March 30, 2012

All about nothing

It's been hard to write beyond bullet points this week.

I've realized that I'm in this place of life where I have to schedule phone chats with friends and book people in advance on my calendar in order to see any of my friends.  And I hate how this feels.  I'm the kind of woman who deeply loves friendships and connection and the absence of them leaves me feeling like I have less and it disrupts how I can even function.

Working full-time again is kicking my butt.  I miss my full day off on Fridays and I miss my day to work from home too.  I miss Tommy and I feel like I'm missing out on him.  I miss the stillness and quiet it provided for me.  I miss mornings in my pajamas and coffee sipped from my favorite mug.  I'm missing the ease of my old schedule.  And in one way or another, I've kind of thrown a fit about it all that I'm missing because I can't change it and I wish that I could.

Instead of hitting the gym last night, I went to bed at 9pm.  Exhaustion had set in and I knew my body needed some significant rest.  And it was the good kind of sleep too because I woke up right before my alarm went off and I was almost ready to get up and take on the day.  *almost* But it's nice to feel more refreshed and alert after getting some much needed rest.

And tonight, I'm going out with my sisters and my step-mom to celebrate her birthday.  And if I can recall this correctly, I'm pretty sure it's the first time EVER we've done anything like this.  I'm expecting for it to be pretty epic.

There isn't a lot on the agenda for the weekend and I'm grateful for that.  Definitely looking forward to some down time.

So even though this was kind of all about nothing, I guess this is me trying to pick myself back up after a week full of disappointments, confusion and excessive bullet points. 

Happy Friday everyone.

March 29, 2012

Finding the Words

This was something I wrote last June.  It feels fitting for where my heart is and where I've been this week.  I've been having a string of days where I'm just having a hard time finding the words...

It's hard to find the words,
when the God you thought you knew
takes you by surprise.

It's hard to find the words,
when you've stopped numbing out
and you're feeling the pain of it all.

It's hard to find the words,
when you're no longer using addiction
to escape the pain of complete loss.

It's hard to find the words,
when you're desperate to hold on
and maybe He's saying to just let go.

It's hard to find the words,
when God doesn't make sense.
and He rarely ever does.

It's hard to find the words,
when you want to be wanted
and the ones you want to want you, don't.

It's hard to find the words,
when your heart is overcome with grief
and missing someone who isn't here.

It's hard to find the words,
when something you've longed for forever,
finally becomes awakened.

It's hard to find the words,
when you're feeling overwhelmed
and full of emotion.

It's hard to find the words,
when you know that the truth
won't be well received.

It's hard to find the words,
when you feel so alive and free
and only a few people speak your language.

It's hard to find the words,
when you have so much to say
and you feel like you can't.

March 28, 2012

Bottle it up

 You know those moments of perfection where everything inside of you feels just right?  I wish I could bottle those moments up and open them whenever I was in need of a pick-me up or a reminder of where life was sweet.

I wish I could bottle up....

The relief and security that comes with the phone call telling you that you got the job.

What it's like to be held in the middle of a thunderstorm.

The butterflies in your stomach when you're daydreaming about your crush right after you find out they like you back.

What you feel right in the middle of a first kiss.

The excitement and elation after seeing a much awaited positive sign on a pregnancy test.

Those perfect nights with good friends that were full of just the right amounts of laughter and tears.

Legitimate surprises that leave you feeling so loved and cared for by someone else.

The confidence that comes when the number on the scale has finally gone down.

How it feels when someone tells you how beautiful you look when you were already feeling pretty.

The peace that comes with the mornings where you have nothing to do but be.

How energized and healthy you feel right after a really intense work-out.

The feeling of someone playing with your hair.

When everyone around you is worshiping to an amazing song at church and God feels present and there and you get this glimpse of a glimpse of what heaven might feel like.

The first big dip on a super-awesome roller-coaster that leaves your stomach hanging in the air.

The sass in your step after you get a brand new pair of sexy heels.

The nostalgic feeling that comes with eating an ice-cream cone and how it reminds you of the really sweet pieces of your childhood.

What it's like hearing a new song, or an old one for that matter, that speaks to your soul right where you're at.

Reading something you've written and feeling proud of it.

What it's like to see a soul-stirring sunrise.

The glorious foolishness feeling that comes with dancing and being free enough to do it.

If it were possible, I would open that bottle up a little bit today.

How about you?  What feelings might you bottle up  and save?

March 27, 2012


I'm wondering if maybe every woman is lonely.

I'm wondering about love stories.  About the great ones like Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and Prince Charming, Noah and Allie.   And about where I am in my own love story.

I'm wondering if you will always find God when you seek Him.  (Matthew 7:7-8)  Will He always be found, even when He's felt distant or silent?

I'm wondering if all this hard work I'm putting in to be healthy is going to ever start showing in my belly.  It seems to be hanging on to me for dear life.

I'm wondering why I am the only person who didn't even hear of The Hunger Games until the movie came out.  And I apparently need to see this as I'm kind of feeling left out.

I'm wondering how long I can make it doing this full-time thing again.  I already feel drained and depleted and I haven't even been doing it that long.

I'm wondering how Dr. Seuss could ever write a book as insane as Fox in Socks.  Seriously - I felt like an idiot attempting to read this to my son. 

I'm wondering how I am supposed to be fully alive when so much around me feels broken a lot of the time.

I'm wondering how long we will have to keep waiting for Todd to hear about this possible job opportunity. 

I'm wondering how it's going to feel to try on a bridesmaid dress next week for my cousin's upcoming wedding.

I'm wondering if I will really be smaller than I am now.  If I can keep doing what I'm doing without giving up.  I'm wondering what I will look like and how it will feel to be healthy again.

I'm wondering why I am so scared to not be heavy anymore.  Though I kind of know why, I am ever curious about the things I feel and the things that are triggered as I continue to make progress.

I'm wondering why some friendships don't last forever and you only have people with you for seasons at a time.  Why does it seem to often work that way?

Been a lot of wondering today.  That is all.

March 25, 2012


1) I think grown-ups should get spring break too. Seriously, it's no fair and I might have to write a congressman or something. Mandatory one-week vacation in March for everyone!

2) I've recently started planking. Not to be confused by the weird stuff you've seen on youtube where people lay straight as a board on random objects. But like exercise planking. Seriously, it's hardcore. And I had no idea I even had muscles in my stomach until I few days ago. Like it hurts to laugh and everything.

2a) However, I can hold myself up for almost an entire minute. Not too shabby for a planking beginner.

3) It's weird when your Grandparents call your cell phone and your ring tone is, "Everyday I'm shufflin." But I'm not talking about me or anything.

4) I stayed in bed until 11am on Saturday. Yes I did.

5) Tommy read me "Goodnight Moon" last night. He has it memorized! Think we've read that a few times together?

6) I'm going to buy a bridesmaid dress this week. My cousin Aimee is getting married on September 1st and I don't think it has quite sunk in yet.

7) It's already shorts and sleeveless shirt weather here and I'm in dire need of some kind of spray tanner because the current state of my skin is so white that it might be blinding. Can anyone recommend a good one?

8) Seriously, how is it almost Easter? Where does time go? Wasn't it just Christmas like five seconds ago?

8a) Oh and I got an Easter dress this year. I haven't bought an actual dress for Easter since I was like 15. And it's pretty!

9) Confession: I have about seven almost empty water bottles in my car that I haven't put in the recycling bin yet. They've been accumulated from several trips to the gym. I leave them in the car and they just stay there and multiply. So even though it appears that I might be lazy, I'm so not. Because hello, I was working out.

10) It's Monday. And it so feels like it.

March 24, 2012


The whole world is just one big adventure to my son. He reminds me what it's like to be free to run and literally not have a care in the world because mom and dad are right behind you and it's a beautiful day and everything in you feels as it should.
"Dis is amazing mom! Dis is so awesome daddy! Dese flowers are so boo-tiful!" He declared these things as we all got outside to chase some sunshine on the most perfect spring day ever. I love where he notices the things of simplicity in all of his innocence and wonder and how grand everything seems to him.

I continually see where he invites me to play and run, to discover and take joy in my surroundings. I love where he always invites me to more and to live fully because that's all he knows of living.

And he doesn't have to be told to pause and take time to smell the flowers. He just does it. It comes naturally when you're not quite three.
Swinging. That's his thing. That's all he has to worry about.
When glee, complete and utter glee, is written all over his nourishes every part of me that is a mother. And every part that is still forever a child.
I hope he knows how much we enjoy him and how much he is deeply loved. I hope he feels cherished and celebrated just because he is our son. And someday, I hope he knows where his life made me want to be more than I am, how being his mom has changed me and grown me too.

I hope his childhood, and my motherhood for that matter, is full of many more smiles of pure glee.

March 23, 2012


It is full blown spring in my part of the world. It's everywhere.
I'm loving the color. The vibrancy. The beauty.
Spring feels delicate. I'm aware of what's new and soft. Of what has surfaced after last year's long drought.
We didn't get any of our usual Texas wildflowers last year because we went so long without rain. So seeing March's bluebonnets this year feel precious. It feels like beholding something glorious. And it probably feels that way because I am. Spring is glorious isn't it?
Something as intricate and detailed as our beautiful state flower points to the Creator I believe in. It reminds me of where He makes things beautiful. How he cares about seasons and change and things like flowers because even when life can be hard, we can still be surrounded by beauty. They are reminders of Him and His extravagant love.
These white flowers took my breath away. Something about them made me want to cry, but I'm not really sure why exactly.
It's an odd thing I suppose. To want to cry looking at flowers. But I guess they reminded me of me. Where I feel full and beautiful and alive, where I once felt empty and ugly and dead.

Things are blooming. And so am I.

March 22, 2012

My Happy Places

Let's face it. We all need to recharge. Life gets to be too hectic, too full, too overwhelming and our batteries run on low. If we don't take some time out for ourselves, we start just existing and life becomes something to merely survive.

Two years ago, I was one of those people that just existed and survived. My plate was too full and I was just trying to get by and get through the day. I was burnt out in every way and doing lots of things, but none of them were done well. I ended up quitting my full-time job at that time - still the most risky decision I've ever made. But in those two years, I have learned a lot about myself. Who I am, what I need, what I want my life to look like and how I want to live it.

One of the most important things I discovered was how to really take care of myself. I learned that I need space. I need alone time. I need time and places to revitalize my soul. I have my own "happy places" so-to-speak that help me get back to the real me.

I go to my favorite spot in the house in the morning. My comfy leather recliner next to the window. And I'll set my favorite coffee mug on the end table next to me and read or pray or journal. Sometimes I'll just sit and be quiet.
Sometimes I will listen to music. I'll fold laundry (because yes, I have a weird obsession with loving that particular chore). I'll read a book or a take a nap. I'll meet a friend at a coffee-shop.

Lately, I sit down to write. It's been months and I haven't gone a day without writing something. And I love that I'm becoming more there. It fills me with hope about what could be. Who I could be. Sitting in front of the computer to write always brings me back to me and who I really am.

There are days when I need more than just a few moments to myself though - when small snippets of time to read or take an hour for myself to do something I enjoy just isn't enough. I need to get out and remind my body what it is to feel and breathe and enjoy creation. So, I go to the hill and walk (a small historic park near my house that I affectionately have named 'the hill'). Sometimes I will go for just half of an hour. Others, for much longer. I take in the view of the city. I listen to the wind. I watch for cardinals and jack-rabbits and deer. I sit somewhere quiet and just be. I talk to God up there, and sometimes, He talks to me too.
And it's been awhile since I've gone, but the beach.... Oh - the beach is my ultimate happy place of happy places. It's where I feel the most me. It's where God feels the most tangible. Something about having a clear view of the horizon makes Him feel closer and me not so far away. I love the sound of the waves, the feeling of sand between my toes, the breeze that blows through my hair and makes me feel beautiful. It brings all my senses into focus and I love how I feel everything in my body all at once. The beach calls to me often. And time and responsibility and and obligation keep me from going as often as I'd like.

But when I do go, something deep in my soul is nourished and fed. I come back to the things I've forgotten. My head feels clearer and my heart feels more alive again.

I work full-time again. I'm a mother to a darling almost three-year old boy who I don't get to spend as much time with as I like. I'm a wife. I try to keep house and make dinner and have a date night with my husband from time-to-time. I'm involved in ministry. I sing on the worship team. My life is full again. Yet it's different than it was two years ago. I know how to take care of myself. I know where to go when I'm needing a recharge. I know how to ask for help and for space. I know where my happy places are.

What is your happy place?

This prompt was part of a series over at Life is a Sunset called Journey Forward. I decided to jump in as "forward" is definitely where I am headed on my own journey. Thanks Chelsea for the inspiring series!

March 21, 2012

Love and Expectation

I saw a quote recently that stirred my soul in the disrupting kind of way that makes you examine your heart. It said:

"The best kind of love is when you have no expectations at all."

It's made me think...

What kinds of expectations do I have for those I love?
Isn't it okay to have some expectations?
What do I do when those expectations aren't met?
How might those relationships be transformed if I eliminated my expectations?
What does love without expectation even look like?
Shouldn't I be getting something in return?

Clearly, I expect something from the people I love and I am in relationship with. I am starting to wonder if I'm missing something about love and what it really means.

Suddenly, love is feeling harder to do and be.

Perhaps the only One who even knows how to love this way - pure and right and without any expectation or hope of anything in return is God.
Maybe we can't love others like He can. But, maybe we can try?

Just some very deep thoughts on an ordinary Wednesday from a woman who wants to be loved well. And desperately wants to love others well too.

March 19, 2012

Grown-up shoes

He clomps around, big smile on his face. His little feet tucked in my tennis shoes, almost sliding off of him with each laboring step. His walk is unsteady and he never lasts long in them.

Too much work, those grown up shoes.

It's a picture of what is to come though. Where walking in them will come more naturally to him because they finally fit his adult sized feet.
It's a beautiful picture isn't it? A child imitating their parent. Trying the "grown-up" on for size and testing it out, wondering how it feels to be tall and in charge.

I remember doing this as a child; performing fashion shows in my mother's heels and her wedding veil and beaded necklaces. Dreaming of being a real woman and feeling beautiful and important and not having to answer to anyone. As a girl, perhaps that's all I thought being a grown-up was about.

I was always in a hurry to grow-up too, and I did I think. My brother's short life, my parent's divorce, how I helped care for and raise my sister when I was in high school, and having a very adult relationship with someone my senior year - all of those things made me grow up faster than I should have. I was given my size 9 "grown-up" shoes as a teenager and have worn them ever since it seems.

Over the weekend, my mother-in-law took me shopping as a treat for my birthday. And of course, a new pair of shoes (or two) were in order. I tried on these sassy red wedges that I loved. But walking around in them made me very aware of where it pinched my toe and I could imagine myself limping around to somewhere dying to get them off and then not wearing them ever again.

As I put them back on the shelf, I was aware that I was just making a logical decision based on what I both need and want. I want cute shoes, but for where I am at in life, I just don't need high maintenance shoes that hurt my feet.

And then I found these. Still plenty cute, but much more functional for what I need. And absolutely zero toe-pinching. (These too can be yours at your local Target store for only $19.99!)
Yesterday, a surprising phone call came. I was invited to be a part of this huge-important thing for a ministry I'm involved with. It was something I've wanted to do and hoped to be considered for someday. And I had to say no. The timing just wasn't right and it wouldn't have been kind to myself - to my husband, my son, or my boss to try and figure it out. I wanted to say yes and I couldn't. And the opportunity will come again, but for now I just have to wait.

And then maybe that's part of what it is to really be grown-up. To say no to the shoes that don't go with your busy life. To know when you just can't make something work even when you want to. To be okay with waiting. To be okay with saying no.

My little grown-up-shoe-wearing son hates the word no. He wants yes for everything. And I remember that. I remember not understanding why there were "no's" for things when I was a girl.

I guess maybe when the shoes finally fit, you know that "wait" or "no" aren't really all that bad. Because really, you are just taking care of yourself and making good decisions, even if they feel hard.

And it takes a real "grown-up" to know that.

March 17, 2012

The dirty truth about cleaning

In cleaning my house today and trying to organize and purge and attempt some kind of spring-cleaning business around my home, I learned a few things about myself:

1) I am a gift bag hoarder.2) I have an entire box of old party supplies. You know, blue streamers, beach balls, American flags, vinyl tablecloths, half burned candles. I could throw the random party of the century with those items.

3) Even if it's still semi-full, I will throw away a box of cereal if it sucks. Without even feeling guilty about it. I am a chronic pantry-purger.

4) Dishes are always the last thing I do. Because I hate them. (Though I think I already knew this).

5) It's easier to close the shower curtain than to scrub the tub. If my friends look in there, they are held responsible for the horror they have to witness, not me.

6) Sometimes I wipe away dust with my hand rather than actually dust.

7) I got overly excited when I found a stash of plastic hangers in another closet today - the kind that department stores have that you get when you go clothes shopping - those are my favorites! And I immediately re-hung several tops and tossed the crappy plastic hangers to the side.8) I prefer to have my DVD's organized by genre. Todd's boring western and war movies, cool action movies, lame action movies, sappy chick-flicks, funny chick-flicks, family friendly films, and John Wayne movies (also Todd's). Of course all of the James Bonds and the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones all have a sacred spot of honor. (Not pictured here.)9) Pretty sure we are keeping the plastic tote bin in business by storing all of Tommy's old clothes and toys. Would SO love to get rid of everything, but there's that whole - "Are we having any more kids?" question that continues to remain unanswered.

10) It looks like a hurricane attacked my baking pan cabinet. And I don't even care.11) I may* have only been cleaning today because we are having friends over for dinner.

So now that I'm utterly humiliated, anyone else have any clean or not-so clean confessions?

March 16, 2012


I looked at him tearfully. This man I call husband. The one who sees me in the mornings without make-up and the one who knows that I have to try on fourteen tops before deciding on just the right one while leaving the others on the closet floor. I looked at him and I cried and I unpacked the things I held in my heart all week long.

And he listened and was quiet and stroked my hair while I talked. I rested my head on his chest and let my mascara colored tears soak through his shirt. That space where my head meets his chin, that little place where I feel small and cared for and wanted. I let myself rest there and remember the safety I have with him. I could feel his warmth and hear his heart beat and I felt calm again.

I read recently that marriage is two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation. It's a haven for us in a heartless world. Marriage is not the place where we go to have everything fulfilled for us even though that's what we think we need from the other. (This is quite an interesting article if you want to know where I read this from.)

Lately, I've seen where I've changed. Where marriage has changed me and where it keeps changing us. Marriage is big that way. The relationship itself molds you and changes you even when you don't really know it. I guess some days feel harder than others with all the change that has taken place.

But last night I surrendered to the haven that marriage is. I admitted that I need the protection and safety and his unconditional love no matter how hard I fight it. And I fight those things for reasons as deep and complex as my story.

I will not ever find everything my heart is searching for in my husband - and the same can be said for him with me. God designed us with certain holes that really, only He can fill. It's both a glorious and painful thing to know and realize. Maybe there is room for more grace there when you realize that your spouse, your partner, your till-death-do-us-part relationship can't give and fill everything that you want. They can't - I can't - and that's why we need grace.

Grace - God seems to be all about that. His relationship with us is all about it. Why wouldn't marriage, this covenant and picture of Him with us, also be all about grace?

Somehow even with all the places that are disappointing, the places we need grace, the places we fight with ourselves or with each other - God allows us to know these tastes of how big His love is for us.

For me, it's where his fingers stroke my hair and his lips are soft and kiss me with gentle passion. It's the space where my head meets his chin. It's my haven in a heartless world.

March 15, 2012

Hanging On

I don't do stressed out and overwhelmed well. That's when I start spinning and creating chaos and generating my own version of an emotional tornado.

Sometimes it feels like I don't have enough space in my heart or in my life to feel all that there is to feel.

Some time ago, my counselor told me that it helps to visualize putting certain things in a box and placing them on a shelf. And not for the purpose of ignoring them, but to save them for later and take them back out on a different day when I have more space to look and sort through whatever is in the box. And that helps sometimes - to visualize myself doing that. But even still - I try to think about it all at once and I shouldn't.

I often create one giant sum of all of my circumstances and feelings into one big ball and before I know it, I can't even concentrate or rest or do one productive thing because I'm too busy worrying or stressing.

I'm just grasping for some measure of control. Always. Trying to force life to go the way that I am maneuvering it to. I guess right now, I feel like I'm trying to hang on and I just hope I can survive until it passes again. Because things always have a way of passing. But the right-in-the-middle-of-it part is enough to wipe me out.

The little and not-so-little anxieties of life have a weight of pressing down on my chest keeping me from breathing sometimes.

I feel like that today. Trying to remember to breathe. Trying to remember that how I'm feeling will pass, and not every day or everything is this overwhelming. Trying to just hang on.

March 13, 2012

Down Time

Some days you just need to stay in your pajamas and and hide under the covers for awhile.

When you just feel tired and on the brink of sickness and you need to stay home because going off to work or anywhere for that matter, could very well be the end of all you have left. Or at least it feels that way.

For me, just folding my laundry and playing Mr. Potato head games with my son is like the most therapeutic thing in the world. Well that and bubble baths of course.

But there are times when I just need to sip an entire pot of coffee and relax under warm blankets and pretend that it's still winter.

And sometimes, not very often, but sometimes, I just have to forget everything else and take care of me.

I know my breaking point. I know when I've gone too far and my heart and my body are spent. I know when I need real rest because my thoughts start spiraling to very weird places and I feel this swirling chaos of emotions inside of myself.

So, I'm taking some time out to recharge. Creating some space to cry and feel with no one around to ask me what's wrong or what it is that I need.

Just because I have to get some things out - on paper, through tears, by praying, by zoning out on my sofa to watch old episodes of SATC. Hoping that all of it - the combination of resting and feeling and not having to perform for anyone will be what I need to pick myself back up and go at it again tomorrow.

March 12, 2012


I am thirty-one years old today. THIRTY-ONE.

Birthdays used to be this checkpoint for me of where I was in life and how I was doing. I've always tried to measure where I was and see if I had finally perfected all of my characteristic traits and quirks that I had wanted to change about myself.

At some point within the last year though, it started feeling less exhausting to be me.

At thirty-one, I can say that I'm done grading myself. I've realized that the changes that happen within us aren't always easily measured or seen. And I've learned that I'm really not responsible for changing things about myself anyway. Spending time with God - being near and close to Him is what changes us. He is the Changer. He will refine and make things new and transform. I've taken my focus off of trying to change and be something more and just live.

Be near to Him and live. This is my new life motto at thirty-one.

What I am most aware of on this particular birthday is that I feel the most me than I've ever felt before.

At thirty-one, the me that I am dances her ass off.
At thirty-one I've come to the place where I'm not trying to be someone else. I'm not trying to fit into some mold that just isn't my shape. I am more okay with accepting who I am and seeing that as a good thing rather than a container for flaws. I'm more grounded in what I believe and why I believe it. I fight lies better because I feel more secure in truth. And I have more joy - it's something I can feel within me and I know it's because of God. Where we have fought and journeyed together and where we are still going. Healing has brought with it much self-awareness and all of that has made me more at peace with not just my story, but with who I am.

It's been a slow process, but at thirty-one, I've started to like who I am becoming. And I'm flawed and full of my own share of depravity and things that need work just like anyone else. But it's different, I am different. I "pinned" this on Pinterest at some point last year. It felt true then and at thirty-one, it feels true today too.(via)

My dear friend Mal gave this to me for my birthday and it brought me to tears. Perhaps it's the gifts given to us that are tied to our identity that maybe mean the most.
At thirty-one, I still want to be a writer when I "grow up." And at thirty-one, it's become a place I've started to allow myself to dream.

It doesn't feel as scary as it used to anymore - growing older, being a real grown woman.

A very silly, slightly crazy, quite messy, completely wild, free, really-living grown woman.

March 9, 2012

How he loves me

Love is when he cleans the corroded black crap off of the stove burners.

Love is when he paints the laundry room a different color just because I'm tired of brown.

Love is him surrendering his gun cabinet to the garage to make room for my "craft space" in the guest bedroom.

Love is refinishing an old dresser and building cubbies for Tommy's room when I know he would rather be relaxing and enjoying a week off of work.
Love is sitting there to watch Dance Moms with me.

Love is him telling me that I "feel skinnier" when he hugs me.

Love is discovering that he has cleaned out and vacuumed my car for me.

Love is a freshly mowed lawn.

The way Todd loves me is tangible. He shows his love and devotion to others by serving and doing - it's how his love speaks. The newly completed projects around the house this week feel like little reminders of where his heart is for me, for us.

I never doubt his love for me. But sometimes, it's nice to have evidence of how much he really does.

March 8, 2012

if only

Sometimes I hate that I'm in a constant state of wanting. I just want things, most of them meaningless silly things like throw pillows and green flats. And then I beat myself up because I feel like I'm not supposed to want things and shame on me because I'm just materialistic and shallow.

For most of my life I've operated out of this mentality where if I could just have or do or get something, then, THEN, everything would be okay. Then I would finally be happy and feel contentment. Then I would feel at peace. Then I could stop wanting for things.

These days it sounds like....If only I had....a fourth bedroom in our house and a real, formal dining room or just a bigger house....If only Todd and I could just get away on a real vacation....If only he could just get a new job.....If only we could have one really awesome couple to do things with.....

All of the "if only's" try to convince me that if I had them, I would be content and stop wanting for anything else. And I'm not sure why I haven't learned yet, that even when I get that one big thing I've been wanting, that there is still more to be wanted.

Maybe a lot of living life is trying to figure out how to to just be with all that I don't have and all I am longing for. Surrendering to the fact that I can't have it all and that I'm not supposed to. To be aware of where I feel need and want and something more and just let myself feel that and keep on anyway because there is still much to be enjoyed and appreciated around me. If I stop to notice, like when I paused over the weekend, I can see where I really can't want for much more than I already have.

I guess I can try to fill it with the things that I think might finally get me to that magical place of contentment. Or, I can go to God with every disappointment, every unmet longing, every silly thing I want to have and don't have money to buy and just give it to Him instead. Letting Him see it all. And spending time with Him and letting Him fill in the holes I keep trying to fill up with things.

It feels easier to write that out then to actually put that into real practice though....

Perhaps there isn't anything wrong with wanting for throw pillows and green flats or just more space in my home - but I know I want to be the kind of woman who can still find joy and peace with what I do have. And with what I don't.

March 6, 2012


Spring has arrived in South Texas.

I can wear my favorite color - yellow. And pink and floral things and very cute sandals.

It means my birthday is close. (Monday to be exact.)

Breezy and cool, window-open weather comes for days in a row.

Texas Wildflowers start blooming.

Easter egg colored peanut M&M's. My favorite.

The start of barbecues sand picnics and outdoorsy kinds of get-togethers.

Going shopping for new clothes.

Watching life bud and green before me.

How hope and newness feel tangible.

What do you love about spring? Has it arrived where you are yet?

March 5, 2012

Sore Spots

The weather this weekend was divinely gorgeous so I spent a good chunk of it outside walking and going up and down steep inclines. As a result - MY. LEGS. ARE. SORE. My soreness is one of those pains that almost feels good though - because I'm making progress and living well and being kind to my body. It feels like a reminder of where it feels good to change and where sometimes pain, while still painful, means that something good is happening inside of you.

All of this reminded me of something my dad said that has stayed with me since I wrote about my brother a couple of weeks ago.

"I too have sore spots in my memories; almost as fresh as they were back then. But I am thankful for those sore spots and I hope that I can live the rest of my life feeling the same 'pain' because I know that A.J.'s life had and still has an impact on who I am today, and I never want to lose that."

I'm thankful for the sore spots.

I'm thankful for the pain.

I'm thankful for where pain has had an impact on me.

I see where pain has made me who I am today.

I don't want to lose the reminders of where pain changes me.

Those words came from my father. A man who has both loved me and hurt me in my story; who has walked through some of my pain and been the source of some of it too. Those words have been soul-soaking for me. There was a time that I might not have heard words like this from my dad because of where my heart was hard and angry. It feels good to see where I am soft enough to really hear them. He spoke these words from his heart and it has invited me to be curious about my own "sore spots."

The pain I feel in my legs today remind me of where I can be thankful for the sore spots in my story. Some places feel easier to feel thankful for than others, but I am recognizing where gratitude has sprung from the places that was the home for all of my hurt.

Pain has changed me and made me more than I was. I hope it continues to. I hope to always be thankful for the sore spots.

March 3, 2012


Sometimes it's good to take a pause. To breathe in a moment, acknowledge the life you are living and where it feels good, rich, and full. After feeling my share of disappointment this last week, I've purposed to take notice of things this weekend. Like my surroundings and these small happenings that add up to make these seemingly insignificant minutes of life turn into these incredibly magic-filled moments that you want to memorize and remember and cherish.

Like horsey rides on daddy's back.
Cute smiles with closed eyes after bath time.
Handsome husbands who are still so good-looking that sometimes capturing them on camera makes your heart flutter because you remember that you are actually married to that and he's all yours.
The first bite of a warm chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven.

A Friday night with nothing on the agenda but relaxing and just being together as a family. The family we made. The one we are building and hope to grow with time.

Moments where motherhood feels sweet and manifests itself as a parking lot for trucks in my living room. Oh what joy these kinds of pictures bring to me. I so love being a mom. I love being Tommy's mom. I love that my living room is a container for his childhood fun.
Saturday mornings when everyone is still asleep and I have the house to myself to savor my coffee. To read and journal and pray and talk to God.
And folding laundry. Quite seriously my favorite chore.
Tidying up the house and caring for what's mine, for what I've been blessed with. This three bedroom home with a tiny backyard and a large kitchen and enough space for us even though we like to think we need more.

Enjoying breezy spring days, taking walks and feeling muscles burn in the way that feels really really good.

Having open windows and watching sheer curtains blow in with the March air.
These are the moments that I come back to. They remind me that not all of life is hard and disappointing. That there is much to be lived and enjoyed. How life is full of blessings and if we can just pause for a moment, there is much to see and feel. And all of it makes me smile and sigh a content, blessed sigh.

March 2, 2012

Under Construction

Last year felt like a monumental year for me in many ways. I even documented it as the year that I lived, because in many ways, it was.

The start to this year has felt quieter for me. My calendar has been a little less full of social activity than it has been in the last several months. And I'm not sure if anyone has noticed, but there have been fewer pictures posted - especially of myself.

I'm not one for making new year resolutions, and if I do, I'm definitely not one for posting them on my blog. But I did set out at the beginning of this year with a new muscle of determination to not necessarily just lose weight, but to live healthier. If last year was the year that I lived, what did I want this year to be?

I want it to be the year that I was kind to myself. The year I remained close to God and relied on Him for all that I needed. The year that I lived healthier and lost weight. And the year I finally kicked this addiction thing in the ass because dammit I want to experience some freedom here and I know I can! (And yes I am the kind of woman who says God and ass in the same paragraph!)

In the past, I've set out to lose weight and have fallen on my butt time and again. It's been an embarrassing struggle that everyone around me gets to observe as they watch my weight fluctuate up and down whether I write about it or not. And what I've figured out in the last couple of years, is that no one knows what this is like for me, but me. Understanding that has freed me up to at least try to stop worrying about what others are thinking about me and my body.

(January 1, 2012)

Currently, I feel like I'm under construction. This process is a slow one and I have to remind myself daily that I'm not just in this to lose weight, but because I want to live healthier and quit treating my body in such damaging ways. I've joined the gym and have been exercising on an almost-daily basis. I'm eating more protein and green things, less sugar and pushing through the moments or hours that are hard and I just want to return to old habits. I'm extending myself some grace and reminding myself almost daily that this whole process is not just about numbers.

It's a fight, but for the first time, I really feel like I'm in it. I think my last year, the year that I really lived, helped me be more ready to do this. At this point, I'm not wanting to share numbers and pounds lost.

(March 1, 2012)

I'm careful about what I want to share here, yet it feels like a noteworthy day too. Because today I recognize progress. It's been happening from the inside and slowly but surely, the outside is changing too.

March 1, 2012

In my brokenness

Tommy didn't want me to leave this morning for work. He cried and threw a fit and didn't want to hug me goodbye and it felt like I was breaking his heart and betraying him because he was used to having me home two days during the week and now he doesn't anymore.

It's in these moments where tears are streaming down his face and he wails "Mama," that I feel like I'm making a mistake. And then I'm reminded that I'm backed in to a corner and have no real choice in the matter. That ideally, I want to work part-time and financially, I'm having to work more hours. I hate feeling like I have no choice - it makes me feel powerless.

And ultimately, I still feel haunted daily by what I'm missing out on. What his story is lacking because I'm not present in it as much as I want to be or should be. All of the adventures he is having with his Oma and not with me. Guilt, shame, regret....those feel ever-present with me this morning.

After getting settled in to my day at work, I checked in with a few of the blogs I read and came across hers. The book she wrote has finally arrived and she held it in her hands for the first time. And I started crying all over again. Because I wanted it to be me. I want to figure out how to write my story and I want to hold it in my hands and see it on a shelf. It's something I've wanted since I was a little girl and I feel like I'm finally alive enough to really want it and go after it.

But I'm aware of where I need space and time and quiet to begin, because actually, I feel like I finally have a real "plan" for writing it out.

The reality sets in of where I am at though. The place in my story where I am still broken and unfinished. Where I am a working mom and have a hard time staying on top of keeping a house and taking care of myself, and how silly it seems to do something like attempt to write an actual book in the midst of where I currently find myself.

My hope is that somehow in my brokenness, in my absence from my son's life, and in the messy places I live every single day, that something beautiful will spring from it all. Making all of these tears, all of the pain, all of the wretched feelings I feel now, worth it in the end.