Day 21: Summer

Today was beautiful. Seriously. In so many ways.

I brought the kids and their friends out paddle boarding and kayaking and packed a picnic lunch.  Of course, this is after I already worked 4 hours bright and early this morning so I could enjoy the day “off.”  I struck a balance this week and it felt really good.

I loved that the kids wanted to go with me and had a good time. I loved that I got to paddle too! And the sunshine and weather was just right. 

Life is good!  Happy 4th weekend everyone. Be well.

xoxoxox 


Chili

I asked Jeff what we should make for dinner tonight. I’m out of ideas and everything sounds boring. He picked chili, as it was cold, cloudy and rainy today.  So we went to the grocery store after Charlie’s soccer game to pick up all the ingredients. It was fun shopping together.

I asked Juliana to help me chop the peppers, while Charlie helped to declutter the kitchen table and I began browning the meat and onions. Jeff and Christian were working on other projects. 

I loved having my creative girl in the kitchen with me again.


She sees love like I do… everywhere…even in peppers!

Just another day in the life, living happily ever after one day at a time. How was your day?

nAMaste

Attraction

I am working on this one.

I am not trying to attract attention, but maybe I am.

I am trying to attract like mindedness with my kid, who at the moment (this morning), is frustrating me. He has a very strong will and so do I and I’m the mama so I have seniority and tenure, as if that means anything. I find that when I react in a negative way (think yelling and threatening to take away everything he desires), I attract negative behavior back. He mimics me or I mimic him or maybe we mimic each other.

I am practicing staying calm and focused on being kind and firm as I guide him and I together on our shared trajectory. I have so many things to still teach him and to learn myself, at least that is my intention. I am hoping that if I stay calm and don’t overreact, that he’ll mimic me and listen and learn about cause and effect and make good choices too. I am still learning and practicing repetition, breathing and patience. I know it works. It just takes time to practice and it isn’t easy and it’s work. UGH.

All good things take work. I’ll keep practicing and loving on him as we grow up together, one day, one hug at a time. I’ll check back with you in 7 years and let you know how this little experiment turns out.  🙂

nAMaste

 

 

 

The Teens Are Alright

     
   
We had a Friday Night Light High School football game tonight at the Levi Stadium. 

I brought a car full of kids to the game and then they split up and sat with their friends. This made me slightly nervous and since the stadium was not nearly full and brought in a different crowd, I didn’t feel too nervous to let them go. I did feel strange being at the game by “myself” and yet soon found friends to join. 

The irony was that as we moved around and found our own friends, Christian and his friend were seated right in front of me!!  

I enjoyed joking with and talking with the boys and was really happy that Christian’s friend wanted to talk with me.

After the game, we all met up and walked back to the car again. I told all 6 kids that we should take a group selfie together and they didn’t oppose. Since I didn’t ask them if I could share their photo, I’ll have to keep the memory close with me. 

Looking at the snapshot made me smile because my kids and their friends are awesome tweens and teens. 

They were funny and grateful and kind to one another and nice to me too.

 I enjoyed having the opportunity to share an experience together and that they were okay with me being around. I know I am supposed to let go and I am and maybe that’s why they’re okay hanging around because I let them just Be. 

Hmmm…I wonder.

The teens are alright and I think I’m okay with them growing up, if it continues to feel like this. 

Wishing you love and patience and to be alright.

nAMaste

Love this Life – Living it Up – Doing What I Love

What do you love?

I love to be busy, yet not this busy. I had a productive and satisfying day and I am exhausted. You’ll see why and I’ll probably exhaust you just by reading this crazy list.  Maybe just skim it – it’s kinda long!  Below are some of my different made up titles. I don’t use them every day, just today happened to be on fire.

Alarm Clock Sounder – Roused the kids up bright and early. They have their own alarm clocks, but for some reason they don’t always react to them. And the train has been waking me up every morning at 5:17 am!! What’s up with that?

Breakfast and Lunch Maker – We don’t have time together in the evenings as frequently due to our crazy schedules, so this Fall I’ve started making hot breakfasts for us. It’s my moment to bring us all together and I don’t mind the extra work or dishes because it’s so worth it. Today we had hash browns, scrambled eggs, apple slices and bacon.  I have a weekly rotational schedule and the kids were already reminding me that they’re excited for pancakes tomorrow morning.

Taxi Driver – 2 kids dropped off at high school, 1 husband dropped off at the train, and 1 child dropped off at the middle school, all before 8 am.

House Cleaner – Stopped back at the house to load the dish washer, scrub the pans and to start a load of laundry before heading out to exercise. It feels good to me when the house is in order.

Yogini – Picked up ML on my way to yoga and enjoyed a blissful hour of stretching and toning in a not-so-great-room-with-an-awesome-instructor!

Worker Bee – I got a new part time job!! I had my first “official” business meeting at a coffee shop today and it dawned on me, that I haven’t had a “real” or let’s say “paid” job in over 15 years!! Change is good.

Friend – We celebrated my friend’s birthday over lunch today. It’s great to have a flexible schedule and to have an excuse to stop what you’re doing to spend time with friends over good food.  I also loved seeing my friends throughout the day and sharing moments in person, via text, and on the phone.

Shopper – On the way home from lunch, I stopped by the store to buy perishables for dinner tonight. Google Express is doing all the rest of my shopping and giving me so much time back!! I was in and out in 20 minutes, only having to buy the perishables and everything else was delivered to my door step. Have I mentioned how much I am loving GE? You have to try it if it’s in your area.

  
Chef – While I came home to squeeze in a bit more work, I also started dinner. We had stuffed baked potatoes tonight with proteins, veggies, and other savory toppings.

Life Coach – I spent a lot of time today coaching my kids on some important life lessons that weren’t easy to teach and take some time to practice. Being a parent takes lots of patience and open communication and repetition and more patience and practice and more practice. We’re always learning and failing and trying again, perfectly, imperfectly.

Taxi Driver – Round 3 – Did a 3rd loop around the city chauffering my loved ones back and forth to our nest.

  
House Cleaner – Round 2 – Came back home to clean up the cooking dishes and to sort and fold laundry before heading out again. It’s amazing what one can get done in 30 minutes.

Volunteer – After having very little sleep last night, and by the time 6;00 pm came around, I was exhausted. It took everything in me to rally and go to my event tonight.  Once I got to the parking lot and ran into a friend, I remembered why I love to volunteer. I love my community and sense of belonging that volunteer opportunities bring to my life. I loved seeing my friends and having that time dedicated to working together for a common purpose.

House Cleaner – Round 3 – The evening house patrol involved the usual chores and involved all of us and gave us a few minutes to chat and connect. Even the evenings are busy for us.

BeLoveR – I loved kissing my little one good night, brushing my daughter’s hair and complimenting my oldest on his successes today. I loved taking this fun picture of my husband with our new fur baby that won’t leave his side while he works at night.

  
Today was good. I am done. How was your day?  I hope you lived it up, laughed out loud and loved yourself and your one, beautiful and maybe messy life.  N-Ahhhhhhhhh-ma-ste!

Sunday Family Time

I love my family and I love when we are all together.  It’s getting more challenging as they get older which makes me treasure the moments even more.

Today Jeff decided we should all go out for breakfast after Charlie’s soccer game. I loved that he planned our outing and that everyone was available. We tried something new and we all enjoyed a filling and delicious breakfast.

  
I love that the kids actually like each other and share tastes of their food and sips of their drinks.  I sat and watched from across the table as everyone shared their meals.  It’s the little things that make me happy, that make us feel connected. 

I am content and thankful. Today was good.

Happy Sunday!  Wishing you a peaceful week to come with those you love. 

xoxo

The Plus Side

There’s always a plus side. It’s just sometimes challenging to see it when you’re feeling or looking at the negative side.

Today I found balance. Oh, how I love balance. The yin and the yang is great and where there is balance, there is peace.

I volunteered this morning and had time to chat with my sweet friend, E.  I loved catching up and working side by side and having some “me” time.

I did a little cooking and cleaning and chauffeuring.  And then I spent the afternoon and evening with my baby girl. We had a girl’s day planned and I loved every minute being with her.

  
We went and got bubble teas and drank them as we drove over to downtown Campbell. We strolled through the boutiques and shops, looking for back to school clothes and shoes, sharing ideas and laughter. She picked out the latest Rainbow thongs, which are apparently as cool as Uggs, a cute tank top, and two rompers. We got our hair cut and straightened and loved being at the salon together, taking our time with no rush.

We weren’t quite hungry and we weren’t quite ready to go home, so we decided to stop in at Capers to see my friend as we often do after hair cuts nearby.  This was a great way to end the day. The food and company was just what we needed.

It was nice to enjoy a day with my teenager (who will always be my baby girl). I am happy that she wanted to spend the day with me and that we both enjoyed each other’s company.

I am lucky and content. Growing up isn’t so bad after all. It’s just another chapter I wasn’t ready to begin and I think it’s gonna be a good one. 

nAMaste

 

Things Aren’t Always the Way They Seem

Be careful how much you read into other people’s photos or stories or headlines. Things aren’t always the way they seem and I think we need to remember this as we journey together through social media and the news.

I am a true idealist. I have big dreams, always. I create playlists in my head about how I think things should be.

Today I took the kids to Raging Waters because this was the wish of the little one. He wanted his siblings to spend the day with him and play and this was his dream, since he had a season pass. We made it happen and here is proof:

  
As I was taking this picture after we ate lunch, I was thinking of the morning and how the big ones protested. They didn’t want to go to a water park today. I know, crazy thought, but true. Who has to beg to bring kids to a water park to hang out and enjoy outdoor adventures together?  This is ridiculous, I know. But this was my truth and you’d never know from this picture of my happily ever after moment.  We are perfectly imperfect, remember?

I think this picture symbolizes probably a lot of other moments we see on our screens.  Everything looks happy yet there were arguments and frustrations before the snapshot. LB and I used to call these our Norman Rockwell moments where we had to take 50 shots to capture the one moment where we all looked happy at the same time so that we could remember what we envisioned in our heads.  This makes me laugh and I hope you can share this connection and say, “Yeah!! That’s so true and real and funny!”

We actually were enjoying THIS moment.  It was just the journey getting here that was frustrating, but of course that wouldn’t make for a happy story.

I did actually learn some things today about raising teenagers. I learned I need to make quicker decisions. I learned that even when they aren’t interested, they sometimes are. And I learned to practice patience. They all came around and we had a great day together, living in the sunshine.

   
  

Life is good. 

Tidying Up and Letting Go

I am taking this tidying up thing seriously and spreading the love.

  
Juliana emptied three trash bags full of clothes to give away. She rolled up her remaining clothes and stacked them vertically in her drawers so she could see what she has and created space. She loves to paint her nails and created an artistic space to do her work. I loved peeking in and seeing her be creative.  She got it!! Tidying up isn’t about the process of tidying all the time. It’s about keeping your space organized and neat so that you can really enjoy your space. 

Charlie’s room has been collecting clutter for months and there was so much stuff that there was no place to put anything anymore. I knew that he needed help and I knew it would take hours to look at each item and make decisions on what needed to stay and what needed to go.

I skipped yoga this morning and told him we would work on his room instead before we got distracted. We spent 3 hours decluttering and creating give away bags and lots of trash. Once we looked at everything, we found small plastic shoe boxes to create structure and organization for his treasures and clothes in his drawers and under bed boxes. He struggled and was bored but he kept going and didn’t give up. As we got close to finishing, he starting making a fort under his bed. He had a new space to play in and used it.

We moved out his desk and made more room for his drum set. As soon as the space was created, he started playing his drums and finding a place for his drumsticks.  He was happy.

One thing we decided to let go of today was our Lego collection. I was proud of the boys for being willing to give them away.

 
I, on the other hand, struggled a bit to say goodbye to the two bins full of happy memories. I loved watching them play with them for so many years. Letting them go felt like acknowledging and seeing that the boys are really growing up. It was like being handed a receipt, letting me know that yes, the boys are big now. I already know that, but the act of letting go of the Legos was symbolic.  I “thanked them” for the joy they brought to our lives and wished them well, bringing joy to new boys and girls. 

Life is good!

nAMaste

The Fun Mom

  

I love kids and I love candy.  Maybe that’s why they called me the Fun Mom today.  I don’t think they have any idea that they made my day. 

We were waiting for some other kids to join the carpool ride home and I shared my cotton candy treats while we waited.  It was a looooonnnng wait today and I got to practice patience.  I have been practicing not getting mad at people when they do things that I think are wrong. I am trying to not place my expectations on them knowing that most people are good and just see different shades of our shared reality.  

Our friend finally arrived after 30 minutes and I didn’t lose it! I was actually proud of myself for staying calm and enjoying the kids that were in the car with me, waiting together.  I actually love driving the carpool and being with all the cool kids, listening to their stories. Thank goodness they aren’t driving yet!  

We decided to go get frozen yogurts because it was hot in the car and every one had time to hang out a little longer.  Some of my favorite memories from being a kid included the times my friend’s Aunt would take us to 7-11 after school and we could pick whatever we wanted. I loved shaking up our routine and being spoiled and treated to something sweet and fun.  

I think the kids had fun and loved being spoiled today. Hopefully it’ll be a memory they will cherish too one day.