Monday, June 26, 2017

"If you love life..."

Since I stopped working at night, I was able to reclaim more time for myself. Even the phrase "time for myself" sounds so self-indulgent and almost selfish because it feels like I should always be busy with things to do for family, work and for others. But I am learning to feel comfortable to carve out some time that is left floating. 

With little time here and there, I started to read more. One book that left a lot of thoughts to ponder was "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi. Our good friend recommended us and I am so glad that she did. I finished devouring the book in 2 days... and now in return..., I am recommending the whole world that it is an amazing book to read. So powerful and human and I kept telling Frido that the author Paul writes so beautifully... about living, dying and meaning of his life which was ending for him as he wrote this book. If you have not read it yet, I would love you to pick it up and open the page. Preferably a physical hardcover copy because the way the book is put together feels just so... right. 

After finishing this book, I stared at a white wall for a long time and was left with a question "where do I go next?" I ended up picking another book "The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity" by also with a bit of serendipity. This book had a totally different tone to the reading experience... but somehow the takeaway from the book fit as a puzzle piece nicely. It gave me different ways of thinking about how our cup of time can be filled with deliberate choices instead of letting the days and years slip by us. 

Frido and I designed BK Dashboard a while ago. I thought it would be a good functional addition to how we use our Traveler's Notebook. Now this Dashboard has a whole new meaning to me. It's a place inside of my Traveler's Notebook where I keep myself accountable for actions that are meaningful for my life and for Baum-kuchen... and I hope the same for you.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy birthday, Satchi! You are 7 now;)

Satchi turned 7 last weekend. Seven. SEVEN!!!
Today she feels so tall in our eyes that we can't believe that she was the tiny little 6lb baby when she was born.

I adore her genuine kindness that comes from her heart, the endless energy she has for play, and love for her family and friends. She is a natural athlete and is always ready to play chase or tag... and can spend hours in the water swimming. So compassionate for all animals around her and would take any bugs she finds in the garden as her pets.

We welcomed her birthday in Palm Springs with pink/purple balloons and cannonball jump into the pool. She is definitely the one who has awoken me and Frido as parents seven years ago and gave us an incredible lifelong opportunity to see the world differently. I still write almost every night to her and Coco and I often find myself writing "thank you" to her. Thankful for so many things...

I can't wait to spend another year around the sun... and more and continue to get to know her.

Monday, June 12, 2017

gift of message

We have been thinking and talking a lot about simplifying, decluttering and letting things go here. Few of my friends are celebrating their birthdays this month and I am really thinking of the "letter" as gifts alternative to "things".

Eunice shared this fun and cute idea of using the TN mini as a special occasion card to give as a gift. I love that you can use the "mini" TN packaging which comes in 10th Anniversary Tin container as a gift wrap along with the tiny TN notebook. And the person who receives the gift can add the TN Mini to their bag as a charm so they can carry the message to everywhere they go.

It's such a memorable way to mark the occasion, isn't it?

It feels to me that letting things go and making spaces in life can allow us to be more creative with how we do things in everyday... and we get to touch our family and friends' life in a new way.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Happy Birthday, Coco. You are now 4!!!

Our little Coco turned 4 years old on Saturday.
This past year we have watched Coco grow so so much. She is very different from her sister and it amazes me... (even though it makes total sense in my head that she is, of course, different from Satchi) I love that Coco's strength and personality are unique to who she is and she is such a burst of growing force.

This year, Frido and I decided "not" to give any physical birthday gifts to Satchi and Coco... instead asked each of them what they would like to do as a family. Coco picked El Capitan Canyon weekend nature trip for her birthday. Because of the season, we were asked to book 3 nights (instead of our usual 2 nights). Though the extra night added to the overall cost of the stay, it was incredible to have the stretch of 3 nights and 4 days to just "be" in the canyon. Kids LOVED their cabin loft to sleep in which felt like an attic space and so dreamy! We truly appreciated having warm beds to sleep at night and quick showers we were able to take after spending all day outside! We did most of the cooking around the campfire instead of eating at their Canyon market and spent tons of time breathing in some fresh air for our soul and heart. Our outdoor activities included swimming at the pool, hiking to see goats and llama at a nearby ranch, getting much-needed ocean air at El Capitan State Beach... and just sitting down at a campsite to marvel oak trees cascade through the creek.

Happy Birthday, Coco!!!!
We love you to pieces (even in the midst of the epic tantrum) and are so thankful how you complete the family.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Subtracting... instead of adding

Since we came home from our Okinawa trip, we have made some changes in our everyday in Los Angeles. Not to work in the evenings is definitely one of them for me...  I also have started to reconsider some old social media habits. Especially when I am with our kids, I take pics with my phone but I am staying away from posting anything during the day. When I am at home, I also barely check my phone in the midst of the day other than text messages that are about spontaneous playdate arrangements... or quick updates from Frido who might be at work. It's amazing how time feels so infinite and open when we are not constantly visiting the virtual worlds that exist outside of our physical realm.

We are also making a few physical shifts at our home. After traveling, girls officially announced to us that they are ready for bunk beds. So we deep cleaned their shared room and made some family decisions about which toys to keep and give away. By doing so, they made space for bunk beds but also an individual desk that is special to each of them. We share so much of the home space with each other as well as with friends through homeschooling so we talked about how this space can be just for them and they can decide how they want to decorate their desk and use the space. The discussion is definitely work-in-progress... but I enjoy watching them become more aware of their environment and what it means to have just enough but not too much.

And lastly but probably the hardest for me has been not to jump on every opportunity to be out and about. To take serious moments to think through the choices before committing to playdates, more classes for girls, and add more meetings on my calendar. Instead of looking for "more" from outside, I am choosing to look inside to fill my soul and our family's.

I like to keep telling myself that it's okay to subtract... instead of adding more to everyday and looking forward to watching the slow mindset shift this summer into fall.


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