Category: Blog



I expected to feel it a lot sooner after leaving. And when I didn’t, I wasn’t sure it would come. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Homesickness is kinda bumming me out.

I miss having friends near by who have known me for years. I miss our families. I miss the kids’ friendships. I miss my doula clients and the birth work I was doing.


I do not miss winter. Not yet anyways…

East Bay Hikers


The girls are becoming quite the eager hikers. Elise now initiates hikes periodically. She and Olivia get themselves ready. They find their hiking shoes, thick socks, snacks, water bottles and backpacks on their own. Cressida still argues with me about footwear. She insists that she is supposed to be “fancy” at all times, even though she has had serious footwear issues the couple of times I have let her wear her mary janes on hikes. After much cajoling I can usually get her to wear her Keens, but it usually involves tears and 15 minutes devoted to the this argument alone. I’ve even tried some peaceful parenting and clever tools like letting her color all over her Keens with sparkly pens, but that did’t help. So I have just resorted to heavy-handed force in the form of, “If you don’t put on your hiking shoes you will be on fancy shoes restrictions tomorrow.”

Once we get out on the trails though, no one complains about footwear, not even Miss Sparkle-toes. We’ve been systematically hiking the East Bay region, one park at a time. So far we’ve done Pleasanton Ridge, Sunol, Redwood Regional Park and Mount Diablo’s Summit Trail (starting at Juniper Camp Ground)

Here are the girls exploring a burned area on the top of a ridge on Mount Diablo. A couple of weeks after we moved here we were at a homeschooling park day and the moms were talking about how they could watch the wild fire burning on the mountain from the park. The fire was just a couple years ago. It’s interesting to have moved from such a lush green diciduous region like the Cuyahoga Valley where there are muddy spots year round, to a place like California where the waterfalls are seasonal and wild fire alerts are posted year round.

 I’d like to do a hike at least every other week with the girls. And I’d also like to get some chances to solo hike. I’d like to do   Mitchell Canyon to Eagle Peak as a solo hike, or with Rob if we can find an all day babysitter. Back in Ohio we were able to drop the girls off with family and go out all day, or hit the trails when the kids were in school. But those days are long gone. I need some Aunts or Uncles to move out here… Any takers?

End of the Year- Review


2013 was kinda the biggest year of our marriage. I’m going to give a highlights and lowlights reel so we don’t forget. And just for kicks I’m going to make the empty promise to write here more often. You know, as a resolution.


Olivia was in 2nd Grade, Elise in Kindergarten, and Cressida in Pre-school at Redeemer. The girls were doing gymnastics, swimming, soccer and Tae-Kwon-Do.

We brought home Rob’s grandfather’s piano. He wanted us to have it after he passed away after a hard fight with Alzheimer’s. We said our final goodbyes in a hospital room surrounded by his whole beloved family.

I attended my third birth as a doula, and began advertising my Lamaze Classes.

Rob made the fateful proclamation, “If I don’t find a new job by the end of the summer we will probably just stay here and keep doing this because it’s working.”


(At this point our webhost crapped out on me and my whole post was lost, but I persevered because this is important)

Elise won second place in the Girl Scout Bake Off.

I guess-blogged on the Lamaze blog Giving Birth With Confidence.

The girls got their first library cards.


I serendipitously became infatuated with the Foxygen song “San Francisco.”

Olivia and Elise performed in the school talent show. Elise on piano, and Olivia did Tae Kwon Do.

I started trail running and kickboxing.


Our family was able to meet and snuggle our dear friends Eliza and John’s new baby, Eliana, before they returned to Guatemala.

We visited Washington DC with the kids and stayed with Rob’s Nana. We also got to drive through rural Virginia and show the kids the houses that Rob’s family owned. It was probably the best family vacation we have taken,

Olivia and I took the girl scout troop to an overnight at COSI, just like I did when I was her age.

I taught my first baby wearing class.

Cressida dropped a huge rock on her toe and we had to rush her to the emergency room. She had 7 stitches to re-attach her toe-nails and we called her hamburger toe for the rest of the summer.

I was published in a book for the first time when my story was included in the book, Virtual Breastfeeding Culture.

Rob had his first inkling that we might have the chance to move our family to the west coast.


We began building a chicken coop for the chickens we planned to bring home in June.

I attended my first non-transfering home birth.

Our family went to the symphony with Rob’s family for Mother’s Day.

The girls and I went and Marched against Monsanto.


Elise graduated from Kindergarten.

Rob went on a business trip and GOT HIT BY A CAR in Vienna.

The girls and I were on our annual Mom/Kid only camping trip with our friends the Penns when he got hit so we didn’t learn of the accident for three days.

Then Rob went to interview with Twilio and we had to try to keep it silent for the rest of the school year since we didn’t know if we were going to move or not.

Finished the chicken coop, even though I suspected that we wouldn’t be able to have the chickens since we’d be moving to California if Rob got offered the new job.


Rob took the job, we spent the month getting ready to put our house on the market, we gave almost every extra thing away so we wouldn’t have to move it, and we put our house on the market.

The girls went to fairy enchantment camp at Camp Ledgewood, and I knew it was probably the last time we’d set foot on my beloved girl scout camp I spent my summers on when I was a kid.

Olivia played softball for the first time and she loved it.


Rob and I went to SF to look for a house. In spite of agreeing to move here, this was my first time ever visiting the city. I’m lucky it agreed with me.

Rob took up home roasting coffee beans.

Rob and I came home, packed our house up, and he left for SF. The last 3 weeks in Akron I tried my best to squeeze every last drop of life from the city. It was actually the hardest month of my life.

The kids spent a TON of time with Rob’s parents while I finished getting the house ready to leave.

The girls went to their last VBS at Redeemer. It was so hard to leave such a wonderful school.

I began homeschooling the kids two weeks before we moved.


Rob moved from his temporary house in the city to the home we rented in Pleasanton. We rented it without ever having set foot in it. It was a really great find and I’m surprised we found such a comfortable home.

The girls and my mom and I set off our cross country road trip. (I still have to finish  writing this story!) Before we left we spent three nights in an empty house living with our camping gear. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life.

A week after we arrived in California Elise turned 7. The following week Cressida turned 4. We had our first nuclear-family-only birthday parties. It was strange.

We spent the month settling in. Found the grocery store, found the homeschool groups, found the close hiking trails.

My dear dear Nina passed away suddenly after a long battle with cancer and I flew to Florida to say my goodbyes.


We continued schooling and trying to live as normally as possible.

I took the kids on my first solo BART trip into the city with a new friend, Anjali and her kids to go to the Exploratorium.

We were invited to our first California party and went trick or treating with our friend Tricia’s family out in Tracy.

Olivia turned 9 year old (I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!)


I had my first doula interview in California. I was not hired but it felt good to get back in the game.

Aunt Ginny came to visit for Thanksgiving. We had the first ever remote participation in the Brazier No-training-allowed Half Marathon.

We celebrated with our new friends the Delgados for our thanksgiving feast. It was good to have more than just 6 people at our holiday table.


The month sped by. My sister came to visit and we had a little local mini-vacation.

We went to John Muir Woods and the beach, and down to Monterey Bay, where we found a seal carcass on the shore.

Then Christmas came and we had our first nuclear-family-only Christmas Day. It was so bitter-sweet. Olivia was the saddest.

Now the New Year celebration has come and gone. We spent the night with new friends. I spoke with old friends on the phone. We played with Legos and enjoyed the promise of a new year. It can’t possibly hold as much change as 2013. But 2014 promises to bring us through more growth as a family and as individuals. I just hope the pace slows down a little. I still feel like I’m catching my breath.