Nostalgic moment

My nostalgic moment of the day: listening to Supertramp's Breakfast in America album. I always go a few years without listening to it, and when I do I'm reminded what a good freaking album it is... "Goodbye Stranger" on repeat!  Must find on vinyl. 

See also: U2's "Joshua Tree" album

P.S. Thanks to Brent for recently calling me nostalgic... it stuck with me. *winky face*

Weekend in Pictures

Last week I had a feeling if I left the weekend un-planned I would end up staying in bed for two days, binge-watching the new season of House of Cards on Netflix. Sometimes I have to save me from myself, so in the interest of making sure I got out of the house for a change of scenery, I asked my friend Loni if she was free for the weekend for an overnight camping trip. We looked around for anywhere that we could drive in 2 hours or less and camp overnight, and a little research online led us to Glen Ellen, specifically to explore the Jack London State Historic Park.  Petaluma is only a 25 minute drive from there, so it worked out perfectly to have dinner at Lagunitas Brewery and camp overnight at a nearby KOA. 

We were very excited about our plan, and in the end it really was a perfect weekend! We had a fun day outdoors, went wine tasting, set up our tents under a big rainbow, enjoyed dinner out with some rowdy people watching, and had a fabulous campfire breakfast on Sunday morning. I'll go through and edit my camera photos in the next couple of days, but for now here are the snapshots from my phone!

Weekend in pictures

A long hike, a little home improvement, dining out, and playing ping pong while sipping beers at Beer Thirty... my favorite kind of weekend.

Dad and Kim drove up for their annual President's Day weekend visit, and I'm happy to say we jam-packed 2 days with some of our usual haunts and also explored some new places.

Friday night Cheryl, Rob, and Jace drove up so we could all enjoy dinner at the Cremer House together. Jace was of course the best little baby, just as happy as could be as we passed him around the table so everyone could hold and love on him. 

Saturday we spent pretty much the entire day hiking in Sam McDonald County Park in Pescadero. We covered a good 11 miles, and the trail did not disappoint - it started with a great view, greeted us at the halfway point with a couple of waterfalls, and left us good and tired at the end. Thankfully, I packed a sleeve of Thin Mints to get us through the last few miles. 

Sunday we kept activities to a minimum and just enjoyed the day around Felton and in the cottage. Dad is always so helpful, tinkering around the cottage fixing up little things here and there, and helped remove the old rug that was in the kitchen. It feels so happy, light, and clean in there now!  It's like having a brand new kitchen space - I am especially looking forward to cooking and sharing the recipe for Dad's amazing apple chicken...

Reflection

All day today I listened to Jason Mraz's album, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things. It's been a couple of years since I've listened to it, and for some reason this morning it boiled up to the top of my brain while I was buzzing around Spotify for a soundtrack for my day.  Lots of little things like this have popped up for me lately, revisiting old memories and feelings, finding symmetry in the timing in my life, and noticing the cycles I have repeated. Maybe it's from settling back into my old job that I left for a year and then returned, now coming full circle and starting the import seasons over again where I began... it's like I'm back in 2010 when I first moved out here, and everything was so different and new.

Back when I was still living in Arizona and getting ready to graduate college, I used to listen to one of the songs from this Jason Mraz album on repeat - "Make it Mine". It was the first song I listened to every morning on my way to work, and there is one line in the lyrics about 6 lines in, when he sings "Leap and the net will appear". I had never heard the saying before - and it was just one of those phrases that stuck out to me, and helped dampen any fears I had of setting out on my own. At the time I was still really young in a lot of ways and had never truly been out on my own. I was living with my mom while I finished college and still wanted my parents' guidance for nearly every decision I made. I knew it was time for me to go out on my own, and listening to this song every morning fortified that mantra in my mind. Leap and the net will appear... no job, knew only 1 person the area, had hardly any job experience related to my degree, and only had a glimmer of an idea of who I wanted to be.  Most of all, I was fearful of not having a job - I had been working non-stop since I was 17 so I knew no different, and I unfortunately graduated college at the worst point in the recession.  How scary a feeling it was to not have a paycheck on its way! Fortunately, the first job I applied to here in California quickly sent a reply, and my first interview quickly led to a second interview, which ended up being a real offer, all within a week of moving here. On my first day at the office, in true nerdy-Heather fashion, I packed myself a little lunch... and when I went to put it in the fridge, there it was... a little sign from the universe in the form of a refrigerator magnet that said "Leap and the net will appear". Loud and clear, universe... loud and clear.  

Every time I look down at my foot and see my tattoo, I get that same fresh, excited feeling I had when I first moved here. It is my little reminder to keep the fire lit inside me, remember to let my hair down, and always take those leaps of faith to get to where I want to be in this life.



The new year blur

The clock always seems to turn over to the new year in a blur of addressing Christmas cards, trips to the airport, family visiting, celebrations, and work in between. I am never one to get into the arm wrestle of requesting time off around the holidays... there are plenty of people here with kids, in-laws, etc. that I think need the time more than I do. I remember what it was like to have the 5 different houses to visit for Christmas... how fun when it was as a spoiled kid opening a million gifts at every stop, but nowadays I am happy to enjoy the day quietly in my own space.  Brent typically works holidays as well, and this year was no exception.  I drove down to drop off his Christmas dinner, getting a glimpse of his daily world behind the double-doors of the ED.  I love to see him in his white coat - it's a reminder of how hard he worked, and continues to every day (and really he just looks handsome, if I'm being honest). I gave a silent thanks to public servants who spend the holidays away from their families - despite how it seems, the world doesn't stop turning on Christmas Day.  

Thankfully, Brent had a few days off in a row to make a trip home to Arizona after Christmas, so I saw him off and picked him up on my way to-and-from San Francisco.  Arizona always breathes life back into Brent's sails in the way California does mine. I think there's something about going home again, where you were born, and feeling the sun on your skin how it felt as a kid, smelling the familiar air, and stopping at all of the places that fill your memories.  I love to hear about his trip as we drive along the curves of highway 17 on our way home... and I guessed right that Brent managed to eat at Burrito Express pretty much every day here was there.  

As always, New Years in San Francisco was filled with laughter, good food, and even better wine.  I made sure to bring my bottle of Iron Horse sparkling rose that Cheryl got me on our trip to Sonoma to share when the clock struck midnight (SO good). I must say, I took it pretty darn easy this year spending most of the time with Rudybega on my favorite little window bench at Jon and Leslie's house that overlooks the bay.  Mom and I spent our annual day together out at the edge of the city, having lunch at The Cliff House and exploring the Sutro Bath ruins, which I have wanted to do for a couple of years now. We also let the dogs run free on the beach after lunch, which is just cuteness overload. Rudy is in love with Jon and Leslie's dog Zaney, so much so that it has become difficult to keep Rudy off of her... literally.  I'll spare you those photos (but you know I took some).

I'm happy to say things at home have settled back into a normal schedule of work, outdoor activity, and trying out new recipes in the cottage kitchen. Of course, the new year has prompted its usual resolutions... I joined a yoga studio just a block from my work, and cannot tell you how much I love going there every day on my lunch break.  It is so nice to go to class instead of trying to practice at home since Boo insists on integrating himself into every pose, as you will notice in one of the snapshots below.