Category Archives: Family

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! 


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!


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!

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

Family Fun Stuff

My Second Favorite Mother’s Day Gift

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My second favorite Mother’s Day gift was the gift that my three daughters gave me last year. It really was a gift of LOVE(insert sarcastic Hallmark comment here). I figured, I had enough clothing, jewelry, workout gear, power tools, and yes, I even had enough shoes( I can’t believe I just admitted that) so when I was asked what I wanted, I told my daughters that I was going to send them an email with 9 questions and all they had to do was answer the questions and send them back to me on Mother’s Day. Simple. I guess you could say it was a Mother’s Day report card in a way. I always loved getting both sentimental and witty cards with lovely words written about how much they loved me and now that the girls were adults(25, 23 and 21) I wanted to know more. I wanted to know how I was doing as a mom.

Here are a few of the answers I got:

How are you inspired by me?    Mom, you inspire me most by doing what you do every day. So many mothers and wives complain about the work they do, look for acknowledgment, and stress out about little things. You are the perfectly balanced woman, and you do everything so smoothly and you never ever look for someone to acknowledge the work you do. You make being a wife and mom look effortless. You inspire me to be the best wife and mother I can possibly be. If I am half the mother you are, my kids will be very lucky.

How do you feel loved by me?    I think the main way I feel loved by you is that you have always told me the truth. No matter what we ask you, you have always been straightforward and honest with us, even if we maybe did not want to hear it. I think you always told us the truth because you knew that we would grow into the people we were destined to be no matter what. You had 100% trust in the fact that we needed to experience certain things and that from them we would grow and evolve, and your job was to be another vehicle through which we would realize new things and continue to grow.

I feel loved by you because you always put me first. On top of work and everything thing else you have piled on your plate, I know I come first and that when I need you, you will always be there for me. Even when you don’t know what to say, just you being there beside me means just as much. I feel connected to you always throughout every day. And I know I will never lose that.

What are the words you hear in your mind that come from me?    The words I hear in my mind that come from you are “Do you feel this is bettering you as a person?” It’s crazy because, although I have only heard this in a few situations, asking myself that question will forever impact my decision-making. The other times I hear you in my mind are when dealing with others. Although sometimes I might want to rip someone’s head off, I can literally role- play in my mind with you until I find the right words to express how I am feeling.

As I read the answers through teary eyes, I gave myself an A+ in the subject of Mothering. I realized that through the years those girls were watching me and learning valuable lessons. I realized that being present with them was most important and always striving to be a better person made an impression on them. I wasn’t surprised by their answers(except for a few stories that I did not remember) however, I was moved by the depth of their feelings and the extreme gratitude that they expressed.   I marveled at the lessons they learned from situations that I found meaningless. I was thrown in our pool fully clothed during a party at our house sometime around 1998.  Morgan recalled how she was so mad that I was getting thrown in until she saw me emerge from the water laughing and having fun. She learned from that day on, not to take life so seriously and that love and laughter are important. The funny thing is, I learned so much from my girls when they were younger and I learn even more from them today. They are my teachers. They inspire me to be a better person. It is because of them that I absolutely LOVE being a Mother.

Happy Mother’s Day!

PS- If you would like me to send you a list of the questions I sent to my daughters, leave a comment with your email address and I will gladly send it to you.

Mary girls Newport

My favorite Mother’s Day Gift?? The birth of my daughter Morgan born at home, in our bathtub on Mother’s Day, May 13, 1990.

Dr. Mary's Take Family Kid's Health Nutrition

Hey baby, How about a nighttime snack?

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When Moms ask me how long I breastfed my daughters, I look up to the sky as if I’m counting the years and then I say jokingly, “Right up until they started middle school?” Having three daughters all roughly two years apart, I was breastfeeding for about a 6 year period of time and breastfeeding was one of the best experiences of my life. Think about how amazing is it that our bodies are designed to not only carry and birth people but to give them all of the nutrition they need to thrive and survive. I could write about ALL of the great benefits of breastfeeding however, I’m going to take it up a notch and just talk specifically about breastfeeding at night.

An article that was written for Breastfeed Chicago entitled ‘5 cool things no one ever told you about nighttime breastfeeding’ stated this.  Are you ready?

1) Breastfeeding moms get more sleep.

2) Breastfeeding women have a higher level of  hormones at night therefore produce more milk at night.

3) Nighttime breast milk contains melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone) which babies don’t develop in early life.

4) Nighttime breast milk is rich in brain boosting substances, mood affecting hormones and helps with sleep/wake cycles.

5) Keeps mom’s long term milk supply steady and strong which can lead to less pumping during the day.

For anyone who wants to be blown away by how intelligent our bodies are, I encourage you to click here for the article  to get the “why and “how.”

The gift of MORE sleep, lowering your postpartum depression risk, building and developing babies brains, possibly reducing their risk for long-term mood disorders,  developing their own circadian cycles, ensuring your long-term breast milk supply, giving you an opportunity to pump less at work are just a few reasons to make you want to wake up at night to nurse your baby. Honestly, the Greatest reason is because you love your baby and yourself and want what is best for both of you! Cheers!!



Family Kid's Health Nutrition

A Little Lemon

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I have a lemon tree in my backyard that produces a ridiculous amount of lemons. The good news is that lemons have so many beneficial qualities and I have an abundance of them. The not so good news is that I have this habit of “pruning” the tree myself.  I have absolutely no idea how to prune a tree, I just go with my instincts and cut branches that don’t look like they want to be there. My husband calls me Edward Scissor-hands after a pruning frenzy but I truly believe that after I finish this task, the lucky remaining lemons get a burst of energy from the earth and taste so much better. I love living a healthy lifestyle . Squeezing a little lemon into your water everyday is a great way to get yourself and your family to drink more water which is essential to good health. Of course, eating lots of fruits and veggies is the best way to stay hydrated. I use lemon in herbal teas, stir-fried and steamed veggie dishes, and home-made salad dressings among other things.

It’s a simple way to cleanse and purify your body on a daily basis and  if you have a lemon tree in your yard, then you’re all set.

Pruning lessons! THAT is what I want for Mother’s Day!! I’m serious!