Friday, September 21, 2018

Parenting Adults!

Me and my honey, sitting on the beach in Carmel, CA
Well hello! It's been a while. The title of this blog "My Teens...." now only applies to my youngest who is almost 19.
So maybe the title of the blog should change but there are things to talk about being a parent of 3 adults, right?
My kids. There is soooooo much love and pride I have for these guys, I might explode. My older 2 have finished college and are officially employed in their first "career" jobs and my youngest is trekking through Jr. College like a champ, juggling work and school.
Now, instead of parenting, it's more like, "I'm here if you have questions or wanna talk!". The unsaid is "I have SOOOO many thoughts, opinions, love and life-wisdom to offer if you want to hear them." Mostly they don't but I love it when they do. :)

AND, we're also loving the time we have as a couple...just us. Dating each other, going on trips together; getting a glimpse of what life will be like when we're empty-nesters and realizing we love each other more than ever. We have our ups and downs but the roots of our 28-year marriage go VERY deep.
We believe that God has good things for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Man, what a promise! 

With my mom's passing from cancer back in December, it really reset how I see things. I had been exhausted with life and the busyness of it all and when my mom was gone, I was newly able to prioritize things with ease, knowing how short life is and what REALLY matters.

This new season we're entering will be a ride! Kids moving out, my dad moving in, finding time to visit my grandmother in the nursing home, serving at church, working full time, nurturing friendships, finding time to exercise and eat right, etc. etc.
It sounds like a lot BUT the daily prioritization of things is a must. Choose what you put your hand to. People are what matter. How we treat others, love them, care for them and impact their life is what matters to me. All the other things are nice but not necessary.

Me and my 18 year old Emma in Hawaii in August

Taking my dad on his first trip to IKEA

Celebrating my grandmother's 95th birthday this past July.

Wine tasting with my 24 year old son, Ben.

Celebrating my 22 year old daughter, Natalie finishing school.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hosting, Holidays, Traditions and Memories

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! This year, I've been being purposeful about slowing down and really enjoying the season. Seems there is always something to do and I'm a somewhat high-energy person and actually find it difficult to chill out. My husband is very good at telling me, "You know you don't have to do that right now. Why don't you sit down for a while?" But this year I've actually listened to him.  :)
With our new house, it's officially become the host-house for events and holidays and I LOVE it. It comes with a level of responsibility and extra thoughtfulness about things but I really believe God made my me and my husband with a desire to make a place for people. We haven't even been in this house 9 months and we've already hosted numerous birthday parties, a baby shower, a bridal shower, numerous dinner parties, a wine and s'mores party (I know, sounds fun right?), Thanksgiving and tomorrow we will host Christmas.

Now that our kids are adult-ing, I'm reflecting on all of the little Christmas traditions we've had.
  • Putting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving wearing Santa Hats
  • Watching Christmas movies in excess between Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Board games get dusted off and played more often throughout the month
  • Christmas cookie decorating
  • Good-natured arguments over which Christmas music should be played and how often
  • Opening one gift on Christmas eve
  • Christmas Eve church services
  • Christmas morning, whoever passes out the gifts has to where a Santa hat
  • Opening Stockings first
  • Big big big Christmas morning breakfast AFTER the gift opening
  • Playing board games on Christmas day after the large dinner
  • etc. etc.

The family Christmas Cookie decorating party is always fun. I don't know whether I do it for the kids or the kids do it for me. Doesn't matter. We do it. :)
With kids in college, jobs, boyfriends, girlfriends and general life stuff,  it's getting harder and harder to find a time that works for everyone but every year, we pull it off; Christmas music, cookies and a large mess. 
There is SO much laughing, mild competition and smack talk; whose cookies look better, whose were most creative, whose were the worst...simply awesome times.
This year we did it again and we also got to have a couple of other young adults join in who have never decorated a Christmas cookie in their whole life! The time together is not about getting the best-looking-Pinterest-worthy cookie. It's the time together. Period.

Here's a pic of the finished products from this year's venture:

Definitely NOT going to find these in Better Homes and Gardens

Our house got to be that place where a memory was made. A small one, but a memory.

You may think, "what's the big deal with decorating cookies?"  It's not a big deal but traditions are.  It's an anchor to your childhood and family and memories.  It gives one a sense of security and connection. I remember decorating Christmas cookies and other Christmas baking with my mom.  My hope is that one day in the future, my kids will decorate Christmas cookies with THEIR kids and remember fondly these times. 

Revive and hold on to any traditions your family has. I'd love to hear about yours! Merry Christmas everyone. Sending love to all my family and friends. xoxox

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Company's Coming Madness

Why is it that we feel we need to clean our house to perfection for company? Aren't the people we're having over our friends and family who KNOW we live in our house?

For Thanksgiving, we had 43 people over. Yes, you read that right. And 98% of them were immediate family.
Here's a photo of a most of them right before we ate:
The ages ranged from 3 months to 93 years old. There were about a dozen kids playing in the yards running in and out, traipsing mud and dirt throughout the entire house and can I tell you, it made my heart SO happy that they were having fun.

Needless to say, the sweeping and mopping I did PRIOR to them arriving was completely unnecessary! Why did I worry that my house looked just so?
It was all clean and lasted "clean" all of about 6 minutes.
So when you feel yourself getting wound up in the holiday cleaning preparations, watch this awesomely funny parody of all of that:
Instead, pour a glass of wine and watch a Christmas movie instead.
Peace to you all.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Teens to Adult-ing!

It's been a VERY long time since I've written a post. I realized that posting about my teens, while they were teens, ~could~ be embarrassing and uncovering for them. I care about those things and so I set aside this blog for a time.

I officially have three kids in college now. One is a senior, one is a junior and my youngest completed high school early and will start community college in the Spring. What the what!?!? Crazy. 

I remember looking at my first born son when he was a baby scooting around on the floor and saying to my husband, "Can you picture him with hairy man legs and driving?"  No way could we picture it.

I remember watching my daughters play Barbies and having tea parties and asking, "Can you picture them with makeup on and driving to work?" No way.

Well, here's what they look like now (2 of them in their 20's and one teen) and they are doing all of those things, adult-ing and such.
The oldest doesn't live with us and comes home from college to visit on a regular basis. His college is a 1 hour plane ride or a 6 hour car drive away.  Our middle daughter is an adult as well and lives at home. With the two adult kids, the dynamic is changing with us and it's hard. Not because it's hard for them but because it's hard for us. We have a "plethora" of wisdom and advice and thoughts, and encouragement, and correction and love and ....etc, etc. and they listen but they then do precisely as they see fit.  :)  I know that part of adult-ing is making decisions and making mistakes, getting into uncomfortable situations and learning from all of them. Sigh...can I just say it's hard to watch your kids do that?
That's all for now.  I haven't figured out the "keep 'em in a bubble forever" thing yet. I'm starting to think it doesn't exist.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thrift Store Make Over - Did it in a morning.....

Everyone has a project in their house that is waiting to be completed, or in my case, started. Admit it!
I bought this chair at the G.W. (code for Goodwill) for $6.99! Solid wood, not a creak or a wiggle anywhere:
You can see that it just needed a little TLC in the paint department. I had a perfect empty corner in my living room that was calling out to it. So I trekked over to Home depot, bought me some sandpaper, spray paint (Heirloom white is my go-to color), latex gloves (gotta protect the manicure, right?) and a respirator mask (gotta be able to breathe.)

Here I am, lookin' amaze-balls, right?!

 10 minutes later, here it is after the first coat:
Here it is IN my living room, slightly distressed with sandpaper and rubbed down with furniture wax. I need to find the perfect throw pillow for it. This one is just one off my couch. I'm gonna let it ride for some time and then ~may~ add some pop of color to it. What do you think?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Say Cheese!!!

We had a small photo shoot yesterday. My daughter was visiting from Oregon. (Drove her to the airport this morning to say goodbye all over again) It'd been 7 years since the last one and I felt like I needed to update the portrait hanging in our hallway.
The final one hasn't been selected yet but I thought I'd share some of the ones that AREN'T going to be framed BUT that I think are totally awesome. We laughed a LOT! The last two pics are an attempt at recreating one of the ones in the hallway that my kids think is worthy of posting on :)
My fave is the first one!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Feelings

I know, soooooo many people say Autumn is their favorite season but I can't help it, I LOVE it! I appreciated this past summer. Our family went on a vacation to Disneyland. It was bittersweet because I have a feeling that it'll probably be the last "Family" vacation we'll go on.
My oldest daughter moved out of state at the end of this summer and we miss her. She'll only be around for the occasional holiday, and if we're lucky, an impromptu visit here and there.

This is one of the reasons why fall is my favorite season...Pumpkin Patch-ing!
Tho my daughter wasn't there, we still had a good time. 
That day, it was in the 80's, not very fall-like but it's starting to cool down.
I also realize that this past Pumpkin Patching trip is the last one with my son. He'll be moving away this summer as well and it'll just be the 3 of us. I don't think about that too much. It makes me sad but as parents, it's what we do! We raise our children to be adults. They are adult children MUCH longer than they are children-children and I want to enjoy EVERY moment of it all.

And here is another reason I love can decorate my house and light my candles: