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30 Days of Thanks – Rites of Passage

Day 30

That’s it! Today is the day! 30 Days of Thanks. We made it. I feel like today I should somehow reflect on all the days previous and choose something to be thankful for that perfectly encapsulates EVerything that makes my life grand. But in all honesty I can’t get one thing out of my mind.

My wedding gown!

I said yes to the dress today.

I didn’t think it would happen. I didn’t really buy into that whole Say Yes to the Dress myth even though I watch that show like a junkie. I figured that although it’s entertaining, it’s not really me. I’ll just find a gown online, or at a little vintage thrift store, or at Ross. Whatever. I figured that would suffice. And it almost did. And it probably would have been fine. But I still wanted the experience. The bridal gown miles of chiffon champagne mother-daughter dress shopping experience. I figured I only get to have the experience once in my life and I want to know what it feels like to wear a designer gown. So I made an appointment at Miosa Couture in Sacramento this afternoon and went in with my mom and my Maid of Honor with zero expectations. I just wanted to have fun. The experience.

Then I started crying.

Then my mom started crying, and Dana started crying, and I felt like a bride. And I realized I didn’t want a dress from Ross. I’m much too much of a romantic for that. I want to feel like the most “Rebecca” version of Rebecca on my wedding day, and I realized today that the dress will help that happen. This dress.

The moment I put her on I knew. It is the most perfect dress I could imagine. I want to wear it for the rest of my days. It is everything I want in a dress and everything I could dream of. And while it is more than I planned on paying for a wedding gown, it is not going to break the bank, and I love it. I love it so much.

So today, on this last day of November and the 30th Day of Thanks, I’m thankful for rites of passage. For little rituals we’ve created to take us from girls to women, to bond with our mothers, to celebrate our sisterhood. It’s just a dress, but it represents so much more.

And no I’m not posting a picture. You’re going to have to wait until July 🙂

 

Probably won’t see ya tomorrow. Probably gonna take the day off. Probably see ya the day after.

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30 Days of Thanks – The Colors of Fall

Day 29

This afternoon we drove up to the real Apple Hill and I instantly remembered why even though Oak Glen is a lovely placeholder, it’s just not the same as the real thing. The vibrant colors of the leaves on the trees made this abundantly clear. I instantly realized how much I miss fall; how much I miss the oranges and the goldens and the reds and the browns. Oh those colors. Nature’s masterpiece.

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My soul feels at piece in a landscape like this.

See ya tomorrow.

30 Days of Thanks – The Day Itself

Day 28

Thanksgiving. The day itself. I’m thankful that a day exists to stop and reflect on our gifts, our blessings, our accomplishments, our dreams, our loved ones, and our values. Abraham Lincoln said it best:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

Whether you relate to the presence of God that Lincoln spoke of in reference to Thanksgiving, no doubt we can all agree that perhaps even more importantly than taking a day to acknowledge all that lets us count our lucky stars, we must also remember all that needs to done; all who need our help. For those with a void of things to be thankful for, we must create those things. So today I’m going to list some things I’m not thankful for, and I’m going to vow to do what I can to make the list shorter this time next year. Not thankful for:

Hunger, not just in the third world but in our backyard. I’m surrounded by hungry faces every day in downtown L.A. and Venice Beach. I can do more.

Disease. I’m tired of losing people. I’m tired of sick friends. I’m grateful the list is short, but one friend lost is one too many.

Access to healthcare. Goes hand in hand with the above. I lost a friend earlier this year and partially due to the fact that he did not have affordable access to healthcare. This makes me sick. I hope it changes. Obamacare, you give me hope. Please work!

Anxiety. It weasels it’s way into my life too often. Away with you!

That lady who killed that lion and sits next to it like a trophy in that picture with that ugly smile on her face. Ugly. Face. Ugly. Ugly. Don’t like her.

 

The endless battle of opinions. I think it’s grand how the internet has turned us all into experts on everything; but I think it’s important to remember that none of us actually knows anything about anything. While it’s great to have opinions and to get engaged, I wish we did so with more respect. I enjoy engaging in debate with friends on Facebook, but I insist we keep things civil. This country is currently led by a bunch of buffoons who can’t stop name-calling. Let’s do it better. Don’t let the anonymity of the computer screen zap all of your empathy.

I won’t go on and on, I just wanted to list a few things that I’d personally like to focus on in the next year to enrich not only my life, but hopefully my neighbor’s as well. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I’m thankful for you!

And I really strongly dislike that lady with the lion.

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See ya tomorrow

 

30 Days of Thanks – Road Trip!

Day 27

Today was rather stressful, and judging from our itinerary, a total failure. I worked a half day in the office filled with several hard deadlines coupled with the hard deadline of leaving the office by 3:00. Thankfully I got all of my work done (damn that feels good, doesn’t it?) but still we managed to hit the road an hour late. The plan was to get on the road as early as possible to skip rush hour traffic and make our way up to Sacramento for a fun-filled Thanksgiving weekend. Despite running an hour late, and despite the fact that I think Brad’s zippy driving gave Dana a panic attack, I still love me a good road trip. We blasted some vintage Shania Twain followed by the Dixie Chicks, picked up some Subway sandwiches and made our way for the Grapevine. Perhaps it’s the anticipation of the fun vacation to come; there’s just something I love about a road trip!

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See ya tomorrow.

30 Days of Thanks – Just Take a Look, It’s In a Book

Day 26

So here’s the thing, if there’s anything to be said about anything, chances are Carl Sagan has said it better. Such is the case with today’s topic of thanks: books. The other love of my life, the source of all my creative tendencies, my inspiration , my favorite companion on a rainy afternoon… my books. So here’s what Carl has to say:

A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.

Yep. Carl’s got it. The book you read is the only version of that book that will ever exist. Unlike a film; everyone sees the same version of the story, but when you read The Great Gatsby, that is your version, and only yours. That’s really an amazing thing to think about, and why the book is always better. No one’s green light across the bay will look exactly like mine, because no one will ever get inside my head. How intimate. What a magic gift. The greatest of human inventions.

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30 Days of Thanks – My Bro

Day 25

Today marks the anniversary of the day of birth of one of Earth’s more unique individuals. I’m talking about my brother, Matthew Sigl. It’s his birthday. A perfect day to take the opportunity to say, I’m damn grateful for you. To truly honor my brother and capture his essence would require an article that would take at least an entire day to write, maybe longer. In the little time I do have here on my lunch break, I will try to express in a few paltry words why I’m so lucky.

First of all, I’m grateful to have a sibling. For anyone who can claim a family with special eccentricities (umm, everyone), you’ll agree that it is our siblings who are the ones who truly understand said eccentricities as well as we do, and can laugh about them with us between therapy sessions. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. I got real lucky in that we are all pretty much happy and sane and always loving; but of course there are those times that the eye rolls and giggles shared with my brother got me through some awkward family moments.

I’m grateful that we are so close in age. It couldn’t have been easy on my mom to bring us both into the world just 18 months apart, but thanks to the small gap we have much in common, always enjoyed playing together, and are pretty much best friends.

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My brother has the most complex and unique mind of anyone I’ve met. He’s kind of a genius. It’s certainly a good mental challenge for me to try to keep up with him. I know he’s made me smarter, more open-minded, skeptical, hopeful, rational, and inquisitive all at once.

More than anything, I just love the guy. I love him probably more than he’ll ever know.

Getting a lump in my throat so I better wrap this one up before my boss comes in and sees me crying at my desk, again (damn you Batkid!). Matthew, I love you like a crazy person. When they were handing out brothers I really got the jackpot. I feel truly special that I get to be your sister. You know I’m always here for you. Always. It’s me and you. Oh, and don’t forget to call Mom. Happy birthday!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Birthday Matt

 

 

See ya tomorrow.

 

30 Days of Thanks – Magic Sea Creatures

Day 23

Today I had a date with my Kindle on the beach while Brad did some free diving. As he made his way to the water, he was greeted by some friends. I’m thankful for encounters like this:

Because:

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See ya tomorrow.