Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer 2015: Part 1

May was a month of roller coaster emotions. Excitement for the unknown. Sadness for the beginning of the goodbyes. Oh man, so many good-byes. So many endings.

There are two things I learned about my life in the month of May.

1. You never realize just how much your life is on cruise-control until you decide to move out of state.

2. You never realize how many wonderful people you have in your life, whether they are subtle acquaintances or dear, dear friends, until you start counting the "good-byes", or as I like to call them, "see-you-laters".

Yep, May was emotional. Cathartic. Filled with blessings and discoveries.

These wonderful women that I served on the preschool board with. They are part of my tribe - we cared for each other, our families - we supported one another. It's amazing how motherhood can bond people who have very different backgrounds, interests, political beliefs - it's amazing. I love these women and am grateful to have spent one last fun night with them. My favorite moment of this night was right before my new friend Jamie (not pictured) left. She and I connected this year over our shared love of party planning and making things beautiful. She is a Christian woman from Texas who can rock a sundress and cowgirl boots better than anyone, and she introduced me to Rudy's BBQ which is the bomb. We were fortunate to have some heart-to-hearts over the year, and as she's leaving she says to me (I'm paraphrasing b/c my memory is a little shot), "I am going to miss you so much! I just couldn't believe I could enjoy the company so much of someone who voted for Obama! I have been wanting to say that for so long!!!" It was a riot. We got a great laugh out of it.

Paloma's final celebration as a Bluebird (the greatest class ever!)
Saying goodbye to this wonderful preschool community a year earlier than expected was definitely the root of many of my tears. I will sing the praises of Shadow Rock Preschool until the day I die. This amazing place made a HUGE difference in our family's life. Our children absolutely thrived there. The teachers and staff are some of the best people I have ever met. That place is pure magic.

Quincy's Kindergarten year coming to a close
The transformation this kid had in 9 months blew us away. He started the year a little quiet, still into his own thing (at the time dinosaurs, mainly), and ended the year with tons of friends, super-outgoing, laser-focused on his writing and reading skills, and also emerged as quite the artist! He got so much out of that first year, I am certain he could thrive now no matter where he goes. His fabulous teacher, in one year, laid an immense foundation in this kid. He was so happy to have been a "Goldfish"!

(You'll need a Flash Player to see this video)

So after that was done... we packed the car up and headed to San Francisco for a 3-week stint that would help us discover the city as more than just a 3-day tourist, and hopefully determine a location to reside for the next few years.
We took a few days to get Forrest acclimated to city-life, and began to explore.
We lit sparklers on the roof; discovered playgrounds in surrounding neighborhoods;
visited Solon at his new office;
tried ice cream made on the spot with local, fresh ingredients and liquid nitrogen;
ate some life-changing Lasagnetta at Il Borgo, the Italian Ristorante cross-corner from our apartment (layers of thin homemade lasagna noodles and prosciutto, rolled into spirals of heaven and smothered with the most UH-MAZING red sauce);
made friends with the owners at the local corner market (Nick's) who still remember the importance of customer service; walked 12 blocks to the nearest movie theatre to watch Jurassic World when Grandma Sasa was in town;
drove ever-so-slowly down the world-famous Lombard Street, which was lined with hundreds of hydrangea flowers;
saw the sea-lions sun-bathing at Pier 39;
had a play-date with my friend Liz and her kiddos, Dominik and Maksim;
played in the sand and water near Hyde Street Pier;
stocked up on Ghirardelli chocolates from the factory; Quincy tried 5 different types of seafood (!) which is huge for my kids who doesn't like to try new things;
I tried 5 different flavors of French Macarons which were to-die-for!;
cooked a couple meals for Solon's co-workers;
first time on the Cal-Train (subway);
all while looking at neighborhoods in the East Bay where we felt was the best fit for our family.

The Saturday before we left to return to Phoenix, we attended the Genentech Gives Back concert event. On top of the innovative cancer-fighting medicines that Genentech creates and sells, they also give back extensively to their community. The week leading up the concert, employees go out into the community and help clean up playgrounds, schools, etc and in Solon's case, painted a U.S. map on a basketball court. Then on Saturday, the company rents out AT&T Park (home of the SF Giants) and treats the employees and their families to a day of food, drinks, and live entertainment from national recording artists. This year's line-up was Jason Derulo, Imagine Dragons, and KATY PERRY!
It was an awesome experience, and what a cool 1st concert for the kiddos. Paloma kept singing "Roar" the whole way home, and for the rest of the night for that matter!

We spent our last day, which happened to be Father's Day, driving around the East Bay looking at homes to rent, in the neighborhoods we liked.
After 6 homes, we finally found one that fit the needs of a family of 4 with a dog. We submitted our application, a dog resume (yes, that's right), credit report, and a picture of our family, and waited for the call. At 8pm the night before I left, our application got accepted.

So we did it! We accomplished practically everything that I wanted to while we were there. That three weeks was jam-packed and super-productive. Not to mention extremely exhausting with pockets of stress here and there.

I am so proud of our kids and our dog. I had a blast road-tripping with all three of them; the kids were helpful and up for anything. They were able to simply enjoy each other's company for 2/3 of each drive while coloring, making up songs, enjoying the scenery, and only used the iPad for one movie per 6-hour stretch. It can be done! And when they slept, I was able to listen to songs on my iPod that only I can appreciate. (ie: Counting Crows) =)

I am also really proud of my husband. He has been working his butt off while we are apart, and has already been recognized for his growth in this new role. He is loving his new position. That makes this all worth it! We will all be so happy when we are back together as a complete family.

The next 2 weeks consist of me purging the house some more, and getting everything ready for the movers. We will officially be out of AZ the first week of August!

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