Sunday, July 19, 2015

It Seems...


...as if I've been gone more this summer than home.  And it's true.  No major trips this summer so we've been taking lots of little overnighters here and there...some with friends and some just us.  It's been fun...we're vacationing all around this huge state that we live in and seeing lots of fun things.

Last week?

San Diego.

We toured the USS Midway and it was absolutely incredible.  I'd definitely go back...but then again, I'm a history nut.  Fun to meet and talk with many of the men who actually served on her and just wander around for a few hours.

I've felt like life is a bit topsy turvy the past few months and sometimes getting out of dodge is just what the doctor ordered.  A change of clothes, a toothbrush, that guy that I like so much and the hotel tonight app and we're set to go.

Oh, and the youngest shrub was away at camp, which made everything much, much easier.

That night we wandered the Gaslamp district and, well, we bar hopped.  The food was really, really good and so were the cocktails.  Our new favorite is a place called Searsucker and I really, really wish it was closer to home so we could pop in there tonight.  They have this form of grown up cracker jacks...kind of a chili caramel corn that I couldn't stop eating and maybe I'm glad they aren't so close to home.


It felt good to be free for a little bit.  Raising a houseful of boys all these years has been, and continues to be, a journey.  We get the routine down and it suddenly changes...someone grows up and it feels like we are in a constant sea of change.  I'm getting better at adjusting to it all and I'm striving to embrace  things as they come...while still failing miserably.  I'm a mom, after all.

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The next morning we visited yet another California mission...I'm slowly checking them off my list.  

I wonder while I'm anywhere older than me...what stories do these walls hold?  This floor...who walked on them?  

I guess that's why I'm writing here still...because someday someone might wonder who we were and what we did and how we felt and what we ate.  

The inside of the church was so pretty...quiet and simple and the perfect place to sit and pray for a few minutes.  Oh, and light a candle or two.

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We wandered into Snooze last minute, right before they closed, for a quick brunch.  I love that this place makes me feel like I'm home in Colorado...it just has that Boulder sort of vibe to me.  Plus the food is so very, very yummy and I still feel like I could eat there every single day and never get tired of it.

And now?  Now we're home again.  Yesterday was a full day of thunder and lightening and rain followed by a huge wave of humidity that has me questioning where exactly I live.  SoCal never ever has thunder and it was a little creepy..and today is more of the same.  My garden is so happy though...it's well watered and everything is growing so big and lush.

Lots of boys in and out and there is always a crowd here at suppertime.  Tonight, most likely while that guy that I like so much stands under an umbrella, we'll grill up some strip steaks for tacos and serve it with all the regular fixin's.  My plan for today was clean out my bedroom but instead I'm binge watching Army Wives on Netflix...this weather seems to call for that anyway.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Thankful For Light


I've been waiting for the lull of summer to settle in...that sort of quiet time where one sits and reads a book by the pool followed by a leisurely supper.

Hasn't happened yet.  It will...or at least I think it will, but it hasn't happened yet.

Full, full days.  Good days.  Long days.

I'm thankful for the days.

The nights have been hard.  My anxiety over life stuff is keeping me tossing and turning when all around me are sweetly sleeping.  I can't even pinpoint one thing...it's just that I feel something.  Big somethings, like there is a change I need to prepare for.  I've had long conversations with God in the darkness of night and while I know all the things that are swirling around me are out of control are being held in His control, they all feel so out of my control that it seems like too, too much.

It's a lonely place to be, in the dark.  It's way too easy to forget that the sun will rise again in the morning and the light will come.  It's easy to over think and over analyze and over talk to myself.  It's easy to settle in to a 'really God?' place...into a 'how come?' place and a 'no one else gets it' place.

The nights have been long.

And then it happens.  Sleep finally comes and my brain shuts off and He gives me the rest I so desperately need.  And when I open my eyes there is sunshine...glorious sunshine and days that are packed full.

This is a season and this too shall pass.  I'm ready for some answers to some big life questions and I know that next summer when I am sitting one morning and drinking my coffee, I'll have one of those wonderful 'aha' moments where I think 'oh, God.  I totally see now.'

I wonder...how do those without faith, without a belief in a higher being...how would I, myself, get through the dark valleys?

My God is so big.  I am so small.

Back to the light.  We found a really sweet coffee place nearby...the kind of non chain coffee place where they just assume you will be staying long enough to drink your latte there and so they serve them up in big mugs rather than a paper cup.  The kind of place where you just take that unrushed 10 minute coffee break that we, as always rushed and in a hurry peoples, feel too rushed and in a hurry to take.

It's glorious and after you sip your coffee and walk back to your car you think...'oh yeah.  That's how it should be'.

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In Busch boy news, Matthew is now in Nebraska on his summer long adventures.  His corps performed last night at Mile High Stadium in Denver and while we wanted to be there in person, we were able to watch the performance live on the web.  Can I get an 'Hallelujah! Amen!' for technology?

Alex was offered, and accepted, a new full time job this past week.  The days are long and his bank account is so very, very happy...he's happiest when busy.  He's still awaiting another big decision that should come soon...and so we wait.  still.

And Brian?  Still healing, still living his last summer of high school to the fullest.  

And so, today, I'm sitting in the garden...in the sunshine.  I know the night will come and I'll slow to that point where my brain will work overtime again but until then, I'm focusing on the light.  On the laundry.  On the big pot of gravy with meatballs and sausage and ribs that is slowly cooking all day.  On the floors that need to be mopped.  On the fact that my loves are healthy.  

On God.  That he's in charge of this crazy earthly place and not me.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

We've Been Where?


The big garden is in transition and as of this week is looking so...alive, even though this picture makes it look kinda brown.  There are tomatoes and green beans and pumpkins and watermelons and grapes and peppers and cucumbers and beets and radishes and zucchini and yeah, I went a little overboard this year but it just feels so good to be digging in the dirt while the sun is shining.

It's my quiet place and let's face it, I need a quiet place.

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So that guy that I like so much and I headed out of town with some friends for a few nights to Temecula.  We had our own villa overlooking a vineyard and my oh my oh my...the bathroom.  THE BATHROOM!  I have never before had bathroom envy but we had the most incredibly beautiful bathroom I have ever been in.

It was perfect. I know, because in 2 days I took 4 baths in the most incredible tub ever.

Sigh.

We played cards and ate really good food and went wine tasting and toured a winery and played lots of cards and didn't turn the tv on once the whole time we were there.

Quiet seems to be my theme lately.

In the midst of the heat God sent us the most incredible thunder and lightening storm ever.  We drank wine and watched it happen around us and once the storm passed over the air...oh, the air.  It smelled and felt so fresh and clean.

I love that.

I should have bought this sign.

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Luke and I work together and can't seem to ever leave our line of work.  Stop signs are everywhere.

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That guy that I like so much and I needed this getaway.  He's been working so very, very hard and there is just a lot going on in our little world right now.  It's not all bad and it's not all good but it's all part of the greater plan and sometimes I feel as if I'm on the outside looking in and watching it all unfold.

But then I sit back and realize that that is how God wants it...that he wants me to not be in the drivers seat no matter how hard I try.  He wants me to sit.  He wants me to wait.  He wants me to stop bargaining with him and to definitely stop trying to control every little aspect of my life.

The thing is...I feel as if I am being cradled in love.  I feel it...yet I still question? 

Rested, and feeling ready for re-entry, we took the scenic way home with the top down on the convertible.  The road was windy and so beautiful and then suddenly we were back on the freeway and headed towards a barky dog and a boy who needed an MRI on his hand and a toilet that keeps flushing itself all. night. long.

(That guy that I like so much fixed it.  Whew.)

And then, because we can't seem to sit still, we drove out to see Matthew and his drum and bugle corps.  See the guy in the yellow shorts conducting?  That's our boy.

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He and his sweet girl are touring all summer, teaching.  Matthew is a trumpet instructor and Bri teaches color guard and it was so nice to be able to sneak in one last dinner with them before they head out on tour.  It is so fun to see our growing up boys do what they love to do.

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Back in town, Brian marched in our neighborhood parade, cast (and flat top and glasses) and all.   We actually went to see an afternoon movie, Alex was in Santa Barbara with Emily, Brian was hanging with friends and so it was relatively quiet around here.

Quiet again.  It feels good.

I'm not ready for it all the time, but I'm appreciating the moments.

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And now, here we are on another Sunday night.  I'm eating the last of the lime pie and making my list for the coming week.  Hiking is high on the list...there's been a bit too much pie consumed lately.

It's worth it...but I've got a lot of miles in my future.

Summer, so far, feels good. 

=0)

Monday, June 29, 2015

One Week Into Summ

I have a summer list and on it are the following things:

paint the house
clean out all the closets
organize the kitchen
have garden parties
watch hallmark movies

And so far, I am failing miserably.

Let's see...we've had a few garden parties and I think I've watched a show or two but for the most part we have been on the go, go, go.


Matteo was in SoCal and both he and Bri had a morning off...they're both on the road teaching drum and bugle corps for the summer.  We breakfasted at Snooze and soaked up the few hours we had...I'm loving those times as a mama now that my boys are beginning to make that trek into the real world.

It's so fun to watch them live life and listen to them tell their tales.

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That guy that I like so much knows I have a thing for the California missions and we're slowly crossing them off the list.  We visited Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside and it is so beautiful, especially the cemetery.

I love cemeteries...they are so quiet and it's fun to wonder what their lives were like.

I've visited 7 or 8 missions now and some day, we'll do them all as one big road trip.

Right, honey?

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We have eaten out soooooo much in the last few weeks and we're all just kinda over it.  Brian's basketball games are all away and all begin at 5:30 or 6:00, so we've just been picking up things to go.  

Alex finally came home and asked if we were ever going to have 'real' food again...and he wasn't asking in a rude or snotty way.

Finally, we had a night home and I made a fast meal and it tasted so good.  Nothing fancy...chicken and a pasta with asparagus and proscuitto but sometimes simple is just the way to go.  


Last week we bought a box full of the freshest, most delicious peaches I have ever had...our whole house smelled like a giant peach tree.  We're big fruit and vegetable eaters here but even we couldn't devour these fast enough, so into the blender a bunch went and they became the bestest bellinis ever.

Ever.

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My age caught up with me a bit.  We had a garden party for my girlfriends birthday and suddenly the disco ball AND a microphone made an appearance and the dancing began and while I like to think I am still 18 and can dance the night away, the next morning I could barely move.

Yowza.

But man oh man,  it sure was fun.

On another day last week, we drove to Pasadena to the Rose Bowl to watch a drum and bugle corps show.  Matteo is the trumpet instructor for PC and their show is fun this year but my real loves, Phantom Regiment, are phenomenal this season.

Not according to the judges, sadly, but according to me.  

Here's us.  We've spent a lotta time in the car together lately and a lotta time in traffic.

Not the norm in our real, every day lives but seriously, how do people do this day in and day out?  It's  exhausting.

And then, while sitting 59 rows up at the Rose Bowl and smack dab on the 50 yard line, the call came that Brian was on his way to the ER in Lake Tahoe.  He was up there for a tournament, fell during a game and hurt his hand...no fracture but there's an issue with his tendon.  They put it in a cast and he's home now; we'll be at the Dr's tomorrow.

Poor baby.  Basketball ends next week but football begins...praying it's nothing major.

I'm just glad he's ok.  There's nothing like your baby being hurt and you're not there...and we are ALWAYS there.  His coaches know us well and handled it all but still.

=(


While waiting for Brian to get home I did a bazillion loads of laundry...was that on my summer list?  Was lots of drs visits on the list?  How about stress and worry and maybe even a little panic?

Time to ditch the list and just live life, eh?

=0)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Settling Into Summer


I've spent the last few day working in the big garden, building new beds, repairing fences, shoveling dirt and finally planting a few things.  I'm late in the game but that's just how it goes sometimes, but come the end of summer there will be tomatoes and peppers and pumpkins and watermelons and beets and radishes and cucumbers and zucchini and eggplant and beans.

Wow.  

Sometimes you just need to write things out to prove you've accomplished something.  

My great Grandfather is the dude in the picture above, sporting a cool pair of shades.  My Uncle tells of him meeting me and that makes my heart happy even if I don't remember that time.  I've been dreaming a lot about those that are gone...my Grandparents and those before them and of course, my own dad.  

It's hard to know when to forgive ourselves, when to let go.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who wishes things had been different or if I'd done more and I have to keep reminding myself of one really, really big word.

Grace.

This God of mine...wow.  He just keeps giving and giving.  

So this afternoon, when my brain began to play those crazy games that it tends to do whenever I slow down long enough for it to do so, I cooked.  I made homemade, from scratch, ricotta cheese and hung it to drain over my kitchen sink.  I made pizzas and rolled that dough out nice and thin and roasted tomatoes and grated cheese and sipped wine while that guy that I like so much grilled everything up.

Busy hands make for a happy heart...or something like that.  But for me, it's true.

One boy, who is using us as his mailing address this summer, as well as a place to store his bicycle and trumpets, is somewhere in SoCal for the week and we're going to see him not once, but twice.  One boy is in LA taking a big test and another boy is heading up north to Lake Tahoe for a basketball tournament.

Everyone is spread out and the house is rather quiet.  And clean, which is a shocker.  I've got grand plans....plans to paint and clean and launder and, well, so far I've watched more than my share of hallmark movies.

Bliss.

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In the small garden we have an issue...a big issue.  The grapes (according to our wine making friend who we called with an SOS) got wet with dew and have mildewed...so if you come over and see moldy grapes hanging from the vine then you know what's up.

Sad.

But that's kinda who we are...3/4 put together and 1/4 moldy grapes hanging from the vine.

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Tomorrow is more of the same.  More cleaning, more cooking, more waiting, more praying, more resting and more settling into summer.  But the biggest thing?  More sleeping...not so much in more hours of sleep but just sleeping past 5:00am is a treat.  Of course I've been up a few minutes after that anyway but there's just something about waking up on your own versus waking up to an alarm.

It's the grooviest part about summer.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Is Here


Summer.

It's here.

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I do have to laugh at the fact that summer arrived and with it, the youngest son's crazy schedule.  It's a season of firsts of lasts in our little house on our little street and we're soaking it all up as much as our tired selves are allowing.

It's our final summer (after 12 straight summers) of having a boy play either high school sports (or perform in a drum and bugle corps) and while our backsides are going to be relieved to not be sitting in bleachers almost every single day, our hearts are going to miss cheering these boys of ours on while they do what they love.

A season of firsts of lasts.

So, in the 3 days since summer has arrived, we have had 6 basketball games, Father's Day, church and one very, very special day.

Those two cool cats below?

Yeah...that's us.  Me and that guy that I like so much.  On Sunday we celebrated 29 years of marriage.

TWENTY NINE.

Whew.

Happy Anniversary to us.

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 Thanks to some rather amazing gift cards, we had a fancy schmancy dinner at a fancy schmancy, way out of our price range dinner.  Cocktails (I had a blueberry lemon drop that was outrageously great) and wine and great food and then...a little candle in a little cake.

I'm still full.

This morning I was up super early...I had forgotten to turn my arms off on my phone.  How funny is that?  Anyway, I got up, spent some time praying and working on a summer bible study I'm starting, did a load of laundry, drank a few cups of coffee (they discontinued my amaretto creamer...boo hoo), worked in the big garden for an hour or so, did some more laundry and now we're off to an away basketball game followed by dinner at one of our favorite hole in the wall, non chain burger places.

I'm dreaming of cooking.  And of deep cleaning my little house...and maybe painting, too.  There are all sorts of boys (and girls!) in and out all summer long and I'm feeling this sense of peace and calm like I haven't for a long while.

Hello, summer.  Let's get this party started.

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