.


My girlfriend and I walked the lake on Monday and the sky was so glorious.  A literal portrait in the sky.  I love knowing that this world is bigger than just me.

And the next day?  Cloudy and gloomy.  I braved the carwash anyway...I never would've in my own car but the company car is a whole 'nuther animal and I like to keep her clean.  Especially after almost being hit twice in the morning.  Crazy drivers.

Traveling to Orange for work today and squeezing in a noon time church service.  Making a pot of potato soup once I'm home.  Going to an away basketball game for Brian.  Wrapping presents while the house is quiet.  And maybe, just maybe, picking up a Christmas tree because the only thing missing now is that beautiful smell.

Nothing like it.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday After Vacation

Today was my first day back at work in over a week.  I woke up while it was still very, very dark and began answering 6:30am when I turned on Brian's light I was in good shape.  I showered, unloaded the dishwasher and hit the road and it wasn't until I came home a few hours later that I noticed it.

I never made coffee.

Who forgets to make coffee on a Monday morning?  Apparently I do.  Oh well.

Alex turned 20 this weekend and we now have two kids who are in their 20's and only one teenager.  Whoa.  I guess we're all aging.  I was carded at the liquor store the other day and actually got kinda excited until the young punk that was working told me that he was required to check all ID's...even if the people were old like me.

I should've slapped him.

Above:  Alex's main present, modeled by Matthew, was an authentic Bronco's football helmet.  Our drywall is shaking in it's boots.  Combine that with a boy in a wheelchair and none of us are safe.  It's...exhausting.

Below: Matteo and his love.  I'd skip a Thanksgiving at home for a girl like her, too.


Our little house on our little street is slowly being transformed into a winter wonderland.  The outside is done; the inside still has everything piled in the hallway.  

It's on the list for tomorrow.

My boy in the middle.  Follow up x-rays are next week.  Praying for good news because he doesn't want to be one of the 90% that needs surgery after a break like he has.  So far, so good.

His cake?  Yellow with chocolate frosting.  Following all the desserts of Thanksgiving it was just ok...but the candles that relight after you blow them out?

Totally worth it.

Today I shopped online for myself...isn't that what CyberMonday is all about?  I made up for it by making a huge pot of Cioppino for my men-folk...and that huge pot just barely fed them all.  In the end they were all making sandwiches as a snack, which I guess means they were still hungry.  I seriously thought 3 lbs of seafood, a loaf of bread and a ginormous salad would've filled them all up.

Tomorrow night?  



Monday, December 2, 2013

I Was Missing

I've been MIA, if you haven't noticed.


Prior to this week off, I had been feeling like I was spread pretty thin.  Work had really worn me down and lots of other things, too...and then God handed me, on a silver platter, a big, fat reminder.

Life is good.

In a nutshell, our best friends from college days flew in from Colorado and spent 10 days with us.  I, on purpose, chose to unplug from technology and aside from a few texts here and there and a game or 100 of jelly splash on my phone, chose to be present in the lives of those that I love.

It was needed.

So, here's a glimpse of the last week and a half.  There were many, many, MANY games of poker and spoons (and only a few people were hurt) around our little table in our little house.  Alex's friends were all home from college and I love that our house becomes a hang out house.  Loud is an understatement.

Brian and Kamryn...the babies of the bunch.  Our friends have three perfect, beautiful daughters who totally stand up to my boys.  I love that. 

The four of us (M and I, Chris and Tammy) met when they moved upstairs from us in family housing at CU Boulder and for 5 years we were one big conjoined family.  They had three girls and we had three boys and these kids are so very, very funny together....they just 'get' each other.

Everyone should have friends like that.

Thanksgiving happened.  A lot of people sat in our garden and ate and ate and ate.  It was a crazy busy and eating and dishes and dishes and dishes, as well as football and cards and laughter.  I just kept catching that guy that I like so much's eye across the room and I knew he knew what I was thinking...this is our life.

This is our life.

It's easy to focus on the relationships that aren't there but then, right in my little garden, were all the people that I love so very much...and who love me.  And my boys.  It was right there in front of me and I saw it.

I am so thankful.

My BFF's are now BFF's.  Seriously, what more could a girl ask for?

Blurry picture.  15 yr old, in a hurry, took the picture.


And then it happened.  After 10 days with our friends, they had to fly home.  I sobbed.  For reals...I dropped them off at the airport and cried an ugly cry.  I miss them so much it hurts and I hate that...but I'm thankful for texting and phone calls...but I wish we lived near them.

As I get older, I am realizing how precious relationships are to me and I am so very, very thankful for them.  

Friends are the best. 


So today, Sunday, I am gearing up for tomorrow.  Our little house on our little street is decked out in her Christmas finery and we just ate a big steak dinner.  Tomorrow is back to for me and that guy that I like so much, school for Brian and more healing of a broken foot for Alex.

It's Advent and I am feeling the need to prepare, just as Mary did so long ago.  My preparations are different than hers but they are still preparations...cookies need to be baked, presents need to be wrapped and parties and concerts need to be attended.  I'm ready though...ready for this season.  My focus for this Christmas season is eyes and my heart are open and ready.  This Thanksgiving week was all a part of was a time to show me what is important in my life which in turn has prepared me for what is to come.

I'm ready.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Here We Go

Why is it that during the holiday season, all I can think of are the things I haven't done or accomplished or said?

I haven't kept an organized enough house.  I haven't been a good enough mom, wife, friend, etc.

Basically,  I'm questioning every. single. solitary. crazy. decision I've ever made.

And let me tell's exhausting being in my brain.  I think too much, worry too much, over analyze too much.  Seriously...I've been a basket case lately.

Part of it is the lack of any quiet space in my world right now.  Alex is in week 3 of his recovery of his broken foot and for a kid who has spent his whole life finding ways to escape, he is now here all the time.   

If I had known that a broken foot would have had this effect, I would've broken it for him while he was in high school.  I would've slept more because I would've known where he was.


He spent the first week in pain.  The 2nd week he was mad.  This week?  He's loud and funny and is driving us all a tad bit crazy.  He's feeling good, has lots of time on his hands and has a bigger than life personality.

Pray for us...we have 5 more weeks of this.


So I hike.  A lot.  And pray.  A lot.  And cook.  A lot.

And whine.  A whole lot.

This weekend began with a big family dinner with our friends.  We were all pretty worn from the week...nothing a little food and wine and a few rather rowdy games of Sorry couldn't cure.  There were lots of boys here, too...wheelchair tricks and video games and when I went to bed, they were all involved in an intense game of Uno which went on and on and on.

Saturday was an errands day; Sunday was church and lunch and football.

The craziness begins this week: friends from out of town are coming; Thanksgiving needs to be thought out; basketball season begins.  But most important on my calendar?  Scheduled in quiet time to pray; to read God's word; to regroup and refocus.

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