...while Hal was out working late, I bathed the kids, got them into their pajamas and took them to their new, empty-until-tomorrow house.

It was dark but Archer found the light-switches. We inspected every room. Window. Closet. Trespassed through the yard. Said goodnight and locked the doors against strong winds with our new keys.


I'm not sad anymore. Or even nostalgic.

Just really fucking excited.


Between Boxes

Recently, my favorite coffee shop closed. I had been writing there since the summer of '99, when I first moved to Los Angeles.

It was as much an extension of me as any place I've ever been - my one constant home no matter the what. So when it suddenly closed, inexplicably, I was shattered. Heartbroken. Depressed and emotional and angry and sad. I started going to a new coffee shop - one that was local, in walking distance to my house - it was Hal's coffee shop - the place he liked to write, but he was about to go back to work after a month-long hiatus, so it was kosher for me take his place. (Hal and I have always worked at separate spaces - he has his cafe posse. I have mine.)

I easily fell for the new coffee shop like one typically does after a painful break-up. I was rebounding in a big way but it was more than that. I had mourned my past, prepared myself to move on. And within a week? Had fallen in love with my new space. It felt like home. A new home. I was happy there.

A week later, my old coffee shop inexplicably re-opened. I should have been thrilled. Instead I felt like my best friend just faked her own death. I was furious. I felt manipulated and dicked around. My friends all returned to the coffee shop but I stayed behind. At my new cafe.

I've since been back a few times since it reopened but never has it felt the same. My favorite table, always taken. The IPOD a friend and I filled and gifted to the owner, MIA, radio commercials crackling in its place. I no longer felt inspired there.

It had changed and so had I. And that was sad. But also a relief. Because eleven years is a long time to be monogamous with a cafe. The touch of new tables and baristas hands was something I didn't realize I needed until I was forced to stray.

This week has been weird. I'm obviously beyond thrilled to move and yet? I've been sad. Angry. Overwhelmed and stressed, pacing the space like a zoo animal, banging my head against boxes. For the last four and a half years, this has been my home. With all of its idiosyncrasies, home. And not only my home but OUR home - the only home my kids have ever known.


And it's hard. Harder than I thought. I suck at goodbyes. I emote very easily. The other day Archer told me he didn't want to move and Hal said "Oh, Archer. Yes you do! Our new house has a yard! And a playroom! And we'll be able to get a bike and a drum-set for the garage andandand..." and I got all snappy and told Hal to "Shh! He can be sad if he wants to be. This is very sad in a way!" and Hal looked at me like I was crazy but it's true. I watch Archer scamper through the yards of neighbors holding hands with his local friends and am heartbroken. Even though our moving out means moving up. Moving on.


I'm not at all looking forward to Saturday. To driving the kids away from their home and starting from scratch. That will change of course. I keep reminding myself about the coffee shop and how I didn't want to leave. Until the doors locked behind me and suddenly I found myself staring into the eyes of DIFFERENT - fresh rooms and new beginnings. Not to mention tables that weren't wobbly...

...More, here.


College or Bust?

University of Michigan - taken last December when I attended my sister's senior recital

ED: In the following Momversation video = I meant 529 (college savings plan) not 509. I know, you guys. I know. Don't even...

Lately, I've been a bit of an absent-minded non-professor.

Exhibit B: The other night I used Fable's "I like to clean the bathroom floor with this" toothbrush instead of mine. And then Hal was like, "BEC, NOOOOO!!!!" And then he knocked the toothbrush out of my hand like a slow-motion sequence and it went flying into the toilet. Womp.

Exhibit C: I have consistently and pre-maturely packed every necessity we have, specifically toiletries. Not two-minutes after I packed my tampons? I started my period. Double-womp. Same thing with the band-aids and skinned-knees. Triple-dog-womp. Same thing with my brain, emotional equilibrium, short-term memory and ability to multitask. Quadruple-axle womp.

Also, I look like I'm pooping in the still below. Again. Thank you, Momversation!

Do you have a 509 529 savings plan in place for your kids? Will you push your babes toward college? This is one of those topics where Hal and I differ - I think college is totally case-by-case appropriate. I know plenty of self-made college-dropouts who are kicking ass in their various fields without attending a university. On the other hand, I'm the daughter of a Physicist. Clearly he needed a PHD to invent things and save the world.

I digress. I happen to share parenting duties with a man who thinks college is mandatory ANDTHAT'SFINALTHEEND! College was where Hal found himself. Of course he lost himself two years later, but then? He found himself again! Team!

Seriously, though.

I get where Hal's coming from. I do. I just get where I'm coming from, too. #switzerlandish.

Question, then: Are you saving for your kid(s)' college education(s)? Will you pressure your sons and/or daughters to go to university? Why or why not?


P (apropos) S: Congratulations to my sister, Rachel who graduates from the University of Michigan this weekend with a BM (Bachelor of Music) in Flute Performance.
So proud of you, I am. Couldn't be more excited to watch you follow lead your dreams. Life is all yours, Roo. Go, baby, go.

FAQ #1

Q: What camera do you use? Do you use filters? Edit in post?

A: I have a four-year-old 6.0 megapixel Canon Powershot SD600 with a cracked-viewfinder that Hal bought me for Christmas four years ago. I edit most of my photos in post using iphoto. (Upped the exposure and contrast in all of the photos, below.)

Here's an example of some photos before and after post-production tweaking:

Au Natural =
Edited =
Au Natural =
Edited =
Au Natural =
Edited =
Au Natural =
Edited =

Post-production works wonders, yes?

One of these days I'd like to treat myself to a fancy camera with a pro lens collection. (Especially after seeing what a truly amazing lens can do.)

For now? This is what I'm working with. And also, this. Thank you kindly for asking.


1. Have a question to ask? Please do so, here. I'll be responding to your questions re: my FAQ in the making over the next few weeks! Thanks for playing!

2. Looking for update on Gone Style winner? Post has been updated, here.


For the last week, every night before bed, Hal has whispered to me, over my wall of pillows, things about the past, things about the future.

"Bec?" he always begins. "Six years ago I was living in someone's pantry."

"Yes, I know." I whisper back. "I was there."

We stare at the ceiling, make eyes with its cottage-cheese faces, old friends soon to be strangers, and we talk about how "this is the last Saturday we will spend in this room...

...the last Sunday

...the last Monday

...the last Tuesday morning."

It's kind of like the final days of December and how we used to say, "see you next year!" even though, "next year" was only days away. I always got such a kick out of saying that when I was a kid. Still kind of do.

45. Priscilla Ahn, Living in a Tree (she also has a blog = thanks for the tip, TKTC.)


Yesterday, at the Farmers Market...



...we ran into my friend, Eva who runs HiStyley, a(n) LA Street Style blog. She snapped these pictures of Fable outside our favorite destination de hang, The Little Seed and I'm in love with them. Fable = happiness on two legs.

1. Romper by Liberty of London for Target
2. Cardigan by Splendid (consignment)
3. Legwarmers by Baby Legs
4. Sandals by See Kai Run.
5. Flower clip from Flicka boutique


Gone Style: Amelia Goes Mod (and a giveaway!)

*updated with (new) winner, below*
hint: yellow

First off - this week's month's* Gone Style: Five Minute Makeover features a blogger I've known and loved for many moons. Her name is Amelia and she blogs at Chefs Widow and she's awesome. Also? After pictures in this episode which is how we're going to rock the Gone Style vids from here on out. I know, I know. I know.

As always, makeup generously provided by Josie Maran and Josie Maran Cosmetics. Hair styling by the stunningly pregnant Sarah of Whoorl/Hair Thursday.

Amelia? We love you. You're the rockingest.

Ellington was kind enough to ship me one of their new slouchy hobo bags which I've been wearing ever since as my go-to purse/diaper bag combo situation. (It took until Fable was born for me to recognize that diaper bags are totally arbitrary. Any bag works as a diaper bag so long as it has tons of pockets and a good ol' hefty-strap.) This yellow number? Makes my wardrobe smile.
Want the bag? Awesome. Tell me what you're wearing right now. One winner will be selected at random via to spice up their wardrobe with an identical hobo full of sunshine. You have until next Wednesday (4/28). Good luck!


*These videos may not look like it but they take hours and hours of work, which is why I'm unable to edit/post them as often as I'd like. Sigharumph.

*UPDATED: Congratulations to commeter #154, Kate 7:53, who was wearing:
"Old Navy PJ bottoms, random tank top and Roxy sweatshirt. So sad but in my defense, it's 7:40AM, I'm 7 months pregnant with my third and am spending the next three days attempting to potty train my second, so....yeah, I desperately need a pretty bag."
**UPDATED (after a week passed and Kate didn't claim her prize) - Congratulations to commenter #226! Charlotte? The bag is yours, mama. Enjoy it!

Email me your deets so we can send you your new bag! And thank you all for participating in the giveaway! So fun hearing all about your daily wears. Much love to all.

Little Old Neighborhood

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She was a baby here, in the grass and the sidewalks she first walked upon. Crawled upon. Clung to my chest from her carrier, feet dangling, socks peeling and falling without my knowledge, blown by wind down side streets, lost from see.

Now she chases birds down crooked sidewalks, points to strollers with pacified faces, falls on her knees and stands again.

"Baby," she says. "Baby!"
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Over a sea of boxes, Hal and I wonder whether the children will remember this house. We print our names on the sides with black marker, agreeing that Archer will (likely) remember it here. The bedroom with the candle-like "flickerlies," the bathroom with two entrances, the "secret passageway" in the neighbor's palm-frond filled side-yard, the stoop we set the water table up on in the summer and how the faucet leaked.
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We agree that Fable will not. She won't remember the kitchen and where she hid her measuring spoons. She won't remember which yard the next street over harvested the most weeds for her to pick, the most rocks for her to collect and try to carry - frustrated with her own small hands.

She won't remember her red dress and how she walked all the way home from the Farmer's Market wearing it, following the textured spots like isolated paths.
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How much I'm looking forward to new walks on less familiar streets - our exploration of new yards and rocks and trees - making friends with new babies, neighbors, forging secret passageways in our own backyard. Finding new street signs to shake with all our might.

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And yet, no matter how much we can't wait to leave, there's a part of me pushing down on time with the weight of me. Toes trying mightily to clutch at our foundation through the heaviness of re-soled shoes.

We were a family here first. When our children were babies. When Hal and I were strangers. When these streets of ours were new.
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How quickly we outgrow our bedrooms. Seek new shells. Need haircuts so we can look upon new and unobstructed views.

She may not remember this house. These blocks we walked on daily. The tufts of grass in strangers' yards we trespassed through, picking dandelions and inhaling them on accident before holding hands and walking all together home.

Which is why I take a thousand photographs. Write a thousand posts, all stories that have taken place in her first neighborhood, our memories like stamps in the baby book. And beyond them: the trace amounts of pavement these old streets have left upon her sandals*.

*The invisible kind, impossible to outgrow.



I'm pretty sure that the following video was torn straight from an Urban Outfitters catalog boasting some sort of ecstasy-induced, post-Coachella-dance-quest but I love the song so much I don't care.

It reminds me of summer 2010 even though it hasn't happened yet.

44. Good Morning by: Rogue Wave

P.S. Good morning!!!


advice for moving with small children

The last time we moved, Archer was five-months old and Fable didn't exist, which, can we just talk about that for a second? How crazy is that to think about? Sometimes Hal and I rock back and forth on our porch, smoke corn-cob pipes and talk about how Fable is our super lotto jackpot after sticking out the "bummer period" of our marriage.

Jackpot, indeed.

Moving on, then.

I have never moved with two children before. Last time we moved Archer was practically an infant which was easy because he just slept in his stroller the entire time while Hal, me and my dad lugged my fifty boxes of books and our bed from our tiny one-bedroom to our current place of residence.

We had nothing then. No couch. No television. No dining room table. No desk. We had a bed, one dresser, an electric piano, a crib in a box and a broken changing table. Over the years, of course, we've managed to accumulate shitloads of crap including furniture et al. Not to mention two older-than-five-month-old-children.

Yes, we hired movers this time but other than that? We're on our own. Which means packing and unpacking just the two of us, with two children trying to climb into the boxes. Because boxes are fun. Except when you're an adult and you have to pack what feels like hundreds of them.

Thousands, more like.

"Moving with kids sucks. Good luck with that," seems to be the stock response when I tell people we're moving May 1st. Which is starting to freak me out. Because I don't like when things suck. I like when things unsuck...


New and Improved

Four and a half years and (almost!) one-thousand posts later, I have finally upgraded Girl's Gone Child, thanks to my designer and dearest friend since 7th grade, Danielle Hull (she also did my homepage, which will be getting an upgrade eventually as well) and the totally rad and patient Schmutzie from Sweetblog designs who worked tediously with us, stayed up into the wee hours with me Wednesday night to transfer the new template. Thank you, thank you. You ladies so totally rule. (All fonts are via typekit, by the by.)

The content will not change except for some new additions. In the future I hope to update Gone Style posts weekly and this summer will be shooting and editing together two-minute "Good Eats" how-to vids with my mother who is an incredible vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free cook. The idea is to get you guys excited about vegetarian/vegan cooking and also, to get acquainted with my new kitchen. (I've been without a proper kitchen for the last four and a half years so having counter space that isn't an ironing board is big time exciting.)

Other than that, I've created a/an FAQ in the making, so if you have a question you'd like answered please ask, here. Great restaurants in Los Angeles? Bang-trimming tips? Where to shop for toddler girls? (ED: For those who asked, the dress from The Garden post is Liberty of London for Target.)

So that, my friends, is that! Thanks so much for your kind words and support. You make me feel like a pro.


The Garden

My mother was a child here, in the garden I used to make-believe was a world all mine. My cousins and I would gather by the fountain in the Japanese Garden outside my Nana's bedroom, wash our hands with magic, make our barbies' dance through the moss between the stones, pointing out fairies in the shadows of Torrey Pines.

My mother married my father in the garden after Christmas. She was twenty-one and he was twenty-four. She wore a cotton dress and no makeup and her father delivered the service under the arbor at the foot of the garden where today we have our Easter brunch.

...Where Archer and Fable gather at the mushroom fountain, soaking their hands and good shoes, wiping their fingers on my dress. Where life is busy being lived against the sun.

We hide eggs for the children in trees older than my mother. We pull back branches and flowers, placing delicately within them Archer's hand-dipped creations as my Nana tells the children to close their eyes.

"No peeking," she says.

And they listen. Because magic is worth more than knowledge ever was. Because it's much more fun to discover the truth for themselves. No shortcuts. No cheating. Someday there will be peeking out of fingers but not here. Not yet.

It's a wild garden. Wild like all things wonderful. Maintained by eighty-year-old hands unafraid of dirt under the fingernails. And the children smile and dance and kiss the flowers on their petaled faces with lips chapped from sun, their hair wild from eastern-blown winds, lightly salted, combed by sea with foam for fingers.

When we were children, we would play within the layers of garden for hours and days and weeks the summer long, naming flowers and tripping down cobblestones, tearing our dresses before brunch, Breyer horses in our hands, clip-clop, clip-clop, neiiiiiigh... We made believe until everything was possible. Until truth and fiction were related, cousins and sisters and brothers hidden beneath the the pergola, curling around our ankles like the sweet peas we picked and ate off the vine.

Twenty-five years later, nothing has changed. Except for the bodies that gather here. Flowers and faces reincarnated in baby ferns among the rotting wood.

I remember so much the feeling of being young. Flat-chested in my floral dress with my hair in bows and my sandals scuffed from not caring. And I watch my children, not as their mother but as someone who desires so much to rediscover the world without peeking first.

Show me what you see. Teach me what you know. Direct me toward the nearest fairy. Hold my hand and take me to the blue and purple eggs.

In the garden we are all tiny. Even my grandmother, who gets down in the dirt with the children. Even my teenage cousins who wield baskets in and out of paths, scattering wood chips with their giant shoes.

As a child I lied about the garden when I went outside its walls. Kept the fairies and the flowers and the stories to myself to keep them safe. The garden was a private place where only gnomes and birds could trespass. And my cousins. And my siblings. And me.

Some places never lose their magic. How grateful I am that all these years later, the garden remains as it is this Spring and always.

Ask my Nana why she built the garden and she will tell you ...for the children. And here we are, ageless, together, four generations of boys and girls finding ourselves and each other in new ways.

And we do. Stretched across swings, and among flowers, behind sunglasses and under the hats my Nana keeps in a pile by the door to prevent sunburn. On wood beams, surrounded by flowers overflowing and cracked Terra-cotta pots.

My mother is a child here, now. In this garden, all of us are -- budding year-round, even in the shade. Where time escapes through wooden gates and nothing exists beyond the rainbow of blooms that climb upward toward the sky.