Friday, August 30, 2013

5x12 | august

first off, thank you for the comments yesterday on my post.  i felt the love and it made me stronger! thank you.

august was full of new experiences.  on our own and together.

  • we spent the first 3 days of august together.
  • we talked every day.
  • jordan went to band camp.
  • he also went to water polo practice every day.
  • i met some of the notre dame parents who helped us navigate our way.
  • we became a part of the school.
  • we went to san diego to celebrate the cutest 2 year old.
  • jordan got to see his newly painted car.
  • andrew and sofia spent 4 days with grandparents, aunts and great grandparents.
  • they played skip bo with gigi and great grandpa.
  • they are still saying "holy ting ting".
  • they were spoiled, loved and very well fed.
  • they went to disneyland and california adventure.
  • we drafted our fantasy football teams.
  • i got a c+ on my team - fail.
  • i decided not to do a half marathon this fall.  
  • i felt bummed and relieved.
  • bobby wrote revisions, visited locations and made tough decisions
  • he got a b+ on his team.
  • he joined a gym and went to spin class.
  • he's challenged and excited and exhausted. 
  • jordan started school and got right to work.
  • he was prepared and eased right into it.
  • he's made friends and found connections.
  • i'm figuring out how much i can handle.
  • i'm asking for and accepting help.
  • i'm working on being ok with not doing it all.
  • we're not wishing away the days. we're being present and living.
we're excited for what september has in store.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

on accepting

this sunday will mark four weeks since we left bobby in new mexico.
it's been a  l o n g four weeks.
for him and for us.

it's gotten better.
i've changed my attitude.
i still cry but i accept.

i know there are others, i know others, who live this life 24/7, 365 days of the year.
through loss or separation or divorce.
others who know he's never coming back.
others who fight to survive.
that is not me.
i cannot compare.

this is temporary.
he is here for me.
he is just not here with me.

he is working 7 days a week.
he's working hard, with his whole heart, with intention and passion for what he's doing.
i'm working 7 days a week.
i'm working hard, with my whole heart, with intention and passion for what i'm doing.

the kids are cool.
they miss him but they don't fight it.
except maybe sofia.
she is keeping me on my toes and pushing me to my limit.
she always has.
but it's more intense now.
and just when it's about to get ugly, just at that very moment when she sees i mean business, she looks into my eyes and says "i miss daddy."
i cry.
she cries.
it's an ugly mess.
(and yes, i am completely aware that it's manipulation. but damn it, it works.)

adjusting has taken some time.
those things that i thought were going to be so difficult at the beginning aren't so bad.
i am learning that i can do things.
i am also learning that the things i thought i couldn't do, was really just that i didn't want to figure out how to do them on my own.

i have so much help.
so many offers to lend a hand.
to drive or pick up.
to watch the kids so i can go...anywhere...nowhere.
to hang out.
to talk.

i am blessed.
we are blessed.
i am surrounded by love and friendship and support.

but sometimes i feel alone.

we talk everyday.
text good morning and good night.
we skype and facetime.
we send love notes.

at times i think about the moments that we are living that the other person will never know.
adventures that we are taking.
amazing meals we are having.
friends that we are making.
struggles that we are getting through.
without each other.

but i am so very excited for him.
for this time he has to grow creatively, professionally and individually.
i feel like i'm doing that too.
those moments will be shared.
maybe not in detail but he'll know. i'll know.

he's not coming home tomorrow like we had planned.
he cancelled his airline ticket this morning.
he told me last night.
that was hard.
there's too much going on for him to get away.
i get it.
honestly, i get it.

i am sad today.
i miss him today everyday.
but i'll get busy and it will get easier.
and we're one month closer to him coming home.
i can definitely accept that.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

end of summer to do list

school starts in one week.  
one week to finish our summer fun list (not likely).
one more week of sleeping in, (or going back to sleep after jordan is picked up.)
one more week of no homework nights.
one more week of planning school events.

it's exciting, the start of a new school year. but i've been through enough of them to know how much work is ahead.

we have things to do, fun things, important things and why not things:

  • go to the movies one more time - we are seeing planes today.
  • have one more sleepover in mom's bed for sofia.  wednesday has been her day to go to sleep in my bed.  starting next week we're back to normal {right?}.
  • pickles.  everyone keeps asking me about the pickles.  we made jam isn't that enough?  
  • make pickles.
  • practice my chalk writing.  kind of obsessed with this beautiful art.  working on a project for school and i have lots of practicing to do.
  • sharpen pencils.  sofia needs to bring in 36 sharpened pencils. we bought unsharpened.
  • get rid of school clothes that don't fit.
  • do this for sofia to make mornings a little easier.
  • pick out first day of school outfits.
  • haircuts.
  • swim.  the kids have to swim.
  • thinking about going to the ronald reagan museum to see the lincoln exhibit.
  • go to the back to school bbq and back to school night for both schools... on the same night... at the same time?!!
  • make things work. there is no other way.
how many days are in a week?  wish me luck.

Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 weekly menu: week 35

homemade peach and strawberry jam. thanks grandma sue.
we are soaking up the last bit of summer here.  the last of the summer fruits. the last of the tomatoes.  the last of the late afternoon sun. the last days in the pool. the last of our laid back mornings. i think i'll miss that the most.

lots of excitement to look forward to this week.  planning some fun things with the kids as we enjoy their our last week of vacation. the first notre dame football game is on friday and jordan will be playing in the band at half time and during the game.  but the absolute highlight is having bobby home for the weekend.  we can't wait to wrap our arms around him and not let go until monday when he has to go back.

weekend eats:
saturday: carne and chicken asada tacos with my family
sunday: ate out with my parents who were helping me with some house stuff. thanks mom and dad!

making this week:
monday: turkey paninis and salad
tuesday: snapper with zucchini and tomato
wednesday: chinese chicken salad
thursday: pizza
friday: football game fare

enjoy the last week of august!

Friday, August 23, 2013

high school | week one

we have (almost) made it through the first week of high school.  we are so tired and ready for the weekend to be here.

the night before school started we met up with jordan's friend and classmate to have our end of the summer, let's start school off with a party get together.  andrew and sofia were spending a few days with family so it was just me and jord.  we met up at mulberry street pizza - is there any other place to go?

jord spotted this autograph on the wall of dave grohl from the foo fighters.

we are up at 5:45 for me and 6:00 am for him every morning to get ready for the day.  his school works off a block schedule so he has 4 classes on blue day and 3 classes on gold day.  gold day also has an x period where they can do homework or study with their teachers.  kind of awesome.  the problem is he has to remember what color day it is and make sure he takes those books and notebooks to school that day.

he decided on a two backpack system for organization.  one backpack holds his blue day class books and notebooks and the other holds his gold day books and notebooks.  he's hoping that will keep him organized and with the right books on the right day.  we'll have to see if this works.

we got to school around 7:30 on monday, just in time to get the embarrassing picture in front of school. they are such good sports.

jordan and ryan have been friends and classmates since pre-school.  they are more like brothers at this point.  we are so happy that ryan (and his parents) chose this as their high school.  maybe we should start looking at colleges together. ; )

day one, and the rest of the week, ran smoothly for jord.  he's been going to school for a few weeks now with band and water polo practice, so he's familiar with the campus and has friends already. he said his teachers are all nice and he's happy with his class load.  phew, huge relief for me.

after school we went to the barber shop to get a clean cut.  they have very strict rules on hair, shoes, clothing, etc.

for dinner we had a date at our favorite mexican place.  it's so nice to hang out just the two of us.  something that i  can already feel slipping away as he gets busier with his own life and not willing to go along with us everywhere.  so i'll enjoy it while i can.

but he is busy.  water polo practice started on tuesday.  wednesday he had a full day of classes then it was practice, a quick bite for dinner and then band til 9pm. the first school football game is next friday. we'll get a chance to see him march during half-time - so excited!!

i think he's adjusting well.  he has to focus on his time management for sure with such a packed schedule.  but that's something he's pretty good at thanks to cha.

the first few days of school i was home alone.  i had plans to get so much done while jord was at school but of course the time went by so quickly.  i did get laundry done and cleaned out my closet. but the kids rooms never got touched.

and while i waited for jordan to finish water polo practice, i cruised ventura blvd. and went into shops i've been wanting to see.

a nice way to spend the afternoon.

the kids spent time with their grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncle in the pool.

eating s'mores, playing skip-bo, eating pancakes, and going to disneyland.

they finally got to ride the cars' ride.  and sofia was very excited that she was tall enough for indiana jones.

thank you to our family for spoiling taking such good care of them.  they felt loved and happy when they got home. and thanks for the pictures.

of course they had to tell bobby all about their adventures, which he thought was very funny.  he's sad to be missing these first weeks. but he will be home soon for a visit and then we are almost halfway through his time away.

so this is our new normal.  at least for the next week.  then the other two start school and it will be complete chaos!  not sure how i will manage, but i will.

so happy for a good week for all of us.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

how does our garden grow?

apparently, very good.

this was a project we started in june, getting ready for the summer and wanting to grow our own vegetables.  why not, right?  bobby and i talked about putting the garden in the side yard where he stores his camaro.  it's the perfect little space that gets great sunlight throughout the day.  the rest of our yard is very shady - and in need of some major gardening tlc. but that's a project for another time.

the first weekend we researched containers, went to the hardware supply store and got to work.  bobby and jordan built the containers from treated wood.  he made 4 boxes measuring 3 feet by 5 feet.  they came together in a weekend and we were good to go.

the following weekend we took sofia to the gardening store (the same one i went to with my parents when i was a little girl) to pick out the plants.  that was fun and overwhelming. what variety of tomatoes do we want?  do we plant watermelon? is it too late to plant strawberries? how many do we need? we asked a lot of questions and got everything answered from the garden guy and from people who were also shopping and were willing to share their expertise.  one woman recommended a tomato plant that she had success with and it's doing great for us too.  we grabbed planter's mix and we were on our way.

we filled the boxes, mixed the soil and started planting. bobby finished it off by installing the sprinkler system.

here's what we are growing:
one box for herbs: basil, thyme, parsley and mint.  one box for  tomato plants: cherry, roma, regular. one box for zucchini and bell peppers and one for the strawberry plants.

bobby also designed these covers for the boxes to keep the summer sun from scorching the plants.  but the summer has been so mild and i started noticing that the plants, especially the tomato plants, were starting to bump up against the mesh, so we removed it.  and that's when things really took off.

the herbs i knew would do well.  i've grown mint before and know how it can take over.  between that and the basil they overshadowed the parsley and thyme so those two didn't make it or are lost underneath the other plants.

it was great seeing the zucchini blossoms start to come out.  they are so pretty and i've been tempted to stuff and fry them but haven't gotten around to it.

the zucchini has gone crazy! we have more than we could ever use.  and i learned to not let them grow this big.  you have to pick them everyday or they will.

and the tomatoes,  these are my favorite.  i pick them everyday.  small orange ones, nice pear shaped red ones, and big, round, juicy ones.  they are flourishing and growing and so yummy.

we've run into a few issues along the way.  probably the number one mistake was planting too much.  the boxes are very cramped.  we easily could have cut our choices in half. we were being over zealous i guess.  lesson learned.

the tomato cages are not tall enough.  some of the branches are hanging over the cages and are heavy with fruit so they need to be tied up. a project for this weekend. it's now all one big intertwined mess.  but they are growing.

the strawberries never had a chance.  we think it was the watering system.  there just wasn't enough water for them to grow.  and to be honest, other than planting them on mounds we didn't really know anything about growing them so we just let those fade away.

we haven't found any tomato worms but we did have some strange fungus growing.  hopefully we got rid of it all.  i forget to cut the flowers off the basil and i know that is a important to keep them growing. i try to go out in the morning before the bees attack to do that but there are so many.

i love going out to the garden every morning to see what's changed.  i took these pictures to show the growth over the summer:




the best part is that we use what we grow.

we eat lots of tomatoes at our house.  i will pack them for lunch for the kids and they eat them like grapes.  i throw them in my salad or chop them up for chicken hot dogs.

i use a vegetable peeler for the zucchini and cook the ribbons with tomatoes and use that as a topping for the pasta, so good!  bobby's grandma made zucchini bread with some of them.  i have given away a lot.

i add the basil to pizza, pasta, or bruschetta.  and the mint we put in tea, lemonade and maybe an occasional sunday cocktail.

this morning's bounty
i am doing some research on what to plant next.  i've seen some gorgeous lettuce gardens that i might try in one of the boxes.  carrots, broccoli, beans, and onions.  or i'll just clean up and prep the boxes for the spring.  looking forward to all of it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

2013 weekly menu: week 34

chicken nachos with sour cream and guacamole.
this is another one of those weeks that we've been looking forward to and dreading at the same time.  school starts for jordan today. wait did i mention it was high school?  so many emotions this morning.  still processing and will post later this week.  but there is excitement and nerves and overall happiness.

so it's a party of 2 for dinner the next few days while andrew and sofia enjoy time with their grandma, aunts and great grandparents.  lucky them!

i can see how eating out would be convenient for a small family. not so much for when the five of us are home. but it's tempting to eat out more often since it's just the two of us. i'll plan an easy menu for now and see how it goes.

weekend eats:
saturday: leftovers at home - chicken tacos
sunday: mulberry pizza with our friends

making this week:
monday: eat out - jordan's choice
tuesday: fresh pasta with garden vegetables
wednesday: grilled salmon salad
thursday: lemon parsley chicken with corn and tomato salad
friday: pizza

i'll be thinking of jordan all day.  hoping he has a good first day of high school.

happy monday!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

around here: august

finding little reminders throughout the day.

our garden is growing. i'm picking something everyday and trying to use it all up.

i've been dropping him off here everyday for the past 2 weeks.  today he's there for freshman orientation and starting next week it will be his home away from home.

football and marching and drumline and making friends.

spending lots of time with these two.  they still have a few weeks before school starts.  trying to make the most of it.

they do things like this.

getting advice from old navy.

trying, really trying to make this work.

the best part about waiting is that it gives me time to read.

getting her some sparkle.

sometimes this is where i work.

skyping and texting and facetiming and sharing.  life is crazy and busy and exciting.