ruby jewel for gwennie

Today i finally got something i've been hoping for for a long time...a ruby ring in memory of Gwen.

I've been on the lookout for one for about 3 years now...something sweet and one-of-a-kind. Something simple, understated and elegant...something that reminded me of her. 
I thought i had found one more than once.... particularly last year on Etsy. Sadly, the lovely little antique ring i ordered from a woman in Germany (click the link to visit her shop) got lost in the mail...never even made it out of Europe. Pippa (the woman's name) was so dear...she refunded my payment, and even offered to keep looking, as i had told her what the ring was for. I think it broke her heart a little bit, and we exchanged some very thoughtful messages about many things.
I occasionally continued searching on Etsy, ebay, through antique shops, on overstock sites, etc. once a month or so. But nothing "clicked".

grandma mary-jane's necklace
Back in november i went to a place called Anton's Jewelry Shop in Burbank, a tiny business run by a couple of the sweetest guys you'll ever meet, to have my grandma's antique necklace fixed for the wedding, and did a spectacular job. 

When i went back to pick it up, i told Steve i've been looking high and low for a ring like i described above, and asked if he had anything like it. 
Steve thought for a second, then brought out a box of lovely, thin solid gold bands set with sapphires that he had made himself 30 years ago that he just had "sitting in the back". 
They were so sweet and perfect my throat caught in excitement. He then found me a couple of teeny tiny rubies, told me which were of higher quality, etc...and long story short, he offered me an amazing deal on the little ruby ring of my dreams. I told him, at the time, with wedding expenses and everything, i couldn't afford even an extra $80 of anything...so i would try to come back another time in the future if i still felt like it was the ring for me. "No problem," he said. "These aren't goin' anywhere, i hardly ever take them out."

Yesterday i went by the shop and visited with Steve, and asked to see his little sapphire rings. He brought them out. Then he brought out the rubies, told me which were the most valuable/highest quality (the most "expensive" being $12 as opposed to $5, for instance, which....DUH i'm getting the best one!) So i picked the band that fitted best, and picked ruby i picked the one i wanted. He told me he's try to have it ready early next week, as the setting is so small and fragile he'll have to do it with extra care. I told him noooooooo problem!! I can wait a few more days!
5 hours later he called me and told me it was ready. Ha! But i was at work, so i told him i'd have to come by the next day. 

Well, as you see, this afternoon i got it. And adore it! 

I love that i waited until i found what felt particularly special. Particularly unique, and made with care. I love that i got it on Good Friday. 

Best part of all? It reminds me of her. 

It will always make me think of Gwen's preciousness, God's goodness in the littlest blessings, and Christ's sacrifice. How could such a tiny thing hold more sweetness than that? ~~

(Yesterday i wrote a Yelp review for Anton's Jewelry ShopThey've got some BEAUTIFUL jewelry there, rings, brooches, necklaces--new and antique--and i highly recommend going by their shop if you're looking for something special...big or small.)


schmoozing. i does it not at all well. at all.

call it what you want...schmoozing, networking, selling yourself, putting-it-out-there...

i just...i can't.

i'm quite suddenly facing my last week at my job, and that means i'm doing one of the things i hate most in the whole world...trying to convince people that i'm this awesome, competent, desirable person that they want--they need to have!

my biggest motivation isn't money...it's that if i don't have more work after this it will 99% be my own fault for being an insecure coward. what. come, on colleen.

the one nice thing is that in this industry, part of the process is simply shoving my portfolio at someone and letting that do the work.
...but the initial shopping myself around and making calls and interviewing and rubbing elbows and politics and "me, me, me!!" i'm awkward, i get either too giggly/loud or too quiet/demure and all the while i'm aware of it and spinning in circles in my brain...!


this is why i never dated.


the future

NO idea where things are going. Trying to take my own advice and be inspired, happy, anticipatory overwhelmed--not scared, sad, anxious overwhelmed. 

Help me, Jesus!


i need a week...

a good long week

to sit and think...

of things i like

and want to make

not because everyone else does...

but just because i do.


oh hail no!

On the rare occasion that Chad and i shop together...this is scarily accurate.


sighs for today's sunshine!

And today i'm just...fine! There's a lingering of melancholy somewhere there in my heart...but being at work and not outside? is okay. sitting in front of the computer? okay. the piece i was working on yesterday that was killing me? today it's kinda fun.

Maybe it's cause i got to spend a little time with Chad this morning, or even that it's just a little hotter than yesterday so i don't mind not being outside because i'm a HUGE baby when it comes to heat!

Maybe it's cause my cousin sent me this picture from our wedding...

Maybe cause my mom-in-law texted me that a group had been praying for Chad and me last night. I'm sure that might have something to do with it...

But really there is nothing much different today than it was yesterday, and it feels like yesterday was so long ago. 
Oh, fragile, strange, so easily-wounded mind...
will i ever comprehend you?


sighs for long ago sunshine...

Today is a beautiful day. It's not cold, it's not hot. I left my desk to answer my phone and went outside to an afternoon that begged to be rejoiced in...

Today is one of those days that i wish i was 11 years old...in the sense that i am yearning to run around my grandparents' backyard with my little sister and play pretend. Go swimming...then sun ourselves on towels spread on the grass. Eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while the cool breeze lifts our damp hair around our faces. Make crowns out of clover blossoms. Doze off to the lullaby of soft rustling leaves in the trees, the buzzing of bees, you can almost hear the clouds moving through the cerulean sky. The sounds of a fast-approaching summer. 

But i'm not 11...i'm 30. How did that happen??
I'll never run around my grandparents' backyard and play pretend again. I'll play pretend with my own children one day...but my grandparents' house is gone. We had to sell it 2 years ago.
My mind is heavy with the weight of now. Of being a grown-up...of things like aging parents, being laid-off last week, helping and encouraging a tired husband. Not to mention all the hurt and suffering those around me are experiencing...!

But how wonderful to have memories of those days to think back on and be grateful for. I'm so glad we had that house. I'm so glad the Adams got to bring their babies there. I'm so glad I had a job to support Chad and me these past months, and i know the Lord will bring another along. Chad and i knew this first year of marriage would be hard, with him being in school and working, and me in this industry that i feel i have no place in...but for some reason God has me here. And at least we get to see each other every day...even if it's just for a few hours in the morning or evening.

I guess more than anything i just wish i could go play outside in the sunshine with my sister. in bare feet. in our little girl bodies. with no bigger concern than making sure we didn't get peanut butter and jelly in our hair.


darling instagram

So, this month, to spur my instagramming creativity, i'm letting Darling Magazine give me the nudges. I love this magazine, i love this organization. I love thei'r aesthetic, what it stands for, and i love their burden to educate, edify and encourage young women.
Anyway, they started the "darlinginstachallenge", and i was IN! Then each day they pick their favorite 4 from the day before on their instagram profile.

Day 3 (March 3rd) was "Reason you laughed uproariously". I entered one of my favorite pictures ever, of Chad and Maela doing what they do best: making snaggle faces at each other. See it here.

Next day, what did i see...but that they had picked the picture as one of the 4! HA! Also, they picked a picture by my friend Shelvy. Such a small world.

Anyway, so that was fun.