Photos and text by Gabrielle.

Happy day after Labor Day! Today feels like a good day to give you a little report on what’s been going on at our house.

– I got my haircut! It feels gooood. Chopped off all the ragged stuff. And I had my roots colored too. I’m liking this new length a lot. It’s long enough that I can still pull it into a ponytail, but it doesn’t feel as heavy on my head. I can’t claim to be a selfie-pro, but I snapped a couple of shots to show you.

I’m still thinking a pixie is next. Maybe just in time for Alt Summit in January!


– School has been in for two weeks already, but the Tuesday after Labor Day always feels like the “real” first day of school to me. At the elementary school, it was “early out” for the first two weeks, so today is the first day our youngest three will stay at school for a full day. And it’s supposed to be super hot here this week. I’m thinking up fun ways to greet them after school that will help them cool down, and I’m grateful it’s a short week!

– Speaking of ways to cool down, last week, Jordan, Paul and Liz, plus their kids, surprised us with a late afternoon water balloon attack. It was awesome! They snuck a basket of water balloons to our front door, kept a basket of balloons for themselves, and then they hid.

Next, Jordan texted us and told him to open our door. Our kids had just enough time to notice the basket of water balloons (the water balloons on the front porch were for us to throw) before they were attacked, and a fantastic cousins water balloon battle ensued. It was epic! If you have the opportunity to do this for a family you love, go for it! So much fun for everyone, and it brightened up an otherwise totally average school day.

By the way, Jordan said the key to making this an easy, fun thing, is this invention. It fills 100 water balloons in 60 seconds! And ties them too!!

– Yesterday was a particularly good day. Some of the highlights: One of our favorite familys came over to try out the bridge and zipline. We loved hanging out with them — and their son, who is just six, climbed the rope! It’s a challenging thing to do, and he’s the youngest to attempt it. Very exciting. While they were here, Maude made rice crispie treats. (Sidenote: I love rice crispie treats way too much.) Our recipe is 1 full box of rice crispies (12 oz size), 1 full bag of mini marshmellows (the bigger 16 oz bag), and 1 full cube of butter. Heaven!

For lunch, we took the ferry from Oakland to San Francisco. It was gorgeous out! And the wind on the ferry felt amazing. The ferry takes you very close to the Oakland cranes. The cranes are endlessly appealing to me. I wish there was a touristy option that allowed people to climb one or interact with one. They are so cool! The ferry takes you right under the Bay Bridge and drops you off at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. We walked around the Ferry Building, grabbed food from 3 different shops, and had a little picnic by the water. Then we took the ferry back to Oakland.

By then, the day had really heated up, and we were all craving a dip in some cool water. Ben Blair remembered Lake Anza. It’s a little lake in the Berkeley Hills, surrounded by trees, and just a few minutes from Oakland. Really lovely. The water was cold! Perfect for the hot day. It was the first time we swam there, but it’s so close, I know we’ll be back.

On the way home, we stopped to watch the sunset, and picked up pizza for dinner. Oh man. I LOVED yesterday. It was just a really, really good day. (Here’s a very short video of us at the lake.)

– I started going to the gym. I’ve gone Monday through Saturday. Nine workouts so far. I have historically not liked going to the gym at all, so nine days is something! I’m trying a new-to-me workout. If I’m able to stick with it, I’ll tell you more about it. : ) One funny thing is that I am such a non-exerciser that I don’t really own any workout clothes at the moment, so I’m using some hand-me-downs from Maude, and I wear the same outfit everyday. I told myself that if I workout for four weeks, my reward will be a new workout getup.

– I tried my first Periscope Broadcast — you can watch Oscar and Olive climb our trees, cross the hanging bridge, zip line across the yard, and repel down. All from 30 feet above the ground! BUT the link is only live for 24 hours. The video will expire (and disappear) around 4:30p PST.

– Lastly, I finished All the Light We Cannot See over the weekend. It’s so good. I loved reading it. Highly recommend! Book club is tonight — should be a fun gathering.

And there’s my random report for the month. Feel free to comment on any topic above — or consider this an open thread and bring up a completely different topic. I can’t wait to hear what’s on your mind!