Monday, August 31, 2009

Anderson Cooper


As much as I love George Clooney (which, as you know, is a lot), I have quite a soft spot for Anderson Cooper. He is just so handsome and adorable and awkward and intelligent. Part of why I love him is because he is such an honest writer. I have been reading his memoir off and on over the last year and it gets me every time. He is so outwardly strong. He travels to war-torn areas, risks his life for stories, and illuminates the plight of the oppressed. But what really gets me is a vulnerability just under the surface. He is deeply wounded (due mostly to his rough family past). I guess it is the “fixer” in me; I want to make his life better. Weird and girly, I know. Chalk this post up to girlhood fantasies and a large dose of TMI.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A physical reflection of inner change





Yesterday I cut off ten inches of my hair! I donated it to Locks of Love, but really just wanted a change and knew I had enough hair to donate, rather than cutting off just four inches or so. I’ve donated a couple times now. Emily and I keep mentioning how this year seems to be a whole new season in our lives, and she encouraged me to cut my hair as a way to physically reflect that transition, which it has.
Em is right, we are in transition. However, I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of transition since moving north to go to college. It has lasted for five years now, but obviously there are calmer and more dramatic times. This is one of the more dramatic times. I am in job transition, apartment transition, church transition, friend transition (which has been rather difficult), and roommate transition. This week my sister decided she is moving in with Em and I while she attends Cal Poly Pomona. And, as of yesterday, Em’s sister moved in with us as well. September will bring four roommates in our new place and two sets of sisters, which should be fun and interesting.
I’ve never really been a fan of transition, as you well know by now. We shall see what happens. I just cover this time of my life in prayer and I try to be as extroverted and brave as possible, which gets very exhausting. But, one part of transition that has been fun is my new haircut. It has been just over 24 hours and I am really enjoying my drastically shorter hair!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trying not to be needy,

But I am.
Hard to believe it is better this week.
When I am really needy I don’t like to admit it,
That feels needy.
Need:
Intentionality.
To be missed.
Appreciation.
Coffee dates.
Laughter after work
(luckily I laugh a lot at work these days).
Full weekends,
When I am not at home in San Diego.
Security
Emotional stability.
Best friends
Or
Cable TV.
Daily devotions.
Prayer.
A listening ear.
Hearing I am beautiful.
Good conversations.
Deeper friendships with new friends.
The fires around Azusa to stop.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fire Week


There is a fire in Azusa. It is hidden behind the foothills, behind APU. The sky at work was full of smoke, but really just above APU with a surrounding blue sky, but by the time I drove home the sky was murky further east (toward my apartment). But I am safe and so is the school. The fire hasn’t come over the foothills…yet, and probably won’t (they say). Can’t believe it is already fire season. Some people have snow days, while Californians have “fire days.”
I remember what I lovingly termed as “fire week” back in October of 2003. All of San Diego seemed to be up in flames, or about to be. But it was one of the best weeks ever. School was cancelled for the week, but everyday it was touch and go. It started on a Sunday night when a few friends and I were studying for a test we had the next day and we called our teacher, Mrs. Gerent, and asked her if she had heard anything about school being cancelled (we all prayed it would be to postpone studying). Only at a small school would you have your teacher’s cell phone number. :) She called us back and said yes, it was cancelled, so we sighed with relief and closed our books to talk and hang out on what had suddenly become an additional Saturday night. It was a great feeling.
School ended up being cancelled for the week. My Dad was in Palm Desert for the week and my mom said that was actually kind of a “God thing” because his asthma would have caused an attack with all the smoke. It was heavy and thick. Outside was so brown it covered the windshields like fog when driving. The cars were covered in ash, which was the closest thing to snow we may ever get in San Diego. The sky was a constant shade of orange and the news showed fires constantly. News anchors even got sick from all the smoke intake while on the job…rookies. My sister and I both had friends stay over most of the week and my Mom told me she worried how she would evacuate four girls, herself, our dog and valuables, without my Dad around, at the drop of the hat. That is the scary part about fire season – anything can change uncontrollably at the turn of the wind.
The week was so great because my friend Nikki stayed at my house for most of the week. I think we convinced our moms to let her spend the night three nights in a row. It was a nearly week-long slumber party…on a school night! LOL. I remember we convinced my mom to let us drive to the grocery store, despite the bad air quality, and get stuff so she and I could make dinner for the family. Now I don’t even remember what we made, but I remember we had a good time buying and making it. I think that was the week Nikki and I laid on top of my bed talking about college decisions and how she wanted to go to Chapman and still had feelings for her ex-boyfriend (now her current boyfriend of five years…funny how life works out sometimes). :) That was also the week I confided in her about who I had feelings for. It was a good week.
Crazy that was six years and how things have – and haven’t – changed.
(Not sure who took the photo, but possibly him).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Details

Dear friends,
Sorry I haven’t written in over a week. I haven’t felt much like writing.
Life has been a bit rough the past couple weeks. It is not so much because of outside factors, it is mostly just me. I was busy wallowing in self-pity, buried in Melancholy and Blue. Those two have been my best friends the last few weeks and I couldn’t seem to shake them. They are the best kind of best friends because they never leave or give up on you. They are always there when you need to vent and be listened to and they always tell you you’re right, except they tell you the lies you are believing are the truth, that you are right that “no one is intentional about making time for you” or “you’re not beautiful enough,” or “you are always alone.”
The problem is, as loyal as Melancholy and Blue are; they are lethal and poisonous to my other friends Optimism and Contentment and Faith. These three friends are also great, but they are not as loyal and they don’t always take my side, but they are the kind of friends that when they come to stay you feel better about life. They make you happy to be alive and force you to see the glass as half full. The trouble comes when Optimism, Contentment, and Faith get kicked out by Melancholy and Blue.
Luckily, I finally got strong enough on Friday night to kick out Melancholy and Blue. I was seeing the negative effects of their visit affect not only me, but my friends and family, so I grabbed Maturity and Humility and forced myself to be strong. Since Friday, life has been better. My attitude has improved and life is looking half-full again. God has been showing Himself in the details, which is one of my favorite things about the way He shows up in my life, because when life seems hard and overwhelming, all you have is the small stuff, the basics, the details.
Thanks for reading and here is to a better outlook on life.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Julie & Julia


Today my mom, sister and I went to see “Julie & Julia.” I loved it, which of course I did because it is a Nora Ephron film and she is a genius, plus it was about food and marriage and finding a purpose and starred the ever amazing Meryl Streep. I also loved it because there was a lot of humor about blogs, which I could totally relate to. My favorite line was “I could have a blog. I have things to say!” It was wonderful movie and a nice escape.
It made me want to be married. Both women are married to such wonderful men. Julie even calls her husband a “saint.” More importantly, the movie made me want to cook. Both the urge to have a husband and to cook can cause me immediate anxiety! Haha.
The whole plot of the movie is Julia Child’s life and a year in the life of Julie Powell, who made a goal to blog about her year long journey of cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” That is such a good idea. It made me want to consider making a recipe (not of Julia Child’s, just in general) every Sunday as a personal challenge, because frankly, I am not a fan of anything related to the kitchen. However, there are moments, like when watching the Food Network that I dream of enjoying cooking (and not just dream that Bobby Flay and I are married and he grills for me everyday on our New York patio). However, as much as I’d like to promise to begin this "Sunday cooking adventure," I can not, because I hate being committed to things that I am not passionate about. I don’t like the pressure. I’m already feeling pressure from my other recent goal to read through the Bible in one year. Plus, I have also given myself an assignment to finish reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by the weekend of the 29th when my mom and sister and I plan to see the movie. Anyway, go see “Julie & Julia” and then go to your favorite restaurant and on the way home drop by the grocery store and buy some ingredients to make something delicious.

Friday, August 14, 2009

All American Girl


I was listening to the radio this morning and one of my shows was broadcasting from Boston. The co-anchor said that being in Boston feels like “living in a really big house, because everyone (there) is so hospitable.” I thought that was the coolest and most profound description of a city. I love the picture that is gives. It made me want to go to Boston (I also want to go for those great accents and cute men…thank you “Good Will Hunting”…haha). If I took up Jet Blue’s offer for a $600 one month pass of unlimited flights I could go there…and anywhere else I wanted. I’d have to take off work for a month and just travel, but that causes another bump in the road because I am not very into traveling. This shocks most people. A co-worker mentioned the other day that it really surprises her that I don’t like to travel, which I felt was a compliment because it implies she thinks I am brave and a sort of free-spirit or adventurous or something. The most difficult part about traveling for me is flying, because (as you know) I hate to fly. Once I get where I’m going I usually like it, but maybe I’ve just visited some really great places.

If I did get the Jet Blue pass I would travel all over the US. I am unusual in the sense that I have more places I ache to go that are in the US than overseas. Most people are the opposite, but there is so much of this beautiful country that I want to see and I guess a lot of people would go to Europe first because the US will always be here for them, but how often to they end up taking advantage of that? Not very. Yes, someday I would love to go to London and Paris and Italy and Greece and Amsterdam and Ireland, but, I also really want to visit Nashville and Seattle and Boston and Maine and New Orleans and North Carolina and Chicago and some small towns in between. I guess this goes to prove that I really am an “all American girl.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pottery Barn future


A home.
of handmade quilts,
to cuddle with by a fire,
antique pieces,
a bookshelf of cookbooks in the kitchen,
a big dinning room table,
for dinner parties
and Saturday morning breakfasts,
and family dinner on Sunday nights,
a piano passed down through generations,
a twin bed under a staircase
(not sure what it’s for, but the Pottery Barn catalog inspired me),
a full DVD cabinet,
an entertainment center,
an overstuffed chair,
church on Sundays,
Bible on the nightstand,
fresh flowers,
stacks of books,
an answering machine,
sounds of laughter,
big windows,
white curtains that let in the light,
king size bed,
clocks with times from different cities where loved ones live and where my heart was left
(Texas, New York, Chicago, DC),
pictures of family and friends on the wall,
a mural on the wall of the staircase,
large art pieces,
children’s work on the fridge,
pretty smelling bathroom soap,
a wreath on the front door
that always brings in friends and families,
the home where people go to escape, relax, and be loved.
(photo from Pottery Barn).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Channeling Jordan McDeere

Tomorrow is a big day at work. It is a big day because I have to attend three meetings with new people, some of whom are big wigs, and that is so intimidating. I want to prove myself tomorrow. I want to not be defined by how quiet I may be, or how young I look, or by my appearance, etc. I want them all to see I am confident in my job and my knowledge and my ability to learn. Technically, I will probably just be sitting in the meetings and doing my best to follow the conversation, but still, I want to be seen as competent. This is all because of the possible changes at work that I am headed toward with my position. So, to compensate for my insecurity and intimidation, I am going to think of “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’s” Jordan McDeere. She is my favorite character and she plays the newly hired president of the NBS network. No one, especially her supervisor, thinks she is qualified. They all think she will run away scared and run her position into the ground before running away her self. She is brave and confident and doesn’t let anyone see her sweat. She rarely falls apart, but when she does she is alone. She stays calm and looks for the positive and can handle any threat or challenge. She also states in an episode that she agreed to do her new job as if she only had a year left to live, and make decisions based on that. She will be my role model tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

An open letter to Jon and Kate


Dear Jon and Kate,

You have the most adorable kids. They are certainly a handful and I don’t know how you deal with the day to day of constant neediness, but regardless, they must crack you up all the time. It has been fun watching the show and seeing them grow up. It would be fascinating to spend a day in your shoes at home.

My heart is breaking for you both during this difficult time in your lives. I’m sure you never imagined getting to this point in your relationship, especially in front of millions of people. Just want you to know I don’t believe everything I read and I don’t buy the covers of you two on US Weekly.

My prayer is that you two can find your way back to one another. At least in some small way. No one else will ever know fully what it is like to raise eight kids. No one understands the way that has bonded you two for life. No one understands how you both felt the day you brought the little kids home. These are things I hope you both remember as you continue to figure out what is next. I love that your kids come first in each of your lives, and my hope is that they will come first for you two as a parental unit. I hope the kids can have both their parents at their birthday parties and on Christmas morning. I hope you can each put aside your anger and hurt and spend a day together in peace, and more than peace, I hope in community and friendship. I hope your kids can see a smile between you two or hear a nice word. It won’t do either of you any good to have joint birthday parties and holidays if the environment is tense and uncomfortable. That is not what will make good memories for your kids. I hope you figure out some way to exist together soon because you two will have to see each other for the rest of your kids’ lives.

Also, I am sad for the kids that they won’t see you both as often. I hope you let them call the other when they are sad and can’t fall asleep because they haven’t said goodnight to one of you. I hope you don’t get jealous when they mention the other parent. I hope you don’t have a rule stating that they can’t mention Mom or Dad. I hope custody arrangements are not so strict that you can’t rearrange the agreement for one of your birthdays or an impromptu snowboarding trip or for one kid to spend some alone time with the parent who does not have all eight that week. I just hope things are flexible and friendly for the sake of those eight little beautiful faces that bring your life so much joy.

Thanks for opening up your life for the world to see. Regardless of the press and the separation, I think you two are wonderful parents who legitimately try their best every morning, and that is all any kid can ask for. Please give your kids a hug for me and my prayers are with you both.

A faithful fan,

Carrie