Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I stumbled across the new show on Amazon called "Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street." It has a nostalgic feel to it, a mixture of "Are you Afraid of the Dark?" and "Stand By Me" with episodes titled "Gortimer vs. The Frog of Ultimate Doom" and "Gortimer and the Mystical Mind Eraser." Shaped around the three main characters, Gortimer, Ranger and Mel. Best friends in the tweens, every week they find themselves in the middle of some strange happenings in their neighborhood. It's one part mystery, one part feel-good adventures. 

Watching the show got me thinking of the mysteries of my own childhood. One memory in particular popped into my mind. The legend of the witch on Eastern.

One summer, when I was seven or eight, I participated in my school's summer camp. It was a day camp, so every morning we would gather in the yard. This yard happened to be in a partially developed neighborhood, meaning that immediately next to our school yard was desert land and what appeared to be one small shack in the middle. It was far enough away that you had to squint your 8 year old eyes to even get a good look at it. And far enough away to definitely imagine a figure standing on the porch. This figure would later be described to me as the 'witch who lives there' by some older kids, perhaps junior high since it was a K-8 day camp. "Did you know a witch lives there?" It was a brief conversation, but long enough to ignite my imagination for the summer. Who was this lady? Was she really a witch? What was a witch? Was she mean or just misunderstood?

Many, many years later, I found myself back at that old yard. I remembered the legend of the witch, which was probably just some lovely lady named Delores who was an excellent baker...or something. Through the fence, I squinted my eyes her way, only to see that this mysterious land was now a suburban business park. Wonder where she went? 

When I watch shows like Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, I'm transported to a time when stories and legends filled my imagination. 

Monday, December 1, 2014


This year has been one of self-discovery, formed by St. Augustine's prayer: “Grant Lord that I may know myself, that I may know you.” 

I've always been an introspective person, so when I started experiencing some anxiety last year, mainly in the form of very vivid nightmares, I started seeing a counselor. I'm not new to counseling, but in the past I've seen my counselors as potential fairy godmothers. Waiting for a wave of the wand to help transform my pumpkin into a carriage, so to speak. 

This year, counseling has been less of a fairy godmother and more of a doorway, leading inward.

More than anything, my counselor asks (often mid-verbal processing unload), "what are you feeling right now?" Seemingly easy to answer, I actually found it difficult to pinpoint what I truly was feeling. My go-to feeling was often 'frustrated' or 'sad.' Great at waiting out the awkward, my counselor would sit patiently as I worked it out. What was really going on inward? When I really paused and considered what I was feeling, it was often something other than what I thought. This would often surprise me, as if I was the only expert on my own self. As I've gained a better grasp on what I think and feel (and why), I've been able to more honestly bring my real self to God. And others. 

Having a supportive husband has helped me along this journey inward. Daniel patiently listens and asks good questions every Monday night as I try to remember my morning's insights and take him along that day's inward path. Daniel helps make the discovery of the unknown infinitely more enjoyable.

A year ago, we were newly engaged. Daydreaming together about our future with so many unknowns. Not knowing where we'd live, he'd work, or how to plan a wedding that honored our values and families. We didn't know a lot of things, but we knew that we were committed to figuring it out together.

A year later, I'm a bit more self-aware, a bit less anxious, and a whole lot more grateful, peaceful and joyful. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Baba.

Father's Day.
Blessings and honor to all the first time and long time papa's out there. 
To the dad's near and gone, but never forgotten. 
To all the momma's out there who were also dad's to their kids. 


To my own "baba", who loves us deeply, sacrificially and 
in his own mischievously hilarious way! 
Thank you for all you've given, modeled and entrusted to us. 
For skipping to your own beat, standing your ground, 
and finding creative ways to bless others. 


May you be blessed today and everyday. 
(And don't listen to what Adel says, I think you are rocking the new 'stache!) 

Friday, May 31, 2013

30 days later.

Apparently 2 challenges was one too many.

While I may have dropped the writing ball, I did keep my Whole 30 challenge. I'm so proud of my whole house, actually, because though it was during a month full of parties and celebrations, we didn't waver. Pretty cool.

So, what did I learn after 30 days of saying no to lots of yummy staples while not weighing one self. 


First, I realized that weighing myself had become a way to measure how I feel. If I'm down, I'm feeling good. If I'm up, confidence shot. 

Well, the first week of not weighing myself was pretty tough. I almost lost it day 7 because I just needed to know. On one hand I'm motivated by measurement/numbers/progress (or digressions)... on the other hand, it can be an unhealthy habit. Not weighing myself has been freeing.

That being said, the 30 days are over and this morning I hopped on the scale. About a week ago I had to come to terms with whatever number would appear. It helped me remember that this wasn't about that number, but about reseting my health and habits. Mission accomplished. It was nice, however, when I discovered that without counting calories, obsessing day to day about it, or really trying, I did indeed lose a few pounds, nine to be exact.

Now, regarding the sugar. No sugar didn't just mean no sweets, it meant nothing with sugar. I quickly realized sugar is in EVERYTHING! It was one of the most frustrating things, not the giving up of sugar, but of finding whole foods that don't contain sugar. My trail mix, seaweed/nori, spaghetti sauces, salad dressings... things you wouldn't even think should have sugar, had sugar. 

Did I mention I acquired the taste for straight up, black coffee? That was unexpected. 

I'm not much of a bread person anyways, so that wasn't too hard. Giving up beans and dairy pretty much meant that I had no reason to visit Chipotle for the month. In fact, eating out was quite difficult since most oils used were either canola or soybean oil. That's another thing, soy is in everything too. It's like the sugar and soy people made a contest to see who could sneak into the most foods. So far it's a tie.

Basically my daily meals consisted of lots of eggs, veggies, nuts, chicken, steak, avocados, fruit, and fish. Thankfully, this is pretty close to what I eat anyways, since I've been dairy-free for over a year. 

To be honest, I can't say I felt deprived this month. I got tired of making the same meals, but that was more on me, than the options.

One interesting thing we discovered was that by giving up all sugars, even the slightly sweet, sweet potato felt uber sweet. And fruit was off the charts, sweet. It really did feel like my taste buds were reset. 

I wondered if my standard coffee, cream and sweetener would be too much for me now. 

So, what does one eat after a 30 day fast-ish.

To be honest, pretty much what I've had all month. Eggs, Spinach salad (though I did have candied walnuts (YUM), fruit, so far...though Daniel's on his way and, friend, let me tell you how excited I am to spend a fun evening out with him tonight. For a month, he's graciously frequented the same couple safe eateries and opted for homemade meat/veggie combo at home. But.Not.Tonight. 

So, there you go. 
That's me, 30 days later.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mama Love

Dear Mama-san, 

Happy mother's day to a woman who 
is as beautiful as she is tenacious! 
Who sends me emails like these...
that warm my heart in more ways than you know. 

You light up every room with your 
big, curious eyes and vivacious spirit. 
Thank you for giving me a love for 
adventure, hospitality, and laughter.
I love you so much and 
am so thankful for you, mama. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Treasure Hunt

Got my bags packed and my map rolled up.
Headed to Salinas for a little treasure hunt. 
Heard there is a fine looking pirate there with a nice booty.
Arrrgh, matey, here I come! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Take Your Breath Away Thursday

Yup, that's what the sky did to me tonight. 
(Anyone else in Fresno see it?!) 


*I will have to remember this moment of beauty when we hit 100 degree highs, scheduled for this Sunday.
Blogger Template by Delicious Design Studio