Saturday, January 31, 2009


Tonight was a night of spontaneous fun.  After a long day of yoga training I joined up with some friends for drinks, wii, tacos and 24.  My kind of night!  None of this was planned it just came together with paper plates and take-out.  These are sometimes the best kind of gatherings.  Was my floor clean? Certainly not.  Was I concerned? nope. Low expectations = high fun factor.  Wishing you  moments of spontaneous fun!

Friday, January 30, 2009


Yes I know I spelled it wrong - and no that is not what I meant.  I have decided that I am going to have a contest and see who can come up with the best drink recipe.  I will then try all of them ( this will be excruciatingly hard but I will manage)  and the lucky winner will get to  have their recipe published on this blog (oh my!) and have the pleasure of my company while enjoying the winning beverage.  This sounds like so much fun!!!!!  Email your recipes to me by next Friday so I can enjoy them Friday night and announce the winner on Saturday.  Have fun taste testing!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Food for thought

I wanted to put this link directly on my blog but I am almost 40 and the process is eluding me so here is the link.  I think you have to cut and paste it into your browser.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


OK so I am not a big fan of any organized diet plan.  My philosophy is just eat less and work out more.  That being said I have been trying to eat healthier.  I am already a fairly healthy eater but I would be hard pressed to walk by a bowl of Doritos and not have at least a couple.  I have been buying more organic food and trying to prepare all of our meals without any convenience food items.  I have been baking the most amazing bread (I will put the recipe on here soon) and my biggest problem with that is that no matter how many loaves I bake they are gone in 24 hours (how did Jesus do that anyway?).  

Yesterday I tried this green stuff I found at Trader Joe's (see above).  It is mostly super green food powders like spinach and broccoli and peas.  I figure it is just food right?  It also has green tea in it (which I love) so I thought I would give it a try.  I mixed it with fruit juice and it turned this disgusting algae green color but actually had very little taste - I mostly tasted the juice.  The good news is that I felt pretty good yesterday even though I thought I was coming down with a cold.  Today I feel even better.  I will let you know how it goes - nothin like green gook in the morning!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I miss them.  My biological family is spread all over the county and I feel pretty isolated where we live.  I need to figure out how to see all of them soon.  I love you all.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Today is my very, very dear friend Stephen's birthday.  Now before you go and get any funny ideas - Stephen is happily married to another dear friend of mine, Todd.

From the outside looking in our lives look polar opposite.  Stephen drives in the fast lane, and I mean a Ferrari on the Audubon fast lane.  I am in the car pool lane about to get in an accident because I am turning around to clean up some sort of goo my kids spilled all over the back seat.

Stephen is highly successful - he is a business owner, extremely creative and talented.  He is an interior designer and creates beautiful spaces in all of the nicest homes and businesses here.  He helps with city planning and hob knobs at the nicest fundraisers.  He knows practically everyone in town and lives in the most amazing house I have ever seen.  He has lavish parties and jet sets often (he is now snowboarding with friends in Tahoe).  

So how, you might ask, did a catholic, middle class, house wife, stay at home mother of 2 become such good friends with an upper class, openly gay, worldly, party guy?  Well, we did meet at the club and we both teach BodyJam and BodyFlow together but that is not why we are friends. Our differences bring us together -  along with our similarities.  We both love life and want to live it to the fullest.  We might go about it differently but that hardly matters.  We have mutual respect for one another.  I am happy for him and he is happy for me.  We never run out of things to say and sometimes we talk for hours (which frustrates John and Todd on occasion - sorry).

Happy Birthday Stephen.  I love you because you are...
Compassionate - to even that scared little new person in the corner of Jam class.
Generous - beyond measure of your time, talent and your treasure.
Talented  - in all things artful and with people.
Graceful - You handle high pressure situations with ease and dance through life.
Positive - even though you have been through some very dark times you always see the light.
My friend - I know you would do anything for me, and you know I would do anything for you.

You are a true friend, a gift that was brought to me for a reason.  Some people glide in and out of our lives but you are here to stay.  You may drive your fancy Mercedes in the fast lane but I know my VW can keep up (and maybe pass you).......... even from the carpool lane ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My home state.  More specifically Boulder, Colorado.  Jack is doing a state report on Colorado so I have been helping him quite a bit.  I have very fond memories of Colorado in different phases of my life.  

Loved my early childhood there.  We lived in the mountains, sunshine canyon, and my sisters and I played outside all day long (in the summer).  We rarely brushed our hair and didn't really care how we were dressed.  Our home was very small (one room for 4 girls until our brother was born and we had to move) but it was full of love - hippie love to be more specific.  I remember walking down the long hill with my father to the pump house to turn the water pump on.  I remember playing on the hand made swings my father built.  I remember the long drive into town so we could go to the laundry mat and maybe if we were really, really lucky we would have a donut from the donut store next door.  I remember John Denver and the sounds of train whistles playing from our record player.  I remember the one big party we had at that house for the 4th of July, 1976.

I had a bit of a rude awakening once we move into town and changed schools, I was in 4th grade.  The new school had some tough kids, I heard language I had never heard before (bad) and I learned that kids could be really mean.  I started to grow up.   Junior high and high school were pretty brutal with much drama and hormones and thinking I must know more than anyone else.  There were 8 kids now in our family and even though my Mom was sick at the age of 20 I moved away to Hawaii.

A year later Colorado was calling me and I moved back but this time with John.  We had a great time hanging out on the Pearl Street Mall and decorating our sparse apartment.  Hiking up Mount Sanitas.   Learning how to rock climb and finding delicious food.  Feeling like adults. We moved 3 times while living in Boulder before we moved again but this time to San Francisco.

After 2 years Colorado called again and after we were married John accepted a job back in Denver.  This time we were able to buy a nice house - our first real home.  We settled in and started making our family.  Jack was born in Littleton and our little family of 3 was very happy there.    But opportunity knocked on John's career door and we moved back to California.  

Eventually we were brought to where we live now.  This is my home.   It will always be my home.  A place that we love where the weather is mild, the views are amazing and the people are practically perfect.  I love Colorado too,  many wonderful and crazy things happened to me there.  I grew up  there.  But Colorado changed and so did I.  So goodbye rocky mountain high.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Today was a nap day but unfortunately I did not get one.  Such a luxury to be able to just lie down in the middle of the day and snooze for a bit.   I really needed one - staying up too late, working out way too much this week and the extra brain power needed to help Jack with his 5th grade report (sad I know).  If you get the opportunity I highly recommend this little piece of heaven (limit it to 20 minutes though).  It is cheaper than a massage, better for you than a jolt of caffeine and works wonders on wrinkles.

Friday, January 23, 2009


It is raining today and we really need it.  I love how the world looks after it rains - like it just went through a car wash and everything is sparkling clean.  I love how the air is fresh and when you breathe it is like  bathing on the inside.   I especially love it when the sun pops out and it feels like a do-over.  You know, a new day....a new start.  It feels like the world is new again and not tired and run down.   We really need the rain. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Positive and Negative

I am usually not that into the wee-woo philosophies (but I am about to embark on a yoga training so we will see what happens) but I received an interesting email link from a friend.  It was the findings from a few scientific experiment and without going into the whole thing the just of it is....

Scientifically our moods effect our DNA.  They (who are "they" anyway) have found that when you look at a normal string of DNA from a living person and that person is happy, or elated, or in love the DNA strand is relaxed and longer.  When that same person is having feelings of sadness or anger the DNA strand contracts and becomes shorter.  "They" believe that this can directly impact our physical health and immunity.  

What I got out of it (and it is nothing new) is that being in a good mood all of the time will physically make you a healthier person.  Now I have been a cup half full kind of person my whole life and a few of my close relatives (I wont name names) have criticized me for this at times telling me that if I don't basically work in some sadness and anger one of these days I am going to explode.  Well, I guess the opposite might hold true.  Those living with grudges and hatred in their lives are going to feel the physical results of that.  It is physically exhausting when you are mentally stressed all of the time - we all notice that.  I get the argument often that you can't just make yourself be happy.  Well guess what - I think you can.  I believe you can train yourself to always see the bright side, the positive, silver lining.

So, don't worry so much and be happy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama and Judgement

Now, Obama on the other hand I feel we are required to judge.  He has put himself in this position and his decisions affect our lives.  I did thoroughly enjoy his speech yesterday.  It was to the point and delivered very well.  Do I think he is the Messiah and will save the world? No.  Do I think he will do some good things for this country?  Possibly, but the jury is still out.  Words are just words.  I guess I should be happy that so many people have blind faith in him but it looked a bit like a rock concert with the chanting "Obama! Obama! Obama!".   I, for one, feel compelled to scrutinize and question this president and his cabinet as I would any other.  Republican, Democrat, Male, Female, Black or white.  For now I will look with "hope not fear" (as I usually do in life) on this new presidency but I am doing it with my eyes wide open.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Faith and judgement

Although I was brought up in a home that rarely went to church (I think I remember going to church with my Grandmother a couple of times) I had a deep faith in God from a very young age.  I would talk to God regularly and he alleviated my fears frequently.  Did I have a book to read about him? No.  Did I know who Jesus was? No.  Did anyone talk to me about God? No.  Did that stop me from believing? No.  

As I grew older I did start to learn about many different organized religions.  I met John and attended Catholic mass a few times with him and his family.  Did that make me want to be Catholic? No.  It was through a few moments in my life that can only be described as divine that I found a comfort with the Catholic Church.  Do I agree with everything the Catholic Church teaches? No.  Do I love taking my family to mass? Yes.  Do I think it is the one true way to God? No.  How could I ever begin to think that my way or the Catholic way is the only way.  My spiritual journey with God is so incredibly personal, and so unique, and God has made all of us so different from one another.  I can only believe that God has multiple ways of reaching us.   Even my journey and John's journey are completely different.  So I find the judgement that people place on one another regarding faith incredibly preposterous.   Who are we to judge? How can we even begin to think it is our position to judge.  There is only One who can judge on a basis of faith and He is not human.  

Why am I bringing this up?  Well, I was just thinking about it as I was watching the inauguration.  There were two prayers said, both drastically different from one another.  They were spoken across a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people.  Some bowed their heads. Some looked thoughtful.  Some talked during them.  Some said a most exuberant amen.  I watched their faces as I often do at church and it overwhelms me how different we all are.  How we interpret things so differently.  How our views can vary so drastically.  And how completely human we are. What if faith could be the one thing that binds us together instead of ripping us apart?  It could be.  If we could leave our judgement at the door.  If we could love regardless of a persons beliefs or ideologies.  If we could let love, not hate, govern.  

I have faith in God.  A faith I can not begin to explain let alone even understand myself.   You might not.  Or your view of God might be different than mine.  My faith is based in Love.  So I will love you.  Not based on your faith or your views or whether or not you think the sky is blue because who am I to say?  I will love you without judgement upon your spiritual journey.  I hope you will love me back.  

Monday, January 19, 2009

24 and TIVO

OK, OK,  I LOVE TV.   I love a lot of shows I wouldn't even admit to on this blog.  I am the disgusting american who sits on the couch and vegges out for a couple of hours every night to get my fix (caffeine? tobacco? heroin?).  Don't get me wrong - I love a good book and God knows I don't think I could live without working out every week but there is something about the fantasy world created on that screen that I just can't get enough of.  That being said the whole experience has been completely magnified by TIVO.  I love being able to watch something whenever I feel like it and never watching another commercial for the rest of my life (or at least until I can't afford cable).  

Last night we finally were able to sit down and enjoy the 4 hour marathon premier of this seasons 24.  It had my heart racing in the first 10 seconds and it just got better from there.  This show has some really stupid lines in it which makes for some great comic relief.  I think it takes a decent actor and a good writer to make dumb funny.  I love Jack Bauer!  He is invincible and the quintessential tough guy with a heart (he also kind of looks like my Brother Ryan).  We get the next hour tonight and I will have the popcorn ready.  Oh and Lost starts on Wednesday (don't get me started on that one) better not call me for awhile I will be tied up until re-run season ;)

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Julia playing defense (under the basket).  They are pretty cute at this age.  They are allowed to travel, double dribble, and they don't even keep score.  Quite a few of them are not even sure which way to dribble the ball.  They all take it very seriously though!

Movie review

The curious case of Benjamin Button

John and I saw this one last night.  If you are in the mood for a character developing drama this would be a good pick.   We really enjoyed it but thought it was a bit long.  One of the story lines was a bit unnecessary but the special effects were amazing - it should be nominated for make-up and costumes.  A good overall movie.  If you are in the mood for a fun loving comedy I recommend Charlie Bartlett on DVD.

Friday, January 16, 2009


There is an evil being in our family that is desperately trying to replace me.  I got out of bed this morning to get coffee and came back to wake up Julia (who managed to weasel her way into our bed in the middle of the night because she was scared) and this is what I found.   On numerous occasions he is there ON OUR BED when I walk into our bedroom.   If John and I are hugging he almost can't stand it.  He cried and jumps up on us and tries to get between us.  He has these pitiful amorous eyes that he stares at John with all day long and can not seem to get close enough to him.  On the days John is out of town he works his way underneath Julia's bunk beds and pouts.....all day long.   What is a girl to do?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I wish I had a picture of the instructors that taught BodyJam tonight with me.  We looked pretty good all together I do have to say.  We all wore black and white and I had to do a "smokey eye" and crazy, wild hair.  If you don't know what a launch is - it is when we introduce new music and choreography to the members.  Tonight we did an opening dance that my good friend Stephen choreographed for us.  We had a great group of people with a ton of energy and I had a blast.  I am REALLY tired after that and have to get up and do it all over again tomorrow morning so have a great night.......I am going to sleep!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


FYI if you want to leave me a comment just click on the comment word at the bottom of an entry.  I would love to see who is actually reading my blog (other than Joy, Julie, and Suzanne).  It takes a second to set up an account but you don't have to do anything with it.  Sometimes I feel like all the info is going out and nothin' is comin' back.  Maybe I need to just pick up the phone ;)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

White pants

OK fellow instructors - I do love you but you HAVE to stop this obsession with WHITE PANTS!!!!!  This has been an ongoing issue for at least a year and so I am writing it down and documenting it here so there is no confusion.  Here are my points.  

#1  White pants do not look good on ANYONE.   If you have the tiniest little mole or flaw it is like taking a big yellow marker and drawing an arrow right to it if you are wearing white pants.  And forget about cellulite!

#2 Most white pants are transparent..... yes..... transparent.  If you plan on wearing any undergarments you should pick your nicest ones because everyone will see them.

#3 Most clothing manufacturers have already caught on and don't even make white pants which makes them almost impossible to find let alone find them long enough for these crazy legs.

#4 See Photo.

So this in my plea.....  Please don't ask me to wear white pants .....  ever.   I don't care if it would look cool or different or the lights will be dim.  I am forever banning them from my wardrobe and maybe - if you know what is good for you - you will ban them from yours too. ;)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Word of the week

Pestiferous - bothersome, annoying, irritating. 

There was a very pestiferous little girl who attacked Julia today.  She pushed her and punched her in the nose.  Nice.  This is all coming from the 8 year old herself so the definition of "punching" might be open to interpretation.  She said she cried though and that is hard to do with her - she is a pretty tough cookie.  I will let you know how the drama plays out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Low Tide

Today the weather was spectacular!  I love warm weather and could easily do without the cold altogether so today was perfect - shorts weather.  We went with some friends down to the beach at sunset because there was a super low tide and we were able to walk way out on the reef to see the tide pools.  We were standing where sometimes John is surfing.  John found a baby starfish and we found many other treasures.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


The moon has been so big the past couple of days and I guess it is the biggest it will be all year (that is what I heard anyway).  Strange things are happening - or more like odd things.  Like unending dreams and feeling a bit off.  It sure is pretty though!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Last night John was having dinner with a close friend in San Jose at a restaurant and when he came out to his car he found his window broken and his laptop gone.  Now he locked the door, the alarm was on, and his computer was in a backpack.  They must have been hoping something good was in there.  They did not take the GPS system that was hiding under the seat so they worked quickly.   John's window has already been fixed and his computer can be replaced but the work that was lost on there is countless hours and he also had hundreds of family pictures on there that are now lost.   So, to all of you, go back up your computers and keep your belongings with you or in the trunk.  This has been happening often at the gym I teach at.  They recently installed security cameras because of the amount of break ins.   FYI

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yes, I am Jennifer Aniston

You know sometimes it takes a bit more effort from God for us to hear him.   The other day  I was wallowing in self pity as I looked at the ever changing image in the mirror.  Gee, was that wrinkle there yesterday?  How can I have zits on top of wrinkles???  Where did that spot come from? Am I growing another chin?  John knows all to well that the longer I look in that horrible mirror the worse my mood becomes.  I am way too vain.  Anyway,  I was wallowing in self pity but managed to pull myself away for a bit when Julia asked me if this picture in a magazine was me.  I walked over and laughed out loud when I saw Jennifer Aniston.   Now I don't for one second think I look anything like Jennifer Aniston but the point I think God was making to me is that Julia views me that way.  She thinks I am beautiful.   I started to think about who I thought was beautiful and most certainly the most beautiful people in my world are my family.  My kids in my mind are the most beautiful children on the planet (I know I am not suppose to say that but this is my blog and I can say whatever I want on it) and even if they had rhinoceros heads I would not think differently.  Ugliness emerges from actions and attitudes not wrinkles and zits.  So my point is that I must be a pretty good Mom to Julia for her to think I look like Jennifer Aniston - you can call me Jen for short ;)


I tried to blog yesterday afternoon but blogger wasn't working so this is yesterdays.

There is a large fire burning very close to my sister Emily's house.  They have evacuated the neighborhood just north of her.  She can see the flames and smoke.  Fortunately for her the wind is blowing in the opposite direction (or at least last night it was). The gusts were up to 70 miles an hour which was not helping the situation.   As of this morning they are still trying to get the fire under control - about 30 percent of it is contained.   This is a photo from the neighborhood next to Emily's house.   I will update later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The best job in the world....

I think one of the coolest jobs would be naming the colors in the crayola box.  I am sure there is an entire cast of talented art directors that sit around and discuss these names but I think I could master it solo.  Toasted Pecan, Fresh Cut Grass, Hawaiian Sunset, Baby Bottom Pink, Belize sea blue.....  I love colors.  Always have.  I think that is why I enjoyed my job as a print production manager at an ad agency in San Francisco so much.  At the printers you can actually smell the colors and moving one tiny little setting makes a big difference - to my eye anyway.  In my world nothing is ever just blue or red or green - there has to be a descriptive reference before it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The measure of a man......

I say man because I believe men measure themselves so often by their success...and I mean financial success or career success... notches on the belt per say.  I think women are a bit different but not better.  I think women tend to look at all of the things they could have done better and end up feeling miserable about themselves.  Both parties usually end up feeling unsatisfied because you will always be able to look at something after the fact and know you could have done it better.  You can always have more money and you can always rise higher in your career.  I think when we get to that gate and stand before God none of that will matter.  I think he will ask us how many times we experienced true happiness, and I mean TRUE happiness.  You know the one you only see very rarely like the face of a father when his child is born.  Or the reunion of long lost friends.  Or maybe even the smile on a child's face when someone tells them they are proud of them.  These moments.  Then I think he will ask us how often we brought true happiness to others.   This one will be hard for me.  I think I am pretty good at finding joy in my life - it is giving it to others that eludes me.   Especially the ones closest to me.  I tend to be hardest on them.  I am pretty good at smiling at the elderly person on the street but after a long day sometimes I find it hard to smile at my own husband.  I will have to work on that one.  Finding happiness, recognizing happiness and giving happiness.  Sounds like a good job description for the rest of my life.  I will try not to get fired.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


It occurred to me today that EVERYONE has talent.  It just comes in different varieties.  We spent time with John's cousin Andy and his wife Robyn today - they were in town for a wedding and we were lucky enough to get some of their time.  Robyn is quite amazing.  I have never spent much time with her but she was explaining how she knits socks.   These socks take 30 -40 hours to make because she uses such small needles - now that is patience.  She also knows how to make summer sausage from scratch.  I am sure she is very capable of doing many other things but this is what I just saw today.   My friend Suzanne showed amazing talent last night at our house playing the guitar on Rock Band.....who knew she had it in her!  She was very good right out of the gate.  Then, tonight John had all of us falling out of our chairs with his incredible Donald Duck impersonation.  He is incredible at it and just being able to make us all laugh for that long is a talent in itself.  I hope you take a minute to realize the talent that surrounds you and the unique talent that you have.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

One word....

tired (more tomorrow).

Friday, January 2, 2009


Let's see.  I think I need to start eating more fried food - I think this is an under appreciated food item so I think I will give it some of my attention (I always did want to fit into those curvy jeans).  Also - I would like to try something new, maybe whiskey.  More TV is on the list as well.  There are so many other shows that I would like to see other than the 20 or so a week I am already addicted to.  I think I would like to spend more time on myself too - I mean I put so much effort and time into keeping in touch and thinking of others it is about time I put some energy into myself.  Oh and one more thing - spend more of John's hard earned money - I mean it just sits there in the bank.  What if we die tomorrow?  Shouldn't it get used up?

.............. obviously I am not a big New Years resolution fan and if it were opposite day these would all probably be true but honestly I need the daily resolutions not the pie in the sky ones you think up one day of the year.  We are all so different (thank God!) so if resolutions work for you that is fantastic.  I myself am just going to try and keep the train on the tracks and heading in the right direction which for me requires a continual re-balancing while looking out the window.  It is all about the journey right?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


That is what we all did today.....nothing.   It felt quite nice to have a day with nothing that needed to get done.  Yes I put away some things from last night and John took down the Christmas lights but we didn't feel like we had to do it.  The kids just played and had fun with each other all day.  Then tonight John decided to take Julia on a little camping trip - just the two of them.  She was so excited and felt very grown up.  I got to stay with Jack and have some one on one time with him which is rare.  We watched Kung Fu Panda and the funny thing is that the key to the secret in the movie was "nothing".  They reiterated the saying that "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift - that is why it is called the present".  That really sunk in.  Yes, I was moved by this silly animated film because it is so true.  We don't stop, and look, and listen, and love, and enjoy nearly enough.  We don't feel worthy just being who we are - we are always striving for something better, something special, when I think all we were intended to do was be ourselves.  This was a gift to me on this first day of the year.  A lesson that maybe I should not worry so much, let this imaginary pressure to be perfect fade away.  Maybe I should just appreciate and embrace all the beauty that surrounds us and have faith that I am exactly who I am suppose to be, where I am suppose to be, and how I am suppose to be.  That is true peace.  Perhaps this little gift of insight is a sign of things to come in the new year.  Or maybe it is a message.  One I will most certainly need to hear again and again but maybe my ears will be a little more open now.   My wish for you in the new year - peace.

Happy New Year!!!!!!!

All of you that I love so much - I hope 2009 is the most amazing year for all of you.  I feel already that it is going to be a special one.  I guess I officially missed the cut off time for blogging on December 31st because now it is 1:20 am on Jan 1st.  2008 was strange and good and unpredictable but I hope 2009 is exciting and refreshing and peaceful.  Happy New year!  I love you all!