Friday, July 31, 2009

Not to Be Forgotten

Mike and I were woken up in the middle of the night by a huge thunderstorm. Loud crashing thunder that sounded like the trees outside our house were cracking in half. Mike said this morning that it sounded like the world was exploding. Brilliantly bright flashes of lightning lighting up the whole world outside our window. Thunder and Lightning were not happy that I wrote a nice post about Rain yesterday and neglected to mention them. They were very flashy and vocal in showing their disapproval.

The thing is, I don't LIKE Thunder and Lightning. They don't convey the emotions that I talked about yesterday, they just scare me. They are too big, too bright, too uncontrollable and unpredictable. They are all the controversy in life that I seek to avoid. They make me feel small and childlike.

So this morning, when I woke up to the sound of the world crashing down around our ears, I do what I always try to do during middle of the night storms, I went right back to sleep and tried to just avoid the whole situation.

Sorry Thunder, sorry Lightning. You are magnificent and spectacular, but you will never be my friends.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Afternoon Showers

It has been raining a lot here lately, something that is always a blessing in Southeast Texas in July. I know that for a lot of people, rain is a depressing thing, that their moods darken as the clouds cover the sky, but for me, it has always been a peaceful feeling, watching the rain coming down. I am a huge fan of sitting on the porch watching the storms, or even the gentle showers. Rain is emotional for me... what I mean is that I almost feel as though the rain is conveying nature's feelings to me. A soft gentle afternoon shower reminds me of a soft piece of piano music, a lover's dance, a mother's lullaby. The heavier rains remind me of heartbreak, flashing anger, the tumult of pain, and yet... a cleansing. As if after the heavy downpours, the heart has been cleansed, the slate wiped clean, a new beginning is at hand.

I love the way the world looks just before a storm, too. The clouds pour in, and everything takes on a hushed tone. A hushed, but yet frenzied tone, as if the world is rushing to get that last bit of activity in before the showers begin. The colors become soft and muted, the wind picking up and refreshing the air. It is the hustle and bustle of the theater as people get settled before the play begins.

Do I tend to romanticize things just a wee bit? You betcha, that is just part of who I am. I like to see things in the story, in the emotion, in the romance. Sure I understand that life brings hardships and pain, I understand that there are people out there struggling with a variety of circumstances and emotions. But just for a moment, right as the first few fat drops splat on the sidewalk, I can let myself believe that the rain will come and wash it all away and that we can have a fresh start on the day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blank Pages

One of the most difficult things I have found about writing a bl0g is that I don't always have something deep and profound to write about. I don't always have an interesting antecdote, I don't always have a witty observation, and I am not yet to the point where I can just post a pretty photo essay and call that a post. My mind isn't always in the deep and profound mood, and you know what? That's okay.

I apologize if the occasional post comes up empty and unfulfilling. I am trying to get myself in the discipline of writing something every day, at least a little something, and I honestly believe that the more I write, the more I will find to write about. That has always been the case in the past.

So bear with me for a couple of the boring ones.

As you might have guessed, there isn't much going on right now. Last weekend's trip to the show is over, the recaps have been posted, and Mike and I are planning a quiet weekend at home this time. I need those weekends though, they are soothing to me. A whole weekend of nothing but sitting around the house, playing our games, and getting out to church on Sunday. Those weekends of relaxation give me the strength to make it through the week that follows. Those are the weekends that I am glad that we don't have kids yet. Kids, I have heard, interfere with your ability to be selfish and take time for yourself.

Don't get me wrong, we very much want kids someday. We both love them and would love to have one of our own. But in the meantime, until that time comes, we are not above thoroughly enjoying every selfish moment we have as a couple. We are very much in love, and content with a world that revolves around just the two of us.

I guess that is what the weekend represents to me. A retreat from the world. A time when we can close our doors, and close out the outside world. We can pretend that nothing exists except the two of us, even if it is just for a day or two.

I love those days.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Few More Thoughts...

Here's a few more thoughts from the weekend trip to Houston...

~Thai food is wonderful! After the show we went to the Pad Thai restaurant in downtown Houston, and due to the early hour we arrived, we had the entire place to ourselves, which was good, because they were gearing up for a party later that night. We had the chicken sa-tay appetizers with entrees of chicken and pork pad thai. The flavors were so rich and wonderful, and very difficult to describe. It is a definite must-have-again.

~To the grandma with the Fran Drescher voice sitting behind me during the musical: shut up. Didn't anyone ever teach you that making critical comments during the performance is rude? Even if you are complimenting the talent of the actors and dancers, don't mess up the magic with your droning voice making comments like "that was a perfect note" during the closing notes of a very passionate moment on stage. And I realize you are probably hard of hearing, and don't know how loud you are really speaking, but please.... shut up.

~There is a such thing as appropriate dress for these occasions. Now obviously, with this being a matinee performance, I didn't expect tuxes and evening gowns, but dress nicely, people, please. It is a sign of respect for the quality of show that you are about to see. This is an afternoon at a Broadway musical, not a quick trip down to Wal-Mart to pick up some flea dip for your dog. Things I saw people wearing that really bothered me (and Mike can testify that I am not making this up):
  1. Flip flops. Yes, seriously, flip flops. When did society get the idea that flip flops are suddenly acceptable footwear for a dress up occasion such as this? And I don't care if they are made of leather, plastic, or foam... I don't care if you cover them with rhinestones, butterflies, and unicorns... they are still a flip flop. Now I don't know about you, but in my family, flip flops were perfectly good attire for mowing the lawn, wearing around the house, or the aforementioned trip to Wal-Mart (if you couldnt find your shoes), they were NOT something that you wear to a Broadway show.
  2. A button-up Harley Davidson shirt, made of denim, on a woman. I know we live in Texas, I know this... but seriously? How redneck do you have to be?
  3. Shorts. Enough said.
  4. Jeans. Now let me start with saying that we live in Southeast Texas, and around here, I KNOW that for some guys, putting a nice long sleeve button down shirt with a pair of clean jeans and some cowboy boots is about as dressed up as you are gonna get. I understand this, and for that reason, I just smile at the man with the Texas flag shirt, jeans, and boots, because I know that he put forth the effort to actually dress nicely. This IS goin'-to-the-theater duds for him. But women.... women.... don't wear jeans to an event like this please? Please?

So there you have it... my weekend in review. Over all, it was a great great weekend, and there were a lot of things that I thoroughly enjoyed. Traffic was very light in Houston, which is a rare thing indeed, and we made really good time travelling back and forth. The show was spectacular, and I could not have asked for a better performance. And I got to spend a lot of time with my husband, and that is always a good thing.

Now I can begin the countdown to going to Lake Charles to see Blue October in two weeks!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Music of the Night

I am sure you are waiting on the edges of your seats to hear about our trip to see the Phantom. It was, in one word, amazing. I will be posting throughout the week about some of the other events of this weekend, including our wonderful lunch at the Thai place, but I really wanted to devote this entry to just talking about the play itself...

We arrived in Houston a little early (about an hour before the show started), so we went ahead and went to the Hobby Center for Performing Arts. We pulled up to find that they had valet parking for a reasonable price, and since parking in downtown Houston can be quite the challenge, we opted for this. We went inside to find a place to sit until they opened the doors, and then 30 minutes before the show was to start, they let us in, gave us our playbill, and we went and found our seats. The seats we had were pretty good, although we were on the outer seats at the edge of the auditorium, so there were a few spots in the musical when we could not see the actors on the edge of the scenes.

The Phantom began, and I was immediately drawn in under its spell. This was a production by Broadway Across America, so I expected the people to be able to sing, but wow... I don't think I was prepared for the quality and richness of their voices. They really brought the story to life with a passion and perfection that I was in awe of. And I could not say enough about the set. The entire facade of the stage was part of their set... the chandelier that hung out over the audience was part of their set... the amazing effect of the fog that rolled off the stage during the water scenes... I was in awe of the time and money that obviously went into making the scene perfect.

And I am not ashamed to admit... I teared up at the end. The actor playing the Phantom was nothing short of phenomenal. I knew how the story ended, I wasn't expecting a happy ending for the Phantom, but I also wasn't expecting to have my heart ache for his character like I did. I wasn't expecting tears in my eyes... that is how good this actor was. I really FELT how sad and lonely the Phantom was, how heartbroken. And as the curtain came down, and the actors came out on stage to take their bows, my eyes teared up again. I didn't want this to be over. I didn't want the magic that they were weaving to end.

I know without a doubt that Mike and I are going to be back there for more musicals now that we have gotten a taste of what the full experience is like. But I also know that no other musical will have that special magical quality that I felt that day. Because, you see, that was the first time I had felt like that. I grew up on musicals, I have seen the movie versions of most of them, and I love them. I have a passion in my heart for them, but this was different. I am sure I will love each and every one that we go to see in the future, but this was more than that... this was the magic of a first time experience combined with the magic of the story itself.

There is something so incredibly magical about that ability they have to whisk me away into their world. I didn't watch it thinking "wow, that is a pretty dress that actress has on"... I watched it thinking "wow, that is a pretty dress that Christine is wearing", as if the characters were real people. And for a few hours there, they were.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Countdown Continues

I swear I am going to make y'all sick of hearing about this, but I just cannot wait until we go to Houston tomorrow to see the Phantom. We are getting dressed up in fancy clothes (something we don't really do all that often), going to a professional musical (something we have never done) and finishing off the evening with some food at a Thai restaurant (something I have never done). It should be a real treat out for us.

Today was a really rough day, all around. Work was hellish (which I guess is an odd thing to say about working in a church), and I ended up staying an hour late. Then, we got the pleasure of going to Wal-Mart, where every rude person in our town was shopping today. The kind that leave their shopping baskets all crooked in the aisle, so that nobody can pass them. The kind that frantically speed around you so they can get to the eggs first, and then stand there for ages trying to find the perfect dozen (reminiscent of the man from Clerks). So by the time we got out of there, and finally got home, I was worn out completely. It felt so good to kick back on the bed, take off my shoes, and play some nerdy games.

A bonus for tonight though! Mike is cooking dinner and making his chicken and rice dish, which is to-die-for! I can smell it cooking right now, and I am ready to get my chow on!

If I can remember to take the camera, I will try to grab some shots of the theater, and maybe you will get lucky and I will take a picture of me and Mike (although we will most likely forget, since that tends to be our current track record).

See y'all on Monday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Phantom

Mike and I are going to see the Phantom of the Opera this weekend, and I am giddy like a school girl!

I have never been to see a professional production of a musical, and it has been something that has been on my to-do list for years and years now. Mike and I share an appreciation of musicals and will regularly stop the channel-flipping on the tv if we see that OMG Grease is on again, or Oklahoma!, we haven't seen that in weeks! But one thing we have never done is go to a musical together, so I am looking forward to this.

Our original plan was to drive to Houston on Saturday, check into a posh hotel, order some room service, and then dress up in fancy clothes and go to the show. In a moment of my usual "we are going to do something fun this weekend so I should stress about the details until we are actually there in our seats and the show has started" moments, I thought last night to check the tickets to see what time the show is at. 2pm. Yep, that's right, 2pm.

Okay, so revision of plans... we talked briefly about dressing up at home, driving straight to the show, and then going to the hotel afterwards. But... well... see... living just two hours away from Houston means that suddenly that doesn't make much sense. It makes staying in a hotel overnight seem kinda silly, and an unwanted expense. I mean, we will be out of the show at 5ish, so why not use that hotel money on a fancy dinner and then come home to the comfort of our own house, with our own nerdity options at our fingertips? So that is what the new plan is, dress up at home, drive to Houston, go to the show (which I will still be stressing about the details of until we are in our seats and the show has started), get a nice dinner, and then come home.

It sounds so much less complicated than it was going to be originally. Now we have no packing, no overnight bags, just a nice road trip with my husband. Doesn't get much better than that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I just wanna take purdy piktures!

I have known for a long time that I have the eye of a photographer. I SEE the pictures in the world around me that are just waiting to be captured. I see the gorgeous colors in the sunset, I see the brilliant blue of that bug, I see the adorable way our cat is curled up on my chest.

I have the heart of a photographer too, I think. When my eye captures these pictures in the world, my heart feels what is behind that image. I "hear the symphony in the sunset" as a friend once told me. I want to grab that beauty and capture it and show the world that "SEE! this is the amazing world around me that I see"

I have the camera of a photographer. I don't know exactly the model and all the specs, but I know that is has the capability to capture the pictures I want. Yes, I need more lenses and accesories for it, yes, I need to figure out its features, but it is an amazing camera.

What I do NOT have is the skill of a photographer. I have a basic understanding of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc, but I don't know how to translate that into a good picture. I don't know how to make my camera see the masterpiece that I see. How do I make it translate into a shot that everyone will see, and they will understand what I was feeling when I saw that in real life?

Now I KNOW that Photoshop was a huge tool (heh, tool) in making pictures turn out as beautifully as I see them on some of the blogs and websites I visit. I know it can fine tune the shot to bring out the best in the picture. I plan on getting this software, believe me.

But I also know that you need a good picture first. A good angle, a good exposure, etc.

What I really want, I guess, would be someone to follow me around for a while and tell me that in this situation, if you want to capture that sunset, you need to have your aperture at X and your shutter at X, etc. I need a personal tutor so that I can figure it all out. That isn't too much to ask, now is it?

And while we are at it, I would like to have a personal chauffeur so that I don't have to drive anymore. And a personal maid to clean my house and wash my dishes. Oh! Oh! and a personal chef so that Mike and I don't have to cook anymore... hmm... let me see... I guess that means I need to get to work on winning that lottery (yeah, the one we never, ever buy tickets for).

In other news, our addiction to Fable 2 still goes on strong. We play it in shifts, we stop for meals, and of course sleep, but that is about it. And while it may seem bizarre to you, it makes complete sense for me that I recieve IMs from Mike telling me that "my wife just left me again". Yes, we have a gaming addiction. No, we do not plan to seek help for it. We plan to continue on, each of us being an enabler for the other.

Now if I could just figure out the personal "someone to do all the things in life that I don't like doing" dilemma....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Family is a tough topic for me to discuss. In part, because when I was growing up, we were always taught that you keep family issues private. You can be angry or upset with your family, but you NEVER tell others about it.

One of the things I have determined when I started this blog was that I wouldn't dredge up past memories, I wouldn't tell the stories about things that have gone on in my family, and the reasons for the strained or broken relationships that have occurred along the way. And I won't. I stick by that rule. But speaking in generalities, there are some important things I have learned about "family", and important revelations that have changed my concept of what that word means.

~Just because someone is related to you does NOT mean that they are family. There are relationships in life that do more harm than good, and unfortunately, sometimes those relationships are to people that you share a common blood with. One of the toughest, and yet the most important, things that I have learned over the years is that it is okay to walk away from those situations. It doesn't make you a horrible person, it doesn't make you less of a human being. It makes you someone that is seeking healthy relationships. Now don't get me wrong, I will always be there for my relatives if they are in emergency situations. I won't stay away from the bedside of one that is really sick or dying just to prove a point. But I have learned that I don't need to have a day-to-day relationship with them just because we came from the same gene pool. It's okay to walk away.

~Family, a real family, does not have to be born into, it can be chosen. This is something that Mike and his family have taught me over the years that we have been together. Mike is my family. He is my world. His parents and his brother are part of that world, and an important part. They don't act like I am one of their own, I AM one of their own. They don't treat me like a polite friend, I am one of the clan. I get picked on, teased, cared about, and remembered as one of the kids. They chose me to be their daughter, they chose me to be their sister, every bit as much as Mike chose me to be his wife, and I will never forget that.

~Some relationships are stronger than time or circumstance. Some relationships can be repaired over time. I have sisters that I keep in touch with, cousins that I am close to even after a lot of time passes, aunts and uncles that care about me, a grandmother that still sends me a birthday card in the mail every year, and a father that I am rebuilding a relationship with. Not every break in family relationships is permanent, although some are.

~My husband. Until I met Mike, I didn't really understand how the concept of family can be all wrapped up in one person. To me, family was a bunch of people that you had blood ties to, people that cared about each other, people with faults. But in my husband, I am complete. I know that sounds like a cheesy line, and I don't mean it to be. I don't mean to say that I don't need other people in life. But at the same time, the only person I NEED to be happy in my life is my husband. He is my all, my everything. This brings to mind the story of our engagement and wedding, which I will post in greater detail in another entry. But the important thing was, when we were engaged, and we were planning the wedding, and we would face another detail of "do we want to do it this way or that way", we would say to each other "it's not really important, as long as you are there, that's all that matters".

And you know what? That is still true to this day. Life is a complicated mess of ups and downs, relationships grow and fail, people come and go, we face struggles, and we celebrate the good times (of which I am blessed to have many). But in the end, at the end of each day, I can snuggle up to my sweetheart, and say "it's not really important, as long as you are there, that's all that matters".

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cleaning out the Clutter

My mind is a jumble this morning so I thought I would just let y'all know a few things about our life, and our weekend, and other randomness that is running laps inside my brain right now.

~We had a thunderstorm this weekend. It wasn't that bad of a storm, and the rain was much needed, but the power got knocked out. Now as a rational person, I know that the power will be restored in a couple of hours, but let me let you in on a little secret of mine. Having lived here in Southeast Texas through two hurricanes and their aftermath, my brain really doesn't believe the power is coming back on any time soon. The lights go out, and I go into the "oh my god, how am I going to survive for a week or more without electricity" mode. I start thinking of how boring life is without power. I start dreading going to bed that night because it will be so hot, and we won't have AC and I don't sleep well in the heat. I am a fruit loop, what can I say. Oh, and the power came back on about 2 hours later.

~Mike and I bought an Xbox 360 in the last couple of weeks. Let me just say that Fable 2 is way more fun than a game has a right to be. We actually take shifts on who gets to play, and most of the time, when he is playing, I am laying there on the bed watching him play. It is insanely fun, and although I know that we will eventually tire of it, it satisfies our nerdity for the time being.

~Across the Universe was on Encore this weekend, and we caught the second half of it. We had seen this movie in the theaters, and I already knew that I loved it, but I was struck again by the genius of the movie. Also, I spent half the night with one of the songs running through my head, even in my dreams, and that does not make for peaceful sleep.

~As I mentioned, my sleep was troubled last night, not by anything specific, but just frequent wake-ups, songs running through my head, odd dreams, a crazy cat running around inside our house, and the inability to get comfortable. All of these combined make me even more of a "not-a-morning-person" than I usually am.

~I am very blessed to have a husband that wants nothing more on the weekends than to just hang around the house with me, relaxing.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Because I am Stubborn That Way

Alternative Title: The reasons I won't watch Harry Potter

Our local movie theater, like all the smart movie theaters across the nation, is showing the latest Harry Potter movie, or as I like to call it "Harry Potter and the reason I won't go to your theater for a month"

You see, the thing is, the truth of the matter.... I refuse to watch Harry Potter movies. Now don't get me wrong, I really have nothing against the whole Harry Potter franchise. I think it is probably a great story line for many to follow, and I have in fact read the first book, and thought it was pretty good. But the truth is, something that not a lot of people know about me, is that the more people tell me that I WILL like something, the more stubbornly I refuse to give it a chance. There is this little switch in me that gets flipped when someone raves on and on about something.

Actually, that isn't entirely accurate. It isn't just when one person, or a few people tell me about something I will like. If they are my friends or close family, and they suggest something for me to watch, chances are I will watch it, and chances are, I will like it. But when society insists that something is the greatest thing ever, when all the raving crowds go on and on about "oh my god, this is the best movie ever, you HAVE to see it", that stubborn troll inside of me says "no, no I don't. I don't HAVE to see it, and in fact, I now refuse to see it".

This is the reason I won't read or watch anything involving Twilight.
This is the reason I won't read or watch Harry Potter.
This is the reason I didn't really like the movie Knocked Up. (other than the fact that it just wasn't funny)
This is the reason I don't watch Lost.
This is the reason I don't watch reality shows.
This is the reason I haven't seen any of the High School Musicals.
This is the reason I refuse to get wrapped up in a lot of the fads today.

That person inside me just stomps her foot and says "you can't make me", and that's the end of it. I don't like being told what I WILL or WILL NOT like, as if it is dictated by society's laws that this is the next greatest biggest thing, and if I don't jump right on that bandwagon, I am some sort of freak. I am a freak for a lot of reasons, my friend, but demanding the right to make up my own mind about something is not one of them.

I am tired of "trendy" movies. I am an adult and I want to be able to go make my own decision. I have never been a critic believer, I will be the one to decide whether I like something or not. I guess it all boils down to the whole "you are not the boss of me" philosophy of life.

Oh, and one other word about Twilight. They are teeny bopper books, and it really REALLY bugs me when grown women are falling all over these characters. No, I won't read them, I refuse.

I read grown up books.

And some of you who know me (or think you know me) are saying to me right now "this is coming from the woman who loves vampire stories, the woman who had read all of Anne Rice's vampire chronicles, the woman who actually read Dracula, YOU won't read a vampire series". Well.... to those people, I have just one thing to say... if you actually just said that I should put Twilight in the same category as Anne Rice and Dracula... well then you don't really know anything about me, now do you?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Almost There

I am really tired this morning, and a little unsure as to what to talk about, so this may end up quite the rambling post.

I am really glad today is Thursday, because I only work half days on Fridays, so that means that today is my last full day of work before I can head into tomorrow's half day, and then on to the weekend to relax. With the visit from Dad and the Bible study class last night, and the millions of things that we did last weekend, this will be the first time in a couple of weeks that we have to just sit around and relax. Our plans for this weekend include nothing, nothing, and more glorious nothing. I can't even tell you how much I need that break.

Actually, we do have a little bit of a plan to take out the telescope and do some star gazing. I got Mike a very nice new telescope this year for his birthday, and I think we have discovered the right spot to go look at stars, out away from the town where there are no street lights. Of course, as we always do with our hobbies, the purchase of the telescope will mean that we need to make several more purchases to get it the way we want it. We need new lenses with better magnification, we need to study up more on the telescope itself to learn more about how to target it, and did I mention that this telescope has a camera mount?

Oh yeah, it has a place on the body of the telescope that you can mount your camera, and then you can buy an attachment that lets your camera focus through the viewfinder on the telescope, and you can take pictures of the skies. I have an obsession with photography anyhow (a whole post of its own), and would love nothing more than to know how to take really good pictures... and the thought of being able to be an astrophotographer? Out of this world (no pun intended).

But other than a possible excursion out to view the stars (does it get more romantic than stargazing with the love of your life?), our weekend plans consist of sitting around, watching tv, playing our nerdy games (including our brand new Xbox 360!!), and having some drinks.

All in all, I cannot wait. I am counting down the hours, and working frantically here at the church to get everything taken care of. Uninterrupted time with my husband is a very precious thing indeed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I am tired of people letting me down.

And I am tired of feeling let down by people.

The Visit

Well, the short version is that the visit with my father went really well yesterday... stay tuned for the longer version...

My dad was supposed to meet me here at the church I work at around 4pm yesterday, and I was going to take the rest of the afternoon off. Much to my surprise, I arrived back from lunch at 1pm to find my father already here, sitting in the preacher's office chatting it up with my boss! (EEK!). I work for a really cool preacher, and he told me to go ahead and take the rest of the day off and spend some time with my dad, so that is what took place. I took a few minutes to show him around the church, because we have a really old beautiful church building with amazing stained glass windows that he wanted to see.

After a brief tour of the church, we loaded up in our cars and he followed me to the house. He was staying the night in Mike's parents' guest room, and the plan was to go straight to their house and hang out there and get a chance to talk.

All in all, it was a really good visit. It gave us a chance to start to get to know each other better, and gave Mike a chance to really get to know my dad. There were only a few awkward pauses in conversation. God bless Mike's parents too, for putting him up in their guest room, and for cooking an amazing meal for us all to enjoy.

He had to get back on the road this morning at 2am, so he went to bed about 8 last night.

My mind and heart are a lot calmer now. I didn't really expect it to go badly, but I did think that there would be more awkwardness than we ended up having. For that I am very grateful.

This gives me a lot of hope that there is a lasting relationship in our future.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carnival Chaos

My dad arrives tonight, and I am a bundle of nerves. My stomach is in knots, and I am at my most scatter-brained.

I took a sleeping pill last night to help me get to sleep, because I know my mind, and there is no way it was going to let me fall asleep unaided. The inside of my mind, at times, resembles a state fair, with all the people milling about, and the rides, and the noises. Actually, it may be more along the lines of a good old-fashioned carnival with the ticket sellers barking out their lines to get you to "come over here and look at the bearded lady" or "cricket man is alive!". So what I am saying is that sometimes, I can't shut the carnival down for the night. It is determined to make itself an all night event, with the wheels turning and the people milling and the barkers barking. This is where the occasional sleeping pill comes in very handy. I won't say that it shuts down the carnival, but what it DOES do is allow me to sleep even with the ruckus of the carnival in full force.

The downside is that the next day, it takes me almost half the day to get up and running without feeling like my best course of action would be to go over there in that corner and lay down on the carpet and rest my eyes for a few minutes. I am a groggy mess this morning, with the only positive side effect being that the grogginess drowns out some of the carnival music. It is a lovely haze at times.

I know that Mike is nervous too. He has only met my father once, in that ICU room, and that was five years ago. But what I am eternally grateful for is that my husband is the one person in this world that can smile at me and tell me that tonight is going to be okay, that we are going to have fun, and I believe him.

This, I believe, is the real power of love. That special someone, that love of your life, is the person that has the power to do what nobody else can. They can smile at you, and tell you that they understand, that they are there for you, and that everything is going to be okay, and you believe them. Or even if you don't believe that the situation will get better, you DO believe that you can make it through as long as they are with you.

As long as he is with me...

Monday, July 13, 2009

All Grown Up

My father is coming to visit tomorrow night, and I am worried.

I haven't seen my father in 5 years. The last memory I have of him is in the ICU when he had his first heart attack. Mike and I (we had been together just a few months at this point) drove all night to Arkansas to see him, because we didnt think he was going to make it. I remember arriving at the ICU and going in to see my dad, and being scared because he looked so frail. I remember a few words that he spoke that meant a lot to me. I remember him looking at Mike and telling him to "please take care of my little girl" and Mike assuring him that he would.

A lot had happened before that visit to the ICU, things that I won't dig back up for public viewing, but things that had forever altered our relationship as father and daughter. More has happened since that visit. My mom and dad got a divorce after almost 40 years of marriage. My father moved to Arizona to live near one of my sisters. Most importantly, my father and I started talking again. Slowly, over time we are rebuilding a tenative foundation of a relationship.

Do you remember when you were a kid and relationships were easy? You either liked somebody, or you didn't. And it was okay if you hated them one day, and then they were your best friend the next. Adult relationships are not that simple, now are they? The older I get, the more I see relationships like a tide in the ocean. Sometimes the tide is high, and the relationships are strong, and then the tide goes out, and there is strain.

I am looking forward to seeing my dad, make no mistake about it. I miss the closeness that we used to have, once upon a time. And part of me is sad to know that I will never really be able to go back to that point. We are two adults now, and this is tricky ground, learning to have an adult relationship with my father.

The truth of my life is that I am very happy. I am very blessed. I am very loved. I am very content. And I guess what it all boils down to, is that in my father's visit tomorrow night, I want him to see that. I want him to see the wonderful husband I have, and how incredibly blessed I am in our marriage. I want him to get to know the wonderful in-laws that adopted me as one of their own when I had very little family to rely on. I want him to know that his little girl is all grown up now with a happy family of her own.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Why write a blog?

Why create a blog?

This is a question that I have been mulling over in my head for a couple weeks now. I guess the answer to it would be just to say... because I need to say stuff and I want a convenient place to say this stuff. I contemplated writing it down in a journal but most of my best thoughts come at random moments when that written journal is not handy. And in today's world, in my world, a computer is never very far away.

I needed to write. I need to write. I have conversations with myself all day long. I see a news story, and I comment to myself about my feelings on the subject. Make no mistake about it, I also talk these thoughts over with Mike, but sometimes they still go round and round inside my head, as if they are waiting for me to grab them with both hands, and put them down on paper (or computer screen as the case may be) and make my thoughts permanent. And sometimes, I cannot fully express what I am feeling unless I flesh it out with the written word.

What my blog will NOT be...

~It won't be a place of cruelty. I won't be writing mean and hateful things. There are blogs out there that thrive on the cruel, and the cutting words.... that is not what you will find here. I just want a place to feel like I am having a conversation with friends, a place we can sit down over a cup of coffee and laugh and talk, and expand our worlds and our minds.

~It may not be that regular. I am starting this out on blogger to see if I have enough to say to be consistent. If I do, if I post regularly, then eventually I will be setting up my own site to capture this. But I just don't know yet.

~It won't be fascinating tales of all the amazing adventures that I go on as I travel the world. Mike and I are very happy with our quiet lives in a small town, and although we take exciting trips, our normal day to day lives are not that interesting for you to read about. Mostly what I strive to put down here is to capture thoughts, to give you a glimpse inside my head so that you can know me better. So that I can know myself better and continue the ongoing process of fine tuning who I am and where I stand.

I feel better already knowing that I have created a place to capture the fleeting with some semblance of permanence.