Saturday, August 20, 2016

Happy To Be Home

This has been the summer of being on the go...we travelled to Hawaii,  road tripped to NorCal, that guy that I like so much was off on a retreat, and then I spent nearly two weeks on a work trip to Florida.  

I'm ready for the suitcases to be put away.  Far away.

Before my long trek to the other side of the country...which conveniently happened right as that guy that I like so much went back to work, I cooked and cooked and cooked so that they wouldn't have to worry about meals.

I'm not a big 'make ahead' cook and I've got a family of fresh food eaters but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  

I boarded the plane with a pit in my stomach.  Not for fear of flying...I actually like to fly, but because there is this shift in my work life that has me sad and more than a bit worried.  There is a new management and a new way of things being run and while some things have been helpful, there is a whole new feeling of change.  And not for the better.  

I'm worried because it's not good and I have a boy who just started college and the whole thing is just not pretty.  In fact, it's gosh darn ugly.  But just like getting on that airplane, it's not in my hands and I just have to trust.

But it's hard.

I had breakfast at the Waffle House four times while I was travelling, each time with a different set of police officers but every time I ate the the same thing because those pecan waffles are so. gosh. darn. good.  They're malty and crispy and soft and I want one right now.  Please.  


The working conditions were lovely.


Over the weekend I drove up to visit with my cousin who recently moved to Florida and we went to a nearby state park.  I love where she's so green and lush and beautiful.  Plus,  I got to see an alligator...thankfully from the safety of a glass bottom boat.


Three people and three hundred selfies. 

What a bunch of goof balls.


I was able to sneak in a very stormy, very rainy day at the Magic Kingdom and I can now say that yeah, the west coast park is best.  It's more compact but so much more character filled.

Sorry Disneyworld.

I flew through Denver and could've shopped for days and now I'm so bummed that I didn't buy this shirt.  Maybe on my next trip.


And then I came home.  


I don't know what it is about this little house on this little street.  It's not fancy and it's not big and it's not the cleanest and it's just four walls like everybody else's....but it's just got this feel to it.  I can't explain it but it's like God's face just shines down on this little space and it almost feels sacred.

It's truly a special place.

Baby Brian...who is no longer a baby but it's really hard to not think of him as the baby, has moved into his dorm room and is ready to begin college.  What?  Really?  He's in college???

But, I already got an SOS call that he needed a Target run for random things we forgot and so I picked him up, did some shopping and then spoiled him for lunch at the Hatch.  

I really miss him.

And then today I realized that the boy who moved out took a whole bunch of random things with him and now I need to shop...things like my laundry basket and the trash can from the bathroom.

And I'm fighting the 'sads'...the end of era life changes that are happening.  We popped open a bottle of rose and grilled up some steaks and toasted life.  

Thirty years.  

Three boys.  

One really great God.

So here's to stage three.

Stage one - marriage.
Stage two - raising boys.
Stage three - party time.

Or something like that.  



Saturday, August 6, 2016

I've Been Quiet This Summer

This summer is a summer of transition for me and through it all,  I've been quiet.  I've had lots of words but they haven't been written...but they have been spoken.  And prayed.  And cried.  And laughed.

This summer has been one of crazy busyness but also of rest.


There was the whole thing where I turned 50.  And then shortly after, that guy that I like so much and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  I had a high school reunion in there and more garden parties that I can count...some big, some small, some in my garden and some in others.

Transition.  We are in transition.

The youngest of my houseful of boys graduated high school in June and he is moving into his dorm exactly 7 days from today.  It's just so strange, this time of life.  This time of transition from having a houseful to this time of empty nesting.  

I'm still figuring out how I feel about all of it.

We road tripped this summer so that I could reunite with my high school friends.  I may have written this before, but I was the girl who left town the day after I graduated.  I never once looked back for 30 years (!!!)...but high-tailed it from point A to point B.  From the life that was to the life that was waiting for me...and that life involved a boy that I would marry pretty quickly and a baby that I would hold not so long after that.

I had a plan...but God had a bigger plan.  His plans are always better anyway.

We reunited and it just wasn't enough time with the girls from way back when.  They say that you can't go back but you know what?  You can.  You really can.

That guy that I like so much and I turned the whole reunion into a big road trip...a visit with his parents and with mine and then threw in a few nights of just us in a place that we love so much.

I've just felt like we've needed alone time so much this summer and God smiled and said 'yeah, you do'.  So we've run with it and had some fun.

 There were wineries to visit and a beach to walk and pokemon to catch...because hello?  Pokemon Go?  The best app of all time.


The whole house was purged this summer...bags and bags of junk were carted off for goodwill and it feels. so . amazingly. great.

We needed that to happen and instead of just talking about it, we made it happen.  

So how come I want to shop now???


So that's about it.  Nothing major happening around these parts but yet, lots of major changes happening around these parts.  I'm back at work after a tiny summer off and my job has changed quite a bit...and I'll be honest, I'm more than a little worried about that.  My boss retired and a new one is on board and,'s just different in a way that I'm not so sure about.  But college tuition payments mean that we need to work really hard right now...and so we're working really hard right now.

Just like everyone else in the free world.


 The Olympics are on and I've got a houseful of 20 somethings here watching.  I love this little house and that it's 'the' house...that it's just a gathering place for the boys and their friends.  I still dream of a fixer-upper farmhouse on lots of land but God has a whole 'nuther plan for us, so here are planted in the middle of SoCal...and that's ok.  


I'm heading on a work trip to Florida for a few weeks and need to get back in the habit of writing here in this space.  There's just so much I have to say and none of it is life changing but's stuff I want to remember.  I've missed writing and am ready for a regular schedule again.  Kind of, anyway.

How has your summer been?  I'd love to hear.  



Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Summer Has Looked Like

This summer has been all about simple, easy meals...mainly because I've lost my cooking mojo.  I just can't seem to figure out what to make and to be honest, nothing has really sounded all that good.  Well, except for bbq sauce...but I live with a bunch of people who don't share my love affair with bbq sauce and that's all I seem to want.

Oh well.

Big bowls of fresh pastas to the rescue.  Lots of pesto this year because the basil seems extra sweet right now.  And it's super easy.

Good, old fashioned mood rings have been the hot topic.  Thanks, Amazon, for a few being one and mood rings being two.

I've learned I'm moody...haha.


Daily walks around the hood with a pup in tow.  Buddy the Dog still doesn't love the great outdoors...or rather, the big open outdoors, but he's still the sweetest thing ever.

I do think he needs a buddy.  A buddy for Buddy.

That guy that I like so much is not in favor of that.


My nieghbor has the magic touch when it comes to grapes...and lighting in their garden.  


Lots of girlfriend time...though it never seems like enough to me, spent in one garden or another. Lots of dancing, lots of wine, lots and lots of laughter because hello, our world is too heavy right now.  

 The cousins were all in the same place for a whole weekend and I love how much fun they have together.  Round three is heading to college this fall and so they had a fun beach weekend to celebrate.

 We recreated a favorite family photo and probably will every time they are all together.


They might be getting older but it is NOT getting any easier getting them to cooperate.


 We had a family dinner party that slowly trickled down to just the two of us and suddenly we had 11 extra chairs at the table.  It was all good...but I will say, I don't get the sitting on opposite sides of a long table thing.  We've always sat next to each other at the dinner table and never across from one another and it just feels so far away that way.

Or maybe we're just weird.

I'd ditch a family dinner for the beach too.


And hey, we're late to the whole cornhole thing and now can't get enough.

Actually, that's not true.  We only play it once in awhile but when we do we like it.

Sometimes, you just need a pb & j.  I could eat one every day.  My family that doesn't share my love of bbq sauce also doesn't share my love of peanut butter.

Who are they????

Operation house purge is still in full swing.  We've dumped tons and my car is loaded for a 5th trip to goodwill.  The youngest shrubs life is being separated into two worlds...the stuff that is going to college and the stuff that's staying home and we're checking things off the list.  We've done this before and feel like pro's, but it's still a lot of work.

And I've realized that for the first summer in forever, I'm not washing endless sports uniforms.  And to be honest,  I don't miss it.  Yet.  Maybe I will?  Or maybe not.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summertime Stuff

 We've settled into summer so well and so easily...I'm thinking once reality hits we're going to have a pretty rough time.

But until then it's all good.  Like really good.


 One of my favorite quotes is by Emerson:

'The earth laughs in flowers.'

Isn't that the best?  And true?

So many goings on this summer.  So many parties and travels and people to see.  So much fun.


 These boys (and the moms) have been friends for so long that I cannot even remember when it all began, except that it's always been fun.  

For them and for us.

 I'm loving that others are inspired to have garden parties...have you had one?

I highly suggest it.



We're packing for college.  He's got his physical today and the bins are being packed.  I'm still smiling, mainly because this is the easy part.  

He's so ready and so excited and it's kind of infectious, but boy oh boy is this houseful of boys going to be quiet.

My neighbor blessed us all with a 4th of July neighborhood breakfast and she did everything for it...all the set up.  All the food.

All we did was walk out the front door and a cup of coffee and a plate of delicious food was handed to me and I'm not sure she'll ever know what a gift that morning was to me. 


The mornings have been so quiet this summer and I'm loving that....even though sometimes they are happening really super early.  A little known fact about me is that I have wake up screaming and crying nightmares, and have since I was very little.  Not a big deal if I'm with that guy that I like so much...he wakes me up and then he goes right back to sleep.  Me though?  I'm usually up for a bit and over the years find that a cup of tea and reading my bible help.

For some reason this summer...and I am so relaxed this summer, it's been worse than usual.  Not sure what the trigger is but I'm sure it will pass soon.

My girlfriends house IS my happy place.  Or one of them anyway.


Snooze opened here and we scored an invite to the free soft opening last week.  We've all been a bit homesick for Boulder and Snooze helps with that just a bit.

Seriously...their pancakes ROCK.

In fact, we went back again today.


Oh man, the garden is SO BEAUTIFUL this year.  Like, beyond beautiful.

This is my #1 happy place...especially when it's filled with people.


Even our little cherub feels happy here.

 Summer cooking has been pretty spot on this summer....lots and lots of simple grilled meals and big salads.  And a few more things that aren't as paella and since I can't afford a trip to Spain, making it at home is the next best thing.

Yummy...especially when it's made on the grill.

 Have you heard of Pokemon Go?  The boys got us hooked and now we're all walking around town trying to catch pokemon and hatch eggs and it's all so stupid and so very addicting and really fun.

We've met lots of new people while we are out there catching the little buggers and hmmmm....maybe it is time to go back to work?

Seriously, I think we have a problem.


And that's about it.  Sleeping.  Eating.  Garden.  Pokemon.  We still haven't watched any TV shows but House of Cards is waiting for us...but it just seems like a waste right now to spend our beautiful summer in front of the television.  

Oh...and Operation House Purge of 2016 is in full force.  I'm on a roll and it feels so good to go room by room and clean out the clutter and I'm pretty proud of myself.  For such a little house we had way too much stuff...the goodwill guys have been my best friend.

Feels good. 


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