Today is a big day...it's my niece & nephew's birthday! At one year apart, Kate turns 3 today and William turns 2. I am happy to report that they get to celebrate this bday without a new brother or sister (and instead of laboring in the hospital, Michelle was able to put on an awesome bday party)! While they don't have another sibling to share their bday, I have to wonder...what year will be the year that 'sharing' their bday will be a huge drag? So far, they seem to enjoy sharing the spotlight, but knowing Kate as I do, I think those years are in the not too distant future.
Happy Birthday my little muchkins. Your auntie so wishes she could be with you! I promise to be there next year to celebrate with you! My bday wish for you is that you don't grow up too quickly...especially since your auntie can't be with you as much as she'd like.
Spent a great weekend in Northern California, the place my heart calls home. Haven't been in 3 years!!! How on earth did I let that happen??? I guess it's an example of 'life getting away from you'. I don't know how it's possible, but I'd totally forgotten how incredible it is there - the air, the mountains, the landscapes, the weather, the flowers/trees/plants allowed to grow all year round, all those familiar places that consumed my life for over 20 years...oh how I miss it! Maybe I didn't get home as some sort of self-preservation, maybe I knew if I went home I'd 'leave my heart in San Francisco' only to return to KC heartbroken. Well, now that I'm back in KC, I realize that I HAVE left part of my heart in that city by the bay and I miss it terribly. And let me tell you...once I got off the plane in KC and my lungs were suppressed by the humid air, my brain confirmed what my heart has been feeling for sometime now...it's time to go 'home'. Or time to try anyway...
Mark had a great time in NorCal and I think he was loving the area that I call home. As we drove through twisty Canyon Road over the Oakland hills, lined with conifers and ferns, I could almost hear his mind wishing he was traveling this road on his bike rather than in a car. When we drove the short distance from my father's house to my brother's house down the main 2-lane road (with ample bike lane space I might add) and passed literally 20 cyclists each time we took this short, jaunty car ride, I could feel his urge to join them. And on more than one occasion, I caught him standing on my brother's deck looking out at the views of Mt. Diablo and it's sister mountains, wondering about all the trails he could explore on them.
Soon we were having dreamy conversations about 'downsizing' and not having to mow a ginormous yard. About renting and not owning. About living on the fringe of town where it would be more affordable (sure! we'd take a shack in Napa! why not?!?). The trade-offs where flying...and I'm still not sure it's out of our system. NorCal will do that to you. It has so much to offer that people 'find a way'.
Back from Italy. Had a GREAT trip (as usual)! Will update more later as I am off again to TX until tomorrow night. For trip recap and some photos, check my Twitter account (krislars). We weren't able to get on blogs but we were able to 'tweet' our way through the entire trip.
For those of you following us on Twitter, not sure you caught my non-descript tweet while in Siena, but Mark and I are engaged! Mark proposed in the piazza in Siena (Il Campo). Very romantic and sweet. We're both very happy. ;-)
More on the trip later as I'm off to pack again...Ciao Ciao!