Fresh and Fallen


Our cousin Cassie likes to make mandalas out of fallen flowers and gives them new life. She inspired me to play with the fallen blooms as I hung up our fresh, new plant.

It feels good to play and be creative. I loved thinking of her today and enjoyed my sidewalk art.  Thank you Cass for the inspiration!! xo

Love this life. Yep, she says that too. 



Play for Teens and InBetweens and Adults Too

When was the last time you stopped to play? Do you play anymore? I still play nearly every day but for not enough time, that’s for sure. I’m still goofy, but probably not as goofy as I used to be. 😉

Being creative and playing are so important for all of us, yet somehow we forget when we get all grown up and stuff. This life stuff and school stuff puts so many demands on us. Let us never forget to let out the steam and to lighten up.

I got to thinking about this topic while we discussed and I defended the craziness of the Stanford (Marching) Band (SMB) at dinner last night. If you’ve ever seen the SMB, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  They are just plain silly and playful and are the mirror opposite of what their school represents. They are the epitome of yin and yang.  They don’t follow the normal rules. Actually, they were behaving badly and have been recently banned from performing at away games for this upcoming season for violating school policies. I’m all for fun and games and being silly and lightening up a bit, but I do still believe in being respectful and following the rules. Here are a couple of links to stories about the history of the irreverence of the band and the recent trouble they’ve gotten into:

Scatter Band 

Stanford Band Behaving Badly


Another playful thing that people are talking about are coloring books for adults.

Have you heard about this latest rage? Well, I don’t know if it’s a rage, but “The Secret Garden” is on the Amazon best seller list lately, so there must be a demand for tehse adult coloring pages.  We need time to relax and make pretty things just because we can.  I love it and even have one, with new markers too, thanks to my sister!  I think we need to get off our electronic devices too and play and color again.

Here’s a link to a recent story about adult coloring books:

Adult Coloring Books

Another connection I noticed recently is that adults who are needing to and wanting to celebrate life and to go outside and play at places such as the recent Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco. Grown people are dressing up and laughing and playing and talking to strangers, dressed up strangely themselves, and they’re happy and maybe drunk too. But they need to go outside and dress up and run and to laugh with their friends.   Here is a link to the wikipedia about the infamous race:

Bay to Breakers

I thought I was done with my list but two more ideas popped up and these are the Muddy Buddy races and Burning Man. Adults are needing to play in the dirt and sunshine with their friends and they want to be out in nature, dressing up and being free to celebrate living with no expectations of who they are supposed to be, for a weekend in the dessert.  This is fascinating to me.

Here is a link to a Muddy Buddy Race:  Muddy Buddy


photo credit: IMG_1526 via photopin (license)

And here is one to Burning Man:  Burning Man

Dillon Bracken attends the Burning Man 2014 "Caravansary" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 30, 2014. Over 65,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival to spend a week in the remote desert cut off from much of the outside world to experience art, music and the unique community that develops. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY) FOR USE WITH BURNING MAN RELATED REPORTING ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS

Dillon Bracken attends the Burning Man 2014 “Caravansary” arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, August 30, 2014. Over 65,000 people from all over the world have gathered at the sold out festival to spend a week in the remote desert cut off from much of the outside world to experience art, music and the unique community that develops. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES – Tags: SOCIETY) FOR USE WITH BURNING MAN RELATED REPORTING ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS  Source:

Have you been to any of these events or colored in a book lately? What do you like to do to play and feel alive?

Play is good.

Life is good.

nAMaste BEloveRs  xoxo


Did you play today?

I danced around my kitchen and teased my husband. Does that count?

I chose to watch my kids play at the ice rink with friends this morning.

I loved that all three wanted to be on the ice together because as they get older, their interests are sometimes different. I loved watching them have fun.

After ice skating, we went to see Jessie in her Little Mermaid play. I love the theater and seeing talented kids perform. It takes so much work to make it all look easy and I appreciate this.


I was anxious today because Charlie is getting ready to go to sleep away science camp and I was helping him pack and clean his room. I can’t believe my baby is leaving me already and he’s off to middle school this fall. After we finished packing and cleaning, he wanted to play with me. Who am I to resist? I am thankful that he wants to play with me still and I want to soak in all his sweetness.


I know these years go by quickly – all the wise women have told me so. So even when I’m frustrated and tired, I still choose to play.

Life is good.

Hope you got some rest and play in your day, today.

Resilience and Permission to Fail

You’re ok.

Perfection is overrated.

You’re good enough.

I was just wondering if we are teaching our kids that it’s ok to make mistakes?  Are we giving our kids permission to fail and heaven forbid, not be the best?

There seems to be so much pressure on our society to be the best, to be the skinniest and the fittest, and the smartest and the fastest and the prettiest and the first and the whatever. What’s the race all about anyway? What about happiness and joy and just being ok with who we are right now, looking silly and maybe even sloppy? Is that even allowed any more?

I think we have to model for our kids how to not be perfect and I’m not trying to make excuses. I just want them to know that we’re ok too and I want us to be ok with being enough. We do our best and our best has to be good enough.

This is what I want to teach my kids. If they make a mistake, so what?  Acknowledge what went right. Acknowledge what didn’t work and fix it for next time. And then try again. It doesn’t have to be so complicated.  Keep learning and practicing this life thing and don’t be so hard on yourself. Repetition is good. And making mistakes means you’re trying and growing and learning. It’s ok. That’s what I want them to know. You have my permission to fail. Just learn from your mistakes so that life can carry on as smoothly as possible for yourself and everyone else around you, because our lives are really interconnected as much as we think we are on our own.

I want them to be ok right where they are, every day. I want them to make mistakes and I want them to figure out what’s important to them and to make the most of all their experiences and relationships – the good and bad and ugly.  I think this is the path to happiness. Accepting what is. Adapting and moving forward and liking themselves right now.

Carry on, resilient BeLoveRs. You’ve got this.

They All Grow Up

Please slow down time.  I’m loving this life right now.

One of the coolest things about having three kids, is that as I watch the oldest move through his high school years, the youngest one reminds me that the oldest was once his age and I can see time passing. It makes me be more mindful of the moments.


Tonight we stopped at the park between appointments because we had 30 minutes to spare.  We went to Las Palmas park, which was closed for remodeling for sometime.  When Juliana and Christian were little, I used to spend almost every week there watching them play with their friends and spending time with other mamas.

Coming back tonight, I admired the young mamas with their babies and reflected on that stage being over for me. I’m ok with that and happy to be where I am now, but every so often I remember what used to be as I look back with fond memories.

But tonight I was there to make new memories with Charlie. I LOVED watching him run around and exploring the new digs. He climbed to the top of the climbing wall, over and back, over and back, three times, without touching the ground, making sure I was watching. He climbed to the top of the highest slide and ran all around figuring out the new environment.

And I sat and watched him and loved him and got up to tease him and tickle him and was so very happy that we thought to spontaneously stop at the park to play.

This moment made my day. And tonight during prayers, he said, “I love you mama” and pulled his arms from under the covers to wrap around my neck to give me a good, tight hug. And then he said, “Let’s do roses and thorns” and he let me go first.

I told him my rose of the day was playing with him at the park and luckily I didn’t have any thorns today.

He said his rose was playing at the park with me too and that his thorn was missing out on serving at lunch duty today because he thought he had a newspaper meeting when he actually didn’t. He wished he could have worked with his friend Mark, and instead said he’ll have to wait to serve until Friday. We have to remember to do this every night and day.

These are the days.  

Go outside and PLAY and plant some roses, BeLoveRs. xo



I Love To Watch You Play

I read an article today on the Huffington Post from last year that made me think.  It talked about the 6 most important words you should say today, and it just resonated with me.  The words are, “I love to watch you play.”

Here is a link to the article:

It was talking about kids’ sports and activities and what parents say after an event. What kids care about most is knowing that their parents enjoyed just watching them play. It made me think about playing with Legos and Play Mobil and Kitchen toys and Play Doh when they were little. I loved just watching my kids play and actually playing along with them. I enjoyed being with them and sharing time together, shifting from one event to the next, with no expectations except hopefully a nap so I could have a mental break.  I loved watching them be and being with them.

Now that they are bigger, I tend to watch their sporting events quite frequently. Sometimes I really feel judgmental and want to critique their work or effort and share my opinions about what I observed.  Reading this article made me realize that what is probably more important is for me to connect with my kids on a more general level and just acknowledge my happiness in seeing them participating and playing.

I tried this tonight after Football and Water Polo. I actually watched them differently today, just feeling thankful to be there with them and enjoying being on the field and at the pool, instead of being rushed and feeling like I should be doing 101 other things.

Instead, I relaxed and enjoyed being present. I had zero expectations. I was truly thankful to be there with them, just observing.


When they got back to the car, I acknowledged loving watching my boys play and said, “I loved watching you play today.”  They genuinely thanked me. They were content and shared their experiences with me and told me how they thought they did. I listened and was content too, and then shared some thoughtful feedback of course. We shared a loving connection. I want them to participate in extra curricular activities and I want them to do well, but I don’t want to add any more stress to their little lives.

I love that they’re playing and getting exercise and enjoying their friends.  I loved watching them play.

As adults, we should also play with no expectations and enjoy the process and just be with no pressure to always win or improve. And maybe someone else will love just watching us play too.


TGIF – Carmel

Today I got to have a mini-vacation.

Suzi and I drove to Carmel to visit our BFF, Michele. She moved away this summer and we miss her so much.  Luckily she still lives within driving distance so we can still see each other, even though we can’t go on our weekly hikes and BMWs.

Carmel is about an 1 1/2 hour drive from Silicon Valley and is a dream destination. After we dropped the kids off at school, we began the reverse commute to see our friend.

Suzi and I enjoyed the beautiful drive and chat along the way, while anticipating our arrival. We were so happy to see our friend again.

We made the best of our time by going on a 6 mile hike in a new place, just like we used to do.

I loved every minute of it.


I was so bummed when we had to leave.

We enjoyed walking through the hills, taking in the sites and nature and animals, and enjoyed a small lunch together out in M’s backyard before heading back over the hill again.  We didn’t want to leave!!

We miss her so much!

Life is good.  So glad that we took the time to play and to enjoy the moment. Laundry can wait. Go outside and play, my BeLovers!! xoxo


Love is Louder – The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Success

If you want to see love in action, just take a look at the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

We, as a community, are speaking up. We are accepting a challenge to connect, to raise awareness, to be giving, and loving and supportive and playful, and grateful.  We are creating compassion and we are doing something good that feels good and right, and not just for ourselves or our families or necessarily something close to home.  We are helping others and that helps heal us and creates happiness despite the pain and suffering that exists in its many forms. And ALS is just one of them.

Love wins.

There will be haters and nay-sayers, but when we are loving and authentic and share from our hearts, love and goodness wins.

ALS Awareness is also winning through our social media online campaign.  Just look at the numbers… over $42 million dollars has been raised in a month by thousands of new contributors.  That is CRAZY good.  I hope this sparks giving all over the place.

We as a society are winning by communicating and connecting and bridging the gaps between our humanity, across religious and political and financial and age differences, one at a time in our own little way.  Woohoo!!

It is amazing to be part of this wonderful movement, and not just for the awareness that our participation and sharing is bringing to ALS, but also to the connection and compassion and kindness we are sharing with one another.

What if we can learn from this successful social media online campaign and apply the lessons to other causes?

What has made this so successful?

Here are my takeaways, in no particular order:

1.  It started with a SPARK.  Pete Frates, a patient with a need, had an idea. He dared someone to take a fun, goofy challenge to create awareness and to raise money and gave them a specific time period to respond, within 24 hours, and asked them to spread the love by challenging friends, creating a personal connection.  He created an inferno!

2. A DARE.  When we are dared to do something, it’s like challenging us to step up. In this case, it was a fun dare that is possible and easy to do, and most everyone can participate without getting hurt (if you’re careful!! – of course there have been injuries)

3. A quick turn around TIME, within 24 hours. The challenge was action oriented, dump ice water on your head and/or donate to the cause within 24 hours. People can’t put it off to do later.

4. Social Media – we have the means to connect quickly via Facebook and Twitter and Email, etc.  People want to be part of something fun and good and it’s catchy. Sharing is caring.  We are connecting communities and feel like we can do something to create change by participating. We can be seen and we can be creative and we like those things.

5. It’s FUN.  It’s fun to be play and be silly and with all our busyness, it’s great to stop in a 24 hour period because we “have to” and to just be goofy.  We are given a pass to play because we accepted a dare.  It’s fun because of the anticipation of ice cold water being thrown on our head and waiting for the cold to chill and shock us and make us laugh and make those around us laugh. It’s like that carnival dunk tank game that makes us laugh every time the ball hits the target and the volunteer falls in the water. We laugh at this. We love the anticipation and clean, safe, fun that surrounds us and we want to play, participate and watch.

6. It’s POSITIVE and we can all connect and share and create community across communities. There is a lot of negative news and we’re tired as a nation of all the terrorism and racism and any other -ism. We need to laugh. We need to connect. We need to share some love and laughter, as a nation and across nations. We’re hurting as a society and we need to love one another. LOVE doesn’t see age, sex, fat, politics, religion, etc.

7. Happiness comes from GIVING. We give each other a challenge. We give each other a laugh. We give a little bit of money to help others. We give ourselves hope. We give each other some lovin’ and that’s a good thing.  Giving is a secret to creating happiness, not just for the receivers but also for the givers.

8.  It’s ENTERTAINMENT.  We use humor to lighten the stress. We use humor to connect with one another. And watching people dump ice cold water on each other or themselves is funny. We can laugh and connect with one another in this simple way, through a smile and a laugh.  And most everyone can participate in this challenge – young and old.  And we’re using humor to create awareness, love and compassion.  And we’re playing first, learning second, and giving third. Play is important.

9. It’s SIMPLE.  It’s easy to do and it’s engaging and quick. We maybe spent 20 minutes between finding a bucket and filling it with ice and water, rehearsing for a minute and recording the challenge. And then going online afterwards to to donate.  It was fun, easy, quick and simple to do with my kids.  As a family, we played first, watched a video second and learned about what ALS is really about, and then donated money next.  The dare/challenge from a friend is what got us involved and interested in participating and we didn’t want to miss the 24 hour deadline.

10. The intention is AUTHENTIC and by participating and sharing, we make it PERSONAL. We thrive for authenticity and for what is real. This is a real need. There are real people dying and suffering with no cure.  ALS is a horrible, terrible disease that affects the patient and his/her family and community. And we all know someone that knows someone that is afflicted by this and we can feel empathy by sharing in the pain and feel like we can make a small difference.

I hope what this challenge does is helps to raise enough money and awareness so that a cure can be found for ALS and the conversation continues and those affected feel the love and compassion from all of us. I also hope that we continue to engage with one another, play with each other, focus on the positive, and continue to think of others and give money and time to those causes that need our attention, as often as possible.

We can make a difference. We can be the change we want to see in the world.  I dare you to take the challenge and play along and donate to and to any other group or organization that needs some lovin’.  I dare ya!  xoxo




Christian and I decided to set up the tent tonight to see if we remembered how and to be sure we had all the parts. Luckily we did, because one bag of parts was still up in the attic and that would have been a bummer if we left those behind. That would have made for a very flat tent.

It didn’t take very long to put up, and provided hours of fun this afternoon especially when Charlie came home from camp. It’s kinda cool to watch what kids do when they find new space and make it their own.

The kids filled it with sleeping bags and chairs and toys and decorations. They were scouting for flash lights and thinking of what kind of snacks they should bring in it. I love the creativity and the sense of play that a new space creates.

They wanted to sleep in it tonight but Charlie needed to get a good night’s rest after being up late every night for the past several nights.  Gotta love late summer nights.

We are planning a camping trip very soon and seeing the tent up is getting us very excited to be up in the mountains, near the lakes and waterfalls, with family and friends.

Do you like to camp? What are some of your favorite camping meals?

Hope you had a good Monday!!