23 November 2015

lately in london



this week, winter came to london.

on my saturday morning run, as i jogged over the cobblestoned streets around covent garden piazza, a huge smile stretched across my face. i was happy because i was cold. there was a wintery biting chill in the air around the christmas decorations, and i was glad to feel it on my face and in my bones. i’ve missed having a real winter during my years in california. the crispness, the shivery sting – i love it. {i know, i will probably have a different attitude by late january…}

the past few weeks have been a real change of pace for us. more slowness and less activity outside of routine life has been really good in a lot of ways, and also challenging in other ways. the boy has been working long hours and i am honing my ability to be alone but not lonely. i am seeking to appreciate the ordinary and the extraordinary, develop my gratitude, become better at using my time wisely, and relish being alive in my own present. i’m so glad we get to be learning and living this chapter of our story in this amazing, amazing city.


today i’m sharing some photos from two very classic london outings i’ve taken lately. i seriously, seriously love living here.

one: watching the changing of the guards at buckingham palace.
we live about a seven minute walk away from the queen’s residence, and i decided one day that i might as well go watch the changing of the guards some late afternoon. {the last time i saw this spectacle, i was maybe eleven or twelve, and it’s just such a classic london thing…!} i met a few new friends at the front gates. even though it was a grey november weekday, it was pretty outrageously crowded. this picture pretty much sums up the experience:IMG_8716
a sea of humans, cameras and selfie sticks cramming in for a good photo of the action! we got there pretty early in an attempt to get a good view, but a loooot of tourists had gotten there before us – haha! from our vantage point, the event was kiiiiind of slow and boring, and once it got a little more exciting when the instruments came marching in, it started raining pretty hard. it was funny.
we enjoyed nonetheless! and when the whole thing was over and the crowds just started to disperse, a rainbow appeared in the sky!
and everything above turned blue. london weather…so variable!
^^ from the walk home. my new friends came back to covent garden with me and i introduced them to homeslice pizza in neal’s yeard, which is undoubtedly my favourite food find in london thus far. ^^

two: saturday afternoon at the portobello road market.
while the boy was working on saturday, i bundled up and perused the delightful, iconic notting hill outdoor marketplace. portobello road on a saturday is something that photographs really can’t capture. there is just this unique brand of charming there – it’s hard to describe. i sipped on some peppermint steamed milk while i strolled among the stalls selling everything from produce to antique magnifying glasses, peeking down side streets at the colourful row houses along the way. jazzy music was streaming from a corner stall selling records and cds and it was getting dusky at 3:30pm.

i really, really love london. and this monday morning on the week of thanksgiving, i am feeling full, full, full of gratitude. life is so very beautiful, and i am so glad to be alive now and here.

happy monday and thanksgiving week!

20 November 2015

for my brother and his wife: hoping for an extraordinary miracle

{to all eyes reading these words: do you know a pregnant woman who is considering adoption? if you do, please help facilitate a miracle, and share this post.}

i believe that adoption is an extraordinary miracle.

while i don’t have a lot of personal experience with all the politics and complexities of the adoption process, and while i acknowledge that adoption doesn’t always work out in an ideal way for every child/family, i strongly believe in the extreme beauty of the concept of adoption. i can’t think of a stronger love than the kind it takes to give life to a perfect baby through childbirth and then give a more abundant life to that perfect child through adoption. but perhaps a kind of love that comes close is the kind that graphs a non-biological child into a family and seals right over any crevice of dissimilar genes. from both sides, it’s truly miraculous.


my brother talmadge and his wife anita are among the most remarkable human beings and parents on this planet – i’m completely sure of it. they are good to the core, deliberate and goal-oriented, successful and smart, truly kind in the most total way, insightful and creative, driven and faithful, adventurous and so much fun. they are the kind of people that one spends just a few minutes with and yet is profoundly impacted by. they are truly awesome. they have one gorgeous daughter that is so incredibly full of light and will be a powerful force for good in the world. they want to grow their family and help more children blossom and thrive in this life. and they are not able do so without adoption.

i am in absolute awe of those who have the courage to carry a baby to full term, knowing they are not in an excellent position to raise that child, and then to give the unfathomable gift of a new life to another family. could any action require more beautiful sacrifice and intense love?  i cannot even attempt to imagine making a decision about what family such a beloved child should join. but could any coming together be more glorious than parents and a so deeply longed for child? the whole thing is pretty incomprehensible, but here’s one thing i understand for absolute sure:

choosing to give a child through adoption to talmadge and anita eyre is choosing to give a child a magnificent life. a life filled with an abundance of the most earnest love and genuine goodness. a life full of security and opportunity and light. that choice would provide a fantastic answer to millions of prayers. that choice would generate an extraordinary miracle.

you can learn more about tal and anita on their adoption profile.
you can contact them by emailing familylookingtoadopt@gmail.com.

18 November 2015

some really great stuff on the internet

happy wednesday from blustery londontown! today i wanted to share three fantastic things i’ve been loving lately on the world wide web. like i’ve blogged about before, i love living and am so grateful to live in such a connected world. it’s really wonderful how readily we can all share.

1. the foodwright


this is my darling sister-in-law’s (relatively) new food blog, and it’s ammmmaaaazzzing! i mean… honey whipped mascarpone, pistachio butter & roasted strawberry crostini?! bedazzled brown butter pumpkin cookies?! crispy pan fried gnocchi with arugula and greek yogurt bleu cheese dressing?!

not only are lucia’s recipes unique and super delicious (everything i’ve tried has been pretty dang incredible – last night we had the salmon tacos – sooo yum!), but her commentary is fun to read, refreshingly real and often quite hilarious. also, i’m so impressed with her iphone photography and the way she styles her pictures (follow lucia on instagram to add some food lusciousness to your feed and be updated on her posts!).

luci and i have a special bond because we are both big-time food lovers with widely-accepting palates married to wright boys (who tend to prefer boring tan-coloured food).
next time you’re looking for something really yummy to cook or bake up, try one of lucia’s recipes and let her know how it goes!

2. a blog about love

i found this blog because the couple that write it together, danny and mara, are friends of my siblings. i have found lots of really great nuggets of wisdom, inspiration and shared beauty there over the years when i have occasionally taken a peek. it was danny and mara’s move to ecuador that initially ignited in me a desire to visit that spectacular country, and it was the last stop on our around the world trip! danny and mara are really remarkable people.

Paul Thurlby

last week i happened upon a comment written by danny on a post that mara wrote that kind of blew me away. the comment pointed me to this post about unconditional love. i have been thinking so much about the idea of unconditional love defined as finding wholeness from within rather than depending on finding wholeness from a close loved one. i’m still digesting, but i feel like conceptualizing this has been a breakthrough in developing my own genuine wholeness, specifically in marriage. here’s a snippet from the original comment that got me thinking:

…[we should] obtain wholeness from the inside out, instead of what most of us do most of the time which is seek it from the outside in. people allow someone else's actions to determine if they are happy or upset, patient or enraged, calm or annoyed, etc. people are constantly looking outside themselves for their wholeness and validation. this is the reason marriages get stressed when there is a difference like the one mara is writing about. but...what if i'm not looking for mara's actions to fulfill me? what if my wholeness is coming from somewhere else? what if I don't take her actions as a reflection on whatever ego i might feel the need to prop up? well, then it is possibly to truly love her. then it is possible to do it without condition, and then moments like this become times for bonding and joy. because conditional love, the kind we should learn to avoid if we seek to really follow jesus, would say "i can only be truly happy if you…believe the same core things i do, [do things with me that i want you to]....and if you aren't doing those things, well then of course i'll be upset. and i might even try to subtly shame you into coming along with me." but unconditional love says "because my wholeness isn't based on you, because i don't take your actions as a personal threat to me or my relationship to god and connection....because of that l can offer you love right now, fully and completely....because there is no ego to protect".

3. ted talks

i have been listening to ted talks while i’m getting things done around the house. i have been pretty deeply impacted by three that i listened to recently:

emilie wapnick: why some of us don’t have one true calling {this one super resonated with me because i feel that i am totally a “multipotentialite” and have felt very anxious about my varied interests and winding career path}

monika lewinsky: the price of shame {fascinating topic made more fascinating due to the story of the speaker}

lea waters: being positive is not for the faint hearted! {positivity is power – and she’s using science to back that up!}
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