Thursday, May 14, 2015

Off to a city by the Bay

For the last month or so, Solon has been commuting back to his company headquarters in South San Francisco.

Sunday evening, we drop him off at Sky Harbor's Terminal 4, go about our business for the week, and are back at Terminal 4 the following Friday night. It's been hard having him gone during the week - I am exhausted by Thursday, and basically need an IV drip of coffee to get me to the Friday finish line, but I can't remember a time when I have seen my husband so excited about this work. Ever since getting hired by Genentech 2 years ago, he has loved it - it's a FABULOUS company that really takes care of their employees. He feels blessed to be surrounded by such smart and innovative people. Well now those smart and innovative people want Solon to be at HQ full-time, and they have offered him a marketing position that will relocate our family to the Bay Area.


This is exciting, wonderful, and terrifying all at the same time for me, a girl who has been in AZ her WHOLE life. A girl who always dreamt about going away to college, but was too chicken to fill out the applications... Now it's my time for an adventure, and I get to experience it with Solon and the kids by my side.

This summer will be filled with research trips out to the Bay Area, to determine where we want to live, where the kids will go to school, to fill in as many of the blanks I can to make us feel at home as quickly as possible. But a lot of what makes it an adventure is filling in those blanks as we go, for as long as we are there.

It will be wonderful for me to experience the Bay Area as more than just a tourist. Each time I have gone to San Francisco, I have only been there 3-4 days at a time. I can't wait for us to discover more gems within the area that will make our adventure even better.

And just in case you have never been, and you need an excuse to come visit us in the Bay Area, let me share with you some of the best parts of San Fran and it's surrounding areas.

*Clam Chowder in a sourdough breadbowl!!

*Wine country (Sonoma, Napa) is 40 minutes north (you go over the Golden Gate Bridge to get there)

*Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory


*China Town (featuring our favorite - The House of Nan King)

*Fisherman's Wharf & Cable Cars

*Alcatraz Island

*AMAZING Italian food & seafood

*the famous City Lights Bookstore (that will get my dad to visit)

*and coffee shops on almost every corner!

I am so proud of my husband, and am so grateful that Genentech is seeing him as such an asset to their company.

To all of our awesome Shadow Rock Preschool/Lookout Mountain/Moon Valley family - thank you for loving our kids so much, and for being a wonderful community to be a part of. We will miss you so much and I will be reaching out for mass play-dates when we visit during school breaks!

To our Coolwater Christian Church family - we will look forward to coming to visit you all when we are in town - we will definitely miss your fellowship every week. Thank you for caring for our family, and for your continuous prayers for this opportunity.

To our FAMILY and FRIENDS - our calendar is ready for your travel dates! WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH and thank you for your support of our journey. Download the GLIDE app for your smartphones, and COME VISIT US!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Livin' Life

Seven months...

That's how long it took me to write this.

The truth is, I re-read my post from October in January, and started to create this post. But then I stopped for some reason (got side-tracked probably), and the next thing I know we are 2 days away from Mother's Day. It's like sometimes I have too much to say but not enough time to say it, and then part of me thinks, "is this an online documentary for my children to look at 10 years from now, or is it a place for me to vent and release?" But then I remind myself that I share this with everyone, and I decide to reel it in a bit, as not to bore whoever reads this. (laughing)

Reading that October post and re-living those words took me on an emotional roller coaster, but the good news is, Paloma's December CT Scan came back crystal clear, and a huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders. She has already had one follow-up ultrasound (which came through CLEAR) with another at the end of May, and after that we should have 2-3 more over the next year and a half, and hopefully we will be DONE. I am grateful every day for the continued prayers for our daughter's health until this is all behind us.

Many of our "everyday" moments are on my Instagram (@candidabell)account, but here is a slideshow of the highlights that bring us to current, featuring Halloween, Sasa & Tony's visit for Thanksgiving, Christmas (with Alynsia!), the baptism of our god-daughter Gracyn, our trip to Disneyland, Papa Allen & Danita's visit, and a little New Orleans:

The kids are at a really cool age right now. Paloma is the most vibrant little creature on our planet. She is colorful and dynamic and fierce and independent and way wiser than her actual age. She questions things like life and death and says things like, "It's just so beautiful mommy; everything in life is just so beautiful..." - what 4-year-old says these things? But she does. She loves everybody and everything - she wanted Spring Break to end after 2 days because she missed her preschool friends so much. That's the kind of girl she is.

And Quincy is so smart and is just growing so fast it makes me catch my breath every day. He is taking piano lessons now, loves homework, loves pleasing his teacher, and his art skills have advanced purely on his own. If you compare dinosaur pictures from a year ago to where they are now (and then throw in his handwriting skills), it's just blows my mind on a daily basis.

Solon and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on March 19. I said to him that morning, "Ten years seems like a lifetime, and when I look back at our pictures and I think of all the things that we've done, it feels like we've done so much in such a short time. Yet our life together is really just beginning and that's pretty incredible to think about." We were able to celebrate our anniversary alone in New Orleans (thank you Sasa for taking care of the kids), a dream that we've always had (back when we could be a little more spontaneous). We were able to stuff our face with beignets and delicious Creole cooking, while we learned some history. We were able to reconnect and reflect on the last 10 years while we pondered what the future holds.