the end.

The end of 2008

What a lovely way to conclude 2008.


Good thing I didn't paint my room puce...


at last.

I had no idea that my physical surroundings affected my fashion color choices so dramatically.


:: frosty morn ::

frosty morn

car frost

frosty morn grass

we had our first real frost last night. it's the closest thing to snow out here.




This is Tad. You should follow him on Twitter.



Sunny Thaper tagged me in the 6th Photo Meme that’s going around. My mission should I chose to accept it: Go to page 6, image 6 on my Flickr stream and post it up. Tag 6 more, call it a post. That image and an explanation follow.

pastures in elgin, arizona

My friend Evie and I took a roadtrip down to Bisbee, Arizona for wine tasting and exploring the eclectic little town. On our drive to Bisbee from Sonoita Vineyards, we drove through some of the most beautiful parts of Arizona I have ever seen. Roving fields, round mountains, fresh, crisp high desert air. It was gorgeous.

Now I think it's time for
to show their stuff. :)


a brief exchange on brownies.

While hopping into the car to go to Kindergarten, Jack caught sight of the last of Chanelle's brownies of fudgey delicious awesomeness in the front seat. (Why there's still some left is beyond me. Usually inhale them within minutes of receiving them... Nevertheless, I'm taking them to our office girl's party tonight.) This is the exchange that followed.

Jack: I wish I could have a brownie... (sigh)
Me: Sorry, buddy, those brownies are for girls 20 and over.
Jack: (thinks a moment) I'm over 20. In fact, I'm 22.
Me: Oh really? You look really young for your age.
Jack: Yeah...
Me: Does this mean you're a girl, too?
Jack: (thinks very carefully about his answer. brownies or going against everything his parents have ever taught him. definitely a toss-up.) Um... Yes.
Me: Interesting! I didn't know Jack was a girl's name! Well in that case, 20 year-old girls like to listen to Pink Martini, so I think we'll listen to that on our drive this morning. ("Hang On, Little Tomato" begins to play)
Jack: (wondering what he's gotten himself into) Can we listen to Adventures in Odyssey instead?
Me: Nah, this is what 20 year-old girls listen to.
Jack: Miss Luz...I'm not really a 22 year-old girl. I just wanted brownies.


[Picture of said brownies of fudgey delicious awesomeness by Chanelle]



pink skies

Tonight's sunset. Wow. Just wow.

puddle jumping

puddle jump!

best viewed large.

best viewed listening to this or this.

see the rest of the set.


Finally Winter

Bus Stop

"Bus Stop"
From my first "real" winter here.
Best viewed large, on black.

The weather has finally cooled off long enough for it to finally feel like winter. It's lovely during the day, low 70's, and chilly upper 40's at night. Enough to bust the sweaters out in the early morning. Cold weather is my favorite—I blame my inherited northwestern blood in my veins. The smell of heaters, fire pits, Christmas cookies being baked, nippy morning air, trying really hard to see your breath linger... The beginning of the season is always prime for sensory pleasure.


I have an awesome brother


It's been a rough week. I've been really grateful for the many friends that have walked alongside me as I work through some stuff. Notably, my brother, Paz has really been there for me. I'm especially grateful to have him not just as a brother, but as my best friend, too.


This is a little late to post, but I wanted to share a poem he wrote me for my birthday:

Twenty-Five Years

Was it only yesterday
you held me after I arrived
home from the hospital

Was it only a year ago we
pretended to be cadets
from Star Trek*

Was it only an hour ago
we cried together at
beauty and tragedy

Was it only a second ago
we fought about an interview
but still say i love you
after every call

25 years today
God brought you
to our family

Love your bro,

* I feel the need to qualify this as a literary device. "Yesterday" is the equivalent of me being in the 6th grade, when I was madly in love with Wil Wheaton. Just so you know.


Pie, anyone?

Pie, anyone?

Haven't had a chance to upload pictures from Thanksgiving yet, but photographic testimony aside, there was plenty to be thankful for—including this post-Thanksgiving pie made by my sweet friend, Sophia.


25 at last!

I'm at Disneyland!

I had a huge blog post worked up, but instead, I went to Disneyland! I'd never been and some Twitterfolk spontaneously decided to go. All of Saturday was spent riding rides (Thunder Mountain was my very first roller coaster!), gaping and gasping at the lovely place. Many thanks to Brian, Byron, Sharon, Ben, Heather, and Rachel for being there on this special day!

25 is a birthday year, so there'll be some upcoming posts on thoughts, hopes, and dreams for this significant year.


My Birthday Present To Me

My birthday present to me...

...a Helvetica license plate.

For the typeface.

And the country.



Vintage Cash Register

...Just in case you were wondering what to get me, you can take a peek at my wishlist. :)




Only 5 days left. Wish the weather would change along with my changing season...



the end

The end of 24 gets closer still.

Wonder what the dawn of 25 will bring.



Autumn in Arizona

In the grand spectrum of birthdays, 25 isn't quite so significant. Car rental is granted, I guess. Perhaps a little more street cred. More paperwork, now being fully responsible for my own insurance, and such. Old enough to be a responsible adult, but not quite old enough to give sage advice...

And yet this feels like it'll be a significant year. A year to chase dreams, start life afresh, pursue my calling with deep vigor. There's lots that I'm thinking about(and will share more later), mostly related to a significant change coming up in my life. Next summer, I'm moving to Peoria on a church plant. Who ever thought I'd be moving from one suburb to another? Not me!

There is a story behind all this, but it's better told in person.



seattle park via holga

Today marks 31 days before my 25th birthday. I heard a lecture in college about making birthdays a celebration of life, and recommended doing so by celebrating the whole year if if it was a multiple of 5. My family has always celebrated birthday months, so I'm figure there's definitely room to do both this upcoming year.

Stay tuned for details on current dreams and forthcoming plans...


Just checking...

fresh produce!

hellooooo, seattle!

shade and a shadow

spicy hot chocolate

...yup. Seattle is still awesome.

(See it for yourself!)


Great American Northwest Tour II

Hello! I'm headed out to Seattle for the weekend to catch up with dear friends. Stay tuned for photos and updates from the great Northwest city!

(You can take a peek from my last trip to Seattle here.)



My Short-Lived Career as a Hair Stylist

So, my brother needs a haircut. On a whim, I offer, and he very trustingly accepts. VERY trustingly. I cut his hair once when I was 15. It was a very unfortunate experience. Paz even admitted to repressing this memory.

So here he is before the haircut. Too long and shaggy.
Giving Paz a Haircut:  Before

An in-between phase is missing photographically, reminiscent of Demitri Martin: "I went to go get a haircut. The stylist must've misheard me say, 'Just a trim' and instead heard, 'Gay Beatle, please.'" Didn't occur to me that the hair cutting I've observed has been done on ME. Pretty quickly realized that I had given him a haircut that I had previously had. (Sorry, brother.)

And after.
Giving Paz a Haircut: After

...aaaaaand it seems that my giftings do not involve hair styling. Not a horrible haircut (in fact, I'm rather proud of the the back of his head), but not quite an amazing one either. Going to ask for help tomorrow on how to fix the whoopsies. At least he doesn't look like a girl any more. And I'm pretty sure that's why he's smiling. Maybe because I didn't get blood in his hair after cutting myself 5 times. (He's got a great capacity to take life in terms of degrees.)

Update: Paz's hair was fixed by a dear friend who also gave me a quick hair cutting lesson as well. Here's Paz's revised haircut in an artsy-pfartsy manner.


What I'm Loving Right Now


  1. The harvest moons.
  2. Joe Pug's Nation of Heat album, particularly Hymn #101 and Hymn #35.
  3. Driving in the cool of the morning with the sun roof open.
  4. The last of the summer blossoms.
  5. My mermaid shoes.
  6. The typface Clarendon.
  7. The Reason For God by Tim Keller
  8. William Fitzsimmons' Goodnight album
  9. Zoë Keating.
  10. The anticipation of colder weather.
What are you loving these days?


A View With A Room

Arizona landscape

This weekend, I'll be taking my mom up north for weekend getaway/birthday celebration. We've got quite the festivities planned. We'll be touring the Grand Canyon by train on the Sunset Limited, one of the most romantically described train rides I have ever read! We'll be staying at the FireLight Bed and Breakfast, which has gotten rave reviews. I saw it and knew I'd regret not booking the room for this special birthday. Reminds me of my stay in England. It's all going to be lovely.

I'm really looking forward to spending some quality time with Mom. This'll be our first trip just the two of us. It's already unraveling as a very memorable trip. Can't wait to take pictures of everything. And oh! It's going to be deliciously cold! (And by cold, I mean 70 degrees...) I've already pulled out the sweaters I intend to wear whilst traipsing about the Grand Canyon. Also scouted out some audio books to listen to on the way up, including A Room With A View and Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots, & Leaves, in addition to pouring through my This American Life podcasts (I mean, what's not a good road trip without a short David Sedaris narrative and Ira Glass monologue?).

It's been a few since my last trip to the Grand Canyon. For some silly reason, I keep thinking that it's going to look completely different than it did last time. I feel my capacity for beauty has been stretched since then. Perhaps it will be more majestic. Maybe it won't be so foreign. Both my mom and I have a very deep love for train travel, as we've done quite a bit, especially when I was younger. I find it's the easiest place to muse. There's a reason while there's a whole genre of "train songs". Must remember to bring some knitting and a sketch book to record the characters and memories encountered.


Phoenix Pinewood Derby

Pinewood Derby Cars By Greg Westfall

Saturday, October 25th 2008 @ 6pm

I'm all registered and have been sketching out designs for the last few weeks.
Anyone else want to join me?


a note to Bethany

a note to Bethany

these were pointed out to me on a Goodwill trip by my dear friend, Bethany. she is one of my oldest and dearest friends. in addition to being known for her fashionable taste in shoes, she is one of the women i aspire to be like. passionate and intelligent. wholly pursues Truth and beauty. humble and wise. cares deeply about people and ideas. curious and wonder-filled. talking with Bethany always leaves me feeling more in love with world, and emboldened to change it.

this last month, i've had the privilege of sharing geographical proximity with her and her young family. and today they're moving to SoCal to begin the next chapter of life. so I wear these shoes today as a tribute to the gratitude i have for her and her special friendship.


Wishing for seasons

Autumn leaves

Today, I was pining for autumn.


Settling. Still.

front and top of the barn

It's been a month since I've moved. Still getting into the swing of things, but it's been a delightful month. Living with a family was a great decision and am really grateful to Rich and Tiffany for offering their home to me. There's a different kind of normalcy that I think I've needed for awhile. Hearing kids voices at the crack of dawn. Playing games with the boys. Sharing meals. Chatting with Tiffany in the kitchen after the kids are in bed. It's nice to have people to come home to—and great, people at that.

As nurturing as this season is, I've still wrestled with a really strong feeling of impermanence. Which this current residence is. An in-between point. And there's only generality as to where point B is yet (another blog for another day) and no real time frame yet either. Could be 6 months, could be 2 years. I think this has been the biggest hindrance to making my little basement room home. Even a temporary home. Not being defined by my "next step" has been a point of inner wrestling for awhile. Maybe for a little longer. I think I'm in a good, safe place to wrestle.

Some other things of note:

- Started playing the guitar. This has turned out to be a very communal event. Jason lent me his Fender while he's out in Maryland. Connor, Dale, Chris, and Tara have all given me quickie guitar lessons and played with me a bit. Dan is setting me up with guitar pics and straps. It's been fun! I like having a portable instrument that I can play quietly in the corner of my room.

- Started writing music again. Not a whole lot. Nothing quite finished yet. But it feels good to start compositions. Something's happened and I feel like I've finally been able to express some of the things I've been working through musically. Been waiting for this moment for awhile.

- Still picking out paint chips for my room. Think we finally narrowed down a general color. Been really inspired by the hue of Billy Buttons.

- I'm taking a freelance hiatus for awhile. Still have a few projects that I need to finish, and I already miss taking pictures all the time and staying up late. But I was getting really close to being creatively burned out. My "real job" really requires the best of my creative energy right now. I'm realizing that saying no, as disappointing as it can be at times, is keeping me refreshed. Which gives me more time to rest and spend my free time doing things that I need to do and want to do. For example...

- I started reading classic mysteries. Inspired by my friend, Hannah, I picked up some Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. I've watched and listened to plenty of BBC's dramatizations of both author's stories, but never really got into the books. Thought it was due time.

- I am geographically satisfied. The location where I live now has been notably ideal for this time of my life. I get to drive home with mountains covering at least 180° of the view. The neighborhood is full of beautiful green things. Plus I get to live close to some rad chicas.


Field Note Love

Field Notes save the day!

A special hello to my Field Notes-loving visitors!

Last week, while playing with the band at the Blackstone Fellowship banquet, our evening plans were truncated due to false fire alarms, leaving us stuck in the lobby. We were saved by Todd's remembering of a great games to play in my Field Notes. I wrote up a short story about this on my Flickr and it was featured on the Field Notes website!

Just a quick plug for Field Notes. It's a constant companion. Perfect size for my purse. I'm on third notebook now and it has come in handy for oh so many things! From impromptu grid-based typography projects to recipes to IKEA shopping lists. One of these days, I'll get around to scanning in all the notes, ephemera, and memories I've accrued in my beloved Field Notes. I've got a few up, though.

If you don't have them, you should get some. Right now. It'll be one of the best $9.95 purchases you'll ever make. Don't believe me? Check out all these other highly-satisfied customers.


Cloudy, With A Chance Of Rain

night sky

Today seems to have all sorts of rain potential. Hopefully it'll come. Drinking lots of tea in honor of the clouds. Working on updating my rainy day mix. Looking for some suggestions.

What is your rainy day music?

(check back at the end of the day for an updated list!)


Tall Tale

Me: La la la. Nice quiet drive home. Listening to jazz. Wait...what's that over there? Someone's gotta be a serious golfer to have a net in their backyard. Hmm. Way too tall to be a golf net. Maybe someone installed batting cages? NO WAY!!! It's a TRAPEZE!!!

[calls Jessi to tell this her]

Jessi! I just saw a TRAPEZE in someone's backyard!

Jessi: Take a picture. Or else it didn't happen.

[I turn the car around]

Me: [camera phone picture] I have to Twitter this. This is incredible. Oh my. OH MY! It's part of a trapeze SCHOOL!!! In freaking GILBERT!!!


This really happened. I have a picture AND a website to prove it.


New Digs

I moved today. Two years over at La Casita De La Risitas came to a close. Lots of memories there. I still love my girls lots and still anticipate hang out time. —That is, when I'm not hanging out with my new neighbor. (Who, by the way, is selling her gorgeous prints. You should go buy lots of them. $15 now...will be worth millions someday.) For the next while, my home will be with Rich and Tiffany, their three boys, and Amanda, my new basement-mate.

Speaking of boys, many thanks to Scotty, Jim, Mike, Mattias, Ligin, Ryan, Conrad, and Jordan who helped me move all of my stuff into my new room, which is a bit of a drive from my old house. Most of these guys meet Saturday mornings for Bible study and decided to use their usual time to live what they study and help me instead. I'm so grateful for these men. Got to have delightful conversations over lunch and was reminded of the quality dudes in my life.

When I got to the house, I found this on my dresser:

A roomwarming gift

A roomwarming gift
The note is from 5 year-old Jack, nestled in between a bottle of merlot, espresso chocolates, and a small tea pot! They know me well! :)

I'm pretty exhausted. It's a good change. I'm trying to use it as an excuse to make some lifestyle changes, too. Going on a craft/art/freelance hiatus once I've completed the ones I'm doing right now, so I can spend more time focusing on music, reading, and writing. I also started exercising, with the 100 Push-Up Challenge (along with several other Twitterers) and I'm going to start running on Monday, using the C25K plan. This is all to help get my mind and body in order, so I'll be able to better think about some upcoming decisions.

Moving has also provided me a new opportunity to be more organized. There's a place for pretty much everything. (Andrea and Amy, you girls are going to be SO PROUD of me!) Two things to note:

Hole In One
Saw this in this month's ReadyMade. Turned out to be the perfect length for all my earrings! Now I just need to find something for my necklaces...

Can't help myself
Inspired by this, I color-coordinated my bookshelf. Call me silly, but I tend to remember books by their covers anyway. Once I'm done putting everything away, I might let you take a peek at my entire collection. Maybe I should make my own MoOM...

Here's to good change. I'm off to go watch an episode of John Adams...


On Existence


"Man should not be measured by what he knows, but by what he loves." —St. Augustine

What do you love? What are you driven by? Where are you going?


Our Own Kind Of Grandure


It's monsoon season.
Brings out just a bit of green.
And lots of amazing lighting shows.
Not to mention beautiful clouds.

I can almost smell the rain now...


Special Birthday Girls

Teacher Bonnie: "You get an A+ for effort. Final grade after tasting tomorrow."
10 Things I Love About Roommate Bonnie
(in no particular order)
  1. She reads stories aloud with zeal.
  2. Her culinary tastes are that of a 1950's housewife.
  3. She cares about people genuinely and deeply.
  4. She is an amazing listener. I love our late-night talks.
  5. She cries easily—but mostly because her capacity for beauty is so great.
  6. She has crazy bow-tying skills.
  7. She values beauty in the small details of life.
  8. Her love of words is filled with delight.
  9. She dreams big and becomes more alive when talking about her dreams.
  10. She likes sassy shoes.
  11. (Bonus) She is amazingly gracious...even when birthday pie-making goes awry.


10 Things I Love About JMo:
(in no particular order)
  1. She has an awesome nickname.
  2. Her superpower of modesty coupled with impeccable fashion sense is truly amazing.
  3. She has excellent taste in alcohol and tobacco and still maintains her femininity.
  4. We can laugh about poop and farts together.
  5. She's got great tunes.
  6. She takes being a woman of God seriously.
  7. Her honesty and transparency is refreshing.
  8. She laughs well.
  9. She appreciates good design. :)
  10. She's quick to remember and share God's kindness to her with others.
Happy birthday, dear friends!