Monday, December 31, 2012

A Look Back At 2012

     2012 was a big year, but I guess they all are in their own way. Each year has its many joys, deep sorrows, inevitable lessons and promises of hope. This year had all of that. 
     In January we finished our West Indies sailing trip with my side of the family. It wasn't a vacation, though. At least that's not how I would have described it. Sailing in 20 foot seas with 30+ knot winds was more than a holiday, it was a straight up adventure. But mixed in with all the chaos and the unavoidable family arguments were the breath stealing moments; the ones you look back on when times are heavier.
     In February a film I made got accepted into a local film festival and my surfing dreams started to feel more like a reality. In March we celebrated Scott's birthday and spring break by camping at Trestles.
     In April I entered a contest to win three different trips with Roxy. You guys all voted for me which really stoked me out, but in the end, I wasn't selected. But as they say, when one door closes, another door opens and another door did. I joined the Daphne's surf team in May and began blogging for them part time. 
In June we re-did our backyard! It's a small space, but the project seemed huge. I mean, we still had a dead Christmas tree hanging out back there. Work needed to be done! Changes needed to be made! We also took a trip to Catalina for my Dad's birthday
     In July we celebrated life and death. My Great Aunt Jody died and we buried her on the hottest day of the year. This was one of the deep sorrows from this year, but even at that it seemed to bring all of our family closer together. Later in the month we celebrated our first wedding anniversary before we left for our road trip in August
 I was completely wigging out about this trip. I was certain I would loose my mind, but you know what? I could say that trip-that month long, pick up and go, sleep at Walmart, shower every three days, 8,000 mile long trip- was probably the best thing we did all yearThere, I claimed it. But it's true. 
     When we returned, summer was coming to an end and it was time for Scott to go back to his teaching job. Although I was writing for a few magazines I had to pick up some extra jobs on the side to pay the rest of the bills. In September I began tutoring
    In October we barbecued with friends and celebrated Halloween (my favorite holiday after Christmas). 
    November brought rain and Thanksgiving, as it does. And then all of a sudden it was December, nearly the end of the year. I had doubts about what I was doing with my life and we all felt the pain when Sandy Hook Elementary suffered tragedy. Somehow, Christmas still came and we celebrated with both of our families. 
   Now we are on to new adventures. Ones that will take place in Maui, to be specific. I'm writing this post at 12:45 a.m. as Scott packs up the surfboards behind me. 

Thank you to all of you who have read my blog, supported my passions and been a part of my journey. Thank you doesn't seem to cover it, but it will have to do for now. Happy New Year! I'd love to hear what your best moment was this year and if you did a recap post, share the link. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Meet My Family: Maddie

Maddie is my youngest sister. We call her Witto. She is a talented film major and one of the funniest, most loving and original people I know. 

What's the first thing you notice about people? Their personality.
What's your favorite color? Turquoise 
What word describes you best? Observant.
What's your least favorite chore? Washing greasy dishes.
What's your favorite time of day? 5 p.m. because there is so much night left.
Do you like your handwriting? No, I write like a boy.
What is something you like to do everyday? Watch Friends before bed.
What is your favorite music right now? Bon Iver Pandora channel. 
When was the last time you cried? Yesterday watching home movies when I said Nonny (our late grandmother) was my best friend.
Would you go sky diving? I would consider it, but I'm really afraid of heights.
What is the best book you've ever read? Ella Enchanted. I really like that book. Harry Potter, Hunger Games...I sound like I'm in 5th grade. 
What was the last thing you ate? Christmas leftovers.
Do you think you're strong? Emotionally-no Physically-no.
I'm kidding, but no. (*family tries to convince her she's strong*) 
Ok, emotionally-sometimes. Physically- no, I don't think I'm strong, but I'm scrappy. 
What is the farthest your've ever been from home? Samoa 
What's your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving, Christmas and the 4th of July. 
Indoors or outdoors? Outdoors.
What are your favorite foods? Chipotle. 
What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you? My boyfriend sent me flowers for my birthday when I was in Italy and Mommy and Daddy sent me a care package with movie themed items when I finished my film festival internship this year. 
How do you want to be remembered? Kind, thoughtful, energetic, ambitious, fun, creative, weird, empathetic, charitable, smart, funny, quirky, loving.

Meet My Family Series
Meet Danielle
~I don't know if anyone is interested, but feel free to Email me if you'd like a copy of these questions to answer with your family~

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A (black and) White Christmas

     Christmas was a party at our house with friends and family visiting from all corners of the country. It was ten people sleeping over at our one bedroom house; people sleeping on the garage floor. It was celebrating Christmas on the 24th with my side of the family and then driving to Ventura in the evening to celebrate with Scott's. We went to church at 6 p.m. and then again at midnight. I'll admit, I fell asleep for a second there, but it was the most beautiful Christmas mass I've ever seen (while I was awake). We all lit candles and sang Silent Night as it became Christmas day. In the morning, Christmas was exchanging gifts and then welcoming an assortment of guests. It was me committing to staying in my pajamas all day despite heaps of company stopping by. It was playing Polish frisbee outside and reverse Charades inside. It was keeping old traditions and making new ones. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Little Buddy (a vlog?)

     My little buddy. He's turning two tomorrow. I've been nannying this little dude for almost a year now and gosh he's grown. Everyone says that about kids, because it's just the plain old truth. They grow and change and learn so much more rapidly than adults do. 
     The first day I met him I was pretty new at watching babies. In fact, I'd only ever spent time with a few for short periods in the close company of more experienced care takers. That first day his parents told me I could take him to the park. Man, I worried a hundred different things were going to go wrong in those early days. I pictured a rattle snake jumping out at us. I thought "What if a car just drives off the road onto the sidewalk we're walking on?" I even worried the stroller handle would break and he'd go rolling down the steep hill to the park without me. 
     His parents told me that they try to talk to him as much as possible, so I thought I'd do the same. On that first walk to the park I began narrating everything that was going on. It helped calm my nerves. "Here comes a car. It's red. Red is my favorite color.",  "Here we go, up the big, big hill. And there's the park! There's so much green grass. Someone must work hard to keep it so nice!" 
     At the park I carefully took him out of the stroller and placed him in the grass, continuing my narration. "There's a dog! Doggies say 'woof, woof!'" And then I wasn't the only one doing the talking. He looked at the dog and then at me and said "Woof, woof!" We've been having little conversations ever since. He really is a little buddy.
     I took a video of him looking through a Christmas I Spy book with my phone the other day. There's a chance you may not think this video is interesting at all. I'm willing to take the risk because I think his curiosity is priceless. 
(oh and there's no talking for about 8 seconds so hang in there)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Polaroids of What We've Been Eating

some veggie ♥ for your thursday 
kale avocado salad with quinoa//"chicken" noodle soup sans chicken (made w/ vegan bouillon) 
spaghetti with easy homemade sauce (olive oil, garlic, chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, salt, pepper)// Daphne's Greek salad with multigrain pita bread
Mexican salad with tofu//vegetable soup

Scott's comment "So you used our nice DSLR camera and then turned your photos into polaroids?"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Make a Sandman This Year

     Just look at this cute guy (or girl). Don't you think he'd love to be in your home? "Yes!", he says he would. 

Add as much or as little of the following to create your sandman scene.

What You'll Need/What I Used
1 mason jar
3 styrofoam balls of varying sizes to create the snowman (proportional to the size of your jar)
A handful of sand to fill the bottom of the jar and to decorate the styrofoam balls (mix in some glitter for a little extra sparkle)
2 twigs for the arms 
orange paper to make the nose
black paint (or a sharpie pen or paper) to make the mouth and eyes
fun printed wrapping paper for the hat
card stock (or strong paper) cut into a circle for the sandman's "stand"
a small ribbon for the scarf
various small shells to place in the sand
any other ornaments of your choosing 
hot glue gun
elmer's glue
  • Lightly cover the styrofoam balls in elmer's glue and then cover them with sand. Set them aside and allow them to dry. 
  • Hot glue the styrofoam balls together to build your sandman. 
  • Cut a piece of card stock in the shape of a circle that is a tad smaller than the mason jar. Hot glue the sandman to that. 
  • Paint or draw on the eyes and mouth 
  • Cut a piece of orange paper, roll it, glue it together to make the nose and then hot glue it to your sandman (I used orange magazine paper; it's shinier, and stiffer). 
  • Cut a piece of wrapping paper, roll it into a cone and glue it together. Glue it onto the sandman's head to make a hat!
  • Tie (or glue) a tiny ribbon around the neck for a scarf.
  • Stick in the stick arms. 
  • Place the sandman in the mason jar. 
  • Add the sand and glitter mix to the jar making sure to cover the piece of paper that the sandman is standing on. 
  • Add shells and any other decorations of your choosing.
  • Close the lid and admire your new winter friend!

Monday, December 17, 2012


   This weekend was quiet and you know I love those. I savor still moments more than any kind of food or candy. 
     My dad's cousin Larry came by on Friday. My dad, Larry and I ate pizza at one of our favorite local restaurants and then spent the rest of the rainy day at my parent's house. Cousin Larry said funny things like "I don't mean to be the kind of person who asks personal questions, but is this tree real?" I thought with the way he preceded this question that he was going to ask something really personal like "How much is your mortgage?" The way he pronounced words was even funnier. He's from Illinois so he said "Feeshing" instead of fishing and "booshes" instead of bushes. In the evening Scott and I finished season two of Downton Abbey. 
     On Saturday I stayed in my pajamas until nearly one when we left the house to surf some really windy mush-burgers. In the evening, we went to a party for my newly married friends Kate and Mike. Their wedding (one of the ones we drove to on our road trip) was in Iowa this summer, so this party was held to celebrate their marriage with friends and family who could not make the trek (wussies... kidding). We drank pickle backs, which I happen to love (whisky with pickle juice chasers anyone?), and told stories. Everyone made fun of me for wearing a beanie because they claimed it wasn't necessary. Whatever, man. 50ยบ is cold. It was a good time.
     On Sunday we went body surfing with some of our friends at our local beach. It was freezing and exhilarating. I almost never leave my surfboard behind, but I was glad I did. It was really nice to connect with the wave with my whole body. Plus, bodysurfing is nothing but fun. I rode one wave with two other girls and we all landed on top of each other laughing and blowing water out of our noses. 
     But even with all of this fun going on, I couldn't help feeling a deep sadness for the children and teachers lost in Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Actually, I didn't want to help it. I wanted to let myself embrace the grief and sorrow that came to me at certain moments this weekend so I could feel the truth. There's not a whole lot you can say to make it better, but one thing I keep focusing on is the fact that you can always give more. A little voice in my head told me that in church on Sunday. No one can go back in time and stop this tragedy, or any of the others, but I know we can always give more love and do more for others and that's what I'm leaving in my heart from all of this.

I saw this quote on Bridget's blog today and I thought it would be appropriate to share here too:
"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thankful Things

This week I'm thankful for...
time to reflect
and come to new realizations
for winter waters
and treasures

surf time with my dad
for Christmas time, because it brings out the kid within us all
and for being home for the holidays

p.s. just to keep it real, you should know I was completely furious Wednesday night over something silly and ended up going Christmas shopping all by myself. So there's that, too. peace. 
and happy weekend. 

-other thankful things posts-