Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dirt don't hurt. (Part II)

Spent part of my day at the Natural History Museum trying to convince kids to get their hands dirty by making seed bombs.  You'd be surprised how much convincing it took.  A lot of kids scrunched up their nose, looked at the dirt, looked at me, looked at their hands and then said, "No thanks."


However, my friend Tim (who's a big kid turning 30 this month!) was more than willing to dig in and even sacrifice his brand new jeans for the cause.

Let's all promise to teach our kids dirt is okay.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stealing this....

Heard someone say this and it made me smile.  I want to adopt it.

"Stop it!  You're lying through your face."

Thursday, February 24, 2011


As you may or may not know, I'm involved in some causes.  Some good causes.  Like LA Guerrilla Gardening, The Do Good Bus and Friends of El Faro.

But today I really got to be a part of something.  Something good.  Awe-inspiring.

I have two friends who have been trying to adopt a teenager from an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico for over 4 years.  They've hit every possible roadblock along the way and have shared their story and their frustration with friends, family and strangers.  Regardless if you hear the short version or know every detail of their journey -- it's maddening to think that two people who are trying so hard to help a teenager in need of a family, continue to be slowed down by red tape, absent judges, new laws, cultural divide, fees and more fees.

Enter: awe-inspiring.

In two weeks their teenager will have a birthday that will make her "too old" for adoption.  Which means the Mexican government has 14 days to sign off on an adoption that has been in the system for 4 years.  That's over 1500 days their teenager has remained in the orphanage.  Waiting.  Wondering if it was all a lie.

Today, myself and another friend of the couple were meant to testify in front of the judge.  To prove they were capable, responsible and loving parents.  The judge would also speak to their teenager one last time: the FINAL step.

As we all stood in the lobby, dressed our best and sharing nervous smiles, the lawyer came over to explain something in Spanish.  I tried my best to understand and knew the only word my friends could hear was: mañana, mañana, mañana.
I looked over at my friends as my heart sank to my feet.  I expected nothing less than to see one of them collapsing to the floor in tears and just pure exhaustion.  But even with sad eyes, they both put on a smile and tried to understand as it was translated to English.  The judge wasn't here for their appointment.  Their witnesses could testify, but their teenager would have to come back tomorrow to meet with the judge.  No exceptions.

Standing in the courthouse with my friends, watching "Mama" at the orphanage cry and seeing this lovely teenage girl was all so inspiring.  And I'm so honored that I could be a very, very small part of bringing Ruth home.

People are good.  They really are.  And I know two of the good-est out there.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Huxtables

Today wasn't great.

But it did end with my roommate and I watching a small marathon of Cosby Shows.  (Thank you, Netflix Watch Instantly)

I grew up on that show.  And it's just as amazing today as it was then.

You'll need to watch this.
(or save it for a rainy day)

And I'll be sure to post video of my family in various similar situations once I gather them.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Perfect Moments

I was really excited to see some old friends in Sydney and meet their kids for the first time.  These kids are seriously so cute I just want to eat them.

On my last day, we all headed to the beach for coffee and a last glance at The Pacific from this side of the world.  As my friend and his three-year-old daughter were walking hand in hand, she stopped in her tracks and looked up at her dad.

"Daddy.  I love you whole world, so much."


Saturday, February 19, 2011

She's Like The Wind

I took a shuttle from Torquay to the Avalon Airport just outside of Melbourne on what seemed like one of the windiest days ever.

A few of us had just spent the morning trying to swim in Bells Beach without our skin peeling off from being sandblasted.  Seriously.  That said, the water was amazing and the views spectacular...but holy moly, 40mph sand hurts.

On the ride, it was just me and the shuttle driver and so far, it had been a pretty quiet ride.  The shuttle was being pushed around a bit by the wind, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

Suddenly, the wind pushed the shuttle almost completely into the other lane and after he corrected the wheel, the driver said, "It's a bit like dancing with the wife that doesn't want to dance."

You'd need to hear the accent to get the full effect, but it made me smile.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Steps

I did my fair share of whirlwind backpacking trips in Europe and Australia in my early twenties. (Man, I think that's the first time I've used that phrase - "in my early twenties" - makes me

This also means I spent a ton of time wandering around airports.  When we were traveling on a budget and carrying only what we needed, I used to love passing by the Duty Free shops to snag a spray of perfume.  That little squirt always made me feel like I was traveling for business or perhaps with my husband on a grand vacation.

On this trip, as I passed the Duty Free Shop and realized I hadn't put perfume on that morning...I thought, "Perfect, I'll just grab a quick spray here."  Memories of Europe and eating bread and cheese for every meal and wearing the same pants three days in a row immediately ran through my head.

And as much as I loved those trips and the adventure and being dirty, dirty, dirty...I was surprised how happy I was that I travel just slightly above those means now.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Power and Love

Was wandering around a mall today and walked by a store playing a familiar song.

I leaned in slightly to make sure I was hearing right and then indeed was the song I thought.

The two guys behind the counter gave me a confused look and I smiled and said, "That's my brother's band....was just making sure I heard it right."

"Get out of here! That's your brother?!"

"Yeah. It's crazy to hear it here." [in Australia]

"Right on. I love this band! Power and love to you and your bro. Tell him to keep making great music."

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I was riding the ferry to Manly Beach and this little girl, all of 5 years old, came running up the stairs singing, "I'm all by myseeeelf, my dad's downstaiiiirs. I'm all by myseeeelf...."

She smiled at everyone and walked over to two twentysomething goth girls with multiple piercings in their faces.

She sat down next to them, swinging her legs and said, "Hi. What are those things on your face?"

"These? They're jewelry."

"Why do you have them?"

"Ummm...I don't know actually. Because I like them. I think they look nice. Do you like them?"

The little girl cocked her head to one side and stared at the piercings. "Nope. I think they're kind of ugly."

The pierced girl laughed and said, "Well you're allowed to like whatever you want."

"I know."

The little girl continued to swing her legs and all three of them smiled as they stared out at the ocean.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

When people are really good at what they do

After I heard my name called at the doctor's office, I mustered up the energy to walk through the door and wondered if the nurse thought I was a homeless person.  No bra.  Pajama pants.  Hair pulled back in a ponytail after falling asleep on a wet head.

He looked at me and said the usual greeting, "How are you?"

"Mmmm.  I'm.....I'm ok." I said with a completely pitiful face.

"Don't worry.  I'm here."

Didn't realize those two words could mean so much.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

V Dub

This commercial kept a smile on my face all afternoon.  Love it.
(Thanks, Aaron!)