Monday, October 27, 2014

I Chose Wisely...



Me and my little sister loved Harrison Ford and I mean L.O.V.E and marry him and be happy forever kind of love.
My love started in Star Wars but it went to full conniption teen crazy love with Raiders of the Lost Ark.  
I was 12 years old when in 1981 the film came out.  

OK I think mostly I loved him but it was the two of us together, on our couch in the basement, wrapped in a blanket, that we watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. And by our calculations it was around 100+ times. 
We had every single line memorized...every.single.one. 

100 could  be a low estimate but you see it was in the days when we thought we were so cool because we didn't have to wait for it to come on t.v.  It was about 1984 and my hip family owned the coveted VHS video player.
We were so in the future with that thing. Our machine was almost as big as some t.v.'s. It had those big huge primary colored buttons that were big enough that if you were almost blind you could see them.  Why do they make them so much more complicated now? I think they digressed because they were seriously on to something with that  simple VHS video first addition.  
Crap I always end up on some tangent that has nothing to do with the story at hand.
So back to the almost story which really isn't the real story either...ugh I just need to focus really hard.  It's hard always but especially right now because remember my boy gets back on Thursday and he has been gone for 2 years!!!


So any who we would go back and forth between "Raiders" and "The Man From Snowy River" depending on what mood we were in.  We loved Jim and Jessica. Australian accents and horsies too in "Snowy."
But nothing quite compared to my Indian Jones. 
I mean seriously...that hat.

We never watched the the sequels to Raiders as much as the original and that was probably because we just didn't own them. But this whole entire story is actually about the third "Raiders of the Lost Arc and the Last Crusade."
K remember when they are in that cave looking for the holy grail and the knight has the bad man choose between the hundreds and hundreds of cups?
He either chooses the holy grail and receives ever lasting life or any of the other cups and dies instantly.
He chooses the really fancy schmancy gold one and well, he dies.
The knight then looks at his bones and says, 
"You chose poorly."
Then Indy looks at the hundreds of cups and picks some unassuming crappy little goblet thing and the knight says.
"You chose wisely."

This is now the really real story.
I think about that all the time.
I met my Tom at 18.
Married him at 21.
That was 24 years ago October 19th.
What did I know about anything that has to do with anything at such a young age?
I was making the biggest decision of my life and I was not even a legal adult.

In short...

I just plain and simply chose wisely.

At the time I was madly in love and I knew I was marrying my best friend.
24 years later I am more madly in love and he is still my best friend.

Are there secrets to a happy marriage?
Probably.
I don't know have a clue what the secrets are though.
I just know that Tom treats me like gold and he acts and does something every day to make my dreams come true.
He makes me feel treasured, protected and loved and so I try really hard to make his dreams come true.
We don't agree on everything.
We have hard moments.

But at the end of the day... today is all we have.
Tomorrow is big, fat unknown.  
So even though I chose wisely all those years ago... I am still making choices every day and I am still choosing Tom and I always will.
After all he is so much better than Indiana Jones...even without that hat.



“The best time to love with your whole heart is always now, in this moment, because no breath beyond the current is promised.”-Fawn Weaver

We celebrated on a huge stunning beach on the Point Reyes seashore.
We hiked 1 1/2 in with our little blanket and picnic basket and I seriously thought that maybe we were on the Sahara desert.  
There was seriously that much sand and the beach was soooo big.
We were the only ones on it because you have to hike to get in.
So worth it.
It was the perfect weather and honestly it was a perfect day



We stopped in Point Reyes Station for our cheese supplies at 
"Cowgirl Creamery" and our artisan bread from "Brick Maiden" plus a few supplies from home.





I take a picture of this church every.single.time. I love it.  In my next life maybe I will get married in it. :)


We didn't know what to do for dinner so we talked about all of our possibilities because when you live in the bay area it is so endless it ridiculous.  But Tom said it best when he said, "how can we not celebrate and eat dinner in our favorite city in the world."
Yep that is all it took and we drove to San Francisco and ate at our favorite pizza place in all the land.
Ordered the Atomica and Heirloom tomato with bacon on half because not everyone eats meat. ;) and it was soooo good that it was ridiculous!






I would follow my man anywhere.
Here's to another infinity years.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Looking forward...


Ever faithful time moved me right into my favorite season....yet again.


Usually I start collecting leaves, pumpkins and acorns as soon as they make their appearance anywhere.
I start puttering around my house putting up fall and Halloween touches. 




Not this year.
I have been nesting....and by nesting I mean throwing everything away.  
For you may remember my oldest son left for two years to teach people about Christ in Guatemala.
Two years!!!!!!!!
My heart has been near to bursting because he comes home October 30!
I get to hug him, hear his voice, hear his laugh.
I get my son back.
There are no words in the dictionary to express how much my heart has ached for him and how excited I am that he is coming home.
There are just no words or no way for my simple brain to convey the joy that I am feeling.



So in saying all this that is why I am nesting. I think it is the same feeling as when you are getting ready for your newborn baby.  
That excitement and feeling to prepare.
So when I opened up my fall and Halloween Tupperware with all my decorations in it instead of putting them up...  I did what any sane person would do and I threw them all away.


I just need everything to be simple, clean and ready.
I can't explain it.


So I used fresh pumpkins, apples off our tree and real leaves I gathered on my hike in the hills with my Tamara.
I used my tattered old books and dishes that remind me of what this time of year is all about...

Family get together's and cozying up on the couch, wrapped in a quilt, with a favorite book.







I am learning patience once again as each day seems to pass a little slower. 

I am counting down when I am at the Oakland airport and I look up and I see my boy, my son coming towards me with that smile.  
The smile that will light up his face with happiness in knowing that he has made a difference in so many lives.

A smile that says I am finally home.

I imagine my scream and the dead run towards him as I wrap him up in my arms and breathe him in.  I will study his face like I did when I held him in my arms 21 years ago from today.
I will cry.

In the end...
this is going to be my favorite fall ever and that is saying something because everything important to me has happened in the fall...and I mean everything.







Thursday, October 2, 2014

My Simple Philosophy...

Tom and I were first told we lived on vacation a couple of years ago by my brother and sister in law.  They visit us every summer, and yes,when we have guests in town, we are definitely living on vacation.
But that isn't real life...right?

But then I was talking to my best friend last week and she said the same thing.
Your family lives on vacation.

I thought about that this week.
Tom and I always say it to each other but never to anyone else.
So in saying it all the time... are we acting like we do?
I suppose we are.
Not completely, I mean there is a lot to do around here... 
but we play really hard.

Now this is a good time as any to interject some major disclosures.
Our life is far from perfect.  
We have many, many struggles.
After all, we have four kids for crying out loud and with that in of itself is crazy business. 
Insert like 100 crazies before the word business. 
Tom works from home which is a huge blessing to have him with us so much.  From the outside, I am sure with that reason alone it looks like maybe we are living on vacation.
Oh, but the financial pressures of working for yourself, are at times, completely unbearable. 
I mean like ghastly horrible.

So you see with me saying that we live on vacation... it has more to do with our approach to life and not that we are free from life's continuous hurdles.  

Now with all that said...back to playing really really hard.
We do.

In some ways I think we never grew up...we are always looking for the fun. 
We always have. 
Every. Single. Day. 
During the week it's hard.  
I mean seriously...between cleaning, cooking, homework and kids activities sometimes I want to fling myself.
So it might just be running to Safeway at night to get my favorite frozen mango yogurt. 
And for some added fun we go on our bikes in the dark. Actually we ride our bikes a lot. I  
think maybe it is our constant picnics for lunch even if they are just a block from our house.
It's getting a diet coke.
It's going for a run on the trail.
it's eating breakfast on a different table outside.
Tom cooking a great meal.
It's going hiking in our hills.
Reading a good book.
Craigslist runs.
Driving around our neighborhood.
It's chocolate covered almonds.

It is all the little somethings that add up to a whole lot of everything's. 
Wait I think that is a line from you've got mail. I love that show so much. 
Crap where was I? 
Oh yea, all those things make us think we are having our very own family trip every day. 
On the week ends we step it up for sure. Friday we have a party and by party I mean we tell Ella and Charlie that we are having a party. 
We cook like Mexican food. 
Ben is always at football this time of year so he never parties with us on Fridays. That makes us sad for sure but the party must and should go on.  
Not always, but we really try to do a day trip once a month at least, and then Tom and I have our date hell or high water.

We love where we live.
We love each other.
We love our kids.

There are really bad moments just like when you are on a vacation. 
But we wake up and the trip has to continue until it ends.
There are a lot of variables that go into living a life like this.
Sometimes I get scared.
I love my people so fiercely and I need them healthy so our vacation can go on and on.
I just have to put those scary thoughts in the back of my very simple brain and enjoy today.  
Because nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.

So at the end of the day I guess we really do live on vacation.


These pictures are from 2 of our trips down to Carmel-By-The_Sea
One was a overnighter and one was just a day trip.
Now this place is special and is truly my favorite place in the US of A.
I have more pictures of this trip and I will put them on my good ole' blog later
because I am done doing this now.
I have to go make food for Benjamin's football pasta feed but in my mind I will pretend that we are going on a picnic.  
Yep works every time.  ;)













 




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Living the Dream...

So I am not sure where the summer went...
I think back and I guess it was spent in our backyard doing what we do best...
barbecues and swimming.
Certainly there were plenty of beach days, city days and our bike rides on the trail in between but each day skedaddled a little faster than the day before.
As usual days were like sand through my hands, as I tried desperately to trick the hours of the clock and  just for once, 
have a longer summer day.

I am not sure where to start because no time was spent at the computer...none, zippo, zilch.
So I have birthdays, weddings and a fabulous update on our bathroom to post but I will start here with my favorite place on earth...
Our trip to Hebgen

It will be easy too because I write Nicholas every Monday and so I will just copy/paste what I wrote in his letter about hebgen for this post.  I couldn't sum it up any better anyway.
(Did I mention he gets home October 30?????!!!!!!!!!!!!)

 Today I really need the excitement of your letter because I am in cabin mourning. I always have such a hard time coming home from there. Do you remember when you were little and I would just cry all the way out of the forest? Well yesterday I was too tired to cry on the way out of the forest due to the fact that we left the cabin at 4:30 in the morning. ha ha dad just woke me up and said he couldn't sleep so we just gathered everybody in the car and made the trek home. I would say that the car ride home was a huge success because after 17 hours of driving and we were getting ready to go to chipotle in pleasant hill dad said why don't we just go into San Francisco and get some bi rite and everybody was all for it. Our family is so funny but I put the Kibosh on that because I needed to get home and get the kids showered and in their cozy beds. After all Charlie had not even shut his eyes since we left early that morning. He is such a nut. In fact I can hardly believe how little everybody slept but you know that's how our family rolls in the car but we all love to drive and the day was great.

The week at the cabin was the best...besides you not being there. However It will forever go down as the rainiest week at the cabin ever. Or maybe just the rainiest week in the world. :) I am not kidding we woke up to rain it rained all day with very few breaks in between and we went to bed and to sleep in the rain. But I would be lying if I didn't say it was still heaven on earth. (Well minus the 1 million mosquitoes). Every moment was a gift but the highlights were as follows:

-Waking at the first morning and finding Benjamin Ella and Charlie on the floor of grandpa's cabin talking and laughing, drinking hot chocolate that had a ratio of three fourths Reeds cream to one fourth hot chocolate. 
-
going to say hello to the meadow. It was one of those beautiful mornings and I can't even tell you how fun it was to be back at the cabin and ATV Ing with the family. (Missed you every second of course)

-Yellowstone park with my dad and watching my kids love him so much.
-
going out on an ATV ride to horse butte and getting caught in the rain coming home. Hilarious and as Ben said, "it was all about survival". We were sooooo cold and the rain was belting me so hard in the face. I had Ella on the.back and I just put my head down and focused and got the heck back to the cabin. 
-
playing the most intense game of Parcheesi ever! Ella at one point was in tears well not tears actually crying because Benjamin sent two of her people home in one roll. I won but everybody said that I sabotaged the game by saying dad was going to win and to watch him and then like a dark dark horse came in and kaboom took the win. Of course I beg to differ and said I just got some very strategic rolls at the end. :). It lasted for about two hours. Ha ha
-
Ella almost getting up on one ski several times. It was cold and she fought through it and I was so proud of her!!!
-
watching Benjamin coach her and give her props. It doesn't happen very often that those two can be civil to each other so when I witness it nothing makes me happier. It gives me hope for a peaceful future. Ha ha
-
going to the Louis and Clark caves and having the worst burritos in the entire world in Bozeman! We are still laughing so hard about it. It was as if they just woke up thinking what are the weirdest things that we can put in a burrito? Oh okay we will put fettuccine Alfredo and jambalaya. Ha ha
-
going to get treats at the boathouse of course
-
Going to sleep in the cabin in the rain and waking up to the sounds of rain.
-
All the little moments that are really nothing to tell you about but it is just that feeling of being up at the cabin. You know the ones I'm talking about. 

-running in the forest with dad

-ice cream and movies every single night. Finding Wilkinsons grand slam ice cream that goes down as second favorite ice cream about 10 notches however behind salted caramel

-dad's cooking. Yeah he is still is just that good. 

-Charlie looking so nonchalant on the yellow skis. His face cracks me up!!

Things I will not miss are the mosquitoes and freezing to death at night or just really freezing all the time. :) benjamin's devastation at the moment he found out my dad sold the motorcycles. My dad leaving on day three. He had to go support my brother in a bike race so we only had a couple days with him. But we took what we got and we're grateful that he was there at all.

So I will cherish these memories until next year and countdown until our whole family can be up there together!!!


I forgot to have my dad take a picture before he left so I had to use the self timer and this is the result...haha



Yellowstone park

























Tom watching the bald eagle


The bleachers at the high school.  We sat and laughed for a good 30 minutes...I mean they can seat like five people.



Ben practicing his smile for pictures.



the part where we were in a race with everyone behind us even though they didn't have any idea that they were in a race.  We are funny like that.




yes I am just this excited to be running in the forest...






See the ominous black clouds in the distance? Yep those are the ones that almost killed us.



those clouds...



Add caption


those clouds...


I am sooo freaking happy











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