Thursday, March 30, 2017

untitled, except that is a title

I am up late crying. Never mind why. I am the only one awake in the house and it is dark and rainy, and I don't know what it is that I should write; only that I must. (It's therapeutic for me.) So here's my summary of today for no reason.

Today was good. I love days of full rain. Peter watched a movie first thing this morning while I ran around cleaning for the day of teaching in the living room. I planned each of the eight lessons, then got Peter into new clothes. I bought him a pair of jeans from ThredUp, and by some magic, they look cool and actually fit.

Even though I only teach a few hours each week, Thursdays are my longest stretch, and I miss being able to have Peter run up to show me things or say hi. So Thursday mornings I try to intentionally play and talk with him before handing him over to Grandma. He's been into giving random, free hugs and kisses lately, so our time of reading and playing ball on the basement floor was especially sweet.

Teaching went well today. Sometimes I end the day wondering why/how I even got into this because I feel I can't explain anything clearly, but today I felt like communication was good and progress was made.

Even though our dinner plan got messed up, it was still fun because Peter and I ran to Meijer with Dad, and that's ALWAYS interesting. We had everything from discounted salami to dry-erase markers in the cart. I ate two Milano cookies on the way home (fail). Dad put the pizza in the oven while I disastrously played through my favorite sacred piano arrangement at fortissimo. My goodness, is piano playing a stress-reliever for me! And playing the piano while it's raining outside is basically my favorite thing in the world to do.

Dad left for a quote so it was just Peter and me at home. I took him and our dinner upstairs and we finished watching Despicable Me and I popped in The Phantom Menace. (Peter kept asking for BB-8, and I told him no less than 5 times that this wasn't the one!) Chris got home and he and Peter wrestled like crazy people in the basement. I knocked out several more chapters of my current read, The Neverending Story, while Chris got Peter sleeping.

And here I am. Sunk a bit too deep in thoughts and memories and needing diversion before my already-red eyes and nose get redder still. Read any good poems lately? My best and dearest poem collection is packed away in one of those totes somewhere, and I miss it. All the people that I used to talk poetry with are no longer in my life, and I count that a great loss. Poetry is, in all seriousness, like a salve to me.

Anyway, I'm off to see what I can watch for free on Amazon Prime. Thankfully I can sleep in tomorrow.

EDIT: So I signed up for a free trial of Hulu because I didn't like anything I was seeing on Amazon. Ended up watching the pilot of a new show I've been interested in and bawled my eyes out at the ending. THIS IS MADNESS. lol

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

spring

tonight
the grey
lost its hold
on the sun,
and the ball of flame
slipped boldly,
vibrantly,
out of its chain of cloud
and stepped
over

over

over
the sea of dark
to light the sky
and paint in pink,
purple, fire.

it looked
ever so much
like hope.
like spring
making its promises
known to the world
thru shards of broken,
beautiful light.

and the door
of my heart
swung
open

open

open
with words calm and still:
"come in,
come in,
come in!"

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 // the year of distractions

It's that time of year again. I'm sitting here with a finished planner and a big list of things that happened this past year, and it's time to blog. I am not ashamed of saying I am unspeakably happy 2016 is over. It was without question the hardest and worst year of my life. I know there are those that are making us all feel guilty about having a bad taste left in our mouths once the year ended, but this is not a time of flowers and butterflies for me. My heart was utterly broken this year, from January till December, and I will not let that be invalidated by anyone. If you had a great year of positive happenings and joyful events and accomplished goals, yay. I am truly happy for you. If you had an awful year of disappointments, unfulfilled expectations, and lost people/relationships, I feel you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Yes, we all have things we take for granted and should be thankful for always, and no, our lives are not as miserable as some others, but that does not lessen the burden of daily hurt. It does not take away the tears that flow just as steadily from small sorrows as those caused by life-altering sadness. God sees all brokenness, big and small. It all is seen by Him.

Okay. With that said, I want to share my year with you. Instead of facing my sadness and depression head-on like I should have, and delving deep into Scripture for my comfort, I did the Jonah thing and ran away from my thoughts via multiple distractions. Just being real right now. I bought tickets to everything. I read everything. I watched everything. So you'll see a lot of stuff here and probably think, "Wow. That girl had so much fun." And I did. But it was temporary, and with a faulty motive. One of my goals for this new year is to not shirk from my thoughts. If I have an issue, I need to deal with it in a calm and biblical way. It's so easy to stare at various screens to "escape." That only delays healing and growth. So here we go. This is gonna be long. ;)

January - My grandma Pat died on the 3rd, and I had no clue how much that would affect me. I was a mess for several months. I miss her so much! That month I also started my Invisalign journey. My teeth had shifted since getting my braces off, so this was the next step to getting back to where I was.
February - My brother's gf Jordan and I got to meet Victoria Aveyard, the author of the Red Queen series. We had never been to a book signing before, so that was such a cool experience! Peter suffered through his very first haircut. Our family also enjoyed a quick trip to Gulf Shores, AL for Valentine's Day.

  March - Peter enjoyed his first Easter egg hunt at a beautiful park. We enjoyed having the whole family together for the day. Later in the month, Jordan and I went to another book signing, this time getting to meet the lovely Lauren Conrad!  

 April - This was the month for recitals. I had a small recital for my students, and later in the month, got to play in my sister Charlotte's grad recital. I was thankful to get to have a part in her special day! I was also super excited to finally purchase the violin I've been renting for years and years, and now I can officially call it mine!

May - My birthday was epic this year. Jordan and I went to BookCon in Chicago. We got there very early and sat in lines for hours, but it paid off because we met all the authors on our list and still had time to look around at all the booths! We met the Property Brothers, Sabaa Tahir, and James Dashner. We also got to listen to an awesome panel by Lauren Oliver, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Melissa de la Cruz. When we got home, Mike and Jordan threw me a Beauty and the Beast themed party! Everything was just beautiful, and we got to watch the movie afterwards with Charlotte's friends Jaclyn and Jacob. That month as well, God brought me some much-needed fellowship with my friends Cathy and Kelly. We get together once a month now, and our time together is so dear to me. At the end of the month, I went to yet another book signing, where I got to meet Daymond John of Shark Tank fame. 





June - Mike, Jordan, Chris, and I enjoyed a full day at Six Flags, where the lines weren't nearly as bad as we expected!
July - Our family once again went up to my aunt and uncle's cabin in Hayward, WI for a quick trip. Peter had a blast! Chris and I went downtown and watched Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark while the amazing Chicago Symphony Orchestra played the score live. Very cool. Charlotte, Mom, our friend Kathy, and I enjoyed watching a live performance of Guys and Dolls. Oh my word, that was fun! I just discovered that musical this year and it's one of my faves.

 August - Charlotte and I met up with friends to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens outside! I need one of those inflatable screens. Seriously. I also got to hear Sarah McLachlan and Josh Groban live in concert! That was just amazing. I couldn't believe I was able to go. I also played in the most fun ensemble ever for church. We had 26 violin, viola, and cello players playing "Holy, Holy, Holy." It was simply wonderful.
September - Chris and I celebrated his birthday and our fourth anniversary by staying overnight in a cabin at Starved Rock. It was a fast but fun little getaway. Charlotte, her bf Jacob, Chris, and I went to the concert of a lifetime: Piano Guys! It was probably the best concert I've ever been to. They were so funny and wonderful, and of course the music was spectacular. We would go again in a heartbeat! We finished out the month by flying to Sanibel, FL with my bro- and sis-in-law, Todd and Anna, and their little guy, Keith. We both had honeymooned there, so it was SO special to go back together and hit all our favorite beaches and restaurants!



October - We finally took Peter to the Shedd Aquarium for the first time. He wasn't as impressed as he was with the zoo, but we still had a good time. ;)
November - I voted for the first time ever. It felt weird. Peter turned 2 on the 16th, and my heart is sad that my "little baby" doesn't look like a little baby anymore! For Thanksgiving, we drove up to Wisconsin to spend the holiday with my mom's step-brother, Dennis. That was random but very fun and nice. 
December - I started training for a 5K in July, and on the 3rd of December, I ran my first 5K! Chris ran with me 'cause he's cool like that. It felt absolutely amazing to reach my goal. I also got to go with some friends to see The Phantom of the Opera performed live in downtown Chicago. For Christmas, we drove to South Dakota for a big Marsceau reunion. It was so fun to see the grandparents with all 15 of the grandkids!



I stayed pretty busy music-wise again this year. I played a total of 5 concerts, 2 recitals, and 1 gig. I played with a chamber orchestra at the annual state homeschool convention. I sang in our church's choir cantata for Christmas. It was my first time singing a solo in church too so that was a big deal for my scaredy-cat self! I taught several students this year, and starting next week I'll be teaching 15. (Three are Skype students, and two are piano!) 

I watched a lot of movies, both new and old. VidAngel was addicting. I'm so sad they're down! Jordan got me hooked on this site called Letterboxd. (It's basically the Goodreads of the movie world.) You can see my profile here

I also read an insane amount of books. On Goodreads, my reading goal was 30 books. I ended up reading 46. (!!!!) If you're interested in seeing what they were and how I liked them, you can check them out here

So yeah. The past year was full and crazy. We are still living in my family's house, as the addition project is still going on. That was one of the "hard things" of the year. ;) I'm definitely having to work on patience and a positive attitude when it comes to getting back into our house. Hey, it'll make it that much sweeter when we finally DO get back in there, right?? I can't wait.

My goals for 2017 are working on positive self-talk, reading my Bible every day, learning how to make lip balm, losing weight, running a 10K, and making healthy eating a lifestyle, not a temporary diet. Veronica Roth said something that has stuck with me: "2017 will be different. Not because it is inevitable. Because we say so." I don't want to sit back and complain about what I don't have or how I want things to be. I want to get up, roll up my sleeves, and work to make myself and my life better. I want to be present, and not miss a single moment of joy that God has tucked into the little cracks of daily life. Each day is a gift. I intend to open it and be thankful. :)

P.S. - Formatting? What's that? lol Sorry about the sloppy construction of this post. I have no clue how to do anything cool. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

oh hello

Hey there, little space of mine. I just wanted to say I had a wonderful, good-for-my-heart Christmas and I hope you did too. I am eagerly anticipating the death of 2016 (a hard, bitter year), but also looking forward to the year-in-summary blog post that goes along with that. Despite many "bumps" shall we say, the year held many fun distractions that I will very much enjoy reviewing. I'm also playing around with doing a video - yes, VIDEO - review of all the books I read this year. (46 so far!!) Not sure if I'll have the courage, but we will see. 

It is snowing now, and today is my last day of holiday break from teaching, so I think I will drink some hot chocolate and listen to some J*** Gr***n while I knock out some must-dos. Love y'all. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Peter's Birthday

Today being Peter's birthday, I am full of warm-fuzzy thoughts and emotional reflections and the like. 

I remember Christmas 2013. I had been wanting to have a baby so badly, and being around Chris's side of the family did nothing to help distract me from my baby fever. (Think kids on top of kids. And they're all gorgeous.) My mother-in-law came to me nearly bursting with joy, bearing the news that my sister-in-law was expecting. I was like, "Oh, yay!" And practically flew back to our room, curled up on the bottom bunk with my pillow, and cried. That was honestly the last thing I wanted to hear, even though I truly was excited for her and looked forward to having another niece. I scribbled some selfish, sad notes in my journal and went to bed. 

In January of the next year, I was getting ready for a full day of teaching. I had been feeling kinda queasy for a while but was in denial mode because my family was teasing me constantly and it had gotten old. I decided that day to take a test just for kicks. Thirty minutes before my first lesson. So dumb. BECAUSE, it was positive! I started trembling uncontrollably and didn't know what to do with that information. To this day I regret what I did next, because I could've done it so much better or cuter, but I texted Chris some dorky thing to tell him. Like, how not special is that?? And what was worse, his response was very boring. Even that night when he came home, he talked of everything but that. Guys are just so weird. 

Being pregnant was a lot easier than I had imagined, but then I only suffered from morning sickness for about a month so I was lucky in that respect. I had been so very lonely being at our house all by myself all the time. It was too quiet. I didn't like being the only living thing in a little square house, so I bought an aloe vera plant. I considered buying a fish. I got creeped out by the silence so I had started listening to audio books and CDs over and over all day. I watched way too many movies from Redbox. So having Peter inside me and with me throughout the day was a very special blessing from God, in a very personal, answer-to-prayer kind of way. I couldn't wait to have a real live PERSON to care for every day!

I jumped all around for my prenatal care, as my idea of what a fantastic birth would look like changed several times. :P But one thing stayed the same: the few times I got to see Peter on the ultrasound were like opening the very best present you've ever received, getting to look at it for 5 minutes, and then being forced to put it back into the box. :( I couldn't wait to meet him!

I've already talked about my birth story here and here, so I needn't bore you with that again, but I just want to say once again that God had us in His hands the entire time, and sometimes the "perfect plan" that doesn't work out still turns out perfectly, His way. I saw God's grace and specific care for me much more in that downtown Chicago hospital, hooked up to all kinds of things I never wanted, than if I had been all cozy and zen in the comfort of my own home, thinking I was the one in control. ;) 

Peter was finally, finally born on November 16th, 2014, at 12:54 PM. Pastor announced his birth to all my church family that night, and he along with many others avoided saying Peter's middle name, because who in tarnation knows how to pronounce Emile??? People started bringing us dinners and I went just a little crazy not knowing what I was doing. Seriously the only thread that kept me hanging onto my sanity was the late-night games of Sorry Chris and I played. We'd be exhausted, and really we should've been sleeping since Peter was, but I'd be like, "Wanna play?" "Yup." And we'd silently stare at the gameboard with dead eyes and enjoy being together, still breathing, for a few minutes before the kid woke up again. 

Oh, the wonderful messiness of parenthood! I love it, I love it, I love it. Every single day is different and holds discovery and adventure and fun. The last two years have held so much joy for Chris and me as we watch Peter go from crawling to walking, and babbling to talking, and so many other things. I am so thankful today, and every day, for the gift of Peter. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!





Monday, November 14, 2016

11.14.16

Hi guys. I've been doing more exciting things than blogging. Like placing a bunch of new books on hold at my library and picking them up all at once where I almost can't hold them in my arms (and looking like a total nerd). And trying on a pair of skinny jeans at TJMaxx because I haven't worn a pair of jeans in 11 years, and I've always wondered what I'd look like now and how it would feel. (I looked strange and awkward and it felt terrible.) I also watched the just-released new trailer for next year's much-anticipated film Beauty and the Beast and was a little sad I didn't like it more. (The teaser made me gasp and fangirl and I probably rewatched it about 50 times.)

So anyway. I am so far behind on the gratitude challenge thing that I'm giving it up. The journal prompts were kind of dumb, to be honest. So I'm going to talk about random things I'm thankful for instead.

For example, this has taken me years to realize, but I am truly thankful God has moved my family around so much, because many good things have come out of it. We have gotten to see many cool places across the country. I LOVE traveling, and having seen both oceans and a bunch of places in-between is something I am forever grateful for.

I am thankful for my parents' and grandparents' view that "you can never have too many books or too much music." :) I know it's kind of a "haha" thing that I'm so obsessed with books, but you fellow book lovers will understand me when I say that I count them as friends. I love to just sit and go through my books and remember the stories they tell and what they mean to me. This year brought the wonderful joy of reading to my son. We go to the library at least once a week now, and he knows to run through the rows of picture books and point to the ones he wants, and put them in our bag. :) Books will help with imagination, vocabulary (and thus spelling and grammar), open-mindedness, and thoughtfulness, and I hope Peter grows up to love books as much as his mommy does (minus the bordering-on-hoarder tendency).

I'm thankful for my handful of friends that have stayed relatively the same over the years, and are bright pictures of Christ and His unconditional love and faithfulness. I don't know what I'd do without you.

That's all for now. Today has been a tired day and I feel like typing forever, but I don't know what kind of a post I'd end up with and I'm already unhappy with my lack of grammar right now.