September 15, 2014

26


I'm four years away from thirty.  I use facial cleansers and moisturizes daily and wear sunscreen and sunhats all summer.  I have streaks of white hair if I don't part my hair the right way.  I take medications for health issues.  I have to watch what and how much I eat.  Regardless, I still get mistaken for a college freshman daily on-campus and I'm okay with that :).

I've accomplished more than I thought I would at this age and I have a lot more than I knew to even dream.  I have a husband who encourages me to be my best and has, without fail, always forgiven and understood my many weaker attributes.  I'm in graduate school studying something I have been interested in for years.  Our life is extremely suburban with a mortgage, a yard, a pet, callings in church, and I get a lot of pure enjoyment from inviting people over for dinner.

The last two years have been full of a lot of chaos and I've had a lot of tender mercies experiences to keep me going.  I'm a firm believer that we develop our capacity to see life more beautifully and have happiness by contrast; I've had very little control over the roller coaster I've been on the last few years, but I know that we have a lot of blessings coming our way, and I'm going to work my hardest to see them as they come.

September 7, 2014

may angels lead you in

My Mom called last Saturday to tell me that my sister had passed away.  It has really been an emotional roller coaster.  I either am completely stoic, and can talk about it perfectly fine, or I'm completely wailing and snotting everywhere.

My sister had a really unfair start to life.  My parents adopted her from foster care from one of the worse situations the state had seen.  It caused a lot of pain and anger in her life, and made her severely mentally ill.  When I was adopted, it caused a lot of resentment, and we have struggled my whole life trying to have a healthy relationship.  Mental health issues kept snowballing until Anne overdosed every time my parents visited me last year.  Since the past time, in April, Anne has been unable to walk, leave bed, and had multiple organ failures. 

This past year has been incredibly heavy for my family.  I hope that Anne can find some of the peace that life didn't afford her.  I hope that my parents and myself can receive peace.  I sincerely hope that the next time she and I meet that she won't be so burdened with mental health issues.  I hope that she can realize I desperately wanted to have a healthy relationship with her and it hurt me a lot that we couldn't.  I hope when we do meet again, we'll be proud of all of the accomplishments and progress we have both made, and we'll be happy.  I hope someday we can truly be sisters.

August 28, 2014

welcome to graduate school life

I've been day dreaming about grad school for about half of my life.  I remember when I found the program I'm in now in December of 2011 and I thought "I'm not smart enough for that program, but if I was, then I would totally apply."  I have always had an interest in teaching English to foreigners, but I never lived anywhere where it would be practical.  When we moved here, I realized how many opportunities there were, but it took a little bit longer for me to get up the guts to do it!

My first day of graduate school was Monday and I've had my first week of classes now.  I have been surrounded by people literally from all over the world, and all over the United States, with such interesting perspectives.  I feel so gracious that one of my dreams is coming true, that I prayed and received the confidence to pursue this (because I AM smart enough!), and that I have a supportive husband that wants me to be myself and be happy.
Atlanta has both an amazing experience and kind of terrifying (sexual harassment is a big problem I have discovered).  I've learned how to drive in the city, use parking deck tokens, and use two different types of public transit in the last 10 days;  I'm learning which streets to avoid and which ones to use when I have to walk somewhere. 
 
I love learning, meeting new people, and the routine that school gives me; I'm ready for the next two or three years!

August 19, 2014

my old Kentucky home

Prior to transferred to BYU, my whole life, I lived in a 45 minute radius in Kentucky.  I knew we would probably never live there again, mainly because the lack of jobs, but I've always thought Kentucky is the most beautiful place I've ever lived; people are nicer here, life is slower, and I really appreciate and need that sometimes to feel more grounded.
 
My parents sold their house before they even put it on the market which was a huge surprise in this economically depressed area; I know God is giving them their stamp or approval.  There has been so much chaos and stress in our family that I have limited my visits to Kentucky for the past two years.  It was bittersweet to say goodbye, but I knew it was time.  Consequently, I drove up to Kentucky ready to part and just keep the memories.

I drove by the house I grew up in for 15 years, until I didn't have any sentimental cries anymore, and was shocked when it actually still had our name on the mailbox (hint: we haven't lived there for like ten years).  It was weird to see the for sale sign on it, just like when we moved to the country, my junior year of high school.  I drove back and forth, and saw the house I said I always wanted to move back to and fix up, until I just smiled.  I put in CDs from high school and drove to my first job.  I drove past the quaint university where I lived my freshman year.
 
I called up my childhood best friends and told them my parents were moving to Arkansas.  They were surprised about the move, but we have ended up spending almost everyday together.  We laughed and cried so much about the crazy situations adulthood has given us and about all the years of school, vacations, and times together.  It has genuinely been one of the first times, in a really long time, I felt like I have just been able to be myself around someone who wasn't my husband.  A vacation to Nashville, with the three of us, is definitely in the works now.

The little town that seemed like such a big world to me growing up looked so tiny now after living in the suburbs of Atlanta.  When I go back in a few years, it will probably still be exactly the same, but I'm not and that's okay.  I felt like a little girl driving home and packing up, and after a few hours talking to God on the way home, I felt like an adult again when I arrived home.

August 16, 2014

Devin's summer project

This was our first summer with a yard.  It meant one things for us: GROWING VEGETABLES!  It has been Devin's project since spring: planting, taking care of the small plants, and then picking the veggies.  We have a lot to learn from this year, but since it rains so much here, it was so low maintenance!  I love having fresh veggies!

His plants are starting to dye off now, but we will be definitely doing this next year. :)