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A Look Back: 10 Years Ago

So much can happen in a decade. People grow. Interests fade. And yet, we march on. We connect with communities, nurture relationships and seek inspiration. In the spirit of the upcoming "holiday" associated with love, I'd like to remember a few events from 10 years ago that will forever inspire me to appreciate the people, places and things I love most.


In February of 2003, I went to England.

In fact, 10 years ago today I was waking up in another country for the first time.

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I had decided to take a semester off between junior college and university and, if I'm being honest, the opportunity to visit England with my aunt and nana was a big reason for that break. We were only going to be there 12 days, but I didn't want to lessen the excitement of travel by lugging along giant text books and prepping for make-up exams.

We visited every tourist spot we could find: Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Shakespeare's Globe, Harrod's, you name it. We also had a chance to visit family. My napa, papa, dad, aunt and uncle came to America by ship in the 1950's, but we still have family across the pond. Meeting some of them for the first time was definitely a highlight.

I'm sad to say that I haven't traveled outside of the United States since then -- not even to Canada or Mexico! We've had such a great time visiting places here in the U.S. and haven't really felt the pull from far away places -- yet. That said, we're in the process renewing our passports. We're always watching the travel deals and you never know when an overseas travel opportunity might present itself, right? Right.


I opened my first email from my husband 10 years ago.

This guy. I'm not sure that I've really written about it here, but my husband and I met online 10 years ago. Mmmmhmmm... that's back when we had dial-up, ya'll.

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I specifically remember heading to the lobby of our London hotel to check my email because I only checked it once the entire trip. I paid the nominal fee to use the computer, logged on and there it was: a match.com email from the man I would marry. A few short weeks after my return, we went on our first date and the rest, as they say, is history! We got married in 2008 (photo above) and have been attempting to live life to the fullest ever since. It's hard to believe that we met nearly 10 years ago, but I'm so glad we did.

Can we take a moment and raise a glass to the internet? People thought we were nuts to be searching online for love. Yes, we were young and everyone else was meeting in bars (I'm not even going to begin discussing the success rate of those encounters), but we gave it a shot... and it worked.


10 years ago, I had no clue how studying literary greats would shape my future.

If you told me 10 years ago that I would be reading and understanding Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales in Old English or delving into the authorial intent behind the works in Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem, I would have called you crazy.

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While I was taking a semester off from school 10 years ago, I was also preparing to finish up my English degree at California State University, Sacramento.

You must know this: I have terrible handwriting, I can't speak in public to save my life and I produce fairly crappy first drafts. However, I have read great works.

I learned more about Native American history through literature than I would have ever learned from a textbook. I had time to absorb both the classics and contemporary works. I studied authors who dedicated their lives to the appreciation of nature (they've had a profound influence, if you hadn't noticed).

I was also a writer 10 years ago. I wasn't paid for my work and the results of my efforts were often questionable, but I wrote everyday -- in notebooks, on the old Compaq, in the margins -- and I loved it.


It's amazing how much can change in 10 years, but what really strikes me is just how much remains the same. While there have been bumpy roads and uninspiring moments, I'm still exploring a love of travel, building a true partnership with the man I love and aiming to read and write as much as possible.

Here's to discovering what makes us happy and sticking with it!

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Your turn: How have you all changed in the last 10 years? How have you remained the same? What "loves" have you found that stand the proverbial test of time?


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2013: The Year of Creativity

Okay, so I'm fairly certain most bloggers and readers out there are tired of posts about resolutions and "this will be the year it all comes together!" rhetoric. In an attempt to steer clear of the usual "New Year, New Me" chatter, I'd like to instead offer up a promise:In 2013, I promise to create something every day.

Now, that doesn't necessarily mean I'll end up with 365 "somethings." It also doesn't mean I'll be posting everything I create to this blog. What it does mean is that I'll be working to explore my creativity every, single day.

  • I may finally draft that essay to submit for publication.
  • I might polish up those story pitches.
  • Maybe I'll work on creating a really well-composed photo.
  • I could modify a favorite recipe.
  • Heck, maybe I'll even start painting again!

Really, the opportunities to dive into the creative process are endless. I intend to use this promise as a way to remind myself every day that I am a creative person. I forget all the time. As I attempt to make a living doing what I love, I often focus too much on the accounting-marketing-promotional-bottom-line side of owning a business. Add in my penchant for worrying, and all of that business can send me down a path leading to everything except creativity.

So, since I'm on Day 1 of this promise, I'd like to share my first video edit using my new GoPro camera! I've been researching the tiny wonders for a while now and I finally decided to go for it. I shot this yesterday, but I edited the video this morning. We all know that edits are where the magic happens, right? Yeah. So I'm claiming this as something I created today. :)

Please change the quality to 720p or 1080p HD by clicking on the little gear icon along the bottom of the video window.

A few disclaimers:

1.) Yes, I'm aware that this is sooooo boring compared to the amazing GoPro edits out there and that I could have captured this footage with almost any camera. I figured it would be best to learn the functions of the camera on solid ground. Don't worry, I've got more exciting plans for this little dynamo of a camera in the future.

2.) As I share some of my creative endeavors, there's a really good chance that whatever I create will be... well... awful. I'm learning new things and sharing as I do so. Sometimes, I might share something terrible. You've been warned.

3.) This isn't really time-lapse photography. I just increased and decreased the speed of the video in iMovie. I know, I know... that's like cheating. I'm learning, remember!

I hope you'll stick with me on this resolution goal and hold me accountable. I thoroughly enjoy reading your comments and hearing more about your experiences, so if you have any tips or recommendations for nurturing one's creative side...I'm all ears!

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Cheers, friends!

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Five Things I've Learned About Loss

Remember last week when I mentioned that I haven't been coping well and that I've been taking it out on my kitchen? Well, my friends, this is the one where I tell you what's up. Prepare yourself. This is going to be a long one.

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