Sunday, February 16, 2014

Here Comes The Sun

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right
Little darling
It's been a long, cold lonely winter
Little darling
It feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right
Little darling
The smiles returning to the faces
Little darling
It seems like years since it's been here
Moving from Oakland to Denver I knew one thing for sure, I would miss the year long mild weather. 

The January afternoons in shirt sleeves. The outdoor running year round. Hell yes. I have missed it, and perhaps I didn't realize how much until the sun returned today. That isn't to say that Denver is short on sunny days. Shortly after moving west from Minneapolis all those years ago,  I got a sun inked on my back to represent our new life in a much sunnier state. But after spending four years in California, I have come to realize that it can be awfully cold in Colorado. In fact, the past few weeks have seemed pretty grey and dark, the cold muted colors seeping through my skin chilling my insides and leaving me feeling as dull and tired as the leafless trees out my front window.
Today the sun was bright and warm. We ventured out in long sleeves and light jackets, but  were wishing for t-sthirts only a few minutes into our park visit. I turned my face towards the light and soaked up just as much vitamin D as I could stand. We played hoops, scaled the jungle gym, got ice cream cones and just basked in the blessed sunshine. And the world just seemed.... better.  My mood lifted, today's sun whispering of better days to come, days spent sitting on our front steps and chatting with our neighbors. Mornings in the mountains, afternoons at the pool, open windows, air and light kissing skin and lifting spirits.
Here come the sun,
and I's alright

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Funny Valentine

I know it's a mixed bag when it comes to Valentine's Day. It seems that the world is polarized, there are those of us who ADORE the holiday, embracing it as a day of love and viewing it as an opportunity to express what is in our hearts with overpriced roses and boxes of chocolates.  And then you have the HATERS. Those who roll their eyes and wave away St. Valentine's Day, explaining that it is a Hallmark holiday, created out of commercialism and a thorn in the side of those in the lonely hearts club.

I know better than to try and convince the HATERS of the merits of the holiday, so I will save my breath. Instead  in honor of the special day I am going to tell you a little story.

For my 16th or 17th birthday ( I honestly cannot remember which one) my grandmother took me out to Ruby Tuesdays to celebrate. We had lunch and split a desert with a single candle in it. After our meal while still sitting in our booth my grandmother handed me a small gift wrapped package and told me she had a story that went along with it. I unwrapped my present to find a gold cocktail ring with a gigantic red garnet stone. I loved the stone but was taken aback by the size and couldn't imagine wearing that ring on my small fingers. My grandmother then told me the story of her first Valentine's Day after my grandfather passed away. She was alone and mourning and working hard to make ends meet. After work she wandered into a jewelry store, browsing, feeling sad that her valentine was gone. She came upon this sparkly red ring. She asked the jeweler if she could try it on and once she slipped it on her finger she decided she had to have it. My grandmother was not accustomed to buying fancy things for herself, but she realized, that with her husband gone she was her own valentine, and if she didn't purchase that ring, nobody else was going to buy it for her.

And she gave the ring to me. I wish I could say I still had it, but unfortunately it got lost in one of my many moves after college and is now only a memory. But her story was the real gift. It was a tale of empowerment and self love.

I have a lot of valentines. My three munchkins and my husband. And I am grateful for them all. They will each receive some sort of gift from me, but this year I'm also my very own valentine. I'm not buying a fancy piece of jewelry, but I'm taking extra steps to make myself happy. Yesterday I purchased an orchid to brighten up my dreary basement office. Today I packed up my laptop and drove to a sunny coffee shop where I worked for several hours, a change of scenery, something small but simple that I could do just for me.  After the gym I went to my favorite wine store and asked for a good (not cheap!) bottle of Syrah, which I am enjoying right now. ($29.99, Phoenix Ranch 2009)  And I took time out of my day to write this post, because writing makes me happy and I don't do it often enough

So Happy Valentine's Day to all of my friends, loved ones, and even you Valentine's Day HATERS. Be good to those you love. Be good to you.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Warning: Language

How much can I get for this fucking shirt? 

Do you ever have one of those moments where you take a step back and think REALLY? THIS IS MY LIFE?

Well I do, actually I just did on Super Bowl Sunday. Yes. We watched the Broncos get their butts kicked in a blow-out game, and I wouldn't have cared all that much had I not dropped way too much money at Target buying the family over-priced Bronco's attire and had my eight year old son not felt personally invested in the outcome of the game. You see I'm really not a football fan. In fact I can't tell you anything about the sport. I don't really know what a running back or a tight end is, I don't understand the rules and my only interest in the big game is in the splashy commercials. But we were invited to a party and attending just felt like the right thing to do.

Our party hosts were really friends of friends. We had never been to their home before and in fact we were meeting many of the guests for the first time. It was a welcoming group. There were tons of kids. Tons of  food. And booze. You can't forget the booze. Mmmm. So much sweet liquor. It was hospitality at it's finest.

We had a genuinely nice time. Even though the game was dismal and the commercials lack-luster,  the company was good, the kids were happy. We barely saw our children  they were busy chasing each other, building Lego "creations" and stuffing their faces with baked goods. Things were going so damn well that Julian actually came up and informed me when he had to go potty (since I was busy admiring a mostly naked David Beckham in an ad for... I'm not sure what it was.)

As the evening drew to a close, heads shaking, how did this happen?, we began to collect our things and ready for our departure. Time to gather the kiddos together, if we could find them.  But where were they? Just as we began to look for our three monsters they appeared before our eyes. Let me rephrase, we were approached by an unruly group of youngsters, giggling that naughty laugh, among them, my two eldest. I was quickly informed that my five year old Evan had taken a marker to the hostess's daughter and wrote FUCK in crude script across her naked shoulder. Oh. FUCK. Are you kidding me? The kids were all smiles and the parents were stifling their laughter. But this was my FUCKING child! The little girl was quickly escorted by her mother to the bathroom to scrub away the offensive marker and I was left standing there thinking, now what the FUCK do I do?

Lucky for us we were leaving anyway, so I grabbed my five year old by the arm and informed him that due to his poor behavior we had to go. He smirked his little five year old smirk. I felt my face flush. Clearly this kid didn't give a flying fuck about leaving. I kneeled down to eye level with my son and attempted a snarl. I gritted my teeth and tried to appear somewhat threatening. "This is not okay. You will apologize to your friend and her parents, or you will be very, very sorry." I took his hand in a firm grip and marched him to the bathroom where the little girl's back was being scrubbed cleaned by her mother. Evan said nothing. I squeezed his hand a little too hard and demanded from my son "What do you have to say???" He mumbled a feeble "sorry" and that was that.

I left the party shaking my head in disbelief.  How is this my life? How is this my child? He comes from a good family damn it!! I'm supposed to be the one worried about bad influences as I patiently teach my children how to be good and kind. Instead I am now the mom working to craft a humble email to our new friends:

 "We deeply regret our son's poor behavior. We are so FUCKING embarrassed."