Friday, July 31, 2015

Make a plan for five years from now

I loved this message from Elizabeth Gilbert today. 

Dear Ones —
So this little quote showed up on my Instagram feed the other day, and it hit me in the guts — like "OOF!"
I can't stop thinking about this idea, so I thought maybe I should share it here and open up the conversation around this concept.
First of all — does everyone understand what the quote is saying?
Here's the simpler translation:
"If you don't have a plan for where you're going to be in five years, then — after five years has passed — you will still be exactly where you are right now."
Holy cow. That's bracing.
A little scary. A little exciting.
Look — maybe you absolutely love your life, exactly where you are right now. Maybe you feel like, "If my life looks just like this in five years, then I will be the luckiest person in the world." If so — awesome! Just keep going just as you are, you blessed soul, and count your lucky stars.
But maybe you can't bear your life where it is right now. Or maybe you feel stuck and you want to shift things for yourself. Or maybe you like your life, but you dream of something new.
If you haven't put some kind of concrete plan in place for how to change things, then it is very likely that five years will pass (more quickly than you can imagine) and you will "already be there” — which is to say, you will still be right here.
So let's talk about making plans.
My wonderful husband always says that our past doesn't matter nearly as much as our PERCEPTION of our future. So let's carefully try to perceive our futures in the best possible light. If you can imagine that your future might hold some promise, some difference, some transformation...then happiness can start to grow, even in this present moment.
What might it take, to perceive a different future for yourself, five years down the line?
I've heard that the only way to make your dreams come true is to begin by writing them down. I do think this is the truth. Writing down your goals and dreams creates a disturbance in the universe — calls down the attention of your guiding spirits. Writing down your goals also causes a disturbance in your own soul — wakes you up, and makes you take notice of your own desires.
So this is my Friday challenge, everyone. Take a moment today and write down exactly where you want to be in five years. Be honest. Be brave. Be ambitious. Be aspirational.
Who do you want to be spending your time with (romantically, or otherwise) five years from now?
Where do you want to be living?
What do you want your health to look like?
What do you want your creativity to look like?
Where do you want to be working?
What do you want to have put behind you by then?
If you are dreaming of an escape plan, what might that escape plan look like?
How much money will it take to make that dream come true — REALLY?
What are you willing to give up, in order to have what you really want?
Do you honestly need all the things (and people) that you think you need, or might there be a smoother, simpler way?
And what steps can you imagine beginning to take right transport you from HERE to THERE.
Because one way or another, five years is going to pass. In half a decade, you will either be standing exactly where you are right now, or you will be standing somewhere completely new. You might even have turned into SOMEBODY completely new. (Biological science teaches us, after all, that five years from now, every cell in your body will have been replaced, and thus you will be a completely different biological entity than you are right now. Talk about a resurrection story! Pretty cool, right? So how about becoming a completely different emotional entity, as well?)
I made my list this morning: WHERE LIZ WANTS TO BE IN FIVE YEARS.
My list surprised me. My list involves getting rid of even more of my material belongings, giving more to charity, and living on a beach. My list involves a lot of travel with the people I love most. My list involves a trip to Japan. My trip involves driving across Greenland, and walking trip along the coast of New Zealand. My list involves writing for a TV show. (WHO KNEW?) Most of all, my list involves a radical emotional shift in the way I handle resentment, forgiveness, anxiety blame and shame — which might mean I need to be doing some serious work on my psyche over the next five years.
OK, then! I'm up for it!
I didn't even know I wanted all these things...but apparently I really want these things.
Now that I have seen it all written down, it has become real. Now I must work toward getting there.
What about you?
Five years from now. Picture it.
Make it real.
I'll meet you in five years, everyone — and we can compare notes!

Pedar and I wanted to move, so we made a plan and made it happen. We had to pay off our cars, our credit debt and fix up the house to sell and we did it. It took about two years of cutting back and really working towards our goal. We know making a plan works. 

The last two years we haven't made a real plan. We've just have been getting used to the bigger mortgage and the house projects that come with buying a fixer-upper. My biggest plan was to change jobs, and I did, so that's good! But now, its time to plan again. Without a plan I'm just coasting, not being deliberate, wasting time and energy. It is time to write down where I want to be in five years. Here is a bit of my five year plan: 

1. No debt, except mortgage. 
We are close to paying off our credit debt and then we need to pay back Pedar's retirement money that we borrowed for house. Thank you, Dave Ramsey. 

2. Actually have a savings. An emergency savings and one for living. We've been all right with putting money towards our retirement accounts, but our savings has never had a big hug all these years. We typically wipe it all out with a house project.Then the credit card gets too much attention and the vicious cycle repeats over and over. 

3. More travel. On an airplane. Not in a car. Somewhere FAR.

4. Not working full-time in an office. Don't really know what that looks like. Maybe I am technically still working full-time, but I want flexibilty. I want to be home more after school with kids.

5. Complete garden/landscape design. Complete classes. Receive some kind of certification.

6. College plan for kids. Put money away monthly for kids for college. Need to figure that out sooner, rather than later. We're not really on top of this at all.

7. Dance and Sing more. Need to let my freak flag fly. I love dancing. LOVE IT.

8. Be physically stronger. I want to embrace an exercise routine so I can feel more confident. I'm done being a smaller, flabby person. I want to rock some shorts and skirt. I want to feel HOT. I've wasted too many years feeling meh. 

9. Plan an adventure. Maybe we take a sabbatical in five years and live somewhere else in the world for a year. We rent or swap houses and just go and experience the world.

10. Share money, time and talents. If I can help anyone with the skills I have, I want to do that more. I have helped with resumes and writing websites. I've helped with the kids schools auction and small projects, but I want to really put myself out there and help others. I want to give more of myself. I want to feel like I am making a difference. I think I will meet so many awesome people if I put myself out there more. I know my time is limited, but I know I can find time to connect and help.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stitch Fix Number Two

I received my second Stitch Fix box and I LOVED every single item. Much better than the first box. I kind of couldn't believe it. I asked for jeans and a work dress. I received both and a super fun tank top with embellishment, a casual wrap top and a super cute bright blue pencil skirt.

Our cameras on our phones seem to be dying. Every picture lately seems dark and blurry. Bleh. Time for an upgrade soon I guess?? I need to break out my big mama camera, but I like to just quickly get the picture taking over with. Love this wrap top and the jeans were great too!
You can't really tell, but the dress is navy with a little ribbing at the waist. It is super easy to dress up or down. I like it!
I love this pencil skirt. I didn't think I would like the scallop edge, but the pockets and color make it awesome! I am growing out my bangs right now and don't love them. I'm going to keep at it though because I've never not had bangs. I am insecure about my large, pale forehead. I call it my movie screen. Maybe I'll cut off several inches the next time I get my hair cut to try and blend in the growing bangs.

Anyhoo. I love the convenience of the Stitch Fix box!!! I put my next Fix on hold until September. I am looking forward to cooler weather so I can focus on Fall and Winter clothes.

If you decide to try Stitch Fix, please use my referral link-click here or here or here or here or here. For each person who signs up and orders a Fix, I will get $25 (OH YES PLEASE!) in Stitch Fix credit! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

16 days left of Summer

This weekend we hosted a couple of Casey's friends for an overnight. We set up the tent because we thought they would want to sleep outside, but after a busy afternoon of swimming and watching Princess Bride (they chose it!!) they wanted to stay in the air conditioned house.

Erik wanted to sleep in the tent, so Pedar enjoyed an evening outside.
The boys had a great time. I think everyone is getting excited about going back to school and being with friends again.

We spent Sunday getting ready for the last camps of the Summer. Erik has soccer camp and Casey has rock climbing camp this week. We are experiencing a CRAZY heat wave in Sacramento. Today it should reach 102, tomorrow 108 and Thursday 106. Scary heat. 
Thankfully Erik's camp is done at Noon. 
Erik's best friend from preschool is in soccer camp too! I love that they have this time together.
Casey showed off some of his free-climbing skills to me this morning. 
Thank you, Mor Mor for this adorable picture of Erik and his first grade buddies!! Thank you for picking them up after camps and hanging with them till we are off of work.

Only 16 more days of Summer left. I can't wait for the Mission picnic to find out what teachers the boys have and what friends they will have in their classes. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

There are no mistakes

"There are no mistakes.... There are no wrong paths. There is no such thing as failure really. Failure is trying to move you into another direction.You get as much from your losses as you do your victories. The losses are there to wake you up. Even if you are on a detour right now and you are not at ease with yourself, that is the cue that you need to be moving in a different direction. The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself what is the next right move. Then make the next right move, then the next, and the next. Your life is bigger than that one moment. Relax. It is going to be OK."-- Oprah Winfrey

Friday, July 24, 2015

Seeing is believing

This guy right here was having trouble seeing people and PowerPoint presentations across a room. He also mentioned that seeing street signs was getting more difficult. He finally went to see an eye doctor and that doc ordered him up some spectacles lickety split! He picked them up today and he is so excited about how clearly he is seeing the world now. So happy his eyes won't have to work so hard.

Future is so bright, we have to wear shades

These two are silly! Here they are all dressed up to go the California State Fair with Nana and Papa. 
We made Shrinky Dinks! So fun!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thank you!

I have been hearing a lot of good news from friends and family lately about restored health, new jobs, new houses, babies and even love. Even this El Nino news is good.

I just want to STOP for a minute and absorb this good news and whisper my thanks! I love good news. Keep it coming, folks! What is your good news? What is making your heart feel lighter? 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lila is 6!

On Sunday we celebrated Lila's 6th Birthday! We swam all afternoon and the kids had fun with water balloons too!
Happy 6th Birthday, Lila! We love you!!

Eppies Great Race 2015

We did it! We put another Eppie's 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, in the books. Bob, Lindsey and I enjoyed gorgeous weather for the run part on Saturday. I think it was the nicest weather I have ever experienced for Eppie's. I was so grateful!! 
Bob and Lindsey did a great job on the run!! 
Look at beautiful Lindsey running like the wind!! 

When we registered many months back I had the thought that I was turning 40 and wanted to prove to myself that I was strong and able. I thought that registering to do the ironwoman would motivate me to exercise a lot. Um No. I ran twice and cycled a few times more than that. I kayaked once. I have been taking the stairs at work for the past three months and we've been cleaning out the backyard. I guess you can call that my crossfit training?

This is a picture of me walking across the bridge to the kayak. I was so happy to be done with the running and biking. Pedar walked me across the bridge and helped me pull the kayak into the river. Because I had no idea what to expect from the kayak part I was excited. I had never been through the rapids. The only place I have ever kayaked was Lake Natoma and the last time I had a kid in my lap. Thankfully, at the rapids part, there were race folks on the beach yelling instructions. It was definitely an adrenaline rush. Kayaking is so fun. The scenery was gorgeous. Wish the current was stronger. My arms and shoulders were begging for mercy at the end of the six miles. I thought the kayak would move faster. I was wrong. You have to keep paddling or you will move backwards. 

Check out this fun video of people preparing for Eppie's. It gives you an idea of the kayak part.
Very grateful for amazing support!
Dagny did a great job kayaking! Well done, sister!! 
All done! Ready to enjoy Lisa's amazing pulled pork sandwiches and her beautiful backyard!! Thank you Lisa and Jeff for opening your home and hearts every single year to the crazy Eppie's crew. We love you and are so thankful to you!! Thank you for taking care of our sleepy boys too. My favorite part of the day was sitting next to your pool and laughing with everyone!! 

Pedar and Janet were wicked fast on their bikes, took them only 40 minutes to finish 12 miles. Took me 54! Wish I had a picture of Janet.

Jeff and Lisa brought the boys out to cheer us on! It was so fun to see them!!
Loved getting hugs from the boys. I felt like I owed them an apology on Saturday. Friday night I was feeling really anxious and nervous and I lost my cool a few times with them. I got home from work and the boys and I headed to the store to get food for the Eppie's party and pick up the race packets. Pedar had an evening event so I was prepping and running interference with the kids. 

They had been inside most of the day because of the heat and were bored and fidgety. I was busy packing their bags for the next day and wishing I had prepared better physically for the event. I was doubting my ability to complete Eppie's and was beating myself up mentally. There was this family group text early in the day where I was teased that I was competitive and would kick ass. Umm No. I know how slow I am. I throw myself at these things not because of a competitive spirit, but because I like to participate. In the group text I was referred to as an "Irish Flier" and I called myself the "Irish Turtle." Pedar told the announcer my new nickname and you can hear it in the video. 

So I did it. I've learned from all these events that I can talk myself IN our OUT of completing hard things. No one can help me do it. I just had to decide to do it. It is only my mind that gets in my way. 

My next goal is not to run or bike a certain amount of miles, it is to gain some darn muscle! I'm ready for my body to enjoy some HARD results! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Permanent marker morning and Bridget's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my sister Bridget! Looking forward to celebrating you, Chuck and Lila on Sunday!! Hope you have a great day! Love you!
This morning Casey thought it would be funny to sneak into Erik's room and draw a mustache on his face in permanent marker while he was asleep. Pedar caught him sneaking out of his room. Pedar was not happy. I was pretty surprised. It isn't like Casey to be so sneaky. I immediately thought, "What movie did he watch yesterday to inspire this behavior?"

I made Casey draw a mustache on his own face. And he has to clean out his desk and the art cabinet. And he needs to unload the dishwasher and make his brother breakfast. And I will think of MORE!

I told Casey that all this stress he is causing me may make my sleepwalking habit start up again. I may accidentally walk into his room and shave his head in the middle of night. It could happen. Don't push me kid.

I'm over Summer vacation. These kids need structure. Last night we took them to Ancil Hoffman to hike and run them out. That helped. One more month of Summer to go. Need to make some plans so I don't lose my mind. Parenting is always an adventure, yes?