30 November 2009

Everything Old Is New Again

Hello all my Lovies.  I pray everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day full of all the things that make you happy!  Family and friends made this Thanksgiving one of the best ever for me.  I have much to be thankful for.

This is what we woke up to today!

A blustery, shivery, day at the beach.

Although it's pretty summery all year round, 'round here, Fall and Winter have their own kind of beauty.  A storm waters things down and cleans things up.  Last night I was awakened by the sounds of a strong wind.  There was an erie howl and the flap and bang of objects not battened down.  I tiptoed across my room and peeked out the slats of the shutters.  I could see big black clouds by the light of the moon.  The trees were waving in the wind and not a soul in sight.  Except for the wind it was silent.  No hustle and bustle.  Everybody tucked up.  It was quieting and peaceful to my soul.  Because as much as I love the sun and blue skies and balmy, warm air,  I love the blackness of the night as well.  I revel in the shine of the moon on a town now quiet and dark after the hustle and bustle of the holiday.  It's as if we're all just waiting for it to start again, but first we have an intermission.  We get to breathe, feel a respite of peace, even if just for a moment.

The cottage is a sad and lonely place these days.  Construction has come to a standstill.  Patience is wearing thin.  We waited our whole lives to live at the beach though, and it's been almost 4 years of planning and dreaming of making our little cottage everything we hope for. So if we must wait a little longer, we must.  Remember these guys at  THE BUILDING DEPARTMENT?  They once again, have our lives in their hands.  It's not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last - but...

The floors are exposed and wet.  They are wondering why?  Why is nobody sanding, varnishing and walking on me?  When will my turn come?

Don't worry you beautiful oak planks!  Every dog has it's day.

No not you silly

But as for now.  For now, I choose to concentrate on the positive, and the positive is all around me!

Our first winter storm wasn't much.  Just a smattering of rain but still, a puddle or two here and there.  Everything is washed and clean again.  Nobody appreciates a storm or even a little rain like a Californian.  They are few and far between so they are a gift really.

I can tell that soon there will be a new beginning, can't you?

These guys didn't have much to do so far today.  That's a good thing.  Because these guys work hard.  They save parents from having their kids underfoot all summer long lives, if you know what I mean!

Somebody decorated their fish for Christmas.  He looks none to pleased either. But that's just my take on it, maybe I'm reading it all wrong.

As for me, I'm just glad to be out and about, walking in the rain.  Although I know some people just love "black friday" after Thanksgiving weekend, not I.  I stay as far away from this as I possibly can.

I'm just gonna stay far, far, away from sales and crowds and sit on a bench and look at the Pacific on a stormy, blustery day.

I'm gonna find my satisfaction in watching my puppy get fat his furry winter coat.

I'm going to enjoy the storm.  It's the gift I've been given today.  You could say it is even better than the best sale because, it didn't cost me a thing.

Just for a moment before life gets hectic and the holidays begin again,  I'm going to pause, reflect and remember how life ebbs and flows, just like the tides. I'm going to rejoice and remember this.



23 November 2009


I'm working on a special wedding post but, it hasn't come to fruition yet because I'm too lazy tired.  So for now, I'm just gonna tease you with a couple of photos, hoping you'll come back soon to see many more, (cause you know I've got them) and to hear all about my daughter and her new husband.
Kate & Justin 11.12.11

In the interim I'm going to repost.  Oh yes I am.
On this day, 24 years ago, I gave birth to my second daughter.  Happy Birthday darling girl!  I am reposting this for those of you who love her, or who love me, or who just like to read about adorable babies who grow up to be beautiful, shining souls inside and out.

Warning to Readers

This post may not interest you if you are not directly related to or have never seen or been involved with the following child.  Just pretend you never saw it.  Don't read any further because it is a very long post and I don't want to waste your time. You just don't want to get involved.  You don't want to go there.  Stop now.  There will just be too much cuteness involved and I cannot be held responsible.  You won't be able to handle it.  Walk away from your computer now if you know what's good for you.  The rest of you stay right where you are, it'll be good for your heart.

Kathleen Elisabeth
May also be known by the alias:

Katie Kathleen
Katie Girl
Sweetie Girl
Pee Wee
Wee Darlin'
Darlin' Kate

She's such a little turkey.  She was born right during Thanksgiving dinner!  She is my child of whimsy.  She has curly, blonde hair and huge brown eyes that snap when she is happy and deluged with her infectious giggle.  It's funny how the  inherent parts of your child's personality don't change much from the time they are little until they are all grown up.  Kate was shy yet  forthright and a tomboy.  I still have her "red, cowboy, the boots," as she called them, on a shelf in the den.  She started reading in Kindergarten and hasn't stopped for a second.  She's a voracious reader, which makes her an articulate conversationalist and she has a large base of knowledge on many subjects.

Kate loves water.
 She's a water baby.  When she was a toddler and I emptied the tub after a bath she would cry and grieve over the water pouring down the drain of the tub.  I soon discovered that if I made draining the tub a covert operation by nonchalantly taking the plug out, letting the water drain slowly and inconspicuously down the drain, she would play and splash with glee never noticing the water was gone, until it was.  Then she, (without ever knowing she'd been duped),  popped right out of there happily,  ready to be snuggled in a warm towel.  To this day, she'd rather fly by the seat of her pants than have a plan she has to worry about too far in advance.  It works for her.

She's a sprite.   Since she was a baby, and to this day, she is full of high spirits and her playfulness abounds.  She is always up for fun and games.  If Kate were a color, it would be yellow because, she's like sunshine.  When she comes into a room you feel warm and the place just lights up when she's around.  This little one loves her family.  Cooper, her brother closest in age was her best friend when they were growing up.  You never saw one without the other, and they were always up to something.  His friends were her friends and her friends were his friends. They always covered for each other, one stating the facts, the other swearing to it.  But mostly they just hung out together.  When Kate was going off to college and they were to be separated we had to run an intervention.  It took her two years to stop crying for her family.  I think she's well over that now.

Ever since she met this guy during her Junior year of college.  Justin.  They're in love and now we're just smashed potatoes.

Everybody loves Kate. Her youngest brother Dylan, whilst completely worked up one day, angry with all of us yelled, "I hate you.  I hate all of you... Except for Kate, I don't hate Kate." (Wow!  Reading this repost and looking at the photos is quite the adventure for me.  Dylan is 18 now and I just have to show you another photo so you can see how much he's grown up. What a difference a day two years makes.

That was then, and this is now.
There on the right, that's little Dylan now!  I hope this isn't too confusing for y'all, because it's making me a little dizzy. Anyway, this is Kate with her two brothers.  That's Cooper on the left and Dylan all grown up, on the right!

Kate lettered in Lacrosse in high school.  She was Captain of "Chicks With Sticks".  She was lucky number 6, and she played her heart out.  But her real love was surfing.

Kate surfed short board for her team in high school.  Much to my dismay they once had a competition in front of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Which may explain this?

I don't know what happened at Kate's birth.  I was there, I did the best I could but, that girl was born without the fear gene. I think it's her fathers fault.

Perhaps we're talking the good sense gene as well but, this may just be the nuclear power plant incident talking.

This picture is deceiving.  It looks like a harmless, non harrowing climb to the roof to hang that wreath.  But that girl, climbed up 3 stories and an attic to get up there and hang that Christmas wreath. That's almost 30 feet!  Look how triumphant she is!

She also has mad horseback riding skills.  Whoa!  Did you see that.  That rabid looking camel just bit her armpit and she's still smiling. She's always had a high threshold for pain and she's pretty fearless.  Kind of reminds me of the time she was about eight years old.  I was on the phone and looked out the window just in time to see her glide by on roller blades,  pointed straight down our long, steep driveway.  Harmless fun except for the fact that there was a huge, closed gate at the end of the ride she was taking.  I screamed my bloody head off, kept my head about me, hurriedly running to try to save my baby's life running for the bottom of the driveway.  Last thing I saw was Kate flying over the berm which had a ditch on the other side, and landing face first in the dirt.  She jumped up, brushed herself off and said, "I'm not hurt."  "Don't worry, I'm not hurt!" Or, then there was the time she decided it would be a good idea to ride her skateboard down a tree lined yet, very steep street.  Luckily her ride ended before she reached the busy intersection below but, our beloved pediatrician spent an hour picking asphalt out of Kate's body with a tweezer.  Not a good idea Kate.  Not good for a mothers' heart.

This imp is a vacation crasher.  Several times when her dad and I were thinking of a romantic getaway alone, somehow Kate talked her way right along with us.  She's followed us to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Amalfi, Italy.  I have to say though, just for her being there, the trips were even more fun!

Just chillin' here in the Caribbean with my mom and dad!

Kate's a lover of babies.

She's going to make a sweet momma someday.

She loves all people, large or small.

This guy was her body guard the guy who made sure no CCHS students ditched  at lunchtime,  all through high school.  She thoughtfully stopped at McDonald's to bring him a super sized chocolate shake whenever she came back to school from a trip to the orthodontist.  Urmm,  Kate,  maybe also not a good idea.  He is resting in peace retired now.

Kate is an Auntie and a Godmother.  Okay, I can't stand it. See those two little guys there?  Ty on the left and Cael on the right? I have to throw in another picture so you can see how much my grandsons have grown up in the past two years.  Here ya go..

This is how they look now! Ty is on the far left and Cael on the far right.  That's Dayne and Nick in the middle.  And yes, it's true. Nick is a Pirate. Oh, this is killing me, this wait.  When next I post I'll also get to show you two more who have joined our family because, the four brothers now have two baby sisters!

Kate also has a Godmother.  Jackie is her wonderful, dear Godmother who loves her almost as much as we do!

I still think of Kate as my little baby, just as she was right here in this picture. Mom's  want to bawl like a baby and curl up in a fetal position sometimes have a hard time letting their babies grow up.  The time slips by way too fast and before you know it they are flying the nest.
And it's hard to let them go.  You know you've done everything you could to set them on the right path.  You have imparted all of your parental wisdom, taught them who they are, where they came from and what is expected of them.  You seeped them in faith, protected them from harm, evil and temptation.

Then you find out that this is going on!  These are your kids. These are the innocent little gems that you so treasure. Someone has captured caught this travesty precious moment on film.  You're shocked so, you threaten in order to teach them a lesson you tell them you're going to send this photo out as your Christmas card that year. They just laugh and say, "That would be so funny mom!"

But you go with your motherly instincts and send this one out instead.

When it came time for college her dad and I graciously popped for 4 more years of private education  shipped her off to University. 

Welcome to The University of Dallas and the Constantin College of Liberal Arts!
Quite unabashedly, the curriculum at the University of Dallas is based on the supposition that truth and virtue exist and are the proper objects of search in an education. This search is best pursued through their nationally-recognized Core Curriculum, a common set of works, experiences and courses upon which is built an intense involvement in the major field.

Integrating this core at the deepest level is the Rome Program, a semester abroad at the University's beautiful Rome campus, where over 80% of sophomores elect to study the roots of Western Civilization.  Kate's travels there included a ten-day class trip to Greece and several other countries.

A wide array of majors and concentrations are offered through the Constantin College of Liberal Arts and the College of Business. The requirement of a comprehensive senior project suited to the major, and emphasis on research and internships, augment the framework of the core and major and provide an extraordinary preparation for leadership in whatever field of endeavor the student chooses.

But I am jumping ahead so I digress. Getting back to actually leaving for college.  After four years of Prep School so that our baby would be well prepared to go to University, the picture above is Kate and her dad walking off into the sunset at her new Alma Mater.  This was day one.  It was the first step into the rest of her life. A momentous occasion.  We were so proud, so excited!  Until we were saying our goodbyes, and she looked up with big tears coming down her face and said these fateful words which I will never forget, "I can't believe you're going to leave me here."

From a ruckus household full of brothers and sisters and pets, to a lonely dorm room.  With toilet stalls and a shower shared by 30 other girls.  It was sad really.  Just Heartbreaking.  ~Grin~.

But, soon things were looking up and she got into the swing of things in the Great State of Texas.  Turns out they have great malls in the South!

This quintessential, fair weathered, California girl, learned all about weather.  "You can't believe it mom! The rain here freezes and forms these sharp things that fall off buildings and out of the trees and  could easily stab or kill you."   Now, whereas she got the no fear gene from her dad, she just may have gotten the exaggeration gene from me.  And I'm proud.  I'm very proud.

Soon she settled in and found out how much fun college life is!  There were great parties and fun, sweet  roommates.

She made new friends.  This is Michael and on the right is Trish.  Again, with the growing up!  Here's the update: Michael is now married and he and his beautiful wife have a darling little baby of their own.  Trish is also married and well on her way to getting her PHD. If you have any obstetric needs in your future and you live in the Dallas, Texas area, she just may be your gal.

She got reacquainted with some old ones too.  Hello Vince.  Haven't we known each other since 4th grade?

Of course she listened to all the sage advice her mommy ever gave her and ate only fresh, wholesome, organic foods.  What's up doc?

Prior to their Rome Semester, University of Dallas students have already read the masterful works of Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Augustine, Aquinas, Dante and others as part of the University's trademark Core Curriculum. Having this rich educational background makes their experience of the Rome Semester all the more intense and vivid.Then our girl traveled to Italy for a semester abroad at The University of Dallas, Eugene Constantine  Due Santi Campus.

So being well prepared and ready to go, the morning she was to fly out for this opportunity of a lifetime, our car was broken into and the suitcase containing everything she had painstakingly, lovingly packed was stolen.  Somewhere, down at the beach, there's a bum wearing size 4 jeans.

With about two minutes notice between finding out that all her worldly belongings had been stolen, and the choice between staying home or getting on an airplane, she threw a few things in her backpack and was out the door.  She lived with only those few possessions the entire time she was abroad.  She was a real trouper that day and she also learned the most important lesson of all. A lesson that money can't buy.  That things don't really matter.

For some reason, again I think it's her father's fault, Kate doesn't give a flying flip  have the passionate need to journal and take photos to document precious moments, as does her mother.  It's a good thing we arrived at the end of her semester abroad to join her in some travel or we wouldn't have photos of the beauty which is Italy.

Or the amazing views of the Due Santi campus and the schools active vineyards, through her dorm window.

Or, all her wonderful friends in adventure,

Education and travel!

When we traveled to Italy to join Kate at her convocation and do some sight seeing, we took our eldest son Cooper with us and there they are, up to their old shenanigans.

Look closely at the signs on the wall behind them and you will see that these two are once again, up to no good!

Then at the end of our Italian holiday, after much intense travel, and seeing the sights of Italy from one end to the other, my husband and I decided to have a bit of a romantic respite. We put Cooper on a plane and he jetted back to school in The States, and before you could say togethernessonce again, Kate crashed our vacation!  Remember the movie, "Under The Tuscan Sun?"  It's one of my favorite chick flicks and it was filmed at this very location. I'm telling you, The Amalfi Coast of Italy is one the very most romantic places, when it's just you, your handsome husband, and Kate.

Doesn't she look relaxed? But don't be surprised if, when you become a nun  someday get married, your Papa and I join you and your husband on your honeymoon. (Hey!  Wait just a minute here.  I believe you just got home from your honeymoon and we forgot to go with you.)  No wonder I'm tired.  Nine long months of wedding planning and I didn't even get to go on a honeymoon.  Shoot!  I hate it when that happens.

So, my darling girl, Thanksgiving Day will be your 22nd birthday. Or if you prefer, since this is my repost, your 24th birthday. You have now  graduated University and are making your way in the world.  You have your whole life ahead of you and I know it will be amazing because,  life is what we make it!  I look forward to watching you, and sharing with you, all your trials and tribulations, all your precious moments, and everything you will do to make the world a better place just because you're in it.  It is a privilege and an honor to be your mother.  I love you more than the way you sing from your heart even though you're out of tune, more than all the grains of sand on the beach,  but most of all, I love you more than my heart grew the second you were born.



Addendum:  Now you are a new bride and I'll be back soon to share all about that.  Until then, one more photo - just a sneak peek -

Me and my baby.
Can you feel joy?