A Christmas Giveaway Tradition

Well I'm a little behind this year (I traditionally publish this post on Cyber Monday), but I'm going to do what I've been doing for months and blame the baby. It's not technically his fault but I have had to prioritize, you know, feeding him and playing with him and reading to him and generally doing my best to a) make sure he knows I love him and b) teach him to avoid safety/choking hazards.

All of that to say, we've been listening to the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas on heavy rotation around here - it was especially magical as we drove from one place to another under a light snowfall on Thanksgiving with little Abe in the backseat - and now it's time for you to help me give this music to someone who doesn't have it yet!

If you or someone you know would like a copy (physical or digital - you pick) of this album, you're in luck. All you have to do is leave a comment (here or on Instagram) telling me you want it or that you don't like any other Christmas music or that you want your baby to grow up hearing it too. I'll choose a winner next Thursday, December 10.

I still believe in the power of music to spread cheer, bring peace, lighten the load, if only for a moment. Let's do it! Who's with me?

Come On. Get Happy.

Well hello! It's Giving Tuesday! This is my first one as a mom, and I gotta say, I'm a little conflicted. I feel a slight temptation to spend all of this year's money on Christmas gifts for our baby because he's so dang special, but I think the detrimental effects over the long term might not be worth it. Plus I want him to grow up knowing what it means to be generous and especially to be the kind of guy who pays attention to what's going on around him and steps up to help when he sees someone in need. Hopefully you know by now that I'm a big fan of giving, so here's an updated list of organizations I've either worked with or supported myself. No doubt they would all benefit from your donations today. Come on! Get happy!     

Denver Rescue Mission: These guys provide meals, shelter, emergency care, rehabilitation services, and family services to folks all over Colorado.

Denver Writes: Their mission is to provide young writers in the Denver area with a supportive community and creative opportunities to express themselves through writing.

Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives: These folks have been around a long time, doing some of the most important work there is to be done in America.

*Next Tuesday is Colorado Gives Day, but you can schedule your donation ahead of time if you're planning to give to a Colorado nonprofit. You know, #givewhereyoulive

826 National: Just maybe one of my favorite non-profit organizations of all time.  

International Justice Mission: These people are doing some of the most difficult and important work on the planet, in my opinion. Why not give a gift of rescue this Christmas and help free innocent prisoners from jail or help a widow start a small business

Compassion International: I've been sponsoring a girl named Rosi through Compassion since I was a college student. Big believer in the work these folks are doing over here.

Monday Music: Moda Spira

Well good morning! I have something fun to tell you about today! 

My college roomie (and lifelong friend) Latifah has been making some new music as Moda Spira, and her indiegogo campaign is down to the wire. Tifah is one of the hardest working people I know, and her tenacity as an artist has inspired me over and over in the years I've known her.  

What's cool about this fundraising campaign is that there are all kinds of opportunities to interact with Tifah. She's offering background vocals for your song, a Skype session, a house concert, a listening party! I think she's going to be tired when it's all over.

Only 40 hours remain on the campaign, so go check it out!  

Another Year Older (+ A Giveaway!)

Clockwise, from top left: 1. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg / 2. Bananas & Gap Teeth wrapping paper (photo credit: Ben Sellon) / 3. David Bazan & Passenger String Quartet Volume 1 CD /  4. Bookworm Card / 5. Not Without Salt Cookie Mix  / 6. Lucky In Blue earrings (photo credit: Rachel Ball)

**Update: Mary Rice is the big winner. Thanks to each of you who entered!

A couple of Saturdays ago Dann and I woke up early and headed to Dahlia Bakery to try their breakfast sandwiches. As we drove through downtown Seattle while the city slept, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for everything we’ve experienced here. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this place. 

It’s still hard not to drive distracted when there’s water to be seen through the windows and, on the days you can see them, the mountains on either side of the city are pretty spectacular. 

There were days in the last year when I thought I might never appreciate anything about Seattle, that it would never feel familiar or even a little bit like home. Those days have passed now, and I find myself wishing I had more days before this baby comes to get out and explore.

When I started thinking about all the things that have been significant to me in the last year, I quickly realized that most of them have something to do with this place. And since my blog is now another year older, I figured I should do a Seattle-specific giveaway to celebrate.

Each of the items pictured above has a Seattle story behind it, and I love the idea of sharing them all with one of you. One lucky person will win the lot.

To enter, leave a comment telling me what you love about Seattle or why you want these things or that you think I’m smart and pretty and funny. You know, whatever. I’ll choose a winner next Tuesday, February 24. (And if, for some reason, you're unable to leave a comment, please please send me an email or tell me on facebook or something. I don't want anyone missing out!)