Sacred Texts

Yesterday I was going through two bags filled with notebooks I'd sent to the closet under the stairs over a year ago. They contain all of the notes, papers, writings, etc. from college. I'm not a normal note taker. I remember things and pay attention better through association - I drew and wrote poems and stories all amongst my notes. I pared it down to papers that really influenced me. One was a comparison between folk life at the beginning of the 20th century and now, and how I longed to be on a quilt spread out over grass staring at stars. I used James Agee's Knoxville Summer 1915 as a frame of reference. I found notes and wrtitings from the creative writing festival OCU hosts. I felt like everything deserved to stay with me. I was invested.

Writing is always a form, pieces of evidence, of personal growth to me. Sometimes I flinch when I go to bed at night, knowing that my 5 years of ramblings on this very blog are not backed up. I love falling into the sort of meloncoly that fills my surroundings when I'm going through things I've written in the past, feeling the relation between who I was in writing it and how the experience of writing that particular piece solidified, in one way or another, part of the person I am in this moment. It's all relevant. These things are sacred to me.

Fabulous Finds

Yesterday, I went thrifting. I was looking for a buffet/sideboard/credenza to use as an "entertainment center. " My first stop took me to 23rd st. Antique Mall. Nothing under $1,000. Not my budget. I don't want something perfect anyway. I went next door to St. Vincent de Paul's, and saw a few cute things, but still beyond my means. Before I left, I browsed the shoes. That is when these beauties caught my eye.
While purchasing these for $3, I asked the women who worked there if they could tell me where a good used furniture store was. They gave me a few thrift stores as well as Capp's Used Furniture. I made my way to 10th and Tulsa. I found a great hutch, and in the process of finding if it could be separated from the dinette set it was grouped with, I saw the most beautiful chair....And then I looked 4 chairs down and saw what I thought was it's twin. You see, I have been on the hunt for some pistachio velvet channel back chairs (I knew this was a dream, and that I would likely have to find and reupholster these chairs myself). These were tufted, smaller than normal velvet wing backs. LOVE at first sight. They were both marked $99, but Phylis gave me a discount price of $175 for both (we are still broke from the sale of our car, but I knew this was a forever kind of love). These "twins" are quite different. Look close. I'm thinking Buddy and Holly.I found this fabric at a cute little store in Estes Park, CO. It was the first time I'd laid my hands on Anna Maria Horner's fabric. She is my favorite textile designer. Some of their fat quarters were $1.50. I bought some to make pillows. There are two quarters of the green with orange birds, so both pillows will have that on one side, then the other floral prints on the opposite side. The Turquoise and brown damask will be the piping. I'm also feeling some pinwheels.These fabrics go along with the thread I picked up and my mother-in-law purchased for $1.00 (I know!) at a garage sale, also in Estes Park.Now then, if the topographical globe I got from a thrift store in Estes Park for $2 wasn't packed, I would show you that as well.

Map of Hyde Park

1. Our Apartment
2. Church
3. Obama House
4. Music School

Our Apartment in Chicago

We got our housing assignment for Chicago! We will be two blocks away from Barack and Michelle, and not even a whole two (0.3 miles to be exact). It's 1.4 miles from our house to the music school. There is a park behind our building, and our apartment overlooks a fenced yard.

Here is a link to the building.

Here is a link to the floor plan. Our apartment is the top right out of the 3 bedrooms.

At Last

I bought my last swimsuit 3 years ago.

has changed in the last three years in terms of my body.

I've been looking for a swimsuit for quite some time. I have issues finding great suits despite my post baby body. I have a long torso, really long. So long that when I sit up straight I'm taller than a lot of people who are much taller than me when we're standing. So one piece suits are always too short, I always have a super wedge from pulling it up enough to cover up on top. I've no idea how many tankinis I've tried on, but the tops are too short. I feel like I'm a tween in a bikini where the top goes to her waist.

I was looking online last night and found this one. The top would not find the bottom on me (let alone they didn't have my size), and would hit in just the right spot for my muffin top to spill out between the two pieces, but it did inspire me to check out Target. So I'm at Target this morning, browsing around...wondering what the point of a monokini is, and about to lose hope when I see a LONG black and white polka dot, strapless top with a little ruffle around the bottom. I looked for the straps (it has little loops for a halter string to attach), and I don't find them. I asked a nearby associate if these tops existed anywhere else. She said that was it, and that they would discount it at the fitting room for the missing straps.

I try it on with some cute bottoms, and HEAVENLY DAY, it is perfect. I take it out, and the girl running the fitting room is discounting it. I get it back and don't look at it until I get a little bit away. It was a pleasant surprise - a 17.99 top for 6.30-something. WHAT? I will tie a shoe string around my neck.

Oh, it gets better.

The plain black bottoms I picked out to go with it didn't have a tag, I didn't realize it until the cashier just threw them in the bag. I said, "those didn't go together, did they?" She pulled them back out of the bag (My total is 10.00-something, mind you), and said she thought they went together, but then she typed in the bar code on the tag that's actually attached to the bottoms. They were 14.99, which I already knew, but I was like holy smokes, if I wasn't honest, that would have been a steal...literally.

Not done yet.

I decided to go to Old Navy because they always have plain black bottoms. They had a pair, and they were having a 1/2 off sale, so they were like 8.50. I'm taking the other ones back to Target, and gloating at the perfect swimsuit for $15.00.

Car Seat Safety

When I was looking for Cora's "big girl" car seat, I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching car seat safety sites. I remember thinking that it would have been so much easier back in the day where there were one or two option, which wasn't too long ago - almost every car seat I remember was a Graco with an overhead shield. I came to the conclusion that it didn't really matter what kind of car seat you own, but how you use it (that thinking still didn't stop me from finally choosing a seat with a few extra safety bells and whistles. Namely side impact protection and an extended rear facing life - up to 35 pounds).

Here are three important things that aren't always given a second look:

- Make sure it's installed correctly. There are several places you can go to get this double checked. Here is a website to help find a location.

- The chest clip belongs at armpit level, not up at the neck or at the belly. Watch out for strap covers (the covers that keep straps from rubbing on baby's neck) that are too long. Some are the wrong length for correctly positioning the chest clip. I had to take a set back for this reason.

- The harness is tight enough when you can't slip your index finger between the strap and the shoulder. Another way to check: you shouldn't be able to pinch any slack in the strap between your thumb and index finger at the shoulder level.

I have a soft spot for this because I got into a wreck where I hit the passenger side of a car with a toddler (somewhere around 2) in the backseat. I will always be grateful her car seat was properly installed and was used correctly, and in this particular case, that her seat was installed in the middle (not an option for families with more than one child).


I love to ride my bike. I got her for Christmas, if you recall. Her name came down to two choices, Clementine or Josephine. I was riding down a hill in Holdenville not long after I got her. It's the hill that takes you under the railroad tracks and eventually to the cemetery. The wind was blowing through my hair, I rounded a curve, and I was flying. Now you are all singing a song. I couldn't help it, she was Josephine.

Jake has been working until 10 each night this week. Cora and I have been riding to Douglas Park. We have a specific path. Hudson to 32nd, 32nd to Walker, down the hill across 36th, past the park on 38th to Shartel. Shartel to 44th, 44th to Lee. Douglas Park is at 45th. It's our favorite park to play at.

Jake has also been riding his bike to work. There's something lovely about getting from point A to B without using a car. I prefer it. It's one of the reasons I'm really looking forward to Chicago. Walking, bike riding, buses, trains. I like being connected to places. That happens much more when I breathe in trees and freshly cut grass, feel sprikler mist on my feet, hear the bird chirrping and wind chimes. I just love it.

Dear Jake

One afternoon we were driving to Holdenville, listening to Cat Stevens's Teaser and the Firecat album. You leaned in to turn up a particular song and said that of all the songs, this was the song you would write for me. It was How Can I tell you, and that moment melted my heart a little.

Last night I was driving home from the Young Women activity, listening to Red (my ipod) when Easy Silence came on. It's definitely one of my top songs for you.

...I come to find a refuge in the
Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me

Personal Progress pt. II

I recently published a post entitled Personal Progress. I started it back in March, published it, not expecting anyone to see it because it would be buried by lots of other posts, but it showed up on my facebook feed, so I thought I'd explain it a bit.

Personal Progress is a program that is part of the Young Women organization. Young Women could be defined as a youth group especially for girls 12-18. I am one of the leaders of the YW group in our ward/congregation. Here is an overview from the website:

Personal Progress is a goal-setting program that helps a young woman develop a testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. A young woman can work on Personal Progress even if she is the only young woman in her ward or branch.

Personal progress gives a young woman activities to do that will help her:

  • Know she is a daughter of God.
  • Rely upon the Holy Ghost.
  • Develop personal religious behaviors, such as prayer, scripture study, obedience to commandments, and service.
  • Keep her baptismal covenants and prepare and qualify for temple covenants.
  • Develop talents and skills that prepare her for her future roles.
  • Establish a pattern of step-by-step progress through her life.
I participated in personal progress when I was a young woman myself. I actually completed it, but never had my final interview, and never received my medallion (a necklace with the spires of the Salt Lake temple on it). I was so happy to be called into YW because I knew it meant that I would be able to finally finish what I had started being that I lost my original PP books somewhere along the way. I received my medallion along with a fellow leader last Sunday. It was truly a highlight for me in terms of accomplishments.

Part of working through personal progress is documenting experiences in a journal, which is what my initial pp post was all about. I'm sure it looks like gibberish without the prompts that you can find Here.

The final step in the process is writing one's testimony of Jesus Christ. I haven't refined mine enough to post it, but I love thinking about what this simple man who walked the earth so long ago means to me.

[not] Making Babies

Yes, this post is about fertility. No, it's not about sex. Ha!

Here I sit on day, um, 47 of my cycle. So far this cycle has seen a lot of action, two negative pregnancy tests, and currently a bowl full of chocolate chips. I was telling someone the other day that I have been off of birth control for three years. Before I said it, I hadn't realized it had been so long.

I got pregnant 4 months after going off, miscarried at 12 weeks, and it took another 6 months after that to get pregnant with Cora. Here's the tricky part. The first time I got pregnant, I ovulated on day 21. With Cora, while I wasn't using ovulation tests, I would have had to ovulate much sooner.

I asked a friend about a fertility treatment (Clomid) a few weeks ago, in-between negative tests, what she said made oodles and gobs of sense to me. Her cycles became non-existent after birth control. Mine just became completely irregular. She said that a lot of women blame birth control, but really there is an underlying issue that would have occurred regardless of their contraceptive use. Before birth control, mine were every 30 days, and I could always feel when I was ovulating. I was clock work. Now, who knows what I am?

I think the hardest part is trying to decide when to seek professional help. I know I'm so lucky to have a baby at all. When it took longer than I thought it should to get pregnant with Cora, I remember a lot of prayers pleading that just one would be okay. I don't want to be baby greedy. I just wish I had an outline of it all. One thing I know for sure: Pregnancy tests should be free (or maybe like every fifth one) - I hate paying for disappointment.


I'm getting so excited about Chicago. We turned in our housing application a few months ago, and we should know what building/apartment we get about a month before our move-in date, which is labor day weekend. In the meantime, I look up info about Hyde Park, explore as many of the streets as possible using google street map, check out free museum days, look at maps of the trains, check out farmer's markets. Sigh...

We sold Fit today. I liked him a lot, but I like being a one car family again, and NOT having a car payment. We sold it back to Carmax. Their offer was for less than what we owed, but after we get the refunds for canceling the extra warranties we bought, we'll come out a few dollars ahead, YES...but until then, our accounts are looking a little [lot] bare.

We took a load of boxes to Holdenville yesterday. It was nice to get a few out of the house. We also rented a U-Haul for that move. I'm really excited about being in H-ville for the summer, but I am a little put out about the job prospects. Hopefully I'll be able to sub for the first few (like two) weeks of school. I'm really excited to stay with the in-laws. I'm one of those lucky people who likes them. Hopefully we'll still like eachother in a few months. ;)

For now I'm trying to "feel" cooking. I don't want to buy any food besides the basics. I'm having to get creative...we could have spaghetti every night. It's just so tempting to call Mazio's on Monday (Large one topping carry out special) and Wednesday (Calzone carryout special). I think I can fight it a little more with the afore mentioned account balance...inhale - - -exhale. phew.

I'm getting close to packing my dishes away. Sad day... I keep telling myself that it will be so fun to open all of these boxes in 2.5 months in a new home in a new place. I hope I forget some of the things I have so it will be a real surprise.

Chewed up and spit out

I gave Cora some dumplin's for lunch today. They are from last night's chicken and dumplings. I thought I'd gotten all of the chicken out, but as she was eating, I saw something on the ground. I'd missed a piece of chicken. She had completely chewed it up, pushed it out of her mouth with her tongue, and then through it overboard. My little vegetarian.

If it would have been bacon or prime rib, this could be a different tale.


I hope that I will have a cabinet in Chicago that holds things somewhat like this one does. Every time I open it, I feel happy.

Stunning - be prepared to spend a while staring.

I love Love LOVE the last gown in this post from aesthetic pursuits.

Every Which Way

We got home from Colorado Thursday evening.

On Friday I left for the last day of Girls Camp.

On Saturday I drove girls home from camp.

On Sunday we left for Reunion after church (a family summer camp for Community of Christ).

We stayed the night with Jake's mom and got home Monday evening.

We turned on our air conditioner for the first time when we got home, and after 2 hours, the temperature was still 90 degrees.

Today, the same thing. The repair man is coming tomorrow morning at 9 AM. Hallelujah and the Glory be.

I have been completely lethargic today. Our kitchen is a crazy mess, but it's also the hottest. I just can't bring myself to take care of everything. Our table is full of knickknacks from the thrift store in Estes Park. It was a $2 brown bag special. They had a lot of good stuff. Highlights include a winter coat for Cora, dress up clothes, and Christmas decorations. Oh, and a super sweet carafe with oranges and leaves on it.

Jake and I also got winter coats at the most amazing store ever. I got a $280 jacket for $120. Jake's was a $200 jacket for $50.

We hiked to a glacier on accident. We ate good food, and we saw lots of animals.

I got to wear a stunning red hat around town.

Cora got to enjoy the mountains.

Girls camp was awesome. More good food (a big thanks to Joni - I need the recipe for your salad dressing). Snipe Hunting. A lot of laughing and a few tears. I love being part of the Young Women organization.

Reunion was super fun. Jake has been going since he was a little boy. All the people from a certain region (part of a mission center - I think) get together for a week at Saints Grove - a campsite outside of Stillwater owned by Community of Christ. It's very sentimental to Jake. He loves seeing all the people he's grown up with in his church family. He really loves Camp fires. They get together after an evening service and sing songs. He knows SO MANY camp fire songs. I got to go to a Prayer for Peace. The country they specifically prayed for that day was Angola.

On our way home we went to Eskimo Joe's. I wouldn't have truly been able to call myself an Oklahoman without having experiencing this place and getting a t-shirt. My shirt is turqoise Jake's is light blue, and Cora's is light green.


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