Family Fun Stuff Uncategorized


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The holidays are over, the tree is at the recycle center, the house is quiet and all that remains is some stubborn glitter from who knows where, which I find in the most random places throughout the house. I like it though. The glitter, that is. When the light hits it a certain way it sparkles and there’s movement to it. If I move my head slightly, I see a different reflection of light. My viewpoint affects how it shines. It’s not magic, it’s science. Anyway, I wasn’t planning on writing about glitter, I just realized how cool it is. Yes, I’m a science nerd. (See my PPS below for the glitter reference!!)

Up until 2 years ago, I always made New Year resolutions. I’d usually write them in November, put my list in an envelope and open it on the following New Year’s Day. I actually never called them resolutions, I called them goals. They’d be very specific, outlining things I wanted to accomplish, relationships I wanted to foster, relationships I’d let go of, books I wanted to read, places I wanted to visit and every year I would write “take piano lessons” on my list. You see, Ron’s very first Mother’s Day gift to me was a baby grand piano. He surprised me with it. I surprised him with this confession, “I can’t actually read music…yet, but I can kind of, sort of, play by ear.” I mean, Heart and Soul is my jam and I can play the first few lines from Brian’s Song pretty well. To this day, I have never had a single piano lesson. So every year, I’d look at my list and cross off all that I accomplished and those *&^% piano lessons would be staring me right in the face, shaking their head in disappointment. So two years ago, Ron gave me the book “One Word that will change your life” written by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page and Jon Gordon, and it resonated with me. I decided, no more New Year goals. Instead, I choose ONE WORD  to focus on for the year. Click here to order the book.
In 2015, my word was PRESENT. As in, being PRESENT. January through April I was helping my daughter Lauren plan her wedding and I enjoyed every minute of it. The wedding was magical and I made sure I was 100 percent PRESENT that day so that I could capture the moments and feelings without any distractions (mission accomplished). A great family vacation, dinners with dear friends, more beautiful weddings, an IRS audit (which in the end turned out to be a rather pleasant experience), some great events put on by our non profit, our second daughter, Morgan, graduating from Chiropractic College (making her the 7th Chiropractor in the family) gave me many opportunities to be/stay PRESENT in the moment. How was I PRESENT? I quieted my mind, cleared my thoughts, allowed myself to “feel” more and think less and simply BE there mentally and emotionally. What I felt was that I was more a part of everything and more connected to the people around me.  I was living in the moments rather than thinking about them. (Future blog post about chronicling your life on face book in the works).
It was a good word and a great year. I did not want to find myself looking back at 2015 struggling to remember what happened and having regrets that I somehow missed out. I lived it. I learned a lot. I loved most of it. I was PRESENT.

What ONE WORD for 2016 will you choose?

Mine? I’ll save that for my next blog!

PS- One of my future grand-kids is getting piano lessons for their birthday. I might even throw in the piano!
PPS- Life is like glitter. Sometimes, all you have to do is change your perspective, even a tiny bit, and things can change and shine more brilliantly. I wanted to make sense of the initial glitter talk. 🙂

Happy 2016!

Family Fun Stuff

Post Wedding Day Bliss

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Ten days ago, our eldest daughter Lauren married the man of her dreams. Today, I still feel like I’m floating on a Post Wedding Day Bliss cloud and my feet haven’t hit the ground yet. Sure, the past 6 months of work that went into the planning of the wedding were intense however, the time that Lauren and I spent together going to Michael’s Craft stores, going for dress fittings, shopping, cutting, gluing, etc., I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Most of the time, we just laughed and had fun. I would ask Lauren to give me 3 things that needed to be done. Once those things were completed, I’d ask for 3 more. She had a big list and her goal was to cross things off every few days. That worked for us. The wedding was spectacular!

The view was decent. Don’t you agree?


The Wedding Bowl La Jolla CA

Sitting in the limo next to Lauren, driving to photograph the “First Look”, Lauren said to me, “Mom, look at my legs shaking?” I asked her if she was nervous and she said “No.” Then she said, “I’ll feel better when I see Matt.” I looked out the window and saw two seagulls perched on a nearby rock. At that moment I realized that my daughter found “her rock” in Matt. Up to that point, her dad and I had been her source of comfort when she needed it. Just then, the two seagulls took flight and flew directly over the ceremony site. I took a deep breath and remembered this quote:

‘There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give to our children. One of these is roots, the other wings.’

I’ve always felt that Ron and I have given our daughters healthy, solid roots along with big, beautiful wings. This was my time to sit back and watch her fly (after I helped her walk, in heels, on a rocky path for a photo op).

I will always remember the vision I had at the ceremony, when I walked down the ramp with my dad who escorted me to my seat and saw all of our family and friends sitting there smiling. It was one of those moments that I will cherish forever. The sight of Morgan and Sydney walking down the aisle with such poise and confidence started my lips quivering as I recalled numerous memories of them posing as bridesmaids for Lauren’s pretend weddings when they played dress-up some twenty years ago. Of course they were confident, they practiced this walk at least a hundred times in shoes way too big for their little feet. Then Lauren and Ron appeared. What a vision. Ron had his daughter on his arm except she wasn’t a little girl anymore, she was this amazingly strong woman and also Matt’s (soon-to-be) wife. She was so present. She looked calm and happy and as she walked up the aisle, I remembered all of the times she was the little bride and pretended to marry her dream husband. I used to zip up her little white dresses as I zipped up her wedding gown only hours before. It was just such a beautiful moment that I wished I could slow down time just to savor it a bit longer. Watching Matt smile at her as she approached him, was one of my favorite moments of the day. I love this guy! Lauren and Matt said their “I do’s“, he broke the glass, we yelled “Mazel Tov”, they kissed and just like that Lauren became a Pennetti! #obernettiwedding

My dream for my daughters is that they find someone to share their life with who they are drawn to. Someone who they innately know is the person that they will create an amazing life with. Someone who they respect, admire and love. Someone who reciprocates these same feelings.  Someone who is as great a man as their father.

It looks like my dream is coming true! the kiss


Happy Anniversary Ron!

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Happy Anniversary Ron!

Happy Anniversary Ron!

When I respond to the question, “How long have you and Ron been married?” I usually get a “Wow, good job!” or “Congratulations!” Saying “thank you” never feels right to me, neither does a high five and chest bumps are always awkward. I mean, it’s not like we won some championship game after a hard fought battle. All we’ve done is hung out with each other almost every single day and night for a few decades. Wait. I need a minute to let that sink in.

You see, I’m a Gemini and I like change. I like “different”. How is it then, I’ve been with the same person for 27 years? Well, Ron and I are not the same people we were on our wedding day. We are not the same people we were last month or yesterday for that matter. We are always changing, evolving, growing and becoming who we were meant to be. We learn new things every day. We challenge ourselves and grow from our experiences. All of those things change who we are. I can create a mental timeline of specific events over the past 27 years where I saw shifts in Ron that seemed to propel him into new dimensions and I was in awe of how seamlessly he would fit into new roles and new dynamics. It was in those moments of seeing the changes in him that I’d have the opportunity to fall in love again with this “new” person who I wanted to learn more about and get closer to. As we grew, our relationship deepened. Somehow, we have managed to grow in the same direction. Our lessons have been different yet our paths have stayed intertwined.

I don’t believe there’s one person for everyone. I believe you find the best person for you and you love them as much as you possibly can. You serve them as much as you can. You work on yourself to be the best version of yourself. When I look at Ron, I see strength, passion, love and a man who is here to make a difference. I see a man who is full of ideas and visions that all have to do with creating a healthier and better world. I also see a man who takes action and turns those ideas into reality. My love for him goes beyond the man…I love his vision, his purpose, his mission…our Life!

Happy Anniversary Ron! 

Kid's Health Uncategorized

Living in Gratitude

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Dr. Mary adjusting a baby in India

I just returned home from a 10 day mission trip to Delhi, India where myself and 25 other Chiropractors, chiropractic students and friends provided adjustments and love to over 5000 people during a four day festival put on by the Sant Nirankari Mission. I’m struggling to describe my experience as words cannot convey the impact this act of service had on my soul. Before this trip, I thought of myself as a grateful person. Now, I know what the true meanings of Service and Gratitude are and I can say that I am Living in Gratitude!

Every time a parent (who rarely spoke English and had little knowledge about what Chiropractic was) handed me their child, I felt a deep sense of gratitude. I would check the baby’s nervous system, address the concerns that the parents had (through a translator), remove any interference in the communication between the brain and their body, and give them hope when I could. I worked on kids with Muscular dystrophy, Cerebral palsy, blindness, injuries from vaccines, autism, to name a few and each time I handed those children back to their parents, I would bow my head and say “thank you.” I was grateful to be able to serve others by laying my hands on them, allowing a shift to occur in their bodies. They were grateful for the love and the healing. It was the perfect symbiotic relationship where we mutually benefited.  The people we served including the volunteers, translators and organizers took such good care of us and allowed us to serve out of abundance. There were thousands of volunteers who were there to serve mankind. Some slept in big tents with one blanket, hoses as showers and still showed up smiling and ready to serve.

On one particular day while I was adjusting a “Holy Man” I heard a voice in my head that said,  “This is it. This is your reward for finding your calling. You listened. You trusted that you would be blessed beyond measure and you are. Enjoy the moment!”  At times, leaning over people while I made that connection, tears of Gratitude would fall onto them and I had to breathe deeply to stay present. Being present has always been something I work at and this experience felt like the final exam. I passed!

Throughout those 4 days, I watched our team serve together. Connecting through a glance and a smile, no words were needed to bond in that experience. The energy in the tent was so surreal that even with hovering news crews, photographers, VIPs and an amazing team of translators there was a peacefulness knowing that the only person that mattered at that moment was the person lying on my table.  Everything else was blurred and muffled.  I got to stay in gratitude and I never wanted to leave. So on the day after “Thanksgiving” I am making everyday Thanksgiving!

Today, I am grateful for the amazing toilet paper we have here in the US. If you’ve ever been to India, I’m sure you understand.

In Gratitude!


The Second cut is the deepest!

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The Second cut is the deepest! Those of us moms who have delivered babies have all been through it. We HAD to cut the umbilical cord after our babies left our bodies. In our family, we waited to cut the cord until all of the nutrient-filled blood had pumped into our baby and we used a piece of glass to cut the cord (an Indian custom signifying not severing the bond between mother and child with metal). The moment the cord was cut, I felt no pain, no disconnection, no sadness. I felt joy that our newborn was on their own and able to survive in the world without my body, without me. THAT was the first cut!

Fast forward 18 years. College Drop-off #1. Leaving our first daughter, Lauren, at college was not a pretty scene. Ron “the rock” was fine, of course and so happy for her. All of the women in our family were in tears(one of us was still crying on the flight home). Lauren, at first, was not happy to be there and it showed. At one point during that flight home, Ron leaned over to the one person still crying and asked me if I was OK. From behind my sunglasses, I looked at him and said, “I feel as though THE cord has been cut.” Dramatic? Yes. But that’s what it felt like.

Drop-off #2 with our second daughter, Morgan was easy. Our oldest and youngest say it’s because I don’t like her as much. LOL. Truth be told, Morgan was so happy, excited to be where she was, I felt no sadness. There were no tears(lots of hugging though). I was so thrilled for her to begin her new adventure.

Drop-off #3 in Billings, Montana found Sydney and I vacillating between crying and laughing. There were tears, several long hugs followed by laughter and some reassuring words. Driving away from her dorm back to the hotel, I found a silver lining. This is THE last freshman drop-off!

At last count, I’ve done 13 dorm/apartment/house move-ins including decorating with #14 scheduled in the bay area this October. Okay, those are my credentials!

Here’s my advice for parents leaving their kids at college:
#1) Teach your kids how to balance a check book, do laundry and trust their instincts.
#2) Let them go. They all have wings and dreams. You’ve given them Love and Life. Watch them Soar!
#3) Tell them the truth always. If you don’t, you’re not protecting them, you’re simply not trusting them.
#4) “Nothing good ever happens after midnight, especially when alcohol is involved!” was a motto I used frequently.

Oh, one more thing. There is a very good chance your college graduate will be back living in your house at some point so keep that in mind when you’re hugging them goodbye!! Have Fun!


Big Picture!

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What is truly Important in my Life!

Stressed? Here is what works for me.  When I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, juggling a dozen things, dealing with challenges and I start to feel that tightening in my shoulders(stress), I have programmed myself to think of these two words… BIG PICTURE. That’s all… I think Big Picture!

What I’m doing at the time is usually somewhat important and it may seem to me that if I don’t complete everything or at least some things on my to-do list, I will get buried in tasks never to resurface again(jk of course). Let’s say I’m handling a situation that is uncomfortable for me. I immediately put things in perspective. I think of my family, my friends, my patients and how much they mean to me. I think about people, maybe strangers sitting in Children’s Hospital living with “real” stress.  I think about how important the task at hand really is in the scheme of life. Is it significant enough to warrant the attention I’m giving it? I usually will keep moving ahead however, I refocus my energy on the things in my life that really matter.  In other words, I get clear on the importance of what it is I’m doing and that starts the shift in my attitude toward it.

Something that felt like I had to handle right then becomes something that may not even concern me and I can let it go.  Sometimes, I just lighten up and don’t take myself so serious and watch how that affects those around me. I pay bills sitting at my desk which is surrounded by photos of my family and friends, vision boards, healing boards, affirmations and more photos. They are plastered around me. How can I possibly forget the “Big Picture” in that environment? It reminds me of what is really important in life!

This works for me! What works for you? What helps you shift your energy and focus to live with more enjoyment in your life? I’d love to know!



Customer Service is Key

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116452-Dalai+lama+quotes+everything+yIf you are in the people business(meaning you provide a service or products to people), then you are aware that customer service is key in determining the success of your business. We’ve heard it said many times in our chiropractic office that we are a full service office. What does that mean? If you need a real estate agent, a moving company(Above All Movers is the best), travel advice, an auto mechanic, a hair colorist, directions, a call to be made to your cleaners for losing your favorite jeans(THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED), we’ve got it covered! Our motto? We’re here to serve you! We constantly ask ourselves this question, “How can I or we over-serve or over-deliver?” Then, we look for opportunities to do so AND we do it from a place of gratitude.

Besides in your business, your job, your volunteer work, etc., have you ever thought about how you can out-serve/over-serve your friends, your family, your significant other? This concept would not fall under customer service, it deserves a sexier term than that. Sitting here in seat 16D flying home from a retreat in Chicago, I realize one thing that I have been doing for the past thirty-ish years that falls under this unnamed category. If I write someone a card, whether it be a birthday, thank you, congratulatory card, etc., I write something personal and meaningful instead of just signing my name. It’s so easy to think of wonderful things to write about someone you care for. Sometimes, it’s not as easy especially if I don’t know the person well however, I may write about what I’ve heard about them or the reason I look forward to getting to know them better. The point being, if I’m going to give a card, I like to go a little further and write something that will touch that person.  Below is an excerpt from a birthday card I wrote recently for a dear, longtime friend which brought forth as many tears as it did “thank-you’s. She is one of five women, myself included, that have been getting together every month for over 20 years. More on this in a future blog post!

“You truly love unconditionally. You keep us, your friends, “real” and grounded in a way that I still can’t put into words. You inspire me to be more honest just by being so honest yourself. You inspire me to live with that “no holds bar” attitude that has gotten you so far in life.
You’re so easy to honor and write about because you have so many qualities and attributes that are right there on the surface, not hidden deep inside.
YOU are an integral part of this group, our group. You make us funnier and bring out our personalities by doing nothing more than just being yourself. The years have not changed you, they’ve only been gracious to you.
I’ve always felt honored to have a front row seat in your life. I’m always on the edge of my seat for the next chapter because I know it will be the BEST one!”

What would our world be like if we all focused on “serving” one another? What would it be like if we focused on over-serving each other? Can you imagine living in that world? I CAN and I DO! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

Family Nutrition


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My family is very health conscious and when it comes to food we get really excited about sharing good, healthy recipes with each other. Eating cleaner and healthier is about RESPECTING YOUR BODY enough to make healthier choices. Remember: Garbage In, Garbage Out. That being said, my quinoa burgers are the most requested food for me to make when our girls are in town, just saying. We keep as much fruit, veggies, nuts, gluten-free and whole unprocessed foods as possible in our house and limit the “white” foods such as white flour, white sugar, white rice and dairy. Growing up, our daughters didn’t drink cow’s milk and we didn’t have it in our house. When they saw it at friends houses they referred to it as “white milk”(as opposed to our beige milk, aka almond milk) and well, the name stuck. We still don’t have white milk in our house instead, we have coconut milk which is technically white and I’m not sure what our girls call cow’s milk today if they ever talk about it.

This past weekend our whole family was in town to celebrate birthdays and someone said they were craving something sweet so we went wild and made Chia seed pudding. It’s really good(unless you have an aversion to slippery food in which case you may want to pass on this one) and you can make it as sweet as you want and add berries, nuts and anything that sounds good to you. Here is the simple recipe:

2 cups coconut or almond milk
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 mashed banana
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a bowl, add milk, chia seeds, and vanilla extract. Whisk together. Cover and refrigerate. It starts to thicken in 30 minutes. It’s best to eat after 2-4 hours. Add the mashed banana before eating.
The chia seed pudding will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.


Staying healthy is more fun when you do it as a family. Our daughter Sydney, drinks 1-2 swamp smoothies green drinks a day. She is my inspiration when it comes to stepping up my diet a notch. Thanks Syd!

Fun Stuff

The Beauty of Birthdays

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live forget age

52 Years! That’s how long I’ve been living on this planet today. I’m not a big birthday person. The attention is a bit too much for me and I’ve never fully understood why people give you gifts on your birthday. I’ve always felt that on your birthday, if anyone deserved a gift it’s your parents, specifically your mom. After all, they are the reason you exist.

Here is the Beauty of Birthdays. You can have them be whatever you want. I use this day as a reminder and a day of reflection. The promise I made to myself this morning is this: When women are complaining about wrinkles, aging and their imperfect bodies, I will embrace the beauty that permeates my soul and gently brought me to today. All of the treasures, the laughs, the tears, the amazing people, THE moments, ALL of it has brought me to be ME… who I am today. I have nothing to complain about. Birthdays are just a reminder for me to look back at my life and be thankful, look around and acknowledge all of the incredible people in my life and look ahead and visualize a path that will lead me to where I want to go and then LIVE! I will live in the present, embrace more and fear less. I will continue to touch as many people as I can before I leave this planet. That is my lifelong promise to myself.

AND if the wrinkles come with WISDOM… I’m cool with that! Enjoy this day and everyday!! XO

Family Uncategorized

Lesson #1: Encourage him to golf!

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being the right person

Let’s talk about relationships. Specifically the relationship with your significant other. My husband and I will be married 27 years on 12/12/14. When I tell people how long we’ve been married, I usually hear, “Wow Congratulations!” followed by a comment implying that we have accomplished some amazing feat. Add the fact that we also work together and raised three healthy, happy daughters and the next logical question is… wait for it… here it comes… WHAT IS YOUR SECRET??

There is no SECRET. There IS a philosophy.  Be KIND, be RESPECTFUL, be LOVING, be SUPPORTIVE, be the kind of person that you would want to be married to. Women sometimes dislike when I make the following statement: ‘I love when Ron golfs.’ I actually encourage him to golf. It makes him happy and I love the thought of him walking the greens on the beautiful Torrey Pines golf course, breathing in fresh ocean air, meeting new people or hanging with his golf buddies and doing something he loves to do.  He’s up  and out early so he’s usually home by 11am and we have the rest of the day to either spend together or not. I don’t love golf. According to my ex-golf instructor, my swing resembles that of a Major League baseball player and the term “swing easy” does not register at all in my brain. However, I do love to work out, go out to dinner or spend weekends with my girlfriends, travel back east to visit family and I love that Ron encourages me to do things that I love to do as well.  I would not be in a relationship where I had to ask for permission to do things or had to justify my plans to satisfy my partner’s needs.  We have a mutual agreement to want the best for each other.   I said “I do” for a reason, I love him and want to share my life with him. From that day forward, I decided I wanted to be a the best wife I could possibly be. I continually work on myself so that I bring my best self to our relationship.  I AM and have always been Ron’s biggest fan! In my eyes, he IS the most amazing man on this planet!

Here is another thought on why I think our relationship works. Ron and I have common goals and we are in alignment (yes, that’s a chiropractic pun) when it comes to our sole purpose and the mission that we share. We are on the same team ALWAYS… And it’s sometimes necessary to remind each other that we are teammates. I believe that if you communicate from a place of kindness, your life is just better! If someone is defensive during a conversation, be more kind and use gentler words and watch what happens. Of course, the one ingredient that makes the relationship flourish is LOVE. Love permeates through our ideas, our dreams, our decisions, our family, our home and our world. Do we have a perfect relationship? No. Are we perfect for each other? Yes.

There you have it. Lesson #1: Encourage him to golf! Advice for a lasting, loving and successful relationship. My daughter Lauren, who is engaged to be married next year, gave me the idea to write a blog about relationships. Interestingly enough, she also has my golf swing and will appreciate our ex-golf instructor reference. Lauren, this blog is for you! XO