As we begin a new year, I can't even that it's 2019. Can't Even. Still writing '18 on all my dates folks with no intention of changing...
But what I meant to say was as we begin a new year and I think about the intention I want to have with this gift I have been given of another year, it helps me to look back at the year past...what did I enjoy most? and what do I want to carry forward?
Nick and I celebrated our 15 year anniversary this past November. It always comes upon us quick, and I admit we aren't always the best at celebrating...BUT this year he secured a sitter for 48hrs and then handed me the reins. Good husband.
We escaped to Long Beach. Wanting something local but not TOO local aka we will inevitably end up with work on our minds if we stay near the city. And wanting to experience something with a story and heart behind it - priorities that are near and dear to our lives - celebrating another local community, Adrift Hotel was exactly what 48hrs just the two of us called for.
The owners Tiffany and Brady's vision in their community is incredibly inspiring, what stood out to me the most was that every person we talked to that worked at the hotel, spa, distillery and restaurant had a sense of ownership and belonging with this vision. And the vision was this, a lobby filled with bikes and board games, local hot teas and curated treats, perfectly broken in leather couches and lots of green happy plants. The #adriftlife. Everyone seemed like repeat guests, because they either were or the immediate welcoming feeling allowed you to be your most relaxed self, immediately.
The Adrift space is a bit of an oasis in this Washington beach town. Everything you need is right there. Highlights for us...massages next door at the Adrift Spa, gin tasting in the same parking lot at Adrift Distilleries with a major mention for their collaboration with Starvation Alley Organic Cranberry farm, the liqueur ALMOST made it to the starring role at Thanksgiving dinner, ahem except it never made it to dinner. Oops. Also the best burger and fries we have had in ages at The Shelburne Pub. The setting sun over the Pacific Coast, walking the board walk with miles of grass surrounding you, every blade picking up the light. A chance for Nick and I to take deep breathes, reminisce about the last 15years and dream about our next. Plates of pickled everything and perfectly balanced cocktails, and glorious sunshine in big warm coats.
Taking time to find the local heart, escaping in small meaningful ways, is top of my 2019 priority list. Thank you for reading and following along on my journey.
This post was done in partnership with Adrift Hotel. They have 3 locations within the Long Beach area. Adrift Hotel is perfect for families and pets. The Inn at Discovery Coast is perfect for a couples getaway, an 11 suite building with sweeping views of the coast, and The Shelburne, newly restored full of rich history and character with the best burger.
So when it's time to get back on the saddle, it's best to do it in a really good outfit. Like when I've posted twice in the last month and if I don't start now I may never again. I have so much good stuff to share, it's just that life gets overwhelming...and then I tend to avoid.
But you just can't ignore this coat. It's happy and furry, so soft and warm. The love affair started last year with this coat *sigh* (Jenn and I were having coffee and we politely cornered this stylish women needing to know where her fabulous rusty red coat was from) and always keeping an eye, I finally found this one. I may have just purchased it before thinking, when I was actually supposed to be only making a list of gift ideas for Nick. It was the last one in my size, and on sale, I couldn't risk it getting away. Then it sat in customs for a month. Karma? Customs Karma? perhaps.
Well it was worth the wait.
Also these jeans paired with my favorite look right now, cowboy boots. Finally a way to go cropped when the temperatures drop and still have warm ankles.
Two trends I am going to wear out this winter.
coat - Asos
jeans - Mavi
boots - Frye oldies, you might still be able to find "Taylor Pull On"
shirt - Nation LTD c/o
necklaces can be found at my shop Queen Anne Frame.
I major shout out to the certain 10yr old I bribed with the new Dogman book to take these photos. Not too bad eh? Here's to the potential that 2019 holds for us all.
Thank you for continuing to read my blog.
Pretty sure it went down like this...
"Santa, you've got to help us, please PLEASE can we have a cat?
Our parents won't get us one, YOU are our ONLY hope."
Every year Christmas looks a little bit different as every year my boys are 365 days older.
The year before they asked Santa for Star Wars Legos, the year before that similar. When they were only learning to talk it was "Thomas the Twain."
As each holiday season approaches it's hard for me to imagine the magic that will unfold as they get older. Why do they have to keep getting older??
But I know it's there, as long as we make space, and really as the mom of this tribe, it's me needing to make space. As long as I can pause and look away from my to-do list and messy house to NOT MISS it. Anyone else like this? Not entirely sure my Christmas cards are going to get mailed on time this year. That's ok. Breathe in breathe out, that's ok. What's not ok is missing the opportunities to be together as a family and make memories.
So this year we decided to start our holiday traditions with the Macy's Holiday Parade.
The magic WAS there. Here are the moments I will remember...
...the boys so excited for their Yiaya to come with us, she is always the guest of honor in their eyes, I LOVE that. Hot cocoa to kick it off, with no one spilling! not even me. The WONDER in Peyton's eyes as the stars approached and the parade began. The joy of giving every person they could a high 5. The fascination they had with the marching bands. Riese is starting the flute this year, so all of a sudden this part of the parade takes on an entirely new meaning. For me, the bag pipes, always the point when I can't help but cry, and the magic of being in downtown Seattle with all the festive sparkling lights and decorations.
Macy's goes to the nines for the holidays. From every detail in their annual train window display to their Make A Wish Santa letter writing station - for how much effort it takes me just to get dinner on the table, I am so grateful that all we have to do is just show up. Imagine...the most effort being ordering your favorite holiday beverage to enjoy while you walk around soaking up all the Christmas wonder. I think everyone should add this to their holiday tradition list.
And you know bake sugar cookies from scratch, and adopt-a-family for presents. Also musts. But this one - so much easier. See what I mean?
This mama's heart was filled, and my boys left chatting away about all the different marching bands, not an utter of video game strategy to be heard. Nailed it.
Thank you for reading,
The post was sponsored by Macy's.
Can we first acknowledge the acid-washed denim love affair going on here, and I'm obsessed with that hanging fern in the background. I don't recall that plant. Also what's with the rest of my family not smiling? Honestly.
The paper shreds of life.
I get where hoarding comes from. For me, it’s the shred of sentimental value in an item that makes it so hard for me to part with it. They are treasures. And there are stories behind them. Good thing I have a basement. And a very patient husband.
I own a frame shop, I see tremendous value in framing sentimental items, not because they are worth a lot of money, but because they are worth a lot of smiles.
And I’ve gotten to frame some of my favorite things.
But the paper shreds don’t belong in a frame. They belong where they were meant to be, padding the Christmas decorations. Doing their job. Every year when the tubs are opened they are a welcomed surprise, a nod from my mom, because they are too, what’s the word...insignificant, basic, small, I hate all these descriptions...to think about the rest of the year. Then they show up. And it all depends, sometimes I cry. Not this year, this year I shared with Riese and Peyton why I pick up every shred that falls to the ground and dutifully put them back in the tub... “my mom ACTUALLY touched these. My mom who was very much a clean freak thought paper shreds that get every where were a good idea." The boys laugh and I smile thinking of her. And for a moment I’m sort of shocked she’s gone. It’s been 17 years. That’s the thing with grief.
"They live forever in your broken heart that doesn't seal back up. And you come through. It's like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly - that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with a limp." Anne Lamott
And my boys now join in the game of saving the paper shreds. A new Christmas Tradition. And there are two camps in my mind: 1. Wishing with all my heart that my boys had traditions like making cookies with Grandma. Pissed. And sad. 2. Grateful that she still carries on in my life, and I can share her with my boys.
It's absolutely both. Dancing with a limp.
We work so hard to hide that limp, but the broken parts, the cracks, allow the light to shine through. It's part of who we are, and lets people, and ourselves, know we are not alone. It might not be wrapped in a big red bow but it's authentic.
I definitely could have kept quiet about the shreds, I thought about it. There's a risk in telling my children, it seems safer, but also lonelier, to just keep picking them up in solitude, hoping no one discards them, at the risk my boys won't have ears to hear my precious, and what often feels very crazy, story. Paper shreds. My youngest tends to divert and distract when he's feeling emotions he's unsure of, often cracking a joke at the part when my heart is wide open.
Regardless, it's a risk worth taking.
Deep breathe. Maybe two, or three. And do it.
My prayer this season is twofold, that we can all dare to be vulnerable, and trust that the light somehow ALWAYS brings healing. And that we can be gentle with others, increasing our kindness, especially in those moments when it's the hardest to muster, because we may never know the limp that another person may be compensating for.
I am here, a bit exposed. If you need support and encouragement, email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't hesitate.
Thank you for reading,
If you've caught my posts this week you may have seen that Jenn and I are back at it with a 4-way Friday. I love this series for multiple reasons...one, it's always more fun with a friend. Can't you tell? Always the best bloopers.
Two, we choose something that we are both totally loving and share 4 of the different ways we are wearing it, in our own style and own writing. I love seeing what Jenn comes up with. Outfit 1, 2, 3, 4.
Three, showing our followers the versatility of a great piece. Encouraging you all to think outside the box when it comes to fashion.
This bag is just exactly one of those. It's a great piece. I LOVE having my hands free with everything I need, I also love the look of this bag as a belt. And bonus love, the gal behind TAH bags is stellar too. Triple Crown.
The details of this bag are very well thought out, from the removable tassel - but seriously who would ever want to remove it?? - to the perfect amount of slots for the necessary cards and ID, to the front flap pocket - both stylish looking and perfect for holding a smart phone.
This is a bag that I have reached for constantly since I got it. That to me seals the deal.
Thanks for reading, you can see more TAH bag goodness here.
Hope you have a fabulous friday.