2017 Stories – 47 – Climbing

Earlier this year, we went to Idaho so I could go to Brave Girls Camp. The kids were on break so they were kind enough to come with me because I didn’t want to leave everyone behind. During that trip, while I was in class all day, every day, the kids and Jake went on different adventures every day. 

One of these adventures was going to a climbing wall. Before this trip, the kids had climbed walls at Fairs, etc but never all that seriously. During that one day, they had such an extraordinary time that since then we’ve had them take a week-long climbing camp and Jake has taken them to Planet Granite several times.

This past weekend, he suggested I go along just so I could see the kids climb. At first, I was all whiny about it because I generally use that time to have quiet time. When I got there, I was still not super thrilled about it. But towards the end of our time, David really came alive and started working harder and harder. And that one moment made me realize that all of the time I spent there was worth it. 

It reminded me that sometimes it takes a while for us to get in the flow enough to get to a place where we really connect with something. Where we want to push ourselves harder and try more. It was such a joy to see both my kids come alive in a way I don’t usually get to. 

All in all, Jake was right of course and I am really glad I went. 


And I am deeply happy. I love my tree. I love the lights. I love everything about it.


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 46 – Our Tree

We always tend to put up our Christmas Tree earlier than average (and we always tend to keep it up longer than average, too.) But this year takes the cake, I believe. I usually can wait until we’re pretty close to Thanksgiving. This year, however, I was having a really hard time with Halloween and just finding myself more and more frustrated with it.

That coupled with the fact that my parents were visiting (and that my mom loves Christmas spirit almost as much as I do) gave me the idea that we were going to put up the tree the weekend before Halloween. Then while it still looked like Halloween outside, it could look like Christmas inside and I could be happy.

So that’s what we did.



And I am deeply happy. I love my tree. I love the lights. I love everything about it.


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 45 – Halloween

I am not a fan of Halloween. Scary doesn’t jive with me. I am not a fan of all the skeletons, all the super scary costumes, walking around in the dark. I can go on and on. Just not a fan.

Alas the boys feel otherwise. At least this year neither of them were superheros or scary costumes. Nathaniel was a Woopie Cushion. And David loves puns so he printed photos of a few rappers and then put candy all over his shirt so he can be “Candy Wrapper.” 

And here went another Halloween. Thankfully it was safe and fun. Onwards to other less-scary holidays.


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 44 – Mom & Dad

While I was in Seattle last week, my Mom and Dad arrived to the Bay Area. They had spent a week in Boston seeing my nephews and my sister and came here to see us. They stayed at a hotel really close to our house and I had the luxury of having a lighter week at work so I got to spend a lot of quality time with them every day.

It was really nice to sit in their hotel and not be rushing around and just relaxing and chatting together in the sun. This is not the kind of experience I get to have with my parents since they live so far away so I was really, deeply grateful.

They will be leaving today and I am hoping they will be back again soon!!

I love you so much mom and dad!!!


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 43 – Seattle

This was the most amount of time I’ve spent in Seattle. I left Sunday night to ensure a full workday on Monday and then I scheduled my return flight for late late Friday so I could also work that day. Getting- work-done-wise, it was a good call. Almost every single of my minutes were full and I did not feel like any of the days were wasted.

But on a personal level, it was a long trip. I feel like 4 days works better than 5. I work super long and hard and then I spend day 5 recovering. Whereas now, I worked all those days, flew back home really late, woke up really early and had to take the kids for flu shots, then swimming lesson, then buy groceries, and then cook food for the week. Which is all too much after working nonstop for 5 days.

So now I am exhausted and will end up spending all this week catching up.

But alas, that’s the rhythm of my life and I still prefer it over the inflexible schedule I used to have. All in all, besides the rain, Seattle was still fun to visit and I am really grateful for everyone I work with!


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 42 – Maggie Steifvater

I live pretty close to a wonderful book store which regularly hosts awesome author events. I always intend to go, but rarely actually go. I had planned to go to the Maggie Steifvater reading this week but then Tuesday was long and tiring and I wanted to bail (as I often do.)

I dragged myself out of the house to do it and I am so glad I did. She was fantastic and hilarious and the hour I spent there made me laugh and smile and made me love her even more.

Now I can’t wait to read her book!

More importantly, this is a reminder for me to go even when I don’t feel like going! 


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 41 – Nathaniel’s Letters

Nathaniel started a new school this year. He was the only newcomer to the Third Grade and I wasn’t sure how it was all going to play out. He’s pretty outgoing and pretty easygoing so I was optimistic that things would be okay but I wasn’t sure. As it worked out, he has been adjusting fine for the most part (thankfully). 

There are many things I love about this new school but one of my favorite things is the Weekly Reflection letters he writes each Friday (I know it will come as a shock to you that I like exercises that help you reflect, he hee!) These lovely hand-written letters come in a lovely, colored envelope each week and contain tidbits from his week. He also writes a glow (something he’s proud of) and a grow (an area of improvement) each week. 

These letters are the highlight of my week and I savor them. I am so grateful to his teachers for creating such a wonderful memento for this scrapping mom and giving the kids an opportunity to reflect each week. 


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 40 – Together Rising

A few months ago, within a week both Glennon and Brene announced that they were doing tours. I, of course, wanted to go to both. While Glennon’s was nearby, Brene was all the way in Seattle. By the time I really wanted to go, her tickets were completely sold out all over the US. 

But Glennon’s weren’t.

I emailed my friend Haven and asked if she’d come with me and she said Yes! I bought the tickets within minutes of opening and it was finally time to go this past Tuesday. As it worked out, I had a meeting two hours before the event and by the time it was over traffic would be too bad for me to make it on time. So I left work in the middle of the day and drove down to San Jose with plans to take the meeting down there.

On the way, i was looking at my Google Maps for directions and a police officer pulled me over (for the first time in my life) and gave me a ticket for holding the phone. Which of course ruined my day. Then I rushed to make it to my meeting on time and walked around in 98F heat to buy a phone holder (which I wasn’t able to find.)

By the time I made it to the event site, I was soaked from head to toe and incredibly exhausted and just not in the best mental or emotional state. The program was amazing, of course, but I also realized that since I follow Glennon pretty closely all over the internet, there wasn’t a tremendous amount of “new to me” things. I am still glad I went. I always need reminders and she is one of the few people whose words touch my soul and my mind, so it never hurts to hear her words again and again.

Not to mention I had a wonderful time with my friend Haven.

All in all, it was worth every penny.


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 38 – My Sister’s Visit

My sister and I have been living in different countries since I was 17. My senior year in high school, she moved to Canada and London. By the time she moved back to Turkey, I’d left for college and I have been living here ever since. I’ve gone back and she’s come here, of course. But we haven’t spent more than a week or 10 days together since 1991. 

Until this year. She came to visit me last week and by the time she leaves next week, she will have been here a little over two weeks. In these last two weeks, we’ve spent many hours together, talking, walking, watching TV, eating salads and more. Even shopping. (which, if you know me, you’d know is a huge deal!)

It’s been the most wonderful time just getting to hang out and talk and be together as adults. She’s been helping me so much, making lunches and dinners for the kids, playing with them for hours. She’s been patient and kind and fun and just overall wonderful.

She’s going to leave next week and I am going to be so sad. I am hoping that now that her kids go to college here, she will decide to come more often and make it a habit to spend some time with me more regularly. 

I love you with all my heart Yonuka! Please come back again!

 

 


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 38 – My Birthday

I got the best birthday present this year! My sister came to visit. She had a last minute change in plans and ended up coming to San Francisco three weeks earlier than planned. So she showed up late the night before my birthday and we got to go to the city all day for my birthday.

I wanted to make sure to work out so I went to work first and did my Body Pump class. I then came home and we drove to City Lights in the city. I’d never been to the famous book store and, of course, it was amazing. We then went to Spruce and had a delightful lunch. A quick trip to a coffee shop and we were on the way home to pick up the boys from the school bus. 

Later at night we had some cake at home as a family, too!

All in all, it was a really wonderful birthday! Here’s to many more together!


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 37 – Jake’s Birthday

Jake and I have back-to-back birthdays. We’re exactly one week apart and he comes first. Even though today is mine, last Tuesday was his.

As of a few years ago, we make a point to take both of our birthdays off work and make sure to spend it with each other. (Maybe when the kids are gone we can take the whole week from his day to mine.)

This year was the most unplanned I’ve been and I felt terrible about it. We still managed to get some reservation at a lovely place in the city and had a delicious lunch. We spent most of his special day shopping for me but of course he was completely gracious about it and so, so kind. It was just so lovely being only the two of us. I’ve now been with Jake for 25 years and he’s the best person I’ve ever met. 

I am so lucky and so grateful to have his love, and to have him in my day to day life to share my moments with, to raise kids with, to experience life with; he is the very best person to share my life with because he always makes it more colorful, more enjoyable and more full of love.

I love you with all my heart, my love, happy happy birthday. To many, many, many more together.

 


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

2017 Stories – 36 – First Day of School

This was the first week of school for my kids. After being at two different schools last year, they are finally again in the same school. Nathaniel started third grade and David started seventh. Holy cow! Seventh! 

Nathaniel’s been really brave and transitioning to a new school and new classmates pretty wonderfully. And David’s taken to seventh grade like bread to butter. He’s taking a Forensic Science elective and also a Yearbook one. 

They are both doing Cross Country at the moment and MathCounts starts the week after next.

Here’s to a wonderful school year for both of my wonderful boys!


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.