Friday, July 30, 2010

Bits of happiness

I've had a few projects in the works lately...and I finally managed to finish them!

I somehow erased the "before" picture of this cabinet. But just know that it was ugly. It was dark stained wood with a huge chunky square slab of wood for a handle. It was $3.00 at a church thrift shop. I painted it and then added the fabric birds. In the summer it will act as the "fan table" and in the winter as the "humidifier table."

The bird fabric is from Ikea, and is on one wall in his room. 

In my first post about the nursery we had been using the changing table as storage/shelving. At that time our sweet little baby would lay perfectly still and practically hand me the diaper when I was changing him. Welllll....that all changed when Lex entered the stage where I was forced to hire a cage fighter in order to get him to lay down long enough to change his diaper. We found it much easier to wrestle him on the changing table as opposed to the floor. So I needed to find a new shelf to move all his knick-knacks onto from the changing table. 

I found the perfect size small shelf at Goodwill for $6.
 I didn't even need to make any changes to it. 

I made a $6.88 change to my room but it makes me $100,000 happier. The fabric "headboard" used to be a pale shade of orange that I really had no bedding to compliment. I saw this blue sheet set on Walmart clearance. I thought I was buying two flat sheets but instead it ended up being a fitted sheet, pillow case, and one flat sheet. I didn't think it would work since it was a twin sized sheet hanging over a    King sized bed. But I've decided that I like it better this way. All I had to do was just put tiny slits in the top of the sheet to allow for the curtain rod.  The new headboard allowed me to dig out my old Ikea clearance $9.00 duvet. I think the blues compliment the pinks in my naked-lady drawing that hangs beside the bed. My bright room makes me cheery now every time I see it. It's amazing what a little color can do. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parallels of my porch

My mom is the typical "grandma gardener" (minus the fact that she hasn't reached her 50th birthday yet).  She loves nothing more then to toil around the yard each evening pruning, clipping, and potting. Her mother  also kept about a hundred thriving plants in her living room window at all times. I myself, did not inherit that particular gene in my thumb.

 1/100,000th of my grandma's window jungle 

I've tried kinda-sorta-hard for the past three years to keep a very minimal potted garden on my porch. In California this was a year-long task that I failed miserably at. I even resorted to several small cacti on one occasion- and managed to kill them all off as well (I think it all goes back to my theory about how my brain works. Please refer to the second listed bullet point. Flowers have to be watered more then just 85% of the time). BUT, once we moved to the midwest I was able to focus my horticulture talents into a seven month growing season. One afternoon early in the summer season I picked out a whole onslaught of yellow flowers from the grocery store greenhouse. I don't even know what type of flowers they are. They are just simple and yellow and perfect.

The flowers themselves were nothing breathtakingly beautiful, but I put them in cheerfully colored pots and planted plastic pinwheels throughout them. When I pulled into my parking spot the fist thing I would see straight ahead was my happy little porch. For the first time I had remained diligent about watering and caring for my flowers. My mom even noticed my tiny success and somehow thought I was ready to take care of a giant beautiful Calla Lily plant. 

Within a few days I noticed that the Calla Lilies were not  blooming yellow like their tag had indicated. Instead, they were pale violet with some traces of yellow in the base of each bloom. I was slightly disappointed because I had been expecting the Willy Wonka candy-yellow Lilies that I had in my wedding.

Then, at the peak of summer blooming, my world came crashing down. My husband was brutally honest with me (for perhaps, the first time in our marriage). The events that have transpired have reinvented my entire perception of reality. The very basic things in my life have not been as I perceived them. During this initial phase I spent a week away from home. When I returned I found that all of my simple, happy, yellow flowers were dry and withered. I felt exactly the same way. The thick green Calla Lily stems slowly broke off one-by-one and rotted. 

After a few days of intense numbness I picked myself up and made another trip to the grocery greenhouse. I was too stubborn to let my life get in the way of my first successful garden. I picked out another batch of simple flowers but this time they were all violet. It was therapeutic to tear the old yellow flowers into compost for my mother's garden. Good to create nourishing fertilizer from something so void of love and moisture. I dusted off the pinwheels and reset them amongst their new plum-hued friends. 

Now when I pull the car into my spot I see my porch and the mirror it holds to my life. I'm no longer blinded by my own happiness. I'm not yellow anymore, but I'm a beautiful shade of purple. Yellow and purple are complimentary colors on the color-wheel. When complimentry colors are placed next to each other they make each other appear brighter, more intense. Without purple seasons in my life I would never fully enjoy the intenseness of my yellow seasons. Somewhere in my future my life will be like my Calla Lily plant; pale violet that bleeds into a soft yellow. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I was feeling the very opposite of this Psalm
....until I read it. 

Wait on the Lord:
Be of good courage 
and he shall strengthen your heart; 
wait, I say on the Lord


I find it highly symbolic that he now sleeps nightly on our fold-out couch wrapped tightly in the blanket that we bought on our honeymoon. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

: (

Today I cried because my little brother is moving across the country in the morning. He has grown from the little boy I could not stand as a child, into such a respectable decent man. I need more decent men in my life right now and it sucks that he is leaving.

Today I cried because my little boy woke up this morning and simply WALKED away from his crib. Then he stood there for a few moments and then pointed at the light and said "wow." He is getting so big, and so old, so fast. I just feel the weight of his first birthday looming in my mind at all times. 16 days. Just 16 days away.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Birds of a feather

Sometimes God places people in our life who are our true soul mates, kindred spirits, confidantes. When my best friend entered my life seven years ago I gave her the not-so-friendly warning, "I don't expect our friendship to last long. I never end up being friends with girls for very long." And with that rude comment our friendship was bound by the ties of irony and her heart was meshed with mine for all eternity. Right now we are both in a season of life where unexpected events have happened that are out of our control. I don't think it's any mistake that we are both coping, searching, and learning a lot these days.

My feathered friend

At my group meeting last night we discussed how we all must be complete, whole, secure individuals before we can enter into a serious relationship or marriage. We can't look for our own security in our mate. We can't look for missing pieces of ourselves in our mate. We should all attempt to be full, well-rounded individuals in the Lord before we enter into a marriage. Man can never fill those holes in our hearts where the Holy Spirit should dwell.  Someone in my group described, "In nature, one of the most frightening things you can come across is a wounded animal. When we have spiritual holes in our heart we are much like a wounded animal." To enter into a relationship as a wounded animal will only create an unstable, volatile, situation that will come to a boiling-point at some moment or another. My best friend and I are trying to use this time away from our mates as a chance to really get to know ourselves as individual, unique, whole people. 

Tonight she sent me this verse which perfectly speaks to these same themes. We both have been putting our faith in flesh for too long... 

Jeremiah 17: 5-8

 5Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

 6For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

 7Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.

 8For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My turkeys are PARENTS!

Guess who I saw today?! My little lovies - and they had been busy since I saw them last. I stalked them on the side of the road (with my hazard lights flashing, what do you take me for? some type of idiot?), while leaning out my window, unable to find the "zoom" function fast enough on my phone. Ma and Pa Turkey felt threatened by my presence and decided it was much safer to lead their chicks across the highway to get away from the crazy camera lady. Take a deep breath and rest assured that they are all safe and accounted for. But, whewwww that was a close one. 

Please excuse my extremely bad cropping and zooming post production editing. 
Those turkeys waddle away too darn fast! 

love is...

"I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours all over everyone I love." - Conor Oberst

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The old man is snoring

 One of the very few things that I missed about living in the midwest when I was in California, were the summer thunderstorms. There is such an indescribable electric excitement in the air when the temperature suddenly shifts in the late evening and the thunderheads roll in. My husband has been amazed by our lightening storms since we've lived here this summer. One night a few months ago we came home late in a storm. The baby woke up and all three of us just sat on our back porch and watched the rain coming down in sheets at 3 a.m. It was breathtaking. The entire seven years that I lived in California I probably saw lightening ten times. Tonight was one of those nights when two hours ago the heavy, wet, 89 degree humidity was still hanging in the air...and now it's about 75 and beautifully, brilliantly, storming. One of my favorite authors has a fitting line in his book Little Children, "It's funny, in the middle of winter you can't even imagine a day like this. And if you could it would probably seem okay." When I was living in Anaheim I couldn't even imagine a storm like this. Sometimes it creeps up on me, that feeling of liking it here. 

"Even though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm." - Mark Hall

Friday, July 16, 2010


 "Waiting is one of the greatest things you can do to honor God. You do what you can. You prepare the best you can. You practice, rehearse and plan. Then simply walk through the next door he has waiting for you."   
 - Pierce

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Come all you weary with your heavy loads
Lay down your burdens find rest for your souls
Cause my yoke is easy and my burden is kind
I'll take yours upon me and you can take mine
- Dustin Kensrue


It is not you that shapes God, God shapes you. You are the work of God. Await the hand of the artist who does all things in due season.Offer God your heart, soft and pliable; and keep the form in which the artist has fashioned you. Let your clay be moist lest you grow hard and lose the imprint of God's fingers. 

- Saint Irenaeus

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yes, this is my life.

So tonight I went to a divorce support group. 

(WHAT!?!?!?  Huh, you ask? *bug eyes popping out of head* HUH??? YOU....? Divorce??!!!! What? *scratching head* YOU??? Yes, dear beloved readers I am just as shocked as you are. Believe me.)

So to say that "a lot has changed" in the last two months would be the understatement of the millennium. I don't want to go into too much personal detail here on the world wide web- but no, I didn't see it coming. No, I can not control the actions of my spouse. No, I didn't see it coming. Again I repeat, I didn't see it coming!! No, we hadn't been "having problems" or fighting. No, it isn't final. No, I didn't see it coming. 

Now that we have all that out of the way we can talk about the really good stuff. *A-hem*

 Eight years ago my mother drove me out to California to drop me off in the land of my dreams. On her tearful flight back to Nebraska she sat next to a businesswoman who worked in the medical industry. My mom shared her story of how she had just dropped me off to let me stretch my wings. The woman shared with my mom how she was a traveling single mother of four. By the end of the flight my mom had given my information to the woman and they had planned out my life. They schemed that I could work as the woman's nanny to pay my way though college.

When my mom called me and told me of the plan the next day I told her she was flat out crazy. CRAY- ZEE. There was no way that I was going to call up some stranger and ask if I could work for her. Noooooo way. Besides that, I had already secured myself a different nanning job within the first few days of living in Orange County. I was going to work for a family who had an autistic son and a dance studio. What could be more comfortable to me then special needs and tap shoes?

Well, the dance studio mother called me on my first day of work and told me not to come. Her husband had wanted someone who could commit to approximately five years of work. Since I planned to travel with my dance company I had no idea how long I would be around. So they fired me, before I could even begin. A few weeks went by and my bank account got lower and lower. The scrap of paper with the businesswoman's phone number on it started looking more and more appealing. Grudgingly, I gave the businesswoman a call. She loved me. I loved her and the kids, and the rest is history.

Businesswoman "Brooke" ended up having a serious relationship with a man who had two small children. Some days I ran a household of six kids, two of which were five year old twins, and two of which were named "Sierra." (Got all that?)  It was a fun time filled with backyard swimming lessons and letter-writing timeout sessions.

Fast forward to yesterday. Brooke was just as surprised as me to suddenly find herself back living in the humidity of the heartland instead of the dry Santa Ana winds of California. It's just crazy how our lives were so destined to intertwine again and again when we both need it. Recently she has told me how much of a savior I was to her at that time in her life. She was recently divorced and overwhelmed by the thought of raising her four children on her own. I waltzed into her life with my pink hair and facial piercings and she somehow saw "nanny!" I had no idea how much I had meant to her at that time.

This time around it was me reaching out to her in desperation. She set me on a path to healing. She gave me resources to know what to do in a time when I feel that there is absolutely nothing I can do. I took her information and put it in my back pocket. I thought "when I really need that support group I'll know where to look it up." Then today a totally unrelated friend "happened" to give me a link to the exact same support group. I looked at the website and the group was meeting in my Cathedral today. I don't think God could have been more direct with me if he tried. It was like getting a post-it from heaven saying "I know you are totally stunned and confused right now. You are scared and alone and you don't know where to turn. Go to the Cathedral tonight at 7:00 in room 4b. I'll be waiting for you."

So I went and I was totally filled with the Holy Spirit. I now have something to do while I sit and wait for my spouse to figure himself out. I have tools and homework and scripture readings to focus my mind and heart on when I need it most. Wow. I am just truly amazed by God's plan and how things never work out the way you expect them to. For the first time in a long time I feel like I'm in the passenger seat right where I should be. I'm letting go and just trying to enjoy the ride...