19 And So Angry

I have a 19 year old son.  He is still a boy and yet a man.  He is in college studying, playing lacrosse, skiing and just generally having the time of his life.

Now all over the news another 19 year old -- the Marathon Bomber.  I look at the pictures of him and find it so hard to believe.  19 and so angry.  I, too, am angry with him.  He took away people's lives and limbs.  He needs to be punished.  He will be punished.

But I do look at him and wonder, "What in the hell has happened to you?"

  Did your god tell you to do this?  Did people you love and admire tell you that you should do this?  Have you not spent enough time here in the States to know that people here are good at heart?  Why would you want to hurt people and then actually stand there and watch?

I like to believe that people are born good.  Studies show that even babies have compassion.  Evil is learned.  Where did this 19 year old learn all this evil?  When will the evil stop?



BigMan's 50th Fiesta Grande

So the big 50 "Come As Your Favorite Age" party was awesome.  People really jumped into the theme so it was really fun to see everyone as they came in...
Ok so this is a pre-game photo.  Now when you are 50 pregaming consists of hydrating, finding comfortable shoes and eating a balanced meal to soak up the booze.

The "MAN" of the party-Kyle.  Kyle is a godsend, angel, friend to all.  He was my staff and did an awesome job.  I couldn't have done it without his help and I wish I could clone him.

Sisterwife is wearing her sorority outfit including her backpack from college full of chardonnay.  She carried her own booze in said backpack during college so no one could roofie her drinks.  She is drinking a Popey's Pretty Mini Martini--the signature drink of the evening.
Yup the shirt says it all...

Ok it is her prom dress....she just married the prom date so it was even better!!

And US!  I dressed in my pajamas, a lovely housecoat, slippers and powdered my hair...I feel like the best is yet to come...

The handsome man of the evening dressed as he did on our wedding day.  Very romantic!  Very handsome!

It was a fun party with over 70 guest. The evening went smoothly. Loved every minute!


The Big 5-0

So the BigMan is 50.  I woke up first and looked over at him and just couldn't believe that this is where we are now.  50 years old seems pretty old for people who are so young or at least think we are young.

Today I went through hundreds of pictures to make copies of for the big "Come As Your Favorite Age" party.  When I look through the pictures we were once young and did look quite different.  Our hair is shinier, our teeth look nicer and we were so much thinner!

I did realize that
 1)  We have had so much fun together and done some really exciting things.  Created people, traveled to cool places and made our own family traditions.

2) He's only known me half his life...poor thing.

3) I have two more years to watch him and figure this fifty thing out.  So far so good for him! I rocked out dinner (roast beast, broccoli, baked potato, perfect yorkshire pudding and lovely cake)...old friends have been calling and he got lots of facebook love.  And, of course, then there is the big fiesta!


Fiesta Grande!

Some people can do chemistry equations.  Some people can sew.  Some people can drive well.  Me?  I can throw a party without having huge stress.  I can think about all the things I need to do and barrel right through them.

Next week BigMan turns 50.  Yup it's huge.  Every ten years I have a big blowout for him.  Last party was a sushi and martini party.  It was epic!  Dancing started at 7:30 and lasted till 2:00 am.  So fun. The dress code was "Outrageous Classroom Dress"  --a prep school insider joke about dress code.  It was awesome--one friend's whole outfit was from lost and found.  Another friend dressed as my husband and her boyfriend came as me.  One couple came in black tie.  It was so fun.

I've sent the invites.  Paperlesspost.com rocks!  It even tracks the invites and lets you put them into a spreadsheet.  This is the photo I used of BigMan--doesn't he look happy?

Today I went to the little market near us that I use as caterers.  The woman there is so laid back, I just love her.  Most importantly I try not to dither over small decisions--everyone likes all kinds of food so just pick a few things and go with it.  Next I went to the party store to pick up all the plates etc.  So fun.

One of the most important things to remember is that it's not crucial to the party what kind of plates or cups you have.  The most important things are the people who are there...are they comfortable?  Can they find the food--drink?  Are you introducing them to other people so they feel welcome?

The next thing is getting the house ready. Ugh.  As I've said before this is not my forte.  I've hired (hello Groupon!) some people to come clean downstairs in the afternoon.  I then will put out at least 50 candles in votives, fresh flowers on the table and try to get a bit of rest before people arrive.  I like to have fun at my parties so I always hire (it's so worth it) two teenagers to just pick up and help serve food.
Ok I just answered the door for some guests who just tried to come a week early to the party!  Funny.

I like to personalize my parties.  Recently, I had a wedding shower and I went to the bride's Pinterest page and made all of the food items. She was so surprised to see Pinterest come to life.  Another party for an elegant friend had champagne served on silver platters.  For BigMan I am going to search through old photos and make some posters at the local Staples.  This goes along with the theme I have chosen--"Come As Your Favorite Age".  
I can't wait!!!!


Bursts of Joy!

I don't know if it's hormonal or chemical but I sometimes get big bolts of joy.  Sometimes these come for no reason at all.  I'm driving down the road and BAM I just want to shout out, "I'm so happy".

Sometimes they are because I have not seen BigMan in a while and he pops into the dining hall and my heart leaps a bit.  Or I catch sight of one of my kids having a good moment at school or I spy them laughing really hard. 

Every once in a while it's because I've done something.  Now this something doesn't have to be particularly astounding.  Recently, I've been crazy juicing to try to keep my people healthy.  The juices come out some nasty butt colors but for the most part people will drink them.  I get that machine going and I feel content that I am doing something good for my peeps.

I remember being in college and walking around campus, thinking, "I am in COLLEGE."

It's a little bit like thinking in good capital letters!


Little Problems, Big Problems

When your children are babies and toddlers they angst over everything.  My EldestSon would have conniptions about the seams in his socks.  It was as if the world was ending.  Life is over if their cookies break. Their cries are deep and long.

I remember when they began to have problems that I actually could remembering having as well.  That was a sea change.  It's hard to remember being upset about falling down or getting in trouble for not sharing.  It's a whole different world when someone is mean to you on the bus or you feel excluded.  That phase killed me.  You really can feel their pain and sadness.  I remember calling a friend and saying, "Oh my god the baby stuff was easy compared to this!"

Now that everyone is in college or high school it's even harder than the elementary school/middle school feelings.  It's hard to first make friends at college.  It's painful to be ill during finals and blow your grades after working your butt off all semester.  It's hard to not have plans on a Saturday night and you know (or in our case even hear) other people are having fun.  When one of the mothers of your close friend dies you begin to question mortality.

As a parent you put on a happy, positive spin on things and try to not show that you are crushed as well.  Sometimes you want to just say, "Yes this sucks but it too will pass."  I often say that this will be a short memory.  Or my favorite-"Go to bed.  It's best to just get this day out of the way. Tomorrow will be a new day."

If only they were still just upset about a broken cookie.



I secretly obsess.  And obsess and obsess....

Here is just small list of obsessions

1. Travel plans
     Yes, this one kind of sucks because I travel a lot.  I don't use a travel agent because I feel the need  to manage everything to the very minute.  I dither over flights that are 15 minutes apart.  I check the flights out of three different airports.  I spend time on websites figuring out the perfect seat on the plane.

2. Menus/Restaurants
     I always have to check the menu a few times before I go to a restaurant.  I also read the entire menu again when I arrive at the restaurant.  When traveling I check many websites about the best place to go..(seriouseats.com, roadfood.com, yelp.com).

3. Blogs/Websites
    I read a few different blogs a day.  Then I read blogs/forums that make fun of the blogs that I read.  If I haven't read them the day has not begun.  I had a serious addiction to New York Social Diary for a few years. I quit that one cold turkey and was quite proud. I check Seriouseats.com about a dozen times a day....are there new posts, are there any good pictures...ahhhh.

4. Words With Friends
     I have played someone I don't know for over three years--two games at a time.  I usually have about ten games going at once.  I play a faculty member that kicks my ass consistently.  It's the first thing I do when I wake up.

These aren't serious but they are time wasters.  I enjoy them and will continue to obsess.