Thursday, September 30, 2010


My mind is still back on the lush, tropical beaches of Kauai, but my body is sitting here at my kitchen table.
I guess that's what a good vacation is supposed to do? Rest and relax your mind so that you still feel like you are on island time. We even did an impromptu family swim today at lunchtime to keep the Aloha spirit going back at home.

Here is a brief rundown on how the week went:

- Awesome rental house.
- Way too many mosquitoes
- Amazing jutting, green, mountain backdrop by a pristine beach.
- Naked kids everywhere.
- A husband making a serious beachwear fashion statement.
- Passion fruit we picked ripe off the trees.
- An 8 mile hike along the Nepali Coast through muck, jungle and rivers in an attempt to reach the most surreal, prehistoric-like waterfall setting that I have ever experienced. Totally worth the next-day sore legs.

Most of my readers are also friends on Facebook, so I am only going to post a couple of my fav Hawaii shots.

 If you are considering a tropical trip (everyone should make this a priority in their lives to take as many tropical trips as possible) I highly recommend the north coast of Kauai for an authentic experience.

Gratitude Project. This is the last day of my gratitude project seeing as how it is September 30th. I found that it was a cathartic experience to constantly be reflecting on the blessings in my life. So thanks for hanging in there while I bored you with my musings.

81. Passion Fruit. Who knew those slimy little seeds would taste like nature's version of sour patch kids?
82. Portable DVD Players.
83. Kind older kids that are happy to play with 2 year old Lil.
84. A loud family. Silence is way overrated.
85. Multiple interviews. God has been faithful my friends.
86. Deep sleep.
87. Insect Repellent.
88. Avocado
89. King size beds.
90. Blogging.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In a Barbie World

Sometimes my life feels like a bizarre scene out of a Malibu Barbie dream sequence.

This morning I dragged my lazy butt out of bed and joined a flock of women for a spin class. If you have never tried spin, you basically toil on a bike for about 45 mins without the climax of actually arriving at a destination.

The female citizens of my fine town are big fans of this self-torture. When I arrived for my class there were already 37, jittery, borderline starving, silicone injected housewives standing in a line that snaked around the corner of the gym. It's a little like waiting in line for the Teacup ride at Disneyland- except instead of waiting to lose your lunch from swirling in a giant cup and saucer you are waiting to lose your powerbar from pedaling your legs faster than you ever thought possible.

When we were finally let into the 'spin studio,' a dimly lit, sightly damp workout chamber, the housewives' chatter burned my ears. "We listed for 2.3 million," to my left. "We're cutting back this year and only spending 3 weeks in Aruba," to my right.

Just as we are about to start pedaling, the instructor announced that an NBA player was joining us in class before he began his pre-season with the 76ers. The women perked up like peacocks and little giggles tittered across the rows of stationary bikes.

Umm. How did I get here?

After being back for nearly a year in California, I am convinced that I have been placed among these 'real housewives' to be a gentle reminder that there is more to life than workouts, lunching and making sure that 'Billy' gets into Stanford in 15 years. I might be guilty of bleaching my hair, but it's time to get real ladies. Malibu Barbie is plastic and her lifestyle only satisfies for a nano-second.

The Gratitude Project Cont.
71. Sleeping in.
72. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
73. My two-year-old's princess dance shows in the middle of our living room.
74. A healthy heart. Both physically and spiritually.
75. The ice maker in my refrigerator door. I feel like the kind in trays never tastes as good and soaks up the scents/flavors of the freezer.
76. Joy.
77. Airplanes. Not only does Lil enjoy pointing them out every time one passes by, but they make our world so much smaller and accessible.
78. Parties. All types of parties. They make our lives way more fun and exciting.
79. My camera. A visual reminder of a full life.
80. Meeting new people at where they are at in their life.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kicking Back

I think that I have already said too much this week, so I will just leave you with a couple of cute kids kickin' back. Lil likes to take it easy when her friend Griffin comes to play.

Gratitude Project Cont.
61. Warm fall weather.
62. A two year who tells me my bracelet is 'cute.'
63. Netflix.
64. Dill Pickles.
65. Anti-Bacterial soap from Bath & Body Works.
66. Stevia (I will dedicate a whole post to this another day).
67. Grandmas willing to book a last minute international flight for a weekend visit.
68. Natural bug repellent.
69. Surprise checks in the mail.
70. Clean sheets.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Rant Part 2

I must have honed in on some type of self-discovery current that is zinging through the Bay Area.

Just this morning at a mothers group that I attend, the speaker's topic was centered around figuring out how to be the best version of you, in order to be the best parent that you can be. Bingo.

The speaker took it a step further and said that if the best version of you means hiring a babysitter once a week so that you have time to allow yourself to think... then do that. Go for a run. Take a pottery class. The options are endless and completely a personal preference.  If that means working or volunteering part-time, full-time, whatever it might be- do that. Children sense when you are unsatisfied and miserable. It's your job to exemplify what a centered person looks like and acts like.

I also figured I might as well throw in another topic while I am on this introspective rant.
Guess what else is vital to having a healthy family and child? If you are married you have to make time to connect with your spouse. I am not just talking sex either (even though most men will tell you they really don't require anything else). Why do we hear stories about empty nesters splitting after 30 years of blissful marriage? Because the children become the only thing they have in common and once the kids take off there is nothing left in the relationship. They are strangers to each other.

I do not ever wish to be sitting across from Ben, strumming my fingers on the kitchen table, wondering what I ever saw in saw in him. Pay a babysitter people. Cut the umbilical cord and dare to do fun activities with your spouse. If you are on a tight budget you can even have a date night at the gym and stick the kids in childcare. If you are nervous about finding a responsible sitter start talking to friends and relatives for recommendations. Heck, if you live in the Bay Area you can even message me if you need a few references. Maybe if you bring me copious amounts of sweet treats I might even watch your rugrat for you.

Ok. My tirade is done. I will lay this topic to rest for the time being.

The Gratitude Project Continued:
51. Compelling public speakers.
52. Tiny toilets.
53. Green apples.
54. Talented graphic designers.
55. Discovering new boots purchased months earlier in my closet.
56. A husband who laughs in his sleep.
57. Second interviews.
58. The fit of Lululemon pants.
59. Hair dye and bleach.
60. Naps in the middle of the day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


This may offend some of you, but it's simply my opinion.

It irritates me when a woman's entire identity is wrapped up in being a mother.

Now hear me out... I am not knocking motherhood by any means. I absolutely believe that being a mother
(or a father) is a selfless and rewarding undertaking. Caring for Lil has been (for the most part) a huge blessing.. but that is not all of 'who' I am.

It makes me cringe when women refer to themselves as 'yummy mummys.' Why should being a mother have anything to do with your looks, desirability, or (more cringing) your 'yumminess?' Another example of this is referring to time away from your child as 'mommy time' or a 'mommy date.' Do you somehow lose your name or forget who you are once someone has lived in your uterus?

There are many successful people that also happen to be mothers. One of my favorites is Heidi Klum. At any given time this woman is popping out a child (she currently has four) all the while modeling and running a television empire. When it's time for Heidi to walk down the Victoria's Secret runway does she say 'it's time for mommy modeling?' Probably not. Being a mother is a facet of who she is- it's not her complete identity.

When toys are strewn around the floor and Elmo is singing in the background, it can be difficult to remember that this current reality is not 'who' you are. I believe that it is important to make sure that there is something in your daily (even weekly) life that is a reminder of your multi-faceted unique identity. Because if you don't know who you are now once those tiny children are grown you will be middle aged and staring down the precipice of a major identity crisis.

My name is Sarah, (and in completely random order) I am a blogger, cardio kick boxer, marketing communications specialist, Jesus follower, aspiring budget fashionista and also Lily's mother. Being a mother is a vital ingredient which makes up the whole- not entirety of the whole.

Gratitude Project Continued:
41. Swedish Fish. Of the candy variety not the stinky ones from the sea.
42. Fluffy Books.
43. Hard wood floors. So much easier to clean than carpet.
44. Baby pools.
45. New to me hand-me-downs from a sweet little cousin.
46. Provision.
47. Great-Grandparents that are involved and excited to be with great-grandchildren.
48. Large families.
49. Interviews in a bleeding economy.
50. Peace during times of potential turmoil.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tropical Prep

After dropping off Lil at my parent's for a few hours, I was greeted to an entire Hawaiian photo shoot featuring my child. She's really working the different angles with her hula moves. We are going to be taking off in a few weeks to the enchanted island of Kaui. You might be asking yourself, how the heck can you afford Hawaii while being a student and self-employed? Don't worry we are not maxing out the credit cards (yet!). We are pretty darn spoiled lucky because we are being treated (along with my other siblings) to a free family trip in Kaui. Mahalo!

Gratitude Cont.
31. Free trips.
32. Tweezers.
33. Flat pillows that don't kink up my neck.
34. Air Conditioning.
35. Latin dancing with a group of middle age women.
36. Supportive true friends.
37. My Mouth-guard.
38. New Clients.
39. Happy Clients.
40. Zevia soda.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Silence to the Snorer

And the Snorer saga continues... after nearly 9 months of griping, blogging and yelling out curses into the night, I broke down and emailed my landlord. Because my landlord is considerate and amazing, she is sending a team over to my house to install soundboard in our bedroom.

Do you hear that? That's right, it's the sounds of sweet silence.
I shall rest easy knowing that I will no longer need to restrain myself from pounding on walls or appearing at my neighbor's doorstep in maniacal hysterics at 2am.

In a perfect world this would be everyone's reality. Silence to all Snorers!!

Gratitude Project Cont.
21. Nachos on the patio at COA.
22. Weather so hot it makes you feel like you are being torched with a hair dryer (I think this is a good thing).
23. Grandparents that give parents a babysitting break.
24. Compassionate people.
25. Lemon/Limeade.
26. Chubby toddler legs.
27. Runners/Exercise endorphin rush. God's natural anti-depressant.
28. Parks.
29. Showers hot enough to peel off your skin.
30. SNORE FREE nights.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Lily recently decided that she is a 'princess.' On certain mornings she will wake up and tell me that she wants to be princess for that particular day. Being a princess usually involves wearing a dress, adorning her feet with her Disney princess slippers and carrying around her magic wand. The funny thing is that the only real exposure that she has had to the whole concept of being a princess is from a book we occasionally read before bed. I guess it made a big impression?

Gratitude Project Cont.
11. Peanut Butter.Definitely the JIF variety. Not the natural crap.
12. Braces. For both my teeth & back.
13. Toddler kisses.
14. BOB the stroller.
15. Funny shows that make me laugh out loud
16. My giant ceiling fan.
17. Siblings that are now interesting, loving adults.
18. Friendly neighbors that reach out even if I come across as a private hermit.
19. Text messages on my phone. Communication has never been so efficient!
20. Being a (mostly) content, secure person because of Grace.