Thursday, February 4, 2016

This is the Life

Diving into 2016 and it's surreal how fast everything goes.

Kids are huge. J is playing on the Frosh/Soph Basketball team for his high school. They've been training with JV and he's finding more and more that he loves this sport.

E is doing super well in 7G. She's all about art and wood shop. It's pretty cool.

W is attending school through California Virtual Academy and doing awesome. It's so much better for him - lots less anxiety.

Work is crazy, but it's good. Lots of change that's being implemented. There's always push-back; however, I think little by little, people are seeing that these changes create greater efficiency which help in the way they invest their time. We can sweat the more complicated issues and try to make their experience as seamless as possible. A great deal of implementing change has to do with education - communicating the why, what, and how is vitally important.

Hope all of you are doing well. xo

Monday, September 28, 2015

Stop the Clock


It's been hot the last few weeks. I'm too cheap to do air conditioning. We do fans and natural circulation, but I admit there are days when the kids and I want to sleep on the floor of the kitchen with the freezer door open. It's not uncommon for each one of them to take turns asking for the empty side of my bed. It's big enough. And there will be a day in the near future when I won't get to be this close to them, listening to them snore, or touching their excessively long eyelashes while they're still enough.

I was taken aback a little tonight while we were with some friends for dinner. My youngest was telling a story but using this weird voice. One of the littles there asked him what he was doing, he said (verbatim) "I'm trying to add mystery and creepiness." Done and done. But for him to add those dimensions to his story-telling technique is amazing to me. I'm watching him grow up before my very eyes...and I love it...and hate it at the same time.

My oldest will be graduating in two years, then my middle a few years after that, and then my little two years after that...and then...crazy life begins. Oye. For now, I think I'll just ask them to tell me stories and take it all in. And maybe use a weird voice occasionally...you know, for fun.

xo

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Max the Destroyer


I had this dog. He was big and clumsy...and annoying sometimes because he would whack you with his whip of a tail, or he would silent but deadly while you were minding your own business enjoying the pure air, or he would push 4 year olds over because he weighed more than them. My neighbor once said that he was the kind of dog you could steal a couch with...I don't know what that means, but we still throw that around because it's ironic...and possibly more indicative of who HE was than my dog.

Max was a year old when he came into our family. I had some friends who couldn't accommodate him. They were moving and couldn't keep a big dog. We had just moved into a house with a rat problem and the property managers needed almost a week to just GET to the issue. I took the matter into my own hands and took my friend's cat and dog. He wasn't super socialized and he was spazzy. I grew up with retrievers mostly, so the personality of this dog was initially a bit of a challenge. We got over it, though. While awkward and big, he was a lover at heart. And also while maintaining the appearance of a bully-like dog, he was a total coward. He was afraid of things like...the ultra horrifying dustpan, dead things (like the tiny baby birds that fell out of their nest when the momma built it on top of the slats of our patio cover), florescent light covers and the like.

There were also plenty of times when my man would let him out "accidentally" and he would terrorize the neighborhood, seeing whose doors were open so he could go check out their houses and test the water in their toilets, or sniff their bum cheeks while they were still in night gowns. Great stuff. THOSE were the moments when I was so irritated that it didn't seem like such a bad idea for animal control to come and get him. The only way to coax him to do anything was with hot dogs. I could pull him home from a block away if he saw I had a processed meat product in my hand. He also liked cheese and being with me...even when I was bugged.

The night of mother's day, I saw it. A huge growth in his groin area that hadn't been there before. 5 hours in the animal ER, and a follow up visit with the vet the day after confirmed that it was cancer. No amount of chemo or surgery would make it go away without seriously diminishing his quality of life. And the difficult decision was made to let the time work it's way, make him comfortable, love on him, medicate him and use every second we had left to enjoy him. The vet wasn't sure if we would get a month or a year...we were lucky, it was 3 months. I can't bring myself to write about those months...or the last day. What I can write is that I miss my dog. I miss him snoring through the night. I miss that he chased things away. I miss that most people thought he would be rough, and would therefore leave a wide wake for me to go my way...I mostly miss that he would find me and check on me often. I miss him asking me to take him on a walk. I just...miss.

Love you, Max the destroyer of all things backyard irrigation. I'll miss you forever. xo

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer


It's around the corner. And honestly, I am unsure about how I'm going to work out the logistics. But this is not the point. This won't be a rant, rather a glance backward to long, warm days at the beach. Orange Crush. Boogie boarding. Huntington Beach. Swimming lessons at the YMCA in Long Beach. Long weeks in Baja discovering treasures along the secluded cliffs and beaches of the Mexican peninula. Longer weeks in Hawaii with my family. I have always loved the summer. It's all the more fun now with littles of my own. I'll be able to share some of these places and give them experiences of their own to call upon from this time in their lives. And enjoy it with them.

Whatever your plans for the next few months, take a few moments to soak it all in. Be happy!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Line in the Sand

It's February and the year is already curving around a bend that I cannot see. Facing all of the benefits and consequences of change takes courage; courage to see it through, courage not to back down, courage to face the casualties of a decision...courage to forge ahead into the unknown. I'm not too concerned about whether I'll fail or succeed - I totally embrace that this is the nature of risk. The process is what fosters growth, confidence, and better knowledge of self. These risks and changes...they also bring tears. It doesn't help that I'm an emotional person to begin with...in quiet moments where I can dig deep, I know that all of these steps will create a better life. I had a friend tell me once, "If it doesn't work out, at least I have God." I keep turning to prayer - seeking for spiritual guidance to confirm these decisions that are both difficult and exciting. xo

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

This is What We Do

With school officially in full swing, and me with a second and a half to catch my breath before we transition into the next thing, I wanted to take a part of that second to reflect. I spoke with a friend of mine a few days ago. We laughed about our craziness. As we unfolded our respective plans/obligations, we took turns looked wide-eyed at each other as it just kept going...and going...and going. I thought to myself that most would be super overwhelmed...but for me...at this point in my life, this is just what I/we do.


We are a clan of INVOLVED folks. We don't spend a whole lot of time wading in the shallow end. We slip into the deep end. It's not always comfortable. It's not always warm and cozy. It's not always wise. But as a result, we're strong. We have a link and an investment in each other, in our community. We know things because we do. We do because we care. We do because it makes us stronger. It makes us better. 


I'm the first to admit that my plate is full, but not desperately overflowing and unmanageable. The choices I make, the time I commit to WHATEVER is meaningful. And I usually come away with an incredible sense of perspective or development personally. I support my friends, my littles to take whatever (calculated) risks to care and to learn first-hand from seeing things and places. To try new things and as a result have a memory associated with the experience. 

This is what we do. We love. We give it all we can. And while it's not always easy, it's been absolutely worth it. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rush


I knew that the last year was going to be crazy. Finishing my graduate degree, preparing for a work-related certification, kids finishing elementary and middle school, getting ready to move up, figuring things out at work, dealing with the ups and downs of marriage, deciding to do my first half marathon, and all of the other moments that were truly defining that I just can't conjure right now. It's nuts. I won't pretend it's not.

In preparing for this half marathon insanity (1-because I've never been a runner, I was always a swimmer/a fish...what is this land madness??? 2-because I should have decided to do this when I was like...20), I've taken to the whole short stuff during the week, long run/walk weekend routines. Yesterday was a perfect day and in all of my ambition, I decided I would drive home for lunch and walk back to the office. You know, for the last 7 years of working in Ventura, I've never ONCE walked to work...and in that 2.5 mile walk to the plant, I noticed little things...noticed the detail in shop signs and the smells associated with detail and paint shops. I saw the same bugs fighting both ways (to and from work). I passed the same homeless lady with her gray pitbull on a rope leash. I realized that I was glad not to have to walk by a pizza place every day, rather, it's better for me, personally to drive by with my windows up so as not to crave the product of said pizza place. I realized that while walking at a fast pace, for once, NOT RUSHING was helpful for my perspective...for appreciation of the details...for having a sense of awareness of place and people. It's important. And I almost missed it.

Yes, it's crazy. Yes, it's busy. Carve it a little differently if you can. I mean, don't get me wrong, the whole walk thing was to satisfy a workout for the day (5 miles)...and in the process, not only was it good for my body, but equally insightful for my mind and soul.

Don't always rush. You may catch some inspiration if you slow down just long enough to see it.