Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thoughts of a 23 Year Old


|Note: This was written 2 years ago, regarding the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. My heart is the same for the Philippines right now|

Yesterday, 1200+ bloggers, including myself, decided to remain silent for the day to reflect on the tragedy in Japan. Throwing any personal agendas, politics, religion, and views to the wayside in order to show some love to a country so desperate for answers.
A community of imperfect people, coming together to shine a little light in all that dark and all that cold.

Some bloggers were silent. Some bloggers did what bloggers do best: blogged.
I'm proud of both, and in the end:
Life moves on.

To the blogger who remained silent: thank you.
To the blogger who wrote: thank you.
To the blogger who gave money: thank you.
To the blogger who gave a prayer: thank you.
To the blogger who asked questions: thank you.
To the blogger who couldn't think of the right words to say: thank you.

I say thank you because you reminded me of what is so powerful about our world. It's the feeling deep down inside each one of us that recognizes, in some way, what pain feels like. Sometimes we don't know the perfect way to express or empathize it, but we try our best.
We want to give what we have, even when we don't know where to begin.
Crisis stuns us momentarily and then pushes us into action.
Actions that portray differently in our individual lives.

Personally, I am overwhelmed with the sadness that reaches to every single corner of the world on a daily basis.
Some days I focus on it more. Some days I remember it more. Some days I act upon it more. Some days I speak out about it more. Some days I wish I could do more.

And some days, I am just consumed with the bubble of my own life,
let alone the weight of the world.

My heart is that you don't forget what these moments of reflection and response are truly about.
It's not to make us feel better about ourselves, put a checkmark on our humanitarian quota for the year, or portray ourselves as a "good" or better person.

Something inherently rises up within us and connects us.


For one small moment, we can relate on a deeper level. We can feel like this world offers tiny windows of opportunity to live for something bigger, even when we feel so small.


{Bon Bon}

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

They Like Me. They Really Really Like Me.

{portrait drawn by my friend Jane}

Friends, it happened again. Just the other day. 
Which reminded me of when it happened a few months ago, and a couple months before that, and the year before that, and...

I was scouted by a modeling agent. Again. 

This time it was a Los Angeles casting producer from, "The Face." I had just changed Bean's diaper, had song and danced through the nap time routine, and then checked my email to see a, "Hey Bonnie! This is so and so from shmeeshmaashmeee and yada yada yada Naomi Campbell! Are you interested?" 

I never responded. 

Possibly, because Naomi Campbell terrifies the living bejeezus out of me, and please, don't you know Tyra Banks is my gurrrrrrl! 

Hopefully this won't sound like a pitiful "woe is me" kind of topic or that I'm acting like the stuck-up hair-primping emoticon girl you sometimes use in your texts. If you reallllllly know me in the real life, you'd know that when I was first scouted at the Sweet Factory at age 14, and started appearing in local advertisements, and was prepping for an imminent move to Asia, I plain ol' didn't want anyone to know. Ever.  

Someone brought a magazine plastered with my glossy face to school once, and I wanted to crawl under my desk until summer.  

That kind of attention was (is) not me. 
If they asked about the Nike casting call, I'd be like, "yeahhhh, hey! look! Audrey's sharing her lunchable! Pepperoni pizza!" 

I also know exactly what kind of model category I belong to. Not the supermodel one. Not the catalogue one. I'm in the weird one. You'd probably find my face in some underground campaign being shot by Juergen Teller. We'll just pretend it's either Marc Jacobs or Celine, (but most likely for some indie faux chinchilla overalls designer in Tokyo)

My "Look" since about 5th grade has been tall, scrawny, and "exotic." Well, exotic since birth...except then I looked like Dora the Explorer and now I look like, Jasmine or Mulan or Pocohontas. It changes on a daily basis. In Africa, everyone thought I was Lucy Lui. I swear, if I had a nickel for every time someone yelled "Charlie's Angels" at me...

Anywayyyyyyyy. I also look about 16 years old. That always helps. Badabingbadaboom.
Here come the model scouts. 

They have approached me at malls, grocery stores, parking lots, restaurants, state fairs, college campuses, sporting events, parks, beaches, on the street, by myself/with friends/with family, nationally, internationally, concerts, that one MUSE concert in particular where an agent from MUSE (modeling agency) approached me mid-slurp at the drinking fountain and all I heard was MUSE! and the business card said MUSE! and obviously after quickly putting two and two together, concluded that this must be my lucky MUSE! day. I was going to meet MUSE! (the band). She was handing me a backstage pass?! or something? gift card to the Matt Bellamy fan club? Free song download? 
"Wait. What?" 
"Have I ever modeled before? COME ON!"

I guess being asked those five words again and again over the past ten years, (TEN!) has jaded my view on the whole thing. Honestly, it is flattering. 
Someone (besides the plumber asking if my mom is home), thinks I'm still young.


{Bon Bon} 

Monday, November 11, 2013

What Makes a Home

{Design Philosophy: Approachable meets inspirational with equal parts form and function and a dash of personality, plus a few dust bunnies} 

   Recently I was having a conversation with my friend Em about how to decorate a house. How do you make your space comfortable, livable, and real all the while, maintaining a certain "je ne sais quoi?" Since we both have highly active toddler tornados inhabiting our home-atmospheres, that "je ne sais quoi" usually means piles of toys that can be quickly swept away morning, afternoon, evening, and especially, right before company arrives. 

   About once a month, I'll even have an almost Pinterest-worthy place with carefully curated stacks of books, wiped down baseboards, and empty laundry baskets/washer/dryer. 
Not counting the hidden pile of clothes stuffed in a suitcase under the bed, 'cause that's just always gonna be there. 
For about 20 minutes (or 2 hours if the tiny tornado is sleeping), the hardwood floors are gleaming and the pillows artfully plumped. Only the pretty stuff is out on my kitchen counters. The ugly toaster oven can stay; he makes a mean pizza bagel and I definitely have a soft spot for pizza bagels. 

   This! THIS is a home! Clean, tucked-away, and perfect. 

   About once a month, I almost believe it. 
Then a certain someone scribbles on the wall with a dry erase marker while we are on Skype with his Auntie Lana. 

   My house would be sooooooo much better with that new EVERYTHING from [insert favorite store].(I happen to be "Target budget with ABC Carpet & Home taste.") Well, yeah, technically it would. The clouds might even part for a few seconds, baby angels playing harps, time stands still, and peace on earth. Have you seen those rugs?! As much as I appreciate, (oh so appreciate), a beautiful Apartment Therapy photo shoot, no amount of stuff, (or mid-century modern lack thereof), will ever ever ever make my house the complete home. 

   I don't remember what my parents' living room arrangement was like back in 1993, (we did have a gingham sofa, so, you can imagine), but I do remember leaping off the staircase onto the sofa while the railing was being installed. 
I have no clue what kind of stovetop Em's mom had in her kitchen, but I DO remember that one time (and last time) she experimented with an orange chicken recipe. 
   Years later, and I'm still laughing. 

   That is what I want my home to represent. 
Building on those memories of community, hospitality, and warmth. 
There might always be an unfurnished area that we are "working on," a comfy old rocking chair meant for cuddles instead of (Instagram) "likes," and definitely my fair share of failed recipes. 

[Insert all those sappy heart cliche things here]...  
that's what makes it a home. 


{Bon Bon}

Thursday, November 7, 2013

PNW Blogger Holiday Party Recap

{Spot the Bon Bon! "People talking in action" photo via {The Content Owl} because even after three years of blogging I still only remember to snap one photo} 


   When Chelsey {The Paper Mama} announced the opening of ticket sales to the Fall PNW Blogger Holiday Party, I have to admit, my PayPal account kind of snagged it on a whim. Make that on a whim WHAM. Ok. That was bad. The party though? Was good. Bordering on almost great. 
I didn't win the big door prize and stepped on some gum on the sidewalk and geez I'm totally kidding, it was great. Since my last blogger meetup "officielle" was way back {here}, it was time to put my big girl pants back on. 

   There were a bunch of people at the venue, maybe 50? 80? I have awful depth perception and crowd estimating skills, (my "guess how many jelly beans in the jar" attempts over the years have been abysmal), so we'll say there were definitely more than 10 bloggers and less than 100. 

   Thankfully, a few of my real life aquaintances were already there when I arrived, which makes the whole other side of social networking in this day and age a little less awkward. 
You know that whole other side, the "I know what you ate for breakfast because it was on Instagram this morning. Hi! Nice to meet you!"{Everyone I did meet though, whether more or less awkwardly, it was a real pleasure!}

    Speaking of breakfast, thanks to our fabulous hosts and sponsors, we grazed on quite the spread. Thirty minutes in, I was sipping on a mimosa and feeling juuuuust fiiiine. 

   {Union/Pine} was buzzing from 10am-1pm, I won a gift card to {Water Avenue}, and then floated away with a serious swag bag stuffed with goodies from {here} {here} {here} oh and {here} annnnnd more.  

   The craft table kept calling out to me, beckoning a siren's song of paper flowers and handmade ornaments, but everyone was just being too nice to talk to! Definitely stuffed a few leftover supplies in my purse for later, {thanks to my blast-of-the-past friend Bekah who was being a Fabric Depot rockstar ambassador!}

   I wish all of my rash life decisions would turn out this fun. 

   Thanks again to {Chelsey}, {Heather}, and {Jenni} for such a great event. It's always inspiring to connect with other women, (oh and guys! I know there were at least two guys there?), who understand the whole blog community thingamajig and warmly embrace my teeny tiny part in it. 

   P.S. I was the super tall dark haired person in polka dot pants. Were you there?


{Bon Bon}

Also, special thanks to the event sponsors 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why I Chose to be a Stay At Home Mom.

(I'm not curing cancer but I'm not eating bonbons all day...usually)

   Recently my husband and I switched up our health/life insurance plans, (because after making a human being and purchasing a house AND successfully keeping a potted plant alive during the majority of the summer it just seemed like the next logical thing to check off of our grownup list), and of course like most things on the grownup list, it involved some paperwork.

   Filling out my personal history and medical background wasn't too difficult. I'm generally average on the health spectrum, never smoke, mysterious biological tree due to adoption=check "N/A" on all the scary things, and azythromicin gives me a purple rash. Done. What's my prize? A standard co-pay, Yay!

 Only one little fill-in-the-blank was standing in my way: "Occupation:"___________

   Glancing over at Daniel's paper as if I could cheat and copy his "Civil Engineer" answer, my palms were beginning to sweat and that blank kept blankety blanking at me. 

Awww, what the Blank!
What am I? 

   SAHM? Domestic Engineer? Jane of all Trades? Coordinator of Chaos? Soccer Mom To-Be? 
They all sounded cheesy, try-hard, and gloomy. 

   (Which could almost be a perfect description of motherhood, just add some PURE JOY! + more cheesy) 

   Usually when a conversation steers towards the "And, what do you do?" portion, I am met with either congratulations or pity. So, let me get this straight. I might be doing the most important job in the universe!!! Or I miiiight be selling my soul to the ghost of Walt Disney. It's a frankly perplexing and honestly comical spectrum.

   Ever since our son entered the world almost two years ago, I have been his main caretaker Monday-Friday, 8-5, (unless you count the frantic afternoon call to Daniel's office lamenting how I Windex blasted a spider and it just won't die),  no holidays, and getting paid in sticky peanut butter kisses. While my husband calculates roadway designs for the greater Portland area and banters around the water cooler about last night's "Walking Dead" episode, my day involves calculating a new track design for Thomas and his musical caboose on the train table,(yes. that musical caboose. I should've listened to you Amazon reviews), and negotiating why Peanut M&Ms are never a wise breakfast choice, (for a two year old, 'cause I totally just had a handful with my morning coffee...again). 

   Honestly, some days, the hardest project I have to tackle is figuring out how to begin a new tub of Clorox wipes. Twisting that first one through the bear trap of an opening. It's not rocket science, but sometimes my finger gets scraped and then the bleach, HARD!

   This is my life. And of course, like most things in life, it involved some choices. 

   Falling in love and getting married wasn't too difficult. Even giving birth was enjoyable, (because I'm a high pain tolerance hypnobirthing weirdo who could somehow tap into inner Jedi-labor powers. Plus, I really wanted to be done with the whole thing and eat Burgerville). 

   Marriage, parenthood, and staying at home were all good choices for me. It involves a whole lotta love. 
They were also hard choices for me. The whole lotta love requires a heckofa amount of selflessness. 

   I was so selfless. Once. That time the flu knocked me down and I still managed to put together a Cars puzzle for my son. Self to the Less.
Well, you get the picture. The selfless lessons are going to be a lifelong course.  

   In my homemaking tongue, I could wax on about how a freshly folded pile of laundry glints a tear in my eye, baking from scratch in my pink KitchenAid mixer centers my soul, and the giggles of an innocent toddler brings fresh life into the room. 
I could also just as much wane about my lack of privacy in the bathroom, the incessant repetitious natures of theme songs on PBS, and the peace and quiet that rarely trickles past my eardrums. 

   "Staying at Home" instead of "Going to Work...for Someone other than your Family or Maybe you Own a Family Business so You Double Work for your Family and I Guess You could Have a Home Office That you Stay Home and Double Work at Home." Is that what it's called now? 

   Well, I guess that first thing is what I chose. 
Simply, because it works best for my family.

   Here's what will happen the next time I see that wide open space. 
"Occupation:" The Best and Being Really Good at It Even Though It's Hard and Sometimes I Don't Feel so Important but I am and there Won't Ever Be Anyone else Like Me, so Suck it Trebek! 

   I think most women could agree on wanting to do that. 
Whatever that "job" may be. 

   Paperwork is dumb. 


{Bon Bon}

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween 2013

 "I pity the fool!" hashtag feather earring hashtag is this real life

   I've never been a BIG Halloween person. First of all, I hate spiders, and feel like this could be a general consensus with the majority of the world's population. Then every year October rolls around and spiders become cute, (CUTE?!) on the shelves of Target and fake cobwebs become a celebrated addition to the household like we normally don't Swiffer them the heck out of our ceiling fans. Nope. 

You've walked through a cobweb before, right? 
We all look like cats clawing our way out of the bathtub when it happens. 
Not cute. Not ok. 

   My Halloween HumBug List: 
*Spiders. That's been established. 
*I hope all dead things just go to Heaven and stay there. I'll live my life here, you stay there. We can celebrate later.
*Watching Miley Cyrus' VMA performance once was enough to last a lifetime. Your costume doesn't need to show us that the main side effects of too much twerking are poor choices, latex, and cow tongue. 
*Fake blood reminds me of four life experiences: Childbirth, donating to the Red Cross, smashing my thumb in the sliding glass door, and high school wood working class. 
We've seen enough of the real stuff. Go away. 

So why why why do I partake in Halloween? 
Twelve Words. 

Anything caramel chocolate and a miniature Mr. T searching for "More candies!" 

(Also, of course, watching "Hocus Pocus" which goes against my humbuggery but, I mean, Bette Midler. You have to)


{Bon Bon}

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