Listen, Learn, Create

Happy December friends!

Although we haven't been recording podcasts lately, we have been listening to so many. Here are our favorites for creatives, or anyone inspired to bring a pen to paper and jot a story down.

Enjoy the inspiration!


Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Holly and Jenn

And She Flies!

This is our baby. Our first born. Our heart.
Today, she graduates from college. 
Today, she closes the chapter on her education and prepares for her next great adventure.
Today, she gets to bask in her success, and the anticipation of what's to come.  
Today, she can own her wildest dreams, take the reins of her unfolding story. 
Today, she celebrates. Today, we celebrate.
Congratulations Isabella Rose. We are so proud of you!
We're your biggest fans.


Mom and Dad, Logan and Noah, Grandpa and Grandma 

Holly and Jenn

The Cost of Creativity

Two of my three young adult children, in some way, wish to be writers. They are young adults though, so a million things could change, especially their minds. Dare I hope their minds? 

When people ask, "What are they studying?" or "What do they want to do?" or any variation of the inquiry, and I explain the potential writing part, they all exclaim, "Ahhh....just like their Mom!" I'm sure they expect me to overflow with pride and joy, but if I'm honest, pride is the very last emotion I feel in those moments. Apprehension, fear, heaviness, foreboding...followed by a fierce level of protectiveness, are more likely. 

Let me explain.

Writing is a beautiful venture. It fuels the soul and taps into the most intense longings of your heart. It's stretching and satisfying all at once. It's the closest to controlling your loveliest dreams and reigning in your most desperate fears. The creative arts are enriching and restorative and life-giving. They are also life-sucking.

Putting a pen to paper and sending it into the world for others to see will always leave you exposed and raw and open and vulnerable. Oftentimes, your work will be noticed, maybe even exalted. But sometimes, it can be misunderstood and criticized, or even worse, dismissed, and that rejection. It will break your heart. Such pain, my sweet children, I'd do anything to shield you from.

Writing for writing's sake, is the truest and most worthy endeavor. Writing for fame and fortune, more like a cautionary tale.

One might ask why I do it then. Well, if you ask any writer this question, whether successful or novice, most of us have the same answer: Because I can't not write. It's just not an option. 

So sweet children of mine, don't let my hesitation stop you. If the wild words call to you, if your writing demands to be written, take to the pen and let it flow. Whatever the result, I'm sure it will be magnificent, and I will love every word, for I understand the beauty and the cost.

Carry on, creatives. 


Holly and Jenn

Homecomings and Heartaches

It may look like just a La Croix can but it’s not.

It’s Noah’s. And we just dropped him off at the airport at the end of his Spring break.

I know this can is his because he always takes the tabs off his cans. He fiddles with them, he chews on them, he plays around them until it's time to drop them right into the cans from which they cometh. 

It used to totally bug me because those tabs typically ended up in the sink or the garbage disposal!

But not this one. I’ll drain the can carefully and toss it in the recycle bin, tab included. And when I do, it signifies the end. (I know!! I’m so dramatic!) But really, it's the end of our wonderful, spring break of freshman year, visit. The end of the nine days when my heart got back into its comfortable and familiar rhythm of Noah being home. The end of a glorious week witnessing his casual comings and goings, of feeling his presence.

When your child moves away and comes back for a visit, with them returns a level of joy when walking through the house and stumbling upon little reminders of them…like socks, hats, wrappers, keys, sweatshirts, whatever. Well, that’s all done now. Sure, he’ll be home in less than three months, but my soul had just forgotten the ache it endured when he was several states away. And my soul doesn’t want to remember.

It doesn’t get easier. My heart is heavy and also full, so I’ll hang onto that. Until the next homecoming.

Thanks for listening.
Holly and Jenn

Better Late Than Never ... #oneword 2023

Happy belated New Year friends! 2023 marks the 10th year of this blog and the writing partnership Holly and I began when our babies were truly babies and our passion project was our sanity. We have grown, we have changed, and we have endured. For this, I am so grateful.

So a little bit ago, we had our New-Year-New-Intentions dinner at one of our favorite spots: Nick's in San Clemente. (If you haven't tried the Salty Pear Martini, you are missing out on something magical. Go. Enjoy. You're welcome.) 

Anyway, at the beginning of every year, sometimes closer to the first than others, we gather our thoughts and our desires and brainstorm ALLTHEWRITERLYTHINGS. It's a perfect way to center ourselves and reorient our personal and writing goals. 

So, back to Nick's and martinis, which, by the way, offer some great inspiration...that's when Holly revealed her #oneword. (It's soooo'll hear from her soon.) And I sat baffled because, my word was alluding me. Actually, I had several words swimming around my head and they were mostly of the pessimistic variety, I.e.: overwhelmed, uninspired, discombobulated, afraid, unsure. Don't those sound fun? 

Thankfully, my genius writing partner has a Master's degree in Psychology and she was able to help me process the thoughts. It came down to this: if I want to actively begin publishing blog posts + marketing our book projects, then I have to actively re-engage with social media.  

(Aside: I've been mostly off social media for about two years, not for any particular reason but it's been centering, restorative, and all-sorts-of easy. And the thought of maintaining it all again feels a little daunting. Lovely to see everyone more, but still, daunting. Maybe it's just me.) 

But I'm trying to look at tip-toeing back into FB and IG and T and P as a purposeful and meaningful venture. In the past, social media was so much of how we managed the things relating to kids: social or sport or school events that they (perhaps) forgot to tell me about. Or Ladera Moms to make sure they weren't up to shenanigans (so glad to be out of that stage!). But with young adults managing their own stuff, the need-to-know is beautifully less.

Also, I'll let you into a little secret: I have a personal goal of being an agented writer by the time I'm 50. Which, close. Which means we need to get our book-baby back into the world, and into the right hands. (And it's been's been feels soooo ready!! Holly and I are ready!

So, thank you for following my train of thought and being patient. I really wanted to share the path that led me to my #oneword. I wanted to invite you in. It's part of being OPEN. Open to opportunities = open to criticism. Open to chances = open to success, but also = open to failure.

But OPEN, nonetheless, is my #oneword for 2023. 

I'm ready 2023. I'm here. I'm OPEN.

Friends, you may see us around a little more than you have and we appreciate your warm hugs. Community is what makes life special. Connection is essential. Even in seasons when we take a break to hibernate and process all of life's little and BIG changes. 

So, tell me, what's your #oneword for 2023? Whatever it is, we're cheering you on as you embrace it. 

All the love,

{J & H}


Image credit: Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

Holly and Jenn