Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Winter Bucket List Review

Spring does not officially start until March 20th, but, since we all know how much I detest the winter, are we really surprised that I am jumping the gun a little? Of course we aren't.

I'll post my Spring Bucket List tomorrow, but, today, I wanted to see how well I did with my winter goals; as you may recall, I set the bar super low because winter.

1. Follow my usual Christmas traditions, including the baking of all those cookies. This was accomplished. Granted, my mom did the lion's share of the baking, but, I participated. And, I did manage my famous cut sugar cookies, so, I think I should get extra credit for that.

2. Conduct a holiday movie watching marathon, including classics and schmaltzy Hallmark channel movies. We managed It's a Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Christmas Story, and Frosty the Snowman. I really, really tried to watch the Hallmark stuff, but, didn't enjoy the side dish of salty tears that came with them, so, I limited my schmaltzy movie viewing.

3. Show my mom the best Christmas that I can. I hope I succeeded on this one. I take no responsibility for the plague that she came down with a couple of days later.

4. Enjoy a few outings with the kids during the holidays. Well, we saw some lights. And, we celebrated the Cub's acceptance to Hawaii Pacific University. I guess that counts? Yeah, you're right, I sucked at this one.

5. Sledding on Cerro Summit on New Years Day. Nailed it. Didn't freeze!

6. Attend all the Man-Cub's basketball games. I fell short by one; last week's business trip precluded me from attending the pigtail game in person, but, I did attend via my flat likeness, thanks to Hugh and my friends. So, I was at all the games, at least in spirit.

7. Eat less crap, keep moving. I did not totally suck at this; I even managed to lose three pounds during the holidays, earning myself 1000 points toward my wellness plan goal at Day Job.

8. Save more money for Hawaii. The money that I did save ($1,500) went toward the purchase of our plane tickets, which means that less of our household income had to be spent. That's a win!

And, that was it for my winter list, see above: setting the bar low. The major goal of the season was not having a total nervous breakdown, and, since I'm not typing this from a padded room, I would say that I accomplished that goal.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Shit Just Got Real

Earlier this evening, the Man-Cub and I sat in on a webinar conducted by the housing department of HPU, after which I went online to formally accept the Cub's financial aid package and to make his enrollment deposit.

There is no going back, now.

Well, technically there is, but, I don't see the Cub going in that direction; he's super stoked about his future. Granted, he would be ever so slightly more stoked had I agreed to the super luxe (and much more expensive) waterfront loft option for housing rather than the super lame dorm room circa 1967option, but, Mama's on a budget.

Mama's also perpetually on the verge of tears, but, we can always blame hormones for that; they're totally used to being the scapegoat for sudden waterworks.

Soooo, August 21st, is move-in day, folks.

I guess I better get started planning all the care packages that I will need to send. And, you know, stocking up on Kleenex.

Damn hormones.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Rest of the Story

So, about that surprise party. Mama Jill's husband and youngest daughter had first proposed the idea to us late last month, and, by "us", I mean the basketball moms. We were all up for the challenge of surprising a woman who is not easily surprised, and, planning commenced; there were challenges.

The first location chosen for the party fell through.

The date chosen for the party started looking questionable when we realized that the boys might be playing in the regional tournament on that very day (not saying that we were glad the boys lost the pigtail game, thus freeing up the date, but, if they had to lose, at least we got a nice consolation prize).

Mama Jill was offered an assignment on a fire in Virginia (she's a dispatcher), for which she would have to leave the day before the party was scheduled.

Once she turned down the assignment, Mama Jill expressed a desire to attend the regional tournament to watch the two teams that beat us out go head-to-head against each other (Mama Jill likes her some basketball).

We met each challenge; Basketball Mom Deb offered her house as an alternative location for the party, inviting us all to a supposed "last basketball family get-together". With a side order of sadness that four-out-of-five of our boys will be graduating and leaving Kenzie (and, Mama Jill) behind, we were relatively confident that Mama Jill would skip the regional tournament and the Virginia assignment (we were right, but we still held our breaths until the minute she walked into the house).

The challenge of surprising her once she got to the house required the rest of us to get there half an hour earlier than she was expected to arrive. At the house, the boys acted as valets, meeting each car at the end of the drive and shuttling it to a hidden parking spot in the neighbor's field so that the only cars Mama Jill would see would be those of the Basketball Moms and their families. Then, we waited. And, waited (Mama Jill is notoriously late to every event she attends).

Once they pulled in, it was simply a matter of directing her to the front door so that we could funnel her through the kitchen, where, the first people she would see were the only people she was expecting to see, giving the other guests the opportunity to yell "surprise!" from the living room.

It worked like a charm, and, the rest of this post will be done in pictures, because, a picture really does say a thousand words.


Thumbs up for a job well done! Happy 50th Mama Jill!

Damn, you're old ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Passing Down the Bling

Today, Hugh, the Man-Cub and I attended a surprise birthday party that we had helped plan for Mama Jill. The party had been in the works for ages, and, the fact that we pulled it off is actually rather surprising in and of itself; that woman is a suspicious one, generally speaking. But, pull it off, we did! I'll write more about the party tomorrow ( drinks may or may not have been consumed, leaving me drowsy and ready to hit the hay), but, for now, I wanted to write about the gift that I gave the birthday girl.

Mama Jill still has a year of high school basketball to go-Kenzie is just a junior this year-so, it seemed only fitting that I would pass along the basketball bling that has served me so well over the past two years to her.

These pieces haven't missed a game (I was even wearing them in my hotel room the other night, while I watched the Cub's last game on Facebook Live, courtesy of Mama Jill) and, I know they won't sit idle in Mama Jill's jewelry box, either; she'll wear them until it is time to pass them along to whomever she deems worthy of them after Kenzie finishes his last season, and, that feels pretty good to me.

Basketball bling: the gift that keeps on giving.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Favorites: The Snapchat Edition

The night before her birthday, Queen B and I spent some time Snapchatting with her roommates and with Kenzie and Mama Jill. The results of those Snapchats still make me laugh so hard, I get teary-eyed, and, I figured I should immortalize them here, so that my three readers (Hi, Mom! Jules! Phoebe!) can also get a good laugh. I'm generous like that.

I may not be a huge fan of some technology, but, this particular app is a keeper for sure; what else brings a mother and daughter together in laughter? Well, probably lots of things, but, humor me.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ok, So We Still Aren't Sure We're Doing It Right

21 years ago, today, Hugh and I became parents. We were 26 and 27, respectively, and, barely had a dollar between us with which to buy a clue about parenting; needless to say, we winged it.

Our "practice baby", the one we made all of our initial parenting mistakes on, turned out pretty ok; she's in her third year of college, holds down a job, manages to pay her rent on time (as her landlords, we are most pleased), and keeps her extracurricular activities under the radar of law enforcement.

Can't ask for much more than that.

Yesterday, she came down to spend the night with us so that she could visit our local DMV this morning to renew her driver's license; she's now the proud owner of identification that will allow her to legally purchase alcohol, which, means it's probably time for her to pass down her fake ID (of course she has one, are you kidding?). It also means that it's time for her to take on all of the adult responsibilities that a person of her age is requited to take on, including, holding down a job and paying her bills on time...


I guess we really did do something right.

Happy birthday, Queen B! You are the apple of our eyes and we could not be more proud of you!

PS: Party responsibly!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In Which the Cub FINALLY Picks a Senior Picture

We started the process of taking senior pictures clear back in July, and, several hundred photos later (or, maybe it just FEELS like several hundred), the Cub has finally deemed one worthy of the annual.

His decision may or may not have been heavily influenced by the Facebook poll that I took, but, the method isn't important when the result is good, and, the fact that he made a decision is a damn fine result.

Now, I can get to the business of choosing a handful of other pictures for his graduation announcements. For the record, although he will be consulted, I won't be waiting for him to make an hard decisions; there is a deadline to consider.

Also, indecision may, or may not be, the Cub's problem.

He's not sure yet.

Monday, February 20, 2017

It's Like Flat Stanley, Only Not

You know you have good friends and family when they find a way to include you when you are forced to miss your son's last basketball game of his high school career because you have to travel for work.

I have very good friends and family.

They even made sure I had snacks...

and, that I took a bathroom break. The call of nature isn't just for the three-dimensional, you know.

And, of course, I was taken along to the restaurant after the game (which, they lost, sadly. But! I got to watch the entire thing because, not only do my friends love me enough to drag around my likeness, but, they are willing to hold up a phone through an entire basketball game while on Facebook Live. I am a lucky, lucky girl).

Also, Hugh was kind enough to choose a flattering photograph of me, for which I am eternally grateful.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

There is Strength in Numbers

Last night's game did not end the way we would have liked. It ended the way we expected (we were up against the second-ranked team in our league), but, we were sad, nonetheless.

We are now waiting to hear where the boys will play tomorrow night, but, regardless of the outcome, I already know that I will be missing the game. That also makes me sad.

I'm also sad that I won't get to hang out with this group of ladies as often as I have been able to over the past three years...

...oh, we will still schedule social outings, and, we are all in agreement that spa night needs to become a regular item on the menu, but, I won't spend every Friday and Saturday with them anymore.

I think I'm going to need some new hobbies.

Anyway, after the game, we loaded up the troops and headed for a retro dinner that we have developed a fondness for; the staff has gotten used to seeing the eighteen-to-twenty of us show up on occasion, so they were somewhat prepared for the chaos that accompanies us.

After dinner, we caravanned home, over a windy mountain pass and back into our valley, where we parted ways at the high school.

When I got home, as I was putting away my basketball traveling paraphernalia, I took a minute to find a good place in my office to display the thank you card that Kenzie had made for each of us senior moms...

...that's really what it's all about; taking care of family. I'm so glad this is mine.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

How To Host the Ultimate Girls Night In

Last night, I welcomed four of my favorite basketball moms into my home for a spa night. It was a night long in the making; we happened upon the idea several weeks ago and had been working out the details and waiting for the perfect opportunity, ever since.
Finally, the planets aligned and the perfect date opened up: we didn't have a basketball game and we were all free of other obligations, Hugh was out of town at the State wrestling tournament, the Man-Cub was easily distracted with a sleep-over at Mama Jill's house, we were able to hire the services of both a massage therapist and an aesthetician, and, we were all on the verge of nervous breakdowns (4 out of 5 of us are the parents of a senior, 3 out of 5 of us will be empty-nesters once our boys graduate, 5 out of 5 of us work like dogs, keep up homes, volunteer in the community, deal with difficult people, and, don't regularly attend therapy; that's a recipe for a nervous breakdown if I ever heard one).

In short, last night was a well-timed, and, badly needed respite from the pressures of daily life.

The massage therapist set up in the living room, upstairs, where, she managed to create a calm, soothing environment for us. I was impressed, and, frankly, a little surprised, it didn't feel like my home at all. In fact, during my full body massage and reflexology sessions, I felt completely transported (yes, I had both a massage and  reflexology. I also had a facial, because, I deserved it!).

The aesthetician set up her equipment in my scrapbooking room, again, managing to create a tranquil and relaxing mood in a room that wasn't exactly meant for that purpose; magic.

While one of us was upstairs being massaged and another of us was having a facial, the rest of us were lounging in our robes and comfy yoga clothes, soaking our feet in foot baths filled with epsom salts and essential oils, sipping infused water and wine, and munching on an array of healthy treats while chatting and sharing stories.

In order to completely set the mood, I utilized low lights throughout the house, played the spa channel on Sirius XM (Yes! Such a thing does exist!), and had Mama Jill set up her essential oil infuser with a relaxation oil that filled the house with the exact fragrance of a spa.

By the end of the evening, we were all five glowing, relaxed, and ready to take on today, when we travel for our last basketball game of the regular season.

Another last, folks, but, I'm feeling relaxed enough to handle it. Spa night: Highly, highly recommended.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Basketball Senior Night

Are y'all ready for me to wax nostalgic about yet another last? No? Well, then, today is not your day.

Last night, the boys played in their final home game of the season, and, as in keeping with tradition, the Seniors and their parents were honored. I don't know if I've mentioned it, but, Hugh is out of town, officiating at the State wrestling tournament, so, he missed the game and his opportunity to stand proudly in front of a packed gymnasium with his son. I'm sure he was sad, despite his indifference to the sport (or, outright hatred of, depending on whom you ask), so we made sure to televise the moment on Facebook Live.

I'm sure the Cub was also sad about his dad missing it, so, I brought along a little something to help...

I think it worked.

After the game, the boys took turns taking down their Senior banners, and, I may have gotten a little misty when the Cub dropped to one knee, bent his head, and offered his to me in the manner that a knight would offer a gift to a queen.

I love that kid.

Anyway, we are down another milestone. The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, which means that these milestones are going to start coming in quicker succession. I'm honestly not sure my heart can take it.