Tuesday, July 30, 2013

run without stopping

Someone in my life is 3 years sober today. I know of no greater achievement. Not that this person made it three years without a drink or cigarette but that this person wakes up every morning ready to take on just that one day. To be present in the very moment. 

Someone asked this Sober Person in My Life for advice on alcohol recovery. This was my dear friend's response (the last line is really applicable for all of us every day):
When you begin to recover from alcohol you need to run without stopping or resting. You can't work it part way. 

With other addictions you can go at a different pace and make slow steady progress. You maybe can even stop and start again. Believing that alcohol is a one day at a time process doesn't alter how important each day is. I have been sober for 935 days and realize that is nothing more than a good start. We shouldn't compare our progress to others, we should just always be thankful.

Campbell Lake, May 2010

Sunday, July 21, 2013

life lately

Drinking: water with lemon and cucumber
Eating: smoothies (love my new Nutribullet)
Listening: Mumford and Sons on Spotify, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke at home every night
Wearing: trying hard to wear more "executive level" wardrobe items to work - which is hard for me because I'm most comfortable in sweats 
Reading: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle (for the 3rd or 4th time), getting ready to start Born Under a Lucky Moon by Dana Precious
Feeling: overwhelmed at work, calm at home, excited to see my family in August
Weather: sunny, clear and kind of humid for LA 
Wanting: to simplify the house even more and to rid our pantry of all processed foods
Needing: a glass of wine with my friend
Wishing: for light traffic next week
Thinking: too much

Photos from the last few weeks. Enjoying the pool, the 4th, the park and baby showers.

Alice by the pool


Fourth of July sparklers

palm trees out front




The little Phees.


Friday, July 19, 2013

baby Myles

My neighbor Chrissy welcomed baby Myles into the world earlier this month and I was lucky enough to take photos of this tiny little baby.

parents and baby faces_Myles July 2013_07132013 (31v1)

Baby Myles has two big brothers: Todd Junior and Ryan.

all 3 boys stacked_1_Myles July 2013_07132013

Mama of an expanding brood of boys.

Chrissy and baby_1_Myles July 2013_07132013

There's something so strong and beautiful about the way a mother holds a baby.

Chrissy and baby_Myles July 2013_07132013 (8)


Todd Chrissy outside with baby_Myles July 2013_07132013 (43v1)

Something about a Dad and an infant.

Todd and baby_1_Myles July 2013_07132013

Ryan is now a big brother.

Myles newborn

Little toes.

toes_Myles July 2013_07132013 (3)

When this little boy looks at you, he looks straight into your soul.
close-up face_Myles July 2013_07132013 (14v1)

Welcome, Myles. Welcome.

Friday, July 12, 2013


It's that time of year again.

pickle time

pickle making

pickle time

pickle time

I love it that Rich loves to make his pickles every year. I hope this tradition continues.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Knott's Berry Farm

I'm typically a hermit crab kind of Mom. Meaning we stay home . . . a lot. We have fun at home (cooking, playing out back, swimming, coloring, dancing, laughing, relaxing, reading) but we are in one place. In beautiful Southern California with beautiful Southern California weather. So I have to push myself to get out and enjoy this weather with the kids from time to time.

My friend and neighbor Katie grew up here and has always gone to Knott's Berry Farm. She recommended season passes to us because it's less than a 10 minute drive, not as busy as Disney and much more affordable. She had me at the "close to home" description.

Totally worth the money. And plenty to do for the preschool age kids.

Red Baron planes. These are always the first ride for Charlie. Always. 

We like to sit in the shade and watch the roller coasters. 

Many, many water breaks. 

I'm not a big fan of buying the kids junk food but Rich has Alice hooked on Doritos. And our rule when we're in public: "anything to keep Alice from screaming".  
junk food lover

If Charlie is a good listener, he gets to spend his $2 on the racing cars. He asks about it from the second we hit the front gate. It's my best leverage. 

I always take a selfie of us on the train. Always. I have a whole collection of them. 
Knotts train selfie

Sometimes this happens on the short drive back to our house. They are tired and happy. We love us some Knott's.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Digital Playdate: June

digital playdate header

Sharing my friends' kids in one spot, once a month. View all past playdate posts here.

Month #6.

My high school friend, Kim's daughter. Maddie, 2 years old. 

"My little girly girl!"
Kim's kid, June 2013

My childhood friend Lynn's daughters Abby, 5 years old and Ella, 8 years old.

"Abby on Father’s Day weekend proclaiming that summer had arrived!"
photo 1

"Ella & Abby (Abby refusing to smile – nice.) Father’s Day weekend."
photo 2

My post-college / pre-California friend, Crystal's sons. Jack, 4 years old and Ryan, 3 years old. 

Crystal's kids, June 2013

My sister-in-law Misty's daughter, Kayle, 13 years old.

Misty's kid, June 2013

My college friend, Lesley's son Harper, 6 years old and daughter Isla, 3 years old.  

"On vacation in Myrtle Beach."

Lesley's kids, June 2013


My sister-in-law Robin's sons. Aidan, 5 years old. Will, 20 months old. 

"Swinging at the park."
Robin's kids, June 2013

My high school friend, Jen's (Kitchka) daughter Lily, 4.5 years old. 

"Lily (almost 5 years old) jumping off the diving board at Grandma's pool.  We heart summer!"
Jen's kid, June 2013

My high school friend, Jen's (Lundgren) son Jameson, 3 years old.

"Jameson at the Air Museum. He loves planes!"
Jen L's kid, June 2013

My daughter, Alice, 18 months old and son, Charlie, 4.5 years old. 

"I literally cry when I look over and see them hugging and playing. It never gets old."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June life in photos

June has been HOT. It has also been the best month of the year. Lots of good conversations, self awareness and discovery, new and changing things for both of us on the career front, and some slowing down and simplifying.

Most of the time I don't consider my neighborhood well-groomed or pretty. It's in a transitional area (read: liquor stores bumped up against tract homes) but every so often, the right light and my favorite trees force a new perspective -

My neighborhood.

Speaking of trees . . .

local foliage, June 2013.

Most nights after work, this is what the kids want to do. I expect a high water bill this month -

evening hose sessions

My favorite photo of the month. Chazzy perfectly captured -

pajama time

Trying to get in front of the camera a little more -

Discovery Center on Father's Day 2013

Spent Father's Day at the Discovery Center in Santa Ana. Loved it -

Discovery Center on Father's Day 2013

Traveled to San Fran on business. If you look closely, you'll see the Golden Gate bridge in this pic. View from my hotel room -

San Francisco, June 2013.

Unfortunately, my hotel insomnia was back in full force. View from my hotel room around 1 am. (Could still hear a lot of horns honking -)

view from the Westin St. Francis, San Franciso. June 25, 2013.

June has been hot . . . quite a few 100 degree days. Which means we hole up inside with the AC. And clean. Because that's what we do -


June 26, 2013. Historic day. Love is love (Alice was too excited to put her shirt on - )


Many sunsets from our front porch -

June sunset. From my front yard.

On to July with more simplicity and calm.