Monday, May 20, 2013

Another Sac Weekend

At some point during this last weekend my sister asked me when I had gotten so soft, and I knew exactly why she asked me that question. People, my darn emotions are running crazy through my poor little body and my composure, well if you see it please invite it to return. I can't keep my act together for all of a second before I'm crying--and that goes for a talk at church, a cute cousin moment and, of course, the American Idol finale. BTW--I haven't watched American Idol all year so it's not like I was somehow emotionally invested, but something about seeing a car being given away put me over the edge. Cue the water works. And if I'm crying in American Idol, you just don't want to see me when a Hallmark commercial comes on, or when a park ranger gives my little loves a Big Gulp full of fish food at the fish hatchery--have mercy. During Sam and Louis's wedding I had to hold my breath because I knew if I opened my mouth, it was not going to be pretty. I determined that passing out was a much better alternative to chimpanzee noises. And maybe crying during the ceremony was understandable, but how about when the waiters came out dancing to Beauty and the Beast's "Be Our Guest"? I don't have to worry about dry eyes, that's for sure.
So her question got me thinking, when did I become such a softy? That's not really my thing, you know. I'm tough, I'm strong, I'm capable. But lately, I'm also a little bit weepy. The last year has done it to me, mostly in the form of an embryo with a special heart. Things I used to brush off now touch me, like I feel them deep in my body and soul touch me. I wonder if the job of that baby with a special heart was to change mine, to soften me, to balance my strength with grace, to open my eyes to goodness in the world that one person and one heart cannot quite handle on its own. And when that heart inside my chest is bursting with love and gratitude and goodness it just pours out my eyes for others to share. It's beautiful when you think of it like that, isn't it? Telling myself I'm sharing the love is a lot better for my self-esteem than telling myself I'm a cry-baby, that's for sure! 
So forgive me for including too many pictures of too many special moments from this last weekend, but I just can't help it. And even though I'm not going to tell you about every experience, just assume if it's posted here than my heart was full and my eyes were wet. Again!
 T and Kai Kai giving each other loves in the garden.

 Everett picking fresh blackberries in Mema's garden at Pepa's house ;) Pepa loves that this is the first grandchild that gives him ownership of the house!
I couldn't help but buy little treats for this sweet girl every time I went to the store. On this specific trip, I bought her lots of jewelry including these clip-on earrings (that she kept on the whole evening). I also bought her the sweetest little mint polka dot swimsuit! 

My sister through Kai and Avery a birthday party and the kids all had a blast! She did a great job!
Noni did face painting (which turned out to be hand painting) and the kids were thrilled. This was Evie's bee, which he has asked me to recreate every day since.

 Bless my soul, look at that girl! My cute Avers with her glasses, phone and earrings. Seriously? The cuteness is unbearable!

 LaRue girl cousins (minus Elle--we missed her!) And no, I didn't boss everyone around at the wedding like they said I used to do when we were kids.

 Me and Ashy with our LaRue aunts--Terri and Michelle.

I already mentioned that the nice park ranger gave the boys huge cups full of fish food and that my heart melted into a puddle on the spot. They had so much fun feeding those fish! 

Just a random "because I love her so darn much" kind of picture! 

 Dad and Louis waiting for the bride. Dad married them and, as always, did a fantastic job. He's such a gifted speaker.

 James got to walk Noni down the aisle.

Such the sweetest little ring bearer and flower girl! My dad had ring pops for them at the front of the aisle!

 The new Mr. and Mrs. Kissane! Her dress was ridiculously beautiful.

 Aunt Terri made us go sit on this rock for a photo op...and I'm sure glad she did. Love it!

 Mr. Kai taking pics of Miss Kenzie.

 Silly shot.

 Me and my lovey.

 This was Jim's advice to the bride and groom, courtesy of the killers.

 My mom and her girls! 

Sam and Louis's wedding was adults only, but that doesn't mean that we couldn't act like children--right? We definitely entertained ourselves! 

 And then we danced, and danced, and wished we could dance more (but reality called and said that our boys were sick and needed us!) What a beautiful blast.

Friday, May 17, 2013


I promised Talmage that before we left Stanford we would take a ride on Caltrain. And so we did. And both little boys thought they were the coolest Caltrain conductors in the universe!
Everett's little smile never left his face! And now T is planning our next Caltrain adventure!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A really, ridiculously, awesomely busy weekend

This last weekend was insanely busy, but it was a fun busy so I was totally ok with it!
Friday night we had a joint courtyard activity and it was awesome. We had a picnic and were serenaded by this awesome blue-grassy band. Remy took my glasses and wore them upside down for a good portion of the evening.

Remy is my little buddy. For such a busy little boy he loves to get some Heather cuddles lately and I am so darn grateful when he comes to get them!

Right after dinner we headed to the baseball game because it was fireworks night and T has been looking forward to this since last year's fireworks night! The game lasted for-ev-er but we knew that T would never let us live it down if we headed home early, so stay we did. The fireworks didn't even start until 10 pm. Yeah, it was a late night.

Especially since it was also sleepover night, and again T was told so we couldn't go back on it. It's amazing how exciting a blow up mattress in our tiny living room can seem--for me and the little boys at least! James ditched out at about 3 am (he can't sleep anywhere but a bed) and I made him take Evie with him. T and I made it the whole night though ;)

On Saturday we got a special visit from the Big Wigs and Great Papa. Everett went right over to him for a cuddle and it was super cute! We were glad to see them.

Saturday afternoon we headed over to Pow Wow Days, but I'm afraid the late fireworks night was a little more than our boys could handle. They fought, over everything, the whole time! Evie was particularly emotional, poor chap. One of these days I should probably break down and buy two of things instead of making them share.

But James got to hold a bird, which pretty much made all the crying worth it. How cool is that?

Sunday was Mother's Day and I had the best dinner I've ever had. BBQ Kabobs, grilled asparagus, spinach salad with strawberries, candied walnuts and feta, ciabatta bread and watermelon. James did such, such, such a good job and I was so grateful. Yum.

My sweet and sassy little boys with me on Mother's Day.

And for dessert, oh dessert! Our neighbors Nick and Alice invited us over for the yummiest Martha Stewart chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. It was the best way to end an already awesome weekend!

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Birthday and stuff

Two really awesome things happened on my birthday. Three, if you count my free wax at the Brow Bar. But for purposes of this blog, let's just count two.
One: I got spoiled.
Donuts for breakfast, songs from my sons, a day full of birthday wishes and presents and happy thoughts, and a little courtyard potluck party to finish it off. That cake was huge and we polished it off. Birthday's are so fun, I'm so glad they're coming around more often these days (oh wait, it just feels like they're coming with every blink!)  
 That sweet little girl does not belong to me, although I'd claim her in a second. I think I look pretty good with a girl on my side ;)
 Some of our fun courtyard friends. Insert tear here.
Two: Thea Harper.
I got an email from my dear friend Ash the morning of my birthday telling me that she was giving me a birthday baby friend. I wanted her to have that little girl on my birthday so bad...and it happened! Of course I couldn't help but visit Ash and little Thea as soon as possible. She is perfect.

 Ash and Thea looked so beautiful snuggling on the bed together. Newborns are so little and sweet and delicious.
 I was the first person to jump over the opportunity to hold the little birthday girl. We're going to be friends for life, me and Miss Thea.
Ash was so gracious to let us come to the hospital just hours after the birth. It was so special, and she looked like a knock out.

Welcome to the world Miss Thea. You are such a lovely little bird. And happy, happy birthday to us! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Her people got me through it

My mom is a runner. And lately, I run. There's a difference you know.
She breathes in the course and the people and the event, and with her shoulders back and arms steadily moving beside her body she looks beautiful doing it. Not to mention that cute blonde ponytail bobbing up and down. She calls runners "her people," and loves to be in their company. They are all smiles, on and off the course, exchanging hellos and talking about past races. They are all so different and yet for a moment they are all accomplishing the same goal, albeit for different reasons. She's right, they are her people. She looks natural and radiant in their midst.
For being such a social person, it even surprises me that I'm such a hermit runner. I think it all stems back to a fun run I did when I was probably 10. People were cheering and I was running and before anyone knew it I had crossed the finish line in sobs. My parents couldn't figure out why I was crying until I said, between exhausted, crying breaths, "Everyone kept yelling at me to 'keep running' and 'run faster' and I was SO tired I wanted to stop!" Instead of feeling encouraged, I thought I was being commanded, and I think it's scarred me for life...or at least made me a very introverted runner ;) 
Now mix my running-people-anxiety with a healthy dose of slouchy shoulders and first-race jitters and that's where you would find me on Saturday, when my Mom and I ran a half marathon together.
Running this race was one of my goals for 2013. A way, I had decided on New Year's Eve, that I could make peace and have control over my body once again. I had no way of knowing at the time that I would spend much of the next five months unable to exercise, and would go from 0 to 13.1 miles in a meager 5 weeks. But I did know at the time what I proved on Saturday: I can do hard things. My body, although tired and weak, is strong and able. And my spirit, my spirit is powerful.
The race was hard. My mom and I ran the first nine miles together and her mere presence kept me moving. I tried to match my breathing, my stride and my nourishing with hers. She is all good, people, that women is all good. At mile ten I could feel her body being pulled from my pace to race with the runners ahead, and since the cramping in my toes (which I later learned were blisters) were slowing me down, I was happy to see her fly ahead.
Three miles is not very significant, but at the end of this race it felt like a whole other marathon. The cramping, the exhaustion, the blisters, the mental battle. How was I going to make it? And where did I get the bright idea to run a half marathon?
And then it happened: her people started talking to me. A dear old man raised his hands high in the air and said, "Mile 11! We're almost there!" A runner on the sideline yelled, "You look beautiful, keep it up girl!" The photographers and race directors complimented me up one side and down a bad-postured other side. And the fans, mostly runners themselves, lined the course with banners and bells.
I devoured their words like a hungry (but weak) animal, and with each bite was more grateful for them. All of them. I saw them, but I really just saw my mom--her beautiful, refreshing and encouraging self. These were her people and they all got me through it.  
I crossed the finish line, b-lined straight to the lady who would give me my medal, and then collapsed in James' arms with promises to never run again. I was overcome with emotion and gratitude for a body strong enough to finish this race, and felt like I had accomplished something greater than myself. I hobbled around for the rest of the day saying, "I'm so proud of me!"
And when I saw my mom again, I thanked her for being her awesome self. Maybe someday I'll be one of her people too. But for now, I'm just grateful for them.
And something else I'm grateful for? An awesome pit crew (thanks James and Dad), ice packs and ibuprofen. My knees hate my guts ;)
Me and my mom before the big race! I was so nervous I felt starving and nauseous at the same time, which is a kind of awkward combination.

I felt pretty strong and awesome before I'll notice there are no after pictures in this post ;) My dad did take some so hopefully I'll get them soon!

What made that weekend even more special was that it was my mom's birthday (and mine was a few days later). We had a little birthday party on Sunday, with two huge and delicious cakes. I think I should note that while my mom was skipping around the house like a schoolgirl I was icing my whole body on the couch. She's amazing!