I basically can’t live without

You know you did very well in gifting when your child shares with her nearly 10K followers on her business Instagram account  that which you gifted her.

Seriously, this bag is pretty awesome. All the more awesome is her Pinterest board because she really is hard to shop for sometimes. Of course, she gets it from her mama! But this last year I gifted her well. Thank you Pinterest and Hollie pinning all the things.

I just might need a bag like this because, like my darling daughter, and pretty much anyone, there is absolutely a bunch of shit I basically can’t live without.

  1. like my favorite face wash because the oil slick that is my face keeps waiting for the dry, flaky, crepe-y skin that is all part of the joy that is menopause. Sure it might feel like a certain body fluid, as someone I know compared it to, but it works very well for me…and that is all that matters.
  2. Sunscreen! All the sunscreen because ginger girl problems are real.
  3. This lip balm because more sunscreen and because I am always licking my lips so why bother with heavy lip color?
  4. My latest favorite Acoustic Chill playlist on Spotify because the drive to work is too stupid and too real

    Honestly!
  5. My old, well-worn, gray sweater I got from Costco years ago.
  6. Eyeglass cleaner because the glasses I wear every waking moment are always smudged and dirty and I just might be obsessed about cleaning those glasses of mine.
  7. This whiteboard calendar which just might be ridiculous if I were to carry it in a bag.

    Then again, I am not the only one living under The Big Top who basically can not live without it which is why everything and everyone on the calendar is color coded.
  8. My blackout curtains because I am Vampira, the night shift nurse.
  9. Coffee, nectar of all the nurses.
  10. My Amazon Prime account
  11. Dental floss. I blame my dentist for lecturing me about gum disease while deep cleaning for what has become an addiction.
  12. My cameras…Canon 60D and iPhone because I am indeed the Mamarazzi
  13. My favorite pen…don’t ask to borrow it…ever.
  14. My Moleskine notebook
  15. a bottle of Coke Zero, just one, for my lunch break at work
  16. My ASU ball cap to hide the epic bedhead when I take my son to school in the morning. Not that my son’s principal would ever call me out for the bedhead or the pajama pants I might be wearing (if I’m not wearing scrubs) because she isn’t nearly as judge-y as Kate Chisholm and because at least I am wearing a bra. There’s that!
  17. My Caffeine and Kilos ball cap for when I can’t find my ASU cap.
  18. A good bra.
  19. My water bottle. I blame Jodie and my membranes rupturing at 26 weeks while pregnant with her for my ALWAYS carrying a water bottle and ALWAYS drinking all the water.
  20. A Sharpie marker…you never know when you need to mark something permanently.
  21. Altoids, you are very welcome Day Shift!
  22. My Asics
  23. My favorite Scünci hair ties…they are discontinued which would explain why I am hoarding them.
  24. My favorite hair clip because thick hair can be a problem, even thinning, menopausal, thick hair. But hurray for the fact that my hair is long enough 20 months after my latest pixie cut to twist up into an undo with my favorite hair clip…it’s the little things that make me happiest, really.
  25. Scarves…I have no idea how many I have. That might be a problem. But who cares because I basically can’t live without them.

What shit that you basically can’t live without would you stuff that duffel bag with.

Eilene Whitt Jessup

I remember the first time I saw my daughter Hollie sing in public. It wasn’t the first time I had heard her warble like a baby song bird because, like her mama, she sang all the time…while playing with her toys, in the bathtub, walking to the park, in the backseat of that old Pontiac to the radio which were likely totally inappropriate songs for a small child to be listening to. She had a beautiful voice I used to proudly tell myself which was no surprise because DNA. Then one Sunday evening, standing in front of an audience with her Bible School choir, at the encouragement of her teacher, little Hollie stepped up to a microphone and sang the sweetest little chorus ALL BY HERSELF!!!

When I am afraid I will TRUST in You

I will TRUST in You

I will TRUST in You

When I am afraid I will TRUST in You

In Your Word I praise…

And I literally burst into tears because…MY BABY GIRL!!! And OMG I had no idea she was going to sing a solo!!! And MY BABY GIRL!!!

I will never forget that moment, as mothers do.

I will also not soon forget the wonderful woman who gave Hollie the wink and nod as she encouraged her to sing the song that she taught her. I met Eilene shortly before Hollie was born. Her calming presence coupled with her quick wit was something I couldn’t help be drawn to. As time passed, most of our time together was spent with music…so much music because we both loved music. But beyond the music there was Eilene encouraging, mentoring all with positive kindness. When I thanked Eilene for the wonderful surprise that was Hollie’s solo, she smiled and told me that she couldn’t imagine anyone else who could emphasize that we must TRUST the way that little Hollie did.

Eilene was the kind of person who led, taught, loved, encouraged by example. Always patient. Always kind.

When I was a young mother trying to balance marriage, mommy-life and career, Eilene was an example to me as a woman who successfully balanced her life as wife, mom, grandmother (which all who knew her knew she was overjoyed adding that title) and business woman. She had a busy travel agency. in San Jose…back in the day before we all could research, plan and book our own travel thanks to the interwebs. When I planned MY very first trip to Disneyland…and Hollie’s and Zoë’s…Eilene was who I turned to. She offered all kinds of advice and options that would work for our little family while we vacationed with our kindergartener and 9 month old and she created what was the most wonderful first real family vacation package for us at Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, San Diego Wild Animal Park and a few other points of interest along the way. The cherry on top was the lovely, welcome to our vacation card from her waiting for us at the front desk of the hotel where we stayed during our juggling away from home adventure. Upon our return, when I thanked her for helping to plan such  wonderful family memories she smiled and thanked me back saying she just wanted it to be something special for us.

Earlier this week, after a life well lived, Eilene passed away. Naturally with someone as special as she, the tributes literally flooded my social media stream. With someone as special as she this was no surprise. I have read them all so far and have found myself even more fond of someone who truly was an example for anyone on how to live a life and truly succeed.

Blessing and love, Eilene! Thank you for your inspiration, guidance and, always, your love.

Eilene Whitt Jessup, May 16, 1936 – January 25, 2016

 

I should write

I should write but…

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it’s raining and we know how everything literally SHUTS DOWN in California when it is raining.

Still, I should write…

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but I’m working on trying not to fall down whilst attempting Virabhadrasana II. Actually Warrior II isn’t so bad. It’s my creaky, older, achy joints that are the problem. Something else I can try to blame on the rain.

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I have (as always) laundry to fold…WARM, fresh out of the dryer laundry to fold before Zelda curls up on it all spreading the glitter that is cat hair ALL OVER IT because all the freshly laundered clothes are so soft and warm and purr-rect for a kitty like her to curl up in. She thinks so.

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Hollie is distracting me from writing sending me impossibly adorable pictures and videos of little ballerina girls. I should be writing but I can’t. I just can’t even!

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Plus it’s raining and my backyard is literally flooded…

I should be writing but…

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the struggle…

It’s real.

little girl wishes

So you know what Fallon is wishing for?

No, what?

To be a big sister.

Hmmm…

She even has a plan.

A plan?

Yes. I could have twins.

TWINS?!

Yes, twins. That way there will be a baby for Hazel and a baby for Fallon.

So then they wouldn’t have to fight.

Yup!

Seems legit.

Calm down boys and girls!!! There is no coming attraction baby or babies arriving anytime soon to join this circus act. But I did warn Hollie about little girl’s wishes and their prayers…powerful stuff they are.

 

where I am the mother of a grownup

The reality of time marching relentlessly forward greets me every day I spend any time with my four adult aged daughters. Then there is the added nudge when one of them or another one or even all of them have to deal with adult things because adulating can b so hard.

Sidebar: when their Daddy and I were just starting the adventure in parenting, my darling husband was not sure that “parent” was a legit verb and he blamed the ridiculousness of it all on all the yuppies.

Meanwhile, Hollie and Ben are busy being adults and parents every day doing all the pretty hard things that is being adults and parents because parenting and adulting can be so hard sometimes…most of the times.

Then there are the times when you are doing things like buying furniture…REAL FURNITURE!!! No, not disposable furniture. You know, the kind that YOU put together with the provided Allen Key…coupled with cheap beer and definitely some cursing.

Hollie and Ben did just that recently, purchasing a new living room set to replace the garage sale set that replaced the hand-me-downs from the parents. Naturally they were excited because they bought furniture that they didn’t have to put together with an Allen Key or that they picked up from a neighborhood yard sale.

It’s like we’re really adults, Mom! We’re adulting!

No, this is grown-upping. Adulting is doing the things that suck but you have to do because you are an adult and that is what adults do…like pay your student loans or get up at 3 AM to deal with a barfy kid. Grown-upping is when you do cool things like make a big purchase and buy for yourself some nice furniture…that you don’t have to put together with an Allen Key…or cover with an afghan to hide the rips and tears and worn spots. 

Yesterday, my darling, first-born daughter turned 29 years old. TWENTY NINE!

She makes 29 look pretty amazing and awesome.

It’s because she does all kinds of grown-up kinds of things.

And me, I’m the mother of a grown up…an amazing, beautiful grown up.

That is kind of cool.