Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Our Anniversary

 This weekend we celebrated.  Well, we tend to celebrate something or other every weekend, but this past weekend we celebrated 28 years of wedded bliss.  

We're no longer kids, no longer young (or as young), no longer naive to what life will be like.  We've lived different places and had multiple boys and added various pets.  

It's a ride...and I'm glad we're on it together.


Matthew has left for the summer and Alex was gone for the weekend, so pizza was bought for Brian and his friends back at home while we headed to one of our favorite haunts.  Dinner was...healing, especially after the week I had just come out of.  We shared a pizza and some sparkling wine and talked about life and love and highs and lows and sin and forgiveness.  We talked about friendships and love and the past and the future.

We pretty much covered the gamut over the course of that pizza and that bottle of wine.  That's the beauty of a relationship that's been around for a while...you never run out of things to talk about.


We then moved on to real food and a real (great) bottle of wine.

Life is good.  We are blessed.


A walk afterwards was needed and we found ourselves shopping for a few little things...some fancy lotion for me (origins ginger soufflĂ©...my favorite) and a shirt for that guy that I like so much.  Home to watch House of Cards (totally addicted!) while sharing a totally incredible dessert and it was a rather perfect way to spend a day.

I like him.  A lot.

I'm looking forward to year 29.


Monday, June 23, 2014

A New Week

Last week was one of those ugly, it would be nice to forget about, weeks.  Sure, there were moments of sunlight but for the most part it was just ugly.

Work for me was stressful.  Summer has now arrived and all is well, but before that there was a lot of darkness.  Work needed to be done 'now',  blame was needing to be cast and I am middle management.  It reached a boiling point with one of my boys, who decided at the wrong time to push my buttons over a simple request I had made of him and it happened.

Words were said.  Words, which once out there can never be taken back.  And because I take this role of mothering so very, very personally, I will now forever remember the words I said and they will over shadow all the good and right I have tried so very, very hard to be. 

Basically, I feel like I failed.

And yes, I know that's not true but then again I don't.  This mom gig?  It's complicated.  I'm real.  That guy that I like so much is real.  My boys are real. 

The 'I'm sorry's' have happened and life has gone on, but I'm struggling to put it behind me.  I want my boys to know me as the mom who has it mostly together, as someone who loves them unconditionally, who listens, who laughs, who cooks big bowls of food and who talks with her hands in the air like only an Italian mama can do.

But then, I want them to know that I'm real.  That their words and actions...that if they hurt me, their mom, then they can easily hurt another.  And now I question, once again...have I taught them well enough?

Like I said, there were moments of good.  The grapes on the trellis should be ready to eat this weekend.  Every morning we wander out to the garden and look up and can't help but smile...I know they are just grapes but it's just so cool to me.

There was a supper at my sister in laws, which meant in the midst of my crazy I didn't have to cook one night.  

A blessing for me.


And then?  Life returned to normal. Work was completed.  Summer has arrived.  Sleep came. Friends stepped in.  An anniversary was celebrated.  Lists have been made and summer projects are beginning.  Forgiveness has happened for the boy and for the mom.  The mom now needs to forgive herself.

I'm thankful for a new week, for new beginnings, for repentance and forgiveness and for life lessons that are needed to be taught and learned and lived.

Happy new week, everyone.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Is Coming

 This is my last week of work for the school year and let me just say, it can't come soon enough.  It's been fun, it's been challenging, it's been...work.  I like what I do, but I am soooo ready for a little break.


So, quickly...here is my last week, in pictures. 

1. Polenta.  Either you love it or hate it.  I love it, especially with lots of butter and parmesan cheese thrown in.  My family though?  They tolerate it once in awhile.  I like it best creamy and hot and eaten while sitting on the couch watching a movie...pure comfort food in my book!

2. We own the worlds largest pepper grinder.


3. SoCal weather.  Sunny and fair.  Our weather forecasters are grossly over paid.

4. This weeks menu board.  Helps keep me sane knowing what I am going to make, especially when I'm working.  Have I mentioned that my summer vacation begins in 4 days?


5. Apparently if you hang pennies from your doorway, the flies will stay away.  Or maybe they stay away because everyone is laughing so loudly about it that they are too afraid to come in?

6. Dinner with our turkish neighbors.  Best. Food. Ever.  I actually had TWO FULL plates, which I never, ever do...but seriously, it is so good.  If you ever want great turkish food, hit me up.  I know people.


7. See?  Even the cook thought it was good.


8.  Father's Day, 2014.  Church with my whole crew...plus that guy that I like so much who was conducting.  It's not often we are all together...I'll take it.  Smiles (and scruffy faces) or not.


9. They are, I must say, the funniest people I know.  Exhausting, but funny.

10. The boys pitched in and bought their dad a wii U, which I don't quite get but has led to a lot of yelling and laughing and jabbing at each other.  I like, most of the time, that they like each other.  Other times, it drives me crazy.


11. It was sweet having everyone together.  Matthew leaves for summer tour on Thursday (his girlfriend Brianne, too...they both are instructors with a drum and bugle corps and will travel all summer long until mid August) and Alex is working the night crew (9:00pm - 5:00am), so I am thankful for the short little times we have all together.

I'm usually deaf after, but thankful.


12. Watched soccer at the local german club the next town over with that guy that I like so much and Alex.  Nothing beats brats and sauerkraut and good, cold german beer.

Wins for Italy, Germany and the USA all helped, too.


The countdown to summer is on and I'm making my summer list.  So far there is one thing on it: sleep in past 5:00am.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Hello Weekend!

Friday night was spent in the garden and there was no where else I'd have rather been...until 7:45pm when I was sound asleep in bed.  The week had been exhausting and I just couldn't keep my eyelids open for even one minute more.

Supper that night though?  Before I collapsed from exhaustion? Halibut which was oven roasted with fennel, garlic, tomatoes and olives.  It was really good but I've decided that while I love ordering fish in a restaurant, I just don't like cooking it.  The moment I smell it I have no desire to eat it...so while everyone in my family (who was home) liked it, I didn't.

Roasted fennel and olives?  Phenomenal.  

Saturday, the third child in line for the throne (but has absolutely no doubts that he will someday reign as king), completely wore us out.

This kids schedule is killing me.  Saturday involved two back to back basketball games, working at a football carwash and then yet another sweet 16 party.  He's been invited to so many that I've lost count.  Friday nights was in a reserved ballroom at The Montage in Laguna Beach, complete with not just the requisite DJ but a carving station with prime rib that was located right next to the (wait. for. it) lobster tails.  Oh...and the door prizes?  An iPad mini for one.  Bri walked out with a candy dispenser from Brookstone and someone else was awarded a go pro camera.


Welcome to south OC, my friends.  It's my job to bring real life into these kids worlds.  16th birthdays in our house?  Pizza.  At home. With your real friends.  Not the 100's of acquaintances you might have, but your honest to gosh real friends.

Anyway, Saturday morning began with coffee, in the car, from Peets.  I can afford it since I'm not saving for a big party.


And then the following went down.  We were supposed to drive to Saturday nights sweet 16 party (this one was dumbed down and held at a local country club...for reals.  Feel my pain yet?) but in the end we were able to convince an older brother to help out.

What does that mean?

Cucina Enoteca.  Bubbly.  Eggplant pizza.  Just me and that guy that I like so much, spending money we shouldn't have and then justifying it, once again, with the whole pizza on the 16th birthday thing.  Just ask us...we can justify anything.

Anyway, by the end of the night we had a good handle on our summer wish list (things like 'return to Cucina Enoteca as often as the budget allows' and 'sit in the garden every. single. day') and even planned our dream vacation.  The dream vacation we aren't going on this year but just might be able to afford after all these children of ours grow up.

Dreaming about stuff?  Kinda fun.


On Sunday morning I awoke to two things...the hissing of a leaking can of wd40 onto the wood floor and underwear on the kitchen table.

Both made me extremely happy and filled with love for my sons to the point where I was jumping for joy.

Please.  Feel my pain for just one moment, ok?

And then, God gave me sunshine and one, very perfectly ripe, tomato.

Life in this zoo?  

Suddenly brighter.

For supper I made two HUGE pots, both

which I could barely lift, of gravy (spaghetti sauce to some, gravy to others) with meatballs and pork ribs and sausage and chicken and whatever other meats I could find from the depths of the freezer thrown in...served over pasta with a big green salad on the side.

And wine.  Red, red wine.

And the best part?  A last minute call to our neighbors (who are family to us) to come help eat it all and then a slew of boys, who have been friends forever and ever, came and finished it all up.    It was, quite simply, a perfect end to the weekend.


Friday, June 6, 2014

This Week In June

Back to the grind and it hasn't been easy.  I managed to hit the trail twice this week and will hopefully get in a couple more...the dog is turning out to be a welcome (if not slow...he has to smell every single thing) distraction from how hard it really is.

Feels good though.  Really, really good.

I shared this photo already but I just laugh and laugh and laugh every time I look at it.  I've needed the laughs...work has been hard lately.  It's the end of the year and there is so much work to be done...but the end is in sight.  Summer is coming.  

Or so I've been told.


Happy hour with these gals...my neighborhood gals, is always a treat.  Our kids have grown up together and because we live within spitting distance of each other, they know all the nitty gritty.  

Plus, they make me laugh.  Bonus.

I was telling someone this week about how I was able to be a SAHM for 19 years, on a church workers salary in SoCal and because of that, we had to give up one thing: real estate.  Or rather, the size of the real estate we own.  I look around at my little house on my little street and walk out front and have people who I adore surrounding me...well, this place is so very, very worth it.

Best decision we've ever made.

The garden?

It's in bloom.  Full bloom.

I was sitting on the couch the other night when up hopped this dude, who thought he'd get all comfy right next to me. 

Ummm...no dogs on the couch.

But maybe?


But he's sooooo sweet.


Absolutely no.


Yesterday afternoon I broke down and rented a storage unit for the summer.  Matthew had so much furniture, we have no garage and there was no place to put everything, so a storage unit became the option that has already proven to make me once again sane.  The boys moved everything there and ahhhhh, we have breathing room again.

Unless you go into their bathroom.  That's a whole 'nuther story.

It's fun for these few weeks that Matthew is home.  Bri has been here a lot; Alex was between jobs  and the only one not around much is Brian...football and basketball and school and an active social life?

Makes for a busy Brian.

I'm looking forward to this weekend.  No plans...but hopefully lots of garden time.  Oh, and we started watching The Wonder Years from the very beginning...fun!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

And To Think...

...that he said

that there is absolutely no way

that we will ever, ever, EVER 

get a dog.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Disney Date

I became one of those crazy peoples yesterday...the kind of crazy peoples that stop speaking and just do aggressive eye movements.  Our little house on our little street is a disaster and so Matthew and I spent a chunk of the day unpacking and repacking all of his worldly belongings...deciding what stays and what goes and what gets packed up into the attic.

The problem is that I would've tossed it all.  I mean, seriously, who needs that many pieces of music? And a whole case of trumpet mutes?  Really?  Oh, and pulling the dirty cast iron pan from a box? Eww.  Just eww.

But this is his stuff, not mine and so I tried to be supportive by not speaking.  But I couldn't control my eye rolls.


Everything has been repacked, the new beds are being delivered today and by tonight everything WILL be back in order.  It will.  It will. It will.

But last night?


So that guy that I like so much and I ditched town and ended up at California Adventure.  Our passes become blacked out for the summer at the end of this week and we wanted one more visit.  We found ourselves at the Cove Bar, drinking cocktails and eating lobster nachos and shortly, as usually happens when you are out with my husband, we were friends with everyone and having a grand 'ole time.  And got a free cocktail to boot.


We walked right on to Radiator Springs as single riders and the same for Soaring Over California and then spent the rest of the night just walking around.  And to cap it all off, because we were still hungry (or just weren't ready to reenter real life quite yet), we found ourselves at The Napa Rose enjoying a cheese plate.

Gotta love me a good cheese plate.

It was a lovely, lovely evening and I am tempted, more than a little, to do it all over again tonight.


So today, during the quiet part of my workday, I'm running some errands and then guiding my older two through the fine art of what it takes to make and keep your mama happy.  Things like 'how to open the dishwasher and put your dishes in' and 'where to put all your stuff since it isn't going to stay on the kitchen counter' and finally 'how to come in quietly if I come into the house after everyone is sleeping'.

Lessons they all know...but everyone needs a refresher course now and then.  If they can't remember, then how will I remember to not vacuum their room at 5:30am???

Just sayin'.


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