Wednesday, July 28, 2010

intentional living?

So yesterday I was reading this article {after my interest was sparked by this} and started thinking. Mostly about my Carbon Footprint {mines about 5...  please don't ask me why I don't recycle... that needs to change ASAP - so embarrassing!!} and my role in saving the environment. If you read my blog, you know that I love my Mother Earth... and I love community, very much.

This all started a few months back when I was watching Wife Swap.... I know, I know.... lameee. Anyway, one of the wives lives on a Commune and I was so intrigued that I started fantasizing instantly. So for some reason, I started looking up Intentional Living Communities the other day {they're not called Communes as much, anymore} and was really surprised to see one in my area.

Before my husband freaks, I do want to say that I'm not 100% sold on the idea of moving out of the community and disconnecting from the mainstream completely. Plus, they told me that I couldn't bring my dogs... so that right there was a major turn off. But I did like some of the things I read. It kind of made me think about The Beach {one of my favorite movies, no matter what anyone else says!!!} and my idea of Utopia... and how it may actually exist outside of a movie screen.

Everyone working together for the greater good, sharing work loads and money, raising children together. No 'mine' or 'yours'. Ugh... my heart flutters at the sound of that! This is something that I talk my husbands ear off about, and he pretty much thinks I'm crazy.  But I'm ok with that, because I realize that this isn't for everyone. But if your honest with yourself, don't you see the appeal in lifting the weight off your own shoulders and dividing it up amongst a community that supports you?

I do think that an Intentional Living Community sounds a little intense, and sadly I'm not ready to give up my social life or ability to throw house parties. But!!! There are ways to start a "commune" where you make the rules. Basically.... it's like going back to college and picking roommates. Everyone pulls their funds together, buys a house with separate bedrooms but a common living room and kitchen, splits the bills and chores, and comes together to make all of the house decisions. This is what people are doing now, and I'm pretty sure the economy has a lot to do with it. It's sooooo much cheaper and efficient to split everything with a group.

I'm just wondering if, as a married person, I could handle this lifestyle. On the surface, I think that I could. I think that I would enjoy the strong sense of togetherness as our neighborhoods begin to fall apart and we start losing touch with families living as close as next door. I know for a fact I would enjoy dividing responsibilities. The idea of sharing a garden and a compost pile... I love that {Richmond has several Community Garden's spread all over the City and this brings a ginormous smile to my face}. But would I miss my space? And I wonder how important having my own stuff really is to me. That's something I don't think I could imagine until it was no longer there. More importantly, is it really necessary for a married couple to live in house by themselves, or could we benefit by living with several other people who share similar goals?

What do you think -- is it possible that Utopia could actually exist?

p.s. - what's your carbon footprint?

p.p.s.- does anyone have some simple ways to recycle in an apartment building? How could we hide the bins so that our loft doesn't look cluttered?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm Sorry.

old schooooool... 3-4 years ago at a wedding :)

I'm really not one to sugar coat. And I hope that I don't come across as some one who thinks that they are so perfect or so together. Really, not so much. My life can be really sloppy and there are times when I am such a bitch. Last night and pretty much several days a week for the past several months..........lots of good examples of me being a bitch.

{please please don't start counting in your head these examples, I'm trying so hard to be humble!}

It's really super easy to blame your spouse for every argument, mess, bad movie, un-made bed, pile of dog crap on the floor, dirty sink, dirty dishes, gross tuna steak {are you getting the picture?} On the other hand, it is really hard to step back and look in the mirror. Yesterday I actually told Sean to look in the mirror after an argument... and it made me realize that I need to take my own advice. Ouch..

I don't really know why I've been such a bitch lately... and I don't feel like listing excuses because several come to mind, but they don't really matter or get me off the hook. The truth is, marriage is really freakin' hard. "They" were not lying when they said for better or for worse. It's actually the hardest thing I've ever done, because I like taking care of myself and doing what I want, when I want.
{I lovingly refer to this as "independence"}

But then I look at pictures of Sean and I - like the super cute one above - and I remember all of the things we have been through. A lot happends in 10 years.... he's even changed a bed pan and cleaned up puke ewwww. It's not really worth fighting over dirty lofts or clothes on the floor when you look at the "big picture." You know, the one where I'm married to a man who is almost blind to sterio-typical gender roles, cooks dinner for me every night, allows me to flirt at the bar for free drinks {hey, we both benefit on this one!!}, and basically does most of what I tell ask him to do.

He even took off of work Friday so that we could have a 4 day weekend together for our anniversary.... after he told me he couldn't because he had too much work. And said he'd go to the river, since I already made plans with my friends thinking he'd be working. Did I mention he hates the river?

So, I guess I don't have it that bad after all. And I really need to stop being such a bitch.

In the words of Kevin Mcallister...
"I'm sorrrrrrrry!"
inside joke.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I give you, Denise!

It's that time again........................................!!!
I am so excited to share with you one of my very good friends, Denise. She was a partner in crime throughout college -still is!-, one of my bridesmaids, and will forever be one of my all time favorite free spirited feminists... I heart you so much, D! {you guys will love her... trust me....}

Say hello to Denise!
tell us a little something, something about yourself!

What's your sign?
Sagittarius, the archer. I'm a proud Sag!
What's your favorite thing in the world to do?
I love cooking. It is one of the biggest forms of exploration and creativity I do these days. It's also how I unwind after a long day at work. I get so much enjoyment out of trying new things in the kitchen and hunting for new recipes on the web. It's also a bonus preparing something delicious for my husband while I'm at it. I even got him to enjoy eggplant the other night! Score!
 Best Childhood memory & why?
I wouldn't say the best childhood memory because there's just way too many of those, but a definitely a funny one.. getting into habitual arguments with my mom about whether or not the lyrics to Salt & Pepper's "Shoop" were about sex or not. Being in the 3rd grade, what did I know? She was right, they were about sex.
Name 5 interesting facts about yourself.
1. When I was a kid, black was my favorite color. My mom let me dress myself. I was six years old, nearly dressed from head to toe in black (I even had tie up combat boots). Growing up in a very small, conservative, country community .. I raised TONS of eye brows and one of my teachers even asked my mom why she was dressing me that way.

2. I used to have a go-cart with pink racing stripes. I sold it when I turned 13 to buy clothes.
3. I rarely if ever wash my makeup off before I go to bed (shame, shame, I know). And I will not leave the house without mascara.
4. My biological father passed away on the same day and year as my husband was born. (August 4, 1985)
5. I like M&M's in my popcorn and coke floats any time of the year.

If you could travel any place in the entire world, where would it be & why?
Any where with my husband. No, seriously any where! I love to travel and would be happy any where in the world that he is. But to be more specific, here are some off the top of my head: Venice, South Africa, Austria, Indonesia, and China (I really want to see the Great Wall!)

Tell us a secret {shh! We won't tell anyone...}
I pick my nose a lot - especially while I'm at work and sometimes I get caught. Oops...


Friday, July 23, 2010

this is my sad face.

So the moral of the story today is this: be careful what you wish for! Yesterday I was frustrated because I didn't have any inspiration to write...... and then last night {at happy hour with some of my favorite people in Richmond} I found out that my very best friend in the whole entire world is moving. That really sucks. I'm really trying not to make this about me, but every time I think about her leaving I get this heavy feeling in my chest and my eyes start to tear up. I mean, this girl had me CRYING AT THE BAR!!!! Thank goodness there was an ample amount of beer present!!!!!!

I have been friends with Brittany since we were babies. Like, we were hangin' out long before we knew what a potty was & when it was totally acceptable to pee your pants.... so I guess you could say there isn't a time in my life when she wasn't there. Well, last week she told me that she had an interview in Arlington, and to put it lightly I was pissed. I felt like she was breaking up with me! So I told her it was a dumb idea and basically acted as immature and bitchy as possible so that she'd forget about her stupid interview and stay in Richmond, with me --- where she belongs. Well, what a rude awakening it was when last night I was happily sipping my beer when out of nowhere she tells me she got the job. {this is where the tears come in, damn you Brittany!!!}

I should be happy for my friend. She has been looking for a job and with the current economy it hasn't been easy for her. I should probably also smile at the fact that she is getting a fresh start, and remember that if I was in her situation I would probably do the same exact thing. Heck, I LOVE Arlington. I even tried to convince Sean to move there. But that's not what I want to think about, because despite everything that seems to be perfectly falling in place for her -- WHAT ABOUT ME!!!!???!!! Sorry, but I'm being honest here! My best friend is moving 2 hours away, and all I can think about is how she only has 4 happy hours left and won't be around for our weekly girl nights for much longer. I just can't help it, I'm really really mad.

So today I sit here in my office, and I'm still trying not to cry like a freakin' baby. Deep down, I am happy for her. Seriously. But there's still a small part of me that is scared she'll move away and find another best friend. Or maybe not a best friend, but a really skinny/cool/funny/awesome new friend that she'll probably want me to hang out with. And if she does that, I will more than likely spit in this skinny/cool/funny/awesome new friend's beer when she isn't looking. Just Kidding. sort of.

In order to torture myself more......... I've been looking through her facebook pictures all morning. I also may or may not have said a little prayer that she can't find an apartment or her new boss decides he actually hates her guts orrrr her car gets broken into by some really mean Arlington person {hey, at least she got me praying!}............ whatever, I'm bitter. I will own that label!

Brittany: You know I'm only acting like a complete bitch because I'm really sad and scared and basically falling apart knowing you won't be right around the corner if I need you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I've been wanting to write all day, but I am having trouble finding the words.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that I belong anywhere else at this moment other than this freezing cold office. I need to be....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

my favorite place in the whole world!!!

Most of you who read my blog know that I love going to the river. I spend almost every weekend there, laying in the sun and listening to nature. I feel so at peace and centered there, like I am not a separate being from the river or the trees, but rather an extension of them. Usually my dog Pete joins me, and he has grown to really love the water. Last weekend was really special though, because Sean & Samson tagged along - neither of them are too fond of the heat or of the river. But I am proud to say that after that day, Samson has officially become a river dog {we are still working on Sean}! It was such a great day, and so I wanted to share a few pictures of my very most favorite place on the planet: The James River.

Some artwork I found :)

Pete relaxing after a swim :)

Samson - chillin' at the river!!!

Sean & our friend Cruey


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Introducing... Sunday Funday!

So more and more I've been seeing these awesome little "get to know you" questionnair-type blog posts and I figured it was copy-cat time {hey, it's the sincerest form of flattery}!

I give to you....
I will be choosing a different follower each week - you could be next! - Consider this a *thank you* for being so awesomely cool... I can't wait to get to know everyone so much better!


Say HELLO to Kellie!
Kellie is the genius behind the lovely Pen Pal Project I'm always talking about. I love her blog so much, because she's always got something interesting to say and she's so good about bringing people together and making new friends! Kellie - you are so totally awesome {not to metion gorgeous - holy cow}!!!

Tell us all a little something, something about yourself --

What's your sign? {duhhh, I'm obsessed w/ astrology}
Taurus (the stubborn bull!)

What's your favorite thing in the world to do?
Hang out with my loved ones (friends and family) we have the best conversations and always keep each other entertained!
Best Childhood memory & why?
This is a tough one. i honestly had a really great childhood and a lot of fun memories. but id probably have to pick the friday nights when my friends and i would pack into my moms minivan so she could take us to youth group. we always sang along (loudly and badly) to songs on the way and looking back it was just an awesome bonding time with my awesome friends and mom.

Name 5 interesting facts about yourself.
1. I do weird stuff in my sleep (like talk, hit (every once in a while), laugh, cry, etc) its weird.
2. I've never broken a bone or gotten stung by any insects.
3. I've lived in FL my entire life.
4. I was in drama class in high school and was cast as the lead female in our school play my junior year.
5. I first became an aunt in the 4th grade.

 If you could travel any place in the entire world, where would it be & why?
Everywhere i havent been yet (which is a lot of places) I really want to see the world before I die and there isn't just one place I want to visit. I want to go everywhere! :)

Tell us a secret {shh! We won't tell anyone...}
When I'm bored I check out awesome wedding sites like (I'm such a girl! lol)

There you have it! Now, go check out her blog & give her some love!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Friday!

I love you, Sean!

Yes, I am *officially* one of those girls who dedicates a whole blog to her significant other. Eh, oh well! Hope everyone has the best weekend ever -- it's supposed to rain here, but I'm going to make the most of it!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

i heart charles darwin.

Once upon a time there was a man named Charles Darwin. And he developed a theory about evolution and wrote about it in a journal called On the Origin Of Species. And then one day, years and years later, some one made a movie about him and called it Creation.

I should've know yesterday that my time of the month was coming, because I sat in my living room - in total darkness - crying my eyes out as I watched Darwin struggle with his spirituality while debating whether to publish his very famous theory. I really connected to this movie. And I think I connected to it so deeply because sometimes I feel a little bit like Charles Darwin. Am I even allowed to say that?

Anyway. A lot of people struggle with their spirituality. A lot of people struggle in general. As I mentioned in my previous post, my mother is a pastor. So I guess you could say I fit into that "Pastor's Daughter" stereotype pretty well considering I'm Buddhist and don't really know if I believe that God actually exists or not. The thing is, I wrote an entirely different post before this one talking about passion. Basically a cop out. And I deleted it because damn it this is my blog, and I can talk about what I think without having to worry about offending anyone. {that's the joy of it being mine!}

So as I sat there, watching poor Charles fight with himself over and over again about how he would probably go to hell if he published this theory, a theory that basically proved that God was not needed in order for a species to re-create itself for survival {although many will say that God & evolution can work hand in hand... and I think that's fine} I felt a lump in my chest and started crying in between handfuls of popcorn and gulps of wine. Ok... so I didn't have any wine, but that would make the whole situation a lot less embarrassing because then I could "blame it on the alcohol" so to speak. Whether you believe in God or not... I really don't care. What I do care about is this: We have been programmed by society to be so afraid of what's going to happen in the afterlife that we often fear living this life to the fullest.

Let me explain. When my Southern Baptist grandmother asks me if I've been going to church in the city, do I tell her that I go to a temple to meditate? Um, no. Hell no. I lie and tell her that I've been going to church, and keep it at that. Or tell her I go to the river. Which is actually more frequent than the temple these days. When people at work tell me to have a "Blessed Day" or "God Bless" do I smile and say "Please don't offend me by assuming I believe in God"? Again, no. Why, you ask? Because I am afraid to be judged. Just as Christians are sometimes afraid to be judged by Non-Christians... Buddhists get a little intimidated too, especially since we're kind of out numbered here in Richmond, Va. And cut that number in half, because some Buddhists still do believe in God.

And if a part of me doesn't honestly think a big man in the sky really does exist, why am I so afraid that he'll smack me with a bolt of lightening if I vocalize my beliefs out loud? Why am I still afraid of hell if I don't even believe hell exists. Hmm. Do you know, whenever I say "There's no such thing as God" I feel my heart race a little bit? I imagine that's what the girls in high school must have felt like, smoking in the bathrooms.

Some people may be thinking that if I feel this way, maybe I still believe that God exists and I'm just rebelling. Well, I'm still on the fence, but I think it's completely normal to feel insecure when you're going against everything you've ever been taught. Especially when a lot of people judge your morality by your faith. Let me tell you, atheists generally don't make it to the top of those moral lists.

I think Darwin was incredibly brave, because he finally published his theory and basically changed the world and how we think. It's not easy going against the crowd and speaking up. Especially with religion... that tends to be a sensitive subject for a lot of people. When he died, he was burried next to Issac freakin Newton. And the State paid for it! People still thought he was awesome and respected the heck out of him. They still do. I think he's become sort of a hero to me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Whoaaaaa :)

4 rules go along with this award.
Rule #1: Thank the person who gave you this award.
Thank you, Emmy!

Rule #2: Share 7 things about yourself.

1. I have been a vegetarian for 5 1/2 years. {although I've been eating fish for 3 months. shh!}

2. I am Buddhist. My mother is a Methodist Pastor. Family dinners can be quite interesting, although she is very accepting.
3. I have a raging girl crush on Zooey Deschanel.

4. Sometimes commercials make me cry. Damn you, SPCA!

5. I am a sucker for Reality TV. {Specifically Real World, The Hills/City, Housewives of New Jersey}

6. I have 8 tattoos - a henna inspired flower on my foot, a swallow & star on my hip, the Giving Tree along my side, lyrics to Imagine on my shoulder blade, A quarter sleeve {the solar system}, stars on my lower back, the HRC campaign logo on my left wrist, the symbol for alpha & omega {beginning & end} on my right wrist... and I'm not done yet!

7. My favorite bands are as follows: Ray LaMontagne, Counting Crowes, Copeland, Coldplay, Damien Rice, Death Cab For Cutie {and the Beatles... but that kind of goes without saying, no?}

Rule #3: Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you've recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
These are blogs that I look at on a daily basis, not necessarily recent discoveries {but little blogging treasures nonetheless} -- I literally cannot go a single day without checking them out! Love you little beauties!

Rule #4: Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.


what are you so afraid of?

note to self: stop being so afraid!!!!

Do you ever feel like you're missing out on things because you're afraid? I was talking to a friend about this over lunch the other day... and my first response was Heck, no! I don't let fear hold me back from anything! Hmm... maybe that's not entirely true. I think we all have little {or not so little} fears that keep us from living up to our potential. Maybe life would be different if every once in a while we told our fears to shut the hell up! Maybe if we closed our eyes and took a running start, we would make a memory that would last forever. It's possible that some of my fears could totally change my life and my overall outlook if I would just quiet that voice in my head telling me I can't and turn up that little voice that wants to scream out -- I can!!!!

1. Bungee Jump.

2. Go back to school.

3. Travel to a very poor country and volunteer my time.

4. Go skydiving.

5. Go backpacking in Europe. Make no plans ahead of time.

6. Go on a camping trip for a whole week... by myself.

7. Eat alone at a restaurant.

8. Give a speech.

9. Hold a snake.

10. Call in sick from work & go on an adventure.
{Yes, I am afraid to call in sick when I'm really not. Pathetic.}

So, what's holding you back? What are you afraid of?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

i heart teresa!

So my very good friend Dan has one heck of a talented mama! Check out this painting she did of my husband, Sean:

I am more than a little impressed! I wish I could paint like that..... or at all. Oh and guess what, her and her husband are starting a winery.... yeah... they're cool!

P.S. - Teresa...... our anniversary is coming up in August -- hint hint ;)

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