Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: california

Ode To SoCal


When I first moved to LA, things were cool. Newly graduated and living 3,000 miles from my family and boyfriend, I basically was freaking out. But the city was huge and I did what I could to explore, meet people, find a job.

Once the job was secured, life calmed down a bit. Kind of. The sublet I lived in was perfect, romantic even, and I started running to fill my free time. But as is habit, I put way too much pressure on myself. I had yet to learn the SoCal way of living – which is, just live.

A job and apartment change found me working and living alone. This could’ve been the perfect time to dig down into what I really wanted to do, to lounge and relax and pursue personal goals of anything I wanted. But I was paralyzed. I didn’t allow myself to do much of anything.

Then H moved to LA, we moved in together, and things moved along. I decided to get a therapist and focus on myself. This was an immense move, one that I thank my past self for. I wouldn’t be where I am today if she hadn’t hung onto that idea with both fists.

Soon after, we moved to a different part of the city, one where it was was cooler, our apartment was nicer and I could ride a bike to the beach. I tried giving myself some space, and a break. We adopted Carter. I took up photography for the first time in years. I started this blog. Somehow, all of this personal work influenced my professional career and I was promoted into a brand-new position created for me. Then, Henry proposed and we were on to that whirlwind.

And all the while, Los Angeles in all it’s entertainment industry, hippy-beach-culture, sunny days and warm nights was growing on me.

When we were on our honeymoon, and people asked where we were from, I wanted to say Los Angeles like I’d grown up here. It felt like home. So much of the east coast work-is-your-worth-must-not-stop culture was fading into the background.

Now I know much of this has to do with me growing up, taking responsibility for my life, and the beautiful leveling out of things that happens as one nears their late twenties… but I think I would be ignoring a major factor if I didn’t point to Los Angeles as a supporting character in all of this.

And now that my sister lives here, I can see that change happening for her too. She’s brighter, happier, more active. That’s us in the photo above, on a hike, right near her apartment. She’s got the mountains, I have the ocean.

Something about this city allows us to be ourselves and enjoy life deeply. And I am so grateful for that.


Parents In LA






It’s been months since I saw my parents in Vegas and they haven’t visited LA since Thanksgiving November 2011 when we purchased my wedding dress. And we didn’t go home for Christmas this year. So, it’s been a while. And in that time, both my brother and sister relocated to southern California as well. This was the first visit with all three kids here.

I think this trip set the bar for the next one. Until then, we’ll talk about how they stayed with my sister and helped her fix apartment issues. How her landlord is finicky; they needed him to snake the kitchen sink, we couldn’t cook, so we ate In&Out. Mom and Dad got milkshakes. We’ll talk about how we drove up to Duke’s in Malibu for lunch near the ocean, and could only get the table right off the patio in the bar. The pictures above are from our stop on PCH because traffic was backed up.

They’ll tell people how they visited Newport Beach where my brother lives, hung out on the beach, ate good food. How they had dinner with his boss, and my sister and I split a bottle of wine. How our hotel ended up being where the Yankees were staying and my mom got a photo with Mariano Rivera. (Highlight of the trip for them, I’m sure).

We’ll talk about meeting up at Malibu Wines after they got lost, and how it was relaxing but the flies landing on our picnic sucked. How they loved the aquarium by the Tanked guy the most. They may mention sitting in our apartment relaxing, walking Carter with me or how Mom and I got mani-pedis. They’ll definitely mention the hike my sister took them on and seeing the sunset. And possibly the dinner of pizza and wine in my neighborhood.

We’ll talk about my sister’s crazy dance moves to Blurred Lines, margaritas and mexican food. How they shopped at Home Deport and Bed, Bath and Beyond even though they were on vacation. And slept on air mattresses because of the layout of our apartments. They’ll rave about my sister’s job and company, about how nice of an apartment I live in, how my brother is doing really well. (They’re very proud of us).

And while all of this was nice, I will tell people about how it was so nice to finally spend time with my parents without them running around crazy. To talk to my dad while we walked the dog in my now-hometown, Los Angeles. That my mom was slightly choked up as I drove her home from our manicures, saying that we’d wasted so much time, and that our wedding was still the talk of people back home… and I told her it was OK – that everything’s working out just as it should.

And it has. And I think this trip was the best way to kick off our family now – with the three kids all grown up with jobs and apartments – and my parents settling into their empty-nest, saving money and building their business, so they can visit even more.

I very much look forward to it.


Here are a few other posts about my relationship with my parents:
Father’s Day
Happy Birthday Dad
A Note For My Mom

This post inspired by hula seventy’s about paris.


I Was Made For You

Just attended the wedding of some great friends up in Ojai, CA. They were married in the garden of the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, which is beyond gorgeous. The groom sang Brandi Carlile’s “I Was Made For You” during the ceremony (he invited us to her concert back in the fall). Their vows were adorable, the food was delicious, and the custom mix the groom made was so much fun to dance to all night.

And let’s just take a moment to stare in awe at her dress…

H and I had a ball dancing up a storm, drinking custom cocktails and thoroughly enjoying our time together. It’s been a while since we’ve partied together like that. So worth it.

It was a wedding full of love and commitment by two people who really do seem like they were made for each other. Sending them lots of congratulations.



Chase This Light

With the time and season changes, Carter Cash is now able to find hot little rays of sunlight coming in through our east facing windows. He’ll wander around, following me, doing his morning thing, but then he’ll seem to evaporate. And I find him curled into a ball in little places he would never normally nest in. It’s very cute. And I’m feeling it too – I just want to sit outside and soak up the sun. I know this is southern California, so this shouldn’t be an issue, but when that spring sun-slant starts aiming its beams for you, you feel it.

Hope things are getting springy in your neck of the woods too xo

This Grateful Season – Siblings

2012 marks the year that my siblings moved to Southern California.

I arrived in Los Angeles September 2006. My brother came out for an internship in February and stayed. And my sister arrived two weeks ago, taking up residency on an air matress in our office. So now it’s the three of us in California. Mom is happy we’re together, but unhappy she’s not with us.

I can’t really describe what it’s like to be 3,000 miles away from home for 5+ years and then all of a sudden have both your siblings within a 30 miles radius. As the oldest, it settles me, like a mother hen counting her chicks. We’re all here.

And now with the wedding, I officially added H’s siblings, these people who share his upbringing, humor and family, who allow me to be myself sometimes more than my own.

This will be the first Christmas we don’t go home – my parents are planning to fly here. Who knew that my spontaneous idea to take an internship in Los Angeles would shift the life plans of my family and my husband, but here we are.

Life is funny that way.

Read the post I wrote about my sister for last year’s Grateful Season here – Ricky.


For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!