Thank You

And she was full of gratitude. The kind that takes up all the table space.


Chaos took Craziness by the hand and they started jigging in the middle of the floor.

That has been my life as of lately. One big ol’ wedding party to celebrate Craziness & Chaos as they weave & bob & cut the cake.

And while I crave slowness & stillness, my bones feel full of gratitude for so many individuals. Individuals who came into my life just weeks ago. Individuals who have been friends & family since the start of this adventure and eons before it. Individuals who have read this little blog of mine since the first posting three years ago (happy blog-o-versary to me!)

This post is for all of you. It holds my gratitude. My love. My need to each & every one of you. My need to breadcrumb a trail of thankfulness for the ones who have pushed me, dared me, and believed in me enough to support me as I followed my dreams.

It ain’t ova yet… Truly, it is just starting.

First, first, All Of You– For all my readers. My supporters. My letter writers. My Beliebers (I don’t actually have those but hey, why not?) You keep me going. You make me see the value in my work. You challenge me. You keep my hands full of gratitude. I treasure you & your dedication to me in an always & always sort of way. Hold tight, much ahead.

& to a God of Abundance- I deserve nothing of this. But I am so thankful that you filled my hands. You’ve blessed me with soul & purpose, is there thankfulness enough in this world for that?

Mama & Dad– I know I don’t say it nearly enough but Thank You. For raising me well. For believing in me enough to let me quit my job to follow my heart. For instilling values into me. For teaching me the true worth of humans & the time that they will always deserve. I love you.

Celia & Carleigh- You two have been my biggest cheerleaders since day one. Every blog post, every writing piece, every stitch of the heart. I don’t think enough words exist in the world to thank you so fully for your friendship and your belief in me. I don’t ever plan to let you down.

The roots of me—Corey, Lauren, Laura, Sarah, Christine & Tori-  Thank you for the endless support. The constant normalcy. The girls’ nights that arrive at much-needed times. The wine & laughter. Y’all take such inventory up in my heart.

Jill & Ron– Seemed only right to pair you as the two of you tag team my blog on a daily basis and show my TED talk to dinner guests. Thank you for your endless support & your goodness. Jill, thanks for taming Ron. & for being one of my very best friends. Ron, thanks for taking care of my Jill. & for telling me what the world truly needed out of me.  Naters– not a day goes by where we don’t miss you still. We love you. We are constantly geared towards making you prouder.

Britt– For a friendship that never ages. Never falls away. Never stops growing. You bring me laughter & clarity. I am endlessly grateful to call you a friend. I am so very proud of you & your every endeavor.


Tiffany Farley- For being a brain sister. For being a sister when I always prayed for one. For loving branding just as much as me (maybe more). For being fierce right alongside me in pursuing gifts and never apologizing for the call on your life. I look up to you. I thank God for you in an always & always kind of way.

Tippin-For laughter. For joy. For the reality that life should not be taken so seriously. You keep me high-fiving a million angels & I is so very grateful for you. This is truly our beginning…

Tammy Tibbetts- There are not enough words in the dictionary to thank you for your friendship & guidance in the last two years. You and your organization saved me. You gave wings to my smallest ideas. And I will never, EVER, stop thanking you as my front row seat supporter at the TED showcase. It means the world to have you in my corner.


Danielle LaPorte, Eric Handler & Selena Soo- Thank you for giving me the courage to leap. Thank you for the chances you’ve poured out upon me. Thank you for igniting a light within me & steering me on a path to making own dreams come true. It has been the biggest pleasure & blessing to work with each of you this year. Thank you for being such lasting role models to me.

Danielle D, Becky, Leonora, Sara, & Jen- You. Speak. Life. Into. Me. You keep me organized. You keep me sane. You convince me that Twitter is a beautiful, beautiful organism. I would be all sorts of lost without you. Thank you for putting up with me & thank you for never leaving my side.

The More Love Letters Team – Each of you is a miracle. An absolute miracle. Thank you for joining me. For coming along with the wild ride. For bringing feet and arms to a crazy mission and making sure I don’t stand alone in it. You are invaluable  in my book. I love you in an infinite, forever kind of way.

The whole of City Church- I feel blessed & blessed & blessed to be in such community with such beautiful souls. Thank you for welcoming me in. Thank you for shifting me & helping me heal. Thank you for showing me what mobility God has for my life & for teaching me to grow my faith like a sunflower. Taller & taller & taller. T & Miah- thank you for being my biggest strongholds in all of this. My gratitude for the both of you Never Stops Overflowing. Lauren G– You are one of my best friends. You make me so proud. Thank you for caking me with normalcy & Starbucks. I need it more desperately than you know.

Save the Children- I miss the limbs off each of you but I am so thankful to have known you, laughed with you, and- above all- gained the distinct pleasure to work with you. Your drive is remarkable and I am severely impressed with each of you on a daily basis. Thanks for being such a supportive clan & for pushing me to make the leap out into my own ventures. It was Rough Sauce to say goodbye but I won’t let you down.

She’s the First- Oh, jeepers… open the floodgates. Each of you has changed my life is some unexpected way. I won’t ever stop being grateful for how I stumbled into such a powerful organization full of go-getters & do-gooders. I love you. And I am eternally oozing with gratitude at the thought of being enveloped in this family of beautiful folks.


To TED & TEDsters alike- Thank you for bringing me to your stage and giving me a chance to truck my little mail crate along to NYC. You gifted this girl with the very best experience of her life and she will never forget it. Nick- thank you for your friendship in all of this. Tania & Brian- Thank you for adopting me into your family and keeping my tummy full of cruddy diner food. You fuel me & you make me count my blessings twice.  I am so thankful to be a “we” with you.

To the Grovers- Thank you for ushering me into your community. Thank you for warm cups of coffee & the finest of fine hospitality. Thank you for bringing  innovation back into the elbows of New Haven and letting me fall in love with this city all over again.

Steph & Sara-I honor you. I look up to you. I never go a day without thinking of your mentorship. Thank you for being leaders & beacons in my life. And for helping me hold my mission high up to the world.

Joshua Furnas– Thank you for laughter. & orbs. And for printing. & publishing my first memoir without letting me see the manuscript.


My Georgia Peaches- Thank you for the best vacation this girl has had in a long while, even better than the time the maid at Disney World consistently sculpted characters out of hotel towels for me. It was such joy & needed goodness to find friendship, laughter, deep conversation, & home in the crevices of Georgia’s countryside. I’ll be moving soon 😉

Kendall Ciesemier – I don’t know how our friendship rose up out of the ground but I am so thankful that it did. Thank you for your peace. For your quality. For your willingness to be a constant cheerleader but also a voice of reason. I treasure you.

Matthew- How do I thank you enough?! I feel like this whole blog post should be just for you… But will you take the mention? I am proud to have you as a cousin. I have been wanting to change the name of this blog to…. Stay tuned. But seriously, I love you. Always.

Azure, Claire, Kaleigh, Tehrene- AKA the definition of awesome sauce. Thank you for always hammering me with inspiration & new ideas. & text messages. & support. & beautiful words. Each of you are a marvel to me. I feel very lucky & blessed to know you.

There are numbers & numbers of folks to thank beyond this teeny blog post. Please know that this is not the fullness of my list or the end of my list… I would be here for tiny eternities if I were to list everyone. For all your impact, your support, your love, and your spirit…. I am scripting a language of gratitude to you. 


For a Better World, God, Passion, Poetry, Poverty, Simply Living, Thank You

I’d string the trees in Central Park with Yellow Bows for you.

She was fidgeting with the elevator buttons

when the tears for you rolled through.

I knew upon the first slow trickle, down blush-applied pink cheeks,

that the herds of salty soldiers marching from my eyelids

were all for you today.

Untamable tears. Terribly Untamable, Mysterious Tears.

They might be my only offering to this world.

They might be just the start.

I let the tears scamper for a moment,

like restless children tumbling to see the first gleam of spring.

Propelling down over humps that were once

the bane of a chubby cheek existence.

Searching in my mind for ways to turn

Each Drop of Salt into Characters that sit Metallic in Blank Word Documents.

Because crying doesn’t solve anything,

(my mother taught me that one)

but words can do some good.

You held up a piece of cardboard two days ago and I knew it then.

Homeless. Veteran. Iraq.

These three words would call me to my knees one day soon.

Black Tights on Tile Flooring Praying for Men with Foreign Soil Beneath Their Boots.

My mind left stirring over a cup of coffee we never had.

Envisioning you taking me from start to finish.

Tell me the story of how a young man,

waking only to lie down for his country,

encounters that same sleepy-eyed country when its time to cradle him home.

When he fights well. Does Good.

Shouldn’t “thank you” be a phrase that

Drops Endlessly Off Our Tongues?

Thank. You. You. You.

I’m no politician. No picketer. No rebel.

My combat boots are all for show. Fashion, really.

No agenda. No protests. No Crude Words for Magazines.

I cannot talk Libya or Japan when I just want to talk humanity.

I cannot banter over military industrial complexes

when I simply want to know, adding sugar as you speak:

How did the air feel in your hair over there?

Whose arms folded you inward during tented dreams at night?

Whose laughter are you longing for? I know it’s not mine.

When did you start missing it?

Tell me the pitch.

Verbalize the tone.

You’d speak and I’d categorize your eye color into the

running concordance in my mind. Maybe the Blue Files.

Perhaps the Ambiguous Hazels.

Scripting you deep into the front line in the notepad memory

of a Syllable Seamstress with Untamable Tears.

It’s not much but sometimes we need that:

for someone else to remember our eye color.

Remember something about us.

And let their minds return back to it after longer days.

I’m going back today.

If I see you, I will ask you out to coffee.

Knees sunk into the floor of a 43rd street office space.

Turning tears into syllables for you. Asking words to be

brave enough to speak for a hero like you.

Wishing those Words Would Unravel into

Miles Upon Miles of Yellow Ribbon.

I’d string the trees in Central Park with Yellow Bows for you.

Fresh Yellow Bows. To remind the World that a Foot Soldier Came Home.

That a Foot Soldier with Blue Eyes Came Home.

And so who will fetch the water to clean the mud from his tired boots?

Big City, Big Dreams, Humanity, Passion, Thank You

Show me a girl with pencil shavings on her forehead and an imaginary cousin by her side and I’ll show you a fireworks display more smashing than July 4th.

Picture a girl in elementary school, legs as thin and long like two yard sticks holding up a torso, anxiously rubbing pencil shavings onto her forehead in the girls’ bathroom before running out the door to meet her imaginary Italian cousin at ballet class.

It made me terribly uneasy to know that my peers got an entire holiday to put ashes on their foreheads and then proceed to whine about not being able to eat meat on Fridays.

I was envious that their mothers made them give up soda or that they wore white communion dresses and got a second middle name halfway through life.

And I was especially jealous that they had all these cool prayers to repeat as if each one were a secret pass code to a club I would never be invited to: The Catholic club.

I am convinced that a normal child would ask questions and then get over it. Embrace the nondenominational religion she was given.

Go back, reread several posts of mine, and then say this to yourself, “She was not a normal child.”

Hence my decision to rub the lead from my unicorn pencils on my forehead to blend in with my soot headed peers and then proceed to spend the next forty days grumbling the loudest over not being able to have soda or chocolate.

You don’t even like soda and you are allergic to milk chocolate,” I could remember my best friend saying to me.

She wasn’t Catholic, wasn’t getting ashes, wasn’t eating fish on Fridays and (GASP) didn’t care!

“You don’t understand, at least you still get to be Italian.”

And so, when refusing to talk to my best friend whose life was easier for being Italian or the God who made me into a pale mess of Irish freckles and German roots, I turned to Gabby.

My Italian cousin.

Had we been in the same fifth grade class I would have told you about Gabriella Vacaldo or you would have found her on my family tree. Gabriella was my Italian cousin and a star gymnast. She was the best in her class at pottery and she had long curly brown hair. Her parents gave her a cell phone at the mere age of 12 so she could call me anytime.

I imagine she would have called me all the time, if only she existed.

Yup, I made up a cousin in the fifth grade and I probably rubbed lead on her head as well. But in all fairness, everyone knows there is nothing cooler than having an Italian cousin to hang out with after school; at least there was nothing cooler at my lunch table.

So. as all the other kids scuttled off the black top at 3 p.m. to go play with Vinnie and Antonia, I was “making a call to Gabriella.” Translation: Lead head Hannah going off to play by herself, all the while kicking the dirt over the fact that she wasn’t Italian or Catholic. Tough. Life.

Both these stories fall into the chapters of my life spent trying to fit in. To fit the mold instead of break it. To make plea bargains with the gods of normalcy that they would remove any trait that was a) distinguishable b) unique c) quirky d) different, so that I could slide through life being happily ordinary and blissfully average.

We could very easily do this for the rest of our lives. We could an entire 365 days out of our years fitting in and never pouncing on any plan that might make us stick out from the crowd.

We just need to ask the question and then assume the role: Leader or Follower? Leader or follower, baby?

Take it from someone with experience, wads of it. I spent a good 76% of my life on the path to being a follower and there isn’t much excitement in it. The footprints to follow are already in place and it tends to get very boring, especially with huge ideas keep chit chattering in your head like gossipy freshmen. Someone did the something we dream of doing before us, yes, but do we really want to spend our lives playing in their shadows?

Wait, wait, wait.

Still one more option to hurl on the table. Before I sway you into being a leader. Yikes.

We could just wait until tomorrow instead of starting today. We could wait for a better time, a more manageable schedule, a better support team. But we might be waiting for a while. Waiting Forever. You cool with that? You down with being labeled as a time waster?

A dear friend of mine, and a huge role model to boot, sent me an article today that was all about the notebooks we keep, bursting at the spirals with brilliant ideas. Except, after a certain point, we can exhaust the world with our blabbering about this good idea and that amazing idea.

After a while we need to actually put the ideas into action. Become, as Katy Perry would tell us all, our own firework in this world. We only need to glance upward to see that a million others have already started bursting and they would never choose to sink back into line again.

It’s funny that she even sings those lyrics, to proclaim the fact that we are all fireworks. What a scary thing to be… it means we need to be willing to gear up for an explosion. It could be  fantastic but the thought of lighting the match is quite petrifying.

You see, that would be a point of no turning back. That would really set us apart from the rest of the world. That would really make us stand out.

And so we must ask ourselves if we are ready to swap out the firework display that has been playing in our minds for years for the real deal.

That could be a real risk.

But, secrets told: I want to be one of the ones shooting up in the sky and yelling back down to the hesitant ones on the ground, “Baby, get up here! It’s something worth living out loud!”

Happiness, Live with intention, Love Is..., Love Yourself, Thank You, Uncategorized, Women

To a woman who leaves a trail of adoration wherever she goes like the glitter upon greeting cards that always ends up on your Fingers. Your Dress. Your Face. Your Notebooks. Your Collar. Your Lap.


The word is sashay.

It might be the only word in all of the dictionary brave enough to take on her way of walking.

The only word without knocking knees when it comes to embodying enough potential to describe the poised motion of my mother as she floated from crowd to crowd at her surprise 60th birthday party this past weekend.

Sashaying across the floor as if she were still 22.

I was on the way to the doctor the other day because of chest pain that thankfully was just reflux,” she told the group of nearly 100 guests . “And I am driving and panicking, wondering, ‘Did I tell everyone that I love them? Did I?’ But you are all here tonight and I have chance to tell you now!

My mother is rare in that sense.

In the sense that she is given a party and she uses it as a chance to let others know that she loves them.

In the sense that her own world could be finding ways to crumble and she’ll stay wondering if the people around her know themselves loved enough.

She is rare in the sense that she will have you tripping over Piles of Love on your way out to the grocery store; in the sense that you will end up making a list of all the people in your life that need to hear “I love you” today instead of remembering to put the apples in the cart or check granola bars off the list.

She is rare in the sense that she could point out just how many times in a day we may say “I Love You” but that it really pales in comparison to showing it. In order to love, and love really, we sometimes need to ditch the words. Leave the Love Letters Behind and Raise Up Our Hands To Love In Action Like Shadow Figures Upon the Wall. Bring Love Forth With Presence. Awareness. Kindness. Understanding. Loyalty. Patience. Even when we would rather just say three words and move on for the day. Especially when nothing inside of us brews with an inclination to show love to others.

She is rare in the sense that she only needs to move three steps before she is shaking love off through her sway and leaving others absolutely wrapped with her easy companionship. A woman who leaves a trail of adoration wherever she goes like the glitter upon greeting cards that always ends up on your Fingers. Your Dress. Your Face. Your Notebooks. Your Collar. Your Lap.

She is rare in the sense that she only needs 30 seconds or so to prove to you that “to love” is to Love in Color. Love Out Loud. Love in Silence. Love in Motion. Love Regardless. Love Unconditionally.

She’ll make your fingernails ache from loving others.

She’ll make your elbows sore from loving so fully.

And she will give you every reason under her bright, bright sun to believe that you don’t need a holiday or a box of chocolates to begin right now.


Happy 60th Birthday Mom.

Short & Sweet. But as I wrote before: it is not so easy to find words confident enough to represent you. After a good deal of coaxing and bribing words out of the crooks of the dictionary I was able to find a few. Regardless, it is already very clear: There are no words when it comes to you and all you have instilled within me.

Love & Miss you already.



Humanity, Life Lessons, Loneliness, Love Letters, Love Yourself, Thank You, Uncategorized

One day I will be able to say to my Little Ones: “This is how your Mommy came to write 207 Love Letters to 207 Strangers”


We sat in over-sized Alice chairs admiring the spouts of our teapots, appropriately short and stout, as they poured a sweet elixir into the bottom of our antique cups. We clinked our tea cups together and we made a toast. A Toast to Loneliness, Calluses and Love Letters. Two Months of Loneliness. Two rounded calluses on my writing hand. Two Hundred & Seven Love Letters Written.

Signed. Sealed. Delivered. I’m Yours.

I sat across from my Best Friend this weekend, a girl who has shown me a whole new dimension to what it means to miss someone in the last four months. We entangled the sharing of three cups of tea with dozens of Stories in one of my favorites spots in New York City. I moved my hands with each story, motioning all around me, to show her what I have learned from living in this Big City.

I think I have learned Loneliness best,” I told her.

Learned to greet Loneliness as if it were an old friend. Kiss it on the cheek and allow it to kiss back. Soft & Warm. Somehow Soft & Warm.

I never knew that Loneliness could be such a comforting feeling until it propelled me to write 207 Love Letters.  Thank You, Loneliness, for teaching a lost girl just how to script her Sadness into Love.

As you may remember, two months ago I began writing love letters to strangers on the 4 train. I became quite accustomed to the thrill of writing to strangers and leaving my letters behind as if they were my own personal trail of bread crumbs. Central Park. Grand Central Terminal. A Slew of Diners claiming to have the World’s Best Coffee. Through these letters I learned to pour out my heart to perfect strangers as if it were the same fine brew that spouted from my teapot. Leaving Letters Behind. For Some Romeo. Some Juliet. Some Heloise. Some Other Soul Who Needed Words That Day.

But the true gift behind these letters unveiled itself when you became involved. When we all stopped talking about Love Letters and we just started writing them. Asking for Them. Yes, yes, it all began when you pulled up a chair at my Love Letter Tea Party. Sitting Snug Between Ink, Stationary, Loneliness and a Cluster of Forty-Four Cent Stamps.

I never imagined on the day I promised a Snail Mail Love Letter to whoever emailed me their address that I would find my inbox full that night. Full of Requests from All Over the World. From Japan to Utah. From Canada to California. Some with Stories Tied to the request. Some Sad. Some Happy. Some in Desperate Need of a Linkage. Over 200 Love Letter Requests.

So what are you going to do now?” My mom asked me on the phone that night, knowing that I was already quite overwhelmed by promising a handwritten note.

I’ll start writing,” I told her. Because as much energy as it takes to write over 200 full pages of letters, I think it takes a lot more courage to ask a complete stranger to write you a love letter. I sent up a prayer to God for Strong Fingers, Strong Words and a little extra help on the postage, and then I began writing.

Anywhere. Everywhere. Each One Different. Giving me great practice in seeing all the ways one can dress up a single word. Love.

Some days writing Love Letters allowed me to tuck away my own Loneliness. Other days my Loneliness did her own little Macarena all over the stationary. And on the best days, my Loneliness unearthed itself from Behind the Ink & Signatures. Emerging like an extreme makeover contestant, coming out looking Radiant. Looking Like Love.

To all of you who asked for a letter, thank you for giving me the chance to write to you. To shatter the word “stranger” 207 times. That is an absolute dream come true for a girl adores any chance to shed the skin right off of that word. That is the best Christmas Gift I could have ever hoped to receive. You gave my Loneliness a purpose and for that reason I will never regret a single swooping of my cursive.

Many of You wrote your own Love Letters and allowed me to do the honors of sprinkling them all over Manhattan. Thank you for letting me pick the perfect spot. The perfect chance for someone else to hold that letter well & good. A Table in a Cafe. A Shelf of the NYC Library. A Pew in St. Pat’s Cathedral.

And a few beautiful souls sent stamps. They supplied the fuel for those Love Letters to do their own globe-trotting. Thank you for those stamps in the mail. For Pulling Out a Faded Book of Liberty Bell Stamps, Sitting Folded & Pristine in Your Wallet, and Handing Them to Me. Trusting I would put them straight to work in the corner of some envelope.

But one person in particular deserves the largest thank you of all. I have never been driven so quickly to try to tame my tears as when a box showed up at my Bronx apartment. Addressed to “As Simple as That”.I knelt down in my hallway, and opened the unaddressed package to reveal a Full Box, Bulging with Brand New Toys.

This is to the guy who sent a box full of toys to my class of preschoolers who might not have had Christmas gifts otherwise.

You attached a message that said you were not one for writing love letters. I hope you see that you wrote the very best Love Letter of all.

You taught me with your Gift that we all can write Love Letters. Some with Pencil. Some with Generosity. Some with Ears that Listen. Others with Hands that Hold. One way or another, we all have great potential to send a Love Letter off into this world. To Write Our Lives Into  A Love Letter, with the steps we take and the lives we touch.

I grew up saying that I would one day become a Professional Love Letter Writer and maybe I have finally reached that point. After setting down 207 final points of punctuation, I think I am finally there. And what have I learned from the calluses, the loneliness and the inbox full of requests?

That we are all in need of a Love Letter from time to time. A reminder that we are doing o.k. We are doing just fine. That someone, somewhere is sending us Light & Love. Be it from the Biggest City or the Smallest Town. With the Loudest Voice or the Quietest Whisper. To the One With the Toughest Exterior or the Most Broken Interior.

Turns out the world really does need more Love Letters and it looks like we have only just begun writing them.

Thank You

Perhaps blogs cannot blow out candles but they can certainly wear party hats and make wishes.

“Do you understand how there could be any writing in a spider’s web?”
Oh, no,” said Dr Dorian. “I don’t understand it. But for that matter I don’t understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.”

Charlotte’s Web

This time last year I was surrounded by a clutter of Christmas decor, volunteer applications for my year of service, empty coffee cups already branding their rings upon the table, and a few of the girls in my life who have my heart pretty much memorized.

I can list to you the things I knew in that very moment: One) I did not have any clue where I wanted to go after graduation. Two) I was really very happy in the moment with these good friends of mine(though its easy now to think I took it for granted). Three) I did not want to be a blogger.

Blogger. The very word made me shiver. Sent me fleeting for the nearest pillow to shove my face into so that I could scream shrilly without alarming my roommates. I never set out to be a blogger. And when I started out, I knew for that reason, I would never be good at blogging.

The first few posts felt quite similar to an old home movie where a little girl with a head full of curls anxiously tries to jam a plastic Jelly onto her foot. It would not fit. No matter how hard she tugged and pulled, the world around the little girl knew- the perfect pink Jelly would not fit.

It was not until one of the Memorizers of my Heart felt the Harsh Words of Mean Girls did I feel prompted to use my blog, my icky sticky blog, to write something to console her. And in that moment of stitching stories & sentiments together to give to a dear friend, I became hooked on the idea of using my words to Spin Together the Feelings We All Sometimes Have. The ones for which we proclaim, “there are no words.”

For a girl who adores words more than pumpkin pie and hot apple cider, I find it very hard to articulate what this year of writing at As Simple as That has meant to me. This blog has become my very own nook of goodness on the web, a place that I have turned to time and time again in the past 365 days, only to find that you have never turned away. When I think of the web its no longer some abysmal hole of information tied together by http://www.’s and .com’s but rather a spiderweb of remarkable people who bare their souls to the world on a daily basis. Through a post. Through a comment. Through a thought. Through a word. Webs. Webs. Brilliant Webs.

I really must say to anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis and grows nervy over the thought of writing their own blog, do it. Absolutely, 100%, no questions asked, do it. Is that even a question? I am practically jumping up and down, using this blog as a trampoline, to push you to start lacing stories. Testing your Passions.

If I will one day tell my children that there was a moment that changed me for the good and for the better, it was the day I realized that your heart can have a place on the internet, that you don’t need a niche to make yourself grow, that you can start your own drumbeat when the world just doesn’t give you one that you can lay your hands to. That you can meet strangers over a computer screen and let them surprise you, as they become some of your greatest comforts at the end of the longest days.

It has become somewhat a cliche of my own to use but I do believe that there are people in this world who make “thank you” seem like too small of a word. You are those people to me. Thank you for reading. Thank you for giving me that first comment. Thank you for being mentors to me in the “blogosphere.”Thank you for showing me just how beauty looks with a .com attached. Thank you for writing love letters and doing so much more than that. Thank you for giving me stories to share. Thank you for always sending a text message after every post, without fail, to give me your feedback (Car- that one is for you).

But one last thank you, perhaps it could be the only one. Thank you for making it clearly undeniable that all of you, the web and the life of this site, are the miracle at hand.

Here’s to a wonderful year of what I would like to call soul-searching upon a page. Without you, I would have never found the words. Because of you, I am left without more words to say.




Big Dreams, Holidays, Humanity, Life Lessons, Simply Living, Thank You, The Tough Stuff

Before any Seamstress of Stories, there comes the one who taught them how to sew.

It’s at the very top of my “Not the easiest thing in the world to explain…” list.

Right there, the top of the list.

Numero Uno: Explaining to a 4, 7, and 9-year-old why you have two plastic skeletons dressed in ballet tutus and oversized Barbie heels on their skeletal feet hanging from your rear view mirror.

The 4-year-old adored the skeletons, or so I thought. She would ask to keep them on a daily basis.

“When they break, can I have them?”

Audrey, why do you want the skeletons so badly?”

“Well….” A long pause. “I don’t really want them, I just want the Barbie shoes.”


As for the two older boys, they could not wrap their heads around my skeletal passengers either.

It is called el Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. It is around the same time as Halloween. Many people in Mexico celebrate this holiday, taking the time to honor their dead and remember them.” I had to pump the brakes on this cultural lesson for the little tykes on their way to laser tag. I could have probably spoken about the picnics that take place in the cemetary and the candy skulls but Calder interrupted.

But death is a sad thing.”

He’s right. Death is a sad thing. I have yet to come across the person who is opposed to this little boy’s statement. You could rattle on about celebrations & fiestas & parades but regardless, Death is still a sad thing.

This post is not about my love for el Dia de los Muertos , my two little skeletons that I found shoved into my center consul by my brother this weekend, or the fact that my mom fully stocked my closet with dresses that would be absolutely perfect for any fiesta when I was a little girl. (If you ever get to see my school pictures, you would know exactly what I mean). It is actually about a lady named Dee. A woman who taught me that Death is a very sad thing. But that Life Well Lived gives Death a massive run for its money.


It begins happening around this time of the year. As the Leaves Fall, the Weather Chills & People Begin Googling the word “Cornucopia” and coming up with those silly bugles full of harvest foods. And I start recognizing the pockets of this earth that still keep her. The memories that hide, like little children, behind any Frank Sinatra ballad or song accompanied by bagpipes. A first chord and I am swept into a mess of tears, nostalgia and gratitude as a swarm of Little Memories tug at my sweater.

I received an email the other day from a reader. She wrote in the email, “How did you become such a good writer?

The question puzzled me.

I picked up my cup of coffee and walked around the apartment, wondering how I became a writer, and a supposed “good one” at that. Then it caught my eye, a black and white photo of a strikingly beautiful woman. She is looking towards the camera and she is holding my mother in her arms. My favorite picture.

There was the answer. I am a good writer because when I was a very little girl my grandmother told me that she would one day see my name at the front of a bookstore, dancing along the spines and book jackets of hardcover wonders. She told me of days when strangers would wait for my words, find solitude and peace in my syllables, uncover strength in my stories. And that is all it takes. It only takes a single lady who tells you that you will one day be a very good writer to turn you into a writer that is very good.

If you go back and look closely at all my posts, she is there though more Hidden than the most Stealthy of Waldos. Behind every word that attempts to manifest “passion” or “love,” she is there. She showed me that love is an action and a way of life and I am doing best of packing the wonder of that action into my every word. Be it upon this page or in conversation.

I live a life of love and that will make a writer very good, very good indeed.

I like to think we all have people in our lives, dead or alive, like this. Someone who makes you believe that you are not so crazy, not falling short, but Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. And as for the ones who have passed, I find it very important to celebrate their lives. To Eat Delicious Foods For Them. To Do a Little Jig For Them. To Remember Them, not as they are right now but as they were.

To remember the little things: how they loved the color blue. How they found great happiness in filling little notebooks with novels they had read. How they convinced every person they came across of their Native American roots (it is still up for debate if she was actually an Indian or not).

And to honor them in little ways: by buying ridiculous singing cards, by always dancing to Danny Boy and by having Google updates sent to your email on the JonBenet Ramsey case (even though it is 14 years old) just to keep her well-informed and in the loop of the greatest unsolved mysteries that she always loved to solve on her own.

And of course, by moving forward with the gifts she helped you foster: a knack for prose, a special talent for story telling.

Because stories & words & memories are that much more powerful when writing for a beautiful woman, the biggest of big fans, named Dee.