Friday, March 30, 2012

I'll Never Go Back

It has been raining nonstop since Monday.  Each time I look out the kitchen window and see that it's still falling, I wonder how it is that we haven't yet been swept downstream...or why the original builder wanted skylights across the length of the house, where more rain drops splatter and clouds loom, than the amount of days the sun actually shows up here in Camas, Washington.  Indeed, it could be worse.

We could live in Sultan, Washington, (a little town on the outside of Monroe, Washington, which is northeast of Seattle,) where years ago, Husband worked on a water treatment facility.  They strategically positioned the facility in an area where the cement tub could catch the falling raindrops and use them to their advantage.  I was pregnant with Asher at the time, and went back and forth to spend time with Husband, while he worked on the outskirts of that small town.  My memories of those three months are in shades of gray, and so gloomy, that I can't help but never want to visit that one street, 3.0 mile mini-spread of a town again.  Unless of course, we were heading through toward the mountains, and a visit to the Sultan Bakery was in order, then I'd oblige.  I'd say, one marionberry muffin please, and a short coffee to go!  Then I'd grab my muffin and cup of joe, and jump back into the car and head East or West so fast, before the limits of a tiny town with never ending rain could seep into me.  I'd head west and then south to Seattle, where, while there is still rain, life bustles in possibility, on the edge of the sea, with access to the best seafood in the world.  Or, I'd go east into the mountains to visit Leavenworth, the "most outstanding Bavarian village this side of the Atlantic." Either way, I'd get the hell out of Sultan.

For those of you who know that much of the movie, Twilight, was filmed here in Washington state, here is an interesting list of the locations and movie parts that Twilight filmed here in Washington.

Come next week, if there still isn't any sunshine, which I don't suspect there to be a surprise, since Husband has looked far and wide for a place for us to travel this weekend, just for sun, to no avail,

I am going to bring some sunshine of my own into this space! 
If you have lemons, make some lemonade, right? 
And this is what I'll do.  Keep your eyes peeled!

As far as this weekend, I'm thinking:
this book. this craft. maybe this kiddie movie. and relaxing.
What about you?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Little Things

bringing home a bouquet of daffodils.
running country roads in the rain and liking it.
the little lady that my daughter is growing into--may I take your plate?  i'd love to take your plate for you.
asher's half-spin-kick-and-arm-swing dance move.
getting into the car and having 90's music come booming across the speakers.  husband and his 90's tunes--it cracks me up.  what cracks me up more, is that the kids are in cahoots with him.  they were head-bobbin all the way to the store this afternoon, and each of them asked me to turn it back
reading the "Boys of My Youth." Jo Ann Beard reminds me a little of Annie Dillard, and while I read, I can't help but feel I'm learning more about the craft from a master.
yoga in Sellwood with my sweet friend.
listening to my girl read.
plowing my hands into what winter settled in, and looking forward to Spring.
pinning garden photos on Pinterest.
the thought that my iPhone camera will be replaced once I take the two minutes to replace it...
the family reunion that is in the works.
come nighttime, the chorus of frogs croaking in all of their glory.
looking forward to the Portland Rock N' Roll half marathon!
exercise.  it saves me.
finally, bedtime.

and it is bedtime, indeed.

Isn't the "Little Things" photo beautiful?  Thanks to my friend, Bonnie, of Sketching Clouds, she is allowing me to use this button she created over a year ago, when she took part in this series.  The heart-shaped rock was found while on a hike with her husband in Oregon.  She says, "I still keep it on my window sill in the kitchen." 
I love it.

 I hope each of you is doing wonderfully.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Wasn't Meant to Open a Cupcake Shop

Amanda, author of the blog, Everything and No One...Like the Last Mom on Earth, is an awesome mom, blogger and author.  Her writing is raw, unhesitating and captivating, and she is one main reason I head back into Blogger time and time again.

Earlier this week, she posted some of her responses and questions.  Now, I'm following suit, answering a few questions and asking you mine. 

1. Picture

My first and only fish.
John Day River, Oregon 2010

2. 10 Random Facts About Me

1.  I was married in November--my favorite time of year.
2.  Having bookshelves will complete me.
3.  I touched my first worm, hooked my first worm and caught my first fish the summer of 2010.
4.  For about a week, I thought I was going to open a cupcake shop.
5.  A screen writer once found my blog, after I mentioned him in a post, and he sent me an inspiring essay letter about me wanting to become a published writer.  It's framed and hanging beside my bed.
6.  One of the reasons I've put off my "greatest work" in bully prevention, is because it is daunting and there are times I'm not sure I can handle it.
7.  I've dealt with lasting depression two times in my life.
8.  I'm the youngest of five children.
9.  I was engaged to a man for a short time before I met my now-husband.
10. I secretly want twins.

3.  Amanda's Questions:

1. What do you regret?  Lacking assertiveness when I needed it most.
2. Are you happy, most of the time?  I make a conscious effort to be happy and grateful most of the time. 
3. Tell me about one of your quirks.  I've been told my laugh is quirky--it's "somewhat boisterous."  I'd say I agree.  Sometimes I shock myself with my own noise.
4. Top 5 musicians you want to hang out with? Jewel...  ....  ....
5. Do you feel like a lot of people know you?  I don't know, but if my parents church friends count, then people know of me.
6. What are you reading? Is it good?  The Book Thief.  Yes, it is good.  I should finish it already.
7. What did you go to school for?  Was it a good choice?  English.  Yes.  Studying language and writing freed me.
8. Are you in a lot of debt?  I'd say, average debt.  Car, home, student loans...We decided a few years ago that cash is the only way we will operate from here on out.
9. Where do you go on vacation?  Uh, what?  Camping--does that count?  We've been to visit family in Montana and Utah, but that's been about it since our honeymoon to NY.  However, I do see the tropics in our near future.
10. What makes you mad?  People who lie and lack compassion and consideration for others.  I also get mad when people limit themselves.  Living "comfortably," in most cases, doesn't do much for anyone.

4.  My Questions:

1.  Do you know your calling, yet?  If so, what is it?
2.  What color describes you?
3.  Where would you like to visit?
4.  What don't people know about you?
5.  What book or author changed your life? 
6.  What do you hate doing?
7.  Are you more an introvert or extrovert?
8.  Name five things on your life Bucket List.
9.  If you could be anywhere right this moment, where would it be?
10.  What is your favorite genre of music?

Want to play?  Post a picture, list 10 random facts, answer my ten questions and post ten of yours in a post and link in in the comments section, or you can answer the ten questions in the comments. 

I can't wait to read!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

While I Was Away

While I was away, I rested, read less and wrote sporadically.  I heard the rain more clearly, saw small daffodils in their early blooms, and ran the lake trail in sunshine just three short days after three inches of snow.

While I was away, I heard funny words sputter from the mouths of my babes tenfold, while watching them play baby, superheroes, husband and wife, and I watched him as he marched around the house in his two- sizes-too-small Spiderman costume, hands on his hips, saying, I'm not playing; Brooklynn wont marry me. 

While I was away, my three year old told me I was pretty, and has made it a daily event to crawl into my bed each day before sunrise.  Though he likes to be cuddled and snuggled and held, he hardly told me goodbye when he walked into his new classroom of six other 3 year old boys, just a few weeks ago.  He's so sweet, his teacher said, he's so snuggly.  This I know well, as I wake in the morning with my arm extended toward the headboard and a Spiderman clad toddler taking over my side of the bed. 

While I was away, I realized that having or doing exactly what I am, is exactly what my five year old wants, too.  Are you having Greek yogurt on top of your soup?  Then I want some, too.  I realized that when the boy receives a wood craft at checkout from the Home Depot cashier, that I must ask for two, because the girl believes the crafting world is her territory.  I realized that she likes to be where I am, standing on the stool as I cook, talking in my ear as I sit, motioning me to get out of bed as I wake.

While I was away, I took myself off of my anti-depressants.  I also decided to quit having a drink and no longer crave coffee three times a day.  Thankfully, I haven't an addictive personality, unless hoarding books, running and loving Jesus are addictive--I'm okay with that.

While I was away, I decided to not go back to school to finish my Masters in Teaching, but pour myself into my work in prevention.  Tomorrow, I meet with a man who has built a life around helping hurting teens, prevention and bringing an awareness to suicide.  I plan to ask him about his faith and how he shares it?  And I expect to see that in this work, the brink of devastation thick in the air, while hope rises.

While I was away, I considered shame and how debilitating it can become, how it takes lives and stirs them, shaking them upside down into a tornado of lies and fear, and how, if one can see even a sliver of hope through it, a rainbow awaits her on the other side.

While I was away, I thought about my book proposal and those few chapters that envelope a pain that I knew so familiar, and wonder how I can weave into it The Light?  While I was away, I happened upon this idea a small handful of times--"The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it," and I cling to it, even in my baffled-ness.

While I was away, I grew spiritually, and have been working on the ways I can better lead.  I've considered my fear of public speaking and decided that I will no longer fear it, but embrace my unpracticed-courage.  I'm ready to be more, say more and do more, even if my nature depends a lot on solitude and not an ounce in the spotlight.

While I was away, I decided to not settle--not in this life, in circumstances, not in the plans I have for my family and the wants that I have for my children.  I contemplated friendships and what I must give to expect what I expect.  I have set my sights high and expecting a life anointed--a life where God unfolds his favor while we are guided and lead by Him.

While I was away, I lived, loved and grew; I was nourished and renewed and relieved. 

And for these things, I am happy.  For it is the times we are away, the heart grows fonder, the roots grow stronger, and the love runs deeper. 
Friends, thanks for allowing me to be away.

image credit

“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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