December 30, 2011


Hello!  I am way behind on update type posts.....

Aiden is adopted!  Yay.  Everything is done!  No more paperwork, social worker visits, etc.

It feels good.

Aiden is now related to us as if he had been born to us.  The finalization was November 18th - oh what a fun day it was.  We all came to the courthouse, told to invite as many friends and family as we wanted.  My good friends Myrna and Christina came with their kids.  My grandparents drove all the way up from Southern California.  My parents came and so did Aiden's old foster family, Beth and Lily and their kids.

We arrived at the court, I had to stash my weapons (mace, haha) in a bush on the outside of the building.  We all went through the metal detectors and then crammed in an elevator to the courtrooms.  The mood in the air was such a contrast to the last time we had been in court.  Back in April when Aiden's biological mom was losing all of her rights to him, it was a very sobering, sad day - even for Seth and I.  This time was different.  The atmosphere in the air was one of happiness and joy.

The county did such a great job of making it super special for us.  They had a table of refreshments, they gave Seth apple cider, myself a bouquet of flowers and Aiden a bouquet of balloons.  The newspaper photographer was there to capture the moment, along with two other photographers.  We sat down as a family, they arranged us, took a few shots and five minutes later handed us a framed family portrait with the date printed on it.

When it was our turn to go before the judge in the family court, everyone could come in.  All of the normal courtroom rituals and rules seemed to be thrown out the window for this very special occasion.  We did not stand as the the judge entered the room, the bailiff didn't call the court to order - everything was very casual.  Every child in the room was allowed to pick out a stuffed animal to take home.

The judge walked up to Aiden and asked why he was here.  He said "a party"(hehehe). She then proceeded to ask who I was... he said "my mom"  and then she asked who Seth was.  He said "my dad"
The whole thing was adorable and sugary sweet.

We signed a paper to finalize (even Mr. Aiden got to sign) and then we raised our right hand as we swore to love, protect, care for Aiden and treat him as our own.  Then the judge introduced us to her mother and proceeded to tell us that she was in a quilting group and they had made a quilt for Aiden!

We then gathered and took a few snapshots to remember the special day by.

Afterwards we came back to the house and had a potluck type party. Aiden had so much fun he said he wanted to go back and do it again.

Also because of national adoption day being Saturday the nineteenth the newspaper decided to run a front page story and the family they chose to feature was ours!  Also the Watsonville Patch did an article about us too.  Here is the link to the Santa Cruz Sentinel if you want to check it out:

December 22, 2011

to do list

( and finish Christmas shopping... )

December 20, 2011

the annoying thing about having a really bad cold is it slows you down to the point where all you can do is lay around and think. but at the same time your brain is too foggy to think. it really is a pretty lame catch 22 if you ask me.

December 10, 2011


We chopped down a tree today!  Way too late for my taste, but we have been in and out of town like a fiddler’s elbow.  Christmas music, hot chocolate with marshmallows, candles and love made for a great day.

December 07, 2011

December 06, 2011

For Marjie

For Marjie. (She is always encouraging me in my writing)

- - -

Fiery red hair and sparks of wildness tamed into an ever gentle sweetness.  A quiet warrior - pain. heartache.  Things are good, things are great, things are not so great and there a smile remains upon her face.  Lips stretched across her teeth as if holding the world together, holding her family together.

The amount of lullabies that have passed through those lips, the amount of stories read, memorized.  Reciting without the need to glance down at the pages upon her lap.  Sparking children's imaginations, feeding their artistic souls.

Ever Nurturing.

Her glamourous, old hollywood beauty catches you off of your guard.  Timeless gorgeousness as a sunset. Grace and kindness with every bat of her eyelashes and with every giggle.  A little girl, a mother, a grandmother all wrapped up.  Eternal.

Legacy.  Children, like jewels, adorn the crown which is her glory.  Strength, honour, loyalty.


6 mushrooms

December 05, 2011

my pancreas hurts

or an ulcer?

November 13, 2011


- james jean

October 28, 2011

Shooting Friends

Two of my favourite things are:
1) Friends
2) Taking photos

Put them together and I am a happy girl.  That's what this is below ... a photo shoot I did of some very good friends of mine.  I have known Jalen since he was just a kid himself.  He is full of attitude, determination and bursting with personality.  Stacia is an awesome, responsible mom, and has a great sense of humor.  And little Harmony is so cuddly and is cute as a button.  I could snuggle with her all day.  I love them tons.

As I said earlier in the month, this October has been beautiful and warm here in Santa Cruz.  It was slightly nippy the day we took these but not bad for October, not bad at all.  I had so much fun shooting them, and they have asked me to take their wedding photos down in LA next summer.  I am already looking forward to it.










October 24, 2011


 This past summer after browsing the interweb, feeling full of crafty inspiration I came up with the idea that I was going to build a swing for my backyard.  I saw a photo of a regular chair with the legs sawed off that had been painted, hung and converted into a nice little swing.  I posted it to facebook stating my intentions to go build one of my very own.

Well that very same week I learned that my great grandma was about to pass away.  I put all plans on hold - and traveled with my mom and kids to Southern California to go visit GGGG (for short) one last time.  It was a really hard week emotionally.  We had a sucessful trip - made it down to Oceanside in time to give our goodbye hugs.

When I arrived back up in Santa Cruz I found this chair waiting for me at the back door and attached to it an absolutely perfect card from my dear friend Julie.  She had scored it from her bargain hunter landlady and very thoughtfully dropped it off for my craft project.

What a sweet surprise.  I immediately went to work. Seth let me use his power tools... but I didn't want him helping me - I wanted to build it on my own.

First I sawed off the legs. That part was fun.

Then came time for sanding. I did the large areas with an electric sander and the more intricate parts by hand.  I had to take a couple of trips to the hardware store to buy primer, paint, chain and a 2x4.

 . . .

I bought spray cans for both the primer and final coats of paint thinking that it would be easier that way, but if I could go back in time and do it over I would totally use a can and just brush it out. That way I could apply the paint thicker. The wood just soaked up the paint and so I had to apply way too many coats of both the primer and the final colour.

I finally settled on candy apple red. I painted the 2x4 portions to match and then screwed the chair onto the boards for a base, and for somewhere to hang the chain from.

I really love the way it turned out - HAHA 

Thank you again Julie. I love you friend.

October 20, 2011

skinny love

song of my week.  i love this version of this song.  on repeat.  and more repeat.

and this video makes me want to watch the newest jane eyre again.  i saw it at the cinema and watched it several times when it was at my house from netflix.  but i enjoyed it so much i think i am going to have to buy it.

love it.

now if only someone would create a decent movie of her sister's book wuthering heights.  i loved the book, but have yet to have seen a film that even comes close.

the brontë sisters are rad

October 12, 2011

note to self.

October 11, 2011


I did it! After eyeing people all summer cruising in and out of the harbor, and wanting to try it, it was finally my turn to stand up paddle board.

I love indian summers. I love the fact that it is sunny and warm even in October. When you expect cold and dreary and you get bright and warm... I don't know... just something about it.

My adventurous friend Mayra and I met up early Saturday morning, hit up Verve Coffee Roasters and then headed for the harbor.  Even though we were the last in the class to arrive, I raised my hand to go first.  I had been looking forward to this.

Well it was 'easy peasy lemon squeezy' as my son Levi likes to say.  Standing up and balancing came pretty natural.  My arms were tired after two hours of paddling, but I would expect that our first time.

Left to my own devices, I think I would have liked to sit down on the board and dangle my feet in the water.  We didn't really get wet at all.  Sometimes cold droplets would splash onto my toes as I rowed, and it felt good.  I tried once to sit ... Mayra joined ... but the teacher saw us and told us we were regressing, haha.  So back up on our feet it was.  One of the men in our class fell when we neared the opening of the harbor by the lighthouse.  A swell came and he lost his footing.  I was secretly, slightly jealous.  It looked so refreshing.  My pride is too great to fake fall though, even if it would have been nice to take a dip.  Plus I imagine the harbor water is not very clean.

Mayra and I shared lots of giggles and bantering.  She's great.  I think we both would like to do it again.
Not too much else is as relaxing to me as is the water.  It was a great way to end such an anxious, hard week. Good time with a good friend.

to those who stay put, 
the world is but an imaginary place. 
but to the movers, the makers,
and the shakers, 
the world is all around them, 
an endless invitation.

October 05, 2011

keep calm

every once in awhile the only thing that gets me through the day is a beer, a xanax, and listening to hymns.
all at the same time.

yes i know, i know.  that is not very typical.

not very much about me is.

October 03, 2011

More About Adoption

So I think it is about time I talk about adoption and Aiden a little more.

It has been 9 months now since he has been part of our family.  I forgot what I have told you thus far so I will just go over the basics of his story (and ours).

We are adopting him through the foster care system.  I have very good friends who have done international adoption which we considered also, but financially going through the foster care system seemed to make sense and work out best for us.  I have noticed at times the foster care system has a weird social stigma attached to it.  Maybe rightly so, maybe not.  Maybe the few horror stories that do make it into the news taint people's views on it.  I am not really sure.  A lot of it seems to be hearsay or fear based.  Misinformation is another thing I have noticed.  Passing on rumors about things that people are not really sure about is something the general population loves to do.  They just eat it up.  Maybe this is true of all types adoption.  I don't know.

Again I am just going off of my own experiences here, talking about my own observations.  Going into this process I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't the least bit scared.  In the classes that you take before you get licensed they prepare you for the worst.  You learn about drug exposure, neglect, mental illness, attachment issues and the list goes on.  Sometimes during the class (PRIDE class it is called in our county) you are left wondering if there is even a remote chance you will be able to adopt an even remotely 'normal' child.  My imagination runs wild and there were times I felt like we may end up fostering a 'vegetable' or an extremely special needs child our whole lives.  (Sorry if that is not politically correct or offensive - I can't think of a better word).  The PRIDE class is a necessary step though, and is needed to weed out people who think everything is going to be only roses and butterflies.  Life is rarely full of perfect circumstances and this is especially true of kids who have been removed from their home by child protective services.  After learning about every possible scenario of what could be wrong with a potential foster/adoptive child I was a teensy bit apprehensive and intimidated.

In my experience with the county I don't think things could have gone much smoother.  I realize this may not be true for every foster family - but for ours the process was relatively easy.  I am so glad we did not let the fear hold us back - as it seems to with so many able bodied people.  Foster care and adoption is not for everyone - but sometimes excuses people make for themselves are not really good excuses in my opinion.  There are children out there who need a loving home and you are going to let some rumor that your neighbour's, cousin's, sister had a bad foster care experience shape your views and give you an easy out to not have to consider adoption?  Sorry, I don't buy it.

To foster/adopt a child here in my county you don't need to be financially well off, own a house, be married, be a certain race, be straight or gay, or even be completely healthy.  What is needed is to be able to provide a safe, loving home.  To be over 18 and provide stability and care to a child who needs it.

Sequentially it has turned out to be a humongous blessing in our family.  I will have to talk about Aiden's more specific story on a different day.  While I am not saying everything went, or is going perfectly for us I want to share my side of things so hopefully more people will consider being a foster or adoptive parent. It has been yet another adventure that I believe is led by God.  Our finalization date is coming up on November 18th because of national adoption day.  I can't wait for that - and true to our style we are going to be partying!

October 01, 2011

September 30, 2011

fun with animals. and miniature plastic toys as well.

September is the nicest month as far as weather goes here in Santa Cruz.  And by nice I mean hot.  So even though I did this little project a few weeks ago when the sun was beating down I am just now getting around to putting up the photos.  Oh well.

You know those little plastic animals that kids get, but they never really seem to play with after they are first opened?  I don't know about you - but I have tons of those at my house.  (Not to mention green army guys, and legos)  Well I froze them.  I saw this idea somewhere and liked it because it is a free, easy, and possibly even educational way to entertain the kids on a super hot day.

They started out chipping away with butter knives, (I realize that is kind of dangerous - I was supervising closely) but then they figured out on their own that it may work better to pour water on it to make it melt faster.

I especially liked this project for my three year old Aiden, because he doesn't quite know the names of all of the animals yet so we got to work on learning those together. Also I liked tricking both the kids into being super excited about each individual animal that they didn't even care about before.  They were entertained by the block of animals stuck in ice probably a good half hour or more.  All the way until it was completely melted.

September 26, 2011

September 24, 2011


Yesterday I had an amazing doctor's appointment.  (Well about as amazing as a doctor's appointment can be.)

I blew a 102% on my PFT (fev1) !!!

I am almost two years post TX and finally, FINALLY broke 100.  I have been waiting for this day for basically my whole life.  The last time my lungs were at 100% capacity I was a child.
My lungs feel amazing still.  I am so thankful and blessed.  I wish I could have shared this news with my old CF team that had watched me struggle to breathe and helped me out so much over the years.  A big 'thank you' to them as well.

Lately I have been struggling a bit with anxiety.  I think a lot of it stems from not wanting to waste my life. It is hard for me to just relax.  I get worried that I am wasting this health, this energy level, this time.  With great power comes great responsibility or some rubbish such as that.
On one hand this can be a good thing.  It drives me to accomplish things.  Projects. Plans.
On the flip side it can be burdensome.  I feel anxious to an uncomfortable amount at times.  It is difficult for me to decipher how much of this anxiety, if any, is normal.  I am working on it.
To have the strong desire to live life to the fullest and to be out on adventures all the time, and then spend everyday doing the repetitive, constant house work can be frustrating.  One of my old roommates (who is a new mother) put it best when she said she feels like a machine on some days.  Not to say we don't adore our children, but I can certainly relate to that thought.

So trying to balance giving my kids the stability and routine that they need while trying to soak in new experiences is where I am at presently.  I only have so much time left - I want to squeeze everything in.

I want to live life to 100% capacity.

September 15, 2011


You have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw—but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported . . . All the things that have deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it—tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest—if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself—you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say 'Here at last is the thing I was made for.' We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want . . . which we shall still desire on our deathbeds . . . Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it—made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand. - C.S. Lewis

September 13, 2011

September 04, 2011



September 03, 2011

25 things

i posted this on facebook, but figure i may as well post it here also

1. hey look - i already gave one away: i have never done one of these.
2. to this day i am not completely certain what my first name is.
3. i was in the circus. not as a volunteer one time or anything - like i seriously was friends with circus people and i walked on tight ropes and such. weird, i know.
4. i have tattoos. i hope to get another within the next month.
5. growing up i owned (are you ready for this list?) dogs, birds, fish, frogs, snakes, tarantulas, iguanas, rats, hamsters, chickens, a pig, a peacock, and a peahen. ironically enough i am not really an animal person.
6. i have had a double lung transplant.
7. i ate a beignet for my first time on friday night.
8. i love the smell of wet concrete.
9. sometimes i feel like no one really knows me.
10. sometimes i feel very tall and then catch a glimpse of myself in a reflection and remember all over again that i am kind of short.
11. i am a foster mom - soon to be an adoptive mom. (and a biological mom also i should add)
12. nothing yucks me out more than the sound of cloth ripping or the sound of yarn against a metal crochet needle {{shiver}}
13. i can easily see myself as a drug addict. but i am not.
14. i enjoy watching music videos on youtube. (actually you probably all could have guessed that one)
15. i would rather drive a little bit longer on a different route than sit in traffic for the same amount of time.
16. i prefer driving stick.
17. as a child i attended a one room school house grade K-12 built in the 1800's because the road washed away to town. we went there a year. it was awesome.
18. ^ that same flood someone flew-in our neighbours groceries by helicopter.
19. i got to go to disneyworld through make-a-wish as a child. also very awesome.
20. jay leno called me a weevil.
21. i am a pastor's kid.
22. when i was 7 years old i was obsessed, OBSESSED with blues music.
23. my best friend is moving to antarctica in a month.
24. i really hate my face touched.
25. i love thrill rides, waterslides, and jumping up and down on rickety extension bridges with rapids underneath.

September 02, 2011

grade 1

here is a photo of a very reluctant 1st grader on the first day of school

by the end of the day he was okay with it.

August 30, 2011

mum·bo jum·bo


i often have a vivid imagination.  sometimes i tend to mix my dreams with reality.  but today and yesterday i have been processing.  sifting.  looking at cold, hard facts.  bringing myself back down to reality and trying to keep my sanity at the same time.  i am learning lessons - lessons i know i will probably forget again, and have to keep learning over and over.  learning that no matter how much you wish certain things to be true they are not.

i hate that one.

no matter how much you dream, dreaming with your eyes wide open, doesn't mean the things you wish will come to pass.  i am walking the tight rope between hope and reality.
dreaming has it's place.  it gets us through our days.  but now it is time to get my head out of the clouds, my toes are touching the earth, and reality has slapped me upside the head like of ton of bricks.
i am okay.  navigating through your own head and heart can be tricky.

August 25, 2011


So yesterday I was at my friend's house and we were setting up a blog for her upcoming adventures as she moves to Antarctica.  I happened to come upon my blog, and realized how long it's been since I have written.

Things are going really well heath wise.  Last time I checked my PFTs were mid nineties - still on the incline.  95% if I remember correctly.  I workout at a pace of a normal, fit person.  I have been really enjoying long boarding this year.  Next I want to take up (or at least try) stand up paddle boarding in the sea.

So yeah, just a quick update to let you know I am alive and kickin.  My life is not perfect, but I am doing well and my lungs are too.  Next time I check back I hope to say that I blew a 100% PFT.

Oh and heads up - you are definitely going want to check my friends blog in say oh about a month.  She is an amazing writer and person.  It's :

July 02, 2011

the mumlers

about a week and a half ago i finally got to see the mumlers play a show.  i like this band a ton and think you should too.

July 01, 2011

sierra nevadas

June 27, 2011

the thing is you won't.

story of my life.