Picking Up Where You Left Off

Do you have friends that you don’t get to see or talk to as often as you’d like, but as soon as you pick up the phone or see each other, it feels like no time at all has passed?

Apryl called the other day and we had ten minutes to chat before kid pick up. We hadn’t spoken for months but both of us are aware and thankful for the few moments and just pick up where we left off, as if no time has passed. I love this about us. We’ve been friends for 15 years but don’t live near each other anymore, which is sad and typical of our transient lifestyle. But we have a shared history and comfort from being true friends, that it doesn’t really matter how often we chat, text, email, or see each other. I miss her though.

Today Jen showed up for a visit and I have been excited all week, just anticipating her arrival. We haven’t seen each other in over a year and now she’s staying with us for the next couple of days. I am so happy that she’s here and when I saw her again, we gave each other the biggest hug and never stopped chatting until she almost fell asleep from the time difference. I guess we’ll have more time again first thing in the morning! I just want to soak up all the stories and hear all about her new life back in Minneapolis. We were BFFs in Amsterdam and loved hanging out there together. I’m so glad she chose to spend a few days in Cali with me before her conference.

Next month I get to see my BFF Megan! She’s a busy working mom with four kids and we hardly ever get to chat and barely even text, but when we do, watch out world!! We are unstoppable. I cannot wait!

These are just a couple of stories and there are so many more, right girls?

I think the secret to having these kinda moments is having had and shared some deep and meaningful experiences that build these great foundations and friendships that withstand time passing and our busy chaotic lives that get in the way of connecting more regularly. None of us have expectations of each other and we know and appreciate that we are all busy, and when we do make the time for each other, even if it’s only five minute or five hours, it’s as if no time has passed at all.

Love you sisters!

xo

Neighbors

20140610-232930.jpg

Look at this little rose tree. I’d like to call it a bush, but it isn’t bushy. It looks like a long green stick with a few green leaves on it, barely surviving.

This little tree is so loved and tended to daily by hand. It is on the side yard of my neighbor’s house.

Everyday she comes out with her bucket of water and pours it on her tree. I imagine her collecting water throughout the day from half filled left over cups and cooking water. Sometimes she walks around with the hose, watering spots on the grass. And sometimes she brings a bucket and collects fallen leaves, keeping her yard tidy.

She used to come outside with her husband and they would take walks together, with her in front and her husband shuffling behind her with his cane. He doesn’t come out anymore and I have a feeling he passed away.

I look forward to seeing her outside from my kitchen window, with her long white hair pulled back in a ponytail and with her glasses on.

She usually waves back when I see her but never utters a word. I don’t think she speaks English, but her eyes and smile say it all. I enjoy her daily routine. One time when she saw me on the bakfiets, her smile was larger than usual and she gazed at me a bit longer, and gave me a thumbs up.

She likes me and I like her.

We are friends. We are neighbors. And I look forward to seeing her everyday.

Simplicity and joy.

Namaste.

20140610-233024.jpg

Joy

20140218-215608.jpg

What brings you joy? You know that feeling where you can’t stop smiling just because you are?

Here I Am.

It’s what this blog is all about. Finding joy in the moments of living and enjoying all that is. I choose to share my (positive) moments to remember and to hopefully inspire you to live in your moment too and to focus on all that is good.

I so appreciate the beauty and love and friendship that is shared with me and surrounds me – the best that life has to offer. I wish the same for you.

Namaste.

20140218-215811.jpg

20140218-215921.jpg

20140218-215954.jpg
Photos are from Carmel Beach tonight, just before sunset.

Life is good.

Old Friends

What is it about old friends that makes you smile and happy?

My old friend, Jeni, was In town tonight on a business trip and we had several hours to catch up. I haven’t seen her in several years, yet seeing her again made me so happy. She provides a link between the new me and the old me and she made it feel like no time had passed at all. She reminds me of a time when I had no responsibilities and ate lots of junk food and laughed all the time and had silly nicknames and when we danced to Madonna over and over again on my boom box. We were young and we really knew how to play and live in the moment.

We looked at old yearbooks and letters and cards and shared stories of a time long ago. This was comforting to me. We shared stories of our present married lives and being mothers and her working life. There were connections between our past and our present, and I enjoyed the comfort and familiarity that you get from a shared history and remembrance. I’m glad I held on to all the mementos and got to share memories and stories with my old friend.

I wish the same for you and if you are lucky enough to have an old friend or two, take the time to reconnect. I’m sure it’ll be good for your souls and make you feel young again.

Namaste.

Day 323: What You Give, You Receive

20130614-013617.jpg

I believe in positive thinking and focusing on what’s good, even though I’m not naive and know that not everything is really good. I feel that by thinking about and paying attention to what’s right and what’s good about others, I have the opportunity to celebrate these gifts every day and I find happiness this way. And by celebrating the goodness and the light in my little part of the world and more importantly those around me, I receive the gifts back. It’s an amazing process that I’m still learning and hopefully sharing and creating with you. And let me tell you, the journey of acceptance is amazing and rewarding.

I am blessed.

20130614-013534.jpg

Tonight my friends had a party in my honor to celebrate our friendship together in this short year. All 20 people who were invited attended. We all wanted to be together and we’re all so busy but made time for dinner and dancing. Some of us had guests just fly in tonight. Some are flying out first thing in the morning. Others had recitals and swim diplomas and a 100 other things to do on a “work” night, but everyone came. I was so touched and honored and I kept wondering how that happened. I know that when typically you throw a party, usually at least 25% will not be able to show up for one reason or another. But tonight… 100%! Thank you, friends for your presence!!

Carolyn and Jen planned a wonderful dinner party at what felt like someone’s house. It was an intimate setting just for us, in the middle of Albert Cuypstraat at Saskia’s Huiskamer. You’ll definitely want to look this place up if you need a place for 25 or less. The table was set with beautiful floral bouquets, and gift bags for each guests. It was intimate and warm and the ambiance was perfect. Everyone was asked to wear something orange in honor of our new Dutch heritage.

We enjoyed several courses and after each course, we would get up and switch seats so that everyone got a chance to mingle and chat with one another. This was brilliant! Through out the night, my friends got up to share a story about how we met and how we became friends. I think I cried several times and was so touched by their meaningful words. I love our community of friends and what we’ve created in this short year together.

20130614-013510.jpg

After dinner, Jane turned on the music and we danced the night away until the next day! We had some wild fun together with our orange boas, the white silly looking stuffed horse, the orange wig and the orange sunglasses.

20130614-013550.jpg

Thank you all for being my forever friends. I will miss you all and will take you with me on our next journey and hope y’all come visit me in California. I love you!!

Namaste.

Day 69 – Beautiful Things, Beautiful Women

Feel so much better today, knowing that it was just PMS!  Damn, hormones!! 

I had a busy and full day and I feel so lucky. I started today by volunteering at the Nearly New Shop (a local thrift shop) with my PEO sisters. PEO is a philanthropic educational organization where women celebrate the advancement of women, educating women through scholarships, grants, awards, and loans and helps women achieve their highest aspirations. I spent three hours, organizing the displays, categorizing the books, toys, jewelry displays, helping customers and working the cash register. I love being here and knowing that we are raising money for an important cause and I was working side by side with women I love. I left there with a big smile on my face.

Afterwards, I went over to Stanford Mall to buy a present and return a couple of things. I took a ton of pictures of all the beautiful floral displays. Here are a few:

Image

 

Image

ImageImageImage

Aren’t they so pretty? And they’re all at the mall. Wouldn’t you love to be the gardner there?

Afterwards, I had more errands to run around downtown Palo Alto. I found an easy parking spot and enjoyed walking a few blocks, soaking in the sun and trying out a new yogurt place. Palo Alto has such a strong community feel – and it’s cozy and flat and has nice stores and restaurants, lots of trees and people young and old, outside walking all around. I love this feeling and think that is what Amstelveen and Amsterdam will feel like, with maybe a little less sunshine. 

After picking up C from school, we had our afternoon snacks and did some homework. We SKYPED with Jeff and looked at all his pictures of our new little neighborhood, while Christine stopped by to drop off a nice little gift and pretty flowers in the bag she was returning. Wow. Thank you. And the tile guy came by to fix some grout, we cooked some TJ’s Orange Chicken, and got ready for the baseball game. I asked my new good friend, Allison, to give the boys a ride home from the game, because I had a Stella & Dot show tonight. Again, I’m so thankful that I have such good friends that support me and my family. Without the help, it’d be really hard to do all the things I’m doing.  

Image

And I’m thankful that my kids are old enough to stay home alone now for a couple of hours, even though that still feels really weird. I called two neighbors to let them know I’d be gone and to check in on them. They did great and are such good friends. Lucky me, let’s hope it lasts.

And to just close out a great day, Elizabeth hosted a Stella & Dot trunk show with me at her beautiful home. I sell S&D jewelry for several reasons. First, I love Jessica Herrin and the company she’s built. It’s local – right here in San Carlos and she went to Stanford and is a mother of 2 – she’s inspirational and loving and beautiful and smart and giving and is helping to promote women in business and creating a community – things that I love!  I sell the jewelry as a hobby – to pay for my “habit” and to get out and meet new women. I love hearing their stories and seeing them try on jewelry and how they feel when they’re wearing it. I was never into jewelry and now love it and feel put together and cute when I’m wearing it. I love watching women admire me and want to be like me. That’s cool – I want women to feel powerful and beautiful and see their own beauty – whether they wear the jewelry or not.

Image

The women I met tonight were fun and smart and cute and were enjoying each other’s company. It was fun to hear their stories and to see the connections – one woman brought her mom. Another woman was about to give birth. There was a spunky and fun lawyer who almost moved to France as expats and another who brought her new baby. One mom brought her 11 year old son and his homework.  One came really late. One was the cute mom I used to admire at PELC and there she was again. One grew up in Sunnyvale, one was from my home town, One was from Canada and is an Expat Consultant. We’re gonna meet again for coffee. Several shared stories and now I’m bummed I’m moving but I know I’ll be back in a year! So they say…  

I’ll be back to enjoy and admire all these wonderful people in my life – because in the end, it’s all about our relationships and the love we give and receive.  I’ll be back… xo

 

xo