December Daily 2019

Like last year, I didn’t get to post my December Daily day by day this year. It just seemed much easier to work on it on my own pace and post it after I am done. So here we go.

I loved this year’s binder. 

i ended up with a very simple journal but that’s ok.

The reason why.

we started with family photos.

some ordinary day stories

rain and some inspiring mantras at the moment.

nathaniel took photos on the bus for me

lots of climbing this year!

and lots of studying david

more climbing

my very favorite saying right now

and some not so great days

some studying with nathaniel and some work meetings

the Google holiday party.

theme was The Great Gatsby this year.

more studying and journaling

love this boy

a special day with my friend Kelly.

there were some magical sun rises this year.

more of david studying and this sign at the climbing gym in the city.

david with his astronomy teacher.

finally wrapped all the presents and here are all the books i read in December 

well most of them. And first night of Chanukah.

Christmas Eve presents

my favorite face ever.

christmas eve and morning table.

and the aftermath. always love the aftermath.

and as is tradition tulips and my OLW for 2020.

And there we go, another year, another delightful December Daily. I love this project. Here’s to a magical 2020.

Books I Read This Week 2018 – 53


I wanted to make sure to document all the books I read in 2018 separately so this post is basically all I read before January 1. This way, the next post will start with 2019.

I liked Diane Setterfiled so I knew I would like Once Upon a River which definitely did. It’s a magical story that moves slowly but is beautiful.

Lovingkindness  was fantastic because it’s Sharon Salzberg and I definitely need more of her in my life. 

 Intercepted  was fun. I put it off a few times but finally I was in the mood for it and it didn’t disappoint for what I thought it would be. 

American Like Me was a fantastic read. I am not American so I connected with so many of the stories even though I look like I am American. 

I didn’t really like  Love and Luck all that much. Maybe it was timing and I just wasn’t in the mood for it.

I had started Why Smart Kids Worry  a little while ago but hadn’t finished it before it was due back at the library so when I got it again, I started it again right away. Most of it wasn’t useful, some of it I vehemently disagreed with and then there were a few bits that were useful. I am generally very anti parenting books that claim to know exactly what you should do (or not do) with your kids. Life is never that clear and advice shouldn’t be either imho.

I had the previous book to  You Are a Badass Every day  but I couldn’t get myself to read it and after several attempts I decided to just read this. It was ok but just nothing new.

 The Bookshop of Yesterdays was a lovely, quick read. It was interesting but not life changing. 

This year I discovered that many Japanese writers write unusual stories that I really like to read and  The Lonesome Bodybuilder was no exception. I really enjoyed these very eccentric stories.

I loved  The Great Believers. I am not sure why I put it off as long as I did. It was a really good read. 

 Love for Imperfect Things was okay. Simple, sound advice and a good reminder.

I knew  Five Feet Apart  would be a quick read but I still wanted to read it before the movie came out. It was okay.

 Elevation was a super-pleasant last-minute surprise. As I was surfing other people’s 2018 reads, I saw this pop up and was curious. I love Stephen King as a writer but usually he writes horror and I don’t read horror. So when he writes anything but, I always make a point to read it. This was fantastic.

I then tackled another top mentioned for 2018:  You Think It, I’ll Say It. I don’t usually like short story collections but this was great. I liked each of the stories quite a bit.

I ended the year with  On the Same Page which was a very mediocre read but I forgive that since this week was filled with several fantastic reads.

And there we go, 323 books in 2018. Overall, a really good year that was filled with many books I loved. Here’s to hoping 2019 proves to be just as magical.

Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Unraveling – Goodbye to 2018

I want to start by saying that this is going to be a long post. These reflective posts are how I make sure to live my life intentionally. They matter to me and I love being able to look back on them in future years. I know that this might not be interesting to many (if not any) of you, so please feel free to skip it. If some of you find it interesting, all the better.

This particular exercise is following Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2019 sheet. You can download it right here. I split the reflective questions looking back on 2018 in and the questions to help clarify goals/dreams for 2019 into two posts. This is part I, the 2019 post will show up later this week. All questions are Susannah’s and are copyrighted to her.

Before we start unravelling 2019, let’s take a moment to look back over the last twelve months. Maybe there were lots of changes for you in 2018. Maybe it’s been a year of growing or nesting or exploring or letting go. Whatever’s happened this year it’s got you to this point, right now. Exactly where you’re meant to be. Pick up your pen and let’s do some digging.


  • First of all, did you have a word for 2018? Yes, my word was strong.
  • If you did, how did your word help to guide you through the last 12 months? Can you think of any specific examples? I spent more days in the exercising than not this year. More than I ever have in the last 8 years. I dropped commitments that weren’t serving me. I created and held onto my boundaries. I took risks and made mistakes.
  • What did you embrace in 2018? I embraced my new job. I tried to show up for it with my whole self. I went to work many days, I  worked hard at defining and executing on the job.
  • What did you let go of in 2018? I let go of several commitments that weren’t serving. Many of them to do with the kids’ schools. They were taking so so much of my time and they weren’t serving me.
  • What changed for you in 2018? My perspective on exercise definitely did change. My work changed. My schedule changed. My daily routine went through several iterations.
  • What did you discover about yourself in 2018? I discovered that I need more structure. When I let go, I let go all the way. It helps me to have some designed structure so I can live my life intentionally. I also discovered that if I can’t make peace with myself, or even more, if I can’t step into the reality of who I am and completely own it, nothing else matters as much.
  • What were you most grateful for in 2018? My husband is up there at the top of my list. 2018 was a hard year for me, I went through a long period of sadness and my husband was (and always is) my biggest champion. I am grateful for all the exercise I did this year, too. I am grateful for the vacations we’ve had. The memories we created.
  • When did fear hold you back in 2018? I think it’s holding me back a little now. In defining what I want to do next, in understanding my capacity and my desires. It also holds me back from going out and socializing often.
  • Where did you practice bravery in 2018?  Many moments of this job has been bravery. The travel I did recently was also bravery. Much of the exercise I did this year was bravery.
  • What surprised you in 2018?  The job offer. Also how the sadness came out of nowhere in May and wouldn’t let go.
  • What made you smile in 2018? My husband. My kids. Moments of connection.
  • What conclusions did you reach in 2018? That I want to step into who I am and love myself and accept myself unconditionally. That’s more important than anything else I want/need. This is my most important “task.”
  • Let’s think about your ACCOMPLISHMENTS in 2018. List three things that went really well this year — personally or professionally, what are you most proud of? For each accomplishment, consider the following: What skills helped you make it happen? How has your life changed? What have you learned about yourself? How did you celebrate or acknowledge your accomplishment? (If you didn’t, how could you next time?)


    • I took a new job. I took a risk.
    • I helped both my kids with school and learning new things.
    • I got physically stronger.


  • Now let’s look at your CHALLENGES. List three situations that have tested your limits and patience this year. The big or the small — whatever challenged you the most in 2018 (there may be more than three so go with whatever comes to mind first) For each challenge, consider the following: How did you deal with the challenge? Did you discover any new tools or allies that could help you again in the future? How has your life changed? What have you learned about yourself? (If you’re still working through a particular challenge, what outcome would feel good to you?)


    • I got really sad. And I couldn’t snap out of it.
    • Food still continues to be a challenge. I’ve tried new things this year but honestly, nothing is really sticking so far.
    • I think my biggest challenge is still being kind to myself. Every other challenge I have stems from that.


  • Describe your favourite day, moment or occasion of 2018 in words and pictures. What did it taste like? Smell like? Sound like? Who was (or wasn’t) there? Where were you? What were you doing? What was awesome about it? And most importantly, how did you feel? One of my favorite parts of this year was our vacation in Europe. Making the whole thing work end to end was magical. I loved being a part of it. I loved the memories. I loved all of it.



  • Gentleness alert! Did anything happen in 2018 that needs to be forgiven? Maybe it was something someone did or said to you. Maybe it was something you did or said to someone else — or to yourself? Maybe you feel you let yourself down in some way. Here’s the thing — we are all beautifully fallible human beings doing the best that we can with the tools that we have, so where can you give the gift of forgiveness to yourself or to another? I think it’s time to put the sadness to rest. The part of me that blames me for never being able to measure up to myself. To who I feel others want me to be. To who I never feel like I can be. I think it’s time to let it all go. Everything. And just make peace with me.



  • So we’ve dug into our accomplishments and challenges, remembered our favourite moments and considered who we need to forgive. Now I invite you to close your eyes for a moment and think about 2018 as a whole. As you cast your mind back over the last 365 days, consider the gifts that 2018 offered you on your life’s journey…What stands out the most? What really mattered? What stands out the most is overwhelming gratitude. What mattered most are the days with the people I love. The moments of joy, gratitude and contentment. Simple pleasures. New experiences. Here’s some of what happened in 2018:


    • I helped Nathaniel get better at math and found him a Tech Challenge team.
    • I helped prepare David for the SSATs and explore high schools.
    • I took two trips to Sydney, one to Tokyo and one to Zurich for work.
    • As a family: we went to Tahoe, Orange County, San Diego, Joshua Tree, Rome, Pisa, Forte dei Marmi, many cities in South of France, Girona, and Barcelona
    • I changed jobs.
    • David and his team won Outstanding Device Performance in the Tech Challenge.
    • I mentored several women in my organization.
    • I am taking an AP Physics class with David.
    • I exercised every single week this year.
    • I still don’t drink any soda or drink coffee with caffeine.
    • I go to bed 10pm and wake up 6am every week day.
    • I read multiple college essays for multiple friends’ kids.  
    • I make hundreds of healthy lunches for my kids.
    • I took several online classes including: OLW, Draw and See, Close to Home, Wholehearted Artist, and Sketching Faces.
    • I have started making simple scrapbook pages again.
    • I read over 280 books.
    • I did the whole30 in January, 30 days of Yoga in February, 30 days of Body Pump class in March and did Couch25K in the summer. I took classes in barre, body pump, yoga, pilates, and ran.
    • I helped David apply for the CDB Scholarship.
    • David won third place at the San Mateo Science Fair.
    • I supported my friends and a few others who were going through a tough time this year.
    • I supported several Life Coaching clients this year.
  • Describe 2018 in 3 words: grateful, struggle, brave


  • If the events of 2018 were made into a film or a book, what would it be called? Keep Going.
  • Before we finish with 2018, take a few minutes to write out anything else you need to say to the old year in the box below. You might like to say some goodbyes and thank yous…Thank you


Thank you 2018. Despite being not the best version of myself for many months of this year, I am very grateful for so much of this year. I did so much work getting stronger this year and I am really proud of the person I was: encouraging, supportive, present and hard working. I showed up again and again despite where I was and how I felt. I am very proud of myself and grateful for all the gifts of 2018. I am ready to welcome 2019 as a stronger and more grounded version of myself.



Books I Read in 2018

In 2018, I read 323 books.
My favorite read of the year was: Where the Crawdads Sing
My favorite YA read of the year was: Sadie
My favorite middle-grade read of the year was: The Wishtree
My favorite non-fiction read of the year was: The Feather Thief
My favorite SciFi/Fantasy read of the year was: Spinning Silver
Here are my favorites, not in order, by genre:
  • The Music Shop
  • Call Me by Your Name
  • gather the daughters
  • An American Marriage
  • Animal Farm
  • The Great Alone
  • Speak No Evil
  • girls burn brighter
  • The Little Prince
  • The Oracle Year
  • The Princess Bride
  • Only Child
  • Us Against You
  • That Kind of Mother
  • The Cactus
  • the tao of pooh
  • where the crawdads sing
  • Fruit of the Drunken tree
  • Meet me at the Museum
  • Dear Committee Members
  • an absolutely remarkable thing
  • Killing Commendatore
  • love and other words
  • a ladder to the sky
  • someone like me
  • the housekeeper and the professor
  • Harry’s Trees
  • The Great Believers

Young Adult+Middle Grade

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  • What Girls Are Made Of
  • I stop somewhere
  • The astonishing color of after
  • I have lost my way
  • Circle of Shadows
  • I’m not missing
  • the muse of nightmares
  • sadie
  • not if I see you first
  • The Wishtree
  • The Giver
  • Mango Shaped Space


  • Force of Nature
  • Only Human
  • Spinning Silver


  • calypso
  • Heart Talk
  • taking the arrow out of the heart


  • Awakening your Ikigai
  • How to be Everything
  • i am, i am, i am
  • Fully Alive
  • In conclusion don’t worry about it
  • Getting Back to Happy
  • Body Positive Power
  • be brave, eat cake
  • Notes from a Public Typewriter
  • David sedaris at carnegie hall
  • Dare to Lead
  • The Monk of Mokha
  • almost everything
  • meltdown
  • the bullet journal method
  • Gmorning, Gnight Little Pep Talks For Me & You
  • Happiness
  • ram dass audio collection
  • The Feather Thief
  • art matters
  • Joyful

And here’s the full list:

  1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
  2. An Appeal to the World
  3. The Music Shop
  4. P.S. I Still Love You
  5. Always and Forever, Lara Jean
  6. The Woman in the Window
  7. Fire and Fury
  8. Judgement Detox
  9. The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women
  10. The Afterlives
  11. Molly’s Game
  12. Green
  13. Tell Me More
  14. When Things Fall Apart
  15. The Wishtree
  16. The Wife Between Us
  17. The Giver
  18. The State of Affairs
  19. Happiness for Humans
  20. Grist Mill Road
  21. This Could Hurt
  22. Still Life
  23. Everything is Beautiful
  24. The Days When Birds Come Back
  25. Call Me by Your Name
  26. So you want to talk about race
  27. Advice not given
  28. gather the daughters
  29. the immortalists
  30. in the midst of winter
  31. Awakening your Ikigai
  32. When
  33. How to be Everything
  34. The Last Mrs. Parrish
  35. You
  36. How to Stop Feeling like Sh*t
  37. Faster Than Normal
  38. The Wife
  39. How to Stop Time
  40. Do Over
  41. Force of Nature
  42. I Found You
  43. An American Marriage
  44. Everything Happens for a Reason
  45. The Dangerous Art of Blending In
  46. Self-portrait with boy
  47. Asymmetry
  48. The Gone World
  49. The Monk of Mokha
  50. i am, i am, i am
  51. Brotopia
  52. The Friend
  53. Fully Alive
  54. Animal Farm
  55. Surprise Me
  56. Educated
  57. The Great Alone
  58. Mango Shaped Space
  59. The Sword in the Stone
  60. Hazel Wood
  61. The One
  62. Heart Talk
  63. In Every Moment we are Still Alive
  64. Speak No Evil
  65. never get angry again
  66. girls burn brighter
  67. Great at Work
  68. Laura and Emma
  69. What Girls Are Made Of
  70. Girl, wash your face
  71. Nonviolent Communication
  72. The Little Prince
  73. The Beauty That Remains
  74. Annihilation
  75. The Flight Attendant
  76. Big Potential
  77. I’ll be Your Blue Sky
  78. Every Note Played
  79. Census
  80. The broken girls
  81. I stop somewhere
  82. The astonishing color of after
  83. In conclusion don’t worry about it
  84. I have lost my way
  85. Panorama
  86. The wedding date
  87. Brass
  88. The Female Persuasion
  89. The Last Equation of Isaac Severy
  90. The Oracle Year
  91. Circe
  92. Unbury Carol
  93. The Princess Bride
  94. Family and Other Catastrophies
  95. The Gunners
  96. sophia of silicon valley
  97. Tyler Johnson was here
  98. Only Human
  99. Not that Bad
  100. It’s not always depression
  101. Genuine Fraud
  102. My Twentieth Century Evening and Other Small Breakthroughs
  103. Look Alive Out there
  104. My Oxford Year
  105. Everybody Lies
  106. First we must make the beast beautiful
  107. Blackfish city
  108. This Messy Magnificent life
  109. If you’re in my office, it’s already too late
  110. The Perfect Mother
  111. The Girl Who Smiled Beads
  112. Only Child
  113. Love and Gelato
  114. Essentialism
  115. Warlight
  116. Akata Witch
  117. That Kind of Mother
  118. The Cactus
  119. Beauty in the Broken Places
  120. My Ex-Life
  121. Regrets Only
  122. The Queen of Hearts
  123. Pops
  124. The Ensemble
  125. Tin Man
  126. The Electric woman
  127. For Every One
  128. How to Walk Away
  129. Assume the Worst
  130. calypso
  131. MeM
  132. Getting Back to Happy
  133. The Glitch
  134. Us Against You
  135. Body Positive Power
  136. Every other weekend
  137. the ever after
  138. wait what?
  139. there there
  140. the word is murder
  141. The Chalk man
  142. I’m Just happy to be here
  143. Am I There Yet?
  144. on turpentine lane
  145. the book of essie
  146. something in the water
  147. driving by starlight
  148. the color of bee larkham’s murder
  149. number one Chinese restaurant
  150. Leah on the offbeat
  151. The Sun Does Shine
  152. Bring Me Back
  153. All We Ever Wanted
  154. Amateur Hour
  155. The Happiness Curve
  156. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
  157. unfuck your brain
  158. Mr. Right-Swipe
  159. The Kiss Quotient
  160. Tell the Machine Goodnight
  161. The Last Time I Lied
  162. the clock dance
  163. Left
  164. The Summer List
  165. Can’t Help Myself
  166. Circle of Shadows
  167. An Ocean of Minutes
  168. The Widower’s Notebook
  169. What we were promised
  170. Suicide Club
  171. ghosted
  172. your second life begins when you realize you only have one
  173. Dear Mrs. Bird
  174. everytime you go away
  175. The spartsholt affair
  176. Spinning Silver
  177. A Conjuring of Light
  178. A gentleman in Moscow
  179. The three questions
  180. The Death of Mrs. Westaway
  181. be brave, eat cake
  182. on color
  183. Notes from a Public Typewriter
  184. Switchers
  185. America for Beginners
  186. The Bookshop
  187. the seven principles for making marriage work
  188. the convenience store woman
  189. the incendieries
  190. Now my heart is full
  191. from the corner of the oval
  192. She was the quiet one
  193. How to build a girl
  194. Three Things about Elsie
  195. I’m not missing
  196. The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
  197. The shortest Way home
  198. house of broken angels
  199. his favorites
  200. the tao of pooh
  201. unhinged
  202. snap
  203. sweet little lies
  204. where the crawdads sing
  205. inappropriation
  206. nothing good can come from this
  207. a place for us
  208. the seven husbands of evelyn hugo
  209. Note to Self
  210. Fruit of the Drunken tree
  211. Vox
  212. like never and always
  213. Dead Madam President
  214. the Happiness Advantage
  215. Before Happiness
  216. Meet me at the Museum
  217. History of Jane doe
  218. Josh and Hazel’s guide to not dating
  219. sadie
  220. Dear Committee Members
  221. the line that held us
  222. the dinner list
  223. fear
  224. David sedates at carnegie hall
  225. mermaid and mrs hancock
  226. an absolutely remarkable thing
  227. charlotte walsh likes to win
  228. wildcard
  229. the muse of nightmares
  230. Make time
  231. Fox 8
  232. An audience of one
  233. the dream daughter
  234. whiskey in a teacup
  235. Dare to Lead
  236. Killing Commendatore
  237. not if I see you first
  238. love and other words
  239. broken things
  240. almost everything
  241. What if it’s us?
  242. maeve in america
  243. zero sum game
  244. atomic habits
  245. The emmisary
  246. fight or flight
  247. meltdown
  248. taking the arrow out of the heart
  249. this will only hurt a little
  250. unsafe thinking
  251. vengeful
  252. every breath
  253. the proposal
  254. Go Ask Ali
  255. The Other Woman
  256. The Disappearances
  257. Dear Evan Hansen
  258. Heavy
  259. one day in December
  260. a very large expanse of sea
  261. radically happy
  262. Brief Answers to the Big questions
  263. All Your Perfects
  264. A River of Stars
  265. the optimist’s guide to letting go
  266. family trust
  267. a ladder to the sky
  268. someone like me
  269. can you learn to be lucky?
  270. A Call for Revolution
  271. The Good Luck Charm
  272. success through diversity
  273. the bullet journal method
  274. Never Split the difference
  275. Dear Bob and Sue
  276. Gmorning, Gnight Little Pep Talks For Me & You
  277. Happiness
  278. The 7.5 lives of evelyn heardcastle
  279. Exactly What to Say
  280. heretics anonymous
  281. The Surrender Experiment
  282. the housekeeper and the professor
  283. ram dass audio collection
  284. A Heart in a Body in the World
  285. The Feather Thief
  286. This is Marketing
  287. Words on Bathroom Walls
  288. the challenge culture
  289. thanks a thousand
  290. seventeen
  291. curse of the boyfriend sweater
  292. the marriage lie
  293. art matters
  294. A Return to Love
  295. The end of the end of the earth
  296. Trinity
  297. Down and Across
  298. choose wonder over worry
  299. things I wish I knew before my mom died
  300. severance
  301. the museum of modern love
  302. my sister the serial killer
  303. misadventures of a college girl
  304. Joyful
  305. how will you measure your life?
  306. Congratulations by the way
  307. Harry’s trees
  308. My favorite half-night stand
  309. once upon a river
  310. Lovingkindness Meditation
  311. Intercepted
  312. American like me
  313. Love and Luck
  314. Why Smart Kids Worry
  315. You Are a Badass Every Day
  316. The Bookshop of Yesterdays
  317. The Lonesome Body Builder
  318. The Great Believers
  319. Love for imperfect things
  320. Five Feet Apart
  321. Elevation
  322. You Think it I’ll Say It
  323. On the Same Page
For 2019 I plan to use a sheet to track my reading again and I am also tracking my books on goodreads. Here’s to another year of reading! I am planning to purposefully read 100 fewer books next year so I can use that time to take classes. Let’s see if I can be successful 🙂

Books I Read This Week 2018 – 52


I started the week with Severance which I’d been putting off for a long time, I liked it and I am glad I read it. Not sure if it would make my top ten in 2018 list though as it seems to have made for so many others.

The Museum of Modern Love  was fantastic. Different, touching, thoughtful. I loved it. 

 My Sister, The Serial Killer  is another one of those I see on every list and wasn’t sure if I would like it. It’s really short so I finally tackled it and it was interesting. Better than I thought it would be with that name. 

Misadventures of a College Girl was little light reading for when I wasn’t feeling well. Not usually a genre I enjoy but this year I’ve been trying to read more widely. 

I really enjoyed  Joyful and it will stay with me for a while. I also have been thinking about how to incorporate bits and pieces of it into my daily life.

 How Will You Measure Your Life? was fantastic, thought provoking and another one that will stay with me for a while. Always good to read books like this to help remind me what matters most to me.

I knew  Congratulations, By the Way  was super short and I had heard bits of it before but it was worth every minute of listening to this short speech.

But  Harry’s Trees was by far the best read of the week and one of the most enjoyable books of this year for me. I really recommend it.

I ended the week with another super light read:  My Favorite Half-Night Stand. It was okay and light as expected.

A few more days of reading in 2018. Let’s see where I end up.

Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

December Daily 2018

I didn’t get to post my December Daily day by day this year. It just seemed much easier to work on it on my own pace and post it after I am done. So here we go. This includes some magic David added to the holiday after you get through all the photos.

The first page was this transparency I love and a wooden circle. 

i love the see through pages.

Then I put the calendar page with the events I knew we were going to have for sure.

And the back has my intentions.

The first page is always our family photo with “and so it begins”

i cut the photos up this year just to make it more fun.

and another photo in the back. 

The next day is the holiday party at work. Which always comes with photo booth photos much to my delight.

and more!

we basically go right to the photos when we go to the party and then we can eat and have fun 🙂

day three is about my grandmother passing away and the first day of Chanukah.

this is the ad in the paper when my grandmother passed away.

and me sitting eating turkish food that day. 

and then David took his SSAT test for high school applications. So I sat and waited for 3 hours while he sat the test.

nathaniel working on the tech challenge with his group.

the pm summit at work.

more transparent.

the next day i took off work and jake and I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody which was amazing.

and we took photo booth photos of course!

the next day we went rock climbing.

i love these photos.

the next day is more tech challenge photos and a playdate nathaniel had.

then we saw a star is born which made me both mad and sad.

i used the next day to journal some of my thoughts.

the next day I threw out my back after body pump class, so the universe told me i had to rest. 

and then there were some big announcements at work.

some of my favorite reads of 2018

love those pockets.

the back is some of my favorite ornaments.

next day is a quick little page about wrapping our presents.

and then david’s culmination at school. love this.

the next day is about gratitude for work and california mornings.

nathaniel loves making imaginary play no matter what he has around.

i bought some fun sparkly nail stickers. which i had to peel off when my mom wasn’t a fan.

the next day is about peace, books, and coffee.

and then puzzles and togetherness.

the next day is when my parents arrive, we go out to dinner with my cousin and then we leave the kids so jake and I can spend a night away together.

more photos from our time together which was magical.

more photos from our getaway in the city.

and the last page with the story.

for christmas eve (and day) i just collected a lot of photos of how we are now.

and then christmas eve presents which ended up being a hit. 

nathaniel left a note for santa and david really took it to the next level with his typed up amazing reply. (see below for all of the next, warning spoilers for kids who love santa.)

more of david’s response.

christmas morning. 

and christmas day, post presents.

and finally i always add a page to represent the next year with flowers. 

and my word for the next year. 

And there we go, another year, another delightful December Daily. I love this project. Here’s to a magical 2019.


Here’s David’s typed up response. Questions are from Nathaniel. WARNING AGAIN that you should not read this with your kids who love SANTA.  

Hello Nathaniel! Thanks for contacting me! I rarely see someone your age reach out to me anymore and it was a welcomed surprise to see this letter. Unfortunately, all of your questions were very complicated (and thoughtful!) and I did not have enough space to respond to each of them with the space provided, so I am attaching this piece of paper.


How do reindeer fly?

You don’t seem to understand what I am. I am not a physical thing, and it is not I who delivers the presents as you may have seen. I am an idea that come in any shape or form, just consisting of a few common traits, with the primary ones being the want to give to others and be kind, and the want to celebrate during the winter season. More specifically, I push many humans via their subconsciousness to give gifts and celebrate. Reindeer do not actually fly, but the want to give presents is manifested in the form of a tale of a jolly man and flying reindeer. Humans love fantastical tales and will adopt them to give spirit and life to their holidays.

How old are you?

I have no real age, but I first popped up in medieval Scandinavia, ancient Rome, and ancient Norway in the forms of holidays like Yule and Saturnalia. “Christmas” began in ~300 CE, and it took many elements from these holidays and used this new holiday to spread Christianity, going as far as to change the date of Jesus’s birth for it. Christmas was a rowdy holiday about large carnivals, wine, and feasts back then, and it has a deep history as well. It was even banned by the Puritans for a while. But the holiday you are most familiar with is the 19th-century remake that made it focused on family. My ideas can even infect other holidays like Hannukah where individuals are still compelled to give gifts. However, none of these holidays are the “right”  ones, because they are all the same in their essence. People will adapt holidays, as everybody adapts a holiday in some way, just some more than others, but each one is based around the same idea, and that is what I am.

What is your favorite food?

I am an idea, so I do not ingest actual organic material, but you could say I feed off of emotion in a way (more emotions related to me, the more individuals I can interact with, and the bigger I become), and that would make my current favorite foods the feelings of happiness, joy, and belonging. Thank you for asking!


It has been nice communicating with you, Nathaniel, and even if you don’t believe in Santa anymore (Santa is merely another manifestation of me) I hope you still enjoy Christmas. Also, I hope you understand after all of this that I am not actually writing this, just silently urging an individual to do this in the back of their mind (that is how most of these holidays come together). Nevertheless, have a happy Christmas, Saturnalia, Yule, or whatever you may choose to call it.


Stronger Than Before – 52

Weekly Intention: And here we are on the last week of 2018. May it be a wonderful week and may 2019 bring joy, wisdom, celebrations and a lot of magic. My intention this week is to be as present as I can. To take the time I need to be my best self and to really appreciate the depth and the breadth of my life. 

This month’s intention is: Rest Stronger: And finally here we are. You’ve worked hard all year and gave it your all. Time to rest. You pushed yourself to get stronger and now you need to rest so you can be ready for 2019. Here’s to resting for a whole week!

One way I will stretch this week: having lots of family will both fill me with joy and stretch me. 

One boundary I will set this week:  taking the time i need. and i will need some.

This week, I will focus on pleasing: as many people as possible. 

One new thing I will learn this week:  hmmm maybe how to balance it all?

One area where I will go deeper this week: really relishing in the joy of my family.

What do I need to sit with this week? how to balance what i need and what i want.

I am looking forward to: christmas day.

This week’s challenges: just the balance.

Top Goals:  no goals this week. just enjoy myself.

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: love love love my people.
  • Learn:  to balance.
  • Peace: peace with what is.
  • Service: to my soul.
  • Gratitude: for togetherness.

This week, I want to remember: that it’s magical to get to be together.

Stronger Than Before is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Weekly Reflection 2018 – 51

How I got Stronger this week: And here we go, I have finished the last work week of the year. Since my back was hurt, I didn’t end up exercising at all. This might in fact be the longest I went in 2018 without exercise. But I still feel proud of my week. I worked, I made a few tangible differences this week at work and then I spent Thursday preparing more for the holidays and then my wonderful parents showed up. It was a lovely week. 

Top Goals Review:  

  • Work:  I had conversations around 2019 goals. Sadly first of many so there’s still more work to do here.
    Personal:  I did my december daily,  I didn’t scrap more but I did rest and alas did no art.
    Family: I wrapped all the presents and finished buying everything, I also relaxed and hugged my kids and hugged Jake and hugged my parents. yay!

I celebrate: David’s culmination was wonderful and I celebrate all of his progress this year.

I am grateful for: some lovely quiet time that always comes at the end of the year. so grateful to get to have it.

Karen’s Points: nothing this week. 

A Change I embraced: my family is here and i am embracing it fully.

I let go of: assuming it’s all going to go according to my plans 🙂

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Fresh: some down time is refreshing.
  • Magical: this time of year is magical everywhere
  • Lighter: i feel lighter now that i have some downtime.
  • True: i’m going to have to work hard aligning my boundaries these two weeks but I will do it.

Where I chose Joy: lots of little moments of joy this week.

I showed up for:  my kids, my parents.

A Mistake I made this week:

What I tolerated this week: a lot of pain.

My mood this week was:  in pain.

I forgive myself for:  being who i am and needing as much downtime as i do.

What I love right now: twinkle lights, downtime, time with family, love.

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

Books I Read This Week 2018 – 51

I started the week with Seventeen which I just could never get into. It wasn’t that it was bad, just that I never connected with the novel.

The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater  was a similar experience too. I really enjoyed bits of it but overall it was meh.

I figured the  The Marriage Lie  was going to be engaging even though I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. In the end, I did. It was different than the other books in this gene.

Art Matters was a super fast read but wonderful and joyful and even though I am not a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s books, I love his non fiction.

I enjoyed A Return to Love and it was exactly what I needed at that moment.

I also really really liked the stories in   The End of the End of the Earth which kept me company as I scrapbooked.

I like the way Louisa Hall writes and  Trinity was no exception. It wasn’t as good as her previous novel but I am still glad I read it.

I then tackled  Down and Across which I thought would be fun especially as I have been doing lots of crosswords. It was fun and okay but the crosswords didn’t actually show up as much as I had anticipated.

I had been waiting to read  Choose Wonder over Worry and it didn’t disappoint! I really enjoyed this new to me author.

I ended the week with  Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died which I also was really looking forward to but it turned out to be what I thought. It wasn’t bad just different than my expectations which is always tricky.

All in all, ok week. I am on to my 300th book now.

Books I Read this Week 2018 is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Stronger Than Before – 51

Weekly Intention: This is the week I officially start my 2018 wind down and I am so ready. I plan to go to work Monday and Tuesday and some of Wednesday. David has a school event on Monday and then my parents arrive Thursday evening. My intention for early in the week is to be productive and closeout some of the topics that have been open and dragging along, make some decisions to help setup 2019 and then take off. My intention for later in the week is to start the relaxation process.  

This month’s intention is: Rest Stronger: And finally here we are. You’ve worked hard all year and gave it your all. Time to rest. You pushed yourself to get stronger and now you need to rest so you can be ready for 2019. Well as if I needed another reminder, my back is forcing me to rest.

One way I will stretch this week: i am trying to take risks, ask for what i want and put myself out there.

One boundary I will set this week:  not working once i am not working! 🙂

This week, I will focus on pleasing: Jake and David and Nathaniel. 

One new thing I will learn this week: plans for 2019 for work.

One area where I will go deeper this week: i did a lot of work on 2019 last weekend so maybe i can be more intentional and specific about the art portion this week.

What do I need to sit with this week? how to set myself up for success and relaxation for the holidays.

I am looking forward to: taking some time off.

This week’s challenges: Monday will be a bit challenging but that’s ok.

Top Goals: 

  • Work:  have conversations around 2019 goals.
  • Personal:  do december daily, scrap more if i can, rest, maybe do some art?
  • Family: wrap presents, finish buying everything, relax and hug my kids and hug Jake and hug my parents

I will focus on my values:

  • Love: start making plans for loving self goals.   (since i didn’t do this last week)
  • Learn:  pick one class.
  • Peace: peace with the pain
  • Service: to my body.
  • Gratitude: for getting to be together for the first time in over 20 years.

This week, I want to remember: that it’s ok to rest and that i will recover.

Stronger Than Before is a year-long project for 2018. You can read more about my projects for 2018 here.

Weekly Reflection 2018 – 50

How I got Stronger this week: Well this week turned out to be trickier than I’d hoped. I enjoyed most of my day off on Monday and then was quite productive Tuesday until I threw out my back on Wednesday morning. The rest of the week was reasonably productive but also reasonably painful. I am confident that without all the work I’ve done to get stronger this year, this episode would have been much worse but I am still in quite a bit of pain and would have preferred not to have this happen. 

Top Goals Review:  

  • Work:  I have spent some time thinking about what’s next and talked to a few people but I didn’t document my thoughts yet. I have talked to my manager and I’d say it went well so far.
  • Personal:  I am pretty good on solidifying 2019 plans, I’ve been keeping up with my december daily but I haven’t scrapped more, I did also write up year end posts yay!
  • Family: I did not at all work on applications with david because he had a lot of homework, Nathaniel and I did math, but David and I didn’t do any physics, I did buy more christmas presents and we saw several movies!

I celebrate: delivering a personal and touching present to my team.

I am grateful for: my manager and his ability to receive my feedback and hear me when I need to be heard.

Karen’s Points: this week was one yoga and then half a body pump until I hurt myself.

A Change I embraced: well i’m going to say my back was definitely that change this week.

I let go of: trying to get anything done once I hurt myself.

Core Desired Feelings Check-in:

  • Fresh: taking monday off was refreshing and lovely.
  • Magical: the way the team received my present was magical.
  • Lighter: i feel lighter each day now.
  • True: it’s been hard to deal with all that i have going on in my head but I am working on it.

Where I chose Joy: taking Monday off.

I showed up for:  my colleagues.

A Mistake I made this week: a few times, i think my energy is too much. so i need to learn how to taper it.

What I tolerated this week: a lot of pain.

My mood this week was:  in pain.

I forgive myself for:  bending down the wrong way and starting this spiral of pain.

What I love right now: that i have days left before i see my family, days left before I get some serious time off.

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

Moments from this Week – 50

lots and lots of photos from Zurich.

especially from the pool early in the morning. 

it was a magical trip.

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