Monday, January 31, 2011

pregnant pause?

So the other night I dreamt I was pregnant.

I don't even know how it happened.

In the dream, I just "woke up" one day and realized I was with child.
And then...I panicked.

Pretty much the entire dream was based on my being pregnant, steadily growing, most definitely unsure of how I got pregnant in the first place, with the all-consuming knowledge that no one would believe my "innocence". All I could picture were the potential results: loss of my job, my pursuit of education, and etc., etc., etc.

But I can't shake that dream, for some reason.

So I've compiled a list of possibilities as to why I had the dream in the first place:

1. I'm brilliant. According to the online dictionary I found, a definition for "pregnant" is: Having a profusion of ideas; creative or inventive. It's just building up so much, it's coming out in my dreams!

Or...

2. My subconscious is trying to identify with the Virgin Mary for reasons unknown.

Or...

3. My biological clock is ticking. I keep pressing snooze, but it's leaking into my dreams.

Or...

4. Someone in my life needs to confess something to me. The last time I had this dream, I ended up finding out about an "unwed" pregnancy that thankfully turned out great for the young lady. So...whether you're wed or unwed, maybe you're not telling me you're actually preggos...and you need to. Ahem.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

prayers to Jesus.

Said by Charlee, after stalling the going to bed process for at least 30 minutes, including requesting a bowl of pretzels, a new water, and a back rub:

"Prays Jesus...please give Skippy Jon Jones baby kittens, and make her a good kitty mommy, and make her kind and loving and a good kitty...and thank you for making all the world happy...and for water...and food...and...."

And she's out.

Works every time...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the tension.

Today, Jesus took my Aunt Flo home, just four weeks after the doctors told her she had cancer.

Sometimes we forget we live in the tension:
The tension of the here and now along with the eternal.
The tension of living every day to its full potential.
The tension of the big picture filled with tiny images.

When you lose someone you love, you cannot forget the tension.
It is right in your face.
It is found in grief.

In the last few weeks, I was privileged to visit with my family a few times and sit with Aunt Flo. She instructed me, "make every day count!" as she sat in a place where she could not ignore the tension.

Twice I was able to join her, my Uncle Ken, and other family members (depending on the day) for 8pm devotions and prayer. The first time, she was still very strong, and it was her prayers that gave me strength. The second time, she was much weaker, both physically and mentally, and wanted all of us present because, as she announced, she was headed for eternity. Her peace in that moment of clarity amidst confusion granted peace to me. God used her own faith to teach me about my own.

It seems odd that Aunt Flo has left us.

When I was a child, she made me eat tomatoes...which I hated. And I still don't really like them. But she tried, because she knew it was good for me to try. She didn't give in to me, and my only-child ways. I didn't have siblings to keep up with, and when I stayed with her, she treated me like there was no reason I couldn't keep up with my cousins. It made my 6-year old brain frustrated, and created a desire to show her I could keep up.

When I was in college (and really, as long as I've lived in Abbotsford) she'd call me or email me and tell me dinner was waiting for me. She provided me with a home away from home. A place where I could just come and be with family. She was always a good hostess. And always...always...sent me home with flowers or groceries...or both.

When we went to Australia in May, she again took care of me. She and Uncle Ken fed me and housed me...kept telling me it was a gift. I look back now on those two weeks...we all do...and can't believe she probably already had cancer.
We didn't know.
We didn't even guess.

The tension was lost on me at that time.

I couldn't picture this moment then. Not that I should have pictured it, but rather I say this to demonstrate how I ignored the tension: ignored the reality that at any time any of us could be called home; lived life like we'd all be together for years to come. Today reminds me our lives are not our own...they are our Creator's.

I am thankful for my Aunt Flo...for her quirky ways...her loving heart...her giggle...her insistence that your stomach be satisfied, your vases filled, and your fridge overflowing.

And I will miss her...

Until we meet again.

The following video may seem an odd choice...but I just love my aunt's giggle in this moment. We had just arrived to the area where the kangaroos were tame, armed with a couple bags of buns to feed them. The kangaroos flocked to us. I have to smile at my aunt's comment at the end of the video clip...it was so her personality to try and ensure every kangaroo got their fair share.
video

Saturday, January 15, 2011

things that went through my mind today...

1. Spending $500 on tires is the equivalent to being kicked in the gut. Voluntarily.

2. I ordered a salad at Wendy's and the guy asked me type of salad dressing I wanted. I offered, "thousand island?" He responded, "No, we don't have that. How about italian?" I wanted to ask him if he'd actually ever seen thousand island dressing before. Apples and oranges, people...apples and oranges.

3. I wonder when Sam and Lana will get married. And where. And...oh my gosh, Lana in a wedding dress. And...oh my gosh, wedding dress shopping. Wow. This should be good.

4. The month of June is the promised land. I'm currently in the desert. But I'm not alone.

5. I really love my Davies cousins.

6. Watching death slowly take someone you love is hard. You feel helpless. You feel like you should have done more. And you feel like it's just not fair. And honestly, if I didn't love Jesus, I don't know how I would cope.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

if i had a superpower...

...I would stop time when I needed to
...and fast forward through other things.

Yep, that's it.

More on this...later.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

the list.

Well, folks, it's the new year.
And I'm already behind. I got caught up in all these jigsaw puzzles...cause that's what the cool kids are doing these days...and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

My goal was to post a list of my quote unquote resolutions for this year on January 1st. As you can tell...that didn't happen.

I don't like the word resolution.
I like to say "things I want to see happen".

For example, in 2010 I finally found recipes for arroz con leche and gallo pinto (my two favourite Costa Rican dishes) that come close to the real thing.
In 2010, I started my masters studies.
In 2010, I started volunteering with Abbotsford Community Services' Host Program, and met my friends Marvin and Estela from Guatemala: they are now part of my "family".
I wasn't thinking about all of these things in January of 2010, yet am thankful they have happened.

This year I want to start off with some intentions...and see how it goes.

In thinking about this list, I want to focus on the positive. I think it's easier to come up with "things I shouldn't do"...but we all know how that ends. December 31st arrives and we hang our heads, promising ourselves we'll do better next year. Well, let's stop that once and for all. Let's make shorter lists and stop putting the usual things on the list. And maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to feel a sense of accomplishment on December 31st!

So..on that note...here's my list...welcome to:

"Things I want to see happen - 2011 edition"

1. Find a drink substitute for pop (specifically coke).
I NEVER used to be into drinking pop regularly, and then the cafeteria at school started giving staff free drinks from the pop fountain; Carleigh simultaneously started buying pepsi for us as a treat, and the whole thing went downhill from there. As of January 1st, we're attempting to be pop-free for one year. So, when I had a sandwich and salt & vinegar chips for lunch the other day, my glass of water seemed REALLY dull. This year's goal: find the alternative. I'm completely open to suggestions!

2. Donate blood.
For the last seven years, I have travelled internationally and therefore been ineligible to donate blood. I'm finally eligible! So...off I go!

3. Learn to make some type of Guatemalan food.
Now that I have Guatemalan friends, I am really interested in learning how to make something from their culture. Much of it is quite similar to Costa Rican food, and so I hope to be able to find something new...or even just find out how to correctly make that which I already love! Estela is a great cook and made us tamales for New Years Eve - it was such a treat. Building friendship with Estela has been awesome: I help her with her English, and she helps me with my Spanish; we share a love for Latino and Canadian culture and I'm excited to spend more time with her and her family in 2011!

4. Go somewhere new.
Keeping in mind I don't necessarily have the biggest budget right now as a part time employee and grad student, I still need some adventures. So, it might be just a couple hours away, but I want to go somewhere I've never been before.

5. Get a great pair of boots.
This is a rather selfish one...but I'm pretty determined. Having calves that are larger than the average stick woman has been discouraging. I even ordered boots online made for "wide calves" and they were just as tiny as the ones in store! Frustrating. But I'm determined to get some good boots. It will definitely require some resolve and probably a number of phone calls and trips to random stores. Hopefully it will not involve cursing at the shoe store clerks, nor throwing boots at them while cursing.

6. Grow a small garden, and help the Davey/Doll household return to composting!
I would really like to grow some simple vegetables this year: carrots, maybe some onions and maybe even some peas! And...we need to return to composting. Our garbage man heaves a big sigh every time he takes our garbage away. To be honest, we're kind of scared of him. Thus, the return to composting. (And yes, there is more motivation than just the garbage man. Don't worry.)

7. Learn more about knitting.
For 23 years I have known one type of stitch. I have mastered it in the form of dish clothes, scarves and blankets...and to be frank, it's rather boring. So here's to learning at least one more style of stitch! (I'm realistic about my learning ability with crafting).

8. Take a pottery class?
While my other ideas were well thought out, taking a pottery class is a somewhat spontaneous thought. I do believe, though, I would love to pursue it. I did a bit of kiln work as what they'd now call a "tween" in art classes, and it turned out rather poorly. I seem to remember something that was designed to look like a dinosaur, but turned out more like a soap dish, which I then gave to my poor mother...so, maybe this will be a summer time project when I'm unemployed...in attempts to redeem the soap dish dinosaur fiasco of 1992.

9. Spend more money on other people than on myself.
There are certain reputable businesses in Abbotsford which serve as "crack houses" to those struggling in the fight against materialism: the inner battle. Superstore and Pier 1 seem to come to mind with their conveniently located products, supposed deals, and trendy looks. Oh, and don't get me started about Winners/HomeSense.

So, in 2011, when I find a new $12 "joe" shirt or a new $15 ("elsewhere sold for $150") basket for my room (which let's be honest is overflowing with baskets), my goal is to match that spending with charitable donations. And hopefully, with time, I will stop spending as much on myself, and have more to spend on others.

I want my legacy to be more than just having bought things for myself, making my space look prettier, or having cute clothes. I want my legacy to be one of consideration for others, a recognition that if we all used our resources to benefit others, we wouldn't need charitable organizations in the first place. This is probably going to become a whole other set of blog posts, so suffice it to say, my goal is to stop spending so much on myself, and start allocating more of my resources towards what I truly care about.


So there you have it.

2010, you were good to me, but I could have been better to you.

2011, let's do it.