Monday, August 24, 2015
last week i was completely engaged in the week in the life project. i have hundreds of photos to go through and pick out for this project. i'll share some of my favorites this week. (hint: that photo above is one of them.)
this is our last week of summer vacation before the younger kids start school. we are going to make the most of it!!
i just looked at last week's menu and we only made it to tuesday. the rest of the week we were out or just didn't eat what was planned. some weeks are like that.
making this week
monday: bbq chicken salad
tuesday: gnocchi with pasta sauce, caesar salad
wednesday: everyone is on their own
thursday: green salsa chicken tacos
friday: first football game of the year. go knights!!
wishing everyone a happy week.
Monday, August 17, 2015
not that i'm complaining.
it's not a typical monday for us. we had a great weekend. we are recovering from a fabulous party on saturday night where we danced the night away. but we could use a few more hours of sleep. getting up at 6am this morning was not easy. jordan started his junior year of high school today. yikes! i got to take him this morning and he even let me take his picture. sofia is on her way home after a week of adventuring. andrew is the only child at home, for a few hours at least. our air conditioner is not working. that's right, it was 500 degrees this weekend and we don't have an air conditioner. relief is on the way, i hope.
saturday: #noahsmitzvahbowl which included an in-n-out truck
sunday: dinner from islands
making this week
monday: salmon with yogurt dill sauce, cucumber and feta salad
tuesday: pan seared pork chops, appplesauce, salad
wednesday: bbq chicken salad
thursday: turkey lettuce wraps, garlic green beans
friday: zucchini noodles with meat sauce
ok monday. i'm ready for you!
Thursday, August 13, 2015
echosmith's ticket for good luck. everyone starts somewhere, right?
i'm not going to call this their farewell performance, it's just the last performance before college. i will call for an encore of encore when chris is back in l.a. and we'll be sure to invite you.
Monday, August 10, 2015
last week grandma sue was here to make jam with the kids. she does most, if not all, of the work. the kids help smash fruit and i gather the jars but that's about it. we now have jam jars to give as gifts, or completely devour on pancakes and toast, it's good stuff. strawberry and peach for the win!
i was up extra early today, 5am, to cook eggs and serve breakfast at notre dame to the returning faculty. tonight i am helping to serve dinner to the band students. it's all about service this week!
our whole30 program was an epic fail last week. bobby made it until thursday when he inadvertently ate hummus at a work lunch (no beans are allowed). we had dinner with friends on friday night and we couldn't resist the bruschetta, and wine. we kind of knew we were done for and not 100% committed by then so it was easy to fall prey to the temptation.
we are trying to figure out a compromise this week. we ate really good food last week and in the few days we did it we saw changes. would love to keep that going.
saturday: ate out in hollywood before jordan's band gig
making this week
monday: chicken noodle soup
tuesday: pan seared pork chops, appplesauce, salad
wednesday: bbq at notre dame for last day of band camp
thursday: bang bang shrimp, cole slaw, garlic green beans - didn't make this last week
friday: bbq ribs, loaded baked potatoes
looking forward to another good week.
Friday, August 7, 2015
i found this post card in a store in san diego and it spoke so loudly to me. i love to travel. i love discovering and learning about and seeing the world. i can't say i'm a huge adventurer but i give it a try. this is what travel brings to me, a change deep and permanent in my idea of living.
it could be something as small as realizing i can work with one pot and one pan to cook meals. or how much i love to read and immerse myself in a book when there is nothing else i should be doing. or spending unmeasured time on the swings with sofia, playing games with the boys or looking at the stars on a picnic table with bobby.
i walk back into my life inspired, changed, happier.
i go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. - john burroughs
i treasure all of the photos that i take on our trips. but sometimes they just can't capture the beauty and magnitude of the moment. i remember walking through the park on our hikes and trying to take in the enormity of this world that we live in. it opens my eyes again, it makes me feel something, it touches my soul.
we were out for a hike one day, our feet crushing the leaves and sticks, kids were laughing and chatting about something, we were chewing on trail mix and then we stopped. i asked everyone to just take a moment to listen and look. the sun coming through the trees, the sound of the birds, the stillness of it all. for a minute the five of us stood there and let it sink in. (maybe that was just me but indulge me, will you?) that moment is the moment i will go to when life is active and stressful all around me. that is where my mind and heart will go when i just need a breath to get me through.
every trip we take, whether it's to hawaii, mexico, a houseboat, an rv, or a road trip reminds me of the incredible family i am blessed to share my life with. my kids are growing way too fast. college is not too far off for jordan, andrew will be in high school next year and sofia is no longer the baby (technically). although i hope they will still want to vacation with us as they grow up, and someday bring their families along, it's not going to be like this forever. i cherish this and hold on to it as long as i can.
a road trip is hard. many hours, hundreds of miles, constantly answering "how much longer?" we have to take turns on music, come up with games to play, and agree on food stops.
there is also so much laughter. we played games while we were camping and i don't think i've laughed that hard in a long time. everyone works together to pack, unpack, clean, walk each other to the bathroom, find a lost toothbrush, spray each other with bug spray. it's a team that i am honored to be a part of.
i sort of love these people with all my heart. i don't care if we are away for the week or the weekend. if we are at a resort or a motel 6 (that's a lie, i hate motel 6!). i will chose to spend my time with them every.single.time.
in our daily lives we are going 5 different directions at once, sometimes 10, sometimes 20. trips like this help us regroup so we can share experiences and moments that will be with us even when we're not physically together.
he is a huge reason why trips like this work. he sets the road map, literally. he knows that if i did it we would stop in palm springs "on our way" to hearst castle. he does the driving, he finds the campground (or vrbo house), he talks to the ranger, he starts the campfire (really i'm the expert at that but who's counting?) we are all getting good at putting up our tents, but he taught us everything we know.
this process tests us. we don't always agree on where to go or what to do. he always votes for inexpensive adventure. i always vote for drinks with umbrellas (actually he does too). it's stressful getting everyone and everything in the car without forgetting something - or someone. it's a matter of compromise and teamwork, something we are always striving for.
whether it's just the two of us going to italy for our 15 year wedding anniversary or him convincing me to go on a houseboat trip when i was 7 months pregnant or taking an rv back from colorado, we do it with love (and just a little attitude.) we get through the bickering and petty disagreements. we forgive each other for the minor mistakes (renting a stick shift in tuscany) and we always, always make the best of it. he is my travel companion for life.
can't wait to see what adventures this coming year has in store for us. i'm secretly hoping for spain
summer road trip - part 1
summer road trip - part 2
summer road trip - part 3
i am linking this post to stephanie howell's blog your heart out.
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
it was hard getting up on saturday morning to pack the truck up again. it was even harder to get the kids in the car while they were complaining about driving for another 3 hours. somehow we got it done.
every year my mom's family hosts a family reunion. most of the time we do it in san diego because the majority of the people can make it. we meet up at the same spot, grill burgers and hot dogs, play some volleyball and take family photos.
this is family that i spent a lot of time with growing up. the cousin on the left is the one who gave me and b our "b" names. the cousin on the right is the cutest thing you will ever meet.
pigment for a little
thanks for coming along on our crazy adventure.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
little basin state park
we left paso robles tuesday morning and made the 2 hour drive to santa cruz. we did our grocery shopping here where there is a target and trader joe's - felt like home.
little basin is part of the big basin redwood state park. and that is as much as i know about it. well, that and it's beautiful, secluded, quiet, used to be a corporate retreat for hewlett packard filled with bluejays, mosquitos and racoons. and it was the only camping we could find for this week - so we went with it.
our meal planning is exactly what we do at home. i came up with a menu that included breakfast and lunch for the week. we made a list trying to keep the ingredients to a minimum. we bought salad kits, meat/chicken that was already seasoned, and pre-made salsa, guacamole, and pasta sauce. simple and quick. this night we had prepared bbq ribs and tri-tip from trader joe's, a salad kit that i added strawberries to and the kids favorite shells and cheese mix.
the rangers warned us about critters coming into the camp to eat food so we kept everything in the provided bear box in our campsite - no bears in the area but that's what they call it. one night after dinner we were playing a game and had yet to take the trash to the trash can. andrew looked over and said, there's a really big cat under the table. i looked to see it wasn't a cat, but a big fat raccoon tearing open the trash bag and eating the scraps of fruit. the kids and i jumped on the table and watched bobby wrestle the bag away and yell at it to go away. we were no help. everyone decided it was bed time after that.