That’s a wrap! The end of September through the end of 2018

January 4, 2019

The start of fall means the best season is here, containing all the best holidays! Also, I get to break out my flannel sheets.


It must be mid-September, because Target has all the Halloween stuff out. Says Zoe: “My favorite time of year is when Target has the spooky telephone.”

Taken at the onset of my stomach flu. Through some miracle, Zoe did not catch it, but I was unwell for a few days. Zoe had to make her own dinner one night (strawberries/whipped cream), but she’s going to have to learn how to throw a dinner together on her own eventually.

This is my view of every concert Zoe is in.

But this concert had Yo-Yo Ma.

We went to a park we had never been to. “This park has everything I like.” (i.e. zip line, swings that you can lie down on, big play structure, giant rope structure.)

Then we took a long walk. Or, Zoe was on her scooter and I walked 700 feet behind her for 40 minutes.

I like when this walkway section is flooded. Sometimes you can walk the entire length of it, and sometimes it is just flooded over. Coming here reminds me of this time in September, 2014, probably because it is the same location:


My little buddy’s tooth came out at school, which means she had it put in a plastic tooth necklace, something she had been hoping would happen for the last 3+ years.

You probably knew this, but Nation’s has veggie burgers. They were acceptable.

By request, we went back to that park.

We attended a Girl Scout meeting.

Zoe won a YogurtLand gift card for giving a speech in class about why she should be a good candidate for a student council representative.

With Ambrosia’s Olive.

Our annual visit to the pumpkin patch.

Halloween was lively.


The season of Big Leaves.

I found out my phone has a “portrait” mode, so I’m going to abuse that feature, as you will see below.

Take Zoe to work day.

For a brief moment before Thanksgiving, the melted crayon shop was open.

A meditative, four hour trip to Color Me Mine.

Another tooth lost.

Here, Zoe can be seen helping at The Night of Light fundraiser, pouring one of hundreds of hot chocolates.


I live a life full of simple pleasures. Buying flowers at Trader Joe’s. My daughter is very goofy. Buying almonds to make an almond cake.

Acquiring our prized YogurtLand ornament.

Getting into the Christmas tree buying mood.

The smell of pine, the sight of glowing white lights. Making popcorn garlands. Unpacking adorable ornaments.¬†Perry Como & “Dominick the Donkey”. There is nothing finer than being in the midst of Christmas season.

We made gluten-free cookies.

Like I said, tiny pleasures, like catching my daughter dancing in front of a mirror in the accessories section. Also, she says stuff like: “Since I’m getting smarter, I’m actually funnier than you.” Probably true.

Every year I worry: Is this the last year Zoe will want to see Santa? And it really gets in the way of me living in the moment, worry-free. BUT NOT THIS YEAR, 2019!

When in Corte Madre, we stop at Veggie Grill. Did you know there’s one in downtown Berkeley now? We should go!

A visit to Christmas Tree Lane.

After the holiday concert.

A holiday meal with Ambrosia, with special custom napkin which wasn’t a crowdpleaser.

Traveling to Arizona for Christmas.

A stop for coffee with the Aunt and cousins immediately after our airport pickup

Nothing beats an Arizona Christmas, because an Arizona Christmas is very dry at night and I have trouble sleeping.

Even Santa was like: not until Nintendo drops their prices on the Switch.

But the Lego tree fort provided hours of enjoyment.

Bonus photo: Auntie Tennille

Then I came back and shaved. I’ll tell you that boring story some other time.

Zoe returned from Arizona to find Santa had made a stop at our cozy apartment.

We made Play-Doh poop.

On New Year’s Eve Day, we saw a family of ducks down by the pond. Like all things naturally occurring in nature, I saw it as a good omen for 2019. (Something like: “Stay guided by your heart, and the universe will find what you need.”)

I realized I like the beach when it is cold and windy and when we can play a game like “drag a stick for two miles in the sand.”

2018 was the year I came to terms with how much I like drinking out of coupes.

Zoe was determined to stay up until midnight and play every game we owned, twice. But by 10pm, it was obvious we were all running out of steam. We were both in bed by 10:30, making it one of the best New Year’s Eves in history.

Note from the author

I hope you accomplish everything you set out to do in 2019 and don’t let fear and anxiety guide you. Also: drink more water.

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