glow baby glow

For as long as I can remember, the center of my family’s dinner table always had at least two candles. As a boy, I eagerly awaited my chance to take the match and strike, amazed at the flame that came seemingly out of thin air.

When I was young, those candlesticks didn’t need to be replaced often. Now, a bit older, I find myself swapping them frequently—the old, exhausted wick replaced with a youthful, younger one. 

You see, at age five, I would shovel down my dinner–chicken, rice, broccoli (except back then broccoli was trees: “you need to eat your trees” my mom would say, and I always obliged), because at that age, youth would pull me from the table so I could run outside with my brothers and sister. The same would be true at age ten: gulp it down, asked to be excused, then perhaps bike the rest of evening away, going around and around our garage on my orange mountain bike—my first that had gears! As a teenager, there was homework, practice, college applications, even the occasional date that all made my stay at the dinner table brief—life moving at max speed, with me just along for the ride. 

Life still moves at 100 mph, but now, a little bit older and hopefully a bit wiser, dinner is a longer affair. A few things are different at these dinner tables when my family gets the chance to come together: broccoli is now called broccoli, my mother does not have to ask me to finish my vegetables, and candlesticks are now glassybaby.  

And it’s wonderful to have the transparent, the translucent, the opaque, and the two-step glassybaby all on the table. Sometimes I imagine those descriptions also applying to us: transparent when we are clear, open, and easily understood; translucent when we are a bit more mysterious; opaque when we are guarded, not willing to show our true selves; and two-step when there is something fantastical happening deep within our minds. With the company of those whom I love most by my side, I am my most transparent self—there is nothing for me to hide.

Learn all about how each glassybaby glows uniquely with the new glow code, now included in every description: shop.

spring baby

I stepped outside a few short weeks ago and something surprised me. Pink with flashes of innocent, fresh white filled my sight. Looking down the street, I saw more, sprouting up from shades of green, with deep browns all abound. Yellows popped, oranges and reds stayed shy, and that’s when I realized: spring had sprung!

The explosions of color all around make me realize that mother nature is the most altruistic artist: she paints, and we all enjoy her masterpieces. I try to emulate what I see all around with glassybaby, but with all of the choices (over 300 different glassybaby!), sometimes I feel like a little kid in a candy store—where do I even start? Luckily, glassybaby family member Marissa has helped inspire me with her fresh take on this year’s spring palette. I recently had the privilege to sit down with her and hear her perspective on the vivid palette that includes three new glassybaby: “unconditional,” “forgive,” and “compassion.”

In looking ahead, Marissa likes to honor the past: she knows that the glassybaby you already have (what she calls a foundation) is a great place to start when building a new palette. She was also quick to point out that she is a very “tonal” person, so she often will work with a gradient to make transitions from shades and colors. So, for Marissa, it’s never about replacing old with new, it’s about finding a refreshing take on your current palette with shades that respectfully acknowledge where you have come from, but are also excited about where you are going!

Most importantly, “it’s fun,” pointed out Marissa. We reminisced about our elementary school days, when we learned all about primary colors, the color wheel, and played with colors as we watched them, stunned, mix into entirely new ones. We laughed about those days when we believed there were “boy” colors and “girl” colors, “lucky” colors, and there were boxes of 12, 64, even 120 colored pencils and crayons!

And lastly, Marissa made sure to point out: “I’m inspired by everyone who comes into our stores.” The power of the glassybaby community continues to lift her, for it seems like everyday she meets someone with a fresh take on a new palette. All of it amounts to a limitless appreciation for the glassybaby community, “I’m always learning!” she told me. Indeed, we all are—happy spring, everyone!

spring easy gifts details.

eat drink and be merry

St. Patrick’s Day is a special celebration for me and my family. With the guidance of my grandfather, I know that this day is much more than giving tribute to our proud Irish heritage. With his bright green blazer that he keeps tucked away in his closet for the year, he sets the tone for our daylong celebration this day. 

When we come together at the St. Patrick’s Day dinner table, I always marvel at what I see. There is my grandfather beside me—having served in World War II, who raised my mother and her five siblings, and with a quick wit that seems to only become quicker with each year. Of course he holds single malt, because with a wink he will sip to what he calls “a blow for freedom.” There is my mother next to him, who walks beside me on the beach for miles and miles, letting the sun dip over the ocean as we share stories of childhood. I honor her love for me and the ocean with seabreeze. My younger sister, the baby of the family who braved growing up with three older, protective brothers and is now a beautiful, independent woman, holds the petite syrah. And those two older brothers—the countless basketball games we played—pick their own drinkers from the cabinet: kentucky water and cola.

Yes, St. Patrick’s Day gives my family and I the chance to celebrate our heritage, but as I mentioned before, this day is special for a deeper reasons. Together, my family and I indulge in the love we share for one another. Having lived a full and amazing life, my grandfather is most certainly the wisest of the bunch. He has taught me exactly how to eat, drink, and be merry.

Eat (with others), drink (to their company), and be merry (for each other’s love). This St. Patrick’s Day, I cheers my grandfather for teaching me this, and countless other life lessons. And you are certainly welcome to join us at those dinner tables: keep an ear for the many clinks of glassybaby drinkers through the night as we toast to the memories that have brought us so close. That is, if you can hear them over our stories, laughter, and boundless cheer!

baby two-step

Just one look at the newest glassybaby—herculesmaster of the universe, and grace—and your eye will stay fixed on their texture. Like the beauty of an early morning fog over water, you may even wait a moment longer to see their gorgeous colors lift. Luckily, those colors are there to stay, because a new, two-step process that involves a mysterious reduction flame makes them so unique.

Many of us have seen the glassblowing process firsthand: there’s the dancing, dangerous flame; the skilled glassblower working as part of a team who collectively respect and command that flame; the shape-shifting glass, molded, cut, and cooled; the warmth of the entire process—it’s enough to put you in a state of awe. It’s easy to be overwhelmed at the complexity of the glassblower’s artful process. But when comparing that process to something we all do—cooking—we find clarity.  

I cook with onions a lot, to the point that I think about onions perhaps too much. I think the sweet onion, when sautéed, when caramelized, when roasted, is the perfect addition to nearly any dish. I put sweet onions in my omelets, in my homemade hummus, in my stir-fry, in just about anything that could use a sweet crunch. And yet, we know an onion does not start off sweet—it takes some effort, it takes patience, and it may even take a tear or two to unlock its most delicious taste. It’s a process—preparing an onion—and it is one that I do almost daily.

So with an onion, just as with a glassybaby, you work with a flame, you change the shape of its original state and mold it to your desire, using spices with an onion and color dyes with a glassybaby. The purpose of each process is for enjoyment, though to be sure, that enjoyment is different between the two of them: tasting a cooked onion, and watching the art unfold in front of you as a flame burns within a glassybaby.

The parallel here is a bit of a stretch, yes, but it helps me understand the glassybaby process, and helped me understand the reduction flame. Similar to an onion, I learned that a glassybaby has layers. Most have three, but the two-step process is to achieve the fourth, and trickiest layer that makes hercules, master of the universe, and grace so unique. A special, reduction flame is needed when this final layer is applied so that the final colors—in this case gold and silver—gets unlocked from the glass and are drawn out to the surface. Reduction is the second step, and takes all of the glassblower’s skill and patience.

 Those glassblowers truly are skilled craftsmen and women. I think I will stick to my sweet onions, and leave the difficult art to them! Cheers to the glassblower, for enriching my life with art, and for helping donate nearly two million dollars to charity!

a secret crush

With all of the preparations needed for a wedding, it can be hard for a couple to remember that their day is a celebration, a tradition, and the opening of two hearts. Many of us know just how much stress can go into planning for a wedding because even if you have not planned one for yourself, undoubtedly family, friends, films and television have all given you a window into the funny, the outrageous, the sometimes unbelievable world of weddings.

 What’s remarkable about weddings is how their outcome, or role, is the same for each couple—to become married—but the expression of that love is entirely unique to each wedding. It’s not necessarily the what—two people, in love, becoming one—that fascinates me, it’s the how that fascinates and uplifts me. When you consider how two people decide to announce their love, then you inevitably think about the why. “How” we love is deeply connected to “why” we love.

 How Annie and Victor expressed their love as they made their vows has made me smile all week. I learned that when the two of them were dating, Victor would play a game with Annie’s glassybaby collection—switching her arrangement of “crush” with another glassybaby, and then waiting for Annie to notice the sneaky deed.

 Love can often make us revert back to our younger, childish selves because no matter what age you actually are, or how mature you think you have become, love will make you feel so young. Love will bring you back to the days of secret crushes.

At their wedding, Annie and Victor decided to honor their love with glassybaby. They forwent the traditional—flowers—and replaced it with the personal—glassybaby. Each bridesmaid walked down the aisle with a “crush” glassybaby and set them on a small table at the front of the venue. And most adorable was the flowergirl: oh-so-carefully she walked down the aisle, a “crush” glassybaby carried delicately in both her hands, offering it to the table, and to Annie and Victor’s love.

 See (and smile) for yourself!

marathon baby

We all cover a lot of miles over the course of our lives. Walking, running, biking—it would be really interesting to see our human-powered totals from when we start moving, to when we move on. Surely, we all would share a bell curve, and just as surely, that bell curve would range drastically from one person to the next. We all move, but we all move differently.

Sometimes, we need help from others when we do move. For me, having just completed my second marathon while wearing the glassybaby name across my chest, I realize just how much I needed others as the miles wore on, and my legs grew heavy. Marathons are tricky things: because of the self-inflicting discomfort you endure, you often question why you even subjected yourself to such pain. At least, that’s how I felt around mile 15. So just before the pain became too great, before the loneliness weighed too heavy on my mind, and when the finish line was nowhere in sight, I realized that I needed help from others. I found strength from the crowd—shouts of “go glassybaby!”; “you got this!”; and claps, hollers, and cheers pushed me to mile 16. The volunteers who would spend hours on the side of the road, filling, giving, refilling, giving, refilling, and giving cups of water and sports drink to me and thousands of other runners helped fuel my body to mile 17. And the encouraging words and sentiments from my friends and family, near and far, that all led to this moment, lifted me all the way to the finish line, and beyond.

Just like in life, during a marathon you have a choice: to be negative, focusing on the pain and discomfort, or to be positive, smiling, finding strength from others, and uplifting yourself. Both of these marathons have taught me, during the darkest mile, when I thought I was alone in my struggle, that there is so much good, so much light, to focus on. With this, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me reach the finish line, twice, in my glassybaby shirt. Indeed, the glassybaby family has helped me run two of my fastest marathons yet, just as glassybaby continues to help millions of others, charities and individuals, reach their full potential. We all can find strength, and a little light, in that. 

love day

Have you ever noticed how a heart, the one that comes on greeting cards, or the one that boxes of chocolates are shaped after, basically all of the hearts you see leading up to Valentine’s Day, are always perfectly curved and perfectly symmetrical? And have you ever been frustrated when, after attempting to draw your own perfect heart, you pull your marker away and see that one side is lopsided, the curve too sharp or shallow, or one heart’s ear too floppy, and the other too narrow? And heart after heart, you just cannot seem to right the imperfection—indeed, the imperfections actually increase with each successive one you draw?

It’s funny how you strive for perfection when it comes to love, because you want it to look just right.

This Valentine’s Day, glassybaby has helped me learn that it is our imperfect qualities, as individuals, that make us each unique. Just as no two glassybaby are the same–its shape, its weight, its curve, its glow—no two of us are the same. That simple fact has helped me learn that, when it comes to drawing hearts, the imperfect ones mirror our human uniqueness. Our imperfections, and more importantly the way we accept, appreciate, and love one another’s imperfections is what Valentine’s Day is all about.

And so, this Valentine’s Day, I give a special thanks to glassybaby for helping me draw only one heart, and for the gifts that I have given that not only show my love for my mother and my family, but also go beyond, supporting Solid Tumor Translational Research in honor of Babes Against Brain Cancer (that’s ‘belle’), Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (that’s ‘goodness’), and the Seahawks Women’s Association (that’s ‘spirit of 12′). Finally, my imperfect Valentine’s Day has left me perfectly content!