Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meh

Has anyone else noticed that since I've been in school my blogs have gotten less insightful and that my writing is...not as good?  Or is it just me?

Maybe it's because I don't have as much time to devote to editing my blogs or thinking insightful thoughts...maybe it's because school is taking all my "best" writing so my blog just gets the mess of leftovers...maybe it's because I haven't had as much time to read C.S. Lewis so my language just isn't as pretty...

...Maybe.  But the cynic in me wants to say my formal training is ruining me.

;)

Well, to make up for the lack of depth and clever words, I'll throw a few pictures at you. 

Kitty watching birds
Sam (sweet man) made me a flower box to go outside our window...I'll put up more pictures once the flowers start to grow.

Morty makes forts whenever the room is a mess

Someone (I won't say who) brings home a new gift for the kitties every time he goes to the store
This picture is to show off the beautiful painting Sara & Heidi made for us - doesn't it match perfectly?  Love it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Sam"

I don't know about you, but this movie just happens to be one of my favorite romantic comedies.


I loved this movie when I was younger, and still love it.  In fact, I just watched it on Netflix - great way to put off doing homework.

I've always loved my husband's name, and after watching this again I realized why.  Tom Hanks' character's name is Sam Baldwin, and at the end of the movie, when Annie (Meg Ryan) finally meets her beloved, she looks into his eyes with sweet affection and says, rather tenderly, "Sam."  In that single utterance, she reveals all the anticipation, desire, and ultimate relief at being united with the one her heart dreamed of.  I felt exactly that same way when I saw my husband walking toward me in the Wal-Mart in Los Banos, when we met face to face (for the second time in four years).

"Sam."

Sigh.

My heart is happy.


My Sam

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thanks for Remembering, God!

If I haven't already said it in one of my blogs, I'll say it now - I think God has a great sense of humor.  Most recently I have been made aware of this through a little thing I like to call "God remembers, Kimberly forgets."  It goes something like this...

I'm standing in my tiny kitchen that boasts of zero cupboards.  Zero.  I'm trying to cook something or bake something.  I have no counter space.  None.  (If you think I'm exaggerating, by all means come on over and please show me the cupboards and counters I seem to have missed.)    As one might imagine, cooking, baking, and generally doing anything in a kitchen with no cupboards or counters is somewhat difficult.  Next I try to do the dishes.  It's really quite fun to do the dishes with no dishwasher and no garbage disposal.  By the way, I would now like to remind everyone out there who can boast of a kitchen with a garbage disposal and dishwasher that you have no right to ever complain about doing the dishes.  I'm sorry, but in my position I just don't see how anyone could actually complain when they have such conveniences at their disposal (no pun intended).  On the same note, if you have a washer and dryer at your home, laundry complaining is also not allowed.  (At least not to me, because if you do, I will serenade you with my stories of laundromats...and I might kick you in the shin.)  So for those of you out there who whine about all those dishes?  Again, I invite you over to visit me and try a hand at mine.

But I digress.  Back to my kitchen.  I know it sounds like I have a really good attitude about it, but the truth is, sometimes it's a little frustrating.  Sometimes I just wish I had more space.  Sometimes (like when I wanted to throw Sam a huge 30th birthday party) I want a home that's perfect for entertaining, with huge rooms, plenty of seating, and a kitchen just right for hosting parties.  Sometimes I wish my shoes didn't have to be on a shelf in the kitchen.  But then, somewhere in my memory, I recall saying a little prayer to God about how I actually wanted a home like this.

Let me explain.  When I was young and silly, I was something of a romantic.  I remember walking down the streets of Seal Beach when I was in college looking at the huge houses that lined the shore.  Did I wish to live in something like that one day?  No.  I saw the tiny apartments a block away and thought, It would be so fun to live there!  I thought it would be utterly romantic to have a tiny home in the center of town - a funky place unlike the houses with yards that I imagined my friends would have.  And I actually prayed something along the lines of, Lord, please bless me with a husband who is cool enough to think a place like that would be fun

Fast forward seven years.  I have a tiny home with nooks and crannies, a fort bedroom, and yep, no modern conveniences.  I live in the middle of an adorable town and can walk to the market, the coffee shop, or the quaint antique and thrift stores that line the pleasant streets.  Not only that, my cool husband thinks our home is great, and revels in the fact that our tiny place prevents us from overloading ourselves with junk.  (Trust me, there is absolutely no space for any unnecessary items here!)

The thing is, I had completely forgotten about my little dream of a hippie-ish husband and a tiny but adorable home.  I had forgotten until I started complaining about it.  Then, ever so quietly, it was as if God whispered, "Wait a minute, Kimberly...this is what you said you wanted.  I'm just giving you the desires of your heart."  Then I felt completely blessed and horrible all at the same time.  This is what I wanted - exactly!  I wanted a home that would keep me humble and keep me from being too materialistic, and a husband who was more than okay with it.  And God remembered, after all this time.  And now I"m wishing it away?  People, in case you didn't already know, I can be a brat!

Thankfully, this little reminder has given me the attitude adjustment I needed.  I've fallen in love with my home all over again, and take delight in setting my finished side dishes precariously on my bedroom dresser while I go back into the kitchen to finish cooking.  I sing joyfully while I clean, knowing it will take me no more than an hour to get the place completely spotless because it is so small.  And I cuddle up with my cool husband, who expresses his admiration of how cute I've made our home.

And I thank God that He has a better memory than I do.  And I remind myself that when I do pray for blessings from God, I need to be prepared to take the bad with the good, since nothing is every completely perfect.  And I think that someday, someday, if someone offered me an enormous beach house with a dishwasher, garbage disposal, and washer and dryer...I would take it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm Alive

So last week was all sorts of insane for me.  I experienced a "perfect storm" in school, which consisted of two major papers that were due on Tuesday and a big midterm on Wednesday.  I didn't have my favorite distraction to turn to (facebook) because I gave it up for Lent.  And even worse, Sam and I started a diet so I couldn't have any sugar or bread (my favorite things that make me feel better!)  Suffice it to say, last week I was sort of miserable to be around.  Poor Sam.

But I survived!  And because all my classes had big things last week, this week is a bit more relaxing.  I'm trying to work ahead in my classes and get some things done that had been neglected (like blogging, laundry, sleeping, showering).  And thankfully, Sam and I are off the diet.  Time and again I have discovered I'm just not a diet person.  The minute someone tells me I can't have something, I have an irresistible need for it.  So, though we are trying to incorporate more vegetables and eat less sugar, I'm back to my plan of healthy moderation.  And I'm a much nicer person. :)

I got to end my week in a pretty perfect way!  Our group of women from church led the music out at the women's retreat again this year, so I spent a very rainy weekend in the redwoods.  It was just what I needed after my overwhelming week!  I got to hang out with some lovely ladies (Lauren, Laurie, Kristen, Andrea, Leann, Christina, Abbey, and Savannah, to name a few) and had some great times playing banana grams and truth or dare with them.  (Yes, we played truth or dare.)  I also got to sing and play my guitar (which I haven't really done since the women's retreat last year and desperately miss), and I got to be out at Mt. Gilead and just enjoy it, as any other guest would!  Last year I was working at this retreat, so there was a lot more responsibility and stress involved.  Let me tell you, it was really nice to just be responsible for the music and nothing else.

Sue, our speaker, was hilarious and so refreshing.  She reminded me of some things I really needed to hear.  First of all, I don't have to be perfect.  Thank God.  So it's okay that my bed isn't made right now and that I haven't worked out in two weeks.  She also reminded us that we don't know the journey God has others on, or all that they've experienced, so there's no room for judgment.  Similarly, no one else knows my journey, so if they are judging, who cares?  It's like when people hear Sam & I moved back to Petaluma after three months and say something really ignorant like, "Well that didn't last long! Heh heh heh," or "Wow, guess you guys just couldn't stick it out, huh?" and I want to punch them because they have no idea of all the surrounding circumstances or all that we went through.  I don't have to punch them anymore because they're the ones being stupid, and that's really punishment in itself.  Instead, I can just rub it in their faces and say, "Well yes, it was pretty clear that God wanted us back up here so we were just trying to be obedient to Him.  Some people choose to do that."  :)  No, I'm kidding, people.  But really, I don't have to worry about what other people think of my decisions because they're not on my journey.  Wonderful!!!  I can let that go.

It was a very happy weekend full of much needed relaxation and fellowship, and while I was gone Sam got to go hang out with his family.  (He returned home with a beautiful painting by Sara and Heidi!  Can't wait to hang it up!)  It was a great Sabbath and I was reminded that I just need to relax, slow down, and give it all to God.  Crazy-overwhelmed-perfectionist Kimberly is not as fun as mellow-rested-doing-her-best Kimberly. 

Thanks for reading my silly blog!  Hopefully I'll be able to update a bit more now that I'm no longer in bondage to my own nonsense.  Happy day.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Celebrating Sam turning Twenty-ten

Samuel turned 30 yesterday!!!  He's not a big fan of birthdays, unlike his wife.  I love birthdays!  He amuses me and lets me have my fun, which I appreciate. :)  When I put up balloons and streamers, he just laughed at me and said, "You're cute."  What can I say?  I love birthdays!

Last night we had a great dinner at Volpi's with our friends from Petaluma.  James, Monica, & Gio joined us as well, which is always fun.  Here are a few pictures from the night.
Friends - Sam is loved :)
Amazing pan fried polenta with blue cheese crumbles
Mr. Volpi came and serenaded Sam on his accordian...Lauren helped. :)
 After dinner we wanted to go out dancing.  We showed up at a place that used to be a dance club and apparently is not anymore...but they were so thrilled at our large group that they stayed open for us, put on loud music, and we had ourselves a semi-private dance party.  Awesome.

This morning we went to Hallie's, a delish breakfast place.  After that the boys played video games while Monica and I went thrift store shopping and dyed our hair.  It's been a great weekend celebrating and we're so thankful to be here among friends!

And I'm thankful Sam was born 30 years ago.  Happy birthday, my love!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BreeLeeGeneva

It's been too long since I've written an ode to a friend, and tonight's featured friend deserves quite the honor.  I don't remember meeting Bree, but I have a picture of us at my 4th birthday party, so I'm pretty sure we've known each other awhile.  We grew up in church together, and then in high school we did everything together...I mean, literally, everything.  We joined water polo at the same time, and then swimming, and then subsequently quit both (together).  I joined dance with her when I was sixteen and she worked extra hours with me so that I'd look like I'd been dancing since childhood.  We were both in band (she played the clarinet, I played the alto sax) so we enjoyed band trips to the Grand Canyon, Florida, and Disneyland.  We made many a crazy movie (All-Purpose Boxes is a classic) and tp'd many a house.  I'm sure my high school days would have been much more boring without Bree around.

Fast-forward seven years, and I convinced Bree to move to Santa Rosa with me.  She and I shared an apartment and a bedroom and laughed like crazy every night.  I won't go into details, but poor Bree was a good sport for my obnoxious practical jokes.  (Let's just say she's pretty blind when she doesn't have her contacts or glasses, and I took advantage of that a few times.)  She graciously cooked me amazing dinners, watched the Godfather with me, ate popcorn (lots of popcorn) and made a mean pomegranate martini.  I really miss her.

Bree is one of the most fun people I know.  She willingly joins in with whatever ridiculous thing I happen to think is a good idea, without hesitation.  Jump on our beds to Mariah Carey's Christmas music?  Why not?  Speak in British accents for days after watching The Holiday?  Of course.  Blast "My Girls" on itunes whilst dancing around our apartment and singing at the top of our lungs?  Did it.  I love it that whatever random thought pops into my head is totally acceptable to Bree.  She'll laugh at me, sure, but she encourages me to be the ridiculous person I am (and usually joins right in with the nonsense).  In fact, that's another reason I really admire her.  She's the type of person that makes you like yourself more.  She's so uplifting, so inspiring, that she sets people at ease and makes them feel comfortable with who they are.  There's no need to pretend to be someone I'm not with Bree, or to doubt myself.  She's so accepting that I can be brutally honest and I know she'll still love me.

Bree is totally and completely devoted to God, and encourages those around her to be as well.  Her relationship with God permeates everything she does.  I really want to be more like her in that area, to focus on others and on how I can show them God's love.  Though we laugh a lot when we're together, I also know I can be serious with her about my struggles.  She's an amazing listener and always gives great advice, never judging, always strengthening.

Bree will be moving to Seattle soon (she won't accept mine and Sam's offer to move in with us, silly girl), and I'm thrilled for her!  Yes, I selfishly wish she'd move back to Sonoma County, but at the same time I am so excited for her and the journey she's about to set out on.  It's yet another thing I admire about Bree - her adventurous spirit, and the willingness to step out of her comfort zone.  Seattle's a lucky city, and I think she'll fit in perfectly there.  The only city that might be a better fit would be Paris, since Bree is the epitome of class and sophistication.  (She's also teaching herself French, just so she's ready whenever she does end up moving there.)

I feel so blessed to have Bree's friendship, and to have spent so many years making amazing memories.  Poor thing is stuck with me - I won't let her stop being my friend, no matter how far away she moves! :)  I've attached our favorite song to dance together to, as well as a picture wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, and enjoying tea at The Palace in San Francisco.  So many great memories, Breelee!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Can Admit it - I'm Not Perfect

Half an hour to kill in the library before class - blog time!

Now that I'm back in school, I'm reminded that sometimes, I suppose, I can tend to be a perfectionist, I guess.  I mean, I don't really think I have a problem...I just think everything I do should be perfect.  Right?  Some might also say I'm something of a people-pleaser, so when I'm a student, that trait manifests itself in being utterly determined to please my teacher.  (I really don't agree with any of this; it's just something people have told me.)

The truth is, I think the only reason I'm in school is to impress my professors with how smart I am.  They aren't being paid to actually teach me - they are being paid to admire my work and say things like, "You're just so brilliant, there is nothing you can possibly do to improve!"  I'm pretty sure that's what teachers are for, in my case.  If a teacher ever actually tells me that I have a weakness that I should work on...well, they may as well tell me I'm stupid and should drop out of school.  (Luckily I've never gone to that extreme! Er, um...uh, moving on...)

When I hand in an assignment and it's received with praise, I have succeeded.  When I'm in fifth grade and the sixth grade teacher reads my short story to her class as an example of good writing, I have succeeded.  When there is actually something I need to work on, or (heaven forbid) learn...well, then I have failed.  It all started in elementary school, when some well-meaning teacher told me I was smart, and the bar was set.  From that point on, I could not hand in anything less than superb.  I felt as though I had this huge expectation of me, that my teachers would be so disappointed in me if I turned in anything that was less than A+.  I didn't get the highest grade in the class?  Way to go, Kim, you suck.

In fourth grade, my dad sent a note to my teacher, saying she assigned too much homework because I was spending so much time working on things.  The teacher then went over the work with me, and explained that I was putting in way more effort than necessary, and that I was trying a little too hard to go above and beyond what was asked.  Oops.  Apparently I still haven't learned.  Only these days, I want to give up if I don't feel that I have the time to make something perfect.  I get very discouraged, thinking I might as well just quit.  I have yet to find that balance that most other students seem to have of just doing your best, realizing that sometimes life gets busy and sometimes the professor can actually do his job and teach me something new. 

But I'm getting there!  Today I will be handing in an assignment that is not very good - and I know it!  But it's not graded, and it's just assigned so that we are practicing writing...so I have decided that that's okay, and that I'll still be a successful student.  I can even spend time with my husband and my friends and watch a movie and keep living life, instead of being too wrapped up in being the perfect student in school.  As Bron, my awesome advisor at Long Beach State told me, I need to get a B!  I need to see that life will go on, and I'll still be a smart, capable person.

So...this post isn't really for anyone else except me...I'm psyching myself up for relaxing a bit and easing up on myself.  And I'm practicing my writing...for fun. :)
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