Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wedblogorama-lama-ding dong.

Too . . . many . . . weddings . . . and . . . wedding blogs . . . brain melting . . .
Must find . . . something cute to look at . . .

Ah. Much better now.

Here's the thing. Wedding blogs are out of control.

There are probably close to 7 million-buhgillion, and that's only counting the ones written in English. I never looked at wedding blogs until about two months ago after D popped the question. Since then I've had a few serious bouts of wedblog binging and I always walk away from those sessions feeling like I just ate an entire carrot cake by myself.
In one sitting.
Home alone.
In bed.
On a Wednesday.
Still in my PJ's.
At 4:30pm.
Covered in crumbs.
Cream cheese frosting in my hair.

It's not a good feeling. It feels shameful, gross, and more than a little nauseating.

After a wedblog binge, I close my laptop and wade around in feelings of overwhelm, indecision, wonder, excitement, apathy and harumph-ness. It makes me understand all the better why people choose to elope, have a simple civil ceremony, or invite people into their backyards for a BBQ.

I truly have no idea what Devin and I will come up with for our wedding. I don't know in what location, how many people, what will be worn, if there will be music or dancing, what the flowers will or won't look like, if they'll even be flowers . . . But this I know:

We will laugh our faces off.
Our friends and family will do the same.
There will be Mexican food, tasty beers and decent wine.
With luck, there will be sun and bare feet.
There may be kazoos.
I will hug many of my most favorite people within a 48 hour time frame.
Photos will be taken to document one of the best looking, smartest, most wonderful group of people having a lovely time.
People who will later view these photos will wish they were there because we are all so great.
I will walk away married to my best friend and continue to be the luckiest girl around.

I'm endlessly looking at pretty pictures on the internets these days. It's definitely a form of visual indulgence with little substance. Maybe it's because I'm an artist/art therapist, but I find looking through thousands of pictures really relaxing, and it's always surprising how despite the multitude of images, only one or two jump out at me from time to time.

The photo above was from the blog Under The Table and Dreaming. The post is about finding creative ways to re-purpose jars. We (Dev and I) try to practice the old adage, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" (Great Grandma Irene I think?) So much of what we buy we don't re-purpose, but recycle, but glass seems like one of those things we should keep and re-use. The blog has some interesting  ways to reuse glass that I'd not seen before.

Glass. So pretty. I'm easily pleased.

Sunny October Sunday

Photo from

Finally home on a weekend day.

Cooked a tasty breakfast with my beau.

Skyped with Dad in Florida.

Completed some laundry.

Did some much needed garden clean-up.

Wasted an hour or two blog-tinkering (can't leave it well enough alone these days).

And on the world-wide-internets I've been:

Looking at beautiful jewelry.

Drooling over fantastic flowers.

Thinking endlessly about moving here.

And once we live there, I'll probably need to get a pair (or two) of boots!

So thankful for Sundays. Especially this one.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Weekend. A beautiful thing.

Pen and Gravy

It is the weekend. What will you go and do? What people will you see and hug?

It's off to Santa Cruz for us, wedding event #3. I'm excited to see my brother and his lovely wife Jen. Jen's brother, Jeremy will be marrying the lovely Siobhan on the beach at 4:00 tomorrow. Yahoo!

It's officially fall weather here in the bay area. Seems we skipped summer altogether this year. We even turned on the heater for the first time tonight. Guess it's soon back to the flannel sheets and sleeping with two layers of blankets. I wish I could say I was excited to wear comfortable sweaters and warm leggings, but I'm not, because I've been wearing them all summer. Don't get me wrong, the bay area is a wonderful place to live, but oh how I miss a true summer. The midwest spoiled me with long, hot, summer evenings. Bare feet on warm pavement. Mmmmmm.

Here are some more beautiful things I found on the world wide web:

Beautiful architecture.

The Mississippi delta as it moves toward the sea.

The most Ah-mazing Pancakes I've ever seen.

Planning The Rest of Your Life

I like to think I'm a pretty laid-back, easy-going woman. I might even describe myself this way in an online profile . . . (In fact I may have actually done that once . . .) But in reality, I'm a planner. Big time. And this does not equal being laid-back.

I. Like. To. Plan.

I'm also a sucker for details, hence being an artist that refused to get a BFA or MFA . . . I wanted to know what my JOB would be, and so I stood back a bit from the "artist" title in order to keep two feet on the ground when my head and hands were in the art studio. The Details of Living According to Hayley: Income, health insurance, food, car, unnecessary trips to Target, and Anthropologie, and money to travel.

Keeping the detail-oriented + "loves to plan" aspects of myself in mind, it should come as no surprise that planning a wedding and an upcoming move to England can, at times, feel like massive to-do list I have to complete before I'm allowed to move to the next square on the board of Monopoly. What's helping me get away from the "to-do-list" feeling and get more into the "Oh Yay" feeling are things like this.

Pretty Wedding Blogs. Funny Pictures. New Music. Virtual Pinboards. Concerts and Rock Shows.
Oh yea. And of course, this guy. And these people.

Book Club - September

Host: Sarah Lusardi
Date: September 27th, 2011
Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
Food Theme: Foods that cause or prevent cancer. (Or so they say . . .)

Ooooooohhhhhh! What a great book. Informative, educational, great characters (do you call real people characters in non-fiction?), fascinating story, unbelievable history of medicine, public health and the advancement of science and ethics in medicine. I absolutely, completely recommend this book. I don't know if it was the nerdy hospital employee in me, the wanna-be science nerd, the inner-social-worker, or just the regular Art Therapist that I am, but this book satisfied my many personalities.

Overall, the book club gave this book 12 thumbs up (or so I think, feel free to chime in here BC'ers if I'm speaking for you inaccurately). Skloot does a nice job balancing the historical scientific narrative with the biographies and voices of Henrietta Lacks' family members. A fascinating read into the evolution of science, ethics, confidentiality (HIPPA anyone?), and the rights of patients and their family members.

A bittersweet tale. Well written and a bit mind-boggling.

On a lighter note, the food for BC this month was on the healthier side:
Sushi, cabbage slaw, green salad, *healthy* chips, guacamole/salsa, and . . . . Costco Red Velvet Cake!!
Yellow #5 and Red #6.

Anna Stuppi was missed from Book Club this evening, but we managed to meet as a group just one short week later for pizza and beers at Lanesplitters. What a lovely group of women.

October Book: The Magician's King, by Lev Grossman (Sequel to The Magicians. We thought it appropriate for Halloween.)

Book Club - August

Host: California Pizza Kitchen, Emeryville, CA
Date: August 15th, 2011
Book: A Visit From The Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
Food Theme: California Chain Restaurant Food

For this Book Club we ventured out from our humble abodes to the shiny, commerce laden, Bay Street Shopping Center in Emeryville. We had much to celebrate and much to catch up on. Summer had flown by, many trips had been taken, degrees had been completed, jobs had been secured, and engagements taken place. :-) Our aim was to see the much anticipated movie (okay, not that anticipated) The Help ("You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important."). A movie based on a book we had read many moons ago. Pizza, salads and pasta were devoured. Six women chatted as quickly and efficiently as possible. Snacks were purchased, and movie seats obtained. I think we dutifully shed a tear or two at the bittersweet parts, and generally agreed that the movie did a nice job depicting the story, and the character's we'd created in our head. Did we discuss A Visit From The Goon Squad? Yes. Did we like it, I think Yes. (Yes, guys?) I liked it at least, and am pretty sure those of us who read it liked it too.
Guess our book club isn't too much about the books . . . or rather, my reflecting on the evening doesn't do our discussion justice. Go figure. Post 2-4 months after you attend an event and see what you remember!

September Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Book Club - July

Host: Jessie Murphy
Date: July 20th, 2011
Book: The Island, by Victoria Hislop
Food Theme: Greek food, of course!

As this is a "catch up" post, I don't actually remember very many details of the book club evening.
I do remember that we celebrated the birthday of one, Ms. Sarah Lusaridi!! Teresa made some tasty cupcakes and everyone else brought tasty Greek food treats including, spanikopita, greek salad, tzatziki sauce and pita, and yigandes plaki and/or fasolakia lathera (I can't remember which we actually ate . . . sorry! Bad Blogger, BAD!)

I really enjoyed this book as it allowed my mind to really escape into Greece, a country I have only fond memories of. I learned things about the impact leprosy had on the lives of individuals, and how the disease transformed families and perhaps the history of small towns (keeping in mind that the book is historical fiction, not non-fiction). The book gave me a brief glimpse into how far medicine has come in a relatively short time, and lends a bit of hope as to what we may accomplish in the years to come in regards to disease and chronic illness.

Yea Book Club! I Heart Books!

July Book: A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

Monday, October 3, 2011

Catching Up

Time is flying by. Since my last post it feels like a year has passed. 

After 10 months at The Springstone School I completed my 750 hour internship! Working with middle-schoolers with Aspergers and Autism taught me so much about how applied art therapy can facilitate coping, problem solving and emotional expression for this unique population.  

After a 3 month absence from Children's Hospital Oakland I returned to my job as Artist-in-Residence. Knowing that I would miss the support, clinical dialogue, and self-care provided by my professors and peers at Notre Dame de Namur University I proposed to start a pilot self-care program. It's named "Drop-In Self Care" and so far it's been a success! At present we're 6 weeks into the twice monthly program. Last week (9/29/11) the new Palliative Care team invited me to expand the program to other clinicians at the hospital! Yea for Art Therapy and Self-Care!

24th - 29th A fantastic trip to Jacksonhole, WY; Celebrating Birthdays, Beautiful Hikes, Lovely Dinners, Family Photo Shoot, Alpine Slide, Swimming Pools, Summit Jackson Peak, Paragliding, Stand-up Paddle Boarding (Devin), and late night runs to Dairy Queen.

The 7th: Many, many, many, many, many drafts later . . . I completed my Masters Grant-Thesis! and in turn completed my Master's in Art Therapy! (The diploma arrived in the mail yesterday in fact!) What a relief to have those 2.5 years behind me, and I'm so very happy that I made the decision to go down that path and am so very thankful for everyone who supported me in that journey.

The 10th: Devin and I venture out on a beautiful mid-week hike in Mt.Tamalpais on the Cataract Trail. Warm air, sunlight filtering through tree branches, a tiny trickle of water gathering downhill into a lake. Arriving lakeside, munching on snacks on one of the most beautiful days of summer Devin asks me to marry him. I, of course, said yes!!
The ring Devin braided from Sedge on our hike.

14th - 21st: Wanting to explore an exciting post-doctoral option, Devin and I flew to England for a 7 day adventure through Oxford and Cambridge. Two days in Oxford and 4 days in Cambridge allowed us to explore each university, the downtown areas and the neighborhoods surrounding each town. Both are quaint towns, with lovely people, charming architecture and tasty ales! We are now in the throes of figuring out if we can afford to live there and when we might make the big move! All very exciting things to figure out.

24th: Devin and I made our way north to the town of Pt.Reyes on the Pacific coast to celebrate the wedding of our dear friends Chris Ellision and Kate Stirr! A lovely wedding, a great party, and a fantastic couple. Congratulations Kate & Chris!!

The wedding marathon continues . . .
1st: A drive down the 101 through Santa Barbara, camping in Los Padres National Forest before driving on the next day into Pasadena for the wedding of Chris & Anna! Despite the traffic in Northern LA (2 miles in 40 minutes . . .) we had a great time with some of Devin's friends from grad school. 

8th & 15th: This upcoming weekend we drive to Santa Cruz to celebrate with Jeremy Page and Siobhan Kelly at their wedding! I'm looking forward to seeing my brother and sister-in-law! Next weekend we get to say home, but will attend an Oakland wedding of my friends Steve & Barb! (Yea for finding love while living at 490!!) And once the 4th wedding is over . . . I'll get to start planning my own! (Yea! and Ugh! Elope perhaps? ;-)

More posts coming soon. Sorry Book Club group . . . I know I've got some updating to do!!
P.S. Like the new layout? Too simple?