Three cheers to a New Year

As most of you know, my 2013 hasn’t been the greatest. A divorce and no solid job have made life a bit stressful. Being back near friends drops the stress level a bit and as much of a pain as Madeleine can be sometimes, she’s definitely a positive.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to 2014.

As most people do, I’ve been thinking about things I’d like to accomplish in 2014. So here goes:

1. Find a job.

2. Start dating.

3. Finish testing for my license.

4. Read an average of 1 book per month for pleasure.

5. Travel somewhere new.

6. Brush up on my Spanish and/or learn a new language.

7. Look into and hopefully find a home for myself.

8. Find a new church family to attend with regularly.

9. Visit Katie in California.

10. Continue to grow L2 Design.

11. Create, begin, and maintain a solid workout regimen.

12. Return to better eating habits.

13. Participate in a half marathon.

14. Attend the Kentucky Derby.

So there we have it. 14 goals for 2014.

I look forward to this year as one of self, professional, and social growth. There are sure to be awesome happenings in the lives of my friends as well: a wedding or two, some babies, and lots of fun.

Bring it, 2014. I got my shades. Nothing’s getting in my way. And if the pessimists and joy snatchers try, they better watch out. They’re liable to get hurt.

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Merry Christmas: The journey to the light

I’ve struggled the last week or two with whether or not to write this post. I didn’t want to only share negative, selfish thoughts surrounding a most blessed of holidays. But this is about my journey, so I’m sharing.

I’ve run the gamut of emotions this holiday season. After the last several years of my life spending this holiday with someone, it is underwhelming to spend it alone.

I LOVE Christmas. I love the holidays spent with those you love, doing things, making memories, decorating, relaxing. I’m a giver. I love finding the perfect gift for someone and seeing their face light up when they receive it. But I have no special someone to share these moments with this year, so it all seems very sad. It’s not that I feel the need to have someone to make things special in my life. It’s not a body count. I’m certain that spending your days with the wrong person, especially holidays, is probably just as bad, but you get what I mean. It is its own brand of suck known only to those who’ve spent holidays alone. *raises glass of alcohol to all the singles reading this*

I’ve never wanted a holiday season over with more than I do this year.

I’ve spent many a night wondering where my path is taking me. Feeling surrounded by darkness in the moments where families are busy brightening their homes with Christmas lights and holiday cheer. Wondering the plan God has for me.

I realized tonight as I listened to the sermon of the Christmas Eve service that Mary must have had similar concerns about her path and her plan. How the months leading up to Jesus’s birth, that night when no inn would take them, her son, the Son of God, being born in a barn among the animals, must have been wrought with dark moments and questioning thoughts. She must have wondered who was she to have this burden, how would her life change, what would lie ahead.

But she kept her faith. Even in the darkest of moments, she kept her faith. And she was rewarded with the ultimate Light. A light that continues to shine in each and every one of us, even in the darkest of our moments.

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And so in the moments of uncertainty, I am reminded to look to Him. In the sadness, loneliness, questions of the future…He is there. In the moments where I wonder my path, where I wish for someone to share these days with…I am reminded I am so blessed. I may not have a him in my life right now, but I have HIM.

In my darkest of days, He is the light. He shines through me. And that is enough.

For His birth, His death, His love…I am amazingly and wonderfully blessed.

Merry Christmas.

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Before we return to our regularly scheduled program

I know I took an even longer hiatus from writing than normal, but I promise it was with good – albeit serious – reason.

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Last Tuesday, Grandpa T was brought to Methodist by ambulance complaining of chest pain. Dad called me and we met there to check on him in the ER. After a couple EKGs and other tests, he was admitted for overnight observation while the cardiac team decided to do a stress test or a cardiac cath. Katie was able to fly in that night and we spent the following two days in the hospital with him, waiting for tests and test results.

Good news. As a 90 year old, he’s evidently been doing something right, because the heart attack he survived was his first…and the cath they performed only showed 50% blockage in one artery and 30% in another. So they sent him home on some new medicine. No stints needed.

Yesterday? He was back at the hospital he volunteers at in the maintenance department, helping the electrician run down rogue bulbs and outlets.

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The man never ceases to amaze me. When I wasn’t sure what might happen during the days of last week, I had time to sit and think about how much he has, and continues to impact my life.

This is a man who, without fail, attended 95%+ of all of my and Katie’s sporting events. To cheer us on, rain, snow, or shine. To congratulate us on our wins, console us on our losses, and take stats in between. (You may think I’m kidding, but I still have some basketball stat sheets to prove it.)

A man who taught us that there’s always room for ice cream, a little dirt never hurt anyone, and the sky is the limit.

A man who taught us stubbornness, perseverance, kindness, compassion. He showed us, and continues to show us, that it is fun to read. That ideas and intelligence are worth pursuing. That pennies are worth pinching for the right things.

He’s the man who consistently and lovingly asks to be my Valentine every February 14th and I can’t imagine anyone better suited for the job. His love and affection for my grandmother taught me what true love is really like and I hope someday to have someone in my life who can remotely hold a match to the compassion he showed through the years.

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I always learn something new when I’m with him and continue to look at him in admiration and respect, just as I did on the dance floor (above). I know there are so many things he has still to teach us and I look forward to every day learning from him over a bowl of his favorite soft serve.

I love you Grampa.

 

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Project 365: Week 11 update

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DAY 63: As of the Friday after Thanksgiving, the lights on the circle are officially on!

 

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DAY 64: Christmas came early for L² Design! Hello, beautiful Brother Printer.

 

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DAY 65: A wonderfully hilarious “X-mas” performance put on by the people of Phoenix Theatre.

 

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DAY 66: First snow! “What’s this yummy stuff on the ground?”

 

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DAY 67: The first snow has turned the neighborhood into a winter wonderland.

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Music Wednesday: Let your light shine

I realized as a part of last weeks thankful/lessons post that if I want to be the beautiful mosaic, I must live a life that causes it. I can’t sit and wait for life to happen to me, but I must go out and act upon it. As I’ve written before, action is not an issue for me. Typically it’s inaction that’s an issue. Sitting around causes me to be the child with Tourettes on the roller coaster, but I’m learning how to balance. How to know what I have to be patient about, and what I can intentionally act towards.

I’m also learning, though, that in both scenarios I have a chance to let my light, my true self, show. The fire within me, the parts and pieces, the paint on the canvas. Especially in action, but even in inaction.

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Katy Perry has a song about just that. About the power of a person’s being. About letting your light shine. I heard a church sermon given on this song and the Matthew 5:15 verse; it was probably one of the best sermons I’ve ever experienced.

“You don’t have to feel like a wasted space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ‘em what you’re worth
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ‘em all in awe, awe, awe”

In my concern about the present, the suck that has been this year of climbing and cursing towards happiness, I sometimes forget that the storms and hurricanes bring rainbows and clear skies. That in the storms you must not cower, but stand strong and let your light shine to guide you safely on your journey.

That you are worth the fight of the storm.

You are a beautiful firework on the path to your perfect place in the sky, even if you don’t know what that path is yet. The colors on your canvas, the shine of your color burst, is and will be stunning. You are too beautiful to cower in the storm or sit idly as life acts upon you.

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There will be people who tell you you can’t do things. Events that seem to cause the path you though you should be on to become blocked. Setbacks. Heartache. Moments feeling lost.

In those moments, especially, we must let our light shine. For in those moments, the ones that take the deepest of courage, we show what we are made of.

Shine away, darling. And grab your shades. There are rainbows in your future.

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Project 365: Week 10 Recap

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DAY 57: “Whatcha doin’, mom?” Miss M watching me work on the computer.

DAY 58: Chris Botti at work with the ISO.

DAY 58: Chris Botti at work with the ISO.

DAY 59: Happy Thanksgiving! Cuddle pic post-walk with Madeleine.

DAY 59: Happy Thanksgiving! Cuddle pic post-walk with Madeleine.

DAY 60: Merry Christmas! Helped put the tree up at Grandpa Bob's.

DAY 60: Merry Christmas! Helped put the tree up at Grandpa Bob’s.

DAY 61: Guard dog looking out the window while I read.

DAY 61: Guard dog looking out the window while I read.

DAY 62: Snug. As a bug. In a rug.

DAY 62: Snug. As a bug. In a rug.

 

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