Stories from 2018 – 33 – Cannes and Aix-en-Provence

On the way back from St. Tropez, we decided to stop at Cannes. I had read that it was not as interesting and it was getting darker but we went anyway.

We were so glad we did. In fact, it turned out to be Jake’s favorite part of the trip.

we walked around the beautiful beach.

and I snapped a million photos.

we saw a ferris wheel and decided we had to get on!

it was fantastic, right at sunset.


it was very beautiful in Cannes. 


we didn’t do shopping but still went to the main street.


but the beach was so much better.

The next morning, we were on our way to Montpellier so we stopped by Aix-en-Provence, which I loved.


This city is so very beautiful and old and lovely.


Full of fountains.


and these stunning buildings.

I just loved the feel of the whole city. It was so delightful and warm.

And of course I took photos of all the windows.

this is one of my favorites.

isn’t it magnificent.

we then moved on to Marseilles but I love love loved Aix and here’s to being able to go back one day!


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stronger Than Before – 33

 

Weekly Intention: This week looks like a reasonably average week. Lots of meetings but not a debilitating amount. I might get some home time which will be nice and I don’t think I will be home super late any night. I might experiment with a few schedule variations this week, too, so, we’ll see. My intention this week is two fold: stay really focused on what matters to me and start making some plans for the transition to school. Changes in routine are always hard on me and we have a big one coming with going back to school and managing drop off and pick up again as well as a slew of stuff that happens at the start of the school year. So I’d like to both mentally but also practically get prepared for that. Also I’d really like to double down on the journaling with strong focus on healing.

This month’s intention is: Shine Strong: This month is for showing up. Show up at work. Show up with the kids. Show up as we close out the summer and start a new school year. Let your light shine on everyone you meet this month. I love this one. I am going to do this. Take it all up a notch and I will add one more: show up for myself. 

One way I will stretch this week:  It looks like I will be doing two HIIT classes this week, it’s going to kick my butt.

One boundary I will set this week: I will keep laser focused on the things that matter to me, coming back to my values again and again.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: me but also i will be kindest to everyone along the way. 

One new thing I will learn this week: i signed up for another sketching class, so I will do the work for it this weekend.

One area where I will go deeper this week: figuring out a transition plan for september

What do I need to sit with this week? how i am feeling and what i am still holding on to, i want to work on that.

I am looking forward to: a little extra time with my amazing hubby.

This week’s challenges: nothing too specific this week so i will focus on really sticking to my routine

Top Goals: 

  • Work:  clean up the onboarding doc, flesh out thoughts on metrics and accessibility work and the offsite, make notes on what else. start planning december.
  • Personal: couch 2 5K, body pump, hiit, good nutrition, meditate, journal, art+scrap, stretch, evening routine
  • Family: cook for jake, math, comp sci and physics with david and math, vocab and comp sci with Nathaniel

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: time for some serious journaling here this week
  • Learn:  i didn’t do the OLW homework but did do the learning. this week i will do that and learn to sketch. 
  • Peace: peace with the changing of seasons and all that comes with that.
  • Service: to my boys, my hubby, work, friends and me this week, let’s make plans!
  • Gratitude: for people who support me.

This week, I want to remember: that I have so much kindness around me and I need to learn to absorb it better.


Stronger Than Before is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Weekly Reflection 2018 – 32


How I got Stronger this week: I did a lot of work on being stronger this week. I consistently worked on my exercise and strengthening my physical body. I also worked on my mental state by meditating most of the days. I established an evening routine to ground myself and do some of the small things I wanted to do more/better. I strengthened my emotional state by journaling most days and then having the conversations I needed to have at work. I also strengthened my connections by working with the kids each night, talking to my mom everyday and meeting up with my friend Leslie on Friday. I also found a babysitter and will be going out on date night and scheduled an adventure for all four of us. I did art every night even when I felt bad about the results. So I am feeling good about the work I did this week. 

Top Goals Review: 

  • Work:  the onboarding doc v2 is slightly done though could use another pass, started version one of thoughts on metrics, and started the accessibility work, also doubled down on the offsite – phew
  • Personal: did c25K three times, body pump 4 times and HIIT once, ate well and mostly slowly. I meditated four days and journaled four days. started the art class but didn’t scrap since i don’t have the kit yet. 
  • Family: cooked for jake, did math, comp sci and physics with david and did math, vocab and comp sci with Nathaniel

I celebrate: i celebrate having the hard conversations.

I am grateful for:  a manager i really like at work. I feel very lucky.

Karen’s Points: I did couch 2 5K all 3 days this week, I also did 4 Body Pump classes and one HIIT class. I am still caffeine, sugar and grain and dairy free (though i ate granola twice with my bare bowl, and 5 mini pretzels this week). I drink lactose-free decaf cappuccinos now.  Still a bit too high on nuts and fruit but I’ve been eating more slowly and reducing my portions by paying attention to when I am full so I don’t keep eating. I journaled almost every day and meditated 4 out of the 5 work days. I did start an evening routine and wash my face and floss nightly now. So the only two things I am not doing at the moment from my original plan are the stretching and the roller which I plan to incorporate into my evening routine so I am feeling optimistic at the moment.

A Change I embraced: a little bit of churn at work.

I let go of: deciding that the churn is mine to solve. waiting now.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Fresh: the art i am doing definitely feels new and raw and fresh and i am learning.
  • Magical: my routine feels very magical now but I know it will all change in two weeks when school starts
  • Lighter: much lighter now that i’ve had some hard conversations 
  • True: truth is that the journaling really helped and I am working hard to come back to myself.

Where I chose Joy: i’ve been listening to music when i journal, music from my twenties and it’s making me very happy.

I showed up for:  my friend this week.

A Mistake I made this week: i spun more out of control in my head than needed. i feel better now.

What I tolerated this week: too much stress inside my brain.

My mood this week was: relieved. 

I forgive myself for: spinning things out of control a bit. 

What I love right now:  my routine. my life. how much i spend my days doing what i want to be doing.


Weekly Reflection is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Moments from this Week – 32

I finally processed photos from our little family trip to Forte dei Marmi so I decided to dedicate the next two pages to that.

i love these photos, and all the joy they show.

and other week to week stuff can wait for now.


Moments from this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Books I Read This Week 2018 – 32

And okay array of books this week.

Ghosted was lovely and I enjoyed it but I’ve read a lot of books like this by now so it didn’t really stand out for me.

Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One, was trying to be a semi-clever way to hide advice and howto book into a novel style. I think if these ideas weren’t already content I knew, it would have been a more lovely book for me but as it was, it was okay but not whoa!

Dear Mrs. Bird was my favorite read of this week. I enjoyed the story and the characters and the writing. I understand that it might not be accurate as a historical novel but i still liked it.

Every Time You Go Away was eh. Not the best use of my time.

The Sparsholt Affair was my long read of the week. It was ok but I have to say that I just never really connected with it so I am not sure it was worth all the time I invested into it. I thought it would be like The Heart’s Invisible Furies but it’s not proving to be the case so far.

I don’t have a pile i’m super excited about at this point, so I’d love recommendations if you have any. Especially of books you loved and/or couldn’t put down.


Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Stories from 2018 – 32 – Pisa, Nice, and St. Tropez

 

 

On the way to Forte dei Marmi, we decided to stop by Pisa since it was really closeby.

It was super cool to see the building in person so I am glad we did. 

We didn’t stay too long but it was totally fun 


Then we went to Forte dei Marmi and spent the four days with my family. After that, we drove to the edge of Italy to SanRemo and took a train to our next destination: Nice.

the views from the train were breathtaking.

and even the train garre was amazing.

we had a rental waiting for us right outside of the station. 

and we drove straight to our AirBnB, dropped off our bags and left for downtown Nice. 


the kids did a lot of reading throughout or vacation and we brought the kindles everywhere to ensure there was no whining. 


love my boys.


The next day we woke up and drove all the way to St. Tropez where we walked its lovely streets. 

and visited the butterfly museum.


and this big fort.


the views there were breathtaking, too.


and everything was cute and french and lovely.

We wanted to make sure to stop at Cannes on the way back so next time I’ll share a bit about our Cannes adventures along with the rest of France.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.

Stronger Than Before – 32

 

Weekly Intention: Monday and Tuesday this week I will work from home. Maybe because of that or maybe just in general, the rest of the week looks reasonably tough. So my intention this week is to make sure I can come up with a good plan to make it through this week with grace. I will make sure I have my morning time each day and if I can carve even a little time for journaling next week, I think that would be really nice. 

This month’s intention is: Mentally Strong: Time to learn some new things. How can you grow intellectually? What classes do you want to take? What do you want to teach the kids? Oh this one is interesting. I am actually deciding not to do this. Instead I will focus on some personal goals. I will teach kids stuff, and that’s definitely one of the intentions. Nathaniel and I will work on math and writing together. David and I will work on Physics and Computer Science. For me, though, I am focusing on three things: health (exercise+food+meditation), art (drawing and watercolors even though I’ve done nothing here), and stories (journaling and simple scrapbooking.) That’s my focus for July. I did poorly on the art last week, I’d love to spend a bit more time on it this week. Let’s see. 

One way I will stretch this week:  We signed up for a family kayak adventure during the meteor shower this weekend and none of us know how to kayak so that will be a stretch.

One boundary I will set this week: i will continue not to bring work home at nights. That break has been really good for me.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: my husband. 

One new thing I will learn this week: i think i will buckle down and sign up for an art class, i don’t seem to be doing it otherwise.

One area where I will go deeper this week: journaling still is my goal :/. also maybe figuring out a night routine, there aren’t too many things: clean my face, floss, etc but i just can’t ever seem to get it into a rhythm. 

What do I need to sit with this week? how i’m feeling about work, life and myself. my contributions to the world in general.

I am looking forward to: working from home a bit. it will be a nice change of pace.

This week’s challenges: wednesday will be a bit challenging with some extra driving thrown in there for me.

Top Goals: 

  • Work:  the onboarding doc v2, thoughts on metrics, accessibility work, double down on the offsite
  • Personal: couch 2 5K, exercise, good nutrition, meditate, journal, find and start art class, scrap
  • Family: cook for jake, math, comp sci and physics with david and math, vocab and comp sci with Nathaniel

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: i will focus on meditation this week. 
  • Learn:  i am planning to do this OLW homework next week which will be learning focused. i’ll share more when i have it.
  • Peace: peace with the way things are at work, and the way people are 
  • Service: to myself figuring out next phase of my work still seems like the right one for now
  • Gratitude: for my amazing and kind husband

This week, I want to remember: that life ebbs and flows and specific events don’t mean as much as i worry they do. 


Stronger Than Before is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Weekly Reflection 2018 – 31


How I got Stronger this week: I continued with my work around exercise and nutrition this week and I was very consistent with the kids. It helped that my meetings only went until 3pm most days so I could get home a bit earlier than usual. I tried harder, I also took some risks and I am not sure yet whether they paid off, I’m still working on choosing whom to please better and believing in abundance. But I keep showing up. And I keep going. I always keep going. I’ve been working hard on all of my word and mottos this year. I keep showing up. All. the. time.

Top Goals Review:  the onboarding doc v1 done, initial thoughts on metrics and accessibility not done, schedule the meetings on my todo is semi-done. i did couch 2 5K, and body pump and HIIT and ate well, and meditated, and journaled so little it doesn’t count, i didn’t do any art but i did scrap!

I celebrate: i celebrate having slightly shorter days every day this week.

 I am grateful for:  i had a lovely breakfast with my friend Leslie at work this week and it was really nice.

Karen’s Points: I did couch 2 5K all 3 days this week, I also did 3 Body Pump classes and one HIIT class. I am still caffeine, sugar and grain and dairy free (though I ate 5 jelly beans). I drink soy decaf cappuccinos still.  Still a bit too high on nuts and fruit but overall I’d say I’m pretty solid here. I’ve noticed that the morning routine is no problem but the evening routine is still super tough and i haven’t had the chance to sit with it yet.

A Change I embraced: a lot of change around me at the moment, i am trying to sit with it all.

I let go of: Controlling a few situations at work this week. I am learning to sit back. 

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Fresh: Nathaniel and I are doing a new online course.
  • Magical: Getting to scrap our holiday was very magical
  • Lighter: a bit lighter this week, it really helped to drive home one hour earlier.
  • True: truth is i am all over the place with how i feel and i really wish i could do better with the journaling.

Where I chose Joy: nathaniel and i had a math marathon on thursday that was really joyful for me.

I showed up for:  my kids. and for myself this week.

A Mistake I made this week: i think i am pushing a few boundaries at work and i am too worried about it all, so I am trying to make sure i don’t spin when the situation is unclear.

What I tolerated this week: still too tired and just some annoying communication breakages.

My mood this week was: slow. 

I forgive myself for: not being able to break out of my old tapes.

What I love right now:  the few weeks of summer we have left because i really love my morning routine at the moment even though it’s hard, it’s also so peaceful.


Weekly Reflection is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Moments from this Week – 31

And the last layout from our holiday. This one is all Barcelona. 

The left page is bits from walking everywhere, seeing all the graffiti and riding the subway and going to the labyrinth.

and the right side is all Gaudi! And here we go.


Moments from this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Books I Read This Week 2018 – 31

And okay array of books this week.

Can’t Help Myself was different, interesting and enjoyable for me.

My friend Evelyn’s new book, Circle of Shadows, is not out yet but I got to read a proof and it was awesome. She’s such a talented writer.

And Ocean of Minutes was interesting premise-wide but I can’t say I absolutely loved it.

The Widower’s notebook was wonderful for me. It was sad but also wonderful.

What We were Promised was an interesting read and I really liked parts of it. It had sort of a twist/secret that I didn’t guess at all and didn’t bother me. But overall I can’t say I love love loved it either.

The Suicide Club was also okay. Another one with an interesting premise but I wasn’t super crazy about the novel itself.

Not as good a week as last week.


Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

On My Mind – 31 – Our Holiday Book

A few weeks ago I decided I missed scrapbooking. Not the 12×12 layouts or even the ever involved pages but more the playing with some product and telling our stories part. So I looked at the upcoming Ali’s Story Kit themes and decided the next six were perfect for me. So I finally subscribed.

The first one was adventure, which was a perfect way to document our recent trip all over Europe, so that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t have an album either, so I bought one of her December Daily albums from last year because they are super thick and come with a lot of pages which is exactly what I wanted. 

I love the way this turned out and I only used a few letters, dots, and some washi outside of the kit. This is 30 pages and all of it came from the kit. It was an absolutely perfect fit.

Super grateful for this and hoping next month is just as awesome.


On My Mind is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Stories from 2018 – 31 – Forte dei Marmi

After our day and a half in Rome, we rented a car and drove north to this little town called Forte dei Marmi where we met up with my family to celebrate my dad’s 75th birthday.

My amazing sister had done an incredible amount of work to make the day special for my dad. We call him opapa so she made custom shirts so we all had shirts that said who we were in relation to my dad.

and then the back said 75th birthday.

the three of us.

my mom and dad with all the grandkids.

she had setup games for us to play on the beach.

there was much laughing 

and joy

my parents were super game to play along.


afterwards she got us all white shirts and a whole bunch of props to take photos with.


and everyone was happy to play along.


here’s my special sister and her amazing family.


without whom none of this would be possible. She also got custom towels made, custom chocolates, hazelnuts and many other small and big touches. It was a wonderful few days with the people who are most special in my life.


Stories from 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018here.