Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Yosemite Yoga Retreat August 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 8:46 pm

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I often think that I found yoga at the times when I really needed it in my life.  But what I really think is that yoga found me.  That is how the universe works.  When you are open to changes and yearning for new direction in your life, that thing that you need usually finds you.

At the yoga retreat this weekend, my cousin Ryan who puts on the retreat with his lovely wife Natasha, asked the group what our yoga “ah ha” moment was and when we discovered yoga.  I loved everybody’s answers  . . .  so honest, beautiful, and unrestrained.  My answer was that I discovered yoga twice in my life.  I had never thought of it like this before.

The first time I discovered yoga was when I had this terrible horrible job in seriously the most beautiful place in the State. My job was doing the Public Relations for this advertising agency in Del Mar, San Diego.  The office was steps from the most beautiful beach.  The agency was filled with gorgeous, fashionable people. The agency retained such accounts as Bebe, a well known Vodka, and Caslon (Nordstrom brand).  A branch of the agency called L Report whose job it was to have its finger on the pulse of current fashion and culture trends was mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.  This agency was cool, for sure, but completely dysfunctional.  My boss was crazy. Literally.  He was the founder of the ad agency but he no longer ran it.  He ran me though.  I was miserable from the first week of work.  I called my old boss and asked for my job back but it was too late. One day, my crazy boss asked me to send an ad agency package to a company based in LA.  I did not send the package out that day because I was swamped writing press releases and articles for magazines.  When crazy boss found out he screamed and yelled at me and then he made me get in my car right then and there and drive the package to LA and hand deliver it to the point person.  I felt so humiliated and stupid.  When I handed the package to the guy in LA I said, “I was supposed to mail this package to you and forgot and so my boss made me drive all the way here and hand it to you.”  He replied with, “well wasn’t that completely unnecessary!”  This was only one of many stories I have from my days at the ad agency.

The point of this long drawn out story is that with my miserable job at the ever so cool ad agency came a membership to Frog’s Gym.  Frog’s Gym was so Del Mar.  Posh to the max. So to save my sanity I began taking lunchtime hour and a half yoga classes; my introduction to yoga.  It was obvious the yoga teacher never wore deodorant.  He was like a tall lanky string bean with long stringy hair to match.  He was headed to India to live and do yoga within months of my arrival at the gym.  He was an awesome teacher and he was challenging.  This lunchtime yoga was just what I needed to sweat some of my job loathing out and breathe some namaste in (I just had to remember not to breathe in too hard when he came around for body corrections).  I loved it.  I couldn’t wait until noon arrived so I could escape.

This was my first introduction to yoga back in 2001.

The second re-introduction to yoga came last summer.  I have mentioned before on this blog that I needed something for myself last summer when I saw Ryan and Natasha’s retreat come through.  Yoga had found me again at a time I was in need of help.

So my sister and I were lucky enough to go to the 2nd annual Bhakti Yoga Retreat hosted by the very adorable Ryan and Natasha Bailey.  There was a whole new group of people this year.  I found that I had so much in common and could relate to this new group of yogis at this year’s retreat.  They were a bunch of open and warm people who had also found a passion for yoga in their lives.

I have taken a lot of yoga classes from different teachers and different styles over the last year and my cousin Ryan and Natasha are seriously awesome teachers.  Really. I’m not just saying that because Ryan is my cousin.  We did yoga twice a day for a grand total of three to four hours of yoga a day; once in the morning and once in the evening.  The first night we arrived Ryan worked us pretty hard and I was literally drenched with sweat as if I had jumped in a pool.  I am not necessarily a sweater, so this means I was working my body pretty hard.  I have to admit that I did think a couple of times during my practice that I am sweating and working off some of the 30 Mai Tais I drank the week before in Hawaii.  It felt great.

We stayed at this very cute place called Yosemite Bug (www.yosemitebug.com), which was kind of like a semi-glorified youth hostile.  It was crawling with people from around the globe.  My sister and I had a duplex cabin with our own bed and bath that was very sweet and comfortable.  The Yosemite Bug had a common cafe area, and a health spa.  The hot tub is kept bacteria-free by using hydrogen peroxide and ultra-violet light instead of chlorine or salt that left a very silky feeling on your body.

This retreat was not only a great opportunity to practice a lot of quality yoga, but also an opportunity to bond with my sister.  My sister and I are so busy raising our small children that although we see each other plenty, we hardly ever get one-on-one time to spend together.  We sweated, laughed, chatted, yoga’d, hot tubbed, ate, hiked, chilled, drove and slept together this weekend.

I missed my family.  My family is really loud and wild and crazy.  My house is the opposite of relaxing, but I always want to come back.  Yes, Molly and I could have pulled a Thelma and Louis and just drove our Volvo on that 49 to freedom.  But when Sunday came around we both were ready to see our family and be home.  When I got home my house was spotless and my wood floors had been washed.  Chris had taken care of all the kids and even cleaned the house while I was gone.  The mothership was happy and impressed.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Aloha Luxury August 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 8:10 pm

As we sit on the airplane headed back to the mainland from a week in Kauai I prepare myself for a seven hour drive back home from LA with Ava and Elsa who were staying with grandma and papa, excessive loads of laundry, the beginning of 2nd grade for Ava, the start of a new montessori preschool for the triplets, getting our backyard put back together after a bit of renovation and re-stocking the house with food. You know, life awaits us.

But for a week I experienced another life filled with relaxation in the form of beach bathing and spa treatments, Mai Tais and wonderful Hawaiian fare, and lots of socializing with Chris’s co-workers. Chris was recognized again this year as a top performer in his company, earning us a trip to Kauai. It was a phenomenal week that I will draw upon when I may need to find a happy place to escape from some of the chaos of mainland life.

We could not have gone without two fabulous sets of grandparents and the best darn Australians in all of Australia. This trip, Grandma and Papa took Ava and Elsa down in Thousand Oaks so they could play with their older cousins who were in town from Connecticut. Violet and Preston stayed with Gigi and Gramps, Auntie Betty and Uncle John back in Cameron Park. While we were gone I think our kids had as much fun as we did. Every day there seemed to be a new adventure happening at each grandparent camp. Chris and I are so very appreciative to have two sets of grandparents who are willing to take our kids and let us get away and find peace and relaxation. Sending gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

I will not bore readers with the details of our trip, but will note just a few fun happenings:

  1. We got destroyed by gigantic waves.
  2. A huge turtle floated right over my head while I was being destroyed by a gigantic wave.
  3. Our Mai Tai consumption was somewhere between 20 and 30 for the week. A little embarrassing.
  4. We got a spa treatment every day. On these company award trips, we are allowed to choose different excursions each day we are there, from zip-lining to kayaking. We are limited to one spa treatment for the trip. So, Chris sent an email to the event planners and pulled the “triplet card” and within hours Chris’s company had arranged for a different spa treatment each day we were on the island.

With my mental state experiencing a gravitational pull back to the realities of home life, I am already planning my school supply shopping trip with Ava, swim lessons for the triplets (a 3-year old nearly drowned in the lagoon at the Hyatt while we were there. Chris’s company’s on-hand medical doctor resuscitated him back to life and he was rushed to the hospital!), and the transition into a real preschool for my now 3 1/2 year old triplets. While it is a luxury to get away on these trips and experience temporary bliss, it is also wonderful to come back home to my family.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Kauai August 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 7:03 pm

Chris and I walked up the beach and continued on a dirt trail until we reached a bluff above the sea where the occasional walker would stop and stare out in contemplation.  We saw huge turtles surfing the waves and when they would poke their heads up out of the water it brought us such happiness.  Simple pleasure.  It was only 7 in the morning and we sat ourselves down in the sand on this bluff and took 20 minutes to rest and stare out at the sea and listen to the waves.  We didn’t have anywhere we needed to be and nobody was asking us to attend to their needs.  We were free to be at peace and appreciate the beauty around us.  We were free to catch our breath and breathe in the life that is ours and the nature that surrounds us.  In those 20 minutes we could exchange gratitude with the ocean and the bluff; I am grateful to be here to witness this beauty and smell the fragrant sea as the sea is grateful to be so warmly appreciated by the energy of two small morsels of life that warm our feet in its earth and extend our arms out to catch the ocean mist.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.