#19. surprise the parents with a visit home; #21. a day without $pending

It turns out dropping in on your parents unannounced requires more planning than one might think. And by one, I mean myself, and by planning, I mean my totally assuming that my parents don’t have anything better to do than just be at home at all times. What’s that they say about assuming…?

Fortunately, my little sister sprung into action and selflessly shifted her busy surgeon schedule to ensure my mom would be home for my surprise visit. Which was a win-win for me, since that meant I got to spend some QT with my surgeon sis. Shenanigans ensued, as is wont to happen when the Lee sisters reunite.





crazy friday night with the lee seesters. and stella.

Along with family time, I had the opportunity to grab brunch with a dear friend who graciously picked me up from the airport, her two adorable kids in tow. Patachou + Pittmans = effective antidote for red-eye-induced bleariness. Although I’m not sure if we ever reached any resolution as to which Disney princess is best. Losing sleep over that one. As an aside, and word to the wise: if you ever want to goad your friends with kids into action, plant the seed in the child’s mind, especially if that child is an outgoing, energetic three-year-old with a penchant for repeating herself. I’m banking on you, Lizzy, to keep insisting your parents bring you out to visit your aunt Christina and take you to Disney! Also, I’m sorry for creating a monster, Luke and Brittany. But not that sorry…

best bruncher. your mother taught you well.

best bruncher. your mother taught you well.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, parental reactions were pretty epic. When I rang the doorbell, Colby immediately ran up, tail wagging, eager to greet me. Meanwhile, my dad just sat there staring at me, stunned, for a solid 30 seconds before opening the door. With my mom, you could literally see the realization/recognition dawning. See photo collage above–shot on iPhone 6.

All in all, it was a lovely, albeit far too short, weekend home. If you told me five years ago that I’d be homesick for the Midwest, I’d call you a lunatic (prefaced/followed by some snarky retort). Indiana and Silicon Valley could NOT be any more different. I love the Bay Area, but it’s refreshing being around people who could care less about what’s happening in this crazy microcosm. I had the privilege of attending a high school friend’s wedding, which meant reconnecting with people I haven’t seen since graduation in…2004. I.e., 11 years ago (kill me now). Amazing how much has changed in over a decade. But even moreso, what hasn’t. It was fun to reminisce, nostalgia is pleasant, insert another clichéd statement about reunions here. And who doesn’t love weddings?

cheers to the bride and groom

cheers to the bride and groom

Final thoughts and total non sequitur: I realized I had partially and inadvertently accomplished another list item the other weekend when I went an entire Sunday without spending a cent. Actually, other than grocery shopping on Saturday (i.e., necessities), I exercised some pretty significant fiscal self-control that weekend. At least, for me. So, in order to complete #21, I just made a donation to the International Rescue Committee, which has been working to provide relief in response to the European refugee crisis. Admittedly, I did not pore over the stats when deciding to make my tiny donation, but the fact that over 90 cents of each dollar donated goes directly to relief programs and a four-star rating on Charity Navigator were compelling enough. List aside, I fervently believe that it is our obligation to help our fellow human beings, in any and all capacities. Do something. For those of you fighting the good fight, in whatever form that takes, thank you. And fight on. Mic drop. Clee out.

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