Athena’s First Day of School

Athena's first day of kindergarten
Athena is officially a kindergarten student. She started school this week and I keep shaking my head at the fact that I have a child in school. When I started Bucket List Publications, she wasn’t even born and now she’s enrolled in a French Immersion school in Montreal. Where did the time go? How am I the mother of a child in school when I still feel like a kid myself? And with Athena off to school during the days now, I need more of a purpose. What should I do with my time? A job? Volunteer? Exercise? Write a book? Pick up a hobby like day drinking? (Just seeing if you’re paying attention.) I feel lost. Is this how all mothers feel when their kids go to school? Continue reading

A Day of Testing Out Athena’s Gifts

PlayWheels Quad Skates
Since we were traveling during the holidays, we opted for the multiple Christmases. Santa’s elves delivered some of Athena’s gifts early so we could open them at home and the Big Guy delivered the rest on Christmas Day in Wisconsin. It was a great plan that worked wonderfully for us, but the only downside was that Athena didn’t have much time to test out her favorite Christmas gifts before leaving the state. The minute we returned, we took the time to use her PlayWheels Quad Skates and her PlayWheels Skateboard. They were the first item on her list so we wanted to make the most of it.  Continue reading

Open Doors at The Landing

The Landing, Door County, Wisconsin
This Christmas was a world of new for Athena and I. We decided to spend it with my partner’s family in Wisconsin. (I still haven’t found the “boyfriend” term that fits for me but I’m working on it.) It was the first time Athena and I weren’t in our own home, opening gifts from Santa and family that were placed under our Christmas tree with loving care; but home isn’t your own tree or a familiar room. It’s the people who surround you that make it home. Cord’s family has shown us an abundance of love in the last few months. They opened their homes and their hearts to Athena and I. Even though we spent Christmas day, and the two days following Christmas, at The Landing in Door County, Wisconsin, it was the most at home I felt in almost a decade.  Continue reading

An Entire Town for Kids at Mill View Ranch

Mill View Ranch, Camino, California

Whenever I travel with Athena, I always look for a park for her to play or a restaurant with an indoor play place. In El Dorado County, they have an entire old-west style miniature town made just for kids. It should be no surprise that despite the cold, I still made time for a visit with Athena.  Continue reading

A Day of Exploration at South Coast Plaza

Shops at South Coast Plaza

I love shopping with Athena at South Coast Plaza. It’s huge and filled with a world of bright colors, bold prints, and beautiful sights. It would be easy to go there and spend thousands of dollars and walk out with a couple bags though. Many of my favorite clothes in South Coast Plaza come with high price tags. It is possible to visit South Coast Plaza without spending a fortune. Here’s how Athena and I spent six hours at South Coast Plaza and only spent $60 while enjoying rides, dining, shopping, and taking in the sights. We explored, discovered, and experienced the magic of South Coast Plaza.  Continue reading

Kicking Off Halloween with Legoland’s Brick or Treat

Legoland's Brick or TreatHalloween is one of my favorite days of the year. My birthday is the day before so I’ve always started celebrating early, but this year we kicked off Halloween with extra early trick-or-treating at Legoland and we’re feeling the Halloween spirit.  Continue reading

Being Better at it all at Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Waterfall hike at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego, CaliforniaDating and transitioning to something serious with a four year old in tow while you’re still married (only because of legal issues) and writing publicly about your life isn’t easy. Even typing it makes me laugh. I feel like it’s a screenplay for a horrible chick flick. But it’s my life and I’m trying to find the balance. Athena’s dad has been out of the country for the last month, leaving me with Athena full-time. I love our time together and I appreciate that so many mothers never get this opportunity but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is draining. I have a shorter fuse and it trickles into all aspects of my life. My boyfriend, another bizarre thing to say and type, has been more than accommodating. I’m constantly in shock with his kindness and understanding, especially for someone without children of his own. Visiting Fairmont Grand Del Mar was my way of balancing the insanity in my life right now. With nanny services, the Explorer’s Club, a pool, a spa, and 5-star dining, we could spend time with Athena and still have time for ourselves. We spent an entire afternoon in the pool and a full day at Legoland but we took one full day for ourselves and it was magical. Thank you, Fairmont Grand Del Mar! You’re a life saver. Continue reading