Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Can Explain!

This is why I don't write as much when I'm in Pennsylvania.
I get interrupted at every turn.

It doesn't help that I look out at the dreary black-and-white weather and all I want to do is grab a blanket, turn on a scary move (Happy Halloween!) and lay like a slug all day.
I fight the urge. (most of the time)

However, today is Saturday so I think I'll unplug soon and indulge myself in my bump-on-a-logness.

Enjoy your weekend!
Happy trick or treating!

Today's quote:
Keeping in touch with childhood memories keeps us believing in life's simplest pleasures like a rainy afternoon, a swingset, and a giant puddle to play in.
~Chrissy Ogden

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Autumn is Awesome #2: Woodsy Walks

T and I went for a chilly walk last night.I took a few pictures too.It was nice.
Eventually he got sick of my saying "hang on a second! This is a cool view!" or "go sit over there and I'll set the timer" or "I'll catch up in a minute" so he left me. (I got over it)

Today's quote:
"The Creed of Simplicity:
Harmony, hospitality, practicality and organization - enjoying everything in life - and still being able to stand in awe as each new day comes."


Monday, October 26, 2009

Autumn is Awesome #1: Punkins


(thanks Shannon!)
Today's quote:
Genius is brash and audacious. It smashes convention with delight and refuses to be ignored.
~Suzanne Falter-Barns

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Farewell, Richmond...

....because as of 3:00pm today, we're back in Pennsylvannia.

The road trip is not-so-officially over. Well, the first leg, anyway.

Video to come!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Charis Cross Country: B&J Wedding Recap

We pulled into the driveway after dark on a Thursday.

The neighborhood was new, we'd never been to the house before, and we were navigating using a moody GPS after a long day of driving, most of it done by T after a mid-morning speeding ticket in Texas (I wasn't speeding. Let's not discuss it).

I parked the car and detangled myself from the various things that bound me - cords, sweaters (on the arm only and twisted around my seatbelt - we disagree on optimal internal car temperature during road trips so instead of stopping for slurpees the whole way, I clothe up), fuzzy socks (same reason), ipod cords, and the like. Terry opened his door and stood to stretch.

In the next moment, the door swung open and from the cheery rectangle of light there burst Mary-Elizabeth (Bebe for short, it's a long story), lithe and graceful with impossibly long hair and a not-so-impossibly huge grin (she's a smiler). Jerry followed behind her, walking at a decidedly more sane pace with a classically Jerryish quiet smile.

I hadn't seen Bebe in over a year. She visited me late last summer, and was there the night that T and I met. In fact, I credit Bebe and her contagious goofiness as one of the reasons that T and I ended up together - we were all relaxed and good-natured that night with no room to be self-conscious or shy.

After I extracted myself from the car finally, and after a long hug from Bebe and a bear hug from Jerry, who I'd somehow never met in person although my soul had yet to be convinced otherwise, we went inside.

C: "So guys, how does it feel to be on the eve eve of your nuptuals?"
B&J: "Great!"

Friday morning we all awoke, and T and I ran out to grab breakfast fixins from a nearby farmer's market (eggs, starfruit, banana nut muffins, bananas, blueberries, grapes, and croissants, if you're curious). The next few hours were done in oldschool spa day style reminiscent of college, when I'd drive a couple of hours to spend a weekend at Bebe's apartment, giving her pedicures in her 8th and 9th months when her stomach was too round for her to do it herself, and after Denise was born and I'd come on the weekends to now give massages to her tiny "banana feet" as she'd go absolutely still on my lap (at least, I thought that meant that she liked them. Who knows?). After we'd done makeup run-throughs and corrected smudged toes and painted Denise's 4-year-old toes an approved sheer pink, the girls all packed up our stuff and headed out.

There was the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, both which were as fun (dinner) and obligatorily tedious (rehearsal) as they always are. The rehearsal was at Bebe's parents' house, and after a his-and-hers video slide show (tear-inducing), some delicious food (I don't remember what flavor the dessert was but I know that I ate mine AND most of T's), and toasts upon toasts, the guests left, we kissed our boys goodbye (T was sleeping over at Jerry's), and we all retired, giddy about the next day.

Saturday morning came and I begrudgingly cracked my eyes open a little after dawn. It's my curse, I wake up early if the sun's up, can't help it, don't like it, and can never live in Alaska. I tiptoed over to the window to open the slats and gaze out at the Floridian morning outside, complete with heavy dew and a watery blue sky. Seemingly the first one up, I powered up the laptop and started working on a playlist for the ride to the reception (we'd just been informed that the trolley to the reception could hook up to an ipod).

Before long, I heard rustlings in the kitchen. Soon after that, the house was up. Coffee was brewing and the family was moving and poking their heads in my opened door (which was actually Bebe's sister Lauren's opened door, to her bedroom that she'd generously donated to me for the night). Moments later Bebe stood in my doorway, with tousled hair and sleepy eyes, shining more brightly than the morning sun outside my window.

"Today's the day!"

And it was.

The rest of the day went by in a blur, but I did manage to document some of it, so I know that this stuff happened:
(a good number of these pics were done by Cassie Smith Photography - she's amazing, go check out her site!)

There was a hair appointment of course,
lots of driving,
(you gotta teach 'em young. Denise took over when we felt like being chauffeured)A gorgeous wedding. Did I mention that it was GORGEOUS? A wedding party trolley to the reception. A grand idea. I'd highly recommend it.
Then, of course, there was the reception...

Congrats guys! It was an amazing wedding and you're an amazing couple! Talk about your storybook endings ;)

Alrighty Then, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Today's quote:
"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers."
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Friday, October 16, 2009

On being REAL

Right now I'm REALLY sitting on the couch and my toes are REALLY cold...

And you know what else? It's 3:05pm in Richmond and I'm REALLY still in my pajamas because I'm long-term buddies with a REAL thing called procrastination (nope, not just a river in Egypt. Wait-) and I REALLY spent my morning hammering out most of a 14-page paper that was, and I'd done my research already but only typed up a readable 1.6 pages as of last night. Did I mention that it's cold?

Okay. What the heck am I talking about, you may be wondering?

Ever since I've had this blog, and even before, when I was a blog lurker myself, I've noticed people (especially women) talk about being REAL on their blogs.

And I am forever a fan of being honest. Eyes wide open. Speaking our truths.

However, something else I've noticed is that when we refer to those "real" blogs, they're never the happy ones.

Know what I mean?

When someone is depressed because she's just had a rotten breakup. Or if there's family drama. Or if there's a psychotropic med mentioned. Or traffic. Or jerks at her kid's school, or playground, or park. Or if her kids ARE jerks. Or her husband, or her friend. Or if there's an illness. Or (God forbid the REALITY of it all) an eating disorder. It seems that, when we post those I'm-pulling-my-hair-out-and-insecure-and-obsessed-and-stressing-OUT blogs, the internet ether starts pouring out sympathetic readers and people saying THANKS for typing about REAL issues and I feel this way too and thanks for talking about it and on and on oh the gloriousness of shining the light on the darkness of the human experience, aka "bad days"...

But I'm curious-

If we write about happiness and finding joy and experiencing life in a way that is conscious and awake and life-affirming, why is it not REAL?

Is happiness less REAL?

Are thoughts about how to make a life lived in a more joyous way not REAL?

For that matter, is love not REAL? (don't get me started on the folks who say that reading about happy relationships makes them want to stab someone)

Is looking forward to arbitrary things, just to sponsor those amazing anticipatory feelings not REAL?

Maybe that's the problem, maybe to many of us it's not. Maybe most of us walk around NOT really happy, NOT really noticing the beauty around us, NOT giving thanks for it...

So no, in that case, I don't think reading words about loveliness and joy and thanks would be REAL, would it?

Of course we could all write about bad stuff. I could choose to come to this blog and write about how displaced I'm feeling in a new city that shouldn't be new, and a culture that is harsher than the one I've become accustomed to, not to mention the rough weather and familial politics and struggles and trepidation about the future, and heck, while I'm on that track why not talk about all the experiences with racism and classism I had as a kid, and talk about while I was a teenager there wasn't enough to eat in the house so I'd live on tea and toast for weeks, or how I was suicidal for a year or two there, or abusive past relationships, and while we're talking about it anyway why not include some current screwy politics into the mix of it all?

Oh wait, I know why. Because if that's what we write about, and read about, and talk about, then that's what we THINK about. And five years later, ten years later, thirty, fifty, our lives have been lived only worrying about the future and feeling sorrowful for the past, and we've missed all of the beauty that is those changing leaves right outside this window (that's letting in a draft to freeze these toes of mine), and we've missed the joys of our seasons while we've been focusing on the tragedies of the past ones. And when those magical moments do come, those shining beacons that make life SO sweet, like a first kiss, the birth of a child, a perfect day, a perfect FIVE MINUTES, you know what? We won't see them because our faces will be perpetually turned towards the darkness.

Because it's more real.

And because it's more ... interesting? It sounds strange, but read the stats. It's true.

Now how does that make sense?

So, for my part, I choose to sponsor the light on this here blog.

With exception, from time to time, when needed and when I think shining a light on the darkness will do just that, shine a LIGHT on it.

So no apologies for this here happy blog. I'm doing it on purpose.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

about Richmond...

#1) I have no idea how I have kept my toes for 26 years. I can't feel them MOST of the time nowadays...Richmond is COLD.

#2) Oh, no, that's right, I know how. I've lived in tropical climates for the past 8 years. I must've first felt my toes in September of 2001, during my freshman semester at UCF. Well, it's time to say goodbye. And speaking of, 8 years of hotness (temperature-wise) makes for NO winter-appropriate clothing. Time to go shopping. Anyone know any good spots in Richmond?

#3) We've arrived and caught the very beginning of the trees' changing. It's beautiful. It makes me forget about my numb toes.

#4) Richmond has bugs. California doesn't. I'm traumatized. Especially after my brother told me that you can hear the door creak as the really big grass spiders force their way into the house underneath it. Oh yeah, this door? It's to the room that we're sleeping in. And he wasn't kidding. Awesome.

#5) I heart Crossroads. In fact, this was taken 2.6 minutes ago:
By the way? Pumpkin Spice lattes are delicious. Mmmm. And they warm up toes. Ok, not really, but the caffeine makes me not care about my toes anyway. Who needs toes when you're flying?

The End.

more trip recaps to come. Don't worry, I've overloaded my camera memory cards many times...

Today's quote:
"Dreams mixed with dedication are a powerful combination."
~Adèle Basheer

Friday, October 9, 2009

Charis Cross Country: MIAness

I'm sorry!

I'm really, really sorry that I have sold blogging out for beautiful views, and friends that I love, and delicious meals, and fun things to do.
My B, man, my b.

But I'm back!

And boy oh boy, DO I have stories to tell!

Fun times.

As for right now, let's discuss the humidity, shall we? It is hot and sticky and disgusting outside. You need a shower if you look out of the window. I've been so spoiled by the dry air in California! Ugh! Now, after being outside at 10pm and sweating still (oops, I mean "glowing") yesterday, I can remember the thrilling astonishment I felt when I arrived on the West Coast two years ago and discovered that if you opened your windows at night, you didn't even NEED air conditioning during the day! Wow!

Well, those days are behind me. sigh.

I'm visiting Orlando, and T and I have been graciously hosted by David and Crystal, two amazing friends who didn't bat an eye when a one night stay turned into a 6 or 7 night stay (because of an infant with a cold and a Charis with a gentle flu, which kicked the South Florida trip out of the water and shortened the great road trip of '09 by one leg). Staying with David and Crystal is wonderful - the perfect mix of great conversation and fun whether it's us trying (unsuccessfully, I may add) to sing the praises of our new(ish) eating habits and rub off on them (some folks are just to the bone carnivores. The Louisiana girl that Crystal is, what can ya do? Oh well, more power to you honey! Have a steak for me ;) ), and alone time - enough, in fact, to catch up on things like blogging! We've been having ultra good times, whether it's a movie in the park like last night, when Poltergeist was shown in Central Park in the middle of Winter Park, and I MAY have fallen asleep 2/3 of the way through... or a trip to Peterbrooke, which I'd been looking forward to for MONTHS - not kidding (more on Peterbrooke's awesomeness later)...
Anyway, thanks so much for the good times guys!

More to come...

Today's quote:
"Our fundamental task as human beings is to seek out connections - to exercise our imaginations."
~Katherine Paterson

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Charis Cross Country: Heaven

...otherwise known as Borger, TX.

The hometown of a friend who I've known for years and who'll be officiating at my wedding in May (yay!)...

Tuesday? Manicures.
Wednesday? Skin brushing and massage.
Steam baths daily.
Raw food at every meal (T and I will be fully converted once we get our paws on a dehydrator and time to cook our own food - you can make pizza! PIZZA. Not to mention key lime pie, ice cream, pasta, yummm)

I left feeling more myself than I had in months and months. T left feeling as if he'd "had a conversion experience."

And I'm not just talking about using your tastebuds, I mean all six senses included...

Today's quote (no more whiteboards, quotes from now on will only float into the internet ether and once in a while into a journal or two of mine...):
You don't need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating."
~Barbara Sher

In other news, I hate air conditioning, and riding for 18 hour spans in the car isn't that bad. More to come soon...

Saturday, October 3, 2009


...I'm a little busy being a bridesmaid for my very best friend's wedding to an amazing guy...
Congratulations Bebe and Jerry!

I'll be back soon...