the hyphens that define my life

Baker’s Dozen July 23, 2013

Happy 13th Anniversary to my husband and me!  A Baker’s Dozen sounds much better than the Dirty Dozen we celebrated last year.  I didn’t post last night because I couldn’t find the photo that I wanted to post.  Grr.  The photo was from our family trip to Palm Springs.  We rented a house, left Jess and the boys and went to dinner at Johanne’s.  We had one of the best meals of our lives for anniversary #12. This is a photo from 2011, we spent our 11th anniversary going to the gym (before we started dating, we were workout buddies), getting facials (which explains my shiny no makeup face – Vince grew up with 3 sisters, he is spa savvy), eating sushi and going to the OC Fair.


This is one of my favorite photos from our wedding (photo credit:  Mark Beat).  We were married at the Ritz Carlton, Dana Point in a buddhist ceremony (see my buddhist prayer beads on my hand) on an incredibly hot, still day.

wedding bw

Jessica was 4 years old and our beautiful flower girl.  My mom made her dress, my sister arranged all the flowers.

wedding jess

We’re not sure what we’re doing tonight.  The boys have had lots of ideas all weekend. Andre suggested we leave immediately on a cruise, dropping them off at the airport so Trace and Niko can fly to their friends, Kyle and Ryan’s house and he would fly to his friend Lachlan’s house.  Bon Voyage!  Niko, a traditionalist, suggested dinner and a movie.  Trace had no recommendations but loves to tell our engagement story, which he finds hilarious.

We met Vince’s sister and brother-in-law in San Francisco.  They were flying home from Oahu, Hawaii with an extended layover in San Francisco.  His brother-in-law had never been to San Francisco and we gave them a full tour. Vince and I spent many (at least 10) weekends in San Francisco in the two years prior as I worked with the San Francisco Starbucks Development team.  My Monday morning meetings conveniently created weekend trips to San Francisco.  Our trips were budget conscience is boutique hotels.  This trip we all stayed at the incredibly stunning, historic Palace Hotel. That night, at dinner at a restaurant I can’t remember the name, we clinked our wine glasses in a toast and I, naturally, dropped my full glass of cabernet on the table.  The glass shattered and the entire contents spilled on to Vince’s sister’s lap.  I was mortified!  She, thankful to be wearing black, took the disaster in stride, mopped up the mess and we continued with dinner. Christening his sister must have been the nudge Vince needed, he proposed that night.

Vince’s family flew home and we continued our travels to Seattle to celebrate our engagement.

Here we are, thirteen years later, in love.


My Daily Blog T-10 Rest and Relaxation June 9, 2013

la quintaBoxes, packing tape, packing paper is in every room of our house.  Our furniture has been sold (we’re starting fresh and will buy new furniture to suit our mid-century house once we get to Spokane ). The kids are sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor. Clothes are strewn around the bedrooms in some sense of chaotic order, yes the dressers went too.  With just the essentials left unpacked for our remaining 10 days, the house is beginning to not be a home but an open storage facility.

We need a break from our reality.  Weeks ago, we made reservations at La Quinta Resort (, one of our favorite Palm Springs area resort destination with the kids. After the going away party, with emotions high, the kids need a break from the in-your-face reminder that we’re moving.  We love La Quinta for the 1926 Spanish ranch style, built against the mountains you don’t feel like you’re in another hotel, large rooms to accommodate our brood, multiple pools and restaurants and beautifully groomed 45 acres.

Yesterday morning we headed to La Quinta for our final hurrah in the desert.  We arrived in the area just in time for streets to be shut down for President Obama and Chinese President Xi and their multiple vehicle entourage to pass as they travelled to The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage.  The kids were excited as the cars passed.  My husband not so much.

Once the hoopla passed, we made a beeline for the resort.  We brought our bicycles so the boys started riding around as soon as we arrived.  Within moments we were poolside.  Let the rest and relaxation begin.

If you have never been to Palm Springs, you really have no choice but to relax in 105+ degree temperatures.  You instantly melt into your lounge chair then pour yourself into the pool to refresh, then back to the chaise rotating like a rotisserie chicken to get a perfect golden tan.  That’s just the first 10 minutes.  Some of you reading this post will instantly dismiss desert heat by saying you don’t like heat.  I hear you.  I don’t like heat either.  My family will confirm that when the temperature climbs about 80 degrees I am not happy (read: I will bite your head off) unless I’m at the beach, a pool or the AC is cooling me down.  That’s why you must be still in Palm Springs.  The heat is relaxing and tolerable if you just stay mellow.  Do not follow my husband and children around as they bicycle miles, play tennis or this wacky version of baseball using palm tree bark/frond for a bat and a tennis ball in the Palm Tree Garden, unless you are this immune-to-heat type.  The added bonus for me is that while the boys are out doing their thing in the heat, I am left in peace, which for any mother, is golden.

Thanks La Quinta for the memories.  You have been good to us over the years, providing this momma much-needed rest and relaxation.