Tree Planting for Tu b’Shvat

Kate went to her second Club 45 activity this past Sunday, where they braved the weather to do some tree planting. From the recap email: In honor of Tu b’Shvat, the Jewish holiday where we love and appreciate the natural world around us, Club 45 teamed up with the Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail to do what Jews do best…PLANTING TREES! We were originally scheduled to plant about 40 trees but our Club 45’ers were so great we ended up doubling that. The organizers had to go and get more trees to keep up with the planting power of Club 45!

Four Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now

Work and life have been crazy at the moment, and I’ve certainly been lacking in blogging motivation. One of my favorite blogs, Modern Mrs Darcy, has a series of posts about things that make life easier for her at the moment she is writing them. For the first time in a long time, I began writing a post in my head. Of course it has taken four days to actually put fingers to keyboard, but here are four things that are saving my life right now.


This is actually my word for the year, after Survive for 2016 and Persist for 2017. Years ago I remember Mickey telling me that after she moved to France she set out purposefully to recreate the things she missed from the US. For her, that meant Stitch and Bitch and the opportunities for professional networking and I was lucky enough to be part of both. When we came here, I decided to do the same, and although it took me a few years, Book Club and Project Night have been going strong for about a year. Additionally, in September Kate told me that she wanted to prepare for being bat mitvah and in order to make that happen, she needed to start religious school tout de suite. We found our way to Temple Beth Am, and from the first time I went to Services, I felt part of the community. Work is also focused on  community- not only with my amazing coworkers but also one of my major projects. I think I didn’t realize how lonely I was before I developed this community here, but having this focus is definitely saving my life right now.


I am so busy right now that if I had to think about what to do when or count on my memory to get something done, things would fall apart. From finally getting my subscribe and save options perfected on Amazon (turns out that it was pretty simple to reliably predict how much dog food, toilet paper and furnace filters we consume in a given month), to setting repeating calendar reminders to give the pets flea treatments and fertilize the plants (and everything else), to leaving for work at the same time every day, I am a creature of habit.


My kids are the best. I have been overwhelmed with how funny and cool and kind they are. I don’t know how much I have to do with it, but they make me feel like a great mom. Jonah asks me every day how my day was, and kisses the top of my head when he sees me. Owen is sweet and charming, and has become so mature over the past year. Kate loves to dance and sing but is still just as obsessed with science and detective stories. I love them.

To Do Lists

Along the same lines of “Routine”, I wouldn’t get anything done without my to do lists. About 18 months ago I started using the bullet journal framework. I originally was super creative and planned things like our holiday shopping, the garden layout, books I was reading and more, but the thing I consistently stick with is my to do list. I generally do two a week: one long one for the weekend, and a shorter one for the week. It’s a modified bullet journal framework, but the things that I do do are to use three symbols consistently: a “/” when something is done, an “X” if I decide not to do it, and (the most commonly used symbol) a “->” when an item gets carried over from one list to the next. I’ve even adopted this habit for my work to do list and am trying to teach the kids the same.