Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Sunday night we were all tired. We stayed up late Saturday having fun with friends. We worked outside in the heat on Sunday most of the day. I wanted to be done parenting, feeding, preparing and cleaning. But I wasn't done. I was cleaning up dinner and making lunches. Casey sat down with some cookies and milk at the table and seconds later the milk was everywhere.  I didn't yell. I told Casey to grab a towel and start cleaning up. But I was breathing hard and visibly upset. 

Erik, who had been somewhere in the back of the house, came out, saw me and said, "Are you frustrated Mom?"  I told him, yes, I was frustrated, but not at Casey or anyone. I was just upset at the mess and I was tired. Erik walked over  and hugged me and told me it was going to be OK.

Erik was right. I found some energy in my reserves and read to Casey for a bit. It was good for us to have a cuddle and a good read. 

We can respond with love and kindness. We just have to practice.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Five. New. Trees

I love Sunday mornings when we are able to stay in our jammies awhile and move slow and snuggle.
Erik loves to snuggle in the morning. He jumps in with me and most of the time falls right back to sleep. Sweet boy.
After a bit of relaxing on Sunday, we jumped in the truck and headed to Green Acres to buy five crepe myrtle trees. The Green Acres on Jackson had three. I drove to the Roseville location later in the day and got the other two. Oh yes, some perennials somehow wound up in my cart too. I got those in the ground while Pedar worked for hours in the heat planting the trees. 
Man, I wish yesterday was cooler. It was so muggy and hot. 
Great job, Pedar! Thank you for making my vision a reality. 
Erik made clay balls out of the wet clay soil.

All in!! Some day these trees will hide our neighbors solar panels and the other neighbors house. Come on, rain. Come on.
We're coming for you next dead tree and privet area. We have been slowly cleaning this area out and soon it will be a vegetable/fruit tree/chicken coop area. Oh yeah, chickens are coming soon!

We are going to make this unloved, overgrown, dead tree space into something like this.

Last night Pedar took these pictures of the rare red blood moon

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Was looking through photos the other day and came across these oldie but goodies. Casey and Jacob in October of 2006. They were almost two-years-old and so adorable. Casey still hadn't had his first haircut. His hair was so fine and wispy. Now, it is like a pelt.
Cheers buddy. I love you, man. Lord knows these two will be toasting to more than apple juice in a few years. It has been pure joy to watch Jacob grow up. We love him so much. I remember the day I saw them pull up to the house next door. I was pushing Casey on the little swing on the porch. I saw them pull Jacob out of his car seat and my heart smiled. I prayed they would buy the house. Prayers answered.
I love you, Melanie. I am so lucky to have you by my side through this Mom experience. You are my constant. You had my heart the moment we met, but when you put a lemon drop on my doorstep, well, I was done for.
 This is the year Pedar tried a goatee. I like him better without the face fur. That's not true, I like him all the time no matter what!
These two will be eleven years old soon. Oh goodness.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hard Work

Casey is trying out for the Jazz band on Friday. His teacher asked him to audition and he was excited. He feels like he may not be good enough, but we think if he practices a little more, he will be just fine. I'm not sure he wants to put in the work to learn the new songs. But I know he will be disappointed if he doesn't get in the jazz band. 

He wants something. He wants it to happen. He wishes he could just get into jazz band with the skills he has right now, but he needs to practice more. He has to do the work. 

Yep. Work is what makes it happen. Whatever your IT is.We may not always want to do the work. But if we want things to change, we have to work at it.

He only has two more days to practice. I don't want him to have any regrets. If he puts in the work and still doesn't get in, than he'll be OK. I just know that when I didn't prepare enough for something, and I flopped, I only had me to blame.  And that feeling sucks.

There are only so many opportunities. I want him to learn to be ready to pounce when they are presented.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It's none of my business what you think of me

Here in an excerpt from Marc Chernoff's article, 11 ways to uncomplicate your life

  1. Learn from the past, and then get the heck out of there! 
  2. Focus on what’s truly important.  
  3. Focus on being productive, not being busy. 
  4. Give what you want to receive. – You get the best out of others, and every situation, when you give the best of yourself.  Start practicing the golden rule.  If you want love, give love.  If you want friends, be friendly.  If you want money, provide value.
  5. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Don’t try to be friends with everyone.  Cultivate closer relationships with fewer people. 
  6. Do what you know in your heart is right.  Integrity is the essence of everything.  
  7. Organize your space. – Start clearing clutter.  Get rid of stuff you don’t use and then organize what’s left.  
  8. Be efficient. – Stop being inefficient simply because you’ve always done it that way.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Instead, streamline your life by finding better ways of handling common tasks.  
  9. Let things be less than perfect. – Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have, and all the problems you know you don’t have.  
  10. Let go of needless drama and those who create it. – Never create unnecessary drama, and don’t surround yourself with those who do.  Choose people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Don’t walk away from negative people, RUN!  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.
  11. Forget what everyone else thinks and wants for you. – One of the greatest freedoms is simply not caring what everyone else thinks of you. The best thing you can do is follow your heart.  Take risks.  Don’t just accept the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what others will think, or afraid of what might happen.  If you do, nothing will ever happen.  

"Live your own life, for you will die your own death."--Latin proverb

Monday, September 21, 2015

Everyone's heart is something

This precious six-year-old shares with her Mom how she thinks her divorced parents should treat one another. Beautiful reminder that everyone's heart matters and we all make mistakes but we can choose to be nice and not mean.

Mum, are you ready to be his friend? 
Try not to be that high up, to be friends.
I want everything to be low, okay? Just try your best, alright?.
I don't want you and my dad to be replaced, and... mean again.

I want you and my dad to be placed, and settled and be friends.
I'm not trying to be mean, I just want everyone to be friends.
And if I can be nice, I think all of us can be nice too. 
I'm not trying to be mean but... I'm trying to do my best in my heart – nothing else than that.
I want you; mum, my dad – everyone – to be friends, 
I want everyone to be smiling, not like being mad.
I want everything...
Smile. When I see someone, I want them to smile,  especially nana.
Everyone. I want everyone to smile. 

And if that's for my dad, and you, mum, I think you can do it. I think you can settle your mean heights, down a little -  to short heights, then it's both, okay?
I'm not trying to be mean, I'm not trying to be a bully.
I'm trying to be steady, on the floor. 
Not way down - on the straight, on the middle where my heart is.

My heart is something - everyone else's heart is something too.
And if we live in a world where everyones being mean, 
There will be (nothing but) monsters in the future.
What if there's just a little bit of a person (left) And they're eat(ing away) at them.
Then no one will ever be here, only the monsters in our place.

We need everyone to be a person.
Everyone – including me. Any my mum. Everyone.
I just want everything to be settled down.
Nothing else. 
I just want everything to be good as possible. 
Nothing else.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Where are you right now?

I just got to soccer practice with Erik. I raced from work to pick up the boys from the dentist. My mom thankfully took them to their appointments for me today. 

When I pulled up to the dentist office, Casey skipped towards me singing, "Erik has a cavity and I don't! He needs to floss more. Mom, you need to make me an orthodontist appointment, OK?"

Sure, I'll get right on that, but now I need to race your brother home, get his cleats and shin guards on and race to practice. Oh you're hungry? Great!

Now we're at practice. Casey is sitting in the front seat of my car doing his homework. His legs are propped up on the dash and he is pushing loud farts out. I am trying to not pinch him. I've already told him to knock it off. He isn't reading the directions for his homework so he is constantly asking me questions. Why does he not read directions? Why?!!!!!!

Practice is over now and I tried to leave but I must have drained the battery while we were sitting in the car so we can't leave. Pedar will come give us a jump. This day will end eventually.

Today is a good day for a good day. I'm not a quitter! I will have a good day damnit. Hope your day is going splendidly!! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How the seesaw can save the world

How the seesaw can save the world 
By: Bruce Kasanoff

"Every healthy civilization, organization, and team works like a seesaw.

Sometimes you’re in control, and sometimes you’re not. Sometimes you are hanging high in the air, trapped and at the other person’s mercy, because s/he thought it would be funny to lean backward and control your fate.

Each of you is dependent on the other, giving them your trust… because both of you know that if you jump off while the other person is in the air, that person will slam to the ground.

Here’s the important part:
In a healthy society, power never vests with one interest to the exclusion of all others. That’s called a dictatorship. It is what sparks civil wars, and breaks apart partnerships.

If your group or opinion is out of favor, you can probably tolerate the state of affairs as long as you know that eventually your way will get another try.

Things fall apart when you think that you will always be trapped at the bottom (or the top, whichever you fear the most). The seesaw needs to keep moving. In too much of our world, the seesaw is stuck. Someone is at the top, and someone is at the bottom.

Likewise, businesses stop functioning properly when one skill set or functional area takes complete control. A firm that is all about execution and never about imagination will eventually lose the interest of its customers. The reverse is also true; a team that spends all its time dreaming will never bring anything worthwhile to market.

The same is true for your career and your life. If you always have to be up, you will never be successful at working with others. If you have to win every debate, you will eventually run out of people who are willing to be in the same room with you.

The more power you accrue… the bigger your ego grows… the easier it becomes to forget about the Seesaw Principle. You have to be willing to let power, ideas, energy and control go back and forth.
This sounds like such an obvious observation, except that it is widely ignored or forgotten. 

Read the news headlines. In so many parts of the world, the seesaw is stuck. It’s tempting to think something is wrong “over there”, until you sit in an endless meeting and realize the seesaw is stuck over here, too.

Yes, I’m mixing the trivial with the life-threatening. A rigid boss is not the same as a family forced to flee their home to survive. But the same principle often applies to both circumstances: power has ceased to shift smoothly back and forth.

True, life is slightly more complicated than a playground seesaw. Sometimes the other person or group will be in control longer than you might wish, and the reverse can be true. That’s okay.

What matters is that the other person perceives that you are engaged in a back and forth process that ultimately will benefit you both. Viewed this way, you arrive at a startling conclusion: you want power to shift away from you. On a regular basis, you want things to go the other way, rather than your way. This is how you keep the system functioning.

Once you understand the Seesaw Principle, you abandon the desire to win 100% of the time. For society, that is a very good thing. Spread the word. The seesaw can save the world."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend went way too fast. Always does doesn't it? I was ready to flop into bed on Friday when I got home from work and not wake till Monday, but after an hour at home, I rallied. Saturday morning we headed out to watch Erik in his soccer game. He assisted in a goal and the Vikings won!!
Erik absolutely LOVES soccer. Although this is only his first year playing, he played so much with his friends in Kindergarten, and because of the soccer summer camp, he really understands the game. Casey played for three years and he never loved it like this. It is so much more fun when your kid actually likes the sport. He can't wait to get his uniform on for practice and games. Of course it doesn't hurt that our coaches are crazy wonderful.

Pedar went through a soccer coach training course this summer. He is having a great time helping Erik's team.

We managed to do a bit of yard work, but it was so hot and smoky outside from the fires, that we tried to stay inside as much as we could.  We had Ferno staying with us this weekend. She enjoyed swimming and hanging out with the kids.

We celebrated my Dad's Birthday with a delicious brunch on Sunday morning. Enjoyed spending time with Liam, Lila, Bridget and Chuck.  Margery and Rita left over a week ago to Lithuania for a month to visit with Art's parents. She is sending emails and is enjoying her visit.

Last night Pedar and I went to the Center for Land-Based Learning Dinner on the Farm event in West Sacramento.  Thank you so much to Melanie for watching the boys. They had such a great time at her house!!

I thought we were going to be a little miserable outside in the smoke and heat, but it was a beautiful event and we met some wonderful folks.

Back to it today. Digging deep to make it a great week!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Happy Anniversary!

I want to wish my parents a Happy 44 years and Bridget and Chuck a Happy 10 years!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. We are toasting you and sending you love and hugs!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Stitch Fix number 3

I received my third Stitch Fix box this week. I made a note online to the stylist that for this fix I wanted dark jeans, black pants and a jacket or cardigan in preparation for cooler weather. It is 106 today. Where are you cool weather? Where are you???

 Love the black pants and fun top. 
You can't really tell, but these are dark, skinny jeans. They are a little tight, but with the right top, they will be great. This fix included the necklace and cardigan as well. I love the necklace but the asymmetrical cardigan didn't look great zipped or unzipped, so I sent it back.

If you decide to try Stitch Fix, please use my referral link. For each person who signs up and orders a Fix, I will get $25 in Stitch Fix credit!  

Stitch Fix 1 post 
Stitch Fix 2 post

Oh! Had to share that I picked up my new glasses today! I've had reading glasses for several years now but Pedar's recent new glasses inspired me to go get an eye exam. It had been four years since my last exam and wowza, my prescription has changed quite a bit. I've been noticing on my drive home from work how tired my eyes are and I've also had to enlarge the font on my phone A LOT. As soon as I put the glasses on there was a HUGE improvement in how much I could see! Woot Woot.

I worked with a film production crew all day yesterday at the hospital. They are creating a short video for us to show the world the magic that happens within these hospital walls. So many people have no idea where Shriners is (across the street from UC Davis Hospital since 1997!!) or what kinds of care we provide children. I am really hoping this video helps us get the word out, so our community can brag about the awesome work that happens at the hospital, and children that have a condition we can help find there way to Shriners!!

Read about the amazing dance party that happened this week!! 

I am so lucky to work hereHave a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dad

Hope you have a great Birthday, Dad! Hope you watch a few Bill Murray movies and laugh!!! I love you. 
Here are a couple scenes from Bill Murray movies that we love. Who are we kidding, we love them all! 

  "You have to take a chance. You have to get involved. There are people having a hard time having their miracle happen. I get it now. If you give, then the miracle can happen to you!!"

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Thank you for trusting me with this

Next time someone shares something with me that maybe I don't agree with or it makes me angry or concerned, I am going to take a moment and then say, "Thank you for trusting me with this."

What a gift it is to be trusted.

Every time someone shares something, they are trusting you. 

This one will be hard with the kids because I just want to jump in with advice. Sometimes I don't like what they are telling me about a choice they made. But I want them to keep sharing their stories with me, so I need to shut up and say, "Thank you for trusting me with this." 

I'm going to try and talk less and just be there. 

Just be. 
Just love. 
Just listen. 

I can ASK if they want my help. I don't have to jump in and help or offer advice. If they ask for help, I'll give it. If they don't, I'll just keep listening and loving and being there. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

This is Sebastian. He is one of the Pet Therapy dogs at Shriners. I ran into him on my way out of the hospital on Friday and just had to take his picture. He is a Great Pyrenees and so sweet. His owner brings him to the hospital to visit the kids every other Friday. Before he can visit he has to be groomed. Can you imagine blow drying this big guy? Me neither.
I got home Friday and quickly tossed some clothes in a bag to head to Tahoe. Thanks Nana and Pops for watching Curly for us! We arrived by 8 p.m. Traffic was much lighter than I thought it would be. Woot Woot!
 We woke up the next morning and headed out for a hike along the ridge of Mt. Tallac.
 Erik enjoying hugging a tree.
It was much hotter than we thought it would be.
When we got back to the cabin later that day, Gavin, Pedar, Annika, Dagny, Dean and Ferno had arrived.
 Pedar had fun on the slack line!

 We played disc golf behind the cabin.

 The boys brought out naked and headless barbies. I helped them out.
 Later Saturday evening we went to Chambers to watch the sunset and watch Gavin fly his quad copter. We had a great time hanging out and catching up. We missed you, Dawn. This class will be over soon! You're going to rock your exam in October! Oh yes you will!
The next day we headed over to Truckee to hang out with the Bender/Abrams at this really cool bike park.

After biking fun we went out to pizza and then we headed back down to Sacramento. On Labor Day we went to Chalk It Up and then enjoyed lunch with Nana and Papa. It was a really nice quiet Monday. Hope you had a great weekend.