Settling in

May 22nd, 2021

Since mid-February, our life has been all about getting used to a new house and a new dog, adjusting to living among boxes and undergoing a major home renovation, and running around picking out furniture, flooring, cabinets, fixtures, paint, etc. (We’re completely re-doing our kitchen and two bathrooms, and we’re doing work in other areas of the house as well.) But aside from all that, we’ve also explored the area, gone on hikes, hung out with friends, celebrated Passover and just chilled. Below, a taste of our life here.

-M

Moving, part 3

May 17th, 2021

If I thought packing was tedious, unpacking is a whole different story. Months later we’re still living in a sea of boxes (we can’t completely unpack until our renovations are done), but luckily the girls’ rooms are mostly put together. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Zoe’s room was organized after just a few days of our being here – while Avery needed a bit of coaxing and help to get everything done. (Oldest child, youngest child.)

-M

Moving, part 2

May 15th, 2021

Because we had a pretty long time between the time our bid was accepted on our new house (early November) and our move-in date (mid-February), we also had plenty of time to emotionally – and actually – prepare for the move.

We chose to move on a long weekend (Presidents Day), and when the date arrived we opted to spend our last night in a very West Portal way – by getting ice cream at the neighborhood institution, Shaws. The next morning Avery and I took one last WP Starbucks run, chronicling our trip on video (because that’s what Gen Zers do), and then posing for pics. There were fewer tears than I expected, and it wasn’t even as hard as I thought it would be when we went back a few days later for our last good-byes. Time for the next chapter!

-M

Moving

May 13th, 2021

So I didn’t intend to go this long – three whole months! – without writing. But there was the new job, and the new puppy and then the new house and the renovation. (All during the pandemic, which lingered…) There was so much going on that before I knew what was happening, days and weeks and months had slipped by.

The move?? Though I hinted at it below, I never shared the news here – but after a lot of thought, and 14+ years in our house on Wawona St., we decided to leave San Francisco and move to the Peninsula. I loved living in the city, and especially in West Portal, but we were ready for better weather, more space (and greenery!) and easier commutes (for when we ever go back to work). It was also a natural time to make a change, with Zoe heading to high school next year. We began looking for homes in Burlingame in the early fall, bought a place in November and moved in February.

More on all this soon. But below: a taste of what things looked like around here after the start of the year.

-M

Meet Winnie

February 10th, 2021

So, the puppy thing… Q and the girls have long wanted a second dog, and COVID seemed like an ideal time to get one. We spent months putting in applications with various rescue organizations and stalking the SPCA website for new puppy listings – but we had no luck, until Jan. 15. The SPCA called us and said they were holding a 9-week-old retriever mix for us to come look at the next day, and the rest is history.

Maddie isn’t a big fan of the puppy, who we’ve named Winnie, and we’re in the middle of a move – so, it’s a lot. But you’re not given the opportunity to adopt a fluffy, sweet puppy everyday – and we’re going to make it work.

-M

Long time!

February 1st, 2021

Wow, it’s been a long time since I last wrote. The last few months have brought big changes (not only my new job), which I’ll get to in my next post(s). But for now, what have we have been up to since I last wrote?

We celebrated Hanukkah:

We cooked:

We chilled:

We played games:

We celebrated the end of 2020:

We did projects:

We sipped and shopped (while social distancing, of course):

And… we bought a house, sold our house and got a new puppy. (I told you there have been a lot of changes!)

-M

A change

November 30th, 2020

I hinted at this earlier, but this month has been a big one for me. I left my job at Stanford Medicine (!), and on Nov. 16 I started a new one at Gilead.

Most readers know I was at Stanford for a loooong time: I started in the communications office in the spring of 2001. I didn’t intend to stay that long, but my job changed/grew every few years, and I adored the people I worked with. I often referred myself to myself as a “lifer” and, despite my age, I sort of assumed I’d retire (early!) from my office.

Alas, COVID changed a lot of things – and I slowly became open to new opportunities. Everything happened very fast with my new job, and I broke the news to my old team about leaving in the middle of October.

I have tons of happy memories of my time at Stanford, including with the girls, and walking away from the place that has been my professional home for 20 years wasn’t easy (especially given what a sentimental person I am). But it felt like the right time in my life and career to make a move – now or never, right? – and I hope I’m modeling to the girls the power of change!

-M

Fourteen

November 27th, 2020

Zoe’s birthday looked different than it would have if we weren’t in COVID – but we couldn’t let 14 happen without a celebration. She got together with a few friends the weekend before her big day, and the 23rd started with her opening presents, including a Marauders hoodie she had been eyeing and an autographed copy of her new favorite YA book. And the day before Thanksgiving we took her to the bookstore to do her favorite things: browse and buy books. She’s smiling under the mask!

-M

“First” day of school

November 22nd, 2020

The girls’ school started at the end of August, but a big milestone was reached this month when it welcomed the kids back in person. The re-opening was a slow process, with the kindergarteners and first graders going back first and the other grades arriving every week thereafter, and it was (finally) Avery’s turn last Monday. She was cleared to go after a negative COVID test.

Though she’ll only be there two days a week (Mondays and Tuesdays) to start, Avery was all smiles about being back with her friends.

-M

Getting away, part II

November 18th, 2020

A highlight of our Maryland trip was our last day there. After days of anxious waiting, the election was called for Biden – and impromptu celebrations sprang up in cities across the country, including DC. It was PopPop’s idea to drive downtown and check it out, so we grabbed masks and hopped in the car.

Zoe wasn’t super excited about joining us (Avery, meanwhile, stayed back with Safta), but we wanted her to be part of the historic day. “You’re going to look back someday and be really happy that you came,” I told her when we arrived. And I know she will!

-M

Getting away…

November 16th, 2020

I recently found myself on a bit of a break from working (story soon), and we decided to take advantage of the time off and go visit family. Traveling during COVID can be risky, but after weighing the pros and cons and knowing we’d continue being super careful (masking, tons of handwashing, etc.) we made our way to Maryland.

The good thing: Traveling wound up feeling/being very safe. The better thing: Being with family after going almost a year without seeing them was wonderful!

(As I type this, the country is experiencing an increase of cases – and many things are closing up again. We got there and back just in time!)

-M

Happy Halloween, part II

November 6th, 2020

There was no trick or treating for us this year, sadly, but we still got out and about during the day. We met Avery’s BFF and some other Brandeis families for a socially distant pumpkin carving party, and Zoe joined a few friends for a Halloween potluck in the park.

It was unlike any Halloween we’ve ever had, but we managed to have fun!

-M

-M

Happy Halloween (COVID style)

October 31st, 2020

COVID may stop trick or treating – but not our celebrating!

-M

Overheard (shelter-in-place edition)

October 24th, 2020

Our house isn’t that big, and with the four of us working and taking class via Zoom it’s sometimes a challenge to find a quiet spot. So it wasn’t at all surprising to hear Avery call out from her bedroom recently, “Can you be a little quieter? I’m trying to do math over here!”

-M

Back to the pumpkin patch

October 18th, 2020

As PopPop recently commented on, not even the quarantine can prevent us from making our annual trip(s) to the pumpkin patch! Despite less excitement from the girls, especially Zoe, than in years past, we headed down to Half Moon Bay yet again to pick out and enjoy the pumpkins. (What can I say about our return year after year? It’s one of my favorite traditions!)

-M