Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the lost art of journaling

Before I was married I had a nightly ritual.

No matter what time it was, I would read in bed, then write in my journal, then call Curtis to tell him goodnight before setting my alarm, turning off my light and going to sleep.

But once I got married the journaling lessened, except for spurts now and then.

I have traded paper and pen for pillow talk, and journals for whispers and kisses.

That is not to say I do not write. I spend a good ten hours a day writing. Although this is not writing for pleasure, I typically leave work at night with a brain full of jelly and a tired mind. Since marriage, I have also started this blog. A different medium for sure, but it fulfills part of my incessant need to document my days and thoughts.

But lately, I have been feeling the itch. Two itches really, but for the sake of this post, the other will have to wait…I have been feeling the itch of my hand holding pen to paper.

I caught a glimpse of my journal last night, sitting stuffed between books on my nightstand…lonely. I have not opened it in weeks, although it comes with me every once in a while, when I start to feel that old longing bubbling up.

I miss the uncensored way I would write – not even sentences sometimes, just words. And when all else failed, the scribbling of doodles from a mind, clogged like a bathroom sink.

So, I woke up today, with a reinvigorated sense of my need {not even so much my desire} to begin to journal again.

There is so much more going on inside of me than what I post in this space, so much more I am afraid I might lose if not documented, cemented between pages, that there really is no other choice.

I debated whether to end the journals altogether and simply keep a file open on my computer…It took about 2 minutes for me to decide against this.

The art of the handwritten word is nearly obsolete, so for me, it is an art form I do not want to lose.

So I will write.

Whether I will start where I left off in my old journal or start a new one – I am not yet sure.

There is something to be said for new beginnings. A fresh journal, like so many other things to me, signifies a fresh start. The blank page more than just paper – but opportunity to begin again.

Autumn is like that for me too. There’s something about the close of summer that speaks of fresh starts.

I have not been a student for some years now, but there’s something in me that delights in the aisles and aisles of school supplies, new routines, early mornings and the chance to start anew, all over again.

It is nearly September and tonight my mind has made the transition from summer to fall. From August and that lazy way about the heat that calls for limp limbs and mellow nights, to September with its rumblings of commitment and the hankering down that comes with the long preparation for the winter hibernation.

I am ready for more than boots and sweaters this year, I am ready for the discipline and determination that must come with setting goals too big and planning for big changes.

So, don’t mind me, Summer, if I push my flip flops and tank tops to the back of the closet to make way for boots and socks and blazers, and if I pack up my Saturday morning fashion magazines in lieu of my journal and a ball point pen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

summer wardrobe

This summer it has been unusually cool for Cleveland (global warming what?!) but I’m not complaining.

Although my favorite time of the year is autumn, summer is a close second with its bare feet, patio dinners and late nights lingering under moonlight in the backyard. However, unless I’m on a beach, or laying out at the pool (which I have only gotten to do twice this summer) I do not really enjoy the hot hot heat and 100% humidity that usually rides on Spring’s coat tails.

So this summer suits me just fine – the average temperature has been in the high 60’s/ low 70’s which is wonderful weather for bbq’s and using windows instead of air conditioners. It is also the perfect weather for my summer wardrobe. On any given weekend or after 5pm, you will most likely see me wearing this – my uniform for summer ’09:

ripped, slouchy boyfriend jeans

soft, warn-in heather-grey v-neck t-shirts

oversized cardigan

metallic sandals

a couple of intertwined long necklaces

one big ring

shrimp or grass green-colored summer scarf

messy, wavy just-rolled-out-of-bed-hair,

lipgloss, bronzer and mascara

and my favorite yellow bag with my cannon camera tucked inside

*the photo above is of me and my friend lovely friend Kate from our weekend spent at their house in Dayton this past weekend - in the stroller sits their new boy - Matthios - aka my new best friend!

quotes from summer

Ever since i was in high school i have kept a book of quotes. when i come across a quote i like, i simply write it in my book - which has since turned into four books. sometimes it's a passage from a book i'm reading, sometimes poetry, sometimes just a sentence spoken by a friend. tonight i sat on the couch and flipped through the pages i have written this summer - here is some of what i have collected in the last few months - they pretty much speak to where i am in my life right now:

"life itself is the proper binge." Julia Child

"how wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Anne Frank

"an unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth." Bonnie Friedman

"it is the privilege of lonliness, is privacy one may do as one chooses." Virginia Woolf, from Mrs Dalloway

"character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." Helen Keller

"my friends are my estate." Emily Dickenson

"the best way out is simply through." Robert Frost

"so throw off the bowlines. sail away from the safe harbor. catch the trade winds in your sails. explore. dream. discover." Mark Twain

"i say to my heart: rave on." Mary Oliver

"life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

"trust your instinct to the end though you can render no reason." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"unbeing dead isn't being alive." ee cummings

"if you stop struggling, then you stop life." Huey Newton

"all the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." Havelock Ellis

"there is no wealth but life." John Ruskin

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons." T.S. Eliot, from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

"in time of sickness, the soul collects itself anew." Latin Proverb

"the more i think about it, the more i realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others." Vincent Van Gogh

another fresh perspective

So, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I wrote in my last post…and I have come to two conclusions:

First, I think I may have miscommunicated a few things poorly.

Second, since I wrote that post, I have come to a couple new conclusions.

First – I think I may have communicated a few things inadequately –

Last week I wrote that I felt some kind of blog marketing of myself was in order. After thinking about it, that is not what I meant. I think what I’m feeling more of is the fact that I have not shared that part of me with specific people in my life. Deep down, I really don’t want to share my blog with my whole facebook friends list. However, there are a handful of people that I wish read my blog. And as I think of those people, the leap of courage will come by me reaching out and sharing that url in a very personal way.

This is a part of me that I want you to know. You know me in this way, but I’d like to share this other part of me with you.

My goal has never been to be a famous blogger. Even after seeing Julie and Julia, there was no hint of envy in me. Once in a while I wish more people would read what I write, but that has never been my goal for this space. One day I do hope to be read by the masses, but not in this format per se. between bindings, with pages made of paper - that will be more up my ally.

Secondly, since I wrote my last post, I have come to a couple of new conclusions that I thought I’d share – briefly.

This is not the place or space that I want to lay my whole life open to the world.

I started a blog post a couple of weeks ago that I was hesitant to post – I wondered to myself, is it fear that’s holding me back, fear or something else. Then slowly, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t afraid, I was doubting the reasons I felt the need to open up so intensely, so deeply.

So, after mulling it over with a dear friend this weekend, I have decided not to post what I was planning on sharing. I have decided to print it out and fold it up and seal it between two pages of my journal – the past and the present - for safekeeping.

I was encouraged in my feelings that whispered in my ear...

this is a treasure, only because it is held by you in the secret places. This is a gift because you have shared it with only a few.

Not every gift is meant to be held onto this tightly, but in this case, it is appropriate and it just feels right.

Instincts have trumped deliberation, and as deliberation catches up, I give homage to the secret places and move on.

And move on i do with a new blogging perspective…To share with transparently, while using wisdom to know the difference between what must be shared and what must be held on tight and simply pondered.

Monday, August 17, 2009

coming out of the {blogging} closet

I'm torn.

To come out of the {blogging} closet or not. That is the question.

On the one hand I have a deep desire to have my blog read by tons of people per day. To write each post knowing that comments will fill my inbox. To know that what I write is being read. To know I am being understood and that my words seep into the same places of others that seep into me.

On the other hand, this would first mean I would have to come out of my {blogging} closet so to speak – I would have to do some personal advertising – not in a weird marketing sort of way, but in a “hey {twitter/ facebook, ect…} ! check out my blog” sort of way.

This might seem like an easy decision for some, but for me – who hasn’t even told some of my closest friends and coworkers that I write a blog – this is a daunting idea for me to even think about.

There is something safe about writing for myself and an anonymous {or mostly anonymous} audience. It feels safe. But lately I have been wondering – maybe it’s too safe – maybe my coworkers and my friends should know this part of me. But then I clam up and my thoughts change to fears and then I react by just not writing for days and days.

I want this blog to be a collection of thoughts and essays, poetry and stories that I want to remember. I want to be able to look back and remember where I’ve been, who I was and how I’ve grown. This means i must do a few things...

First, it means I must change the way I write. Sometimes I struggle with how to use this blog. I follow a lot of style, design and photography blogs. This is a good thing and a bad thing. One the one hand, I sometimes feel the urge to use this space as a space for inspiration, products, photography I like and so on. Those are the blogs I am drawn to, and often that is what I am inspired by. On the other hand, I follow many great writers, I feel like I know them through their beautiful images and choice words. They are personal and they are unpretentious; and more often than not, I am pulled to this style of blogging.

I’ve been thinking about the possibilities for this space for a while now…and the more I think about it, the more I feel that I must use this space {my corner of the world wide internets} as a place to reflect, to muse, to write and to share - about myself, my life...i have to make it personal, i have to stretch myself. i have to "come out."

I can’t promise that I will never throw a product out there, and I can’t promise that this blogging idea won’t change and evolve, but as of today I’m pretty sure this is what is right for me.

I want to look back and see myself. I don’t want to look into the past and see only products and fashions that I once liked – I want this to be something more. I want you to get to know me – and so if that means sharing book reviews and recipes and stories, than so be it, I just want it to be personal to me.

Which brings me back to my initial question. Should I and how do I come out of my private {blogging} closet? I think the answer to the former is yes, the answer to the latter is still undecided.

To put it mildly, I’m terrified. Frightened to be seen in my secret places, and to be misunderstood, and judged – whether rightly or wrongly. But such is life and I think I’m ready to take the leap – or the step, or the nosedive face first into frigid water.

I have stuck my toe in to this life of blogging and the water is cool but getting warmer up my foot…but that is as far as I’ve gotten. For nearly two years now I’ve only gotten foot-deep and I think I’ ready to take the plunge. Not to my waste by forehead first.

I’m not sure what that means to this blog, but I’m willing to find out. I’m willing to be opened wide. To share my heart with you, strangers and friends…And I’m willing to take the risk of you sticking around or leaving me dripping wet without a towel.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

fair days

yesterday we found ourselves at the county fair.

as we walked through - petting goats, watching sheep being sheered, oinking at baby piggies, eating crazy carnival food and taking pictures all i kept thinking was - this is quite an end-of-summer celebration. the colors, smells {both good & bad} flavors and sights...i couldn't get enough.
i was probably one of the only people there with a camera in the air, taking pictures of everything. i was in heaven - hog heaven and didn't want to leave.

click {here} for the rest of my fair flickr photos!

good day

today was a good day.

it started with a test drive of a new church of which we knew as soon as we walked in that it wasn't "the one"
halfway through the second song, i nonchalantly leaned into Curtis and whispered, "do you wanna sneak out?"
he looked at me guiltily and was like, "uh huh"... so we waited until all the ushers made their way to the front and we snuck out the back. it was fantastic - our hearts were both pounding and we laughed all the way home.
we then had an early lunch and made our way to the pool for an afternoon of relaxation. the water was cool and the sun was hot. i could've stayed all day, but he's not as much of a sun-worshipper as i am, so we left after about 2 1/2 hours. {i see now that that was probably a good call, as i am a tad toasty and pink}
after the pool we came home and went on a bike ride that got cut short, but i did get to brake in my new handle bars and bike basket - no more racing handlebars for me. and i am now the proud owner of a bike with a wicker basket. i've dreamed about this day for years.
after the humid bike ride, we showered and watched some of the PGA as we cooled off while huddled around our one downstairs window ac unit. but it did the trick and soon we were making dinner plans to meet my dad at our favorite thai restaurant - lemongrass. we had the entire patio to ourselves and it was nice. bright flowers and great food. pad thai for me and curry for curtis.
and now, here i am, along in the ac uploading photos, blogging and doing laundry as the two boys go see a "man movie".
it has been a good day - and it's not even over yet...

more soon about our county fair adventures yesterday!

Friday, August 14, 2009


August 14, 2003

This week we celebrate our six year anniversary of being a couple.
Although we’ve been married for over three years already, this special day still holds a soft place in my heart.

I remember the day like it was yesterday.
We had been friends for a while. For years.
I had left for Africa – no feelings, no attachments.
He watched me go – no feelings on his side either.

There I lived for 7 months. His feelings began to sprout.
He came to visit. My feelings began to grow – slowly.
He came home. He called me. I came home. Feelings grew.

I had recently returned home. Still without a job we spent his off hours at the lake –
Laying out, taking walks, talking, listening to Mae as we drove through summer with the windows down.

Then one afternoon, walking along the beach he grabbed me and pulled me close. Feet in water, I felt that tingle of excitement
Our eyes met and a kiss was inevitable. Our eyes were locked, but we both pulled away. We nervously laughed and kept on walking.

After the beach we returned to his house, the house where his parents made their home in Cleveland.
as usual, we retreated to his attic room to hang out, talk and lounge.
But this afternoon we talked of feelings, of commitment, of us.
I was nervous. Scared of these feelings that had grown over time.
But in the end we decided to try. Try our hand at love and dating our best friend.

And that’s when it happened. He leaned toward me and kissed me.
Not a best friend peck – but a meaningful, heavy kiss – in which he told me all the things he’d been holding back.
And needless to say – I kissed him back.

I could say the rest is history – but that really isn’t the case.
We are now happily husband and wife.
This story is our past. Our future. Our here and now.

*one thing Curtis would kill me if I left out is that mere minutes after that first kiss the power went out.
It was the summer whiteout of 2003 – where power was down all through the East for days.
We believe that kiss shattered power lines for miles.

**this photo is the first photo ever taken of us together {to my knowledge}
location: Uganda, East Africa (summer 2003)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the great {book} debate

Here’s a question for you, my bloggy-blogger friends – if you’re in the middle of a sub-par book – do you keep reading or put it down?

After reading Olive Kitteridge, which was without a doubt the best book I’ve read so far this year, I am now reading a book that is rather dull.

I am almost halfway through and not enjoying it at all. It is called Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian. I was hopeful, in that he was the auther of Midwives, which I thoroughly enjoyed many years ago. Unfortunately it falls flat for me in more ways that one and I am now in an internal debate.

Do I stick it out or just say no and start the next book on my list of To-Reads.

What do you do when you’re reading a book you’re not really into?

I used to finish it no matter how much I disliked it. i had a thing with finishing books I’d started and because of it, I would dread bedtime, when I’d have to pick back up the book that bored me to sleep. Or worse yet, I would go to sleep without reading at all {and that is not something I like to do, seeing as that’s really my only time to relax and read, except for the weekends}

But in the last couple years I’ve decided, life is too short to waste time reading books that I don’t really like. I keep a list of all the books I’ve read and all the books that I want to read – in a little notebook on my desk. A friend tried to get to me to go electronic with my book lists, but something in me is resisting. I’ve signed up for {} but have yet to use it…I’m just such a pen and paper kind of girl…but maybe I’ll give it a try. Baby steps, Aime, right?!

So here I am, looking forward to a free night tonight with a book I really don’t want to pick back up. What’s a girl to do?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

early tuesday morning

This is what I'm feasting on at the moment

Sitting alone in the office

The quiet lingers and I love it


Up an hour earlier than usual this morning

Eyes open before six a.m.

We're sharing a car for the day, so I made my way from the heights to solon then to the west side

all before 7:15.


The reward is in getting to work before everyone else.

Except the receptionist who was busy in the kitchen making the first pot of coffee

Of which I had the first cup


Now I sit, eating yogurt, almond granola and fresh strawberries and blueberries at my desk

Listening to a mazzy star mix on Pandora and sipping a steaming cup of coffee.


I've been here for over an hour and just now the first people are starting to drift in.


If every day could start this mellow and quiet

Friday, August 7, 2009


my heart feels heavy tonight

like I am deep in gestation

my body, however, I promise, is not.

I am in the cocoon of pondering at the moment.

from the outside, stillness,

from within, growth and thoughts and words that have begun to spin and spiral.

I am not one for metaphors.

a web






but I am lost in metaphors at the moment

in thought.

I have no words

today they fail,

they are not enough

to explain the motion I feel from within.

something has begun in me and words fall flat in an effort to explain.

inspiration is nearing and I wait

letting words come in their own time.

I am the womb, the spider the caterpillar the bird

Waiting for the moment, when the time is right.

I am not one for metaphors.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

bathroom remix

although we only have one {very small} bathroom in our house - somehow we make it work.

because of lack of storage space for the bathroom, when we first moved in {over two years ago} we had no other choice than to roll in a rubbermaid drawer storage contraption to hold makeup and hair stuff, extra toothpaste, ect. it was ugly, but necessary, so we dealt.
until last week, when we decided that outside of the bathroom was the perfect place for some kind of cabinet or dresser-type-bathroom-storage-type piece of furniture. so i went on a hunt, and after visiting a ton of stores, found this cute little piece at none other than bed bath and beyond.
so i bought it {on sale for a mere $79 of which i then used one of their fabulous 20% off coupons!} and we put it together. but before i could unload all of my junk into it, i needed to find some sort of boxes or baskets to keep everything organized and hidden behind the clear glass doors...
so i went on a hunt again and found the perfect boxes{at officemax of all places}. pounded tin boxes that are the exact measurement for each shelf. and best yet, they were on sale for $3.49 {originally $14.99} each. so i bought them out - got five instead of the three i needed. i ended up putting the fourth on the back of the toilet to hold extra toilet paper and tissue, ect and the other in the kitchen to hold all of Curtis' many fancy coffee "supplies." it was a sucessful little project that we are very happy with and best of all, the unsightly grey plastic storage until is no longer...

Monday, August 3, 2009

thoughts on life and loss

i received news today of a client who lost his baby son this weekend to sids. At two months old, the loss is great. Too great for those made of blood and heart and humanity. Too great for words.


One night last week, as I was taking a shower and a phrase started running through my head. Seems appropriate to share today, reminds me that our impermanence is the only permanent.


This has happened before. The start of a poem. The familiar feeling that this line will become something more - something maybe I will only ever see – but something more nonetheless. It repeated itself again and again like a looped track, until more lines came - until I couldn't wash the soap out of my hair quick enough. I forgot to shave my legs I was in such a hurry to step out of the tub, to run to my nightstand for paper and a pencil.


Scribbling the words:


She came home, holding not a baby.


On night's like that, when my hand can't write fast enough, when every chilling phrase somehow fits together in a string of words I have not figured out yet, I sit, hair sopping wet, and humbled that I have this one thing. Something to share or not share. That is my choice; the choice I must constantly fight against; against making, the fearful choice or the choice to give. To open up or hold back the part of myself that speaks to the very fabric of who I am.


And when, on nights like tonight, when the idea is so much bigger than me, I make the choice to share. The beginnings of something, because, what is life, if it is not shared? So I lay bare this place in my heart, the sprout from the root of a fear deep down and buried, a fear that is being removed and replaced by hope. Hope for myself; me who has never  been asked to carry this burden, and hope for those who already have, who carry it daily like a stone around their necks.


This is the bleeding heart's condition.

Birth and life and loss and love.

There is not much more.


She came home, holding not a baby.


The world was too small to keep her.


Those plates were too heavy for hands such as hers.


The wedding band now slides on loose fingers.


The world was not big enough for you.


And hopes dash, like little stars

Falling in silence,


Tumbling down in doubts and desires.



Not sure what will become of these words – loosely strung together tonight…maybe a poem, or just a gentle reminder that life is fleeting and hope is not.

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