Monday, June 24, 2013

mr. woody guthrie, continued.

Dear Woody,

You are the goofiest goofball there ever was. You have gusts of complete and utter affection for the people you love and you'll get right up in their faces and give them the biggest lovefest they've ever seen. You lick their faces and bite their hair and sometimes you get a little too excited and bite an earring (good thing you have understanding family). It is suh-weet. You absolutely adore bunny rabbits. The first time you saw one hopping around a neighbor's yard, you sat right down and tilted your little head. It was the cutest and silliest thing. You were probably struck by its cuteness, can't blame you! The next time you saw one you went after it, but in a kind way, sort of like you wanted to be friends. The other day you managed to escape from the car — as some of your family members were being dropped off in front of Target — and you started heading right for the automatic doors. You would have had the time of your life in there, but your little joyride was cut short. Sorry about that one. Sometimes you're just not in the mood to play fetch, but that's okay. We like that you have a mind of your own. You still sniff flowers and pay them a great deal of attention. So sweet. When you're tired, you sometimes heave a big, big sigh and we're not sure there's a more adorable sound. We do love you, little man.


P.S. The first letter we wrote you. :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

to thine own self be true.

One of the most important life lessons I've ever learned (and I believe I will ever learn) is that you must stay true to yourself. It takes time to get there, my friends, and sometimes I'm still working on it. Let me tell you, this lesson really hits you when you teach sweet, young children and you watch them do just about anything to fit in with their friends. It hurts the heart to watch them compromise the make up of their innocent little souls just so that they can be a part of it all. Sometimes I just want to hug them and say, "You are enough!" And you know what? Sometimes I do! They don't really get it, but maybe someday they will.

At the beginning of last school year, I wrote inspirational quotes on each page of my planner because I knew I'd want them. I'm a quote lover through and through. I've got one for about every situation imaginable. Try me.

On a particularly hard week, I had to thank past-Roxanne for helping future-Roxanne. See, past-Roxanne filled the planner with quotes not really knowing the obstacles that future-Roxanne might encounter. Past-Roxanne did a pretty good job (and now I'll stop talking about myself in the third person). The quote read "The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them." I don't know who said that, but if it was you, please tell me so that I can give you a big ol' hug! I can't tell you how freeing that quote was in that moment. I felt like I could conquer the world and that no one could stop me because I make my own decisions. There are some moments when I'm so proud of myself and the things that I do and say for this life of mine (there are just as many — probably more — where I'm not so proud, but it's a work in progress!) and this was one of those moments. To feel content in my own skin, yes! I felt at peace with my decisions. What's more, I felt proud of them! See, I believe that it starts with me. If I am content — if I am happy — I will do what's right for me. Happiness radiates from within. It starts the moment we start working on ourselves and doing that takes — you guessed it! — work! There is no way around it. No other path. No short cut. It is the sweat you put into it that will reward you on the other side.

If you are truly content with who you are, and you take pride in the qualities that God (or whomever or whatever you believe!) gave you, the rest will fall into place. We are each given qualities that will ultimately lead to the path we are meant to land on, but it doesn't just happen. We make decisions to get there. We say, "This and not this," or "That one and not that one." It's not always that easy, but that's what it basically boils down to. What's the most exciting about all of this, is that it's always a work in progress! I can learn from me. I can look at my decisions and rewrite my path as many times as I want to, and I can do it with grace and belief in myself as a person, as a lover of life. What a wonderful realization! To know that I have the power and ability to make my life beautiful and wonderful and tailor made for me! It all starts with looking inside myself and listening to my inner workings and honoring what they whisper to me in the more trying moments.

Lest you think this is easy and I do it all the time, I don't and it's not! We are each granted small moments of wisdom when the window of clarity bursts open and I believe it is my duty to share those moments with you. I get thrown off my path — sometimes quite frequently — but what matters is that I get back on it and walk with purpose and peace and contentedness in who I am! Pep talk over. :)

P.S. Comments are my absolute favorite! I love talking with you and hearing your two cents. (I reply to most comments!) 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

finding peace in the valleys.

I remember taking this photo. It was last summer and I was traveling on the California coast with my parents. The Pacific Ocean was on our right, but you couldn't see it. There was fog hiding it. You can almost barely make it out if you squint just so. A few cars were stopped at a look out and we joined them. There's something really hauntingly beautiful about fog. Had it not been there, we would have seen a vast ocean. Instead, we saw vast nothingness. Still, all the onlookers knew what was there. Not because we could see it, but because we could hear the waves and feel the salt.

Sometimes it's hard to look inside oneself and find peace, especially when the going gets tough and milestones feel more like marathons. A marathon you may not have signed up for, thankyouverymuch. See, you can do it all accordingly — cross every t and dot every i — and there will still be a landslide waiting to happen. Because even if you're the fiercest planner (me!), something's always going to get in the way, like a heavy fog. The thing about fog, though is that it forces you to peer, to imagine, to look really deeply, to have faith in what's there, even when you can't see it.

Minutes later, as we traveled down the winding road, the fog lifted. We peered over to our right and saw the most breathtaking, beautiful sight — our first expansive view of the Pacific since the start of our road trip. The ocean had never disappeared or receded. We were the ones that kept pressing on, waiting for that precious glimpse, having faith that it existed and holding steadfastly to that. In the midst of it all, though, we discovered that the fog was quite beautiful. We found peace in the valleys. In the waiting. And we were met with a view that not even the most talented dreamer could have dreamt up.peace2

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

drink this: homemade chia seed drink.

Chia seeds are the tiniest (cutest!) little seeds and they are so amazingly good for you. Here's what they're packin':
  • Antioxidants (tons!)
  • Calcium
  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • Fiber
  • Omega 3s
Plus, they're also very detoxifying (great for the liver and the immune system) and they have a looooong shelf life. Yay! I'm blown away by these incredible little wonders (Seriously! How can they be so good for you and be so small?) and today's recipe involves a really tasty drink that you can enjoy at anytime of the day. Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe! :)
chia1 chia2 chia4 chia3 chia5
• 3 tablespoons chia seeds
• 1 cup warm water
• 1 cup 100% cherry juice
• the juice of 1 lime

1. Pour one cup of warm water into a sealable container. Pour 3 tablespoons of chia seeds into the warm water and gently swirl to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Remove your chia seeds from the refrigerator. Stir them around. Your chia + water mixture should have a gelatin-like consistency.
3. Pour 1 cup of cherry juice into a drinking glass. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the juice. Stir.
4. Spoon 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of the chia mixture into the cherry + lime juice and stir to combine.
5. Enjoy!
* Note: I find that my chia seeds tend to congregate toward the top of the juice (or sometimes near the bottom — they like to stay together!), so I just mix with a spoon to keep things combined.

Monday, June 3, 2013

apartment tour: living room.

Our first apartment together has been exceptionally nice. It met many of the requirements on our wish list (not that we were aiming for many in our college town). We have hardwood floors and two spectacular built-ins. The home itself is quite large and fits our lifestyle very beautifully. It's cozy and comfortable and it's been a perfect place to call home. I'll be really sad to leave it in just a couple months.
^ Here's a small overview of our living room, complete with Sir Woody.
^ Left: The lamp and table are secondhand. The books are from my family + a library book sale. The candle is from Anthropologie. The green dish was a gift. Right: The chair is secondhand. The pillows were handmade by Jeffrey. The blanket was handmade by my aunt. The standing lamp is from Target.
^ The table is an old library card catalog, given to us by Jeffrey's parents. The tray was handmade by Jeffrey. The small green book was handmade by my sister. The match striker was handemade by Josh Stover. The candle is originally from Anthropologie, picked up at a discount store in our college town.
livingroom7livingroom5 ^ The print is by my sister.
^ The couch is from my parents. The victorian-style chair is secondhand. The sewing machine print is a Joanna Newsom concert poster. Below it is a vintage fishing camp advertisement. The wall hanging on the righthand side was a gift from Jeffrey's brother. It is from India.
^ The crates on the lefthand side were purchased by Jeffrey. The red cart was being discarded. The church pew was given to us by Jeffrey's parents. We plan to recover it soon.
^ The key holder is also by Josh Stover. The yellow bag is a kite. The hat was a gift.
^ The pillows were handmade. The quilt square is from an antique shop. The photograph is a picture of the Redwoods taken by my cousin.
The walls were already painted when we moved in. I would have never chosen the deep purple, but it's worked out just fine. Most of the furniture that makes up our living room belonged to our families or was found at garage sales or second hand shops! However, if you have any specific questions about where something came from (and I didn't answer in the captions below each photo), I'd be happy to answer any questions in the comments!
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