A Legal Marriage

Our marriage is officially legal – we’re 18 years married happily ever after! 

I love this picture because it represents us. I like to take a picture in front of this bush every year on our anniversary and he wants to hurry up and get it over with. It has become a joke. And now the bush is spotty and patchy and kinda funny looking, but today he played with me after getting frustrated, of course, and I got my memory photos.  Thank you, honey!! You’re a good sport.

He’s the yin to my yang and I adore him.  He makes me feel safe and he adores me and our kids. We enjoy each other’s company and just being together. 

So that’s what we did today.  We celebrated Father’s Day with the kids this morning with breakfast at home. We played a board game together and just hung out.

Afterwards, we celebrated our anniversary by driving up to the city, just the two of us.  We love just driving together and exploring and walking and talking and just being a couple. So that’s what we did. We wandered and explored and discovered the Cellermaker Brewery that Jeff has been wanting to visit and had our first little date.


cool fence door

We wandered on to explore the renewed Hayes Valley and loved popping into the little stores and seeing public art being created in a garden area for Burning Man.


The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day to wander and explore.


We found this fun little clothing shop with this cool display of air plants which I love. We were chatting with the  sales ladies and talking about my birthday week and Father’s Day and our anniversary and they asked us if we wanted to take photos in their photo booth since they were also celebrating their store’s birthday. Of course we said yes!! I love photo props and playing.

It’s hard to believe the fun continued and we just kept living it up.  

We had a romantic dinner at Abisenthe in a cozy little booth and then walked over to see The Book of Mormon at the Orpheum Theater.  That was an interesting experience and I’ll leave it at that.


Thanks honey for spending the day with me and our kids. Happy Father’s Day! Happy Anniversary!  Happy Life!! I love you!

Happy Father’s Day to all the loving papa’s!! Thank you for loving your kids and their mama’s.




The Old Mom

I am now the old mom with BIG kids.

When did this happen? I see it. I know it. But it’s still hard to believe and I love this stage and I love my kids and danced around the kitchen in my jammies this morning, singing to them, “All you need is love.” I know they think I’m crazy yet luckily they laughed and thought I was funny and little do they know how much I adore them.  I am so in love with my teens and almost tween and love this stage of life. I know they’ll be leaving soon and I am enjoying every minute with them, so be it.

I read the BEST parenting article today by one of my favorite authors, Jen Hatmaker, that made me cry.  Check her out here:


You’ll cry too, because she’s funny, real, authentic, and totally gets this parenting thing like no one else.  And she loves women too, just like me and wants to lift each other up and support one another and buy each other wine and high five each other at Target when the littles are throwing temper tantrums.I love her and so does everyone else.  She gets life and is really funny.

I love being a mom. It’s what I always wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be financially independent, knowing I could take care of myself and my family if I had to, and then I wanted to stay at home and raise our babies. Here I am. Living the dream. I love what I do, despite the stress and chaos and craziness that surrounds me some days.

I love being in the car with them and their friends and taking them to and from – most days! Last week, was another story, but today I was good. I took Juliana to her ortho appointment and then we went to get a bubble tea and fried snacks because that sounded like fun to them after school. I didn’t want to be busy. I wanted to soak them in and spoil them while I can. I always struggle with that – not wanting to spoil them and wanting to spoil them at the same time. They were thankful and we had fun together.

When we came home, Juliana was busy tutoring a little girl so Charlie and I went to hide away in his “apartment.” We sat on his couch and ate our snacks and played Mastermind together, which brought back memories for me when my dad and I used to play together. We are usually running around with way too much to do, and yet today we slowed down and just played. Can I even tell you how sweet this was? I am so thankful that Juliana needed a quiet house and that Charlie and I got to hide away together for an hour.

I know I’m writing a lot – but seriously, I really do like and enjoy my kids and today was one of those BIG FEELINGS days. We were at a funeral on Friday, and at a Special Needs Brunch on Sunday and I am still missing Chase every day and am fully aware that life is fleeting and messy so while it’s good, I plan to love on them and live it up every day while I can.

Charlie made me cry tonight when he decided to make dinner for himself and Christian. He wanted special plates to make the meal look fancy. We cooked tempura shrimp and he molded rice in little cups to neatly place on the special plates.  He placed the shrimp in a star pattern and used a brush to place the sauce decoratively on the plate. He was so proud of himself and served his brother in his room, while he studied. He was like a little, proud, Master Chef, Jr. I loved this connection and loved that they share this bond together.

This old mom is content. Life is good and IS what you make it to be and I’m okay with things changing and aging. I am living it up today and everyday and loving this one life right now. And you? Are you living it up and loving it out wherever you are right now?


Expat Best Practices

Today I was inspired by this article written about what we can learn from expats. Here is the link:


Maybe I’ve shared this already but I can’t remember. One of the things that being an expat did for me was give me a life sentence… kind of like a death sentence but in reverse.  I felt like I was given a gift to live in the moment, to be fully aware of what I wanted to do with my life and to do it right now and not wait.

When we were getting ready to move overseas, I stopped being tired and busy. I made time to do whatever I planned or dreamed and did it. We went to Hawaii and came back the day before our anniversary. We then drove 6 hours to Southern California the next day on our anniversary to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. Before, I would never have done something like this. I would have used the excuse that we just got back from a trip and we were exhausted, and it was our anniversary and blah, blah, blah.  Instead, we went. Just like that. And enjoyed our family and the journey. This type of event and thinking happened over and over again before we left.

And then we continued living like this the entire year we were expats. We lived and worked like we were on a permanent vacation. We didn’t know when our time would end, so we kept doing whatever our hearts and minds could dream of doing. We lived it up. My new motto.  Sleep when you’re dead. My old motto that I still carry. I have lots of these little statements. Maybe I’ll make a list of them one day.  They help guide me and remind me to live it up, love it out and have no fear.

That kind of connects to the life/death sentence. None of us know how long we’ll live, but we live our lives sometimes like we have forever and we don’t. So I chose to live it up now while I can, while we’re healthy and curious and have a thirst for experience and connection. We should live this way…fully present and aware, adapting and changing and growing every new minute.  What a gift of life we all have… it’s up to us how we choose to spend our minutes.

So back to the article… I’ll summarize what I found to be the best practices that The Backpacker shared about expats:

Expats are:

* Friendly, open people eager to make new friends immediately without pretension

* Fun to be around. They are curious and want to know your story and want to know about their new culture and land

* Adventurous, risk takers, and gutsy! Expats have to leave their home land, pack up their belongings and start new. This is uncomfortable and they do it anyway.  I love this – do it anyway mentality…so what if you’re a bit scared, unsure… try it anyway

* Try new things – new food, new languages, new rituals

* Have an attitude to “Just Do It” like Nike says – stop thinking about it and planning it and just do it

* Live life like you’re on a permanent holiday. Think about that… isn’t that a great idea? We have to do the work and study, but then what? Play!! Travel!! Explore!! Enjoy!!

* Love to hang out and socialize with friends, living it up

* Tend to enjoy themselves and welcome the revolving world of friends with a culture of openness. I love this and live this statement.

I miss being overseas and having the title of a current expat. I liked the experience and the friendships I made and miss them so much, even if everyone is away on summer holiday. I plan to incorporate these best practices into my daily life, living a more normal day to day life back in suburbia. I plan to keep living it up, loving it out and enjoying this beautiful world every day. I plan to fight the negativity I see in the media and continue to spread joy and love every where I go.  Thanks for joining me and sharing the journey.


“Grateful people are joyful people; the more joyful people are, the more we’ll have a joyful world.” – Brother David Steindl-Rast

20130718-222830.jpgThank you Michele for sharing Shasta with me today.  ;-). Thank you Val for having Christian over and spoiling him and for all the books. Thank you Christine for happy hour and my delicious succotash salad. Thank you Ling for the gorgeous Dahlias from your yard and the steam buns for Charlie. Thank you to all 6 kids who came over for dinner and filled my house with joy.  I love this life right now.  😉