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.

This and That

10 Apr

March was a looooong, painful month. Lots of travel and work and stress for Mike, and lots of work and stress for me. Michaela, as usual, did pretty well, though. She’s LOVING her after-school jump rope class and can often be found outside, practicing techniques like “skier” and “Irish jig.” (Who knew there was so much to jump roping?)

Mike’s mom came to stay with us for a week or so at the end of the month, which was lovely. She and Michaela had a great time hanging out, going to the park, making shrinky dinks, and doing crafts. The Easter Bunny visited our house and hid 30 eggs, some of which were filled with candy and others of which were filled with candy and dollar coins) and then we had a big lunch that included neighbors coming over so we could taste each other’s homemade cakes. Mike and his mom made a cake in the shape of an egg.

Like this one from How to Cake It:



If March dragged, April seems to be flying by so far. I hope we’ll be able to kick off a front yard renovation soon (lord knows it’s terribly needed) and book some fun stuff for summer. After all, it’s only nine more weeks until Michaela is done with second grade!

That Age

27 Mar

Apparently I’ve reached the age where friends start to die?

I got a call yesterday that someone I worked with passed away over the weekend. “She went into the hospital and didn’t come out,” is how the person who called me put it. This woman just turned 40 and was a very warm, bright personality. We weren’t close, but I just had dinner with her and her boyfriend (and some other colleagues). At dinner, she and her boyfriend were giddy, so in love, talking about the place they found to rent together, how they got rid of their “his” and “her’s” furniture and bought new stuff, and the life they were planning to build together. My heart aches for her boyfriend and her family.

Forty used to seem old, but now, of course, it doesn’t. Stuff like this definitely forces a reality check– focus on the things that matter, which are not the small things that are usually annoying me.

I went home and hugged Michaela extra tight.


10 Mar

Michaela took ice skating lessons when she was a tot. She liked it but not well enough to keep doing it. She’s skated once or twice since then during free skate, but that’s about it. So when we decided to go roller skating with friends last weekend, I wasn’t sure how she’d do. Heck, I wasn’t sure how I would do!

We met our friends, slooooowly strapped on our skates, and proceeded to the rink.

image (1)

The girls were wobbly and had a hard time, and we were outnumbered (three kids to two adults), so we got them each a skating support. It’s a little contraption made out of PVC pipe that the kid can hang onto and push along with them– a walker of sorts.

After a couple of trips around the rink, Michaela handed me her walker, dramatically held out her arm, said “Bye, Mom!” and skated off! A little haltingly, sure, but she she did it! She spent the entire rest of our time there skating around by herself, having a good old time.

I’m so proud of my little skater!

Grandma Pat

24 Feb

Mike said it best, so I’ll excerpt part of his Facebook post here:

Grandma Pat fell asleep in her armchair over the weekend (as she was known to do), but this time she didn’t wake up. She lived 83 good years.

She was loving and nonjudgemental, but wasn’t afraid to yank you out of your chair by your ear if you were out of line.

Grandma Pat was a lovely woman. She was always incredibly kind to me, welcomed me to the family with open arms. She lent Mike and me 10% of the purchase price of our first home so we’d have a 20% down payment (we paid her back with interest and early, I’m proud to say). That investment in us is a huge part of the reason Mike and I have the life we have today.

When Michaela was born, Pat came down for several days. She held Michaela constantly and the two of them often fell asleep together. Grandma would be on the couch holding Michaela and one or the other of them would fall asleep. Eventually they’d both wake up, Michaela would have a diaper change, and Pat would take Michaela out to sit on the porch swing in the sun. One or both of them would fall asleep there, and the cycle would repeat. We were so frantic and tired that we didn’t snap a picture of the two of them napping together, which disappoints me more than I can express.

I’ll definitely miss Grandma Pat, but am happy she took her leave of the planet the way she wanted– peacefully, in her home, no slow decline in a nursing home, no move to be closer to one of her sons. I hope we will all be so lucky.