we flew a kite {30 by 30 list}

Well it’s been over 6 months since I turned 30, but I’m still plugging away at my list. Ben says I can have all year to finish it – like how Disneyland stretches out their “birthday celebrations” for at least a year (sometimes it seems like two) – if they can do it, so can I, right? Right.

Well flying a kite was number 28 on my list – but it turns out it really should have been number 1. How did we wait so long to do this?! We have the most perfect kite-flying park less than a mile from our house. It’s up on the top of a hill with a gorgeous view (you can even see a peek of the ocean, even though it’s miles away) and always just the right amount of wind. There are always people flying kites up there and the kids are obsessed with watching them, but we never owned a kite so we’ve never tried it ourselves.

This weekend we spotted some kites on sale at Costco and picked one up. As soon as we got out on the grass and that gust of wind picked up our kite and took it soaring into the air I knew we had waited much, much too long. Flying kites is just magical. The looks on the kids faces were worth the price of the kite times a thousand. I cannot wait for the next time we can go again!

Flying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoonFlying a kite with the kids on a sunny Sunday afternoon

we flew a kite {30 by 30 list}

the color run

Running a 5k was on my 30 by 30 list. I’ve sort of always wanted to run one. In junior high and high school I was always one of the more walking than jogging members of my PE class, the slow ones who could barely finish a mile and were sorely out of shape. I was the opposite of athletic. I remember freshman year of college when I wanted to join the crew team they had a week (more than a week?) of novice training sessions and one of the things we had to do which should have been a piece of cake was to do a warmup of maybe a quarter mile jogging? I was huffing and puffing and seriously out of breath. I may have even threatened vomiting. If I couldn’t run a quarter mile I’m sure the coaches thought I was a joke wanting to be an actual rower. The thing is I am extremely stubborn (I like to call it determined) and wasn’t going to get a little thing called “being out of shape” stand between me and what I wanted – which was to be a kick-ass rower. So I worked my butt off, I learned to row. I learned to jog. I learned to like to exercise. And I was pretty darn proud of myself for how much I improved. Then I stopped rowing somewhere around the last year of college and exercise drifted off my radar again until we were planning our wedding. At which point I got into super fit shape… until I had kids… and exercise fell of the radar AGAIN… until I wanted to lose the baby weight… and well I think you can probably notice a trend. I have a habit of making a habit of being in shape… which I stick to for some duration of time and then slowly drift away from.

Lately I have been doing more yoga than anything else but I missed running and I feel like it gives me a big chunk of time to just think and be in the middle of a busy day. So I set out to do the couch to 5k (again) and get back in the habit. When I heard about the color run from a few of my east coast friends I was sold… running while being pelted with colored powder? How could that NOT sound like fun. I was so disappointed when I found out that my local run was while I was scheduled to be out of town photographing a wedding….

well turns out that hurricane Sandy had other plans… tearing through the east coast and delaying my flight so that I was able to make it to the run after all. Never mind that I got on a redeye flight just a few hours later (and with lots of blue junk up my nose nonetheless) it was SO fun! I couldn’t go to something like this and not bring a camera so I busted out my oldest dSLR and cheapest lens, wrapped everything in a plastic bag (if you want to look classy and professional, there’s really nothing better than having your camera stashed in an old sandwich bread bag) and headed out. One note however … if you plan to do the color run while holding a dSLR please realize that they are heavy, that your arm will start hurting, and that you will probably wuss out of the whole “running” part of the race. I ran about halfway before I started seriously regretting my decision to try to run while holding something like a 3 pound weight which was awkward to hold and encased in a plastic bag. Oh well. The photos were totally worth it.

So without further ado… color run 2012! I’m totally going again next year!

the color run

Easter dresses and bowtie {sewing projects}

Easter was in April – which was about 6 months ago. Yikes. I meant to post these quite a while ago – sewing the kids matching outfits was #25 on my 30 by 30 list. I turned 30 in August and actually checked off quite a few more of the list items, I just haven’t gotten around to writing about them… I really want to do a recap also.

In any case I did manage to get this one done on time and I even had big dreams of making a post about how I sewed these dresses – I whipped them up in about a day without a pattern and (aside from the miscalculation on the length of Edith’s dress… it’s a bit short) was pretty pleased with myself about how well they came out. I want to make them more dresses like this (maybe with a few tweaks or alterations to the technique) and if I do I am hoping I’ll get it together enough to document the process for a tutorial.

Here are a few pictures of the outfits in action –


The dresses had a simple split back lined bodice – Amelia’s closes with little adorable yellow round buttons and Edith’s closes with pearl snaps (hard to get a baby to hold still long enough for buttons). The skirt is just a basic gathered skirt and the sash is sewed on the sides and ties with a bow in back. I actually used leftover fabric from their second birthday party – the same stuff that I made Amelia and Paul’s Easter outfits from the year before out of. The chick/egg design is a repeat as well – that’s what happens when you ask a 3 1/2 year old what they want on the dress – they say they want just what they had last time. Oh well. I still think it’s adorable. Paul’s bowtie was made using this tutorial from say yes to hoboken… super quick and easy!

One more item crossed off the list. Phew!

Easter dresses and bowtie {sewing projects}

12. Go see live music {30 by 30 list}

I’ve been checking off many of my list items in the last few weeks but haven’t gotten a chance to post about them. My most favorite by far was this one. One of my old high school friends (who I do not see nearly often enough) is Anoushka Shankar. And she just happens to be pretty darn fabulous. She came to San Diego on a tour of her new record Traveller (UH-MAZ-ING) and she emailed to see if any of our friends wanted to come and see her play (um, let me think, YES!)

Allison, Jenny and I had a ladies night date to see the show and it was so fantastic! Photography wasn’t allowed inside the show and it was late when we got out so I didn’t feel like stopping to take pictures of the theater… but I did get one measly instagram snapshot of my ticket.

It was an amazing show and I’m so happy that I was able to check off this list item with such a special outing!

12. Go see live music {30 by 30 list}

14. see a movie {30 by 30 list}

Hooray! We finally saw a movie. Ben and I were brainstorming tonight and as best as we can remember, the last movie we saw in theaters was The King’s Speech (which was a great movie by the way, highly recommend if you haven’t seen it) which we saw in Los Angeles, before we moved and before we had Edie. Yes. We need to get out more. I know.

We ended up doing what we always do, which is waiting until the last minute to decide whether we’re going to try to do a dinner date or a movie date… frantically waffling between should we or shouldn’t we try to go (will Edie wake up while we’re gone, will we get an SOS call like our last dinner date?) and whether or not it’s worth it. Tonight the movie won, and since it was an early (7:10) showing we were *fairly* certain we could make it back before she woke up, even if she did have an early wake-up night. We saw Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which until today I didn’t even know existed (and definitely wouldn’t have picked based on its name but lucky for us Ben reads the synopses of even the ones with horrible titles). But it was cute. And WE SAW A MOVIE! Hooray! I am so excited I think we might just have to see another one… you know… before next year 🙂

One more list item, check! Actually, I have another one that’s done as well but not quite blogged… I made the kids matching outfits for Easter. Cuteness overload! I will hopefully get those photos up soon.

14. see a movie {30 by 30 list}

7. Wear an out of the ordinary nail polish color {30 by 30 list}

I’m not sure why I put this one on the list… I have been getting my toenails painted once a month or so since Edie was born as a treat to myself, during the newborn phase it was an easy way to make myself feel a little more put together when I hadn’t showered in days or had a spit-up stained shirt on. And I always always pick some sort of shade of pink or purple, even with a rainbow of color options at my disposal. I guess I put this on the list because I finally decided “why not?” Part of me feels like a 12 year old with this color on, part of me kind of likes it. I’m not convinced that I’ll do it again but now at least I’ve tried it.

Paul and Amelia noticed instantly “Mommy your toes are yellow” “Why are your toes yellow?” “Your toes are usually pink”… these observations/questions lasted an entire day and started up again this morning. I think I rocked their world just a bit by stepping outside my norm.

One more item on my list complete! Only 27 to go.

7. Wear an out of the ordinary nail polish color {30 by 30 list}

9. Go for a hike {30 by 30 list}

We live less than 10 minutes from two different hiking areas, and less than 30 minutes from about a dozen others. I know we moved into our house just two days after Edith was born and she’s only seven months old, but I still feel silly that it’s taken us this long to go on a hike. The weather has been SO nice lately that we really have no excuse not to so yesterday afternoon we packed up and headed out for our first family of 5 hike. The term “hike” is used a bit loosely here – we were all just wearing jeans tennis shoes and we brought along the strollers, but we were still walking up a hiking path so I’m counting it. We definitely made the wrong choice in bringing the strollers for several reasons – first off the trail was steep and very switchbacked (we hiked from about 800 feet above sea level to all the way up to 1200) which was not conducive to strollering at all (not even with our beefy air-filled tires) and second of all we hardly even used them. Paul and Amelia walked 95% of the time on their own and I know if we hadn’t had the stroller they would have been fine to walk the entire way. Edith obviously couldn’t walk herself but we could have easily worn her in an ergo. We actually discussed in the parking lot which would be better and settled on the stroller since it would be easier for me to take photos if I didn’t have a baby carrier on. Next time we’ll know and we will definitely forgo the wheels!

I can’t even tell you how NICE it was up there on the hill… I am a sucker for the California golden hour glowy light, especially on a warm breezy day when the wild mustard flowers starting to bloom. My mom says you can tell I don’t have allergies because if I did I would hate them, but those mustard flowers are one my absolute favorite things about living in southern California. I know it’s spring when they come out and I just can’t get enough of their cheery yellow blossoms. I wish we could hike together every day.

LOVE the views from way up on the hills, next time I want to hike the other side of the hill so we can get the ocean view!

Both kids fell several times but are so resilient. I love that they just pick themselves up and keep on going, even though they were covered literally head to toe in dirt. Amelia at one point did a face plant and ended up with a completely dirt covered nose but wasn’t fazed by it at all. We kept cheering them on, telling them what a great job they were doing and how much fun hiking was… Amelia said at one point “I love hiking, we should go hiking again soon!” Yes… yes we should!

dirt covered and loving life…

One more list item… CHECK!

9. Go for a hike {30 by 30 list}

3. Plant an avocado tree {30 by 30 list}

Over the weekend I posted my 30 by 30 list of things I’d like to try to do before my 30th birthday. On Sunday Ben and I tackled #3 on the list – we planted an avocado tree in the back yard.


I am SO ridiculously excited to grow our very own delicious avocados at home and even more excited by the prospect of virtually unlimited numbers of them. The tag that was on the tree when we bought it had, in addition to planting and watering directions, a description of the fruit which said that the tree would be prolific. Ben said not to count my avocados before they’re hatched… but come on… prolific?! Doesn’t that just make your mouth water dreaming of all of the delicious guacamole and avocado topped lentil burgers that could be in your future? It does for me.

Our little tree is just that… a little tree right now. A sapling really.


It will take a long time for it to get to full on tree status, and even longer for it to start producing fruit. I think that an optimistic estimate is that the first avocados could appear three years from now.. which means that Edith will be the age that Paul and Amelia are now before we will see any fruit. In those terms it seems like a million years away. And it actually could be up to five years. I’m confident that it will be worth the wait


Grow, tree. Grow!

I will be updating my original 30 by 30 list and crossing out each item as I go along. First item … check!

3. Plant an avocado tree {30 by 30 list}

A belated 30 by 30 list

I will turn 30 years old this summer. It’s a weird idea because if 30 is a stage of life I feel like I’ve been there forever – having three kids, a dog, two cars and a home of our own makes me feel decidedly 30ish. But if 30 is a feeling of being mature and accomplished I think I am still firmly rooted in my 20s (or teens). I still feel like a kid playing “grown up” most days. I saw the 30 by 30 idea on a few of my favorite blogs and have been meaning to post my list for ages but keep forgetting. Today I finally decided it was time to start. If I can’t get to all of these by my birthday I won’t beat myself up about it… but I’d like to at least try. They aren’t my grand life ambitions but more things I always want to do but don’t make time for. I’d like to get to as many of these as possible in the next 5 months or so. So without further ado, my 30 by 30 list. A lot of these are actually things that I have done at one time or another but haven’t done lately.

1 try surfing – I’m going to need to enlist the help of one of my surfing friends for this one
2 learn a song on my guitar – I actually used to know a couple but haven’t played since highschool. My guitar will certainly need a good dusting and tuning as well
3 plant an avocado tree – now that we have a yard I want to take advantage of it. I would love to grow tasty food at home. Done!
4 run on the beach – I used to do this often but haven’t in over a year and I miss it
5 do yoga outdoors – I practice yoga 4 times a week but always in dimly lit sweaty rooms. I’d like to try it al fresco
6 host an outdoor dinner party – so many ideas for this one… lots of twinkle lights will be involved
7 wear an out of the ordinary nail polish color – just because Done!
8 take a swimming lesson – I can swim but poorly. I’d like to be faster so that I might someday be able to race in a triathlon
9 go for a hike on the trails near the house – there are lots of great hiking spots 5 minutes from our house and we’ve never tried them. Done!
10 go for a bike ride – another thing I used to do often but haven’t lately.
11 find and drink a picon bierre – my favorite drink when we lived in Paris. I’ve never found them in the US
12 go see live music being played – we haven’t been to a concert in probably close to 5 years. I’d like to see one Done!
13 shop at our local farmers market – another right near our house but we never make it there list item
14 see a movie – I can’t even remember the last one we saw. Done!
15 join a book club – adult conversation and an excuse to sit down and read a book every once in a while? Yes please!
16 have a girls night out – maybe some wine and a dinner where I don’t have to refill anyone’s milk glass. Sounds lovely
17 go visit San Francisco – it’s been way too long and I’m so excited to see Chris and Tara’s new apartment
18 send someone an unexpected gift – just because
19 finish and donate a blanket to project Linus – Paul and Amelia got blankets from them in the NICU. I have been working on a blanket for 2 years now. Done!
20 sew myself an item of clothing – I haven’t made myself anything in over a year
21 run in a race – hopefully a 5k. Done!
22 reupholster a chair – we currently have two chairs that we’ve been meaning to reupholster. I even have the fabric but just haven’t done it
23 write a short story – I’ve been meaning to write more but haven’t (other than blogging) in ages. I’d like to start
24 be photographed with my sister – we don’t have any photos together since Allison’s wedding.
25 sew matching outfits for the kids – maybe for Easter? I’m dreaming of sun dresses Done!
26 volunteer somewhere – I would love to take the kids to volunteer with me but they’re probably a bit too young. I really want to find a regular volunteer activity to make part of my weekly routine
27 do couch to 5k – since I’m so out of practice I’ll probably need to do this to work up to numbers 4 and 21
28 take the kids to fly kites in the park – they LOVE watching kites but we’ve never tried it ourselves. Done!
29 take the kids on a train ride – since trains are one of Paul’s favorite things we really should take one sometime soon
30 build a deck outside our house – our backyard needs a lot of work. Ben and I have been talking about doing this ourselves and I’m excited to try it

To finish all of these by my birthday I’ll need to do 6 every month. Wish me luck.

A belated 30 by 30 list