Sunday, July 31

the birthday post.

For my birthday, Colin planned a fun afternoon at the Fullerton Arboretum and then a cookout at a nearby park.

He worked really hard the night before getting veggies and chicken marinated for skewers.

And he even made me a chocolate cake! I was very impressed.

The Fullerton Arboretum is really great - it's like a mini Huntington Gardens that's much closer to our house (and it operates by donations at the gate, so it's much cheaper).

Colin thought this huge plant was picture worthy.

I really enjoyed having a little gathering of friends together and was very impressed by Colin's effort to get all the food together! He made loads and we had leftovers for a while.

My friend Sinae posted some more pics on Facebook, and hers are much more beautiful, so you should check those out too.

Tuesday, July 19

Random links to inspire

This makes me want to make paper again. The process looks so beautiful!

The Urban Farming Guys are doing really cool looking stuff in the middle of Kansas City, like living in community, urban fish farming, composting, and other great stuff. Colin and I have been looking for something like this to join. We'd love to live in crazy community with other people, but haven't found it yet.

This article on the educational value of creative disobedience is a great post on how kids don't need to be taught as much as they need to experiment and be given a chance to discover. I've been reading a little on Montessori methods for kids. I emailed a local Montessori school to see if they had any openings for jobs at all just so I could learn more about it. (Didn't hear anything back yet, though.)

(I like it when people share links they've been learning from. Even though these links don't really have anything in common, they're things I learned from this week!)

Thursday, July 14


A few days before June ended, I lost my job. It was a surprise. It was embarrassing because I've never been laid off before, and it's certainly inconvenient for a number of reasons.

The morning before I found out, I was driving to work past the day laborers waiting for work that day and I thanked God for my job. It was important for me to be mindfully grateful for my job because it didn't pay well, it was pretty meaningless, I felt under-appreciated, etc. But, I had pretty much come to peace with all that and had decided to stick it out for the time being.

Since I came to California, the (only!) 6 months that I had been in this job had been the longest that I'd been employed full-time. It seemed pretty stable, it provided health insurance, and it was nice to have co-workers that I was getting to know better. But, coming from a teaching background, I often wished for that sense of purpose that comes with teaching. Teaching is hard, but there's that general feeling of knowing that what you do can change people for the better.

So, now I'm unemployed again, but hopeful, and excited about the chance to make things again! On about day four of unemployment, I finally got my "studio" corner of our living room cleared of piles. It took me until yesterday to finally start making things again. So, now my etsy stores are updated again and I'll be adding new things more often. Yay!

Saturday, July 9

Danny and Annie on StoryCorps

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Have you listened to some of the stories on StoryCorps? This is one really great one.

"Brooklynites Danny, an OTB clerk, and Annie, a nurse, remember their life together—from their first date to Danny's final days with terminal cancer. This remarkable couple personifies the eloquence, grace, and poetry that can be found in the voices of every day people if we take the time to listen."

Friday, July 8

Family Visit Videos!

Since I got my little Zumi video camera, I have fun taking and editing videos, although sometimes the clips stay on my camera for a while before I get to them.

My favorite line from the aquarium video is when Wesley visits the first touching pool with the little jellyfish. After hesitantly putting his hand in the water, he looks up at a staff member and asks with some concern, "Are they real mean?"

Our morning at the beach.

And, one last video of Wesley and Curtis enjoying our tiny "backyard" and the swing. Wesley built a small cantilevered aquarium on the last day of his visit and filled it with dirt, water, and two cashew fish.

Thursday, July 7

Memorial Day Camping

While I'm on the video editing kick, here's how we spent our Memorial Day weekend: at La Jolla Indian Campground. We got there just before dark on Friday night and all the good spots were taken, but Colin had been there before and knew of a secret spot across the river. We had to actually cross the river to get to our campground (with all of our stuff), but once we did, we had a nice quiet spot right on the river!

Colin spent most of Saturday clearing out our campsite and building drains for the stagnant water. He had fun doing it, but unfortunately got a pretty severe case of poison oak in the process (which we didn't realize until after we got back). He couldn't wear closed shoes for a few weeks.

It rained Saturday night, which was okay for us because our across the river neighbors left early, leaving us a prime spot on the right side of the river.

We were joined Sunday evening by our friends Andrew and Rebecca, who brought a lovely dinner packed by David and Bin, who couldn't make it. The next day we went for a tubing adventure with them before we headed back home.

Wednesday, July 6

Sarah at the Huntington

I'm getting around to editing videos from a while back...Sarah came to visit in May. We spent a lovely day at the Huntington Library and Gardens.

Friday, July 1

Family Visit

My family (sister, brother in law, two nephews, and parents!) came for a five day visit in June. It was great to have them all here. As I was going through my pictures, I wish I'd taken more! It seems I only really got out my camera for the beach visit. I think I took some fun video too, though. I'll edit those soon.

We went to the Aquarium of the Pacific, the beach, church, and Downtown Disney.

We also spent some quality time at home in our little apartment. Taking a nap every day turned out to be no problem at all for me. :)