Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year Intentions 2012: Final Grade

Well, there's only 2 days left of 2012 so it's time for a final round up! I'm looking forward to setting new intentions for 2013 in the next week. I tried to be honest and objective as I reviewed the last 12 months and my intentions to change a lot of small things.

PEACE: The intention was to let more things go and to practice peace. This has been a wonderful challenge for me. I have a tendency to be quick to react, defensive, and hold on to things that don't matter. I honestly feel like I've managed to turn a huge corner where this is all concerned. A

QUIET: This intention revolved around shutting up, being still, and listening. Sometimes this was in regard to friendships or individuals, sometimes it was with my environment, and other times it was just to be present in the darkness or the light and not fight it. In a weird way I've enjoyed the tension and struggle of embracing quiet. B+

PLAY: This intention was to get me to participate in my own life and stop waiting for people to come to me. This unintentionally most often took the form of seeing a lot of live music. And I'm not sorry about it. A

FOLLOW THRU: This has been huge for me. Saying "No" as a complete sentence has been a big part of this intention. I have followed through on commitments, I have kept promises, I have met deadlines, and I have quit things that needed quitting. A-

RISK: This was really important for me to have on the list. I needed to force myself out of the mindset I had in 2011 which was survival and protection. I took several risks this year which include (but are not limited to) going on dates, going back to school, investing in new friendships, etc. I'm proud of myself. I have no regrets when it comes to the risks I took this year. B+

CHALLENGE: Grad School alone has been a huge challenge, but one that I have loved. I've challenged myself in friendships, in yoga (I can do a real handstand and a fully-extended tri-pod!); I've explored more new food than ever before and I've had more brutally challenging conversations this year than any time that I can remember. I feel happy about this intention. B+

MOVE: I feel confident that I've continued to move forward, continued to work on myself and be better, and continued to heal. A-

RESPOND: This will always be hard. But I'm learning to acknowledge my initial reactions, sit on them, breathe, and respond when I feel clear about things. There's always room for improvement. B-

CONSISTENCY: I've ended in a good place and I'm happy with that. It's taken a long time for me to be myself at work. It's a very weird environment for me and my personality. And it's safe to say that working on my driving will be on the list for next year, yet again. I need more patience in that area. C

HONESTY: #realtalk B+

INVEST: I've landed somewhere in the middle here. I can do better and I want to do better. C

GIVE: I've tried to do the best I can with what I have. But I know I've gotten in my own way on many occasions. And I know I am capable of doing more. C-

PRESENT: I am so glad this was on my list for the last year. It's been a great personal challenge. It started as something I wanted from others and so I challenged myself to do exactly what I was wanting. It's hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's worth it. Nothing can beat physical presence. Nothing beats having someone's full attention. And the same goes when you're the one giving. There is something special that happens when you can give someone your full attention; when you give presence. It's vulnerable, it's intimate, and it connects/bonds you to that other person on another level. I will continue to work on this one for sure! B+

REMEMBER: This intention has been so enjoyable. It's been all about sharing stories, reminiscing, laughing, crying, writing, reading, and just marinating in memories and special moments. It is so easy to forget to remember. I've enjoyed combating that amnesia. A-

DANCE: Easiest intention ever. A+ (Best public dancing moment of 2012: working it at a Thunder Playoffs game with Shenold where we made it on the jumbo-tron and national television. Also, completely embarrassing my little brother and sister while dancing to the Cupid Shuffle while waiting in line to ice skate.)

PS: As of January 3rd, I will have gone an entire year without soda. 1985-2010 Cara would not believe this.

See you in the New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

I kissed (online) dating goodbye: Part 4

Closing Thoughts

While many of you have enjoyed these last few posts and have tried to get me to keep putting myself through such torturous situations to allow for more funny stories, I'm afraid our time here is done. But, in my admitedly short adventure into online dating, I was able to learn a few things.

1) People are going to lie. And they will choose to lie about really stupid stuff that can easily be witnessed when you meet them. They will lie about things that shouldn't matter, but that will make you question what else they might be lying about. So you chose to check the box that says "athletic and toned" and you're more like "a few extra pounds." Not a huge deal, right? But if you can't be honest with yourself and own what you are...that reads as insecurity. Or dishonesty. Or something. I think there are more people than we realize roaming around out there, not happy in their skin and too afraid to admit it. And that's why they check the boxes or write the paragraphs about the person they'd like to be, or hope to be instead of who they actually are.

2) You can learn a lot about someone if you are willing to show up and listen. I know both of the situations I wrote about were very different from each other, but there was a quality that came out on both dates. Both Gary and Hank completely gave themselves away in different expressions of desperation. I know about their families, where they work, who their friends are, where they hang out, etc. My total experience culminates to something less than 5 hours!

3) I am not interested in investments with low-return. My youth pastor told me in high-school, "You are built for long-term relationships." And it couldn't be more true. The majority of the people I'm close to, with a few exceptions, have been in my life for a good, long while. If I'm going to invest in someone, I want to know they're going to be around for the long haul. Otherwise, I don't want to bother. I take relating to people very seriously. That's why I hate chit-chat. I hate mingling. I hate going to a party where I only know 1 person. I'm not interested in fake conversation with someone I won't see again. That's why I don't think the online dating thing will work for me. I think the majority of people interested in online dating want to water ski. I'm not interested in playing around on the surface of the water. I want a few days on the dock to study the water and then I'm going to run off the end doing a cannonball. I'm all in.

4) If you have no expectations, you will never be disappointed. This is really hard to do, but pays off. (And is useful in, oh....all areas of life.)

Thanks for laughing with me through this experience. I'm glad I did it, I'm glad it's over, and all the best to Hank and Gary. Cheers.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I kissed (online) dating goodbye: Part 3

Second First Date
Name: Hank (named changed to something that makes me laugh)
Info: 32, Electrical Engineer, likes Thunder basketball, indie music, podcasts, stand-up comedy, and his Nigerian family. 
Date: Thursday night drinks at a pub in Midtown
Background: We had emailed a few times, texted mainly about where to meet and when.
Time elapsed from first contact to meeting up: 5 days

Disclaimer: I am not a super affectionate person until we have established a solid friendship/relationship. I can give a firm handshake or a Christian side-hug, but I typically maintain a fairly awkward stance until a certain point.

I'm there a little early because I was coming from a meeting downtown. I'm standing in the lobby reading a Gazette and in comes Hank.

Cara: *puts down paper* Hi, I'm Cara *extends hand*
Hank: I'm Hank *overwhelming full-frontal hug* (Please ask for a demo next time you see me.)
Cara: (inner dialogue)
---we are seated---

We have easy conversation...talking about the Thunder and podcasts we enjoy...this goes on for about an hour.

At this point I notice that Hank has never taken off his jacket. This is where I should tell you that Hank may have embellished a few things about himself on his profile...superficially speaking. After meeting him, it seemed that the majority of his pictures were a few years old. Not a big deal. But as the night went on, it became apparent through Hank's body language that he wasn't very comfortable in his skin. Or his clothes. As superficial as it may sound, those are both things that are important to me.

So, we talk for about 2 hours total. He pays for my drink and we thank each other for the conversation. He gives me another no-way-out full-frontal hug. I give the double-back-pat-tap-out escape. It works.

At this point. I wasn't sure what to do. I felt like either I had really high standards, was being really picky or was setting everyone up to fail. I wondered if my expectations of what it would be like to start over with a new person and start from scratch were too overwhelming. So even though I didn't  feel a connection with Hank, I didn't have a bad time...and we had a lot in I agreed to meet him again.

Second date: Kaisers on a Saturday night for some ice cream. 
*Note to self and everyone: if you don't feel like doing something, don't do it.

I meet Hank for some ice cream after doing homework all day. I'm exhausted and want to go bed early. Hank is completely jazzed about getting to hang out again. We hang out for about an hour and a half and I do the, "Well I think I'm going to call it a night." And Hank is not interested in calling it a night. He wants to hang out more. We compromise on a movie if there's one that starts in the next 30 minutes. (I'm hoping/praying there won't be one so I can go home.) I'm reading through the list of showtimes and get to Wreck It Ralph. Hank exclaims: "I WANT TO SEE THAT!" I give him a "Whoa, Nelly" face and ask, "Are you a gamer, Hank?" Hank answers: "Uhhhhhhhh. Not really. I mean, I did buy the new Halo 4 this week but I've only played it like....30 minutes." (Yea right, Hank.) Hank later confesses to playing online against 10 year olds and yelling at them in his XBOX headset. See ya later, Hank.

We go to the movie. I sit with my arms folded and legs crossed away from Hank. It's at this point I realize that I've made a mistake. I'm obviously not interested in this guy and instead of cutting the cord over ice cream, I'm now stuck sitting through a children's movie next to someone who won't take off his jacket, who stays up til 3am playing video games, and who is 32 years old and absolutely loving Wreck It Ralph. And I'm using all the mental energy I have left to stay awake and send vibes to Hank to not even think about making a move on me in this movie theatre.

Oh the awkwardness. It's finally over and we're walking to our cars and it happens.

Hank: "Look. I know you're busy with school and you're stressed about your paper, but I really want to see you again. Soon."
Cara: "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Look. How about we just keep playin' it like we've been playin' it?" (WHO SAYS THAT?! AND WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!)
Hank: Cool! Cool. Awesome. *Not 1, but 2 full frontal hugs.*

I get in my car and leave as fast as possible. I feel so awkward. I bailed. I choked. I didn't have the guts to be honest and say, "I'm sorry Hank. I'm just not interested."

This goes on for 3 more days...Hank is jazzed and excited about hanging out again and I try to let him down easy. Finally, I just told him the truth and apologized. And he did not respond for 5 days. Then at 2am on a Sunday morning he sends me a drunken/sorrow filled text about how he's been really bummed out and hopes this doesn't mean goodbye forever.

And I don't respond.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I kissed (online) dating goodbye: Part 2

So I set you up pretty well in Part I to understand how online dating works and you got to see some quality communication words from some gentlemen dudes. So, what is left to tell you besides a play-by-play of my first date? NOTHING.

Wait. First I have to tell you my game plan and how I tried to approach this whole thing. First, I wanted to have minimal email communication leading up to a face-to-face meeting. I feel like the longer you communicate with someone before meeting them, 1) the more awkward it is, 2) the more expectations you have, 3) the more the story you've made up about them in your head starts to take over. So, I tried to keep things to a general topic of conversation like the World Series or Thunder basketball. (Guys love it when you can speak in their native language: Sports.) Okay, so the plan was: keep convo general and be honest (as in, if you're not interested, say you're not interested).

Name: Gary (named changed to something that makes me laugh)
Info: 33, self-employed, likes Thunder basketball, traveling, his family and friends, has his Masters in business, is in the Air-Force Reserves, originally from Alaska.
Date: Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon
Background: We had emailed a few times (mostly talking about the Harden trade), texted mainly about where to meet and when.
Time elapsed from first contact to meeting up: 1 week

G=Gary C=Cara.... What follows is the play-by-play of our date. Important to note: we were supposed to meet at 2:30pm. Disclaimer: THIS IS ALL TRUE.

(2:25pm) - I am stuck in traffic, 1/2 mile from where we're meeting.
G: (text) Hey where are you?
C: (text) I'm at ______. Should be there in just a minute.
G: (text) Ok, call me when you get here.
C: (inner dialogue) Why?

(2:30pm) - I park and call as I'm walking up to the door.
G: (call) Hey I see you...*hangs up*
C: (inner dialogue) O..k.....

(2:31pm) - I walk in to Starbucks and come over to the table Gary's sitting at. He does not wave, get up, shake my hand, etc.
G: You're late. *Holds up iPhone to show a time of 2:31pm.*
C: (*Pauses; gives an "Are you serious?" face.) One minute? You're getting on me for 1 minute? Come on man.... (*Trying to break the ice and be jokey)
G: (*No facial affect. Turns and looks out the window. STILL SITTING DOWN.)
**This is the time where people say, "Do you think he was joking?" Answer: I HAVE NO CLUE.**
C: (*Awkwardly sits down at the table.)
G: I'm going to grab a drink. (*Stands up, walks over to the register to order.)
C: (*confused) (inner dialogue: I guess I should go stand in line too?) *I get back up (I HAD JUST SAT DOWN) and go stand behind Gary. He stands with his back to me. Does not talk to me.
G: *orders drink*, barista sees me, asks, "Will that be all?", Gary nods and pays. (HE HAS NOT OFFERED TO SPRING FOR MY $2.05 TEA I'M ABOUT TO ORDER.) Gary walks back to the table and sits down.
**This is where everyone (and I mean every single person who's heard this: all 4 of them) says: WHY DIDN'T YOU TURN AROUND AND WALK OUT? Answer: It did occur to me. I think I was so surprised at how it was going that I just felt like I had to play it out. And honestly, I was concerned with looking rude. (I know you're already telling me I'm not the rude one in this situation, but let's just move on...)**
C: (*To barista who is now feeling really uncomfortable on my behalf) Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. I'm gonna buy my OWN drink! (insert Zooey Deschanel awkward arm swing and winky face) *walks back to table to sit down.
G: *Gets up, goes to pick up his drink. My name is called, I stand up, he turns around...
C: Would you mind getting my drink? (*points to bar where my drink is sitting) (*inner dialogue: SERIOUSLY?)
G: (sits back down at the table, looks out the window.)
C: Sooooooooooooo. You're from Alaska? Tell me about that.
G: I grew up there. My parents still live there. (still looking out the window.)
C: Nice. What area are you from?
G: *names some area about an hour outside Anchorage
C: Cool. I've always wanted to visit Alaska. It seems like a really beautiful place.
G: I hated it. I like it better here.
C: What brought you to Oklahoma?
G: I joined the Air Force and was stationed at Tinker. Then I went into the reserves and got my Masters at OU. It's nice. It's cheap to live here. I make a lot of money here.
C: I have a friend in the Marines who's stationed out in North Carolina. He's a JAG. What kind of work do you do for the Air Force?
G: I'm just in the reserves. I did stuff with computers. I only joined so they would pay for grad school.
C: Cool. (*head nodding...) (At this point I notice he's already finished his drink.)
C: So what kind of work do you do?
G: Where did you go to school?
**Did you catch that?**
C: *confused* I'm sorry?
G: Where did you go to college?
C: (I tell him)
G: So you didn't have fraternity or sororities?
C: *laugh* Nope.
G: Well I own my own business and we supply Greek products to frats and sororities around the country. We're the #2 retailer.
C: So like, sweatshirts? That kind of stuff?
G: Oh we have everything. (*lists off an ungodly amount of crap)
C: I gotcha.
G: Yea, I have 4 employees. I only work about 3 hours a day. But I'm constantly checking stock prices. It's all about making money, you know? (*record scratch)
C: Well, maybe for some people.
G: How much money do you make?
**Did you catch that?**
C: What?
G: How much money do you make?
C: I'm not comfortable with that kind of question. I don't feel like that's any of your business.
G: What kind of car do you drive?
C: Why?
G: I drive a Range Rover.
C: *looks at Gary blankly*
G: Yea, I'm going to pick up my friend for the Thunder game tonight. I just got my car back from its 30,000 mile maintenance. I love my car. Did you know I have season tickets to the Thunder?
C: I think I saw that on your...
G: Yea, at club level. With the buffet. I go to every home game. It's awesome.
C: Sounds nice.
G: Yea one of my friends went to college with Kevin Durant. She lived 3 doors down from him his freshman year.
C: Well he was only at UT for one year, so it would've had to have been his freshman year.
G: It was.
C: Cool. So what do you do in your free time if you're working all the time? (*I'm annoyed. I don't know why I'm still talking to Gary at this point.)
G: I go to Vegas. I was actually just in Vegas last weekend and I'm going again this Friday. I hope in a year when I have a couple more employees that I can be in Vegas even more often. I love it there.
C: What do you do in Vegas?
G: Have you ever been there?
C: No
G: I gamble. I eat. They have the greatest buffets in the world. I go out.
C: Even better than the buffet at the Thunder games?
G: (*doesn't get it.) Um, yea, like, way better.

***Blah blah blah...I don't remember the rest. The "date" managed to last somewhere around 45 minutes. It shouldn't have gotten that much air time. I'm well aware. ***

C: Well, I've gotta get crackin' on some homework before the game tonight.
G: Yea, I've got to go get my friend so we can get there for the buffet.
C: You can go this early? The game isn't for another 3 1/2 hours.
G: Well you know, I have to go pick him up and then drive downtown and we'll probably go somewhere before the game.
G: (*Outside at this point) Where did you park?
C: I'm over that way
G: Alright. (*turns and walks to his beloved Range Rover.)
C: (*walks into a store next door and wait for Gary to leave....followed by laughter and lots of, "Did that just happen?" and a call to my safety pal to check-in and laugh more. )

Summary: Almost every single thing he listed on his profile as being true was the exact opposite in real-life. (You're probably rolling your eyes at that like I'm an idiot. Forgive me for trusting strangers to tell the truth about themselves!)  He bashed his family and friends the entire time, he talked about himself (I literally didn't say anything other than what is listed above. I just nodded my head) and had minimal eye contact.

Dear Boys: If you don't stand up when you're meeting someone (ANYONE!), shake hands, look them in the eye...if you display that you're only concerned with yourself, your job, your car, your money...there's a very high probability that I think you're not a very noteworthy human being. I probably think you have something(s) to hide and I don't trust any word you say. And if you have the balls to call me out for being 1 MINUTE LATE and proceed to talk about your wealth while not at least offering to pay for my $2 beverage: call me on none-day. 

I hope you're laughing at this nonsense. What's 45 minutes of torture when you can come out with a good story?

Coming Soon:
Part III: Second First Date
Part IV: Closing Thoughts

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I kissed (online) dating goodbye: Part 1

*That title may not make sense or be funny unless you were homeschooled, are a Duggar, or read anything by Elizabeth Elliot. If it doesn't/isn't, consider yourself blessed and add it to your list of things to be thankful for this week.

Let me set this up for you. It was a lonely Saturday night. I had been doing homework all day and was spending my evening bumming DVR'd episodes of Parenthood while crying into my sweat pants. Let's add some Ray LaMontagne and rainy weather for good measure. And let's also add everyone being busy and occupied and having babies and husbands. I'm sure there was chocolate in there too.

Do you see where this is going? Let's be clear. This is a judgement-free zone. And I'm practicing vulnerability by sharing this with you. So let's agree to laugh at all I'm about to share. No pity parties. No "bless your heart." No "awwwwww!" with puppy-dog sadness in your eyes.

Okay, so we've got a lonely night, some tears over a tv's late...I'm feeling angry and yet motivated. And then I start hearing the voices of several friends who had been encouraging me to give online dating a try. So I give it a Russell Westbrook, "Why Not?" and set up a profile. (This is where I need to tell you that I don't even like the words "online" and "dating" much less the IDEA of it.  I need to tell you that I felt really conflicted about it. I need to tell you that I felt incredibly stupid and desperate and embarrassed.) So, blah blah blah, I set it up and paid the stupid fee, and told myself I would re-evaluate after 30 days. *Let's be clear. I was super safe and had a buddy who always knew when I was meeting someone, where I was going to be, and followed up to make sure I was still alive. I never gave my last name, the company I worked for, or any other type of identifying information.

So if you don't know how this works, you have a profile, you're matched with people and can review their profile, and then you can email them through the website if you're interested. It's basically a bunch of boxes you check and a couple of paragraphs you write about yourself and then photos. It all felt/read/looked very superficial and I hated that.

Here are some actual emails I got in my first 7 days of online dating: 
"How is your day? This is the start just give it a chance."
"I like your profile."
"I saw your profile and you sounded really interesting."
"I am wondering if you play an instrument? Is a music festival something you would enjoy? Do you like Oklahoma? Plan on staying?"
"You seem very interesting."
"Hi, you came up on my matches and I got a good laugh from your description of yourself."
"I like your hair."
"You have nice hair."
"Hi. You sound interesting."

Let me tell you what 9 out of 10 dudes put in their "About Me" section: 
"I'm a laid back/easy going oriented...I like to have a good time...I enjoy sports...I love going to the lake...I like to go out but I also enjoy staying in and watching a movie...I like traveling...I'm looking for my best friend who shares my interests...I don't do drama...I want someone who is funny and confident..." *Insert mirror pic or arm shot, picture next to dead animal, picture at the lake, picture with a beer in hand, picture grilling some type of meat, picture to prove I have friends, picture of me with my family to prove I'm close with my family, picture next to a girl to prove that girls like me, picture of me in a wedding to show I'm not afraid of commitment, picture of me with my dogs, picture of me on a beach/next to a mountain to prove I'm outdoorsy.

I'm sure you're really impressed at the detailed and not-at-all generic information you can learn about people from their profile. I know you're also shocked at the extremely clear and adult communication I received in that first week. I know for me, personally, I was wondering, "Where have you guys been all my life?!"

That's all for Part 1. I'll spill the beans now and tell you I did go on a few dates, I have deleted my profile, and I am not in a relationship. But there are some good laughs ahead so stay tuned.

Friday, November 9, 2012


"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."
-John Burrough

Friday, November 2, 2012

d-word life: poem

Love Song for the Newly Divorced  by Patricia Jabbeh Wesley (*emphasis added by me.)

One day, you will awake from your covering
and that heart of yours will be totally mended,
and there will be no more burning within.
The owl, calling in the setting of the sun
and the deer path, all erased.
And there will be no more need for love
or lovers or fears of losing lovers
and there will be no more burning timbers
with which to light a new fire,
and there will be no more husbands or people
related to husbands, and there will be no more
tears or reason to shed your tears.
You will be as mended as the bridge
the working crew has just reopened.
The thick air will be vanquished with the tide
and the river that was corrupted by lies
will be cleansed and totally free.
And the rooster will call in the setting sun
and the sun will beckon homeward,
hiding behind your one tree that was not felled.

Monday, October 29, 2012

this is your song

We're singing this song as part of Overflow on Sunday night and it just pretty much sums up what I'm feeling right now. Lost and Tired. "This is your song...sing along." Words are below.

Shine Your Light On Us by Robbie Seay Band on Grooveshark


Oh, my God
Shine Your light on us
That we might live
Oh, my God
Shine Your light on us
That we might live

I've been holding on
I've been holding on
All that is inside me
Screams to come back home

If you feel lost
If you feel lost
Sing along
If you feel tired
If you feel tired
Sing along

If you feel lost and tired
This is your song

I've been broken down
I've been broken down
I ain't giving up
Love will come back around

If you feel lost
If you feel lost
Sing along
If you feel tired
If you feel tired
Sing along

If you feel lost and tired
This is your song

Oh, my God
Shine Your light on us
That we might live
Oh, my God
Shine Your light on us
That we might live

Thursday, October 18, 2012


This is a great article I stumbled upon that a friend linked to earlier today.  Married, single, divorced, engaged, whatever you are...worth a read. He's funny, he's raw, and he displays incredible insight and awareness.

And this is just a great website in general. It's geared towards guys, but I think it's a great guide to just being a decent adult. I read it. I have no shame.

One final article. I fully resonate with it and I am in love with Brene' Brown. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

d-word life: the end of the day

Up front, I want you to know I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm processing a lot of things right now and I need to get some thoughts down.

There are seasons with the whole d-word life. They come and go...don't normally stay too terribly long (at least in my experience.) But there will be times where I feel really good and solid and independent. I'm fine with this stage of healing. I'm fine flying solo.

And there are other times where I just want someone to be there when I get home. Where I don't want the bed to be empty. Where I want some burly arms to collapse into. Where I just need to hear that someone is breathing beside me.

These times are always flanked with stress. I'm back in counseling and the next 2 weeks hold a lot of homework and responsibilities. I found myself turning the corner to come home and grab my books for class....reflecting on memories of marriage. Memories of having a partner. Memories of a chest that rises and falls next to me and strong arms that did a good job of catching and carrying me.

I'm going to be okay. I'm going to make it. And I'm going to do it on my own; with the breath and strength of my community sustaining me on days like today.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

the greatest thing said to me this week:

Ask yourself:

1) does this need to be said?

2) does this need to be said by me?

3) does this need to be said by me right now?

Chalk this up to adventures in holding your tongue. I'm still learning the difference in responding and reacting. And it's still hard.

Monday, October 1, 2012

three things

1) The Mumford&Sons Daytrotter session is wonderful.

2) I'm missing the Pacific Northwest something terrible right now.  I'm considering a solo trip to ring in the New Year. I need to see the beach, the mountains, and I need to ride the train from PDX to SEA.

Friday, September 28, 2012

It's been 5 years

5 years ago today I was sitting by a pool in Houston celebrating with friends who were getting married the next day. Most of us had a friend in common and his name was Spencer. Spencer had been battling cancer on and off for several years. He was full of life despite the fact that his body had taken a beating from surgeries and treatments and cancer just being a real big jerk to him. I only knew Spencer after his first round with cancer. I only knew him as the bald, skinny, older guy who told good jokes and wore Adidas soccer shoes nearly every day with jeans and t-shirt and walked with the slightest limp. We had several meaningful conversations and times together. He started writing songs and playing music and a lot of my memories of him involve music. I wasn’t especially close to Spencer, but I always felt very connected to him in a strange way. I still feel connected to him and it’s especially amplified today on the anniversary of his passing. I want to share some of my favorite memories of him today in an effort to remember him and continue the celebration of his life.

- Numerous “candle nights” in the game room, especially the night he shared a lot about his struggle with cancer and how it had impacted his life and changed him for the better.

- Numerous SGA retreats and events

- I remember one afternoon in the SGA office, he asked if he could play me a song he was working on for a friend. His friend had asked him to write a song and play it for his girlfriend when he proposed. The song is called “My Dear.” We went into his office and he closed the door and played and sang to me. I sat with teary eyes and a smile as he shared words that he longed to be able to say someday to a girl of his own. He asked my opinion and I gave it and we had a good conversation about girls and relationships and marriage. Later that year I asked if he would play in my wedding and if I could use “My Dear” as part of our ceremony. He grinned and agreed. And when the cancer came back with an angry fist that Spring, he sent me “My Dear” and a gift card and said, “Sorry I can’t be there in person, but I’ll be there in spirit. Thank you for believing in me and my music. ”

-His “fake” obsession with Chuck Norris and the karate moves that were displayed on a regular basis with Brack.

-The Living Room tour

-Taking a break from camp and hearing SLG play at the Spider House in Austin, Tx. He spent that summer playing a ton of shows.

-Senior year, the special meeting called where Spencer told us the cancer was back and he would be leaving school. I remember him telling us he had hope and was at peace. He asked me to lead us in his favorite hymn, “It is well with my soul.” That hymn has carried a heavy significance ever since.

-Teaching my “little brother/sister” all the words to his song “Crispitos.” To this day, we still sing it at the top of our lungs when we’re in my car.

-The many voices and characters of Spencer. He had no shame when it came to impersonations and making fun of people.

-His belief. He believed in the power of music and story. He believed in Camp Olympia and the work they were doing with young people. He believed in God and what He was doing in his life….even through his dark journey with cancer and his days of doubt.

-His memorial service. That may sound morbid, but the church was packed with people there to celebrate him. So many wonderful stories and photos and videos were shared. We laughed and smiled and enjoyed ourselves. The most moving part for me was the close of the service. It was a time of reflection and we all had our heads bowed. Through the quiet, we heard the sound of bagpipes start outside. It grew louder and they came inside playing “Amazing Grace.” The player weaved through the sanctuary and the hallways haunting us with the melody and forcing us to recall the words. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced.

I’m overwhelmed today recalling the small percent of the Spencer I knew and his part in the story of my life. I’m reminded of his grateful heart for life and the urgency to live it. I’m reminded of his thankfulness for grace and its abundance in his life. I’m reminded of his strong voice and the restlessness he felt to share his story through music. And I’m reminded to enjoy every sandwich, to lean into the wind, to hear the call of wilder things, and to know who holds tomorrow and that it’s never me.

Rest in peace, my friend.

(For those that read this and knew Spencer, feel free to leave your favorite memories in the comments. I'd love to hear yours.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012


If you have the chance to see this movie, you should take it. At least watch the trailer. You'll laugh. The movie is great and funny and actually very raw and real. All things I appreciate if I'm going to spend my free time in a movie theatre.

If you won't do that, then you should at least listen to Mike Birbiglia on The Moth or This American Life. He's a really funny guy. Some people call those kinds of people comedians. Go figure.

That's all. Happy weekend. After I finish this 12 page paper about psychoanalytic theory, I've got a post for you about social media and technology and conversation. You're going to love it. (Or hate it.)


Thursday, September 20, 2012

things i love right now:

these boys' album.

these boys' video of their newest single shot live at Red Rocks. (*ps: i want to go to there.)

these podcasts:
On Being
The Splendid Table
The Moth
Wait Wait...

weather for these types of clothes:

this book: 

and yearly traditions with friends: 


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


"It's when you can feel your opponent's pain that you're beginning the path that leads to reconciliation." -Lord Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain

(Wonderful podcast interview here: I like to listen to the unedited interview first.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Intentions: September Grades

It's time for a report card on my new year intentions! I know you're on the edge of your seat.

PEACE: Goodness. This has been a wonderful challenge. I guess I didn't realize how many things I hang on to until I challenged myself to let things go. I give myself a B-. I've made major improvements in this area, but there is still plenty of room for more.

QUIET: This has probably been my favorite thing to be intentional about. I've been eating breakfast or dinner on my patio, doing homework out there and allowing the soundtrack to be birds and crickets and traffic and the wind whispering through the trees. The second most popular quiet spot is my car. I've been spending more time with the windows down, more time clearing my brain instead of filling my ears. B+

PLAY: I have tried to really push myself to participate in life regardless of my situation. If I want to go to a movie and can't find someone to go, I go by myself. If I want to eat dinner out and can't find a pal to meet me, I go anyway. If I want to go fly a kite at the lake, I do it. If I want to have a dance party, I do it. If I want to go to a concert, I buy 2 tickets and figure it out later.  A-

FOLLOW THRU: Not to brag, but this has maybe been the most consistent time in my life and I'm really proud that I've managed to not over-commit myself. I've cut my running late down to about 5 minutes and to my knowledge have kept all my promises. A!

RISK: I'm doing it. I've been putting myself out there. That includes making new friends and going on 2 dates with strangers. B+

CHALLENGE: I think there's been plenty of this happening throughout the entire year. I'm listening to podcasts and reading articles that challenge my opinions and beliefs. I'm going to harder yoga classes that force me to try new things. I'm learning new things at my job. I'm in school and making straight A's (HELLO 4.0!) and am constantly challenged with juggling all my responsibilities and friends and leaving time for myself. A-

MOVE: I feel confident that I'm continuing to move forward, continuing to work on myself and be better, and continuing to heal. A-

RESPOND: This will never not be hard. But I'm learning to acknowledge my initial reactions, sit on them, breathe, and respond when I feel clear about things. Currently holding steady with a B.

CONSISTENCY: I'm doing okay. I'm getting there. My driving self still needs to get it together and be nice. I'll give it a good long look and settle on a C.

HONESTY: Is it jerky of me to say I feel like I'm dominating this? In a nice way? A-.

INVEST: I've invested in a lot of new experiences and with new friends. I'm working on investing my time better. Hmmm. B-?

GIVE: Gosh. In the practice of honesty, I kind of wish I hadn't put this on here. Do any of you realize how challenging it can be to be generous? Especially when it comes to grace or forgiveness? Yikes. C-.

PRESENT: This has evolved throughout the year. I've had more and more days in the recent past that haven't included a status update. And I like that. I reached the tipping point with FB and while I haven't deactivated my account, I have deleted the app off my phone and it's been a game-changer. I've hardly looked at it in the last 2 weeks. It feels great. The biggest area I need to improve on is being present, even and especially when I feel bored. It is way too easy to pick up my phone and check Twitter or Instagram or blogs or whatever. I want to stop sending the message, "I wish I wasn't here right now." B-

REMEMBER: I've been struck this year with how easy it is to forget and how hard it is to remember. I've enjoyed jogging my memory, writing, reading old writing, and taking and looking through pictures. B+

DANCE: Easiest intention ever. A+. Happens every day in my cubicle, in my car, in my house, on my deck. Heck, it happens at Target and Whole Foods just as often.

It looks like I'm averaging a solid B right now. I'm happy with that. I hope you're still working on your intentions. There is still time, my friends.


"Oh, rain. Come wash me and keep me and take me away."

- Trampled By Turtles, "Widower's Heart."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thanks for the Article, Anne.

I'm going to link to an article you need to read. And I want to say up front that I found this article because someone I follow on twitter that I think is hilarious posted the link earlier today and mentioned Anne Lamott. I clicked on the link because I like Anne Lamott. And I was disappointed that it took me to Oprah's website. I don't love Oprah. I think she's done a lot of good for people, for women, for children in Africa, but I also wonder why she won't marry her long-time live-in boyfriend, and why she wears fake eyelashes, and why she's building her own kingdom of things that don't matter. But whatever. Not the point. She likes Anne Lamott so we've got that in common.

The article is brilliant.  It's called, "How To Find Out Who You Really Are." In case you don't trust me or are too lazy to read the whole thing, here are some excerpts:

"You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren't. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don't think your way into becoming yourself."

"Every single day I try to figure out something I no longer agree to do. You get to change your mind—your parents may have accidentally forgotten to mention this to you."

"You can say no. No is a complete sentence."

"... You are probably going to have to deal with whatever fugitive anger still needs to be examined—it may not look like anger; it may look like compulsive dieting or bingeing or exercising or shopping. But you must find a path and a person to help you deal with that anger. It will not be a Hallmark card. It is not the yellow brick road, with lovely trees on both sides, constant sunshine, birdsong, friends. It is going to be unbelievably hard some days—like the rawness of birth..."

"Wherever the great dilemma exists is where the great growth is, too."

See what I mean?! She gets it. And I needed to be reminded of a lot of what she is saying. 
I've had some great conversations in the last few days with my patio people. My patio people are 3 stellar ladies I get to call my friends and we eat outside once a month and laugh loudly and share deeply and love completely. And they are also very brilliant. Monday night, we had a nice long 3 hour conversation that ended up with us all wanting to be better people. To be really connected to those around us. To stop participating in things that don't matter. To try new things. To reclaim some things and make them sacred again. I'm going to write more about that later. It deserves a whole separate post. 

But I love what Anne is saying. I want to make more mistakes. I want to disagree with myself. I want to say "no" as a complete sentence. And I want to examine my fugitive anger. I want to constantly be redefining who I am and who I'm not. I mean that in the same way that people used to put flour through a sifter to make it better. 
I hope you find some comfort in Anne's words. And I hope you too will work on finding out who you really are.  

Here's to the hard work ahead. Cheers. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

an open letter to fall

Hey Fall, (to be read with "Hey Girl" inflection)

I just wanted to say thanks for showing up this morning with your 59 degree self and staying a while. As you know it's been another record breaking summer and morale has been low what with all the West Nile and E-coli and Chik-Fil-A scandals. Oh and hurricanes and rising oceans and earthquakes.

I'm not mad at summer, I just think they've taken more than their turn when it comes to the seasons, you know? We all know if somebody hogs more than their time then someone else has to pay for it and let's be honest; it's usually you or Spring. You guys get so shafted. On behalf of the other seasons and Momma Nature, I'm real sorry about that. Just know that I'm always pulling for. If you ever need a place to stay and linger, my house has extra bedrooms and you're welcome to crash anytime.

But seriously. I feel you this morning. That's why I'm out here on the deck, eating cookies and toasting to you, Fall. Thanks for giving us hope that you do exist, that you are coming, and that even though you bring with you lots of annoying football fans, you also bring pumpkin everything and Patty Griffin concerts, and long-awaited new albums, and Thanksgiving.

Love you. Mean it. xoxo,


Monday, September 3, 2012



I had a few friends over today for brunch on my deck in honor of it being Labor Day. I love brunch. It is one of the greatest inventions ever.  (Yes, I totally googled who invented brunch.) You get to sleep in and still eat breakfast food! (This is of course trumped by breakfast-for-dinner.) Unfortunately sleeping in is now classified as 7:30am. Regardless, this morning was very relaxing. There is something methodical to me about making food for people. Probably because there are usually rules and steps to follow and I love that. It's also enjoyable because I don't do it much anymore. It's hard to make a meal for a party of 1, you feel me?

The truth is, it could've been any meal and I would've enjoyed it. I love food. I love eating. I love sharing an open table with friends. (Bonus: eating outside!) The entire experience is something that's really special to me no matter how many times I do it. I firmly believe that life happens in the moments between our bites and laughs and stories and songs. Yum.

Here's to eating more brunch, cooking for others, and holidays.

Bon Appetit, my friends.

PS: I want to go to every one of these parties. They totally get ambiance. And I bet the food they're eating is incredible. Sigh.

PSS: If I ever was to open a restaurant, I would name it Ambiance. Copywrite: me, circa 2012.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

rough and tumble

It has been a week. One of those weeks. Those weeks where you're just waiting for the next thing because it always comes in threes.

I am exhausted.

Not like Mariah Carey-I-collapsed-and-had-to-be-checked-into-a-hospital-i'm-having-a-nervous-breakdown-Britney Spears-exhausted. Just the regular, "I've-been-running-at-full-speed-with-not-enough-sleep-for-too-many-nights-wearing-my-cranky-pants." I've neglected yoga and haven't been taking care of myself. Not enough nights on a patio with friends. Not enough sunshine and fresh air. Too many worries about other people and their thoughts or behaviors or actions. Too much negativity and heaviness.

Bombs started dropping Sunday. That's not really fair. They're not bombs yet. Right now they're just conversations, thoughts, and processing. My parents have lived apart (different states) for the last 5ish years due to my dad's job. My mom was sharing at Sunday lunch about some things that she's been thinking about and just kind of threw them out for me and my brother to give feedback on. One of those things is possibly moving to be with my dad. We were catching up on things with my brother and his job and there's a possibility that he could also be moving after the new year. Let me say right now, I'm super proud of both my mom and brother and think the possibility of the moves happening is exciting. (Selfishly, because it gives me more cool cities to visit.)

I would be lying if I said I didn't immediately start thinking of how these situations have potential to impact me and my life. It's the "fixer" in me. I want to anticipate change whenever possible so I can figure out how to manage it. I don't mind change that I'm in control of. I don't have a problem with change that's my idea. But when others throw me curve balls and threaten to shake my foundation, I start panicking. "Why are you changing things?" It starts to make me twitch.

Since d-word life started, my mom and brother have been a bigger part of my life. My brother has helped me move furniture, he's taken me out to dinner, he lets me bum his cable for Thunder games, he goes on road trips with me, he calls me and tells me when I need to put my car in the garage because there's going to be hail and tornadoes. We've been pals for as long as I can remember. My mom has picked me up from the airport, helped shuttle me to/from work when my car's in the shop, she makes Sunday lunch every week that she's in town, she'll take me to get a pedicure to catch up, she calls or texts me to see how I'm getting through the week, and she comes to anything I'm involved in and buys something. These peeps are a big part of my support system. When my foundation came apart with everything that happened last year, they quietly filled in the gaps. I'm really grateful for them.

At the lunch table, after everyone aired what was going on in their life, I said, "You've really upset my fruit basket." I was saying that to be funny...but I was also serious. I've had this idea in my mind of how the next 16 months are going to go. I'm going to work, I'm going to finish school, I'm going to complete my internship, I'm going to maintain my friendships, I'm going to keep playing music, I'm going to continue to be independent. Here's how that's going:

Monday, I took a 1/2 day off of work to go down to Norman to have lunch with a friend and interview for a potential internship. Lunch was great and the interview couldn't have gone better. It's my #1 choice and they told me on the spot that they wanted me. I left the interview and ran around to set up my background check and drug test and turn in paperwork they needed. The only thing I was waiting on was to hear from my job what they were going to be able to do. I left knowing I had until Friday to accept/decline the internship. I went to a baseball game that night feeling pretty good, a little overwhelmed with details, but excited that things had gone so well.

Tuesday, I ran more errands on my lunch break. Things were falling into place. Then I got word that my job wasn't going to be able to accommodate my schedule needs for the internship. I said it was fine with a smile on my face and said I knew that was a possibility and thanked them for even considering it. They were sorry. I told them not to be. I made a joke and walked back to my cubicle. And I felt all the wind in my sails slowly leaking out. I went back and forth with myself about expectations and disappointment and how crying at your desk is so last year.  I told myself that this was not the end of the world. I told myself "You is smart. You is kind. You is important." I told myself that we would figure it out and reminded myself, "whatever comes, we shall endure." I pulled myself together, finished the work day, grabbed my stuff and headed to class.

And it just kept going down from there. I had to break-up with the internship on Wednesday and that felt miserable. It's never fun to turn down something you want. And it's even less fun when the person on the other end seems to be just as bummed as you are. We agreed to keep in touch and hope something can work out in the Spring. 

The rest of the pieces that have made this week rough are just annoying and stupid. I got 2 different text messages that were meant for my former spouse. Free advice: Don't marry someone whose name is one letter different than yours. Whether you end up divorced or not, you'll get text messages that weren't meant for you. Sometimes it's funny. Sometimes it stings a little bit. Either way, it's awkward. The next thing just sounds stupid, but Facebook makes me angry. I am not capable of surface friendship. I can't do it. I'm either all-in, or all-out. And being all-in doesn't require Facebook.

I've been processing all these pieces all week in between podcasts and music and spreadsheets and class and some fun too. I have felt myself starting to gasp for air...starting to feel like I'm sinking...starting to panic that there is no wind in my sails. I had the eureka moment today. The major parts of this week (moving, job, internship) all felt like abandonment.  In the panicked moments, it has felt like all the things I was counting on have up and left me. I have heard the echos of 2011. But above those echos, I am hearing another song. I'm still deciphering it, but it sounds like hope. And reassurance. And it sounds solid.

So if you'll excuse me, I've got a fruit basket to put back together. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


So if your inner scaffolding feels frail
Just remember God loves mostly those who fail.

--Eef Barzelay, "History"

Monday, August 20, 2012


"...I am remembering my soft parts. The parts of me that deserve all good things. All good people. All good laughter and love and amazing bright skies and warm water and things that make me sigh big long sighs of all things good... I think that it comes from somewhere simple and fantastic like those sewn up soft pieces and the nearly renovated girly bit shop, reminding me that so much good is still in me and it might be time to start sharing it again." - Dani Burlison

(Taken from this article.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


"I tell you loneliness is the thing to master. Courage and fear, love, death are only parts of it and can easily be ruled afterwards. If I make myself master my own loneliness there will be peace or safety: and perhaps these are the same." - Martha Gellhorn

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, and it is yours.” –Ayn Rand

Monday, July 30, 2012


I had a great vacation...including the bonus 6 hours I am spending in the Baltimore Airport. I think I'm still being taught to embrace solitude. Honestly, that's getting frustrating. I want to just look up at the sky and be like, "I get it. I'm workin' on it." It's been so nice to get a weekend of sleep, security, and sharing life with people I don't get to see very often.

I've got to brag on my friend's husbands/boyfriends for a minute. My friends are obviously awesome on their own and therefore married well. But their partner isn't just awesome to them, they're awesome to me. Since I became a d-word there's been multiple times that these guys have stepped in or stepped up to help me out. This weekend, my friend Emily's husband Tyler met me at my Metro stop and rolled my suitcase to their condo for me. Then he took me out for a drink and food while we waited for Emily to get off work. And he wouldn't let me pay. Because he's a gentleman like that. Then today, Hannah's boyfriend Stuart bought my lunch. Because I was their guest. Because he's a gentleman like that. And Ashley's husband Brandon is staying up past his bedtime to pick me up from my flight...which has been delayed 4.5 hours. Because he's a gentleman like that.

I appreciate these guys and the many more like them out there who are keeping the word gentleman alive.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Stream of consciousness: traveling

- I am taking my smallest suitcase with ROOM TO SPARE. This has never happened.

- The only "extra" things I put in my smallish purse (carry-on) is two books and a journal, a banana, some nuts and granola. If you consider that I normally bring my computer, some magazines, some books, and other "in case you get bored" items, this is a major improvement.

- People who don't pay attention in the check-in line or in security frustrate me to no end. I straight line-jumped a lady after showing her 3 screens were available and she just fumbled around. #aintnobodygottimefodat

- Nervous grandmas traveling with their kids or grandkids make me crazy.

- I love finding the few people reading a real newspaper. They almost always have a moustache. (women included)

- It's probably not fair to observe parenting styles in an airport...but I do it anyway.

- I'm getting used to this traveling alone thing. But it doesn't mean I'm any less excited about having a traveling companion someday.

- I decided to wear a dress to fly today. Nothing fancy, but I feel fancy. Like the old days when people dressed up to travel. Don't worry, no heels.

- I appreciate any ticket agent at the gate who does stand-up comedy while we board. I would so go Kristin Wigg at that job.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


"Sometimes the worst thing that happens to you, the thing you think you can't's the thing that makes you better than you used to be." ---Jennifer Weiner, "Fly Away Home"

Monday, July 23, 2012

PS: this is me minus the needlepoint

If I could, I would buy this house with everything in it, minus 1/2 the needlepoint stuff.

Tons of white, the couch, the dining table and chairs, their bed!, the light fixtures, the kitchen and even the blasted DIY wallpaper.

In. Love.

That'll do it

If you are looking to make me instantly sad, then play me a song with a steel guitar coming in at the right moment on a slow song.

See "Pony" by Sara Watkins for an example.

Specifically when it comes in for the instrumental chorus, I get carried away on a cloud and feel sad.

Just in case you were wondering, that'll do it.

*This post brought to you by melancholy music, not actual sad circumstances.

Friday, July 13, 2012


-I'm 18 weeks into school, about to start my last class of this semester.

-By the end of the year, I will become an aunt by proxy to approximately 5 more babies in my friend circle. And there will be 2 more by the beginning of February.

-I am about to go on my yearly voyage to DC to visit some of my dear friends who have lived far away for far too long.

- I have seen some amazing music and get to experience at least 2 more amazing shows by fall. (Brandi Carlile and The Head And The Heart.)

- I am loving life right now. I feel solid and grounded and happy. The new people who have been woven into my life this year have been right on time. And the older strands have been refreshed and come to life again.

I feel like my life is in technicolor and I can vividly see all the beauty that the last year has given my life. I honestly wouldn't change a thing.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

how'd you do that?

Since becoming a d-word, several people have asked questions or made comments regarding how I've been able to handle the whole d-word situation. It's not an easy question to answer. Most of the time, I ask myself the same thing! How did I do it? How did I get here? So I spent the last week or so processing some of the big things that happened to get to me where I am today. Please see below if you're interested. *Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a humble-brag. I am not saying I'm an expert or well-versed in d-word aftermath management. This is just what popped out to me over the last year. So take the pinch of salt and throw it over your shoulder as you digest.

Top 3 things you need:
1)  A good therapist. Therapy has been a hugely influential part of my life over the last 8 years. I don't know how people navigate the chaos and confusion of life without a counselor. I can't begin to tell you all the things I've gained from therapy over the last year alone, but I know I wouldn't feel as free and whole and healed as I do today if I hadn't started the journey of recovery in therapy over a year ago.
2)  A supportive community of people. This took several different forms over the last year. I participated in a Divorce Care support group for close to 6 months. While it was cheesy and a little too "this is God's plan" for my taste, for a while it was the only place I felt safe to breathe deeply. I have many friends who towed the line of friendship and I am beyond grateful for them sticking around and working through all this with me.
3) New friends. Simple. You need a couple of new friends who don’t know you, don’t know your former spouse or family. You need at least one area of your life where you can have anonymity again. This became my respite. This was especially crucial for the days I didn't want to have to answer the question "how are you doing?" with the sad puppy dog eyes from those around me. I have met some incredible people over the last year and I'm so glad they are part of my life. They picked up right where I needed them to and that was usually with some laughs, some time around the table, and a patio in the evening. (*These people did not replace my "old" friends. They were simply added to the fold.)

Helpful reminders for the day-to-day:
-Choose to heal. You are worth it.
(This is actually really hard. You have to constantly be checking yourself to be sure you're running the marathon and not the relay. And as a non-runner, I can tell you, every mile was its own individual struggle.)

-Acknowledge your feelings. Let days be hard. Let days be angry. Let days be sad or lonely. But let them be easy, and happy, and enjoyable too. However you wake up feeling that day-- go with it. You’re a human being and you were given the ability to feel a spectrum of emotions. Explore them. Embrace them. Acknowledge them and give the next day a chance to be something different.

-There’s a difference between grieving and mourning. Grieving acknowledges what’s happened, processes it, deals with it, allows the scab to form and the scar to develop. Mourning camps on the land of victims. Don’t get stuck. Don’t pitch a tent. Grieve. And fully grieve.

-Cocoon yourself in music. Let words rattle in your bones and ring out in your soul. You might be surprised how many songs out there sound like they were written just for you. But don’t just wrap yourself in sadness and loneliness and grief. Listen to music that makes you happy. That makes you angry. That makes you roll the windows down and scream. And most importantly, listen to something that allows you to let go. Let yourself move. DANCE.

-Raise an Ebeneezer. Do something that you can look back on and see how far you’ve come. For me, I had a burn party on my wedding anniversary about 6 weeks after my divorce was final. I gathered some close friends and we stood in a circle and threw poppers and vented about the whole situation. It was important to involve others in this process. Divorce ripples out and affects the make-up of the whole pond of people around you. They need to grieve too. We burned a few pictures, a couple of letters,  some words on paper, and a tshirt. It was a blast. A year later (this year) I had a rock throwing ceremony. At my wedding, we had people sign rocks instead of a guestbook. Some friends sailed me out to the middle of Lake Hefner and we threw them in the water. I hurled some. I let some slowly drop off my hand. I skipped some on the surface of the water. Those two Ebeneezers signify my process of forgiveness and letting go. Last year, I started the process. This year, I finished it. “Forgiveness is setting down the load, never to pick it up again.” –said someone famous. This is hard, but it’s so much easier to just let it go and get some miles in your rear-view mirror. *It should be noted that I am extremely sentimental. I realize not everyone is. 

 -Ask for patience and grace. But know that typically when you ask for things like that, you’re given opportunities to practice being patient and graceful. And it’s hard. But that’s why we practice. To get better at it.

“The best revenge is a life well lived.” –Chloe Neill  I love this. It’s easy to get caught up in the anger and bitterness and frustration of your situation. It’s easy to want to get back at the other person for what they’ve done to you. At the end of the day, it’s done. It’s in the past. Don’t waste your time and energy. Instead, pour that time and energy into you and your life and your future. Get rid of cable, get outside, invest in yourself and those around you.

God is faithful. He really does find a way to work all things together for good. I know this because he's taken the dust and ashes of my life and made them into something beautiful.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


"The other side of uncertainty is opportunity." --Jonathan Fields

Saturday, May 26, 2012

supposed to be

I'm supposed to be somewhere else right now. An ocean away. In a place I've been wanting to go for nearly 10 years. Ireland. I'm supposed to be renewing my vows.

But I'm not. I'm here. And the only vows I'm renewing are ones to myself. I've made it through a day that marks beginnings and endings, light and darkness, "death" and life.

I don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling, but I'm feeling really grateful. Grateful this day even happened at all 5 years ago. Grateful for all the days that have occurred between May 26th, 2007 and May 26, 2012. Grateful for all the lives weaved in and out of my story in these 1,826 days. Grateful for the life I shared with another and the life that no longer exists. Grateful that someone very wise told me, "Choose to heal. You're worth it."

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." (romans 8:26-28)

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I tried and lost at something tonight. I took a risk. It was nerve-racking, but I did it and while it didn't play out---I'm happy to have given it a shot.

Facing fears and learning... That's what I'm up to these days.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." - C.S. Lewis

This is a photo of Gregory Alan Isakov singing my favorite song, "If I Go, I'm Goin" at the Blue Door. Amazing show. Catch him on the road if you have the chance.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What I Know

Faithfulness exists.
Grace is limitless.
Goodness will always win out.
Light overcomes darkness.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." --Carl Jung

"You choose who you are." --LuAnn Johnson

Monday, April 23, 2012


There are some days that I wonder if I'll ever recover the pieces of my heart that are still broken and missing.

I wonder if your heart reshapes itself and learns to love in a different way because it can't ever love the same again. Because the original pieces will never all be back in one place.

I'm feeling those missing pieces today. My heartbeat is out of sync. It feels like it is still inside another person. A person who doesn't exist. Who isn't here. Who still has a few of my pieces.

This moving on, healing, forgiveness thing is not for the faint of heart. It's for marathon runners. It's for Olympic athletes. And today I feel like the water-boy; the 7th alternate for the pole-vaulting team.

This is hard. I'm letting it be hard today. Tomorrow I may be running a half-marathon. Or practicing for my Olympic debut. You never know with this crazy d-word journey.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

17 Years in 5 months

      Ira Glass is the host of the popular radio show This American Life on NPR. I sit at a desk for 9 hours a day at my job. I do repetitive tasks with spreadsheets and if you haven’t fallen asleep just reading that, you can imagine that I get very bored. I’ve gotten sucked into the world of podcasts and got hooked on This American Life. So hooked in fact that I paid for their iPhone app that holds every radio show from 1995 to the present. At the end of 2012, that will be around 884 shows. Within the next month, I will finish the last 2 years (1997-1995.) That will be just over 830 shows.
      Because I listen to about 7 hours of TAL a day, I’ve gotten to know a lot about the regular contributors to the show. Specifically, I’ve gotten to know a lot about the host, Ira Glass. Part of that is because he shares a lot about himself on the show, but I also google him several times a week. I can’t help it. I’m obsessed with him. He’s one of the best interviewers I’ve ever heard. He makes everything interesting. He conveys a genuine sense of care to anyone he talks to and he always wants to know more. I think that’s what intrigues me the most. I feel like he’s already very intelligent and yet every show he’s eager to share with his listeners the newest nuggets of information he’s gathered. He has a strange voice, he wears huge glasses, and has the dorkiest laugh. He also uses the same script for every show. Every show starts the same. “From WBEZ Chicago, it’s This American Life, I’m Ira Glass. Each week we choose a topic or theme and bring you a variety of stories about that theme. Our show this week, (title). Over the course of the next hour we will explore this topic using ________ acts. Act One, (title.) Act Two, (title.) and Act Three (title.) Our first story is by, (contributor.)  Act One, (title.) Here is, (contributor.) ”  Trust me. I’ve listened to the show over 700 times. I love the consistency. I love everything about the way the show is put together week after week. It’s pure gold.
      I started with 2012 and worked backwards. It has been hilarious to listen to the de-evolution of technology. I remember listening to a show from 1998 and in Ira’s closing statements he says, “If you’d like to purchase a cassette tape of this broadcast you can write us at WBEZ....” I cracked up in my cubical. Cassette tapes?! People were WRITING the show to purchase a CASSETTE tape?
      Another funny moment from this last week, Ira interviewed a woman about email. They were going back and forth about AOL and that little, “You’ve Got Mail” person. I was dying laughing. This lady was so overjoyed.
      I’d encourage you to give TAL a shot. I think you just might fall in love with Ira Glass too.

Favorite Episodes (in no particular order):
#454: Mr. Daisy and the Apple Factory  (follow up with #460: Retraction)
#449: Middle School
#111: Adventures in the Simple Life
#109: Notes on Camp
#90: Telephone
#370: Ruining it for the Rest of Us
#393: Infidelity (Act II, especially)

Friday, April 20, 2012

The year of music

So without trying, this year has turned into the year of live music. Here's what's happened and is on deck. Some great stuff in store!

Jan 18: The Staves and The Civil Wars @ Cain's Ballroom (Tulsa, OK)

April 13: The Avett Brothers @ Brady Theatre (Tulsa, OK)

May 6th: Gregory Alan Isakov @ The Blue Door (OKC, OK)

June 2nd: The Staves and Bon Iver @ Brady Theatre (Tulsa, OK)

July 27: The Avett Brothers (again, they're that good.) @ Chesapeake Arena (OKC, OK)

Looking to add some of these hopefully before the year is up:
- Brandi Carlile
- Ben Rector
- The Head and The Heart
- Mindy Smith

Always searching for Patty Griffin, Glen Phillips, Counting Crows and Ryan Adams.

That's all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

juggle juggle

This is a picture of me juggling.  I'm so daring, right? Well, I'm not very good at juggling. I'm starting to feel the squeeze of life. I remember these times in college. When everyone needed something at the same time, every class had a huge paper due the same day, and you felt like because of all of that - you also were missing out on some great stuff. 

That's what it feels like right now. I've got a paper due, I'm having to miss class due to a fundraising event I planned, said fundraising event, and it's Easter weekend. I want to do yoga, I want to support my friends speaking this weekend, I've got friends having babies, friends who are pregnant, friends having major life stuff, and friends who live in DC that I keep playing phone tag with. DO YOU SEE HOW MANY BALLS THAT IS?! (that's what she said.) 

Oh, and I'm working full-time too.

It's exhausting and I feel like I need more hours in the day to be able to give everything the right amount of attention. I want to be a good employee, I want to be a good student, I want to be a good friend, I want to be a good aunt, I want to be a good neighbor, etc. Obviously, no one can be good at everything all the time. I'm not even sure all the scales have ever leveled out at the same time. But I want to believe they can. 

My mom used to say, "This too shall pass." I find myself saying that aloud, writing it on sticky notes, and trying to tattoo it on my forehead backwards. All of this will come and go. It will be over and I'll be on to the next thing. Win or lose, good grade or bad, a great event or not, Tuesday will come and Wednesday means I start the next thing. It all will pass. 

PS: Final d-word mile-marker is coming up on Saturday. Looking forward to acknowledging it and letting it pass.

Monday, March 26, 2012

School is cool.

Remember when I was like, "I'm going to apply for grad school." Well, I did. And I got in. And I started about a month ago.

I know it's early. I know it's going to get hard and it's going to be a lot to juggle, and it's going to sort of rule my life til December 2013. But so far, it's not that bad, I'm juggling, and it's not ruling my life. And I'm really enjoying it.

NOW. Let's catch up on my new year intentions!

PEACE: this is more challenging than I anticipated. Yoga is definitely a stabilizing force for helping me practice peace.

QUIET: i'm really enjoying this one. Sometimes I work without music. I drive home without music. Sometimes I'll go sit out on my deck and just listen. Other times I'll lay in bed and just look at twitter and be quiet.

PLAY: this is harder now that school is in the picture. However, I try to carve out at least one night for time with friends and FUN. (It's been more like 2.5 nights)

FOLLOW THRU: so far, I'm doing fairly well with this. I've learned to think things all the way through and be realistic about what I can commit to. Now, I just need to work on being on time.

RISK: biggest risk to date has been starting grad school (potentially doubling my school debt.) :) I already feel confident it's a risk that will pay off.

CHALLENGE: I feel like I'm being challenged in lots of areas of my life. Yoga, school, work, counseling. friends, and church have all had challenges or been challenging. Learning to love it.

MOVE: I'm doing my best to keep moving forward. The biggest milestone is coming up on April 7th. Looking forward to leaving it in the dust.

RESPOND: 9 times out of 10, I'm breathing, waiting, and responding.

CONSISTENCY: I can do better here. I'm doing okay, but I know I can do better.

HONESTY: #realtalk. Grateful for friends I can be honest with, who are honest with me, and communities I'm a part of that accept me where I am.

INVEST: working on it! I need to prioritize my time and money better so I can invest those things better.

GIVE: this will always be a work in progress. Trying to be better at being generous with grace.

PRESENT: better than I have been. The iPhone needs more time-outs.

REMEMBER: trying to take pictures, remember, read, and write. (obviously school is keeping me from being able to blog!)

DANCE: duh. easiest intention ever.

PS: I also gave up soda on January 3rd. I committed to the whole year with Kristen. And we have some serious consequences in place for breaking the pact. Happy to report I haven't had a Dr. Pepper (or any of his friends) since!

That's all I have right now. It's time to read about 60 more pages before class tomorrow. Thank for supporting me on my journey back-to-school.