back to the barre, I choose champagne, ramblings

a beginning

Every year around this time of year I start to look back on the past year of my life and start to take into account things that happened, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and maybe who I think I’ve become over a year of life.

I turned 34 in California around my Orange County family. I turned 34 with some weighty statements inside myself that I carried from the new year.
I turned 34 with margaritas and sparkles.

I’ve been trying to, amidst all that is going on in the world and in my head and outside my front door, spin up what I’ve learned this year.
And really I just don’t know.

I’ve been trying to figure it out. I’ve been trying to read over past words and letter board statements and everything in between.

Here are some things I know:

I know without questions I have people that love me.
I know, with maybe some question, that I am really good at what I do because I do my job out of exactly what I am.
I know, without question, that I still face disappointment and failure and heartache.
I know, without question, that I am capable of more than I give myself credit for.

I think the funny thing that happened during 34 is that I’ve learned even more who I am and what I am about and where I should place my time.
I think I’ve gotten harder on myself in 34. I think I’ve called myself a failure this year more than any other year. I think I’ve felt the weighty heaviness of comparison much more than I ever have.
I think that ironically as I learned who I was even more and felt so comfortable in who I am, during 34 I’ve dealt with not feeling enough and have second-guessed friendships and relationships and my place among all of it.

I don’t say all this to sound depressed and sad. Because I wasn’t. Those aren’t the right descriptors.
And, because I needed 34.

Glennon Doyle posted a tweet today that rang so deeply in me.
She said, ” I have not written a word during quarantine. Just a reminder to worried artists- there are times for creating and times for becoming the person who will create the next thing. For many of us, this is a becoming time. Rest and become. Love you.”

I think in some way- 34 has been a becoming time for me. Yes, I have created and I have more firmly planted my feet and I have used my voice even while it shook.
And man, I’ve cried.
I’m going to another letter to myself of all the things that happened this year, of all the events and the laughter and the rose’ vodka.
But first, I take a deep breath and remember that I am still going. I am still moving.
I am still becoming.
And so are you.
Dear 34,
Thank you.


washington whimsy

a thankful thirty

I have been sitting in front of my computer for a a couple days trying to explain what thirty has been. I turn 31 on June 1 and as per my writing tradition I’m looking back on thirty and seeing what’s up.

This is the first year since I was 26 that I spent 90% of my year in one place.

I haven’t stayed for a long time.

And that’s what 30 was about really.

30 was about staying.

And good lord, it’s been difficult.

And that’s what I was going to write about.

But here’s the thing: when I focus my topic on that–it’s what I am going to see. So instead: here is a list of 30 things I am grateful for in thirty. Serious, lovely, funny, food based. And of course, in categories.

Days of the week:

{all these days of the week activities don’t happen every week, but they happen enough with people I adore, to remind me that I live a very full life}

1. Dawson’s Monday’s

2. Red light Tuesday’s

3. Woods Wednesday’s

4. Happy hour Thursday

5. Beer Friday

6. Mimosa Saturday

7. Brunch Sunday

Daily gratitude:

{a mishmash of three things}

8. LaCroix (hydration obsession)

9. Washer/dryer (adulting)

10. My long hair (self-control to not chop my hair)


11. Orange County (always in my heart)

12. Bellingham (a whimsy, weird town full of wacky)

13. The Liberty house (a place of comfort and piece)

14. The table (a place to land)

15. My own room (the first since I was 18)

16. The yellow house (home)


17. Group text (hometeam, pegarina, triumvirate, PNW birds, three wines, “but the children love the books”, sister tables, the choi’s)

18. IMsg/what’s app (ways to connect with: India, Memphis, Mijas, Oxford, Jacksonville, Nashville, Atlanta, Kingsburg and everywhere in between)

19. Email (wisdom, sanity, challenge, joy)

20. Snail mail (thoughtfulness)


21. My parents (belief, trust, love)

22. Jess (always)

23. Melissa (truth, growth, change, sarcasm, real)

24. Royal family (safety, belief, family)

25. The Y (laughter, growth, trust, blessing)

26. Tribe (near, far, never met, known my whole life, spent five minutes with, likeminded, HA)

27 Abundant Life (blessing, growth, challenge, laughter, home, me)

28. bellingfamily (who would have thought: my people)

29. PReed ( singing in the car to that one tow’rs song, yelling, dreaming, dancing in the hallway. Love. Chick emoji.)

And what is #30?


I’m grateful for this year, because it has caused me, pushed me, challenged me, aggravated me, to live in tension. To live in the black and white.

To live in a world of both/and.

So, thank you thirty, for your difficulties. Thank you for making me step out in ways I thought I couldn’t, for not scolding me when I didn’t.

Thank you for beer and friends and tiny humans and coworkers for bringing me sanity.

Thank you for being a year where I was placed in a place that I was cared about in before I was even known.

Thank you for knowing better then I did sometimes that I would stay where my feet are.

Thank you for prayers and prophecy and a culture that makes that daily practice.

Thank you for tables, this yellow house and people who know who I am when I don’t.

Thank you, thirty, for bringing me to Bellingham, even when I have kicked and screamed.

Here’s to 31.

I’ll have more eloquent words for you. But for now: see ya in a week.