Dog Days of Summer?

This one has had a rough week.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

It started with a tick found when she was getting groomed. For a dog that spends more than 95% of her life indoors, finding a tick isn’t what I was expecting. I tried not to freak out or worry. But, be serious, you know me. That’s what I do! Monday morning found us visiting the vet to be sure that everything was ok. They ran a couple of test to check for heartworm and tick-born illnesses. All the results came back fine, and since we were there anyway, they went ahead and gave her the vaccines that were due. Oh, and the antibiotics for an ear infection. And this month’s dose of flea & tick prevention.

It was a lot.

The vet said she would be a little lethargic with all of that, so we didn’t think anything of it as we got her settled and we left for my sister’s house for dinner. But when we came back, she was a wreck. Red eyes. Red and swollen muzzle. I think she was so itchy, having some sort of reaction, she started messing with her tail, her ears and her feet. We cleaned her up, got some water in her and kept an eye on her for several hours before going to bed. She even seemed better the next morning. It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that she threw up and started acting really weird. Back to the vet office we went. But thankfully, while she was having a reaction to the combination of meds, she wasn’t anaphylactic at all. It was running it’s course and they could pump her full of fluids and send her home with us. And we all noted that our little, delicate flower of a dog can’t have all the things all at once every again.

p&p

It sounds all very dramatic, but I can’t have anything happen to this dog. I know, I know. (Gawd, we are so annoying, I KNOW!!!) I always say it’s ridiculous how much we love this dog but is it? (Yes, it probably is, shut up.) Is it so strange that this dog means so much to us? (Don’t answer that.) That we love her so much? People who aren’t even “dog-people” love Paisley. People who hate pets in general love Paisley.

I MEAN LOOK AT THIS FACE.

a reminder of her royal (stinky) cuteness

Ridiculous!

My kids wanted to make plans today and I told them no. Because I’m mean and I told them they had to stay home and watch Paisley. They didn’t even argue. It was like, you’re right mom! Paisley! Because remember? We’re completely ridiculous about this dog. You have my full permission to make fun of us all.

Houseaversary: Year One

Last week we celebrated a year of living in our house. And by ‘celebrate’ I mean that I’m pretty sure we had dinner that day together. I think. It was a really busy week, I can’t be sure and I don’t really remember. (I think we’ll celebrate this week. Maybe. Okay, next week for SURE.)

new house
Our House. Right when they accepted our offer.

When I think about this time last year, all I can remember is STRESS. There was so much of it. I mean…SO MUCH. There was all the regular moving stuff like packing and cleaning and OMG the paperwork from hell. Plus, a LOT had to be done before we could move in. Do you remember the old paint? Holy ugly. (But kinda fun to look at. Since it doesn’t look like that at all now, duh.)

newhouseoldpaint

newhouseoldpaint2

But you guys, the past year has been pretty great. I mean, we have this space that felt like home as soon as our paint was on the walls and our stuff was in the rooms. (Also, the new carpet. Because YES TO NEW CLEAN CARPET.) It so amazing to share this space with our family and friends. It’s been so special to see my kids build a life here. This space, this HOME, that I never thought I would have.

newhome

We kinda like it here. I’m not sure you’ve probably noticed.

newhome3

Every so often, The Dude and I worry that our kids never had a house that they lived in for the majority of their childhood. We’ve only lived here for a year and the kids are 12 and 16. But somehow I know that they will remember this house as home base once they’ve gone off to college and started their own lives. We have happy memories from wherever we’ve lived. And I’m so, so glad for that. But there’s a part of me that hopes they (especially) never forget how much fun this past year has been and love the memories we’re making here. It’s been pretty gosh-darn wonderful.

Weekend Wedding

A little over a week ago, these two crazy adorable kids got married.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I could go on and on about how beautiful it was. But, I mean…even my iPhone pictures can show that story.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

From start to finish, we had such a good time. Like, a really really good time.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset
The beautiful bride with me and my beautiful girls.
Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset
No really, he’s happy!

 It’s so beautiful when you can see how much a family loves. These two are bringing together some pretty amazing families.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 As wonderful as it was to celebrate this amazing couple and their fantastic families (of which I am blessed to be a part of) I can’t even begin to tell you how completely amazing it was to have so much fun with my cute little family. We danced the ENTIRE time. We laughed and joked. Did I mention we danced the entire time? YES! EVEN MY HUSBAND!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

My goodness you guys…we had a blast.

We should have weddings at least once a month.

Finding Summer in My Own Backyard

Saying YES to summer hasn’t looked like I thought it would. More pool time, like I promised. We’ve been good at that. We haven’t done quite as many Campfire Wednesdays as we hoped but we’re working on it. We seem to be spending A LOT more time with one another, which is so rad I can’t even begin to tell you. But…I have become really attached to my own back yard.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

 

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

I’ve never been known for my green thumb or even wanting to have a green thumb. But this suburban orchard I’ve inherited has been both overwhelming and so damn good for my soul. But did I mention it’s a little overwhelming? Oh good. Because it is a little overwhelming at times.

photo 2

photo 3

PLUMS

Apricots and plums are coming out of our ears. I’m not mad about it. But I’m learning a lot this time around since it’s our first season with all of this…abundance. There are things that I’ll do SO different next year. We also know a little bit more about trimming down the right way and parsing down the fruit so it’s even better quality. The fruit is delicious. But I think with even more TLC and knowhow, we’ll have better success with ALL of this!

IMG_9512

I almost can’t even explain the joy I have had going out in the backyard in the morning to pull fruit from the trees in our yard. Or sharing our abundance of apricots and plums. I’ve never really experienced it in this way. I mean, I’ve never had my own suburban orchard. So there’s that.

*  *  *  *

Last week, after a particularly frustrating day, I came home from work in a pretty foul mood. I was so relieved to be home. Even if I did announce as I walked in that I wasn’t cooking dinner. (It happens.) (I’m just not going to talk about the frequency that it happens.) With leftovers from the previous days and hosting family, I got it in my head that a fancy cheese plate was the only answer. Sure, I could’ve just dumped all the packages and ingredients on the counter, but taking the few minutes to make something nice for myself was a luxury that made all the difference in the world.

photo 4

The four of us found our way out to the backyard with the “fancy” cheese plate and any leftovers we could find and had the most delicious and relaxing evening you could imagine. It soothed the soul after a crummy day. The kids read or we talked or listened to music. Sarah stopped by with jam (that will literally knock your socks off) made from our suburban orchard fruit! (No really. You have to try this)

photo 5

 

We sat there laughing and talking. We maybe finished a bottle of wine. I was so bummed when it got too dark, I wanted to stay out there all night long.

But it was the perfect lesson to saying yes to summer more. It doesn’t have to be a “fancy” cheese plate. (Although, three nights in a row last week, I just couldn’t say no to them.) It made a world of difference that I just took a few minutes to make it special. It was enjoying my own backyard and being (SO!) grateful for what I have and for the amazing people in my life. THAT is what makes summer so magical. And if I can take those few minutes as often as I can, this summer is already winning it all.

 

drinksjpg

 

(Yes. We are totally going to keep talking about the apricot pepper jam that Sarah made with the apricots. I have put it on EVERYTHING. Just thinking about it now makes me so happy. Stay tuned, folks.)

 

The Adorable Side of World Cup Soccer

worldcup

I know we didn’t LOSE yesterday, but every time I see a replay of that stupid header goal in the last 30 seconds of the game, I break out in hives. I don’t know how we escaped yesterday without taking any pictures, but we had the BEST time hanging out with friends. And stuffing our faces. (I’m still full, guys.) Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a BLAST watching games with some of our very favorite people. Lunch breaks at KBAR. Breakfast at one of our favorite taquerias? My uncle has created this incredible watching experience and I love that he includes us all.

worldcup1

I have to say, one of the funniest parts of hanging out with the family, is when my (husband’s) uncle introduces me as his niece. I’m not saying they don’t believe him. I’m just saying their expressions are funny. Sure, he could introduce me as his nephew’s wife, but I love that he doesn’t.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

 

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
we are adorable

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

I mean COME ON with this. We are freaking hilarious.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset
no cigarettes were smoked in the making of the blog post (they’re candy, for crying out loud)

You know you want to hang out and watch soccer with us.

 

Saying Yes to Summer

IMG_9384

A couple months ago, as we neared warmer temperatures and our pool being open for business, I realized just how much I didn’t use our pool last summer. Moving to a new home is not easy, and the summer months are crazy busy for me, but I was really surprised that I hadn’t even attempted to swim more. I suppose it was “one more thing” for me to worry about. I mean, sometimes changing into a swimsuit is more work than just taking care of the laundry or doing the dishes. While I do know this has a lot to do with how I feel about myself IN a swimsuit, it still felt like an item on the to-do list that I just couldn’t seem to tackle. It made me a little sad that I had missed out on that part of summer.

I have NEVER been comfortable in bathing suit situations. Even as a stick-thin kid, I was bony and awkward and, let’s be honest, never filled out a swimsuit in all the right places. (I still don’t. Go figure.) I was self-conscious and horribly shy about my body. Two kids, SEVERAL pounds and many years later, I have even more swimsuit issues than before. I became really good at avoiding reasons to wear a bathing suit.

By some miracle, or a crazy smoke and mirrors trick, I have raised two confident daughters. At least for the most part, I’ve never heard or seen them be worried about what they look like in a swimsuit. Sure, they are athletic and have great figures, but they could’ve easily fallen into the same trap I did. I am so grateful that they can be confident in their own skin.

IMG_9346

***

I made a promise to myself those couple months ago that I would get in the pool more this summer. Along the lines of saying YES more, getting myself IN (and around) the pool more was a big deal to me. Being in a habit of hating the summer deadlines, and not spending more time with kids, was hard on my happiness. I let it get in the way of the times that I DO have. And while I haven’t embraced my summer work load with open arms, saying yes to the pool has propelled me to a more “glass half-full” mentality. In the two weeks since our pool opened for the season, I have been in the pool more times than I was entirety of last summer. That’s huge. I don’t even have a real swimsuit because I knew if I waited for a suit that I liked, we’d be getting ready for Christmas with no pool-time to speak of.

IMG_9347

I can’t help but document parts of this time that I’m having with my family. I’ve posted several pictures on Instagram out of sheer amazement that I’m making this happen. That WE, as a family, are making this happen. We laugh. We play. We lounge around relaxing. Things that we don’t usually have time for. We still don’t have time, I guess. Except for YES WE DO. We’re MAKING the time to be out there and I’m MAKING myself be a part of it, no matter what I look like in a swimming suit or what time I get home from work.

IMG_9400

We’re saying yes a whole lot more.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I’m enjoying the hell out of summer already.

IMG_9365

No one is more surprised than I am.

IMG_9509

 

(Except for maybe THAT guy.Ha.)

Sunday Night Preemptive Guilt

Every year around this time, I start shutting down a little. Late spring and summer are very busy for me at work, so it’s hard to welcome it with open arms. The guilt of a 40+ hour work week becomes even more precarious. It doesn’t matter that my kids are 16 and 12. The guilt is still there. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s worse now than it was before. I can’t just up and quit, mind you.

I like my job. But mom-guilt always wins.

Mom-guilt fights dirty.

So it’s Sunday night and I’m dreading the work week. It’s deadline heavy. But after weeks of running myself ragged – I’ve been flying solo in the parenting arena several nights a week for the past few months – I know that this week means that I pour myself into work while my husband takes a turn at the double duty wheel. (Thanks, honey.) It’s a parenting balance to be proud of.

But instead I feel guilty.

Also, tired.

It’s not even Monday morning.

It’s temporary, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. This too shall pass and all that.

But that’s probably part of the problem.

We all know how much I worry about time passing.

But it’s 10:25 on a Sunday night and I’m not even close to going to bed. I’m waiting for for the dryer to finish and my husband decided that tonight would be the night that we start watching House of Cards. Don’t even tell me. We’re only on the second episode, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to keep up with that kind of time commitment, but damn it’s good. (Also, yikes.)

Tomorrow will bring the deadlines and the stress of the week. But tonight, I’ll finish the laundry, make the lunches and prep the coffee maker while I get sucked into this show that I won’t ever finish. It makes no sense whatsoever.

I’ll feel guilty about it tomorrow.

this is mostly just for me

Sometimes I forget that this space here is mine.

I mean, you all are welcome here in this space at any time. You don’t even have to take off your shoes and I won’t even be mad if you eat all of my cheese. But I keep forgetting that it’s up to me what goes here. I don’t have to make it look like anyone else’s space. It might even smell funny sometimes. (I’ll try to work on that, though. Febreeze up the place every now and then.)

But it is mine. And it really is ok that I make myself a little more at home here. Hang a few more pictures on the wall and walk around in my underwear sometimes. Just kidding! I’ll always wear a robe. Probably yoga pants.

Let’s be honest: it will always be yoga pants and a t-shirt/tank.

* * *

mom n dad

My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday. I sure like them a lot and I’m glad that their insane enough to have five kids and that they still like each other after all this time. They have this amazing family and a whole lot to be proud of.

* * *

p & a

These two went to a Stanford game on Friday night. For a few minutes, it almost felt like it will once she’s off at college. I was sad and excited and then sad again. I had avoided Rob Lowe and his words for many days because I knew I’d be a mess after reading them. (I was.) So it’s no surprise that I was a bit more aware of all the feelings.

p

I’m so damn proud of all her hard work. I hate that I can be such a wreck about this. I’m already so annoying about this. (I’M SORRY.) I only write about it when I’m not holding it together. I really am fine most of the time. Except for when I read about Rob Lowe and then all bets are off and she’s never leaving me ever.

* * *

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

But then prom happened. How on earth is this classy chick my kid? Do you KNOW what I looked like at my prom? NOT LIKE THIS. Mostly because I didn’t go to my proms. But even if I did, I wouldn’t have looked like this. She’s just so…cool.

Although, mad props to her Fairy Godmother (aka: Sarah) for being the make-up (and hair) magician. It was all quite fabulous from start to finish.

Ramona took it upon herself (and nagging me to curl her hair) to get dolled up. I’m not sure if she was expecting to take some pictures with her sister, but…well, the two of them made my heart explode into a million pieces. It was a huge mess in the driveway. But seriously with these two.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

How did I get to be so lucky?

* * *

While in Atlanta, Dove gave the attendees a bag full of goodies at the beginning of the conference and encouraged us to take a couple of notepads that we could use to leave notes for our kids. I loved the idea. LOVED it. Except, my kids beat me to the punch and hid it in my planner in the space for this week.

dove

I always knew I wanted to be a mom but these kids of mine are more than I could’ve ever imagined. It is hard and frustrating and maddening and did I mention hard? It really is all of those things. But it is also amazing and wonderful and the best thing ever.

On Mother’s Day I spent part of the morning thinking about the hard side of mom life. The times when you feel like you’re doing everything wrong and nothing makes sense. You have no idea how to fix it or make it better, you just know that you should. But even as my heart hurt for the times when kids are jerks or when I’ve lost my cool, I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t go back in time and take it all back. I would do all the hard all over again because I wouldn’t be who I am today without experiencing all of it. We wouldn’t be the us we are without it.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

* * *

Have a great week everyone. Next time, you host. We eat all the cheese at your house next.

 

The Easter Dilemma

It just dawned on me that I’ve done NOTHING for Easter. No decorations up. No Easter baskets down from the storage shelf in the garage. Nothing that resembles the fact that Easter is in two days. I mean, I accidentally have a little bit of candy because we visited Andy’s Candy on Monday, but I really can’t list that under the “accomplishments” column because we’ve already started eating it.

Hell, the kids asked the other day if they were getting something for Easter.

All signs point to NO.

It’s too bad you don’t believe in the Easter Bunny! Basically that means that you get crap from your Mom & Dad because they’re JERKS!

I’m pretty sure we’ll come up with something. (Tomorrow. Maybe.) But I’m feeling conflicted on this new chapter of parenting we’ve reached. I’m equal parts nostalgic and relieved that ‘these types’ of holidays are no longer a very big deal in our house. Less stress, but I promised myself that it didn’t matter that if they believed or not, we’d still celebrate with gusto. But here we are and I’ve done NOTHING to prepare and I’ve kinda entertained the idea that I don’t have to.

I won’t actually DO nothing, but I’ve entertained the idea.

(Also, I’m really bummed that I forgot to decorate. I do love springtime/Easter decorations. They’re so cheerful.)

Parenting is so weird. I’m blown away by the fact that I’m done with the babies and toddler era. But OMG MY KIDS FEED AND DRESS THEMSELVES AND IT’S GLORIOUS. But then…the only time I’ll sniff a baby’s head is if it belongs to someone else. MY CHILDREN TALK AND CAN USE THEIR WORDS TO TELL ME IF THEY’RE NOT FEELING WELL OR HUNGRY. I DON’T HAVE TO WIPE ANYONE’S ASS. The cuddles, the footie pajamas the cuddles! I DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR DIAPERS AND DID I MENTION I DON’T HAVE TO WIPE ANYONE’S ASS?

So yeah…we’re back to two days before Easter and totally not prepared. Or decorated. And completely grateful that we have plans with family on Sunday that will be fabulous fun and will give my kids a taste of Easter festivities. Which means, really, that I can give myself the weekend off and not worry about this anymore. Done!

I love Easter.

easterbasket
Last year’s Easter deco. Obviously.

 

Ramona: Age 12

abbygirl

Twelve just sounds really old.

I obviously know how old my kids are. I really do know how to do math. But for some reason, Ramona’s jump from 11 to 12 yesterday knocked the wind out of me. It’s not that her new and updated age took me by surprise. It’s just…no, I’m lying. It somehow totally took my by surprise. I’m constantly amazed by how fast time flies. At this point in my parenting career, I should really be used to it.

For various reasons, I worried about how much fun Ramona would have celebrating her birthday. With her big day falling right in the middle of her two weeks of spring break and then a family filled, Easter weekend, we didn’t have too many options and will be having her birthday “event” in May. At some point. On a weekend that is NOT Mother’s Day or the weekend I’m not out of town. (Sigh.)

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset
yes, she is pointing a sling-shot at me

Don’t get me wrong, I really do think she had a great time yesterday. I mean she practically had a breakfast of gummy bears and worms as we visited a fabulous new candy store downtown. (LOVE them.) We had a Starbucks date, her and I. A visit to one of her favorite people. Her best friend was able to get out of school early yesterday and hang out with us for the afternoon. They were pampered with pedicures, just the two of them. (Which I neglected to get a picture of. Mom FAIL.)

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
there are only 10 candles…another MOM FAIL

We had celebrated April birthdays with my side of the family over the weekend while everyone was in town, but my inlaws were able to come over for a nice, little dinner. I was also so glad that some family that lives so close could come over for birthday cake. (That Beezus made. From scratch. It was amazing and DELICIOUS.)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
the beautiful, vanilla layered cake made with a LOT of hard work by the big sister

I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for the people in my life that love my kids so much. I am so blessed with family (and friends who are family) who make my kids feel so special. This kid is so loved. Plus, that look on her face? Makes me so damn happy. She is just the coolest chick ever.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
I love her