Monday, January 31, 2011

i left my heart in yountville.

you know, the place where french laundry lives and the place where i got to spend the weekend with one of my best friends to celebrate sixty years of life well lived.

in the middle of dinner i turned to julie and had this wild realization, one that is so obvious but caused so much tension in my heart- something so difficult mixed with so much joy- without the accident, the one that took place on august ninth, nineteen seventysix, you wouldn't be here? i asked. i looked around at the eighteen women who were there in celebration and could only hope that my life would be as faithful as lauren's.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

drinking the kool-aid.

i'm currently in two eight month intensive trainings; one focusing on trauma for kids aged zero to five and one focused on family therapy... i get to do therapy behind a one-way mirror for some of these trainings and last night was my green light! i almost puked.

it's hard to explain, the feeling of sitting in the therapist's chair, while everyone else is watching you. specifically, they were crying and so was the family i was working with. i, on the other hand, felt nothing... numb. so focused on my every word, every reaction. helping them to heal.

and i had this moment... this realization and pause of clarity as i witnessed healing and helped to facilitate redemption... as much as i was anxious and unsure of my own capabilities, i got to be part of holding a family's pain and joy; their process, not so much their content.

we see abuse and we run. we see addiction and we run. we see mental health diagnosis and we run. cps! cps! it's unsafe here. but, (and this is where i drink PP's kool-aid) what about family? what about the bond that no one can break, regardless of whose roof is over their heads? how do we facilitate change within families, rather than increase the separation? these questions beg my attention.

i came home super late and i poured myself a glass of wine and sat on the small couch by the windows, the one in the shadows. twentysix minutes passed before i had a human interaction. later i was called down the hall and learned a little bit more about emotional safety, the kind where you don't need words, only the space to just be.


Monday, January 24, 2011

night mantra.

ever since i finished
facetiming with my
precious nephew, three
day old asher, "night
mantra" by renee and
jeremy has been stuck
in my head. the lyrics
are so simple and perfect:

I will be your home
I will be your guide
I will be your friend
Always on your side
Sleep now in your room
Quiet of the night
Surrounded by the moon
'Till you see the light

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the journey by mary oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"i love looking at everyone and seeing them all smile."

the highlights of the first sugar shack adventure of twothousand eleven:
filming maggie get down the mountain.
deep and honest heartfelt tears on the steps with julie.
sauna-ing with the ladies.
the dp with blinking jelly rings. the best rave in sugar bowl?
the sink in the sauna bathroom.
meg acting out mien kampf.
sharing about forgiveness.
a morning walk with cait.
eye brow surgery from laura.
sheep's milk ricotta and lamb crepes.
snowball fight down judah with the roommates.
olive oil cake with grapefruit frosting.
surprise mlk quotes from dan.
cooking with liz and maggie.

an escape from the city with more memories made. so grateful.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

one of my passions: permanency work.

yes, i'm a therapist. yes, i work in the social welfare field. and yes, i generally can't talk that much about my job. but! when the thing related to my work that i'm the most passionate about it makes it on the radio, i get pretty excited.

kids who are removed from their homes often lose touch with their families. i've been in countless meetings to talk about kids' behavior and how "we" will "help" with "this" by using that "intervention." but the reality is this: connections to family and people who know you have the strongest outcomes i've ever witnessed. it also makes the most sense. it's the part of my job that keeps me up at night, wakes me up in the morning and reminds me about my vocation.

here is an interview with two of my co-workers and a child who was reunited with his family recently.

ps. i was also interviewed for this story but didn't make the cut as the work i was doing didn't have the happiest ending. bummer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

musically challenged?

then check this out. you just might hear something new. and something good, something real good.

the love and hard work of is courtesy of rdm.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

i learned how to do a rubix cube.

algorithm after algorithm, i couldn't do it by myself without my favorite junior's hand holding. nevertheless, there's something so valuable about leaving the city behind and having a one to one ratio. i love getting to ski with high schoolers and middle schoolers; it's nice to not have burning-thigh-syndrome because of the stop-and-go of making sure everyone made it safely down the mountain.

i walked into the weekend heavy but left with gratitude. i love who these kids are becoming- they remind me of how silly i was and how far i've come.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


even though this is my year, i must remember that i am not immune from really crappy days. yes, even six days into the new year.

it was nothing anyone said or did; there wasn't anything specific. it was just a reminder of one of my core beliefs and some of the reasons i make certain decisions. and the thought of this idea, the one that dictates so many of my relational decisions, makes me want to crawl into a black hole.

so i did! i went into my black hole and while i was there, i walked to my car and found a nice flat tire. and later i bumped my head pretty hard on the corner of my nightstand. and after that i made a delicious tortilla chicken soup, chocolate chip cookies, and a regrettable decision, which reminded me that i'm a mess. and that i'm a self-deprecator and that i have a whole host of issues that i have to face. because you can't just ignore things or push them to the side when this is your year: you have to face the truth about who you are and who you want to become and who you're not and who you'll never be.

good thing this life isn't a dichotomy of black or white, but rather a rainbow with more shades of hazel colored eyes than i can count.

Monday, January 3, 2011

lazy daze, crazy nights.

we spent new year's weekend at camp osborn [there's nothing like departing and arriving to lax in a moho]. there's no other way i would've wanted to start two thousand and eleven; incredible people being together was enough-- no need to do anything in particular. it was the perfect vacation; the kind where you don't care where your phone is because the people you're with are the ones who you'd want to call.

thank you for inviting me; i'm glad i said yes.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

hello, 2011.

again, no resolutions.

just a realization that
this year is going to be different,
because this is my year.

i'm ready to give again,
everything i've got.
personally or professionally...
i'm in it to win it.

no excuses.