Thursday, February 28, 2013

Downton Independence.

[From left to right: My brother. Me. Michael. Geoff. Emily. Jon. Katie.]

My cousin Michael (The boy in the photograph behind the table)  pointed out today that we had the Downton Abbey craze* long before everybody else--way back in 1993, in Independence, Missouri, to be precise. 

Love it. Love them.\

*well the fashion, anyway.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A ceramic vase and a lesson on patience and faith.


I have always wanted to live in Germany. Since I was nine or ten.  I knew then I wanted to learn German because my dad told me he had studied that in high school, so naturally I wanted to, too.

I made a vase in ceramic class in high school and thought about where I would place it in my apartment in Germany some day. My thoughts raced about what it would be like and how my life would be. Meanwhile my hands worked naturally, effortlessly, as my thoughts consumed my mind.

I doubted my ability to move abroad back then. I secretly told myself it probably wouldn't work out. I was way too scared.

In university I thought a bit about going abroad but was so in love with my friends and courses that just the thought of us ever parting would make my heart hurt.

Then I decided to au pair. Got on a plane. Moved in with a crazy family. Moved out. Moved in with a brilliant family. Came home. Ached to come back. Got offered a rare job opportunity. Almost five months later here I am.

Here I am sitting in my own apartment--in Germany. Meeting friends all the time. Exploring it all as much as I can.

Never would I have thought this would actually work out.

But high school self--here I am. 

Here I am and this, it is everything you were hoping for while kneading that small vase into life. (Better than you imagined, even.)

So now, when I'm consumed in worries and fears about what's next, I'll try and remember that--as cheesy as it seems--your dreams can come true. And I'm darn thankful I jumped in head first, because I can't imagine myself anywhere else than right where I am.

I won't give up on my other hopes either, because I'm pretttttttty confident those are going to manifest themselves at some point, too.

The hardest part? Having patience and Faith, but day by day, I'm getting better with both.

P.S. that vase is still sitting at home, but I'll get it here soon. 

“You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. 
Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, 
but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent”
-Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Be back tomorrow.

I relate to this print far too much, you guys.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

{Quote of the Week.}

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Some books don't have all the answers.

 [My mom & me circa 1989.]

"According to most books, my lack of confidence is a 'sign I had an absent father,' and that's obviously not the case for me, cause dad is awesome. So then I just yell "Well now I can't trust anything you say!" at the *author,"-me to my mom today on the telephone. 
"Well, that isn't true. And don't be like those annoying parents who read all the books and think they know it all. Because a lot of it is based on going with what your heart tells you. You just have to have confidence."-my mom. 
"I don't know, I just think of all these negative things about myself. I can't help it."-me
"Really knock that shit off cause it's not true and it's making me mad.."-my mom, who keeps it real.

That's love.

*the author's name on the book cover, naturally. But I'd say it to their face, too! I would! 
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Borrowed definitions.

“We’re not, like, seeing other people, right?” I asked. We were barely over the one-month mark, I believe.
          You nodded.
          “Excellent,” I said.
          “But I have to tell you something,” you added - and my heart sank.
          “At first, I was seeing someone else. Only for the first week or two. Then I told him it wasn’t going to work.”
          “Because of me?”
          “Partly. And partly because it wouldn’t have worked anyway.”
          I was glad I hadn’t known I was in contest; I don’t know if I could have handled that. But still, it was strange, to realize my version of those weeks was so far from yours.
          What a strange phase - not seeing other people. As if it’s been constructed to be a lie. We see other people all the time. The question is what we do about it.

-The Lover's Dictionary
via tumblr

Oh the leaps and bounds we encounter utterly clueless. Utterly hopeful.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Trying to tame your heart.

Clearly I am not doing so well at keeping up with my Lenten promise. But I'll tell you why I didn't -- couldn't -- write something for the other day.

I was exhausted.

Not physically; emotionally.

Because sometimes I get tired of hiding how much I care for fear of "overwhelming" the one for whom I care. What kind of relationship is that anyway? Toning down how much you care for someone? I don't understand. But if you read any magazine, book, any crap on "how to have a relationship," it always seems to say "lay low, don't show too much interest."

But what if guys are reading the same mumbo-jumbo and then at the end of the day we are all walking around with all these thoughts and emotions buried in our hearts. For fear of showing too much?

My God, what a sad way to live.

But it's exhausting because no matter how much I realize this, recognize the illogicality of it all, I'm far too afraid to go against the norm.

And I can't decide which makes me sadder: 
My lack of confidence in my self to share all the love I have to give--
or the fact that I'm so afraid to stand up for something I sincerely believe in, for fear of standing alone at the end of it all.

So I sat on my bed and cried. Not tears of sadness. Not tears of sorrow.Tears of exhaustion. 

Because sometimes I think trying to tame your heart is more exhausting than trying to tame a lion.

(But of course, I only have experience with the former--so I can't really say.)

To writing more and loving with all we have.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

{Quote of the Week.}

adam j. kurzt
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

The evolution of my "Dream Life."

[A kitchen I dream of one day having.]

When I was a little girl, my "Dream Life" consisted of a lot of things my Barbies had in theirs: A rad convertible, a big dream house, a pool (floats included!), a camper (with very Southwest decor), an overflowing five-gallon plastic tub filled with outfits for every occasion (well, you know, in my mind I had a closet... Barbie and I prefer different methods of organization), and more than 100 pairs of the same style of shoe, in merely different colors.

That was the dream I was working on back then.

Then, as I got older, I realized a pool would be an added expense and a camper with today's gasoline prices would just be a money pit. (Not to mention the fact Barbie was obviously unaware of the fact her carbon footprint was not literally the size of her one-inch foot...)

I'd be lying if I said I didn't occasionally weep with jealousy that I do not dress like Barbie on even her worst of days, yet alone a J.Crew model -- you guys, I don't even buy anything full-priced from Old Navy or Gap. Old Navy you guys. (Because we all know that those $24.99 pants will eventually be marked down to $4.99. They always are.)

However, as I sit here, surrounded by books and my cheap striped tee-shirts and jeans I've managed to collect (and hold onto for years at a time...) I am happy with what I have. Thankful even.

Today, when I think of my "Dream Life", it's much simpler than it was years ago:
A kitchen, to prepare and eat food with the people I love.A bedroom, where I can sleep and watch marathons of my favorite shows in the arms of my Love. 
A living room, where we can entertain our loved ones with rousing games of charades and the like. 
A bathroom, where I can use (and be perfectly content with) my cheap, wonderful shampoo -- that you will never find in a fancy blogger's round-up.  
A closet, to store my obnoxious supply of striped shirts and jeans from years ago.
Yes, this is now the simple dream I am working on.

"We were growing up. It was one of those moments when you could practically feel the adult pushing out, \pushing forward into the world. 
Perspective suddenly existed where it hadn’t existed before. This was just the beginning of our lives—our lives, things that we were responsible for, 
things that we could control. It seemed all at once too big and too simple an idea."-Hannah Pittard, The Fates Will Find Their Way
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

What they never tell you.

[My nightstand back in Kansas.]

As hard as I've tried, it's so much harder to create a world of your entire own, than one would expect. And to be completely honest, I prefer, much more, to simply join in someone else's, or create one with others.

They never tell you how to do this, or that many, many people have never managed to before.

But where I'm at in life, literally and figuratively, it's exactly what I'm being forced to do. I try not to harp on the "why's" -- instead I am learning to say "I trust Him."

"Don’t wait for it,” I said. “Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. Create. And then the love will come to you, then it comes to you. It was only when I wrote my first book that the world I wanted to live opened up to me.”- Anais Nin (March 1933)
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Writing from the heart He has blessed me with.

[Karneval. Marienplatz, Munich. 2.12.2013.]


That is what he said he was going to try and give up for Lent. As I stood there in the freezing cold, snow coating my glasses, I couldn't help but smile. I had never done much for Mardi Gras, though I am Catholic. I certainly had never stood in a square, surrounded by confetti and thousands of costumed people singing along to "Highway to Hell" to celebrate the Lenten Season. But now I have. And it was something you just don't get to experience in Kansas.

Oh my gosh, I have to tell everyone back home about this.

Then I realized the endless amount of adventures I've had and how I have not been sharing my stories.

All the crazy, sad, beautiful, hilarious, embarrassing, love-filled moments have been kept mostly to myself.

So, for this Lent, I'm going in a less-traditional route and instead of giving up something, I'm going to start doing something: I'm going to write it all down.

I have been blessed with stories to tell. I will share my words.

All the humbling, scary, the heart-wrenching, happy and blessed ones.

“Don’t forget - no one else sees the world the way you do, 
so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” 
-Charles de Lint, The Blue Girl
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Monday, February 11, 2013

{Quote of the Week.}

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Monday, February 4, 2013

{Quote of the Week.}

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