End of Summer Vacation

August 29, 2011

Two weeks ago my stepmother called and asked hypothetically if she was going to San Francisco for work and my Dad had enough points to fly me up, could I meet her for a girls’ weekend in San Francisco? I looked at the calendar and could not believe that she was referring to the weekend the boys would be on their “Father and Sons Campout.” It also happened to be the last couple of days before school starts so I agreed, excitedly, so long as I could be home as soon as possible on Sunday to spend Red’s final day before school starts with him.

In a day and a half we explored Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 and saw the sea turn from afternoon pleasantries to evening moodiness when the wind picked up in the dark. It felt like we were in a movie. I was moved by the power and emotion of the ocean, so wild and deep.  (Photo below was taken just before the ocean started to brood.  Once it was dark none of my photos turned out.)

Fisherman's Wharf

We saw Chinatown wake up and open up, not yet bustling with tourists and locals. We perused the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building, and had lunch in sunny Sausalito (whereupon I also got a sunburn.) I meandered through Union Square while Liz rested her weary feet. We topped off the day at a nice Italian restaurant around the corner from the hotel.

It was fun, but I missed my family terribly. I could not wait to be home and hug them all. I had been experiencing a lot of first-day-of-school jitters for the past few days, anxious about starting the insanity all over, but we all received priesthood blessings and I feel calm and ready.


A Sweet Story

August 13, 2011

After our anniversary I felt like I was passing out that darned sheet cake to everyone I saw. If the mailman had stopped by, I’d have given him cake, too. We had friends over for dinner on Monday and as we offered more brisket, more asparagus, more potatoes, Albe finally cornered me and made me decide, did I want them to have more food, or save room for the sheet cake I desperately wanted them to help us with?  I pulled the vegetables back to my side of the table and let them save room for cake.

After they left I went to visit my friend Noriko, armed with a plate of cake. Her husband met me at the door. “I brought cake!” I announced. “Thanks!” Javier replied. “She made you brownies.” You should have seen the look on Paul’s face when I came home with those.

Two days later after I had a playdate/piano lesson/babysitting for some friends, Amiee came back with a bag of goodies for me as a thank you. We’ve finally finished the cake, and the brownies, and I’m getting close to finishing up these last goodies from Julienn.

I don’t want to speak too soon, but I believe the sugars are finally coming to an end.  I’m probably 24 hours from serious withdrawal, but in the long run my body will thank me.

Instead of Cleaning . . .

August 12, 2011

Blue is wearing safety goggles and Red is wearing his bike helmet and they said something about martial arts training. I asked from the kitchen, “are you cleaning, or training?”

“Training,” they replied so matter-of-factly that I felt silly for even asking.

The Difference of a Year

August 12, 2011

It’s been a year since Daytime Brother moved to Vegas. I threw myself into teaching music in a language I don’t speak, for free, and running all the PTA fundraisers, was in charge of the children’s spiritual education at church, and grew my piano studio to cover the money I was no longer making watching him. It’s been a very busy year. Sometimes when I look back I can’t it only has been a year.

Yesterday Janel called to tell me that they were in town longer than she had planned, and could we go over and play? We happily obliged.

It was so sweet to see those three boys get down on the floor playing trains as though not a day had passed since the last time we all got down and played trains. Of all the things we did in the two and a half years that he was a part of our family, we probably played trains the most. Seeing them together doing that again was so heartwarming. Seeing them playing so nicely together, no wierdness, no “where have you been?” or “I’ve moved on.”

Of course, not everything is the same. They are all older now. They are more coordinated, more verbal, more equipped to share the beloved trains, or to compromise when they run their trains into each other. After a year of not playing together, the play was so easy.

And if the playdate with old friends wasn’t good enough, we ended it with some night swimming at the top of the hill, overlooking Glendale and Burbank, watching the sun set and the lights twinkle.

Sunset Swimming

This Week, Kids, Cake is Your Vitamins

August 8, 2011

So we’ve got this here sheet cake…

I shared some with Paul’s father before he left for the airport (Matthew declined.) Of course I gave some to the boys, too. By suppertime I was still full from our family lunch (and the night before, I’m sure!) and Paul must have been, too. He looked over at me and asked, “would it make us bad parents if we just let the kids have cake for supper?” We concluded that cake with broccoli would make us excellent parents.

We steamed up some broccoli and everyone inhaled it. We then served up fresh pieces of cake although the afternoon pieces were incompletely consumed.

As soon as they eat their breakfast this morning I’m sure we’ll start doling out the cake again.

I’ll be out all day so if you’re calling about my parent-of-the-year award please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

previous post

August 7, 2011

yeah, yeah, yeah

As far as writing goes, that last post wasn’t my best. It was scattered and all over the place. Frankly, I don’t care. Yesterday was a fun and crazy day, as have been the past twelve years of my life. Sometimes I have enough brain cells to rub together so I can string words together in a smooth way. Othertimes I stay up late at an amateur comedy show and still show up to church for early morning meetings. Basically I’m saying I have no intention of going back later and editing to make it read better. Life’s too short for that right now.

Twelfth Anniversary

August 7, 2011

We celebrated our anniversary early, in Michigan, but that didn’t take place of enjoying our special day. Yesterday, in addition to being the day that Red came home, was a really great day.

After my morning lessons, Boy Blue and I picked up Red and Gramdaddy from the airport (my father-in-law flew out with the intrepid explorer as he has meetings in Salt Lake next week.) We returned home to find out that our babysitter was suddenly -and quite unexpectedly- unable to meet her commitment but within minutes we had a new arrangement.

By all accounts, the three children (Red, Blue, and the friend babysitting them) didn’t stop laughing the whole night, until they fell so soundly asleep that neither boy noticed when I picked them up, put them in the car, drove them home, and carried them up to their beds.

Paul and I took his father and youngest brother to dinner at Amalfi, the restaurant adjacent to ACME. (Paul and I shared the salad special, Matt and I shared the salmon fettucine, and we all shared a creme brulee.) When Paul went to run lines with his castmates we walked around Hollywood, and dawdled so much we were too late to catch the early show and were locked out of the theatre, so we went around the corner to Susina for a warm place to sit and bide the time. (And to ensure legitimacy to our visit, we shared a molten chocolate cake.)

Afterwards Paul had his first show in four months. Neither Paul’s brother nor father had seen him perform yet, and it was a good show, so I was very glad they were able to join us for that. It was really special to share that with them.

As a prop for one of his sketches, Paul had purchased a sheet cake. The sketch only required consumption of a very small part, and the cast members who snuck bites were quite reserved as well. We begin our thirteenth year of marriage with a gigantic sheet cake in the fridge. I think just having all that sugar in the air is making me gain weight by osmosis. But no matter, when the celebrations are over and I get back on track with my 3/4pound a month weight loss plan. Slow and steady, right?

Today I am overcome with gratitude. I am so grateful that Paul and I were married in the temple. I am so grateful to have him in my life. He makes me laugh, he buoys me up, he is a wonderful partner in parenting and in life. We have amazing children. We have fantastic family and extra-mile friends. We are part of a very cohesive and supportive ward (congregation) and church and are grateful to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. We just came back from an amazing vacation and yesterday celebrated twelve wonderful years together. Every year is better than the one before, and we are stronger and more unified. I am so grateful that Paul is developing his comedic talents, and that he associates with people who are encouraging and inspiring. I’m glad he has a job with just enough flexibility to allow him to persue his hobbies. We are so blessed. As I said a prayer of gratitude this morning I was overcome by my joy.

Life is good, and getting better.