Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Very Nice Summer and other stuff

For those of you who still check in despite my sadly sporadic posting, thank you. I'll try to do better, really I will.

It seems strange to be posting about summer on what is the coldest Memorial Day weekend I can remember since we moved back to southern California from Seattle. It has actually rained (I think most of the rest of the country would call it drizzling) for the last few days. News directors all across the Southland had a very difficult decision for last night's evening newscast: do I lead with the high speed chase du jour (which was made all the more dramatic by the slick streets, spraying water and fishtailing. Boo YA!) or Storm Watch 2008? Decisions, decisions. Of course the live feed of the chase won, and the bastards had the nerve to go to commercial and make us miss the end, which is usually the best part, and have to watch a replay. Amateurs.

Regardless of the weather, signs abound that summer is almost here, and as sad as I am to see Julia's awesome year in 2nd grade end, I'm ready for a break from frantic mornings and busy schedules. Those of you have been with me a while might recall that for the last couple of years, I and some others declared it would be The Best Summer Ever. The first time we did this, the summer really lived up to it. There was ice cream, a new swing set, more ice cream, trips to Disneyland and Legoland and fun and relaxation all over the place. Last year, I thought, it would most definitely be the BSE. I mean, how could it it not? We had a new house with a pool for the first time ever and we couldn't wait to spend every waking minute in it. Well, I'll tell you how: start the summer by literally losing your mind to the point that you don't want to get out of bed or even know which end is up. Add a flood to the entire downstairs of said house that takes 2 months to clean up from, hole up in your steaming hot upstairs (in the dark for most of a week, as it turned out) and add a half-assed air conditioner and asbestos in your ducting. That's how.

While we've recovered from the effects of last year's summer fiasco, I'm not thinking I want to jinx things this year by setting up some crazy unrealistic expectations. So, my friends, I hereby declare the summer of 2008 A Very Nice Summer. That's it. I still plan to send my kids to camp, do a lot of fun things, go to the beach, grill, swim a ton, and eat a lot of Shave Ice. But I think I'll be a lot more content hoping to just have a nice time than to pressure all of us to make things the BEST EVER. I'm all about baby steps right now and this seems to be a good one to take. Maybe in a couple of years I won't be as gun shy. For now, let's make it a nice summer.

In other news, I'm having a great time with my Uppercase Living business so far. Every day I think of new ways to use the expressions and lettering. The possibilities are endless. I had a party at a friend's the other night and it was nice to see the positive response I got across the board. I have some high hopes for this company.

In other other news, Ray's mom is coming to spend next weekend with the kids so he and I can spend a couple of nights away. Even though we're just staying at a hotel down the street, we have a massage and a nice dinner scheduled and we plan on just relaxing for a couple of days. We so need this.

The following weekend, I'm going to my hear Stacy Julian speak at my scrapbook store, Treasured Memories. I'm really excited to hear her talk and hope to get motivated inject some sanity into my overwhelming pile of to-be-scrapped photos. Treasured Memories is a great store and the owner, Christine, is lovely and generous. Definitely good people. If you're ever in the area, stop by and spend lots of money.

Hope the weather is sunny where you are and that you have a great weekend.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Happy Mother's Day

It seems we've been celebrating Mother's Day for several days already. It started Thursday morning when Ray & Julia came into my room with big smiles, holding the local newspaper. Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

Our local paper does this every year. Julia came up with the thoughts and Ray helped her get it to under 100 words and it totally made my day. Especially the part about "the brothers."

Friday I got to celebrate at Ethan's school where we were serenaded by a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds who couldn't stop grinning long enough to sing. Beyond cute.

We took a break yesterday to attend Julia's last softball game. They placed 3rd in their tournament which thankfully earned them big gaudy trophies that completely erased any disappointment they may have had about losing their game. They celebrated the end of the season at a swim party at one team member's AMAZING home. The girls had such a great time and it was nice to see Julia be one of the crowd. It's a struggle to let her be herself while trying to get her to be a little more outgoing. I'd like to think this experience has helped.

This morning I got my mother's day presents that were so amazing and sweet that my teeth hurt...or is that the Starbucks donut I had for breakfast? Never mind. Julia's teacher helped the class make a compilation of artwork and poetry throughout the year that is truly remarkable. The best part is the card: Top 10 Reasons Why I Love You. It's an entire scrapbook in itself. Ray hooked me up with some salon services that my nasty hair desperately needs. But my favorite present is the Webkinz panda that Julia and Ethan INSISTED I get. I had the most fun half hour this morning adopting it, decorating its room and taking it to Dr. Quack for a checkup, all with their guidance and advice.

This Mother's Day is a lot nicer for me than last year, thanks to me being more aware of what's been going on with me emotionally and having the tools to get through it. I'm looking forward to spending the day with my mom, who has truly saved me and my family throughout this year. To all the moms out there, a happy, happy, relaxing day to you. Our work is endless and the rewards infinite and no other job is done with more love and dedication.