Getting Things Done

Do you ever feel like you don’t get anything done? Today I got a lot done, except the number one thing that was on my list.

I call that procrastination. If I really wanted to do the most important task I set out to do, I would have done it first. But because I knew I didn’t really have to have it done today, I filled my day with several other important things and just told myself I didn’t have time. I think I chose to not make the time. So I’ll try again tomorrow and Wednesday. After yoga. And laundry. And….

Do you do that too? I tend to procrastinate until I feel pressure, and then I cram it all in at the last minute. I antagonize myself thinking about what I should do, and then I don’t do what I should but I do everything else instead and make myself crazy thinking about it. But my house gets really clean!! The act of doing feels like it is so much greater than dreaming and pretending sometimes, and when I actually get around to doing, I always wonder why I do that to myself. Silly.

Of all the things that did get done today, I’m most proud of the family dinner I prepared and served in our new collection of Polish pottery dishes, and cleaned up afterwards too. I love cooking and having a shared family dinner. This morning, Christian came up with a menu for the week that had me try something new. He wanted me to make mango chutney to go with roasted chicken and roasted Brussels sprouts and bread. What a gourmet eater! He first got the idea for mango chutney with roasted chicken from Gail, in the Netherlands. Thank you Gail for inspiring us tonight. We miss you! He would have liked to help prepare the dinner, but he had too much homework to do after his sport practice. Everyone loved it. Life is good!


Beautiful San Francisco

20130929-221244.jpgCrissy Field and the Golden Gate

Do you have a favorite place or two?

One of mine is San Francisco.

20130929-221345.jpgView of Alcatraz, above Crissy Field

I’m always in awe of its majesty and love the vibe and feel of just being there.

20130929-221724.jpgAbove Ocean Beach

Today we met up with Apryl and her kids for a quick visit before they had to return to L.A.

It doesn’t really matter what we do when we’re together. We just enjoy hanging out and seeing our kids together too. Do you have a friend like that?

20130929-221857.jpgConcert in GG park

20130929-222014.jpgCarousel building in the park

Life is good, living it up in beautiful San Francisco.

20130929-222113.jpgBeautiful simplicity


Thanks for the visit, my friend!


Being Silly


Target had the best wigs for Halloween! Juliana and I had so much fun laughing at ourselves and being silly.

No makeup, and just being crazy!

Jeff and I also had fun at Russ’ 50th birthday party tonight with friends from our neighborhood, enjoying drinks and appetizers and singing karaoke, while also watching the Stanford football game on TV. How’s that for multitasking?



Life is good! Hope you are enjoying your end of the week.

Top Five of the Day

How was your day honey?

My day was full and wonderful, thank you for asking!

What were the top five things you experienced today that made you smile?

Mine all have to do with girlfriends, exercise, family and being outside.

1. Hiking at Rancho today with Michele and Susanne. I love this 7 mile loop we do, in the sunshine for 90 minutes. The time goes by so quickly when you’re chatting and moving.


2. Surprising Sydney with McDonald’s and sharing one of my favorite memories from childhood with her. Whenever I was sick from school which was hardly ever, my mom would bring me McDonald’s. it always made me feel better. Loved hanging out with her mom too! I love spontaneity.

3. Spending one on one time with each of my kids today. It’s amazing how much they share and open up, especially when we are in the car ad we’re alone together. They are the best kids with all their quirks and all. I love how each of their personalities and opinions are forming. They all make me laugh in their own ways and teach me so much.

4. Catching up with Stacey for a half hour over the phone while she was watching hockey practice in Texas and I was sitting in the car at soccer practice in California. Still connected after all these years.

5. Organizing dates for the boys and the girls on a school night. I love shaking things up every now and then. The boys watched football and ate pizza with Steve and friends, and Juliana and I strolled around Santana Row and had Pinkberry yogurt together outside under an oak tree that kept dropping acorns and making us laugh!



Life is good. Where did you see beauty or find joy?

The Path to the Good Life


Stanford palm trees at dusk

Are you on the path to the good life?

What does it look like?

Are you living in the moment and finding peace and pleasure and time to exercise along the journey?

Are you working too hard? Studying too hard? Playing too hard?

Hopefully you’re searching for balance while you do it all, because we have a long life to live, and if you’re only doing one thing really well, you might be off balance which can create stress and unhappiness. By the year 2050, it’s estimated that the average US life expectancy will be in the mid-80s, up from 77.85 estimated in 2006. What are we going to do with all our time?

We need to find ways to balance our quest for education, our hard work whether in a career or supporting loved ones, and our leisure time. We need to take care of our social relationships and stay connected with those that support us and bring us up. It’s good for our health.

These are just a few of the facts and tidbits I took away from tonight’s lecture at Stanford by Dr. Laura Carstensen, a professor of Psychology and Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Michele invited me to join her for this event, probably 2 months ago. Luckily she planned ahead for two reasons: 1) the event sold out, and 2) if we had not purchased tickets, I’m sure it would have been easy to say we were “busy” and “couldn’t” go.  We had an escalation of commitment, which is a good thing and paid off. We are both very busy and active moms, and sneaking away for a few hours, away from dinner, dishes, homework help, soccer practice pickups and carpools, and bedtime routines felt like a luxury. I’m so thankful that we made the time to go and did the work to get there and actually put on a little makeup and jewelry so we looked like real, “professional” women. 😉 I’m thankful that our husbands are supportive of us and took care of the housework and kid work in our absences, after they worked a long day too at the office.

It was great to share dinner and a glass of wine together, before the lecture and time in the car on the ride back home to share and discuss all that we heard and learned and how it applied to our own lives.

I find it very stimulating to have had some continuing education tonight, some girl time, and me time, all rolled into one. I highly encourage you to make time too, for yourself, for your friends, for your brain, and your body and not to lose yourself in the responsibilities that you carry. It’s good for your health! Salud!!


Asian dinner, wine and chocolate… life is good!

Pushing the Limits

I think we pushed Charlie’s limits today and hopefully he’ll still want to ride with me again tomorrow but we’ll see! We may have crossed the not-cool line.

Jeff wanted to go to the school drop off with us this morning, but Charlie and I had planned to take the bakfiets, or the basket bike. We decided to test the limits of the bike. I jumped in the basket with Charlie and his backpack and Jeff drove the Tuk-Tuk with passengers to school! Poor Charlie!! I don’t think I’ll do that to him again…but we did have a good laugh.

You’re a good sport, Charlie!! Thanks for the laugh today. xo

Biking in Sunnyvale





Biking in Sunnyvale is quite different than biking in Holland. I’ve been riding the Bakfiets around the neighborhood and to Charlie’s school, but haven’t ventured out much further. It’s actually not as safe to ride bikes here as it is in Holland. As you can see, there aren’t bike paths on the neighborhood streets and the main streets do not have clearly marked or separated paths to protect bikers from automobiles and buses. It’s actually not legal to ride your bike on the sidewalks where pedestrians have the right of way, but Charlie felt safer riding on this surface and to be honest, I think he liked the dips in the sidewalk where the sidewalk met the driveways and streets. He could pretend he was going over jumps, as if he were dirt bike riding. I think I heard a few “Whee! Whee!”‘s in there.

We are also back to wearing helmets again. Children under the age of 18 must wear a helmet by law and I wear mine too when on my cruiser bike, just to be a tad bit safer and to set a good example.



Biking was fun this morning and I’m feeling a tiny bit better about letting them go out on their own, but not just yet! I’m still scared for their safety.  I wish that California shared the biking infrastructure and passion that Holland has, especially with our beautiful weather. But for now, it really isn’t very safe and is definitely risky when you choose to go out riding, especially during heavy traffic flow periods.

Two people were killed this week that I’ve heard about just in California. One woman, Joy Covey, was riding her bike downhill near Woodside when a van turned left in front of her and she died instantly. She was a mama, just slightly older than me with a young boy slightly younger than mine. My heart aches for her and her family and I keep reliving her experience in my mind.  And then today, a young 12 year old boy died while he rode his bike to school in Contra Costa County. He was riding on the wrong side of the road and was getting ready to pull into his school parking lot, when another parent from the middle school turned right and onto the highway, not even seeing him. Burgess Hu was an only child and was wearing a helmet but did not survive. The woman wasn’t even going 10 miles per hour! I can’t even imagine the pain these families and community are feeling. Wishing peace for these families as they experience the deepest grief.

Be safe out there, friends – whether you’re driving or riding, look both ways, slow down, make eye contact and be kind and courteous.



Enjoying the Moment

When we moved back, we decided that on Sundays we wouldn’t make any plans and that we would use this day to rest and to be together and present and to just enjoy whatever came our way.

Of course, things don’t go as planned and I’m ok with that. It’s great to have a plan and then expect it to change. I’d still like to keep this as our plan, but I’m ok when things come up and we decide as a family to go with the flow. Like today.

Jeff had a social work function come up that brought families together and we decided to attend, as a family. Best decision of the day. CJ had to stay back as he’s still recovering from his mouth surgery. But the rest of us went together and had the best time. Thank you to Bonnie for planning, and inviting all of us to your house and giving us the opportunity to enjoy each others’ company. I loved watching the kids play while the adults socialized and enjoyed delicious food and conversation. The highlight of the day was listening to Hyle’s children play the guitar and sing. They were so good!! I love hearing people play the guitar. It’s my favorite instrument. I loved watching and listening to two young teenagers playing together without fear and with confidence and passion. I was so inspired and thankful that they chose to share their talents with us.

They were awesome and I loved hearing their story.

I also loved being near the water and seeing a swan, bringing back good memories from Holland.


How did you spend your Sunday? I hope you took time to relax and refuel and to enjoy those you love.  Have a good week, my friends!

Rainy Day

CJ had his wisdom teeth out yesterday so today was a day to rest and just hang out. He loved having ice cream for breakfast and every meal in between, watching movies and hanging out on the couch. I think he could get used to this habit!! He has swollen cheeks but otherwise felt pretty good. I made him warm chicken noodle soup with the noodles cut into tiny pieces and made sure he took his antibiotics throughout the day. I actually enjoyed staying home in my pajamas and having a quiet rainy day. It actually was pouring rain today, welcoming fall with a down pour.

Jeff took Charlie to his soggy soccer game, and went to the second half of the Stanford football game with Juliana once the sun came out again. I worked on organizing my photos from last year and looking out for my patient.

I enjoyed the slow pace, at least for a day! How was your day?

20130921-223852.jpgBeautiful skies after the rain.