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Tag Archives: Family

All At Once

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I haven’t been around here much lately. I just didn’t have anything to say. I was busy hanging out with my kid and worrying about money and doing things that are probably pretty boring that you don’t want to hear about. I have to remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if I miss a few posts from time to time.


Emily flew out Monday night. I successfully managed not to cry while she was packing. We spent the day waiting for a tropical storm to hit, so it was raining the entire day. We hung around the house playing games, reading, and enjoying our last hours in the same house. But all too soon it was time to get in the car and drive to the airport.

This was her first solo trip that wasn’t a direct flight, so we went over the procedure several times, and I insisted that she call me at every airport. And before I had time to catch my breath, it was time to send her through security and on her way out of our daily lives until Christmas. I smiled, hugged her hard, told her I loved her and was so very proud of her, that she would love her new school, and I couldn’t wait for her to come back. We stood there and watched her disappear around the corner, and my heart broke like it does every single time. I’m not strong enough for this.

But you keep breathing and the Earth keeps spinning and you have to continue with your life. I’ve had my resume put forward for three different jobs at the agency this week. I’m desperately hoping that I will be going to a job, any job, by Monday morning. I am in desperate need of a paycheck.

In the meantime, I’m still wishing that blogging could be my job, but I don’t think I’m very good at it. I’m going to try to put more focus and energy into it now that our little pretend vacation is over. I need a job so I can do the work I’m interested in. The work that brings me joy.  I’m not giving up. I’m still learning. I need to remember that I still haven’t reached the six month mark, the point at which I was supposed to be launching my own site that I’ve already had for two months. It’s gonna be okay.

The day after Emily leaves is always a day to reflect and readjust. That emptiness has to be filled somehow. I hope one of these days before I die I can become a person that my daughter can be proud of. Maybe some day.


Not On Board

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Who knew that taking your family to the beach for a picnic would be such torture for them? I suggested that we spend the day down in the park to escape the heat in the house and take advantage of the shade and the breeze and the cool ocean. In my mind it was a lovely idea. A lazy afternoon by the sea with a good book and a bit of food. Turns out, nobody else liked this idea.

They whined and sighed and pouted, but kept insisting that we should do what I want. I tried to tell them that I didn’t mind if we stayed at home if that’s what they wanted, but still they insisted that even though their body language clearly indicated that they didn’t want to go, we should go to the beach.


It was much cooler, and we had plenty to eat. I was enjoying reading my book in the shade, but after about only an hour and a half, they wanted to head back home. This was at about 3:00. The hottest part of the day. I am not offering ideas on what to do ever again.

I get in trouble for trying to make other people happy. Well, often when I try to do what I want to do, everyone just complains. I think that means I win, and we should just do what everyone else wants to do. It’s so much easier for all of us that way.

Cosmic Fun

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Saturday was bowling day, but bowling didn’t start until 9 pm. Geoff had to work, so Emily and I hung around the house and did girly things. That is, once she finally got out of bed. Letting an almost teenager pick out your bowling outfit can be dangerous. Almost teenagers have very little understanding of the squishy bodies of old mom types. But we eventually agreed on an outfit and a hairstyle. There was no way I was letting her go near my eyeballs with mascara, though. Not in a million years.


Bowling is not one of my favorite things. I’m completely awful at it, so it’s usually pretty embarrassing. I also had to meet a bunch of new people, which is terrifying. Combining two dubious activities in one night was a bit scary. I think I managed to survive it without embarrassing my husband too terribly much. Hopefully, the next time Geoff wants to go out with his workmates, he’ll still want to invite me along instead of hiding me in a closet.


Emily got a strike and was even winning for a little while. She was glued to the TV between turns, which was showing a US national team softball game. She was mumbling to herself through the entire thing. I had no idea what she was talking about. She is super into softball. Weird.

Oh, we also made some double chocolate muffins and took their picture. You can check them out and make some yourself.

We stayed up way past our bedtime, too. It was pretty fun!

Sleeping Late

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Apparently, once they get over their jet lag, almost teenagers sleep until 11 on a regular basis. Old mom types get up by 7 because what else is there to do? Old mom types make a sticky mess of the kitchen trying to make lilikoi syrup and take photos of big pitchers of lilikoi green tea. Almost teenagers win at Uno and want you to throw stuffed animals at them. Then they beg you to play chess, but you’d rather have a root canal so you talk your young husband into doing it instead.

You have a juice for lunch and a salad for dinner because yesterday you ate too much ice cream and Taco Bell and you feel a little gross. But then you ruin it by having a Magnum bar. Except having a Magnum bar actually makes everything better.

Your husband writes a big fat check to immigration, and you wish there was no such thing as borders because the whole thing is stupid really. It’s just the Earth and why shouldn’t you be able to live on whatever part of it you like as long as you contribute? Seriously, why all the closed doors, world?

You watch your stats hit about average, which is a let down from the astonishing numbers from the day before. I mean, you made everyone a milkshake. How can they not love you?

But you’re generally happy about your life because everybody is where they should be and healthy and loving each other. It’s pretty awesome.

Hiking with Teens

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Okay, it’s really only one teen, and really she’s not officially a teenager for another month. Stop making me older than I really am. Seriously, it’s not fair. It’s bad enough that all my former students are now entering their mid 20’s.


We took Emily for a hike to see Manoa Falls. It’s a simple enough walk as long as it’s not too wet. She didn’t complain and took about a million photos, but when we got to the falls and I asked her if she wanted to go on to the next trail or go back down, her answer to return to the car came very quickly. I think she liked it.


After that, we went to lunch at Kiss My Grits, and I drank my weight in sweet tea. My child loves biscuits and gravy, so she was a happy camper. I had the Piggly Wiggly, a giant biscuit with sausage made at the restaurant, smoked gouda, scrambled egg, and apple butter. It was a brilliant combination of sweet, savoury, and spicy. The apple butter was a wonderful surprise. I think this place might be my new favorite. There’s still more stuff I want to try on their menu.

Lunch was followed by a biscuit coma, and an evening of pizza. We’re trying our best to have fun without spending too much money. There are still so many things we have to pay for that are not remotely fun. Maybe, just maybe we can get out of this hole before the end of the year.

I’ve been keeping half an eye on the stats for Awesome on 20 the past week. It’s making me sad. Go read about the food I cook and the things I do while being poor. And click on an ad. Because you love me.

Pretend Tourists

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Pretend Tourists

On Saturday, I finally managed to talk Emily into going to the beach. We only had seven dollars, so we made taking in the sights our main focus.


As we were walking into Waikiki, we stumbled upon a parade billed as Family Day. The first float we saw featured a scene reenacting Jesus on the crossed being whipped by a Roman soldier. Um… Hooray for family? The whole thing made me uncomfortable to say the least.

The first thing we had to do was swim in the ocean, but there’s only so much salt my face can handle. Soon enough, it was time for five dollar lunch and some photography and exploration.


You can get an almost 13 year old to walk pretty far if you put a camera in her hand. She had a great time looking for the perfect shot. I think she took about half a million photos of everything from mirrors to trees. Some of them came out pretty great. She’s a talented and intelligent child.


I’m glad I finally found someone who likes to wander the streets just looking at stuff and sometimes taking random photos. There’s plenty of magic to be found if you bother to open your eyes and look for it.

We also watched Lilo & Stitch, which Emily claims is her favorite. Now Geoff knows what I’m talking about when I say, “We need desserts!”


I like being a family.


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I thought I had the perfect plan for Friday. What do almost teenage girls love? Well, surely, going to the mall has to be pretty up there. Finally, finally I had something that would make her happy. Or so I thought.

She was feeling great while we were in Forever 21. She even bought herself a cute pair of nautical high-waisted shorts. She looks adorable in them. After we were finished there, we went up to Godiva where we got my free chocolate for the month.  We shared a birthday cake truffle. It was pink and yummy. Then I dragged her into William & Sonoma where she said I’d get a reputation for being the crazy lady who pets the pots. It’s probably true. They’re just so beautiful.

But once Geoff got there, and we had our Chinese food for lunch, everybody was pretty much done with the mall. We had the possibility of an entire afternoon of air conditioning, but they didn’t even want to go to the bookstore. This was not what I had envisioned.

We went back to the house and proceeded to be bored. I think they played some video games, and I made cheese-stuffed meatball sliders that were freakin’ delicious! At least I can do one thing right.

Basically, almost thirteen year olds are hard to please.