I'm Alive!

I have one question: where are the locusts? Seriously. We've had a flood, ants, mice, they discontinued my favorite creamer (CoffeeMate Chocolate Raspberry where are you?), and now fires.

Fires have literally formed a ring around southern California. And there is nothing funny about fire. There is nothing funny about the absolute devastation that has been unfolding over the last five days.

Ash covers our cars even though they're parked in the garage.

Our schools have been closed.

We have headaches and coughs and bloody noses and asthma attacks.

Our entire city looks like it's blanketed in fog, when really it's been overtaken by smoke.

Not fog.

Ash floats through the air like snowflakes - pieces of people's lives. As I wipe it off my tub and kitchen counters and out of Savannah's hair, I wonder: is this someone's wedding dress? Baby book? Vacation photo? Entire lives settle on the ground around us. Memories reduced to nothing but dust we wipe into the garbage.

We are not in any immediate danger, though.

My mom lives one mile from one of the biggest fires. She had her bags packed for two days ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. Fortunately, that fire has been contained and their air is starting to clear.

We have friends who have evacuated. We know of people who lost their homes. You can actually see flames on the horizon from the upstairs windows of one of our neighbors.

But, again, I am grateful. We are safe.

What scares me the most is what all of this devastation is going to look like when this is over. How long will it take for our beautiful coastline to recover? How long will it take for our communities to recover?

I appreciate all of your concerned emails and I apologize I didn't let you know how we were doing earlier. Our status is officially: shaken, but not stirred.



Dear Savannah,

It seems like just yesterday that your daddy peeked over the sheet that separated me from you in the delivery room and cried "She's beautiful!".

It seems like just yesterday that you would ball your hands into tiny fists and scream "Teeeee!" whenever a cat would walk by.

It seems like just yesterday that I spent all day teaching you how to pump your little arm up and down and say "Hi. Dad." when you saw him walk through the door. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that that made him cry.

It seems like just yesterday that your favorite princess was "Cindergrella" and you loved those pink birds that stand on one leg, the "fuggymingos".

It seems like just yesterday that you accidentally took your first steps to grab your blankies back from Papa. And then stood there shocked when you realized what you just did.

And it seems like just yesterday that I dropped you off at preschool that first day and that even though it was only going to be two half days a week I still sobbed the entire three hours you were gone.

Sadly, I know... someday today will seem like just yesterday.

Six years. I cannot remember my life before you.


Six from Lena on Vimeo.


No Title Because Chris Is Standing Here Reminding Me That I Made Him Leave Work Early So We Could LEAVE

We're headed to the Bay Area today to attend my cousin’s wedding.

(So, if you'd like to come over and watch Sex & the City reruns while eating Wheat Thins and petting the cat with your foot, feel free. Then it will be business as usual around here.)

I can’t decide if I’m more excited about seeing all of my friends and family or about being able to sit uninterrupted for six hours to eat Road Trip Food and read my People magazine.

Everyone I tell reacts the same, “Oh, you’re driving? Gross.” To which I pretend to roll my eyes in agreement and somehow blame Chris’ work schedule. But, really I am looking forward to the crazy long drive because it is the only way to get me away from the endless beckoning of my mother ship, the laptop.

In other news, I’ve been tasked with doing the centerpieces for the wedding! Which I sort of haven’t finished! And the wedding is in 36 hours! Awesome. (My cousins second that awesome feeling right now, I would bet.) (Hi guys! Don’t worry! I have candles! And tulle! And some sort of glue! And also lots of wine!)

I’m thinking maybe something with pomegranates?

If you have any ideas, feel free to chime in. My creativity begins and ends with a helium machine and a handful of balloons. And even then I spend more time doing chipmunk impressions than actually creating anything. I’m helpful like that. Which my family is well aware of. Now that I think about it, they probably just told me to create centerpieces to give me something to do. (Those are lovely, Lena! What a great job! We’ll put them riiiight over here. By the coats.)

Obviously, my cousin is just using me for our mad dancing skills together.

Here's to hoping we class it up for his wedding day. I make no promises.

I shall steal away briefly this weekend to upload pictures. Because if I don’t share his wedding with the internet, did it really even happen?? Talk amongst yourselves.

P.S. Locking-myself-out-of-a-burning-house story coming soon!


I'm On Fire. No, Really.

What? It's not Delurk Week? Well, I'll be horn swaggled.

My bad.

Actually, I'm pretty excited about what's been occupying my time, but I cannot speak of it just yet. No, I'm not pregnant. No, I'm not writing a book. So, in other words, probably boring to you. But, very exciting to me!

Speaking of exciting, something bad happened to me last night while cooking dinner. (Aside from the usual kind of bad where I have to repeatedly smell the chicken breasts and hold them up to the light because did I take these out to defrost yesterday? ...Or was it over the weekend?)

I was in a tense mood - mostly because I didn't fulfill my writing commitments yesterday and that tends to cloak the evening with failure - and was attempting to cook Mediterranean Chicken with Herbed White Beans (link to my recipe site -- which I should probably start using for more than my rebellious playdate cocktail recipes) in our new tiny kitchen.

Remember the old kitchen? I could lay across the counter and take a nap while waiting for the pasta to boil.

New kitchen not so much.

It's so itsy bitsy in its original 80's counter space that I'm starting to seriously eye the unused portion of the backyard that the kitchen window opens onto. Would it really hurt anybody if the salad sat out there for just a minute?

Anyway, this tiny kitchen is bringing a whole new level of joy to the the 5:00 Savannah witching hour. Because now instead of whining from the couch about how she misses daddy and hates beans and she sure hopes we're not having that rice with the little dots in it again and why can't she just have Fig Newtons for dinner and when is daddy going to be hoooome, she comes into the kitchen and stands behind me to do this because a wall now separates the couch from the kitchen.

In other words, I was a little distracted.

I put a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan on the stove. I swear it was only there for a minute or two. But, apparently, it was longer because when I looked over at it, there were thin wisps of smoke coming out of the pan.


I grabbed the pan off the burner and swirled the oil around. The oil didn't look burned, so I set it down on a cold burner for a bit.

This would be the point where I should have dumped the oil and started over. Because did you know that oil stays hot for quite awhile?


And that the last thing you should probably do, other than to maybe pour it directly in your eye, is to throw frozen crushed garlic in there?

Hey, guess what? Hot oil, like, burns.

Yeah, well it is.

The funny thing is that it took about a minute to start hurting. And then...

...please take me Lord. Because The Pain.

I ran upstairs with a pack of blueberries tucked under my arm and asked Mama Google what to do next. She was pretty scary and I started to get woozy when she kept saying the word "blistering". So, I lied on the office floor feeling sorry for myself until Chris came home.

Aaand I decided to just keep it on ice for the next hour.

Then I remembered a crazy bit of information. My uncle is a firefighter! My aunt worked for the Burn Foundation! And guess what advice they gave me?

"Whatever you do, don't ice it!"

Of course.

In other news, the chicken was delightfully tender. Perhaps due to the addition of my filleted arm flesh?

You'll also be delighted to know that this was not in fact my first kitchen mishap. And my last one? Almost burned down a house.

Which I then accidentally locked myself out of.

While running to get help.

I think I'll share that one next time. I have to go salve up.

Update: So, it appears that you would actually like helpful information as to what to do with an oil burn. Ah, I see. Let me share.

1) You should run cold water on the burn until the stinging starts to dissipate.
2) You should pat it dry and cover in a dry bandage.
3) You should never apply ointment or ice as they both seal in the active burning that's still going on under the skin. (Which makes sense since the pores have absorbed the oil.)
4) Optional: Take off the bandage for all the Drop Off Moms to see at school hoping it will result in a sympathy coffee invite. Which it will.


Give Me That Stuff, That Sweet Funky Stuff

So, I'm in the middle of writing this thoughtful post about mothering. (Or maybe it was about shoes. I don't recall.) But, then I notice lo and behold that today is The Great Mofo Delurk Day! Because we are a classy bunch.

I've never participated in a delurk day and I'm a little scared. (What if I hung these streamers and bought these donuts for nothing?)

So, in the interest of making this somewhat interesting, rather than just say "hi!" (although you're welcome to do exactly that - just say hi! bye!) why not answer one of the following questions too.

Choose one:

a) one thing you're embarrassed to admit you own, but for some reason won't give away

b) one lie you tell your kids

c) one freckle you secretly like

d) one blogger you would be absolutely thrilled to meet (Mom, no need to comment more than once.)

Okay, I'll start!

a) This, um, crane. (loon?) I have no earthly idea what to do with it. Other than stab intruders. Why did I buy this? It was supposed to go in the living room, but then coupled with the giraffes, it started to look a little too wildlife preservation-y.

Don't You Wish Your Crane Was Hot Like Mine

b) That Chris kisses her goodbye in the morning while she is sleeping, which is a lie. (I know! Horrible evil mother! But, when he actually kisses her she wakes up too early! And stays up! And is cranky all day! What's so wrong with a wave from the doorway anyway? I think it's underrated.)

c) My eyelid freckle. It makes me feel very upside-down Cindy Crawford.

d) Melissa.

Okay, on your mark.

Get set.

Delurk! (P.S. Don't forget to include your blog link.)


Proof That I Am as Fun as I Look (Updated)

Me: "Savannah, can you please get my coffee out of the car?"

Her: *big dramatic sigh* "Why do I always have to to get things out of the car?"

Me: "Well, I used to always get things out of the car. Like you. And aren't you glad I did that?"


Check out my Twitter today. You know I can't post about it, but I can Twitter it. Here today, gone tomorrow. Awesome. ----->

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