Never Forget

March 26, 2012

If people go to the spa and sweat it out in a sauna to lose weight, then why haven’t I, who have cried gallons more than their perspiration, daily, why haven’t I lost weight?

Last week was our final full week in California.

Wednesday marked the beginning of the goobyes to the piano students.  It was very difficult, but I am so grateful for the love the friendship that I have had here.

On Thursday Sarah took Blue and me to Mexicali one last time –gratis since she’s the wife of one of the owners!– and we watched the kids run around like they owned the place.  Then I had two more final lessons.

Friday morning we visited with Janel and Aiden who had come into town to bid farewell to us and a few other friends who are moving.  I spent the rest of the day frantically finishing up the party preparation.  Did I tell you I was planning a party the same week I was packing?!?

Saturday morning after another tearful goodbye, this time to my fairy godfamily (the one family to whom I travel for lessons) we set up for the party and in the afternoon we celebrated Blue and Bridgette’s combined 5th birthday party.  It was a lot to balance during the week, but I’m glad we did it.  It was a fun hurrah with our friends and it was nice to have these great memories of the party that Maria and I planned together.  (Party details and photos will come … from Texas.)
We raced home Saturday evening to get the boys ready for the final pajama party, only to show up and discover that it was a surprise party thrown by Jennifer and attended by all our school friends.  It was such a special night I can’t even write about it.  Days later I still can’t think about it without crying, I’m just so overcome by the love.

Sunday we tried to balance rest with sorting.

Today I pack.  I’m still teaching lessons today and tomorrow (I need the money!) but I really need to be done packing by tomorrow night, so it’s a bit of a mad dash at this point.  If I have to pull an all-nighter, I will.  I will do whatever it takes to be done Tuesday night.  Wednesday is Blue’s 5th birthday and I will not have it passed up because of the move.


Week in Review

March 17, 2012

It’s time for a lot of “final things” and I don’t want to forget any of them.

On Tuesday after scripture class I went to lunch at Mozza with my dear friend Ruth. We had a wonderful time. The food was good, the company was better, and Genevieve Gorder was sitting at the bar with only one table between us. I topped off the day with my final PTA meeting, an emotional way to end the day, for sure.  They gave me flowers as a farewell gift that I don’t have to pack.  The boys didn’t notice until the next morning and Paul has yet to ask about the flowers on our table.  (He’s got a lot on his mind.)

On Wednesday Paul finally selected an apartment while I dithered around the apartment knowing this was an allocated period of time to pack but not having a clear plan as to what I wanted to pack that day. I was without focus and motivation. Our new apartment is nice, and new, and full of amenities, but it’s more money than I had hoped to spend and after several experiences on Tuesday I was in no hurry to get my move on.  Wednesday evening I spontaneously got the boys’ hair cut by one friend and then rushed over to another friend’s house to join their ∏ Party.

Thursday morning I blissfully spent my last day at the zoo with my sweet friend Sarah and her two children, 7 & K, who, when combined with Blue, ran circles around us. After Thursday’s piano lesson/playdate I went to the church blood drive. The administrator was the same one who has come for our blood drives for quite some time. She remembered me, and when I left and she wished me good luck I got a little emotional. Really? The red cross administrator? But also, while I was there, all my regulars were there, too, all those with whom I’ve regularly donated (especially Vickie. I will miss Vickie for so much more than this, but this as well.) But Thursday was good because Paul, who had gone up to Monterrey, came home sporting his new temporary tooth and he looks good.

Friday afternoon Sara and I finally had our two-years-in-the-making musical playdate (to which Diana and Luke were added, of course.) We had such a good time and I couldn’t believe we hadn’t been doing that every Friday afternoon all year long.

This morning I have my second-to-last piano lesson with my fairy godfamily before I take Red to the dentist for an ortho evaluation.  Afterwards we’re going to Swork with Marcuccis for a rainyday playte with them. The Salomons are being sealed this afternoon and I hope to attend, and we conclude the day by hosting our final pajama party. Somewhere in there we also need to practice for our family’s musical number tomorrow. And we need to clean up around here.

Oh yes, and my weekly post on Cherry Blossoms is up — if you’ve never been to the Arboretum, then maybe my post will entice you to plan a trip.


March 13, 2012

All mid-day activities have been temporarily suspended. This includes blogging.

Packing has begun and my social life is getting in the way.

See you on the other side. (Or, when I go crazy and need a break.)

(Or if I find something that needs to be posted so I can discard the original.)

Local (and UK) giveaway!

March 12, 2012

You probably already know how much I love the work of White Balance Photography. If I could afford it, I’d hire Ashley to document every family event ever. But since I’m on a budget I hired her only once a year for our family portraits. She’s awesome.

Well, she’s feeling generous right now because she just won a photography contest and after taking a hiatus from photography to get her family settled in London, she’s getting back into the swing of things.

If you’re in LA or you’re in the UK, you want to head on over to the blog and enter the giveaway for a FREE SESSION! I’ll have left the state a day before the California redemption period so I can’t win. If I can’t win, I want one of my friends to win. I love you all — go now and enter!

Lone Star

March 12, 2012

(I wrote this a long time ago and never got around to posting it…)

When we left Virginia we knew that California was only a stop before we returned to the South.

Paul said, “if this thing works out, you’ll have to make sure you never badmouth the following three things: beef, oil, and football.  Also, Texas.  We need to be very clear that we are very happy to be there and hope to be worthy of the Great State.”

Paul called me after his first phone interview with the recruiter. Even though his phone had dropped the call and it took them a little while to reconnect, he felt the interview could not have gone better.  After two of his three final interviews the people conducting the interview told him they thought he was exactly who they were looking for.

Between the second phone interview and him flying out for the in-person interview, he decided it was time to let the boys know what was going on and that there was a possibility that we might move to Texas. We’d have a new place to live, and have to make new friends and go to a new school. Red was excited. He also asked if they were hiring Daddy to be a cowboy.

Despite how perfect Paul is for this position, it took 10 weeks from first interview to first offer.  (The final offer, after negotiations came through by the end of the week making it a 10 and a half from start to finish.)

I was blessed to have not felt impatient with this position, grateful for the pace and the time it allowed me to wrap my head around leaving.  It means Red (and I!) will no longer be part of that magical first Italian class.  It means that Blue will not participate at all in the only Italian immersion program in the United States.  It means I have to start over with my piano students and (worse) say goodbye to my current students.  It means that the friends I have vetted for the past seven years won’t be the ones co-raising my children with me.

As soon as the ink was dry I could feel my heart turning.  Yes, I am incredibly sad to leave my beloved friends and school and students.  I will continue to cry an ocean a day for the painful goodbyes that have begun.  But I am happy.  And while it wasn’t ever on my radar before I can feel myself loving Texas, and excited to move to Dallas.  It is home and we aren’t even there yet.


March 9, 2012

It’s a tough thing to balance all the “one more time” activities with the responsibilities of cleaning and packing. Of course I want to fill my last month here will wonderful memories, but we won’t get out there if I don’t get anything done!

Oh, and did I mention we’re going to reupholster our couch before we leave?

I’ve stopped volunteering in the classroom and today was my last preschool lesson. I sent our preschool table and chairs out with our friends as they left. *sniff* I believe that I will be released from my calling as primary president this Sunday. I am part of a musical number this Sunday and next.

Things are coming together, but there are a lot of things. Today I’m anxious. Today I discovered that some of our photo discs are incomplete, so several month’s worth of photos from when the boys were little are lost to the ages. It’s just one more thing.

So don’t listen to me stress out, go read my post about The Huntington. And if you didn’t see last week’s post about the Natural History Museum you should go read that.

Nostalgia (found today, written in Hawaii in 1999)

March 8, 2012

When I use my imagination,
and concentrate really hard,
I can pretend that the haze
from the nocturnal city lights
are pale cousins to their dancing
counterparts from the north,
and that here they lay low.
As the wind rustles the branches
of the palms in the foreground
I pretend that they are still
and the lights are moving, instead.
I know this is silly,
I know that it is only my imagination
for the air is too warm for a dance;
but I pretend, anyway,
and I never, ever, whistle at them.
Just in case.

September, 1999