Moody Blues,  spilling my guts,  the sticks

Garage Sales, Apartment Hunting and Mid-Life Crisis Retreats

What work? #springfever Untitled
Untitled breaking out the bikini!

Lots of things have been happening here lately and it’s a shame I haven’t been blogging them because now I have about a million years’ worth of things to talk about. I’ll have to gloss over a lot.

It’s spring which means two things to me:

1. The weather is awesome and we need to be outdoors all the time.
2. Summer is around the corner.

Summer being around the corner is a bit stressful for me because that is when I’m planning on moving back to the beach. This is a good thing but I have so many mixed feelings about it.

On one hand it feels like the right thing to do—the only thing to do. We have to get out of this town. It makes me sad because a lot of my family is in this town and I want to stay with them. I want to take them with me out of this town.

fresh picked! hold them carefully!

Every day Bug has anxiety about school and I hope that moving back to a neighborhood that we know and love will fix a lot of that. I went apartment-hunting a few weekends ago and fell in love with the new bright happy big apartment complexes that happen to be in the number-eight-in-the-country school districts. Some of the complexes have schools across the street that we could walk to and playgrounds and swimming pools and farmers markets and…it just goes on and on with wonderfulness.

Of course then there’s the fact that they are about five hundred to a thousand dollars out of my price range.

Work is picking up. My books are selling. Things are looking really positive but the risk is great. I don’t want to sign a lease and then have a slow month and not be able to make it. I know I can always move back to this town. My parents would let me move in with them. It’s just that I want to make it on my own so bad. I guess this is what everyone wants. And maybe I will make it. I’m spending $300 a month on gas just taking Bug back and forth to see her dad so there’s that. If we moved closer there would be savings and less wear and tear on my car and me. The weekends are hard, as you know.

I’m not sharing this to get advice. I think I’m adviced out. I run every scenario over in my head and all the many many many variables every night from 3am to 4am and sometimes more. There are so many wild cards. I could get a new job. I love what I’m doing and I’m doing well but maybe a steady paycheck could give me the security I need. I’ve been thinking about being an assistant to an event planner. That’s a dream that I’ve never really seen to its fruition. Does anybody know anybody in Orange County who needs a kick-ass assistant?

ready to move My Parisian Apartment

Since I’ve got moving on the brain I’ve started packing. It is a bit early to be boxing things up but I can’t sit around and not do something. It’s hard to feel settled in a place when you know you are going to be leaving it in a few months. Now I know what all you military families go through. I’m not planting tomatoes. I’m not watering my backyard grass. It just isn’t my home anymore. It makes me sad because I love this place but I don’t see a future here. I see the neighborhood getting and worse and worse. I see crime every day. Kids with ankle bracelets and I’m not talking about jewelry. It’s not getting better here. I can’t stay here and be part of it. If I don’t leave, someday I won’t be able to and Bug will be engaged to someone who just got out of prison.

I know. I’m being overly dramatic. But this is what single moms do. Because we have to.


I had a garage sale and got rid of a lot of stuff. You know, because less stuff means less stuff to pack and move and if I can’t move into one of those fancy nice bright white apartments then I’m probably going to be moving into a studio with a hot plate and no windows and a carpet that smells like cat pee. Less stuff is good. Plus, I made a couple hundred bucks getting rid of stuff I don’t need. That felt good too.

her "cute" pose Fresh Squeezed Lemonade!

Bug and her neighborhood buddies sold lemonade and made about twenty bucks off being cute. It was fun.

garage sale

for sale

A couple of other neighbors had a garage sale too. It was like a block party. We all talked and hung out. It was great. I’m going to miss them. I talk about being afraid in this neighborhood all the time and it’s funny because I’ve made friends with all my neighbors, even the bad guys. The best way to deal with the bad guys is to look them in the face and get to know them. They are good people who have just made bad choices or been caught up in bad circumstances. I love them. I wish I could move them all to the beach with me. I wish I were a zillionaire and I could give them all jobs. I wish I could rescue everyone.

It’s been a really interesting year. I know it happened for a reason. It’s been a mile marker. I will never forget this part of my journey.

And speaking of journeys…I’ve finally settled on a theme for my big 40th Birthday Bash:


I’m calling it a Mid-Life Crisis Retreat. Whaddayathink?


  • Christine

    Love the camp theme. Love the pictures of beautiful Bug and her lemonade stand. Want so badly for you to get one of those lovely big apartments and not have to stress about the rent. You’re so talented, in so many ways, and nobody deserves it more.

  • Abigail

    Thanks for the update. Even though I rarely comment I do always wonder what’s up with you all when you go so long between updates! You would make an awesome event planner’s assistant. Sadly, I don’t know anyone to set you up with! I’m in LOVE with your b-day party invite.

  • Mrs. Wilson

    I think the theme of your birthday party is GENIUS. You’ve got a forever-young spirit that will be with you no matter how long it’s been since the day of your birth.

    Being a single mom isn’t easy (been there), but I think you’re doing an amazing job. I hope you find a place at the beach for you and Bug, close to all the things you love. The Lord has gotten you this far and he will continue to carry and be with you. :)

  • Rebecca

    Love your birthday invites!
    While we are in a different situation we have the same issues with moving and living far from family but it is such a great opportunity for us. Of course we are lucky in that we are a military family so the military foots the bill (and will pack us, too!)

  • Melissa

    I hope so badly for you that you find an amazing place close enough to the beach. It’s been a few years since I’ve lived in that corner of the world, but the OC HAS to be one of the best places to get an event planning job. You would be amaaaazing at it. Dude, in that area you could probably start your own business throwing cool kids’ birthday parties.

  • Clownfish

    Whether the desert or the beach, it matters not.
    It’s all the goodness that you bring, it’s what’s inside and that’s a lot.
    Success, how do you measure?
    For all of us it’s you, a friend we truly treasure.
    So pack those boxes and strike up the band.
    I’ve turned the page and the next chapter is Grand!

  • Flamenco Mom

    I love the birthday idea! I may have to borrow your ‘Midlife Crisis Retreat’ theme for my 40th birthday coming up this fall. :-)

  • mamalang

    That is a great birthday party idea! I’m jealous of the people that get to be there with you!

    Good luck apartment hunting. I know it’s stressful, but it will be worth it!

  • TexasLea

    I’m tired just reading about everything you’ve been up too!
    Nothing but good wishes for you on all the other big events you have coming up in the next few months.

  • Madge

    Thanks for updating. I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve talked. I know exactly what you mean about being in the moving holding pattern. It’s so hard not to plant stuff right now. I’ve stopped trying to pick lemons off the lemon tree. I’m starting to pack and my goal is to get the house empty of everything, except for what we use daily. I’m ready for the next step!

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and I hope that can bring you a some peace of mind about your move. I finally have a smartphone if you ever need to text something out :)

  • Cathy

    You’re doing all the right things for all the right reasons and you’ll be so proud of yourself when you’re re-settled. Love the invite too but psshh on the ‘mid-life’ part – you know 40 is the new 30, right? :)

  • OMSH

    It is in your very nature to review all the details over and over and over again, but when you get to the right place it will all click and things will make sense…as they tend to do.

    You know I totally dig the invites and cannot wait to see you.

    I’m also wondering if I need to fly up to move you BACK to the ocean;it almost seems fittin’…hmmmmmm

  • susie

    The green froggy rain boots! Aw…

    I’ve been a reader for YEARS (since pre-Paris trip days), and it’s truly been a privilege to spy into your little life. You are constantly evolving, which is the most any person can ask for in life. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments — you’ve earned every one. And while I’d love to say don’t worry about what comes next, I know it would be fruitless. You will think of every possibility and weigh the pros and cons of each one. And that’s okay, because it’s one of the reasons you are so awesome. Bug is one lucky little lady. :)

  • Sarah

    I just moved! You are so smart to be getting rid of stuff ahead of time. We ended up moving it all, and now are swamped trying to actually find places to put everything.

    People say I have good apartment karma- we found our beautiful (and affordable) new place after looking at only 4 other apartments. I’m willing that karma to you now!

  • a chris

    I concur, that’s very forward-thinking…forward-moving…of you to get rid of stuff. I’m so bad at that. And we will be moving at least once in the next few months. They say “you go where you look” and you are looking forward.

    I know what it’s like to look at nice places that are hundreds of (monetary units) a month outside where you ought to be looking (like the beach, our town has its share of the well-heeled in a limited stock of housing). Bide your time and build your “empire.” I was just telling myself today that 40 is the new 28. I make myself laugh, but looking at it that way makes me feel more ambitious. And laughing feels good.

  • kat

    love LOVE what clownfish said. so cosign to that. i’m a big believer in positive thinking so will continue to think positive thoughts your way.

  • BeachMama

    Great update! I know that it must be turmoil for you, there is so much good and bad in your town, but I also know that your heart is at the beach. That being said, I know that you will THRIVE there! Just knowing you were not commuting back and forth will allow for other things to fall into place, like being an assistant party planner, or taking on some new gigs that are in the beach district. Amazing things are ahead for you and I know you will make the best choices for you and Bug. Maybe your 40th could be the “Great Move Back to the Beach” theme ;)

  • gingermog

    Is your birthday bash really going to be a camp out? I’m tempted to buy a ticket and fly out.

    As a fellow freelancer with an uncertain future I share your temptation of a full time job and wage packet. Oh what to do is there a possibility you could get a place with room for a lodger?
    (Although of course you may not be up for the idea of sharing).

    P.s During your yard sale did you sell some of the gorgeous stuff you collected when you first moved and is that the base of a Eiffel Tower Lamp I spy in the photos of the cocktail glasses. As I would buy that from you if its for sale :) Huge Hugs xx

  • cucinanicolina

    No advice, simply wishing you lots of luck and good thoughts as you navigate this next phase … and crossing fingers you get a big, bright, happy apt.! And also just to say: I LOVE the birthday party theme. So cool. So perfect.