June 28, 2011

Some Big News

First: I'm 29 weeks pregnant (surprise!)

Second: I've moved! And I'm keeping with the whole "Etc." theme. Because now I actually have my own little "Etc." on the way!


January 3, 2011

short hair

new year

Hello my friends!
You may realize I only write here when I feel inspired to do so. Daniel has told me many times I should pursue blogging more seriously, but I tell him, then I'd have to commit. And I'm just not there right now.

But I am here now. I've been missing my little blogspot, but haven't known what to say.

Today I sat down on the couch, having vacuumed the house, mopped the floors, rotated the laundry, planned our dinner menu for the week, and completed the necessary grocery shopping, so I decided to fiddle with my blog. It started with a little tweaking here and there, and suddenly I was ready to write!

While I haven't been blogging, I've been doing things I love to do. I've wandered around my favorite blogs and found new blogs to love. I've been reading and knitting. Praying and meditating. Exercising and cooking. Loving and dreaming. Which leads me to my big, huge, amazing resolution.

Lately I've had a growing desire to figure out just who exactly I am. I don't want to be someone who likes or believes or loves or wants something just because I'm told to, or because someone else does. I want to truly know myself. To have conviction, and a reason for my conviction.
And I want to know why I am the way I am, as much as I can know.
You know, introspection.

 But the more I think about it, the more I realize that the more selfish I am, the less I know. The more internally concerned and consumed I become, the less I see.

It's become clear to me that, for me at least, knowing myself involves learning about the world around me. Studying people, places, thoughts, books, truth, beauty. Heady stuff.
Where there is one point of view, there is always another. And while I'm not seeking to believe all points of view, I think it is important to look at things from different angles. To keep an open mind. To be gentle as a dove, but wise as a serpent.
I want to see.
You know, see.

So here I am, 2011, ready to figure a few things out.

This year, I want to...
read the Scriptures more consistently, meditating on the words and passages.
abide with Christ, know his peace.
pray with diligence and honesty
recognize and repent of sin
spend more time out doors
reflect on all that I have, and less on what I want
live in thankfulness
speak kind words
love through service
see need, and do something about it
set to the work of my hands without grumbling or complaining
know my husband better
learn to sew
knit more
smile more
love. more.

and perhaps...write more.

Photo: weheartit blog.

September 27, 2010

Crisp and Cool

After days of sweltering heat followed by a long stretch of gloomy days, I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up to a crisp, cool, clear morning. The air has just barely turned cool enough to bite your skin ever so slightly. It smells clean and fresh.
I moved around the house this morning opening dusty windows and breathing deeply.

So much has happened since my last post!
For one thing, I quit my job.
Now, I'm a happy housewife. I spend my days cleaning and cooking and grocery shopping and going to Bible studies and taking Pilates classes and knitting (sort of). The dread and exhaustion that I had begun to feel before and after each day of work has been replaced with a quiet peace that seems to fill the house. I love it.
And Daniel loves it.
My job was not a terrible job, but for several months now my heart has been elsewhere. Thinking that I was wallowing in discontent, I treated it as a spiritual struggle that I had to overcome. I prayed about it day after day. Truly, my hope was that the answer would come in the form of motherhood. There was no question that I was going to stay home once I had a baby. But the months continued to pass. It became increasingly apparent that God, for the time, had (has) other plans for me.
In August, a series of events caused Daniel and I to pause and think. Daniel had long been encouraging me to put in my notice at work, but I always said no. For some reason, I believed I would feel guilty that I wasn't "contributing" to our income. I never questioned whether or not I would be bored. One thing that I do have is a passion for the little things. I love sorting through piles of laundry and washing dishes in warm soapy water and running the vacuum around the house. I love reorganizing closets and straightening up book shelves and tucking in smooth sheets.
But I was afraid. Afraid that without my additional income we would find ourselves in a bind. Through my thoughts and actions I was expressing my foolish reliance on myself and my ability to provide. But in August, I stopped. I took a week off from work. This will just be a trial, I told myself.
Five days at home was all it took to assure me that I was meant to be home. When I was home, cooking and cleaning, I felt a special kind of joy. Do you know what it is like to feel like you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do?
It was as if a great burden on my heart and mind had been lifted. I felt sure and certain, full of hope and confidence. I spent much of the week in prayer, asking God for wisdom and clarity.
The following weekend Daniel and I sat at a coffee shop and discussed the budget. It quickly became clear that God would provide and had been providing for a long time. The excitement was electric; both of us felt more and more sure that this was right.
On Monday I went in to work and put in my notice. I was a little nervous--not about my decision. Just nervous. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was met with words of encouragement and loving support from my boss and co-workers (although, there were a few that insisted I would be back in two weeks, begging for my job back because I'd gotten bored sitting at home). Two weeks dragged by slowly. Daniel's car broke down. But we didn't worry. We knew that God would provide.
Finally, on a Friday afternoon at 4:30 I left the office for the last time. It was a little weird. But exhilarating.

This Monday marks my third week at home, and I am in heaven. I wake up in the mornings in the arms of my husband, to soft sunlight. The mornings are not crazy and hectic, but peaceful and quiet. Every day is different, with its many tasks and commitments. One of my greatest joys right now is the freedom to say I'm available when I'm asked to serve. We are thriving with one vehicle. Daniel took out his nearly-new bicycle that has been collecting dust in the garage for nearly a year, and he rides to work every day. He loves it!
Although I have a big, bad case of baby fever, I am content where I am now. I am savoring this sweet time with my husband and enjoying the kind of freedom we have.

My focus and my goal and my joy is to be a good wife, supporting and loving my husband. I am organizing and nesting and creating. And I hope, some day soon, to bring a beautiful baby into a peaceful, joyful, God-glorifying home.

I'm happy.

July 23, 2010

Traginas. Every Time.

I'm pretty happy that it's Friday.

Daniel and I watched Gentlemen Broncos last night. Daniel described it as "Perfect."


I am without words. It probably ranks in the top 3 of my "strangest non-foreign movies I've ever seen."
I don't even...I have no idea. So...weird...
The kind of weird that is too weird to laugh at. You just sit there, with a furrowed brow and a confused smirk on your face. Am I missing something here?
I'd say it seemed like the filmmakers were high on something, but they're Mormons. So that theory is out.
Instead of weird, one might call it awkward. The whole movie was awkward. But now that I think about it, Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre were pretty awkward. The first time I watched Napoleon I remember sitting in the theater with that familiar, confused smirk on my face. What the heck was that?

Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords was pretty stellar in the movie. He plays a famous Sci-Fi writer named Ronald Chevalier (make sure you pronounce it shev-al-ee-ay) whose lost his touch, and his publishers are threatening to drop him if he doesn't provide them with a decent story.
There's one scene in the movie that was, without a doubt, utterly hilarious. It involves Chevalier, an aspiring young Sci-Fi writer, and troll names.
There were several scenes in the movie that made me cringe - one involves a very strange hand massage, and one involves vomit and kissing. Yeah. Sick.

Since I wrote the above something has happened that may change things.

Daniel called me and we started quoting lines from the aforementioned awkward movie, and we were cracking ourselves up.

Why are those movies like that?

I'm going to let this marinate for a little while.

In other news...

Last night Daniel and I also had dinner with some friends (I am so thankful we didn't watch that movie with friends), and dinner was so delicious.
They grilled burgers for dinner, but these were special burgers.
All it took was a thin patty of ground beef, a mixture of cream cheese and jalapenos, and another thin patty of ground beef, sandwiched together and grilled. Voila: special hamburgers.


Also, these friends of ours had a baby in March. So I spent half of the night holding a soft, sweet baby girl. Ahhh, Heaven.

July 22, 2010

Not Too Shabby

I've always loved shopping around on Shabby Apple, but last week I finally ordered something for the first time.

Buying clothes online is always a little iffy for me. I have awkward dimensions. Like an awkward pear.

This time, it worked out quite nicely.
I'll definitely be a repeat customer.

The dress is called L'artiste. How fitting.

Just one question I want to put out there: Don't you think, when photographing your designs, you would iron the clothes??
It looks way better when the skirt isn't wrinkled. Trust me.

July 21, 2010

because I didn't want to sweat.

When I was a young child I declined to participate in strenuous athletic activity. Because I didn't want to sweat.
At least, that's what I've been told.

Perhaps I might have been a ballet prodigy. I guess we'll never know.

I have always loved watching ballet. Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite movies and I thought the ballet was beautiful. Over the years my father and mother occasionally took me to see the ballet. Once I saw Cinderella, Madam Butterfly; I saw The Nutcracker many times. The strength and power and grace of the dancers was thrilling to me. They looked so beautiful! I loved going to the ballet and hearing the light tapping of the dancer's ballet shoes on the wooden stage flooring as they leapt and twirled. The women were slender, feminine and beautiful. The men were gracefully strong and sturdy, yet masculine (most of the time).
More recently I've been thinking about posture and grace in movement. Not just in dance, but in every day life. I read an article in Vogue (I love Vogue, as we've discussed. Oh, the photographs! The fashion!) about the importance of good posture. Not only for one's health, but a person's posture can say so much about them and how they want to be seen by others. As I've been looking through portraits on The Sartorialist blog, this has become even more clear to me.
As an example of what I mean:

This woman is a burlesque dancer. Can't you tell?
On his blog, the photographer remarked that her "posture speaks volumes about who she is and how she wants to be perceived." 
I love that! And there's a small part of me that has always wanted to be a natural red head. And wear bright red lipstick. 

That last picture was taken during the 1930s in Spain. Isn't she just so...European? People say it all the time, but it's interesting how clothing goes in and out of style. She looks like she's been shopping at Anthropologie!

But where was I?


I feel it must be said before I say anything further, I have little to no musicality. I have trouble keeping with the beat in songs, I look a little nutty when I dance (not like Elaine from Seinfield or anything), I think I'm slightly tone deaf. And my posture is not so good. About five years ago I started doing Pilates and in the last two years I've done Yoga off and on, and I think that has improved my posture somewhat. But it isn't stellar. And I wouldn't call any movement that I make graceful. I'm a little clumsy and heavy-footed.

In high school I joined the volleyball team. It was my first attempt at organized sports, and I did it because playing volleyball was popular. The first year I made the Junior Varsity team, which I felt was a major blow to my confidence. I was an athletic person, though I'll grant I was not very talented or coordinated. And the other girls on the JV team were just not...very...athletic. The Varsity girls were good. Everyone knew it.
JV was an afterthought.
I'll probably tell a story or two about high school volleyball some day, but my point in bringing it up today is this: I learned to sweat. Have you ever participated in a Summer Volleyball camp? I have still never been that sore in my life. We started early in the morning every day and sweated our way through four hours of intense training. And if you were late you ran laps...and some times the coach forgot about you and you spent two hours running laps. I don't want to talk about it.

So now, with my love of ballet and desire for graceful movement and good posture, along with my willingness to allow sweat to escape my epidermis, I am prepared to do something quite drastic.

I'm going to dance.

Well, perhaps that's a stretch.

I'm going to take a ballet class.
Normally I say I'm going to do these things and then put it off until finally I forget about it (I'm not the only one--once I got a "birthday present" from Daniel that was a promise to take dance lessons with me. It's been four years and I'm not holding my breath). But this time, I emailed Vicki at Ballet Austin and said: Teach me to dance like a Sugar Plum Fairy!
She said: sign up for a class and give us some money, you weirdo.

It was very inspiring.

But I haven't quite gotten to that step yet.
I was happy to learn from Vicki that they offer a "New Beginner" ballet class for adults. Part of me wants to go just to see the kind of people that are grasping hold of their dreams a little late in life like me. Part of me is completely intimidated by the idea of doing something I've never done before. Part of me is totally excited and can't wait to start. I've always wanted to say, "Sorry, I've got ballet class tonight. Rain check?" I've also always wanted to take part in a dramatic dance-off (Me and my posse can pirhouette you under the table, homey!).
That probably won't happen in beginner ballet (or..anywhere but Step It Up?). But I can dream.
I'm a big dreamer, guys.

I don't have any illusions of grandeur (it is illusions or delusions? Either way, I don't have them. Of grandeur.). I don't think I'll ever really be the Sugar Plum Fairy. Or even a mouse (a little ballet humor). I just want to dance. Is that so wrong?

The cheesecake didn't taste like a disaster. It just looked like one.

Daniel: Uh, Honey? I think the cheesecake exploded?

I guess I'm no Pioneer Woman.