Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lies We Told Ourselves About the Dog...

1. He will never be on the couch. This was my idea, and for the first few weeks it stuck, but when the wife is away the boys will play, and one weekend when I was gone this is exactly what happened. Right now we settle for him not climbing on the back of the couch like a cat, and I vacuum the couches once a week month... (For the record, the couches have been vacuumed twice since we got the dog)

2. We will walk him every day. How many of you just judged me? That's fine. But when I am majorly cramping, all he gets is a long game of catch in our ridiculously long hallway.

3. He came house trained. No dog comes house trained. Maybe he was house trained for his old house... but when we adopted him he came to a new place, and yes at 7 months he is still learning where to go potty. At least he has it down that he should only go on hard surfaces. Our floors have never been cleaner.

4. I won't be one of those people who relentlessly posts pictures of my dog on Instagram. Of course I do... I wouldn't want to deny the rest of the world his cuteness... and everyone loves it... right... ?

I am interested to see the version of this list when it comes to our kids... you know, the human ones.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sticks and stones...

I was married in Oklahoma, 30 minutes away from where the tornado ripped through people's lives Monday. I know people who no longer have a home, and are missing precious memories. I also know so many people who are volunteering their services, money and time. I am overwhelmed by the love and support. That happens a lot as of late, but maybe it is because this is such a stark contrast to so much of the ugliness that is seen throughout the world.

I've been thinking a lot about tornadoes this week. When you live in Tornado Alley you gear up for the storms each year. There are drills at school and at home. Sirens are tested weekly. Storm clouds are watched carefully, both on the television and in the sky. Even as a small child I knew the most structurally sound place in each house we lived. I knew that even if it seemed illogical, a ditch outside was safer than inside a car if a tornado came barreling down the road (Disclaimer: This is not official advice on the matter... if you are in a tornado and get out of the car and a cow ends up landing on you and killing you, your family cannot in fact sue me... especially because as a perpetual college student I have so much money...).

When a tornado does happen, as devastating as it can be, you pick up the pieces and move forward. Buildings are rebuilt or forgotten, new memories are made to help ease the physical proof of lost ones, and it is awe inspiring to see just how kind humans can be.

But what about those metaphorical tornadoes? Those events that go ripping through our lives, leaving us feeling vulnerable and robbing us of happy memories that were never really ours...

That is one of those things I am still figuring out... because some days it seems like I am past those tornados, and others?

It seems as if I am staring down the day after.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

You Could Be Happy. . .

"Its funny how our past frames us. How the person we used to be never lets lose of the person we are. Past failures and disappointments, even victories take hold of us. They haunt us like old ghosts or visit us like old friends"

At first I wrote this quote down because I vehemently disagreed with it, somehow I wanted to remember these words and prove them wrong.

But then I realized... I will always be a girl whose parents got divorced, who lived in over 22 places, who had to grow up at a very young age, who has three mentally ill family members, who was one mad and angst filled teenager, who fell in love with the major I swore I would never have, who dated, then dumped, then was dumped by, then again dated my now husband, who has experienced some truly horrific things, who loves God but has definitely questioned His existence in the past, who has gone from politically ambitious to humanitarian driven, who has experienced every emotion I have had through music, who struggles and thrives each day.

I used to believe that I should be ashamed of my past, I was afraid to tell people what my life was... It was almost as if I tried to edit my history. And as I sit here and think about that I begin to understand that quote a little more.
It isn't that I am labeling myself as a victim or even a survivor. I am simply acknowledging I have a frame, something that brought me to where I am today, it doesn't define me... but I am good with old friends, and maybe even a few hauntings.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

But don't forget. . .

I had an interesting text conversation with my mother yesterday. Because she is/was a nurse, on top of being my mom she has become my own specialized WebMD of sorts. I was asking her about the migraines I have been having the past week...

Mum: Are you being exposed to something new u may be allergic to?
Me: Children. I am allergic to children.

(**See this post about my "teaching" experience to explain the children comment)

She still hasn't responded.

As with most mother-daughter relationships my mother and I have had our ups and downs. We have different styles and views on children, graduate school and the Twilight series. But, one of the main reasons I have such strong convictions is because of my mother.

She taught me to stand up for what I believe in and for myself. She taught me that being a woman doesn't mean you are to be fragile and quiet, but rather it means you have a responsibility to be strong and a force in this world

In high school I am almost certain she cursed herself for teaching me this, because I argued with her about almost everything. But, as I made my way through some really difficult life lessons, I am so grateful I was taught those strengths at a young age.

On this day that we celebrate mothers, what they do, and who they are I would just like to say thank you to my mother for this life lesson, among many others. I may not be a mother myself, but I as a daughter I can appreciate how important my mother's love and care is to my life, and what a difference it has made.  

Circa 2009... Isn't she beautiful.

Maybe we'll make it through one more year...

I am currently a permanent substitute teacher for second graders. This experience has been rather enlightening for me. I am really glad that I have been able to be a teacher before I have children of my own who will have teachers. I now understand the sheer craziness of trying to teach math to seventeen kids who all have their own style of learning, attention spans, questions, and level of understanding.
People send their children to school for the majority of the day, entrusting their kids to teachers, I get that. And because of that I have done my best to help these kids learn and grow as individuals. But, I am not the teaching type. For all those people who are, kudos to you. Seriously, it is hard work. And now I can appreciate that.

Gabe is attending his final undergrad semester, doing an internship and juggling two other jobs. He doesn't get home until late most nights and when he does he is exhausted. But he doesn't have to leave until noon and    he for the most part enjoys what he is doing.

It is strange to me that in a month our lives will be completely different in some major ways. College will no longer be our main focus. Backpacks will no longer be our main way of carrying things. Gabe will no longer be able to wear cargo shorts and t-shirts to work. I can't get by in basketball shorts and t-shirts in class.

I will no longer have homework as an excuse to not cook dinner every night. We will have to decide where we want to live based on terms other than closeness to school. Our vacations will no longer be planned around finals. Our budget will no longer include tuition and textbooks.

I'm not complaining... in fact in a lot of ways life will improve. But it is going to be an adjustment. Even if we do end up going to grad school, things will change. More than likely we will be moving. And life will continue at it's seemingly ever increasing speed.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

We ask to look past life as it goes by...

I wrote this last week... and here it is.
Oh goodness... it really has been forever since I have given an update on anything remotely related to our lives. I blame this on a combination of research, finals, a broken elbow, and most recently an allergic reaction that made my face swell up like a balloon and my respiratory system go on a frenzy. I would take a picture but I am not sure the internet can handle the awesomeness of my face... plus I have some dignity left at this point and I would like it to remain intact for a little bit. I guess we will see when I wake up in the morning.

Also, Gabe is out of town on a little adventure with his freshman friends:



As a side note these five guys have a friendship that legends are made of. I somehow don't think that will change when a few of them move away this summer. Maybe their adventures and most definitely their lives will, but there is something to be said for a group of friends who have gone through as many changes as they have and all still ended up loving each person for who they are. I love how much these guys love Gabe, and the ones who are married have brought some pretty amazing women into my life as well.

And back on my sick tangent:
Maybe I wasn't appreciative enough of how much he takes care of me (and now puppy) when I am feeling sick... but I definitely know I am missing everything he did now that I do feel like poop and he isn't around.

But all is well that ends well and I know he is having a blast, and that makes me all kinds of happy.