EmmaJes. This is what they are called sometimes. Really it is Emma and Jessica - two beautiful twins who are for all intents and purposes - family. Jack has been friends with them for a long time and they have been in the same class for 3 year now. They are super sweet, intelligent, pretty girls who are tons of fun to have around. We particularly like how they dance and sing. They are similar but certainly not the same. Once you get to know them you can really see the differences. Jack thinks they are both really cute and is so happy to have them as friends. Happy Birthday EmmaJes - we love you!
If you have ever met Cade you will never forget him. He is complete entertainment for me. He loves to have fun and goof around. He loves games and messing with peoples heads (in a funny way). I love messing with his head because for some reason I can when others can not. He is a very good friend to my husband, an amazing father to his three beautiful children who play so nicely with Julia and is an example of a fantastic husband. I feel very blessed to have him and his whole family in my life and honored to call him a friend. I can't wait until he gets to teach my children proper english in middle school. Happy Birthday Cade - you will always be younger than me!
I came home today to a loving household (always very nice) and I was overjoyed with my trip. The girls brought special treats - wine, cheese, chocolate and snacks to have in the hotel and they all treated me like a queen. We laughed so hard my stomach hurt. We acted silly and had deep conversations. I am so blessed to have this group of friends so close to my heart. It could not have been more perfect.
An absolute perfect day in San Francisco today! It was HOT (for San Fran) - maybe 80 degrees. We spent the morning and afternoon shopping, had lunch outside on the top of Macy's in union square, had a wonderful dinner in North Beach and rode the trolley car. I have great friends!
Several of my friend took me to San Francisco for my birthday. Today we went to one of my all time favorite restaurants in Tiburon. It is a Mexican restaurant called Guaymas. We had amazing margaritas while sitting outside looking out over the bay at the city. My meal was poblano chilies stuffed with chicken and raisins topped with a walnut cream sauce and pomegranate seeds..... YUM!
I feel so blessed to be able to watch my children completely love each other. They do things for each other that I have never seen between siblings. They make each other breakfast, share their things and offer each other comfort completely on their own. They help each other with chores and rarely ever fight. They sacrifice all kinds of things for the other one. I hope they continue to be best friends as they grow up and mature into adults. How wonderful to have that built in when you are heading out into the world.
I recently decided that I am very happy with my age. I don't think I would ever want to go backwards. Some friends and I were together recently and we saw a group of young girls who were very beautiful. They were all dressed up and ready to go out but as we watched them walk past us none of us were envious of them. They had luminous skin and youthful bodies but what they lacked was confidence in who they were - because they didn't know who they were yet. So much of their lives were ahead of them and the clarity that comes with age was missing from their expressions. We saw the doubt that we all remembered having as young adults when you don't know what life is going to offer you. We saw the insecurity in their eyes as they wondered what the world was thinking about them. I am quite happy with where I am, who I am, and excited to find out who I will become. I am more concerned with how God sees me that how other people see me. I don't mind having the wrinkles and aches that come with age - they seem far less painful than the insecurity of youth.
I have been just awful at keeping up my blog lately. The new schedule at the gym has me running all day long and very tired at the end of the day. I am hoping that my body will adjust to the new schedule. I am sure the extra income will feel nice and I love teaching all of my classes.... now if my body would just cooperate.
I can not even imagine what our children are going to see in their lifetime. I am hoping as I approach 40 that it is the middle of my life and I get to see 80. So much has happened just in the past 40 years. I really feel my age when the wonder of technology ceases to amaze the kids. We took them to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" in 3D today. It would have been funny to watch all of the older parents in the theater with their 3D glasses on and their mouths open in true amazement. Just the "wow!"s and the "Geeeesh!"s were funny enough. I remember the 3D movies that give you a headache and you walk around an hour after the movie with the sense that your eyes are not quite working properly. The movies never really looked 3D either it just looked like layers of different images on the screen. Fast forward to this wondrous animation film and you walk out feeling like you were on an amusement park ride. I LOVED that movie. It was funny and engaging and the special effects were worth the extra $$ you had to pay. The kids really enjoyed it too....
Today John and I went wine tasting, had a snack on the cliffs overlooking the beach, went to coffee, walked around slo, and had a fantastic dinner. We were fortunate enough to have our neighbors watch the kids for us so we could just be together. I think marriages have their ups and downs. All do. I am happy to enjoy this up we are having right now 15 years in.
15 years ago today John and I promised to love and take care of one another for the rest of our lives. I am happy to say that I would eagerly do it again today. I love John. I can not imagine a life without him. Even with our differences we still fit together..... perfectly. I am sure there are days when he would rather be living with someone a bit neater or more organized. I know I frustrate him when I leave drawers open and things out on the bathroom counter top. I am sure I have plenty of flaws that he tries hard to overlook to see the best in me. The same goes for me. I sometimes wish he could let go more often - spend more time with the family - but I am sure that is hard to do when you are such a provider. Our marriage is not perfect perhaps to the outsider who gets a glimpse of our arguments but our marriage is perfect to me. It works. At the end of the day I am happy to be next to him. We are able to be ourselves. We are able to vent and laugh and talk and just be still together. God made this match - it was no accident. I hope 15 years down the line I can write this again. I have not doubt that I will. I love you John. Thank you for making me your wife. Thank you for being the best husband.
So the other day when I was about to teach my first Zumba class I was FREAKING OUT. My heart was racing and I certainly did not give myself enough time to prepare. I was not feeling confident and there was no choice - I had to go teach what I knew. I had been feeling stressed starting with the training when I realized how hard it was going to be to pull it together so quickly. I got in the car and was driving to the gym when I had one of those V8 moments. Why did it occur to me only on my 5 minute drive to the club that I should ask God for help. He was sitting right there waiting for my invitation the whole time and it took a bit of hyperventilating for me to actually see him. I immediately felt a peace come over me and knew everything would be fine. Now granted you are all thinking I am insane because this was certainly not any life or death situation - it is a fitness class for goodness sake - but for me it was a defining moment in my silly little career. It was a challenge that I wanted to overcome and I did not want to feel defeated. It was a good thing I came to God in the last possible moment because when I walked in the fitness room expecting to see 10 or 12 people I looked out at 40. Fortunately I was riding on God's shoulders and felt his presence so much that the crowd looked small from where I was. Why, when I completely know better, is God sometimes the last one I turn to? I imagine this faith journey will end when He is all I can see and everything else will just fade away.
Today is my dear, dear, dear friend Sally's birthday. I have known her since high school and she was my maid of honor in our wedding. She is a whole year younger than I am so today she only turns 39 (she should start a blog). She lives in Colorado but that doesn't matter - we are still super close. I only wish I were there to celebrate with her. Sally was the one person I told everything too, I was completely silly with, and she nursed me through the long illness and death of my mother at a time in my life that I really needed a friend. She will always be my very close friend and close to my heart. It doesn't matter how long it has been since we have talked we always pick up right where we left off. She is absolutely beautiful in every way. She is giving and understanding and loves completely. We have made many memories together - scarfing down entire pans of brownies and singing silly songs while doing dishes. This year I hope she is able to slow down a little and find her groove. I hope I get to see her this year. I hope everyone can appreciate her as much as I do and they realize what an amazing person she is. Happy Birthday Sally! I love you! Thank you for being such a huge part of my life.
Apparently this Zumba thing is very popular all over the country and most people have heard about it. Today I taught my first class and was amazed to see around 40 people staring back at me at 11:30 on a Tuesday. I guess they were looking for something new to do. I have to admit that after hour and hours and hours (literally I did not do anything else for 3 days) of practice and preparation I had a complete blast teaching this class. The energy from the members was infectious and it truly was like you were at a party or a really fun wedding and everyone was on the dance floor doing their thang. If you haven't tried it I recommend it. You burn a ton of calories and you don't even know you are doing it. I think on Zumba days I am going to have french fries as a reward ;)
By the way, this is obviously not my club but it is a good depiction of what I was looking at from the stage.
Today is my Dad's final chemo session!!!! We are all praying that this is the last we see of that nasty cancer and he is onto better and brighter things. I have not talked to him and I am sure he will have a few crumby days but after that I hope he takes time to celebrate his good health!
Jack signed up to be an alter server at church today. He is nervous to do it and is afraid he is going to spill holy water all over the priest. I think it will be good for him to be in front of people and have an obligation. I can't wait to see him in the white robe!
What an amazing training I went to! The instructor was fantastic and I am totally pumped to teach my first class. We danced all day and I am exhausted - my brain turned off about 2 hours before it was over. I had an In N Out cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake on the way home. I am under the gun to learn/ choreograph an entire class by Tuesday - yikes! I brought my camera but didn't have a second to click a few pics. I wish I had of the entire room packed with over 50 people dancing up a storm!
I helped my friend Stephen decorate for this great event today and as a reward I was lucky enough to attend. This is a fundraiser for the city for their beautification projects. 15 wineries and 15 restaurants prepare delicious food and tastings for you to enjoy as you mingle. This years theme was disco. The tables were all bright and the centerpieces ( you can't see because it is still light outside) were vases with led and light up things inside. Very colorful. The food booths were decorated with blingy fabric and disco balls and there was even a dance floor with a DJ. Stephen had a lounge area set up at the front with girls on podiums dancing. The night was fun and a huge success. I, of course, danced as much as I could and now can not feel several of my toes. Well worth it. Tons of fun.
Something really strange happened in a yoga class I was teaching tonight. During the relaxation section (where everyone is just still at the end of class) a man loudly walked into the classroom through a closed door and proceeded to walk all around the members on the floor. He then left through the other side of the room. Thank goodness I thought to myself. I was on the microphone and I was shaking my head at him but he didn't seem to care. He then came in AGAIN this time carrying a mat and stomping around the room until he found a place to put his mat down. He walked over to me and asked if I would mind if he did a few exercises - I told him he needed to wait until the end of class. He then went and loudly picked up his mat and stomped out of the door. Seriously, what is wrong with people? Would you ever walk into a dark room with people lying on the floor and disturb them??? People are so strange!
Participate in the Breast Cancer walk (haven't done this - Maybe in November when it comes around again) Volunteer at Peoples Kitchen - (nope - haven't done this either) Backpack with the family in Yosemite - didn't make it but DID spend a fantastic week in Ohio - I think that counts. Learn how to surf - I am waiting for the water to get warm? Ride in a hot air balloon (I have always wanted to do this) - What about learning zumba - kind of the same? Learn how to cook a gourmet meal - I have decided that every meal I actually cook is gourmet - served with napkins and a glass of wine...definitely! Change the oil in my car.....(Andy help!) - jiffy lube? Manage people (school, church, work function - this scares me to death!) - I have come to realize I do this on a daily basis. In my job, in my home, with my friends.
It is September, I only have a month to get it together...... Note to self - try not to procrastinate.
We went to a neighborhood party tonight to meet some new additions to the neighborhood. It was fun to gather and chat with those people we haven't seen in awhile. I am so thankful that we live in such a friendly neighborhood. I know many people live in their houses and rarely even talk to their next door neighbors - they may not even know their names. This is not the case here. We all look after each other. In fact, our neighborhood had another break in this week and we are coming together to catch these thieves (we think they are a bunch of kids looking for some quick cash). They don't know who they are dealing with! We are a friendly group but we are also protective and strong. Watch out!
Many of you have been asking about my Dad. I am sorry I haven't been posting regular updates. He only has one more chemo session left! This will happen a week from Monday and then he is done. He has weathered this quite well and we are all confident that at the end of this he will have a clean bill of health. Thank you for all of your support and prayers over the last few months. I will write a final update when I know. Please continue to pray for his full recovery.
This week I switched classes with someone and so I just happened to have the day off today. I had a fun time walking around San Luis by myself and I met some friends for lunch. I feel extremely blessed to have this time. I am thankful to God and to John for providing for our family so well. He works very, very hard. Sometimes late at night. He shoulders all of the responsibility for our financial situation and I know it must be very stressful. Because of him and his amazing determination and talent our family enjoys the luxury of living in this beautiful area with a few little extras along the way too. Thank you John for being that man that you are. Thank you for allowing me today and time to enjoy friends. Thank you for being the best father our children could ask for. Thank you for being such an awesome husband. I love you!
Today is Sally's birthday - my Dad's wife. I am happy the two of them have found some steadiness in their lives now. They seem to enjoy living in Des Moines (at least in the spring, summer and fall). They find pleasure in their day to day lives with their dogs and nice home. Sally is a very good cook and seamstress. She has a knack for choosing just the right fabrics to go together. She has an eye for good artwork and an appreciation for fine workmanship. She also is a very good writer. She has a pretty straight forward look at life which I can relate to. I actually knew Sally before my Dad did. I watched her house for a short time while she was away on vacation. Because of this I have always had an easy time talking to her and our friendship came naturally. I am glad the two of them have found comfort and security in each other. I am happy she has been there for him while he has been going through such a trying time. Thank you Sally for taking care of my Father. I hope the next few years will be calm and peaceful. I hope you both have a chance to enjoy the goodness that life offers you. I wish you health and happiness and a very blessed birthday.