The Journey

Today I was invited to attend the 5th Annual Women Tech Awards luncheon, presented by the Women Tech Council. Whitney Johnson was the keynote speaker. I was not familiar with her work before this event, but her philosophies about dreaming BIG, daring BIG and doing BIG are right up my street. So, pretty much expect me to be spazzing out about her stuff like I do about Brene Brown.

Her  keynote address featured a quote from “The Journey” by Mary Oliver. What an absolutely lovely thought for today.

Let’s dream big.
Let’s dare big.
Let’s do big.
Let’s get out there and start disrupting, shall we?

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,

that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.

— Mary Oliver

Thirty for Thirty

Today is Janaan’s big THREE OH.

OH as in OH YEAH!

I would never, ever go back to my twenties. Ever. And I totally started over in my thirties. My thirties have been incredibly transformative. They have been brutal and beautiful, awful and amazing.

I think what I’m trying to say is this: unlike me, Janaan did all the right things in her twenties. She can leave knowing that she extracted the very best out of the time. Combine all of those experiences with all of the confidence that comes from knowing yourself better than you ever have before and, well, let’s just say that the upcoming years are going to be her very best.

To Janaan: Thirty for Thirty

1. You are beautiful. Really and truly beautiful. Strangers stop you in the street to tell you that. Often.
2. You really are the taller, thinner, more svelte me. Sometimes I think because we look a lot alike we have the same body, but no. (Next time we take the same pair of skinny jeans into a dressing room, remind me of this, would you?)
3. From fashion to motherhood and everything in between, you are my maven and my muse.
4. You taught to appreciate a photo booth. Especially one that has old-school-why-does-the-sample-photo-have-a-girl-holding-a-Raggedy-Ann-doll black and white film in it.
5. You are smart. Like, graduate from both high school AND college a year early smart.
6. You have the most amazing discount shopping eagle eye. You can spot a gem on a rack of crap like no one I’ve ever known.
7. You are fun. And funny. Damn funny.
8. You walk fast. Seriously, it’s handy.
9. You have introduced me to countless awesome things and places. I love that you have your finger on the pulse and always have something that we need to ‘check out’. I can’t tell you how many times I get comments or compliments on something and I say “It’s really all Janaan/Janaan’s idea/Janaan found it/etc.etc.etc.”
10. You love In-N-Out burger as much as I do.
11. You know how to transform spaces. Your vision and eye made my house beautiful. I am happy every single time I walk in the door.
12. You know how to travel. You have led me to some of the most fun, most delicious places I’ve ever been.
13. You give thoughtful gifts.
14. Your mild case of road rage makes me laugh. Driving around on my wedding eve is still one of the funniest afternoons of my life. (Losers!)
15. You are the best person to go to a concert with. See #7 and #8 above.
16. You can dance.
17. You know how to throw a party.
18. You are my favorite person in the world to stay up late talking to.
19. You really and truly understand my skin. That may not sound like much, but it’s nice to have someone else out there that gets it.
20. You’re organized. You like lists. I like that.
21. You like to “woo” after exciting movie previews.
22. You are a great cook and an even better baker.
23. You know how to take beautiful pictures and you know the value of a pack of Polaroid film.
24. When you believe in something, you stick to your guns.
25. You have taught me how to live life more beautifully in big and small ways.
26. You are creative in a way that I will never be. And you share your creative talents freely. You have made me look good on countless occasions.
27. You are such a good friend. I love to see you with your friends because it makes me happy that there are women in the world that love each other and care for each other like you guys do. 
28. You are good at what you do and it shows in your long lasting professional relationships. When we’ve had the opportunity to work together it has always been great.
29.  I think of you as the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Kids love you. They always have. You know how to charm them. No one ever begged me to be their babysitter. I don’t think I can really express how I feel about you as a mother. You are a natural. You are completely the same and completely different. It’s something on the inside that I can’t quite put my finger on and it is beautiful. You inspire me. Also, I’m totally counting on your maven/muse/finding awesomeness everywhere/great friend/eagle-eye-bargain shopperness when I have kids.
30. You are my best friend. And I don’t mean that in a cheesy way. I mean it this way: You are the only person on the planet who could possibly know what I was talking about when I said “You know, that movie with thingie and guy, with the clothes that we like so much?”

Welcome to my decade sister.  I’ll try my best to keep up.

Thank You Hotel Monaco.

I love a great customer experience and I’ve decided that I should start documenting mine. Thoughtful touches. Tiny details. I want everyone out there to know that I notice and I APPRECIATE.

We spent our anniversary at The Hotel Monaco. In addition to a fabulous room upgrade, upon check-in we were greeted by this:

Wine, water, dessert, a goldfish to keep us company, fuzzy handcuffs and an intimacy kit (natch!).

Oh, and a handwritten note with a super cute kissing-goldfish doodle.



Not shown: the back of the helmet, which reads “I love my brain.” I mean, this helmet is six kinds of awesome.

Alek: OK, there are a couple of different styles. I like the ones that look more skater than biker.

Me: Oh yeah, I am ALL OVER that.

Alek: You can really get whatever you want.

Me: I want that one.

Alek [moving down the wall o’ helmets]: Really, you don’t have to get that style just because I like it. Here’s what your Dad has.

Me [not moving]: I mean, how perfect is it?? [pitch rising] It’s a melon for your MELON! GET IT?!

Alek: Oh yeah, I get it.

Me: I want that one. Bad. I hope they have it in a large.

Alek [head cocked to the side]: Aww, Babah, you don’t need a large.

Me: Have you SEEN my head??

Alek [trails off]: Aww…

Me: YES! They have an L/XL. Done. Sold. MELONS!!!!!

Alek: Now you can go home and cry yerself to sleep on yer HUUUUGGGEEE pillah.

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