And then there were two …

Sid left very early this morning to return to school. With George already at school that leaves just Libs and Reese at home. The whole house sounds and feels different. It looks different too. Inside is a stark aftermath of a busy summer. Outside looks almost barren with the lack of cars. The changes are almost disorienting. After coming home from moving Sid into her dorms her freshman year a friend of mine came over to visit me. She said that she was shocked by the energy change in our home. And I couldn’t agree with her more. I was struck at that very moment with a true understanding of what it meant when people say “making your house a home”. I had always lived that way but it was such a different way to experience those feelings. Our house is a living breathing thing because of the souls who both live and visit here. They are the ones who make it a home. And the changes I see and feel around here are because of the love I feel for them. Do I wish that they were always here? Yes. A million times, yes. But I also love the things that this house has become because of their absence. Adulthood comes with new challenges and new sources of joy. This is now the place where they return to share all of that with me. I am comforted knowing that this house is a place that, no matter where life takes them, will always be their home. It is their safe haven in tough times and a place to celebrate all the good. A place that they can always count on to receive unconditional love.

We are considering a big move in the next two years and my thoughts have been drawn to our future house. Where will it be? What will it look like? It’s a bit anxiety provoking with all the unknowns. But then I remember that it really doesn’t matter where the house will be or what it will look like. That house will be filled with everything this house is and more. Undoubtedly our family will grow with marriages and grandchildren. I simply can’t wait for those kind of wonderful changes! Those kind of blessings sure makes all the growing pains that I feel now seem trivial. And when I get past all my wild emotions, deep down I know that our new house will become a home with a familiar story to tell. The story of a family who’s love, history, adventures and traditions make their house a home.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are down to two!!!

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A priceless gift …

I had an awesome date with an awesome guy last night! This guy stole my heart years ago and still makes me feel like the most special person alive. Who is this man?!?! MY SON. George is leaving soon to begin his second year of college. BIG SIGH. Last year he and my girls surprised me with a night out before he left. It took a lot to pull off and it was such a treat for me. I loved having that time with him. One thing I was really sad about, with him heading off to college, was that our long talks would not be so commonplace. I absolutely LOVE our talks! So having time with just him and some precious uninterrupted talk time really made me happy. And to my surprise, my sweet son told me a few weeks ago that he planned on making our mom and son date night a tradition. Well, you all know that I’m a crier! And that, I did. I think the most valuable thing a person can EVER give me is their time. It is something that I will NEVER take for granted and something that I will ALWAYS appreciate. Without a doubt, sharing moments and creating memories with the people that I love will fill my heart with joy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where someone gives you a priceless gift!!!

Like visiting a different world …

Yesterday we took our annual Fall trip to Oak Glen. It is ALWAYS a beautiful day and it’s ALWAYS so much fun! It’s nothing like where we live. AND our cell phones don’t work there either. I LOVE IT. We have uninterrupted family time together. YIPPIE! We enjoy long walks and apple and chestnut picking. There are pumpkins and hay bales, trees and NATURE! It’s such a great way to experience and appreciate the change of seasons, especially living in Southern California. THIS is one of my most favorite family traditions.

Well, I hope you all have a day where feel like you visited a different world!!!

The same but different …

Change … it ain’t easy! As my kids have gotten older and two have gone off to college, I’ve been worried that my younger girls wouldn’t have the same types of experiences we did when their siblings were home. Especially this time of year when we are ALL ABOUT family. I’m realizing now that’s just silly. Of course my girls are having the same experiences! Our traditions and adventures still happen they just don’t look the same. For instance, there are fewer people in the car and a lot less noise, HA! But in all seriousness, this took me a while to see. I had to grow into these changes and understand that everything was going to work out just fine. And it did. We still have fun and do everything we did before (and sometimes my big kids are able to join us via FaceTime) so this makes my mom heart very happy!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you see that everything is the same but different!!!

Summer’s end and a change of pace …

It's our last Sunday of summer break. Sid and George are at college. Libs and Reese return to school on Tuesday. This summer has been a DOOZEY. Emotional and exciting don't even come close to describing it. The summer of 2017 will go down as one of my all time favorites.

I never want summer to end but there is something about the routine that comes with the start of a new school year that grounds me. Summer months tend to feel (and be) more spontaneous and frivolous. But the Fall, winter and Spring months have a coziness to them. Our days are filled with the orderliness of schedules, sports and school, and by the end of August I'm usually ready for it. Fall and winter around this house are filled with magic and traditions that I have come to love. This year we even have some different things planned as well. I'm looking forward to both the familiar back-to-school regimen and the new life we will carve out for ourselves. Our family dynamics are not the same with two of my four children out of the house now. Life will undoubtedly be different, but I know it will be good for all of us.

So am I ready to say "goodbye" to these incredible days of summer? Yes. I believe I am. I will tuck their memories away in my heart. And I will be grateful for each and every moment that I got to spend with the people I love most in this world. God blessed me with another summer … and I truly can't be more thankful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are ready for a change of pace!!!

A sour day (YAY!) … 

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a major FOODIE. And I’m happy to say that I’ve raised a bunch of them too! I’ve always strived to teach my crew the importance of balance in their lives but especially in the areas of fitness and nutrition. Despite the hard work and diligence that goes into both, I always wanted them to find the joy them too. When it came to nutrition and the foods they ate I wanted them to understand that it didn’t all just magically pop out of our oven or refrigerator. I wanted them to understand that there was a process and a love that goes into the growing and preparing of food, long before it ever entered our home. So over the years we frequently found ourselves at food festivals and local farms and shops enjoying how REAL food was made. It’s been so much fun!

Today we are heading out to make more food adventure memories. We will be attending a Lemon Festival. With all four of my kids home I couldn’t be more excited to share this pucker-faced day with them!

Well, I hope you all have a sour day!!!

A different kind of adventure awaits …

Although by the feel of our weather you would never know that autumn has arrived. But it has! As much as I love summer this season is often a welcome change. Despite all the back-to-school business and looming craziness of the holidays, life somehow gets a little bit cozier and fun takes on a whole new shape. I am proud to say that we have a lot of family traditions, and during this time of year we have TONS that fill my heart with a special kind of joy. And I simply can’t wait to start them all over again!

Well, I hope you all have a day where a different kind of adventure awaits!!!