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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Love, Love, here we are.

     ~Pablo Neruda

     I hope I am always able to come back to this place in my mind. In my heart.  I hope I am always able to come back to the exact way I felt about THE BOY on this particular day at the exact moment this was happening.  

     There are a million different quotes I could put here _________________________ right now.  

     In fact, too many to choose from.  Well perhaps, just one.  

If I ever questioned God, He answered me with you.  J.P.  

Love, H. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grudges, Dresses, and Other Things That Don't Go Together

or,  A Letter to Amy.  

Come in. Sit down.  Have some coffee. 

      It has been a long time since I have done that.  Since I have pretended that we are pals and you are here for a chat and a warm cup of joe or a smoothie, whichever you prefer.  I kind of like it. 

     That's right, get comfy.  Get comfy because I am about to tell you a story.  It started as an email and then got too "post-ish" so it is ending as an entry by yours truly.  I hope you don't mind.  

     This is scary for me.  This is scary for me because I sometimes try to be a tad bit vague here (hard to believe, right?) and tonight I realize if you are clever enough and up-to-date-on-my-life-enough, you can find the bread crumbs.  You can trace the edges on the map of my life and use the ever-so-subtle details to figure out the exact name of the person and the situation I am referring to.  (sometimes I like ending my sentences in prepositions, cause I'm rebellious like that. I have also heard this is a common habit of people from Ohio.  Well then color me Scarlet. Color me Gray. Go Bucks).  

     However, this is the truth the way I see it.  It is my truth, and I think that probably all truth is God's truth.  So, here it is.  

I am having a hard time forgiving.  

I always thought that people who were "unforgiving"  looked like this: 

and I don't look like that. I look like this. 

       I like dogs and coffee and the color of a lemon when you cut it open and I work with tiny kids who sometimes say "th" instead of "s." Adorable.    

     I think that is such a work of the devil...trying to make us believe that we don't do All The Things Other People Do because we are different.  We are nice.  We like kittens.  We let old ladies check out in front of us at the grocery store.  

     Kind of like how some kids think that "strangers" look like old men with black capes and handlebar mustaches. 

When technically, the nice cashier at the supermarket is really a "stranger."  

But alas...sometimes we just let these things happen.   

And then we get really off topic.   

     Last week, I was having dinner with some friends and I heard a name come up out of nowhere and my stomach did this very strange roller-coaster-type-thing and then I wanted to throw up.  I wanted to throw up because years and years ago, the aforementioned person was not very nice to me.  Looking back, I now realize it was just a series of dumb choices on this person's part (and a few on my own).  The stab(bing) was not intentional, but I felt it nonetheless.  

      So there is an upcoming event.  And this other-human-being will be there.  And, after nearly 4 years (give or take), we will be breathing the same room's oxygen.  

Oh, geez.   

     And I decide, right then and there, that I am buying a new dress.  I am buying a new dress even if it costs me a gazillion dollars.  And while wearing said dress, I will pout and be grumpy and ignore this human being unless I am shooting "I am so much better than you" glances in his (or her) general direction.  So there.  Take that. 

     Did I mention that I am not an unforgiving person? I mean, you saw the pictures, right?  Did I mention that I love Jesus and hot pink ballet flats and the fact that A Baby Story makes me cry?  So, we're good, right?  I'm still "nice."  I'm still "Jesus-y."  



     I go home and I vent loudly to Amy via email (cause you can be loud in an email, true?)  I say that I wish I was one of those "cool girls" who can say, "I have a great life, I'm over it.  I'm past it."  

     But, I'm not.  I am grumpy.  I feel yicky.  I have rehashed things I haven't thought of in years.  I have climbed out of this place of forgiveness and peace and taken up residence in the land of "People who need to stop complaining and get over it."    

And I remember a quote I read from Mother Teresa, "  

  People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
 If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.
*I encourage you to read the full version here.

And it rolls around in my head all day.  

And then I go to church, and I hear not one, but TWO lessons on forgiveness.  

God is an excellent teacher:

 Introduce/pretest/instruct/assess/intervene/reassess/hit you over the head if all else fails.  

     So, I sit on that for a few days.  And I start to compose an email and think about how, as Clarice Bean would say, my mind is a blanket.  

     I am the soil in April.  I need to let things seep in when it starts to rain.  I need to let things seep instead of always  

     And I think about how I wanted, so badly, to react like one of the "cool girls." But then I realize that being cool has nothing to do with it.  These girls have finally managed to forgive.  They have done what I have yet to do.  They have made the choice.  Because that's what it is, you know?  Forgiveness.  It is a choice.  


     So I will go to this event and I will start making wiser choices instead of tricking myself into thinking that TIME will eventually throw me into forgiveness like a tiny, well-placed slingshot. I will do a lot of polite smiling and perhaps just a little bit of "grinning and baring it."  Tim and I will eat entirely too much cake, and he will dance in a way that makes me laugh (and blush).   I will kiss his cheeks and maybe he will dip me if I play my cards right.  Then we will go home and cuddle with the dogs.  And it will be just fine.  

It will be fine because in the final analysis,  it was never between me and this person, anyway. 

Love and no more grudges, 

*I don't want to be a jerk.  I didn't cite the cartoons.  This bothers me a bit b/c technically, it IS artwork.  If you find a source or REALLY want me to cite one, say "pretty please with a cherry on top," and consider it done.  ;)  

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stripes on Walls

     I am oh-so-antsy to paint. This run-of-the-mill light tan color that the sellers picked just isn't cutting it anymore. Truth be told, I have always sort of kind of disliked it.  Stripes in the entryway?  Summer 2010.  Let's do this.  :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wag the Dog

     This is our dog park. Our haven.  When we come here, I feel like I can breathe, like maybe we are doing okay at this dog-parenting thing after all.  I NEVER want to be one of those pet owners who keeps their dogs cooped up all-day-everyday-all day-everyday, and so on and so forth. Its not good for anyone involved.  We had a beautiful evening.  Pictures to follow, of course.

     I think this might be one of the happiest places on earth.  I hope we are always able to give them this kind of life with lots of friends to play with and green grass and room to run.

     If I was the kind of person that believed in reincarnation, then I would tell people that I think I was probably a dog in a former life.  For some reason, I am drawn to them.  I remember being in college and just...missing dogs. My parents' dogs, of course, but also just...dogs in general.   I will probably be in my late 80's and be known around the neighborhood as "That Crazy Dog Lady."  

You know what? I'm alright with that.  

     I don't know much, but I do know that if motherhood is even half as fulfilling as dog-ownership, then a happy life it shall be. :)

Woof, Woof. Love, H.

Is it just me...

or does anyone else find the similarities hilarious?

  You can totally tell I spend the majority of my day with small children (and adorable dogs).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mondays with Scarlett

No, Scar.  I haven't been neglecting my little blog.  Don't worry.  I just updated the About Yours Truly section.  

More Later.  

Love, H. (& Scarlett.)  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Two Birds, One Stone or The Birthday Post


I wanted to do a lot in a small amount of time and space.  What else is new, right?  I wanted to share with you some important things that have happened in The Year I was 27 before beginning The Year I was 28...

which starts tomorrow.  :)  

I also wanted to share with you some blogs that I find adorable/useful/life changing/just stinking awesome.  I'm addicted.  

Let's pet two birds with one stone.  (That's right, I said pet.)  

Important Things.  Important Blogs.  One post.  


Some A lot of these events/epiphanies were inspired by Real Live People writing Real Live Blogs. Others were just occurrences, coincidences, or perhaps just Things You Weren't Here For.   The links are included, when relevant.  Click on them, you won't regret it, and when you read them and love them (cause I know you will), remember to thank yours truly.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  

This is the year that things started to move in slow slower motion.  I found that I had turned 27 and suddenly, I could breathe   I could think.  I could see. (actually, thanks to a few of the happenings listed below).  This list, these moments of absolute peace and clarity are the result of more air and better vision.  

This little lady, who apparently has a birthday rather close to mine, put it best..."I feel like I'm jumping a mile."  

Here's to more coffee, more miles, and more of the good life.  It just keeps getting better.  

  • My heart softened.  I caught baby fever baby plague and became to the idea of babies and motherhood someday-probably-sort-of-still-far-away.

  • We booked a cruise to Hawaii!!!

  • I started to make things, and by golly, I liked it.   

  • I decided to start turning off the t.v. and pick up a good book gosh-darn-it!  I also got inspired to cook, grow in my faith, and be a better friend, proving this little lady to be a jack of all trades! 

  • I survived the year without my grandpa. 

  • I started praying with my husband AND for my husband much more often.  

  • I found out amazing news from someone near and dear to my heart that I will share with you later.  

  • My Master's Program ended, thank- stinking- goodness! 

  • I took a closer look at what the heck I want to do with This Great Little Life. (and I owe you a live list!)  

  • We changed churches.  We went back to where my heart has always been. We went home.  

By the time I turn 29: 

Participate in another 5 or 10K either walking or running

buy a pedometer and wear it regularly

Finish the ever-elusive book

Purchase an outfit entirely from thrift/second hand stores (minus the undies cause I find that creepy)
...and rock that outfit enthusiastically

Donate my time to some worthy cause at work (I officially took the year OFF in terms of volunteering after I finished my Master's)

Plant a flower garden in the bed by our back patio

Stop picking my nails long enough to justify a manicure

Listen to more Bob Dylan

Do cartwheels down the length of our driveway (and not care who sees it) 

Learn to sew

Find my niche in terms of daily Bible-reading/quiet time 

Remember how to spell words like restaurant (restaraunt?),  commitment     (committment?), and occurrences (occurrances?) .  If not for spell check...

Pay off what little we still owe on our credit card (darn you, moving expenses!)  

I love birthdays.  I want to do a better job of honoring other people's birthdays. On second thought, add that to the list!  

I will tell you now that I am forgetting 85 links and 95 things.  Per usual.  Maybe we'll title the next post Things I Forgot at the Ripe Old Age of 28. 

Either way, I'm inspired. I'm happy.  I'm pushing 30. 

I hope you are, too.  (cause I've heard 30 is the new 20.)  

What can I say? This cup is half full.  Isn't everyone allowed one cheesy picture on the day-before-their-birthday?  

My best to you.  

Love, H.  

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

 Sometimes, weeds are beautiful.  

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him...
      Romans 8:28a  

Love, H. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Catching Z's and Praying Prayers

Two nights ago, I dreamed about earthquakes and woke up in a panic.  

     I think the next 6 months will bring about a lot of change for us.  Not "moving-to-Luxemburg" kind of changes. Just changes.  Change is stressful.  Even the good kind.  In anticipation of said 'differentness' (it's not a word. don't try to look it up), Tim and I have started praying every night before we go to bed.  We get all cuddly and I touch his forearm gently.  He kisses my forehead and I remember when we first started dating and I used to approach him as if he was a map.  I used to, as Kent Nerburn would say, try to get to know his edges and the spaces he keeps in his life.  I think about how I need to start trying this again.  I think about how some edges will always be new.  We talk with half air and half our voices and we kiss, as if that is the stamp that will send our envelope of wishes and worries and promises to God.  

     This praying together is something we should have started year(s) ago.  We are making up for lost time, and every night I go to bed feeling safe and warm like I've just had an entire mug of hot chocolate, no matter what bad dreams I've had the night before.   

     In other news, I bought a memory foam pillow.  It is hard and squishy at the same time, and I think my neck is confused.   I wake up feeling like I am in college, crashing on people's floors again.  (And my neck tells me I am too old for this nonsense).  I am hoping that breaking in a new pillow, like most Important Things in life, just takes time.  I am keeping the receipt anyway.  

My best to you.  

Love, H.  

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Best of What's Around or Happy Easter


 Yes, I made my husband endure an Easter Photo Shoot. He was a fantastic sport (per usual).  It was a marvelous day.  

    Twirly skirts, lots of yummy food, wonderful people, Jesus, and sunshine.   Thus strengthening my theory that somehow, as far as Lives go in general, the stars aligned, God intervened...

and I totally lucked out.  

     Happy Easter to you and yours.  Now, go eat something yummy before the week starts and we all (((feel like we))) have to behave.  

My best to you.  Love, H. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lay Your Armor Down

So, we just had a miniature ridiculously huge disaster at my house.  

It is a gorgeous day, and we've had the windows open a lot.  Gorgeous.  A few minutes ago, I casually yelled from the living room, "Oh, its the ice cream truck!"  to which Tim replied, "Haha...really?"  

I heard him shuffling around in his desk, and he entered the room with a handful of one dollar bills, proudly displaying them as if carrying a bouquet of roses.  

Me:  What's this...?
TGY: The neighborhood's a loop, he'll come back around.
Me:  What do you want?
TGY:  No, it's for you. 

I smiled a wide smile.  The next 10 minutes promised deliciousness.  

Moments later, he yelled, "Here it comes!"  

I sprung from the couch yelling, "I don't have my shoes on! Where are my shoes?" 

"Who cares...?  Go out barefoot!"  

I dug in the closet for a matching pair and threw open the door...

 only to see the truck whiz by.  

I was, in a word, devastated.  

And I hated how I felt.  I was devastated because 1.) I love ice cream and 2.) I equate the way I approached the situation to the way I approach a lot of things in life. 

While I was digging around for shoes, I felt nervous...silly even.  I felt shy.  

I was also worried about things like approaching a stranger while wearing no make-up and sweats.  Okay, I'll be honest.  I was also worried about ((gulp)) calories.  

There was worry....and maybe a little bit of fear.  

When we become consumed with worry, we miss out on fabulous opportunities like new jobs and new loves...and ice cream.  

I do not want to live like this.  I cannot live like this.  

Tim hugged me gently when he heard the news and we decided that it is still early. We'll get em' next time.  

...and when we do, I shall wear this...

File this under "Things I will Do Differently Next Time."

Love, H.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle

I am so in love with twinkle lights.   Part of what makes this tiny little house of ours feel oh-so-cozy at just the right moments.  

My best to you.  Love, H.