Every boy I ever loved.

I used to do this thing with every boy that I loved, I would gather up everything. Everything I ever wrote about them. A compilation. A ceremony. Of me and him. I would give it to him, at parting. I think I was trying to say, “That me will always give this much to you. This me will let you keep it, but this me will say goodbye.” I often think of those people, and hurt. I cannot believe I am not theirs to need. To love is to let yourself need. And though you can love many, you only let yourself need one. They were pieces of me, but I gave them back. In me are many holes now. To fill them is my quest. Like so many old rooms, rented for free.

In you I find a permanence. You could go in those rooms, and know them. You would sit down in my vacantness, like you do, and say, Come, let’s look into this. You could name the settled dust, the empty frames. You would know why and how they changed me. And then you would say, I will buy you a house full of rooms. For you to own. And you can fill them with things that will last you. And you can empty them when you are ready. And always, always I will help you fill them again. For you, a home. With me.

(My pages of you: I keep them. Because I have kept you.)

Thoughts on: Having a Baby

I have to tell you something awesome:
There is a little human. In my belly.
I am a Mom.

I feel ten million things about this.
Mostly I feel: A Certain Type of Excited.

Not Disney World Excited. Not like sitting in the back of the mini van with zero reservations shouting YEAHHH THIS IS GOING TO BE SO FUN LET’S GOOOO!

More like the type of excited I felt before I became a missionary. Like I have so much hope and desire to do this but I am also SCARED because I want CHANGE THE WORLD and am I really READY or CAPABLE of such a MONUMENTAL venture?
…YES! What?! Noooooo! Wait, yes yes yes!

There is a word for this certain type of excitement:
awe |ô|
noun
1. a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.

The source of this reverence, fear, and wonder:
I believe that every person is made of a spirit–you might call it a soul–and a body. While our bodies began existing sometime in the womb, our spirits existed long before that, and will continue to exist long after. In other words, I believe all of our spirits are infinite, that we have no definite beginning or end.

The idea that our spirits live on after we die isn’t new, but the idea that our spirits existed before we were born– sometimes that’s new. And that is what I’m getting at here.

That’s what the Lord was getting at when he said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” He’s saying, before you were born, I knew you personally. I gave you a purpose that you were to fulfill while you were here on earth. For Jeremiah it was to be a prophet, but I have specific work to do here to, and so do you, and so does my little baby. Before this baby was inside of me, his or her spirit lived with God, learned from Him, and was prepared to come here and learn more through the experiences of his or her life. So was I. So were you. And while God is our parent in Heaven, Ken and I get to be this little person’s parents on earth. We get to teach and prepare and help. And that, is something to feel awe about.

A time when the awe really got goin:
A little over a year ago, as I was thinking about having children, I felt something strange. I didn’t know how to describe it for a while except that it felt a little sad, but in a loving way. Why, when I thought about my future children, would I feel this strange hint of sadness? It puzzled me for a while, and then a thought came to me that felt very true. “It feels like I miss them,” I thought. Yep, that was it. It felt just like missing someone. But how could I miss my kids if I’d never met them? And then I remembered what I believe about our spirits, and that if my spirit existed with God before I was born, and my children’s spirits did too, then I probably have met them. In some part of me, I probably do know them, and miss them. Since then, there has just been no other way to describe it. My mind doesn’t know this little person — we haven’t met face to face yet. But our spirits know each other, and that little soul is growing in me. I am calmed to know that someday soon we will be face to face family.

Learn more about this idea: here.

Answers to the usual things people ask:
How far along are you? 10 weeks today.
When is your due date? September 15th.
Are you sick? YES. Yes yes yes.

brad

Image

Some things I wrote about myself:

I am a certain type of person.

I really like to color and paint.
I like to be in the sun and the water.
I like to be upside down.

Upsidedown

When I am having a bad day,
I do not eat a gluten-free, sugarless vegan cookies with soy milk.
I eat that: never.
When I am having a bad day, or a good day, I seek LEGIT dessert.
I believe in sugar and butter.
More than that– I was raised to express love through butter and sugar.
Suggesting I omit those things is like suggesting I omit my childhood.
And my love.
Stop doing that.

Peace Agreement:
If you would like to eat your cookies without butter, flour, eggs, or sugar– no big.
Just let me and my butter be together.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

Sometimes meeting people makes me nervous,
Even though I really like it.
It’s hard for me to eek through the slow process of “opening up.”
When I think we should just have a soul session right here at the table.
What’s worse is when I open the door for a small soul sesh,
And you have nothing to say.
Where is your PASSION?!
What’s really worse is when:
Neither do I.
Sometimes people just aren’t ready.
Sometimes me neither.
I should stop freaking out about this.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

(I think the word should is a little oppressive, but maybe sometimes necessary.)

.   .   .   .   .   .   .

There are certain words I love to use, even though they are not real.
If you use them, you may have more fun talking…

1. I do not like the word cuddle. It reminds me of moldy milk. Instead I say snuggle which has now become SNUG or SNUGGIN.

2. Instead of journal, JOURN. It sounds like journal and journey at the same time,
which is neat-o. It also sounds way cooler than “diary.”

3. Instead of ocean, OSH. Say it with a long O sound and a nice shhhhh at the end. Like the first syllable of kosher or motion. It just sounds better. Admit it. I love this sound. If a word has this sound, I’ll use it every time. Example: Lotion: LOSH!

4. You did that ON PURP! A friendly accusation.

5. Neutral. Like, “Put it in neutral!” I don’t get the chance to say this word very often, but when I do, I revel in it. Check out this abbreve: NEUTCH. You can do it. Just take the -ral sound out of Neutral. Like the GOOTCH in Gucci. The HOOCH in Hoochie Mama. It is a ridiculous sound that only comes in ridiculous words and it is SO FUN TO SAY. Try it. Pretend you are pushing a friend’s broken-down car. You are huffing and puffing and she’s up there in the driver’s seat tryin to steer but it won’t budge. Tell her: “PUT IT IN NEUUUUTCH!” Yeah, try and tell me you didn’t enjoy that.

Status

I did it!

Hiding under this blog: I have ten drafts.
TEN.

Things that have stopped me from posting any of them:
-dissatisfaction
-fear
-complacency
-neglect

I don’t really like seeing that stuff all up in my way.
Because writing is more to me, than something I can neglect.
When I keep my distance from it, there are personal consequences.
Here’s what I am trying to say:
Writing is me.
I am more — than something I can just neglect.
When I keep my distance from myself, there are personal consequences.

And hey, ain’t nobody got time for that.

I have come to the moment
where I choose
to buckle the heck down and just post something.
Just do it.

I just did it.

More to come.

The Eyes of Texas are Upon You

I’m  a little nervous about this post, so let me just get this out there: I don’t know how to tell you about Texas. I don’t know. Because I want to give you all these shiny gems of self-discovery that elaborate on some revolutionary transformation I’ve undergone since moving here… but I just don’t have that. What I have is more like a few flecks of self-discovery all jangled up in a mass of doubt and directionless dust. In fact, most of the time I feel like I am flailing around, trying to grab onto something that will give me purpose or validation, only ending up with a fist full of unanswered job applications and some sort of discount home decor that promises to make our Texas apartment feel like home.

So, now that your expectations are officially lowered — mine can be too. (Relief!)

I will now impart a few minor flecks of Austin life lessons:
1. You cannot hide reality behind discount home decor.
(Nevertheless, our apartment is pretty cool looking.)

2. I do not need to prove that I am strong, capable, and respected by landing some snazzy, independent-woman job a midst Corporate America and their Business Casual–clicking down the hall in my executive style heels.
(Not mocking these jobs– just mocking my delusion that having one might immediately increase my value as a person. Besides, I don’t have executive style heels. I have Pocahontas sandals.)

3. I feel most myself in times and places where I have opportunities to interact with people in meaningful ways, especially through meaningful conversation.
(This is why I feel like tiny, saggy-brained snail when I am at home for days at a time with no human interaction. This is why, when Ken walks in the door around 6 or 7pm, I’m hungry for conversation like a RAVENOUS BEAST. I’m dying for someone to talk with me about all our thoughts and feelings for the entire remainder of the night– which, by the way, creates an unfair strain of expectations on the person I love the most, who, reasonably so, doesn’t have four hours of feeling-soaked conversation which he is ready to provide nightly, on demand. Sometimes he tries but then I have too many pent-up feelings and can’t figure out how to say them because my brain is sagging and then I just feel needy and weird and want to eat sugar and watch TV instead.)

4. If you keep trying and keep praying, things will get better. God will help you find what you need. You will get a job with new, character-building challenges. You will find a routine that keeps your brain from sagging. You will make friends. You will remember that you are, in fact, still a pretty cool human being with worthy goals and legit things to offer the world. (Relief.)

Today’s title comes from a song written in 1903 by Jon Sinclair, now sung at UT football games and written all over the t-shirts of Longhorn fans. 

Quote

Identity poems today.

I wear knee-length jean shorts.
I wear jorts.
I cut my old jeans off at the knees,
and roll them once or twice,
to make my jorts.
I wear knee-length jorts even though my thighs
pudge out a little at the bottom,
Because I am Mormon,
and it is dang hot this summer.

I read things on my Kindle.
They are electronic books.
Like the paper version,
Only you swipe instead of turn the page.
Having a Kindle makes me feel Official.
Because I own a tablet
Not made of stone.

I argue with my husband.
Useless banter.
Sometimes for fun
And sometimes by accident
And a few times,
on purpose.
Because I just have a lot of emotions,
And that is a weird thing to handle.
I’m sorry.

I live in Texas.
Austin, Texas.
That has been true
For exactly seven days.
I live in Texas
And I embrace that.
But I need a job
And a friend
Please.

jorts

Aside

On how no one can explain America

I know there are far more influential and relevant things to talk about, but if America is going to spend all this time on Miley Cyrus and the VMA’s, we might as well open up our eyes to something else no one seems to have mentioned. Here it goes.

Everyone is saying that this girl’s performance was downright nasty. And yes, I agree. It was a big gross mess. Everyone is saying how sad/weird/disturbing it is that she went from Good-Girl-Hannah-Montana to this Public-Scene-of-Obscenity. But here’s the thing– no one is shooting any criticism toward Robin Thicke, who stood right up there on stage with her. In fact, the whole nation has been singing his song “Blurred Lines” for months and raving about how they hope it will be the Song of the Summer. People turn up the bass. Have dance parties. Tweet their enthusiastic fandom. But have people really listened to the lyrics they’re raving over? Because hello, it’s about a former good girl “getting nasty” and doing some pretty detailed, graphic things. In other words, it’s the story of Miley Cyrus. So Robin can put this song out there and make millions of dollars. He can be glorified by the music industry. He can even stand up there on stage with Miley Cyrus, complicit with her twerking all over him, as she embodies the very meaning his song we’ve been singing all summer… but now we hate her? Still love him? Weird.

mileypost