Mar 30, 2015


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Trees, flowers, lizards, meadows...In her element.

Mar 27, 2015

10 things i'm grateful for

1. Bookshelves. We finally got a second bookshelf, and it is the most wondrous thing. Before, we lived amongst towers of books, books half read and flung carelessly over coffee tables, crammed onto any spare counter space, spilling from nightstands. Now, I can pull out the few that I am actually reading, and allow energy to pass unhindered through our home.

2. Coconut ice cream. Homemade from an ice cream maker. Who would have known how easy it is, and how decadent the results? I will be posting a recipe very soon! In the meantime, The Vegan Scoop says it all.

3. Air conditioning when summer in LA arrives in place of spring. Air conditioning is one of those things that I take for granted until it stops working. Ours stopped working on a couple of ninety something degree days. So we are grateful for the existence of sweet air-conditioning, and hoping it graces us with its working presence very very soon.

4. Coconut water on said hot days. Ideally straight out of the coconut with a straw (and don't get me started on the amazing things you can make out of a coconut! i.e. pudding, ice cream, decadent shakes), but the options for close to fresh tasting coconut water have come a really long way. Try Harmless Harvest if you want a bottled option.

5. Remember "The Little House on the Prairie" books? I'm re-reading them for the first time in twenty years or so, and they are just as magical as I remember. I love being transported back to a simpler time, when corn cobs made wonderful dolls, families sang together after dinner, and children were a vital and helping part of the family fabric.

6. My little one has become a singing machine. She will play the mini xylophone or piano while she runs through an endless repertoire, and it is amazing to see her love music so organically. She doesn't have the self judgment of an adult, and she belts out with gusto, knowing that her voice is perfect.

7. The connecting power of social media. There are times that I grumble about the constant "plugging in" that goes on in our society (when are we ever without our phones or computers?), but there is a balance in all things. I am beyond grateful for the amazing mamas I have met through Instagram, who have gone on to be my friends in person. We have playdates, we lift each other up when our days and nights are rough, and we are present for one another through moments of beauty as well as hardship.
Life is magical like that.

8. The power of simplifying. If you've never read the book "Simplicity Parenting", whether you are a parent or not, it is truly inspiring. I will write more about this in depth, as it has been a total game changer in our home and life.

9. Toddler wearing. Julie is two and a half years old, and she still loves to be carried. My arms have a hard time keeping up with this, as she is growing like crazy. Enter my beloved Sakura Bloom ring slings and Kinderpack.

10. Morning walks. Between moving and travel and sleep deprivation, walking was put on the back burner for a long time. I started up again today, and it was wonderful. It's such a great way to get to know your neighborhood, and there is something about those early morning hours that resets your body and mind in the best way possible.

Mar 23, 2015


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."

That space of time when she is between the worlds of sleep and wakefulness.

Mar 20, 2015

the love more letters-2

This is my second guest post for The Love More Shop's blog series-The Love More Letters. I wrote about what happens when you reach the outer limits of mothering burnout, and how self love is non negotiable on the path to healing. Read it here if you like.

cross cultural musings

I remember having this conversation with my high school best friend back in Japan. She's a Bulgarian girl, who just so happens to speak French, English, and Japanese fluently, and she understands more than anyone I know, how assimilating into different cultures can be excruciating work. It goes far beyond the basics of language. It's the fluency in mannerisms and cultural norms that is the hardest. We spent days--months--years even--talking about the effect of ongoing culture shock and reverse culture shock, and how these things contributed to who we were. We wondered how we would raise our own kids. If we could have them reap the benefits of multi cultural growth, without the pain and loneliness we had experienced. We also wondered if that kind of pain was a prerequisite to fully becoming ourselves.

Those years of living in Japan and coming home again stretched me more than I ever thought possible, and I still carry the weight of them in my soul. They changed me in a way I can't quite define, but is there all the same. I know that I wouldn't have changed the experiences I had in any shape or form. I am who I am because of them, and there has been such beauty at the end of the tunnel. I met gorgeous souls, who light up my life with their presence to this day. I learned about forgiveness and unconditional love (I am still figuring this out when it comes to myself.)

Now, as a mother to my own little one who will one day grow up and do soul searching of her own, I wonder how to best support her in this complex thing called living. I hope that love will carry me in the right direction, for there is so much I don't know, and much to figure out yet. I hope she loves all of these cultures that are a part of her by heritage, and that she dares to explore them fully. I hope she jumps far outside of her comfort zone, and finds her own tribe of loving souls who hold her dear. I hope that her heart doesn't break too much in the process of finding herself, and that she will turn to me when the going gets rough. I hope she adores this wild and colorful world with every particle of her being. And I hope she always knows that my love for her knows no boundaries. It is the most precious gift I have found on my own journey.

Mar 17, 2015

little adventures-to a secret garden

Sometimes the best things are right under your nose. I had heard about this meditation garden that was minutes from our house, and had meant to make an outing of it for quite some time. Well, you know how weekends can go, right?! They sometimes get lost in a torrent of making meals, visiting family, getting shopping done, as well as loads of laundry. We are working on getting our rhythm back for the weekends, so that they become restful, rather than rushed. So that we can welcome Monday with only the regret that our beloved weekend family time is over, rather than the regret that we were barely present for each other in the mayhem.

We finally made it to the gardens, up a winding road that wound up into the hills, and into a little city oasis. It was lush and smelled amazing. The view of the city far below against the backdrop of a perfect LA sky was breathtaking.There were stone benches made for contemplation and meditation. Julie was beside herself with joy, as there is nothing she loves more in the world than beautiful gardens. It gave us all a much needed window of peace, and time to just be with each other and with ourselves. I am all for making that a regular part of our lives.

(All photos taken on the i phone)

Mar 15, 2015

2nd hair cut

I had just finished bathing my little one, and drying her wild mass of curls, when I was struck with the irresistible urge to give her bangs. Her hair was forever in her eyes, and it seemed like a really good idea in that moment. So I whipped out my scissors, cut some bangs in one fell swoop, and looked on aghast at the minuscule and uneven fringe that started somewhere high up on her forehead. It was a flashback to those times in childhood when I would give my Barbie dolls a haircut, always with a frenzied kind of enthusiasm to start, (they were going to look SO GOOD!) and feeling utterly underwhelmed when my work was done.

I was surprised by how strongly I felt about her hair. I am not the kind of person who gets down about such things for myself. I wear tattered clothes and shoes from high school and college, and never EVER brush my hair. Superficial stuff is not my thing. Or at least, I've always believed that of myself, so it really took me aback that I would feel so badly over something like short bangs.

It made me think about how easy it is to get wrapped up in things that are on the outside-our weight (guilty), how much better dressed so and so is (or so and so's child is), the state of our home, or whether or not we are having a bad hair day. All of that has nothing to do with our souls and the particular magic that is the essence of who we are. I want my little girl to always know that none of that superficial fluff is who she is. Herein lies my work as her mother-to catch myself when I get caught up in the illusion, and to help instill in her a strong sense of self that has everything to do with who she is inside. That's where the good stuff is. We are all beautiful and dazzling souls; we just need to remind ourselves when we forget it.


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."

My little mini mama. She is such a nurturing and loving little soul.

Mar 12, 2015

10 things i'm grateful for

1. These cats of mine. They are currently curled up--one on either side of me--as they keep me company with purrs and occasional stare downs in typical cat fashion.

2. Our new apartment. Sometimes what seems like a terrible situation at the time is merely the catalyst to take us to a better place. As a result of said situation, we are here in our lovely, sun-filled home, and we couldn't be happier about it.

3. I am starting to have a village of my own. I have gotten to know the most amazing women in the past year, and it has filled me with a sense of belonging. I didn't know how much I wanted this until it happened for me.

4. Vegan donut shops and vegan pizza delivery. LA is rad.

5. I'm finally beginning to get the hang of knitting. It is SO peaceful, and there is nothing better than being able to make something,  infuse it with my love, and to give it to my dear ones. (I'm currently working on a little knit cat for Julie!)

6. Carob hot chocolate. I swear, it's a pretty good approximation of the real thing, and I can give it to my two year old without worrying about her turning into a maniacal energizer bunny at the end of a long day.

7. Good doctors. I finally went to see an amazing naturopathic doctor after feeling off for a long time, and she changed my life! I feel like myself again, and I have her to thank for it.

8. Family who is there for me through everything; even the minutiae of everyday living.

9. A new (old) job filled with awesome people. If I have to spend time away from my little one, it has to be worth it. These co-workers and bosses and patients make it so very worth it.

10. Last but not least, four years of marriage to my soul mate. I couldn't ask for a better friend, love, and partner in life.

a day in my life

I recently submitted an entry for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries about a typical day for us. Have a read if you like...

Our days begin with the sun—its rays barely touch your face, and you are up in a rush of kisses and chatter, willing me to open my eyes and join you in your enthusiasm for another morning, with all of its exquisite possibilities.

We follow a calm and steady rhythm, whenever possible. Each transition has its own song, and we sing our way through tooth brushing, a morning blessing, quiet crafting, story time, pancake making, hand washing, and sharing a meal. Our home is filled with the music of two vastly different languages, and I am so proud of how you navigate deftly between them, singing Japanese folk songs with me, and whispering to your Daddy how much you think the world of him in English. And then it is just you and me together in our little corner of the universe, and I pinch myself that you are mine and I am yours—my dream incarnate.

We are blessed to be surrounded by perpetual sunshine and gardens that bask in it, growing wild and lush. You are happiest when running free through one garden or another, stopping to smell the flowers, and encouraging me to do the same. So I do, humbled by the wisdom of a two year old, and abashed by my distraction by seemingly inconsequent things. With you my little one, I am learning to be fully present, and to see the world for the gorgeous and love-filled place that it really is.

You are also a sensitive soul, who needs to take her time observing before diving in to be with others. I am learning patience and understanding, as I hold you sometimes for hours in my arms, your cheek warm and damp against mine, so that you feel safe enough to venture forth and to engage your own magic.

Our days are long, and our bodies are weary when we tumble into piles of quilts at the end of them, identical curls forever un-brushed, and eyes brimming with sleep and love.  Our nights can be longer still, as my milk and arms continue to be your solace when nightmares pay a visit in the stillest hours. There are times that I rail against sleep deprivation, and am overwhelmed by how fiercely you need me. But the storm always calms, and I am left with the aching beauty of a day well lived, a love profound, and I know that to get to do it all over again come morning is the greatest gift that has ever been offered.

Mar 8, 2015


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."

All the attitude. 

Mar 7, 2015

the collective-3

I did a guest post a little while back for bugs & peanut. This was the third installment in a series that propelled me to tackle things on my bucket list. Here I finally began to learn French again, after thinking about it and talking about it for years. You can read about it here!

8/52 & 9/52

Here are a couple more catch up shots for week 8 and 9. The epic and colorful time (battleground) known as dinner, and just another morning at the park, respectively.



"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."


"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."

I forgot my trusty camera this day, so it will be an iPhone portrait this week. Just a peaceful moment from a secret garden. 

Mar 4, 2015

the love more letters-1

I did a guest post for The Love More Shop, which is a beautiful business run by an absolutely lovely woman. She gives back a portion of her profits to a Love Fund, and a lucky couple is given a night out to nurture their relationship. Amazing right?! In this all encompassing journey of parenthood, it's sometimes easy to forget to do just that. We are so attuned to our children, but often not so much to ourselves or to our significant other. But love must go all ways for there to be balance and happiness, I think...You can read my post over at their blog--The Love More Letters.


I'm trying to catch up with my portraits--digging them out of the archive of millions of photos, but it is a slow process for sure. Here are the next three. And please, can she stop growing up so darn fast?




"A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."

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