Sunday, September 25, 2011

Everybody Has A First Day

Okay, against my daughter's wishes, I am going to share a first day she had recently. I need to share this.  It cracks me up and hurts my ears all at the same time.  We really could be a modern day Partridge Family.  Well, that is if we would all get on-board with wearing matching velvet suits with ruffled shirts.  And if I'd learn to play the tambourine.  And if Brad would let me paint the van in pretty colors.  And the sad part about this whole paragraph?  My children will read this and have NO CLUE what I just said.  Tragic.  Note to self:  have my children watch some Partridge Family over Christmas break.  They'll watch anything that is accompanied by Christmas cookies and cocoa.  Bribery?  Yes.

ANYWAY, I must insert here that I have been on round-the-clock cold medicine since sometime Saturday.  It's only helped marginally, but I'm growing rather fond of the fuzz inside my head.  And consider this a disclaimer:  anything that makes no sense or is rambling or jumbled is totally the fault of cold medicine.  Unlike most days when the fault is just totally mine, today I have something to blame it on and I plan to use it!

Back to the first day story.  One of the most exciting things about Beth entering 5th grade is that it is band time for the baby!  After years, YEARS!, of going to band and orchestra performances and hearing hours upon hours of practicing going on in our home, she still wanted to play an instrument.  I really thought by now the whole thing would be not the least bit appealing to her, but oh, no.  She could hardly stand the wait.  Clarinet.  Oh, you are everything I feared thought you would be, and you are the fulfillment of Beth's musical dreams. 
Let me just say, before I continue.  Elementary band teachers?  SAINTS!!!

Anyway, we have found yet another thing that sweetly displays this girl's tenacity.  Oh, the determination.  Whoa, Nellie.  The following video was taken on Day One of the great clarinet love affair.  By day 3, she could "play" six songs! 

And by the end of day one, I was sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth (to various beats) as I listened to a clarinet, a flute, and a bassoon at various times throughout the day.  Oh, and don't forget the saxophone.  Can't forget where it all began, can we?

So, now you've been given the opportunity to hear a great musician on Day One of her journey to musical greatness!  Everyone that has something they do well had a first day. Love to have captured hers!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I Want To Do

Remember the days of having play date with your friends, or being out at recess with them, and having a conversation like this:  "what do you want to do?"  "I don't know, what do you want to do?"  Well, if I was having a play date right now, and my friend asked me what I wanted to do, here's what it would be (in no particular order):

1.  I want to go to my house on the lake, the one that is at the end of a long, quiet, tree-lined gravel road, fix a cup of coffee, and sit out at the end of the dock and just watch stuff.  I'd like to sit and watch the leaves change colors.  I'd like to sit and watch little ripples in the water.  I'd like to listen to the birds talk to each other.  I'd like to throw a rock into the glassy-calm water and listen to the splash.

2.  I want to take an hour this evening and sit down with my personal chef.  I'd like to review the menu for the next two weeks, highlighting the days in particular that I need dinner ready the second I walk in the door.  I'd also like said chef to start packing my lunches for me, and to be a little more creative with the offerings.  I'd also like the said chef to have an associate head out to the above-mentioned lake house and begin preparing for my arrival.

3.  I want to put my kids' books away this evening, and send a note in to the teacher explaining that we decided to take the night off, and we need an extra week to complete the assignments, and that in the meantime we'd appreciate no more work being assigned so it didn't continue to pile up. 

4.  I want to go to the gym tonight, after I meet with my chef, and sit on one of those bikes that you can recline in the seat, put my book up on the bookholder, and peddle slowly enough that it doesn't interrupt my reading.  And then walk out of the gym 20 minutes later and 10 pounds lighter.

5.  I've read somewhere before that the Queen, THE Queen, has her bedding changed twice a day.  When she gets up in the morning, the bed is stripped and fresh bedding goes down.  Later in the day, she gets into bed and takes a nap.  When she rises from her nap, the bed is stripped again and fresh bedding goes down.  Doesn't that sound lovely?  So I want to talk to talk to my people about changing my bedding more frequently.  I also want them to start scheduling a daily nap for me.  With fresh bedding.

6.  I want to go to that cute little white chapel that is near my house at the lake.  I want to sit inside that chapel, all by myself.  I want to sit on a polished wooden pew, in a little patch of sunlight from the sun coming in through a stained-glass window.  I want to listen to the sound of nothing while I'm there.  I want to stare up at the ceiling.  I want to wonder about all the stories that chapel could tell, if it could talk to me.  I want to hear all about times hope had been restored within its walls.  All the miracles that took place or began there.  All the relationships that were restored there.  All the marriages that began there.  All the goodbyes that were said there.

7.  I want to buy one of those old, yellowed cookbooks at the bookstore.  One that had a hand-written inscription from a mom.  I want to learn all about that cookbooks life.  What kitchens had it lived in through the years?  What meals had come from that book?  Who had learned to cook at their mother's side while reading that book?  I'm sure I could hear some great stories from an old cookbook.

8.  I want to bake pies.  A whole bunch of pies.  I heard of the cutes ways of making pies in jars, freezing them to bake later.  I think I will be trying that soon (for real!) and seeing how it works.  But I want to bake a peach pie right now.  I want to make "sticky pies" (spoken with a heavy-Texan accent) with all my dough scraps.  Then I want to eat the sticky pies all by myself.  Then once that has settled, I'd like a nice, warm hunk of peach pie.  Maybe with my cup of coffee on the dock at the lake??

That's what I want to do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Wednesday Laugh

Okay, I just saw this on Pinterest, and it made me laugh.  Laughing is so good for the soul, good medicine indeed.  So I thought I'd share it for two reasons:  maybe someone will stumble into this that needs to laugh; and I now have it on here to pull up any time I need to chuckle again.  I could say SO MUCH about this, trust me, but I won't.  I have 30 minutes to get some work done for my practice tonight, and instead I'm poking around on Pinterest, thinking about making cookies, and chuckling at silly pictures.  Welcome to my mind.

Here's your Wednesday laugh for the day:

I don't know what year this is from or from where.  But I just have to add that her "not skinny" is looking like my goal weight. 

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Cliff Notes Version

Too little time, so Cliff Notes to the rescue!  The weekend:

*We had a thoroughly wonderful weekend away together.  I got a text at work on Wednesday, Brad surprising me with news that he'd booked us a room in Portland and we were going away for the night.  He told me he was working out all the plans for the kids.  Sweet!  It was so hard for me not to take charge of the kid portion, knowing that Saturday schedules are nuts around here.  But he did a great job and I'm so thankful for the time we had together.  Beautiful jacuzzi suite...quiet....alone.  It was a lovely way to celebrate our anniversary!  I packed in such a frenzy after a football game Saturday morning, I didn't bring even a hair brush.  Left some important things at home, but we managed to do just fine.  I didn't even bring my camera, which is extraordinarily unlike me.  The only picture I took with the phone was the chocolate cake we had for dessert Saturday night.  Scrumptious.

*The only downer of the weekend?  An unfortunate run-in with the hand rail to a stair case in a parking garage that happened while the coordinator of the weekend was backing into a parking space.  Crunch.  Big crunch involving the trunk and bumper of his cute little car.  Sickening feeling.  A very unintended souvenir from our romantic weekend.

*And what is it with men and backing into parking spaces? I truly think it's a testosterone driven NEED in a man...don't get me started.  We have talked about this for so long, and I've totally given up feeling any need to even discuss it.  I just put my head down and don't look when he's backing up.  So this situation unfortunately gives great fuel to my side of the debate.  Geez, I could do a whole post on this topic. And I have a couple people in my life who get all worked up about stereotypes and they get very indignant about the whole thing.  And I don't really care anymore.  Sometimes stereotypes are accurate, sometimes they are not.  Fair enough?

*I finally got to see Powells Books!  I loved it as much as I hoped I would.  It was worth the harrowing trip into the parking garage (different from the previously mentioned parking garage). Steep uphill, turning a sharp corner, and one lane for entering and exiting.  The attendant assured us he never sent someone up when he knew someone was coming down.  Aw, geez. Another topic that could consume one whole post!  Back to books:  amazing store.  I spent two and a half hours and only saw one-third of the store.  Never got to the "Rare book room" that I had hoped to see.  The cooking section alone is amazing.  Used books mingled in with the new, so there were very well-loved copies of Julia Child's cookbooks that were so fun to thumb through.  Stained pages, well-worn corners. Loved it.  Made me a bit sad to see cook books that had been written in and lovingly inscribed.  I would love to know the story behind those books, what kind of life they'd led.

*We treated ourselves to a Fall drink from Starbucks for the road.  When we hit the freeway and I picked up my cup, I noticed it felt a bit light.  They had only filled it 2/3 full!  Why do they do that??  Irritated me, for no other reason than I don't do those indulgent ones very often anymore.  And when I do?  Load 'er up!

*The girls went from last Saturday, cheering in the hot sun, 90 degrees and sweating, to this Saturday, Beth in pelting rain and wind, fingers turning purple...and those girls smiled the whole way through.  Troopers.  Then Brenna cheered 2 games in the drizzle (?), the last going into double overtime and leaving Brenna to "not really care anymore who won the game, just wanting it over."  Been there, my dear.

*I watched just enough of the Emmy's last night to remind myself what a sap I am.  I saw the tribute to all those who died over this last year.  To see those faces...Mr. Cunningham?  June Cleaver?  Creator of my beloved Brady Bunch???  I will admit...set to the background of a beautiful song, I cried.  Real tears came down my cheeks.

*Alex had set a goal for Saturday's cross country meet:  to run a sub-18, on a 5K course.  His time?  17:56!  Amazing, young man!  Number 5 on the team, still proudly sporting that hard-earned jacket!

*Cancer?  I hate it.  And I mean full-well to use the word "hate".  It is a word that should be reserved for such a vile existence.  Hate it.  So sad for people I who is in the trenches and needs a miracle, one that is just beginning the battle.

*Now it is time to head out into the week.  I am very unprepared for another week to start.  But that's okay.  It will roll along with or without my pre-planning.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Simply Put...

Sometimes simple is the best way to put things.  Tonight is one of those times:

Happy Anniversary to my sweet man.  I love walking through life with this guy, and I'm so blessed to be his wife.  He's all this and more:

Twenty One Years and goin' strong.  And I love him more with each passing year.  Love, love,'s a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

11th, 8th, 5th????

Okay, when even my husband notices that it's been awhile since I've blogged, I guess it's been awhile since I've blogged!  Oh, the flurry of activity that has been going on here.  A whirlwind.  When did September happen??  I know, it happened right after August.  I know that in my head.  Yet it somehow doesn't make sense that we are here.

And then we took a whole lotta crazy and threw in a very impulsive project that made the crazy look relaxing.  But with everything going on, we sure have had fun.  We've crammed so much fun into this end of summer, wouldn't trade it for all the relaxing in the world.  Unless it was a private tropical white sand beach with endless iced coffee and no noise but the crashing waves and sleep - sweet, precious sleep at my beck and call...

All the recaps of the crazy fun going on will have to wait, because it has been requested that I blog about the first day of school!  My kids were all acting very Nemo-ish yesterday and this morning:  "First day of school!  First day of school!"  Oh, the excitement!  It is contagious, ya know. 

Have I mentioned lately that I really love this trio?

I cried last night after Alex went to bed and I was cooking stuff for breakfasts this week.  I didn't boo-hoo in the overly-emotional way that I'm prone to do, but it was hard to swallow down the big lump in my throat, and I was unable to completely not cry. Because really now.  This is all a bit much for my heart to process:  a junior in high school.  That sounds so much like "I'm almost done living with my mommy"-ish.  And I'm wildly excited about his next steps and his future, I truly am.  But to think that in the near future we will move him out of this house????  Ouch.  And then there's my little Brenna Kay.  That little girl is now in 8th grade??? And this time next year she will be in HIGH SCHOOL????  Double that ouch.  And now the littlest one??  She's in 5th grade.  My last year as a parent of an elementary kid.  Triple that ouch.  We have had a kid at the elementary school since September of 2000.  And now this is it.  I looked at Brad last night and asked, "How did we get here?"  ZOOM!

I cried again this morning when Brenna left...looking so much like an 8th grader.  And then when Beth and I got to school, I choked back the tears all morning.  What sent me over the edge?  Another momma that showed up with her 2 week old baby.  A brand new baby can make me cry even if I don't know them.  But seeing the measurable contrast of how not-baby my kids are?  Amazing.

Beth with two of her good buddies heading in for the 1st day!

Finally back home, hearing all the stories and reports of the first day.  And the verdict?  GREAT!  Beth:  "Best day of school EVER!"  Oh, my mommy ears needed to hear that.  This one deserves a great year.  She LOVES her teacher, and has gobs of friends in the class.  Brenna:  a great day too.  Friends in every class.  Lunch with all her good friends.  Alex:  fabulous day.  Still trying to get his schedule fixed, so in the meantime he has to do double the homework so he's prepared for whichever class he gets in.  But he didn't even really feel like it was a true first day.  He's been with buddies all summer, he's been running with his cross country team all of August, so this felt like he just continued on, not starting new.  In a good way.

And me?  Blessed with my job.  Not a single word of complaint from this girl!  Loved seeing all the kids excited to be back, all the sparkly shoes, those little bitty kindergartners that are just irresistible, a little first grader getting lost from the bathroom back to his classroom, peeking into each window trying to figure it out...sweetness, another kindergartner deciding that not only would she take her sweater off after recess, but also her pants because she was just hot.  They warm my heart every single day!  CUTENESS!    And I'm always aware of the fact that each of those kids is someones baby.  And I want to treat them the way I want my own treated.  Because whether they are 7 pounds and in a carseat or 170 pounds driving you around in the car, they are always your baby.

We celebrated our fabulous first day with a Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie.  Oh, me, oh, my.  Yum!

So we are off and running into another school year!  Looking forward to great things this year!!