To dream.

A dream so sweet, so real. You visit me often. It's like I know you and I haven't met you yet. I've memorized you. You don't exist. 

Yet, you do.

And then I awake this morning to this. Golden light saturating the shadows. It's the first thing I see as I rise and stick my toes in the carpet with sleep still in my hair and my senses. Consciousness comes in waves. I snap a photo. My mind then wakes up, too, ever so slightly behind my body and the dream comes back to me. Reintroduced with a tiny pull, an ache, and all that's left is wonder. And the cosmos sigh, Ah, yes. That dream was for a reason -- be patient my dear.


Defining joy.

You are ever so graceful and eloquent with your words, and I admire that.
You write of love, of calm, of adventure of fear, of excitement,
next, can you write of happiness? 

You know those tiny moments that seemingly arise out of nowhere, on the most average of days? Moments that make your heart swell and your eyes crinkle and then you can't seem to produce anything other than a smile? And then your so full of inspiration there's a shower of falling stars in your core? This little email was sitting in my inbox this evening and it threw me for a loop, but in the best way possible.  

Happiness is all sorts of wonderful things to me -- warm things, soft things, deep, light, loving, amusing, special things. It's imagination and grace. My darling fiance and how our lives together are just beginning. My sweet family and friends. Smelling the change in the air from summer to harvest. The layer of salt and sand you acquire after spending the day in the ocean. A fierce workout that makes you proud to be you. The vastness of nature and the universe we all reside in. It's feeling and thinking and library-laughs and loving so deeply. Happiness is so immeasurable. I may not directly write of it, but it is quite the merit in my life -- much of what I share in this space is happiness.  

And this? This from a dear reader, is happiness bursting from the seams. Thank you.

I absolutely love this stuff. Inspiration, creativity -- goodness, I wish everybody would write. I want to read about what makes you glad. That being said, I will share with you part of my response to her: 

If I ignite a flame in just one person's being, enough that they feel, 
smile, think, write, or, like you -- who perhaps engaged in 
all four -- took the time to reach out to me,
then I feel my job is complete.  


7 Years.

.7 .7 .7
I just adore the little traditions we have. August 15th marked 7 loving years together. We decided to recreate some of last year's celebration, which was oh so special. Last year, after filling our bellies with the best Italian food we've ever had, Daniel whisked me away to Snoqualmie Falls and asked me to be his bride in our lovely room at the lodge -- he was too nervous to propose at the waterfall! This year, we made reservations at the same restaurant and to our surprise, they sat us at the same table! I was over the moon about that and could not stop praising the cute little accordion player in the corner, the chandeliers, brick interior, bubbling spirits, and gorgeous food in front of us. Everything was perfect -- especially walking around, holding hands, in the warm evening with the summer sky boasting its paint-brushed clouds above us.

And how could I forget? We began another tradition last year where we indulge in a delicious anniversary waffle from a quaint breakfast spot in town. We create beautiful moments all the time, but to share ones far too special to occur more than once a year, feels so wonderful. This life with my soon-to-be husband -- there isn't anything more precious to me.

P.S. I am thrilled to announce we will be attending our first Sounders game in September with a jersey of my own! He really knows how to shower me with things I love. And I didn't do too shabby this year either -- he's so thrilled about his new red chucks!


A stigma.

I've been sitting on this post searching my mind for what to say. Robin Williams' death has brought forth something much deeper than a Hollywood tragedy. It's surfaced an issue that so many, so, so many people are silently dealing with. Silently because the stigma around mental health issues is so heavy that, instead of reaching out to feel comfort, people quietly suffer in fear. Fear of judgement and fear of failure. If you're sad or scared, tell somebody. There is no rule somewhere written in red ink forcing you to deal with it alone. Please tell somebody. 

Anxiety is something I've had to tackle my whole life and quite honestly, it doesn't just go away. There's never a magic wand -- how wonderful would that be? I have dug to the deepest depths of my being and created a life that minimizes it, but also honors it in that, if it appears, I have the tools and I know what to do. Oh it has taken years and years for me to realize feelings are just that. Feelings. Nothing more. They can be so strong and dark and frightening, but they won't last, no matter how tight a grip they keep you in. No matter how crippled you feel. If there's one tiny shred of hope it's that feelings and emotions are momentary -- fleeting. They only have as much power over you as you allow them to. They may seem fixed and robust, but you're infinitely stronger and resilience is such a real thing, I promise. I promise.

If you find yourself having a hard time, go on a walk. Watch a movie. Watch 4 movies and get lost in the story. Begin a new hobby and throw your beautiful soul into it and then shout it from the mountain tops. Clean. Practice mindful meditation. Read a book, exercise, eat ice cream, pet a dog, tell somebody! You. Will. Feel. Better. Being okay won't happen in an hour, over night, or perhaps even years. But slowly, you'll notice relief dancing around and before you know it, you'll find yourself dancing too. 


Calm life.

I like things just so. And too much, of anything really, causes heightened anxiety and an irritated self. Clutter sure knows how to grind my gears. Too many things, busy spaces, excess stuff, means sensory overload and I hurry off to grab a plastic trash bag and start loading things in, just out of pure annoyance. And perhaps it isn't just objects -- it's repetitive, loud noises and movements, I find especially bothersome. I suppose I prefer slow waves over choppy crests. But that's a story for another time.

So, of course, being the anxious lady I am, I Googled. Oh, I Googled until my eyes were full. Which is where I came across concepts of minimalism. I immediately let go of a couple breaths and felt calm just reading about the lifestyle. It sounded so airy, freeing, serene. Money and time saving. Reduces stress by the ten-fold.

My kind of living.

Daniel and I are in the process of getting our own place, and I find it to be the perfect time to change some routines. It's been a solid month of (trying) to be mindful with what I buy and taking some time to think about how a certain object will be used and especially where it will go. It isn't easy -- but I don't have a medium sized leather purse so I need it! A new Marc Jacobs perfume, yes! I don't have a floral maxi like that one! And on the other end of the spectrum -- everything is just so annoying, give everything away! Luckily, it has been a month since I have succumbed to any of these extremes. So I thought I'd share with you a few techniques I've been using to refrain from buying and purging all of the things. These were found from several articles online:
  • 5 minutes of clean // commit to one area in your home, set a stopwatch for 5 minutes and try to completely tidy it up. This weekend, I chose to go through my dresser and organize my clothes, putting aside items that haven't seen the light of day in ages. I managed to fill up an entire bag for the goodwill.
  • Just one of each // things seem more special when you only have one quality version of them -- one little black dress, one pearl necklace, one favorite blush, one pair of black flats, one leather purse, one jewelry box. I find this method the most challenging and I probably will never get down to only one of everything I own, but it is nice to do with timeless items that will soak in stories as they're used through the years.
  • The giveaway bag // I try to keep a single bag in the corner of my room. If something I don't want or use anymore catches my eye, in it goes. Once full, it's knotted and immediately taken to goodwill.
  • Being mindful // choosing to be consciously aware while shopping. Mindfulness in general is such a magical thing to practice in all facades of life and I will encourage it forever + ever.
  • Do something else // anything else besides shop! Sunbathe, read a good book, meditate, exercise, add to the giveaway bag, explore!

 What are your favorite ways to simplify and de-clutter?


A dress for mother's garden.

Hydrangeas, lavender, the perfect roses -- all find their lovely abode here. My parents take great pride in this space and we've recently had the opportunity to tend to it and explore. And of course, this is rarely done without my affinity to roam everywhere barefoot -- a lingering mannerism since I was a little girl. I always felt grounded, safe, as the terrain pushed up against my feet. I still do.
Oh, and I mustn't forget the thrifted blue floral dress for $6.99. (Fist pump).