Sunday, February 28, 2016

Happy Sunday

I've spent my Sunday doing a whole bunch of things that are just not in my normal realm of things...they're things I think about doing but never get around to.  I cleaned out my desk.  I rearranged the stuff that goes on the kitchen counters.  I sorted through the stuff in the outside freezer.  I cleaned out the pantry.

In other words, that guy that I like so much is travelling and I'm lonely.

It was a fun weekend though, even with him gone.  One of my best friends ever sent me her 16 year old daughter for the weekend and there was sushi and the beach (twice!) and a college tour and homemade cookies.  

And there was the realization that my middle born sons doppelganger is Danny Kaye.

 And then this morning we had to put her on a plane home for Colorado and the house suddenly got really, really quiet.  There's so much I should be doing...I'm speaking at a big university this week and  need to prepare, the house could use a good cleaning and I have some paperwork to do, but I just felt the need to honor the Sabbath today.

And so I did.

The Academy Awards are on, I've painted my nails and I'm kinda wondering what's next.  I made the boys orange chicken and rice and roasted asparagus for dinner...basically this week I'll be cooking all the things they love but that guy that I like so much doesn't and orange chicken is one of those things.  Sloppy joes is another and I'm sure mac n cheese (the real homemade kind) will make an appearance at some point, too.

As for me (and my toothache)...well, I'm having a glass of wine.

Yesterday, Matthew turned 26.  It's a bummer when they live far away but we shipped him a fun present...a couple of honest to goodness Chicago pizzas frozen and packed in dry ice from one of our favorite pizza places there.

The moment that he was born on that snowy night so long ago was the moment that I knew, without a doubt, why I had been given life myself.  

I am so thankful for that moment.  


I think boredom is a really good thing and I'll be calling on this feeling once the craziness of the coming week hits me.  I'm going to finish the academy awards, take a hot bath and sleep smack dab in the middle of the bed...and tomorrow I'll be all ready for what the week brings, including a visit to the dentist.

Not my favorite thing.  At all.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Middle Of The Week

I'm feeling the middle of the week exhaustion...the kind of exhaustion where you wonder if you're coming or going.  

I think the weekend is a few days, anyway.


Last night that guy that I like so much called me towards the end of his work day...I had just figured out that he won't have a single day off for over two months (like...who does that??) and I was missing him.  Anyway, he called and within a few minutes pulled up out front of our little house on our little street and off we drove into the sunset.

We ended up at one of our favorite restaurants and soon after I had my new favorite cocktail in my hand (a sidecar...have you had one?) and I started to get a little weepy.  I'm just tired.  I have a toothache.  He's leaving town for a week.  College is looming and change is coming.  There's a new sheriff in town (meaning I have a new boss) and that involves more change.  

And I'm just feeling worn down.

But then I sipped a cocktail, smiled at that guy that I like so much, chatted with friends who were leaving as we were coming and all started to feel ok.

And these pictures?  Valentine's Day.  Man, I like that guy that I married.  


Vietnamese spring rolls.  My love language.

Baby boy, and the two inch screw holding his wrist together, got clearance (reluctant clearance) to take to the snow.  

He laughed.  He skiied.  I chewed my nails and prayed.

All was well.  


I took a quick run into Disneyland yesterday...lunched on bacon wrapped grilled asparagus and rode Indiana Jones, Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain.

From the time I parked to the time I was back in my car was 1 hour and 8 minutes which is just crazy...but made doable by a friend who hooked me up with a ton of fast passes.


Brian is taking ceramics and his pipe smoking daddy-o asked him for an ashtray.

Brian delivered not only an ashtray but a little bit of sarcasm as well.

(I Smell Cancer)


And you know how I mentioned going out last night?

 I forgot to mention that they (Houston's, in Irvine) have the BEST hot fudge sundae on the planet.


So now I'm almost over the hump and ready to scootch on in to the weekend.  Supper tonight will be chicken piccata and some sort of roasted green vegetable...the laundry is actually caught up and the house is clean so it'll be a good night to catch up on Downton Abbey.  

I wish it didn't have to's such a great show!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Oh Happy Day (It's the Weekend!)

I've been working crazy hours the last few weeks and I'm still staring at piles of paperwork that has to be done and I wish I had the kind of personality that could just let it go.  I'm trying, but it's hard...I'm just tired and feeling a bit beaten down with it all lately.  

I just need a good, old fashioned weekend...and good golly, it's here.


And while I'm the one complaining, that guy that I like so much is working more hours than I think is  physically possible of one human being...yet every night he comes home well after the sun has gone to sleep and smiles, pours himself a glass of wine and settles onto the couch next to me and asks me about my day.  This season, to put it mildly, is brutal...but there are such sweet blessings in there, too.  

Our little house on our little street has become this sanctuary of's a place where we can rest and recoup and just recharge our batteries.  But still, I'm dreaming of sandy beaches and warm sun and cocktails with umbrellas in them because man oh man, that sounds like the perfect way to recharge ones batteries...doesn't it?

Lent arrived and I found my mindset was already there.  My own journey to the cross is quiet this year...I'm finding myself tucked into dark, chilly churches throughout the week and just spending lots of still time with my Lord.  He is stretching me and I'm letting Him.

In other words...I'm listening.  Just listening.

I came out of the grocery store today and saw these two cars kissing...oops.  I actually stopped and prayed for the two people that would come out and find that this had's pretty obvious that the yellow jeep had forgotten to put their parking brake on but sheesh, we live in this world where a mistake is no longer a mistake but most often a chance to sue or disgrace or shame someone else because no one is ever allowed to just screw up now and then.

I don't know how this one played out but I'm praying there was grace involved...but in SoCal, people care a whole lot about how their cars look and so, well, my brain has the whole scenario worked out.

And once upon a time this happened to me once, a long time ago.  I was a new driver, didn't put my car in gear and while my car didn't roll into another car, it did back into a pole...but this could very well have been me.  Embarrassing? Yes.  On purpose?  No.  

This weekend is going to be an unplugging one for me.  That guy that I like so much has a Friday night recital, an event on campus for most of Saturday, church and a concert (2 hours away) with his choir on Sunday...I'm not quite sure how he's doing it but he is.  My plans are much more simple...laundry and garden time and some cooking.  

And a whole lotta time just hanging out at home.


Monday, February 15, 2016

It's Been Awhile

Lots going on around these parts lately and our little house on our little street is in the midst of a whole bunch of 'firsts of lasts'.   The youngest of our crew of boys is in his senior year and it's such a sweet, fun extremely busy time but that's par for the course.

As of today, our sporting days of wearing red are officially over.  Brian came back from a supposedly career ending injury and he, along with the 2 inch screw that is holding his wrist together, played in his last basketball game.  

I returned from Florida (more on that later) to that guy who I like so much...and his fabulous weekend breakfasts.  I missed him.  A lot.  This work trip was a busy one for me and I came home to a houseful of males who were super glad to me...mainly because they were hungry.

Job security.


 The Bronco's won and all is well in our world.

Have you ever prayed that a team would win because you wanted it so badly not for yourself...but for your middle born son??  Yeah...that was me.  

 We hosted our very last team dinner and I had this moment of sadness realizing that this stage is over...and then had to laugh when they all showed up for lunch the next day and then for dinner again a few nights later.

This little house isn't going anywhere and I'm realizing that there will always be someone around who needs to be fed.


We had an interesting conversation with our boys...a conversation about growing up in a little house and having to share bedrooms and bathrooms and not having a whole lot of space.  

Didn't seem to bug them.  I mean...not sure we could've changed it anyway because we live in what we can afford (unless that guy that I like so much would've had a big commute and I vetoed that early on) but they don't seem scarred by it or anything.

So I guess it's all good.

The youngest shrub is going to college and will be moving on campus in August.  He's interested in two completely different areas of study so we'll see what path he chooses.

But first...I'm just going to take one day at a time with him until he leaves because my momma heart is not quite sure how it's going to handle all of this when the time comes.

I've been escaping the chaos and taking long daily walks around our lake.  My brain is on overdrive and I am so thankful for the fact that I don't have to try and sort out all these thoughts that are swirling around my brain...that God just knows my prayers and takes all these different strings of things and forms them into something that makes sense.  

And lately I'm just resting in the fact that He knows me.  

How can this can he be a Senior already?  I mean, wasn't he just a little guy tagging along to all his big brothers games?  

Oh, how I've loved this ride...this raising boys ride.  I'm still on it but it's not the same ride as before.  The seatbelt doesn't need to be worn as tightly and the track doesn't seem to have as many ups and downs....but it's still racing along at a pretty fast pace.

 Fun seeing these two back in this gym, too.  They were once pretty big names here and to think that after high school they would start dating?  Kinda cool.


It was a really fun night.

Plus, we won.


I made an oldie but goodie the other night and fried up some thin cut pork chops.  Served them with a pasta and a big salad and the boys devoured them.  Made me feel like I was a kid again and while frying things in olive oil isn't the healthiest way to go, it sure is yummy. of my new favorites.

Thank you, Italy.

And then there was Valentine's Day.  I know many think it is an over commercialized holiday (and it is) and that people spend too much on this day (and they do) and that we should donate money to help those that need it (and we should) and that you shouldn't need a day to celebrate those that you love (and we don't) but here's the deal...I like an excuse to do something fun and out of the norm.  We're a couple of people who have raised (and are still raising) a whole bunch of boys who haven't always been easy and what the heck...let's go to dinner and share an expensive bottle of wine and laugh about life for just a bit.

So we did.  

And, because he can still surprise me...there was a little trip to that store that sells jewelry in simple blue boxes tied with white ribbons and has a movie name after it that begins 'breakfast at...'. I had never been inside one before and it was fun.  Really fun.  Can I end world hunger on my new pretty?  Probably not, but wow...I'm still crying.  This is a big year for us...a big birthday for me and a big anniversary for us and the youngest leaving for college but more than that, we still like each other.  (it's being sized but I'll share a picture when it's done...)

I'm still smiling.

And then we came home to a houseful.  We like them, too.  Getting away is good...but coming home is better.


Monday, February 1, 2016


Last weekend that guy that I like so much had a clinic to run in Bakersfield, about 2 1/2 hours from home.  We drove up on Friday afternoon (after handling the medical emergency of our middle born son) and in typical LA fashion, had to deal with lots of traffic.

So Cal traffic is the absolute worst.  Little house close to work?  Totally worth not having to commute.

Once there, and after we checked into our hotel, we went for a super great dinner at a local wine bar.  The crispy brussel sprouts were absolutely fantastic and since I'm not willing to deal with that traffic on a weekly basis, I've gotta try and make them at home.

So yummy.

I ran into a McD's to use the restroom and wow...McD's has gotten fancy schmancy. 

Well...not the bathroom.  That was still nasty.

Just sayin'.

The boy is back on the court.  The mother is on the edge of her seat with her eyes covered.

Five more games until his sporting career is over.

We can do this.

I think.


 Driving home over the mountain and the storm rolled in...a few hours later and this pass was covered in snow.  The drive for us was easy and on the way home we listened to the most incredible music ever by Ludovico of the benefits of being married to a music guy.

The album is called Portrait and every time I hear it I cry...the kind of cry where I can't figure out if I'm happy or sad.  This music touches me so much and is so amazingly beautiful...give it a listen.

The whole album is like this and it just takes me to a place that I can't explain...and even as I'm writing this, I've got tears just running down my cheeks.  

We arrived home on Saturday night and I did a mass amount of laundry and threw a bunch of things in a suitcase.  I'm in south Florida right now for work and heading soon to west Florida...and this trip came at a good time.

I love these boys of mine...a lot.  But I have to say, they've broken me.  I've been working a lot and they (plural...for multiple boys) have worn me to the core and I couldn't get on the plane fast enough.

And while on the plane on Sunday morning I began a study of Ruth...of how she had nothing and then had something and had nothing and had something.  How God blessed her.  How she opened her heart, how she cared for others.

I needed that reminder...that reminder that it's not all about the mess.  It's about what that mess means...the relationships that are a part of that mess.

Getaways are really, really good because they make the homecomings so much sweeter.

And so tonight as I'm sitting here in my fancy hotel eating pad thai and drinking a glass (or two) of wine while getting ready for my work day tomorrow...I'm starting to let go of the frustrations that the last few weeks have brought.  I took a long, hot bath and am already looking forward to sleeping smack dab in the middle of that king size bed but boy oh boy, do I miss the males in my house.

Not their dishes.  Or their laundry.  But their faces...I miss their faces.

But first?  I've got four more nights of maid service and I'm going to enjoy every. single. second of it.


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