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'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


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'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


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


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...