February 2016

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Life has been good to us lately, not the least of which has to do with the fact that winter has been kind this year. So far. Knock on wood. (There isn’t enough wood in the world to knock on.)

There is something grounding about the fullness of my days, with these new people I’m learning about, who are taking the time to learn about me. They’re talented and interested and in the hours outside of work, they pursue the things that bring them to their own level of rock stardom.

While I don’t have the time to craft posts or photograph recipes these days, I’ve been wanting to do a better job of recording what’s happening in my life, if only for the purpose of looking back and having a snapshot of what these swiftly passing days have held.

What I’m listening to: The Amos Lee channel on Pandora. Emily and Chad were playing it at dinner one night and I remembered how much I love Amos Lee. How warm a space feels when his music playing. Our dear southern friends are moving back to South Carolina this weekend and we will miss them more than words can express.

And also, all the podcasts! I am loving the Happiness podcast and trying so hard to listen to Serial, but my mind wanders. I just can’t get invested. Could it be that the Serial team is also not that invested? Today, they did a short episode about the Adnan Syed trial (season one’s topic) and they were so wrapped up in it, they were nearly breathless. There is none of that this season. Would that be like lightning striking twice? Perhaps too much to expect.

What I’m reading: Everything I Never Told You. Which is one of those books about how life carries you, and changes happen, and you just can’t stop them. And how you must be absolutely, truly, resolutely yourself. I also read Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes and Drew Barrymore’s Wildflower, both of which made me feel very I am woman; hear me roar. 

What I’m wearing: I fell hard for these Cole Haan d’Orsay pumps. They’re so ladylike–and comfortable! I want to wear them ALL THE TIME.

What we’re watching: We just binge watched Transparent and Making of a Murderer. In the middle of the two seasons of Transparent, James turned to me and said, with big saucer eyes, “TRANS. PARENT!” And now we have something new to laugh about. (He is still the smartest person I know.)

What I’m struggling with: Kona. Specifically, Kona eating other dogs’ poop and then waking us up in the dead of night with diarrhea. We have had to stop taking her to daycare. Then she did it on a walk the other night, when we were taking care of Emily and Chad’s dog, Oliver. I’m exhausted. I have no idea how people with actual babies do it.

What’s making my heart happy: Going home. To both homes: Portland and Honolulu.

Love,

Joy

 

 

Yes, we’re doing it all over again!

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Why, hello there! Yes, it’s been a very long time. Sorry about that. The Hello Sessions was absolutely incredible–it surpassed all of our expectations, thanks largely to the people who helped us put it together and the people who showed up. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people. In fact, they were so awesome that we immediately dove back into planning mode and have secured a date for our 2016 conference.

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If you want to read more about the conference, you can read the blog post I wrote immediately afterward. Or you can check out one of these great posts:

“This particular group of creatives, entrepreneurs, writers, and artists all had something in common: communityconnection, and {thinking of a ‘c’ word because I am all about the alliteration} COMMITMENT. Everyone there was open, ready to share their story, ready to listen to yours, and ready to shake it all up.”  – Jayme, Holly and Flora (There’s also a fabulous cocktail recipe in this post)

 

“A hello is all it takes. Really, that’s it. Through our day of activities, everyone was gracious and open to meeting each other, even the shy ones.” – Maggie, Eat Boutique (Loads of amazing photos from our post-conference wine pairing dinner)

 

“I felt an incredible sense of community during The Hello Sessions conference on Friday, but also throughout the city. People were very friendly, and businesses seemed to be very collaborative.” – Sami Jo, Poor and Pretty

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We’re about 98% certain of the location of our event and we’ll be working with brands on sponsorships in the next few months, but if you want first dibs on tickets definitely sign up for our newsletter! Melissa and I decided that 100 attendees was just about perfect, so we’re keeping it the same size in 2016.

Between my full-time job (and my 12+ hour/week commute), planning for The Hello Sessions, and life, I’m afraid Frock Files will remain somewhat neglected. But if you want to keep hearing from me, follow us on The Hello Sessions’ blog, where I’ll be writing just about every week, and on our Instagram feed, where I’m making every effort to post daily.

Big hugs,

Joy

The Hello Sessions photos taken by Linnea Paulina | Love Where You Live photos by Kelly Searle

 

Life Update: Gratitude Spin

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If there’s anything I can admit freely, it’s that I’ve made a lot of mistakes this year.

As evidenced by the sparse posting I’ve done in 2015, my life has been a little chaotic. Aside from planning The Hello Sessions (which is happening in less than a month!), I started a new job in the springtime–and then, rather quickly, realized that I was absolutely the wrong person for the job.

There were a lot of reasons I was unhappy– reasons I won’t go into here. What I will say is that there’s a lot of career advice out there that says you absolutely need to stay in a job for at least a year, or that you definitely shouldn’t quit a job unless you’ve been made an offer, and in reality that’s all very relative. I held onto those rules and my health began to go downhill quickly. I developed a nasty case of eczema, a stress-induced eyelid twitch, and suffered from insomnia, all of which disappeared in the days after I made the decision to move on.

The funny thing is that opportunities arrive when you really need them to, when you’re ready for them. A position opened up at Bentley University, on a fantastic team in which I’ve been given a massive amount of freedom to be creative, build the community, and manage things as I see fit. And although my 10 second commute has turned into a 75 minute commute, as I begin each day I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed in a place that feels just right.

Speaking of commutes, I’m beginning to embrace mine. I’ve found a pretty, back roads route and I’ve become an Audible member. My most recent acquisition was The Gratitude Diaries, which has reminded me to look back on things not as mistakes but as lessons. To put a spin on the little annoyances (turning “Ugh, going to bed at 10pm is hard!” to “I’m so grateful that I can actually sleep again,”). To spend more time feeling lucky for all the good in my life, like James (who never once told me to please stop obsessing), and my family, and my career, and my friends (both old and new), and our lovely home, and our ability–even in those troublesome times–to laugh. A lot.

And now, on to autumn.

Love, Joy

Flux

Flux

Change is the name of the game these days. While we’re still in flux I’m going to be a bit tight-lipped, but suffice it to say that life has surprised us a little lately. Nothing like last summer, though.

Today is my father-in-law’s birthday–he’s turning 83–and also the one year anniversary of the day we rushed him to the hospital after he collapsed at breakfast. We later discovered that he had contracted a rare brain virus (brain injury #1). We came very close to losing him, and then, by Thanksgiving, he was nearly back to normal. Then he slipped on a patch of ice and hit his head on the concrete, leading to brain injury #2.

And today, August of 2015, he’s nearly himself again. Amazingly. Miraculously. Making bad jokes and threatening to put the cat out into the woods if he doesn’t stop shedding (and then letting the cat sleep on his shoulders). Each time we’ve visited, he’s been a little better, his memory a little more in tact. In June, I watched as he installed an air conditioner, and I could almost see the brain plasticity at work as he sorted through the steps of something he’s done every summer for years and years. The air conditioner is still working and hasn’t yet fallen out of the window, so it’s safe to say that it’s a success!

And while he doesn’t seem terribly interested in hearing it, he’s taught us about resilience–that it might seem like it’s too late to turn things around, when really, it’s just the signal of another beginning.

Love, Joy

These Days…

Yes, things have been a little quiet around here. Between my new job and The Hello Sessions, there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day! I know that, in our world, the word “busy” has become a bad word–but I am busy. I’m at this point where I’m figuring out what works and what doesn’t to help me juice as much as I can out of each day. So far it’s come down to this:

  • First thing in the morning, throw a load of laundry in the washer and then do a quickie workout
  • Work on The Hello Sessions for an hour
  • Begin the workday and–this is important–close all un-related browser windows
  • Go somewhere in the afternoons! I begin falling asleep after lunch, but working at a cafe always perks me up. I get so much more done.
  • Work on freelance projects or The Hello Sessions for an hour or two at night

“Testing” is a big thing at my new job, and I have to say that I’ve kind of fallen in love with it too. Every week, I’m tweaking things, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and I’m seeing the results in inching closer to my goals.

Since I’m not able to update Frock Files as frequently, you can find me over at The Hello Sessions’ blog each week, where I’m writing about more of these little ideas that make for big, happy changes in our lives.

Love, Joy

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