Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good bye Old Friends

2005, new kittens
2008, Christmas cats

Pretty Nicolett
Sheridan loves Erik--and his stuff!

Nicky, my princess, 2011, the Giveaway Day

Sheridan, "Evil", 2011, the Giveaway Day

My life is a constant streams of "lasts" and "goodbyes." A little unexpectedly, one of the hardest good byes happened today.

We gave up our cats. My first babies, my princess and "evil" -- nicknames. Don't ask.

Six years ago we got married.

And my Mom's crazy best friend gave us cats for our wedding present. Longest lasting, most rewarding wedding gift. Ever. (actually, she just gave us supplies, and a check to be used for the adoption.)

July 2005, we brought home Nicolett and Sheridan from MaxFund, not realizing that we'd just named them after an actress. TOTAL ACCIDENT! We were not, and still aren't, Desperate Housewives fans. We chose their names after a major avenue (Nicolett) in Minneapolis, our home town, and the boulevard that the store we got them from was on (Sheridan).

These cats have been such a joy in our lives. They truly were lifesavers throughout our struggle with infertility. They cuddled with us, they played with us, they let us cry on them ... I miss them so much..

We got home today, and I immediately looked for Nicky in the window behind the sheer white curtain. I listened for fatty Sheridan's "thud" of jumping off our bed upstairs to come greet us. I waited for Nicky to brush up against my legs and beg for a cuddle and fresh, cold water. I was confused when I saw that the basement door was shut, because we could NEVER leave it shut because that's where their litterbox was.  I'm sure tonight I will miss the weight of Sheridan, who loved to "spoon" with me all night long.

An awful lot lately I have shoved them off my lap, rolled my eyes at their head butts, sighed in exhasperation at their incredibly persistent requests for love ... I know this was the right thing to do. I know their new owner has a lot more love to give than we do right now.
I love my babies ...

And yet, I'm sitting here, shedding tears for my babies, and wondering why I was ever annoyed at Nicky for climbing onto my lap and through my arms while I typed. Because that's all I wish would happen right now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Life Lately

Life is a little bit of a blur lately. I remember the beginning of August ... but I'm not quite sure when and how it became August 25th. I remember saying that I wanted August to be over ... and here it is almost over and I'm not sure how I feel about that!

I'm excited to move and start this adventure--an adventure we've been talking about and planning for since April. 

I'm scared silly to do every day life without our amazing support network of family and friends.

I'm anticipating the joy of discovering a new life and new friendships. 

I'm nervous for the meltdown that I know will come once I've used up all the adrenaline from moving.

I'm counting on the growth that will be forced upon me in new situations and life experiences.

I'm grieving the inevitable fade of friendships and loss of connection--Facebook is incredible, but there's nothing like a real live squishy human hug.

I'm in awe of how quickly this has happened ... and shocked at how slow these months have seemed. 

I'm proud of us for doing this ... and nostalgic already for "the good ole days" in Colorado. 

I'm looking forward to doing life in Sun Prairie ... and I'm already tired of saying goodbye in Colorado. And it has truly barely begun .... 

Awareness and articulation--these are two words that have stuck out to me lately. I, increasingly every day, become aware  of my feelings, emotions (and hormones I'm sure!) that are swirling around inside of me. And after a bit of processing, it becomes very essential that I be allowed to articulate these feelings and emotions, without fear of rejection, bad consequences, and/or toooooo much sympathy and pity. Aware, articulate, move on. (and sometimes revisit!) That's been my process lately. So, if you run into me, and I randomly blab some form of articulation about how I'm feeling--I'm sorry! If it sounds for a minute like I'm crabby about this move--I'm not! I'm just in the process of processing. The journey of awareness and articulation. It's a rollercoaster, that's for sure.

But let's be very clear about one thing: I am choosing this. Choosing this because God has called us to it, and I choose to be in His will. Because as much as I'd love to be near family, as much as I'd love to stay with friends, as much as I love my view of the mountains .... His place for me is far better than my place for me. So do not be confused. I am not angry, I am not kicking and screaming, I am not fighting. I'm just aware, and articulating. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The End of an Era

Our first Chinese Dinner Night was June 18, 2010, and we didn't even know what we'd started! All we knew was going to dinner together was so fun and facilitated such great conversation, that we had to do it again! Casey, Bethany, Jessica and Samantha were in attendance, and we ended the night with oatmeal face masks and toenail painting.

And I came home that night and declared to Erik, "I will make this a regular thing. I will make sure I set aside special time for these ladies in the months to come."

And we did! With lots of rescheduling, and invites on Facebook, and reminders by text, we pulled off 4 more--count 'em FOUR--Chinese nights. Whoot Whoot!

C.N. #2
Chinese Night #2 was September 12, 2010. Samantha, Stephanie, and Casey and I had a wonderfully intimate meal of Chinese together. And Sam made us get the chicken on skewers that you roast over a little flame. Good times, good times.

C.N. #4
Chinese Night #3 was November 28, 2010. Jessica, Casey and Bethany came. I remember laughing a lot .... This was took many many reschedulings, so I was a little burned out for a while .... Night #4 was long in coming. :)

Chinese Night #4 was June 3, 2011 (Officially titled Chinese Night ... I've lost count!) This was definitely a fun turn out! Bethany, Casey, Jessica, Paige, and Stephanie! This one I convinced them to get ice cream too, which was hard to do considering how much we stuff ourselves with yummy Chinese goodness!

Chinese Night #5 ... the Final One was tonight. What a bittersweet event. For the first time, alum Jessica Ho was able to join us, which was super fun! Sadly, Mackey, who'd been to every one since the beginning, missed this final night. Sad day!
Final Chinese Night

Casey Morris gets the award for perfect attendance! Yay! Way to go! :) and for being the best red head EV-ER.
Stephanie Ho gets the award for best facial expressions while eating Chinese. I don't think she even knows it ... :)
Jessica Mackey get the award for always being the first student to arrive and always having a smile on her face.
Samantha Krejcik gets the award for enthusiasm, specially for chicken on skewers and $1 wonton soup.
Bethany Morris gets the award for knocking her water glass over. Often. :) And for introducing me to dumplings and beef lo mein. YUM!
Paige Becker gets an award, just because I'm so excited she made it to one!
Jessica Ho gets an award for being my favorite alum ever. :)

From conversations on everything from boys, flies, cracks, Germany, band, books, dinosaurs, church, discipleship, friends, Chinese food (duh), camping, jobs, moving, college, sleep, siblings, babies (usually started by me), weddings, youth group and so much more, these nights meant the world to me. From forcing you to eat ice cream, to smearing oatmeal goo on our faces, to taking crazy photos in Safeway cart stalls, to watching Sam bite a leaf, to discussing how long we take in the restroom--and why, to swinging as high as we possibly can, to getting married and divorced several times :), to being dive bombed by bats, to hugging goodbye by the porta-potty in the twilight, I've loved every minute.

The end of an era. The end of regular (semi anyway) Chinese Nights. To my ladies, I love you. God led me to you and you to me for a season, and it's a season I will never forget. You each hold a dear place in my heart, and I've learned so much from each one of you. I can only hope you've learned in return, and we can continue to stay in touch.

Seek Jesus, live life to the fullest, and VISIT ME!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Waterfalls, Dams and Kinkos.

I cry a lot lately.

Just here and there, and everywhere--any random thing can make the waters rise and trickle down my cheeks.

At the local park, as I round the corner of the pond and gaze on the most beautiful mountain range I've ever lived near and realize that I'm leaving my mountains.

At the FedEx/Kinkos office, where James, the most helpful and kindest employee ever, remembers my name, and recalls that my son is about 1 1/2 (Josh is 15 months old--I'd say James was pretty close!)

At the weekly Bible study with ladies I've taken for granted and now realize I will deeply deeply miss ... no explanation needed. The tears flow just writing about it.

At the sound of Joshua squealing and clapping in delight as we make the right turn into my parents' drive. My tears could rival waterfalls in the Amazon.

At the memories in this home, the far off voices in the walls, the images that float through the halls. The dam might break forever if I contemplate what leaving this house will feel like.

At the moment in Denver where I thought I heard someone call our names. No one did, but the fact that I knew we could run into someone we knew was wonderful. Until I remembered we're moving to a place where no one knows us and it'll be rare for many years for us to run into people we know anywhere we go.

At the twists and turns and streets and stoplights that I can navigate in my sleep, and have since high school.

At the reassurance that I always have a place to go when I need a break, a hug or some super super super ridiculously strong coffee. (A.K.A. Mom and Dad's. The coffee is always stronger when Mom makes it though...)

At the truth that explodes in my heart that while this is where I'm known, this is where I reside, this is where I wish I could live forever ... I'm no longer called to be here. The tears that well and gush and flow at that are a mixture of grief and hope. Grief at leaving my home, and hope at the prospect of an adventure. Grief at leaving the known for the unknown, and hope at the blessings of following the call of my Lord. Grief and hope ... tears and more tears.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again--moving is hard.