Category Archives: goals & inspirations

nov 12 2015: this week’s happenings


I keep thinking that I’ll update this blog more often and then life keeps getting in the way. But, I made a big change last week at work and I think I might actually get to catch up. I only have about 3.5 years worth of posts to do, but hey, who’s counting? Smile 

Anyway, the big change is that a I realized several months ago (well, like 13 months ago) that I was getting burned out on my prior role and unable to handle the constant fire drills and daily ups and downs (what felt like mostly downs). I had a random catch-up dinner with an old friend and she told me about two open roles on her team. I still get to stay in the same product world at Microsoft (Bing Ads), but I move out of marketing into a role planning service/support for our SMB customers of Bing Ads. It took me awhile to be ok in the head with not having the title “Marketer”, but I REALLY enjoy the work so far. And I actually DO believe that I am *marketing* the support that we offer for this product. And the team is SO great. Welcoming. Warm. Awesome. So, anyway, I’m hoping to carve out some time each day/week to go back in time and post some photos and videos of what has been going on in our crazy lives that I haven’t documented for posterity.

As of this week, it looks like this:

After a long, long, long dry and warm summer, the rain has finally moved in and we are now relegated to playing in the garage again. Briar has discovered the peas and loves them.


Hutch just wants to play various types of ball with him. Or frisbee. Or fashion show.

Briar has a funny thing we love where she says “wha yur like?” (translation: “what would you like?”) and she serves us imaginary food. She played that game with me in the bathtub on Saturday and I finally caught it on video. Smile 

On Sunday, we made the mistake of going to a play place in Factoria called Playtorium. The kids had fun, but it was wayyyyy overwhelming, too crowded and too dangerous for my taste.

Google made this fun video for me, though! Smile 

It turned out to be a non-rainy afternoon, so we headed out to a park after Briar’s nap and I snapped a few more cute pics!

Oh, wait, this isn’t one of them. Winking smile 

Then, yesterday was Veteran’s Day, so I had to take the day off work. Amazingly, I had a relatively pain-free day with the kids. I took them to another play place, but it was way less difficult to keep track of them there. And after lunch, when Briar was napping, I took Hutch to Chuck E Cheese.

Google made me another video to celebrate. (They picked the music, not me. Smile)

I took them to Target and got this funny video (trying to share through Google+, let’s see if it’ll work):

Then, Chuck E Cheese:

All in all, we’ve had some cute moments with our spirited kids recently. They make us crazy (more on that later), but we love ‘em soooooo much!

october 20: the lost year edition


It’s my birthday. 37. Kinda weird to type that. I took the day off of work today and went to the gym with my trainer, Kristi, and my friend, Tori. Kristi always does a theme workout based on the birthday girl’s age and she asked me when I came in, “27???”. I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t. So, I guess that’s nice! I’m finally at an age where I don’t mind getting carded. <P.S. Someone really needs to show me how to pose next to someone who is half my body weight…>

Anyway, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve blogged. And even then, I wasn’t blogging as regularly as I’d like and when I look back, I realize that this whole last year has been sort of a blur. Here’s a recap that is mostly personal and doesn’t encompass a lot of what’s gone on around me:

  • October – Went back to work last October 8th in a new-ish job in the advertising business group with a new manager named Diego. Briar was almost 5 months old at that point. They had transferred me from one group to another while I was on maternity leave. (This is important later in my story below…)
  • November – hosted Thanksgiving for the Crawfords, Briar started crawling, got her 1st two teeth
  • December – hosted a huge summit for work that completely stressed me out
  • January – had a nervous breakdown with the stress of work, pumping and lack of sleep. Started seeing a shrink and got on some meds to try to help me out.
  • February- Briar started refusing to nurse, so I stopped pumping at work and we put her on formula in the daytime (mommy guilt increases!), we find out Hutch is not doing well at Megumi so frantically scramble to try to get him into a new school for Pre-K
  • March – honestly don’t remember much…we got into Hutch’s new school (Cedar Crest Academy)…yay! Oh, and we went to see the cherry blossoms.
  • April – Tulips, finished breastfeeding for good and I left the family for 5 days to take a work trip to New York. No one died.
  • May – Briar turned 1 and started walking a week after her birthday.
  • June – Hutch turned 4
  • July – Hutch started his new school on July 1st. On July 17th, I got laid off for the 2nd time in 2 years. (Literally two years and six days apart.) There are a lot of things involved with why but mostly it was because the group they had transferred me into while on maternity leave had to cut 40% of its people, so I was one of the lucky ones. Ha.
  • August – I got rehired into a different group (Bing Advertising) and started three weeks after I got laid off. Amy and her kids came for a three week visit.
  • September – Hutch started Pre-K after 2 fun months doing summer camp. Amy went back to Japan. I left the family for a 4 day trip to Tampa, Fl for work. No one died.
  • October – here we are again… Pumpkin patches, pumpkin spice lattes, oh, and Briar has 8 teeth coming in at one time.

So, in looking back over this year, I feel like it’s probably been the hardest one for me in the course of my life. I hope that I’m able to say that later in life, too, because things really aren’t so bad, but I just feel so drained. Two very spirited kids (because Briar is NOT the easygoing baby that everyone promised me I’d have after Hutch), hormonal crap, two very stressful jobs, and one layoff have taken their toll on my mental health. My whole goal of working towards “Balance”, which was the word I picked for my year this year, seems almost laughable at this point.

I know that things are going to start swinging up as Briar gets easier and I get more accustomed to my new job in Bing, so I am taking this first day of my 38th year to spend time by myself and write down a few things that I’d like to accomplish/experience over the next 12 months:

  • More date nights with Buck. He’s such an amazing partner/husband/father/friend and I want to have more time with him removed from the craziness of our crazy children
  • More exercise. I started exercising with Tori at Fly Fitness when Hutch was 18 months old and it really changed my mindset. So, right now I’m doing one day a week (Fridays at lunch…when meetings don’t get in the way), but I’m going to start trying to go in the evenings once or twice a week. It’s VERY difficult for either one of us to be at home alone at bedtime and put Briar down with Hutch around because he doesn’t like to sit alone in the living room while we put her down. But, there’s a class that Kristi teaches at 5:45 that’ll get me home in time to do bedtime, so I’m going to start forcing myself to go….regardless of my exhaustion. Because I always feel better after a hard workout. Especially with Kristi.
  • More cooking. I am finishing a six-week program called Onvo this week. It has changed the way I look at food and hunger and I want to keep expanding on this work that I’m doing. In a nutshell, it’s about eating ONLY whole foods, cutting out processed stuff like white sugars/flours and recognizing hunger so that you only eat when you need to. I’m not perfect at this, but I’ve been a lot better with the exception of alcohol, which is something I still need to work on. But, it’s rekindled my love for cooking and I want to figure out how to prioritize this so that I can put some healthy meals in the fridge for weeknight dinners.
  • More creativity. This one is going to be hard for me to figure out how to add in, but I really want to do more reading, blogging, mindfulness projects like One Little Word or the Brene Brown project. I just feel like I have so little time to myself that I’m not sure how to make this happen, but I am going to try to take more personal days from work (like today) and fill up my tank so that I can feel like I’ve MADE something. I’ll start posting more from my phone so that I can capture and document our lives, which will free me from the sadness I feel about not writing down memories, like how I’ve just missed documenting most of Briar’s 1st year and a half.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on in my head on my 37th birthday. I’m off to a spa in a little while to get waxed and mani/pedi’d . Then, hopefully out for a fun dinner with the kids and a nice night with my sweet, who spends all of HIS free time trying to make everyone else in our house happy. I’m a lucky girl and I want to focus on that in this next year!

june 23: the derailed edition

Hi there….clearly I’m not doing awesome at keeping updated on things. Here’s why: 3 weeks ago Briar got a horrible stomach flu that kept her out of school for half a week. 2 weeks ago, Briar got hand/foot&mouth disease that kept her out of school for half a week. Then last week, Hutch got hand/foot & mouth, so he was out of school for two days. In addition to that, last week a rumor started circulating that they are going to be laying off 40% of my group. If this happens, and it happens to me, it’ll likely be two years almost to the day as the last time I was laid off. My brain has been all over the place for the past five days. I have no choice but to keep my head down until I actually know what’s going to happen. But, it just blows. I’d just gotten to a good place in this role over the last couple of months and I’d even started decorating my office!! (Amy, see my awesome Japanese vending machine poster you got me last summer!)


20140623_124552     20140623_124604



SO, I’ve been doing terrible with eating and drinking way too much recently, but two of my friends and I have started a small private FB group to encourage each other over the next 30 days. Here were my goals today:

1) salad for lunch, 2) salad for dinner, 3) 10K+ steps and 4) my beachbody exercises (50 Crunches & 2x 60 Second Plank) and 5) NO ALCOHOL. And I posted this as our daily motivation:


And here’s how I’m doing so far! (Salad with black beans, red pepper, brussels sprouts and a dash of ranch + green juice with 2 cucumbers, 1 lemon, 1 green apple, ginger and tons of spinach.)


And, because I’ve been doing so horrible with updates on the kids, here are some fun videos since I’m sure you care more about them than my lunch choices. Smile


First, Hutch at Crossroads on one of his sick days. He was being hilarious while riding the carousel. The fact that he’s so verbal and funny is really cracking us up these days. At the time, I didn’t know where he came up with “This is the BEST DAY EVERRRR!”. I thought I was just being an awesome mom, getting him cake pops and putting him on rides. But, it turns out that it was from an episode of WallyKazam, one of his new favorite shows. Smile

This is the day that we got birthday presents from Aunt Carrie, Uncle Brian, Georgia and Ronan. This one is called “Rollipop” and Briar figured this out within about a minute of me putting it together. SHE LOVES this thing!!! I couldn’t believe she just “knew” to put the balls into the hole at the top. Thank you guys again for sending it!

Hutch likes to speak in “Japanese” and he will take English words and say them in Japanese by just using the “katakana-version” of the word. SO, he’ll say “Doh-rah-ee-voo soo-roo” instead of saying “Drive through”. Smile And he calls Briar “Boo-rah-ee-ah-chan”. One of the huge benefits of sending him to a Japanese daycare.

may 27: i’m back

Helllloooooo….it’s been a long time. And, I’ll be going back to update this blog with the last few months of happenings in our household (of which there have been MANY: a 1st birthday, trips to the cherry blossoms/tulips/beach, a little walker, etc…) But, right now I just have to get over the hump and literally force myself to type and just get back into sharing. I’m way behind at work for today but I still just wanted to get this down: I’m starting to get “myself” back again. I’ve been going to the gym, got a Fitbit and I’m tracking my steps every day and I’m trying to get myself back into the habit of eating more healthfully and not making excuses.

I had done a pretty awesome job of shaving off the pregnancy weight pretty quickly after Lil Miss came out last May. By the time I came back to work in October I was the smallest I’d been in several years. But the stress of work, lack of sleep, stopping breastfeeding, excuse-based eating/drinking and no real exercise took its toll on me and I’m now back to where I was last May 15th when Briar arrived, but THIS TIME THERE’S NO BABY INSIDE OF ME!!!!  :(

So, using the help of my new friend Claire, who write a great blog, I’m attempting to cook more, make better choices and drop a few lbs……(well, in a dream world, 60 lbs). I’ve given myself the goal of 40 by my birthday, so that means I have to be ON.

Anyway, sorry if I bore you over the coming weeks with my health stats and food pictures. Part of my plan is to just document the heck out of everything so that I feel more accountable. I’m using this blog and my Sparkpeople account as my version of Weight Watchers. I promise to start posting more one-off blogs of the kids and their antics like I was doing in January/Feb. Thanks for being patient with me, friends.

Here’s breakfast and lunch today: 1) his and hers green smoothies and 2) HUGE salad + sparkling water for lunch with fruit as an afternoon snack (ignore the yogurt, not eating that part).

image     image

jan 31: the date day edition

Today was a Friday and we took it off. Off from kids and off of work. We tried to cram in as much fun stuff as we could (read: food) between 9am and 3:30pm before picking up the kids from school.

We started by going to Skillet Diner and gorging on delicious breakfast food. Plus a bacon bloody mary for me. Turns out I still don’t love bloody marys. But this one was interesting!


Because this weekend is the Superbowl and the Seahawks are in it, it’s madness in Seattle. Everywhere we went, we saw stuff like this:


From there, we went to Victrola Coffee and worked on our finances and goal-setting, which is something we rarely do and are trying to do more of.

From there, we headed to Barrio and had some really tasty Mexican food. And for me, yes, a margarita. So ridiculous, but it was so dee-lish! And feels so naughty to drink in the middle of the day.


We took pictures of us with Ferraris because of Hutch’s obsession with them from the movie “Cars”.


Then, we went to Cupcake Royale and got a “12th Man” cupcake. Notice all of the Seahawks mania I managed to capture in these pictures!

20140131_133841 20140131_133858


We were going to try to hit up a movie, but there wasn’t really anything we wanted to see. And we were too far away from a theater and had too little time to pick up the kids. So, we decided to head to another Capitol Hill hot spot called Unicorn and have a happy hour drink. So crazy we are.


And here’s yet another fun sign. What a crazy week to be in Seattle. Fun day for a date. Can’t wait to do it again.