CASUAL FRIDAY


Remember when it was mentioned that I would no longer worry if a "meh" photo was posted? Well, this is one of those moments. These captures are not particularly special to just anyone, but they speak volumes to me. This is my family being my family. Justin's cheesy smile that I adore, Atticus refusing to look at the camera immediately followed by his hilarious stink eye at yet *another* photo, Runnicus (he's always on the run, always), and of course, the attempted (and almost successful) Father's Day portrait. These photos are priceless because they were not planned, set up, or even composed properly. They were snapped in the split second I was almost fast enough to whip out the giant camera. 

These photos will always be a reminder of the great day we had celebrating Justin because he deserves it more than I could explain in one post. He's an amazing, amazing person and what lucky people Atticus and I are to have him in our lives.

Happy weekend y'all and here's to more casual and unplanned photos. 


NEW AND EXCITING AND DIFFERENT


While I love writing, it is not my strong suit. This is why when I sat down to hash out a few feelings on being in our new city for a full year, I was speechless. The words did not flow out of the fingers like I had hoped they would.

In a perfect world, I would have said (typed), with the upmost elegance and wit (obviously), something profound about change and its necessity for growth and movement. That a stagnated life is not a life that one should desire to live, giving several well thought out examples to back up my lofty statement, of course. I would have taken a paragraph to wax poetic the good times we shared a year ago sitting along the cold and windy beaches of our much loved San Francisco to say goodbye through a few tears. Well, to be honest, perhaps just the tears in my eyes, I  very much doubt Justin had such strong feelings for that legendary fog and rolling hills. I would have then continued to say that although the sprawling suburbia of Southern California was not our first choice (or second, or third, or even fourth), we have truly fallen madly and deeply in love with the people, the sunshine, the closeness of our families, the adventures, the colors in the sky, the opportunities, the warm and constant breeze, even wearing flip flops from time to time (okay, maybe if only on the way to the beach, I'm not a monster).

A better writer would have so many things to say about the new and exciting and different things they have come to embrace because of change, and how they are so grateful they left behind everything they had grown to love for something that was scary and unfamiliar. A better writer would definitely not use a cheesy ending to cap off their beautiful post, but since I am not that better writer, I will gladly use that very cheesy ending to cap off the lack of verbal skills: in order to see the amazing view, you must first endure the treacherous hike.  

(Photos taken at Stinson Beach and Mt. Tamalpais just before we moved from Northern California because let's be honest, I've fallen in love with our new city, but I most certainly still miss the beauty we left behind.) 

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HASHTAG TGIF (THANK GOODNESS IT'S FRIDAY)


I'll just start out by saying, Fridays are magical, they always have been. It is the gateway to two days of schedule-less adventure and I like that. I like Fridays.

This weekend we have plans to take Atticus to see Maleficent (admittedly, Justin and I are just as excited to see this one), hang out on the beach, find a few flea markets (so desperately need a desk chair!), and finally take a moment to slow down at one of our favorite cafes in Newport Beach, Alta. It's been ages since we have spent a full Saturday together as a family of three, and frankly, I cannot wait!

I'll leave a few links that have been a bright spot during the week:

•  Nirav is a dear friend of our little family, and his photography continues to grow and astound me.
•  A new favorite breakfast app (the hardest part is deciding which one to make each morning!)
•  Food, color, food, tea, food, adventure, food, beautiful photos, food, this is quite a delightful blog.

(Photos below shot last year for Off Switch Blog of my gorgeous sister-in-law, Jenel. They seemed extremely appropriate to bring on the weekend!)


MORNING'ICUS


Being a parent is indescribable and describing being a parent as indescribable is quite frankly the *only* way to describe being a parent. In a blink of an eye, that tiny newborn you used to hold so tight every night, is a tiny person kicking around a soccer ball, telling jokes, and refusing to eat the "gross! dinner" that took over an hour to prepare (maybe that's just my child, but I can only hope that it is other children as well (nervous laughter)). Within this rapidly changing journey, there are incredible highs and lows, enough to make even the sanest of person go a bit crazy, but somehow pulling through and looking forward to the next day.

Some things never change however, and within our family, it is early mornings. When Atticus was a newborn it was a hearty cry for a fresh breakfast bottle and as he grew, the reasons for the rising hour changed, but they remained quite early. These days it's just because he is so darn excited to start the day. He bounces out of bed, sings (very loudly) numerous songs about waking up, and jumps wildly through our blankets until I finally agree to get up (and believe me, sometimes it's a struggle). 

I would definitely prefer the extra hour(s) of sleep because let's be honest, who wouldn't?! But watching Atticus have so much joy in the simple act of starting the day is inspiring. I know the days of Jumping Morning'icus will not last forever, and I'm trying to take in every (early) moment, even though my pillow is pretty darn comfortable.


IT TOOK 30 YEARS TO TAKE THESE TWO FRAMES


Sometimes you have every intention to take mind-shattering photos (you know, if that were at all possible), but when it comes down to it, the laughter and the company in front of you are more appealing than clicking the camera. 

Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to celebrate my 30th birthday with my dear husband at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Beyond the obvious excuse to ring in the celebration in a great space, it was a much needed, much embraced staycation. 

There were so many plans to document every nook and cranny of the incredible surroundings and the mouth-watering food (of course, the food), but I just couldn't. I did however, manage to squeeze in a couple of frames of JZ. And in an excuse to plug social media, there are a few more over on my Instagram (remember, I'm totally into social media now). 

Cheers to another year with Justin, and to growing old(er), and to everything in between. 


SOCIAL MEDIA, FINDING BALANCE, AND PLAYGROUNDS


For the longest time I had become enamored and fascinated with the Internet. It was this crazy world filled with inspiring individuals and with the click of a keyboard, you could get a peek into their spaces and crafts. For a woman-of-a-certain age (I'm getting old y'all!), it was a fantastic arena to make friends and acquaintances with others that shared a similar interest. It was a place to surround myself with the likeminded because let's be honest, that type of interaction was not going to be found on a playground while chasing around my sweet little boy (not that there is anything wrong with that, there is certainly a great joy and creative outlet in running around, pretending to be a kid for an afternoon). 

About a year or two into this new world, I was exhausted. The constant checking of email, taking of photos just for the purpose of blogging, the need to be interesting and witty via text/comments/posts/etc. was just too much, so I stopped. I turned off the computer, shut down all social media and walked away to focus all of my attention on that playground and that little boy.  

Although I'm glad for the break, it was much needed and a great way to figure out how I wanted to balance the real world and the virtual world, I am also energized to jump back in. Being a "creative" (such a horrible phrase, I know!!) does not mean having to 100% fully immerse yourself in only one adventure because a person is hardly ever defined by a single subject. Besides wanting to engage myself with artists and those I admire, I also want to be productive in my personal life, be the best mom possible to my child, be a pretty-darn-good wife to my patient husband, and frankly, sometimes I just want to be the person who sits around with a bowl of popcorn (air popped with coconut oil, obvi) on a Friday night to watch Six Feet Under (again). I will no longer feel bad if I post a "meh" photo or perhaps was not-quite-clever enough in that last email, or didn't get to that one back burner project in a timely manner.

Life is full of so many fun and exciting aspects, let's embrace them all shall we?

(Photos below taken a few months ago, during the above mentioned Computer Break of 2013/14)