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Things change as you get older. For me, the holidays used to be filled with… magic. A lightness, an excitement – enthusiasm. There were stories of baby Jesus and Santa, whispers of presents, and tours through neighborhoods of brightly lit houses. For days and weeks there was a wonderful anticipation and, from that perspective, everyone felt it and longed for what was coming. All of it culminated in a day or two of sheer bliss, wrapping paper strewn everywhere, time to play with cousins, treats always at hand, and ending the day exhausted but falling asleep with a smile on my face.

I’m incredibly grateful for that experience. I know that’s not how everyone grew up. I  wish it was because everyone deserves to share in that goodness.

It’s different now. There isn’t really a ‘holiday season’ anymore. I’m sure others would disagree but that’s how it feels to me. The only thing prior to Christmas is trying to figure out what to buy for others (and then actually remember and find the time to buy the gifts). Then I leave home to return to a place I used to call home. Then that day or two that used to be bliss is still filled with family, but it’s not the same.  The love is still very much real and treats are still always at hand, but I tire quickly of being surrounded by people and dread the drive back. Now, I can see the cynicism on people’s faces and feel the underlying tension. The cousin I used to look up to now actually doesn’t like me, so we avoid each other. Now, instead of playing with toys, we sit and chat or play a game of cards, trying to ignore the questions about if I’m with anyone yet or not. Now, some cousins aren’t even there to celebrate because they live far away or are with their partner’s families.

It’s not that the holidays are bad now. Like I said, the love is still there, which is all that matters. I guess the point is that… the love isn’t perfect. Most of it is well intended of course, but it’s no where near perfect. And the day isn’t perfect. And the weather is never perfect. The presents aren’t perfect. The meals aren’t perfect (though the desserts usually are, I’ll be honest). And the people. Yes, the people definitely aren’t perfect.

What’s fascinating to me is the concept of family. You’re not supposed to get annoyed by them. When you only see your aunt a couple times a year, you’re not supposed to get tired of her. When you have this amazing, huge group of people who love you endlessly, you’re not supposed to miss the quiet of your one person apartment. And yet, so many of us feel all the things I don’t think we’re supposed to feel during the holidays. I mean, no one wants to feel anxiety or depression hitting them square in the chest during the ‘most wonderful time of the year.’ But we do. And going back to the place we grew up to visit all of our cousins and uncles and grandparents and aunts is more difficult than we ever knew it would be when we were kids.

The magic and the children who felt it during the holidays is gone. And you know? I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s just a grown up thing. I can accept that.

It’s not that the holidays are bad now. Like I said, the love is still there. And that is all that matters.



Missing you.

We make assumptions in life. And some days, you wake up and an assumption that you’d grown used to, suddenly isn’t so stable anymore.

It’s been over five years. Five years, nine months, and thirteen days if you want to be exact. Years that have changed me through heartbreak, transition, and opportunity. And I know they’ve changed you too.

Almost six years of silence.

I woke up this morning with an assumption firmly set in my mind. An assumption that told me there was no hope. An assumption that promised I would never again hear your voice or your laugh, I would never again see your face, I would never again have your friendship.

I woke up this morning to a very subtle change. And I could feel, can feel, it reaching for me. I can feel it’s thin, cold fingers, I can feel the brittle nails, wrapping slowly around my heart. This monster called ‘hope.’ Begging me to give in.

But I know hope. And hope is not to be trusted.

Didn’t you teach me that?

It was probably a mistake. It probably meant nothing to you. You probably thought I wouldn’t notice. You probably didn’t give it any thought at all. You probably didn’t mean to cause my assumptions to waiver.

Five years, nine months, thirteen days, and I’m still…

Missing you.



You know what absolutely sucks? Leaving bad things behind.

It’s not that part that sucks, really. It’s the fact that when you leave bad things behind, you inevitably leave good things behind too. And the good things.. let’s be honest- not things, people. When you leave the good people behind, they don’t really know why you left. They don’t know how much the bad things hurt you or how much it hurts to leave the good people. They don’t understand the pain that fills you when you think about going back. They don’t know you can’t let yourself think about them because it hurts much too much to do so. They don’t know how much you had to fake it or the kind of front you put up just so you’d survive.

And then you feel bad because you left them behind. And you know, you know, you know, you know, that you can’t go back. And you can’t do that again. And it’s the reason part of you is dead. It’s a piece of you that your body literally would do better without because it’s trying to infect the parts of you that are still alive. But still. You feel bad. Because you were good. You just had to be so freaking good to some people that now that you’re gone, they miss you. And leaving people like that really isn’t in your job description because you know what it’s like. And you want to be there for everyone if only they weren’t there. You know, that place you can’t go because… well you don’t know why.

But you know that you have to go back soon and the thought strikes you with fear and makes you crazy. Because why would you want to return to a place that saw so much of your pain? Why would you want to return to a place that stole hours and hours and hours from you that you’ll never get back? A place filled with emotion and pain and hurt but also with comfort because, hell! it’s all you knew for four years of your life. But at some point, a home turned into a prison and, for crying out loud, you still can’t figure out which one is it.

You just feel bad because you left all the good things along with all of the bad things. And you just wonder how long they’re going to keep hurting you.



Let’s get one thing straight: I’m never homesick.

I probably should but I just never have been. Even when I was little, even when I went to camp for the first time by myself, I didn’t miss home. I’m too independent for that I guess.

So imagine my surprise when I just got a picture if my dad blowing out his birthday candles and had that feeling in my chest that there were going to be tears in my eyes soon.

I just talked on the phone with the family two minutes before because I have to lead the birthday song, even when I’m not there. It was a rather short conversation- just singing happy birthday and then hanging up, my mother promising to send the before mentioned picture. And I’ve done this before. I’ve missed a few birthdays. But they always call and I always lead the song.

I think it’s something about birthdays. I never used to like birthdays. Well, my own. I like other peoples. And my family always does birthdays together. Nothing big. Just cake, ice cream, and pictures.

Birthdays are just… They’re a reason to let people know you care about them. Yes, you should do that everyday. But on someone’s birthday, they’re supposed to get to feel special all day long. On people’s birthdays, they should feel like people want them in the world. Like everyone they love is on their side. They should get to feel like the sun rose just for them on that day. And I like my family, you know? I like them a lot. But I never get homesick.

Except on their birthdays.



As a person who blogs, I think it’s only fair to write about the things I’m thankful for. I realize it’s past the official date, but I’m one of those people who believes you should be thankful all year. After this though, I’m going to blast Christmas music and search for Christmas decorations to put up in my apartment, but this first.

I’m thankful for blogs. I’m a very private person and having a blog like this can help me breathe. I’m thankful for feet. Mine put up a fight a lot of the time, but they still work. I’m thankful for art. I’m not very good at any form of it but it’s one of those things that just makes sense to me. I’m thankful for fans. I’ve gotten addicted to white noise when I sleep. I’m thankful for hygiene products. I’m thankful for playlists. I’m thankful for scarves. I’m thankful for hats- I love them though I never have quite enough confidence to wear them. I’m thankful for candy. I’m thankful for socks. For good, worn in jeans. For long sleeves. I’m thankful for instruments and the ability to play a few of them. For books and movies that let me disappear for a while. I’m thankful for my pillows and for couches. For hair product. For pretty dresses and perfect skirts. For high heels and converse. I’m thankful for hot chocolate and fire places. I’m thankful for cameras to capture memories I would hate to forget. I’m thankful for the feeling of a good pen sliding across a blank page. For the feeling of water sliding down a dry throat or chapstick on dry lips. I’m thankful for guinea pigs and the little squeaks they make. For peanut butter. For blue shoe strings. For cups. Umbrellas. Wrapping paper. Index cards. Post-it notes. Stamps. Fake glasses. Sun glasses. Ice cream.

I’m thankful for people. I’m thankful for relationships lost because I wouldn’t be who I am without them. I’m thankful for steady relationships because they help get me through. I’m thankful for new relationships because they help me learn. I’m thankful for eyes; mine for sight and others for a window into their soul. I’m thankful for hugs, especially the kind from good friends that last just a little longer than normal. The kind in which you never want to let go. I’m thankful for cuddling up on a couch with a friend to watch a movie or listen to music. I’m thankful for acting crazy and laughing until your face hurts. I’m thankful for conversations and for being able to watch as someone’s face lights up. I’m thankful for skills of observation. I’m thankful for a heart that’s much too soft. For a body that desires to hold and be held. For hands that can greet or comfort. For a smile that can warm. I’m thankful for that feeling of release I sometimes get when I’m singing. For air filling up and leaving my lungs. I’m thankful for faces that will always be familiar. I’m thankful for the family I am so blessed to have. For the people that make it up, each individual. I’m thankful for their beauty, their independence, their love.

I’m thankful for my Lord. For His ears that hear everything. For His eyes that see all. For His mind that knows more than I could ever imagine. I’m thankful for His nearness. His compassion. His unbelievable patience. His comfort. His heart. His sacrifices. His utter goodness. I’m thankful for not only his willingness to acknowledge I exist, but also for His thought to pay attention to every detail of my life and be vitally interested. I’m thankful for my Lord because, through Him, I can be thankful for everything else. He is my reason to live. I’m thankful because through Him, I have a purpose. Through Him, my life isn’t meaningless. I’m thankful He taught me to be thankful.

It’s not too late, you know. If you haven’t made a list of the things you’re thankful for, you still can, even through we’re past Thanksgiving. It will help you appreciate life.

And this life isn’t something you should take for granted.



I see the signs everywhere I go. Everywhere. About foster care.

Not even metaphorical signs. Like real life, hammered in to the ground, posted on a huge billboard, right beside every road I drive on, signs. Metaphorical signs have nothing on these.

It’s driving me crazy. I would LOVE to be a foster parent. I would LOVE to take children in. I would LOVE to foster, care for, and eventually adopt the little boy I met recently who broke my heart, who stole my heart, with his huge brown eyes and evident signs of abuse and neglect. I would LOVE to hold the little girl whose parents didn’t have enough to give her in my arms and never let go.

I would LOVE to claim them as my own. I would LOVE to do everything I could to improve their lives.

But I’m young. I’m unmarried. I’m not even finished with college! I’m about to go back for another year! Not fostering agency would even look at me! I’m not even fully caring for myself so how am I supposed to care for the other children that having no one caring for them?

My heart hurts.

What the crap is with all of the signs?



I was distracted during the sermon this morning.

We had walked in about ten minutes late, so I was having that feeling of not being able to just be slow and calm after running around for the past hour or so. A man and his two sons walked in ahead of us and ended up sitting directly in front of us. Naturally, I thought it was just the three of them. After only a couple of minutes, the man left and came back again. His wife walked in and sat down a few minutes later. From left to right, it was the mom, the older son, the dad, and then the youngest son.

When the woman walked in, the man kept looking at her, an almost… longing coloring his facial expression. The woman didn’t even glance his way.

But his eyes seemed to be begging for her attention.

As the sermon actually began, her body language amazed me. She had an arm over the back of the chair next to her and, ironically, it wasn’t the one her son was sitting in. The chair was empty. Her whole body was turned away from the men in her life. Both sons were slightly angled in toward the dad, who was still having a slightly hard time keeping his eyes off of the mother.

Throughout the sermon, she eventually stopped fidgeting and her shoulders relaxed a little bit. The younger son brought his lips close to the dad’s ear: “Can I go sit with mom?

The dad told him that was fine. The younger boy, somewhat timidly, approached his mother, who pulled him up to sit on her lap. Her arms wrapped around him, he let one are snake up and curve perfectly around the back of her neck, holding himself to her. Clearly, he loved the attention his mom was giving him. Clearly, he loved her in every way his tiny heart knew how.

At the end of the service, the dad finally leaned over to the mom and asked her something. As they were speaking softly, her hand automatically reached up to cup his face. But, after watching them for an hour, how was that the first bit of love I had seen between the two of them?

I don’t know. I may be reading into things. I probably am. But… I just hope that if, when I’m married, someone is watching my husband and I, they’ll know we’re in love. Beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If you are married, please, don’t take your spouse for granted. Goodness, believe me, I know being that close to someone has it’s many challenges, but love them every chance you get. Leave them little notes just to tell them you can. Catch their eye just to make them smile. Hold their hand, just because you can. It takes work. From both parties. But do all you can. Show us younger people that love still exists. Show the kids with horrible parents that there is still hope. Show the kids with only one parent that it doesn’t have to be like that.

When over half of marriages end in divorce, be the exception. Be the example. Be selfless.