Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Feeling grateful on Father's Day....grateful my 4 children have a father who is hands-on, adventurous, faith-filled, hard-working, fun, fit, able to forgive, and able to ask forgiveness.

grateful my children have a father who loves his wife - aka their mama.

grateful that although their father travels around the world, he always comes home with a smile and a kiss and lots of hugs all around!  

I love doing life with him.

Happy Fathers Day, love!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ghost Boy book review

If you are a physician, caregiver, teacher..... please read this short memoir, Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius. (Actually every human should read this book!) This once healthy 10-year-old boy very quickly became sick to the point of being unresponsive. He basically became crippled and mentally incapacitated almost overnight. For years he was in this state with everyone 'assuming' his mind had regressed to a 2-year old level. 

And yet...many years later his mind slowly awakened to find himself trapped in his own body - unable to speak and no longer control his limbs, and under the mercy of "caregivers" who treated him as less than human. 

Except one...and it only takes caregiver who sensed there was more to this boy than a shell.  Without giving it all away, it involves her intuition, willing parents, keen testing, cutting edge voice technology, and a miraculous discovery that he was in there all along - with a full vocabulary and awareness of every conversation spoken over him (and every abuse perpetrated on him).

His escape from this 10-year prison will give you pause....pause to look into the eyes of those you may have previously dismissed. 

There is always hope.

I was especially encouraged that he didn't lose his Faith in God through his life fact, he says he felt God's presence during that time in a way that he can't describe adequately but it solidified his Faith. 

And I am encouraged that with his limitations he has gone on to do incredible things in society! Oh, you just have to read this book. It's super short - like just an evening you can devour the book. It skips around a bit but it's a powerful testimony!

God Bless You Martin! Thank you for getting Better and not Bitter. Thank you for sharing your story.  And God Bless your family as well as this was devastating to them - to see their vibrant 10-year-old disappear with no hope of healing. The way you described your father's faithful care, brought tears to my eyes. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Princess Tea

Sugar is 13 years old and wanted to host her own table at the annual Princess Tea this Spring.  She wanted to do a Little Mermaid theme with a live fish. She found some fun containers at the Dollar Store and I gathered some material remnants and burlap I had stashed at home. It turned out really sparkly and magical!  

The tables were simpler than in years past. I noticed a lot of the girls who attended years ago are wanting to host their own tables now. I love that! The moms were able to step back and let them decorate, bake and host. In fact, a few of our Middle School mentors held a meeting once/month for a few months leading up to the tea with topics such as: Picking a Theme, Table Decorating, Hostess Tips, Baking Cupcakes, etc..

Here are some of the fun table themes....from Belle to Cinderella....

 and the gorgeous cupcakes....

There was even a carriage photo-opp
for sweet friends!!

I wasn't able to attend (it was the same weekend I was attending Blondie's Mom's Weekend at her Sorority). I helped her set the table the day before the Tea but I missed seeing her actually host the table.  I think it was for the best though because I tend to reach in and take over sometimes when Sugar would prefer to do it herself and in her own unique, sweet way.  Her grandma and several of our friends were her honored guests. I am so very proud of sweet Sugar - the "Hostess with the Mostess" and my beautiful Princess.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend

This year was one of the best Mother's Day "weekends" I've ever had!
Up until this year my favorite Mother's Days have been when I held a newborn in my arms...

19, 17, 13, and 10 years later......the first of my 4 "babies" spread her wings, dove out of the nest, and it nearly broke my heart. It's something every mother must go through I suppose but it sucks. I mean you pour your life into these precious babies and they just grow up and leave you? What is that?! 

But a little time and through a few tears and heart-to-heart talks, I started to see the pendulum swinging back toward home.....not all the way, of course, but closer to the middle - where I could see glimpses of the girl I raised and her character, kindness, beauty, and strength shining through. It was there all along of course, but through my own insecurities and inexperience I had some difficulty watching her fly away...

Here are some highlights from Mother's Day weekend which included a college visit to spend with Blondie. We explored her little college town and ate at some very delicious restaurants. It was fun to whisk her away to a hotel suite and give her the gift of a good night sleep (I'll always be her mom). We rented the movie "Big Eyes" which we really enjoyed and had a great discussion about women's rights and relationships and how far women have come yet how far we have to go.  (What? You didn't talk about grades or homework or tuition or nutrition or future plans? No, and it was awesome! Haha!)

Blondie's sorority welcomed us and so did our hotel....

Blondie gave me a super cute sweatshirt - that combined some of my favorite things - the color blue, a flower lei, and a nod to mama: 

"I got it from my mama"

Cuz you know when I walk next to my model daughter everyone can clearly see that she gets if from me....I wore it anyway.... 

I nearly gave up climbing this 'easy' hike (it's only 3.5 miles but it's up, up, up to the top of the summit). Blondie is just like her dad - works out every. single. day. and then some! She patiently let me take my own pace just like her dad treated me when he and I were walking up the hills of San Francisco all the way to the Coit Tower. I am fortunate to be surrounded with loving support. After watching the movie "Big Eyes" - I was even more grateful for supportive family. 
 The view is always worth the climb.

FUTURE SELF BREAK: "Hey, self, you better get in shape before your 4th born attends college and wants you to summit for a view of his college will be 8 years older, will you be 8x stronger? Your own father climbed the highest peaks in the world up into his 70's...what's your excuse?" 

After the hike we did some shopping at a local boutique and then we took over a pottery studio. The boutique owner was very smart - advertising 10% off to the sorority moms and then serving us champagne when we arrived. Oy! My credit card is getting more of a workout than me!

Mother/Daughter painting party...we packed the place!  We had another delicious dinner and then I drove home. Most of the other moms were staying for Mother's Day Brunch the next morning before they flew home but I reminded them that I did have 3 other children at home who might want to see me on Mother's I said goodbye but was sooo grateful I had that sweet time with Blondie!!

My other 3 kids were happy to have me back home but only 2 wanted to get a photo with me (why is Mother's Day always the same weekend as Prom? Don't they know that high schoolers stay up all night whether or not they actually attend?). My Hero had planted fresh flowers in our yard and hung some pretty flower baskets while I was gone, then he bbq'd steak. Yum!

One of my favorite parts of every Mother's Day is the hand written cards I receive:

from Jelly

from Sugar (she made me a book of mom-isms)

 and from the Prince...something he made at school
I love the coupons he made! Can you tell he's the son of a scrapbooker

 And we invited this little chick momma

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Here are some fun facts. Some great movies premiered in 1965! The Sound of Music, Gold Finger and My Fair Lady.

.93 cents for a movie ticket and .05 cents for a stamp.

I just 'remember' being born in sunny California into the 'perfect' family...a preacher daddy and a glamorous mommy...

and a beautiful sister and 2 handsome brothers...

and I wanted to tie up that perfect picture and keep a bow neatly tied around it...for years...and years and years and probably up until my 30's I had to let that dream go. Because life is messy and conflicted and busy and anything but perfect.

And none of us would be who we are today without the messy.  And who they all are today is loving, generous, industrious, kind-hearted and grateful.  We weathered the storms of life and now get the privilege (?) of watching our own children weather some storms as well.  

So tonight I put 50 years of living behind me and look ahead to the next 50.....a little respite in the middle of this book called "Life"...if this is the could be near the end or 3/4 through...ideally I look ahead to the next 50 and wonder....

what will be neatly tied up in a bow and what will be torn loose by the winds of life?

feeling philosophical this birthday eve....

Monday, March 9, 2015

Valentine's Day in San Francisco

Nothing better during Winter in the Pacific Northwest than going down south for a little sunshine!  This February My Hero flew me down to San Francisco for a weekend getaway and the weather was perfect!

I loved seeing flowers and palm trees again...and soaking up the warm sun.  We also did all the touristy things like walked down to Fisherman's Wharf, visited Ghiradelli - which I thought would be an actual chocolate factory but it was only a glorified gift shop. There was an hour wait just for their ice cream shop. We ended up not buying anything - and that says a lot from this chocolate lover!

Speaking of favorite restaurant was "Arguello" located at the Presidio Officer's Club....the best taquitos I have had in a long, long time!

And something I don't see in the Pacific Northwest in February.....fresh lemons!

We hiked a few miles up, up, up to Inspiration Point Overlook....we could see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge from here!

We rented a car to visit the Presidio and Golden Gate bridge but other than that we walked everywhere or used public transportation including the famous cable cars....

 I'm glad they have a "No Skateboards" sign....but surprised they needed one.

One thing I know is that I am out of shape. My Hero and I occasionally watch past episodes of the tv show "The Amazing Race" and we found several landmarks that were in one of the seasons (such as the Coit Tower and George Lucas studios)...I thought about the "Cowboys" and how they ran everywhere. I also thought about the 2 brothers who won that season and how one of them propelled himself up this Coit Tower with just a harness and his arm strength. My Hero works out everyday. He was very patient with me as I walked very slowly at times (up hill). He never complained or made me feel bad for not being in athletic condition.  He called me a "trooper."  That is one of the reasons I love him so. He encourages me.

 It was very unusual for us to be traveling together without our kids. I enjoyed his company and just kind of went with the flow. I flew back home by myself as he stayed on for work. And I was just as excited to be back home and taking care of my chicks.  But I will treasure this Valentine's Weekend in my heart and the special time I got to spend with My Hero. Since he stayed on for another week I guess you could say I left my heart in San Francisco.