Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: firsts

Yesterday my sister-in-law (Annie) and I threw my other sister-in-law (Maggie) her very first shower for her very first little one. This will be my very first nephew and it was also the very first shower I have ever helped throw. It was also the first time I've seen Maggie since she has begun to "look" pregnant. I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas whenever I think about my nephew being born. It's that childlike excitement I was kind of worried you grew out of as you got older. The kind that fills up your whole stomach and you can't help but chatter and sing really loud just thinking about them. I've just realized that God saves that feeling for us as adults for those really big, life changing, joy-filled moments so that we don't take them for granted. He's pretty smart like that.

Annie and I decided to use baby books to decorate with. Considering that my future children are pretty much my number one favorite thing to daydream about I knew exactly which books I wanted to get for my little nephew, the same ones I loved growing up and the same ones I imagine reading to our kids one day. :) I was only able to find two of them yesterday, but it's already got my mind turning about a few used book store visits in my near future. (When did and why are children's books so goshdarned expensive now??? $8??)
"Goodnight Moon" and "The Poky Little Puppy"
I also made the cupcakes. :) She is decorating his room in a nautical theme so I had fun decorating with sailboats and greens and blues.

And of course no baby shower (or blog entry) would be complete without my two favorite little ones making an appearance.
Sportin' Aunt Gie Gie's boots

And then Isabella took some time to take a few artistic photos of her own. I gave each one it's own title for posterity's sake (whatever that means). :)
"Emerging Aunt Lauren" - Isabella, age 4
"Dino at my Feet" - Isabella, age 4
"Princess Shoes (Ariel view)" - Isabella, age 4
It's hard to explained just how blessed we are as a family. Or just how adorable my sister-in-law is pregnant with her cowboy boots on. :)
I am so thankful for all of the little ones and the little ways God continues to whisper his intent for me in life (as a mother). I also know that as much as I would like to expedite the process, he is also making it glaringly clear that we've both still got a little growing up to do (oh you know and a little schooling to finish).

Jason's parents came to spend the night with us last night and his mom and I spent some time talking about everything, including my parenting dreams. I talked to her about my dreams of adopting, of overseas adoption and special needs adoption and I can't help but be continually thankful for how simple the seed that was planted by a little blog called Ni Hao Ya'll has grown in my heart to be an assuredly hopeful truth in our future. Again, funny how God works in the most mysteriously simple ways. I also accidentally spilled the beans about one of our baby names...yes sometimes I get a little carried away with the excitement of possibility. But it was one of those serendipitous moments that could not be ignored, and the look on her face and truthful assurance in her voice as she spoke of the testimony in the name made me even more sure than ever of God's working in our hearts...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Chaotically Imperfect (even in the silence)

"Dear Chicago" - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

Sometimes all I wish
is for my wondering mind,
in all it's crafting, perplexing artistry--
sometimes I just wish it'd be still.
and I wish for these antsy hands, with their fumbling, finicky fingers
to grab hold of each opposing and maybe just rest for awhile.
and these roaming eyes with their far and away glance,
and this bumbling mouth with its sputtering lips and spitfire tongue--
I wish they'd all just come to a consensus on an extended vacation, buy a one way ticket
to an island real far away. and maybe they could even share a cocktail
and a room with a sign claiming, "Do Not Disturb", rent it out on an extended stay.

Sometimes I just wish
for a little rest for an overdriven mind, maybe just a little soothing of these callused hands.
It'd be nice to spend a day with a pair of future-focused eyes,
and lips with just a little more mature assurity.

Sometimes I just wish for a moment to just be quietly,
a moment to breath and give thanks.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

i enjoy

*I wrote this list two years ago in an online journal long since forgotten. It is amazing how I can read this list and each and every single thing on it still brings a huge smile to my face. I am a simple girl with simple joys in life. :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008
current mood: blissful
i enjoy

late nights with myself.
the way that a soft tipped pen feels on a clean sheet of paper.
turning my paper sideways to write with my left hand.
phone calls with friends who are hours away.
the fact that they get it and it isn't hard to understand.
that there's a website where you can type in artists you enjoy and it will discover new ones for you.
the sound of my own voice in the shower.
when my eyes well up during worship.
how my dad is always genuinely happy to hear from me.
appreciation, given or received.
the way that tank tops conform to my body.
snuggling in to a warm bed in a cold room.
clean sheets.
a good book that keeps me up until 5 AM because i just, can't, put it down.
the fact that i give a damn good hug.
looking you in the eye and giving you a big smile.
coffee, in its many shapes, designs, formats, and occasions; always coffee.
text message conversations just because.
mango margaritas with maggie.
ice hockey spectating.
coffee shops, especially those that are open 24 hours a day.
the idea of myself, in a coffee shop, at 2 AM cramming for a test with fellow procrastinators.
catching up with an old friend.
that feeling after a good workout.
how much i really miss Rome.
long walks with my Mom.
screaming, talking, laughing at the top of my lungs.
how i always feel compelled to tell the absolute truth.
how i often feel crazy.
listening to two people have an entire conversation and feeling like i was an actual part of it without saying a single word.
facebook stalking.
photographing those moments in life that might have otherwise been forgotten.
making funny faces.
watching home movies of myself and having others be as entertained as i am by, well, myself.
the hope of what's to come.
waking up early.
the generosity of my friends.
discovering myself with him.
playing several hours of uno, and coming out even.
my new, careful obsession with sudoku.
mahjong, spider solitaire, catch phrase, & oceanopoly.
the thought of having children, me as a mother.
taking care of people.
giving back rubs.
the real end of a long arduous fight.
really having a grip on what i want to do next.
thinking about what i'm going to eat next.
slide tackling someone.
popping my ankle and knee.
going shopping, when i have the money and i'm really in the mood...I have to REALLY be in the mood.
love, always.
waking up the neighbors.
when I'm reading the Bible and it really starts to make sense.
my brother and sister.
having a place for everything and everything in its place, at least in my mind.
how you can sing at the top of your lungs at a concert and everyone else is just singing right along with you.
cooking, particularly of the chicken nature.
taking a day off from my routine to sleep.
how goofy i am when i wake up from a nap.
sitting on the couch with my roommate and watching tv.
the fact that i still want to learn to play guitar.
the fact that i know someone else who has just as many idiosyncrasies as i do.
that my best friend misses me just as much as i do him.
16 page long text messages.
that i never thought he existed, and maybe more that he actually does.
pilates, i think.
spaghetti, sushi, green tea, ice cream, quizno's, schroeders, black beans, peanut butter, fajitas & quesadillas.
violet, the color, and forest green too.
being on the outside of a terrible situation.
wearing my glasses and touching my eyeball because i can.
sweatpants and the fact that i just don't care.
hairholders - the best invention ever.
the thing that jason can do with his eyes.
the fact that i can call it a channel changer if i want to.
green apple slushies with real caramel in them - on a hot day of course.
the fact that i can go anywhere in rome and know at least 3-5 people.
how much better it feels after writing it all out.
hair clips and hot rolling my hair.
my cell phone.
receiving flowers on special occasions.
when i actually do something i said i was going to do.
my handy dandy planner.
flossing my teeth while i'm driving.
listening to my ipod while i'm driving.
chewing on ice.
when it's okay to be outspoken.
remembering hannah, joy, & my granddaddy.
singing a duet with my roommate, rachel, jason, page, and whoever else wants to chime in.
my penguin calendar. hazelnut cream candles. incense.
Isabella and how she remembers my name and always runs to give me a hug.
having a good idea and attempting a surprise.
Thanksgiving at my grandmother's.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The musings of a joyful girl (who often thinks a little too much)

I do believe, and I hope you'd agree that our minds are the strongest of our assets.
They decide and determine each of our movements from birth to our very last breath.
They are the means by which we conclude just who we dream to be, and through which these dreams are originally devised.
They are where we formulate the first syllables of the words we've heard;
where we've spent the first year stumbling through the muddled mess of baby speak to find expression, in ourselves.
This mushy mess of mater is where we hide our darkest secrets, where we go to pray, and somehow we manage to keep in there a memory of each and every other we've ever been, or seen, or wished to know.
The most incredible thing, to me, is that sometimes a memory, a want, or a yearning can come on powerfully as if out of thin air and overtake every single cell that might have been just moments before consumed in something else. How a scent, a sight, or a single note of a single song can elicit such an immediate and seemingly intuitive response that we have little choice but to acknowledge and...if we close our eyes long enough, relive it. Our simple minds also have the incredible ability to overcome the hardest of hardships; to shut down if it becomes too much for our meager bodies to handle; to protect us from the ignorance of others or better yet from ourselves.
It is our most precious container. A place where sometime things get a little jumbled up in there and a cloud of confusion is sensed amidst the normalcy of life. We sense that things are just a little bit askew.
In there we suddenly become violently aware of our bodies ability to live, and the beat of our heart, the pacemaker of thought, starts to race and likewise our thoughts do the same. And sometimes it decides that we are suddenly afraid of breath, because with it comes the reality of world that just does not seem to correlate with what we've thought of as right. Because inside our minds is ingrained the truth of how things ought to be.
Inside the mess of gray there are clearly written blacks and whites (the wrongs and the rights) and although we were taught from an early age to share and use kind words; there is some things deeper within our synapses that causes such an uncomfortable churning in our stomach, such a twinge in the muscle fibers of our heart that we know that we were meant for something so much more than this. And that even when all is right within the world, that it is still unwell.
Somehow, even when we cannot see or hear or speak of the uneasiness. Somehow, somewhere inside these brains of ours we know that this beautiful Earth was intended for something much more than it's current use.

We have the power to engage in life in such a way as God intended. To really give of ourselves completely, to everyone else. To really imprint permanently, positively in a way that those who come after us will be unable to ignore. To use our greatest assets in such a way that those around us know exactly what that uneasiness inside themselves in. So that they may not be lacking in the truth of Love in all of its capacities. Because we have an infinite ability to give Love and spread Love because His Love itself is infinite.

Ni Hao Y'all

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

oh life.

I think it's pretty incredible that you can meet someone and that an initial kinetic energy, a quick catch of the eye, and a subtle touch of skin as you share a laugh can turn into something so solid--something so sure that they promise to take care of you despite every one of your short comings and you are so sure of that promise that you take their name. From the moment we are born we take our father's name with the assured promise that our daddies will be just that, our daddies no matter what. Through all of the late nights spent rocking us back to sleep to the harsh words and spiteful actions of the teenage years. The love and security of a daddy is something that cannot be compared. And still we meet the one who carries us safely out of that childhood security blanket and into an awakened understanding of self. Of self with that someone else. And you finally understand just how, or atleast you hope to, your mom and dad loved each other so much that they were capable of creating and loving you. Because the loved contained between the two, between the ones who share a name, is just too much not to create something bigger and better than the two of them alone...and so the sacred cycle of life continues and two become one that then "once upon a time" become three.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mission Statement

I will do this.
"Secrets" - One Republic

I will fulfilled, for once, a desire laid deep inside that I've yet to push myself towards.
"Don't Rain On My Parade" - Glee Cast

I will accomplish this, through every drop of sweat, every stitch in my side, & every cramp in my lung.
"Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen

I will prove this to myself.
"I Want Something To Live For" - The Rocket Summer

I will prove the breadth of my strength.
"Pride" - Syntax

I will do this for her. Because she never had the chance; her joy has permanently infected my soul.
"Street Lights" - Kayne West

I will banish all laziness and self-deprecating thoughts; I will embrace the beauty of me.
"Do Better" - Say Anything
I will accomplish all that is set before me with a renewed zest for life.
"Soldier" - Ingrid Michaelson

I will become the woman I would hope for my children to have.
"Psalm 145" - Shane & Shane

I am going to thrive on the blessing of each and every breath. Starting now.
"Hills and Valleys" - The Rocket Summer

Monday, August 2, 2010

big picture

sometimes things go unnoticed until you take a step back and put the "big picture" into focus. once you can step away from all of the world and its constant buzz of activity and just take a look at the snapshots and moments in life you've captured. sometimes you'll realize that there were serendipitous moments left their for you that weren't meant to be discovered until you took a second glance. sometimes there are things we just cannot get until we've had a little more experience. a little more time to acknowledge the true importance of those little pauses in life that you felt compelled to stop and appreciate something you didn't even know was there.

sometimes, even still, we are taken by surprised and brought to a moment of complete transformation and revelation; even by something as simple as a hike, on a trail, on a random day, nothing particularly life changing...sometimes it can really make you stop and suddenly everything, everything and everyone really important comes sharply into focus.

Psalms 77:3 "I remember you, O God, and I groaned; I mused and my spirit grew faint. Selah"

Ni Hao Y'all