Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Season = Outdoor Activity Season

I have always been a girl who loves a good adventure and with summer upon us (here in the Northern Hemisphere) this rings even more true.

We currently live at one of the greatest places for outdoor activities in the summer: The Orange County Performing Arts Center (it has some other cool fancy name for people who have paid a lot of money to the arts, to me it will always be OCPAC, but I digress). Not only does it have some incredible concert halls, but it has this great outdoor space to show films and even concerts taking place inside (for free I might mention!).

The other week we got to experience the "Rite of Spring". Being a music lover my whole life, this piece is definitely in my top favorites. But to be outside, seeing the orchestra play, what felt to be up close, was a great experience!

One of my other loves of the "outdoor" summer activities are drive-in's! These places are truly fantastic and I wish there were more of them! To see a double feature for $7 each person, from the comfort of your own car, to eating whatever snacks your heart desires, this girl is totally in her element! Fortunately for us whenever we go up to Northern California there is this beauty that we try to make a stop at if we can. It has been open since 1946 and owned by the same family the entire time!

I have to say though, one of my all time favorite summer activities! I know baseball is typically associated with the fall season, but there is just something about being at a game during summer time that I love. It has been so fun to teach Graeme about the game and to have him get the whole "American" experience. Go Angels!

These are just a few of my favorite things about summer! Hope you are enjoying yours as much as I am enjoying mine! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Time to Build and a Time to Tear Down

Did you ever have one of those places when you were a kid that you would go to, to dream, to play with your friends, to be a kid? I did. It was this tree house that my Dad built and I attempted to assist (mainly with painting).

I loved this tree house and spending time with my friends here. Doing our best to be tough enough to sleep out there the whole night, eating apples right off the tree on summer afternoons, and just having a place that was mine. This space was special and as of a few weekends ago it is no more.

It has been standing for the last 25 years with the last 15 years rarely getting any use. With that kind of neglect my Dad had become increasingly worried that there could be the chance of it falling in an earthquake and preferred taking it down himself. So we planned a weekend to go up and Graeme and I would help him take it down.

Graeme ended up being the primary helper in dismantling and the running joke all weekend was, "how do you feel about me tearing down your childhood?". I would laugh, but the reality like this tree house is that there is a time and a season for everything and there was a season for this tree house in my life, a season that was sweet and filled with a lot of wonderful memories. Now there is a season for it to come down to make new memories watching my husband and Dad bond over tearing down a building together. Dreaming up new plans of what could go in place of the structure. Enjoying the time together as a family.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Everyone Has Their Days

A few mornings back, I was awakened to the sound of a crow loudly squawking what seemed to be right next to our bedroom window. Without hesitation, I turned to Graeme and I said, "Everyone has their days, even the crows.". He laughed. Apparently I make these kinds of comments pretty often. What I was trying to say was, everyone has their days where they just have to "squawk" about whatever it is they are hanging on to and then they feel that much better and are able to move forward.

There are some friends that have come into my life over the years and this is what we are to each other. There is no judgment, we just listen, allowing the speaking party to get it out and that's it. We don't try to fix it or blow up the situation. We just listen.

Everyone has their days when they just need that listening ear...even the crows.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Where I Come From

We bought a desk a couple of weeks back and took the time to make a few minor improvements to it (ie. cleaning it up, refinishing the top wood portion, some sanding, and a few paint touch ups) other than that it was the perfect find for having the space to write!

I wanted the desk to be a pretty clean space, but of course wanted to put a few personal inspirational items on it and when I was cleaning a few boxes out I came across this photo. This is inspirational to me. This is a polaroid taken at my parents wedding of my Great-Grandmother, my Grandma, her sister, one of my God-Mother’s, and my Grandma’s other sister. Each and every one of them I can draw something from, even if all of them are but memories in my mind. 

My Great-Grandmother Ruth was someone I always remember having fun with. She was spry, spunky, and had a wonderfully generous heart. She lived longer than my Grandma, so I have a few more clear memories of her which entail; turtles, swimming, Easter egg hunts, newspapers, laughter, popcorn, and the family always being around. 

Then my Grandma Ginny; my heart beams and breaks all at the same time when I see this photo. I was the only grandchild that ever really got to know her before she passed in 1992. I was nine years old and even by then she had already played such a big role in my life. I try not to live with many “what ifs” but she is my most major what if she was still alive? What if she had been there through my teen years, when I first started to experiment with taking photos, my first boyfriend, picking a college to attend, moving to a country I know she loved, getting married…I miss her. I miss her charismatic spirit I so often hear people talk about. She was the life of the party and I am sorry I missed out on a majority of that, but I soak up what I did get to experience with her. Honda rides to the Santa Cruz boardwalk, baking cookies, having her come to many of my dance recitals, being my caregiver when I had chicken pox, she was a wonderful lady who I love and miss daily. 

My Auntie Shirley, My God-Mother Lily, and my Aunt Willa all were some of the strongest women I had ever met. They (just like my Great-Grandmother and Grandma) had so much adversity in their lives and yet came out on top in their own ways. They were consistently what I viewed to be matriarchs of our family and provided a sense of history and purpose to our big boisterous clan.

They were all beautiful women who have left a legacy to their families. To see their smiling faces in this photo is a wonderful reminder of everything they have left me and how it created a part of me, made me this creative thinking, cooking baking, hard headed, beautiful woman. 

This reminder of the generations that have come before, is dedicated to these wonderful women who exemplified hard work and a love for life.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Well Hello 2013

Well hello 2013!

I was put into a place of taking a forced break from writing. Not maybe the kind of break I wanted, but it has given me such a greater appreciation for writing.

A couple of weeks back I had a chance to spend some time with a friend who I have really gotten to know over this last year and she discovered my love of writing and wanted to know more about it, specifically why I stopped, what goals I had for it, what I loved most about it. As I began to share I realized how much I had missed it being a part of my daily routine. In a way it felt as though I broke up with writing the way I was explaining it to her. She had me write a mission statement for what writing meant to me:

I write to share my story, as a release…so that I can continually move forward.

Even if no one was to read my words, for me it is an outlet that cannot be compared. When I read this Hemingway quote I can’t help but see my mission statement within it.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

This is my outlet to bleed. To release. To not blow up at Graeme with all of my thoughts, ideas, pains, grieves, joys, insights, etc. This last year I think in a way I got so overwhelmed by life staring me in the face I couldn’t even find a way to express it through writing, so I “gave up”. I did however find solace in silence and putting my feet to the pavement and running. It wasn’t quite the same outlet, but I was able to let go in a way. Let go of my false hopes, my hurts, and my failings.

I hate to fail. Not that I know anyone who enjoys failing, but I really tend to beat myself up over it and don’t really offer myself the same kind of grace I receive from God and even those closest to me. This year has felt like a lot of failures. In love, friendships, personal goals, work goals, just goals in general. To try and fight through this wall of failure has been a daily challenge, but one that I finally feel like I am achieving.

These walls can look like having chance to share my honest opinion about my views on public affairs even if it means the loss of that friendship. Or having the courage to realize that a friendship may have run its course, but realizing that there are some pretty amazing and fantastic people who have become a part of my life (even when I was at my lowest). Sometimes, it looks like work. Being a part of a cube farm and believing I was meant for something more than what I am subjecting myself to from 8 to 5.

Though I may not know what that “belief” is, it is taking one step at a time and this first step is just to embrace what I enjoy doing, be able to stare life in the face and share how I am traveling through the day to day.

Though in my opinion 2013 can suck it, but I believe it deserves a second chance. So here is to 2013 and all the endless possibilities that come with it. When the overwhelming waves start to head my way, may I be able to stare them straight on and swim right through them versus being crippled by them.