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

The high holidays

September 30th, 2020

The holidays looked different this year, obviously, with everyone at home and unable to go to synagogue. We did, though, tune in to services from the comfort of our home (I admit to kind of liking it; I watched in my robe for one of them!) and break the fast in a socially distant way with friends. And I was so proud of the girls, who without being asked by me or Q, got a little dressed up for Rosh Hashanah – as shown here.

-M

No Cal get-away

September 27th, 2020

Since the four of us can work/go to school anywhere, we took a little break from the city and recently rented a house up near Redding, Calif. There were wildfires in other parts of the state, but the skies were mostly clear for us as we spent five days relaxing, playing games and swimming. We also visited their main landmarks, a pedestrian bridge/art installation called the Sundial Bridge and the nearby Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

-M

Zoe and Zachary for Co-Presidents

September 15th, 2020

The beginning of the school year was a very busy one, with Zoe and her good-friend Zachary campaigning as co-presidents for their school’s student board. They’ve been planning to run together for more than a year, and they met every other week over the summer to come up with their platform and speech.

I was excited and a bit nervous for them – they were competing against two other teams – and also proud and nostalgic. These two have been friends since their first year in preschool! They took it very seriously and worked hard, and our families were thrilled when the votes came in and we found out they won.

-M

Ready for school, part II

September 1st, 2020

I’m a bit late to sharing this, but we captured the girls’ thoughts on the eve of the new (very odd-looking) school year.

-M