• listen to your mother
    Creating a Living,  Featured,  Writing

    Listen to Your Mother

    I’m supposed to be on vacation right now. Actually, I AM on vacation right now, hidden away on a cabin on an island with a few close friends, but I just had to share something. I recently did something brave and scary: I worked up the nerve to audition for Listen To Your Mother. What is Listen to Your Mother? LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER features live readings by local writers on the beauty, the beast, and the barely-rested of motherhood, in celebration of Mother’s Day. Born of the creative work of mothers who publish on-line, each production is directed, produced, and performed by local communities, for local communities. Today, the cast of…

  • Cancer,  Featured,  How to Juggle Cancer and Parenting,  Parenting,  WW

    How to deal with disappointment

    I know that one of my jobs as a parent is to teach her how to deal with disappointment – but not like this; this isn’t what I had in mind. We should be working on learning how to gracefully accept that she gets what she gets for dinner, and not necessarily a doughnut. We should be working on accepting the fact that she’s not getting a pony for her birthday. We should be working on understanding that all fun activities end eventually, and when the playdate is over, we need to gracefully go home. Instead, we had to cancel our vacation last minute because I came down with influenza. She…

  • Featured,  WW

    Traveling to Alaska

    I’m thinking about going to Alaska. Next week. Who goes to Alaska in February? This is the time of year even Alaskans try to escape. Well, my mom, for starters. And my brother. They’re both moving back to Alaska and decided to caravan together. Last time I went to Alaska, it was in the middle of summer. I took these photos on our last trip to Alaska. Mom was moving back up there that time as well, and Gem and I tagged along with her. She was so little then. This time, they are taking the ferry rather than driving the entire way through Canada, and they invited us along for the…

  • Cancer,  Featured

    Comparing Pain

    She wanted to talk to me about cancer, but she hesitated. She was worried because she thought her cancer wasn’t as bad as mine. When I finally realized the reason for the hesitation, for the trepidation in her voice, my heart dropped. She had just apologized because she thought her cancer wasn’t bad enough. No one should ever have to do that. It hurts to think I might have given that impression, but I know it’s not just me. This issue of comparison is part of our culture. We compare cars, houses, job titles, the behavior of our kids, and even our pain. Comparing pain is insidious. We are measured against others throughout…

  • Featured,  WW

    Genuine Smiles

    I have the hardest time getting good shots of my daughter these days. When she sees me coming with the camera, she either hides, makes a face, or she pastes on a fake smile that just doesn’t look like her at all. I can relate. I have a hard time looking natural in front of a camera as well. I get all self-conscious, and end up looking awkward, or weirdly intense, or both. My favorite photos are the ones where the subject is going about their business, so caught up in what they are doing that the photographer, whether they’re aware of her or not, is irrelevant to the moment.…

  • Cancer,  Creating a Living,  Featured,  noad,  Sponsored

    Vera Beautified Me for Get Hitched Give Hope

    I was getting ready for Get Hitched Give Hope, an amazing, annual charity event that pairs wedding planners and vendors with happy couples planning their nuptials, and the proceeds benefit two organizations that support people living with cancer: the Young Survival Coalition and the Dream Foundation.  It was my biggest formal event of the season, and the driving Seattle rain had just gone horizontal. I was so glad I arranged with Vera to have stylists come to my home to do my hair and makeup. I could get beautified at home in my pajamas, and not have to brave the weather until I left for the party. My hair likes to frizz and…

  • Featured,  Parenting

    Gem’s Gems 2014 Wrapup

    My kid says some funny stuff, and every year I post a round-up of some of her best lines. enjoy.  Ambition G: I can be anything I want when I grow up? Me: Sure, what do you want to be? G: A unicorn Me: wanna watch a movie? G: No. I must rule the world. Me: you talk about being a princess a lot. do you ever think about being an engineer or a teacher? G: Princesses never lie to their mommies thus endeth the career counseling session g: “I’m gonna be a kid for a long time?” me: “yep, you are going to be a kid for a long…