Friday, May 23, 2014

Escape, A *BEACH/SUMMER* Playlist

I love the beach, just about more than any other place, except Disneyland of course. There's something so revitalizing about the ocean; the sound of waves crashing on the beach in rhythmic sets, the feeling of sand between your toes and wind through your hair, the smell of salt in the air. The sun has a way of warming your skin in a manner that makes you feel more alive than you ever have been. I find myself at the beach; I find piece of me I never knew existed or sometimes a piece that I'd forgotten about. It's so cleansing and so absolutely vital to my sanity; if I'm away for too long, I start to go stir-crazy. I just need need it. I can't explain it more than that, it's just something that you either feel and understand or you don't.
There's obviously some essentials I always bring with me- flip flops (obviously), a book, sunglasses, my notebook and a really great beach hat. But maybe the most important thing I bring to the beach is my iPod and an amazing beach mix. It just goes hand in hand with the whole "beach experience", it's part of that cleansing, that rebirth that I feel when I'm there. One of my favorite quotes from JFK is something he said at  a dinner in 1962, "we are tied to the ocean...[and] when we go back to the Sea- whether it is to sail or to watch- we are going from whence we came." That's definitely something I feel, like the ocean and I are interconnected, like somehow I've been birthed from the ocean and when I return, it's like going home. It's like finally being where I belong. The ocean just gets me. Am I a crazy person?
Another favorite of mine. RWE's my homeboy.
Maybe so, but by the slews of songs written about it, I'm starting to think that maybe a lot of people feel that way. Being from California, it's in our blood. But I bet every state or city that sits on the ocean believes that. But the thing that's so great about it is that it's an entirely personal (if not, spiritual) experience. It's a complete rebirth for me, every time I go. 

I have a my own beach. Not in the literal sense (I WISH!), but a spot on a specific beach in Northern California that's just mine. Everything is perfect there; there are no worries, no negative emotions, nothing but me, the sand, the water, and a perfect beach mix. 
[As always, clicking on the title of the Playlist will open it up to listen to for free on Spotify.]


1.Pompeii- Bastille
2. Escape (The Pina Colada Song)- Jack Johnson
3. On Top of the World- Imagine Dragons
4. If Not Now, When?- Incubus
5. The Great Escape- Boys Like Girls
6. Hard to Concentrate- Red Hot Chili Peppers
7. Summer Day- Coconut Records
8. Breakdown- Jack Johnson
9. Summer Skin- Death Cab For Cutie
10. Cabin by the Sea- The Dirty Heads
11. Oceans- Coasts
12. San Francisco- The Mowgli's
13. We Won't Go Home- The Colourist
14. Knee Deep- Zac Brown Band/Jimmy Buffet
15. Amsterdam- Imagine Dragons
16.  One Headlight- The Wallflowers
17. City of Blinding Lights- U2
18. Margaritaville- Jimmy Buffet
19. Dosed- Red Hot Chili Peppers
20. Best Day of my Life- American Authors
21. Seaside- The Kooks
22. Peaceful Easy Feeling- The Eagles
23. Strawberry Swing- Coldplay
24. Mudfootball- Jack Johnson
25. Brown Eyed Girl- Van Morrison
26. Keep Your Head Up- Ben Howard
27. Fever Dreams- Dashboard Confessional
28. Road Trippin'- Red Hot Chili Peppers

Hopefully you make it to the beach at least once this summer...I'll be going AS MANY times as possible! :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Mom is a Superhero

Growing up, I always knew my parents were superheroes. I was always so proud that they were my parents because it felt like I came from some sort of royal-superhero-heritage.  Not because we had a lot of money or lived in a fancy house, but because they were people who saved other peoples’ lives and protected us from the bad guys.  That, to me, always seemed like the coolest thing in the world.
San Francisco fun!
In celebration of Mother’s Day, I’m going to focus on my Mom and why she’s the greatest. But first of all, a few words about the Mom that taught my Mom how to be a Mom (that’s a lot of Mom word usage!), my Grandma. She is one of my favorite people in the whole world and that seems to be a common theme with the people that knew her. Growing up I was always stoked when we didn’t have school on holiday’s because my mom would take us to meet my Grandparent’s for lunch. It was always my favorite thing to do. I never understood why kids didn’t like hanging out with their Grandparents because mine were SO COOL. My Grandma was the sassiest, sweetest, most charming person I’ve ever known. She would always have the whole room cracking up and told the BEST stories. She was a smart, no-non-sense firecracker, who always reminded me of Lucille Ball. She was the most amazing woman and she raised two of the greatest Mom’s I’ve ever known. I’ve always been so proud of the awesome lineage of strong women in my bloodline.

Waiting to board the cruise ship in San Diego
 And my Mom is the best. And she really is a superhero. I mean, she saves little premature babies’ lives, for heaven sake! You don’t get more angel-like than that. She is the most compassionate person and has always put other peoples’ happiness before her own.  She’s smart, beautiful, strong, loving, and FUN. She taught me that you have to work hard, but you always have to play hard too
Maroon 5 concert madness

She loves to go to concerts with us and is always down for a good time. We've gone to see Coldplay, The Killers, The Eagles, Maroon 5, AFI and Greenday. She loves to spend time with her kids!
Us goofing always! :)
Mom got a fake tattoo for her 50th birthday!

 She’s a complete delight to be around. I prefer to hang out with her than most people. She’s always been a best friend to me, a confidant, and a cheerleader. Not only did she continually fix my broken body from all the soccer injuries but she has continually fixed my broken heart as well.
Ensenada, Mexico
One of my most cherished memories is from high school, maybe sophomore year or sometime around there, when I experienced my first real heart break. She had picked me up from school and known instantly that something was wrong. I told her all everything through embracing sobs on the way home and she just listened to me and didn’t make me feel silly for probably being over dramatic. When we got home I went right upstairs to my room and cried myself to sleep. She let me have my space and I appreciated that so much. But even more, when I work up there were bluish/purple flowers on my nightstand and a card that said something about the rain only lasting so long before the sun comes out. I was so touched by it, this simple act of love that’s he probably doesn’t even remember that she did has stayed with me for 10 years. It’s a memory I will always treasure.
Being "Pirate Wenches" in L.A.
My mom is also the most hysterical person I’ve ever met. I laugh more with her than anyone else. She likes to make people happy and she loves to goof off. That’s one of my favorite things about her. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and she’s showed me how laughter is the best medicine there is. I see so much of my beloved Grandma in her, which I am so grateful for because even though she’s gone, I still have parts of her in my mom.

Riding Splash Mountain even though it's about to rain!

She’s also the most fun person to be around. My parents made a point to take us every couple years to Disneyland ever since, well, before I was born. Those Disneyland trips are some of my most prized memories because it was all about having fun with each other. And my mom made sure we grew up loving roller coasters, she’d take us on all of them. She was always the one with her arms up, screaming at the top of her lungs and would take us on them over and over again. She’s a wild one, my mom. In the best possible way. 
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her kids or grandkids. I know she loves me and if I needed her, wherever I was, she’d move hell and high water to get to me, to help me. There’s no doubt about that. As a kid, there's nothing more important than that. She's always been on my side, always fighting in my corner and backing me up. She has always done everything she could to make my dreams come true.  She's fiercely loyal, and in a Mom, there's not anything better than that. I'll always be grateful for those things.  
Atop the Space Needle, Seattle, Washington
Whether it’s our Saturday girl’s dinners, vacations, shopping, or just hanging out, I always love and look forward to the time we spend together. And that will never change. She’ll always be the one I want by my side, the one I call when I’m heart broken or stressed or in need of a pick-me-up. She’ll always be the one I laugh the hardest with and the one who’s cheering for me at the top of her lungs. And even better, the one who always sees the best version of me, past the flaws and faults, and makes me want to live up to that person. She's the Mom I want to be, the Grandma I want for my kids, and the Grandma I want to become, just like her Mom.