20 April 2013


My husband turned a whopping 25 years old this past Autumn and (due to the fact that he insists he is 2 years older than I am) I have mocked him mercilessly. He's halfway to 50! A quarter of a century! A quarter of a century...

I turn 24 today (putting him squarely at 1 1/2 years older) and then my own quarter of a century mark will be closing in. Mark has this "30 before 30" list that he keeps and while I have a Dust List, being married and a new mom often lend to forgetting ones dreams. So, I decided I would take a page from my darling husband's book and give myself a deadline. 25 things to accomplish before I reach 25.

A Quarter List

1 Get tattoo for Rory: "We have this hope as heleuma for the soul" Hebrews 6:19 I'm thinking an anchor, which is so cliche but it's what his name means and I like anchors. Sue me. I would like it to be a "water color" tattoo with splashes of blue, but the where is still totally up in the air. No idea. I would like to have a tattoo for each baby (all 12 of them) so size and equality are things that matter...

2 Finish first draft of novel: For the love of continuity, I just want to finish one blessed thing! I started, I love it, I just-have-to-freaking-finish. I feel a year is an adequate time table, if not very realistic.

3 Have a location and departure date: This is somewhat dependent on sources outside of myself so - we'll see. But our location seems fairly secure already and hopefully that means we will just need the fundraising in order to leave - finally.

4 Build furniture rather than purchasing it: We currently have in our possession: a beautiful sofa, a neat little bedside table, a coat rack, two chalk boards, a shelving unit for our laptop/tele situation anddd a very fun pegboard set up for Roranicus Rex, Destroyer of Worlds. We are in the process of building a bathroom cabinet, chopping block, and a bench for the backside of our couch (whatcha gonna do with all that junk? All that junk inside that trunk? ... Black Eyed Peas, anyone?).

5 Stick to a budget: I almost want to laugh at this because Marko and I are constantly coming up with new projects that "absolutely cannot wait!" But if we put money in our budget for that - would it not be possible? Maybe, maybe... Our attempts at a grocery budget, savings, insurance, healthcare are really kind of laughable so I'm hoping we can step up our game and really penny pinch.

6 Size 4 jeans* : See asterisk. I would like very much to fit into the jeans I wore as a high schooler. I'm not super concerned with weight, primarily because I don't have a scale, but also because I know very well that weight does not always equal fat. But jean sizes? Those don't lie... there should be another asterisk that allows for the fact that most jeans sizes fluctuate. A lot. But I would like to average into a size four. I'm sitting (happily, as I am only 8 months out from having created a small life) in the jeans I wore before I was pregnant at the moment and that is okay, but a whole year from now? I'd like to be kicking ass and taking names in the jean department.

7 Sew clothes rather than purchasing them: I said it. I have this beautiful brand-new sewing machine that needs to be worth it's weight in something, why not clothing? I think I'm going to give a little grace here and say that if I find a keeper at Goodwill or Main Street Thrift, I can keep it. But I would primarily like to alter and fit clothing on my own. My wedding dress finally came out of the closet this week and I am going to dye it and chop it up, probably this weekend, so I can have a pretty fancy dress... :]

8  Continue to grow hair out: Speaking of inconsistency... I have this problem where I go back and forth from wanting my hair to be long and flowy and embracing my Hawaiian roots TO wanting short spunky Peter Pan hair that rocks people's socks off. But I've decided that I would like long hair, I want to hold true more to who I am rather than relying on product. I realize I'm a hippie.

9 Blog twice a week: Insert laugh track... I would like to blog more consistently. I think if I set a goal for myself, that might be more of a reality? Maybe? Possibly? Chastise at will...

10 Draw one sketch a day: I think I'm going to broaden this to be "do art once a day," but the sentiment remains. I used to do a lot of art. I now do a lot of running after a rapidly growing child. So whether it's finger painting with Rory or a full on oil pastel day while Marko entertains the Destroyer, I need to be doing art. It's freeing and all mine.

11 Learn to play the guitar - Hawaiian songs: I'm not expecting to be a miraculous, but I would like to be on my way to learning some songs. I've had a lot of people die on me, most of them unexpectedly and most of the young, some of them slowly and some of them old, all of them heart wrenching. But having a baby puts sharply into perspective the mortality of my own parents (sorry guys). I believe death crosses my mind a healthy amount, but I would rather focus on living, you know? But it has recently come to my attention that once my dad dies? There will be no one left alive to play guitar and sing in Hawaiian. No one. This must be altered. Which leads me to...

12 Get my dad to finally record a CD of my favorite songs: I am Daddy's Little Girl. It's yet another one of the great cliches that encompass me. And my favorite thing is to be in my parents living room and sing along with my dad as he plays my favorite songs; Hawaiian, lullaby, worship, whatever! And it's even better with Rory sitting and listening too. And I will get my father to actually, finally, freaking record an album for me.

13 Workout five times a week: Initially I wrote "run three times a week," but Mark and I only have one car and it is way easier for me to stay home in the afternoons with Rory than drive Marko to work, go for a run, drive home and then have to go pick Mark up. It might not seem like a hassle, but keep in mind that Rory isn't particularly fond of his carseat. So, running from home is a thing, but it's a little harder because of where we live so I allowed for yoga, swimming, weight lifting, at home work outs, and the fact that I have an 8 month old so sometimes five workouts is unrealistic.

14 Dos niños* : Asterisk! Size four jeans sound lovely. What sounds more lovely? Putting my body through the blatant abuse of having another tatertot! Having a second kiddo is definitely a priority for Mark and I, but a couple of things need to happen before we really consider it: Rory turning one, paying off the little bit of debt we have left now that Emily (our car) is officially ours, and an ETD (estimated time of departure) for missions. There are probably other things we should concern ourselves with but meh.

15 No processed foods: Hippies for days! Or is it daze? Hmmm... anyway. Mark and I are really good about making all our own bread, meals from scratch, etc. But it would be great if we could get completely away from processed foods. Yah... that's a phase by phase thing.

16 Harvest our own honey: We get bees in one week! Bees, bees, bees! They shall buzz and Mark shall love them (probably too much for his own good) and hopefully we will be able to harvest a little honey in August.

17 Plan for Nallim's quinciñera: We have a little time before Nallim turns 15, but if we don't make a plan to get there, it won't happen. So I would like a fully thought up plan of attack for getting to Mexicali in April of 2015 and a piggy bank to fund it.

18 Take Marko skinny dipping: He's never been. He is 25 years old and has never been skinny dipping. This needs to be altered.

19 Second income: I don't really know what this looks like yet - whether it is Farmers Markets, writing, a second job or something I haven't even thought of. But I would love a second income to just tuck away circus money (We Bought A Zoo reference, anyone?).

20 Quality tools: Marko loves wood working. Let's be honest, I love wood working. But I hate power tools. Mark and I have decided that we are going to work toward having a full tool box with hand tools that will last: draw planes, hand drills, clamps, screwdrivers, saws and more. But we want quality tools so we have to wait patiently in order to afford them. You think we're crazy, and we probably are, but I've already said we're hippies!

21 Footprint: No processed foods, harvesting our own honey, building our own furniture - we would like to reduce our footprint. Compost and recycle more, use less paper, maybe get a bidet.. I would love for our family to be off the grid, but at this moment? That is unrealistic. So just reducing our footprint any way we can over the next year and consciously being aware of our impact on the world around us.

22 Homeschooling: Set up a curriculum for homeschooling Rory. I know you're probably thinking - homeschooled kids are weird! Which is true a majority of the time, but as a product of public school and with both my parents being public school teachers? I am just too knowledgable on how often (see: rarely) good teachers come along, how there are too many kiddos in classrooms, how curriculum and testing is not set up to accommodate students but rather to just push them idly through a flawed system with the least amount of creativity possible... I could go on. I would like to at least have started compiling materials for preschool Roranicus.

23 Time for technology: How often do I pull out my phone to check the time, get on my Facebook, post on Instagram, Pinterest (the later being by far superior to the former two)? The answer is: too often.  I have a rapidly growing little boy who I am afraid will feel less important than my cellular device because of my devoted attachment to Google. So I think I would like to limit my phone use. If there is nothing else I could be doing (i.e.: chores, blogging, engaging in conversation, playing with my son, sitting quietly alone with my thoughts), then I can play on Pinterest. And only then.

24 Dye my own clothes: I could put this under sewing my own clothes... but I'm running out of ideas. I watched this video on doing natural dyes and it seems really cool! So I would really like to experiment with the over this next year - starting with my wedding dress. I'm thinking reddish/orangish. I'll post pictures with the various plant life I decide to use.

25. One year album: Rory will be one in August and I would like to assemble a one year album for him... it's pretty self explanatory.

And that is my list of 25 things. I'm excited.

10 April 2013

With Jazz

I considered titling this post "I'm Not Alright," but after the outstanding reaction to my last post, I decided no. While I am thankful, flattered, and very pleased to have so many of you wonderful people in my corner at the end of the day - my last post was not meant to be a gasp at friendship ties. I maybe should have spent more time on wording...

I was raised in a nice big church with a nice big community of nice big Christians. I say "big" not because they were physically oppressive (although spiritually oppressive might be true...), but because their "Christianity" defined them. This meant that everything looked very pretty. Nice clothes, nice cars, nice houses, nicely put together families that were often really suffering beneath that gilded cover of "nice." Being defined by your Christianity is a big difference from being defined by Christ.

And I struggle with it too.

It would be really easy to tell you that I'm all laid back and okay with showcasing who I really am, but the truth is a little more complicated than that. In English, we often ask "How are you?" and we aren't really interested. It's like a greeting in American culture. You do not ask how someone is in: Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, France, Italy, Tunisia, Spain, or even really in England - it's not polite. And unless you know someone well enough to be informed of the intimate details of their life, it isn't really all the polite to ask someone how they are. But we do it anyway.

And we don't care. Not enough. We don't want to know about the affair or the struggle with self worth or the alcohol addiction - at least, not from the source. It's much easier to gossip and speculate than to empathize, sympathize, live the pain alongside the one experiencing it. And the church is the absolute worst at this. We get all dressed up in our "Sunday Best" and smile for posterity if nothing else, but what about the rest of the week?

What about when our marriages are suffering because of lack of time, communication, honesty? What about when we wonder if we were really cut out to be a parent because our baby doesn't sleep through the night, isn't potty trained, throws tantrums that make us want to assume the fetal position? What about when our friendships dissipate due to distance, time, stress? What about when our in-laws drive us crazy? What about when we struggle with depression, inadequacy, heartbreak, grief, mood swings? Do we have to be "okay" all the time?

I sincerely hope not.

Thank you. Thank you for all your love, dear dear friends. But I just need to be honest about where I am at. And last week and the week before? I was a hot mess of tears and self doubt - but that needs to be okay. The second we sweep our dirt under the carpet rather than letting it be seen? That is the moment it starts to accumulate. And sometimes, we don't realize it until it has buried us.

Am I a crazy person? Probably. But I'm fairly certain people would like me less if I wasn't.