Tuesday, July 22, 2014

things i've loving lately.

getting enrolled in my fall classes...my last semester at community college in sight.

hard nights of sleep.

a messy room that feels like it's lived in...

...and a clean one, with fresh sheets, a made bed, and twinkly lights on.

scoring some cute things from Goodwill.

meeting Yesenia and her boys down at the Oceanside pier for pizza a gorgeous sunset, and delicious lattes.

finishing my math midterm and feeling surprisingly confident about it.

phone dates with Aaron, Kate, my mama, and my bebe seester.

new, happy country music:)

sweet texts from best friends.

a new picture collage on my corkboard.

really good devotionals.

a super fun night out with Angie...dinner and long talks:)

special weekends with Ethan where we barbecue under the stars, drink copious amounts of coffee and beer, watch new movies and episodes of The Office, and take sunset walks at the park nearby where watch adorable rabbits and climb trees:)

overcast, chilly days followed by hot, humid ones.


i feel like i should be writing more lately.  there is so much i want to say.  i wake up in the mornings, and words are just pouring out of me.  but then work and clean and do homework and talk on the phone and respond to emails, and all those words get lost in the midst of everything.

so, for now, i'm trying to enjoy the moments as they come, to write my thankfuls, and i know that, sooner or later, those words will come and stay.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

homework is beckoning me.  i have a math midterm tomorrow, which i am less than ready for.  i should be studying.  but instead, i'm writing this.  because sometimes the soul just needs a little refuge, even if for a moment.

life has been strange and hard and lovely lately.  i plow through my workdays, and head straight home to study.

i haven't worked out in months, which i'm feeling now more than ever.  i'm determined to make time for a quick run each night.  even if only 15 minutes of my time, which is better than nothing.  on the other side of that, i've been eating particularly healthy these days.  one thing on my summer bucket list was to try at least one new recipe, but i've already tried at least half a dozen.  i've made biscuits, enchiladas, fresh pico de gallo, cocoa breakfast quinoa, and my new favorite, paleo pad thai, just to name a few:) i've been having so much fun in the kitchen, and it's even more exciting to love the taste of what you've created.

i've also been working on little home decorating projects here and there--making hangers out of tree branches, vases out of beer bottles, drying bouquets of lavender and putting them around my room...  i've been picking flowers from the yard, and been trying to make a habit of lighting candles.  all of it just feels so good.  next on my list is to print and put up new pictures.  i haven't done that for about a year now, so it's long overdue:) on another crafty note, i've also been painting.  on Saturday night, i spent a couple hours listening to Penny & Sparrow and playing with watercolors, and it was nothing short of wonderful and therapeutic.

i've been trying to get outside more, too.  over the weekend, i made a point to take time to go out and watch the sunset or the moon.  on Friday, i ordered pizza, and then my beer out on the driveway and sat and just looked at the sky. on Sunday, i went for my first run in months to the park down the street.  the park was empty, save for my little self, so after my run was over, i swung on the swings and watched and listened to the birds.

overall, i have to say that i'm mostly proud of these parts of my life.  i'm cultivating the life i want, instead of just wishing for something different and doing nothing about it.  sometimes it's just the littlest steps that make the biggest difference.  in this way, i am content.

emotionally, i have been unstable.  wounds, struggles, doubts, and fears have been cropping up, begging to be dealt with, to be left in the past.  there were a few weeks where everything made me want to break down and cry.  over those weeks though, i have talked a lot of things out, and had a couple of good cry sessions.  it all felt like the release of poisons in my being.  and things feel better now.

i have also been praying a lot more lately.  and by praying, i really mean asking for a lot of help.  i wrote in my last blog post that i was having major anxiety about finishing school, and i started praying to God, and i feel like He immediately responded to me.  that keeps happening these days, more than ever before.  one morning, i woke up and felt Him telling me i needed to write a letter to someone.  so i sat down to write, and it all poured out of me.  i haven't sent it yet, but just the writing process helped me process some wounds and figure out more the woman i want to be.  or the other night, when i was painting and worshipping, i felt like God told me to post a particular set of lyrics on Instagram.  so, i did, and almost immediately, my best friend responded saying it was the exact thing she needed to hear.  on Sunday night, before going back to work, i was feeling really down and discouraged, and i prayed, intensely, that God would give me the motivation and strength to get through the week.  it's only Tuesday, but i've had such a renewed sense of vigor that's unlike anything i've had in the weeks before.  and then, last night, i saw something on social media that made me angry.  it was right before bed, and i started praying about how it made me feel, and i felt like God silenced me and said, "Listen."  so, i stopped and i listened, and in that silence, i don't feel like He took my anger away, but He helped me make sense of it, and it took me only moments after that to fall asleep.

so.  as i said, life has been strange lately:) there is still anxiety from work, exhaustion from school, so much to do, so little time.  but it's the daily moving, breathing, discovering life and what it means to live it.  and in writing this, i realized i always feel so inclined to write the word "progress" because then there's some kind of measuring stick there, determining that i'm moving "forward" somehow.  but i don't think i'm moving forward.  just stretching myself out, growing, healing, learning, trying, failing in some ways, succeeding in others...

it is hard sometimes, but today, it all feels strangely hopeful.

and now, i'm off to participate in the painstaking task of studying math, while dreaming about sleep and making plans for the weekend.  such is life:) 

hope you're having a fantastic Tuesday, friends.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

life lately.

this past 4th of July weekend was busy and magical.  in some ways, it was kind of bittersweet.  sweet because it was full of adventures, but bitter because busy weekends go by so fast, and bring about the weekdays way too soon.

a recap of our weekend:

on Thursday, after work, Ethan and i drove to a co-worker's house for happy hour.  we had chips, salsa, tacos, and beer, followed by a walk to the high school nearby to watch the most beautiful fireworks show i've ever seen.  i'm not a huge fireworks kind of girl, but these ones were particularly magical, and the whole evening felt like bliss.

on the 4th of July, Ethan and i went up to the mountains for the day, which was equally lovely.  the 4th of July is my favorite day of the year, so it only seems right to be up in the mountains, with the down-home kind of folk.  the drive by itself was stunning.

Penny & Sparrow blared from the stereo, and i leaned out the window to soak up the view of the flowers and trees.  at one point, we stopped at an overlook of the mountains below, and i started to cry.  it was already such a beautiful day.

when we arrived up in Big Bear, it started to rain and hail, which made it even more magical.  we spent an hour perusing an enormous antique shop, then drove around town and just enjoyed the rain.  when it stopped for a little bit, we got out for a quick hike, where i collected some pretty pieces of wood and pine cones.  Ethan held my hand the entire time, and we talked about how quiet it was, and how we can't wait to live in the mountains one day.  the sun finally came out, and the heat drove us to the lake, where skipped rocks and wandered through the trees on the outskirts.  in the early evening, we headed to a nearby brewery, where we got burgers and the BEST blonde ale that tasted like florals and honey and pine trees.  it was lovely.

we spent the rest of the evening perusing the shops in town, ducking into little places to look at dreamcatchers and vinyls.  when the sun began to set, we grabbed some ice cream cones, then took a blanket down to the crowds on the lake's edge, and waited for fireworks.

the fireworks that night were also pretty magical, but were followed by 3 hour's of traffic. :P we played 20 questions in the car to pass the time, and got home around 1am.

the rest of the weekend, we did a lot of relaxing.  on Saturday, we went grocery shopping, and i spent the afternoon in the kitchen, listening to country music and twirling in my apron while i made enchiladas and drank Bud Light Lime:) 

on Sunday morning, we were up early for a hike with some of my co-workers.  the hike was absolutely beautiful--i could've stayed out in those woods forever.

our hike was followed by an afternoon picnic with everyone, and then we went back to my house and napped the rest of the afternoon away.  in the evening, i worked on an essay about introversion :), while Ethan practiced his bass.

Monday was our last day off together, and we spent it sleeping in, making a huge breakfast, and running errands: grocery shopping for me, and a haircut for Ethan.  in the afternoon, i meal-prepped for the week by trying some new recipes (cocoa breakfast quinoa & black bean soup) while i talked to my little sister on the phone.  Ethan sat in the backyard, drinking beer and barbecuing carne asada for us, where i occasionally peeked to stare at how handsome he was:) after carne asada was ready, i sliced up the meat, warmed the tortillas, and chopped up pico de gallo, which all made me feel like an adorable little housewife:)  we ended the evening by watching My Blue Heaven and i helped Ethan with his homework and flashcards.

one of my other favorite moments of the weekend was last night, when i had just finished making my black bean soup.  Ethan came over to me, pulled me close, looked me in the eyes, and said, "I love you" before pulling me to his chest and holding me so tight.  it was random and wonderful and absolutely perfect.


and now, it's Wednesday afternoon.  i'm sitting on my bed, shoving spoonfuls of coconut gelato in my mouth, and appreciating this moment.  there are pinecones on my mantle, succulents and a bouquet of lavender on one table, and seashells from Japan on another.  i have the beach, the meadow, the desert, and the mountains, all in my little tiny room:) and that feels a bit magical to me.  after this, i will probably warm some of my black bean soup, and start the studying for my math midterm, which is looming in the days ahead.

in the meantime, i'm thinking about a lot of things.

i'm thinking about feminism and how annoyed i am this this is the rage all of a sudden.  i read an article that someone wrote about modesty and a million people freaked out, saying it was "anti-feminism." that was only one article, and i've been seeing these bad boys poppin up all over the place.  why is it that when someone believes the more traditional--non-politically correct--things, like that modesty is an endearing trait or that i like the idea of submitting to a man, that they are somehow personally insulting all the other women around them?  i thought the idea of feminism was that you could be free to be whatever kind of woman you want to be?  i've also noticed that these women take every single article about men and take it personally, and turn men into these monsters who have to be tamed.  it's ridiculous and i'm tired of seeing it.  ahem. moving on.

i've also been noticing all these "should, would, could" quotes lately, and i'm tired of those, too.  i'm rejecting all thoughts and ideas that have anything to do with an obligation of how i should be.  "take more risks," "pray more," whatever.  i'm done with it all.  i just want to live my life, and i want people in social media to stop thinking that they know what everyone else needs.  what i do love reading about is people's stories.  when people stop telling me what i should do, and start telling me about their journey...that's inspiring to me.  i want more of that in my life.

i've also been thinking a lot about my future lately.  it feels so uncertain, and i don't feel i'm moving in any particular direction.  just kind of floating.  i met with a counselor today to see if i was on track to get my Associate's in December, and she was no help to me at all.  as i sat in the chair, i felt like crying because i have no idea where i stand in regard to graduating... but as i walked outside into the sun, i honestly felt like God told me, "Everything's okay.  Everything's as it should be."  i feel that even now as i write this.  so i'm resting in that.  taking one day at a time.  trusting.

in the meantime, i'm dreaming about a lot of things. tentatively planning.  it's hard, financially, because there's so many things i want to do.  i want to go out to Mississippi to visit my friend, Ryan. up to Oregon to see my aunt and uncle.  road trip out to Phoenix to watch the sun rise in the desert.  i'm also dreaming about missions.  considering the possibility of taking some time off in the next year to pursue a small part of my dreams.  thinking of city host jobs in around the country, or an internship in Jamaica.  and i'm also dreaming about new tattoos, and about paying off my car;)

i'm thinking about a lot of things, and i have no idea what's next.  but sometimes dreaming is what gets me through the days when i'm not sure there's much to look forward to at all.

and for now, i want to rest.  to catch up on organizing pictures and responding to emails.  to go to the beach, to embrace my body, to forsake sin and doubt, to enjoy being in love with Ethan, to eat lots of good food, to laugh and make memories, to grieve the past, and let of old wounds.  to lean on Jesus and live on Holy Ground.  to be alive.

that's all i got for today:)