Full time little boy wrangler

wouldn’t ya say little boys need a full time wrangler? most little boys i know at least! well i am pleased to say that as of valentine’s day, i will cease + desist my 9-5 (for good!) and have the pleasure of taking up a career in being a maja, or mother as they call it, and i’m kind of freakin’ out in the best of ways.
it’s bittersweet to leave my job. but let’s be real though—hardest thing to leave is always the people (thankfully i can still figure out ways to see them!). but it’s all getting sweeter by the day because i cannot wait to be a full-time mom.
i never really pictured myself taking off a year or more of work to raise babes. my mom was a working woman my whole life (let’s say it more how it was—a high powered business woman, yeah mom!) but still made things work so that i never had a nanny, etc.
i watched her work hard and gained so much from seeing her in that arena, from how she problem solved to her tenacity to her perseverance. i still watch that and absolutely admire it. and for every ounce of hard work she’d give, she always knew how to unwind in the best of ways (still does! as i write this, she’s at a spa with friends in the rocky mountains!).
so i pictured that same thing for myself, as we sometimes do, which is not bad or good but more just was. and i know we’re just getting out the gate here, but i am excited to see what sort of turn this all takes. who really knows! i may be like a few friends of mine who lasted six months and then needed something part time. i could also end up loving it and never want to work a 9-5 again (hmm!).
but regardless of what’s down the road, as of this moment, i couldn’t be more excited. things are about to be turned upside down. i’m already thinking of all the different outings we’ll need to plan into our week so i don’t flip my house upside down (we’re in cozy quarters at the moment), but i can’t wait! i’m excited to be right alongside and watch our son discover life.
am i less excited about being the only one to handle the blowouts during the daytime hours? that’s more of a meh, but you know, bring it on!
to my dear job, i wouldn’t say i loved you ever, but i’m sure thankful for the people i got to know because of it all. but i’m welcoming this mommy thang with open arms and hoping i come out not smelling too much like poo.
but you’ll still like me, right? even if i do, right.. you know..
smell like poo.
 
images found here, here and here.

a few thoughts on this new year

2014 hit me like a ton of bricks.. albeit a big pile of those fun, soft, float in the bathtub sort of bricks. the new year has felt so far away from me, but here we are six days in.

this means that our baby is coming in just about two months!? i don’t even know how to express how out of body weird that is for me: exciting. scary. sobering. lovely. but mostly freakin’ unbelievable how fast it has all gone. i always hear how pregnancies are such a tediously long thing. in my mind, there is so so much to do and prepare for! but in true vacation fashion, we spent the majority of our christmas slash new years break watching movie marathons and not regretting a single moment.

this year, i’m looking forward to all the new. i have no idea what to expect and what life will look like in a few months—not a clue. everything will be turned upside down, but i’m so very excited. i have a feeling i will have the chance to get to the end of myself once again, realize where i’m weak and hopefully where i’m strong, the places where james and i are completely inadequate and then the places where we have that ‘mommy and daddy’ love oozing out from deep in ourselves.

so my deep desire and hope for this year is overflow. for that rich moment when things that are lacking no longer present themselves as obstacles and hurdles, but rather the very place of god’s overflowing grace and confidence.. and getting to be right where we’re supposed to, unprepared and all. and thankfully, baby can always sleep in a basket, and that’s a very good place to sleep 🙂

image from here.

beautiful evenings + giving

these wintry sunsets have been stunning! i snapped these before i left work yesterday. it’s incredible how quickly wintertime has snuck up on me! i feel like i’m barely just soaking in the christmas season and christmas is less than a week away (how thankful are we all for amazon prime, people!!).
in the midst of the busyness, i’ve tried to focus on how i can continue to give of myself to others.. we don’t have a whole lot to give financially this year, but the same principle goes for my time. even in small things like planning gifts for my secret santa, giving my time to have a coffee with someone who needs a listening ear, or filling in during a children’s production with help where there is lack or a need (and that’s just plain cute too). even though it’s not what i thought ‘giving’ would look like this christmas, it’s what i’ve got to give! need ideas? i liked these.
i hold it close to my heart that christmas season is hard for many. i’m so thankful for wonderful memories to pull from in my life but i know so many who don’t. however i can bring some of that to others and be apart of rewriting this season in other’s lives, i try to do. i felt like gk said it best 🙂 “If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.” Gilbert K. Chesterton
so here’s to a season of giving and rewriting and putting a bit of rosy sunset into one another’s lives. merry christmas season to you! ❤

This is for today

poster found here

i am a slow processor when it comes to life changing movements. i brood a bit and like a stew, i need all the flavors and juices and heat to brew everything together a little before things taste complete. i’d even say that i love new things because i know in my life, new things have proven to be blessings—times that stretch me, allowing me to be refined more than before.

but it always takes time.

being pregnant has been a change i’ve seen unfold right before my eyes. as much as i try and prepared my heart and mind once seeing our positive test, there’s nothing that can truly prepare us. all our friends’ stories, seeing little babies being born around us our whole lives, it’s all different when it comes to your [growing] baby and your body and your husband. your family. when something that’s been one way for a long time is suddenly uprooted or will be uprooted, my go-to response is to become a control freak, and by control freak, i do mean i freak 🙂 i’m quick to question how everything will look and taking it upon myself to figure it out. and it always ends up completely robbing me. well, not only me, but my husband, my loved ones and the ability to allow jesus to help me. to lean on god’s understanding and his covering over our family.
in march of this year, james and i attended a special night to hear from a visiting pastor (a swiss pastor) that we love and know and trust. he shared something and then offered to pray for those that were there. i’m usually first in line to receive prayer [for the most part] but this evening i felt really hesitant. i saw james with everyone else, offering to help pray, but i felt so awkward and out of place (this wasn’t a new atmosphere for me). i mentioned this to another pastor in the room and he said that when he feels any hesitancy for things like this, he dives in head first because he’s usually not the only one. so i decided i’d do the same, dive in for all the many friends around me who were maybe feeling like this moment wasn’t for them. i walked up to ‘wait in line’ so to say and a few friends nudged me to the front and our visiting friend began to pray for me, and james came to join me.
it was the strangest thing but everything he prayed for us was profound. not because of him, but because of the way god used him to pray something specific. he prayed many things but something along the lines of ‘be fruitful and multiply’. james and i had talked about having kids and knew we wanted babies sometime, but weren’t quite there. after that moment, i knew that it was time and i was so scared but also settled with so much peace.
i might just be the slow one but having babies was something so incredibly daunting, wonderful, terrifying and dream-worthy all at once and i never felt the courage to just go for it. but this was my courage and my open door. for all the many obstacles (not physically, more practical and in my heart) and unanswered questions i’ve experienced throughout the last six months, i am amazed at how much i’ve been able to let go and wait on. that is so unnatural for me. but it’s been possible.
this special boy james and i have made, that god has graciously woven together in my womb, is growing more and more, and with him so is my hope, excitement and trust for our future. were we born to do this, perhaps, but god has given us the opportunity, and the things he gives are good, so i trust him. i have many questions, but i am confident. i have many fears, but i am not afraid.

November rainstorm

when rain comes around, i talk about it all the time, take pictures of wet pavement, jump in puddles, sleep in a little longer and write endless draft posts about how i heard it pitter patter or storm at night. rain makes me wax poetic and spurs on some serious introspection. it stops me in my tracks. it’s a serious thing people, that rain.
i find that i’m very agreeable with the automatic permission i grant myself for the consumption of baked goods and hot chocolate during a storm. and this is all best accompanied by log burning fire scent. it’s a particularly wonderful thing when, on a saturday night, you find james and i in a mess of blankets on the couch, lit only by the buzz of an iphone in the far off other side of the room land, watching joe fox tell kathleen kelly not to cry at the 91st street garden and the rain starts to pour (here, not there).
mind you my husband was in and out of sleep and tearing up a little, which i made up for by straight up weeping. and for some reason, we felt dmx and stephen seagal in exit wounds was an appropriate followup movie, cause that’s how we roll.

all that to say, i love that rain and despite the popular—however untrue—children’s rhyme…i’m totally pleased if the rain comes back again!

Five things about me

it’s the five things post! and i’m doing one (which means i can use any picture i want, like this fun old one with fur and striped walls)! thanks to anna for tagging me..isn’t she the sweetest! i, too, do these ‘tagged’ posts from time to time but they are always really super duper hard for me for some reason! i always rack my brain for way too long trying to think through what’s actually interesting and also just trying to remember anything at all 🙂 which brings me to…
one// i don’t have an awesome memory. it’s a bit selective. i can remember certain things really specifically, like disneyland’s layout of lands or when a specific bill is due or the day i got engaged (november 24 2010). but then other things not so much. like where i put things (ugh! sorry husband and everyone ever..), whether or not i saw a movie (i usually know when the title comes up or sometimes halfway through), who dated who (sometimes this proves awkward), etc. yes, so that stuff [everything basically] is not so sharp 🙂
two// i’ve never lived further than five minutes walk (and at one point, a five minute drive) from the ocean. while i’m guessing i [maybe] could survive ‘not’ living near it, i think i’d need some humongous pool or lake with some sort of breeze to keep my sanity.
three// something that makes me all wobbly and uncomfortable is when people talk with a bubble in their throat. you know, when they’re right on the verge of clearing their throat, but said throat clearing hasn’t occurred yet. i mask it well nowadays, but back in the day, i used to come right out and tell somebody ‘ahh! please clear your throat!’ because i was sure i would explode .. what an obnoxious little high schooler was i!
four// i was an english major! although for some reason, english majors don’t say ‘i was’ an english major, you continually ‘are’ an english major. because apparently being an english major has something to do with your person and character more than it does a major or set of studies! because of that, i retype and reformat and rehash and re-edit and re-analyze until i’m blue in the face and nearly somewhat pleased. however, that’s rare 🙂 i’m not totally like that in other parts of my life though..you would know if you saw my closet right now (cone of shame). oh yes!! i also do submission editing for a literary journal in town which gives me warm fuzzy feelings inside my heart!
five// i am an extremely merciful person. even when i don’t want to be—because yes, there are times you don’t want to be, people! maybe this will change up with children (please change with children!), but usually, if i’m going to have a conversation with someone who has been way out of line, i often have to practice showing not-so-much mercy before i go have it (thanks to james who lets me practice with him). anytime there’s not extreme mercy, it’s most likely come with serious discipline on my end. if ever need somebody to sugarcoat something with love and mercy and all that is pc, it’s me! someboddayy stop me!
that’s all i got!
now i’m tagging you (reader) because you’re awesome 🙂 and i’m also tagging you lovely ladieschantal | mariesierra | emmakatie | and lisa because i miss her

Fog-lined coast

one of my favorite places in the world to be is sitting along our sleepy fog-lined coast, listening to the continuous roar of the ocean and the thundering crashing against the shore with my legs hanging over the edge of the seawall where i like to sit. i smell that ocean spray, which breaks into a mist as it floats and splashes across my cheeks and rises into my nostrils. my eyelashes are dusted with water and salt…my face is wet and i dab my eyes so i can see. not one will venture into the ocean today, but i hear a few lone people strolling behind me along the oceanside walk every five or so minutes. it’s really quiet today. i feel wonderful.
today, i wish i could place my fingers above my keyboard and simply watch my thoughts flow out, fitting themselves and arranging all that is complex and confusing into something plain. that the beauty and safety of my outsides would mirror my insides and with an easy flick of my index finger and tap of my thumb, the skies would open up and the sun would burst through. i’d realize simplistic answers to my tragically dramatic life questions.

but words do not come. they rush and flow and tumble, all crashing about my mind like a surge, pulling back and becoming quiet again. it seems. my thoughts are like a swell: the spray of an idea and a surge of inspiration rolling and rumbling together, trying to grasp something or the other, but clutching nothing in particular.

– – –

i never knew how much understanding i lacked until this week—okay, well i was pretty aware, but it’s like a constant wake up call with cold water to the face…special hmm. but it seems that i know my weaknesses more all the time! when i was eighteen, twenty, twenty-two: i felt like life was so conquerable..i knew what was what. and at twenty-five, i see more and more how all of my plans have been so teensy-tiny in comparison to god’s major plan. my big picture view is/was/will be so askew.

so here i am, constantly finding myself clutching for my own understanding and always coming up null. i know it’s not cruel that god doesn’t let me conquer things on my own. i know that he knows that i know that i just don’t need to know. i don’t! i don’t need to know what’s at every corner and have life so figured out. yet time after time, i smack my head against the wall trying to figure it anyways, relying on myself and getting stuck to the point of desperation.

hello today. that’s exactly where i was. so consumed with all the things i have to figure out + do on my own. all by myself, woman on an island, the whole shebang! so much so that one of my coworkers is leaving cookies on my stinkin desk because i’m so distracted (thanks by the way).

– – –

sometimes in the summer the fog is so bad here in santa cruz. you just wait and wait and wait for the marine layer to peel away and for the sun to come gushing through with all it’s warmth and wonderfulness. but when it comes back in the evening as you’re cozying up to a bonfire, it’s just perfect, some relief from that heat. it’s lovely.

i can’t handle all the heat (all that life would have me take on + charge at on my own)..i’m not strong enough to do it all. i need a covering. i need a great big loving, merciful, gift-giving, forgiving god to spread out his great big arms and surround me, help me, give me strength and give me joy. and to remind me that i don’t have to do it on my own. it’s just not as sweet to do it all alone, and it’s not even possible.
how long will i butt up against my own inabilities to do it all?! who the heck knows. but i don’t want to. i don’t want to consistently shun god’s great covering for the measley covering i can provide myself with—which is absolutely so super duper wimpy in comparison. really wimpy my friends. so i want to embrace again his wonderful care, no matter how many times i have to turn around from relying on myself. i want to step under his covering and stand boldly in plain ol relief that it’s not all on me.
so i say bring on that great misty fog hovering bank baby.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in you. Psalm 84:11-12
 
**image taken in santa cruz

A poem on Wednesday evening

sometimes i get away from writing. writing about things i love, impressions i have or just simply reasoning something out. lately, i’ve felt motivated again to draw things out again through writing. i think in life i go through seasons of how i express things. at the moment, it has been a time of practicing to draw things out verbally (hello getting married!). it’s been so good to continually become excellent at communicating with james (and obviously others), but it truly takes practice! but like i said, i feel like writing again.

the best advice as an english major i ever received from a professor (or anyone in fact) was so simple, it’s stupid. she said, sit down..and write. don’t outline it. don’t think too hard. write! put your fingers to the keyboard, pen to your pad and write away. at first, i felt so silly just writing away, scribbling away my sometimes disconnected ideas and passions. but over time, i realized that it was the only way for me to begin. everything else came out too calculated.

 

when i came across this poem, i felt a similar encouragement.
so you want to be a writer
by Charles Bukowski
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.
don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.
and there never was.

October


artwork by etsy artist nidhi chanani
october is absolutely flying by over here. some of these autumn days, i’ve found that there is just not one free hour in the day to just pause a little.
but then came along today.
days like today that mark the first rainfall of the season. when i think of the first autumn rain, i imagine how the streets and sidewalks take on that subdued, gloomy hue, creating a perfect contrasting backdrop to the vibrant red, auburn, mustard yellow autumn leaves to pop. to crunch. to fall.
and there they rest. they rest for feet to stomp. they rest and float and become a pile for our children to jump in. to hang on our classroom walls and be painted at our harvest parties. garlands and glue and decoupage. orange, gold, burgundy and brown, they are a festival of color.
i, being fully unprepared for such an autumn storm, found myself caught between the building and my car in the downpour on my way back to work after my lunch break. as i hurried across the parking lot in my sandals no less, i shielded my laptop, belongings and self from the heavy showers.
wanting to catch a little glimpse of the thundering rainfall, i pulled my thick red sweater off my head and for a quick moment, I looked up. i felt my face and hair absorb a few of the droplets.. i pulled back my sweater a little more, and let them soak me, one drop at a time. my hair and face became decidedly wet.
as a sun ray began to peek from behind the clouds and warm my cheeks, my run to the car had morphed into a walk. and my walk became a saunter. i stopped.
it’s days like this where i think say thank you to god. for this day. a day where a little rain can say a whole lot more than a reminder to grab my raincoat. but a day where those tiny little droplets fall all around, all over you, shouting, celebrating and showering reminders all over and around you, soaking you through and through. here it comes. here it comes.
i stopped and gazed into the forming rainbow and the aroma of jasmine filled my nostrils. i was certain my mascara had begun to drip drop drip onto my cheeks and i didn’t mind a bit. i took a deep breath of the crisp autumn air. and i thought- yeah. october. finally. i’m glad you’re here.