46 and Beyond!

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I turned forty-six last week. I thought I would write a really long post about all the things I’ve learned in my vast and extensive forty-six years but you know what? I don’t know squat. I have learned a lot of things, most of them private and embarrassing and I think anyone older than me would probably smile and roll their eyes over. I hate it when I read posts from thirty-year-olds thinking they are so smart so I’m going to be even smarter and stay mum. All of you youngsters can learn the hard way just like I did. Just kidding. Let’s take a walk sometime and I’ll share some wisdom privately. Or just laugh. That’s good too.

Anyway, this birthday was kind of a bust. First of all it was the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR, clocking in at a sweaty 108 degrees. That meant we pretty much bunkered down the hatches (aka closed all the windows and  drew all the shades), turned on the AC and didn’t leave the house all day.

I did, however, leave the house in the morning to have breakfast with my pack of girlfriends. Do you have a pack of girlfriends? They are the best thing ever. Everyone should have a pack. There are five of us and we go out to breakfast monthly. Sometimes we go on excursions. Sometimes we bring each other food when we are sick or having surgery.

This birthday my friend Ana gave me a gold friendship bracelet, the fancy kind from Nordstroms. I love being a grown up and getting grown-up friendship bracelets. I like regular friendship bracelets too but I love this one so much because I feel like I’m part of secret club and when you get into your forties you trade up from embroidery floss to GOLD. Age has perks!

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So yeah, it was hot.

Payam promised to make me the chocolatiest of chocolate cake and EVEN THOUGH IT WAS 105 degrees in our kitchen he persevered and made it for me anyway!! I couldn’t even believe it. There he was wearing his batman apron and dripping in sweat while he mixed and measured and the OVEN PREHEATED. That is LOVE folks.

It was really really good too. Flourless so it pretty much tasted like dark-chocolate-flavored butter which is my favorite! That evil cake called to me all week long. “I’m in the fridge, Brendaaaaa…. You know you want me….” I’m telling myself that since it didn’t have flour in it it was Keto or Adkins or something. We’ll see what the scale says next week.

Isn’t it amazing how resilient our bodies are? If you eat a 2000-calorie piece of cake  you can get on the scale the next day and it won’t budge. You’ll amazingly stay the same weight. BUT you can also work-out for two weeks straight and eat 1400 calories a day and it won’t budge either so there’s that. Resilience baby.

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The other reason my birthday was a bust was that every single night of my birthday week, Joon had rehearsal for the play she was in this summer. We had planned to go to my favorite restaurant for my birthday dinner the night before my birthday but of course a last-minute dress rehearsal was called and that jacked that up and then opening night was my actual birthday so it just didn’t happen. We had McDonald’s instead.

Whine, whine, whine. Would you like a glass of wine?

I was a diva about it for about half a day and then I snapped to my senses and realized that this play Joon was in was REALLY COOL and I need to grow up and be the bigger person. She didn’t have a big part or anything but it was a fun summer camp that lasted a month and a half and she made a ton of friends and really enjoyed herself. I was the idiot fool that happened to have a birthday right when it ended. I should have been born in August instead. And really? Do I need more than breakfast with my girlfriends, a gold friendship bracelet, the chocolatiest-chocolate cake ever AND my kids singing me happy birthday at ten o’clock at night? No, I do not. It was NOT a bust it just was challenged. A very challenged 46th birthday.

I did however tell Joon that if she wants to be in a play on my 50th birthday, I’m not going. She can send me a birthday photo postcard of her and the cast to my hotel in Paris.

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And that was that!

Here are some pictures from my morning walks with the dogs. We’ve moved our walks earlier and earlier to beat the heat which makes for prettier pictures with better light. I’ve finally cracked the dog-walking code. In order to really enjoy dog walks you have to find a podcast you really like. I don’t dread them anymore. I think of dog walks as my podcast hour instead and sometimes I even find myself taking the long way home because I’m so hooked. Summer-2018-Swimsuit-Cover-ups-1

In other summertime news we made the most awesome swimsuit cover-ups on Alphamom this week. They were so fun to make! I’m sure this craft has been around forever but when I searched it on pinterest very little came up.

Joon showed me how to make really cool starburst designs and Bug outdid herself in stencil work. We spent hours on them, which when combatting summertime boredom translates to major currency. They didn’t binge-watch Friends (what they’ve been doing all summer) for three hours straight which says a lot.

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Then they we headed off to Payam’s mom’s pool for a photoshoot. They turned out great. Don’t you love how Joon’s personality is so different from Bug. They are both nutballs but Joon is definitely the more out-going of the two.

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It was a really big deal that Bug finally got up enough courage to jump off the diving board. So much of a big deal that she asked me to document it on sport-mode. Gifs all around!

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Happy Summer!

Piano Reinvented

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A long time ago an old woman died and left me her piano. I don’t remember how old I was, maybe 12? I’m not sure. It was a really big deal that she left me the piano. I think it was the biggest thing I had ever owned and it wasn’t that I was that close to her and had spent many days playing her piano. I do remember her being very very sweet and quiet. For whatever reason she decided to will her piano to me and not to her children. Maybe they were grown and had their own pianos. I don’t know. I was taking lessons at the time and showing a real interest in playing. Every time I played that piano I thought of her and what an amazing gift it was.

It wasn’t the greatest piano. The lower “A” key never played which made for interesting arrangements to get around that missing note. But it was a cool piano. It had a lot of decorative wood and I loved it. But I could never have it because I always lived in an apartment that was too small to haul a piano into. So it lived at my parents’ house and I would play it every time I visited.

Over the years it got more and more decrepit. At one time Rapunzel drew all over the keys when she was little. It got dustier and dustier and more and more out of tune. That poor old sad piano. But my parents kept it for me hoping that someday I would rescue it. Someday I would pay for it to get tuned and find a home that it would fit into.

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That day never came. In fact, that poor sad neglected piano sat in my parent’s mobile home for so long that the floor started falling through underneath it. It started to be a problem for my parents. Then my parents started cleaning up their property so they could move out of their neighborhood that has been continually getting worse and worse. All the old stuff had to be gone through and hauled off to the dump. My piano became more and more of a burden. Finally my parents gave me an ultimatum: Come and get your piano or we take it apart and haul it off to the dump. They didn’t want to take my piano to the dump of course but nobody had the $400 to pay a piano mover to move it and I didn’t have a space big enough in my house to put it if I did finally get it moved. And I still didn’t really want to give it away. I still loved that piano. It didn’t play very well but it was so sentimental because of the old woman who had given it to me.

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So my parents took the piano apart and saved the pieces for me. The big metal harp had to go to the dump but all the decorative wood and keys were saved for me. They got stuck in the back of my parents SUV and one day they brought them to me.

Poor Payam, all the pieces got to live in his wood shop for a month while I got my head around what we were going to do with it. They took up a lot of room. They seriously cramped everyone’s style. But I couldn’t let go.

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We played with all the pieces. I talked about hanging the decorative middle panel as an art piece. We thought about making a 70’s-style starburst clock out of the keys…but it’s not like we have a lot of blank walls in our house just waiting for art. We have art coming out of our ears and no walls to put them on. So we settled on a bench. We would make a pew style bench and put it in the foyer in front of our front door. It would be amazing.

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It still has a long way to go. We plan to stain the legs so everything matches of course. I do feel a bit sad putting it out of doors in the weather but I know Payam will help me weather-proof it and it is under the eaves so it’s not like it’s going to get rained on. What is cool is that it will be used. I can foresee many photo shoots in the future with friends and family sitting on this bench.

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We still haven’t figured out what to do with all the pieces but I have a feeling they will all turn into something loved. And someday I’ll buy a house with space for another piano. Not this piano, sadly but that’s okay because this piano is going to stay in the family (as a bench!) for as long as I have a say.