The Ol’ Desert Island Question

A few years ago (maybe more like six or seven years ago now) I was invited to a regional sales meeting. Part of the prep for the meeting was to answer the following question:

“If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have one song to listen to, what would it be?”

This memory popped into my head today because I was listening to Alice In Chains Jar of Flies and thought: “If someone asked me the same question today, it would be the same answer:”

Alice in Chains ‘Don’t Follow’ from Jar of Flies. The end. Full stop.

I can’t remember how I came to own Jar of Flies or who introduced it to me, but since I was 19 I have listened to the whole thing AT LEAST once a week.

I listen to it when I want to relax. I listen to it when I have to make a hard decision. I listen to it when I need to focus on a project and get it done. I listen to it when I am stuck in traffic, in heels, in a manual transmission car. At 3:30 AM on the night before my wedding, when I couldn’t sleep, and the “Why can’t I sleep??!!” crazy was starting to set in, I found the headphones that my incredibly fantastically wonderful wedding planner had put in a little kit for me. I was out before the first song was over.

More than anything, the reason that this is the answer to the desert island question: this album has been the soundtrack to my entire adult life. That bass line in ‘Rotten Apple’, those first few measures, can take me anywhere.

I see My X in the Red Mustang. He is in his yellow coat and I am in my silver shoes and we are so very young. He tilts his head to the side a little to move the hair out of his eyes. He is smiling at me.

I see me and My Sweetness. We are sharing a headset at Gate 81, looking at our reflection in the windows. There is nothing and no one in the world but us. I see the salute before he disappears around the corner.

I see Tiffany and Lisa at the finish line.
I feel Lucy sleeping at my feet.
I see my family at Sunday dinner.
I hear Georgiana’s first cries through the surgery doors.

I see Alek, waiting for me outside the restaurant.
I see Alek, waiting for me at the end of the aisle.
I am home.

Don’t Follow
Hey, I ain’t never coming home
Hey, I’ll just wander my own road
Hey, I can’t meet you here tomorrow, no
Say goodbye, don’t follow; misery so hollow

Hey you, you’re livin’ life full throttle
Hey you, pass me down that bottle, yeah
Hey you, you can’t shake me round now
I get so lost and don’t know how
And it hurts to care, I’m going down

Forgot my woman, lost my friends
Things I’d done and where I’ve been
Sleep in sweat the mirror’s cold
See my face it’s growin’ old
Scared to death no reason why
Do whatever to get me by
Think about the things I’ve said
Read the page it’s cold and dead

And take me home
Yeah, take me home
Oh, oh, take me home
Take me home, yeah
Take me home

Say goodbye don’t follow


Today was a lovely, lovely day. Today I had the opportunity to be inspired, to be challenged, to learn something new, to stretch and to scare myself a little. Today it hit me will full force how many incredible people I have in my life.

Today I sat in the warm spring sunshine and sipped a glass (or maybe it was two-ish…beside the point, really) of wine and enjoyed a long and winding conversation with my very best friends. Today I wore red lipstick and chevron stripes and that made me happy. Today I walked my dog and sneaked a kiss from my husband.

Today I knew everything was in its right place.

Today I felt incredibly happy. And incredibly grateful.

Texts from Alek

  A little bit of back story. I discovered speculoos cookie butter a few months ago. Bruges Waffles has it as a topping option. It tastes like heaven. And with a Bruges Waffle it’s like heaven on top of heaven. Anyways, my Mom got really hot on it as well, and now when anyone we know goes to Trader Joe’s we have them bring us back a few jars…or a case. Whatever.
My new thing is having a spoonful of it after dinner as a little treat. What can I say? I like a little heavenly sweetness at the end of the evening. Sometimes I’m sad that our wacky liquor laws prevent Trader Joe’s from coming to this state (although, for the record, even without wine sales that place would KILL here), mostly, I’m glad that cookie butter is only available to me in limited quantities.
And thus this text from Alek to my Mom was born.
March 18, 2012 – 11:15 PM
“Scraped clean…with a spoon!!! If Nat could only get her tongue in there…”

Powerful You

photo of bad-ass Chelsea courtesy of Absolute MMA

I’ve talked about my insanely cool friend Chelsea. She is brilliant, thoughtful, loving, hilarious, articulate, and passionate and every time I see her she blows open my mind. Every.time.

She is finishing up her Bachelor’s Degree at the U of U with a double major in political science and gender studies and her intention is to pursue a PhD in gender studies and create curriculum for grade schools designed to prevent violence against women. Did I mention she just earned her blue belt in Behring Jiu Jitsu?

Yeah. Mind blowing.

Janaan asked Chelsea for recommendations on a book about being a more powerful woman. Chelsea being Chelsea went to great lengths to recommend the right book – talking to all of her professors and mentors and getting their opinions on what would hit the mark. Then, she had to find a used copy of the book because it’s out of print. Then, she wrapped up the book in a cute bag and wrote Janaan a note on a cute card and blew our minds again:

Ultimately I really just wanted to give you this to tell you, from one woman to another, that I don’t think there is a book in the world that can make you more powerful than you already are. Everyone has something to say about how to be a powerful, perfect, classic mother, woman, wife and daughter. All of the books I have read seem to tell me one thing: don’t be a powerful woman, be a powerful YOU. Do what makes you happy. Fulfill all of your expectations and others will always perceive you as powerful.


I think am obsessed with Lana Del Rey. One word: Sexy.
I am definitely obsessed with her album Born to Die. One word: Sultry.
And this song, oh baby! It makes me weak in the knees. One word: LOVE.
Blue Jeans — Lana Del Rey

Blue jeans, White shirt
Walked into the room you know you made my eyes burn
It was like James Dean, for sure
You so fresh to death and sick as ca-cancer
You were sorta punk rock, I grew up on hip hop
But you fit me better than my favorite sweater, and I know
That love is mean, and love hurts
But I still remember that day we met in December, oh baby!

I will love you till the end of time
I would wait a million years
Promise you’ll remember that you’re mine
Baby can you see through the tears?
Love you more
Than those bitches before
Say you’ll remember, oh baby, say you’ll remember
I will love you till the end of time

Big dreams, gangster
Said you had to leave to start your life over
I was like: “no please, stay here,”
We don’t need no money we can make it all work
But he headed out on Sunday, said he’d come home Monday
I stayed up waitin’, anticipatin’ and pacin’ but he was
Chasing paper
“Caught up in the game” that was the last I heard

I will love you till the end of time
I would wait a million years
Promise you’ll remember that you’re mine
Baby can you see through the tears?
Love you more
Than those bitches before
Say you’ll remember, oh baby, say you’ll remember
I will love you till the end of time

You went out every night
And baby that’s alright
I told you that no matter what you did I’d be by your side
Cause Ima ride or die
Whether you fail or fly
Well shit, at least you tried.
But when you walked out that door, a piece of me died
I told you I wanted more-but that’s not what I had in mind
I just want it like before
We were dancin’ all night
Then they took you away- stole you out of my life
You just need to remember….

Will love you till the end of time
I would wait a million years
Promise you’ll remember that your mine
Baby can you see through the tears?
Love you more
Than those bitches before
Say you’ll remember, oh baby, say you’ll remember
I will love you till the end of time

The Diet Coke and The Bug and The Joy Bank

This last week has been…dark. And cloudy. And sad. And stressful. And it’s been hard to feel hopeful that the things that have made this last week dark and cloudy and sad and stressful will change. And every day of the last week I’ve thought about the video that Dr. Brene Brown did for Paper Coterie’s launch last year. Dr. Brown talks about living wholehearted every day, about finding joy every day, and putting that every day joy in a “bank.” Because when hard times come, (and they most certainly will) the joy bank is how you make it through.

I am so, SO grateful that Tiffany introduced me to Brene Brown’s work because it transformed the way that I look at every day.

Even today, amidst all the chaos, there was so much joy to be put in the bank. And one particularly hilarious moment where Janaan thought she was gently blowing a bug off of her hand, which TOTALLY would have worked except she had a mouth full of diet coke.

Yes, I feel hopeful. WE feel hopeful. And when the shit hits the fan, watching our family rally is a thing of joy unto itself.

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