Wednesday, November 28, 2012

All I want for Christmas is an interview...

What a productive day. House cleaned, child cared for-loved-fed-played with, Christmas shopping started, showered, makeup applied, resume updated, my first ID job applied for!!!! 

YEP, I have been promising to brush up my resume for the last year and a half just in case an interior design position miraculously opened here in Spokane. But with no positions listed I had little zero motivation...until last week! I applied for my very first actual commercial interior designer position...and while I'm not crossing my fingers or holding my breath to even get an interview with most likely 100+ qualified designers in town, I did it!!! It feels good knowing the ol' resume is spiffed and ready to be sent to potential employers in Boise and Spokane.

Now all I want for Christmas is an interview!!

Ok, that and a Roomba.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankful 4

Holy what a doozy of a weekend. I was so spoiled last year being on maternity leave through the holidays and forgot how absolutely INSANE retail is post Thanksgiving. I also forgot how out of order things can get traveling with a little one. Hudson slept for a whopping 3 hours the night after turkey day at Uncle Bob's house...I looked and felt like a zombie the rest of the day...then had to work til midnight at the store. Despite the craziness and lack of schedule our Thanksgiving was really, REALLY great!!!! The food & the company couldn't have been better (unless of course my mom and brothers had been there).

I feel like I could fill a book with all the things I feel grateful for this week, but I don't have time for book writing these days...SO...

I am so grateful that my biggest worry at times is what color curtains I should hang in the living room...seriously!!! What an insignificant thing to think about! I felt spoiled and selfish this Thanksgiving because while I was getting seconds on green bean casserole wondering what Black Friday sales were going on there were families out there who couldn't afford dinner on a nightly basis, let alone a Thanksgiving feast. I felt sorry for families who can't afford to heat their homes...or those who don't even have a home. I felt sorry for the kids who don't have a warm coat, hat, mittens, a warm meal, Christmas toys...

We grew up poor but our mom was always able to make the holidays special and somehow provided for us...but I felt bad for those who can't. I don't mean to sound like a cheese-ball but I felt for these people and thinking of them made me appreciate all the more the creature comforts I am so blessed to enjoy on a daily basis.

I also resolved to do something to help in some way rather than just sit around feeling sorry. I resolved to volunteer serving Holiday meals at the homeless shelter especially with Hudson once he is old enough so that he can feel the same gratitude for all he has, knowing others often go without. I'd like to do a food drive at work to provide a holiday meal for a family who needs it this Christmas. I've bagged up clothes to bring to the women's shelter...etc.

Feeling grateful that this time of year brings out generosity and goodness in the song says, if only we could act this way throughout the year! xo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Portrait Christmas Cards

Tis the season for mail to look forward to...Christmas cards!!!

I am so in love with these portrait Christmas cards from Etsy and on my to-do list is recreate my own! Now to decide whether to hand-draw them all kitschy-like or go digital?

Which are your faves?





My Mom's Blog

This whole blog thing blows my mind a little...ok a lot!

It's like this online photo album/record/scrapbook/baby book/diary (at times) that will be available for my children/grandchildren/great grandchildren to see what I cared about sharing throughout my my life.

It excites me that we are the first generation of moms who use blogging to document the growing of our little ones!!! Amazing.

My main intended audience for this little blogeroo is Hudson and his sibling-to-be....if they are at all interested some day...which I hope they one day are.

Lately I've been thinking how amazing it would be had my grandmother written a blog...she was quite the artist and I imagine her sharing things that inspired her, sketches she did, paintings. To share in what inspired her would be pretty special.

I literally laughed out loud this morning doing dishes imagining my mom's (non-existent) blog...the one she would have written back in the 1980's while raising my brother and I.

I laughed because I imagine her blogging about re-decorating the bathroom in the newest-all-the-rage color scheme...DUSTY ROSE AND COUNTRY BLUE. I imagine her sharing a picture of the dusty rose shower curtain with little rosebuds all over and one of my aunts commenting on her post titled "Stop and Smell the Roses" (if you know my mom, you know that's what she would call it) saying, "LOVE it have such great taste!"

I laughed because I can imagine my son in 2030 reading my blog post with his girlfriend titled, "Top 10 Master Bedroom Inspiration Pics" and rolling on the floor with laughter at how dated that furniture is, how pixelated the old Instagram pictures are, the lingo mom used "mad-steps" hahha! :) But I also imagine him being able to look at his first steps anywhere, anytime, and know that his mama loved him and was/is pretty over-the-moon-crazy about him.

Makes me smile...BIG. Here's to BLOGGING! xo

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Advice to Myself

Advice to Myself

Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic—decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful 3

Well, I completely missed my Saturday thankful post...but I swear last week didn't even happen. It feels like I completely missed it because Mr. B got sick, then I got sick. I think I took one picture last week and no fun was really had until aboutttt yesterday.

That said, this week I am thankful for good health. Nothing is worse than trying to care for a little one when you can't even take care of yourself. I am also beyond grateful that Hudson didn't get sick!

Other thankful bullet points....
  • My feminist husband. For reals. I hesitated labeling him as a feminist, but he really and truly is. He has NEVER come home from work and expected dinner done, laundry put away, or the house cleaned. He helps with every part of the housework and takes amazing care of our son ALL.THE.TIME. And sure, he probably cares more about WOW than women's rights...but he believes in women's rights. He respects women and respects me and believes in equality for women and I am SO proud & thankful to be his wife for all the above reasons. (and about a million more)
  • Meant to but forgot to mention how completely grateful I am for the right to vote on my last post!!! Also the fact that I get to do it in the comfort of my home...I've got it good!
  • I'm thankful for reality bitch slaps...pardon my French!!! After being sick and having a nasty week, I had a bit of a gigantic pity party for myself. Alex was the only unfortunate guest. I complained about pretty much everything, not having my family in town, hating my neighborhood, blah, blah, cried some...and long story short acted like an ungrateful brat for an hour. The next day I am driving home from a much needed girl-date and I see a gazillion cop cars, ambulances, firetrucks a few blocks from my house. Heart starts POUNDING. Mind starts RACING. OMG are my boys ok? Why was I such a jerk? What was my problem? I just want to hug and kiss them and tell them I am so happy to have them as my boys and promise to never be a jerk ever again! As I approach I realize it isn't my house but I notice a car in the middle of the road on fire and crews attempting to get a person out who is stuck. GEEZ. That could be me. That could be my family-the people I love...REALITY B&%@# SLAP! Oh man. Talk about brutal but necessary. To make it up to him I'll probably be baking one of these...

  • Speaking of girl-dates I'm thankful for my few "golden" friends who love me despite my homebody hermit-ness. These gals don't mind if I don't call/text back immediately or if I have to cancel plans because of the babe. I'm talking the kind of friends that even though it's been a few weeks, (or in the case of my Boise girls, years) when you get together it feels like you pick up where you left off. Friends I don't feel judged by...I can just show up in a hoodie and pony-tail and feel comfortable with. I love having these ladies in my life and I feel lucky to call them friends. 
  • I'm excited and thankful we will get to spend Thanksgiving with Alex's family in Clarkston. In the past we have spent T-Day alone or with a friend or two...which can be nice and low key...but we both agree that we miss the craziness of a big family get-together! 
Hope you are able to enjoy the holiday with those you love most!!!

Happy Happy Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

First Steps

These aren't THE first steps...those happened a couple weeks ago and I was too busy jumping up and down cheering him on to take the pictures. He's getting so good at taking more than 2 steps now and seeing the excitement in his face is priceless to us (picture 5)! Yay, yay baby boy-killin' it with all those mad steps!







Baby (#2) Fever

It seems there is this magic mark that first time moms hit (right around baby's first birthday) where they have sufficiently forgotten the discomfort of pregnancy, LABOR, and all the sleepless nights and decide to start planning for baby #2.  

I've hit that point. 

Lately I've been dreaming lots of baby #2. No, I'm not preg but I definitely have the FEVER...

I've been visually space-planning the upstairs nursery.

I've been pricing cribs and bedding.

I've been swooning over all the teeny tiny NB clothes at the shops we visit...particularly the baby girls clothes.

I've been telling Hudson about what a great big brother he will be someday...and how much he can look forward to having a friend for life sibling! 

I've been thinking about the age difference we want between H and his little sibling...I think I prefer a 3 year difference.

I've been presenting names-names-names to Mr. B and we've got a couple lovely unisex names on our list.

I found a list of potential names we had created circa 2002, some jokingly as we had no intention of getting pregnant any time soon...on the list were...

Girl: Amelie, Isabelle, Chloe (we chose these before Twilight or The Kardashians...lovely names but ones we wouldn't use because I hear them daily on the playground). We both still like Amelie from my all time favorite movie...but it's not on our radar at the moment.

Boy: A category I had no ideas for...Xavier (Alex's choice) and GARY. Gary Ybarra....Gar Bear...this cracks me up hard! ;) Again...both lovely names ;) but not on the current list.

Lastly, I've been thinking of how perfect (even if it is unlikely) it would be to be settled in Boise for the arrival of baby #2. I'm not gonna lie...IT'S HARD raising a child without the support and help of your family. We have some awesome friends here that are like family to us-and it is so appreciated...but I want Hudson to grow up knowing his uncles and aunties. I want him to have the bond with his grannies that I had with mine. I want Hudson to be close with his cousins. I dream at least once a week of taking Hudson to one of his grannies house for a few hours so I can clean the house all at once or run a few errands without worrying about nap-time. I dream of having family over for they can see his new moves in person instead of on a video posted to Facebook.

It really does take a village...and I feel like living here it's less like a village and more like a duo...a very loving, providing, nurturing duo...but still.

Lots of BABY dreaming going on here!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sojourns in the Parallel World

Sojourns in the Parallel World

We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehension—though affected,
certainly, by our actions. A world
parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it 'Nature: only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be 'Nature' too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coal—then something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers
just where we've been, when we're caught up again
into our own sphere (where we must
return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
—but we have changed, a little.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful 2

All bundled with my #1 boy after the first snow
Fresh flowers and a weeks worth of organic produce
Since we've no place to go....let it snow

My boys greeting me after a gym trip

This guy...cozy in his flannel shirt and flannel lined jeans

This week I am thankful for technology.

Technology allows us to capture and share snippets...things that are precious to us, things we are grateful for, beautiful things...reminders of our days happiness.

“I should like to bury something precious in every place where I've been happy and then, when I'm old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.”~ Brideshead Revisited

Thursday, November 8, 2012

White Brick Fireplace...

I love days like this...days when I decide the monotonous and never-ending housework can wait. Days when I decide to take an actual break while the baby is sleeping and blog instead of sweeping up more dog hair. You would think I own a wooly mammoth with the amount of hair I sweep up on a daily or sometimes twice daily basis!!!

Anyways, it's officially FREEZING signaling that our 6 month winter has begun. H and I are spending plenty of time indoors and I'm realizing that I have a lot of opportunity to make the casa more cohesive by biting the bullet and finally painting our wood trim and fireplace white.

Alex thinks this is blasphemy! He loves our fp as is...but it's sooooo dark, dingy, and old! I think it's just what we need to freshen up and make the place look more pulled together and clean...especially after all the sweeping I do! Who's side are you on? Paint the fireplace white or no? I'm also definitely planning some new sconces and a refresh on the fp screen!!!

The UGLY before!

Inspiration and potential AFTERS...

This is my FAVE! Beaut!

So clean!

Pretty close to what we've got...isn't it lovely in white?

Do you love it? Definitely WHITE, right? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

All is Full of Love

Our second car is a beater Ford with a ghetto stock radio. No cd player and the tape player (yes I still own a cassette tape or two, including Bel Biv DeVoe POIIIISONNNNN) no longer works. So radio it is for me, quite sadly. Unless you love to hear the same hip-hop and pop songs over and over again, the radio station selection in Spokane is less than desirable. There used to be one good indie type station but I guess Spokane decided they needed more than 20 pop stations because it was quickly taken over by Rihanna, Pitbull and Nicki Minaj. The months following were an absolute radio nightmare with annoying jingles for the Coeur d'Alene Casino and Banner Fuel.

Then one day by chance, I found PRX: Public Radio Remix. If you want to check it out you can listen to it right here. I was sucked in by a story they aired with a fabulous montage of "moon" songs and I haven't touched the dial since. This station is the artsy side of NPR...they air all sorts of informative stories including Ted's 24/7 radio food for thought. I've heard stories about Pruitt Igoe, street performers in Washington D.C., poetry slams, etc. One story aired that I haven't been able to stop thinking about featured a woman who travels the country in a mantra-mobile...inviting those she meets to share their mantra, if they have one. I started wondering what I would share if the mantra-mobile ended up on the streets of Spokane?

My brother and I didn't grow up with anything that could remotely be considered "new-age". My dad strictly forbade me from reading my horoscope, yoga wasn't a word in my vocab until I was 17,  and even vitamins were considered "hippy" the topic of mantras was never discussed. I guess my first memorable mantra experience was circa 1993 with SNL's Stuart Smalley...

The insecure teenager I was laughed at the idea of someone using words to build themselves up...sending words out to the universe? HA! I'm pretty sure I made a "W" shape on my forehead and scoffed, "what-ever" in my best valley girl accent!

Little did I know if we tell ourselves something long enough we will believe it; good or bad. We all know someone who has a poor self image because of negative statements made towards them, by themselves or others. I've known super-talented-uber-gorgeous-special-unique-beautiful people who have no idea how AMAZING they are because they don't believe in themselves. I know women who tell themselves repeatedly that they are "fat" when they have gorg bods. I know people who don't pursue their dreams because they think they are too old or not smart enough. It's really sad. People laugh at the thought of telling themselves how special, smart, beautiful they are...but they shouldn't...we shouldn't...those words have the power to create transformation which is what a mantra is all about.

One of the many things I want to teach my son is the power words have to hurt or heal, to build up or tear down, to console or torment. I want him to understand that what we say to ourselves is just as important as what we say to others. Our words can shape our attitudes and the way we see others and the way we treat others. SO my mantra and the one I want to share with my son is "All is Full of Love"...plucked from the lyrics of one of my all time favorite songs by Bjork, or by any artist for that matter.

Over the years I've become a bit of a cynic and I laugh when I find out people think of me as a "Suzy Sunshine"...which is why this mantra is so perfect for me because when I get a negative attitude towards others or even when I start picking on myself I say these kind and loving words and instead of brooding, I.STOP. Even if it's just for a minute...I.STOP. These words force me to attempt to empathize with doesn't work all the time-probably not even half the time...still. Sometimes it allows me to forgive myself...sometimes it wakens the little inner voice that says, "quit being so hard on yourself...if you don't have something nice to say to yourself..."

All because of five little WORDS...aren't words amazing? What's your mantra?????

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend Tradition

One of the things I miss most about my life pre-babe (don't get me wrong...I am NOT complaining-love that boy with every fiber of my being!) has to be spending HOURS on end at the local coffee shop.

Alone, with a friend, or with the hubs, The Rocket  was definitely my "third place". I don't really have a third place anymore...well maybe the grocery store...but not by choice!

It's definitely possible that I spent more time there than at home. I'd always show up with homework, a book, and/or my journal; the barista would ask if I wanted my usual and I'd take up residence for the next few hours at my seat by the window. My butt would hurt from sitting on the wooden seat for so long and I would come home smelling like weird stale-ish coffee. I knew all the neighborhood gossip...the new bar going in called Bon-Bon, the "bakery" that was strangely never open, the guy who wore a dress walking his dog. I knew all about the baristas...the music they liked, the concerts they were going to, the boys who were coming to see them at work. It was oddly like a family...or at least it provided me a sense of community.

I miss it!

I miss those long hours spent by myself completely engulfed by a project. I also miss lazily spending a Sunday morning at The Rocket, people watching and newspaper reading over lattes and bagels with the hubs. We've taken Hudson there a few times but he ends up confined in the highchair because it's not the most childproof place. I could just imagine him yanking on someones laptop cord or bothering a study group. The last time I brought him with me for coffee with a (childless) friend she commented that I can't just sit still and enjoy my coffee...nope, not with an energetic one year old!

That's why Mr. Brady and I were rather giddy over our weekend find...a cute local coffee shop with a PLAY AREA! Is this not GENIUS?! Parents want to enjoy the ambiance the local coffee shop has to provide just as much as people who don't have kids!!! We ordered our lattes and bagels just like the old days, sat at a table next to the play area, and let the kiddo play. HE LOVED IT and didn't want to leave! He was entertained for a solid half hour-and I know all you parents out there know how magical 30 minutes can be!

A weekend tradition we thought was gone until our forties...resumed! CHEERS!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's Not You...It's Me

 Have you ever cheated on your current read?

Like, you're stuck reading a not-so-good book and all you can do is think about another book you have your eye that is likely better...a real page turner?

I did it til page 30 of Valley of the Dolls...I decided pretty quickly with that one that I just couldn't possibly commit to it's hefty 850 pages and moved on to something I had more in common with.

I thought about lots of other books throughout Fifty Shades of Grey, but silly me stuck it out because I believed in it's potential and lots of other girls sang it's praises. It really let me down and toward the end I had to confess I was going to start seeing other books and couldn't continue our relationship finishing out the trilogy. (here).

I don't know what compels me to stick through some and not others, but I just heartily suffered through my first really bad read since Fifty Shades...The Virgin Suicides. Looking back, maybe The Virgin Suicides didn't stand much of a chance following The Picture of Dorian did have some pretty BIG, pretty amazing shoes to fill. A friend lent it to me and said, "Read this! You will love's my favorite."

So I did.

UGH this book was so disappointing especially after finding out it was my friends FAVORITE BOOK. I will admit Jeffrey Eugenides is a lovely writer...but the subject matter just wasn't my cup of tea...I wasn't in the mood...I had a headache so to speak throughout the entire thing. Throughout our brief book/reader relationship I made multiple trips to the library and consulted my Goodreads account looking for a better book. I even asked my hairdresser if she knew any good books for me. The list of better books kept growing and I even started half-way-skimming (pretending to read wink wink) certain sections of TVS just to get through it faster...which I very rarely do!

Whew. Have you read it? Did you hate it as much as I did? I am happy to report I'M DONE. We are over  and now my ugly bedside table is home to more books than I can possibly read before they are due in 4 weeks....

I'm currently reading A Profound Mind which is my very first read by The Dalai Lama...I have VERY high hopes and 3 chapters in I am not disappointed! 

Lillian Too's 168 Feng Shui Ways to Energize Your Life - excited much!? Gonna get me some major positive CHI flowin through this casa pronto!

Happiness by Matthieu Ricard described as, "A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill" I'll let you know if it's as effective as it claims to be. :)

What are you reading? Do you stick bad-books out til the bitter end?

Thankful 1

So, I mentioned here that I am feeling particularly inspired after watching the documentary Happy to mix things up a bit and "happy-fy" myself and my little family...happy wife, happy life-my hubs will agree!

What better way to start than by expressing my gratitude for things/people/experiences that I might otherwise take for granted? (And what better month to do this than November, am I right or am I right...or am I right?) This week I have made a conscious effort to really notice and appreciate the small things & moments that make me feel special or loved, happy or grateful.

Every Saturday in November I will turn what I have into enough and say thanks...


  • I'm so thankful that I get to spend my days loving, cuddling, teaching, laughing with & playing with my uber-beautiful son. I never thought I'd want to be a stay at home mom...but, as challenging as it is, I couldn't imagine my life any other way. For the next year until he's old enough for Montessori I'm thankful that I get to spend tons of quality time with him and be present for his crazy-mom-cheer-worthy milestones. 
Them there eyes
  • It makes me happy that I get to cook for people I love. I don't like cooking...but when I'm preparing something for my two boys I am somehow filled with a sense of purpose and a joy that I didn't feel when I used to cook for myself alone.  (man, I am sounding an awful lot like a suburban 50's housewife with these last 2-trust me, I'm anything but!)
Using Playing with a SPOON
  •  I'm thankful for every part of my part time job. I love my boss, love my co-workers, love the job, love that it gets me out of the house and around adults and lots of Glittery Christmas Decor!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy :)

I love, love, love me a good documentary-it's hands down my favorite movie genre because I don't feel as guilty sitting still for 2 hours when it's educational.

I especially live for the eye-opening-life-changing-WOW types such as Forks Over Knives and Food Inc. These two caused a lot of tears, flinching, sadness and disgust to yours truly and prompted me to kiss meat good-bye! My eating habits since have drastically changed for the better except for those pesky addictive Butterfingers...

It's been a while since I've had time to sit myself down and browse through the overwhelming Netflix documentary file...choices, choices, CHOICES! But I settled on Happy because I don't know about you, but the lack of sunshine, the endless rain, and the inability to do anything outdoors has me in a bit of a SAD funk, so a doc titled HAPPY was the obvious choice...

This movie is FANTASTIC...worth every inactive minute! You've gotta watch it if you have Netflix or run out and rent it if you are in one of those won't regret it!

The messages that resonated with me most are:

  • Happiness is a won't necessarily have it without focusing on it and working towards it! 
  • Intrinsic rewards (what we get from maintaining close relationships with friends/family, doing something bigger than ourselves, having new experiences, etc) give longer lasting pleasure than extrinsic rewards (keeping up appearances, acquiring more material things, etc). YES! Trying to keep up with the Jones' is a recipe for unhappiness.
  • Gratitude=happiness. People who counted their blessings once a week were happier than those who didn't....definitely gonna start doing this!
  • People who "play" are happier...physical activity=happiness. Those who get in "the zone" with their hobbies and experience FLOW are happier.

I have been inspired HARD by this has opened my eyes to some of my behaviors that prevent me from feeling happy at times and has given me so many ideas on creating a happier self/family/home...more to come on that. For now here's a little snippet if you're interested.

Today I am wishing you a very HAPPY weekend!!!!! :)