Sick Day (Warren Home Movies)

I've been having way too much fun with my new camera. The images it produces are amazing, but the video feature just blows me away. It's been a lot of fun learning something new, and each Home Movie I make ends up bringing me to tears.

This was no exception.

Sweet baby girl had a fever, they're all fighting colds, so she had a "sick day" home with mama. Nothing a purple bath can't cure!

Enjoy.

xo

Drake Beach

I want the story of Drake Beach to be something we remember.

How it took over three hours to get there, but was worth every minute. I want to remember the Marin Cheese Factory, the way the wind blew blankets of sand and we had to sit in a row side by side to keep from swallowing it all.

I want to remember how he looked, standing there at the edge of the sea. The man who takes my breath away, who loves me every day, with a fierceness that knocks me off my feet. I want to remember that moment in between the perfect picture, that ended up being, the perfect, picture.

I want them to remember that childhood was magical -  with it's ice cold water and the break of waves, climbing atop steep cliffs and legs smothered in sand. I hope they remember the fun of playing catch with the ocean, the stick that kept coming back.

I want to remember the laughter of good friends, how it hurts your stomach and your face feels stuck from the sheer amount of smiling. How you can remember weddings and births, sickness and death. How you look at your people and find peace, comfort, contentment.

I want the story of Drake Beach to be all of those things and so much more. And because of this, I chose to document it.

2015 Holiday Mini Sessions + Photo Curriculum is BACK!

2015 Holiday Mini Sessions are now being booked. There are only two remaining mini sessions, two on October 24 and two on November 7. Contact me to schedule yours!

 

Also! Pretty pumped to bring back my Photo Class for Kids! When I switched over to Squarespace it got lost in the shuffle, and I've been receiving quite a few inquiries regarding the course, so I finally got it all settled into this space!

You can learn all about the two options by heading over to THE SHOP. And yes, I am working on an advanced version which I hope to launch by the end of the year.

Any questions? Don't hesitate to connect!

"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."

angie warren // storyteller

I have so, many, magical images to share from our trip. So many. But I think this comes away as my favorite. No, not think, it is. The photos + words that fill my brain and computer from our three weeks there, could go on for eternity. Truth is I am still trying to process it all, a few months later.

For now I'll leave with this one, of my Dannyboy searching for lightening bugs. John Muir said it right when he said, "The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."

colloidal silver / what it is & how it's changed our lives.

Over the last nine months I've written out countless texts and emails to friends about Colloidal Silver, each time vowing to just write a blog about it, but alas, forgetting. So finally, with back to school in full effect, I decided to sit down and do it!  Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I am simply sharing what worked well for our family. Please use your own judgement and seek professional advice if you are concerned.

Colloidal Silver // www.angiewarren.com

What is Colloidal Silver?

Silver is a natural element. Colloidal means suspended in water. So, Colloidal Silver is, silver suspended in purified water. Silver has been used medicinally for thousands of years, up until the early 1900's when physicians actually used it quite often - but with antibiotics came a decline in the use of silver. In fact, Hippocrates, wrote that silver had "beneficial healing and anti-disease properties". He raved about silver, how it repaired tissue and aided in the healing process. In my research, I also learned that in the past, silver was widely used in storing water, and eating with, as it had such anti-bacterial properties.

It is known for:

- being antibacterial/antibiotic

- treating burns, thrush, and other skin conditions, even insect bites

- antiviral properties

- being anti-allergy

- providing anti-inflammatory relief

 

What's our story?

Winter 2014/2015 was HARSH for us. We've never had such a bad season of sickness. I think at one point we calculated that we'd spent nearly $2k in $30 co-pays for the doctors office, and Rx for us and the kids. Not only that but I missed a total of 5 weeks in teaching, because I had to stay home with our sick children. I feel like we were sick. all. the. time. Just about every infection you can come up with, one of us had. I was over it. One Friday morning in early February I was texting a friend about my strep throat. I told her our Danny had been on three Rx already this year for a sinus infection and none of us was feeling much better.

She immediately told me about Silver. Their family had been through two or three rounds of strep that antibiotics wasn't touching, and when they went to Silver, their infections were gone in days. I was desperate. It was Friday, I tried our family doctor but she wasn't in I'd need to go to Urgent Care for my throat. I wasn't about to pay $50 for the visit, plus another $30 for medicine. So I took her advice and took a chance, drove to the next town over and picked it up.

By the next day my throat felt much better, the white spots nearly gone, and the swelling had gone down tremendously. And another day, the infection was completely gone. I could not believe it. It was the most incredible thing in the world. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the images of my throat, they're... graphic, warning).

I began to wonder if this Silver stuff could help the rest of us. We were currently dealing with: three sets of pink eye, one ear infection, one sinus infection, and a strep-looking mess in my oldest son's throat. I researched and researched and found some helpful information. Sure enough, Silver has been known to help ALL of these. So I went Silver crazy. We had just run out of pink eye drops that day, so I switched to silver. They were cleared the next day. All three kids. Incredible. My daughter woke up in the middle of the night screaming in pain from her ear. A dose of Motrin, and Silver in her ear, and she slept through the night. We never did go in for that one.

Time and time again, we saw Silver changing the way we dealt with our health and slowly but surely, we found ourselves healthy again.

Colloidal Silver / www.angiewarren.com

Even when I came down with my first ever, sudden, UTI, Silver to the rescue, I never needed to see my doctor. I followed the "power dose" for a few days (see more below).

A few months passed and the dreaded stomach bug was circulating throughout our school. I do NOT handle this well. I just don't. I started to panic. Three kids in my daughter's preschool class (of only 7 kids total) had it, five or six in my son's 4th grade class, and I believe the Kinder class had it too. It was a mess, every day I heard of another student home throwing up.

I asked my friend and searched some more and found that Silver can be a hugely effective tool in keeping our systems healthy and strong, so we went for it. Diligently, I dosed Silver to the kids and I and prayed and prayed and prayed - and by the grace of God we remained stomach flu free. I truly attribute that to God taking care of us, AND the strong anti-bacterial, immunity boosting Silver particles.

Additionally, my husband has sensitive eyes and often his contacts cause intense eye infections. I caught him using silver on a number of occasions, so we keep it in our bathroom too.

With all that being said, I'm not an affiliate, I make no money on this blog post. I just feel that strongly about it. I can not imagine life without Silver now, and make sure we always have a bottle on hand.

What dosage is best?

Keep in mind this is what our family does, based on suggestions from those who have used it, naturopaths, and research done. I am not a doctor.

Colloidal Silver can be taken daily as an immunity booster. We do this. Especially now that school is back in session. Each of us takes a dose each morning. It tastes and looks just like water, but occasionally has a slight metallic taste that I kid you not, is gone in 20 seconds if you even have it. All of my kids take it happily, and they are the most picky when it comes to food and drink. So I'm thankful for that. If this is the case, you take one dose per day.

For an adult that would be 1 teaspoon (or 6 droppers full)

For a child one daily dose would be 1/2 teaspoon (or 3 droppers full)
*I give this to my three year old daughter, I am not sure about kids younger than that*

Colloidal Silver as the anti-antibiotic. I call it this because this is what we take now in stead of an Rx. This is what I did for the throat infection mentioned above, and viewed below. It's sometimes called a "power dose". You continue the "power dose" until symptoms are 100% gone, and even then I went one day longer. The doses between the two images at the bottom of the post was somewhere after my 7th dose, so one day.

For an adult power dose: 1 teaspoon, each hour, for 7 hours (so a total of 7/per day)

For an older child (6+): 1/2 teaspoon, each hour, for 7 hours (so a total of 7/per day)

For a younger child (3-5): 1/2 teaspoon, three times a day (total of 3/per day)

Colloidal Silver for Eye Infections / Ears. For the kids I did 2 drops of colloidal silver in each eye 2/day until their eyes were clear, and then one day more.

3 drops 4/day for their ears, in each ear, if both are infected. A special note about ears though, try as hard as you can to get them to lay still, on their side for a good 5 minutes or so after you've put the drops in that ear, to really let it get into the ear drum. Then when the do sit up, slowly, have a tissue handy in case a bit dribbles out.

As I want to be totally honest, the only time we've gotten an Rx after finding silver was a few months ago when our daughter got a fast and furious double ear infection. She was fine one day, the next both ear drums were bulging and she had a raging fever. We did Silver as I had before, but I could tell something was different this time and I'm glad we went in. Poor love.

Use your best judgement. We aren't 100% against antibiotics, if needed, of course we will do what is best for our family. However, finding Silver has changed everything for us, so I foresee a lot less Rx in our house!

Which Colloidal Silver to get?

Please please please if you do anything, do not waste your money elsewhere. Sovereign Silver is the purest ingredients with zero additives. It's made with 99.999% pure elemental silver and purified water. There are no added silver salts or other compounds. This makes it extremely safe, simple and most importantly, pure.

I raved to my grandmother last Spring about how much Silver had helped us, she was intrigued and went to her local health food store - where she got a good deal on two bottles of a different brand of Silver. I told her to go ahead and try it (for a UTI) but she wasn't seeing results. So I had her check the ingredients and sure enough, it had a handful of other things added.

I think it's so important to get the best there is. It is worth every. penny. Trust me on that one.

If you're local to the Bay Area, Harvest House in Concord sells it - as well as GNC in Brentwood. If you aren't, you can order it on Amazon like I do (a bit cheaper and with Prime you pay nothing for shipping!) Click here to see that (nope, no affiliate link there either).

I just feel really strongly about this stuff, I know how much it's helped us and I hope maybe this information helps someone else. Don't hesitate to ask any questions!

 

WARNING: throat images below...

 

Colloidal Silver // www.angiewarren.com

Photo on the left is before Colloidal Silver. Image on the right is after seven doses and 1 day. By the next day, the infection was GONE.

dear mom, i still celebrate you.

angie warren // mothers day

Dear mom,

As most of the world, your grandbabies included, celebrate their mamas - with flowers and coffee, handmade cards, thoughtful presents... Sadie, Joel, Abby and I, we simply celebrate the memory of you.

Thirty-one Mother's Days you had here on earth. Now, a mother of three myself, I wish for anything to sit and hear you recount those handmade cards, our attempts at breakfast in bed, the day in the year where we (hopefully) were on our best behavior. I would love to see you smile as you remembered the messes we made, but how you knew our hearts were in the right place. Sure, I could rummage through the garage, devouring boxes of your earthly possessions, to find those handmade treasures you kept - but it wouldn't be the same, not without you here to share it with. So this weekend, I celebrate the legacy of you.

I'll forever cherish the years you snuck my kids into the dining room with your craft boxes, so they could secretly make treasures of their own, for me. Your face lit up, as did theirs. Joy and contentment, knowing the power of a handmade card. Even during your last Mother's Day, in the throws of cancer treatment, you gifted me with that, allowed the kids to then gift me with their own masterpieces. Because of that and many other reasons, I celebrate the joy in you.

angie warren // mothers day

Our last Mother's Day together, you felt well enough to come over, in fact we even ventured to the plant nursery. I thought during that day, how I hoped we would have many more holidays to celebrate together, but somewhere inside I think I knew. So, I watched you, entranced. My eyes followed your fingers, as they grazed each flower, telling me its origin, how to best care for it, when to plant. I still can't keep a thing alive but my children, but I'll never forget the lessons you taught me. This Mother's Day I celebrate your love of gardening.

That first year was awful, mom. Navigating 365 new days without you. I know you knew it would be so, I know it ached within you, the knowledge of all you were leaving behind. Today as I sit here writing, I have to shake my head wildly to even still, fully understand your being gone. Daily there are hundreds of things I want to tell you, to ask you. But, time heals in a strange way, it doesn't make it okay, it doesn't make your loss any less great - but it hurts less, in a different way. I put one foot in front of the other, look to the Heavens, and hope that if you can see, you'd be proud. Today I celebrate the survival of life after you.

I pray that I can be half the mother you were, that my children will grow with the knowledge of my vast, un-ending, passionate love for them - as I did, you. I hope even at the end of my own life, that I can leave not only a legacy, but a warmth, a joy, a love for others so strong, it's tangible. You did that, mama. I celebrate all the Mother's Days I shared with you, I celebrate all the Mother's Days I'll have without you. I celebrate the mother I am, because of the mother you were.

Love you forever,

Ang



perfection is choosing, more love for geneen roth.

"The sun will keep coming up, your child will say something that will crack your heart open, a new friend will appear, and you will once again be struck by the unbearable wonder and tenderness of life.

Most of us ignore the strawberries because we believe that there's something even better up ahead. We spend our youth waiting for our lives to begin, we get old waiting for our lives to begin, and we die waiting for our lives to begin. As if there were such a thing as finally getting it all right. As if perfection really exists.

A certain kind of perfection does exist, even though the tigers will never go away. Perfection is choosing to enjoy the lusciousness life offers in whatever form it presents itself, even when you are not as thin as you want to be, you owe money to the IRS, and someone you love is dying.

When there are tigers above you and tigers below you, there will always be a strawberry right in front of you. Pick it. Enjoy it. Let yourself have that much."

- Geneen Roth, chapter 24, When You Eat at the Refrigerator

www.angiewarren.com // geneen roth quote

Years ago my very best of all friends gave me this book. I read about half, oo-ing and aw-ing, highlighting and turning the corners of each crisp page that caught my eye (and there were many). But, life got in the way and I didn't finish.

Over the last month or so I dove back in, opened it up, began to upwrap each little chapter with the gentleness it deserved.

And it has changed me.

I especially loved this part of chapter 24 which is titled, When There Are Tigers Above You and Tigers Below You, Eat a Ripe Strawberry. Geneen is talking about her version of an old ancient Buddhist tale, in which a woman essentially strives her entire life to be one way, never veering off the path, to find herself abruptly at the end of her life realizing she didn't allow herself to enjoy much of anything. eg: a ripe strawberry.

It makes me think of my mom, of how she lived and lived and lived and rarely allowed herself the gift of enjoying the things she wanted to enjoy. Always too concerned with finances, or how it would look to others, always seeking the approval of those she cared about (and didn't). Then suddenly, abruptly at the end of her life, she found she had run out of time.

I texted that very best friend of mine immediately after reading this, and we both confirmed our desire to frame the page. What a reminder, day in and day out:

"When there are tigers above you and tigers below you, there will always be a strawberry right in front of you. Pick it. Enjoy it. Let yourself have that much."

I don't eat enough ripe strawberries. I focus so much on everything else. Just another lesson my mama taught me, being brought into fruition long after she had died.

Geneen's books are unicorns and rainbows for me. They're my go-to. They are my therapy and my Prozac, it is as if I open the pages and I've come home. Between her and Anne Lamott, I could own each of their combined many books and still never get enough.

Time for some strawberries.

a photo scavenger hunt // sf style

Image credit: Cassidy Hornsby

Image credit: Cassidy Hornsby

Last week I took my high school photography class on an end of the year field trip into San Fransisco. They worked hard all year and deserved a fun day away, but of course I needed to have some direction. We took BART in and they divided up into two groups, boys vs. girls. Each with an adult team leader they spread out around Union Square for a two hour scavenger hunt!

I made up a list of 25 prompts, each with a points value. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect, as some of the items on the list required a lot of thought, creativity, and the ability to take photos of complete strangers.

They blew me away.

As I looked through their memory cards, I was smiling ear to ear. Seeing the city through their eyes, noticing how each student saw things in a unique way, made the entire experience worth it.

Below are a few of their images, and at the bottom of the post you will find two links to download your own PDF!

Below are two FREE PDFs for you to use! Simply click the button below to be taken to your download screen!

Photo Scavenger Hunt // BASIC

This is a PDF file to be printed and used for a photo scavenger hunt. It is a general form, without photography "lingo". Enjoy!

Add To Cart
Photo Scavenger Hunt // PHOTOGRAPHER

This is a PDF file to be printed and used for a photo scavenger hunt. It is a more detailed form, intended for those who understand a bit more about photography. Enjoy!

Add To Cart


we are all just hungry to be loved.

angie warren writes // www.angiewarren.com

I wrote the above words this week, as I was working on the ending of my manuscript. I bounce around a lot when I write, and still have a great chunk of middle to add in. The unexpected connection with my homeless friend, Thompson, has completely changed the direction of my memoir - in a good way.

Yes, Thompson is still "around" though he's moved up the street a bit. Each encounter I have with him, I walk away with a new truth, a new lesson. I look forward to seeing his familiar figure on the side of Main Street, and I enjoy his smile of recognition when he sees me approach. I especially love when the kids ask about him, or come up with an idea of how we can help him this week.

When I began to realize the infinite truth mentioned above, I found that no matter who we are, where we call home, or how full our lives are - we are simply all hungry for the same thing: love. And no matter how difficult our situation, regardless of what life has thrown us, we are all capable of filling another's tank. The best part of this whole thing is? When we give love, we are incapable of not feeling it ourselves.

It could be grief, financial burdens, loss of a job, or just a crappy week - filling someone else's void with love, is the best way to fill your own. I am walking, breathing, living proof of this.

Maybe your own Thompson is out there, just waiting for you.

hello from angie.

Just a quick little pop in to mention my new e-mailer, goodness I don't even know what to call it, newsletter sounds so formal, it's more like a hello from me, something I plan to do on a regular basis, as another way to connect!

I just put the first one together and sent it off to everyone who had ever signed up for an Angie Warren newsletter in years past, and it was so much fun. I basically gathered a few fun and interesting links I've come across this week, said a little hi-dee-ho and included it all in the email that went out.

If you find yourself interested in being on this ubber exciting list, feel free to click the ole button below.

Here is a link to view the one I just sent out this weekend, just to give you a glimpse.

Hope your weekend was amazing! xo!

 

all the things you meant to say all along.

It's a funny thing to publish a memoir, to bare your life for all to see, to write about the people who've changed your days, and your heart. The most you can hope for is that they read with an open mind, that they forgive you your memories and experiences, that they trust your intentions, and that they see, a little more clearly, all the things you meant to say all along.

- Claire Bidwell Smith

 

When my mom died I immediately dove into memoirs about loss. I craved the written words of others who had gone before me, walked the motherless path, found themselves navigating a new world. I read a lot. One of my favorites was The Rules of Inheritance, by Claire Bidwell Smith.

Claire lost both of her parents to cancer. The way she is able to weave her words, the honest portrayal of her grief, struck me so. I have gone back and re-read parts of it many times in the last year. I loved the above quote, in fact the entire article is a good one. It sits with me, as I pen my own memoir.

There are parts that are ugly, in fact, there's a lot that has been hard for me to write - and I know will be hard for some to read. Namely, my family. This has been a huge struggle for me, the idea of telling the story as it is meant to be told, knowing I'm cheating it if I'm 'too careful' and yet, wanting to honor the memory of my mom.

An email from Claire last spring allowed me to realize something important, as she encouraged me to read books of the same genre, "They reminded me of things I could write about, reminded me to be brave in my writing, reminded me that these stories are important."

When I came across the article and quote mentioned above it was just the reminder I needed, and it spoke what my heart has felt all along.

"The most you can hope for is that they read with an open mind, that they forgive you your memories and experiences, that they trust your intentions, and that they see, a little more clearly, all the things you meant to say all along."

Yes, yes, yes. So much yes.

bedtime.

Book time for two, lavender bath for the other.

I warn them not to play, yet so often they play.

It becomes a battle ground, bedtime, and I have to be intentional with my response. My primal reaction is to yell, reprimand them for their disobedience.

But.

But, their faces.

Those adorable, round, faces. Flush with joy, eyes like their father. The way the evening light hits them, takes my breath from my lungs.

Childhood is all they know. Laughter and giggles and love. Make believe. It is their morning, noon, night.

Ten years in, I am still learning. Growing. Stretching. Make believing again, they remind me to do that.

Thank you, dear wee ones. For teaching mama what it means to just, be.

angie warren // childhood
angie warren // childhood
angie warren // childhood



instagram, writing, and other random news.

I decided officially, today, that I would document this writing a book process. If only for myself, I wanted a place to be able to look back on and see the ins and outs, and maybe if you are someone who is in a similar boat, can commiserate with the journey!

In addition, after months away, I decided to open a public account on Instagram. A place I can be online, to share more of the day to day of myself as a writer. I don't for a moment regret my decision to leave social media all together last winter, and I have no plans to be anywhere on Facebook. Instagram however, allows me a platform to connect in a way that feels right.

You can find me here: www.instagram.com/angiewarrenwrites

With all that out of the way, here is where I am! It is interesting, how just days after my mom died in the fall of 2013, did I decide I would write a book. When she was sick, she said to me, "Ang, you know what I am going to do? When this cancer nonsense is over, I'm going to write a book. Will you help me, please?"

I agreed. And so, when she died, I felt I had to acknowledge this commitment, and began a ravenous process of writing. But I was in a dark place, I had no idea what trials lay ahead, and so, those first 35k words or so were rough. Rough in the sense that I wrote from a place of brokenness. I re-lived her death and the details as if my life depended on it.

And then, sucked dry, I would slam the lid closed on my Macbook, and walk away. This happened for months and months, until one day I decided I could no longer write it. That there was no redemption - my dad was still a mess, my marriage was falling apart, and my life was full of such anger and chaos, I had absolutely no happy ending in sight.

But then grace stepped in. Forgiveness. Kindness. Time did what it does, ever so slowly, and the shattered pieces of my heart began to mend. My husband still loved me, my friends didn't leave my side, and my relationship with my dad started to find healing.

It was then that I began to see how the story would end, the final pages of the book have already been written. Since, I have poured a good 20k words out from a place of joy, acceptance, peace. It is a huge work in progress. I keep thinking I'm near the end and then more things come back to me.

That is about where I am at. Writing. Writing. Lots of writing.

Additionally, I'm working on the proposal. Writing a killer query letter, or attempting so, and hoping to have a lovely little book proposal package ready in the next few weeks. Then? Who knows. I have no idea what the future holds, but I do believe God gave me this story for a reason, and that is good enough for me. I just pray continually that my words will reflect His grace on my life, that I will honor my mama's memory, and show that there is always, always, always hope.

Until next time...


writing a book.

www.angiewarren.com

"I am writing a book." I told them in the car, this week.

"Like, a real book? A book that will be at the book store?" they asked, voices glistening with intrigue.

"I hope so." I smiled.

Telling the kids about this was a big step for me, which in hindsight sounds silly to even say. I wanted to communicate to them that just because I am mama, doesn't mean I don't have things I want to pursue, or should be able to pursue. Dreams. Hopes.

I have spent the better part of the last decade putting these small people first. I will continue to do so in waves, however I think there is something to be said about them seeing their mama put HERSELF first, too. Her hobbies, her passions.

Beyond that, saying it out loud, even if only to my children, solidifies it for me. That terrified part of me that thinks the idea of finishing this manuscript is pointless. That there are thousands of other authors out there, there are thousands of other new books out there. Saying out loud, "I am writing a book." means, I am, writing a book.

Later Danny came to me as I typed away, and he leaned in like he often does.

"So, what is your book about?"

I paused, not sure what to tell him exactly. I began to explain the general idea of a memoir, about how I am writing not only about Nana but about how life has changed since she died. About all the awesome things she taught me, and about how we survived losing her. He thought for a bit, and then nodded his head.

"Mom?" he whispered.

"Yeah, bud?"

"Nana would be really proud of you."

Yes, I think she would.

thompson.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

-Hebrews 13:2


PREFACE: If there was anything my mom was known for, it was her love for those less fortunate. She often put together specific care packages, lunches, and goodies for some of her favorite homeless people she passed on a daily basis.

I think back to one specific man, James. She passed him in Richmond week after week after week during her lunch-time walks. Saying hello each time, being 'welcomed' with his grunts and dismissal. It didn't stop her. She continued to say hi to him, eventually asking his name, and after nearly a year - he replied angrily, "My name is James." was all he said.

She would form a friendship with him, and he would eventually open up to her. She loved bringing him a lunch or a package of new socks, a Christmas gift, or just a cup of coffee. This would continue weekly if not daily, until September 2013, just before she had surgery.

At her memorial service a month later, a co-worker from Bay Area Rescue Mission would tell us she sought out to find James, and she told him of my mom's passing. He assured her he would see my mom in Heaven one day.

Heart melt.

www.angiewarren.com

 

This love and passion for the homeless naturally filtered down to her children, and after two weeks of seeing the same homeless man on my way into work/school drop off, I decided this morning... should I see him again, I would bring him a coffee. It's what my mom would have done.

I felt apprehension. I know my mom was good at this, she walked the scariest streets of downtown Richmond, 6th street SF, bad parts of Oakland - without a worry. I am not so brave. I couldn't shake however, the urgency to bring a coffee to this hooded, person I saw wrapped in a tarp for the past few weeks.

He sat in between the rows of grape vines, just off the main road. A hood over his head, a tarp as a blanket, I saw him at the minimum 4 times per day in my routine drop off/pick up schedule. Even in a recent rain storm, there he sat.

So today, the urging of my heart took me there. A venti coffee in hand, I parked the car just before him. Quinn watched from behind me as I slipped out of the car.

I had no idea what lay before me. Was this a man, or a woman? Old or young? When a face emerged, I was entranced by the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen. Clear as the sky, blue as the Pacific.

"Hi there, you... look... cold. I thought I'd bring you something to warm you." I said.

He stared.

"For, me? This is, for, me?"

I nodded.

"But, you don't want this coffee?" he asked. His skin was etched in dirt, by my guess he was in his late 60s and had quite a story of his own.

I shook my head, "no, no I have my own coffee, this is for you. Please, take it." and I passed it onto him.

He reached out an aged hand and wrapped his fingers around the cup. I smiled, relieved.

"Hey, have a good day, okay?" I said and turned towards the car.

When I got in, he slowly made his way over to my window.

"Are you, sure, you don't want this coffee?" he asked me, his words liquid and slow.

"I am, really. Please, enjoy it." I spoke as I lifted my own coffee from the cup holder.

"Well, then please, let me pay you for it."

I turned my head sharply. He? Pay, for this?

"Oh, no no no! No please. It is a gift. From me to you. Get warm, enjoy the coffee. Please." I was dumbfounded. And frankly, in shock.

Him? Pay ME for the coffee?

Out of his jacket he pulled a $20 bill.

I waved my hand. "No, no way. No thank you."

He insisted and put the money in my hand.

"What is your name?" I asked.

"Thompson." he replied, and asked mine.

"Thompson, I would much rather you have this money, really, please."

He looked at me and held his hand over his heart, with the most sincerity he replied, "You have a family to care for. I have ALL I will ever need. I am taken care of. I am. This is yours."

And with that, he walked around the car and returned to his tarp, sipping the coffee I had brought him.

As I drove away, speechless, Quinn said  to me, "Mama, Thompson has no home. We got him a coffee! We make him happy!"

And over and over and over throughout the day she asked me, "Mama, tell me the story of Thompson, please?"

Baffled I am. Humbled. Touched.

I don't know Thompson's story. I have no idea the events that led him to the vineyard down the street. I don't know much of anything, I am still processing the situation myself.

I do know that there was a higher power that orchestrated my morning. I was led to stop by there today, and in turn I received a gift greater than I could have imagined, greater than the monetary value. I was able to share with my tiny young daughter the joy in giving, just as her Nana would have loved to instil in her, herself.

I couldn't help but wonder, was I entertaining an angel? Did my mom have her hand in this? Either way I have been wracking my brain as to how I can use this $20 to continue to help others.

In tiny ways I find myself feeling hugs from my mom. In the whispers of the evening wind, in the scent of orange blossoms, and in the words of a homeless man named Thompson.

 

hello + the return of blogging

www.angiewarren.com

In 2007 I purchased my first URL, warrenupdate.com. It was there, in that tiny WordPress space that I began what would lead me to one of the greatest pleasures of my entire life: telling stories.

I would eventually purchase I believe close to 15-20 URLs. Some never saw the light of day, some saw a lot of light, such as thecreativemama.com - so much so that I would eventually sell it (and for a hot second consider buying it back when I learned that it was no longer running, but alas nah, that ship has sailed).

I blogged long before there was Pinterest (which I love do not get me wrong), or ads that pop up so obnoxiously one can't even read the Zucchini Pizza recipe without being redirected to the App Store (don't get me started on how frustrating that is). I blogged and told stories and shared photos way before there were even genres in the blogging world.

SEO wasn't the priority, or tagging, or posting at this time of day and sharing on FB between these hours. Instagram hadn't nearly killed blogging. It was just, sharing. It was community building. Sure, the occasional comment bully, but hot topics weren't so sizzling. I feel nostalgic for that time period. I feel like it was simpler.

And because of all of that, and about 107 life events that happened which nearly broke me, I began to change things up. Over and over until I basically shut the blog down. I switched to Squarespace and felt so removed from that time I didn't even save the old blog. Thousands of words, so much of my heart, gone. I couldn't keep up with it.

So far in 2015, I have had a huge project hanging over my head that just found completion this week, and I realized I haven't sat down at my computer to work on ANYTHING but it for actual months. I haven't taken a big-camera photo of my kids in actual months. I haven't written a word blog-wise, in actual, months. Come to think of it I've barely written a thing.

But I have missed it so. I've missed coming here to tell stories. And I have decided I don't have to follow the crowd. I can bring back the old school way of blogging, if only here in my tiny corner.

So that is what I have decided to do.  Some days it might just be photos of my kids, pieces of a manuscript I'm working on, or something I feel passionate about. No genre, no label. Just, me being here in the sun-soaked corner of my bedroom, bringing what I want into this internet world.

I promise you won't be directed to a Candy Crush game. I promise you'll get real from me. I promise you'll get my heart. The entire mess of it.

xo

 

 

Wisteria.

www.angiewarren.com

In 2009 we lived by my parents for two years, just doors apart. After dinner my mom would show up begging me to walk with her. Often times I had an excuse, but she rarely let me use it and I joined her more than I didn't.

In early spring, our walks took us by a certain fence near the grocery story, with the most intoxicating air. We knew we were near long before our eyes found them. Purples, violets, whites. Billowing over the old worn down fence, nearly touching the ground. Wisteria.

Each time we passed by, my mother told me about them. How long for maturity, where they grow best, and that some day she would have a house covered in wisteria. Each time we repeated this mantra, and each time we snapped off a vine for ourselves. Like school girls we giggled, and ran away, our wisteria bouncing and falling into the wind as we went. We did this each walk until at last, the heat of late spring had taken them and all that remained were empty stems.

Six years would pass, in the spring of 2015 I nearly ran off the road when I saw them. A similar fence, with a similar billowing of purple over the side, nearly touching the ground. There to my left were the most intoxicating purples, violets, whites. Wisteria.

I stood for a moment, eyes pressed shut, inhaling their air. I tried to remember Clayton Road and her own wisteria, my mom standing next to me, telling me her tales. I tried to recount what she had taught me, how long for maturity, where did the grow best?

I grabbed a handful for myself, caring very little for those watching. Gently bringing them to my face, feeling high on flora, I was transported in time. There wasn't giggling or running away, I couldn’t hear her voice behind me, but I'd like to think she was smiling from Heaven, in a mansion covered in wisteria.