Whose stuff is this anyway?? Geez!
The packers are here and taking away our stuff. Feels so weird. Luckily Stacey is hanging with me on the front porch so I don’t get too anxious! It’s starting to feel more real!
I’m excited for tomorrow and anxious too. The Movers are coming to take our personal belongings on a boat to Holland. Our stuff should arrive sometime before the end of August, I hope!!
They are taking our minivan which hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned since we bought it in 2003 before our 3rd kid was born. They scrubbed it and shined it, waxed it and washed it, and dusted and dried it until it was all nice and shiny looking. I was hoping as they were rubbing it, it would magically turn into an SUV like rubbing a magic geenie, but no luck – it’s still a minivan!
It has been such an experience trying to pack up our house in just a few days and to separate what we need for a year or two or three, what we need for the next two months, and what we don’t ever need anymore. We dropped over several bags of stuff to the Goodwill, gave away some of our favorite toys to our neighbor friends, donated the nearly new stuff to the PEO Nearly New Thrift Shop and threw away bags and bags of stuff. It felt kind of cathartic and chaotic and liberating. It makes me not want stuff yet I’m sort of a hoarder and like the comforts that stuff gives until the stuff is too much. Does that make sense?
I love going to Julie’s house because she’s the complete opposite of me and her house is like a clean hotel room – nicely put together with a few accents here and there and no scattered stuff everywhere. I love that feeling and want to be more like her when I grow up! Or maybe when I get to Holland!! 😉
While I was packing all day, a couple friends dropped in and got to see the pretty mess. Michele came by with her kids for 10 minutes and dropped off a thoughtful birthday present – I can’t wait to enjoy my new books and a cup of coffee in my new cup when I get to Holland. Thank you! Marcia came by too, soon after to drop off my Stella & Dot tote that I left at her house and to bring some cupcakes for the kids ( I told her I qualify as a kid and dug right into the chocolate one with chocolate frosting!! thanks!!) April came by with some Frito Lay bean dip that I asked her to pick up from Safeway to save me a trip. Thank you! And while she was here for 7 minutes, I rushed around cleaning up after the kids baked cookies for Saturday and picking up as much as possible before my BFF arrived with her kids from Texas!!
When Stacey finally arrived and we started to chat – she looked at me and laughed, saying I was either going to start laughing like crazy or crying because that’s what I do when I’m over tired. I was able to hold my own and we enjoyed CQ’s favorite bean dip and chips before heading over to my favorite restaurant – Thai Basil in Sunnyvale.
Today was a filled day… I think I’ll be relieved and ready for a glass of wine by the end of the day tomorrow. It should feel good to have “all” the clutter out of my house and have a little reprieve before the next wave of tasks begins.
Ahhhh…. my shoulders are tight and heavy. Work is almost done for the day, just after I finish writing, entering my Stella & Dot orders and picking up a bit.
I did have a quiet moment of tranquility before the BIG trunk show. Marcia and Rob have a beautiful, deep pond in front of their house. As I was rushing in to set up with all my bags of jewels and look books, I first noticed the sound of the waterfall, that was quite calming. And then after another trip back out to the car, I noticed all the koi fish circling around, dancing just for me! Well, actually they were hoping I was Rob, ready to feed them. They were playful and colorful and made me smile.
I stopped to enjoy their playfulness for a minute and was surprised to see a turtle pop his little head up. So cute, but he didn’t stay up long enough for me to take his picture.
I also loved the colorful orbs floating in the water and the little brown perch for the turtle to relax in the sun.
After my 2 minute nature break, I was ready to go again and had a fabulous time meeting new women and helping style them in gorgeous Stella & Dot jewelry. It was a GREAT show and I’m going to miss this part of my life when I move to the Netherlands. Several women asked if I would continue with Stella & Dot there, but since S&D is only in England now and soon will be in Germany and France, I guess I’ll have to wait. I think I’ll be busy getting us all settled and searching out a new role for me. I wonder what that’ll look like… hmm… thought for another day.
p.s. We stopped for ice cream again today and thanked Colleen. xo
I’m not busy.
Ya, right. I’m so busy that my head is spinning. I just ate dinner at 10:30 pm – does that say anything? I haven’t checked voicemail and haven’t really read email and just returned a text or two. But that’s not really important.
I could go through the checklist again, but that’s kinda boring and not the point either. Plus – we are all busy – even the 2 year old and the 84 year old. We’re all busy with whatever we’re doing today otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it. So what?
But what I really want to share and think about is how did you enjoy your family today? Did you slow down and if so, how? What did it look like? What did you do together?
You see – my friend suddenly lost her husband at the age of 48 this week and she has asked us to stop and enjoy our family, in honor of her husband. She doesn’t want us to send flowers, but rather an email telling her what we did together. She wants all of us amazing families to spend some time appreciating one another and slowing down to enjoy the ride. I love that! And she is my new mentor because I always have mentors in my life. And sure she is struggling with the biggest challenge of her life, but she’s reaching out to us and asking us to slow down and share our journey with her. Can you believe that?
So I did.
Here I am.
I called my sister on the way to pick up the boys from camp. I am going to miss our daily chats. The little one made my day with her cheerful voice.
I stopped for ice cream with the boys on the way home from camp at Dairy Belle – CJ’s favorite place since he was little. I had one too because ice cream is good for you.
And at 5 pm tonight, while I was finally washing the dishes from dinner last night, J called from April’s to see if S & J could come over to play. Since I didn’t have to leave for 45 minutes, I said sure, of course, come on over. Once they got here and the kitchen was almost done, they asked if they could make snow cones. (REALLY??) And I said sure, of course. We can make snow cones and clean up in 30 minutes, right? So I was a few minutes late – so what? Check out their faces and smiles!
On my way home from my meeting, I made a call to a friend who shared AMAZING and heartfelt news. I’m so glad I called even though I’m “busy”.
I also called my mama to thank her for the spaghetti sauce that we shared last night and that I was glad she was with me in spirit. And when I finished putting the kids to bed and sorting more baskets, I finally ate dinner: Left overs from my mama – the best comfort food on the planet!! Thanks, Mama.
And thank you for the challenge to enjoy what we have and what we’re doing right now. I’m thinking of you (my mentor) and wishing you peace and grace.
Really? Only one more month? I can’t believe it. Times moves so quickly and so slowly at the same time.
I’m amazed at all that was done today to prepare for this move and to enjoy life in the process.
We literally came home late last night, only to wake up early to go to the DMV at 8:00 am this morning. If you’re headed to the DMV – only go if you have an appointment. Otherwise, you’re not going to be happy. The line was wrapped around the building whereas we were able to walk through the side door and see someone right on time at 8:10 am. The lady was so helpful and knowledgeable. I was quite impressed, which is not the normal feeling when visiting a government agency. We both had to be there since both our names were on the title of our car that we plan to export. We had to file a certification of exportation before the moving company will move it for us. Details.
I was so sick this morning and then started to laugh at this DMV line of geese! There were 11 of them walking down the street for quite awhile and then up the sidewalk to the grassy area to look for food. Too funny!
Santa Clara DMV line before 8 am when it opened. Crazier than the geese line, I think!!
After the DMV, I fed the kids a healthy breakfast (PopTarts and Chex Mix) since we had nothing in the house and 10 minutes to eat it!! Then I showered quickly and rushed them to their summer camp before I headed off to my Doctor’s appointment for a physical and all that good stuff! I want us all healthy and checked before heading off to another country. I had a tetanus shot so my arm is still sore late tonight. Should be ready for a packing marathon tomorrow!
After the doctor visit, I took J shopping for groceries and filled up the fridge with healthy and easy snacks and meal options. I don’t have time for cooking right now, not this week! Did I tell you the movers will be here on Friday and I haven’t been home to even pack?!?!
Once the fridge was full, I finished filling out all the documentation for the move – the Pre Departure form, Insurance Forms, Copies of Passports, Original Title for the Car, Valuation of the Car, Import forms, blah, blah, blah – you get the point. Once they were done an hour or so later, I rushed over to pay FedEx $23 to send them overnight to San Leandro. I guess that’s easier than driving them over there. They should arrive by 10 am tomorrow. Amazing!!
After FedEx, it was time to shop a little for our family friends who just lost a loved one. I can’t stop thinking of them more than my own move and I had to stop to pay respect and to be still to honor them. I put together a little care package and had it ready for a late visit. But first, I had to go pick up the boys from camp.
I got to pickup the boys a little bit early to get CJ to an orthodontist check up appointment. We’ve been waiting for braces for about a year, but his teeth have their own agenda and are not quite ready for braces. One more relief of anxiety as I was afraid of his dental care once we moved. Luckily, she said to just keep up with the cleanings and that he probably won’t be ready for braces for another 3 years! He’s slow to lose his baby teeth, but that’s just how he is… on his own timeline. I love it.
On the way home from the Ortho, I talked with Stacey to coordinate our play date this weekend!! My FAVORITE is coming to town and I get to see her and her kids! I can’t wait!! And she’s taking care of me – staying in a hotel as I move and bringing me dinner on Thursday!! How cool is that? Maybe she’ll even help me pack!! I have something to look forward to after all this is over and a weekend to play if I work really hard! YAY – goodbye stress, hello happiness!
I dropped the kids off at home to rest and picked up my gift bowl of fruits and chocolates and went to my friend’s house to just be with her. While there, several other friends and her family members came and went and I just felt the love of this community – the family feeling that was ever present. We are lucky to live in such a great place, where everyone is pulling together and supporting our friend, our family from our local school. There is something intangible and priceless that I felt today – I saw it in their eyes and felt it in their spirit – that we all wanted to lift some of the burden and just share in the grief knowing that there is nothing we can really do to alleviate the pain, but just knowing that we were all coming together in different ways was touching and meaningful. Hearing her story and listening to her speak was healing I’m sure – just a little bit and I wish there was more I could do. *big sigh*
And then finally it was time to come home, to make dinner and have April and Steve over. We’ve hardly seen each other since before Hawaii and I was missing them all so much. My mama sent home a frozen container of her “liquid gold” spaghetti sauce with meatballs and sausage and I just had to share it. We all love it so much and can’t get enough of it. I swear, there is something magical she does to build that savory and rich flavor that I just can’t replicate. It is truly comfort food, and was so needed tonight. It was so nice to just be together and share a meal and conversation with family… My family in Sunnyvale. 😉
And now I’m tired, can you imagine that?? And I didn’t even get to any packing today, but heck – I still have 3 days! I can do it, right?!? I work well under pressure! Wish me luck…
I hope you had a fabulous day and wish you a good rest of the week.
We are on our way back home, driving up “the” 101. Home has been so many places and and I’m glad that my kids will get to experience a new home soon.
San Luis Obispo – our future home?!?
I think moving will be so good for us. It’ll help the kids to be more comfortable with change and to adapt to new environments, especially when it comes time for college. They are going to get practice making new friends, trying new foods, speaking another language, going to a new school, and establishing new routines.
My little travelers have done pretty well on all our trips for vacations and visiting family in different time zones, sleeping in strange places that I think they are becoming adaptable. I hope they are getting practice for the big move!
Summer to me means being at the pool or at the beach. Growing up, that’s what we did as a family and with friends and it was free and enjoyable and everyone had fun, kids and adults.
Today we had a party at the pool with cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and sisters and brothers and grandparents. Kimmy did such a great job with the food and bringing us all together so that we could have an after party from the wedding and a going away party for my family. We had chips and dip and beer and sodas and chocolate cake.
To see everyone interacting and playing together as a big group was such a joy. We had the oldest and youngest grandchildren together. The kids had chicken fights in the pool and threw each other in. I found myself taking lots of pictures and touching everyone, and looking at each one a little longer than usual. I was soaking them all in, feeling how much love I have for my family and friends and enjoying the gifts they share by just being.
I don’t care what we’re doing, or how weird we are or what quirks we bring. We are a family and we love each other and that’s all that matters at the end of the day. I’m thankful that my cousins spent all day with us and stayed an extra day just so we could be together. Families and relationships take time, effort and work, especially when we don’t all live close together anymore and today was just really cool. I love you guys.
***In the spirit of family and community, I just want to take a moment to think about and pray for the Yamada family who lost their dad and husband yesterday way too early. My heart breaks for them and wishes them strength as they go through this tough time. And tomorrow marks a year that the Kilgore family lost their dad and husband tragically. Wishing your families peace and love.
We are in my home town of Thousand Oaks this week to be with family.
Yesterday, Jeff and I and the kids drove down to be here for my cousin’s wedding today.
The good thing is that we dropped the kids off with their cousins and Aunties and Oma and Opa and then we got to sneak away for a night alone for our anniversary. The kids were happy and we enjoyed the respite, even if it was just for a night!
Breakfast at the Westlake Village Inn
And then today we celebrated my parents 44th anniversary and my cousin Dani’s wedding in Malibu on the beach! The weather was perfect – not too hot and not too cold.
We all had fun together, just being a family. I’m glad we took the time to drive down even with our crazy schedule.
These are my thoughts on marriage since today is our 15th wedding anniversary. What would you add or change?
1. Let the other person be. Don’t try to change them and don’t expect them to do exactly what you want them to do.
2. Love yourself so that you are lovable. If you’re taking care of yourself, you won’t be as needy.
3. Be flexible and trust that your partner loves you and is doing his best – just maybe differently than you.
4. Celebrate the good, the positive, the goofiness. There will be enough $hi!! just don’t stand in it and dig it up over and over again – that stinks!
5. Don’t ever embarrass each other (like writing a blog like this) or at least ask permission first, or in my case, just accept his grudging acquiescence.
6. Always listen and acknowledge your spouse, even if you don’t agree. Being heard is important. And agreeing to disagree is a viable solution on the little things.
7. Make sure to spend time with your supportive and trustworthy girlfriends. Plan time away with just the girls! It’s reinvigorating to just be yourself and gives you energy to keep on being a supportive wife and mother! And let your partner go out with his friends too. It’s good to have a break.
8. Take care of yourself and your home. It feels good not to have clutter all around. You feel good when you take a few minutes to pamper yourself – however that looks like to you. I feel good when Ive worked out and maybe have a showe and there are no dishes in the sink. To my mom, it meant putting your lipstick on. To another friend’s mom, it meant having earrings on. Just feel good about yourself and your home and your pride will shine on to others.
9. Don’t expect the other person to make you happy. Make yourself happy and find things to do that you love, whether that be a career, sport, hobby or volunteer role. Just do something and be interesting.
10. Be thankful. Thank your partner for being just that. Having an attitude of gratitude can set the tone for your day, for your family and for your life.
11. Laugh. Laugh at yourself and your mistakes and your partner’s mistakes. In 5 years, will anything that is upsetting you really matter? Try to let things go and start over again and again. Don’t hold grudges and just laugh and let go. Anger takes up more energy than happiness and laughing just feels so much better.
12. Go to bed happy. Don’t go to sleep angry. Agree to disagree and give each other a kiss, knowing that you love your partner more than anything he can do or say. Forgive. Let go. Be thankful.
13. Say you’re sorry. It’s ok to make mistakes. And apologies feel so good even though it’s hard to admit when you’ve done something wrong. And when your partner says he is sorry, say thank you and accept the apology. Let go. Move on. Peace.
14. Be responsible and do your part.
15. Say I love you every day, along with giving a kiss and a hug!
OMG – the anxiety is setting in!! Thank God, for April’s chocolate cake.
Yes, April made me the best, homemade, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and had it in my fridge for my birthday when I came home yesterday. I’ve been nibbling on it all day.
And I’ve been so nervous today!! The reality that we are moving in 35 days hit me smack in the face! Jeff and I were scanning documents, making appointments to have vital records apostilled (like notarized but even higher) and sending documents to the moving company so they can help us with our importation process. The movers are coming next Friday and I’m not ready! And we are leaving again for Dani’s wedding tomorrow and I’m not ready!! How do you slow down time? You don’t! I think you just eat more cake and drink more wine, right?? But that leads to another issue!! I’m getting fat and I don’t like that!! Food is comfort – even though Weight Watchers would tell me differently! I know, I know, but food is my weakness! *big sigh*. Just keepin’ it real!
The good news is I’ll be looking for something new to do for myself when we move. Maybe I’ll become a yoga instructor or workout every day and become really buff! Got any ideas for me? I’m sure it’ll take awhile to get the family settled before I redefine my role again. I’m going to miss my Stella & Dot job and my tennis teams and hiking buddies and volunteer roles. I’ll need to find something else — I wonder what it’ll be?!?
Well, the chocolate cake sure hit the spot!! So did the lunch and dinner April brought us today. How does she do that? I’m so thankful, I can’t stand it!!
Thank you, wifey- for taking care of us without us even asking for help!! You are loved and appreciated more than you know!! xo