Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Season Of Noise

The oldest of our houseful of boys is home for the week and it's so fun to watch how our family dynamics change when he's around...our middle boy is suddenly not an oldest any longer and is now back to being just the boy in the middle (which is rather enjoyable to watch, I might add) and the youngest goes back to being a true youngest who just watches and takes it all in...and gets a bit of a break.

It's fun.  Really, really fun.


That being said, I have not raised a very neat bunch.  There are shoes everywhere.  Towels everywhere.  Coffee cups everywhere.  Male bodies...everywhere.

If you are looking for quiet....well, I think you can find it at my neighbors house.


I'm struggling to find my footing this Lenten season.  I haven't felt myself truly settle in to any sense of quiet and I'm so thankful for grace right now.  My prayer life seems to happen in the car or in the shower or in the midst of cooking dinner and I've felt this sadness about that lately...that here is my Lord who has given me life and I can't seem to remember to sit in the quiet and give Him the best of me.

And then my backyard tree, which blooms only once a year and always right before Easter, bloomed.  For me it's a sign...a sign that He lives.  A sign that He knows me and forgives me and loves me and it becomes so evident to me...but also it's a reminder to stop.  Smell the flowers.  Find the quiet.  Pray.

Life has been feeling unsettled lately...college plans are being worked on for our youngest, a big move for our oldest, a new job for our middle.  I have a new boss at work and there's a feeling of change and unknown.  That guy that I like so much has been working more hours than I think is humanly possible and I miss him.  I'm missing friends and our garden and am actually finding myself a bit teary eyed when I look outside and it seems so empty and quiet.

I think I'm just tired.

Or maybe I'm not just tired but I'm processing all the changes.  Yeah, I think that's it.


This guy that I like so much.  I love how he laughs when we steal little moments...a drive with the top down, flowers in the garden, a bottle of bubbly, a roast chicken for dinner.

Summer is coming.  Or so I've been told.


I've had two nights in a row out this week and one was a double decker.  There was a lovely dinner at a friends house where it's another case of her friend is now my friend and I love how that whole circle of girlfriends ends up working.  And then there was a happy hour the next night with another set of old friends and I sat and listened at how different we all are yet have this bond that will last for a lifetime...our politics are different and so are our views on religion and our views on relationships but in the end, we all share a past that glues us together.

And then I came home and put my pj's on and the call came...the 'hey, mom.  come meet us for a late night happy hour!' and while every ounce of me wanted to say 'no way' I realized that there was no way was I going to pass up on an invite from these boys of mine...even if it came at 11:00pm.

And while I was sitting there watching them, listening to them, laughing with them it happened yet again.  A God moment.  A moment of 'ah...I get it'.  I've been searching for quiet but maybe this season is not about quiet?  It's about these relationships...the kind where I'm being stretched and pulled and molded.  A reminder that it's not all about me.

Quiet will come, I'm sure...but for now,  this is where it's at.  There are currently nerf darts whizzing over my head and a barking dog and the sounds of drywall bending (seriously) and it's all good.  

Loud, but good.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Fun Reunion

The seasons are changing and with that has come this burning desire to get organzied and to clean out cabinets and to paint the house.  I'm hoping that burning desire turns into action to actually do some (or all) of those things but by the time real life enters in, well...I'm just a tad bit tired.

But we did clean out all the books that boys would never (and in all honesty, probably never did) read again and off they went to the used book store.

That bookshelf now holds his shoe collection, so all is well.

Springtime (along with Summer, Fall and Winter) is my absolute favorite season.  The flowers in our part of the world are literally bursting with color and are so very, very beautiful.  

Brian called from school saying he didn't feel well and off we went to our favorite Dr's office.  Two ear infections and one antibiotic later (along with a burger and fries) and he's on the mend...but being sick is just no fun.

Boy #2...the kid who should be earning me hazard pay in the parenting department.  We all need one who keeps us on bended knee, right?

Peaks and valleys.  Peaks and valleys.

Boy #3...he's graduating high school soon and his senior pictures came back with him looking like a grown man.  He keeps me going in the prayer department, too.

Wait a minute...they all do.  I'm still waiting for the moment when they all are running smoothly at the same time so I can get a good night sleep.

I'm sure that will happen soon.  Right, God?


This past weekend, that guy that I like so much was honored for 20 years at his University...there was a huge reunion where lots and lots and lots of past students came together for a concert and a dinner and then a little get together at our little house on our little street.  It was so much fun and seemed to go by so very, very fast.  

I overheard someone talking about how God has given Michael an incredible gift and yes, I believe that.  But I also believe that he has chosen to listen and serve and use that gift and boy oh boy, do I like him.  

And on Sunday afternoon he sat and enjoyed the garden.  On Monday?  Back to the 7 day a week grind.  It's not a glamorous field...or a lucrative one, but he likes it.  


I headed out to my favorite trail this week and the hills are so green and thanks to a girlfriend, I just kept waiting for the teletubbies to come running over the hill.

They didn't...but I did laugh for all 3 miles.

Another week has come to an end and tonight I'm cooking a big pot of chicken cacciatore.  We're going to sit in the garden and share a bottle of wine with whoever ends up walking through the door.  

I'm counting down the minutes.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Sound Of Time Whooshing By

I'm sitting at my kitchen table, candles burning and a super delicious petite syrah in my wine glass.  We're attempting to book a (rather stressful, very expensive) little anniversary trip for our upcoming (wait for it) anniversary and it's not going very smoothly.  Arline rates are changing by the minute and the prices keep going up (by hundreds and hundreds of dollars) and even the pretty candles and yummy wine aren't helping.

Bummer.  And expedia.com?  Right now we are so not friends.

But...we do have turkish neighbors who cook and, well, that's a really good thing.

I've been working SO MANY hours...not the paid kind of hours but the regular hours plus a whole bunch more.  I'm tired.  And the early hours, thanks to east coast clients, is early.

But...there is something about this little house on this little street in the darkness of the early morns.  Everything is still and clean and quiet and the conversations that I'm able to have with God are rather long and serious and...fulfilling.  

So yes, I'm tired.  But yes, it's worth it.

I'm good until about 2:00pm when I. just. cannot. move. any. more.  

As long as I remain standing, I'm good.  But whew...if my bottom hits the couch then it's all over.  Totally not a bad thing unless the remote isn't within reach and if that happens, I simply stare at the dark TV until I begin to stare at the dark of my inner eyelids.

That guy that I like so much was gone for a week and left me with Thing One and Thing Two...or boys two and three if you're trying to keep track of who's who.

They're quite the duo and quite entertaining when they aren't making me pull my hair out.   Seriously...why do these boys of mine, who obviously have big, big brains cannot remember things like taking out the trash or walking the dog unless I ask?

For reals.

But then there's my hiking trail which has literally burst into life in the last month or so.  This is my sanctuary...the place where I feel so close to God.  It's so green and smells fresh and there's the sun and the clouds and I could go on and on but it really is one of my happiest places to be.

Even with the snakes...which are a good reminder of what happened in the garden anyway.

My work car celebrated it's 30,000th mile.  


I spoke at a really super huge university for a ton of people....basically I read a whole bunch of things I've written here and then answered a bunch of questions and it was all good, but the best part was the talk afterward.  I'm feeling a nudge to write more and even have a working title and an outline and someone who wants to proof it because she loves the idea...but seriously, it's a time thing.

She recommended that I take a long weekend away and do nothing but write...no tv, no social media, no nothing but my laptop and an ocean view and I laughed because really, that's just not going to happen anytime soon but sheesh, it's fun to dream.

So we celebrated the dream.


That guy that I like so much returned home from the Lone Star State with his 50 college students in tow and once they were all settled back on campus, he came home and slept.  And slept.  And slept.

And then he tended the garden and now it's all ready for a party.

Any takers?


We ran errands last weekend and bought some new candles of my favorite scent which reminds me of Boulder and my hippie days...patchouli.

I love that scent but, ummm...our house smells a little like musky men.  And no, I'm not sure that's a good thing.  Oh well.

Meet our new coffee maker.  We're going old school, people.

Hello, Mr Percolator.  Welcome to our kitchen, you cute thing you.

Have you heard a percolator before? 

Totally cool.

And the rains came....and came and came.  And with it there was thunder and lightening which for us SoCalers was pretty freaky.

Oh, and it was on Monday morning.

In my line of work, rain is already enough to throw anyone off but add in the whole Monday morning thing and seriously, you would have thought the world was ending.  

But we all made it.


And now we're speeding into a really exciting weekend.  That guy that I like so much is celebrating his 20th year at his university and there's a concert and then a huge alumni celebration happening.  Former students are flying in from everywhere to be here and it's just going to be fun seeing everyone now that they're all grown up.

But first we've gotta work like regular people the rest of week...and then we can play.  


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In The Dark Of The Morning

Before I went to bed last night I began reading through old posts on this space...I've got to read some of my favorites in a talk I'm giving this week and soon got carried back in time.  It's funny how you look back and think that life was a whole lot easier way back when but really, it was just as hard as it is today.

I mean, I remember the births of these three boys as being magical and quiet and so filled with love...which they were, you know, when my body wasn't being over taken by pain.

But the pain part fades into just a story...the whole beauty from ashes thing.

In the last few days I've written that phrase 'beauty from ashes' to two different people I love so much...I love that passage in Isaiah that talks about joy to mourning and then later the planting of the Lord.  It makes me think of my garden...of how those seeds I planted a few months back are now giving me so many vegetables and it's through nothing I've done.  I've forgotten to water them for days on end but because this season is damp and chilly, it's all been taken care of for me.  

His hand is always so present...even when we don't see it.  

So this morning...this dark, quiet 4:00am morning, it's just me and a hot pot of coffee and my prayers.  I'm awake for a reason - and sleep will come later.  

I'm missing that guy that I like so much this week...though facetime is one of the greatest inventions ever.  But still, it's not the same as having someone to talk to about every little thing the moment I think it.

I walked the beach for a few miles yesterday and it made me miss him even more.  This semester has been so long and busy and just plain hard...but summer is coming.  Soon.

And here's a little throwback I came across...this was the day little Brian started kindergarten and for me, after 14 years of being home at home with one boy or another, I suddenly found myself with a few hours of freedom during the day.  Oh, how I remember that time and how sweet it felt.

Boy #2...see his face?  Yeah...he sure made life anything but quiet during his school years.


It's now 5:00am, I'm now on cup #2 of coffee and I've already handled a work call from the east coast...which tells me it's time to officially start my day.  I'm heading rather local this morning...my dentist appointment yesterday revealed nothing major is wrong (hallelujah!) and today is my scheduled cleaning.  After that, I'm kinda thinking I'll stop for a gallon of paint and pass the next few days with a brush in my hand.

Unless I change my mind and take a nap instead.

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