Tuesday, April 17, 2018

For reals though it is my happy place...

The last time I went to Disneyland we were celebrating Ella's fifth birthday. So that was over 11 years ago.  Up until that point I think we had gone every year.  So Nicholas, Benjamin and even Ella had been quite a few times.  
Then we just stopped.  
I think mostly it was a financial thing.  Disneyland is ridiculously expensive.  Like how does everyone go expensive.  It actually is a complete mystery to me.  How are there more than 50 people there at any given time?  How? Now children in my kids schools seriously go there on the weekly but we do live in a unique area.  But how is everyone else going?  I don't know and I still don't but we are not those people.
Now fast forward like 5 years from that last trip and I got the itch. And not a little itch like you give it a scratch and it goes away. It was more like a chicken pox sort of itch which means no amount of itching was ever going to stop it.  
 Now cue the dreams.  Yep dreams. 
About once a month or maybe more I would dream I was at Disneyland with my kids.  The dreams were all different of course but with a few common themes.  Similarities included... we would be running around the park  (in slow motion of course) lost and I was trying to show them my favorite rides.  We would hit dead ends and I could never get to them.  I was so frustrated tossing and turning all night long because we could never find "Pirates of the Caribbean." I mean seriously brain at least let me take the kids on the rides in my dreams.  Another theme was Disneyland would always close early. I hated that dream.  We would finally get there and it would be closed or it was going to close in an hour. 
So unbelievably irritating. I would wake up and try and go back to sleep but I couldn't.  Just ridiculous.

Clearly I am a product of the 1983 National Lampoon Vacation era because in my dreams we were eerily like the Griswolds and Disneyland was way too much like Walley World. We too were running in slow motion to "Chariots of fire" theme.  Ok the part about the music is not true but we did run in slow motion so there is that....

Just in case you need a visual. 😀 Sorry in advance about the language at the end

Ok so because I'm me... and no story that I tell or write is short I will try and get to the point right now. 
 I wanted to go Disneyland super bad.

Fast forward 5 years of endless talking and dreaming and I said to Tom, "I think we should take the kids to Disneyland."

So long story longer we went to freaking Disneyland.

Now you be might asking yourself.
"After all of the hype and the dreams and the talking and the visual of finally running up to the gate with the Disney music on and going on the magical rides and seeing all the things and feeling all the feels did it live up to your impossible expectation?"

Why yes.  Yes it did.

Highlights included but not in any particular order....

#1 Holding my 11 year old boys hand.
 This was by far my favorite thing and I have cried over it no less than 10 times.
He held my hand.
For 2 days he would just reach over and grab my hand.  This heart couldn't take the pure joy knowing that if we ever got back this would never happen again.  My youngest child, my boy, please never grow up. ...please. You are my never ending gift Charles Call.

#2 Nicholas and Natali being able to come.
This was Natali's first semester of nursing school at BYU (Which is practically impossible to get into and an impossible work load once you are in.)  I am so proud and love her so much. It would not have been the same without them.

#3 Tom playing the game of how to beat the crowds.  He got this app that would tell us what rides to go on while getting fast passes for our other rides.  Tom loves this sort of game especially since Disneyland is not his favorite.

#4 Going on the cars ride like 5 times in a row in the singles lane.  I cannot even explain... just so funny.

#5 Running through both parks like a murderer was chasing us with a knife.  That worker in Cars-land telling us we couldn't run and we all on cue started an Olympic speed walk pace until he was out of site and then we all bolted right back to our run. I almost wet my pants. OK that goes without saying.  But honestly everything was just so funny.

#6 Almost losing my Disney ears two thousand and forty one times and that was only the first day. In my defense those are hard not to loose and plus when you go on fast rides they blow off. Interesting side note Ella and Natali did not have the same problem. Making sure I still had my ears was a full time job for Natali. Funny enough I did finally loose them.  Indiana Jones...day 2...last ride of the trip.  Yep they blew right off.

#7 Completely and utterly wearing Charlie out.  I have never seen him so tired.  It was like 11:00 day 1 and he could not even stand up and we were determined not to leave the park until closing at midnight.  He would literally sit on the cement waiting for our rides.  He practically was asleep at one point standing up.  Sad but like everything else that happened...funny.

#8 The night time feeling in New Orleans Square.

#9 The Tiki room but only because Tom was so stinking funny about it.
Oh  and of course Dole whip.  We decided it is our favorite food.

#10 Also Tom on rides.
We would all be yelling with our mouths wide open or laughing so hard and Tom would be  emotionless.  Hands in air but absolutely no emotions.  Natali caught it on film and we could not stop laughing.

#11 Sharing my favorite rides...
Indiana Jones,
Pirates of the Caribbean (those fireflies though),
the Haunted mansion,
Peter Pan ride,
Guardians of the Galaxy,
It's a Small World
 the Cars ride
 for the first time with my family.

I can't even...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Let's talk motherhood...

Ok So it's been awhile and I have a million stories to share to my online journal but as I sat down this one is the one I want to start with for absolute no apparent reason. 

Motherhood is so stinkin' funny.  
Sometimes "haha" funny and sometimes this is "the absolute worst" kind of funny and a million other kinds of funny because let's just say there is nothing like raising baby humans to adult humans. This particular motherhood funny is about how much I have changed in my tooth fairy role. Oh my gosh I laugh every time I think about it.  So when I had Nicholas (my first) I could hardly wait until he had a loose tooth.  That was such a huge milestone and it simply would not come fast enough. I'm sure we ripped that thing out instead of waiting patiently for the little thing to just fall out on his own time. The glee in my heart when I could finally slip in my sleeping angel's room that very night, and secretly lift his pillow, and silently place that little change for him to find in the morning....
The magic, the joy and utter happiness.
That sneaky tooth fairy. 

Fast forward to poor Charles. (My fourth)
True story.
I just gave him $15.00 2 nights ago for 3 teeth that had been under his pillow in 3 separate sandwich sized zip lock bags for a minimum of 5 months.
There is so many funnies to dissect here where to freaking begin.
Are you kidding me that my son was waiting for the tooth fairy to come for almost half a year?  I am going to die laughing right here right now.  But there are tears running down my face so I think it is the crazy laughter that is tainted with embarrassment, humiliation, and regret and hopefulness that this does not ruin my poor boy in some way that I am not aware of at this time.
And how about that amount?
By the way according to my sources which is my 16 year old daughter that amount of money is a little low for the going rate of the tooth fairy.
Again, are you messing with me?
$15.00 is a boat load of money to hand to someone because the inevitable happened. He grew teeth and bigger tooth pushed out his little tooth. It happens... end of story.
 I thought I was giving him the most money that any child had ever been given in the history of tooth fairyism because if someone has to wait that long I figured there was a premium, possibly some interest on those quarters and a hard price to pay.
And come to find out I didn't even hit the going rate....
It all is just too funny!!!!

Who are these other parents and why are they trying to make me look so bad and why are they giving their children so much money and on the first night their children lost their teeth no doubt? haha

Well I have to go do crap that I always do like laundry and dishes so this is the end of my funny story.
But I am going to walk away from this computer still giggling....
Oh my how I have changed and unfortunately not always for the better.  But one thing I have learned in this journey is that if your children know with every fiber of their being that you love them unconditionally for exactly who they are... everything else you do is just stuff.  And it just washes out in the end.  Even a ding dong tooth fairy that just never shows up.

By the way while I am here I love making videos of our family and this is just a short clip that I made when we went to Carmel over New Years.  We had such a blast and maybe I will start posting them here more.  I save them all and make a video for every year but it's always fun to see clips...so here you go!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

27 Years....And Still

I celebrated my 27th wedding anniversary on October 15th 2017.
How do you even process loving the same someone for that many years and still hoping that you will get a million more?
Not sure but I still do.

This poem is just exactly:

You ask me today if I love you,
If I take you as my own to have and to hold,
and my heart relies Yes,
Always, evermore, even after,

Not just today before a crowd
but when we are alone,
you and I,
through years, through pain,
My heart will answer again and again,
Ask me in a million seconds, ask me in
a billion years,
Do you still love me?
And I will say say still.

Ask me when we toil, when we rest,
when we fuss and fight.
With the taste of anger burning my lips,
I will say still.

Our love is a great river,
the Amazon, the Nile, the river
and my hear is a violent churning in my chest
swimming upstream,
defying every odd, accepting any dare
To reach you.
To rush you,
to hold you,
to keep you.
You ask me if I love you?
God, yes.
My lover, you are the single star
in the universe void before you came.

And when the years have passed
and we have watched a thousand
and we are bent,
our bodies crooked with age
ask me again.
In the twilight
in the shadow of the life we have 
ask me is I love you.
and my heart will answer
before my lips can part,
My love, my life,
my heart never left your hands.
Always, evermore, even after,

I didn't write this... it was in a book I read but it is everything I feel sitting here thinking of my love.

We still love any excuse to go play and not that we even need one but 27 years got us eating donuts and heading into the city for brunch at Plow.  We usually go to Napa but with the unfortunate fires we headed west and were rewarded with our new favorite day.
They have the best breakfast in the city and my french toast will be a craving for the rest of my life.
With my new iphone 8 plus in hand I had fun taking tons of pictures.

Nicholas and Natali were flying in that night to go with us to Carmel the next day so we ate dinner in the Whole foods food court on the way to the airport.
It was fitting sitting there eating a salad talking about our life, our family and our love. It doesn't matter what we do as long as I am holding his hand. 
It's true. It fits perfectly.

 So after 27 years and some days later I still get excited to wake up beside you...
every single day.
I love you...
Thomas Call forever and

Friday, October 27, 2017

Me and Clara (My Adopted Dog)

When my first son Nicholas was two years old Tom and I decided we/he needed a dog.  Because every boy needs a dog right? 
And I LOVE dogs. 
We had a house and a yard and a son... what more could you possibly need? 
So the decision was made in about 10 seconds.  The conversation lasting this long,
Me:"Tom, we should get a dog."
Tom:"That's a great idea."
Me: "Let's get a Great Pyrenees."
Tom:"Perfect, I will look in the newspaper for one right now."

Now I grew up with Great Pyrenees.  I had two named Napoleon and De gaulle. They are such amazing animals.  I still can't walk by one without sticking my nose in their fur.  They all smell the same and it smells like my childhood with a dose of wet fur.
They are fiercely loyal and love their family.   They are calm, devoted and well-mannered.  
So when it was time to pick the breed it was decided in the 10 seconds we decided to get the dog.

These are the things in my haste that I did not even begin to think about.
Like OMG that long hair...White no less.
The fact that many have wet mouths and slobber everywhere.  I mean fling it Beethoven (the movie) style.
They are huge!!!! Like ours got up to 185 lbs. 165 lbs usually but still....
There is a lot of ramifications of a dog that size...from health to how in the crap do you get him in the car?
Also, that is a lot of dog food and the cost of grooming etc. etc.
You get the idea...we just didn't think it through.

We picked him in the mountains of Colorado a couple of hours away from our Denver home. 
We were in love.  He was the perfect fluff ball.
We named him King Louis the thirteenth who made the Great Pyrenees the dog of his court.
(No fact checking here)
We called him Louie and he was perfection. 
We loved him so very much and in fact anyone that ever met Louie fell in love instantly.  My brother in law wrote a friggin song about him called "Big Lou" after he passed.  
He was really special.  
My husband spent hours upon hours training him and he was soooo good.  They had such an incredible bond I could still cry over it.
As our family grew Louie was the ever patient big fur brother with our 3 kids riding on him, laying on him, smacking his nose and constantly pulling his hair.  He never gave all their shenanigans a second thought and just looked at them with these kind eyes that seemed to say,  "I got you, don't worry." He herded them constantly because that was his real job and bonked them with his nose when they didn't fall into line like they were supposed to.  Giggles and laughter with an occasional bark was constant in our backyard.  He made the move to California with us and as we settled in our Louie was with us.
He was our loving friend until his last breathe at only 9 years old.

The pain of losing that big dog was unbearable.  We loved him so much.  And my kids learned their first lesson in loss.  It nearly killed me as I would tuck them in at night with huge tears running down their face, answering questions about where their Louie was.  And why he didn't live with us anymore. 

Fast forward like 12 years.
We haven't had a dog since.  
We had a cat Dave who we all LOVED so much but we will share the cat and a million other fish, hamsters, rats, bunnies stories for another time.  We will keep this strictly about dogs.

Now in those 12 or so years I have talked about wanting a dog with my daughter almost every day.  No I'm not kidding...we looked up breeds and talked about breeds.  Then we would go to Carmel that has 1000 dogs on the beach and look and ask about those breeds. haha It was slightly ridiculous. But I could never pull the trigger.  I guess if I'm being honest with myself as much as I loved Lou he was really hard and I was gearing up for that. I have been so busy with the kids I couldn't imagine another Louie in it.  I also took care of my sister in laws maltese all the time.  But it wasn't the same and we still talked on the daily about a dog.

Then I was reading one of my favorite blogs For the Love of a house and came across her sweet girls adoption story.  Something completely shifted and I knew right then and there I was going to adopt a full grown dog that needed a home and I completely stopped looking at puppies. It felt sooo good and sooo right in where I am in my life.  The idea of giving a dog a loving home....it just make me so stinking happy.

So about 5 months ago my sister in law told me about her friend that was having to give her 5 year old boxer rottweiler mix Kona away.
Yep exactly.

So around the middle of May.... Clara joined our family. Because I couldn't say Kona and Clara is adorable (Ella came up with it and she named Dave BTW).  Bonus she didn't even know we changed her name because the beginning and the end sounds the same.
The love I have for this animal is ridiculous.
She is my best friend.  Clara is at my feet right now.
She runs or hikes with me everyday.  She runs errands with me.  She has a piece of my heart that I didn't even know was missing until she showed up.
I love her so much and I miss her when she is not around.
She puts her paws on my shoulders and gives me hugs.
Do I sound pathetic...I already know I do because everyone in the family points it out all.the.time but I don't care.
Animals are like that.
They are loyal and they don't talk back.  They are always happy to see us and they ignore all our flaws. She looks at me with heart eyes and to be so adored is a healthy dose of joy every single day.  I am so grateful that Joan at for the love of a house pointed me in this direction.  Who by the way also gave me some great tips on making the transition easier.  She is a total sweetheart!
So thank you Joan and Gina (Her first mom) for giving me such a wonderful friend!!
And if anyone reads this.... really consider adopting an adult dog.  It has made all the difference for me.

This is the day we got her

Ella and Clara that first day

 See hos we are looking at each other...just pure love.

Ugh! That snaggle tooth...it's just so cute!!!

Look at how she sits in the car? hahaha

I just love her so...

She's just the best animal in the whole world.....

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....

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