80s Movies

November 2018 – Favorite Things

We’ve raked leaves the past few weekends and we have two feet of the little guys crunching down into our garden bed for winter. My hands have blisters, we’ve taken trips to Lowes, and our new leaf blower is getting a work out. I fear I will have to rake again this weekend. Halloween is over and Starbucks releases their infamous Red Cups tomorrow.  Notice how I mark the passing of time with Starbucks beverages? Apparently, I’m not the only one as I came across this countdown yesterday.

I feel ready to think about the holidays, perhaps earlier than my usual self, and am starting to dream of snow, hot cocoa, and seasonal things. I usually wait until Thanksgiving to indulge in festivities, but this year feels different.

As we wait for December, here are some favorite things that are taking up space in my heart and my closet.

  1. Jag Jeans

When I first saw these pull-on jeans I started laughing. On the rack, they look like maternity pants. However, after a friends recommendation, I tried some on and on me, a person, they became the most comfortable pants I now own. So take them off the hanger, or just take my word for it, and buy a pair of black, comfort jeans in your size.

2. Pink Lipstick

I bought some frosty pink lipstick for my Halloween costume – Samantha from Sixteen Candles – and I actually kinda like it. The 80’s are coming back right? Can I wear it to work?

3. Hot Apple Cider with Brandy in it.

As the nights get colder, it’s nice to sit and sip by the fire. If you want to get fancy you can add spices, like this recipe here, but honestly I just mix the two simple ingredients. Serve in mugs like this.

4.  We were GIFTED a dishwasher.

Sometimes God answers prayers in mysterious ways. I have been praying to see God’s provision in my life because most of the time I have a hard time trusting it’s going to come. And then, boooooom, we were gifted a brand new (ok, two year old, but still) dishwasher.

God is present, listening, comforting, active, joy.

I had a conversation with a friend who told me, “God always comes in joy and peace.” Not shame, not fear, not feelings of inadequacy. Joy. and. Peace.

And dishwashers.

5. This blurb someone posted on Facebook.

I always fall asleep during Lord of the Rings, but this metaphor makes sense to me. I dream of turning into Pippin and Merry.

“My mother once told me that trauma is like Lord of the Rings. You go through this crazy, life-altering thing that almost kills you (like say having to drop the one ring into Mount Doom), and that thing by definition cannot possibly be understood by someone who hasn’t gone through it. They can sympathize sure, but they’ll never really know, and more than likely they’ll expect you to move on from the thing fairly quickly. And they can’t be blamed, people are just like that, but that’s not how it works.

Some lucky people are like Sam. They can go straight home, get married, have a whole bunch of curly headed Hobbit babies and pick up their gardening right where they left off, content to forget the whole thing and live out their days in peace. Lots of people however, are like Frodo, and they don’t come home the same person they were when they left, and everything is more horrible and more hard then it ever was before. The old wounds sting and the ghost of the weight of the one ring still weighs heavy on their minds, and they don’t fit in at home anymore, so they get on boats go sailing away to the Undying West to look for the sort of peace that can only come from within. Frodos can’t cope, and most of us are Frodos when we start out.

But if we move past the urge to hide or lash out, my mother always told me, we can become Pippin and Merry. They never ignored what had happened to them, but they were malleable and receptive to change. They became civic leaders and great storytellers; they we able to turn all that fear and anger and grief into narratives that others could delight in and learn from, and they used the skills they had learned in battle to protect their homeland. They were fortified by what had happened to them, they wore it like armor and used it to their advantage.

It is our trauma that turns us into guardians, my mother told me, it is suffering that strengthens our skin and softens our hearts, and if we learn to live with the ghosts of what had been done to us, we just may be able to save others from the same fate.”

S.T. Gibson

In an effort to turn my grief into narrative, or at least take away the stigma, I’ve joined The Dinner Party to raise money for their end of year campaign. Can you help me reach my goal of $500 to support grief groups for 20-30 somethings who have experienced loss? People like me?

All funds raised go towards their goal of $75,000 to match hundreds of folks to tables across the country as well as awareness events and public campaigns.

Donate here and spread the word.


I Think Ferris Is Right

Doesn't it though?

I’ve got that good old Ferris Bueller’s Day Off quote stuck in my head. Can you believe how young Matthew Broderick looks in this photo? Do you think he looks at this picture and thinks of his character’s iconic quote, and thinks “sheesh, I’m sick of hearing those words but a heck of a lot has happened since I became famous for saying them?” Maybe I will tweet him and ask.

I have been dwelling on this thought a bit over the past few days. I think maybe since August 1st when I woke up and said, “Holy Moly it’s August!” Or I looked at my count down app on my phone and realized I have just 33 days left until the wedding. We’ve been counting down and planning and hoping and changing and growing so much in the last two years that it feels rather surreal to be only a month out to the big day. I’m not going back to school, but I’ve got that feeling of back to school anxiety as I know the summer is winding down. We didn’t get the chance to go camping, or take much vacation, or go to the beach because we’ve been meeting caterers and doing tastings, and scrimping on budget, and making things out of tulle and poking and proding ourselves into dresses, and laughing through this funny process called planning a wedding instead.

I was writing in my journal about how messy our house is, and how frustrated I can get that I don’t feel like I have a ton of time to catch up on laundry and I want envelopes to go away, and receipts, and planning books, and to do lists to reach completion. It would be nice to see the surface of my kitchen table. Then, I felt like this little voice was saying, ‘the wedding is going to be done in only 33 days! Enjoy this mess, enjoy the tulle, enjoy the to-do lists’. Ferris is right – this is all moving kinda fast.

This week I don’t really feel I have one prolific beautiful moment. Instead, maybe I just slowed down a tiny bit to observe a few beautiful moments in other’s lives. On Friday night one of my best friends came to visit and we got to catch up on life and talk about dating and boys (are we old enough to call them men?) and we decided perhaps your twenties are the decade you figure out all that you thought you were going to do is a scam; it’s more fun to start doing all that you want to do. That’s a freeing thought isn’t it? We were downtown and I saw a mom with 4 kids all in matching pastel outfits eating ice cream on a bench, That’s a beautiful image. Summer is about ice-cream, and bright colors, and lining up with family to enjoy a nice evening out. Or maybe you don’t enjoy it so you just get your mom to buy you ice cream.

Saturday I got to take my new favorite bus downtown with my mom. We joked about the people riding it, talked about social anxiety, and I waited patiently for her while she got her hair done. I know we may not always live close enough where I can ride my bike to her house, walk to the bus, spend all day with her wasting time and drinking coffee and playing caddy games. Have I mentioned how awesome my mom is. She made me a wedding bib – isn’t this beautiful? I’ve been having so much anxiety about spilling Italian food on my white wedding dress that we’ve always joked about me wearing a bib for the big day. Well she made one. And it actually looks kinda elegant. It’s beautiful to me. I can’t wait to wear it.

Wedding Bib fit for a Queen

Wedding Bib fit for a Queen

Today, as I went to get coffee at the coffee shop that is WAY too close to work an older woman was outside singing and playing her guitar. (I broke down – resisting lattes is SO hard). What courage it takes to be yourself and be vulnerable with a guitar and a beautiful voice and some lyrics that portray her view of the world. I’m not good at slowing down, and I spend a lot of time wishing I was somewhere else. I think this week, though, I was just reminded to look for the little things again because heck, this year is moving pretty fast. Only 33 days! And then the next big adventure will begin.

What little things can you notice if you slow down? Would you wear a wedding bib? Do you like 80’s movies?