Sunday, February 23, 2014


Wow has February been a funky month.
Yes, 'funky.' Because I think that word most accurately can describe 'weird,' and 'just okay' all at once. With only a week of this month left, I say, bring it, March!

So HEY blogger! What's happened this month?

Not enough of this. The weather has been so gross around here lately. If it's not raining, it's misting. And if it's not misting, it's showering. And if it's not doing either of those, you've got about 10 minutes of sunshine before one of the three starts again. That up there ^ is from two weeks ago out on the lake with my brother. We had a lot of fun goofing around on the SUP boards.

Some serious stunner sunsets while driving home from work. Believe it or not, this was taken after a day of downpour. But the sun came out to show her rays and colors before bidding us goodnight and hiding away the next day.

I'm learning to play ukelele! Currently I'm working on Jason Mraz's I'm Yours and Ingrid Michaelson's You & I. Surprisingly, ukelele is not as difficult as I was imagining. I mean, the getting calluses part kind of sucked, but now that my index finger has a throughly disgusting callus on it, it's really quite fun ;)

Peanut butter & marshmallow sandwich cookies! I just made these today and am eager to share the recipe. Soon :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

January: According to Instagram

January has come in waves. It will be crazy, crazy, busy, busy, then there'll be a lull, then back to crazy, crazy, busy, busy.

01. Technically isn't from January but it ALMOST is. Two days after Christmas I chopped 10 inches of hair off (!!!!!). This was a huge deal for me for one big reason: I've been growing my hair out for the past two years to donate it. And when I found my organization (Children With Hair Loss, who provide free (free!) wigs to children with hair loss due to illness, burns, or other hair loss related injuries) I just decided to go for the plunge. Children With Hair Loss only requires 8 inches, but with the layers, it ended up being 10. It was definitely time though, and I know someone will enjoy that mop of hair WAY more than I did. All too happily to give it over :)

02. New Years at the Needle! Rang in the New Year at the (very crowded) Space Needle. Saw about half the fireworks show before the fog and smoke took over, but hey, we did it! 22 years of living in Washington and I have never done it before. More checks on that bucket list.

03. How I made it 20+ miles like this, I don't know. Getting gas is my least favorite chore of all and I will avoid it at all costs until I absolutely have no choice. I barely made it to the gas station that night driving home from work. And by barely, I mean barely: I have an 11 gallon tank and filled up 10.8 gallons. Meaning, I had around .2 gallons left when I rolled my poor old car in. It's the worst game to play, I don't recommend it, it stresses me out, but I've done it more times than I can count.  

04. But this sunset! This was from our work parking lot last week. Ahhhh!

05. And this sunrise! From my parents' room at our house.

06. And these two! One of my best friends in the world is getting married in t-minus 3 months. Someone pinch me! I finally wrapped up editing their engagement shoot last night, which I shot in December. Needless to say, I found a new favorite of them :)

07. This describes my Saturday. Full wetsuit? Check. Booties? Check. Paddle? Check. Board? Check. 40 degree January SUP session? Check check check! I hadn't been out stand up paddleboarding since November, so it was a huge treat to go out on Saturday. Thanks to my new wetsuit and booties (Christmas present and birthday present!!), I stayed nice and toasty. I think I was out for an hour, hour and a half-ish, but it was a much needed stress reliever and some time to really be at peace with myself and my Saturday. Is it summer yet? I wanna do this every day after work!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

on letters and resolutions and crying

I decided this year that I'm not a "resolution person," so to speak.
I know that's not exactly a decision you can consciously make, especially when you make goals as it is, which I do.
But last year I did this thing. I wrote a letter to myself. I picked out my prettiest scrapbook paper, limited it to one page (two short ones) and tucked in an envelope. On the envelope I marked: "Do Not Open Until January 1, 2014." Exactly one year from the date that I wrote it.

A lot happens in a day, let alone 365 of them. I completely forgot what I wrote in that letter, save for my hope that future me had adventures. Actually, to be honest, I'm surprised I even remembered I wrote the letter.
But somehow I did, and I eagerly opened it on the first day of this new year while sitting on my Mexican blanket on the floor of my room when I was at peace and had quiet time to myself to read and feel it. I made it about half way through before I started crying.

January 1, 2013 me gave January 1, 2014 me some beautiful advice and thoughts. That old me went through some very high hi's and very low low's in 2012 and was looking forward to 2013 being less of a roller coaster (sorry past me, it wasn't really). But 2013 did get smoother, albeit some hard learned lessons and my heart getting stomped on several times in a short span. I look at 2013 and I think 'courage.' 2013 was my year of courage. And somehow, somehow the past me spoke to that courage that was needed in 2013. It was like past me knew what was going to happen. There was this line that particularly hit me, a line about grabbing an opportunity no matter how big or small. I wanted to wave at past me and go, "I did! I am! Look at me now!"

And so, I sat down and wrote another letter. A letter to January 1, 2015 me. I sealed it up and, in 364 days from now, I'll have forgotten what it said and be carefully unsealing it to read again as I take on a new year of my life.

I don't want to write resolutions, I want to write letters. Encouragement to me, from me, because sometimes that's who you need to hear it from the most. To know that, at one point, you had this moment of strength and hope. To know that you love yourself, you care about yourself, and though you haven't exactly established yourself yet, you have faith in yourself and who you are becoming.
Take it from me, hearing that stuff from yourself is the most powerful thing, more powerful than hearing it from someone else. Because it means that you believe it and thought it at one point. And that, your love for yourself, is akin to the power to heal and hope.

Happy New Year everyone! Go write a letter to yourself, forget about it, and open it next year.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I just wanted to say...

I've been feeling a whole lotta this for the past week.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas song round up

I'll just say it: there are so many bad versions of Christmas songs out there.
So many, that I even wrote a little post about this last year on Rudolph being called 'Rudi'.
With high pitched voices singing Frosty The Snowman on the radio, and boy bands asking you to meet them under the mistletoe, I made my own rockin' Christmas playlist and it's been on repeat in the office and at home. Below are some of my favorites!

A couple of disclaimers: I grew up listening to The Beach Boys Christmas and Jimmy Buffett Christmas. Some people watch A Christmas Carol every year, we jammed to The Beach Boys and Christmas songs about drinking rum in paradise. The other popular CD around our house was the Vince Guaraldi Trio aka A Charlie Brown Christmas aka the best piano Christmas songs out there. So of course, my playlist is a mixture of 70's, Ho Ho Ho And A Bottle of Rum, and classical piano Christmas music.

Favorite Christmas Song Ever
Sleigh Ride - Boston Pops Orchestra
The Boston Pops version is THE one to listen to in my opinion and yes, there is a difference in other Sleigh Rides (mostly the accuracy of the horse at the end). As an old band geek (brass section! ... and the only female trumpeter in it for all of elementary and middle school) this song just brings back Christmastime band memories. My favorite thing to do while listening to it is pretend-direct. If you ever drive past a girl with a lot of curly hair waving her hands frantically in the car, directing an invisible orchestra on the radio, hi. That's me.

Favorite Christmas Song Covers
So many! These have my top favorites lately:
  • Walking in a Winter Wonderland - Jason Mraz
  • Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - Sarah McLachlan
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas - Michael BublĂ©
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan (seriously)
Favorite Independent Christmas Songs*
*Non-traditional Christmas songs written by artists
  • Mary and Joseph - Dave Barnes
  • Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
  • Please Come Home For Christmas - The Eagles
  • Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys
  • Christmas Island - Jimmy Buffett
Favorite Classical Music Songs
  • Linus and Lucy - Vince Guaraldi Trio
  • A Christmas Festival - Boston Pops Orchestra
Gosh, and a few others. My Pandora has been tuned to all Classical Christmas and so many artists have gone through. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Arthur Fiedler, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller-- they're all so good!

Do you have any Christmas music recommendations? I'd love to hear 'em!
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