45 Words for Grace

I found it in my thirties,
Bridging acceptance and joy,
In the quiet place some call balance.
It came when I discovered

The beauty in longing,
And in a moment of stillness--
my pack asleep around me--
It crept in and love came crashing through.


Certain Things

We heat our home with wood, so wintertime sees us spending most of our house-hours in the room with the wood stove.

A squat, broad thing with a glass front door, it looks like a little fire-bellied Buddha, spreading enlightenment in the form of warmth.

And we flock to it--after skiing or shoveling the driveway, after work, after showers when we're dripping and wrapped in towels and hopping from foot to foot. We soak in the heat and the light of it, warming our skin and our blood and our bones, and slowly, eventually, feeling human again.

There are certain things that always make me happy, that make me smile from the inside out; sitting by a fire in our stove is one such thing.

We all have them--these little sources of unconditional joy--but they're so different from one person to the next..my own husband would surely die of boredom in my own perfectly constructed Happyland. Although, I suppose he'd like the puppies.

Sitting here with a sleepy dog at my feet, the fire-bellied Buddha warm, the storm gathering and growing outside (the newspaper actually warned against "Thundersnow"), I'm grateful for everything around me, and:

String Lights

Vanilla Frosting



Fabric Bunting and Garlands


In the Name of Authenticity

All day, I've been thinking about authenticity. Rather than fitting into a role, I've been trying to let my freak flag fly lately -- loving what I love out loud and without apology, finding comfort in my own skin.

Then me friend sent me a link to a TED Talk -- the author of one of my favorite blogs, 1000 Awesome Things, telling his story and sharing the three As of Awesome: Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity.

We all haves truths we seldom share--they're embarrassing, they don't fit the role were working so hard to manifest. Sometimes it gets exhausting, though, trying to live up to a hologram. Sometimes it's better to be authentic, even if it means that everyone will know #28.

1. I don't like sushi.
2. I love Myley Cyrus's "Party in the USA."
3. I prefer resort skiing to backcountry skiing.
4. I love my dogs more than I love most people.
5. Certain poems always make me happy.
6. Others always break my heart.
7. I love watching sports.
8. I also love playing sports.
9. I hate how sweaty I get when I work out.
10. I'm proud to be from Pittsburgh.
11. I prefer being at home to going out.
12. If I never go back to Yosemite, that's ok.
13. Most of the time I want to be at home in Pennsylvania.
14. Taking care of Arnie taught me how to take care of myself.
15. Passing the Therapy Dog test with Arnie was the proudest I've ever been.
16. I know I don't use my full potential most of the time.
17. I work every day to change that.
18. I prefer beer to wine.
19. I've wanted to lose weight for as long as I can remember.
20. I sometimes wonder if I should have gone to New York instead of Colorado.
21. I always crack up at silly physical comedy.
22. I can watch the same funny SNL skits 200 times and still laugh.
23. I can not bear to see people or animals in pain.
24. I don't understand the allure of watching violence in films.
25. I have no time for people who willingly bear witness to violence.
26. I'll never forgive Michael Vick
27. I don't think he deserved a second chance.
28. I'd far rather meet Andy Samberg than Barack Obama.
29. I know that last one makes me sound like a tool, but it's true.
30. I worry about my family.
31. I hate living so far away from them.
32. Sometimes I resent my husband's attachment to this area.
33. But I totally understand it.
34. I wish we had cable so I could watch football and hockey.
35. I fear that television would highlight the major differences b/w B and me.
35. I sometimes worry that our passions are too different.
36. But then I question what my passions really are, and can't always answer.
37. Someday, I want to be in charge of something.
38. The Park City scene annoys me.
39. But its mountain biking is still my favorite in the world.
40. Little makes me as giddy and happy as mountain biking.
41. First-cup-of-coffee is my favorite time of the day.
42. Arnie makes me feel happy all the time, without fail.
43. I sometimes worry that I won't be able to deal with his death.
44. I'm mortified to remember certain parts of my life.
45. I'm super proud of others.
46. I know I'm too selfish.
47. That'll do for now.