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Welcome to my corner of the world. I'm so glad you're here. Join me in a conversation about how we build a bridge between daily life and the life we're longing for. As you explore, you'll discover stories, some of my favorite things, a whole lot of love, and perhaps even join me in a little lip syncing. Learn more about me right here.

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Bowls of heart pocket talismans have been gathering in the studio filled with the words and phrases kindred spirits are holding close this year. What is your word? You can find the talismans right here.

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Entries in what is real (22)



a post is brewing inside me about the realness of working from home while taking care of a toddler full time and running a business that is really more than a full time job. a post about the lifelines i hold onto some days. a post about why i really invite you to let go (for real this time) of thinking the people you see online "do it all." a post about how some days find me vacuuming with a toddler eating cheerios strapped to me. a post about how going to the bathroom by myself sometimes seems like it has become a luxury. a post about how sometimes i drive around my neighborhood drinking a hot chai tea and talking with a friend because my daughter is napping in the backseat and i don't want to hang up yet. a post about how just when i think "i got this" the overwhelms arrive again. a post that is just about the realness of things so that i can remind myself that choosing self-care (like i did last week when i closed the shop during my ecourse's "breathing space" week to give myself some breathing space too) is the right choice...so i can remind myself of what i know...

and i wanted to write that post tonight. 

but then there was this photo from today.

this photo of a little girl who has her head on her daddy's chest. a little girl who wants to go outside even when it is freezing because there are birds and trees and so much to do and see. a little girl who giggles and then gets so frustrated in the next breath that i can't help but wonder what will happen when that frustration is finally paired with words. a little girl who looks at me like no one has ever looked at me before. a little girl who runs down the hall and wraps her arms around my legs when i get done with a marathon brainstorming skype session because she just can't believe i am finally back. a little girl who touches her chest and my chest when i say, "where is love?"

there can be both you know. there can be deep deep love and frustration about the realness of it all. you can hold both at once. you can hold both the beauty and shit.* 

this is the way of life i think. 

*i just can't come up with another word. this phrase, the beauty and the shit, is one i have been using with my friends for a while now. i basically want to name my next ecourse "the beauty and the shit" but i know that won't really resonate with everyone. at the same time, i think you probably know exactly what i mean when i say it. life is full of beauty and shit. it is full of moments that take our breath away because they are incredible and because they are so so hard. and we get through. and we find our breath again. and there is love. and we hope there is more love than shit. and it is okay to see all of it and tell the truth about all of it too.


on shining a light (on all of it)

new one word bracelet in the shop

A year ago, my life felt heavy, my heart felt heavy. A year ago, my practice was centered around staying grounded and surrendering while holding on by my fingertips. A year ago, I couldn't stop thinking about how I wanted to feel lighter and less tethered to the past. A year ago, I thought I was coming out of survival mode, but in reality, I was still neck deep in it. A year ago, I had no idea how I would do it all and thought I was supposed to have it all figured out by now.

A year ago, I chose the word LIGHT to focus on in 2011.

new one word envelopes in the shop

I chose light because I wanted to manifest more light in my life. I wanted to feel the sun even when the past threatened clouds. I wanted the light to show me I was not alone on my path. I wanted to listen to the light within, around me and trust the way. And I chose light because I simply wanted to feel lighter. I wanted to dance more and seek more joy in simply living.

As 2011 unfolded, light became my guide.

(For real.)

As I began to do some deep inner work and healing from all that 2010 brought through Ellie Jane's birth and open heart surgery and the experiences surrounding all of it, I kept focusing on the light.

I began to realize that my work is to shine a light, a BIG light, on all of it. I don't want to be afraid in the dark and a flashlight isn't enough. I want to shine a big lighthouse-sized lantern on all that has been before this moment, from yesterday to decades ago, so that I can be present to right here and all that is to come.

new one word heart lockets in the shop

As I worked with the light, I began to stand tall in these truths:

My work is to invite you to shine a light in every corner of the home that is you. To bring light to the dust and the stacks of stuff that belong to someone else and the truths just hanging out waiting to be seen in the corner and the whispered dreams of the little girl who lives inside you. 

My work is to tell the stories about how I am shining my light to unearth the joy and the beauty and the real.ness amidst all that living brings so that you can be invited to know you are not alone as you stand in your light (so that I can remember I am not alone).

My work is to create talismans that act as traveling companions on the journey.

My work is to show up as me and live with my heart open to all that has been and all that is to come.

As I sit on the edge of a new year and think about all that has been, I feel surrounded by the light that has taught me and will teach me and show me the way.

And as I gather up all the beauty and truth that has been 2011, I think of you (yes you) in your corner and I want to you to hear me say:

Thank you for walking beside me. Thank you for you showing me that my stories matter. Thank you for helping my business grow. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for sharing your light. Thank you for showing up as you. Thank you.



what is real (october 7)

mirror self-portrait (straight out of the camera) . frog creek lodge

one year later.

after everyone had gone to bed friday night, i stood in front of the mirror and couldn't help but smile wide at this girl i saw before me. she looked lighter and maybe even more real. and she looked beautiful.

these are the thoughts that went through my head: this is why i choose to seek the joy. this is why i let laughter in. this is why i know that all you need is love. this is why. this face of light and love is why.

hello you. hello me. it is so good to see you.

one year later.



::what is real:: is a mirror self-portrait photo + a few words series that began in july of 2010. during the last year, i have noticed that the act of taking these photos feels like a meditation practice. before i take the photo, i stand in front of the mirror and think about what is real in this moment and let my face relax to wherever that truth lies. then i snap.

i document the series over on flickr but share them here from time to time.


what is real (september 15)

you are doing it.
all of it.
you are stumbling
and laughing
and learning
and opening your heart more each day.
you are finding a rhythm.
you are remembering to breathe deeply
and sit inside truth and feelings and hope.
you are exactly where you need to be.


::what is real:: is a mirror self-portrait photo + a few words series that began in july of 2010. the series started the first night jon and i slept for a few hours at the tree house while ellie was in the PICU. when i was by myself in that room for a few minutes, i turned and saw my reflection in the mirror in the room and had an urge to document the real face of that moment in my journey. looking back, i realize i wanted to feel seen by someone, and it turned out that being seen by myself was like a hand i could hold. 

as i continue to take these photos, i have noticed that the act of taking them feels like a meditation practice. before i take the photo, i stand in front of the mirror and think about what is real in this moment and let my face relax to wherever that truth lies. then i snap.

i document the series over on flickr but share them here from time to time.



new blue wall . the little room

the view from here:


  • a visit from a partner in crime and friend
  • one studio freshly painted (and truly found underneath all the stuff)
  • a carload or two of that stuff to goodwill
  • rediscovery of so many good things that fill my heart with joy
  • many moments of laughter so loud we almost woke the baby
  • juicy brainstorming for so much that is to come
  • nods of "yes, i get that. totally."
  • mug after mug of coffee
  • a moment in the quiet overwhelmed by kindness
  • a smoothie that looked like she added algae (like from a fish tank) [it was super good]
  • a very specific wish or two released into the universe
  • plans hatched (the midwest retreat is gonna be so good. like big. like oh this is the way life is gonna go now. hold on. it is gonna be awesome.)
  • another reminder that showing up as you is the way to find others who will see you
  • another reminder that it is through love (and letting ourselves be loved) that we heal