on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘family’

My Fourth of July

John Lighting Fireworks on the Dock

I love the Fourth of July. And fireworks. And having family that lives on a lake. And friends to celebrate with.

All photos taken with the new HTC One. day 185/365.

I am Thankful for You

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

This year, like every year, has been one filled with ups and downs, events that went down as planned and events that went awry, things that happened for a reason and surprises that revealed themselves at the most opportune times.

Today was perhaps the most perfect Thanksgiving ever. It started by John and I going out last night to the 10pm showing of The Muppets and coming home to finish making Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (thanks to a delicious recipe from Bill the Butcher). Then this morning started by going to CrossFit and doing a team WOD with two of my best CrossFit friends. Participating in today’s WOD was a big deal since I’ve been doing solo workouts and rehabbing my shoulder due to tendonitis and bursitis that I’ve had for a year and a half.

For Thanksgiving dinner, we went to my in-laws’ house. They were the hosts and we dined with them, my sister-in-law, her fiancé, John, my parents, and a family friend. The feast was complimented by laughter and now I’m home on the couch, blogging, while John and I are watching Harry Potter, which is kind of a tradition in this house.

It was the perfect Thanksgiving Day.

Thirty Reasons to be Thankful

In the tradition of last year, here is what I am thankful for this year:

  • John – my support, my rock, my heart
  • Building strength, physical and psychological
  • New friends
  • Old friends
  • Friends who have moved from professional to personal friends
  • Twitter BFFs and blogging buddies
  • You, my reader
  • My blog
  • My new job
  • My old job
  • Mentors
  • My family – my parents, my in-laws, my sisters, my brothers, my nephew
  • Going to celebrate my nephew’s first birthday next week.
  • Having control over my own schedule
  • CrossFit
  • My acupuncturist and my chiropractor
  • Celebrating hump day
  • Being a writer
  • Mustaches
  • Hipsters and the hipster-way-of-life
  • Dancing, just because we can
  • Cooking and baking at home
  • Cuddling (even though my husband has dropped 50 pounds in the past year thanks to CrossFit, his hipbones are still fun to cuddle with)
  • Listening to my gut
  • Putting things in motion
  • Not settling
  • The ability, drive, and ambition to fix things that aren’t right
  • Big ideas, implemented
  • Do-ers
  • Being comfortable in my own skin and appreciating who I am.

That last one is probably the biggest way to summarize all that has happened so far this year. 2011 has been a “building” year – personally, professionally, physically, and psychologically.

Thank you – for reading and being here; would not be what it is without you.

Thank you.

Post-Thanksgiving CrossFit workout

Now, I’m going to do what I told you not to do yesterday and log off to spend time with the first item on this list.

Flat Stanley Gets Mailed to Seattle

I have a thing with deadlines and rules – if you give one to me, I will make it flex.

Flex? Who refers to missing negotiating deadlines as “flexing”?

Even when I give them to myself, they are always up for negotiation. Take for instance a little letter than landed on my doorstep just before Thanksgiving. Inside it was a form letter filled out by a sweet, sweet little girl who lives in Iowa and I happen to be related to. The letter is as follows:

Schweet! Right away I knew exactly where I was going to take Flat Stanley and what we were going to do. I was going to give my cousin the best Flat Stanley experience, ever! Hands down—THE BEST! And mail him back before or after Christmas? No problem. Lots. Of. Time.

Flat Stanley’s great adventure

Flat Stanley and I ventured around the city on Sunday, January 2nd—after Christmas. We hit all of the hot spots in Seattle and were even going to go see the Fish Guys at Pike Place Market and sweet talk them into a picture, but we couldn’t find parking. That’s okay; it was January in Seattle and Stanley was cold anyway (my aunt told me I could color him after we started on this journey; that would have been good to know).

So we went home after stopping for a fresh cup of good ol’ Seattle coffee, dumped the SD card of images, and promptly forgot to print them out.

Sometimes you need encouragement

That’s when I got the nice little ping for my aunt on Facebook a few weeks later, wondering what happened to their sweet Flat Stanley.

Shit. My nine-year-old-cousin choose me to send Flat Stanley to and all of the good intentions in the world were preventing me from printing out those pictures and sending him back.

Okay, let’s cut myself a little slack here. That and the fact that I don’t have a sweet, top-of-the-line color photo printer. Oh, conveniences! If they just asked me to post an album on Facebook, I would have done it, no problem! Better yet…live Tweet our adventure!

Wait, these are third graders…

So I sent my photos off to a printer, found a card, discovered a unique way to tell our story, and finally gave Stanely that sweater he was shivering over. If he was going back to Iowa after a big adventure in Seattle, the least he could have was a souvenir.

And on the first week of February, after Christmas, I mailed Flat Stanley back to my cousin in Iowa.

The moral of the story is…

And last week, I received this message from my aunt on Facebook:

the Fabulous Flat Stanley!! Facebook messageIf you have to stretch a deadline, it better be worth it.

Do you have a Flat Stanley story?

Help Me Change the World, One Life at a Time

Laura Kimball (lamiki) and newborn Lucius Howe

This month I became a first-time auntie. Being with my sister (who lives on the other side of the country) for the final weeks of her pregnancy, through labor, and helping to welcome her first baby home was one of the most incredible things I witnessed this year. I will never forget her strength and watching her transformed into a mother.

As an auntie, my job was to support her and my brother-in-law. There were some things that I could do, like make sure they were comfortable at home, but when we arrived at the hospital, all I could do was provide moral support while the midwives, doctors, and nurses stepped in.

I don’t know a lot about pregnancy and giving birth. But I do know is how important it is to have a midwife or a doctor to ensure the safe delivery of her baby and her own well-being. And while all expectant mothers make a birth plan, circumstances may change that and access to services skilled health care providers when we need it is something we take for granted in the States.

Many mothers around the world are not as fortunate. According to the United Nations:

  • More than 350,000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth, almost all of them — 99 per cent — in developing countries.
  • The maternal mortality rate is declining only slowly, even though the vast majority of deaths are avoidable.
  • Every year, more than 1 million children are left motherless. Children who have lost their mothers are up to 10 times more likely to die prematurely than those who have not.

What breaks my heart is that most maternal deaths could be avoided through access to skilled health care workers, services, equipment, and supplies. This is why improving maternal health is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals the United Nations is dedicated towards achieving in an effort to end poverty by 2015.

Luckily, we can do something to help work towards that goal and change those statistics.

My goal is to adopt a total of 5 mothers and their newborns through Jolkona, the nonprofit I volunteer with.

You can support this campaign by making a full gift of $235 which will support one mother and her child for 3½ years or by making a partial donation for as little as $5.

You will not receive a proof-of-impact for a partial donation. However, if you make a partial gift, let me know and I will put you on a private email list and share with you updates about the mother you supported. To respect the privacy policy Jolkona has for their beneficiaries and partner organizations, I cannot share with you any photos or the name of the mothers and their children. But I can share their stories and tell you about them.Campaign Widget, Powered by Jolkona

Help me save a life, actually 10 lives. For more information on how to donate, visit my campaign page on Jolkona or learn more by going here.

Will you help me make an impact for the holidays?

Update: Thank you for all of your support! As of January 14, 2011, this campaign was complete and with your help, we exceeded the campaign’s goal and supported 6 mothers and their newborns! Thank you so much for making such an enormous impact!

I’m Thankful for Homemade Pies

In every family, there’s one thing that is your “thing” and it’s a right-of-passage to learn how to do it and how to do it well. It’s usually a trade secret and something you can whip out at parties and impress your friends with. Something that is passed down by generations and a mad skill that is like nothing for you when you do it. In my family, this thing is making pies from scratch.

These pies originate where my roots do, from the Midwest. One year when I was in high school, my parents, sister and I spent Christmas with our family on their farm in Iowa. My grandpa wasn’t doing so well, so all the aunts and their families came to spend some quality time together. We turned my grandma’s kitchen into a pie-lover’s dream.

We are pie-making machines

We had three stations: crust, filling, fruit processing. The first few pies went straight into the oven and straight into our mouths. The rest were slid into gallon zip-lock bags and stacked in the deep freeze in the basement, to give Grandma something quick and easy to give Grandpa if he was being finicky. Since that winter, it’s been an unofficial contest between my cousins as to who can mass-produce the most number of pies in one pie-making session. One summer they made something obscene like 15 pies due to a healthy crop of homegrown rhubarb. I can’t compete with that. (more…)