Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Imagine my surprise when I clicked on my blog and found that everything had been deleted.  As in, farewell to every childhood memory my children have.  Poof!  Gone!

'this blog is no longer found...'

Thanks to a really nice google guy who listened through my hysterical crying, all is well and recovered and whew.  What a relief.  But hey, that original email I used to set this whole thing up?  Does anyone remeber what it was?

Yeah...me neither.

And yes, I gotta back this thing up sometime soon.


Summer came and went.  We bought a pizza oven and learned that even though we own a pick-up truck, 1/12th of a cord of wood really does fit in a convertible.

Probably one of the tastiest summers ever.

Our dog became a real dog who barks and begs and nuzzles people under the table during parties in hopes of a scrap being tossed his way.

He's, well...annoyingly perfect.

We said goodbye to our Maggie cat.  She had a stroke and it was terribly sad.


And oh, did we vacation.

There was Paso Robles for wine with friends.  Some, like the guy in the gray shirt, became a friend over a couple of whatever it was we were partaking in.

My beautiful girlfriend turned 50 and we celebrated in the Eberle winery caves.

We tried Air bnb - and it was awesome!  We'll totally be doing that again!

We went to San Francisco and stayed at The Palace and it felt so very grown-up and absolutely perfect.

We drank Irish Coffee's at the Buena Vista...yum!

We went to Florida (me for work and that guy that I like so much as a tag along) and then we did a 24 hour jaunt to Colorado, where we went to the most perfect wedding ever.  


Like, how magical is this?

We said goodbye to not one car...

...but two.

(everyone is ok...thankfully, but neither had collision so were junked)

Boy #1 is still working in China and playing professionally for a lot of cool stuff, most of which can't be posted publicly quite yet.

That trumpet of his is making some pretty good sounds though.

All three of my houseful of boys were here for about 5 weeks this summer.  It made my momma heart full and the fridge empty and the water bill high and the neighbors heard it all and I loved every minute of it.  

This growing up and moving away thing?  Not sure how I feel about it.

They took off on their own adventure because hellooooo, the Broncos were playing and Colorado was calling.

And then, Matthew returned to China.  And this not so little guy headed to Dublin to study overseas because med students get real cadavers sooner than they do here.  


He turned 20 and we toasted via face time.


And along with the med stuff, he made the American football team for his university - how fun is that?  

(Even if the last time he played here, he broke his wrist and was told to not play again...but I'm trying to not think about that.)

The boy in the middle moved home and has taken his place as my favorite lunch partner....when he's not working all.the.time that is. I am loving that he's back for a bit...this house is WAY too quiet for me.


The garden was so pretty this summer...lots of parties and lots of pizzas and lots of great conversations.

This is our happy place.

And in random catch up stuff:

1. That guy that I like so much was called to serve at a new for us, very big, very in transition church...you know, on top of his regular job.  I text him his address a lot as a reminder that he still lives here but for reals, it has awakened something in both of us.  God is shaking the ground there (in a really good way) and it completely feels like we are where we are supposed to be.  But the hours he's working are long.  And I miss him.

2. This book.  It really made me think. Such a good story!

I've been not very much me the last few months.  I'm worried for all sorts of things that I have absolutely no control over and am struggling to find the new 'normal'...the one where boys aren't just grown, but spread over THREE continents.  The one where my boyfriend, who has been a church worker our whole entire marriage, is now busier than ever...and not just Christmas busy.  I'm sad about the job I have always loved, and still do, but is a place fueled by others failures...and that goes against all that I know.

And so I stare at the below graph and will myself to chill out.


I can't even remember the time when I last laced up my shoes and hiked the trail.  That place is so special to me...it's my quiet place where I can talk out loud to God and sing and complain and sweat out some of these feelings.  I just can't seem to make myself go...maybe tomorrow?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summertime. Almost. And An Anniversary

I'm dreaming of summer...both night dreaming AND day dreaming.  This is my quiet week at work...the week before I officially shut down for a few weeks and soak in the real quiet.  But until then, there are things to be done...paperwork to be completed, files to be filed, emails to be sent, school start-up trips to be planned.

I'm tired and more than ready for a break.  

So today, we decided to play.  Hello, Disneyland!

Our friends from Indiana were visiting the parks, so one of Alex's friends signed us in for the day.  We gave up our annual passes last month after a decade (or two) of having them...the prices kept creeping up and with work and life and the removal of the 3-hour free parking, we found we weren't using them as much as we used to.  

So today was special.  We were only there for about 4 hours and it was lovely.  Crowded, but lovely. I'm excited to miss it and know that we won't be away forever.


Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary.  I love this picture of us...blurry, half my face, that guy that I like so much laughing.  It's just us.  

We don't have a secret...we've just been blessed.  Raising a houseful of boys is HARD, church work is hard, having a mortgage is hard.  But it's fun to do the journey together...to be in it so long now as to know the way to phrase things to sway the vote your way, to know when to just shrug your shoulders and give in, to look at the clock in the mid-afternoon and know that in a few short hours the 'real' part of our day will begin.  The part that revolves around just being together, sharing a prayer, eating a meal, loving on whoever walks through the door.  

So Happy Anniversary to us.  Here's to 32 more.  


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Possibly Stealing Back Our Own Car

If you have been a long time reader here at a houseful of craziness, then you might remember that we've had a few car stories to tell.

If you are bored and you'd like to refresh your memory, here are a few:

 And hopefully, this will be the last one.


 Last December, we sold our car for pennies, due to the fact that it needed a new transmission and power steering and tires and, well...she was tired.  And so was my pocketbook.  

I signed over the title, was paid cash and never knew that you were supposed to send in the release of liability.

My bad.

And then a few weeks ago, a letter comes in the mail letting us know our vehicle, which now has been fixed up and sold twice more, is in an impound lot.

And while it's been sold a few times we are still, technically, the legal owners because no one ever registered the car in their own name.  The current owner/driver was pulled over for expired tags and detained for a suspended license...and the car was towed and impounded.  

The thought of what could have happened is too much...so we'll rest in the fact that nothing did. Whew.

The guy we originally sold it to has washed his hands of it.  If we don't pick it up, then it will be auctioned off.  And if that's the case, then we are in the position of reclaiming the car (that we still technically own) back.

I spent a long time at the police department chatting about what we should do.  I couldn't lie to them - I mean, we sold the car after all and I wanted to be honest about that.  And then, while telling the story, I couldn't help but laugh...I mean, who makes this stuff up????

The guy who had bought the car last has a whole lot of clearing up before he can reclaim it.  His license has to be cleared, as does the title of the car changed to his name, insurance brought current and the impound fee paid.  My hope is he is able to do all that and so, we're waiting for the 30-day hold to play out while we decide what to do.  But the PD thinks this will be another case of car abandonment because it'll be more than the price he paid for the car.

The other fun part?  If it's auctioned off for less than what the impound fee is, then we are liable for the difference.  Because...yeah, we still technically own the car.  The other, most likely option - because we don't need the car, is to simply release the liability and back date it to the original date of sale.  That makes the most sense...but nothing we do seems to make much sense, so who knows???


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Opening of the Garden

Last year when we returned from Italy, a few treasures continued to arrive over the summer.  Mainly wine...and really good wine at that.  One of the most fun deliveries was from a small vineyard in Tuscany where we got lost and upon arrival, walked into someone's home thinking it was the tasting room.


But once we got yelled at (in Italian, which made it sound gorgeous) and found where we were going, we discovered a wine we loved and in a moment of weakness (or pure joy, however you want to look at it) we had shipped home a magnum.

A four bottle magnum.

We were saving it for something special...and for a time when we had enough people over to not just drink four bottles worth, but enjoy four bottles worth because that's a lotta wine!

Fast forward to mid-May and the opening of the garden, which was so special a party that our besties from Colorado flew in for the weekend.

NOW...here is where the fun part comes in.  See in the picture below, behind the wine glasses?  Not Brian, but the shelves with the dishes on the wall?

Every dish I own?  On the wall?

Shortly after we toasted, there was a LOUD crash and the shelves...those shelves holding all my plates, came crashing (and I mean crashing!) down.

We all stood there for a few seconds in shock.  Dishes, and the sink full of freshly washed glassware, were everywhere.  Some broken...some surprisingly not.

It was...funny.

Like, OH MY, what?  What just happened?  

The damage?

broken plates - 12
broken wine glasses - 2
broken whisky glasses - 3
broken big bowls - 3
broken small bowls - 6
broken coffee mug - 1

I keep describing it as a big Greek wedding, one where everyone smashes dishes...except we aren't Greek and there wasn't a wedding.

And how blessed are we that #1 - there were people here to witness this grand event so the story can live (and grow) forever and #2 - there were people here who jump in and fix things.


And #3 - that Crate and Barrel delivers.

The bonus?  We all went into a month-long clumsy-fest where we kept breaking things.  I broke 3 more wine glasses, another plate and my favorite coffee mug. That guy that I like so much broke a wine glass and a shoelace.  

Welcome to our life.


The next day we escaped for the sea and rented a duffy boat for the afternoon.  We packed some snacks, grabbed our peeps and sailed off into the harbor. 

It was so much fun!  Definitely on the list to do again this summer.


Besides, we have our very own driver - he's working towards his captain's license.  Driving a duffy is a bit below his level of expertise, but that's ok.

I ended up having to take an overnight, last minute trip to Florida for a meeting a few weeks ago.  It wasn't easy - fly all the way across the country, spend the night, go to a 10:00am meeting and then straight to the airport for the flight home.  

I was gone for 44 hours - 12 hours were spent in the hotel, the meeting (and prep) lasted 4 hours and the rest was travel time.


Adventures in watching boys grow up continues with fun texts reporting in about yummy dinners they are cooking.

And others that take time to settle in.

And yet others where we say a prayer and trust.  Typhoons, when you live on an island, are a big deal.

All is well...the typhoon dumped its rain and continued on.  And hello, can we get an AMEN for technology?!


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