Wednesday, October 4, 2017

because it's really never enough

My mom. She was beautiful. She was thoughtful. She was kind. She was the kind of mom that I hope to be. (Except let's be honest, I really don't want to carve pumpkins. Sooo messy. And sharp tools!) She made birthdays extraordinarily special. She made sacrifices for family.

She was mine. And she was gone too soon. Just when I was starting to gain momentum as an adult, she was gone. And that leaves me here. Wanting more. Thinking about all the things I am missing. That she is missing. That J1 and J2 are missing.

I usually try to get the kids' birthday letters done before I open this vein. But I am behind. This year has been extraordinarily hard. Some of it brought on by myself---e.g., thinking it was a good idea to train for a marathon---some of it brought on by forces over which we have no control. I am struggling. Struggling to keep my head above the water. Struggling to dive deep when the waves crash, with the hope of coming out better, brighter, and with more depth and self-awareness.

And as I hold my breath waiting for the storm to pass, it's then I miss you the most. Because in this past year, I definitely would have called you. A lot. All the time. I am not sure I have ever needed you more than I have in the last 12 months. I can't tell you what I would say, but I am certain there would be tears. I'm also not entirely sure what you would say in response---or if it would even make me feel better. But sometimes you just need your mom. The person that loves you in a way so completely and unconditionally that it is beyond description.

Each year is one more year without you. Each year is another year where I try to be as good as you were at this whole mom thing without being able to call you up and ask how you managed to get me to piano lessons, swim practice, Girl Scouts and still put dinner on the table---while here I struggle to just get the Postmates driver to show up at my door rather than in the alley.

Maybe I attach too much significance to all of it. Maybe if I called, you'd be like "f*uck, Nina, I don't know." Just kidding, my mom would definitely not drop the f-bomb. Regardless, of whether any particular conversation would be good, bad or indifferent, I just miss having the chance. The chance to even have a bad conversation. Maybe even the chance to disappoint you. Whatever. Just the chance for more. I look at some of the last photos I have of us together and have to remind myself to be happy I had you until I was 23 years old. But it will never be enough. Because really, all I want is more. More time. More photos. More you. More mom.


As an adult and particularly as a mom myself, I can clearly see that you gave David and me the best of you. I am doing my absolute best, which is far from perfect, but I hope I can honor your memory by giving J1 and J2 the best of me.

I just miss you. So much. That is all.

Monday, September 25, 2017

p is for perfect

Our trip to Disneyland was just that. Perfect. Barely any lines. We got on all the rides we wanted to do. Kids were at the perfect age/size so they could and would ride most of the rides. Kids behaved wonderfully. Disney worked its magic and we had such an awesome time.

We started on Friday in Disneyland, where I made the family stand in line for a photo. Because it is what moms do.

Of course, J2 has to be the little clown. The only time he stood nicely for a picture was if it was with a character ... see for yourself.

Friday night we risked it and tried to go back to the park for the fireworks. About 15 minutes before the show started, it became self evident that we had really pushed our luck---so we headed out and watched the fireworks as we walked out of the park.

Sunday we geared up for California Adventure, which for all you like minded moms has alcohol. Everywhere. If you need a beer to get you through a Disney Jr. dance party, California Adventure does not disappoint.

That thing in the background that looks like a giant ferris wheel. Do not go on that. It is terrifying. It is like a ferris wheel on crack.

Mickey ears. $25. Lunch at Ariel's Grotto. $250. Autograph pen. $8. The look on J2's face when he sees princesses? PRICELESS.

J1 alleges that her favorite ride was California Screamin'. She also loved the Matterhorn. I think part of that has to do with the fact that her brother was too little ride them---so it was extra special.

You couldn't see her in the photo from the ride because she is so short and we weren't in the front of the car, so here's the only proof we have that she actually rode it ... TWICE.

So much fun, so many memories. I declare the National Lampoon's Chunglund Vacation a resounding success! And now I don't have to do that again ... at least for another few years.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

d is for donner

Donner Lake has quickly become one of my favorite places. We've had family and friend weekends, we've had girl weekends, we've driven up just for the day ... it's not too far, it's beautiful, you can hike, you can swim ... something for everyone.

Over Labor Day weekend we went to West End Beach with some friends. A perfect way to beat the 100+ degree heat in Sacramento. The water was cool, the company was entertaining, a good time was had by all---even J2, who is never satisfied with the amount of sand toys I bring and continually tries to abscond with other children's toys.

Here's to being grateful for friends, family, and the impending cooler weather.

Fall is coming. And no, I will not be eating/drinking/or smelling like anything pumpkin spice ...

Friday, August 25, 2017

just beachy

It's been a long, hot summer. A few weeks ago we did one of my favorite things. Headed to the beach! It was more of a throw and go than a well-planned excursion---which as much as spontaneity (especially with small children) can pain me was good for me to let go of all my neurotic planning tendencies that don't always turn out exactly as planned anyway.

On our way out to the coast, we learned that it was actually kind of chilly, no one had long sleeves, and stores that may or may not sell long sleeves were not even open. We improvised and stopped at Oxbow Public Market to waste some time doing some eating.

breakfast taco
When the outlet mall opened up, we made a mad dash for Gap and picked up some sweatshirts then headed to Dillon Beach.

It was a wonderful day. I would do this every single weekend, if I could. Vitamin Sea.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017