Day 34: Summer

This is the life. 

This is my happily ever after right now, in this moment. 

This is the best staycation I never dreamed of.

I love this life. 



Thank you, Sunshine, for inviting us over tonight. We had a blast making pizzas and “shmores” and playing corn hole!! xo

nAMaste

Sparked Joy!


I went shopping with my BFF this weekend and we had so much fun, browsing and trying on shoes and makeup and clothes together. I never take the time to do this and the hours just passed by before we knew it. 

We joked together and enjoyed people watching and told each other what looked good and what didn’t, laughing along the way. She has great taste and helped me to pick out a new summery outfit, and I helped her pick out a fun new top and belt.  She really picked out her own and I just validated her choice. I had the easy part! ūüôā

I was going to save my new outfit for a special occasion and then decided today was a special occasion for no reason, well actually, because I’m living my happily ever after today and that’s a good enough reason. I loved the feeling of dressing up a bit and feeling fun and cuter than usual. It sparked joy and made me happy.

The little things…and who knew?

What little things spark joyed in your life today on this magnificent Monday?

Have a great week, hot stuff!!

Pure Joy

  
Charlie and I were excited all day for this. We were anticipating finishing our day and packing up our duffle bags for an overnight stay with our BFFs. We stopped at 7-11 to buy snacks and popping cap guns.

I’m only sharing this picture that Charlie took on our ride down south because I want to hold on to the other memories in my mind.

I loved that from the moment we stepped out of the car, Charlie was already running away with his BFF.  We did see them now and then and got to share in some of their joy. Like when they decided to be polar bears and dared each other to jump into the freezing, cold pool. Boys will be boys and we laughed and enjoyed their antics.

Listening to friends and watching them interact is the best gift. They adore each other and got into a state of flow in 2 seconds, just like their mamas. We picked up where we left off, happy to be together again.

Pure joy, just being together.

These are the days…life is good.

Have a good weekend, BeLoveRs.

Back Story

  You know there’s always a back story to what we see and read.

Facebook and Instagram and blogging and family photos and parties and  e-V-e-R-y-T-h-I-n-G is a show. They represent the-best-of-our life show!  But there’s typically the behind the scenes events we don’t share.  Only the people closest to us get to see and really know and get the back stage pass.

We work hard every day to hold it together, to shine, to be prepared, to show up, to be the best we can be and it takes work and struggles and makeup and cute clothes and wigs. Yeah, we all have a wig or a mask that we wear. Yep, we do. Quick, smile, you’re on candid camera!!

I choose to share the highlights and yet there is usually a back story. Sometimes the back story helps me to actually write my story after I stop and digest and reflect to glean the good.

Today one of my BFFs shared this with me after I gave her a back stage pass to one of my posts:  “I love the way your back stories always end with a silver lining. You seek it out and recognize it. That’s your gift.”

We all have our struggles. We are all learning and adapting and doing the best we can. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?  We’re doing something right and sharing the (high)lights and creating our love stories every day. I love seeing your snapchat stories, Instagram posts, blogs and Facebook status updates. You’re the best reality TV! Keep shining. Keep sharing. Keep living it up.

nAMaste and thank you my friend for sharing your words of wisdom.

xo

Courting

Have you ever thought about courting in terms of friendships and platonic relationships?

Courting means to pay special attention to (someone) in an attempt to win their support or favor.  Typically courting is used when trying to pick a mate to marry. But what about when you think of the friendships and relationships you wish to create? Is there an element of courting involved? I think so.

Friendships take time and investments of self. It takes two interested parties who choose to engage equally or near equally with each other to build a connection. I love connections and so this topic is very interesting to me and I’m surprised I never really thought of dating my friends or family or husband this way. Hmmm… learn something new everyday.

I realized that I am not typically the one to initiate the courting process with friends. I usually wait to be invited or asked out and typically¬†am not the initiator. ¬†How about in your friendships? Are you the planner and organizer? I always love when someone else does the planning and inviting, but now I think I should be the one who holds court more often. It feels good to reach out to others and to be the first one to say, “hi, how are you? what are you doing? wanna meet for coffee?”

I tend to let busyness fill my time and when busyness becomes still, I relish in the stillness and don’t feel the need to reach out and court someone. That sounds funny, but it’s true.

Today, I decided to reach out and connect first and loved it. I loved when I had a few moments, that I decided to text a couple of my BFFs to see how they were shining today. ūüėČ It’s the giving part that creates happiness, that I forget. I have to be better at this courtship thing, because I think it works, and I’m definitely interested in my friends’ lives and strengthening our bonds.

I have a courtship that I maintain with my mama and sisters almost everyday. I’m never too busy to listen and to share and to connect with them. They are part of my inner circle and it takes time to invest in them and to strengthen our bonds.. It’s so worth it.

Does this make any sense to you?

Here’s to making the time to court our friends and spreading love and joy.

nAMaste, BeLoveRs

xoxo

Better Than a Pedicure!

   

This was my afternoon snack while driving the kids around yesterday afternoon and that’s only part of the good stuff.

You see these juicy, delicious, heirloom cherry tomatoes were washed and bagged and just given to me. I loved this gift!!

My BFF had been to the produce market and picked up all these treasures and wanted me to come over to chat, clean, chop, and cook together. She and I both love to cook for our families and friends and she is excellent at choosing and cooking healthy meals from scratch!  I absolutely love cooking with her and watching her whip up the most delicious meals by adding a little of this and a little of that, without really measuring.  Together we mix and taste and add our own bits to make the sum greater than the parts and it is so fun!  Usually we have four different meals being prepared at the same time. It’s a fun, chaotic and crazy kitchen and we laugh and work really fast and have the best time together.

The hardest part of cooking for me is picking out what to make and she decided that part and did all the prep shopping and I just showed up and got busy, bringing to go containers and pots and one ingredient.

I love doing something together with my BFFs and this was the perfect idea. 

I can’t wait to do it again next week, but I’ll do the shopping and prep and she can come to my house this time!

I don’t know which part I liked the best. Maybe it was doing the work together or maybe it was chatting and laughing side by side, sharing stories.  I think maybe it was that she planned this activity for us and I just showed up ready to work.  Maybe it was leaving after spending time together with baskets full of prepped meals to feed my family this week. I don’t know exactly where the magic happened, but this was better than getting a pedicure together!

    

I am still smiling and enjoying this activity even today, and we still have food left for tomorrow and maybe the next day too. 

 

Thank you ML! You made my day!!

nAMaste

Day 5 – Santa Cruz

My happy place! I love the beach and just being there makes me happy.  

  

My favorite part today was people watching with my BFF and enjoying the kids just playing. It was sunny and windy so I was a bit cold and wore a sweatshirt the entire day.

Today I saw the beach as a place to build and create and connect. There are free, unlimited building materials everywhere and mixing sand and water is magical. I’ve never thought of it this before this way but today, watching the kids from 0-60 build and play and run and laugh made me smile. There was unlimited entertainment.

Our kids loved bringing big shovels and digging deep holes, making a man cave and a place to sit and hide. 

  

An older gentleman spent hours building a sand bridge. He was like the pied piper, with people coming around to see what he was doing.

Teens were jumping in the waves and then resting and digging for sand crabs, all together in a row. 

Our kids were making soccer fields and soccer hole goals and boundary lines and then playing a game together. They used their boogie boards for the back of the soccer goals and played and ran and shot and laughed and then went in the water to cool off.

They boogie boarded and enjoyed the cold water. They were brave and stayed together, laughing and jumping and riding the waves over and over again.

  

There were women flying kites and naked babies and little toddlers coming over to see what our kids were doing. There was kindness and teamwork and big boys sharing with little boys. There were little ones rolling over and over in the sand because they could.

There were seagulls stealing chip bags and protecting their territory, defending their loot from the other birds. This was so funny to watch.

We watched boats come in and out of the harbor and waves crashing on the rocks. We watched a police boat jet off and jet skiers following them as well and another boat that pulled a broken down boat back into the harbor.

There were volleyball players and football throwers and little ones running back and forth.

The beach is a beautiful place, filled with life and joy and movement.

  

  

This is my happy place!  Where is yours?

Tired Out!!

nAMaste

Being in the Moment

I didn’t take any pictures today and instead just enjoyed the moments without feeling like I had to capture what was.

Instead, I just enjoyed the conversation, the scenery and just being.

I went for a hike with my BFF and although it was only 6+ miles, we probably could have gone 50 miles and not even noticed or felt tired. We were so happy to just be together out doing what we love and chatting and sharing and catching up that we hardly even noticed where we were.

I love these moments when time just passes by and you don’t even realize it because you are so content doing what you’re doing.

I was going to cook dinner tonight and then another friend dropped by, took off her shoes and decided to stay for awhile. I love when friends do this. I broke out the goat cheese from Harley Farms, some fresh red grapes and sliced the bread i picked up at the¬†produce market today, and opened a bottle of my favorite Hess chardonnay to share with her. We sat together for over an hour and just caught up and enjoyed each other’s company, while our kids played outside.

I love this life. I love the simplicity of it all and just flowing with whatever comes my way.

Life is a miracle and I am loving it.

How was your Saturday?

Summer Lovin’

I am loving summer! ¬†I love that the days are long and that our routine has changed. I love the freedom that comes with summer and the ability to see more friends and spend time doing things we normally don’t have time to do during the busy school year.

We are still busy, of course, but a different kind of busy and I’m lovin’ every minute of it.

Today I was rushing around after dropping the kids off at their lessons. I went to the car wash and read a couple pages of my summer reading book while I waited for my car to be cleaned.  

My new BFF ( I have several BFFs that are all the best at something different and are all so unique) took me out to celebrate my birthday. We had a long, leisurely Korean lunch and then walked next door for a Chinese Foot massage. Thanks, R.  
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Gotta love Silicon Valley!

Have you ever had a Chinese Foot Massage? These are the coolest things ever. They don’t really just massage your feet. ¬†Basically you pay $20 for an informal, rough, and deep massage, laying in a casual chair that reclines back and forth with 7 of your other friends or strangers in the same, dark room. ¬†A little weird the first time you try it, but you get used to it really quickly. ¬†They soak your feet in a bucket of water and while you’re soaking, they begin massaging your forehead, temples, and scalp. They move down to your neck, shoulders and then down one side of your body and up the other, flipping you over to do the same on the other side. They do spend quite some time on your feet too. They do this with your clothes on and with towels draped over your clothes. It is intense and so worth the experience. I think this was my 4th time going and definitely will be back sooner than later. You have to try this – go on a date night with your spouse, boyfriend or best friend. You’ll love it! ¬†I left there fully relaxed and ready to take a nap, but actually went to hit tennis balls. I wonder if this defeats the purpose. ¬†I definitely felt loser, so that must be a good thing.

After picking up the kids from school and camp, we came home and decluttered quickly before my other old BFF came over for happy hour. We sat outside with the kids and laughed and told jokes and did skits and just played.

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I laughed so hard teaching her girls how to do the “Chubba” skit and the “Bill in the button factory” skit. We were all laughing along together, enjoying the change from¬†sunshine to sunset and feeling the cool air sweep over the patio.

When Jeff came home, we enjoyed a casual dinner and Jeff started drumming on the table. Charlie chimed in and Juliana joined too. I tried, but have no tone or rhythm so decided to take pictures instead.

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They were so good together. I wish I had musical talents, but instead I got to enjoy theirs, thank goodness!

During dinner my sister called, and lucky me, I got to excuse myself and ask that the kids clean up, while I got to sneak into the back room to catch up with her. With her busy schedule and mine, we hardly ever find the time to chat for more than 2 minutes. We laughed so hard and we were wishing we lived closer to each other so that we could laugh on the couch together and fall asleep. That’s our favorite thing to do together… so simple and boring. ¬†Oh, we’re getting old!

 

I hope you’re getting outside, playing, laughing, enjoying friends and relaxing this summer.

Life is good, right now!