Saturday, August 23, 2014

blogcation, part ii

i know, i know, i said i was going to take some time off.

and i am.

but i saw a video this morning and wanted to share it.

since i will be off the blog for about 10 days, that is quite a bit of time and one or all of you might be spending some time out in the sun.

if after watching this, you decide to put some sunscreen on when you would not have otherwise, than i consider this post worth it.

3 minutes. that is all it takes to watch this.

please watch.

how the sun sees you

i like to see you too, so please protect the skin you are in. xo

Friday, August 22, 2014


yep, pretty sure that i just made up a word.

i am going to take this next week off from the blog, i have some important memories to make.

i will talk to you after labor day.

which will be when i have a kindergartner. how is that even possible? i don't know either. get out the kleenex, you know i am going to need them. i can't even read this post without the water works starting.

hope your week is a good one. xo

super important sidenote:
+++ happy bday to my favorite nerd tomorrow, you are the best sister a girl could ask for -xo

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

stories, part ii

i met kimberly last year.

she is a bright light in this world and i am super thankful that i get to call her friend.

today she shared the story of her mental health.

i have always thought that she is brave, today just reconfirmed that.

i think that everyone should read her story.

because maybe you can relate.

because maybe you know of someone who can relate.

because maybe you will think about bipolor and depression a little (or a lot) differently than you have before.
because stories matter.

your story matters.

this is kimberly's story

i hope you will read it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


today ali edwards released a new video and i loved it.

her words captured everything that i feel about telling stories.

i think that stories are so important.

that is one of the reasons why i spend so much time capturing our weekly pictures in albums.

i want to tell the details behind the stories that aren't captured from just the picture alone. like how malena and i had a date night, we had pizza for dinner at a place she loves, we did some shopping and she modeled clothes (which is what is captured in the photo on the top right), and then we ate cupcakes and she played in a water fountain for an hour. i want to remember those details years from now, and more importantly, i want them written down for her. in my writing. our story together.
i want to tell the details behind the stories that she might not otherwise remember or wasn't with me to have memories of her own. like the retreats that i have been on. how i love to watercolor. how i love to take photographs. how i love to take walks on the beach. how i love to carve stamps. how i love anything made out of paper. how it is ok and good to take time for yourself to do the things that you really love. i want her to be encouraged to create her own stories that revolve around her passions, whatever amazing ones she cultivates as she continues to grow. i want her to remember that she will always wear many hats, but one of the most important ones to put on is the hat that is just for her and no one else.

i want to tell the details behind the stories of our weeks. the picnics. the weekly swim lessons. the campouts. the school events. the lunches with friends. all of the weekly routines that fill our lives and that i am so thankful for. i never lose sight of the fact that our weekly routines include so many opportunities that we are all so lucky to have. even when it is a tough week, we are all together and that is what matters the most.

my focus on documenting stories became more much intense after my diagnosis, i want our story captured. that is really important to me and something that i focus on day in and day out. through pictures. through videos. through instagram. through this blog.

there are days when i think about quitting this blog and not writing anymore, but then i remind myself that this is another way of capturing my story and i continue to write.  

i always continue to write.

there always seems to be more of the story to tell.

Monday, August 18, 2014

one move

today was one of those days when the workload was high and time to do it was low.

today was one of those days when my patience was almost non-existent.

today was one of those days when i wasn't sure which of the items on my to do list to cross off first.

today was one of those days when i got home and opened my mailbox and saw some happy mail.

today was one of those days when i found a little token sent from one of my friends that reminded me to make one move.

today was one of those days when i could have done a lot of things that needed to get done, but none of them were really that important.

today was one of those days when i chose to make one move just for myself. i made a great lunch for tomorrow. i went for a 3 mile run. i took some deep breaths. i relaxed.

today was one of those days when i got the perfect reminder just when i needed it.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

hello monday

i have no idea how it is already sunday night. but here it is whether i like it or not, and i don't like it (just in case you are wondering). that means that tomorrow is monday, which means five days of work are right around the corner. but i will try not to think about that too much as i lay my head down tonight and will instead think about the good things that happened over the weekend.

we caught up on our project runway and sketched our own clothes just like the designers do. we take project runway very seriously around here in case you couldn't tell.
my friend erin posted this over the weekend. just in case anyone is looking for me in october, i am pretty sure that this might be a good guess where you will find me. ikea and paper in the same place, all of my dreams might be coming true.

you knew this was going to happen (no, it isn't a hard cider) - avocado toast. i could eat this every day and be pretty happy about. oh wait, i do it eat it almost every day and i am pretty happy about.
i got my hardest 10k training run yet in over the weekend, 3 miles of it had hill after hill after hill and they were all going up. but what i love about uphill (and trust me, this is the only thing that i love about uphill), is that it always has a downhill on the way home. 3 weeks from today is the 10k, can't believe how quick that is coming up. i remember when i first considered signing up over four months ago. time flies when you are hitting the pavement.
malena and i worked on some projects in the craft room, i love watching her tackle her own projects and coming up with her own ideas. i think that we all know who she gets her creativity from, and her name isn't barrett.

on this monday, beth starts her second round of chemo, she will be 1/4 of the way through after this week. we love progress and showing cancer that we mean business. so send her your love, prayers and mojo as round 2 begins. she will go in at about 1:30 seattle time, and then the pump will come out on wednesday. you've got this beth, go fighter go.

i hope that your mondays have some bright spots to start off your week. xo

Thursday, August 14, 2014


"you're only given one little spark of madness. you mustn't lose it."
(robin williams)
+++ i have been a girl on a mission to clear any spots in our house that tend to become magnets for little piles to form. this area was a go to spot for dropping the daily mail until we had time to go through it on the weekend. i decided that i was not going to let mail be the focus of this area any longer. so last weekend after we busted out the collage wall,  i tackled this spot. cleared it off, framed some art, got a great wooden box from target (sheri, target did it again!) to put the mail in so has a small place to go. i am loving it. mission accomplished. "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to beautiful." i think that william morris was on to something when he said that, and i am trying to implement that throughout home. the "make something today" print is from '', the plate is from kelly rae roberts collection, the "do your best" was a limited edition piece from eliseand the rocking bird is from west elm.
+++  the quote above from robin williams is one of my favorites. geralyn from "in a creative bubble" has a brush script free download of this quote, and it is awesome. you can download it here.
+++ oh man, this post had me smiling the entire time i read it. type a? me? no, not me. couldn't really even identify with this one.
+++ um hello 12 guilt free desserts, i am all over the gluten free pb&j thumbprint cookies. yum.
+++ i am not sure that i will ever look at a starbucks barista the same after reading this article in the new york times.
+++ i have had my eye on this cookbook for a couple of weeks since a friend posted a picture of it. i was in one of my favorite stores today and they had it, and so of course, i took that as a sign that it was meant to be mine. it is the most beautiful cookbook i have ever seen and the recipes look ah-maz-ing. i can't wait to start chefing some of them up. if you are looking for a cookbook to inspire you, you need to pick this one up. i suggest that instead of walk, you run, to pick this one up. it is that good.
+++ i have also had my sights on darling magazine since i first saw a copy at anthropology last month. i picked up a copy yesterday and am really excited to cuddle up with it and a warm mug of green tea. any magazine that says "darling leads women to practice the arts of virtue, wit, modesty, and wisdom - all the while creating beauty and embodying love. darling says women are not only interesting, but original, not only good enough, but exceptional - not just here, but here for a purpose" is one that i am willing to spend my time reading.
+++ i hope that you all have a great weekend. ours is going to include an ice cream social, two rounds of swim lessons, training runs, some qt in our yard (weeds, i am coming for you), craft room goodness, sleeping in, cartoons, avocado toast (my new favorite breakfast), and more.
i also wanted to let those that have sent super mom becky happy mail that she says thank you so much for the cards and gifts of encouragement;)
have a good one peeps. xo

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

collage wall love

oh collage wall, i heart you.

i had this project in the works for a while and made it happen last weekend. i wanted the focus of the room that we spend the most time in each day to be this wall with it full of art that makes me smile.

it turned out just as i hoped, and i love it. big time.

+++ the "magic is something you make" and "the best is yet to come" are by elise blaha. the "best is yet to come" print is still available right here (i am still kind of in shock they haven't sold out at this point)
+++ the "be brave" banner is by secret holiday co (i totally recommend signing up for the newsletter because that is how you will now when restocks happen, which is how i snagged mine because they go super duper fast)
+++ the girl painting on the right was a one of a kind, but my friend kelly barton has amazing pieces in her etsy shop
+++ the print in the silver frame on the left is from yellow bungalow shop and is specifically this one 
+++ the red balloon print on the far left was also a limited edition, but it was done by mulberry press co and she always has great things in her shop. i happen to have the "good vibes only" shirt that i am holding on to for the next round of scan results.

hope your wednesday is a good one, half way there. half way there. yes please.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


dear weekend,

you were pretty great. i am ready for you to come back again. in fact, as soon as possible would be preferable. i know, i know, tomorrow is monday's day, but i totally think that we could work something out for you to show up early. i will work on it tonight in my sleep, and hopefully when i open my eyes you are going to be here. maybe this super moon will hook  us up with some magic.

you and i had some good times this weekend...

+++ time reading "wild" -- loving that book so far

+++ getting a collage wall up and being pretty happy about, i kind of want to call in tomorrow just so that i can look at this wall all day (more details on the prints on the wall later this week)

+++ i am intentionally working on no longer any having areas in the house that collect small piles of things during the week, the weekly mail pile was a top offender. that problem has been fixed for good. cleared the counter, put up some favorite pieces of art, and a great wooden box to put mail in throughout the week if needed. mission accomplished.

+++ i got two good training runs in for the 10k, over 10 miles total in two days, pretty happy with that. one run with just my music and my shadow, and one with my friend kerry and her four legged friend.

+++ a chance to get down to the seattle waterfront on a sunday night, it was a gorgeous night and a reminder of why summers here are so amazing.

thanks again for all of the fun this weekend, you were pretty great to have around.

i miss you already.

love, me

Thursday, August 7, 2014

carrying on, part ii

on a day when you would typically be in for scans, you shake things up.

you take the day off work.

you hang out in a town you kind of totally want to adopt as a second home.

you eat bites of the best gluten free cinnomon roll you have ever had. ever.

you check out a new restaurant you have never been to before. you decide that their guacaomole would be a lot better if it had more salt. you are pretty much a guacamole expert after all.

you walk around in the sunshine and breathe in some fresh air.

you discover the best card store in the entire world, which just reinforces that you need to adopt the town as your second home. you want to own that store. you might be willing to take a part time job there. because it is just that awesome. you do not want to leave the store, it is clearly a place that makes you happy.

you drink your first iced green tea, and you love it.

you walk through some amazing stores, and you want to buy one of everything and load it into you car. you wonder how everything will fit. you decide that buying the entire store might not be possible. but you love the idea of making that happen so you keep tossing the idea around.

you meet up with friends from washington, arizona and canada. you sit on a quilt under the shade of tall trees and listen to great music on a gorgeous summer night. you are thankful for meeting amazing women who make your life better.

you get and give some good hugs.

you drink a cold cider. i mean, c'mon, you knew that was going to happen. you are glad that it did.

you laugh. a lot.

you decide that this was the day that you were really meant to have.

you feel like that means that things will be ok in three months.

you remember that your days are what you make them.

you know that you have always known that is true, it is just that some days make it harder to remember than others.

you remind yourself that the good days make you thankful, and the tough days make you stronger. you know you gain something from both.

you lay your head down at 1am and feel so, so thankful.

you wish that you could do it all over again.

you decide that you will.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

carrying on

if i would have had scans at the three month mark this round, i would be getting scan results tomorrow morning.

but that morning will occur three months from tomorrow.

i anticipated that coming up on this three month mark was going to be pretty rough. the anxiety over not knowing whether something is going wrong. the absolute fear that the melanoma is on a silent march across my organs. the worry that the spots on my lungs are growing in size. the doubt that creeps in, the should we have, the would we have, the should we still, the will we have regrets...

these last few weeks have felt like i was preparing for scans. it is like my body and emotions have gone into remote control as if they know that it should be a scan week and are confused why we aren't going through the normal routine. the stress. the tears. the late nights because i just can't seem to get calm down enough to go to bed. the constant feeling like i need to be on the move or doing something. the exhaustion. all of my usual scanxiety trends coming on strong.

i went for a run tonight and thought about interesting it is how life changes. i told malena that i was going to go for a "short run" which now means about a three mile run (you know, basically like forrest gump). i was remembering back to the days when i was training for the 5k run, and at that time running three miles was a goal that i trained for over several months. now that is the distance i run at night when i want to get out and get a short one in to help wrap up my day.

that run felt good and was a needed reminder for myself that through all of this, i keep fighting. in a million different ways, i keep moving forward.

but, that is what fighters do, they keep moving forward.

just like beth did today as she started chemo. she made it through the day, tired after it turned into a longer day that was longer than was expected with complications she wasn't expecting. but she made it. she came home with the pump so the chemo can continue to enter her system over the next day. she has started and is one day closer to the end of treatment.

just like sharon did today as she met with the liver specialist regarding the tumor that showed up in her scans. she is going to have two rounds of chemo laser to "burn the shit out of the tumor" (those were the doctors words and i think that they are pretty awesome words) and then two more rounds of chemo. she starts thursday at 7:45am and has chemo for five hours. so she will start and be one day closer to the end of treatment.

just like chaser who is showing strength in his neck and has rotated his head to face his dad recently "as if he wanted look me in the eyes and say something- which I know will come someday."

so in the meantime, we will all keep carrying on.

carry on continues to be my theme song and the one i go to on a regular basis when i need to ground myself a bit. my most favorite version is the acoustic one that my good friend michael recorded for me, but i keep that version all to myself;)

have a good wednesday peeps.

keep on carrying on. xo

Monday, August 4, 2014

mondays + beth + tourist in my own town

+++ i am definitely convinced that a picnic after work and some time by the water makes a monday better than it would otherwise be. yep, pretty sure about that. summer mondays, i think i love you. keep up the good work.

+++ on this tuesday my thoughts will be with beth as she begins chemo treatments. this is her final round in this fight with cancer, multiple chemo treatments over the next couple of months. but i know that she can do this. she has her boxing gloves on, and is ready to come out from her corner and fight with everything that she has. go beth go! send her your love, prayers and mojo all day - but especially when she checks in to to get it all started at 8:20am pst.

here is her latest update in her own words..

"Tomorrow morning it begins again. More treatment and likely more sickness. I still sometimes feel like this isn't my life, and I am not starting chemo tomorrow. But I am, and it is my life. Many keep reminding me that this is my last phase of treatment, and it is. I just hate feeling sick and I don't know what kind of sick I will get. Chemo kills the bad cells but it also kills the good cells. And it goes on for 3 1/2 months. I read through all my materials last night, looking at the potential side effects and things I can do and what to look out for. Always hard to read those things and see what could happen.
I go in tomorrow at 8:20 AM and start with blood work. 9:30 I meet with one of my nurses. 10:30 start infusion and then around 2 or so to get my pump hooked up and head home. I go back in on Thursday to get the pump disconnected. It's going to be weird coming home and having a pump continuously pumping chemo into me. I have to sleep with it, eat with it, do everything with it. I don't know what to expect with all of it, and as friends have told me worrying over it yet isn't helpful, but it's hard to stop. And it definitely has been affecting my sleep.
And since I don't know how I will feel I have avoided making many plans after tomorrow, but I am starting to wonder if I should not do that. I should go ahead and make plans with my friends and those reaching out to see me and if I am too sick I will cancel but maybe it's better to have something to look forward to.
And going into chemo has made me quite emotional. I feel like I am emotionally supercharged right now, ever since the port went in because then it became much more real and getting closer. And now it is here. So I have been really riding the highs and lows, and feel more sensitive to everything.
The port site is healing just fine. Still some bruising but less painful. Still sore at times. I had to take pain meds again for a couple days because it hurt so bad, but am off those again and just using Tylenol to control any pain. I tried to ask the nurses last week what it felt like to have a needle go into the port and never got a clear answer - they weren't really sure. It seems to vary. So I need to debate do I want lidocaine before, or put lidocaine topical meds on or just go for it.
Since one of my chemo side effects from the first round was a dislike of food and smells I have been trying to eat things I love, going out to eat and eating outside as much as I can the last few weeks. I've done a good job of gaining some weight back over the past couple months. I won't be able to eat as many cookies and dark chocolate as I want forever. As my friend John told me a couple months ago, the Seattle restaurant industry was missing me. But they got my business again the past few weeks. It would be nice if that side effect didn't happen again, because it's not even a side effect they list, but it definitely was real and very odd. Because I am someone who loves good food.
So this weekend I went to Seafair weekend for the first time since moving to Seattle. Ken and I went Friday, he has a friend who is a long-time volunteer for Searfair so we got passes and could get into the hydroplane pits. It was pretty cool to be up close and see the boats and the crowd. It's a whole other world. We also saw the Blue Angels perform their show from the shoreline of Lake Washington. There were so many people there, I didn't know what to expect, it was a much bigger production than I realized. So that was really cool and something I haven't done before. You feel like a big kid because you can't help but smile as the Blue Angels did their show, with all the noise and the tricks.
The weather continues to be nice so there was more time outside last week and weekend, good food, movies, and just enjoying this time. I want to make the most of what I can, even though I am not at 100%.
Yesterday mom got back into town. On our way back we stopped to see the end of the Blue Angels show and see them landing at Boeing Field. It was fun to see them fly right over us as they landed. Today we played hooky and got pedicures and ate more food that I enjoyed, my favorite frozen yogurt. Tonight Ken joined us for dinner, and we sat outside at a restaurant in Magnolia with a great view on the water and of Rainier. I want to soak in these moments and focus on good things and remember that despite the pain, the sickness, the sadness that has come from this year it also has brought me joy, love and reminders that I do bounce back and what is important. And I will bounce back again.
I have my goodluck charms and courage charms ready for tomorrow. I'll be wearing my "I'm going to kick cancer's ass" t-shirt (wear it for the start of end of treatments), my Be Brave bravelet which I wear every day, and my Mojo good luck charm.
Thanks so much to everyone who has been reaching out to me offering their encouragement in preparation for tomorrow. And thank you all for your ongoing love, support and prayers."

+++ after reading ali's post and emma's post i am inspired to be in a tourist around town and plan some staycations.

+++ and just one more...i have never felt good about having totally disorganized digital photos until i read elise's post this morning. amen sister, amen.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


oh weekend, you were a good one.

campouts. dinner date with fajitas and frozen yogurt. sleeping in. lots of hugs. time in my craft room. happy mail. a good training run for the 10k. project runway. play date. pool time with malena. smoothies. fresh fruit. homemade pizzas. the arrival of my friend jen's little baby boy, welcome to the world aiden, we are so happy you are finally here.

i also got some time to work on a couple of house projects, and one was focused on our front porch. i added an awesome chair that my dad made (pottery barn should hire him as a designer) and gave to me for my birthday (thanks dad!), and a "hello" that i ordered for the front door. i am pretty much in love with the front porch at this point - mission accomplished for that little weekend project.

i hope your week gets off to a good start, i know, i think it would be better too if it didn't start with a monday.