Thursday, January 19, 2012

the head and the heart

The voice in my head says I can’t take the kids to the park right now. The house is a disaster!
The voice in my heart says it’s gorgeous outside. Let’s go laugh ourselves silly while we roll down a hill.

The voice in my head says if I give that homeless woman money, she’ll probably just use it for drugs.
The voice in my heart says how do you know? It’s not your job to decide that. Show grace to others as it’s been freely shown to you.

The voice in my head says I’m too busy to make dinner for that family at school whose toddler is in the final stages of cancer.
The voice in my heart says drop everything. How would I want friends, family and even strangers to treat me if my child was sick?

The voice in my head says wow, it’s really annoying how everyone in this family leaves dirty socks everywhere.
The voice in my heart says (yep, ditto, still annoying.)

The voice in my head says my life is too stressful. I have to go to work, pick up the kids, make lunches, help with homework, cook dinner, go grocery shopping, give the kids their baths, clean up the messes everywhere.
The voice in my heart says open your eyes, woman! Look at everything you have and be thankful.


Although I only float into this space a couple of times a year, I still envision this as a place to put things I don’t want to forget. This post has been brewing in my head for quite a while now, and I wanted to finally write it down here to keep me accountable to listen to my heart, because it’s telling me important things every day.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

the shape of you

I hear three-year old feet padding softly toward my bedside. I try to ignore them, it’s too early for her to be up, and I think ahead to how much coffee I’ll need to get through the morning. I sigh, but she climbs over my somnolent form anyway and settles herself as close to me as she can. Her little body is turned toward me; my eyes are closed, but I hear the soft rhythmic popping sound that means she is sucking her thumb. She takes one warm hand out from beneath the covers, and rests it gently on my arm. After a minute or two, she starts rubbing my arm softly and then I hear her quietly whisper “Mommy. I like the shape of you.”

I smile, and snuggle her closer, and blue eyes meet across mere inches of pillow. I look at her with her soft blond hair splayed out, and think to myself no, I don’t want to be awake now, but yes, if I have to wake up then this is the way to go.

I like the shape of you too, little girl. Indeed I do.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where I'm From

I saw this on Ali's site, and loved it so much that I actually decided to do it myself. Did you even remember that I have a blog? Yeah, me neither.


I am from pink bikes with flowered banana seats, rotating sprinklers, Swensen’s ice cream and bookstores.

I am from hand-me down clothes and beach camping and shave ice and the feel of black vinyl seats on your legs in the summertime.

From climbing the carrotwood tree, watching the bees buzz through bottlebrush and the smell of star jasmine at night.

I am from eating olives off your fingers at Thanksgiving and laughing with you, never at you; from Moyers and Carys and Thoms and Juanitas and Nellies; from long car rides in various station wagons to Julian and Borrego Springs and Yosemite.

I am from repeated jokes and silly puns and friends who are like family.

From don’t forget to write thank-you notes, wear lipstick and sunscreen, you can have more than one friend at a time, and always honor your commitments even when you get a better offer.

I am from God’s love and mercy, forgiveness without judgment and the belief that people are always redeemable.

I'm from San Diego and Missouri and Illinois, from BLTs with homegrown tomatoes and homemade apple butter and pie crust and coffee cake.

From getting stitches caused by awkward tap dancing, chocolate doughnuts and chocolate milk, from watching the racehorses and going to the fair and laughing ourselves to sleep and sisters always telling what we got each other for Christmas. I am from Dad driving an hour and a half to get the hardware needed to hang up a lamp in my very first dorm room.

I am from family photos with bad hair, huge boxes of Grandma’s costume jewelry, notes on napkins that say "I love you," and learning that it’s okay if you fail but that showing up is often the most important thing.


In her post, Ali points to this great template, in case you want to do one of your very own. And you should!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I can't believe I'm posting this

How do you remove peanut butter from a knife? Up to this point, my methods have included the following:

1) Use a paper towel to wipe off the knife. Then, place knife in dishwasher.
Pros: Effective
Cons: wasteful, not earth-friendly, multi-step process

2) Rinse knife and gum up dish brush with leftover peanut butter.
Pros: Knife ultimately gets clean.
Cons: Dish brush is gummed up with leftover peanut butter. Duh.

3) Leave knife in sink for two days and hope that the peanut butter somehow sloughs off on its own.
Pros: little to no effort
Cons: Many. Chiefly the fact that the knife never gets clean.

I lamented on Twitter this morning that there is no good way to do this. Right away I got back multiple responses identifying the simplest, most effective method.


Hello. Why did I never think of that? Believe it or not, I have a college degree and everything.

Now I need to know... am I the only moron who hadn't thought of that? Please, make me feel better.

In other news, you guys, I saw Harry Potter last night! I LOVED IT. I was surprised by how funny it was. Not to mention sad. I may or may not have shed a few tears. Now, I'm considering reading book 6 again just to remember all the detail that the movie left out. Book nerd alert!

Monday, July 20, 2009


This weekend was one of those where we packed a week's worth of activity into two days. It was also a weekend where we barely turned on the TV, we used up a whole bottle of sunscreen and truly wore ourselves out.

Because focusing on activities that Exhaust the Children pretty much sums up my parenting philosophy.

On Saturday, we did this by going to a birthday party, the pool and then renting a boat on the bay. This is highly recommended! There were chips, guacamole, pizza... and most importantly, wine. Also, there were small children wearing tiny life jackets.
Cutest ever! But why must they make these ridiculous faces when asked to smile?

And here is our fearless skipper, who is only lacking a hat to make the ensemble complete.

Pardon the horrific picture quality. Despite multiple reminders, we were somehow unable to remember to bring our actual camera, so the iPhone had to suffice. At least we remembered the vino.

Priorities, people.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

late adopter

Wow. Y'all sure did have my back on the chopstick usage! I had always thought that Awkward Chopsticks™ was a rare and lonely affliction. Evidently it is more common than I ever imagined. It knows neither age nor geographic restrictions! Be strong, my friends. You are in good company.

Anyway, have you seen the new Harry Potter movie yet? I can't wait to see it. However, that may not happen soon. It's hilarious how late to everything I constantly am. For example, I read the Harry Potter series a couple of months ago, I'm currently reading Lord of the Rings and I just signed up for a Flickr account two weeks ago. Also? The car I drive now is the only one I've ever had with power steering. True story! I like to make sure things are proven before I jump in with both feet.

Or something.

I'm sure I won't be seeing the movie until I can get it from Netflix, since my children (as charming as they are) are a real bottleneck when it comes to seeing movies in theaters.

But regardless, I don’t remember ever being as engaged in a series as I was with Harry Potter. I loved how the plot grew as the characters matured, I found the storylines compelling and Severus Snape was one of my favorite characters in recent fiction. So complex and intriguing.

So if you’ve seen Half-Blood Prince, give me your two cents! That might just be enough to motivate me to see it with the rest of America… rather than two years later like I usually do.

Monday, July 13, 2009

is this thing on?

Hey, remember me? It’s great to see you. Your hair looks good.

Speaking of hair, did you hear that I was on Rachael Ray late last week with the lovely Whoorl as part of the show’s feature on Hair Thursday? Yeah, it’s true! The filming happened well over a year ago and just aired on Friday. The experience was so much fun, except for one teeny-tiny part.

Let me give you a quick overview of how it all went down. First, Rachael interviewed Sarah on stage. Did you see how articulate and glamorous Sarah was? She’s a stunner, that one. Then, Rachael talked to me from the audience to ask why I participated in Hair Thursday. After that part, I was whisked away into the hair and makeup room to get my hair cut and colored by the awesome Rodney Cutler and his team. Seriously, there could not be a nicer and more talented guy than Rodney. He was amazing.

After my hair was all done and styled, they brought me back out on stage toward the end of the show for the big reveal. Which is where I somewhat mortifyingly flipped my hair and Rachael made me do a little twirl. I’m not usually much of a center-of-attention type, I’ve gotta tell ya. But the studio audience was fun because they clap a lot. Applause! It’s encouraging! Who knew.

All was going well until Rachael had me sit down at the table in front of a big plate of sweet and sour pork that she had made on the show that day. It looked and smelled delicious, but when I saw that the only available utensils were chopsticks, I panicked.

Hello, my name is Rebecca and I SUCK AT EATING WITH CHOPSTICKS.

I always have, and I probably always will, since I’m 35 years old and old dog, new tricks, yadda yadda yadda.

Somehow I successfully manage to transport a couple of bites to my mouth without incident. And it was DELICIOUS, I tell you. So thanks Rachael. THANKS FOR NOTHING.

Because I spent the next year-plus stressing over the fact that my Awkward Chopsticks™ were going to be exposed to America on national television.

The bottom line is that no, they weren’t. My Awkward Chopsticks were masterfully edited out, but now I’m telling you, because... I don’t know why. I’m all about laughing at myself, I guess. And if ever there was an opportunity, this was it.

If you didn’t catch it, visit Rachael’s site for a clip of the reveal. You can see my embarrassing hair flip, but mercifully my chopstick-handling skills are minimized for your viewing pleasure.