Archive for the ‘It’s Me….Denise’ Category

ONE YEAR LATER

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Does it feel like the last year has been one long winter?  As I watched election results in November 2016, I happened to be on the beautiful island of Maui.  It was strangely eerie being so far from the mainland, but the effects of our presidential election were immediately evident.  Everyone we saw that night (being 6 hours behind Eastern time we knew the results by after dinner drinks) appeared to be walking around in haze.  I sure was.

The next day as I laid by the pool, I felt uneasy.  I knew in my heart that my life wasn’t probably going to dramatically change, but that many were about to feel an immediate and dramatic shift.  I really couldn’t have imagined how quickly that reality would be for large groups of people in our country.

My intention is not to launch into political rhetoric or alienate others who share views in contrast to my own.  I am of a strong belief that what we put out into the world comes back to us.  Spewing hate or disgust will get us no where.  Admittedly, I was dismayed by the election and felt a bit lost.  I knew couldn’t wallow for 4 years, so I decided to act instead.

Here is what I have done in the past year instead of wallowing:

1) For the first time in my life I have become interested in the actual politics, policies, and the play makers of our democracy. I listen to the podcasts The Daily and The Axe Files to stay informed.

2)  I subscribed to The New York Times.  A free press is imperative.  You can support good reporting by subscribing and purchasing newspapers.

3)  I have called and/or written to my representatives in regards to legislation important to me.

4)  Read articles and listened to interviews with alternative view points.

5)  Looked for ways to get involved in a positive way.  I’m super interested in the non-partisan organization, She Should Run, that is encouraging and supporting women to run for political office.  We need diverse voices at the table!

What have you been doing the past year to navigate this uncertain time in our country?

Photo by Atle Mo on Unsplash

 

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TWENTY EIGHTEEN

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

2018 | Where is June?

In comparison to the previous two or three years, 2017 was a vast improvement.  In hindsight, my self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder was most likely simply depression.  The thing I missed most was joy and feeling hopeful.  If you are struggling right now, I am sorry you aren’t feeling like yourself.  Reach out to your partner, your friends, and your doctor.  You will get better.  2017 found me healthy and happy and I know that is a gift. The last year gave me countless moments to find joy with the people I love the most.  It seems that the boys grew at warp speed, especially Big W.  I’m trying not to hold on too tight.

best of 2017

With great anticipation I look forward to 2018!  I am not making any resolutions, because I feel like they are always attached to some sort of guilt.  The world doesn’t need more people feeling guilty, especially women.  Our world needs happy, fulfilled people loving life and those around them!  While I DO NOT make resolutions, I do make lists!

Things I would love in 2018:

find my way back to writing, a “just out of the oven” chocolate chip cookie, support organizations doing good work, a challenging day hike, great meals with dear friends, a summer spent on the water, see a ballet, donate blood, celebrate the greatness in women I know, the perfect cat eye, set aside time each day to practice mindfulness, a happy hour cocktail in paradise, start something that scares the sh*t out of me, moments of laughter with my boys, tears of pride, strong arms and toned tummy.

(The last one has been on the list since 2013.  It’s a goal and it’s fine. However, all these amazing experiences can happen in my life-with or without fabulous abs.)

Happy New Year!  What is on your list this year?

P.S. A look back.  My lists from 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

(photo by Davide Cantelli)

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IT’S NEVER OK

Monday, September 18th, 2017

kelly oxford

Kelly Oxford started this conversation and the hashtag #notokay.  This isn’t a political post.  This wasn’t my planned post for today, but it literally wrote itself and forced me to push publish.

The event that wrote the post:

On Saturday night my family exited Husky Stadium in the 4th quarter.  Riding high from a soon-to-be solid victory, there was much celebrating and the tailgating had picked up again.  Although the walk was not far, there were many pedi-cabs at the exit offering rides to fans.  They were creatively lit and many had tunes pumping from portable speakers.  As we walked through the parking lot, I couldn’t help but notice a pedi-cap with two, middle-aged males being pedaled by a young female. You know the type: belligerent, loud and intoxicated.   They directed her to their vehicle.  She stopped the cab and stood up on her pedals.  One of the men promptly smacked her ass. They both laughed. Immediately aware that my 13 year old son witnessed it all, I looked at him and asked, “Did you see that?” He replied that he had seen it all.  The only thing that came to mind-which I quickly blurted out, “It’s never OK.”   He looked at me and said, “I know, Mom.”

At first I didn’t know why it pissed me off so intensely.  It’s not like it is the first time I had ever seen a woman get slapped on the ass.  Heck, it has happened to me countless times-in bars, sporting events, on the street, on a bus.  Then it dawned on me that it was probably the first time my son had seen it.  We haven’t had an in-depth conversation about it yet, but I can only imagine his brain was working overtime to figure it all out.  And after 43 years, I finally saw that aggressive action for EXACTLY what it is:  assault.  Gone are the days that I ignore it, accept it, simply endure it, or god-forbid even pretend to like it.  I should have said something.  Not to them, but I should have said something to her.  I should have walked over to her cab and stood with her.  After they left, I should have said, “I saw what they did.  You did nothing wrong.  You were doing a job.  It is not OK.”  Dammit, I should have said something to her.

I am going to stand on a virtual box and shout this truth out loud.  Do not touch me without my consent.  Do not comment on my legs as I ride my scooter past your construction site.  Do not slow your vehicle to shout and whistle at me when I am out for a run.  Do not let your hand linger when you give me a hug.  It is not flattering.  You are not being flirtatious. I am not a willing participant.  Do not slap her ass.  And do not let my kid see you do it!  It is never OK.

While my days of getting the hoots/hollers and grabs are limited and waning (thank you gravity and middle-age), there are younger women who are unlucky enough to fill my spot.  Please tell your story.  I know you have one. Tell it here. (I’ve added one of my stories to the comments.)  Share this this post.  Talk to a young woman or a young man.  If it was your daughter on that bike, it would never be OK.  NEWS FLASH: she is someone’s daughter!

 

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THE BUSINESS OF INSTAGRAM

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
instagram

{recently shared on @seattlejune}

Yesterday I spent about 30+ minutes cleansing my Instagram of those I follow. I have been feeling a need to simplify my Instagram for one main reason.  My sanity.  You see I followed many social influencers who, as a career, share clothing, home goods, beauty products, vacations, and experiences on their IG accounts.  Many of the items and trips they share are gifted to them or sponsored.  While I don’t fault them for making a living- it wasn’t really a good thing for me to be inundated all of the time. Of course they disclose their sponsored posts, they are legally required to do so.  For other posts they tag items and they simply receive kick backs through affiliate links if you make purchase.  {Again, I don’t fault them for this practice.}  I know, this is a lot of blog biz talk, but I think it is important to understand the business of social media, how companies are using their marketing dollars, and how we are being persuaded in purchasing decisions- possibly without even knowing.

Why am I sharing this information?  1.  It is just that.  Information.  2. While I try to be more conscious as a consumer, it was a battle not to click through to see the price of an item I found beautiful or interesting.  3. As most of us know, it isn’t the whole picture.  IG lives are not REAL lives.  They are curated, edited, filtered, and constructed.  But does our subconscious know it?  In many cases, probably not.  4.  Comparing is exhausting.  As an almost 43 year old woman, I don’t have time for it anymore.  And when you are comparing your reality to a manufactured image- you are never gonna win!

I love Instagram.  Visually it is so interesting to me.  I have found wonderful small businesses and creative humans sharing their talents.  I follow friends who I don’t get to see regularly.  I enjoy capturing moments in my day and sharing them with you.  I promote my blog posts using IG.  I’m note deleting it, just using it more wisely.

What do you think? How do you feel about influencers using social media to make a living?

 

 

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WHERE IS JUNE? | REIMAGINED

Monday, May 15th, 2017

reimagined

I have been thinking about, planning, postponing and drafting this post for many months.  If you have been a reader for the past few years, you surely noticed my absence in posting regularly-or posting at all.  A brief history of Where is June? starts with the blog being a private, “just between friends” space to share my small victories and shortcomings as a mother.  Somewhere around 2011 I decided I missed writing and I thought blogging would be a fun outlet.  My blog became public on Blogspot.  As I began to write and post more frequently, I started to obsessively follow other blogs.  The community was creative and intoxicating.  I read books about successful blogging practices, attended a conference, learned to take photos, purchased my own URL and Where is June?, as you see it today,  was born in 2013.    I found success with growing readership, collaborations with companies, and a shout out in a Better Homes & Garden round-up.  It felt great.  Until it didn’t.

I lost my way.  While I really wanted to find a niche and somehow make money by writing and blogging- it was out of reach.  Or at least it felt like it.  I am the first to admit I do not have an entrepreneurial mind set (I started as a business major and made a quick switch after one year.  Undeclared was better than one more business class.)  Should I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone?  Probably.  Could I have asked friends and acquaintances for business advice?  Absolutely.  BUT…I didn’t.

If I wasn’t going to monetize the blog, what would it be?  I dream of fashion, but I am not a fashion blogger.  I try new recipes all the time, but I am not a food blogger.  I love my kids desperately, but I am not a mommy blogger.  Working out feeds my soul, but I am not a fitness blogger.  Nothing makes me happier than planning a trip, but I am not a travel blogger.  Home design is an obsession, but I’m not a designer. I enjoy creating layouts and taking pictures, but I’m not a graphic artist or photographer.  If I’m not any of those things, what the hell am I doing?  So I stopped.

And now I am ready to start again.  {Thank you for reading this far. You made it through all the rambling}  I have decided Where is June? can be anything I want it to be. {It does seem obvious, I know.}  I don’t need to follow any rules or any specific model.  As the posts begin to pop up more frequently, I hope they are inspired and a bit different.  I want it to feel like a conversation you might have with your girlfriends while sharing a bottle of Rose.  Nothing forced.  Just me sharing with you, just like I would with my friends.  The pictures will probably be from my iPhone and the layouts won’t be perfect, but I promise the writing will be real.  It will be authentic. And most importantly, it will be me.

I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading.  If you have ever shared one of my posts, you are a lovely human.  Here is to more great posts and to building an online community of friends.

xoxo

PS// I’d love to hear what you have enjoyed reading here on the blog in the past.  Leave a comment below or direct message me.

 

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TWENTY SEVENTEEN

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

where-is-june-2017

If I’m being honest, I didn’t love 2016.  Not at all.  My family is healthy & happy and we had a wonderful year. And yet, I felt unsettled.  Is it age?  Is it my health? Is there something more for me?  Loud, giant questions- with what I’m sure will be simple, quiet answers in the months and years to come.  I want to feel hopeful in this new year.  I read something this weekend to eliminate resolutions and turn them into revolutions.  Oh, how much do you love that?!?

So, in this first week, I am starting personal practices that will carry me through the year.  Mindfulness, wellness, journaling, strengthening connections, and creating joy.  If I know myself, the starting is easy and the follow through is the challenge.  I hope that creating structure to each practice will enable me to keep it going.  It’s going to be tough work and I’m certain I will be uncomfortable, but I also know it’s going to be worth it!

What are you working toward in 2017?

 

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WHEN THE WORDS DON’T COME

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

sunrise | Where is June

When you write, whether for a living or as a hobby, it is saddening when the words don’t come.  In the last few months I have started and not finished post after post.  During the day I would think to myself, “Oh, that would be a great idea for a post.”  Many days I didn’t have enough motivation to sit down and write.  Some days I would get started and not follow through.  The cycle was vicious.

I have written before about my self-diagnosed struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder {SAD}.   While I still haven’t seen a professional about it, I am 100% convinced that each winter I am faced with the crushing reality of being depressed.  It isn’t something that makes any sense.  My family is wonderful.  We are all healthy.  We have everything we need and then some.  From the outside it makes no sense to be sad.  However, it is impossible to talk yourself into shaking it off. {Believe me, I have tried.}  And while it is quite personal it is also quite real.  This year was exceptionally bad.  With a few extra concerns/battles piled onto my usual doldrums, this winter was unusually long and brutal.

The light is returning literally and metaphorically.  I am seriously hard wired to the sun.  I find joy in spending time with friends, loving on my boys, planning adventures, and laughing with my husband.  After too many months of being sedentary, I begin the slow road back to being fit.  I plan to write more consistently but in the spirit of being kind to myself, it won’t be everyday.   While there isn’t immediate recovery, new things like acupuncture, yoga, and mediation are helping me fight my way back to happy.

I hope you are well.  Thank you for reading and being supportive of my little corner.

 

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TWENTY SIXTEEN

Monday, January 11th, 2016

the year of more | Where is June?

2016 is well underway and I am ready for a year of more!  I have written before that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  They always seem to elicit guilt and our world doesn’t need more people feeling guilty, especially women.  Every year I make a list of all the things I would love in the upcoming year. Sometimes they are big and some are small.  They are always things that will make me smile.  This year I want four things in abundance: challenges, adventure, health, and family.

Challenges

tips up | Where is June?

Continuing to challenge myself is what keeps me motivated and excited for each new season.  This year I have challenged myself to learn to ski.  After four seasons doing the lodge bunny thing, I am ready to be part of the fun.  While I don’t see black diamonds in my future, it has been such a thrill to ride the chair lift with my boys, chatting and talking without any interruptions.  That time alone is worth the embarrassment of learning something new at 41.  Here’s hoping for an injury free season.

Adventure

iguazu falls adventure | Where is June?

At this time last year a trip to Argentina was not on the calendar.  I had never heard of Iguazu Falls.  How wonderful to have experienced this amazing spot with my sweet husband and to have this “after” picture to remember it.  Not all adventures need to be this grand {or so far away}.  Where will our next adventure take us?

Health

Continued health for my family and myself is always at the forefront of my mind.  Being healthy trumps all else, doesn’t it? Lucky for me being active makes me really happy.  And spending time with my friends is a really great bonus!  I am looking forward to more fun surrounding being healthy together.  A highlight of 2015 was breaking the 1:50 barrier at the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon.  This video perfectly sums up the energy of the race.  {Pay close attention around the 1:04 mark!}  Can’t wait to run it again in August!

 

Family

family fun | Where is June?

Actually, time with this crazy crew is all I really need!  We are not perfect.  It isn’t always pretty.  But building memories with my three boys is what fills my heart.  They make me feel most complete.  They are my best friends in every sense of the word.

2016, let’s do this.

PS.  My lists in 2013, 2014, & 2015

 

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GUEST BLOG POST: CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE JARS

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Cookie jar | Where is June?

I wrote a guest blog post today for a fellow Seattle area blogger.  Brenda, creator of From Me With Love, just had a baby and needed a little time off. I was happy to help her enjoy a little extra time with her baby.

I shared a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Jars.  Pop on over and read the entire post.  {They are the absolute perfect dessert!}

 

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FOURTEEN YEARS

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

happy anniversary

Who are these babies pictured -so happy {and tan}?  Man, they look insanely happy, don’t they?

This picture was snapped just days after we returned from our honeymoon.  We are celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary today.  Fourteen years is a pretty good run.

Here is what I know after 14 years:

1.  I would still pick the same guy.

2.  If you didn’t receive {birthday, Valentine, etc} cards before you were married, it is never going to happen.

3.  Saying nothing is sometimes the best course of action.

4.  Getting the last word isn’t important, as long as, deep down, you know you are 100% correct.

5.  Just let me be in charge.  It works better that way.

Love you babe!  Can’t imagine navigating this crazy world without you.

 

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Where is June?

 

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