Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Su gimtadieniu, Art!

Su gimtadieniu = Happy Birthday in Lithuanian! 
Today we wish Art a Happy Birthday! Art is my twin sisters love. He is about to become a father and we are so excited for them to experience the miracle of Rita and parenthood.

I met Art the day I was in labor with Erik. I had called Margery and he drove her to me from Clear Lake.

Art loves my Margery. I love Art. Simple.

Art loves nature and he has given Margery a beautiful appreciation for being outside.

I love you, Art. I hope you have a super fun day. I'm lookng forward to seeing you in a few weeks!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Pedar!

Today we celebrate my super hunky husband, Pedar. He has been my man for almost 16 years, married 12 on March 17. The longer I am married to Pedar the more I realize how lucky I am. Pedar is a dedicated husband, father, son, neighbor and employee. He smiles all the time and gives great hugs. He is a great listener and always offers a helping hand.

Pedar is a great team player! Go Blue Dogs!

He always takes the time to answer questions and explain how things work. He builds projects from scratch and shares with others how he creates them.

He build projects for us and makes my dreams come true.

He is an awesome rollerskater!

He is patient and loving and FUN.

He is becoming an awesome cook!

He is affectionate and has the worlds best smile.

He makes sure that our family is one with nature.

He is a terrific uncle, even when he is tired.

Pedar is my best friend. He is my constant when so many things are changing. He is my love. He makes me feel beautiful and shows me that I am wanted and needed. I pray I have 50 more years with this man. I hope I make him feel as special, smart, loved and beautiful as he makes me feel. Thank you, God, for Pedar. Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Great friendships,relationships, families and neighborhoods don't just happen, they take work. You have to get OUT of your own way and be FRIENDLY! I'm tired of hearing all the excuses on why someone isn't friendly. It is a choice to not ask others how they are doing. I understand depression and mental illness. I applaud those folks who recognize those symptoms and get help. But if someone consistently cannot smile back at you or ask in return how you are doing--I'm not gonna sugar coat here--that person is choosing to be unfriendly.

You have to choose how you will be remembered. You have to choose to be the best you can be and hopefully that means WANTING to be loving and uncritical. It means forgiving and hoping for the best in everyone.

Here are some great ways to be friendly:

1. Start conversations with new people

If you've recently been introduced to someone, or you see some new people around, go up to them and start a conversation. Even saying hi, asking for their name, and going, "Cool, nice meeting you. I'll see you around later hopefully" can be good.

2. Chat back to people who try to talk to you

Have you ever tried making pleasant conversation with someone you've run into, and they blew you off by giving one word responses and obviously looking like they don't want to be spoken too? You probably walked away thinking they were pretty unfriendly, even if you intellectually knew they may have had a reason for being brusque. If someone is trying to chat with you, make an effort to give them something back in return.

3. Take time to talk to people you already know

If you see someone you know, then go over and see what's going on with them. Catch up with what they've been up to lately, or just talk about whatever. Keep in touch with your friends. Maintain your relationships and show you're interested in the other people. If you see someone you know, don't avoid them because you don't feel like talking, or pretend not to notice them because you're worried the conversation will be stilted. Go up to them and chit chat for a few minutes.

4. Invite people to do things with you/the group

Be fairly loose and generous with your invitations to people. Be the one to invite people out rather than waiting for them to come to you first. Don't feel you have to know someone for a long time either. If you seem to get along with them then why not ask them to do something?

More great info on how to be friendly can be found here

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the

Days of our Lives. Yes, I watched it and I loved it. I can't say I wanted my husband to be Bo Brady. I wanted to find a guy like Patrick Dempsey in Can't Buy Me Love. Pedar reminds me a lot of McDreamy. I'm a lucky lady.
Anyhoo...the entire point of this musing is this--Casey is getting huge. I look at him at soccer practice and at school and the way he talks and makes decisions and I realize that he is slipping from me a bit, and my heart clenches. I know I have over ten more years to boss his tiny-hiny around, and I will, but the baby days are over.

Towards the end of the last school year, I was saying goodbye to Casey in front of his class and I bent down to kiss him on the lips, and he gave me his cheek. I was shocked and hurt. Casey had been making me wait in line and blow him five or six kisses everyday before I could leave, and now he wouldn't let me kiss him on the lips? I snapped a bit. Casey walked into his classroom, set down his backpack and I yelled into his classroom, "Goodbye Casey! I love you! I will miss you! I love you! Goodbye!" Then I ran to him at his desk and smothered his face in kisses. He was not happy. But it was a teachable moment. I know I could have chosen to respect his decision to brush me off and assert his independence, but I decided to teach him that accepting affection is as important as giving it! If I want to kiss you, I need to be allowed to kiss you. If you ask Casey, "What is your Mother's job in life?" Casey will say, "Her job is to embarrass me!" I do not want my son to take himself too seriously. I want him to laugh easily, kiss and hug easily and have fun easily. Life provides enough blows on its own--take affection when it is given, especially by your Mother! Here is the difference between three-year-olds and seven-year-olds--if I ask Erik, "Sweetie, give me some sugar." He will quickly plant one on me. If I ask Casey for a kiss, he looks around to see who is watching!
Casey asked Pedar to hold him tonight before bedtime. I don't know who enjoyed it more. What a little crumb-cake. I didn't go to soccer practice tonight. Erik and I did laundry, washed my car and made dinner. It was a fun evening. Pedar came home and told me that poor Casey's asthma acted up at soccer. We need to be better at making sure he uses his inhaler before practice. His stamina just flies out the window half way through practice and he turns into a tomato head. I don't think he is using his inhaler correctly. Back to the doctor we will go.

These two LOVE one another. And I love them. The bigger guy in this picture celebrates a Birthday this Saturday. I bought his gift today! He wanted a Kindle Fire. He is very excited. If you feel the need to spoil him, Amazon gift cards would be perfect!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The last 6 days

We've been going like crazy people for awhile now. Most of it has been fun--can I be honest though and tell you that I could skip soccer practice? Casey's enjoying it, we have a wonderful team and great coaches this year, so I am trying to hug it out with soccer. Most nights when I get home, I just want to make dinner and go for a walk or a bike ride. Soccer practice just throws a wrench in those kind of plans. Erik doesn't want to stay home while Casey is at practice, and Pedar helps the coaches, so I end up chasing him all over the park. Tomorrow I'm wearing my running shoes and making a work-out of it!

Last Thursday I got off work, kissed my boys and then left again to pick up my sweet Lindsey so Dagny and I could take her to dinner to celebrate her leaving to college. Lindsey started at Sonoma State this week. We are so proud of her. It feels like just yesterday we were shopping for her Senior Ball dress and I was doing her makeup for the big dance.

On Saturday morning we packed up and headed to Lake Camanche for Dustin's 7th Birthday party!
Pedar decided the birthday boy needed a full body squeeze!

You can't see him, but Casey is on the yellow blow-up couch out in the middle of the lake. He never wanted to get off of it!! He had the best time. Funny musings by Casey--we arrive to where Steph and Dave have their RV and Casey says, "Mom, we need an RV!" And then later he says, "Mom, we need a boat!" Yeah--uh, that's not going to happen anytime soon sweetie.

Casey and Dustin are 8 months apart. Dustin started first grade a few weeks ago!

My Uncle Stephen with his grandson Lukas

Yes, I was at the lake too. I even swam in the water. Pedar told me later that he removed leeches from his hands and feet and Erik's feet too! I am so grateful I didn't have that experience!

Yeah--an eating picture. Don't you love it when someone takes your picture while you're eating? Me too! My Uncle Stephen and I eating lunch!

Happy Birthday, Dustin!

Lukas was SUPER excited about the pinata!!

LOVE the flared nostrils on Erik

Pinata fun

Birthday boy making it rain sugar!

Stephanie, Uncle Stephen, Kristina and me
Beautiful sunset. We left late from Lake Camanche and got home around 11 p.m. It was a super fun day and I was grateful to spend some time with some of my favorite people and celebrate Dustin.
The next day we went to the Farmer's Market and did some chores and later that evening we had Pedar's folks and sister over for dinner. Sunday was wonderful. It was so nice to not leave my house and just relax.
Tonight we went to our cousin Janet and Bob's house to hang out with family and enjoy some delicious food from the wicked 'wich food truck. The sandwiches were wickedly good and the company was even better.

We ended the evening singing Happy Birthday to Aunt Lorraine. She turned 84-years-old on Sunday.

Aunt Lorraine is in the beautiful red jacket. She is mother to Mark, Pedar and Lisa and is blessed with daughter-in-law Dawn and son-in-law Jeff. She is extremely proud of her four  grandchildren; Lindsey, Megan, Gavin and Annika.  Lorraine is is a great listener. She is very loving and kind. She has a wonderful laugh. She has tended to most of the children in her huge extended family and for that-- all the Mama's should collectively say, "Thank You!" We love you, Aunt Lorraine.