Monday, November 17, 2008

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

This image was taken from Kitchenography--Life in My Kitchen

I searched for at least an hour or two yesterday for the perfect recipe to use my thawed cranberries. I came across this recipe on Kitchenography--Life in My Kitchen, called Cranberry Upside Down Cake. It turned out divine! I think that this is my new favorite cranberry dessert recipe! I am going to bring it for Thanksgiving, too! The only changes that I made to the recipe was using a bundt pan instead of a spring-form pan. It turned out almost the same--just a different shape, and no mess like the recipe had warned of. And, yes, oh so festive! Try it out--you wont be disappointed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Day of the Week Are You?

So, I am trying to become more consistent in my writing efforts. It is not always easy to sit down and write anything of substance, so it is fun and great practice to try and do so. Since my kids are still asleep, and I didn't have anything particular to write about, I looked up a writing prompt on Prompts are a fun change of pace. You should try it out. And there are many prompt websites on google. The one I listed was just a random choice. Here is the prompt that I pulled up:

"Compare your family or friends to the days of the week. Who is a Monday? A Friday? A Sunday? Write about your comparisons in a longer piece."

This is what I came up with:

Who wouldn't want to be compared to a day of the week?? It seems to me that each of us have "Monday" days, and "Tuesday" days, and "Wednesday" days, and so on, right? So, often we blame Monday for sluggishness, or the inability to focus, or simply, wake up! Tuesdays feel better than Mondays, because what comes with Mondays has already passed and we can't blame what happened on Monday on Tuesday, because Tuesday is not Monday. Wednesday is a great day, as it is the mid-work-week marker for many, and this fact in itself, makes Wednesday a grand day. So grand that many celebrate Wednesday with a "oh yeah! The week is half over!", sort of response. Thursday is an exciting day, because the next day is usually the last day of work, and it is that much sooner to the hours that can be spent at home, planning your own agenda, without anyone looking over your shoulder. Friday, is just what this day of the week means, the last day of the week! The BEST day, the very day that motivates you through the week. The same day that you get to pack up and go home to spend Saturday and Sunday doing whatever you please. Some are probably wondering why I would feel this way about the week, since I am currently a stay-at-home Mama, and get to do EVERYTHING when and where I'd like. Lucky me! I guess this outlook on the week comes from my scary recollections from my Retail and Montessori teaching days, when the pains of the amount of time I spent folding t-shirts or policing 20+ three-year-olds, became a large grey cloud looming over my life. Working 30-40+ hours a week may be a pleasure for some, but my experiences thus far have not be so rewarding. Thus, is the reason that I still attach days of the week with the roller-coaster ride of working a regular job and punching a time clock. Another reason that I may have described it this way is because the time spent being a stay-at-home mom often gets blurred together into one GIGANTIC week. One day it's Monday and before you know it it's Friday, and you've already endured five full days of Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, 50+ diaper changes, too many kiddie shows, constant messes, baths, play dates, the minimal time you have to spend on getting yourself ready, all happening around the needs of a 6 month old and the adventures of a two-and-a-half year old, and everything in between that I am too tired to even list. Come on. It may as well be Monday, right?

Are you wondering why I didn't answer the real question, yet?? This is what prompts can do to you, and should do to you, in my opinion. The objective is not to see how accurately you can answer the question, or how good you answer the question, but if you answered anything at all. It's an exercise meant to stimulate the mind and take you on a mini-writing-journey-of- thoughts.

So, who is a Monday? A Friday? A Sunday? Here are a few that I came up with...

Shannon is a MONDAY. She is quiet, and often very subdued. But don't let her trick you into thinking she doesn't have a little Friday night in her!!

Alyssa is a WEDNESDAY. She's like the middle of the week, even-plained, and a little of both--mellow and exciting.

Nathan is a FRIDAY. Always looking forward to a party, or any arena that will allow him to let loose, i.e. spending time with his fam, poker night, fishing, etc.

Melody is a SUNDAY. Her testimony, regardless of what day it is, is a great example that Sundays are not the only day for worship. She is always joyful, and you can often hear her sing Him praises.

Amber is also a WEDNESDAY or maybe a THURSDAY. She is happy-go-lucky, but pretty even plained. She is also mellow and exciting, and has a blunt, yet sweet way of socking it to ya.

I'd say that I am a TUESDAY, almost a WEDNESDAY. I can be quiet and observant, but like to have enjoyable conversation. Not so much a "Friday" girl, but spend my days relatively the same... mellow, contemplative, pleasant, and relaxed.

So tell me. What day of the week are you really?
“Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Boy for President

This morning as I sat reading my "commemorative issue" of TIME with Barack Obama gracing the cover, while my two-and-a-half year old, Brooklynn, sat next to me watching nursey rhymes. While reading that many parents told their children to "remember this day," as Barack Obama would be the first African American elected president, I realized that I hadn't yet taken the opportunity to tell Brooklynn about this man or how this happening would make history. After brief explanation that Obama would be the next President of "where we live," she repeated his name a few times until she had it almost perfect. Then, I reitified the fact that "this man will be our next president." She responded, "He's not a man, he's a boy."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Changing Domains

Please bare with me as I have transfered all of my posts from Typepad to Blogger. It's important for me to keep all of my writing in one place, and I have become too envious of the cute blog backgrounds that I see everyone using, and the free service too! So, please add me to your blog under this address rather than my Typepad address. Thanks!! And, don't forget to email me yours, if I haven't gotten it already!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Pumpkin Hunt 10/29/2008

We went to Joe's Farm in Vancouver to pick out our pumpkins this year, and had a great time. Nate's brother, Jon, and his fiance, Stef came with us, and they are always up for doing things family style with us, even though they don't have kids. Sometimes, though, it seems that they like to practice with ours. Jon, however, has taught Brooklynn many things that we haven't always been fond of, like hitting herself in her face, grabbing their dog by the nose and kissing it's snout (scary). His antics have become a joke among us, but if we don't watch and listen to him, he tries to pull one over on us. On this particular day at the farm, Jon said to Brooklynn while we were waiting in line to pay for our pumpkins, "Hey Brooklynn, see those people over there? Go ask them for money." !!!! Luckily we were listening and intervened. Uncle Jon is sneaky, but sure is Brooklynn's favorite!

Since Brooklynn is only 2 1/2, she's still doing a lot of "firsts." She didn't really know what the pumpkins were all about, but she had a blast trying to fill the wheel-barrow full. We haven't had a chance to carve them yet, but I'm hoping to do it tomorrow. I realize Halloween is Friday, but the experience is what counts, right?








Oh the Fall! 10/29/2008

I know that I keep mentioning how much I love the fall, but boy, do I!  This is so my season, and I can't get enough of it.  This year, September and October have been so beautiful, with hardly any rain.  So, to show my appreciation for the great weather, I have been trying to take the kids on as many walks as the weather and our schedules will permit. 

Today, we walked downtown Camas and I visited my first antique shop.  I couldn't believe that I, too, love antique shops!  Antique shop lovers always seemed to be a group of people that I wasn't quite part of, not yet anyway.  But there I was enjoying every nook and cranny of that shop.  I even came across a book titled Caffeine for the Mind or something to that effect, and it had lots of creative writing prompts.  It looked cool, but after some dialogue with myself about whether or not I needed the book, or if I just felt obligated to buy the book because I love them, love to write, and will soon teach writing, I decided against it.  While scanning it, it seemed a little hard to flip open and dive into.  Because afterall, a book on writing prompts should be just that--prompt and to the point. 

But I wont forget to mention that I stopped by Squeeze & Grind at the beginning of my liesurely walk, to pick up a chai tea and a shortbread cookie for Brooklynn.  There is nothing like a walk on a fall day with a warm cup of tea.  These are special moments for me.

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Joys/Fears/Obsessions/Collections/Surprising Facts 10/29/2008

I've been tagged by Amber, so here it goes:

Joys: My family, Books/Bookstores, everything that has to do with the Fall, Reading, writing, Creative art, to be inspired!

Fears: Prowlers/Break-ins, child predators, our basement flooding (again--especially since it's been remodeled and all my crafts and many special things are down here right now), the state of the world--but I believe things are happening as He planned.

Obsessions/Collections: Yep, you guessed it--BOOKS! Scrapbook supplies, photos, many, many journals starting from elementary school, and there is lots & lots of camoflauge in this house. :) And can't forget Cowboy boots!

Surprising Facts: I was severly bullied during junior high school, I was a state alternate for the Soprano voice in the Lower Columbia River Region (2001), & I plan to write a book.

*If you girls read this...I am tagging Katie & Tina! Well, anyone who reads this!

10 Things I Love 10/23/2008

10 Things I Love

1. Bookstores

2. The Fall

3. Books!--anything by Annie Dillard, Sabrina Ward Harrison, SARK & Frank McCourt, The Alchemist, Eat, Pray, Love, The Glass Castle, Letters to a Young Poet, Journal of a Solitude

4. Fall/Winter candles

5. Comfy jammies

6. My camel cowgirl boots

7. Folk & Country music--anything by Jewel, Tracy Chapman, James Taylor, Dar Williams, Stephanie Dosen, Damien Rice, Ben Harper, A Fine Frenzy, Dixie Chicks, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood

8. My bed & Pottery Barn quilted blanket--it’s more comfortable than I could have ever hoped a bed & blanket could be!

9. The holidays

10. My family & kids!

Brandon Went to Heaven 10/16/2008

Brandon went to Heaven on Tuesday 10/14/08 at 1am. We are happy that he was able to rid of his mortal and physical pain, and go home and discover a happiness that is beyond this earth. If you are interested in leaving support for his family, here is the link to his website:

Love, Nate & Cassie

Brandon & Brooklynn1 

We love you, Bud.  We miss you already.

Sisters 10/1/2008

I returned from visiting my sister, Amber, in Utah, a few weeks ago. It was a relaxing get-away--so nice to be away from the mundane. I am so grateful for the time that I was able to spend with my sister. She is so great and has such a gentle spirit. There is a lot to be learned from her. I came away feeling reassured, inspired, encouraged, rejuvenated and more. I just wish that we lived closer so that we could be more involved in each other’s life. At this time more than ever, I cherish the relationship that I have with each of my sisters and the unconditional bond that we have. It’s nice to know that as we grow older, some things just get better and better. And, such is the case with the relationship I have with my sisters.


Please Pray For Brandon Hendrick 9/20/2008

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Jon, Nate, Brandon & Friend--Go Hawks!

Our friend Brandon has been in and out of treatment for Bone Cancer for the last year, after having been in remission for six years. He’s just 22 years old. Last January, after series of Chemo treatments, Brandon agreed to have a complete hip replacement and areas of his pelvis replaced to remove the cancer. Because the risk of surgery in itself was so great, Doctors had to stop mid-way through the surgery because they almost lost him. By God’s grace, he survived the surgery and even began walking just months later! In August, Brandon headed back to ASU but within weeks found out that the cancer has again spread. Currently, he is in Arizona and is struggling to manage his pain, while doctors discuss what to do next. Please pray for him and keep him in your thoughts as he endures this fight. Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, love & support!

Here’s B’s website. If you’d like, leave him a note or let him know that you, too, are praying for him!

A Motif of Struggle 12/19/2008

It may be blatantly obvious, but I’ve just come to the realization that there is a most common motif that haunts my writing. Within the beginning and ends of my posts lies the struggle that the writer in me is suffering. However, I don’t believe this is an uncommon struggle, especially among other mothers, and anyone else who is, as Annie Dillard would say, “balancing life in it’s free-fall.”

It was a depressing day, a couple of years ago after having Brooklynn, that I felt so debilitated to even attempt to live the normalcy of my previous life. Instead my mind would give me cruel flashbacks of all things that I had so incessantly filled my days with, but could no longer catch a break to enjoy. It’s a struggle gathering all of the things that you are--a wife, new mom, friend, daughter, individual, and on the list goes. . .to organize into an order so that you will feel the most rewarded, complete, or just plain old sane. However, I am not sure that if in time, this ever becomes sorted.

So I guess here I am to give one more ode to this motif and explain that the writer in me is still struggling.

What about you?  How do you balance all the things you are?

Blooming in the Basement 9/19/2008

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free ~Michelangelo

I am not sure where to begin, but one thing is for sure though, that it’s there inside me struggling to get free. I continuously deny my creative energy any place to dwell, mode to think, or chance to be. Down. Down. Back down. . . Some other day when I have more time and space; when I create that room of my own--the one that I’ve hardly began to dream up because dreaming it up will take about just as much energy as it will to make use of. It’s as though if I can dabble in a mess of creativity regularly, I’ll bloom again.

It happened one time in particular, my senior year of college, in Pullman, down in that basement room of mine, listening to Stephanie Dosen, while collaging bits and ramblings of what had recently broke me, my grand inspirations, or the things I thought I knew for sure. Although somewhat foggy, I can still recall how I felt that year and in what aspect it healed me. To get there, however, I fought a tiring battle, but in the end, learned to surrender my self, to me. During that time, I braved the rawness of every ache and moment of emptiness and loneliness, and let it wash over me. And I did so alone, free, and surprisingly, unafraid. Instead, I relished in the solitude.

May Sarton writes in Journal of Solitude:

With the return of cheerfulness I feel a sense of loss. The poems no longer flow out. I am more “normal” again, no longer that fountain of tears and intense feeling that I have been for months. Balance is achieved, or nearly. But at what price?

That year I spent down in that basement was both my sense of loss and cheerfulness. I stripped myself naked of every excuse I’d been making for my attitude, actions, and my relationships. I surrendered myself to my own madness, and luckily, I was still enough to feel what was happening inside me. I found I was much more fragile and vulnerable then I wanted to realize, but when I did, I bent carefully to grovel near the roots of my being.

I have a picture of that house somewhere. Maybe a picture of that basement, too. I should place it in a frame to remind me that even in a tiny, quiet basement bedroom one can bloom. All it really takes is the surrendering to one’s self, the stillness of solitude, and a pen and some paper.

Check Out This Crib Bedding! 9/11/2008

Hey All,
Just wanted to tell you about the crib bedding that my Mom just finished, that is finally up for sale.  You can see it at Both sets are absolutely adorable and I am sure that they will be snatched up soon, so take a peek, now!


My Playlist



100 lbs. of Creativity 8/18/2008


Most of what makes up my creativity lies in these boxes and containers (plus a few more) for now. Each time I look at them sitting there unopened and unused I feel anxious. I am so ready to dive in and create. Now more than ever, I miss my old craft room/office. And so it is true: you don't realize what you have until it's gone. I didn't take advantage of that space the way that I should have, and now here I am in a new space, feeling cautious to open up my things, afraid that I'll have it all over the basement in no time. However, it's a very nice feeling to know that what's inside of these boxes makes me so happy...albums, books on creativity written by some of my favorite people, and a whole lot of everything that I use to create what I love. Hmm...I could definitely use a creative session.

A Great Thought 8/17/2008

"As I wrote [my book], I thought, 'My goodness, there are so many things here I'm embarrassed to tell. … But I just decided that I would be honest. That if my life was worth anything at all it had to be the honest story. And I had to stand for my life."

— Ellen Burstyn, on writing her memoir Lessons in Becoming Myself

Time 8/11/2008

It’s so nice to be back in Camas, after our year-long hiatus living on the West -side of Vancouver. It’s so amazing how fast a year can pass! While I was at the park today, I got to thinking how frightening this very thought can be. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago, I was in one of my best friend’s weddings--when in reality it was almost a month and a half ago. Yesterday, I watched another close friend be married to her best friend, and before I know it, they‘ll be celebrating an anniversary. Nathan and I are coming up on THREE years! What’s scary about this is that if you’re not careful, you lose the time and years pass and then you’re still thinking about those things that you said you’d do or those things you want to do, but never actually started doing. On the flipside--you might just be livin’. Hopefully though, the way you’re livin’ is in all the ways that you’ve intended. Time has it’s way with running from you.

When I was younger, time was endless. I could play Barbies for full days at a time. I can remember driving with Alyssa to her dance lesson in West Vancouver, actually, and feeling like it was a full-blown roadtrip. Now, the freeways get me anywhere faster than ever, and it’s as though the drives in the car are getting shorter and shorter, since when I reach my destination there is always some form of chaos that greets me, and I’m wishing that I was instead, still driving. For example, my trip to the produce market today. It began with me scrambling to remember my list while trying to keep Asher from wailing, and ended with me juggling two bags of groceries, a diaper bag, a car seat, and a two-year-old with a fruit roll-up out to the parking lot. Almost every one of these trips leaves me feeling like I’ll never do it again--with two kids, but then I’m off to the next place the very next day, because I have to, or else I’d be stuck in the same place all the time, and before I’d know it the summer would be gone, and the kids would have been ripped off from the great weather, and time would have had it’s way with me, again.

One of my favorite quotes from Annie Dillard is “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” I guess I’m nearing the end of the time that I’ve spent thinking about what I want to do. I have my ideas and the inspiration is building--but I don’t want to just say “in time. . .” anymore, because it’s just starting to feel like wasted time, and I don’t want any more of that.

Our Sweet Baby Asher 7/10/2008

Tiny Miracles 4/27/2008

Our little Asher is due in about two weeks. It’s hard to imagine exactly all that will transpire in the next few weeks, though, I do have an idea. Bringing a baby into the world is a great emotional and spiritual experience. There is nothing like carrying and protecting a baby in your womb for nine months, laboring to give birth for 20+ hours, and than having a tiny miracle--forever.

The thought of bringing a child into the world makes me very emotional. I remember when I was pregnant with Brooklynn, crying in my rocking chair while listening to Celine Dion’s Miracle CD, and being so overwhelmed and nervous to bring such a tiny and fragile life into this chaotic world. Suddenly everything that I would never want for my child to see or experience filled my mind and I sat there wondering. . . is it worth it? And is it worth it to have more than one child to worry about and pray for every night--and lose lots of sleep over the next coming years? But luckily, the trade-off is an enormous amount of unexplainable love that occurs that is nothing like anything ever felt before, and then you realize that having a child of your own is just one more gift that God has given us, which is ours to cherish and nurture. It’s an endless cycle of giving and receiving. Nothing compares to the blessing of children.

Inspiring Souls 3/13/2008

Since I love to journal--or I guess more currently--blog, there are a few blogs that I check out pretty regularly. I’ve always been a fan of “thinkers” so it’s a pleasure to find someone who I have that trait in common with, but who, more importantly, I can learn from. I ran across Ink on My Fingers while I was looking through Christine Mason Miller’s “favorite people” list. Since I admire Christine for her art and writing, I find great pleasure in reading the blogs of those who inspire her. And what an insightful and creative bunch they are.

Ink On My Fingers is a beautiful place. The pieces of Susannah’s life that make the pieces of her writing are sad, bare, and grief stricken, but all the while there remains a transparent underlining that reflects hope, happiness and peace. The way that she writes of her loss makes my heart ache, and then I wonder if there is some coincidence as to why I came across such a site since I don’t feel I can relate all that much? Regardless of the reason that I found her blog, or it found me, writing on all intricacies of life and the human spirit is invaluable. There is much to be learned from the hearts of those around us.

If you wonder why I’ve entered this blogging world anyway, read Susannah’s Half a dozen of the other post. She explains this phenomenon perfectly.

A Night of 1,000 Emotions 3/10/2008

Brooklynn is growing up incredibly fast. She is comprehending and retaining so much and has even started putting her first sentences together. Last night while we were reading, she pointed out a “sad” face so then I showed her a “happy” face. I was very surprised this morning when I overheard her playing and saying “happy doggy, happy doggy, happy doggy. . .” There is nothing quite like the awe and wonderment that she brings to me at such a young age. While she keeps me busy, she also makes me very, very, happy. I wouldn’t trade this time with her for anything in the world.

It sinks in more and more each day that in less than nine weeks I’ll be holding a new life in my arms. However, there are many external factors that make thinking about this overwhelming, such as: being on the verge of relocating but not sure when--(not a good feeling for a soon-to-be-nesting pregnant woman), already knowing how it feels to have no other choice but to change everything about your life so that it can better revolve around a newborn, the chance of baby blues, the likelihood that I’ll feel like a madwoman with two kids, no time for my hobbies, worry that the quality of one-on-one time that I’ll be able to give to Brooklynn wont be enough, living away from my family and friends who are a huge support network for me, living in a hick town--(you know you’re not even close to being that little bit of country that you thought you were when you go to visit the place and you just feel odd), but worse, moving to a hick town where all my husbands buddies have moved to, too.

But besides the external factors and the worry, I look forward to bonding with this little life in me. Having my first child opened another world, so I am excited to do it again. It wasn’t until I began to revisit all the firsts that Brooklynn was experiencing, that I realized life isn’t as complicated and stressful as I had been believing. With her unconditional love and sweet spirit, she brought refuge and a sense of relief to me. And God’s plan unfolded without a hitch. I really believe that He wanted me to slow down, re-focus my energy on someone else, and taste this part of life. He knew it would change me, and make me a better me. And I’d say that it sure has.

Isn’t it funny where my emotionally unstable mind led me through this post? Happy, worried, annoyed, excited, pleased. I guess this is what Nathan’s talking about when he claims I’m crazy right now. Whatever.

A Ray of Sunshine 2/27/2008

I came across Matilda Jane Clothing tonight and I'm in awe. Absolutely love the scrappiness and colorfulness of her designs. How I'd love to outfit Brooklynn in this wardrobe!

'I Feel So Much' Slide Show

A Beautiful Absence 2/18/2008

Tonight is Nathan’s and my first night apart in quite some time. When saying goodbye today I became overrun with emotion, which led to his minor breakdown--and there we were saying goodbye like we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a year. It’s amazing what absence and the idea of absence can do to the heart. Suddenly, moments aren’t just average old moments, but the pieces of our world. It’s a mysterious art to try and figure--how to live in the moment while never taking for granted the love in our life; how deep love truly is, and how without even noticing, we become one with another human being. God took no shortcuts while creating the human spirit. How good it feels to have moments apart to remind us how much we mean to each other and how connected we’ve become. This is beauty.

A Great Message 1/30/2008

This was by far the most touching message that I received over the Christmas holiday--or ever! I think I'll forever love this!

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Thankfulness 11/20/2007

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, I have thoughts of dinner plans and recipies running through my head. What a great time of year--a time to put my improved baking skills to the test, and a day to dedicate to family. However, since being married, the holidays have proven to be the most stressful time of year, as far as family goes. Sad. Nate’s parents are divorced and do not celebrate anything together. Even our wedding landed us in a pickle. His Dad didn’t talk to us for a few months after the fact. I guess they thought that one party wouldn’t be there for the biggest day of our lives together? I’m not sure the thinking. So, the holidays for Nate, especially, are heart-wrenching. He hates the idea that we have to devote our time to one of the three families at a time. If only we could say, “We’re celebrating at our place and if you want to join--come on. The more the merrier--regardless of whether or not you drink alcohol or if you had five kids together and haven’t spoke in ten+ years. WE DON’T CARE! And if you do, stay home!” But, unfortunately this would never happen and we don’t think our small family is big enough or there is enough distance between our family and the others to ditch all the commotion. What’s worse is that we actually look forward to the day that we can. But setting all this aside, there are so many things that I am grateful for. Here’s a short list:

My health and that of my family members.

My loving and devoted husband.

My happy, beautiful, and bright daughter.

Easy pregnancies.

Loyal and long-time friends.

My relationship with God and His unconditional love!

The financial blessings that God blesses my family with.

The gifts that I’ve been blessed with--I’m so happy that God has given me passion--to feel passionate about the things we love is infectious and a blessing to those around us.

Silence--the older I get, the more I need of it. How wonderful it is.

Inspired individuals who are extending their gift. To be inspired is a wonderful thing.

Happiness found in the simple things--i.e. a walk around the neighborhood, a cup of coffee, laughter.

Motherhood and all that it teaches me about what really matters and so many things about myself. God is constantly teaching me.

The peaceful moments, though, I know that storms are inevitable and opportunities for growth.

We're ALL Right 11/13/2007

Last night, Nate and I went to the Ben Harper show in Portland. Near the end of the show, he stood up and said,

“Isn’t it amazing that all of us are in one room, and all of us believe in this many things? And the beauty of it is--we’re all right!”

I love this thought. Though, it’s a belief that just thinking about takes work. The idea that we’re all right is much simpler to say and seems to encompass so much freedom, though, it goes against everything I have ever been taught in life. Religion teaches differently. . . society teaches differently. What would the world truly look like if we were all right and each of us lived this?

Check out Fight Outta You:

Growing Up 10/26/2007

Today a friend of mine had a birthday for her two year old. I knew before going that a couple old friends from high school, who I haven’t really seen since, were going to be there with their kids also. I drove over there not sure what to expect from them, since one of them I had had a falling out with years ago. Besides the fact that we were once crazy teens together, we were able to come together again with life in common--but this time the love for our children. It was nice to see them again and know that we all know each other and where each of us has come from. There is a warm feeling that comes with this knowing and a nice reassurance when you find that although we were wild together we were all good kids who’d grow up to be great parents.

Enlightenment 10/17/2007

As I was reading from The Alchemist tonight an underlined sentence from a previous reading gleamed from the page. It reads, “every blessing ignored becomes a curse.” Each time I tried to continue reading, my eye caught the sentence above with much attraction, and it was after a few failed attempts to move on that I closed the book and began pondering. I knew God was really trying to teach me.

There are various blessings that I have been given that I don’t believe I have lived out fully. In fact, I am not sure there is even one that I have pursued enough to fine-tune, master, or feel so comfortable to freely share with others. I have dealt with a great amount of insecurity and many false beliefs that have led me to believe that who I am and what I have to offer is just average and nothing so important that I ought to spend my days perfecting, or sadly, even enjoying.

The realization that I’ve been living under a false regime while shrugging off the gifts God has blessed me with to be nothing more than mini-talents, saddens me and causes me a bit of embarrassment for how ungrateful I’ve been in receiving these unconditional gifts. I know that God blesses each of us with gifts and talents that He personally chooses to enrich our lives and those around us. And I see how clear it is now, that these blessings are the color that He brings to our lives; the painting and filling in of that beautifully marked canvas.

Annie Dillard sums up what could be the end of some of us when she wrote, “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” The idea that my life could be full of just that--ideas, and not action, is haunting. How many people are truly living like the merchant in The Alchemist wishing that they could seek their personal legend or their treasure but instead opt to dream and go on living average lives because they're afraid of failure? Too many. I’ve been living like the merchant for a few years now. Instead of embracing the gifts I’ve been blessed with, I’ve avoided them and been unwilling to claim them as my own or enjoy them to the fullest.

My No Good Very Bad Morning 10/15/07

Dreamt a horrible dream of losing Brooklynn in the mall

Car wont start

Can’t get to gym before the kids club closes for the morning

A one-question phone call turns into a long-winded mess and me utterly annoyed

Feel resentful and nagged

Get a letter from the IRS about a payment I already paid

IRS tells me bank reversed the transaction

Banker gives her unnecessary rendition of what could have happened

Pay IRS bill again instead this time with a late fee

Mind fills with rage for IRS

A Freshman 10/11/07

Cassies_graduation_2005_002_2I’ve been filtering through remnants of my past to cut down on the amount of “resources” I have. I’m a memorabilia nut and often persuade myself that bits and pieces of this or that would be a great asset to my books. During this tedious process I came across pictures from college and suddenly I find myself missing those golden years. I keep saying I’ll head back to Pullman for a weekend, but being pregnant and visiting my alma mater just wouldn‘t feel the same.

The transition from college to real life was a bit harsh. I was unaware that all that had transpired would disintegrate the day I walked and made my final exit from Pullman with my temporary diploma. Professors don’t talk about what to do after college and what it feels like being thrust into the universe as inexperienced at life as the next grad. But before you know it life happens and blasts you down some other road and suddenly those Teaching English classes don’t make up for what you don’t know about living the married life and having children. Suddenly, I’m a Freshman all over again.

My Current Battle 10/10/07

I’m not sure that I even feel like writing right now, but I do feel confident that if I complete a post before Brooklynn wakes up from her nap, I wont feel like a lazy slug all day long. I am not sure what I have been going through lately. It’s not writers block, but something more along the lines of gray cloud, black void, and too much T.V. This is entirely depressing, and not any place that I want Brooklynn to be learning her first words. My Mom says I’ll get through this stage soon enough, once I get through my first trimester, but it seems that I began struggling in this pit of self-inflicted boredom before I found out I was pregnant again.

After having my daughter, my battle to balance life in it’s fullest was put to the ultimate test. Quickly, my type-A personality had to give in and just give it up. No more picking up the bedroom before bed, penning regular entries in my journal or getting a thrill while crossing off completed items on my "to-do" list. Since our recent move, all my creative interests remain packed in boxes, some lost in our garage and closets amidst the sea of cardboard, frumpy prom dresses and makeshift furniture pieces that I drug with me throughout my college years and ended up here. All around I feel messy, disheveled and odd. My attempt to balance my family, friends, faith, and creativity is a sad one and I am frustrated that it’s been going this way for this long now.

The other day I came across Paulo Cohelo’s, The Good Fight, and it lit an ember in my soul. So after one more inspirational reading, I'm saying cheers to the good fight. It’s time to start waging the battle within.

Fall is My Personal New Year 10/2/07

Fall is my personal New Year. With the landscape dawning it’s blessed rich color and sighing it’s crisp northwest air, I stumble towards personal reconciliation. It’s quite possible that the weather forced wardrobe changes and the conversion from outdoor to indoor activities run parallel to my inner being. As everything turns to the inside, so does my heart searching, and there I find, as with any other year, bits of myself that require revisiting. What thing better to do on a cool autumn day with a chance of rain?

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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