Continuing @GwenBell 's #best09 Blog Challenge...
Read all of my #best09 here.
December 16 - Tea of the Year
Fancy Nancy Tea Party
Lily and Ava were invited to our neighbor's five-year-old birthday fancy tea party (ala Fancy Nancy) and it was so...fancy. If you are ever planning a little girl tea party, take a cue from Michelle (the five-year-old's mom). The table was beautifully set, with feather boas thrown across on all of the chairs. Each girl had white gloves, a pretty berry and marshmallow bowl and a little jar of fudge for dipping at her place setting. Trays of flower and heart shaped sandwiches were in the middle of the table. Tea pots of tea, hot chocolate and milk were on the table - love those choices! Michelle confided to me that she found the glass tea cups at Goodwill for cheap, cheap! The girls got their own little cakes (pre-frosted) to decorate after their lunch.
Other fancy activities included: making bead necklaces, face painting, makeup, nail polishing, and...just playing in the backyard (my girls did a pretty even split of fanciness and playtime). Ava was probably a little young to sit still for the whole tea party, but the five-year-olds did very well.
Stupendous, splendid, fancy!
December 17 - Word or Phrase
"2009 was about letting go."
At the beginning of 2009, I found myself over-committed and tried to trying to live up to being supermom/perfect lawyer. I wanted to start letting go of a few things and being ok with disappointing people from time to time. But it wasn't easy. In fact, it wasn't happening. As soon as I let go of one thing, I replaced it with another. Ok, maybe the other, new thing was more what I wanted to do, but it was still taking cycles and not freeing up my schedule much.
Then, in September 2009, Ben and Lily started kindergarten. Although I anticipated this to some degree, this change completely rocked my world. This was a MAJOR change for us - not only the place, but the time (after enjoying lazy afternoon preschool, leaving for school with 3 kids all ready to go for the day at 7:30am was...ahem....hard, VERY hard), the philosophy, the expectations, everything. Jeff was not around to help due to his work schedule and I was...barely keeping above water. I was worried that I would have to home school (and I am NOT a teacher!), because things were just going so badly with the adjustment. I decided that I would need to take a leave of absence from my law practice. With that...I felt a great sense of relief. I was able to focus on my family during that big adjustment time. I have had to let go of their babyhood and also of the notion of control. There are things I am still not happy with (homework in kindergarten, for instance!)...but I have let go a bit. After all, it is not possible for me to be as involved with their school as I have been with their preschool.
What the leave did for me was to free up my mind to consider other things. And what happened after that month leave was that I was offered the chance to become a partner at Silicon Valley Moms Group, one of my long-time clients. I am now happy to be able to use more than just my law degree, but also my business degree and all of the experience that a bunch of volunteer positions on the board of Gemini Crickets and Explorer Preschool has given me. I am still doing deals, which I love. I am still negotiating and drafting contracts, which I love. I am doing a ton of writing, which I love. I am doing a lot more creative stuff, which I love. And I am a part of a team, which I love and which is something I have missed these past several years being on my own in my solo law practice. I still have a couple of law clients, but for the most part I am focusing my work on SV Moms and having a blast.
It feels good to let go of pressure, to do something a bit new, to take a risk and to just see what happens. By the way, if you haven't already, please subscribe to the SV Moms Group newsletter (just go to www.svmoms.com and click on the box on the far right that says "receive the SV Moms Group Newsletter") and follow SVMoms on twitter. Thanks! :)
December 18 - Shop
I adore this store and my twin sister Robin and I have a new annual birthday tradition of shopping together at Anthropologie for our birthday. We used to buy things for each other and now we just...buy things for ourselves while we are together around our birthday. I love the romantic, eclectic look. They have great, classic kid toys and gorgeous kitchen items too. I could seriously spend A LOT of money in there. I usually do very little shopping during the year, so I do save up to splurge on this once a year. Above are some of our favorite finds of 2009. Robin bought Jeff and I the new bedding for Christmas - ocean....ah...thank you very much!
December 19 - Car Ride
All around Oregon, Jeff and I's 10 year wedding anniversary
For our 10 year wedding anniversary, Jeff and I went to Portland, Oregon, last minute. We decided to stay a few different places during our 4 day getaway, so we ended up doing quite a bit of driving. We drove to Mt. Hood, past the Columbia River Gorge, from Portland to Eugene and into the woods by the river, then to the beach, along the coast and back to Portland. It was reminiscent of our life before kids, when we would just go for a drive as something to do together. We fought a bit over iPod playlists - we discovered that, left to my own devices, I tend to go for cover tunes...I have quite a few of them on my iPhone... - and I read aloud quite a bit from a book we bought at Powell's Books in Portland, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. More pictures, etc. from our trip here. We talked A LOT. We put our hands out the window and did that little wave thing. It was nice, very nice.
December 20 - New person
Maxine, as I mentioned to you on the evening of our daughters' preschool sleepover at school, I had no idea I would find such a GOOD friend in you this year. We met at the beginning of the 4Day class and our daughters quickly became best friends. Who knew that I would soon find myself hanging out at your house drinking wine and eating your delicious food (OMG, my kids LOVE your mac and cheese to this day!), planning camping trips, talking life and politics and dreams. You helped me, coached me (really, truly) to stop living such a crazy life and to focus on the important stuff. I loved being on the preschool board with you (pilates at the board retreat, anyone?) and participating in your French day at school (Tour de Explorer!). Thank you for sharing your friendship, your family, your "bugs", your wine, your exuberance for life, your perspective, and your swimming pool. I look forward to many more years of friendship to come!