Friday, December 31, 2010

goodbye, 2010.

i started the year at the sugar shack. nick came to visit. i did a gluten-dairy-sugar fast. i went back to the sugar shack for the tyrolean feast. and then i went back to tahoe with the yutes. julie and i turned wednesdays into a dynamo ritual. i visited kristy in seattle before she moved. i learned how to make truffles. i went to the jelly belly factory. i spent valentine's day at the pillow fight. santa cruz church retreat with the yutes. the olympics! community group retreat at the sugar shack. i said goodbye to my favorite eight year old. julie and i went to kauai. i filled out my census form. i got braces. we found roommate number two at a san francisco emergency room. i ate a lot of cheese at dan and kimberly's. i searched and i searched and i searched for his dad, only to find out that he doesn't exist. o-chem-jim left martin's to become a priest. we talked about breathing a lot in the month of april. easter in yosemite, third annual for me. i was reminded that i've failed, i'm selfish, i'm jealous, i'm judgmental, and i consistently forget how to love the people around me. i made a quick trip to arizona for jeremiah's wedding. i named, out loud, my five friendship crushes: kimberly, diane, cait, lana and the boss; i became friends with all five of them. i rescued a turtle in kauai with becky and amy. i wrote a lot of cryptic blog posts about my grief and loss. i faced a lot of shit head on, asked for help and admitted my failures and heart ache. on may twelfth i put my running shoes back on. i went to modesto for lisa's baby shower. i visited eden in la la land. i got to go to kqed in person. i supported my best friend as she accepted her doctorate. i got to be a part of kristy and alex's wedding. i got to meet one of the leading trauma therapists in the world and soak up her knowledge like a sponge. i took a stanford series of classes on forgiveness. my nephews turned three. i voted. i coordinated for james/lis, hahva/kiff, sean/court. i had my one year anniversary at my agency and i was eotm. i learned on three different occasions that tequila gets me good, every time. i helped house sit through a breakup. i saw james taylor and carole king with my mom. my sinking-whale-sibs-set learned to swim. i decided to train for a marathon. baby bear was born. i did a four mile run and cried through out the whole thing because i didn't think i could ever make it to twentysix. i went on the trip-of-a-lifetime to greece and turkey, which included the poker-dealing-smiling-guy and "sister time" galore. i was incredibly grateful to turn twentysix, in which there was a birthday party with pulled pork and hard cider. the taxi driver became a real person. i learned about sticky peaches. carter and courtney helped me run fifteen miles. i restarted therapy. i saw the weepies! and sufjan! i went to portland and met bear. i voted again. nephew number four, cannon, was born. we searched and searched and finally found the perfect apartment. the giants won the world series. i ran eighteen miles and then we moved. i closed a lot of my favorite cases. i ran twenty miles. i got glasses and was told i have bad hips. i named my grief/loss period coming to a close and recognized true joy. i kissed the sunshine, a lot. i went on a blind date and five to follow with someone who was absolutely perfect for me on paper. i went back to hawaii, for the third time, and finished a marathon ! ! ! we threw the best house warming party EVER. i said yes to something really brave and scary.

goodbye two thousand and ten; it was a bittersweet year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

what's an agricole? i asked.

remember that space, emily, where you sat with a dear friend and together you shared the secrets and asked the questions related to growing up and learning about life and what it means to truly give. and remember that feeling when you knew you could hold each others' weight right then and there, the weight of the darkness, the honesty, the freedom; the weight of the questions, which just saying them out loud can make things more complicated... but i've got her, and she's got me. we are safe together, as women who are navigating this precarious thing titled life. it's moments like these which translate to a hearty-amen because moving on provides freedom. or, sometimes it just means a planned trip to walgreens.

i hope to go back to that modern bar with you, the one where part of me feels like i'm in chem lab and the other part feels satisfied by the salt from the prosciutto.

thank you.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


my friend leanne has said to me more recently, "quit shoulding yourself."

and so that's what i'm committing to these days: stopping myself from over thinking and wondering and asking myself if i should do something, rather than just doing it.

instead i'm saying no to games and overthinking and questioning. and i'm saying yes to jumping off the diving board into the pool full of scary and brave. oh shit.

Monday, December 27, 2010

running without my watch.

there's something symbolic about taking off down my stairs and out the front door without my garmin on. it's almost like the freedom to just be in my run. there's no constantly looking down, pace checking, and eyeing my distance. i get to be free of training for a marathon. how nice.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

best best best.

holiday housewarming party of two thousand and ten was a week ago at my house. lucky for me: i got to be the queen.

we had a photo booth...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

useful logs.

this is why i love san francisco... it's perfectly unique.

[found across the street from julie's apartment]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

twentysix miles in twentysix years.

done and done. and there was something symbolic about miles twentyone through twentyfour. the hardest ones, by far. it's interesting that those miles measure up with my post-college-try-to-figure-out-what-i-want-in-life years. though, it's not like miles twentyfive and twentysix got any easier... and if that isn't a life message, i don't know what is: this race, this thing we call life, it's not getting any easier as we keep running. sure, it becomes more familiar and we learn more about how to run and become an expert at running. but easier? never.

anyway. the marathon is over. i'm pain free and excited to set the next goal. thanks for putting up with my running stories and journeying with me to december twelfth.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

twelve hours to go.

the following items made it from san francisco to honlulu: lulu pants. special socks. well worn new balances. lucky underwear. purple tank. body glide. nike hat. most comfortable sports bra ever. garmin watch. hair tie. lots and lots of gu.

the following items did not make it from san francisco to honolulu: tooth brush. more than one pair of shoes. appropriate hawaiian attire.

clearly i did not have a successful packing experience; i guess you could say i've been a bit preoccupied?

REGARDLESS! it's go-time, people. no looking back now. i've trained and there's nothing more i can do to prepare. see you on the other side of twentysix point two miles!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

the problem with [over] sharing [your own] secrets.

is that people want updates. sometimes this is good, if you have good news, for example. and sometimes it's just annoying.

but who is to blame? only me. lesson learned.

Friday, December 3, 2010

in the single digits.

less than ten days to go. holy smokes.

in my last days, i've said no to alcohol in hopes of not hitting the wall. my metabolism is out of control (as evidenced by my food intake yesterday). my taper includes the lovely lollipop run. my water consumption causes me to step out of meetings two to three times, at least. i'm diligently following my physical therapist's instructions and i have every intention of eating more carbs than i can count in those final seventy two hours.

and while in honolulu? i'll be in the shade with my feet resting on a chair, laughing my ass off with didiwifi: "are we really doing this? whose idea was this?"

Friday, November 26, 2010

gratitude for being back.

there's a lot of newness around me: glasses, apartments, soup skills, immersion blenders, experiences like straightening my hair in a starbucks, curtains, blisters, running shoes, eighth and ninth grade girls, yoga poses, apple peeler corer slicers, pt stretches, etc.

and i had a realization about all of this newness-- i am done talking and whining and writing and crying and watching and controlling and hurting about the last twelve to eighteenish months. i am finally done. because as all of these new things come, the old things seem to diminish, little by little each day.

i've been looking at the process (not so much the content), owning it, making a change and moving forward. and also recognizing the continued poor choices and reminding myself, "it's not about me." (it might have been at one point, but it's not any more.) and taking responsibility for my actions, for what was a bittersweet time and finally, finally having the pleasure of sitting on the other side, literally thanking God that i can breathe again, feel like myself again, and be full of joy. how i've longed to feel joy again; real, true joy.

getting to the other side of this valley has meant things like making a flourless chocolate cake late on a friday night and being okay with it not tasting amazing. or picking the pair that is safe instead of edgy at the seventh glasses shop. and taking risks and putting myself out there, even for not-so-great sushi and funny social experiments. it's meant telling friends when feelings are hurt so i prevent myself from being passive aggressive in the future. and stopping mandy on the street corner, just so i can pause her voices for six seconds and remind her to get oatmeal the next morning. it's meant therapy and therapy and a little more therapy. and frequent calls to family members just to check-in about this and that and laugh about the infamous taxi driver. and it's meant letters and cards and texts and hellos and i love yous and hugs and baked goods and being meticulous about my eyebrows and loving my light blue twin sized bed and saying yes to painting my nails until they are just right and making every effort to not work more than forty four and dreaming about how the community around me can adopt my clients, or just adopt in general, and while running, it's meant repeating over and over and over again, "i will run and not grow weary."

ultimately, back to being myself has meant being a little less selfish. as a friend of a friend would say, "i am happiest when my life isn't about me." this is a life worth contributing to.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

signs my body is getting older.

this past week i saw significant signs of physical aging in my own life and since then, i've whined to myself almost every day, "but i'm only twentysix."

one. my physical therapist says i have bad hips. or, not-so-strong hips. he's taken it upon himself to kick my ass, or hips, until the big day. ugh, BROKEN IT-BAND.

two. i need glasses. it's a low prescription, yes, but i still need them. my optometrist says my eyes need to relax and it's a sign of tired eyes. TIRED EYES?!

three. i was swinging on a swing with my client, having some friendly who-can-swing-the-highest competition, and i had to stop. why? because it was making me nauseous. I USED TO LOVE THE SWINGS.

cheers to ninethousand fivehundred and fiftynine days of life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

you're doing it, peter!

i thought a lot about the movie hook on my recent twenty mile run, specifically the scene when the lost boys are gathered around a feast and peter finally believes and consequentially gets to fly.

that was me on saturday morning, in the blowing wind and the falling rain-- finally believing. believing that i can do this, no matter what my body tells me. and that i can make it to the end, because the eight words i repeated over and over and over again got me through. i realized, to a greater extent, how much stronger my mind is than my body.

and though my consequence wasn't to fly, being able to finish twenty miles was worth it. three weeks until go-time. i am ready. bangarang!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

did you watch modern family this week?

i can finally show you this! it will make more sense if you (one) watch the show and (two) know that my cousin's name is brandon, he is the camera man, and it was his birthday.

note: ed o'neill does not actually know what's going on.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

holding my breath.

twenty miles, here i come.

sunday starts the oh-so-familiar taper.

Friday, November 19, 2010

the magic of this fog.

summer in san francisco from michael winokur. discovered via sfgirlbybay

there's something about san francisco's fog that makes this place so special. it's not like the central valley's deadly tule fog that i grew up with. instead it captures your mind, your attention, and for me, it makes me wonder about movement. i guess it reminds me of sufjan's thoughts on movement, too. regardless, i think about how i am changing, progressing, continuing in a forward motion instead of an upward motion (the way i often think of growth).

this fog, this city treasure that often makes me roll my eyes and shout to the sun in my teeny tiny voice, "come out, come out, wherever you are!", is perfect. and riveting. and is an almost-daily reminder that this blanket doesn't have to hide me, but i can embrace the beautiful gray mess that it is. exactly where i am, exactly in this place.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

all good things must come to an end.

today i said goodbye to the very first case i opened on my own. goodbyes are never easy, especially when they really are permanent.

goodbye to you who taught me about resilience.
goodbye to you who longed for a good enough attention.
goodbye to you who cared enough to keep trying, over and over again.
and goodbye to you who just needed to be loved in a new way.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

four weeks from today.

i will be a finisher.
i will remember to breathe.
i will try to convince myself to quit.
i will take it one step at a time.
i will remember my progress. as a runner, a person.
i will reflect.
i will cry.
i will hurt. and ache.
but i will be a finisher.

Friday, November 12, 2010

a word of encouragement for the marathoner, from the marathoner.

maggie says: "all i'm saying, em, is that you are not going to regret this. somedays it will feel glorious, and somedays you will fall apart and want to cuss out one of the sweetest friends you have who is always picking up the pieces for you. because that's the beauty of the beast. but that's what makes it so good. the achy muscles and the beating heart and the smell of 18-miles worth of sweat. you're doing it. and i'm so proud of you. so go ahead and cuss people out in your head when you need to. and (again) eat the good stuff while you can without apologizing. and drink lots of water and get lots of rest and say a prayer of thanks here and there for your own beautiful, incredible body with wonderful glutes and quads and hamstrings and calves and feet and toes and pony tails and all that amazing beautiful stuff."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

take a pic of yourself in that dress with some red lipstick.

that was cait's idea. which dress? the one jcrew accidentally sent me. the one i didn't order.

i'm not going to deny the fact that i want to keep the dress. or at least return it for more useful clothing. is it bad to wear it once and then give it back? i mean, really, it's just like renting it, right? or borrowing it? maybe?

i guess if it were mine originally i'd want it back. but let's be real, i wouldn't accidentally send something of mine to the wrong person.

don't frown on me because my first inclination wasn't to send it back, i'm just not that holy. oh, ethical decisions, you make my brain itch.

Monday, November 8, 2010

related and unrelated thoughts on moving and running in the same day.


and don't move the night before and don't move the day after. and don't run eighteen miles in between. and don't get injured and don't, just don't. don't do it. ignore nike.

tonight frances learned that she wasn't twentythree and that made me laugh. i'm learning that my decision to keep training for this race is a choice i probably wouldn't make at twentythree, but at twentysix i'm making it, and i probably would at thirtynine, too. i didn't think i would turn into one of 'those' people, the ones who keep going and pushing, even though they know they shouldn't. i didn't realize my pride could dictate my actions this much. how could i finish eighteen miles and quit?

on a completely unrelated note, i've already made blueberry muffins and coffee cake and today i walked through the grocery aisle just looking at ingredients in order to dream about the time i will spend in our kitchen. there's something about feeding people that brings a true joy and sense of satisfaction to my person. these were just box recipes and they took seven minutes, but it didn't matter. the steam that escapes from a blueberry muffin in the morning is so worth it; i feel more comfortable in this new home. if this were twitter, i would write #bestupgradeever.

and even more unrelated, one of my wisest friends said something so profound, i pulled over and re-read it multiple times. i'm all for cleaning out my inbox, but this email with these words? it gets to stay. "i don't think pain makes people crazy and sad and angry, i think hope does." her words helped me understand how i'm so crazy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

when telling people you're training for a marathon.

one of the most interesting questions you might receive is, "have you noticed your body changing much?" [this is not a joke, i get this question at least once a week.]

i try my best not to make people feel awkward about asking this, but it's a bit odd. so i start to think of possible responses i could give to enhance the quirkiness of the question:
"yes, my thighs used to be really jiggly but now they're rock hard."
"i've noticed my heart pumps my blood faster."
"help! my boobs are shrinking."

don't worry, i haven't actually said the above (yet). i generally end up saying something about getting better sleep. nice and safe, right? right. reality is this, though: for me, it feels like people want to know if i've lost weight. [what a question that could be.] instead of asking the above question, or the one they're really trying to communicate, we should all just say NO to asking women about their bodies unless you're in the inner circle. and if you're wondering if you're in the inner circle, then you're probably not.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
random side notes:
-auntie em times five today! hello cannon, my new little ball of love.
-eighteen miles on saturday. i never thought i'd say this, but i'm excited.
-last shower with the moldy curtain will be on friday.
-posey, lincecum, wilson, huff, ross, etc: this city can't get enough of you.
-wine + benefit for the worker's children's fund = drunk dependency attorneys.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

one of my favorite days of the year!

the first tuesday of november is always such a wonderful day; i like it better than birthdays and labor days and even christmases! IT'S ELECTION DAY!!!

to my california friends, click here to find out where your polling place is and what's on the ballot. everyone else can go to [your state's abbreviation]

a stupid myth i've heard over seventeen times in the last week:
myth thinker: i'm not registered because i didn't vote in 2009.
me: but you voted in 2008, right?
myth thinker: right.
me: THEN YOU'RE REGISTERED. just go here: [your state's abbreviation] to find out where to vote.

no unsolicited voting advice from me this year. well, besides NO on twentythree.

"voting is free. it's fairly fast. it doesn't make you responsible for the outcome, but it sure has an impact on what we have to live with going forward. the only thing that would make it better is free snacks." -seth godin

Thursday, October 28, 2010

i'll be alone with you.

i've been trying to reflect on my experience of sufjan's tuesday night show in oakland; the reality that i witnessed a true musical genius is repeating in my head. what this man can do with instruments and sound and movement is awe inspiring. i literally had my mouth open for long moments, shocked by the beautiful and surprising noise.

prior to the show, i talked a lot with suf's biggest crusher about lowering our expectations in order to not be bummed-- bummed that there would be few songs from seven swans and tons from age of adz. we secretly hoped that after the costume and dance performance was over he would tip toe back on stage during our roaring encore and sing those lyrics, the ones that have brought us closer to our Creator and provided understanding for our deep feelings of love and insecurity, shame and joy. during the twothousand and five show he did it, he played all of them for me. but this was five years later, things are different! i am different, sufjan is different.

and then... it happened: to be alone with you was the second song of the encore. up to this point he hadn't played it during his whole tour. i was mesmerized during the short two minutes and forty four seconds; my tears formed and dropped and the theme of feeling alive, present and well returned to not just my thoughts but the sensation overcame my body. this was my peace.

he ended the encore with the eerie song that is john wayne gacy, jr. the story so disturbing, the ending so real: "and in my best behavior, i am just like him. look beneath the floorboards for the secrets i have hid."

the night's playlist for those who want re-create:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

uniquely san francisco.

coming home from the sufjan concert last night we witnessed this, three gorillas in jail jump suits on muni:

delighted by our city hall, lit up orange:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

lions and tigers and...

some eleven hours north of me, baby bear was born almost three months ago. lucky me, i got to relax and babysit with the mellow family; it was a wonderful three days, even in our attempts to make dinner and decisions together.

miss you and your encouraging love already.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

there's always going to be something better out there.

and there's always going to be something worse. it just depends on your lens, right?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

there are these moments when i really feel alive.

i'm thinking of two specific instances, both from this weekend.

the first is when i ran fifteen miles on saturday*; every foot to pavement interaction combined with reminding myself that i can do this helped me to feel present, alive. i took my time, didn't push too hard, and focused on my hips and knees, keeping them moving in the same direction. the way i count my breaths reminded me that i am, indeed, living. going. moving.

and the second is when i rested my left hand on my chest, just below my clavicle, skin to skin. my heartbeat could be felt through my forearm and even though my fingertips felt foreign resting on this place, it was natural at the same time. i nestled into this position when the weepies played "nobody knows me" as their encore song last night. i took a deep breath and firmly believed that i could die happy because this was my favorite song and the weepies' lyrics have gotten me through most of my twenties. my soul was alive.

so now i'm here, working on who i'm supposed to be, trying to worry about my process instead of my content.

*props to c&c for running and biking with me. all stars.

Friday, October 15, 2010

important parts of this week.

started the run portion off with a little caitlin in my step.
finished my fundraising! ! !
found an apartment. to move into. kyle won't be living on the couch.
dynamo love and a whole lotta heart from julie.
love is in the air. and brain tumors and taxi drivers.
sk-80s at work. mid week sleepover with the girls.
four-way call with the sibs.
my cousin left the hospital.
c&c are in town!
said goodbye to my kid with the most potential.
started behind-the-mirror training.
preppin' for fifteen miles.

totally present and in this. in it to win it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

waiting for who?!

the other day as i was driving, gubernatorial candidate meg whitman's voice came on the radio telling me i should go see the movie waiting for superman. i was waiting for a "that's why i'm running for governor" statement but it never came. she really wants me to go see the movie! and so do most of my teacher friends. add in my love for documentaries and this film jumped to the top of my to-see-soon list.

and then i read my dear friend sarah's blog this morning. sarah is in a masters/credential program focusing on urban education and she has an interesting perspective and i'm really looking forward to her posts dissecting the movie. food for thought, if you're interested.

personally, i don't have an opinion, nor do i believe i'm informed enough to offer unsolicited advice on this matter (though we all know i could make something up). what i do have an opinion on, however, is the upcoming election. my voting guide arrived in the mail last week and i about wet my pants with excitement. time to start studying! time to excercise my rights! get with it, people, you've got twentytwo days!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

who needs homecoming...

...when you can have a westmont wedding?!

sean and court wed this saturday and it was all around wonderful. fresh pie, perfect carmel weather, an incredible venue, tattoos, a non-stop dance party and a completely relaxed bride and groom. that combination seems to make my job ten times easier.

my favorite part of their story is that their grandparents have been friends for over fifty years and set them up. stop it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

there's something in the air.

the giants are in the playoffs and san francisco is walking around happier. there's more orange and black being worn and people are just a bit more chipper. i know people who are wearing baseball hats with the infamous sf on their head and others who are in the standing zone at the game just to witness the madness.

now, i am not a giants fan, but i'm certainly not a hater. this is fun and the energy around here makes me want to bandwagon just a little bit.

Monday, October 4, 2010

spoken like a true deflector.

my dear friend abbey and i were on the phone today. she kept asking me hard questions and i kept changing the subject. at first i was doing it because i didn't know the answers to her questions and then i was doing it because i knew the answers and i was utterly embarrassed to actually say them out loud. the topic of the questions and answers is neither here nor there, but i stopped us in the middle of the conversation.

me: i am the ultimate deflector. i don't ever want to talk about me and go into details and i constantly want to change the subject. and you know what? you do the exact same thing. it's because we're like meredith and christina. we are crazy. and out of control.

abbey: ya, so, what's your point?

me: let's try something new. what if everytime we wanted to change the subject we had to say, "i'm changing the subject now." just so we can be consciously aware of how much we do this.

abbey: done. this is going to be hilarious as one third of our words to each other will now be the exact same sentence.

and so we tried it for the rest of the conversation. bringing light to the fact that we get uncomfortable and we try to run and avoid and run some more. this is true cognitive behavioral therapy at work, people. it's all about the baby steps.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

fourhundred twenty dollars and sixty cents.

that's the amount i have left to raise to finish my goal for the marathon. the money goes to the leukemia and lymphoma society and i'm anxious to be finished so i can focus primarily on the running. this weekend i'll run the farthest i've ever run-- thirteen point two miles! holllllllller! anything you can do to help would be appreciated. click here.

other things to note: the cdc allowed my flu shot needle to be the smallest they've ever used. thank God.

UPDATE: twohundred ninetyfive dollars and sixty cents to go!

Monday, September 27, 2010

my birthday was last wednesday.

threehundred and sixtyfour days prior to my birthday, all i wanted was to be twentysix. i am so happy to be here now-- it means a lot, but it's mostly just symbolic of not being right in the middle, in the middle of a pile of shit.

there are a few reasons why twentyfive was awful, maybe even the worst year in my life: i was tired last year... growth and grieving and tears were overall good for me, but my exhaustion was high and my strength was low. i wanted so badly for things to go my way, to be in control, to be loved the way i needed. but instead i ended up with many long conversations that concluded with a "it's-gonna-be-alright-one-day-but-not-today" hug, promises made to myself which i consistently broke, and me facing rejection on a daily basis.

and on my twentysixth birthday, when i read the following words from my friend julie l.... "dear emily, i hope for a day of simple pleasures, that make you feel loved and celebrated. i hope for a year full of times to pursue old hobbies and opportunities for new adventures, for relationships that bring joy and a deeper sense of what you know and love."....i felt redeemed. because i received just that-- simple pleasures that helped me feel loved and celebrated: dynamo donuts, fresh flowers, a low tannin wine, pulled pork and hard cider, a cake catastrophe that was delicious, and people i know and care about sitting together on the same grass while breaking bread. it was perfect (minus the part where they sing happy birthday and everyone looks at me). it's like the moments we celebrated my birthday made up for the entire last year.

and so here i am, five days into being twentysix, learning more about letting it go (or l.i.g. as we referred to it in greece), getting closer to the escape, striving to surround myself with those who love me while allowing me to care deeply for them, and turning toward a good God who reminds me of the importance of community. and i'm grateful, more so than i've felt in a long time: fresh starts feel so good.

even years are always better than odd, always.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. twentysix of twentysix.

closin' it out with a bang: the age difference between the youngest guy and the oldest guy i've been on a date with is twentytwo years.

Monday, September 20, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. twentyfive of twentysix.

i drink a can of diet coke five out of seven days a week, at least. if i had my preference, it would be fountain, can and then bottle. (i've still never had a cup of black coffee, though.)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. twentyfour of twentysix.

i'm a sucker for documentaries. dolphins, school shootings, whatever it is... i want to see it every time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. twentythree of twentysix.

i despise "reply all"...there are very few good moments when it is utilized appropriately.

Friday, September 17, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. twentytwo of twentysix.



love 'em... big ones, small ones, and everyone in between.

jeep was the family dog and ziggy was the dog walking dog. but, oh what i would give for a bernese mountain dog.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. twentyone of twentysix.

emily post and her manners/etiquette are really important to me. whether it's writing a thank you card within a week or signing an email with your name, despite the signature line. i heart the etiquette queen.

(this can be attributed to: my high school career with deca, stephen covey and my mother.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. twenty of twentysix.

i take friendship really seriously. (emphasis on really.)

in the last almost-twentysix years i've learned the importance of return-on-investment friendships; giving and giving and being cared for in return. it's meant surrounding myself with those who are positive influences on me; the ones who teach me and show me how to grow and learn, how to actually be a better person. there's been some profound, grief-filled months along the way, but my reality is that i consciously choose to surround myself with those who love me and want what's best for me. and everything else really has to be let go, and that is okay.

(the combination of my courage and friendship crushes has delivered on some of my most favorite relationships in the world. i highly recommend owning and acting on your fc's!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. nineteen of twentysix.

i am not, i repeat: not, a good (in-person) story teller.

it's not self deprecating, it's just something i know about myself. and i'm totally okay with it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. eighteen of twentysix.

ira glass' voice is soothing; i start every monday morning off with the latest this american life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. seventeen of twentysix.

i would love to adopt one day, married or not. [better start saving...]

Saturday, September 11, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. sixteen of twentysix.

in may i took a class at stanford on forgiveness and the definition alone changed my perspective on life.

the definition? making peace with the word "no."

Friday, September 10, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. fifteen of twentysix.

for me, joy and pride truly meet when i participate in my civic duties.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. thirteen of twentysix.

i think trying to evangelize jews is wrong.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. twelve of twentysix.

i despise non-specific questions. examples: what's new? what's going on? how are you?

[maybe this is because i'm a self-proclaimed expert question asker.]

Monday, September 6, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. eleven of twentysix.

there's a few people in the world who still call me 'katz.' unless you've been given permission, the fact is: i strongly dislike being referred to by my last name.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. ten of twentysix.

sometimes i think i'm allergic to people needing me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. nine of twentysix.

i would rather be alone than in a relationship because of loneliness.

Friday, September 3, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. eight of twentysix.

if you ask me for money, i'll generally give it, even if i don't have it. [not the best habit i've ever formed.]

Thursday, September 2, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. seven of twentysix.

chartreuse is my favorite color. and then orange.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. six of twentysix.

i don't like music festivals. i've only been to one, though. apparently sensory overload and impatience get the best of me.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. five of twentysix.

i'd like to be a muni driver for one week.

Monday, August 30, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. four of twentysix.

i have a dream to sing one song in a coffee shop, with an audience. just one.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. three of twentysix.

i always stop at lemonade stands, even if i'm in a hurry.

the exploitation of family...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. two of twentysix.

i am not a talker-in-the-morning-er.

Friday, August 27, 2010

random facts learned in a quarter century plus one. one of twentysix.

for the last eight years of life my response to "what's your favorite food?" was garlic bread and black olives.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

walking around in our skivvies.

because it's SO hot in san francisco. FINALLY we have our summer! goodbye fog, hello sunshine.

excited to get greecey. and not be twentyfive.

marathon update: i hit the five mile mark last saturday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"it just feels good because the world doesn't hate me."

that's what caitlin said as i watched her delicately roll out the pie crust. i laughed to myself as i tasted her blueberry goodness, with a heart for each of us.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

how do our habits/hobbies/interests change?

do they ever change who we are? or just how we spend our time? it's something i've been wondering lately. lots of times, i think these things change because of a person that we like romantically or someone we want to be like. true or false?

i've come back to this post on thursday, august nineteenth and written this thought:
there is a good element of change; but how much do the people around us change and how much is okay to take on someone else's dreams and goals?

Monday, August 16, 2010

i could know the GQ "better man, better world" winner!

but i need your help increasing kiff's vote. you see, he started music national service (mns) and he's changing the world... and mns will get ten thousand dollars if we vote for mns/kiff and he wins. get your vote on: HERE!

more about mns here:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

this summer has been amazing.

i'm absolutely loving life; few weekend plans combined with a continued investment in where my two feet are has kept me content. sometimes it means mexican food three meals in a row or grocery shopping for the first time in five months and shouting, go long! as i pretend to throw a cucumber. everything about twothousandten is a million times better than oh-nine.

wait, i guess i'm not loving everything... i'm not loving running up the great highway from ocean beach and up into lands end. yes, it was absolutely beautiful but i am not a hill kind of girl. i'm just not. and i have large calves to begin with so anything to enhance these bad boys just makes boot buying that much more difficult.

the good news: i'm seven days into my fundraising efforts for the marathon and i've raised twentyfive percent. hot damn! but realistically, twentyfive percent raised is seventyfive percent not raised. help, people, help!

upcoming excitement:
courtney coming. daniel, autumn and baby boys coming! GREECE. the weepies and sufjan.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the big reveal.

i worked pretty hard on my Choose Your Own Adventure email that was sent out to practically my entire address book. however, i got stuck when i tried to post it here. my computer programming skills only go so far!

so here's the secret: i'm running a marathon in december. or, at least that's the plan. it will be in honolulu and i'm in my third week of training. HOT DAMN.

if you've got any spare change, go here and support me and the leukemia & lymphoma society. i'm twenty percent in and would love to get the funds raised as soon as possible. more details soon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"when it don't come easy"

by patty griffin is stuck in my head, thanks to kit.

i thought my next post would be the big secret reveal but i'm not quite ready. so you'll have to wait until monday. apologies, apologies.

tonight i realized i hate the question did you dye your hair? it's like you're outing me on the fact that i'm not natural and i'm trying and i want your acceptance. or something like that.

i also had this moment when i went from practicing my breathing skills to sitting around a table enjoying flour-less chocolate cake with almond whipped cream: i am in the middle of something good... bear was born healthy, my favorite turned twelve today, and i have friends who say things like, "to show that i'm serious and stylish, i'll be wearing x y and z to my jeopardy try out."

patty says:
So many things that I had before
That don't matter to me now
Tonight I cry for the love that I've lost
And the love I've never found
When the last bird falls
And the last siren sounds
Someone will say what's been said before
Some love we were looking for

But if you break down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a tangled web of lies.

some weave. sometimes you, sometimes me?

today i did yoga in the middle of my work day.
on the scale of good ideas for self care: ten.
on the scale of good ideas to see clients after doing yoga: one. i was a sweaty mess.

i have some news for you but you'll have to wait just a few more days. it's kind of a big deal for me. no, i'm not pregnant or engaged or quiting my job to go live on a kibbutz in israel. here's your hint: i thought i was done going to hawaii this year. not so fast there, cowgirl.

Friday, July 23, 2010

you want to work in presidential advance, emily?

kiff asked me that question in the middle of our second wedding planning meeting. hahva laughed and translated, "that means he thinks you're organized and he's not worried anymore."

worried? why should kiff be worried? anyway. i went home and looked up presidential advance: the group of people who make shit happen at the white house. hello flattery, welcome to my heart.

they got hitched this past saturday and i felt a resounding peace about their marriage. maybe it was their age or their party or their wedding attendants and guests (best best-man ever). ultimately, i think it's their hearts for the world and the way they're making change through their vocation (hahva is quite possibly the best social worker i've ever known and kiff is making musician corps a reality). the night was flawless and the music was incredible. what more could i ask for in coordinating?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

house sitting, again.

i'm enjoying the silence; there is something about the quiet of the morning, the thought of an afternoon nap because work is ever-so-close and an evening to make strawberry shortcake to thank the most wonderful vegetarian/hippie/oh-so-jewish psychiatrist i work with.

the strawberries sat, marinating in the balsamic while i closed my eyes to feel the cold of the butter on my finger tips. i was reaping the benefits of the wedding registry and using a fancy micro-plane to zest a lemon. i have never used a micro-plane: the easiness of it was magical. i have it so good, i thought. from the chocolate spiced donut with one of my dearest friends to watching two children- who, on monday, i referred to as my little sinking whales- swim to the flags.

today, i wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

silverware can be a tough choice, i imagine.

some of the best evenings are filled with stories that redirect recipes, goat cheese to compliment beets and impromptu marriages.

things i'm loving lately:
strawberry shortcake.
my bowerbirds pandora station.
james taylor and carole king with my mom.
the nordstrom anniversary sale.
briefly living in the mission.
envisioning december twelfth.
thinking about greece.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

they say it's your birthday.

and we're gonna have a good time.

happy birthday,
dear julie.

your wisdom,
generosity and
make for one

Thursday, July 8, 2010

these questions are not meant to be answered.

i wonder what it feels like to be oscar's mom? or sister.
i wonder what it would've been like to be on bart that new year's day.
and i wonder what it feels like to be johannes' family. or johannes himself.
what does it mean to be a police officer in oakland?
what about to just live in oakland?
what would i think if the fruitvale station was my stop?
would the verdict be different if their races were switched?
or what if the trial was held somewhere else?
or if there was someone african american on the jury?
what if i were the judge?

my heart feels heavy but i will continue to live in the questions.

the grief, the loss- it's astounding.
this bay area, this is my community.

Monday, July 5, 2010

i'll sleep next to you, even with dakota the girl dog.

"when going through a breakup, it's nice to wake up next to somebody. it doesn't have to be a boy, and preferably, it should be you, emily katz."

reaping the benefits of meg's house sitting adventure in sea cliff has been special. it's meant never knowing the exact words to use or how to navigate the feelings of someone else's heartache-- because, let's be real: no one heartbreak is ever the same. this has been so good for my soul. to simply be present and remember the diary of my own heart; the reality of what this weekend has been, and will never be again, recognizing my own freedom from my past and the direction i get to choose for myself-- it's been nothing but refreshing.

the fog continues to burn off over the golden gate bridge and i think about how overwhelmingly grateful i am to be able to vacation from my life but to stay in this sweet, transient city. a place where i make no commitment of permanence, but rather, a commitment to indefinitely invest deeply in what i'm surrounded by. the people i continue to wake up next to and share almond scones with who are partnered with a good God who helps me to love better.

and so today, i look forward to a new twelve months. for continued grief and loss and community and wisdom and real joy. for new babies and the search for rainbow chip frosting. for friends who've moved so close, and more opportunities to see my favorite fireworks from a rooftop, the ones which adam's mother has named the the bob marley ones. for more of meg's lies saying, "it's really a party, you should come." for travels to greece and portland and turkey. for rachael's musical knowledge of good music like bowerbirds. for sixtyseven dollar gourmet ice creams. for wednesday mornings at dynamo. for more conversations about kids and teaching and the social/emotional connection. and for you, the wise woman i've been able to wake up next to: your grace, courage and strength are awe inspiring; i have so much to learn from you. and i'm surprisingly looking forward to my first cup of black, home roasted coffee.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

it's weird to me how a gadget can change things.

martin's + stellar supervision + knowing iphone people in high places + recognition + work sort of paying for my iphone + my one year review + advocating for myself + shotwell's = one hell of a day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

today goes down in history.

holy crap, i can't believe i've made it a year at my agency. they say it's sort of like dog years... an actual year equals seven years. this might be my longest relationship, yet.

anyway. important to note on this day: it has gotten so much easier with time. it's more manageable and i'm much better at delegating to the team. and i surprisingly like my job! working with kids and families has been quite taxing but totally worth it.

and important to remember: the night in october when i spent seventeen hours in the hospital. connecting my client with new door and watching him (mostly) succeed. sitting in on the many trials and hearings. seeing my client yearn for his mother's love and helping her to figure out how to show it. saying goodbye to my favorite. the family finding and permanency process that has changed my kids' life. and learning how to be more hopeful and optimistic, as it makes me a more effective clinician and person.

Monday, June 21, 2010

i hate the questions, in this very moment.

"I beg have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Do not search for the answers, which could not be given you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." -Rainer Maria Rilke

last night was one of those nights where i needed to embrace the whispering, the deception, the lies by omission.. and then just sleep on it in order to be silent. (note: i am not very good at silence.) but i am learning that in my few years, twentyfive has definitely been my hardest yet; a fine line of protecting myself and dancing with vulnerability. and can i just say: i hate this fine line, i hate the questions, and i hate that this is about me.

these are growing pains, for sure.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

dance recitals, hospitals and weddings.

wish i had photos to show you. insert sad face here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

mad cooking skills.

life is good. especially with rad friends and a cooking lesson from emily.

our menu: rosemary flatbread, spring vegetable galette, herb and pinenut crusted baked slab salmon and a lemon sponge.

i love this city and all of the opportunities here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

utilizing this treat.

by surrounding myself with wise people and getting a breath of fresh air.

today's lesson, as found being repeated in my head: "sometimes information is a burden and silence is what God needs for us to apply as an actual tool so we can win options for ourselves in the future."

amen to that, sister. it's all about honest and earnest at the right times.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

one point is better than no points.

i'm okay with a tie if the u.s. was expected to lose. anyway...

my friend, dr, recently told me this is my fight song:

This one's for the lonely
The ones that seek and find
Only to be let down
Time after time

This one's for the torn down
The experts at the fall
Come on friends get up now
You're not alone at all

And this part was for her
This part was for her
This part was for her
Does she remember?

It comes and goes in waves, i....

This one's for the faithless
The ones that are surprised
They are only where they are now
Regardless of their fight

This one's for believing
If only for it's sake
Come on friends get up now
Love is to be made

And this part was for her
This part was for her
This part was for her
Does she remember?

It comes and goes in waves,
I am only led to wonder why
It comes and goes in waves
I am only led to wonder why
Why I try

This is for the ones who stand
For the ones who try again
For the ones who need a hand
For the ones who think they can

It comes and goes in waves,
I am only led to wonder why
It comes and goes in waves
I am only led to wonder why
Why I try

"comes and goes" by greg laswell.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

i felt safe.

i'm a young woman living in the heart of a city, specifically a five by six block area that is lovingly referred to as nopa. last night, for the first time in all my years in this neighborhood (three), i felt overwhelmingly safe. around ten thirty at night there was a loud boom and some screaming... it was a car accident. and out we came, over sixty neighbors put on their shoes and bras ready to help. "i'm a doctor!" "i called nine one one already!" people shouted. in numbers we gathered, some to make sure it was safe, but the rest because we were all curious and wanted to be looky loos. of course the woman from the accident who was screaming strange things was quite interesting. especially when she got down on her knees and kissed the sewer. i could have shouted "i'm a mental health professional!" but i restrained myself.

after my fix of watching was fulfilled, i wandered back into the house, relaxed in my cave, and felt gratitude. i felt safe in this little neighborhood as the people gathered. i felt safe knowing that if i were to blow the whistle on my key chain, screaming for help, they would come. we might not say hello every time we pass on our walks, but it's okay. it's worth it knowing that this community is available if i'm in need.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

back to my routine.

in the last four weeks, i've been to work like this: three days one week. two and a half the next. and then four. and now two. one graduation, one wedding, one memorial, and a conference equal total discombobulation in the la-la-land of me.

and there's something about routine; something about putting on make up in the same order, driving home the same way, eating the same breakfast, writing mental health notes the same, whatever it is: i feel safe in my routine. and more than that, i feel control. lots of people talk about God being in control, but i don't always understand that. it's quite confusing to me, too. but it's neither here nor there for this topic; important to note is my need for control and how that relates to my updated view of forgiveness (a subject for a later post).

monday, june fourteenth will mark summer's begin for me. and august thirtyfirst will mark the end. between now and then, i plan to enjoy: iced tea. not traveling. more instax photos. visitors. pool bbqs. planning the first [annual?] work talent show. longer sunshine. seeing clients before the three to six pm time frame. and reading more than my news and blog feed.

i don't usually feel this way, but i'm looking forward to monday. to my summer.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

rock the.


today. at your local polling place.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

public service announcement.

trader joe's dark chocolate pretzel bark is on sale for ninety nine cents. get it before it's gone. mostly because it will likely be gone for an undetermined amount of time. possibly forever.

Monday, May 31, 2010

from fear to confidence.

kristy and i met in the first semester of freshman year in doctrine class; m.schloss introduced us and we hit it off. she in turn introduced me to everyone and anyone who was from santa barbara and we spent a lot of time [not studying] together and making memories (running all over firenze looking for cake mix; the frontier room; sharing mutual boy crushes; etc). over the last eight years of knowing her, kp has taught me about love, grace, and confidence. on saturday we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate her marrying the [frat] boy with a big heart and a love for the mets. who would have guessed?

in all my time knowing kristy, i have never known her more confident and full of love than when she's with alex. it was a joy to be in santa barbara to celebrate.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

gratitude challenged.

my bold claim: we, you-me-us-americans-europeans-rich people, us. we are gratitude challenged.

i mean, when was the last time you sat in your car and thought about how you can breathe air. and vote. and walk. and pick your religion. and drive. in your car, the one you're sitting in. and don't give me any of that "i don't have a car because i ride muni" b.s. because we all know that you, too, can afford a car. if you really had to, you could... so, back to my point. when was the last time you took a deep breath, deep down in your belly, and thought about what you had?

confession: it's been a while for me. in fact, i don't know if i can name one time in the last month that i felt gratitude. deep, gut wrenching gratitude. is that sad? sure. embarrassing? a little. honest? brutally.

this is just a thought; a question i'm asking myself: what if complaining and gratitude are supposed to balance each other out? what if?

i'm chewing on this for a minute. not committing to change today, but only to thinking about it. because let's be real: my scale has been lopsided for quite some time and the least i can do is give it some thought.

Monday, May 24, 2010

ima be, ima be, ima be a dpt.

it's not often that i get to celebrate my best friend; the one who has devoted the last three years of her life to a doctorate in physical therapy (dpt). what an accomplishment.

to know someone since age twelve is one thing... but to continue to share memories and stand by each other for monumental milestones is another thing. it's been fourteen years and i can safely say that she is the most loyal friend i've ever known.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

i've never known another eden.

and seriously, there is no one on this earth like her. i don't know anyone who gets as excited over a doughnut as her. she is crazy-generous, random and hilarious. we met in israel and it's one of those friendships where you don't need to call or email all the time... it just is.

in a short twentyfour hours i was introduced to her boyfriend and his house and all the orthodox-jews that live on his street (did you know these places exist? it's incredibly fascinating. one time drew had to turn on the fan for a pregger lady; must've been a friday night). she pointed out celebrities and quickly reminded me that that one had a big butt, too.

i am so lucky to know her and to have been able to experience a day in the life of eden.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

missing the valley.

modesto reminds me of my life growing up in the valley. maybe it's the beauty of the land; the crop, the dirt. maybe it's the people who don't mind being apple pie. maybe it's may's seventyfive degree breeze on the deck in good, good company. the kind of good company that cultivates another friendship crush and reminds me of what caitlin says about a woman who is smart and kind: they are rare.

i drove home that night fighting my heavy eyes, (literally slapping my cheeks- i am a horrible night driver) while thinking about how grateful i am to know women like lisa and lesley. to know that it's worth it to pursue the friendship and to invest. to be authentic and vulnerable. to spend time learning from those who are experts at being smart and kind. and to surround myself with past and present valley inhabitants; there's something special about us.

Monday, May 17, 2010

the more i work with foster youth...

...the more i wonder where the Church is. and the couples who have love to give. and the people who care out of the goodness of their heart. and the families who want to adopt the un-adoptable... and God; i wonder where he is, too.

i sit here fighting the urge to not be a bitter young woman. instead, i'm campaigning for permanency: every kid needs a permanent plan. every kid deserves a family.

Friday, May 14, 2010

and that's the difference between a man and a boy.

the boy said, i will kiss her at midnight. the man said, if he does that i will punch him in the face.

of course there's more to the story and who knows if the man would've really punched the boy. and let's be real: i am not promoting violence. but it's true: the man works to respect and not disrespect. the boy thinks of himself and what he can gain.

thankful for the c's and the a's and the n's.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the next eighteen days will be incredible.

i'm looking forward to: lisa's belly. meeting wendell. kqed in person. seeing some movies (babies. waiting for superman. sex and the city, two.) watching the bff accept her doctorate. seeing kristy as a bride. a consult with one of the leading trauma therapists in the world. finding a curtain wire. meeting drew. the life changing tuesday evening workshop. riley's third. balayage.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

why yes, yes mr. cute rose man, i will take your roses.

it has taken me threehundredandtwentysix days to put on my asics. and as i walked to the park i stopped in awe of a fourteen foot high garden-rose tree. bush? tree. i'd never noticed it before so i inhaled and remembered to breathe. and in that moment, he came from behind, grocery sacks in hand, and said, "you should take some." really? i asked. "yes, definitely. if you don't, they'll just fall to the ground and die." thanks. thanks, i will. so i went on my walk. i walked and i walked, making sure to end at the roses. and though i'm not tall enough to reach the good ones, i tip toed to the best that i could reach and took. listening to mr. cute rose man, following his instructions by enjoying the smells of a blooming garden-rose.

and as i walked through the park, memories flooded my senses: the sound of moving cars, the sight of the hipster without his helmet, the smell of my sweat, the touch of the heel-toe to the pavement, the taste of the crisp air. and i remembered; i remembered the beauty that is taking care of oneself. with garden-roses and walks in the park.

Monday, May 10, 2010

dark chocolate pretzel bark has changed my life.

i got some closure on a situation close to my heart; it is what it is... and i'm learning a little bit about the freedom i have. (sorry for the cryptic-ness, lm) i'm mostly choosing to believe that what God has for me is good.

and today? today, i feel a little bit of myself coming back: the me who cared about self-care and serving and authenticity and modesty. the sensitive me. there have been many points in the last twelve months that i wanted to run away-- far away from my problems and bury myself in the sand where only my head was sticking out. hoping that maybe someone put a baseball hat on me so i didn't wither in the sun.

but i am here to say this one thing: facing the shit head on, asking for help and admitting failures and heart ache are healing. and redeeming. and totally worth it.

so tomorrow i will celebrate. me and my dark chocolate pretzel bark.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

i laughed pretty good.

why did the scarecrow win the nobel prize?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

hawaiian excursion numero dos.

i earned a sore belly from laughing as we told stories and divulged secrets. and then continued to laugh and share in all that is r.c. and judy. the la la la la la la is unforgettable and everything being commy could never get old. and aquasize: one for the hair cut, one for the governator, one for the iron cross, climb the ladder one more time. and he makes the participants bark at the moon! they told us about the secret to a successful marriage. and the candy, oh did we eat the candy. shopped at the most expensive grocery store in the country and met a lot of FPs (famous people). memories made and sunburns created.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

turtle rescuers!

we stepped off the plane in kauai and drove straight to mama turtle who laid her eggs earlier in the morning... suzanne, queen of kauai, explained that mama turtle was exhausted (naturally; you try laying one hundred ping pong sized eggs) and couldn't get herself back in the water due to the tide. so what did we do? well first we were thankful that we've been lifting weights. and then we pushed her in. and she swam away... happily ever after. see ya later mama turtle. la la la la la la la la la (insert hand gestures by r.c.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

gwen ifill drives me nuts.

driving back from one of the five bay area counties to san francisco, i had to turn her voice off. i can't really put my finger on it, but the three o'clock hour of npr doesn't keep me at ease.

so i sat. in silence. and thought about it when he yelled at me, "why am i in foster care? why is my mom so stupid?" bless his heart. bless my heart. bless the kid who i put an enormous amount of energy into every day: home placement, school, family finding. over and over and over again.

foster kids wonder things differently than kids who aren't part of the system. i need to remind myself of their type of questions: who am i? what happened to me? where am i going? how will i get there? where do i belong? though some of us may have asked these same questions growing up, our answers were generally known.

hoping for change.

Monday, April 26, 2010

friendcrush in five examples.

i'm often friendcrushing on someone: boy, girl, it doesn't matter. it's all about the intrigue and recognition of someone's coolness from afar. a real friendcrush is someone you can eventually become friends with... movie stars don't count. and either does anne lamott's son. but these people count:

kimberly. knew she was rad when her husband made a fool of himself and it didn't even phase her. named the crush, owned it and we've gone from friendcrush to straight friends. boooyah. now i reap the benefits of knowing the best chinese food in the city and having a diet coke partner.

lana. similar life and educational goals and a love for the work we do. anxiety when we can't switch our on-call shift and a girl with impeccable organization and cute file folders. made. for. each. other.

diane. (well, it's in the making.) we've only hung out once but people tell me i'm a younger version of her. i'm hoping she'll wear an oversized hat and drink tea with me soon. she's so cool i would throw my bra at her.

cait. it was friendcrush at first taste- she loves sea salt on her chocolate, too. and her calming personality draws me in; must be that she's from the central valley and knows the biscotti woman herself. i'm hoping hard that she's moving to nopa. and in love with the fact that she loves ira glass.

the boss. he's endearing; his easy going attitude and not-quite-hipster style is charming. maybe it's the same levis every day or the too many pairs of shoes in common with me?

cheers to putting myself out there. here. out here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

happy fiftythird.

to my mother. the woman whom i love more than any other mother.

quick thoughts on mothers:
mothers are a peculiar thing.
i always say "i won't do this like my mother."
and i always forget what i want to do just like my mother.
some mothers are there. present. involved.
some mothers are gone. silent. unattached.
some are in between.
some of us have more than one mother.
step, surrogate, foster, etcetera.
a few of us remind ourselves that we are not a reflection of our mother.
just like she is not a reflection of me.
that's what i keep saying to myself. but i often wonder if it's true.
i wonder if i will repeat my history, the one my mother has created.
or if i will stray from her beliefs, ideals, dreams?
mothers are peculiar. none of ours are the same.
when i grow up, i want to be like my mother in one simple way:
she is good enough.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

advice to my sixteen year old cousin.

who isn't doing so well in ap/ib/honors/whatever math: wear your retainer and don't go to private school, twice.

i've only got ten years on him, but that advice is GOLD.

Monday, April 19, 2010

one nephew says to the other.

uncle carter: okay tell him! go!

nephew samuel (three years old in june) to nephew riley (three years old in may): riley, if you go poop in toilet then get popsicle.

this is helping me start off the week right. hilarious.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

disappearing act.

here for three days and gone for four. a quick trip to arizona to soak up time with the family to celebrate my cousin's wedding. jeremiah married michele (yes, mm, she spells her name JUST LIKE YOU) and it was a fabulous party; the best part was being together with everyone. my grandma is one of eight so in total it makes one hundred and nine family members. ONE HUNDRED AND NINE.

so so fun. love you, love your show.

Monday, April 12, 2010

i always order chai. never coffee.

i sat in a coffee shop the other day and wrote. i intended to write about my hurt, and i suppose i did, it just came out different than expected. everything began with why and how and ended with a question mark. question after question and i didn't stop until i realized my teeth were clenched and the callous was reforming on my middle right finger. and i took a deep breath. i was reminded of the post when anna talked about yoga and breathing and i led cg the week before and we discussed slowing down. and i stopped. and breathed. though i mostly stopped in order to quit writing questions.

and then i realized how hard it is to believe in God. retract. how hard it is to follow God. to follow a God who talks about forgiveness. and to actually live it out. and more than that, to live with compassion and to turn my cheek. and to admit over and over, i've failed. i'm selfish. i'm jealous. i'm judgmental. and i forget, consistently, how to love the people around me.

lesley: this is no cryptic post, just a realization i had some months ago that i suck and need forgiveness. all the time. and yes, i am going to keep calling you out on my could-be-cryptic posts.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

yosemite two thousand and ten.

was cold and wet, but memorable as usual.
though the crowd was smaller, i'm reminded of why i love to camp.
memories. with family. and friends. and time away from honking horns. and cars stolen.
and air so fresh i want to bottle it up. and save it for the times when the city fog and smog make me cough.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

slowing down.

i am leading this month's community group with my friend, the purple loving stephan. when thinking long and hard about a topic, i thought (selfishly) about what i needed to hear: slow down.

stop emily.
stop and look.
and listen.
practice what you teach.
and be present.
remove your phone from your pocket.
and commit to this practice.
listen to the words of your friends.
as they tell you where they've been.
and imagine what it would be to feel their feelings.
and get that iphone out from under the table.
you think they can't see the glare as you're texting?
and while you drive? really?
stop twittering about your job.
or your breakfast.
and stop blogging about yourself.
stop stop stop.

if we all committed to slowing down.
and being present.
we might observe more things.
like depression and suicide.
and sadness and joy.
and maybe we could start.
start to observe. and see what God is doing.
where God is in the earth, on the earth.
in the relationships that are right in front of you.

if only, we could start to breathe.
and feel it in our bellies, deep.
the in and the out, slowly.
and then start again.
remembering to go slow.

for those of you who profess christ, you might enjoy this video's message.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

thoughts on doing "extra" work.

sometimes when i sign up for something "extra" at work (meaning, beyond my general work requirements), i think to myself, "i should be getting paid for this." and whenever that statement shows up, i'm reminded that i am SO part of my generation. and then i think of the below table because in all reality, i want to be a next generation leader instead of just another kid in this generation of tech savvy, twittering, entitled brats. yes, i know i (we) have more to offer than that description, but i've (we've) got a long way to go.

table taken from this article by Nick Tasler and Lac D. Su

Monday, April 5, 2010


i have never met a man who has influenced me more without using his words.

on my first day at martin's i saw jim... and i thought to myself, if he's here, i could definitely stay awhile. and then i spent almost every thursday morning with him for two years and i learned more about the character of God from his silence.

you would think that having a phd in organic chemistry would be a clear calling. but not with jim; monastic life called his name and he left on sunday. oh how i'll miss him...

Monday, March 29, 2010

a wise friend of mine recently tried to pass on a pearl.

he said, "younger people think the mark of true friendship is unconditional approval. but older people know that true friendship is marked by someone who will call you on your shit."

still chewing on that. and thinking about the times in twothousandnine when i got called out over and over and over again. or wanted approval over and over and over again. i hated that year. can i be young and old?

thank goodness for turning corners, loyalty, humility, being alone but not lonely, and faking it until i made it.

lesley, is this too cryptic for you?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

i'm totally geeking out.

on my awesome spread sheet which tracks the hours i need in order to be licensed. if my hours continue to go as planned (which they probably won't, let's be real.), i will have finished my three thousand hours by the end of february two thousand eleven.

i'll still have my invisalign at that point, but hopefully i'll be done with these suckers at the same time i pass my test. licensed with straight teeth, imagine that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

i'm trying something new.

it's seen as leaving my room messy, not responding to emails, waiting weeks to do my laundry and ignoring phone calls.

because sometimes i just need to be present for things like soup by kimberly and telling dan g. the discussion he's moderating is making me puke in my mouth. and praying for the boy who will never know his dad and having a good long cry about it afterward. and turning off the music and rolling down the window as i travel on the eighty in the bay area sunshine, allowing my hair to get dirtier faster than i wanted. and typing on my typewriter and writing interrupting emails to anna.

it's sort of fun.

Friday, March 19, 2010

lessons learned from this week of life lived.

wear your helmet. when you're riding whatever you're riding. playing the guessing game of "where's my roommate" and calling emergency departments never makes for a pleasant thursday evening.

emotionally disturbed or not, eight year olds have a strange concept of time. the younger they are, the harder it is to close the case.

the worst kind of sick is when you're not sick enough to stay home from work.

youth speaks still reigns as one of the most inspiring city events which i attend annually.

leaving is harder when you want to leave; especially when you didn't anticipate the sadness.

zicam cough syrup, advertised as "almost tasteless," should have bolded, italicized and underlined the word ALMOST.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

my toothpaste consumption.

is about to go WAY up. invisalign makes you brush your teeth after EVERY TIME you eat something. EVERY TIME.

just say no to grinding teeth and tmj.

Monday, March 15, 2010

sa sa sa census.

it's no secret that i love to participate in our civic duties. well today i did a little dance when the mail came: my census form arrived! seriously, i danced.

i can't wait to fill it out and be counted. to be part of something in this country that can help with federal funding. and really, to feel a little bit more connected to the three hundred and seven million citizens of the united states.

did you know participation is mandatory? fill it out, yo!