My Baby Is Getting Her MBA!

Just returned from Chicago where Jaclyn received her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Yes, my baby walked the stage with her class of 2018. This has been quite a whirlwind for Jaclyn as she moved to Chicago last June to join this exceptional group of MBA students. 

We had a blast as we celebrated with her Kellogg friends and family for several days.  So excited to see what marketing opportunities Jaclyn will have this September when she completes her coursework at Kellogg.

I’m so proud of the dynamic young lady that Jaclyn has become!

Chicago, Chicago!

Just returned from a whirlwind visit in Chicago where we ate our way around the city.  We started out with Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza at Gino’s, enjoyed their unique Eatily, where a medley of artisan chefs prepare gourmet dishes, and tried dozens of other specialty restaurants on just about every block downtown.  Jaclyn and Alex (and Radar!) live on the 40th floor right downtown and just 1.5 blocks from Kellogg’s grad school. 

We stayed in a suite with a conference table and a Murphy bed (love Murphy beds!) in their building, where we hosted a mini family reunion with Jean and Davis Tatsui-Satake.  It was our first time meeting the Chicago Tatsui relatives who left California right after Pearl Harbor.  Rather than be interned like the rest of the family, this part of our family moved to Chicago and has stayed there ever since.  We immediately hit it off with Jean and Davis, and have already made plans to get together again this year.  It’s exciting to make connections with family members, learn new facts, and hear interesting stories about our ancestors.  They contributed to our genealogy database and plan to help us fill in stories and data about our Chicago family.

We also had dinner with Rob’s brother Bill and his family in the suburbs south of Chicago. Rob and Bill exchanged stories about their youth – the ones you don’t want your children to hear – except, oops Jaclyn sat there in shock with her mouth wide open as she learned about her father’s earlier days. She kept looking at me to make sure these were real stories!  It’s shocking that Rob and Bill are alive today…

Jaclyn hosted a get together with her Kellogg friends (Alex, Rob, and Kelly – yup, weird coincidence!) so Rob and I could meet them.  As always, we love her new friends and had a blast with them.  We plan to return to Chicago in June for Jaclyn’s graduation ceremony.  Time flies; and we can’t wait to get her back to California!

Checking Out Colleges In The Windy City

Packing in business with pleasure in Chicago!  I joined Jaclyn in business classes at Kellogg’s MBA program at Northwestern last week.

Sitting in on one of the Top 10 MBA programs in the nation, I was intrigued and inspired by the excellence in both professors and grad students. We toured the new Global Hub on the Evanston campus where I saw students engaged in conversations and projects with fellow students.

The design of the Global Hub was quite impressive; with amphitheater social areas and modern architecture both inside and outside, it made me want to go back to college!

We also toured University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.  Visiting these colleges makes us better resources to our students – so we can recommend programs that meet our students’ needs, expectations, and goals.  With over 4,000 colleges just in the United States, there’s a college that’s perfect for every student!

Jaclyn is Going to Start Kellogg's MBA Program!

I’ve got exciting news: Jaclyn will start Kellogg’s School of Management on June 21st.  It’s part of Northwestern University in Chicago, and it’s ranked #4 in the nation.

While many of the MBA students fly in for weekend classes, Jaclyn will be moving to Chicago for 15 months so she can take full advantage of the incredible marketing courses, professors, and networking.  She is thrilled to have this opportunity to meet high-caliber business students who share her passion for marketing. 

We’re so proud of her! And we’re happy that she plans to return to the Bay Area next September!

Puppies Are 10 Months Old, But Have the Strength of a Small Army!

Taking our "puppies" for a walk is an upper-body workout – literally.  On Mother’s Day, Jaclyn, Alex, and I took Beckett, Jersey, and Radar to Pleasure Point for what we thought would be a casual stroll on beach.  Instead, we had to separate the pups because of their power play – and our exhaustion as we tried to get them t

Liberty Lost; Lessons in Loyalty; Re-enactment of Japanese-American Internment During WWII

15 years ago, Nicole, Jaclyn and I worked with the JACL (Japanese American Citizen’s League) to re-enact the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. 

Back in 2002, it was the 60th anniversary (now it’s been 75 years) since the American government made our families leave our homes, businesses, belongings, and friends to live behind barbed wire at one of 10 internment camps in the US. 

We worked with Mas and Marcia Hashimoto (presidents of JACL Watsonville-Santa Cruz), Sandy Lydon (local historian), and Don Williams (UCSC theater director) to re-enact an event that would remind the world of one of America’s biggest mistakes.  Mas rented a 1942 bus and Don coached the actors as they walked to the Vet’s Memorial and waited in line to get on the bus to start their 3-year stay in relocation centers.  Sandy was our emcee and shared stories about the evacuation.

Nicole told news reporters about how she was worried about her family’s farm and who would maintain it while they were gone.  Jaclyn held tight to her beloved dog before the MPs took him away from her before she climbed up the steps of the bus.  Dozens of families participated in the re-enactment, and we filled the theater with guest speakers who shared their memories and stories.

I invited over 40 newspapers, magazines and TV stations to cover the story, and our re-enactment was aired across the nation and all the way to Japanese news outlets in Japan.  Watch our video: Liberty Lost; Lessons in Loyalty.

Handmade Gifts

When my girls were young, they collected little pins from the places we traveled to.  It gave them something to search for on the trips, and it became a memento to remind them of the trips after we returned home. 

Jaclyn started putting her pins on a hat that she got in Venice, and Nicole put them on a long velvet ribbon that she hung in her bedroom.  When they headed off to college back in 2003 and 2007, they left their pin collections behind. 

I just found them and created little displays. As I attached each pin to the frame, it brought back great memories of adventures from their youth. 

So glad they loved receiving them on Christmas morning!  


Can’t believe Nicole is in her 4th and last year of her residency at Harbor UCLA. 

She loves the hospital and especially her Emergency Medical team. Nicole has decided to do a fellowship in EMS (Emergency Medical Services), which takes one more year. 

Over the past few months, she’s interviewed with several programs and just completed her last interview at UCSF yesterday. We were thrilled that she came up to the Bay Area for 23 hours, so we all adjusted our schedules so we could be together.  I brought the puppies up to meet her and we had fun catching up at Jaclyn and Alex’s place in Mountain View. 

We’re crossing our fingers that Nicole moves back to the Bay Area sooner, than later, but of course, this is her decision to make.  Proud that she wants to specialize in EMS to develop efficient systems for pre-emergency and emergency protocol in the case of a disaster. Also glad that she will eventually be back here for all of us in the Bay Area.  

TBT: Little League is not for Everyone

I’m grateful that I had 2 daughters.  And, Rob loves his girls more than anything in the world. But, I distinctly remember how he tried to get Nicole and Jaclyn to love his favorite sport – baseball.  We decided that because it was America’s favorite pastime, we would be doing them a cultural disservice if they didn’t play baseball at some point in their childhood. So, we convinced them that they would love their dad’s favorite game and signed them up to play in the Capitola/Soquel Little League. What happened next was, well, sad.

Nicole was a watcher. She sat on the bench and watched how the boys pitched, batted, and ran. There were 2 other girls on her team, but there were mostly boys. Rob played catch with her and taught her how to hit the ball.  Her good buddies Brian, Kyle, and Ryan also gave her tips during recess at Merit. So during the games, when she stood at the plate choking up on the bat just the way her father coached her to do from the sidelines, she took her time.  I never played baseball myself, and I never really understood the rules but her league allowed the batter to wait for the perfect pitch and didn’t penalize them for missing good opportunities to hit the ball. Well, Nicole took advantage of that.  She waited and waited for the perfect pitch. It got to be so ridiculous that her team told her to swing at ANYTHING! I think her record was 5 minutes at bat. Oh, dear.

Then, 4 years later we signed Jaclyn up for an all-boys baseball team.  Well, that was our first mistake. Jaclyn liked playing on the Marlins team because she loved the teal and orange uniforms. She also liked pulling her long braid through her cute baseball cap – kinda making a fashion statement on the field. Naturally, she played right field. While she spent most of her time far from the action, she found it quaint that the field was filled with tiny little dandelion flowers.  So, Jaclyn picked herself a bouquet of flowers and was a happy camper until – Yup! – the ball was hit to right field. Her teammates, coach, father, and everyone hollered at her to get the ball but Jaclyn had no idea where the ball had landed and continued picking dandelions.  Oh my! I still laugh when I remember how she kept her flowers as she finally grabbed the ball, and rather than throw it to the second baseman, she ran it into home plate.

Fortunately, they both loved to dance, and they danced for years at Dancenter and then with the No Limits competition teams in high school.  That’s where they belonged and that’s where they completely embraced dance.  Both of them ended up dancing at sporting events in college!  Nicole was a Dollie at Stanford and performed at football and basketball games. Jaclyn founded the 5C Dance Company at Claremont McKenna College where they danced at football, basketball, and baseball games. I guess their baseball experience did come in handy, after all. 

When is it OK to Give Puppies as a Present? (Almost) NEVER!

Rob and I got our first Golden Retriever 35 years ago – BC (before children).  Nugget was the best dog and he quickly became part of our family.  Over the next 3 decades, we had 2 more Golden Retrievers (MacGyver and Indy), and then, of course, we got Radar – Jaclyn’s pride and joy! I have to admit that when Radar went to PA with Jaclyn and Indy passed away, it was kind of nice to have the whole house to ourselves again.  We could take off without having to reserve a kennel or rush home to feed the dogs.  Ahhhh. Well, that was before this past weekend.

For our 34th anniversary last weekend, Jaclyn and Alex brought us delicious Indian food (my favorite!) for lunch.  As we sat down to eat lunch around our dining room table, Jaclyn walked in with a giant wicker basket with red and blue bows.  Waiting to politely dig into the lamb and other tasty treats, Jaclyn insisted that we open the gift right then before lunch.  I wondered why they brought picnic in addition to Indian food.  Then Rob said, “I think something is alive in there!”  At first I thought they brought an iguana or something small that could fit inside.  But, NOOOOOOOOO.

Jaclyn popped open the basket, and out jumped 2 adorable Black Labs. Yup!  She brought two 6.5-week-old PUPPIES as gifts for us.  WHO DOES THAT?  Rob, who has been yearning to have 2 Black Labs for years, grabbed the puppies and instantly fell in love with them.  He rolled on the floor like a 10-year-old boy.  Their fluffy faces and tiny body were so sweet and soft that even I couldn’t resist – even though I was in complete SHOCK.  Me, the person who orchestrates every detail in her life, suddenly had 2 puppies.  My 3-day weekend was filled with people installing carpet in my office, people laying a brick pathway to the orchard, and people helping me cut tree branches.  This weekend was the last before the new school year started and I had so much to do.

In a daze, I went to Pet Pals and Pet Smart to buy 5 pet gates, dog bedding, food, pee pads, chews, and everything we needed for TWO PUPPIES.  Yikes. I’m still in shock as I clean up pee on my hardwood floors. Yup, the floors that I used to shine so I could almost see my reflection in it.  But, no more shiny floors, no more spontaneous getaways, and no more peace. 

So if I were Miss Manners, I’d say NOPE to giving 2 puppies as a surprise gift.  But in Jaclyn’s defense, she knew I would take years to finally agree to get a puppy, and probably another decade before I’d agree to two.  Our property is ideal for big dogs and they’ll love living here.  She planned out the surprise with such attention to detail (Hmm. Wonder where she gets that from?) that it made the surprise that much sweeter.  And now I get up early to play with them; I love how everything is so new and exciting to them.  They make me smile and laugh, and they are so adorable.  So under certain circumstances, I guess it’s okay to surprise someone with 2 puppies… Thanks Jaclyn, Alex, and Nicole!


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