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