Monday, May 28, 2012

Pressing On.


I love how slowly she's moving the worm across the floor. She's so focused and content. Love it!

Perseverance. I want to be happy like this when I'm faced with something challenging. I want to remember to stop for the sheer purpose of a smile and a wave.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5

Sunday, May 27, 2012

San Mateo Bridge.

We parked on the San Mateo Bridge. Alicia and I sat in my car on the bridge in the middle of the cold and windy night. We were over the water and were going to be there for a while.

Let’s start at the beginning. Not the beginning of the friendship between Alicia and I, but at the beginning of this particular adventure. Danny had spent a few days in New York City and was flying back to San Francisco. I offered to pick him up so Kendra could stay home with the girls and sleep.

A few days before picking Danny up, I asked Alicia if she would come with me. I needed a map reader and a friend for the late night trip. I picked her up and then we looked at his flight information. The plane was delayed by ninety minutes. Alicia and I talked, laughed, made a grocery store run for diet coke and junior mints and eventually made our way to San Francisco. We made good time and were going to be early. Mainly because we didn’t get lost. Alicia’s a great map reader! Who knew?

A few miles before the San Mateo bridge, there were ambulances and firetrucks behind us. Since we were on a four lane road, I moved over to the far right lane so they could pass. But they never did. So we kept driving. We survived the tollbooth on the bridge and kept going. Out of nowhere, the traffic that was nonexistent just a few minutes before came to a halt.

After a two minutes of sitting without moving, I felt my car shaking from the strong winds. We turned on the radio and discovered there was a three car accident just a few minutes ahead of us with serious injuries reported. I nervously looked at Alicia. We still had some spare time so we decided not to worry about being late to meet Danny.

I complained about a handful of things for a few minutes before Alicia jumped in. Sometimes I think we go back and forth in having intelligent things to say.

Then Alicia said, “Well, when things like this happen, I think God wants a particular conversation to happen.” And then she looked at me.

Hmmm. Alright. Alicia and I are always communicating. I couldn’t think of anything I hadn’t told her.

Sometimes our conversations are super serious. Other times we just talk about clothes, boys, hot movie stars, and music. Which, I might add, are also important. This time we talked about life, love, and God. We giggled and laughed all while sipping diet coke and eating junior mints.

I’m not a big fan of serious conversations, but Alicia has a way of gently dragging them out of me. I’m a journalist. I like the facts and details without the feelings and emotions. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. Life’s situations evoke emotions and feelings that sometimes need to be explored and confronted. And Alicia’s often the person to help me see that.

Forty minutes later, the traffic started moving again and we were on our way to the airport. We made it there in fifteen minutes and were only thirty minutes late to meet Danny. The drive home was uneventful and I pulled into my driveway at 3am.

It was another fun adventure with Alicia to add to the books!

PS. In the extra time we had together waiting for the accident to be cleared, we had time to plan some mischief. Just a preview... :)

Dear Sam,

Watch out.

(undisclosed sources got us this photo)

The A Team

Saturday, May 26, 2012

And then comfort comes.

And then comfort comes.

Sometimes it's quiet and gentle. Other times it's more loud and abrupt. Sometimes it's with a cup of tea. A nap. A book. A few quiet hours. With words poured out on a blank page. With some reassuring advice. A hug. A long run. A road trip. With yelling in my car. A baby’s snuggles.

Comfort comes with the acceptance of what’s happened and the desire to move forward.

Comfort doesn’t come by forcing organization upon chaos, but by making sense of it. Organizing and beautifying the chaos, disaster, and heartache would be a discredit to it. The goal is to find hope and peace at the end of it without degrading the pain, but easing it in the light of truth. God’s truth. The only truth.

And that’s when comfort comes. Seeing chaos through the pure light of God’s truth.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

for the love of Smith 5...

Four years on Smith 5.
39 girls each year.

I love and miss my girls from this past year!

Thanks for taking our floor photos, Joel!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life After Moody: Part 2

Moving. Where did all this crap come from?

I don't like packing. And I don't like unpacking. But most of all, I don't like messes.



Oh dear.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Life After Moody: Part 1

Life after Moody. There is one! Who knew?!? Woo-hoo!! After the graduation ceremony and Smith 5 cleanup, I did touristy things with my family. Navy Pier, Lake Michigan boat tour, Lincoln Park Zoo, Oz Park, and the Sears Tower. I enjoyed showing my family the wonderful city I'd spent the past four years exploring, loving, and gaining independence in.

Chicago from the Lake.

Lincoln Park Zoo. LOVE the camel!

My parents on the bridge in the Lincoln Park Zoo.

View from the Sears Tower! 103 floors high.

Oz Park.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hug Snob.

My first and last Sundays at Cedar Grove are usually a challenge for me. I get bombarded by people asking how I'm doing and my plans for the future and what's going on in my life. Today was no exception. Lots of people wanted to know what was going on with my life. And it seemed like almost everyone wanted to give me multiple hugs. Eek. I love being with people. I just need my own personal bubble of space. I just needed a little larger bubble today. A germ proof bubble.

When I pulled into the parking lot of Cedar Grove, I had a mental list of who I was okay with hugging. I didn't want all the hugs and touching and germs from everyone else crawling on me. I know, it was silly. My anxiety totally won this morning. And obviously my church family was not aware of my imaginary list so I got hugged by everyone and panicked a little.

On a positive note, I survived and this was the first rough morning that I'd had in the past month!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Miss Vi, the fashionista.

Meet Viola. She's my favorite high energy girly-girl toddler. I think the necklaces complement the diaper nicely.

(Here's an excerpt from my creative nonfiction essay Baby Vi and I. Vi was eight months when this story took place.)

“Good morning, baby,” I said with a smile. It was too early to be awake, but I was looking forward to spending the day with this little girl.

Her large round eyes stared up at me. I can only imagine what she was thinking.

“You’re not mommy. You’re A. Where’s mommy?” her eyes asked.

She picked up her favorite stuffed moose, still staring at me. Her look of doubt was making me doubt. Could I take care of this eight month old baby for the next twelve hours? I’d spent time with her before, but never an entire day without one of her parents being there, too. Trina, Viola’s older sister, and I had spent weekends together when her parents were out of town. She was five though, not a baby.

“Are you ready for breakfast, Viola?” I asked gently.

Still clinging to her little moose, she tilted her head in confusion, but she wasn’t crying. I snuggled the fuzzy black blanket around her as I picked her up. She curled up in my arms and pressed herself close to me. As we walked down the hallway, I could feel her heart beating and could feel the warmth of her steady breath.

“We’re going to get breakfast,” I told the little girl. “Would you like your yummy rice cereal and some milk?” I asked, knowing there would be no response. She was only eight months old and barely able to crawl, let alone talk.

Unable to prepare her food while holding her, the highchair seemed like the perfect place to put her. She could sit for a few minutes while I mixed her cereal and finished defrosting the frozen pre-pumped milk to pour into her sippy cup.

I wiggled her feet into the right holes of her seat and clasped the buckle so she could not squirm free and fall. I pulled the chair over to where I was so she could be close to me.

No sooner had I turned around and taken three steps to the counter did her world appear to fall apart. The first sound she made that morning was an ear-piercing scream. Separation anxiety from that point on was the theme of our day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Home is...

One word: bittersweet

I made it through all last week, graduation, the long weekend, and the trip to CA without any tears, but melted down the moment I walked into my room in Livermore.

It's true, there really is no place like home...

Monday, May 14, 2012


I'm leaving Chicago tomorrow. There will probably be a meltdown somewhere between downtown and Midway Airport. I love this place and am not quite ready to leave. Chicago and Livermore need to be closer together.