Slice of Heaven

This is my new favorite:DSC01055chai latte out back, at the “new to me” table and chairs (thank you, Pilar).
I am debating about painting the set red and possibly investing in an umbrella.

Confessions

DSC01049I am thirty-five today but I often find myself answering “thirty-something” because I honestly can’t always remember my age. I know that my height has been the same since fifteen and those fifteen extra pounds could be attributed to three babies (allotted five pounds each).

I love that I can say to my hair stylist “shorter” and wave my hands around as if they are revealing the image in my mind. Other than that, I don’t have to be more descriptive because he has learned that I am indecisive. My mom can vouch, if stuck to decide I might pass an opportunity up all together.

I hate that I catch myself judging people based on their choice of shoes. Flip-flops are everywhere and my kids love them. But are they really shoes?DSC01046I am afraid of dogs, horses, and volcanoes. None of which are nearby, but I secretly worry they could be or what would happen if they were in closer proximity.

I wish I would have learned earlier in life how fun movie nights are with a projector connected to the computer.

I recently went to the chiropractor for the first time. I didn’t know those sounds could come from my bones.

I love sparkling water, especially as I discover new flavors. Jessica recently introduced me to a coconut sparkling water that I adored.

I forgot I had children with me in the West Elm store today. Luckily, there was an Ice Cream Social that my mom took them to, while I drooled over the furniture and rugs.

DSC01050I use food as a way to celebrate and mourn most events in my life: big and small.

I have taken two bags to the thrift store every week this summer. I don’t know if it has made an impact on anyone in my family. But I intend on continuing to purge through our belongings.

I bought two embroidered pillows (inspired by Angela and Ben’s home) that are my motivation to now make my bed, which I haven’t faithfully done since I was seven when my mom taught me how to hide my pillow with a fold in my Strawberry Shortcake bedcover.

I plan every trip our family takes, starting with our honeymoon. I am in the midst of planning our road trip to Salinas and San Francisco next week with points of interest and vegetarian spots to eat at.

I envy people who save money to travel to exotic places. I want my children to see many places and hopefully some of that will be as a family.

I want to be better at meal planning and apologizing. If I could somehow figure out a way to make these two practices my natural response I think life would be increasingly easier.DSC01052I hope I am raising children who are kind, polite, and forgiving. Lord have mercy.

 

 

 

 

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.DSC00995

Ice Hockey

The boys are both trying out ice hockey for three days-part of a free “preview” sponsored by the Mighty Ducks that my friend Mimi told me about.DSC_3525After tomorrow, we can sign the boys up for camp if they love it.
DSC_3520Henry found a teacher who adores him, so mostly he rides around on the seal.
DSC_3517Paul jumped right in, yesterday he hung on and found his balance, but today he was skating.DSC_3522It has been fun to see the difference in their personalities and in trying something new and difficult. I also love the crisp air inside the rink. Our whole family has made new discoveries about the gear, the game, and the behind the scenes to this sport.

Catch & Release

I asked my cousin several times if any fish would be harmed in this process.DSC00972He promised me that the fish would be fine.DSC00978Otherwise, my little Henry agreed to eat whatever fish we caught and prepared.
DSC00977I used to go fishing with my grandpa and I do remember waiting and thinking and talking.
DSC00976Yesterday we spent a couple hours doing just that, down at the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.DSC00980Although, watching junior lifeguards jump off the pier took away some of the boredom.
DSC00973At another point the boys watched like  a flock of seagulls as a fisherman cleaned his fish.DSC00981My cousin showed us the ropes and really he is the one who brought most of the poles and bait.DSC00983In the second half of the day we went to the bayDSC00986and the boys played together in the sandDSC00988until dinner time.DSC00987We walked to the Park Pantry
DSC00992 and then over to Rite Aid for ice cream cones.
DSC00994 Yay for time with cousins!

Better Listening

I am a terrible friend who will interrupt a good story to ask a follow up question. I am an even worse wife, who will guess at his punch line before the joke has been delivered. In seeking to hone my listening skills I have found myself spending more time in silent prayer. I guess sometimes called meditation.

DSC00997Every time I prayed about my friend Jenny I felt the need to extend my interest in organizing and maybe somehow she would receive this rather than feel insulted. This seriously took months of prayer. As soon as I offered help and time and extra hands I knew this was real.DSC01002Today, I can say, we made a dent. Seven trash bags later, a car loaded for give away, a closet rearranged, and a home office I hope she can work with. She put up with my teasing and urge to toss it all. There is a distinctly empty shelf and a wooden floor to admire. The space cleared under her window where she is hoping to purchase shelving. DSC01004I am so proud of the team we made today. She opened her doors and in turn I gained some serious listening skills. All of my motivation came from wanting to create breathing room in the place where she works (I have no idea what working from home is like, I have a classroom for all “that” clutter). I want her to access her stamps for card making and save some crafts for projects with her boys, but put it within arms reach rather than a pile that took much effort to dig through.

Plus, Jenny is so much like me. She had containers stuffed with containers. She likes pretty paper, saving letters, filing systems, children’s artwork, and all the “I might use that someday” items. I guess that is what we like about our friends, the similarities and ways we think the same. Jenny and I could talk your ear off, if you let us. But we also know our limits, can ask for help, and learn from one another.

In case you are wondering, I have five more weeks left of summer. Can I come over and help??

 

Getty x’s Two

We decided to brave the crowds and do both on Saturday:DSC_3462The Getty Center in Los AngelesDSC_3452and The Getty Villa in Malibu.DSC_3501Not too fast, or too slow. The weather was warm enough to crave the shade and water, but nice enough to enjoy the scenery.DSC_3439Like me, Goonies has them wanting a penny to make a wish in the water.
DSC_3489Thanks for the photo of just the two of us, Paul.DSC_3481The drive was worth the view and art (Joe loves the illuminated manuscripts and I love the photography). I like being spontaneous like this, we woke up and decided to just go.

 

 

Crack Up

I don’t know if it is more her or me lately. DSC_3411I feel like I look over at random moments and she is being so silly (like at bedtime putting on her boots because they were within reach)

DSC_3431or while taking a bubble bathDSC_3386she starts making goofy facesDSC_3381and I can’t get enough of DSC_3343this littlest one with her big eyes and baby face.

 

Extra Baggage

I believe that some of my material possessions carry with them baggage I am no longer willing to carry.

I am learning how to let go a little more every year. Summer has become my season for clearing out and taking the time to make the choice of saying good-bye, combined with possibly saying hello, which I have found has helped in the entire process. Starting with this phone book:DSC00959I have had this book for years. I love the design. But it has become a reminder of people who have passed away, couples divorced, or friends that have moved so many times I no longer have their current address and have lost touch with. It was depressing and keeping me from calling and writing letters, because I hated the little reminders that fell out or the names I came across. I started to avoid and noticing this quality in myself  felt overwhelming—-until I spied this: DSC00960Of course , like the one before: published by Chronicle Books. But even better: the tabs were thicker, the bind was spiral, the images were colorful, and so I bought it on a whim in Portland. Then honestly, placed them side by side, unwilling to transfer the information for over a month. However, this week, I finally worked up the courage to go page by page, after the kids went to bed. And the old one has been tossed. Surprisingly, this process was not as painful as I thought. Whew…so maybe I am on a roll.DSC00951I jumped on the feelings of motivation and opened my stamp collection. I have lugged this one box from my mother’s, to SF, around multiple apartments, to Long Beach, and still it sits. Every time I open this box I am flooded with memories of my first found love in mail. My aunt would mail me stamps from Montana. I spent hours, as a young girl, on my bedroom floor, with this stamp collection. As you can see in the photo above, I painstakingly alphabetized every country I had stamps from into individual sealed envelopes.

The dilemma has been: What do I do with this junk? Pass it on to my children (how awful and boring), sell it (as if these little paper pieces are worth gold), or toss it  (I can’t bear the thought). In my state of being overwhelmed I did what anyone does, held on. Carrying these stamps everywhere I moved and having no idea why. They clearly don’t inspire the same interest in me. Until I walked into an antique store last week and saw a beautiful jar filled with stamps. I was inspired:DSC00956The box is gone.

The envelopes were carefully opened and emptied.DSC_3377Each one taking away some guilt and anxiety. We are currently enjoying them, noticing the details, and saving a single jar, rather than a box full of treasures.

DSC_3380And then there is my living room. Furniture I have found rather than chosen. Furniture that has done its job but am willing to let go. Furniture that doesn’t seem to fit with the beautiful, wooden pieces I inherited last summer from my grandparents. Good-bye Ikea chair

Joey1978 RulezHello chair with more structure for my back (I hope to keep you for years).DSC00969You are no longer big enough to hold all five of us side by side, we have loved having you aroundJoey1978 Rulezbut we are learning we like darker fabric better and pillows are nice. Now we can all fit during story time.

DSC00957Piece by piece I am seriously learning how much these decisions matter. I keep telling my mom, the main issue is I am embracing my identity as a grown up more. I want to be a grown up without so much baggage. I don’t want to hang on. I read somewhere about asking questions like:

Is this lovely? Can I live without this? Does this make me smile? Is this practical? Is this serving a purpose? Is this adding to my life? And if I can continuously answer “yes” then I can buy it or keep it. If not, maybe I can give it away, repurpose it (desk – that’s you), toss it (stacks of papers everywhere), or sell it (books- one by one to Gatsby Books and the library).

Cousins

Last week we headed to the bay with cousinsDSC00931and there was plenty of play,DSC00932until we decided it was time to go to the Farmer’s MarketDSC00938and just ran around until the shadows were longDSC00939and our tummies and our baskets were full. We love these guys.