Some of you here have been longtime readers of my books and my work for Glamour (hi everyone! And, good heavens, I just saw that when you search my name on the site, I've written something like 4,600 articles and blog posts over the years. I am exhausted just thinking about that right now, ha. I mean, how did I do this? Did I have a clone working at night while I slept. These are blurry years. There was a lot of newborn babies involved.). Anyway, some of you are new here--new to me, my books, my writing, and I wanted to say hi! I love hearing from new readers every day all around the world. It's seriously my favorite part of what I do--hearing from you! I write to authors of books and articles all the time to say hi and tell them when I connect with something because it means so much to me when people take the time to write. So, welcome, everyone, and thank you for stopping by! Things have been a little quiet around here for a while. I took a bit of a break from this blog while I went through some big changes in my personal life, which I will write about more here in the coming months, but I’m BACK, and I have some exciting stuff coming your way. If you'd like to learn a little about me, you might check out my bio (scroll down for the slightly more fun "informal bio"), but to add to that, I decided I'd share some more, real life, less stuffy kind of stuff (stuffy kind of stuff-? My editor would cut that one on sight). With that, here's some stuff about me: I write books. Ten so far, published in a lot of countries (around 30, I think). Pinch me. Sometimes I still wake up and am like, "really? Is this really my career?" I feel very lucky. I'm a boy mama. My boys are presently 11, 9 and 7. If you see me in Seattle, I usually have a herd of little men around me, with the littlest one (age 7)  holding onto my purse or skirt hem (he's done this since he learned to walk). I love pink, heels, and all things girly, and while I'm not entirely sure how/why God thought it would be a good idea to shower me with boys, I have to say I love, love, love being a boy mom. Lots more posts on boy-mamahood to come, but I feel, truly and deeply, like the luckiest lady to have been blessed with this tribe of little men. My first love was magazine journalism. After college, my dream was to become a freelance writer, and I hustled it big time to make it a reality. While my career transitioned into writing fiction, I still love magazines and would drop anything if one of my former editors called and asked me to write an essay about, say, my love of jazz, for example. (Friends at Real Simple, are you listening? Also, here's an article I wrote for RS years ago titled "20 Tips to Make Your Wardrobe Last" that I just found online. My Lulu leggings are looking kind of haggard, so I'm going to stop this and re-reread my own advice right now, ha.) I'm obsessed with jazz. Old jazz, new jazz, latin jazz, piano jazz, Bossanova jazz--all jazz (except elevator jazz, which really isn't jazz) makes me insanely happy. Dave Brubeck for me = instant mood lift. At my house, you'll find jazz streaming through the speakers all the time, especially on Sunday mornings, when it's a ritual. I think life is better with wine. Enough said. Dark chocolate makes me sneeze. Totally bizarre but true: I sneeze after the first bite of dark chocolate. Same thing happens to my son, Carson. Genetics, I tell ya! I love love. I'm a total cheeseball, tis true. I cry at weddings. All of them. I ask everyone how they met, fell in love. I eavesdrop on strangers on dates at restaurants. I am eternally fascinated by love. I'm a huge believer in forgiveness, of others and self. Forgiveness comes easier to some than others. I am always grateful that I'm an easy forgiver. I mean, I know, some people deserve what they have coming, but the thing is, friends, holding on to anger is sooooo toxic. Choose forgiveness. I do! And what's harder, I've found, is forgiving yourself. I'm still working on that. I survived divorce, and am stronger in its wake. Divorce sucks. I went through a pretty bad and wacky one, and still struggle with frequent landmines in its aftermath. Basically, when you dismember a family unit with the court system as the surgeon, you're going to have a bunch of wounds, scars, infections and phantom pain. Good analogy, right? That said, five years later, I am happier than ever, stronger than ever, and look at life and people so differently than I did before. Lots more on this subject to come



Now that it's finally summer in Seattle (sort of), and we've had our first 80-degree day, my husband and I have been spending as much time in the backyard as possible. We recently purchased this umbrella for the deck and I decked it out with some lanterns. I think they're so romantic! I love it when the sun goes down, and we turn on the lanterns! J and I enjoy a glass of wine on the deck after the kids are in bed and it's just us (us and Paisley the dog!). I love summer! (P.S. If you're wondering what those oddball things are on our side table (besides the wine), they are our four-year-old's bug catching paraphaneila. He currently has a pet spider that he trapped.)



halloween-lion

(Side note: That is not my child, but isn’t he adorable?!) One of the great joys of motherhood, I’ve decided, is being able to dress your kids up in (funny) costumes. This year, Russell, who is 9 months, will be a monkey. Carson, the 2 and a half year old, is going to be a bumble bee (he picked out this adorable costume himself!) But, if I’d known about the adorable (and affordable!) costumes over at the Etsy shop, DIY Costumes, which I read about over at Green & Gorgeous, I would have had two little lions this year. Here’s how it works: You buy little kits ($15–cheap!) to transform a sweater or hoodie into an imaginative costume.