Sunday, December 5, 2010

fresh starts

So, those of you who know me personally, and those of you have been following me even since the old blog... well, you know I have been through a lot in the last several years. I'd debrief you, but honestly you don't want to hear about it. Odds are, you lived through it with me if you are reading this blog... :o)
I say it every year, but I really truly honestly believe that 2011 is going to be AMAZING!!! BETTER THAN AMAZING!!!! It is going to be some word our language doesn't have that is better than any super hyperpositive descriptive word in the english language. 2011 is going to rock our socks off. Wait. and. see....

I am 26 now. Y'all probably knew that. Birthdays are kinda weird now. Anything that happens now, I can never in my life say it happened in my early twenties. I am no longer in my early twenties. I am growing more aware of the fact that there won't always be time to do things... time doesn't wait on me. My mom would scoff at my silliness. To her, I am so young. I get it. But I am entering into a new category of some sort, for sure. 

I am waaaaay single. Like, not even a little bit dating. I miss dates. I miss kissing. But I LOVE everything I am learning about myself. I really do love this season. I am having fun. And, I think I am on the cusp of some incredible personal growth and change that will insure my arrival. I will say, "I have arrived."

Upcoming change: I think I have found a new place to live! It is nearly too good to be true, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I go for the official tour tomorrow. I will be sure and take my phone to snap some pictures of the inside- I will try and share on here asap. I have been praying for a new home, one that I can afford. One that is in a good area. One that the girls and I can call home. 

I have INCREDIBLE friends. Like, the kind of girlfriends you wish for your whole life. One of them is my mom. Sometimes when I stop to consider the beautiful women that have come alongside me and carried me through, I want to fall to my knees and praise God. Thank you isn't enough... I can't thank God enough for the gift of the women He has put in my life. That He chose my mom for me. That He chose a softball diamond for Emily and I to unite forces as the girls on the team, and we've loved each other ever since. That Emily would set me up on a blind friend date with Vanessa, because she had a feeling that we should meet... and on that day, at the donut whole, I met my sister for the first time. My God appointed, spiritual sister. On that day, part of me was awakened. Like two little girls running through a field in cotton dresses, sun shining brightly, laughing and giggling til we had to stop to breathe... and we collapse and lay and look at the clouds... and look at each other. No words. Smiles. And she knows, and I know, everything is going to be alright. She looks at me and I feel loved- we say I love you with our eyes...that is how it feels... I wish I could describe it better. I'm feeling so loved!

My girls... oh, my girls. They are the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Everything about them is lovely, and God breathed. I feel so honored to raise them up, to teach them about God, to be the one that loves them most and best. Again, makes me want to hit my knees and praise God. We have made it to the other side, we three. We are free.

I feel like celebrating!!! I feel like there are so many things to celebrate!!! Maybe, at the very least, a housewarming party?

The birth of a Savior?


Okay, I'll be back soon with updates. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It has been a while. Where does the time go?

Recently I heard on NPR (national public radio) about a study that some scientists did in Russia. (At least I think it was Russia?) They took individuals out in a huge open field, blind folded them, and asked them to walk in a straight line. It isn't possible. Every single time, the walker turned and started to walk in a circle. The hypothesized that it could be left/right handedness, but disproved it because lefties were turning right and vice versa. They thought it was correlated with brain hemispheres, but they disproved that as well. They weren't able to prove why, but they did prove that it happens every time without fail. I was fascinated with this experiment. My "attach meaning to everything" type brain considered this a spiritual metaphor. 

They proved that humans are only capable of walking in a straight line when they are able to fix their eyes on someone or something in the distance. If they can't fix their eyes on anything, they walk in circles.

I have been trying to keep my eyes fixed, but more often than not I feel as though I am walking in circles. Big, dramatic, exhausting circles.

So, along these same lines- here is my new plan. First, I must fully identify what it is exactly I dream of. What kind of woman do I want to be? What dreams do I have for my life? Go ahead and gasp, but I think God gives us the right to dream. I think we are supposed to. I think we get to collaborate on these things with God. Step 1: Identification, aka finding the place to fix your eyes spiritually and also figuratively.

Step 2: Start making choices. Talk to God about the big ones, and the small ones if you wish. But move. You can't stand still. You have to make choices. Before fully making a decision, ask yourself, "Will these move me toward or away from what I'm after?"

When you know the answer, move toward your dreams. Simple. Move in the direction of your dreams. Do this every day, and eventually you will see them come to pass.

I feel as though I am either standing still, or going in circles. But for some strange reason I feel empowered to start moving... straight toward the life God has had in store for me all along, and straight into His loving presence.

I must go for now, I am going to Yoga. Because choosing to go to yoga moves me one step in the direction of my weight loss goals. :o)

Love to you all, and we'll catch up soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

heat and freezing

(photo from flickr)

When someone reveals the nature of their character, believe them.

This is the thought that keeps popping in and out of brain lately. I know there is some famous quote along these same lines, but the point is that one should play close attention to actions. Do they match beliefs? When someone, maybe in their worst moment, or angriest moment, or most desperate moment, shows you a side you don't want to believe is there, well- believe it. I think, especially women, we tend to minimize behaviors. We tend to dismiss them and sweep them under the rug. Especially if we can find some outlying circumstance to attribute the behavior to. He was drunk... she was really angry... he was under so much stress... you know how it goes.

I know it seems like very basic stuff, but I am really now learning that we teach people how to treat us. Personally, I am terrible with boundaries AND I am very much a people pleaser. The two together makes me a prime door mat material. It is more comfortable for me to accept mistreatment than it is for me to stand up for myself or create conflict. I don't really want to continue to be this way. So what if I piss someone off? My self-respect is on the line. Who do I love more? Myself or that person? Who's happiness is more essential to the well-being of my daughters? That persons or mine? I challenge women like me to protect themselves. To stop fearing conflict, or the thought of being "displeasing" - honor yourself. Love yourself. Respect yourself. If you don't, nobody else will.

Lately it seems like I have been encountering women married for twenty plus years who are newly divorced. I feel a significance when they share their story, and I know it is supposed to mean something to me. Maybe I am supposed to be grateful that I didn't spend thirty two years in an unhappy marriage, raising kids, emptying the nest, and then get a divorce? Maybe I am supposed to recognize that even those that follow the typical lines I sometimes feel guilty for coloring outside of, well, they don't have it any better. They aren't happier. We are all susceptible to failed relationships.

I miss feeling connected, and feeling like I have a sense of community. Lately I have been feeling disconnected from even my best friends. I go to church but don't feel the love. Its a great collection of strangers. Last night I was crying to my mom on the phone, mostly feeling lonely. About ten minutes after our conversation ended, Brooklyn comes walking into the living room, and she crawls up on the couch with me. We laid there, and talked. I didn't feel lonely anymore. Her chatter slowly became quiet, and I could hear her little girl snores. She fell asleep in the nook of my arm. I decided to lay there and savor everything about it. I wanted to memorize the way it feels to hold my six year old baby sleeping. A bit later, Charlotte comes toddling up to the couch, carrying her favorite soft blanket. I pull her up on the couch with us. I held my two sleepy baby girls and looked at the ceiling, and smelled their freshly washed curls, I listened to their sleepy breathing. I noticed I was anything but lonely. I thanked God. And I fell sleep.

In an earlier post I shared a video of a poem that I love. The last line is "There is heat, and freezing be a testament"- we have to know what its like to freeze to truly appreciate the heat. Warmth exists. I believe that. I typically don't struggle with loneliness or being single. In fact, I quite prefer it. But once in awhile, loneliness creeps up and pesters me. I am thinking, though, its a blessing. Yep. Loneliness is a blessing. It is the freezing that makes heat so beautiful. And, if you are as lucky as I am, you have little people who can't get close enough to you. They fit in your arms like puzzle pieces. They get their heat from you. There is no such thing as freezing for little girls who always have a mommy to hold them. Is there anything more beautiful than that? Does anything else really matter? 

Somewhere out in the world, there is a nook that I fit perfectly in. I am his puzzle piece, and he is mine. Maybe he longs for me too. Maybe not. Maybe he knows the freezing all too well. Maybe he gathers his warmth from talks with God, and his own little people, like I do. 

If you have community, connectedness, companionship, take a moment to praise God. Be thankful for the beautiful relationships in your life. If you are otherwise a little cold, or maybe freezing, I will share my blanket until warmth finds us again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today was Brooklyn's first day back to school. I snapped a picture with my phone real quick this morning as we headed out the door. This is grandma's house. (Well, one of them.)

We went to the first day of school ceremony. The kindergarten kiddos look so little! I don't remember Brooklyn looking so tiny. I wished her a great first day, and started walking down the sidewalk to our car with my Charlie monster. Another mom, who works at the school asked, "Is this Brooklyn's sister? She has gotten so big! She was such a baby last year and now she looks like a big girl... how old is she?"

"She's two. And a half. We are half way through..."
(chuckles) She said three was actually pretty bad for her. To which I reply, "Oh no! Don't say that."
"I was pretty spoiled with Brooklyn. She was the best toddler,"
Then the mom said, "She is a great kid all the way around. She is always happy, always has a smile on her face, she has the best personality..."
I can't remember if I thanked her for complimenting my girlie so. I was too busy smiling and feeling all kinds of proud.

I have heard it said that our children are not our own. We are merely facilitators. For such a short time, they are with us. We are supposed to teach them as best we can. All parents with grown children assure me that I will mess up. My kids will hate me at some point. I will fall short and I will wound them. There will come a day, when my girls wake up and realize that mom is human. She isn't any super woman. She makes huge mistakes. She gets lost and confused and really doesn't have all the answers.

Tonight, before bed, I hugged Brooklyn extra long. I told her I love her so so so much. And that I am so so so proud of her. I really am. She is the most beautiful soul I have ever met, and I am so excited that for the rest of my life, I get to know her and love her. I feel the same way about my Charlotte. She isn't nearly as sweet, but she makes up for it in strength of will. Charlotte will be her own woman. The sassafrass is so smart, so strong willed, and so funny! It amazes me, the intentionality with which they were created. They compliment each other so well, the way best friends should. 

I wish I could give them the world, everything they ever want. I wish that when Brooklyn asks about the ocean I could take her there tomorrow. I wish I had a home in the country, and a horse for them to ride. I wish I could buy them the latest toy, or take them to disney world. Most of all, I wish I could give them the ideal family that we all seem to long for. I wish there were no every other weekend with dad visits. I wish they could see inside my heart, to understand fully how much I love them and why I have made the choices I have.

When my human-ness becomes all too much, when my mistakes make them angry, when they hurt because so and so's mom and dad are still together... I hope they know they have a perfect God, who created them perfectly, who knows their hearts, and is always there to love them through anything. 

This facilitating stuff is hard work. Suddenly my heart aches for Mary...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

a new direction for this here blog

Life is interesting, isn't it? I mean, so many times what we plan for, what we imagine, what we dream of, what we believe we can count on... it never happens.  Maybe fairy tales ruin us. Maybe expectations of others leave us no choice but to fall short. Maybe we make our own choices, and after so many choices, we look ourselves in the mirror and wonder how in the world we arrived here. What went wrong? The retrospection is dangerous, and quite useless. As is the guilt, the shame, the anger we turn inward.

When I was a teenager, barely sixteen, I moved out of my home. That was, at the time, the healthiest choice I could have made for myself. By eighteen, my stellar grades hardly meant a thing, because I was pregnant. I was pregnant and alone. I remember one night I slept with my Bible, I was so afraid. Boys don't make very good men, and it was only a short matter of time before I found myself with a beautiful baby girl, a heap of pain from infidelity, and single.

Every woman, at some point, should experience what it is like to walk in the front door after the end of a long day, with no one but herself to keep her company. It is both empowering and humbling at the same time.

Along comes this perfect stranger. He spent a summer making friends with Brooklyn before he ever even spoke to me. I think he knew the way to my heart was through my Brooklyn. It was absolute perfection, well, until one night he grabbed me by the ponytail and the arm, pulled me out of my car and through me down in the middle of the street. Apparently I didn't get to leave, if he didn't want me to. I remember standing up, adrenaline coursing through my veins, looking down at my hands at the gravel that had imprinted in my skin. I had to tell myself that this was really happening. The man I was hoping to spend the rest of my life with, the man I trusted to love my little girl, the man that I loved completely, was an abuser.

I encourage you, before you make assumptions, to learn about the nature of abusers and the women who find themselves with them. On average, a woman in an abusive relationship attempts to leave her abuser seven times before she gets out for good. I lived it, for nearly five years. I must have tried to leave dozens of times, only to find myself right back in his grip. I took a class on domestic violence. I read every book I could find on the matter. I had an amazing support system of women who were willing to do anything to get me away from him. I can't tell you why it took me so long to leave. 

So, I found myself single, now with another baby girl, and a daughter in love with a man that went about destroying her mother. As he had women before me, and I am so blessed to call a few of them friends. I have definitely had a few lingering looks in the mirror, wondering how in the world I arrived here.

Dare I say, this is the best time of my life. I have been on my own for quite some time now, and I love being a single mother. It is so hard, don't get me wrong. But I am so much happier than I ever could have imagined. I love waking up to my girls. I love tucking them in and saying prayers at bedtime. I love that they get to see me strong, independent, and growing more lovely with each passing day. They get to witness an amazing transformation in their mother... a mom who loves and respects herself. I can't help but believe, that some of it will be imparted on them. I have yet to meet a man good enough for them... good enough to model what a man should be, and how a man should love a woman. 

I have been praying for my husband since I was five years old. I remember my very specific prayers, as a child, for a good man, for a husband who is a great dad. I also prayed that I would only be married once. I know to have two children, with two different guys, doesn't really fit in any box society is comfortable with. But I smile every time it comes up. Because I know, God heard the prayers of my five-year-old heart. And that is precisely why I have been engaged twice, but never married. 

I have no real interest in dating. Although, I can't wait to hold hands. I can't wait to admire his laugh, his messy hair, the way he sings in the car. I can't wait to hug him so I can try to memorize the way he smells, the way my cheek rests on his chest... "In time, my daughter."

Statistically, I should never be where I am right now. Statistically, I should be neck deep in a horribly abusive relationship, raising two daughters that would no doubt follow in my footsteps. And in all actuality, statistically, I should be dead. I belong to God. He saved me. He saves me over and over, there are no limitations to His Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, and Love. I get to experience a freedom, that one can only truly appreciate after living in years of bondage and brokenness, and abuse. Sweet sweet freedom. 

I am as free as a bird.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rest Awhile

The settee above was my first vintage furniture piece. My mom bought it for me, and then paid to have it recovered. I love the original finish of the wood, the intricacies of the carvings, and I like to wonder about where it has been. I know it is over 100 years old, and that is a lot of life to live!

This weekend will be full of home projects and cleaning. My baby bird is sick with a viral infection in her throat. And, I really need a low key weekend as it is...

Hopefully I can accomplish a lot, and pick just the right spot for this treasure. I would like to put it in the girls rooms, but I am not quite that brave. I mean, it is white. And Charlotte is notorious for coloring on anything and everything. 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

forgiveness- front and center

I've caught myself feeling pretty happy, as of late. Maybe happy isn't the right word... maybe content would be more appropriate. I'm alright. And that is a good feeling. 

There has been a huge shift in my walk. Over the last six years plus, my walk has been very healing focused... survival mode, just learning how to handle today and wake up tomorrow ready to handle that day. I realized I had many days in a row, when I was just okay. I was better than surviving. And then God started in with the whole forgiveness bit. More specifically, self forgiveness.

Now, I am a very insightful, self-aware individual. I feel like I see myself realistically, and if not, too harshly. But when it comes to self-forgiveness, it is like a big blind spot in my self-actualization. As much as I fight this, God keeps putting it front and center. He has made it clear, that this is a crucial part of moving forward, of becoming who He has created me to be. If I avoid this most important step, I will be stuck in okay.

I have always admired women who seem to really know themselves, and really LOVE themselves. I just wished I could encounter such peace with myself, all that I have been, currently am or ever will be. I am surprised at the compassion I feel toward others but not toward myself. But that whole self-love thing, I think it starts with self-forgiveness.

If my walk were on literal stepping stones, I just jumped to a new one. And on the previous one, I couldn't see too far ahead, couldn't see where I was going. But on this one, I can see it! I feel as though I finally see that place I have been striving for. The goal is within sight, no longer this far off place that I only dreamt of. I feel so willing to do whatever it takes to get there...

I must say, I couldn't have arrived here without several women, and my two little soul mates. They carried me. They upheld me. They forced me to refuse to give up. They made me believe that God is a tender and compassionate daddy. They made me laugh, and cried for me. They changed my life forever, and I wish there were words that could express just what they mean to me. Ma, V, Em- I love you so much. Thank you. 

God, thank you so much. I am SO blessed. I can't praise You enough. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

on the beginning of wholeness

{art by Brady Quarles Art}

I love the movie Hope Floats. It does have all the makings for a movie I would love- quirky grandma, beautiful old home, Sandra Bullock, country boy, a camera, southern small town, mother-daughter love, and then that other kind of love...

I'd tell you about the movie, but I am hoping that you have already seen it or will sometime soon. But I love this quote from the end of the movie:

"My dad says that childhood is the happiest time of my life. But, I think he's wrong. I think my mom's right. She says that childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That's what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too... "

I feel as though I have been eating on the same piece of humble pie for quite some time. However well intentioned I may be, I seem to be making so many mistakes. But one thing is for sure, I have found myself at a new beginning. Beginnings are scary.
I take comfort in the fact that I never have to live the same day twice, and I always have the power to change. I am ready for God to make strength from the fear. I have this mental image of just laying down at Jesus' feet... washing them... drying them with my hair. Nobody is around. It is just He and I. And when I am done He lets me rest for awhile... just fall asleep in His arms like a child. I am longing for intimacy with God. I am longing to truly love myself and see myself as He sees me. I want to walk through life boldly, confident because of the One who has walked before me. He has made the way. I just have to listen.
It is a hard thing for a broken girl to learn to feel whole. I have learned, that there is nothing on this earth that will accomplish that.... not love, not accomplishments, not sex, not drinking or addictions, not children, not money, not a book, not a best friend or parent, not being beautiful or having power, nothing on this earth can make a person feel whole, fulfilled, complete. I wish I could say what I know the world wants to hear. But the truth is, it can only be found in God. I know this, and yet I go about aimlessly, indulging in worldly things, trying to escape what is and fill what isn't. Empty pursuits. Like I said, same big piece of humble pie.
I am at the beginning, and on my face. I am done brawling with reality. I am done with the empty pursuits. Lord, I want to want you more than anything else in my life. This is my heart song. Tonight, I just want to lay down, my head in your lap, and rest.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Here I am!

Here I am!!!!!
I wanted to share with you my very first home grown peony baby. Isn't she lovely? I am rather proud...

first peony

I had been wanting this closet system for a while. For some strange reason there was no closet bar in Brooklyn's room. Putting the girls in the same bedroom meant I had to get this. I finally had enough money and went to Lowes- they were on clearance! I had to put it together and install it all by myself. I had it all organized pretty but the girls messed up my photo styling. Anyway, you get the idea...

Now if I could just afford some closet doors. :o)

all by myself

My mom and I just got back from NYC last Sunday. It was a great trip! I love taking trips with her. She and I have the best time together. This is all the goodness that came home with me:

Magnolia Bakery cookbook
millinery from tinsel trading
christian dior lipstick from sephora
victorian lace and old purse from hells kitchen flea market (you wouldn't believe what I paid!)
princess fabric from purl soho, for a project for the girls
Don't get too excited about the Tiffany bag. It is a pen. It was given to my mom (she was there for business) and she gave it to me. Someday I will buy myself something I can wear...

New York City Goodies

I have a mad Charlie to tend to. I will be back soon. I am trying to be a better blogger!

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I am listening to classical music on pandora and daydreaming...

:: green pastures ::

:: sweet horses ::

:: wildflowers ::

:: vintage dresses ::

:: laughter over a home cooked meal ::

:: roses, hydrangeas, peonies, camellias ::

:: finished projects ::

:: upcoming road trip with V ::

:: learning all kinds of new things ::

:: my first visit to ikea ::

:: being a really good blogger ::

Thanks for being patient with me.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

plus or minus

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles." 

-- Audrey Hepburn

I found this on a friend of a friend's blog. I love Audrey. And I really love this quote.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a woman. Not just a woman, but a woman who loves the Lord. As soon as I type those words a little part of me cringes because I know that some people will be immediately turned off. But that's what I am after. 

I have been journaling quite a lot lately, and I feel like I am on the verge of something big. God has been doing some subtracting from my life. He can do that, you know? He can decide he doesn't like this or that and before you know it, your life looks different. He adds too. He adds people, good good good hearted people. He adds opportunities. He adds a little adventure. He adds blessings that seem too good to be true. I have to admit, when I first started sincerely praying to live according to God's will for my life, I was all talk. I said it because I wanted to feel like I was living right. I wanted to feel like I was a good daughter. But when living on my own accord got so bad, so painful, that I became truly desperate to live out God's will- I prayed for it and meant it. I begged for it.I could no longer stand my own will. And folks, the changes that came with that HURT. The refinement that needed to take place was excruciating for my soul. It is still a little tender to the touch. But for the first time in my whole life, I AM FREE.

Isn't that crazy? That we come to know FREEDOM by submitting our lives to God? I think I must have heard that 1000 times. I had to live it to truly know what it felt like. The walk to the ledge is a bit scary. Looking over the ledge is gut-wrenchingly terrifying. The step off the ledge makes your heart stop beating and your organs drop. The falling is half frightening and half exciting. You become fearful of the landing... and then... you are caught in His arms. The landing is soft and warm and safe and beautiful. And you feel silly for being so afraid in the first place. That is what trusting God feels like for me.

I have been so wounded by human beings that I struggle to trust the Creator of the universe and every creature in it! How non-sensical is that? But God gets me. He knows where I am coming from. And He knows way deep down, I love Him. I want to trust Him. I am trying with every ounce of capacity my little human heart has. I have prayed a sincere prayer of wanting God's will for my life, and I feel free- and He has given me a gift.

Before we can move forward, now is the time for you to truly extend yourself some grace. Come to see yourself as I see you. Learn to love yourself as I love you. Listen to the cries of your heart and understand where they come from. Nurse your wounds, child. Pause long enough for them to heal over. Be fearless about learning about your own nature, your faults, your strengths, your passions, your dreams. Be fierce about loving me. In exchange for your desire and willingness to want me more than anything in your life, I extend you the time and grace to come to heal, know, and love yourself deeply and completely. Let me show you how beautifully and wonderfully made you are...

Audrey seems to really know what she likes and what she believes in. She too, was no stranger to adversity. She loved laughing and kissing and so do I! Tomorrow is another day! Miracles are all around us! Audrey, you were on to something...

Life is so rich. It is so good and so full. God adds and takes away and sometimes it stinks and sometimes it takes awhile but you will find freedom and peace. I have a long way to go. A really really long long way to go. But I believe in miracles.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

my cup runneth over

So I have some exciting news to share! I got the job!!!! I really am so excited about this opportunity to work with kids, and I really believe it is such a great fit for me. Not to mention, this will be the kind of job that suits my strengths and where I believe I can make a difference. What could be better than helping kids? 

My pear trees are blooming. I think spring is such a magical time of year. I love new beginnings, new life. When the trees get their green leaves and the flowers start blooming I feel like all is right with the world. This spring is a very special spring for me, I believe it is marked as one of my tried and true new beginnings. I believe this spring is the first spring of my brand new life. It is a very special thing, to remember how to love yourself. Let's just say, right now it feels as though there are unlimited possibilities for my life. 

Women are amazing. They truly are! I feel like the women in my life have changed my life forever. They gave me courage when mine ran out. They prayed with me and cried with me and laughed with me and celebrated with me. I am nearly in tears over the love I feel for them. And tonight, I am going to meet more amazing women. Tonight I am joining a support group of women who have survived abuse. My hope and prayer is that I can be as loving and supportive of them as the women in my life have been for me. 

Daughters can inspire you to do anything! (Sons too, I'm sure. I just don't have any of those.) Really, my girls make me feel like I can do anything and everything. They give me strength I didn't know I had. My girls have redefined so many things for me- beauty, joy, excitement, adventure, beauty, love, to name a few. But most of all, they have completely and totally redefined me. And I really like this version of me, the mamma version. I think I am just mostly overwhelmed at God's goodness and love. 

I think the farmers market has started again. I'm thinking I will have to go buy some produce and flowers. Who knows? If its nice I might even wear a pretty sun dress and cowgirl boots. 

Don't ever underestimate the power of a woman.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

B is for Brazen

I feel like my life is made up of all these different categories and elements. And I like to have them in some sort of order. I like to know where each one fits and how each ones aligns with who I am. That is how I am most comfortable. But lately, I am feeling like someone took all the individual parts, threw them in the monkey barrel, shook it all up, and poured them out all over the place- leaving me to run around like a mad woman trying to make sense of things again. Having no clue how to create order in the chaos, I find myself looking to God. Well, sort of.

I am suddenly highly aware of myself. Does that make sense? Like, I'm a 25 year old, single mom of two daughters. I get that. But I am also on my own. I go to bed on my own. I wake up on my own. I brush my teeth and look at myself in the mirror and say, "This is you, Kali. This is your life. This is what you look like when you brush your teeth." I find myself grabbing at happy bits of childhood, like somehow they can give me some kind of indication of who I am today. I read my daily devotional and it feels a bit like rhetoric, but I'm looking for God to beam down instructions for who I am and how I am supposed to live my life. I drink a beer or two with women that I admire, probing them for advice on how to be. If I find anything I thoroughly enjoy, I do lots of it, hoping I am learning something certain about myself. Sometimes, I willingly do something completely reckless because the consequences make me feel like I am alive. Maybe I am just a typical twenty-something. I think this might be part of the price I pay for having a child when I was 18. There is all this figuring out to do while you are in your early twenties...

I've been mulling over anything and everything. Like, how much money is too much money to spend on appearances? How will I handle things when a guy comes on to me? I can't do everything I would like to, as a mother, so which things are most important? What has my mother taught me about who I am? My father? What does God think about me? How do I feel about my body image, and is that appropriate? Is it okay for me to buy myself sexy underwear even if I am the only one who ever sees it? I really want a huge tattoo on my arm, but is that something I will regret? Will it send the wrong message to potential employers? Should I care? Could I wait for my husband, even though I have sort of crossed the point of no return in the sex department? Can a girl like me reclaim herself like that? I wonder what it would take to get into the best shape of my life... where do I start?

Do you see what I mean? IT. IS. EXHAUSTING. 

Try being my friend!!! Bless their well meaning hearts... :o)

Today, lacking the energy to pray, I just asked God a question. And He answered. 

You get to choose.

Really God? That's it? I get to choose? Well, why the heck did you make me so indecisive? I can barely pick out toilet paper, let alone major life defining/individual sculpting choices. Why can't I be like those women? You know which ones I am talking about. They are fiercely themselves, making no apologies, just living out who they are and enjoying it. They have this pull about them, their self-certainty is so attractive. How does one achieve that? How do I reconcile who I have been, who I am now, and who I want to be?

Jesus blessed the adulteress. Maybe if I could see Jesus, touch his hands, maybe then I could feel pure again, like I could live free of it all. Maybe if He walked up to me, blessed me, and with his sweet voice told me to go and sin no more, maybe then I would feel like I have the power to be different. Instead, there is this little quickening in my spirit, and once sentence, you get to choose.

I'm a grown up. A full fledged, on my own, make my own decisions and decide who I want to be grown up. And I am also in charge of raising two little girls. And I have an obligation to my husband, wherever or whoever he is... because I need to respect him and remain loyal to him, even in this time. If I share something, you must promise not to laugh....

I talk to him. I ask him, "Would you like a tattoo?" Or if the best song ever is on my radio, I sing it loud and wonder if he likes the song too. Living as a human trying to live for God is tough. It ain't easy being green. But the unlimited possibilities, the freedom to make a choice, that is one of the most beautiful parts of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. 

Happy Easter.  

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The first of April

I'm wooing you with a pretty picture. (source unknown) 

This weekend has to be a productive weekend. For starters, I have been applying for jobs. I recently interviewed for a job with a social service organization- which primarily works with children and families... and to say I really want the job is an understatement! I'm hoping and praying that it all works out. I will land somewhere eventually.

And, there is a big project in the works!!!! I feel like it is going to be so much fun!!! This little project has been waiting patiently for my life to free up a bit. It is a long time in the making. Check back here soon for the official unveiling! You'll be glad you did. :o)

I'm putting the final touches on that pretty bathroom. I know, it has been FOREVER. But it is almost ready for the close up. I have just realized that I have a TON of painting to do. Walls, trim, furniture, walls, walls, furniture... but the end result will be beautiful. 

Spring is here, and it is lovely. I love Spring. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Charlie the cowgirl

Today was a monumental day! It was Charlotte's first time riding a horse all by herself!! We are in Oklahoma, at my mom's house. Her house, for my girls, is as great as any vacation. Horses. A four wheeler. A playground. A forest. A lake. Boats.... SO MUCH FUN!

Being Brooklyn's first spring break, I had to do something. Nicco (my little brother) is her very best buddy. Riding horses is her very favorite thing. Naturally, this was her most favorite place to go.
The weather was absolutely beautiful today. Like- perfect. And Wall-E and Eva were especially well behaved.

It is official. Three generations of cowgirls. I wish these horses weren't four hours away. It would be so nice to just zip on over and let the girls ride any time they would like...
Since Brooklyn was just a bun in the oven, I have dreamt of the day I would own my own farmhouse and we would have our own horses. I'm trying to be patient. :o)
Tomorrow we are going antiquing/junking. I will be sure and share finds!
Hope your spring breaks are lovely and full of sunshine! (despite the forecast for snow...)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

how do you eat an elephant?

The warmer weather has all of us itching to get outside! The girls and I took a hike/walk the other day- along with Ollie the Cow dog. He is a good dog, and we sure do love him. He is also half lab and half collie- so he is very smart AND very full of ENERGY. I tell Brooklyn to get dressed so we can go for an adventure and that she will need pants on. To her this means wearing tights with the dress, and leopard print coat. She is fabulous and that's all there is to it.

My first week of weight watchers I lost four pounds. A small victory- but a victory. I feel like I am doing well adhering to the plan, and it hasn't felt like I have given up too much. I do have a terrible sweet tooth and there have been many times I have wanted sugary sweets. It comes down to self-discipline. I hope to start working out more. I love to lift weights, and I'm planning on taking a zumba class. It is supposed to be all the rage- check it out on youtube. And of course, there is always my one true love- YOGA! I do love yoga.

The weight loss part is really nice, but the best part is just taking care of yourself.

I know this sounds silly, but thinking about losing weight has me thinking about other things... like fashion! I like the idea that I might be able to wear some trendy things. Or buy a bathing suit. Speaking of, I really really really want this one:

I love the vintage style... the black... the neckline... its only $140 at Anthropologie! Couldn't you see it paired with some Audrey type sunglasses? A girl can dream though... and maybe by the end of summer, I might be ready to rock a two piece. MAYBE.

I think that every once in awhile, its good for us girls to be girly. Dream of dresses and pedicures and spend just a little extra time on our make-up. I really love being a woman. For so many more reasons then this...

Spring is almost here! The sun is shining on me through the window now as I type. I hope your day is as beautiful, where ever you are...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

I love sesame street. I really love it. I spent hours watching it as a little girl, and I am certain that is how I learned all my letters and numbers before kindergarten. My great-grandma had to watch the news, and a soap or two, but I always got to watch sesame street.
Charlotte's recent stay in the hospital meant she got to watch a lot of television. Previously, it was a rare occasion to watch TV. I let the girls watch Saturday morning cartoons- but that was about it. A week in the hospital with nothing but a tv means a lot of cartoon watching. She loves Bob-Bob. (More commonly known as spongebob.) She requests him on an almost daily basis now. "I watch bob-bob, mamma?"
The other day, we watched sesame street. She now loves Elmo. It had been quite awhile since I had watched my long time friends. I caught myself smiling many times. Wouldn't it be nice to live in such a place? Where grown-ups are almost always happy? Everyone is friends with everyone, and even if you're grouchy people love you anyway? Singing and dancing are prerequisites for living in the neighborhood? I wish we could keep our world that way. I wish that we stayed childlike and that we never had to grow aware of this real world. I'd take a walk with Big Bird any day. Fortunately, I am lucky enough to have two daughters who see the world like sesame street and it makes me really happy to stop and view the world through their little bitty eyes every now and again. It refreshes my spirit- which longs to stay childlike.
I have also had a prompting of my spirit lately. You know, when you feel as though you will burst if you don't move in some direction, that you crave change more than you long to be comfortable. My spirit aches for purpose and for me that means the opportunity to help other people. My spirit longs for community, for others who are moving in the same direction- others who want to make the real world a little more like sesame street.

Sunny Day Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get, How to get to Sesame Street?
Come and play Everything's A-OK
Friendly neighbors there,
That's where we meet
Can you tell me how to get How to get to Sesame Street?
It's a magic carpet ride
Every door will open wide
To Happy people like you-- Happy people like
What a beautiful
Sunny Day Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get, How to get to Sesame street?
How to get to Sesame Street?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ikea (free shipping!)

Finally, my ikea sofa and bookshelf arrived! I am so excited about getting my home in order. I have wanted this sofa for some time now.
I think I might use this shelf in my new office/creative space. Although, it would be very pretty in my living room...
In other news, Brooklyn has officially been reading books! It is really amazing to watch her read. I wasn't one of those parents who really pushed reading because I have heard that it makes no difference in a child's IQ. Well, at least that is what the study said. :o) I read to her often, and she has always had an interest in books. But now, seeing her read for herself- its just amazing.

I joined weight watchers online. I am optimistic about it. My mom has recently lost over 30 lbs on WW! I am very proud of her!

I hope to spend the next week or so making my house more homey...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm trying to get back to photography. I recruited my best friend and her husband to let me take some pictures. They are such beautiful people. They have become family.

two of my favorite people from kali kerr on Vimeo.

I hope your week is off to a good start... spring is just around the corner!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Beautiful Mess

"A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man needs to seek Him in order to find her."

I found this quote from Erin's blog: rare and beautiful treasures. I think I may have seen this before, or one similar. But when I read it at her blog it hit me hard. It nearly brings me to tears. I want my heart to be that lost in God. It just isn't. I love God fiercely. But I'm not here yet.
I have felt so out-of-sorts, I don't think I know where to start falling more in love with God. I can be so spiritually ignorant/dumb at times. I think though, that it starts with little every day decisions. Don't say that. Don't make that choice. Go here rather than there. Pray about this instead of getting angry. Be still. Move. Listen. Dance. Delight. I am craving closeness with my Creator. I am longing to dance with Him. I miss the intimacy that came with being an innocent little girl. Somehow, we grow up and sin and become pulled in all these other directions- and suddenly I can't remember the last time I prayed, or read my Bible. What should be first priority becomes last. And then I wonder why it starts to feel like I am sludging along through life...
I want my life to be God-filled and adventurous. I want to live the dreams that God has for my life. I want to chase the Holy Spirit all day long. I want to be bold in my faith. I want to feel alive and fearless and audacious and strong. I want my life to reflect what I believe. If I walked through life, seeking God first, chasing after Him, delighting with all my heart and soul and mind, where might God take me? If I were brave enough to put God first, what would become of my life? Who would I meet? Where would I go? Who's hands would I hold or mouths would I feed? To what depths would I carry the light? If I became fearless and completely jumped, free falling, arms wide open, never once doubting, would my life with God become more amazing than I could have ever imagined? One day, would a man as bold, fearless, and in love with God walk along with me? Could I be the kind of woman that could only be found by seeking God?
Something is changing inside of me. Maybe God is tired of waiting on me and is prompting my spirit. All of sudden, I don't care about all the little trivial things that I have been hanging on to. I don't care about my past. I've lost interest in beating myself up. Guilt is no longer welcome here. What has been so important to me, isn't so much anymore. My eyes are fixed in a different place, a brighter place, and while they aren't quite focused- it is getting clearer.
Thank goodness that no matter how far away we stray, or how lost we get in this world or the people in it, we can always come back to Him. We can always fall in love again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

subtracting and simplifying

Hello Friends!

I am sorry for taking so long to write. This year has gotten off to a CRAZY start. In fact, today was our first day home from the hospital. On February 21 Charlie turned 2. On the 22nd, she was admitted to the hospital with RSV- where we discovered that she also has asthma. We were finally able to come home today. As if things couldn't become more overwhelming, I got sick during our stay at the hospital. During the first part of February, there was an unexpected death in our family. This whole month has been a whirlwind and all I want is to just be home with my girls.

Speaking of home, I have slowly been working on projects here and there as I find time. I am going to school full time this semester, so finding time is tough. I am finding myself getting a little braver when it comes to color. I would like to do some entertaining this spring and summer, and I have many projects I hope to complete before then. The bathroom is almost finished... not sure which room I will move to next. :o)

I haven't taken pictures in quite some time and lately I am feeling drawn back to my camera. I'm feeling like life is getting too busy, too crazy, that I don't have time to really enjoy the things I love. I definitely feel like it is time to start subtracting from the obligations, the schedule, the stuff- and just SIMPLIFY. Can I get an Amen?

I miss posting on my blog. I miss sharing pictures of the pretties I find, the home projects, my daughters. Gosh, I haven't even taken pictures of them in months. MONTHS.

Hang in there with me. I will be back here in full form soon enough. I just have to get busy subtracting and simplifying...

Monday, January 25, 2010

life is good!!!

Hello Friends! I am so sorry for not having any pictures to share! Please forgive me. I have been without home internet for awhile. (Ollie the cow dog chewed through the chord, I recently discovered. More on that later.)

I'm back to school and I am taking a full time load. I am enjoying my classes so far. My professors are all so very different, which makes for not so ordinary days. I have recently applied for a job at a fun restaurant/bar kind of place and I feel that the interview went well. Still no word... but I figure it will play out just as it should. I have started yoga and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! For the first time, I feel as though I have found a form of exercise that I would love to do every day. The girls are doing well. Brooklyn was recently recognized for being a good citizen in her class. Charlotte is suddenly saying everything. Lately she asks, "Whas dat?" about nearly everything. This is how they learn. I love her curiosity. Brooklyn is getting long and lean, her little face is just looking so much older. We have talks frequently. Sometimes we snuggle and talk about horses. Sometimes we snuggle and talk about dreams. Sometimes we snuggle and talk about our lives and what our goals are. I know better than to treat her like a grown up or a friend, but I think it is important to have these kinds of talks with daughters. I want her to know me. Really know me. She knows where I go to school, and what my dreams are. She tells me what makes her happy and how friends at school treat her. Sometimes parents can get so caught up in the everyday rigamarole and the never ending to-do list that they forget to slow down and just enjoy the company of their babies. I really like my kids. They are turning into way cool people. They are so very different and yet so similar, and I wouldn't change a thing about them.

I recently had laser surgery on my eyes. I refer to it as my own personal miracle. It is a miracle. I was previously legally blind without correction- worse than 20/800. I had surgery on a friday morning, and on saturday morning I read 20/15! God is good. That is all I have to say about that. And, it is amazing to wake up, open your eyes, and see. I will never take it for granted.

The bathroom is almost finished! I have a shelf and mirror to paint... then its done! I am trying to work steadily through one project at a time, but I must admit I have home project/painting ADD. Of course, you know this about me and love me anyway.

I have some amazing friends. Like, sisters-from-another-mother-that-really-love-each-other kind of friends. I am so blessed to have authentic, humble, loving women in my life. You won't hear a one of us talk bad about another. You will never feel judged. You will be told the truth, not just icecream cones. In our circle, you are welcome and beautiful and adored. When you are hurting, the group will nurse your wounds. When you are afraid, they will lend you their courage. When you overly excited, the group will get excited for you. We break bread together. We laugh til we cry together. We cry til we laugh together. I believe we all walk through life, stronger women, because we have each other. The funny thing is, I am not so good at intimacy with women. Or at least I wasn't. But I desperately wanted real friends. I'm not the girl who has BFFs from high school. I prayed for friends. For months and months. It started with one, and now there are many! Ladies- make friends. Pray for them. Find people who inspire you and who are positive and gravitate toward them. Now, more then ever, I believe that good friends are crucial to discovering yourself and finding your bliss. I had one friend: Emily. Through some prayer and putting myself out there, (including a blind friend date :o) I now know and love: Vanessa, April, Erin, Abi, Chandra, Emily, Laurel, Kat, and I am making new friends all the time!!! I have to say, my mom is my original, til death do us part best friend. Emily is my angel friend. Vanessa is my soul mate friend. April is my older sister/motherly friend. Erin is my quietly bold, encouraging friend. Gosh, I'm feeling like the luckiest girl ever!

Life is so good.

I'm going to need my internet for school, so I will get it up and going soon. Which means pictures of my bathroom, of my besties. And who knows what else...oooh...I have some fabulous flea market finds to share! I haven't done that for a while.

I hope that your year is off to a great start! I hope that where ever you are, you have some joy to share. I hope that you know some amazing women, who are only a phone call away. I hope that you dream...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Friends!!! I welcome 2010, and all that it will bring! I am optimistic about this year. I am hoping for a year of simple things. Simple joys. Simple days. Simplicity. Over the last seven years, my life has been complicated. I have been on one long roller coaster ride, and I feel like I have finally gotten off. It is so hard to surrender things to God. For me, it is so hard to trust. I have been trying to get to know God as my Dad, and thankfully I have some wonderful friends who are helping me with all of this. I am hoping that wherever I am, whatever our circumstances, I can feel content and peaceful. I have started yoga and I love love love it! The girls and I are making one big girly room out of our downstairs family room, and we are redoing the downstairs bathroom. I hope to host many girl's nights in our new creative/office/workout/sewing/whirlpool tub/big tv space! I have some awesome helpers... Please notice Brooklyn's fabulous outfit...tights, shirt over shirt, swimsuit bottoms, fuzzy backpack. My girl puts together the craziest outfits! I am convinced she will be famous one day. She really loves helping with projects, and here she is taking out screws for the door pulls.

We are painting the room a pretty blue green color. (Well, I am. ;o) And I painted the awful builder honey brown cabinet a creamy white.

Charlotte helps too. (Ignore the mess.) Here are my girlies sanding one of the cabinet doors prior to painting. I look at these pictures and I feel this sense of pride... like my little girlies don't yet think that there is any task they can't do or help with. In our home, women change light fixtures and tile floors and mud walls and paint rooms. We also have toenail painting parties, do our hair and make-up, dance and sing, and snuggle. Life with my two daughters is amazing. It is beautiful. Sometimes I have these moments when I just look at them, and I feel like the luckiest woman in the whole wide world.
(Charlie is wearing a diaper in this picture.)
I read blogs of other families. Every once in awhile, I long for a more traditional family. I long for a partner. I long to know what it feels like to be married. I wonder if I can be enough for two girls who deserve the best life has to offer. God kinda shushes my thinking. This is my lot. This is my life. And there is no point in wishing it to be different. And I have a feeling that the three of us are going to be just fine. Better than fine. I think our little family will be strong, beautiful, bonded, best friends, and we three girls will know God so intimately that nothing else will really matter. I like that. I like knowing that God lives in our home. I like knowing that when I lay in bed at night, finally quietness exists, and half my bed is full of notebooks and journals and self-help books and a Bible that has surely seen better days.... God is right there with me. He is enjoying watching me smile as I find that scripture that is perfect in that moment. He is in every cup of hot tea that warms my body. He is in the soft pillows, the warm quilts. The pretty dresses hanging in my closet. He is in the warm socks from a woman I love like a sister. He is in the unexpected late night text from Emily, who just thinks of me. He is in the pretty metal bed that was exactly what I was looking for, and $20 at a thrift store. He is in the comfy jammies that are completely practical and not at all pretty. He is in my heart. He is in my heart.
This year, I want God to fill up every nook and cranny of my life. I want to exude His love, as well as I can. I want to make people laugh, and give away love like its my job. I want to smile and laugh and wear pretty vintage dresses. I want to take care of body. I want to try new foods and stick with yoga, and travel. I want to snuggle my girls until they are sick of me. I want to cook big dinners for the people I love. I want to fix up my home, one room at a time, because I love my home. Because it is a home to royalty- princesses who surely deserve beautiful surroundings. This year, I want to serve. I want to just love on people. I want to love better- starting with loving myself.
Here's to the miracle of a new day! Here's to a new beautiful year! Here's to the chance to create the life we were designed to live! Here's to inviting God in your home and heart! Here is to finding peace and contentment, wherever you are...