December 19, 2010

My Glass is Full...

my amazing birthday cake on a vintage plate....i ate the whole thing.

My birthday was a week ago.  The days leading up to my birthday had me in a awkward state.  In my infinite wisdom of 31 (4 years ago), I made all these goals to be accomplished by the time I was 35 (present).  Since I'm not fluent in French, I don't have a gaggle of kids and I'm not the weight I was at 29...I got depressed. 

Then the actual day came, and I was reminded how truly lucky I am.  This year has tested my faith a little, and I've had to breathe and remind myself that I'm exactly where I am supposed to be.  I'm sick of beating myself up because I'm not everything I wish I was, but instead want to spend the next year focusing on everything I am...

I still have hopes for what 35 brings, but accept my wonderful life for what it currently is:  raising a two year old, maintaining a marriage, trying to be healthy, trying to be authentic and managing a home.  I'm a blessed girl and sometimes I forget to sit back and enjoy what is right in front of me.

Here's to a wonderful 35.


November 24, 2010

Gratitude.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here is what I'm currently grateful for....

1.  Christmas music playing on 99.9 already.  There is singing on every car ride and Harrison loves it!
2.  Having so many wonderful friends with boys the same age as my own....it's like a little football team.
3.  A husband who still opens the car door for me.
4.  Having a royal wedding to obsess over.
5.  The clarity and courage to see things for what they are, and trust the process of this amazing ride called life.

Happy Thanksgiving.


November 22, 2010

The Spades.


I just stumbled upon these photographs of Andy and Kate Spade's home recently.  I've been obsessed with her from a young age, and when I worked at the store, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting her a couple of times.  They are the coolest, nicest, most stylish people you can ever imagine meeting.  These photos just confirm how laid back and hip they really are.






Go here to see the rest....

November 9, 2010

Catching Up...

image from paul ferney's cake collection.  I'm obsessed.

This blog is a little bit like my long distance friendships.  I think about them all the time and have so much to say, but finding the time to actually sit down and chat is difficult.  So, we'll just have to do what Marissa and I do and cover it all in segments. 

Right now I'm in the throes of planning Harrison's birthday party.  He will be 2 years old and it's so much fun to see him get excited about having a party.  Of course I've bitten off more than I can chew (as usual) and am feeling a little stressed.  Hopefully by the time he's 5, I'll have learned to just grab a cake from costco and call it a party.

In other news, I've sworn off sweets (mostly) and did a 2 1/2 week detox which granted me a 10 pound weight loss.  I'm so happy and feel great.  I still have little bites now and then, but my cravings are totally under control.

It officially feels like Fall here, and this morning I had to wear a sweatshirt.  Yippeee!

October 4, 2010

Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.


It rained today.  I told myself that I wasn't going to write again until it cooled down because I had nothing positive to say.  The heat and sunshine were making me feel the way your mouth feels after a trip to the dentist.  Your tongue is dry and numb and you can't wait for all the necessary sensations to come flooding back.  That's how I have felt lately.  It hasn't looked pretty, so I've been quite.

Today I stood in my backyard with an umbrella and watched rain water all my plants and I inhaled the smell of wet pavement and a cleansed soul.  Plus, I also saw a whole barrel of white pumpkins at Trader Joes today...my insides started to tingle.  I'm already excited for the first day I can wear my Virginia Johnson shawl around my neck for warmth (maybe November?), but for now....

Happy October.  I couldn't be happier you are here.

September 6, 2010

Is Summer Over?

How did it get to be September 7th?  Does this mean that Fall is around the corner and Summer is tip toeing out of the picture?  I'm craving crisp air and a slight breeze.  I have confidence that September will deliver...even if it's 9:00 at night {I'm a night owl anyway}.

Anyway, this video makes me happy.  Sometimes I love my cute little sidekick, and other times, I miss solitude and quiet.


August 16, 2010

Healthy Deodorant.


Here is my new favorite thing.  I live in Phoenix, Arizona where right now it's about 106 degrees {give or take} during the day with around 40-50% humidity.  Clearly it's Dante's Inferno.  Luckily I found this incredible all natural deodorant by Lavanila.  It comes in a few different vanilla scents, but I've been using the plain vanilla {kind of smells like a clean baby} and am loving it!  It really is amazing and I love that I don't have to think twice about what's inside. 

Can only be purchased on the website or Sephora.  It's a little pricey for deodorant, but totally worth it... I have a nose like a bloodhound and become crazy over unpleasant smells.

August 9, 2010

Ending My Sabbatical.


I'm back from my spontaneous sabbatical where I gave myself time to regroup and recharge.  I've been feeling quite down the past few months, and just had enough in me to care for the important things.  I've been sad and very reflective lately.  I truly do trust God's plan, but faith is never without doubt and worry.  I've been blindsided a few times now, and the ground is feeling quite shaky.  However, I march on believing...

Luckily, God gave me a gem of a first born to get me through the heartache.  Harrison is so full of personality, fun and character that he keeps me on my toes and full of smiles. He is not without his challenges, but I'm so grateful he is mine, and know his strong personality will show up as something incredible someday. 

We just returned from an amazing vacation in Laguna Beach where my soul was refreshed by the ocean air and change of scenery.  It's a little unfair to come home to Phoenix in August, but I'll make the best of it.

                      

June 15, 2010

In the Trenches and Dreaming of Picnic Baskets...



The past few weeks have consisted of a sick baby, a sick me, broken television, broken refrigerator, mom and dad both out of town, a husband obsessed with fantasy baseball and endless hours of thomas the train playing on the dvd player.   

Sometimes I see a bicycle picnic basket like this one, and I dream of living in a big urban city and getting away from it all.  I'd fill my basket with duck and decanter type sandwiches, gourmet chips and perfectly cold diet coke.  I'd peddle to a nearby park, sit under a big tree and read magazines till my heart's content.

Don't get me wrong...my little one owns my heart, but a little peace and quiet is attractive.  Some days while I'm running around "in the trenches", as I like to call it, I get a glimpse of who I was before I became a mother and I miss that creative, funny, carefree girl.  I know she'll be back one day and until then...I'll eat sandwiches with my miniature sidekick and treasure the days with him...quiet or not.

If anyone really wants this bicycle basket, it and many other goodies, are at kate spade's sample sale

May 28, 2010

Gratitude.


Oh...what a week it's been.  J. has been out of town which means I've been a one man show with a crazy 18 month old.  It's been tantrum after tantrum, he threw a toy at our television {it's broke}, and today he froze all the registers at Safeway by hitting every button imaginable on the credit card machine.  It's time to be grateful....

1.  The way Harrison's eyelashes look in the bath...clumped together and beautiful.
2.  A husband who is involved and gives me a daily break {I've really noticed in his absence}.
3.  Sex and the City 2
4.  School is out...which means I have more friends to play with this summer.
5.  The swing that hangs from a tree in our backyard.  It's one of the only things that endlessly entertains Harrison.

My husband is home....happy weekend.

May 24, 2010

Time to Write...


I haven't been here for a while...

Mothers Day was lovely and I felt blessed from head to toe.  Then life handed me an unexpected curve ball and since then I've been processing, healing and looking ahead.  Too often I forget that I have much less control than I realize.  I try to plan, orchestrate and dictate how things will be.  Then a Higher Power steps in and reminds me that it's really not up to me at all.

I was pregnant...and now I'm not.  I didn't see it coming and was sad and confused.  I was so grateful that it happened early and that I already have Harrison.  I'm trusting the process and know there was a reason unbeknownst to me.  Now I'm finding the positive and opening myself up for the divine plan and not my own.  God brought me amazing Harrison and I know His plan will amaze me again...

May 9, 2010

My Version of Motherhood.

Happiness in the backseat with sunglasses and sippy cup.

God has blessed me with the most happy, jovial, outgoing, fun and energetic first child. It's no surprise, really. I often need the lesson that he is here to teach me. He made me a mother and I never take this job for granted. I'm honored every day to be his side kick, and thank God every night that I get to be Harrison's mom.

I think every mother out there has her own style of raising her children. It's interesting to see how my friends do things differently than I would, and what their styles teach me. For me motherhood means....
  • Caring less about a messy house and more about a happy child {I wish I could be better about cleaning up...but I'm just not}.
  • Affection, affection, affection.
  • Figuring out what makes them tick and nurturing their strengths.
  • Modeling behavior that I want them to emulate someday.
  • Letting them know that, above all else, they are the greatest miracle of my life.
  • Constant "I love yous" and "I'm proud of yous" go a long way....every child wants their parent's approval.
  • Taking comfort in knowing that "you reap what you sow" and that one day all this hard work will come back to you in the form of a loving, good, happy adult.
Here is a little clip of a typical afternoon moment.  The best laugh in the world happening over dropping a little wooden pig on the ground while standing on a step stool...

video


Happy Mothers Day.

May 1, 2010

May Day.


Today is the first day of May and we have a few more days of lovely weather before it's gone.  I'm going to spend the day going to a Farmer's Market, picking out some jewelry I won last weekend, eating sandwiches, pushing my little one in a swing, working outside on projects and riding my bike.

Happy May Day.

April 27, 2010

Project Number One.


Last week I took on the task of transforming a pair of unfinished wood kid's adirondack chairs.  It was for a fundraiser of a group I belong to and the event was Saturday night.  I decided to make them gender neutral, but fun enough to be interesting.  I was so nervous and stressed over every little detail.  They ended up being a big hit and went home for the maximum bid {$200}!  I was pleased as punch...

This week I'm working on the little table and chairs for Harrison...pictures to follow.

Note:  If you don't live in Arizona but have been hearing the newsworthy buzz of a law passed Friday.  Please know that I'm embarrassed and share the view of  mayor Phil Gordon as read here.

April 22, 2010

Saving the earth...and other projects.


Today is Earth Day and I'm going to do my part to help make this a better place for my son and his friends to live.  I always recycle, turn off running water, nurture our 80 year old citrus trees and always plant something new for today's purpose.  The earth is such a beautiful place to exist...we can all do a little something extra to show it our love.

I've been a busy little bee this week refinishing and painting furniture.  I'm finally transforming a little table set that I bought for Harrison a month ago.  I'm also painting some kid's adirondack chairs for a fundraiser I'm attending on Saturday.  I've been in heaven hanging out in the garage painting, while in a creative zone... listening to my own thoughts, as well as the sounds of the neighborhood {barking dogs, bus doors opening and closing, runners, kids on bikes}.  Pictures will appear as soon as I'm finished.

Enjoy the Earth today...

photo from flickr


April 14, 2010

Spending Time...


I've been a little out of touch lately.  In my defense, I've been spending my free time playing outside, attempting to organize my house, laundry, walking by the local movie set, flipping through magazines, pushing Harrison in the swing & eating popsicles.  Spring in Arizona is nothing short of sublime...

Unfortunately, the past few days we've had to start the air conditioning and turn all the fans on...it's getting warmer and warmer.  Which means very soon, playing outside will be merely a dream and we'll all suffer from cabin fever.  I'm getting anxiety just thinking about it.

Luckily, I can be entertained by a show I've been talking about since last September.  9 By Design premiered last night and it was everything I hoped it be...and more.  I'm amazed at these talented and beautiful people with seven happy kids running around.  I will be glued to my TV every Tuesday night from here on out.  They are so hip and stylish, I can hardly stand it.

April 1, 2010

April.


 Oh...what a few weeks it's been around here.  Last week was one of the most exhausting, challenging weeks I remember having in a long time.  I now have a child who screams and cries {full on tantrums} when he doesn't get what he wants, something is taken away from him, or I just can't understand him.  It's INSANE and there was a day last week that I thought might put me over the edge.  I'm trying to hold my ground as the one in control, but I have found myself tossing a toy into the shopping cart just so I could finish my trip in peace.  What happened to that sweet baby that cooed and cuddled?

In other news, our little neighborhood has turned Hollywood!  Will Ferrell is shooting a movie two streets away called, Everything Must Go.  There are cars lining the streets, a crane holding the camera while they shoot scenes and security everywhere.  Today Harrison and I walked over there, and Will Ferrell was being brought to the set right in front of us.  They'll be filming here for another 6 weeks for any friends that want to come and see the action.

Today is the beginning of April and that means the last month or so of playing outside, evening walks at 5:00 and play dates at the park.  I'm going to try and soak up every minute of it...

Happy April.


March 22, 2010

Cartwheels.


In an effort to amuse my son last night, I did a cartwheel in the backyard before dinner.  I excitedly kicked off my flip flops, walked into the grass and began with both hands on the cool ground.  He squealed with laughter and I felt so happy and free....until I landed and the pain radiating through my leg told me that I wasn't 12 years old anymore.

It got me thinking of how much I miss being 12 years old.  Unfortunately when I was young, I couldn't wait to be where I am now...older.  It so sad to think of all the time I wasted, wishing to be an adult.  The wonderful thing about having children is that you get to relive what you didn't appreciate the first time around.  Luckily I have the perfect kid to bring out the fun in me.

Here's to a wonderful week of practicing cartwheels....

March 18, 2010

Charlie.


One of the thousands of reasons why I love where I live....today the neighborhood celebrated Charlie the Horse's 7th birthday.  In Arcadia many horse properties were grandfathered in, so we still have the luxury of petting a horse or two on an evening walk.  The owner had a barrel of apples, molasses and oats to dip carrots, and a "happy birthday" carrot cake for everyone.  I've never seen such a happy horse.


The turn out was incredible and everyone had fun brushing, petting and feeding the horse {as well as the goats & pig}.  Harrison and I ate our cake and walked home in a cool breeze...


...what a life.

March 15, 2010

My Job.

Just another day at the "office"

Reason why I love my job....
  • "Work" trips usually include parks, shopping malls, museums and friend's houses.
  • Meltdowns can be alleviated with a few animal crackers.
  • People are always willing to fill in for me.
  • I usually don't "clock in" until 8:00 am.
  • Naps are encouraged.
  • I don't get in trouble for talking too much or surfing the internet.
  • The pay isn't monetary but kisses, smiles and hugs keep me going.
  • I get a lot of support from other "departments" {friends, family, dr's, etc...}
  • Based on my title, I get to make life changing decisions.
  • My boss is very demanding, but every day he teaches me how to laugh and have fun.
Today was a challenging day in my role, so I needed a gentle reminder of just how
 wonderful I really have it.

March 12, 2010

Gratitude.


In an effort to graciously accept life's blessings, here is what I'm feeling grateful for right now...

  1. I get to stay home and raise Harrison...nothing is more valuable to me than spending my days with the greatest miracle I've ever known.
  2. I'm pretty much off sugar and feel much more balanced and happy.
  3. I scored the most adorable kids table and chairs at an antique store for $30.  I'm going to paint it and make it look like something I would have bought for $200 (will post pictures when done).
  4. My husband surprised me with tickets to see one of my favorites...Conan.
  5. I get to live in Arizona during Springtime. 
Happy Weekend.

March 9, 2010

Puddle Jumping.

 
For an Arizona native, few things are as wonderful as rain.  Today as we left the grocery store, it started pouring.  I put Harrison's hood up and we ran {laughing} all the way to the car.  When we got home he took off in the front yard to splash and experience the rain. 
 
It was a wonderful Tuesday treat...


March 4, 2010

Ordinary Days...



I will watch this everyday that I'm feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, worried or wishing it was already bedtime at 9 am...and be grateful for right now.

March 2, 2010

Hello March.

 
I like March.  It's filled with flowers, days playing outside, birthdays of people I love, spring cleaning and a buzz around our spot on the map with many Spring Training visitors.  I'm determined to edit my closet and rid myself of the burden of wearing things that make me feel anything short of happy.  I also think it's time to admit that I'm officially a size 8.5 and clear out all size 8 shoes {boo}.

I feel that March will be filled with happy and refreshing changes.  I'm going to...
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Have picnics in the backyard.
  • Start wearing the things I keep holding on to for a special occasion.
  • Go to bed earlier.
  • Excercise.
  • Laugh more.
  • Fight with my husband less.
  • Eat less sugar {as a Catholic I gave this up for Lent, so I'm doing pretty good so far}.
  • Do something everyday that pushes me out of my comfort zone.
  • Make my bed.
  • Be on time.
Hello March.


February 28, 2010

Validation.


Today we all made a trip to Costco.  Usually it's just Harrison and I, so J. was a spectator to the events that take place when you bring a 15 month old Costco shopping.  Harrison literally whined the whole time, tried to jump out of the cart, cried when he couldn't hold the babybel cheese, ran zig zags through the aisles and then threw his sippy cup on the ground as I'm trying to pay....it was a bad trip.

On our way out, J. was trying to reprimand Harrison for something and I said, "Can you believe that I usually have to do this by myself?"  to which he replied, "I have a lot of respect for you.  Sometimes I think it would be easier to go to Iraq and fight a war than to do what you do every day".  I smiled and said "thank you".  It was complete validation.


February 19, 2010

Snow Dreaming.


I've got Olympic fever again.  This time I keep dreaming that I could switch places with Hannah Teter or Gretchen Bleiler to see what it would feel like to fly around that halfpipe.  I can't even ski, let alone snowboard, so I love to imagine for a moment the feeling of the wind on their faces as they glide over snow.

It seems like such a male oriented sport, so to see these feminine girls winning medals at it is so inspiring.  Instead I'm off to clean the kitchen...

Happy Weekend.

February 17, 2010

Lucky...


I was one lucky girl to have these two as my valentines this year.  As usual, J. did not dissappoint, and I found this adorable arrangement on top of the stove when I got home from running some errands {he knows how much I love hot pink roses}.  I also got a few nice additions to my wardrobe from one of my favorite stores.  He's so incredible.


I just kept thinking how I can't believe that a year ago this...


...has now turned into this little "man" flirting with girls at The Farm* {he even put his arm around her...I was dying!}.


*The Farm at South Mountain is one of my favorite places in Phoenix.  It's lovely and if you live here and have never been...you must plan a trip!

February 12, 2010

Happy Day.



Music is a big deal to me and Harrison has kept the ball rolling with his love for it, as well.  We usually have Nick Jr. {formally Noggin} on in the morning during breakfast.  When this video sporadically comes on between cartoons, I stop whatever I'm doing and sing it with Harrison.   I love this song to begin with, and the video they made to go with it...makes it just precious.

I know that Valentine's Day is geared towards romantic love, but this year I can't help but reflect on the unwavering love between parent and child.  I honestly never knew love the way I do now with Harrison.  It's the most unselfish, unconditional, unbreakable love I've ever known.  There is nothing he could ever do to make me stop.  I'll be spending my weekend kissing him over and over...

Happy Valentine's Day

February 10, 2010

This May Seem Strange...



...but if I had the money {and a 3 car garage} I'd immediately buy a Jeep Wagoneer from the 70's and drive with the windows down every day in the Spring.

They are my latest obsession.  The thought of driving one just makes me feel happy.


February 6, 2010

Wish List.


Sometimes I read blogs and start to feel bummed out and inadequate... 

I wish I could be a size 2 and opt to wake up early to run, then have a perfectly organized beautiful home, make all my own stationery on a letterpress, buy chairs at thrift stores and recover them myself, and prepare gloriously delicious meals for my family.

Instead I struggle with my weight daily, organizing my house feels like trying to speak Portuguese, can't even get thank you notes written, fondly remember my days of thrift store shopping, and usually rely on Amy to provide us with dinners.

I happily think of this post by cjane and instantly feel better.  There will be plenty of time for all those things when my season changes {and I'm not working for a one year old all day long}. 

Happy Weekend.

{photo: cig harvey}

February 2, 2010

In the Air...


February so far has been perfectly wonderful.  As if he received some secret Valentine message, yesterday my son started wrapping his little arms around my neck and squeezing me tightly.  He'll stop playing, look for me and run over to hug me.  He's been playing with my earrings {gently} and even brushed the hair out of my face as we were playing last night.  I'm officially putty in his little hands...

Today he attempted to walk Brooks...even though Brooks was pretty much walking him.


Much like his father and myself, he has no shortage of emotions.  Needless to say, he was beyond thrilled to have control of the leash...


Afterwards we rolled around in the grass giggling, as I made a mental note that this was a magic moment to be treasured.


How is it possibe for the heart to hold this much LOVE?