Monday, July 28, 2008

Dave's Home!

Hooray! It's been two weeks and I miss my honey. Mason has missed Dave a lot, too. The good news is that Mason is really well adjusted, and he does just fine when it's either of us, and even neither of us. Tonight he's finally sleeping on my bed, covered with his blanket, one thumb in his mouth, the other arm over Riley, and Inca snuggled up to his back. If I had my camera, this would be one of those priceless moments in time.

I want to brag on my friends and share some good news. Ken and Dahlynn wrote an article on our Vietnam trip and it was published in today's Contra Costa Times. The link to the article is A side note is that the captions with the pictures in the on line article are not matched up properly. For me, it was wonderful to read a recap of the trip we took. I have no doubt you will enjoy it as well.

The other good news we have is that Greg and Heather Garcia are expecting their first baby, a boy! Hooray. For those of you who don't know them, they have had some challenges with getting pregnant and just when they made the decision to visit the big money fertility doctor, here they are, preggers all on their own. We can't wait to share in all the happy (and some not so happy - hey, I can say that, I have a strong willed child of my own!) times that are in store for the two of you. For those of you wondering if Dave and I are ever going to have another one, well, so far God has not been willing. But with Dave coming home today, we'll sure give it another try! Smiling! For now, CONGRATULATIONS to Greg and Heather!

Finally, my friend Amie is working with a wonderful organization in San Jose and she is Calling All Angels! Here is the information from Amie:

"Once again it’s been my pleasure to participate in the 2nd ANNUAL LET THE CHILDREN PLAY MUSIC FESTIVAL & BENEFIT CONCERT ( This year the Event is at a whole new level, partnering with DISNEY, KBLX, and highlighting celebrity musical performances in Jazz, R&B, and Blues. We have 9 weeks to feed 1 million meals and more, here's where we need help:
  • SPONSOR: From Arts & Crafts vendors, i.e. jewelry, painting, photography, etc. to Main Stage Sponsorship*
  • DONATE: (click on the FEED THE CHILDREN logo)
  • ATTEND: Benefit Concert is Free (and just wait until we announce our performing line up!)**
  • WATCH: Just endorsed by FTC, Well-Known Actors/Artists and NBA & NFL players:
  • SPREAD THE WORD! (Forward this to your network, include it in your newsletter, invite event founders to speak at your group meeting, etc.)

Thank you in advance for all your effort in helping us reach our goal, and we hope you’ll join us at the event on September 27th, 2008 at Discovery Meadow, San Jose."
Much gratitude, Amie Chilson, 408-605-6085

Okay, good stuff all around. What's new and good with you? I'm going to make the Motivator this week one of my own.

"You can spend your time contemplating and worrying about who might think what when you share your news, ask people to help a cause, or chip in with a kind word or a few dollars.

When you let go of the fear you have about the perceptions of others, and come from a place of authenticity, you get to experience the wonderful feelings when your friends feel good that you thought enough of them to include them in what's important to you." Kathy Partak

Circle of Friends...Some of Them Anyway!

Mason sharing a sundae with Shawn, Dahlynn, and Ken while dad's been gone.
Happy Kathy and Dave!
Greg and Heather getting ready for big changes.
The real Ken with his happy Dahlynn in Vietnam.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summertime Fun

I'm trying to make the most of this summer, the last summer of Mason's life as a toddler; meaning he starts real school August 13th. With this in mind, I changed his preschool schedule to just two days a week so he and I can spend more time together getting ready for kindergarten and have some fun, too.

Wednesday, Mason and I were invited to join Amy and the girls at our community pool. That was a great way to spend two hours before dinner. Mason slept like a baby. Friday, we met Ken, Dahlynn, and Shawn for a movie and treat afterward. We saw Space Chimps, and Mason loved it! We went to have an ice cream after the movie and then went to Petco to see the mice, fish, and reptiles. On our way home, the big gift came. Dahlynn and Ken offered for Mason to spend the night while I went to my girls poker night. Mason was elated! You see, Shawn is rarely home when Mason is there, so a sleepover with Shawn was like winning the 5 year olds lottery! I have to say, watching Mason sit with Dahlynn and then being so excited to spend the night with them, fills me with gratitude beyond measure. It was really as good as Mason thought it would be. Shawn played Legos with Mason, they did a cool craft project, picked vegetables from the garden, hunted ghosts in the backyard after dark, took a bath with tons of (new to Mason) bath toys, and watched a movie before finally falling asleep. In the morning Dahlynn asked Mason if he wanted her to call and wake me up to come get him. His reply, "No, don't call her, let her stay home." I'm not surprised, heck, I'm good, but not that good!

I'm having a blast watching The Baby Borrowers on Wednesdays. I love watching these young people get such a spicy taste of real life with kids. I love my son, but you all know I feel at my wits end on a somewhat regular basis, and it's those times that make me feel so grateful for the people in our lives Ken & Dahlynn, Diana, Mary & Keith, Cris & Kelly, our families and all the other people who love Mason, and us as a family.

Finally, Dave is on the dream vacation of his life. He has been to Maryland, Rhode Island, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. It's battlefield Heaven! He got to meet one of his other sisters, JK and her family, and is spending the next two nights in Gettysburg. All in all, he's having a blast!

So, what are you doing for Summertime Fun? As you can see, we're trying to make as much as we can about the simple pleasures and the people we love. Lots of running in the sprinklers, single scoop ice cream cones in the back yard, chalk on the driveway, toys in the bath tub, and cuddles before bed. You all feel like you are right here, part of our lives, and in the loop. Take a minute and share with us what's new with you. Do tell!

This week, start with this little Motivator that is a Kathy Original. It's how I see the comparisons between life and summertime.

"Make the most of each warm day, just as we must make the most of each day with our children.
Just like the days that seem so long, our kids sweet childhood days are gone in an instant.
Enjoy the warm nights that make us want to wear very little. Take that same sexy feeling while wearing so little, and passionately kiss your spouse.
Feed your daily life the energy that summer fills you with. The energy that's made up of all your life's summers combined. Infuse it into this very minute and see what happens.
I bet it will create and even more magnificent energy.
That, to me, is what makes summertime so special."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fun, Friendship, and Good Wine!

We had a great time this weekend! The air cleared just a little and the temps dropped significantly. The weather Gods must have known we had big plans this weekend so they made sure everything was nice.

Jose and his new bride Amie made the trek up from San Jose to spend the day Saturday wine tasting in California's Shenandoah Valley in Amador county. The primary grape that grows in that region is Zinfandel, and that made me plenty happy! It was a nice day, lots of getting to know each other, and much laughter.

To make the weekend double special, Diana drove up from the bay area to spend the day with Mason. This of course means the world to me, but Mason also thought it was pretty cool that Aunt Diana came over just to see him. After our day in Amador, we all had dinner out in the backyard, made s'mores, sat in the hot tub, and wrapped up the evening around the fire until we were dry and extremely tired. Nice, huh?

I hope you are carving out some time this summer for your family and friends and taking advantage of the long days and warm nights. Do tell, what are you doing this summer?

"I count myself in nothing else so happy as in a soul rememb'ring my good friends." - William Shakespeare


Jose and Amie's first visit to iconic "Poor Red's"
And we all know what Poor Reds's is known for...the Gold Cadillac!

Diana, Kathy, and Riley making S'mores!

Jose and Mason eating s'mores!

Amie and Willie

Monday, July 7, 2008

Yes, There are Downs With the Ups!

Happy Monday All!

I propose that we celebrate America all month long. Let’s gather together, barbeque, eat watermelon, and swim all month long. The days are warm long into the evening so even if you have to work, there’s time to celebrate when you get home. Just think how different your evening can be if you can change the way you think about how you feel when you get home from work. Instead of thinking you’re tired; imagine how nice it will feel to eat an ice cream cone in the back yard with your husband and kids. Think about what your kids will think when this is what you do when you get home! I guarantee it will be these nights with you they will remember when they are grown up with kids of their own.

We had a nice weekend, but not perfect. Dave and I found ourselves at odds and ironically, I’ve also had a falling out with Julie. Clearly, it’s me, so I’m spending this week reflecting about what I’m doing or not doing that’s creating discord in my most treasured relationships. Dave and I have seemed to understand each other’s perspective, but it seems the one with Julie needs more time. The good news is, in all my 40+ years I’ve learned that time is the one thing that seems to soften the edges and heal the wounds. There may be some of you wondering why I would mention that I had an argument or falling out. The fact of the matter is, its real life, and many of you have questioned whether or not I paint too good a picture on a weekly basis. I typically tell it like it is (or at least like it is from my perspective…what else do I have?), and it is usually really good. So this week, hopefully Julie and I will talk and restore our affinity, reality, and communication.

In light of the difficulty, the holiday weekend was nice. We went to a lovely party in Dixon at the Black Tie Arabians Ranch where we ate wonderful food, danced, watched fireworks, and Mason learned to ride a bike! On Saturday, Mason and I went swimming at Deb and Brennan’s annual July 4th party, and then we met Tammy, Lexi, and Coby in Sacramento for dinner at Applebee’s. Since they live in Utah, they haven’t seen Mason since we were there in 2005 for my dad’s funeral. It was fun for Mason to meet some of his cousins.

I hope you had a nice long holiday weekend, and can find some time to continue celebrating all month long. Even if you just find one little thing you can do each day to remind you of what you felt like as a kid during the summer months; long days, warm nights, fresh fruit, ice cream, crisp sheets, sleeping with your window open, warm mornings, and anything else that is indigenous to your childhood. Have a wonderful week and please, drop me a line and let me know what is new with you!

If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call to make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?" -- Stephen Levine


Coby, Mason, and Lexi
Yep, I rode this bike!