Tuesday, June 27, 2017



Among other things that shall remain nameless THIS is why a little over a year ago I needed to find a new job. One that didn't have me living out of a suitcase in a hotel. One that didn't have me leaving on a Sunday evening so that I could be in SoCal in time for a Monday morning meeting. One that assured me that I could do THIS nearly every single night. At the point I finally quit my consultant job, I had gotten to the point where the travel was just going to get more rather than less frequent---which meant good things for me career-wise, but left much to be desired family-wise.

The photo was taken probably only a few short days or weeks before I was offered a job that met all the above criteria. A job that I hesitated applying for because I knew I was likely the non-traditional candidate. A job that I hesitated to get my hopes up for in fear of impending disappointment. A job I found myself wanting more and more with each passing hurdle that I crossed---interview, reference checks, etc.

To be completely honest, in light of the countless number of jobs I have had, this one has felt like the best fit by far, not only for me, but also for my family.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have THIS to come home to.

Monday, June 26, 2017

mothers and fathers

With respective parental observances over, they can now be recapped.

Mother's Day started with church and then we headed to Old Sugar Mill for a picnic. Sunshine, music, sleeping J2, wine slushies, and lobster rolls---it was a pretty perfect day.

On Father's Day we skipped church to escape the sweltering heat and headed to one of my favorite places, Donner Lake. We've spent a few fun weekends here with my friend, Wendy and her family, and last summer my girlfriends and I spent a day laying on the dock and killing a couple bottles of champagne. The lake is cold, the scenery is beautiful. But I digress. For Father's Day we went for a hike, sort of, if you call walking in the dark in an abandoned train tunnel for 2.5 miles, dodging water drips and fording snowmelt, a hike. J1 did great despite the inclement weather inside said train tunnel and the soggy shoes and wet clothes. J2 had a sweet ride and even managed to fall asleep while the snowmelt dripped down.

Lunch was guess what? Lobster rolls again! You are seeing a pattern, no?

Then we headed to the lake for some swimming. The water was so high, there was barely any beach. And the water was also soooo cooold.

And then we headed back to Sacramento where the car said that the temperature was 110 degrees. Sigh. Thankfully, as I write this, the temperature has gone back to a reasonable level and we're getting read to head to Minnesota for vacation!

Friday, June 16, 2017

poop on the potty, get a rescue boat

This kid. Ever since J2 had a play date with his buddy, Charlie, he has been asking about a rescue boat. He really wants a rescue boat. Now in the throes of potty training where I just need to be assured that he is capable of crapping somewhere other than his pants, we have told him he can have a rescue boat if he poops on the potty.

Just the other morning he finally did the deed, while I was cheering him on from the sidelines telling him I would buy him WHATEVER he wanted if he just pooped in the toilet, he finally did it. I thought we had miraculously turned some corner, until shortly thereafter he peed on the floor and filled his pants. Sigh. So for the remainder of the day, we had several discussions about how if he wants said rescue boat, he needs to use the potty. This kid wants this rescue boat so badly that this morning I thought he was going to pop a blood vessel trying to poop on the potty as soon as he woke up. His mantra has become "poop on the potty, get a rescue boat."

The good news? We know he is capable of crapping somewhere other than his pants. The bad news? The other day, that place just happened to be the rug. Double sigh. Thank heavens he's cute.  

**Updated to add that J2 has successfully managed to earn not only his rescue boat, but a motorcycle and an ambulance. Perhaps the corner really was turned ... fingers crossed.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

hidden falls

I'm not saying I love hiking or anything, but we do like staying active and summer seems like the perfect time to get outdoors. Yesterday, after waking early and dealing with only the things a parent neck deep in potty training can understand, I really just wanted to climb back in bed and pull the covers over my head---which admittedly I did until the respectable hour of 8 a.m. Then instead of going to church, we decided to eat some breakfast and hit the trail.

We headed to Hidden Falls, which was new to us. But not new to everyone else because that place was pretty crowded. The ranger mentioned we should try to get there before 8 a.m. next time. WHAT! But that would have ruined my hour of hiding under the covers!

We managed nearly 3 miles of hiking. They both insisted on wearing their own proton packs, I mean water packs. They became known by other hikers as the Ghostbusters.

And as a reward ... there was beer at Crooked Lane in Auburn. Not bad for a Sunday.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

and sometimes we have fun without kids

I adore my little munchkins like nothing else, but I won't lie, the constant wall of sound that emanates from them in the form of talking, whining, fighting, etc. at times closes in on me making me feel claustrophobic. Then I just need to get out and do something adult-ish, and I don't mean going to work or doing something responsible. Thankfully, I have managed to fit in plenty of adult fun over the past month or so.

It started with my dear friend, Lisa's, Kentucky Derby party at Golden Gate fields. We went all out with silly hats and all. The weather was gorgeous, and the champagne plentiful. The foundation for a good day.

Then there was a good old fashioned girls night out. Let's be honest, I was home by 8:30 p.m. But it (and I) was certainly fun while it (and I) lasted.

And don't you worry your pretty little heads, we don't always leave Gus home with the little Chunglunds. We had (as Carol would say) a top day at the Saint John's for Real Change charity polo match. Thanks to Carol (she's kind of a big deal), we rolled VIP style and tried our best to keep it classy. I mean, Gus was wearing white pants after all.

Gus and I also got in 9 holes and attended the Sacramento Tree Hero awards. Free sangria at the latter. Can't argue with that.

Don't let all this fancy adult stuff fool you---it is but a brief respite and then we're right back to our regularly scheduled potty training, refereeing, carting kids to activities, opening juice boxes, getting snacks, etc. But it was a fun month ...

Monday, June 5, 2017

the new normal

Blogging. It's been hard. There have been so many feelings. So many ups. So many downs. But we're cruising into summer with what we hope is a smile in our hearts---hoping to find the new normal.

In the midst of figuring out who is doing what to whom and when, we've been getting back to our weekend warfare of cramming as much as possible into two short days to maintain our sanity during the work week.

Luckily, we got a three-day weekend in for Memorial Day. County fair, hanging out around the house, going swimming, a little golf and grilling with friends. We laughed. We smiled. We were together.

Relaxing at Club Carol

Last weekend we closed out the baseball season ...

 ... and made our way to Tahoe to see family that was on vacation.

Sidenote: J1 has such a strong love of family and is so happy to see cousins who we don't see often. For the past three years, she has asked for a family reunion for her birthday party. Sweet girl. This year though I think she'd rather go to Disneyland.

We are feeling all the #summervibes. We will continue our quest for the new normal and try to squeeze some fun in when we can. It's going to be a good summer.