no apologies for the cuteness

With holidays comes adorable Easter dresses.

Bonus if they are dressed alike because what can be more adorable…

…especially when the darlings are at an age where they can’t really complain and protest. Actually at this age they LOVE it! So seize it while you can.

It’s a very narrow window of time when you can truly get away with such cuteness…

…and enjoy the total cooperation; because it’s fun that we are all dressed the same!

Remember that when the day comes (and it WILL come) when the kids look at these memories and then back at you wondering out loud, “What the hell were you thinking, Mom?!

Then you smile back at them because you have no apologies for such cuteness and you are absolutely certain that someday they will do it to their children too.

Scroll back to the top if you don’t believe me.

overdoing

The Big Top Spring Break plans had to be shelved…for obvious reasons…womp, womp. Bill is still waiting on his cardiologist to sign off on his disability insurance and, well, the savings for Spring Break Week in Monterey had to be redirected because clowns need to be fed and bills need to be paid.

Perhaps next year!

But, we are excellent punters…any family with more than 1-2 children is because it is part of basic family survival.

My darling husband is recuperating well but he is growing more restless and bored as each day goes by. His son in law comes over to mow the lawn. The wife is taking out the trash, along with everything else she juggles. He can’t vacuum. He can’t haul the laundry up and down the stairs or the groceries out of the mom car. He can’t walk the dog…no matter how much Betty begs. So he walks in the morning and the afternoon and the evening. And he putters around the Big Top feeling incredibly restless and bored.

A beach vacation would have been perfect right about now….yes.

Maybe a day in San Francisco is what we all need. Nothing ambitious…no big shopping trips or crossing bridges. Perhaps a day visiting a dear, old friend and lunch and some walks around a very small part of The City.

The most delicious, cup of Swiss chocolate made perfect while enjoying the company of a dear, old friend who made it for us.

Strolling through the Yerba Buena Gardens, enjoying the water falls…

and perhaps reflecting a little on the fail that is your Mima and Papa not having any spare change to toss into the fountain so that you can make a wish. Absolute fail!

A fail soon forgotten as you try to shake Shaking Man‘s hand(s).

Oh Art!

Onward to the Zeum Carousel…renamed recently the Leroy King Carousel

Whatever the name, it is a good place to ride a dragon

or a beautiful, white horse.

Absolute fun!

Lunch followed up with a short walkabout around Union Square complete with an encounter with a Buddhist monk offering prayer beads for Hazel and me along with a blessing…for 20 bucks.

Yeah.

Hazel and I accepted the beads and the blessings giving 4 bucks because that was all that we had. The beads are cute though.

A good day…a great day…a day where perhaps Bill might have overdid it.

Looking at her, exhausted, he agrees that yes, he overdid it. But he smiles when he states this.

Tomorrow he rests,

I promise.

He promises too.

photo dump 2-9-15 edition

I may not be writing much lately but I am taking pictures.

There is that at least.

Colds and flu season…sigh!

Bridesmaid gown acquired. Little sister will be pleased.

So apparently Starbucks and Match have joined together to help me meet someone? Um…no one tell my husband?

I might have a problem. Then again, most runners I know have a similar problem…worse even. By the way, I crushed that long run this past weekend and then I ate all the Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti.

Actually I did save some for the family including Hazel who declared it all to be delicious…except the mushroom.

Meanwhile, not even her favorite, Queen Elsa, could wake up Fallon to come join the family for dinner.

Cavity inducing bedtime moments like these are truly the best.

And this. A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.

I sure do hope so!

Happy Monday y’all!

 

play it again: Hazel the First

This weekend the descendants of Hazel Frances Shock Yowell will gather to remember, honor and celebrate the life of Momma Yowell on what was to be he her 96th birthday. Of course that means taking over a hotel as we do when we gather.

originally published May 9, 2014

Bill and I very soon will be celebrating 31 years of marriage, which is a pretty long time to be stuck together with one person. We have shared that day for years now with the birthday of our 4th lovely circus clown, Jodie Grace Wynonna. So it’s never really just our day. But even before Jodie, it never really was our day. We were married on the day of Bill’s grandparents’ (Momma and Poppa – Hazel and Osie) fiftieth wedding anniversary. Yeah, it was their day.

I can’t imagine being as gracious as Momma and Poppa were to share their day, their celebration with two crazy, in-love kids dressed in the OMG-what-the-fresh-hell-is-that 80′s wedding fashion. But they were. I’m so glad that they were so generous.

It was but a couple years later that I knew I truly belonged to this family I married into when Momma would address me as Teri-Toni-Dottie-Patty-Laura.

Yes!

Years and years later, I am carrying on for her, much to the annoyance of my kids, when I address them by all of their names until I eventually hit their name. Deep down I know that Hollie-Zoë-Abby-Jodie-Hazel-Fallon appreciate the family tradition. Of course they do.

Momma and her daughter, my dear mother-in-law, Mom, taught me how to properly fry chicken which is something I know Bill has given thanks for over the years. It’s not perfect or nearly as excellent as their fried chicken is, but it is properly fried chicken. Through the years, memories were made, laughter and tears were shared and babies were born…a lot of babies…

I loved Momma’s playfulness with my babies. All five of them have enjoyed her cuddles and being bounced on her knee trottin’ the pony. The awkward conversation we had where I explained to her that it was her grandson Bo’s fault that we had birthed no grandsons not so much. Still I loved the laughter we shared after that conversation.

Momma and Poppa had three children who became parents to nine grandchildren for Momma, who went on to have A LOT of great-grandbabies (I’m counting 17 but then again my math skills are seriously suspect) and 5 great-great grandchildren. All adored Momma.

Then again, what is there about her NOT to adore?

One memory I have of Momma is the fact that she always seemed to be smiling. No, not a big toothy smile. It was more a quiet smile with the corners of her mouth always upturned. To have lived as long as Momma has I know it wasn’t always perfect and rosey but clearly she lived her life with a positivity that was reflected in her quiet smile. One of many things that made her beautiful. But truth be told, my best, happiest memory was the first Thanksgiving she shared with her namesake, Hazel the Second.

Now how many 90-something year old ladies do you know who will get down on all floors to play with her carpet-crawling great-great grandbabies?

Yeah, I thought so.

I can only hope to be as kick-asstastic as her.

Hazel the First graced this world for over 95 years until today when she passed away.

Mother’s Day will be tempered with the fact that she is now part of our family’s sweet memories. For me, in the short time that I have been blessed to call her Momma, there has been many sweet memories. I will always have her to thank for knowing how to properly fry chicken and to at least try to just sit back, relax and enjoy the blessings around me (and there are a lot) with a quiet smile on my lips.

Hazel Frances Shock-Yowell, November 16, 1918 – May 9, 2014

this week’s photo dump

Feeling lazy…fighting hard against Bill’s nasty cold that he picked up after our trip to Texas that everyone else is succumbing to…thinking that I have way too much to say and not really wanting to say much of anything at all…I’m just going to dump another slide show on y’all.

Yes, I’m running more again and I am thinking seriously about running the Modesto Half…the one I couldn’t run three years ago. No, I still don’t have a place to hang all those race medals from all of those other half marathons that I ran three or four years ago. But I do have these new, sweet compression tights which proved to be AMAZING on their inaugural 5 miler.

Yes, I am THAT mom who sent her son to school with mismatched socks. In my defense, it was Spirit Week and yes, one day was Mismatched Socks Day.

But the next day was NOT Dirty Face and Un-brushed Teeth Day. Twelve is such a wonderful, kind of scummy age. Yes, I am THAT mom who didn’t notice this until he leaned over to kiss me goodbye at the drop-off. I don’t imagine that he will forgive me for the spit bath I gave him anytime soon. That’s okay.

Halloween came the next day and that trauma was soon forgotten. This happens to be the first year where an older sister wasn’t using him as her trick or treat beard…er, I mean volunteering to take him trick or treating which meant even more candy for him and his new neighbor and friend here. Do you know how awesome it is to have a friend your age living on your street and who likes doing the same things you do? Daniel says it is definitely awesome.

And while Daniel was haunting the neighborhood, some sisters were busy making adventures of their own.

Nieces too.

Fallon’s very first flight, from San Francisco to Atlanta.

Where she and Hazel rocked it as the flower girls.

Hard!

Meanwhile, you know that Halloween drinking game everyone was playing this year?

Major fail here under The Big Top.

Two Elsas and one Anna.

A good thing since I voted while passing out candy.

Then there was the end to Daylight Saving for this year. For some of us it was hard…really hard!

As for me, driving home from SFO late tonight, after picking up my daughter, her husband and their wonderful, little flower girls, I am thankful for that extra hour. Yes, as a matter of fact, there is wine in that cup.