Saturday, May 9, 2015

notes on travel: san francisco (staycation)

last weekend we took an impromptu vacation to san francisco. our church is in Marin, so we often head over to san francisco after church to explore and play. this past weekend we thought, let's stay overnight! i used priceline to find a great deal on a hotel (i always use the price negotiator tool, and get amazing AMAZING deals at pretty swanky hotels). with taxes and fees included we payed $105 to stay at the Monaco Hotel on sunday night.

we got to our hotel right after church, threw our bags down, and headed out for lunch. we decided on pizza. blondie's pizza (my favorite). we wanted to be nice and full while we waited in line for the cable car.


 blondie's pizza is right next to the cable car stop, so while we ate, easton could hear the "ding ding" of the car and nearly jumped out of his seat every time. he was so excited. we waited in line (and listened to a terrible street singer, who was holding us hostage by singing into a microphone right next to the line), watched pigeons hang out on the tracks, and watched in amazement as the cable car workers manually turned the cars on the track.


easton was in heaven, while we rode the cable car. i kept singing "clang clang clang, went the trolllllyyyy. ding ding ding, went the belle…" and all three boys were frightfully embarrassed of that. (although, my neighbor got a kick out of it). we stopped off at the pier, and got ice cream. easton hung out on tony's shoulders while we walked around fisherman's warf.

when we finally took the cable car back to union square, the boys were tuckered out. we went back to the hotel and ordered thai food. easton watched a movie while sailor fell asleep in the porta crib.

we had such a sweet time in the city. i wish we could stay, and never come home. i think easton might be a city boy...


Monday, April 20, 2015

notes on being busy.


you guys. life feels crazy right now. i'm in the artificial lawn business- so this california drought has got people thinking, "sheesh, i need myself a synthetic lawn!" i've been so busy running around the entire bay area trying to get these folks new lawns, that i haven't had time for much else. seriously. i haven't made a proper dinner in a week. last week barley counted for a proper dinner because i scrambled eggs, sautéed some veggies, threw quinoa in the mix and called it asian fried rice. then we ate it with noodles the next night. then i made pancakes. since then, i've been trying to take a breath and eat something other than granola bars.

anyway. when work gets busy, my head gets crazy. i haven't had time for yoga, i went to one meeting last week, and i haven't slept in the same bed as tony for, what feels like an eternity, because easton won't go to sleep on his own.

today, with heaviness in my heart, i took the kids to day care on my "day off" so i could get work done in peace. my dear friends called me for a hike and i thought- "nope. no way. i have too much feeling overwhelmed to do, i don't have time". but i went. it's so crazy how a bit of fresh air and conversation (with people who understand me) makes my heart and mind a little more…still.

when life gives me too much good stuff, my mind starts to get all…sappy and self deprecating. i start telling my little self how horrible i am because my kids have eaten mcdonalds, and mac & cheese, and pizza in the same week. i start saying how life would be better if maybe i stopped working and stayed home and cooked and cleaned and made homemade guitars out of pine cones. maybe then i wouldn't feel so overwhelmed? probably not.

i've said it before and i'll say it again. the beauty in this life, the fullness, it can be overwhelming sometimes. sometimes there are so many things, that life feels out of control a bit. that's okay. the best thing to do, is take a breath, maybe a hike, and eat some granola bars out of the package (not the homemade stay-at-home-mom granola bars that makes us working/part time working moms feel inadequate ) and be so grateful that life is busy and beautiful all at the same time.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

notes on travel: kauai


tony and i jetted off for a quick hawaiian getaway to the garden island. we decided to go to kauai on a whim a couple of months ago. we thought about doing a family trip, but then thought again. with a seven p.m. bedtime, we would be stranded in the hotel/rental every night unless we split up and did things on our own. also- we wanted to hike. we knew we couldn't hike with a three year old and one year old in tow, so a trip for two was in the stars.

once we decided on the north shore, we started looking for places to stay. although i love the idea of luxury hotels, i never seem to end up there. tony and i tend to be drawn to more, kitch-homey vibes (remember when we stayed in a treehouse in Big Sur?). after reading far to many travel blogs i stumbled upon the Hanalei Surfboard House. the owner of this super fabulous establishment is a retired music producer from the UK (he even signed RADIO HEAD!) simon potts, has three bungalow apartments that he books for no less than three nights (but he gave us three nights because he is just so sweet! ;-) we stayed in the elvis sweet. it was decked out with elvis memorabilia, a full kitchen and bath, seating area, beautiful secluded patio, and a crazy comfy king bed. he stocks the bathroom with local soaps and shampoos and the kitchen with local coffee! our house was a ten minute walk to downtown hanalei and a two minute walk to the beach. perfect!

we didn't have much on the agenda (except for a non-negotiable hike along the na pali coast). we spent the first day browsing in the downtown boutiques, napping, and going to a fabulous dinner at Postcards Cafe (it was the best dinner of our vaca).

the second day was our active one. we hiked, swam in the ocean, and took a leisurely walk downtown to dinner. i showered like THREE times a day, because it's the rainy island after all, and they aren't on drought alert! i also slept throughout the night all three nights we were there, and woke up to wild roosters in the morning.




on the third day we spend the entire time at Tunnels beach near the Na Pali coast. i attempted to snorkel but the waves were so huge that i got knocked around more times than i'd like to admit. so, i put the snorkel gear away and body surfed for three hours. it was amazing. tony laughed every single time i got  pummeled by waves, and i went into lifeguard mode every time he got pummeled by waves.


we ate sushi for lunch at Sushigirl every day we were there. it was hands down the best sushi we've ever tasted. i am craving it right now, actually.

i'm sort of a homebody by nature, so travel is a little stressful for me. what i have discovered is that i do best when i stay in one area- make it my own. explore the in's and out's until i have uncovered all that is  about one particular area. it makes me feel at home, even when i'm far away on a tiny island. that's what we did in Hanalei. we stayed there the entire time. we loved it!

a quick note about travel without kids. tony and i felt that we really wanted/needed some time to recharge together. it was so special, so needed. we went through the list of 36 questions to make you fall in love, and had beautiful conversation and attention with each other for four full days. it was absolutely wonderful. we missed the little's, of course. but we loved the alone time. it's something that we have tried to do once a year since we brought easton into our little family and i hope that we will continue this. our marriage is the most important part of this family. it holds everything together. we have to have as much focus and attention on it as we do our children. with that said. i was like a magnet to every single little child on the island. i found myself cooing over little babies and laughing at toddlers. i wanted to be seated near them in restaurants and on the plane! crazy, i know. life without kids, it's less colorful, now.

 xo

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

road trip: huntington beach



easton, sailor, and i took a little road trip this week. our dear friends moved to huntington beach (and broke our hearts) in january and we've been looking forward to getting down there to see their new digs. (the digs are amazing…by the way)!

we arrived in huntington beach early evening on sunday and started playing immediately. we drove to lego land on monday and had a great time riding the rides, digging for dino bones in the sand pit, and playing with the HUGE legos in the playground.




karen and i had some quality/distracted catch up time. we talked about motherhood, work, household tricks, and sleeping arrangements with the little ones (karen and brian sleep separately, one with their daughter and one with their son. while tony and i have allowed easton to sleep with us every single night for the last three months. eek!)

on the last day, the kids played in THIS jumpy house for three straight hours (naked, of course). our children love each other so much- they play so well together and giggle and joke and pretend. there is nothing more fabulous than watching deep friendships blossom in such tiny little beings.

on our way home, we stopped by Moon Juice to buy myself a few days worth of a cleanse (that was BIG BUCKS). we ate chia pudding, drank strawberry nut milk, and looked at amazing crystals that (hopefully) gave us good vibes for our drive home!


what a great trip. can't wait to do it again!!

here are a few road trip tips:

one. bring special snacks. hand them off when the kids start to get fussy.
two. take a couple breaks. we stopped at a rest stop and played a game of cards, explored, and ate watermelon mints.
three. don't sweat the small stuff. kids fuss. they whine. it's not my job to keep them in perfect spirits the entire time- it's my job to react with respect and patience.
four. when a baby cries from hollywood to los banos- put in ear plugs. don't stress.
five. stop at walmart in (God knows where) and buy baby advil (in case sailor is crying because of a sore tooth) and let children choose toys. when easton choses a pink rainbow care bear, smile because he is so sweet. sailor chose the brown one (tender heart, bear).
six. jelly beans.
seven. two shows on my phone- easton got to watch two shows. the end.

i can't believe that i didn't get ONE picture of the kids with their pals (or karen and i)!!! we were having too much fun to stop for photos…

xo

Saturday, March 21, 2015

notes on parental love.



the other day i was reading my favorite children's book to easton. the book is called, "mama do you love me?" for some reason (maybe it's the co-dependent in me), i have loved that book my entire life. my mom read it to me, and as soon as i had easton i began reading it, nightly, to him. i have a beautiful framed print of the book hanging in my room, and my mom gave me a pin (of the mama from the story), at sailor's baby shower.


when i read "mama do you love me?" to easton the other night, i thought about just how much i love my two little boys. it's a lot. obviously, as a parent, you expect to love your children; but it's hard to pin point just how weight of this love permeates our being.

this thought crossed my mind; "does easton love me as much as i love him?" the answer i found is, no. no. he can't. he won't. ever. but that's okay.

i will never love my parents with as much intensity as my parents love(d) me. but i love my children as much as my parents do/did. maybe, all we can do as parents is teach our children about love, respect, adoration, discipline- so that one day, when they have children of their own, they are able to feel the same way about their kids as we do about ours.

i might never be able to feel the same intensity of love towards my mom as she feels towards me- but i get to direct that same love straight onto my children. where it needs to be. one day, they will do the same. it's a beautiful thing, this intense, parental love.


Friday, February 20, 2015

i've been eating, cooking, reading, browsing, and buying…

i've been eating: lot's of semi healthy stuff. which is semi normal for me. i've decided to work on consuming less carbohydrates during each meal- i'm sort-of following a diabetes diet. 45 grams of carbs at each meal and 15 grams during snacks. i'm not following this precisely, but i'm working on it. i don't eat meat/poultry very often so it's easy for me to eat LOT'S of carbs if i'm not careful. we still get Plated deliveries every week, which is awesome for mixing up the recipes and eating new dishes. we really love it.

i've been cooking: the last meal i cooked (yesterday) was quinoa fried rice with carrots, scallions, onion, ginger, garlic, and egg whites. it was really good. that's a dish i make quite often. we make pizza every friday night with easton- so that was tonight's meal. i ate two small slices of that with veggie spring rolls from whole foods (my go-to friday night dinner).

i've been reading: i just finished Traveling Mercies by Anne Lammot. Annie is a new york times best seller, and happens to be my kid's sunday school teacher. she's a long time member at our tiny church and one of the best writers in the world. she's amazing. read any one of her 15 books. they will blow your mind.

i've been browsing: i'm always browsing, aren't i? well, lately i've been trying to keep my browsing to a minimum. i gave up shopping (of any kind, except groceries) for lent. but, i've been looking for the perfect purse for some time now. i've found one. i want it. i won't be buying it. here it is, if you wanna take a look. it's beautiful, no? (i love Clare Vivier bags).

i've been buying: well. see above. since i'm not currently shopping, i'll tell you what i bought last month. a trip to hawaii in March. also, i went on a lulu lemon shopping spree and bought three yoga tops and three pairs of leggings. so that's that.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

dear, body.



dear body,

i want to take some time to acknowledge YOU.

let me start by saying how thankful i am for you. you've been through a lot over the last thirty years, and i've just been sitting inside your head, thinking about all the ways i'd change you.

i'd also like to apologize. i'm sorry for all of the food restriction, food binging, and all of the sugary deserts i throw at you time and time again. i know those kidneys have worked really hard to regulate all the crazy food i've given you over the years. i'm sorry for the waist trainers and spanx- those must be uncomfortable. i'm sorry for all the alcohol and the nicotine. i'm sorry for the tattoos and piercings.

i must confess that over the years i haven't given much thought to the aluminum that's in the deodorant/antiperspirant i've applied to you…that can't be good for you. i've covered you up with makeup and whitened your teeth with unnatural products more times than i can count. i've never given you the opportunity to be good enough. i've never accepted you just as you are. for all of that, i am so sorry.

you are amazing.

wow. you've grown two children in your body. you've fed and nourished both of those children after giving birth to them. you healed the shattered ankle and became more fit and more active than you ever were before that break. you swam alcatraz. you have hiked more mountains than my little mind can remember and you've run great distances- just for the hell of it. you stood on your feet through years of working retail and didn't complain (well, almost never).

thank you for telling me when it's time to relax, even though i don't ever like to shut off this brain of mine. thank you for bouncing back from all of the sunburns over the years. i'm really sorry about those. i've spent so much time trying to make you more beautiful, more fit, more accepted. you are beautiful. you are strong and poised. you are my better half. over the years i have been more focused on myself than i've ever been on you.

i need you to know how grateful i am. how amazed i am at your ability to heal, nourish, give life, run, hike, swim, bend, flex, and carry. you've held my children in your arms thousands of times. you've wiped their tears and jumped on beds with them. thank you for flying kites with easton and swimming with sailor. thank you for working with me during our yoga classes. thank you for remembering to breath in and out.

you are something you be honored and treated like a temple. i will work on loving you as you deserve to be loved.

love,
mind







dear mind,

we're partners. that's what i'm here for.

but, i could do without the spanx.

love,
body
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