Sunday, June 28, 2015

good times

the last few days have been full of good things.

listening to a favorite author read from her new book (more on that to come).

having tara whitney come to our home and take family pictures. dream come true (more on that to come too).

watching my friend brandy marry maggie, the love of her life, yesterday. beautiful women. beautiful day. love wins.

i am going to take a couple of days off from the blog this week to enjoy some time with family.

i hope that the next couple of days are good ones for you as well.

take good care. xo

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

we need

"we need women who are so strong that they can be gentle, so educated that they can be humble, so fierce that they can be compassionate, so passionate that they can be rational, and so disciplined that they can be free. we need uncommon women. and here you are. and how deeply reassuring to me it is to know that wherever we go - there you will be."
(kavita n. ramdas)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

psa #3 -- inside out

ok, i think that this post is my third in the (totally unplanned) series of public service announcments.

are you ready?

you need to go see inside out.

like maybe as soon as you finish reading this post. or call in sick tomorrow and go see a matinee (i won't tell on you, and buy yourself a treat at the snack bar while you are at it). or just go anytime you can because i feel like you kind of have to see this movie. 

we saw it tonight and loved it (can you tell?).

such a great movie to get you thinking in a new way about your feelings (joy, anger, sadness, disgust) and how memories shape your life. oh, and if you are a bit of an emotional sap (like yours truly), you might just shed a tear (or two). 

you don't need to have kids to see this movie. you were once a kid, you totally qualify to see this movie.

so go see this movie.

you will laugh, and you will thank me.

you are welcome (in advance).

end of psa #3. this psa does expire when the movie goes out of the theaters (lucky for you, it just opened so you have some time) but get on it already;)

the years

on friday we watched as our girl graduated from kindergarten.

she walked out of her class to "pomp and circumstance". she sang songs with her classmates. her name was called and she walked up to get her diploma. she tossed her hat in the air when she had officially graduated. she signed her name on her friends graduation caps, and asked them to sign hers. she ran around with her friends after the ceremony to play and celebrate that they had graduated and were now heading to the first grade.

in short, it was awesome.

i have no idea how we got to this point that she is 6 and headed into first grade. the days are long but the years are fast. so very true.

i could not be more proud of her and so excited for her to see what comes with her new adventures this fall.

and i could not be more thankful to be here to see it all.

these are the days to raise her up.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

a little bit of grace

today was a long day of work with a couple of appointments after work. our day started to slow down around 7.

by the time her and i rolled into whole foods, it was about 7:30.

pretty sure that we were both tired and hungry.

after we walked in the store and had gone down a couple of aisles, she begged me to go back outside and get one of the kid carts (you know, the ones for kids half her size) to let her ride in and steer. so back outside we went, we got the kid cart, and she was in heaven. to get the kid cart, we went out a different door than the one we had come in. our friend that sells the papers to earn his income was there. so we bought our paper and asked him how his day was. his smile is one of the kindest smiles i have ever seen, makes me always think that inside of him is likely a heart just as big and kind. it always kind of amazes me to see how many people walk by him with no acknowledgement or even giving him eye contact or a smile, and it makes me sad to think about how many of his great smiles go unnoticed because no one is even looking at him -- many times because it is clear that they are intentionally looking anywhere else but at him.   

back in the store, i think that i could have shopped all night long and she would have been totally ok with that. a good reminder that all of the little joys in life, like pretend driving a cart through whole foods, make up some of the very best memories.

the entire reason we went there was so that i could get gluten free cake mix to make a cake for her graduation dessert tomorrow (yes, this girl is graduating kindergarten tomorrow, pass the kleenex asap). but as i walked past the bakery section, i saw a gluten free chocolate cheesecake. and i took pause for a second. i thought about how i had planned all week to bake the cake (because of course i tell myself that baking it makes it more special), but wasn't sure quite how the time was going to fit into the day tomorrow. i thought about how much easier it would be to buy that cake and already have dessert ready to go. the part of me that is harder on myself than anyone else could be said "hey you, remember you were going to bake one yourself because it is a special day." then the part of me that is always reminding myself to give a little grace said "hey you, who makes the cake doesn't matter, she wants a chocolate cake with a candle in it so if you make that happen you are doing great." so i listened to the voice with grace, asked malena if she liked it, got a "that cake looks so good and awesome" and into the cart it went. overriding my own expectations is really hard, but damn it feels good to do when i actually pull it off. need to keep practicing that as much as possible.

we picked out some food and had a picnic in the front of the store. we talked about our day. she told me that she was "so excited i am going to burst mom" about her graduation ceremony. we had a contest of who could eat the biggest strawberries. we talked the whole way through our time eating dinner. it was pretty great.

for dessert, we ate some cookies that we got for graduation tomorrow. as we walked out of the store, we asked our friend if he would like a cookie or two. he gently took one, i told him to go for two, and he did. we got another one of those great smiles and we wished a good night.

one trip to the store. her excitement over driving a cart. me giving myself a little grace. non-stop conversation. a chance to see some smiles from our friend who spends so much of his time selling papers at the front of the store.

all in about 35 minutes. amazing the good things that can happen in a small amount of time.

you just have to make them happen.

and i am all over that.

have a good weekend peeps. xo

the person

yes to this.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

what i was going to write...

so this was going to be my post about running the half-marathon (spoiler alert -- it was great, and the post is coming).

but then my day started and work was not awesome. understatement.

then after gymnastics lessons, malena and i headed to dinner. they said a 15 minute wait. that turned into a 30 minute wait. but it was busy, and i have worked in restaurants before, so i get it. when we got seated on the patio, i thought to myself we were good -- it is a gorgeous night, perfect to be in a patio and we will order soon.

that was a mistake.

20 minutes go by without a server even coming to our table. not even to say hello or i-am-so-slammed-i-can't-keep-up-and-i-will-be-with-you-as-soon-as-i-can-so-i-am-begging-you-to-please-take-pity-on-me. and because i have worked in restaurants, i would have rolled with it. working on the patio as a server is great and it is hell. great because you are outside, hell because you have to go inside to do anything and so everything takes way more time than it should.

long story short, we eventually do get hour and 15 minutes after we walked into the restaurant. but her and i do word puzzles, talk about her graduation this friday, she gives me a preview of some of the songs, we talk about dessert she wants to have, and i worked my frustration down to a dull roar by the time we leave. i even leave him a good tip because i could tell today was pretty much a hell day for him. no need to make it worse then it already was for either of us.

we then move on to target.

that was a mistake.

we had 12 items and because i don't like it when people who really should not be in the express lane (i.e., ten items or less) go through that lane and therefore no longer allow it to be "express" for the rest of us, i go to a regular line.

that was a mistake.

i am in line for about 10 minutes as the cashier helps the two people in front of me. then -- wait for it, wait for it -- the cashier turns her "i need help" flashing light on. dammit. after another 5 minutes, with the cashier standing there just waiting for a manager to come and take pity on her and fix the problem, i move to another line (because at some point today i actually wanted to stop waiting and go home).

that was a mistake.

why you ask? oh yes, i am going to tell you. because the person in front of me (who i assumed would make my time waiting short since she didn't have too many items) tells the cashier that her purchases need to be separated into three separate transactions. this is the point where i just about lose it. but i then see that her first purchase is baby formula with food stamps and i take a deep breath. she obviously has to separate her purchases for a reason, and all i have to do is wait. so i tell myself to get over it, and get comfortable, because clearly i will be waiting again.

when her purchases are done, malena and i roll up to the cashier. after a minute, i look down and i see a $5 bill on the ground.

so i leave the cashier while he rings me up, chase down the woman who was in line before me, and as you might imagine she was super thankful that i gave it back to her.

after what feels like about two hours, malena and i finally leave target.

that was not a mistake.

as we do, i think about the incredible amount of time we spent waiting on food and in line at target. then i think about the $20 i found laying on an empty sidewalk after my nephew's graduation on sunday. when i picked that up, there was no one to return it to, so i told myself that i would pay it forward.

i decided that all of the waiting in line was just the universe's way of telling me that i was intended to find the $5 and return it to the lady, instead of pocketing it like many people would have without anyone else noticing the difference. except for her when she realized she didn't have the money and it was already long gone.

so sometimes life comes full circle. sometimes it feels a little painful and long to get there, but it eventually comes around.

i think that in most cases, like the smile and gratitude from the woman who the $5 was clearly so important to, the wait is worth it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

hello weekend

last night i went paddleboarding for the first time and it was a great experience. we went out on lake union (for all of you locals) for about two hours, and it was a gorgeous seattle evening. i have always thought that paddleboarding looked pretty fun and wanted to give it a try, so glad that i got the chance to do it. as i anticipated might happen (thank you swimsuit), i went over once into the lake and the water actually felt pretty good on a warm night.  followed that up with a really good dinner, laughing harder then i have in a long time (thank you ellie -- xoxo), and a catch up call with my mom --- great way to get end the day and get ready to head into friday.

this weekend will hold more firsts too -- tomorrow is the half-marathon and sunday we get to watch our nephew graduate high school.

i hope that you all have a great weekend, and assuming my legs can carry to me to my computer, i will talk to you on the other side of the weekend.

make it a good one.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

summer manifesto

every summer i think through the fun things that i want to do as june starts to roll around. i also pretty much love seeing lists from others and the fun things that they are doing, like this one and this one.

let's be honest, did you think that i was going to think about the summer and not have some type of list? i think that we both know the answer to that. right? right.

highlights on my list included...

+++ take malena to deception pass (briel -- thanks for the inspiration by helping me to look at the map and realize it is not that far;))
+++ picnics on tuesdays
+++ go to a water park for wave pool and slide fun
+++ watch a movie outside at the park
+++ do some watercoloring on our deck
+++ turn on the strings of deck lights every night that it is nice outside (can i just say that a couple of strings of little white lights shining at night can really make your day end on a better note)
+++ eat dinner outside whenever possible
+++ go to a book signing
+++ work on photos
+++ keep running
+++ hang out in my favorite coffee shop every once in a while and just read (and drink green tea obviously)
+++ take malena on a ferry ride adventure
+++ play with malena in her kiddie pool
+++ make some new smoothie recipes
+++ take a beginning yoga class
+++ go on a rock climbing with my other half (i will let you decide who is the better half;))
+++ enjoy wine tasting in walla walla
+++ be a tourist in portland
+++ having our family pictures taken by tara whitney (there are pretty much no words to explain how excited i am about this. no words.)

...and then i read ali's summer manifesto and i added one more --- the most important one -- to the very tippy top of the manifesto list. in fact, if i only accomplish one thing (well, this one in addition to our family pics by tara because that is already locked in -- did i mention i am pretty happy about that?) this will be it.

i will play.

it is as simple as that.

when asked "mommy, do you want to play with me" i am going to focus on my answer being "yes" (i know i won't do it 100% percent of the time, but like everything in life, i can always do better). i will try really hard to not say "yes, but i need to...." or "yes, give me just one second to..." or "yes, i will be right there after i..." or "yes, but i can't right now because..." or "yes, but i am just trying to finish..." whatever it is, if it isn't just a simple yes, i am going to focus this summer on the answer being that simple. don't get me wrong, everytime i am asked to play, my answer is not one of the above examples. but those phrases come out of my mouth more than i want them to.

so there it is. a manifesto of saying yes to play, and a long list of other things that might get added into the mix as well.

sounds like a pretty good summer to me.

hope whatever the summer is going to bring your way sounds just as good.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


three days of weekend goodness.
a kindergarten end of the year party.
pottery with friends, banana bread and green tea in the sunshine.
dinner on the deck in the sunshine with two of our favorite girls.
my last long training run for the half.
introducing two of our great-nephews to the zoo.
watching malena feed giraffes.
a house full of family and laughter.
cousin fun in the kiddie pool.
my mom's homemade gluten free scones and banana bread.
a gorgeous blue sky day for a 5k walk to raise funds for cancer research.
walking with my entire family and some of my favorite friends.
co-captaining (i might have just made that word up) team "cancer you can suck it" with beth.
swim lessons.
dinner on the patio with family on a warm sunday night.
going to bed early to crash out from a weekend full of goodness.
perfect way to end a weekend.
hope yours was a good one too.
ps) thanks for all of the mojo for beth, her results were good and she has 6 months until her next round. i was super, super thankful to have that news as we headed into the weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

the goods

sorting out 24 goody bags.

writing individual names on each one.

making graduation bookmarks out of strips of paper and graduation hats.

counting out bubbles.

tucking sunglasses into each bag.

this is the late night activity i am doing prior to her big kindergarten graduation party tomorrow.

although i am so tired and i feel like my eyelids weigh just about 1,000 pounds each, i am happy to be doing this.

because i get to. because i want to.

one of the many, many, many good things that comes from good scan results.

getting to stuff goody bags at 10pm on a thursday for her big celebration.

yes to that.

happy weekend peeps, make it a great one. thanks for all of the good vibes you are sending to beth, i know they will bring good results.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

2 for 2

all of your magic and mojo and prayers are working for beth this week. so far she has had two results appointments and they have both come back with clear results. yes!!! friday is the third appointment and it is a biggie with the results of her ct scan. but since we are already 2 for 2, i have no doubt that we will go 3 for 3. right? right. you have got this beth, only good news from here. i know it.

in addition to the awesome news coming week for beth, here are a couple of other things that i have loved this week: 

+++ imagine how awesome if would be if every kid had an answer similar to this one when they are asked what they want to be when they grow up.
+++ my friend kelly has some awesome new cards in her shop and i already have some ordered and on their way to me. yay for me.
+++ my friend liz is selling gorgeous prayer flags in her shop, i will be hanging one over my front door as a welcome to those that come into our home, and i will be hanging one in the room that we spend the most amount of time in to remind me to "let them carry your prayers, wishes, burdens, hopes, worries, and deepest dreams". yes to that.

lastly, i think that sheryl sandberg's essay on the loss of her husband might be one of the most emotional pieces i have ever read.

the world will benefit from her sharing her perspective.

that i know for sure.

Monday, June 1, 2015

needs more practice

this post.

it got me for a ton of different reasons.

the concept of "needs more practice" is one that i am going to start embracing.

i think that it will be a game changer for me instead of the ways that i sometimes think about what isn't working well. what i wish that i could do better. what i wish could be a little different.

needs more practice.

i am in.