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.

Some Favorite Podcasts

   Click an image to visit the pod's URL!

 

Click an image to visit the pod's URL!

Since I currently get to stay home with baby Abe and he's not supposed to have screen time in the same room until he's two years old, we do a lot of listening during the day. Lots of music (this is a particular favorite at the moment), but also lots of podcasts. Do you have any idea how many podcast options there are these days? Truly there's something for everyone!

I'm still listening to This American Life and Nerdist regularly, but the other pods pictured above are some newer discoveries. Rachel tipped me off about The Writer's Almanac, which I love. Each episode is only about five minutes long, so it's not too much of a commitment even though it's intended for daily listening. I downloaded this episode of On Being based on Molly Wizenberg's recommendation, and I found at least ten others I'm excited to listen to as I scrolled through the archives. I think Chelsea Peretti's pod is the only one I've heard every episode of, and I'm not ashamed to tell you I've tried calling in a handful of times. She's hilarious and insightful and just fantastically entertaining.

I started listening to The Longest Shortest Time while I was pregnant, and it continues to be a source of encouragement and solidarity in the day-to-day newness of motherhood. The Nerdist Writer's Panel is interesting because of all the insider information it allows the listener to glean, and OMG, if you listen to no other podcast for the rest of 2015, please God give Another Round a chance. I promise you won't be disappointed.

What about you? Got any favorite podcasts? 

Maternity Portraits!

I haven't shared many photos of my pregnant self, mainly because most of the time I'm wearing what looks like a cross between pajamas and restaurant kitchen staff attire (shout out to my Danskos) in an attempt to be as comfortable as possible. Dann nailed this shot last weekend, which is a pretty accurate depiction.

However, when we were in Portland and I was 32 weeks along, we had the pleasure of meeting Kate Donaldson, who made all of these lovely pictures of the two of us. The sun was shining and the frogs were croaking and we adventured into the trees for an afternoon of documenting just how excited we are to meet this little guy. We both wore grey to match my roots.

Kate posted a bunch of her other shots on her blog, so go check it out if you want to see more!

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!)