Thursday, September 30, 2010

comfort in the fortune.

It's not the first time that I've found comfort in a fortune cookie.

I wouldn't suggest relying on said cookies for firm advice,
but sometimes,
the one-liner feels spot on.

I've been carrying these around for the past three weeks or so,
as a reminder to myself that
some days,
we are spoken to.
Even be it through a fortune cookie.

When I read this, I felt understood--
as if the fortune writer was writing to me only,
and him or her knew that if I hadn't some relief soon,
I might just give up and instead gear my life towards better housekeeping.

I smiled. Relieved on the inside.

Because the kids were reeking havoc and unaware of the cookies,
Husband and I each took another.
I smiled again.

There is a method to this madness.
In some sort of whirlwind of timing or lack thereof,
the necessary focus is driving its point home.

I take notice.
I do.

Husband and I have this thing when we are out for Chinese.
If the fortune is bad, we don't eat the cookie.
Well, that's just him-- 
I'm not the superstitious type.

I just believe in mass produced fortune cookies.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Bring your friends.
This is going to be good.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a bunch of hoots

The previous owners of our first house,
had an owl collection
tucked away in the attic.

It was an interesting bunch of owls that we came across...
hand carved owls,
an owl candle, glass owls, white ceramic owls
with red eyes, all sorts of owl knick knacks.

I considered keeping the set,
but in its entirety it was about 20-25 pieces,
and to put it frank--
some of them scared me
were a far stretch
in resembling an owl.

However, I believe I ended up keeping 6-8 of them.
If I can locate them in my garage would you like to see
this fine collection?
I'll consider searching.

These owls here,
are my type of owls.

this owl is inspiration.
he welcomes life
in a soar with wide-open wings,
breathing and hooting
ditties of rhythm to what would otherwise be
redundant, dreary-old owl tales.
his sound enlivens the soul;
his presence radiates infectious warmth
during long fall nights.

this owl is wise,
cautious and methodical.
he embraces truth where others slander,
and feels the aching pains and triumphs of tomorrow.
he's a philosopher,
an author of his life;
inviting others to see for themselves.
"think," he encourages.
"think," and
"find your own truth."

he may be smaller than the others, but
 this owl is destined to lead.
he strives for the unthinkable,
believing in the
treasure that lie ahead.
Others heed his message;
he's of noble and true character.
Eventually, after many moons,
his wingspan will surpass his
and they'll look to him to do it all--

and give

These treasures are for the wise.
You are wise.

They'll be in the shop at 9am tomorrow!
UPDATE: they are in the shop
and one of them is featured here!

Unfortunately, the big news will have to wait until tomorrow, too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

around my neck of the woods...

there's a lion crawling around,

and half a delicious Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
waiting to be eaten.

I know.  How could this be?
I'll thank my amazing dinner guests from last night
for the excuse to make this to-die-for treat, if I do say so myself.
Seriously, it is a treat. 
Move over Pumpkin Pie,
this ones a keeper.

And while I am in the spirit of thanking,
I'd like to give a shoutout to my favorite mail lady.
She is the sweetest, and today she brought to my door
a package that I have been waiting on for over three weeks!
But when you can't read Turkish,
finding out where your package is, is in fact impossible.
Thank you Mail Lady, and
thank you Turkish suppliers for throwing in some extras!
It was very much appreciated after the LONG wait!
You are very kind.

No, not all of this came today, but I thought I might show you the jist,
to get your mind moving in my direction.
I'm not sure if you realize, but in those two plastic bags on the right
 is the glue to put together some serious

Only in the perfect fall combinations.

Keep your ears and eyes open.
Tomorrow I'll be introducing a few new treasures,
and sharing
a HUGE deal.

Check back tomorrow!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

go get it.

My meeting yesterday was a success.

It is a wonderful feeling to know that wherein your life has led you,
there is purpose.

The principal who I met with yesterday,
wants to implement the program.
His being on board with the cause--
{bully prevention}
instills in me confirmation
and confidence.

To know that I can give on a community level
instills a reward
that is priceless.

When I injured my back five months ago,
my plans to run the Portland Marathon
were tossed out.
At first, it was only an annoyance,
I figured my back would heal in under a week,
and that I'd hit the pavement again.
But it wasn't that easy.
Each time I thought I'd had adequate rest,
and the strains had healed,
I'd go out to run
and find my back pulling and straining again.
I paid visits to my chiropractor regularly,
underwent serious therapeutic massage.
When I say therapeutic, I mean
fist-clenching pain.

During this time, I was also doing quite a bit of writing.
My mission was to put the painful past onto the page;
to write it out;
to have it written in effort to sort, to understand,
and to heal;
to help others heal.

Then my back issues flared up.

How do you focus in two drastically different areas
when each feels like it requires

 I recall being in the shower one day,
when I thought,
I wonder why I haven't thought to pray about my back issues?
I am the praying type, so for a moment, this boggled my mind.
My mind moved along to my next thought,
tucked far behind the obligations, stresses, and daily redundance that consumes--
because you know there is a lesson in this back pain.

Then the following dawned on me--
You can't run two marathons at once.

I am not capable of writing a book proposal,
advocating for the broken,
running a marathon,
let alone a household,
while raising two toddlers.

My life is not meant to happen this way.
I am a passionate woman, but passion can only
be spread so thin before it moves into insanity.

It took some time--a few more runs that threw my back into further strain,
before I really began to let up.
The lessons I'm learning aren't only
faith that when something is off--
when you are moving against the grain
in one way, shape or form--
there is a lesson which needs acknowledgement
or greater attention.

Next month is the Portland Marathon.
A smidge of envy may fall upon me as I rise that morning
of 10/10/10,
but then I'll consider my current whereabouts,
and think of the steps that I've made toward my advocacy
and see that they are big steps--
steps that I wouldn't have made
had I been researching gels, sweat-wicking clothes and
speed strategies.
Then I'll consider the future,
and the reality that the Portland Marathon isn't going anywhere,
that it will return again in 2011,
and quite possibly,
I'll be able to give her a shot.

Until then,
the focus and the discipline is paying off--
in the most magnificent way.

"You Got a Dream... You Gotta Protect It. People Can't Do Somethin' Themselves, They Wanna Tell You You Can't Do It. If You Want Somethin', Go Get It." ~ Chris Gardner

(The Pursuit of Happiness)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

a bold step in my journey

Tomorrow morning, I meet with a prior teacher of mine,
 who is now a local high school Principal.
On our agenda:

the issue of school bullying.

I haven't talked about it much, besides vague references here and there, and brief mention of it on my sidebar, so today, I'd like to share with you the details.
Currently, I am taking the appropriate steps to become an Olweus Bully Prevention Trainer.
My desire is to help schools reduce and overcome what school bullying has become today.

In the eighth grade, I was severely bullied.
It occurred regularly, with everything happening short of being punched in the face.
I think about the emotional abuse I endured, and have often wished I had been
physically beat up, rather than emotionally beat up. 
Unfortunately, there was no choosing in this matter.
My belongings were stolen, threats became the norm, my locker vandalized, the bathroom walls were scrawled with my name more than naught, my gym clothes covered in slurs.  
I was voted Valentine's Day princess at the school dance with a handicapped boy voted Prince, and my first crush only paid me attention over the telephone and off school grounds.
I took an F in PE because I was scared to be in the locker room,
and I was unsure of going places because I wasn't sure who I might run into.
I was taunted, belittled, and most of my friends dropped off the map, afraid to be bullied, too.
They eventually came back around after my older bullies left for high school, which left me both relieved and conflicted.

Before that year I was "normal,"
outgoing, the student body vice-president of my elementary school.
After that year, I was a shell, afraid, insecure, broken,
and later numb to everything that had ever worried me.

In the years following,
I managed to pick up the pieces and move along as one does in life.
But the brokenness never disappeared, and the scars remained in my mind and in my heart, affecting my relationships, my trust, and the love I was able to give and accept.  I was entirely different than I was before that year--expecting the hate, the abuse, the dislike, assuming my worth was somewhat disposable if they--whoever they were at the time, chose.  Unfortunately, the effects of this abuse didn't end with a school bell.
This way of thinking trapped me in and out of depression over the next ten years or so. 

It was during the time that I was pregnant with my daughter that I finally put my foot down.
I thought if I am going to bring new life into this world,
I have to bring her into what is
 right and true.
It was the mother's love that I felt for her even before she was born, that helped me see the way that my mother cared for me, and how she ached as I dealt with my brokenness. 
It was then that I realized I needed to be better for myself and for my daughter,
before I could teach her about
happiness--the fundamental of life.
But there is no happiness where there is no truth.

It is both amazing and troubling to realize how damaging words can truly be.
The school-age is an especially vulnerable age when small things are huge,
and when
what is petty to us adults has the chance of becoming magnified in young eyes.
They are years which are capable of inspiring or hindering souls.
In my case, those years placed rivets on my spirit,
and it took many more years to break free.

In the last four years or so, I can say that I have broken the surface and made significant progress in uncovering the issues of self-worth, and to a large extent, the self-hatred that I carried with me over ten years.
It has taken much faith, self-talk and the reminding of myself that I am not the things that I believed I was after that cruel year, but am and will be everything that I want to be.
I've had to remind myself that what was screamed were lies,
and of the truths that I know,
in effort to keep my experience in perspective.

Today, my perspective is that my experience
is part of a larger plan.
It is driving me into an advocacy for change
and to give help and hope.
I believe my greatest work lies in what was my greatest challenge.

When I was younger, school bullying was taboo;
teachers thought the best way was to let students work it out,
children were afraid to tell their parents with worry it would get worse.
Children are still afraid to talk.
However, we are learning this approach is not effective,
and not talking is driving some, who are hopeless, to the edge.

Tomorrow morning, I will share some of my story.
In the past, it has been only shared with those close to me.
Tomorrow, I will share in effort to help;
to help others understand, and
to help those whose lives have been
bound by rivets and lies,
and encourage them into living life in
truth and happiness.


a very good day.

Sunday, I paid a visit to one of my favorite friends. 
When I arrived with a haul of maternity clothes to cover her sweet baby bump due to arrive in November,
she surprised me with a birthday gift!

Fancy this...

the cutest to do/notes by thomaspaul.
Now I can write lists in style!
Find more awesome stationary here.
I have my eye on the chocolate-orange-marigold set.

A journal by Sabrina Ward Harrison.

Shannon and many of you know that I am a HUGE SWH fan.
This is such a great piece of her work to own.
In fact, I am such a fan that I already had this great book.
However, it is so lovely that I haven't taken a pen to its pages.
I just don't dare ruin the artwork.
I can make my own mess elsewhere...

With Shannon's blessing, I took this beautiful journal back to its home in search of another another gem.
You know where this book led me?
To none other than
I want to thank Shannon for giving me the excuse to treat myself
to eye-candy heaven!

When I arrived, I almost melted to the floor.
About eight must-have books practically jumped off their shelves and tables
trying to catch my eye and swoon me into taking them home.

Here are some in no particular order...

Inspiration selections from Paulo Cohelo the great.

Because "old" has been whispering to me...

Jane Eyre
*I just LOVE these bound books*
You probably remember them from a previous post.

Pride and Prejudice
Great Expectations
Made From Scratch.
This should be my next purchase.
She writes about beekeeping, clothes making, and hen picking.
All necessary things for our country move on the horizon.
More on this soon. :)

While overcome with the huge decision,
Shannon's magic gift buying reasoning ran through my head:

buy something that you wouldn't buy yourself.

And the choice was made:

I've always wanted to splurge and buy
entire book on cupcakes.
Can you imagine...

there are
Coffee Cupcakes,
Coconut Cupcakes,
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes,
Ginger Cupcakes,
Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes
 and even
Lemon Cupcakes!!!


a lovely friend. presents. eye candy. books. a book of treats, nonetheless.
it was a good day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

For the love.

Today, Design Sponge is featuring
a recipe with my name all over it.

Giant Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies.

I can't think of anything better to indulge in, than these on
this rainy, September day.

p.s. I've been working on re-vamping my Etsy shop,
 so expect some new arrivals soon!

i wish i had a wish.

...or a wish bracelet...

or a sweet imagination
like this girl.

these two are the most
precious wishes
come true.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sweet baby treats

The other week,
I made these tiny animal sugar cookies for a baby shower.
Tiny was perfect for two reasons:
1) animal crackers are tiny
2) they accompanied an entire table of other mouth watering goodies!
Tiny was not perfect for one main reason:
1) it took FOREVER!!

But they sure were cute.

The little ones loved them, too.

I figure once my mind has forgotten how long these little animals took, I just might make another batch for the kids.  I'll let them do the decorating, and leave the piping and filling out of it.

I followed direction and decorated the cookies according to the shower color scheme.
My friend, Gaby, knows how to throw an awesome shower!
It was darling!

She sent the most precious invites,
and used the same colors to decorate for the shower.

I love all the little touches of green and yellow.

It turned out SO cute!

My friend knows how to bake, too.  Seriously.  See for yourself:

She made all these finger-lickin-good treats by herself!
They were delicious.
Unfortunately, I had to decline when she tried to send some extras home with me.
I splurged when I had dessert for dinner that night.
Talk about a good night!

And a cute mama!
Congrats Kristian!
He'll be here any time!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I am not my mother...and other lessons learned this past year.

My 27th year bestowed upon me plenty of necessary lessons.

It's not a good year unless there are lessons, right?

As I grow into my adulthood, I've began to measure my years by said lessons, and it is in fact, quite rewarding at the end of another year, to reflect on the lessons, or the themes woven throughout my year.

Here's what year 27 threw my way:

A lesson on Friendship:
Part of having friends and being a good friend to yourself,
is knowing when to release and let go.
There is a growing and a changing that inevitably happens over time to each one of us. It's the moving with and being flexible to this change that I've found to be the only means of understanding changing relationships, and what might otherwise remain a frustrating, sad, mystery.

A MAJOR lesson on Balance:
The illusive target of my life.
Seems I've had to teeter on the edge of insanity this year to experience the jumbled mess that life can be without balance! Who knew that such a subject would require such touch lessons?!
I'll admit,
I allow myself to suffer from overload and feeling overwhelmed because I want to do everything MYSELF! During the upheaval that such nonsense brings, balance calls to me, saying, catch me if you can!
It's a horrible game to play, and even worse when it is self-inflicted.
Undoing and sorting through the expectations that I've given my life is a task in itself.
However, I believe there is a sweet balance to be lived in my life, where I can be mommy/wife/creative spirit in the perfect proportions, and where we (my family, friends and I) all win!

A lesson on Mystery:
There is more mystery in this life than I've cared to acknowledge at times.
I think it is normal to want to understand this life that we are living, and attempt to do so by separating the factors into boxes in our minds (I heard this analogy a bit ago and it makes sense to me).
But, I've learned!
Placing people into boxes is wrong, while attempting to understand everyone and everything
is a fete unattainable for the human mind,
AND is not my job.
During this last year, there has been a handful of moments when I've realized what I thought I had figured out, was exactly not.
I've been humbled and accept the mystery a little more.
I don't love feeling vulnerable to this life and the unknowing,
but there is no two ways around it.
Mystery wins again!

Lessons on God:
He is on my side.
I am learning and progressing in my walk to solely depend on Him--
He wants my whole heart.
Just as in my relationships and in life's mystery at times, I feel vulnerable and it can be hard for me to throw my arms up and ask Him the big questions and expect an answer~
What next God?
Why do I feel tangled between ideals and reality?
When will it unravel and come together the right way?
This year I pray to be more faithful, to step fully into His walk for me.
I know it's enough for me, and there will be the balance that I need.
I've also learned to foster an attitude of expectancy when it comes to having a relationship with God.
He's a big God who wants us to ask him big things.
He's waiting to be beckoned. He's waiting for us to ask Him to show us the way.

Lessons on Marriage:
Whoever claimed the first year of marriage to be most rocky,
was WRONG.
I would like to executively change this saying to the first FIVE years.
I feel better.
As I am coming up on year five of marriage, I'd like to shout hoorah!
Toughing through the first five years of marriage and having children early in this time,
has required some serious elbow grease.
Was it worth it? Surely.
We've been creating a beautiful thing over these years.
A good thing requires work,
and when you work hard at something,
it's that much easier to protect and nurture.

A lesson on Strength:
This year I completed my second half-marathon and a 15k with great personal records!
When I threw my back out in April, plans for the Portland Marathon were tossed out.
My injury humbled me in away, and lead me to notice how exercise can become a vice,
and take focus from areas that might need more attending.
The time out has helped me slow down.
Learning what I'm physically capable of has increased my confidence in myself. 
It's amazing what the physical can do for the mental and vice versus.
I am strong both physically and mentally.

An on-going lesson--I Am Not My Mother,
and it's okay:
I grew up with a wonderful, dedicated, loving housewife as my mother.
She volunteered at my school, packed me lunches, took me to lessons, and had dinner prepared every night.
Even as I slept in in High School, she'd still cook me up a couple eggs if I was running late and bring them to me in my bathroom.
I know. Spoiled.
Although she has blessed my upbringing in unmeasurable ways, her example exhausts me.
I try and I try to do all the things she did for me and expect them for my own life and for my family, but constantly feel as though I am falling short. I fight with myself over the things my heart longs to do that might take me from the home; the fact that I wouldn't be an exclusive housewife feels negative, and scares me back into wanting to fill those shoes that aren't mine.
This is not to say that I don't love being home with my children. I do. I feel privileged to be their main care-taker, and that I am married to a successful business owner who can help us afford for me to do so. Let me tell you though, it ain't all rainbows and flowers helping your Husband run a business. But there is this part of me that wants to use my other talents and gifts outside of the home, and to show my children that I love them and have other passions that drive me as well.
The self-inflicted expectations are silly, and are not scary when recognized.
I am not raising my daughter to be me, nor did my mother raise me to be her.
Somewhere between the life I've known and the one I'm creating is the balance that I am seeking.
It's there...and
I can't wait to claim it.
Hopefully the answer that I am searching for will happen upon me during this 28th year.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Today I wore yellow, and other grand things...

Wearing yellow on your birthday
 is the cherry on top!

Trust me. 
Even after a rough spot this morning,
the minute I slipped on my favorite yellow frock,
I felt grand.

Birthdays are all about feeling grand!

Today I also felt grand
at church,
while out for Mexican with the fam,
when I successfully completed my first business account reconciliation,
(I know, really?  On my birthday?)
with the phone calls and reading my lovely birthday messages,
listening to my little ones sing me Happy Birthday,
while eating this heavenly Chocolate Pudding Cake a la mode.

It was divine. 

Here's to~


Friday, September 10, 2010

Montana love.

Last night I returned from my week long trip to Montana. It couldn't have been any lovelier. Each day was filled to the brim with activities, laughter and relaxation. There is nothing like sister-time to rejuvenate the soul, and there is nobody like a sister who understands your whereabouts and how and why you got there!

My sis is seriously so lucky to be livin it up in the great state of Montana.
God didn't skimp when it came to creating that beautiful state.
It is breath-taking and inspiring.

For Christmas, I am asking for one of these.

See how happy we are?
We need it.
And the kiddos--Well they just love each other,
and need cousin time just as much as I need sister time.

This little girl sobbed the first half-hour upon our return home. 
She told me between breaths that she missed her cousins. 
It melted my heart.

Family + the lake + the tree lined sky of Montana = love.

“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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