Sunday, June 26, 2011

why i will never listen to britney spears. (alternatively titled: our night with james, joy, and john paul.)

In April, I had a hankering for some good, solid, live music.

As I scoured the internet looking at all of my favourite bands, I didn't get too far when I realized TWO of my favourite bands were playing TOGETHER in Seattle....for $20...at a "dine and listen" type place...and I knew it had to happen.

This was a similar "it had to happen" feeling as was experienced when deciding I should make the road trip happen. I realize I respond well to my gut instincts on these things!

And so, on Wednesday, I was privileged to go to that "dine and listen" type place, The Triple Door - highly, highly, highly recommend it, by the way - with three lovely ladies.

And...I got to see my two favourites in person. I hope you enjoy these snippets.

Ireland's very own... James Vincent McMorrow:
video

And The Civil Wars...

"From this valley"
video

Good stuff, right?

This was the kind of concert where I repeatedly realized I had goosebumps...and I sat on the edge of my seat for most of the show. 

That IS the good stuff.

Friday, June 24, 2011

oh the stories we will tell...

I have wanted to write all about my road trip in the States for the past three days...but instead have been amazed at how much life one can cram into three days. I have acquired a new job starting in August (another blog post), I have ran wedding errands and attended wedding rehearsal and dinner (and then there will be the stagette tomorrow night and wedding on Saturday...another blog), and I drove back down to Seattle this week after returning home, for an unbelievable concert of the Civil Wars and James Vincent McMorrow (yet another blog post pending...).

And so...here we are.

This road trip, designed to visit friends from my years in Costa Rica, was such a good thing for my heart.

I called Carleigh the second-to-last night I was in the States, and told her I felt so full and that God was so good, and how I had the sensation that I could just cry.

Happy tears.

You see...
Friendships formed in Costa Rica are not run-of-the-mill friendships.

They are formed in high stress situations. They are formed as we bumble through speaking a new language and trying new food. They are formed when we brainstorm plan B's and C's and D's...cause it's raining, or the church is locked, or the youth group we are hosting needs to work through conflict instead of doing door-to-door prayer, or it's raining, or no children showed up to vacation bible school...or it's raining.

They are formed through late night chats in the staff house. They are formed through impromptu worship sessions...and prayer sessions...and sharing our stories sessions...

They are formed through kind words, and not kind words. Grace. Forgiveness. Learning.

They are formed through sharing one bathroom...and two sinks.

And so, when Sheldon emailed me in January letting me know he wanted to invite me to his wedding...and when Chad emailed me in February letting me know my friends wished I lived closer...and when DeLynn and Gloria decided to extend their furlough in Ohio...and when Missy had once said: "You. Me. An indian restaurant with good tea. Bookish philosophical life conversations. Sigh...if only wishes came true."
...I knew it just had to happen.

And last week, it did.

In 10 days, I saw parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia. I saw 13 friends from my years in Costa Rica. It was more than I could have ever wished for or imagined.

I got to see Dan's life in Baltimore. Film guru he is. Tiny apartment owner he is. Dan was graciously the "bookends" of my trip, and it was great to catch up and share new music and hear new dreams...go and do it Dan, it will change your life!

I got to see Chad's life in Pennsylvania, complete with football and mountain stone and dreams of his own. Chad and I continued on the majority of this road trip together...a request I had made of him early on...and I was so thankful he was willing, and that he is his own boss who grants himself vacation time. I couldn't think of a better road trip partner. Well, other than George Strait. Right, Chad? ;) Next time, I'm opening with that question..."who would you want to do a road trip with?" You can figure out what you'll ask me.

Chad and I continued on to Ohio, to spend time with DeLynn and Gloria and Carmelinda. It was good. Soul good. I got to take Carmelinda on a date, and have a special breakfast just with Gloria. It felt right. But honestly, I haven't eaten that much food in a long time. The Hoovers aren't kidding around. Maybe that's a new hobby you guys should take up? Food reviews. Get paid for trying out all these places? I say you do it.

From the plains of Ohio, we drove through the mountains of Virginia, to catch up with Patrick and Missy. These two take after my heart. Growing vegetables in their community garden, seeking to live sustainably and locally...and investing who they are, where they are, until God calls them elsewhere. We were there for Missy's birthday which was such great timing. So again, I got a special breakfast just with Missy...it was our version of the indian tea...and we talked about life, in bookish philosophical terms...and also in just plain honest nitty-gritty terms.

I continued on, on my own, further south in Virginia to attend Sheldon's very fun wedding, and to meet his sweet bride, Amber. Much to my joy, this also meant spending time with Lyndon and Krista...a great surprise and God-send. More soul good all around.

As I drove from Marion, Virginia, back up to Baltimore for my last night in the States, I reflected on all that I had heard and felt and dreamed while spending precious time with these folks. There were others too, that I haven't mentioned here, who I was privileged to see (Maria, Luis, Ethan...). I imagined the journeys we will continue to take...and curiously questioned whether or not they will intersect again without our own prompting. I was reminded that we live in a world where distance does not prohibit friendship. How privileged we are to have met in the first place.

I returned home...grateful.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

it's a two blog day.

...when you live with kids like the ones I do, there's plenty of blog material in a day.

Let me preface this one with the understanding that Charlee is very interested in hearing stories from when Carleigh and I were kids...and now talks in the same way that we have, when telling these stories. Let me also preface this one with the fact that Charlee has never had a pet dog.

Today's Charlee story:

Charlee: Once, when I was three years old, my dog had kittens.

Me:
Your dog had kittens!?

Charlee:
Oh...no, my dog had pups.

Me:
Oh yeah?

Charlee:
Yeah, and that was the bestest dog I ever had. He was my best friend. And then...one day he died. And I cried. He was the bestest dog.

Me:
Charlee, are you going to write stories one day?

Charlee:
WHAT? How did you know that, Kaleen?

...just a hunch, kiddo.

jiggity jig.

I'm home again.

(Blog post pending...don't worry, this isn't it. Consider this the appetizer.)

I arrived at our house at 3:30am this morning, a full hour later than I hoped due to a late plane...and I had forgotten when planning this joyous return that I would be jet lagged and think it was morning, a full three hours later on the east coast. Awesome.

I think my car drove me home, cause I don't really remember telling it what to do.

My survival method for driving from Seattle to Abbotsford from 1am - 3:30am?
  1. Skittles. A strategic purchase at the Houston airport when I remembered Starbucks would be closed.
  2. Creepy guy driving beside me, staring me down, and both not passing me or letting me pass him. At that point I was very awake. And sped. And only breathed again when I could no longer see him. At that point I also decided I wouldn't bother stopping for gas, and decided if I suddenly got a flat tire, I would just keep driving, no matter what. I might have been overreacting... It was 2:30am, I'd been up for almost 20 hours at that point, and I may have hallucinated the whole thing. I'm not sure.
  3. Whistling to every song I could...I started thinking I was getting really good and then realized the good whistling was coming from the song, not from me.
  4. Window down, heat up.
  5. "Prays to Jesus" as Bo would say.
  6. Repeat. (Minus creepy guy).
Any time I travel, especially with people I love, I tend to leave part of my heart behind. Take good care of it, okay friends?

Onward and upward...Lana and Sam get married in t minus 4 days!
 
That means I have four days to deal with some awkward tan lines obtained on my travels, before putting on a dress that does not match said lines.

Oh, and for those of you wondering, when I came upstairs this morning, Charlee gave me a big hug and a kiss and led me to see our new kittens. About two minutes after, she jumped in my lap, arm around my waist, looked into my eyes, and said, "Can we go to the park now?" Memory like an elephant, folks.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

overheard.

Every day I live with the Daveys I hear the most comical conversations between small children.

This morning, "someone" told the kids there was candy hidden downstairs.

The following conversation was one I overheard:

Charlee: Come on Bo, there's candy down here!
Bodhi: Candy??!!
Charlee: Bo, look under the couch!
Bodhi: Not under here!
Charlee: But, there's candy here somewhere, we have to find it!
Bodhi: God loves us and that's why we get candy.
Charlee: Bo, ask God for our candy!
Bodhi: We ask God and he says "no problem!"...and everyone shares! 

You're busted momma.
The kids turned this one into a spiritual lesson on you. :)

I love this house.
It is my heart home.

I'm off to the US of A tomorrow for almost 2 weeks to visit very dear friends...

I will miss these kiddos, but don't worry, Charlee already lined me up for a 4 hour date upon return, involving the park, french fries and ice cream. She practically had me sign in blood, and reminded me of my promise about 12 times today.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The things I've learned...

Warning: this blog post, according to its title, could be rather "deep".

It's not.
Not really.

For those of you who have checked out Pinterest, you will understand why this is my new obsession. There's nothing like having a cup of tea at 10pm and scouring the 100s of things people "pin" each day. It's fascinating.

So, I was reflecting on the things I have learned from Pinterest thus far. Enjoy.

1. Octopuses are big. Like, popular. 
I have no idea why. I think they're a little ugly, to be honest.

2. Women like to post pictures of other women with bodies whose metabolism was acquired from birth, and who likely played soccer from age 2 to present, in addition to their part time job at the gym, and who are allergic to all things that the rest of us eat and gain weight from. 
Supposedly, this is motivation. 
I don't understand it. 
Wouldn't motivation be simply a flight of stairs and the bliss that running to the top would not induce an asthma attack? Or how about your favourite pair of jeans that no longer fit? 
We like to blame men for our poor self-image. 
But I think we can do it to ourselves without their help.

3. Grey and yellow go together.

4. Coral is now an acceptable colour again.

5. I love the look of furniture painted with bright colours in rooms with neutral walls. Who knew?

6. Hilarious people with time on their hands make me laugh with things like this:
(peanut birth via)

7. If you want to invest some money in something, I say invest it in whomever manufactures chalkboard paint. Everyone is into painting something in their house with chalkboard paint. Are we rebelling against the white board?

8. There is such a thing as "twister board" bed sheets. I so desperately wanted to buy a set for our friends Sam and Lana who get married at the end of this month (they'd find it hilarious)...until the only set I could find was on Amazon for $348...used. 

Sorry, guys, you'll be getting a can opener instead.

9. I can make stuff! After a quick tutorial, meet my new hair clip:
...and headband:

10. Ultimately, God has gifted people with such creativity and insight and curiosity...and it is amazing to see what the results of all of that can be. Imagine our potential for good if we put it all toward it? And...beauty is subjective. Guaranteed: gray and yellow in a year's time will be "outdated", coral will return to its status as "unacceptable", and everyone will wonder what they were thinking when they bought that octopus necklace. May I remember to focus on the eternal in the midst of my late night tea sessions.