Labor Day

Standard

The boys built a new smoker today to take to tailgates.  This was the highlight of our work today, besides the usual daily chores.

 

20140901-214426-78266897.jpg
It was nice to have the day off today and for us all to be home.  The kids slept in and Juliana and I went to a long lunch with friends, while the boys escaped to the movie theater for a matinee.

We came back together in the late afternoon to join friends for a delicious BBQ dinner in the neighborhood.

I surprisingly enjoyed our low key weekend “at home” without fighting traffic and long commutes. I promised Jeff that we could explore and be adventurous every other weekend, or that if we do something active on Saturday, I’ll try to reserve Sunday as a day of rest.  We’ll see how well this plan goes, especially as the kids’ sports schedules heat up.  I love seeking out new experiences and connections and it’s really hard for me to say no to new challenges and opportunities.

How was your labor day? Did you labor? Play? Rest?  All of the above?  Hope it was good for YOU and that you enjoy the shortened week.

Namaste.

Labor Day Weekend, California Style

Standard

This three day weekend we chose to stay close to home and to take it easy. Do you have a Labor Day ritual that you celebrate?

Yesterday we had our first tailgate of the college football season.

20140831-231553-83753879.jpg
We brought lawn chairs and tables, coolers filled with beers and waters and food, as well as our portable BBQ. It was a hot day in the sunshine filled stadium.

20140831-232125-84085893.jpg

Today the kids enjoyed swimming with friends and making new friends at the pool. Later we shared a delicious healthy dinner with our BFFs. I love when my kids get along with my friend’s kids and our husbands enjoy each other too. This makes me so happy.

20140831-232304-84184229.jpg

20140831-232303-84183337.jpg
I loved the simplicity of our staycation with friends and am so excited that we have one more day to relax as a family before heading back to our normal programming.

Happy Labor Day! Live it up and enjoy this wonderful life. xo

Love Your Neighbor

Standard

I grew up on a street where everyone knows each other. My parents still live there and we are still friends with the neighbors I grew up with. I love that when I go home to visit that I have an extended neighborhood family.

We have lived in our same house now for 14 years, except for the year we lived in Amsterdam. We kept our house while we were away so still have the continuity of being in the same place. The other day I came home after meetings and Jeff was standing in the driveway talking to a neighbor. He knew everyone’s story on the cul de sac and how long they have lived there. I loved hearing him share about everyone, and seeing his dog hanging out with us. It is comfortable knowing his schedule and seeing him come and go and to watch him play with his dog after he comes home from work. I like the routine of my neighbors’ lives. One neighbor carries a bucket around her yard and hand waters her trees every day from a big, white bucket. She doesn’t speak English, but always waves and nods her head.

There is another lady that drags her feet when she walks and clicks her cane from step to step. I love seeing and hearing her.

Another man is widowed and walks early in the morning with a cap on his head as fast as he can.

There are the dog walkers, and couples holding hands and the lady with cancer. There are the teens with loud cars and there are the moms driving kids back and forth from here to there. And there is the man with the dog who pooped on my lawn and didn’t bother picking it up who I confronted and gave him a bag to clean up after his baby and was shocked that I confronted him. There is the guy with no teeth and the mama with 14 grown kids who doesn’t speak English yet waves and says hello every time I see her. There are friends with kids and friends who have become family. There are people I know and people I don’t and some I say hello to and wave to and others who are strangers still.

I love this diverse neighborhood and I love that there are people who have lived here for than 50 years.

This morning my neighbor George came by and offered me some vegetables from his garden.

20140830-212943.jpg

I love that he chose to share with me and told me all about the different types of tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans. I loved hearing about his wife and his children and grandchildren and how he spends his time.

Life is good and I am thankful to be living in such a great neighborhood.

I love this life.

Namaste.

What a Beautiful World

Standard

You know how they say that your mind can create your reality? I believe this to be true. And I think if you’re thinking good thoughts and want to be happy and to see they good, you can and you will and you’ll attract awesome people and wonderful experiences that just magically appear.  And I think you’ll attract goodness to you because your focus is on what’s good and great in any given moment.  It’s a great practice that we all should be practicing daily. Believe me, it’s true, I’m not kidding. ;-)

Today I arrived alone at the end of the season BBQ at our swim club.  When I first arrived, a friend invited me to share her table as she noticed I was alone. She introduced me to her friends and built up our little community. I love when people extend themselves and connect us to one another. I am going to remember to do this too and make people feel welcome and widen our circle. I stayed for a short while and then moved to an open table since there wasn’t enough room for my family to join us at Allie’s table. Thank you Allie for always being so gracious and welcoming. You are a gift and great friend. And thank you for walking over to my table by the pool, with your dessert to be sure I got a chance to try your delicious apple cake. You are loved!

As I was sitting alone by the pool, waiting for family and friends to arrive, I was just happy to be outside and to not be cooking dinner.  I was content waiting, but I must have looked lonely, when one of my friends walked by and asked me if I ever had a Moscow Mule before and if I wanted one. I said no that I had not and sure I’d love to try it. She said she would be back and would bring me one, as she was busy running the BBQ tonight. She told me to enjoy my quiet moment and that she would return shortly.

I was so happy that she even noticed me and asked me and offered to share a drink with me without me even asking or being curious, although I was very curious about her copper mug when I saw it by the grill, but never said a word about it. I loved that she spoiled me and shared her special drink in her new ice cold, anniversary copper mugs just like that.

20140829-222450-80690880.jpg
The drink was great, but the gesture and love shared was even greater and she probably doesn’t even realize what she did. I am grateful and thank you Meredith. And happy anniversary, lovebirds!!

This set the whole tone for the rest of the night. I was happy just sitting and relaxing and watching the kids swim and play tennis, while hanging with family and friends after they arrived. The weather was still warm and it was just a gorgeous night to be outside. As we sat, the sky show began and oh man, I’m so glad we were outside to enjoy the sunset.  

 

 

20140829-222559-80759273.jpg

20140829-222600-80760151.jpg

20140829-222601-80761253.jpg
What a beautiful world!!

Life is good. I hope you enjoy this Labor Day Weekend and rest, play, eat, love, and shine!! xo

My Face is Falling

Standard

20140828-224011-81611476.jpg

I’m getting older and I see the signs in my face and feel the changes in my bones.  I’m aware of the changes that are happening and sometimes wish there weren’t so many smile lines, as I like to call them or aches on the tennis court after a long hike the day before.  And my face coloring is changing and my hair is thinning. Seriously, no one told me about that. I’m not complaining, but I’m just highly aware that my body is changing. Isn’t that weird?  That’s something your mother does and not usually something you think of yourself as doing.

But I am. Here I Am. Aging. That sounds weird to me, because in my mind I’m still 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 or somewhere in between.

Hopefully nothing will stop me, at least for a long, long while. But sometimes when I pause or see a close up picture of my face, I notice the differences and am aware that I’m getting older. I see what my mother used to see and remember how I told her how beautiful she was and how I loved her smile lines and that she should keep smiling for the camera and let us all see her, even when she wanted to hide. I never wanted her to hide and I’d make her smile with me.  She’s so beautiful.

I see her soul. I see the love she has for others and I see the beauty deep inside her and her changing face. I think knowing my mama’s face helps me be ok with my changing face because I know what’s on the inside is far more important than what’s on the outside, even though I still want to be beautiful on the outside, just like her.

10342453_10154149696210422_3455592020912519731_n

It’s just part of who we are. I’m ok with that and hope to always embrace the change of seasons that life presents.

Love this life.  Live it up friends. xo

 

 

Mini-Vacation

Standard

20140827-214535-78335914.jpg

Now that the kids are back at school, my vacation can begin!! Seriously – It’s a lot of work when they’re home all summer and I am so thankful that they’re back in an organized environment where their needs are met by someone besides me for a majority of the day.  Thank you teachers.

Today I went for a hike at the Los Gatos Creek Trail with ML.

20140827-214612-78372793.jpg
We’re trying to get in a hike a week and so far we’re two for two.  

20140827-214701-78421255.jpg
I hope it lasts.  My Fitbit says we walked 6 miles.  I love when that thing tells me love stories like that.  I was happy to see that my 10,000+++ steps were done before noon.

I have never been on the Los Gatos Creek Trail and it was something I have wanted to explore forever. I was so happy that I finally got to go hike and explore a new area and that ML showed me around. It was a hot day, and we made it to the top to see the beautiful views. I loved it!!

When we got back to the trailhead, ML saw a restaurant she has been wanting to try. We still had time before having to receive the kids when they came home from school and had time to have lunch, and so we did. We shared a delicious salad and sandwich from the purple onion cafe in los gatos. This was a delightful place and we enjoyed our meal outside, soaking up some iced tea and lemonade and the beautiful weather after our long hike.

We loved our mini stay-cation and can’t wait for our next one next week. I wonder which of the 7 wonders we’ll discover next?

Life is good.  

20140827-214829-78509803.jpg
P.s. Moms – especially Stay at home moms, it’s very important to take time for yourself and to fill up with goodness and happiness because it makes the journey much more bearable and enjoyable when you’ve filled your soul first – just like putting on your oxygen mask first in an airplane so that you can save others. The laundry and dishes can wait. Go outside and play. You have permission. You’re welcome!!

Diversity and Silicon Valley

Standard

I love where we live, however I miss where I grew up because my family is still there. I long to move back so that we can share Sunday family dinners and be close to each other to help one another and share in each others’ daily lives. That was part of my dream when I was younger.

But what I love about what we are giving our kids just by where we are living, is an appreciation and integration with diversity, with many aspects.

Yesterday at our first soccer practice, we met new friends who are Indian, Chinese, Caucasian and Mexican, as well as other ethnicities I could not identify. I loved seeing everyone kick around a ball and learn new foreign names. Being at the the meeting was symbolic of the place we live and this is my kids’ normal. I love that they are growing up with people who look differently than they do, who have different cultures and norms and religions than we do and that we all can get along and play together and appreciate one another. This is a true education.

Tonight at our final back to school night at our local elementary school, I learned that there are 26 different languages spoken, and that 32% of the students are Caucasian, 32% are Asian, 23% are Hispanic, 4% are African American, and 5% are Philippino, while the rest chose not to disclose there ethnicity. This is an education in itself and I love that our community supports one another and honors our unique differences. Diversity is normal to my kids and expected and I love it. Everyone fits in because we are all different and at the same time the same. We all respect one another and our differences and celebrate and honor the uniqueness in one another. We are curious about each other. This is our normal and we are so lucky. It works.

I am thankful for our incredibly diverse and friendly community and wonderful public schools. We have so much to learn from each other And my kids are truly lucky to be growing up and living in a multicultural society. We are ONE.

Namaste.

20140826-220911-79751388.jpg