Sunday, September 21, 2014


On Friday, I attended a workshop and one of the people presenting talked about the professional benefits of a reflection journal.  I thought "hey, I've been doing that for years on my blog".   Sure, here I reflect on a little bit of everything from work to family, trying to focus on the positive side of things.    And then, before I got too smug in thinking "oh, I do that", I realized it had been a little too long since I sat down and reflected or here it goes...

For starters, last month I reflected on goodbyes, and I will start out this entry with yet another goodbye.   This one clearly falls in  the category of an unexpected goodbye.  
 Hubby and I were waiting to hear from our friend, Bobskoots.   He and his wife were due to arrive at our house for a visit last week.   I was really excited to meet Yvonne, having heard so much about her through the years that we've been friends with Bob.  

 On our trip up to the mountains, Hubby and I reflected  that it had been a couple weeks since we'd heard from Bob.   He's one very connected internet guy so to go almost 2 weeks without a peep from him, seemed very odd.  Yes, we started to assume the worst, but really didn't let our minds wander in that direction for too long.   Nah, nothing bad could have happened.  Maybe he had simply encountered mechanical delays or technical difficulties?

On Monday, we learned the reason for his radio silence.   While on an epic US road trip with his wife, Bob died of a an apparent heart attack while in Nashville.      Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Yvonne and his two adult children.

Yes, Bob died living his life, doing the things he enjoyed and from that we can draw comfort.   Yet, such an unsettling reminder for us all that we never know when our time is up and whether we will have an opportunity to say a final goodbye to those who hold a special place in our lives.

Bob did indeed hold a special place in many moto-bloggers hearts.   He inspired many of the quieter types to get out there and meet and ride with each other in real time. Step away from the computer and get out and visit with one another.   

   Thank you Bob for sharing so much of yourself with all of us.    You will be missed for sure!
*Don't they look like they are related by more than just a love of motorcycles?

Next up in a long winded reflection post, is noting how much things change in that blink of an eye...

Seems it was just yesterday when these cuties were parade spectators....
And now look who is in the Homecoming parade...

Thing Two has dove in head first into all things High School....from Friday Night football games to joining the lacrosse team.   He's even sustained his first concussion (Being a non-sport family, we failed to remind him of the dangers associated with running from the grass to the concrete while wearing cleats.   Face Plant time!)

One of the cardinal signs of a concussion:   emotional changes.
this one can best be described as punch about the selfie-crazed teens!  

And now, on to happier reflections....

When the babysitter is this cute as an awkward pre-teen (12), you just know she's going to make 
A very beautiful bride...

And with sisters as tight as these three have always been, 
It's a given that they will be beaming all afternoon...

And if this guy can have fun with just some veggies...
His day to really shine was as Father of The Bride

Eric and his mama, Big V, proud grandma of the bride

And while I know first hand how much this wonderful lady loved a wedding...

Judy as our Nanny at Ling and Carlos's wedding circa 2002

Her daughter surely learned from the best...

And put together one heck of a great wedding...

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Morris!

Thanks for letting us share in your wonderful day!  

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Yesterday seemed to be all about goodbyes.

There are the goodbyes we know must happen.  Such was the case for Mrs. D, a neighbor friend who has dedicated her summer to saying goodbye to her childhood home and helping her mom, the wonderful Mrs. G, move on to a living arrangement that can better meet her memory needs.    They close on Monday, so yesterday was the last trip to the family home.
Caitlin and her grandma, circa 2009
There are the goodbyes we know are coming but we just don't know when.   .
  Such was the case for my dear friend, Mrs. Z.     Her sister passed away yesterday morning.   Oh sure, we knew it was coming as her sister has struggled with some demons for most of her life.   But you are never fully prepared for when the end arrives.   You may know it's coming, but when it happens, well, there goes that hope.   That little glimmer of hope that maybe one day your loved one realizes that sobriety was a healthier and better decision.     Mrs. Z, your sister is no longer hurting, and know that your sister wives are here for you...ready to offer a hug, a good laugh, or even a trip to Village Inn, diets be damned!

And finally there is the unthinkable goodbye.   When you lose a child.   Yesterday, a family I have met through an online community said their final goodbyes to their 6 year old daughter.    Katie  just had more illness than modern medicine and prayer could fix.   How do you move forward from this devastating loss?   I do not know, but her family has amazed me through the years with their gracious ways and I have no doubt they will indeed move forward.   But for now, prayers for the Murphy family is all I can offer.

But not all goodbyes are about tears of sadness.   Yesterday was our neighborhood's annual party-in-the-park.   Sort of a good-bye to summer, complete with live band, catered BBQ, bounce houses galore, and all your friends and neighbors out enjoying one last summer evening before we say goodbye to the lazy days of summer.   School starts here while the calendar tells  us we've still got a month or so left of summer, in our hearts, we know that Summer 2014 is pretty much all wrapped up.

And while it seemed a little bit wrong and selfish to be having a good time with friends while others were having one helluva bad day, I also know that is what we need to do....creating those memorable moments, so that when it is time to say a goodbye of a sadder note, we can draw comfort from those many happy less painful times.

For my 3 friends that I dedicate this post to, my family and I send you our heartfelt sympathies...hoping you draw comfort from the loving support of those of us who love you dearly!

Friday, July 25, 2014

How did we end up here?

Whoa:   How is it that we're staring at the last weekend in July already?  
And that folks are starting to remind me that Sunday is
Yep, my birthday....the last one before I enter a new decade.
So, let's did we get to this point...I'll back up a bit and catch up on what's been happening here at the House of Chang
Last weekend, Thing Two and I joined a few neighborhood friends for an afternoon of culture...
Ok, so the symphony was performing the Music of Harry Potter and as such, it wasn't as cultured of an event as I'm portraying it to be.  But, perfect seats, fabulous music, wonderful friends and shelter from the sweltering heat outside?   Yeah, I'll take it!  
I also found myself with a sippy cup sized just right at our "Coffee Club Happy Hour" last Friday night
Again, a bit misleading, I really only had a small glass of wine and chased it with a couple glasses of water..
But this was our honest to goodness view
*soon after I snapped this we were treated to the most wonderful sunset of oranges and blues...
*Always extra happy when happy hour is within walking distance of my own house.
Saturday evening was our neighborhood's wine tasting evening..
I managed to snap just one photo of S and J before the sun set..
S. and I have spent a lot of time together this summer...
not only reconnecting with a long time friend, but taking care of our bodies..
A couple days a week, we meet and hoof it through this path...
It's a challenging route with some significant hills to climb but each day gets a little easier.

Not everything is going perfect in this quest to find fitness before 50...
 Krispy Kale, sound good, nice crunch to it, but a bit too earthy flavor for me.  
Jogging through a  5k:   went great the first two weeks, but then the knees started to hurt.
Sorry, but sort of need those knees to do their job so I'll stick with walking.
Oh well, I'll keep at it, just have to sort through what works and what doesn't...

In other news, Hubby has a new job, working from home.  But first he had to travel to UT to meet his new team.  While he was gone, this one took over his dad's spot in the family room...

Look at that grin...he does indeed know that he's in his daddy's spot!

Equal billing for the other thing?   Tough to include a photo...he's going through that hibernation mode of the teenager.   He is in driver's ed this week, so I suspect pictures will follow in the weeks to come as he starts taking to the road.

So, yes, this pretty much sums up how we got here, to the final stretch of my summer break.
We haven't taken any exciting trips, but I have slowed down and focused on the details..
spending time with friends
spending time taking care of my body
spending time in the company of a good book
 spending time either loving or annoying my family (that changes on an hourly basis....)

Until next time...