Day 323: What You Give, You Receive


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.


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.


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.


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!!


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:





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.  


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.


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