Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Re-couping before the whole merry shabang

Well Hello!

I've been away from regular life for a while--still trying to regain my sanity after taking on far too many obligations and fun things that I had a hard time resisting. So, I've been taking many deep breaths and giving myself many self-talks while slowly checking off my list of to-do's BEFORE the week of Christmas. We have quite a few family members coming to our home that week so I am prepping myself for a busy couple of weeks of cleaning, cooking, entertaining, and enjoying the festivities. I am determined to have a Merry Christmas and ring the New Year re-couped and refreshed.

Speaking of, I'm about to head out the door for a massage! There is nothing like a relaxing massage to help care for the soul, and I am so happy that Husband understands where I am coming from when I tell him I need a break. He even said he'll make dinner. Have I ever told you what a good cook he is? I think I might sneak to the bookstore, too, and indulge myself in a tall cup of joe and pick up my latest book club read, Spilling Clarence.

Have a nice night!



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Redemption Writing

Two weeks ago, I made a conscious decision to slow down, take a breather, and stop straining to fit everything into my schedule--hence the reason you haven't heard from me in a bit. Although I feel I thrive most when I am ambitious and fill my life with ALL the things I love, there comes a point when too much is too much, and either a) not a lot is getting accomplished anymore or b) things that shouldn't be on the back burner are there-- simmering.

How nice it has been to relax and not get down on myself for not being able to do it all, 100%, because really, I can't. However, my life continues in its fullness, but not in vain, instead, quite the opposite.

Last Saturday, I attended a memoir writing workshop at a little place called Writers' Dojo, in Portland, Or. It is a cozy open place to meet with other writers, and where writers come to share their ideas on the craft. There is also another building where writers can rent a space to use as a writing office. It makes for a nice little community.

I signed up for the workshop, because after having attended Wordstock, I realized that workshops are invaluable. There is nothing like attending a workshop to re-fuel the fire. I was especially interested in this workshop's writer, Kerry Cohen, a Portland based writer, and author of the memoir, Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, and two other young adult novels.

Maybe I haven't quite relayed what I've been up to yet, but I am in the beginning stages of writing a memoir book proposal that I hope to have finished and into the hands of an agent before the Spring. When I found this workshop and saw that Cohen would be teaching, she struck me as a valuable teacher, as her work is geared toward the audience that I, too, have in mind while I write. And like her memoir, mine takes place during the same teenage years, and rings a similar tune of unraveling much too young. I know, I'm being vague?

Anyway, the workshop went well. It began with each of us writing a secret that we've never shared. Then she had us read them aloud! "This is what writing a memoir is like," she said. Initially, as I shared, I was shaking in my hands and in my voice, but by the end of the three hour workshop, I was steady and confident.

Memoir writing is therapeutic, and is a large part of why I am writing what I write. The other part of why I am writing such intimate recollections is that while I was young and as life happened, I didn't understand any of it, so I write with hopes that I can lend some direction and experience to those who are enduring a similar experience, and sadly, there are many.

At the end of the workshop, I spoke with Kerry for a moment to thank her for the class and asked if I could email her in the future. She told me that she was interested in my story and offered to be a mentor to me during my writing process. "Yes! Yes!" I said. "I would love and appreciate that!"

I left the workshop ecstatic that I'd been offered a mentorship, and with a woman who very much knows and relates with stories like mine. I knew that I couldn't pass up her class, and now I know more why. I have a feeling that she just might be an integral part in me bringing my raw truth to the page, and finding redemption in an experience that has held me captive over the years.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Does Anyone Know Where November's Gone?

I've just been minding my business, writing my tail off, chasing kids, keeping house, darting to studies, reading relentlessly, trying new recipes, and mostly enjoying life and all that it wants to throw my way. But, really? Is that any reason for it to already be mid-November? And I have sneaking suspicion that another winter of snow drifts and shut-down shops is on its way. Seems here in the NW we haven't grasped the reality that we, too, can get snow more than every few years, and we should know how to manage. But enough snow-talk, I can't even begin to think about Thanksgiving. Too much on my plate already, and it's not food.

Blessings to you from the rainy NW!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A fierce unrest

seethes at the core…

it was the

eager wish to soar.

-Don Marquis

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Rainy & Lovely Weekend Ahead!

Good Morning!

What are you up to this weekend?

I'll start mine this morning with a trip to the gym to get my cycle on. I also have plans for a long run tomorrow--that is if I am not washed away by the rain!

Other fun weekend events & tid-bits:

My friends Hayden & Jenni are getting married today! I am so excited for them! I am also excited to see an old best friend from junior high/high school who I haven't seen since. Her and I share many memories, and in fact, I've been thinking of her a lot as I've been writing lately. What I am currently working on has a lot to do with our friendship. I may divulge more on this later...

Tomorrow, I plan to get canning. I've got a big bowl full of apples from my in-law's tree and I can't delay!

Also, I plan to get cozy on my over sized papazan and continue reading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, AND drop a few articles in the mail to the others who are participating in Candace's 30 Days of Mail Swap. Can't wait to check my mail box today! Isn't it so fun to receive mail??


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I am stoked Rhianna's new album is coming out this month! Her last album Good Girl Gone Bad used to accompany my every workout and still does when I need an immediate pump-up. I don't listen to any R&B other than this album--I left the majority of that taste in music in junior high school, but can't turn away when I hear this girl sing.

Laurie Sandell, Glamour magazine writer and a teacher that I had at Wordstock last month, just revealed on her blog that her secret interview last month was actually with Rhianna! Check out the article here. It's great to see how far Rhianna's come.

I have to admit that after her incident with Chris Brown last February, I felt her album was tainted. I was feeling sad and guilty that I felt that way, especially about an artist that I love so much. I had such feelings especially when I'd listen to tracks like Take a Bow, that had me wondering how something could happen to such a strong, bold woman. The harsh reality, though, is that it happens to women strong and bold. Although, image is everything in the media, Rhianna's situation is an important reminder that even hollywood can't escape the unfortunate challenges that many face, and there is no excuse for violence. Now, Rhianna speaks for so many--who haven't yet spoken.

Because her music ROCKS,

and because she's as STRONG as her music sounds,

here's to RHIANNA and her new album and my new work-out tracks!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

For All You Runners Out There...Hurry!

This morning I read that today is The Human Race 2009 10k put on by Nike. You can race from anywhere in the world, anytime you want, between 10/24/09 (12:00am) to 10/24/09 (11:59pm).

My brother, Marc and I headed to Lacamas Lake this morning and ran our 6.2 miles. This "race" was a great incentive to begin those longer runs that I was talking about. And for a guy who's never run that far before, my bro did GREAT and finished feeling awesome!

Hurry, get out there and do it before the clock strikes midnight!

p.s. The link above looks like a great place to log runs.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tears, Fire & Oxygen

Yesterday, I had a meltdown.  Husband happened to be in the vicinity when it happened and was able to talk me through, as I took deep breaths and blinked my eyes--a lot.  You know, the trick to keep them from pouring out like fountains?

Passion is a force of contradictory measure. It can catapult you onto a blazing trail of infinite possibility or become so over-stimulating that it stops you dead in your tracks with a dear-in-the-headlights sort if fear.  And because passion comes from the soul, any work derived from this place, is considered by many to be soul work. So when dealing with such work and feeling that 100% is not being given to the cause, it can bring moments of upheaval and panic that only near-meltdowns seem to remedy or Husbands and friends and family members can encourage through. Yesterday, my Husband did so with tender-boldness.

Husband is known for being matter-of-fact.  He's a cut to the chase kind of guy--he shoots from the hip so to speak.  I can always count on him to offer up his opinion and I have learned to value his constructive criticism (almost).  He's not one to sugar-coat just because he loves you, in fact, because he loves you so, he'll tell you the truth if he feels you'll be better off for it, even if it hurts a little.

Yesterday during my meltdown, Husband listened to my brief scenario of frustrations and demanded that I pick up the pieces. "I've seen that fire blazing under your @$$ since Tim Perrin emailed you a few months ago, and you've brought your expectations to a new level," he said. "Don't go dropping everything you have ever hoped for, now, because I've told all my friends--my wife's a writer, and we're not in this to look like idiots."  Besides being called an idiot, he did a good job of knocking some sense into me in that no-B.S.-sort of-way that I love him for. And he didn't say it because his friends really care if I ever write a thing, but because he knows that to live my life fulfilled, I must write.

He also reminded me that when a fire rages, there is no denying it the oxygen to burn. Time and care are just a few of the necessities that will keep it carefully maintained and flourishing in the night, providing warmth to the soul.

I've also realized that when you're dealing with grand aspirations and the makings of dreams, life and choices appear much more fragile than before. It reminds me of the preface to 'The Alchemist' when Paulo Cohelo talks about the main reasons why people quit seeking their dreams. It's because they are afraid to lose them, he says.  I don't want this fire for the written word to go out on me; I've gotta keep tending to it.  And there is payoff in the work--I know I'll keep warm by the fire.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Have you ever found yourself alone in the kitchen, waiting for your coffee to re-heat and shaking your assets? I hadn't either until about five minutes ago, and I am without any conscious reason for it. Music wasn't it--because there was none.

Guess I'm just feeling good today, and that's good enough for me.

You should try it.

Letting loose never hurt anybody.
xo, C

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Silly Somethings From a Three Year Old

Setting: Today/fall day/almost evening. Brooklynn and Asher playing in the backyard. I am in the kitchen listening to music and their noise while cleaning the kitchen. Sliding back door open.

Brooklynn comes into the kitchen and asks for a spoon to stir her "soup" in the backyard. She asks for one of my nice wooden spoons in the holder on the counter. I decided that my old black plastic one in the drawer will be best instead. Happily she goes on her way and I watch as she makes her way to the furthest corner of the yard to the half-deflated swimming pool. A few minutes later Asher comes into the kitchen. He opens the silverware drawer. I ask,"you want a spoon, too?" and hand him another old black plastic spoon from the drawer. He takes it from me happily and walks back outside.

Moments later.

Brooklynn in a loud yell/song--loud enough for the neighbors to hear:

God made everything!
In the world!
I love you!
God loves all of His children, too!
Bob the Builder, yes we can!
1-2-3 splash in the water now.

A few minutes later, Asher comes inside. I hear him shuffle in the pantry. "Asher come here," I say. He comes out with a bag of boxed raisins with wet pants, grass covered crocs, and a drippy nose. I realize it is time to bring Brooklynn in as well. I remember that I saw her fleece on the kitchen floor. "Brooklynn, time to come in." "What? Why?" she says. "Do you not have shoes on?!" "No," she says. "Get in here. And bring those spoons, please. Is that my towel? Get my towel, please." She comes in with hands full.

Brooklynn says, "Do you know why I was barefooted out there?" "No, please tell me," I say.
"Because that's how bears do it," she says. "Are you mad?"

I couldn't be mad. She is the funniest person I know.

A few minutes later:

"My shoes are outside," she says.

"They are? Where?" I say.

"They're in the pool."

"What?" I say, imagining how nasty that pool is.

I get my shoes on and grab a sweater and head for the farthest corner of the yard.

There I found them--in her soup.

The other spoon is still missing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Married a True Outdoorsman

The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats

Tomorrow morning around five a.m., Husband will wake and get ready for his hunt. He'll gather his camo, burlap shades, his call, orange beanie, pocket knife and rifle and a steaming cup of coffee and jump into his Dodge to head for the mountains. He'll set out into the deep, lush wilderness, not far from our home, quietly listening and stalking the illusive.

It's adventures like these that have shaped the man. His loyalty to the wilderness is vast and his respect of the hunt runs deep. He feels proud to live off the land in even the slightest way. He is even prouder to feed his family.

As I have mentioned before, it's days like these that I would wish upon Husband regularly if I could. When he has the chance to escape into the woods or down to the river, something happens inside of him that penetrates. It's as if the very air is God's breath and the trees His long arms, welcoming Husband into the mystery and the beauty that He has created. Husband always returns from such days with a peace and a quiet that only an outdoorsman would know--and love.

The Hunt of 2006

Husband and the Sharratt Boys
(This is no small Elk! He made two record books that year! He was taken out in one shot with a Long Bow by Rickie--the man on the right.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordstock Round-Up


Wordstock was awesome! I attended classes all day Saturday and Sunday and wasn't bored one bit. Husband was out of town last weekend, so I was a little hesitant to run off and be gone for two full-days, but things worked out great and the kids had great fun with their sitters, including my Mom who was in town from Utah. The kids love their Nana.

The classes I took were great. Here is a quick run-down on a few of them:

I took a class on the nuts and bolts of the freelance writing industry from Laurie Sandell who currently writes for Glamour. She was wonderful, funny, extremely down-to-earth and had tons of wisdom for all of us wanting to break into the freelance market. The main advice she gave was to KNOW YOUR MARKET!

I had the opportunity to learn how to balance the writing life with everyday life from a woman who truly knows what it's all about. Carol Cassela author of the new novel, Oxygen, is a nurse and mother of two sets of twins who were born fifteen months apart. If she can write books with all that going on, I'm golden.

Maria Semple said this in her workshop on how to write a great story, "Don't think of yourself as a story teller. View yourself as a story beholder." She also said, "have confidence in yourself, observation and experience. Be careful of the crisis in feeling not interesting or of worth for anyone else to read."

The last class that I attended was called Fire & Ink: Activist Writing taught by Frances Payne Alder. I wasn't sure of all this class would entail when I signed up, but was interested as I have a heart for students who deal with school bullying. I have to admit, that when I saw Alder before class wearing her tie-die head wrap I had to talk myself into staying. It's not that I have any qualms with the likes of hippies or the activist-minded, but it was the fact that I didn't enter that room in the mood to roar, and I had a strange feeling that I was about to be challenged.

So when Alder asked that each of us introduce ourselves and tell a little about our "cause" for social activism I began to feel extremely anxious. Quite a few heartfelt causes were shared, but the one that will stay with me was spoken by a little seven year old girl named Grace. Her mom had brought her to this class so she could learn how to become a social activist for the issue of the lack of school funding in schools today. She spoke bravely several times and was the only class member who read her writing to the others. She wrote far better than I would have expected a seven year old to write, and it was eye-opening to watch such a young mind be stirred into action.

It turned out that there wasn't enough time for all of us to speak, so I was happy to keep my jumbled mess of thoughts to myself and observe. It also turned out that Alder didn't expect any of us to roar, which I was very happy about. That class was the perfect ending to a great weekend. I was provoked to look beyond myself and my writing and see a glimpse of the greater cause. Alder says activist writing is a form of critical inquiry and an act of social responsibility." She asked, "What is the cost of what is written and what is not written?" That was enough to make me stir.

Overall, this last weekend I learned:

awesome ideas+great writing+self-marketing skills+confidence+persistence+tough skin+persistence+tough skin+persistence=

the writing life.

I'm game.

Friday, October 9, 2009


This weekend I am attending two full-days of workshops for writers at Portland's book and literary festival--Wordstock. Tomorrow, I'll be learning about how to become a successful freelance writer, tips on writing a memoir that sells, how to market myself and manuscript to publishers, how not to lose my family or mind while writing a book, and will even meet with editors from the Ooligan Press.

I am thrilled to be taking this next step in my writing journey and know that it is a beginning stepping stone in what will evolve in me as a writer over the coming years.

I look forward to being inspired by the successful, learn from the wise, and hear the stories of the many individuals who have brought their dream of becoming a successful freelancer or author to fruition. There is a passion in each of us and tomorrow, mine will sit comfortably observing the sites and sounds of other writers who have mastered their craft and tell their stories. I aspire to (in a short time) do the same. I may get the basics of grammar confused at times--thanks Riverview Elementary, and Tim--I'm working on it--swear, but the story within me will not leave me alone. I am proud to say that I am finally taking those nightful wakes of dreams of chapters and a book title, unceasing bookish thoughts and heeding the message of mentors and my heart. I can if I will.

I leave you with a quote that sums up my very feelings on all that I have learned in the last month and a half--

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than the one's you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Mark Twain

Here's to an inspiring weekend full of words!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Spending Time

Photo: Brooklynn & Asher McCully October 2008

Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you.~Annie Dillard

Today was spent fabulously. I made it to the gym and got showered while Brooklynn was at preschool--something I plan to accomplish on a regular basis. It's nice when those things are checked off the list BEFORE noon! It didn't use to happen this way.

During naps, I worked on a piece of writing that came to me during my workout and said WRITE ME!! and so I brought the majority of it to fruition this afternoon. I'll share soon. I smile thinking about it. The giveaway will be linked to that post--I have not forgotten the giveaway!

When Husband (I need a new witty name for him) came home from work, he woke the kiddos with his boisterous phone calls so I told him he owed me. He immediately and happily obliged by setting me free to take my writing to the coffee shop. Once there, I continued to write, delete and edit. I am happy with my days progress. It is such a relief to have topics and ideas come to me that I can write freely about. So many times I have tried to spell out something specific in words and it ends up looking like a forced mess. The worst case-scenario for a writer.

Before I knew it, I was home and it was time for the kiddos to get to bed. I wasn't really watching the clock all that close, so I was astonished to see that I was actually back downstairs before 8:30pm. Thus, the very inspiration behind me writing this post this evening. Usually I am tuckered at this time and only feel like reading in bed, catching up on my blogroll for the day or watching trashy reality shows. Well, not the trashy-trashy ones, but you know, I really do have better things to do.

Speaking of things to do. I've began making a list of things to do before the year is over. Have you checked everything off on your list of to-do's for 2009? I am not sure that I had one of those for this last year (I think mine was only to survive grad school while raising babies, which lasted only one semester) but I know that I can come up with a few things to complete before 2010. Wow! We have a BIG year ahead of ourselves!! Here is what I'd like to accomplish before next year:
  1. Get my long distance running back in the neighborhood to be able to run another half-marathon.

  2. Incorporate flaxseed into my daily diet.

  3. Buy a juicer already--cleanse??

  4. Do a couple layouts for Asher's poor baby album.

  5. Get Family pictures taken by Jenn
  6. Visit my Alma Mater.

  7. Make an Advent Calendar for Christmas like my cute sis-in-law Brittany

Any plans for you?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Beach and Stormy Seas

On a whim Saturday morning, Husband and I decided to take the babies to the beach for a quick and relaxing getaway. My in-laws are building a home in Long Beach, Washington, so it was to there we headed. Shortly after buying the beach property, my in-laws had Husband and Little Brother, aka--the guys who can build anything, build a small cabin to house all of us beach-hungry kids of theirs until the house is complete.

The cabin is a cozy little place with kites adorning the walls, a stove to warm fingers and toes, and usually 1-4 outdoors men hustling about getting ready for the next clam dig or crab fishing trip. During the evenings, we usually snuggle in for a movie or spend the night entertaining each other with jokes and stories.

Saturday, Husband, father-in-law & my uncle-in-law took to the seas in their fishing boat to catch us some crab and they did not disappoint! They returned home with 36 MONSTER CRABS!   Let's just say our dinner was nothing short of a feast.  Since the catch, we've made some Divine Crab Pizza and some good old crab cakes. Mmm.

Sunday, we headed for the beach to enjoy one of the last 70 degree afternoons of the year here in the NW. With sand in our toes we ran. jumped. yelled. laughed. played. chased. searched. stared. listened. breathed.

Playing on the beach was the perfect preface to a session of Care of the Soul reading. With Asher asleep and Brooklynn sitting comfortably in the camping chair next to me watching DORA on DVD, I began to read.

Thomas Moore writes,
"There is nothing neutral about the soul. It is the seat and the source of
life. Either we respond to what the soul presents in its fantasies and desires,
or we suffer from this neglect of ourselves. The power of the soul can hurl a
person into ecstasy or into depression. It can be creative or destructive,
gentle or aggressive. Power incubates within the soul and then makes its
influential move into life as the expression of soul. If there is no
soulfulness, then there is no true power, and if there is no power, then there
can be no true soulfulness." pp.129
During a period of time in my late teenage years, I battled depression. I suffered to the point that I was not sure if I'd ever be "normal" again, or if I'd ever be able to feel anything again. I was numb, unable to express myself or make decisions. I was in an unhealthy relationship that was far too unnecessary for a girl my age. It was during this time that I suffered the great conflict of pleasing others and repressing my own needs. Much of the emotional turmoil had to do with differences in my spiritual beliefs and those which I was raised to live, but also was the fact that I had no idea what it meant to take care of my soul.

Around this time, I remember sitting in a booth at Sherry's Restaurant across from my girlfriend, Emily dissecting my sadness and the hopelessness that I was feeling. That night we drank coffee into the wee hours of the morning and she listened as I attempted to strategize an easier course for myself. The struggle proved to run deeper than what a few cups of joe and some good conversation could fix, insomuch that its stubbornness followed me into college, visiting me at often in-opportune times. Although much of my depression had subsided by this time, I was still encountering rough waters. After each hit, I wanted to believe that the storm had settled indefinitely, but just as the ocean conjures, stormy seas would meet me again in clouds of questions and painful crashing waves.

One afternoon during my senior year in college, while driving the winding 270 from Moscow, Idaho back to Pullman, Washington--just nine short miles, the realization came to me--that until I put in the precious time to embrace the ache and dreariness within me, I was never going to reach solid ground. I had to reconcile the weathered parts inside before I could reclaim the parts of myself that I never seemed to have hold of, but seemed to have hold of me.

In an older post I wrote about this period of time when I described my process as I tended to my pain, the questions and the truth. I write about that particular year and that basement that I lived in with adoration, as it was there that I sought and met the beginnings of a personal reconciliation. It was in that tiny little basement bedroom that I surrendered to it all and with what I had of myself spiritually, began to heal and nurture the parts damaged in the storm.

I recognize this cycle of quiet-tending-to throughout difficult times I've faced over the years of my life. Its been necessary as I face trying seasons and it is necessary in my everyday as I am a woman who could not sanely exist without heaping amounts of solitude or my faith.  I'm just happy that at this time in my life I can run. jump. yell. laugh. play. chase. search. stare. listen. and breathe. and do so soulfully and faithfully.

Friday, September 25, 2009

LOVES from this past week

I am loving these word-filled walls, and this sitting room color scheme .

I think I am changing the name of these cookies to--Are You Serious? Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies--There is some serious goodness in every morsel that you'll hardly believe you've made them.

Need to go to Seattle from Portland or vice versus? Check out this shuttle service. Have someone else do the driving as you read & blog in luxury.

I would LOVE one of these by made in the Hudson Valley for my living room. Thanks for the heads up on a great shop, pretty*pink*rat!

Loving these invites. I've already been-there-done-that, but it's a great idea for all you fabric queens and soon-to-be's out there!

Umm...these are too cute for the kitchen.

Get gilding! This post is an absolute fav from The Inspired Room's Fall Nesting Week. Know where I can find a good deal on fake pumpkins??

A Year in the Life of an Art Journal is such a neat site! They show and tell the creations of ABC's of Me Art Journals of all who want to be a part of the process. I think I need to get ABCing my 27th year...and the kids 1st and 3rd...now that's sounding like a lot.

And for you--

credit-we heart it

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Big News...

Quick! They're asleep!...

One sad day, almost two and a half years ago, as I had sat down in my rocking chair to feed Brooklynn her first bottle of the morning, I looked down to see that my wedding ring of only a mere 16 months or so was gone. off my finger. gone. disappeared. vanished.

And I mean VANISHED!! I am not one to lose things. After tearing our small 600 sq. foot house + basement apart with the help of my Hubby, the pit in my stomach grew. I knew that it was gone; I would not find it.

As the days wore past, and after many glances down at an empty left-finger, the reality set in that I had really lost my wedding ring--the ring I failed to get insurance on; the ring that my husband chose for me and proposed with the night before my birthday; the one he couldn't wait for my birthday to give, because I was sad that night and he wanted to make it better; the only ring I ever planned to wear; the one he always said looked great on me and the one that he was proud to have given me--like he had somehow staken his claim with that very jewel.

For the next year I switched it up a little with fake bands. I say switched it up--because two of those rings turned my finger green. It was embarrassing to be at the jewelry counter and be shopping for my left ring-finger. I insisted on replacing my loss with a little something nice, as it was the least that I could do for myself as a ring-widow. It was also very awkward for me. I didn't like to appear unmarried with a toddler in my stroller and a growing belly, and because I was paranoid that some of the sales ladies didn't even believe that I was married...just that I wanted to be. I also felt cheap. I hated feeling that way especially since I knew I had lost such a beautiful wedding ring. Uhh...it really made me feel self-conscious.

After the first year of wearing fakes, Nate surprised me on our anniversary with another ring. Happy and surprised, I thanked him. My heart ached a little though, as my new ring was much different from the one that I used to have that was SO me.

Since the loss two and half years ago, we've moved three times. Each time, we've packed and looked carefully to find the missing ring. Nate and my brother-in-law searched high and low as they tore our tiny basement apart during the remodel of that house. The great mystery remained.

Last Tuesday, Brooklynn and her friend played dress-up in some of her baby clothes. Funny that that box of clothes was even in my house, as all the other boxes of too-small clothes of her's are in the garage in storage. When I finally got to cleaning up the mess on Wednesday, I sat down to fold and organize the clothes into stacks. About half-way through the pile, I felt a little something in the footsie of one of the one-piece outfits. I did a double-feel and right then, I knew exactly what I had felt.

There it was--a little dirty, but with the same glorious beauty--

My long-lost, long-loved, original wedding ring!!!!!!!!!!!!

I jumped up breathless, yelling GET-OUT!s and hightailed it to my phone to send Nate a message.

Remember this? No Way! I wrote next to the picture.

A short time later he returned my call and he couldn't believe it. While he looked at my picture-text he was asking his business partner--"Is that my house?" He couldn't believe that I had found the ring.

And neither can I. The ring is now on my finger, sized correctly, and symbolizes a lot of love and history for us.

This is what I could not wait to share! I hope none of you is let-down by my news. Who knows, maybe you were hoping I'd won a bunch of airline tickets and that I'd take you to NYC with me or to Vegas for a crazy weekend? Maybe you were thinking I had baby news, or that I had a great give-away?

In fact, I like the sound of that last thought--Give Away--since I am totally feeling the love. I'll see what I can come up with and let you know what & how you can win. Keep those eyes peeled! I've been known to bake up some serious goodness and dabble in quite a bit of crafting.

Asher's been screaming at me from his crib for a few minutes now, so I better run...

Have a GREAT night!


Monday, September 21, 2009

A Girl & Her Boots

First, I'd like to say thank you for all the Birthday wishes! It was a lovely week (and day), indeed. Although I did not make it to the bookstore on my own or did I make to the lake for an early morning run like I hoped--(a run at the lake is special not just because it is at the lake, but because I get to go without toting the kiddos), I did enjoy all of the rest that was on my list:

Received my order from Powell's Books

Had some great writing sessions with lots of progress made...

Indulged in the best cupcake I have ever enjoyed from St.Cupcake

Rocked out at my bowling party


Almost dropped dead when I met these beauties face-to-face!

Friends, these boots are SERIOUS! And just in time for the fall!

Actually, there is a funny story that accompanies these boots. Thursday night, two nights before my Birthday, I was standing in my room with my laptop, reading some comments left on my Birthday post and started laughing. My sis, Amber said something to the effect of--"now you go get those boots..." So, I had to ask the husband where we stood on these boots? I mean come on--I don't hint at gift ideas, well, really ever, so when he smiled the other week at my blatant want-of-a-gift, I figured we were good. Also, I must add that I DO trust his taste in picking out awesomeness as he has picked out sunglasses, my wedding ring, and the other cowboy boots that I love--so yes, I figured he'd do the job and pick out some killer boots.

So, when I asked about the boots...I received a so-so response, the kind that you know that nothing has been done about. Laughing and feeling a bit embarrassed, I told him that we were definitely in a pickle since I had posted on my blog that I was hoping for some boots--which, it's not like this was new-news or anything, right? and people have commented on me getting those boots and asked for a peak when they arrive...

Again, he laughed. Not because he was hiding a surprise, but because this blog was going to help me get those boots, dang-it.

And they sure did.

Right then and there, we began the search for the perfect boots. Husband had Laccheses in mind, and after an hour or so of searching, I laid eyes on them, and it was then that I knew that I knew what knowing-when-you-see-it is all about.

A match made in cyber-space.

And even matchy-er match when they arrived on my doorstep.

And even more so, when I jerked them onto my foot--
because this is what you have to do when you put on boots that need to desperately be broken in.

I still smile when I think about them. I know. I know. Just material things--but sometimes it's a look at something so beautifully intricate that makes your day.

I know that Husband is happy that I helped him pull through, too! I had the biggest grin on my face, UNTIL...


Monday, September 14, 2009

Please Excuse This Rant...

Seems I've had a lot of opinions to get off my chest lately, but EXCUSE ME!!! Someone needs to kick Jon Gosseling off the red carpet already! The only reason he EVER became famous is the fact that he has sextuplets and 8 KIDS! So, instead of giving him the red carpet deluxe, the entertainment industry ought to do what's best for him and those kids he forgot about and ban him from these VIP parties that he keeps showing up to. Uhh...what a loser.

I guess I need to start filtering my intake. Seems Internet gossip is getting the best of my solitude this afternoon...

P.S. Kanye West is an idiot, too.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Books, Books, Books!

I just finished reading Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. It is so nice to have completed a book, as I've had a few too many lingering on my night stand. This book I highly recommend. It's an invigorating and mysterious read drenched in the charm and glamor of the early circus era. Check it out.

And while I am on the subject of books, a few things...

Isn't this dreamy?

Credit-We Heart It

I'm swooning over this cozy atmosphere. Nothing appeals to me more than a wall full of books-- and to have them piled above you as you sleep?! You could actually breathe books while you dream! You know, the scent of old books, or better yet--the bookstore? You know what I mean.

Now that I have finished Water for Elephants, I am focusing on September's Book Club read, Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. I'm also working on Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

How about you? What are you reading? Any suggestions for me?



"Book-love, I say again, lasts throughout life, it never flags or fails, but, like Beauty itself, is a joy forever." The Anatomy of Bibliomana Vol.II - Holbrook Jackson

"Only in books has mankind known perfect truth, love and beauty." George Bernard Shaw

"For books are more than books. They are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men lived and worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives." Amy Lowell

"The true university of these days is a collection of books." The Hero as Man of Letters - Thomas Carlyle

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Wish-Full Week!

It's my Birthday Week, and yes, I said WEEK! I've been taking notice of other birthday weeks, so now I am going to join the fun! And let me tell you--I have a lot in store for myself!

Here is a little list of things that I am looking forward to this week:

Hitting the BOOKSTORE alone for a few hours

My POWELL'S Bookstore purchase arriving in the mail

An early morning RUN down by the lake

A trip to ST. CUPCAKE downtown P-Town

Some good old CARE OF THE SOUL reading time

Daily WRITING sessions

The beginning of the next Beth Moore study

A Big Al's Birthday party!! I'll be BOWLING into my 27th year with Husband and some great friends!

And last but not least--a new pair of COWGIRL BOOTS...I hope Husband pulls through on this one...;)

Hope your week is wish-full, too!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dear Summer,

~thank you for your heaps of SUNSHINE~for there were days when I was raining inside, but your glory could not be ignored. Your sunbeams are infectious like the belly-laugh of a child. You can brighten any day~

~thank you for the GROWTH which you've inspired through the richness of your soil and the beauty in your moments; for time continues to tumble and my soul reaps in abundance~

~thank you for SUMMER LOVE~the rekindling of a romance that has felt both the earth tremble and the warmth of your golden rays. Your glory reminds that yours is a season just like the next, and so it is between us~

~this is the beauty~

~thank you for the LONG-LASTING DAYS~the sort that seem to last for an eternity; for the adventure and fun has drenched and consumed; now I settle into your next motion~

until next time,

Farewell Sweet Summer

photo via flickr

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Because I love the fall...

I can hardly wait to read all the ideas for The Inspired Room's upcoming Fall Nesting Week. Bloggers from all over can participate and submit their housewarming ideas for the fall. Lots of decorating and baking ideas! I can't think of a better way to transition into the next season. Ahhh....I'm already daydreaming in pumpkin spice and harvest colors.

Aren't these gorgeous?

I found these beautiful water colored leaves on flickr, idea taken from
mayamade designs. If you'd like to make some, follow this link to the tutorial. And I must say, move over Martha! This crafter is serious. You can find tutorials on how to make pillowcase dresses to confetti eggs for the New Year. It is all quite creative, fun, and a lot of it is child oriented!

I also found this cute fall banner on Mayamade that I thought Brooklynn would love to help make. And I know she'd love to see it on the mantle everyday. :) Now that I think of it...a watercolored leaf banner would be beautiful!

I hope your summer is coming to a pleasant end! Enjoy!

"When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and like a dream of beauty glides away."- Sarah Helen Power Whitman


Thursday, August 27, 2009

A few favorite moments from this week

Brooklynn said to me the other day,
"Mommy? Do you know what's simple?"
"What?" I asked.
"I love you," she said.

Image via boubouteatime

Tuesday morning while reading through my morning blogroll and email, I came across a much unexpected email from an author I quoted in a May blog of mine. Timothy Perrin, who wrote Ray Bradbury's Children, published in the Writer's Digest and later in Just Open a Vein, sent me some kind words of advice, encouragement, and inspiration for this writing life. As I was reading, all I could say out loud was "Shut up!" "Shut up!" or it may have been "No way!" "No way!" I can't remember. I was awe-struck and in inspirational heaven. More on this later...

An afternoon at the Camas farmers market, a huge bouquet of jewel-toned flowers, shopping at Pier 1, and an exchange with a favorite blogger of mine. Of course! I would love to be pen pals!

And how about you?

What's your favorite moment(s) of this week so far?

xoxo, C

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer Took Over

I've been hustling about for the last few weeks taking part in all sorts of events and gatherings. Here's what the husband, the kiddos, and I have been up to...

Alyssa came in town a couple of weeks ago.
She's my best friend from the second grade.

And friends, she's still got moves...

She came in town for our friend, Jen's wedding.

Congrats Jen & Brian!

After a short re-coup session on Sunday, Nate and I packed the kiddos up bright and early Monday morning and drove a long 14 hours to Alpine, UT, just south of SLC, to visit a couple of my siblings and my parents, who recently moved there from Vancouver, Washington, after 24 years. Tuesday, we started the trip out right and headed to Seven Peaks the water slide park and enjoyed an afternoon of family, water, & sun rays. All of my siblings, except my dear brother-in-law, were able to make the trip, and it was such a treat since it is not very often that you'll find us all in one location!

Wednesday us girls spent the afternoon making fabric necklaces and catching up with some relatives that we don't see too often at a family BBQ.

the process

Tams, my Mama, me & Jeannie. The picture is missing Brittany, who came up with the craft idea, and Amber.


My sis, Tams
Thank you Brittany for the pictures!

Thursday we headed to Heber City, UT, not far from Park City for the 2009 Baldridge Family Reunion. It was an enjoyable time where we got to catch up with family and get to know the new-additions. Brooklynn and Asher had a blast with their cousins and second cousins. Everything went wonderfully thanks to my Mom, who organized the details of the event. There was good food and a good time had by all!

Friday night at the reunion was the best part by far. There was a TALENT SHOW! I could hardly get enough of the sweet kiddie talent, the melodrama by Grandma, skits by my cousins and aunt & uncle, and the Johnny Cash-style number by Grandpa. There was seated-scavenger hunts & a fun-fact game about all the adults, too. Mounds of fun. I think I had a smile on my face for two straight hours.

Before going on the trip I mentioned the talent show to Brooklynn and she was more than excited. She talked about it practically every day, so when we got there we signed her up, and she did not disappoint! When it was her turn I took her to the stage and handed her the microphone. She recited the nursery rhyme Diddle Diddle Dumping and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I was so proud of her and the confidence she has. I love that little voice of her's, too.

So there you have it--a couple weeks worth of outings that have kept us busy and me away from this computer. Breaks are always nice, and healthy, too, but I sure missed blogosphere.

Thanks for sharing in this thing that I love!



Monday, August 10, 2009

5 things to do before summer is over

I am loving the new blogs that I've come across in the last few days. One of them is an inspirational blog called Oh, Mishka. Today, she features another blogger's post on 5 things to do before summer is over. Here's what I came up with:

1. Do some major berry picking and make my first batch of jam.

2. Get my hair done!--It has been far too long! A little more light or should I revamp with an all-over brilliant-brown for the upcoming Fall? Did I mention that I am secretly excited for the Fall?

3. Make a trip to the beach. It's only an hour and a half or so away, and the kiddos still have yet to dig their toes in the sand this year...

4. Complete the books on my nightstand. I am obsessed with books, so often, I find myself wanting to hoard new ones and crack them open before I've finished the other three.

5. Enjoy a patio/sunset dinner with Husband. I know BEACHES knows how to do this right with the river, sailboats, and boardwalk-sunset-views. AND they make a heavenly Key Lime Pie.

What about you? What's on your list of must-do's?

photo courtesy of veer.com

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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