It Feels Like Yesterday

Nine years ago today, Dave and I went on our first date. I can't believe it's been that long! According to these people, the appropriate gift for the 9 year anniversary is:

I've added to the pottery

You sure took a nice picture of things I like.

Sadly, it is not awesome flea market finds. It's pottery.

If that doesn't work for you, try this:

The sad Salix Babilonica...

This looks like a nice place to camp. Wouldn't you agree?

It's a willow.

I was hoping that the 9th anniversary was fabric, because then it would justify the boatload I just brought home from JoAnn. But it's not, so I'm kicked to the curb on this one.

Anyway, here are the problems with the suggested items:

1. Dave would not "get" the pottery. He might look at me cross-eyed if I brought home milk pitcher or a plant in a pot and said, "Happy Anniversary." He would say, "I don't get it." He would not understand the "sweet gesture" part of it.

2. We have a very small back yard, so the tree is a definite no-go.

So here I am, back to square one. All that research (3 minutes, y'all) plus a blog post (10 minutes, y'all) for what? Nothing but a couple of laughs. And what's that worth?


Happy Anniversary, Dave!


I Feel Like the Bahamas

I have been an island in the Caribbean for a year-long hurricane season. I got pummeled by grandest and saddest that life offers. Here are some of the storms and bright spots that have passed me in the last calendar year:

November 21: 10 a.m., 6 days before Thanksgiving, and 6 months pregnant, I was fired from a job I'd held with pride for five years.

December 6: 2:21 a.m., my wonderful roommate from my twenty-somethings was killed by a drunk driver.

January 17: 10 a.m., started a new, fairly stressful job working for my father-in-law in an industry I knew nothing about, and was not very interested in.

February 26: 12 p.m., my niece, Mikayla, was born.

March 4: 4:41 a.m., my beautiful son Marcus was born.

April 1: 12:30 p.m., Marcus almost died, and was admitted to the Pediatric ICU and diagnosed with SVT.

...the calm...

September 4: 9 a.m., Marcus was taken to Community Memorial Hospital with blood sugar level of 8 (normal range is 80-140), almost died, and was admitted for a 2 day hospital stay.

October 26: Alexandria turned 3, and Dave turned 39, so we went to Disneyland.

November 12: 10 a.m., met with former employer, attorneys present.

Each day that passes gets me closer to being one year away. Does that make any sense? Whatever. Fortunately, I get to take the good stuff (kids and Disneyland (season pass, y'all!)) with me, while much of it will remain in the memory of my past. So with a few photos, a couple of blog entries, and a new thicker skin, I'm accepting the last 365 days as one long, drawn out learning experience. The storm is past and I'm moving on.

Man, I feel good right now. (don't jinx it...)


My Little Corner of Heaven - An Introduction

I live in Ventura, California, and I love where I live. I think Ventura is the shiz.

If you have ever driven up CA-1, or Route 101, from, say, Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, then you have passed through my little corner of heaven.

I'd like to let everybody in on the awesomeness of this coastal haven by spotlighting my fave-o things in town. Target will not count because Target is everywhere (except Santa Barbara! Ha!).

I'll start with the most obvious...

Main Street.

Main Street at Palm Street

Thanks for the photo, Schaf!

Main Street in Ventura is packed with cute shops, yummy restaurants, and about 822 wine bars (I exaggerate, but not by much). It's charming and historical and stuff, but it's pretty much the people watching that makes it epic. My favorite are the fake homeless punk kids in skinny jeans riding skateboards. Right. Convincing.

Anyway, this is what "charm" looks like.

Shopping in Wonderland

Hey Wink, thanks for the great photo of Zoey's Cafe in El Jardin courtyard!

My favorite place to go on a sunny Saturday after picking up veggies from Farmer's Market is Palermo for coffee and a pastry. Sometimes it's too hot, so one must get a gelatto. Yes please. The gift shop is divine. It's very pricey, but that doesn't take away from it's divinity.

My second favorite place to go is B. on Main. It's a trinket and knick-knack paradise. She has beautiful cups and saucers and plates and linens and jewelry and stationery and handbags. Her shop is gorgeous and inspiring.
Sometimes I just like to stroll up and down the street, peeking in windows and doorways. I like seeing the antique shops and restaurants full of people and possibilities.

I love my little town.

What's your favorite thing about your town?


If I Had...

There's that song by the Barenaked Ladies that goes, "If I had a million dollars..." and it's pretty funny. But that concept makes me think. What would I do if I had...

...a million dollars? I would take a vacation, get a housekeeper, and get a new car. I would also get my hair cut regularly and invest in some good running shoes. And get the baseboards installed in my house. And get rid of the pink (hey, I said it and it's true) carpeting on my stairs and in our bedrooms. I think that's it. I would pretty much not worry about how to pay bills. That would be nice.

...a private jet? Easy. I'd fly to Boston, the city that some of my favorite people in the world call home.

...a new computer? I would cease to pull my hair out because it would probably be able to hold the internet connection when more than one window is open. OMG, I want to pull my hair out right now. I just did. Clumps. gross.

...a high paying job? Likely stress out a lot more because high paying jobs come with lots of responsibility, and I've already got enough of that with two kids, thank you very much. I don't think I could manage much more.

...my own business? I'd make stationery and baby blankets and quilts and scarves. All manner of handiwork, done by yours truly. I'd do it, and then I'd have arthritis by 40. Eh, I'll just do it on the side.

...a book deal? Offer friendly advice from a former bartender turned mom. That's quite a vociferous combo, right? Yikes!

But, since none of those things have appeared on the horizon, I'll stay happy with the life that is mine.

Night night.


Natalie Recalls Those Bygone Days

Back in the day, I had this thing called...um...time. Yeah, I think that's it. Anyway, this "time" has suddenly become, um, less available. Hence, no posts. I'm sadface for that.

Eternal clock

I don't have time to take photos. I borrowed his.

Anyhoo, here I am, posting and happy and carving out 8 minutes between my kids going to bed and Dave bringing me dinner. I'm happyface for that.

And I miss posting and sharing, BTW. Because I love communicating in all forms. If you have something to say, you should say it, right? I still have a story.
I just don't have any time to share it.

This isn't a pity party, however. This is my real life. And it's not like my life is any crazier than anybody else's, but it's mine and it's crazy and I'm cool with it. And now that Dave is home with my dinner (mmm...broccoli cheese soup and baby it's coooold outside), I'm gonna go.

pumpkin black bean soup

I didn't take this photo.
This person did.