2017 – A Year to Remember

I’m reflecting back on 2017 as we humans are prone to do at the end of the year. Overall, there was a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, but when I get down to it, it was a pretty good year personally. So in order to have a record of the goodness 2017 had to offer, I’m going to go ahead and write it down.

January: My husband started a new job at a place that he loves. We also had a one night getaway aboard the Queen Mary for his birthday.

 

February: Ah the school musical. After months and months of planning, shopping, creating props, rehearsals, and more, it all came together and we put on our last musical ever at Leffingwell Elementary. Pretty sure it was the best one ever.

 

March: Jessalyn was initiated into the Rainbow Girls Buena Park Assembly. It’s been really good for her. She’s made some good friends and great memories.

 

April: We managed to pull off a surprise birthday girls evening at Downtown Disney for a very dear friend. What a wonderful time spent showering someone so special with love and margaritas! (picture is of said friend, not the party because apparently I was having too good of a time to take pictures and put them where I can get to them easily)

 

May: We got to spend another weekend at the KOA in San Diego with friends. Our KOA weekends are truly one of my favorite getaways.

 

June: I had the privilege of volunteering at WordCamp OC and had a great time doing it.

 

July: July is always a fun month. We’re on summer break, we spend a lot of time at Soak City,  and there’s the annual 4th of July bbq and swim party. This year was extra because we had “boots in the house” as they say. My son came home from Okinawa and got to spend some time here before heading back east for training.

 

August: Jessalyn turned 12. Man, time sure is flying by.

 

September: Jason and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. We also got to run away to San Jose and see 30 Seconds to Mars and Muse in concert. We’ve seen them before, but never together. We’ve also seen both bands 3 times now. A week later, the three of us went down to San Diego and saw U2 play The Joshua Tree. We had a surprise airport layover with Christian. We got to meet him there and take him to In N Out before he boarded a plane bound for a far off land. And lastly, we started a monthly dinner and game night with my mom, oldest daughter and her boyfriend, and our family. Super fun.

 

October: October is always a fun month. Aside from 3 family birthday’s, there’s Halloween, which if I’m bring honest is my favorite holiday. We Trunk-Or-Treated, and Jess Trick-Or-Treated while wearing my old uniform from when I was in tall flags in high school.

 

November: We kicked off the month with a showing of Thor: Ragnarok. Thor is my favorite. We attended the annual extended family Thanksgiving dinner and then celebrated on the actual holiday with my family and bestie Christie and her family. What’s not to love? Oh, and Jess got to take her first airplane ride to Nashville for WordCamp US with her dad, which actually started in November but the bulk of the trip was December. Speaking of December…

 

December: That brings us to now. We’re currently on Christmas break, we just made it through all of the Christmas gatherings, presents were given and received, and now I’m preparing for our annual New Year’s breakfast in 2 days. This is my absolute favorite way to kick off a new year. Many of my favorite people gather in our home and we share a ridiculously delicious breakfast followed by a letterboxing adventure. Then whoever is still with us will have dinner here. It really doesn’t get better than that.

Anyhow, if you’ve made it this far, thank you. While the above in no way captures the entire year’s events, it’s a small snippet, a reminder that 2017 was a pretty good year for the Tucker family.

I’d like to wish you blessings beyond your wildest imagination for 2018. I wish you more ups than downs. I wish you peace, love, happiness, luck, grace, mercy, and more.

Happy New Year!

On This Day

First things first. Surprise! It’s been almost 2 years since my last post. What? I know! So why am I writing? Because I can.

Recently I took a peek back at the ol’ blog here, and underneath the layers of dust and cobwebs, I found some pretty decent writing. That’s not to say I’m going to win the “Best Writer Ever” award, but the posts were interesting to me even after all this time.

What does this have to do with Facebook you’re wondering? Well, nothing. So let me get on with the post and get to my point.

On This Day. If you’re reading this, chances are good you’re one of the millions of people who uses Facebook. Many of you have clicked over to see your memories over the years. I check it every day because it’s mostly super fun to go back in time.

Some days it shows me pictures of my kids when they were little. Some days it’s fun events we went to. There are days that were mundane and I’d write pointless updates about that too since I tend to over share. Some old posts are cringy. Others are painful.

Five years ago this month, our family was thrown into a chaos that we had zero control over. It was a super scary time for us, but we made it through. It’s not something we really talk about much anymore, and it’s not something I want to relive. Yet, every November that’s exactly what I do. While I never outright posted details, I can see the turmoil we faced in the request for prayers and good thoughts. I can look back and know a certain post (while rather vague) was actually about what we were going through. Each year for the past 5 years, I’ve been reliving it, and I’m done with that.

I’m deleting the old posts as they come up. It’s not that I’m trying to “erase our history.” I’ll never forget what we went through. I just don’t want to relive it every year for however long Facebook is a thing. I can’t.

What about you? Have you ever deleted anything that’s come up in your On This Day memory bank?

Ok. That’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll be back before another 2 years go by.

December Haiku

Haiku about the winter soltice

Winter in SoCal ~ You never know what you’ll get ~ I’m hoping for rain.

My favorite season ~ The shortest day of the year ~ I just love winter.

 

Haiku about Christmas

Christmas is this week ~ Have you finished your shopping? ~ No? Neither have I.

Christmas with family ~ Loud, rambunctious, and crazy. ~ Wouldn’t change a thing.

The family gathers ~ Christmas carols and guitar ~ Wait for the “Noel”

 

On the coming new year

Two thousand sixteen ~ Starting the year in style ~ Surrounded by friends.

First day of the year ~ Going on a treasure hunt ~ It’s a tradition.

___

So what does it all mean? Allow me to expand  a bit. Today is the first day of winter which happens to be my favorite season. The rain that came in last night is just easing up, but there *should* be plenty more coming in the weeks ahead thanks to the predicted El Niño.

Christmas shopping isn’t done. I thought I only had 2 more gifts to buy, but then I remember 2 more. Story of my life, man. Christmas for my family lasts 3 days. It begins on Christmas Eve, Eve and runs through Christmas night. The second most, shall we say, energetic get together is Christmas Eve with everyone. It gets loud. It gets crazy. After overeating tamales, rice and beans, but before opening gifts, we gather around, sing carols and read the Christmas story of the birth of Christ. As for Noel, everyone quietly sings the song until the chorus then it’s NOOOOEEEELLLL NOOOEEEELLLLL… Christmas Eve’s crazy can only be topped on Christmas night when the Apples to Apples game comes out and the three “boys” that aren’t actually boys anymore, but men, do their best to out-loud one another.

Lastly, New Year’s Day begins with a ridiculously delicious meal with as many friends as I can manage. This year I might have gone a bit overboard on the invitations. I only say that because we live in a small place. I don’t have any idea where everyone is going to put themselves. We’re going to be packed in here tight, but I really, really want my home to be filled with friends and love. After breakfast is destroyed, a smaller group of us will be going on our annual Letterboxing adventure. If you want to know what that is, click here to read a little bit about it.

2016 will bring many changes in our lives. My youngest will start middle school, my middle is moving overseas for a few years, and who knows what the future holds for my oldest. Who knows what the future holds for any of us. I’ve been most blessed this year with dear friends that I hope will last a lifetime and aren’t just here for a season.

So there you have it. I want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2016.

 

10 + 10 Part 2

Earlier in the week I posted 10 Things I like and 10 Things I don’t Part 1. You can see that here if you’d like. 

Today I’m going to tackle 10 things I don’t like.

  1. Heat. I’ve already talked about the heat, but since it’s been near 90° the past several days, I thought I’d reiterate it. Because really? November is almost over. Why is it even this hot?
  2. Decorating for holidays. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love the decorations. I just don’t like doing it. And don’t even get me started on putting them away. Ugh.
  3. The fact that my grandma is 97. We have had a close relationship all my life, and just knowing that we’re living on such a short amount of borrowed time is hard to swallow. I try not to dwell on it, but she’s always reminding me these days that she doesn’t have much longer.
  4. Living in Southern California. It’s a love/hate thing really. Of course this is where my friends and family are, so I love it. But it’s getting hotter and drier, and it’s just so darn expensive. If I could pick up everyone I love and care about, and move them out of here with me, I’d be gone in a heartbeat.
  5. Opening gifts in front of people. I feel like my reaction is never going to be good enough. I feel awkward making a big fuss because that’s not me and is so fake. That doesn’t mean I don’t love what I’ve been thoughtfully given. I do. I promise. Please buy me things. hahaha I kid… Kind of.  Not really.
  6. Cleaning. I hear there are weird people out there that actually enjoy it. I am not one of them.
  7. Malls. And shopping in general. I can’t remember the last time I went to a mall with the exception of a few weeks ago when I tagged along with my friend. We had one store to go to, and were out of there within 15 minutes. Thrift stores and craft stores are an exception to the shopping dislike. I could spend hours in both. Alone preferably.
  8. Marshmallows. Because, gross.
  9. Queen Palm Trees. What a MESS those trees are. There’s one probably 20 yards from our front door. First they make these tiny white flowers that fall off by the hundreds (maybe thousands) and end up getting tracked all over the living room. Then they make these orange “fruits” that are about the size of say, a bouncy ball, that fall off. As they sit decaying on the ground and get stepped on over and over, they begin to smell like rotting pumpkins. That’s pleasant, right? No. And heaven help you if you’re walking under it when one of those balls falls off and hits you in the head. Yeah, that happens often.
  10. Coming downstairs in the morning and finding the trashcan in the kitchen has been knocked over by the dogs.

So there you have it. Ten things I don’t like.

I’m hoping to get a post up before Thanksgiving, but chances are, that’s not going to happen. So if I don’t get one up, please have a wonderful holiday however you celebrate it. Especially enjoy that food. Besides the being thankful thing, we all know Thanksgiving is really about the food and football.

10 + 10 Part 1

For no particular reason at all, I present to you 10 things I like and 10 things I don’t. Well, I guess that’s not exactly true. The reason is because I want to write and while searching for ideas, this one interested me most today. Today I will begin with 10 things I like.

10 Things I Like

  1. Soup. That’s right, I’m bringing out the big guns right off the bat. Haha! But seriously, there’s just something so wonderful about a big pot of soup. My family doesn’t really agree with me on this one, so I don’t eat as much soup as I’d like to.
  2.  Original New York Seltzer Vanilla Cream Soda. I might have a problem when it comes to this stuff. Those of you that were around in the 80’s might remember it. If you didn’t know, it’s back and I can’t get enough.
  3. Things that smell like coconut. Totally digging the Snowkissed Sugar lotion from Bath and Body Works right now.
  4. Cold Weather. I’m not the person that thrives in the summertime. I’m the one that doesn’t want to go outside for any reason when it’s hot. If I could turn on the AC and hibernate all summer, I would. Cold is relative though. What’s cold to me as a SoCal resident is not the same as many others. I don’t want snow thankyouverymuch.
  5. My job. I don’t do it for the money, which is good, because I don’t get a lot from it. I work when school is in session supervising elementary school kids during lunch. So it’s roughly 1.5 hours a day, 5 days a week as long as the kids are at school. Whenever it’s possible, I try to seek out the kids I see alone and talk to them or at least acknowledge them by asking if they’re doing ok. I look for the sad ones and let them know I see them and I care about them. I just want them to know that they’re not alone. I work hard to learn and remember as many names as I can and then USE their names whenever possible. I’ve given myself a challenge to learn 1 new name a week. We have over 600 students at the school. It’s impossible to know all of them. but I’m trying to learn as many as I’m able.
  6. Disneyland. I miss it terribly. We were passholders for quite a few years, but were priced out last year. It makes me sad that we can’t go whenever we want anymore. It was fun while it lasted though.
  7. Glass art. I am always drawn to beautiful glass pieces, especially if it’s clear glass infused with colors. It’s not something I collect though.
  8. Camping. We’ve always been tent campers, but now that we’ve become KOA members, we’re starting to take advantage of their Kamper Kabins. It’s just easier. Don’t think I’m ready to give away our tent yet though. I do enjoy tent camping still.
  9. My friends. My little tribe of people. I don’t have a huge friend group, but the friends I do have, I love dearly.
  10. And finally my family. I don’t think this one really needs an explanation does it?

I’ll be back in the next few days with the 10 things I don’t like. I know you’re anxious. It’ll be ok. Hang in there.

Writing is Hard

Why is it that I want to write here, but can’t seem to do it with any kind of consistency?

If I’m being honest, it’s because I don’t feel I have anything of value to say. I’m a (mostly) stay-at-home mom. I have three kids, but two of them are adults and no longer live with us. I simply don’t think I’m that interesting.

Many things have changed since I started writing here eons ago. So in an effort to catch you up, let’s go back to the basics.

In order to reintroduce myself (which is hilarious because I’m guessing anyone that reads this already knows me) I’m going to post 10 facts about me.

  1. I’m a wife, a mother, a friend.
  2. I’m currently a second term PTA President at my youngest child’s elementary school.
  3. I have a very small, part time job at the elementary school.
  4. I’m a super proud MoM, meaning my middle “kid” is in the military.
  5. My oldest child is turning 21 this year.
  6. I have a ridiculous fan-girl love for Jared Leto. It’s embarrassing really.
  7. While I very much enjoy adult novels, I have a growing love of the Young Adult genre as well. I’m a fan of the Lightening Thief series. I loved The Maze Runner and plan to read the others. The Scorch Trials is sitting here waiting to be read. (Not just yet TST, I’ll get to you soon). I read the Hunger Games trilogy years ago. I love Harry Potter. I could go on, but you get the idea.
  8. I’m an introvert through and through.
  9. Penguins used to be my favorite animal. Now? Not so much. I don’t know what happened other than I guess I grew out of it. I do love me some hedgehogs and owls though.
  10. I love the Christmas season. I can’t stand decorating for it. Every year I say something along the lines of, “Let’s just skip it this year,” and everyone freaks the heck out.

There you have it. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. My husband and I are thinking of taking on a blogging challenge. I don’t think it’ll be a daily challenge, but maybe weekly? Anyhow, see you soon.

New Year, New Blog Post

I’m really terrible with blogging. Every January I feel the familiar pull of Hey! It’s a new year! Why not start blogging again?

Chances are, I might write a few posts this month and then forget about it. Then the next thing I know, it’ll be January 2016 and I’ll think, oh yeah, I have a blog. I should write something.

Whoa, wait. I just looked and I didn’t write even 1 single blog post in 2014.

So! What’s been up over the past 2 years? Oh, nothing much. Just doing life.

As of now, I have a daughter that is 20. She’s living her life on her own now. She’s got a full time job and big dreams for her future. I love her to pieces.

I have an 18 year old son going through his final year of high school. In 7 short months, he’ll be shipping off to boot camp. I’ve been asked a lot lately how I feel about my son enlisting in the Marine Corp. This isn’t something he decided recently. I’ve had a lot of time to get used to the idea. I’ve been feeling pretty good about it until last night. My cousin came over for dinner and a movie, and to spend a bit more time with us before he leaves for boot camp next week. He’s going into the Air Force. I couldn’t be more proud of him as well. But, I walked out with him to his car, gave him one last hug and watched him drive off into the future. He’s not even my kid and I was a mess. I can’t even begin to imagine what a total wreck I’ll be in July when it IS my own child. For now, I’ll just try and appreciate the last bit of my son’s “childhood,” and yes, I know he’s technically an adult. But, he’s still a high school student and my baby boy. He’s my man-child.

Then there’s the 9 year old. She’s in 4th grade and I’m starting to realize she’s going to be out of elementary school very soon. We only have the rest of this year and next. What? How? When… oh man. The days are long but the years are short. Too short.

Jason and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in September. Come July, we will have been together 15 years. I’m still crazy about him.

So yeah. That’s about it. I can’t think of any other things to share right now. If I don’t make it back here until January 2016 allow me to say, Happy Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

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