Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hawaiian treehouse.

If all else fails, we can put this treehouse on a ship, shrink our bodies like in
"Honey I Shrunk the Kids" and inhabit this cute little number. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Last weekend in Cali.

It is seriously hard to believe that this was our last weekend in Cali (for now.. as full time residents, not visitors). I think that amidst the packing, we managed to find some time for fun as well! Work & play, work & play.....

Friday was a visit from the moving company to assess our stuff. So far we are at about 3,000 tons to be carried overseas which sounds like, well, tons! Can it be?! Especially considering we have sold, gotten rid of about 2/3 of our furniture and bags & bags of winter clothes! Hmm. In comparison to many homes moving a full load of furniture, we do actually have very little. It will however be shipped (most likely) by boat, which will take about 4-6 weeks to arrive. Thank goodness I'm moving to a place where I can get by with a swimsuit, running clothes and a few simple outfits for a month or so. 

So that night after the moving company came and went and a guy came to purchase Andrew's treasured massage chair, we set out for sushi! Our favorite sushi place is what looks like a tiny hole-in-the wall basically. Of course, these are the best kind of places! It is always crowded at dinner hours and so much so on Friday night that we had to sit at the counter where the train goes round and round (no sushi on the train, just for display). Andrew ordered the 16 sushi platter- the real traditional stuff. I got the Snow White roll w salmon, spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado, cream cheese. (Yes, this is important information for you to know :)) 

Saturday we ran together (our last Saturday run in Cali, for awhile....) and continued the packing efforts. In the afternoon we got to visit our good friends and their new baby! Thank goodness our friends have these cute babies for us to love! Right now I am more than just fine with enjoying many friends' babies. 

This baby was one of THE dearest dolls I have ever laid eyes on. When Andrew first saw her laying on my lap he said "she doesn't even look real"! She was perfect. For me the "love em and leave " old adage applies. We get the baby joy and none of the baby worry :) 

Ok..then... THEN we went to a friends and family screening of Monsters University! My brother's girlfriend works at Pixar and was kind enough to give her four guest passes on the movie showing to Andrew & I and my mom & dad. We felt so cool and completely inspired to enroll in the Monsters U scaring school ourselves! 

What do you think?! 
Most scary scarer--Dad! Most friendly scarer--Andrew! Most coordinated colors with monsters- Mom! ???? ---Andie 

We capped off the night with a great dinner at Trader Vic's which is right along the water with gorgeous views and serves nice Hawaiian food. A goodbye dinner of sorts and an excellent time! My brother kept saying "who knows when we'll see you guys again." It made me kind of sad. We are not falling off the face of the earth! Hawaii is far-ish, but I know that we will figure out how to make fairly frequent trips home. 

The view at Trader Vic's! Night at sea. 

Monday was more running and more packing. Then we went to a friends Memorial Day BBQ! I dress in holiday attire for most holidays, so this one was no exception. To my surprise,I was met by a darling baby who was as festive as I was! 

We returned home to give away our bed to some very nice 20 something year old Presbyterian kids (we had just posted the bed for free on Craigslist)  We are happy that it (& other furniture) found a nice home! I've had this funny thought of pieces of our place are all in different homes- our bed, a table, chairs, side tae, etc, etc.. It's a fun, strange concept to me, to think of our little home dispersed to so many other little homes. 

..... Phew.... That's the weekend..... We move in 5 days! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The uniqueness of the Bay Area.

This post could go on and on. I've been a Bay Area girl for nearing 20 years- 2/3rds of my existence. It's home.

From Los Gatos (my parent's domain) to Palo Alto (our current locale) to San Francisco ( my old stomping grounds) to everywhere in between, you can't go wrong! I think Nor Cal blends the best of the sun, the snow, the trails, the hills, the city, the little historic towns (LG, Saratoga, San Jose, obv San Francisco) and the more modern newly created town flairs (think Willow Glen, Santana Row, not a town, but you know...). This is like the least researched post ever! Who knows how long these places have been around. Packing has me in zombie state. Maybe that is what this post is really about.

Here's a little pic to illustrate Palo Alto charm. An uphill bike rack deal thing. Yep, that IS the official name. Cool, no?! ;) 

Ok, the point of the post is that I'm a Bay Area girl at heart. Cliche and true. 

 One day I'll be in Hawaii and maybe you will like my posts more then. Or, maybe you won't. Shame on you. 
I have so much self confidence that even if this is my vain space of the net, I'm content. I'm so vain, I do think that song is about me. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The most special of special teachers.

So here is the thing: All teachers are special, right? Sure. Well then, Special Education teachers are beyond measure the most Special of the Special.  (all these S's are capitalized to show just how special)
(..... and p.s. I know ALL teachers are the best.)

Now THIS group (pictured here) is the very most Special of the Special in Special Ed and that, my friends, is really about as Special as anyone may come: 

I met these three about two years ago as I began a teaching position at a great, yet challenging non- public school in Palo Alto where multiple school districts send their  most challenging students to be taught for a time period (long or short). Many of these students have severe behavioral challenges that lead them to a more restrictive setting with a specialized (see, there's that word again) staff to meet their educational needs. This group of teachers is TOUGH! They have seen the worst of some students and they keep loving & teaching them anyway. That is actually a huge life lesson that I took away from the staff at this school. Something horrific would happen one day--- a student hits you in the nose, kicks another student in the shins, spits in another staff's face and pees in the schoolyard (you laugh, but it has happened). That day you are probably a little frustrated with the kid. Ok, maybe "little" is an understatement--- you may be quite frustrated with this particular kid on this particular day. Well, that school day ends, the kid rides the bus home, you go home and when you both arrive back at school the next morning you (mostly) forget about the day before. It's forgiven and you start anew. Now of course you try to learn from each of these experiences and make them opportunities to teach your kids responsibility for their actions etc. Seriously  though, I was always struck by this profound concept of moving on. Wouldn't life be generally more pleasant if more of us would just move on... It opens the world up to more of the good stuff. 

A baby shower of one of our teacher girls! 
 One of our many fun-filled happy hours (diet cokes for me!) 

                                I will always hold a "special" place for these girls in my heart. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Insanity ensues.


Also, our cars are shipping to Hawaii and our (oldish) leather couch was taken to the dump (it was in bad condition, trust me). Meanwhile, I'm barely maintaining sanity. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

It gets worse before it gets better.

...or so I would like to believe...

I am betting that the "better" part is weeks away, but in the interest of a minute away today, here is my blog post on the state of affairs at the Rich place today....

First a photo:

Today I: 
-Cleaned through the cars (which will be shipped tomorrow) 
-Cleaned through another closet 
-Threw away another 4 trashbags full of random "stuff" 
-Put together another 3 DI (Goodwill) bags 
-Took all the pictures off the walls (after this photo) 
-Stood by watching Andrew sell both electric bikes (one of which he has ridden to work daily for the past 7 months) 
-Drank Diet Pepsi instead of Diet Coke when in desperate need. 

I probably did a few other unproductive things which I will not report here and now. A blog is for my version of the truth, thank you very much! 

Until next time friends..... 

Time flies.

Time truly does FLY when you are having fun! I feel like my little sister, Paige, just got into town and she is already gone :( how did that happen?!

Presenting "welcome home" baked goods have become somewhat of a tradition upon Paige's returns home. In addition, when I first met Paige's now husband, Korey, for the first time (well during that same day), I made him a key lime pie. I know it sounds silly and maybe it was, but I was just trying to show my approval. What?! If baking something that looks like it was made by a kindergartner doesn't show love, then I don't know what does.

That one time that I made Korey key lime pie on the day I met him to show that he was "in" with me. Sweet, I know. For those of you who don't have laser perfect vision (who could read this from so far away?), then I will help you out, it says "I heart Korey" with red frosting which melted, then I traced over it with white chocolate chips, which later also melted ;) (maybe kindergartners could do better...but you know what, it IS the thought that counts, ok?!)

Paige and Korey holding my latest creation. PN hearts KN.  Even sweeter and more clever than my first pie created in the picture above. Having Korey become part of the family made me more willing to attempt this masterpiece. Look out-- when they have babies, there is no telling what the baked goodies may look like!

Alright, that was a tangent. One more thing though while I am at it.....regarding baked goods, I may make clever ones, but the true expert on the baking is Andrew. I don't even want to tell you how good his treats are because then you will ask for them and he is not accepting orders on them right now. I will say that his banana cake 6 and peanut butter cookies get rave reviews. He is Mr. Humble, but I promise you, they are the BEST. 

We played games as a whole family ( I know, there are SO many of us) There was also some Thai food from Thai Spice involved and that is a Knudsen family favorite. 

The gang--- minus the parents and plus the dog.

Saturday, Paige and I spent the whole day together--- WIN! I'm sure I drove her nuts but I sure had a good time doing it. We shopped, talked, walked, talked (maybe sampled some yogurt at a few places) you know- the usual. 

On Sunday, we celebrated (mourned?) the move a little more with Icing on the cake Banana cake (2nd to Andrew's, but like I said- he is out of baking commission at the moment :( hopefully the baking returns when the move is complete) 

.......on a little bit of a more serious note, as we all parted our ways-- and four separate cars pulled out of my parents place, I was in my car on my own and had this wave of sincere gratitude and awe for the life that I have and the people in it. Andrew and I often say that one year ago we would have had no idea that today we would be here (and two weeks from now living in Hawaii). Honestly though, it is nothing short of divine that Andrew and I married and are now here. 
I would say that it is a miracle and it is, but I have a little story about what a wise, old man once told me about miracles which I will share in my next post.