Anniversary Surprise

16 Sep

The last few weeks won’t go down in anyone’s books as the best ever. We had a scare that my mom’s cancer had spread into her bones, but it looks like that’s not the case and so we’ll be moving forward with a type of targeted chemotherapy. My mom called me to let me know she’d made an appointment of Sept. 24 for the procedure, which requires 1-2 nights of hospitalization (depending on how she reacts to everything). I, in turn, let Mike know. And Mike replied asking if she could put it off by a day or two.

I was floored. What a rude, insensitive thing to ask! She has been dragging her feet about having any treatment and she goes ahead and does it and he asks if we can move it? For what? I looked at the calendar and he was set to be out of town, but I didn’t see what that had to do with the procedure.

“You’ll be out of town with me” he said.


“It’s kind of a surprise. Do you want to know?”


“Are you sure?”


Well, as it turns out, Mike has been planning since July a trip for our 10th wedding anniversary. He worked with my secretary and my boss and his secretary to block three days on my calendar. He’s flying his mom and stepdad in to watch Michaela and he’s taking me to Mexico City for a five-day getaway.

I sat at my desk and cried as he told me all that. I feel like basically since the end of July, I’ve been triaging my life, just dealing with whatever was most important at that moment or on that day and letting everything else slide, including (especially) taking care of myself. So for him to have planned this trip — a trip to a place I love, that I’ve been telling him for 10 years I want to take him to, to show him where I lived and went to school — it was just so thoughtful and sweet.

And while I’d do anything for my mom, thinking we wouldn’t be able to go was a giant bummer, to say the least.

I told Mike I’d talk to my mom to see if she could move it by a day. When I called her, she said the scheduler had given her the option of Sept. 24 or sometime in October, so obviously we can’t move the appointment.

I was just about to call Mike back to tell him to cancel the plans, or to see if we could come home a day early, or I don’t know what, when he called me back to say he’d gotten the dates wrong and that we come back on Sept. 23, not the 24th, so nothing has to change at all: we can go on our trip and I can be here for my mom’s procedure!

I have spent the days since then floating on air, dreaming about our trip. I have to get through two days of work and then we’ll be off to CDMX, as people call it these days. I can’t wait!

Where to Begin?

4 Sep

Things have been insane since I last wrote.

It’s really too much to go into in detail, but the short version is, my work team has been operating at 50% capacity after one employee left and was out for a while so work has been extra busy; the house we bought needed a bunch of work; packing and moving all our stuff was a huge stressor; my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I’ve been taking her to a lot of medical appointments; and Michaela started third grade.

The good news, in no particular order, is– our new house is lovely (and will be even nicer once we’re able to fully unpack once we install floors in the two bedrooms and two living rooms downstairs). It has a hot tub and I’ve taken a couple of soaks to relax and decompress. The kitchen, our bedroom and bathroom, and Michaela’s bedroom and bathroom are unpacked, so now we can function in our daily lives. On the work front, the employee who had been out came back today and the process is underway to hire a replacement for the person who left. Michaela is rocking third grade. Her teacher said she’s “a fantastic student and an incredible helper. My mom is in good spirits, even if we don’t have a good sense yet of what her prognosis is.

I’m trying to look on the bright side of things.

Living Well

30 Jul

Michaela and I participated in our third Live Well San Diego 5K this weekend. It was super hard to wake up at the crack of dawn (we’d been out late the night before at a friend’s house) but we managed to make it on time for a team picture and then kick off the race. We finished in about an hour, which is pretty standard, and Michaela did very little complaining. The race people changed the course this year so it was much more along the water than down the middle of city streets, and I highly enjoyed that. All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I’m glad we have established this mother-daughter tradition!




Odds and Ends

23 Jul

It’s been a while!

Let’s see, what’s been going on…

Mike went to Vegas for a bachelor party so I decided to plan a little getaway of my own. Michaela and I went to Palm Springs. It was HOT but we had a blast. We did the aerial tramway, visited the Cabazon dinosaurs, played in the pool, ordered room service, and generally lounged and relaxed. I feel so lucky to be able to travel with Michaela. She’s a great companion and we have a ton of fun together.

My college roomie (hi, Way!) and her sister (hi, May!) came into town and we enjoyed catching up over dessert at Extraordinary Desserts. I love that place, but more importantly, it was so nice to spend time with my old friends! We’ve known each other since 1996 so when we get together, we pick up right where we left off last time we were together.

We went to Oklahoma for our annual trip with Mike’s family. We were 12 people (one nephew was missing, but we’ve added one since last year) and it was as fun as usual. Michaela went tubing, I read four books, we all slept in late and ate like gluttons.

I attended a conference for work in Orange County. This is a national conference so is in different places each year; it was nice to not have to go too far this time. Mike’s close friend from college is now working in school PR after nearly two decades in TV news and he attended the conference, so Mike and Michaela came up one night and we all went to dinner together. It was really lovely.

We bought a new house! It’s in the same neighborhood where we currently live, but on a much quieter street. The house is much bigger than our current home and backs on to a lovely, peaceful canyon. It’s on a street full of families with kids, including a couple Michaela knows from school.

We’ll be selling our current house. We have now bought three homes, but this will be the first time selling one. I’m nervous!

Before that, though, we have to finish packing, make the changes we want at the old house, and get this place ready to sell. At least I’ll have a good excuse for not blogging too much here!


June Happenings

26 Jun

Where did June go?!?

This month, Michaela finished second grade.



She missed the last day of school, though, because she and Mike jetted off to Colorado the day before school ended. Mike headed off to Greely to work while Michaela had a rockin’ week with her nana and papa and I enjoyed blissful solitude. The highlight of each day for me was talking to Michaela and hearing about her adventures. They had a fancy meal at a steakhouse for Father’s Day (“I had a ceasar salad and a blueberry-herb sorbet palate cleanser that was soooo good, and a New York Strip Steak that was overcooked but I ate it anyway, and coconut creme brulee!”), did a gathering with my mother-in-law’s extended family, saw “The Incredibles 2,” painted in Papa’s art studio, baked banana bread (Michaela told me she liked mine better! I was shocked.), went to the mountains for a picnic (and there was still snow!), and generally had a great time. Michaela eventually flew – solo – from Denver to Austin, TX, where she met Mike, who had flown there for another gig. They spent a couple of days enjoying Austin: tubing, kayaking, watching the bats, eating at Waffle House, etc. It sounded like a really fun getaway!

I have been super busy at work. We are in the middle of a re-branding effort and last week launched a whole new logo, mission statement, tagline, and more. So I’ve been working long days (which was made easier by the fact that Mike and Michaela were gone for 10 days). I found out I am a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award and won three awards from the National School Public Relations Association. So all is well on that front!

Last weekend, we hiked Cowles Mountain as a family. Its summit is the highest point in the City of San Diego. The trail we took had a high degree of difficulty, and I honestly thought I was going to die at one point (not because my legs hurt but because I was dehydrated and started feeling really dizzy). When we made it to the top, though, all that was forgotten. It was beautiful and I was so proud that we had all done it together!

We held the 2nd annual block party for our street, which was super fun. Mike pulls permits and we close our street from 2 to 10 p.m. The kids run wild on bikes and scooters, there was an inflatable waterslide, we ate like pigs (carne asada and pollo asado tacos, brats, tri tip, grilled corn, pot stickers, a million desserts, ice cream… the list goes on an on), some neighbors put up an outdoor screen and hosted a movie in their front yard. People came not only from our street but also from a couple of surrounding ones. It’s a really lovely way to build community. We’re lucky Mike had the idea and puts in the work to make it happen!

We’ve got a few days left in the month and then it will be July. On the agenda: our annual trip to Oklahoma, the National School Public Relations Association conference in Orange County (CA), zoo camp for Michaela, and hopefully more adventures!

If It Weren’t for You, Mom

1 Jun

As the school year ends, kids always come home with lots of written pieces, old tests, corrected homework, etc. Michaela yesterday brought me something I assume was intended to be a Mother’s Day exercise. When I read it, I was thankful she didn’t give it to me!

If It Weren’t for You, Mom

By Michaela, Age 8

If it weren’t for you, Mom, I could eat lots and lots of candy

If it weren’t for you, Mom, I could watch TV all day

If it weren’t for you, Mom, I could stay home and play

If it weren’t for you, Mom, I could stay up late

But if it weren’t for you, Mom, I would not have someone to make me lunch everyday.

Weekend Fun

20 May

We’re at the point in the year where every weekend is full of plans– fun, but so busy!

Last Friday, Mike and I went to a Padres game. The following day, we took Michaela and her best friend Claudia to Legoland, then dashed home and went to dinner with a group of friends.


The day after that was Mother’s Day… So, to be fair, it was really busy for Mike and Michaela, but super chill for meeeee!!! They made me my favorite breakfast (cinnamon raisin bread French toast, eggs, hash browns, bacon, and fruit), I took a long nap after sleeping in late, we went open housing, and then had dinner out. It was perfect!


This weekend has been similarly busy, except Mike is out of town for work. He had to head to Vegas for a shoot on Friday and Saturday, then Phoenix Sunday though Wednesday. Michaela and I have been living it up in his absence. She had a playdate with Claudia Friday afternoon, followed by takeout Mexican food and several episodes of “Monkey Life.” Saturday, we went to the Children’s Nature Retreat in Alpine, where we fed camels, alpacas, pigs, cows, goats, horses, tortoises, and more.





Today, Sunday, we walked in the 32nd annual Navy Bay Bridge Run/Walk, a four-mile course that took us through downtown San Diego, Chicano Park, and across the Coronado Bay Bridge. As a native San Diegan, I was ridiculously excited to be able to walk over the bridge. It was awesome!A little tired – and dramatic – by Mile 3.



At the finish line.



Oh, hey! We walked across that!



Now we’re off to dinner with friends!

Breaking the Habit

9 May

When Michaela started having to take lunch to school, I bought fabric sandwich bags, so we weren’t trashing a million Ziplock bags. That was no problem. Just put the sandwich or carrot sticks or whatever else in the fabric bag, not plastic.

A couple of years ago, we ditched all our plastic storage containers and moved to glass. I feel less concerned we’re being exposed to chemicals that we shouldn’t be, and to me, it feels downright luxurious to pull out a glass container of leftovers.

Mike has always been a big fan of cloth napkins (which we NEVER used when I was a kid), so we generally use those for meals, not paper napkins or paper towels. I even recently — like this week — started bringing some cloth napkins to work to cut down on my use there.

So why am I having such a hard time with single use plastic?!?

I have been trying lately to use less of it, to be more environmentally friendly. I went to IKEA and bought a couple of ceramic plates and a set of utensils to keep at work, so I could use those to reheat food or eat my lunch without worrying about taking away from our home dishes. The problem is, I only bought set — one fork, one knife, and one spoon — so I sometimes find myself without whatever utensil I need because it’s at home in the dishwasher waiting to be washed. Strike one.

Now, I don’t drink a lot of drinks that require straws, but I prefer to use a straw if I’m drinking soda or if I’ve grabbed takeout somewhere that includes a drink, generally I need a straw. So I bought some glass straws. I washed them, set a few on the counter so I could take them to work/put them in my purse… And one immediately rolled off the counter and shattered into a million pieces on the floor. Looks like the landfill is getting some more waste after all. Strike two.

Today I brought leftovers of a Chipotle burrito bowl to work for lunch. At the restaurant yesterday, when I tucked my food into the (paper) bag to take home, I remembered to throw my fork in there so I could use it again today. “There’s one piece of plastic that will get multiple uses,” I thought. And to my credit, I did use it for lunch and for my afternoon snack of watermelon chunks. I have to work late tonight and was provided dinner, so I made myself a plate (plastic– darn it, I could have brought my own!) and grabbed a napkin (paper– darn it!) and a fork and knife. You see where this is going, right? A plastic fork and a plastic knife, when I could have reused my one from earlier or used my IKEA utensils. Strike three!

It has really helped me see how ingrained these habits are in me and in my life. I guess I can’t expect to get it right 100% of the time, but I do feel inspired to keep trying.

It’s a Girl

6 May

No, I’m not pregnant.

My friend Lee is!

So this weekend, she flew down to San Diego and two other college friends and I sprinkled her and the baby (vs. showering them, since this is Lee’s second child) with love. We girls ate and chatted and relaxed and ate some more, and it was lovely.

There really is something to be said for old friends. It’s so easy to be with people who you’ve known for a long time. Because we take an annual girls’ trip, we also manage to stay relatively up on each others’ lives, so when we get together, in addition to reliving our glory days, we check in with how we’re are doing with work, marriage, motherhood, etc.

It was relaxing and re-energizing, all at the same time. I’m so thankful for the girls and a family that supports my taking time away!

It’s Only 10:09

23 Apr

Yesterday Mike had an early shoot but Michaela and I slept in until about 8:45. It was glorious! We had a leisurely morning. When it was finally time to head out and make our way to Balboa Park for a trip to the Earth Fair and the zoo, I started to gently nudge Michaela in the direction of getting ready. Her response?

“Don’t get a stick up your butt! It’s only 10:09!”

Where does she learn this stuff?!?!

I’ll give you one hint.

I texted Mike to relay the comment. He texted me back, “Sounds like good advice to me.”

Michaela is her father’s daughter.