Labor Day Weekend, California Style

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

Slowing Down Saturday

The rain came today and baseball was cancelled. This made me so happy. I like not being busy just as much as I love running around.

Instead of watching Charlie’s game, all five of us gathered on the couch  to watch Saving Mr. Banks. I loved this movie and I loved being all snuggled together eating popcorn and snacks and just relaxing on the couch with the shutters closed during the middle of the day. It felt like we were being sneaky and that we should be busy doing something else. But I’m trying to slow down and to not be so busy and I must say I love it, despite the initial anxiety I feel.  The movie ended and we had 30 minutes to get ready before our friends arrived for dinner. Everything worked out well and dinner and our company was fabulous.

I made crepes this morning with the kids and played tennis with Juliana before the rain came. This made me happy. Afterwards we went shopping for gluten free items as we’re trying this new way of eating to help Juliana with her joint issues and to help me be supportive of her and hopefully lose a few pounds. I had fun shopping with her, having her share with me everything she found interesting. It took me a few minutes to be patient with this, as I was busy exploring new items too, but once I relaxed and gave in to the interruptions, I felt thankful and grateful that she wanted to be with me.  She is amazing and I’m so lucky to have time to spend with her.

Jeff smoked a beef brisket on the smoker for 8 hours today. He made his own BBQ sauce too. The entire house and neighborhood smelled mouthwatering delicious.  I love that he loves to cook with me.

Life is good. Today was great and I am thankful.  How was your day? What did you do that was fun and enjoyable? Hopefully you had some time to relax and just enjoy all that is good. 

xoxo

Home Sweet Home

20130720-211852.jpg

Jeff came home today!! Our family is complete. I was glad that we came home first and got settled and over jet lag and that he stayed back to close up shop, so to speak. He handled the packers and movers and cleaners and final walk through. I am blessed to have a great life partner and I’m so thankful he’s home with us again. I bet I’ll be able to sleep better now!

We had a wonderful homecoming dinner with our family friends and our beloved shared Traeger smoker!!

20130720-211718.jpg

20130720-211737.jpg

20130720-211753.jpg

Life is good and simple!

Day 344: American Pride on the 4th of July

20130704-235719.jpg

Happy 4th of July! I love the red, white, and blue. And fireworks and friends and freedom! And BBQs and guacamole and drinks and fun times shared together.

I worked with the kids all day today, cleaning out all the kitchen cupboards and preparing for our big move in 4 more days. And then I spent a few minutes freshening up, preparing hamburgers and salads to bring to the Fourth of July party at Bob and Danielle’s today. Juliana made April’s best chocolate cake to celebrate all the birthdays this month and last, and off we went to enjoy our friends and Independence Day. I was so busy today, that I didn’t have much time to feel homesick, even though I missed singing Firework with Jessie on top of our lungs this year, out in the field in Cupertino!! It was jacket weather- cold in Holland today, and it didn’t get dark until after 10:30 pm…just a bit different from California!! All is good…

I’m thankful for our friends, our time in Holland and for our freedom. Hope you’re enjoying the holiday wherever you are!!

20130704-235741.jpg

20130704-235759.jpg

Day 340: Family + Sun + BBQ = Life is Good

image

The sun was shining and it was so gorgeous out today in London. Nate and Becky have this fabulous roof deck and we sat outside nearly all day and soaked it all in.  Her family came to join us and we all enjoyed being together.

Becky is an amazing hostess and planned and organised a wonderful BBQ for us. I loved watching Juliana work with her auntie,  cutting fruit to make a fruit salad and slicing the bread and making a tomato and basil salad.  Seeing them work together made me aware how grown up my little girl is becoming, and watching them bond together reminded me of the importance of family and how much I miss them.

There was so much food and everyone was so content just being outside, that it was a double BBQ kinda day.  Jeff and Nate grilled twice and we never wanted to go in.  We celebrated CJs birthday and Ant and Emma’s anniversary and Nate and Becky’s new place.  Some people went for a walk around the marina and others went to the local pubs for a few pints, and Charlie fought his fever again all day.  All in all it was a wonderful day of togetherness. I am thankful.

 

Day 263: More Vitamin D Please!

20130414-220444.jpg

I am going to remember this saying when it gets cloudy and gray again this week.

But today, the sun came out to play almost all day and night. Life is so much better with sunshine. People are just happier all around.

When we woke up this morning, we waited for the rain to pass and then headed out for a bike ride with Patti Beth and her family.

20130414-220853.jpg This is an old fashioned tram that runs through Amstelveen on the weekends.

20130414-221036.jpg This is the Jonge Dikkert – a fancy restaurant in Amstelveen.

We wanted to see the cherry blossom trees in bloom, but because of all the rain and cold weather lately, the blooms are delayed. We did get to enjoy a few blossoms, but not the field of color we expected.

20130414-221136.jpg

20130414-221202.jpg

20130414-221227.jpg

20130414-221242.jpg

20130414-221301.jpg
The cherry blossom orchard is a memorial to all those who lost their lives in the tsunami in Japan in 2011.

20130414-221323.jpg

We rode our bikes through the forest and to the pancake house. So many people were outside, enjoying the nice weather today. If you live in Amsterdam or nearby, this is a great place to visit with your family. Boerderij Meerzicht they have a playground, outdoor seating, coffee, dessert, and really delicious Dutch pancakes served a hundred different ways!

20130414-221430.jpg

And if the day couldn’t get any better, we met up with friends for a rooftop BBQ. Sitting in the sunshine, listening to music, and having having a couple drinks felt so good! Thanks Cami and Rich for inviting us over!

20130414-221725.jpg

“Happy is the new fancy.”

20130414-221950.jpgGirlfriends – you make life so sweet! xoxo