40 Things Before 40

14 Sep

Today’s my birthday. I’m 35! I am very excited about this age and about what the year ahead holds. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a list of 40 things to do before I turn 40 — things that are do-able in the next five years. But coming up with 40 things is hard! Here’s my list so far:

1. Run a 5K

2. Go to Europe again

3. Write a book (doesn’t have to be published, but I have a lot of ideas and I’d like to get at least one of them out on paper!)

4. Learn to swim

5. Watch the “Before Sunrise” trilogy

6. Get highlights (in my hair; not the magazine)

7. Take a trip to Mexico City

8. Start a scholarship to help low-income students study abroad

9. Volunteer in Michaela’s classroom on a regular basis

10. Not only schedule a regular date night with Mike each month, but actually make it happen!

What would you add?

Michaela’s First Sleepover

16 Aug

Michaela was all set tonight to sleepover at her friend A’s house. She was excited leading up to it, but nervous. Still, when we left her to go to her friend’s, it seemed like everything was okay. Then the phone rang at about 9:30 and I knew all was not well. Turns out Michaela was sad, said she was “missing [us] too much.” Awwww.

I asked her if she wanted me to go pick her up, so she could come home and sleep here and she said yes, so I headed to our friends’. On the way, I thought I’d try to calm her down, get her to go to sleep, and maybe it would be okay. So that’s what I tried. Except our normal bedtime routine at home involves rocking her to sleep (yes, even at the age of 4.5) or snuggling with her in bed. That’s how I ended up laying on the trundle bed with Michaela, turning the 2 kids sleepover into a 3-person sleepover.

Michaela eventually fell asleep and I left, but it made me think about the things we do for our kids. And the things we do for our kids which may or may not help them in the long run. I don’t know that trekking out in the middle of the night to lay with her was a good thing, but I do think that helping her be proud that she made it there through the night, conquering her fear, waking up the next morning and having fun… is a good thing. I guess time will tell.

A new leaf?

viagra 11 Aug

Mike, Michaela and I are just back from a trip to Kansas, for Mike’s brother’s wedding. I did something I’ve never done before on vacation– made it a point to exercise! I’ve been going to pilates faithfully for the last several weeks and didn’t want to lose that momentum while I was gone. So I did two days of the Couch to 5K app – running! yes, me, running! – and went to a yoga class while I was in Kansas. Maybe this habit is going to stick? I hope so!

Making Time

31 Jul

I’ve been to pilates six times in the last 19 days. The first class I went to, I was SO SORE. I couldn’t move my arms after, and each time I so much as sneezed, I groaned involuntarily. It kicked my butt! But I guess that’s what happens when you go back to exercising after more than two years without it. It feels good to make time for exercise, and to make time for myself!

Garden Update

20 Jul

This year’s garden is doing amazingly well. We’ve got so many tomatoes, I gave some away to the neighbors. I have two honeydew melons that are close to ready. My pumpkin–or maybe it’s a watermelon?–is getting bigger. Will it turn orange? We’ll see!

Soon, we’ll be eating fresh broccoli and carrots. I might make some tzatziki with my dill. We just got our first red strawberry– and I’ve never heard anyone as excited as Michaela was when she spotted it.

My peas, peppers, grapes and blackberries are coming along.

I love summer!

How You’ve Grown!

20 Jul

Since taking my current job about two years ago, the amount of work travel I do has dropped to almost none. Mike travels a decent, amount, though. Some months, it seems like we’re in a constant state of flux, with one of us (usually him) coming or going practically every week. We’ve traveled a lot since the spring- I’ve taken multiple trips to the Bay Area, Mike and I did an East Coast extravaganza, our family traveled together to Oklahoma, Mike was in New Orleans for about a week, etc.

I’m fresh off a rip to Baltimore, where I presented at an industry conference. And even though I was able to talk to Michaela on the phone and do some video chatting with her and Mike, I still can’t get over how much it seems like she grew during the six days I was gone. Mike and Michaela were sweet enough to surprise me at the airport, and I feel like I almost didn’t recognize the big girl who came barreling into me while I waited for my bags. She seemed taller somehow, and even more verbal. It really hits home how much of a sponge kids are, how quickly they change, and how lucky I am to get to spend quality time with Michaela.

Shirley

20 Jul

Mike’s Grandma Shirley–his stepdad’s mother–died today. I didn’t know her incredibly well, but every encounter I had with her was very pleasant. She was kind to me, and doted on Michaela.

She will be missed.

Independence Day Weekend

6 Jul

How lovely to have a holiday fall on a Friday! This year, the 4th of July was on Friday, meaning I got the day off from work and then rolled into a gorgeous long weekend.

Mike’s cousins Maggie and Haley (and Haley’s boyfriend Aaron) came to visit us from Arizona, so we did something we don’t usually do: went to some San Diego tourist hot spots during the summer. Usually, like many locals, we lay low in the summertime. Let the “Zonies” visit the zoo and clog our beaches. We can enjoy them the rest of the year, when the weather is still beautiful but things are less crowded.

Our guests wanted to go to the beach on the 4th, but we are not totally insane and begged off. Instead they went, finding parking who knows how far away from the beach, and marveled at how crowded it was and how perfect the water temperature was. (They also came back sunburned and exhausted.)

We did take them to the San Diego Bay that night, though, to watch the fireworks. I’ve never done that, preferring to watch fireworks from somewhere less crowded (the roof of our house when I was a kid, then the patio of our house when Mike and I lived in Grant Hill). But it was really fun! We packed a great picnic dinner, Michaela was well-rested from a long afternoon nap, and we sat right on the water’s edge, watching four or five different fireworks displays.

The 5th of July saw us take them to Old Town for dinner at The Cosmopolitan, which we’d been past before but never eaten at. I really wanted to dine at Fiesta de los Reyes, but the two hour wait got me off that idea really quick. Good thing, too, because the food at The Cosmopolitan was delicious (among other things, Mike had the fried chicken and churros I had a porkchop, plus really flaky popovers with fig butter) and the courtyard we ate in was quaint. I can’t wait to eat there again!

We rounded off the touristy long weekend with a trip to Coronado today. We had brunch at a coffee shop that we’ve passed a million times but never eaten in (verdict: meh) and then walked down to the Del. We wandered through the lobby and past the shops, then out on the the beach. Our guests were dutifully impressed by the great cooling breeze and the massive sand castles someone had built, and Michaela had a blast digging holes and burying her feet in the sand.

Here’s to independence!

In My Garden

28 Jun

Each year, I plant some veggies in our garden, and generally speaking, each year I am really bad about watering it. That’s why this year, I made a plan! Sure, I could have planned to water regularly. But instead, I decided to rip out (well, have Mike rip out) some of the rose bushes in our back yard that were fed by sprinklers. The result is a space where I can plant things, secure in the knowledge that they’d get some water every other day for five minutes at 5:30 a.m.

Our house has two grapefruit trees and three orange trees. The basil and rosemary I planted last year are doing great. The blackberries, grapes, and eggplant I planted last year didn’t ever produce fruit, but I think they will this year.

This year, I added:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

I have several tomato plants that are “volunteers” from last year’s crops, and at least two gourds that are left over from last year. I am pretty sure one is a pumpkin, but it may also be honeydew, and the other one may be more zucchini. I guess I’ll see soon enough!

Just call me Farmer John!

Her name is Rio

1 Jun

I wrote before about being excited for it to be summer. This weekend was a great example of why.

Yesterday (Saturday) morning, I took Michaela to a hip hop dance class. Her friend A. was there, too, which was great because Michaela wasn’t really into it. She was upset when I wanted to leave, but I knew if I stayed, she wouldn’t try. So A.’s mom and I heading to a coffee shop and grabbed some tea while the girls boogied.

In the evening, we went to our friends’ S. and A.’s house for a play date. Michaela hung out with the girls’ dad while their mom and I went to pick up Rubio’s, then the kids played while the adults watched some basketball. (That’s extra nice for me, since Mike and I don’t have cable and I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to watch the game.)

Today (Sunday), we were going to go to the outlets, but our neighbor from across the street came over saying his granddaughter L. was there, and asking if we wanted to have a play date. Michaela of course said yes, so L. came over and the girls had a picnic, played dress up, and otherwise hung out. L.’s grandmother came over and invited Michaela to go with them to the movies to see “Rio 2,” an offer we gladly accepted. They went off to watch the movie while Mike and I went out to lunch and did some open housing. So fun!

Once we were all back, it was time to head to F.’s house for a swim party and BBQ. Michaela and two of her friends swam and ate hot dogs and even watched a bit of “Frozen.” The grown ups ate and drank and chatted– and Mike flew his helicopter, taking video and (mostly) showing it off. It was lovely.

Here’s to many, many more weekends just like this one!

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