happy, happy birthday, baby.


i turned 34 this week. the estrogen-compelled ageist in me bemoaned the fact, condemning the gray hairs abounding along my middle part (of course. of course they sprout up in the exact place they would be most noticeable), and my metabolism, aka the physiological version of a last-picked-in-P.E. loser, no longer able to sprint through any of my all-you-can-eat culinary acquisitions the way it used to. but, the Moonriver cantillating, stained-glass reverie dwelling, heartsome part of me reveled in the blessing of another year on a planet so apt to provide. aside from grateful communion with my God, i felt there was no better way to express my thankful wonder at the world then by composing a list of 34 reasons why I am so very glad to be alive and well.

  1. a body that knows its rhythms, even when it is thrown off-key. it knows its purpose and it honors that
  2. my faith. it is not always uncomplicated, but it is abiding
  3. good weather (sometimes “good weather” means rain, too)
  4. the sanctuary that is the beach
  5. the ocean and its many lessons: that the tide always faithfully returns to the shore (faith provides), the expansiveness therein, both in breadth and depth (our eternal potential to expand and ascend), the abundance beneath its surface, the mysteries both uncovered and undiscovered (our evolving identities, the nascent lives within us waiting to be found)
  6. sea glass!
  7. a mom who always comes to my rescue
  8. the smell of the eucalyptus trees on the walk from our apartment to the beach
  9. the truly bewildering acknowledgement that I have the love of a really good man
  10. that that truly good man encourages me to spread my wings in whatever direction the wind is blowing them that day (haha)
  11. Dr. Bronner’s almond soap
  12. strength of body and of spirit
  13. Zac Efron
  14. podcasts
  15. BODIE
  16. anything depicting, explaining, illustrating, exposing or even briefly mentioning medieval British monarchies
  17. my shower– i love love love my shower
  18. a dad who would do anything for his children
  19. letters from my far-away sister
  20. FaceTime conversations with my other not-so-far-away sister
  21. phone calls from my brothers
  22. laughing with my siblings
  23. Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its (“I’m Monica– i’m disgusting.”)
  24. my Bompa
  25. grapefruit
  26. the sensorium of experiences around the world- I know this is a rare privilege and I’m so grateful for it
  27. sacred moments where Heaven extends its reach
  28. living four minutes away from some of the best tacos I’ve ever had
  29. an aunt who is more like a big sister
  30. Stevie Nicks and her musical encantations
  31. the word “beloved”
  32. a burgeoning desire to understand and defend the quiet nobility of womanhood
  33. three-year-olds (“I need a username. ‘Little Kid Lover‘. That way people will know exactly where my priorities are at.”)
  34. the Patty Griffin station on Pandora (thanks for the tip, Mama!)

peace and love.



i’ll remember you

Yesterday I got some news that a dear friend had passed away. My heart has been ever so heavy for hours and hours and tears are insistent, try as I may to keep them at bay. I have always been an advocate of words as catharsis, but words seem frail when we’re hollowed out by grief. Oh how I miss you, my friend. One of my personal waves of grief is just wanting Heaven closer. There is something cruel about knowing where your dear one has gone and yet having no way of getting there without Heaven itself calling you there. There is a quote that I love, though, that says, “Children are the hands by which we take hold of Heaven”. I have found so much joy in working with my little ones these last several months. Their beaming eyes and warm spirits have brightened my life. The last couple of days have been colored in sorrowful hues of ache and emptiness. But children always bring their own precious brand of light and healing. I have been meaning to compile these little gems for sometime now. For someone who was utterly devoted to his nieces and nephews, it seems like this is something he would have appreciated wholly. Here are some laughs for you, JKRB. You are forever in our hearts.
{To protect the children’s privacy, name’s have been changed.}

“Miss Brittany, I went poop.”

“You know why I’m making another card? Because every day my mom throws away my pictures.”

“One day my brother lost a toenail and he used it as a guitar pic.”

“A statement is when a man cements something to the state.”

“Can I may be excused?”

Me: “Do you know my name?”
“Uh huh!”
Me: “What is it?”
“I dunno!”

“My grandpa died bc he ate too many cigarettes.”

“I have grape jelly at my house!”

“Miss Brittany, you a nice person.”

(On Cinco de Mayo) “Today is Pinko Piscaco, they celebrate it in Mexico.”

*Observes an unopened yogurt on the lunch table* “But whose yogurt this is?”
Me: “That is Miss Bella’s yogurt.”
“She needs to eat it or else her mom will be mad.”

“Look what I have in here– *pulls shirt down* –boobies!!”

“In my dream there was a pink octopus and a pit-bull and a gray one and a yellow one and they were finding all their kids.”

“Miss Bernie– her say a bad word!”
Me: “What word did she say?”
*whispers* “Her say, ‘sand-dollar’.”

“Yes, of course.” -a child’s response to everything I ask him

“Is Harper* a girl or what?”

“I cannot smell because I am not a pup.”

“Why do you have nails like me? Wait- are you a girl?”
Me: “Yes, I’m a girl.”
“Then how come boys can’t turn into girls?”

“I cannot turn into a girl because I do not have any magic.”

“We found a dead lizard in the pool so I put it in a safe place under the couch.”

“When I was a baby I was hiding in my mom’s tummy with a small foot.”

*uses gluestick* “I’m using my muscles for this.”

“Miss Brittany you know my mom had a baby and I have cereal at my house.”

*playing with gender ambiguous doll* “He’s pee pee fall off!”

“Miss Brittany, are you a grown up?”

“I drew you a picture of a grass.”

Me: “Ok and 1 + 5 is?”

“Miss Brittany are you real?”

peace and so much love.



Sentimental Me


“It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you meaning.”
-Vincent Van Gogh

From The Louvre, The Musee d’Orsay is just a short walk across the bridge and along the Seine. But, a walk across and along the Seine is so much more than that, isn’t it? It is a stroll down Memory Lane, only they are not actual memories- they are all the imagined scenarios you’d hoped to collect someday but deep down never really knew how to conjure up into realness. Continue reading

Raised On Rock

“It’s great to be here. It’s great to be anywhere.”
-Keith Richards

Keith Richards turns an immortal 71 today. I wrote this for him.
And for my dad. And for me.

Anais Nin said, “we write to taste life twice”, and I say that perhaps we write to taste it twice, and then read those words over and over to dine on life for the rest of our days. Perhaps we write to create appendages to things, and moments, and feelings already beautiful in their own right.

Continue reading

Apron Strings

mayday“For this child I prayed.” 1 Samuel 1:27

I promise I will always have pennies in my coin purse in case we happen upon a fountain, for I will never stand for you missing out on anything upon which you can attach a wish. I promise to let you stay home from school every January 8th, and we will have Elvis sandwiches and watch his movies all day long. (We will tell your teachers it is a religious holiday.) Continue reading

A House That Has Everything


mona lisa

“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”
-Chuck Klosterman

The Louvre inspires awe before you even step foot inside its walls. You can’t help but marvel at the remarkable intricacies carved into its facade, during a time when men’s gifted hands were their livelihood; the talents they nurtured became their life’s work.  It’s a beautiful thing, the recognition that though this place holds so many works of art within its walls, it yet stands as a work of art itself. I can’t help but compare this to people, too. Continue reading

Girl: Happy


“In this world in which we live, simplicity and kindness are the only magic wands that work wonders.”
-L. Frank Baum

When I think of living simply, I immediately envisage small living spaces. Most often, the requiem I find myself in is a small loft apartment, with charmingly crackled walls, cold concrete floors, and a bed clad in diaphanous white linens, the center of it all. There are countless little towers of vintage books, haphazardly strewn throughout the humble haven, all standing watch like little sentinels.  Continue reading

I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine

^ That was taken at Versailles! “Isn’t it marvelous?!”

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”
-Oscar Wilde

Ernest Hemingway said to write hard and clear about what hurts. A truth I am trying to champion is that there is an acuity to my words only when they are written extractions of my tragic vulnerabilities (proof: here); I want to be able to extract my happiness with the same amount of expressive precision.  I have hesitated for quite some time to publish this part of my life for fear of brandishing my unpleasantries for the world wide web to witness. But, another truth I am trying to overcome is that I am not very brave. And so I am going to do as Ernest urged. He was, after all, a man so very handsome, and as  “I’m just a girl who cain’t so no” to a handsome man… Continue reading