1000Cranes life


This year I have written, and sent, 357 letters with little cranes in them. Some were birthday cards (when I was doing oh-so-well early in the year). Some were congratulatory and some were consolatory. Some were sad recollections of things that happened, or things that never happened.

357 of my little cranes have found themselves scattered across the world. The latest batch just left today, and I am overwhelmed by the thought of my words, the tiniest bits of my possible effort, touching so many. Strangers, friends, family. 16 Countries.

A friend of mine sent me a picture of a letter I don’t remember sending. The words hold a boldness that I’ve forgotten I used to have, but want so badly to get back.

We must never forget: we are invincible.
<3 benny

Those words, written so long ago, remind me that I used to be a different person. Those words reminding me of the person I want to be. Those words that I wrote to help her, coming back around to help me.

I’ve always believed that I was putting good into the world with my letters, and had hoped that the good I was putting out would return to me one day, but that small and immediate circle is something I never could have imagined.



In which I am hilarious.

6:45:35 PM me: when you coming home?
6:46:46 PM Jerry: nowish
6:46:53 PM Jerry: finsta headout in a minute
6:47:44 PM Jerry: want me to stop for anything?
6:47:56 PM me: nope
6:47:57 PM me: oh
6:47:58 PM me: wait
6:47:59 PM me: yes
6:48:01 PM me: hammer time
6:48:04 PM Jerry: LOL!


Because this is fun for me.

9:06:51 PM Jerry-poo:
9:07:03 PM Jerry-poo: If you and I were a comic, we’d be calvin and hobbes
9:07:05 PM Jerry-poo: …
9:07:11 PM Jerry-poo: not sure which one I’d be…
9:07:21 PM benny Vasquez: :)
9:07:23 PM benny Vasquez: I approve.

1000Cranes life

The Thank Yous

I’ve been sending cranes for 6 months now, and the best part, by far, is the thank yous. I’ve had people email me, or send me letters, or send me post cards. They’re all over the world, now, and it’s amazing to think about it. One of my favorite thank yous was from a boy who’d lost his girl. I’ll just let you read it:

Hey Benny,

Thank you very much for the crane you sent to my (ex)girlfriend in England. When I asked for you to make it, we were dating and getting along fairly well but then she had some issues she wanted to sort and wanted to be single for a while. It’s been about a month since we broke up now, and your crane just arrived and she was very happy with it! She wants to meet up with me soon and I just want to thank you for rekindling our relationship.

That absolutely made my day.

I can’t even tell you guys.

It was so awesome.

1000Cranes Instagram

First reply to my cranes, from New Zealand. <3 #1000cranes

via Instagram

1000Cranes life

Cranes, cranes everywhere.

Years. Years and years. That’s how long I’ve been writing letters to friends and family. And it’s always been about this one thing:

But this has been so much more rewarding, and so much more fulfilling.


1000 cranes, benny vasquez
heather’s crane
1000 cranes, benny vasquez
The Kemps’ cranes.


I’ve been getting pictures from people, and text messages, and phone calls, and Facebook and twitter messages. Love from all over.


1000 cranes, benny vasquez
1akdj’s crane
1000 cranes, benny vasquez
Sam’s crane










And it’s making me super happy that I’m doing this. And makes me only want to do it more.

The only real option is to keep doing it. I’ve had almost 50 complete strangers sign up this month. I’m just going to keep trying to find new people to share love with.


Alicia's Crane
Alicia’s Crane

and it’s all fine with me. <3

1000Cranes life

917 Paper Cranes left.

[box type=”shadow”]I’m folding and mailing 1000 paper cranes. If you want one, want to have one sent to someone else, or just haven’t heard about it yet, go read this.[/box]

First real wave left this morning. I am so excited. <3

The box looks so empty devoid of envelopes.

Only 917 left to send!

1000Cranes life

#1000Cranes update

[box type=”shadow”]I’m folding and sending 1000 paper cranes. If you haven’t heard about it, go read this.[/box]

I’ve been folding-away at the first 100-pack of origami paper I picked up. I’ve taken to folding them all in stages (this is nearing the end of stage 3 for these guys):

I’ve been numbering them all as I go, because keeping count any other way was proving impossible.

and the first pack of paper is done!

Because I like my mail lady, I’ll be making a stop at the post office tomorrow for this batch. I’m so excited to get some of these out the door!

1000Cranes life

1000 cranes

Sadako and her Paper Crane
Sadako and her Paper Crane credit: flickr user tonyjcase

“I shall write peace upon your wings, and you shall fly around the world so that children will no longer have to die this way” — Sadako Sasaki

This year I’m combining my love of writing letters, and my love of spreading smiles.

I live to help other people. I love every smile I help create. There are Japanese legends about the benefits of folding 1,000 cranes. They say that a person can create their own life-long good luck, or receive the granting of their life’s wish, by folding 1,000 paper cranes. I think I can both satisfy my life’s wish of spreading more joy and love, and create my own good luck, by folding 1,000 cranes, and mailing them to people.

folded paper cranes

But… I have a big problem.

The current incarnation of the letter list only has around 35 people on it. While they all humor me by accepting all of the random things and thoughts I send to them throughout the year, I think even their patience would be tried if they all got more than 30 paper cranes from me this year. This is where you come in. You can help me spread joy in one of two ways:

1) Sign yourself up!

If you’re not already on the letter list (or even if you are) sign yourself up! You will (eventually) get a paper crane from me, along with a note filled with my completely random ramblings.

2) Sign up someone you love, like, think is nice, or anyone to whom you want to give a smile.

We all know someone who could use a smile. A simple reminder that someone cares. A little bit of color in their day. Because this is all snail mail through the USPS you will need to know a postal address. I promise this address won’t be given to *anyone*. (You know. Unless there’s a court order involved. And my backups haven’t been deleted by accident.)

It’s a simple form, with exciting potential consequences.

folded paper cranes


I’ll probably post pictures and updates stuff and things like normal to twitter and facebook and instagram. Like I do. Maybe even youtube, if I get really ambitious. I’m so excited to see what these cranes can do.

life working out


A few years ago Ani and I decided to start working out together. Religiously, at 4:30am, I would pick her up (in the snow, people, because it was fall when we started). We saw the effects nearly immediately. The accomplishment and early-morning-energy-expenditure lifted our spirits throughout the entire day. The cardio immediately had an impact on our energy levels. We both slept better, and were better people to our loved ones.

By a few months in we could, with borderline boredom, do an hour of HARD running on the elliptical machines. I was so happy with my cardio fitness. I could do all kinds of stuff, without even thinking about it, and there was measurable progress in my strength and my pants were getting looser. Then I hit a pretty hard weight loss plateau (as in: two months without any loss at all) and got frustrated and distracted and quit.

In January of this year, Ani started a weight lifting program that has made her so strong. I am so proud of her progress, and so motivated by her success, but I’ve been struggling for a while.

My amazing husband has been encouraging, and cajoling, and silent, and motivating in every way he can think of, to try to help me with my fitness goals. It’s been amazing, and frustrating. But three weeks ago, I set a goal for myself: Be able to run one whole mile without stopping. No pace definition, no real timeline. Just one whole mile.

I started at the end of July with an un-moderated (meaning, I didn’t have anything tracking my intervals) run/walk of 15 minutes, three times a week. Today I finished day 1 of week 2 of c25k. I’m getting consistently faster, and consistently going farther, and consistently proving the mind weasel wrong.


Last week my amazing husband and I signed up for my first 5k. It’s a run that’s aimed at fun, and not at speed, which I think will be perfect for me. I’m stoked. And nervous. And stoked. We can do this. I can do this. I will do this.

color me rad colormerad team vasquez


EDIT 8/23:

Today’s numbers make me so happy I wanted to add them:

running log 2
running log 2