We went to California and here is a post about it

The boys and I went to California last week to visit my brother and sister-in-law and niece, and I will never be able to spell “niece” right the first time.

It was a tough decision to go, after we found out that Molly’s services were being held while we’d be away. She was never far from our mind during the trip, especially on Monday.

We arrived Wednesday evening, and were pretty exhausted, so we had some pizza and went to bed. I slept terribly that night, for some reason (oh right because I’m old and have insomnia) but fortunately, we didn’t have a ton planned for Thursday. Ellie and I went for a walk, where we did a little light celebrity stalking. Later, we went swimming in the neighbor’s pool and hit up Target for supplies because Friday we…

went to Disneyland! We got up super early and were on the road a bit after 6 so we could arrive around 7. In the cars on the way there (I was in the girl car with Jennifer and Ellie, and the boys rode with Uncle Evan) we all were on our phones at exactly 6:59:59 to get reservations (or whatever they call it) for the new Star Wars ride. I managed to get them for us, yay!

We spent the entire day at the park. This should really be its own post. We rode a bunch of rides (the Rise of the Resistance was completely worth the stress of getting on it, and we didn’t have to wait in any line at all, which was nice) and walked a zillion steps and had dinner at a Tiki restaurant (so good) and my feet are still disgustingly blistered, but it was worth it.

Oh, and Linus is now obsessed with Dole Whip. Hard to blame him, it was delicious!

Saturday we mostly rested, except we went and got some famous Italian sandwiches from a place down the road for lunch. In the evening, Evan and I took the boys to a LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) game. It was fun. The food was good. I got a jacket which will come in handy during football season here (they have the same colors as the Saints) and the boys got jerseys and as usual when we go to pro soccer games, the score ended us 2-2.

(I guess we have a streak of draws too.) (When we got home, we watched Season 2, Episode 1 of Ted Lasso.)

Sunday, the kids and I went to visit my friend Robyn who used to work at Automattic, and I made a new best friend who is three years old. We had delicious ice cream after hanging out at her house and eating pizza.

Maybe my favorite picture from the entire trip. My heart was in a puddle here.

Monday was the day of Molly’s service, and I still needed to take the boys to the beach, so we stopped for some flowers on the way and made a little tribute to her at the beach. Now, she probably preferred a more tropical beach, but I like to think she would have appreciated it, even if it was cloudy and the temperature was hovering around 68 degrees.

The boys filled their bathing suits with sand and Miles swallowed half of the Pacific Ocean, so we left after a couple of hours before heading back to Evan and Jennifer’s to relax and pack. (Boo!) A few of us went to the Huntington for a sunset stroll, which was stunning, but also, my feet were still killing me. So kind of painful too.

We came home yesterday after a long day of travel to a heat index of 105 after a week of 70s, but Daddy and Ziggy were very happy to see us!

Molly

The world is a bit dimmer now. My sweet baby cousin Molly died last week. I say “baby” but she was, in fact, a grown woman with babies of her own. But when I was growing up, she was one of my very own, real-life baby dolls.

I wish I had pictures of her with me to post from when she was a baby, but my mental picture is a dark-hair, dark-eyed, happy baby wearing smocked dresses. She was a ballerina. We saw her perform in the Nutcracker, and I was never more proud the year she was Clara.

All the girl cousins and my aunt Mary Beth (who doesn’t age so she just looks like one of the kids) in about 1989.

I was proud to have this beautiful, loving, wickedly funny woman in my family. Her laugh was infectious and her hugs were tight. I haven’t seen her in almost three years, thanks to COVID and her two young boys keeping her busy, and I regret so much not reaching out to her more than the occasional text. But isn’t that the way life goes?

I can’t stand to think about everyone who she leaves behind. Her two boys, her husband, her brother, her parents, her cousins and aunts and uncles and dozens of close friends. To know Molly was to love her, and I’m so lucky to have had her in my life.

Rest in peace, sweet girl.

Christmas 2020

Pre-Christmas:

Our tradition of me taking each of the boys shopping and out to eat individually looked a little different this year. We weren’t going to leisurely peruse stores for gifts, and we weren’t going to be eating inside any restaurants. But we still had fun.

Miles and I hit Target and then Five Guys. Is there anything more depressing than eating burgers on a gray, cold day at an outdoor table next to the parking lot and a busy commercial thoroughfare? I guess there is but I don’t want to hear about it. At least the burgers were delicious and Miles wasn’t complaining.

Oliver and I had a similar journey, but his requested meal was Popeye’s, so we had no choice but to bring our chicken sandwiches home. I was not sad about that. There are no photos of this jaunt.

Linus and I went to have brunch at Tartine, which has a lovely outside patio. One could say he lucked out. They have the most delicious baked eggs in brioche, which I can never not get. Yum.

Christmas Eve was pretty quiet. We had some incredibly delicious steaks that Kristina and Mike sent us. I was terrified of overcooking them, so maybe I went in the opposite direction (well, not for me – there’s no such thing as undercooking a steak to me) but no one complained.

Drool.

Steak is our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, and we were able to partake in most of our other Christmas Eve traditions as well. Like…making the boys put on their Christmas stockings to show how much they’ve grown.

(I made them sit in front of the fire. Hee hee)

The first time I made them do this, they were much smaller.)

And we read The Night Before Christmas…

No one got a very good night’s sleep that night. The smoke detector right outside the bedrooms started chirping at 4am. Delightful! It took me forever to get back to sleep. At least the boys let me sleep until 7. Zzzz.

Presents!

The boys got a gaming PC, or rather, all of the parts to build one. George put it together with their help later that day. They were surprised and thrilled with that gift. I got a giant Ziggy blanket (among other things) so I can’t complain. (Also a big pack of my very favorite socks from Kiki, which may sound lame was is absolutely not.)

Our oven broke sometime earlier this month, I can’t even remember when, so I decided I’d get a ham and cook it in my instant pot. That plan didn’t go well, so I gave the ham away and decided to do a charcuterie board instead on this gorgeous board that Steph MADE me! She MADE this! Isn’t it gorgeous?!?!

I was able to heat up the bread on the grill, which I might always do now. It was so good.

And that was about it for Christmas. It was quiet, but it was good.

The back half of November

My sweet boys at the bus stop.

An exquisite loaf of sourdough bread that I made for Thanksgiving. Recipe here.

Grandee and Larry came for Thanksgiving. We had zero vegetables.

Ziggy has been cute, as usual. We got our Christmas tree up!

Random leftover photos. Finally got the fabric for my cape! I was going to make it over Thanksgiving break, but I didn’t have the pattern yet. But it’s coming soon! Also the delicious beet salad I made. I like making things that are yummy.

Now it’s December 2 and the boys will be 13 in two days and I cannot believe it.

May stuff

It looks like I’ll be writing one post with more than a dozen words in it per month. I don’t know why I can’t motivate myself to blog more. It’s not like I’m not sitting at my computer all day, every day. (Work is busy.)

So let’s see.

Mother’s Day was great. I usually leave the house and go see a movie with Terry on Mother’s Day but that obviously wasn’t an option this year. But George got me a picnic basket full of goodies from Tartine, and I relaxed and spent the day outside (the weather was outstanding) and drank a bottle of rose that Kiki had sent me. Delightful!

And then later that week, George turned 50! George doesn’t care about birthdays as much as I do, but I tried to make it special. Dinner was from Tartine (shepherd’s pie), I got my friend Angela to bake a cake, and I got him a bottle of expensive whiskey and this portrait of Ziggy. His favorite gift (and I don’t blame him) though was the cards the boys made him.

I’ve been sewing quite a bit – some masks, of course, but also clothes. It makes me happy. I need to do separate posts on these, but I’ve made shirts, mostly. This is all leading up to me deciding which pattern I’m going to use when I sew up this length of Liberty cotton lawn I bought when a fabric store had a sale. All the heart eyes!

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I’ve been enjoying my Peloton too. It is so nice to have the outlet for stress relief. Yesterday I hopped on it three different times when I was stressed out of my mind. Just a ten minute ride really helps! In five and a half weeks, I’ve done 80 rides! (I mean, yes, some of those are 5 minute warm ups or cool downs, but plenty are 45 minutes or longer!)

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If you use the Peloton app, follow me! I’m…guess what…yep, pyjammy. Easy to find.

I’ve been watching all of the Marvel movies in the order suggested here, because Kiki was doing it, and it sounded fun. I realized I’d missed a couple of the movies over the years, so it was nice to get caught up. (And now the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War makes sense!) Sometimes I have it on my phone while I sew and kind of half-watch (I mean, I don’t want to sew over my finger or anything) or sometimes I have it on while I work on a puzzle. The boys watched Spiderman: Homecoming with me the other night, but otherwise it’s just me.

Speaking of the boys watching things, they were so happy last weekend to have a soccer game to watch on TV again!

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Ziggy likes to watch sports too.

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And he’s just generally cute.

Tomorrow is the boys’ last day of sixth grade! Last night they put on their school uniforms because they missed wearing them. So hopefully they won’t mind putting them back on for a last day of school pic!

02/28/2020

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Thanks to my uncle, I have this perfect table for my grandmother’s Singer! It’s 70 years old now. Time to sew with it!

02/02/2020

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Went to visit Granny and Grandpa (George’s parents) on Sunday. The boys have officially passed up Granny in height!

 

[Sorry for all the posts today – gotta get caught up for the monthly pic!]

2019 in review

This year sure went fast!

I read about 100 books. (I didn’t keep track, but I think it’s safe to say 100.)
I sewed a million things. (Who knows? I also didn’t keep track.)
I went on 3 trips. (Serbia, Virginia/NY, Orlando)
I worked out at Orangetheory 85 times.
I wrote 46 blog posts (shameful!)

In 2020, I hope to read just as many books, and I probably won’t keep track of them. I’ll keep sewing, and hopefully I’ll get better about keeping track of my makes. I’m definitely going to travel more (Lisbon this month, Vienna in the spring, hopefully the UK in the summer, and Orlando again in the fall – all but one are work trips.) I have a goal of averaging 3 OTF workouts a week, but let’s say 150 workouts throughout the year. And since I’ve started another 366 project, my blog post count should definitely go up!

2019 in photos

January:

Was on sabbatical! Turned 44! Kristina came to visit!

February:

Still on sabbatical!

March:

Mardi Gras! Bought a new car! Sabbatical ended, went back to work.

April:

Went to Serbia for work! Took the boys to Natchitoches!

May:

Ran a 5K with the boys, sewed things, soccer ended (for the spring), went on a field trip.

June:

I made a bunch of shirts for Isa’s quinceanera! Soccer again!

July:

Road trip to Virginia and New York!

August:

The boys started middle school! Uncle Evan and Ellie came to visit! I sewed a dress for a friend!

September:

Went to Orlando for the Grand Meetup!

October:

Hmm. Soccer? Yeah. Also I sewed stuff like Halloween costumes.

November:

Aunt Jenny and Uncle Rob and Emily and Andrew came for Thanksgiving! The boys started school soccer! I sewed a cool jacket!

December:

The boys turned 12! Christmas! We closed out the year with a bathroom flood!

Christmas 2019

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Man, Christmas came fast this year, didn’t it? Stupid late Thanksgiving. In spite of the lack of time, it was still a wonderful day. So far (I mean, only 3 weeks in), the age of 12 is wonderful – there was no whining or complaining or anything this year. Well, very little.

As usual, I took all three boys out shopping by themselves for their brothers. First was Miles. He picked out gloves for Linus and pants for Oliver from H&M. And a shirt for himself that I told him to forget we were buying. After we shopped, we had sushi for lunch.

Linus was up next, and we headed to Baton Rouge for our shopping. I was meeting up with two dear friends (I don’t want to say old since they’re my age, but Kristie and I have been friends since we were 12, and Ann and I were freshman roommates in college.) So good to see them! Again, sushi for lunch. And later, Five Guys for dinner.

Linus got Miles gloves (cute) and Oliver a charger and cable for his iPod. He also helped me pick out an outfit for Miles from me and George. (Miles only asked for shoes and clothes for Christmas.)

Finally on Monday, Oliver and I headed out. We got all of our shopping done at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, which are now Oliver’s favorite stores. He got Linus an Adidas backpack and Miles a Saints shirt. We did not have sushi, thank goodness. We went to Five Guys instead.

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Also Starbucks.

On Tuesday I had sewing to do – I had bought team fabric for each of the boys’ favorite soccer teams, and I needed to finish them up, but I couldn’t do it while they were home, so I had George take them out for a bit. Later we had steak for dinner and we watched Klaus (good!) and read The Night Before Christmas before I tucked the boys in.

Christmas morning was gray but the boys were pretty happy with their presents. Linus was thrilled with his Saints jersey (I was pretty excited because I bought it before he put it on his list) and they loved their gifts from each other and Kiki and Santa. It was a good morning. We had eggnog French toast and bacon and I had mimosas for breakfast.

Oh, and I got excellent presents, which is of course the most important things. Two pairs of earrings I wanted and a gift certificate to a local glass studio where I’ll get to make something! So fun! I’ve always wanted to do that. And the boys picked out a glass penguin from the studio as well. I haven’t named him yet. Hmm.

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Also fabric and tea and the softest scarf from Nepal (where Kiki and Mike went in the fall.)

More pics of presents and whatnot:

We went to the pub for Christmas lunch, and then came home and chilled for the rest of the day. All in all, a lovely Christmas (even though of course it will never compare to 2016.)

Recent goings-on

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted so I’d better get back to it! I was looking at my blog stats earlier today and I’ve only posted 42 times this year, which is waaaay fewer than any other year since my stats begin. Eek! So let’s see.

The boys had their first school soccer game. They won! They were put on the 7/8 grade team, even though they’re only in 6th grade. I like to think it’s because they’re just that good, but it’s probably mostly because they’re among the older kids in their class. In any case, I’m very proud.

There’s also been some sickness. Miles and Linus have both had a day home with me. Oliver was not happy.

Oops. I started this a week ago so I’d better finish. But at least now I can add some Thanksgiving pics!

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The wild grownups spent time watching recorded episodes of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. (Always watch Jeopardy first and then WoF so you can claw back a modicum of dignity.)

My sister and I went to Orangetheory on Thanksgiving morning.

 

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Sweaty sisters

The boys didn’t touch any of the three soccer balls they brought with us, instead playing football with Uncle Rob and their cousins.

After dinner on Thursday, we had a little early birthday celebration for the boys.

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And of course the money they got was immediately burning holes in their pockets, so we hit up Best Buy that night. Wasn’t too crazy, thank goodness.

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The long-coveted Xbox.

Grandee with most of her grandkids:

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So now it’s two days before the boys turn 12, so I need to go weep in a corner.

Bench picture #5

When Uncle Evan and Ellie are in town, I take a picture of them on a certain bench in the LSU quad. This is number 5.

2012:

April 2015:

2017:

2018:

And today!

It’s always Linus, Ellie, Evan, Oliver, and Miles.

The Great Road Trip of 2019: Part 2 (off the road)

So I’ve already blogged about the two days we spent in NYC as well as the fun we had getting to Virginia. But most of our trip was actually IN Virginia and we did a lot there, so I need to post about that now!

So uh let’s see. We arrived in Virginia Thursday night and were all pretty exhausted. Dinner. Wine. Sleep.

Friday we walked to Chipotle for lunch. Then we got ready to go our first professional soccer game. The boys were very excited. We went to Audi Field to watch DC United play New England something. I can’t remember. The boys got free scarves! The sunset from the stadium was gorgeous. Anyway, ultimately the game ended in 2-2 but we didn’t mind because it was exciting.

Saturday, the boys and I drove to my sister’s in Clifton. It’s about half an hour from Kiki’s, and it’s a pretty drive if you take the shorter (I think) route but it’s also windy and hilly so I prefer to take the boring highway route. I know, it’s bad but what can I say?

I’m going to put the rest of this behind this link. There’s a lot.