Tuesday, February 28, 2017


it was another weekend spent close to home.
that was just fine with me.
saturday both kids got up and left the house within minutes.
never mind that it was 11 o' clock and 12 o'clock.
she went rollerskating.
he went to workout and have dinner with a friend.
it was a long workout.
then she went to see ragtime at the high school.
i felt a little bad that i didn't tag along, but i was a serious lazy homebody saturday.
and i have no regrets.
i didn't even make dinner saturday night.
mike was happy to order chinese takeout.
sunday we were up early for church.
mike and i enjoyed a breakfast date while the kids had sunday school.
then i found my mojo in the kitchen.
i made chili and sunday sauce and a few other things.
lily and i did a grueling stretch video together while the boys watched the badgers.
for the record, she put me to shame, but was nice about it.
for the record...stretch more.
we gathered for sunday dinner.
then we girls watched a movie.
it was meh until the end when i found it slightly more compelling.
it failed to impress lil.
she went to bed and ted came down.
he sat beside me on the couch with a carton of ice cream and we watched the scandalous end of the oscars.
i saw the beginning and the ending and i think that's just the way to do it.
the only movie i wanted to win anything was lion.
it won nothing.
i think no matter the climate, the awards are always based more on politics than talent.
it was really nice to hang with teddy for a little bit at the end of the weekend.
i stayed up way too late and slept poorly.
it is the curse of sunday night.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


after the fullness of last weekend, i was looking forward to a low key few days.
i wanted time to read, workout, cook and spend time with my family.

1. i finished a little life. this is a book i will not soon forget. although i went to the library to pick up a new stash, i was unable to pick up another book all weekend long.

2. camouflaged cats. they are in that seasonal mode of following the sun.

3. teddy completed his behind the wheel and will be taking his driving test next week. he's quite a good driver and a pretty responsible young man so i think i'm ready. i won't miss having to pick him up from work at 9 o'clock, which was the case both friday and saturday night, but then maybe i will because some of the best talks we have are when he's shotgun beside me.

4. happy hour at casa wags. the windows were open wide, the music on loud and the grill fired up. lily painted, mike and i played cards and all was right in the universe.

5. just call her shopping queen. saturday she went to the third ward with a friend and monday she went to the mall with grandma. she was on a mission to get sunglasses for mexico. i think she's ready.

6. her nest.

7.  after a long walk through the park with my husband on a summer-like day, we enjoyed his best bbq ribs yet...ever. 

8. grandma judy brought me flowers and a book when she came to take lily shopping and for lunch. she's a keeper...that's for sure.

9. a roaring fire on a fall-like night. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

It's Friday. It's been a long week and a long day too. This morning I picked up my book. The book I'm trying so hard not to finish, and I read while I was drying my hair with one hand and brushing my cat with the other. Oh, and I sobbed. (Good thing it was before I put on any make up.) I was not very present in real life as I pretty much threw our breakfast against the cabinets and stood watching the beautiful sunny-side up eggs and slimy spinach slink all the way to the floor. Then a few minutes later I mistook toothpaste for lotion and my perfume for deodorant. Ouch.

Lily's glowing conferences last night. A couple teachers were so gushing in their loud praises that I got a tad embarrassed, but, of course, I know they're sincere...and right. She works hard and has much respect for learning and teachers.

Ted has not spoken of quitting his job again this week, and he received his first pay check. I'm hopeful there will be more. School comes first and his social life is important too, but so are the lessons one learns from employment. I think this experience is a source of pride for him, and the small sacrifices he must make are good for maturity and character.

Sore arms. I'm thankful because the pain is from a couple difficult workouts. They hurt so good.

A very sweet Valentines Day with my loves. I'm so lucky.

My guy is going to make his family famous ribs for us this weekend. 

It's going to be unseasonably warm so perfect for grilling.

Spring cleaning. I'm in the mood to purge and organize and tackle some projects.

A long weekend. No work or school on Monday.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February Fifteenth

We celebrated Valentine's Day yesterday. It was a good day. Lots of sweets and love. I made the kids waffles with strawberries, cream and chocolate for breakfast, tucked extra large chocolate bars in their lunches to share with friends and made a French silk pie for dessert. I sent my guy off for the day with a found dose of cold meds. He's acquired the infection Lily and I have been battling for weeks now, yet I don't think he blames us...for getting him sick or taking almost all the drugs. He came home with pizzas for the kiddos although not Rocky's as is annual tradition because they had a 3 hour wait. Apparently, heart-shaped pizzas are a popular tradition this year. And yes, pizzas because they have divergent requests and we aim to please especially on Valentine's Day. He also brought a nice bottle of vino. I made us small salads so we could have a little pie. Never mind that they were small Caesar salads for today is a new day. And I have only had one bite of pie so far this morning. If you could taste this pie, you would understand instantly the willpower I am exerting. The kids liked their gifts. Lily was most jazzed about her sparkly glue in a rainbow of colors. Sparkly glue means slime. She's quite the slime master these days. Ted showed high excitement over some Vineyard Vines attire for Mexico, which he pronounces vine (long I) yard, much to my amusement. He likes colorful things too. The adults were happy with their gifts as well, but then we know best of all that the stuff is not what's important. They, for the most part, know it too.


What's important are traditions and connections and memories. Support, validation and dreams. Kind deeds, generous acts, thoughtful words, and open hearts. And love. Not just on February 14th, but every day. Always. 365 people.


I've been in a bit of a shady place, and yet, I still know and believe this.  And despite the fact I've been wallowing a bit, I am not joking when I tell you that my heart is filled with just as much if not more gratitude than when I'm soaring. Attention to the extraordinary ordinary and appreciation for the dailiness of life is profound and powerful stuff friends. I aim not to live large. I aim to live lots.


The best of life is what happens in the moments in between. In the trenches is where there are riches.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


it was a weekend of dates.
thursday evening i attended the highly acclaimed disgraced. 
perhaps, a little too highly acclaimed, and yet i enjoyed the night out with a friend fully.
the characters felt flat, inauthentic and the plot contrived, but the company shined.
friday i had another date for another performance.
jess came over beforehand to help doll lily up for her valentine's dance.
she's beautiful every day, but i think she really felt it this night.
jess did her nails, her hair, her face, and saved my skin.
then we headed to the pabst to see the empress of soul, gladys knight.
we were an hour early so we used our time wisely to people watch and drink wine.
it was quite a crowd and a great show.
the highlights for me were some of the covers she sang like stay with me, and of course, midnight train to georgia.
jess liked landlord (wink wink).
after the show, we walked to elsa's for a snack and to see the collection of neon hearts.
we came home to find that lily won the grand door prize: a giant teddy bear...just what she needed.
and also that teddy had fun at work...yes, fun.
of course, within 24 hours he was talking about quitting his job.
oye ve.
saturday i was rather tired and lazy so i spent the day relaxing, reading, and catching up on a few shows.
we picked teddy up after work at 8:30 and headed out for a late family dinner.
it was a supreme evening despite the fact that the pizza napoletana was not quite as good as we recalled from our last visit.
sunday we had another family date at church, and it was, perhaps, the best of the weekend.
then lily and i headed to the oriental to see the much anticipated film, the lion.
it was the most moving movie i've seen in years.
i loved it so much that i came home and ordered long way home stat.
i'm hopeful it'll be a worthy successor to a little life which i am still pacing my way through.
i have but 100 skinny pages left.
mike grilled burgers for dinner at teddy's request.
we all enjoyed them though.
we all enjoyed it all as a matter of fact.

Monday, February 13, 2017

On My Mind Monday

Having children has provided their adulthood with an instant and nonnegotiable sense of purpose and direction: they decide the length and location of that year's vacation; they determine if there will be any leftover money, and if so, how it might be spent; they give shape to a day, a week, a year, a life. Children are a kind of cartography, and all one has to do is obey the map they present to you on the day they are born.

Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life

Friday, February 10, 2017

Grateful Friday

In pictures...

Peek a boo Tigger.

Sweet dreams Peanut.

My shadow.

More slime.

 No more braces.

 Another sunrise.

My little life.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


the weekend was punctuated by equal parts sun and shade both literally and figuratively.
i know it didn't help that neither lily or i were feeling 100 percent.
but the truth is i cannot put it all off on physical ailments.
and really they pale in comparison to emotional upsets.
friday mike and i watched the light between oceans and both liked it lots.
it actually exceeded my expectations and was a rare case of appreciating the movie more than the book.
ted was busy much of the weekend with 2 shifts at work, an afternoon of volunteering and then hanging out with friends in his spare time.
lily spent time with friends at theaters and malls.
typical teen and tween life.
well, he's the only one of his friends who has a job, but i digress.
saturday we had dinner with some family.
it wasn't the best night.
i got stuck on some passing comments.
i left feeling sad.
i woke even sadder.
i really needed church on sunday morning, but my cough was relentless and so mike and i walked all around the city while lily attended sunday school instead.
it was cold and gray and punishing, and exactly what i needed.
then jess came for the super bowl baring spring flowers and red wine,
but she really came for dinner because we didn't much care for the game or the commercials.
in fact, i dozed through most of it.
i attribute my sleepiness to a combo of cold head and food coma (and wine).
mike grilled the most delicious ribs for dinner, and i made coleslaw and parker house potatoes.
it was a feast.
i'm feeling a little better both emotionally and physically with each passing day.

Monday, February 6, 2017

On My Mind Monday

The only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you - not smarter, not cooler, but kinder and more generous, and more forgiving - and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and try to listen when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad - or good - it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.

Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life

I'm treasuring this novel. The characters come alive. I feel like I know them, I can see them, and I'm rooting for them because while their bonds are thick, their lives are not always easy. I'm about halfway through the 700 some pages, but honestly it's taken restraint not to blow through it. Rumor has it that this one leaves you with a major book hangover and I've got nothing to parallel it in my cue so I'm trying to take my time.

I suppose it's no coincidence that I've been thinking a great deal about friendship lately. What it looks like to be a good friend. How it feels. I've had a couple major disappointments on that front. One friend continually disappoints me, but is such a part of my history, and another who really had me fooled. One saddens me and the other maddens me. I've also got some real gems though...strong and bright and shiny. One of them brought me these flowers the other day. I almost put tulips in my cart earlier in the day, and then I didn't. But if I had, they would have been yellow.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Although Lily is feeling better, she woke up this morning with a red and crusty eye. That sent us to the doctor for meds because eye infections are nothing to mess around with. I'm sure she'll be ready for school and swimming come Monday. Fingers crossed.

Having health insurance even though it covers less and less and costs more and more. The prescription for her antibiotic was $158. I knew we could find something just as effective for a fraction of the cost. The pharmacist was patient, the rep from my insurance company helpful and the doctor's office compliant. She ended up with a drug in the same class for $5. Yes, it took over an hour, but if we don't advocate for our care and speak out against this kind of nonsense, it only gets worse. We lose more control and everything gets more expensive.

We spent the day together. I was a cold head mess too so we got our favorite lunches (Qdoba for her and tuna with peas for me) and snuggled in to watch a movie. We decided on Sully, and and it was a pretty good choice. It seemed short and the ending abrupt, but then I did stop it in the middle to pick up Ted.

That I was able to pick up Ted since he had to work at 4 o'clock. He gets home about a half hour earlier if I pick him up so that gives him more time to chill. He went straight from work to his friends house with his favorite buffalo chicken bites so I don't think work is affecting anything except his time playing PS4.

Comfort food. When I was sick, my mom would make me soft boiled eggs. I made myself a 6 minute egg the other morning and it made me feel better.

Good enough, in fact, to head out for a fast, brisk walk. It started to snow about midway through my miles and that was just fine by me. I was listening to a Moth podcast and I could have walked all afternoon.

 I found out there are regular story slams in my city. I'm definitely going to one. I don't think I'll commit to throwing my name in the hat yet, but maybe at some point although just writing that gives me heart palpitations.

The days are getting longer. The change of seasons is not something I usually embrace. In fact, I find any nature of change difficult, but I'm trying to be more open to it because it is so obviously out of my control.


A dinner date with my guy the other night. We went to a little pasta place we haven't been to in like 20 years and everything was wonderful: the time, the food, the wine. We haven't had pasta in at least 30 days so it was a treat. My scallops were the best I've had in as long as I can remember, and Mike's mushroom bolognese was rich and flavorful. The flourless chocolate cake I brought home for the kiddos and just had to sample was also a delight. There were little things we could have been annoyed about, but we decided that we were out enjoying the night and life was good.

My little stack of reads.

My reading buddy.

Another quiet weekend ahead. I love that about this time of year because it's easy to be in the moment not planning something or preparing for something. There's no yard work, or shopping or decorating.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

First of February

It's February first. I cannot believe how quickly the calendar changes. I'm noticing that the sun is rising earlier and setting later. Slowly and then all at once it seems the days lengthen, the season passes, everything changes. The showy sky caught my eye this morning as I came down the stairs to a still shadowless house. I could see the day breaking bright in the east so I went outside in the cold with bed head and bare feet to take a picture. 


Lily's home sick for the second day this week. She didn't miss a single day of school last year. She really didn't want to miss a day this year either. Both mornings she got up and ready before realizing she needed to go back to bed. It wasn't an easy decision. When I got home yesterday, she was doing her homework. She went on the portal to get her assignments without a single prod. I just hope she feels better tomorrow, and that she's always this responsible.


This week it was decided that Ted needs to get himself up in the morning. He has two alarms: a clock and a phone. So far he hasn't been successful. Last night he actually set an alarm, but he slept through it this morning. I guess one could call that progress. He starts his job tonight. My thoughts on this are complicated. It's a rite of passage. I'm proud that he'll earn his own money, learn responsibility and strengthen his work ethic, but I'm also melancholy that he's giving up so much of his free time. He's still a kid, and I want him to act like one. No mixed messaging going on here. Add to that the fact that I think it's going to be a bit of a rude awakening. He earned $30 shoveling our neighbor's driveway and walk yesterday. That took him about 5 minutes. You do the math. In fact, he went to do it sweaty straight after a workout in shorts and t shirt and didn't even have time to get cold. Let's just say that his hourly wage for bagging groceries is much much less. Also he's got 3 shifts...15 hours this week. That seems like a lot to me. I just hope it's not too much.


Of them all, it was the true love. Of them all, it was the best. That other, that sumptuous love which made one drunk, which one longed for, envied, believed in, that was not life. But to be close to a child, for whom one spent everything, whose life was protected and nourished by one's own, to have that child beside one, at peace, was the real, the deepest, the only joy.


I still have Salter on my mind. Or more like Viri and Nedra. I don't think parental love is the best or only. I just think it's the most organic and fierce. All of love is quite awesome.


There are plenty of things I should do today. I'm pretty sure that reading, signing on here, cooking, and editing pictures are diversion tactics from the real work in my purview. I'm almost an expert procrastinator, but you should see these crustless quiche I made for the rest of the week, the perfect 6 minute egg I enjoyed for this morning's breakfast, that morning sunrise I exulted. I'm so very easily distracted, and yet I often prefer to see that as a good thing thank you. The sun is out exposing all the dust bunnies in the corners. I know spring is coming because the boys are shedding like mad. I should clean, but the temperature is much warmer than it will be the next couple of days so I think a long walk is in order. Perhaps a Moth podcast or two.Then maybe I'll vacuum before I make Lily something comforting to eat and Teddy something hearty to tide him over until a late dinner after work. Taking care of this house and my family brings me more joy than one woman deserves. This I tell you is one of the only things I know for sure day in and day out, no matter the season.