Sunday Afternoon 3/27/2016

Wellesley College
Wellesley College

A very Happy Easter to those who celebrate the holiday!

The girls and I made cake pops yesterday (strawberry with dark chocolate coating), but this is the first year we haven’t bought candy and/or treats for the girls. Brett and I plan to head to Walmart tomorrow though to pick up some discounted candy as well as a few other Hawai’i treats to make a care package for Meiling.

WenYu was accepted at Wellesley College!! She got the news last Wednesday evening, when she checked her email right after we checked in at our hotel in Phoenix. Wellesley was her “reach” school, the one she thought she’d never have a chance to attend. And the financial aid! If we thought the offer from Colorado College was excellent, Wellesley’s offer was even better. WenYu and I are going to visit CC in a couple of weeks because she is actually still undecided between the two schools – both have their advantages – but I feel like she is already leaning more to Wellesley (which has also offered her airfare to visit their campus, but the visit unfortunately overlaps with the CC visit). Anyway, we are all over the moon for her, and her Wellesley acceptance softened the rejections she received from Scripps and Oberlin. (Besides Colorado College, we thought she would be accepted at Oberlin, rejected by Wellesley, and Scripps could go either way. Totally got that wrong!!)

Decisions, decisions: Wellesley? Or Colorado College?
Decisions, decisions: Wellesley? Or Colorado College?

Our other piece of good news concerned my Social Security. After taking so long to get it started, it turned out the initial estimates for my benefit were wrong – I will be receiving $53 more per month than I expected! The girls’ dependent benefit also jumped quite a bit. So, while we were comfortable before, we’re going to be a tiny bit more comfortable income-wise (although WenYu’s benefit ends in June).

Otherwise, we’re back to our regular routines for the most part. The suitcases have been unpacked, laundry is being done, I’m back on the exercise bicycle, and I’m on duty in the kitchen again. The weather is beach perfect today so Brett and I are planning to head down there shortly to soak up some sunshine.

This afternoon I am:

  • Reading: I started Over the Edge, about deaths in the Grand Canyon, and so far it’s a good read. If the first chapter is any indication, the woman there who mentioned stupid was right – most of the accidental falls off the edge were easily preventable. But, people insist on climbing over guide rails “to get a closer look” or do other dangerous and stupid things it seems, especially males between the ages of 22 – 39.
  • Listening to: The washing machine running once again, finishing up the last of our vacation clothes. It’s otherwise a beautiful, quiet Easter morning here, with birds singing and soft breezes blowing. The girls are quiet, getting the last of their schoolwork done before heading back on Tuesday (tomorrow is a state holiday).
  • Watching: Brett and I are looking forward to starting the second season of Happy Valley on Netflix tonight. We all watched Mona Lisa Smile last night (starring Julia Roberts), which was set at Wellesley College in the early 50s.
  • Cooking/baking: Brett made french toast topped with strawberries and whipped cream for Easter breakfast (I had cereal with soy milk and strawberries). We picked up a ham at Costco on Friday, so Brett and the girls will have that with some macaroni and cheese and steamed green beans for dinner this evening. I’m not sure what I’m going to have, but most likely some of the delicious leftover yakisoba that YaYu fixed for last night’s dinner.
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Besides coming in under budget for the Mystery Vacation™, both Brett and I are relieved the big monthly Costco shop is over. The refrigerator and pantry were practically empty when we left for Arizona, so it was a BIG shop. Not accomplished this week but the week before, we got our hotel reservation at the New Sanno in Japan! We feel very lucky to have gotten a room – the level we wanted was already sold out when we called, but we got another room level that will work for the three of us. Brett, YaYu and I are going to Japan next year!

    My beautiful Navajo bracelet!
    My beautiful Navajo bracelet!
  • Thinking of good things that happened: Besides WenYu’s Wellesley acceptance, the good news from Social Security, and getting a reservation at the New Sanno, we also brought back $10.81 in change and $1 bills from our vacation (and spent less overall than expected); that will go into the fund for future vacations. I lost a couple of pounds during the vacation in spite of feeling like I ate way too much. And, Brett bought me a gorgeous, artist-signed Navajo silver bracelet in Sedona. I had admired it in a store we visited, and he bought it for me as a surprise anniversary present!
  • Looking forward to next week: Brett and I are going out for happy hour on Wednesday evening to celebrate our 37th anniversary. We’re heading to Merriman’s in Poipu on the south shore, to catch the sunset while we enjoy some delicious appetizers and drinks.
  • Grateful for: Brett, WenYu and I are all feeling very, very grateful for and amazed by the extremely generous financial aid offer from Wellesley College. With the scholarships she has received and her brother covering textbooks, there would be no out-of-pocket expenses for her to attend other than transportation to and from Boston (one of the cities Hawaiian Airlines flies to – yeah!). WenYu still hasn’t made a final decision on which college she will choose, but the aid award is definitely tilting her toward Wellesley.
  • Bonus Question: What’s your least favorite part about traveling? Other than enduring long plane flights, I seem to always end up unhappy with the beds and pillows in whatever hotel I stay in, and never get a good night’s sleep. I have to say though that the beds in all three hotels we stayed in on this vacation were incredibly comfortable as were the pillows. All three beds were pillow topped, and each hotel offered a selection of pillows from soft to firm. I drifted right off to sleep each night without a problem and woke up feeling terrific. Brett and I now want to get a memory foam topper for our bed.

How are you spending this Sunday? Are you celebrating Easter? How did your week go?

10 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon 3/27/2016

  1. So many great things in one post. A huge congrats to WenYu! Wellesley was on my top list as well, but my financial aid to Claremont was the deciding factor for me. I feel like I’m reliving all of the college stuff. Also, have heard amazing things about Colorado College, as well. What a tough decision.

    We had a super mellow Easter. We hid exactly 12 eggs in the yard (we use $, as we don’t do candy) the boys loved it, and opened up Pokemon cards as a “gift” from the Easter bunny. Then a family run, swimming lessons, and M made the most amazing filet mignons for dinner. They were so good that even Sam couldn’t resist having seconds. Nick, of course, had Costco meatballs. Some people are pickier than others. 😉 Welcome home!


    1. Her acceptance at Wellesley really surprised her; she honestly didn’t think she would be accepted. She was deferred from Early Decision, and they only accept around 20% of the deferrals. Her test scores were good but not great, and she thought they would do her in. But her writing is brilliant, and the fact that she is coming from a small rural high school in Hawai’i and has accomplished all that she has is maybe what helped her stand out. We’re all thrilled for her, but it will be a hard decision. She is a legacy at Colorado College, which is a pretty strong draw.

      Our son was (still is, really) a picky eater. He ate well if you fixed things he liked, so we ate from a pretty limited menu when he was growing up. All three girls are adventurous eaters, thank goodness.


  2. One of our young friends went to Wellesley. She LOVED it and just graduated as a veterinarian. Another went to CC and is now a geological something (tee hee- has to do with engineering, but I have not a clue). Tough call!
    Easter went well. Both the grands here and the grands in California enjoyed the day. I took the afternoon and finished an excellent book.
    Life, as normal, is good. So glad to read that you are home and settled once again.


    1. It will be a tough decision for her. She is leaning Wellesley right now, but I think the visit to CC in a couple of weeks will have a big influence on her decision. Both schools are actively courting her right now.

      Life, as normal, is wonderful! We all had such a good time on our vacation, but are all happy to be home. WenYu is now in the high school homestretch, and will graduate in just two months.


  3. You don’t need to answer but since you brought it up, why is the brother paying for their textbooks?

    It’s great your daughter has choices.


      1. That is so nice he has to the chance to carryon the tradition. Maybe one of the girls will pay for their nephew’s books? And the nephew a cousin?


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