Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Officially The Holidays!

Happy Holidays! Yep, we can officially say that now!

This last weekend we celebrated our biggest Thanksgiving Saturday ever, eighteen people! I'm still amazed that we all fit in the house and fit in the house we did! With the rainy weather outside, there was nowhere else to be but in the house and you know where everyone lingered? In the kitchen! We prepared turkey, stuffing, green beans, several kinds of cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, gravy (special recognition goes out to Mike and his team for resurrecting the mess I made of the gravy!), ham and so much more! All together in a small, and very inefficient kitchen we talked and laughed. I believe with all of my heart that love grows best in little spaces...kitchens, houses, beds, you name it, if you are in close quarters and you love each other, it's all good! We all have so much to be thankful for and let us remember to be grateful every day, not just on the third Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving is over and the energy of Christmas is all around us. Lights are going up, radio stations are playing Christmas songs, and toy advertisements are everywhere! I took my fall decorations down last night and it was a little sad, but that's true for me every year! Now I'm looking at boxes of gingerbread houses, pencil Santa's and so many meaningful decorations. Mason is excited to get the lights up and go get a tree. But first it was time for bed and back to school the next day.

So after a hot bath, teeth brushed and jammies on, I was putting Mason to bed - he was crying. He told me he didn't know why he was crying but he just couldn't stop. I tucked him in and was kissing him while explaining that we've all had a very full and busy weekend. I went on to say that sometimes you just need a release, a good cry to decompress. Just as I said that Mason farted. I didn't miss a beat and said, "Sometimes you release pressure through tears from your eyes or a fart from your bottom, you just have to let it out." He laughed...and cried (but laughed a little more) while I turned out his light and closed his door. I heard him softly say, "Good night mama, I love you." So much to be grateful for, everyday I have Mason, I have so much to be grateful for.

Happy Holidays friends, I love you all!

Saturday Thanksgiving Pictures

Our Gratitude Turkey

Regina and Mike

James and Lisa
Steve and Roberta
(Happy Birthday Ro!)

Heather, Josh and Greg

Dave's "Day of Impending Doom!"
Ray, Ro, Dave and Heather

Regina, Diana, Lisa, and me

Julie and Diana

The Partak Family
Kathy, Dave, Mason, Mary, Terese and Ric

Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting To Know Spencer

Today I am going to test my talent as a writer. We all know how something can be funny in a moment with certain people, but when you try to share it later, the humor is lost. This is special enough and the message of joy feels good that though it's not laugh-out-loud funny, I'm going to give it a go!

We've had Spencer as a part of our family for a year and he's a really sweet dog. He couldn't be more different from Riley and some say that's a good thing, I don't know, I wish he were a little more of a cuddle bug like Riley was. But that's beside the point. In this last year, Spencer has been slow to show us his personality, or so we thought!

This caramel colored cocker spaniel loves a ball, no, he's crazy for a ball! He will bring it back and bring it back and bring it back until you are fed up with the sloppy-slobbery ball. As it is with kids and bedtime, parents know the routine has to start thirty minutes before you actually want your child in bed, right? It's the same principal with Spencer and his ball. We have to take it away and hopefully hide it prior to bedtime because he will spend at least fifteen minutes frantically looking for it. I said hopefully hide because if he sees where we put it, his efforts will be spent attempting to get it, no matter where it is. As we turn out the light and tuck ourselves in, he will succumb as he fluffs his spot at the foot of the bed, always with a big, big sigh and those sad eyes.

The ball-obsession is one side of Spencer, another is his raccoon quality. Yep, he's a thief! Most of the time we can spot him on the run with something in his mouth as he hurries out the dog door. I know he has stolen something because he never hurries to go outside. I think he secretly loves it when I catch him because then it turns into a game of cat and mouse as he will run away, but come back just close enough for me to think he's surrendering - only to turn on a dime in the other direction! It's heartwarming to see him come to life and play like that, until he crosses the line.

Last week I was processing glove orders, addressing envelopes, and as always, including a handwritten thank you note. I went to get more cards and when I came back there were gloves missing. I looked to see if they fell off my bed or if I absentmindedly carried them into my office when I thought, Spencer! I called him and he came running, excited to see what I wanted. Uh-huh, I wasn't buying that sweet smile and those big puppy-dog eyes, he took my gloves. I started toward the door and he sped past me getting outside first confirming what I already knew. I started to walk the yard and what do I see? The box of cinnamon See's suckers from my bag - "Why, that little..." I said. Apparently he doesn't like cinnamon as they were out of the box but not eaten. I kept walking and saw something gray sticking out of the blueberry bush. Mason's shark, buried, all but the tail. Onward I go to find hidden under leaves and in bushes throughout the back yard a flip-flop, a stuffed eagle (he has a penchant for stuffed animals), a pirate eye patch, the other flip-flop, a teddy bear, a torn up box and finally, the gloves that sent me on this scavenger hunt to begin with! As I am carrying the loot he is right along side me wagging his tail and reaching up to take something back! I put everything on the table on the deck to grab my camera to photograph the evidence. When I came back out, there he was, darn near up on the table trying to decide what to take back! Or who knows, maybe evaluating what I found and what I didn't! Laughing! Scroll down to see the pictures.

Our animals have such distinct personalities and no matter if they are cuddlers or like to sleep on the floor all alone, they are full of light and love...sometimes mischief, too! After the deep sadness I felt this time last year, I am laughing and loving again with Spencer. I thought he was slow to show me who he is when in fact, I have not been paying close enough attention!

And there my friends is your Monday Motivator, pay attention and tune in to those you love. They are showing you who they are every minute of every day. With lots of laughter and love!


The complete pile of loot.

I caught this shot just in time, you can see that Spencer is in the process of getting down. Also, notice that things have been moved, primarily the ZipperBack Gloves! Little stinker.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Tuesday?!

Hello friends! I am well aware that it is Tuesday...afternoon....late! Yesterday was a whirlwind on the tails of a very busy weekend. I'm sending out a place-holder so you all know I am still alive and kicking (yep, you guys e-mail me when I don't send out the MM). The good thing about that is if anything ever did happen to me, it wouldn't take long to determine I was missing or dead! Laughing!

I'll have lots of fun stuff to share next week as it's Mandarin Festival time in Auburn and I'm planning to win the grand prize in the recipe contest on Sunday! In the meantime, I have my nose to the grindstone and I'm juggling Mason's moms and dads duties while Dave is in Santa Barbara. See y'all on Monday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy Anniversary Honey!

"It's Monday! It's Monday! Starting a new week! It's Monday! It's Monday! Get on your feet!" This is a little ditty I sing to Mason on Friday mornings to wake him up (I use Friday, not Monday) so I thought I would wake you up with it today!

Tomorrow is our anniversary, nine years. I have to share that my marriage to Dave has so far exceeded my expectations! I love, love, love my life with you honey! Happy Anniversary.

This weekend was fun, not super eventful which is a nice change from the normal go, go, go! Saturday I took Mason and Kyle to the 4-H Make It and Take It craft fair where they made Christmas gifts for family members. The boys had a ball and really took pride in the gifts they made. Mason played soccer and from that point forward, we were home and in for the rest of the weekend.

Dave had drill this weekend so he had to get up early both days, but Sunday, Mason and I got to stay snug and warm in bed. It felt so good in our pajamas, we stayed in them all day! We watched television, ate whatever we felt like, watched movies and basically just relaxed. Dave was able to come home early and he got right in the swing by putting on his pajamas and crawling in bed with me! We sat in the hot tub and enjoyed the rain as we plan the weeks ahead with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.

An update on my Intentional Winning book/blog, I've received some great subjects on dreams NOT come true but I need some more. I'm looking for that thing that maybe as a youngster you thought you wanted to be or maybe even something more recently. Did you want to be a Nurse? Or an astronaut? What was that dream job and why didn't you pursue it? It's not a big deep thing, I wanted to be a actress and until I was 30 I didn't pursue it because I believed I was too big and not pretty enough. When I did pursue it, I learned that I was plenty pretty enough (in fact, I was once told I was too pretty to do commercials!) and my weight was manageable. I took a different path to marry Dave and have Mason - a very conscious choice! My acting dreams are not dead, not by far, they are alive and well in different clothes. So here's an example of what I need from you: "I wanted to be in the military but could not because my vision did not meet their criteria." "I always dreamed of writing for a living but never did it because I didn't think I could make enough money to support myself and my family." "I always wanted to start a business but never went to college so I don't feel I have the skills to run a company." You get the picture, what did you want to do and why didn't you do it. Get to it, write back and tell me what it is/was for you!

Gear up for the new year, it's less than eight weeks away. Don't wait until January first to think about what you want to make happen in 2011. Start now and when January one comes, you'll already be on your way! Happy Monday!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November First!

Welcome to November!

This Halloween weekend has been nothing but fun! Well, some work too, but more fun for sure! Friday Dave surprised me with Halloween costumes he picked out for the two of us, Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf! WOW! How thoughtful! The local newspaper came over to interview us about the way Dave does up our house with Halloween decorations. They took some really great photos, check them out
//www.http// After that, we went to James and Lisa's Halloween party and then out to the Auburn Ale house where we shared funny dating stories (before we were an us) and laughed like we were young and dating. It was fun making people smile as we walked in all decked out in our oh-so cute costumes!

Saturday Mason played soccer and his team won - again! The Pistol Pete's Pirates are undefeated. It has been wonderful watching these boys learn to work together and work the plays they learn in practice. Dave and I made caramel apples for the team and I have no doubt the gummy worm coming out of a pile of candy bones made them all that much more fun to eat! We spent Saturday afternoon cleaning house and then it was time to get all decked out again for more parties. We went to a work party and then to Pistol Pete's where we met up with James and Lisa. We walked over to a little bar in town where we found our groove laughing and dancing enjoying all the costumes and smiles. After all that fun, it was hard to believe that we hadn't even arrived at Halloween yet!

Sunday, we got up and read our story in the newspaper and then went for a family run. Mason on his bike and Dave and I (with Spencer) went for a run downtown. It made me think, since we don't do Thanksgiving on Thursday, why don't we do the 5K Run To Feed The Hungry? I think we need to consider it. If you are local, do you want to go, too? I digress, so we ran some errands, got groceries, and watched Beetlejuice on TV. Dave did homework and then it was showtime! We had tons of kids, people who saw the house in the newspaper came to trick-or-treat and see the lights. It was really fun and made Dave really proud. Mason and Dave went trick-or-treating and now it's all done. I hope you had a fun weekend and I would love to hear from you, leave a comment and tell me a little about your weekend. In the meantime, scroll down and see the pictures from our fun-filled weekend! Happy Halloween and welcome to November!

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” Ashley Smith

Halloween Photos

Our front door - a little fall with a little Halloween

More ghouls greeting our little trick-or-treaters!

The witch in her lair - skulls and bones tell the tale!

More lost souls! (This is Mason's display. He's very proud!)

The Pumpkin Patch - the sweeter of the displays.

Mason, Kyle and Evan doing the downtown trick-or-treat.

Robin's Nest Daycare! So cute!

Dave and Kathy as The Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood

Kathy and Lisa



This Wolf stands alone! Oh yeah!

Lisa asked, "What would you pay for a look?"

And a Big Hunk? Oh, la-la!