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What a week with grandparents! My mom arrived last Friday evening and left Tuesday afternoon. She texted me Tuesday morning asking if I was ready yet and if I wanted to go for a walk with her. We had enough time for a short walk through the park before we met with Heath’s parents at Black Bear Diner for brunch.

At first I thought maybe my mom wanted to get me alone to tell me something secret. She just wanted to spend more time with me before she left. I was very grateful for the extra time.

After brunch we all hugged goodbye. I got in the car and was immediately sad. I missed my mom already. Gavin left Monday morning and my mom left the next day. Then Heath’s parents left the day after that. It was too many people leaving! All I can say is I’m glad Heath was able to choose to do his business trip later and not this month.

Gavin-birthday,-gazebo,-and-curtains-023The last time I wrote was on Thursday after we had spent the majority of the day building a lattice screen for the gazebo. Isn’t it so pretty? I love it. Heath and his dad worked more on it Friday morning before lunch then finished up later that day.

On Friday we met up with Dawn’s best friend (one of the twins) from childhood and her husband for lunch. These women had not seen each other in 50 years! They reconnected on Facebook and were excited to reunite in person while Dawn and Barry were visiting us.

Heath put the husband at ease with engaging conversation. He has such a knack for that. I put people at ease in a way that they confess things to me – sins, secrets, I’m considered a personal shrink. It’s a strange gift to have. But Heath can put the most uncomfortable person at ease in any social situation to the point that they actually enjoy themselves. That’s how this retired police chief felt. He ended up being so happy he went to lunch with his wife and her friend’s family.

Dawn and I went to JoAnn’s for our traditional craft store run. Heath wanted his dad to help him with the gazebo. I wanted curtains. I have been wanting curtains in the master bathroom and the laundry room for quite some time. The sun rises in our bathroom that sits over the garage that is not insulated. It gets hot fast in the summer. I imagine some sort of window covering would help. The laundry room is the only room that has no blinds. Our next door neighbor has a window on that side of his house and can see in anytime he wants. I do get dressed to do laundry. Even if it’s just underwear, I’m covered. But still. How about some privacy?

I also wanted decorative drapes for the gazebo. This gazebo has blessed our lives for years. For some reason this spring and summer I have been bit by some crazy bug that makes me want to nest in there. I want that gazebo to be more comfortable and homey. I want it to be an outdoor living space that is a wonderful extension of the house. I want to be out there more than I am. A magazine showed an outdoor space with cheap curtains made of painter’s drop cloths. I have been coveting the idea ever since. Of course I found some pretty outdoor fabric instead of painter’s drop cloths.

Dawn made the laundry and gazebo curtains for me before she left. I guess I’m on my own for the bathroom. It is the smallest window so it shouldn’t be too tough. I hope anyway!


This is the window treatment for the laundry room. I think the orange is so cute. I wanted to introduce a really bright and fun color in there. A color that isn’t found anywhere else in the house. It’s a laundry/mudroom. It needs a fun color. This is outdoor fabric but I love it. The best part is it gives the room a pink glow all day. As the light shines through the window it’s filtered through the fabric and gives the room a warm glow. The room never feels hot but it definitely feels cooler in there, even while I do laundry. This gives me hope for my bathroom.


Looking out then looking in the gazebo. You can see the lattice behind the chairs. The magnets are working out of their pockets in the side seams. But the drapes have stayed in place for two days now.


The flowers were my first attempt at making the gazebo more homey. Then we bought the rug. The clock has been around for a little while. I would put it on a chair so I could see it from the pool. Heath and his dad figured out a way to hang it up inside the gazebo. Heath drilled holes in the top and bottom so he could thread wire through and twist it to the metal side. Once the clock was secure Heath said something about what a pain it would be to change the batteries when that time came. About an hour later we were watching TV and I could see the clock from where I was sitting. Yeah, it’s about 25 minutes slow! And it isn’t accurate with the temperature. The coldest I have ever seen is 80 degrees. The hottest is 120. Neither are ever true.

Saturday was Independence Day. We all went to see Inside Out. What a great movie! It was pretty deep for a Disney Pixar film. You can definitely see why child psychologists are using it in their discussions with children. The movie created this inside view of the human mind and all its emotions. Now there is a concrete way to discuss emotions and to possibly understand what is happening.

I loved how the family moved to San Francisco. That was such a culture shock for me when my family moved eight years ago. I really related to everything the family in the movie was going through. The whole moving truck problem in the movie reminded me of our own roadblocks with the sale of our house falling through not once, but twice. Living in a new place is hard enough. Living in one of the nation’s most expensive cities with no money is quite a trial of faith for sure.

The pizza scene was the best. “Congratulations San Francisco! You’ve ruined pizza!” Truer words have never been spoken. I laughed my butt off at that scene in the movie. We had our own pizza experience in San Francisco. I think some places just overthink food. I loved the movie.

Afterwards we went to lunch at Johnny Garlic, a restaurant owned by Guy Fieri. The food was really good. Gavin and Grandpa both had the macaroni and cheese burger. It had pasta on it and onions and a burger patty with cheese and probably mushrooms and condiments along with the kitchen sink. You name it and it was piled on that burger. Shocker of all shockers, Gavin ate his garlic fries … and liked them! This is a boy who regularly turns his nose up at every fast food joint because he can smell the fries and he claims they make him sick. He’s so funny about food.

For dinner we had tri tip, cheese bread, potato salad, my mom made suddenly salad, and a veggie platter. We had a choice of beverages. Gavin chose root beer. That night Heath and I had just climbed into bed ready to relax in front of Netflix before falling asleep. Gavin walked in and said, “I just threw up all my dinner. I feel much better now.” My little bulimic in training! Oh my goodness. We told him he had overeaten and he should be fine by morning. Luckily he was. There was no time to get sick when he was leaving for Scout Camp early Monday morning.

The kids played in the pool on Saturday while the adults sat around chatting in the gazebo. When it finally got dark enough we had our own firework show in the backyard. My mom brought sparklers with her to share with the kids. Heath bought some real fireworks at a stand with a sign that said they were illegal in our city. Fabulous.

It was a little breezy that night and we were concerned about our contraband. We had situated ourselves in the backyard next to the pool. One, to be inconspicuous and two, to have easy access to water should we need it. Gwen is a California girl through and through. She has never seen real fireworks except from the street when we watched the County Fair firework show last year. She did not like our fireworks. She stood in the doorway to the garage shutting the door every time the fuse was successfully lit. She did say that Fear was taking over the controls in her mind. I thought that was a great movie reference.

When we shut down the firework show my mom pulled out glow sticks. They were gigantic and really bright. The kids had so much fun playing with those. Gavin even made up a dance with them. He was whipping them around his head and through his legs like a ninja. It was an impressive display. My mom got video of him on her phone and Heath’s mom took pictures and video with her camera. Heath and I just sat there enjoying the moment. We have nothing to show for it.

At one point Heath took Gwen and Parker’s sticks and asked if they wanted to play Chinese Numbers. They were amazed by how well I knew my Chinese numbers. Parker almost had it figured it out. At least he thought he did. But it’s tricky. (wink wink) I started to lose my touch after a while. It was dark and someone was always blocking my view of Heath’s fingers. He was hoping I would realize he was playing Howard Wolowitz style. He would have accepted any number I threw out. But I didn’t catch the telepathic message. We gathered the sticks and told the kids they needed to get ready for bed since it was so late.

It was the first of several late nights. We had so much fun with all the grandparents.