Of Insomnia (Or Family Stuff)

It’s after 11 pm, and I’m still awake — a state yet unaltered even after listening to a sermon podcast, a few carefully selected songs on iTunes, and an hour of Harry Potter on Audible. After all of my *valiant* efforts at relaxing, I gave up and got out of bed.

I really thought I was tired… but I guess not.

So, here I am now… pouring out my heart to the internet at nearly midnight on a Monday. (Note to self: I really should pick up that prescription for insomnia meds from CVS….)

I’m in a weird place, which is probably why I can’t sleep.

I have a lot that’s going well in my life: I have two dogs I love more than my own life, many close friends, and a wonderful family. On the flip side, one of my dogs is living on borrowed time after a cancer diagnosis two years ago, I don’t see most of my friends as often as I used to (distance, kids. etc.), and my parents are facing health challenges that come with age.

I’m not really complaining: I’m glad I have people and pets I love enough to keep me up at night. That said, some nights the weight of life and loss weigh heavier than others.

I’m presently preparing for a trip to Michigan to see my family at the end of the month, and as much as I’d like to think I’ve prepared for it mentally, I know you just can’t prepare for what I’m facing emotionally… or otherwise.

Without betraying confidences, I will just say I’m preparing to parent a person who once parented me, and that’s scary.

It’s a kind of real no one can prepare you to face.

I’m going into the situation with the faith that God will lead me (as he always has), he will comfort me (as he always has), and I won’t be alone because I have him and all of the people he has placed on my path.

I’m not saying any of this is going to be easy, but it won’t be impossible.

But also?

If I’m being honest, human, and absolutely real… I have to admit this sucks a little.

I didn’t ask for this, but most of us didn’t ask for our lot in life. We all just play the hand we were dealt. We’re absolutely allowed to complain a little for a minute, but then we need to play the cards we’re holding the best we can. (It’s probably important to mention that I’m a lousy poker player so perhaps this entire analogy is crap.)

Analogy aside, I think we just have to do our best with our circumstances… whatever they are.

And in my case, I can say without a doubt as hard as this next chapter will be in my life, I know I’m the only person who can do what I have to do.

My entire life has prepared me to fulfill the role I must play — both because of my biology and also because the man who made me strong enough to face this needs me now.


I’m strong because I’m yours.


He made me stronger because he couldn’t let his only child off of the hook; she had to be as strong as he.

I love you, Papa, and whatever we’re facing, we’re facing it together.

You and my mummy made what I am, and I’m strong enough to slug it out until I’m tired enough to sleep.

Tonight maybe that means writing until I’m tired….


The Russells Were Here (Or a Photo Journey With My Family)

Last week my mother and her sisters were in LA. This means lots of music, dancing, and (free) wine.

In addition to having our own impromptu dance parties for no apparent reason, we also went to the Vibrato Jazz Club in Bel Air for dinner.

Sparkly people listening to jazz.

Here we are all sparkly and listening to music.

And we saw Pink Martini at the Hollywood Bowl.


We may or may not have made some snide remarks about our neighbors drinking shitty Chardonnay because we are bad people.

But we’re not so bad that we didn’t get up for church in the morning… even if we looked like death.


In our defense, it was kinda windy that day and it was also that kind of bright and hazy that makes you go all squinty.

We also hit up the Lora Schlesinger Gallery at Bergamot Station for the Adonna Khare exhibit. She happens to be married to my former coworker, and she’s beyond crazy talented. I can’t even…


These Adonna Khare originals are charcoal pencil sketches. I mean…

And we almost bought everything at the Gallery of Functional Art because, well, look at it.

Margaret Dorfman vegetable parchment bowl on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Who doesn’t want this Margaret Dorfman bowl? It’s made out of carrots, people!

Sharan Elran steamer light on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Or this Sharan Elran light made out of steamers?

Ted Swiet 007 Lunchbox light on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Or my absolute favorite? This 007 lunch box lamp from Ted Swiet. It is beyond…

We ended the week with a dinner party at my place.


This photo was taken with the iPhone 4. That’s why it looks like garbage. Laura Palmer lurking above my head agrees.

Hosting my family for dinner meant that my new vacuum saw lots of action ‘cuz I can’t have three neat freaks saying stuff about dog hair….


This is my Dyson Animal, Higgins. He was an early birthday present from my mother. I am in love.

So, anyway, that’s all from me for now.

I’m off to crank up the Craig Morgan and light the grill for dinner with my long lost Gillian. She’s finally back in LA after making a movie in Chicago for absolutely ever….

Have a great weekend!