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Archive for May, 2011

Photo Friday: Spring at San Elijo Lagoon

May 26th, 2011 by bsmith | 3 Comments | Filed in San Diego Adventures

The Gillin Cousins at San Elijo Lagoon

 My father passed away on May 2nd about six months after his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.  If you haven’t heard much from this blog lately, it’s because I took a sabbatical from blogging and many other activities to focus on enjoying my last few months with my Dad.  It was a worthwhile endeavor.  My father, John Gillin relished life. His warm and generous spirit touched the lives of many.  He was blessed by visits from friends and family from all over the country in his last few months.  The kids had the chance to meet and get to know their relatives.  We shared many happy family occasions this year.

After Dad’s death, my Godfather Terry  my dad’s cousin and my cousin, Colin flew in for my Dad’s funeral.  It was so fun to watch them meet and get to know each other for the first time.  Each shared characteristics that were also intrinsic to my dad; his sparkling blue eyes, his quiet sense of humor, and his warm calm approach to life.  Even in this difficult time it was extraordinary to spend time together as a family.  My son Justin was overjoyed because Colin brought his son 15 year old Graham with him.  After years of enduring gatherings of younger, (and mostly female) cousins, Justin had finally  found a kindred spirit.

Touching Down at San Elijo Lagoon

One of our weekend activities was an outing to nearby San Elijo lagoon.  The flowers were in bloom and my cousin Colin the wild life biologist helped us to understand more about the bird behaviors we observed.  My six year old is a big fan of anything green, especially frogs, so he enjoyed visiting with this fellow at the nature center.

Jared's Froggy Friend, San Elijo Visitors Center

Justin was inspired by the wild flowers in bloom, and took some amazing nature shots.

Cactus in Bloom, San Elijo

Blooming Daisy, San Elijo Lagoon, Del Mar

Mom and Jared San Elijo Lagoon

I love the above photo of Jared and me.  It really captures the joy of that day.  Our San Elijo adventure was not only the perfect way to celebrate spring.  It was a powerful reminder of the gift of spending time with extended family.

Happy Trails,


P.S. For more spring adventures check out Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday Blog Roundup.


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Move It Monday: Motivation

May 23rd, 2011 by bsmith | No Comments | Filed in Move It Monday

I just returned from an outstanding writing work shop by the Op-Ed Project .  This is an organization that is working hard to change the grim statistic that only 20% or less of the opinion pieces published on major news outlets (everything from the New York Times to the Huffington Post) are written by women.  If there are any mom bloggers out there who would like to change this statistic and perhaps the world check out the Op-Ed Project website to see when a workshop is coming to a city near you.  In the mean time they have some great resources about writing and submitting Op-Eds.  I am hoping to use what I learned in the class to take my one woman campaign to keep California’s State Parks open, to the masses.  Hopefully I will be posting a link to my very own published Op-Ed soon.

However, I digress.  At this work shop I met an exercise physiologist who doesn’t like to exercise.  She knows about the tremendous benefits that exercise can have for her health and well being, so she works out, but she doesn’t really enjoy it.  Reflecting upon this revelation led me to the following conclusions.

1) Exercise must be vitally important to human health for this woman to devote her life to the study of how it effects the human body, despite the fact she doesn’t enjoy doing it.

2) That’s just not how I roll.

I have known at least something about the benefits of exercise for myself and my children for many years, but I didn’t do anything about this knowledge until I consciously began to seek out exercise that I enjoy.  Finding a way to enjoy physical activity took some creativity and willingness to try new things.  I had to relearn how to ride a bike and force myself not to stop because I looked very silly teetering around my cul de sac.  I had to be open to modern technology, throwing caution to the wind, to play Dance Central on Kinect (Currently my absolute favorite way to exercise).  I had to model for my kids how they could have fun skiing even though they might come tumbling down the mountain and get their pants full of snow.

Although today I fell off the  wagon,I  still manage to fit in some kind of exercise at least 3-4 times a week.  Thanks to my exercise physiologist friend  and her excellent blog ,I’m also going to start doing some strength training and perhaps some sit ups and pushups.  Those necessary good for you but not too fun exercises should build muscle and reduce the mommy flab earned by two pregnancies.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

Happy Trails,


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