Perfectly Imperfect

Every day that we are alive, we are gifted with the opportunity to experience the many truths of this world; perfect and imperfect.

I’ve said often that our relationships are the greatest mirrors we will ever be provided to peer into. Every connection, should we let it, provides us with the chance to open greater to ourselves, to others, and to the earth.

In this time of reflection, during the Fall months, I am being careful to choose to be kind to myself. To remind myself that there is





the perfect mother

the perfect wife

the perfect daughter

the perfect daughter-in-law

the perfect sister

the perfect friend

the perfect co-worker

the perfect partner

I am imperfect. And I am okay with that.

I am just here, learning, loving, and listening.


We spent a few days away this week at the beach with family. It was perfect. With all of the moments of imperfect mixed in.

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“Mama, I’m Happy”

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Monkey started preschool this past week and is about to celebrate his 3rd birthday at the end of the month. He makes me laugh and smile every day. Today, while running some errands, he was sitting in the backseat and said:

“Mama, I’m happy.”

I squealed at the cuteness and told him how happy I was to hear this and then asked if there was something in particular that was making him feel so happy. Irrationally expecting some deep explanation about how life just felt really good right now…perhaps because we just spent a long weekend full of adventure – stargazing,  bowling, visiting with grandparents, neighbors, and friends.  But his answer?


Wow. It was that simple. The thought of firetrucks was making him feel happiness right then and there and he just wanted to share that emotion with me. The whole thing launched me into this internal dialogue on how I used to express my daily joys and emotions here before I rarely had extra moments and time to myself to “think” at the end of the day. These “pages” used to be a place where I would steal a moment to myself and reflect.

As most mothers (especially of very young ones) know, having these moments are rare. This past few years have been busy and I’ve struggled to find a balance – of emotion, energy, dedicated time to my family, to my work, to myself. But, I hope to return here and reflect more often, as it always used to help me stay connected somehow.

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Monkey LOVES being in school again. When we pick him up, he pours over how much he likes all of his new friends, his teacher, and the activities. After E was born and we came up with creative ways for me to take a year off from working (selling my car, taking odd jobs, etc.), we pulled Monkey from his toddler Montessori program. Though we had a blast spending more time together at home, I know he missed it. He still talks about the school, his old teacher and friends, and every time we would drive anywhere near South Waterfront or in visible shot of the ariel tram, he would ask if we were going to his school.

We began to talk about his new school in June to prepare our HSC for the big change.

Little brother (E) seems to be enjoying the undivided attention he receives for those few hours in the morning before he naps…

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…but he sure loves to spending time with his big brother!


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And though we love having him home more, we are hoping that Josh’s back heals soon, as he has needed to take off from work for a month and is not seeing any relief in sight. Even still, we’ve managed to have a few some fun, family adventures that don’t require much on his part. I’ve become used to doing all of the heavy lifting these days.

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The pics above are from our short trip to Kah-Nee-Tah, which I absolutely enjoyed, as it was our very first family vacation together where it was just the four of us. It is so beautiful and so peaceful there, which seemed to rub off on the kids too.

With the summer months staying so warm, we’ve also spent many a day at water parks around town; our favorite being Elizabeth Caruthers Park because it is never as busy as the others.

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Do you see why these guys remind me to stay in the moment and to cherish the journey together?

So here I am, reflecting. I hope to do it more. I hope to take the time more often to share outwardly how grateful I am for these moments . Because, I am. So very grateful.


tuperware drawer

I started writing this post weeks and weeks ago, but never got around to finishing it up until now. We received quite surprising news in December that we are expecting again and quite honestly, I still feel in shock! Of course we feel so lucky to have another little blessing be joining our family late this summer (August). But, for someone who has always been such a planner like me, a surprise like this can really shake things up! I should know better by this point in my life than to think that we are fully in charge of how our paths will unfold. So, I am taking it all day to day and rolling with the punches…or in this instance, the nausea (morning sickness).

Now that I have that announcement out of my system, let’s get into what has been happening around here (aside from the obvious planning for another baby!)


Taking the month of December off from working was such a great joy for me because it is the perfect time of year to have the chance to reconnect with friends and family, and plan a few adventures here and there.

Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for the poor quality of my photos. Ever since Monkey has been on the move, I’ve neglected taking out my good camera since it’s such a commitment to carry around, so I tend to rely on my phone to take my photos.

holiday decor

The start of the holiday season brought Josh’s sister Olivia to town from the east coast. It has been over five years since we last had the chance to catch up with Olivia, so that was a special visit.

olivia and asher

Monkey enjoyed sitting on Auntie Olivia’s lap and sharing his books and toys with her.

We also got to see Josephine and visit with her a bit as well. She started at Portland State at about the same time Monkey was born and between our two schedules, our visits anymore are few and far between and so treasured when they do take place.


The following week was my brother’s birthday. As someone who does SO much for everyone around him, a few of us got together and decided to do something nice for him as well. We threw him an intimate surprise dinner party…which, I later learned may not be the best fit for my dear brother. Doesn’t like surprises??? We must be related!

Sterling is not a fan of cake, unless it is a giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cheesecake, (custom-made by Portland Style Cheesecake), which his lovely lady, Nancy picked up for the party.

I didn’t want to ruin the cake with a bunch of wax dripping all over the chocolate, so I ended up finding these candles instead to throw a little humor in there…

old cake

ster in balloons

Despite his near heart attack as he arrived to what he thought was a babysitting gig with Monkey and saw friends and family jump out instead, I think he calmed down enough to enjoy himself. Though when planning a surprise dinner party, it would probably be best to have the person arriving with him keep him from eating a whole pizza a mere hour before.

About a week after the b-day celebration, I had my very first mama getaway without Monkey. My friend and fellow spa connoissseur, Jessie and I headed up to Mt. Hood to be snow bunnies and spend some time in the hotel spa. We are really good at doing this kind of thing together. In fact, I am not sure why we haven’t started our own spa magazine at this point so we can do it for a living. The questions always crosses our minds.

jessie at timberline

gov camp museum

jessie and keely at timberline

I’ve heard so many mamas talk about how difficult it was for them to head out on their first overnight stay away from their little ones, and of course I missed Monkey dearly, but I received plenty of photos from Papa to ensure things were all fine and dandy at home), so I have to admit that I relaxed into the whole adventure just fine.  Though, I guess 15 months is a while to wait before doing something like this for the first time!

Shortly after my trip to the mountain with Jess, Monkey and I headed for the warmth of Tucson, AZ….or so we thought. It was raining throughout most of our visit but the sun came out long enough for Monkey to become infatuated and engrossed by his shadow (something he hadn’t yet discovered yet while living here in Oregon – no wonder).


Monkey and I got to spend plenty of quality time with Glammy and PacMan…and when the sun finally did come out at the end of our stay, we went on lots of neighborhood walks to enjoy the views of the Tucson and Catalina Mountains.


Upon our return from Arizona, Josh and I had our first ever getaway together (Monkey stayed comfortably at home in Olpa and Bestemore’s care). We headed up to Seattle for an overnight stay at The Edgewater (a beautiful hotel, with a long rock and roll history, situated on the Puget Sound). We had a relaxing time together and got some serious laughs in while catching Louis C.K. at the Paramount Theater.


It was a perfect escape. Olpa and Bestemore were so wonderful to stay with Monkey for the night so we could get away. Good thing the world didn’t end, as our anniversary fell on the Mayan calendar’s ending this year.

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I love that our nightcap was to play a game of chess near the cozy fireplace in the lobby.

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Once back from Seattle, we packed up and headed down to Eugene to spend Christmas with all of Josh’s lovely family (pictures have not been uploaded yet so that will have to come in another post). It was a great end to the fun-filled month but unfortunately, that was about the time my morning sickness kicked in, so I wasn’t feeling at my best.

So that was December, in a nutshell. Then, New Years Eve came and went and we are already into 2013! I can hardly believe how the time has come and gone so quickly.

I’ve been thinking about my theme words for 2013 (a tradition I started a few years back after being inspired by my friend, Cinda).

Last year they were JOY and ABUNDANCE. The year prior was BELIEVE and CREATE. All were so fitting for the journey I embarked on each year.

In 2013, my theme words are:


TRUST because at any big decision or new journey I’ve made up until now,  I have sometimes second guessed myself or second guessed how the universe will come through to help me move forward. But, it always works out. And I need to trust that to be the case.

SUPPORT because I feel so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing support system around me, and have felt so very grateful to everyone who has offered us their support in so many different ways over the past years. But, I do know that an area of weakness for me is having difficulty asking for help when it comes to personal things. I know it is important for me to grow in this regard and allow that support system to be there for me in times of need.

So, there you have it! A whole lot of information for one blog, isn’t it!? What will your theme words be for 2013?

A Crafty Halloween

Time has seemed ever so much more precious and valuable after having our son. Productive free time also seems to be rare anymore between our work schedules and time with Monkey. Not that our time spent with him isn’t productive…it is just productive in an entirely different way ;-) Often times, by the end of my work days or days at home with Monkey, all I want to do is sit in front of the television and veg out. And, for those of you who know me, this is definitely not part of my usual M.O. I have never before been big on television watching on a regular basis, and I hope to be able to change this again.

So, that is my excuse for such a long delay here on the blog. Lack of time.

I have, however, somehow managed to carve out a few little windows here and there to craft some Pinterest finds. One in particular is Monkey’s dinosaur tail for his Halloween costume.

We will be answering the door for Trick or Treaters as dinosaurs tomorrow, which should be fun for him to experience and for us to take in.


It is really adorable to see him walking around with his tail on. He seems to enjoy wearing the thing.

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone! We will be looking forward to seeing some of your photos and costume ideas.

And, I will try to get on here more than once a month too!



Goodbye Our Loving Matriarch

Dorothy May Pearce, known to me as Banka Dottie or Nana

August 3, 1925 – July 3, 2012

Our Loving Matriarch,

We will do our best to be strong and hold together as a family without you.


 Thank you for teaching me

to laugh during difficulty,

the importance of an education and good manners,

to appreciate the arts in its various forms,

and for goodness sake….to enjoy life!

Our memories of you will rest comfortably in our hearts.

Men’s Day

In Germany, the Father’s Day tradition (or Men’s Day in Germany) is to fill wagons with wine, beer, and foods and pull them by manpower on a hike. For Josh’s first Father’s Day, Uncle Sterling helped Little Monkey and I to surprise Josh with this great All-Terrain Wagon by Radio Flyer filled with provisions. I think it was a hit.

After stocking the Man Cave with the goods from the wagon, we headed over to Pop Pops to welcome he and Sandy back after this year’s sailing adventures and to have a larger Fathers Day celebration. It’s so nice to have my dad close by and to get to know Little Monkey better now that he is a bit older.

Though we didn’t go on a hike, it was a great way to spend Men’s Day.



Appreciating Every Moment. A Visit to the Southwest.

We have returned from our travels to Arizona.

This was an epic and bittersweet journey in more ways than one, and perhaps too complicated for me to get into here and now.

As you can see below, our Little Monkey is well on his way to walking now that he is practicing his standing and balancing poses. He sure is proud of himself when he holds himself in what we call his “surfer pose.” That’s where he holds onto a piece of furniture or one of us and slowly lets go, one hand at a time, stretching his arms in front and behind himself like a surfer as he simultaneously dons a explorative grin until he eventually collapses and explodes with laughter. Our hearts continue to melt every day as we witness these small, yet tremendous milestones.

We first flew into Phoenix, on an Alaska Airlines Portland Timbers plane no less, which we thought brought good luck for Little Monkey’s first time traveling by air.

It went off without a hitch and he was an absolute angel of a traveler – falling asleep during take-off each time and laughing through the landing. It was beyond my wildest dreams for how I had hoped the flights might go and can only hope it sticks! I was prepared for the worst, but truly ended up with the best of all possible scenarios. I was actually the one crying on the flight home after catching a cold during our trip and dealing with the pain of congestion.

In the scorching heat of the Phoenix daylight, we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens where we had hoped to see the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture exhibit. However, shortly after walking the grounds we realized it was no longer on display in the garden and has been gone since 2009.  We were only late by about three years! I guess I thought it was a permanent feature.

It was still beautiful walking through the garden, but far too hot for Little Monkey so we ended our stay abruptly and headed to the comfort of nearby air conditioning.

That night, my longtime friend, Tina, and her husband Chris hosted a reunion of sorts for us to visit with some of my high school buddies and have the chance to meet their families. So many of the children looked so much like their parents.

Tina is such a good hostess — thank you so much for your hospitality T!

Our next stop was north to the Flagstaff area, where we held an intimate ceremony to say goodbye to my grandmother, Lil’ Banka, who passed away last year.  We stayed at her cabin in Munds Park where I grew up going every summer of my childhood and well into my first years of college. It brought back so many memories of lazy days spent in the tracksuit-style pajamas she would buy for my cousins and I each summer; playing Rummy Cube and Uno every evening; laying in the dewy grass of the golf course to watch the fireworks shoot right over our heads on the 4th of July; fishing in the lake nearby; riding bikes and walking through the neighboring streets; and sitting on the back porch for dinner every night where we would usually eat an iceberg lettuce salad, cantaloupe, some kind of dinner, followed by Vanilla Wafer Pudding for desert.

The place still smelled just as it did during my childhood visits, which made me miss Lil’ Banka dearly. It was just so strange to be there without her by our sides as we sat together in the living room at night as we used to do with a bowl of popcorn in hand while watching Wheel of Fortune.

All the while, my mind was also on my grandmother in Tucson, Banka Dottie, whom on the day of our arrival had been taken to the hospital with breathing issues and subsequently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Every update I’d receive on her condition would be worse than the one before it and all I wanted to do was hop in the car to go and see her to give her a great big comfort hug. But alas, I was told to wait for a visit until later in the week.

The purpose of this trip down was to say goodbye to one grandmother and visit with the other. Not to say goodbye to both.

I am not ready yet to let go of another important person to me who has influenced my passion for all things arts and culture related and taught me to be sure and appreciate some of the finer things in life and to be sure and celebrate every day.

Nearby in Flagstaff, we saw our friends Jodi and Guy and their two sweet little kids. Josh got a nice hike in with Guy, which they dubbed something along the lines of “the men only hike.” So, Jodi and I stayed in town and caught up with one another between nap and feeding schedules. It seemed that once one babe would go down, the other would wake up so there wasn’t the focused visits of the past, but this is the reality with little ones!

(Not to worry, I got my spa day later).

Our next stop was in Tucson, where we had limited visits with friends and family. But when we finally did see everyone again, it sure was wonderful!

And the most important visit of all – with Banka Dottie….

…meeting Little Monkey for the very first time.

Ich liebe dich Schatz

Photo by BMAC Photography (2006)

Happy Anniversary Josh!

We’ve been together nearly a decade now, and in that time you have been a loving, caring husband to me over the past five years (you even married me twice to prove it) and now I have the joy of watching you be an involved and nurturing father.

I look forward to a lifetime of wonderful, loving moments together!