Isn’t that a fun word?  

It has a great ring to it and is fun to say out loud.

I love to swirl through crowds and to swirl my hair. I love swirling around my kitchen and through my house.  I love it when Jeff comes up and quickly surprises me and swirls me around. Some days there is so much stuff in my head that it gets all swirled together and I feel like my head is spinning.  But in a good sort of way.  

Tonight I was at Juliana’s evening water polo game and captured this fun, swirling image after their exciting win:

What’s swirling around in your head this week?  I hope you enjoy the spin and wherever it takes you.


I Am Tired

I try to call my mama every day. I just love hearing her voice and her stories and lately I’ve been calling her from the little spaces in between here and there and where I need to be next. She typically asks me how I’m doing, and I usually say, something like all is well, I’m good, and I’m tired. She reflected back to me that I always say I’m tired, and asked, “Why is that?”

I told her,  “It’s because I’m really tired.”

She asked me, “Why are you always tired?”

I said, “Because I don’t sleep well anymore and typically stay up later than I should and am awake earlier than my alarm clock, which means I’m typically getting 5 to maybe 7 hours of sleep per night.”

My mind is always busy and that’s not necessarily a good thing nor something to brag about.

Granted, I do love to be busy but probably not like this, and yet this isn’t a complaint either. It just is the state of being right now, in my little world, with three kids in three competitive sports, and youth group activities, homework, a new job for me, an exciting and cool startup for Jeff, as well as my volunteer commitments and community building and exercising, and lots of time back and forth coordinating ride shares and driving my little lovelies from here to there.

My life is good and all is well and busy and I’m tired.  Luckily I wasn’t too tired to see the beautiful sky show tonight with shades of pinks and bright oranges cutting through the blue sky while driving across town.

Now, I just have to figure out how to be less tired. Do you know how? I am learning to regretfully say no and not to over commit, yet the days are still so long and full. Another thing to learn and practice. How do you practice slowing down in the midst of the rush that you really actually love and enjoy? Life is so interesting and tiring and wonderful.

I’m off to bed before the clock strikes midnight… goodnight and sleep well and please do share your thoughts.


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!

My Playground





It was a beautiful day at Rancho San Antonio, hiking with Susanne and missing Michele. I automatically drive towards M’s house but she moved away, and I had to backtrack to the parking lot.

Rancho San Antonio is in the middle of Silicon Valley and provides a respite from the chaos and speed of life that is. It is my happy place, besides the beach. I was happy to see the water flowing in the creeks today.

This pig was lying in the sun just enjoying his day and he made me smile. Oh, to be so happy just being.

Later this afternoon, I took Charlie to a local park as we had an hour to fill while we waited for Juliana. We both felt out of place because he’s older now and so am I. We weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves as there were lots of little ones running around. We had fun on the swings and climbing and hanging on the bars. Soon we saw friends we know and love and felt at home again.


Today was a fun and busy day yet there were moments of stillness and playfulness that made me happy.

How was your day? What made you smile?

I hope you feel fulfilled and content.


Day 285: Sunny and I’m Inside?

20130506-202016.jpgIt was warm and sunny today and all I wanted to do was be inside. We had a very fun and busy weekend and I needed some down time to catch up with paper work and photos, to relax and cook, and I just wanted to be home, sipping a cup of tea.

I felt guilty for being inside because it’s not what you do in Holland when the sun is out. It’s almost, well not almost, it’s expected that you be outdoors because you never know for how long the sun will shine and it might rain and be cold again tomorrow.  I felt torn for declining an invitation to go for a bike ride with Patti Beth into the city because I wanted to be two places at once. I made the right choice for me, but it was so hard to choose between two great options and saying no to biking made me a little sad. Especially when I heard from Patti Beth how much fun she had meeting up with friends and walking through Vondel Park and that it might rain on Wednesday. *Sigh*

In California, I never thought twice about staying inside when the sun was out because the sun is always, well, almost always out. I got used to having nice weather almost every day, so making plans to be outside when the sun was out would be a little weird. Granted, most days I was outside playing tennis, running, hiking or sometimes sneaking away to the beach. But I never thought about it this way… that I should take advantage of the sunshine while I had it, because, well – we always had it and there wasn’t a shortage. It’s strange how one’s mind can shift.  But today, I was thinking like a Californian and enjoyed the sun shining in my windows while I got caught up, cooked dinner and cleaned up all the dishes before kid pick up, and enjoyed the peace and quiet. There is something to be said for slowing down and enjoying the simple things, and today was one of those kinda days.

Beautiful, simplicity. Charlie picked this flower for me yesterday.

Beautiful, simplicity. Charlie picked this flower for me yesterday.


The makings of Pho Soup


Mama Bowl

One of our family favorite dinners - simple Pho.

Papa Bowl

Day 243: Busy-ness

One of the things I think I love most about our experience living abroad and away from our normal home, is the change in our normal, hectic, over scheduled life. It’s not that we’re not busy and doing things here, it just feels different and the pace feels slower and more relaxed and I’m trying to understand why.

The thought to write this post came from reading Barbara’s comment about how she liked reading my blogs and how I keep BUSY, which made me think…

We are all busy.

She knows a few of the things I am busy doing and experiencing that I chose to publicly share. But I don’t know a lot about what she’s doing or what you’re doing unless you tell me a story, post it on FB, instagram or tweet about it, or I’m there sharing the busyness with you. I love knowing what you choose to be busy doing and enjoying because I’m curious like that. We all get the same 24 hours a day, but our choices how we spend them each day are unlimited and unique. Isn’t that a crazy thought?

What are we busy doing? And is what we chose to be busy with all that important? And if we’re too busy are we really enjoying our busy-ness? Things that make you go hmmm…

I think the first reason it feels differently busy here for me is because we broke out of our routine and expectations. It’s kinda like we’re on a sabbatical from our Other life.

Secondly, when you’re all new to an area, you depend on each other more than you would at home with all of our different support networks. We tend to do more as one big group vs individually.

Third, all our kids are at the same school. This means one drop off time and one pick up. They also have all their after school activities at the school. There are buses that take the kids to their sport matches and bring them back again. When one child is practicing, there is a nice place to foster community at the school while waiting together in a comfortable, warm building while having a cup of tea and a snack together. I am not driving all over town and waiting and waiting. I think this is the biggest factor that changed.

Fourth, we have made friends with families with kids close in age to our own. When the kids play, so do the parents. It’s easy and fun and creates harmony.

This sabbatical is a great thing!

Today we were busy doing yoga, watching PB make sushi, building a bonfire and roasting marshmallows in the freezing and windy weather,

having a play date, and cooking Indonesian food…


Along with the usual chores like going to work, housecleaning and kid logistics. We were busy living it up! How were you busy today and did you have fun? Thanks BP for the thought!! xo

P.S. Happy Sweet 16th birthday to Sweet Caroline!! I love you!

Day 25: Lemons

Planning this move has made me get the most out of each day, like squeezing every last drop of juice out of a lemon, and then squeezing once more just in case there is still a drop left.

That’s really kinda what it’s been like every day and I can’t imagine slowing down much. I thought I’d slow down today, but NOT!

I did enjoy a quiet morning, relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee and watching mindless tv.

The day then started with a funeral for Colleen’s husband, Steve. Friends gathered and supported their family by attending the funeral and providing food for the reception. It’s always ironic how nice these gatherings are on such a sad occasion. It’s like a forcing function, where the celebration of life takes precedence over everything else and it’s so nice to be gathered as a community, sharing stories and togetherness.

After the funeral, I picked up the two little ones from a birthday and graduation celebration party. It felt ironic that we could again be celebrating life but in a totally different way, with a more upbeat feel.

Typically that would be enough for one day, but my Stacey is still in town for the weekend and I wanted to spend the rest of the day together, of course!! We all met up at our house and crammed into one car and drove up to San Francisco.

We got out and froze atop Twin Peaks.

We drove by where we used to live and through the Castro where we saw more than we wanted too, and then down thru Noe Valley, and around to Ocean Beach. We had dinner at Than Longh, one of my favorite restaurants for crab and garlic noodles. It’s been two years since we’ve been there and it was on my list of places to visit before the move. We can check that off the list and it didn’t disappoint. If you’ve never been, make a reservation and go hungry! Mmm…

And for dessert we headed back over to Cupertino for Charlie’s favorite – Beard Papa’s for cream puffs. They were pretty tasty!

The night ended at 11:30, after fits of laughter, playing cards, doing hair, wrestling and playing with our iPhones, sharing pictures and videos and playing games. It doesn’t matter what we are doing, I just have fun doing whatever and laughing. Tonight was fun!!