Tuesday, October 30, 2012

HAPPY BOO DAY

Cinderella must’ve come along and ate my daughter. Or in this case, Alice.

I’m aware that it’s a blessing to have a healthy child. But I was blessed with so much more. Our daughter, Bailey, exceeded my hopes and expectations. And on this 11th birthday, I reflect on not only what’s left for her to learn in the coming years, but what she’s taught me.

For instance…we don’t have to be perfect and do everything perfectly. She’s taught me that I can be transparent about my shortcomings.

She’s taught me that we are so transparent that whatever we fill ourselves up with inside will be perfectly clear for the world to see.

She’s taught me that your eyes will always be beautiful when they look kindly at someone.

She’s taught me that you will have lovely lips whenever they smile a genuine smile.

She’s taught me that if you cultivate goodness and kindness and wisdom and strength, then not only will that beauty shine out of you, but you’ll find that you breathe joy and beauty into the lives of those around you.

Happy BOO-day, my dear daughter!

  
 
 
 
 


Song: You're the World to Me   Artist: David Gray
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Monday, October 29, 2012

signs you're raising a toddler

1.    You have said “I need to go potty” to another adult and meant it.

2.    There are balls of varying sizes under every sofa, chair, and bookshelf.

3.    You’ve back-tracked on your walking route for half a mile in search of a lost sock or toy (aka Taggy).

4.    You’ve learned to accomplish 8 hours worth of work in the span of a 2-hour nap.
5.    You have had a conversation with your spouse about how the voice of Cat in the Hat is Martin Short.

6.    All hell breaks loose in your house if you run out of yogurt or whole milk.

7.    You’ve actually had to say the following things out loud “Don’t eat the acorn, please” and “The q-tip is not a sucker.”

8.    Goldfish crackers mysteriously appear around the house and in your shirt.

9.    You have been roused from a dead sleep by music being played from a crib.

Help me think of a #10. List your 'signs' below in the comments section. Don’t forget to leave your web link.


Song: Breathe In Breathe Out   Artist: Mat Kearney

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

eclectic design

Houston hosted the Bayou City Arts Festival earlier this month. Husband and I are suckers for varying degrees of art, and a setting with hundreds of vendors satisfies all of our senses. Several of the set-ups are repetitive to that which we've seen at art festivals over the course of the last couple of years, but some were new and refreshing.

Our style is very eclectic at home. Probably because we love art on many levels -- photography, sculptures, paintings, and typography. Art is intrinsic to our own personalities. And there's nothing better than a room full of personality, don't you think?! But a room like that takes time. And/or money! Right now, we're really digging the mix of modern and vintage, paired with color. It's the best thing to hear our visitors comment with, "what a fun and interesting house!"

Are you in a decorating rut? My advice to you is decorate with that which makes you happy. Bring it all together with a color palette, perhaps. If you're surrounded by all things uplifting and rousing, you'll be pleased with the outcome.

Here are a few inspiring rooms that I personally find amazing, each in their own special way...

 
 
  
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

reef musings: 15 months

  • Vocabulary includes:
    • Waves and says “Hi”
    • “Bye-bye” is used interchangeably for either ‘see you later’ or ‘I want to go outside’
    • Points and asks “this?”
    • “More”
    • “Mama”
    • “Da”
    • “Bike”
    • “Yesh” for ‘yes’
  • Biggest love is whole milk
  • Goldfish is a runner-up
  • The kid can blow kisses with sound effects and everything!
  • Reef is a true carnivore, no doubt about it
  • Picks up toys to the sound of, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.”
  • Favorite play spaces include our closets and pantry.
  • Reef doesn’t have his daddy’s mad dance skills, but he sure likes to wiggle to some beats.

Song: Originality   Artist: Thievery Corporation
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

if you know me...

You would know that I love to clean my house
But that the one chore I happily trade off is unloading the dishwasher

You would know that I have dreams. A lot of them.
And they entail dreams for my children.

You would know that though I love to dress up for Halloween, I don’t like scary movies.
When I watch them, Pete has to escort me to the bathroom in the middle of the night. For at least a week.

You would know that I’m a sucker for packaging, branding, typography and all-over good design.
Sometimes this dictates even my wine purchase(s).

You would know that the only food I don’t like is peanut butter.
And that’s very un-American, I know.

You would know that I would much rather have something homemade than store bought.
This probably relates more towards ‘things’ than food.

You would know that Pete and our children are my world.
They are the air that I breathe.

You would know that I have a very sensitive sense of smell.
I can’t clean a kitty litter box without gagging. Don’t come near me if you have gas.


You would know that one of my favorite books is On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Another is The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.

You would know that I always wanted to be a marine biologist or a veterinarian when I was growing up.
Interesting that I am neither.

You would know that I nearly always conclude my laughs with a little “hmm” at the end.
I didn’t know that about me either until just a few years ago.

You would know that I’m most comfortable in tanks, jeans, and flip flops.
I do feel more womanly in pencil skirts and pointy toe heels, however.

You would know that I’m completely smitten with all things 40s-50s vintage.
When men wore hats and women never left the house wearing their pajama pants.

You would know that I’m often late to everything.
It doesn’t mean your time isn’t precious to me. I just tend to lolly-gag. A lot.

You would know that I love chubby baby legs.
It’s probably not normal that I somewhat salivate at the site of my baby when he runs around naked.


You would know that my all-time favorite flavor of ice cream is mint chocolate chip.
And up through 2010, I indulged in a bowl of ice cream every night before bed. Repeat: every night.

You would know that I love to write and paint and sing and take walks.
These are my outlets; a means of releasing the day’s stresses.

You would know that I’m pretty carefree about most things.
As long as I’ve had ample sleep.

You would know that I have an infatuation with the Asian culture.
The art, the calligraphy, the food - *swoon*

You would know that if there’s a pistachio in a mile radius, that I will find it.
Never leave them unattended.

You would know that a cool breeze makes me giddy.
I love to turn up the music loud and open my sunroof when it’s cool outside.

You would know that peoples’ circumstances are hard-pressed in my mind.
I worry about my loved ones even though I may not talk about it.

You would know that I never believed in soul mates.
Until I met Pete.

You would know I was wrong about that.
J


What would I know about you?


Song: World Looking In   Artist: Morcheeba

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Friday, October 19, 2012

networking

Networking has a bad rap. And rightly so I’m seeing. I’d rather see more networking being had for selfless reasons.

Networking is about people. And about relationships.

People are exclusive to themselves. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. Every person you meet, come in contact with, or even work with on a daily basis has a story, a skill set, a passion, and an aspiration.  When you take the time to become acquainted with people and see how this complex world God created is divinely intertwined, you become conscious of how you can help those around you and they can help you. Part of it is putting to death self-sufficiency. Part of it is realizing the world is larger than your little paradigm. Most of it is recognizing that people desire to share their dreams and have others to chase those dreams with them.

With very few exceptions, accomplishment has more to do with the people you surround yourself with than the talents you have individually.  I have always enjoyed working with brilliant and passionate people.  I even married one. The results of a cohesive group of people with a similar vision is so much more powerful than the work of an individual seeking credit and fame.

As communicated at our church, The Loft, the past many a Sunday, “we can glorify God more together than we can separately.”

What if we took the time to truly get to know people? What if we shared our dreams and aspirations with each other? What if we joyfully pooled the resources, connections, and gifts God has given us in order to help each other reach our goals? Yes, networking can be a self-centered effort to get something or somewhere by using other people, but I truly believe that those motives will be found out and will not have long term benefits.

In the end, networking is an outward-focused, humble-pursuit of  what God can do in and through the people around us by developing relationships. So don’t just see networking as an opportunity to personally benefit, but attempt to view networking as an opportunity to be a tool for God working in the lives of others as well.


Song: Caring is Creepy   Artist: The Shins

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

fall decorating

I hate to say it but it’s Fall again. Ok, where did the year go?

Fall is my absolute favorite season. Maybe its childhood memories of Halloween or the fact that there’s a small chill in the air. Or maybe, it’s the sheer thought of all that amazing upcoming Thanksgiving food and my yearly serving of turkey stuffing that makes me smile and anticipate the season. Nothing gets me more into the fall spirit than driving around my neighborhood and seeing all the beautiful and spooky front door Halloween decorations. Cause you know, when those are up its officially Fall.

Here are a few Halloween-inspired decorations of my own…and if I can, you can too!





Song: Falls on Me   Artist: Fuel

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

wordless wednesday



Monday, October 15, 2012

fight like a girl

Years ago, I briefly encountered a family friend in the midst of her breast cancer fight. Looking back, I thought so simply…so passively, “how unfortunate.”

About 5 years ago, I began working for a company, a leader in the cancer industry in regards to research and drug distribution for various types of cancer. Around that time, a friend posted a link to a Facebook page in reference to someone’s fight with breast cancer. Selfishly, I wanted to learn more, only to better understand the clinical side of that topic in more depth. So I clicked on the link. And transported to a world which I was rather oblivious to – the personal, the more intimate side of the fight.

It wasn’t until I read the written words of one’s most deepest thoughts that I was able to feel empathy. It practically leaped off the screen at me. Spare and direct. Honest and powerful. The images of her in the photos made her real to me. Caught in intimate moments – painting her toenails, putting on her makeup, her bald head being stared at walking down the street. Suddenly, she was every female I knew – my sister, my friend, my aunt, my neighbor…my daughter.

Despite her beauty, cancer isn’t pretty. The Chemo changes appearances – eyes hallow, cheeks puffy…and we’re all familiar with the loss of hair.

I cried crocodile tears. For someone I didn’t even know.



It’s hard to believe the warm light in her eyes no longer shines. 
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On October 6th, my family walked/ran/crawled for Team Julie, honoring my friend, Julie, who’s currently fighting the fight. Julie possesses a true zest for living. Brilliant, compassionate and loads of fun -- she lights up the room. I won’t divulge her story here, but if she so chooses to guest blog for me in the near term, I would be elated to share her with all of you.

There exists the mantra(s) about “winning the battle” and “beating the odds,” and that’s what the majority of Komen Race for the Cute participation is about.

But not everyone beats cancer. There were swarms of pink signs adhered to the backs of walkers/runners, “in memory of…” I tried so hard to acknowledge every name. But there were….so many. Too many.

Sometimes, the sad reality gets lost in the pink of October. It’s rampant really. Everyone is wearing pink this month, from kitchen appliances to pro athletes. “Support the cause!”

I get it -- we need to raise awareness -- I'm all for that. The rhetorical question is, sadly, what are we aware of now?

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Here are pictures from our day, mostly in iPhone quality. My apologies in advance.














Song: Learn to Fly   Artist: Foo Fighters

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