Wednesday, November 30, 2016

it's just lunch

My dear friend, Jenn, has set a goal to make it through her backlog of blog posts by the end of the year. I shall endeavor to do the same. This one is from a little lunch we had last summer. The reason I've been putting it off is because I keep forgetting to scan the menu and wine list---which is critical to this post. 

In an effort to "bond" the associates at my firm indulged in an over the top lunchtime meal at a little place called The French Laundry. Now, I have wanted to eat here for a loooong time---well before we ever moved anywhere remotely close to Napa. Since coming to Sacramento just over four years ago, I have often thought that if we're going to splurge and eat there, we should definitely do it now while we are within driving distance because if we ever move farther away I had sincere doubts that we were coming back just for a meal. And then, just like that, I landed a dream job with like minded people and we concocted a plan to pay a visit to a world renowned restaurant.

There's really not much more to say---so I will let the food do the talking.

Oysters and caviar. This might have been my favorite dish.

Six kinds of salt. WHAT!? Mind blown. Anyway, it was to accompany the foie gras but I was so enamored by the salt I forgot to take a picture of the foie. For shame.

This tops the list as the most indulgent experience in my life. And how does one NOT bond over a gluttony and spending an obscene amount of money on lunch. I mean, after sharing a meal that costs much much more than my paycheck, we should probably all be BFFs.

In all sincerity, I have landed at a truly good place to work. Which I can say with confidence because I have also worked at some challenging (note the use of euphemism) places. I am so grateful to be part of this firm.

keeping the faith

Another thing that I rarely blog about. Religion. If I keep this up, people might start to take me seriously. But really, this will not be the demise of the blog. I will get back to regularly scheduled updates of my favorite little people shortly.

I grew up going to church---baptism, confirmation, the whole nine yards. But it wasn't until I had a family of my own that I started regularly attending church as an adult. And even then it felt more like something I was supposed to do rather than something I wanted to do. That has changed over the last few months and I think I owe it all to Little Miss J.

We enrolled her in a parochial school this fall. She attends mass. They say prayers at school. While at first it felt mildly awkward, I have actually come to welcome it. Even though, I'm not Catholic and am probably overly self-conscious about what they think of me when I don't make the sign of the cross, prayer feels good.

When we talk about school with Little Miss J, we inevitably end up talking about God. They pray each morning. They pray before eating. They learn about God and Jesus. Her faith is integrated into her daily life---in a way that is much more pronounced than how I grew up. And through her, I am reminded that Jesus isn't just for Sundays.

It fills my heart that Little Miss J is developing her relationship with God. I want her to be able to take comfort in Jesus' love for her and to be able to say "I am not afraid and I don't need to worry because God will take care of me" and to truly feel and believe that in her heart. Because I know I'm certainly not there yet. The number of things I worry about would be appalling to most. If I really could just put all my faith in God, I feel like it would make my life easier. Or, at the very least, I would need less Xanax. (I kid, sort of.)

My hope for Little Miss J (and J2 as well) that by growing up with their faith integrated with their education and being with like-minded teachers and students they will have that relationship and be able to, as they say, let go and let God. Because as Ms. Cathleen (the children's minister at our church) says, when you pray more, you pray more. When you talk about God more, you talk about God more. And for me, that has meant God's presence in our lives has been that much more noticeable.

And religion aside, I am in love with the school we have chosen. The overarching theme throughout is an emphasis on being respectful, loving and kind. One cannot argue with that. Particularly in light of the events over the last few weeks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

i want to ... but i don't

I want to post about politics. But in the same breath I don't. I have drafted and revised responses to some of the social media posts I have seen throughout the day---ultimately deleting them because I simply didn't want to get sucked into a pointless dialogue.

I didn't vote for Hillary. I didn't vote for Trump---which leaves me vilified by the left for throwing away my vote. I didn't not vote for Hillary because I am a misogynistic, racist, bigot. And fear not, I live in California where they called the state for Hillary 5.6 seconds after the polls closed.

I was disappointed in the election---both sides. There was bullying and hate mongering on every level. The left did such a good job of disparaging Trump and his potential supporters, that they didn't even realize such people existed. Look at the results. How incredibly wrong the pollsters were is absolutely staggering.

I am disappointed in the results. Although to be honest, I had a hard time wrapping my head around either result. I am disappointed the glass ceiling continues on. I am disappointed in the reactions I have witnessed. It wasn't until today, the day after the election---the day we were all waiting for so we could stop talking about it and get back to posting about our dogs and kids on social media---that I actually unfollowed people on Facebook. Moreover, I am disappointed in the fact that a certain faction of people think they are somehow blameless in the events that have transpired. To think there were enough Americans so disenfranchised by the governmental process to vote for Trump means that we, as a country, have somehow failed. Again, look at the results. 45% of white college educated women voted for Trump. That is not insignificant. Something is wrong. No one is blameless. And everyone will experience the consequences---good or bad. Let's not become further divided by acting like one somehow above the fray because one didn't vote for him.

And here, again, is where I will depart from the majority of the people who populate my Facebook newsfeed, I will not allow the individual elected as president---regardless of gender---to teach my children kindness, respect, honesty, ethics, etc. That is MY job. And rest assured I take that job very seriously. My house, not the White House, will be where my children learn these lessons.

I typically stick to non-controversial subjects like my adorable children. I am pretty sure most of my friends don't actually realize how deeply some of my conservative convictions lie---because it's personal and it is truly unlikely that you will change my mind on certain subjects, which is why I never felt the need to leave social media during election season. The bait was never worth rising to. I guess what I'm saying is that if my political persuasion has somehow changed your opinion of me, I get it.

And really, don't get me wrong. This was neither the result you or I wanted or expected. But it is overwhelmingly telling of the broken-ness of our system. And it is a call that we need to do better---which of course we can and we will. Even the Democratic champion, the one the left thought was untouchable, has said ... "We owe [Donald Trump] an open mind and the chance to lead." Instead of the fear mongering and scare tactics, let's follow the lead of the woman, who the popular vote thought would lead this country to greatness. Let's all be better than the other side expects us to be, regardless of what side that is.

wordless wednesday

Monday, November 7, 2016

this is halloween!

What a fun night! Even a little rain couldn't stop us from enjoying trick or treating around our neighborhood. I came home with such a warm heart. And no, it wasn't just because of the wine ... or was it? Filled with a sense of place and community piled on top of the happiness that comes with seeing the pure joy on my little munchkins' faces as they ran from house to house.

Four years ago our neighbors graciously let us into their inner circle allowing us to partake in the Halloween tradition. Dinner, wine, and trick or treating. Pretty simple. Pretty perfect. The rest is history. This is Halloween. G Street style!

Little Miss J raced around the neighborhood stockpiling the candy. J2 held his own running down the street after the big kids lugging his little proton pack.

My little spooks haunted the streets and had sugar filled dreams of Halloween 2016.