Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Weekend Fun! : )

Zoey's 1st pumpkin carving experience - Friday night Jack-o-lantern fun!

Saturday morning visit with Dani & Jen!

Torrey & Dave's Baby Shower celebrating baby Elodie!

Family love

One UNHAPPY little Halloween Kitty

...who warmed up after she got her trick-or-treat candy!

Happy Halloween..and GO GIANTS (a day where orange and black have a doubly-special meaning!) : )

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What 17 Million Americans Got from a College Degree.....

I've been in conversations recently discussing the real value of a college degree today - especially a liberal-arts degree. While holding a B.S. or a B.A. often puts a job seeking into a higher "category" of employment opportunities, i.e. those positions that require or prefer a "piece of paper" from a 4-year college or university, many people are starting to question whether or not their college education has been worthwhile in their career development. In my opinion, the reality of the situation is not that a college degree is no longer valuable, but that the market is so over-saturated with college-educated job seekers that a 4-year degree is starting to become what a high school diploma used to be - an expectation, not a perk.

As a professional college career counselor, I would argue that a college education is critically important for the development of a broad, transferable skill set including analytical ability, strong reading comprehension and writing skills, time management strategies, interpersonal and group communication, teamwork abilities, research skills, etc. - attributes that almost every employer would consider valuable. Additionally, a liberal arts education helps to expand one's worldview, broaden their understanding of various fields and disciplines, and lead to both personal and professional maturity and intellectual transformation. In other words, a bachelor's degree is helpful for development of a solid, well-rounded foundation for the future of a "mold-able" employee.

Having said that, I see young adults everyday who question the value of their Berkeley education. Not in the sense of the qualitative development I alluded to above, but in terms of its ability to land them a job. Simply put, a college degree alone does NOT guarantee anyone a job, not even one of the so-called "menial" jobs mentioned in the article below. Employers want to hire workers who possess the SKILLS and EXPERIENCE needed to bring value to their company and to produce results, and they want to see EVIDENCE of how they've used these skills in the past. Therefore, previous experience as an intern, a part-time employee, a volunteer, or a student-leader is just as valuable, if not more valuable, than the knowledge acquired in the classroom. Now of course this does vary by discipline, and some college graduates (i.e. engineers and nurses) still have a plethora of job opportunities compared to their peers with liberal arts degrees, but in general today's college students not only NEED to be rock stars in the classroom, but also MUST excel outside the classroom in their extracurricular activities and excel in a professional setting at the same time.

And this is both the #1 challenge my clients face, and the #1 concept I try to hit-home with every single college student who walks into my office.

Just my 2 the article below for a similar, yet more pessimistic, viewpoint.

What 17 Million Americans Got from a College Degree

Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000 parking lot attendants. All told, some 17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.

That's from this piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education, via Jon Bischke on Twitter. More:

Putting issues of student abilities aside, the growing disconnect between labor market realities and the propaganda of higher-education apologists is causing more and more people to graduate and take menial jobs or no job at all. This is even true at the doctoral and professional level—there are 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s, other doctorates, or professional degrees.

For hundreds of thousands of Americans, spending four years and untold amounts of money (and debt?) gets you a job as a waiter, parking lot attendant, or janitor. Yet everyone from Barack Obama to Bill Gates keep pushing a college education as the way to secure one's economic future. That is a view that should be heavily qualified.

What do YOU think? Has your college degree served you well in your career?
Here's the complete chart:

Thursday, October 28, 2010


The Future-Jobs-O-Matic! is the key to your career of the future – try it out! Find the job you have — or the job you want — and the Future-Jobs-O-Matic! will give you the facts.


HAHA Rock on Timmy Jim! : )

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Busy, Busy, Spinning, Spinning!

This is how I feel this week - definitely under the weather, totally swamped at work, busy-as-can-be both at home and on-the-job, but somehow still maintaining happiness and love for life. : ) Any positive thoughts or wishes you can send my way would be much appreciated!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rainy Day Fun!

Zoey's new animal blocks - thanks sweet Hannah! As much as she loves these new toys ("tasty blocks....yumm"), I think I had more fun playing with them than she did today....haha. : )

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I love this track! : )

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My little girl is growing up!

If you're a parent as well (or an auntie, an uncle, a nanny, etc...), you know how fast our little ones grow, change, and morph into toddlers, children, and then young adults....scary! I can already see the shift happening in Zoey, the transition from "babyhood" to "toddlerhood"...and it's happening so rapidly, right before my eyes. Some days when I get her up in the morning, I take a deep look into her eyes and analyze her beautiful face, and I can literally see changes that occurred over night - I'm not kidding. While on one hand it's amazing and breathtaking, it is also kind of scary too - I always joke that before I know it, she'll be asking to borrow my car keys - ha! But yes, we still have to get through walking, potty training, and starting school first, among many other crucial milestones. : )
Chillin on the couch with mama

Look at those chompers!

Wearing my pretty, fuzzy new outfit from Auntie Claudia - it finally fits me now Auntie! : )

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Although Christmas is my hands-down favorite holiday, Halloween has always been a close favorite as well. It's funny how as a child I loved Halloween for some very different reasons than I have as an adult (candy vs. parties w/friends), but dressing up in fun, silly, and creative costumes has been the common thread. And now that I'm a mom, I get to relive all the childhood fun of Halloween all over again through Zoey's eyes! Although she is just one-year old and not walking yet, we still want to expose her to her 1st real Halloween experience later this month - and yes she will have a costume all of her own! Luckily we were able to get a hand-me-down costume from cousin Hayden, but it's cute as can adorable black and pink kitty! It looks something like this.....CUTE CUTE CUTE!

Zoey will make a precious little kitty for sure.

Real pictures to come later of course! We plan to attend the Alameda Towne Center and/or the Webster Street Halloween Celebration on Sunday 10/31. I might even dress up too..... : )

Thursday, October 14, 2010


The process of becoming a parent, a mother, has been the most amazing yet the most challenging personal transformation I've ever made. It has been a fascinating journey for all of us during Zoey's first year of life, but personally it has changed me and shifted my perspective, my values, my priorities in ways I never could have imagined. Not to say that I haven't experienced significant personal transformations before, but definitely not to this magnitude. In my early 20's after moving out of my parent's house and developing a life for myself in San Francisco, I thought that I had "grown up" and become an "adult". I spent a great deal of my time (both consciously and unconsciously) working to develop a renewed sense of my identity as a young, successful, independent woman. Then came the process of falling in love, getting married, and re-calibrating my working identity to also become a fiance, and then a wife. It wasn't easy. The process of personal develop and identity discovery that young adults go through can be extremely difficult, scary, and emotionally taxing - not only did I experience this first hand in my younger days, but I see it all the time in my work as a college career counselor. It's no wonder the mid-20's are often referred to as the Quarter-Life Crisis.

That time in my life was challenging enough as it was - establishing my financial independence, working on the foundations of my marriage, making a career change, going to graduate school for 3 years, the emotional journey of becoming a professional counselor, developing a community and a rich social life (which involved some heartaches and losses), and overall simply trying to figure out who I was, what I stood for, and what I wanted my life to be characterized and defined by. I can't imagine adding parenthood on top of all THAT - makes me both respect and feel saddened for young parents who must give up their own youth and the ability to focus more exclusively on their personal develop in order to raise a healthy child. I'm not saying that some young people don't excel at the job, but I can't imagine having done that myself.

And fast forward to today.....I've been a mother for just over one year now and it is truly the most amazing, rewarding, and most challenging "job" I've ever had in my life. And I'm more fulfilled and more satisfied with this "job" than I've ever been with any other role. But I won't lie - it's been tough to redefine my identity as a young woman, a working mother at that, outside of just being "Zoey's mommy". When she was a newborn, all I really could focus on, and wanted to focus on, was my precious little baby. Making sure all of her needs were attended to, that she was warm and safe and comfortable, and that we were doing everything in our power to lay a solid foundation for her childhood...and her life. But as Zoey got older, started sleeping longer, and developed more independence, I started to find the time to focus on ME again.....a concept that had been somewhat foreign to me for the 5 months of my maternity leave. I slowly began to carve out more time for myself, whether it be jogs on the beach, a relaxing shopping trip sans baby, or a relaxing dinner out with friends. It took awhile for me to create this time without feeling guilty, but I've slowly-but-surely been able to establish a balance that I believe is essential for a mother's sanity and well-being! Basically, one year later, I have finally rediscovered my identity as a woman, as ME, within the context of my new life. Working mothers must wear MANY, MANY hats - and I'm no exception. I feel I've gotten much better at switching back and forth between my various "selves" on the drop of a dime - Sarah the mom, Sarah the wife, Sarah the counselor, Sarah the sister, Sarah the daughter, Sarah the fun, young woman, Sarah the friend, Sarah the housekeeper, Sarah the chef, Sarah the......
You get the point.

Some days are tough, some days I feel SO TIRED and just want to be "Sarah the lazy bum", but I remind myself that by no means am I the first woman on earth to ever manage this process and this lifestyle. Becoming a parent has truly made me grow-up, feel like an adult....a REAL adult, and while it is an exciting role, it is also scary at times. But it's all worth it, and I truly believe it's all exactly as it were meant to be.

And honestly? I wouldn't have it any other way. : )

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Zoey and her friends at daycare!

We LOVE our daycare providers Alan & Rosemarie! And here is a cute pic of Zoey and her little friends out for a walk in the quad stroller. Such CUTE kids, and such fun little friends for Zoey! : )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't Stop Believing! Giants 2010 Anthem...HILARIOUS!

HAHA ENJOY! Go Giants! : )

One UNHAPPY Princess!

LOL.....someone did NOT like her special birthday hat...haha!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Zoey's Birthday Shindig!

Oh what fun we had on Saturday for Zoey's 1st Birthday party! We rented out the clubhouse in our condo complex and about 35 of our closest friends and family came out to celebrate the big milestone for our little Z! We had yummy food, great conversations, lots of laughter, baby silliness and lots of playtime fun, hugs, smiles and cake! What a special day for the memory books!

My baby girl is 1!

Yep, Zoey celebrated her 1st birthday on Saturday.....SOO FUN! Pics coming soon - stay tuned! Happy 1st Birthday my little Z! xoxo

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A rare scene indeed!

All four of our felines lined up and looking at the camera - what a sight! Not only is it rare to see all four of them in the same space together, it's even more uncommon to see them all sitting nice and peaceful right next to one another! No, I didn't pose them like this (any cat person out there knows that THAT would be a joke), but I was lucky enough to catch this exceptional moment on camera. : )

Friday, October 8, 2010

Check out Google today!

Imagine all the people.....livin life in peace! Go to Google and press "Play"...and enjoy! : )

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Baby Zoey!

Thank you Uncle Lukasz! We love you and you are a very talented videographer! xoxo

Baby Zoey from Lukasz Pason on Vimeo.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Visit w/The Cano's!

Friday Zoey and I went out to visit our friends, The Cano's, in Concord. Zoey had a blast playing with her little friend Marianna....I can tell they are going to be great buddies as they get older! Love you guys!