Category Archives: That’s Life

Fill ‘Er Up, Murph


It All Comes Full Circle

My husband grew up in a small city in Southern California and every year they had a special carnival to celebrate the city’s official flower – the camellia. The Camellia Festival had everything a kid could want – fun rides, games, music, and of course carnival food. One year he entered the art show and won a prize. Needless to say the Festival  is remembered fondly in his childhood memories.

Fortunately for us, we still live close by and this year we went to the Camellia Festival with our son who is just old enough to enjoy the experience. We walked past the ping-pong ball toss that was there thirty years ago. Our son rode the same carousel, bumble bee, and car rides that his father did when he was a child. Around and around Jack went in his little Jeep, playing with knobs and the spinning steering wheel. He probably believed he was doing 100 miles per hour.

The entire experience that day was new, yet at the same time, comforting and familiar. Sometimes I love how everything in life comes full circle.


My first baby is six today.  Six years gone in the blink of an eye.

Slow down, kid!

5 Easy Ways to Stay Active as a Family

Thinking back on my childhood, some of my fondest memories are of the days we spent being active.  Afternoons spent hiking one of of the many trails around Lake Tahoe, evening bike rides, fun at the park.  The picture above is my sister and I on a hiking trail somewhere near Lake Tahoe, circa mid-1980′s .  What, you never hiked in jellies?   You’ve got to pick your battles and my parents must not have picked that one. It’s important to me to make memories like these with my kids, spending quality time together while setting the foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle.

Here are some fun ways to bond as a family, while getting in a bit of exercise too.

  • Head to the Park – What kid doesn’t love the park?  Swinging, sliding and the monkey bars – the kids won’t even know they are getting exercise.  Keep it fresh by visiting a new park now and then.
  • Take a Hike - Instead of hanging around the house, get out and move your legs.  Seek out some local hiking trails and enjoy the fresh air while you reconnect.
  • Shoot Some Hoops – Anyone who has watched Father of the Bride knows that basketball can be a bonding opportunity.  Invest in one of those adjustable basketball hoops or the freestanding variety if that works better at your home.  If you live in an apartment or want to try it out first, see if you can find an open court at a local park.
  • Put on Some Music and Dance – Who cares if you can’t dance?  Wiggle, wriggle and have some silly fun with your kids!  And if you can dance – you know you’ve been dying to show off your skills.
  • Make a Game of It – Video games don’t have to be a guilty pleasure – just find games that will get your family up and moving.  If you are a Wii family, try Nickelodeon Fit or Just Dance.  XBox Kinect households may enjoy Nickelodeon Dance or Kinect Sports.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.  What are your favorite ways to keep your family active?


Hold My Hand, Grandpa


Hold My Hand Grandpa

I love this photograph.

My husband’s father and step-mother live in a different state and we don’t get to see Jack’s grandparents very often. In fact, it had been a year since they saw their grandson. So, we decided to all go on a cruise together this past Christmas to spend some quality time together. However, my son at the time was 21 months old and a little wary of strangers – even if they are family. The first couple days of the cruise my son really just wanted to hang out with mom & dad, or at least have them close by.

By the time we reached our port three days later the little guy decided the big guy wasn’t so bad after all. We were strolling around the port, taking in the sights, when all of the sudden Jack decided he wanted to be with Good ‘ol Gramps. He reached up, took his hand, and led him around the shops. It was the first time he chose to be with Grandpa and it was endearing.

Has your little one ever been wary of relatives? How long did it take for them to warm up? We’d love to hear your experiences!