You still with me?

February 28th, 2013 - filed under: The Farm » Family

So, well, there ya go, that’s my story of 2012. Are you still reading? I know, I know . . . wild ride.

But new year, new beginnings, eh? On January 1st we took a beach walk all together, as a family.

Hundreds of shark eggs washed up all over the beach.

It was a really lovely way to begin the new year. Spending time together as a family is important to us, and it’s something we try to do every few weeks. Luckily since we share a car, Waits gets to watch Damian and I interact all the time, as one of us drives the other one home after a kid-switch (whoever has the kid has the car). We’ve got a pretty great arrangement going on here, I think.

In January, a good friend loaned me a spare guitar, and I began to teach myself to play (thank you, youtube tutorials! seriously what did people do before the internet?!). Music is becoming this huge presence in my life, in so many ways, and sort of for the first time ever. I love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Waits is learning to skate. His Papa-san (my dad) got him a killer board, and we have so much fun at the skate park on his days off from preschool. He says he’s ready to go inside (mama says not quite yet).

Mid-month I heard about a job opening at the community college where my buddy/boss is a professor. The position was for a lab tech in the biology department – my old stomping grounds. A steady, professional, actually-take-home-a-regular-paycheck kind of job. After confirming that I would not be responsible for any live animals or dissections, I spent an entire afternoon/evening/night polishing up my super-dusty CV, and I applied.

As it turned out, my boss had misunderstood how much the job actually payed, and it ended up being significantly less than I’d thought. When I got that news, do you know what I felt?


Which was interesting, because the promise of a steady paycheck sure was appealing. But the thing is, I don’t want to work in a bio lab. Ain’t that the thing. And I took this as a sign (totally don’t believe in signs, but whatevs) that I shouldn’t give up so easily on my actual dreams. Because I have a little time right now, before things get really hairy, and I might as well at least try to pursue my passion . . . right?

So the very next day I woke up and I emailed Victoria Moran, who I’d been going back and forth with, and I said “Yes! Sign me up for the February class at Main Street Vegan Academy!” I just closed my eyes and jumped, committed to an intensive week-long course in New York City, which would happen the following month, and which would result in me becoming a certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator.

Yes Yes, this was better.

Another night at the theatre with my Papa, I finally got to see Hair! // Speaking of hair, this is the worst haircut I’ve ever gotten, ever, and I emerged from the salon (yes, this is how he sent me out into the world) looking like some crackhead 80s lioness in a twisted interpretation of Cats. Sheesh.

Near the end of the month, I took a little trip down to LA for the Vegans Of Instagram first official meet-up. Yay! (also find them on Facebook) Vegans!!!! So so so good to be around my people.

In the final weeks of January, I began blogging again. It was scary, my first post back, but it also felt amazing. And just . . . right. I continued blogging through the end of january, and January made way for February. Life continues. Life is good.


January, and eventually February, felt like a splendid series of small adventures. Of letting go and enjoying life. Of not thinking too hard or trying too hard or worrying too much because man . . . man. When I quit blogging a year ago, I ended my final post with this thought:

If I only get 100 or so years of existence, I better make damn sure that I enjoy them.

And I feel like, finally, that’s where I’m at. I took that realization and I managed to internalize it. It’s part of me now. Thank goodness.

And that’s how I’m trying to live my life.

And I hope that you’re still here, and maybe you’re still interested in living along beside me. I really hope so.

So cheers, to us! And I guess I’ll see you ’round the net.

  • Jen The Vegan

    This whole catch up has been just amazing. You’re such an inspiration. Thankyou so much for sharing. I can’t wait to see what’s next in your bright unwritten future :)

  • The Cookie Fairy

    You bet I’m still interested. Your story is inspiring and I look forward to hearing what you have to tell us next. Well done on pursuing your dreams, it’s way more important than money!

  • Christina

    Still here! Thank you again for your honesty <3

  • jamey

    Still here as well! Before you know it – maybe already! – you’ll be saying “if I would have known it was this easy, I would have done this ages ago” about every little thing. You’re on such an exciting ride! Glad you’re back sharing with all of us!

  • Charley

    With you all the way, I’ve always loved your blog. Thanks for sharing with us, quite a ride, I’m glad things are on the up, up for you x

  • Abby Heugel

    I’ve never commented before and now that I am, my first comment is going to be entirely cliche and (dairy-free, vegan) cheesy, but whatever. You are pretty inspiring, as I’m at a point in my life where I’m wondering what the hell I’m supposed to be doing, searching for that connection between who I am and how I can support that person both personally and professional. Thank you for sharing your journey and I’m so glad you’re back to blogging. ;)

  • Crystal Coco

    Absolutely still with you :) Keep being you!

  • Rebecca

    So glad you are back. I look forward to your posts so much. You are going to be a bad ass Vegan Lifestyle Educator. You have such a wealth of knowledge already, you are super smart and great at articulating your thoughts so this is an ideal job for you. Best of luck and I’m looking forward to future posts! Have a great weekend.

  • Dana W

    You are an amazingly brave lady! I loved your blog before and even more now. I am 32 and quit my job in social services 10 months ago because i was miserable. I have no clue what i want to do with my life and i feel really lost sometimes. Its so comforting to know that there are others out there that don’t have it all figured out.(or who are brave enough to admit it) You inspire me. As long as you keep writing, I’ll keep reading! : )

  • Jen

    I’ve loved getting to read more from you, Sayward! I hope to see you around and see what you’re up to!

  • Hope Hughes

    I’m still with you! Thank you for sharing your story – it has helped me more than you know! <3

  • Bettina

    Am I still with you? Hell yes! :)

  • Cassie

    This is weird for me, but I am SO relieved you are back, like hearing from an old friend.

    I just deleted like five mushy rumblings, because they felt silly and too personal, but know that I have always and likely will always Be With You on this journey (that is life, even though that’s a sort of trite phrase). I don’t have anyone in my life that’s a vegan/committed to a natural lifestyle, and I get so much from your posts, even (especially?) the latest ones, less Recipes for Food and more Recipes for a Good Life.

    I currently live in Tokyo, but if there’s anything I can do to support you, let me know!

  • Kathryn B.

    I’m still with you! I love your raw posts! Both life and food!

  • megan

    Thank you so much for coming back. As someone previously stated, it feels like hearing from an old friend again. Glad California is your home again, the sun really does make a world of difference in our daily lives, Vitamin D baby!!

  • Karen Myers

    As a new mom trying to figure out how to run my family without walking away from my dreams I can totally relate. So glad the blog is back. I started following shortly before your hiatus because I read your amazing pregnancy survival book. Looking forward to more of your wit and wisdom.

  • Carey

    Love your courage, bravery and your writing..hope to hear more from you soon!

  • Kelly Waivio Muschiana

    Wow….what a year! Still with you! Thank you so much for having the courage to step away and then come back fresh and willing to tell your story. So many of us need to hear it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I am a new Mama and I found your blog when you were on your break (searching for pregnancy + vegan) and I am SO glad you are back at it! I never tend to post anything on the Blogs I read because I don’t want to bog a Blogger down with extra comments…but I just HAD to say thank you. I feel a connection with your current journey…I too have recently started on a path to find my happy (or shall I say content) which means quitting a full time career and pursuing my passion. It takes a lot of guts but I 100% feel your “If I only get 100 or so years of existence, I better make damn sure that I enjoy them”. Amen to that! Having a wee-one sure makes you think about your own purpose! I also think being vegan has a bit to do with that as well….

  • Laura Louise

    I just couldn’t read your posts about last year until now. I saw them coming up in facebook but tried to ignore them, I didn’t know why. But now that I’ve read them all I know that it was much easier for me to read them all in one go, just because of all the emotions in the posts. And it felt good to read the last ones and know you’re okay.

    I moved to a new country a couple of weeks ago just for 4 months but I’ve been feeling lonely without anyone who knows me or who’s well being I’m concerned of. So reading your posts made me feel all warm inside and I have to say that I’ve missed you more than I thought I could ever miss someone who doesn’t know I exist. Very weird feeling, but writing that made me smile so it’s kind of awesome.

  • Treehouse Chatter

    Yay! I am signed up for Victoria Moran’s vegan academy for June! So excited!

  • Bianca

    I’m still here! And I’m so glad that you’re finally happy and comfy with where you are in life! P.S. I actually like that crazy haircut!

  • Jessica Albarran

    How great! I’m so glad that you have wandered down this wonderful path to a good place. You are in my hood! (Well, close by; I grew up in Thousand Oaks.)

    I was also lent a guitar to use in my classroom; I can play all of about three chords. You’d be amazed at how many songs I can play with those songs, though! I was curious as to which YouTube tutorials you were using, as I was just thinking of bringing the gee-tar home for the weekend to do a little practice. Thank you and happy March!

  • Jo

    Wow, I just decided to check back with your blog on a whim and you’re back! I have to admit I’m loving your authenticity. I’ve never really thought all that continued positivity was sustainable for me in real life and wondered how you achieved it, sometimes it was kinda irritating and I felt inadequate in response.

    I still think you’re one of the coolest and most interesting writers out there. Thanks for sharing

  • Moira

    Still here! And SO happy you’re back. Life really does have its ebbs and flows, doesn’t it? But that’s how we build stronger and happier lives. Sounds like 2013 is going to be fabulous year for you as it is for me (thank GOODNESS!).

  • Amber

    Also glad to hear you again! Feeling the sunshine vicariously from Baltimore:)

  • Jessica

    Wha? That’s a shark egg? It looks like a hunk of twisted plastic? So weird.

  • steph

    Still here!

  • skeptk_vegan

    Using nylon strings really helps with breaking in your fingertips on a guitar! I’ve never seena shark egg before, that is too cool! Excited for what new posts and topics are to come! :)

  • jacqueline@ hop hop vintage

    Still with you for sure–keep at it! :)

  • janet

    my daughter Katie let me know you were “back,” and I was SO glad. Of course, we’re with you!

  • Sara Howe

    I’m still reading for sure!!

  • Rachel Jacobs

    The post title has to be rhetorical…of course I am still with you. I was overjoyed when you returned to the blog world and will continue to follow you as you present your journey.
    What a fantastic wrap up, and what a horrible hair cut (I don’t even recognize you like that). I was excited that you’ve given us a hint at the VLC experience and I can’t wait to read those posts.

    Waits by the way looks so completely grown with his skateboard…where did the time go when he was just a little baby? Ah but they must grow up.

    Be well!

  • A.J.

    I’ve been checking my RSS reader with urgency to catch your newest posts over these last weeks. I am so happy to hear that you are doing well, trying to pursue your passions, and adapting with your family to new circumstances. Still here. We’re all here, filled with love, ready to support and guide and help you as your journey continues.

    (And I hope to share in these good vibes, as I continue to learn to manage, understand, and talk about my mental illness.)

  • rebelgrrlkitchen

    More with you than ever, gurl. Feeling all the feelings, right along with you. <3

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you! <3

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you A.J., I can feel the love. And good vibes all around! Good luck with your journey and discovery and opening up about your mental illness. <3

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Doesn’t he look so grown up? Sometimes I catch a glimpse of hm and I’m like WHAT WHERE IS MY BABAY!!?? He is huge.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Sara!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Janet, I’m so glad to be back as well!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’m keepin’ on keepin’ on!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    My friend won’t let me, says I ned to toughen them up fast, haha. Shark eggs are amazing! When we were kids we called them “Mermaid’s purses” because they sort of look like strange little sea hand bags. =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks steph!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Very weird and very cool, they’re really beautiful.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I’ll keep posting sunshine pics, Amber!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Moira, I think 2013 is going to be FANTASTIC.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Jo, it’ great to be back and even better to be back and sharing my true self. <3

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Yay SoCal!

    For youtube, I just searched for the song I wanted to play + tutorial, and a bunch of hits came up. I also use it to learn specific chords, just by searching “How to play F chord” or whatever. It’s amazing, so helpful!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Bianca!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    YAY! It’s amazing, you’ll love my upcoming recap. it’s a life-changing experience, truly. I’m so excited for you!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Aw, thank you Lara Louise, that’s sweet and also, of course I know you exist! I remember you! <3