A Pause

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This post has been a long time coming. When I left my publishing job and took on a completely new project, opening and running a store, I lost the time at my computer that I had to devote to blogging. I also lost my motivation. I used to derive a lot of pleasure from this space, from writing and creating and connecting. That has been replaced with a new creative outlet, one that is really tangible and concrete.

I’ve had an intense few weeks. I was profiled in the San Diego paper last weekend. I was on the news yesterday. And I’m celebrating my ten year wedding anniversary today. Those are all joyful events, and I’m very grateful for them. But I’ve also lost privacy this year. My name is out there, along with where I live, what I like to do on the weekends, what I read with my kids. I have a responsibility to my family to protect their desire to live a private life. And I want to spend the limited free time I have really with my friends and family, in the moment, not online.

I always felt like my blog was a sacred space, that the fact that my readership was small meant that no one was judging my words unfairly, that we were a solid, supportive little community. That is no longer the case, and after much discussion with my husband, I’ve decided to put the blog on hold for now. I hate to call this an ending, because when I go back and re-read old posts from years back, there is so much life captured here that I enjoy revisiting. But this is the right decision for us right now.

Thank you all for your support, your kind comments, and your friendship. I’m still on Instagram @suchsmallsteps  if you want to stay up on me, the kids, and the many cocktails I drink around town. I’ve changed my settings to private but I will approve any requests from people I recognize. I also may keep updating what I’m reading, because I love keeping a record of the books I’ve enjoyed.

Have a wonderful summer. xoxo

About Me

Motherhood, Moms

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Mother’s Day weekend 2014: trips to the park, Mexican food, Pilates class with my mom, book shopping, waffle-making, conversation, gifts, both handmade and the stunning necklace I’ve coveted from my store for the past six months.

I rarely pull out our big camera these days but I want to take more pictures of family. I want to print them and put them in albums and look at them for years to come when I’m having trouble remembering these moments.

I’m grateful for the way my relationship with my parents becomes more open and honest with each passing year. There is no judgment, only a deeper understanding for what our lives really were and are. I have been blessed with so many women who are beautiful inside and out- my mom, my stepmom, my mother-in-law, sister, stepsisters, sisters-in-law, aunts…the list goes on. It’s a sisterhood that has taught me so much about the woman I am trying to be and I’m very grateful for that, especially as I raise a young woman of my own. Motherhood is something I still feel like I make up day by day, but when I’m doubting my instincts, I turn to these women to learn from them.

Happy day, happy weekend. Hope yours was as well!

(and my favorite post featuring my mom, here)

 

*the shots are a little blown out but I appear to have lost my edition of Photoshop, so oh well!

About Me, Parenting, Relationships

Our Weekly Menu (on a Tuesday)

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As is typical, I’m running a bit behind schedule posting this. J and I are trying our best to save money and stick to a strict(er) budget, and one area where we realized we spend way too much money is on food. Our grocery bill is staggering, especially when you add in Costco and Trader Joe’s runs. Planning our meals a week in advance and then cooking from our refrigerator and pantry more efficiently should make a difference. We’ll see! If you have any money-saving tips, I’m all ears.

Monday: Cinco de Mayo, so Crispy Black Bean and Feta Tacos with margaritas, of course!

Tuesday: dinner out with the ladies

Wednesday: Asian Chicken Thighs over rice with bok choy

Thursday: Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts and Feta; arugula and pear salad

Friday: Dinner by Vetted Table at my big work event, Booked for the Evening (It’s not too late to buy tickets if you’re in San Diego! Should be an amazing night!)

And a few extra things I’ll be making:

Fresh Mint Iced Coffee  (photo above) to replace the pricey Roast Coach habit I’ve fallen into

Another Orangette granola recipe that is sure to become a weekly staple

Gluten Free Granola Bars from The Ma Books (lovely new blog)

Plus a cookbook I am definitely buying, the pleasure of eating alone (one thing I miss so much since I stopped traveling for work!!) and a totally comprehensive look at weekly meal planning that’s basically my goal, once I become a much, much more organized person ;)

And maybe one more cocktail. Who can resist a Blood Orange and Thyme Paloma?!

What are you cooking these days? I’d love to hear!

Food and Drink

Change Starts with New Hair

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It’s been a hectic, stressful few weeks, so I did what any rational person would do: I made a rash decision to change my hairstyle. I booked a last minute appointment and chopped off a few inches, using these photos as inspiration. I’ve had my hair all different lengths, so it’s not completely insane, but even as I sat in the stylist’s chair, I kept flashing on that old saying about not making big hair changes during periods of stress. Anyway, what’s done is done. The beauty of hair is that it always grows back!

I read this quote on Sho and Tell this morning and it resonated with me all day long:

Anytime you’re gonna grow, you’re gonna lose something. You’re losing what you’re hanging onto to keep safe. You’re losing habits that you’re comfortable with, you’re losing familiarity.
— James Hillman

That’s it. I’ve lost my safety net this year. It’s not the hair. That’s just one tiny symbol of the bigger picture. I’m learning everything from scratch at work, all on my own. The good? When I want to try something or to experiment or to take on a new type of event or project, no one tells me no. The bad? I have no one instructing me on how to do it. I’m succeeding or failing all by myself. I have a staff that I love, but I don’t have a mentor. The freedom is exhilarating and terrifying. I’m finding strength I didn’t know I had but I’m also realizing that I’m intensely vulnerable. I’ve burst into tears at work at least four times in the past few months. That’s more than I cried in the twelve years I had my last job, though overall I’m happier now than I ever was then. It’s just that everything is new. Everything is strange and unfamiliar.

I’m scheduled to be on the news this Friday promoting our California Bookstore Day events, another first. Rocking my new hair, just to make me even more nervous! Wish me luck…

P.S. I loved this blog post on changing careers. Jenna is so often on a similar wavelength (though always more eloquent).

About Me, Career, Health and Beauty

What You Never Do

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Early in our courtship, J and I spent many a night at concerts. He worked for record labels, so we had free tickets to everything, and since we lived in Los Angeles and were college students with zero responsibilities, any night was a good night to catch a show. I think that’s one way that he won me over. I enjoyed music before I met him, but after a few months together, I loved it. That’s lasted to this day, and now it’s a part of me. I live and breathe music, new and old. So when I realized that it had been, oh, more than a year since our last show, I knew it was time to take action. I bought tickets to a few spring and summer shows. On weeknights. Dangerous territory for a couple with no paid sitters on standby. It just felt necessary, you know? I couldn’t stop thinking about how we used to do something that made us so happy and now we just didn’t. That’s the hardest thing about getting older, the way that things you love or people you’re close to just fade away in the busyness of life and responsibility.

There are things that I don’t do. Ride a bike, for one. Pack minimally. “Play things by ear.” Invite people over at the last minute without freaking out about the condition of my house. But all of a sudden I’m starting to feel the ticking of the clock. It just feels like this is the time. Like if there are things I never do, or wouldn’t do, or used to do but stopped, or am known not to do, this may be the time to turn that around. I still don’t feel settled in my skin. I feel like I can’t say for sure that I do or don’t enjoy something without giving it another real, honest try. So maybe this is the time to just start saying yes to everything. To stepping out on a limb and seeing if maybe the thirty-five year old me enjoys something that the twenty-year-old did not.

I am declaring this the summer of yes. We have no big trips on the horizon and a tight budget due to a pending home purchase. Perfect time to step outside my comfort zone on a smaller scale. I’m starting with the concerts. Maybe a family bike ride is up next…

 

*picture taken at last week’s AMAZING Broken Bells show. You know how pictures seem so much clearer and more artistic after you’ve had a few beers? Yeah, that!

About Me