The best part of being “an adult” is being able to create your own holiday traditions.

Today I am starting our first holiday tradition by instituting a decedent morning for all.

Thanksgiving Morning is for: Coffee. Cinnamon Rolls. Parades. Pajamas.

Later, we will have scallops and my Grandpa’s minestrone.

So much to be thankful for this year: my husband, my son, this mimosa I’m drinking because I’m no longer pregnant. :)


Happy Thanksgiving All!

A Thankful Thursday (and @KimHumes wins some @Apothica love.)

““Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person. The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.””

Paulo Coelho

Life is GOOD. 
Peaceful.  Lovely.  Content.  

Monday, Mr. A came and met two of the most important people (to me) on the planet, my grandparents.  I think he might have been nervous, but you couldn’t tell.  He was amazing, he is amazing.  It’s interesting to introduce him to people that matter to me, because I sit back and feel so proud of him.  He’s so passionate and smart, easy going and funny.  Seriously.  I love him, more and more.

My grandpa was hilarious; something about having a boy around causes him to tell ridiculous stories.  I half-expected him to get up and tap-dance; Grandpa was definitely putting on his A-game.  Grams and I did what we normally do Monday nights, sit back and laugh and throw in jokes only her and I get.  It felt good. 


My Apothica give-away winner has been picked!

Kim from Gathers No Moss.  Please shoot me an email (link to the right) so I can send you your gift certificate!!


Finally, click on over to read my post for Stratejoy this week!  It’s about Mr. A!  And Love!  And unicorns!!!  (OK, maybe not unicorns)

What are you lovely people looking forward to this weekend?

Moments: Thoroughly Alive #reverb10

Such a beautiful prompt by Ali Edwards:

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

There was a lot of living in 2010.  If I told you that the most significant thing about this year was that it felt overwhelming real would you understand what I mean?  2010 was joyous, heartbreaking, gritty, messy, and effing REAL.  “This is my life.” “This is it.” These were the mantras I repeated at hundreds of places throughout the year. Each time taking a breath, stepping back, and taking it in. I want to remember everything.  What it felt like to live this year.  To be present and honest, vulnerable and complicated.

I want to remember the moment when I was driving home from dinner at my grandparent’s house. I had just pulled off of their street, singing to the radio already when my phone rang. “I have cancer baby.  The test came back.” The tears poured forth before I even processed what she had said; they always do. I have over active tears I think- attached to a deep place in my heart that gets gravity of situations infinitely faster than my brain does.
“What? What?  No. No. No” and my car swerved to the side of the road. It was so dark already and I sat in my car sobbing; terrified. Struggling to comfort her, when I felt so broken and in need of comfort. Cars zipped by my idle car, filling my car with fleeting light, reflecting and refracting the tears that wouldn’t stop.  “I love you Mama. It’ll be ok.  We’ll be ok.” This was life. I was definitely alive. You can’t feel that much pain when you’re not alive.

There was also moments of bliss. A lot of them. Moments just as real as the painful ones.  Hours, days, weekends, and conversations that are always remembered in a brilliant, magic, technicolor. There was that Sunday in early spring. I had bundled myself up to ward off the chill that lingers in the air here in the Spring and had headed to church. It was noon when church service ended- and my friends and I walked out to be greeted by the most beautiful warm sun filled day we had felt since Summer ended. I forget who it was, but someone quipped that the cement in front of the chapel were “perfect for four square.”

So we walked to the toy store, stopping for ice cream cones  instead of a “real lunch”. The sun was shining and it was beautiful. We played four square in front of the chapel for hours.  Baby drops, cherry bombs, wolverine.  We made up our own rules. We are making up our own rules even now.  The air was filled with something I can only describe to you as magic; pure, simple bliss.  This was my life. I was definitely alive.  You can’t feel that much joy if you’re not alive. 

Grace in Small Things, Week III

  • Any song with violin.  Ever.  It melts me.  Bands like The Decemberists or Wakey!Wakey for example.
  • Dinner dates with cute boys… in my apartment and deciding that we should be just friends.  (And being totally ok with that)
  • Going to Tahoe for a retreat this weekend and how it means ONE more weekend of summer.

  • Nora felt loved on for her birthday 
  • Dinner with the grandparents and getting to take silly pictures with my grandpa.  I love him.
  • Snarky Twitter DM conversations with Ashley.  (What?!  Snark is fun)
  • Conversations with Nico ranging in topic from an hour long boob joke series, to God, to hearts.  It makes me days go by so much faster.
  • Oh, and the It Get’s Better Campaign.  It’s been making me cry for the past couple of days, but it’s encouraging too.  

Where were you finding your happy this week?

Happy Monday!

I had a blast this weekend.  Sleepovers, cousins graduating from college, dancing in the city, laughing, holding a 2 month old for hours while she slept… super great.

This is Amz.  We grew up together.  She is all done with school and is heading to law school in the fall.  Super proud of her, she worked hard!
We have a winner from my first ever giveaway!  Yay!  Akirah from Quarter Life Lady.  Send me an email with your address so I can get your journal in the mail!!!  Hooray.  (

A very special birthday.

That nice looking gentleman in the middle there with all us kids, that is Grandpa.
That’s my Grandpa.
It just happens to be his birthday today. 
We’re almost birthday twins, us two Gemini’s.
I tell people all the time he’s the greatest man on the planet; and he is.
He smart and feisty (feisty might be an understatement).
He fought in WWII and was a Colonel and J.A.G.
You’ve heard of the McCarthy-Army hearing?  He was there. 
Basically, he’s led QUITE the life.
But that’s not why he’s my favorite person in the world.
He’s my favorite person because in college he started sending my grammar books, because being able to write well was  important.
Now he gives me old copies of Money magazine and books on finance, even one on “The Art of Love”.
He always writes inscriptions because he knows I will keep them forever.
He buys mint chip ice cream just for when I come over for dinner.
He’s cranky and gruff sometime, but I can always get him to smile.
He calls me his miracle and has teared up talking about my to more than one boy I’ve introduced him to.
He has a huge jazz record collection: Miles Davis is his favorite and it is magical to sit with him and listen.
When I was ten I was in a play, and he came even though he had to take out his hearing aid.
He still surprises us with crazy: he’ll burst from inside with water guns blazing, or flip-off a camera… which got this response:
He loves his cat Buddy more than most anything in the world, expect for Grams. 
He calls Grams his soulmate.  
He has taken her around the world and rubs her feet every night. 
Basically, he has set the bar pretty high for my man standard.  He loves me fiercely and unconditionally.  He is patient and loving, generous and good.  He cares most about us; his family. 
In honor of his birthday I wanted to write down the inscriptions he’s thus far written in books for me.  I thought it would be fun, eh?
So, let’s start with the grammar, cause that’s where he started.
Elements of Style Value Package (includes Brief New Century Handbook)
15 Aug 2005
Further clarification or confusion.  Which?
Another means of translating your thoughts to paper.  And- with affection and love.  Grandpa

Common Errors in English Usage 2nd Edition

For the Wizard of English 

Dictionary Of Disagreeable English: A Curmudgeon's Compendium of Excruciatingly Correct Grammar

June 7, 2005 (my 20th birthday)
As a young woman who loves books too much, here with the answer to your need.
Love, Grandpa

Most recently, he ordered this one:
The Art of Loving

True love is a barrier to aloneness.  This is a great book.  Grandpa

“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and border and salute each other” Rainer Maria Rilke

“For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy Birthday Grandpa.  Thank you for loving me and setting the bar high.


I am a lucky girl.

Blessed beyond imagination.

This is what I am picking up this weekend.
Nice, huh?

This accident is proving to be a huge blessing. Proof that amazing things can come out of situations that seem so horrible. This is what has happened:
  • I have grandparents who saw I was getting in over my head. So, we had a financial meeting. No secrets. I came with the actual numbers I owe on my credit cards. They responded with love and patience that I don’t deserve. They always do, the love me 100% all the time. And that’s amazing.
  • I have a Dad who will do anything for me. He wants me to be safe. He loves me, even when sometimes it feels like we’re not as close as we should be; he loves me more than anyone on the planet.
  • Blessed blessed blessed blessed blessed.
  • Basically, I am taking the money from the settlement, paying off all my debt and using a really low interest rate loan to buy my car.
  • As of this weekend, I will have no credit card debt and will have a car payment instead.
  • By the end of the term (60 months), I will be debt free. With an amazing car that will last for another 5 years.

Also, my test came back. No cancer. Totally benign. Totally grateful.

My Brother.

The 14th was my mommy’s birthday and now that I am here, I was able to meet my mom in the middle for dinner with my brother. The last time the three of us had dinner together? Easily over ten years ago.

My parents divorced when I was in 3rd grade and by 5th grade– we had moved to San Diego, and by the time I was in 7th grade my brother decided to move back to my Dad’s house here in the bay area. From 13 on, my brother and I saw each other on holidays and occasional summer vacations.
It is very apparent that we were raised by different people. My brother is so similar to my dad, and I am my mother’s daughter. In a lot of ways, it feels like we’re cousins. Related– but not in the same core family. I wasn’t there on his 16th birthday: He never even met my first love.
But boy, we used to be best friends.
I realized Saturday that not only did we grow up separately, but we have very different memories of what went on when we were little. Such differing accounts of what life was like in San Diego- 6 of us in a three-bedroom apartment. He was treated differently than I was. He saw me being treated differently than I remember being treated.
Sometimes the space between us seems so big. So much time, and life, and hurt feelings, and wounded hearts. We have traveled such different paths; sometimes it’s hard to relate to each other. Luckily, we have time. He’ll be my brother forever, things can only get better.
We cannot destroy kindred: our chains stretch a little sometimes, but they never break.
— Marquise de Sévigné


I had such a nice Christmas. So much family, so much food.
Christmas Eve my mom came over and my friend Leah and I went to the late service at church. It was INCREDIBLE. Full on chills from beginning to end. It’s crazy. Right now, it feels like my heart is feeling things magnified ten times over. I am way more prone to tearing– and not sad things– mostly anything.
Christmas morning I started my first official Christmas tradition…and I will post it for you and for all my family who have requested it!
Apple Dutch Baby!

Sliced apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon (or just use two shakes of a cinnamon shaker)
3 Tablespoons butter melted (If it is not melted you can just toss it in the pie pan while the oven is preheating)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
3 eggsPreheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Place the brown sugar, cinnamon, apples, and butter in your pie pan and bake in the oven until your apples are soft. This takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

While your apples are cooking place the flour, milk and eggs in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer.
When apples are warm and soft, add the rest of the ingredients to your pie pan and bake in your oven for 15 minutes.
Cut up like a pie and serve with warm syrup or powdered sugar and lemon juice. Yum!
This recipe is so easy, so tasty– and as my lovely aunt has taught me it looks impressive and presentation is EVERYTHING. :)

Grams Crush List

Internetz, today I bring you a very special treat. I’d like you to meet my Gramsy. Her name is Sue. And she’s kind of a big deal. I am going to just say it, she’s cooler than you Grandma. Sorry. It is just a fact. Today she is going to share with you all, her top 5 hot men. She had seen my post on the hot men of my DVR, and she wanted to play too. So I asked her to send over her top 5 and I would post it Tuesday because I will be out of town at a meeting today.
Before we get to that part, let’s see what things you should know about my Grams. 1. She is on facebook, and read political blog everyday. 2. She drinks coffee from sunrise to sunset (she’ll switch to decaf after 4pm). 3. Last week we went to see “The Full Monty”, which basically means that last week my Grandma and I went to see a stip show together…. that was fun… and by fun I mean awkward. 4. She is a HUGE movie buff, she loves them. 5. She absolutely loves Rachel Maddow. I mean, who doesn’t. 6. She is wear I get my bibliophilia from. In college I regularly got shipments of new books. 7. She can shop me under the table. 8. She is the supreme momma hen of our family. And we love her for it.

So, without further ado, I bring you my Gramsy’s top 5 men crushes. (complete with commentary from Grams)


My favorite Aussie. Couldn’t find a younger photo of Bryan Brown. He was gorgeous in “A Town Like Alice”, only available on VHS unfortunately. My absolute favorite. I’ve watched it 6-8 times at least. It was the way he moved, I think. Incredibly graceful. Not at all bad in “The Thorn Birds”either. Hasn’t aged all that well, but looks like he’s lived a real full life!

Richard Gere: Just a gorgeous man, in my estimation.

Kevin Costner: All I can say is he speaks to me! Not in everything, but enough to rate the list. And even as he ages he’s very appealing. Check him in “The Upside of Anger”……………he’s great.
Robert Redford: No explanation necessary. When he washed Meryl Streep’s hair in “Out of Africa”, OH! MY!

Hugh Grant: a natural born alley cat probably, but so damned cute one is tempted to forgive it.