the lovely list + a giveaway!

I'm featured on The Lovely List today!

Some of my very favorite bloggers have already been featured, so to have my small blog included among them was an unexpected and happy surprise.

For those of you stopping by from The Lovely List - hello! A few things about me: I started this blog about a year ago, not long after I discovered I was pregnant with my first child. I write because it helps me process change; admittedly, I don't roll with the punches very well. Okay, FINE. I'm sort of high strung. When my son was born, I quit my job in communications and event planning and began life as a stay-at-home mother. It's been strange and wonderful and not anything like I expected, for better and worse. I enjoy taking pictures, but I'm nowhere near as good as my photographer-husband, whom I adore and whose photos I feature here occasionally.

To celebrate my love for the blogging world and all of the lovely ladies out there, I've decided to do a little giveaway of something that every woman should have: a classic moleskine notebook.

Use it for notes, use it as a journal, or use it to keep your grocery list. In any form, writing is always a lovely pursuit.

Leave a comment with one thing that makes your life lovely today. Comments close on Monday, August 31 at 8 p.m. PST. I'll randomly choose and announce the winner on Tuesday!

be light


It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.
-G.K. Chesterton

I've loved this quote for many years. It must be my melancholy temperament that draws me to it, I tend to be (to my great consternation) a glass half-empty type of person. I have to consciously decide to think positively and be optimistic.

At different times in my life it has meant different things -- and that's why I keep it near. It captures my inner struggle in a way that resonates.

Mad at my husband? It's hard to forgive.
Too many commitments? It's hard to say no.
Gained a few pounds? It's hard to be disciplined and go to the gym.

(Really hard. Really, REALLY hard. I hate the gym.)

Partly by necessity and partly by choice, the major theme I am working toward in my life right now is simplicity. We're a growing family, crammed into every nook and crevice of this small apartment. We're a single-income family, watching our pennies during the worst economic recession in recent history. We're a fledgling business, working on weekends to make a small dream become reality. There is simply no room for extras, financially or otherwise, and occasionally - it does feel overwhelming.

But when I re-read this quote tonight, I decided to think "light:"

We're crammed, but we're cozy. We are where we are by choice. I'm glad I even had a choice. We're watching pennies, but only because we've financially prepared for this. Watching pennies allows me the privilege to stay home with Isaac. Given a choice, I wouldn't trade it for an extra paycheck. We're working hard for what seems like little reward, but it is immensely fulfilling in a different way. Being able to build something together with my husband is truly exciting.

It isn't enough to just be positive and have an optimistic outlook. I think the lightest hearts are the ones that actively seek contentment and gratitude.

[Photo by my super-talented husband, taken April 2006]


Remember my winged tenants from a few months ago?

Not long after I wrote about them, the three tiny blue eggs hatched! I heard the chorus of chirping and knew that the babies had made their entrance. I was excited, but quite nervous for their well-being in the nest, because I knew that many unfortunate things could happen between hatching and the time they were ready to leave.

I was so nervous, in fact, that once they were born I refused to set foot on my patio, not even to water my flowers and plants, because I didn't want to disturb or agitate the parent birds.

The babies thrived. My flowers and plants, on the other hand, did not.

After a few weeks, I started to notice that two of the birds had begun to fly. The third bird would just hang around the nest while his brothers were off exploring.

I think he liked the peace and quiet.


Doesn't he look majestic?

Just a few days after I took that picture, the entire family packed up and left the nest. I'm convinced that they hustled away in the middle of the night so that I wouldn't make a scene.

I'm telling you this happy bird birth story (hatch story?) because soon I'll be posting Part 1 of Isaac's birth story and I wanted you to have a happy memory since Isaac's story is decidedly more... graphic? toe-curling? bloody? cringe-inducing?

Just kidding. It's not really going to be that kind of story. But, if human birth freaks you out (particularly unmedicated, natural birth), then feel free to refer back to this post and simply imagine that Isaac hatched himself painlessly out of a little blue egg.

Come to think of it, that would be pretty darn cute.

There is an epilogue, of sorts, to the bird story. It'll be awhile before I post it, but just keep it in mind.