Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two random things

1) My blog hit 25,000 views today.  25,000!  That blows my mind.  Granted that's since 2009 but still - that's over 7,000 views a year.  Unbelievable.

2) Today is Moxie's 4th birthday.  She has become my most loyal friend in the last four years.  She is my adventure buddy, my shoulder when I need one, my Tigger and my perspective adjuster.  I'm so thankful that Stacy and I reconnected at our 10 year High School reunion because without that I wouldn't have her.  I was telling Mox this morning about meeting her for the first time. (Yes - I talk to her. Duh) She was about 5 days old, still had closed eyes and fit in the palm of my hand.  Now she's over 100 pounds and has crazy googly eyes but is still just as cute.  My life is enriched everyday with her presence. 

Happy Birthday to my little Monkey!!



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting out of dodge

I was able to escape the cold a few days and head to Denver to visit Adrienne and Chris and see a favorite client of mine.  When I was making plans to be in Denver I had no idea I would be escaping the cold to Denver but low and behold it was almost 70 degrees the day my dad and I flew back.  It was a nice break and I loved seeing Adrienne and Chris (and Estes) as always.  While I was there we went downtown and did a little window shopping (and I got a Caribou fix).  I've only been downtown one other time so it was fun to get to see their nice pedestrian mall.  US Bank has a big building in downtown.  I always feel pride when I see our name in the skyline.  The moon was gorgeous. (see it just to the left there?)  

The same day we were downtown we went up to Golden, CO and went on the Coors Brewery Tour.  I have been on brewery tours before but the sheer size of the Coors Brewery made the tour very different.  These are the brew kettles.  They are multiple stories tall.         

   
Chris is looking for his next job.  I think he should apply here. 

Maybe I should hire someone from here to pick my next boyfriend since I suck at it.

Actually, I heard most of the people working in this lab are incredibly brilliant.  They have advanced degrees and refined palates.  OK so I don't really know about their palates (it isn't like Coors beer is THAT refined - although Batch 19 which I tried for the first time in the tasting room is one of the better Coors beers I've tried and when I'm being girly who doesn't love a Blue Moon on a sunny day?) but I can only imagine the competition for a job there is very intense.  People who love beer really love beer.

The free samples were generous and the tour was educational.  It was a really great day.  My whole weekend there was great actually.  From seeing Dana, Brady and the kids (and Judy and Eric - bonus!) and Rod (UNCLE!), Debra and Jacob, playing games until way too late in the night and having a sucessful meeting with my dad on Tuesday evening - where I proved to a retired airforce officer that I CAN hold my own when I need to, as well as love on and be loved by his down syndrome kiddo - it was a great five days.   


I saw the movie The Hobbit over the weekend and I was struck by how much I love the idea of being pursued by adventure.  Little adventures are still adventures.  This was a little adventure.  A step out of my regular every day.  A breath of fresh air.  It made me hopeful for spring and thankful for the people who love me.  I am excited I get to see Adrienne again the end of March in San Antonio.  Knowing that trip was right around the corner made parting not so tough.  Thank goodness for airplanes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

London



Piece of the Berlin Wall

It seems when my heart goes through a rough patch I have this almost irresistible pull to go to London. I was talking to TF and DrK on Sunday about that as we were shopping for a picture for my office and looking at pictures of London in the store. I actually have priced tickets for a quick trip over - my passport wants a workout before I head to the Dominican Republic this spring - but it has been prohibitively expensive unfortunately. I would love even three days in Ruth and Ray's kitchen.

When I first lived in London in 1998 I got on a plane less than a week after suffering my first major heart break. I think, from what I've heard from others, that first love can be the trickiest. Tyler and I were the very best of friends for a year before I realized I didn't actually have feelings for his best friend Will but was actually deeply in love with Tyler.

I remember coming home from my sorority's formal, to which I had taken Will, and having this realization but not knowing what to do with it. Thankfully, Will realized the same thing and was in the process of talking to Tyler about it when I went to his room to hang out that evening. It wasn't an easy transition to something more than friends but Tyler and my relationship wasn't the easiest either.

Oh man, we fought. We bickered, and picked, were mean and fought and fought. He put holes in walls. But we loved each other too. A lot. I've never had a friend who was more loyal than him. I'll never forget him picking me up and carrying me from my boat (we were on the crew team together) to my parents' car after a regatta because I had cold feet with no shoes and I was beyond my exhaustion point, having just won a championship and puking at the end of the race from exertion. I remember him chastising me multiple times because he didn't feel I gave myself the credit of my "beauty" - a problem I still struggle with today. One time he took a picture off my wall and shoved it at me yelling "look at this picture! Do you not see yourself and how beautiful you are!?" Those words went a long way back then.

People could never understand our relationship. My 35 year old self looks back and doesn't quite understand that 20 year old relationship either but I fell in love with Tyler and he was the first man who had the privilege of my ever faithful and deep love. He earned that love and he was a good steward of it for a long time.

When I was preparing for my semester away Tyler asked me to stay. When I told him I needed to go to London for many reasons, some practical - I was enrolled at school there and not at WU, I had paid for it, had my ticket, etc, but also for some emotional/life reasons, he couldn't forgive me. So he broke my heart.

I remember sitting in the Chicago airport on a layover and crying for three hours. It was 15 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. I wasn't sure how I was going to get through but similarly to what I've been doing these last three weeks I made the decision every morning to get up and get out of bed and see what the day held.

My life was changed those six months in London. I attribute a lot of who I am today to my time there. I was a walking mess when I arrived. I knew no one on my program and I didn't know anything about where I was going, what my home stay was going to be like, what my school life was going to be like or if I would make any friends.

Of course, because I live a blessed life I was blessed beyond belief despite my grief. I went on a tour with 12 other people in my program for the first three or so weeks we were there. Those people became very very close friends. In fact, had it not been for my relationships with them I never would have considered moving to the Midwest for law school (the program we were on was through the University of Wisconsin so many of the students were from the Midwest) and I never would have met the people I met there, or had the life experiences I had or probably be in the place I am now. Had I listened to Tyler we probably would have still broken up and who knows what my life would look like today.

But really, the point of all of this is that my heart healed in London. It took probably every minute of time I had there but I came home healed. And right now that's what I long for. A city that will wrap me up and heal my heart.

As I said before I haven't been able to find a ticket that has allowed me to run away for a week so I've been here, minus a quick Seattle trip and a trip coming up to Denver. It's probably best. I tend to run away from the tough stuff. Someone told me I shouldn't be afraid to sit in my emotions right now but I am terrified of where that would lead me so I've kept busy instead. It's been good. I'm not healed by any means but I'm still getting out of bed.

Through this breakup with SHF I've seen a lot of God's preplanning. It's kind of nice to realize he sees what's going to happen before we do and has a plan in all of it. When SHF and I started dating in the fall God knew we were going to break up in the winter so he put things in motion. He planned to have ClubA visit two days after we broke up. He planned for Sweet Pete and Rob and Jeanette and Kirstin to be available to love on me in Seattle last week.

And he planned for me to get some London. My city that will wrap me up and heal my heart.

About a month or more ago my friend Sarah emailed me that she was going to be in Spokane for two weeks in January. Now I want you to hear these details - she is a lawyer in the Air Force. She has never been to Spokane. She lives in DC. I haven't seen her for 9 years.


Suzie, Sarah and I at the top of the Eiffel Tower

At the time it was just exciting that I was going to get to see her but then suddenly it became essential. On Monday, I got to sit down at the Elk with a girl who was a big part of getting me through one of the more difficult times in my life and talk for two hours like I saw her the day before.


I saw God in my relationship with SHF from the beginning. I am still struggling to understand what happened at the end but I definitely have seen God along side me through this part that came after the end. This visit with Sarah is just one more example of his planning and protection of me.

I have to remind myself that if God put these things in place months ago to help pick me up he knows what he is doing in my life in general. There must be a path that I'm just not able to see at the moment. In my head I know that. I know that very strongly. My heart is having a tougher time with the adjustment. It'll get there. I get some more "London" time this week before my trip to Denver. Those pieces will get glued back together again.

Piece by Piece. Slowly but Surely.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Random week wrap up

1) I now listen to this song on repeat for hours at a time.  I'm a huge fan of the Lumineers and this song, with it's lyrics about being someones "sweetheart", the favorite name SHF called me, has become an obsession of late.


2) I'm 11 for 11 in my Bible reading.  I even kept at it on a quick (and busy) work trip to Seattle.  One of my favorite verses so far is from Genesis: "Issac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah.  So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Issac was comforted after his mother's death." Genesis 24:67.

3) On my trip to Seattle I got to see some pretty incredible people (clients and friends alike).

I had lunch with Rob (I'm ready to travel in Europe with him again anytime he's ready to go).

I had dinner and drinks with Sweet Pete.  Despite time between our visits I count Pete as one of my best friends.  Our friendship has always been so easy.  As I said on Facebook - time with Pete is good for my soul.

I needed a Bourbon.  The Corner Bar was perfect for that.  I can always count on Pete to know where to take me.

I had breakfast with Jeanette.  She is one of the most level headed and wise friends I have.  The time we had wasn't near enough.

And last but not least I had lunch with Kirstin.  It was stolen time as I didn't really have enough time between my meeting and flight to get the kind of visit I needed but the time was not wasted.  Similar to Jeanette, her Godly wisdom and compassion is such an example to me.

4) We've had a sunny day today.  I can't tell you how much I've needed a FULL ON sunny day.  I have followed the sunshine around my office all day. 

5) I got to talk to Crap Bag today.  She became a momma on Sunday to Kobe Gregory.  I love him even though I haven't met him yet.  It is difficult for me not to just jump on a plane and be there but I know she and Crows Feet are adjusting to parenthood and her parents are there helping out for the first month.  I'll be down mid-February.  There is a very good possibility I have a countdown going.

6) Go Panthers!!!

We have our second basketball game tonight.  This team of girls is very sweet and I look forward to seeing them every week.  It is an hour on Thursday and an hour on Friday when I don't think about the 60 emails I didn't even open at work, or the hurt that still exists in my heart, or the dark days or cold weather (although now that we have some snow I don't really mind the cold too much).  Instead we play.  We play hard.  And I get to tell them about Jesus.  I get to test my hip out doing cuts on the court.  I get the feel of a basketball on my palm.  We laugh.  They hug me and I hug them in return.  We have fun.  They tolerate my silly cheers (my favorite is that Alice said she did NOT like my cheer the first time we did it and now she requests it every time).  My assistant coach Grant teases me and doesn't let me take things so seriously.  We might not have won our first game but each kid came off that court giving me a high five and saying they would win the next one.  My ultimate goal is to teach the girls to play hard and deal with the wins or losses as they come - although inside you know I'm still not happy about a loss.  It's 5th-6th grade Upward Basketball.  It isn't about the record or the score.  Frankly, it's probably just as important of a lesson for me to learn as it is for them.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Resolutions

It might seem strange but I'm here to admit I'm a little afraid of 2013. I'm very superstitious (hello, baseball fan!) and the fact that the year has the number 13 in it has me a little on edge. My house number has a 13 in it and I have blamed that for a myriad of things throughout the two years I've lived there. I'm extra careful on any 13th day of the month, in particular if it is a Friday. I don't ever go on the 13th floor of our building. It's a thing. It's irrational and I know it but it's still there.

I've voiced my fear of 2013 to quite a few people and have been met with varying degrees of eye rolling. It's OK - I expect that. I don't expect everyone to share my version of crazy.

Despite my reluctance though, 2013 is here.  I always have a few "resolutions" to start a new year.  Sometimes they are specific and sometimes they are generic.  Always it is a time to remind myself to live "intentionally". 

People often ask what that means.  To me it means taking the time to think about things before I do them.  To think about how I choose to spend my time, think about how I choose to spend my money, think about who I choose to be in relationship with, think about what I eat, think about my activity level, think about my interactions with people and who are important in the moment.  The list goes on.  It can be exhausting to not just let life happen.  That's the reason I need to remind myself every Jan 1 to get centered and focus on these decisions.

One year as a resolution I decided to do a triathlon.  That was a great resolution.  I'm very proud of my years as a triathlete.

I've done the whole "lose weight" thing.  Last year I lost 40 pounds.  It wasn't a New Years resolution necessarily but it started just after the first of the year.  I feel so much better about myself and feel less concern over my weight shortening the life of my hip.  I'm looking to shed 10 more this year.

One year I resolved to go to one movie a month.  That one was not as easy as you would think.  It was during law school and there were months when I had to really force myself to take the two hours to go to a movie.  Forced down time is not always easy for me.

I've resolved in 2013 to read the whole Bible and to make time to be in the Word before I do anything else in the morning.  Any of you who know me well, know the mornings are not my favorite time of the day.  It's always a struggle to get moving but I also have the tendency to get caught up in my day once I let the inertia take hold.  I've never read the Bible in its entirety.  This is something I've always felt bad about.  I have read so much of the Bible but I am also aware by not knowing all of it I'm missing out on some of God's promises.  They handed out a reading plan at church last Sunday I'm certain I can follow.  So far I've stuck to the resolution - 3 for 3.

This year, in addition to reflecting and remembering to be intentional in life and reading my Bible every morning before I do anything else, I've decided I need to resolve to be less busy.  This isn't the first time it's been my resolution but it is the first year I've had a specific plan.  Dave Ramsey is always talking about making "dreams" reality by having a plan.  In fact, the desk calendar I had of his for 2012 specifically spoke to that on the last day of the year.

You have been existing for so long that you've forgotten to dream.  I want you to go back to dreaming a little bit, but don't stop there.  Take the dream and convert it to bite-sized goals that are accomplishable.  If you could do anything you wanted to do and education and money weren't barriers, what would you do?
My dream is always to live a healthier more fulfilled life.  Unscheduling myself, allowing time for spontaneity and time to breathe, is a step toward that fulfilled life.  I want to take the time to create new dreams for myself.  I don't know what those are going to be as things have taken a turn I didn't see coming as of late, but a step in that direction is most definitely to allow myself the time to actually think about it.  Write it down.  Own whatever that dream looks like.  To do this I am going to say no to at least one activity every two weeks.  Writing that down makes me shutter a little but I've already said no to one invitation this week so I'm taking some baby steps.

With that said - you might see some of those dreams expressed here in 2013.  This is a venue I often use to process and document.  If 2013 doesn't turn out to be jinxed it will be fun to look back and see how things evolve.  I hope your resolutions for 2013 haven't fallen off yet.  They say if you can get through the first three weeks you stand a chance at a life change.  I say go for it!