Thursday, September 26, 2013

The First of Fall

I spent with Leon, in L.a for brunch at Little Bear with my best friend and a few others. It was my first time there, and it was delicious. A last minute decision and a great one at that (As it's nice to spend one on one time with him seeing that we rarely get the chance to do so with any of the boys) I think L appreciated it lots too. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of breakfast in general (a la my standard: peanut butter on sourdough toast, and coffee) but this place might have turned me. A particular egg sandwich may have changed my outlook on fancy breakfasts altogether, for good. I can't put my finger on what exactly that garlic spread did for that sandwich, but it was surely a game changer in my book. And not one I should soon forget. I'm actually craving one right now If I'm going to be honest here . . .

As for Autumn, we're looking forward to it, to all the regular stuff that comes with the season. Cooler weather, maybe (fingers crossed) some good heavy rainstorms? Holiday parties, school plays, nightly fires, fine tuned craft habits, favorite sweaters and old boots, soups, coffee and hot baths in the evening when you feel the cold settling deep inside your bones and only a hot bath can fix. It's when home feels coziest and family, most connected. It makes us sharply aware of the simple blessings in our everyday life. A time for thankfulness. Reflection and rest.

Though I know we will wholeheartedly miss those long summer nights. So much gets done around here when the nights are long. I don't think I'll ever properly adjust to a dark 5:00 sky, but that's about my only complaint. Nothing a hot latte or some fresh pumpkin bread can't cure.

For now I am in the midst of talking Rex into bed time, an on going hour long struggle his brothers hardly resisted but one I'm bound to win at some point, right . . . ? Also, counting down the hours to the season finale of *Breaking Bad this weekend. Who's in? How great is that show? And man, how are they going to tie everything together in an hour and 15 minutes?! I can't take it. Sunday, it can't come soon enough.

In the meantime, we're off to pick out some bunk beds for the boys tomorrow. Ikea. New beds, a long time coming. Going to try this one more time and hope no one busts one of the (albeit cheap) beds like last time. And lacing up boots, and drinking pumpkin lattes. Because that's what you do with October just around the bend.


*because I can't locate the original article I loved about why B.B is the best show on T.V, here's second choice, much of which I completely agree with - but am bummed it fails to touch on the notion that Walter White's story is pure genius in that it mirrors the dark depths of tragedy typically saved for fiction classics (ie: Great Gatsby, Shakespeare) and all the despair involved with securing the age old "American Dream." If you happen to find that one, let me know. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Party for Five

This year, Leon decided he wanted to celebrate his special day on his favorite beach. Which turned out to be one of his best ideas yet. It was, by far, the least stress filled birthday party we've thrown yet. We kept it simple by stocking up on some goodies from the dollar store, a bag of pretty wooden beads from the craft store to string jewelry, packed up bubbles, hot dogs, corn, salad and sandwiches for lunch and set up camp under one of two little thatched huts on the beach. The grey morning skies dissolved and the sun came through just in time, right before the party started. It was a carefree day on the sand for everyone involved and I was able to actually sit and talk, take photos and play with the kids. They ran wild around the beach, two of my nieces surfed for the very first time, and Leon was perfectly content digging in the sand alongside a few of his friends while Arlo and his pack stuck closer  to the water where the surf held the bulk of their interest most of the day. We also skimped on big decorations. No pinterest, no party boards. Partly because I was just coming down with the flu, but more because I decided the beach is festive enough and sometimes all the decoration duty starts to feel more about me than anyone else. Like, how adorable can I possibly get this party to look? Not this time. That giant number five balloon and the bull pinata was all we brought. And they both made Leon's day for sure.

As for five, he is wearing it well. I know all kids love their birthdays, but this kid seems to love his a tad more than most, which makes it so much fun (and easy) to really indulge him. I think the day was just as special as he hoped it would be. Maybe even more so. What I'm sure of is that with all the complements we got on the day, and how much more at ease I was here rather than at party in our own home, it that this is likely to become a new tradition. Warm sand, sun and friends by the ocean are a hard combo to beat, afterall . . .

Happiest birthday to our sweet boy.
May this year be as bright and joyful as he imagined.
And may it bring him plenty of new experiences to fill his heart and dazzle his head, the way each new year should.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Scenes From A Weekend // Mountain Camping

Where : Seven Oaks Mountain Resort, Angelus Oaks ca

The same campsite we camped at for the weekend wedding of a good friend exactly one year ago. Parked this time a littler further away from the riverside, and armed with our big (ttypically Beach bound RV) brand new fishing poles, restocked bow and arrow targets and a few new camping friends, their friends, and all their wildly excited children. 

*The drive up we hit heavy thunder & lightening. At one point I had to pull over to the side of the road until the rain let up because I couldn't see even a few feet ahead of me. It was a slight, ten minute panic and then it passed, easily, and we made it safely to our campsite where Mike and Arlo had been waiting for us for a couple hours by then. 

The damp weather was a nice break from the before mentioned heat wave we've been stuck with most of August. It was probably the first time I wore a sweater in weeks. And socks too! Rex broke in his rain boots splashing around lingering puddles, exploring the shallows of the river, and Arlo finally got to test his new fishing skills. Turns out he is quite the "natural" when it comes to the sport. He ended up catching five fish when everybody else on the river came up empty handed. Time and time again. Mike included. A few men standing nearby took note and started praising his skill, with only a hint of mild frustration settled on their seemingly confused brow, the three of them bent on figuring out just how THIS little kid kept getting all the bites . . . 

Leon stuck to his usual. His favorite camp chair, by the fire. And behind the steering wheel of the Motor home where he likes to pretend he's driving us somewhere other than where we are.

*We visited the baby ducks in the little pond across the way, hiked a bit over the fields behind the river, ate hot dogs and banana muffins. Chased Rex and Evie as they hoped from site to site making friends with everyone they met along the way. By the end of the trip the boys were filthy, and perfectly exhausted which made the bath at home that much better, and bed time, that much easier.

Aside from a couple *minor misfortunes, the trip was the perfect escape from the humid temps back home. However, we certainly are not the most prepared mountain campers, yet with each trip we're learning.

*One plus about this particular spot is that it's not too far up the mountain (a drive I completely dread and will almost always flat out refuse because of the anxiety I suffer over those roadside cliffs on the way up) This drive, minus heavy rain, not so bad. 

* At mike's insistence - in regards to packing "light" as well as his assurance the weather would be "hot, for sure" I neglected (against my gut) to include an excess of extra clothing, or enough warm jackets. We made it through, but had to be careful about what we wore and for what. Playing in the rain and mud called for way more clothes than what I packed, luckily a few old flannels showed up to hold us over, but from now on, the more, the better when it comes to dressing three little adventurers.

*my phone slipped mysteriously into a patch of split water while charging and has yet to come back to life. Two days in a rice bowl and still no sign of life. If that poor phone holds nine lives, this might be it's tenth. And final farewell.