Not all fighting is bad.

For example, I’m fighting some kind of sickness right now. It wants to take over my throat and head and I want to push it away.

It kept me up throughout the night last night and I kept waking hoping that I wouldn’t be sick in the morning for my tennis match.

I was.

Ibuprofen took the pain away. It was a good mask.  I was able to play and forget about the pain. Maybe it was mind over matter. Or maybe it was the adrenalin in my body that made me not feel it or think about it, while I was playing to win.

My partner and I won our doubles playoff match. Our team was not as fortunate in their fight. One friend tore a muscle in her leg and had to default. The other team put up a strong fight but was defeated in the end. Our one winning court was not enough to take us to the district finals in Sacramento. I am disappointed and accept the defeat.  We did our best, and as I always tell my kids, that is good enough. It was a beautiful day and even though we lost, we still had the benefit of spending time together in the sunshine playing our favorite sport with our friends. After our matches, we share a friendly lunch or dinner with our opponents. We toasted their win with champagne and enjoyed the shared love of the game, wishing them well as they move on to represent our area.  I am happy for them and sad for us.

After the game, I came home and relaxed for awhile. I started to feel sick again, yet made it through dinner with my family. I decided to continue to fight this sickness thing and climbed into bed before 8pm. Sleep and rest is good for the body.  Juliana also says cucumbers are good for fighting colds and almonds are good for fighting migraines. These are a couple of the life hacks she read after dinner. Do you think these hacks could be true? I’m curious but was too full to try any more foods. Tomorrow is another day.

My little sweetheart brought me throat lozenges, Airborne tablets and water to help me feel better. And as I sat to write, I noticed the love note she left on my cup.

I am a lucky mama with a BIG LOVE for a daughter. Thank you for being my angel, sweet girl.

Be well, BeLovers!

P.S. Happy Birthday, to my little sister today. I’m glad you’re living in this world with me!  I love your soul and gentleness. Thanks, mama and papa for giving her to us.  xoxo


On the Outside Looking In


I came home from my tennis match tonight and caught this glimpse from the outside looking in and I stopped and paused with a joyful heart.

I made a pot of chili in my new Le Creuset dutch oven, before my game so that it was ready for everyone when they got hungry. I love to cook and I love to make food for my family and friends. This feels like love to me.

When I came home, I felt joy peeking in and seeing my family in the kitchen, getting themselves some dinner and just being there together.  It was one of those moments, that you just sit and stare in wonder over something so simple and normal.

I felt a sense of self and family.

I had time to play with my friends and to serve my family too, and I was excited to see them again.  They actually came to surprise me at the end of my match and I was grateful that they chose to come out to support me.  They are so cool and that made me feel loved. They came after Charlie’s winning basketball game was over. I was lucky and thankful that Jeff was home to support Charlie and to get him to and from his game so that I had the freedom to play my match without worry. Thank you, Jeff.  You are a great husband and father. Thanks for saying hello and taking the kids back home while I finished up with my team.

I love to have a little time for myself and feel energized and happy to come back again to see my family after I’ve had time to exercise or do whatever.

I loved this little glimpse of seeing my family from a distance and appreciating all that they are, just simply being.

Life is good.  I hope you had a restful Sunday and had time to play, time to pray or meditate or hope and dream, and time to be with family and friends.

Have a great week, BeLoveRs. xo

Goals and Intentions

Today I was listening to some tips from the top from Stella & Dot leaders. I still have my business for another month or two, although I have chosen to go out of business soon, as selling jewelry at home trunk shows is not for me. Learning what you don’t want or like to do is also important as knowing what you do want or like to do.  Sometimes making a choice to change is challenging because there are benefits to continuing what you’re doing even though letting go might create more space and opportunities to try new things.  Can you tell this was a tough decision for me?

Anyway, back to the tips from the top.   I was listening to a Stylist share her success story and how she became a leader in the company.  One of the things she mentioned was being clear about her goals. She wrote down her goals on several pieces of paper and had them everywhere so she could see them all the time. One list hung in her work space and another on her bathroom mirror. She carried one around with her and was always seeing her list. When she wrote her goals down, she wrote them as if she was already there.

For example, if I want to lose weight, which I think I do, but haven’t 100% committed to, instead of writing my goal as, “I want to lose weight.” I would write down my intention as if I was already there. It would look like this, “I am 125 pounds.”  This goal is unrealistic for me personally, but you get the point. She stated where she wanted to be and then worked towards that and all her actions were in line with how she was going to achieve that goal.

So I practiced that today, by setting an intention which I’m not 100% sure is my real intention, but I thought I’d pretend and play with it, outside my comfort zone to see what would happen.

I decided my goal is to become a better tennis player. Currently my level is a 3.0, which should be moving up to a 3.5 by the end of the year. So being a 3.5 is realistic, but being a 4.0 is a stretch, so my goal for myself was, “I am a 4.0 tennis player.”

Just saying that in my head was uncomfortable because I didn’t believe it. But I wanted to practice thinking about it and what that might feel like. When I got out to the tennis court, instead of telling myself I sucked or messed up, I told myself I was a 4.0 and I could and should hit harder. Guess what? I did hit much better than normal. I felt more powerful and more accurate and I played 100% better than my match on Sunday.

I learned or was aware again of the power of my mind in this simple exercise. I tend to forget and get lazy and just busy doing, that I don’t always stop to think if what I’m doing is what I want to be doing because I don’t have clear intentions and just let the busyness fill the space. When I do have a set intention or goal in mind, I feel accomplished and successful and I want to find a way to remember this so I don’t keep forgetting and can be more efficient.

I am setting goals (tomorrow).  🙂

I am a procrastinator!!

So tell me what you want, what you really, really want!  And go make it happen.  xo


I lost my tennis match tonight. I’m bummed but I’m ok with that.

I won the first set, lost the second set, and then lost 5-7 in the third full set. We played for more than 3 hours. I was not tired and I was determined to win. I did not want to lose and I fought and tried my best and just couldn’t beat my opponent.

She was good and better than me and undefeated. This made me want to win even more. The wind was crazy tonight and I didn’t do a very good job adjusting my game. I was off. My hard hits went out and then I’d try to hit softer so they would stay in and then I’d hit them into the net. So I decided to try lobbing which usually works for me, but the wind would catch my ball and sail it out of bounds. I made a ton of mistakes and I lost.

And it was still a great game. I loved every minute of the match and loved my opponents he was kind and fair and considerate. My head was overthinking and I made several mistakes and my opponent didn’t. She hit hard and consistently and knew where to place it. I admired her and complimented her and wanted to play like she was.

We exchanged numbers at the end because we want to play again when the wind isn’t so crazy and changing our game. We enjoyed the challenging, friendly, competition and want a rematch. She said tonight’s game was one of the most favorite matches she has ever played. I’ll take that as a compliment.

I lost. She won. And it was still good and rewarding and challenging and fun. I love competition and I love when the match was like tonight, hard and good and challenging, neck and neck, while still being friendly and respectful. We both admired each other and the game and that’s what sports should be about. I am content, even in losing because she deserved to win and had great sportsmanlike conduct. I was not as aggressive as she was and played more defensively and conservatively and she won. Fair and square. Congratulations Suzanne. I hope we can play again and thank you for the challenge.

The other best part of the match before I go to bed, is that Juliana came to watch me, support me and to coach me. She sat outside and braved the cold and endured some female hecklers with grace and kindness. She encouraged me and gave me feedback before my third set. I am so lucky to have a daughter who shares my passion and endured three plus hours of sitting outside in the cold, windy air and watching me lose, while crazy women talked crap about my game to her. She is wise beyond her years and I am so in love with the tween that she is and he woman she is becoming. She teaches me new ways of thinking every day and I just admire her. Thanks for being fabulous you, kiddo.


Sporty Family

I love that my family loves sports. I had a singles tennis match this morning and won! Winning is always fun, but I am also just as happy to be playing and improving my own game and compete against myself. The woman I was playing today was sick with a cold too, just like me, so we were both struggling but happy to be out of the house.

Charlie had a baseball game in the warm sunshine and lost by 4 points. I was able to make it to watch for a few innings with Jeff and Juliana before I had to leave for a second tennis match. We won our doubles match in a tie break and I was determined not to lose because I was tired from by previous match. Jeff and Juliana came out to watch and support me and I was thankful they were there.

I love that we all can enjoy our individual sports and enjoy watching each other play. It’s fun to be outside and supporting one another too. Christian was busy studying for finals and couldn’t join us. Maybe studying is a sport too!?!

What sports do you and your family play? Do you enjoy playing or watching or both?

Playing two tennis matches today and walking around in between was equivalent to walking 9.54 miles or 21,495 steps!!


Life is good!!

Happiness Is

Here I Am is my life story. It’s about just being – in the moment and the pursuit of happiness. I happen to spend a lot of my time being home with my kids and family and working out and volunteering and playing, so I share these type of daily events because that’s what I do. For some reason, I find joy in sharing this journey, hoping that maybe my one life might spark something in you that helps to add joy in your life, your way.

I love my life and am always seeking ways to make it even better and I’m constantly reading and learning and adapting and changing. I tend to share the joys because those make me smile and everyone has there own burdens and don’t need anymore. I don’t like drama so I don’t write about that, even though it’s there on a daily basis. I like to smooth over those messy parts and focus on the good.

I considered stopping writing after my vacation, thinking maybe my life is “boring” to others. It has more of a routine now that we are not expats anymore. Jeff reminded me that most of the news on TV and on the internet is boring and repetitive, yet we still watch it and read it. We learn new things and have opinions and feelings and share our ideas and thoughts, and make connections, based on what we see and learn.

I decided that I want to keep on writing, because I think I know something about positive living and the pursuit of happiness and I hear from so many of you that you like what I have to say. This is rewarding to me. I don’t have life all figured out, but I love that you write to me via comments or text or private Facebook messages and private conversations and validate what I share. I love the feedback loop and hearing about your lives too. We are connected and I love this. So thank you for continuing to follow along and for sharing this beautiful life with me. You are loved.

I hope you had a wonderful day. My day was simple and rewarding. I worked out, met with some people to plan the details of an 8th grade graduation dinner next week, had lunch with a friend who just had surgery, and then picked up my kids from school. My daughter and I played tennis together, and my son and I played Connect Four after dinner.

No one had to be anywhere tonight and Jeff was home early because he has been sick. All my work is done for the day and it’s only 7:30 pm. This makes me extremely happy. I get to go to bed early tonight and catch up on sleep!! Life is good.

Have a great night!

Happy Mother’s Day 2014

We were in Sunnyvale today. Just me and my little family and no guests.

It was a great day to be home and at the club, playing tennis and watching the kids swim.

The kids all made home made cards and decorated the kitchen to celebrate ME!! I love being spoiled with attention and love that they took the time to think of me.



They joined me for coffee in bed and then Jeff made me a healthy egg white scramble with chicken, kale, garlic, tomatoes and goat cheese that was fabulous!


After breakfast, Jeff and I worked on sorting through our digital photos for hours, even though we need months to make sense of them all. At least we touched them again and made a little progress. Every time I work on the backlog, I feel so frustrated because it’s overwhelming and is such a slow process.

After working around the house, we headed over to the club to play tennis as a family and to swim. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine.


I didn’t want to fight crowds at a restaurant, so we went to a Japanese market and got fixings to make sushi and shrimp and noodles. Our dinner was beyond fabulous and I kept saying Mmm… between every bite!


I wish my extended family was with us to share this delicious dinner. It was so easy to make and assemble and there was no rush and no crowds.

Love this life!

Hope you had a wonderful day celebrating all women and sisters!

The Night Before Mother’s Day

Tonight I’m thankful that I am a mother. When I grew up, all I wanted to be was a mama, and go on Wheel of Fortune!! I know, big dreams. But my first dream came true three times over and the second dream is just trivial and not something I think of often. Now I think I’d rather be a guest on Ellen. 🙂

Today I got to enjoy my kids. Juliana and I played tennis together and I just smiled looking at her across the court from me, so happy that she chose to learn to play and that we were there together sharing time playing outside in the sunshine.

Afterwards, we went and got some frozen yogurt before heading over to watch Charlie’s baseball game. I love seeing him in his element and cheering him on. He got two great catches and a couple good hits and was content.

We came home and helped Christian get ready for a birthday party. Not that he really needed help, but we thought of a gift idea, prepared some food to share and Jeff dropped him off. I’m so glad that he has a great group of friends with great families. This was my dream for him when we returned from the Netherlands.

Jeff, Juliana and Charlie and I went shopping together and out to dinner tonight, while Christian was away. I was happy that everyone got to see what they wanted to and that we were able to buy some new summer clothes for Juliana.

This is how we spent our day. Jeff and I were going to go on a date, but the kids wanted to join us. I love that they still want to be with us and will not wish that away.

My dream has come true and I am one lucky and happy mama.

As for tomorrow, I’m hoping to have a couple hours in bed with coffee and the newspaper while they clean up and declutter and make breakfast.

Then we’ll hopefully head outdoors for some swim and tennis, or go to the beach to paddle, or maybe just hang outside on our patio. No big plans and that’s just perfect for me. We’ll just go with the flow and see what everyone is in the mood to do.

How will you spend Mother’s Day?

Love this life.

Happy Mother’s Day Eve!


Do What You Love



Tennis is what I love to do right now. My hobbies and passions change often, but this one has stuck with me for the past 6 years.  I started playing tennis to get out of volunteering, following a wise friend’s lead. She had started taking lessons twice a week, so that she would be “busy” and wouldn’t always be available to say yes to volunteer requests.  I thought that was brilliant. And it wasn’t that she didn’t volunteer, she was just the UBER volunteer and was so good at it, that people were always asking for her help.  I really admire her and followed in her footsteps.

I still volunteer and love that part of my life too, but I really also love having something for myself.  I love the practice and skill building. I love the social aspects. I love the physical and mental challenges.  I love the new friends I meet and hearing their stories. I love working hard, playing hard and winning!! There’s always something new to learn and practice and perfect and it’s always changing and stimulating.

Tonight we had an evening match in a beautiful location. However, I screamed out loud twice when I noticed a squirrel trying to get a nut out of my bag. Someone had to shoe him away and off the tennis courts twice.  This was a bit distracting, however we still won our first set 6-1 and were having a lot of fun. At the beginning of the second set, my partner hurt her knee. At first she tried to keep playing, and then sat out for the 3 minute time period allowed for physical injury recovery.  We iced it, rubbed some aspercream on it, and wrapped it in a brace.  When the 3 minutes was up, she bravely decided to come back  on the court to play again, yet her knee just wouldn’t allow her to continue and we had to forfeit the game.  I was disappointed that we didn’t get to continue our match, but was thankful that she didn’t fall down or hurt herself more seriously. I know that she was disappointed too, but she handled herself with grace.  And hey, that’s just part of the game. Life happens.

I decided to stay and watch my teammates play on the other courts and this is where the photo above was taken. It was a gorgeous night out. One of my opponents came to sit by me and we enjoyed a lovely conversation about our match, while nibbling on healthy kale and quinoa salads and sipping wine. She told me that she didn’t play as well tonight as she usually does, and then proceeded to tell me that she is a breast cancer survivor and was proud of her short , dark, hair that had grown back. She told me how she played tennis through her chemo and recovery and that she didn’t give up. I told her that I had a friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and was just beginning her treatment. Right away, she had a compassionate look on her face, like she was a sister. She gave me her contact information and told me to tell my friend to call her, if she needed someone who has been through the experience. She said that so many people helped her and that she wanted to help others too.

And that my friends, is another reason why I love tennis.  The stories, The hope. The friendships. The movement. The personal growth and challenges.  It’s all good. Even when your game gets forfeited.

Love this life.