Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hello again!

Hey folks, 
I haven't written in a while which seems to be a recurring theme around here, but this time I do have a good excuse. I got married! It's been a whirlwind or flowers and photos and flights and moving boxes and thank you cards and what have you. But here's a little something that I wrote this morning. It's a song or a poem or a mission statement, of sorts.
I have a life that has changed in a lot of ways lately and has stayed the same in some. And with both sides of that coin, what I wrote applies. It's a little abstract, but it's also pretty specific. It's a rough draft, but take it as you will, and I hope you enjoy. 

Lately I've been thinking
As I look around
That the only thing
Between New York City and me is space
But it feels like more than that

I say to myself that if I were there
I would be creating great things
The energy would keep me buzzing
With all that traffic on the streets
I'd be the girl who never sleeps

I don't really want to be famous
I just want to be great. 
Sure it'd be fun to have my ears burn
But I could just as well go for a good eulogy
And have my kids be proud of me

I don't have to build a rocket
I don't need to go to the moon
I just want to make the most of what I've been given in life with you

People are always talking about their biggest fear
Do you want to know mine?
Putting even a little of this life to waste
And not making the time
To show you that I love you or making a reality
The good things in my mind.

Monday, September 7, 2015

I should be in bed...

It's true.  It's 2:33 in the A.M. and although I don't have huge plans for tomorrow, I really should be in bed.
But it's the 6th to the last time I'll sleep in this bed and it be mine, so naturally I'm blogging instead.  It sort of doesn't make sense.  But it does.
Oddly, in order to enjoy the things I've taken for granted as normal for the past 22 years (or at least the last few years), I find myself disturbing the usual flow of things (even more than they already would be right now) in order to take a step back, gain some perspective, and preserve these things in my memory (although it's probably true that I would be able to remember things more easily if I got enough sleep, but then when would the blogging happen?).  It's like in order to get a good memory of being at the pool, I've gotten out of the pool to sit in a lifeguard chair.  Yes, I have a good view of the pool and I'm technically still at the pool, but I'm not necessarily enjoying it and I'm not in it.

Tonight, just a little bit ago in fact, my sister came out in tears to the living room to where I was working on designing programs, and I knew exactly why. I put my computer to the side and stood up and hugged her tight.  And as I rested my chin on her shoulder I found myself there to comfort her, but I didn't even pay attention to if I felt anything.  And then I thought about why she was crying.  And then my eyes filled up as well.
I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that being present in every moment isn't exactly what I used to think it was. It isn't necessarily being able to recall every detail of everything that transpired in said moment.  It isn't always finding a way to be above the fog of emotions and sleep deprivation. Sometimes being present equals shaking off the third person perspective and entering in-connecting with whatever is going on-even if doing so means you lose your perch from where you could comfortably oversee every aspect of the situation.  Although it's important to me to have good, high quality memories of this time, I want to work on simply being over the course of these next 6 days.

It's almost cliche to say this, but sometimes being present means giving up a great instagram photo-op for the sake of an opportunity to show someone you're on their level, that you love them, and that you will genuinely miss not seeing their stinking guts every night before bed.

A lot of my posts as of late have been about treasuring this time left before I get married, and I'm sure the reasons for that are obvious.  The main one being that I'm leaving a lot of aspects of wonderful things from the life I've always known (mainly my parents and sister) for something new and also wonderful (Jake!).  And while I only have a little more time to dwell in what has been all the way up until now, I don't want to downplay the excitement and happiness I have to marry the most wonderful person I could imagine marrying.  Especially this past week or so, I know the Lord has been gracious to me with simply allowing me to be happy and enjoy what's coming even though that includes some minor knots of stress too.  I hope to devote more posts to that before the wedding, and am planning to write a lot more AFTER the wedding (at which time, I will have a much better perspective of what life looks like on the other side of this huge change and be more informed in order to write).

For now, just know that I'm doing my best to 1. just be in the moments, 2. capture the moments 3. look forward with excitement to the great things coming.  But it feels like a juggle so we'll see how this goes and if nothing else, I have learned yet again that I completely need the Lord's help.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Diary of a Bride to Be

You may say the title is cheesy, and you would be completely right.  But that's fine.

I keep finding myself laying in bed with my eyes closed, ready to drift off to sleep, thinking, "Oh yeah, I want to be keeping better record of these days by journaling more," but it hasn't happened for a while, and I can't stand not keeping any record of these >10 days until I get married.  In fact, I want it to be the opposite.  You see, lately I've been making it my subtle mission to soak up every moment.  Subtle because I have a lot of "missions" lately, what with the getting married in less than 10 days, but this mission, because of how important I deem it, has been at the front of my mind a lot.  So here are some thoughts and feelings as they come to mind.

Firstly, I was just thinking about why it's so important to me to be soaking it all up in the first place. And it's fairly simple: my life is changing a lot.  But at the same time, in a lot of ways it's not, and I hope it doesn't change too terribly much, because I'm pretty content with the way my life is.
While many things will be changing for the better, I'm hoping some of the things that I'm having to say goodbye to in their present state won't change a whole lot.  Namely, my relationship with my parents and sister.
As small as it may seem, things like driving here at night and stepping in the door and having my two little dogs bark at me will be something I miss.  Or seeing a light shine from around the corner and knowing my dad is sitting in the living room reading the newspaper or watching something on PBS. Like my mom and I being the last people still up at night and when I tell her I'm off to bed, her shuffling over in her slippers to hug me with floss in her hand and her hair up in little clips while she does her bedtime routine.  Or like my sister coming home from work or school and fixing herself (and usually me too) a grilled cheese on the George Foreman while telling me about some crazy dream she had last night.

Of course none of those things are going away permanently, but I know they will be different, and most likely fewer and further between than I'm used to.  And although I might miss them sometimes, it's alright with me that they are changing- as long as, knowing what is coming, I can stand here in these moments and memories that I still have, in the ways I've always known them, with my eyes wide open and a smile on my face, taking it all in.

I feel a little bit like Cinderella, and the clock is ticking.  And I know midnight is coming, except in my case, midnight is bringing good with it.  I'm trying to enjoy the time I have left at this Ball of Life As I Know It, before I go on to find out what all of these small things I cherish will look like from the other side.

It sounds sort of dramatic, just like the title, but there is the truth of where I am right now.

Sweet Dreams,

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The tiny, solo roadtrip I didn't know I needed.

Sometimes when I'm in the mood to give back and post for once, I get frustrated that all I find on my camera roll are functional photos of lists or candles or dress colors or something wedding related. And I don't know about you, but at least the way I take my "reminder photos" is not artsy or glamorous and they don't make for great instagrams. If I instagrammed my "reminder pics", you would probably mistake me for a super awkward middle schooler or someone well seasoned in life (no offense, awkward and old people). My reminder photos are unfiltered, crooked, grainy and are meant for function only. Hopefully by now you get the picture (pun intended).

To be analytical, that's the way my life has been lately. I haven't worked hard on a cool graphic design project or gone out and shot any amazing photos that I'm super proud of, or even spent time investing in relationships that I can recap with a nice post at the end of the day. The thing about being so busy, even if it's necessary for a while, is that you really should still come up for air, but unless you come up for air, it's hard to remember that you need it.

But The Lord knows what we need.

After going on a mini-roadtrip across town to pick some wedding things up, I realized I was in one of those coveted beautiful moments where the sun is shining perfectly and the wind is blowing and the landscape is beautiful and there's lyrically and melodically fitting music on and I'm happy to say, I thought to capture it.
Yes, I captured it in video form and screenshotted a frame of it, but being there, I can vouch that it still tells you a little bit about the nature of this moment I'm thankful I got.  Warm, windy, attractive, fleeting.

So anyway, not that you have to answer to me, but although you may not be planning a wedding, I know your life is probably busy too. I just want to remind you to come up for air, or recognize when you're in those moments you can look around and smile about, just because you are where you are, even if where you are is the middle of crazytown. ;)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Lipstick marks on coffee cup lids.

This is one of those posts where I'm riskilly honest.  The kind where I don't sound politically correct but I hope you'll hear me out.  Where I admit things I'm not proud of.
Ready?  Okay. 
I used to ABHOR lipstick marks on coffee mug lids (as can be seen in photo below).  There, I said it.

Now the funny thing to me is that the cup with the lipstick marks on the lid that you see in the picture belongs to none other than yours truly.  So let me explain.  

I used to be the girl who subconsciously thought she was better because she didn't need lipstick to feel pretty or 3 coats of mascara just to leave the house.  I was proud to only wear a little bit of makeup (or none at all) and still feel like I looked like my normal, averagely pretty self.  When other girls talked about needing to reapply lipgloss or eyeliner, (especially in front of guys) I made it a point to not be lumped into their shallow activity and went out of my way to make it apparent that my beauty was Au Naturale.

I wasn't a tomboy, and I didn't dislike all makeup, just the kind that could portray me as a poseur.

And that was the root of the matter.  I was so concerned with not being a big phony that I looked down my non-powdered nose on others for something I wasn't caught up in.
(If you don't wear much or any makeup, please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you should start or that you have the same mindset as I once did toward it.  I'm just telling you my story.)

And then I started a job I never EVER saw myself working- a sales representative for a makeup company.  
And my perspective slowly started to change.  

I got to know the people behind the counters with the contoured faces and the fake eyelashes and the deceptively large lips.  I learned about their families and sisters and parents and pets and vacation plans.  We were together in the mornings before we filled our eyebrows in or primed our faces.  I listened to their hopeful stories of moving to bigger cities and told them I was sorry when the plans fell through.  I was bored alongside them and busy alongside them and we suffered low sales and the busy season.  I pulled tissues when they came back from very bad family vacations.  I got excited to ask them to help me and my bridesmaids with our makeup for my wedding.

I also got to know the women who wander into the beauty stores, sometimes striking quite a resemblance with the people we see in those journalistic pictures, waiting to receive dehydrated food from Unicef.  
I saw the scars and the birthmarks and the discolorations.  I handed them tissues when something inside them broke and they couldn't keep the tears from brimming over their freshly lined eye rims.  I met the lady who went through 3 surgeries and came out alive after a battle with brain cancer, which was only discovered because her husband beat her so badly that her brain was exposed.  I've heard the words "you made my day" more than once in a single day.

Those lipstick marks on cups don't disgust me anymore.
They remind me of my friends, these people I've grown to have a love for.
They remind me of the beautiful work He has already done in some of their hearts and lives.
They remind me of some of the most genuine and sweet people I know, some of who are still very hurt and lost and aimless.
This might sound dramatic, but seeing those lipstick marks actually moves my spirit and almost gives me goose bumps because I know that God knew what He was doing when he put me where he did.  When He plopped me down, smack dab in the middle of a makeup counter with gloss on my lips and a brush belt around my hips.
When I see those lipstick marks on cups, I can't help but be moved by the love that the Lord has put into my heart for my co-workers.
Those bright red lip prints serve as a reminder of how bad the Lord wants them to know the love He has for these women with the electric red lips and contoured cheekbones.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

This strange life.

Life is made of the strangest things.

Helpless infants, helpless old people, sunsets, sunless tanner, broken hearts and hopes, natural highs, punk rock, musicals, weddings, fragranced body lotioin, dirt roads, authors, autistic people, kiddie pools, the ocean, cookouts, steakouts, netflix, knitting, nailpolish, mowing the lawn, eating out, the zoo, body spray, coffee, funerals, birthday parties, hot air balooning . . .

The list goes on.
 And I don't even have a theme in mind for this post as I write it, standing here in the middle of the cosmetics section of a department store.  Just that life is so full of EVERYTHING and at this very moment, I don't really know how to feel about that.
A little scared, some disappointment and worry, some excitement and nervousness.  Exhaustion and the jitters.  Overwhelm, sadness, hope, neutrality, positivity, nothing at all.

I guess I sort of do have a point, only because it's something I need to hear today.

Life is huge.  And messy.  And happy, and sad and overwhelming and indescribable in its entirety.  But I know that in the midst of this unexplainable life, there is a God who loves me and is strong.

Even though it's not every day that the thought of life being so vast shakes me to my core, I know that every day, including these days, I can trust Him.

And even though that doesn't make life any less of a big scary monster, I know I'm safe in my Father's arms as I face it.

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