Baby Business

It is one week until my sister-in-law is due to deliver a sweet little baby boy and I can definitely feel the itch!  Not to say that I need some super special event like this to send the itch into high gear (it seems to be a constant nowadays); but of course, it does make me super excited and sends me into the internet cosmos for more inspiration.

Yesterday, I finally sat down and watched The Business of Being Born and it was completely incredible.  If you have not seen it, do so as soon as possible.  It is a beautiful documentary about the wonders of birth and of course, the highly controversial techniques used within the medical field to treat pregnant mothers and their actively-being-born babies.


I found these awesome dinosaur lamps via Oh Happy Day and is it weird that I kind of want one for my own room?  

Think Geek

Did anyone else read this book when they were little?  I remember reading this all the time when I was young and every time I remember feeling so nervous about what was going to happen to that silly mouse!


Back to my sis-in-law, I recently bought her this diaper clutch that holds a couple diapers, a travel case of wipes and a changing pad.  Not only is it nice and compact, perfect for that super short trip with your baby, but it's adorable!  I think I would take out the baby stuff and just use it as a regular clutch!  I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it in use.  Images from Little Pigeon Crafts.

Hurry little baby Rose Bud!  I can't wait to meet you!
--Aunt MEL



I've been waiting to give some response on Japan.  It's not that I don't acknowledge this unimaginable disaster and the outrageously horrific effect it has had on thousands of Japanese people and their families and their lives.  Not to mention the effects this massive event has had on the earth and it's axis, it's air, it's water, it's placement of land masses (!!!).

I think it's just that I don't really have much of the ability to grasp such things.  I can't even begin to imagine this type of catastrophe and it's effects on civilization and creation together.  It's not that I am a completely non-empathetic asshole (or I hope I'm not), I just think there is only so far true empathy can go.  I've experienced hardships, yes, but nothing compares to the gravity of this situation.  I cannot begin to imagine what it feels like to have your home swept away before your eyes, or your family killed by the earth, or your country in such a state of unrest, where it affects everyone, no matter the distance from the event.

I suppose the closest I've come to that was 9/11, and yes, no one will forget where they were and what they were doing the moment that happened.  We were scared, we were vulnerable, we were panicked and running for our lives to the nearest gas station or grocery store, pulling our kids from schools, declaring war on the first people that said anything remotely derogatory toward us.  We were shocked and we all felt personally affected by the tragedy.  And we all of the sudden loved our neighbors and felt compelled to stand up for everyone and stand in solidarity as Americans.

NY Times

I'm obviously rambling here.  My point is that I personally feel nothing but grief and unquantifiable amounts of sorrow for the people of Japan.  And I also realize that I have no idea what they are going through.  And I also realize that I am so very lucky and so very blessed.  And I also realize the great brevity of life and it's immaculate frailty.  And I realize that my response is limited except to say that I am overcome with humility.  How precious is life.

The Epileptic Imperial Wizard vs. End of Days

Which brings me to this unwaveringly flattering image of a strapping young man I know who is living in Japan.  He is teaching in the Nagano province (notice it's placement on the above map) and recently sent us an e-mail update of his well-being.

His e-mail contained an essay, essentially a short story, about his earthquake/tsunami/nuclear emergency experiences in Japan.  It also is a breathtaking account of an American's viewpoint of the tragedy and the sheer grace of Japan and how they are handling it.  It is moving and hilarious and tragic and honest.

I am linking to the document here and hope you will take the time to read it.  It will take about 10-15 minutes if you sit and read it all the way through and I highly recommend it.  He prefaced his account in the e-mail with the following directions to us and I will pass them on to you:

"1) This is a whole new level of long. Like don't bother bringing it to the toilet because no one poops for that long level of long. 

2) I think I use the word "Jap" on an occasion or two. It is, obviously, completely non-derogatory. It just fits/sounds better and I think its stupid that it necessarily has negative connotations anyway. The phrase "japanese person" is just cumbersome. I am well on my way to reclaiming "jap" for all japanese people, whether they like it or not." 

All of this being said, I think it's important to iterate the fact that as small as we all may feel in times of global crisis like this, there are small ways that we can make a difference.  Donate to a number of different global organizations initiating efforts in Japan or purchase goods where the proceeds go directly to aid Japan.  Or pray, or sit and ponder, or go out and help your neighbor, or think, or just send some light and love and good energy into the atmosphere.  

By reading this piece by my friend, I felt a little more connected and little more able to open myself up to continuing to imagine the seriousness of this situation and continuing to try and be as empathetic and compassionate as possible.  I hope you'll read this, I hope it will do the same for you.




Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

So, I know everyone and their mom has blogged about this but I just can't stop dreaming about it.

Outstanding in the Field is a traveling dinner that sets up at farms or gardens all around the country and artfully prepares exquisite meals straight from the ground to the table.  Their mission is, "to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it."

The dinners look so delicious and the people look like so much fun.  Seeing as how not all of us have the big bucks to shell out for such an inspiring event, I bet we could recreate something like it with close friends and farm-fresh local food. 

Who's with me?? 

(Images and mission statement from Outstanding in the Field)


Sunny Friday

It's Friday!  I foresee more sun, more beach, more ocean, more good food, and more friends this weekend.  How about you?

Here are a few fun things to give you inspiration for the weekend.  Enjoy!

As you know by now, my Mr. is a soon-to-be doctor.  I love finding little things that play up the medical field while still being artsy and fun.  This print by illustrator Raymond Biesinger definitely fits the bill.  Found via Poppytalk.

A Beginners Guide to the Endocrine System

Isn't this the most beautiful bike rack?  Our porch is currently being taken over by bikes and this would definitely cure that problem.  Plus, it would turn any bike into a work of art on a living room wall.  Also found via Poppytalk.

Cantilever and Press

And last but not definitely not least, I am going to purchase these for the next baby girl I see.  Don't think I won't.  Found via Black Eiffel.

Little Fashion Gallery


Green & Giddy

I'm feeling particularly inspired by nature today.  Yesterday, I spent all day planting a garden that we are starting at the church I work at.  All the fruits and veggies we grow will go into meals that we cook for the homeless and underserved in the community.

There is an 80 year old member of the church who headed up the planting and design of the garden and he singlehandedly taught me how to do all of it yesterday.  He and I spent hours with our hands in the soil, lovingly inserting new growth into the ground to be further raised by the nourishment of the earth.  He told me all about nitrogen and the importance of rain and reasons we should all go organic.  He also showed me how to rake and level the garden (My body is paying for that today), stake out and make straight rows (well, his were straight) and fill them with seed and cover the seed appropriately with a correct level of soil, all the while pushing me on with a sturdy "Thata' girl."

I felt so inspired and connected to our ancestors in connecting with his old wise soul.  I'll share pictures of yesterday's garden raising soon.

Until then, here are some images from my life that inspire me and encourage my continually evolving relationship with creation.  I hope you all will nourish your relationships with creation today--go outside, look into the sky, touch a tree or flower.  Or just breathe in and out and remember how that simple act is a miracle.

Magnolia at the Mississippi River, Memphis, TN
Pax in the Grass, MLC
Weathered Tree, Colorado
Mom & my rock, Colorado
Majesty, Colorado
Sky, New Mexico
Road to Taos, New Mexico
Enjoying the River, Colorado
Voluptuous Aspens, Colorado
Sidewalk, MLC
Wedding Walk, MLC
Yummy fruits of the earth


The Ancient City

I have to say, I think the last few weeks of my life have been the most indulgent I've had in a while.  I had a dreamy trip to Miami, an amazing visit from my family, and most recently, (just got back yesterday!) a birthday trip to St. Augustine.  Have you been there?

Flagler College, World's Best Beach Towns
Florida Fishing Vacations
The Bridge of Lions, Encyclopedia Britannica

St. Augustine, FL is the oldest town in America and it has absolutely retained all of it's old world charm. Yes, the tourists have come in and left their mark on the place, but thanks to the original cobblestone roads, old homes turned inns, overwhelming Spanish architecture, and tiny streets off the beaten path, St. Augustine still feels authentic.

The point is you should go.  And when you do, you should eat here:

Flagler College Gargoyle

And here:

Deviant Art

And here:

Virtual Tourist

Okay, now I'm drooling.

It's been a wonderful time of friends, family, and new places, but now I'm back to reality, and back to you, my dear internet cosmos.

See you tomorrow--


Miami Vices

Why, hello there!  I just got back last night from an amazing weekend in Miami and I'm definitely still recovering.  Of course, I did not have a camera anywhere near me all weekend long (note:  I'm one of those "can't enjoy life through a lens" kind of people) except for my iphone and there's no way I'm posting those unimpressive snapshots.  But I'll try to give you some sort of overview anyway.

I went to a wedding here:

Woman Getting Married

Okay, pick your jaw up off the ground.  Yes, it was out of control amazing.

Then I hung out all weekend long with one of my dearest friends who works here:

The Daily Beast

Again, clean the drool off.  It's the newest Frank Gehry beauty and home of the New World Symphony, on Miami Beach.

Apart from the run of the mill lounging in the sun, enjoying the beachy breeze and taking advantage of the occasional bubbly beverage, we ate ourselves silly at some amazing places.  Like here:

Again, with the drool.  And here:


"Best cake in America", according to Oprah.  No big deal.  Oh, and here:


Just to name a few...

Anyway, my family is coming to visit this afternoon from Texas so I may be out of commission again this week.  It's not that I don't love you.  I promise.



Wish List 2.0

The internet is really a magical place.  I mean, I can window shop for hours on this thing and never come up empty handed.  I can put everything from information to art to shoes to food to houses in my basket and walk out completely satisfied.  What an inspiring little shop we have in our corner to browse anytime we want.

So, here are a few things I'm putting in my shopping basket today.  Hope you enjoy!

(Images via ovendoorowl)

That book is just one more reason I wish I lived in Portland.  It's a walking guide to the Portland area that pays special attention to the needs of your chosen companion (your dog, your infant, your Grandmother, your best friend who only wants to walk to a place, spread out a blanket, and proceed to sit there for the rest of the day and drink wine, etc.).  

By the way, I have a running list of Pros and Cons to living in Portland.  I keep finding great things to add to the Pros list; but my Cons list is pretty filled up with this:

Oh well.

On a sunnier note...

I would like very much to purchase this cottage in Australia.  That's right, I'll take it fully furnished,

Including all the furniture and fixtures on the porch (that bathtub!),

And don't worry about that tree, it's perfect right where it is.  Please and thank you.

(Images via realestate.com.au.  Found via Desire to Inspire)

Oh and just in case the cottage doesn't have a fridge, I'll take this one:

Smeg U.S.A.

Whew!  All that shopping was exhausting!



Remember in my first post when I made a very dooming statement about how most of my writing projects start off with a bang and fizzle into nothingness shortly thereafter?

Let's hope this is not the beginning of that.

The past couple weeks have been wonderful and filled to the brim with a million other things to occupy my mind.  So sorry it's been brief around here.

First of all, it's absolutely spring here.  And anyone who knows me (especially since college) knows that when the sun comes out and the air warms up, I become an outdoor animal.  It's hard to get me to come inside for extended periods of time and it's definitely hard to get me looking at anything else except the sky or a tree or the new sprouts from the garden.

(Brief interlude where I go outside and water the garden.)

Pattern Bee

I understand that most of the country is not experiencing what I am here, so here's a little something to life your spirits:

the manifesto of encouragement

right now:
There are Tibetan Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalayas endlessly reciting mantras for the cessation of your suffering and for the flourishing of your happiness.
Someone you haven't met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.
Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.
Nuns in the Alps are in endless vigil, praying for the Holy Spirit to alight the hearts of all of God's children.
A farmer is looking at his organic crops and whispering, "nourish them."
Someone wants to kiss you, to hold you, to make tea for you. 
Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favourite food is, and treat you to a movie. 
Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you -- for free.
Something is being invented this year that will change how your generation lives, communicates, heals and passes on.
The next great song is being rehearsed.
Thousands of people are in yoga classes right now intentionally sending light out from their heart chakras and wrapping it around the earth.
Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.
Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they'll be thriving like never before. They just can't see it from where they're at.
Someone who is craving to be partnered, to be acknowledged, to ARRIVE, will get precisely what they want -- and even more. And because that gift will be so fantastical in it's reach and sweetness, it will quite magically alter their memory of angsty longing and render it all "So worth the wait."
Someone has recently cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche -- this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.
Someone just this second wished for world peace, in earnest.
Someone is fighting the fight so that you don't have to.
Some civil servant is making sure that you get your mail, and your garbage is picked up, that the trains are running on time, and that you are generally safe. 
Someone is dedicating their days to protecting your civil liberties and clean drinking water.
Someone is regaining their sanity. 
Someone is coming back from the dead. 
Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable. 
Someone is curing the incurable.
You. Me. Some. One. Now.

(found via Marvelous Kiddo; originally posted here)


One more year

Hello internet cosmos!  I have successfully taken the last few days and done nothing but celebrate with friends and family.  My house is a wreck, I am about 100 lbs. heavier from all the cake and champagne, and I'm still catching up on sleep.  I'm exhausted but so very happy.

I could not be more thankful for the wonderful people in my life.  I owe my every happiness to your love.

So naturally, after having taken off way too many days from the dear blog, I have a million inspiring things to share with you but I'll try to split them up over a few posts.


Let's start off with babies.  I found this adorable superhero via Say Yes to Hoboken and her Babble post and I am scheming over all the little boys (and girls too I suppose!  I would have loved to have a personalized superhero boyfriend doll!) I can buy this for.  Plus, it's completely customizable--you can change the clothes, the hair, even the letter on his shirt.  Completely adorable.

Sophie and Lilli

Next, let's talk food.  Our friends are real foodies--the fun laid back ones and the trendy stereotypical ones.  It's fine, we'll accept the societal connotations.  And while we love to immerse ourselves in fancy foods, we also tease ourselves about our sometimes hilarious food-centric whims.  So, when I saw this on the kitchn, I knew it would be perfect for my friends.  I will definitely be gifting this soon.  (Images via Knock Knock)

Next up:  plants.  Succulents, in particular.  If I could have no other plants for the rest of my life--to adorn every surface in my home and my garden and my porch--they would be succulents.  And I think I may soon be repotting all of my current succulents into these outrageous planters, found via Oh Joy!  Plus, I will be purchasing 1 million more of them to save for my succulents I have yet to acquire.

UPDATE:  Looks like they're all sold out in the Plaid Pigeon Etsy shop!  I will haunt the shop everyday until their return.

(Images via Oh Joy!)

Is there anything better than a dinosaur succulent planter?  I think not.