Six years ago today, on a warm 80 degree day in beautiful Santa Barbara, I married my best friend, Ryan. We’ve been driving each other nutty ever since.
The wedding was amazeballs but the best part was the ceremony. Read for yourself.
Never thought about it before today but there really is a difference between resolutions and goals. I never would have met Ryan had I not resolved at the start of 2004 to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” That resolution set off a chain of events that led me to him. Perhaps resolutions are an expression of intent and goals have concrete steps leading to a tangible result. They might be quite like peanut butter and jelly – best when served together. I think I’ll cook up a resolution pie with a side of goals this year.
It’s equal parts strange and sad that it took something as troubling as the Casey Anthony trial to drag my lazy bones out of the sludge and back onto the page. I just finished reading Alice Sebold’s “The Almost Moon” yesterday in which an almost lynch mob takes place so the subject is still lingering with me today. In the good old days, lynch mobs used to have to be present to do their dirty work, that is, to exact revenge upon someone they believed to be guilty of some crime. Today lynch mobs have moved into the 21st century and have taken their “power in numbers” tactics to the internet.
For weeks, people have been riveted by the Casey Anthony trial. The coverage has been plentiful and it’s been a popular topic of conversation around the water cooler. All of us seem to have an opinion and each of us feels entitled to said opinion because, well, we’ve all been watching the live play by play on t.v. or reading about it on the internet. Today the verdict was in. Each of us, a vested interest in the outcome since after all, we’ve spent weeks listening to highly incriminating evidence. And the jury found the woman that (so many people believed to have) murdered her own daughter…not guilty. What? How could that be? Because the jurors did their job, that’s how. They listened carefully to the evidence presented to them and to the judge’s instructions and they made a difficult decision, a decision that a lot of people were going to be unhappy with, a decision they probably weren’t happy making.
So now my favorite social networking site feels like a war zone and has me replaying this song over and over in my head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slKNd22GGaQ There’s a very angry virtual lynch mob running rampant, egging each other on, spewing hateful words, casting stones, and I find myself compelled to defend a woman that I don’t personally care for. Perhaps it would’ve been a different story for me had this not been a capital punishment case and someone’s very life in peril. But whatever the reasons are, I find myself feeling very proud of that jury for taking this case seriously, for doing their job, and for not treating it like a popularity contest. I find myself equally saddened by people’s reactions to the verdict and for the anger they are displaying towards the jury. It is a modern day lynch mob and it makes me sad. All I know is that if it was me or someone I love on trial, I’d want to feel like a fair trial, one in which the prosecution was required to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and in which I was innocent until proven guilty, was possible. I’d rather err on the side of not ever locking up or legally murdering an innocent person because I do believe that what goes around, comes around…eventually.
And you know, who’s to say something good can’t come from something so bad? I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there that holds her kiddo a little tighter and loves her a little more every time I read about a tragic case such as this. I choose love. Hope I always do.
When Jubilee was born she communicated to us using sounds, mostly by crying and cooing. Before long the crying and cooing evolved into grunts and words and gesturing. Soon she was speaking like a champ. Then came the art. Bless her little art! She recently began making representational images that tickle her parents to death. I love seeing the whimsical creatures she creates, all eyes and hair and ears and chins! I should have known that writing would come snowballing right out of her after her super cute creatures were born yet it still surprises and delights me to no end when I see her working independently to learn to write her own name. It began by learning her first letter, J. Then came her misspelled name, J-U-B-I-O, a nickname she’ll probably have forever. Then came an improved spelling of her name, J-U-B-I-L-E-E-E! Kind of like sliding into home…Jubileeeeeeee! Wheeee! And from spelling aloud comes spelling on paper. I’m trying to remember all of these steps she makes to reach her goals. I want to remember how she used to be as well as what she’s become. I don’t ever want to take it for granted that I’ll remember how she used to make her J’s using three strokes, a straight line down, a hook, and a lid. That is why I save practically every piece of art Jubilee makes. I feel so blessed and honored to observe and document her journey through life. Maybe someday I’ll stop seeing little bits of beauty and wonder in everything she makes…but I hope not.
Tis’ the season for Nutcrackers, Snow Queens, and Sugar Plum Fairies, especially in OUR house! Sometimes actions speak much louder than words. With that, let me present my very favorite Sugar Plum Fairy, Lil’ Miss Jubilee!
Christmas is upon us once again and I’m determined not to go broke this year. That means hitting the sales and getting the best deals by being an early bird. So I’ve already ordered my Christmas cards…before Thanksgiving!!! Gasp! Whatever happened to that young procrastinator I used to know so well? ;o)
This year, I’m going to celebrate the season with thoughtful, meaningful, fun gifts from the heart. I’m thinking handmade or at the very least something that I purchase simply because I know in my heart of hearts that the recipient will love it as much as I loved giving it. I may be lousy at keeping in touch with loved ones throughout the year but I always and without fail send a holiday greeting. That’s why, despite my tradition of not doing any Christmas anything before Thanksgiving, I decided to order up our cards early this year. If you don’t receive one, please don’t be offended. It must be that we’re not friends…yet or I’ve lost your address or have the wrong address or…
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
It’s okay to be sad. After all, without sadness, there can be no happiness. On April Fools’ Day, 2001, my crazy next door neighbor knocked on my door and summoned me outside to see the mysterious contents of a smallish cardboard box. I peered inside to find two tiny little balls of black and white mewing fur. I pushed the box away and started to back away shaking my head. I already had two cats of my own and was fostering a silvery-white mama Siamese cat and her litter of kittens. I certainly didn’t want or need any more cats in the house.
But my next door neighbor could be quite persuasive. He told me a friend of his found these two kittens in a dumpster and they needed mother’s milk. Heck, they were only a day old, still had their little umbilical cords attached, and I already had a mother cat who was nursing her kittens right inside. So I reluctantly agreed to take them in.
It quickly became clear that my family of three was going to grow. It was official: I was going to become the dreaded “cat lady” and was doomed to die alone or at least surrounded by all my cats. How could I possibly send little Sugar Ray to live with anyone else after ManRay had taken such a shine to him, constantly cleaning him just as his own as his adopted mama had done? I fell in love with the little pink pads on the bottom of his paws and the white tip on the very end of his very long skinny and swishy tail. If it’s possible for a cat to prefer members of his own sex, then Sugar Ray certainly did. I don’t think it was any accident that it wasn’t until a few months into his life that I even realized he was a boy!
In July, Sugar Ray became very ill and I had to do the unthinkable. On July 8, I had to say goodbye to my darling little man forever. I miss him terribly but am comforted knowing that somewhere he and ManRay have been reunited and he’s happily getting groomed by his favorite buddy in all the land. Safe journeys my little man, safe journeys to you.