Friday, June 28, 2013

5x12 | june

completely forgot to do this in april and may, or maybe i was too overwhelmed with school and graduation preparation.  i'll get current with june and maybe go back and do april and may later.  sound good?

  • jordan showed off his fresh drumming skills at the school talent show and rocked the house.
  • jordan played with his cousins band at his first gig and rocked the house.
  • jordan had his chapter presentation and was salutatorian at graduation.
  • jordan started water polo and has been to practice everyday.
  • andrew finished his baseball season on a high.  
  • at his team party his coach said the most amazing things about him. we were so lucky to be a part of his team for two seasons.
  • andrew's lego collection has grown.
  • andrew discovered the marx brothers' movies - and loves them.
  • sofia had her portfolio presentation at school. we are so proud of her for a great year.
  • she told me to take her with me to palm springs. "but i'm fun, mom."
  • she saw monsters, inc. in 3-d at el capitan.  thanks alyson.
  • she partied with the 5th and 8th graders at their end of the year parties.
  • bobby worked, planned, prepped and is now realizing a dream.
  • he is stressed but excited.
  • he had a great softball game that included a home run.
  • he rearranged the kids' rooms while i was away.
  • i bawled my eyes out at graduation.
  • i was ready for school to be over and summer to start.
  • i went away for a relaxing weekend with my sisters.
  • i'm loving having the kids home.  
  • our little vegetable garden is growing. 
  • our days revolve around water polo practice and games.
  • we've been to the beach, disneyland, movies and the zoo.
  • we ate lots of sushi.
june had days filled with emotion, relaxation and so much accomplishment.  believe it or not, we're halfway through the year.  

the best is yet to come.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

girls weekend: palm springs

just thinking about this past weekend makes me smile.  there is something so wonderful about sharing a few days away with the girls.  the food is different, the chatter is certainly different and the mood is calm, fun and relaxing.

things have changed since the last time we were here.
my sister is married.  jen has a little boy.  sandy and i have kids that are in high school.  adriana kids are now in college.  and it's only been 2 years since the last time we did this.

we stayed at jen's in-law's place again.  seriously, no hotel is better than this.  we had room for all of us to sleep, a pool to soak in and a place to eat.  each of us brought food for one meal, snacks and dessert.

and all of us brought wine. 

saturday was all about the pool.  reading, doing our nails, chatting and eating.  the best part about hanging together is the talk.  we even had time for a nap.

for dinner we picked birba.  i had seen it on some blogs and heard that the atmosphere was perfect - the entire restaurant is outdoor.  and it didn't disappoint.

salad with fried garlic - um yum!  margharita pizza on thin crust - you know how much i love that. and the best gnocchi i've had since our trip to florence.

it was great sitting under the stars.  the conversation at dinner revolved around what we are passionate about, finding that passion and making that what we do. our passions ranged from writing,  making people laugh, helping other people, being creative, and telling a story.  listening to how each of us is following that passion in some way in our lives was inspiring.

right after dinner we decided that we wanted to go dancing.  our server recommended a place where they had great music, a fun atmosphere and there was no concern for getting hit on by creepy guys. let's just say the men there would not be interested in us.

so we went and danced the night away.  it was fun to be on the dance floor listening to good music and just enjoying that time.  we danced til our feet hurt.

then it was back to the house for dessert and, you guessed it, more talk.  we were up until 3:30 am!

breakfast on sunday was at the ace hotel just a few blocks from the house.  if it hadn't been so hot (over 100 that day) we would have walked there.

king's highway is a hipster coffee shop in this retro hotel.  we poured over the menu trying to make a decision between breakfast and lunch.

i ordered the chilaquiles with chorizo. ( a little greasy, but overall very good.)

we ordered one bloody mary for our table.

and had our first cup of french press coffee. must try this again soon.

everything was delicious. and it was another chance to get a goofy group photo.

we even tried taking pictures in the old fashioned photo booth.  yes, the five of us piled into the tiny booth, crawled on top of each other and got the worst photos ever.  

you can't even see everyone.  but we laughed and had fun so it was worth the $4 for sure.  getting out of the booth must have looked like one of those clown cars at the circus.

back to the house and time to go home.  we did make it to the outlets and got in a bit of shopping before driving back to our lives.  even the car rides were full of laughter, touching moments, and good conversation.

we do get to see each other often. these are my sisters and good friend.  jen, i consider you a sister now too.   but we have busy lives that pull us in different directions.  we're not always together as a group, without the kids and hubbies.  that dynamic makes times like these special.  having open conversations, getting to know the details of our lives, giving and getting advice with no pressure.

i love each of these girls.  they are funny, supportive and honest.  i look forward to spending time with them.  we need these weekends and i am so happy we had the chance to get together again.

thanks girls!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

right now

i need to order more of this film to capture our summer - so fun.
jordan is getting through five hours of water polo practice today.
getting up at 6am in the summer is getting a little easier.  just a little.
i am starving but can't eat - i have a blood test at 9.
i am thinking about the starbucks i am going to get after the test.
our broken dishwasher is being used as a drying rack.
i have 129 photos that need to be developed and put into the album.
we are looking at getting this printer. hopefully so i can do some printing at home.
i am so excited that project life is being sold at michael's. not that i need anything.
bobby's project at work is becoming more of a reality everyday.
our weekends are booked til august.
our tomatoes have 6 little babies on them.
our strawberries have 0.
i have to clean out the pantry.
i am considering this as my next project.
did i mention i was hungry?
we are looking forward to going to the zoo and hanging out with cousins this weekend.
i am looking back at pictures from the weekend and missing the girls.
i better get ready before the other 2 get up.
it's all good.

Monday, June 24, 2013

2013 weekly menu: week 26

my very first french press coffee.
back from a wonderful girls' weekend in palms springs.  can't even begin to explain how much fun we had; laughing, eating, talking and relaxing.  looking through all the photos today and remembering every moment.

week 2 of summer for us.  second week of water polo.  hopefully it will be a little easier this week. he's keeping up and still feeling sore enthusiastic.

the kids and i have projects ahead this week.  bobby reorganized the kids' rooms this weekend and we need to clean out toys, clothes and junk and put everything back in order.  love starting fresh.

oh and our dishwasher broke.  really?!

weekend eats:
saturday: pizza, gnocchi and salad from birba in palm springs (me)
sunday: carne asada and chicken tacos (bobby and the kids)

making this week:
monday: chicken tacos, corn on the cob
tuesday: cheese ravioli with tomatoes and basil, salad
wednesday: grilled salmon, brown rice, vegetable kabobs
thursday: chinese chicken salad with noodles
friday: pizza

inevitably we will eat out during the week.  like last week we got pizza after jordan's game and bobby and the kids went to a pool party on friday night instead of eating pizza again.  i plan for the best case (or worst case as some see it) scenario of cooking every dinner at home. but i know plans change.

my shopping trips in the summer are fast with sofia as my shopping partner - get in and get out.  so i tend to shop with 2-3 days of meals in mind, which means heading to the store more than once a week. that gives me some room to play since i can still make changes to the menu throughout the week.

say on tuesday after water polo we decide to go to that fabulous pizza place again - hypothetically speaking of course - then i'll move the ravioli to wednesday and scoot everything else down the list.  i only buy fish the day we will eat it so we can have the salmon any day during the week and not worry it will go to waste.

i admit that there are challenges in the summer. shopping with kids in tow, eating around going to the beach or hanging out with friends - it's so much easier to just pick up fast food on the road, meals while on vacation. not to mention having 3 kids in the house all day who like to eat at all hours, and one teenage boy who is doing more exercise than he ever has in his life and is constantly hungry.

the good news is that there are plenty of good summer foods to have on hand.  summer is my favorite food season.  food just tastes better, and fresher. flavor is at its peak.  so you really can't go wrong.

it comes down to being prepared, but being flexible.  that's what works for us.  we'll see how the weeks turns out.

enjoy the first official week of summer.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

h2o polo: week one

4 days of practice.
12 hours in the pool.
2 hours of weight training.
1st game yesterday.
1 minute of actual play time.
and this is the easy week.

he had never played water polo until monday. we dropped him off to join the high school jv team not knowing what to expect.  he did good.  they were impressed with his egg beater kick.

last night they had their first game.  we didn't think they would put jordan in since he's never played before.  he didn't even know how to put on the swim cap.  but the coach put him in during the last 30 seconds of 2 periods.  jordan just swam and watched the ball.  he admitted he had no idea what he was doing, but he said it was fun.

he has great swimming skill and has played basketball and volleyball in the past, so this seems like the perfect combination of everything.  his long arms are great for blocking.  the games are short and fast.  a little intimidating and intense, but lots of fun.

this is great for him to give him something to do over the summer.  he would much rather stay home, listen to music in his bed, maybe get up to play the drums for an hour or two, eat and then go back to bed.  there is definitely a teenage boy in this house.

he has already met a bunch of kids so that will make the first day of high school a little easier.  he is getting a head start in a new sport. the official season begins in the fall.  now he won't be trying to learn a new sport, while rehearsing with the band and trying to adjust to high school academics.

this morning getting up at 6am was a little lot harder.  he is sore, tired and adjusting to the aches and pains of his body.  we also saw some attitude.  he wanted a day off.  3 hours in the pool everyday, swimming, moving, getting yelled at - the coaches have to yell to be heard over all the splashing.  it's tough.  but he managed to get it together and go.  he's learning to deal and push through the pain or face the consequences.

we are learning all of this as we go too.  at the game yesterday i saw a mom from cha who's son plays on the jv team as well. it was nice to see a familiar face.  she was helpful and gave me some information on how this whole thing works.  high school is so different from the community we've been in over the past 9 years.  it's time to grow up! all of us. 

so to celebrate his 60 seconds of glory we had dinner at my favorite pizzeria in the valley, mulberry street.  thin, new york style pizza, cheesy and oh so good.  definitely worth all the work, at least for me.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

currents: 6.18

celebrating andrew's baseball championship this weekend.

waking at 6am now that jordan has water polo practice.

going to our first game tonight.

dealing with some creative self doubt.

thinking i'm just creatively overwhelmed.

prepping for a fun weekend of swimming, laughing and shopping with the girls.

reading is everyone hanging out without me?

eating foods that are minimally processed.

drinking coffee with no sweetener.

listening to sofia and andrew "negotiate" space for their toys in the living room.

hoping i don't have to intervene.

missing the gym, my run shoes, a stress reliever.

checking on my garden everyday.

waiting to see a tomato or cucumber pop up.

planning for next year.

balancing two school schedules.

wishing we had a vacation to look forward to.

enjoying some quiet time this week.

Monday, June 17, 2013

2013 weekly menu: week 25

father's day breakfast
we're off to a good start.  we've already crossed off several things off our summer fun list including going to the beach, going to disneyland, seeing man of steel, play dates with friends and swimming.  last week wiped us me out.

i don't expect this week to be as eventful which is good since this morning jordan started water polo.  no guarantees that he will make the team in the fall or that he will even like it, but it's now part of our summer. we're committed.  maybe i should wait til after the first practice to make such a bold statement.

last week our menu got moved around a little bit because we were out at dinnertime.  so i'll try to stay on track this week.

weekend eats:
saturday: leftover chinese from lunch. i had yogurt with fruit and granola
sunday: stonefire grill to celebrate father's day

making this week:
monday: grilled pork chops and nectarines
tuesday: chicken cobb salad
wednesday: salmon with yogurt sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans
thursday: chicken enchiladas, rice
friday: pizza

have a great week.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

summer fun

it's going to be a different summer for us.
jordan's summer will be shorter.
the other 2 have a longer summer.
bobby will be away by the end of summer.
i want to take advantage of the time we have together, the beautiful weather and the fun things there are to do in the summer months.

jordan will have high school stuff over the summer; water polo practice and band camp.  but we will find a way to work around it.

the list:

  • go to the beach (no brainer)
  • eat dinner outside
  • watch "old" movies (old for the kids. but our favorite childhood flicks)
  • make popsicles
  • go to disneyland
  • read 2 books (we all have summer reading to do)
  • visit farmers markets
  • go to the zoo
  • make smoothies
  • grow vegetables
  • eat from our garden
  • make jam
  • make art
  • make ice cream
  • see monsters u
  • see superman
  • take a road trip
  • make pickles
  • swim
  • go to a baseball game
  • purge and donate
  • have a pajama day
  • go to a concert in the park
  • watch a movie outside
  • hang out with friends (no brainer)
i didn't list the other obvious ones:
play drums
play video games
sleep in

and there is still room to add.  we brainstormed yesterday and this is the list we came up with.
andrew read it and said "that almost sounds like too much fun."
i hope so.

hope you are enjoying your summer.

Monday, June 10, 2013

2013 weekly menu: week 24

pupusas for lunch
declaring this the first official week of summer, even though summer doesn't officially start for a few more weeks.  school's out and we have time for fun. i hope this also means i have time for some real cooking.  making things fresh, easy and yummy.

lots of ideas running through my head.  let's see how much actually gets done.

weekend eats:
saturday: sushi - we had to try the new kat-suya
sunday: family celebration

making this week:
monday: fish sandwich, kale chips
tuesday: teriyaki chicken bowls
wednesday: grilled pork chops with nectarines
thursday: dinner out
friday: pizza

happy summer!

Friday, June 7, 2013

these moments

there are moments in every mom's life that you want to remember forever.  those moments are the reason i take photos, they are the reason i document them in an album, they are the reason i blog.  i don't want to forget.

on wednesday i had a day filled with those moments.

the moment when the class of 2013 sat together for a photo.  this group is something special.  they are smart, energetic, and supportive of each other.  seeing them all together in their caps and gowns and remembering them as kindergartners was surreal.

the moment when jordan walked into the amphitheater, and we cheered.

the moment when they sang.

the moment when each of the kids gave their speeches on what cha means to them.  each of them unique and representative of who they are.  the kids are confident speakers and talented writers.

the moment that stood out when rachel gave her speech, got emotional and started crying as she said how much she will miss her classmates and what cha means to her.  tears were flowing everywhere.

the moment when rebecca, the valedictorian, gave her speech.  she is a brilliant writer, avid reader, and spelling bee champ.  her speech was reflective and inspiring.

the moment when matt, the co-salutatorian, gave his speech about his memories of cha and what he will take away from his years here. he is a good friend with a great sense of humor.

the moment when ryan, jordan's friend since pre-school, introduced jordan. it was touching and incredibly emotional.  i am so thankful for their friendship.

the moment when jordan gave his co-salutatorian speech.  simple, expressive and meaningful.  he talked about everyone being a family, a theme that was repeated throughout the ceremony.  he also said that cha was a nest that let them grow up safe and encouraged and now they are ready to fly like eagles.

the moment when they introduced the lifers, students that have been at cha since pre-school or kindergarten.  9 lifers graduated on wednesday taking with them a decade of memories and friendships.

the moment when they sang "on top of the world" by imagine dragons and used the drumsticks to play the beat.

the moment when jordan's name was called.  they announced that jordan will be attending notre dame and he will be taking honors courses.

the moment when bobby, as a board of trustee member, was able to give jordan his diploma.

the moment when they all stood up as graduates and turned their tassels.

the moment when he congratulated his classmates.

and took lots of pictures.

the moment when he was greeted by his teachers who encouraged him, supported him and never let him be anything less than amazing.

the moment when our families, who have been on this journey together, posed with our boys.

the moment when these four stood together as life long friends, fellow graduates and soon to be notre dame classmates.

the moment when i felt so proud, so full of joy and yet so sad that his journey at cha has come to an end.  we chose cha because of jordan.  we felt a connection with the beautiful campus, the outstanding academic program, and the caring staff and teachers.  9 years went by so fast and he has grown so much; emotionally, academically and physically.

we know that parents are the number one influence in a child's life but we have witnessed the impact that the right school can have on a young person. jordan will take with him confidence, friendships and knowledge that has shaped who he is and what he will become.

thank goodness we still have 2 more kids here!