Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Minimoon - Friday

I don't know much about The Hood, but evidently it's where we were Friday morning.

I was navigating, so it was sort of my fault. But as soon as we got our rental car, he just started driving, and we were hungry (our plane landed in LA at 7:30am, so that's an indication of how early we'd started our day). So I just pulled up a nearby breakfast spot on my phone and started directing.

So not completely my fault.

We pulled off whatever major street (it may have been Sepulveda), into an...area...and the closer we got to the restaurant, the more often he repeated, "Baby, we're in the hood!" He went from, "I just saw a hooker," to "This many bars is a sure sign you're in the hood" (he was talking about bars on windows and doors) to "There's a diaper on the street! We in the hood fo' sho'!" Yep, pretty sure his vernacular changed.

When he asked me what the name of the restaurant was, and I told him Honey Bee's, he almost lost it. Evidently nowhere but The Hood would have a restaurant called Honey Bee's. Now lets be honest. I know nothing about The Hood. I am whiter than white. So when I'm with him, I have to trust what he knows. However, I found this whole thing hilarious. So I just started making fun of the situation by pointing people out and calling them Hood People until he finally started laughing back at me.

We found Honey Bee's, and ate there. The breakfast was excellent (with fried plantains, even!). I wasn't even the only white chick in the joint.

Then we did a complete 180. After breakfast he was so eager to view anything that had to do with money - Hollywood money - that we headed into Hollywood and Beverly Hills. I found it extremely entertaining (he is often my entertainment) how enamored he was with it all. We drove through some neighborhoods (omg! Is this THE Sunset Blvd?). We went window shopping on Rodeo Drive (I did buy a pair of shoes, but left the $5,000 purse I fell in love with, as well as the $2,000 dress he loved on me). He took his picture standing next to a Bugatti while I wondered what all the fuss was about. After he explained it to me, I still didn't care.

After finally checking into our hotel after being in LA almost all day, we ended the day with dinner at a place called Clifton's that my friend Kim recommended. It was unique. Cafeteria-style dining where every item has it's own price. Lots of food and dessert choices. Lots of taxidermy behind glass. Jungle...or forest? Not sure. Delicious mac and cheese. Huge tree with a fireplace inside. Nothing like I've ever experienced before. Hey, isn't that what LA (and vacation, and big cities) is about?!

Twelve and Fifth Grade Promotion

I have been so remiss in getting things posted this month, but in my defense, it’s been a BUSY MONTH. 

Josiah’s birthday, Mother’s Day, Josiah’s 5th grade promotion, our wedding, and a very short honeymoon we are calling our “minimoon.”

I am going to end up posting about all of these things out of order, because I don’t have wedding pictures yet. When they arrive, I will inundate the blog with them, never fear.

So, let’s begin with The Boy Who Is Growing Up. 

He turned 12 earlier this month. He wanted a big party, so we invited about a dozen boys and girls to join him at the park for an epic Nerf fight. Then in rained. Actually, it poured, and I ended up with that many pre-teens in my tiny house itching for activity. 

They did play in the rain quite a bit, but at least we had cake and gift-opening to keep them in the house for a bit. 

This was the first time I’ve ever purchased a cake for either of my kids, but Josiah knew he was getting practically no planning from me for this one. That’s why the “let’s just play in the park” idea was perfect. I was way too over my head in last-minute wedding details to do much for his birthday. He didn’t have a problem with that, though.

We took his yearly photos this year outside an old warehouse downtown with murals painted on it. They turned out super cute! 

Closer to the end of the month was his promotion ceremony. I originally wasn’t planning on going – I have an issue with the fact that schools seem to have a graduation for every grade – but I’m glad I did. It was obviously very important to him.

He wore his brand new purchased-for-the-wedding suit, even though he thought he might be more dressed up than most of his classmates. He was so proud! He couldn’t eat breakfast. He said he was “too jittery.” He even wanted to leave the house about an hour before school started (and then pouted for a good half hour when I wouldn’t let him). But as soon as I told him he could go, he was out the door on his way to school, proud as can be. I certainly wasn’t going to discourage him from wearing that suit – at least it got worn twice before he grows out of it! 

Every 5th grader wrote some sort of poem or short prose to read after their name was called for their promotion certificate. Most students wrote about 5th grade, or school in general, but Josiah’s was all about 1st grade. I think that year really had an impact on him for a few reasons. First of all, it was the beginning of a return to normalcy for him. I had left his father the year before, and he had lived in four different places for kindergarten (Texas before we left, my parent’s house with me, his dad’s apt, and then the one I moved into). He had started kindergarten in one state and finished it in another. He rode a bus for the first time. But first grade was all in one place and it was a place he knew he’d be staying.
He also had a male teacher that year. I don’t know why that impacted him as much as it did, but it did. He still talks about that like it’s an amazing thing to have a male teacher. Whatever the reason, it mattered a lot.

Here is his poem/prose: 
One thing I remember is in first grade. In first grade I had my only boy teacher. I remember the tea party in first. My first day was exciting, but it was scary. My first friend: I was scared, but happy. Then I went to see Mr. Vogel [the principal]. I was nervous and he was nice. My first snow day! Wow! Fun to the second power.

 And a photo of him reading part of it. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Two Days Before

Thursday, May 18, it snowed.
It didn't just snow. It was completely overcast and freezing. Below freezing, actually.
We had to cover all the plants and dig out winter coats again.

I knew it was coming, of course. I had been watching the weather religiously. 
It was also the day all the rental equipment was delivered and two of my best friends - Stephanie and Carmen -  left their homes many hours away.
Ariel called what seemed like a dozen times.
     There's standing water where the tent should go.
     The ground is now ok. Guys aren't here yet.
     When should I change my shave and haircut to?
     Where do you want the dance floor? 
We drove out to the venue after work, at his insistence, so I could tell him where I wanted it, even though tomorrow would have worked just as well. He just needed to know now.
There was a distinctly new feeling that, for once, I was the one holding him together, less stressed out than he was, rather than the reverse.

Friday he went to get his shave and haircut, so we didn't get out to the venue until almost noon. Stephanie was with us, having gotten in late the night before. Neither of the boys remembered her, though we were so close (proximity and relationally) for eight years. We would leave in just an hour and a half to get Carmen. But in between those two things we needed to phone conference with the officiant, which really left just about an hour. Not much time to get anything done, but we'd purchased flowers on the way down, and worked feverishly to get them all into eleven vases and one bouquet.

Stephanie and I drove up to Castle rock together to get Carmen. Although there was no snow at the venue, the further north we got, the colder and more snow there was. I was updating guests who would be leaving Saturday, not wanting them to think it looked like that at the venue, but wanting to be realistic (though optimistic) about the next day.

This was the first time Carmen and Stephanie had ever met, coming from two different walks of my life (high school and Texas). Thankfully they hit it off (ultimate proof: they are now friends on Facebook). That doesn't always happen, and although I hadn't spent any time worrying about it, I know sometimes one friend meets another friend of that friend, and wonders what her friend has been drinking to have ever become friends with that friend.

Conversation started around Carmen's life, since I'd caught up on Stephanie's on the ride up, but of course we all inputted. It was all-around wonderful, even though life's hardships were a theme.

We dropped Carmen's things off at the house, grabbed the boys and headed back to the venue. One of my favorite moments of the weekend happened on this ride in the car. Benjamin, after listening to the three of us go back and forth together (as well as teasing him), said, "Oh my gosh, Mama, it's like having three of you!"


Still watching the weather religiously, it had not warmed up, though it continued to say it was supposed to for Saturday. My fingers were double crossed.

With the tent up, Ariel could string lights, set up the dance floor, and hang chandeliers. I thought lights would be adequate just around the just-above-head-height perimeter. He though the bars to the peaks needed to be strung as well. And might as well... it turns out I'd purchased WAY to many white Christmas lights in December. And he was right. With all the poles lit, it was going to turn out to be gorgeous.

Now all it needed to do was warm up.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Perfection and Magic and Luck

We dropped the boys off at their dad's house, and on the way back to ours he said, "I'm going to take you out to breakfast."

I was giddy. I love doing things with him - anything. And he still has that affect on me.

He parked in the shade, then moved the car to the sun just because I asked.

We ordered, and it was warm enough, even at that time of the morning, to sit outside. A table for two and two berry smoothies, an egg burrito, and a jalapeno bagel egg sandwich, which also included green chili sauce and pepper jack cheese. Delicious.

Our little town started to wake while we sat and talked and ate. There were already a few people strolling down the sidewalk, the shop owner of the shop next door opened and brought out a table of sale items.

It felt very European.

Most of the rest of the day was running errands and last minute preparations, exactly one week away from Our Big Day (though not as last minute as they will soon be), but all I remember was that time at breakfast. It was perfect.

The next day we got up slowly and had coffee (him) and tea (me) on the front porch as the sun began to peek over the neighbor's house.

Then we picked up the boys for Mother's Day and brunch with my parents. They complained for the first 45 minutes about their Papa's house, but this became normal long ago, so we talk about it and I encourage them and they deal with it. I don't mind. They talk to me.

After dropping them back off, the love of my life and I grabbed our rope and headed out to climb a few routes on sandstone. We both needed it. Needed to get out, to exercise, to breathe and touch nature. It was hot. Lovely hot.

Then dinner, then a ride on the motorcycle.

I just could not handle the day, the weekend, coming to an end. It was too perfect. So later than I'm normally awake, I suggested a glass of wine on the porch. He with his red and me with my white ended the day where we'd begun it. The neighborhood was silent as we sipped away together.

It is a perfect example of why I love this life. I've said it before... I love the mundane with him. It doesn't feel mundane. So many moments of my life with him have an air of the magical. I am so, so lucky.