Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ten Things - May 2011

I always owe Emmy my thanks for making me recap the month with Ten Things.  The milestone makes me take a {much needed} deep breath and remember my favorite things about the last month.  I know Emmy's other friends feel the same way when they commemorate their Ten Things, too.  Thank you Emmy from the very bottom of my heart.

Ten Things to Smile About - May 2011
The easiest, sweetest, most special Mother's Day ever.  Ever.

Finishing a long day of travel and meetings in Maui with a pineapple mojito. Don't hate.  I was working and it was hot.  And I am positively obsessed with them.

Seeing the Maddie James Foundation reach their $1M fundraising goal to make the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center a reality.  God Bless this family as they try to carry on their daughter's memory.

This guy
He is my confidante, personal comedian, the household accountant, gardener and biggest cheerleader for my kids and me.  Our very REAL (dirty socks in bed anyone), but very HAPPY marriage always makes me smile.

One night of completely empty laundry baskets.

Working in LA for the day and seeing the American Idol finale LIVE! I have never watched one episode of that show and was immediately sucked in. I can't believe how life changing that show can be for these KIDS and really did love being a part of something so exciting. And my colleague, and friend, was way super crazy excited. It's always fun to be somewhere with someone who is thrilled about it.

Feeling like we might actually be heading for summer. It seems like it's been cold and gloomy here for way too many months.

Hydrangeas and sea shells

Playing in the sand with my kiddos.  After last summer I honestly wasn't sure if my back would ever be healed enough to play like that again.  I very happily got on my hands and knees to dig and thanked the good Lord for the opportunity for it.  Good health should not EVER be taken for granted.

Finally booking airfare for our trip home this summer.  It's so painful to part with the cash on the off chance that the fares will drop, but I am thrilled that my Southern California sweeties will get to spend some of their summer in the deep South.  I may reward myself with some boiled peanuts and sweet tea!!!

And on to June we go . . .

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Protein, Prayer and Perspective

I am pouring my weary heart out with Shell today.

If life were school and I were being graded right now I would be failing these three "P"s.  All of them.  Miserably.  And failing is not in my vocabulary.  Imagine the dismay.


Meal planning, healthy eating, calorie counting, empty calories . . . All of it eludes me and I am an epic failure.  My BFF and I talked recently about being positive role models for our kids and choosing the right times to talk with them about healthy eating and making good choices.  I'm pretty sure I don't want to tell them that I washed down a box of Jr Mints with a truiple venti latte at my desk this afternoon.  Not positive role model stuff, ya know?

The Princess is 6 years old, closer to 7, and she weighs a whopping 42 pounds.  That is not a typo.  She is teeny tiny.  Always has been.  My philosophy with her is that if she's willing to eat it then she can have it.  That's not getting us very far right now.  She is having some pretty significant digestive issues and her pediatrician has suggested that we cut out all simple carbs and sugar.  Sounds easy enough until you try to feed a teeny tiny child edamame and wheat germ who only wants a bowl of pasta with butter.  Salads and lean protein seems simple enough, but somehow it's really just not.

Epic failure. Again. Fat is a choice that I make for myself.  She deserves someone who will make the right choices on her behalf.  Failing her hurts so much more than failing myself.


It's proven that life is better around here when we're going to church all the time.  "The family that prays together stays together" really speaks to me.  My only excuse for not dressing my children and taking them to mass every Sunday morning at 9 AM is that I am tired.  Down to my bones I am tired and tell myself that God will understand.  That's lame and I know it, but it is the absolute truth.

On mornings that we don't have to rush to school or the office, or soccer, baseball or a track meet I just want to leave my pajamas on and eat scrambled eggs at the counter while the towels are in the washing machine.  And I am disappointed in myself for feeling like that.


The last 30 days have added 12,000 miles to my frequent flyer account and I can't think of anything positive about that.  Last week brought a diagnosis of a sinus infection for my sweet Athlete who I knew in my heart just wasn't himself.  I have no perspective.  The minutia constantly crowds my mind and overtakes any hope of clarity.

One morning last week I drove the Athlete and four of his classmates on a field trip to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. On the way back to school the kids couldn't talk fast enough about how great it was.  Their teacher sent home this photo of what they saw.  An entire school of common dolphins were racing their boat in the Pacific Ocean.

We are good. Our home is cozy. My planes keep landing safely and my son holds his sister's hand in the parking lot.  Not enough protein.  Not enough prayer.  But enough blessed perspective to know how good life is.

Class Dismissed

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Room With a View

Life seems to have me everywhere but home lately. In almost every case I can't wait to get home and sleep in my own bed.

Today's different. This is the view from my office this morning.

I'm not in a huge hurry to head to the airport this time around. If you could just send me E and my kids I'd work right here forever. And ever.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What a Difference a Babe Makes

The conversation lasted no longer than a deep breath, but we meant it for those 90 seconds or so. Somewhere in a series of big city trips we felt like our life was full. It was for the moment. The Sears Tower, Fenway Park, Happy Hour at midnight . . . it was definitely not a bad life.

"Maybe we shouldn't have kids."

"We could just travel all the time and retire when we're 50."

"We'd be so rich."

Season tickets and luxury labels held a lot of appeal to our twenty something selves. If you'd asked back then we'd have quickly named a son and daughter Tony Gwynn and Kate Spade and loved them for all eternity.

Then along came our replacement for cashmere. He snuggled his way into our world looking like Mr. Magoo and easily turning our late night nachos into late night lullabies. My affinity for high end boutiques morphed into an obsession with the best stroller.

The following year I was barely back into my designer jeans and we found out that I needed to start shopping for maternity clothes. Again. I'd almost been fooled into thinking that by carrying my Coach diaper bag I could feel just like I did before my precious baby boy. Suddenly I needed a double stroller and two sizes of diapers. My caviar dreams of E giving me a new anniversary band each time I delivered another perfect offspring faded as spring came along and we tried to figure out how to cram another person into our tiny little beach cottage.

Then the tiniest pink dream was born and I swear she had a luxury tax invoice attached to her umbilical cord. Hair bows to match every darling outfit were an ABSOLUTE necessity. Any day of the week would find me choosing a frilly something for her instead of browsing Salon shoes for myself.

Several years and several Mother's Days later my priorities are crystal clear. Admittedly, I have dreamed more than one night now about the Michele Caber Park watch with the champagne leather band, but tuition and new track shoes always come first. And my Mother's Day was the most priceless 16 hours of my life.

Bedside breakfast delivered with tremendous pride.


Kisses and hugs and eyes full of anticipation. Handmade cards that left me sobbing with gratitude and humility.

And a brand new custom stadium seat. It has their names on it with a soccer ball and a baseball as the vowels and it says I'm their Mom.


To say it's my prize possession is a gross understatement. On Monday, Thursday and Saturday this week I'll be sitting in that seat with my heart on my sleeve and without the designer watch. And I'll still think I'm the richest girl in the world.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

For Mama

There is no shortage of beautiful women in my life who are mothers. I have been abundantly blessed over and over again.

My Mother's Mother was, and always will be, my favorite person on Earth.

My Father's Mother left me a legacy of beauty and strength that I draw on in the most unexpected moments.

There is not one person in the whole world who loves me more than my own Mama. I say that with absolute certainty and know that I am blessed.

Once upon a time I had a stepmother who was a caregiver to a really, really rotten teenage girl that wasn't her own. She was unnecessarily kind to me and I'll always love her for it.

The Lord has also blessed me with an amazing Mother in Law, a second stepmother who is too precious to even use the word stepmother to describe and an inherited pile of warm, witty and wise Aunts that I absolutely adore. They are all mothers to me in the times that I need them and I am so grateful to have so much love from them not only for me, but for my family.

And my dear, dear girlfriends who I am fumbling and tripping over motherhood with. They make the days that seem impossible almost manageable. They are beautiful, and smart, and tired. And so real. They remind me that unmade beds and forgotten permission slips don't make me a bad mother and on the days that I really do fail as a mother they tell me they love me anyway.

I am in love with being a Mama and I am so humbled that God is letting me do it. I couldn't make it without the other mothers in my life that make me me.

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. ~Washington Irving

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Eye for an Eye

The headline read "Rot in Hell". It was certainly written with an intention of malice and shock. It worked.

Very late the night before I sat in my hotel bed and watched the President of the United States confirm that Osama Bin Laden had been shot and killed in Pakistan. There was footage of people at Ground Zero cheering and crying and waving American flags. More footage of crowds outside the White House chanting "USA. USA". The television news was touting it as a triumphant and historical day in US history. All of it just made me sad.

My husband and I are pouring our own hearts into raising children who will be good human beings as adults. We are telling them constantly about tolerance and God's unconditional love and forgiveness of everyone.

I was watching what seemed like an entire nation cheer and high five ands declare their success after knowing that troops had murdered someone. It did not make me jubilant.

No one in my family was killed on 9-11. I was pregnant with The Athlete and sitting on an ottoman in front of the television in our family room watching smoke pour from the building and I cried and cried. The tragedy struck me to the core. I read every article, watched every show and prayed a lot for the victims and their families. I will NEVER forget that morning. But I also know that my life wasn't physically changed. And maybe if it was I would feel differently. I do not want to minimize anyone's loss or their need for justice.

But the bottom line is that I don't see how any of those children's parents will ever come back just because this man is dead. My ambivalence embarrasses me. I feel like I am betraying a million people by not celebrating the murder of another human being.

I cannot tell my children that America did the right thing.

I am pouring my heart out when I tell you that I don't think God believes in an eye for an eye. The hurt won't go away because he is gone. Even if Bin Laden does rot in hell.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ten Things: April 2011

I can't even say what i think about another month being gone. That would make me a broken record. All I can do is take a deep breath and count my blessings. There are many.

Ten Reasons to Smile

Warm spring afternoons, the deep blue sea and the sun finally shining in our little corner of the world

Spending time with my sweet nieces

My roses blooming abundantly and making beautiful bouquets for home and to share.

Enjoying time with family and friends and there being no difference in the two

Almost managing to master business and pleasure. Almost.

Where else in the world could I fawn over a pair of diamond earrings and buy a gallon of margarita mix, shrimp cocktail, laundry detergent and a $6 dress for a little girl?!?!!?

Celebrating the abundant beauty of Easter

Friday night baseball games where the adults are having as much fun as the kids!

An impromptu getaway that included the Presidential suite in our favorite city. His and hers bathrooms, views EVERYWHERE, and milk & cookies, a jacuzzi and some very necessary downtime for our babies who are just not babies anymore.

Watching live coverage of the Royal Wedding with my own Princess. I do love love and I happen to think William and Kate are adorable. God Bless them and their modern fairy tale.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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