The Non-Definitive Guide To Life

If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with rain" - Dolly Parton

Posts for reflection

Thank You 2018! I’m so f*ing grateful…

SNAIL MAIL - December 21, 2018

Thank you 2018, you forced me to grow. You pulled the rug from underneath me, stripped me of my bearings, and then starred me down challenging me to get back up.

Thank you 2018…

Now, I have that Ariana Grande song stuck in my head.

Not, but really. Thank you 2018, you forced me to grow. You pulled the rug from underneath me, stripped me of my bearings, and then starred me down challenging me to get back up.

At the end of 2017, I was chewed out by a toxic client and blamed for ruining a project that was not my responsibility in the first place. I became the whipping boy, and I took the lashings on my already burned out nerves from having spent the year plannin my wedding. I went into 2018 a little broken and tired. But put one mangled foot in front of the other, and slowly by the end of February I was starting to feel a little stronger. I’d started school and was making progress towards getting my AA — the goal to get it finished by the end of the year. I had figured out how to navigate work better. My mental health was on an upswing.

Then at the end of March, my sister and I found out my Father was losing his living situation and we would have to find him a place to live. I have a strained and complicated relationship with my father filled with a pool of pain. I had created a very structured and simple box labeled Dad I could stuff all my feelings in and shoved it on a high shelf to collect dust. I would take it down twice a year for his birthday and Christmas, but most of the year – it was out of sight and out of mind. Then all of a sudden the box fell off the shelf, shattered, and the feelings started pouring out; anger, resentment, rage, frustration, sadness, regret, guilt. Like a poisonous gas, all these issues I thought I had figured out how to deal with was all of a sudden suffocating me.

We found a place for him to live. We figured out a way to make sure he had groceries. Now, I go to doctor appointments with him as he is addressing various health concerns he had neglected for over 10 years. We cleaned out storage units to free up his cash flow. My husband and I even drove to Pullyup, Washington to empty out a storage unit into a Uhaul truck and dump the items at a Goodwill.

The storage unit in Washington

The tears flowed like a broken faucet as I drove away from Washington with my father’s choice possessions packed in the back of the SUV we rented, feeling like my life was closing in on me. I wasn’t going to be able to finish school this year like planned.  I had to take care of a person who had abandoned me. I felt stagnant in my career. My life had become a cage, and I felt trapped by my own choices.

Then in August, something changed. I shifted my perspective and realized that the cage had an open door. Yes, there were some truths about my life that I wouldn’t be able to change. But I wasn’t locked in, and I still could exercise my freedom if I chose. I felt stronger. I felt more empowered. I continued to work towards my degree and will be working on it in 2019 too. I’m not a zen master when it comes to my Dad, still working on it – but at least I’m working on it instead of ignoring it. And I finally had a few challenging and rewarding work projects this autumn.

But 2018 wasn’t done with me yet. Oh no, at the beginning of December I got strep throat 4 days before seeing my idol John Waters, forcing me to change a few travel plans last minute. Then last week my mother-in-law, who I adore and is one of the most unique loving one of kind people I’ve ever met, had a health scare. Plus the water heater is broken, a mild inconvenience.

Me, John “Grandpa” Waters, Hubs

So with 10 days away from 2019, I can say THANK YOU 2018! I’m not racing towards the change in the calendar. No, cause, you taught me that it’s not about what is going on around me, it’s about what goes on inside me.

When my husband and I were on operation clean out Washington Storage Unit, we were listening to the book, High Performance Habits, and one of the tasks was to choose 3 words to describe the person you want to be. I chose VIBRANT, PURPOSEFUL (aka INTENTIONAL), and GROUNDED. I visualized an old oak with its roots deep in the earth, standing strong in the storm.

I don’t know what next year has in store for me, nor do I really care. All I can do is put my all into today, right now. I have goals and aspirations. I’m excited to work towards them and give my actions more intention. But 2019 will roll out as it will, and all I can do is take what it throws at me with grit and grace.

I keep thinking of this saying, “When you make plans, God laughs.” As I look back on this year, I can find several pretty comedic moments; like the Uhaul not starting and acting like it had a dead battery after it was fully loaded and we had 45 minutes to drop everything off at Goodwill and a recycling center.

The power of laughter is right there with love. Laughter diffuses pain, fear, and anger. Laughter is everything. So the only thing I ask for this New Year is more laughs.

Wishing all those who check my corner of the internet an amazing holiday season and fun night ringing in 2019.

*affiliate link to the book we were listening to : *

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Top 5 Moments of 2015

SNAIL MAIL - January 5, 2016

Now that all my Christmas cards have been sent out, I feel like I can share with you my top 5 moments from 2015. Since I included a little insert into the Christmas Card of Bowerbird and I’s favorite moments, I felt this moral obligation to send those out before I actually blogged about them.

It’s no surprise (to me) that most of my top moments have already been recorded on my blog or in a vlog. Memorable moments would be documented by a compulsive over-sharer. And that reminds me of something my niece said when we took her to the American Girl Doll Store, while we sat down in the café for our very fancy lunch there were conversation cards on the table. One of the cards asked, “what’s your favorite childhood memory?” and she said, “It’s happening right now.” I guess my blog posts are a metaphorical conversation card recording my favorite memories as they happen.

In no particular order:

1) Going to Austin for SXSW!
A three / four post series, going to Austin was really spontaneous. Bowerbird was playing a SXSW showcase plus Pow Wow had collaborated with SXSW for an awesome mural project. Itching to get out of state and take advantage of both great events, I pulled the trigger and bought a Jet Blue ticket. I’ll be paying off the trip for a year or more, but now have a lifetime of memories. Check out the posts, here/day one, here/ day two, here/day three pt.1, and here/ day three pt. 2…oh and Pow Wow here.

Top 5 Moments of 2015 - SXSW

2) Spending our anniversary in Laguna Beach and being invited to press night of Pageant of the Masters.
In June I was sent an invite to attend the press night of Pageant of the Masters and RSVP’d yes. My insecurities rang out wondering why me? But I silenced those and took advantage of the exclusive night, getting a taste of influencer perks. Bowerbird was my ‘assistant’ and actually really did help me in holding my camera and taking notes while we toward the back stage area. A few of my favorite photos from the entire year are in that post, check it out here.
Since the press night was the same day as our anniversary, we decided to be opportunistic and book a room in Laguna to enjoy a beautiful (gloomy) few days in South Orange County.

3) Adopting Loulou Edie Reed, our Yorkie mutt.
Named after Lou Reed and Edie Sedgewick our little hipster mutt has flooded our life with so much joy. Waking up to her playful smile and picture perfect paws, we both get a serious case of cute aggression in the presence of Lou. I had every intention of writing her origin story when she was first adopted but never got around to it. This year for her first birthday with us, I’ll finally post about the saga that is Loulou Edie Reed – the dog with a full name.

Top 5 Moments of 2015


4) Climbing Mt. Ellinor in the Olympic National Forest, it has an elevation of 5,951 ft.
This hike kicked out ass! Bowerbird and I were sore for days post hike but it was incredibly fulfilling. Not only were the views gazing down on the Olympics breathtaking, but the incline and rocky terrain really tested my stamina. Both Bowerbird and my friend Jalissa, were telling me we could turn around at any time but I pushed forward. Looking back on the year I see 2015 was all about not letting myself down. And in the midst of that difficult trail, not wanting to let myself down is what pushed me forward. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other! I haven’t posted about the trail yet, but when I do it will be linked here.

5) Getting engaged at Hearst Castle!
Well duh!! I had to add my new relationship status to the list of favorite moments from 2015. Before meeting Bowerbird I was becoming more comfortable with the idea I’d settle into my adult life with a herd of bunnies in a cottage somewhere. I still want that cottage, but maybe only one bunny. Ironically, my mother gave me a handful of dating books only a week or so before Bowerbird asked me out. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in crime to navigate the game of life. Read all about our engagement here.

Engaged at Hearst Castle

Here’s to more opportunities to create epic and wonderful memories in 2016!

love and light signature

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September Reflections

SNAIL MAIL - September 29, 2014

The month has been filled with some up and downs. But I choose to look at the ups, like quitting my job and heading out on my road trip in 3 days. Wow it’s 3 days away that is insane to me. I finally finished editing my young adult novel, and it just needs to go through on final read through before being sent to beta readers. Oh and seeing Katy Perry in the pit! Dream come true, as she was less than 5 feet away from me. On her last song Firework, I swear she finally saw me. Her eyes piercing my soul of course. I will post photos from that night at some point, but I’ve been working nearly non-stop trying to not burn out. It’s really been an interesting month filled with tears of joy and pain, but I’m ready to start a new chapter of my life because all I can do is learn, grow, and be me!

new chapters


life is about risk for a dream

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