Thursday, December 31, 2009

Coming to a Close

(about artwork by Nikky. The wind is rising...)


Favorite things of this very moment (11:01am CST):
  • Good memories
  • iTunes shuffle
  • Realizing how many beautiful songs I didn't even know I had
  • Flutes (that's something I never thought I'd say)
  • Scratch paper and the pen closest to me
  • Grey tanktops & sweaters

Today is the day you look back on the year gone by and wonder what it all meant.

On Tuesday night, my dear friend Heather reminded me that God is in control. She said it's important to remember that we just can't see all the good that comes from what we do. She agreed with me that there must be a reason I'm still where I am. This doesn't mean that things aren't going to keep changing and that I won't be moving some day soon (it will happen come the fall if not sooner), but it does mean that there is a purpose for this.

Do you ever wonder in what ways you're truly affecting the lives of others? Do you wonder if you've had an impact for the good of their hearts and lives? I do. All the time.

And I've been thinking back on this year, the good and bad. This past year has brought little ones into my life that I'm grateful for: Xavier, Aria, baby Kayla, and Carter. Babies that I will happily watch grow and adore for the rest of their lives.

I've also watched my plans shift, phase, change and break repeatedly. I've come to dread answering questions or telling people my plans because it worries me that I'm jinxing them in doing that.

Life is temporary and transient. My plans are apt to change and bound to because I'm clearly, and repeatedly, screwing them up. One of my favorite verses, Proverbs 16:9, pretty much sums this up: "The human mind plans the way, but the LORD directs the steps." I need to try and make sure that my plans are going through God's filter and approval. Otherwise I'll never make it anywhere.

Life is lessons learned and movement.

I may not know exactly where I am going, but I'll keep trying my best. I'll apply for jobs, save money, try to plan (but try not to stress out if they don't all work the way I think they should), make baby blankets, learn new skills, read new books, and do my best to live and laugh and love. There's not enought time to do anything else really.

Let's head into 2010 with our heads held high, our hearts on our sleeves, and honesty on our lips. No regrets. Let's aim for that.

May your's be blessed.

With all my love, J

ps. A mix for the new year (Reckless):

  1. Understand - Jeremy Camp
  2. Pre-Ex-Girlfriend - Five Iron Frenzy
  3. All My Loving - Jim Sturgess
  4. Hang me Up to Dry - Cold War Kids
  5. String of Pearls - Jimmie's Chicken Shack
  6. Badfish - Sublime
  7. Baby's Got Sauce - G. Love & Special Sauce
  8. Authority Song - Jimmy Eat World
  9. Via Chicago - Wilco
  10. Warsaw Pact Yard Sale - Accost
  11. Protect me from What I Want - Placebo
  12. War of my Life - John Mayer
  13. The Rain Song - The Dreamer & the Sleeper
  14. Prayer for the Dying - Seal
  15. Used to the Pain - Keith Urban
  16. The Way I Loved You - Taylor Swift
  17. We Will Become Silhouettes - The Postal Service
  18. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Martin Luther McCoy

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recycle

(Picture by Terrence Raper)
Favorite things of this very moment (11:57 am CST):
  • Jingle Bell Java coffee with some eggnog
  • Being handed a Snapple Raspberry Ice Tea (which is probably my favorite) by my younger brothers after they'd borrowed my car
  • Having heard from Nikky this morning
  • Good music shuffling through my iTunes
  • Having a good conversation with Jordan echoing through my head and helping to clear the last of the shadows of the ache I was feeling last night slowly dissipate
  • Christmas lights (they truly never get old)
  • Sunshine
  • The promise of some girl time with Heather later this evening
I was trying to come up with an appropriate response to a post Jordan had written earlier today, and I was reminded of something about myself. I am a recycler and a rescuer. I am a collector of the lost and a restorer of the forgotten.
Nikky can attest to my bizarre reuse of paper. I tend to write her letters on whatever I have at hand at the moment: napkins, scratch paper, old memos, Beef-A-Roo tray inserts, Alfanos place mats, and even Cheese Nips boxes. I believe everything has a use. I tend to use scraps of cloth to create new things. I am currently creating a creature that Nikky will eventually probably get to own (she often gets stuck with my more bizarre creations). It's made from old scraps of fleece that my mom used to make blankets. I once made an afghan for a friend that was made almost entirely of yarn my grandmother had given me. A huge blanket made of castaway colors. It is one of the strangest looking blankets in history, but he loves it.
I feel people should be looked at in the same way was the blankets I've made or the creature I'm creating: each piece of them tells a story, and they're always made from love. I don't create things because I hate them, I retrieve the bits and find ways to use them for something better. People are the same. There will never come a day when I find a person who is without a little sparkle and magic of their own. There is always something worth restoring. Something worth protecting and preserving. Something worth pursuing and nurturing.
We are all lost, but we are also all worth being recovered and restored. We are priceless like jewels. Each of us starts off as something rough and uncut, but we can be turned into something much more beautiful. Something more.
We are diamonds in the rough.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Can't Believe It's Christmas!



Favorite things of this very Christmas Eve moment (10:58 am CST):

  • Frosty's Favorite coffee in my favorite lovely green mug from Nikky
  • My giant Christmas playlist on shuffle on iTunes (The Carpenters, George Winston, the Muppets, Josh Groban, Bright Eyes, Elvis, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Jars of Clay, etc. etc.)
  • Mira being fairly friendly
  • The ice melting off my car so that I don't have to take the hair dryer and extension cord out to open them like last year
  • That my house has electricity and heat unlike quite a few of the homes here in town (ice storms are an interesting thing)
  • That David is safetly here at home and will be staying here until after Christmas
  • Knowing Mom and I have buckeyes to dip later this afternoon
  • Knowing I'll get to talk to Nikky at some point today
  • Brightly colored slipper socks that keep my toes warm and whose siblings live with Nikky in Ohio (with big pictures of Zac Effron's face on each sock...ha)
  • That I am healthy (very much unlike last Christmas Eve)
  • That it's Christmas Eve!

Tomorrow is Christmas. Tomorrow. Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. It never fails. There's just something magical (I've used that term sooooo often lately, I apologize) about Christmas Eve. The anticipation and wonder of the day. Knowing that tomorrow brings the revelation of the contents of the pile of colorful packages under your Christmas tree, knowing that the people you love will be opening things that you carefully wrapped and purchased just for them, and lots of tasty food.

Life is beautiful.

May your Christmas be full of love. May it be full of the joy and wonder you felt for Christmas when you were just a little one. May it be full of fulfilled promises and the promise of future joys. May it be full or ridiculous happenings (in the very best sense) and Christmas music. May it be full of the twinkle and sparkle of Christmas lights and the delight of every moment.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: "May your future be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white." That and more I wish for you.

All my love this glorious Christmas, J

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why Can't Every Day Feel Like Christmas?

Favorite things of this very moment (7:48 pm CST):

  • My beautiful Autumn Berry nailpolish (it's a nice burgundy color)
  • Christmas lights
  • A happy, purring Mira
  • Turtle cheesecake
  • Christmas music (oh the joys of iTunes shuffle)
  • Ice water
  • This fantastic, warm, soft green turtleneck sweater (and I have never been a fan of turtlenecks, but this one totally wins)
  • Christmas plotting

I was just rereading my "My Grown-Up Christmas List" post from back in Nov. 2007. Cracked me up. It definitely worth writing. There are a lot of things I could be wishing for this Christmas, but mostly I'm just wishing for some guidance, and the strength to stay were I need to.

I don't mean I need to stay in one place physically, but I do feel that I've become a bit of a wishy-washy person in the spiritual sense, and that's distressing. Christmas is full of magic, and I really hope that this magic stays with me. I plan to hold onto the mystery and magic of Jesus' birth as tight as I can. I intend to try and keep drawing closer to God over the course of the next year, and preferably, for the rest of my life. I need this. I need God in my life. I need that strength, the joy, and most of all, the hope.

This is what I love about Christmas. I love the hope that just radiates from everything. The joy that shines in the eyes of everyone around you, and the love that people just drop everything to share. As Elvis once sang, "why can't every day be like Christmas?" It's a valid question.

So here's my challenge to you: let's make this Christmas feeling last. Let's do everything that we can to make the lives of those around us better. Let's show magic and love and life and joy in all we do. No matter the circumstances, let's be something wonderful. Let's shine. You and me. Let's make this Christmas last forever.

With love, J

Friday, December 18, 2009

Goodbye, Kable.

Dear Kable,

I would say, but I know this letter simply confirms our goodbye. I know you don't want me anymore and that this is the end of relationship, but I still feel I have a few things to say.

First, I'd like to thank you for the years we had together. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be able to type at speeds that make my friends and family twitch at times. I wouldn't be able to type numbers at all, and I wouldn't know that towns like King of Prussia or names like Szilassy exist. I also wouldn't know that there are roughly a million different spellings for the name "Ashley." And, of course, I wouldn't realize the large variety of magazines that exist in the universe. My favorite it still Window Fashions. Few things have made me happier than that magazine and all it implies.

You were also the one that helped force Zuni and I together. You inspired so many terrible mix cds, story ideas, long discussions, and overtime. You caused me to fall in love with post-it notes and to have a constant need to have hand-sanitizer nearby. Because of you, I made friends with some improbable people, listened to quite a few great audiobooks (and a pathetic one or two), fall in love with a great number of bands and begin to deeply study lyrics.

Of course, there were bad things too: the unkept promise of overtime, the crushed dream of having something steady and stable for as long as I needed, the extensive number of pornographic magazines that come through your doors, the multiple desk moves, and the never ending dust. Then of course you also forced me to share my desk with a few different temps who all thought they had a right to reorganize my desk, and then there was, of course, the stapler thief who was smart enough to return my stapler after I wrote them a carefully worded note... Sometimes the office really was like something out of "Office Space."

Kable, what I'm trying to say is, I would have gladly stayed with you forever. I enjoyed being there with you more than I can say. I always found my time with you to be satisfying, and I've been struggling with letting go. Now I've come to realize that it's too late to come to terms with this. The end had been coming for so long, and I'd been watching it creep towards me. I guess being kicked out last night just threw me off and caused me to realize that this really was happening to me.

And now I'm on my own and looking all over again. I think you really messed up this time, Kable, but that's not my call I guess. I hope, as pathetic as this may sound, that you really regret losing me as time goes on. I hope you realize that I was incredibly helpful and important to you, and mostly, I hope you struggle to move on without me. That would only make this fair.

Don't worry about me. I'm going to make it just fine. I have plans, and I'm already working to fulfill them. Maybe I'll look back on this and smile in a few years because this may be just what I needed to push me to grow into the woman I need to be. Maybe then I'll be able to thank you, but I guess only time will tell.

So this is it. Goodbye, Kable. I'll miss you.

Love,
Jaymin

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sometimes You Realize

(Above picture is Carson, spring 2007, posing for his "Senior Picture" in one of the big trees down by the Rock River at Lowell Park)

Favorite things of this very moment (9:42 pm CST):

  • Cherry Carmex (if it makes this stupid fever blister, I'll be ecstatic)
  • Christmas lights
  • Being at home
  • The Christmas stocking hanging from my dresser drawer that was given to me at work today (Jackie made them for everyone, and they're filled with chocolate...brilliant)
  • Knowing that a) a box will be on its way here to me sometime tomorrow, b) that Christmas is only 9 days away, c) Wild Berry wine cooler & good movie (Hot Rod or The Holiday) await me when I finish this post
  • That my large brown cat that loves me more than she likes to admit

My fingers are cold, but most of the rest of me is doing alright. I have on my fuzzy burgundy socks, and I've put more Carmex on my fever blister. The socks make me happy, and the Cherry Carmex really isn't terrible tasting or smelling like I feared it would be. It rather soothing actually.

I'm just reflecting a bit. I've been having weird dreams again lately. One from this past weekend involved the world coming pretty close to ending. Giant tidal wave, earth quakes, that sort of thing. Somehow though I woke up not feeling at all worried. Normally a dream like that would have left me shaken and twitchy, but the other morning when I woke up, I simply felt a twinge of sadness in its wake. How bizarre.

The other dream that stands out to me was about Carson. Kayladrew's younger brother. A kind, quiet guy with a wicked sense of humor and magical hands when it comes to a guitar. He's a pretty cool guy, that Carson. In the dream though, he was moving. Far away. To Alaska. I was sad. Through most of the dream I was just trying to make sure I'd still be able to talk to him. That he knew I would actually still want to hear from him. Carson and I may not be super close, but he's been a part of my life for a long time now, and not having him around is sad. This dream was pretty well based in reality. I just found out a little while back that he's considering moving to Alaska. Several friends of our's live up there now, and one of his cousins does as well. I think that sadness of Carson being so far away just seeped into my dreams. I know I'm planning on moving, but Carson is like...well...he's like home. He's just part of this area, and thinking maybe I won't see him when I come home (however sporadic) seems so bizarre. It will be like something is missing.

Does it suprise you when you realize how much a part of your life someone really is?

I guess it shouldn't, but it did. If he leaves, it will mean awkward stilted letters and possibly boxes of stuff. Cookies, random mix cds, hideously cheesy thing. I'll miss him.

And on that note, I need to go to bed. Or at least put on pjs and watch a movie and stop thinking so much.

Good night.

ps. One more picture:

(This picture is from the lesson I did on guarding your heart. Carson is showing off his heart security system. Spring 2007. I think it's guarded by be a fence and maybe some barbwire, not to mention a moat. Definitely a moat. And Jay's the big tall guy off to the side who thinks I'm nuts for even suggesting a group of semi-adult-like people and a few young kids draw heart security systems in sidewalk chalk on the church parking lot. This is why Carson is a great guy, he just does these thing without seriously questioning my sanity. At least not to my face. ha.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Inventory

Items purchased this morning before 10am CST:
  • 2 Viva2 Tires to replace my constantly leaking front tires (when you have to put air in your tires several times a week, if not more, this is when you know you must get new tires, even if the price makes you cringe and want to cry)
  • 1 tube Burt's Bees chapstick to replace the almost empty tube now residing in my pocket
  • 1 container Burt's Bees Hand Salve to put in my purse because my hands are distrubingly busted up right now and they need some help
  • 2 undisclosable (is that a proper word?) items because they made me smile and I think they'll make my dear best friend smile too
  • 1 package of red socks (5 pairs) for the Christmas gift thing at church (they're given to people at a home in Oregon, I love being able to do something, even if it is small)
  • 1 pair ultra soft red socks (the woman wanted red socks, and I wanted to cover ALL my bases)
  • 1 pair red & green Christmas penguin socks (oh yes! And these are also for the nice lady who wanted red socks)
  • 1 pair man's winter gloves (for the nice gentleman at the church who needed them) which are super soft and should be super warm
  • 2 bottles sparkling juices because they were on sale, you can never have too many, and because this is the Christmas season and there is always a reason to celebrate
  • 1 pair flannel sheets which are white with multi-colored snowflakes on them because I finally had to toss my flannel sheets last year when they developed a hole (I think it may have started when I accidently clipped them with scissors, at least that's what I'm guessing created the hole, knowing me)

Yes. And now, I will be done doing any real purchases for awhile. My money will mainly go into paying for gas in my car, contacts, and car payments until I find a new job. I'm praying that tomorrow I will run across several places that desperately want to hire a 23-year-old girl with only her associates degree and some odd ball skills to back her up. That and her ever so charming personality combined with her excellent work ethic and integrity. Let us hope.

I guess what this comes down to is a hope that you will keep me in your prayers and that nothing else will go wrong with my car. Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration is the most frustrating vehicle I have encountered maybe ever (outside of David's cars which up until his purchase of his new-ish Camry have been even more questionable than mine).

With that being said, I guess I should go wrap some Christmas present and get the last of my pre-work stuff done. May you have a wonderful day full of joy, sunshine, laughter, and absolutely free of car issues.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tick

Favorite things of this very moment (10:02 am CST):

  • The eggnog in my coffee
  • Emails from a very tall, very silly friend
  • Knowing I have some great plans for today
  • The anticpation of Christmas
  • More importantly, the anticpation of the box from Nikky (woohoo!)
  • My Christmas mix for this year (which is playing "Bless Us All" from "A Muppet Christmas Carol" right now)

For anyone unaware of this particular phenomenon: I have a tick. Up until about 3 years ago, I'd never had one. Never had a twitch of any kind unless it was the kind you had to fake while acting or when I was being sarcastic with Jeff's bad behavior. When I started working in customer service at Kable, I developed a tick. The corner of my left eye will just spasmatically start twitching. It was horrible while I was in customer service. The longer I was there the worse it was.

Well, now that I'm on the brink of being unemployed (December 18th is coming more quickly than I ever imagined it would), the tick has returned. It's stress.

In a way the tick is kind of a good thing. It points out to me that something is wrong, that I need to make some changes in my life. When I was in customer service, it alerted me that my job was not worth the frustration. Even if the pay was fantastic for me. It really wasn't very much money, but it was my first full-time job and I thought it was amazing. I actually could pay for everything I needed, and kept myself fully out of debt. It was fantastic. That I miss. That is what I am looking for.

The tick tells me that my life is in for change. That this is inevitable. That despite my reservations, I am making a leap without being able to see the other side of the gap.

I am terrified. This is also what the tick means. I am scared out of my mind, and I hate this. Not knowing, not being able to control the outcome fully. Not feeling fully stable....these things make me crazy, and the tick comes out full force in those situations.

I'll be grateful when I can locate a new job. A new form of stability until I have to make my next leap...because they're always on the horizon.

Wish me luck, and please be praying for me. Thanks.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gifts and Magic


Favorite things of this very moment (9:15 am CST):

  • Sunshine on the snow (though blinding, it makes everything sparkly)
  • Louis Armstrong singing Christmas songs
  • Talking to my mom
  • The sound of the heater kicking on
  • Mira lounging like a mountain lion on the back of the couch next to me

Today is already a beautiful thing. I don't have anything special planned. I don't have anywhere to go besides work. I don't have anything else that I have to do at all really. There's just something promising about a Friday. Especially a Friday before Christmas. It's rather lovely, and in my case, fairly well relaxed.

I love that in the Christmas story in Luke 2 it says that after the sheperds came to see Jesus that "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." It must have been overwhelming, but I think it must have also been rather wonderful. I guess mornings like this give me a slight sense of that. I'm looking out across the frozen backyards of my neighbors across a shimmering blanket of snow and frosted trees, and what I'm pondering is Christmas. Treasuring in my heart all the joy this blessed season harbors.

God loved me so much that He sent his little one into this world. He sent a baby. A little boy. This makes me think of Carter. My friends, Brian and Hannah just had their little boy last week. The joy I feel in this is overwhelming. My friends, Todd and Shelley brought home their newborn baby, Noah as well. Todd and Shelley have been trying to adopt children for years, and in the past few months so much has changed for them. They were given a beautiful little 4 year old girl, Abigail (who I adore more than words can say), and they'll officially have adopted her this coming month. On top of this, they've also been given the gift of this brandnew baby boy, Noah. December is a magical month. God is giving more gifts.

Does that amaze anyone else? The sheer unumerable number of gifts that God has and is giving us? Even now. All these wonderful new babies: Carter, Noah, Aria (my friends, Kyle and Angies new baby girl). The warmth of our homes. The love of our familes. Our wonderful friends. What about the delightful pancakes I had this morning?

Everything is a gift.

I guess what I'm saying is, no matter what you're struggling with, no matter what I'm struggling with, God is still there, and He is still creating perfect, beautiful things in our lives. Even when we don't see them right away. Let's try to keep our eyes open for the beauty and wonder that God is placing in our lives. For the gifts and for the magic. This season is full of both.

Monday, December 7, 2009

What the Strainer Caught

Favorite Things of this Very Moment (10:49 am CST):
  • "What the Strainer Caught" mix
  • Christmas lights
  • Powdered sugar snow that's coating everything outside
  • Clean water
  • Knowing people I love will be receiving special holiday surprises/greetings in the mail
  • Having my major errand of the morning completed
  • Writing real responses to emails
  • Having a new book of stamps sitting on the footstool just waiting for letters to be sent
  • The sounds of the heater mixed with Cake singing "I Will Survive"
  • That only my pinkies seem to get cold (Why is that?)
  • Chubby little squirrels who seem to be living for each and every moment while jumping through all the trees of the neighbor hood finding berries and whatnot to munch this fine December morning
  • Adjectives
My brain is a seething mass of thoughts and emotions completely incapable of slowing or holding still. I have felt, often lately, that I just can't contain them all. There's always something trying to escape. Maybe I just haven't done such a great job of expressing them lately. It just seems too much.

It becomes increasingly weird when you get to a point where you realize that your emotions or something deeper in you is making it impossible to think of anything but reaching over and grabbing someone's hand. When it takes all your will to hold your hands together...doesn't that seem a little bizarre. Especially when you are fine without this individual whenever you're away from them...

Sometimes I wonder if my brain really is wired differently from the average woman. Worries me a little bit at times, but I guess God made me this way for a reason, even if I don't understand it and it makes me wonder if I'm crazy.

Ha.

Luckily, this is the season of love, giving, charity, joy, magic: Christmas. The joy of Christ's birth and the overflow of generosity spills into every day. So much magic really does radiate through the Christmas season. I love the change that it brings over people. Even the hardest of hearts. It's hard to be a grouch during this lovely season of the year. Even a cynic melts into the romantic they truly are at heart in the month of December...Magic.

May this December bring you all the joy and magic the season can hold. May it overwhelm you in the very best sense of the word, and may it spill into the rest of the coming year.

And I'll leave you with this, What the Strainer Caught playlist (to express the overflow in my head):
  • Mixed Tape - Jack's Mannequin
  • Love Don't Live Here Anymore - Lady Antebellum
  • (You're the) Devil in Disguise - Elvis Presley
  • Friends - Band of Skulls
  • Hokis - Eve 6
  • Daria - Cake
  • Every Day is Exactly the Same - Nine Inch Nails
  • Papercut - Gym Class Heroes
  • Kiss Kiss - Chris Brown & T. Pain
  • Getaway - Train
  • Burning Man - Third Eye Blind
  • Islands in the Stream - Bee Gees (not a joke, Nik...haha..."What's that Pete?")
  • Wrong Turn - Jack Johnson
  • Breaking It Up - Lykke Li
  • Hey Mr. DJ (Keep Playin' This Song) - Backstreet Boys (don't you judge me...ha)
  • Oil and Water - Incubus (*sigh* Brandon Boyd *sigh*)
  • Back to You - John Mayer
  • If You Want My Love (Alternate Version) - Cheap Trick
  • I Will Survive - Cake (my favorite version of this song...ever)
  • Message in a Bottle - John Mayer (*smiles*)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

There's Always Something to be Thankful For



Today, instead of doing my "Favorite things of this very moment" list, I'm just going to tell you what I'm thankful for. It won't include everything that I'm thankful for because that list would never end, but I'd like to tell you some of them.

So, with the spirit of thanksgiving dancing in my blood, here's a list of things that I am thankful for:
  • Nikky: because she's my very best friend, she makes life easier, she understands my ramblings, my whining, my confusion, and my hysteria. She makes me laugh, and she lets me cry. It's impossible to feel too ashamed or embarrassed when she's around, and I'm rarely if ever afraid to say whatever I feel or think. She understands. I'm glad she's been so gracious about all the issues of our attempts to move (it will happen, but only God knows when. Sooner than later), and she introduced me to good Silk soy milk, RiffTrax, Chai, and many good books, songs, stories, movies, poems, and pictures. She's the other half of my soul (in a completely heterosexual way, of course. *smiles*). I love her. I am thankful.
  • My family: because they're as crazy as I am, and despite how wishy-washy I am all too often, they're fair more patient with me than I deserve. They love me in spite of myself. I know they'll be there for me no matter what, and I love each of them for that. They make me crazy, but they also make me laugh so hard I'm in tears, and I think they know I love them more than I can say. I am thankful.
  • Kayla: because she's the sister I never had. She is one of the kindest people on earth, and I adore her for that. Her exceeding thoughtfulness, her laughter, smile, words of encouragement, and willingness to lend a hand will always make her something extra special. I love her very much. I am thankful.
  • Ben: because he stuck with me through my darkest times, and never turned me away. Even when I was a brat, he still cared about me. He's always been there for me, and I truly hope that we are always able to be the great friends that we are. And because he read the Twilight series in exchange for my reading Harry Potter. Ha. :)
  • Jay: because...he lets me be what I need to be. He doesn't question my sanity, even when I do, and he believes in me when I don't deserve it. He's shown me grace and respect even when I'm acting like a lunatic, and has called me one of his very best friends even when our relationship was strained and my heart was breaking. He's one of the most talented musicians I know, and the girl that gets him will be lucky beyond her wildest dreams. Because he believes I am courageous and true of heart and sees good in me that I struggle to see. Because he's a little in love with Edward himself, even though he's one of the straightest guys I've ever met. :) But mostly because he makes me laugh, allows me to be awkward, is incredibly beautiful, and is truly wonderful.
  • Fresh blueberries: because, despite how trivial it sounds, they're fantastical, and because I'm currently eating a bunch of them in some vanilla yogurt (forcing myself to attempt to eat some kind of food in the morning can be interesting, but this is quite lovely).
  • Financial Peace University: because the principles I learned while taking that course helped me to value saving money more than I ever have. I have money put aside, and this makes life much easier as I still haven't found a new job, and my lay-off date looms ever closer. Even in uncertainty, I have some hope because I have money saved up...it'll take me a little while to burn through it. And I'm not too worried just yet.
  • Stovetop Savory Herb Stuffing: because my mom makes it every year at Thanksgiving, and it's delicious. Something out of a box isn't supposed to taste nearly that good. :)
  • Warm clothes
  • Chocolate chip cookies (or even better, chocolate chunk and butterscotch chip cookies, which I intend to make a big batch of within the next few days...mmm...)
  • Korean pop songs: because they make me smile, I can understand half the words, and the music videos are full of insane dance moves (which I want to learn) and great subtitles.
  • Warm showers: because there are few things in life more soothing or better able to warm you back up
  • Good books: because they can transport you out of the mundane or frustrating parts of your day and make you feel a deep connection with the characters and the people around you. Plus they can really inspire you and give you hope or make you laugh...
  • David having his own place: because I can see how excited, happy and proud he is to be able to support himself and have his own life. I'm proud of him for being so brave, and hope that he'll be blessed in all of this.
  • My faith: because it keeps me going and gives me hope when I feel all is lost. God's going to take care of me, I just need to do what I can, all that I can, and leave everything else to Him.
  • And Jordan: because he inspires me and makes me smile.

Like I said this is a very small portion of an ever-growing list, but I wanted to share. I hope you find many, many things to be thankful for both big and small.

Happy Thanksgiving, with all my love.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dreams in the Fog


(the above picture is by Graysen Pack)



Favorite things of this very moment (9:09 am CST):
  • Being awake
  • Having already talked to Ben and knowing I'll get to hang out with him at some point today
  • Angels & Airwaves
  • Spinning in the computer chair
  • Trying and failing to finish a bowl of cereal which for some reason seemed like the best thing in the universe at the time and now seems like a bowl of unnecessary blah
  • The shuffle function on iTunes
  • "Bleed" by Further Seems Forever (the accoustic version)

There is a mist covering over everything this morning. A hazy low fog. I woke up this morning and pulled my blind back. I do this whenever I know I have to get up. Just an immediate reaction, and I always find myself hoping for a glimpse of something more. Today I was just hoping for some sunshine. The glow of sunlight always does wonderful things for my generally grogy mind. Today I didn't find any such luck. Instead I found a bright white fog. It felt blinding streaming light in through the darkness of my quiet room.

The fog makes me feel trapped and claustrophobic. I hate driving through it more than almost anything. You just never know what's going to walk out of that fog. Despite that, Mom and I still managed to take a walk this morning. I love these walks, they tend to clear the fog out of my own mind and memory.

This morning it brought back the dream I'd had last night. I had a dream that Cally was in the house. This was incredibly confusing because I knew Cally was dead. I knew she had been buried, and I also knew I had taken the tag off her collar. The whole dream was upsetting and confusing because no one knew what was going on, and I realized that I still had Cally's tag in my room. This new mystery cat, the Cally imposter was in the house acting just like my Cally had. Mira was incredibly upset. The purpose of this dream is lost on me, but it left me feeling frustrated and upset. Not exactly a mood you want to carry over into the morning.

My dreams seem to frequently color my waking mood. Lately a lot of them have involved the army. I'm not wholly sure what brought this on, but my mom pointed out that I have a lot of close friends in the military. I also have a friend who is currently considering joining. I will support my friends who join, but I'd really rather they found other jobs. I realized this morning though that a lot of my issue with this is just that I can't do anything to protect them. That's not entirely true, I can pray for them. Outside of that though, it's completely out of my hands. It frustrates me. I'm glad God is patient with me...

Dreams mean so much to me. I'm sure many of them are nothing more than the jumble in my head and heart pieced together by the whispers of the night, but sometimes they change things. My dreams have given me hope when there wasn't any left in my heart, and they've told me things that I didn't want to face in my waking hours. They've forwarned me of heartbreak, and given me peace when all around me was turmoil. No one will ever be able to convince me that God doesn't work through dreams.

Maybe dreams are just a light in the fog...burning away the clouds and doubt to reveal something that had been hidden, we just needed to get close enough to really see it.

Just a thought.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The One Sandwich Rule

Favorite Things of this very moment (10:25 am CST):
  • Audio Books
  • Free MP3 downloads
  • Taeyang & G-Dragon (Hooray Korean pop!)
  • Post-it's
  • Cheap double mocha mix from Aldi's (actually quite tasty)
  • Scented candles
  • "Good Lovin'" by the Rascals (makes me smile every time)

My nights at work often leave me with at least one scrawled set of notes on a post-it, and lately they've been a lot of song titles, to-do lists, and some random ideas that I realize are just bouncing around my head. I use to create stories while I was at work, and lately I've been far busier trying to untangle the mess I've crated of my life.

Sometimes the thoughts and realizations come from years of experience or reflection on my own behavior or perhaps a situation or story that I have been dwelling on, but they always seem new. Strange.

The other night though, I was thinking about how I've been trying to modify my habits in a number of areas in my life for the past few years. I always seem to fail. I think this is because instead of trying to start small and work my way up, I've been trying to accomplish everything at once. If I know anything about myself, I should know better than to try to do too many things at once. I can multi-task, but when you're trying to tweak behaviors, that's probably not the best plan. It definitely isn't for me. I end up feeling overwhelmed and like a failure because I'm spreading my concentration a bit too thin.

This is where the One Sandwich Rule comes in. It's all about a few tiny modifications at a time. If I focus on a few little changes for awhile, it's much easier to master these impulses and get them under control. Once those changes are established, I can move on to new changes. If I succeed, I'll be improving my health and habits one little rule at a time.

I like it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eulogy


I'll end this post with my favorites list. A little cheer might be needed. Eulogy
I have to admit I don't know what to say. I wish I was more eloquent. I wish I was somewhat better at saying how I really feel, but I'll try.
Yesterday morning, as I sat on the ottoman in front of my beautiful orange overstuffed armchair, I found myself wondering how exactly you let go of someone you love. It's not the first time I've asked myself this question, and sadly, I know it won't be the last. I'm not sure I'll ever know the answer to this question, but I'll keep trying.
In the chair, laying on top of a pair of blankets and a set of towels, wrapped in a third, was Cally. My beautiful 15 year old cat. Her once clear green eyes cloudy from cataracts she's had to deal with for the past year or two, her body so thin I could feel each vertebrae down her spine and could, with minimal effort, count her ribs...
When I woke up yesterday morning, I knew my life would be changing, and this time not for the better. I knew I was waking up to say goodbye to a beloved member of my family. Cally was dying.
I have had pets die in the past, but none of them has been like Cally.
Cally was something special. Cally use to always know exactly when she was needed. If I was having a bad day, was hurt or upset or angry, she always would show up. I have no idea how she always managed to do this, but she would always choose the moment when I didn't think I could deal with it any longer to show up. She would then rub up against my leg or arm. She'd curl up on my lap or next to me and purr. Few things in the world are more soothing than a purring cat. She'd stay with me until I had calmed myself down.
Cally also was incredibly well behaved. Where Mira will steal my yarn while I'm working on something, Cally would just curl up on my lap or next to me and watch. She learned that she could play with the yarn as long as she didn't slobber on it (something I'm still trying to teach Mira, gross). She, after training early on, never jumped on the table.
Cally loved to eat cinnamon toast. She also like pound cake. She once ate part of a grape sucker which was totally bizarre. I shared powdered sugar donuts with her occasionally, and she loved to lick the top layer of Nilla Wafers off (yes, they do have layers). Occasionally she'd drink my tea or water (mind you, I wouldn't after that...sheesh). She loved to lick the ice off windows or the condensation off cups. What I really never understood was why she drank out of faucets. She hated the bathtub, but she'd drink out of the bath faucet or the bathroom sink.
I use to love when she'd sit with me while I was using sidewalk chalk. The colors would rub off on her feet and fur, and she'd leave green and pink footprints up the sidewalk and on the carpet of the front porch.
She use to love it when I'd rub her tummy. She rarely let anyone else rub her tummy, but I always could. Usually by the end though we were wrestling. She'd be kicking at my hands and I'd be teasing her.
Cally, as most cats do, really loved catnip. Once while on a trip I bought her this tin of fake mice called "Three Blind Mice." It came with 3 little fake mice that were furry and were stored in this tin of dried catnip. Cal always came running when she heard someone opening the tin. She was also the kind of cat that would roll around and enjoy the catnip, but she would never get grouchy. Just ridiculous. Kept me entertained every time.
Cally was my baby. I was the only one who could pick her up any time. I was the only one who could hold her on her back. She didn't like it when most people picked her up, but all I had to do was pick her up and she'd be purring.
She was a wonderful, beautiful, silly cat. I loved her very much, and I will miss her.
A lot.
So...goodbye, Cal. You were the best. A good girl, always. I love you.
Favorite things of this very moment (11:43 am CST, because I think we need some cheer now):
  • Cinnamon Rum Pecan coffee
  • Kindness of friends (Linda, Mom's boss at Dynamic got us stuff from the coffee shop because she felt bad about us losing Cal....far above and beyond the call of duty, and totally unexpected...she's a great lady)
  • Having a game night to look forward to on Saturday
  • Great old pictures
  • Plants vs. Zombies (Nik, we have it. Joel bought it yesterday, so you'll have to put it on your laptop next time you're here...seriously...it's the perfect mind numbing activity for a bad day...I was up late playing it last night...helped a lot)
  • Ellipses... *winks*
  • Fall sunshine
  • Dave Barry (everyone needs something to laugh with)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cally


Favorite things of this very moment (8:41 am CST):
  • Phil Keaggy's Accoustic Sketches album
  • Bright colored leaves on this ever so grey morning
  • Having a guy friend that sews (the thought just makes me smile)
  • Coffee.
  • Homemade apple pie for breakfast
  • My parents

There's nothing particularly profound floating around in my head this morning, but I felt drawn to say something. It's a strange thing.

The morning is grey. I keep seeing the clouds brighten where the sun is struggling to break through, but it's not succeeding this morning. It's really too bad it can't make it through the clouds. It would make the day seem friendlier.

When I woke up this morning, I scooted away from my cat so I could get out of bed without moving her (she's 15 and not well, I don't like moving her when she's comfortable) and managed to clock my head, hard, against the headboard of my bed. Woke me up pretty quickly. I still prefer coffee to wake me up, but I'll keep in mind I can always accidently injure myself to wake up...ha.

It's hard watching my cat, Cally these days. I've had her for the past 15 years. I've loved her since the moment my dad handed her to me on Christmas morning all those years ago. Being as young as I am, I've had her for over half of my life, and it's hard to imagine her not being around to curl up on my lap when I'm hurt or upset. She's always been good at showing up exactly when I need her. Sometimes you just need someone to be around, and as silly as it may sound, Cally has been wonderful with that.

Now she spends more and more time asleep. She's old, so I can't fault her with that, but what bothers me is when she gets up and walks about 3 feet before curling up in a ball and resting for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes before getting back up to continue towards her destination. She's happiest when she can be found sitting in a patch of sunshine. I wish we had some today. Knowing there's really nothing that can be done at this point makes me frustrated and incredibly sad. It's only a matter of time, and that hurts.

I am grateful that my parents decided to grant their crazy, shy 8 year old daughter's wish for a cat for Christmas all those years ago. Life would've been lonelier without Cal.

I guess when I started this I didn't know that I had something to say, but I'm glad I've had that opportunity after all.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Favorite things of this very moment (4:14 pm CST):
  • Watching the sunshine slowly change colors as the sun sinks slowly in the west
  • Funfetti cookies
  • The pink goose glass filled with water
  • Coors Light commercials (yes, they're cheesy and ridiculous, but they make me smile)

I'm currently listening to the sound of football on the TV, my own typing, and the sounds of my parents sleeping on the couches. Sunday is a wonderful thing. The lazy Sunday aspect is something that usually gets messed with around here, but today we actually all just got some time to sit around and do a lot of nothing. Just as well too because energy is seeping away like the sunshine, and soon all I'll want to do is sit around and watch a movie. I might even watch "17 Again" for the 2nd time in the past 24 hours because it really cracked me up last night. We'll see how that works.

I allow myself to forget, all too often, that sometimes you really do need to just sit in the sunshine and soak it in. Life goes by quickly, but not so quickly that I shouldn't find time to slow myself down. Life's no good if we rush it, and I'm very good at trying to rush things.

With any luck I'll find ways to lazily enjoy the rest of my afternoon. I hope you have the same good luck. Enjoy a little time of lazy nothing.

ps. I made the following mix for my friend Jay a year or 2 back, and I think this is the appropriate time to share:

Lazy Sunday's New Theme Songs:

  • Faith - George Michael
  • Am I Missing? - Dashboard Confessional
  • Mushaboom - Feist
  • Recluse - Cursive
  • Getaway - Train
  • Bring the Night On - Eve 6
  • She's so Heavy - The Beatles
  • Beautiful - Marvelous 3 (either that or Butch Walker...I'm blanking today)
  • Hurricanes - Five Iron Frenzy
  • Heard 'Em Say - Kanye West feat. Adam Levine
  • All Fall Down - OneRepublic
  • Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5
  • Maybe It's Just Me - Butch Walker
  • io (This Time Around) - Hellen Stellar
  • Lullaby - Matt Costa
  • Rollin' Home - Tyler Hilton
  • Where to Begin - My Morning Jacket
  • Supposed to Be - Jack Johnson

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Eowyn

I just finished watching Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I had forgotten how much I genuinely enjoy those movies. The constant fight to keep hope in the midst of despair, to hold to faith in your friends and your own strength, and rising up to meet your fate even in the face of fear. To fight for those you truly love. What is better than to know you've done all you can do to care for and protect the people who mean everything to you...?

Eowyn is an incredible woman. As much as I love Arwen (she is awesome), I finally realized Eowyn is even better. A woman of honor and valour who refuses to turn aside from the fight to protect those she loves. Her courage is inspiring and incredible. I want to be courageous and strong and true. To be a woman of integrity and valour. To stand firm when others' hearts fail. To prove myself worthy of something more.

How strong is my heart?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Docks, Rocks, & Ripples

The dock stretches out in front of me
I watch the water ripple as the rock skips along
It only takes one small rock
to change the look of the water
turning it into a million tiny new ripples
thousands of new waves and changes
Just one little rock...
and to think,
I hold the rocks in my hand...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Focus

This morning I sat trying to read a friend's poem for about 5 or so minutes before realizing all I was catching was the briefest and most random of phrases and bits...it was like I was just seeing random words flash in front of my face. I couldn't for the life of me focus my attention on that poem. This type of distraction seems to happen more frequently all the time. I am sure that this is mostly my own fault. I tend to multitask a bit more often than necessary. Listen to music or watch a movie while I'm trying to read or talk on the phone or IM or email someone or play with Mira or check on Cal...the list grows continuously.

For instance, right now I'm typing this and listening to "Anyone Else But You" sung by Michael Cera and Ellen Page. I keep swinging back and forth between listening to them and thinking about what I want to say. It's genuinely much easier to listen to music while typing than most other things.

I don't know. Last night I was talking to Dan Bliss (father of the Prince Harry look-alike winner, Matthew Bliss) and he was telling me he use to stay up all night reading a good book. Realize he was still up at 4:30 in the morning when he had to go to work at 7:30. (*It's 11:11 am. I'm going to make a wish. I wish that the guy who keeps showing up in my dreams would actually be real and show up in my actual waking life.*) I told him this was something I understand well. I do. If I find something I truly love nothing can stop my focus.

And maybe that's the key. I need to be in love with something in order to focus. Fear often makes me lose focus, but love drives out fear. Even in the simple things. If I fall in "love" with a book I will read it without thought to how it might break my heart by the end, and the same often applies to movies.

That's such a cheap example.

What about friendships and people? If I truly love a friend, little, if anything, distracts me from them. Projects for people I love are the easiest most often because I do them for the silliest of reasons...and sometimes for just plain good ones.

Crazy though I am, I firmly believe in showing love. Even if that love never gets returned. There's no point in holding love inside you when it needs to be given to someone else. When you love someone, that love no longer belongs to you anyway, it's theirs. Make sure you give it to them. That's my thought at least.

Well...that's trailed off a bit from where I started, but...that's not a huge surprise. This, after all, is just my jumbled heart and thoughts.

Favorite things of this very moment (11:20 am CST):
  • Fairly Odd-Parents! (makes me miss my own personal Cosmo though...*sigh*...if only--let's skip it)
  • My cellphone
  • iTunes' shuffle function
  • This blog, even when I'm a blithering idiot (which is more and more often it seems...)
  • Tyler Hilton, Foreigner, soundtracks, and Coldplay

Friday, October 23, 2009

Searchers

"You seem like a person use to consequences."
- Princess Ithaca, "Princess"

I find it amazing how often situations go wrong because we don't tell the truth.

If we were honest with ourselves and each other, so many complications could be avoided. It's the many secrets and masks we wear that cause problems. that's what breaks hearts and tangles us in webs.

If we were honest with each other, life would be easier. We would not be broken by false hope. Life would still be just as romantic.

I realize that the pain we feel often allows us to feel joy more deeply, but...I do believe that we should be more honest about ourselves. Why do we not ask questions or give true answers?

We're scared and we're searching. But if we're all scared and we're all searching...shouldn't that be all the more reason to be honest? To be searchers together?

After all, what is any good story without a search? Every life contains a quest. A search for meaning. A search for love. If a person is smart, it seems that they realize those two searches are actually intertwined.

Silence

Favorite things of this very moment (9:27 am CST):
  • Ugly Mug's Vanilla coffee
  • The perfect green mug from Nikky
  • The cover of my newest notbook...so many designs and such simple color (sadly, it is a store bought journal, not a creation of my own, so I can't claim the beauty I find in the cover as my own)
  • Finding out that one of my favorite authors (Patricia C. Wrede) wrote several book series I had never known about which means that I will soon have more reading to do....
  • The worlds softest pajama pants, even if they are bright, crazy colors and covered in coffee cups and the words "Need caffiene" in bright pretty script
  • Seeing David's new car parked outside knowing that my car is now officially my own again, and that all I need to complete this joy is to get the stupid hood fixed...
  • Bright colors of fall leaves
  • Jack Johnson's melodious voice

I started up this morning when my alarm went off. I can honestly say it was the first time in a long time that the alarm was really what woke me up. It's been awhile since that's happened. Normally I'm in that state of conciousness where I am no longer asleep, but can't quite grasp a full state of alertness. I wasn't dreaming either, so I was pretty far in.

The weirder part was getting up and realizing the house was perfectly quiet. All I could hear was the rain which blended into the background easily as all it's done here for the past 24 hours is rain.

I put my contacts in and grabbed my hoody, but was suprised to find my thoughts confirmed when I walked into the living room to find it empty. Outside of David sleeping upstairs, no one is here. This is genuinely strange. Mom doesn't work until 11 this morning, so I assumed she'd be here, and as Dad is on vacation this week, I thought he'd be here too. My guess is that they went shopping, but I'm not concerned enough to call and check. They'll come back yet this morning.

It really is strange though to wake up to silence. It is a bit unnerving really. I've never been fond of it. I love being awake in the still quiet part of the night. To know everyone in the house is sleeping, but it's different to wake up in the quiet. The night's quiet is more friendly. You know someone is there, but in the morning...more often than not, I find myself alone.

If there is one thing I understand about myself, it's that I don't like to be alone. Not in the traditional sense anyway. I may sit alone in my room while reading in the evening when my family is home, but I always have the security of their being present. I'm not really alone. There's something about knowing they're close that makes me feel content. It's because of this that a long time ago I realized I'd never do well living alone. It would just make me slowly go crazier than I already am.

To combat the silence, I've allowed the shuffle on iTunes to take over and already done all my facebook and email checking.

I am a strange creature.

Debussy's soft melody floats in the air
the soft piano plays on my heart
and as the rain hits my window
I find myself asking for hope again tonight

Just on more day
help me find one more reason to smile
Let me lose myself, with hope
in Debussy's melody

I just keep struggling to hang on
fighting to stay sane in all the darkness,
all this rain
Trying to remember the stars

They tell you pain and heartbreak ease in time
that love will come to call
So many promises, unfounded as they are
If only proof or hope would truly possess my heart

Yet, the seasons change,
and soon the rain and Debussy will go with them
for change,
change is the only deliverable promise

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mistake

Things you should maybe never actually suggest to someone:
  • That they're incredibly beautiful and you can't help but want to know everything about them (no, I haven't recently said this aloud to anyone, thankfully...geez)
  • Casually ask someone if they'd consider recording themselves reading a book for your personal happiness (it really makes you sound like a creep...)

I can't deny that the second statement is actually something I did today. I've been thinking about it for 2 straight days. This is what happens when you've made the mistake to listen to Twilight on audio book while at work with nothing to do but be as completely absorbed and in love with the story as the first time...it's maddening to fall in love with fiction. Truly.

As I was listening to the book, I was disappointed in the woman's reading of Edward's lines. She seemed to put the correct inflection in the words for the most part, but it's not his voice. I still can't decide what voice he should have, but I think eventually the guy who falls in love with me will end up reading the books to me at least once...I mean at least Edward's words. It'll be perfect...for me. My Edward.

In the meantime, I'm an idiot. I asked a very tall friend of mine to consider the possibility of reading a book for me. Yeah... Mind you, I'm not just going to be asking for any book if he responds favorably. I don't know if he'll say yes or even consider it, but if he does, I'm going to be even more embarrassed by what I would like him to read for me. I want him to read Midnight Sun. I need a male voice to read it to me. Not a mechanical one (sorry Nikky, Alex can only do so much for me...ha), but a real voice. A voice I'm rather fond of. What a terrible plan....seriously. This may be a sign that I've officially jumped off the deep end. That and the fact that after watching several trailers for "New Moon" and google image searching both Forks, WA and Volterra in Italy...I'm insanely excited for this movie. It's terrible. I'm sure it's going to break my heart, but I'm so excited about the possibility that I can't help it. I emailed Jay the trailer and then begged that we go see it that night. The NIGHT it comes out. I need to see this. It's disgusting. And I am going to buy that stupid soundtrack...immediately. Possibly tomorrow. Ha.

To sum up: I am deranged, lonely, aching, and bizarre. Totally. And now I'm going to go finish Twilight so that I can start rereading New Moon as soon as possible. *sigh*

Favorite things of this very moment (8:17 pm CST):

  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • Audio books
  • The fact that sometimes I ask for things or simply ask questions that the average person would not have the courage to do (mostly because normal humans are not deranged or crazy or good at wearing their hearts on their sleeves...I excel at this)
  • The iPod

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yesterday

"And we will be ready, at the end of every day will be ready, will not say no to anything will try to stay awake while every one is sleeping, will not sleep, will make the shoes with the elves, will breathe deeply all the time, breathe in all the air full of glass and nails and blood, will breathe it and drink it, so rich, so when it comes we will not be angry, will be content, tired enough to go, gratefully, will shake hands with everyone, bye, bye, and then pack a bag, some snacks, and go to the volcano--"
-Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
October 20,2009
"Certain things they should stay the way they are. You out to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that's impossible, but it's just too bad anyway."
-J.D. Salinger
9:31 pm CST
Sometimes I really wonder if me reading is truly dangerous to my sanity. It's just like all those stupid chick flicks. They just mess with my already shaky grasp on humanity, reality, and relationships.
Beyond that, I frequently find myself concerned about where I'm headed. How far away from God am I pushing? That seems to be where I'm pushed and headed, and I don't want to do that. I don't want to suffer those kind of consequences...but, at the same time, I don't seem to care enough to dig my toes in and hold fast.
Maybe tonight I should just put in "Get Smart," drink a Bartles & Jaymes, and let myself sleep. I don't want the hovering darkness of my thoughts to catch up with me as it seems fairly well determined to do.
Maybe it comes down to wanting to justify my life and heart. I want to spread joy and cheer and hope, but for reasons I don't fully grasp, I can never seem to do so.
*Random brilliant idea: if/when I become exceedingly wealthy, I will try and start a scholarship for church of God kids. They don't have to go to ABC, but just into a career they will love. Happy people who have been helped are more likely to pay it forward, and Christians should be trying to help take care of each other anyway...when did that stop?*
I got really charged up while listening to the last few chapters of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I ended up writing a couple paragraphs of blither. About death. I'm probably going to keep those last few chapters on my iPod. Harry dealing with the death of Sirius, it was inspiring for me. I know the pain he was experiencing. Breaks open everything in you and leaves you feeling broken and hollow and drained inside.

Friday, October 16, 2009

My brain is full of longing and white noise
Sometimes the sound of the ache
Reminds me of the terror of the peacock's call
Such a beautiful creature,
But such a frightening voice

My heart might be the same
An incredible creature
But is the call of my heart scaring the one I need away?

This longing like the ocean
Pounding against the rocks
But to no avail
The rocks stand as ever

But I fall back again,
Lost int he ocean of my longing
Even as the waves try to wear down the shore...

One More Thing

I just realized, in looking back over the past several posts, that I haven't mentioned any of the new things I've done recently. As this is something I want to continue to keep documented to encourage myself and just to provoke my brain into remembering new can be good (or just plain ridiculous), I'd like to keep that updated.

So...new things:

First, I've watched several movies I've never seen before: North to Alaska and The Wedding Date. I watched them both within a span of 24 hours and felt like I was watching different versions of Pretty Woman. Weird. ha. Actually, I'd never watched a John Wayne movie all the way through, so North to Alaska was pretty cool. The way John Wayne talks really cracks me up, and it made me realize that Radar's (on M*A*S*H) impression of him is dead on. It's amazing. Cracked me up. Plus it reminded me of Nathan Lane in The Birdcage which makes me laugh so hard I want to cry. See figure 1.

Figure 1:
http://

Yes.

The Wedding Date was. I don't know how to say it. There were some bits of it I really appreciated. Some things that really made me laugh. There was the truly genius line, "I think I would have missed you even if I never met you." That was a pick up line if I ever heard one, and I've been driving myself crazy with the concept of "every woman is in the relationship she wants." Even if you're single and miserable, that apparently is how you want if it that's how you are...?

My sum up for the movies? Watch North to Alaska, especially if you like John Wayne or just crazy old movies. It was fun. The songs made me laugh, and well, actually, most of the movie made me laugh.

What else? I've been listening to Audio books at work. I love it. It makes work zoom past because I get so engrossed in the books. The Harry Potter series has been wonderful. I get so sucked into the books that I don't notice time or anything. I just type and listen. I'm about halfway through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix right now, and the first 3rd of the book made me want to slap Harry every couple of paragraphs, but now I'm enjoying it.

Beyond that? I'm currently taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. I've actually opened a savings account, and it currently has a fairly decent balance. I haven't had a savings account since right before I moved to Atlanta for college, and having one now is making me feel much more at ease. I also have a budget. I've been dreading working out a budget for a long time. My thing has been to simply pay for anything I knew I needed to immediately after getting my check and then just trying to not overspend the rest of it. Ha. The budget is making my life infinitely easier. I don't have to feel guilty about how much money I'm spending any longer because I have already planned for the purchases.

For instance, Mom and I went to Wal-Mart today to pick up some things. I was able to buy the rest of the yarn I need for the baby blanket I'm making Brian and Hannah, along with the yarn for baby Aria's blanket without having to worry about the money I was spending. I've created a bit in my budget called my Good Fairy Fund, and it allows me to spend money on whatever I need to get or want to get for other people without causing me to wonder if I'll still have the money I need for gas or groceries. I love it. Plus, I'm forcing myself to put money aside for clothes. If I continue to do that, I will actually be able to buy myself some nicer new clothes without ever feeling guilty about the money because I've already set it aside, and I've already taken care of everything else I need to take care of.

Financial Peace University really is doing wonders for my sanity. I haven't worried about money in weeks. It's lovely. And it's a definite change. If you ever get the chance, definitely take the class. Or at least look up the basic principles. It makes a world of difference. :)

Third, my family is throwing our first ever Harvest Party on Halloween. It's the first time we've ever sent out invitations to a party too. That was fun. I put together a real basic invitation and sent them out this week. Hopefully quite a few of the families will be able to come. It'll be small, but it'll be fun.

Well...that's what I can think of currently, but I'll try to do a better job of posting about the new things as they happen. It's nice to see little changes and big ones as they happen.

Unearthed

Favorite things of this very moment (10:57 am CST):


  • New socks

  • "They Never Got You" by Spoon

  • Hair clips that for whatever reason don't want to work with my mother, but seem kinda fond of me

  • Sunshine and the wind blowing through the multi-colored leaves falling outside

  • Feeling the urge to dance, and taking it

It is a strange thing to have spent 3 years in solitude with this blog, and to suddenly be discovered. I can't say I'm complaining, but I can say it was a shock to see a comment on this blog yesterday when I rarely have them. And only from Nikky or the random stranger when I do. But yesterday, I was located by a friend. I had to reevaluate the purpose of this blog.


This space in the universe has been a place to disclose thoughts that don't always find their way into my regular speech. I may be honest, but I'm not always capable of saying the whole. Maybe I'm shy or maybe I'm vain. All I know is that I've been good at hiding much of my heart for most of my life. I think it comes from years of allowing part of my heart to lay uncovered on my sleeve like a badge of honor, but when I've done that I've always ended up with cuts.


There's a line in Death Cab for Cutie's song "Someday You Will Be Loved" that says, "Cause each broken heart will eventually mend as the blood runs red down the needle and thread someday you will be loved." I love that line. Maybe that's morbid, but morbid often sums it up. I often see hearts in this manner, as something cut, broken, bleeding...something in need of care, consideration, and mending.


I guess many times, this blog has become my heart's cry to heal. My secret place to look at the wounds I have received or the scars I sometimes trace with my fingers. There are many on this heart of mine. Young as I am, there is so much there. I find it amazing that this is just my one heart bearing these scars, and it makes me wonder...what do the scars of those I love look like? And the scars I sense the presence of, what stories do they tell?


So here I sit, listening to songs of love, loss, and life...questioning who I am and wanting to know so much more about those around me. Is there ever an end to the curiosity and wonder in my heart? Sometimes I wish there was, but I know the day I stop questioning and wanting to know...that's the day I'll have given up on life. May that day never come. This hunger was placed in my wandering heart for a purpose.


This blog is truly just sketches of my patchwork soul. Read them, enjoy them, but just please respect that this is my heart and depth you're looking into. And in this quiet space, you are seeing them without my many masks.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Writer Writes...Always



Favorite things of this very moment (7:51 pm CST):

  • Cheap Shasta root beer
  • Throw Mama From the Train ("A writer writes...always.")
  • Black hoodies
  • Silence (in a sense)
  • Rain
  • The name Jacob

Tonight, as I listen to the rain and my fingers typing on these silly keys...I wish I could say something profound. I find this mood strikes me fairly often. I miss the late night conversations with Zuni and Ben that use to inspire me to write those insane, but rather brilliant poems. I miss feeling things so deeply that everything in life could become an extension of the poetry flowing through my head and fingers.

Where did that beauty go? There was so much light and dark flitting about my head for so long.

I miss Zuni. Especially on nights like this. And then I think, man, I really should call Ben. But I don't. If I called, what would there be to say? Because what I miss is a period of time that can't be brought back. It's dead and gone.

And then I wonder, is that what happened to my poetry? To my stories? Did they die too? What happened to the magic that use to envelop my mind when darkness fell?

Maybe I have seen too much.

Then again, maybe I just need to reawaken my heart somehow. Just jump start it. But how does one do that? My heart is connected to anyone deeply. I don't have many extremes...other than being angry.

I'm angry a lot. I think it may be what's choking everything else out. Ugh. How do I change this? Guess it's just something to think and pray about. I'll figure it out.

*sigh* I am a whiner. Ha.

So...let's find the magic. And the night. All over again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Try a Little Tenderness

Favorite Things of this Very Moment (12:55 pm CST):
  • http://herumwandern.wordpress.com/category/rambling/ (Jordan's new blog)
  • Having written a nice thank you to Kim at the coffee shop for being so kind
  • The golden autumn sunshine
  • Knowing that even though I'm going to walk to work, I won't have to walk home in the dark
  • That I haven't had to blow my nose much at all this morning
  • iTunes
  • Soundtracks from Wes Anderson movies
  • The sound of the heater coming on

Well, my angry young friend and I have restored our relationship. I'm not use to people like him, so it's going to be a challenge for me as we go along. On the upside, I think our relationship will grow and we will probably be good friends for many years.

Today I realized I'm rather envious of him in some ways. He's very bold in his faith. He doesn't show any doubt or cynicism. He doesn't hide what he is in any way. He believes what he believes and that's all there is to it.

How does he do that?

I'm not saying that I go around pretending that I'm not a Christian. I've just always been shy. I'm not good about saying anything contradictory. If you abuse the people I love, I will stand up for them. If you trash my beliefs or call me crazy, I won't run. I'll fight for my beliefs when they're threatened, but...

I'm just not very good about speaking up on a day to day basis when I'm not directly asked. This probably needs to change.

On the other hand, he's gotta learn some things too. In his case, he's gotta learn to use tenderness when he speaks to the woman he loves. He's only 19, and he's got time and room to grow. I have faith in his ability to be a real man of her dreams kinda guy, but he's still got a distance to cover before he finds he's there. He keeps upsetting the girl he loves because he's a great deal too blunt about things. He needs to remember she's a woman. She needs to be handled with care. Allowed the freedom to roam and have the feelings she has without him telling her differently. More love in his actions and in definitely in his words.

Like I said, he's got quite a distance to go, but I think that, given the proper encouragement, he'll figure it out.

In the meantime, I'm going to work on using a bit more tact and sweetness when I speak to him and to the other men in my life. We'll see where it gets me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Versions of the Truth

This morning, for the first time in 3 or 4 days, I felt up to checking my email and catching up on things. Seemed like a fairly cheerful task. Especially as it makes me feel like I really am that much closer to being well.

One particular email stood out to me as interesting, a dear friend of mine who has been struggling with the girl he loves had emailed me. I saved it for last because I figured it would be the one I'd want to spend the most time on, then went ahead and responded to everything else.

Upon opening the email, I almost immediately felt as if I'd been slapped. I guess that makes us even. That's probably how he felt after getting my most recent letter. He'd been championing honesty, and so after a great deal of thought and a long discussion with my incredibly wise mother, I decided to be honest with him. I don't think this girl is ever going to change her mind.

Now, as a lover of romance, fairy tales, and beating the odds...his story is right up my alley, and I feel for him. Being in love with someone for 3 years while being their best friend is a tough position, especially when this person is fairly set in the idea that they never want to get married.

Maybe I'm just becoming too cynical, but I told him what I believed to be true.

Well...he thinks I'm being very unsupportive, and that God has given him this love. Maybe he's right. Mind you, I didn't realize he felt that God had given him a sign, so I don't feel I can be blamed for that.

Eh.

I'm going to try to encourage him, and I'm going to pray that he's right. I'd like to have the faith that he has.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thoughtful


Favorite Things of This Very Moment (9:59 am CST):
  • Ugly Mug Vanilla Coffee (if you'd like to order any Ugly Mug products, let me know. Joel is selling them as a continuing project to raise money for camp.)
  • My Spiderman mug that was left at the house by Jeff a million years ago and very much became my own (kinda like the thermos)
  • Capt. Benjamin Franklin Pierce (he's...what I want. I love M*A*S*H. Sorry, Nik, I just can't help it...)
  • Monogamy & fidelity
  • Jay's idea for deer being made of jell-o from now on (I'm hoping for marshmallow myself)
  • Cream Cheese Muffin Puffs
  • Josh Deane's honesty and storytelling ability

May I make some suggestions? Well, hopefully I'm not being too forward, but I'm going to make suggestions anyway.

Mom and I were talking yesterday, and we discussed our mutual, time-tested belief that when you're miserable or stuck in a rut, what you need to do is help someone else. Few things will pull you out of yourself and your self-pity like helping and focusing on another person for good things.

I realize I am constantly promoting good-fairydom, but how else can a person survive in the cold of this world.

Everyone needs a little cheer. Donate some old clothes, collect some old clothes to donate, or even make some clothes to donate. Make cookies to share with someone (might just help you make friends with your neighbors or co-workers). Ask someone for their opinion on a good book or movie and then actually take their advice (it'll give you a chance to talk to them about something they enjoyed). Buy someone a coloring book and crayons when you know they're having a bad day. Few things in life can't be made a little brighter than a new box of crayons. Volunteer for some kind of service organization: a shelter, the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, etc. Help out with your church. Just spend time with your siblings. Write a handwritten letter. Mix cd's. Or maybe just give someone a genuine compliment. Do an extra chore.

It's about the little things. The tiny bits of cheer that you can bring to someone's day.

Just something to think about.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth." - William Shakespeare

For Jordan - Semptember 2009:
  1. Hey Jealousy - The Gin Blossoms
  2. Don't Ask Me Why - Billy Joel
  3. I Try - Macy Gray
  4. My Love - Lykke Li
  5. Shooting Shark - Blue Oyster Cult
  6. Whipping Boy - Train
  7. In Love Without You - Brandon Clark
  8. Finding Me - Vertical Horizon
  9. I Want to Be the Boy - The White Stripes
  10. Good Love is on the Way - John Mayer
  11. Your Way - Jamie Cullum
  12. Call Me on Your Way Back Home - Ryan Adams
  13. You've Got Her in Your Pocket - The White Stripes
  14. Zebraskin - Dredg
  15. I Want You So Bad - Heart
  16. I Wanna Be a Kennedey - Kill Hannah
  17. Careless - Ella Fitzgerald
  18. Forever Young - So They Say
  19. Cold Desert - Kings of Leon

I've been thinking a lot about being in love with people who are never going to actually going to love you back. This sucks a lot. Unrequited love...

Anyway...that cd is a mix made for a friend who is in that situation. Sometimes the person you think is truly perfect and wonderful and beautiful and fantastic and brilliant and hilarious...but maybe they aren't. How often do we lie to ourselves?

I want to be the exception. To be the girl that throws off one guys life and existence.

Jordan shouldn't have to take a backseat to anyone. Nikky shouldn't and neither should I.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Plan

Favorite things of this very moment (9:10 am CST):
  • Hearing from Nikky last night, so I know she's not dead
  • Sunshine warming my toes and being so golden and glorious that you wish you could pour it into a cup and drink it all in
  • Contemplating the things that I've recently tried for the first time
  • Wondering what good deeds I will manage to accomplish this week
  • A&W Cream Soda
  • Phil Keaggy's "Acoustic Sketches" album

Last night, Nikky and I formed an elaborate plan to deal with the traumatic loves we have had for years. All we need now is the money and to find ways around the Geneva Convention laws...

You see, what could be more brilliant than stranding the people that have truly crushed and maimed your heart on a tiny, sandy desert island somewhere in the south Pacific surrounded by rabid sharks and no communication with the outside world. There would be a speaker system that would play one song on continuous loop for a full month. One month would be a scratched, skipping version of the Jonas Brothers' "Lovebug," another would be "Honky Tonk Badonk a Donk" (however that's actually spelled), and maybe something by the Backstreet Boys or Kenny Chesney's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" at other times. We'd give them Crisco mislabeled as sunscreen. All the preprocessed food we'd drop for them would be wrapped in pictures of David Bowie's pants from "The Labyrinth." All their blankets and other forms of shelter would also feature that lovely photo. We'd leave them a guitar with the G and B chords missing, a defective camera, and a biting hamster for entertainment. We might even let a group of angry weasels live with them on the island.

Yes.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just a Poem I Wish I Had Written

To a Stranger
by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)
Passing stranger! you do not know
How longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking,
Or she I was seeking
(It comes to me as a dream)

I have somewhere surely
Lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other,
Fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,

You grew up with me,
Were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become
not yours only nor left my body mine only,

You give me the pleasure of your eyes,
face, flesh as we pass,
You take of my beard, breast, hands,
in return,

I am not to speak to you,
I am to think of you
when I sit alone or wake at night, alone
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Keeps on Keeping on

Favorite Things of This Very Moment (9:56 am CST):
  • The picture of my sidewalk chalk elephant
  • Knowing I've committed my first good deed of the day by rescuing Jack (the one-eyed pirate Momma kitty) from the large orange tabby down the road (Jack and her little one are now hanging out in the safety of our backyard)
  • Registering to win pointless prizes at go.rrstar.com/winstuff...There was something in the list of prizes I want, but I sincerely don't remember what it is...ha
  • The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg, it gives me hope
  • Remembering on waking up that my dream had been about spending time with a very alive, very cheerful, very much himself - Zuni
  • Crossing things off of my to-do list
  • Getting things moving along for Kayla and Terrence's wedding present
  • Glorious golden sunshine

I realized that after making my last big speech about trying new things that I never kept anyone updated on the new things I was trying, so I guess I'll have to attempt to do about job about that. On that note, I wanted to mention a couple of first for me over the past weekend.

I ate prickly pears. I bought some of the prickly pears (fruit of the cactus..ha.) at Valli Produce in Rockford about a week and a half ago, and I ate them this past Friday. The purple one was the weirdest color and when I was cutting it up to eat it, the juice was an unreal purple/pink color that I'd only seen in markers prior to then. Completely bizarre. They were alright. Nothing super exciting, so I probably won't buy them again, but it was interesting to try.

Also, I saw armadillos outside of a zoo. At least 7 of them (probably more). Sadly, they were all dead on the side of the interstate in Missouri. My Uncle Jon says that armadillos are probably born dead because that's the only way anyone ever seems to see them. I was super disappointed that we never go a chance to see a live one. You can't really enjoy a picture of a dead armadillo...so yeah...

This past weekend I took a road trip down for my Grandma Thomas' 90th birthday party with David and his girlfriend, Kelsey. That was another first. I've never traveled anywhere with Kelsey and it's definitely the first time we've ever taken anyone's significant other with us to a family function. I think Kelsey had fun, even if she did seem a little overwhelmed. It was a great way to get to know her better though. We got to talk a lot. She and I stayed with my cousin, Lacey on Saturday night so it was just us a lot of the time. She really did handle all of it very well. I also actually saw Kelsey acting silly for the first time possibly ever. On the way home we stopped at Arby's for dinner and the 3 of us were making fun of the cheesy music they had playing, she actually sang along in an incredibly ridiculous over-acting type manner. It was hilarious.

Which reminds me, I tried bronco berry sauce at Arby's. Another first. A weird one. It's alright, but it would be better with chicken strips and not jalapeno poppers.

I'm sure there will be more new things tried in the weeks to come. I just figure the more open I am to new things big and small the more interesting life will be. I don't want to ever die wondering.

Life moves.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Try New Things


Let's start with an old thing that I love to do, my favorite things of this very moment list (11:28 am CST edition):
  • John Denver, John Mayer, and Jay Laurent's music
  • Folder's Hazelnut bistro (or something some name like that) coffee with a little sugar and some milk
  • My beautiful Fujifilm S 3000 digital camera
  • Amazon.com
  • The Visual bookshelf application on facebook
  • Getting a call first thing this morning to get question on various things Kayla likes and what I think about various things for her bridal shower at the church next Monday night and then also getting asked to lead games...ha. More on that later.
  • "Covered in Rain" by John Mayer

I decided that while Nikky and Kayla are both at FUEL I will attempt to do as many new things as I can this week. This is mostly a mental ploy on my part to keep myself from getting frumpy and whiny and too bored while my best friends are at FUEL. Besides, who doesn't know the magic of trying new things? They always seem to pull you out of a rut and sometimes help you understand yourself a little better, so onto new things.

Let's start with the one that's probably my favorite this morning: Getting a semi-famous musicians cell number. Yes, that's right. Brandon Clark gave me his number. I probably shouldn't publicize that. He might have crazy stalker fans. That would be bad, but I'm just so excited that I actually have his number and that the next time I'm in the south or I know he's in town I can actually call him and see him. It's kinda the coolest thing ever. Besides, this means Nikky will actually get to meet him in person one of these days! Party! Bonus!

Last night I took the first of what will hopefully be a series of Ned Flanders Photos. Oh yes. I have plans for him. He's going to travel with me this week. Show people just how exciting my life is. Hahahaha.

Spent some time this morning on www.beehiveco-op.com. Made myself a little sick looking at the prices of their clothes, but really like the concept and the way everything looks. Maybe one of these days I won't feel insanely guilty for just looking at the stuff on the site and maybe I'll actually purchase myself an outfit.

Gail Tuttle called me this morning and asked me a bunch of questions about Kayla's preferences on snacks for the church bridal shower for her, and I realized I am losing all that I know about Kayla. This week I'll be working on some Kayla Appreciation Projects. I started working on a mix for her last night and hopefully I'll have at least 2 for her by the time she comes home. I also determined that I need to buy some Arbor Mist for her couples bridal shower (which I am tempted to tell Jay he should go with me to except for the fact that we're not a couple and I don't know if it's healthy to even in the back of my mind somewhere always feel like we should be even though I know we never will be and that it's probably just as well...sheesh). But back to the church bridal shower, Gail asked me to lead the games. I agreed. Yeah. Maybe I'm crazy, but this is for my Kayladrew and I'd do just about anything in the world for her, so we'll see how that goes. Gail was going to try to come up with some games and I'm going to lead them. I wish Kayla was home so that I could make sure this is what she wants, but she's at FUEL and I'm going to leave her be to enjoy her week.

Hopefully the new things will continue. I'll do what I can to make sure they happen. :) More as this develops.