David and Nathaniel’s Books of Happy Memories – Week 16

Here’s this week’s offering from David:

David’s got the schedule for the Sharks games and a Chrome sticker and a stamp he really likes.

And one from Nathaniel:

he made this awesome centerpiece from cardboard and spaghetti for Christmas and this story went along with it.

David and Nathaniel’s Books of Happy Memories is a two projects I’m doing with my kids for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen – Week 17

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: Early Morning at Cafe Borrone
Saturday morning I found myself awake at 5:46am. As I was lying in bed, trying to decide whether I should go back to sleep or get up, I heard Nathaniel go to the bathroom. Since Jake looked like he was going to stay asleep, I decided to sneak out of bed and go downstairs to meet Nathaniel and ask him if he’d like to go to Cafe Borrone together. He said, “Yes!”

We looked up the Cafe’s hours and found out that even though they don’t open until seven am, they serve coffee starting at six. So we grabbed our books, got dressed and drove to Borrone. There were no other customers, so we had our pick of tables. I got some coffee and Nathaniel got some ice water and we sat inside by the windows.

We spent the next hour working on different problems in Nathaniel’s second grade workbook. We did some science and then we learned about telling time. We even played math bingo. By this point, it was past seven, so we got up and ordered a strawberry tart for Nathaniel (his favorite) and a warm croissant for me (my favorite). I tried to get some photos of him working but Nathaniel, being his sweet, silly self, made funny faces, laughed, and then laughed some more, so all my photos are blurry and silly. But I love them.

I love them because they were the perfect ending to the perfect morning. They are such an excellent reminder of Nathaniel’s sweet, kind, and silly disposition. All in all, we were there for a little over an hour. It was the very best way to start my morning. We got a little work done, we ate some tasty food, we laughed, we hugged and we spent time just the two of us. And I will likely cherish this ordinary Cafe Borrone morning for weeks and weeks to come.

Yet another example that ordinary moments are what make life so extraordinary. That these are the moments I live for and strive for every day in my life. This is what I want more of in my life: little moments of connection. Small ways to carve time to spend with the people I love so very very much. I am so glad I chose to get out of bed.

Thank you, my sweet boy, for bringing so much light into my life.

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

You Choose – Week 15

This week’s pick is about being open. believing that wonderful things are happening all the time and can happen at any time. Being open to receive them. Noticing them when they do. Allowing all of the goodness to wash over you. And opening your arms wide to receive it all.

and it shimmers :)

You Choose is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – the unwinding

I read Unwinding for book club. It’s nonfiction and a book I would have never ever picked up on my own. Ever.

But it was interesting. Too long, but interesting in parts. I feel that, like most nonfiction, it could have been 50% less writing, and I would have found it more interesting, more readable, and more worth my time.

If you’re a fan of nonfiction and history, this is one for you.

Note to Self - Week 17

This week’s page is another one of Tam’s beautiful Life Book lessons. She had these wonderful connected shapes but I was doing assignment on Valentine’s Day and thought it might be fun to just use hearts and see how it turned out. I also decided to use some colors I don’t usually use.

I will admit, I don’t like how it turned out. I don’t hate it, but it’s nowhere near the top of my favorites list. I did love her art and I will have to try this lesson again another time, without the hearts and with different color choices.

The writing says: we are all connected through love.

I’ve been doing this new practice this year where I just assume someone’s snappy comments are not about me. When they don’t say anything and my natural instinct is to go to my head. To make it all about me. To assume this other person is upset with me. But this year, I am doing the opposite. I am assuming it’s not about me. I am thinking of other possibilities. I am even thinking they want to help me. I am thinking they want the best for me. It allows me to expand and not contract. It allows me to be my best self. It allows me to remember that the world is full of abundance. That we’re all connected and can do more together. Always.

Note to self: assume the best of others. assume they want the best for you. they love you. and love them. unconditionally.

Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave – Week 14

Apologies for not posting Everyday Braves for the last two weeks. I actually did these a while ago but haven’t had time to upload them as the last two weeks have been a rollercoaster ride of insane amount of work. Now that we are back to normal I am hoping to catch up on all things slowly.

The left side here is actually a Swiss tram. At least my version of it. I did this page before my first trip to Zurich.

And the right side is a teapot and a swing of flowers in the middle, just for fun.

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.

David and Nathaniel’s Books of Happy Memories – Week 15

Here’s this week’s offering from David:

David’s got a photo of him from when he was younger and some robot cards from Maker Faire.

And one from Nathaniel:

One final Nathaniel glitter page. He loves making these.

David and Nathaniel’s Books of Happy Memories is a two projects I’m doing with my kids for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen – Week 16

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: My New Planner
I blame Christy Tomlinson. Or maybe I should blame Stephanie Howell because Christy wasn’t even in my Instagram but Stephanie was and she posted a photo of some beautiful planners Christy was giving away. Then I added her account to my feed and, within a half hour, I was shopping for my own planner. I haven’t even owned a planner since 1990s and I have no idea why I suddenly had the unstoppable urge to own one.

After pondering it pretty much full-time for two days, I decided to bite the bullet and get one. The gold one was on sale for 50% off so I decided it would be a good first test to see if the planner thing would actually work. I bought the planner and even though I knew it wouldn’t arrive for at least a week, considering it was coming from Australia, I started stalking the mailman.

I spent my waiting days buying smaller but fun planner goodies, some a4 paper, and thinking about all the inserts I want to have. I designed five different kinds of inserts. Each day, my anticipation grew and grew and the planner could not get here fast enough.

Finally, this Friday, the mailman showed up with the planner in his arms. I almost kissed him. It was as beautiful in person and I’d anticipated. I spent most of my day making the inserts, the dividers, filling the pockets and making a fun but personal dashboard to remind me of what I want this year to be about.

I’ve only had it for a day and a half, so it’s too soon to tell whether this solution will work for me long term. The planner is definitely thicker and heavier than the Moleskine I was using before so we’ll see if it’s sustainable but, for now, I am enjoying it. Even though I probably didn’t need another obsession in my life.

All joking aside, it has been really fun dreaming up different ways in which I can organize and track my life. The colorful pages of my planner make me happy and give me hope that it might be able to help me get my life back on track.

Here’s to hoping it’s not just pretty but also effective.

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

You Choose – Week 14

This week’s pick is about abundance. An abundance of kindness. Being open to receiving it and to giving it. Being kind even when the other person might not fully deserve it. Being kind for no reason. Being kind without waiting for anything in return. Being kind because it makes me feel wonderful to be kind. My goal this year is always be as kind as I can be, and then be a bit kinder than that.

no shimmer on this page. :)

You Choose is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – sweet tooth

I read Sweet Tooth after letting it sit for a long time. I am a big Ian McEwan fan and I wanted to read it as soon as it came out, but I just couldn’t get into it.

So I finally picked it up again and decided to listen to it.

It was a good choice because this time I finished the whole thing. And I really liked it. I loved the storytelling. He has a way with stories and characters. And he just doesn’t disappoint me.

Not his best but I still liked it a lot.

It's time to Learn to Love Travel Again

Here’s a page I made for My Mind’s Eye for April.

And here’s the full journaling:
I’ve now worked at Google for almost nine years. In those nine years, the only travel I’ve done was a short trip to NYC over eight years ago. In the Chrome team, there wasn’t a lot of reason to travel so it didn’t even cross my mind. However, since I took the Transit team job, I knew travel would be a part of my new position. Even though I was nervous about how it would work out, I was prepared to take the chance in order to get to experience working for a different team.

Since taking the job, not even six months ago, I’ve already flown to Zurich twice and NYC once. And there’s probably at least one trip to Seattle and another one to Zurich on the agenda before this year is out. That’s five trips in a year, three of which are international. Insane compared to my one in the last eight years.

I remember packing for my first trip to Switzerland in December. I was so worried about everything. I had no idea if I would find my way to the hotel (I did.) or from the hotel to work (I could see the work building from my hotel.) I wasn’t sure if the team would be nice (They were.) or if I would get along with them. (Yes, I would.) I had no idea what to pack. (I packed too warmly. It’s way too hot in the office.) And most of all, I wasn’t sure if it would be worth the trip. (It so was!)

Those were just my worries about work. I also had a collection of concerns about back home. I had no idea if Jake would be able to handle the kids for the whole week I would be gone. (He so could!!) I had never left them for more than a day.

I was very anxious. I dreaded leaving. I whined and whined until the moment I got on the plane. But, of course, once I landed, I was completely focused on work. I did spend time chatting briefly with the kids each day but, for the most part, I wasn’t anxious at all once I was there. I went to meetings, I talked to my team mates, and I worked hard to not let jet lag get to me.

Each of the three trips came with dread but each of them was also incredibly useful, productive and completely worthwhile. I came back from each trip with a long list of work that excites me, tighter connections with my team members, and inspired to get to work.

I will admit that I still am not a fan of the time spent on airplanes and I would much rather be with my kids and sleep in my bed. But if a few weeks of traveling means I can continue to work from home, I think it’s a great deal. Even if I am out of town three weeks of the year, it still means I get to spend the other 49 weeks, at home, able to drop off and pick up my kids from school. I think that alone is worth all the travel I’ve been doing.

I know that, like most things, over time, I will find a way to make this whole experience more smooth. I will worry less. Who knows, I might even start looking forward to these trips one day. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch for now, but, at least, I get to bring back lots of delicious Swiss chocolate. Can’t beat that!

Note to Self – Week 16

This week’s page takes its inspiration from Tam’s lesson from Life Book. I loved her feather so much that I immediately wanted to make one of my own.

The text for this week says: you get to always choose how you feel.

Are you seeing a pattern here? I think these pages helped me when I was going through a tough time. I wanted to remind myself again and again that I own my feelings and they don’t own me. Even if it feels the other way around sometimes.

Note to self: alive is how i want to feel. alive and serene at the same time.

Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.