Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Love Letter

I am smitten with my husband.

This man deserves some sort of award for marrying me.  I still haven't figured out why he did it, or what I possibly could have done to trick him into choosing me (I think it had something to do with my hair - he's a sucker for curls), but whatever it was, I'm glad it happened.

I must admit, I'm a beast to live with day in and day out.  I am quite passionate, which sometimes translates into dramatic and ridiculous.  I have crazy opinions and I'm incredibly stubborn.  I hate to admit when I'm wrong and I would rather just try to do something cute so Sam forgets about being mad at me than to have to apologize.  Also, I am pretty lacking in the common sense area (many geniuses are...ha), which would be funny if I could laugh at myself, but instead I'm overly sensitive and get embarrassed when I say something stupid.

And yet he loves me.

He loves me a lot.  He loves me too much to let me be ridiculous.  He's good for me in a way that I love and am annoyed by all at the same time.  He knows what I'm capable of and pushes me.  He doesn't let me settle for less than my best.  When I am showing an ugly side, he points it out and tells me to stop it.  Essentially, he's just what I need.  We definitely disagree, and I hate it when anyone points out a weakness of mine, but that's what makes it real and honest.  If I was married to a man who didn't call me out on things, I'm sure I'd get bored, and would probably be a horrible person.  But, like any best friend should, Sam accepts me for who I am but loves me enough to encourage me to be better.

He's basically an adorable, studly man.  Even though he was allergic to cats, he bought me two of them because he knew how much I loved them.  He actually appreciates all the ridiculous songs I make up throughout the day about the cats or doing the dishes...or he might just be good at pretending he likes them. :) He works hard, genuinely loves others, and dances with me.  He's versatile and gifted in so many different areas, and I'm routinely surprised by yet another hidden talent of his.

I really just have a huge crush on him.

He's my lobster.


Total hottie.  Love him.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Time to Clean

I officially turned in my last paper of the semester yesterday, which means that today I am free.  Free from the burden of school - that heavy, relentless, blasted feeling that constantly reminds me I have books to read and papers to write before I can do anything remotely enjoyable.  Not that I don't find reading and writing enjoyable - I do!  That's why I'm an English major.  But I long for the day when I choose what I read and what I write!  And friends, I am happy to say that that day has finally arrived.

So...what to do with this new-found freedom?  Well, my poor husband is under the weather, so I get to do something I find most relaxing and enjoyable - clean!  And organize!  Our little loft has been facing lots of neglect recently, and I'm ready to show it some love.  I also plan to...wait for it...make a list!  Surprise, surprise, I can't wait to make a list of all the things I want to accomplish this summer - books to read, places to go, and all those other fun things on lists.  I found a wonderful ultimate to-do list on real simple magazine's web site that I can't wait to fill out.  I adore real simple, and find so many helpful tips on that site!  (It may or may not have a makeover-tool, I might have played with it for an hour, and that may or may not be a contributing reason why I chose to dye my hair red.)

Also, now that school is over, I feel happily inspired.  So I plan to write, write, and write. 

"Oh, how sweet the light of day, and how wonderful to live in the sunshine!  Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted.  Take delight in each light-filled hour, remembering that there will also be many dark days." -Ecc. 11:7-8

Taking advantage of any light-filled hours I can, because I'm all too familiar with those dark days.  I encourage you to do the same!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Poor Me

I have become rather impatient with complaining lately.  I know, I know, as we mature we're supposed to become better people and be more patient, right?  Well, not me.  I think it's an impatience for myself that I end up projecting on to others.  I can be quite a victim.  When bad things happen, it is really easy for me to say, "Look at all I've been through, I deserve to feel bad and be sad and you should feel sorry for me!"  But then, interestingly, I get annoyed when people feel sorry for me.  What a weirdo, right?  I think because I don't like myself as a victim.  Who likes a helpless, pathetic person?

Seriously, why do we complain so much?  Really, is life that bad that we can't see all the blessings?  Is there really that much to worry about?  We have food, homes, and people that we love and that love us.  We are among the richest in the world, considering we have indoor plumbing, cell phones, cars, etc.  Not to mention, we were created by the God of the universe who is crazy in love with us.  Yet we still find so much to complain about, so much to hold us back, that we sometimes allow the bad to outweigh the good.  Why?

I had to write three major essays for my finals this year, and two of them were based on this theme of "quit complaining, suck it up, and deal with it."  One of them was pretty open-ended - just an essay about the future of the university.  I discussed how it is the responsibility of the students to be sovereign over their education, and how they can't blame the school or anything else if they fail.  Very tough, very blunt.  No coddling here.  (I sort of felt like I was writing to myself...in a weird way with the good angel on my one shoulder lecturing the devil on my right shoulder.)  My second final was a literary analysis on the Shakespearean play Othello.  How did I make Othello about not giving up?  Simple.  I did a character analysis of Desdemona, who suffers a lot of mistreatment throughout the play and yet still maintains her dignity and acts with integrity right up until the part where she's murdered by her husband.  (Othello is a very dark play, and creepy.)  I showed how she was the true hero of the play because she did not fall into the victim trap.  (The funny thing is that I have the same professor for these two different classes, so I'm wondering if he will sense that same theme when he grades my papers.)

I didn't even realize this theme until I finished both finals and read them.  That's when I realized that I've lost my patience with people who feel sorry for themselves (including me).  Don't get me wrong - if you're experiencing something genuinely difficult, I do sympathize.  I hate the idea of people I love suffering in any way, and I'm happy to listen to my friends who need to talk about painful or trying situations they are in.  I hope I'm not coming across as a cold-hearted jerk, because I'm not.  I know that there are really painful things in life, and I mourn with those who mourn, cry along with them, and pray for their pain to be healed.  I guess I should clarify that I've lost my patience with people who choose to make their problems bigger than they really are.  I guess maybe it's the lack of perspective that particularly annoys me, especially if it is holding people back from really loving and appreciating life.

My gift is exhortation.  That means that I love encouraging others.  But more than that, I love encouraging others to move beyond whatever situation they are in.  If you are sad, I will sit and be sad with you.  But if you only want to complain and feel sorry for yourself and make your sad time last as long as possible, I might just point to my flower tattoo and say, "I think you're stronger than this, and you need to suck it up and keep living your life."  Actually, I probably wouldn't say that exactly, but it would be the idea.

Ultimately...each day is God's gift...make the most of each one!  We can't really do that when we're choosing to focus on all the bad things.

 ...and if you catch me playing that victim role, please, by all means, remind me of my own blog.  I love being preached at with my own words.  ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cutes

Wow, you can tell by the amount of blog posts for May what a crazy, busy, ridiculous, awful month it was.  My inspiration is pretty light these days, but I'm trying to slowly get back into it.  For now, I'll just share a few cute pictures.  Our camera card broke, so until we receive the new one from Costco, I've only been able to take pictures on my phone.  Sorry for the poor quality...my phone is rather old.  But the pictures are still cute.

First is precious Willow, laying on the top shelf of her new castle.


Morty is the weirdest little boy cat.  He lays in the most random positions.  Check out his little feet in the above picture.  And enjoy the fat furry tummy in the picture below.

And finally the man who has made me the happiest woman in the world, my cute husband.  And he's standing proudly next to the aforementioned kitty castle he bought for the kittens.  He loves me so much that he actually loves these cats. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Flower

I got a tattoo today.  My first.  As I've said before, gerbera daisies were Sara's favorite flower.  I chose orange, since her favorite color was red and my favorite color is yellow - I figured orange would be a good compromise.  I got it on my wrist because I wanted a reminder of her and who she was.  Frankly, I am humbled by her strength and character, and she inspired me to make the most of the life I've been given.  This flower will hopefully help me remember to do that.

Here's the thing: I need a reminder.  Persevering doesn't come naturally to me.  Working hard doesn't come naturally to me.  Being nice doesn't come naturally to me, either.  When life is hard, all I want to do is eat ice cream and watch Friends episodes over and over and over, an option I've chosen, unfortunately, more times than I care to admit.  I'd love to say that my natural tendencies are really honorable, but the fact is that they are not.  My natural inclination is to be lazy and inconsiderate of others.  How's that for honesty?

I have to constantly ask God for the strength to make the right decision, to be kind, and to keep going.  I really can't take credit for the times I do things well.  So for those of who think I am some great, hopeful, hardworking person...boy do I have you fooled! :) 

Anyway...here's my tattoo.  I want to get more shading done on it, so it's not exactly complete.

And here's pictures of me before getting it.

See how I'm smiling?  Yeah, then I saw the needle.

I'll put up another picture when it's all done.  Until then...live your best life. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Every detail

I have serious writer's block.  All I can do is quote what other people say.  Sorry, last two weeks of school, you're getting crap from Kimberly.  Anyway...I'll quote a much better writer here...

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."

That's from the Message Bible, Romans 8:26-28.  Just wanted to encourage anyone out there who might be having a hard day.  God is still good, and even when we're tired in the waiting, He's still helping us along.

Resting in His love today.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Legacy

I'm reading Uncle Tom's Cabin for one of my literature classes, and came across this passage today that particularly struck a chord:

"Has there ever been a child like Eva?  Yes, there have been; but their names are always on grave-stones, and their sweet smiles, their heavenly eyes, their singular words and ways, are among the buried treasures of yearning hearts.  In how many families do you hear the legend that all the goodness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar charms of one who is not.  It is as if heaven had an especial band of angels, whose office it was to sojourn for a season here, and endear to them the wayward human heart, that they might bear it upward with them in their homeward flight.  When you see that deep, spiritual light in the eye, - when the little soul reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than the ordinary words of children, - hope not to retain that child; for the seal of heaven is on it, and the light of immortality looks out from its eyes."

It has become clear, as we reminisce about Sara's life and reflect on her words, that her wisdom was far beyond her years.  She surely had the seal of heaven on her, and her angelic spirit certainly drew wayward human hearts closer to heaven.  Even though she is no longer in this world, her legacy continues to inspire and draw people closer to God, which is exactly what she wanted.

Another song.  Sorry people, music is just what helps.


Also, here is a painting that Sam made for Sara's casket:


Gerbera daisies were Sara's favorite.  The two flowers on the left represent Woody and Noreen, and the three flowers on the right represent Sam, Heidi, and Kari.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sweet Sara

I don't know if God has favorites, but if He does, I'm willing to bet Sara is one of them.  I like to imagine that God anxiously awaited her arrival - pushed to the front of the line so He could be first to hug her and see her precious smile.  It's no wonder He couldn't wait to bring her home.  She was just too beautiful for this world.


This is one of my favorite pictures of Sara.  Her walk down the aisle was much more special than mine at our wedding, believe me.  I love that this moment is captured, and her joy is apparent.

That's all I can say.  There's infinitely more to say about Sara's sweet soul, but the words don't come as easily as the tears right now.   My mind still resists the thought that she's really gone, while my heart rejoices for her finally being free from this sad world.  I'm sure she's sharing her laughter with the heavenly hosts and teaching them how to play Crazy Rum.  How lucky heaven is to have her home, and how blessed we all were to know and experience her light.  Miss you, Sara.  Love you so much.

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