A Book a Week – All joy and no fun

I read All Joy and No Fun for book club. I should really correct that. I read almost none of this book. Just a tiny tiny amount. I hate parenting books and this was no exception.

In my opinion, parenting is tough and not formulaic. Depends so much on the parent and the child and each of them come with so much baggage, emotion, filter, stories of their own that it’s impossible to reduce it to any kind of formula whatsoever.

And, personally, i think fun is overrated. But I know that’s just me.

Everyday Brave - Week 22

Here’s this week’s layout:

The left side here is a a bedside. beds are always hard to draw for me:

And the right side is my new (now old) planner (that i no longer use).

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen - Week 28

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: Happy Birthday Nathaniel
Story:
In the middle of the craziness of the Benefit and the Tech Challenge, this little boy turned six years old. Six.

Six.

How did we already get here? He was so very little just yesterday and now he’s so close to being a big boy. He can do everything by himself. He no longer has a blankie, no longer sucks his thumb and no longer falls asleep as easily as he used to. He can now read and do some amazing math. He has the best memory of anyone I know and he’s constantly paying attention to every single thing.

But none of those things are what make you special, Nathaniel. What makes you an amazing human being is that you exude joy. People are drawn to you and to your incredible energy. You make everyone feel happier. I get emails from every parent telling me how amazing you are and how happy you make them feel. And, my sweet son, they are so right. You are just the sweetest, kindest, most lovable person in the world. I have no idea how I got this lucky.

Even though your birthday ended up falling before two of the biggest events of our year, you never complained. You took it all in stride (as you do always.) You woke up to your usual huge balloon and cupcake with candles. You opened your first present and loved the Lego watch so much that you wore it to school all day. You loved having Daddy come read your favorite story to the class. You told every single person about how it’s your birthday. And then, after school you bounced with joy some more as you had more cakes and more presents. You never complained about not getting a party or a bigger event this time around. My sweet son, I promise we will make it all up to you next year.

Nathaniel, I don’t know how it worked out that I blinked and you’re now six. But I know that I will blink again and you’ll be fifteen so I am going to make the most of these moments we have together. I am going to hug you all the time and I am going to soak in the sunshine that you carry with you everywhere you go. I love you with all my heart.


Stories of Twenty Fifteen is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – J

I read J because it was long listed for the Man Booker prize.

This was probably one of the toughest novels to get through for me. I read it over weeks and weeks. It felt like it was dragging on forever and I just couldn’t get through it.

I can’t even tell you what made the book so hard to finish or even read at all. And in the end, I am not sure I liked it. It was really depressing.

I’ve never read Jacobson before so I don’t know if this is typical for him but now I am not tempted to read more of him.

Everyday Brave – Week 21

Even though I’ve been behind in posting, I’ve still been doing my everyday brave writing. For the most part :)

Here’s this week’s layout:

The left side here is a door and stairs which reminds me of Bodrum:

And so is the right side :) .

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen - Week 27

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: A Curious Curious Night Benefit
Story:
After months and months and months of work, tonight was finally the night of the PBS benefit. I had no idea how amazingly it would all come together. I kept praying and praying that everything would go well and I am so grateful to say that it did. It was a magical evening full of beautiful conversation and community. We had the largest attendance ever in the history of the school and ended up raising 44% more funds than we had hoped to.

I still have no idea what compelled me to take this particular journey but I am so very glad I did. It taught me so much. It helped me make so many new friends and connections. It tightened my bond to the school. It helped me see all the work that goes into these events. And more than anything else, it helped me be a little bit braver every single day. Here’s to continuing to honor my word throughout the rest of 2015.


Stories of Twenty Fifteen is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – The Language of Flowers

I read The Language of Flowers because it had been on my list and Stephanie Howell said she was loving it so I thought maybe I should finally pick it up. I thought it was going to be historical fiction. It is not.

It’s about a girl and it’s more about identity, belonging, family, motherhood more than anything else.

I read it in one day. It’s really wonderful and touching and a worthwhile read.

Fifty-Two Stamps - Week 23

Another unusual one this week. I wanted to do fun raindrops both full and outline. I like the way this looks. I can see a million uses for it already.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen - Week 26

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: The Tech Challenge
Story:
After more than three months of work, the day finally arrived. The boys got completely ready, working both on their structure and the journal up until the last week. We all woke up early on Saturday morning and David and I drove down to the Tech Museum together. The other boys slowly trickled in and then it was time for us to say good-bye so the boys could continue their journey alone.

What felt like hours later, they were on the stage, telling everyone about their creation. (David did all the talking!) and then it was time to test their structure. I think all of us held our breath collectively while this amazing structure withstood three separate earthquakes and not one toothpick fell off.

All in all, it was a huge success. A wonderful project where the kids learned a tremendous amount about building, working together, documenting their process, and creating something that was 100% theirs.

David, I know this project had some tough, tough days for you, but you stuck by it. You showed up again and again and created something I could never, ever have done. You saw it all the way to the end, and you learned so very much along the way, I cannot tell you how incredibly proud of you I am. Thank you for inspiring me every single day and reminding me exactly why I wanted to move to America so you could have access to incredible opportunities just like this one. I love you madly.


Stories of Twenty Fifteen is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – i’ll give you the sun

I read I’ll Give you the Sun because my friend Evelyn recommended it. And can i just say: It was the best book I read in 2014. It was wonderful. So different. So lovely. So beautiful. So heart wrenching and touching and well told.

I loved every single minute of it.

It’s different. It’s young adult with magical realism. If that’s not your cup of tea, you won’t like it. But if you’re even slightly on the fence, I recommend you give it a try. It’s really really wonderful.

Fifty-Two Stamps - Week 22

This week’s stamp is unusual but it’s one that can be used as just lines or as a part of an arrow. Something simple and fun. Not usually my style. Or maybe I don’t even have a style. Anyhow that’s what we have this week.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen - Week 25

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: Pismo Beach
Story:
The day I got back from New York City, the boys started their Spring Vacation. Even though I’d already taken too many trips away from home, I knew they’d like to spend some time relaxing and enjoying California sunshine.

I wanted to go somewhere far enough to have Southern California weather but still within a reasonable drive. So we decided to go to Pismo Beach. (Well, I called hotels in Cayucos, Morro Bay, Carmel, but all of them were booked except for Pismo.)

It was a little over three hours to drive down there and we left first thing on Sunday morning, so we got there about midday. Our room wasn’t ready yet so we decided to drive to San Luis Obispo and have some lunch instead. We went to the famous Firestone Grill and had some hotdogs and burgers. Walked around a bit and then went back to the hotel to check in.

Our hotel was right over the beach and we could watch the sun set from our patio. We spent the next four days playing on the beach, swimming in the pool, sitting in the hot tub, making sand castles, flying kites, eating candy and reading. The boys also played video games, football and other sports with Daddy.

On Tuesday, it rained, so we decided to go see a movie. At home was playing and we’d been looking forward to seeing it. It turned out to be a wonderful movie. We also spent some time at the bookstore and managed to avoid all the rain. We spent a lot of time walking around and enjoying each other’s company.

I came back home to a lot of work and felt very very tired on Thursday. But, even though the weather was colder than I’d hoped and my back hurt a lot more than I’d like, it was still really wonderful to get away for a few days. I managed to read a few books, get a lot of sleep, and soak in the sunshine.

Nothing like spending some family time together. Nothing like spending time away from our typical routine. Nothing like laughing together. Discovering new things, like the blood worms we found on the sand. Nothing like enjoying my incredible family.


Stories of Twenty Fifteen is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.