Friday, August 27, 2010

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Great sleeping weather.

Fresh green beans from my Aunt's garden.

A sign from my Mom...on my birthday, a restored orange Beetle with a black convertible top cruised down my street. It was the spittin' image of our Pumkin.

An impromptu gathering of most of my favorite people on my birthday for a little celebration.

How excited my kids were to shower me with birthday boxes from William Sonoma, and how happy I was to receive them.

Homemade fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella paninis.

Hubby may not have been telling scary stories around the fire, but he had their attention with his I Pad.
Miss Bit is riding like she was born on a bike!
Cousin Geno likes zhu zhus too!

Grandma J. really likes the I Pad too!
Kids who make their own breakfast. T. Bone made himself 2 batches of scrambled eggs on Sunday morning. It was his first time doing so and he was quite proud. Miss Bit heated up a Pop Tart.

Cherry stained Cuties!
Rock Stars
These Eyes.
This Smile.
She's Mine.
A seat for everyone at the table.
Teachers who send welcome letters!

T. Bone came back from overnight camp last week more exhausted than I've ever seen him. He asked me if we were ever going camping as a family. I hesitated before asking him if he wanted to because camping is not my cup of tea. His answer..."Sure, in a 5 star hotel!" Yup...he's mine!

Dinner with a friend this week. We had fun. Of course we did, our food bill was a fraction of our wine bill!

A shamrock just like my Mom's from my brother.

Dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's Sunday...always delicious...always a fine time.

It's still August and I've already bought 2 Christmas gifts!

A very long weekend. Off to Six Flags for a day and the beach for one last time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


What's not to love about a day that begins with sunlight and Belgian waffles, and then ends with smores by moonlight?

I struggled with wanting to cross more activities off of our summer to do list because let's face it...these dog days are dwindling, and with wanting to simply savor the sweetness of a lazy day. T. Bone, who has become quite the budding little sous chef, mixed up the waffles, while I macerated the strawberries and Lil Bit and Miss O. sampled the whipped cream. We finally put breakfast on the table just before lunch time and that is what I call the definition of languid. The kids played with friends. I puttered. We took a mid-afternoon break to whip up a batch of slushies. Then it was back to playing, projects and putzing. After family dinner, we gathered on the patio with friends and roasted marshmallows to sandwich between creamy peanut butter cups and crunchy graham crackers. It was the perfect end to a quintessential summer day. A day filled with whatever whimsy happened to come our way: watermelon, flip flops, singing by the fire, swinging in the sweet breezes, bomb pops, bike riding, Barbie marathons, little t.v., lots of tunes...abundant goodness.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tick Tock

Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it.
Charles Caleb Colton

I'm another year older. We're one week away from the start of the new school year. Fall encroaches on summer as the nights become crisp with that familiar, cozy chill. I'm not afraid of the number. After all, age is relative and heaven help me, I'm still waiting to get wiser. Back to school brings with it a welcome return to routine on which I thrive. Bring it on! And autumn is synonymous with comfort in my world. I welcome the cool, colorful days of harvest. October is my favorite month of the year...each and every year. So I'm sitting here trying to come to terms with this persistent sense of gentle sadness I've come to know as melancholy that visits me from time to time without warning or invitation. I know her well. Her vacant eyes haunt me as she pitifully stares me down, and her musty scent follows me wherever I go like the lingering of a smoldering campfire doused with water. She sneaks in when the door's been left ajar and sucks a little of the joy out of the present as she reminds me of what is lost...what is passed. Even as I know to the core of my being that the past is filled with treasures and gifts that I carry with me into the future, I feel robbed, looted, even weary. This misery: it's all she knows. We all know what they say about misery: it sure loves company.

Middle age: it doesn't scare me, but I'm not so sure about old age. Honestly, I'm not quite sure how exactly to even define old age. Ask me in a few years. Kids in elementary school become college bound before we know it. Fall festivities become holiday festivities and then before long we're shut ins for half a cold, dark year. This is how melancholy slyly steals from the sweet fruit of what is to come...she gives us an acrid taste of fast forward fear. She doesn't mean to, but she only knows how to look back longingly to mourn as she softly moans missing the only relevant moment...this one. In that very moment, the trepidation is paralyzing, and then the moment is gone...gone forever. I used to think that melancholy was my muse, but now I know she's nothing but a manipulating thief. A miserable masquerader.

That's why I've been mute. I'm refusing to give her a voice this time. Quietly, I'm opening my eyes and taking in so much of the beauty in the here and now all around me, and slowly I'm convincing her to pack up her suffocating shrouds and move on because I'm onto her.

She's not getting any more of my marrow. I'm on board to live all the moments of my life.

Today I'm participating in Tuesdays Unwrapped.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Sunny summer blooms.

Summer Days. T. Bone and Miss Bit enjoyed many this week. He spent a few days at Camp Grandma with his boy cousins and then headed to a state park for an overnight campout...his first. She went to the water park with Aunt Jess and then to a state park for swimming and hiking. I'm glad that they are having so much fun with loved ones because the count down has begun for back to school.

All of her friends...

and the birthday girl herself...

had an absolute ball at Miss Bit's party last weekend.

We get to celebrate being Irish this weekend.

My girl can do this now!

Zhu for the whole family (well, almost! I have yet to see T. Bone get in on the fun.)

These two on chipmunk brother like brother.

Like father like son...these two on dualing computers.

My scaredy cat is getting back to himself after all the commotion of the past few weeks: loud storms, sump pumps and dehumidifiers that terrorize him by convincing him the vacuum has been running nonstop for days, a house filled with 6 year olds, talking rodents wearing tutus and crowns chasing him throughout the house.

Cherry mojitos on my menu this weekend.
Shucked corn and roasted pepper quesadillas this week for dinner...twice.
Friday morning walks.
Meeting the new principal of the kid's new school. He reminds me of a younger version of our priest. He got down on Miss Bit's level and carried on a conversation with her while I registered them. T. Bone's buddy, J., is in his class!
Lunch with my friend C. yesterday. We went to a place she used to frequent with my Mom and then when we left someone asked where she was. It felt like she was with us, and that was good because we're both missing her a lot lately.
Novemeber elections.
Back to school shopping is mostly complete. She is going to be a fashion plate and he's going to look like a walking Nike advertisement.
This Jack Johnson line I've sung along to thousands of times struck a chord with me this morning...Everybody knows about everybody one knows anything about themselves cause they're all worried about everybody else.
The boys are going out to a baseball game tonight.
The girls are staying in for a movie night.
Birthday wishes.
My Mom for bringing me into this world 41 years ago.
Any sign she can send me on my birthday.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Six Going On Sixteen!

My girl's a driver...of a pink flowery number with a pretty basket...but still. Tonight she learned how to ride a two wheeler. Of course, she did it in style...a micro mini and flip flops sans helmet. I know. I know. We are as proud of her as she is of herself! Way to go Miss Bit!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Girls Day Out!

Aunt Jess had one of her brilliant ideas during Sunday's breakfast. Since the boys were teed up for a golf outing, she suggested that we girls forge ahead with our weekend of fun and spend the beautiful day at the beach. I mulled it over for less than a second before deciding that life is short and summer even shorter, got on the phone with one of Miss Bit's BFFs to see if she was in for a spontaneous, sisterhood outing, packed a cooler and only got lost 2 or 3 times in route to our favorite little lake.

Miss Bit and her buddy B. were eager to get in the water. Jess and I were excited to get into our books, but the little girlies were eying up the raft and, well...6 and 7 year olds aren't the most patient so after a few pages we embarked on our own noodle regatta. The water felt more than refreshing, and the girls were quite entertaining trying to outdo each other with their dives, jack knifes, canon balls and flips.

They ended up spending a good part of the afternoon on the playground that screams nostalgia for this old gal. I loved watching them have fast paced, frenetic fun...seriously, in most of my pictures they are just colorful striped blurry whirs.

After a few fast hours, we headed back to town and ended up at B.'s house with precision timing. Her Daddy had just filled a platter with hot grilled hamburgers and brats and it would have been incredibly rude not to stay and help our friends eat all that meat!! Bouncing (on the trampoline), burgers, brats and beers with besties...the perfect end to our bacchanal of a weekend! When Miss Bit turns 16, I plan to live it up the whole month of August!

Happy Luau to You Lil Bit!

It was a G-R-E-A-T party! The kids (and adults) all had a wet blast. No one got hurt (except Uncle B. after hours and now he's OK.) No one wanted to say Aloha...that is to say there were plenty of tearful goodbyes, yet Miss Bit smiled all day long!