Another school year in the books and we’re a year away from being completely done with grade school! As I look at the photos I’ve taken over the last few weeks, I can’t help but just smile and be thankful. I’m happy to still have my parents around, grateful that they’ve stayed together the last 50 years of their marriage despite many ups and downs. I’m thankful that my girls are healthy and growing up to be caring and thoughtful human beings (when they want to be, anyway). I’m happy that summer is here and that I feel vital and strong despite turning another year older and creeping closer to a major birthday milestone. Lastly, I’m grateful to have friends who have enriched my life. No matter how close or far they live from me, their essence and being continue to nourish me.Read More
Can someone promise me that the weather will get warmer in the next few days and it will stay that way until October? I think we’ve had the coldest and wettest May in recent history. Even Memorial Day weekend, often the turning point in terms of warmer temps, yielded only to partly sunny days with rainstorms and drizzle interrupting what was supposed to be an idyllic weekend.
Nevertheless, we did our usual thing, our tradition of spending Memorial Day weekend in Cape May to be by the ocean and be with dear friends. Even if we didn’t get to spend much time at the beach, the kids strolled daily along the boardwalk as they try to make the most of the outdoor situation. We also played board games, did a little shopping and visited a Beach Plum Farm (more on that on the next post).
How was your weekend?Read More
This time of the year feels like most parents are on a high-speed train. We are all rushing from one thing to the next to meet school year-end obligations like recitals and championship games. Personally, I feel like I’m just holding my breath as I try to juggle as many things as possible, doing the best that I can and making sure I don’t mess up anything.
Then, something like the Manchester bombing happens and suddenly we’re awaken to what is crucial. It’s not the running around and achievement-making that are important, right? At the end of the day, what matters is how much we love our kids and how we live our lives. Do we live everyday to fight for those things we cherish and value the most? Do we take the time to look at our loved ones in the eyes and tell them how much we value them?
I’m about to take my younger daughter to her first concert in two weeks and the Manchester incident made me reflect on things a bit more. Seeing the number of children killed (mostly girls, I believe) makes me angry, scared and sad. I keep thinking of how I’d feel if I were one of those parents whose child was hurt at the concert. Would I feel eternal remorse and guilt? I’m sure I would. Yet at same time, I believe that there’s a Higher Being who guides me through life and that I have got to have faith that things will work out. Furthermore, I simply cannot let radicals dictate how I live and rob me of basic pleasures in life. For if I were to always live in constant fear, I may as well cease to exist.
Photos from last week’s track meet…Read More
Nothing like a minor fender-bender accident during Friday rush hour to make you want to reset things a bit in life. So the rest of the weekend was spent idly as I tried to enjoy my mother who flew in from out of town as well dear friends who hosted a lovely Saturday night dinner.
Hope you had a wonderful time with the mothers in your life…Read More
A couple of weeks ago, Ines and her friend, Miya, participated in the TREPs Program in their school. I love this entrepreneurial program for 4th and 5th graders where they get introduced into the nuts and bolts of starting a business. The girls came up with their own business venture called Relaxation Station where they sold candles and lotions and provided two-minute massage sessions.
I love how both girls really took ownership of their business idea and seriously prepared for the big TREPs day. There were a few after-school meetings to discuss their venture and finalize details like product design and sales pitch. I was quite satisfied that both girls stayed at their booths to talk to potential customers about their products and service, despite the numerous distractions like stopping by other friends/vendors’ booths. I think the most remarkable lesson from that day was that both girls learned how to handle their finances and ensure that expenses are at minimum so they can yield a higher profit. Never too early to learn some life lessons go along the way, don’t you think?Read More
With the girls going to two school systems with different vacation weeks, our Spring Break was pretty much limited to five days. And so with that limited time, we decided for a quick getaway in Miami even though we already had spent Spring Break there two years ago. At least with Miami, we did not have to worry about connecting flights, time change or unpredictable weather. Sunny days, entertainment and good food are pretty much guaranteed.
I wish I can say we did all these novel things while in Miami. The reality was that we wanted to enjoy every minute of sitting by the pool and the beach and really not doing much of anything. Our sole outing, apart from eating out, was going to the Perez Art Museum while my biggest accomplishment was finishing two books.
As short as this vacation was, I still feel recharged from putting a quick break from the usual routine. How was your Spring Break?Read More
I never thought we would see spring emerge after the last snowstorm we had in March and the heavy downpour from the last two weeks. Yet almost in a blink of an eye, signs of spring are simply everywhere from the birds chirping in the morning to the crocuses and daffodils blooming everywhere. I love spring, the renewal of life, the longer days, and the warmer temps.
Like the other seasons, spring acts as a milepost that marks where we are in life — another winter under the belt, another summer to look forward to. Yet what’s most prevalent in my mind these days is the unstoppable forward motion of time. Five more years before Chiara goes to college, eight more years before Ines leaves. While a lot can happen during that time frame, I know the remaining time I have with my girls will go fast. Slowly, I’m learning to let them go as they prepare to take off and begin to define themselves in relationships and roles outside our family.Read More
A few weeks ago, Chiara performed with her guitar ensemble at Merkin Hall in the city. It’s the first time that the ensemble played with an orchestra and I must say the whole experience was quite amazing! Not only was the music they created that afternoon rhythmic and melodious but the ensemble members got to see what it was like to play with professional musicians on a renowned concert venue. I can’t sing enough praises for these kids, this guitar ensemble, who had put countless hours of practice yet never once forgot to laugh and have a good time together. So much of what the group has become and now embodies is the result of their guitar teacher’s passionate teaching style and unrelenting dedication to these kids.
Apart from the music, I have to say that my other favorite part of the afternoon is seeing my friends’ children come out to listen and support Chiara. The concert lasted for two hours, a long time for these kids, yet they sat patiently and respectfully while trying to choose which music they liked the most and mimicking the conductor’s moves. It’s this kind of support from friends where I, and I’m sure Chiara as well, feel loved and supported.Read More
Those times when I feel like crawling underneath a rock and hiding from ugly things around us, I think of these girls, of the strong women who came before me and the courageous women who stand with me to fight through our current battles.
I can’t think of a world without women, can you?Read More
Hey, are you guys still here? I know I’ve been away from this space for a little while. Just like everyone else, I needed a break from the constant Breaking News that’s become such a part of our daily lives. I thought, why add to the media clutter, right ? Then, I started thinking of how talking about simple beauty and blissful moments in our lives when the world seems to be so chaotic these days felt a little too self-indulgent.
And, yet, here I am, back in this old blog of mine. When I was away from here, I started missing a few things like taking photos and documenting trivial moments in life. I still have conflicted feelings about sharing life in such a public space but I find that I need this space for my own sanity. This place is where I define who I am and what matters to me and where I get to express myself creatively. This place is also where I hold myself accountable to live life with intent, beauty and joy.
A few snippets of what’s been going on in our lives lately…
- Celebrating a milestone birthday. We now have a teen in the house.
- Enjoying the simple things like finding an old-fashioned independently-owned bookstore
- Going to the last Father-Daughter Dance in grade school
- Three times the charm, performing at this wondrous hall for the third time.