I felt 17 again.
driving around back roads, with the windows down and nowhere to be.
no sitter on the clock.
in my husbands hometown.
you are always 17 in your hometown, as the song says.
we opened up a huge accordion book of my old mix (pre-ipod) cd’s and went to town.
something about those old cd’s labeled, “finals 04” or “camp mix 00” “for my girls”, well they just do something in my soul. they take me back. they fill my head and heart with memories and they make me want to just sing along.
something about tonight made me feel free.
free to dream, free to relish in the memories, not of “the best times of my life” in a way that makes it sound like the best days are over, but just thinking about the good old days.
while also dreaming about the future. the best is yet to come.
sticking with my regular programing, I’m adding a #fertilityfriday into the mix of this series.
I remember so vividly writing this note on my phone. I was staying at one of my dearest friend, Shannon’s house in Austin this spring. I wanted so desperately to have a free moment to sit down and actually write what was going on in that spinning head of mine, but a note in my phone was all I could muster.
I haven’t really talked about this on the blog, but you all know we’ve been struggling with infertility for the past 5+ years. what you don’t know, is in the spring we did our first [and only so far] IVF cycle with our fertility doctor in Austin.
my spring was so crazy nuts y’all. left march 7th for created for care retreat outside Atlanta, Georgia for the weekend, then straight from there to Jinja, Uganda for my first ever blogger trip, then home for a few days before starting our IVF cycle in Austin. then to Dallas to speak at Hope Spoken, then to Waco where me and the kids made our home base for the entire month long cycle. I drove back + forth to Austin every 2 days for sonograms, and then the last week my parents were moving [oh boy] so me and the kids got out of the way and just stayed in Austin that entire week, between sonograms.
we quite literally stayed with a different friend every night. which probably prepared us for our #wactour a few months later. we spent time with some of our most favorite people, ate all our favorite austin restaurants, and had a lot of fun – but it was cra-zy.
amidst tears and tantrums [by both me and the kids] I realized that home is most defiantly wherever I’m with my little tribe. sure, I missed my bed, I missed my friends and community at home, and I missed routine and normalcy. sure I uttered words, through tears, like “if this doesn’t work I will be SO mad!” you know how it turned out. it didn’t work. we retrieved the eggs, and implanted 1 embryo on Easter Sunday, my 30th birthday. I was so sure that new life was coming. a new decade, resurrection, easter sunday!
I’ll tell you more about that later, but today I’m just reflecting on that season.
knowing and believing, no matter how hard it was, there was a reason for it.
home is wherever I’m with you.
catch up on the rest of my #notetoself series here.
riding down the windy roads in the land of a thousand hills [Rwanda] this summer, with my new friends Anna + Jennie we were playing the question game. ya know, getting to know each other. I don’t remember exactly the question that was asked – but somehow I got into talking about all the different places I’ve lived or worked that stretched me the most. the ones that were most out of my comfort zone:
living in a trailer park for 14 days, sleeping on a park bench in Paris, working in a trash dump slum community in Ethiopia, and spending a few terrifying nights in a covered wagon as big cats paraded around.
yes, my first big girl job out of college was working for the Rodeo in our state capital of Austin, Texas. before you get a mental image that I wore a crown and paraded around on my horse every night before the show started, let me stop you in your tracks. I worked in fundraising and event planning, and in case you didn’t know the rodeo is a non-profit that raises scholarship money for youth! but it’s true. I lost 14 pounds to match the 14 nights I slept and showered in a trailer during the “show”. this was culture at it’s finest. this baptist/private school girl all her life was thrown into the ring so to speak. but I loved it. it pushed me out of my comfort zone, opened my eyes, and while most of the time I felt beat down, I think it strengthened my faith.
[also apparently too busy to take photos - but these were my lovely co-workers and friends!]
now the sleeping on a park bench in Paris is less scandalous than it sounds. I was studying abroad with Baylor University in London, and our whole team did a weekend in Paris. but at the recommendation of others who’d gone before me, me and a few friends opted to not pay the extra thousand dollars or whatever it was, and decided just to sneak into the rest of our groups hotel rooms. meaning, we took an earlier train and couldn’t “Check in” to the room. we were exhausted after we’d toured the Louve, and walked around Paris all day so we elected to take turns taking naps on benches in a city park. it was a memory for the record books – and there are way more stories to record from that once in a lifetime experience. backpacking Europe on the weekends for sure taught me flexibility. [also, back in 2004, there wasn't Facebook, so finding photos of this event was difficult….enjoy the only photo I found - eating dinner at the Texas Embassy in London]
unlike the pre-blog timing of the other stories, Ethiopia was in this blogs lifetime. you could possibly remember my missionary summer where I said yes, and lived the dream of living in Ethiopia [without my man [insert sad face]] for a solid 3 months while we were finishing our adoption process of Camp + Asher. working everyday in my beloved Korah, a community build around the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Abbaba, trash dump. I lived with a family, but I was still very much living there alone. figuring out my own transportation, which often led me to take 3 city buses to Korah on a Saturday [not very safe] alone…but hey. it was an adventure, it was hard, but it gave me some of the most memorable experiences of my life so far.
so Hume Lake. In case you didn’t know, I was a church recreation major in college, and to graduate I had to do an internship. I totally could have worked at my beloved Camp Mystic, where I spent 14 summers of my life, but I wanted something to push me out of my comfort zone. I read about this camp in California from a text book, and even had a friend in my sorority who grew up going there with her church group, so I said what the heck. I applied, got in, and went not knowing a soul. and I was the only one from Texas, and well pretty much the entire south. my nickname was Dixie. I wouldn’t have traded this summer for anything – I met people I would NEVER have met, was exposed to a totally different culture in our own country, and learned so much about a state I love so much.
the thing all those stories have in common?
I did all those things alone. I took a leap of faith, and went. These experiences pushed me out of my comfort zone, they taught me so much about myself, they gave me a love for other cultures, and an “I can do anything” attitude. I hope as a family we can continue to take these sort of leaps, and we can encourage our children one day in this too.
what about you? is there a time in your life you took a leap + it changed your perspective on life?
what is this #notetoself series? check it out here.
yes, you heard that right.
my first every 31 days challenge right here on gloriously ruined, is a crazy voicemail series. we’ll call it “note to self”
just like this first voice memo says, I will be including voice memos for these posts. I’ve been brainstorming this series for a while, and a hot day at the lake in July it hit me! voice memo series! I don’t know why I do this, but I love making voice memos for myself. As my current iPhone says, I’ve been doing this since October 28th, 2010. Sometimes I just have these thoughts, ya know. thoughts that need to be recorded RIGHT then. Most of the time I have these thoughts while driving. isn’t that funny? when I’m finally pulled away from distractions [aka, technology, to do lists, laundry...] I have these crystal clear thoughts. sometimes I intend for these thoughts to be recorded through writing, and sometimes they are just memories I don’t want to forget or things I want to do.
I never thought anyone would ever HEAR these thoughts, but I’ve been dreaming about finally taking the time, and challenging myself to write the stories. write the thoughts. so this month, I’m challenging myself to write every. single. day. I’ve pre-written a few posts, but most days I want to literally sit down, listen to a voice memo, and write. some of these posts might be from “notes” on my phone, and not actual voice memos, but they are all the same. things I scribble down while traveling, after I get out of the shower, or when I can’t sleep at night.
now that I think about it, I think I know where I get this from. my dad used to carry around [pre iPhone] a handheld recorder that he would talk into as we were driving down the road, or on vacation, or sitting at lunch. things to not forget, notes to his assistant, whatever it was in his world. [thanks dad!]
so this is MY world. welcome
to find out more about this crazy writing challenge, visit the #write31days site here.
I’ll have all my 31 days posts linked HERE, or click the “note to self” logo on the sidebar!
hello there friends, it’s so nice to see you [as my sweet Camp says when I pick him up from "school"] Oh how I’ve missed you. This place, the time put into writing on this space, it’s my therapy. it’s my time. and I’ve missed it. The season is changing, friends. it’s fall. today in my city it’s cool enough to wear jeans + my white chucks AND a cardigan. I’m sitting at Starbucks sipping on Pike’s Place drip from a real mug, listening to David Gray on pandora. I have two hours all to myself, and it feels damn good. can I get an amen from any other stay at home mamas?
it seems like all-the-dang-day my kiddos are hanging off me. just yesterday, I was trying to do a workout video and Asher had to go “tee tee” so she went to the other side of the house on her potty, and then proceeded to take the little bowl out of her potty and carry it to the other side of the house….”it spilled mama!”. some days you just have to laugh. moments like these fill my days. I bet they fill yours too.
In light of this, I have to have an “outlet”. I need time to myself, but I’m learning I also need accountability and community. So I’m making some pretty big goals.
I just started a month long beach body challenge with some of my college gal pals [fit for fall!]. Workout video for 30 min at home each day + a “clean eating” plan. I can’t tell you how much the daily check ins, encouraging texts and comments have pushed me to keep going. Like a lot of things in my life, if I don’t have a plan and make a goal – change won’t happen. so I’m taking a big step forward in my health and wellness.
my oily community also keeps me sane and accountable to changing our lifestyle with the daily use of essential oils. scrolling through Casey’s instagram, visiting our Baby Steps member lounge on Facebook, and connecting with some other like minded gals keeps me motivated to keep learning, and pushing myself to better our families health and wellness.
there’s another big goal I’m working towards….
Last year, I loved following along some amazing writers as they wrote every day of October. I’ve been brainstorming what I would want to write about, and one sunny July day at the lake it HIT ME! I can’t wait to tell you about it. I’m about to start getting my thoughts on paper about it, and hopefully pre-write a few posts before linking up next Tuesday. I hope it will push me to be a better storyteller, to connect with you, to record some memories that have been stored in my head, and only make me a better writer, wife, friend, and mom! [remember, writing is my free therapy!] so come back next week, and journey with me through 31 days of October. to find out more about this crazy write31 days thing, go here.