Monday, April 26, 2010

Driving to San Francisco

Back in the old days when I was a working woman, this was my commute.  Well, part of it at least.  If we go way back to when Keith and I were newly engaged...then this was my commute from Burlingame.
Exciting post, right?
Keith and I lived right off of Broadway in the cutest little house.  I still love that house...I have some of my best memories there.  And I always loved the lighting in that house. 
 Driving in the bay area makes me very nostalgic.
This was our was rather large compared to the rest of the house. 
White floors in a kitchen is not a good idea by the way.
I did a lot of wedding planning in that house. 
I can't believe this is about 8 years ago.
Anyway...back to the drive.

I think this is the hotel where Keith asked my dad for my hand in marriage.
I love my traditional man.

I tried to get us a factory tour here once.  They wouldn't let me in.

Now we can see the bay.
One good thing that has come out of "this economy," the ballparks are all getting their original names back.  Candlestick was always Candlestick to me.
Heading towards downtown. 
I never liked this part of the city...Too many houses and no trace of the hill.
Look, someone painted a heart on the front of their house.

I feel like I am going to work.  Almost there.
Just follow this street down to the Embarcadero and turn left and head past
 The Ferry Building to the Ice House. 
Sometimes I miss my job.
Most of the time I don't.
But I did like my co-workers.
I loved working in the City.
I liked Happy Hour.
I liked working at the corporate office for Williams-Sonoma.
When I was 26 I made it my goal to get a job there.  
It took me 9 months and 5 or 6 interviews. 

But this night we were not driving to my office.  We headed here.

When I moved from Walnut Creek to Burlingame I started commuting with my good friend, Angela.
Last month it worked out perfectly that we were in town for her 40th birthday.

She is 100% italian.  I am like 80% Irish.
Can you say Spray Tan? :-)

Here is a small world connection with Angela.
Her husband, Paulo, has a brother, Giovanni.
(Yes, they are very Italian)
In college, Giovanni lived with Mike.  Mike is Keith's cousin...Aunt 'Lene's son.
Aunt Lene and Angela have the same birthday.
I got lucky, the stars aligned and Aunt Lene's party was during the day and Angela's was at night.
 Aunt 'Lene and Mike should have come with us to Angela's because they could have introduced us to half the party.

It was a big fun party day.
When we got home to Papa and Curly's house, this is how our monkeys were sleeping.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Over spring break we went up north to celebrate Aunt 'Lene's 70th Birthday.

It was at a Bocce Ball place in Los Gatos. 

Bocce is so fun.  Especially with this crew.  Actually, anything with Aunt 'Lene is fun.
She has amazing amounts of energy...even when she is she was for several weeks before and after this party.  But she managed to get herself well enough for this day and we are so happy we were able to celebrate with her.

It was a fantastic time for all...except...well...maybe a certain 3 year old who needed a nap. 
Let's look a little closer.
Keith's cousin Susie had t-shirts made for all the kids with Aunt 'Lene's face on it. 
All the kids were thrilled to model the shirts...except that certain 3 year old.
She was P-I-S-Sed.
She wanted to be home.
She wanted to be sleeping.
She was feeling shy and intimidated.
She let me force the t-shirt on her but she was
absolutley not going to let anyone look at the image on her shirt. 
She was holding on to her last bit of power.
The moment she got in the car she ripped that shirt off and threw it on the floor. 
She was taking her anger out on the shirt. She tried to punch it. 
She wasn't mad at Aunt 'Lene.  She loves Aunt 'Lene. 
She talks about Aunt 'Lene often and asks when she will visit and have a sleepover.
That shirt just represented her lack of power.

But I am a little sad that there are so many friends and family who don't get to see
the warm and silly side of Elise.
You have to stay at our house for a few hours to before she will let you witness her goofy nature.

But I am not worried.

My cousin Erin did not speak to anyone in our family until she was 12 I think.
She had the same look in her eye that Elise has at family gatherings.
Then Erin turned into a social butterfly in high school.
I hear she was a party queen at Santa Barbara.
You'd have to be to want to live on D.P. in I.V. while at S.B.
She works hard and plays hard.
Now she is a lawyer in LA representin' the hip hop world. Yo.

So Elise can shut down and give all the dirty looks she wants.
I know the real deal and she is something special.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Feeding Time

In my fantasy world I have a ranch in the middle of nowhere. 
In my fantasy the animals don't smell and they take care of themselves. 
In real life, we have Papa Han's and Rachelle's place to visit. 
Real life is pretty good.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sad Blogs

I haven't felt as motivated to blog lately.  I have been forcing myself to post a few updates but I don't have the same energy for it that I used to.  I don't feel particularly creative or funny.  I just post a few pictures and boring statements about what it was we were doing at the time. 

I think I finally figured out what my problem is. 

There are so many deeply moving and sad blogs out there.  In the last few months I have read too many heart breaking stories about the deaths of babies, toddlers, children and grandmothers. The stories come directly from the souls who are struggling to make sense of what they are going through.  I don't seek the sadness.  These are not blogs of strangers. The stories are from friends and friends of friends and are just unimaginably sad. They are a reminder to me of how lucky I am.  They should serve as a reminder to me of why I like to blog.  Instead it feels a little like I am boasting about how good we have it.  How did we get so lucky?  At least for now.  I wonder, can Keith and I make it through our entire marriage without any major blows?  Odds are not in our favor.  But maybe?  So far, so good.  Our hardest year was when Keith was laid off just two weeks after Sam was born.  But I still had my job so Keith and I were able to spend the rest of my maternity leave together with Sam and Keith had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home daddy for the first year.  We didn't really struggle other than my long commute.  Does that count toward paying any dues towards suffering?  The commute was really, really bad...I hope that counts for something.  But I enjoyed my job and working in San Francisco so maybe I can't really call that suffering.

(I would eat lunch here at Levi plaza almost daily)

But there were somedays when I would race out of the office at 5:30 and try to get home before 7:00 but get there just a moment too late and just miss Sam. 
Despite Keith's efforts to keep him awake, Sam would drift off while I would sit in my car on 280.
Hard for me...but not a terrible hardship. 
I was still able to watch my healthy baby boy sleep peacefully and I had the pleasure of seeing him wake in the morning to nurse before I left for work.

We are very blessed/lucky.  Whatever you want to call it.
I am thankful for it.

Okay, back to writing about fun, light, happy things.
Life can change quickly.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Watching for Whales

My dad and Rachelle came to visit for a few days over spring break.
My dad likes adventures.
This visit we headed up to Oceanside for some whale watching.

I have so much free time I turned this picture into a drawing in Photoshop. 
Yes...a good use of my time for sure. 

Elise was a little nervous as we ventured out to the open seas. 
So she stayed close to Papa Han. 
Elise loves Papa Han. 
We don't get to see him to often but Elise has a soft spot in her heart for my dad.
She is a different little girl around him.
It is cute to see.
We saw lots of water.  We watched other boats.
We saw birds.
But no whales.
Who knew the highlight would be when we got off the boat.  Pelicans galore catching fish coming out of the back part of a fishing boat.  I guess they were cleaning their somethin-somethin and out of the backs of their boats came streams of water and some unlucky fish.

And then we saw this guy. 
This sea lion popped out every minute or so. 
Sea life trivia...sea lions have ears that you can see...seals don't.

We never could tell where he might pop up. 
It was always an exciting moment when he popped his cute little head out of the water.

Wonder what our next adventure with Papa Han will be.  Sam thought this one was "great!"

Monday, April 5, 2010


We had a very lovely Easter.

The day started early with Elise squeeking ooooohs! and Ahhhhhs! every moment she found a hidden egg in the house.  Sam was quiet and focused.  The race was on.  Then they found their baskets. 
Elise immediately tore into her treats.  Sam hasn't touched his yet, he is saving them. 

 I made these for brunch.
That is not my photo but I do have the little skillets and mine did look pretty darn close if I do say so myself.

Then we went on a hike with Curly and Uncle Lam.
We discovered this canyon. It is a ten minute walk from our home. 
We always knew that the Canyon was there but we had no idea about the creek and the view.  This picture does not do it justice.

This is the trail we were on during the 7.2 earthquake centered about 100 miles away that lasted for 40 seconds.  We had no clue.  Keith and I both experienced the 6.8 Northridge quake and the 6.9 earthquake in 1989.  Those lasted for 20 seconds and scared the crap out of us.  I can't believe we didn't feel a thing.  I guess when you don't have structures shaking madly around you, earthquakes aren't that noticeable.
Thankfully it sounds like the damage has been minimal...especially compared to Haiti or Chile. 

We finished the day with a delicious dinner at Papa and Curly's.
I love Easter.