Monday, December 31, 2012

When you lose your person

It's been an interesting few days to say the least.  I've drafted this blog entry in my head about 10 times and each time it comes out a little differently.  Sometimes it has too much detail.  Sometimes it has too much anger.  Sometimes I become a puddle.  I guess that's to be expected for a while.

I went from processing and sadness to complete anger on Friday when I learned some information and was given some wise words that opened my eyes to a different perspective on the situation.  Anger was a very good spot for me for a few days.  My steps forward became less shaky. 

I was able to get to a place where I can focus on the good stuff that has happened for the last few months.  I can laugh about him falling out of his chair, rapping to me, ribbon dancing on the Wii, being a "wump", cuddles and kisses, lazy mornings and late nights together and on the phone.  Laughter, lots of laughter.  That's all good.  I can listen to Maroon 5 with no problem again.  To me, that will always be a bit of the soundtrack of our relationship. 

There have been times though when things have happened that have made me sad.  I've needed his help putting my Christmas decorations away - something he told me he would help me with.  I came across the tile I keep in my bathroom where I write lists when things come to mind with his XO on it and that was rough. 

But the best part of the last five days has been realizing that I might have lost my "person" until the next one but my life is FILLED to the brim with "persons".  My phone has not stopped buzzing/chiming/ringing.  My doorstep has been filled with friends.  My email has exploded.  My dad came over and helped put the Christmas stuff away.  Requests for lunch, dinner, happy hour, watching the game, movies, etc have literally not stopped.

My heart is empty and overflowing at the same time.

The timing of all of this sucked.  My Christmas was robbed of it's usual joy but it's only one Christmas.  It comes again and it has reminded me that I can't count on a specific day to be joyful - I should be joyful at all times.  It also was a very good reminder that I can't count on people for my joy.  That's something that only the most steadfast relationship can consistently give me with no fear.  That's something that comes from my relationship with God.

Learning all of this and being human can be hard.  I'm still in a bit of shock that this has happened and I know my emotions will be up and down.  My anger has mostly subsided as I've reached a place of better understanding.  I'm taking steps forward.  I'd forgotten that a broken heart actually has physical pain but even that has subsided at this point.  I've lived through this before and been fine.  I'll get through this again.

With the amazing help of all of my people.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Adentures in dating - the end of this chapter

Because people will be wondering.  Because people care about me.

SHF and I broke up last night. 

Yes, I'm sad about it.  Yes, I wish the outcome was different.

Yes, I'll be ok.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it

The Mayans have declared today at some point the world will cease to exist.  Well, their calendar will cease to exist anyway.  My lunch crew at work has been anticipating this day for a number of months now.  It has lead us down many rabbit trails in our often animated and all over the place conversations.  I'm not sure that any of us truly think today is the final day on this earth but when that seed gets planted your mind does go to some interesting places.

I have a project at work I'm dreading.  It is going to wait until tomorrow.  Just in case.

I've also been thinking some about how crazy my life has been since Thanksgiving.  It's been insane.  I have had a party (or two) every day for the last week and a half and before that I had one about every other day.  I'm ready for things to slow down a little bit.  I'm looking forward to some days out of town.  BUT I also started thinking about if time does end today I won't have wasted a moment of the last three or more weeks.  I have seen people I need to see, sometimes more than once.  I've given hugs and smiles and spread cheer to people I care about.  I've danced and laughed, eaten good food and had to much to drink. 

If the world is going to end I think now is a good time for it to happen.

I'm guessing you won't hear from me next week.  I am planning on some days to relax and enjoy the holiday.  I really hope to have a day or two where I have time to take Miss Moxie on a walk.  I'm excited to see Chris and Adrienne and have a night in Plain, WA with Kathy and Greg.  I have a ton of reading to catch up on.  It sounds about perfect.

Merry Christmas to those of you I won't have a chance to see and tell in person.  I pray the holiday will be filled with warmth and love.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One of God's greatest blessings

As any of you who have been reading my blog for some time know, I am blessed by being surrounded by and loved by an incredible group of friends.  When I moved to Spokane almost three years ago I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to create a group of friends that would support me or love me in the way I have been loved and supported my entire life.  I had the comfort and stability of my family in town but I didn't know what God had in store for me in the friend department. 

Little did I know he had BIG things in store - as he always seems to for me.

Within a very short period of time I was introduced to a girl I work with who I'll refer to as TF.  We met originally volunteering for a fundraiser for Cancer Patient Care.  I also met another coworker that day who decided I was fun enough to be invited to the monthly internal "networking" event she organized with other USB employees.  TF was good friends with her and a regular attender at happy hour. 

My initial impression of TF was that she was one of the most true and honest women I had ever met.  I knew then and continue to know now that if TF says it, it is truth.  That's an impression I wish people had of me and I've learned a lot through our years of friendship about what it looks like to be an ethical person in all facets of life.

TF has been there for me when I have been a mess.  She is my Wii buddy, my budding wine drinking buddy/victim (here - see if you like THIS one) and the source of many side splitting laugh attacks.  She's my IM companion all day pretty much everyday, my Rite Aid, library, mall walking companion and someone who knows day to day things about me that a lot of people just don't.

My Spokane life would be missing something without her.  I have no doubt she is a lifer.  Our friendship is going to continue to grow as we move through this sometimes messy but always joyous life we live.
Big hugs TF.  You are an example to me everyday.

No stop being self-conscious about the praise and appreciation and get back on IM. 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Risk>Reward or my life in graphs

My church is currently doing a series where love>X (sin, hate, world etc).  It has me thinking in equations and graphs which given my general dislike of math is really sort of perplexing. 

The last couple weeks I've found myself considering cost/benefit of many things in my life.  My time is very full and free time has become limited.  It's a part of this time of year that I actually love (the opportunity to spend time with people I care about without having to have any excuse other than just "it's Christmas time") but it also means having to decide what of all the opportunities presented are the most valuable.  That analysis goes something like this:


I've also been thinking about my relationship with SHF in a similar fashion.  The more I know him and am with him the more I remember the risks involved with caring for someone.  Time increases the probability of getting hurt by that person as feelings have time to be fostered and grow deeper.


The same can be said for my likelihood of freaking out and deciding to run away to avoid being hurt.  Putting trust in someone else to not cause you hurt when they have that power is a scary thing.  I've never been given a reason to believe caring for someone in a romantic way won't lead to hurt.  I'm very hopeful and optimistic that this time will prove to be different but there have been recent times when I have gotten very afraid, mostly because I feel myself learning to rely on and care deeply for him.  These are both very good things, and I feel as though the trust is well placed, but it also realistically begins to look like this in my head:


Along with the feeling of running however (and thankfully) comes the inability to do so.  The idea of making a decision that would take SHF out of my life at this point is devastating.  That's a really strong word but I think it is fairly accurate.  And scary.


As with anything there are times when I feel very confident in where we are.  Those are the times when my "tank" is completely full.  There have also been times when I wonder.  Times when I'm scared.  Times when I'm resting easy.  Times when I'm fretting. 


So - to sum it all up, men, this is what is going on in a fairly typical woman's brain. 


It can be a scary place in here.  I don't envy you men having to put up with the craziness but also, be patient with us.  When we act like a crazy person and you can't figure out what has made things go a little haywire just know that REALLY what's happening is what is depicted above.  You try to make things make sense with all that going on!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Three State Day

I think it's sort of a novelty and a bit fun that I can easily get to three states and back in one day.  I made a quick trip over to Missoula, Montana yesterday for a client meeting.  It was a gorgeous drive over.  I haven't been beyond Coeur d'Alene for quite a while and I had forgotten just how beautiful the country is after you get beyond the lake.

I took along some Christmas music to listen to in the car since I knew it would be a long day.  I was completely blessed at one point by a song on one of Amy Grant's Christmas albums.  The song, Agnus Dei, came on just as I was driving through one of the gorgeous parts of the trip.  I was moved to tears as I realized how blessed we really are and how often I forget to notice.

This month, on Facebook, I have made a daily statement about what I was thankful for that day.  It has been great to look back and see just how blessed this month has been.  There have been very few days where I had to reach for something to be thankful for.

As we head into the Christmas season, I need to remember to take a moment during the hustle and bustle to be thankful for the ultimate gift we were given and the reason we celebrate.  I hope the beginning of your Advent time is full of joy and an awareness of the blessings around us every day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving

Since my law school years I have seen Thanksgiving as an opportunity to travel.  Sometimes, Thanksgiving at home where I'm a bit of the odd man out ("one of these things is not like the other") as the only non-family person can be a bit lonely.  I figured out that people must be on to something with this "busiest travel day of the year" thing so I have often joined the masses and traveled about the country enjoying new traditions and making a lot of wonderful memories.

My first year of Law School I went to my roommate's parents house in Southern Minnesota.  It was the year I learned how much I love to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.  I had a migraine the entire weekend but on the way home we stopped at an apple orchard.  I was in search of some good hand pressed apple cider (a favorite of mine) and the apple orchards were prevalent in the area we were traveling through.  The one where we chose to stop had a cute red barn area where they sold their products.  We walked up to the automatic door and it didn't open.  We looked through the glass and saw a family inside having dinner and realized quickly it was closed.  Three members of the family jumped up and opened the doors for us and welcomed us to join them for dinner.  We were flattered but respectfully declined.  We were already interlopers.  That seemed to be a step too far.  They asked us what we had stopped for and I told them I was looking for some apple cider so the Patriarch of the family disappeared and came back with two giant containers of apple cider.  When I tried to pay him he said they were closed and couldn't take any money but that he would be honored to give the cider to me as a gift.

Minnesota nice is not just a saying.

My second year of law school I went to Chicago to visit Jess' friends Josh and Anna.  I had never been to Chicago and I fell in love with the city that weekend.  All of the blaring horns and the novelty of the L (I hadn't really been in a town with such a great mass transit system since my time in London), the museums, the chance to see the Home Alone house (and meet the woman who lived there who beckoned me across the street so she could give me a picture of the house during the time the movie was being filmed), the great shopping and doing more cooking with Anna who taught me to really cook the summer between Willamette and Hamline made that weekend one of my favorites.

My third year of law school I spent the holiday with Kit, Jan and Adam in Iowa.  We stopped at the little Brown Church in the Vale, played games with Heyo and Jan's sister and nephews and I cried when I had to leave them.  I was a frequent visitor back to Iowa to visit Heyo after that weekend.

Since then I've spent some Thanksgivings with my family, making the trip over the mountains to sit around the dining room table we've had since I was a kid but I have also gone to Colorado Springs (I HAD to meet this Chris fella) and the family has come to me.

This year I'm looking forward to the second Thanksgiving morning in my own home.  I don't have to prepare the full meal but I will be making my usual Great Grandpa James' Pecan Pie and a fancier version of green bean casserole that I discovered and my family fell in love with last year. 

I feel so blessed this year.  The amount of things I'm thankful for are at times overwhelming. 

I'm thankful for my loving family and my extended family made up of friends.  I'm thankful to have a good job that makes me happy (most of the time).  But most importantly I'm thankful to have a Lord and Savior who has me in the palm of his hand.

I pray your Thanksgiving is full of good food, laughter, family and love.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 8, 1977

My mom loves to tell the story about the night I was born.  Her water broke and so my dad thought it would be a good time to jump in the shower, have her iron his pants and then get lost on the way to the hospital.

Awesome.

Birthdays in my family are a big deal.   We have always had big friend parties and always celebrated as a family.  Many of my memories from growing up are surrounded by a backdrop of a Birthday.

There was my 4th Birthday with a clown theme (before clowns became creepy).

My 13th birthday was a bowling party where I remember specifically picking where my friends would sit in each vehicle. I had multiple page lists. I should have made a spreadsheet.  I also got to watch my first PG-13 movie.  Beaches, for the record.

There was my 16th birthday when we went hiking to Lake Dorothy. 

My freshman year of college my mom and dad arranged for my choir to sing to me at our concert.  This room of a few hundred people and this gorgeous choir singing to me while they brought out a cake with candles was something I won't forget for my lifetime.

My 21st Birthday in London consisted of a party at Ruth and my house with all the other American students and then Belinda, Sarah and Sarah and I taking in Annie on the West End - a show I had always wanted to see since my sister got to go without me when I was a kid.  (Check that off the list)

My 24th Birthday at Sarah's apartment where she and Jodi sabotaged me.  They remember that night better than I do.  Jodi almost paid for it more than anyone however.

My 30th Birthday party at Devine Wines in Mill Creek.  That was a night where those friendships were developed and deepened in a way they wouldn't have without that event.

On my 32nd Birthday I spent a long weekend in Austin with Erin.  It was a memorable weekend in a lot of ways - mostly ways that aren't blog appropriate. :-)

I've had fun Birthdays in Spokane too.  The first one at The Elk and then the second one with a Small Group party for my beautiful Birthday Buddy Jen and I and also a night out with mom, Jess, Chrissy and Alexis.

This year was 35 for me.  I feel like there should be a significant shindig every five years.  Why not, right?  It started out with SHF (fka RG) meeting my family.  He fits in nicely and it meant the world to me that he was there.  He had flown in from a work trip to Miami that afternoon.  I had no expectation he would want to meet my family under those circumstances.  But he did.  As always it was great to hang out with my family.  We had a delicious dinner made by my mom and blew off fireworks.

Plus I got to hang out with these two

Then on Saturday I had a party with my friends.  Geana, Jen, Chrissy and Jess came over before we went wine tasting.  We got dressed up and went to Rocket Market where other friends were waiting.  Again it was a night of meeting people for SHF.  Poor guy.  But unsurprisingly, everyone really liked him.  My friends are as important to me as my family so this event was not insignificant. 


It's fun to think about what my life will be like five years from now.  I suspect many of the friends who are around the table in the above picture will still be there.  This year I just made my way into the middle of a decade.  Five years from now will have me entering a new decade.  Scary.

But exciting.

Thanks to all of my friends who have celebrated (with) me over the years. 

And to SHF - I can't thank you enough for all you have done for me over the last week.  You continue to amaze me in ways I can't put into words. xo

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The power of touch

I was in MN for a week earlier this month and it was a spectacular week.  I got to reconnect with my girls in a way that just being on the phone can't accomplish.  Since then I have been thinking a lot about the power of human touch.  Being in MN and able to hug and cuddle the people who I miss so much when we are apart reminded me of just how important physical touch actually is. 

Jodi's baby Wally was born the end of August.  I got to spend hours with him cuddled on my chest.  That time holding him made me fall in love with him.  It's funny too because it isn't like there is any personality connection with him being so tiny and young.  It literally was simply the skin on skin contact that made the connection.

Maybe it's because of the five love languages (If you haven't read Gary Chapman's book please do) touch is one of my most strongly felt, but when I don't have the physical contact with people who I love I feel empty.  My tank got very filled during my week in MN.

It's been felt in my new relationship as well.  Our schedules have been a bit difficult to match up at times recently.  It's been better since my return from MN but time in the same space was at a premium for a while there and looming separation was always around the corner.  It's been good in some ways - we definitely know how to communicate with each other at this point and that can be tricky in some relationships - but when that sharing of space and the creation of memories that goes with that is missing I get antsy.  The effort that RG has made to get together even for a brief moment recently has not been missed by me.

Heading into basketball season again I think about the positive influence touch can have on the kiddos on my team.  I guarantee the power of a high five or a pat on the back is not missed by the kids I'm coaching even if they aren't to a place in their maturity to recognize the impact.  You never know what a kid's home life is like.  Are mom and/or dad hugging them or giving them positive touch?  Is there a possibility of abusive touch?  Do siblings roughhouse together creating a touch that actually can be positive as well?  What can I do through touch (and time, attention, etc) to give a child a positive experience while they are in my charge?

I guess I see the power of touch almost as much when I think about the purposeful lack of touch.  That choice can be as devastating as the extension of touch can be positive.  I know when I am upset about something I will feel myself choose to physically withdraw.  It's a statement that I can make and has an impact on me just by doing so even if it doesn't have an impact on the person to whom I'm trying to make the statement. 

The song Magic by Colbie Caillat came on the radio yesterday and I realized that this song is all about touch.  The first line is "You've got magic inside your fingertips.  It's leaking out all over my skin." Uh duh.  I'm not sure why I didn't connect to the song sooner.  I've only listened to her album about a million times.  Sometimes though a song has to hit you at the right moment in the right situation to have the impact it's meant to have.  I have listened to it with new ears about 10 times since yesterday.  It's been a while since I've put any music on here so I thought I'd share it with you today.  The video isn't anything but I really love this version of the song.  I hope you enjoy it.

PS - watch out Seattle friends: I'm coming your way and I'm looking for some good hugs! :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ursa

Back in July I was asked to audition for a band called Ursa.  It is a group made up of two guitar players, a bass player, drummer, (now) two female vocalists and (brand new as of this week) a keyboard player.  Sarah used to tell me I missed my calling and should have been a rock star.  I decided this might be a chance to become that in a very small way.  So I auditioned and was asked to join the band.  So far we have had three gigs since I came on board.  They are slowly starting to trust me to lead some songs so at our next gig in December my vocals should be more highlighted.  It's an interesting group of people who have some real talent and I enjoy rehearsing with them every week.  They keep me humble but also give sufficient compliments and comedic relief to make it fun.  It can be hard, work especially just being confident that I have enough talent to be on the stage entertaining people with covers of very famous and popular classic rock tunes, but I wouldn't give it up for anything at this point.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Living relaxed in God's grace

I am not perfect.  I know this comes as a shock to so many of you (haha) but let me tell you - my "perfection-meter" is well below the halfway point.  I try.  I try really hard.  I'm careful to treat people with respect and kindness whenever I can but even being careful I fail.  I attempt to make moral decisions and I fail.  I attempt to do what I know God expects of me but sometimes that darn sin sneaks in.  I lust, I stretch the truth, I covet, I act with disrespect, I use unwholesome talk - the list is long.  The great thing though is that I firmly believe perfection isn't the goal but rather the striving for perfection is the goal.  We are going to screw it all up on occasion even when we try our hardest not to.  That's where grace comes into our lives.

My devotional today hit this square on.  I don't want to get to a point where I am too reliant on grace.  We can't forget we are called to live like Christ and to be making steps to that ultimate goal but I know I haven't been perfected yet.  I'm still very much a work in progress.

"As a father is kind to his children, so the Lord is kind to those who honor him. He knows what we are made of; he remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:13-14 GN)


God understands you completely. He's fully aware of your humanity. He knows your faults, fears, failures, and frustrations. He doesn't expect you to be Superman or Superwoman.

If you’re a parent, do you love your children at every stage of their development, or are you waiting until they're mature to love them?

The point is, God loves you at every stage of your development, so you don't have to have unresolved guilt and unrealistic expectations. Listen:

There is nothing you will ever do that will make God love you more than he does right now.

There is nothing you will ever do that will make God love you less than he does right now.

God’s love is unconditional. It's not based on what you do or don't do.

I like to think of it like this: I have three kids. All of them had to learn to walk, and all three of them went through the same process: They'd take a step; they'd stumble. They’d get up, take two steps, then stumble. They’d get up and take a couple steps and fall again.

As their father, what was my reaction? Did I scold them? "What are you doing stumbling? You're a Warren. Warrens don't stumble! You can do better than that." Of course not! How silly! But a lot of us think that's how God treats us. We think that every time we stumble, God says, “Get up! What are you doing, you dummy?”

The Bible teaches us that, “There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 TEV). What does that mean? Let's say I take a card and write every single thing I've ever done wrong on it — all my sins, faults, mistakes, all the skeletons in my closet, all the shameful acts and thoughts and memories and temptations. Then I put the card in a book and close it. You can’t see the card anymore; you can only see the book. That’s the way God sees us when Jesus is in our lives. He no longer sees our sin; he sees Jesus at work in our lives.

When you come to Christ and say, “God, here’s my life. Everything I’ve ever done wrong, every time I've ever made a mistake, all those stupid things I've done. I want to put my life in Jesus Christ,” Jesus wraps you with his love. God looks at Jesus and sees that Jesus is perfect; he doesn't see your sin. That's what it means to relax in God's grace.
The most comforting news I have heard today is right there at the end: "Jesus wraps you with his love.  God looks at Jesus and sees that Jesus is perfect; he doesn't see your sin.  That's what it means to relax in God's grace." How wonderful to be wrapped in the love of Jesus.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Adventures in dating

I'm 34 years old. I shouldn't have to write a post about the annoyances of the dating world. I know I'm not alone in that but boy, what a pain. I hate dating. Every first date feels a bit like an interview (even the good ones) and then the follow up of - "Do we get together again?" "Did I say anything stupid (actually in my case that's usually how MUCH did I say that was stupid)?" "Am I even interested in seeing him again?" And of course the dreaded "he wants to see me again and I have no desire so how do I break it to him?" It's enough to make you want to just hide under a rock.


I think you are supposed to date in your 20s when your energy is higher and your schedule is a bit lighter and more malleable. I've been asked if I can set things up spontaneously. HA! I can be spontaneous two weeks from now when I actually have some time on my calendar, but there is a potential that might fill up so it really will be three weeks from now and perhaps the same will happen again. I wish I was the type of person who could go to dinner tonight because the spirit moved me but I'm not. I've been single to long to leave my schedule to chance. That's a quick road to loneliness.

I recently was reluctantly (actually not a strong enough word) talked into going on match.com. Ick. It's almost embarrassing to admit it. As Pete has said, it feels so inorganic to use online dating. If I hadn't been talked into it by some of my lovely neighbors, who were tired of hearing the frustrations I felt over the only person I saw as a possible match and who didn't even live in my time zone, there is no way on my own I would have taken the plunge, but take the plunge I have.

It's been rough meeting people in Spokane who are eligible bachelors. I have a lot of friends who I care for a ton but no one who has turned my head romantically in town for a long time. So I dutifully started looking at Match on occasion. People started emailing me and I made a commitment to respond and to also reach out when I saw someone who seemed to be interesting. I have met guys who wanted to know how I felt about the fact they have a large pot growing operation (but it's medicinal for his mom and he is legally allowed to do it....), been contacted by many who seem to not have read my profile well enough to know that "atheist" is probably not a religious position that is going to work for me, gone on dates with men who were so nice and funny and fun to be with but who also I wasn't attracted to and I've also gone out with men who I wanted to see the next day.

To my greatest surprise I guess you could cautiously say I'm currently "dating" someone who I met on Match. RG was actually my first Match date. I didn't want to go. I had woken up in the morning and not given a second thought to the date and what I was wearing. It was a midday date on a weekday and I had just been yelled at for about 15 minutes by an angry client. From his picture I didn't think I would be attracted to him at all. I walked over to where we were meeting distracted and annoyed that I was taking the time out of my day that would end up just being a waste of time. I had to wait for him a few minutes to get to the coffee shop so I was checking my email and texting Erin when a couple people walked in. I looked at them, a guy and a girl, and checked them off as neither of them being RG (one for being a woman and one for not looking like the guy on Match) but then it turned out the man actually WAS him. My first thought was "Oh crap. He's hot."

I took a deep breath and plunged in. I figured he'd be a creep. He wasn't. I figured he be lazy. He wasn't. I figured his faith would be weak. It wasn't.

I figured we would have nothing in common. We have plenty in common, but not too much. I figured he'd have baggage. He does. I figured we would disagree on major philosophies. We do to some extent but not in a bad way.

He fell out of his chair during that first date as he tried to adjust a sock or something. My heart melted a lot when that happened. If he does that stuff then I don't have to worry about it when I do - because I do. A lot.

I walked out of the date and immediately texted Erin - "ok. he was really nice." I wanted to see him again but I also knew I was going to let him be the one to pursue. I didn't have enough of an investment to put myself out there. He said he wanted to see me again but "knowing guys" that was just a phrase you say. Three days later he reached out again. Of course, three days later. Just when I was getting to my annoyed "stupid three day rule" stage. I hate the three day rule. It's pointless. I don't know that he was necessarily going by that but it sure felt like it. So we talked about going hiking or something active and outside to take advantage of the end of the summer but nothing set in stone and then I heard nothing.

Crickets.

For over a week.

In the meantime I went out with a few people but no one who I really wanted to see again. I wrote RG off. It was frustrating but again, I had no skin in the game at that point so I knew I had to just let it go. But then, of course, he called. I say of course because I already spoiled the punch line by letting you know we were still dating. It would be really annoying if I was telling you all of this detail and it wasn't RG I was still seeing.

What sort of blogger do you think I am!? Playing with your emotions like that. Sheesh.

Anyway, so we had a nice visit on the phone and went out for dinner a couple days later. And it was a nice dinner and a walk through Manitou Park after. And I wanted to see him again the next day. We joked about playing hooky but please see above about my ability to be spontaneous.

Since then I've communicated with him most days. We are going out again tonight. It's still extremely new and we have some stuff to figure out obviously. The kids, while not a deal breaker for me, create a tougher situation with time and my feelings of "priority" and I'm sure there are other things that will come up as we begin to get to know each other at a deeper level. It's the reason why I say "you could CAUTIOUSLY say I'm dating someone." My birthday is coming up in about a month and I have HORRIBLE luck with dating relationships around my birthday. It's a bit of a jinx.

I wouldn't be surprised at all to find things fall apart completely in the next month.

But then again, maybe they won't.  Maybe online dating won't be so pointless afterall.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just a few things

Chelan

It is one of my top three favorite places in the state.  Why do I even leave there?
________________________________________________________

Strange things make me happy.  Like this:


Just seeing my bike on my roof rack makes me think adventure.  I took my bike to Chelan with me Labor Day weekend.  What a blast. 

________________________________________________________

Speaking of adventure:


I'm going to the Dominican Republic in February for a week to serve on a mission with an organization called I Love Baseball.  It's parent organization is Children of the Nation.  I'm super excited and I know you will probably get sick of hearing about it between now and when I get back.

I really hope God is able to use me down there to touch some kids lives.  This is well overdue. 

________________________________________________________


Summer came to a close last Saturday.  It has been in the upper 70s all week though so Mother Nature hasn't gotten the message.  This was a great summer.  I was busy but it was all fun.  I really am blessed.  Today seems like a good day to take a moment and realize that.

________________________________________________________

With the end of summer also comes the end of baseball season.  This makes me oh so sad but this year I was left with one of the most beautiful evenings at Safeco for my final game.


Why do I even leave there?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy birthday to my left hip



One year ago today I put my physical health into the hands of a very capable surgeon named Dr. James Pritchett.  I probably should be sending him flowers or a thank you note or something.  I feel SO much better.  My pain is pretty much gone other than a twinge here and there.  My activity level is higher than it's been in ages and other than being exhausted from being too busy I have no limitations on what I'm doing.  Going through an airport is obnoxious and I'm still a little protective of my joint but for the most part I'm a brand new (and more bionic) person.


Thank you Dr. Pritchett.  The constant twinkle in your eye is clearly a sign of all the good you've done for people like me.  I can't wait to show off to you in November.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Always remember

I have a tendency to want to post about my niece Kelly on September 11th because it's her Birthday.  I choose to remember her instead of a tragedy that changed all of our lives.  I remember the event and I take a moment to thank God for the my safety and the safety of my family and friends but I also pray for our country and those who did experience loss on that day in 2001.  It's a day to remember to give thanks for those who keep us safe.

Last year I posted about my niece like always and my effort to look at the positives from the experience of 9/11.  I asked people where they were when it happened and I got some of the most amazing comments.  Some of them were from strangers.  This is the reason I love to blog.  Not only is it for me to have a record of what I'm thinking and for my friends and family to know the scary stuff rolling around in my head but also it is a way to reach out to people in the world who I will never meet.  I want to share one of the comments from last year.  It is EXACTLY this type of story that shapes my point of view on the day and what about it we should remember. (don't judge his grammar - just enjoy the story)

Enjoy and God bless America.

D.Prince said...

I don’t know way I’m so excited about commenting on this post because I NEVER comment on people blogs...don’t know why but I just don't. But I do feel compelled to share my thoughts and story....



Let me say one of the most thought provoking statements in this blog was when you mention this ~~~~~~~~ "I never thought I would have a time in my life where I would say "I remember where I was when....". People talk about that with JFK being shot, or the man walking on the moon. I never expected to have National tragedy in my life but I do. I wonder what my niece and nephew will have as theirs."~~~~~~~ I say that almost every year when 9/11 comes around.



Ok so where I was on 9/11/01 and what can I celebrate about that day....



I was at work in Washington, DC when everything erupted and total chaos broke out!!! Washington, DC had literally shut down, you could not catch a bus, you could not catch a train and you could not make a phone call with your cell phone. At that time I had did not know the people that I worked with well enough to link up for support and comfort. But I did remember that a good friend of mine “Angela” who I went to church with worked a few blocks down the street. So instinct told me to go down to her job to see if she was ok and if she wanted to stick together since nobody had any way of reaching family members or getting out of the city. So I met up with Angela ironically we meet halfway because as I was walking down to meet her, she was walking up to meet me (mind you we couldn’t use our cell phones to call out) so once we met up and made sure we were both of ok; outside of just being shaken up due to the circumstances we proceeded to find a way out of the city…….. so to make a long story short we hung together that entire day looking after one another, walking blocks after blocks after blocks through all the madness that was going on in DC trying to get to our separate homes. It was like our friendship grew stronger through the tragedy that had/was taken place around us!!! 10 years later….me and that same young lady that stuck by me during one of most horrific moments of the United States is now Married with our 1 year old daughter.



So what do I have to celebrate….

well my wife and I often contribute our relationship being ordained to that day!!! So we pay our respects and pray for the many of families that those that lost lives on that day. We also celebrate that the blessing that came out of that day.



September 13, 2011 6:54 AM

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Won't you be my neighbor


(I like how this sign with the graffiti makes it look like I live in the ghetto)

In my adult life I've never lived in a real "neighborhood".  I have lived in apartment complexes and Condo/Townhome developments but never before moving to Spokane have I lived in a stereotypical piece of Americana.  Myrtle Lane fits all of the stereotypes.

neighborhood
Mid-15c., "neighborly conduct, friendliness," from neighbor + -hood (q.v.). Modern sense of "community of people who live close together" is first recorded 1620s.

Let me try to explain the neighbors who have become significant to me.  My house is on the far end of where this picture was taken. 

The first character of note we come to is "The Mayor" or Ed.  He is retired and basically serves as the watch dog of the neighborhood.  He keeps an eye on the cars coming and going.  He keeps an eye on my place when I'm out of town.  He and his wife Carol serve as sudo-grandparents to all the kiddos who live on the street. 

Then there is Chelsea and her husband.  Chelsea serves on the HOA Board with me and is as nice as you could possibly imagine.  They have precocious kids who like to show off their baseball skills to me and LOVE Moxie.  Actually, if we are being honest her husband likes to show off his kids baseball skills as much as the kids do and is almost always the first to approach Mox and I when we walk down the street.

Next Melissa and Derek and their two kiddos.  Melissa and Derek work for one of the local television companies.  Derek is an anchor and Melissa is a producer.  You can only imagine my humiliation when I asked Derek what he did for a living and he had to inform me he was a morning TV anchor.  Sorry Derek - I watch channel 6.  Maybe you guys can convert me to channel 4. 

Next we have Jen and BJ.  Jen is a person I want to be better friends with.  She is loud and outgoing and was one of the first people to really bring me into the community of Myrtle Lane.  I would love to spend more time with her if we both weren't such busy young professionals.  Her boyfriend BJ is probably my favorite neighbor.  He is my protector.  He got mad at me last weekend.  A bunch of us were standing in the street talking about the crazy guy who knocked on all of our doors earlier in the day and he questioned why I didn't call him when that happened - that and why I didn't call him to come help me figure out the beeping in my garage.  He makes me laugh and is someone I know I could call on any time - day or night.

Trevor, his wife Sydney and their kiddos live across from Jen and BJ.  Sydney and I know some of the same people from growing up.  I went to college with a friend of hers and high school with a friend she met in college.  I'm telling you it's a small world.  Trevor is on the board with me and is always a calm head.  I respect him a lot and wish I had a high school teacher just like him.

Next to them are Todd and Jen.  Todd was the very first person to talk to me when I moved to the neighborhood.  His wife Jen always has a smile and makes you feel good just by being around her.

Next to me is Ryan.  He is about my age, an accountant and (on a completely unrelated note) is severely diabetic.  The paramedics haven't been to our neighborhood this summer.  For Ryan this has been a good summer.  He currently has a roommate who is an idiot.  I think he was supposed to move out this summer but he's still around.  I will be very happy when that split takes place.

On the other side of me is Janet.  She and I call on each other a lot.  It's nice to be flanked by single people which are such a rare commodity in Spokane.  I need to make more of an effort to be social with Janet.  We are both in the same industry and we both need the help on occasion.  She's a bit older than me but not outside of my peer group.  Her little yappy dogs bark at Moxie constantly.  It's nice to know she has company. haha

Directly across from me is Derek - or hot neighbor.  He wears Carharts with a belt, has a really nice fishing boat and an elk head over his mantle.  He also has a gorgeous girlfriend.  Boo.

Next to him is where the neighbors get interesting.  Maybe it's because I've watched too much Big Love or I've read too much about Mormon Polygamy but I'm fairly certain the two female renters in the house next to Derek are married to the guy in the house next to them.  Don't ask me why - it's just what I've observed.  I am intrigued by them.  They mow each other's lawns.  They tiptoe over to each other's houses late at night.  The son of one of the women is named Alfred.  It all adds up to polygamy to me. haha

There are others on the street obviously but those are the ones who create my community.  Two houses are for sale.  There is room to join us on Myrtle Ln.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet me at the lake

Sorry - no time for a blog post this week.  We are too busy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

National Best Friend Day

I heard on the radio this morning that today is National BF Day.  If I had known I would have gotten cards in the mail but sadly I was a little late.  My favorite thing to do is send random cards to friends.  I haven't been as good about it lately because my card supply has gotten low but it's something I want to and NEED to get back into doing.

I'm lucky - I don't have one best friend.  I actually have five amazing women who I think of as my besties.  Each one of them is incredibly different than the other and they serve to fill my life in ways I never would have imagined friendships could.  My life would be empty in some way if it weren't for the presence of each of them in my life. (This is them - in geographical order from West to East because sadly we are not all in the same location.)

Erin -


I've known Erin since I was two years old.  For anyone keeping score that's pretty much my whole life and IS her whole life.  It isn't very accurate to call her my friend.  She really is my "best friend sista".  Our families traveled together and we have continued the tradition into our adulthood.  I've seen her through her marriage and look forward with great excitement to seeing her through the joys and trials of parenthood.  She has seen me through law school and early career, the ups and downs of my single life and the challenges of nasty bosses and nastier "friends".  She is a person with whom I can be 110% honest, shares my faith, my sense of humor, my work ethic (although I think she is a harder worker than I could ever dream of being) and my love of adventure.  She is confident and independent.  She is humble.  I wish I had a small portion of her quiet humility.  Erin is the person I strive on a daily basis to be like. 

Love ya Crap Bag.


Adrienne -



Thank goodness Adrienne and I went to church together when we lived in Seattle.  We first really connected on a weekend trip to Erin's family cabin in Plane, WA.  I remember driving up to the cabin with Adrienne in my passenger seat and thinking I was going to be good friends with her.  One of my worst days in Seattle was when Adrienne moved to Colorado.  It was one of those moments when you need to and want to support your best friend but my heart was so sad.  Adrienne has a kindness about her that I have found in no one else.  Her steadfastness in her faith is an example to me.  I know when I ask her for prayer she isn't just saying she will pray - she is actually praying.  Our adventures have spanned from trips to Hawaii to discovering running to discovering Colorado together to her wedding to numerous camping trips and beyond.  She is compassionate and stronger than she realizes.  Adrienne epitomizes the term "helper".  She is organized and creative.  She is a person who I am never afraid to admit failure to because I know she will love me anyway.  I never have to compete with Adrienne.  I can be myself and know that I don't have to prove myself worthy of her friendship.  When I am at my weakest I want to be with Adrienne.  When I am at my strongest I want to be with Adrienne.  She shows the type of grace and forgiveness to people that I only wish I could duplicate.

Club A I love ya.

Sarah -


Sarah and I met on the first day of law school.  It is well known that I did not think she was a very nice person upon our initial meeting.  Little did I know she had just screeched into town from a crazy and somewhat life changing summer in Washington DC.  I would have been more initially forgiving had I known.  We happened to be placed in the same group of classes for our first year so Sarah insisted on studying with me.  I didn't know anyone so reluctantly agreed and the rest is history.  Sarah is so opposite of me in many ways that people in school could never quite figure our friendship out but it is one of the most stable and strong friendships I have ever built and it was that way almost immediately.  Anyone who spends 15 minutes with Sarah can't help but want to spend 15 more.  Sarah is the most genuine and gracious person I have ever met.  She is sacrificial to a fault at times; often forgetting to think about herself in an effort to take care of others.  It seems like the last few years we have been together when difficult times have transpired.  There is no better person to be in your corner, holding your hand when you need to cry.  Because of her I love good wine.  Sarah is elegant but edgy.  Exotic but down to earth.  Beautiful and charming.  I wish I had a tenth of her physical grace.  She makes me a stronger better person. 

I love you to the moon and back Murph.


 














Jodi -



Jodi and I also met in law school.  I don't remember the moment or circumstances where we became friends but I can't remember a moment NOT being friends.  She was always the one I could count on to be with me during tricky law school moments.  We were each other's "dates" to many parties and each other's outs when we needed them.  Her intelligence and steadiness kept me grounded when I wanted to despair and her steadiness now is what continues to make me rely on her.  She is stable and realistic but also full of adventure.  She shares my sick love of baseball and definitely helped my taste in beer evolve to where it is today.  I've gotten lost in Northern Minnesota with Jodi.  I've wanted to kill the men who have broken her heart.  I've laughed about nothing in particular until my sides hurt.  I've been introduced to music I would never have known to love.  I've been boosted up and prodded along when I was reluctant.  Jodi is beautiful inside and out.  She loves her family and is going to make the best momma in a few months.  Her integrity is never in question and when I am around her I relax into our friendship.  I wish I had Jodi's quiet confidence.  She is a person I am blessed to know.

Love ya Baby J.





Jenny -

  

Last but in no ways least my Kindred Spirit without a doubt.  There should be people in your life who are a reflection of who you are with just enough of a twist to make you want to grow to be more like them.  Jenny is that for me.  She is the completely down to earth friend I need when I spiral out of control as I am wont to do.  Jenny and I met at Bible study when I was in law school and she was a brand new teacher.  My first memory of Jenny was driving back from a concert in St. Cloud where Jenny fell asleep in the backseat and told Kevin and I all about her kids having swimming in gym class.  I've rarely laughed so hard.  Jenny shares the "country" side of me.  She might not have been raised with livestock like I was but she is rugged in her interests - from hardcore backpacking to reenactments - Jenny isn't afraid to get dirt under her fingernails.  Jenny has an infectious smile.  She is an optimist.  She is a master pie baker.  She loves Jesus and challenges me to live more like him through her example.  Jenny and I have floated down rivers (and gotten on the wrong bus to do so), we've explored WA, AZ, MN and WI, we've been real with each other about bodily functions (haha), we've laughed and laughed and laughed.  I would not be the woman I am today if God had not put Jenny in my life.  She is a constant "up" even when I feel like wallowing in the "down".  That's not to say Jenny doesn't have struggles but I know she will always get through them in a way that will lead to a more positive outcome.  I wish I had a portion of Jenny's faithful strength.

Jenny Penny I'd be adrift without you.  Thanks for keeping me anchored.  I love ya.



Well, those are my girls.  My life is better because of them and the many other wonderful guys and gals who I have around me on a regular basis.  I wish there was a reality where we all lived within 15 minutes of each other.

Thank you ladies for being my support and giving me so much love.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

I just want to be funny

When I was in college one of the best compliments I recieved was from a guy friend of mine who was extremely humerous.  He stated out of the people he knew our friend Julie and I were the most humerous women he had ever known.  I was actually really surprised (and flattered) by the comment.  I've never thought of myself as "funny".  I asked him what about me made me funny and his response was even more surprising (clearly since I still remember it more than ten years later).  He said it was because I didn't care what anyone thought of me and just said what was on my mind.

Now that's actually true.  When I really let myself put down my gaurd I have zero filter.  Zero. Zip. Zilch.  It's not ALWAYS a good thing.  In fact, today at work someone said something that was just way too easy and I of course had to make a comment that was intended to be humerous but wasn't very HR friendly.  No filter.

I don't think I'm funny with everyone anymore like I was back in my late teens/early 20s.  There are certain people I feel comfortable completely letting my gaurd down with at all times and who bring out the more humerous side of me but there are also people I'm pretty serious around.  It isn't that I don't appreciate the serious talks and even my talks with Erin who I tend to be at my most goofy can be serious, but it is interesting to me that there are people who don't bring out that side of me. 

If I had a choice I would just be goofy all the time that I wasn't doing my job.  I'm not sure if Mike would still say I'm one of the funniest women he knows or not.  Maybe I still would be if we were hanging out until all hours of the day and not caring about paying mortgages, raising babies or working on sucessful marriages.  For everything its own season though I guess.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Eat Mop.
Eat Mop who?

(Go ahead - say that outloud)
HAR HAR HAR

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Heart That's Broken Into Pieces

I've been doing a lot of traveling the last couple of months.  It's been a lot of fun and has included the left coast, the right coast and the middle coast which isn't a coast at all.  Each of these trips has included time with at least one someone who is of the utmost importance in my life.

I spent a week in Cape Cod with Erin and Daniel.

I spent three hours on the way home from Cape Cod with Adrienne and Chris.

I spent a weekend in MN with Jodi (and bun in the oven), Sarah, Jenny, Kristen and other people who tug at my heart.

I spent a weekend in Seattle with a bunch of my Seattle buddies including much needed and long overdue time with Sweet Pete, good time with Kirstin, brief encounters with Phinney Girl and Mr.P, Brandon and Becca, Suzannah and Brian, Heidi and Aaron (and brand spanking new little Greta - what a blessing the timing of that was!), Jason, John and some great time with Erin and Molly.

Today I am back to work with no travel in the near future.  I'm doing some local travel instead by spending a week at the lake with my family.  I'm equally excited for that trip as I was for the trips listed above.

Unfortunately, I'm also a little wrecked.

Returning from some of these trips have been a little distressing.  In particular, my trip back from Minnesota left me breathlessly sad.  It is the first time in a very long time that I have been moved to tears as I was leaving somewhere.  I'm always torn about Minnesota and my ties there.  For a long time I longed to go back and then I settled into a comfortable place in the Northwest and while I missed my friends the tug was a little gentler.  Recently though, I've gotten less content in Spokane.  I believe it takes at least two years for a place to feel like home and I've been in Spokane for two and a half years now and still feel like I'm perhaps just passing through.  That's a tough realization because I have friends here who I love like crazy and my family is here.  It would be tough to leave my family.  It took over a year before I started saying I was going home when I was returning to Spokane.  I checked myself last weekend when I found myself reverting back to saying I was going back to Spokane rather than going "home".

I had some time commuting on a ferry yesterday and I always get a bit introspective on the water.  I started thinking about why I felt sad recently.  I was struck with the realization that my heart really is torn and spread across this globe. 

Part of it is in Spokane.

Part of it is in Seattle.

Part of it is in California (or wherever else Erin has traveled).

Part of it is in Colorado.

Part of it is in Minnesota.  A big part of it is in Minnesota.

The rest of it is scattered across the globe - Sweden, Amsterdam, London and many other domestic locations.

It's no wonder I don't feel like I can commit my heart to Spokane.  It is pulled in so many other directions.  I love that we can be so mobile and it is easy to get places to see people and experience other areas of the world but right now it has left me a bit shattered. 

"We were used to her wandering, never wandered too far away. She always came back home, no problem, but that day, she didn't come back."

-Holly Webb

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Back into the Blogosphere

I'm back. 

I decided this weekend that is it time that I get back into the habit of getting posts on here.  For a long time I've felt boring and like I didn't have anything to say.  I don't feel that way any longer.  I'm interesting, I have stuff rolling around in my head that needs a place to go, I do fun things that people want to hear about.  I'm important.  I'm somebody.

Get ready.  Starting next week I'm back.