March 31, 2014

when babies leave...

I went to a worship night last week and felt led to share this story.

Last Fall our friends lost their two month old baby girl Annabelle. She was born with a genetic disorder that wasn't discovered until she was born. It was devastating to watch this happen to two of the best people I know and completely maddening to not be able to do anything about it. For two months our community loved Annabelle, celebrated the milestones, took turns holding her and tried to live as normally as possible while knowing she would leave us.

And in the midst of that Brad and I had lost our first little baby. It was confusing because our baby had stopped growing but my body had not yet miscarried. For me it was the final straw. What began to over power the sadness of losing a baby was the anger I felt towards a God who wasn't responding.

Then one night we were on our way to drop a meal off for this sweet family and I started to come undone. Their loss, with our loss, with my hormones and years of struggle came to a crescendo of screaming at God in the car. It was a really inconvenient time to lose it. Holding a hot meal on my lap, on our way to support a family going through the unimaginable and I was having an epic crisis of faith. I stumbled through the door crying, crazy and holding pasta.

And the grace I was shown that night is the part I wanted to share. I was out of my mind messy and hysterical but April sat on the floor with me that night and listened. She showed me compassion that changed my life. Here was a woman going through a tragedy of her own, offering me her attention and tears.  We cried for one another and tried to make sense of things. We asked really honest questions like: is God a fraud? Have we given our lives to a made up cause? Why do some prayers work and others fail? And how in the world can there be a world where God exists and babies leave.

We were two women with our own levels and variations of pain, crying out for understanding and relief. No doubt we still have questions, but that night at least we weren't asking them alone.

On May 31st April will be running in the Butterfly 5K to support Trinity Kids Care Hospice - the team of nurses and social workers who dedicate their lives to helping families in their darkest times and provided support when Ryan and April needed it most.  Please consider giving in memory of sweet Annabelle and to raise awareness for Children’s Hospice.

March 17, 2014

hope and blue sky...

Yesterday I was in a real funk. I tried all the usual remedies - perspective, prayer, whining, peanut butter - but nothing worked. I felt trapped and limited by all the dark and rain, stuck in my little house with a bad attitude and nothing to make cookies with. As I was falling asleep I couldn't wait to have another shot at life. Sometimes you just need a new day. 

And that new day came with strong coffee and the littlest patch of blue sky. I ventured out to see turtles sunning on a log, little boys splashing in puddles, dogs with purple sweaters and a tired new dad taking his son for a walk. For the first time ever I'm experiencing Spring. The season where what was dead and buried begins to come back to life. And that seems to be just what is happening to my little soul.   You see it in the tiny blooms of color and little patches of blue in the sky. And in the joy of seeing life as if for the first time in a long time. The weight of winter lifts and Spring reminds us of beautiful days to come. 

Thankful He is with us no matter what the season. 

March 12, 2014

two threes and an oyster...

Yesterday I turned thirty three. Spoiler alert - it was awesome.

I've always struggled with my birthday. I usually cry at some point in the day. I don't know how to handle the expectation of such a big day. It feels like it should be perfect and if it isn't feeling perfect than maybe I'm not special or important?? It's a stupid lie that doesn't even make sense rationally. Which reminds me...we all need to be evaluating those stupid lies so we can stop the unnecessary crying. Agreed? Ya! So just like in California when it looks like there might be a drop of rain - Storm Watch 2014 - Brad was on Cry Watch the whole day. "How ya doing?" and I'd be like "We're all clear!" I'm so thankful Brad got to take the day off or else I would have been a sob fest fo sho.

me as the walrus, the oyster as the oyster 
I had some of the best food of my life yesterday. Minus the sad slimy oyster at dinner. That poor little guy deserved an ending so much greater than I gave him. We had meals where you order a little bit of everything and hand plates back and forth to try a little bit more. Biscuits with fluffy eggs, fried chicken with a perfect sunny side egg laying ever so beautifully on top and the best apple fritters ever. Oh the apple fritters. The day was sunny gorgeous so we spent time by the water and I was in awe of it all. I still can't believe we're here and here to stay. It feels like we're on a strange vacation and I'm wondering when it will start to feel really real.

I made certain wishes for this year as I blew out the candles to our chocolate torte and apple fritters. Oh the apple fritters. Today it's back to the usual but my mind is lingering on the truly great birthday that it was. It makes me all sappy to think of milestones and how loved I am by amazing friends and family. You can't help but think of how faithful God is, even when you're in the thick of it and you haven't seen how it turns out. Spoiler alert - it turns out:) 

March 6, 2014

to you, love me...

Seattleites love trees and so do I.

I don't really know how to get back into this so I'll just begin.

We moved to Seattle. Brad was hired at an amazing church and so within a 2 month period he interviewed and we moved.  I'm still trying to understand what the heck is going on. I feel like I'm floating, my feet dangling above the ground.

I sat down this morning to begin my Lent devotional and all I could do was cry and whimper little things like I'm Sorry and Thank You and You're So Nice. What do you do when you finally get what you've been praying for? Well, you say I'm Sorry for all the times you yelled at the Almighty. You say Thank You over and over and over. And finally You're So Nice because the Thank You's don't feel enough. But really, it is so weird when big prayers are answered. Somewhere along the way I just kept praying like you have to just keep breathing and here we are. I hope that encourages you. There is a path for you - where your prayers and His best will connect. For us it is a lovely, rainy path full of trees and Eagles and very small Seattle roads. I'm saying Thank You every minute.

My days have been filled with meeting new friends, walks around the lake, learning domesticity (I made my own meatballs and became a woman), and staying warm. I tried a Zumba class yesterday and it was filled with super inspiring soccer moms and the peppiest loveliest instructor named Camille. The whole time I felt like I was dying but I was also tucking some gems of life wisdom away in my dangerously fast beating heart:

  • When you are tired, embarrassed and OVER IT scream WOO HOO and you'll find the energy you need.
  • When you feel like you're failing look at your neighbor because they look just as ridiculous as you do. We're all trying to figure this thing out.
  • When you start to feel prideful and like you've got this, look at the Instructor and be humbled at the dancing dying cow that you really are.
 The Vanities are back baby.

May 31, 2013

I just can't believe I did that someday...

Last night Brad informed me that one day we would climb to the top of Cloud's Rest in Yosemite.

This caused me to pause the television and say "what?".

Because, what?

He was so confident and casual about all of the climbing and it made my tummy start to gurgle. That made me remember I was hungry because, the diet. But this is beside the point. So we watched a youtube video of one James Weng as he climbed to the top of this mountain. And I made noises and faces because, it's a mountain! Be careful James Weng! And there were cliffs that were just too steep ya know. Like, I have a blog. I can't die!

It's so awesome! It's not really that steep! You would love it! He said.

But what if there's an earthquake! Or terrorism! What if the zombies attack! I responded.

We're doing it someday.


This went on.

Has anyone ever died there, I asked, as we got ready for bed.

I'm not sure, probably.

It alarms me as to how casually you said that.


So I guess I just want you all to know that someday I will be climbing a mountain. I'm so freaking awesome. I just can't believe I did that someday.

Happy weekend folks! Shout out to James Weng!

May 23, 2013

marriage is good...

Let's just end this blogging drought right now. In the name of Jesus be done.

Life is exciting ya know. People getting married and having babies and graduating from things. We are doing none of that, but ya know, it's exciting! For other people! Although speaking of babies yesterday I got the most massive paper cut of existence and not long after decided NATURAL CHILDBIRTH IS OUT OF THE QUESTION. Because, because it is.

We're still pluggin away over here in California. My job remains a God send of downtime and little stress. Brad's job situation remains complicated and confusing. Hey yo! But don't worry, we are seasoned wait-er's and pass the time making healthy dinners, taking a no dessert stand only to give in an hour later and watching baseball games.

The other night I came home from work and Brad had started on dinner. The smell of barbecue chicken made its way from the grill. I threw off my flats and started cutting the veggies into little slices. We chatted about our day and the traffic. I told Brad about the epic paper cut while he flipped the chicken. There were little hugs and hands on backs while we each attended to our portion of dinner. He plated, I grabbed drinks and forks, hit the kitchen light and followed him to the living room.

I thought about our home, our dinners together, our little cooking conversations.

"This is what I always wanted marriage to be", I said.

Even when things get confusing, there is so much to be thankful for.

April 11, 2013

life's basic reminders...

Life is confusing and fun and beautiful and weird. Taking it day by day. I just thought that maybe other people might need some refreshment in truth, like I do. But like in lay men's terms because, ya know.

So, on this Thursday remember that:

God knows whats up.
Drink plenty of water.
Your choices matter.
This too shall pass.
Life is beautiful.
Everyone has their crap.
We all are forgiven.
You are known and loved.
God can handle your honesty.
Life should be done with people.
You were created awesome.
It always works out somehow.
You are body, mind and soul.
You are beautiful.
Just be you, there's no one like it.
You don't have to be perfect.
God knows whats up.
You are not alone.
He's got you.

also, a baby hamster and puppy pug because, baby hamster and puppy pug!