What will you explore this week?

I want to explore new things and places and experiences.

Last week, Juliana and I went to explore the new Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino.

We literally live less than 2 miles from it and have watched the development grow over the last couple of years. We’ve also watched the traffic expand and have experienced longer wait times at lights and longer lines trying to move across town, but that’s another story.

Visiting the visitor center is an experience. There is underground parking with a parking attendant available to guide and direct you as you enter. There are three main parts to the center. As you walk in, you notice the all glass walls and gigantic doors. The first part has an aluminum model of Apple Park, where there are live hosts holding iPads for your use to experience an augmented reality version of visiting Apple Park, which is actually closer to visitors. The hosts were very friendly and shared stories about the building and how to navigate the iPad experience moving from building to building, and changing the lighting one might experience as day turns to night.

The middle part of the center (that sounds funny) housed the retail section, where you could touch, play, read, and view books, electronics, cases, bags, and clothes. There were friendly Apple employees ready to answer questions and to sell you products. I especially liked flipping through the product development history books, touching the high quality paper and appreciating the design aesthetics. The watch band display caught my eye, as well as the mega screen showing advertisements.

I also loved the natural sunlight streaming in through the glass walls.

The third part of the center was the restaurant. I found it odd that 6 employees were standing away from the service counter, with a couple employees working behind the counter. The line of friendly employees were ready to assist you with your order once you placed it on an iPad, I think. We didn’t order anything, however that would have been an interesting experience too, just to see how things work. I think I prefer the personal connection and conversation with the wait staff versus interacting with an iPad. I guess I’ll have to try it next time to experience the difference.

Everything was aesthetically pleasing and flowed together. Overall, I enjoyed the visit and will bring guests who would like to see it too and maybe grab a coffee.

xo Adriana

Lake Shoreline 

I don’t think of Shoreline as Lake Shoreline, but I saw a hat and a shirt today that had this statement written on them.  I think of Shoreline as this place by the Bay with goose poop that is land locked by the Google Complex.  

It is a little lake and people do enjoy being on and near it. I just think of it as a man made body of water and not as a lake lake, where you want to hang out. 

But today my opinion changed. The boys have been wanting to play together and have asked for a week or two if they could rent a paddle boat.  We finally made the time work today and their wish came true.  

We lived in the sunshine, again! As they paddled, I sat on the shore and read a book and checked email.  I was happy they were out together keeping each other company and I could relax for a bit and  keep an eye on them from my chair since the lake isn’t that big.  


Lots of kids were out enjoying paddle boarding, wind surfing, kayaking, and sailing. It was a gorgeous day again in California and I was happy to have a day at the Lake after all.

There are so many beautiful places in Silicon Valley and I probably am only scratching the surface. I wonder what other unknown outdoor places are waiting to be discovered. Do share if you have a favorite.

Life is good!

My Little Sunnyvale

IMG_6202I live in a nice, semi-little town of 147,055 people.  After all, it’s called Sunnyvale, which conjures up great images of a sunny little town, doesn’t it? It fits my personality and I love living here for so many reasons.

It’s not fancy and it’s not pretentious. It’s the Heart of Silicon Valley and things work really well here.  The city streets are nicely laid out and it’s easy to get around the 24 square miles that make up this city, even at rush hour. There are beautiful parks and public tennis courts and golf courses, a library, and a quaint, little downtown. If you need emergency assistance, help is on it’s way literally within minutes.  The CalTrain runs through the downtown and connects all the cities up and down the South Bay, Peninsula and into San Francisco.  There is a lot of growth happening around the city and hopefully one day our downtown will be completely revitalized. We’ve been waiting for over 10 years for them to finish the project and hopefully the lawyers finally figure out how to call a truce and get on with things that are long past due.

We have great community sports teams, schools, churches, theaters, public services and places to shop.  We have great diversity, with 26 different languages spoken at home from our elementary school students.

I love my neighbors and knowing that we all support one another and watch out for each others’ kids. We carpool together and have potluck dinners and our kids play in the park together.  We work together to teach our kids right from wrong and support one another when there are disagreements. We tailgate together at Stanford Football games and go to each others’ kids events.  We share stories and learn from each other, because there isn’t a parenting manual and usually our friends know best or have been there, done that, or going through it right now too. I love that we’re going through this life journey together.

In the heart of Silicon Valley, there are still good old fashioned families like ours, who love being home and hanging out and BBQing, volunteering in our schools and in our community, and driving kids to and from their various events.

The parents enjoy chatting with each other and catching up on the field, on the courts and at the school events, and even waving as we pass each other.  Even though we’re busy, we still make time to connect and help one another, and for this I am thankful.

I am thankful for all the moms and dads who share the journey with me and help me to raise my kids. Like the dad who brought Charlie home from practice tonight and came in my kitchen to discuss whether we should let our boys bike to practice or not. I enjoyed the discussion and sharing ideas about whether this was a good idea or not. I liked that we listened to each other and decided to wait giving them this freedom and to continue carpooling to protect their safety.  I love that Juliana went to a friend’s house to bake cookies for another friend’s birthday today. And I love that Christian got a ride home from a friend after his practice.

I am thankful for the public schools and the teachers and administrators who are very passionate and willing to help teach our kids and go the extra mile, even sponsoring and chaperoning trips to Japan! How cool is this?

I love that Sunnyvale is our home and that we have built a foundation here, filled with love, neighbors and a community of friends who I enjoy seeing and running into across town everyday.

What do you love about your community and where you live? What part do you contribute to making your town great?

I hope you had a good day and are living it up, right now, right where you are.  Are you??  😉

Following the Light

I am fascinated by light and water. I wanted to go to the beach today and see the ocean, but the rest of the family was happy just relaxing at home. Even though I desired going out, I’m also happy when everyone else is happy and I’d rather be with everyone than be alone enjoying the beach.

So instead, I enjoyed playing cards with my sister for four hours, knowing we had no where we had to be and nothing we had to do. This was liberating! Today truly felt like vacation. Jeff read his new books, CJ played on the computer, and the younger ones were content just playing and hanging out together. We went for a bike ride and the kids played in the park, appreciating the warm air and bright, California winter sunshine.


Around 4pm, we decided to get dressed and to go watch the sunset. We all loaded up in the car and ended up following the light through Silicon Valley, down through Half Moon Bay, and ending up in San Francisco. In the end, I got to see the beach after all. Thanks guys!!




I love this life, right now. And happy birthday to my BFF!!

Sacred Sundays


I’ve declared Sunday to be a family day. Not that all days aren’t family days, but I really want Sundays to be a day for our family to do activities together and to be home and to prepare and share a meal together, exercise together, perhaps go to church together and just BE together. Before school kicks back into gear and all the sports and homework responsibilities take over our lives again, I want to be sure we hold on to our sacred family time. Being together in Europe and traveling together and relying on one another and just being together was something that I really treasured. Now that we’re back in the states, I’m already feeling the tugs and pulls to separate us – nothing bad, but just competing priorities. I know I’ll have to give in and let go, so I’m going to hold on to our Sacred Sundays for as long as I possibly can.

Today we had fun and worked out and worked and traveled together. We got our new cell phones in working order, did some housework and paperwork, and even a little bit of shopping. Jeff and I went for a run together – the first time in a long time, but definitely not the last time!!

This afternoon we took the kids to explore Jeff’s new office and areas around the bay. His office is like a wonderland for small and big kids alike. There are scooters to scoot around the office, foosball and pingpong tables, video games, nerf guns, robots, and snacks that would satisfy any of your cravings, not to mention any type of beverage you can imagine. The views of the San Francisco Bay are absolutely stunning. He is so lucky to work in such an awesome environment, but as Charlie mentioned, we only wish it was a little closer to our house so he’d have less of a commute – which really isn’t that bad, we just wish we had him home with us sooner most evenings. Silicon Valley is a magical place.

When we came home from our adventures, we were all hanging out front of our house and talking about dinner plans. Jeff came up to give me a hug and was just loving on me for a minute, and Juliana must have been listening in. She came up and gave us the biggest compliment, without even realizing it. She said that she loved that we really and truly loved each other, and weren’t just together because we had to be. She could see and feel the love between us, and casually recognized us for that. I got my receipt for holding on to our sacred family time and doing the work and truly loving our family, despite the arguments, frustrations, and ups and downs, which we have many over and over again. I am thankful for the unconditional love we share and create every day.

And with that, we moved inside to talk about dinner, the next event of the day. The boys went shopping and picked out steaks and chicken to grill. While dinner was being prepared, the kids took their bikes to the park to ride around before the sun went down. We all met up at home again to enjoy our family dinner.

Life is good. I hope you all have a wonderful week. 2 more weeks until school starts!



Day 96 – Silicon Valley

I love this place! It was such a gorgeous day out by the Stanford Dish. Hoover tower is out in the distance, as well as San Francisco Bay and surrounding cities. It was so hot though, but totally worth it to be outside. I love coming up here and hiking and chatting and admiring the views. Time flies. I have so many great memories from here – like when Stacey was pregnant with Miss C and we’d walk early in the morning before I went to work. And family walks, and fireworks before they put up fences, and my 40th birthday with Michele, and now today with Marcia. What a great day!! Don’t you want to walk down this path with me? Or maybe you’d rather walk up? Can’t wait to go again. xo