First Day of Spring Break

Bowling with all my kids and our friends was a great way to start our staycation this week. 

I am thankful that all the moms and all the kids were able to connect our schedules for a couple hours today and to play together. I love that the kids still want to hang out with us, even the oldest one.

The moms and I became friends in 2001 and we have enjoyed sharing stories and experiences and watching our kids grow up together for 15 years now. I think that’s pretty amazing!  

Bowling is a fun group outing for all ages, getting us moving and laughing and cheering for each other.

What do you like to do on spring break? Do you have fun staycation ideas?


The Plus Side

There’s always a plus side. It’s just sometimes challenging to see it when you’re feeling or looking at the negative side.

Today I found balance. Oh, how I love balance. The yin and the yang is great and where there is balance, there is peace.

I volunteered this morning and had time to chat with my sweet friend, E.  I loved catching up and working side by side and having some “me” time.

I did a little cooking and cleaning and chauffeuring.  And then I spent the afternoon and evening with my baby girl. We had a girl’s day planned and I loved every minute being with her.

We went and got bubble teas and drank them as we drove over to downtown Campbell. We strolled through the boutiques and shops, looking for back to school clothes and shoes, sharing ideas and laughter. She picked out the latest Rainbow thongs, which are apparently as cool as Uggs, a cute tank top, and two rompers. We got our hair cut and straightened and loved being at the salon together, taking our time with no rush.

We weren’t quite hungry and we weren’t quite ready to go home, so we decided to stop in at Capers to see my friend as we often do after hair cuts nearby.  This was a great way to end the day. The food and company was just what we needed.

It was nice to enjoy a day with my teenager (who will always be my baby girl). I am happy that she wanted to spend the day with me and that we both enjoyed each other’s company.

I am lucky and content. Growing up isn’t so bad after all. It’s just another chapter I wasn’t ready to begin and I think it’s gonna be a good one. 




Juliana leaves tomorrow morning for Japan without me. She’s going with 14 other kids and 2 chaperones for 10 days.  It’s part of a school sponsored trip and I am so happy for her. 


Yet I am filled with anxiety and my body is doing weird things like dancing, cooking, shopping and nesting and more cooking. I even learned how to smoke a tritip on the Traeger!  I am proud and it was delicious and gobbled up with the homemade chimichurri sauce.  



I wanted to make the perfect dinner before her send off and wanted to be in her room right next to her and started dancing and had to go shopping at the mall to find the ONE pair of shoes she really “needed” to go to Japan and be comfortable. This is WEIRD! I know I’m acting a bit crazy and know I’m filled with anxiety and everything is okay, I just am. 

 I am happy for her and know she will have an excellent experience and be safe and all that good stuff, but the FEAR keeps settling in. I’m trying to make it go away with rational thought, yet I keep dancing and moving and shaking.  Argh!!!  This too shall pass.  

32 years ago I was the little girl getting ready to go to Australia with my soccer team and this was before Internet, wireless phones and texting! My mama was so brave letting me go. I’ll have to kiss her again the next time I see her and thank her for letting me go. She’s pretty amazing!


I am smart and conflicted and stuck in this middle place, waiting and anticipating her departure and return back to the mama nest. Hurry up already and go and learn and grow and come back to me. Please? 

This is the coolest kid ever. She has packed herself and doesn’t really need me, yet I keep finding things to share or advice to give just so I can feel a part of the process. 


She’s pretty rad in letting me in and knowing that I’m struggling and is just the cutest thing ever. Maybe it helps her to not be afraid because she’s too worried about me. Ha! This is a good strategy!!

I don’t get why I’m so worried. She’s already an international traveler and has been away from me multiple times, even with her own passport. 

She’s good at this independence and travel thing and I’m confident in her abilities to navigate the globe.  I think it’s partially because of my unfamiliarity with Japan and not being able to recognize the characters and language, that I feel lost and helpless should I have to go there to help her. Probably 99% irrational fear, and 1% real and I’m letting that little itty bitty percent take over my body.  It’s time to namaste that s*#T!!

Okay, fine. I’ll let it go and take all my own advice and be in the moment and let it go. Just breathe.  AAAAAHhhhhhhhhhh 

Okay. Almost better.

How do you handle anxiety?

I wish you peace and wish Juliana a safe and wildly fun experience in Japan. Can’t wait to hear your story. I love you baby girl!!

xoxo  nAMaste

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?


Let It Go


What are you holding on to that you need to let go to create space? Is it physical or mental?

Letting go isn’t always easy. It’s just something that we choose to do when we are ready, and usually sooner is better because we are set free to start again or start something new.

But usually letting go takes work, again either physically and/or mentally, and lots of times, negative feelings such as fear, sadness, loneliness, etc., are part of letting go, which is why we probably procrastinate and put it off.

Today we let go of our family swing set. This made me sad for a few reasons. Mainly it marks the passing of time and I’m fully aware the kids are growing up.

I woke the kids up to go play on it one more time this morning, before the guys began taking it apart.

The funny thing is that I’ve raised the kids to be comfortable with letting go of stuff and they were completely fine with it. I was the sad one.


Mark said we could come sit on it again in his yard and was so thankful that his little kids would get to enjoy it.

This is the best part of giving things to your friends – the things you love get to be enjoyed by your friends and you get a chance to see them enjoying what you once enjoyed or get invited to play.

So with the sadness comes joy: the joy of giving and seeing others happy; the joy of creating space and dreaming of new teen fun for the backyard – got any ideas? Hot tub? Pool? Trampoline?

And the joy of letting go…my theme for this year…let it go, let it go…

All is well. That wasn’t so bad.

On to new dreams and play spaces.

Life is good.


Work and Play

This is one of my mottos. We work hard and we play hard. We do the work and then we play.

I’m trying to instill these values in my kids and I’m trying to help them to be accountable and responsible as we enter the summer season, much to my oldest’s dismay.

He thinks he should be free to do whatever he wants and that there should be no expectations whatsoever.  He says I used to be the cool mom but now I’m a bit crazy. Bless his heart. He doesn’t understand my motivations and I’m trying to teach, ever so gently, yet we have lots of conflict and it’s only Day 1.  God give me patience and grace and help me to be a good teacher.

I’ve asked them to come up with their own daily schedules to help them feel like they have structure to their days without asking me what they should do or telling me that they are bored. I told them that they have limited screen time and that they have to include time to eat, do chores, read, exercise, rest, play, outdoor time, learn and have time to be giving. It is up to them to come up with a rough sketch of how they think the day should play out and that they should think of some of the fun activities and places they would like to visit. 

I want them to feel empowered and I want them to be productive, while still enjoying the laziness of summer. without being too lazy.

Each night they are to come up with a plan and write it out, share it with me and then we’ll decide if we need to make any changes. Once we have a plan, it’s perfectly fine for it to change, but doing nothing everyday is not ok.

For Juliana and Charlie, this was easy. It worked. No gripes. They worked hard, played hard and enjoyed their first day. For Christian, not so much. He didn’t like this idea at all and has resisted. He is of course a teenager and has his own definitions and knows it all, so I’m ok with that. We’re working through the chaos and conflict and loving each other despite the disagreements. I think we’ll meet in the middle hopefully by the middle of this week.  

Here are copies of their charts from tonight. I especially loved Juliana’s creativity, Charlie’s family ideas, and Christian’s list of possible ideas to explore. They are thinking. They are creating. They are working. They are playing. I am happy.

Happy Summer Everyone!! If you like this idea, steal it, copy it, and let me know if you have success!! xo