Sunday, September 26, 2010

How can you stay outside? There's a beautiful mess inside

Sometimes, even still, there is music that'll sneak up on me and still completely astonish me. The fact that there is someone out there experiencing, like i've said before so many times, the exact same sort of living that I am and is able to express, not just the words but the notes that perfectly pair with, IT.
Those times going on that no one else can understand, but this random person, in some random place, with her own random experiences that somehow fell into rhythmic place with mine.

And it makes me want to share it with the whole wide world.

just dance.

Today, after being completely mesmerized by one too many episodes of "Dancing with the Stars", I choreographed an impromptu ballet/hip-hop dance put on for a completely captivated audience of 2, The Fish Guy and the dog....Oh dreams of grandeur never realized...

I can remember how agonizing it was to try and get me to go to ballet class, especially when it required tights or wearing anything pink, I was not the most compliant little girl by any means. I do, however, remember having a love for jazz and those sassy black shoes that came with. I remember the excitement of costume day that seemed to make the many torturous hours standing in line at the bar worthwhile. I spent the better part of ages 3 to 10 at the Dance Centre, tapping my little heart and whining the whole way through. I choose soccer over dance the split second I was given a chance and never looked back, until now that is.
I watch longingly as those incredibly spirited individuals spill their souls, contorting and twisting their bodies in ways that leave even the viewer breathless. A grace and power no athlete could ever hope to achieve. The ultimate compliment to any good song, to be able to move and sway your body that everyone around you just gets it. Telling the whole story without a word...
To be young again. To be able to do it over, appreciate what once I came to abhor. These are things your parents warn you about, don't give up now, you'll regret it, live for each moment because time surely flies by...and it's reminders like this that remind me that I still have time to dance. That I can still take these feelings bubbling up inside and trip my way across my very own dance floor.

Whether it be the carpet in my living room, the podium at graduation, my best friend's wedding reception, or in a room filled with children arms flailing, laughter filling....suddenly I find it hard to remember what it was I regretted about living this life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I cannot wait to braid our little girl's hair one day.
I imagine threading, turning, and twisting each little piece of hair on their heads to form perfect little french braids. I imagine their inevitable brown head little selves all lined up on Easter morning, in their matching dresses. I imagine an especially adorable little one with jet black hair, snuggled up close to her oldest sister, inseparable best friends. I imagine little brown and black haired boys, with permanent dirt stains on their knees, rushing clumsily around from the backyard to line up with their sisters, the littlest one lagging behind and his daddy scoops him and carries him over on his shoulders...I imagine braids and my heart trails off into the bigger, better, fuller dreams of family, of future. I dream and my heart swells.
But until that day comes I will continue to practice with all my might, perfecting the braid that will one day adore the greatest blessing we have yet to experience.
"you are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalms 32:7

 "I Dreamed a Dream" - Glee

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

truths #2

"Starting Now" - Ingrid Michaelson

I plan to run 4 good miles.
I plan to put together a comprehensive list of study "musts" and then to sit down and complete each one.
I plan to pack and take my lunch to school (and REPEAT).
I promise to check all media outlets only ONCE during the entire day.
I pledge to listen, engage at least once, and take good notes in each and every class.
I will wake up early and begin my quiet time, I will immerse myself in the Good Word, with a good cup of coffee and relaxing music.
I am going to wake up with a positive outlook, a hopeful attitude, and a joyful spirit.
Is going to be just a little bit different than today.
I refuse to dwell in what I CANNOT and focus on who I know I can, be.

I sure can't wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: abilities

Today as I was making the hour and a half trek back home from my sister-in-law's I stopped along the way to pick up Panera old faithful for dinner. :) Although I do enjoy the epic sing along that occurs in my car on any and every drive I got just a little bit antsy and with it resulted one of my few hidden talents.
Yes my friends I am one of those few, one of the proud who can indeed wear a spoon on the tip of my nose. With the commencing of said spoon wearing I began to think about all of the random special anatomical abilities I possess.
There's the crossing one eye ability.
Bending my middle three fingers at only the most distal (closest to the tips) joints.
And then of course the platisma (tendons of the muscles in your neck) pop out routine.
Not to mention the undocumented gerbil-like throat noise. It gets'em every time.
As I thought about all of the random this and thats I can do with my body (which I like to think are pretty cool). I started thinking about all of the bigger life special abilities I possess. 
Like my extraordinary ability to consume inordinate amounts of coffee.
Or how I cannot just jot down a quick "Thank You" note, I feel the need to make each and every one personal and poetic. 
And along the same lines how I really can write some pretty poetic things sometimes. And how those things can give me chills when I read them back later on.
How I have this uncanny ability of making my voice carry for miles without even trying, really.
How I can form very deep, immediate bonds with people--how I prefer to be a part of the few, not the gaggle or school.
 How I know it in my bones that home is really where the heart of life is. Or how I have the reflexive ability to remember words of song I've heard two or three times; or even words of songs I heard some 15 years ago...
"I'm goin' down to the library, gonna get a book check it in check it out. Gonna say "Hi" to the dictionary, gonna get a book check it in check it out..." Yes. As a matter of fact that was our Kindergarden graduation song. :)
How I'm directionally challenged (while my husband is a living, breathing GPS), how I have a compulsive need to chomp ice, how I am lacking in modesty, reservation, and even sometimes discretion. Sometimes things that are seemingly shortcomings, are really blessings in disguise. And sometimes things you wish were abilities, well sometimes I've just gotta learn the hard way how to grow up and out of said temperamental habits.

What are your hidden (or not so hidden) talents and abilities?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

our wedding day: part 2

 Jason and I choose to get married in the chapel on the campus where we first met. The campus where I spent many a day running for cross country, where I spent every summer working at camp, and where we first met, became quick friends, and even more quickly fell in love. It's a very simple, traditional chapel decorated mostly by the light that filled it in the early afternoon on our wedding day. It was a pretty perfect day.

 Jason's mom has this way of bringing out the absolute best in every single human being she encounters. She has taught me what it means to speak truth and light into every situation, guard your heart while at the same time encouraging with all of your might the one you love, and exemplifies to me the epitome of what it means to be a truly joyfully hospitable person.
 PS. I lucked out with this handsome man huh?
 He is my constant stronghold. Filling my heart with love, my mind with truth, and my spirit with constant words of affirmation and humor. Constantly challenging me to grow and inspiring me to mature as a woman and a faith-filled future mother.
He always keeps me real. With myself, with the current situation, with my perspective on life. He keeps me from going down the road of negativity and depression that I tend to like to stroll down. And he amplifies all the good in life that most have forgotten. He is my reminder of how good life could, and should be. How good it is. He also hates to wake up early (which I love), hates to draw attention to himself (which I thrive off of), hates to hold people up in line and love to do whatever he can for any and every human being he comes into contact with (i'm a little more selfish and I have a hard time sharing). He is quiet, I am brash (at times) and loud. He is respectful of personal space, I am a constantly chaotic tornado...
He is my quiet place and my constant possibility. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

i do declare.

Somedays I find myself in a very apathetic state about well, pretty much everything. These are the days I like to spend googling my favorite televisions shows and watching one after the other curled up on the couch. A horribly unproductive position to be in, I know, but also sometimes very much necessary to just unwind the mind. However, that being said it is very, VERY easy for me to get stuck in a routine of sorts and fall into a semi-permanent apathetic state. Which is never a good thing. I feel like it is necessary to remind myself, during times such as this as melodramatic as it may seem, that we are not promised every tomorrow. I know there is no reason to ever beat myself up for taking a day off from exercise or for spending a day away from my school books, BUT I also know that I have to keep myself in a close and careful check so as to insure that I do not settle into that permanently relaxed state. Because extended relaxation turns into apathy and apathy in my case quickly turns into disillusionment.
It is imperative to stay connected to life and the true intent of living. It is imperative to continue to constant ebb and flow of intensity activity and just breathing. This is a declaration to myself to remember this, to remember that I only have this allotted amount of time and so I need to put it to some darn good use!
Always take a step back, do a daily evaluation of myself, my attitude, and my intention for the day. And lastly, get to the darn thing and don't stop until it's done! Because realistically, we all feel so much better when our plate is sparkling clean then when it is filled to the brim.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

our wedding day: part 1

The morning of the wedding I'd like to say I remember what it felt like to wake up that morning knowing that today was the day everything would change. I do remember staying up late because of course I had yet to pack for the honeymoon and of course my mom was packing everything for me helping me pack everything at around midnight when we finally got home from the rehearsal event. I was completely useless, I just laid on the bed like a zombie with mountains of clothes all around me wanting nothing more than to fall fast asleep. Thank the Lord for my Moma and that last night in the house I'd spent my entire 22 years growing up in. There were no teary eyes, no reminiscing of moments when I was a baby; it was perfectly us, perfectly normal, and perfectly comfortable. It was the perfect way to spend my last evening as a Ms.
 The morning of the wedding began with hair appointments for me and all my ladies with the only woman I trust with my hair. She has done my hair for every single homecoming, prom, not to mention saved me from all of my rainbow of failed dyeing attempts. It was imperative to me that I have her on this day. The salon also provided bagels from Panera (YUM) and fresh fruit for us that morning. My good friend/God-send Amanda got up bright and early to bring me my necessary Starbucks for the big day. I love that woman (pictured below with the sleeve of glory on her arm). She also gave me the "Soon to Be Mrs. Shank" robe which I ended up wearing pretty much every single day of our honeymoon.
 Apparently it's necessary to tease the mess out of your hair...
 And then magically it becomes something beautiful....
 And your sister/MOH looks on with a joyfilled smile...
 and, like I said, I never doubted her skill because she always keeps it simple, elegant, and beautiful.
 She even did my make-up for me. I felt completely at ease and serene the entire morning....
 There was nothing but smiles and laughter as the girls spent the morning putting their own special twist on each of their hairdos. I am so thankful we decided to get married in my hometown. There is something about that little place that sets everything within me at ease. When I am surrounded by so much familiarity it is hard not to just be. It is hard not to experience anything but intended happiness.
 Not to mention I got to spend the morning with this sweet little face. :)

I cannot think of a more supportive core group of women in my life to have with me on the morning of our big day than these six. Jason's sisters, my sister, me, my best friend from college, best friend from high school, and best friend since birth. The circle was so full and complete that morning and it only served to amplify the reality of what was to come later that day...

Ni Hao Y'all

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"I Am Not Yours"

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love -- put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.
- "I Am Not Yours" - Sara Teasdale

Sometimes you stumble upon these little snippets of someone else that speak directly into your life at that very moment. Sometimes someone else, someone who died well before you were every even contemplated upon, sometimes they got what you are only just now experiencing in such a way that it instantly revolutionizes the way you originally understood, well, yourself. It changes the way you understand your very own emotions and that is something very few people can do with three simple verses. It is only amplified when much later put to music.
What an impassioned way to say something otherwise lost on most.