Sunday, August 29, 2010

Augusts (or you are beautiful)

God told me I was beautiful today. I believe him.

I woke up this morning feeling completely off. Someone did something that I didn't like and I was pissed at them. More than that, I was attempting to practice the Sabbath and felt a bit like the forces of evil were doing all they could to thwart my efforts. Of course, I blamed myself.

In the car on the way to church Jermaine and I bickered about which route was better, mostly because we were running late. When we finally got to church I felt very nit-picky and irritable.

During communion I went up to one of our pastors. She asked how I was doing and I gave her the brief, 30 second version. Not good, but for no good reason, as far as I can tell. It seems whenever I try to practice the Sabbath, I instantly stumble upon all these reasons to be stressed or upset. She smiled gently, hugged me and exclaimed, "Brandy, you are beautiful." A timely song called "By your side" by Tenth Avenue North began playing and I tried to hold back my tears.

(The video takes a little while to load so you may want to push play and then pause and wait a minute before pushing play again to let it load.)



I walked back to my chair feeling like a total mess. I gave up trying not to cry. As I sobbed I thought, "Normal people don't cry this much." Jermaine rubbed my back lovingly.

After the service I went on a prayer walk. Our church is blessed with 63 or so acres of land and the community has created a beautiful prayer walk through the woods with 17 contemplative stations.

As I walked I thought, "I am not cool, calm and composed (like other people). I wear my heart on my sleeve. And though I believe that I could become those things. I know it wouldn't be real and so I am glad not to try. Still, I am so open and my feelings are so exposed. And though I feel that this is one of my best qualities, sometimes I wish it were not so. Because, of course, normal people don't cry this much."

I thought about how I am embarking on several new ventures all at once. I am now a homeschool mom, a seminarian, and a waitress. A teacher, a student and a server. I am excited and nervous - feeling lots of pressure not to screw up. Each of these new roles have been heavily prayed for - by me and by others. Still, I feel watchful eyes on me - waiting to see if I fail.

I thought also about this time last year. It was the beginning of my busiest, saddest semester. And I started it off on quite the wrong foot. I cleaned for a friend the Sunday before school began. We worked until 9 or 10pm that night and I was completely spent. I got up early the next morning and rushed off into horrible DC traffic - and found out exactly how long and aggravating my commute was going to be. I think I may have even missed my first class. The rest of the semester remained just as busy. It was as if I started working that Sunday in August and didn't sit down to rest until sometime around Christmas. No wonder I was depressed.

I thought about how I feel a pull to distance myself from the way things began last year. Which explains why I felt so strongly about having a successful Sabbath today.

But, honestly, I do feel like it's different. I think there were things on my plate last year that needed to be let go. And, sadly, not only did I cling to them, but I added more to my plate! And so, partly because of that experience, I feel a deep desire to be humble enough and open to being wrong. At this very moment I do not think I am taking on too much. But, if I get into the swing of things and realize that I have, I pray for the courage to say so.

I thought about how these new adventures could turn out to be really positive or really negative. And if the history of my life is any indication, either way will be meaningful - God can teach through the good or the bad. Still, I want things to go well, of course. But I was thinking today that I might be working with the wrong definition of "going well". I have an idea in my head of the way I think these things should play out. It is not so much a question of if they don't go my way, it's more like when. And the true determining factor is not whether things go the way I would like them to, but rather, how I react when they don't. And so, effectually, I get to choose, to some degree, whether these experiences will turn out positive or negative. That's quite amazing, isn't it?

I walked and prayed and cried and praised and ranted. I even did a little Theophostic Prayer on myself. I sorted through some of the lies I've been believing.

"I am a mess."
"Normal people don't cry this much."
"I'm just not good enough."

I asked Jesus if he would tell me his truth in regards to these lies. I didn't feel or hear anything at first. I told him I wanted to know, not just intellectually, but experientially.

I heard, "You are beautiful."

It was not audible. Just a thought in my head. At first I didn't connect it to the prayer I was praying. But then I remembered what my pastor had said. And the other day on the metro landing, next to the emergency lever, was a little sign.

Look at the little sticker on the left.
And then I remembered this shot (below), from about a year ago (I know because I'm still carrying my "summer" bag). Now, at first, I thought the person that wrote this was talking to Jesus. I thought it was compelling and, well, beautiful. But later I saw that on the other side of the bench in the same handwriting someone had written something like, "Damn, you're gorgeous." So, I realized that this picture was actually a bit blasphemous. But, it makes me laugh and I think in this context that it's still quite compelling.


I needed that. I can't explain why. But, for some reason I needed to hear that I was beautiful. And Jesus knew it and so he told me. Wow.

That is beautiful.

I know this blog is becoming overly long, but I would like to ask you to please bear with me for another moment or so.

Augusts

I love creating New Years Resolutions. January is always a powerful time of renewal and reassessment. But I realized today, having been born in August, that this month is truly my New Year. Thinking about last August got me thinking about the ones previous. And suddenly it occurred to me how pivotal and difficult they have been.


  • 2009 - the beginning of my last year as an undergrad and the worst semester of my entire college career.
  • 2008 - 2 months after getting married I began my first semester at the University of Maryland (which seemed gigantic and scary at the time). Also, I was hoping I was pregnant. When it turned out that I was not, I fell into a bad depression that lasted for about a month (not a great way to start a marriage). This depression was also the beginning of my weight re-gain.
  • 2007 - I thought Jermaine was going to propose on my birthday. He thought that was too cliché and waited until Sadie's birthday the following December (of course, I didn't know that at the time and was quite bummed). He did buy me a bike, though, which was pretty awesome.
  • 2006 - 2 months after moving to Maryland (a hugely pivotal experience) I started my first full time semester at Montgomery College. 6 days before school started, Jermaine and I broke up. I was so depressed I had to force myself to go to school.
  • 2005 - 2 months after I met Jermaine and 1 month after the discovery that Sadie was being hurt. I felt conflicted, depressed and scared but determined to take the necessary steps to protect her. At the same time, we were being surrounded by love and prayer.
  • 2004 - 1 month after getting a DWI and 2 months before I made the commitment to change my life and the way I was living (and follow Jesus). Again, I was incredibly depressed and more than that, I felt like a complete loser.
  • 2003 - George and I got in a huge fight and broke up. I confessed that I had been cheating on him. We ended up getting back together and trying to work through things (we eventually broke up for good the following April). To say I was depressed would have been a gross understatement.
  • 2002 - I turned 21. We couldn't afford our apartment so we had to move back in with my parents. 
  • 2001 - I was pregnant. I hated being pregnant. I was sick the entire time. And scared of being pregnant so young. I didn't know it then, but as you can see, my life was headed downhill that August. I thought it was bad then but I had no idea how horrible it would get.
  • 2000 - I started working at Chili's and met the man that would become my daughter's father.
  • 1999 - 2 months after barely graduating. I was happy to finally be 18 so that I could do whatever I wanted. I thought it was the beginning of a very exciting adult life. I would later realize that it was the beginning of the realization that when left to my own devices and desires, I will screw myself up royally and hurt a lot of other people in the process. I did meet my birth mom, Cathy and my brother Jeremy - thanks to my parents. That was amazing and wonderful. Though I'm sad that they met me at the beginning of my worst.
So, August has been a historically depressing month for me, evidently. It helpful to look back though, and to realize how far I've come and remember where I'm coming from. These experiences have shaped me into the person I am today. The person, who Jesus thinks, is beautiful.

If you've read this far then I thank you, I pity you, I invite you to join me for the rest of the adventure, and I promise to work on being short and sweet. ;)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The first blog of the day

Hi! Yesterday was wonderful! Here are some fun pictures.






Wesley was wonderful. I'll give you the highlights:


  • The commute to Wesley was a lot shorter than we thought it would be so we got there EARLY. Lol. We didn't know what to do with ourselves. We had to wait to be let in.
  • I met a LOT of sweet people. I think it's going to be a kind, nurturing academic environment. 
  • There were hints that the work was going to be strenuous. Makes me nervous.
  • The worship service was one of my favorite parts. We sang a beautiful hymn called "The Summons" and another called "Jesus, Remember Me" - a very simple hymn from Luke 23:42. It's just "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom" sung over and over. It's a quote from the man who was on a cross next to Jesus. Singing it from the perspective of this man, a criminal - coming from where I'm coming from and sitting in seminary orientation - absolutely reduced me to tears. And they had us come up to the altar, and dip our fingers into a bowl of water (to symbolize purity and redemption). Then they gave us a shell (a beautiful symbol of Christianity with it's layers (and I thought about how funny it is that the creatures that create these beautiful shells never live to witness the finished product)) and then someone from the faculty prayed a prayer of blessing over each of us. It was so beautiful.
After a very long, full day, we road the metro to go and visit Andrea (who is in DC for the Women of Faith conference). I'm sure she and I would describe the event very differently, we went to Busboys and Poets for coffee and that was okay. But, let's just say we were all exhausted and getting them home (Andrea and her friend, Elizabeth) wasn't as easy as we anticipated. Getting lost (several times) was involved. Ranting and lots of loopy giggling was involved. Complete silence due to exhaustion was involved. Southeast DC was involved. Oh, and peeing in public was involved more than once. Man, I love this city. 

Andrea and Elizabeth are very tired, I'm sure (and poor Elizabeth will probably never want to hang out with us again). But, (this is for Andrea) I think it's fair to add that after we dropped them off, it took us another hour to get home and then I woke up at 8am to a text that said, "We've been up for an hour. Hope you're sleeping well. I am glad we saw each other! Next time will be a lot better." To which I retorted: "I was sleeping well until your text woke me up. I got the SAME amount of sleep as you. Although I'm not at a conference right now, I'm in my PJs. I'm glad we saw each other, too! Next time will be in Forks, so it will be better by default. But, are you implying that you didn't enjoy our great adventure? Love you!"

We decided not to go to Rehoboth today (obviously). Using this time to prepare for next week - training at my new job, my first seminary classes and the beginning of homeschool! I'll probably write another blog later in the day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This is not a Bible Blog

I had wanted to post the next Bible blog - I even started it earlier today. Alas, I did not get around to finishing it until just now and seeing as how I need to be up in 5 hours, I don't think it's wise to plow through it.

Usually I write about my day, but my day, though fun, was not that interesting.

Hmm. Here are a couple of random things about me:


  • The other day I bought olives stuffed with feta cheese. I'm absolutely hooked! So decadent and low-cal. I ate them all, and now I can't find them anywhere. I know, because I've been to at least 4 stores.
  • I have officially lost the first ten pounds!
  • When I put my make-up on in the morning, I seriously consider the chances of ending up in tears by the end of the day. If the chances are good, I don't put on eye liner.
  • I've started reading the Chronicles of Narnia to Sadie every night. This is extra special because I read the entire series aloud to her biological father when we were dating.
  • I started a book fast at the beginning of this year. I've sort of tossed it. I'm not convinced that all fasts were made to stick to until some arbitrary end date that I put in place myself. Seems too legalistic. I like following my intuition - the feeling I get that I think/hope/pray is from God - to give me a better sense of what I should be doing. 
  • I have a dear friend with whom I fell out of sorts with a while back. I think of her constantly. And I think of calling her, too. But I don't. Man, though, I love her. Even if I have a shoddy way of showing it. I hope she still loves me.
  • I read through the entire Homeschool Your Child for Free book in the last couple of weeks. All 461 pages. And I starred all of the links I was interested in. Thousands, as you can imagine.
  • I have orientation at Wesley tomorrow and I'm mostly writing this because I'm too excited to sleep! Every time I remember that I'm actually about to start seminary, I do a little happy dance. I think, "Me? Seriously? The kid who flunked out of college because she was too high to go to class? The girl who got knocked up at 19 by a guy she barely knew? Not only did I graduate college but I get to go to seminary? Double-you-tee-eff!" Nothing short of miraculous.
  • I have 3 blogs I'm itching to write. The caloric epiphany blog. My own comments on the sermon from a couple days ago blog. And the next Bible blog. They'll show up eventually. My blogs are always late, just like me.

I thought I didn't have anything to write about. Guess I was wrong. Really should go to bed though. Good night!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Joyful

Just now a friend on facebook shared a beautiful story of a beautiful Sparrow. I feel humbled and grateful and oh so flushed with joy. Sparrow's Daddy appears to be a musician. The week she was born he decided to give all of his music away for free. I am listening to Mark Mathis (Secret In This Town) as I type this. It's so good that I wanted to share it with you.

Sharing each other's intense joys and helping each other carry heavy burdens - those are such precious and holy parts of being human. It makes me feel so alive.

My most favorite mug in the Walker house. :)
We went over to Pamela's yesterday to help her move furniture. She fed us steak. It was fabulous!
We were in DC this evening at a fun mixer. This is my attempt to capture the quintessential DC feel.
This is Jermaine kindly allowing me to force him to smile for yet another picture. We're at the metro. I was hoping the background would turn out cooler than it did.
I planned our first week of homeschool today! We're starting out right with a field trip to the library. And I bought Sadie's first workbooks at Borders today! Totally geeking out.

Sorry I didn't blog yesterday. My first day at my new job went really well. I'm excited. I sort of feel like I've got something to prove. To who, I'm not sure. Myself, maybe. But I'm super focused on being the best waitress I can be.

I go to Gloucester 14 days from tomorrow! And we leave for Forks the day after that! I can't wait to start packing.

I've decided I want to read through all the Twilight books again before I go. A lofty goal, for sure. Especially considering I'm halfway through HP 5 at the moment. I've been rereading them, and I don't think I could possibly start Twilight until I finish the HP series. I'll keep you updated on my progress. I'm not too concerned about actually getting through all the books. I just think it's a fun goal to have.

Seriously though, I should probably go read! G'night! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Being 29 Today

Being twenty-nine today meant a long hike in the woods with some really amazing friends. It meant three hours of seemingly wasted time spent in front of a computer screen attempting to figure out how to truly break in to the freelance writing world. It meant coming to the eventual conclusion that, though the hours seemed unfruitful (I didn't get any queries out like I'd hoped), my research granted me valuable insight into a mysterious industry.
Priscilla is too cute. And she's so hardcore! See that pack she's got on? Yeah. She's hiking with her baby on her back.

Being twenty--nine today meant laughing until my sides hurt. It meant telling stories and getting to listen to the stories of others (Nicki tells the best stories!). It meant creating a new story, too. It meant having a heart to heart and resolving a conflict that has been eating away at my insides for a while. It meant biting into a yummy Chipotle burrito. It meant lovingly putting lotion on my poor little girl's eczema before kissing her goodnight.
Brandon is just so confident.

Being twenty-nine tomorrow means starting training at my new job. It'll also, more than likely, mean having dinner with some dear friends with whom we don't spend nearly enough time.

Yes, indeed. It is good to be twenty-nine.

I don't know why the pictures came out so grainy. Boo. Heh, Priscilla is so exhausted she's loopy.
We took another to try again. This time I came out looking silly. Cross-eyed and intense.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Being 29 - Day, um, er, I lost track.

We've been going through Ephesians at my church for the past 7 weeks. The series has been illuminating and conviction inducing for both me and Jermaine (it's the same series that inspired him not to mock our loved ones for a whole week).

The sermon from today was particularly gut-wrenching for me. Every Sunday there are discussion questions for people to take to mull over during the week (alone or in their small groups, I suppose). I thought it might be fun to post them on here and see if we can get a good conversation going. Everyone's welcome at the blog table!

Here's the passage from this week (Ephesians 6: 10-24 (New Revised Standard Version)):

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus will tell you everything. He is a dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and to encourage your hearts. Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all you who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you get a chance, check out the message that was inspired by this scripture. It's not on the website yet, but when they post it, you can find it here. Also, feel free to check out the prior messages in the series. If this discussion goes well, I'll try and dig up the other discussion questions and do another one of these.

Week 7: Confronting the Powers

1. This passage deals with the idea of "spiritual warfare". If you grew up as part of a church, what was the common understanding of this term (if any)? What has been your experience throughout adulthood with this concept in the common culture? In church? Discuss different perspectives, knowledge and experience of spiritual warfare.

2. What has been your experience of church as "a building" people go to once or twice a week to get filled up on God and spirituality in order to help them live out their real lives the rest of the week?

3. What has been your experience of church as a community of people devoted to one another at great cost through trial and suffering, committed to one another and sharing their hearts, minds, resources and real-time daily lives?

4. What do you think the church should look like? What do you want for yourself?

5. In this passage, Paul speaks of "putting on" certain virtues and attitudes as a kind of armor for living out church and community. Reflect carefully and thoughtfully to these things Paul specifically mentions, pausing for a long moment between each one, listening for what thoughts and feelings are stirred up in you in you inner being.

Righteousness . . . Peace . . . Faith . . . Salvation . . . Spirit . . . Prayer . . . Alertness . . . Perserverance . . .

Which word(s) stand out for you? Why? What words had negative connotations for you? Positive connotations? Explain.

I don't want to post my own thoughts just yet. I'd rather not steer. But, if no one posts by tomorrow or Tuesday, I'll stir the pot.

Again, if you've read this far - I thank you, I pity you and I invite you to join me on this new adventure!

And now, for some fun pictures from this past weekend. AND - I learned how to put a caption (it's embarrassingly easy, actually, heh)

Filling out the application for our potential new apartment!
Finding my good angle. ;)
In church today, I discreetly tried to take a picture of this quote I liked. Unfortunately, you can't really see it, but if you listen to the sermon you'll be able to hear it!
Having fun in the skateboard section of our favorite sporting goods store. ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 9 being 29

I didn't take any fun pictures today, so I'm not sure what to post for you to look at. I'll try to figure it out by the end of the blog.

O! I know. I bought a planner today. I can post a "before" picture.




The inside will work, I think. I'll post the "after" pictures once I finish. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do, but I'm excited!

I was looking over our calendar, seeing what's on the agenda for the next couple of weeks. And it started to hit me that Jermaine is really going to leave. I'm going to miss him terribly. I think Sadie will, too. But, thankfully, it's only for a few months. And I think this is the path we're supposed to take. It's scary, though. God, it's scary.

We looked at apartments today. I think we found the one we want to rent! We'll likely be moving around the end of September. It's kind of sad - Jermaine will barely get a chance to live there before he goes to Basic.

Still, I'm mega-excited about having my own place again. I'm planning on completely decking it out with home school fun!

I think I'm done for the night. This blog is making me miss Jermaine already and I want to go hang out with him. Also, I rather hastily signed up for a 7am boot camp fitness class at my gym tomorrow morning, so I probably should be heading toward our big comfy bed.

Good night!

Day Eight and Three Quarters

Yesterday the three of us went apartment hunting (you can't live with your parents forever, right?). It was an interesting day. Here are some fun facts.

Directly after agreeing that neither of us liked high-rise apartments, we proceeded to check one out and fall in love with it. We probably can't afford to live in downtown Silver Spring, but it was fun to dream.

There's a fair chance we'll be moving right back to where we left in January. And if we do, it'll be good to be home.

Besides apartment hunting, we priced skateboards, helmets and knee and elbow pads for me and Sadie because I want to incorporate skateboarding into our home school P.E. class. Am I the coolest mom, or what?

We had coffee with my favorite Elena yesterday. She's a hoot!





I'm in the market for a planner. And I'm becoming a bit obsessed about it. I want a planner that is also a journal and I want to be able to write in my own school (and other stuff) schedule, and Sadie's schedule (like a teacher's planner). I wouldn't mind if there was a space to write down weekly menu plans (although that's not a deal-breaker). But I definitely I want it to be beautiful. I have searched online and in 5 different stores. I scoured Etsy. I just can't find that perfect one. I have seriously contemplated creating my own, but I think it would be too much work. Last night I dreamed about planner searching. Today I'm going back to one of the stores to reconsider some close runners-up. I have decided to focus on the functional, to find one that does what I need it to do. And then, bring it home and use my mountain of craft supplies to make it beautiful.

Jermaine is baffled. But we realized last night that we are a lot alike in that sense. We both get totally obsessed about something, and it's practically all we can think about. We have none of the same obsessions (and both find the other's quite odd), but we get what it's like to be obsessed, and that's very helpful.

Andrea and I leave for Forks in just THREE weeks! Woo-freaking-hoooo!!!

I set my goal to come up with 100 article ideas this week and write 5 queries. I came up with all the ideas, but I got side-tracked and didn't send any queries. Wondering if I should try to do any today or just tack them onto next week's goal.

Weight-wise, I have been holding steady at 175 for the past 3 days. Want to get back on the loser track so I can be in the 160s by the time we go to Forks. Still planning on writing my caloric epiphany in the very near future.

Another goal of mine is to start Bible-blogging again. I want to aim for once a week. The idea is: I'll blog 5 or 6 days a week total. One will be a Bible blog, one will be a Fab for Forks blog and the others will entail rambling goodness on here. And in total they will create one heck of a story about being 29.

Once more, if you've read this far, I thank you, I pity you and I invite you to join me for the rest of the adventure. Amen.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 7 - Who knows, really.

(I frequently take pictures of books I want to buy someday (after I read the 100 I've already got). Thought I would share some of them on here.)


Today was emotionally exhausting. I'm not going to get into specifics, but I will offer up a few rambling sentences as a way of healing.

I'm not so good at the romantic writing. You know, the kind of writer that can make picking your teeth sound beautiful? With me it just sounds like picking your teeth. I'm not entirely convinced that's a bad thing.

I feel so young sometimes. And that scares me. Most of the inspiring memoirs I read were written by older people who seem so much wiser than me. They've loved people. They've lost God. And they've lived so long that they found him again. Their sentences begin like, "When I was ordained twenty years ago, I was far more surer of those things than I am now . . . "


What actually scares me sounds a bit chuffed, so please forgive me. But it's that I feel I've already lived so much. My life has been so full - of both intense beauty and scarring ugliness - when I begin to ponder what's next, I become seriously freaked out.

I know that all of my older friends and parents reading this are chuckling to themselves, thinking, 'Aw, the kid's got so much to learn'. And they're right, I'm sure. The equation that's been playing on repeat in my head all day: if I live to be 100 then in 20 more years I won't yet have experienced a full one half of my life. And 20 years is a LONG time!

I was in arguable company with some folks that have at least 25 years on me today. I seriously respect these people. And I felt that I must seem silly to them. The things I care about. The things I dream about. The things I fret about. Daydreamy kidstuff really. I felt they were thinking that once I grew some more I would come to my good senses.

But here's the thing I keep coming back to: Jesus only lived to be 33.

A lot of people I know, young and old (myself included) seem super concerned about security, safety, stuff and saving face. But Jesus didn't care about any of that. And so therefore, the question that plagues me more than any other is: How do we live in this materialistic, self-obsessed world and try to follow Jesus without being a jerk?

I was thinking today that Jesus would probably hang out with celebrities and slaves if he came back.

I met a beautiful and wise woman a couple of weeks ago who remarked that one of the blessings of turning 50 was that you were released from fretting sillily about what others think of you. I don't want to wait until I'm 50. I would like to accept that present at 29.

I have had a very difficult time articulating what I mean to say today. I know what I am thinking. But when I try to find the words to explain, they just don't come. This happens often. Sometimes I struggle to find them, but more often than not, I just give up. Silently yelling at myself for being so inept. And all these feelings of inadequacy (How can you even think of being a pastor, a writer or a homeschool mom??) bubble up inside of me. Jermaine says that these feelings mixed with the strong sense that I am called to these vocations is a good sign I'm headed in the right direction.

I hope so.

I was watching a skateboarding show on TV today and toward the end one of the guys said something like, "If you've watched this far, then I thank you, I pity you, and I invite you to join us for the rest of the adventure." That completely embodies what I want to say at the end of all my posts. So I'm going to steal it. Good night.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 6 - Six Flags fun!

We had  so much fun! I am way too exhausted to write a blog tonight. Here are some random pictures from our day together. Thanks for reading!










Day 5 1/2 of being 29

I wanted to post these last night, but our internet was down. My genius husband wouldn't rest until he had fixed it, so here I am this morning. :)


Enjoying our spoils from Butler's Orchard.


I bought Sadie an art set. She wrote me a thank you note. Love!


I went to Staples because I was looking for a planner that can do double duty as a journal. I had no idea they still made these!

And now, videos! Here's a bug's eye view of our time at Butler's Orchard:

video


video

video

Good times! And good morning (for once). Sadie and I are off to Six Flags now! Gosh I love being her mom.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Being 29 - Day 2

Let's see, what was interesting about today?

Um, my little brother turns 21! Happy birthday Jeremy!

And I Zumbad. Fun, fun, fun!

There's Asian super grocery store close to where I live, and today I got very excited about the idea of taking Sadie there on a field trip next month. We could make some Asian cuisine and learn while picking up the ingredients. Or I could ask the manager if someone would be willing to give us a tour of the store and tell us about some of the food.

I started reading French Women Don't Get Fat at Borders the other day. And, we have two sets of friends who, on different occasions, introduced Jermaine and I to some of the best French bistros in Maryland. I feel so fortunate to have such good friends. And quite suddenly I've realized that I have a deep love for French food.

Jermaine and I (well, Jermaine, mostly) developed a point system for Sadie to help her get a sense of how well she's behaving. She can get or lose "cool points". It's very effective.

Right now, most of her stuff is still packed up. I'm having her go through it, about a box a day, to determine what she wants to keep here, what she wants to put into storage until we get our own place, and what she's willing to give away. Up until now I have been going through it with her. I mentioned in passing on my way to Zumba that she should do another box. I went downstairs 5 minutes later and she was in her room sorting through a box on her bed. Cool point!

Tomorrow's itinerary includes more Zumba, a bit of yard-saling (to scout out fun homeschool finds) and blackberry picking. I'm excited! Good night.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

361 Days of Being 29 (and 4 Days of Being 30 Because I Started Late)

[I'd like to add captions and frames to these photos but I'm going to have to play around online to figure out how to do it. For now, I'll put their captions up here. Photo #1: Mary Oliver's poetry - way inspiring! Sorry it's kind of hard to read. Photo #2: The irony is that I bought the book. Photo #3: Sadie and the friend she made at a beautiful watery light show at the National Harbor. And yes, that is my mother-in-law's Evo in the corner.]

This year I want to:
  • Get published
  • Home school my 3rd grader (stay tuned for a When, What, Where and Why blog)
  • Learn to skateboard with Sadie
  • Find ways to help Jermaine prepare for boot camp and tech school
  • Get through my first year of seminary
  • Read a bunch
  • Lose some weight
  • Survive and thrive while living with my in-laws (and hopefully grow closer to them in the process)
  • find an outlet for my deep desire to perform
  • Go surfing for the first time
  • Go snowboarding
  • Go to India and learn some Hindi
  • Teach my daughter about human trafficking
  • Vacation with friends
  • Get a handle on our debt and become saving savvy
  • Blog about my adventures everyday
I entertained thoughts of combining my blogs and/or creating a whole new one. But it was starting to seem too complicated so I thought I'd just begin with this blog and see what happens. I'm going to attempt to blog 6 days a week - sometimes on here and sometimes on one of my other blogs. And my two main objectives are that it be relatively short and bursting with all the creativity I can muster.

Some interesting tidbits of my day today (and the last few days at the end):

  • I woke up and tried to make some coffee and the coffeemaker sort of exploded. I resigned to consisting off instant coffee while I live here. I try to buy fair-trade coffee, but there was no fair-trade instant coffee at Giant. So I did what I do when I'm not sure if the people that made the product I'm purchasing were paid a fair wage - I prayed for them.
  • The coffee debacle reminded me yet again that I am addicted to caffeine. I filed it away in the "deal with later" part of my brain.
  • I went to Borders to get caffeinated and peruse the shelves. One of my favorite activities. Didn't buy any books. Win!
  • Got hit on by a very nice Hispanic man. But got annoyed when he wouldn't leave even after I told him I was married.
  • Figured out that the clutter that surrounds me at the moment is depressing me and making me unproductive.
  • Found out that Sadie didn't know how to make a sandwich until her Aunt Danielle showed her yesterday. 
  • This doesn't pertain to just this day - but I've lost 8 pounds since I had my caloric revelation! Still need to blog about that at some point . . . 
  • Sadie and I are going to be doing some volunteer work for Polaris Project by putting together party kits, gathering stuff that survivors need and participating in the DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk. Super stoked!
  • Got an email about the India trip 2011. Feels real again!