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Malibu Weekend

I LOVE MALIBU | COVET LIVING

I spent my Galentine’s Day weekend in my favorite place on earth: MALIBU.  I’m insanely lucky to have one of my dearest gal pals there with a place on the beach, which = a getaway whenever I need it.  I remember thinking before I had ever ventured to this magical, beachy, laid-back fairy wonderland that it would be pretentious and snooty (*cough* like a lot of LA), but to me it feels just the opposite. EVERYONE is cheerful and friendly; even chatty.  No one ever seems to be in a hurry. Pups splash around in the surf with no leashes in sight.  Sunlight dances on the water like diamonds.  EVERYTHING is beautiful.  Everyone’s feet are sandy.  The waves are louder than anywhere else I’ve ever been and lull you into a dazed state of relaxation during the day, then rock you to sleep at night.  Surfers are in silhouette at dawn and dusk.  It is heaven.  Here’s my weekend, in pics:

Gus, being a great house guest, waking up Aunt Katie.

Gus and Kate | Covet Living

High-larious #truth on Valentine’s Day morning.

Fat Jewish | Covet Living

Let’s go, woman!

Beach House | Malibu

Even Gus is in a zen place.

Gus | Covet Living

Sea glass hunting

Sea Glass | Covet Living

Trying to get a good pic with this monster before I went to meet another friend for lunch at Duke’s.

Gus and Me | Covet Living

Gus and Me 2 | Covet Living

It’s just not ugly here.

Private Beach, Malibu | Covet Living

He doesn’t think so either.  Slash that’s some amazing bed head.

Gus in Malibu | Covet Living

What my Saturday looked like… outside of lunch, a 6-mile beach walk, and my first time stand-up Paddle boarding – which scared the ever-living &#%$ out of me. Getting off shore past the monster crashing waves with that giant board was a real treat… I got beat the truck up and thrown down about 7 times, knocked in the head with the board, lost my suit a time or two, and scraped my whole self up – while Val Kilmer stood on his balcony and watched.  He’s DEFINITELY seen my boobs.  Finally, I got out there.  It was both peaceful and terrifying – being a hundred yards or so off the shore, not knowing what’s underneath you, and having a baby seal (aka shark snack) bobbing right next to your board… but hey.  I lived.

Malibu | Covet Living

A handfulla sea glass from our long walk, and a wee heart-shaped rock for good measure.

Sea Glass and Gus | Covet Living

The surf

Surf | Covet Living

Big pimpin in my big Golden Girls sunhat

Malibu Weekend | Covet Living

Kate and I did The Ranch at Solstice Canyon on Saturday night for dinner… we chanced it without rezzies, and just when I was ready to hover over some old people at the bar to pounce on their seats, Kate charmed the waiter into giving us the best seats in the house.  Flirting gets that girl the VIP treatment like no one I’ve ever seen.

Solstice Canyon | Covet Living

Solstice Canyon, Malibu | Covet Living

Posting up for sunset on Sunday.  I know, it’s Cat Lady status to the max with all the Gus pics, but he’s such a good soul and fulla personality I can’t help myself… plus lately, I’m keenly aware of his age and that my (years) with him are numbered. Anyhow – we parked it outside with a glass of vino to watch the sun go down.

Malibu | Covet Living

Going…

Malibu | Covet Living

Going…

Malibu | Covet Living

Gone.

Malibu | Covet Living

And then it just got prettier & prettier from there.

Malibu | Covet Living

Malibu | Covet Living
Malibu | Covet Living

And then KP came out to join us!  She was inside working.  Poor kid.

Malibu | Covet Living

It wasn’t a conventional Valentine’s Day, but hey.  What are you gonna do?  It was awesome.  And if you would’ve told me a little over a year ago a) that I would ever be single again, or b) that I would’ve quit my job, packed up my house, thrown Gus in the car and moved to other side of the country, I wouldn’t even have been able to get my brain around it.  Who knows why sh*t happens.  I’ve been busting out 90’s country at work for the past few weeks, and a few days ago an old Trace Adkins song called “Time Marches On” came on – the one that says: “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes, everything changes.”  And it almost took my breath away…  in part because I hadn’t heard that jam since high school, and when I did hear it again, it felt like I’d heard it yesterday… except it wasn’t yesterday; it had been 16 years.  Just like that.  (Do you feel a tangent coming on?  Cuz I do.  Get ready.)

I’m extraordinarily aware lately that time moves SO, so quickly, and I’m even more aware that nothing is guaranteed… things I never thought would happen have happened: I still can’t believe that our best friend Mel’s little brother Ryan is really gone.  Or that friends with perfect lives and seemingly perfect relationships would walk in to find their significant others cheating and their lives changed forever.  I also keep thinking about a wedding M & I were gleefully seated at a few years ago, when we still had what we thought was a whole life together ahead of us… Fast forward 3 years, and no one ever could’ve conceived that one day, he would vanish in the most senseless of ways… or that the groom at that wedding would die tragically less than a year later.  Or that tragedy would befall any of the people around us.  My point isn’t to be a downer; it’s to put extra emphasis on: “HOLY SH*T, LIFE IS PRECIOUS.” And you never really know what’s around the next corner.  Another old friend told me about a year ago that life was always going to ebb and flow with joy and sorrow, and that the only thing you can really do to manage it all is to always be at peace, because all of it is going to come down the pike no matter what.  It’s maybe some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten, and I thought a lot about that this weekend… about being at peace, and about how change is the only constant in life, and about how things move so quickly that it’s all too short to spend doing anything but being fully present, wherever you are.  Even in the wake of things that tug (hard) at your heart. That’s what I’m working on doing a lot more these days… and this weekend was a good start.  Cuz if I had spent the weekend worrying about the life I thought I was going to have, then I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the life that I actually do… and all of the wonderful things that are here now: like having an amazing friend in Kate… or a deliriously happy dog – who one day won’t be here anymore – and who traipses up and down the beach to greet (everyone) like it’s the best day of his life… And maybe I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate all the beauty that was around me, or how Kate & I both almost peed our pants when we got into the backseat of an old woman’s car parked outside her door on Saturday night who we THOUGHT was the Uber driver, but who then said to us: “What are you girls doing in my car?  Who are you?  What the hell is Uber?”  Etc etc.  Anyway – try not to blink, yo, or you’ll miss so much of the good stuff.  Imma tryda do the same.

Never Let the Things You Don't Have | Covet Living

Fist bump long distance,

Steph's Scanned Signature

aka Jack Handy

How to Get Unstuck

California Beach | Getting Unstuck | Covet Living

To take a super somber 180 degree turn from yesterday’s post, for some reason I feel compelled to share something my Mom sent to me last week… it’s a bit personal, but hey.  We’ve been known to share some pretty raw things on this blog before, so whatever – the jig is up, and it’s just what we do.  Plus, as my girl Meg told Tom in You’ve Got Mail, “whatever else anything else is, it oughta begin by being personal.”  But more importantly, I’m quite certain that everyone is, has or will – at some point – have to struggle to deal with something really painful, so if reading this little excerpt from “Tiny Beautiful Things” can lend any comfort to me, then maybe it’ll come in handy for some of you, too:

Mom's Sweet Words on Getting Unstuck | Covet Living

I’m not sure what’s more helpful: Sugar’s (Cheryl Strayed’s) soothing words, or my Mother’s.  I’ve led a pretty charmed life – one that I will never, ever be entitled to complain about – but I have also seen some things these past few years that seem so profoundly cruel to me that I still haven’t figured out quite how to process them. And maybe I never will.  But in the meantime, what I can process are all of the good things… like having a Mom who cares enough to send me stuff like that, just when I need it.  Or a Dad who sends my dog boxes of rawhide and who always makes everything okay, no matter happens.  Or a gaggle of the most wonderful new girlfriends here.  Or the oldest of friends, like my slampig of a co-blogger, who I had a ping pong match of a text-a-thon last night that almost made me shart myself: after she told me she intended to cut her untamed weave of wiry hair even shorter, à la Kelly Ripa’s new ‘do, I kept trying to tell her that it might make her look like Buckwheat.  This is what ensued:

Kelly Ripa and Buckwheat | Covet Living

She obviously never listens to anything I say.  And she obviously thinks I look like Nick Nolte in the morning.  Sadly, she is not wrong.

Steph and Nick Nolte

And in other news – just to keep things light – I got in the shower this morning with nothing but my socks on.  So there’s that.

Lots of love to you all.  And if you’re having a tough time – with anything – hang in there, take some comfort in Dear Sugar’s words above, and wring the good out of everything you can possibly find.

Steph's Scanned Signature