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
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.

You Choose - Week 24

This week’s pick is about being alive. Nature always makes me feel alive. I love the idea of taking a road trip. Not with a destination in mind, but just for the journey. My heart yearns for experiences like that.

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

A Book a Week – all the light we cannot see

I read All the Light We Cannot See because amazon recommended it and it was definitely one of my favorite reads of 2014. (yes i read this back in 2014.)

Even though it takes place during World War II and I never read books about the second world war, I somehow made an exception for this because I thought it wouldn’t really be about the war.

And i was right. It’s not really about the war. It’s really wonderful. Great storytelling, really good character development and beautiful writing.

Highly recommended.

Fifty-Two Stamps - Week 21

A tiny, little leaf/tree/branch thing this week. I thought this, too, could be fun for my mixed media pages. I didn’t have a super creative idea for this week so I went with it.

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

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen – Week 24

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: Six Hours in New York City
While I was in Zurich, Marcus told me that he was visiting New York City in just a few weeks and it might be nice if I joined them as well. I hadn’t planned on traveling so soon after I got back from Switzerland but I also didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see the engineers since they were coming all the way to the United States.

Marcus and I went back and forth several times on which days might be the best for me to be there. After several discussions, it became clear that Friday was going to be the ideal day when I could have meetings with the people I needed to see.

I considered getting there on Thursday and spending the night in the city but I really didn’t want to fly all day, get there late in the afternoon, and then get up and go to work the next day. I figured instead of wasting an entire day on the plane, I could take the red eye on Thursday night, go right to work after the plane lands, sit through all my meetings and then take the evening flight back to San Francisco.

This way, I’d only be away from the kids one night and one day. I’d still make it to all my meetings, and even get to spend extra time with Marcus on the way back to Newark. I knew traveling 12 hours to be there for nine seemed a bit crazy but it felt like the best option, to me. I was worried that I wouldn’t get to sleep on the plane and would have an awful day, but I decided to take the risk anyway.

As it turned out, everything went just fine. I didn’t get to sleep on the plane but I got in to work early, took a shower and had breakfast before I met up with Marcus. I was awake and present for all the meetings, I had lunch with one of the engineers I hadn’t spent enough time with up until then, I met a lot of people in the New York office, and I got to chat with Marcus for a long time on the way to our planes.

All in all, it was a very worthwhile trip and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had made it in my mind. I goy home at11pm on Friday so I went right to bed and had no problem recovering from the slightly insane schedule the day before.

Lesson learned: it’s ok to do crazy things every now and then.

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

You Choose – Week 23

I loved the color on the image so I decided to make my whole page filled with color. This one says “Some days joy is a gift and other days it’s an all-out battle. Fight on, girl.” and the left side says “I choose to do the difficult things when that is what is required to get to the places that my soul is yearning to go.”

This one is about being brave. Fighting for what I want. Working hard for it. Not giving up. And I fail. I will fail often. But I have to keep retrying.

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

A Book a Week – the magicians

I read The Magicians after it sat on my list for years. I always thought I’d like it but apparently I had no idea what the plot really was. This story is sort of like Harry Potter for grown ups. But I think it’s not as good.

It’s longer than it needs to be and gets tedious at parts. There are a lot of characters and it’s hard to keep track of all the plot points. Maybe it didn’t help that I listened to it and didn’t read, but I’ve listened to a lot of books this year and didn’t have this problem before.

I’m on the fence about reading the other two. Especially since I hear number two is not that great.

Fifty-Two Stamps - Week 20

I wanted to do something totally different this week. This one is a texture stamp. I can use it to add texture to my mixed media pages. I can use it with ink and with paint. It’s simple but I see myself using it a lot.

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

Note to Self - Week 25

This week’s page was another Life Book lesson. One by Alena Hennessy. I didn’t have anything in mind when I started this piece. I just sat down and let myself have fun with paint.

Message says: See the light in others and treat them as if that’s all you see.

Here are a few detail shots:

Note to self: i want to be the kind of person who sees others’ light. everyone has light. i want to be able to find it and hang on to it. just like everyone has pain. if i see their light and i focus on it with all my might, i know the world will be a wonderful place for me.

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

Stories of Twenty-Fifteen - Week 23

Here’s this week’s story:

Title: Pinkeye
When I got back from Zurich, the boys were very happy to see me but they also looked like they’d had a wonderful time with Daddy. They’d played games, eaten cookies and ice cream, spent a lot of time running around at school and playing with their friends. I felt grateful that they have such a wonderful Dad.

The next day, however, I noticed Nathaniel kept scratching his eye. At first I thought he was having an allergic reaction to being outside. He was sneezing and had a runny nose so it didn’t seem impossible that he was allergic to something. And maybe the jet lag got in the way of my thinking clearly because I didn’t think too much of it.

That night he was even more agitated but because I’d already fallen asleep, I didn’t know about it until the next morning. By the time he woke up, both his eyes were completely red and swollen. It didn’t even take me a second to diagnose him.

He had pinkeye.

So off to the emergency room we went. It was Sunday morning, of course, as these things only seem to happen on Sundays to us. We were lucky enough to get an appointment at the Medical Center so we didn’t have to go to Stanford’s Emergency Room which is always a long wait and makes me really sad.

The doctor confirmed he had pinkeye and gave him drops for the next eight days. She did, however, say he’d be able to go to school on Monday since he’s have had the drops for 24 hours by then. This was a huge relief because I was scheduled to go to work the next day.

Even though the pinkeye continued for the next few days before the symptoms subsided, the little boy took it all in stride. As he does with almost everything. I am so grateful that he’s always in such good spirits and doesn’t get fazed. I’m also grateful that it was just pinkeye and nothing more serious.

I love you, little boy, hope you get better fast.

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