Friday, December 31, 2010


The ability that every human has to CREATE astounds me.
The fact that with our words, or melodies, with our hands,
or instruments, or imaginations
we can create something that did not exist before.
That just blows my mind.

I love a project. I love to make something beautiful.
I love the idea of learning a new skill.
If you ever were fooled into believing that I was
somewhat hip--this lie would be dispersed immediately
by learning that one of my favorite gifts this Christmas was
Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts.

I have already spent time pouring over new ideas and made
the mental checklists of what I am going to create next.
Guilding looked cool. I want to make candles. I want to buy yards
of pretty velvet and silk ribbon.I want to learn the art of Calligraphy
just so I could write you a letter, and when you opened it,
you would feel treasured just from the script covering the page.
I feel a real thrill about the newness surrounding a new year.
2011 will be lovely I think.

My grandma has inspired my latest ambition.
She is near the end of her life. She is completely
bed-ridden at this point and although she is unfailingly
positive and sweet, I hate to see her day in and out..unable to walk
or move, unable to sew her baby quilts or play Reader's
Digest Christmas Hymns.
She said she learned to play the piano as child.
Her mother would allow her to skip washing
dishes at night if she practiced. And so she did.
I am pretty sure she played the piano at her stone church
every sunday for 20 years.
There is an ache threatening to spread at the
thought of her leaving this life.

Because of her. Sweet Carol Price. I have decided to take
Piano Lessons this year.
My goal being that someday I will be able to sit
at a piano with my family circled round
and they will be able to pick any Christmas
song of their liking, and we will be able to sing
together and think of grandma.
How long do you think it will take me to
learn to sight-read? 2 years? 20 years?

My first lesson is in an hour. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

have yourself a merry little christmas...

happy christmas.
today james was on call so we
woke up way too early to open presents
with the little bug before he had to go into work.
she loved her art easel, but more
she loved that Santa had eaten
the cookies she left out for him.
there is something very magical
about watching a child, especially
on christmas morning.

tonight we drove to the hospital to
bring James dinner. as we traveled home we
drove down Harrison Ave. which is a lovely
street with old historical homes
that all sport the most beautiful
christmas lights.
I nearly cried as I drove past
window after window of
people gathering around a table
or tree...sharing laughter, stories,
and good food.
I know that not everyone has a loving family
that enjoys board games and cider...
but my wish for all that I know
is that they spent this evening with
someone they love...
someone who loves them.

my sister flew in from Seattle
this afternoon. I love her
and I am fairly certain she loves me too.
and my little one today said over and over
"Merry Christmas! I love you mommy"
I loved it. even the 20th time.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

time to be still

I've been thinking about the concept of slowing down and being still lately.
After a few months on the road singing songs off the new album,
I am home for a WHOLE MONTH! I know that doesn't sound like
much, but it feels like a huge amount of time to me.

While I was touring through California a few weeks ago
I played a show in the town I grew up in---Santa Barbara.
When you are driving from LA, right after you pass Ventura,
the 101 starts to follow the curve of shoreline
till you glide through Carpenteria, Montecito, then into Santa Barbara.
Every time I think--"I can't believe I grew up here."

I made an effort to go to Butterfly Beach 3 different times.

Each time I collected sea glass and pieces of pottery that the
ocean had rolled over and over till it they were sanded and smooth and wonderful.
I walked for hours and I have no idea what I thought about,
all I know is that I felt happy and everything around me seemed very simple.
Sky and sand and a setting sun and me.

I had a funny moment in CA where I realized that I was spending
a stupid amount of time trying to come up with a good 'tweet' or
update to my facebook. It is really lame. No one really needs to know
what kind of sandwich I am eating for lunch. Unless it is unforgettable.

So now that I am home I am trying to detach a little from that frantic energy
of feeling like I need to do and be a million things all in one moment.
I am trying to be a really present mother and make this holiday season as
memorable and meaningful as I can. It takes a conscious effort to not be
'plugged in' at every moment, but I am really loving reconnecting to simple things
like the sound of my daughter laughing and smell of cookies baking
and lights twinkling on my christmas tree.

I wish you a very happy holiday season.


ps: what are ways that you make the most of the holiday season? any great traditions my family should adopt?