An Open Letter to My Dad on His 67th Birthday

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kouk—

I visited you a few weeks ago and I had a hard time believing that it's been almost four years. It really doesn't feel like it's been that long at all. It made me kind of mad, honestly. I sat there in front of you watching this lady let her dog run wild through the cemetery and thinking Lady, have a little respect. Also, Sunset August 2012? That can't be right. 

As you know, in that time, everything has changed. We have a whole new family, and they're really, really great. We got lucky. We have embraced a life of adventure because we know our time here is short. You taught us that. We eat more ice cream. We don't eat spaghetti. For various reasons.

Most importantly, we are together and we are committed to being together as much as we can, even though we exhaust each other sometimes. 

Today, on your 67th birthday, we are in California. Grandma and Papa ditched us this weekend to go to Carson's graduation at WSU (Go Cougs!), so we'll bother you and them later. I found us some super cool ice cream options and am making mom take us to the beach. 

There's a lot in flux right now. It might be, as a moon goddess told me once, another "foundational year." Help me build it right, will ya? What's the point of a guardian angel if I don't put you to work up there pulling strings? I'm trying to keep my anxiety about how it will all work out at bay. I'm trying to play it cool. I don't know how well I'm doing. 

I hope however you choose to spend your birthday today—on a boat, on a horse, on a motorcycle, cruising down the highway with your top off—you know how intensely you are loved and thought of every day. 

Raz will be excitedly using your barbecue tools all summer. He was thrilled at how clean they were when he found them recently. I wasn't surprised. You are both extremely anal retentive, in the best ways, of course. He and I might be driving your Z3 home from California this summer, up the 1 just like you might have done if circumstances were different. I'll be looking for you along the way, and I know you'll be looking for us, too. 

Love you, Kouk. We'll cheers our ice cream to you today. 

Until we meet,
Bud


To The Woman Who Taught Me to Never Sit Still...Unless My Nails Are Drying

Sunday, May 8, 2016

First, an apology. I'm sorry I ever underestimated you. I should have known better. I always knew there had to be more to us, to what we could be. I'm sorry I told you to be more like Amber's mom and drive a Taurus and bring me and my 7th grade soccer team perfect, unblemished apple slices after practice. You laughed. "I have more in my life than just you, Whitney," you said. "You are loved," you said. "I will never drive a Taurus," you said.  

As it turns out, Amber's mom is an alcoholic. Things aren't always what they seem. 

We were rocky. I didn't feel like you gave me enough of your time. Everything and everyone else seemed to take precedence—you had a work trip, your friend needed you, you just...couldn't be there that time. 

And yet. 

You've never missed my birthday. You've shown me the world. You taught me how to shop quickly and efficiently. You've woken me up and surprised me with quick trips to beautiful places. You took me to the library. You introduced me to sushi at a random, hole-in-the-wall place by the airport. You held me down at Barnes & Noble and tried to force eye drops into my itchy eyes. You worked hard so I never wanted for anything. You threw your arm across my chest when we stopped too fast just in case my seat belt and airbag were somehow defective. You called my friends when they were mean to me and they wrote YOU letters of apology. You said exactly what I was thinking seconds after I thought it. You sent me He's Just Not That Into You with no note and no preemptive, explanatory phone call. You gave me someone to admire in every way. 

What I didn't know then, back when we were rocky and complicated, what I do know now, is that you were navigating through very deep pain that had nothing to do with me. It felt like it did, but it didn't. You protected me from it. You flung your arm across my chest just in case. And when you finally explained everything to me, the lights came on and I was more captivated by you than ever before. In literature, they call that a tragedy, but I consider us more of, like, a smart comedy. Suzanne Somers can be you and Kristen Bell can be me. They can be layered and funny and fun and pretty just like we are. 

Anyway, I couldn't believe it. Except I could. And when I looked at you, I finally really, really saw you. 

You gave me a gift that day, probably one of the biggest you've given me, and since then we've found our way to what I always wanted: A mom who shows up for me, sometimes more than I would prefer. A mom who answers the phone when I call. A mom who makes me apple slices. A mom who still won't drive a Taurus. 

Brava to you, mom. You are a totem of fierce love and deep, unwavering patience. You are sparkle personified. You are beautiful, but more importantly you are smart and funny and FUN. You exhaust me. You keep surprising me. I'd pick you straight out of a catalog every time. 

Above all else, I hope you know you've raised a really great kid. 

Happy Mother's Day, Queen Carlo! I love you endlessly. 


Us in horse form
All photos courtesy of Northern Born Photography

Double the Nordstrom Triple Points, Double the Fun!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Well, guys, I got another post card last week and it could not have come at a better time. TRIPLE POINTS ARE BACK May 4-8 at Nordstrom, Rack, and Hautelook! If you didn't take advantage last go-around, you must. I'll be heading to a couple stores near me tomorrow to work on a few things I have coming up—multiple birthdays, Mother's Day, my BFF's 30th birthday party in wine country, and a Memorial Day adventure in Palm Desert.

Check out the assortment of things on my Wish List and please don't hesitate to share what's on yours!

Brand Next Door—Volunteer Park Conservatory

Monday, May 2, 2016

When I got laid off, I made a list of all the cheap and/or free things I wanted to do while I had extra time during the day. Honestly, I was pretty bummed that I'd lived in Seattle for almost eight years and was able to compile such a long list. But, hey, I'm one person and I have a lot of life to live.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory ($4 day pass for adults) was top of my list for many reasons, not least of which was how anyone could figure out how to keep that many plants alive at once. I can't help but perpetually kill plants, so I was in awe the entire time I was self-guided touring.

Plus, it smells like Hawaii, and anything that smells like Hawaii is a good thing.







If you have ideas of places I should add to my list, please do let me know!


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