Strange, life is amazingly strange

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I’m guessing if one is a blogger and one has children that one might just blog about their child on their birthday.  I have three children.  I have two spring babies and just one fall baby and technically I know he is really a summer baby but in my mind the moment it turns September, it’s fall.  Right here in Southern California September is up there as one of our hotter months of the year, but let me think what I will think, to me the entire month is fall.  He is my fall baby.  I have three, I have two A’s and one D.  He is the one D.    I have three, two righties and one lefty.  He is my lefty.  I have three, two free spirits and one of great discipline.  He, this D, this lefty, this fall baby….he is my one of great discipline.  I joke lots saying “I want to be like Dylan when I grow up.”  It’s hard not to say because he has all the qualities I do not.  I have never had to make him do his homework.  He just does.  He does what he knows he needs to do, he does what he knows is required.  When he was little he shared a room with his big brother.  He was the one who desperately wanted his own space.  Why?  To keep it clean.  A few weeks ago he asked if I might get him some cleaning stuff for his face.  I did.  He tells me yesterday, “I have not missed a day mom, I wash my face twice a day since you got me the stuff” Me, I often forget to take off my make up at night.  Are you getting the picture?  But this doesn’t mean he is not fun.  He is full of fun.  He pranks me nearly every day.  He video tapes me without me knowing and performs silly off the wall crazy stunts while he is secretly videotaping me to see what reaction I will give.  He LOVES a reaction. I would say our most common ground is that we are both dreadfully shy yet completely insane with our behind closed-door behaviors.  And the other really, really big thing we share in common.  We share the same faith.  This common ground creates a bond that cannot be broken.  These two very big things help us to get each other even though we are nearly nothing alike.

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 He began high school yesterday.  The class he is the most excited about?  Finance.  He can’t wait to get into the meat of that class.  In fact he already let me know as soon as he gets a job he will save 10% of his earning in a savings each week.  He said if he really manages his money just right he can be a millionaire.  And if anyone can, it will be him.  I believe it’s no mistake he was named after his uncle another well-disciplined, fun-loving, lefty, man of faith who also just happens to know a lot about finances.

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 He shows me how to do hard things.  I learn from this kid.  I learn from him.  He is a gift to me.  It has been an honor to be his mother.  A complete honor.  Happy Birthday D-man.

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Oh yeah and he is athletic. and these days you might find him doing hand stands simply because he can.

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 or yoga type poses without even realizing it

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The birthday part of today is good.  He had his birthday breakfast.  We are going to his favorite Chinese restaurant tonight and he got that robe he has been wanting (shhhhh, he hasn’t opened his gifts yet)  But on a far stranger and sad note.  Austin was in his first car accident today.  This is how the phone call was received.  “Mom?”  “Yes Austin”  “It happened”  “You were in a car accident?”  “Yep”  And that was that.  He is okay, his two friends who were in the car with him are okay and this is good considering he was sitting at a stand still and was hit by a woman going at least 45 miles per hour.  He was ready to make a left hand turn, had a panic situation when he realize he started to turn left on a green rather than wait for all the cars to clear, the bug stalled and he basically just braced himself for the hit.  He has been a wreck himself the rest of  today and is the type of kid who is very hard on himself.  I mean Rich and I knew this would happen, it just happens right?  At least that’s what I’ve been told.  I totalled out my first car when I was about his age.  I knew when I took pictures of the pretty new/old bug there would someday be a different story.  His world has been rocked, the car shouldn’t be driven at this point.  Rich got the bug home but at 30 miles per hour and with lots of crazy noises.  The kid is wondering how he will get to work now, how he will see his girlfriend, he is devastated that he has “cost” us even more money you know all those normal thoughts.  I hate when things like this happen to people I love. I told him it’s okay, everyone is alive, a lesson will be learned and it will give you problem solving skills, what to do next?  Stay tuned.  Life, it’s still very, very good.  Just one of those things.  unfortunately since it happened on Dylan’s birthday we will not be able to forget the date of his first accident.  And you see we are a family of celebrations.  So we do not celebrate the fact that he crashed his first car, but we celebrate in the fact that he had the wits about him to jump out immediately to see if the person who hit him was alright, that he knew exactly where his insurance card was and that he in his own hand writing got her name, address, phone number, license plate, make model, and drivers license number which happened to be expired and out-of-state but still it was his fault for being the one in turning left.  He even sounded calm on our phone call.  He kept it together when it mattered the most.  The woman even complimented us on our son, She told Rich “you have a good boy here”  So this is what we celebrate.  The lesson learned.

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In the glory days

photo (2)Her she sits today.  even the passenger door got buckled from the impact but I have to say these awesome German-made cars are like mini tanks, could have been far worse and his buddy Kris the one who was sitting up front there, could have had it much worse.

My heart

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You see, my heart, it is my faith.  There are times when it just doesn’t seem as though things are going quite our way.  We struggle like I know so many of us do.  And although things are not panning out the way we had envisioned I know there is one thing that can’t be taken from me and that’s my faith.  Sometimes it’s very hard to understand why people get sick with cancer, or lose their homes or a loved one.  All the really bad things that are unexplainable and often seem very unfair.  However the reasons to me are simple.  It’s because I can’t do this alone.  I have my faith, my Heavenly Father to pick me up and carry me when I don’t feel as if I can walk on my own.  This is what works for me.  This is how I survive in a world that can be unfair.  When I focus on the LOVE He sprinkles virtually everywhere.  When I focus on the good, the blessing in each and every day. These gifts, these blessings, they are what keep me focused on Him.  The fact that I wake up each day, that one thing is enough to be grateful for, just waking up.  If it were only that one thing, still I would be full of gratitude because each day is a blessing, a gift.  I got out of bed today.  Today is good.  I’m reminded of this in Lamentations 3:22 “Because of the Lord’s great LOVE we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING.”

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Today a little wind has been taken from my sail but in the big scheme of things it’s gonna be okay.  My first-born son,  the one who drove to Hollywood Monday night, he made it home safe.  My husband the one who loves me so much he buys me weird gadgets to help my itchy skin because he wants it to get better as much or more than I do.  My garden and the three pumpkin seeds I planted and have shown signs of growth in less than 7 days.  The home, this home that I have full of LOVE and shared faith.  The friends I have who lift me up and encourage me, they are gifts for my soul. The littlest and only girl we have who leaves me video messages full of love and expression.  The second born who is completely silly when he has too much chocolate. My family who stands by me no matter what I have such wonderful parents and this includes my in-laws. These are also my heart.   You know I could go on and on and on.

Back to work and real life

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Vacation is all over.  I wonder why they go by so very fast.  We did have a wonderful time though.  We wrapped it up with our Sunday at Balboa where the kids went parasailing.  We couldn’t go on the boat with them so I only have the shot of them pulling away from the dock.  All three went at once with Abbie in the middle and they all came back smiling big and said it was lots of fun.  Abbie actually wished the ride could have been longer.

the boatThere they go.  Abbie has a smile.

tail gateafter the sail, we ate dinner off the back of the truck.

Yesterday back to the grind.  I got up early met my pals for our morning workout.  I had proclaimed Monday as meatless a few weeks ago so yesterday my oldest, his girl and I went shopping for our dinner.  They thought a nice meatless Mexican themed meal would be perfect.  Maddy made the salsa homemade and it was full of flavor and if you like spicy, it was for sure spicy and so very good.  I made the cowboy caviar or as Joyce calls it Texas caviar (either way…it’s amazing)  we used Maddy’s mom’s recipe because this is something they eat on a regular basis and I had no idea in fact I had the hardest time even locating black-eyed peas, I finally asked at the third market where I was told it was a canned vegetable.  I was looking in the beans…. I guess I should have known better? They look like a bean to me even though they are called peas.  But I suppose they really are peas?  I still have no idea.  I should though considering my mom sort of raised us on them and also I like to cook up a batch on New Year’s but I start from dry bean…. Or is it dried pea? My pictures were taken in a rush and with my iPhone so I’m a little disappointed in that part but the meal itself was very good.  Just good old bean burritos with lots of fresh toppings, lettuce, the homemade salsa, no cheese for the vegans but Dylan and Dad couldn’t have a burrito without it.  No meat.  Yes! No cheese. No.  Don’t mess with their cheese.   Austin made homemade guacamole; we had olives and chips to dip into the salsa or the cowboy caviar.  I could eat that stuff by the spoonfuls and it’s all pretty good stuff for you.

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 the cowboy caviar that I will for sure make again and again, thanks Joyce for the suggestion

Maddy's salsaMaddy’s homemade salsa

cooking the beansAustin tending to the beans

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I’m disappointed in my progress with my healthy lifestyle journey but remember I have a problem with this instant result kind of world.  I expect my body to do the same.  Patience and persistence.  My two big P words to focus on this month.  Not giving up.  Nope I’m not.  My good friends keep reminding me of it being a lifestyle.  I have made much better choices with water over soda and sometimes salads with oil and vinegar type dressings but I did eat those fried cookie dough balls at the fair and I have dabbled in some not so righteous food here or there.  If I can get healthy and still dabble than it’s not all that bad. Cause I’m not giving up sweets.  I’m NOT.  I’m just a little stubborn.

photoThe support I have in my health, it’s really big.   I like getting up early because of the common goals we share and the fun we have.

what should I call this one. Circus? The Flood? Sexy Plumber? Zumba gone wild? The options are endless.

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I will just begin with Friday.  Sometimes I don’t pull out my phone and take pictures then later when I sit to blog about my weekend.  I’m sorry I didn’t because our cousin Jeanie and her very tall husband had us over for dinner Friday night.  She made a yummy stuffed chicken breast with cheese and Ortega chili’s and the most nutrition packed salad I have had in a long time.  So many yummy veggies, like more than the lettuce part and I sure liked that.  Great conversation around that dinner table and even a slice of chocolate cake.  I sort of felt guilty after the cake so me and Jeanie decided to take  walk.  That cancels the cake right?

 

Then Saturday Abbie and I had a mother & daughter tea to attend.  We were excited but since we stayed up late the night before getting ready was sort of crazy.  Abbie pretty much had dreadlocks  because she had been swimming in our lovely awesome pool (more about that later) and for days had not combed her super fine long hair.  So what was supposed to be a pleasant morning of getting ready for an amazing mom and daughter tea got a little tense.  I kept thinking, “calm down mama, this is supposed to be a special day for us and here you go nagging her about how she doesn’t comb her hair”  and not just a little bit, I go on and on and on.  Till I realize it’s for sure NOT helping the situation.  So I say a little prayer between me and God in my head and then it turned.  It all just turned, I offered to help her comb her hair, I was gentle and it wasn’t all that bad.  She thanked me more than once, she told me she loved me and I her and whew! Able to head out the door in good spirits, her hair still wet, my hair not really done because of lack of time but none the less happy out the door.  We walked into a beautifully decorated, happy room of fun. It was such a great time, the food was great, the speakers even better.  I finally got to meet Nikki Bridgeford face to face, I have been a fan of her blog for quite some time and if you don’t know about it, you should for sure check it out.  http://thebford5.blogspot.com/ Oh and the welcome, a big huge embrace and beautiful smile.  You see a long, long time ago when I was only around 5 or 6 her husband’s mom used to baby sit me.  So you see all those common threads?  They are everywhere.  It’s a strange and awesome world we live in.  Just a really great day.  I especially loved the time I got to write a note to Abbie and tell her the things that are special about her and she did the same for me. It’s going in our memory book for sure.   Plus the company at my table was pretty awesome.

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Mother -n-Daughter tea.  one word. adorable.  yes, I wore jeans.  Kim said she would never let me live that down, then said “never mind, I’ll let it slide this time, cause you do have two boys”

So then…..after the tea. My friend invites me to Zumba, a fundraiser at Sonora High School.  And YES, I go because like I mentioned before if it doesn’t involve heights or small spaces, I’m usually in.  Oh and no snakes, if it doesn’t involve snakes I’ll be up for it.  And totally wish my camera or even better yet video made it into the gymnasium because it was INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE.  So fun.  We sweat like maniacs and we laughed and we had the best time.  So now my buddy and I are going to hit up Thursday night Zumba at our church.  It’s free!  She also joined fit camp with me and we went this morning and so happy to be back to that.

AND remember the plumbing problem?  It’s fixed!  Because Rich is handy that way and rented a 25.00 snake and we are back in full business.  ONLY…….then the pool exploded in the middle of the night.  I just happened to be awake and standing on the porch at 4:00 a.m. when I heard this crazy SWOOOSH sound and as my friend Sue reminded me this morning, find the good in that, “it gave your yard and garden a good watering” and that it did like 3 to 4 thousand gallons all at once worth! Rich is hoping the back fence can hold up.

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 All fixed now!

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it only lasted one and half pool seasons:(

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To be continued because we have family in from Indiana and I’m taking notes!  They are hoots and a half and I want more time with them before I write about their visit!

RANT…pet peeves. Do you have any? I do!

I will just share one today.  I have a few, like a short list worth.  However today, I will just share one.  Maybe tomorrow I will share another (hee hee)  Today it’s all about the shopping carts.  I pride myself on being a citizen who always puts their cart back where it belongs.  It’s how everyone should be, in my mind.  I almost get as angry when I see someone abandon a cart in an empty parking spot as when I see someone toss trash a.k.a. litter!   There often are times when I see a little cluster of carts that are not where they are supposed to be and I will not only put my cart away but also will collect up  all the stray carts I see.  At Fresh and Easy they have two sized carts which means they don’t stack into each other if they are not the same cart, which means I also take time organizing the carts.  All the high carts in one lane all the deep carts in the other lane.  The parking lots of American would be much more pleasant if everyone just put their CARTS AWAY!!  We could all use a few extra steps. And by chance if you see an older folk who has trouble getting around, perhaps offer to take their cart back for them. So just take those few extra steps. Put your carts away. please.

photo (1)I can’t leave on a negative note so I will share my complete joy over receiving a package of fruits and veggies delivered to my front door yesterday morning.  Like Christmas in July!  Rich got me a groupon for my birthday for organic fresh produce to be delivered.  He just couldn’t get the hang of why they deliver in the middle of the night and so he never hit GO.  He turned it over to me and I think it’s a great plan to be delivered in the middle of the night so it’s just like Christmas in the morning when we open our front door.  I remember back when I was a kid my mom had a milk man because my brother drank so much milk she couldn’t keep enough stocked in the fridge.  It was pretty awesome getting those milk cartons delivered straight to our door.  I’m here to highly recommend a company called http://www.farmfreshtoyou.com  If you are interested send me a personal message and I can give you a 10.00 off coupon for your first order. You can click on the website to see if they even deliver to your area and if they do,  I have a “secret code”  for money off.  My mid morning snack looked just like the picture below.  The produce is so FRESH and so YUMMY!  Thumbs up from me, not just one thumb but TWO!

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summer baking obsession and a little hope in the day

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I’m obsessed with summer baking.  This will be the third week in a row I have cranked my oven and made some home-baked goods on a warm summers day, two of which include zucchini from the garden.  Today was “chewy” zucchini brownies.  It passed the kid test.  Abbie said “Mom is there even zucchini in here?”  and Dylan just flat-out loved them.  I’ll put the recipe on my recipe page tomorrow when I have more time.  If you are interested come back and check.  I used a recipe found on the internet but always tweak them just a bit.

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Also today I made time to play in the sprinkler.  A photo friend of mine had a dream about our legs and running through the sprinklers in shorts without a care in the world.  Her dream inspired me to say the least so I first tried to photograph with my timer but that was way HARD, so then I recruited Dylan who did a nice job.  This picture was taken by him as we both laughed pretty hard.  He kept saying “mom! jump higher, your barely getting off the ground!”  This picture was exactly how it was photographed, his crop with my 50mm.

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Finally for today I leave you with HOPE, as my brownies baked I walked around the table and up and down my stairs and kept passing the roses whose petals were falling off and next to the vase of red roses was Abbie’s key necklace that reads hope.  There is always hope, no matter what.  As I walked and thought of my health and how although things are not happening very fast, they are happening from the inside out and I began to think of my gratitude and how I actually can walk, I also began to realize what a homebody I am and how I just love being in my own home, with food cooking and children’s voices.  I’m completely content right here, almost boringly so, I don’t need to get out much, so much I find right here inside these walls and in the boundaries of our own yard.  In fact I found a heart in the hardwood today as I walked for 25 minutes up and down those stairs. It’s a loose heart, blur your eyes and you will see it, I saw it each time I walked up the landing.

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love and never giving up

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Already middle of the week!  I just wanted to share a few things.  LOVE.  I will begin with LOVE.  This is not original to me, I was not the first person to spot hearts in all sorts of places.  Lots of people do this especially in the community I spend time in.  I have met so many wonderful people who also can spot a heart, which I call love in the most unusual spots.  I don’t think finding hearts (love) should be exclusive to just one person, my hope is that this will spread, that lots of people will begin to find hearts, little gifts of love in their lives.  It just takes a little paying attention and you will begin to see them.  You will begin to see so many it will feel trippy.  I get so excited when someone finds a heart and shares it with me.  Just yesterday I was cleaning out my purse and I had a crumpled up cup from Trader Joe’s that I had sampled their coffee in.  Abbie spotted the heart right away and asked if I had taken a picture of it yet?  I had not noticed it yet, but she sure did.   Here or there friends and family have texted me, or tagged me on Facebook when they find a heart to share.  I get thrilled every single time this happens. I don’t think I will ever tire of it. I encourage you to find the gifts in your day-to-day, the little bits of love left just for you.

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My fitness goal has been going pretty well.  My first day of fit camp was on June 26th I’m certain at that time I was still around or close to that weight I posted a picture of two weeks prior at 179.  But by the time I had my first measurements which was a little over two weeks later I weighed in at 177.  That was when I also found out my body is 59 years old! Again, what the what???  When this Friday rolls around I get to see if I have improved over the course of 4 weeks.  I didn’t start drinking a shake for breakfast until after July 4th so I count my beginning as pretty much the beginning of July.  I like to round things it makes it easier to remember.  This way at the start of each month I will see where I’m at.  I can share with you that although I have not lost a TON of weight, I feel a difference in my energy level.  My insides are beginning to feel stronger. I have been sleeping through the night….well unless Garfunkel messes with my head. (my cat who likes to knead my head at 2:30 a.m.)  I can hold a plank for a full minute now, not easily though, I shake, I sweat droplets and I nearly hold my breath until the minutes is up, I need to work on breathing, keeping my head up but I can hold that minute.  I can’t wait to hold it with more grace though.  Still pumped, have the best support from my family and friends and health coaches with Activate.  I hope to show you all that with obedience, endurance and faithfulness, hard work and all that good stuff that anything is possible.  It’s up to me.  I watched the best video yesterday,  these words caught my full attention “Get up, look up and never give up”  I’m writing it on my front door. (done)   I need to SEE things.  I have words all around our house.  I’m a word girl, can you tell?  Written that is.  I’m pretty quiet otherwise;)

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