I have a ton of old magazines that I have still to bring to the recycling bin. Some of them I had to quickly toss into the pile because if I thought about it too much I would just stash it back underneath my bed (I have a hard time letting go of the ones with beautiful photos and interesting articles). When I came across Rachel’s article in The Chic Site on having the kids make their own vision board, I thought this would be a great idea for the magazines to serve one more purpose. I like how she says this was a fun way for her to talk to her boys about setting goals and making plans.
I just love stories about kids finding what they love and are passionate about. When I read the article about Cedrick Ardueta, a senior in Los Angeles that got a perfect score (1 of 12 in the world!) on his AP Calculus exam, I was so inspired by the discipline he and his classmates put into their studies. Plus the fact that their instructor treats his students like a sports team—practicing problem after problem just like athletes, what a great way to approach math! This reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, where he tries to answer the question: “What makes high achievers different?” We talked about helping kids dream big and find their passion, and it’s something we strive to do every day.
When I start to feel overwhelmed with a long list of “to do’s” in my head, I try to sit down and make a list as this always helps to calm me down. Brandy of The Prudent Homemaker blog writes about her goals for the week and her last week’s accomplishments. What I like about her posts is that she includes projects as daunting as pruning and moving plants in her garden (the fact that she is able to grow a wonderful garden in the desert of Las Vegas is impressive) to the simplicity of making fresh lemonade. There is such a sense of calm and gratefulness in her posts that it never fails to inspire me.
This week marked the start of my 35th week of pregnancy. So close to full term! I’m both relieved and grateful that baby and I are both in good health, though this final push to the end (yes, pun intended) brings its own concerns. I saw this article in Good magazine about Erica Andrews, who posted a selfie just 24 hours after giving birth, feeding her newborn in a sling. She perfectly captures what it’s like to be both overwhelmed and overjoyed, and reminds us that a woman’s fourth trimester body is a source of pride. Also, that not everyone can (or should) expect to look like the Duchess of Cambridge. After all, the only eyes you want on you at that point in time are your newborn child’s. So inspired by her bravery and honesty.
Vicki Abeles’s op-ed in the New York Times paints an alarming picture about the negative impact too much homework, extracurricular activities, and the pressure to succeed is having on today’s kids. This article hit a little close to home as the Irvington district was one of the areas we considered when house hunting because of its excellent schools. Having watched my now-college age niece struggle with her high school workload in order to compete for a spot in a good university, I can easily believe it. Having schools ease up on the pressure may play a part in alleviating the problem, but I believe that a chunk of the responsibility falls on us as parents to teach our children healthy ways of coping. Can’t solve a problem right now? Take a break and return to it. Feeling overwhelmed? Go for a walk or a run to clear your mind. Find a hobby you enjoy and do out of pure love rather than to build your resume. Kids learn so many things in school, but the nurturing that happens at home is also critical.
Next time I’m in San Francisco, I’d love to stop by The Buchanan hotel, which was featured in Lonny.com. Located near Japantown, I love designer Nicole Hollis’s subtle nods to Japanese culture throughout the space. The warm, masculine palette and mix of luxurious and rough materials is spot on for SF culture right now. That beautiful, rich blue in the lobby reminds me of the color I convinced Mr. D to paint one wall of our home office when we first got married. He was skeptical at first, but quickly loved it. We received so many compliments on that wall, and I was sad to leave it behind when we moved.
Have a lovely weekend! xoxo