April 26, 2008

Drenched in Life.

Little boys are amazingly fantastic.

Four months ago, I wasn't even really sure that I wanted to have more kids. To be perfectly honest, the thought of another kid felt somewhat suffocating to me. I'd become overwhelmed when I'd picture another human being milling about the place- crying and poopin and lookin' at me with those big googly baby eyes again.

Four months ago, with trepidation, I agreed that it was time to think about expanding our family once again- what with Ezra being well into three and displaying signs of awesome big brother-ly-ness every chance he got... kissing babies, cradling and singing to the dolls at school, and wanting nothing more than to help me with the mounds of dirty laundry that tend to pile up on the garage floor. (The boy LOVES to do laundry. I do declare!)

Ezra's name literally means "helper", and has a boy ever fit a given name so perfectly in the great span of all time? I think maybe not. The name fits him like a glove. His spirit is "helper", his joy is "helper", his DNA spells "helper" in cursive when you look at it under the lens of a microscope. He helps me more than a young boy could ever be expected to help a momma... keeping my feet on solid ground and helping me remember the little girl inside. (Who is still very much alive, come to find out. Hi there, little Emy Jo!)

Three months ago, I had an early miscarriage. And the Emery of three months ago was simultaneously devastated and (dare I say it outloud?) ...somehow... slightly relieved. Deep down, I had been scared to become a mother again. The first go-round had changed me so deeply; could I do it all over again and still remain... me?

The me of three months ago was not well. I'd settled for a version of myself that had surrendered something almost a decade earlier and never gotten it back. It was like there was a layer of film between me and the world- like I had set my heart on cruise control and hoped to sail through to the end on auto pilot- not feeling too much and just sortof... skimming the surface of life. If you will.

In my state of desperation, I cried out for help and got rescued. I took steps of faith and found myself suddenly blinking at the fierce light of a film-free world. It was like my windows got a good scrubbing- 10 years of grime wiped away in what seemed like an instant.

I know I'm on a journey- that I'm not suddenly 100% healed and perfect. Heck, just yesterday I may or may not have thrown a phone at the wall in a burst of anger and shattered it all to pieces. (Yipes! Sorry bout that honey muffin.) But there's this underlying thing that wasn't there before... simply, hope.

There's a word that could describe me quite well these past three months: I've become a big fat blubbering SOFTIE again. I cry... a lot. When I'm by myself. But now they are tears of wonder and love and just plain feeling good. I'm remembering sweet things from my childhood, how God was there even before I knew his name, and I'm feeling called to live from my youthful heart again. (Lawsie, I'm crying even now. Someone get this girl a tissue.) The old me is resurfacing. Old bones that were far too long buried.

And in the midst of all this rebirth, something surprising is gleaming forth. The mother in me. She is beaming. And dreaming! Dreaming of babies and children and expanding her tent and passing on the gift of life. Because, suddenly, life is good! And it's worth creating and multiplying and reveling in!

Chris, Ezra, and I- we are a symphony. Yet something is missing... someone is missing... there is a chair unfilled. An instrument un-played. A melody un-sung.

I know now, more than I ever have before, that I am ready. Ready to become a mother again. Ready to embrace the life I have been given, and cradle the life that's yet to come.

This is Keira - a friend's daughter who has STOLEN MY HEART.


Disclaimer: Not pregnant. YET. :)

April 25, 2008


I've been thinking about security a lot lately- and how there's only one place to really find it- yet everywhere you look it's being obnoxiously PROMISED! or MONEY BACK GUARANTEED! to you until you're convinced your very life is in the hands of the latest gadget or contraption. Or cushioned bank account.

Security can't be found in those things, no matter how much we'd like to believe that it can.

I think we've been taught to live in an almost constant state of fear, is what I'm saying. And I also think that THIS SUCKS.

There have been a couple of points in my life where I could have given way to this fear... could have allowed it to take more control of me and slowly consume each of my days thereafter...

Like the time a few years back when Chris and I (just newly married) awoke to find a strange man standing in our bedroom at 3 in the morning. He'd let himself in through the unlocked sliding glass door that was about four feet away from the bed we were sleeping in at the time, and he was pulling things out from underneath the bed- looking for something valuable that he could steal from us.

Chris hopped out of bed like a lightning bolt and yelled at the strange guy- who then slipped back out the sliding glass door and ran away (or so we thought) as Chris tried to pull all of our clothing and belongings back inside that had been strewn about the patio- preventing him from being able to shut and lock the door. I valiantly sat up in bed and said things like "What the heck?" and "What the heck?!?!" and "What the HECK?!!?" Then, Chris ran around to the front door to lock that as well, and when he threw the deadbolt, he heard the intruder make a run for it. He had been crouched outside our front door.

We called the police. They dusted for prints. They eventually caught the guy. The end.

At that point, I had a choice to make. I could let this scary event worm its way through my mind and cause me to be afraid for the rest of my life, or I could choose to... not let it do that. Every time I started to replay the scenario in my head- usually when I was lying awake in bed at night- I had to stop myself. I had to stop myself and then remind myself that I couldn't let this guy rob me of my stuff AND my feeling of security... my peace of mind. I wouldn't let myself give him that kind of power over me. After a while of doing this, the battle was over and I wasn't afraid anymore.

I have to do this for the little things, too. Like when I think about the future and how insecure the economy is/could become and where will we get enough money to retire? How and WHEN will we get to a place where we're not living paycheck-to-paycheck? When I think about this kind of stuff, I feel myself becoming afraid. "Oooged out." I feel out of control. I tell myself that if we don't have this all figured out right now, we'll end up penniless and broke. This causes me to have a hard time spending money. Even on groceries. I've let fear in somewhere along the way.

I need to let God remind me that He is in control. That everything will work together for the good. Having a lot of money DOES NOT EQUAL happiness. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT. I'm not saying we shouldn't plan for the future and be wise with our money, but I am saying that we need to find our security in something that doesn't fluctuate with the strength of the dollar or the current cost of a barrel of oil. If we tie ourselves to those things, we'll be whiplashed and seasick- weary of the journey and ultimately- unhappy.

Even when things are crazy all around me, God will take care of me. Always. When the whole earth is shaking, He isn't moved. Now that sounds like something I can really tie my boat to... an anchor that will never fail me. What a relief.


PS. Looking for an intense reminder that God is in control of our security? Or that maybe (just maybe) God doesn't really want or desire EVERYONE to be monetarily wealthy? That having money isn't the same as being "blessed"? Read "Chasing the Dragon" by Jackie Pullinger. No, really... DO. It will change your life. She gave EVERYTHING up, and, just... WOW.

April 22, 2008

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

...because they were all OUTSIDE.

Chris and Ezra are currently asleep in the backyard in a tent. They roasted marshmallows and hot dogs and made shadow puppets with flashlights and read books. You know... just the CUTEST THINGS EVER. (And whatnot.) This is rehearsal for Friday night, when they will go for-real-sy camping with some friends of ours.

My house is empty and quiet, so I spent the time writing a new song. And missing my mommy and daddy who left earlier today. SNIFF! SNORT! BLUBBER! The weekend with them went by much too quickly.

We went to the zoo and rode the train!

Then Ezra got wasted on ice cream!

In other news...

I think I've given birth to Pablo Picasso Jr.

I think it's a picture of me.

Why do I think this, you ask?

Because if you look very closely, you can see that the left eye is in MID-TWITCH.

(It had been one of those days.)

April 17, 2008

A New Dresser. Or Two.

I've been working hard at re-arranging Ezra's room again (Will it never end?!) because, after MONTHS of searching for an affordable dresser in thrift shops and bargain centers and finding NOTHING, we were suddenly given two (count 'em- TWO!) fabulous dressers in one weekend. And they were both FREE.

We found one out on the neighbor's lawn on "big trash day". And then Chris was painting someone's house last week and they told him he could have whatever furniture he wanted that was in the garage. He grabbed a dresser that had definetly seen better days, but that he knew had potential. Then he re-built some of the drawers and painted the thing inside and out. Oh, and he put new hardware on it. And is there anything he can't do? The answer is most assuredly NO.

Anywho, my parents are coming into town tomorrow (WOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!) and now Ezra has a fabulous new room to show them when they get here. He is so excited that they are coming... every morning when he wakes up, he requires a quick recount of how many more "sun goes down and then sun comes upping?" until they finally get here. We're down to ONE now. Yes!

Here are the photos of the new and improved BIG BOY room with actual furniture and whatnot. Before this, I had ALL of Ezra's clothes tucked into a tupperware drawer thingy way back in his closet- with all his shoes and jammies and hats dangling from a shoe organizer above it. If you even bumped the thing, they'd all fall out.

I think I could get used to these fancy new "dresser" contraptions. They're BRILLIANT.

April 14, 2008

Limping Along.

I am slowly but surely learning how to pick my life back up again.

About three months ago, Chris took me out to dinner and told me that he could tell I wasn't functioning like I used to... that something was too heavy on my shoulders and I wasn't the vibrant, happy person that I used to be.

He then graciously offered to take over ALL of the grocery shopping and cooking until I could get myself better- because he knew that those were two of the biggest causes of stress for me. (I know, I know... tough life. Some people in the world have to worry about not having enough food to make it through the day-- and here I am, getting overwhelmed by having to buy and cook whatever I want. Lame-sauce.)

Three months ago, I reluctantly agreed to let him help me. We agreed it would only be for a season- mostly so I wouldn't be crushed by the guilt of piling my responsibilities onto my (already busy) husband's shoulders for an unknown amount of time. So... for three months, he has been doing all of the grocery shopping and cooking. And he hasn't complained ONCE.

He's my hero. I can honestly say that not having to stress about cooking/shopping has helped me more than anything else could have during this difficult time. Just feeling taken care of- knowing that he was rooting for me and willing to help in any way possible- has helped spur me on to acknowledge that, ONE, I was not okay, and TWO, I needed to take some time for myself.

It's been hard for me to receive this help from him. I was wracked with guilt pretty much every evening around 5 o'clock, when I should have been getting dinner ready- or when I'd open our cupboards up and see that a trip to the store was in order. I felt like a horrible wife. But Chris was constantly reassuring me that he was happy to do it... and that I didn't need to feel bad or ashamed about requiring some help.

The milestone: Yesterday, I went grocery shopping. And I cooked dinner last night. And I've decided to step back into all of this slowly-- I'm going to start cooking on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And it will probably be frozen pizza dinners for awhile, but at least it's something. And I know that I could absolutely not be in the place where I'm at now if it weren't for Chris' support, so I wanted to say 'Thank You' to him publicly.

I'm learning to live life from a completely different place. It's a place of gratitude and awareness of all the good I have around me. And I've found nothing that can sum up this new attitude better than what my precious cowboy neighbor shared with us the other day.

Ever since we moved into this house, we have seen this guy walk past our house once or twice a day. He walks at a somewhat brisk pace, and he always has a smile on his face. He walks with a limp. And, without fail, he has on his cowboy boots.

We have always wondered why this man walks every single day in such seemingly uncomfortable shoes. It never made sense to us. I mean, why not buy a pair of comfy sneakers, you know?

One day, Chris and our neighbor struck up a conversation. And our neighbor told him about how he'd had polio as a young boy, and how they once thought that he would never ever walk again because the disease had twisted him so badly.

He explained that the cowboy boots he wears are fitted with a special brace that helps him walk.

And, the reason that he walks every day?


I long to live with that kind of gratitude. That's what makes a life full.

April 8, 2008

Two Original Songs.

A couple of you asked to hear some of the songs I've been playing lately.

I wrote this song awhile ago, but it is so fitting for what I'm going through right now that I thought I'd share it. I just recorded this version yesterday. The background vocals are me as well.

Click the link and it will take you straight to the player.

"The Weight Of Joy"

Also, I'll share this one: It's called 'The Battle' (maybe I've posted it here before? I dunno.) and I wrote it awhile ago as well. I just re-recorded it yesterday, and it's not the best quality, but you get the idea.

"The Battle"

April 6, 2008

Finding Joy.

SuperSpiderBatMan to the rescue!

Remember when I used to be a good little blogger and I would write WORDS here?


Me neither.

Here's what I am finding as of late: my creativity has shifted momentarily away from writing. Lately I have been working on songwriting and playing shows and leading music. It's like a giant guitar monster came and grabbed the pencil from my hand and snapped it in two over his monster guitar knee.

And when I sit down to write here, I feel... all emptied out. Like I took all my words and shoved them into an instrument.

And this is perfectly okay. I know that. I'm just letting you all know where the heck I've been.

I have also been pouring more creativity into fashion lately. I have recently subscribed to about 1,000,000 fashion blogs, and I love being able to see what fashionable girls all over the world are wearing. I have started a fashion blog of my own. And I've been working on my vintage website. And all of this is fun fun fun!

At the end of the day, however, I find myself creatively sapped and I end up using words like "fun fun fun!" to describe the things that I am passionate about to you. Can you ever forgive me? I know that you all carve a moment of precious time from your days to come visit me here, and I have the audacity to fill that time with "fun fun fun's!".

Oh, the nerve!

ANYWHO. Moving on.

Have I told you that the past two weeks have pretty much been the best weeks of my life ever?

It's true.

Two weeks ago, I made a decision to say "No" to anti-depressant medication. I was nervous about that decision. I had no idea if I was going to spiral further downwards into sorrow, or if taking that step of faith would catapult me into unknown heights of joy.

It appears that the latter has happened. I have never known such joy. It's a joy that is not founded on circumstances. (For those haven't changed one bit.) It's a joy that fills my heart simply because I took a blind leap of desperate faith and decided to trust in the God that has promised to rebuild me from the ground up. I feel like He's laying a foundation in me right now. And it's not a boring old concrete slab foundation, either. It's a foundation made of flashing blue sapphires and deep red rubies... one that will support me for the rest of my life. What lucky feet I have! To be standing on such beauty!

This is not to say that I don't lose my cool every now and again. I do. VERY OFTEN. I still have moments of absolute frustration at my stubborn, whiny three year old who refuses to poop or do any other reasonable thing that I ask him to do. And I still have moments of feeling overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks- like grocery shopping or cleaning the dirty dishes in my sink.

It's just that these moments of frustration and feeling overwhelmed are slowly becoming the minority in my life. They are losing their power. The sparkly moments wash them out with all their light and make them less... convincing somehow.

I am laughing again. At practically everything that moves. Corny TV shows. Bad jokes. Embarrassingly awful puns. 'Tommy Boy' movie quoting sessions. Ezra. Chris. MYSELF.

I probably wouldn't have even noticed this slow return of laughter into my life if I didn't have the face of my precious husband to alert me of its comeback. When I laugh, his eyes light up and he looks at me like I'm an old friend he hasn't seen in years. It makes me blush. And it makes me want to cry. And so I laugh some more.

You guys... God is so good. He has all of this and more for every single one of us. He wants so badly for our lives to be characterized by joy. And all we have to do is ASK Him for it.

What word do you feel characterizes your life right now?

If you're feeling flat, stuck, hopeless... start with the asking. In the quietness of your heart, just ask for joy. "Lord, give me joy."

Oh, He will move mountains to bring it to you.

He will.

He will.

He will.

April 4, 2008

Teach Me Something New.

Last night's show was really amazing and incredibly entertaining and I laughed so hard at times that my eyes wouldn't stop watering. I'd share pictures, but- wouldn't you know it? Between the four of us there were no cameras or even camera PHONES for that matter, so the evening passed without any documentation. (Unless you count the throbbing headache I woke up with this morning as "proper documentation" of a night of good food, loud music, yummy drinks, endless dancing, and a 3 AM bedtime to boot.)

A quick cup of coffee set me straight again this morning- although my hair still smells like smoky blechity blech.

After the show, we went to this tiny bar where all the cool hipster kids hang out, and I danced by myself on the little dance floor and felt genuinely happy and at ease. I love to dance. I don't get to do it very often, so when I find myself in places where it is considered socially acceptable, I DO IT. Even if no one else cares to join me. Even if all the cool kids sit and watch me with eyes that say "DO YOU REALIZE THAT YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE DANCING?"

Why, yes I do realize! Do you realize that you are the one of many sitting?

When I dance I can't help but smile and laugh, so it is obviously good for my heart. And soul. I need to do it more often.

After that little place, we went to an actual dance club. This dance club can be summed up in two words: MEAT. MARKET. But the music was fun and I danced some more. You know what I love? I love when people dance up to me and smile and then after a while they would lean over and ask "So, what do you do?" And, with a huge smile on my face I'd shout over the music, "I'm a STAY AT HOME MOM!!" and then I'd watch as they inconspicuously noticeably started dancing themselves away in the opposite direction again. HA! Overall, everyone was very respectful and fun and I had a really good time there too.

I've been thinking of acquiring a new hobby lately, and now I might have to add a dance class to the list of possibilities.

I've been looking around town for an adult gymnastics class, but have not found one yet. I was a gymnast for a good portion of my life, and I miss it. I can still do the flips and some tumbling when I'm good and stretched and there's a little bounce in the floor, so I was hoping to find somewhere to pick it up again. Now that would be a great workout.

Other hobbies I have been considering picking back up again: Martial Arts, Rock Climbing, Horseback Riding, or Tap Dancing.

These are all things that I have done at one time or another in my life. I currently have a membership to the YMCA down the street, but I have found that plain old exercising is much too boring for me to do it consistently. I need a structured class that is FUN and can simultaneously teach me something new in order for me to keep with it for any length of time. So, I will probably drop the gym membership and do one of these "hobbies" in its place.

Any other suggestions for fun things I could do or learn at my ripe ol' age of 25?

Please note: I don't like running. Hobby suggestions should NOT include running. Because even if a wild lioness were to jump out from behind my desk right now and start chasing me through the streets, you would probably find me escaping at a pace that could only be described as a "brisk walk".

April 3, 2008

Amy, Amy, Amy, and I.

My friend Amy called me last week and said she wanted to take me on a hot date. She has four tickets to see the Blue Man Group, and so tonight I get to go with her and two other friends who happen to be named Amy as well to see a bunch of blue men run around on stage and do really neat things.

My husband is seethingly jealous. He's always wanted to see the Blue Man Group. HECK, I can't even tell you how many people have suggested that he BE in the blue man group... He's tall, skinny, a drummer, and doesn't have much hair. All he needs is the blue paint. (I'm making a mental note for next Halloween...)

Anywho- Amy, Amy, Amy and I will enjoy dinner before the show and maybe some hard liquor refreshments afterwards? I'm so excited I can hardly refrain from checking the clock every 30 seconds to see if it is miraculously closer to 5:30 yet.

Holy Ack! It's 4:10! What to wear???!!

***edited to add***

5:08 pm: Bring them blue dudes ON.