red ball

red ball

The red ball project was in San Francisco yesterday! I had no idea. I was waiting at the bus stop after work and looked across the street and there it was, wedged above the BART station entrance. I follow the facebook page but somehow missed that it was coming. I feel so lucky that I didn’t miss it. What a surprise to see it across the street after seeing so many pictures of it.

What nice surprises have you had lately?




this face is changing…

…and life is moving fast. You know how in Peter Pan (the book, not the cartoon) the narrator often mentions that Peter still has all his first teeth and this is how you know that he will never grow up – because he still has all his first teeth? Abby no longer has all her first teeth. Yeah. Missing teeth and permanent teeth change a child’s appearance I think. But so far, she’s still my same girl. Phew. And the slight lisp she now has gives me heart squeezes every time she speaks. So there’s that.

And the tooth fairy comes to our house now. She brings golden dollars tucked into pink satin pouches and leaves a trail of pixie dust* behind, sending Abby to school with a bit of magic still on her hands.

Anyway, my point is that life moves forward, changes, and I find I forget things. I also find that I remembered more when I visited this space more often. And not just events that I wrote about. I find that reading an old post will bring back memories of other things that happened that day, thoughts I had that week, how I was feeling that month. Do you find that to be true? Does recalling one event bring back a stream of related, if only chronologically, memories and slows time just a bit? This is what I hope to accomplish – slowing time so I can enjoy this face just a little longer.

I also hope to reconnect with some old friends, neglected in my absence, and to make some new friends here. I love visitors and would be ever so pleased if you would drop by from time to time.

*In case you are wondering, gold mineral eye shadow makes fantastic pixie dust.

What ate my brain this time?



Transitions, that’s what. Abby has trouble with them and apparently I do too. Abby loved kindergarten and was sad to see it come to an end. So I was sad for her. She is also very nervous about starting first grade because “you have to know how to read everything and the teacher won’t help you spell anything”. So I am anxious for her. And that’s where my head has been. Sometimes I think I feel everything that girl feels in addition to my own feelings, which are many.

This summer went by in a blur. Am I forever destined to say that now that I have a child? Does time ever slow down?

just one more (for now)

I should really consider changing the name of this blog to “kimonos and cherry blossoms”. It seems that is all I can post about these days.

I want to thank you for all the kind comments about Abby’s performances. I have been carrying on, haven’t I? It’s just that this is one of those times when your child really surprises you. She hasn’t been taking lessons for very long and I only was able to attend a lesson 2 weeks before her big performance. So in a matter of weeks she went from a girl who would only ever consider getting up on a stage if I was allowed to go with her to a poised red carpet veteran.

I also can’t get over how beautiful the dancing is. I didn’t know anything about it a few months ago and I find myself enchanted. If you are interested, the type of dance she does is called nihon buyo and you can find a video of the San Francisco performance here.

Have a wonderful weekend! Doing anything fun?

behind the scenes

Are you tired of kimonos yet?

Good! Me either! Here are a few scenes from before the festival while the girls were getting ready.  I was so enchanted with the whole process. It is so involved. It took almost 3 hours to get 3 girls ready. Abby loved being fussed over. The girl will definitely love spa days when she is older.

The hair was so intricate, it was an architectural feat. It was fascinating to watch its creation.  

Then there was the makeup. I was feeling vaguely “toddlers and tiaras” seeing my perfect little girl made up. But it’s tradition. And it’s very theatrical, so I likened it to make up for a play.

They even recruited me, “the professional”. Ha! It’s true that I know a lot about makeup, but I don’t often apply it on others and certainly not liquid liner on a twitchy 5 year old. But it worked out.

I think my favorite was watching all the fuss that goes into the kimono. It takes at least 30 minutes to put one on properly with all the adjustments that are necessary. I’m trying to learn so I can help there too, but it is really complicated.

All the girls looked darling and enjoyed all the attention. But because I am a mom, I worry. They got A LOT of attention. And I started to worry that Abby would start to equate the hair and makeup and dress with being special and beautiful. She commented on how much she liked the makeup several times over the course of a few days, especially the eyes. I was quick to remind her that 5 year olds can only wear the black stuff that is usually just for mamas (I wear black eyeliner for performances.

But now that some time has passed, she hasn’t mentioned the make up in a while. And I guess my job now is to pay attention and look for opportunities to remind her that she is special and beautiful every day. To look for opportunities to take the focus off appearance and place it on kindness and character and teach her about what true beauty is.

She is true beauty.

one would think the weekend would have been filled to the brim with cherry blossoms…

…considering that there was another Cherry Blossom Festival performance and a visit to the Japanese Tea Garden, yet oddly, they were quite lacking.

This festival was about an hour outside the city. I was preoccupied with getting to the venue on time, so I may have missed them, but I don’t recall seeing any cherry blossoms. Maybe it was because it is late in the season and the trees weren’t in full bloom anymore so they escaped my attention, or perhaps they melted off in the stinking heat. It’s hard to say.

Either way, the girls had another wonderful performance. I was worried that this performance was going to be a bit of a let down from the Japantown performance which was completely magical and so very special for us. I don’t think anything can compare to dancing in the shadow of the pagoda where Abby has always loved to dance. We will think of that performance every time we see that pagoda, which is very often. Yesterday’s performance, while lovely, was far from home and I felt lacking some of the ambiance of last week’s performance. Oh, and it was really hot. Kimonos in the heat = not fun.

But when I asked, Abby reminded me that 5 year olds are awesome by telling me she loved both performances. She was just so happy to be on a stage again.

The day before the performance, we went to the Japanese Tea Garden. Abby loves it there and we hadn’t been in a while. I thought it would be a nice way to get in the mood for the festival.

It is always beautiful and there were cherry blossoms, but they were no longer in full bloom. At least there were many other beautiful flowers to look at.

What about you? What is your favorite spring flower? Are there many around you?

open house

Hello and Happy Friday! I have some behind the scenes photos from the cherry blossom festival to show you, but I thought I’d break it up a little today and show you some scenes from our visit to open studios at the Headlands Center for the Arts on Sunday.

This was the day after Abby’s performance so we were a little tired. We live close to the bridge so the Headlands are only about a 15 minute drive.

And it is such a beautiful place. The Center provides residencies to artists in rehabilitated military buildings.

There was a lot of art to see, but truth be told, we spent more time looking for friends that Abby was eager to see than we did looking at the art. We sped through a lot of the studios. But here are some pieces I enjoyed.

The image of Popeye was done in needlepoint. I am always drawn to the sort of instilation that mimics living space.

Abby thought this looked like Wall-E.

I also love wire sculptures. This piece looked so fragile in person.

I have no idea who the artists are. Like I said, we sped through. I’m lucky I got these photos. I didn’t really mind though. Once we found our friends, we took the kids out on the grounds to play. I love this area, especially in the fog. It was such a contrast to the sunshine and cherry blossoms of the day before. I feel so far from home here.

Markus showed the kids how to make birds nests and that is how we spent the rest of the afternoon.

Leaving nests around for for all the birds to find.

Have a great weekend! What are your plans?