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// she's only happy in the sun.
Aug 12

letters to phoenix // 8.

dear phoenix,

i know these posts are supposed to be all about you, but i want to start this one with how you have single-pudgy-dimpled-handedly, changed me.

in so many ways you, a little boy with blueberry eyes, have broken me open. helped me learn things about myself that both exhilarate and scare me. i feel myself growing more empathetic, more vulnerable, more sensitive by the day. suddenly every person i encounter is someone else’s child, someone’s ‘phoenix’. and so i grieve more. i ache for parents losing their children to illness or accidents. and my teeth clench at the innocent casualties of war and famine and disease. i avert my eyes to violence on tv. and i hug you tightly in honor of all those parents who, for whatever reason, don’t get to hug their little ones today.

you’ve also evolved my relationship with your papa. i honestly didn’t think it was possible to love him any more, but watching him with you, i’m constantly blown away by his devotion and care. you are the brightest light in his world, and he adores you so, so much. hearing him say ‘goodnight prayers’ with you every night, i know i’d marry him all over again. and again.

you are the best example of unconditional love and acceptance. you greet me every time you wake with a giant smile that instantly dismantles my foulest of moods. through your eyes, i feel whole and strong and brave. and so, i give you the unfiltered, unbridled me. the me that sings loudly to insanely catchy and embarrassing songs, and dances gangnam style in the kitchen.

you give me context. the trials and tests i encounter don’t seem that grave or formidable when i remember you. and the same goes for our joys and opportunities. sure, there are some pretty incredible exciting things i’m involved in (dream projects in fact) but still, you win. you are the reason i go to sleep with a heart full of hope and happiness.

like both your mama and your papa, you are ticklish and your laughter heals hurts i forgot i had. i want to flash-freeze the moments when we’re giggling together, sprawled on couches or beds or floors, so i can defrost them 15 years down the road, and remember the days when my baby boy let me hang out with him for hours without complaint.

and this doesn’t mean it’s not hard. i still have so much to learn. my patience is tested and i fiercely miss my independence. my schedule. my ability to just get up and go wherever. heck, i still miss caffeine. and there are days where i just can’t wait for you to take a nap so i can have a moment to myself. there are struggles and anxieties and worries that keep me up late at night asking the internet for answers (i’m looking at you immunization schedules). but then you place your little hand on my arm as i’m nursing you, and i remember that i am your mama. no one else. i’m at once floored and awed by this responsibility. and i realize i wouldn’t give any of this up for my former life, as this new life with you just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter.

happy six months, my darling.



Aug 12
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i started this blog post two weeks ago. it was discarded and forgotten about in my drafts folder. this could actually be a metaphor for my life right now. starting and not finishing. coffee dates pencilled in and cancelled. good intentions of a healthy meal give way to the fact that it’s much easier to order pizza. yes, i want to go for a walk, and watch a sunset, and read a book, and roll my eyes as my eastern euro yoga teacher tells me to inhale new air deep into my lungs. but really, who has time for such luxuries? no one in casa gundry these days, that’s for sure.


my mum is kind over-the-top with her facebook posting of inspirational quotes, and pictures of zany inventions, and dogs cuddling with birds and whatnot. but this one thing i read on her wall actually lingered with me. it was a list of 12 symptoms of spiritual awakening:

1. an increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
2. frequent attacks of smiling.
3. feelings of being connected with others and nature.
4. frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
5. a tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears.
6. an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
7. a loss of ability to worry.
8. a loss of interest in conflict.
9. a loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
10. a loss of interest in judging others.
11. a loss of interest in judging self.
12. loving without expecting anything.

i have no idea who wrote the list and what kind of authority they are on the subject, but still, it got me thinking.


at risk of sounding like your crazy aunt, i firmly believe that air conditioners are bad for us and make us sick.


1. we need to go grocery shopping. we’ve gotten to the stage where there’s a lone onion and some condiments kicking around in our fridge. and my mum’s sour dough starter which i can’t bring myself to throw out even though i am not planning to bake bread.

2. we all have head colds. it’s the first time phix has been sick and to be honest, his attitude about it is a lot better than mine or devs. while i languish on our couch all woe-is-me, phix merrily jumps in his bouncer with his nose running right into his wide mouthed smile.

3. ashley moved back to san francisco and now phix is nannyless. so we are doing what any over-protective first time parent’s would do – importing my sister from australia to come and help take care of him for a few weeks until we figure out plan b. i know i could easily hire a local nanny. i know that there are wonderful day cares in our area. i know all this. but i just can’t. i can’t leave him with a stranger yet. *update* anisa has arrived. and she is a natural with phix and of course, he adores her. so that makes me very happy and is one less thing to agonize over. #hooray.


phoenix hugh gundry is nearly 6 months old. what the whaaaaat?!

i love our little family.

Aug 12
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Aug 12

on claiming time.

the lumineers have been the soundtrack to the past few weeks. this song in particular is on repeat.


this vibrant hot pink tree is one of the best parts of my daily walk to the office.


it’s steamy in LA these days. which results in clammy skin. and you know where clammy skin is on my list of dislikes? it’s close to the top, along with parking tickets and fickle internet. so phix may not have my eyes/ears/nose/chin/forehead, but he’s definitely my child in that we seem to share a distinct irritation with being inside on muggy days. it’s days like this that i wish we lived closer to the ocean.


lately, i find myself trying to retrieve memories of phoenix as a newborn. i am desperately trying to remember how it felt to hold his little body in my hands and his sweet vulnerability. but i am having trouble really grasping it. and i feel sad because no matter how much i try to imprint our journey together on the sinews of my heart, i still forget so many of the details. and i now realize that the reason people say that being a parent is hard is because it’s an exercise in grieving what was, over and over and over again, while also anticipating what is yet to come. and this is partly where the bone marrow deep exhaustion comes from. not the getting up every 2 hours to nurse. or hormones. or the 5am starts. but this race to remember. this fight to be present and aware. and in my quiet, honest hours i realize that i spend more time looking at various screens than i do my son’s ever-changing face, and this causes an ache that lodges heavy in my heart, because the screens will always be there, but his giant half-a-tooth smiles will be fleeting.



we start pre-production on our pilot episode of a full length SoulPancake show on monday. this is exhilarating, exciting and anxiety inducing. i’m so awed by this opportunity. but i also feel like taking a long nap. or going on a trip without phones and laptops to a redwood forest where i can once again smell the earth and feel connected to the ground.


when phix naps i do all the things that need doing. i wipe surfaces and do dishes and fold laundry and tidy rooms. and then he’s awake again and wants to put every.thing. in his mouth. the tv remote, my phone, the dirty car keys. and i try to buy a few minutes by giving him a frozen apple slice to chew/suck on. and in those minutes when my hands are free, i google ‘5 month old baby eating apples’ because i’m not sure i should be giving him solids so soon. rinse and repeat.


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