For some time I've felt like I was floating in and out of connectedness. It's hard to explain, because I still seem to be feeling at the same time connected and disconnected.
I've had no energy and a nervous energy to do something, anything that means not sitting still and God forbid being still.
I long for the quiet and yet fill every corner of my life and mind with noise and distraction.

So starting tonight at 7pm I'm going radio silent for almost 11 days. I'm flying to Portland and I'm disabling Facebook and Twitter on my phone. I'll be posting my Good Things on July 1st but I won't be touching a computer or the internet until July 5th at 7am when my plane lands back in Cincinnati.

I'll be hanging out with Katy most of the time in Portland and chilling at her house. While she works during the week I'll wander Portland hanging out in parks and coffee shops just reading, writing and being disconnected.
I'll also be meeting up with Courtney for at least a little bit. Courtney who I've never met before but is incubating a little boy that is apparently not that shy.

But I'm excited. I did something like this last year when I went to Cancun and it was so lovely.

So, see you in 11ish days!


Killing Rage

It is so much easier for me to be angry.
Lit like fire and cutting the heads off with my tongue I lash out at people that scare me with their proximity to my heart.
The anger settles into the small room I've left unlocked and weighs my heart down down and down until I am just low enough to collapse without completely shattering.
I'm terrified of what you will say, how you will react and the disappointment I'm sure you have in me. I don't want you to see that I fail every minute of every day sometimes so I get mad and I
shove you away with my knife riddled hands and gun powder soaked feet.
Because it is so much easier to be angry.

I try not to believe that the boulder of anger, warmed by the heat of my rage, I curl around at night warms me more than His Grace could, I know it's not true.
I hold my breath and push push push through hoping that I can calm down before I'm required to speak to people about even the most mundane things.
Dizzy I stagger through my days lately trying to hold off the anger that I feel. I'm mad at myself and at so many people and things that have nothing to do with anything that actually is hurting me.

Still I hold on, unsure how to let go. I reel back in my fishing pole prayers uncertain how exactly to lay it all down without picking it back up, nervous that someone will see what a mess I am.


I Will Carry You

I bought I Will Carry You for Sharen for Mother's Day because she loves Angie Smith's blog.
She read it in like 2 days.

Last Sunday I had some time to kill and I had just rearranged my living room and cleaned my whole house so there wasn't anything pressing I had to do. So I curled up on my couch under my big front window and cracked open the book.
Angie wrote the book about the journey she and her family went on when they were told the baby girl she was carrying was "incompatible with life"

As you know I am not a mom, nor a wife. But I also follow Angie's blog and love the perspective she has on the grieving process and what she has been through. I love that she says again and again that her God is the same God he was before during and after the pregnancy she wrote the book about.
This book hit me right where I needed to be hit. Because recently I've been really struggling with just giving up and crawling in a hole.
I love this part:
I slammed my computer shut. I just felt like the wind had whipped through and knocked me down, deep down into a place I didn't want to be.

A place where the answers are fewer than the questions.

A place where God seems hidden, just slightly, by the shadows of this broken life. It is an easy place to get comfortable because all of your hurts are justified and the tears give way to doubt while you meant to pick yourself right back up.
Because I've wanted to hide. Ashamed and alone with all of this internal turmoil that I've been shoving down my throat with fun size candy bars and food I don't even want.

We all grieve differently, and we all hide portions of it in places we wouldn't dare let others see. I have been reminded that I am daily battling an enemy who would love nothing more than for me to shove all my baggage into the crevices of darkness, slam the doors, and pretend I have it all together while I secretly fall apart. As I lie in bed at night and wonder what I could have done differently, he laughs victoriously....Hear me say this, please. I have believe him more times than I can say.

Angie quotes many people throughout the book, I especially loved this one by Henri Nouwen:
And so we wait patiently, if the situation requires it, watching for gifts to come where we are. Look at the wonderful, exuberant flowers painted by the famous Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. What grief, what sadness, what melancholy he experience in his difficult life! Yet what beauty, what ecstasy! Looking at his vibrant paintings of sunflowers, who can say where the mourning ends and the dance begins? Our glory is hidden in our pain, if we allow God to bring the gift of himself in our experience of it. If we turn to God, not rebelling against our hurt, we let God transform it with greater good. We let others join in and discover it with us.

I can distinctly remember the way grief and joy danced together as if they had a right to
Because in the end,
It was always meant to fall from your hands. And He is glorified in the shattering



I'm ashamed.
Ashamed that I need help, that I need care and compassion. I can list a million reasons why every single other person I know and probably in the world needs help, care, compassion, a shoulder. Even up to the richest person.
I feel such passion to help others in anyway I can, to organize and encourage an entire ministry to help people in large and small ways, to show them in tangible and intangible ways that they are worthy, they are loved, they are seen and pursued by a God so big.

But not me. Nope. I'm good. I'm ok. Don't worry about me it's all fine.

Because I'm scared that if I'm not ok you'll stop calling. I'm scared that you'll get bored of my stupid little suburban white girl drama and stop caring. I'm scared that I won't be able to lead anymore that I won't be able to hang anymore. I'm scared of being the whiny needy girl, scared of you realizing that this is not the friendship/relationship that you signed up for.
So I say I'm good when you ask me how I am and I tell you I'm fine when you say are you sure. I tell you nothing exciting when you ask what I did last night instead of telling you how I cowered under my covers unsure that I could come out and face the world again for another single damn minute.
And I'm ashamed. Of all of that.

So I don't tell you.

I don't tell you until I'm completely shattered and falling apart and I can't hide the tears in my voice when you call me about dinner or when you call to see if I'm still alive.
I don't tell you because I don't want you to think less of me even though I would never think less of you were the situation reversed. I'm ashamed because I am terrified that you'll blame me, when really there's no more room left for blame on my shoulders because mine has taken up all the real estate.

I'm ashamed that I can't figure this out on my own, not just the money stuff but the past stuff, the lies stuff, the weight stuff the stuff stuff. I'm ashamed that I can't just get over it and move past it already because I would love to do that much more than you would and I know you really want me to move past it a lot.
I'm ashamed that it takes me until it's black as sin outside to be brave and even then I type it out because I just can't speak it out because I'm ashamed of how ugly I look when I cry and how my chin gets all wobbly and I hold my breath because I'm ashamed that I've even cried one more damn tear over this whole damn situation.

But then I remember, for a brief moment that it's not my fault, that they are lies, that it wasn't me it was them. I'm not perfect and I've made enough of the mess that's overflowing right now but I remember, for just a moment.

Just because I've messed up, even if it's EVERYTHING that I've messed up, that still doesn't make their lies the truth. That still doesn't make the slithering hissing damned lies the truth.

That's enough, for tonight at least, that's enough.
It was always meant to fall from your hands. And He is glorified in the shattering
-Angie Smith 'I Will Carry You'

The Journey

One day you finally knew what you had to do,
and began,though the voices around you
kept shouting their bad advice --
though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"each voice cried.

But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers at the very foundations,
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough,
and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do
--determined to save the only life you could save.

The Journey ~ Mary Oliver ~



What's happening here?
I was once so alive and now I'm so full of dread and almost dead
Show me your wounded head that is lead to communion with the father
But where did he go?
His presence seems farther and farther away each day
but I'm trying so hard to steer his way
Yet still lonely and confused on this cold hard ground I lay

Speak to me wise mouth and say it's all good kid, it's nothing that you
did, and though it feels like I'm not here with you right now just be still and
silent and listen for that sound..
Did you hear it?
Listen again.
Did you hear it?
That silent voice that just spoke nothing, that is me, I'm listening to
your plea with open ears Counting all your tears flowing from your irritated
Searching the skies looking for that hope that beyond there lies.

Oh you young worrisome sparrow, find rest
Lay your battered head upon my omnipresent breast and make it your
No strong cold wind could ever blow and carry you from this your home
Look around, see the life shooting up from the ground
Spring colors springing fourth and celebration of your trusting

It's a constant process this is
Growing you into the woman you are to become
But when you sense the setting of the sun know it is only rising and has
just begun
Now go fourth, sing songs of faith, and lift up others in the midst of this
And if you can't keep the pace or lose sight of my face
Know that I'm always near so you need not fear
But don't worry about all that right now
Just sit here and enjoy the peace I offer in my silence
When I am silent I am listening, and not abandoning

-Silence Bradley Hathaway


The End is Near!

Saturday two friends came over to help work on my house. I'd been trying not to drive my car into the bath vanity or side swipe two interior doors that had been hanging out in garage since March.
Charlie got there first and for a really stressful hour we weren't sure the doors would fit and thought I had to go buy custom $130 doors. But then Dan showed up and boosted Charlie's confidence in trimming the height of the doors down and busting through some plaster inside the laundry room door frame to make the current doors (I bought of clearance) fit.
My laundry room now has a door, I'm SO excited! Especially with Pete moving in soon it gives the basement hall a more finished look and helps conceal mounds of storage boxes and dirty laundry on the floor. Once the doors were installed the door knobs had to go in.

After putting in part of the knob Charlie entered the laundry room and closed the door. Unfortunately the door locked and without a knob he couldn't get back out. I was in the kitchen when I heard him hollering my name telling me he was trapped in the laundry room. Again, thank goodness Dan was there or I would have had to call the police to tell them there was a strange man locked in my laundry room trying to get out....they probably wouldn't have taken that the wrong way right?

But the vanity, oh I forgot how much I love the vanity that I picked out!

We were missing a few bolts for the toilet but other than that the bathroom install went pretty smoothly. The base board, trim and shower hardware is all up!

Now I just need to hang the mirror, toilet paper holder, towel bar and shower curtain rod and it's all done! The toilet is a push button toilet and flushes a little weird, but other than that it's perfect!

Also, I felt bad just sitting around and watching TV while these two guys worked so hard on my house. So I ended up cleaning the whole house while they worked and caught up on all my laundry. I also rearranged the living room and my bedroom to make room for some furniture moving from downstairs upstairs and vice versa. Pete's moving in by the end of July and I need to make some space for him! There will be a tv in the upstairs living room. Depending on the day I'm happy and unhappy about that. I think it will be nice to be able to watch tv in a public space closer to the kitchen but also don't want the tv to become the focus when people come over. I liked that we could all sit in the living room and chat without a tv on in the background. I suppose I can just get rid of it if that happens.

*insert picture I forgot to take of newly rearranged living room here*

*insert picture I forgot to take of newly rearranged bedroom here*

The other nice thing is that Sunday I didn't really have to do anything because I did so much Sunday. Well, I cut my grass, but it was breezy and in the 70s so that wasn't as bad as it could have been. So I laid on the couch in my clean living room and read 1/2 a book and had a great conversation with my Mint Julep.

Come to my house soon people, I can't promise how much longer it will be clean!


All the Way

The thing is sometimes I don't know what to say, or even how to say it. I want to say things, but I feel clumsy and awkward. I want to say things but don't even really understand what I want to say or the ramifications of a single word uttered without a million thoughts and what ifs preceding it.

But I guess what I'm trying to say is that I love you all the way. No matter who what when where or why.
All the way.

One could even say:
Now and forever, you are a part of me
And the memory cuts like a knife
Didn't we find the ecstasy, didn't we share the daylight
When you walked into my life

Now and forever I'll remember
all the promises still unbroken
And think about all the words between us
That never needed to be spoken

We had a moment, just one moment
That will last beyond a dream, beyond a lifetime
We are the lucky ones
Some people never get to do all we got to do
Now and forever, I will always think of you

Didn't we come together, didn't we live together
Didn't we cry together
Didn't we play together, didn't we love together
And together we lit up the world

I miss the tears, I miss the laughter
I miss the day we met and all that followed after
Sometimes I wish I could always be with you
The way we used to do
Now and forever I will always think of you
Now and forever I will always be with you
-Carole King Now and Forever


Hiding and Patience

I think Maigh guest posted on one of my regular blogs, that has to be how I found it. But either way I read this and I loved it.
Sunday morning when The Mc went to the rubbish bin he found a bird trapped
in a skylight in our mailroom, and we spent the next 45 minutes (with the help
of a neighbor with a ladder) helping the little guy back to the real

He didn’t mean to get himself trapped, but he was curious and wound up
somewhere he shouldn’t have been. Sticking to his instincts, he flew up and kept
flapping his wings against the plastic bubble thinking there had to be a way
through it and to the light – if he just flew harder and faster and with more

We laid bread crumbs down in hopes he was hungry and would come down to
eat. He didn’t. We threw them up, in hopes he would embrace the Hansel and
Gretel-ness of it all. He didn’t. So we did what we had to with a long pole
broom and a ladder, shepherding him out by way of what may have felt like
violent means.

I need the universe to come after me with a broom.

For the past three weekends, I’ve been in hiding. I’ve been a little
worn out and burned out and used up and feeling generally deflated and selfish
and a lot like that bird in the skylight.

Flashing back to a 5 year old me who hid in a round rack in the middle of
Sears while my mother picked out clothes for my brother and the upcoming school
year. You can guess what happened.

I feel like that.

While I didn’t exactly want to be found, I didn’t exactly want to stay
lost, either. I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know how to get home, and in
retrospect – I doubt I knew where home was.

There used to be a piece of paper tacked to a corkboard in my kitchen
with a list of goals. It was weathered by sunlight and the heat and humidity of
a kitchen, with faded print declaring short term, mid term, long term goals
spanning finances, health and spirit. Some have been met, some have been
replaced, and many have been abandoned in light of life changes…like moving to
Ireland by 40.

I’m trying to find my way out of the skylight, out of the rack and back
to a path that feels intentional and purposeful, that feels like I’m
contributing and moving in the right direction. I’ve written about this and
mused about this and bored all of you as well as myself nearly to tears but the
fact remains that I. Am. Lost.

This naturally presents an entirely different series of emotions into
the mix: guilt (“don’t be so effing selfish, you’re ALIVE”) and annoyance
(“would you stop WHINING already”) and confusion (“ummmm where was I supposed to
be?”) and that doesn’t help a smidge.

Earlier this week I had a hold of my mojo for about an hour, and I lost it
again…squirrely little bitch.

So during this in-between time of loosing and finding again, I’ll stay
in the safety of my jammies and the condo with the kitties and the TV and poor
Mc trying to be as supportive as he can with me in a funk and cleaning
compulsively as though a pristine home where there’s a place for everything and
everything in it’s place (my mothers ghost) will provide just the right
environment for the mojo to find me again when it’s ready.

Maybe this is supposed to be teaching me patience?


No Other Option

The thing is, no one told me how hard money is sometimes. I mean it's hard and it sucks.
It's so easy to feel swayed and pressured to have things, things you don't even need or really want.
It's so hard to juggle and balance saving and spending, budgeting and keeping focused on the now and the future.
I mean, where's my money tree?!

I'm not starving, not even close. I could probably not eat for weeks and be ok as long as I was hydrated. But it's just hard.
I talked to a friend today and she said she and her husband are just now, 20 years in, getting to the point where they are sticking to a budget and saving diligently. I talked to another friend that is struggling to make ends meet while making some super grown up decisions about the care of her children and the future of her family. As I vomited up my worries about money they both replied with, "I totally understand and have been there/am right there now"
But no one told me.

I mean, I know money is weird and I know it's not my business and no one really should tell me but at the same time no one told me.
I thought that things just worked out, but they don't.

Let me honest though; it's not that bad. I just have to work really hard and be extra diligent. I just have to keep going. Because what other option is there?
So in case no one ever told you, sometimes you just have to get up in the morning and keep going because there is no other option, and that's ok because that is being brave.
I'm more of a coward than I pretend to be, but I'm just going to be brave because who else is paying my property taxes?
No one....unless you really want to, if so just leave a comment and we'll talk.


Working on it

Sometimes it takes every ounce of my courage to just talk to people. My default position is one of head in the sand and tail tucked between my legs. I am constantly in awe of people that are always out there, pushing their way into conversations and places.
I mean, it almost never occurs to me that I'm wanted.
So the problem becomes that I withdrawal and assume that I'm not wanted in whatever situation and then that assumption becomes fact.

I don't get a reality check that I'm just being crazy and irrational, I don't get reassurances that it's just not true.
Yet I struggle with thinking I shouldn't need those, that I should just suck it up and get over it. Because how annoying is the needy girl that needs constant reassurance that she's liked and wanted?
But you know, I'm also realizing that as more and more people are stepping out and reassuring me and encouraging me that I don't believe them anyway. For no reason that actually has to do with them I just don't believe them.
I hold my breath; waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I slink back into the shadows longing for invisibility so the words I fear will shred me again might miss me this time around.
I push away, I jump off the end that is deep, I dodge and deflect, I eat and eat and eat and eat.
Because I don't believe that you love me and that you want me around. I just don't. It's not your fault, the fault is mine. Most days I'm treading water believing you. But there are a lot of days that I'm just drowning in the belief that I am merely tolerable to you.

What makes me the sickest, what cuts me the deepest is the lies I believe. I don't believe the sweet earnest truth from the mouths of people that constantly show me they care. I still believe the dead and gone lies, the dusty daggers flung carelessly and the slithering hiss of the oldest lie in the book.
I don't want to believe them anymore. I want them to be banished for good.
I'm working on it.


Speed, Dirt, Beer and Laughter: One Weekend in NW Ohio

I spent last weekend in small towns of northwestern Ohio. I drove up with my nephew and dropped him off at mom and dads then continued on to Napoleon Ohio where Pete lives.
Pete is coming to live in my basement in the (hopefully) near future and I was helping him pack. He has done so much to help me move and do things around my house I thought it was only fair I help him a little.

After dropping Matthew off at mom and dads I drove the 30 minute country road drive to Napoleon. I forgot how much I loved passing people on country roads at night. No, that's not sarcasm, I really do love it. I got to Pete's house and changed from my driving outfit of men's boxers and a ratty t-shirt and we headed out to his brothers house.

It was a good time. There was a hot fire and cold beer. I also entertained myself with thoughts of how this could all go terribly terribly wrong.
I mean, sitting at a campfire in the middle on nowhere drinking with a bunch of boys (and one girl) that you've never met before certainly won't end you up dead in a creek right?
Julio (also known as Pete's brother, also known as Derek) and their friend Eric were riding on 4 wheelers and eventually I got invited to go for a ride. After confirming with Pete that Julio wouldn't kill me (at least on purpose) I hopped on. After an awkward realization of how I was supposed to hang on and not fall off (hello arms wrapped around some random person I've never met before) we headed out.

It really wasn't as terrifying as I was afraid it would be. We headed into a field to run over some sand dune type things and the other guy Eric wasn't far behind us. After almost driving off a 5' drop we launched down a dune and couldn't make it up the other side, apparently we were in 2WD or something. But Eric came flying in behind us and instead of backing out calmly he (while stuck in front of us) started spinning his tires. A wave of damp sand washed over Julio and I and it went everywhere. Yuck.
Back to the house we went and I shook out my clothes and Pete and I headed back to his house. I had to comb my hair for 30 minutes to get all the tangles out of it.

The next day Pete had to work so I drove the almost 90 minute drive to Fremont and Clyde to hang out with 2 of my favorite people; Nicole and Jerry. I forgot to take a picture of Nicole, so here's an oldie but a goody:

Jerry calls me his best lady friend, but truthfully I think I've gotten so much more from our friendship than I could have ever given him.

We had a yummy lunch at Woody's in Fremont and then walked around Hayes Park. After dropping Jerry off at his place Nicole and I went on a magical mystery tour of Clyde, my hometown. I realized that the more things change the more they stay the same...and I got a speeding ticket. Booooo! After a brief affair with nostalgia for small town living my lead foot and I got over it and started missing driving on highways with limits higher than 35MPH.

That night Pete and I went to his cousins graduation party where I got to meet the rest of his family. Now, I don't want to say that somehow I was left at the hospital and my parents picked me up instead of Pete's parents but I fit in pretty snuggly with them. By the time we left the party my cheeks hurt from laughing so hard and I had invited everyone to come stay with Pete and I in Cincinnati...but hopefully not at the same time.
The next morning we met his parents, Julio and his sister Holly at Pizza Hut for a breakfast buffet, whoops...I mean lunch buffet, it was just breakfast to Pete and I. I let him socialize for awhile then I kicked his butt into gear and we started packing his house up. The kitchen was done and he and Julio got their stuff cleared out of the store (since the new manager/owner was moving in the next day).

Far to soon it was time to leave and head to BG to hang out with my parents and Matthew for the night.
The next day after lunch Matthew and I headed back down 75 in the torrential rain. I tell you, I don't know how parents traveled before portable dvd players.....oh, right...the kids read.
It was a great weekend and full of laughter. My favorite kind. I can't wait until Pete moves in and I get to hang out with him all the time!


Good Things: May

May 1- Got to use my kitchen aid mixer to make muffins for Muffin Sunday at church. I also ate fresh from the oven chocolate chip muffins and almost died of happiness.

May 2- Muffin Sunday at church, it was a lot of fun and super delicious!

May 3- Had a landscape guy come help me make plans for my back yard sand pit. It was fun dreaming and I'm excited to see what might come of it.

May 4- LOST!

May 5- Today was my Friday but everyone elses Wednesday!

May 6- Arrived in Gatlinburg. Quick but really awesome conversation with a friend and I played Settlers of Catan for the first time ever. Why didn't anyone tell me this game was awesome?

May 7- I didn't make a single decision other than what to wear today. That is a huge deal to me. Also, I walked around the Smokey National Park and had some hilarious conversations with friends in Gatlinburg

May 8- Sleeping in my own bed again after 2 nights in a super uncomfortable bed

May 9- Happy Mother's Day. I spent time with my mom and talked on stage at church about Washington Project without throwing up or feeling completely ridiculous. It's like I'm growing as a person or something.

May 10- Super laid back day at work after a 4 day weekend because I was so caught up when I left. That is always awesome.

May 11- I worked out with FT and did some amazing abductors and aducters. I couldn't walk for a few days but it felt great in the moment!

May 12- HappyBirthday Sharen! Red Robin (yum) and singing silly wedgie songs with Matthew

May 13- I made a daily to do list, that I have yet to do, to help keep things more organized around the house. It makes me feel more organized just looking at it.

May 14- I did nothing and I mean NOTHING after work. Well, I watched a Harry Potter movie (or 2)

May 15- City wide garage sales with Sharen and the kids followed by a 50's BBQ at Alaina's where I dressed in a poodle skirt! I also wore red lipstick for the first time ever.

May 16- I finally painted the base board and trim for the hall bath, now it's time to install it. The end is in sight!

May 17- Hilarious conversation on FB about a clarinet trio playing on stage. Any day I can mention my sweatshirt with neon colored clarinets on it is a great day!

May 18- Dinner and giggling with Alexis and then LOST! Only one episode left, I can't believe it's almost over...

May 19- Settlers of Catan with Alaina! Why didn't anyone ever tell me about this game before a few weeks ago?

May 20- 30 Rock finale. I think that my friend Stephanie looks like Tina Fey and I love them both. "Sometimes love is weird....and gross" Drunk Kenneth making me smoker laugh was the awesomesauce.

May 21-I was done with my work by noon. I rounded out the night with dogsitting and watching Conan the Barbarian

May 22- I took a deep and luxurious nap today and it was totally unplanned and completely welcome

May 23- LOST finale! Sharen and I watched it at her house with nachos, beer and brownie bites. I'm sad to see it go but was overall happy with the ending.

May 24- Washington Project meeting. I love the people I get to lead Washington Project with, it totally jazzes me up. Plus, we're planned practically through October!

May 25- I ditched the trainer and detailed my car...it is so clean now! Also, Biggest Loser finale and yummy dinner that is also healthy!

May 26 - I started using a new sulfate free shampoo and conditioner this morning. It smells AMAZING and my hair is poofy and not so flat looking!

May 27- Sex and the City 2 with some awesome ladies (including my seester!)

May 28- Long drive with a patient 5 year old and then a campfire with Pete and some friends. I went 4wheeling and didn't die but was covered in dirt and it took 30 minutes to comb the knots out of my head. It was a lot of fun.

May 29- Hanging with 2 of my favorite people, Nicole and my gentleman friend Jerry. Love those guys so much. Also a graduation party where I went in not knowing anyone and leaving with my cheeks aching from laughing and smiling so much

May 30- Packing with Pete, Campus Polleyeyes for dinner and sleeping in an actual bed

May 31- Home again finally! Clean sheet night and a good old fashioned nap