Fortunately it was just a dream, but I did find myself in the middle of November without a clue how I got there. But, what a way to start it!
The kids and I spent the evening of the first day of the month watching the sun set over the water of the Newport Bay. My exuberant and generous friend Tamara rented a duffy boat for our girls' night and wouldn't accept any contributions. She brought champagne and appetizers and, as always, her positive outlook. About a week after this trip, she was let go from her high-powered job. Instead of complaining or feeling sorry for herself, she viewed it as God's plan to have her spend more time with beloved family back in Texas and Oklahoma. She moves next month.
We cannot control what happens to us; only how we respond and act. This was a gentle reminder of that and how perspective is everything.
As he was off and walking, A had her first race: the Dino Dash 2K. I understand now why parents live vicariously through their children! It gets a bad wrap, but really, is their anything more meaningful than seeing our offspring take on our pursuits and joys, only to soar to new heights? To do better than we ever dreamed we could?
After she crossed the finish line of her first race, I asked her what she thought of it. I have to say that A may just have what it takes to be a distance runner because her response was "That was booooorrring!" Welcome to my world! The sooner she realizes that running is boring, the better. It is, but most of us run for the feeling we get when we're done. Throughout this month, I continued my 3 mile lunch runs. I rarely look forward to them, but I never regret them.
We took on a sweet foster dog named Colette this month. She was hit by a car and dumped at a shelter. Because she is backed by a rescue agency, they take care of her medical bills; we just provide the love. She was a good companion to Coco before he went to Heaven, three weeks after I adopted him.
|At South Coast Repertory|
|Meeting the actor from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible...|
We hosted Thanksgiving at our place. It was relaxed and as stress-free as hosting can be! Which is to say, you are in control of how stress-free you want ANY holiday to be! A few days prior, my fancy Dacor (previously, I had never heard of this brand) double oven started randomly beeping to warn us that the control board needed to be serviced. More accurately, it started beeping sometimes and would not stop. During the night. These ovens run about $5,000 and so we were not ready to go out and buy a new one. We already had the turkey and all the plans and so when my husband said he was worried about it, I didn't let myself. "Well, we'll order out or pick up!" I said. Immediately, I thought of A Christmas Story and their meal out after the Bumpuses' dog ate their turkey. Sometimes, when our plans go really awry, we make the best memories.
But no such luck, the oven worked just fine and the turkey was actually the best I've ever cooked, due to the convection feature. My hubby decided to class it up this year with a blue leisure suit, a la Christmas Vacation, and so it was still memorable. We also had my husband's cousin, her husband and new baby girl, as well as their parents from Michigan. Aunt N made two healthy pumpkin pies, whipped her whipped cream by hand and played a song on the piano that made me cry. Dad and my brother arrived a little early (6 hours) and it was the kind of evening that you didn't want to end.
The kids also had their school photos taken and I am in love! It's hard to believe C is not yet 1 1/2 and yet he looks like a little man! A handsome little man. And A is as beautiful as ever, dimple and all. Mom brag: The most beautiful thing about our children is their sweet, gentle hearts. A has more than her share of empathy, and is so sweet and loving with our small adopted dog and our senior foster. She strives to please and a nightly request is for me to fall asleep beside her. Usually, I will tell her "I'm sorry, Mommy has chores to do, but I'll be in during the night." Sometimes, when I'm exceptionally tired I will relent and say okay which is met with "Yay! You're the best mommy ever!"
She doesn't always have a lot to say when I pick her up from school, and often requests certain songs or her audio-book. But in these tender moments before bed, she will usually tell me something interesting about her day, out of the blue. For this reason, I cherish our special "talk time" before she falls asleep.
This month, we're listening to a lot of Kanye's new album, Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, Jolene by Dolly Parton (or, "Don't take my man" as A calls it), Junie B. Jones Turkeys we have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) and Anne of Green Gables.
I remember my life back in a small, dark one bedroom apartment with my cat Isis and can't believe how full it has become.
Every day, I am thankful that I met my husband and that we have this life together. I love our children, our routines - all of it! Life isn't about not making mistakes; it's about learning from them. It is what you do after you make a mistake that really counts. While I do wish I had met him much sooner, I know I would not have appreciated him quite as much if I had. The bad times we go through and the hurt we experience doesn't have to harden us or make us cynical. Instead, those times can serve to make us even more grateful when we get through them, and find ourselves on the other side, living the life we only rarely allowed ourselves to dream of.