Saturday, November 26, 2011

holiday season

It's finally here, and today I'm starting The Holiday Joy UP, hosted by Hannah Marcotti. It's ten days of gratitude, joy, and magic, and I'm already loving every minute of it.

How fantastic, to soak yourself in love and joy in the weeks leading up to the holidays, and create exactly what it is you'd like for yourself this season.

(And bonus! It's a pay-what-you'd-like course. So, my naysaying inner voice had no reason to convince me not to do this. And you can too.)

I'm thinking this is the perfect way to begin the holiday season. Cheers :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

the kitchen holiday

I'm so excited. And proud. And giddy, too.

My sister has finally started a blog.

A food blog!

It's been in the works for awhile and, being the perfectionist goddess that she is, Rachel's finally gotten it just right.

And it couldn't be better, or more Rachel.

Check out The Kitchen Holiday (she brands it as "invigorating cooking to soothe and enliven your senses") and stay tuned for more scrumptious recipes she's got up her sleeve. (Seriously, this girl has plans.) So far, she's posted about apple and caramelized onion tarts and pumpkin spice pancakes, complete with adorable iPhone photos of culinary life in her tiny D.C. kitchen.

I think you'll love her just as much as I do!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

we can burn brighter than the sun.

In love. Deep, sweet love.

If only my car stereo speakers could blast this louder.

found via soul rebel

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

life lately.

habit : november 10

Oh, it's been hard.

Hard but good and busy and full as well.

We lost power for ten days. Ten days is a long time to be without power. Emergency shelters were quickly set up and street captains volunteered and everyone sort of pulled together. But, as a friend put it, it felt more like "coming out of a deep depression." Being so totally disconnected and in the dark (literally and figuratively!) can do a number on the soul. So, we're glad it's over. Now for the catching up and cleaning up to ensue in full force. (And there's still a lot of it.)

I'm suffering from yet another sinus infection, the first of the season. Which is so, so disheartening, seeing as how I had nose surgery just five months ago to prevent this very thing. So I've been coping with these all-too-familiar symptoms -- low, low energy levels, constant headaches, aching ears, wicked congestion, painfully sore throat -- by doing the bare minimum. I'm not very good at this.

Amidst all this, I've been re-learning (yet again) how to take care of myself during my cycle. I always seem to forget, and I think it's just a matter of not having fully learned these lessons yet. I'm taking comfort and guidance in Hannah Marcotti's words. (They feel like heaven-sent sacred passages.) And remembering tea and moving slowly and the power of saying no.

My birthday didn't nearly go as planned. And yet, here I am -- 24. My parents gifted me with a prized new lens that hasn't come off my camera since. I'm in love. And so curious as to what she can't capture beautifully.

I've also fallen in love with habit, this month especially. Taking comfort in all the wise words and collective daily photography feels like a sweet soul medicine. (And I've been featured, once!)

I'm curious to know where your lives have been, lately, too. I hope you're all well :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

{this moment}

 {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama :)

sunlit hair, november

Thursday, November 3, 2011

a grateful birthday.


So. Here it is. Teetering at the edge of twenty-four years, my life. Almost a quarter of a century! Tomorrow, I will have been on this Earth for a complete twenty-four years. And will be about to swoop into my twenty-fifth year.

This feels huge to me.



Of course, this is still only my second birthday since I decided to take them back. To reinvent them. To devise a totally new definition for its term and meaning.

Of course.

Of course this is huge. It is huge.

A birthday contemplated for weeks (months, even). Meticulously planned. Cautiously organized. To use my best truth and judgment to masterfully create a day celebrating my birth into a new year.

This is huge.

Last year, I was shocked to realize I didn't have to be vulnerable to other peoples' whims. To be subject to their moods or words or wallets. Why yes, I thought. I don't even need to be around anyone at all. And so I did just that. I took myself away for the day, without work or cell services or greetings of birthday wishes, away across the state to a cozy little Ayurvedic spa where I pampered myself silly.


Gloriously alone.

Did you know some people celebrate their birthdays alone every year? I hadn't.

Yet I did just that. I made no plans for a party or seeing friends. I went home that evening and had dinner with my parents and that was that.

It was utterly satisfying.

This year, I've thought long and hard about how I'd like to celebrate.

And when I really tuned in and listened, I heard a tiny little voice wanting friends at this birthday. A select few, hand-picked people.

It started with a small list in my journal, meticulously deciding who I wanted to invite in to this day.

It grew to sixteen people.

And most of them are able to come. What a shift. Not only from last year, but in my life.

So my birthday night will find me settled into a cozy mill-turned-restaurant, listening to live music and toasting with friends on my sides.

And yet I'd like to be alone on this birthday, too.

Alone, yes.

On Saturday I'll shut off my phone and drive up the coast, with no destination. With nothing but a loaded iPod and a tank full of gas and a map, perhaps.

To give myself space for celebrating and breathing and looking back and looking ahead. For applauding myself and giving myself a birthday present.

I used to make lists on my birthday of all I wanted to do in the coming year. But now, gratitude feels extra important. I'd much rather realize all I've done in my 24th year, since I turned 23.

Once I did this, and made a list in my journal of all I could think of, I was astounded. Just look.

In the past year, I have:

: quit a job that didn't serve me the night before my last birthday
: opened an Etsy shop
: asked for an early raise, and got it
: found a new job in a creative field, closer to what I'd like to be doing full-time
: discovered, and let it transform me
: joined an online women's circle
: started meditating
: joined Twitter
: let my sweet cat go
: totally reinvented my lunch hours
: realized I feel most like myself with long hair and let it grow
: started truly journalling
: did a raw food cleanse
: took back my birthdays

Leaps and bounds! If you had shown 20-year-old-Ruth this list, even 23-year-old-Ruth, she would have scoffed at it. Wouldn't have believed it.

This life is a beautiful thing.