Tuesday, May 12, 2015

happiness is…




This past Mother’s Day weekend was a busy one at our house.

We had nine cubic yards of dirt delivered on our driveway and I was downright giddy because guess what The Mama got for Mother’s Day?

Yep. Three big, strong workers for my brand new (pool-less) backyard. Yippee!!!

Oh how I love Mother’s Day.




And yes, I admit, it’s become somewhat of a running joke in our house that “Father’s Day is totally laid back and Mother’s Day is yard work” but if you’re a gardener, I’m sure you’ll understand.

Free help is always SOOOOOO welcome. And SOOO very appreciated.

In fact, I made a big, traditional breakfast before we all slipped on those thick, nubby gloves…and I couldn’t help but notice how happy I felt.



You know. There’s just something so cozy about the sounds of  bell pepper, onions and potatoes sizzling in the pan while loud conversation is going on.

Eggs… Check.

French Toast… Check.

Aspirin for a slight hangover… Check.

Apparently Saturday night was pretty fun.



When you have college age kids –22 and 20--who are busy with their own lives—spending quality time together is all that matters.



Truthfully, I’m not interested in presents anymore.

Time is the big gift for me.



Good food, big appetites and happy noise are my favorite Mother’s Day presents.


I didn’t get a whole lot of pictures of the guys with their wheelbarrows full of dirt because I was busy leveling the yard with my metal rake, while the hubby dug the big hole for our palm tree in front.

I actually got blisters for the first time in years.

How’s that for teamwork?

The dirt we’re adding is a blend that’s rich in nutrients for the plants and flowers. After it’s all in back we’re tilling the yard and then planting the rest of the trees.


At one point our next-door neighbor Jeff surprised us; he joined Patrick and Michael and helped them shovel dirt for a few loads. How nice was that?

Do you remember when we made an offer on that first house—the one we really wanted --only to have it fall apart at the last minute?  Afterwards, so many of you said it wasn’t the ‘right’ house and that we’d end up in the one we were meant to have.

Well you were right. Now looking back, we’re so thankful that first house deal fell through.

I think it’s such a blessing to be in the right place, don’t you?

Fig & Olive Newport Beach

So. We didn’t get all the dirt emptied but we got close. And afterwards we showered and went out to Fig and Olive in Newport Beach and had the best food.

The  Prosciutto, Ricotta, Fig, Olive and Walnut Crostini was a delicious starter.

I had Zucchini Blossom and Goat Cheese Ravioli

Patrick and Michael both had Maine Lobster Bouillabaisse

And Jim had a Truffle Risotto.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get good photos because it was so dark.

(Note to self: take that photography class)



It ended up being a pretty wonderful day, dirt and sweat and sore muscles and all.

Mostly because we were all together.




Where ever you are right now,

I hope you find a few moments to slow down and think about

your own tiny miracles.

I know

I consider your visit here one of mine.







Susan said...

This post put a smile on my face - loved it! Happy Belated Mother's Day~

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Sounds like a pretty fabulous day to me!

Blondie's Journal said...

Now this is the perfect Mother's Day. The breakfast sounded yummy and I love your rustic and pretty table all dressed up for your feast. I know it's a lot of work, landscaping and doing the labor-I'm so glad your guys gave you a hand. I try to take on too much myself, it's nice to receive the gift of time and effort. Your backyard is going to look lovely!

The restaurant sounds like my kind of place!

Jane x

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Love that restaurant...and you are so right...being together is so important.

Art and Sand said...

Your Mother's Day sounds perfect.

KC's boyfriend sent me tulips and irises on Thursday - Jesuit boys have class!

Joshua & his fiancee took me out to dinner on Friday.

I flew to San Francisco for a day of shopping with KC on Saturday.

And Sunday was spent kayaking with Steve. It doesn't get much better than that!

Lynne said...

Hi Leslie!

Lot's of toil here on 34 over the Mothers Day weekend as well.

You have so much going on at your place...inside and outside. Your posts are always inspiring!

I agree with you on the gift of time. It's especially meaningful with my aging parents.

The best of blessings to you and your family!

Unknown said...

The perfect day, is a 'gift' oh, and to be able to see all the tiny miracles we witness is a way of being that I have only in recent years, come to live by...and what a joy it is...enjoying this precious life we have...I love these little glimpses into your world they are delightful, thank you :) xx

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Sounds like the most perfect day ever! Family time is are more important than "things". Your back yard is going to be lovely. fondly ~ Lynne~

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

It sounds like a wonderful day, Leslie! And that kind of shared work day is full of memory making...

Karen said...

So true. Your day looked like hard work with just the right mixture of fun. We had both sons for Mama Day and like you, it is the interaction and genuine friendship between our sons that warms my heart...that and the fact they both married wonderful women who have given us a granddaughter each. Icing on the cake!
I've never been to Fig & Olive even though it's a short distance from where we live. I hear it's wonderful.

Donnamae said...

I just kept a grinnin while I read this post! It was much like my day without the palm trees! Laughter, good food, and strong sons! ;)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful, busy, got the work done, had a perfect meal Mother's Day. Don't you just love it when everyone and everything comes together : D ?! I walked through a little garden centre today and I had to stop myself from grabbing plants and trees. We aren't anywhere near the yard stage yet, still working on this old neglected cape. xo Patty/NS

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Hah! 9 cubic yards for four healthy strong men - Mike and I did 6 cy two years ago by ourselves - manure and compost, carried and spread... Thought we were going to die. I'm happy that you had a great day with the boys. And that you are successfully making this house the right house.

Sarah said...

Sounds like a perfect Mother's Day! Together time is always the best gift, but you even got a huge project done. Wow!
We are in the midst of making a life change too. Opportunity presented itself, and here we are putting our home on the market and making a move soon. Change, it's a good thing, right? '-)

GlamGirlsLuxTravels said...

What a great post.. and what delightful men you have in your life.. you're one blessed lady.. thanks for posting.. I'm looking out for the finished back yard pics.. they'll sure to be good.. x j from Brisbane Au..

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I'm with ya Leslie; the best gifts ARE free, those moments spent with important people in your lives. We get to a point too when we just say, "I want my health, happiness and love." That's it.

That FIG and OLIVE restaurant looks amazingly posh! Glad you had a great time. Enjoy your day! Anita

Jennifer said...

What a perfectly perfect Mother's Day! It does appear you have ended up with the exact right home for your family.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Leslie, I do not know if it is age or lives lessons that make us realize that things and stuff do not matter, it is love and time with family and friends that make the perfect days.

I have so excited that you had your boys home for Mother's day! How wonderful to have the family together to make your new house a home!

Enjoy your dirt and your project.

xox Elizabeth

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Leslie,
love this. I totally get how you must have loved your day, with your boys at home with you, outside doing what you love. Definitely need to have a bit of what you love in everyday. Btw, I will come to brunch any day of the week, you name the day, I'm on a flight! Your table looks spectacular Lady!

michele said...

What a gorgeous post filled to the brim with gratitude. I know just what you mean about grown sons and time together being the ultimate gift. I had no yard work for them this yr (yep it is a tradition here) so the focus was on togetherness and deep dish Lou malnati's. I am biting at the bit as I continue to shop for homes. We made an offer on a short sale listing back in March but have yet to hear a response. We have our eye on a lil city place but it is overpriced so we must hold that possibility lightly. The next few weeks are all about grad parties and my folks visiting so the distractions will help! Peace to you, friend.

Lori said...

That sounds like the perfect day to me ~ time spent together is better than any present and it is priceless. Love the card that says Momma *swoon* xoxo

Unknown said...

Good morning Leslie,
I caught this in the mail yesterday and it warmed my heart. I love those photos of your guys working so hard to plan the perfect palm in your garden. I understand that feeling of excitement in slipping on those gloves when there is garden work to be done. How special to have a day devoted to being together and doing what mom wants this time. By the way, we made the briefest stop in Newport (after our conference in San Diego recently) to see family. I thought of you. Someday, when I'm down for a weekend, I would LOVE to meet up with you my friend. Cheers to some soulful conversation. Happy Weekend! xx

Sheepskinsandfairylights said...

Perfect day!! Your words almost mirror my thoughts. A house full of family equals a very full heart. Happy Mothers Day, :-) xx

cindy hattersley design said...

Now that sounds like my idea of the perfect Mother's Day!! At least at my house it would be!!

Cathi said...

Your Mother's Day sounded wonderful, Leslie! Time spent with our kids is just the best! I've just spent a week with my son and daughter in law getting to know my week old granddaughter, Olivia Claire. It has been such a wonderful and exciting time for us all! Your house sounds like it is coming together just beautifully - can't wait to see more! Lots of love to you! xxoo

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