Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dear Bobo the tent maker...

Dear Bobo-The-Tent-Maker,
I know that you normally make tents, but I think you are the only person who has enough material to make pants that will fit me right now. Bobo, let's just say that I have gained a pound or two ... or thirty in the last few years. You and I both know that my weight tends to fluctuate, but I want you to understand while you are rolling out those yards of material to make me my pants that I am only pudgy because I drink a lot of this...
and enjoy more than my fair share of these... and I want you to understand that before I became such a foodie, spouting off words like creme fraiche and brioche and tarte tatin, there was a time when I looked like this.

Now, please get to work on those pants.
...Please note that the "skinniest" picture I have of myself was taken at my old place of work (I wish it was at a beach or doing something more fun than working. After my divorce, I went through a barely eating or enjoying life period where I worked all the time and didn't eat much. Isn't it sad that the time of my life that I looked the prettiest, I was enjoying life the least. Oh well. Nobody ever said that life was fair, did they.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bellview Trail

This is Bellview Trail - the amazingly dreamy stretch of land where I go walking by my house. Every time I go, I get just far enough from my house that I can't turn back when I think "I wish I had my camera." So today, I actually remembered to bring it along for the ride.
Just the most amazing place in the world. I am so lucky to call this home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Golden Umbrella

I grew up listening to my mother talk about the conversations that she had with God. Conversations where she would talk to God and he would talk to her. I always figured that it was a figment of her imagination or a way that she would comfort herself and confirm her beliefs as if to say "God is real because I heard him talking to me." Certainly God wasn't so real and so tangible that we could actually hear him speaking to us. Or was he.
I have actually come to a real crossroads with religion in the last year. I've never been a very religious person. I went to church with my mom as a child and never felt comfortable there. I was frightened by the people being healed and the people speaking in tongues. I didn't find God there. I went through things in my life that I could not explain. Difficult times that didn't feel like the work of God. I looked at my life and I didn't find God there. I went to church with Tim and couldn't take communion because I am divorced. Certainly the kind, loving God that everyone speaks of wouldn't want me to be eternally punished every time I go to church by having to sit by myself while everyone else takes communion. So much for catholicism.
I didn't find God there.
But I did find him.
I was out walking in my neighborhood on the most beautiful day anyone could ever imagine, right at sunset (which my mom has always said was "Jesus's favorite time of day" according to the bible.) I was having a bad day, kind of having a pity party for myself. I was feeling really discouraged and sorry for myself.
I thought about my age - I'm just not as young as I used to be. I thought marriage and how I figured I would be married by this point in my life. And babies...my ex-husband just welcomed a new son into the world and here I am without children. With that clock ticking in the background. And my job, it pays the bills, but it isn't a dream. All of this playing in my head as I walked and looked up to the sky, praying and asking God for peace with all of the distress I was feeling.
And then it hit me...
How much I was taking for granted. How lucky I am.
I heard a voice as clear as day say to me
"Your life is protected and safe. You are under a Golden Umbrella."The Golden Umbrella...
Which keeps my family and I safe and well,
Which lead me from a troubled marriage to a happy life with Tim.
Which has brought friends into my life right when I needed them.
Which made it possible to have a beautiful home and live in a place that is so filled with beauty. Which took me out of a job that would have ended this past Friday in the most miserable job market imaginable. I would have been unemployed right in the thick of it all.
But the golden umbrella covered me from that.
And as I thought of all of the things that I have to be thankful for, I felt ashamed for focusing on all of my life's shortcomings when I have so much to be happy about. I began to smile and look up at the sky.
They say that happiness is where you find it. I think God is also where you find him. At your lowest moment. In the eyes of a new baby or the last breath of someone you love. In a moment where your life is filled with questions and there is only one way to find the answers. And you find God. There. Where you need him most and expect him least.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All Around Great Day

This past Sunday, I hosted my first Easter at our home. As if that wasn't scary enough, it was for both my family and Tim's AND it was the first time both families had met! Now that's a milestone of a day, isn't it? I have to say that it went just as perfectly as it possibly could have. The weather was amazing, the food was oh-so-good, and the families, well they were just so fun to have all together.
Keeping with my New Year's resolution to make life easy on myself, I decided to serve on paper plates. GASP! I can hardly believe I did it because I have a real problem with paper plates, but I wanted to enjoy my day and NOT do ten loads of dishes. Cute, huh?
My mom (on the left) Marie and Tim's mom Marsha. I think they did well together.
Beautiful Zoe, slept through the day.
Adorable Nick, looking like he just stepped out of a J Crew ad.
Little Drew playing catch with a lemon. My brother (who is such a big kid) picked them off of my tree. Oh well, they had fun with it.
Nick enjoying the bubbles.
Drew, who did such an awesome job with my nephew Nick. He even shared his bubbles. Awesome, huh? It was fun to see all of my favorite boys all together. Nick even got dirty - it was fun to see him be "one of the boys."

Baby Ryan trying out the bunny ears.
My friend Gloria said she prayed for me early on Sunday morning that everything would come together perfectly for me. She knew that I was nervous about getting all of the families together and about hosting nearly 25 people at my house. Her prayers were answered - it was a glorious day not soon to be forgotten. Hope your Easter was equally heaven-sent.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Can I go to bed yet?

Did you happen to see the Easter bunny at my house - filling eggs, hiding them, making desserts, arranging everything for a 30 person brunch? Well, neither did I. Okay, I'm crazy for staying up this late to get everything ready to roll for my party tomorrow. But I'm hoping you can look past that and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
A quick preview of tomorrow's dessert table.
I've never made a stacked cake before or a from scratch carrot cake for that matter. So, here is my first stab at both. I was brutally afraid that it was going to collapse or not tier right. Looks amazing - hopefully it tastes okay. There is so much more to show you...a bucket of Easter eggs ready to be hidden, some new splashes of color I added to my garden ready to be enjoyed, a beautiful coca-cola and molasses ham ready to be eaten and so much fun ready to be had (in just a few hours!!) I am on pins and needles to see how both families get along and a little anxious for everyone to like one another and break the ice. Cross your fingers for me!!
And enjoy a blessed Easter with your families and friends.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Let's Catch Up...

Okay, grab a cup of coffee (or a Diet Coke) and have a seat. I haven't blogged in a few weeks (cannot believe it myself) and want to catch you up on the latest happenings here in Dove Canyon.
I spent the last two weeks of March in Temecula helping coordinate the efforts for our beautiful new store that Grand Opened on March 26th. It was amazing to see a store go from four walls to a bustling store full of customers in only ten days. Needless to say, it was a lot of work. But even more than work, it was so much fun.
One of the best parts of the two weeks was meeting my new friend Nick. I have never met anyone that I felt so connected to (not in a romantic way, but in a "I feel like I've known you my whole life" kind of way). I cried when he got in the car to go to the airport and cried when I got home because I missed him so. The good news is that he is coming back to Southern California at the end of this month to help out with another project! I am so thrilled!!
My nephew Nick celebrated his second birthday at the end of the month and my sister hosted a super fun Birthday for him at a very pretty park down in San Diego. Imagine hosting a party two weeks after delivering a baby via c-section. My sister gets the Mom of the Year award!! The weather was perfect and the icing on the cake was getting to hold my ultra amazing niece Zoe. She is such a calm baby and holding her is my new favorite thing. Hard to believe little Nick came into our lives two years ago! The time has really flown by!!
And, after many recent computer problems followed by two failed battery adapters, I broke down and bought a new computer last night! It wasn't really a purchase that I wanted to make per say, but I found an awesome lap top and I'm having fun exploring it. I appologize for the lack of pictures on this post, but I haven't transferred them over from my lemon laptop.

And finally, Easter is right around the corner!!!! I decided last year that I wanted to host a big Easter egg hunt for all of the kids this year at our house. I grew up hearing stories about the amazing Easter egg hunts that my Aunt Joyce used to put together for us when we were little. Tons of eggs filled with everything from candy to coins to a lottery ticket or a dollar bill. With one golden egg that had something really special! I don't remember them at all because I was only a year old when my Aunt passed, but when I think of Easter, I think of my Aunt and the wonderful memories she created. SO, I am busy putting one together for Sunday.
I am also hosting a brunch afterwards and it will be the first time I've had both my family and Tim's together. I'm actually not nervous about it at all. I think it is way overdue! I am just praying for good weather and a fun day for all!!
So, my creative friends, any suggestions for cute trinkets to put in the eggs besides candy? All five of the "hunters" are boys between the ages of one and five!