Are You Happy To Be Alive?

Make some noise!

I’m watching the raunchy VMAs and this introduction caught my attention, as the star got the audience responding with cheers and claps and building energy in the room.

Are you happy to be alive? Are you bringing energy to your room, your house, your office space, your sanctuary, and to your people?

Are you loving out loud and living with intention and making this life, this moment, your personal best?

I am. Every day I am practicing and making some noise! Can you hear me? Are you making noise too?

Today Charlie made my day. He asked me if he could have a Coke. He’s only allowed to have a soft drink on the weekend, so I said yes. We keep the sodas in the garage fridge. He came in the house and said to me, “Mom, I need to share this with you.”  I thanked him for wanting to share something with me and asked him why he wanted to share, and he showed me the back side of the can, that said ‘Dreamer’.”

He said, “This can is for you mommy, because you’re a dreamer.”

This made me smile. Can he see that I have big dreams for him and his siblings and our family? I love that he knows this about me and that he too is a big time dreamer and planner. I love that he wanted to share with me too.

I am happy he’s alive. And I am making some noise!!  WOOT!!

Live with intention and purpose and dance and shout, BeLoveRs.  Make some NOISE. We are A-L-I-V-E!!


I was at the grocery store tonight and the clerk asked me if I was working a half week this week.  I laughed and actually told him I was working full time this week, because my kids were home from school and this was NOT my vacation!!  He laughed and the lady behind me smiled too, pointing to all the food she was buying for her kids and told me that they just won’t stop eating.

This was my third trip to the grocery store today. I took Juliana with me the first two times, and by the third trip, I just had to go alone. Charlie asked if he could come with me, and I thought how sweet it was that he wanted to be with me and then thought more wisely. I needed a moment to myself, even if it was just pushing the cart mindlessly through the store without interruption.

Jen Hatmaker made my day when she posted this on her Facebook Status today:  “This afternoon, I snuck out of my house and drove around in my quiet car by myself and ate crackers. It has come to this.”  I could TOTALLY relate.

I struggled today between wanting to be in the moment and present, enjoying my kids and wanting to pull my hair out. Juliana noticed my angst and asked me what was wrong. I told her nothing, but I was fibbing and she knew it. I thought about what was bugging me and it was EVERYTHING!! I haven’t been alone in 2 weeks and this feels weird.

I didn’t want anyone else asking my opinion, or asking me to look at something or ask me to buy something. I wanted to be selfish and alone AND be with her at the same time and I was totally conflicted!! Every time I went to move the cart, she was there. She wasn’t doing anything wrong but trying to be with me and shopping with me and I just wanted to be alone with no one asking questions and no one blocking my path.

And then I was frustrated by myself for not enjoying my sweet daughter who wanted to be with me and shop with me and bake with me.

After all, isn’t this my dream come true??  Sometimes our dreams need space. Because this was my dream come true and I felt stuck and trapped and I needed to snap out of it. Quickly.

So I did.

I told her what I was feeling and apologized for being short and explained my challenge in raising teen kids who have their own wonderful ideas and know everything. She wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was just agitated by her presence and questioning that interrupted my thoughts and planning and then I felt badly for being irritated.

I apologized and asked for a little break and she granted my wish and understood. I started decluttering my house and getting rid of the chaos that surrounded us, and I felt order returning to our “vacation house.”  Then I suddenly felt better. She gave me some space. I got to work without interruption and she was still with me, baking with her friend. And I felt peace again and told her thank you.

She gets me. She loves me. She understands and validates me and forgives me when I am short-tempered.

This is the best vacation. I am thankful.  Just keepin’ it real. Namaste.

Rainbows and Unicorns



I don’t always see rainbows and unicorns, but I’m always looking for them in my mind and once in awhile I find them, both literally and figuratively.

Today I got lucky and actually saw this rainbow over my house and it made me smile.   There is something magical about them.  You have to be looking up to see them and they don’t last for very long, so if you’re not paying attention and you stay inside, you might just miss them.

This is how I see life. There are rainbows that appear and we have to be present and in the moment to see them. We have to go outside and play.

What rainbows did you see today?  What was magical about your day?  Did you slow down to see what’s special in front of you?

I have holiday anxiety in my body. I want to be in several places at the same time and my To Do list is bigger than my To Be list. Yet I refuse to be too busy and to let the anxiety take over. Instead, I  made the time to be present and to enjoy the gifts of presence with my self, my friends and with my family, amidst the chaos and rain and shopping and planning and cooking and cleaning.  This is what advent means to me.

Susanne saved me a place at yoga this morning. I was running behind in the rain and hitting every stop light. I didn’t think I was going to make it there on time, and if you’re late, the yoga teacher puts out a sign saying the class is closed. I was fearful and planning a plan b, and luckily Susanne was able to stall and I squeezed in the door just in time for an awesome workout. Melissa is an amazing yoga teacher.

I had lunch with my BFF Julie who broke her arm. Mom’s are not allowed to go down. We have too much work to do.  I was thankful for the silver lining that she wasn’t hurt too badly and that she had to stay home from work for a few days and that we could see each other. We enjoyed catching up and just being. This To Be list is quite fulfilling and it feels so good to check things off.

Because I was out during the day, I enlisted the help of my elves to get the housework done after school. They are good little elves and worked with me to declutter our house after our trip this past week. We got the laundry all done, the floors cleaned, the kitchen decluttered and the bathroom cleaned. I am so thankful for them.  We believe in work and play, but we have to work first. After the house was less chaotic, I took the boys to the pool in the rain so that they could swim and practice water polo. I have to thank our time in Amsterdam for desensitizing me to the cold, dark, and rain and to go outside anyway.  They were happy and I was happy watching them enjoy each other tonight.



Finally, Juliana and I went to a Pampered Chef party and fundraiser with my PEO sisters to raise money for women’s education. I loved being out with her, spending time with friends and enjoying shopping for fun new kitchenware.  I can’t wait for our presents to arrive.

As the hustle and bustle and christmas music fills your ears, remember to slow down and enjoy the journey. Make time for rainbows and unicorns, and if you don’t see one this minute, I’m sure one will appear soon.  Keep looking. Never give up.


Smart Girls and Great Mentors

I was at a dinner tonight and listening to so many different conversations.

My favorite conversations were those of the women who were sharing stories about their smart daughters, not that they used those words, but that’s what I heard.

One friend’s daughter is studying chemistry at a California University and wants to go on to graduate and further her studies to become a pharmacist. She had a great science teacher in high school who inspired her to become who she is today. She also has 6 pharmacists in her family whom I’m sure have also inspired her.

Another mom was talking about her daughter who is studying for her PhD also in chemistry and was studying nanotechnology and how to use it to administer cancer treatment in a very focused manner. I love hearing about young women who find and are pursuing their passions.

And the last 20-something that captured my attention had her degree from USC and came home to help her family and respectfully gave up an opportunity to provide community service abroad. I wonder if she knows how awesome she is to be of service right here in her own community. I bet it doesn’t feel like that right now, but one day I’m sure she’ll know she made the right and best decision.

My own daughter dreams of becoming a doctor one day and one of my BFFs is her mentor. I wonder if by the time she gets to college, if this dream will become a reality. For now, I’m happy that she’s thinking about her future and how she’d like to spend her days as a grown up.

We have some cool, super smart, future women leaders among us!! Maybe it’s because they have some cool, super smart Mom mentors too?!?

Someone asked me what my dream job would be and for some reason I replied being a talk show host like Oprah Winfrey. I think I would love talking to people and hearing their stories and making connections. I’m fascinated by the differences and connections we all share and the struggles and celebrations that come in so many different forms. This made me smile. Maybe I’ll be a talk show host when I grow up. What will you be when you grow up?

Goodnight BeLovers. Sweet Dreams.


What Do You Wish For?

I was wishing for a beach house but I think I changed my mind, as of yesterday, believe it or not, for several reasons.

I used to wish to move back to Thousand Oaks, but I don’t wish for that anymore either.

I used to wish to go on The Price is Right, but that no longer is high on my wish list. It would be fun, but I’m not longing or aching to be on the show.

I always wanted to be in the same room with Oprah, and that wish will come true in a couple months! I’m very excited. I love her and her energy and wisdom.

I always wished to be a stay at home mom and I’m currently happily living that dream.

I wonder what you wish for and what you’ve wished for and if you’ve been lucky and /or done the work to achieve your dreams.

I dream that my entire extended family and BFFs and their families all lived in the same village somewhere so that we could all look out for one another, share meals and celebrations and laughs, and take care of each other every day. I think this would make me very happy.

I believe that the grass is greener where you water it, and that it’s not necessarily greener on the other side.

I will continue to enjoy my little family and friends and neighbors and community right where I am.

So what wishes will you water?

Namaste, BeLovers.


Close your eyes and pretend there is a fountain behind you and a penny in your hand. Think really hard about your favorite wish and imagine throwing the penny over your shoulder and your wish will come true, especially if it lands in the middle.

We threw several pennies into the fountain today and I think a couple landed in just the right spot. I think our wishes are going to come true!

This fountain brought back many memories as there used to be a toy store right by it when our big kids were little. We would always stop by and sometimes sit next to it, relaxing and eating snacks, throwing pennies in it, and making wishes.  

What we think about and what we talk about is what we create. We have the power to make our wishes come true.  

I hope all your dreams come true. Keep wishing. Keep dreaming. Keep creating.

Day 237: Paths and Hives


Love this imagery of a hive and a path

I think when we have our own home again, I’ll have to put in a yellow brick path that leads up to our front door. Because Christina was right – I found my yellow brick road that leads to our home, wherever we are together. I just had to move to Holland to figure that out. I Am Content.

I love the imagery of the path alongside the hive pattern. I also kind of like that the path is messy and dirty, although I don’t like the cigarette butt thrown on the way. The hive represents communities to me and I think that we build and shape our interconnected communities based on the paths we choose. I Am thankful for family and the friends I meet and make and share time with along the way – at home, overseas, online and in thought.


Where will our paths lead?



Day 233: Namaste – Follow Your Yellow Brick Road

When I close my posts with Namaste – it’s a way for me to close, like saying goodbye, or Amen, or thanking you for reading and sharing our journey together. It’s a way for me to say my soul recognizes your soul and we are connected, so I thank you.


This paper is posted on the door at my yoga studio in Amstelveen. I loved seeing it today and remembering what it means and wanted to share it with you.

We are all following our own yellow brick road, dreaming our own dreams of happiness and success and finding our way. I love hearing your stories of how you’re living your best life! Kimmy followed her YBR on a flight to Boston, celebrating spring break meeting a new friend. Tricia found her way to nursing school and is on her way to a new profession. Apryl is creating a program for youth fitness to help fight obesity and is being recognized by the US government for her thought leadership. Jessica is building an amazing and profitable company to support women entrepreneurs. Danielle is a working mom with a stay at home husband living abroad. Barbara loves to ski and plans regular trips away with her husband and girlfriends and just glows. All of these women are living their dreams and are creating happiness. Y’all inspire me and I am so proud of you. And these are just a handful of stories… What does your YBR look like?

We all have the ability to create love, truth, light and peace and I’m inspired by all of you who continue down your path, despite the struggles, to make this world a better place.


Day 188: Wishes Come True

It was about this time last year that I was evaluating my life and making wishes and plans for the upcoming year. I believe in having goals and envisioning what you want to help shape the direction of your life.

Our kids were/are at an age where they are more self-sufficient, and there is time to do more for myself and as a couple. Our routine was fairly typical and normal and routinized, and I had the hang of it and was looking for some “excitement.”

After the kids went to bed, I would finish picking up the house, doing dishes, cleaning up clutter, processing paperwork and miscellaneous stuff like that. I would then tend to watch meaningless tv or play mindlessly on my iPhone while Jeff would work on his computer or read, all normal relaxing things to fill the evening hours.  I found this comfortable, yet kinda boring and I don’t believe in boredom.

So I said to Jeff, “I want to do something with you. I want us to do something together, like do a project, take a cooking class, do a puzzle, learn something – I don’t know. I just want to do something with you besides sitting on the couch.”  He thought I was crazy. He reminded me that we do, do things together all the time, which was true, but I wanted something for just him and me, that we could do together. This must be a girl-thing. I don’t think guys think like this. 

Little did I know, what was in store for us from this one little wish. Who knew that we had to move to the Netherlands to take a class together?

Our Dutch class meets once a week for 3 hours. We chat, we write, we listen, we learn and practice and laugh together. Half way through the lesson, we take a break and walk over to Douwe Egberts, to grab a quick cup of coffee and try to order in Dutch.  We have friends in our class, including a couple native Chinese speakers that Jeff enjoys practicing and refreshing his Mandarin too!  This makes it feel like a weekly happy hour, and we look forward to going every week.

This past weekend we took our books and went to study together at a restaurant and made time for each other and learning – something good for both of us, that we both enjoy. We write texts to each other in our attempted Dutch and we encourage one another to keep on trying.

I’m so glad that we chose to come on this adventure together and to build new memories and shared experiences.

our Dutch book

our Dutch book

Dreams do come true.

What are your dreams?

My next big dream is to have a beach house (or a lake house) and play the guitar by the fire pit outside. There. I said it. I hope this one comes true, too!