Untraditional Traditions

My family is weird. Our tradition is to not have a tradition. We carry some traditions, but we are not wedded to any. 

We do what we love and we are happy.  Our family does not live close to us, so we don’t feel a sense of obligation to be together. We come together when we want and that’s a pretty cool thing.

Today is Easter and we celebrated at home! Yay, for being home.

Charlie loves the holidays and we were up by 6:30 am to see if the Easter bunny came.



 We still partook in the Easter tradition of waking up early to see if the baskets were filled and the eggs hidden throughout the house and yard.  The Easter bunny did not disappoint!  



However, the big kids were wishing to have slept in.

We made bagels with lox and toppings for breakfast and then we headed out to church at 9am. 


 It was an early start to the day, but felt good to be out and about early this morning. I loved hearing the message of how Jesus rose from the dead, and how his mother Mary suffered by his grave and weeped. She represents all women, especially those who have lost a child. And she provides hope and love for us all that one day, all will be well.

After church, our family decided to be weird and I loved it. Jeff and the boys went to an Earthquakes soccer game with friends and I prepared an untraditional Easter feast, to be prepared whenever everyone came home again. 

We made yakitori, rice, seaweed salad, broccoli and mini wontons.  Doesn’t that just sound delicious? None of us were in the mood for another ham.

Juliana and I had the time of our lives. We saw on Instagram that Yoga Girl, Rachel Brathen,  was hosting a top secret yoga class and only 40 people would be able to attend. We thought we had no chance, but we emailed the secret contact and were chosen to be the guests!! 


We were so happy and hurried up at home so that we could make the late afternoon drive to the East Bay.  I had met the instructor @OGYogini at the end of class yesterday in San Francisco, and when she saw me today, she gave me a big hug and told me she was glad I was there. I love our little world.  I loved seeing Rachel again and sharing yoga with Juliana. We enjoyed the car ride together, just the two of us alone and then the yoga experience.

I loved that the guys got to go out and play and Juliana and I got to be out together too, and then we all came back together again to have a late dinner all together again. 

 It was a perfectly imperfect and weird Easter. We went with the flow and did what we enjoyed and everyone was happy. 

 Life is good. 

 Life is beautiful. 

 Life is what we make it.

Take time to dream and to make time for what you love and take good care of wonderful you! 

 nAMaste BeLoveRs.  You are loved!!


Easter is Almost Here

Today we colored eggs. The End.

Just kidding.

It was a new experience as the oldest wasn’t that into it and the youngest did all the prep work his way!!

We talked about the meaning of Easter. The biggest lesson I shared with them is that life is like a roller coaster. Sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down and we will rise again.There will be pain and suffering and our friends may betray us. We have to be patient and wait to move through our struggles, whatever they may be. It’s a long journey and we need to hold on to faith, hope, and love.

Okay, now The End!

nAMaste BeLoveRs!!

The Easter Bunny is Coming!

Charlie loves holidays and today we realized Easter is already this weekend. We went up into the attic together to bring down the Easter boxes.

He’ll probably hate this one day but right now, he gave me permission to share this picture.

I adore him and his spirit.

We love to decorate and to look through our treasure boxes of holiday decorations and memories. I LOVE that he still loves this tradition.

He asked me to look through the box with him and I loved seeing the Winnie the Pooh dressed as a bunny from 1999 that was Christian’s when he was a baby. I loved seeing the crocheted chicken that my grandma made. And I loved the kids’ art and even the messy grass.

Easter is this weekend. Are you preparing for HIS arrival?

Hope you have a good week!


Happy Easter


Easter represents new life and new beginnings. It represents hope and light and resurrection. It is the celebration of good over evil, peace over suffering, light over darkness, and life after death.

When I think of Jesus as a man who was so selfless and chose to sacrifice His life for the good of all humanity, I have to pause and think who of us would choose this path, if any.

And then I think of parents who sacrifice their freedom and money and life, for the good and benefit of their children and I see Jesus in parenting.

I see Jesus when people choose to share of themselves without the hope of any gain, but rather for the good of society and I’m learning that by giving and sacrificing and being grateful for our gifts, that this is a path to creating and sustaining happiness.

Good Friday represents the torture and pain and suffering that we might all experience and then Sunday comes and we are free. We get to start again and we can be refreshed and let go of of our fears and begin to love again. Aren’t we lucky we get to start over again and again?

This is what Easter means to me. It means it’s ok for life to be imperfect and that we can handle sufferings. We can recover and start again with hope, peace and light, whatever religion or non religion we choose, again and again.

Namaste and Happy Easter!


Day 249: Dubai

Today is Easter and we are in Dubai. That seems so strange to me but I didn’t feel home sick, like I have with the other holidays this year. It still feels strange to be in a country where most don’t celebrate it, and there are hardly any signs of the holiday. Not that I expect there to be, but when you typically acknowledge and participate in events associated with a holiday and then there are no normal cues reminding you and preparing you with all the typical accoutrement, it feels different. That’s all. Like something is missing. We had our Easter dinner at a Lebanese restaurant on The Walk near the beach, sitting outside in our sandals and shorts and short dresses. How cool is that?

Our day started by Charlie waking us up to see if the Easter bunny came or not. Of course he did, and hid candy filled eggs all over our condo and left some Easter treats on the counter.


When I looked out our window, I saw an Easter camel roaming on Jumeriah Beach! What a site to see!
20130401-005323.jpg The camels are at the middle of the photo.

We walked along what they call The Walk, filled with shops and restaurants along the beach front. There is a lot of construction happening near the water so there aren’t many ocean views along The Walk. It was very hot and humid, but we enjoyed exploring the waterfront for several hours.
The Palm and Atlantis hotel are out in the distance.
Camouflaging all the construction going on along The Walk.
Waterfalls and cranes.
Jumeriah Beach

Urban development gone wild!
Checking out the rocky beach in Dubai.20130401-011013.jpg
Sky scrapers!
Here I Am… at My happy place!
My beach friend!
Dubai Marina

Cool boat in the marina.

After walking around and having lunch, we wandered from the beach over to the marina area and explored the waterfront there and discovered the marina mall. We all enjoyed shopping in an American style, air conditioned mall and cooled off for awhile.

Afterwards, we rested in our condo and then took the kids for a night swim. Isn’t that what all kids want to do on vacation? Just swim? Yep!


Since we arrived so late last night and slept in, our timing is really off. We went out for dinner around 9:30 pm. I am thankful our kids are so flexible now, eating at off hours, trying new foods, staying up late, and sleeping in different beds. We enjoyed our late night Easter dinner outside, people watching and car watching. There was a plethora of fancy cars cruising the Walk repeatedly. There must not be much to do at night, especially since alcohol is only sold and allowed in hotels, but they provided endless entertainment for us.

Love lights.

Hope you enjoyed today with your family and friends.


Day 248: Easter in Dubai

We are on an airplane on our way to Dubai for Easter. I would have never dreamed of spending Easter this way. It’s been snowing and freezing in Holland and we needed to go someplace warm for spring break. It’s supposed to be 80+ degrees Fahrenheit all week. I am so excited and sure hope the Easter bunny can find us!

Typically we try to spend Easter at the beach with April and Steve. However the last couple of years have been cold in Capitola, and I think it’s supposed to rain there tomorrow too. My parents like to go motorcycle riding in the desert for the holidays. What do you like to do for holiday celebrations?

It was a 7+ hour flight, and i didn’t hear any complaints. In seat movies and games make traveling with kids super easy. We flew on Emirates which is one of the top airlines in the world. I also think our kids have gotten used to traveling, which I really appreciate.

We flew over Baghdad Iraq, and Syria. That felt so strange to me. I am excited to explore a new part of the world to me.

Wishing you a Happy Easter!!

Day 244: Differences

As I finally sat down to rest at the end of the day, I poured myself a cup of tea, and plopped into my comfy old rocking chair that I brought with me from California. I sat and looked at Facebook and played Words with Friends, while I thought about what to write today and waited for my kids to settle into their beds for the night.

I thought I was going to write about the differences in experiences when visiting a doctor in the USA and the Netherlands. But I changed my mind when I read the inscription on my tea bag.

My tea bag summarizes the connection we all have to one another, despite our differing beliefs.


Today I got to enjoy pictures of my Jewish friends celebrating Passover. On Facebook, I’ve been watching the debate on gay marriage. In Dutch class, we talked about Easter and Good Friday and recognized that in India and China, most people don’t celebrate or recognize this Christian holiday, however in Holland they celebrate the feast without the religious connection. Of course this isn’t 100% true for everyone, and this blog is definitely not a debate, but what it pointed out to me (which is obvious) and more to my point, is that there are several different ways to express love and our values and way of life. We all use different means to express the good in our souls, and if we’re all practicing how to make life sweeter and more enjoyable, shouldn’t we all benefit from the synergy we create from all our goodness? Celebrate our differences. Celebrate the love we create. And celebrate each other. One love.