Where is Home?


I grew up in Vancouver, WA just across the river from Portland.  At the time Portland seemed like a long ways away; a big city with no tax and traffic.

As a teen Portland was my destination du jour.  I  fervently dreamed of living in cool Portland and not oh-so-boring-and-suburban Vancouver.   Portland was The Place.  It housed Skoochies, Pioneer Square, and 82nd Ave.  All very cool, very gritty, and oh-so alluring “meeting places” to an angst ridden teen trying to shake the suburban vibe.

But now that I live in Portland it’s just… oh, I don’t know… cool?  Yeah, it’s that.  But it’s also home.

When I’m back in Vancouver my ears are pricked and my eyes dart around each corner hoping and dreading I’ll see someone from my past.

I never go to Vancouver un-showered.

In my mind there are two parts of Vancouver.  “Old Vancouver” is where I grew up (my neighborhood), downtown (The Old Library and Marshall Center), and where I held my first “real job” (Vancouver Bolt).  It’s also where my dad still lives.

“Old Vancouver” feels like a well loved book with a good story and velvety  pages.


“New Vancouver” is where we moved when I was a teenager.  I liked it, but it never felt like “home”.  Visiting New Vancouver brings back memories of high school, friends, and learning to drive.

As I think about it now, New Vancouver holds memories yes but Old Vancouver holds my heart.

What about you?   Do you like going home?  Does it always feel the same or has it changed?

Why grocery lists are fun!

Our kitchen system goes something like this.  I have 2 dry erase boards on our refrigerator.

#1 has a list of all the dinners planned for the week…


#2 has a list of things “certain household members” need/want me to buy on my next trips to the grocery store:


How Superman got his name


I love December.  The celebrations, traditions, the camaraderie of a shared experience in virtually everyone around me.  But what I love most about December is that it feels like a mental holiday.  Sure I’ve got multiple lists of gifts and to-do’s.  Like many, I too feel the mounting pressure of Christmas squeezing me tighter and tighter until I’m about to burst.

But what I don’t feel during December is…reality.  Starting about the 5th or so all the topics I usually fret over I put off thinking about “until after Christmas”.  For three weeks all my normal worries (business growth, planning, college searching, exercise, work, etc.) all take a back seat to shopping lists, house preparation, and everything else jolly and merry.

But then December 26th hits and all I’ve put off becomes unbearably present.  Unreturned phone calls, newsletters to write, college visits to plan, goal setting, and taxes all trickle into my mind until I can’t stand it a minute longer.

I start to sweat.

Then I wake up Superman and tell him how I’m feeling.

And Superman says, “It’s okay.  Don’t worry. We’ll figure it out.”  And he gives me a hug.  He is truly the only person who can peel me off the ceiling at 1:00am in 3 sentences or less.

And that’s how Superman got his name.

Reading People Together


Sometimes when I’m reading a magazine I wish my sister was here to thumb through it with me.  But she’s doesn’t live close by so I thought I’d pretend she was.

If you have a people from November 28th you can follow along with me.  Sorta like a read-aloud for adults.  To find the pages count them 1, 2, 3 and so on including all the ads.  Page 1 is the inside cover.  Oh, and go get get a cup of coffee, tea, beer, wine, or whatever you like to unwind.  And put your feet up.  Here we go:

I’m picking up the magazine… I’m opening it up and…

  • The smell!  Blech!  Man, that perfume insert for Coach perfume is strong! Which reminds me…
  • Why is there a perfume by Coach?  And why doesn’t it smell like leather? (p. 10-11)
  • I don’t get Madonna but I’m still intrigued by her. (p. 17)
  • Angelina Jolie looks better with makeup. (p. 19)
  • I don’t get Mariah Carey and I’m not intrigued by her. (p. 18)
  • The picture of Prince William and Kate where they’re impeccably dressed but have sour looks on their faces is kinda funny.  She sure is pretty though. (p. 20)
  • The Obamas look genuinely happy. Really happy. (p. 21)
  • What’s up with Victoria Beckam?  She has her arms around David Beckam’s stomach and she still can’t find something to smile about?  (p.21)
  • Vanessa Minnillo riding a bike in a bikini.  Who does that?  (p. 27)
  • The Lancôme ad with the three ladies advertising Hynôse Doll Lashes is freaky. (p. 28)
  • Fit really IS sexy! (p. 38)
  • Who approved the ad for the Honda Civic that has a hairy monster sitting on top of the car with pink nails and a pink purse?  What demographic do they think they’re attracting? (p. 40)
  • I want to see George Clooney in The Descendants. (p. 56)
  • I don’t agree with Bradley Cooper’s opinion that he was “really old” when he had his first kiss in 7th grade.  As the parent of a 7th grader I don’t think that’s really old for a first kiss, I think it’s really young! (p. 94)
  • Jason Derulo’s belly button is huge! (p. 106)
  • Uhhhh…could the ad for Oh, Lola! by Marc Jacobs be any more phallic? (p. 122)
  • Can’t you just imagine Ty Burrell doing 1950’s style calisthenics? (p. 135)
  • What is up with people renewing their vows after only 4 years of marriage?  (p. 172)

…and close.

Truth turned around

photo via Flickr Creative Commons License

I’ve been pretty uninspired lately.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been really dizzy for the last several weeks, or because I reinjured my foot, or because the weather has turned grey and dark.

Or maybe it’s just because.

I’ve mostly come to terms with my on again/off again relationship with inspiration.  I know for sure that inspiration is not motivation.  Motivation is something entirely different.  Motivation (to me) is when I’m running to something (like wanting to be: organized or productive or healthy) or running from something (company coming? I must clean!).

Inspiration on the other hand is when I am compelled to do something.  Yes, it’s emotionally based but it’s also when the rest of the world falls away and I’m clear headed and focused.

Lately I’ve been inspired to:

    • read fiction books
    • hang out with my kids
    • shop
    • scour the internet for new blogs to follow
    • pet my dog
    • sit

I started this post saying I’ve been uninspired.  But now that I think about it, I really haven’t been uninspired.  I just haven’t been inspired by what normally inspires me. And this brings me to a place of understanding and acceptance that I forgot about.

    I forgot that this pacing is normal for me.  That I swing between doing and not doing.  That when I don’t swing between these two opposites, pushing myself to do-do-do I become grouchy, overwhelmed, and intolerant.  Some might even say I become (a-hem) a martyr.
      It’s funny because I spend most days working with women (and men) to accept themselves

as they are.

        To relish their individual rhythms, likes, and dislikes.  We delve deeply into the truth of who they are and find ways to enjoy life within this context.  Essentially I’m helping my clients stop trying to change who they are just to fit someone else’s expectations.  Many times this “someone else” is their own sense of who they


    to be versus who they truly are.
    And I forgot to remember this for myself.