Making Space

Dump it all out. They are excited and overwhelmed all at the same time. I wipe it all down and we toss and sort and load up bags for donation. We decide together what stays and what goes.
DSC_7107We put it all back in an organized way. They love to see it all go back in with a little more space and knowing which tubs hold what.
DSC_7108We have agreed that it all must fit in this Ikea shelf. Top two shelves for games, a tub for trains, a tub for balls, and white boxes hold all others. Three kids in one room make this organization a must.DSC_7112An hour later they are jumping around the rug
DSC_7120pulling out the toys they insisted on keeping and enjoying them with all the free space. There were no tears, it was painless. But we are learning together to live with less.

Officially Five

Henry was given a birthday party two weeks ago because his birthday falls so close to the holidays. However, we made sure to leave up the birthday banner and celebrate today.
DSC_7129 He had a small gift waiting for him
DSC_7151 and his cousin came over to go to the aquarium. I really think these boys could have stayed at this one tank watching the giant lobsters and eels all day. They had sound effects and stories galore about these creatures.
DSC_7166 Henry has grown leaps and bounds this last year. He learned how to ride a bike, joined a soccer team, and outgrew his naps on most days. Usually at night he falls asleep fast and hard, with snoring because he is so active. Jich’s nickname “Putter” still fits him. He has that restless energy of my Jich and the wandering attention of his father. My latest passion is to watch his eyes light up when he makes connections between books and real life. In the book we are reading there is a girl named Charlotte, just like in his class, but he calls her Charlie. He is currently growing his back molars in and you would never guess. He is as happy as a clam most days. He is also an adoring big brother to Olivine and an admiring younger brother to Paul. Last night he turned his bottom bunk into a castle for his princess Olivine and tonight he dragged all the blankets out to cover the floor for an imaginary picnic. I can’t get enough of his big hugs, sweet smile, and silly laugh.
DSC_7183Happy Birthday, Happy Henry!



My grandma’s idea of heaven consists of a big surprise party with all your loved ones greeting you.DSC01209She was an amazing woman who served in the Navy and is leaving behind a legacy of 3 children, 3 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. All through my years in college and SF, she sent type written (yes with a type writer) cards with 5 dollars included for ice cream. Talk about making me feel loved and bringing a smile to my face. She gave Joe and I our first car when she stopped driving. DSC01219She had a memory made strong with crossword puzzles and mystery novel reading. Her piles of books were part of her environment. She loved astrology and had a real “sixth sense.” Joey1978 RulezThis past Thursday she quietly slipped off to her party. It’s why I refuse to be too sad in my remembering because she is not in pain. She is celebrating after a full life of 86 years. We shared wine on this side of heaven, in her honor, confident she is having a blast. DSC00852 But she will be missed.

{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.DSC_7012


is how I feel, only very recently. Warm candle light, chilly air, leaves swirling on sidewalks, and I am all smiles. The shadows are long and the light has shifted. This makes me want to curl up with any one of the books stacked on my nightstand.


I found some affordable (talking twenty dollars, yeah!) shoes for this season. It’s California, where I can wear shoes without socks most seasons of the year.


These days I am looking for a rhythm to our days, rather than a balance.

Lucky Seven

The baby that made me a momma will be turning SEVEN tomorrow. He is a full grown kid who has started washing the dishes without supervision and reading a Babe Ruth biography independently. Most days he is wearing sports gear, unless he is in his school uniform. Like me, his face reddens when a fuss is being made over him (see below: he covered his face as we were singing). Often he can be heard make up songs or singing some radio tune like me, who learned it from my mom. This morning he told me he is looking forward to Christmas because he likes to watch “Home Alone” and “Elf” (this boy likes to laugh).

We celebrated this weekend
DSC_6947with a double feature dvd rental last night
DSC_6951and donuts this morning.
DSC_6942When I tried to sneak out, he was already up listening to music.
DSC_6961 So he and I went out early.
DSC_6957Grammy came over for lunch and cake
DSC_6995 with legos.
DSC_6978A late afternoon walk over to the park.DSC_7025We burn some energy chasing and hitting balls.DSC_7037Ending the evening with a wrapped book for his class (first grade tradition at his school).DSC_7048And we all start counting down. We have one more week of school, then a whole week off.



Henry celebrated his birthday early. His choice: soccer party. I went for the green, black, and white. We embraced the theme


with handmade signs by Papa


a cupcake cake


a pinata


and a ladybug mascot.


He chewed his first piece of gum.


There was lots of soccer playing (thanks to the friends who brought gear)


while toddlers chased extra balls.


A gathering of friends and family to wish him his very best as he blew out his candles.


A celebration to honor our little boy who loves to run and play and laugh.


A pile of gifts that he loves. He immediately loved the idea of a “fart gun.”


By the end of the party this girl was ready to pass out because she had skipped her nap.


I know we don’t have the energy to throw parties like this all the time. But I really like all the planning. So yeah, my next party is in two years. I hope you will come.

Three’s a Charm

This is our third day in a row wearing our costumes


and we are still in the spirit.


Aunt Kathy went all out with pumpkin decorating


a pinata


tons of fun in her backyard.

DSC_6699For Joe, the highlight was holding this pumpkin.

Day of the Dead

We swung by a friend’s house on Saturday night.


Of course we wore our costumes.


Tina gave the kids these glow glasses


and we headed out before the real party was getting started.



Trick or Treat

We walked the neighborhood
DSC_6502 and said “howdy”
DSC_6504 with a bit of boot stomping before the sun went down.
DSC_6512We avoided the rain, and were out at just the dry time.
DSC_6514 Grammy came over, she fixed us dinner and strolled along.
DSC_6523 I wore my wig to help with the part. I actually never took it off, since I wore my costume to school all day.
DSC_6536A full day that had us in bed early.


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