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2013 Cheviot Hills Block Party

Ben and his three boys, Mason, Spencer, and Vinnie had a blast at last weekend's 2013 Cheviot Hills Block Party! The event took place Sunday, October 13th and Ben supported the block party again this year, by donating Dandy Don's ice cream sundaes for his fellow neighbors to enjoy!    photo 1
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Lilli's June Letter

June 30, 2011

When it comes right down to it, isn’t life the result of really hard decisions we have made? It’s those twists and turns that are a product of what we opted to do or not to do that really form the people we are today. One of the toughest choices I had to make was when I was a college sophomore and was faced with having to choose between a fantastic job opportunity or staying in school. I deliberated over it for days and I’ll never know what would’ve happened had I have opted to finish college but I do know that taking the job set me on a professional course that ultimately shaped who I am. And, while I ended up returning to UCLA years later to finally get my degree, I can appreciate that great chances don’t often present themselves twice.

When my husband Ben came face to face with his own difficult, life altering decision: whether or not to stop practicing as a lawyer to become a real estate broker instead, it reminded me of my own fork in the road years earlier. I couldn’t tell him what to do but part of me hoped he would take the safer route. It was early on in our marriage and our babies were young so of course I was worried about the stress and financial strain of going from a steady paycheck to a commission based profession. "

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Ultimate Rebellion

By Lilli Lee

June 15, 2011

Most people rebel against their parents in traditional ways: tattoos, belly button rings, sneaking out of the house. I never did any of those things growing up. I was saving the real rebellion for when I became an adult. The first thing I did that really flaunted my independence was when I went to college and the first weekend I returned home (which, in and of itself is a bit of a stretch since my college was about 9 minutes away from my childhood home and that’s with traffic) I was wearing a brand new pair of never before seen Birkenstocks. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase and one I knew would get me a fantastic reaction. “What are those on your feet!??!” my mother asked. “Oh my God!” My sister wanted to know if I was a lesbian. Enjoying every second of their shock, I paraded around in my new hippie-chic sandals with great confidence.

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My Helpful Sister

By: Lilli Lee

I think in every family with more than one child, it’s easy for siblings to fall into certain roles and it’s easy for parents to perpetuate those roles by learning quickly which one is going to get the job done and which one is going to be the headache. Growing up, I think my sister would agree that I was the one who was expected to be helpful while she, due to her clever manipulation or ease of wit, could be counted on to avoid just about every household task at hand. We were never a chore-driven family. There were never charts full of stickers or organized allowances after finishing agreed upon tasks. Our jobs were more directly related to and in response to our mother flipping out about our hazardous, probably bacteria filled rooms and learning how to run and hide if she decided we were being lazy and needed a job to do. I had a friend who used to moan and groan because it was her job to put away the silverware out of the dishwasher and to clean her bathroom once a week. I’m sure I would’ve hated it, too, but at the time I thought it sounded kind of homemaker chic to put on some yellow, rubber gloves and spot shine the sinks. I probably would’ve tied my hair back in a red kerchief like Rosie the Riveter just for full affect.

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The Mighty Manatee

by Lilli Lee

When it comes to our kids’ education, nothing fills me with as much inner panic or turns me into a version of my mother more than when our first grader comes home with a project, report or assignment other than his typical weekly homework packet. It’s a twisted, cyclical, silent, one-way conversation that ping pongs between, ‘What more can I handle?’ to ‘Why should I worry about this?’ to ‘How can we make this the best Manatee report the teacher has ever seen?’ to ‘I’m so annoyed at hearing myself nag him to do it, I’m just NOT going to nag and see if he does it on his own! Let him fail! That’ll teach him!!’ But no matter how many times I fantasize about a 6 year old having the motivation to tackle this wide-ranging subject on his own, I know I will not let him fail and I will mercilessly harass him every single day until we are both so sick of the subject and each other we will have wished his teacher had stuck to the boring weekly assignment instead of trying to teach him the importance of research and deeper study.

Just the mere mention of our son needing to write and present an oral report prompted me to conjure up distant memories of my own elementary school anxieties. Recollecting one seemingly innocuous task struck me in the gut like an extra helping of a bad burrito.

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Lilli's Holiday Letter

Dear Friends and Family, December 2010 It’s hard to begin this year’s letter because 2010 turned out to be a very pleasant, solidly good, fairly basic year. Nothing too high or too low~ no major life changing announcements or big hurdles. This year we navigated our path as a family, learning how to make sense and try to keep our sanity amidst having three young, energetic, highly individual boys. A wise cousin of mine once said that when it comes to child rearing, the months are short but the days are long. Each day in our house took on the role of conquering a mini marathon. Waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, arguing, crying, dirty dishes, tripping over the crawling baby, phone ringing, teeth brushing, homework done? Lunches packed? Backpacks on? and all seat belted by 7:45am. Afternoons and early evenings would often be more frenetic: tired from school, homework to do, snacks and noise and crying baby and ‘look at this!’ from one with a ‘DON’T LOOK AT ME!!’
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Queen Victoria

by Lilli Harris Lee In the year my grandmother, Victoria King Harris, was born, Oklahoma became America's 46th state and Theordore Roosevelt was president.  It cost two cents to mail a letter and eggs were twenty-nine cents a dozen.  Vacuum cleaners were the latest invention but Band-aids, bubble gum and ballpoint pens had yet to hit the scene.  On Novermber 9,1907 Victoria Harris was born and this month she's turning one hundred years old. It’s hard to think of my grandmother at one hundred when the mere mention of her age at ANY age would cause her eyes to widen in shock and disbelief.  This is a lady in the truest sense of the word. She’d never leave her bedroom let alone the house without her make up on and hair perfectly styled.  Actually, it’s a style she perfected so long ago it’s often impossible to tell how old she is...
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The Toddler Book Club

by Lilli Harris Lee Whoever says Los Angeles isn’t an intellectual town obviously hasn’t met the kids from my son Mason’s pre-school class.  In what may be the first of its kind, Mason and his 3-year-old friends have formed their very own book club.  The members may not yet know how to read but that’s a technicality we’re all willing to ignore.  It all started the morning after one of my book club meetings: a girls-only, six member group that has met once a month for the past nine terrific years.  Yes we do actually discuss books but only after an hour or two of wine, delicious dessert, and catching up on all the gossip from the previous month.  We have attended each other’s weddings and baby showers… agonized over issues concerning our parents, husbands, boyfriends, and children. But it has also been a great excuse to carve out a little...
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Growing Them Up

by Lilli Lee Harris There are innumerable benefits to raising children close to where you grew up.  My boys are so lucky to enjoy almost daily visits with their grandparents.  Aunts, uncles and cousins live right around the corner.  When we take the boys to Changs and the waitress brings their favorite dishes without even having to order first, Brentwood really feels like a small town.  But when does knowing so many people on the Westside get tough?  When it’s birthday party planning time and you’re trying to keep your list in the double digits.  For Mason’s first birthday we hosted over 100 of our nearest and dearest for a mucho grande fiesta.  There was Gallego’s Brothers catered food, huge photos of baby Mason atop the Olvera Street burro, even a mariachi trio shaking maracas while warbling “the Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  It was memorable to say the least.  The following year,...
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The Challenges of Selling a Home

by Lilli Harris Lee, December 2007 Eight weeks ago we decided to put our house up for sale and I had no clue what a traumatic experience it would be. We picked a time to sell mere moments before the mortgage crisis hit the headlines, turning the market solidly against us from the get-go. Despite all the negative press we were still confident our home would sell  quickly.  My husband Ben is a broker with Coldwell Banker’s top L.A. team.  Between his expertise, our home’s fair asking price and its prime Westside location, we honestly felt we’d have no problem finding a buyer.  We were wrong. “Sundays” soon became “Suckdays” in honor of how much I hated those open houses.  Anyone with boys ages one and three can attest it goes against nature to have a house in a showcase condition.  And once it does attain that perfect image of suburban...
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Ben Lee

Real Estate Broker
Licensed Attorney

benlee

Cal BRE #01808926

310.858.5489 direct

310.704.6580 cell

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Coldwell Banker

Beverly Hills North Office
301 N. Canon Drive, Ste E
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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