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Monthly Archives: January 2010

What was the dumbest thing that you used to believe in?

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One of my very favorite thinkers and philosophers (Seth Godin) was interviewed by another favorite thinker & philosopher (Danielle LaPorte) here.

One answer caught my eye in particular. Danielle asked, “What was the dumbest thing that you used to believe in?”

His answer?


That some people got what they deserved. That someone deserved to be taught a lesson at my expense. That bad luck hurts people who deserve better.

What’s true: Stuff happens. We dance with it. The better and happier you dance, the better you do. And every minute you spend teaching people a lesson is a minute wasted forever.  – Seth Godin


Let it go, leave any blame, dance with what comes your way & turn it all into the next step forward. Great advice, I think.


So Far, So Good…

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Ok, I know I promised to post more, and as soon as I find a creative streak to turn my rather work-filled days into something more interesting, I will. Until then, this is absolutely the cutest thing I’ve seen in a while. “Stay calm, Dad” she says… too cute.

It’s Intern Time!

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Oh yeah, we hired an intern. He’s been a total lifesaver as we try to build business number 3! First it was just content – writing the words for your blog or website, but you figure out the technology. Then came simple websites in case you didn’t have a website to start with (or hated the one you had). Now it’s on to online marketing and search engine optimizationof your lovely content on your lovely website that we created. They all go hand in hand, and we felt like we needed three separate websites to talk about what we do.

Update: Those three separate websites (and the separate email addresses and business cards…) just about drove us crazy, so as of March 23, 2010, we are now back to just Better Way to Say It, but the new & improved version that does websites and SEO stuff too – JML

Bring in Quito, the intern we love, referred by a great friend. He is saving the day. Just having to explain what we’re doing to someone other than ourselves has given us huge clarity. So we’re thrilled, busy, trying keep our heads above water as the referrals keep coming. It looks like we might have everything under control (using the term loosely) in February. It’s been a crazy 2010 so far!

That’s the big picture. The little one has been designing new business cards and a new website, trying to squeeze in yoga, adjusting to using a yoga ball as a chair (it really works!), catching up on sleep – no alarm clocks, yay! – and trying to stay dry in a bit of a wet spell. The storm isn’t anything like what I was used to in Dallas, but man, does it have San Diego worked up! I heard the word tornado today and laughed out loud. Life is good, if uneventful. Happy Wednesday!

My (serious) New Year’s Resolutions

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Deep thanks to the NPR station somewhere between Texas and Arkansas that fed me this beautiful quote early New Year’s morning. It has stayed with me since, and lends itself well to a resolution of sorts:

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common – this is my symphony.”

William Henry Channing’s Symphony: some background, and its appearance in an Arthur Brisbane editorial – from the 1906 collection, “Editorials From The Hearst Newspapers””

Little Letters

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Dear futon,
I’m sorry, but you are just not a good enough work desk. You’re being replaced by my desk and a yoga ball as a chair!

Dear Patience,
Please, please come visit me in abundance. I need it!

Dear Apple,
Love the phone, but your headset is driving me crazy!

Dear Vicky,
Thanks for inviting such cool friends to girls’ night – I forget what a lovely group of women I have around me!

Dear new sneakers,
Thanks for being cool enough to get me out of bed for walks with jocelyn. I need all the help I can get!

Dear old sneakers,
We had a good run, no pun intended. You should have hit retirement years ago. Sorry for keeping you on the chain gang so long!

Dear Netflix,
More Instant Play, please! I’d love to be watching West Wing archives without Chinese subtitles :)

Credit: I just love the Little Letters series on the Rockstar Diaries blog… so much so that I’m borrowing her format. Check out her site for monster creativity (especially behind the camera)!

Little Goals 2010

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I’m not much for sweeping resolutions, but thought I could at least muster some small goals…
  • this year, i will cook everything that comes in my CSA box or give it away – no more big trips to the compost bin
  • this year, i will dress every day in real clothes, even if i don’t make it past the mailbox
  • this year, i will not let any of my prepaid yoga classes expire
  • this year, i won’t cancel my morning walks with jocelyn because i’m feeling lazy
  • this year, i will write more thank you notes (starting now!)
  • this year, i will be a more focused driver, impressing everyone with my blinker skills and no missed exits
  • this year, i will get up and out of bed the first time the alarm clock goes off
  • this year, i will update my blog more often!
what little goals will you accomplish this year?
(inspired and borrowed heavily from Taza at Rockstar Diaries)

Um, Aunt Who?

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Over the holidays I was lamenting to my mom my inability a) to remember details more than a week past if I don’t write them down and b) to actually write things down. Who was my best friend in middle school? No idea. That cousin had a baby? That I’ve babysat? When?

I introduced myself to people who have known me my whole life on this trip. How embarrassing. Heaven help me when I’m old and chasing kids around. I’m so grateful when friends and family members take up documenting our collective lives in scrapbooks and, more recently blogs and flickr streams, as their effort seems to supplement my own lack of note taking.

So I was telling all this to my mom about trying and failing (for about 2 weeks in a row!) to keep a One Sentence Journal when she reminded me of this blog. Oh yeah, what a great place to put a little log of daily activities. Why didn’t I think of that? Probably because I tend to overthink my posts and put off writing until I have something clever or significant to say. I’m going to try to break that habit, and New Year’s resolution #1 is to try and post at least a few times a week about whatever is going on.

SO… Today, we flew back from Dallas to San Diego. We got up at 5am in below-freezing weather and braved a little remaining ice and snow on the ground to the airport. We landed a few hours later in 72-degree sunshine. It is so good to be home :)  The trip was so fun but exhausting. I feel like I just attended a 10-day conference where I needed to be listening and learning every minute. Oh, and I got sick halfway through, sick like I haven’t been in ages. But the good parts were really good, like seeing family I haven’t seen in years and some I hadn’t met (or remember meeting, see above).

My grandmother was so, so happy to get a picture with each and every one of her children and grandchildren and spouses. This first group was just one weekend – the other weekend was occupied by a different family gathering, pictured below. Scott, who has only one cousin he barely knows, looked a little overwhelmed for ten days straight. I think he’s currently recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The Groves Clan

The Lemmons Clan

I came in today like a whirling dervish and got unpacked and all the laundry done and am now watching my neighbor/ business partner’s three-year-old daughter (who is thankfully asleep) while he is at the doctor. Apparently what I have went around here too, so I didn’t stand a chance.

Tomorrow begins the back-to-the-real-world phase, with deadlines and client meetings and my standing exercise walk with a girlfriend bright and early. The Real World found Scott even earlier, as tonight is back to school for my favorite architecture adjunct professor. He has more students this term than ever before, so he’s looking forward to a busy few months as well.