Jar of Dirt



There’s a tradition for graduating seniors at the end of the season: jars are filled with the dirt or grass (or both) from the spot on the field where they played. So this is the dirt from the spot between second base and third base where my kid played shortstop for the past four years. Varsity all four years, team captain, All League…all of this, and more, while completing a full IB diploma, managing a student team in a nationally recognized environmental creek project and maintaining a 4.4 GPA…that’s some damn meaningful dirt in a mason jar. 

I didn’t cry during senior night or prom but hand my kid a jar of dirt (and say a bunch of nice things about how rad she is) during the end of season party tonight and I can no longer make such bold statements. Turns out there IS crying in baseball. I mean softball. (I’m so proud of you, kiddo. <3)





April Stuff and Stuff



April was INSANE. Awesome, but completely nuts. I have no idea how we crammed so much into one month. Birthdays, baby showers, more birthdays, Easter (remember Easter?) Sports-a-Rama, college trips…Einstein. Dude. And that’s not even the half of it. 

Also, how is it almost May?! (Gulp)

Post It Notes and Flowers

I’ve been going to bed pretty late the last few days. Nothing about this surprises you, I’m sure. But it’s been especially late the last couple of nights as we’ve been helping the kids with some school things. 

Last night, as I half stumbled half walked to my bed, I noticed a little something that Ramona had left me. 

I’m not sure what we did that was awesome, but she had left a similar note for The Dude on his side of the bed. (I’m the only one who got flowers, but that makes perfect sense. DUH.)

For two seconds I wondered what she might’ve done. We’re these covert “I’m sorry” flowers? Am I gonna get a phone call later? 

Hopefully not. 

At any rate, it was adorable and wonderful and a perfect pick-me-up after a really (REALLY) long day. I can’t even worry about a possible phone call. This time. 

37

I’ve never made my age a secret…but I spent a lot of years avoiding the question. Especially when my kids were much younger. Divulging my age brought more questions and, well, judgment. It was just easier to let people do the math on their own. If they said anything, I was just glad to not know about it.

Thankfully, I’ve gotten better at not caring. And, hey…this past Saturday, I turned 37. (I just thought I should throw that out there.)

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To be honest, I’m pretty proud of 37. It’s been a while since my age has felt so…strange. And maybe it’s not that 37 sounds so strange, maybe it’s just that I feel like each year should make me feel more like a grown-up. Although…is there ever a point you feel like a grown-up? Isn’t sending a kid off to college grown up enough?

At any rate, I enjoyed the hell out of my birthday and I just don’t think that’s a bad thing.

IT WAS JUST SO NICE.

As I finished up getting ready Saturday morning, The Dude sent me a text message from downstairs with a picture similar to this one telling me I should come downstairs and start my birthday.

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And do I did.

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My brother happened to call just as I took that first sip of my Super Special Birthday Bloody Mary (I’m pretty sure that’s the official name) and I laughed when I realized how spicy, but delicious, it was. Explaining to my brother what had happened, and me mentioning the spicy, my husband says (loudly) that I must like my Bloody Marys like I like my Mexican husband.

(For the record, he’s not wrong.)

At that point, all you could hear was Ramona sputtering how gross and “Ew! Ew! EW!” it all was and I’m pretty sure we’ve scarred her for life. But I guess maybe that’s how you know that you’re doing old and grown-up-type-person right. You know, when you completely and thoroughly disgust your children with what can only now be described at spicy talk and that you find it completely hilarious and awesome. I think THAT is how you know that you’ve made it.

 

Stocking Up on Windex

Last night I realized that this is me:



My kid, her friends. I adore them. ADORE THEM. And they are all set to leave for college in the fall. Leave ME. 

Because it’s all about me, you guys. 

I mean, it’s not. But it is? 

I don’t know but imagining myself as an old Greek dude putting Windex in everything makes me laugh. A lot. 

Good ‘ol Easter

We had a really nice Easter weekend. We spent some time up at my Gram’s house on Saturday with some of my favorite people. And then spent all day today with some more of my favorite people. Yummy food stuffs and way too much candy. Reminiscing and laughter and fun stories. 

(I mostly have pictures from today. Don’t hate me.)





It’s also worth noting that we played a tiny game of war with a tiny deck of cards. Shuffling those bad boys was ridiculous. 



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For the past few years, Beezus has instigated a tradition on her favorite holiday: a picture with me. 



I didn’t realize how much these mean to me until today. 

Ramona hasn’t particularly loved having her picture taken over the years but I’m hoping we can start a similar tradition because I absolutely love these pictures with Beezus and I want to have a similar collection with Ramona. As these years SPEED BY, it’s amazing to look back. 

This week marks one of those “last times we’ll do this” kind of event and I realized today that I’m a little anxious about all of it. Less than two months until graduation. 

Once again, I apologize for how obnoxious I will surely be. I promise to make it up to you. Somehow. 

Blast From the Past and Present

Last week I took Ramona shopping for her birthday. She had a very specific and capable ensemble in mind for her birthday and last week’s birthday party. Not only the outfit but very specific shoes.

Each time she explained what she wanted, it didn’t register that her ideal boots were super specific. The morning of the shopping trip, I was discussing the fact that I had been looking into getting a pair of Birkenstocks (I KNOW) when the conversation turned to the fact that Ramona was looking to get a pair of white Doc Martens.

Apparently we were going to need to hop in a time machine to 1992 for our shopping needs.

My feet have never been happier. And 90’s Jill is completely in love with Ramona’s shoe choice. Hell, current Jill is completely in love with her shoe choice.

I’m gonna stop talking like I’m not here.

By the way, since Vogue says these shoes are coming back. Or are back. Or were back. (Because, let’s face it, I’m always behind the trend.) Whatever. THAT. Since they said that, I have completely disregarded Ramona’s concerns that my new shoes are old people shoes.

Her shoe choice has given her a pass. This time.

Crying Laughing Face

We celebrated Ramona’s 13th birthday this past weekend. A little early because Easter and spring break can make scheduling a birthday party rather difficult.

Friday afternoon, Ramona informed me that she would love to have an emoji party.

So we did.

I’m not gonna lie, I was a little proud of pulling it off with so little notice. With only a mild amount of danger. (I even went the long way home because I just couldn’t see to merge into traffic.)

I punched out yellow circles and drew as many emoji faces as I possibly could. We pink and yellowed the crap out of all the things.

 

But because I am 12…I couldn’t help but make chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. With eyes. As the smiling pile of poo emoji. As one does.

I almost talked myself out of it. (What if our parents hate it and are appalled!) (They weren’t.) WAS I TAKING OUR EMOJI THEME TOO FAR??!

Luckily Amy brought me back to my senses and reminded me it was damn funny. DAMN. FUNNY.

Emoji poop for everyone.

No Foolin

We just got home from a chaotic whirlwind trip to San Francisco and another round of senior portraits. Because when your fairy godmother is Sarah, you plan epic 2-part senior portrait sessions. I mean, of course.

I am wind blown and exhausted but completely in love with today.

We drove by and walked around places I don’t normally because I’m usually rushing off to something or some place. Today? Today we were super touristy. And I loved it.

Remind me to tell you how much I loved the new Ben & Jerry’s flavor: The Tonight Dough. LIFE. CHANGING.

But mostly today I got to enjoy some of my favorite people wandering around some of my favorite places.

It was breathtakingly gorgeous. All of it.

I’m so grateful for these people and for these moments and the beauty of all of it.

Just…just someone please remind me of all of it when I’m falling asleep at my desk tomorrow and I’m wondering how I’m going to get everything done.

(It will all get done. But there will be much wondering.)

I’m Not Even Sure That *I* Can Keep Up With All This

Our weekends may not be as busy as they once were, but it is incredible how much we cram into such a short amount of time. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I’m also exhausted because of it. Even with the expectation that this would be a busy weekend, I’m still amazed by this level of tired. It wasn’t until I scrolled through the pictures from the past few days that I fully realized just how nuts we are sometimes. Okay, often. We are nuts on a super regular basis. But scrolling through these pictures was a reminder that I wouldn’t change any of it. There’s nothing I would want to miss. *F*R*I*D*A*Y*

Love these two, Life of Jill
Love these two: Beezus and the Birthday Girl

Friday we celebrated a certain someone turning 18 with a huge family dinner. Words cannot express how weird this is especially since Beezus is right behind her. It was just yesterday they looked like this:

::sigh::
::sigh::

I’m not sure what got into all of us, but we were a rambunctious group. A musical, messy and completely insane kind of rambunctious. I’m sure we must be the only ones to find us funny, but does YOUR sister convince your dad to turn his plate sideways so that she can slop more ‘green slime’ onto his plate from across the table?

green slime on a plate
green slime on a plate

My guess is no. Unless you’re related to me and we have the same siblings. (Most of it actually made it onto the plate if you can believe it. Most of it.)

green slime on a glass
green slime on a glass

*S*A*T*U*R*D*A*Y* We are new to the band life and all that entails. We’ve had band concerts and parades and carnivals, but this was our first experience with a band festival. I guess I would liken it to a softball showcase except there are festival judges that score and critique each band. My kid was a little disappointed with their score, but this was supposed to be a learning experience only. They’ll be even more ready for the next one. (We also ran into my brother who was out there representing the company he works for. It was kind funny and hilarious that we got to hang out there for a bit.)

Band Festival for Ramona
Band Festival for Ramona

After a late breakfast and taking care of a few things around the house (and maybe a nap) it was time to get ready for the high school crab feed. I was so excited to have some of our favorite folks join us and we had just the right amount of us to splurge on a VIP table. It wasn’t even that much more (really, not at all) and it was sooooo worth it. We. Had. A. Blast. We had our own waiter (Joey!) and some little extras here and there that were super enjoyable. Courtney has taught us all how to come prepared for a crab feed (complete with a candelabra, of course) and our brand of fancy won us the best table! (It may have been called something else but I’m going to believe it was BEST TABLE EVER. Especially since Joey said so.) The Dude (aka The Mayor for this particular crab feed – only to us) picked out our gift basket. Some of it immediately went *SPLAT* on the floor, but the vodka and martini glasses were spared.

All the best people crab feed
All the best people crab feed
this was a thing, too
this was a thing, too

I fully expected this to be my last crab feed with the high school, but we had SO MUCH FUN (and they really do a bang up job) we’ve preemptively committed to next year along with plans for t-shirts and complete with nicknames.

Patriotic as %^@*
Patriotic as %^@*

This picture doesn’t really have much to do with anything except for it’s AWESOME. Sarah wanted to take a picture of Amy and I standing in front of the flag mural before the crab feed and a two-gal salute was the only answer. (I have no idea why that sentence sounds a little dirty so just pretend that it’s not if it is.) *S*U*N*D*A*Y* IMG_4022.JPG Waking up early for a half marathon seems like a bad idea after such a fun crab feed, but this is how life works sometimes. Sarah, Dina and I had trained so hard for Shamrock’n but NONE of us were super excited to do the actual race. Our training had gone so well, but I think we all realized how tough this race would be. First of all, IT WAS SO DAMN HOT. Most of our training was done in the wee hours of the morning so you can imagine how the heat might affect us. I’m not sure if I have ever been so grateful to cross a finish line. (You know, besides every single race I’ve ever done. Besides THOSE times.) I was proud of us for finishing…but I was most proud of our training.

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you can almost see the relief on our faces that we’re done

 

REALLY proud of all of us. (Met through the local chapter of Moms Run This Town)
REALLY proud of all of us. (Met through the local chapter of Moms Run This Town)

I’m trying to keep the negativity to a minimum, but I’ve also realized it’s okay that this wasn’t my favorite race. Not by a long shot. Mentally and physically it was just rough. ROUGH. Let’s just say that there were a few miles that were fueled ONLY by the thought of this view after it was all over: (That and icing my knees.)

numbing all the things
numbing all the things

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little discouraged by the outcome of this race. Our training had gone so well, I really thought the race was going to be different. I walked into the office to hang my medal with the others. I was deliriously tired by this point so I know my emotions may have been more on the surface because of that, but I grabbed all the medals off the little shelf where I haphazardly hang them and laid them out on the kitchen table. (Someday I’ll actually buy a race medal rack. Someday.) I’ve done six half marathons (one medal is not pictured because I was too lazy to go upstairs and get my Nike necklace), one full marathon , three Ragnar relays and two CIM relays. (Plus a handful of 5k’s, etc.)

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all the bling

Yesterday I became a little more proud of this collection. Maybe even a lot more proud. Not one of those races was easy for me by any stretch of the imagination. Running will never be easy for me. But the fact of the matter is that I did it anyway. I know that I always say that running teaches me to do hard things but I don’t know that I let myself be really proud of that very often. I don’t think I’ve ever displayed all my medals all at once just let myself be proud that I EARNED each one of those. I earned them. It doesn’t make me feel tons better about a shitty race, but it does make me feel really proud of all those races as a whole. Although, this level of tired is off the charts and there are FIVE whole days until the weekend. Which, thankfully, isn’t quite as busy as this one. I might get to actually sleep a wee bit more. Plus, I get to look forward to going on a run because I WANT to and at a time that is as early in the morning as I want it to be for whatever distance sounds like a good idea. I have enough medals. For now.