In the midst of winter…

I had an amazing calculus teacher.

Somehow in between teaching us to love numbers and master derivatives, Mr. Dy managed to sneak in these Friday afternoon life lessons that really hit home. And while I’ve completely forgotten how to calculate the slope of the tangent of a curve, some of those life lessons really stuck.

One in particular has been reverberating in my brain lately:

In the midst of winter

Because this has been a very long, very real, very not-skipping-winter-winter, and there have definitely been some hard days.

Days when I sit on the lobster-themed loveseat with an afghan around my shoulders and lighthouse-themed curtains framing the grey cold day outside and wonder, “what the HELL has happened to my life??”

Did I mention the lobsters?

Days when the only time I see the guy that I used to spend 24/7/365 with is from 4:30-6:00 am, when we drink coffee together and try to convince each other that we’re making progress and moving forward and doing the right thing and that we really didn’t like beaches all that much anyways (lies).

Marina del Rey

Days when it’s so cold outside that the little beetle absolutely refuses to start so I climb through ice-covered bushes to run multiple extension cords from the lobster-themed living room to the car to give the bug the juice that it very desperately needs to crank over and thank the stars that back in Bocas del Toro a guy named Franklin gave us his battery charger that has now saved multiple engine’s butts, multiple times.

Those days are hard. But tucked in amongst those days? In the midst of winter?

There have been new beginnings. Shiny, invincible, winter-can’t-get-me-down days.

South California beaches

Days when we find out we made it in to the marina in downtown Portland, so in just over a month the lobsters and lighthouses will be replaced with our favourite little boat and a slip in the heart of the city.

Brothers - in East LA

Days when we take our stable-living-life and make the most of it by exploring this great country we’re living in (and in particular the wonderful climates of Nashville and California!) and visiting great friends and family.

Nashville with Sandra

Days when we make progress professionally, something I thought I’d almost entirely given up caring about until it started to happen and that little sizzle of “yessssss” started popping as opportunities presented themselves.

South California beaches - us

Days, in particular, when the quiet of winter means there’s time for trying new wonderful things.

Things like working with an amazing life coach, and learning to embrace the possibilities of a quiet winter.

Things like discovering my body can transform for the better in a way I never thought was remotely possible until I survived a Whole30.

Things like discovering a new ridiculous passion for metalsmithing (which right now means burning up silver and melting sapphires), and sharing my artsy crafty passions with a new work opportunity.

Metalsmithing - This is the "sapphire" I melted (was apparently glass)

The “sapphire” I melted. I’m learning some expensive lessons!!!


Amethyst and Crysocolla rings and pendants

Some of my first non-burned-up creations… a chrysocolla ring and amethyst pendant. More fun than I can even explain!


Thing like discovering my kind of people in a class called “Cultivating Creativity”, and feeling all sorts of tiny little tendrils blossoming into hope for something new…

Leah - Bailey Island

… I guess maybe they call this Spring?

Regardless, the dark days of winter are slowly fading into a funny little lobster-themed memory, and the hopeful days of spring are blooming into what I hope will be an amazing summer.

Ben is a crazy talented artist

Jon’s brother Ben is a crazy talented artist and designer in LA. These are for the carbon-fiber and leather backpack he’s currently working on, just one project of many.

Tetro brothers - outside Ben's studio

I’ve never really spent time with brothers, but they seem almost as great as sisters 😉

Jon at Marina del Rey

We scoped out Marina del Rey, you know, “just in case”

Mom visits in March - cold!

My awesome mom agreed to come be our first visitor (in March!)

Maple Syrup tapping

She’s a trooper. And may have been bribed with maple syrup.

Holding on for an invincible summer,



In the midst of winter… — 10 Comments

    • Jennifer it’s maybe the coolest thing EVER… like I love it. LOVE it! Now I can rationalize all sorts of jewelry-related purchases, right?? 😉 And I don’t know about tshirts but I did officially take my long underwear off today (first time since…. October??). So we’re moving in the right direction!!! I bet GA is looking very warm and pretty right now 🙂

  1. Leah, It’s so good to see this endless winter end… no kidding!!!! I am so excited you are doing some jewelry. Did you take classes? It’s awesome and not easy to set a stone in a bezel. Congratulations

  2. So nice 🙂
    I love the springs coming. The sunshine starting to spark creativity more and more! Wearing tank tops and shorts WAY to quickly as soon as you see the sun and freezing because you’ve been highly optimistic that the sun means warmth.
    That is amazing you found a slip in Portland – what a wonderful city.
    My partner and I are working on our boat to get prepped for ‘the magic summer’. I’m trying to frame everything as art / creative projects.
    Fiberglassing? Nope. Its ‘Papier-mâché’ now. Or ‘mixed media representation’ when I get dust or dirt or something else in the epoxy.
    Enjoy the shifts towards summer as they happen – thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Saxony!! I was so sad we couldn’t get together and swap boat stories last weekend, but seems like our schedules were not meant to be!!! I love your writing and am excited to follow along on your new adventures this summer… especially this new “everything is a craft” perspective — I can work with that! 🙂 Keep in touch! Leah

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