Our September & Starting of a New School Year

Our life feels like soccer right now. Not that we aren’t doing tons of other stuff, too, because we are.
But whenever there’s something fun any of us think of doing, we pull out the calendar, and see, there’s just not a free afternoon or weekend day… anywhere… because of soccer.


Tim coaching Sierra’s U8 Girls’ Team, the Lions.
Each year it’s like this. And each year I tell myself it’s just 10 weeks (mid-August through October), and that’s how we manage to commit to the craziness over and again.
I’m committed to that, too, because I know that, even though I can’t personally get into soccer the way Tim and the kids can, that it means a lot to them. Maybe Tim the most – he gets to be a coach and share his own passion with the kids. This year he’s coaching both Rylan and Sierra’s team. Sometimes I can’t even fathom how much responsibility he is taking on, on a weekly basis. I know, from coaching Odyssey, how coordinating with parents, dealing with kids that show up late, in a sour mood, or not at all, is part of your weekly energy load.
I actually think Tim may be getting the most out of his soccer time with Aubrey – which is, ironically, the team he is not coaching. She is on the “select” team this year – something she had to try out for. This is an elevated level of play of soccer, has a longer season (starts in the late spring and runs later into the fall), and requires that her team travels half of the time to away games that are outside of Sonoma.
I am really happy for her and support her playing, I can see that she takes it seriously and is learning a lot about commitment and being an important part of the team from it. Unfortunately, the tradeoff is a lot less downtime on our weekends. She often has two games, lately two that are both out of town, and with Tim coaching the other kids’ teams, he can’t always go, and between the long drives and everyone going in different directions… well, for me, its a bit exhausting.
And yet, we will probably say yes again to allowing her to play in the select league. So, be careful what you wish for.




First day of School! Aubrey 3rd grade, Sierra 1st grade, Rylan 6th grade. 

Aubrey has a great teacher and is really getting into reading this year (it’s been a slow time coming!). Sierra also enjoys her teacher. She, too, is becoming a good reader and it’s nice to finally be able to send her to bed to read her own books!


Rylan on his first day of middle school, walking to school with his friends.

Starting a child in middle school has been easier and harder than I expected. It’s been easier, in that Rylan has found a group of kids that he meets up with and socializes with quite easily, and he seems to have adapted to the middle school scheduling just fine. Its been harder, in that the move into fast-moving classes which expect a high level of independence and accountability, has been difficult for Rylan to grasp onto quickly. Likely this is the case with many 6th graders in their first year of middle school, but I’ve felt an extra burden of need to be involved, and I look forward to feeling the reassurance many 7th grade parents have shared with me, about how much easier it is going into middle school the second year when the kids are fully ready for the pace of the classes!



Aubrey & Kate really like to bake together. These two have been friends now for 6 years. They live in the same neighborhood, are on the same soccer team, and last year were in the same class. Aubrey has been finding several good friends at Prestwood and in soccer and she’s really enjoying her time with friends.











Late summer means lots of tomatoes (above, from G&G’s garden) and in turn, lots of homemade pizza!





We enjoyed watching the hometown baseball team, the Stompers, in their last home game of the season as part of Prestwood’s family night.



On the edges of summer, we’ve fit in quite a bit of camping. Especially Rylan, who’s enjoyed this camping trip with his friends for a friend’s birthday, as well as several extra trips with the Boy Scouts camping.




The Bauers were nice enough to invite us along for the birthday camping, which happened to be on the weekend of Tim’s birthday as well (thus the morning birthday cake!). We really enjoyed the campsite at the Spring Lake Regional Park.




Not only has Rylan enjoyed a lot of regular camping, he got to take his first backpacking trip with the Boy Scouts in September!



Rylan has continued to enjoy many adventures with the Boy Scouts, like this ropes course in Petaluma, which he went to this weekend.



While Rylan was away, we took the girls to our favorite Puerto Rican restaurant in Santa Rosa – we probably haven’t visited for a couple of years and thought the girls could be adventurous with their eating. Which turned out ok, but since they got ice cream and cookies afterwards they were happy!


img_7385And Tim and I got to have a nice weekend outing, just the two of us, to celebrate his birthday and our anniversary. We did a nice hike in Bothe State Park, followed by a relaxing afternoon on the deck of a Napa winery, then an evening exploring Napa’s quickly transforming downtown where we had sushi for dinner. Always, always, love having long days just the two of us and each time we do it, wonder why we let so much time go between these outings. (Luckily I can happily say we’ve already had one more date since then! Trying to make it a monthly commitment!!)





In late September, I completed the 12k Vintage Festival run, placing 7th for all the women (out of about 75), 3rd in my age group, and beating my personal best pace for this run by 20 seconds (with a new personal best of 8:35 minute miles)




The kids have these new desks! The space is still a bit under construction, but I have been dreaming of this configuration for years, so it’s so nice that we finally can say we have the desks in place! This is Aubrey & Kate after soccer practice one day, diligently doing their homework.





Sierra also has been making new friends. She’s also really enjoying that she is now in a class that takes field trips! I’ve chaperoned both that she’s taken so far – to the Sonoma Farmer’s Market (above, they are walking back from the plaza to school), and just last week, to a pumpkin patch in Petaluma (below).






We always enjoy evenings at the Bauer’s house, our new home away from home. Our kids love climbing trees and playing all sorts of outdoor games there. We adults sometimes even fit in a game of bocce ball and often the boys are seen, like above, around the BBQ as we help in preparing a nice meal together.



In September, I attended a family reunion that was 2 years in the making! It was an enjoyable event, and I’m so glad that even though the rest of my family could not attend due to soccer commitments, that I was able to go. My mom, who organized the event with my dad, grandma, and hostess out in Modesto, organized fun games including minute to win it type challenges like the one in the picture above.



The evening after the family reunion, I drove myself to Oakland and hopped on a plane to Portland. Caught this beautiful sunset and clouds view.



Then I arrived at this perfect cloudy, rainy, oceanside retreat for a week with colleagues to spend creative time and work on supporting each other’s businesses.



I managed to fit in several morning runs, many along the beach. One morning it rained just enough to create this gorgeous rainbow across the ocean in front of me. Stunning!



Our retreat time included hot seat business sessions, group work time, and creativity workshops — including some very fun vision boards at the end of the week.





It is always wonderful to get a complete break from family life and reflect from an outside perspective on all that I am doing and creating. The week near Astoria was wonderful! I’ve come back with new momentum for several business projects, and trying to keep the balance between being a mom, work, new business projects, volunteer projects, and quality time with friends, Tim and the family. I’m so grateful to the community and family we have in our lives that supports us through all that we take on (because it’s a lot!) – our life is lovingly full!