Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lulu has a twin/friend...

We met Sarah and her furbaby, Foxy Lady, not too long after we moved to Austin in January. They look so much alike that sometimes people stop me on the street to ask me why I'm walking Sarah's dog and they call Lulu "Fox." I finally snapped a photo of the two of them together...Lulu adores Foxy and tries to run across the street - traffic or not - whenever she sees her. Can you tell which one is Lulu?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A little housekeeping...

Since my book has been out since 2008 and I haven't done a signing or workshop in about a year, but still want to keep updating my other site with career advice, info, wage gap, etc., I finally gave it a makeover. And added a few posts I was extremely late in gathering.

More tweaks to come when I have more time, but in the interim you can check it out here!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Seeking a Universal Truth...

I've been meaning to write about this for a while, but life - as it does - kept interrupting. In 2008, my friend Ida Becker set off on a journey around the world to seek a universal truth. I was in awe of her courage, her traveling bug, and her ability to document and capture something that is so elusive. I was lucky enough to be part of the project before she set off around the world while I was still in Charleston and just watched the video again this week. It reminded me that the truth I gave to Ida in March of 2008, the same day she shot my photo, is still true: "What I know now that I wish I knew when I was in my twenties: One, stop waiting for your life to begin — it’s happening right now. Two, your sense of humor can be a survival mechanism. And three, stop being so hard on yourself."

It took losing touch with my own truth last year to remind me how important it is to remember these things. And I thank Ida for putting together a beautiful video for her project. I printed out the photo and my truth and hung it up above my desk so I won't forget again.

Watch the video and see for yourself. And visit Ida's web site for more information and inspiration - it's worth it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My heart is full...

When I left Charleston for Austin in January, I did so with a heavy heart. I was leaving behind three sisters, five nieces, a nephew, my mom, my best friend, and many other friends I would miss terribly. I was also leaving a city I loved, the house I'd been living in for 8 years in a neighborhood I loved, and my comfort zone.

I made the decision to move to Austin in early November and found out that my niece Keri was pregnant right around Thanksgiving. I was thrilled for Keri and her husband Tim (who I also adore). Sadly, Keri's father passed away on the Monday after Thanksgiving last year, just a day or so after she told him he was going to be a grandfather. The idea of leaving my pregnant, grieving niece and moving halfway across the country made my heart even heavier. I knew it would be expensive to fly back to Charleston and I hated that I was going to miss her pregnancy and the birth of her first child.

Yesterday, Keri was admitted to the hospital to have labor induced (she's a tiny little thing and the baby was growing fast!). After being in labor all day, she finally had to have a c-section. I was on the phone for about two hours - talk and text - with my mom and my sister/new grandma and my heart ached to be there with the rest of the family. My mom and sister did a great job of making me feel like I was there; the minute my new niece was born I received a flurry of photos via text.

I already knew they were going to name their daughter Jolie, after Keri's dad Joseph. And that her last name would be Martin. When my mom texted "Jolie Martin, 6.5 lbs., 19 inches long" along with a photo of Jolie in a bassinet, I texted back, "what's her full name?"

Ever since we found out Keri was pregnant, we had all suggested names (some jokingly), and I told Keri (also jokingly) that she should give her my middle name because (a) it's awesome and (b) I don't think I'm going to pass it on myself, being the least maternal member of my family. But I never expected her to seriously consider it.

My mom responded to my text with, "I'll let Keri tell you when she wakes up." And when she called me, I told her that I wasn't serious about her giving the baby my middle name and my feelings wouldn't be hurt if she didn't. She told me Keri would probably call me this morning. She didn't. She called me last night, groggy and exhausted, to tell me that her daughter's name is Jolie Love Martin. And I immediately burst into tears. Keri, being Keri, said "don't be sad, you'll see her over the holidays," thinking I was upset that I couldn't be in Charleston. I had to choke out the words..."happy tears." And they were. I don't think I've ever felt so honored in my entire life, so connected to my family, or that I realized how amazing it would feel to have a "namesake."

Keri has already posted pics of Jolie to Facebook, being Keri, from her laptop in her hospital bed. And I've been weepy on and off all morning looking at photos of my new niece and namesake. I can't wait to meet her. Keri told me when she told the nurse what the baby's full name is, the nurse said, "it sounds like a rockstar name."

Indeed. And now I'm excited x100 to go home and visit for the holidays and get to hold my new niece for the first time, to tell her how amazing her mom and dad are, to tell her how lucky she is to be part of our screwy family. I have no doubt this beautiful little girl will live up to her name.
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