Thursday, October 22, 2015

weekend wins and losses

we are in the thick of craziness when it comes to weekends.  most of them include a friday night football game, a band review, a softball game and a swim meet.  that is the starting point.  then we add birthday parties and special events and we are maxxed out of time. but we always manage and we always try to have fun.

this weekend the fun started with a dodger game on thursday afternoon.
win: getting last minute tickets to the final game of the nlds playoffs at dodger stadium and making it a date night.  with the series tied at 2-2 and the game being played at home, we were hoping to celebrate a victory with the sold out crowd.  dodger games have become our thing.  something fun that we like to do together and somehow we were lucky enough to get seats for what turned out to be the final game of their season. win or lose, we love la.

loss:  well, the dodgers lost.  what was so painful was that they were ahead for most of the game.  the electricity in the crowd was overwhelming at times.  everyone swinging their rally towels in excitement as the mets went down inning after inning.  and then, just like that, things changed.  it was heartbreaking and frustrating.

bonus win:  getting out of the stadium before the last out, getting out of the parking lot before the traffic jam and getting to notre dame with 10 minutes to spare before jordan got out.

win: going to the homecoming game on friday night.  the halftime show was a tribute to willy wonka and the chocolate factory.  the band wore colorful shirts instead of their usual football uniforms and played songs from the movie.  only one more home game and then their season is over.

loss: well, they lost.  and it was another tough one to witness.  they were ahead for most of the game and made some incredible passes and touchdowns but it just wasn't enough.

loss: bobby and jordan having to get up early on saturday to get on the bus and drive the truck to riverside for a parade.  parade season can be hard on these kids, especially after a late game the night before.  everyone is exhausted and yet they have to perform and be judged.  somehow they always manage to pull it off.

win: they won 2nd place in their category.  the drum major won 1st place overall.  and it wasn't 102 degrees like it was at the previous parade.

win: another fun, emotional, and happy bat mitzvah to celebrate.  andrew's friends are all turning 13 and bar/bat mitzvahs have been on our schedule since the summer.  what a great party this was with a carnival theme.  there were game booths, a candy station, photo booth, and lots of dancing.

loss: not having my dancing partner with me.  both the parade and the mitzvah were at the same time so we had to divide and conquer.  he was missed.

win: taking sofia to see annie at the pantages theater.  i had never seen a professional production of it so this was a first for me as well.  we went with her girl friends from school who were all excited to see it together.

loss: finding out that the actress who plays annie was not doing the show that night.  we saw the understudy, angelina, instead.

bonus win: finding out that she was having dinner at the table next to us before the show. she came over to the table to say hello and got them excited to see the play.  after the show we went to the stage door to get her autograph and picture.  this girl was incredible in the part.  and what a doll. she spoke with such poise and confidence to the girls. she's the same age as sofia and looks like she would fit right in, doesn't she?

win: getting to spend some time with my friend from high school when she came to visit from seattle.  she has been a dear friend to both my sister and i and always has been a part of our family.  we had so much to catch up on but it was wonderful to just have her near and share stories of our time together.

loss: having to say goodbye. it was too short of a visit and with all of the other things going on this weekend i missed out on spending all of my time with her. also this photo is missing two boys; one is in spain the other was in bed resting after a tough swim meet.

bonus win: we are making plans to go to seattle next year.  we'll just have to find a weekend that isn't so busy.

Monday, October 19, 2015

2015 weekly menu #43

smoked salmon tartines from le pain quotidien
what a week and what a weekend.  we know the fall is a busy time for our family with football, parade and softball season but then you add in a (part-time) job, bar/bat mitzvahs, school plays, and halloween and there is barely enough breathing room on the calendar.

we have a few more weeks of insanity before we can relax...if at all.  and then thanksgiving, christmas and the new year will be upon us and there will be other things taking up our time.

i really needed the 75 minutes in yoga class this morning to breath, focus and remind myself to be present along the way.

this week looks a little gentler for us.  let's hope it stays that way.

weekend eats
saturday: bat mitzvah late lunch/small meal before going to see annie
sunday: mexican food

making this week
monday:  chinese food from trader joe's
tuesday: lasagna soup, garlic bread
wednesday: enchilada casserole, salad
thursday: halibut with bacony corn saute
friday: football game

i couldn't even tell you what we ate last week.  lots of take out or leftovers.  we had meetings and band practice and a baseball game and a homecoming game.  feeling a lot better about staying on track this week.

have a happy monday!

Friday, October 9, 2015

double digits

this little girl turned 10 on wednesday.  her abundant energy and dramatic flair keeps our home alive and unpredictable.  

for the past week she's been reminding me that i will no longer have children in the single digits.  it's the sad truth.  

with this birthday we leave behind a little innocence,  some childishness, we are made to grow up. but just a little bit.  

she has been mature and grown up since she was 3. but now i see it in her beautiful face. the baby face is almost gone and she is looking like a young girl.  but she will still talk in her baby voice, snuggle with me when she wants some love, and wrap her hand around her daddy's to feel safe. and we'll enjoy that for as long as we can.

she is our risk taker.
her confidence exudes from every pore of her being.
she has a wicked sense of humor.
she is creative and expressive.
she is a thinker and an innovator.
her friendships are meaningful and compassionate.
she has an incredible memory that she is using to her advantage.
she is brave but not fearless.
she is strong willed - always has been.
her love is limitless but her pain is too.
she will carry on a conversation with anyone.
she has amazing insight and instinct.

sofia enjoyed her birthday. there were donuts at school and an appreciation circle where each of her classmates told her why they are thankful for her.  yes, i was in tears.  they really know her and their comments were thoughtful.  dinner with my family was a big party - just like she wanted.  today we are taking her and her girlfriends to a taping of liv and maddie.  the best part is, they have no idea.  this weekend we celebrate with softball friends and more family.

on wednesday when i tucked her into bed she said, "the best present i got today was being with my family and friends and feeling loved. . . and the barbie dream house."

she is truly a loved little girl and i couldn't be more proud of the young woman she is becoming.

happy birthday sweet sofia!

with love,

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

weekend highlights and weekly menu #41

caramel cream pie recipe from

weekend highlights
getting to see elizabeth gilbert talk about her new book big magic.  she read the first few pages outloud which was awesome.  then she talked about her creative process, troubles and doubts.  she also did a q&a giving some insight into what she believes about creativity, fear and the need to make something.

we each got a book that she pre-signed.  her explanation for why she was not doing a signing line and photos was also inspiring.  the power of setting boundaries for your own good.

celebrating this night with my sister.

saturday was for swim meets and pie baking.  jordan and bobby were at a swim meet early in the morning.  it was a two day meet with jordan swimming in 6 events. this gave jordan entry times for future meets since he's new to club swimming and gave him a good idea of how he compares to other swimmers.  may have been too early after a football game but he pulled through.

i stayed home and finished some work and got started on our pies.  this one is bobby's cha apple pie.  he made this all on his own and is getting to be quite the pie maker.  he's looking forward to thanksgiving.

the pie above was my entry to the pie contest.  it looked so pretty.

before it got smashed in the fridge at the headmaster's house. i'm to blame for this.  but guess what? i won second place.  guess they judged on taste and not appearance.  loved this pie and will be making it again for the holidays.

our school held a first annual all parents social with a country theme.  there was line dancing, square dancing, bbq and pie, lots of pie.  we had a blast with everyone.  already looking forward to next year's event.

sunday morning bobby and jordan were back at the pool for day 2 of the meet while i took sofia to urgent care to have her hand x-rayed.  she fell off her scooter on friday and her fingers were swollen.  a quick check revealed no broken bones but a possible hairline fracture.  yay and boo.  she's in a sling for a little while until we know for sure that it's ok.

and a true highlight was getting to Skype with my nephew at my brother's birthday dinner on sunday night.  he's in spain for his freshman year of college and stayed up until 4am so he could say hello.  tough to not have him here but he's having the time of his life.

2/3 of encore reunited. he is missed for sure.

a busy week ahead with a fundraiser, a little girl's birthday (to be celebrated at least 4 times this week), and jordan's first band review of the season.

weekly menu
did a good job sticking with the menu last week.  it felt good to be cooking again.

weekend eats
saturday: bbq at the cha parent social
sunday: enchiladas and rice to celebrate my brother's birthday

making this week
monday:  skateland fundraiser event
tuesday: gnocchi soup, bread
wednesday: sofia's 10th birthday - burrito/taco bar
thursday: steak, baked potatoes and salad
friday: surprise birthday celebration for sofia

Friday, October 2, 2015

some things for fall

fall decorations at the palazzo in vegas
my favorite season is upon us.  i am so excited for the (slight) change of weather and the fresh crisp air.  here are some things i am looking forward to.

something to celebrate - it looks like a month full of birthdays. starting next week when my baby girl turns 10.  yikes! out of the single digits and she couldn't be more excited.

something to learn - i started a new job this week.  i'll share a bit more later, right now i'm just trying to learn as much as i can.  i'm working for an online baby clothing boutique. it's a hands on education in marketing, operations, and building a company from the ground up.

something to cheer for - jordan has started his swim meets with his new club team.  he had a meet last sunday and did "ok" according to him.  this weekend he has meets both saturday and sunday.  sofia is well into her softball season and has games every sunday.  she's made big improvements and is always ready to play. her walk up song is fight song by rachel platten.

something to prepare for - halloween.  kids need to choose their costumes.  sofia is deciding between being princess leia or one of the characters from descendants. andrew wants to be a walrus of some sort but i think we settled on a storm trooper. this weekend the decorations will go up.

something to dress up for - this month both schools are having their parent social/gala and they are both western themed.  cha's event is a hoedown complete with a pie contest.  next week notre dame is having a country knights fundraiser.  what to wear?  i don't own a pair of cowboy boots so i guess i should start there.

something to read - i'm in love with this is the story of a happy marriage.  i made a lot of progress while we were in vegas but wish i had a weekend to read it cover to cover. it's the story of ann patchett's journey with writing and what she has learned about being a writer and the stories she tells. do you see why i fell in love?  i am looking forward to starting elizabeth gilbert's big magic.  my sister and i are going to her speaking engagement.  she was amazing at super soul sessions and i feel like she will be inspiring me again tonight.

something to do - i need to get back into an exercise routine.  my new job is at the top of a very steep hill - one that i used to run up when i was training.  my plan is to start walking and getting my 10,000 steps a day, my fitbit has been on hiatus for a while.  i can park my car at the y and walk to my job and then walk back down the hill. that sounds like a good start.

something fun - will have to make some time this weekend to fill out this autumn bucket list. maybe while i'm drinking some hot apple cider and eating a pumpkin cream cheese muffin.

happy fall!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015 weekly menu #40

we had our share of good meals while in vegas last week.  one of which was the burgers at shake shack at the new york, new york casino.  if you've ever eaten here before i think you'll agree that these are delicious.  they are opening one in west hollywood next year and i am excited. eating at the one in new york is on my to do list.

as i mentioned, we've been eating out  a lot lately or making up meals as we go.  talk about stress.  so this week i made sure to get the menu done and do the shopping so we have a well stocked pantry and fridge for the week.

weekend eats
saturday: bar mitzvah dinner
sunday: mexican food after jordan's swim meet

making this week
monday:  caldo de pollo
tuesday: turkey paninis and tomato soup
wednesday: chicken piccata, lemon potatoes, arugula salad
thursday: salmon teriyaki bowls
friday: pizza

let's see how the week goes.

Monday, September 28, 2015

the good life

let's take a breath. a long, deep, collective breath. are you with me?

1-2-3. breath in and breath out.

feel better? i do.

this month has been an adventure.  more than i could have ever imagined.  that adventure has brought great things to our lives but it has also turned everything we have been used to upside down.

 it started with this simple phrase, "i'm thinking about going back to work."

once i put that out there - things changed.  isn't it funny how that happens? (or terrifying.)

i have so many thoughts to share about this roller coaster i have been on.  but right now i just want to stay in the space of calmness and get ready for what's next.

i've missed being here. writing. telling our story. i have missed it so much and thought about it a lot, but i've had little time to sit down and write. when i logged in today - blogger asked, who are you again?

the one question i kept asking was, with time being more limited, what do i want this space to be for me, for my family, for you? it's been on my mind for a while now.  it's time for a re-design. not for what this blog looks like, although it needs a face lift, but for the content that i write.

i think it's all part of whatever is next for me. this blog gets to evolve as i do.

there have been events over the last few months that make me think differently or at least see the things in our lives differently. a lot has happened and a lot has left a deep impact.  i'll want to write about the things that stood out.

here's some of the things that might inspire future blog posts:

  • 3 job offers and the fear of making the wrong decision
  • 1 temporary job that ended last week
  • 1 new job that starts this week
  • a possible career??
  • a new creative adventure
  • a possible career??
  • the taylor swift concert with sofia - she's growing up
  • andrew's quest for high school
  • jordan exploring college - gulp!
  • softball games, swim meets and football games with the band
  • another fantasy football season - staying mellow 
  • our 21st wedding anniversary
  • a super soul sunday session with oprah - i'll need a week of posts for this one
  • a trip to vegas
there are lots of stories to tell.

i'm still planning on doing menu posts.  let's face it, food is my jam and my menu helps to keep me organized. i'll post tomorrow what's on the menu for this week.  recently it's been a lot of take out and i'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen this week.

here's to figuring out this life thing together.