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.)

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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

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

Status

Six Steps.

1. I am listening to The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isokov over and over and over again. I can’t dissect all the lyrics in my mind, but somewhere beyond that, I feel exactly what he is trying to say.

2. Today Emily took me to playgroup at the pool so I could hang out with the Moms and their kids. I am not a Mom. Does that mean I am more a kid to them? I’m not sure, but I hope they want to be friends with me anyway. I watched them all try to discipline their kids quietly but effectively, while juggling the fragile feelings of other kids:

One tells Jill, “We need to ask Benny if it’s okay before we splash him. Do you understand?” Benny’s Mom pipes in “It’s okay Benny, Jill didn’t mean it. Did you find a new toy? Does that belong to Alison?” Alison’s Mom is next: “Alison, no yelling. We need to share. We are sharing with Benny now.”

3. I would really love to be a Mom, but I’m not ready to write to you about that yet. For now, I stand waist-deep in the water. I watch the other Moms.

4. Last night Ken walked to the paper store with me. Ken is my husband. I like to take him with me. I wanted to pick out an amazing piece of paper so I could make an amazing envelope for a letter I am sending soon. I am nervous about this letter and I must have been hoping that if I encased it in something beautiful and made with my own hands, the words inside would read just right. As soon as we got to the big glass door, the lady locked it and put up a CLOSED sign. I made a very sad face at her by accident. Ken said we could go get gelato instead. He even paid the way-too-much-price for a teeny cup of fancypants gelato. Thanks Ken.

5. We are sitting by the big glass wall with our gelato. I am in the middle of a chocolate cream bite when Ken tells me he will soon be gone underwater in an undisclosed part of the ocean. For a week. With The United States Navy. To all of my follow-up questions about the possibility of blowing-up or imminent death, he responds, “I can’t tell you.” It’s just testing…engineering…secret stuff, he says. No big deal. I shouldn’t worry. “This is not NBD.” I tell him. I stop tasting my gelato. I keep eating it, but I stop tasting it because my mouth is busy articulating a million hypotheticals. Ken smiles. He thinks it’s funny when I get worked up and worried and talk this fast. I think: How is this funny? Just then we see bunch of hip people with tattoos and neon clothing posing for a picture on the other side of the glass wall. We are in the background, so we make a photo-bomb face.

6. I feel like this a lot lately: there is me, there is glass, and there is something on the other side. I can make a sad face. I can make a photo bomb face. I can eat my gelato or I can keep walking, but I can’t quite be on the other side of that glass. All these transparent barriers, like water in the pool.

I sent the letter in a plain, white envelope.

Image

Aside

It still is.

Image

This weekend I went to a barbecue. (Where I’m from we call it a cook-out– just try it. It’s fun to say. Hey, we’re havin a cook-out…) At this cook-out I played volleyball in my bare feet on the grass. I climbed a tree and sat in it’s big, thick elbows. While I was up there I found a little friend named Colter. He was way better at climbing trees than me. He scaled way up to the top while I and some other friends sat in the leaves and talked about boys. I love doing that. I just have one boy– but I sure love talkin about him.

Today I rode my bike to McDonalds to get a refill on my Dr. Pepper. I wanted it so bad. Right wrist rests on right handle-bar. Right hand grips cup. Feet push pedals. Watch out for bumps. I was out on my bike anyway to deliver some cough drops to a sick friend that lives by a whole bunch of trees. I sure loved the ride. And that Dr. Pepper. The sun was setting all the way home. Orange and gold.

There is a man on my roof. His name is Nelson. I know because he came to the door before he climbed up there. He wanted me to know that it wasn’t him who broke the window on Saturday. It was the supplier. He also wanted me to open the basement door so he could plug some huge thing in. Nelson does lots of roofs. I asked him if he ever gets scared. He said yes, and I appreciate that. Right now he is also working on a hotel that is six stories tall. The roof is very steep and if he drops anything, it will land on a car going super fast below him on busy State Street. Our house isn’t bad, he says. That’s good. We need a new roof real bad. He drops stuff on our car too. Ken is mad. He wrote a mad e-mail to our land-lord which is why Nelson came to tell us it wasn’t him that broke the window. I had to walk right under him to get my bike, but he didn’t drop anything on me. Had to risk it anyway, for my Dr. Pepper of course.

I am really into berries these days. Strawberries dipped in SO much sugar. Blackberries and blueberries and raspberries. They take turns being on sale. I take turns buying them. Having them in the fridge feels like a luxury, an indulgence. It makes me feel very blessed and lucky and vivid.

People keep asking, how do you feel about moving soon?
They keep saying Wow, DC, and Ooooh, Texas.
I’m saying: not much.
Why haven’t I thought about it yet?
Soon I will be there and it will be my new home.
I will feel that Utah happened long long ago, and wonder how I got there so fast.
I just know it.
That always happens to me.

Gallery

What happened to Lyndsi Shae?

Sometimes I look at pictures of my friends in high school. We are at the beach on spring break, shooting blow darts across the room at a styrofoam boogie board. We are eating pancakes on Saturday morning in our pajamas, painting our jeans before we all move away to college. We are driving through town at night with the windows down, angsting it out to punk rock love songs. We are longing for SO much and not knowing how to explain what it is we are looking for. So we sing U2 all the way to the coast “and I stilllll haven’t founddddd what I’m lookin for…” The thing is, I look at these photos and feel like I could go right back there, with those same people in the same cars and the same music toward the same Atlantic Ocean. And I would love it. I could be that girl again with the pancakes and painted jeans.

But I would feel a little different, and why is that?

What has happened since then that’s got me out of the angsty car and into other routines? Into going to bed before 2am and paying more attention to my schedule than my blog? Some might blame it on growing up–say I’ve lost myself and my young passion. They would see my life now compared to my life then and think, where did she go? Where is her freedom? But it doesn’t feel like that to me. It doesn’t feel like I’m lost. It feels like I have found so much of all that stuff I was looking for then, so much that I no longer have these insatiable impulses that keep me up all night singing and driving to the water. So much that I can sleep, and go to work, and do the laundry, and all these things that were so boring before, and yet still feel fulfilled. My freedom lies in stable things, safe things, things that do not fade away or threaten to elude me. Because I served my heart out on my mission and found lasting homes for all that passion I couldn’t seem to express before. Because I fall asleep next to Ken who is staying with me always. Because I wake up to God over and over and over. I always knew who I was. But now it is easier to be that person.

That being said, man what I wouldn’t do for those painted jeans and a weekend at the beach.
I will always be the girl with sand on her feet and a notebook in her hands.

Identity Perpetual.

45_518175664829_8186_n

31_518173394379_1211_n

31_518173509149_1803_n

iden·ti·ty (noun) \ī-ˈden-tə-tē, ə-, -ˈde-nə-\
1 a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances
   b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
2 : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual

per·pet·u·al (adj) \pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl, -chəl; -ˈpech-wəl\
1 a : continuing forever : everlasting
(1) : valid for all time
(2) : holding  for life or for an unlimited time
2: occurring continually
3: blooming continuously throughout the season

530637_10100672118810489_7548341_n

Quote

Interaction

|ˌintərˈakSHən|:
noun
1. reciprocal action or influence
2. the process by which different things affect each other or change each other.

This morning I woke up to Ken tapping my ankle.
“Can you take me to work?” he asks.
It is NEGATIVE 30 degrees in our room. I am freezing and delusional.
“Can you take the car to work?” I say in a mumbly morning voice.
“Then how will you get to work this afternoon?”
“You could come home for lunch. We’ll eat lunch together,” I say.
“…they’ll let you do that right? A lunch break?”

I’m sure he knows I’m half asleep, making up nice notions of lunch so I don’t have to get up for breakfast. I will turn to ice out there– I just know it.

“Remember how I’m leaving early today so we can go Christmas shopping? So… I can’t take a full lunch break.”
“Oh. …k,” I say as I go from curled-up ball to straight-leg position. This is, of course, signals that I’m on my way to getting out from under the covers. It takes me a few minutes to move again. And then a few more. And eventually my teeth are brushed and I have another layer of pajamas over my first layer and tacky pocahontas moccasin boots with gigantic sweatpants and my hood is up and I look close to death. Out the door we go. I shiver in there until the engine warms up. We’re off.

On the way, we see her!
It’s the Tamale Lady.
The road to Ken’s work occasionally includes a little lady with a wagon, a cooler full of homemade tamales, and homemade sign. The interaction with this lady is half the experience, though the tamales are real good too.
“She brings in a lot of business in the wintertime,” Ken says.
I bet she does. I am already planning a visit on my way back.

I’ve only met her once, maybe twice, but she talks as if she remembers me instantly.
“Ooooh! Como Esta? Bien?” she says.
I cant show you on a keyboard how she says this. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me but she smiles with all her wrinkles and her little eyes seem to recognize me as a friend. It feels great. I love interacting with latin people because there is something faintly familiar there– the insta-friend hospitality and the food=love thing– it’s like the south. There is home in those little eyes. I don’t know how to express this in English, much less spanish, so I just beam out a:
“Bien! Bien!”
I then proceed to use every spanish word I know,which totals to about 9, and try to use them in this tone like by the way, I appreciate you. I am happy to see you today. I am still in my ridiculous pajamas but she doesn’t seem to notice so I forget too.
“Ooooh mucho frio!” she says to me.
I look at her hands trembling as she reaches for her tamale list. A pair of pink gloves lays in her wagon next to the cooler. I guess she sees me notice them because she starts using those beautiful rolling words to explain that she would wear those gloves except that they don’t fit under the plastic glove she uses to pull the tamales out of the cooler. I understand what she is saying though I don’t know any of the words she is using. Does she think I speak spanish? No, she can’t possibly be fooled– my accent is horrendous. I wish she would just wear her pink gloves. They would only touch the corn husks and nobody eats those anyway. She doesn’t really need a plastic glove.
“Si. Mucho mucho frio,” I say, looking at all the snow and ice around her knowing I can’t understand how cold her hands must be all morning, maybe all day out here.
She shows me the list but I already know what it says.
“Dos,” I say as I point to cheese.
“Uno,” to pork
“Uno,” to chicken.
I’m glad she uses this list because I never learned the word for pork.
“Oooh quatros!” she says. Man I love this lady.
She slips the flimsy plastic glove onto her aged hands. They are beautiful like my Mamaw’s. She reaches around for those tamales, knowing which flavor is where though they all look the same, and bags them up in a brown paper bag– like the kind I used to take my lunch in. She folds down the top of the bag and then reaches for a second one to put them in. This is new, must be a winter thing to help the tamales stay warm.
They are $1.25 each so I know I owe her $5. She doesn’t tell me that though, just smiles her genuine wrinkly smile and hands me the bag.
“Gracias Hermana,” I say.
Hermana is one of my 9 words. It means sister and it’s normal to call people sister in spanish, which is kind of like being Mormon and kind of like just being real, genuine people who are trying to care about each other. I hand her $5 with one hand and then a little extra in the other hand– so she knows I’m giving her this second part on purpose. She doesn’t pretend she doesn’t want it. She doesn’t get embarrassed and shove it off like oh no you don’t have to do that. Is it an American thing to react that way? I’m glad she doesn’t react that way. She just beams again and says thank you and some other beautiful words in Spanish.
“Feliz Navidad!” I say.

And I walk away just loving that woman and anticipating some masa goodness for second breakfast.