California – What a Ride!!

I planned a three-week trip to California – the longest I’ve ever been gone. But with Katie’s birthday on Feb. 28th, her live show closing its run the following week, and my Martha Beck Life Coach conference from March 13-16, I just decided to tie it all together. But we all know what happens to “best laid plans,” right?


I landed in Long Beach ON Katie’s 23rd birthday. I haven’t spent time with her on her actual birthday in a while now, so I was thrilled. We braved the flooding and joined the Sorooshians for dinner (since it’s Pam’s B-day too). While we were there, we discovered that Katie was on the season premiere of Parks and Recreation the night before! It was a quick little Extra part, but we loved having her on such a great show!

Then we trekked north to Katie’s apartment in Valley View. This is the first time I’ve been able to see her apartment – she did get the Mom Approval from Jocelyn, when she helped her move in, so that was good.  She was bare bones on furniture for a while until I ordered a futon couch from Amazon Prime. Did you know you could do that? And then THEY deliver for free too? That became Katie’s bed while I took the bedroom. One of the big reasons for the trip was to help her spruce up her apartment – the first one she has had on her own!

Katie’s not a coffee drinker so she didn’t have any in the apartment. Luckily, Starbucks was just a couple blocks away. She’s really been on me about exercising, and because parking is so crazy in her neighborhood, we decided to walk. Did I mention the flooding conditions in southern California. Small price to pay for a cuppa joe though, right?

Katie in the Rain

Mom's Coffee Run

For the first few days we were super busy! Katie and I found great stuff for her apartment, talked about her plans, visited with friends. We went to see Big River at Cypress College – where Pam and Jocelyn work – and I loved seeing her in the final show of Reservoir Bitches, the all-female version of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.  I really enjoy live theater, and she’s so good at it –  I’m glad she continues to do that while she works on more film acting. We had a blast watching the Academy Awards this year, even tweeting Ellen’s group photo! In previous years, she didn’t have cable and I would either report the winners over the phone or, last year, I SKYPED our television set, so she could watch!  This was much better. She’s becoming quite a cook and made me her favorite dish, Teriyaki Chicken!   We shopped at IKEA and picked up a few things  – paying the extra for the delivery and the put-together was SOO worth it for us! Between the size of the Prius, the 2 flights of stairs to her apartment, and the fact that she only owned a hammer… we had some limited options.

Not sure you really care, but here’s what we picked up:
Our IKEA findsIn the middle of this exciting trip, Hank, our family dog, took a turn for the worse. While I was so sad to not be home while this happened, I was relieved to be able to be with Katie. Helping her cope with death – and not having to do it long-distance, knowing she was alone in LA – was a huge gift. But after numerous phone calls over a couple of days, it became clear that Ron wasn’t coping that well with the death of our beloved Hank. I still had the conference to go to mid-month, but Katie urged me to fly back to help at home. She is so smart… “it’s just money, Mom.” And as someone on Facebook pointed out to me while I was wrestling with the decision, if you don’t use your money to help out those you love, what’s the point of it anyway?


So, off I went again. Back to Texas.

The house was so quiet. All the kids gone, just little Buddy darting around wondering where everyone went. Ron and I had a good cry about Hank, and started to come to terms with it all. Fourteen years is a long time, and even though Hank was Alyssa’s dog technically, he was Ron’s dog.  


What happened?

Everyone was a little surprised when I hopped BACK on the plane later in the week, to go to my MBI Summit – the Martha Beck Coaches conference I had been so excited about. Pam picked me up at the airport. We hung out at a Persian grocery store, getting all the necessities for NawRuz, the big Ba’Hai celebration of “New Day.” For years, I’ve heard her talk about it, but this year, I was able to be part of the set up and taste all those delicious Persian foods!

Creating the Haft Seen Table (7 S's) for Naw-Ruz & breakfast with Rosie, Daniel, Roya & Katie

Creating the Haft Seen Table (7 S’s) for
Naw-Ruz & breakfast with Rosie, Daniel, Roya & Katie

The next day, Pam drove me from Long Beach to San Diego. I forgot to mention that we left at 5:30 AM! That’s a friend, for ya!

So, the Marriott Marquis and Marina – GORGEOUS! Originally, Katie and I were going to go together to San Diego. But she had work, so she came down on Saturday. She was able to swim, relax, and enjoy that luxurious hotel while I went to workshops. Our room faced the marina. Here are a few shots from the window.

San Diego Marriott - from the 6th Floor
I made it in time for all the WONDERFUL INSPIRING MIND-BLOWING sessions at the Summit and made some incredibly fabulous friends – many Martha Beck coaches-in-training like me. Over 400 coaches came to the MBI Summit to share and learn. Everyone is so generous and shares whatever they’ve gleaned.


Every single workshop was fabulous! I have notebooks filled with all kinds of wonderful gems. I went to:

  • Getting Into Your Financial Flow by Nona Jordan
  • The Perfectly Imbalanced Life: An Intro to Positive Psychology-based Coaching by Gretchen Pisano

  • Dancing with Desire & Detachment – How to Give up Grasping, Abandon Attachment, and Get What You Really Really Want by Terry DeMeo

  • How to Sit Your Ass Down and Write by Betsy Rappaport and Pamela Slim

  • Freak Flag Flying Training: Transform Your Quirks into Coaching Gold by Susan Hyatt

And then… the icing on the cake!  Seeing Martha Beck in person! After years of listening to her on XM Radio and reading her articles from O Magazine, she is as funny and smart in person as I had hoped! She talked with the group frequently and even stuck around to take pictures afterwards.



I can’t begin to share all the fabulous information I absorbed – I haven’t really even wrapped my brain around all of it yet. But a few things stood out:

  • #Ididnotseethatcoming
  • You have to have trust: It will NOT go as planned.
  • Change the world with those little sneaky words: Life Coach
  • Move toward what feels good, and away from what doesn’t.
  • Armor limits your consciousness
  • String Theory
  • Ride the Dragon!!
  • “OMG, how did you get that job?”  “I made it up!”
  • I am with you, you are with me… I am you, you are me.
  • 2 Truths: Change Always Occurs & Now is All that Matters


I know this is WAAAAY too long, but I have to tell you one more thing about when I got back to Katie’s in Los Angeles…

6:30 A.M. – EARTHQUAKE!!!!!  

The Epicenter was just a couple miles from Katie’s apartment. It woke us up as it rolled and shook for 5-10 seconds.

No one was hurt. A couple of pictures needed straightening, and a crystal evidently bounced off one of the new shelves.

But it’s been a while since I’ve been in an Earthquake, and well, what a way to wrap up this wild trip to California! 


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