hello cousins, hello long weekend

family, hello monday By February 20, 2017 2 Comments

My brother is in town this weekend with his wife and twin daughters. We love when they come to visit! We ate out at some of our favorite places, showed them the workshop, watched a movie and ate waaaay too many peanut butter m&ms. Yum.

They are leaving town today and we are enjoying an extra weekend day before we jump back into the routine. How about some hellos?
Hello cousins. We are so thankful to have wonderful cousins.

Hello beanie. David really rocks the beanie.

Hello tools lined up in a row.

Hello catching a moment to read while we give them the workshop tour.

Hello having fun together.

Hello rain and rain and more rain. And wind. California doesn’t know what’s happening! Several trees in our neighborhood have fallen down, there’s been flooding and mudslides–it’s crazy!

Hello new beginnings. Matthias is trying something new this week. New things are so hard and so good.

Hello napping. Aren’t naps a beautiful thing? Love them.

Hello searching thrift stores for vintage floral paintings. They’re hard to find!

Hello new computer. It’s awesome except change is hard for me. I’m not used to this computer so it’s an adjustment.

Hello taking David off diary to see if that helps with his tummy pain. Fingers and toes crossed.

Hello designing new jewelry. I CANNOT wait to share it with you!

Hello brand new, beautiful week. Good things are ahead! What are you saying hello to this week?

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Nothing is Something

finding love, worthiness By February 9, 2017 20 Comments


Doing nothing is not nothing.

Doing nothing is doing something.

Sometimes doing nothing is the doing hardest thing.

Because in doing nothing, in the quiet, in the emptiness, I cannot escape my thoughts.

In doing nothing I am faced with the good and the hard, the ugly and the beautiful,

The ache

The hope

The fear

The longing.

Many times I find myself doing something

Doing anything

To keep from feeling

What feels too hard to feel.

Many times I find myself doing something

Doing anything

To prove I am productive

To prove I am good enough.

To prove I am worth the space I occupy.

To prove I am worth loving.

I am doing better at doing nothing,

Doing better at believing I have nothing to prove.

I am enough.

The space I occupy matters.

In doing nothing I find something.

In doing nothing I find there is nothing

I can do to be more loved

Than I am right now.

Doing nothing is not nothing.

Doing nothing is doing something.

Sometimes doing nothing is the hardest thing.

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Stepping Into the Light

finding love, the meaning behind, worthiness By February 7, 2017 3 Comments

For anyone who has ever wondered if the messiness of love is worth it…

Opening ourselves to love means

Taking down the walls around our hearts,

And leaving our hearts vulnerable.

A vulnerable heart does not simply risk being hurt,

It will be hurt.

Love is not safe.

I am imperfect.

You are imperfect.

We love each other imperfectly.

We hurt each other.

So why take the risk? Why love?

Because in the broken down, messiness of vulnerability,

While we wade through the pain of sharp words

and the loneliness of being misunderstood,

we are met with the healing balm of forgiveness.

While we journey down an unexplored, windy path

Sometimes hand in hand, sometimes with our backs to each other,

We find something truly magical.

When we leave safety behind

We find truth.

The truth we are loved, exactly as we are; broken and imperfect.

We leave safety behind to find something immeasurably better.

We find LOVE abounding in grace and hope.

We find we were not safe before, we were simply numb.

Numbness is comforting.

Numbness means not feeling the deep, painful ache of our hearts

Being pulled and stretched and torn.

But numbness means missing out on the exhilarating joy of being known.

The joy of being seen, just as we are.

The joy of being accepted.

The joy of being called worthy.

The joy of hearing the God of the Universe say “You are enough”.

It is only when we step out from the shadows and let the light shine on us

We see ourselves as God sees us.

We see who He created us to be;

Quirky and insightful and creative and wise.

He knit me together and gave me a unique soul.

I am one-of-a-kind.

He knit you together and gave you a unique soul.

You are one-of-a-kind.

In that place of power, we look shame directly in the eye and say, “You are a liar.”

Now we know the truth.

We leave safety to find freedom abounds.

We are free from the fear that held us prisoner.

The sun shines on us, warming our shoulders,

Filling our hearts with peace.

We soak it up, knowing

We are loved,

Just as we are.

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hello easy sweater + booties {and pups!}

hello monday, what I'm wearing By February 6, 2017 4 Comments

We’re expecting rain and chilly temps this week–it makes us appreciate the sunshine when it pops through! I’m loving getting with lots of layers–a sweater over a long sleeved button up and a coat if it gets really cold.

How about some hellos for a brand new week?Hello warm sunshine and pups who want to linger outside.

Hello super cozy sweater–my favorite right now!

Hello keeping my boys close all day with this sweet cuff.

Hello to the most cuddly pups in the world, Love.

Hello colorful bag that holds everything!

Outfit details: Sweater, Anthropologie. Black skinny jeans, Madewell. Linen button down, CP Shades. Booties, Free people {on clearance here}. Bag, Nena & Co. Cuff, my shop.

Hello welcoming Matthias home from camp!

Hello quick visit from Auntie Susan.

Hello making time to write–sometimes the day seems to slip by!

Hello getting out for a walk when the rain takes a break.

Hello sticking close to my to-do list–there’s so much to get done!

Hello to you! It’s a brand new weeks with beauty to be found.

What are you saying hello to this week?

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We Need Each Other

david, matthias, the meaning behind By February 1, 2017 43 Comments

I have been surprised to find many times, instead of me teaching my kids, it’s my kids teaching me.

When Matthias was in first grade, David’s 1st-3rd grade special needs class would walk over to Matthias’ classroom for reading time, language arts and special projects. Mainstreaming created a space for students with special needs to learn beside their typical peers. In this environment every child benefits and grows.

While Steve and I love mainstreaming and having special needs kids working with typical peers, we were concerned for Matthias. He had just begun first grade and was adjusting to a full day at school. We didn’t want him to have to explain why his brother had only two fingers on his left hand or why his brother couldn’t speak with words. We didn’t want Matthias to feel he was in the spotlight. We wanted Matthias to have his own space at school. We explained our concerns to David’s teacher and we all agreed it would be best to have David work on skills such as kicking a ball or sorting colored blocks, while the other special needs student mainstreamed into Matthias’ classroom.

A couple months into the school year, David was playing in the small playground next to the larger playground. Matthias spotted David and his aide over on the little playground.

“Oh my gosh!” Matthias yelled as he ran over to the chain link fence separating the two playgrounds.

“David, DAVID! I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” he yelled, waving and calling to David.

As David and his aide made their way toward the Matthias, Matthias turned and called his friends over.

“You guys, come here! Quick! I want you to meet my brother.” Matthias said.

Matthias was joined at the chain link fence by three or four friends. On the other side of the fence stood David and his aide.

“This is my brother!” Matthias said with pride. “When David was in my mom’s tummy his instructions got mixed up. That is why he only has two fingers on his left hand. That is why he is so small. That is why he can’t talk. But isn’t he AWESOME?!”

Matthias’ friends nodded with smiles.

“Bye David!” they all yelled as they ran back to their game.

When I arrived at the school that afternoon David’s aide recounted the whole story to me. I could feel the lump in my throat as she described how excited Matthias was to see David and introduce him to his friends.

I felt tears filling up my eyes as I realized I didn’t need to worry about Matthias. I didn’t need to create a safe place where he could be himself without having to explain about his brother with special needs. Not only was Matthias capable of explaining David’s special needs to his peers, he was proud of his brother. He loved his brother. He wanted to be near his brother. Matthias is better because of David and David is better because of Matthias.

{The Cross Bar Birthstone Necklace represents stability and strength}

We need each other. Together we have stability. Together we are stronger.
Family is messy and imperfect. Family is the foundation that keeps us on solid ground. Family is love. And love is everything.

Matthias has taught me so much about what it means to LOVE with your whole heart.
These two are better together.

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hello warm weather

hello monday By January 30, 2017 4 Comments

We’ve had a couple gorgeous, sunshiny days. It’s a beautiful break from the rain {which we need so much!} This succulent in our front yard seems to love the rain and sunshine because it grows larger by the day. I think it’s doubled in size in the last two weeks!

It’s Monday, a brand new week, how about some hellos?

Hello finally breaking out these frye sandals I got on sale.  I’ve been eyeing these for a while and are about 40% off.

Hello last week of whole 30. We have been cooking a ton and that means lots of dishes too. Overall it’s been a good experience. {I miss dairy!!}

Hello haircut for me this week. Yay!

Hello getting Matthias ready for camp this weekend.

Hello sniffles that seem to keep going around our family. We are so over it!

Hello A Series of Unfortunate Events. Have you seen the new series? We just started it.

Hello February! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Hello searching my local thrift stores for cool floral paintings.

Hello to you! It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to this week?

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DIY painted baskets

decorating, DIY By January 25, 2017 4 Comments

I’ve been working really hard trying to build my basket wall {and by working really hard I mean going to thrift shops every now and then}. It’s EASY to find basic baskets at thrift stores but it’s hard to find super cool colorful baskets. I’ve splurged on a couple new african baskets because they are just so lovely.

I found a couple basic baskets at the thrift store the other day and I decided to paint them to add some more color and texture to the wall.
This is the wall after I did some painting and rearranging.

Supplies: painter’s tape, acrylic paint, small paint brushes, thrifted baskets.

Here are the two baskets I found at the thrift store. They both had a bit of staining and were about $1 each.

For the star shape I began by taping off a four-point star. I did it by sight and followed the lines of how the basket is woven. It’s not perfect but I didn’t mind.

Once the star was dry, I pulled up the tape and free-handed a gold outline.

Then I painted the sunburst in the middle free hand. You can use a stencil if you prefer {I’m just lazy!} Or you can sketch out the sunburst {or other design} with a pencil.

For the diamond, I taped the shape, again following the lines of how the basket is woven.

Then with a small brush I painted a blue line around the edge. It was easy to free hand.

I love the simplicity and the pop of color with the diamond.

The star shape is more subtle. I love a sunburst–for me it symbolizes hope. Read more about it here.

And there you have it! Painted baskets mixed with other thrifted baskets and some beautiful african baskets. Love.

What do you think? Would you try painting some baskets?

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Hello Harry Potter World

adventures, hello monday, matthias By January 23, 2017 1 Comment

Matthias turned thirteen, THIRTEEN last week. Hello thirteen! To celebrate we went to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, Hollywood. We had so much fun! I was impressed with the whole experience. The buildings are straight out of the movies and the interactive wands are so cool!

It’s Monday and time to jump into a brand new week. Ready or not, here we go! How about some hellos?

Hello Harry Potter and Hogsmead. We’re huge fans. Are you?

Hello wands–so many to choose from.

Hello climbing and laughing and celebrating.

Hello super amazing train conductor who taught Matthias the Ravenclaw handshake. The staff at the park was incredible.

Hello wand ceremony. Matthias got picked by a very special wand. The wand said Matthias was creative, smart, brave and friendly to all. The wand is so right!

Hello feeling like I need at least one more day to be ready for Monday.

Hello grocery shopping.

Hello watercoloring and writing. I’m in full on creative mode over here.

Hello rain and rain and lots more rain. I haven’t seen this much rain since I was in college. My car got stuck at a flash flood in an intersection. It was nuts!

Hello being a mom to two TEENAGE boys. How can it be?

Hello bulletproof coffee. It’s strange but we love it! Have you tried it?

Hello to YOU. It’s a brand new week with beauty to be found. What are you saying hello to today?

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I See A World

be brave, inspiration By January 20, 2017 78 Comments

Every Friday night our little family goes to a local restaurant down the street from our house for burgers and chicken tenders. It is our Friday evening ritual—the kids count on it and the parents love it too.

But on a recent Friday evening, a very surprising thing happened.

We ate our dinner, paid the bill and started to walk toward our car. David was happy and sometimes when he is happy he dances as he walks {you can imagine it is pretty much the cutest thing ever!}. Steve bent down and gave him a kiss and we all kept walking.

A gentleman approached Steve and said with a quiet voice, “I noticed your son and I was moved. I just want to do something for him. Will you please take this and get him a gift?”

David has a disability. He is very small for his age and has only two fingers on his left hand. He is non-verbal and spoon fed. It is common for people to notice him, but unusual for someone to approach us.

Steve looked at the man’s hand and saw a folded ten dollar bill.

“That is so kind but it’s really not necessary.” Steve responded.

“Please,” the man said with pleading eyes, “I want to do this for him.” The stranger was beginning to tear up a bit.

“Sure, okay, thank you so much.” Steve responded and took the ten dollar bill.

Steve buckled David into his car seat and we all climbed into the car.

As Steve started the engine he looked at the bill and realized it was a $100 dollar bill.

“Oh my gosh!” Steve said. “I thought it was ten dollars.”

We looked around the parking lot but couldn’t find this kind stranger anywhere.

As we drove down the street we talked about what to do with the money. We decided we would get a $100 Target gift card and give to David’s teacher so she could buy supplies for the classroom. That way the money would be a blessing, not just for David, but for the other special needs students in his class.

When I gave the gift card to David’s teacher she started to cry, and of course I got teary too. It was such an amazing, beautiful thing. This gentleman was brave enough to show kindness to strangers. I hope it returns to him ten times over! He inspires me.

I believe there is more good than evil in the world. Today is a good day to show kindness.

You have faith.
I have faith.
Each of us carries faith in our hearts.
There is no shortage of faith.
I see a world overflowing with faith.

You have hope.
I have hope.
Each of us carries hope in our hearts.
There is no shortage of hope.
I see a world overflowing with hope.

You have love.
I have love.
Each of us carries love in our hearts.
There is no shortage of love.
I see a world overflowing with love.

Today we have faith, hope and love.
And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

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where dreams and reality meet

be brave, hope By January 17, 2017 17 Comments

I had no idea joy, pain, exhaustion and sheer delight waited for us. I had no idea this tiny baby growing inside me had a genetic disorder. I had no idea he would break my heart, turn my world upside down and then slowly help me heal and grow into a person who loves more deeply.


I remember holding the positive pregnancy test in my hand. I was sitting in the bathroom of our small apartment near Los Angeles. We had been married for three years and we had been trying to start a family for the last six months. I felt like the wind was knocked out of me as the HUGENESS of the moment filled the room. I stared at the pregnancy test in disbelief.

“We are going to have a baby.” I thought. “Oh my goodness, there is already a baby growing inside me.”

We had boarded an unstoppable train headed toward an unknown destination. We wanted to start a family and we were trying to get pregnant, but when I saw the positive test I was terrified. I had been dreaming of this day since I was a little girl. When it arrived I was surprised to find myself so afraid.
My life was about to change in massive ways.

I was about to fall in love with a little boy who would forever change my heart.



The unknown is scary and I was looking into a vast world of unknowns.
The intersection where dreams and reality meet is perhaps the most terrifying place to be.
I stood on the edge of the known, looking into the unknown, with shaking legs.
Looking back, I could see where I had been.
Looking around me, I could see where I was.
But looking forward I could see nothing.
I took a step forward.
It was one of the most important steps of my life. David has brought beauty and joy to our family and changed us in amazing ways. He continues to grow and thrive and show us what it looks like to live with joy.

A couple years later I stood at another crossroads.
David was a baby, I was teaching part-time in our local school district and stringing beads into necklaces in the evening. A little dream started to grow inside my heart. What if I could turn this creative hobby into a little business? Friends loved my handmade jewelry and my coworkers were asking if they could purchase my necklaces and bracelets. I decided to make it official and get a business license.
As I got into my car to make my way towards City Hall, I felt sick to my stomach with nervousness.

“Surely they do not give business licenses to people like me. They are going to laugh me out of the building.” I thought. “They will know I am a fraud as soon as I step through the door.”

My heart was pounding and I felt my face go red as I asked the receptionist for a business license application. My hands shook as I searched for a pen in my purse and began filling it out line by line.

I had no idea incredible opportunities and long sleepless nights waited for me. I had no idea my little business would grow and change. I had no idea two years later I would quit my job to focus on making jewelry. I had no idea some day my husband and I would have a team of amazing individuals helping us with marketing, customer service and manufacturing.

The intersection where dreams and reality meet is perhaps the most terrifying place to be.
I stood on the edge of the known, looking into the unknown, with a shaking hands and a red face.
I took a step forward.

No matter how difficult, wonderful or mundane our circumstances, they are known—there is comfort in what is known. But the what lies ahead is unknown and the unknown can be deeply unsettling. We do not know what the future holds and deep down we know, we do not control the future.
We feel fear.
But we do not face fear alone.
We have a powerful force behind us.

Hope.

With hope at our back we take a step into the unknown.
At the intersection of dreams and reality, it is natural to feel fear.
Fear does not make us weak.
Fear makes us human.
When we move through fear toward what is true and right and beautiful, it makes us brave.
With each timid step the future becomes the present and the present becomes the past.
All that is required in any moment, is one step.
We take that step with hope at our back.

Have you found yourself at the intersection where dreams and reality meet?

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