Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Somebody Call the Po-Po"

My little 1997 Camry is a speed demon. This car drives so smooth you feel like your flying. 70 mph feels like 40 mph. That's why I blame it all on the Toyota...and Christina Aguilera and Pitbull. No offence to them, but their music typically makes my skin crawl. But for some reason "Feel This Moment" just works---like pretzels and sprite. What is the point of them unless they are together?
In all for realness though, I do take this very seriously and I take full and complete blame for my actions. I was speeding...Mea culpa. I have been a car owner for 9 whole days before I saw the red and blue lights flash  in my rear view mirror. Being the recovering legalist that I am, my first thought was, "I deserve this. I deserve a ticket. Justice must be served." I do believe in justice and I do believe in consequences and, had he given me ticket, I would have accepted it and paid it all by my self rightgeous self. I have many family member's in law enforcement, so I have a high respect (read "dumbfounded awe") of them. The cop was much more merciful and gracious towards me than I was towards myself.
I kept a stiff upper lip and was polite and friendly and looked him in the eye and even made him laugh a few times. We're BFF's now and he let me off easy....just a warning.

This morning I drove my old lady car like an authentic Delray snow bird: 5 miles under the speed limit. Penance.

Stepping Out & Being True

Blogging is a scary thing. I'm putting myself out there for people to see. They'll find out that I am a terrified human being, that I have really poor grammar and punctuation skills (the homeschooler in me is so incredibly embarrassed and wants to keep this fact hidden until the day I die), that sometimes I'm insecure, that I'm a jerk, that I can be a miserable and discontent ingrate. Sometimes I post a real, honest entry and then freak out and delete it a second later. That's why I haven't invited more than two people to read "The Linden Tree", and I have instructed them to not mention blogs to me unless it is to praise my eloquent writing. And I think only one (maybe two?) of my 4 readers I have actually met. I don't want people I know to read what I write....so awkward and uncomfortable and personal!

This morning I signed into blogger at 6:00 am to find that I had 27 views already just today. And then I signed in again 3 hours later and I had 53 views. This sent me into a panic. I typically get no more than 12 views in a day and most of them are my own. But, 53? And it's only 9:00 am? Who is reading my blog? Who knows all my crap? I want to retreat into myself and delete everything I have ever written. Because the truth is, I'm terrified of getting even one negative comment about my writing. I think that if that happens I will delete this blog. I need to be praised and if I'm not going to be praised then you better shut up because I can't take criticism. I am aware that this is wrong.... I know that I am a brat. But, for now this is my ugly truth.

Glennon says,

"If, anywhere in your soul, you feel the desire to write, please write. Write as a gift to yourself and others. Everyone has a story to tell. Writing is not about creating tidy paragraphs that sound lovely or choosing the 'right' words. It's just about noticing who you are and noticing life and sharing what you notice, When you write you truth, it is a love offering to the world because it helps us feel braver and less alone. And if you're a really, really bad writer then it might be most important for you to write because your writing might free other really, really bad writers to have a go at it anyway....If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you're good enough. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: yourself."

Maybe I'm not the best writer in the world, but I love it. I would die if I didn't write everyday (slight exaggeration--maybe?). I have a story to tell. Mostly for my own benefit because I'm trying to figure out how to be my best and putting it into words somehow helps me make sense of myself.
This isn't the funniest blog or the deepest or the most poetic....but I am realizing that I need to refuse to worry about whether [I'm] good enough. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: [myself]."

Two things I am learning to be true. One is that:

And that:

I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and being true.

Someone posted on my Face Book status today and asked if I keep a blog and if I don't that I should. Apparently I post awesome statuses. Maybe I should come out of the closet and tell my family and friends that I am a blogger and actually give them the link to my blog! **GASP!!**


I am reading Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. There is so much good stuff in this book. My copy is from the library, and I can't highlight or underline so I am jotting down quotes here. I love books about people....real people. Glennon is one of those. We are very different people but also very much the same. There are a lot of things that we would disagree on, but she makes me think...a whole heck of lot.

"I'd found my thing: Openness. I decided, based on my firsthand experience, that it was more fun to say things that made other women feel hopeful about themselves and God than it was to say or omit things to make people feel jealous of me. And it was easier too. Less to keep track of and monitor."

"I don't want to take anything to the grave. I want to die used up and emptied out. I don't want to carry around anything that I don't have to. I want to travel light."

"I learned that I was worthy and capable of being another human being's constant."

On the God-shaped hole in all of us:
"You see, the hole had gotten bigger and bigger until God fit right in. He just stepped right in.
    When you are all hole, God fits."

"If, anywhere in your soul, you feel the desire to write, please write. Write as a gift to yourself and others. Everyone has a story to tell. Writing is not about creating tidy paragraphs that sound lovely or choosing the 'right' words. It's just about noticing who you are and noticing life and sharing what you notice, When you write you truth, it is a love offering to the world because it helps us feel braver and less alone. And if you're a really, really bad writer then it might be most important for you to write because your writing might free other really, really bad writers to have a go at it anyway....If you feel something calling you to dance or write or paint or sing, please refuse to worry about whether you're good enough. Be generous. Offer a gift to the world that no one else can offer: yourself."

"That's the thing about becoming a family: You gotta melt. Yu have to keep melting into eachother until you become something entirely new. The only constant family rule is that everyone has to keep showing up."

"I'm not big on advice. Mainly because most days I learn what an idiot I was yesterday. This is hopeful, because it means I'm moving in the right direction. But it also makes it risky to offer wisdom today."

"Hmm. I wonder how many of my beautiful experiences are not really how I write them in my head?Whatever. don't want to know. I try never to allow other people's lack of participation to get in the way of shared moments."

"When I want to turn away or run away, which is all the time, I remember what Adrianne told me the night I bought my new bicycle. When you feel like you're falling, she said, steer into the fall. Lean into it instead of away, and you'll be alright."

Monday, April 29, 2013

It Means Love

This pile of twigs and pine cones at my doorstep means love. It means that two little boys who stole my heart were in my home yesterday. It means that their chubby flip-flopped feet shuffled down my street as they reminded me that we must stay close to the edge and away from cars. It's become a tradition. I follow because they know where to go. On the corner one street over is a tree that showers the lawn below with twigs and pine cones and pods for tiny hands to gather and big curious eyes to inspect.
Mom comes, they say their goodbyes, I wave and look down. Every time, I find a pile of the nature they gathered left for me next to the watering can on my porch.  It means love.

A Sunny Smile

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”
--F. Scott Fitzgerald

Counting my blessings:

32. I spent most of Saturday with Diane. We went to a yard sale extravaganza and I found many treasures. We then went out for lunch and enjoyed a iced glass of lemonade on her sofa while we talked.

33. My sisters have been wanting to buy bikes, but have not had the resources. This weekend our neighbors were having a yard sale and were selling two good quality bikes for $20 each.

34. I've been borrowing the bikes until I buy one for myself. The wind whipping through my hair keeps me cool from the blazing sun that beats down on my arms and freckles them. My bike rides are aimless and long and smell like grass clippings and honey suckle.

35. I was nervous when filling up my gas tank for the first time. I felt great relief when I realized I will only be spending $35 a week even with driving to church, etc.

36. I had a good conversation with my boss last week. I'm feeling good about work.

37. Long drives allow much time for stimulating conversation. Our church is 45 minutes away. I'm realizing that is something to be grateful for rather than complain about.

38. Domenic & Vincent. Two wonderful, special, brilliant little people that make my heart overflow with love and joy.

39. I am so very excited to visit Christel, Jenn, and Matt this weekend. We are going on a picnic! For those of you who don't know, picnics are my favorite things in all of life. Also people. So getting to go on a picnic with three awesome people makes me giddy with excitement.

You Are Enough

You are not worthy of love. You don't make a lasting impression--you are forgettable. Why would this person want to be your friend? You are not enough: smart enough, have enough to offer, pretty enough, cool enough...

I hear these lies whispering in the back of my mind constantly. I used the believe them, sometimes I still do. These thoughts always nag at me and I have learned that I must face them armed with the truth:

You are worthy of love and friendship. You were created by your Heavenly Father who lovingly made you in his own likeness from nothing and gave you a heart, mind, body, feelings, and passion. You are deep and intricate and unique and beautiful. He made you this way. Believe that and be confident in that. Doubting this is doubting the hands that knit you together. He didn't make you to quietly slink through life without making an impression. He made you to be amazing so boldly be just that. You were given a heart to love profoundly, a mind and intelligence to offer wisdom and wit and advice, a body to be present in relationships and active in service, feelings to sympathize and share in joys and heartbreaks, passion to fight for and stand up for people you love....He gave you all of this and it is wrong and a sin if you believe the lie that you are not enough and withhold good things when you are capable of giving it. You are worthy of love and friendship and so are everyone else. So love them.

I vividly remember writing a letter to a friend one night a couple years back apologizing for being the crappiest of friends and it occurring to me for the first time that my lack of confidence in pursuing her and her friendship hurt more than just me. When I am left alone and not pursued by people I begin to believe that I am unloved and lonely which makes me feel "not worth it" which in turn prevents me from pursuing others....This is stupid. I am taking my hurts and insecurities and hurting others as a result--I deserve and they deserve so much more than that. So that is why I am preaching it to myself and telling you to ignore the lies and to just be a good friend. Be the kind of friend that you would want to have.

--When you think to yourself, "What if they're too busy and don't want to talk right now."... Call them anyways. If they are too busy then leave them a voicemail so they know they are in your thoughts and loved.

--When you feel like a nuisance for wanting to get together....invite yourself over to their house anyways. Don't you feel loved when you know someone is comfortable enough with you to crash at your house without a formal invitation? You should crash at their house sometimes and let them feel the love.

--When you hear that someone is going through difficult times and you begin debating whether you should offer help or "maybe they just want time to them self"...Help them. Text them and tell them you are there for them. Don't wait for them to ask for help....offer yourself to them. Tell them you will bring them a hot meal or watch their kids or fold their laundry. Actively pursue them.

--When a week or two goes by and you don't hear from someone and you begin to wonder if they have forgotten about you.....just quit it. Maybe they're sitting in their home wondering the same thing about you. So pick up the damn phone and call them.

I'm not naturally a good friend. I don't think anyone really is though...it takes practice and work. Being a good friend is exhausting and draining and takes a lot of juggling and effort and giving of yourself. But, the reward is so great. I have a small group of close friends who have rocked my world. Coming to this point in our relationship was something we had to fight for. I had to purposeful about it, and yes, even write it into my calendar and set reminders on my phone to interact with them (do what you gotta do). Every two days I text Christel and tell her that she is wonderful and loved and every week or so I write on Jenny and Matt's Face Book or text them and tell them that they are awesome. I try to send them cards often and drive up and visit them at least a few times a year even though we live so far away. Every week I text Angela and tell her I'm thinking of her and, even when I'm exhausted from work, spend an evening at her house at least once a month to see her and the boys. I call/email/FB/text Bethanne monthly so she knows I'm there for her and her kids. I get together and call Diane several times a month. With 1,500 miles between us, Livi and I have been pen pals for 11 years and text and FB often. Amanda is a sister and literally could move in and it would be totally cool.

It's a lot of work...A lot of people with a lot of their own crap and problems and needs and it's wonderful because I have a lot of crap and problems and needs myself. Community and deep relationships are so vital. These people know that I will do anything for them and I know that they will do nothing less for me. I know and they know because we have done crazy things for eachother. The reward reaped from investing in people is great. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for their love and influence and wonderfulness. I love them to death.

So that is what's been on my heart these past few days. People are amazing and important and that includes you and me. So, without apology or second-guessing be the best friend you can be. We could all do with a little more love.


Thursday, April 25, 2013


Today I am feeling thankful for friendship. For having the type of friends who I feel completely comfortable texting and inviting myself over to watch a movie in my pajamas. For friends who feel completely comfortable asking me to help throw their dad's birthday party. I love that I have friends who I will do anything for and they will do anything for me. And, that we all know it and don't feel bad asking for anything. I don't have many friends, but the ones I do have are kindred spirits, bosom friends, soul sisters who are always there for me and have my back. I love them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Counting My Blessings

I used to do this on The Linden Tree...count my blessings. I think I should pick up where I left off.

26. The palm tree outside my window. It's such a pretty picture to fall asleep to each night: the black silhouette dancing in the wind against a grey sky. I pretend I live in a lighthouse.

27. Friendship.

28. This weather. It takes my breath away everyday. I drive with the windows rolled down and have been taking walks every night. I just can't get enough of it.

29. Pound cake with vanilla ice cream and strawberry orange sauce. It tasted like summer.

30. My camera. It doesn't take the best pictures, but I love that I can carry it with me and capture special moments: walks with the sisters, our furry little pet acting adorable (I think Ophelia is finally growing on me), our brilliantly blue sky, crafting day with a friend.....

31. My small group. I'm finally beginning to feel at home and more comfortable in my church. My church is big and scary for me, but I forced myself to step out of my comfort zone and meet people and become involved. I'm so glad that I did. I'm kicking my social anxiety in the butt and not letting it rule over me. I feel awesome!

"White Christmas" is one of my favorite movies of all time. When I told a friend that the first time I ever saw the film was two years before with his family he said, "What a sad and horrible life you must have lead before that day." I responded, "Yes. Yes it was."
It is the sweetest, funniest, feel-good movie ever. If you haven't watched it then do. Now.
One of my favorite scenes is of Bing Crosby and Rosemarie Clooney singing this song:

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them
As they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them
As they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
 And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

Saturday, April 20, 2013

We Got a Rat.

Meet Ophelia. I can't decide if I love her forever or think she is the most repugnant creature on earth. The way she claws and chews at the side of her cage like a deranged horror movie character makes my skin crawl, but I cried when I first met her and saw how little and fluffy and helpless she is. She makes these hideous screechy noises that make me cringe, but I keep going over to her cage to talk to her and tell her she is beautiful and loved (not necessarily by me) because...I don't know why. Maybe I don't want her to have low self-esteem. Ophelia, you confuse me.
Also, doesn't she have the most adorable name ever? I was voting for Marilla, Isis, or Totoro...but I think "Ophelia" will suit this little rodent just fine.

My Week In Pictures

I went to the fruit stand just as the sun was rising. It was stormy and you could smell the ocean in the air--the perfect way to start the day.

 Sudsy water to clean the kitchen and scrub the baseboards,


Dish washing is my therapy. I really don't mind our dishwasher not working,


It's so purdy.

The sky makes me dizzy and overwhelmed and awestruck. It's just so beautiful.

Morning dew.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 15, 2013


This is just a random "life" post:

-Last night I had a dream that I was driving along or being driven by an invisible chauffeur (that part kept changing back and forth). I drove past a lost German shepherd puppy, and grabbed the bag of dog treats I keep in my glove compartment. I really do keep dog treats in the car, just in case. At first, it looked like he trusted me, but at the last moment he ran off into the road and got hit by a semi truck. That was traumatizing. My dream continued. I drove past a baby alligator. He was a lot easier to catch than the dog, but when I grabbed him and he gnashed his hideous teeth and my hand clenched down on his jaw to prevent him biting me I thought, "Oh, crap. Now what?" Obviously I couldn't let go of my grip unless I wanted to be infected. Thank goodness that this was the point where my invisible chauffeur finally committed and took over the driving. We drove around frantically and I held my grip tightly around his mouth all the while. Apparently, the pound and humane society do not take in stray gators. I began to panic. I knew that if I let this creature loose in the wild he would find me and bite me and then I would be infected with the 32 bacteria that gators carry. So I held his mouth shut and we continued to look. Finally, we found this guy that lived in a cabin in the woods and took in baby alligators. We had to be let in through the electric fence and he had kangaroos kept in a kennel. I suppose this should have been a red flag, but I was so sick of holding this gator and I just had to make sure that it was safe. Maybe I felt guilty that the German shepherd died and I couldn't save him and this was me somehow making up for it....Anyways, We went into his cabin and I accidentally dropped the gator in the sink just as the guy switched on the garbage disposal. So, yeah.....that was weird.

-My coworker asked me why I don't have a boyfriend the other day. I get this question a lot and honestly have no idea how to respond especially when she says it like this, "Lyndsay, you need a boyfriend! Why don't you have one? I mean you know how to cook and you bake cupcakes and crochet and have perfect teeth!" I just stared blankly. I mean, what do I say to that? I had no idea that crocheting harry potter scarves and having a nice smile were the criteria for being perfect girlfriend material.

-People keep randomly and out-of-the-blue telling me that I need to step out of my comfort zone and that they feel an adventure is waiting for me. And, I mean OUT OF NO WHERE. I met this lady last night and within 5 minutes of being introduced she told me to be courageous and do something brave. I have no idea what this adventure is, but I find it terrifying, and I think that it's rather odd that this keeps happening to me.

- I have noticed planking squirrels all over the place. They're just laying there face-down on the telephone wires....Waiting. I don't trust them. Tree rats.

- It looks like my whole family is going to MN this August. What?!?!?! We sort of officially decided it last week, and we only have a couple hundred dollars more to save. And, just this weekend I made $130 extra from babysitting. God provides.

-I posted this picture at the end of my "The 'Took' In Me" post. Maybe I'm just getting flaky and am thinking that now everything is a sign, but this open gate gave me goosebumps and made me want to walk through it and see what's on the other side. Don't worry people, I won't make any rash life decisions based on pretty pictures that give me the warm-fuzzies.

"Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing",


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Apple Banana Muffins

You guys, I just achieved muffin making greatness. The only problem is that I didn't use a recipe or measuring cups, so I'm not sure if I will ever be able to duplicate it. As best as I can remember this is what I put in them:

1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of honey
2 eggs
2 mashed bananas
1/3 cup of applesauce
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of instant oats
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 generous pinch of kosher salt
1 tbsp. of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. of cloves
1/2 cup of buttermilk

Cream butter & sugar. Add honey and eggs and blend again. Add bananas and applesauce and blend again.
In a separate bowl mix flour, oats, salt, baking soda, and spices. Alternate between adding flour mixture and buttermilk to banana/butter/sugar bowl all the while blending. Batter will be pretty thick. bake in greased muffin tin for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. They really were delicious...light and fluffy and tall and just sweet enough.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The "Took" in Me

Brave and daring are words I would never use to describe myself. Timid, shy, reserved, and cautious are what I am. I think that I have faced certain obstacles forced on me in my life with a certain amount of strength or courage. But, never have I chosen something scary or uncertain. I like to live on the safe side. My spirit mythical creature is a Hobbit. Like in "The Fellowship of the Ring", when Frodo says, "...We Bagginses were very well thought of. Never had any adventures or did anything unexpected." ...Yes, that's me: A Baggins.
I recently asked myself what brave things I've done that I'm proud of: Nothin'. My mind went completely blank. The realization of how inhibited I am by fear was rather disconcerting. I was so proud of myself for enrolling at our community college. It took every ounce of spunk and nerves to do it. That was five months ago. I've never signed up for a class. I emptied myself of what courage I had too soon and now I have the enrollment fee hanging over me and nothing to show for it. I've done a lot of things in my life that I really and truly am proud of, but when it comes to the "brave" in my life is a long list of almosts, nearlys, talking myself out of it, procrastination, and excuses. I live vicariously through characters in books and pins on Pinterest to make me feel brave. I have a Pinterest board of things I want to do and places I want to go and I read stories to pretend I'm one of the daring characters. But when it comes to real life, I am as cautious as they come. I never do anything unexpected. But, oh! How I want to! I am so envious of those who have the guts, confidence, and chutzpah to go for their dreams. Why can't that be me too?
This question I saw posted on Pinterest gave me goose bumps. As I mull over the question and my answers I wonder if maybe part of the reason I haven't done some of these things is because I'm responsible and have a family and a job and maybe it's a good thing. But, maybe I need to be willing to take some risks and see what might happen. If these aren't things that I should be doing, then I want it to be responsibility and choosing what's wisest for me right now that holds me back. Never fear. I want to be brave. I want to be confident.

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

I am a Hobbit and as thoroughly a Hobbit as can be. But, I think something Tookish is stirring up inside of me. I long for an adventure. I feel ready for an adventure. I just need to slay the dragon,  Smaug Fear.

Here are some items on my "Fearless list":

1.) Go to school to learn American Sign Language. You love it, it fascinates you, so learn it.

2.) Go to Europe. You've been saving your money. Why wait?

3.) Take writing classes. You love to write. Why not try to improve yourself?

4.) Go to Maine. You've dreamed of it since reading Robert McCloskey. So go....

5.) Become more involved in church. You've been going there for years, but the fear of people is holding you back from getting connected. Just. Do. It.

6.) Be willing to try new things as the opportunities presents themselves.

7.) Take a candy-making and baking class.

8.) And, this one more than anything: Move somewhere else in the U.S. for a year just to experience something new. New people, culture, food, smells, earth....just new.

My coworker told me today that everyone needs an adventure. She looked at me straight in the eye and said that she thought I was ready for mine. It came completely out of nowhere. I don't know why she said it and she couldn't have known that I had been longing for one, but said it she did. And, the nagging is increasing. But, it's a bit of a battle: Is it responsibility or fear disguised as maturity that's holding me back? Is it bravery or is it careless restlessness that is urging me to go for it?


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What's a Girl To Do?


What does a girl do when there is someone that she truly and strongly esteems and admires? A friend and I were asking this question recently. We have all had crushes and have been girlish and silly about it, treating it flippantly. But, it is hard to navigate your feelings as you transition from the age of googly-eyed infatuation to womanhood. As you, for the first time, wonder if you are ready for a real relationship. What does one do when there is an object to your affection and you want to take it seriously? Is it appropriate for you to make it apparent that you do care for him or is that too forward & maybe flirtatious? It's confusing. I'm confused by it. In talking it out though I think that I found some clarity that will at least give an attitude and perspective change.

1.) Don't be so desperate for his attention that you alter yourself to be noticed. Don't force yourself to listen to his favorite music when you know you would never in a million years have listened to that style if it weren't for him. Don't try to convince yourself that you share favorite TV shows. Don't rent every action movie you see on his favorites list on Facebook and "subtly" mention them within ear distance of him. Don't pick up a new hobby to impress. I love this quote and think it is something we all need to work towards:

“When you’re twenty-five-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or old roommate always used to play…”  [Shauna Niequist in Bittersweet]

People's interest vary...that's OK. In fact it's a beautiful thing. It's things like interests and personal tastes and favorite movies/books/music that make people unique and give humanity texture and diversity. Be you, bravely:

-I am a bookish sort of person. I won't hide my inner nerd. I'll be that nerd loudly.

-I listen to everything from Wailin' Jennys to Jennifer Lopez to Stevie Nicks to LMFAO. That's what I love and that's what I will blare with my windows rolled down.

-I watch British television, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and TV Land. Quirky and old-ladyish maybe. But, it's fun for me and that's a good thing.

Don't be so set on changing the good things about you that make you unique to make yourself into some sort of wannabe clone of him. You are important. Your interests and like and dislikes and hobbies matter. And altering yourself it isn't worth your energy. Trust me, there are probably many other things about you and your character that truly do need adjusting. Draw the focus away from the superficial and onto the important things.

***Note: If you happen to genuinely like the same things that he does then that is wonderful. My point is: Don't force it.

2. ) One of the biggest questions I have and lots of girls ask themselves is, "How do I get him to know that I like him?".
I have no clue. But, I do know that should not be your main focus. Your focus needs to be on being the best version of yourself that you can be. Be kinder, be gentler, be sweeter, be a lady. Maybe he'll notice. After all, you don't want the kind of guy that goes for a flirt. You should want the type of guy who wants to be with a girl who takes life and herself seriously. Be that girl.

3.) Be mature about it. That is sort of a broad statement, but I think it is a good method of looking at your behavior and actions around him. Ask yourself: Is it mature? Is it wise? Will I regret it?

4.) Don't daydream about your "future together". Why torture yourself over something that possibly isn't meant to be? Guard your heart. Guard your mind. The here and the now are what's important. You being your best is what matters. Limit the "What if's?" as much as possible.

5.) And, and extra one (just so I can round this list up to five): Don't listen to mournful music about broken hearts and love lost. You are not allowed to listen to "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift or cry over Eponine's "On My Own"---OK?

Maybe he will notice you and maybe he won't, but at least you will be a better person with more confidence in *you* than before. And, that's what we should all be striving for anyways...with or without a guy in the picture. 
It feels a little weird to be writing this post. I've never been in a relationship, but I have had my fair share of crushes and acted in less than a mature manner around them. Now I am nearing 21 and growing out of the age of childish crushes and into someone who finally feels "ready". This is me: trying to figure it all out and attempting to grow in this new world of maturity.

Monday, April 8, 2013


I have always been a journal/diary keeper, but in recent years I have gone the electronic route. Word Docs & Blogging have taken over and just recently, as I was reading through the notebooks I have filled over the years, I realized that hand-written journaling is something I really must pick up again.

And, a week later this lovely little book was given to me by Livi. It is muddy grey and brown and blue and Parisian and it makes me giddy. Looking forward to filling it's pages.

Last Post About My Trip, I Promise.

This photo was taken over 11 years ago.

 And, this was taken last week. Carley and Natalie weren't there. :( My, how we've changed though!

Rise up & attack the day with enthusiasm.

A good reminder and one I needed to hear today, because this was so not me this morning.
Back to life.
Back to work.

One of the downsides to taking a 10 day vacation is that reality seems so much harsher and miserable once you are forced back into it. My melancholy self has been very resistant to coming back from the copious amounts of tea and coffee drinking, holding and reading to sweet babies all day, napping, eating farm bacon (I will never be able to eat store bacon again), playing board games 'til midnight, and talking and sharing and listening to each others life and stories mode. It was wonderful, wonderful I tell you. It felt so good, so "right" to be with all of them again. Why do we have to live so far away?!?
I was able to spend time with and get to know three of the most interesting, spunkiest, delightful little people in the world. Katie & Caleb are two incredibly blessed people to have such precious children. There are not enough words to express the amount of utter cuteness. I was completely undone by the dimples and scrunched-up-nose-smiles and hugs and and baby smells and yummy cheeks and all around adorability. And again I cry: Why do we have to live so far away?!? Being around Katie and stay-at-home-motherhood and the littles makes me incredibly eager for the day when I am a Mama too. I want it terribly and it can't come soon enough. This is the part where I give myself a little pep talk and remind myself to be content in my life.

It was a perfect trip. I can't thank them enough for having me in their home.

I met Livi when she was 5 and I was 7. We were at a mutual friend's pool party. Neither of us knew how to swim and so we sat on the pool's edge and became fast friends. And, I'm so grateful we did. She is a wonderful person, a kindred spirit, and I love her and her family dearly.


I'm also grateful for the people waiting for me at home. It was a sweet thing indeed to see my family again. I had never been away from them for so long before. Maggie kept hugging me all day and telling me how much she had missed me and that made me feel all warm and fuzzy.... Love that child. And, Carley greeted me at the door with a hug and said, "I haven't seen you since the last time we tried to pick the same wildflower" which is hilarious if you get the reference, and if you don't then I am sorry (But, not sorry enough to share a link--too lazy).

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Going Home

Leaving tomorrow is going to be agony. I think my soul is withering away into depressed and melancholy oblivion. I may be exaggerating just slightly, but I am in no way exaggerating how it feels to me. This has been a fully wonderful week. I love these people and 1,500 miles is far too much distance between us.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Don't cha know I'm having the best time ever.

3 1/2 days to go. I'm starting to feel the pressure--like I need to squeeze every last ounce of the fun and life out every single minute I spend here. Sleep is overrated I have learned. Last night we stayed up playing games and talking about life and acting stupid 'til near 2:00 am. And, this morning I was awake at 6:30. I refuse to miss a minute of potential fun.

Here are some snapshots from the past few days here in Minnesota:

Auntie M and Ben in the kitchen making supper.

Walking around the park on the first day. 

 Friends. Together. :)

Sweet Auntie. <3

 Ben, Will, Josiah, and Caleb.

That's ME shooting a gun! Check that off my bucket list!

I got to meet my face book friend in real life!

Hot tub in 20-something degree weather.
Happy music.

Oh! The sweet little faces! Not mine. Theirs.

The dimples, the smile, the scrunched-up nose. I am in love with this child. She is my new best friend in all the universe.

Look at the squishiest little face. He just a yummy little bear.

Be still my beating heart. Have you EVER seen a more precious face??
And, Katie. Sweet Katie. Love her.