Saturday, December 31, 2011

a tinge of sadness. a bear hug to the new year. and some hope.

I did these things: got a job, learned to row crew, went to two NBA Thunder playoff games, came back to yoga, lived alone, learned to be a d-word, made some new friends, sold some stuff, bought some stuff, got in a wreck, got my first speeding ticket in 10 years, said too many unwanted goodbyes, cried gallons of tears, laughed to the point of exhaustion.  

I went to these places: Hawaii, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Washington DC, Memphis TN, North Carolina.

I got to see: friends become parents. strangers become friends. family come together. marriages get stronger. people change.

I was: weak. tired. sad. confused.

I am: strong. resilient. healing. growing. happy.

I have: hope.  and lots of it.

Today has been an emotional day. More emotional than I expected if I'm completely honest. There was a lot I wanted to say about this year, but after much reflection, I've realized none of it matters anymore. It's over. This year is 7 hours from being behind me. That's all that matters. I think we all know I've been looking forward to a new year. A fresh start. A beginning that's not tainted with the sting of the d-word.

And it's finally here.

I greet you with a smile, a couple of tears, an excited laugh, a nervous twitch, and big 'ole bear hug. It's so nice to meet you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Year Report Card

I made a list of efforts last December for the new year. Since there's only 10 days left, I think it's time for a final grade.

1. Be nicer. (React slower, keep your mouth shut, be stingy with your opinions.). Final Grade: B+ I think I've learned how to respond vs react, act with dignity, be more free with grace and keep my feelings to myself. Still room for improvement and I don't act the way I wish I did 7 days a week...but I'm different than I was. And that's what's important.

2. Honk less. (Be a nicer driver in general.) Final Grade: A- I've had a few moments that weren't my finest, but don't really honk anymore!

3. Volunteer at a local non-profit. Currently considering Infant Crisis Services, Citizens Caring for Children, and CASA. Final Grade: D- I get to volunteer some, but not nearly what I had in mind. Let's remember I also wasn't working full- time when I made this list!

4. Show my face and get to know students at Destiny Urban Academy on a regular basis. (I'm on the board of this school and have only visited the students once in almost a year. Not acceptable!) Final Grade: D- I suck.

5. Send more mail. I think I've sent a total of 5 cards this year. (Not counting xmas cards.) It's always fun to get mail!
Final Grade: A! I tried to send birthday cards, anniversary cards and just because cards. It feels good to send and receive mail.

6. Play some music on a semi-regular basis. (Meaning, an instrument. That guitar is collecting dust!) Final Grade: B- Open Mic has become a favorite time in my empty bedroom.

7. Be vigilant about date nights with your husband. Pick a night and guard it like Fort Knox. Final Grade: Disqualified due to ineligibility.

8. Get serious about your health! Stop watching Biggest Loser and start making changes! Final Grade: B+ I started strong, fell off for a couple of months, then came back really strong. Feeling great and loving yoga! (And I did stop watching Biggest Loser.)

9. Get involved on some level at church. Join a small group, go to a class or bible study. Dare I say Sunday School??? Final Grade: A! I joined a SS class. I even attended the class Xmas party.

10. Take your friendships to the next level. (Remember special times (bdays, anniversaries) LISTEN, be thoughtful, and be REAL.) Final Grade: you'll have to ask my friends...but I think/hope I've been a better friend. B+

11. Take more pictures of your life. Final Grade: A- I actually have recent pictures with friends and family now!
Some are even framed.

I'm working on a list of things for 2012! Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Music: part II

I told you I would put together a list of heavy-hitter songs for you that have been especially powerful to me. This is not everything, but it's enough to get you started. Some of them have everything and nothing to do with this year. You're welcome.

1. "Keep Breathing" by Ingrid Michaelson (This version from "Live at the Artists Den is my fave.)
2. "Poison & Wine" by The Civil Wars
3. "Northern Lights" by Bowerbirds
4. "New York to California" by Mat Kearney
5. "The Weight" by Joe Cocker
6. "Rise" by Eddie Vedder (This song inspired me to learn the mandolin.)
7. "Dublin Boys" by Antje Duvekot
8. "Angel From Montgomery" by John Prine (sung by Bonnie Raitt)
9. "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" by Ramblin' Jack Elliot (and it has to be that version.)
10. "Paranoia in B Major" by The Avett Brothers

This is just a sampling. I'd love to hear what you think of these songs and how they hit you.

In yoga tonight, Mandy said, "Strength is not typically gained from things that are easy." I really like that. (And I know she's right.)

30 more days

30 days after today, I get to say goodbye to 2011. I have all kinds of emotions about it, but mostly I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited to start a new year that won't be overcast with the direct shadow of divorce.

I'm also looking forward to my first travels of the year. My first stop is Pennsylvania. Hopefully the next stop is Seattle and the train to Wenatchee, WA. I'm sure there will be a trip to DC at some point in the Spring. And already on the books is Sloppy Sober Tour 2012 to Aspen, CO.

Just 30 more days. Newness awaits me. I am eager to give it a bear hug and say, "It's so nice to finally meet you."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I've tried really hard this year to be grateful for something or someone as often as possible. It helps keep my head in the right place. It keeps me grounded and present and positive. Here is a list of a few things. I hope your thankfulness is more often than just on a holiday about Pilgrims and murdered turkeys. I'm trying to make it a habit.

Grateful for:
- a job.
- my mom.
- new friends.
- old friends.
- church.
- neighbors.
- Bauer. (PS I miss him.)
- counseling.
- healing.
- patience.
- newness.
- yoga.
- strength.
- overcoming fear(s).
- family.
- heritage and legacy of/from my grandparents.
- twitter/facebook. That sounds dumb, but I can't tell you how many people I've met and how many messages I've received that I wouldn't have otherwise.
- Memphis.
- a God who makes all things work together for good. Even divorce.
- Kristen, aka Kel, aka the only person who has felt what I feel and speaks the language of divorce so clearly with and to me.
- my former spouse and all I learned about marriage, ministry, God, others, belief, doubt, respect, listening, guitar, music, photography, and being open-minded because of who he was and who we were together.
- a reliable vehicle.
- good health insurance.
- less seizures than last year.
- new babies who think I'm pretty cool and 2 year olds who can talk and are hilarious.
- Coach Taylor winning an Emmy.
- free food.
- paid time off.
- the ability to travel to see my friends who live away from here. ( Hi Tyler, Emily, Jen, Zach, Dax and Aleah. See you soon John & Kim, Steven and Cheryl!)
- the iPhone.
- selling the sentimental to make room for new memories.
- milestones.
- sleep/rest.
- restoration.
- health.
- seasons. Both literal and figurative.
- music.
- traditions.
- quiet.
- podcasts.
- road trips.
- sunsets.
- late nights with friends.
- change.

I could go for days on this subject. I hope you could too.

Merry Giving of Thanks to you and yours!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Inciting incident

Well, I did it. I created an inciting incident for myself. I threw out something that has potential to change my story.

I sent in my application packet for grad school. I have one thing left to turn in and then an interview. But I'm doing it. I'm not looking back.

I've applied to SNU for the graduate LMFT program. I will pursue the additional coursework to obtain my LPC (license.)

Fresh starts, new adventures and lots of learning coming January 2012. Cheers to inciting incidents.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I'm really pissed off right now. I need some ideas of what to do with my anger. Got any?

In the meantime I'm going to yoga and hoping to namaste this in the face.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Limbo and Music

Fact: My freshman year of college, I won limbo...on roller-skates. Yes I did.

2011 has pretty much been all about living in limbo. Another fact: I absolutely suck at living in limbo. I don't like too many unknowns floating out there. D-word life is all about the limbo. Stupid d-word life.

I've sold a bunch of stuff the past week and I'm co-hosting a garage sale this weekend for even more selling of stuff. It feels good. But at the same time, my house is getting empty. My walls are getting bare. The sound is getting echoey. I'm acting like I have a place to go and someone to go there with and I don't. Is this one of those horse before the cart things? Or leaping before looking? Whatever. I just keep going forward with the waves that seem to be drawing me toward the shore. All the while I'm wondering if I'm really in a rip tide or an undertow and I'm actually being carried back out to sea.

Have you heard the song "Restless" by Switchfoot? It's off their new "Vice Verses" album. It's as though Jon Foreman has been living in my soul. You should listen to it. It is exactly how I feel right now.

I've noticed the last 3 or 4 months that certain music has become more powerful to me. There are some amazing songwriters who have been through some serious pain. The reason I know that is because I have been through some serious pain. Their songs rattle to my core. They ring out in my bones. I've never had that kind of experience with music before. It has been beautiful and moving and sometimes creepy as I hear thoughts from my darkest time(s) articulated so beautifully by people I don't know. I'll try to remember to make a list of the songs I'm referring to. In the meantime, look up Restless.

I've got to stop staying up so late. Seriously. Bye.

Friday, October 28, 2011

This time last year...

... I was on a three week trip on the East Coast visiting friends and shooting weddings. Well, my former spouse was shooting the weddings. Reminiscing on some sweet memories of those visits. :)

Pictured below: Virginia, Pennsylvania, DC, New Jersey, New York.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Memphis in pictures: Day 4 aka saddest day ever

Sunday. Last day. Headed home with full hearts and huge grins. We drove the extra 10 minutes to hit Mississippi and then came back to say goodbye to Memphis. I can't speak for Kristen, but I was genuinely sad to leave that city. We were pretty quiet as we made the trek across the awesome bridge over the Mississippi river into Arkansas. We sang some but spent most of our ride home talking about the trip, reflecting on this year, talking about our families and our dreams for the future. Great day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Memphis is pictures: Day 3

Civil Rights Museum. Memphis BBQ @ Rendezvous. Graceland. Sidewalk cafe with live music. Elvis statue. Ernestine & Hazels. Beale Street again. Fancy night out. Trolley ride. Celebration.

*Same as the last two posts. All from our phones. All by us. All edited in Instagram.

Memphis in pictures: Day 2

Beale Street. Lunch at Rum Boogie Cafe. Stranger #2. Sun Studios. Afternoon quiet time at a sidewalk cafe. Glamor Shots in a field. Three tries at eating dinner....but the food was worth the drama. Hotel cable and down comforters. Enjoy.

*all images taken by me or Kristen on my iPhone 3GS or Kristen's iPhone 4 and edited with Instagram.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Memphis in pictures: Day 1

Open road. Little Rock. Strangers. Sites and sounds. Enjoy.

*All taken with my 3gs iPhone and edited with Instagram. (Except the 3rd from the bottom which was taken and edited by Kristen.