Priorities, and stuff.

Don’t pay the ransom!  I escaped!

Just kidding.  No one would kidnap me.

Since my last post over a month ago, life has been ridiculously busy, and clearly I’m not good at finding the time to write while managing all that must come first.  For example, I’ve already been interrupted ten times in the last seven minutes since I sat down to write this post.  At this rate I’ll be lucky to get three posts up this summer.  In the past six weeks or so we’ve had my son’s Kindergarten graduation, a new puppy, our annual vacation back home to the Midwest, my wedding anniversary and my mother-in-law flew in to spend the 4th of July weekend with us.  It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s all been good.

FullSizeRender (1)And I know what you’re thinking….”Did she say she got a new puppy?!”  Yes, and she has taken up the bulk of my time and attention since she joined our family.  I didn’t mean to get a puppy.  I didn’t want a new puppy.  We already have three cats and a large dog.  But the universe sort of thrust her at me, and when the universe hands you an adorable little baby like that, well, you just can’t hand it back.

This is Mavis.  The last week of school while I was waiting to pick Bryce up, another mom from our class showed up holding this adorable little baby girl.  I took one look at her and my soul screamed, “Mine!”  I immediately asked the mom if she had gotten a new dog and she explained that her cocker-spaniel had “accidentally” mated with her sister’s Chihuahua.  The IMG_0086result was four of the most adorable Chi-Spaniel (that’s apparently what they’re called) babies you have ever seen, and they were giving them away to good homes.  Done!  I took a picture of her with my phone and texted the photo to Dan.  I took her home with me that day.  And now I remember why we decided we were done having kids.  She is adorable but exhausting.  Having a new puppy is just like having a new baby in the house.  I can’t turn my back on her for a second.  One second she is my Sweet Mavis, and the next she is Mavis the Destroyer.  Potty training sucks.  My only consolation is that when she’s FINALLY potty trained, I’m getting all new area rugs.

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I don’t usually post personal photos, but I think we look hot in this picture, so Happy Anniversary to us!!

Everything else seems a bit trivial in comparison to Mavis.  Our vacation back home was good.  I love the Midwest, I just can’t live there full time.  But summers there are heaven.  My anniversary was awesome, until it wasn’t.  Dan and I had tickets to a private chef’s table dinner at our favorite ocean-side resort.  Twelve couples enjoyed a five course gourmet dinner over-looking the ocean.  We had yellow-fin tuna ceviche that had been caught that morning off the coast of San Diego.  We enjoyed freshly caught and prepared lobster and other fresh sustainable foods that had been grown on the property of the resort along with wine pairings from a local vineyard.  It was fantastic.  We made some new friends and enjoyed drinks and live music in the hotel lobby bar after dinner.  And then I had to haul ass back to our room and spent the rest of the night praying to the porcelain god.   It wasn’t food poisoning because nobody else got sick.  It wasn’t alcohol because, sadly, I wasn’t drunk yet.  Whatever caused it ruined my night and I’m still a little pissed about it because when I get to eat food that amazing and that expensive, you bet your ass I want to hang on to it.  I need a do-over.

Now that life has returned to a normal speed for me, I’m trying to play catch up.  I’m reconsidering my rule about not posting my personal opinions about politics and/or religion on social media.  The world is going crazy and I might need to talk about it.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I look forward to stalking all the blogs I’ve neglected over the past month.  I’ve missed you guys!  🙂

See!  She was meant to be my dog!

See! She was meant to be my dog!

Vacation!

Hello, world!  I’m home!

The family and I spent nine days visiting with friends and relatives throughout the Midwest.  I call this trek our annual Midwestern Tour, as we hit Illinois, Indiana and Michigan in the same week. This time of year the area where I grew up is amazingly beautiful.  You wouldn’t believe how green everything gets.  Even the corn fields look beautiful when I haven’t seen them in a while.

We spent the first couple of days in Chicago, then drove south to central Illinois to visit my grandmother.  We then drove three hours north through Indiana and Michigan to reach my mother, other grandmother and various relatives who live in the area.  It was fast, organized, exhausting and incredibly fun.

Here’s the highlight reel…

10635748_10152955877379574_8811372455149121989_n[2]While in Chicago, my college friend hosted a house party and invited all of our girlfriends from school, along with their families.  We BBQ, drink, laugh and relive our glory years together while our kids run around and make new memories and form new friendships.  This year the adults sent the kids to the basement to play so we could play the game, Cards Against Humanity.  If you’ve never heard of it, it’s an adult card game of mostly vulgar and inappropriate topics.  If you’re not too uptight and appreciate a dirty joke, then this game is for you.  I will say that I did surprisingly well in the game, and my two most popular cards read, “Altar Boys,” and “Two Midgets Shitting in a Bucket.”  Feel free to use your imagination here as to what these cards may have been in response too.  🙂

We visited my grandmother, who is 94 years old.  I’ve always had a very close relationship with my Nanny and she’s an incredible woman.  She is in amazing health but starting to lose some of her short-term memory.  We looked at the same photo album about four times, and although it was new for her every time, I continue to be amazed at her ability to remember details about family history from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Her own mother was born in 1897, and every conversation feels like a history lesson, but one you don’t want to miss.  When I ask her how it feels to be 94, she tells me, “getting old is not for sissies!”

St. Joe lighthouse

St. Joseph, Michigan

While in Michigan, we visited with several of my high school friends, my mother, grandmother, aunt and a few cousins.  I went to my favorite childhood restaurants.  We drove to St. Joe and took the kids to Silver Beach, which is on Lake Michigan.  My kids ran down the pier alongside the lighthouse, disbelieving that Lake Michigan wasn’t as big as our Pacific Ocean back home.  I found a lake house there I would like to buy for the low, low price of 1.6 million dollars.  What a steal!  LOL!  At one point Bryn looked at me, while having dinner outside on a patio overlooking a beautiful lake active with boats and jet-skis, and she said, “I can’t believe you got to grow up here!”

Yeah, I got to grow up there.  It’s funny how so often in life we don’t appreciate what we have until we can look back with some perspective.  Growing up, I didn’t appreciate the beauty of the fields, the lakes or the small community that looked out for each other.  I took it for granted and was more excited to see other places.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that the older I get, the more I appreciate where I come from, and this annual trip means more to me every year.  I want my kids to experience the things I loved about growing up in the Midwest.  Admittedly, my kids have opportunities that I never had as a child, and I’m thankful for that.  But I also want them to appreciate the simplicities of life.  The small things and traditions that add up to big things when you look back on your life and remember what you loved most about your childhood.

lake canoeingI want them to gorge themselves on strawberries while picking them fresh from the fields, and then bring the berries home to make fresh strawberry jam in grandma’s kitchen.  I want them to canoe the rivers of my hometown and camp under the stars, even if it’s just in their grandmother’s back yard.  I want them to catch fire flies,  sit around a bonfire in a field with their cousins, learn to water ski on the lake and marvel at the incredible beauty of the leaves turning in the fall.   I want them to know who their people are, and why, no matter what they choose to do in life, it will always be special that their family comes from this incredible place.

So yeah, it was a good vacation.  😉