Monday, September 30, 2013


A friend of mine brought me to this hidden pocket of wonderful on the lake that you would never know existed unless someone was to show it to you. It's amazing that there are so many little pockets of wonderful all around here, and I can't see the forest for the trees or the beach for the sand or the porcupine for the needles and I get myself stuck seeing the same things every day. So the fact of the matter is that I can drive an hour to one of the most beautiful places in the world where people come from anywhere and everywhere and I just don't because there's not enough time or gas is expensive or whatever I come up with. I just need to remember to see the forest and the beach and the porcupine for what they are and to keep living and keep having amazing experiences and keep letting people take me to pockets of wonderful.

Well would you look at that... time for another "currently" post. My how the time does fly. Speaking of flies I stumbled across this quote today:

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”

..and embarrassingly enough I laughed a little to myself and had to include it into this post so you could laugh a little bit to yourself embarrassingly enough too.

Now onto business as usual.

I just ordered two books that I have already read but we have parted ways through the years so I needed to buy them again and read them again because they are really just that good in completely different ways.  The first is Letters to a Young Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke and the other is Sex,Drugs and Coco Puffs by Chuck Klosterman, and like I said they are both inspiring in completely different ways and I need to read both very soon so hurry up UPS guy, don't you know you are carrying knowledge and information in that bag? What a cool responsibility! To be the deliverer of the knowledge. That's kind of what I do too, figuratively speaking. Woah, post derailed. 

Gluten-free bagels are the cat's pajamas. Not as great as regular bagels (obviously) but not terrible either so thank you for that Udi's. Thank you for making bagels that don't taste as much like sawdust as the other gluten-free things in the world. Small step for mankind.

Thinking about: 
All kinds of things. My mind has been a whirlwind and I'm feeling creative and open to inspiration, and when you're in a mindset like that the universe opens up all kinds of doors that were probably there all along but you couldn't see them and life comes flowing in like floodgates have been opened.  So I'm balancing that and figuring out how to sleep because how can you sleep when there's so much inspiration in the air? There are books to read and films to see and life to live and thoughts to sort through. So sleep is fleeting and life is good and maybe someday I'll look back at this part of my life and think "those were the days" and knowing that I'm living in "the days" RIGHT NOW is overwhelming and I can't take enough pictures or live enough life or put my feet in enough fresh water.

Listening to: 

Sage has officially crossed into that endearing phase where he does everything that I do. He wants to hold keys and pretend to talk on the phone and open and close the doors himself. If I'm blow-drying my hair he comes and stands at my feet and closes his eyes and I know after a couple good temper tantrums that he wants to have his hair blow-dried too, gosh dangit. Because isn't that what being a grownup is all about? Unlocking doors and blow-drying you hair and being able to reach the sink to wash your hands without a stool?
Sage has also been laughing a lot, and his laughs are so forced and over the top that I know he's trying to imitate me. Which is pretty cool that when you're son mimics you it's with a laugh. That makes me feel like I'm doing something right. That and dancing in the car. Life is about laughing and dancing in the car. You can quote me on that one right there. Parenting according to Alyssa Jensen.

Looking for inspiration everywhere. And finding it. 

look at this peacoat, tell me he's broke


Friday, September 27, 2013

mixtape for the changing leaves

I want to live in a world where boys who think I'm cute make me mixtapes and give them clever names written in permanent marker on the label. There's something about knowing that someone took an entire afternoon to plan a compilation of songs that he saw as fitting just for you and no one else; switching out CDs and carefully planning transitions. It's like getting a love letter written on yellow legal pad paper. There's just nothing quite like it. (I imagine, it's never actually happened...derp derp.)

Oh, and in this mixtape-making-love-letter-scrawling world of mine all sweaters would have elbow patches. Because why the heck not?

So if I could make a mixtape for all of you this would be it, and I would scrawl "mixtape for the changing leaves" at the top in orange pen and I would even put a sticker on the cassette case! Do you feel overcome with joy and happiness? I sure hope so.

Without further ado...
Made with love and starting with Avett Brothers as all proper mixtapes should.

(To be served piping hot with a side of tomato soup and a pair of wool socks.)

changing leaves mixtape by Alyssa Jensen on Grooveshark

Thursday, September 26, 2013

an affinity for adventure

It's no secret that I have a thing for adventures. What is life if you aren't treating it like an adventure? Boring, that's what. My definition for adventure has become pretty dang loose, to say the very least. As a matter of fact, lately I've been referring to any occasion that gets us out of the house as an adventure.

"Sage! We're out of peanut butter! What luck! Let's put on shoes and go on an adventure to Trader Joe's!"
"The water bill is due! Let's pack up the stroller with snacks and drop this bill off at the mailbox!"

So I'd say "adventure" is in the eye of the beholder. And these blue-green eyes of mine seize every opportunity for adventure these days. Because when you come out of a soul searching funk like the one I just survived it's crucial that no more life is lost to funky-ness or funk-ing. I also have the tendency to make up words or use them in incorrect ways. Obviously.

I just think life is so much better if it's seen as an adventure. Being a single mom is so much better when life is an adventure. Our home is happier and our days are brighter and our smiles are bigger and I'm a better mom and he's a better baby and somehow everything bad is magically less bad.

It's the spin you put on things that makes the difference.
Isn't that totally one of those "well duh" statements that's harder to follow than it is to preach?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

its my bucket list and I'll bucket what I want to

I've up and joined a bucket list group which is exactly what it sounds like. Make your own list, share it with the group, group helps keep you accountable. Every week we meet and share what we marked off our list.

Book club for life experience (or something deep like that).

Fall is my favorite thing since pumpkin spice flavoring as you might have heard here so I'm ready do get some life lived and some memories made, you know?

My bucket list is full of extremely deep and and profound goals such as baking gluten-free donuts and riding a tandem bike. But having something to look forward to is the (pumpkin) spice of life. buh-dum-ching.

So here I am trying to figure out where the heck did the term bucket list come from. It sounds so strange. A list on a bucket? A list in a bucket? A list about buckets? Thank goodness for Google so my mind can be put to ease on such riveting questions.

..apparently it means a list of things to be accomplished before one "kicks the bucket". Popularized by the 2007 film The Bucket List.
Thanks Google. You rock.

Well that's darker than I imagined it was going to be.

Eh, well I don't plan to "kick the bucket" any time soon, but I would encourage anyone and everyone to make some form of a bucket list. It's a pretty rad-tacular idea (thanks Cherie! You even got your own made up adjective!).

I'll keep the pictures coming. Let the fall bucketing begin! (bucketing? Is that a word? Dare I Google it?)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

so not a morning person: an essay of sorts

Just when I think mornings and I have come to an understanding, I have a morning like this morning.

I wake up and ohmahgoshholycowthisisnotokaybrrrrrr that autumn air came on fast and bit hard. So obviously, fear of frostbite in the forefront of my mind, I push the snooze button and wrap the blankets tightly around myself. I know technically the snooze button is hypothetically supposed to postpone getting up for 9 whole minutes, but this morning it felt like 2.5 seconds so I pushed the button again. And 2.5 seconds later I pushed it again. This continues for 45 minutes when I groggily came to terms with my fate and got up. The walk/run to the bathroom was dangerous and even though it is a very small distance from bed to shower I decided that since I was already suffering from severe frostbite I should probably opt for a bath to defrost my frigid limbs. This was not my wisest hour in that I had already postponed getting up and was now 45 minutes behind schedule. But my limbs! My frozen limbs!

Bath time is a wonderful time to do productive things like check Pinterest, so I decided to not break tradition. Soon enough I realized that it was the getting out of bed dilemma all over again, only I was going to have to brave the cold air soaking wet. Luckily I am sometimes on top of things and accidentally make smart decisions, and I had turned the bathroom into a sort of sauna steam room situation. So the bathroom was safe, the rest of the apartment was not. I got out of the bath and proceeded to try and find that perfect song to listen to while getting ready. You can't just start the day with any old song your shuffle decides to play for you. Then you might start the day with that Poison the Well album you bought when you were young and confused and then what kind of day is that? Ruined. "Where is that Portugal, the Man song? I know you're here somewhere. Oh there you are! Hurrah! I can now proceed to putting off blow drying my hair."

I really do not enjoy blow drying my hair. I wish I could say here that it's because I want my hair to be healthy and I don't like putting heat to my luscious locks. But no, morning Alyssa is just lazy. Suddenly I realize that the blow dryer might warm me up and I change my mind on the "I do not enjoy blow drying my hair" way of life. Which also speeds up my getting ready process (which really needs some speeding up at this point).

I hear a scream from the next room, not the usual happy-to-be-alive coo that I usually hear in the morning from that room, but a shriek. The kind of shriek that comes from a baby in pain. Sage is obviously hurting after the four shots he got yesterday. I look at the clock and have just enough time to get him dressed and into the car before we have to leave. I get him out of bed and carefully get him dressed, being mindful of his tender little legs. I hold him close to me for an extra second while he snuggles into my neck. Sometimes when you're not feeling good you just need your mom.  And if I can make time to Pinterest in the bathtub I can make time to hold a hurting little one for that much needed extra long hug.

I ran him to the car and started the heater (the heater! what kind of ludicrous is this!) and ran inside to grab our lunches and anything that had been forgotten. My purse was acting like some sort of Mary Poppins bag at this point as I piled in soup, a bag of almonds, dried apricots (for me) and leftover mac and cheese, applesauce, and cheese crackers (for Sage), along with baby shoes, work keys, hairspray, makeup, and an assortment of other things that I decided in a whirlwind of running out the door that I was sure I "needed" to get through the day. I was like the Tasmanian Devil if the Tasmanian Devil had a large side bag that he threw things in while he was whirling around.

When I run back out to my car I realize that I put my keys into the bottom of the bag before I threw everything in the world that was shiny in there. At least I thought there was a possibility they might have been in the bottom of the bag. They also might be somewhere in my apartment. So here I am standing at the front door about to possibly lock myself out with a bag that weighs about as much as Sage digging into my shoulder when the sprinklers come on. And in my infinite wisdom I am wearing sandals and a dress. In 40 degree crisp morning weather.

I run to my car to try and get out of the sprinklers, but the spout next to my car is broken making it so I'm standing in a small lake of ice water surrounding my car trying to ignore my frozen feet while I dig for my keys in my bag. All the while I have left the front door open knowing the possibility of my keys not being in the bag. Finally before I freeze all the way through (Alyssa-sicle?) I just dump my purse out in the passenger's seat of the car so that I can see my options clearly. No keys. Back through the sprinklers and into the apartment I go.

After more whirlwinding and more panicky running around as I tend to do when I'm late and can't find my keys, I see them sitting on my nightstand (what the?) and run back out the door, through the sprinklers, splash through the puddle to get to my car, into the car, thank Sage for being such a gentleman and waiting patiently while his mom runs around like a lunatic, and then find that Portugal, the Man song again because gosh dangit, at this point I need some life centering. Plus, Sage does this hands-in-the-air dance to that song when it comes on in the car that I needed to see before I had a full blown moment. Heater blasted on the setting designed for frozen toes. Thanks again for that setting, universe. Brilliant.

Once we're off and running everything turns around as it usually does. I hit green lights and hear good music and see little dancing arms in my rear-view mirror and all is okay. But that getting out of the house in the mornings thing is something I'm figuring out. I know that I should pack lunches the night before and I should have clothes laid out and I should get up the first time the alarm goes off, but Rome wasn't built in a day and all that. So we're working on it. Day by day. Morning by morning. Broken sprinkler by broken sprinkler.

Monday, September 23, 2013

sunday walk around the capitol

Sundays are for adventuring. 

Yesterday we met some friends at the Capitol building, which is a perfect place for little legs to run and explore. 

These days Sage has one speed: run.
Running in one direction: away. 

Most of my pictures are of him running away from me and me running behind him. He is everything a little boy should be. Curious, happy, messy, wild, energetic ( energetic. I think his the comments box on his report cards will say something like "lots of energy!" or "very active!" those are the nice teacher ways of saying "this boy wears me out"). He is learning to climb and to stack things and to dump everything out. He likes to flip his little rocking chair over and drive it around like a wheelbarrow.  He likes to take out all the pots and pans. He likes to take the food processor out of the cupboard and carry it to the living room where he puts the lid on, takes the lid off, puts the lid on (looks in) takes the lid off. This can go on for a full 20 minutes. Sometimes I wonder why I buy toys. He likes to lay on his back and look at books. He loves to go up the stairs, turn around to smile proudly at me, then sit at the top of the stairs, touching his toe to the next step carefully like he is testing the water in a pond. He is scared to come down the stairs. I'm okay with that.

But he eats. Oh boy, does he eat. Much like his mom he's not one for meals, he loves to snack. We have been going to Trader Joe's every couple of days to keep the snacks on the shelves. Sage has yet to meet a snack he did not like. Or a juice. Apple juice, white grape juice and carrot juice are favorites. Little boys need energy for all that running away from their moms.

Oh, dear! Look at the deer!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

around the internet

It seems like everyone is feeling extra inspired lately.
In turn, I'm feeling extra inspired.

Maybe it's the return of pumpkin spice drinks? Trader Joe's has an excellent pumpkin spice herbal tea that is just the cat's pajamas. Something about pumpkin spice just makes me a better version of myself. Can I get a heck yeah?

But something has taken over the internet -- or at least the people on my Bloglovin' -- because everyone is posting amazing pictures and amazing posts and amazing words.

So from the bottom of my pumpkin spice-flavored heart, I thank you.

Here are some of my favorites:

These kid's shirts raise money for down syndrome awareness.

Kelli Murray's workspace.

Interview of the artist behind Another Feather jewelry with beautiful pictures.

Natalie Holbrook linked to this video of a group of actors performing Shakespeare with it's original pronunciation with the caption "linguistics turn me on". Oh Natalie, I feel like we are spirit sisters.

Sydney Poulton posted inspiring pictures of a garden trip that makes me need to get outside.

Ohmahgosh this post on avoiding camel toe made me laugh until I cried. srsly.

A recipe for carrot soup.

How to start the day with your kids in a positive way.

New gluten-free standards for food labeling.

If you don't follow the You Are My Wild photo project already, you should.

Wishes for a good weekend and dealing with feelings of inadequacy from Naomi Davis.

Kinsey Mhire was feeling inspired this week by some amazing photography.

I'm telling you, inspiration in the air!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

“I thought you were Asian me, but then I realized I'm just Caucasian you."

The ladybird and artist formerly known as Baby Sass has picked up and moved with her mancat to the land of Ports.

Miss Galene, I love you and miss you already. You're my spirit twin only you got some pigment in your skin.

So for old time's sake I found some photobooth pictures from our past life, where we made terrible decisions and ran around the town like there was no tomorrow.

Love you, bird. Portlandia is lucky to have you.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

virginia city in photos




Type Shop.