Thursday, August 15, 2013
Thing 1 introduced me to this band on our vacation last week and I haven't been able to get enough of them since. The Civil Wars. Their music is haunting and yet lulling at the same time. Their harmonies are tight and melodic. Their songs expand and contract, never sacrificing one single note. Their voices meld together gorgeously and create a fascinating longing that you don't know exactly what you're longing for. They use their voices and acoustic instruments along with natural crescendos and decrescendos to create this amazing mix of wonder.
The duo is made up of Joy Williams and John Paul White who make music like lovers, but are actually married to other people. The familiarity that comes with singing with someone is intimate, and the fact that they create this beautiful magic and aren't lovers, is intense. On their acoustic heartbreaking song "Same Old Same Old," they coo the bitterest, most shivery lines together that makes your heart swell and then plummet. Their sound is absolute purity distilled in brilliance. The duo’s Americana songs, the infamous acoustic guitar tightly braided with their voices, comes to together in a way that really is quite incomparable.
Once you listen, you won't be able to get them out of your system. You will, in fact, as their new hit single claims "Be the one I wish had gotten away."
Give them a listen, but be prepared for an eargasm.
You will thank me later.
Over and over again.
Friday, August 02, 2013
Have I told you lately how much I love my job? Yes? Oh good. Then you know how much I totally dig it.
And when I say Dig, I mean ADORE.
I do. Adore my job. And further, I love that I get to work from home. I can pick up extra hours here and there and my family has zero impact. They barely even know that I am gone. In fact, I picked up fourteen extra hours this past week which put me working a thirty-eight hour week and when I told Jefe about it he was actually shocked. "You did?"
Yup. I did. That's gonna be one fat check next week!
Don't get me wrong, I loved doing all the Social Media stuff that I had been doing in the past. I loved meeting with people and brainstorming ideas with them on how to market their business better. I just really dig my new job more. It's less taxing on me, but more importantly, it is less taxing on my family. The impact that they feel is nominal and the benefits they get are so much better.
I was really worried about this choice I had made to start working for this airline and to leave all my other projects and clients behind. Would I wish I hadn't bowed out from all the projects, event planning, consulting, hobnobbing? Would I miss it? Would I regret it?
It was the best decision I have made in a very long time.
I couldn't be happier. My family is better than they have ever been. We Are Good.
We all went out to dinner together the other night and as I sat in the car listening to the kids tease each other, laughing like crazy fools, I looked over at Jefe, squeezed his hand and whispered "This is heaven." He smiled and nodded his head as we let that perfect moment of familial bliss simmer. We were all in the same car together, happy and actually having a good time. I think my heart nearly exploded from happiness.
Moments like those are coming more and more frequently now -- all of us being together, interacting and having a wonderful time -- and I cherish every single one. In those perfect moments is when I hear my kids reminiscing about past things we've done, teasing each other and genuinely liking each other.
It's one thing to be nice and civil with your siblings. Interacting occasionally and filling the time with small talk. I get it. You didn't get to choose them. However, its quite another thing entirely to actually like your siblings, choose to interact with them and call them your friend.
I see my children moving from just tolerating each other, interacting as sporadically as possible to actually seeking each other out for company. Watching TV shows together and teasing each other like old friends. It makes me happy to see them come to each others defense, intensely arguing their sibling's -- their friend-- case to make sure they are heard and validated. When the other children come to the defense of each other, no matter what the situation, to plead the case of their sibling, I am happy.
That tells me that they genuinely love and care about each other.
They not only genuinely love each other, they like each other as well.
That's huge people.
Some siblings just tolerate each other, loving them but these kids? They actually like each other. They genuinely care about each other and they want each other to be happy. And, they are loyal to one another. They have each others backs in a flash and it makes me so very, very proud to see them rallying together.
If this is what heaven is like, I will die a happy, content woman.
We have been able to keep up our pace of doing something fun together every single day this summer. And, I totally count going to the gas station to get a treat as something "fun."
Hey. It counts!
We've got a fun little stay-cation planned for the kids mid August on my days off. We're taking them to the mountains to stay in the condo, ride bikes, hike and hang out as a family. I'm even planning on bringing Uno and Phase 10. They are all old enough now to play these games together as a family and I have visions of staying up all night playing card games, listening to music and eating food.
I'm sure it will actually be nothing like that, but a woman can dream.
My other airline benefits kick in this month, so I'm sending Jefe and the two little girls to Disneyland via Delta before school starts as well. I want my little girls to be the first ones to use those benefits. They have been so excited about "getting to fly free cause Mommy works for a airplane" that they deserve to be the first. My older kids are begging for a Chicago trip. I'm thrilled that they want their first trip to be back to their roots. Well, let me amend that: They actually wanted their first trip to be to Paris, but they don't have passports. Yet. That trip is coming. I am saving all my PTO so I can take the whole family their this winter.
I know. Winter in Europe is cold. But, its also easier to get around and you won't get stuck there. I belong to an airline group on Facebook and I've been watching the past couple of weeks several people who have been stuck in Europe trying to get home. They've been stranded for over a week. I don't want to be stranded in Europe with 4 kids.
So winter in Europe is "Lovely."
Besides, I have to actually get myself an actual credit card with my name on it. I know, its totally weird that we don't have credit cards. We got rid of them when Jefe started Law School back in 1998. He has one for work that we've used in the past, but I don't have one. However, with the amount of traveling that we are planning on doing, I'll need one, with my pretty little name on it, so we can jet-set around the world.
Four o'clock in the morning on a weekend makes for a super slow work morning. The past several weeks I have gone the entire four o'clock hour without taking a single call. What does one do with that much down time when they are tethered to a desk?
Read books. Read magazines. Create silly Pinterest boards. Watch Netflix.
The latter is actually what I have been doing for the past month. My friend turned me on to a show called Drop Dead Diva. I'm always resistant to watching shows that people RAVE about because what if I think its dumb? I don't want to offend them and say "Yeah, that show you recommended to me? itstotallystoopid." But, my friend knows me well and brought the show up every single time we were together, so I finally caved one morning when I had gone sixty-five minutes without a call.
Oh my hell.
It's so funny! The main actress is fantastic! She's a big girl who has the spirit of a size 2 runway model in her and I kid you not, I watch that girl and I am convinced she IS a size two. But then when she remembers that she's not, you remember right along with her and feel her utter disappointment.
As a woman it was extremely easy to become emotionally invested in the main character because what woman can't identify with feeling super thin on the inside, but looking in the mirror and realizing you don't look the way you "remember" or envision yourself looking?
I do and I can.
In fact, one time I was shopping and glanced in the mirror and saw this woman and I thought "my hell that woman looks old, haggard and frumpy."
Then I realized I was looking at myself.
That was not a fun realization.
Anyway. Drop Dead Diva.
You should give it a looksie. Me thinks you'll like it.
That's all she wrote folks. Have a lovely weekend. I plan on napping in my hammock. It will be absolutely delightful!
1. Mercy (Live) - Dave Matthews Band
2. Skyfall - Adele
3. Crying Like A Church on Monday - New Radicals
4. Don't Know Why - Norah Jones
5. Glitter in the Air - Pink
6. Next to Me - Emeli Sande
7. Wanted - Hunter Hayes
8. Young Blood - The Naked and Famous
9. Arms of A Woman - Amos Lee
10. Two - Ryan Adams
Bonus: Sweetest Thing - U2
Friday, July 26, 2013
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." - Albert Einstein
Moxie learned how to ride her bike the fall of last year. I came home from work and she was zipping up and down the street like a she had never experienced freedom before. It was delightful to sit on my porch and watch her cruise up and down the sidewalk like a boss, wind blowing through her hair.
Then she fell.
Her bike was parked in the garage, where it stayed for the better part of nine months. I would try and get her to get back on it, but she would make all sorts of excuses "I likes my scooter more better Mom. I can go WAY faster on it" never getting back on the bike that had bucked her off like a wild bronco.
And that's the way we rolled. Moxie refusing to ride her bike. We even bought her a new one to see if that would encourage her, but the new one sat in the garage parked right next to the weathered old bike. Sad and neglected.
She likes to come with me when I go on my morning walks. You know, to keep me company so I don't get lonely.
And to scare away the bears.
Cause there's many bears in suburbia, right?
I finally told her at the beginning of this month that she couldn't come with me on our morning walks any more if she wasn't going to ride her bike. She would hum and haw, giving me all sorts of excuses as to why she shouldn't have to ride her bike.
That's when I Tiger Momed her.
I made her ride her bike. I pulled the bike out of the garage, hid her scooter and made her get on the bike and ride it.
Truthfully, it was the longest walk of my life. She whined, cried and made the walk just plain miserable. She would stop about every 25 feet and get off and start to walk and I would promptly make her get back on the bike and ride a little further. Two miles never seemed longer.
She started riding further and further way from me, to the point that she was so far ahead all I could see was a tiny speck.
She would eventually stop and wait for me to catch up, cockily yelling "Hurry up, Mom! You're walking so slow!"
And my heart swelled with joy.
Confidence meet Moxie.
Sometimes we fall, get scraped up, beat up and lose our confidence. And if we let that defeat conquer us it will rule us. Sometimes we just need someone to Tiger Mom us, take us by the hand and make us do that one thing that scares us most.
Sometimes we need someone to show us that in reality, we had nothing to fear and everything to lose. By getting lost in the fear, we were missing out on freedom. And the feel of the wind blowing our hair.
Football season has started again. Thing 2 has been at the park every evening for the past week running plays and practicing with his Dad, his buddy and his buddies Pop. The Dad's run interference while the boys run plays, fine tuning their skills, creating trust between the two players. Players have to trust each other that they each are going to do their jobs. When the players trust one another that they have each others backs is when it makes for great football.
Jefe comes home from their nightly workouts dog tired. And happy.
Thing 2? He's just happy to be back doing what he loves.
The boy will never be an NFL Player. That's me being honest, not mean, and the boy knows this. He has a healthy sense of self preservation, which is why letting him play football has been no big deal to us. If it comes right down to completely sacrificing his body or losing the play the body wins and the play loses. And, I'm OK with that.
I sat at the park last night watching the boys play their game. Clapping when Thing 2 would catch a difficult pass and moaning when he wouldn't.
My little girls were having races to the farthest point on the field that they dared run, having me time them to see could run faster. The sun had turned the sky a brilliant color of orange, and I felt that old familiar feeling settling into my toes. I sighed a heavy sigh, settled back into my chair and found myself thinking "This is damn near perfect. I am living the life and it's a damn good one."
I know. My insurance should be orbiting outer-space what with all the car wrecks we've had. In a two month period Thing 1 had wrecked all three of our cars, Jefe wrecked his newly fixed car and I wrecked the rental car we were driving while the Jeep was getting fixed.
I know, right?
In my defense this accident wasn't my fault. I was turning left in an intersection and a dumb teenage girl ran the red light and ripped my bumper off. I actually didn't know that it was as bad as it was because it felt like I got a little bump, like maybe she had just scraped the front of my vehicle. However, after I followed her through the intersection (chased would be the more appropriate word. she was going so fast, and kept on going that I actually thought she was going to flee the scene) and got out to call 911 did I see the utter destruction of my vehicle.
I chastised myself because I was heading to Bajio's to get me a salad and then over to the park to listen to the Huey Lewis and The News concert. "Maybe if I had just turned right instead of left this wouldn't have happened." But, after thinking long and hard about it, I realized that had I turned right, coupled with the speed this silly girl was going, this minor accident could have been quite tragic. She had 3 other minors in the car -- two of whom were in the back seat, not wearing seat belts.
She had very little damage to her vehicle, but mine? Yeah. My bumper was sitting on the road. When the police got there to handle the accident, they wanted us to move out of the intersection to a nearby parking lot. I had to drive like I was a decrepit old lady because I was PUSHING my bumper along with me. It was being held onto the car by one lonely, sad bolt.
I couldn't drive it around because when he first tied the bumper back onto the van it was all snug like. But after driving it to run kids hither and yon, it was starting to drag on the ground again.
My only hope this time around is that it takes less than 98 days to fix my vehicle. Which is how long it took to get the Jeep fixed.
I'm not bitter about that at all.
And I shouldn't be. I mean I DID get to drive a brand, spanking new, just off the lot 2013 Mini Van for 98 days. It was a lean, mean driving machine. Why would I be bitter?
Because we're still dealing the fallout of that mess.
I freaking hate cars sometimes.
That's all she wrote peeps. I hope your weekend is going to be as epic as mine. I've got a lovely nap in the hammock in my near future. Keep it classy, Internet!
1. Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
2. Got It Alone - Beck
3. Horchata - Vampire Weekend
4. Love Lost - Temper Trap
5. Sad Sad City - Ghostland Observatory
6. All of Me - Tanlines
7. Bury Us Alive - STRFKR
8. Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
9. Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones
10. Polish Girl - Neon Indian
Bonus: Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Your belly can thank me later.
Any colorful fruit, sliced in a large bowl. Chill until ready to serve.
*I really don't measure either how much fruit I am using... The sauce makes a lot!*
1 20 oz package white chocolate chips
1/2 pint whipping cream
Heat cream over low heat. When the cream is warm, add the chocolate chips, and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Pour over fruit and serve or serve on the side.