Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Every Spanksgiving my family gathers to share the holiday. My Mom makes the MOST AMAZING Hawaiian food...and oh, the anticipation for that and the traditional fare upon which we feast annually. Before we sit down to eat, we stand behind our designated chairs and one by one, we express our gratitude for the various precious people/things/lessons in our lives. And not to gush...well, actually, YES, to gush, I've been thinking more and more about how deeply thankful I feel for my children and my family. There've been some really HARD things that have transpired over the last year or so...and my Mom has managed to be a remarkable strength for me despite difficult aspects in her own life with her own health and responsibilities. My family members are some of my closest friends and I'm glad for it. I'm glad to be close to them. I'm happy to love them...and to know that they love me.

I don't know where things will be next year. I don't know what will happen. I have no idea about work, or love or...whatever...but I know that I'll always have these little faces in my life...and I know that no matter what, I'll have people in my life who are there for me...and have taught me to be there for others.

This holiday season, take a little time to think on the tendernesses that have calmed a personal storm...made sense of the confusion...brought peace to the calamity. No matter the circumstances, rest assured there are people who care, people to whom you matter and are known. Breathe a little deeper. Be a little easier with yourself. Be grateful. xo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Facebook is my friend. I like it. I know how to use it along with the rest of the Internet. Every so often in my effective searching I run across things that I wish I didn't know...and no, it's not nasty stuff. It's finding houses that belonged to people that I know posted on real estate sites...for a fraction of what they paid...and ended up losing. These are the days I wish I had a few hundred grand stuffed away to buy back a house...I would do that.

It's stumbling across people who at one point in time changed the whole structure of my family with their selfish choices...I'm not mad or angry...and it's not that I'm wasting judgment or emotion on them...it's just a strange hind-sight thing.

It's stumbling across places that I had once been...and have missed. Or people who changed my life...it's not that I run to reunite with these...just reflect on how I feel about that change in a set of a hundred...and can recognize their direct or indirect contribution. I can be grateful for that...or ponder the lesson now that it's been awhile and can see the chain of events that have followed.

Maybe I'm just in a weird mindset right now...

You know, when you get to that point??? That point where you're in need of life satisfaction, but it's not quite there because of work or transition or change or conflict or pain or frustration or misunderstanding or frenzy...or just because. Some days I'd just like the House Fairy to drop a 4/2 on me...without causation by death or divorce...just because she likes me and because I deserve it. :) Some days I wish the Raise Fairy would sprinkle some pay increase notions on my boss...not because someone else got fired and I got to do their job, too...just because the Raise Fairy (and hopefully my boss) likes me A LOT because I'm good at what I do. I know you feel this way, too. Yes, hard work...blah blah blah...put your time in...blah blah blah...pay your dues...blah blah blah. That's not what this rant is about. It's about having more of those moments...like when you find something that you didn't expect and it's AWESOME and it makes things just a pinch great for a bit without a whole lot of blood, sweat and massive amounts of tears and worry. Don't freak. Everything is fine. Just wishing.

I AM blessed...and grateful. Just contemplative. I wish I had enough of whatever it was that was needed to heal pain and hurt. I wish I knew how to administer it to the need. Granted there are plenty of things that we need to do on our own to get to where we are going...but I wish I had that gift of knowing what I could give to solve. I wish I didn't need as much emotionally as I know I do...the flip side is that if I take away that need, I lose compassion and this weird intuition...which I wouldn't want to go away.

I wish you more of the things you need...and less of the things you don't.

I wish I was there to tell you and hear your voice. I just...wish.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Empty Room

Extended vacation months bring about arrangements for my littles to visit their Dad. This year my daughter went for a month and my sons are presently gone. At the end of the stay it'll be a little over 3 weeks. Each visit brought an empty room. E's room was silent for 4 weeks...during which I SHOULD have thoroughly cleaned it, sorted toys, blah blah blah...but I didn't. There was something about the disheveled dress-up clothes...and the slippers in random order. My E isn't the most orderly little girl...she's easily distracted. And although most of the messes in the house on a Saturday morning are blamed on her little brother, when neither of the brothers are present, it's really hard to pin the blame on them. So, it has become clear who exactly leaves the cereal out...and the milk...and drawing items...and paints...and littlest pet shop thingeys...and whatever else. While she was gone...having all of those items exactly the way they were when she left...somehow kept her there...captured her. Made her not so far away...even though she really was.

Now, the boys are gone...and their room sits empty. Stripped beds and folded laundry sit on a desk that waits for August 17th when children return to school and that surface will be used again the way it was intended.

I support the visit. I just miss them when they're away. My life is so completely engaged in them...that when they're gone...I'm a little off...just holding my breath and waiting for all the cogs to fit again. Not that I would tell them that, but between you and me, you know?

Safe journey, my littles. Love you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Follow Me

E on the Diving Board  07/20/11

I was a diver in High School and in College. It's not like I wanted to do it all my life and came from an extensive or even shallow line of divers in my family. I wanted to try it out and in doing so realized that it was pretty fun and easy and I wasn't too bad at it. The perfect sport for me. I was REALLY lucky to have been spared any grotesque accidents, cumulative head trauma, or any other gnarly incidents as a result. The only owie that ever came of being a diver was at VC in attempting to expand my high dive repertoire...I can say that one should have COMPLETE CONCENTRATION while hurling oneself off of a 3 meter board...because any lack thereof can be painful. A slightly off day for me lead to 3 stress-fractured ribs...thanks to a tweaked rotation that I didn't feel until it was too late...and a landing much like jumping off the roof and landing directly on concrete. Water can do that, you know? Act like concrete...trust me.

I've not ever been one to place seedlings of thought into my kids heads about being aeroballistic acrobats. I've actually NOT mentioned it because I have this thing about the fact that they can't dive with helmets. Safety first, right? I know I already said that I was lucky, but I'm saying it again. Never hit my head on the board EVER...lucky. I will admit that I HAVE told J and W that they shouldn't count on playing football. Baseball to their hearts content. Be swimmers. Play water polo. Play soccer. Any sport where I won't have to watch your collar bones snap while some beast is trying to hit you so hard you see stars. Please. (3 football players my senior year with broken collar bones.) Yes, I'm a freak. I know that already. The thing is, when it comes down to it, if they REALLY want to, I'll probably relent. It's just now, when they're small and I still have a big bubble around them that I talk big.

So, my kids have been taking swimming lessons this summer. Not so much to make them become competitive swimmers and want to be lifeguards (hint hint), but more because swimming, I believe, is an integral skill to possess. In the process, at the end of each class, the teachers let their students jump from the diving boards, 1 meter or 3 meter, whichever the student chooses. It was during a class that I had attended that I got to witness my daughter NOT want to dive. Now, as a past diver, shouldn't I have been more encouraging or SOMETHING??? Shouldn't I have tried to stoke her up on what it feels like to rotate and execute a perfect dive? Hmmm...nope. I could see her nervous about the depth of the pool. And in as much as I DID offer words to just jump, there wasn't a whole lot in me that wanted her to follow that particular aspect of my life.

'k, so all over the blog board (as usual, I know), the point is that even though we want our children to forge ahead using trails that we have blazed ourselves, there's a beauty (oh, dear, a fear even) in allowing their distinct personalities to define their interests. I think, in my children's cases, my youngest would probably LOVE anything that I said I had done or loved myself just because that's who he is...which is why I find myself making deliberate choices about how I word my preferences. Granted, I'm super flattered that he thinks so much of me, but I realize (sigh) that the time will come when he won't...and he'll wonder if he loves all of these things because he does or because I do...at which I hope he'll see that it's more because I really wanted him to do and love because he was moved to do so. Except the football thing. Just kidding.

I think it's my responsibility as a mother to prepare them for the living in the world...but more importantly knowing themselves and living in the world. Meaning, I know what I like because I know who I am. Certainly, there are many levels of "who I am", and at specific stages, a mother is more hands on, more instructive, more in control, but there are instances where I have to catch myself and allow mistakes, failure, even a small measure of pain (riding a bike for the first time) in order for the growth to come...DON'T relate that to football. ;) I've tried to raise them to be able to think on their own...to discern. Sometimes it works and sometimes not, but in terms of becoming me...please don't. I'm NOT saying that from the beginning we should be hands off. I believe that there must be a foundation. I AM saying that it's important to understand that in EVERYTHING our posterity will eventually come to choose what they want, what they believe and what they will do.

I have dreams for my own...to travel and discover...to embrace the amazing, surprising things in the world that are unique and special...but that means they'll be exposed to some horrifying, trying, challenging things...and my equal hope is that they'll be able to filter, understand, accept, and apply to a degree, the things that come in to their lives...through THEIR eyes, not so much mine. If my children are my future I think I have to work harder, and smarter at allowing them to figure out how to walk confidently in this world. Every day, little by little. It's an ideal. I guess in that moment with my little girl on the board I think it hit me...you don't have to follow me...I'll walk with you for a while and then you can go on to be who YOU want to be...just take my best parts with you, if you'd like...but make them more your own. You can do this.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What the Future Holds

All around me I see progression...now-adults that I knew as they were children who have come to that threshold of decision between doing what they LOVE and what may pay. Agreed this is a difficult place to be...but I found myself offering words of advice (albeit unsolicited) that I didn't quite understand when I was 19, but that i REALLY do now...Do What You LOVE.

As a student in college, I had a dear friend who's mother was a professional artist. She still is. She's remarkable. Some of the things that come from her hands is simply breathtaking...she has followed her ambition to be an artist all of her life...through thick and thin...and I find that admirable. This path has been difficult for her at times. Work ebbs and flows. With a family and responsibilities, I'm sure there were times when it would have been easier to find something more conventional...but she made art her trade, and as such, when there was a demand for creative means of raising capital, she taught these glass-mosaic techniques to others; students who wanted to learn. To this day, art is her practice.

I have another dear friend who through the course of his mission as a young man had decided that it would be more lucrative to pursue a business degree although his passion was in the arts. He graduated and entered the business world...unfortunately, after while he couldn't shake the feeling that he should have done something else...something that fulfilled him personally...something that gave him purpose...He went back to school to pursue film...and is now, doing what he loves.

The young man who was laden with my advice, in my point of view, is talented and competent. He could do anything that he wants and be great...it's just standing in our own shoes that perhaps the boundaries we see are of our own doing. At least that's how it's been for me. It's amazing to me that in reflecting on my life, I made my own decisions about future not necessarily based on passion...but an immediate opportunity. It's a hard line...especially because we can't see the future...and often times our circumstances demand measures that don't exactly match up with our own grand designs.

What I'm trying to say is that belief in oneself and an eye on an ultimate goal should be the foremost guiding light as we walk on our own paths. Do what you love, as it is said...the rest will fall into place.

xo class of 2011...can't wait to see where you'll go.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stay Summer

Welcome, summer. Sometimes I can see you through the windows at work while I'm thinking about my boys at swimming lessons with their Grandpa and my girl with her Dad in Arizona. I hope that you'll stay good for them and cut me some slack and stick around on the weekends when I'm not pinned in my glass case. :)

I hope that you'll send pleasant breezes when we have tournament games in Ventura and Simi Valley. Last year you were a bit relentless and made some people wilt...and grouchy.

I hope that you'll remain clear this weekend in particular so that all of the attendees at the various celebratory events can actually SEE the fireworks and not the muted lights diffused through low fog.

You were a little late, so I do hope that you'll stay...long enough for me to get a tan. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Annual Blog


Over a year. Sorry. Moving on...

Is it me? Or does it seem like things just move faster and faster?

Things are good. Busy and sometimes crazy, but good. And I'm grateful for that.

This is the season for lots of sports photography. It seems a little easier to present the highlights via a blog in connection to a site I use, so there's a new little blog called Life in Pictures that I've started. I hope you'll enjoy it!