S H I N E.

If I hold back, I'm no good...  
I'd rather be good sometimes, than holding back all the time.
~janis joplin 
over the weekend, we had the opportunity to see an incredible production of, 'one night with janis joplin'.

from beginning to end~
my heart was beating.
my soul, singing.

{...the pure magical, glorious essence of [being in the presence of] one who lets their LIGHT shine.}

not bad for a sunday matinee.

Hard work pays off.

Ryan has always been a good influence on me when it comes to shutting work OFF (back in the days that I used to work... or more specifically, when I had work on my brain 24/7).  For years, we both held the same position.  Both district managers for Starbucks Coffee Company.  Both had the same number of direct reports, similar geographical spans- in other words, the same exact work load.  But he had this AMAZING ability to leave his laptop shut when he walked in the door (This was back in the glorious days when our mobile phones were not inundated with texts or email... when their sole purpose was for *phone calling*... Sadly, keeping the laptop shut nowadays doesn't quite do the trick of 'shutting work off'...).  So, thanks to him, we do weekends pretty well. 
But for the same reasons mentioned here, old habits have returned -in the form of laundry, dishes, paperwork, inbox-clearing, garage-cleaning...  But when spring break ended last week, and I wrote that post (declaring to GO more... see more, try more, DO more), I vowed to take our weekends back to a time for play... for togetherness... for rest~ & rejuvenation.    
On Friday, I read this article~ "What The Most Successful People Do With Their Weekends".  ~my thoughts exactly.

I worked hard during the week, and in fact- by the time I read those words, laundry was done.  Any that built up over the weekend could (& did) wait until Monday.  The must-do's of the week were done.  Still a million TO-do's.  But those could (& did) wait until Monday.

Hard work really does pay offThe absence of laundry alone made a world of differenceSome of our time was spent doing "work"~ making pizza, digging dirt~ but of a different variety.  {...a variety that also pays very well.}  
 {...one of our big weekend "jobs"~ reviving our garden, which [despite intentions to keep it going year-round] hasn't been touched since last summer... this year, due to limited time, we broke the work into parts... we cleared it out and prepped the soil a couple of weekends back... last weekend, we mapped it out and purchased our seeds... this past weekend, we purchased our seedlings & planted.  this year, we wanted to involve the kids more than we have in years past.  breaking it up into parts allowed it to be more enjoyable~ and less stressful (or- keeping in line with the theme of this post~ "work-filled").  this year, they each got their own planter box!  they picked out their own seeds and with our help, plotted & planted... we love seeing them get so 'into it' :).}
Now Monday is here, the hampers are full, and I'm more than ready to work just as hard this week for that {weekend} payoff that awaits.

A new approach.

{Yesterday, I sent an email to a friend~ thanking her for gifting me with the amazing cookbook, in the photo above.  Here is a portion of her reply...}

Today I got a cookbook that I saw advertised in Sunset magazine... It is soul food vegan... by Bryant Terry, named The Inspired Vegan

I have decided that in order to be the artist I want to be and give the classes I am doing, and volunteer at the school, and lounge about reading, etc. as I do, I have to make what I do in the kitchen (I cook almost all our meals) short and sweet- but better than I have been doing (do you know what I mean?)...

So in order to improve as a cook and eater... I want to make the most attention on the veggie part of the meal... and then throw in the meat/chicken/fish/chicken sausage/ as the easy part.  I am thinking that using the soul food vegan cooking approach might entice me to spend more thought and give me some new skills…  

Cooking is very interesting to me- but I have so many hobbies and loves that cooking and food has to get in line behind many other things.

YES.  I do know what she means.  I know exactly what she means.  It's as if she took the words right out of my mouth (er... keyboard).


{a beautiful alicia bock photograph ~ a daily reminder to GO.}

You know that saying, "You need to get out more"?

For various reasons (that I've shared before... homework being one of the primary culprits~ Ryan and Jacob's homework) we've sort of become homebodies.  And I am blatently reminded of this fact each and every time I log into my instagram account.  This is not a bad thing, I might add.  ~This blatent reminder.  It doesn't throw me into a jealous state... or a my-life-is-MISERABLE mindset.  Because, really- it is not.  I love our home.  I love what we have {intentionally} created it to be.  I love the memories we create in the walls within.  The laughs we share.  The wine we sip.  The seeds we plant.  The games we play.  The meals we savor.  The shows we watch.  It really is home-sweet-home.

But it has definitely sparked a longing~ a longing that was already there~ as we've always had the urge explore- to see- to do- to try- to GOAs much as we enjoy the comfort of four walls and a couple of super comfy sofas (we picked well :)), there is nothing that compares to fresh air and an open road.

That spark is pretty much on fire at this point.  Not only within me... but in each of us.  On day one of spring break, upon finishing a little "coaching session" with Jacob- encouraging him to use his money for doing and not only acquiring... he proceed to inform me that there are many places he'd like to go... things he would like to do.  He had no trouble listing them all out.  Hailey (the child that wakes up each and every non-school day and asks, "Where are we going to go today??") was more-than-eager to join the conversation.  And best of all?  Their lists weren't filled with amusement parks (although they were definitely included) and presently-insurmountable excursions.  But instead, nearby museums, parks, movies... "places [we've never visited] in L.A!"... "the beach!"...  All doable.  Or at least, plan-worthy.

Simply put:  We really do need to get out more.

So off we went.  A little something (or somewhere I should say), each and every day.  Happy kids.  Happy mama.  Happy dad (to come home to the aforementioned 'happy').  Happiness abound.  

Every girl...

“... is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama and doll tits. This is why everyone is struggling.”
-Tina Fey

image via
Love this quote.

And hate it at the same time.

Sweet & savory. {Savory & sweet.}

Yesterday, spring break officially commenced.  I took the kids to see The Croods.  As I rushed to get ready, I asked Jacob to get our snacks together.  He asked Hailey and I what we would eat first~ the candy or the popcorn.  He accommodated each of our wishes.

The Footnotes:
  1. We're cheap.
  2. Delayed gratification is vastly overrated.
  3. He's quite methodical, incredibly thoughtful, & pretty sweet~ that boy of mine. (but never before savory)

The movie? ...such a positive message, & funny too. thumbs up.
...& he was in it :).
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