Keeping Up

I’m up late. Most nights I stay up late and probably should go to bed earlier, yet I don’t. And somehow I still let things fall through the cracks. Tonight I caught up yet I still am not quite keeping up and it’s late. It just is.

I don’t always respond to all requests and questions via social media. Does email count as social media?  I think so. Sometimes I just forget or don’t have all the information to give the best response and as I’m gathering information, the next 43 emails pile on top and I forget to go back. Squirrel!

Most times I have good intentions to reply favorably or regretfully and yet sometimes I just don’t at all. And then I remember when I’m driving somewhere and I’m practicing not looking at my phone AT ALL and then by the time I get to where I’m going, I forget again. Please tell me you have a better system and you’ve figured out this little dilemma and will share your secret with the world.

I do keep lists and use google task list on my calendar to write tasks down for later when I’m sitting at my actual computer. I also write things down on scraps of paper and then put the tasks into my computer or in my Notes on my phone. And then I have to remember to take the time to look at my task list or my notes before forgetting again.

Can you relate?

I’m still practicing keeping up with my life and getting to bed early. Is that an oxymoron? Maybe that’s just the yin and yang thing again dancing in my head.

Good night. It’s almost Friday!! YAY!!

Pancakes and BBQ and Mashed Potatoes

Food, glorious food. I love food. I love cooking and I love cooking for my family and friends and providing for them and caring for them by feeding them. This is so simple and so basic and makes me so very simply, happy. I love when they are happy with the food I prepare for them and feel such a connection.

This school year I decided to make breakfast for my family every day. I have a new menu for each day of the week and the kids are starting to look forward to what’s coming. Today was pancake day and there was a sense of anticipation that I loved.

I had fun being creative, making their pancakes with designs.

   I loved seeing them smile and enjoy this simple touch. I just put the pancake batter into a squeeze bottle and cut the top so the hole was a little bigger to help the batter pass through without major clumping. 

   I need to play and create more often. This was definitely a highlight of my day.

I also loved when Charlie came home from school and thanked me again for making him his favorite pancakes. I loved that he appreciated me and the effort I put into making our mornings meaningful.

I make Juliana a hot lunch every day, as she eats a gluten free diet. Sometimes it is challenging to think about what to make and fill her thermos. Today I put in leftover truffled fried potatoes with brisket and bbq sauce. She texted me during her lunch break to tell me how much she loved her lunch.  I know it’s silly, but these little moments of gratitude make my day. I love that she appreciates the thought and time I put into making her lunch and I loved making it. The circle is complete.

And finally, I made Christian dinner to go and he was thankful he didn’t have to eat the bag of trail mix and granola bar he had prepared to eat between his events. He was happily surprised with the hot meal I prepared before picking him up from his practice. 

 I loved seeing him enjoy the food I prepared and hearing him ask me to wait a minute before driving away so that he could savor a few bites before going again. It’s the little moments.

This is what our life looks like. We’re busy and running all around, yet we still enjoy good and healthy food and I get to still take care of my babies, even if we’re not all sitting around the table at the same time.

I love that food connects and binds us and that they enjoy this little touch.

Life is good.

What are some of your food favorites? What are some of your food routines?

Girls Water Polo

  
My daughter is playing water polo for the first time this year and I love it for so many reasons.

I love that she is trying a new and very challenging sport, and she doesn’t have any experience and is willing to go out every day and give it her best.

I love that it’s difficult and that she has to work hard too and she’s not giving up.  I like for her to be challenged. I like that she wants to go to practice, even on the weekends.

I like that she’s the one of the youngest and newest players on the team and that she gets to learn from her peers and actually got to play today.  I like that she has mentors and that she enjoys hanging out with her teammates.

I like that her coach is not like her and that he presents challenges to her way of thinking and operating. He’s good for her.

There is so much to learn by participating in team sports and I am thankful that she didn’t give up and that she tried and made the team and that she’s enjoying the experience.

It was a gorgeous and hot day in the San Jose hills today and I loved watching her shine and struggle, even in the 99 degree sunshine.

Life is good. I am proud of you, Juliana!! Keep up the good, hard and fun work.

Table Topics

The kids were playing table topics tonight as they gathered around the family room with friends after dinner.

One of the cards read, “If you could erase one thing from your life, what would it be?”

Some of the kids had lists of ideas. 

I thought about this after I heard of the topic and think that all of our experiences shape us and guide us and make us who we are. 

We need the good and the bad, the light and the dark, the happy and the sad. We learn from our mistakes and failures and gain empathy and compassion and knowledge. Some lessons come easier than others. I am thankful for the collection to date and am enjoying creating new ones every day.

Have a good, short week and embrace all that you are. You are enough. 

xoxox

Life is Good

Here are two glimpses from my day.

My first goal was to exercise and take a shower.  I know, it’s boring and it’s the simple things that make me happy.

  
Session complete and extremely happy.

Juliana and I had a mother daughter date this afternoon and I loved just being with her. She is so much fun!

 
We ran around town and visited a friend. Life is good.

We finished the night at MLs house for a BBQ with her family. I loved having us all together and enjoying each other’s company. Life is good and I enjoyed a day that was just slightly structured.

How was your day? I hope you have the day off tomorrow and rest and play with those you love.

Namaste.

Be Courageous

The Pope sent a message of courage that I love. I believe in One Love, that we are all connected in our humanity however we choose to believe or not believe as long as we are practicing living with love as our intention.  If we look closely, we are more alike than we are different. The world is especially feeling this with the Syrian refugee crisis and feeling a connection to the family whose little boy drowned on the beach in Turkey.

“Pope Francis and the People” aired on ABC News’ “20/20” on Friday, Sept. 4, at 10 p.m. ET. The event is posted in its entirety on ABCNews.com. http://abcnews.go.com/beta/US/pope-francis-tells-americans-courageous-abc-news-virtual/story?id=33490392

Here are some of the highlights:

“We are all created for friendship in society. All of us bear responsibility for everyone else,” the pope said. “And each one has to make a choice in his or her heart. And we have to help that choice to be made in the heart. ….” Pope Francis

We are social beings and we need our friends and neighbors to walk with us on this life journey.

“What I hope for from youth is for you all not to walk alone in life,” he said. “Life is very difficult. It’s difficult to walk alone. You get lost. You get confused. You can find the wrong path or you can be walking around in circles, in a maze, or worst, you can stop because you get tired of walking in life. Always walk hand-in-hand with someone who loves you, someone who gives you tenderness.” – Pope Francis

BeLoveD.

BeLoveRs change the world, with every thought, every word, and with every action.

One Love.

xo

Being a Cheerleader is HARD!

I was working hard today and failed.

I am a cheerleader. I get really excited about little things and I cheer out loud with laughter, excited chatter, smiles, jumping up and down and even dancing sometimes, encouraging and exciting my family. Yet sometimes I am the only one who is excited and I don’t get any reaction or connection and they just think I’m crazy.

This usually isn’t a problem because I am a little crazy. It just becomes a problem when I expect a reaction and for them to cheer along with me and then they don’t. When they choose to not share joy with me (the way I think they should in my head), I sometimes get frustrated, mad or sad, it just depends.

So I’ve been really into making breakfasts for my family these past two weeks and accommodating their special needs. This morning I made everyone breakfast, and my husband decided he had to rush out the door and couldn’t have breakfast today. I packaged it up to go and handed it to him to take with him, and he didn’t want it and I felt rejected. I am half Italian and I’ve been raised to feed my family and that it’s good for their health. I have a weird attachment to food and maybe it’s a girl thing, but I feel fulfilled when I feed my loved ones. It’s a way for me to provide for them and it’s an important part of the way I spend every day. So when he didn’t want my food, it wasn’t about the food. He didn’t want me (in my mind) and I know this is insane thinking but again, perfectly imperfectly I sometimes forget and connect food to love.  There was an expectation gap and I was feeling it all day. Luckily I got over myself and he understood why I felt so strongly, but geez, what a waste of breath!!

So my breakfast cheerleading event failed!

Last night was another food cheering fail. I had offered a homemade and delicious dinner to two of the males in my family and even offered to heat their plates. They both acted like I was bothering them because they were busy doing something else and they didn’t want to be bothered by my cheering for food again. And I was in a hurry as I had to be out the door again within 15 minutes. I don’t know why I have to take their “not interested in my meals” as something personal. They’re not trying to be mean; maybe they were just not thinking of eating at the time I interrupted them. I’m not making excuses for them and still think they could have cheered a little bit, but after giving it some space I realized that I was more excited than they were. That’s nothing new!

And then it happened again tonight with my son. I was excited to show him something that we had for him, and he was less than thrilled again by the request. He acted like it was no big deal (to me), and it was a BIG deal (again in my head and not necessarily his). Luckily this time, the expectation gap wasn’t about food, but the gap made me frustrated again.

I need to learn to let go and to not expect anyone to cheer the same way I do.  They cheer in their own ways and that’s okay.

I’ve learned that I have to manage my own expectations and try to align mine with those of others. I’m still practicing and this is hard!  But that, my friends, is the definition of happiness… when our expectations are in alignment with our reality. I want to keep cheering for that! Close the gap and live in the moment, peacefully with others, with ourselves, and expecting nothing less. I’ll keep on cheering, despite the challenges!

Life is good, right now!!

Back to School

  

We had Back to School night tonight for two of our kids. I actually really enjoyed this event for several reasons.

I loved seeing all the parents together and running into friends in the halls.

I loved sitting in the spaces where my children spend their days without me and knowing what it looks and feels like.

I liked hearing the voices of their teachers and listening to their tones and listening to what they were trying to communicate. 

I liked comparing the different styles that each teacher presented and wondering if I would enjoy their class every day or not.

I liked walking the path between passing periods to each of the classrooms that my kids visit every day. I could visualize where they are and what they might do.

I enjoyed gathering information and college guidance and learning about what they will be learning this year.

We have a great school and a great, well-connected community and I am thankful for this opportunity.

How do you like your school(s)?

Love this Life – Living it Up – Doing What I Love

What do you love?

I love to be busy, yet not this busy. I had a productive and satisfying day and I am exhausted. You’ll see why and I’ll probably exhaust you just by reading this crazy list.  Maybe just skim it – it’s kinda long!  Below are some of my different made up titles. I don’t use them every day, just today happened to be on fire.

Alarm Clock Sounder – Roused the kids up bright and early. They have their own alarm clocks, but for some reason they don’t always react to them. And the train has been waking me up every morning at 5:17 am!! What’s up with that?

Breakfast and Lunch Maker – We don’t have time together in the evenings as frequently due to our crazy schedules, so this Fall I’ve started making hot breakfasts for us. It’s my moment to bring us all together and I don’t mind the extra work or dishes because it’s so worth it. Today we had hash browns, scrambled eggs, apple slices and bacon.  I have a weekly rotational schedule and the kids were already reminding me that they’re excited for pancakes tomorrow morning.

Taxi Driver – 2 kids dropped off at high school, 1 husband dropped off at the train, and 1 child dropped off at the middle school, all before 8 am.

House Cleaner – Stopped back at the house to load the dish washer, scrub the pans and to start a load of laundry before heading out to exercise. It feels good to me when the house is in order.

Yogini – Picked up ML on my way to yoga and enjoyed a blissful hour of stretching and toning in a not-so-great-room-with-an-awesome-instructor!

Worker Bee – I got a new part time job!! I had my first “official” business meeting at a coffee shop today and it dawned on me, that I haven’t had a “real” or let’s say “paid” job in over 15 years!! Change is good.

Friend – We celebrated my friend’s birthday over lunch today. It’s great to have a flexible schedule and to have an excuse to stop what you’re doing to spend time with friends over good food.  I also loved seeing my friends throughout the day and sharing moments in person, via text, and on the phone.

Shopper – On the way home from lunch, I stopped by the store to buy perishables for dinner tonight. Google Express is doing all the rest of my shopping and giving me so much time back!! I was in and out in 20 minutes, only having to buy the perishables and everything else was delivered to my door step. Have I mentioned how much I am loving GE? You have to try it if it’s in your area.

  
Chef – While I came home to squeeze in a bit more work, I also started dinner. We had stuffed baked potatoes tonight with proteins, veggies, and other savory toppings.

Life Coach – I spent a lot of time today coaching my kids on some important life lessons that weren’t easy to teach and take some time to practice. Being a parent takes lots of patience and open communication and repetition and more patience and practice and more practice. We’re always learning and failing and trying again, perfectly, imperfectly.

Taxi Driver – Round 3 – Did a 3rd loop around the city chauffering my loved ones back and forth to our nest.

  
House Cleaner – Round 2 – Came back home to clean up the cooking dishes and to sort and fold laundry before heading out again. It’s amazing what one can get done in 30 minutes.

Volunteer – After having very little sleep last night, and by the time 6;00 pm came around, I was exhausted. It took everything in me to rally and go to my event tonight.  Once I got to the parking lot and ran into a friend, I remembered why I love to volunteer. I love my community and sense of belonging that volunteer opportunities bring to my life. I loved seeing my friends and having that time dedicated to working together for a common purpose.

House Cleaner – Round 3 – The evening house patrol involved the usual chores and involved all of us and gave us a few minutes to chat and connect. Even the evenings are busy for us.

BeLoveR – I loved kissing my little one good night, brushing my daughter’s hair and complimenting my oldest on his successes today. I loved taking this fun picture of my husband with our new fur baby that won’t leave his side while he works at night.

  
Today was good. I am done. How was your day?  I hope you lived it up, laughed out loud and loved yourself and your one, beautiful and maybe messy life.  N-Ahhhhhhhhh-ma-ste!