Friday, September 30, 2011

Culmination Day


Today was Culmination Day at Mission Avenue, Casey's Elementary School. The kids were so excited to perform. 











Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Listen up, I love you!

Pedar grabbed Casey by the shoulders the other day, looked into his eyes really seriously and said, "Listen up, I love you!"




Casey started laughing really hard and then he repeated it to Pedar, me and Erik. Then Erik started repeating it. We all love saying it. Try it on someone you love today!






Monday, September 26, 2011

A date with myself

I am in San Francisco at a marketing training for two nights. Today's training was excellent, were learning how to "Manage the creative process." Marketing professionals from as far as Washington D.C., Texas, Chicago and Colorado have come to try and learn how to better communicate, brand and plan our marketing projects. Were learning a lot from each-other. It was a long day but I forced myself to leave my hotel room and walk to my favorite store, Anthropologie, where I quickly decided everything was overpriced. I enjoyed a delicious Thai dinner. I had a date with myself and I liked it!

Last night I gave myself a pedicure and manicure and watched too much TV and read into the wee hours of the morning. I forgot how loud the city is at night.

I miss my boys and I miss my man. I miss their sleepy heads in the morning and I miss their hugs when I get home from work. I'll be home tomorrow night by 8 p.m. I cannot wait to kiss and hug everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tooth Fairy stopped by again last night!

Casey lost another tooth last night. We had just gotten home from soccer practice, were sitting down enjoying a pizza that Pop-Pop Jim brought over. Thanks Pop-Pop! He walked over to me and said, "Mom, I think my tooth is ready to come out."

I got a napkin and out it came! 


Casey was great. He was so calm and just held the napkin to his mouth.  He's such a good kid!
Erik had some crazy dreams last night, he woke up crying and then he started yelling, "I want my flip-flops! I want my flip-flops!"

It would have been really funny if it wasn't 3 a.m.

Then Casey woke up at 4:30 a.m. because he was so excited about the tooth fairy. He called out from his bedroom every hour until 6:30 a.m.


Pedar and I are tired today. We will get to bed early tonight.
I wish I could snuggle next to this little dude and take a nap right now! Man, I love this little curly head.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Love makes everything better


Love this artist. See her stuff at Etsy here

A house is a house is a house - until love comes through the door, that is. And love intuitively goes around sprinkling that special brand of angel dust that transforms a house into a very special home for very special people: your family.

Money, of course, can build a charming house, but only love can furnish it with a feeling of home.


Duty can pack an adequate sack lunch, but love may decide to tuck a little love note inside.


Money can provide a television set, but love controls it and cares enough to say no and take the guff that comes with it.


Obligation sends the children to bed on time, but love tucks the covers in around their necks and passes out kisses and hugs (even to teenagers!).


Obligation can cook a meal, but love embellishes the table with a potted ivy trailing around slender candles.


Duty writes many letters, but love tucks a joke or a picture or a fresh stick of gum inside.


Compulsion keeps a sparkling house. But love and prayer stand a better chance of producing a happy family.


Duty gets offended quickly if it isn't appreciated. But love learns to laugh a lot and to work for the sheer joy of doing it.


Obligation can pour a glass of milk, but quite often love will add a little chocolate.

-- author unknown



Field Trip to Crocker Art Museum



I went with Casey's class to the Crocker Art Museum today. We had a great time.


The kids made their very own sculptures!


Ms. Register told the kids that if they smiled nice they could take a silly picture! This one turned out great!


Casey has 30 kids in his class. Ms. Register spends a lot of time counting heads! I had a great time getting to know the kids in Casey's class and his new teacher. We are going to have a terrific time in First Grade!


Monday, September 19, 2011

I hope you had a fabulous weekend!



Friday evening Pedar and I went to the Harvest Moon event at Bogle winery. 
We enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Mulvaney’s. Beautiful Megan babysat the kids as we enjoyed an evening out. We had a great time and the food was delicious.


Saturday morning I was up early to be a part of the Western Health Advantage team for the American Heart Walk. My friend Jen, Erik and I did the 5K. It was a great way to start the weekend. The patient stories were very inspirational. Later that day I took Casey to Charlie's awesome birthday party and then we wrapped up it up with a neighborhood BBQ.

Sunday morning Pedar went for a 20+ mile bike ride with friends while the boys and I had shrinky dink fun! We love shrink dinks!! Casey also painted me a gorgeous picture for my office.

Casey's beautiful sunflower painting for my office.
Erik had fun painting too. We had such a fun and relaxing Sunday morning. I felt relaxed all day long. Other than the usual chores and cleaning we did a bit of yard-work and we finished the mini-remode/updatel of Casey's room. We ended the day with a quiet delicious home dinner, bath-time, cookie-time, one episode of “Good Luck, Charlie" book-time and bed.

Looking forward to a terrific week!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things do change

Maybe things don't happen at the speed I want, but looking back through old pictures, I am happily reminded that things do happen.
We might have the same old cabinets and counter-tops, but we've been able to replace all of our appliances.

We were able to move our washer and dryer to the garage.Yes, it was on our back patio for over two years. Plumbers need cash baby! The other day I was asking Pedar about hiring an electrician to finally fix the two outlets in the dining room. We've lived here nine years and we have two outlets that don't work. We've looked into it, but never wanted to throw money at that project. I would like to put the Christmas tree in that corner some year...anyhoo. Pedar said something like, "Well, when we fix those outlets we need to rewire the electrical box because the wires are really old and brittle (1955) and that will cost a pretty penny." Huh? Should I be worried about our wires babe? FIRE??!! He said we're OK. I filed it under things I wouldn't worry about if I lived in a newer house. Our plumbing scares me too, every time one of the toilets gets plugged, I worry that this time the plunger won't work!
Yes, this was our backyard. Many a penny has been spent back here. I've spent so many hours in the dirt, but I love every single inch of this yard.
We didn't even have a back fence at one time. Change happens, with planning and a whole lot of EFFORT!
Naked boys run in my yard now.
More wonderful things and experiences are coming to you and me. I have so much to be thankful for. My new job is wonderful. I go to bed tired from reading and digesting so much new information. Casey's first grade teacher is wonderful. Pedar is happy at his job and Erik is still content with Sharon. We've got to start working harder on potty-training though!!

I hope you've had a good week. I hope you have an even better weekend.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oops, I did it again!

I backed up into Pedar's car this morning, AGAIN. I did this back in November of 2009, read about that fun day here!


Yes, I was in a hurry. I should have slowed down. I know!!! Casey moves at a snails pace in the morning. He was talking and not putting his seat belt on and he hadn't finished his breakfast. He was just talking and talking and talking. Somebody muzzle this kid!

Anyhoo, I'm telling him to, "Sit down and buckle up! Stop talking for a minute, Casey!"

WHAM!

"Damnit!! Not again!!!"

I dented both cars really well this morning. I am so disappointed in myself. Why?!! Why didn't I look behind me? Why did I think I could just back out of the garage? Why couldn't I have just paused for a second and moved the car slightly to the right to avoid his truck!! I have to go around his truck every morning.

Don't EVER park behind me, I am a total tool and I will hit your car, especially if I am in a hurry! It's good to know your strengths and weaknesses. I am a fool when I am running late. Fool! Fool! Fool!

Damnit. I can't believe we now have to spend the money to fix our cars. This is NOT what I wanted to spend our money on.

Pedar was awesome about it, which honestly, just makes me feel even more like a tool. He came running out of the house and gave me a huge hug and told me to let it go. What a lucky guy he is to be married to such an idiot.

Thank goodness I didn't hit a person or someone else's car.

AHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad & Happy 40th Anniversary!


I wanted to wish my Dad a very Happy Birthday today. My folks left Thursday to drive to Yellowstone National Park. They arrive today in Yellowstone and have enjoyed the beautiful views along the way in Utah and Idaho. 

When I look at this picture I remember two things immediately from my wedding over ten years ago:





 1. My Dad was flexing his arm. Take a look at the fist he is making. He is one of those men that flexes immediately when you grab his arm!

 2. He told me I looked beautiful and that I was always going to be his Noney Burger.

I love my Dad.

This is what I wrote about my Dad last year on his birthday!

My parents will celebrate 40 years of marriage tomorrow, September 12.  I look forward to celebrating them when they return from their vacation. We all love you and hope you have a great time in Yellowstone!



Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary, Mom and Dad!




Saturday, September 10, 2011

Go,Thunder!

Erik likes helping me fill up the mister bottle. But he sprays it all out before I can spray the boys with it! Good thing he is so darn cute!
#58 is so handsome! Casey isn't an aggressive soccer player, but he listens and he runs really fast!
Casey's coach, Doug, is wonderful. He is the coach for Mira Loma High School as well and has a heart of gold. At about 6'8" he is truly a gentle giant. His son, Collin, is a sweetie pie too!
Casey's soccer team, Thunder, had their first game this afternoon. 



We only have eight members on his team and two kids were out of town, so we only had six kids play today. Everyone had to play the entire game. It was hot and really humid and the field is huge! 


Casey is now playing with the eight-year-old and under teams, so the field is much bigger than last year. Casey did it though. He turned a great shade of red, but he got in the game and defended and helped pass the ball. First he played defense and during the second half he played the forward position. 


 We are so proud of our handsome tomato head.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

15 years ago today I said YES to coffee!

It just hit me that today is the 15th anniversary of Pedar and my first date!

Happy First Date Anniversary honey!

15 years ago today Pedar called my house, and asked me out on our first official date. I was back living with my parents, re-establishing my finances. I admit it, I was broke! I had started working at Max's Opera Cafe right after my 21st Birthday that April, so I had known Pedar for about 5 months. Pedar was a busboy at Max's. I knew Pedar liked me, that sounds so cocky, doesn't it? But I did. Leif, his brother, had told me. I didn't think Pedar was right for me. He was so shy at the time.

After our waitress/bus boy shift, Pedar would walk me to my car and we would linger, chatting for a bit and then just say goodnight. I kept thinking, "He's going to ask me out tonight! Yep, he looks nervous. He's going to ask tonight."

He never asked.

I asked him to go rafting with some friends. We went rafting, had a good time. I asked him to put sunblock on my back, while wearing a bikini and I only hugged him goodbye at the end of the rafting trip. He still didn't ask me out.

I was intrigued.

I was sick that September so I missed some shifts at work. Pedar must have missed seeing me in my glamorous uniform because he finally called. 

It went something like this:

"Hi Nora, it's Pedar. I heard you were out sick and wanted to call and see how you were doing?"

"Hi Pedar! Thanks for calling. Oh, I'm fine. I'll be back to work tomorrow. How are you?"

Awkward pause.

"I'm good, thanks. Hey, I was wondering if you wanted to get a bite to eat soon or coffee or something?"

"Sure! I'd love to! How about now?"

"Huh, now?"

"Yeah, what are you doing now? Are you free? Want to go get coffee now?"

"Uh yeah. Now is fine. OK!"

So, Pedar came and picked me up and I ran out of the door and didn't let him meet my folks because at 21-years-old I was not having my dates meet my parents. I had been living on my own since I was 19-years-old so this sharing a roof as an adult thing was no beuno.
Anyhoo! Pedar and I went to the Starbuck's at the Pavillions, and we talked for hours. He didn't kiss me on our first date, we just hugged, but it was a meaningful hug if you know what I mean.

I knew Pedar was special. He listened and looked at me differently than anyone else ever had. He looked at me like I was a superhero. He made me feel beautiful, smart and cherished. I had never felt cherished! I got addicted to the way he made me feel (cue Michael Jackson music) and I decided to never let him go.

I'm still crazy for Pedar, even 15 years later.

Thanks for asking me out! I love you!




Flylady!

I know I've written about flylady before, but because I am feeling like I'm slipping back into the CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome), I wanted to share her with you again.
 
The FlyLady system is all about establishing little habits that string together into simple routines to help your day run on automatic pilot.

My beautiful cousin Lisa loves flylady. A little secret between you and me, Lisa doesn't have a junk drawer in her very clean house. She is always ready for company because her house is clean and organized all the time. She works, has a wonderful relationship with her hunky hubby and is raising two gorgeous and successful daughters. Because Lisa is so at ease with her home, she hosts family get togethers all the time and makes it look really easy.

I have never purchased the flylady books or tools, but I used to visit the website often and read the testimonials.
 

Flylady tips that have helped me:
  • Do a load of laundry a day. That means washing, drying and putting it away.
  • Go to bed with a clean sink/kitchen every night.
  • Lay out tomorrow's clothes the night before.
  • Make lunches for everyone the night before.
  • Put important dates on a shared calendar.
  • Full hands in and full hands out. When you leave a room, take something that needs to be put away with you. Never leave a room empty handed.
  • Sort mail everyday. Don't let it stack up. Recycle the junk mail immediately and pay bills the day they arrive. Isn't bill pay wonderful? You can set the date and forget about it!
  • I grocery shop on Saturday or Sunday and I meal plan for at least 5 of the dinners.
  • Everyone  should pick up their room before they go to bed.
  • Drink a lot of water. You wake up dehydrated. I used to not drink water till lunchtime.
  • If you don't love it, don't keep it. If you don't need it, don't keep it. Don't live by the "What If" syndrome. If you haven't touched it in years, you don't need it. That includes clothing. I can't say enough about this.
  • Clean out fridge/pantry on garbage night

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stuff

The other day I read this, "Did you know that by de-cluttering you can eliminate up to 40% of housework?" Imagine what you could do with that extra time!

If you don't have a place to put something away, it will never get put away. If your closet and drawers are so full that you have no more room, than you probably don't need more. If one thing comes in, than one thing should go out. When my boys rooms get too crowded I get really frustrated. They don't even play with half the toys they have. I wish people would give them an experience; take them to a movie, a concert, a museum, donate to their college fund or help with their extracurricular activities. Have you seen Casey's feet? Just buy the boy some shoes, not stuff! Stuff is not where it is at. Stuff is forgotten, memories and experiences are not. Play a game with them, take them to get an ice cream cone, tell them a story about when you were a kid. Instill values in my children.


I am trying to not focus so much on my current stuff and the stuff that I want. I want to be happy with the stuff I have. I know one thing for sure, stuff is not important, people are. So much time is spent worrying about stuff, moving stuff and wanting to clean and organize stuff. Less stuff = more time. We can't take it with us when we die, so we're wasting time and energy holding on to stuff that in the end, only we care about. Don't burden you're loved ones with your stuff either. Simplify your life so you are not leaving your burdens to others. Take care of your stuff, your people will appreciate it.

I want more time to do the stuff I want; like playing, eating, friending, exercising, traveling, singing, gardening, dancing, loving and laughing.

Do we really need all the stuff we have? When I think back on my college days, my leanest of times. I was working two jobs because I had to have my own apartment. Did I really have to have my own apartment? No. I would have been happier living with a roommate because I wouldn't have been so financially burdened. I was convinced I had to live on my own. Most of us convince ourselves that we HAVE to have and do things that we really don't. 

I just want us to feel safe and secure and we can do that best by appreciating what we have and by not having too much stuff!


My Dad loved George Carlin. We used to listen to George Carlin on the record player. This video has a few bad words, so please don't listen with the kids around!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I love my____?

My twin sister Margery had a one-woman show awhile back titled, "What do you love?"  Erik loves his binky!


What do you love?


I loved our weekend! It was slow and steady. We visited with friends every day, but had a lot of down time in between visits. Casey started seal-bark coughing Sunday night, couldn't breathe out of his terribly congested head and spiked a fever Monday afternoon.
Pedar and Erik joined Dagny, Dean, Mor-Mor and Pop-Pop for Labor Day fun at Dagny's, while I tried to heal my gentle giant with love. I think I was successful because his appetite came back around 7 p.m. and he had the best burst of energy all day.
Casey is going to be fine. His cough scares him. He wakes up and says, "Did you hear my cough, Mom? I don't feel good."
Erik decided that since the rest of the house was awake Monday morning, he wanted to be part of the party too. Yeah, Mama didn't love that. Just stay asleep you little cutie!
 I love four-day work weeks! I love that we only have one soccer practice this week. I loved cleaning out toys and drawers this weekend. I'm feeling organized. I love planning house projects with Pedar. I love that Pedar's jury duty will be over this week.
"It's not the day you have to manage, but the moment. It's not the dragon you have to slay, but the fear. And it's not the path you have to know, but the destination." --Mike Dooley
I love you! Have a great week!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Friday!


Today is a good day. My sweet friend Jen gave me this super happy coffee mug and I am sitting here enjoying its adorable smile.The cup is reminding me to focus only on good things.

We're planning on having a low-key Labor Day Weekend. Pedar is going to replace his brakes and I am going to wokr on some small house projects, organize closets, clean and do yardwork. We have plans with friends and family too!

What are your plans for the three-day weekend?


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Come on get happy


Improve Every Moment


Post written by Leo Babauta.

I’m a big proponent of slowing down, simplifying, doing less, and being less busy … but what if you can’t?
What if your life can’t be made less busy — are you doomed to a life of anxiety and unhappiness?
No. I’m going to share with you a very simple tool that might just transform your life. It’s something I’ve been trying in the last few months, and I can attest that it works brilliantly.
This one little method will help you to:
•Be more present, so life doesn’t rush past you without you noticing.
•Enjoy every activity you do more, so life is better all the time.
•Feel more relaxed, so every day is as good as a vacation.

•Be ready to handle anything that comes your way.

Not bad for a very tiny method, no? Let’s dive in.
Busy vs. relaxed

Normally we have two different modes in life. There’s the busy of our everyday lives, and then there’s the relaxed mode, which happens when we have some unstructured time: vacation, a day at the beach, a spa getaway, some time in the park with the kids.

Relaxed mode is one where we perhaps think less and feel more. We just soak in the sun, the sounds, the sensations. This is a child-like time, because it’s the mode that young children are in the most. We do our best to train kids not to be like this, so they can be good workers when they grow up and serve our corporate masters.

And so we grow up to be in busy mode most of the week, and if we’re lucky we get a day or two, maybe only an hour or two of relaxed mode. When the Internet sucks us in, we have less relaxed mode because the Internet keeps us in our minds, and we forget about the physical world around us.

How can we change this? How can we bring the child-like relaxed, sensory mode back into our everyday lives, not just during breaks and meditation/yoga time and vacations?

It’s not that difficult, if you practice.

The Zen State

When we are in relaxed mode, we notice the sensations of the wind and sun, the sounds of water and laughter, the brilliant colors of nature, the smiles around us, the grass or sand between our toes. We are feeling instead of thinking. The sensations of our bodies flow into our minds, and it makes us relaxed, happy.

We can re-learn this mode of being with practice. Do it now. You’re reading a computer or mobile device screen, so your mind is in the world of the Internet … but your body is in the physical world. If you’re sitting, your butt can feel the chair. Your back might be a bit hunched. Your fingers are on a keyboard or mouse. Is the air around you cold or warm? Are there sounds you can notice? Is your jaw clenched? Notice your breathing.

When you put your focus into physcial sensations, you are entering relaxed mode instead of thinking mode. It’s not that you’re completely relaxed, but you’re in the same state of mind as the times you are relaxed, like yoga or the beach or lazing away a Sunday in bed.

Once you learn to do this, you can do it any time. In fact, all the time.
If you’re taking a shower, feel the water running down you, soak in the temperature and the sound of running water. If you’re eating, taste every little nuance of the food, smell the food, feel the texture in your mouth, feel the movement of your hand going to your mouth.
Do this as you work, as you talk on the phone or respond to emails or walk to a meeting or drive to an appointment, noticing the sensations on your skin, the colors around you, the sounds of humanity, your breath coming in and leaving you. Do this at home, as you do chores or prepare food or clean up or get ready for work. Do this throughout your day, and you will be in a constant state of relaxation and enjoyment.
It will transform everything you do, if you do it. It will turn busy-ness into being present, harriedness into enjoyment.
Life will be lived, instead of ignored.