summertime girl

Weez is the ultimate summer girl.  She has a beachy vibe, year round with her tan skin and golden highlights.  Her style is also more SoCal with sandals and trucker hats, sun-drenched hues of aqua and coral.  Bikinis are a must.  She is so ready to kick this season off staying in the pool all day, with the only breaks reserved for sipping strawberry shakes.  A few nights ago, we went to the A’s baseball game with a group from her first grade class.  It was bound to become chilly as the night wore on, but she insisted on her shorts and pink sunnies.  Her whole attitude is filled with rays of light, and I am loving watching her shine on this summer.

starts now

The last entry was all about intentions.  This is about action.  Today was a day that would be considered most’s one week AFTER the new year.  The past two weeks have been too much to quantify as new, fresh and clean for this family.  It has been stressful, annoying, remarkable and sad.  Not quite my ideal new year start!

I achieved little to nothing in the first week of the new year, based on my last post.  And I am giving myself a pass.  Here is what I did do, which I am proud of.

  1. Last weekend, I was flown out by the new owner of TDM Salt Lake to celebrate the five year anniversary and new ownership.  I was so nervous that I begged my bestie here in Napa to go with me.  After growing some serious guts, I decided I would go on my own.  It was awesome.  I spent the first night with my bestie in SLC, laughing and eating and drinking all of our favorite things.  I taught a fun class to a packed house of my dearest friends and former students.  We ended with a mellow night in PJs at Lisa’s over lasagna and wine.  Just banner.
  2. We hosted G’s Dad at our house for the past six days.  He has the later stages of Parkinson’s Disease, not shaking, just terrible balance and very affected speech.  He has always been a talker and deal maker.  He can no longer tell you to get him a napkin.  It is heart breaking.
  3. School started today!  Everyone got out the door on time and with lunches, homework, etc.  Both kiddos were so thrilled to see their friends.  I was personally so happy to send them back, eager to learn and be social!
  4. Family Dinner Night started tonight.  It isn’t a 100% thing that we will do every night.  But for the nights it does work, we are all eating the same dinner.  Vegetable trying is a must.  Protein trying a huge bonus.  There were few tears and both got a treat!  Shocking what everyone will do while around a table.

I also purchased a “D” charm in man-made opal to hang around my neck.  I love it so very much.  For whatever reason, it has given me clarity and focus.  So much so, I went to TDM Napa today for a great class with Christie.  I cleaned house and made a good dinner for our whole family.  Weez painted, H finished his homework.  It was an ideal night at the Christo’s.  Finally, I feel that we can start 2017 as a family.  Kind of a relief, with a huge dose of JOY.

new song

With every post from friends and people I follow bidding a passionate farewell to 2016, I’ve thought, “I don’t have ill will towards the past year.”  It was a year that absolutely flew by and for the most part, I thought, went fairly well.

The first day of the new year was spent lazily watching kids shoot off their rockets, sipping on wine, occasionally looking up at the football games.  We had a super low key party the night before at our good friend’s house.  Not much drama other than Mariah’s disastrous performance on Dick Clark’s Rocking New Year’s Eve. I made black eyed peas, a southern good luck tradition that I do every year, they turned out just okay.

Today, January 2nd, I am struggling.  I am now reflecting on the things in 2016 that will follow me through he new year.  I sold my half of TDM to a new owner, but the loan for the business will haunt me for five more years.  While I didn’t vote for Trump, the uncertainty and absolute ignorance of his leadership is terrifying.  I work hard.  Really hard.  That’s not going to change.  It will likely just get busier and the work more complex.

I am entering this new year no better than last.  That makes me sad.  Little has improved, in fact, things have gotten harder.  Despite this, I am forcing myself to embrace each day as something special.  I plan to push myself both physically and mentally.  Here’s how I plan to hold myself accountable and in control of as much as I am able:

  1. Do something physically active for at least 30 minutes.  If a full Dailey class works into it all, fantastic.  Should my only window be during Weezy’s bath, and I have to use the counter top to do push-ups, fine.  But there must be blood flow and an increased heartbeat.  Every. Single. DAY.
  2. Meditation.  I am no pro at this, trust me.  But I do know that setting even five minutes aside to ground helps me majorly.  I will aim for the morning, but will put it to work when I can.  Often is my requirement.
  3. Limit my alcohol to the weekends.  This may be a pipe dream, but there it is.
  4. Prepare foods for everyone in my family.  Cooking brings me great joy.  I love to peddle around in the kitchen.  We are all as a family going to eat better and together more often.
  5. Spend time with friends and family doing things that are important.  Board games.  Hiking.  No more mindless cocktails while I let the kids melt their brains on iPads.  We all have fun together.  That’s rare and awesome.

It is a start.  I refuse to let this year get off and running without me being a part of it, doing my part, for me.  My family needs me at 100%.  I need me at 100%.  If you are feeling the same, let me know.  I would love a warrior to partner with.  Heck, if you have even read this far, thank you.  That’s all I really need is your support.



graphic photo alert

Here’s the way my abdomen looks a week after surgery.  I lost 6 lbs.  That’s nearly how much my uterus weighed.  It was also the size of someone carrying a six month old fetus. I can’t help but hope there’s some improvement in my appearance, but, if I feel this good a year from now, I really don’t care what my middle looks like.



One week ago, I was at this very moment, under general anesthesia while a total laparoscopic hysterectomy was happening to me.  The surgery took about three hours. My doctor, Dr. Gonzalez, is a master at this type of procedure, so I knew I was in good hands.  Even still, it is major surgery and there’s lots that go into getting prepared for such a thing.  I had an EKG, a chest x-ray, plus a dozen containers of blood drawn.  I did the terrible colonoscopy prep the night before, after being on clear liquids for 24 hours, starving.

All for good reason, I later found out.  I had over 20 fibroid tumors, all benign, and some endometriosis on one part of my uterus.  I now have eliminated my chances of cervical cancer (don’t have one anymore), uterine cancer (obvs, gone too) or ever having a period again!  I can’t imagine how life will be not having to literally hunker down for a whole day each month.  I was in terrible pain, I couldn’t leave my house.  Now, all of the conversations I had with myself like “this cannot be normal” are over.

The recovery from surgery has been easy.  Really.  That’s not me trying to sound like superwoman.  My personal experience has been great.  Having polled friends that have had this same procedure, I was expecting to be bed-bound for at least a week.  Most said they weren’t back to regular function until three weeks had passed.  That was literally the only thing that freaked me out about this procedure.  I don’t have three weeks to rest.  Especially with the holidays knocking at our door!  Call it determination, mind over body, not sure what exactly…but I am totally fine and despite an abdomen that looks like I took four bullets at close range, I feel fantastic.

I am so grateful to my family and friends that have taken such good care of me this past week.  My fabulous friend Jenn made me homemade dashi broth to sip the day before surgery (also took the kids for a day, brought me treats).  My dearest and fellow “hyster-sister” Alyssa and her hubs took both kids the night prior for a sleepover and an all day play date with their kiddos. The ever-loving Jen Freeto M.D. sat with G while I was in the operation room, and relieved him so he could get scripts filled while I was in recovery.  My mom brought soup, plus goodies from Bouchon Bakery.  My neighbor sent the most delicious dinner from Food Shed.  And the flowers!  I received the most beautiful posies.

There are lots of reasons that I am beyond okay and doing so well. I feel lucky.  I feel humbled.  I feel grateful for many, many things.  Here’s to being uterus free!

cold feet

Today it feels, well, cold.  Yes, the high is supposed to be 63.  But for Californians, that’s starting to dip down into the brr zone.  Recently, I threw out a ton of slippers and house shoes.  When I saw these on a friend’s instagram, I nearly died.  Look how cute these Ugg scuffettes are!?  The Pendleton print is just adorable.  Santa, I have been a good girl all year long.


quick recap

Lots has gone on since my last post in August.  Here’s a quick photo recap:kids-sierra

My friend Jen Freeto and I took our four kids to Lake Tahoe, sans husbands.  We had such an amazing time.  We stayed in the same place we stay during the summer.  While it was so strange being there without the guys and the other people on the beach, we did all the usual stuff: floating in the lake, golden eagles, Luke at the Lone Eagle, T’s chicken.  This time we did take a cruise on the Sierra Cloud, which was so much fun.



Then the kids had their favorite fundraiser at school, the Jog-a-Thon!  Weez and H each worked hard out on the track.  Here’s a picture of Weezy’s class:


After the Jog-a-Thon, the Safeway Open came to Silverado Country Club. G had work requirements at the tournament, so he went each day to check out the action.  A fun thing they did this year were concerts on the mansion lawn each night; we caught Third Eye Blind and even in the rain, it was so much fun!  H loved hanging with his pal and getting high fives from the pros.


Concert time!


I feel so lucky to live in the place that I do, with the friends that I have.  We always have a great time.  Up next, the road trip of all trips!  Two families decided to make the most of a week and a massive van.  Stay tuned…

the shoes

No, I didn’t buy these.  But in my previous life, they would be mine.  They are so beautiful. There’s literally no room for shoes like this in my closet today.  They would look so silly on my feet paired with all my country boring stuff.  Their style and sass would be lost in Napa. But I do have a love for them.  Deep, true, love.

end of summer + beginning again

In an effort to re-kick-start the kick-start of the start of my blog, I would like to wax about the end of summer and what that means to me.  Summer ended, yesterday, really.  That was it.  School is officially in session, full-time.  Both kids are on the same schedule finally, which makes life so much easier.  With the Olympics ending and football season beginning, I crave cooler temperatures and hearty food.  Knowing as I do, there are always a few sneaker days between now and Halloween where it is absolutely smoking hot. October in general is always warmer than anyone wants.  But to get my mind prepared, a slow transition must begin.

I fight internally; feeling like I should ignore the corn and heirloom tomatoes and load up on squash and braising meats.  I keep reaching for my boots and plaids, when really the JCrew city shorts should still be at first grab.  Iced tea to hot tea.  Cajun Shrimp nails to Malaga Wine.  The sun is at that angle, where you know change is upon us.  The problem is that change happens so quickly, there is really never a time to soak it in, moment by moment like I would like.

What helps to make the transition an acceptable one for me is to plan.  Bring out the calendar and start marking things up all the way to December.  To plan things strategically so that there are milestones and earmarks.  Getting organized by day, week month and balance of the year helps tremendously.  Yesterday I planned the week’s worth of meals, and I have even planned a few breakfast bites, so there is no room for that blank stare.  When my fridge is stocked with things that have a purpose, I am happy.  Nothing is more disappointing than looking at a fridge full to the brim with nothing I want or can use.  The freezer also has options for quick meals post-baseball when we get home late.  Sundays we have implemented “Everyone Eats the Same” which probably sounds ridiculous to most families.  But Sunday we all come up with the menu, sit together, and eat what’s on our plate.  It is a step for us.  Don’t judge.

Today, I ordered a leopard print dress.  I am drinking more water. I am lowering my dose of crazy pills.  Lamb shanks are braising for dinner, but I am serving them with a cool couscous salad.  It is a start, and I think I am ready.