Find Your Happy!

This past week has felt 21-days long! Last Sunday, our son moved out of the house embarking on a road trip across country. He left the nest not for college or his internship, but for his independence. The pandemic had delayed his original plans, but they are delayed no more. So, my hubby and I officially hold the title of empty nesters. Excitement swirls in this new chapter for all of us, but while he blazed through state lines heading east, I worried. My hubby worried. We busied ourselves doing things around the house, and of course, going to work, trying to focus on the job. Some of you may recall that I briefly wrote about this in my post from April 17th. Now it’s as real as ever.

While we are proud of him, we miss his presence – the conversations, the laughter, the hugs. We know Copper, our dog, misses his “brother” too, that his canine perception senses the change. The quiet in the house is also LOUD. So, this past week has been an adjustment.

But now that he has reached his finish line and holds the keys to his new apartment in his hands, WE ARE HAPPY! We wish that his chosen path could have been on the west side of the USA. But, he now lives closer to his sister who also lives on that side of the country, which makes us HAPPY! We are eager to make new memories in his home just as we’ve done with our daughter and son-in-law.

I have shed many tears during this exciting, bittersweet week. They fell out of joy for our son and the new adventures awaiting on the horizon. They gushed out of worry as he accelerated on those highways; I thought of other reckless drivers out there. And I have never felt such an affinity for my cell phone before as I anticipated his text messages to ping each evening, letting us know he is safe. It was in those moments when tears flowed out of relief. And if you’re wondering, my hubby shed a few, too.

So, this post is all about FINDING YOUR HAPPY!

Wherever it may be, it’s out there, loud and clear!!!!

Welcome it!

Embrace it!

And don’t let it go!

Reasons for feeling Happy float around us every day, but it’s up to us to capture them and relish in the joy.”

Lauren Scott 🥰❤️

(When I think of happiness, flowers also come to mind. The California Poppies are gorgeous and abundant around here, but I don’t have a good photo to share. So, of course, I visited Google, where I also found the Happy Face. The Daisies are from our garden.) 😍

Journal entry: April 16, 2021

Wrapping up my workday with fifteen minutes to go before stepping outside into Friday freedom, I hear my phone ping. A short text from my daughter: Hey, Mom, would you want to chat later?

It’s been a couple of weeks since we talked, and since she lives on the other side of the country, of course, I wanted to chat! My fingers tapped back: Sure! I’ll call in a half hour when I’m home.

For hours to fly by when we talk on the phone isn’t unusual at all. But this call turned out to beat that record by a landslide. When my husband walked through the door, home from work, I said, “Hi Honey, I’ve been talking to Steph for two hours.”

“Are you kidding me?” He asked, grinning, not understanding what in the world could keep a conversation going for so long.

And it kept going. We chatted about work – the fun and the annoying elements, and about friends. I asked her about the 3-year-old tabby cat, Oliver, she and her husband recently adopted. Somehow the weather swept into our conversation – another drought and fire season on the horizon for us, and lastly, about her brother who is moving out in a week, embarking on a new chapter of life. He’s been home with us for a couple of years post college graduation, working full-time remotely. But the time has come. The time is right.

Steph and I gabbed about Michael’s new chapter nudging “Dad and I” into our new Empty Nesters stage. Exciting times for all of us, but bittersweet where many different emotions whirl around in our heads and hearts. The thing is he’s moving across country, too, which means both of our children will be on the same coast as each other, but miles and miles and miles away from us. This is when our hearts become heavy. We can’t see Steph and Ryan on a whim, and the same will be for Michael when he’s moved.

I filled Steph in about Michael wanting to help us rearrange furniture in the bedrooms so that Mom and Dad can reap the benefits of having the house to themselves. Shortly after he signed his apartment lease, with each day came a new flood of tears for me. But as he moves furniture and rewires electronics, he has tamped down those tears by keeping my brain and emotions occupied. Though a tsunami will gush on the day he drives away. No doubt.

Steph understood. When she and Ryan moved, Michael lived with us. Tears still trickled down our cheeks, but it was different with having one of our kids still at home. So, when Michael leaves, it’ll just be Matt, me, and Copper, our crazy canine, who will watch the distance widen between us and his car. We know Copper will sense the emptiness in the house, missing the cuddles, too, from his brother.

After Matt watered the grass, he poured us some Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and I carried the conversation out to the patio. He joined in, telling Steph all about his recent motorcycle trip, and how he checked off that box on his bucket list. He shared that his dad, two weeks shy of turning 98, is not doing well. “Give him a call,” he tells her. “And send him a birthday card with photos of Ollie. He’d love that.”

Before we knew it, tears from all of us struggled for freedom. The conversation stayed light-hearted, full of laughter, but also brimmed with love and poignancy. When we all finally said talk to ya later, four hours had passed!

Here’s my take-away: we love our children so much, yes, and sometimes to the point that it hurts. Parenting doesn’t get easier as age transforms into a larger number – with each new phase develops new sets of worries. But as our daughter and son pave their own paths, we couldn’t be prouder. They’re adulting and doing it well. We just wish their paths were on the west coast. Such is life. And as the gray hairs flourish and the wrinkles form, knowing they love us to the same extent is something so much bigger to be thankful for – and knowledge to sustain us until we or they hop on a plane, heading across country.

A phone call to treasure.

Lauren Scott ❤️

Cake

I opened the oven door with my young children peeking around me and we all laughed! Instead of the meringue cascading in still perfection, cracks engulfed every inch as though an earthquake rumbled over the top. Through giggles, we yelled, “The Earthquake cake!” A Blitz Torte. It was my dad’s favorite, stemming from past generations of his German heritage.

The memories! There was Mom, standing in the kitchen of dark wood cabinets, hand mixer purring as she blended the magical ingredients for dad’s birthday each year. Mixing up this feather-light textured cake was no simple culinary experience; separating egg yolks from their counterparts, the egg whites, was a step mastered with practice over time. The meringue topping had to be whipped to precision like an image of still cascading waves in the ocean. Having only attempted this recipe once with the result resembling the earth riddled in quakes, Mom and Dad cracked up when they saw the cracked-up cake! Hilarious to the eyes, but the slight almond crunch of the meringue and creamy texture of the custard filling decadently pleased our palates.

And then one day I tasted carrot cake – the mixture of spicy cinnamon, tangy crushed pineapple, shredded carrots, and crunchy walnuts immediately deemed this cake my utmost favorite. Add the smooth, delectable cream cheese frosting (that I could eat by the spoonful) and you have life’s essentials on a plate! And it’s advantageous that carrot cake counts as a vegetable in my kitchen.

It was the day of my bridal shower. I walked into my maid of honor’s home, instantly inhaling the spicy scent. Carrot cake! She knew me too well, and her mother created the best recipe. Our moms and all the girls were in dessert heaven with each bite of that delicious piece of art. And so, the top of my 5-layer wedding cake was carrot – it had to be that way for my special day. Fortunately, my husband was a fan, too!

My two teenagers on a spring March day pulled on their carrot-shredding gloves and presented to me their creation while belting out, “Happy birthday to you...” With its two uneven layers, it wasn’t pretty, but it brought on the biggest smile. Their efforts earned them an A+, and when I treated myself to that first bite, I tasted spicy, creamy excellence. With their love and thoughtfulness stirred into the process, satisfaction was redefined!

I often delve into the carrot shredding and cream cheese whisking myself, watching my family revel in each forkful of the sinfully delicious dessert. This recipe has become a treasure in my collection evoking these precious memories. Whether it’s a Blitz Torte bringing to life images of my parents who have since left our physical world or a Carrot Cake from wedding and birthday celebrations, the stroll down memory lane becomes more poignant with each new bite.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

Header: My birthday carrot cake this year that a wonderful friend made for me. 🧡🧡

Twinkling Magic

Their eyes see twinkling magic
Unaware of worldwide discord.
Children, innocent in youth,
Show how joy can be restored.
Let their wonder guide and excite
With their eager anticipation
Let our worries fall to the floor
As we welcome exultation.

Christmas memories from when our son and daughter were little are still so vivid – how they became excited awaiting the rooftop-arrival of Santa Claus and Dasher & Dancer & Prancer & Vixen & Comet & Cupid & Donner & Blitzen & Rudolph!!!
They were my little helpers in the kitchen baking cut-out sugar cookies for Santa and we made sure to leave a bowl of carrots for his reindeer to chomp on.

Those were magical times of make believe, yet times also for believing. 🌟🌟🌟

May we hold that magic of innocence and our inner child in our hearts during this holiday season. 🎄💗

Lauren Scott (c) 2020

Another world…

Walk with us into
the magic of autumn
where tree-lined
serenity surrounds…
the old swimming hole
evokes precious
memories of when
they were young.
We stumble upon
a home for one
lucky critter,
but built by who?

We’re touched
by the Compassion
on a bench…
Only a short drive,
but as we walk
in the light rain,
reveling in the

fragrance of a
new season,
it seems we’ve
stepped into

a whole new world.

Lauren Scott (c) 2020 💗


Anticipation

The day is approaching
when I’ll be left
standing on the sidewalk
watching your car
become smaller and smaller
as the distance between us
grows wider

Your dream has been patient
for a lifetime, it seems
It’s been eager to be set free
So I’m glad the time has come
for you to chase it

When you reach that state,
Capture it, Hold it tightly
as if it’s a new puppy
wiggling excitedly
to jump out of your arms
Feel the joy I feel for you –
know how proud I am

Oh, yes, I’ll shed
a few…
in fact, the rain
may linger
for a day or two

But remember
to live your dream
knowing my love for you
stays in your heart
wherever you may travel

Lauren Scott © 2018
(To my daughter) ❤

Young Minds

IMG_3938

Their imaginations carried them
into the African Savannah
keeping watch for a parade
of animals on the hunt
They chose not to be prey
if avoiding such demise
was possible –
Suddenly, their feet stopped
in their tracks,
as fear crept up the backs
of their necks –
A thunder-booming growl
echoed throughout the grassland
The next move meant life or death
Then a meow joined the growl
Terror escalated
as they held their breath,
mirroring an owl’s innate ability,
afraid to make a sound
Then when Mom yelled,
“Lunch is ready,”
fear subsided and
their adventure came
to an abrupt halt –
until next time
when their imaginings
became alive again

 

Lauren Scott © 2018
(When we arrived at our campsite,
we noticed some visitors.
So I became inspired right away. 🙂 )

 

 

Five O’clock

The table was always
beautifully adorned
with pretty linen and
mouthwatering aromas

three sets of pigtails
never starved
for love and care

ashtrays were fixtures,
but laps in the pool
would offset inhaling –
years later, those clear-
colored decorations
would disappear

they loved and laughed
into their ninth decade,

but the secret remained
a mystery, until…

with a wink and a smile,
it was said to be
the olive in the martini

Lauren Scott © 2018

Scene Change, Full House, and Balloons!

Sunny California is finally sunny again with warmer temps on their way. Our son flew home on Saturday, following the end of his political science internship in DC. He wanted to be home for my birthday (Sunday), and what better gift than to have both of my children home. My excitement to see him couldn’t be put into words. Then to have the four of us together again was awesome! And the awesomeness continues for the week before he returns to college for his final quarter. Yes, then graduation in June. More celebrating! 🎉
The picture below was taken on the speaker’s balcony of the capitol.

michael on the speaker's balcony of the capitol 2018

My heart was full from all the birthday wishes from family and friends, but this year, 
I wanted a celebration with just my husband and children. It was a great family day with lots of surprises and carrot cake (my fave) to top of the day. I made my wish, so we shall see. I’m also not shy about sharing my age. I’m simply grateful to be alive to celebrate each new year.

IMG_2581                   

 

IMG_2611

Thirty-nine again!

 

 

And with the seasons changing, I wrote a sequel to my previous poem and post,
A Cup of Spring. 

Image result for spring flowers

Scene Change

Mr. Winter bows as the
curtain gently falls
His mood is melancholy
yet, he understands

Miss Spring adjusts her
petals, poised with grace,
for the welcoming applause
Hats off to her glow and
the warmth she evokes

 

I hope you’re applauding Miss Spring’s arrival, too, and I’ll end with some wise
words that you’ve probably heard before…

Life is full of give and take. Give thanks, and take nothing for granted. ❤ 🌻 🌼 ❤

Lauren Scott © 2018
Daffodil Photo: Google

 

Motherhood

You are little now,
unable to understand
my deepest feelings

Emotions overwhelm me
when I hold you,
when I see your tiny lips
form your biggest smile,
when I hear you laugh
it’s a joyous melody,
when I hear you cry
it’s a heartbreak to bear

I want to protect you
but I’m not in control
Life will bring adventures
meant only for you –
I’ll have to let go

I’ll marvel, though, in each
new change as you grow

I may be your mommy now
but I’ll always be your
Mom
Loving you more each day
as time takes you away
so you can fly
and realize your
own life

Lauren Scott © 

(It seems like a hundred years ago 
when I wrote this, when I first
became a mom. It was the most
wonderful feeling. I felt like I was
walking on clouds. I still feel this
way even now that my kids are
in their twenties. They have been
the biggest miracle in my life, along
with my husband, and I’m beyond
grateful. I hope you enjoy these words
from 
back when.) 💕