The Here and Now and How I Got Here

I got really sick of blogging. I missed the feeling of community. I was feeling very “get off my lawn” and felt like I had to keep up with The Joneses to stay in the blogging community. I’m really terrible at keeping up with Joneses. So I’ve (accidentally) waited until NO ONE visits here until it feels ready to come back to it.

So here I am.

I make no proclamations. I don’t care about stats and page views and whatever the you kids are doing these days. I just feel like being here with my family and, yeah…what I’m up to PERSONALLY. Like old times.

* * * * *
I quit my job a month ago.

About two months ago to the day, I gave my one month notice to a company I had worked for nearly 19 years. And on August 5th, I closed up shop, packed up my last box, and actually mic dropped my way out the door.
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I felt like I had earned a mic drop.

And a margarita.

The “infamous” margarita picture that y’all thought was cleavage. Even though WE ALL KNOW I DON’T HAVE ANY.

 

I haven’t been super “HERE I AM” about my plans for what I’m doing now. And one of the biggest reasons I’ve been a little quiet is because my reasons had everything to do with my kids.

Especially Ramona.


(Yes. I’m still going to call her Ramona even though all 4 of you know her real name.)


My Ramona started high school the week after my last day of work. And not only do we know how fast time flies, but I also knew that she needed my time and my support in ways that I couldn’t give while working in the corporate world. The Dude and I knew that she needed me home each day after school.


So I jumped ship. With an incredible amount of faith. And an incredibly family with incredible love and support.

* * * * *

I’ve lived a lot of my adult making decisions based on fear. I joke around that I was young and dumb when we became parents and got married. In that order. But the truth of the matter is that we were soooooooooo young and still working on all the smarts that we had to grow up and grow into. We had a lot of life to leave and a lot of learning to do at each stage of life that we hadn’t even experienced yet. But decisions had to be made. And being terrified of knowing the right decision. Or fear of what was coming next. Yeah…that led to some dumb decisions. Or decisions that REALLY could’ve been better.

I’ve been…unsettled in my job for some time now. Looking back, it had nothing to do with the actual JOB of things and had everything to do with God getting me ready for what was coming up next. Even if I had no idea that He was.

* * * * *

One of my (former) co-workers asked me if I would do it all over again. Staying so long in one place. The decisions that I made. And without hesitation, I said yes. Even if the perfectionist in me would REALLY like a couple of do-overs, the realist knows that the person I am today is directly because of everything I’ve gone through and every strange or “wrong” decision. And I am really damn proud of all of it. I’m really damn proud of us and me and my family. All of it.

So here I am. A month later. Working on some things that make me really excited. And, yeah…really proud. It was time.

I’ve been writing this post for four days…and 17 years

I don’t think I was expecting to celebrate the morning of my 17th wedding anniversary finalizing (and scrutinizing) my kid’s Stanford early action application. We had gone over it several times. But somehow, the thought of hitting the ‘submit’ button made all of us want to triple and quadruple check everything. Every essay, every question. Was everything the way it needed to be?

You can drive yourself crazy wondering if you did everything right. I mean, the Stanford version of right.

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But then…it’s done. It’s sent. We are so freaking proud of that kid. And no matter what, we know that she will end up EXACTLY where she is meant to be. Stanford or not.
***

I find it completely strange and wonderful and extremely fitting that the very first college application was filed on our anniversary. It wasn’t burdensome. It felt completely normal…like, this is what we do! A few hours later, after the kids shuffled off to their various locations, The Dude and I sat down at the bar waiting for our table. As we watched the bartender make our drinks, and we were finally settling down from the day’s events we kinda looked at each other and I said,

“Our kid just applied to…Stanford. How the hell did THAT happen???!”

We both shook our heads and my husband ordered us both scallop shooters. Of course.

photo 2

***

Before college applications, before the sun was even up, I got up and got dressed in my running clothes. My husband was still sound asleep when I whispered that I was leaving. He grabbed my hand to pull me back for a hug, whispered “Happy Anniversary” and promptly fell back asleep. After all this time, me leaving when it’s still dark out, even on our anniversary, to go on a run with Sarah is completely normal.

photo 1

That’s one of my favorite things about us. Our life is insane and full of chaos…but some of the most “normal” things make everything else fit right in. Like there’s room for everyone and everything has a place. Even if that place is tucked into a cupboard or on the very tip-top of a shelf, we’ll find a place for it all. All the chaos. All the people we love. Even all the things we need to do. We’ll get to it. We always seem to.

Photo by the oldest child in Huntington Beach
Photo by the oldest child in Huntington Beach

Going with the flow without getting swept up in the current is a big part of who are and how we live. But (really) hard work and epic stubbornness is how we’ve been able to float along together for 17 years.

The Mama and the Girls Photo by Sarah Maren Photography
The Mama and the Girls
Photo by Sarah Maren Photography

We had to fight like hell to make it. Not very much has been easy – especially in the beginning. (Hell, the first 10-12 years.) But being able to roll with the punches, and giving a lot of ‘em right back, is how we’ve survived. We’ve never given up.

The Dad and the Girls Photo by Sarah Maren Photography
The Dad and the Girls
Photo by Sarah Maren Photography

Maybe it’s because we just celebrated our 17th anniversary, maybe it’s because we’ve reached this parenting milestone where one of our kids is applying to colleges, but when I get to focus on just how far we’ve all come…WHOA, you guys. I’m proud of it.

Us...photo by Sarah Maren Photography
Us…photo by Sarah Maren Photography

 

I’m just so damn proud of it all.

Photo by: Sarah Maren Photography
Photo by: Sarah Maren Photography

 

Tuesdays with Paisley: 10.25.16

 

Don't worry, I'm cute.
Don’t worry, I’m cute.

 

I’ve scheduled many of Tuesdays with Paisley posts knowing that the election madness is only going to get worse. So this is for all of us. Cute little Paisley face to keep us going. Yes, I know it’s blurry and weirdly filtered it was 2012. That’s what we did back then. Or something.

Just enjoy the cute. That’s all.

Tuesdays with Paisley: 10.11.16

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When Paisley was only a few weeks old, we took her on a trip with us to Monterey. We tried to leave her behind one morning and she yelped and cried so loudly, we were pretty sure we were going to arrested…even though that’s not how any of this works. So. The Dude and I stayed behind while everyone else went to the aquarium. We explored the same mile of Monterey about 27 times while we waited. PUPPIES! They just can’t be trusted.

Tuesdays with Paisley: 09.27.16

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“I’m sorry I shit on your floor.”

 

After a REALLY long day at work, the last thing you want to deal with is a dog pooping on your floor. But that’s what happens with puppies sometimes. Paisley was only a few weeks old (and really did well with all the potty-training stuffs) but how you can NOT forgive a face like that?

YOU CAN’T.

But I still like to tell the story. If only for the chance to show cute Puppy Paisley pictures.

Killin Time

I’m sitting in the car waiting for my kid to get out of school. The car is running (because groceries) so I’ve officially lost the Greenest Parent of the Year Award. Drats.

I might still have a chance at winning Largest Carbon Footprint Parent. (Fingers crossed!)

I have a pretty insane week ahead of me. I’m grateful for all of it, don’t get me wrong. I’m just, maybe, a tiny bit worried about how to do it all. Mostly because I want to do it all well and done right…all the while I have exactly ONE WEEK with my oldest kiddo before she heads back to school. So…no pressure.

I’ve been really curious about how I’m going to feel with all the “going back to college” business. I’m fairly positive it will be MUCH MUCH MUCH easier than last year, but it’s always hard to say goodbye, you guys.

As selfish as I am with my children, it’s probably been good for me that she’s been interning all summer a couple hours away. I only got to see her on the weekends so maybe I feel a little bit more prepared for her to move back into the dorms next week.

Maybe. But probably not.

In the meantime, I’m going to need someone to smack me in the face the next time I let the entire family come with me to the grocery store.

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Actually, on second thought, I’m not going to worry about it at all. I’m just going to have to move out so that I don’t eat ANY OF IT.

Or kick the family out. One of those.

Either way…I’m really going to miss the four us being idiots together. Sigh.

Tuesdays with Paisley

I try hard to not be real weird when it comes to how much we love our dog. How much *I* love my dog. So the fact that I’m only devoting ONE day a week for Paisley pictures is reason enough to buy me something pretty.

 

Pretty please?

The very definition of Puppy Dog Eyes

The world needs more Paisley so I am here for the world.

As we start our Tuesday ritual, you should know that Paisley is completely terrified of the vacuum, the broom, the big jug of water and, most especially, the pool.

However, you should also know that she’s the sweetest damn dog, good and patient with all the littles, keeps me company while I work…and she’s also so damn cute.

I would also like you to know that she eats regular dog food, she has never been carried in a purse and the only clothes she owns are Halloween Costumes. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with any of that I just felt like we should all come clean before Tuesday becomes a thing.

Have a great week, everyone.