Tuesday, May 24, 2011

to just be

Lately, I have been learning to just be. Did you know that it takes practice?
One of my good guy friends recently told me, “You are all up here,” while pointing to my head. He is right. The trouble with being so analytical, so inquisitive, so thought-full, is that it makes it really hard to just be.
And I really want to learn how to just be.
When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher used to read Encyclopedia Brown to the class. You had to pay attention to every little detail to find the one that unlocked the mystery. (Which were disclosed at the end of each little story.) I don’t remember what this one particular mystery was about, but I remember that I would just burst with the answers- the ridiculous kid hand stretched high. I knew she couldn’t pick me every time. But one time, nobody else had the answer. I answered. And Mrs. Woodman said, “How did you know that?!? You have a great brain.”
It was the first time someone told me that I was smart and I knew it.
Can I train my churning brain to quiet enough to just be?
I’ve been trying. I have been stretching myself. I’ve been forcing myself to exist inside of moments without analyzing them to pieces. I’ve been forcing myself to cling to the scripture that says something like each day has its own worries… I googled it:
Matthew 6:34 (New International Version)
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Yeah. Beautiful moments. I have had many lately. And I know myself well enough to know that I have to make myself exist in them, or I won’t fully experience them. I have heard people talk about how in their own beautiful moments time stands still. I can’t be absolutely sure, but I think I might have experienced that for the first time. It was just utterly beautiful. I just existed. I felt bliss and joy and happy and peaceful and I was speechless.
I didn’t think about what summer program I am going to enroll Brooklyn in, and what those deadlines are. Or that I need to get my tail light fixed. Or forwarding my mail. Or my best friend who was betrayed by her fiancĂ© of seven years. Or my other best friend who was about to lose her days old niece whose body wasn’t made for this world.
I am grateful that I am learning to just be. It truly is a gift.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

We're moving!

Hello friends.

I have loved my little corner of the internet here at eleven birdies. I love my seven followers! Unfortunately, I have to relocate. It is for my safety and my girls' safety.

If you want to continue to touch base with us, please email me at elevenbirdies@gmail.com and I will provide you with our new address. :) I know this blog has been a bit stale for some time now and I haven't done well keeping it updated, but its about to get REALLY good. So please email me!

love to y'all!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

sell. buy.

My garage sale went well, considering the weather only allowed us one day of sales. While it was good to get rid of so much, it did tug at my heart a bit. I sold furniture I spent time painting and baby shoes and clothes... you know, that kind of thing. The good part? Now I want to buy things for my new place...

Le Creuset is way out of this girls budget. Why does a woman have to get married to get the things she needs for her home? Can you smell the pot roast cooking in this thing?

Anthro. How I love thee. Let me count the ways.... sheets... dishes... dresses...boots...purses...

I do have a gift card to anthropologie that I got from my brother at Christmas...hmmmm...

Did I tell you I have a job interview today? I'm excited. And a little bit nervous. It is with a great company... with a mission that I can stand behind. Did I tell you I desperately need this job? Well, I do.

I also need this coffee pot. One thing I want to do at my new place, is have a variety of things to drink for the people that come over. I've always wanted to be like, "Can I get you something to drink?" and then have lots of choices... I know. Sounds silly. It feels like such a grown up thing to do.

I hope that your spring has been lovely. Truly lovely. And that you find yourself smiling a lot.

Monday, April 11, 2011

parenting and vulnerability

There are so many decisions to make as a parent. Some carry more weight than we could possibly realize, while others we agonize over because there are so many fears attached to them. Being a parent seems to be the ultimate form of vulnerability. As Charlotte naps, and I listen to her little sleeping snores, I take comfort in her peacefulness. When your daughter is three, your toughest hurdles are being patient with her fierce independence, staying calm during her meltdowns, and knowing when to take the Minky away. When your daughter is three, she loves to be next to you. If you are lucky, she sings you songs and finds her way to where ever you are just to tuck her little hand in yours. Now, when your daughter is seven, well... that is a different story. When your daughter is seven, your hurdles are teaching her personal responsibility, and how beautiful she is, how God loves her, and how to ward off the nastiness at school that starts entirely to early. You make sure she does her homework, and that she understands it. You make sure you provide her with self-confidence boosting activities, like soccor or painting. You try to never forget that she is always watching. You are the example by which she will model what it means to be a woman. You hope, beyond all hope, that by the Grace of God you can raise her well despite yourself. And when she is presented with a choice, and makes the right one, you start to understand how the last seven years have been spent shaping a pretty amazing human being. Then you can take comfort in knowing you did something right. I had to stop and save this post, and much later in the day my bff Emily sent me a video clip of somebody speaking on vulnerability.

Funny how that works, huh? In case you don't watch it, she speaks on connection. And how one must be accepting of vulnerability in order to be connected. Connection leads to whole-heartedness. Whole-heartedness exists among people who have the courage to be seen, to be vulnerable. It really is a great speech and worth watching. The gal studied people for ten years to arrive at some of her conclusions. It is nice to have research on things like this. So maybe vulnerability is just the space in which we need love? Love from God, from family, from friends... Maybe vulnerability is the space in which I need to love myself? Parenting, and being authentic, are two things I want to be good at.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

home is wherever i'm with you

Recently, I found a pair of matching twin beds at goodwill. $20 each. I think I want to paint them. It is always exciting for me to find something I set out for, and in great condition, and at such a great price. I was originally inspired by this girlie room over at the home and harmony blog. Did I tell you that the girls and I are moving? I am so excited for many reasons. I love the area. I love the location. I love the hardwood floors. And the affordable rent.
Most of all, I love the fresh start it will be for the girls and I. I feel bold. I feel like really great change is just around the corner for the three of us. We love our home. But there are lots of memories, and guilt, and family ties... that all just had me craving change. There was a sord of incredible series of events, and now the girls and I have our own little place.
Our new place is A LOT smaller than our current home. Which means we will have to get rid of a lot of stuff. It is a a relief to get rid of things, but it is also bittersweet. Tonight I went through my linen cabinet and edited down my linens. I filled a huge box with beautiful vintage sheets and such, all going into the massive sale of 2011.
I went through my creative space. I had to pick my most favorite things. The millinery, the antique buttons, the ephemera stays. Many old baby clothes, jewelry boxes, sewing notions... they will make their way to the sale.
I really want to only have what we need, and then our absolute favorite things that we want. I am also looking at this as an opportunity to change up my decorating style a bit. More color. More unexpected items. Branch out into more straight lines. Maybe this is a reflection of how I am feeling these days?
I am so excited to go for walks in our new neighborhood. I am even more excited to have friends over for dinner... and wine... and laugh until our cheeks hurt. I want my mom to hop on over during her lunch, and I can make her fresh salads and great coffee from the spice merchant.
In my early twenties, home meant somewhere permanent. All I wanted to do is have my girls and raise them in the same home their whole lives. I wanted the white picket fence. The marriage. The house. And then I think I learned a little bit about what "home" means. I noticed I felt at home in Emily's little apartment, with uneven floors, pretty art, and more stuff than space. I noticed I felt at home at Vanessa's house. Always clean. With bold and bright colors, and more pictures of animals than humans. I felt at home sitting around her little table, eating dinner as a family. I felt at home sitting on a blanket in Emily's beautiful back yard, eating pasta and drinking wine. I felt at home, sitting on my mom's sofa and drinking hot coffee, watching her favorite shows. Home is not the pretty little picture that our culture would have us think it is. Home is so much more than that.

There are a lot of really cool things about my new little place. Don't worry, I'll share pictures. But the best part, is having the chance to make a home... to make memories... to be a family.

Monday, April 4, 2011

green eyes + beauty mark = my favorite parts of my face

"Until you can see what we see and what God sees, other people will continue to dictate your perception of your beauty..."

A good friend said this to me. I didn't want to forget his words. I've been thinking a lot about beauty... how its defined, where it comes from, when it is lasting, and how to own it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

a walk with Charlotte

I have been thinking a lot about purpose lately. I naturally look for meaning in things, like it somehow helps me feel like my life and all its details really matter.

I believe that I was created with purpose.

It is amazing, when you think about it- all the pieces that have to come together to shape a person. All those circumstances and encounters that were something beyond serendipitous. If you are bold, you see divinity at work. You aren't afraid to say so either. Once you find the space in which everything you can control meets everything beyond your control, you can't deny that there is something greater at work.

Lord, may I never stop seeking the purpose you have for my life. And as you reveal to me my purpose, may I be steadfast in whatever direction that may be. Father, help me to love other people well. Help me to love myself well. Most importantly, help me to love You well. What is any flower compared to a dandelion picked just for you by your daughter? Held so carefully in her little bitty hands, a treasure that stays long after the flower fades.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

among the wildflowers

After week 1: - 4 pounds!! I am not following any plan exclusively... only trying to make good choices every day. I think I may step up the work outs. 
My mom has a theory, you've heard it before. What you put out into the universe comes back to you... the universe responds to you based on what you emit into the atmosphere...
I think she is right.
After a little over one week of making an effort to take better care of myself, it seemed like the universe was responding to my efforts. Someone compliments my hair. A random boy stops me in the parking lot to tell me how beautiful I am and insists that I give him my number. The girls say, "Mama, you're so pretty," as I get ready. A couple girlfriends tell me how great I look... that I look "hot"- I smile more and people smile more back at me. I have been asked out three times in the last week. I swear, they are coming out of the woodwork. Don't get me wrong, this isn't what I am after. Its more like a symptom of trying to put your best self out into the universe.

Dare I say, I am slowly but surely getting my sparkle back?

Here is the deal, the irony of it all... when you start taking better care of yourself, you find that everything you need is intrinsic. Everything that makes me beautiful comes from within me. Everything I need to become my best, I already have living inside my spirit. I have a completeness that I don't think I have ever felt before. My relationship with God has evolved to a new and more lovely place I have never been. God is enough. I can think of hundreds of days I longed for some type of affirmation from people in my world. I needed it. I needed others to define me because I had no idea how to define myself.  I had no starting and stopping point. I started with what she told me to be and stopped with what he said I was. And he said I was some horrible things. In my mind, I see God taking an eraser to it all. Erasing the lines, blowing off the eraser dust, and redrawing me perfectly. Perfectly imperfect. Me. Beautiful, lovely, me.

Some amazing things about this last week or so:
-I did Emily's hair and she broke out the red lipstick. Nobody looks better in red lipstick than she does.
-I danced like no one was watching. On more than one occasion. 
-I started another semester of school.
-I made new friends.
-I snuggled with Brooklyn and Charlotte on the couch. 
-I read Brooklyn's report card: she is a whole grade level ahead in math and reading.
-I sweat. It felt AMAZING. I was shedding bad memories. With every bead that dripped down my face, down my back, between my breasts... I was sweating off pain.
-I sat with my mom. We watched TV. She brought me cups of coffee. With the perfect amount of cream, exactly the way I like it.
-I got what was quite possibly the best email ever from my Vanessa. We talked on the phone way too late about everything and nothing, about my husband. About her husband. About the land of the unicorns... :) Oh, and she made a new mix!
-I ate pasta right out of the serving spoon.
-I got my nose pierced. Super cute. 
-I found amazing liquid eyeliner for two dollars: wet'n'wild y'all. 

ohmygracious! I almost forgot to tell you!! I am in communications with this amazing photographer, mandylynne.com  - she is one of my favorites. The picture above is the last picture I have had taken with my girls... I'm six months pregnant with Charlie. So, this summer I am going to Springfield, MO... ROADTRIP!!! With V and my girlies, and I am getting real, professional pictures taken with my girls. Family Pictures. I might try to sneak a few in with Vanessa too. 

Well folks, I am going to head to the Y. I think I will try a new class today...

Saturday, January 8, 2011


It is 2011. 2011.

I believe that this year will be one of the best years of my life. 

I am hoping that this blog will become more of a "lifework" space. Like homework but lifework. I am hoping that this will be a place to document  the incredible year that 2011 will be. But most of all, I am hoping this is a place where I can be 1. Honest  2. Authentic  3. Connected. 

I want this year to bring change. I want to lose weight. I want to floss more. I want to have my first massage. I want to get rid of stuff. I want to learn more about my daughters. I want to become better acquainted with God. I want to buy dresses. I want to stop eating fast food. I want to be a better friend. I want to be a better daughter. I want to be a better mother. I want to learn more about who my girls are, and foster their individuality. I want to clean my house. I want to dance. I want to have my lovely friends over for dinner. I want to start a movement. I want to flirt with a man. I want to get a pedicure. I want to sweat. a lot. I want to laugh. a lot. I want to study my Bible. I want to finish another semester of classes. I want to dress up fancy. I want to travel some place. I want to wear bright red lipstick. I want to paint my fingers and toes so they match. I want to give things away. I want to get myself back. I want to discover the beauty that is within me. I want to create something with my hands. I want to make my bedroom a sanctuary, and take the tv out. I want to cook something by Mrs. Childs. I want to spend time with a horse. I want to play with my nieces and nephews. I want to pray over my girls every single day in 2011. I want to wash off my make up before bed. I want to feel more comfortable giving and getting hugs. I want to be something else besides agreeable. I want to go for walks more. I want to take more pictures, especially of the girls. I want to finish something. 

I want to LIVE.

I want to make the most of my time here.

2011 will be an amazing year. It really, really will.