List 44: See the Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer (#33)

IMG_8581The first time I saw this bridge I was smitten. That was 18 years ago at least. And all these years later she still takes my breath away every time  I catch site of her. I’ve seen her from every possible side now. From Baker beach, from Land’s End, from Chrissy Field and from the visitor center. This was the first time seeing her from this angle and I think this may be my favorite. A few years ago I actually walked across her during an impromptu trip to the city (another one of those “life list” items completed) and despite my absolute fear of heights I made it all the way across. And back again.

I headed up to the viewpoint by myself while Nate parked the car. I wanted the extra time this would afford me to just stand and take in the view without worrying about Nate or if he was having a good time. After 13 years we travel well together, he the driver and me the navigator + planner, but there are always going to be letdowns and stress involved with traveling and this was one of those days. Initially I’d planned for us to bike the Marin Headlands area and take in the views but upon reading through stories and reviews of the ride the night before, I came to the conclusion that there was no way my foot or I was going to be able to handle the hills. So heading into the day we were both already disappointed. I consider myself a pretty healthy person but this injury has sidelined me quite a bit this year. It’s healing but I’m still only about 35-40% better and the wrong move could take it back to zero again. So I appreciated this few minutes to myself to allow some quiet reflection on the day and how it was not going according to my plan. And for a few minutes I did forget my disappointment with the day. I stopped worrying about Nate and the 2+ hour car drive home and my stupid foot injury and I just took in the view. You could see everything. The city, The Cliff House over in Lands End Park, Alcatraz, Sausalito waterfront. The bay had cleared up from earlier and you could now see a 180 degree view of all of San Francisco and the bay. And it was breathtaking. And no matter what Nate was feeling, I was suddenly okay with how the day had unfolded because this is what I came for. This had been my only real goal of the day and I was there. It’s good I had this extra time because Nate arrived, took a photo with his phone and then said “you ready to go”.  Shaking my head at him I said “sure” and onward we went.

2 down, 42 more to go:)

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List 44: Visit Point Reyes Lighthouse (#22)


Back a few months ago I saw a photo posted on Instagram of this lighthouse and I immediately sent the photo to my husband and told him “I want to go here”. On the list it went. When I decided to plan a birthday weekend out of town I had a different destination in mind but then I remembered this lighthouse. Neither Nate or I have ever seen this part of California before. San Francisco to L.A., we’ve seen most of the coast. And up farther near Humboldt area too. But there is a whole section of unexplored coastline that I needed/wanted to see. So off to the Point Reyes area we headed for a weekend. I’ve lived in California now for 20 years and I can tell you that I’m always still amazed at the awesomeness that is the Pacific Ocean and the coastline running along it. I can sit and stare at it for hours. I also have accumulated quite a stash of  photos of coastal scenery.

This reminds me that as a kid my dad would come back from these big backpacking trips and he would sit us down for a slide show (yes…a slide show) of all the photos he took on his trip and I can remember being completely bored by all his scenery shots. I’d ask him “Why do you have so many photos of the scenery? They aren’t very interesting” These mountains/rocks/desert fauna must be like, for him, what the ocean is for me.




If you’ve never been to this lighthouse, it’s definitely worth it. You have to want to see it though because it’s a 45 minutes drive just to the parking lot and then another 1/3 of a mile walk to it which included 308 steps down (and back up) just to get to it. Even with my foot issue I was determined to get down to it. It was actually much easier than it looks. but oh my gosh it was SO freaking windy.

Point Reyes is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place on the North American continent.” –

Nathan, being the show-off that he is practically ran back up the stairs, came back down to meet me, and then raced up them again. Whatever. I did it and can cross it off my list despite my slow crawl back to the top.

I was rewarded for all this stair-climbing with some locally made sourdough and some Marin French cheese (both of which were absolutely delicious!)  That was really the highlight of the day. (jk)


1 down, 43 to go.




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Project Life Weeks 5-9

week 5 Project Life 2014

week 5 Project Life 2014

I’m finally going to start posting my Project Life album (after participating for almost 4 years!) so that friends and family can see it. I’ve really worked hard to keep up with the album this year. Last year’s has all the photos in it but almost no journaling. Those of you that  know me through my scrapbooking may already be aware that the journaling/writing it all down part is the troublesome area for me. I’ve actually kept up really well with my journaling this year it’s another small problem that has popped up for me now. Almost every week has an unfinished pocket. I’m sure that if I was to tell a therapist that I can’t seem to finish each week completely, by just one small pocket, they would sign me right up for years of therapy. I have piles of unfinished scrapbook pages all missing one thing (usually the journaling), 2.5 years of Project Life albums with almost no journaling in them, and now that I’ve made this effort to stick with this project I have an unfinished pocket each week. I’m not sure what this says about me. I can’t finish stuff? I’m too much of a perfectionist? Who knows!  So when you look at these photos you may notice a pocket that is semi done, has a post-it on it because I just haven’t put what I wanted in the pocket or it’s just a blank pocket.

Week 6 Project Life 2014

Week 7 Project Life 2014

Week 7 Project Life 2014

Week 8 Project Life 2014

Week 8 Project Life 2014

Week 9 Project Life 2014

Week 9 Project Life 2014

This was a 4 pager (because of the new baby in the family!)

Week 9 Project Life 2014

Week 9 Project Life 2014

I really need to get better at photographing these pages. I’ll give myself a break (this time) because I’ve never tried to take a photos of them before and I now have a lot of respect for all the other Project Life participants that post such great photos of their pages every week. I took at least 40+ photos and these were the best of that group…so sad! I should also warn you that I don’t censor my pages. The one photo of me (mother of the year) flipping the camera off is because I was trying to get my kid to laugh in our selfie. And this one is just SO us and and I love it so I just used it. And in one of the smaller photos my daughter’s boyfriend is mooning the camera. This is real life. This is what happens in it and I don’t feel the need to hide it. Both of those photos make my laugh and so of course I have to include them:)

Do any of you finish the week, move on and then months later add things to past weeks? I always have the urge to make each week a little better by adding this and that (especially when new stuff comes in that would work perfectly) even for weeks I finished months before or do you just move on and that’s it. Just wondering?  I do know I am a little bit of a perfectionist with my scrapbooks and this has always been a problem. I am looking at what I just posted here wondering how I can improve the pages still. I am also wondering if I should just cancel this post and work on these weeks more and then re-post. I have a problem!

Publishing this now so I don’t do something lame like that.




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List 44

Dahlia from List 43Every year leading up to my birthday I make a list,  like a small bucket list, of things I want to accomplish that year. It usually includes personal goals, travel, places to eat and the such. The  list is made from items on my big life list and then other small goals from other lists I’ve made.  I like lists and I like having goals, this is how I operate best. Truthfully though I never even get half of the list done. For example, for List 43 I did 9.5 of my goals. 9.5!! And this was one of my better years. I have a couple of years where I didn’t do anything on the list. Often the goals were too big. Often times I would forget about the list until I only had 2 months to get everything done. I tend to put lots of travel goals on the list but for a couple of years we struggled financially and so they just weren’t possible. Two of the items on list 43 were goals I’ve included on every  list since List 38. I did them this year though and they were probably the most satisfying for the simple reason that I FINALLY did them!


I tried to be smarter about this year’s list. I started making the list in January so that I could give my goals a little more thought. ( Trying to plan 7 trips in a 12 month period when you only have 3 weeks vacation a year is one way of not getting anything on a list done). The one I’m about to post is actually the 5 or 6th version. Also, I was suppose to post this on my birthday as the first post on my new blog.  Only 10 days late!

P.S. I have also already done 2 of the goals on my list and it’s only 11 days in…woohoo…go me!

1. Treat myself to an afternoon at a spa
2. Do a beer tour Fort Bragg to Petaluma (the idea came from this article in Sunset magazine)
3. host an Ugly Sweater Xmas party
4. attend the 2015  Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco
5. have a big 10 year anniversary party
6. go to a roller derby game
7. do a #100 mile challenge (100 miles walked in 6 months)
8. go to the Moss Landing Antique Fair in July
9. take a weekend trip to San Diego
10. bike the boardwalk in San Diego
11. throw an 80’s themed party
12. plan a bonfire on Carmel Beach
13. do my first 5K
14. participate in a Color Run
15. Visit Buellton
16. make a piece of art for our house
17. do the movie/dinner night that Montrio’s and the Osio holds each Tuesday
18. officially change name
19. visit the San Francisco MOMA ( I chose this right as they were closing for renovations but I still have a year so we’ll see if it gets done in time)
20. get to my goal weight
21. Hike Mount Sutro in SF (specifically the south ridge trail & historic trail)
22. Visit Point Reyes Lighthouse
23. Hike in Montana de Oro State Park in SLO
24. Breakfast at Deetjen’s
25. spend a weekend in Los Angeles (3 day)
26. see a drive-in movie at Sunset Drive-In (SLO)
27. read 50 books
28. have a breakfast pizza at the Big Sur Bakery in Big Sur
29. eat at The Hart and the Hunter in LA
30. do 12 things (1 each month) off my Pinterest account (recipe, art project, decorating idea, etc.)
31. Camp at Pinnacles National Park
32. go kayaking with Nate again
33. see Golden Gate Bridge at the Battery Spencer View in Marin Headlands
34. bike ride along the American River Parkway in Sacramento
35. have a drink on the Delta King in Sacramento
36. go whale watching
37. camp at Big Basin in Santa Cruz
38. learn to weave (wall weavings)
39. visit the rooftop bar at the new ACE hotel in LA
40. eat at Dona Thomas for brunch in Oakland
41. get a new dining room sideboard
42. do wine tour of Santa Cruz Mountains
43. make cinnamon rolls from scratch
44. make buffalo wings (a friend of mine’s recipe in particular)

Looking forward to tackling the list this year. Some of them are already in the works to happen so I have high hopes for this year:)

What are some of your goals for the next year?


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