Stories from 2018 – 17 – Rock Climbing at Joshua Tree National Park

After the Great Wolf Lodge, we drove down to Joshua Tree National Park. The boys had made a reservation to go rock climbing. Since they are so much more advanced than I am, I opted to just watch.

There was much waiting and sunscreen while one was climbing. 

It was crazy for me to watch most of the time. 

This was our guide, he was fantastic.

There goes David. He went first on each climb.
And Nathaniel.



After a while, we went to another site which was much scarier for me and a challenge for each boy for different reasons. 

but they each made it to the top.

there goes the little one.

And the love of my life.

made it!

Our guide took this photo when we were done, 5 hours later. All the boys loved it.

Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s unlike any other.

The night before we stayed at a hotel nearby and the kids made a point to have fun.




The next night we stayed near LA to be closer to home and then drove back home in the morning. All in all it was a fantastic Spring Break and full of adventures!


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

Stories from 2018 – 16 – Great Wolf Lodge

This post is full of photos, feel free to skip. Some of the stories have a ton of photos and others have almost none. That’s the way life goes for me. Our Spring Break Vacation started with two days at the Great Wolf Lodge. David had stayed at this hotel in Washington D.C. with his class and really loved it so we decided to go to the one in Anaheim.

We found an awesome arcade nearby where you had to pay $2 to get in and then the games were 2-6 nickels each. After we’ve had enough of the water, we’d go to the arcade.

 

This is the outside of the hotel at night. Doesn’t it look awesome?

And here’s the inside. It has a waterpark that’s only for guests.

View from the outside.

The boys loved it. They spent like 6 hours at the park each day we were there.

They had a Dunkin Donuts in the hotel which meant we ate more donuts in those two days than I have all year.

We loved the Do not disturb signs.



There also was a Japanese dollar store nearby and we shopped there for a while!

David going down the slide.

I mostly sat inside and outside and read. I did join the kids for some time and did all the slides I was comfortable doing.

All in all, it was a lovely two days!


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

Stories from 2018 – 15 – Farmer’s Market

Nathaniel’s Third Grade class put on a Farmer’s Market on Tuesday. where each kid was given a $20 budget and they had to but items and then prepare a dish and decide how much to charge. He made yogurt parfaits.

And started with $3 but then went to $2.50 and $2.00 within the hour 🙂

They made the parfaits right in front of you while you waited.

He partnered with a friend from class. They had a lot of fun together.

Here’s everyone at the beginning when they are clapping before they start.

He and his partner made a decent profit and the whole class got to donate more than 1000$ to charity. All in all, it was a wonderful event! 


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

Stories from 2018 – 14 – TEDxYouth

Last weekend my kids’ school had a TEDx which was awesome. Even though I wanted to go, I didn’t want to go because I always prefer to be home on Sundays. But I am glad I went! Thanks to my awesome husband. 

First speaker was Jason Kilar of Hulu whose talk was awesome. 

Then it was Irene Au who talked about HCI and it was also awesome!

Then we had two medical ones with Sean Hennessey

and Roni Zeiger. 

After lunch we had Puragra (Raja) Guha Thakurta whom I was most excited about since I’m all about physics these days.



And finally it was Lori Marino.

A great way to spend a Sunday as a family!


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

Stories from 2018 – 13 – STEM Fair

This week was another STEM fair. This one was for the kids’ school. I was one of the volunteers so I was there for a little over six hours. David took the same poster he’d used for the previous Science Fair and had a display in this one, too.

We has many many exhibitors and student exhibits. This is before anyone showed up.

Jake helped out by manning the snack table for a while, too. Our kids found their friends and ran around all on their own.

 

Love these two.

Thankfully it was the one day it didn’t rain this week.

And here’s us. Nathaniel was running around so much that he wouldn’t even stop for a photo.


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

Stories from 2018 – 12 – Vision Board 2018

I realized that I hadn’t shared my 2018 Vision Board yet so I wanted to do that. I love doing these so so much. I also like seeing which ones I use year after year and which ones are new. 


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

Stories from 2018 – 11 – Science Fair

This was the first year David got to enter the San Mateo STEM Fair. His topic was about electrochemistry. Building batteries with higher voltage and which metals are better for that. The fair was big and had a lot of topics all the way from 5th grade to high school. It was a long and arduous day where he had to do 2 hours of interviews with judges and then speak to the public for another an hour. He was on his feet in a suit all day Sunday. 

The little boy had some fun while the big boy was doing work. 

The event was all day Sunday. We worked and waited and worked. But in the end it was all worth it because David had a wonderful experience and he also came in third in his category/class so it was a bonus.


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

Stories from 2018 – 10 – Sydney in February

I was lucky enough to go to Sydney again for work in February. This time, I spent a weekend there due to some scheduling changes. While I am always sad to spend a weekend away from home, I tried to make the most of this one by reading a lot, walking around a lot, and enjoying the beautiful summer in Australia.

I find that water heals me and there’s almost nothing i love as much as being by the water so Sydney is such a gift to me. I have one more trip coming up in May but otherwise I am not sure when I will be there again so that makes me extra grateful for this trip.

Here are some of my photos from the week in the city.

Love this beautiful city.


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

Stories from 2018 – 09 – Skiing 2018

We try to go skiing at least once a year. Ideally, we’d go two, three times so the kids can get enough time on the slopes and actually get comfortable with the sport. However, it doesn’t seem to work out for more than once a year. And this year, this weekend was our trip. Because of my new job, we weren’t clear if we would go until pretty close to the last minute so we did what we usually do which is to stay in Reno where there are always plenty of hotel rooms. And then we drive over the Diamond Peak in the morning and the kids go to school while Jake and I drive. 

This year, it was exceptionally cold and David didn’t want to take lessons for two days so both kids did one morning of lessons, Nathaniel also did the afternoon and the next morning but David stayed with us the rest of the time. After the first day, it was so incredibly cold that I decided I was not going to ski the next day. So I bailed while the boys kept skiing.

Little boy waiting for the teacher.

On the way back to the hotel after our first day. David fell asleep within 5 minutes of this photo. Jake had to focus really hard since the roads were very icy. 

Skiing is always an adventure and I will admit that while I like the skiing itself, I really dislike the cold and the inordinate amount of work (and money!) this sport entails. But alas, it’s a really fun sport.

And an adventure. 


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

Stories from 2018 – 08 – Thirteen!!!

And now I officially have a teenager. Where does the time go?! 

I arrived from Sydney on the morning of David’s thirteenth birthday. I’d missed his birthday last year due to another trip to Sydney so I wasn’t going to do that again. I booked my tickets so I’d make sure to be back and I landed around 7am so I told Jake to not even put David on the bus. We spent the day at home the three of us. David and Jake played a few games while I took a nap and then we opened presents and then we walked to Palo Alto and had some pizza and root beer. We walked and chatted and spent time with David.

Then it was time to get Nathaniel and David played some more games with his friends online. It was a quiet day but focused on him. And for the first time in almost ten years, he also opted to have a small birthday party this year. We invited four of his friends and they all went rock climbing together and then back to our house for some poker and pizza and cake.

It was really nice to see how nice and kind his friends are and a wonderful day for our wonderful boy! I am so grateful for David and can’t believe we are already all the way to thirteen. I hope time slows down a bit and we can soak in the joy of the days we have together.

Happy Birthday my wonderful son, you are the very best thing that ever happened to me and I am so so honored to get to be your mom.


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

Stories from 2018 – 07 – Blue Blood Super Moon

The morning of the day I was scheduled to leave for Sydney was the magical line up of several rare occurrences. We got to have a blue moon (second full moon in a month), a red moon (full lunar eclipse) and a super moon (moon closest to earth) all at once.

The only downside was that this was scheduled to happen at 4:30am. Nathaniel was determined to see it and so we set our alarm clocks and went out to watch it happen at the crack of dawn. (or before really.) 

And it was magical. 

The red color was really amazing. So I had to look up why it’s red. Here’s what internet says:

The Moon does not have any light of its own—it shines because its surface reflects sunlight. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon and cuts off the Moon’s light supply. When this happens, the surface of the Moon takes on a reddish glow instead of going completely dark. The reason why the Moon takes on a reddish color during totality is a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering. It is the same mechanism responsible for causing colorful sunrises and sunsets and the sky to look blue.

David slept in until about 5:30 but still got to see it. When we were watching, it was red but not really super big. After the kids went in to have breakfast, I drove to get some coffee and when I was on my way back, I saw it huge and red and it was even more magical.

I love sharing these moments with my little ones. What a wonder this world is!


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

Stories from 2018 – 06 – The Whole 30 – Looking Back

As I type this, I have four more days left in this journey. As you read this, I will be a week past the Whole 30. I am writing it in advance because I will be in Australia and not sure of my schedule then. 

I spent the last month eating no sugar, no legumes, no dairy, no grains, and a few other nos. I also quit caffeine just to see what the impact would be. This was not about losing weight. It was about resetting after the holidays and getting back into a better cycle. It was also about seeing if I feel better without these foods in my system. And to see if I would have any of the non-scale victories.

Here’s the thing: Net-net, I don’t think I had huge tangible benefits from cutting out these foods. I was more regular and I fell asleep easily both of which were true when I was doing the Body Love book a while back. I haven’t been able to stay asleep this whole month. Hard to tell what that’s due to. My skin was better until I got my period so I am guessing that’s more hormonal. I haven’t gotten a surge of energy but I also started exercising every single day and that might be making me more tired. Not to mention the fact that I quit caffeine. So who knows what’s impacting my energy and my sleep. I have no idea on the weight changes because I didn’t weigh myself at the start and there’s no weighing during the elimination. But nothing was amazingly looser. (Though I wear stretchy clothes so who knows :))

Now, there are a few things I am glad about. Because I tried harder to drink more water, I experimented and really found one i liked finally. I don’t like anything fizzy (except Diet Coke) so I’ve been delighted to find I love the Hint Waters. I’ve now has Watermelon, Pineapple, Peach, Blackberry, Mango/Grapefruit and Blood Orange. My favorite is Pineapple but I also like Watermelon and Blackberry. I like them all actually. They are hard to find but I am lucky to have them at work. 

Another win has been thinking about Worth-it and not-worth-it mentality. I like that and plan to experiment with it. 

The weeks after Whole30 are supposed to be reintroduction period but I am getting on an airplane on January 31 so I am not going to do that this time. If it turns out I still want to do that, I am okay doing another Whole30 at that point. Considering I saw no positives, I don’t expect to be really impacted by a particular food group in an obvious way. But if I feel much worse in Sydney, I don’t mind trying it.

I plan to continue to eat my meals Fat-Fiber-Protein. I plan to eat as many veggies as possible and the veggies first. I also plan to go back to drinking lattes though I might stay caffeine free, that’s still in the air. What I miss most is the ritual of the coffee still. I don’t have many sugar cravings at the moment and I will keep an eye on them because I don’t want to get them back.

I’m glad I did it, it was a good way to show myself how strong I can be but in the end I am also glad it’s over.

 


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