Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Nothing Says Summer Like a Day at the Beach!  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/summer-lovin/


Bodega Bay, Northern California, Pacific Ocean


Our Road Trip Itinerary to California

mapFor those that are interested here is my trip back to California itinerary! We are leaving Michigan on July 31 and we are traveling to Toronto Canada to visit some friends before we head back to the west coast. We will stay there for a couple of days and enjoy Toronto. I am excited to be there for my Birthday. After our little trip to Canada we start are official move back to California. 

August 4th: Day 1: Toronto to Omaha Nebraska (15 hours). Start at 6 am and end at 8pm ( we gained one hour crossing time zones)

August 5th:  Day 2: Omaha to Elko Nevada (16 hours). Start at 6 am end at 9. ( gain one hour from crossing time zone). 

August 6th: Day 3. Elko to Sacramento ( 6 hours). Start at 6 am get in at 12pm

We are going to stop by our good friends house in Sacramento for a couple of days and than we will finish the 2 hour trip back to Sonoma county my home town.

We will cross 10 states, Michigan, Ontario, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska,Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and finally California . 2 countries USA and Canada. Four time zones! In all we will travel 4100 Km (2547 miles), 37 hours of combined driving! 

Its a long trip, but an exciting one! 




Selling Our Things

As we get ready to move across country we are selling our furniture and larger items on craigslist online. Its really an interesting and sometimes frustrating experience trying to sell your things at a fair price. So far we have sold a TV, Couch, and backpacking backpack. They were all sold at a fair price. We still have a dining table, bed, and my toddlers bed set to sell and time is running out. Honestly I don’t mind selling things at a discount but it has to be a fair price to us as well as the buyer.

When we first moved here my husband made a solid wooden farm table and benches. We had looked for a table at the store, but all of them looked cheaply made and we wanted something solid and strong. At the time we thought we would spend several years in Michigan.

My husband, an engineer, loves to work with his hands. He built the table in the apartment with limited tools, and it came out beautiful. I stained it myself and I was proud of our work together. I wish that we could bring it with us to California because, I love it so much and we have such great memories!

People who have seen the table love it, but everyone who has made an offer, low ball us greatly. Its sad because my husband spent hours making this table and the thought of selling it at a loss is sad. Untitled


For example I was communicating with a person on email about the table. We are selling it for 200 dollars which is really cheap for a hand made solid table. The man instantly went down to 50 bucks. I was shocked and insulted! I did not even tell my husband this offer, I know that it would make him doubt his abilities. We have one week left so I am hoping to find that perfect buyer otherwise it might end up by the garbage.

One week left before the move and we are both excited and nervous. So much to do and clean and pack. Wish me luck!  

Dear Blog, Sorry For Not Writing

Dear Blog:

Since I have discovered you about a month ago I felt a great release from writing and letting out my feelings. This last week I have not been able to write at all. We are busy with getting ready to move; as well as last minute doctors and dentist appointments so that we can take full advantage of our insurance before moving. We have been visiting people before we leave the state. Its been busy and stressful and I have not been able to write and process the stress and anxiety. I miss you blog. We will be in contact soon blog because I really need you these days. You are my ungrudging friend who never interrupts me while I rant on and on. Thank you blog, for listening, I will be in contact soon my dear blog

Have Faith That God Will Provide

A couple of days ago I was very stressed. I was thinking about our coming move to California. I was worried about the job logistics. I have been applying for jobs in California while I am still here in Michigan. I was hoping to have some interviews set up for when I come back, but employers are responding faster then I first thought. So I  was stressing about the idea of having to go before my husband by plane or train. The problem is I would not have a car there in California, because our car needed to be driven from Michigan. Nothing seemed to be working out how I planned and I was feeling overwhelmed. 

To calm my fears and anxiety I started to pray. I dont pray in the traditional sense with specific words or gestures. I literally pace in circles or sit and just talk to God. I talk about how I am feeling, I ask for clarity and insight. To an observer I probably look like a schizophrenic talking to the voices in my head.

I just kept asking God what should I do? Is it all going to work out? Is this a huge mistake leaving without jobs set up?!  I sat down with my head in my hands feeling overwhelmed. I suddenly felt an overwhelming need to open the Bible. I took the Bible in my hands, closed my eyes and calmed my mind. With my eyes still closed I opened the Bible on a place that felt so right! My eyes saw the passage, and I knew that God was speaking to me through the Bible! 

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you,O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 I had my answer plain and simple! God was telling me point blank to calm down, have faith and God will provide! I instantly felt comforted by this passage and knowing that God was right there with me guiding me the entire way. 

I decided to share my experience because I think that it is so important for people to be reminded that God is always with us, and no matter how stressful the situation may be God will always provide what we need. 

I hope that everyone has a blessed day! 




Letting Go Of “Stuff”

You know that “stuff” in your house. It does not really serve a purpose and may sit for years in a closet without you ever seeing it! It clutters up our houses and make cleaning harder! Honestly I like “stuff”. Knickknacks and trinkets. Keepsakes and memories from the past. This can include old baby clothes, toys from your own childhood, souvenirs from trips, old books you may never read again, clothes that are way too small! 

When I moved, a year ago, from California to Michigan I had to get rid of “stuff”. We had to fit everything we wanted to bring into a single car! I looked at my lifetime supply of stuff and wanted to cry. I knew I was going to have to make some hard choices!

I was attached to my “stuff”. To me, they represented my past. Things like high school year books, text books from college, old notebooks. I have trophies from high school speech and debate, tapes and leaflets from my time in theater, awards from college, keepsakes from Model United Nations. There was stuff from my trips to Peru, Mexico, and India. I had thousands of pictures! Newborn clothes from my daughter, toys I did not want to let go of. Not to mention a whole wardrobe of clothes I was hoping to fit back in to one day once I lost the weight I gained from my daughter.

I had two weeks to get rid of 25 years of ” stuff”. To be honest it was incredibly hard. I did not realize until that moment how attached I really was to it all, even though I had not even looked at it all for many years but I still mourned the thought of loosing it! 

So I sat down and did the task at hand. Decided what was important and what can be donated. I literally cried at some point thinking of loosing all this “stuff”. I look back and shake my head at how ridicules I was being. To be fair to myself, many people leave stuff at their parents house for years but I did not not have that option. My mom lives with my grandma so no extra room there. Literally what I brought with me was what I would ever have from my past! I felt sad thinking how my daughter would not be able to go through my “stuff” and see where her mom had been and what she had done. 

I just had to keep repeating to myself, ” it is just stuff!”. I became ruthless about deciding what was worth keeping. I sorted through my trophies and only kept the first place ones. I threw out my high school yearbooks realizing I didn’t really care that much about high school. I donated all those clothes that didn’t fit! I kept 2 nice pieces of Nasreen’s infant clothes and gave the rest away to people with baby girls.I went through my daughters toys, she had countless stuffed animals and such and I donated most of them!  I went through the stuff from my trips and only kept the very best and most useful things. I became a minimalist with my kitchen supplies even though I am a avid cook and baker! I left myself with 2 pots, 2 pans, 1 cookie pan, 1 bundt pan, a set of stackable round cakes pans. We gave the microwave away! I even got rid of my toaster! I gave away so many cooking tools! I donated! I am a knitter and I got rid of all my yarn and needles and hooks and left myself with 1 set of knitting needles and one croquet hook! I gave away and threw out so many boxes of “stuff”.

My feelings of sadness and anxiety over loosing my stuff were soon replaced my a feeling of freedom! I looked at the dwindling “stuff ” around me and I felt unburdened by it all. The apartment had more space, I felt like I could breath more easily! I felt like I could go anywhere now! The stuff that rooted me to this spot was gone! I could travel the world if I had the money and the free time of course. 

The reality is my “things” do not define how my life was lived! It was the actions of my life, the people that I met, the experiences that I had that really define who I was and where I had been! The “stuff” in our lives do not define who we are! 

We are preparing to move back to California at the end of this month. As I pack up our life once again to fit into our car I find that it is easier to get rid of stuff this time around! No more tears, anxiety, or hesitation. My life feels free of “stuff” and I am ready for the road!