TGIF – Rest, Friends

I hope you all have had a great week, just being, giving, loving, playing, and working.

I am glad that it’s Friday and we don’t have to set an alarm for tomorrow morning.

Our weeks are so jam-packed, that I’m excited for our slower paced weekend, although the weekend is pretty full too with practice and games and dinner dates.

It’s important that we have some down time and create space so that we can refresh and reenergize and catch up.

How will you recharge?

Have a great weekend, BeLoveRs!!

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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.

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I loved every minute of it.

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I was so bummed when we had to leave.

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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!!

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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

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Beautiful Night

I hope you had a great evening, relaxing and celebrating the end of another week. Don’t the weeks go by so quickly?

Tonight I enjoyed watching Charlie play baseball. I was thankful that his siblings came out to watch and that his teacher came out to support him too. Jeff was able to get home from work earlier enough to catch the second half too. It was freezing outside once the sun started to go down.

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Something must be in the air because my whole family seemed to have headaches and sinus pressure all day. I think it’s because of the weather changes. I had plans to meet friends in Palo Alto, but almost backed out because I didn’t feel well all day. Luckily the Tylenol helped and I got a second wind and mustered up the energy to change, freshen up, and to head out the door. I was so happy that I did, because the drive across town was beautiful. The sky show with all the beautiful colors was so entertaining. Here are a couple pictures. I hope you enjoyed the sun setting too.

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I finally arrived at our destination a few minutes early and waited alone in the secret garden, left to admire the flowers, twinkling lights, fire pit, and happy people joining other friends. There were two young families with little kids and the parents had to keep getting up to bounce them, walk them, and to entertain them. I wanted to offer to hold the baby for the mama while I was waiting, but thought she probably would have thought I was weird!! My friends soon arrived and we were the last ones to leave. I think you could say we enjoyed each other’s company, the ambiance, the food and wine, and best of all the friendship and conversation that didn’t want to end.

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Life is good. Live it up and have a great weekend, my friends! xo

Friday Night Fun

What do you like to do on a Friday night?

My family likes to stay home. The boys especially look forward to playing video games as they’re not allowed to play during the week, so as soon as the weekend comes, they want to be hanging out with friends and playing Minecraft. I don’t understand the addiction to this game with Atari like graphics.  I like that it’s at least creative and collaborative and has some design components to it.

I think the weeks are so busy with homework and sports and events, that what they really want to do is just relax. I don’t blame them. I am starting to adapt to this idea of resting and just being home, even though my natural tendency and desire is to think and plan where we are going out to eat and who we are going to see and what we’re going to do.

So instead, this morning I asked Jeff for an idea about what to make for dinner instead of going out. He suggested shish kabobs and then I had a plan and something to look forward to.  I gathered the ingredients this morning after tennis and marinated chicken chunks in a yogurt, lemon, feta, oregano, and rosemary marinade for several hours.  I cut up peppers and onions and threaded the pieces on the skewers and Jeff grilled for us when he got home. I found a rice recipe that included butter, turmeric, cumin, garlic, onions, apricots, and almonds. It was so delicious and something new.  I actually had fun trying new recipes and just being home without rushing out again, even though I had plans to do so after dinner.  Dinner was awesome, but I sure wish we didn’t have to do the cleanup part. 

CJ needed some help with some school work and Juliana was out at an event, and by the time we were done helping and settling everyone, I was done and exhausted from a busy week.  I am happy to be sitting on the couch and watching a movie, listening to Juliana talk on the phone with her friends and knowing the boys are safe and sound in their rooms, probably playing Minecraft again. 

I am appreciating these little moments and I’m enjoying this process of slowing down and not feeling like I have to do everything. I think I’m going to like this rooted feeling and am considering leaving the wanderlust for another year, if I can. 

How do you like spending a Friday night?  Hope you’re having fun and enjoy a slower pace too.  TGIF

 

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Still life.

Day 72: Happy Hour, Happy Friends

TGIF! Don’t you love Fridays??  It is one of my favorite days of the week. I feel like it’s time to relax and wrap up the week and usually the kids don’t have any sports’ activities, so it feels more free. Plus, there’s usually the anticipation of something fun happening on the weekend.

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Today some friends came over for happy hour to celebrate Patti’s birthday. Everyone brought something to share and it was so nice. I really enjoy entertaining and gathering friends together. I loved watching the kids all play together too, like they’ve been friends for years!  They ran outside and into the “forest” and painted nails, played computer games, and did some art projects. The little ones played with balls and play mobil toys and ate up m&m’s and fruit and crackers. The women all gathered in the kitchen, sipped wine and enjoyed Julie’s recipe for baked brie with apples, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter – I just forgot the slivered almonds! Oh well – it was still yummy.  Great way to start the weekend!

Life is sweet. Hope you all have a good weekend. xo

Day 30: TGIF!

We finished our first “week” of school today. So nice to start on a Thursday and have a short, first week. We had just enough time to get the hang of things and figure out how to get there on time, how to park in small places, how to be prepared for rain at any give minute and how to adapt and change plans.  We made new friends and discovered new places. All in a week.  

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We had fun playing on the playground after school and making new friends, meeting the teachers and figuring out the lockers and block schedules.

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The school is beautiful and very welcoming to families. I arrived early to pick up the kids and headed to the cafeteria for a cappucino while waiting! Soon other moms came and the kids came, and two hours later, we closed down the place and headed home.

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Far from home, but yet in the center of the courtyard at our new school and feeling like we belong here.Image

While the kids were at school, I met up with my new friends and we headed over to the Friday special market place for some socializing and shopping. On Friday, in the town center, merchants come and set up shop, similar to a farmers market, but with a swap meet flavor added to it. You can find plants, sheets, shoes, produce, fresh bread, fish, chicken and beef stands, and so much more. It’s a great outdoor market place, and these fountains are part of the entertainment. It was so much more fun to shop with friends. We were on a mission to find something to cook for dinner tonight, and were searching for ideas. We came across a savory pie place, and all of us bought these mini pies to serve to our families, along with side veggies and salad. So fun, right? The hardest part is figuring out what to make, yet today it was easy!  The pies were delicious and we’ll be definitely having them again! We are planning to make the Friday market a weekly girls’ outing, after a visit to the gym! We’re starting trial runs at the local gyms next week – time to get back in shape again! 

After shopping for dinner, I met up with 2 other new friends for lunch at Popov – a great, little outdoor deli near the water fountains in the Stadshart in Amstelveen.  I ordered a delicious, chicken grilled sandwich with pesto and sun dried tomato. It was great to share stories and get to know the other women at our school. 

I’d say today was a fulfilling and fun day. They say it’s going to rain this weekend, so I’m glad I was able to be outside most of the day. Hope you all have a great weekend!

xo Adriana

 

Day 68: TGIF

Don’t you love Fridays?   It’s one of my favorite days of the week. Everyone is happy from finishing up the week and excited, anticipating the weekend.

Today I enjoyed C’s field trip to the Magic Garden. We walked and took the City Bus with 29 kids and several chaperones and his teacher. The kids had a great time touching and tasting and feeling and smelling all the wonders that surrounded them, including worms, nests, chickens, snails, nasturtiums, and fruiting mulberry bushes to name a few. 

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Looking up at the underbelly of the shade tree – so pretty!

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Have you ever seen an Almond Tree? 

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These roses were beautiful climbing roses, but without much scent. The kids enjoyed walking through the gateway and into the magical garden. I liked it too.

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Look… April and I actually got to hang out today! Thank goodness for field trips!!  🙂

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From the city bus stop with the second graders, I walked half way back to school and then left the kids with the other chaperones so that I could run ahead to meet the school bus that was bringing J home from Science Camp. I was so excited to see her and have her back in my nest. I’m not ready to let her go, even though I know she’s growing up and I have to let out the leash a little more and more. It felt really good to reel her back in, close to me. We all missed her and our family dynamic was just not the same without her.  Now we just have to wait for Jeff to get back from London to have us all back together. I’m happy for him though, that he gets to spend time with his brother before heading home again.

And to finish off the day, we had a quick visit and dinner with Michele and the kids. We were all so tired that we made it an early night. She had this great little gadget on her counter that made us laugh and smile and maybe you will too.  In case you ever wonder, here’s a little Emergency Affirmation you can give yourself – when you press the smiley face, it plays a drum roll and tells you that you are amazing! Something everyone should hear at least once a day!!  Go ahead, press it! You are Amazing!! xo

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