Week one in the books…

IMG_4745I really miss my daddy, I love seeing him on the computer and love pretending to hug him but it isn’t the same. Mommy says it is only two more weeks but that is too long!

 

He said

IMG_4753Well week one – as the title suggests – is in the books. It has definitely been an amazing experience this first week out here in sunny California. I am in a fantastic genius training group that gets along very well, and our instructor I have to say is maybe the best of the lot. I am learning so much, that is crucial to my new role. But, the best part about this trip are the relationships I am building with colleagues that lives well outside of the company we work for and the new career paths we’re all fortunate enough to be embarking on.

I also was lucky enough to get a room all to myself on this trip which gives me some space to have my own space. It’s hard being away from Daniele and Emelia this long, and as we get into week two and three I think I am going to really relish having a my own space.

IMG_4705That’s not to say I haven’t been getting along well with my classmates — every single night, this first week we’ve been here we have gone out to dinner together and it has been a blast getting to know them. Sacha and Nate, my car rental buddies whom I connected with at the airport to pick up our car are great guys who I am getting along with very well.

But the rest of our class connected very quickly from day one, too. To a person, I definitely get a sense these friendships will live for some time – independent of our Apple lives.

IMG_4721What was really nice was that when they heard of my weekend plans to train up to Sacramento to see my friend Lee, they adjusted their weekend plans to reflect things I have already had the luxury of doing in past trips, that they wanted to, so that I wouldn’t miss out on anything I wanted to do — most notably the trip into San Francisco and to Amoeba Music to record shop!

So, yes, my part of the post finds me typing onboard an Amtrak train on the Capitol Corridor headed back to San Jose returning from a weekend in Sacramento visiting with our friend Lee and his lovely wife Peggy. Lee and I have been long distance friends ever since we connected at CBC Radio 3 in 2007. He also has been a CBC Radio 3 Fan Of The Year like I. He’s come to visit us London – actually just weeks before meeting the love of his life Peggy. The weekend with the two was the perfect remedy for me as it felt like home away from home, just as I was starting to get a little homesick.

IMG_4812After a much-delayed arrival into the train station (the train sat on the tracks for an hour and three quarters, 6 miles outside the train station), Lee and I headed off to his place where I promptly and deeply fell into a coma. Saturday, after some coffee and conversation, we headed out to the Sierra Foothills and to breakfast at The Buttercup Pantry – one of Lee and Peggy’s favourite places to eat.

After we loaded our bellies, we headed up into the foothills to take in the many great wineries — each one with a more awe-inspiring vista of the valleys that lay below them. In total we visited three, and I lost count of how many complementary tastes of vino I had. One thing was sure though – I was really starting to miss Danielle and Emelia as this would be just sort of weekend we would build lifelong memories with. I promised Lee and Peggy that one day we’d have my two girls in tow so that could take this experience in with me.

IMG_4783We finished up the evening back in Sacramento – Lee taking me on an extended tour of his beautiful city showing me all that he loved about it. We had dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant and also managed to make a stop at Dimple Records – the former home of the very first Tower Records in America. I of course found a couple of records to bring home with me.

Today started out and followed a much easier pace. Lee and Peggy made me a wonderful breakfast of waffles and bacon as we listened to Lee’s copy of my cohost with Craig Norris on CBC Radio 3 which was a wonderfully apropos reminder of how we connected and became such great friends. The rest of the morning was spent visiting and reliving shared moments through photos. It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. Lee, dropped me off at the train station loaded up with a piece of homemade apricot pie which I’ve already made disappear, and some homemade chocolate chip cookies.

IMG_4797The rest of my class has done some grocery shopping and after Nate and Sacha pick me up at the train station and bring me back to the hotel, we’re going to have a poolside barbecue and swim. And that will officially close out week one here in sunny California. Tomorrow begins week two here, and by Wednesday, we’ll be officially at the half way point. Before the trip it felt like I’d be away for an eternity, but I knew once we got going, it would fly by in a heartbeat. And that is just what is starting to happen, which is perfectly fine by me. It means I am having so much fun I am speeding up my return home.

She said

Well all I can say about the first week is that I survived. The first few days were very rough around here, Emelia was not adjusting well and the meltdowns were multiple. But by the end of the week after some great suggestions from friends who had also dealt with long separations from their spouses due to work Emelia and I found a bit of a groove. And although I miss John terribly I have taken the time to have some time for myself, get a ton of things done around the house and I have to say I am quite impressed what I have done around here flying solo.

photo 3The hardest part of all of this aside from the obvious we are separated for 3 weeks is the timezone difference. When John is getting up for the day we are off to school for Emelia, when he is done for the day Emelia is long in bed, when he gets home from dinner I am going to bed. So the only tight window we have right now is 6:15-6:30 our time when he has a short afternoon break from his course. That gives little time for Emelia to actually talk to him and on this end it means that we are rushing through dinner and homework to assure we have those precious few minutes to see him via FaceTime. The timing sucks, it also means I have not been able to get to the gym at all in the week. And I am feeling it, I have a feeling this is a huge part of the reason I am wearing out, lack of my normal workout routine. When John gets back I am back and hard to my regular routine, my body really needs it!

I have done stage one of many of some decluttering, some cleaning, getting the yard ready for the fall, catching up on some reading, and time with some friends and family. I have to say my friends have been wonderful. I have had them all on texts and phone much of the week and by weeks end we had a few play dates lined up to fill our time.

photoOne of the most amazing surprises of the week was an email I received from a friend of John’s and mine from university. Our friend Allison who we have not seen since graduation was staying in town visiting family and promoting her business and would I able to have a quick visit. So just before I was to leave to pick up Emelia on Wednesday the beautiful Allison was at my door. She has not changed a bit, just as beautiful inside and out as she was in university. We caught up and spent the next hour or so visiting, well as best you can when I have 6 children to care for. But it was an amazing mid week pick me up. And the best news is that she will be back next summer from Vancouver visiting again so this time John will be able to see her as well.

Friday evening I was speaking with Susan (the twin’s mom) and she and I have become good friends so we combined a need for her to be out of the house with her girls because of construction work being done on their house and our need to get out of the house for well my sanity. So Friday night we were off to Susan’s parents place and while the oldest 4 girls played (Emelia, Anna and Grace all 6 followed by Lydia who is 2.5) Susan and I enjoyed a glass of wine while spending some time with their newest little cutie Miss Eve. It was a great night. We got home quite late and Emelia passed out as soon as her head hit the pillow.

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Saturday morning we were off to our normal swim class and then Costco to get some of our weekly groceries. After we had some lunch Emelia was joined by her friend Hannah for the afternoon. Leanne has been a close friend of ours since 2001 and our girls get along so well. So Leanne and I caught up over coffee and the girls played in Emelia’s room. They were in their glory coming down with various musical instruments and costumes to entertain us. It was a perfect afternoon.

Once Leanne and Hannah left we quickly packed Emelia’s overnight bag and we were off to Poppa and Grandma’s for the night. I had asked Helen and Doug before John left if she could have a sleepover one night while he was gone sensing I was going to really need a night for me. And I wasn’t wrong. I had planned on spending part of Sunday (today) getting a pedicure but both salons I had certificates for were closed today so I will have to see about another day in the next two weeks. Hoping Emelia can have some more family time with someone so I can have an evening to myself again.

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So last night and this morning was for me. Something I am not at all accustom to. Since Emelia was born I honestly cannot remember the last full ‘me’ day I had. With John gone and Emelia happily at Poppa and Grandma’s I went and did things for myself. Something I never do.

Last night I had planned on going to the gym for a good workout because I have not been able to do that since John left. But I stopped in at Talize on the way across town to see what I could find. I desperately need clothes that fit, I have not replenished my fall/winter wardrobe since going from a size 16 to size 6 so although I have a few pants I still mainly had XL sized tops in my drawer. Well with great luck and a great sale I got 2 sweaters, 5 knit tops, a pair of pjs, a bathrobe for both Emelia and myself and new towel for Emelia’s swim class for $46 (including tax). I love Talize and second hand shopping. You get the BEST deals. And deals is what you need when you are replacing an entire wardrobe.

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After leaving Talize I popped over to Kelli’s place to have a glass of wine and catch up, and then I went over to Joe and got some more incredible deals on make-up and some new better fitting bras. All in all a GREAT night for me! I came home, poured a glass of wine, watched a movie and went to bed.

This morning I woke when I wanted, so 9:30 I finally got out of bed and made coffee and breakfast. I could drink my coffee while it was still hot without interruptions and without listening to cartoons in the background. It felt strange and well quiet. I finally got the last of my weekend cleaning done and then went for a nice long run. Oh how I missed it, I came back from the crisp air feeling like a million bucks. I got showered and off to finish groceries before going over to pick up my girl.

Tonight I was treated to an early birthday dinner by Helen and Doug at East Side Mario’s. It was a perfect end to a chaotic week but amazing weekend. We are almost to the half way point. It hasn’t been easy but we are managing, until next week – good night.

 

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