{a list}: yep.

It's a list kind of day:

  • Favorite snack: dark chocolate chips and raw almonds.  Or just raw almonds...they've been my life saver!
  • There are so many life lessons to learn from Finding Nemo.  It's Paisley's favorite-she asks multiple times a day if we can watch it.  I try to keep it down to only a couple of times a week, but it is her FAVORITE.  
  • I downed a double double from In-n-Out yesterday and it was satisfying.  I just haven't yet really gotten back my appetite so any day that I'm good and hungry and I get to fulfill that is always wonderful.  Unfortunately, I'm finally having more days like that where I want food, just as I'm starting to run out of room... 
  • Paisley is doing amazing at potty training!!  Even when we go out she's been telling me she needs to go!  So exciting!  I'm just worried that she's going to regress when this baby gets here... :(
  • Jon just traded his truck for a ridiculous pink geo metro.  He's so excited.  It gets very good mph and he'll be commuting soon so it's a good thing.
  • I'm finally starting to get some projects done.  Pictures will follow...
  • Pregnancy brain has been really bad lately and I almost have to go to sleep in front of the tv just to turn it off.  I pop awake worried and desperate to get things done WAY too early in the morning, just to wear myself out long before lunch... Ooohhh and I have been GRUMPY.  I don't remember being this sore and achy and grumpy at this point with Paisley, but maybe I was.  I feel bad for my poor husband.
  • I planted some basil and thyme and they are going to stay ALIVE.  It's going to happen this year-normally I kill them off pretty quick but this year will be different!
  • Did anyone else ever have panic attacks in pregnancy?  I had one the other night (I got out of breath reading aloud and couldn't catch my breath back) which sounds so silly but I really had to fight not to totally freak out.  I'm carrying pretty high so she's squishing my lungs but wow...I've been doing zumba and haven't ever had that happen...
  • And some of the best news ever...they're making an Anchorman 2!!!


{adventures}: california

Awwww...California.  I miss you so much already.  We've decided that this is absolutely, 100% an annual trip we will be taking for the rest of our lives.  Seriously.  It was wonderful.  We covered a lot of ground this year too-yet still managed to relax and sleep quite a bit.  We missed our sweet Paisley...but ohhhhh it was so nice for the break!!  I didn't actually get out my camera until the last day, so a good portion of these are cell phone pics, but I think it still covers most of the trip!
Oh, the beach.  My favorite.  I love the ocean-the smell, the taste, the feel, the sound...all of it!!
 We spend our entire first day at the beach.  They had a farmers market and I bought some yummy homemade soap, soy candles and blood oranges!!  Delicious!  That night we went to Orochan Ramen (featured on Man V. Food) and had some of the best noodle soup ever.  It was sooo good.  And for the crazies in our group, super spicy. (Jon and I stuck with mild)

The next day we went out for breakfast at this awesome diner and stuffed ourselves with food.  After that, we slept.  Lame, I know but it was so nice to nap during the day!!
That night we ventured out for some shopping and met Jack Skellington at a sweet comic book shop!
 And somehow we ended up on Hollywood Blvd....after an amazing dinner at Phillipe's.  Most amazing French dip, coleslaw, potato salad and cherry pie EVER.  And yes, this trip was about food.
 Sunday we got up and headed to the Crystal Cathedral.  It's undergoing some changes and there were news crews and such there..I guess it's being bought by the catholic church?  We met Moses too...

The inside...it was massive!
 Then we headed to Chinatown-nothing to see at night but crazy busy during the day!  I love that this pic captures some of the confusion...we were all over the place trying to find each other and see everything...

 I met buddha.  He was cool.
 We stopped and looked at this Chinese Temple...I wish we would have had a guide or someone to explain what everything was for-it was really cool to see everyone lighting the incense and presenting offerings...we just didn't really know what things were for or why...

 The ball in his mouth totally moves...
And lastly, the best fish tacos you will ever have...ever.  Their Campachana is to die for as well and my personal favorite when we go to Via Mar.  It is this tiny little stand we found last year and I'm so glad we found it again so we could go back!  Their food is some of the best mexican I've ever had!  We also made the traditional stop at Galco's and stocked up on vintage soda-we're just now finishing off what we got!
Overall the trip was a wonderful getaway and I'm so glad we got to go!  So many adventures...so many jokes-it was such good times ;)


{my nightstand}: some good reading


If you're thinking about having a baby or pregnant, these are some great books to read.  I'm just starting Active Birth and so far I'm loving it.  The Birth Partner is actually for Jon.  It is all about how to assist and support a woman in labor-an excellent resource for helping husbands know what to expect.  It comes with a lot of homework and suggestions for different positions, massages and other goodness that will help labor progress because of support from the husband.  I think I actually prefer their philosophies to those a of the Bradley Method (it's all really similar, really-these guys just have a better attitude towards the hospital setting).  I think the information is invaluable because when it comes down to it, I really want Jon to be my biggest support during labor and the more prepared he can be, the better!
My favorite so far, however, is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.  I love her!  She is this incredible midwife that began her work on The Farm-originally a hippie style commune and now an organic farm and birthing center in Tennessee.  She's just really down to earth and natural when it comes to women in labor and I love all of her ideas and philosophies when it comes to birthing.  She recognizes the pain of labor and addresses over and over again things that can be done to work through it!  What's extra nice is while she does attend mostly home or birthing center births-she has sent women to the surrounding hospitals and they have the utmost respect for her and she for them.  I also LOVE that she has real statistics based on her work on the Farm (most birthing centers throw out anyone they had to transport or refer and she keeps them) and their statistics are excellent-which is amazing and super encouraging.
My frustration with many of the books I've read is their continual disdain for the hospital setting-I'm a firm believer that when it comes to birth you can have your cake and eat it too-meaning that I've seen our hospital in action and they really can be so respectful of whatever what you'd like to do in labor.  I realize that it wasn't that long ago that it wasn't that way but today I feel like we are so blessed as women to have options-if we just know to ask for them.  And that's why I'm reading libraries full of books-I love being informed and I would absolutely encourage all women of the child-bearing age to do the same!


{marriage}: is for losers

I love this article and I feel like it's definitely worth sharing. Take time to read it-I know it's the truth!

Marriage Is For Losers

You can be right, or you can be married; take your pick. I can’t remember who told me that, but I do remember that they were only half-joking. The other half, the serious half, is exceedingly important. This is why.

Many therapists aren’t crazy about doing marital therapy. It’s complicated and messy, and it often feels out of control. In the worst case scenario, the therapist has front row seats to a regularly-scheduled prize fight. But I love to do marital therapy. Why? Maybe I enjoy the work because I keep one simple principle in mind: if marriage is going to work, it needs to become a contest to see which spouse is going to lose the most, and it needs to be a race that goes down to the wire.
When it comes to winning and losing, I think there are three kinds of marriages. In the first kind of marriage, both spouses are competing to win, and it’s a duel to the death. Husbands and wives are armed with a vast arsenal, ranging from fists, to words, to silence. These are the marriages that destroy. Spouses destroy each other, and, in the process, they destroy the peace of their children. In fact, the destruction is so complete that research tells us it is better for children to have divorced parents than warring parents. These marriages account for most of the fifty percent of marriages that fail, and then some. The second kind of marriage is ripe with winning and losing, but the roles are set, and the loser is always the same spouse. These are the truly abusive marriages, the ones in which one spouse dominates, the other submits, and in the process, both husband and wife are stripped of their dignity. These are the marriages of addicts and enablers, tyrants and slaves, and they may be the saddest marriages of all.

But there is a third kind of marriage. The third kind of marriage is not perfect, not even close. But a decision has been made, and two people have decided to love each other to the limit, and to sacrifice the most important thing of all—themselves. In these marriages, losing becomes a way of life, a competition to see who can listen to, care for, serve, forgive, and accept the other the most. The marriage becomes a competition to see who can change in ways that are most healing to the other, to see who can give of themselves in ways that most increase the dignity and strength of the other. These marriages form people who can be small and humble and merciful and loving and peaceful.

And they are revolutionary, in the purest sense of the word.
Because we live in a culture in which losing is the enemy (except in Chicago, where Cubs fans have made it a way of life). We wake up to news stories about domestic disputes gone wrong. Really wrong. We go to workplaces where everyone is battling for the boss’s favor and the next promotion, or we stay at home where the battle for the Legos is just as fierce. Nightly, we watch the talking heads on the cable news networks, trying to win the battle of ideas, although sometimes they seem quite willing to settle for winning the battle of decibels. We fight to have the best stuff, in the best name brands, and when we finally look at each other at the end of the day, we fight, because we are trained to do nothing else. And, usually, we have been trained well. In the worst of cases, we grew up fighting for our very survival, both physically and emotionally. But even in the best of situations, we found ourselves trying to win the competition for our parents’ attention and approval, for our peers’ acceptance, and for the validating stamp of a world with one message: win. And, so, cultivating a marriage in which losing is the mutual norm becomes a radically counter-cultural act. To sit in the marital therapy room is to foment a rebellion.

What do the rebellious marriages look like? Lately, when my blood is bubbling, when I just know I’ve been misunderstood and neglected, and I’m ready to do just about anything to convince and win what I deserve, I try to remember a phone call we recently received from my son’s second grade teacher. She called us one day after school to tell us there had been an incident in gym class. After a fierce athletic competition, in which the prize was the privilege to leave the gym first, my son’s team had lost. The losers were standing by, grumbling and complaining about second-grade-versions of injustice, as the victors filed past. And that’s when my son started to clap. He clapped for the winners as they passed, with a big dopey grin on his face and a smile stretched from one ear of his heart to the other. His startled gym teacher quickly exhorted the rest of his team to follow suit. So, a bunch of second grade losers staged a rebellion, giving a rousing ovation for their victorious peers, and in doing so, embraced the fullness of what it can mean to be a loser. When I’m seething, I try to remember the heart of a boy, a heart that can lose graciously and reach out in affection to the victors.

In marriage, losing is letting go of the need to fix everything for your partner, listening to their darkest parts with a heart ache rather than a solution. It’s being even more present in the painful moments than in the good times. It’s finding ways to be humble and open, even when everything in you says that you’re right and they are wrong. It’s doing what is right and good for your spouse, even when big things need to be sacrificed, like a job, or a relationship, or an ego. It is forgiveness, quickly and voluntarily. It is eliminating anything from your life, even the things you love, if they are keeping you from attending, caring, and serving. It is seeking peace by accepting the healthy but crazy-making things about your partner because, you remember, those were the things you fell in love with in the first place. It is knowing that your spouse will never fully understand you, will never truly love you unconditionally—because they are a broken creature, too—and loving them to the end anyway.

Maybe marriage, when it’s lived by two losers in a household culture of mutual surrender, is just the training we need to walk through this world—a world that wants to chew you up and spit you out—without the constant fear of getting the short end of the stick. Maybe we need to be formed in such a way that winning loses its glamour, that we can sacrifice the competition in favor of people. Maybe what we need, really, is to become a bunch of losers in a world that is being a torn apart by the competition to win. If we did that, maybe we’d be able to sleep a little easier at night, look our loved ones in the eyes, forgive and forget, and clap for the people around us.

I think that in a marriage of losers, a synergy happens and all of life can explode into a kind of rebellion that is brighter than the sun. The really good rebellions, the ones that last and make the world a better place, they are like that, aren’t they? They heal, they restore. They are big, and they shine like the sun. And, like the sun, their gravitational pull is almost irresistible.