Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tune Tuesday - a spanish ditty

The Boys in the DR are all really into music as are most kids their age around the world.  Just like in the states some can sing, some Can.Not. (Sorry Carlos) Dilson always has a song of some type running through his head.  It's awesome because he doesn't even realize it but if you observe him long enough it becomes very obvious that in his head there is a rock concert.

Despite the fact Carlos can't sing (but the boy CAN dance - dang) he still loves music.  We exchanged headsets a few times on the bus ride and he listened to my music and I listened to his.  He played me one that I loved and have downloaded since being home.  Of course it's a worship song, that's pretty ingrained in that boy, and it is in Spanish.  I think you'll still be able to get the gist even if you can't quite get all of the words.

Happy Tuesday Friends!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A moment of downtime

I'm sitting in the Pittsburg Pirate's training facility clubhouse at the moment while the boys are eating lunch. I feel a bit like an interloper and don't want to step into a meal when the organization was perhaps not expecting a giiirrrrllll. Because I know my boys are beyond tuned into me (I walked into the room last night after having barely been in tears for a few seconds, happy tears no worries, and both Andry and Carlos were immediately at my side asking what was wrong. Those two I tell ya) so I've disappeared to a place they won't feel they have to feed me. 

This week, despite some really difficult nonDominican personalities, has been off the chart. When I left home this time I found myself wondering if the time of my life for commitment to the DR had run its course. I was tired and stressed and there had been some frustrating developments about the trip that made me wonder if I was perhaps not supposed to be coming this time. 

All of those concerns melted away when I was sitting at the school in Los Robles on Monday and Nicol turned the corner and spotted me. I don't know what exactly they tell the kids when their sponsors come to see them but her expression of complete joy and surprise melted my heart. 

It happened again the next day when I surprised her at school and she came barreling and sliding into my arms. 

Oh right, that's why I'm here. 

I have had more time with the boys than ever before. The group I'm with right now are all of the 15 years and older boys so sadly we had to leave some of the team behind, but other than Dionni and Izeqael the boys I'm most close to are here. There are a few I haven't spent much time with up until now and this time getting to know them has been special. I literally spent the entire day with them yesterday (including a four hour bus ride to the capital which included me taking the boys on in a rap off - because that's normal behavior for me.) and I felt a sense of withdrawal when I finally had to leave and go back to the hotel. 

My love tank is full and overflowing. Good try Mr. Devil at your attempts at pulling me away from this ministry. It will take more than one horrible American man to make that a reality. 

Today is my birthday and each of the English mixed with Spanish songs that have been sung to me has been equally memorable. The bus erupted with it this morning before I knew what was going on. It's been by far one of my most memorable birthdays yet. 

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the parting tomorrow but for now I'm going to grab my camera, go be team mom for a few hours and try not to think about it. 

The journey continues. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tune Tuesday - yet another zumba inspired song choice

I needed a workout yesterday that didn't let me get too much in my own head.  When I walk or use exercise equipment in the gym I tend to get lost in thought - usually not a bad thing, but yesterday it was messy in there.  I needed an endorphine kick that didn't include deep thought.  Thankfully, my friend Jean and I had planned to go to Zumba.  I'm not the most coordinated so even after years of practice I still have to focus pretty closely on my feet.  I actually tripped and almost fell last night, that hasn't happened for a long while, but it was the state of my mind - too easy to wander.

There was one song that we danced to that I hadn't heard before.  When it first started I could tell it immediately it was a Pitbull song.  I'm not afraid to admit it, I like Pitbull.  Not all of his stuff but enough of it that I can admit as a general rule I like his music.  Last night the new (to me) song made me smile.  I was immediately back in Nashville. 

So Erin, Jenny, Adrienne and Molly - this one is for you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tune Tuesday - Blake Shelton

I went to the Blake Shelton concert in town with a coworker a few weeks ago. Blake is a great entertainer and I discovered I like his music more than I realized. I often don't know who sings the songs that I enjoy and so when I see people in concert it can be a surprise - oh hey, YOU sing this!?

I had one of his songs stuck in my head pretty much all summer.  I haven't posted it on here and figured it was probably time to do so.  Plus, this way I can justify buying it and putting it on the play list I have with all my Tune Tuesday songs.  I know, I'm weird.   Anyway, ladies and gentlemen: here's Blake Shelton. (Gwen, also in this video, was at the concert too.  She has great energy on stage.)  

Monday, October 06, 2014

365 choices

One year ago today I stood waiting on the street for Bruna to meet me with "a guy who works at the school" to attend a party in Zona Colonial.  It was by complete chance that Bruna and I ended up meeting on the way from the airport to my home for the week.  I am so thankful she thought to ask me to go with her that evening and that I decided I wasn't too tired to go. 

When I first met SM I didn't think anything of him really other than assuming he and Bruna were a couple.  He tells me it wasn't love at first sight (because even for him that seems silly) but that he was at once intrigued and knew he needed to get to know me.  Once we got to the party I learned it was in the streets near the ruins of a building that turns out to be an old hospital.  Everyone was dancing to live music and of course there were clowns on stilts. (Because Dominican Republic)  I was asked to dance by a few Dominican men and gladly accepted with nothing to lose.  I was there for the adventure, simply burning the extra week of vacation I had purchased for trips with SHF in the best way I knew how - in the country my heart was completely tied to.

After a while it became clear to me Bruna and SM were not a couple.  Within a few hours of meeting we were kissing in the street.

Pfft - what in the world is THAT?  That's not regular, conservative Kristin.  That's just "on an adventure" Kristin.  I left The DR expecting the relationship to end. 

Instead, it continued and has not ended one year, 365 days, later.

With Bruna the First Night we Met

Our First "Date"

Valentines Weekend 2014

Bavaro 2014

June 2014

I took this picture on accident but actually ended up loving it.

June 2014 - Zona Colonial
But that's not really the story I want to tell  one year into knowing SM.  I wouldn't say today is out anniversary.  It is our "meetaversary" (haha) but really he and I weren't exclusive in our relationship until February.  The reality is though I think of our relationship as really starting a year ago.  I've learned a lot from this relationship.  Mostly I've learned for the first time that "love" really is a choice. 

For 365 days I've woken up in the morning and had the option of deciding I didn't want to be part of this tricky situation.  In fact, just last week I was tired of it.  I was tired of thinking "maybe someday it will all come together".  Mostly I was just tired.  But that type of day has taught me that when you love someone you have to decide that on the days when you are too tired to really feel like you love them, you still choose to love them.
The tingly sensations stop after awhile of us being apart.  They come back on the days before getting on an airplane to go see him but once I get home, after a number of seconds/minutes/hours/days/weeks/months, those go away and instead our friendship and my commitment to us as a couple are all that remain. 

Oh don't get me wrong: there have been days in the last 365 that I have either chosen not to love SM or I have not chosen to love SM.  I've been mad and hurt and exhausted and devoid of hope on occasion and on those days I don't make the right choice.  But those days have been fewer than the days when it's been easy to make the choice of being completely in the relationship.  In my mind I tell myself I could choose to walk away any day, that distance is an escape hatch.  In my heart it's a different story and the idea of being without SM makes me hurt deeply. 
So I choose each day to love him when those tingly feelings are gone, when I'm frustrated and devoid of hope.  When I'm exhausted.  It's been a real lesson for me of love as an action instead of an emotion.  I know if I can make this choice over and over at a distance, I can do it again and again for the rest of my life.  Even when it has to be a choice because it doesn't FEEL natural.
365 choices...and counting.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy birthday to me!

My hip is three years old today.  Congrats hip!  You've made it successfully so far!  Let's have cake!

I've continued to go in to see Dr. Pritchett on a yearly basis and my right hip is still damaged and "leaky" but as of now no pain that hasn't eventually subsided.  I had some weird groin pain in my left hip before and while in the Dominican Republic in June but Dr. P said things still look good and the pain has gone away so I feel good.  After three years I know how to navigate the airport with little annoyance, I can tell what days are "I can sit cross legged" days and which days are not.  I don't run much but I did on Monday for the first time in a long time and I had no hip pain.

I've had two friends have the same procedure because of my suggestion in the last two years.  I hope they have the same success as I have and look forward to celebrating birthdays as they come for them too.

Thank you Dr. P, as always, for giving me my life back.

http://vimeo.com/91990891#t=15s - Watch my video! (My interview starts at 00:17)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tune Tuesday: love to be believed in

I had fallen completely in love with this song, even singing it at the top of my lungs in the car on the way to work a few times, and then I found the video. I understand a bit more of the heart behind the song which makes it a deeper meaning than simply "a wonderful love song".  Now it is that plus so much more.  Well done Jana Kramer.
Love, how many times can a heart break?
Love, how much weight can a soul take?
Love, I don’t know where you ran off to
But love, love, love, I still believe in you.

There's one other thing I want to say about this song.  The lyrics of the bridge are probably the ones that I appreciate the most.  It goes like this:
I still believe that you’ll come knocking on my door
When I least expect you to
You give me something I can hold
You pull me through, cuz that’s what you do,
That’s what you do love
Yeah, that’s what you do love
When I first heard the lyrics I thought my myself that she nailed it but then I asked myself why it resonated so much with me.  It took awhile but finally it dawned on me this last weekend that it is so true in my experience in the DR, and not just with SM but with finding love through all of the people down there.  I was not looking for love the first time I went down.  I was still hurt and raw from SHF.  I mean I was healing and it was definitely easier but I was still confused and a little afraid about my future.  What I found there was a different type of love.  It was something I could hold and it came to me even though I wasn't looking - it knocked on MY door.  The love I found there pulled me through to a new place in my life, one of joy and passion.  It was love that did that.  Nothing else.

Then SM.  I actually told myself I would not look for love in October other than what I had with my kiddos.  I knew the traps and I was prepared to stand up to them.  But not only did love knock at my door then, it knocked me over.

And if it wasn't for my relationship with SHF I never would have bought an extra week of vacation for 2013.  I never would have been able to go to the DR a second time that year.  If not for my breakup and falling in love in the spring with the program and the country and the kids, I never would have returned in October.  I never would have met this wonderful man who continues to surprise me every day. 

It's a small thing but when I look at all of those contingencies - the fact that my first trip got pushed back a few months giving me more time to be on my feet and less afraid of being hurt by any being, the anger I felt over the cost of that extra week of vacation every month, the chance that I chose SM's school to attend, the chance that Bruna finished up at the aquarium at just the right moment to call Jonathan so he would pick her up and we would met on Sunday instead of the next day at school so she could invite me to go dancing with her and SM, the chance that Bruna is the one person from Brazil who doesn't dance, the chance that I had gotten into Zumba years before and knew how to Bachata and Merengue because of it even though I am no dancer.......  I don't believe it's chance people.  There is simply no way ALL of those stars aligned to fill my life with the love I'm currently experiencing.  It's a plan.  And I'm thankful for it.  It gives me deep peace.

Sort of like that crazy plan of a Savior knocking on my door. All the while filled with a love I will never quite understand. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014


I step outside and am hit by heat and smoke.

I am transported to Barahona. 
I am Restless.


Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Tune Tuesday - IF:VRL

I went to a great conference at church this last weekend.  It really does deserve a blog entry of it's own and maybe one will come but I'm frantically running around, getting ready to go back to the DR with a team of 6 in a week and a half and I'm just not sure I have the brain space or the time to get one out.  For now a Tune Tuesday will have to do.

This was one of the songs we sang during worship on Saturday morning.  I either haven't paid attention to the lyrics of this song or I haven't heard it before this weekend.  The weekend for me was all about wrestling with the question of what God is calling for me to do "next".

My "If God is Real Then......" became:

If God is real then I can't allow my fear to limit his grand plan for my life.
We'll see where that goes from here in the reflection and prayer process.  For now, the song.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without boarders
let me walk upon the water, wherever you would call me.
take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

I will call upon your name,
and keep my eyes above the waves,
when oceans rise,
my soul will rest in your embrace,
i am yours
and you are mine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"But he's brown"

I sat on the plane next to the most precocious four year old in early April on a quick flight to Seattle.  She started talking to me almost immediately after I sat down and at one point asked me why I had to read my book because it was interrupting our conversation.  She told me the man her mom was talking to was "her friend" (not her dad who it really was) and asked me all kinds of personal questions.  At one point she asked if I was married and since I said I wasn't she asked me about my boyfriend - assuming if I wasn't married I was at least in a romantic relationship of some type.  She asked to see pictures of my dog and my cat and then asked to see pictures of my boyfriend.  I have a couple on my phone so I showed her one of us on the beach.  She looked at it for a long time and then got a quizzical look on her face and said to me, "but he's brown."  I laughed and said that he was and told her that he didn't even live in America and that he spoke Spanish not English.  Her eyes were huge.

It has been something that I've thought about a lot since meeting SM.  Growing up my parents never said "you can't date someone of a different race" but it was sort of known that while they weren't prejudice they realized life would be more difficult in a mixed race couple.  I believe our society has come a long way since I was living in my parent's home but I am aware that there will be some reactions from people, especially those of an older generation, that will be wide eyed like Chloe was.

CB and I have laughed for years and years about bringing home a "black boyfriend" and what that would mean to our families.  I think in our joking we never realized we should be aware of the fact that this actually wasn't out of the realm of possibility.  All of a sudden it is reality in my life and I worry a little about societal pressures.  I was worried about my family's reaction.  I think about being outside of the DR together where white/brown couples are not at all uncommon and what that will be like.  Will I be uncomfortable?  What will the prejudices be that we face?

And now I've started thinking about our kiddos.  If we have kids, which SM really wants, what does that mean in school?  I expressed some concerns about the schools automatically placing a darker skinned child, especially a boy, in a lower position than a lighter skinned child to the girls on our recent Girls Weekend.  They are all teachers and I was wondering what their take on that might be.  Club A is also thinking about some similar issues in her life so it was an interesting conversation to have, one I never expected to have in my life.  Their insight was very eye opening and sadly not all that surprising.  They didn't sugarcoat things by saying they would be treated exactly like everyone else, especially if it was a boy, but they did say teachers obviously try their best to bring out and expect the best of everyone.  I do believe some of the policies in the districts work against kids of color in areas that are predominately white and it concerns me and they shared my concerns and expressed frustration.

It is amazing how once those issues become personal they take on a new life.  I've watched a few movies lately and read some books that talk about the struggle African Americans had in moving toward equality and how they have been dealt with in that process.  I have always been amazed by the way people treated each other simply because a difference in color of skin but now my heart has been broken by it.  I can't imagine treating SM any different just because his skin is darker than mine.  To me, that isn't really even a part of him.  Yes, his culture is different, in so many ways I'm still discovering, but his skin color doesn't make him any different than me.

I find myself noticing darker skinned people more often now and being drawn to them in a way I wasn't in the past.  I was at a book giveaway earlier today and I spent a lot of the morning visiting with the kids.  I enjoyed each of them but the darker skinned kids made my heart flip.  Some of that is I miss SM and the darker skin makes me feel closer to him but it also is just new eyes that come from life experience which has opened my world view a bit.  Or a lot. 

I never thought my story would be this but it is so I'm rolling with it.  My heart is raw in new ways.  No matter the outcome of my relationship with SM I believe it will end up making me a better, richer person.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tune Tuesday - yellow lines and tiremarks

I am not ashamed to admit I have a crush on Sara Bareilles - not in a I want to break up for my boyfriend for her kind of way but most definitely in a I wish I had her chops and even 1/3 of her talent kind of way.  She is weird looking and has a style that has yet to  be duplicated.  I listen to one of her ablums at least once a week.  She is a talented singer, song writer and musician.  If you are on Instagram I suggest following her.  See?  Crush.

Enjoy this song that I currently often sing in my car at the top of my lungs with the windows down.

Also, I know I've been slacking on the writing on here lately.  We are short staffed at work and I've been working like a mad person leaving me out of time to do anything but crash when I'm not at work but I have a couple of entries that have been rolling around in my head/heart.  I hope to get them out here shortly.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tune Tuesday - happy birthday Adam

Happy Birthday to the sexiest man alive.  In honor of your big day here is my favorite Maroon 5 song (so much so it was my ringtone when I called SHF).  I listened to it on my walk in the sunshine today and it always brings a goofy grin to my face.

I hope to see you again this year (and no getting rained out this time!).

Monday, March 10, 2014

My "friend" in bavaro

I was recently catching up on a friend and fellow bloggers blog and she wrote something that struck me. 

I've been hesitant to even write about this...fear of jinxing myself starts to creep into my head. But then as a Christian I know that I shouldn't believe in the concept that saying something will then cause something bad to happen - that would go against the belief that God is in control. But I digress.
Ahhh those words that I had read on her blog before but that hit me today for whatever reason.  I've been holding back on kind of a big thing that's been going on in my life, for many reasons but also, after reflection on the situation, because of fear.  The close everyday people in my life know what has been going on but many outside of that small group have been in the dark.  I've been slowly revealing what's going on to people but I've been really nervous about divulging too much and I've sort of realized it's because of exactly what Phinney Girl wrote in her blog - I'm afraid I'll jinx it.  I'm having a tough time trusting the situation.  And yet I want to tell everyone.  I want to write about it every day.  I want to brag on social media.

So here goes:

I'm pregnant.

Oh wait - no, that's Phinney Girl.

BUT I do have a really cute boyfriend who I have fallen pretty hard in love with. (Seems a little anticlimactic now.  Maybe I should have skipped the pregnancy tease.)  The tough part is he's Dominican.  You might have guessed that given the title of this blog entry (if you read my other entries).  A friend of mine who I told about him recently said she wasn't surprised at all that I would fall in love in the Dominican Republic.  She said for me to go to The DR and fall so completely in love with the people and everything going on down there it seemed almost impossible that I wouldn't. 

SM and I met in October (a fun story which you have actually read a lot of on here - I just left out the kissing.  I'll add in the kissing in a later entry. haha) and it was a pretty immediate thing (as in five hours after my arrival - so much for my resolution on the way down there that time to not fall for any Dominican Man Tricks) which during the last five months I've expected to go away.  I've been having a tough time trusting it is actually a real thing.  I never thought this would be my story.  I have never wanted a long distance relationship.  I have never wanted a relationship with a person who doesn't speak the same native language as I do.  I have never wanted a relationship that is just sort of difficult.  Not us, we are easy, almost too easy, but the circumstances are tough.  There are some big cultural differences that were really difficult for me this last trip down.  Immigration is RIDICULOUS.  I really just want to get him here for a visit and there has been roadblock after roadblock from the United States side of things.  It's frustrating but I love the guy so what can I do?

That "L" word or "Q" word in Spanish.  It has loomed large in our relationship since the beginning.  SM is Latino and feels deeply with great emotion.  It's actually one of the things I really love about him.  He said he was in love with me before I left the DR in October but this wasn't something I was ready to feel and express in return.  I'm one to fall quickly usually but this time I've been really hesitant and not all that optimistic.  I have blamed it on the distance and other practical difficulties; Club A blames it on SHF.  After some reflection I think we are both right.  I don't quite trust SM to not hurt me.  It isn't anything he's done and I realize that.  The pain that was caused by SHF hasn't quite left my consciousness.  I think I would be stupid to not at least keep it in mind but I also know I need to fight the fear that creeps in.  With great risk comes great reward, but also risk of great loss.  If I let SHF steal the joy this wonderful man brings to my life I let him win again.  That's something I am not willing to allow.

So I'm trying really hard to push through the fear and just trust that this man who loves me and who I can say comfortably now I have fallen in love with as well is for real.  I am not stupid - I've tackled the issue many of you may be thinking about right now as concerned and loving friends and I can say with utmost certainty this is not a "green card relationship".  SM gets offended when I mention that people think about that and I can't say I blame him but I also know I went there and it took some good "sussing out" to really get to a point where I have been able to move beyond that concern.  No Dominican Man Tricks from him.  He's legit.

We spent the last weekend I was in The DR in February in Bavaro.  I had no idea at the time I was making the plans just how important for our relationship the time outside of Santo Domingo would become.  That time really solidified who SM is and who I am with him.  It makes it just that much more difficult to be over 3500 miles away.  I'm thankful for the technology that has allowed us to be in contact basically every day since we met in October but it isn't quite the same as being able to lean over and kiss him square on the mouth. Those moments in our story have to be far apart in time for now.

I go back to Barahona in June if God puts the team together I'm praying for.  I'm hopeful SM will get to spend some of the week there as well.  I want him to meet my kids and see the program I've fallen as deeply in love with as I have him.  I hope to stay a few extra days after the team leaves to have some time together.  After that it's up to The Plan.  Who knows what's in store but I never expected this to be part of my life's story in the first place so I have to believe God is big enough to take care of it if it is right. 

Trust.  I've never had an issue with that concept before.  Why start now?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A cacophony of sounds

ca·coph·o·ny [kuh-kof-uh-nee] 
noun, plural ca·coph·o·nies.
1. harsh discordance of sound; dissonance: a cacophony of hoots, cackles, and wails.
2. a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds: the cacophony produced by city traffic at midday.
3. Music. frequent use of discords of a harshness and relationship difficult to understand.
I just completed another nine day trip to the Dominican Republic which included six days in Santo Domingo.  Since being home multiple people have asked how my trip was and my response has been a resounding wonderful………and hard.

Today at lunch after that response my coworker asked me to elaborate.  I explained to her that living in Santo Domingo is a difficult thing for me.  I’m not one to love living in a big city.  I’ve always lived in the suburbs and love the fact that my house now backs up to a working wheat field.  About midweek last week I was lying in bed in the early hours of the morning and listening to the sounds outside my apartment.  All I could hear were birds singing.  It was actually really wonderful.  Being in the depths of winter in Spokane I haven’t heard a bird in probably about three months.  I drifted off to sleep and was awoken about two hours later to the sounds of people yelling, car horns, radios blasting and men selling their goods through loudspeakers – all before 7am.  I sighed in exasperation and counted the days until I would be leaving the city.  It had started to wear on me. 

I knew that in a few minutes I had to get up and go face a city filled with people who tend to be loud (which I love about them but can get overwhelming) and who also live in very close proximity to one another.  In addition, it was going to be a day filled with overwhelming language instruction and challenges in communicating and understanding cultural differences.  My language skills are far from “good” but they are getting better and I can muddle through a bit better but the classes were still very difficult and at times I just wanted to close my ears to the words.   I found myself exhausted before I got out of bed most mornings, having not slept great on the too hard bed and usually not having eaten enough the day before really only to my own fault (I lost 8 pounds while I was there this time.  Now if only I could replicate that at home). 
But even with the feeling of exhaustion I was always quick to get up and face the day.  I knew there would be moments when I couldn’t hear Miley’s teaching over the car alarms and I knew there would be times when I would feel the stares of people as I walked through the crowds down the street but for some reason, while there, I was always filled with such joy.  The reason for that really boils down to the simple things – the humor I found in having 25 people in a 15 passenger vehicle, the kind woman at the restaurant where I would usually get lunch who by the end of the week began insisting on giving me suggestions for what to eat, and not taking my head shaking no as an answer, Santo Domingo coffee brewing at school, the old woman cleaning the school who always tried to talk to me no matter how many times I apologized for not understanding, the man with a car washing business outside my apartment (really he just sat on a bucket and would wash cars in the street when people would drop them off) who was always the first to greet me with a “Buenos Dias” in the mornings and my ever growing and deepening friendships I have developed in the city.  I knew I would run into Jonathan usually about every other day with his million (and a half) dollar smile who would take my hand, kiss my cheek and send me on my way.  I knew I would get a hug from Luis, Miley and/or Berenice and I knew my fellow classmates would share conspiratorial glances throughout the morning as we all struggled to understand what Miley was trying to teach us.

I spent the last three days of my trip in Bavaro on the beach and I was in such need of the quiet that it was like heaven. (more on that in the future)  As we rode the bus back to Santo Domingo the constant “oh no oh no oh no” in my head got slowly louder and louder as signs of the city increased.  At first I thought it was because I was heading back into the hustle and noise but as the city limits approached I realized it was because I was going to be leaving the place that has become such a huge part of me and that, despite wearing on me, has an iron hold on my heart.

The silence of that last day was shared with my friend who had gone to Bavaro with me.  I think we both realized my trip had come to an end and the reality of the sadness of it moved me to a place where I couldn’t really share words.  Barely a dozen words were spoken between us from the beginning of the day to our arrival back in Santo Domingo.  Our friendship is such that we can move in tandem without them and I knew if I tried to add my voice to the noise of Santo Domingo it would end up being in sobs.  Within the clash of sounds that make up Santo Domingo, my heart was anything but silent.

And maybe that’s the reason I love the city despite the weariness.  It makes my heart feel more alive than it ever has been before.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Welcome to the new year

I am 100% a resolution maker and honestly usually keeper.  Sure there are times when I don't keep ALL of the resolutions I make but usually if I have it in my head to do three things I'll accomplish at least one of them.  Last year the one I did manage to successfully complete was a complete reading of the Bible.  I had never done it before but I am happy to report I will never again have to say - I've never read the whole Bible.  Cover to cover - check.  Parts of it were great.  Parts of it were really tough.  I don't think it would be much of an accomplishment if it wasn't difficult at times.

One year I decided to become a triathlete - check.

One year I decided to go to one movie in the theatre every month for a whole year - check.

This year I wasn't sure I would make any resolutions but then I decided I had to. 

The day after Christmas I spent almost the entire day at the spa.  I had a soak, a facial AND a massage.  I used the gym before and had a good work out and I spent more than two hours after my treatments enjoying the view of the lake with my book and the wine they continued to bring me as I sat there.  It was wonderful.

I've decided 2014 is going to be a year where I am intentional about doing things that make me happy.  Now before you think - wow, selfish - let me go a little further.  When I was in my second year of law school, as stated above, I decided to go to a movie once a month in the theatre.  I love going to the movies but I'm not very good about going almost unless I put it on my "to do list".  The other issue is that I don't like going to the movies by myself.  So as I went round and round about whether this was something I really wanted to do this year I decided it would be a way to spend some time with a friend or two every month.  Why not be intentional about asking a friend to go see a movie once a month?  There is something bonding about going to a movie and talking about it, so I decided it will be an excuse, once a month, to have a date with a different movie going friend.  I know some people aren't really movie goers so it won't be up everyone's alley but for a good amount of my friends they would be just as happy as I would be to have an excuse to go.

For those who aren't movie goers, don't worry, I have a solution.  The second thing I thought about that makes me happy is going out to eat breakfast.  I thought to myself, what if I went to breakfast once a month with a different friend - my treat of course - and spent some very intentional time with that person over a cup of hot coffee and some greasy hash browns?  There are a lot of restaurants in Spokane that are known for their breakfast.  It seemed like a good opportunity to reach out to different people during the year for a meal which might not be rushed and one that is often neglected.

So that's it.  Those are the two things I resolve to do in 2014.  Breakfast out and movies. Bree helped me check off the movie for January this weekend.  My first breakfast date is looming on the horizon; unbeknownst to the person I will be sharing it with.  It seems like 2014 is going to be a good year.