Monday, February 25, 2013


You know, I've never been a fan of the wind. One of my coined phrases as a very small child being “When the trees breeze, the hair gets in my eyes.” Even then, I found this extremely annoying.

If you are a regular reader, you may have noticed that I disappeared for a bit. It's been awhile, even for my erratic blogging habits. Which brings me back to the wind. The “winds of change” to be exact. This new year has brought them into my life with what has felt to me like gale force. In other words, it's hard to type up a blog post when your hands are busy trying to keep the hair out of your eyes.

Unfortunately, the kind of change I've been dealing with is the hard kind, the kind that you should have seen coming, the kind that you could have been better prepared for, maybe, had you not been so involved in reinforcing that wind block you didn't even realize you'd built.

Change within the person I've spent close to half my life loving, change within myself, change within our relationship, our family... my foundation. “Embrace change,” they say. I have many strengths, but this has never been one of them.

While embracing still feels beyond me, I am struggling to allow myself to flow along with it, with as much inner strength and outer grace as I can muster. Lucky for me, these things come easier.

Needless to say, there has been a lot of soul searching going on around these parts. The other day, this lead to the excavation of an old cardboard box buried deep in the detritus of family life that builds up over time in a household closet. Bits and pieces saved from my childhood through college years.

The contents ranging from a few of my milk teeth and locks of soft blond toddler hair to old report cards, yearbooks, and a few pieces of childhood artwork to letters written as a kid to my grandfather and mailed across the country before finding their way back to me after his death, handmade Father's Day cards, an American flag I inadvertently won in a high school government class drawing (it came with an official certificate that it had flown over the capital building) to old photos and my old Michael Jackson scrapbook from the 80's (I was a very dedicated fan), to a certain love letter written to me 14 years ago that I now can't read without my heart breaking into a million little pieces.

There was also an old journal from my college years during the 90's (covered in sunflowers of course) with only a few bits of writing that I'd done very sporadically, I was a science major and didn't spend much time writing for fun or as a creative outlet. In addition to the writing in the journal, there was an old piece of binder paper folded up neatly into fours. A poem I'd hand written during my high school years that I don't recall ever having shown to anyone. I was not really a kid to write poetry but felt compelled to compose this and made sure to save it for whatever reason. Oddly enough, one of Milla's posts awhile back jogged my memory of its existence and I even told her as much in the comments. Milla, this one's for you ;)


The Silent Bliss of Solitude

Peace within myself.
Reflection upon the deepest reality of my soul.
The ability to wander undisturbed,
through the intricate labyrinth of my mind.
The silent bliss of solitude.

Detachment from the ever-daunting,
judgments and expectations of others.
Able to remove the mask.
Far from the masquerade ball of the social world.
The silent bliss of solitude.

Within my temple of silence,
serene tranquility envelopes my senses.
I allow few to enter and witness the beauty of what's inside,
for fear that its contents will not be appreciated.
Perhaps someday I will possess the security to leave my temple.
Even still, I will always value the silent bliss of solitude.


Friends, I will tell you, it kills me a little to realize that at 41 years old I still have quite a ways to go with the security that young girl wrote hopefully of possessing one day. In a way, I feel like I've let her down, let us down. In truth, the only thing I have found more difficult in this life than embracing change, is opening myself up/letting people in. There's not even a rational reason for it. It has always just been how I am. I can still remember being asked quite frequently by other kids in my early years of elementary school “Why don't you talk?” “How come you never talk?”

They weren't asking this question in a mean way. I was never teased about it. They were simply curious as young children are about things that are different. I didn't look different, but I felt different and when they would ask me this I would very honestly answer that I didn't know why. And I didn't. "Why do you have so much to say and feel so comfortable saying it?” I could have asked them. But I didn't.

Not to say that there hasn't been progress in this area throughout my life, because there has indeed, and now would be an appropriate time to mention that this blog, over the past five years, has actually helped me A LOT. I've made some really wonderful connections as a result of putting myself “out there” in this way and it spills over into my real life too.

As I'm tallying up my greatest hits list of flaws challenging character elements though, it bears mentioning that I will also bend over backwards in any direction required to avoid conflict and am definitely one to choose the path of least resistance when given a choice.

So, as a change resisting, closed off, conflict avoider (how's that for a trifecta of disfunction?), it's really a wonder I've managed to keep an 18 year relationship going in the first place, right? Or is it exactly how I've managed to keep it going? These are the sort of painful questions I'm asking myself these days.

I realize it may be sounding as if I feel that I am solely to blame. Not at all, I didn't arrive here by myself and we all have our own inner struggles. I am merely focusing on the things that are within my power to change.

On the bright side, the effects of how this will ultimately change me for the better are already making themselves felt. As it turns out when your heart is torn open, and I'm referring to a feeling both emotional and that phantom physical pain, a doorway is created for true self to emerge blinking into the light and a channel opened for gifts like more meaningful connection and personal growth where it's needed most to find their way in.

Protection mechanisms are funny things. Like for some people, having long hair makes them feel protected. However, when that wind starts blowing it around and it's keeping you from seeing where you are and where you need to go, it's just in the way. I suppose all one can do is face the wind head on, let it sting your soft skin with its cold lessons and send fresh air deep into your lungs, then open your eyes as your hair blows back and look ahead.

I'll leave you with something I wrote in the journal years later, when I was 22. I remember feeling compelled to write it in the same way as the earlier poem.



I stand on the beach above a vast expanse of white sand. Looking down, I see tiny black insects scattered beneath me. I crouch and observe the small black creatures, scurrying about in their minute little white sand world.

As I stand again, they become black dots on a white canvas. Suddenly, I feel so big, like a giant being. The sun beats down on me, I hear the waves crashing on the shore beside me, and I feel content.

Day becomes night and I stand beneath the blackness of the never ending sky above me. As I lay down upon the sand, still clinging to the warmth of the now invisible sun, I gaze up into a black infinity.

My trance-like stare interrupted by the magnificence of the star filled sky. Hundreds of thousands of tiny luminescent fixtures of space and time floating about in a sea of black. They shine like white dots on a black canvas, yet there is an added dimension of depth.

Suddenly, I feel so small, but at the same time, part of something huge. As if I were a tiny piece of a massive jigsaw puzzle fit securely into place.

As these beautiful sources of light beam down upon me, I am enveloped by the refreshing ocean breeze and I feel alive.


I've spent a long time fostering a sense of contentment in my life and for the most part I have been wildly successful, but maybe, just maybe... feeling alive could be even better.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Winter Hike


Last weekend we went for a hike with two of Lucas' sisters and their families up at Sugarloaf Ridge to catch the waterfall in all its gushing post rains glory. It was a sight to behold for sure, and a beautiful day all around.


We hiked a 2 mile loop involving a couple of steep climbs and the kiddos did great! Such a lovely way to close out 2012. Speaking of which, Happy New Year! I hope it's treating you all well, so far. New Years Eve ended up being pretty fun and involved costumes, so I'll probably post a few pics from that.

With the holidays and Clover out of school for the past two weeks, I've been a quiet observer in blogland, but with school starting up again and things getting back to normal, I'm looking forward to making the rounds this week and putting in some time in those comments sections!

Missin' my girls, of course ;)


See ya 'round the bend!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas is Family


We celebrated with my family on Sunday. My youngest sister Julia and her fiance Mitchell (they'll be getting married in Hawaii next summer, woot woot) hosted in the home they bought together this year.


Clover was pretty stoked on her new Brave get-up. With that ear sticking out, doesn't she looks like a little elf in these pics?


With my beautiful Mom and sisters! From left: Shayna (8 years younger than me), Julia (10 years younger), Mom, and Val (2 years younger), yup, I'm the oldest.


Toss in some husbands (or soon-to-be), add some kids, and you've got the whole fun crew! Always a blast hanging out with my fam :)

Today we're spending time with Lucas' family and then off to gather with friends this evening. Things have been so busy lately, I haven't been around to the comments sections of all my best bloggy gals, I love you ladies, y'all know who you are!

From mine to yours, a very Merry Christmas full of love, laughter, kinship, and many magical moments!

Friday, December 14, 2012

She's Crafty


Last Sunday I had the pleasure of joining my dear, lovely, creative friend Angelina, as a vendor, at the Santa Rosa Crafts Fair known as Shop Party. Held at the Arlene Francis center, a wonderful old brick building in Historic Railroad Square, we were both excited to set up shop for the day in the little corner we shared with Angelina’s friend Cleo, another first time vendor and maker of beautiful knitwear.


Angelina’s handmade patchwork pillows, braided rag bracelets, and unique mixed media homemade holiday cards were accompanied by my own galactic gift boxes. I used nice thick pages from a 1970 Astronomy book, picked up last summer at a garage sale, to create origami style boxes. An old suitcase that Milla had given me made a perfect display case.


I can't say I blame the woman who fell in love with the beautiful waves of hand stitching on that gorgeous pillow. Needless to say, it found a new home.


I brought the bunting I made from vintage fabric strips for Clover's birthday party to spruce up our little space. It went so well with the pillows and rag bracelets! Speaking of which, Angelina and I did a trade and I LOVE my rag bracelet :)


Clover and Finn brandishing their own crafty scores of the day, purchased from a neighboring vendor.

The galactic gift boxes were quite popular with the gentlemen as it turns out, in fact they seemed to gravitate toward them (harhar). Girls were into them too, but not as without fail as the boys that wandered by, which was interesting and even a bit comical after awhile. That's our friend Nick above, deciding which ones he would be taking home.

As first time craft fair vendors, we had a fun time playing shop and even sold a bit of everything. I was able to turn my fifty cent garage sale book purchase into about 50 bucks and I really liked how the boxes turned out.

It was a good learning experience for us too. As friends who happen to be very aesthetically in tune, Angelina and I sometimes fantasize about the idea of having our own handmade and vintage shop to thoughtfully curate together. *sigh*

In other crafty news, I've been into making hand-knit washcloths as gifts for awhile now. I've used this basic pattern and played around with different colors and using knits and purls to add bumpy little designs. They're easy, quick, fun to make, and useful too!

My current project, as of yesterday, is one of these hand-knit dishcloths inspired by vintage tea towels. Lovely, no?

Are you getting crafty this holiday season? I'd love to hear what you're working on :)

Looking forward to seeing our niece Fiona dance multiple roles tonight in a full-length production of The Nutcracker Ballet. You know who is SO excited!