Finn’s First Hockey Tournament

May was filled with hockey, hockey, hockey, as Finn and his team prepared for a tournament in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend. Due to some stubborn adults, the team was signed up in a division that was above their skill level, and I was already sporting a pretty bad attitude about the tournament. We were initially supposed to play in Valencia which was a) driving distance away and b) in a place where we could have seen our SoCal friends. Regardless of my feelings, the Vegas trip happened. Finn had a great time, as evidenced by this shot of him enjoying in-room breakfast on our first morning.

They played four games. The first two — one each on Friday and Saturday — didn’t go very well. They were pretty outmatched, and, at least for the first one, Finn was very nervous.

Their coach didn’t help matters by getting them on the ice late, allowing for no warm up time. They never recovered, and lost 10-4. Finn faced 36 shots, while the opposing goalie faced 13. Bruce pointed out that Finn’s save percentage was better than the winning goalie’s, which cheered Finn up quite a bit. The boys seemed to recover quickly; the afternoon at the hotel pool helped.

The next game was midday Saturday.

That one didn’t go much better. I don’t remember the score, but it wasn’t pretty.

Again, the boys bounced back with a trip to the hotel bowling alley and arcade, and a team dinner at the hotel buffet. As usual, parents were more upset than the kids.

The final day, Sunday, they ended up playing the same team twice — once as part of the round-robin and then again for the 3rd/4th place final. The other team was a much more favorable match for them and they won both games.

The post-win goalie pile-on.

The handshake line — a great tradition.

And here’s the team enjoying shaved ice after the game.

It was the best possible outcome — they got to end on a high note with two wins, and Finn and I got to catch a flight out Sunday night instead of waiting around all day in Vegas for our original flight home Monday. Now that’s a win-win.

One other fun fact: the games were played in the Vegas Knights practice facility and the whole place was alive with the excitement of the upcoming Stanley Cup Finals. The Finals started after we left Vegas, but we did get to see a Knights practice which was fun. There was always a line out the door for their practices, but since we had an early game on the same ice we were able to just stick around to watch their ice time. It’s always amazing to see NHL hockey up close — even practice.

Christy’s High School Reunion

My class (1987) didn’t plan a 30 year reunion last year, so we did a little belated one in April 2018. It wasn’t a huge group, but a nice critical mass. We met in Paso Robles since we had alumnae coming from northern and southern California.

I drove down with my first best friend, Paige, who lives a little north of us now. It was really nice to get to spend the time with her and catch up.

Most of us rented a house together, and all of us did a walking wine-tasting tour which was really fun and a nice way to keep mixing up the group so everyone got to talk to everyone else. Here’s a picture of the group at our first stop on the tour.

And one obligatory selfie, compliments of my friend Lourdes.

Finn’s Fifth Grade Band Concert

Fifth graders from Fairmeadow and El Carmelo joined together to put on a concert on April 16th. I didn’t take video because they recorded it for us but I took a few photos.

Also, there was this incredible full rainbow on our way to the concert. A lovely addition to the evening!

Inaugural Palo Alto Bike Party Ride

With all of the negativity we’d endured for six months of construction of our newest bike boulevard, I thought it was time to bring the fun. I’d been thinking about trying to get some low key family rides going with friends, and then one day my friend Rosie and I decided to just do it.

I felt like I needed a flag and we had our usual split on responsibilities: I found the graphics and Bruce brought it to fruition with a piece of tarp, PVC pipe, and a lot of spray paint.

We attached it to my bike, added rules of the ride to the trailer, and I headed out to the festivities.

It was a short but fun ride — just the length of the controversial Ross Road and back. Fun group!


Finn’s Impromptu Band Concert

After school one day, Finn and his friends put on a mini band concert. They were so serious and cute!

And once they figured out which song they were playing, they sounded pretty good.

Finn’s 11th Birthday

Finn’s birthday is a blur (for me) because it was a very busy Spring. I was working on contract with the city to do the fifth grade bike education program. Finn was also pretty busy handling his first hockey tryouts right after we got back from the quick trip to Tahoe.

Luckily, we have pictures to prove that we did something! Looks like we had a little morning celebration — presents and coffee cake.

I have no recollection of what’s in that box.

Tahoe Weekend

We took the boys to Tahoe for the weekend at the end of March. Ezra wanted to try skiing (he loved it) and Finn, as always, wanted to snowboard. Bruce skied too, and they all had a great time.

I spent the time walking and relaxing. The lake was beautiful.

Colonial Day 2018

As is Fairmeadow fifth grade tradition, Finn and his classmates participated in Colonial Day on March 30th. It’s a great day full of costumes, dancing, craft-making, and more. Finn was in the dancing group, so he taught other students a dance.

Here are a few shots of him and his buddies.

He finished the day with a little badminton.

He had a really good time … and he looked super cute!

March for Our Lives

On March 24th we participated in the March for Our Lives march and rally in San Jose.

I never thought we’d be participating in so many marches, but these are the times, I guess. It was a great turnout and a very positive experience despite the tragic subject matter.

Final Fairmeadow Walk & Roll Day

My final Walk & Roll Day as Fairmeadow’s Safe Routes representative took place on March 21st. I enlisted the help of my artistic friend, Nadia, to make a tree trunk, and the kids added leaves with their favorite way to get to school. It turned out pretty good!

Our fantastic principal was even game to wear the traffic cone costume, which the kids loved!

Finn’s Tech Museum Field Trip

On March 7th I drove Finn and a few of his classmates to the Tech Museum in San Jose. It’s a great hands-on experience for the kids. I particularly enjoyed the chemistry part, mostly because of the goofy safety goggles (which I was wearing, too).

Ezra’s 13th Birthday

Teenager in the house!


OK, so he’s a sleepy teenager with a cold, who we forced to get up early-ish on the Sunday morning of his birthday so we could have breakfast together before Finn’s hockey practice, but a teenager nonetheless.

This year, in trying to come up with a good birthday activity for a kid who didn’t want to have a party, Bruce thought of having one-on-one time with each of us. Luckily, Ezra is still game to hang out with his family so it all worked out. On Saturday, Bruce and Ezra took BART to San Francisco to spend the day at the Exploratorium. They had a great time and there was ice cream, so, you know, all good. There were not, however, any photos of the day.

After they got back, Finn took Ezra to Teaspoon, the local all-the-rage bubble tea shop. They rode their bikes there and had an independent, brotherly outing.

On Sunday, I finally got my time with Ezra — we went to see Black Panther. I think I got the best deal of the three of us. It was great! Wakanda forever! Ezra liked it because there were lots of explosions. And he got a giant bag of popcorn and an Icee. Don’t tell his orthodontist.

For dinner, he’d requested bacon-wrapped shrimp, which he had picked out on the menu when we were in Belize at the Secret Beach, but the restaurant ran out of gas for cooking so he never got to try it. When I told him he could choose whatever he wanted for dinner, he immediately went for the bacon-wrapped shrimp. He said all he wanted was a big platter of it.


So that’s what he got! It was delicious — Bruce made it with a maple Sriracha glaze. Yum!


For dessert I made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting.


And ice cream, of course.


I think he had a good weekend despite his cold. Hopefully he feels as loved as he is.

February 2018 Miscellaneous

Cats and kids again!






Ezra’s pancake he made at school:


And, finally, one of my book club members, Susan, is moving to Seattle so we had a special potluck celebration for her at our house. It was a really fun evening. Luckily another member thought to take a picture.


Ezra’s Great Helm

Ezra’s been studying armor from the Middle Ages and he was disappointed that his teacher hadn’t assigned any projects for the unit. Actually, there haven’t been any projects at all which is unfortunate for him. He’s been really interested in the subject matter, especially the helmets, and Bruce encouraged him to make one even if it wasn’t assigned. And so, they made one together — a Great Helm.


He took it to school and his teacher loved it and said he should bring it back for Open House.