Proud Mom

California Dreamin'

A busy, whirlwind trip to California has left me a bit "lagged" and kinda foggy . . . but with great memories of 4 fun days with Erin.

As you may remember, Erin is doing a summer internship with LinkedIn -- and that's what brought me to the Silicon Valley. . . LinkedIn Intern Day last Friday.


It was really fun to spend a day on the LinkedIn campus, learning about the company, meeting Erin's "team," and being totally WOWed everywhere I looked.  (What you hear about tech companies?  Pretty much all true.  It's like a wonderland . . . )  Probably what I liked best, though, was the Intern Fair -- where each intern presented their summer work to the rest of the company.


The LinkedIn interns work on "real," meaty projects during their tenure.  They work very hard!  Erin works in the engineering department -- doing internal software documentation.  I think my favorite part of the day was watching Erin explain her project to engineers.


This internship has been a great experience for Erin -- she's learned a lot, lived independently in a new place far from home, and set herself up for future success.  (Even though she misses Keith and her kitty terribly, and whines about her roommates incessantly.)  It was great to be able to see Erin "in action."  Burst-your-buttons-Mom-pride is still a Thing . . . even when your kid is a grown-up 28!

After the Intern Fair, I stuck around for the weekend so Erin and I could spend some time together and take a couple of day trips.

First, we took the train in to San Francisco and spent a day sight-seeing.  (I've been to San Francisco many times, but Erin had never visited.)

In true San Francisco style, what started out like this . . . 


ended up like this!


We had a great time on Fisherman's Wharf, eating sundaes at the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory and sourdough bread at Boudins, sipping Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista, and taking a whirlwind tour of the city from the top of an open-air bus.  It was a really fun day . . . plus THIS just never fails to thrill.


The next day, we decided to drive down the coast a bit on famous Highway One to visit some California beaches.  We stopped in Santa Cruz for brunch (so many surfers!), and then headed further south to Monterey.


(And, no.  We didn't have time to visit the aquarium.  We'll save that one for next time!)

Erin loves beaches.  (Loves.)  So she made the most of our brief time in Monterey.


We really had a great time together, and I'm so glad to have had this chance to go out for a quick visit.  (The only thing we didn't do that we had hoped to do . . . was shop for jewelry for her to wear for her upcoming wedding.  Oh, well.  There's still time . . . )


This week, you can be sure I'll be humming California Dreamin' all the time!








So. . . We Had a Little Reception

As you already know, Brian and Lauren eloped in late October.  To celebrate with family and friends, they threw a grand reception on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.


And - WOW!  What a party!

As the groom's mom, I didn't have anything to do with the planning or preparation.  Lauren and her mom, though?  Oh.My.God.  They went all out to create an absolutely perfect event! 


(I'm not kidding here.  Pinterest . . . come to life!)


Everything was PERFECT.  It was lovely and special and intimate.  And . . . most of all . . . it really reflected Brian and Lauren -- who they are and how they like to do things.


And we had an awfully lot of fun together, too.  (It's not often my whole family gets all dressed up at the same time!)






And even though he's all-grown-up and a Married Man (and all that), there's still plenty of THIS to go around . . . 


(Yeah.  Locked out.  Ha.Ha.)

 It was a wonderful celebration.  Filled with . . . 


and all about these two!


What a wonderful, perfect celebration!


The first four photos in this post are courtesy of Alyssa McElheny, photographer.  (The rest are mine.  I'm sure that's evident!)  When the rest of the official photos come out, maybe I'll share them with you.  (For now . . . this is all I've got!)




Best Things


November is over.  NaBloPoMo is over.  Thanksgiving is over.  Brian's wedding celebration is over.  I'm sort of feeling like crawling back into bed and covering my head today.   (No doubt about it . . . November was a busy month!)


Ten on Tuesday calls!


Today, Carole asks us about the Ten Best Things We Did in November. Here goes . . . 


1 - I saw/heard two fabulous speakers:  Ta-Nehisi Coates and Gloria Steinem.  (Yep. Right here in Kalamazoo.)

2 - My mom and I had a successful shopping trip to find her a fabulous outfit for Brian's wedding reception.  (Chicos to the rescue!)

3 - I completed a 6-week "Introduction to Lakes" course through MSU.  (Go ahead.  Ask me about phragmites, watersheds, or riparian rights.)


4 - I spent some time with my Uncle Tom, who was visiting my parents earlier this month.  (He's my dad's younger brother.)

5 - I finished a knitting project.  (To be blogged soon.)

6 - And went to two concerts, a play, and a movie.  (Symphony, chamber music, one-man show, and Suffragette.)


7 - I "directed" several home improvement projects.  (And moved back into my bathroom.)  (Another future blog post you can look forward to.)

8 - I had a mammogram.  (All clear.)

9 - And then planned - and carried out - a pretty darn wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.  (And gingerbread house decorating extravaganza.)   (More later.)


10 - But probably best of all -- I celebrated Brian and Lauren's wedding at a really fabulous reception.  (Very exciting.  And, again . . . more later.)

How about YOU?  What was the Best Thing YOU did this month?


Read what other bloggers have to say here.


Thoughts on Welcoming a Daughter-in-Law


I raised Brian to grow up and become . . . himself.  To follow his own path.  To discover his own life.  To leave me.  It has always brought me great  joy . . . to watch him UNFOLD . . . right before my eyes.


I'm especially happy that Brian and Lauren found each other.  The two of them seem just perfect for each other.  As a Mom, there is really nothing better than watching your kid . . . grow up and find happiness.

And I am seeing that in Brian now . . . because of Lauren.  I am looking forward to seeing the future the two of them create TOGETHER.  I'm going to love watching their lives continue to . . . UNFOLD. 


 Last week, I sent Lauren a note (saying pretty much the same as above) along with a little "token" -- a symbol, I guess, of my passing Brian's childhood into her hands (and heart) . . . for the next phase of his journey.


I'm confident that Mr. Bun is in good hands!


Doing it Their Way . . . Perfectly

Last May, I shared this happy news.

Then, one day in July, I got a text:

Mom, if you didn't see me get married, would it break your heart?

I remember swallowing hard, and then quickly typing:

Absolutely not!

Because . . . I firmly believe that weddings should be whatever the couple wants.  Some brides want a storybook wedding with all the bells and whistles.  And some don't.  Some girls have dreamed of being a bride all their lives.  And some haven't.  Some couples want to pull out all the stops.  And some want to save up for a house.  

I think that weddings should be perfect -- for the couple.

(Even when the couple includes my kid!)

Brian and Lauren (now living in Colorado) decided they wanted a "destination elopement" -- private, romantic, meaningful, and picturesque.


They were married yesterday.


On Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder.


Just what they wanted! Absolutely perfect.

(I am thrilled.)


Wedding photographs by Alyssa Mc Elheny Photography.


Reelin' in the Years

Singing this one today . . . 


Dear Erin:

Nanny has told me that nothing makes you feel older . . . than your children growing older.  And (as always) she is right.

Today, as you turn 26, I'm feeling pretty old.  (Because how happen???)  But I'm also . . . reelin' in the years.

 Newborn erin copy

 Right from the start, you did your own thing!

Newborn erin copy

Always curious.  Always enthusiastic.


You've had an incredible sense of who you were and what you wanted to do!  

Newborn erin copy

(Which didn't mean you took the easy route.)  

(Like ever.)  

(I still miss your music in the house, by the way.)

Newborn erin copy

It's been wonderful to watch you . . . unfold.

Newborn erin copy

Right before my eyes.

Newborn erin copy

Can't wait to see what happens next.

Newborn erin copy

Happy birthday, Erin!  You're making me feel pretty old today.  But that's a really wonderful thing!  I'll always be here . . . stowin' away the time!


Blink of an Eye

When you welcome children into your life, you get a lot of well-meaning advice . . .

enjoy every moment

it goes by so fast

they'll be grown in the blink of an eye

That blink-of-an-eye part?

Totally true.

Because one day, there was this . . . 

Bath baby

and in the blink of an eye, there was this . . . 




 Please join me in congratulating Brian . . . and his lovely fiancé, Lauren!


I'm so proud of you, Brian . . . and so excited to have Lauren in your life - and, now, our family!

(But, wow.  That growing up stuff really DID go fast. . . )

Right Now . . . October 2014

October . . . you're almost over.  Not sure how it happened, but one minute . . . we had green leaves and light that lasted.  Now?  Well. . . not so much!


Here's what's happening for me. . . Right Now! 

Watching . . . Not much, really.  A bit of the World Series (an inning or two here and there) and some House of Cards.  But that's pretty much it for me.

Reading . . . I'm reading the Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry right now (very good!), and slogging away on Eighty Days (good. . . but slow).

Knitting . . . Still working on this shawl.  I've completed the first (of 18) lace repeats for the border, but really need to take a break . . . to knit this baby sweater (for a new baby in Tom's family).  (If I don't get to hustling, this baby will be in kindergarten before I finish.)  I'm nearly finished with this (it was my travel knitting last month), but have had to lay it aside for a time (becasue baby sweater).  And now I'm dying to start this.  Because this. . .

Kim's Lucent . . . in colors especially picked for me!

Listening to . . . The new U2 album - Songs of Innocence - that just showed up in my iTunes one day.  And, yeah, it's been controversial, but still.  I like it!


Dreading . . . Something distasteful that I need to take care of later this week.  Not looking forward to doing it.  But know it will make things easier, going forward.

Planning . . .  Trying to get ahead of things (or, at least, on top of things) regarding the holidays.

Humming . . . Surrey with the Fringe on the Top.  (Oh, yeah.  I know.)  (Pops concert last weekend. . . )


Wondering . . . What everyone on my Christmas list might like . . . (Because it really is time to Get On With It.)

Drinking . . . Wine.  (But what else is new here?)


Itching to . . . Get back to my dance class!  (But not until after the holidays. . .)

Needing to . . . Bring in the remaining garden stuff and container plants . . . before the snow flies. . . (which might be tomorrow!).


Flaunting . . . My New Precious!  My contract finally expired and I was able to nab an iPhone 6 (not the giant version).  (There is So Much More to my Story of the Phone.  But I will spare you.)

Organizing . . .  I just finished a major desk overhaul and a closet-clean-out to end all closet-clean-outs.  Now, I need to tackle the guest room! 


Delighted by . . . A new bag!  I joined many of the the Salt Lake City/Alta Retreat knitters in ordering this Great Bag from Sherpani.  Really -- it may be the Most Perfect Knitting Bag . . . ever!

Inspired by . . .  The power of words.  Still.


Celebrating . . . Brian's GREAT new job!  (And a cool new car.)  Congratulations, Bud!  (SO proud!!) 

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . Right Now?

Some Pomp and a Lot of Circumstance

You know . . . how sometimes your life becomes a whirlwind of Stuff?  Deadlines and events and parties and opportunities and, well, Stuff?  I've been caught in one of those whirlwinds lately.

You know what happens when you're caught in a whirlwind of Stuff?   Yeah.  Something usually has to give.  For me, it seems to be the small, niggling details.  Like . . . I remember to bring my camera to my son's graduation.  But I leave the battery pack in the charger at home.  (Thanks, Dad, for coming to my rescue with your old point-and-shoot!)  Or . . . when all the festivities are over, I leave my phone behind at my parents' house.  And have to make a trip back to pick it up.  (Thanks, Mom and Dad, for meeting me half-way.)

So.  Yeah.  Life has been busy.  Whirlwind busy.  

It's nice to have a celebration day -- to step back out of the whilrwind and spend time with people you love best.  To celebrate and recognize and mark a major milestone.  To remember why you deal with the whirlwind in the first place!   (And to realize that life goes on . . . even without your zoom lens.)







Congratulations, Brian!

What a fabulous celebration - out of the whirlwind - to mark your fabulous achievement!

We're so very proud of you!



This and That

There is just so much going on this time of year!  A little of this. . . 


And a lot of this . . .


And some of that . . .


For a change of pace, though, let's try this . . .


(Brian on drums.)

Happy Monday!