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Channeling Halle Berry

1 Mar

We just returned from attending my niece’s wedding in Florida.

It was an incredible trip and a welcome warm humid weekend. We were there just long enough for the wrinkles to plump out in the humidity. I love that part of humidity – it works better than botox. But my hair? In Colorado my hair is fairly straight. In humidity, my hair takes on a life of its own and begins to resemble Mufasa in The Lion King.

It isn’t about using product. I use lots of product. Within minutes of walking outside my hair begins to curl and frizz and I no longer need volumizing shampoo or product.

Still I had really shopped and considered exactly what to wear.For once, I didn’t have 3 kids to shop and pack for! Another upside to the empty nest!

At the rehearsal dinner I had this beautiful Sue Wong dress. It was a fitted black lace and beaded dress over a shimmering gold inner dress. It had a plunging neckline – and took me out of my comfort zone. I normally wouldn’t have even tried it on – but my neighbor who was shopping with me convinced me to try it on and then said – “You should buy it and wear it now – in a few years the girls will be too saggy to wear something like that” Seriously……she said it and I took it to heart. I had spent a lot of time trying to help my mother find something to wear to the wedding. At 87 she refuses to wear clothes she calls “old lady clothes” and I love that about her – still I thought my neighbor had a point.

I wore the dress and had a rare – “I look pretty dang good” moments. But as the dinner began to wind down, my mother leaned into me and asked “Are you wearing anything under that dress?” I said – “What do you mean? You do realize there is a gold dress lining the dress……right?” She said “I thought maybe you were channeling Halle Berry and that was you I was seeing through the dress.”

One the one hand I was speechless. On the other, I was kinda impressed that at 87 she knew who Halle Berry was.


Catching my breath!

6 Jan

One of my friends and followers commented on the lack of blogs – I’ve been busy…..really busy.
One of the advantages of adult kids and no workplace job is I can do and go on the spur of the moment.

Two of my kids declined to come home for Thanksgiving. It is a long trip for a couple days and very expensive but dang – I make a mean turkey….isn’t that enough? And there was pie!

At Christmas I decided I wanted family time – so I booked a last minute trip to Universal Studios in Orlando. Did I mention I hate rides? But they love them and it actually turned out to be the trip I hoped it would be. No computers and everyone had a great time – (That is how you know your kids are growing up – they are no longer too cool to actually admit they are having a great time)

And this week? I was incredibly selfish. My daughter and I met my dear friend and her daughter in Glenwood Springs Colorado for a day at the spa and hot springs. When I arrived I had a horrible cold, when I left I felt like a new woman. The 24 hours was proof of the healing affect of steam and too much laughter. I highly recommend large doses of laughter and never underestimate the value of a great friendship.

The year has begun and two of my kids have left to pursue their dreams…..well one is pursuing a dream….jury is still out on what the other is doing.

While I am missing my kids, this time I feel grateful – for their health, their laughter and love.

Now time to figure out time management for the empty nester.

My resolution? Stop wasting time and seize the day. I put that in writing didn’t I?

Toasting Butterbeer

Toasting Butterbeer

Restoring Status Quo

17 Dec

There is dirty laundry piled into the laundry room, lights left on all over the house, an abandoned container of queso and a sweatshirt sitting on the kitchen counter.
All of this can only mean one thing……finals are finished and the kids are returning to the nest. I’m still counting down the hours until I pick up my daughter from the airport. (42 hours!) I’ll take the ensuing mess that will follow each arrival. I love a full nest.
It feels like Christmas. For me – having my kids home is incredible.
My daughter is in California, a son in Montana and one son is living at home for his senior year in college. He is looking at companies in NYC and London for internships. Being all together could be harder to make happen.
But rather than worry about that which I cannot control….I am enjoying this Christmas and my kids all being home. I’m sure I will annoy them and they will annoy me. The house will be a mess and I’ll be in the kitchen…when I’m not in the laundry room. Sounds like the best gift ever….

Christmas a few years back!

Bad Mothering?

31 Aug

This past weekend there was an article in the Denver Post. The article originated with a reporter (Steven Schmadeke) from the Chicago Tribune. It was concerning a lawsuit that had been dismissed by an appeals court brought by two children against their mother for “bad mothering” Of course I had to read this article. I’ve always told my kids I give them plenty of material – whether they use it in counseling or in stand up is totally up to them. Never considered they might sue me for my incompetence.
Apparently 2 kids whom were raised in a $1.5 million home by their attorney father (first clue – dad’s an attorney) have spent the past two years pursuing a lawsuit against their mom for “bad Mothering”. I had to know – what she did that was so bad. I had to know how we were different and therefore would never occur to me.
The evidence of bad mothering? Failed to buy toys for one, and sent another a birthday card he didn’t like, failing to take her daughter to a car show, telling her then 7-year old son to buckle his seat belt or she would contact police, haggling over the amount to spend on party dresses and……wait for it…….calling her daughter at midnight to ask her to return home from celebrating homecoming.
WHEW! I’ve never done any of these. My daughter never wanted to go to a car show, my kids at 7 feared me more than the police, I always gave in when my daughter shopped (she looked so cute!!). She failed to send her college student care packages. It doesn’t specify how many she missed. I just sent one yesterday to my middle child – and I had already planned to send it before I saw this article.
She isn’t accused of beating her kids or leaving them in a hot car while she went to a bar. The court file was a foot thick. But it all seems so trivial. Her attorney said she found her kids wanted “the benefits afforded by a family relationship, but none of the restraints.” (Is that code for “her kids are a couple of brats?” )
Thankfully, the suit was tossed out. I cannot imagine the precedent this could establish. And, mostly I hope my kids didn’t see the article. They don’t need any ideas!

Less words of wisdom….Please

20 Aug

My son’s birthday is on Monday and on Tuesday I am driving him back to school. He is a smart kid. He requested his cake early to maximize the number of pieces he can eat. I made it last night and put steaks on the grill. In true college fashion, a couple friends of his moseyed in just as I was putting the food on the table. Amazing the homing sense of a college student looking for a meal!

What I love is the humor and conversations that weave through a meal with these kids. The birthday boy is a rather quiet kid and I worry about him being social. Yet when he was with his buds I saw a side of him I thoroughly enjoyed. They were laughing and talking throughout the meal – and sitting and just observing, I couldn’t help but laugh too. Even when some of it was not mom approved conversation – it was just a fun moment.

I worry about my kids – are they going to succeed in life? Did I do a good job as a mom? Where did I go wrong?!?!?!?! Well – guess I will be waiting a while for the jury’s decision. As a wiser mom has said to me – If your kids are happy and good citizens of the world – you have done your job. The rest is up them. I know that…….but why is it so hard. It is hard to let go and let them live their lives!! Wish him luck on the 10 hour drive back to school!

The Pirate

Already making his own path

I need some chocolate – if I am eating chocolate, I can’t talk at the same time. So that is one less lecture I can deliver.

Hello Karma….it’s me!

18 Aug

Not sure what my karma is telling me. Every morning, I open the back door to let in fresh cool air and let out 3 rambunctious labs. Today, the dogs burst out the door chasing a rabbit or a squirrel, no doubt. The chocolate lab trotted back after his daily bark as if nothing was the matter. In the flurry of feet I noticed he was depositing bright red footprints. He had sliced the pad of one paw open.

I tried to compress it, but on closer examination knew a vet visit was in order. He received a few staples to keep it closed and a stiff splint to aid in keeping the pad closed. And, while he was at the vet, I looked through the backyard and found some exposed edging that probably was the culprit. When I was out of town this summer, I had asked my boys to cut back the junipers in that bed. (I hate junipers – I believe in Dante’s hell is hedges of junipers – but I digress) My husband decided to just remove some of them. In doing so, the metal edging became exposed. I have now made the hardware store run and it now is capped with a protective plastic edge. Poor dog! I feel guilt having been negligent to cover that.

Meanwhile, my tree guy stopped by to look at a birch that wasn’t budding out well. Denver received such little snow this winter and all winter my husband and I argued over watering. I said we needed to water – he said “NO – ridiculous” The birch was diagnosed as dying – lack of water over the winter. I have not texted him to gloat – I know who was right. Right?

And, my husband’s handle set on his sink – started leaking today. (perhaps the water is mocking him in solidarity with me) Aside from the tree and looking at poor Hank and the leaky handle – next Tuesday the dog’s health insurance would expire and I was debating renewal and the home warranty policy would expire and I was debating its renewal also. Karma is scaring the crap out of me – I renewed both !

Hank - glad to be home!

Wings are spreading

18 Aug

Today is the last day for many of my friends before they begin the empty nest chapter. I had to reread my earliest blogs to remember how that felt. Lousy.

On the one hand, the about to enter college kid is obnoxious to have around the summer before and you are ready for them to be out of the house. On the other hand, you still can still see your young baby and it is terrifying to let them go.
Will they remember the advice you have given them over the years? Will they hold on to the values you have tried to pass down? Or will they strike out in an all together frightening path.
After watching this journey over the years with my own and their friends, I realize you do have to let them fly. We learn from our mistakes. We hope our children don’t make mistakes that cannot be undone, but truly they are choosing their paths now. No matter what we instill in them – they have choices to make, paths to take.

So on this eve of so many of my friends who are struggling, it does get better for you. We wanted our children to fly from the nest. We gave them strength to stand on their own.
Congratulations – as painful as it is – you succeeded. No – it isn’t the same when they come home to visit. But in some ways it is wonderful. My kids express appreciation for what we have sacrificed to give them. It’s time for those of us who remain behind in the nest to find new chapters. And, believe me – they will be so excited to see you on parent’s weekend!