Getting Older

There is something glorious about getting older. It has everything to do with becoming more at ease with myself.

glo⋅ri⋅ous [glawr-ee-uh s, glohr-] adjective delightful; wonderful; completely enjoyable

When I look back on the years I've lived so far, of all the things I could regret, the only thing I really do is not always being the kind of person I wanted to be. I wish I would have been a little kinder, a little better - times I wish I would have stood up to things with which I did not agree.

With age comes a sort of liberation. A freedom from the oppression of oneself. While I certainly hold onto ingrained self-consciousness, I am aware that most of these things have little to do with the person I actually am, and more to do with me letting other people's expectations govern the decisions I make. There isn't a map laid out of where life will go or the experiences I'll meet, but there is confidence in knowing that I can make it. I've got the goods to carry me through, and I know that I will be made more insightful for my diligence in becoming.

I love the motto my biological father once wrote me in a letter:

"Follow your bliss, stick to your guns, and never let them take you alive."


Around the time I got married, my friend, Brecken, gave me a calendar of quotes. It was charming with old fashioned colored black and white pictures, and flowers in the corners. This block of paper sat on the desk in our tiny studio apartment. I loved tearing the old day off and reading what was in store for me on the new day that appeared. On Monday, October 4, 2004, I read

"Part of kindness is loving people more than they deserve." [Joseph Joubert]

I thought about it all day, and when tomorrow came and it was time to tear the sheet off, I found myself unable to throw it away. I tore it off and put it in my scriptures. It remains there to this very day, nearly 5 years later. I look at it often, I say the words over and over again in my head. I say a modified version because I think the actual quote is "A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve."

I can't help but think of the way I am loved perfectly by Christ, despite my imperfections. And if he can love me that way, then I have absolutely no justification for not showing that same sort of kindness to those around me.

C.R. Gibson wrote:

I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight,
That to somebody’s need made me blind;
But I never have yet felt a twinge of regret,
for being a little too kind.

Four Minutes of Your Time

Fact Check

I was talking with someone today who said they didn't like Obama because he was going to take away medicare and social security, and without those things, this person would be "up a creek." It again made me sad, so I thought I would link a website that has more information on a lot of the myths circulating around the health care bill.

HERE is the site.

Also, if you didn't get to watch the president's speech on health care, and you have questions about the bill, it's a must see. I can't believe how many people don't watch the president speak, and still believe they are informed on where he stands on issues. The White House has never been so transparent as it is now.

You can watch his talk HERE.

I've decided that for the next few days, I'm going to post fliers that discuss various elements of the health care bill.

Dear Cora

You fall asleep in my arms almost every night. Tonight when I was carrying you to bed, I couldn't get over how beautiful you are.

Something was extra tender about seeing your scuffed nose and scraped forehead from your tumble yesterday.

Your paci fell out, and you were breathing in and out of your mouth so softly. I stole a kiss on the lips because you don't give them up very easy when you're awake.

PS: Your hair is totally rad.


Yesterday was my first swim in Lake Michigan. I can hardly call it a swim, as the water was never beyond my waist while standing up, but it was delightful. I might have a fear of large bodies of water. And might stands because I don't want to have one, but whenever I take off to swim in a body of water I can't see the other side of, my breath leaves me. I first swam without floaties at the pool in my grandparents' retirement community. It was the pool I swore contained a boa constrictor from the pet store at Tri-City mall in the deep end, all 6 feet of water.

So I don't know if the fear comes from what I think lies beneath, or from my two very near drowning incidents. The first one was at Sunsplash in the wave pool. I was 12 or 13, and I got stuck under someone in an innertube. I was just about to use my last bit of energy when my Uncle David comes out of nowhere, pushes me up and out of the water, and gets me all the way back to calmer waters. The second time, I was older in high school, I think it was during my junior year. I did a weird dive off the board and started laughing about it before I hit the water. I'm coming up for hair, but realize my top came up, so I stay down to fix it, and that's when it laughter has used up my air supply, and my lungs involuntarity inhale. I was hopping towards the shallow end, and every time I came up for air, I would cough and go back under. Sarah Keller saved me that time, and I almost barfed on Nathaniel's shoulder because I was coughing so much. Good times. Anyway, I love water, and I don't want to be afraid of it. At the same time, I've tried really hard to not be so afraid of snakes, but I can't do it. Something abour their cold, scaly, contracting bodies in my hands just doesn't agree with my senses. I wasn't afraid of the ocean in Hawaii, maybe because it was so warm.

And even more on the matter: I've always been a little jealous of the meaning of my sister's name. Her name is Marissa, and it means "of the sea." Beautifully put.

I didn't mean to wander so far into water, but apparently I had a lot to get off my chest about it. Next, I would like to discuss Portraits in Malibu at aesthetic pursuits. I love this blog, and I'm pretty sure I would love hanging out with the blogger all the time. Don't you want to run around on the beach in a wedding dress? I DO! Lauryl, I would be a fake bride model for you any day (I saw a couple doing their wedding shoot on Michigan Avenue and thought of you).

And last, but certainly not least: Please go here. A friend from our church in Oklahoma is missing. Please remember David and his family in your prayers..

An Afternoon at the Beach

We live a few blocks away from Lake Michigan. There are wonderful parks and bike trails all along the lakefront...18 miles of it anyway. It's about a mile and a half to the closest beach, and that was our destination today.

She's still dry...

There are always so many lovely boats.

Promontory Point (Beautiful views of Chicago's skyline can be seen from here).

We didn't wear our swimsuits because I didn't know what the water would be like. Big mistake. The water was perfect, and Cora would have appreciated a 'lil Swimmers diaper.

And randomly, I ran into a woman who moved here about 5 weeks ago. In our conversation, we discussed her husband being a Phd student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, a place I applied at. After a little more conversing, she said she was a little overwhelmed at her new job at the seminary. I inquired a little more, and she got the job I applied for in financial aid. They received over 80 resumes...what an unusual commonality. Everywhere I go, I meet someone new. I've been exchanging contact information with people I've known for less than like 2 minutes. I'll write more about this wonderful communal place soon.

Cora's Room and a Cozy Place for You

We got Cora's room straightened out, for the most part, this morning. I snapped a few shots. She needs A LOT more art on the walls, but it's fun. Everything is really accessible to her.

We bought this rug to go under the table, but Cora is really into spitting her food out, or throwing it on the floor, so we moved the rug to her room so we wouldn't be afraid of eating at our table.

(Aren't the floors gorgeous?)

I found a tapestry on clearance at Target that I intend to make curtains out of, but I've been going back and forth because I don't want to obstruct her view or the great light. The tapestry looks like a bunch of hand-drawn pictures in green, blue, orange, brown, and a raspberry red color, all on a creamy backdrop. There are owls and trees and clouds and other friendly things. Some of the sayings are "I give a hoot," "I love trees," and a few more things along those lines...very cute.

And this is for you when you come and visit. Meemaw and I made the pillows and bedspread. I'll take pictures of the "office" half of the room later.

A Preview

Here is a preview of our apartment. The living room is the most put together right now. We're really close to being done, just a few boxes left in one closet. 



We are loving living in Hyde Park. Tonight we're going to a free concert at Millenium Park put on by Lyric Opera Chicago to open their season. On Tuesday we went to Oprah's kickoff party, and I saw Oprah and Fergie up close within like 3 minutes of one another. Our neighborhood is beautiful, the lake is my pretend ocean, and the people have been so very warm. I am so happy to be here.
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Hyde Park

I can't stop looking at this website. It's all about Hyde Park. Notice there are no winter pictures, but everything looks lovely.


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