A few favorites

I know you have all been waiting on pins and needles…. 

I KNOW you have not been able to sleep for days….months……years even

I know how much you value MY opinion on things.

So, without further ado…..

A few of my favorite things.  As of today.  Just today.  Tomorrow, things may change.  Some of these will remain.  It will be for you to guess.  

Thank you.

Biolage

Biolage.  Hands down my new favorite shampoo.  But that may change.  Especially if Target stops carrying this brand.  For a lot less money.  Then I will go back to Suave. 

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Amen.

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 I have loved this skin care line since the 1980's.  Seriously.  I was 2 in the 1980's.  My mother used to wash me with this.  Every day.  That is why my skin is so beautiful today.  

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Friends.  Sisters.  Schmoopies.  Run, do not walk to Amazon, Nordstrom or Bobbi Brown.com and get your hands on one of these pieces of summer, in a bar of soap.  This is not one to leave near the grubby, er, lovely little hands of your kids.  This is heavenly.  It smells like Coppertone, days at the beach and endless sunshine in one little perfect rectangle…. of love.  
Onto my new household favorites.

Can you STAND the excitement?

I know I can't.

I need to lay down.

Thank you.

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Ok.  For years I have loved Pine Sol.  Nothing cleans up little boy pee-pee like Pine Sol. The smell was a bit harsh- but I tell you, it cleans like the dickens. What are the dickens?  My mom used this phrase and to this day, I still have no idea what it means.  But I use it.  Kind of like "Oh for corn's sake" and "crup".  But I digress.  This BLUE version of Pine Sol is delightful.  And cleans like the dickens.  Just a softer kind of dickens.  Is there such a thing?  Sorry.

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A mop.  With no awful bucket of water to lug.  That is safe on wood.  That has a lavender scented cleaner.  Oh for corn's sake I love this thing.

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Being the niaeve little girl that I am, SHUT UP, I had no clue that you have to use a different kind of cleaner for stainless steel.  So when my stove top looked like someone had spilled milk on it, even after I cleaned it, I thought, Hmmm.  Whatever shall I do?  Then I went to Super Target, and found this little bottle of cleaner.  And I love it.  And my stove and dishwasher have stopped glaring at me.

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Grapes.  And plain white kitchen towels.  Tons of them.  

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If you sleepover at our home, your sheets will smell of lavender and vanilla.  And a 6 pack.  Obviously.
This smells so stinkin yummy.  I love it.  God bless Downy.  Can I get an amen?

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Coconut Bay.  Just the sound of it harkens me back to my days as a hula dancer on the Big Island.  

Shut up.

This smells so good.  And after a shower with the Sand Bar.  I am telling you, I almost feel like I am on vacation.

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For a good five minutes anyway.

CRUP.

Life

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It has been 3 months since our family moved to our new home.  Slowly, it is becoming home.  I have written here about the things Oklahoma draws me in with.  I have been thinking so much lately about who I am.  Where we are going as a family.  Things I feel are important as we change and grow.  And where I feel I fit in.  I grew up my entire life (with a short time in Boston) in Southern California.  Born and raised California girl.  

But that Beach Boys song is far from who I am.  Who I was growing up.  Who I hope to be.  I don't know if I ever fit that California stereo type.  For that I am so thankful.  But I had a great group of friends throughout high school- and made sweet lifelong friends as an adult.  That did not come without pain- and feeling out of place.  It was finally in my 30's where I finally found my niche.  I found my sweet spot and relished in a freedom to be myself with friends who loved me for me.  Not for what they thought I was because of a persona I put out there.  It has been a very freeing process for me.

In my heart, I had always longed for a different space to be.  I dreamed of one day having our family in an open space with room to explore without fear. Michael and I had whispered longings at night of a ranch with horses, and a window to feed them through from our kitchen.  We spoke of a place where life is a bit slower, traffic is sitting behind a tractor, and Sunday after church is for naps on a hammock and friends for dinner.  A place where the newest and greatest isn't first and foremost on our kids minds and hearts, but getting outside to ride bikes to the lake is.  

So, living near the beautiful ocean, Sunday trips to the beach and living near our dearest friends and family have been swapped.  Our life is different here in Oklahoma.  Those whispered dreams of our heart are closer now.  The sweetness of the land here sings to my core.  While I miss our friends and family more then I can bear sometimes, I feel at peace here.  My heart feels as though it has found its place.  I never thought I would feel this way about this move, but it is a gift that I have been given.  I am thankful.

SO, how are we doing?  I think we are doing really well.  Michael loves his job. And he is really good at it.  I can see God doing some really amazing things through Michael and his company.  It is a joy to watch.  Jack is doing great. So much better then before. Out of all 3, he, being the oldest, had the hardest time with the move.  He missed his best friends.  He missed being in California.  He missed everything.  But, slowly, as he is making friends, loving church, playing in the pool and in the hay meadow….it is feeling like home.  It has been very neat to watch him mature.  Though we have had some testing times, I am in awe of how he has handled this entire move.  I love that boy.

Sammy.  How to describe Sammy.  He is full of life.  Full of laughter.  He has had a much easier time with adjusting.  He misses his friends- for sure.  But he loves being able to jump on his bike and ride to his friends house at the end of cul-de-sac.  He has enjoyed going to new places and getting into the mix of kids.  He revels in making new friends.  And he is a great friend to all.  I love his sweet heart, his ability to laugh and make me laugh- and his amazing tenacity.  He is SO excited about being in a professional theater production this summer.  Watching him grow is a joy.  I love him so.

Katie Mei.  My joy.  Since the day we met her she has had the ability to bring laughter and joy to all of us.  Katie misses her bestie Sarah, with all her heart. Sometimes crying at night while looking at her photo of her.  But phone and video chats help- as does the promise of a sleepover when we visit.  Katie has thrown herself into life in Oklahoma with passion and joy.  She often says " I love California, but Oklahoma is my home" and "I love EVERY church we visit Momma".  She has been my soft place on many nights when I felt I was losing it.  I have watched her mature and grow into a young girl who has a heart for God and a heart for people.  I love my girl.

God has blessed us here.  Sometimes in surprising ways.  I have become involved with an amazing group of China Adoptive Momma's who meet on Tuesday nights.  I went one time last week and cannot wait to go back.  In that group, I have met women in all different phases of life- and with many children.  And one woman who runs an amazing organization which helps orphans in China.  A person whom I never expected to meet, and God has woven us together- and something tells me this relationship may develop into something that Michael and I have prayed about.  So I am amazed.

He has also given us a church home here.  A BIG church home.  We are not quite used to that, but we really like it.  We prayed for so long about a small group, and through another weaving of God's hand, were led to a really wonderful small group for our entire family.  That was a COMPLETE surprise.  

We are still trying to wrap our brains around the thought that we are home.  But the wrapping is nice.  The ribbon is soft.  And we cant wait to see what the gift holds inside.