Wednesday, April 15, 2015

HELLO WORLD

2006.
 
"...the process of being a parent can be summed up like this: 'You've just been given something that would be most terrible to lose.'"
 
*
 
When Dylan was born, he didn't even cry. And not in a scary-he's-not-breathing way. He came out pink and breathing. Eyes open. Quiet and content as he could be. "Look at him look around," said the doctor. "He's seems to be saying 'Hello, World."
 
*
 
He's been like that since. His interest in the world is unquenchable. It's always been "Why?" and "How?" and "I think...". He's been working on projects since he could toddle around. Asking questions since he could talk. Trying to better and change things and turn his ideas into things "that could make the world better, Mama."
 
*
When I was a teenager and a young adult, I wasn't scared of anything. I never worried about going out in the dark. Rough neighborhoods and public transportation, being out late, never scared me. I KNEW I could stand up for myself, holler at someone being rude, slap a boy who got to close, drive a stick shift car to get away. It never occurred to me, like it did to some of my friends, that something bad could happen to us. "Seriously? No one is going to rob us." I'd say as I got on public transportation in Atlanta at one in the morning. And sure enough, no one did.
When I fell in love with a man who had a very dangerous job, I became practical about fear. I worried and fretted and was scared, but for what I considered legitimate reasons. I became more critical of people who were worried about being robbed just because it was dark out. They HAD NO REASON to worry about imaginary problems.
When I was pregnant the first time, I read all books and saw all sorts or warnings, and I heeded them. But it never crossed my mind that anything bad could happen. I was young, healthy, and my baby was going to be perfect.
And he was.
 
And then, this perfect baby was placed in my arms. And in that moment of my arms holding him, things changed.
 
*
 
As a mother, I worry about all sorts of things. I imagine what would happen if robbers busted into the house (I have a plan in my head for locking my children away why I fight them off). I see cars driving too fast, and the sun burning their skin. I have imagined all sorts of worst case scenarios. None of which have ever happened.
But could.
 
*
 
One day last year, while scrolling through Facebook, I was stopped by a repost. It was an article about a boy named Baylor, who wouldn't be going to baseball that season, and had been originally posted by his coach. He wouldn't be going because he has leukemia (one of the worst case scenarios that I have imagined). Since Dylan was starting his own baseball season it caught my eye and I read through it. And then I clicked on the link for his A Match for Bay page, a bit absently.
And then I was looking at a picture of a boy who looks just like my own boy.
 
Because you see, this little boy, like my own little boy, is both Asian and Caucasian. Making it very very hard to find a bone donor match for him. And it hit me in the face in the heart in my soul. All the worries, the imagining, the fears that I think of, were happening to this family.**
This family that looks just like mine.
 
*
 
Everyday, I thank God and the Universe that my beautiful children are healthy. I am so blessed that my husband and I are healthy and able to raise such beautiful little people. And I want them to always think that they can make the world better, even if it seems small. We regularly talk about helping others with common (and even not so common) courtesy, and about donating to causes that are helping others everyday in bigger ways. And always always dreaming and thinking up ways to make things better.
 
*
 
I encourage you to sign up, if you are comfortable with it, with the bone donor registry through
Be The Match (www.bethematch.org).
I will also be donating 30% of all profits from this baby bodysuit to them. Let's look at the World, and see how we can make it better.
 
 
** You can read up on the progress and the struggles that Baylor has made and faced here.
 
 



Thursday, March 26, 2015

TROPICAL TRAIL MIX





 
This trail mix was inspired by a pineapple granola I've been devouring as a snack at all times of the day sprinkling on my yogurt. There are sweet dried pineapple chunks and banana chips, salty almonds, and two kinds of chocolate. You can't really lose with this.
 
 
Trail mix is really based on what portions you enjoy. Really love banana chips? Add more. Nut allergy? Lose the almonds. The possibilities are endless!
 
We're going to go ahead and sprinkle some shredded coconut in there.
 
 
Let's go ahead and imagine we're sitting on a tropical beach while we eat this, shall we? Let's get through this early spring together!
 

Tropical Trail Mix

 

1/2 cup banana chips
1/4 cup roasted, salted almonds
1/2 cup dried pineapple, chopped up
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
 
Measure all ingredients into a large bowl, mix well. Store in an air tight container for up to two weeks.
Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SCENES FROM A ST. PATRICK'S DAY

 
 
Every year, the kids make a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick's Day. This year, they were sure they had a unescapable trap. I mean, look at the size of this box. There was a trap door and coins for enticing the greedy little guy.
 
 
Handmade rainbows.
 
 
Hand drawn clovers.
 
 
Alas, he escaped yet again. At least he left some of the coins behind.
 
 
Homemade frosted sugar cookies and green milk made the disappointment bearable.

 
 
We finished the day with corned beef, sautéed cabbage, honey roasted carrots, and mashed potatoes.
A LOT of mashed potatoes.
So that was a win for everyone.
 

 

 


Thursday, March 12, 2015

THINGS I LOVE: THE MEASURE

 
 
My Ava is a firecracker. She let's nothing stop her, nothing get her down. She'll dig her feet in and take a stand and literally, never gives up. Her attitude is amazing to me. She is strong and fierce and also happens to love fashion. She wears dress up clothes to the grocery store, turns blankets into capes, and picks out her hair accessories like it's her JOB. 
 I happen to think that our clothes are just an extension of our personality. Wearing what makes you feel good, well, MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. When Ava is out and about in clothes she has chosen herself and someone compliments her, she gives them a cheerful, "Thanks! I know, I look fabulous." (And we've had to work on the "thanks!" part...)
 
I found The Measure (All the Numbers) through Instagram and I love every single thing she is making. Her clothes are out of this world fantastic and make an amazing statement. I bought the above shirt for Ava, because, obviously it is the most perfect shirt for her ever. I want Ava to always be comfortable in her body, the choices she makes, and to wear things with pride. And The Measure is making things that are bonkers awesome and I'm happy to support both clothes that empower girls and the mamas that make them.
 
You can shop The Measure here.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HAPPY CAMPER


The Happy Camper tshirt is now in lilac! This is one of my favorite designs in the entire shop.

$17//Sizes: 2T, 3T, 4T, 5/6, & 7
 
 Our family loves to tent camp, so in celebration of this shirt, I put together a little family camping list. These things make camping easier and more fun for our family.
 
 
1. Camping box*. My husband's winter project has been making one of these. It gets kitchen gear off the ground and also provides an open place to find everything and store it through out the day. The best part is you can add a lock to the door to keep out critters. 2. The Herschel Supply Co. Little American Backpack (Urban Outfitters) A good backpack is essential to camping. You need it for hikes, for luggage, for the lake or river. I've had my eye on this one for over a year, and I think I'm going to take the plunge and splurge on it this year. 3. Every year we take these free pintables with us camping and all the kids (and most of the adults) love to do the scavenger hunt every time. It never gets old! 4. This is one of the best camping food posts I've ever come across, via Design Mom. Great prepping tips and mouth watering recipes!
 
What are your essentials for family camping?
 
*Source unknown for photo, not mine.

Friday, February 27, 2015

FAVORITE THINGS FEBRUARY: EVERYDAY vs DATE NIGHT BAGS


On Valentine's Day, for the first time in about six years, the husband and I went out on a date, just the two of us (thank you most wonderful in-laws!). It was snowing and cold, but dinner was fantastic and the company divine.
 
I switched bags for our night out and realized that there is a slight difference in my everyday vs date night life. Observe my favorite things from both:
 

 
 
Clockwise, from left: Bag: Tory Burch York Buckle Tote  A bit pricey, but I only buy one purse about every 7 years. I splurge on quality and use it everyday.//Lotion: Bath and Body Works Shea Cashmere Hand Cream The scent is amazing, and it truly helps my dry skin, hand sanitizer because, it's a must with kids // Burt's Bees Lip Balm with Mango Butter Also smells amazing and really helps with dryness. (I have dry skin. And so do the kids. So moisturizing products are high on my list.) //  random little girl hair clip because her hair is always always in her eyes // tissue //  Rapunzel Mini Tin This is an amazing toy. It's a slim metal box box (the size of a note pad) with an image of Rapunzel on it and magnetic dress up clothes. Ava plays with it when ever she gets stuck some where with me (the vet, Dylan's guitar lesson). It's a perfect size and nothing gets lost because it's all STUCK on // Priority Mail envelopes for shipping items from the shop // notepad and pen //  Sunglasses (prescription) //  Altoids (wintergreen) // Phone with Rifle Paper Company cover (mine seems to be no longer available, but this one is similar) // small mirror // water (usually reusable bottle but I grabbed this on the go) // wallet (gift from the kids) // coupon holder (Target, I use it for receipts) // keys.

And Date Night:

Clockwise, from left: bag Libeskind Caelia Glimmered Wristlet from Anthropologie (a gift form the in-laws, seriously they are awesome) // red lipstick (Maybelline Ruby Star) // pen to sign the check// Altoids // Phone (see above for info).
 

Friday, January 30, 2015

FAVORITE THINGS: JANUARY


 
Oh, January. You start out so darn hopeful. Ideas of clean closets, organized workspaces, new healthy recipes, running on a regular basis again: all glitter before me, with a will and hope and starry eyes. But in the end, you always just have me pining away for summer days and wanting to eat carbs.
 
(And I don't even want to talk about the snow. Someone hold my earrings, because I hate snow and am about to beat it down. Everywhere I go, my refrain is, "I'm from CALIFORNIA." Which translates to "I am grouchy and I don't understand how to function in a bulky coat and for the love of God can someone explain to me why it is SO HARD to put mittens on a preschooler!? I'm sorry/not sorry.")
 
Anyway.
 
These are my favorite things from January:
1. We've eaten the Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast a bunch of times this month, and it is hand's down the husband's most favorite meal ever. It is so perfect for a cold night!//2. On my birthday, we went to MOMA (amazing, wonderful) and I picked up a Moleskin Classic Lined Notebook in the gift shop, something I've treated myself to the last couple years. I do list journaling, and this is the perfect notebook for it.//3. Dylan started taking guitar lessons. I feel that his practice book is really adding to the décor of my home. I LOVE the graphic on this book.//4. I read Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper. I've managed to read a lot of not so great fiction lately, and this book made up for it. Great story! //
5. Downton Abbey is back and that mean's reading Tom and Lorenzo's take on it every Monday. Highlight of the week. If you watch Downton (if you don't, I'm not sure we can be friends), you need to read these recaps.//6. Meghan Trainor's Title Album is fabulous.//7. Neal bought me Burberry Brit (the eau de toilette, which I love because it's a bit lighter then the perfume) and the smell is incredible.  
 
Favorites Around the Net:
Instagram: @womenirl HILARIOUS.