Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lace Up

laceupI try to stay away from writing about tragedies, or politics, or most holidays. I don’t like to get into the must-post-about-everything mindset. But something about this one got to me a little more than normal. Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids in elementary school, I don’t go to the movies. My public transportation isn’t especially well-ridden, and, while my city recently experienced tragedy, I wasn’t here at the time to experience it with them.

But I grew up at races, I’ve run since I was 6, I spent more hours than I can count skipping around race courses, screaming and whooping and yelling. I know the exhilaration of the finish line, the excitement of a good race in the last stretch, the accomplishment of making it to the end. I know the peace and balance that running brings, and that for so many that peace is now shattered.

No one I knew very well was at the Marathon – I know of people who were there, and I know people who know people who were there – but people in my life run races all the time. My twitter feed is full of people training for the Flying Pig in a few weeks, my family is often planning their next race, my sister is racing next weekend, my husband ran a race a month ago.

I spoke with my sister this afternoon – the one who’s running next weekend – and verified that all of her friends made it through safely. One crossed the finish line 15 min before the blasts. She mentioned that for those that were there, the finish line will be a much more daunting task. That after running a race and leaving it all on the pavement, they will be faced with the fear of crossing the finish line.

This is not to say that the far too many tragedies that have happened recently were not terrible. You never know how one will affect you and this one in particular got me more than the others. It hit close to home, to something that I had previously considered safe.

So I lace up, because what else can one do when the world rocks than to keep putting one foot in front of the other.


February: Storytelling

I am a storyteller.

I suppose that’s part of why I started this blog, to share the stories of my life, of the things that happen to me, and of the interesting happenings that occur when you’re not paying attention. I tell stories all the time – to friends and family, in small talk, to co-workers and acquaintances. Essentially everything I say is a story; it’s a side effect of being an introvert, I think, that small talk does not come easily, so everything I say is part of a bigger story, or an experience I’ve had. But stories are hard, and take time to develop, and can’t be jotted down in a few spare minutes here and there. They are molded and shaped and whittled until they can be repeated and passed on and shared.

This past Christmas I found myself telling a story. I was frantically finishing the gifts for my nieces and nephews while the rest of the family played board games. Sewing and cutting and gluing at my own little table in the corner of the kitchen, here come two little heads, up from the back room where they were supposed to be “watching a movie or falling asleep.” My niece and nephew, three-year-old twins, certainly didn’t want to be left out of the merriment upstairs.

Now, I so throughly dislike surprises that the fact that the twins had effectively spoiled their Christmas surprise did not bother me in the least. But having three-year-old twins at a table with scissors and glue and needles and thread, that was a trick. So I told them a story.

Outdoor Chapel

A real story, one that has been passed down, that I learned as a child. A story from summer camp in the Adirondack mountains. When the mountain thunderstorms stymied our evening outdoor games, we would trek back to our cabins, gather pillows and stuffed animals and blankets, and hunker down on the chapel floor, fire crackling, as staff and counselors wove tales of “a long, long time ago” and “far, far away.”

Chapel at Night

I loved these stories, but more than that, I loved the story telling. That you could stand in front of a rapt audience of 10-year-olds, repeating tales that required nothing but your words, your actions, and their imagination. Especially now, in a landscape saturated with technology and media, to capture attention with the spoken word, to weave a tale, to spark the imagination – what a wonderful thing.

The story I told my niece and nephew was by far my favorite. It’s a story of the innocence of childhood, of treating things simply and not over-thinking. It is about a very large bubble that visits a kingdom and traps the king inside. All the knights in the kingdom can’t free the king, but the day is saved by a little child. It was told by the great storyteller Jay O’Callahan on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood many years ago. And though I never saw that episode, I’ve heard the story many times and it has stuck with me.


This little adventure reminded me how much I love storytelling. It reminded me about the power of the spoken tale, the beauty of imagining a story for yourself, and the immediacy of telling a story. The story is told once, then it drifts off into time, perhaps to be told again and again, but never again to be exactly the same.

So I started searching for other stories. I’m not sure I’m ready to craft my own, but perhaps I will add to my repertoire – so that the next time little not-sleepy heads pop over the side of my work table, I can take them to a new kingdom – one I haven’t told them about yet. And the stories can go on.

Most of the photos in this post are of the camp that is inextricably linked to stories in my mind. And the Christmas cacti were successful, despite their being revealed before their time.

Most of the photos in this post are of the camp that is inextricably linked to these stories in my mind. And the Christmas cacti were successful, despite their being revealed before their time.

Tagged , , ,

Today we go in search of fireworks.  Tomorrow I promise a blog post 🙂


Happy Independence Day

My true adversity to adventure

I love to talk about adventure, to dream about all the things I will do one day.  I have a huge list of places I want to go and things I want to see.  It’s right next to the list of furniture I will buy for my home one day, and the book of cute outfits I’ll wear to my fantastic architecture job.  I plan, research, make lists.  Sometimes I even convince my husband that he should, absolutely, apply for that job that just happened to be posted that he has wanted for so long.

“What if I get it?” he asked.

“Then we’ll go,” I replied, just like that.  Like it was no big deal.  Like I always planned moves across the country on free weekends.  Which was kind of true.

Then he got the call back, the interview, the offer.  “It will work out!” I said confidently.  And we started making plans.

I’ve always been a dreamer and a planner.  And then a doer, because I tend to get myself way too far in to get out.  Which is kind of the point.

Like the time we went to a friend’s cabin and found a rope swing out onto the river.  It was a scary-looking thing, with rickety 2x4s nailed not-very-securely to the trunk of a tree, and a little path through the trees that this rope swing was supposed to swing through.  When you got to the water, you had to let go.  If you held on, you would be smashed right into a tower of rocks at the edge of the water.

Ladder to the Rope Swing

Ladder to the Rope Swing

I wasn’t scared when I was giving others crap for not wanting to do it.  “Are you going to?” they asked.  “Of course,” I answered.  And I was.  Until it was my turn, and then I was terrified.  And really didn’t want to.  But I knew it was going to be fine, and even though I was scared, I did it anyway.


Flying through the Air

And it was fine.  And fun.  And it hurt when I hit the water.

There are so many other stories like that.  Most that no one would ever even expect.  And moving to Arizona was just like it.  I was 100% gung-ho on-board until 2 weeks before we left for our house-hunting trip.  I couldn’t wait to quit my job and move across the country chasing our dreams.  I researched Tucson, I googled everything I could think of, I started looking at houses.  Until I realized, umm, yeah, we were going to get on that plane and ACTUALLY move across the country.

I knew it would be fine, just like I had been telling Nate every time he seemed concerned or unsure.  “We’ll be fine.” “We’ll figure it out!”  “It will be an adventure!  I love adventures!”

I don’t know if you can call it bravery – purposly getting yourself in too deep so you can’t back out before you lose your nerve.  But it’s worked for me before, and I’m sure it will work again.  We’re here now, and yes, it’s fine.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

My NPR Valentine to You!

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that I celebrate in the kid-sphere.  I didn’t send any out this year, but I usually send Valentines to my friends and family.  I’d been working my way through a 32-pack of Strawberry Shortcake valentines, which took me several years.

Nate and I have never been big on celebrations and holidays of any kind.  It is our half-anniversary, though, which is fun to remember.  Nate is convinced that I planned it that way, but I didn’t notice until right before our wedding.  It’s just a happy coincidence!

PS: There are plenty more awesome NPR Valentines where that came from!

Monday comes so quickly

I didn’t get a single thing off my ever-growing to-do list accomplished this weekend.  I had high hopes of making curtains for our house, writing blog posts (ahem), and unpacking a box or two.  Instead I spent most of Saturday actively procrastinating, then hurried around on Sunday to get laundry and shopping done before (or perhaps during) the Super Bowl.  

But that didn’t stop this from being a highly productive Monday!  After some hard work last week, I got my tardiness down from 9 minutes last Monday to 2 minutes on Friday.  And this morning, not only was I only 3 minutes late for work, I also managed to pack my lunch (which I had made Sunday night, but hadn’t packed up yet) and throw (literally) dinner in the crock pot.  Success!  Then, when I got home, I went for a run!  What?  Who does that?  

Now, the running part will probably not become part of my daily routine for a while (it’s not on the resolution docket until April).  But I’m glad that with a little extra effort, I am chipping away at my tardiness.  

Tagged ,

Being Supermodels

LADIES!  While I am all for eating right, exercising, and losing some weight, let’s be realistic, OK?

I love Photoshop and use it on a daily basis.  It’s a super powerful tool – and don’t you forget it.

Tagged , ,

My new favorite time wasting strategy

Oh thank you Apple for all the wonders you create. They always find a way to get you to think the NEWEST iPhone is way better than the last one!

via: swissmiss.

Tagged , ,

Blogroll Part 2

My Blogroll has two parts – my personal opposites.  The first half of my blogroll is smart and inspiring women – the women who remind me why I’m glad to be part of their sisterhood and who encourage me when I’m down.  The second half of my blogroll could probably be titled the nerdroll.  These are also the blogs that Nate will read or listen to when I have something interesting to share.  I go to these blogs to learn interesting things, to find out what other minds think about the state of the world – news, science, design, poverty, medicine, politics.

TED Talks and TED blog: TED (Technology|Entertainment|Design) is a collection of talks by incredibly interesting people.  I pull from TED talks all the time and I have learned a lot across a wide variety of topics.  Nate even likes this one!

DesignVerb! is quite possibly the very first blog I started following.  It is a design blog that highlights mostly random and interesting semi-design-related things.

Brain Pickings is an eclectic sample of culture curated by Maria Popova, StudioMate of Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swiss Miss).  Always teaching me something new, Brain Pickings likes books, posters, old documentary footage, and typography.  At least that’s what I’ve gathered so far.

Flowing Data: Probably the newest addition to my blogroll, Flowing Data presents the many ways data can be presented interestingly and usefully, so that mundane numbers spring to life and begin to show trends and anomalies.  Oh, and the images are gorgeous.  To a nerd like me, of course.


to Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

You pushed along technology, made us yearn for things we didn’t know we needed, simultaneously simplified and complicated our lives, and showed us innovation beyond what we could imagine.  If we all had a tenth of your drive, your imagination, your innovators spirit, imagine what great things we could accomplish.