Living in the Sunshine

 
I stopped to see the beach and to listen to the waves for 5 minutes before heading home, because I was really “busy” today. 

We were going to sit in the hot tub and drink our coffee, but we didn’t. We went for a walk with the kids instead.

We were going to go for a drive to test out my friend’s new car, but we didn’t. We sat on the patio and watched the hawks circling overhead instead.

We were going to make lunch, but rather we put out fruit and meat and cheese and told everyone to help themselves.

We joyfully watched the kids play all day, appreciating them still being kids. We relaxed in the sunshine and talked the day away and there was nothing else I would have rather done. We were very busy, being.

We flowed and danced and loved being together side by side, enjoying our kids and our friendship and living our happily ever after in the sunshine. This is it. This is my version of the best life. Thank you my friend, for sharing your weekend and family and home and thoughts with me. xo

How did you live it up today? What does your happily ever after look like?  Be well, BeLOVErs.

Changing Seasons

  
This is looking up into the sky from the underside of the big tree in my front yard.  I’ve been waiting for her magic show to open and today was the big day for me to show up and see her in her colorful glory.

I love watching her change every day and seeing her sisters all lined up and down the street, welcoming us home every day in an array of beautifully mixed colors. They are gorgeous and represent that the holidays are coming and that it’s cold outside. 

I will enjoy these moments before the leaves begin to fall. And then I’ll enjoy those moments too of purity and nakedness and clean, visual structures. 

As the world rushes by, remember to slow down and enjoy the magic that swirls around you and live in your moment, right now and share your story of being with those you love.

nAMaste

Summer and Structure

Those two words don’t seem to fitin the same sentence for stay at home parents of tweens and teens. 

We haven’t had any “real” plans for the past three weeks and I’ve realized (a little late) that this might not have been a good idea.

Structure provides order and helps to create a shared expectation plan.  I think I like flexibility and going with the flow but when you have teenagers, they all have their own plans and agendas and it’s hard to figure out a plan if you don’t plan and then chaos and nagging ensues and that’s no fun! And yet I don’t mind having a plan and then changing it, because at least we have a starting point from which change can be implemented.

So I’ve learned that while I like summer freedom and all, I do like having the kids engaged in what makes them happy and having at least a day ahead plan versus continuously reacting to each demand or request.

I think I’ll be ready for school to begin this week and I’ve already updated my calendars and spreadsheets and am loving the anticipation of what’s to come.  I’m practicing living in the moment with my little micro structures and am feeling happy again!

Wishing all families a safe and healthy 2015-2016 school year!!

Living in the Moment

Yes, I am.

Today, in the heat!!

Got up early to hike with my Julie girl but we were already too late and the sweat was sticking to all parts of our bodies. It was THAT hot and there was no breeze, but we endured.  So thankful that we made the time to exercise and chat, and celebrated the hot moment.  

I took the kids to the pool and was going to just drop them off with a friend, as I had a huge list of things I wanted to accomplish and was being given a chance to be alone for awhile, but changed my mind. I decided to stay and instead sat on a lawn chair with my friend and relaxed and cooled off and caught up with her for awhile, since I am practicing not being in a hurry.  It felt so good to sit and rest in the shade, out of the hot house and having a friend with whom to share the afternoon as we enjoyed our kids too. This is what living in the moment looks like.

And then tonight, I got the “pleasure” of continuing to drive the kids around across town to their appointments. One at 6:30 pm, one at 7 pm, then got gas, and drove straight to pick one up at 7:30 pm and then ate a little bit and got back in the car again to admire the sun setting and dancing in the sky to pick the next one up at 8:30 pm.  This was actually quite peaceful and made me smile.  Check out what the sky can do!!

   
  
And since my little one was running 20 minutes late, I relaxed in the car, put my feet up and watched the pink moon rise up.  What lovely gifts I received by not being in a hurry today and being fully present and in the moment.  This is the life! 
Of course, this living in the moment deal, also included anxiety and frustration and messes but those things aren’t so pretty nor fun to talk about, so I choose to leave out those little details when I write my happily ever after post about BEing in the moment. Perfectly imperfect, remember, with LOTS of imperfections along the way!

How did you enjoy living in the moment today? What brought you joy?

nAMaste BeLoveRs!!! 

BE the change you want to see and feel in this beautiful world!!

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

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.

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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!

Namaste

Head in the Clouds

Today I’m thankful that I still have a kid who likes to play in the park.  Because of him, I sat outside on a bench before the sun set and enjoyed watching the clouds go by.

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Sounds silly, but I enjoyed this moment and was thankful that we were there.

I loved watching him run around and climb up the play structures and jump off the slide with his friend.  They were carefree, just playing and running and chasing each other. Luckily I looked up from my phone and magazine to catch these moments before it was time to go.

I’m trying to slow down and do less and today was just the right balance.

I got to clean my house, play tennis and volunteer all before my kids came home. Once they came home, I actually enjoyed driving them to their appointments and making dinner with Jeff and sitting down to a family taco dinner and discussion over candle light.

As I slow down and do less, my kids are wanting to play more. I find this intriguing. Because they see me sitting, they want to come and sit on top of me and want all of my attention. I’ve been fighting this and then wonder why I’m fighting it.  I think by the end of the day I’m tired and am mentally worn out. It’s not that I don’t want to play with them, but I feel like I’m a dog and they’re little kids getting up in my face and I just want to snap.  How wrong is that? I know it and realize it and fought against it and then gave in.  Instead of biting them, I laughed and played and kissed their faces all over the place, so thankful that they wanted to be a part of me and celebrated our togetherness. I’m letting go of my expectation to sit quietly at the end of the day so that I can continue to enjoy the gifts they bring to my life.  I am thankful and tired.  Thank you to all the mamas who remind me to enjoy these moments because they go by so fast. I appreciate your wisdom.

And with that, I wish you a good night.  May all dreams come true.

xo

Happy Earth Day!

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I love any reason to celebrate life and why not choose today to celebrate our beautiful Earth. Not that I did much, but I did have the opportunity to be present and outside thanks to Charlie.

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We have a new, comfy outdoor couch which is so amazing, because we all want to go sit on it everyday, which makes us go outside. I hope the newness doesn’t wear off.

Today Charlie insisted that we go sit outside for awhile when he came home from school. It was just the two of us and this was the last thing I wanted to do. I had a list in my head a mile long of the things I was hoping to accomplish before his baseball game and picking up Juliana and Christian from their events, and getting ready for my meeting tonight, not to mention the dinner I had not yet planned out.

But his little voice saying, “C’mon mama, come outside and sit with me.” I could not resist. My list was now at the bottom of my priority list and I didn’t care.

I went outside because I truly believe in living in the moment and being present and practicing this concept as often as humanly possible even when I really don’t want to. We went outside. I brought my project with me. But of course, I put it down on the table once outside because a certain little someone wanted to sit on my lap and feel the sunshine together.  He wanted my undivided attention and I surrendered. I felt the warmth of the sun shining down on us and loved every minute of it. Soon we were snuggling, playing hide and seek in the shadows from the sun, wrapped up in each other, hiding our faces and trying to see each others’ eyes in the dark. I lifted my arm that was providing the shadows and the sunshine seeped in and showed me his one little eye, his little nose and big lips. I could have stayed there all day. We laughed and played and enjoyed the moment before rushing off again.

And that was the highlight of my day. He helped me to rest and sit still and I helped him to relax and rest too after a long day and before his game. It didn’t last all that long, but it was just enough.  He soon ran in to get dressed for his game, and I lingered a bit longer, enjoying my little slice of heaven in my backyard.

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Happy Earth Day! I hope you got outside and enjoyed Mother Nature. xo

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Thank you Charlie for helping me to stop and smell the roses today, that I would have otherwise missed. You are my sunshine and I love you.  Congratulations on your two big hits tonight! You’re a hitter now!

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Beautiful Night

I hope you had a great evening, relaxing and celebrating the end of another week. Don’t the weeks go by so quickly?

Tonight I enjoyed watching Charlie play baseball. I was thankful that his siblings came out to watch and that his teacher came out to support him too. Jeff was able to get home from work earlier enough to catch the second half too. It was freezing outside once the sun started to go down.

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Something must be in the air because my whole family seemed to have headaches and sinus pressure all day. I think it’s because of the weather changes. I had plans to meet friends in Palo Alto, but almost backed out because I didn’t feel well all day. Luckily the Tylenol helped and I got a second wind and mustered up the energy to change, freshen up, and to head out the door. I was so happy that I did, because the drive across town was beautiful. The sky show with all the beautiful colors was so entertaining. Here are a couple pictures. I hope you enjoyed the sun setting too.

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I finally arrived at our destination a few minutes early and waited alone in the secret garden, left to admire the flowers, twinkling lights, fire pit, and happy people joining other friends. There were two young families with little kids and the parents had to keep getting up to bounce them, walk them, and to entertain them. I wanted to offer to hold the baby for the mama while I was waiting, but thought she probably would have thought I was weird!! My friends soon arrived and we were the last ones to leave. I think you could say we enjoyed each other’s company, the ambiance, the food and wine, and best of all the friendship and conversation that didn’t want to end.

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Life is good. Live it up and have a great weekend, my friends! xo

Friend Therapy

Do you have friends that you just absolutely love hanging out with? I have one or two or three or four and I know I am lucky. I am so thankful for all the amazing women in my life.

Every friend brings and shares different gifts and I love all of them. Quirks and all, not that they have any, but if they did… I’d love them just the same and I’m so thankful they put up with mine!

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My girlfriends bring me such joy by just being them and having time to share together doing whatever and talking and laughing and supporting one another.

Today Michele and Suzanne and I hiked 7 miles in the almost 90 degree sunshine through the hills. We told so many stories and shared what projects we’re working on, stories about our kids and families and stories about our dreams and plans for vacations. It’s like friend therapy. Listening and sharing and laughing and lifting each other up. It’s awesome to have such supportive girlfriends that just get you.

Here are some of the interesting things we discovered on our hike today.

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We stopped to admire the playful baby goats who are less than 2 weeks old. I love babies!

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One fell down trying to jump up on this log and had trouble getting up again with her new legs.

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The blue bellied lizards were warming themselves here and were darting in front of us many times across the trail.

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The view was a bit hazy from the top. Can you see the vulture sweeping through the air?

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More beautiful wild poppies were wide open and brightly coloring the landscape.

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At the end of our hike in the speckled shade, Suzanne started to grab my arm and move me. I thought she was just excited about the video conversion project she was telling me about, as she squeezed my arm and moved me into Michelle. She couldn’t quite get the words out, but then there it was and I was so thankful she just moved us aside! No words were necessary. I would have screamed so loudly if I would have been the first one to come across this big snake!

I was so scared and then started laughing and was thankful no one got hurt or peed in their pants!!

Life is good and so much sweeter with friends. xo