Thursday, November 28, 2013

{what i'm thankful for}

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm down in Southern California with my uncle & grandparents this year.
 It's my first west coast Thanksgiving! 
And although I really miss being home with the rest of my family, 
& the cozy, cold weather, 
& our dog, 
& seeing my friends...

Where I am today is not too shabby.

On my run this morning, I reflected on all that I am thankful for this year,
& to be honest... I'm a little overwhelmed. 
Blessed is an understatement.

Here's my list, so I can look back on it in years to come...

1. My parents
I really don't know how I got lucky enough to get them as parents, 
but I will never stop being grateful for the fact that I did.

2. Dylan
I love & miss her so much. 
Her support these past few months has been unwavering,
& so appreciated. 
She's just the best.

3. My sibs
All of them. Being their sister is such a privilege.

4. My job
It's stable, I can support myself, the company is fantastic, 
& my co-workers are amazing. 

5. My uncle
He's let me live with him for two months! 
He should really be #1 this year ;)

6. New creative opportunities
My six months of job-hunting turned out to be an unexpected season of taking chances...
& people taking chances on me. 

7. My health
Besides Celiac Disease, which is minor in the grand scheme of things, I am healthy. 
To have an able, working body is something I'm so grateful for.

8. The good health of my family
Let's keep it that way :)

9. Personal growth
Mentally & emotionally, this year has been full of growth for me.
I am more secure about who I am more than ever before. It's a nice change.

10. A new place to live
I found an apartment! More on that soon.

11. All of you
I am so grateful for everyone who reads the blog--wherever you are in the world, 
no matter who you are. 
Thank you.

^^From my run. 

Dinner is being that's all for today. 
More photos coming soon!
{& I'll tell ya about the gluten-free apple crisp I made, too. let's hope it's good!}

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

{diy project: faux blue opaline glass}

Have you ever read the blog Little Green Notebook? It's one of my current faves. She's an amazing interior designer & ultimate DIY-er & I'm currently lusting after her new herringbone floors.

A few weeks ago she blogged about how to make faux blue opaline glass. I fell in love. The top of my dresser has been a crazy mess these days. By the time I get home from work, I all but throw my jewelry off on top of it. So between papers & receipts & books…my valuables are not placed where they should be. I needed better, pretty organization…& this was perfect!

This project is so easy & cheap. All you need are clear, glass bowls & spray paint.

I went to the Salvation Army & got the four below for $4.50. Total steal. Here's the whole process in pictures & captions...

^^clean each thoroughly before painting!

 ^^only paint the outside of the bowls!!

 ^^a couple of thin coats should do the trick

^^perfect edges

Don't they look great?!
All credit goes to Jenny

Thursday, November 14, 2013

{checking in...from LA!}

For the record, I've logged onto Blogger every day this week...but I still never posted! 

Thanks to a work trip {my first! makes me feel super official!}, I'm back in this sunny place for a few days...

It seems that in the past six months since I've left LA, I've forgotten how hot it gets here. Totally didn't pack the right clothes. I mean...75* in November?? Amazing! 

Work has kept me very busy this past week, hence the blog silence. I'm hoping to stock up on some posts this weekend. One includes a DIY project!  I've missed those.

I'll leave you with a sunrise picture from this morning on my balcony. Don't hate me too much east coast folks ;)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

{my brothers}

I miss my brothers a lot these days. I miss my little sister too, but it's the boys that I'm really wanting to see.

When my dad remarried a long time ago, I knew they would have more kids.

Whenever Dylan & I heard the words, "We're having another baby!" the announcement evoked such a complicated emotion. On one hand, my 8-, 10-, 12-, and 13-year old self was thrilled. With an age difference of more than eight years, there's a maternal quality that's injected into the role of Big Sister that wouldn't be there if two years were between us. I knew right away that my relationship with my younger siblings would be unlike my relationship with Dylan or my step-siblings. For lots of reasons of course, but mainly because of the age difference. I can distinctly remember each of their births, each of their milestones, each of their personalities forming, & I feel so blessed to have been able to be a huge part of that.

There was excitement... then worry would set in. When I think back to those four separate nights of hearing those words, I can still feel the anxiety that flushed through me. The first two times, I was young & naive & more worried about how my dad could have enough love to love us all equally. But the older I got, the more I realized my dad's heart is one of the biggest out there. It wasn't love that was going to spread thin, but time. How was he going to have enough time to listen & hug & kiss & focus on each of us? On top of a marriage & an important job? {This continues to be something I think & worry about, but we all managed fairly well.}

After worry & excitement, I would finally think: "I hope it's a girl!" I prayed & wished for a younger sister.

But I got three brothers before I got the girl.

I'll be honest, each time I heard, "It's a boy!" I felt such disappointment. But once I saw the baby, I forgot all about the fact that they weren't a girl & focused on the fact that I was a big sister again.

As I venture into adulthood & more of my Facebook friends are getting married & having kids, I always catch myself thinking: I only want girls. I feel like I speak girl. I know girl. I am close to my mom & sister, & I want what we have. But then I think about those three younger half-bothers of mine & I could simultaneously burst & cry with love. They've been on my mind constantly.

How glad am I to have gotten three brothers.

The youngest of the boys turned 11 last week! What!?! I cannot believe it. I sent him a super funny card but I still owe him a present. This age is so tough when it comes to gifts, but it's my favorite age too.

He is just the best. Honestly is the funniest kid out of all of them. He looks just like my dad, which I love, & his personality is so unlike the rest of them. He's a trickster & so clever. I will always have a soft spot for him because he has food allergies too, but he takes it with such stride. {Unlike me. Ha!} Whenever I think of him, I can't help but smile. & then I tear up, because I miss him so much.

AND the middle one is turning 13 today!! A teenager! I know it's the parents who usually feel this way, but I'm in complete denial. It seems like yesterday that he was born. Out of all of them, I see myself in him the most. He is a natural artist; his creativity takes my breath away every time I see him. The guitar & piano came so easily to him, as did his talent of drawing, & yet he somehow balances it with an athletic ability I was never gifted.

I've especially thought about him a lot this past month because he is a California kid through & through. He was born in Los Angeles--the only one of the bunch--& when he visited Santa Barbara this summer, he had the time of his life. I know he'll find his way back here. Hopefully I'm here when he does.

I can't wait to continue watching them grow up. I can't wait to let them watch movies their parents won't let them watch, & say "yes" when they want another sugary thing before dinner, & I really can't wait until they have girlfriends. Because I will hound & grill that poor girl many times to simply make sure of the fact that they are worth my three brothers. The ones I am so happy to have gotten.

If I ever have sons, I want them to be just like them.

^^That tall one there--who is now two heads taller than me!--will get a special post on his birthday.

Friday, November 8, 2013

{five on friday}

^^my view at work last week

1.) I have been listening to Christmas music like crazy! I'm totally judging myself for it, too, don't worry. I give major side-eye to stores & commercials when they go all Christmas on us before Halloween. But I was looking up a song I used to sing on Spotify & it just happened to be on a Christmas album, even though it's not a holiday song. Once I played went to the next song...& the next song...& soon I'd listened to the entire album. But there's only SEVEN weekends until Christmas! It's so soon! Hooray!

2.) Speaking of music... I'm literally aching to sing in a choir again, so I've been researching some to join in the city. At this point, I don't care what it is, where it is, or who it's with. I just need to sing again with the harmony of three other voice parts blended with mine.

3.) Who else is ready for the weekend? This week has been a long & tiring one.

4.) I haven't been to the movies in FOREVER & I'm thinking of going tonight. What should I see? Gravity? About Time? Thor 2?

5.) Williams Sonoma sells the best gluten-free red velvet cake mix**, but they've been out of stock for the past three months. {They gave me the bad news ON my birthday!} So I ordered two boxes about seven weeks ago to have sent to me when they re-stock. I got the email yesterday that they're on their way! I haven't baked in a while, so I'm excited.

**You're not blind. Each box does indeed cost $21.95. I sweet-talked my way into a free one, so that's why I got two ;)

Sorry I've been a lazy blogger lately. I'll try to post more next week!