me

settled down?

Recently, I came to realize that this summer is the very first one that I will be living in the same place as the prior summer. Since I graduated from high school in 2003.


Where have I been?

Summer 2003: My parent’s house. Waiting for college. Working early mornings as a barista and late nights as a server. Not the best idea.

Summer 2004: A fraternity at UW. Each summer, about half of the men move out and the house is transformed into a co-ed compound. Why would I do this to myself? Rent was dirt cheap, like $300 for the entire summer. And I’m not going to pretend that it wasn’t fun.

Summer 2005: Italy and France, studying and nannying. Exploring.

Summer 2006: A five bedroom house in Seattle with a bajillion other girls. We shared rooms.

Summer 2007: Thailand. Teaching, learning and interning.

Summer 2008: My bachelorette pad condominium in downtown Seattle. Working. Partying.

Summer 2009: Here, with my husband and stepson. Living. Brainstorming. Growing a baby.

Summer 2010: Still here, but this year, we are joined by our sweet baby girl.

Two summers living in the same place. Finally. Does this mean that I’m settled down?


Duh, you must be thinking. I have a husband, two kids, and a business. How could I possibly be more settled down?


On the other hand, I am only 25. I have so much more to see and do. There are countries I will visit and adventures I will have. There are future houses waiting for me to call them home. There are future neighborhoods for me to memorize like the back of my hand. Friends I haven’t met yet. Careers I haven’t started yet.


Life is anything but static. I used to think that my life would become somewhat predictable after I got married and had children. Boring, even. On the contrary, my days have become rich with unpredictable moments of joy. Little surprises around every corner. A baby’s infectious giggle, a child’s sweet words, a man’s loving embrace. I may not enjoy the same freedom of going anywhere at anytime. Eating or drinking anything I please. Dancing the night away. I do not even have the simple luxury of watching a movie from start to finish. Or taking a shower every day. And I won’t even get started about how long it takes to simply get out of the house with an infant.


Because I do not go anywhere without my daughter. I am exclusively breast feeding and so I rarely drink even small amounts of alcohol. Or eat as much delicious seafood as I’d like for fear of the mercury harming her little body. She needs me for nourishment and comfort. I need her to maintain peace of mind. If I’m not with her, I am worried about her. (Maybe I need to relax a bit lot.) We are two little peas in a pod.


Elizabeth Stone said it best, “Making the decision to have a child – It’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”


I may not be jetting to Las Vegas for a weekend of debauchery. Or drinking beer at a football game. Or even going to the gym. Instead I have the sweetest little family. And I’d rather be with them than do absolutely anything else.


When you become a mother for the first time, your child takes over your life. Completely and utterly takes over your life. There is no greater sacrifice a woman can make than becoming a mother. (And I’m not even talking about what pregnancy does to our bodies.) Yet none of it is a sacrifice at all. On the contrary, a baby is the greatest gift we know we could have ever been given. We know, the universe has been good to us to gift us a baby.


The point of this post is to express my perspective as a young mother who is still thirsty for adventure. Wanderlust, you may call it. I know I am not alone, which is why many of my contemporaries would never dream of settling down with a man who has a child from a previous marriage, and then having a child of their own. Someday, they say. But definitely not yet. Pass the pill.


I used to be one of those women. (Minus the pill. Ha.) Thinking that I would wait to have kids until my late twenties or early thirties. I had dreams of traveling to every continent not covered in ice, living in an ashram, salsa dancing in Cuba. And then my life unfolded before me and I became who I am today. A mom, a stepmom and a wife.


Fortunately, my husband and I share the passion for traveling. We will travel as much as we can, babies in tow or not. Before we lay down to rest, we’ll stand in the shadow of an Egyptian pyramid and we’ll dance in Havana. We plan to live our lives to the fullest by indulging in our passions. Travel is what I’m talking about today, but this holds true whether it be travel or design or writing or blogging or cycling or yoga.


So, I may have a “crew” with which I travel, but we are not boring or dull or even completely settled down.


There is still too much to see.


How would you define “settling down”? Have you settled down? If so, at what age? And how does it feel?

the thing about birthdays

I am deeply humbled by all of the love and praise in response to my birthday post.

I want to live life to the fullest. I want my life to be a story that I can recall with great satisfaction and little regret. When I’m old and gray, surrounded by kids and grandkids and maybe even great-grandkids (God willing), I hope that I can look back on my life and be proud of the way I lived it. Of the lives I’ve touched, of the places I’ve been, of the children I’ve raised, of the way I’ve loved. 
Never before have I had the courage to recap, or relive in a sense, a year of my life. But after the success of the recap of ages 20-25, after your encouragement and praise which made me feel confident and happy and whole, I declare it a birthday tradition. Each year, I will take a moment to remember the highlights. This sounds like a small task, and it is, but it is also profound. There is no better motivation to make each year count than accountability to yourself. At least for me. 
That being said, I cannot and I will not take credit for my life so far. I am lucky. I have been blessed with many opportunities and much love. Supportive parents, loyal friends, a loving husband. Accomplishments are nothing but a culmination of inspiration. And I am inspired by my loved ones. I owe everything I am and everything I have to them.
So, here I am one year older and one year wiser. On Friday, I learned something new. About birthdays. 
The thing about birthdays is that some of us (myself included) approach them with expectations. Usually these expectations are not met. Not because we are not loved and appreciated, but because life happens. Babies are fussy. Husbands have to work to bring home the bread. Parents, siblings, friends have their own busy lives. Celebrations will be early or late. Usually not on time, and that’s ok. 
If you treat your birthday like the other 364 days out of the year, there’s no room for disappointment. So as long as someone sings you happy birthday at least once, you’re satisfied. As long as your special day is acknowledged, there’s no room for disappointment. And if you happen to be lucky enough to go out to a gourmet dinner and come home to savor a rich and decadent chocolate dessert, like I did on my 25th birthday, you feel like a princess.  
What do you like to do to celebrate your birthday? Do you have any traditions? Do you find yourself with expectations? If so, are these expectations usually met?
Now it’s time for some picture love! A few memories from my early birthday celebration at my parents’ house:
my brother is off to the side making Giovanna laugh :)

with my friend, Sally, and her son, Mateo

Emile and Mateo

A photo of Giovanna before my birthday lunch with my mom:
notice the baby leg warmers?
On my birthday:
this is the wall in our kitchen

happy birthday to me

Today is my birthday. I am 25. Halfway to 30.

Does this mean I’m in my prime? And if so, is it only downhill from here? Will life only get harder as I get older? Am I nearing the expiration date for reaching my dreams?

I’m sure that every person reading this over 30 would tell me that there’s no such thing as an expiration date. At least I hope so. Therefore, instead of worrying about getting older, I’m going to embrace my brand new age. 25 is a great age. An age where things can happen.

And I plan to make many things happen this year.

In celebration of surviving half of my twenties, I will share with you a recap. From time to time, I find myself wondering what it is I have accomplished thus far in my life. What I’ve done and where I’m going. And we would be lying if we didn’t admit to savoring the feeling of accomplishment. Fleeting or not.

More for myself than for anyone else, I knew I had to take the time to think about it. Savor my own life, at least the past 5 years. Write down the highlights so that they are memorialized. Be proud of my accomplishments and learn from my mistakes.

I chose to focus on positive events. For the most part, heartbreaks and hardships are not welcome. When I made this list, I just happen to leave most of those things out…there’s not enough room in my memories for it all. I’d rather hold on to the good stuff and discard the bad.

So, here you go. The highlights of each year are as follows.

Age 20:
– studied abroad in Rome
– traveled in Spain, France, Italy
– nannied for French family in France
– scored a paying accounting internship at a promising start-up business

Age 21:
– said good-bye to maternal grandmother and my namesake, Grandma Lucy
– graduated from college, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa
– worked as auditor at big 4 accounting firm
– left for Thailand on one-way ticket
– worked as teacher in Thailand
– traveled to Malaysia

Age 22:
– worked as teacher in Thailand
– worked as management intern at health/detox resort on the beach in Thailand
– traveled in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
– returned to U.S. and offered great investor relations/marketing/PR/event planning/sales/lots of fun job by old college friend with his promising new company
– purchased first piece of real estate, condominium in downtown Seattle

Age 23:
– said good bye to paternal grandfather, Grandpa Ray (day after 23rd birthday)
– traveled to Peru three times with job
– traveled to Indonesia on vacation
– fell in love with “the one”
– traveled to Jamaica with future hubby
– got laid off, said college friend turned out to be dishonest, job not so great and not so stable

Age 24:
– got married
– became a stepmother
– honeymooned in Hawaii
– gave birth to my first child, became a mother
– started a business, Herbal Philosophy
– became dedicated blogger

What will 25 hold? Stay tuned.

P.S. I am almost to 100 followers! Wouldn’t that be a great birthday present? Hint hint…

appendectomy? whatever.

Mama's Losin' It


Mama Kat over at Mama’s Losin’ It! hosts a writer’s workshop every Thursday. Being the aspiring writer yet busy mom that I am, I have finally gotten around to participating. I chose to write on the following prompt:

What was your medicine? Write about a time you remember being ill.
I was a healthy kid. No allergies. Not under or overweight. No reoccurring ear infections. No cavities. I even had perfectly straight teeth.
But I did have one teensy weensy problem. A faulty appendix.
The saga began when I was six years old. I don’t remember much except for spending the night in the hospital with my mom by my side. She was pregnant with my brother at the time and she told me that I was supposed to be visiting her in the hospital, not the other way around. 
They stuck an IV in my hand and managed to miss the vein. I remember that part too. Whether it was due to the incompetence of the nurse or my extreme resistance to the procedure, we will never know. But this little mistake inflated my little hand to monstrous proportions. They almost blew up my hand, the bastards. I probably would have been more freaked out if my older sister hadn’t saved the day by making distracting jokes to lighten the situation. I don’t know what she said, but it must have been good. Now she makes people laugh for a living. Go figure.
The overzealous doctors wanted to cut me open immediately and remove the potentially faulty appendix. My parents did not. I don’t blame them after the whole IV incident. I wouldn’t want them operating on my precious daughter either. So, they cut a deal. Wait until morning and if my blood pressure returned to normal, no surgery. If not, I would be wheeled off to the operating room.
Parents know best. I was fine by the next morning. 
Fast forward two years. Another short-lived episode of appendix pain. But it wasn’t until two years after that, at ten years old, that my appendix was removed. My mom drove me to the emergency room as I laid in the back of our generic, white mini-van, completely enveloped in excruciating pain. I would not again experience such physical agony until childbirth. The appendectomy took place in the wee hours of the morning. I wasn’t scared because the doctor told me that it was as safe as going to the mall. And I loved going to the mall. 
The surgery revealed that my appendix was, in fact, very inflamed. They removed the stinker just in the nick of time. The hospital pumped vials of pain medications into my vulnerable, developing body and sent me home with pills. Lots of pills. But they wasn’t my true medicine. I had a week of recovery before I was allowed to return to school. A week to kill. An eternity in the life of a ten year old. So, I watched “Clueless.” The movie that made Alicia Silverstone famous. I watched it over and over again. “Clueless” was my medicine.
Silly, I know. Very silly, but very true.
I memorized the best monologues from the movie. I practiced flipping my hair and prancing through my house in the same manner as Alicia Silverstone’s character, Cher. I idolized Cher. I started using her expressions, “as if” and “whatever.” I daydreamed about having a closet like Cher, complete with a digital library cataloguing every article of clothing. Very advanced for 1995. I yearned for knee high socks, short plaid skirts, and high heels. 
I was just a sick little girl wishing that I was a pretty, grown-up teenager who could drive, go to parties with my girlfriends, and talk to boys. “Clueless” made me feel good. Cher and her friends distracted me from reality. And in retrospect, I harbor no negative emotions or fear from that little blip in my childhood. 
I don’t know if my recovery would have been any more traumatic if my mother hadn’t allowed me to rent “Clueless” and watch it incessantly. It was certainly a guilty pleasure. But maybe there’s nothing inherently wrong with guilty pleasures. Maybe they shouldn’t even be called guilty. Life can be a pain in the ass, and we’ve got to maintain an equilibrium. Pleasure for pain. Especially in the delicate life of a child. 
I would say that enduring the pain of a near-ruptured appendix certainly merits a guilty pleasure. Next time you have a bad day or a broken heart, try it out. Read a trashy romance novel. Engage in retail therapy. Or watch a silly movie. Over and over again. Do something that makes you feel unabashedly good. 
In my limited experience, there’s no better medicine than feeling good. 

d-listed


When I decided to get serious about my blog in March, I had no idea the social life that would follow. These days, the only parties I attend are blog parties. The only new friends I make are online. Don’t judge.


I used to be cool. Really. I went to bars and drank hard alcohol. Sometimes I walked home without my shoes on. But then I fell in love with the one, got married, inherited a stepson and birthed a daughter. With out drugs. Yikes.


Now, my idea of the perfect Saturday night is taking a hot bath.


I should probably mention that all of the above happened in less than 15 months. I never said I was boring. 


If you are here from the D-Listed Party and you want to read more about me, go here. Or read the posts categorized under me. Or maybe you want to hear about my recent trials and tribulations with dairy. Or my rant about the recent BP oil spill. Or my love affair with coconuts that began when I was living in Thailand. But if you leave my blog before tomorrow, the one thing you must understand about me is that I am a human pacifier


And I love. Love. Love. Being a mother.



the versatile blogger award

I am honored to be recognized by Miel Abeille over at Bons Vivants with the Versatile Blogger Award. Her name is actually Melissa and she’s an optimist and a bibliophile. Her blog is pretty much guaranteed to put you in a better mood. Check it out.

According to the terms of the award, I have to tell you seven random things about myself. So…here’s another lesson in the life of Lucy. Don’t get too excited.

1. I currently have a headache because I am sleep-deprived.
2. I like to wear dresses.
3. When I was a small child, I would only wear “round and round” dresses. This meant that my dress had to balloon out when I twirled. I know. Luckily, my parents are extremely grounded and never called me “princess” or else I don’t know who I would be today. And I don’t think I’d like her.
4. I think that all of my round and round dresses came from thrift stores.
5. I studied French for 7 years and I wish I had never stopped.
6. I am terrified to be more than 100 feet away from my daughter.
7. I love Thai food. Yum.

And now I pass on the award to seven (cuz that’s my favorite number) new blogs I have recently discovered.

1. Bry at EmbraceFire
2. The Dating Divas
3. Glowin’ Girl at Sugar Tails
4. Amanda at Natural Mommie
5. Holly Renee at Love Imagine Create 
6. Delishhh.com
7. The Empress at Good Day, Regular People

Happy Monday to everyone!

honest scrap award

Kate over at Mommy Monologues gave me the Honest Scrap Award. Thanks, Kate :) Awards pretty much make my day.

The award requires that I share 10 random things about me, and then pass on to 10 fellow bloggers. Here goes nothing.
1. I am breast feeding my baby as I type, thanks to a high-tech nursing pillow, My Brest Friend.
2. I spend a lot of time breast feeding my baby. As you may already know, I am pretty much a human pacifier
3. I am not only a mama, I am a stepmama. Lucky for me, both of my babies are as sweet as can be.
4. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. With a concentration in Accounting. Two quarters early. Boo-yah.
5. I was on track to be a CPA, but I hated it so much that I ran off to Thailand on a one-way ticket. I will never again be an accountant. So much for the fancy degree.
6. I woke up from a not-so-restful catnap yesterday with a very sore neck. The pain creeped behind my eyes to become a headache as well. I think my body is freaking out over the sleep deprivation because neck pain is not normal. Ugh. And it makes nursing and carrying around a baby that much more difficult. God help me get more sleep tonight.
7. Today, I went on a walk with my family to get vegan hemp-milk soft serve ice cream. Yum. On the way back, we stopped in an open house and I filled my pocket with (non-vegan) chocolates the realtor had set out. Double yum. I with I could be vegan, but I don’t think I’m cut out for that kind of work. Bummer.
8. I may not be vegan, but I’m a health nut. I like to cook fresh, organic, plant-based meals for my family. Much to my husband’s chagrin. So I throw goat cheese on top and he’s happy.
9. I declined all pain medications when I gave birth to my daughter. It hurt. Like a biotch. But it was so worth it. Read my birth story here
10. I make a badass cup of herbal tea. My tea cures hangovers and makes you more beautiful. What more could you want in life?
Now that I’ve shared a few things about my life, I’d like to learn more about 10 of my fellow bloggers. I bestow this humble award upon:
2. Kristin at A Few Things to Say
5. Nicole at The Activity Mom
7. Shayna at Life: Forward
8. Betsy at Funky Mama Bird
Now excuse me while I go bust a very sleepy toddler for playing in his room when he is supposed to be napping. 

happy 101

My bloggy friend, Ericka, at alabaster cow is a good one. Brains, beauty and wit. Not to mention that she gave me the happy 101 award yesterday. Complete with cupcakes, sprinkles, and a pretty sunset. Thanks, Ericka!





Here are the rules of the award:

1. copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. list who gave the award to you and use a link to her/his blog (or hyperlink).
3. list 10 things that make you happy.
4. pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

Here goes. 10 things that make me happy as a clam:

1. smiles from Giovanna
2. spring’s blooming flowers and cherry blossoms, making my daily walks far more pleasant
3. tickling Emile and listening to him giggle
4. Synergy’s Organic & Raw Kombucha tea, it gives you a buzz and it’s good for you
5. Spanish guitar music
6. my husband’s lips, which are so nice to kiss
7. Sweet Beauty baby products, completely natural and very yummy to smell
8. farmers markets
9. dark, dark chocolate…mmmm
10. traveling

And now, I bestow this award upon the following worthy recipients:

- Diana at Hormonal Imbalances for all of the hard work she’s putting into sleep training
- Heather at Gerber Days because she offers tips to simplify my life, and she likes almond butter too
- Hitha at Hitha on the Go because she’s a friend from college and she’s getting MARRIED
- Stacy at One Stylish Momma because I won her “Eleven shoes” giveaway and they are so damn cute
- Melissa at Love Me Daily because she gave me great advice
- Sarah at No, Don’t and Stop! for being a badass single mama, and we all know that’s hard work



I’d also like to point out that my blog is now located at http://www.lucilleinthesky.com. If you use the old address (http://lucilleinthesky.blogspot.com), you will be redirected. So it really doesn’t matter which you use. But now I feel a little bit more like a real blogger. Hooray.

Who am I?

I started this blog over a year ago, but I only recently started posting regularly and becoming addicted to active in the bloggy world. I am having a fabulous time making new friends, reading new blogs. And I’m learning. A lot. About myself. About others. About blogging. About writing. About life. To those of you who have recently started reading my blog, welcome! Please leave me comments. I would love to visit your blog, or if you don’t have one, I would still like to know that you were here. 

And now, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. 




My name is Lucy and I am 24 years old. My “real” name is Lucille. This is strange to me because no one calls me Lucille. Except for the insurance companies and the banks. I like to think of “Lucille” as the adult version of me. Someone who I am, but am not. Because although I have all the outer qualities of a grown-up, I certainly don’t feel like a grown-up. 

Simply said, I am learning. I am learning how to be an adult, an entrepreneur, a wife, a mother and a stepmother. I am married to James. I am the mother of Giovanna. I am the stepmother of Emile. I love my family (from my husband to my cousins) and my best friends (I am blessed with several great ones) with every piece of my being. Every cell in my body. Every part of my soul. I am the creator and owner of Herbal Philosophy. Taking it all one day at a time. My blog documents this journey of self-creation and self-discovery. 




Why am I in the sky?

I was named after the Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” My sister was named after the Beatles song, “Julia.” Just kidding. But wouldn’t it be cool if we were? This was a fairly common misconception during my childhood. In truth, both our middle and first names came from family members. Aunt. Sister. Mothers. Some of our parents’ most loved women. Which I guess is even cooler. 

So, the real reason why my blog is named “lucille in the sky” is because I am a dreamer. My head is in the clouds, and I want it to stay there. Don’t some of us stop dreaming at some point in our lives? Maybe we graduated from college, entered the real world, and realized how tough it is. Maybe we had a baby and felt like our life was no longer our own. Maybe we lost all our money and felt like a failure. So we started being realistic. Serious. Boring. We stopped working hard and we started to forget why we were working hard in the first place. We stopped playing outside and we started watching too much TV. We stopped caring. And we gave up on some of our wildest dreams.

Adult or not, I want to never stop dreaming of what could be, dreaming like the possibilities are endless and nothing is out of reach. Hence, “lucille” (my grown-up name) is “in the sky” (floating peacefully through life…in the clouds…dreaming). 

Plus, I like the Beatles.




Lastly, I wanted to share some of my fundamental beliefs. My philosophy on life. If you like what you see, stick around. We probably have a lot to learn from one another.

I believe in:

Dreaming big. 

The power of the mind. 

Leaving the world a better place than you found it. 

Giving thanks every day. 

Being creative. 

Making love not war. 

Celebrating the person you are. 

Synchronicities. 

Following your heart. 

Doing what makes you truly happy. 

Living each moment to the fullest. 

Exercising your mind, body and soul. 

Forgiveness. 

The value of education. 

The danger of judgment. 

Generosity. 

Giving and taking lots of hugs and kisses. 

Not taking things personally. 

Self-love. 

And that all you need is love.

let me count the ways I love thee…

As not the most active blogger (wish I was, but I do have a very sweet newborn baby attached to my boob for most of the day), I didn’t know that we bloggers can *tag* one another, much like the now out-dated email surveys. Except those were pretty lame, asking questions like do you prefer coke or pepsi? But you learn something new every day and today I learned that my witty blogger friend, Ericka, has tagged me to complete a list of 10 things I love. And since I love LOVE, I jumped at the chance.  Here they are in no particular order…

1. my loving family, including my brand new precious baby daughter, doting husband, freakin’ adorable stepson, wise mother, super-smart dad, favorite sister, favorite brother, beautiful cousins, crazy aunts, cool uncles… (so what if it’s a no-duh, I couldn’t possibly leave them out of the list)
2. my best girlfriends who are also my family (you know who you are)
3. herbal tea especially Herbal Philosophy teas ;)
4. yoga, which after years of practice, is finally teaching me how to quiet my busy mind.
5. the Rockhouse Hotel in Jamaica, the most magical place on earth! OK, the beaches of Thailand are also pretty magical, but I never got to share them with the love of my life.
6. nursing my little one, especially when she stares up at me, rests her tiny hand on my chest, searches for the nipple with reckless abandon, gets milk-drunk and stretches in pure satisfaction post-feeding, and of course, smiles.
7. music. In particular, the energy of live music. Music that promotes peace.
8. my iPhone, making life so convenient (hello, it’s got a GPS and an iPod) and communication so easy. Almost daily, I snap pictures of my little one to send to my stressed-and-overworked-but-with-a-very-important job hubby via text or email. I can confidently say that this increases his quality of life ten-fold. Yes, Giovanna is really that cute.
9. Center for Spiritual Living, Reverend Kathianne Lewis is the shit and she makes sense of this crazy, crazy life in a language that I understand.
10. Trader Joe’s, their oh-so-affordable organics, and their lack of options (strange, I know, but my indecisiveness can turn a quick grocery trip into 3 hours). I love Whole Foods too, but my wallet doesn’t.

There it is! Now, I tag:

- Rebekah at Delicious Ambiguity
– Farrah at Baby Manual
– Judy at Judy in Her Natural Habitat: The Kitchen

As I sign off, I will leave you with a quote about love from the beloved William Shakespeare:

Doubt that the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move his aides, Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.”


Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2