Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: christmas

Powering Down

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but I haven’t been posting as much lately. I’m super grateful for this space and for you, dear reader. And I find the holiday season sweeps me up and carries me into it’s darker, festive days.

So, I’m going to power-down this space for the next few weeks in order to finish up work, enjoy time with my family and gear up for the new year.

Here are a few things I have going on:

– Moving this blog over to it’s own URL, hosting and tweaking a new layout. It’s going to be all sorts of revamped (I hope).

– Napping. A lot. Sometimes I just need more rest than other months.

– Hosting Christmas at our place, for my family, for the first time ever.

– Enjoying having my husband, parents and siblings all together on Christmas morning for the first time in the 12 years H and I have been together.

– Promoting a big work event (the one that usually steamrolls me in January) and trying not to lose my shit.

– Writing Christmas cards. Shopping for gifts online. Panicking ever so slightly we won’t have it all done in time.

– Celebrating my sister and good friend’s birthdays.

– Going to the movies! I’ve seen Gone Girl, Interstellar, Nightcrawler, Hunger Games and Exodus in the past 2 months.

– Scrapbooking, aka putting words and pictures together on paper.

– Savoring time with H, walks with Carter Cash and coffee dates with friends.

– Generally feeling great about life and the awesomeness of 2014.

– Working my way through the Unraveling 2015 workbook. Get yours here.

Cheers to your holiday and a happy new year to you! xo

Welcoming December

November was a month full of travel – leaving home for work once and fun twice.

December is home-bound all the way.

We got back from our Thanksgiving trip to Joshua Tree yesterday afternoon – driving home in the rain that visited SoCal (gosh, we need it). We spent the later afternoon reading (me) and napping (H & Carter Cash). It was a very active, fun, adventurous weekend. I plan on writing more about it this week.

This morning I welcomed in December with a quick trip to Starbucks to write out all of the swirling ToDos in my head. Getting things down on paper is not only a relief, but also gives me a solid way to keep track of the next thing I want to / need to work on.

The season of red cups, Christmas music and gift-list making is upon us. We have family visiting in T-2.5 weeks and we’re hosting everyone for Christmas, officially, for the first time this year.

After work I am going to pack up the Thanksgiving decorations and pull out the Christmas ones. The weather plus end of daylight savings time has made the evenings dark and long. I think it’s 6pm when it’s only 4pm. I think it’s time for bed around 7pm. We’re asleep most night by 9:30pm, and sleep 8hrs straight. We wake before the sunrise, moving through the dark apartment by 5:30am.

But it’s part of the season, part of the change, part of the flow. I can’t believe we’re in the last month of 2014, I’m holding on to every last bit of it as the days go by.

The photo above is for day 1 of December Reflections, hosted by Susannah Conway. I don’t plan on sharing the photos here in that exact capacity, but feel free to follow / join over on Instagram.

And lastly, a happy 50th birthday to my awesome MIL who embodies the spirit of the (Sagittarius) with her enthusiasm for life. xo

Our First Christmas In LA

It was our first Christmas in LA and as newly weds. I didn’t take a ton of photos. Total regret since this is the first time I hosted Christmas for my siblings, and that we’re all 3 away from home… we didn’t take one photo together #fail

At least we have a few pictures and lots of memories.

We were up at 5am to video chat with H’s family and then checked in on my parents. Despite the lack of sleep and three bottles of wine in twenty-four hours, it was a relaxing day. Just lovely. My mom made sure we had a ton of gifts (three boxes arrived on Christmas Eve) and my sister cooked all day Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The photo above is the amazing lasagna she made for Christmas Eve and the cheesecake she made for Christmas dessert (best one I’ve ever had). A friend came over too – we walked, napped, talked, played cards and felt as festive as could be.

Last year I wrote about the holidays being a blur and wishing for “tens days home with H and our dog” and here we are… I’m loving every minute of it. Sending you lots of cheer as 2012 winds down through the next day or so. Love xo

Merry Christmas

Twas our first Chrismas in LA. And what a wonderful Christmas it was. Lots of love to you and yours. ❤

With Love


Twas a Good Day

Today was exceptionally wonderful – a great start to our holiday vacation.

I was up early – not because I meant to be, but because alcohol from last night disrupted my sleep. I wrote morning pages and read a book. We straightened up the downstairs some, both of us a tad cranky. We’d planned breakfast out and then shopping, but H suggested we take the dog along with us and swing by the puppy park first.

The boys played at the park while I sat in the car relaxing. I noticed the change in seasons in the gray light and crisp air. The atmosphere finally matches the shift in our energy since Daylight Savings Time ended.

At breakfast we chatted about plans to stay in this apartment for at least another 18 months or so, and my dream from August about replacing the carpet and couch and repainting may finally come to fruition in a few weeks. H is on board. He feels “we’re just visiting now”. I could hear an ache for “home” when he spoke. I admit, this caught me off guard some, as he’s hardly been home since grad school started in September. But hardly being here probably just exaggerates his feeling of just visiting. It made me even more driven to nest; clean, decorate and create our space with intention.

We drove up to Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade – part outdoor mall, part tourist trap. I had to go to an Apple store for part of H’s gift. He went into Express and Urban Outfitters. We traded off waiting outside with the dog. It felt relaxing until the crowds swelled, so we left.

We ran laundry, wrapped gifts and watched football. I read some more. We ate frozen pizza. H and my sister drank some beers and are watching a movie. I’m tucked upstairs, after a hot shower, blogging from bed with the dog curled at my feet.

‘Twas a good day.

The Long Paw

Exhausted and excited to host Christmas in our apartment this year – our first Christmas in Los Angeles, without our families, no flying back to the East Coast. Feeling tired just thinking about. Hoping to sneak in a nap with this guy – what a little snoozer.

Low Energy

Mailed out a few Christmas gifts today. You’d think being home in LA for the holidays would be relaxing – no plane rides, no long trips, and lots of time at home. But this week before Christmas still feels as hectic as if we’re flying out on Friday on our annual pre-Christmas red eye.

We’re not – and the beautiful goal of 10+ days off starting Friday afternoon is so delicious, I can’t wait. I keep doing what I think is a lot of work and yet, my to do list / stress level isn’t lessening. Today was complete scheduling chaos (thanks to the moon void of course). Things moved around, cancelled, double-booked and generally steam-rolled me from the time I woke up until about 1pm. Then I could finally focus and do work. And hardly did any. I mean, I did work, but it didn’t feel like much at all…

So I sit here now, watching the Jets lose (again) with no major thoughts in my head besides “bath” and “bed” and wondering why I’m even trying to keep my body out of either. I think I’m gonna go start the hot water now. I could use a good soak. And sleep.

Hopefully my energy is back up tomorrow. xo

Sundays Are For (Week 14)

Christmas decorations, a long walk with H and the pup, coffee and eggs at home. I tried to create a few ornaments myself today – mostly it felt like a failure, but now with the trim trimmed, I am happier with the results. We bought more lights and finished the tree, though we still need a tree skirt. This whole “Christmas” thing is much more stressful as an adult when you don’t have your family’s supplies and traditions at the ready.

I spent most of the day ordering and organizing gifts. I’m frustrated. I spent so much time and I still have so much more to do – for only 14 people or so. And now we’re up late because H is working on a final paper for his first finished semester of grad school. Just thought I’d pop in and put a quick post up. Even though it’ll be a packed few days, and I have lots to do, I’m excited it’s the last week before the holidays.

How was your weekend? xo

ps – the feathers are a hat tip to the magic of this year

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!