Friday, February 10, 2017

Too many feelings....

You hear the phrase bittersweet when it comes to our emotions all the time. 

Emotions and feelings are so stinking complex.  There are so many feelings that I feel and I don't have a word for them and I can't even describe them.  So my go to emotion is to cry and I have no problem with crying.  I am a weeper as Jude Law so eloquently puts it in "The Holiday."  I mean if the English language wasn't so flawed and I had more words that I could use maybe bittersweet wouldn't be the only way to describe how I'm feeling right now.

As a mother we love so fiercely and so deep.  I carried my babies for 9 months and I have been a stay at home mom for 23 years.
My life for good and for bad are my children.  I knew this was a risk and it has weighed heavy on my mind for a long time.  I knew my kids were growing up and I would be left wondering who is this person... What part of Hilary is left at the end of this?  

I'm a different person than when I started this motherhood journey.  I have changed so much that I stare at the person in the mirror and wonder, "Who are you?"  I never meant for that to happen but day after day and month after month and year after year it has been a bit of a ground hog day of meals, kids arguing, bath times and bedtimes, stories, homework, talking to teachers, classrooms, constant cleaning and never ending laundry, and a million other of who knows what interspersed with all the hugs, loves, squishes and tickles. The smiles and cuddles on your lap with their little head on my chest....oh the love.
So I am a really scheduled person and it helps me immensely.  I have always had breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time and don't even get me started on bedtime.  I am for sure a bedtime Nazi.  Am I allowed to say that?  It's true though.  Well rested kids are happy kids and I have always taken bedtime very very seriously. But through this all my purpose and focus has been solely on the children.  I have been blessed with a devoted and loving husband so I have always taken care of myself also....mostly. Well sorta kinda.   I mean when all the kids were younger not so much but I'm better at it now. I am home with them 99% of the time but I give myself permission to read and to run everyday and do things that make me happy. But I am genuinely happy with them and I am a complete and utter homebody in every sense of the word...which I think helps. 
Also me and my honey have always put our relationship first which I am so incredibly grateful for fully knowing that at the end of all this, god willing, it will be just him and me. 

Ok why am i writing all this? I don't know it just sorta went there but the point is well there is no point.
But what I sat down to say is I feel the most bitter sweet I have ever felt.  My kids are seriously growing up and I'm not sure how to process it all....for reals. I do know that I thought I would feel bitter sweet when my Nicholas got married but all I felt was sweet.  I love Natali so much and she is such a part of this family and there was just absolutely no bitter.  I guess there was that part of me that couldn't believe my son was getting married and the emotions that went with that but it wasn't bitter....again no words in the english language....sad? maybe just because I don't like change.  But I have no words.

But right now I feel 100% bitter and 100% sweet.
How can I feel such polar opposite emotions.
I will tell you and start with the bitter because I said good bye to my precious Benjamin 3 weeks ago and I am not going to see that incredible boy for 2 years
2 years!!!!!!!!!!!!
How can I even comprehend that?
It's soooo bitter.
I am raw.
I am sick.
Everything hurts.
My heart aches.
I'm a little lost
and there is such an emptiness.

I want my Ben.  I want to see his smile and hear his laugh. I want to hear about his day and what he did with his friends.  I want to hear him playing with Ella and Charlie.  I want him to go to the kitchen and grab a handful of nuts and tell me that I don't buy good food. I want to hear him say "Hi Mommy." I mean he still calls me mommy...are you kidding me? How am I supposed to not cry every time I hear that?
Or when I'm mad hear him say, "Does someone need a hug."  I even secretly want to tell him to clean up his room or do his homework or tell him to stop teasing his siblings.  
It hurts so much.
I love my Benjamin so much.
Just sooooo freaking much. I always have.  That baby that I could not get on this planet no matter how hard I prayed and no matter how hard I tried and then 4 years after Nicholas that boy came to me.
Pure Joy.
That is what he was and is....pure joy.
That pudgy perfect happy baby
that pudgy perfect happy toddler.
that pudgy perfect happy school boy.
I'm not kidding this is my Ben.
I am not exaggerating.

Then my not so pudgy, perfect, happy and beautiful teen.   
 The teen years were our hardest but we navigated them and my beautiful boy decided to go on a 2 year mission for our church.  He decided on his own to give up 2 years of his life to teach others about Christ.
2 Years!!!!!!
He put schooling on hold, got a job fixing concrete no less, and earned over 4 thousand dollars to help pay. He is leaving everything that is comfortable and safe and go to
 Panama City, Panama and spread love and hope.
I am speechless...I again have no words.
Here is the sweet.
My "19" year old boy.  
He is a baby himself and yet has the wisdom and long term vision to do something that few adults would have the courage to do.
So I just cry.
How could I not?
Half the time they are happy and complete proud, grateful and complete joy tears and half the time they are the saddest missing tears you could possible have.


I love you Benjamin Allen Call.
God speed....

Friday, October 14, 2016

All dressed for fall....

I am not even sure how many months it has been since I have written anything.
I have missed my online journal and the truth is I kinda like this little space.  So I am going to give it a go again.  So much has happened since I last wrote.  
Big things.  
Little things and a million in between things.
All these memories adding up to be just so much.

I mean seriously my son was married.  I have a daughter in law.
I am a mother in law.
My second son graduated from high school and moved to Utah to work before he goes on a mission for our church to Panama City, Panama.
So I have 2 children not only out of our home but in 2 different states and I miss them so much. Most of the time my heart can't take it.
My daughter started high school and made the Varsity tennis team as a freshman.  To say that I was happy for her is a ridiculous understatement.  It's all Tom and I talked about for like a straight week.  Ok, we are still talking about it.
My little Charles started the fourth grade. If I told you how sweet this child is you simply would not believe the stories. 
He is simply pure joy. 

How do we process all this? The changes in life?
I haven't a clue so I will write about it slowly and over time.

It's fitting for me that I am starting to write again and it's fall.  Most things happen for me this time of year. Fall is my everything and all of it is my favorite.
It's raining outside and it hasn't rained in the East bay of San Fran since like last March or maybe May. My windows are open because it's not cold outside and the drizzling sound is heavenly.  My pumpkin candle is putting out it's perfect autumn scent.  I have a mug of tea sitting here in my birthday mug that my family gave me from Anthro. 
I just finished peeling about 40 apples from my tree and my Tamara's for applesauce. 
The house is so cozy that I can't believe I get to live here for at least one more day.

So here I have so many things to tell you but I am going to start with pictures of my home.
For me my little heaven on earth.  We got new windows and OMG but I am going to save that story as well. If you happen to see their fabulousness in the pictures then so be it.
This story is
 just my simple house dressed up for the season and showing off her perfect colors...

Thanks for looking and happy fall....

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Junior High is Tough...

I lived in Canada during my Junior high years, or middle school as it is called in Brampton Ontario.
I would say on a scale of 1 to 10 that those years were a solid 7.  
So considering how hard middle school is for some kids I would say I almost got off scotch free.  I had two best girlfriends that were a huge support and that I loved dearly. 

But the biggest thing I had to contend with were the kids calling me a "yankee"  Yankee this and yankee that, and secretly I hated it but I was no dummy and knew it was social suicide to act like I cared at all. So in my "too cool for school" attitude I acted like it was no big deal and I would be as nice as a could to all the kids.
I knew this was key...just be nice was drilled into me from my mom from my first breath.  And I was super nice... so naturally most of the kids liked me. ;)
But again kids can be mean at this age and I would hear of someone hating me.  I can't remember how I would be privy to this information but I was.
This is how I dealt with this which just makes me laugh.  I didn't care how many kids hated me if there were more kids that liked me.  I know pretty amazing logic right?
So I would count how many kids I knew that hated me and then count how many kids not just liked me but really liked me, who were of course my closest friends.

It always equaled out that more kids liked me so in my little 11 year old brain all was right with the world.... because the good out weighed the bad.

I honestly have no idea what made me think of this but the other day my entire life was turned upside down and this popped in my head. I remember being that little girl and counting on my fingers trying to make sense of my small world.

First it made me laugh because it is soooo silly and let's be honest just a tad crazy... and second it made me realize that I am still using that same technique on an adult level. 
I think we all do.
Or we need to be.

I am in serious quicksand here and I am not at all sure what tomorrow holds.  Change is very difficult for me and and I have lost my footing. But still there are more things that are right in my life than wrong.  So much more good than bad and so much more positive than negative.
Some days it doesn't feel like that and I am having to count on my fingers and remind myself.
I can do this...
There is so much more good than bad.
It will all be ok...

My 2 favorite places in the world....Carmel

And Pear Cottage....

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Bunny for Easter....

We got a bunny for Easter...sorta.
Well not technically...
He came about 1 week before.

This is how it went down.

I first need to point out that I am sooooooo not spontaneous when it comes to animals.  I ho and hum and it never really happens.  I have super legitimate reasons and especially for dogs.  We have talked about getting another dog OK since Louis died. 

We, as in Ella and I, talk breeds on the daily.  It's one of our many favorite pastimes. 

Seriously too many reasons to name why it hasn't happened but a lot of the reason are costs and as much as I loved Louis he was so much work.  Granted 95% was his breed but he has scarred me just a little bit...ok he scarred me a lot.
So we have had our fair share of small rodents, (hamsters and rats) crabs, fish and a cat.
We have loved them all.

Enter me going to Utah for my much needed sister's trip 3 weeks ago.
I love them so much it hurts.
Anyway while I was in Utah, Angelin, my oldest sister, had a baby bunny.
I was in love.

I came home and 2 days later we were the proud owners a baby mini lop named Oliver.
I never thought about anything and exactly 0 seconds went into where he was going to live or any other questions you should ask yourself before bringing home a new animal.

The conversation was as follows.
Me: Ella and Charlie lets go look at the baby bunnies at Alamo Hay and Grain

Me: Aren't they the cutest babies you have ever seen.  We should get one right now.

That baby Oliver is currently living in Ella's bathroom with free reign of the entire space.  He is potty trained (95% of the time) to go in my jelly roll pan with a cake cooling rack above it so his poo goes through the slats.
Why? Because I never asked or answered the question of where he should go to the bathroom or again...where he should live.
When we got him home we put the little thing inside of Tom's dirty clothes hamper because that was the best we could do.  I was sad because it seemed too small for him so we just gave him the whole bathroom. Ugh... I am such a ding dong.  But it has worked and Tom will eventually build him a bunny hutch outside.  Little Oliver is soooo very loved and considering exactly 0 seconds went into planning for his arrival... 
we and our baby are getting along splendidly.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

He Found Her....

My oldest child has found the perfect girl for him.
 I can't believe I am even writing this down and yet in other ways it feels exactly right.
She is his everything.
 She is beautiful and smart and gracious and thankful and most importantly,
 so very kind.  
His siblings got a new sister and Tom and I got a new daughter.  I have prayed for my children's spouses my entire adult life. 
This amazing girl  has lived this whole life not knowing us and we not knowing her.  She was a baby and a little child.  She was a teen and now a young women.
Our lives are meshed with hers forever because she loves my boy.
And we love her.

My heart has been to the bursting point over the changes because I can't believe I am here. My head says it's impossible. My Nicholas... my first child. I looked in his eyes during his first hours on earth and promised him that I would love and take care of him forever. And I have loved that strong toddler and active loud school boy.  That naughty and wonderful and funny teen.
I loved him as I watched him become a man. 
He was hard and fun and impossible and easy and we learned and we grew together as mother and son.  He taught me so much about myself and we cried and laughed and forged a bond that I am beyond grateful for.
My wonderful wonderful boy who has a strength in him that I can't put into words.  This depth and love and understanding of the world around him.
He is special.
He is my absolute joy.  
I held his hand during it all.
And now I am finding the strength to let go.

It was only fitting that they fly home so Nicholas could propose in the city he loves so much.
So many funny stressful things happened along the way from cancelled flights to breaking down in Marin county 15 minutes before he was to ask her hand.
But in the end on a sunny Valentines day, with the Golden Gate Bridge for a back drop
he asked his dream girl to be his wife.
I made this video for these cuties to help them remember this special week end. 
 I just love them both so much.
I am just so grateful to be a part of it all.
I am so grateful to be a mother.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Falling in love...

My dream library was the first one I ever saw.
This perfect library... with thousands of books, and a balcony, a huge ladder and it just so happened to be in my childhood home. 
Surrounded by his books, sitting at a huge wooden desk, with his incense burning, classical music playing, and the fire crackling, my dad did whatever dad's did.

I think he was secretly waiting just for me.

We would talk endlessly.
This is also where I learned to love reading.  Ahhh the classics.  I first fell in love with "Secret Garden" and "Little Princess," "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," and then it turned into everything Jane Austin and Bronte sisters. Which is something I have never out grown.  I remember he paid me 100 dollars to read "Huckleberry Finn"  to expand my horizons. Ha! But seriously, I would climb the elephant ladder, (pictured below if you have never had the pleasure of seeing one...  see how it folds up into that pole?) find my perfect book, and enter my new but temporary world.
Many childhood days were spent curled up in this perfect spot... and oh how I have wanted a place in my home that I could surround myself with books in the same way.

I have pinned more libraries on pinterest then I can count... but I just couldn't think of where to put it. In our cottage, we just don't have a place for a full library.

Enter my love that is the maker and keeper of my dreams.

He was on Craigslist and saw these bookshelves that someone was giving away.  They were sturdy and perfect for a wall of bookshelves and just the right dimensions for someone that is a carpenter and the maker of my dreams.  Not exactly my library but oh soooo close.  
So my living room got completely reorganized and I got my library. ;)
Holy crap I love them so much.  I mean really really love them.
Like stare at them all day kind of love.  Did you see how he built them in with the wainscoting on the side? Did you see the lights? Did you see the freaking ladder? Oh yea he built that too.  It's not an elephant ladder but pear cottage isn't Brookburn. (My childhood home)
I mean seriously.
I know they need so many more books and I will keep working on it because right now I have had to improvise with other things which looks darling but not the exact look I want... which is
books, books and more books!
It will take time.
Did I say how much I love them?
Well I do...I really do.

This is the wall before my library was put in. ;)
Our piano used to be on this wall but because I'm me and everything is an afterthought, I forgot to take a picture before. I moved it onto the adjacent wall and moved that piece of furniture in our bedroom.

The wall

My first look at the book cases in there.

Painting these things were a beast.

progress...he had to do all the electrical for the lights and pull the outlets out to the front.  Plus all the light switches and such.

The before of the other wall.
That English antique pine armoire is from my parents home and I really really wanted it to stay in the living room. I knew it was going to be difficult but I was determined.  I also wanted the antique English desk to stay. It really isn't a desk or a sofa table but that is it's purpose for now.
I still love the gallery wall as well but with a wall full of bookshelves I knew it would be too busy.
Much rearranging lay ahead of us.

By removing the gallery wall and sliding the antique armoire down closer to the windows, I was able to keep it in this room without it looking too crowded or busy.


I mean... have I said seriously yet?

While I wait patiently for books to fill up these shelves I have placed all things that are near and dear to my heart.

I am thankful for books, my library, my honey, and Brookburn and of course my dad.  Without my dad and without that first library... who knows where or what I would be.

Linking up with French Country Cottage

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