Rachael, Kristin, Kaylan, and Kari

Rachael, Kristin, Kaylan, and Kari

Writing a novel is the best thing I’ve ever decided to do.

It’s hard work. It’s frustration and tears. It’s learning about myself one sentence at a time.

At this point I don’t care at all if anyone else loves it the way I do.

 

So, most of my spare time is in some way, shape, or form, given over to this writing project. When I’m not actually sat down at my desk or a table at Starbucks filling blank digital pages with the words in my head, I’m thinking about a character and the way they smell, or talk, or wear their hair. Or I’m thinking of what I need to go back and re-write, what needs to be added, a detail that I didn’t know until I had written this far. Honestly, it’s work that is very hard to step away from and for the first time in my life that’s a really good thing.

Last night I did take some time to step away, though, and I had dinner with my sisters.

All of them. Including my sister in-law.

We had dinner at Abuelos in Austin and then coffee and desserts at Mozart’s after.

It was a beautiful and fun time together.

I figured I’d better enjoy it while I can because someday I’ll write a novel about all of them and then they’ll all hate me. Ha! =)

This morning I woke up to my Monday 7:30am alarm and went into the bathroom.

When I came out I realized that my bed looked like a small tornado had been sleeping in it. My duvet cover was rolled and twisted into a heap on the left side of the bed up by where my head would have been. No wonder I’d woken up kind of chilly!

So. Mondays are for writing and I am listening to new writing music and trying to not be too bogged down by yesterday.

Yesterday was a hot mess.

So many emotion, so many random bouts of crying, so many things not going the way I thought they should have. When you’re a girl you have these days. Maybe guys have them too, I’m not really sure, but the way these days are met by the men in my life with a look of confusion and mild terror makes me think not.

So here I go.

Writing.

Wish me many good words.

Yesterday was just an off day.

I had to build a youth events page on Facebook and it took the better part of the day when it should have been something I got done in a about an hour. Things just kept going wrong.

I did a whole lot of thinking about writing. Not so much actual writing.

It’s not writers block I’m dealing, I know what I need/want to be writing, I’m just afraid of the emotional state I might end up in writing it. I’ll get there though. I know what needs to be done.

I rode my bike for a little while and it made me feel a little better about how the day had gone, but not as much as I’d hoped, maybe I didn’t ride long or far enough. I don’t know.

I went to the grocery store with Kristin.

It was chaos… there were people everywhere. At 4pm the grocery store becomes a war zone. One one side you have the slow-moving but relentless elderly and on the other soccer moms with screaming toddlers. If you fall anywhere in between those two extremes your objective once inside is just to get out alive with at least three things from your list. There’s pretty much no hope of getting everything you came for.

Kristin and I managed to get out with our lives and little else, but not before Kristin was accosted in the 15 items or less line by the older women behind us.

“YOU have more than 15 items!” the woman announced loudly. The cashier and I looked at each other warily as my sister, the beacon of friendly behavior that she normally is, turned to face her accuser.

“NOT ME” Kristin announced to the older woman’s face, “I counted!” and then she turned to look at me with a face that said, “get me the hell out of here before I punch an old biddy!” 

At that point the women behind us started to make out that she had only been kidding. Bad choice lady, at 4pm in the grocery store you can get run over with a shopping cart for jokes like that. Bad choice.

In the middle of all of that chaos I had noticed one women, also on the older side, walking leisurely through the isles, not the slow pace of the infirm, just not in any particular rush. She was, the entire time, talking on her cell phone and loading her basket. She seemed to be the only person in the entire store who was oblivious to the madness around her and it was amazing to me that she could hear well enough to carry on a phone conversation over the roar of bawling babies, shopping carts crashing together and the incessant beeping of the check-out stands.

As she passed me on her way out I heard her say to her friend on the other end of the line, “You see the best in everyone, Yolanda. You really do.”

It made me stop and think for a minute, literally about 60 seconds because in a war zone grocery store that’s all the time you have for deep contemplation. I don’t know that I always see the best in people, not really. I see a lot, but I don’t know if I would say that I even strive to see whatever is best about them. If I’m being generous with myself and others sometimes I manage to see what’s good in them.

Do we miss a lot by not looking for the best in others?

Is there a difference in seeing good in other people and learning how to see whats best about them?

I don’t know.

I got out of the grocery store alive and haven’t thought about it again until just now.

And…

Oatmeal raisin cookies

Small children with small hugs that make you feel big inside

Lots of ideas

Hope

Lattes

Writing

Being brave

 

Ever since the great time change of doom I’ve been setting my alarm to wake me up in the morning.

I’m typically a 7am riser which, according to my peers seems to be ridiculously early. I know people who rise and shine much earlier than that, so I don’t know what the big deal is. *I’ve just always been someone who can’t sleep in.

(* I feel it’s important to clarify that while I can’t sleep in, and I get up and get moving, I am not, I repeat, NOT a morning person by traditional definitions. I don’t sing like Cinderella to the birds in the morning. I don’t usually want to talk much. I’m pretty sure I developed the habit if waking early so that I could have peace and quite to prepare myself for the jarring experience of having to go out into the world and deal with people. Understand, you might see me bright eyed and conversational at 7am, but if you do it’s because I’ve gotten up at 5am in preparation.)

Lately, however I have not been sleeping exceptionally well and with the whole springing forward business I have found myself waking up around 8:30am and I can’t take it.

I started with a 7am alarm and now I’ve moved it back to 6:30… I don’t mean to take it earlier than 6am. We shall see.

Today is hair day for me.

Lighter hair, but hairs… lots of cut hairs. =)

No, no, I’m not going short by any means, I’ve got a lot of hair to spare and so some of it needs to go. I’m ready for something different. Pictures to follow, probably later this afternoon.

 

These are things that came out of my mouth during my sister and I’s shopping trip to Ikea this morning…

“Oh! I love that weird picture of leaves.”

“I feel like I need these glass shelves but I have no idea where they’d go.”

“A FROTHER!!”

“See those mirrors? You know what they don’t look? They don’t look dumb, that’s what.”

“Dig deeper, find pillow cases!!”

 

And Kristin’s words?

“I can’t help feeling when I come in here like I am being controlled by robots. “

I find it hilarious how that title makes me sound, it may only be a little bit true…

I had a wonderful weekend celebrating my grand entrance into the world. It wasn’t really about just wanting a ton of attention, I did things with very small groups of people, really. Mostly it was just that for the first time in my life I feel really good about my age. When I was younger I always felt I should be old and in the past couple of years I have felt terrified about what it “should” mean to be in my 30′s.

For some reason 33 feels good and full of hope and big things.

So I celebrated by laughing with the people I am close to, eating great food, listening to beautiful music, being outside and hugging my nieces and nephews whose thoughtfulness and abundant love are amazing to me.

I hope this year will be one I never forget. Here are a few picture highlights.

 

I’m on an Ellie Goulding binge.

I seriously could listen to Halcyon Days all day long and fortunately the album is 29 songs strong so it takes it’s time.

This song is my background music today…

I know girls love to say that a song perfectly embodies their feelings in a particular situation or part of their life. We say it over and over again and the songs change but it doesn’t make it less true that sometimes those songs sum something up for us, or touch on an emotion that we feel or felt but couldn’t name.

This song, for me, is a mixture of last October and today.

Not just any letters, mind you.

I need a K and a B… obviously, because not only do I love my own initials in a way I rarely talk about, but I’m soon going to be one of those people who has letters on a shelf for decorative purposes.

I know some of you (and you know who you are) are groaning at the thought, but you’re going to have to just put it in your pipe and smoke it because it’s happening just as soon as I can find the right style of letters to embody the fullness of my personality, which is harder than you might think.

I looked at Hobby Lobby this afternoon and they didn’t have any Ks or Bs that represented all of me. The letters made of metal were all too ornate, the letters made of wood were too large and blocky and don’t even get me started on the burlap letters… Just in case you EVER wondered there is nothing about my personality that can be expressed in burlap.

Perhaps I should be looking at Pinterest for the right sort of letters? I don’t know… but the space on my shelf is cleared for the perfect letters and my search continues…

=)

This week my threshold for any type of ridiculousness has been at an all-time low. And by “ridiculousness” I mean anything and everything that falls outside of what I want to be happening at that moment.

I’ve been in my head a lot and cooped up because of the blasted cold weather in Texas ( PLEASE GOD, I know it’s a lot to ask considering it’s early March and all, but can we just be done with 30 degree weather? As a birthday gift?).

In spite of my less than stellar attitude about life this week,  good things have happened…

God has taught me some beautiful things about himself in unexpected places and I LOVE that. Even better, he’s given me people with great minds and hearts to talk about those things with, to bounce my observations off of and broaden my ways of thinking and knowing him.

I’ve been noticing how precious it is to have sisters– I don’t think I do a good enough job letting them know how much I love and appreciate them, because I do love and appreciate them and I’m proud of the women they are and will be. It hasn’t even been a handful of years since we lost our mom and so much has changed. We all have changed. I know that my mom is so proud of her girls and this week I have felt burdened, in a good way, to start looking for ways to let my sisters know how much they are loved and seen.  It’s terrifying and beautiful to me that I can remember running through the woods with them to our “Secrete Creek” as children so clearly and now, here we are, and I’m a week away from being 33 and they are all grown up, too.

There’s been laughter.

And speaking of sisters and laughter…  Several days ago I was having a meltdown in Kristin’s car, this is, for reasons unknown to me, the place I meltdown. We were taking the little girls shopping and on our way I just became overwhelmed by all of the things that felt like they were crushing me. My meltdowns are always preceded by the announcement, “I’m going to cry now.” As though I owe the person I’m with the curtesy of a warning. While bawling in the front seat of my sisters Mazda I just start spilling out everything, even the things that I think are stupid, that are bothering me, until nothing is left. Kristin listens silently to my whaling pity party and when I’ve finished looks at me calmly and says, “Thank you for telling me that.” Which is the absolute weirdest thing my sister could possibly say to me in that moment. “What?” I replied completely thrown. And then we both laughed until I cried again. She’d read that when receiving someone’s vulnerable thoughts it was good to thank them for sharing with you. Doesn’t quite work on your sister. After all of that we had a great time shopping with my nieces: Photos below.

I laughed with friends and with children and it was good.

There were also lots of I love you’s. One of my favorites came from my youngest nephew who, holding my face with his small, chubby hands, looking me in the eyes said, “I loooooooooooove you” in the way only a toddler can. And you feel it all the way into the deepest regions of your soul and know that it is truer than just about anything.

For a rough week it’s also been pretty good.

May we all have the heart to find the beautiful moments stuck in between our frustrations and meltdowns. There’s hope and love and peace in those moments.

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I don't know how my parents did this! #lotsofkids My father, who is always teaching me that God is good. #dad #easter Past bedtime.
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