Saturday, April 30, 2016

Catalina Cherries all a Buzz

A few weeks ago, our Catalina Cherry trees were in full bloom and after an unusual buzz-free spring, the honey bees finally made an appearance and found paradise among the blossoms. These trees were covered with bees - I mean, you could hear the buzz from many yards away. These little guys were hard at work, as seen by the enormous pollen pouches they all carried at their sides. Their bounty almost too big to land the next bud, but too drunk on the sweet nectar to care.






Friday, April 15, 2016

Acacia my heart


This man adores his fully bloomed Acacia. I adore decorating with the lovely yellow bursts.
 
Win win.
 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Saw Hero

This video was featured on one of our favorite comedy shows, Tosh.o and it spoke to me so much I had to post it here too. This video was made for Steve. Made about Steve. It is hard for me to describe the depth of his love of working in the garage, playing with his tools, making beautiful wood crafts, but I feel like this video captures Steve's heart in just over a minute.

The music, the flannel, the sunglasses, the dance moves, the facial expressions, the beard, the pure comedy...come on people, how is this NOT my awesome husband?!



Saturday, February 13, 2016

5 years ago I stood up on two feet

It is hard to believe it has already been five years since my bunion surgery. Facebook reminded me today that 5 years to the day, I finally stood up on my two bare feet for the very first time after nearly 2 months post surgery. I remember this feeling like it was yesterday. The soft carpet under my foot was like a little bit of heaven. The sunlight on my skin was so comforting.  I recall the biggest struggle during the whole thing was the fact that using crutches limited my ability to do anything else. Both hands held the crutches, so using my hands to do LIFE was nearly impossible. I'd have to lean against the kitchen counter to hold myself up if I wanted to use my hands. The freedom of walking on two feet without crutches was so immense!

Even five years later, I catch myself being so thankful for walking. I try to be mindful and notice the sensations as I walk over the soft carpet today in my bare feet, or when I slip on on a new pair of shoes, and when I sink into the soft soil while working around the yard. I find joy in pampering my feet. I refuse to wear high heels. I rub peppermint foot lotion on my feet every night before bed, and I wear bunion regulators so that my left foot doesn't get to the point that my right foot did.

Looking back, I don't reflect on the surgery experience with bad thoughts or negative feelings. In fact, it was kinda fun! I loved the adventure of driving back and forth to LA in the rain (Steve may have a different perspective, as I was cozied up in my "bed" he made for me in the back seat). I loved the pampering and everything Steve and others did for me. I literally HAD to just sit there and enjoy hours of television, movies, books, and meals made for me. I loved having a pink cast. I loved wearing my robot boot. I loved driving the motorized shopping cart at the grocery store. It was a crazy cool experience to have to re-train my body to WALK! There was pain yes, but there was also this renewed appreciation for movement, for Steve, for driving, for shoes, for soft carpet, and for carrying things!! YAY feet!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

2016 Happiness and Love

On January 1, 2016, I wrote the following in my phone:

  • Be less selfish
  • Drink more water
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Stretch every day
  • Be mindful
Each year, when I think of my own resolutions, I ask myself, "what actions can I take to be a better person? What behaviors can I practice to live a more full, healthy, and happy life?" 

At a coaching training I recently attended, we were asked to describe the actions that we wanted to live into in order to be a great leader. I had a list of several items - things I wanted to do more of like listening, spreading positivity, and being approachable. And another list of things I wanted to get better at doing like asking more questions, considering the whole person, giving feedback more often, and so on. After I looked at my lists, I thought that I'd have a better chance of becoming this aspirational leader if I broke it down into a simpler statement. A mantra of sorts that perhaps would be more sticky than a list of 10 things that I am supposed to be doing. Thinking back on my happiness project, I was reminded of the phrase "love out" and it struck me that this was the perfect way to describe all of those things that I want to do. To me, "loving out" means approaching each conversation with a mindful decision to think, behave, respond, and BE in a loving way. If I acted with love, I would automatically listen carefully and ask questions because that's what you do in loving relationships. Loving out means sharing positive thoughts with others, helping them navigate their challenges, and being fully aware that they are human and not just a worker.

I think I am already pretty good at acting in a loving way at work. But this sentiment goes beyond the workplace and I think I can do much better in other areas of my life. For some reason, I have a natural tendency to be more lenient and concerned with the feelings of people I don't know well. And more critical and impatient with those that I am close to. I need to practice not being so critical of others who don't do things the same way that I do them. And I definitely need to work on not being so critical of myself when things don't go perfectly ("Wabi-Sabi" - there's beauty in imperfection). I want to show more patience with family and friends, and learn to let go of the small stuff. 

So, I plan on being less selfish...filling their cup fuller than my own, spending an extra hour of my time, or doing something nice for someone without expectations of a return. I plan to be mindful of how I express my being to others, hopefully loving out as much as I can. And to feel the best that I can each day, I want to stretch each day, drink more water, and enjoy an ice cold bev only when it's really calling on my tastebuds. 

So cheers to another year! And I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts and stories on my blog this year!!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

2015 Highlights


Top moments of 2015
  • 4th annual girls weekend in Palm Springs
  • Chicago with my favorite women (and Marco!)
  • Bundling up in Bozeman
  • Floating down the Madison River in Montana
  • 5 year wedding anniversary trip to Santa Barbara
  • Sufjan!!  
  • Death Cab show with Jenn
  • Festive in San Francisco
  • Christmas at Dwight Ranch


Twenty Fifteen from Jaime Dwight on Vimeo.

Music: Sufjan Stevens: "All Good Naysayers, Speak up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace."

Monday, July 06, 2015

Dorothy

Dorothy is generous, sarcastic, light-hearted, easy-going, adventurous, an entertainment trivia master, an animal lover, a world traveler, a handbag fashionista, and my Aunt Cathy's best friend. Dorothy is family. I've spent more family gatherings with Dorothy than some of my blood relatives. I've traveled to more places with Dorothy than I have with some of my closest friends. Dorothy was family. 

Dorothy passed away unexpectedly less than a week after her 60th birthday. So, I dedicate this post to her by sharing some of the happy times we had together.

One of my fondest memories of Dorothy is from when we celebrated my 30th birthday in New York City. She brought me all kinds of birthday goodies like a pink birthday crown, a NYC memory box, and even crafts to decorate our Today Show poster. I mean she brought everything you could think of - in her suitcase!! Rhinestones, glitter glue, puff paint, stickers, the works!! She truly made that trip so special and I'll never forget it. 



Dorothy will be missed by many and she will always hold a special place in my family's heart. Cathy I am so sorry you lost such a special friend. Her memory will live on through your stories and pictures of your travels together. How lucky you were to have such a fun travel companion! Be quick to share those happy moments - Dorothy wouldn't have it any other way. I was always so thankful to the Universe that you had her and she had you.

Dorothy's passing is a tragic reminder that life is short. Don't put happiness off. Follow Dorothy's example and enjoy today. Book that ticket. See the world. Love out. And dang it, just buy those cute shoes! Kiss your lovey, call your friends, and spend time with the people you love most in the world. 

Dorothy, I connect my thoughts to you and everyone you shared your beautiful life with.











Thursday, January 01, 2015

2014 Montage!

2014 flew by. Work was so incredibly busy and as I was trying to keep my head above water the days, weeks, and months were passing me by like ships in the night and all of a sudden it was Christmas again. I turned 32. Steve built some amazing furniture. We spent way too much money on pavement. I visited our Nation's Capitol. I spent lots of quality time with good friends and family. We had the best garden yet. We celebrated 5 years at Dwight Ranch. I saw wild dolphins (i.e. not Marine World dolphins) for the first time and it was magnificent. I took a yoga class for the first time in my life. (I also went to the Chiropractor for the first time in my life...hmmm). 

2015 is already slated to be busy but I am determined to slow it down and enjoy each moment. I have plans to visit my dad in early January, Mom in February, and Palm Springs in Spring! The new season of the Bachelor starts on Monday so we are off to a good start!!!

Here's to a very healthy, happy, and relaxing 2015.


2014 Annual from Jaime Dwight on Vimeo.

music: "C.L. Rosarian" and "Advanced Falconry" by Mutual Benefit

Monday, December 22, 2014

Don't Cheat in History

My first impression of Washington DC was "wow there is no fence around the National Monument!" This city was designed to be touched. You don't have to buy tickets (most everything is free!), wait in line, or stand behind red velvet ropes. You can literally walk up to (most) monuments and touch them - skin on stone. The National Monument was the first thing we saw as we popped out of the Metro station at the center of the city. Over the next few days, it would be our North Star. The monument sits atop a casual grassy hill, surrounded by American flags, and tourists meandering along walking trails. We didn't need to take a tour of the National Monument. We stood below it, peeked at it from across the city, and gazed at the glowing landmark across the river. The National Monument was the centerpiece of each sunset. 






The Korean War Memorial is pure art. The design draws you right into the melancholy as if we are all there alongside the soldiers, encouraging them to stay strong. The expressions on their faces heartbreaking. This was probably my favorite memorial...a definitely must-see.






DC is a clean freak. So there was an underground tunnel that connected our hotel to the Metro Station, restaurants, and shops (and a Walgreens!) and a section of this underground town had been transformed into an art gallery. Super white walls, bright lights, shiny floors, and men in crisp clean suits. No one painted graffiti on the walls, no one vandalized the artwork, and no one left any trash along the edges of the hallway. There was not even a speck of dirt or dust. I'm talking white glove clean. This was pretty much the case everywhere we went in DC. The metros were litter-free, the stations clean, the grass trimmed neatly, trees and bushes pruned, statues swiffered. No joke.


DC is also a place where you feel safe being a young female touring the sites alone. I spent two afternoons exploring the mall by myself and felt completely safe. Everywhere I looked, I saw police and secret service. On rooftops, roadsides, parks, walk ways, streets, museums, metro stations - they were everywhere. It was the first place that I have felt at ease hopping on a subway and finding a serene spot in the middle of a grassy lawn to read a book and eat candy all by myself.


The Arlington National Cemetery was breathtakingly gorgeous and I highly recommend visiting if you travel to DC. It was peaceful and lovely, and I could have spent another hour or two walking around perusing the grave stones. I will let the photos and my video of the Changing of the Guard tell the story.






The Changing of the Guard ritual at Arlington National Cemetery was so impressive. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded by volunteer Sentinels 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Even though the soldiers are volunteers, it takes the perfect candidate to qualify as a Sentinel to guard the tomb. All soldiers are elite members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment of the US Army. They must be between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 4 inches tall, have an impeccable military record, be in superb physical condition, and have a proportionate weight and build. They must memorize seven pages of Arlington Cemetery history, and know exactly where more than 300 veterans are buried around the cemetery. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is full of symbolism and respect. The guards take exactly 21 steps, pause for 21 seconds...21 because the 21 gun salute is the highest military honor. These guards honor all American service members who are "known only but to god". So cool.


Changing of the Guard from Jaime Dwight on Vimeo.

Overall, I feel very fortunate that I was able to make the trip with my mom and aunt Cathy to share in a new place together. Here's to sipping moscow mules on rooftops, snagging the hunkiest rickshaw driver, eating sandy clams, and shopping tip we dropped! 
















Also, a big thank you to Dr. Schoonover for giving me a tour of the State Department. I was very impressed with that place. Talk about tight security!!! Lockers for cell phones! I can't say anything else because it is all TOP SECRET! ;) I loved getting the insider's view to life in DC...made the trip all the more interesting!

And lastly, I will leave you with a stupid fact that I learned that I regrettably and naively did not know prior to visiting DC...but...this blew my mind....drum roll please...the Capitol building is NOT on the same property, i.e. next door to the White House!! GAH! And wait, it gets worse....I wondered if the President transits through underground tunnels to get to the Capitol building every day to work. Well folks...guess what? He works in the White House!! SHOCKING! ;) And that, my friends, is what you get for cheating in American History class.

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