Monday, March 20, 2017

Pool Parties in San Marcos

We arrived in San Marcos for our spring break on Saturday around noon. Mom picked us up and we headed into a glorious Texas Spring day. The bluebonnets waved at us from the side of the road and we were so happy to be here. My aunt Char and uncle Mike were on the ranch for one day only and so my mom had arranged a birthday pool party/happy hour for me that afternoon. So we dropped off our luggage in our rooms and began to party! I was still feeling pretty sick from the stomach bug that has plagued me since my birthday, but I powered through and enjoyed being with my amazing family in this amazing place. It was great.

Sunday was the big pool party I had planned for to celebrate Davis's birthday. We had about 50 people including kids and adults and we grilled and swam and drank and played bocce. It was perfect. Utterly perfect. The day was splendid and warm and sunny. Mom had heated the pool. We bought three dozen donuts and stacked them on a cake plate and called it a birthday cake. All of our very best friends showed up with their kids who are my children's very best friends and so much merriment was made. We took the kids on mule rides and the other children delighted in ambushing them and drenching them all in water. We made five hundred million sausages on the grill. My mom was with me and able to enjoy and play. We held and snuggled babies and put our feet in the pool and sipped wine and it was like having the very best people/moments of my life in SM back again. Except the children somehow got bigger. It was the best. It is so amazing knowing I can still have these incredible people and parties in my life. I am more appreciative of them than ever before. And I am also extra-especially grateful to have this venue to party in. My mom's house rocks. My friends rock. Davis rocks. Life rocks.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

So Now I'm 40

My real birthday happened on Tuesday. I was informed by Michael that Davis and Sam wanted to bring me my toast and coffee in bed. The alarm went off and I snuggled back into bed while I listened to the hasty and excited preparations outside the door. They came in with huge grins on their faces. Davis had made a card and Sam had written me a note by nightlight after he was in bed the night before. The whole thing was very sweet.
I took the kids to school and then went to the gym. I worked out and then went and sat in the sauna. I showered and put on something that made me feel pretty and then headed out to the mall. I wasn't feeling well, but I was in full denial of the feeling unwell as I refused to feel bad on my birthday. I shopped at Sundance and Anthropologie and didn't buy a thing. But the walking around at leisure was so fun. When I got home, I was surprised with two beautiful deliveries of flowers. My mom had sent a gorgeous purple mountain mix of flowers and Cheris and Rob had sent a cute pail of succulents.
I got the kids from school, delivered them home and then headed to the STEM talent show rehearsal as I had been recruited last minute to participate in the teacher's lip sync battle. After rehearsal I picked up Michael and the kids and went to south glenn mall, where the kids had their 30 minute music lesson and Michael and I had a thirty minute date at Ivy on the Glenn complete with a lovely french rose wine and some snacks.
We picked up pho on the way home and had big plans for a movie by the fire, but unfortunately, my body decided it really was unwell and I couldn't ignore it anymore. I was in bed by 8:30.
The next day I dragged myself to the school to teach and was surprised completely when both of my drama classes threw me a birthday party with cake and refreshments! It was so sweet.
I felt very celebrated this week, despite feeling kind of yucky.
So now I'm forty. I'm middle aged. I'm in the process of applying for life insurance to celebrate. I wonder what it means that I got sick the week I turned forty. Probably northing, but it's a reminder that my body is fallible. I also did some swimsuit shopping and decided I'm officially done with a bikini. Forever. I feel more sure of myself the older I get. That's a very good thing. I missed my dad a lot on my birthday. As spring comes ever closer, I know I will have to relive how it was last spring. Last spring was the worst time of my life. But I will push through it and hopefully it will be okay. I know time has a lot of power. The more that goes by, the more I understand and the more I know that I don't understand.
I'm forty years old in a new city with new friends and new places to explore and learn. I'm forty years old and I'm trying to find out who I am, separate from my hometown and yet created by it. I'm taking every day this year step by step and trying to find my way. Just getting through has been the goal.
I am looking forward to going home to Texas next week. Last time I went it was so hard and I was really working through some things. It was good, but I had emotion overload. This time I hope to just be able to enjoy it. I've missed San Marcos so much. I've missed my friends and the ranch and my family. I've missed flowers and heat. I've missed swimming and good tex-mex. I miss my old life very much and I can't wait to visit again. I hope so much that it isn't emotion overload again because I just want to enjoy it. I'm book-ending the week we spend there with parties and it is going to FUN. Michael gets to come with us and I'll get a whole week with my mama.
So let the fortieth celebration continue! Let's celebrate this occasion all month long! Woohoo!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Biking around the Hood

This weekend's weather was windy and cool, but pretty temperate, so we dug out our bikes and did two bike rides this weekend. Saturday we took our kids and Leah and Garrett down our trail behind our house four about four miles each way. It is a gorgeous ride. I can't wait to do it in summer. Today we took a picnic and went the other direction along the highway on the trail. It was not as picturesque, but it led to a park with a BMX trail. This time we took our kids, Leah and Garrett and Riley. They loved the BMX course, but the wind was COLD, so we didn't stay long. We will try again on a warmer day. My little cruiser bike from college did it's best to keep up with everybody else on their mountain bikes, but I'm hoping for a birthday miracle in the form of a new bike.

Denver Birthday Night

Friday night we got two hotel rooms at the Denver Grand Hyatt. We got one for ourselves and one for Suzy and Jason. We drove up there on Friday afternoon and checked in just in time to go have happy hour in the regency club. They also upgraded both of us to a corner suite! We were happy. The happy hour had delicious snacks and we felt very fancy. i love that hotel, as that is where we used to stay when we visited.
After happy hour we went up to Punchbowl Social to meet some of our friends. We had a big table and got some delicious foods and drinks. We played darts and corn hole and bocce ball and I had such a good time. We stayed for about three hours and then headed back to the hotel. Michael was dead tired as he had just flown back from Miami that day, so we went to our own hotel rooms. Michael went back to sleep, but I stayed up and had a me party. I drank my complimentary birthday red wine and danced in front of the windows. Then I stayed up and watched Big Little Lies in my fabulous Hyatt bed. Michael snored happily through the whole thing. It was a splendid night.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Long Weekend in Miami

Last week, Michael called from Ohio to say he might be heading to Miami for nine days starting the following week. I looked at points and realized that maybe we could all go! I have been waiting for just such an opportunity. Later that day, Michael called to say the job had been assigned to someone else. I was crushed. Then last Monday, Michael told me the trip was back on and he was leaving on Thursday. I was torn as we had some pretty great plans for the weekend- a UU middle school retreat for Davis and tickets to Chris Rock for me. I also didn't have a budget for this trip and I knew that even though the flights and hotel and car were free, we would still spend money on fun. But you know me, I cancelled everything and bought tickets for Miami!
Thursday morning the kids went to school for an hour so Davis could do a presentation and Sam could take a quiz. Then we picked them up and headed for the airport. The flight is long, but it was easy. The kids are great travelers. We had a little trouble getting our car, but we eventually got one and headed for our temporary home away from home, Hyatt House Miami.

Our hotel is right by the Miami airport, but is also on a lagoon and has two resident peacocks who dine with you at breakfast. The pool is heated and right down the stairs from our room. We have a little kitchen where I can cook and a pull out couch in the separate living room for the boys. It's great. It was dark when we arrived, but the next morning, long after Michael snuck out for work, we got up (time difference!), had breakfast and explored. The boys and I hit the pool and I swam laps and they played. The sun shone all morning, but then it got really cloudy and windy. Michael had the car, but we wanted to get out and explore. We decided to take a Lyft up to the Miami Auto Museum. The boys absolutely LOVED it.

There was a wing for supercars, a room for movie cars, a bat cave filled with all things batman and a James Bond wing.
We spent over an hour checking it out. The rain looked like it had cleared, so we took a gamble and took another Lyft to Ocean Drive in South Beach. The purpose in going was to look at all the cool cars driving up and down the road. I also wanted to see the beach and do some people watching. We saw lots of amazing cars and the kids loved it. I was hoping to hang out until Michael got off work and have dinner in south beach, but it started to rain and the kids were cold and bored and we gave up. We huddled in a souvenir store until Michael could come pick us up.

The next day was Saturday. Michael still had to work, but we all got up and had breakfast together. Then I drove him to work so that I could have the car. The weather was much nicer. I came back and got the kids and we went back to Miami Beach. We rented bicycles and rode up and down the boardwalk. Then we walked over to the beach, which was stunningly beautiful, but was extremely windy. They had a red flag out and no one could go in the water. The sand stung our legs from the wind. We ran back to the boardwalk and slipped into the car. We decided to drive over the bridge and get Michael for lunch. We had lunch at the riverwalk in Miami. We ate delicious cuban food and then Michael took a taxi back to work and the boys and I shopped and spent the afternoon in the sunshine on the bay. We had ice cream and watched the boats and then watched a Latin band set up and play. I loved it.

That evening we met up with some old friends of Michael's at a restaurant called Ms. Cheevious with gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and a courtyard. It was a nice evening and the kids played and we chatted.

On Sunday, Michael took the car again. We did some laundry and home work and then rode around outside in our parking lot on scooters. We spent some time at the pool in the sunshine. I made lunch. That afternoon we took a Lyft to Little Havana and we had ice cream and a cuban coffee. We watched people play dominos and stuck our head into several cafes with live bands playing great music. We bought coco frios for the boys and watched the guy chop off the tops of the coconuts. Then we walked through the neighborhood for a while before getting another lyft back to the hotel. That evening we played Catan on our kitchen island until Michael came home. I made us all dinner and we watched a movie. It was really nice.

On Monday, we were supposed to fly home, but our flight was cancelled due to high winds in Denver. We spent the morning on our devices. The kids did their homework and i spent over an hour trying to secure us new flights. I finally got us on a flight leaving at 5PM on Tuesday, going through New Orleans. After our morning in the room, getting work done, we went on a long walk along the lagoon. I chased the kids on the their scooters. Davis and I then went to the gym and worked out some more. We had lunch and a rest in the room. Then Davis did more work, while Samuel and I went across the street to another hotel, where they took pity on us and lent us their tennis rackets and balls and let use their courts. We had such fun playing tennis together, and Davis was able to join us halfway through. After tennis, we walked over to the Publix supermarket to get a few things for dinner (wine) and came back and relaxed. We hung out until Michael came home and then played more Catan and watched another movie.

Today is more laundry and homework and then we will head for the airport. It has been so nice to be in the tropical air and spend quality time with the boys. I am so lucky that Michael's job allows us these special times.