Growing Pains




It's as if a torturous seamstress has threaded her fiery needle through each of my shoulder blades to draw them together, tightly, tightly.

It's as if bathroom breaks are a luxury, a bonus, a plus.

It's as if crumbling mascara and crumbling composure were part of the job description.

It's as if a mean-spirited cobbler inlaid my arches with cobble stones rather than mounds of supportive cushioning.

It's as if my calves had spent all day pirouetting without my knowledge until that fateful moment of alighting on a chair for the first time all shift.

It's as if a trickster barista brewed my brew without the zing of caffeine to ensure my second visit of the day.

It's as if my figurer will go on figurin' until somebody hits the lights. My brain does not stop when my badge swipes the clock.

It's as if I will never blow dry my hair or stay up late or wear normal clothes again.

It's as if I were a nurse, or some such thing.

For every ache, I am thankful.
For every complaint, there is a gut check.
Hard earned exhaustion is the unction, the ointment, of searing unemployment.

And I wear it well, and am thankful.

1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
         Because the LORD has anointed me
bring good news to the afflicted;
         He has sent me to 
bind up the brokenhearted,
proclaim liberty to captives
         And freedom to prisoners;
2To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
         And the 
day of vengeance of our God;
comfort all who mourn,
3To grant those who mourn in Zion,
         Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
oil of gladness instead of mourning,
         The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting
         So they will be called 
oaks of righteousness,
         The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. [Isaiah 61]


In no particular order.

The kitchen sink area. Yes, that is a miniature "The David" sculpture. 

Fridge and washer. And trashcan. Ew, sorry. Note, nut wreath of awesomeness from last year.

Stove and coffee area looking into the hallway.

On top of the fridge--fruit bowl, winery, greenhouse, and mixer.

Fuel station.

Kitchen sink again.

El Bano. Eez tiny. So tiny that there is no good angle to show much of anything. Obviously, that's the back of the bog.

Page from a book taped to the glass of an old frame. And a shell. :)

Yup. Blue sink. Blue tub. Black and white checked floor. Awesome.

Blue tub.

Our kitchen table--used to be an old library table, so we stuck with that theme and added a vintage desk lamp, a stack of cookbooks, a photograph of a kid looking at a globe at school (that my dad took, btw),  and a wall map (shower curtain in the kids' section at Target!)

The living room of Christmastimes. The plate of ornaments is just waiting for the tree.

Kitchen table again. (Hence the "no particular order" title.)

Coffee table decor.

Couch times complete with a Christmas tartan.

The view from the front door--you can see straight back to the bedroom. The little tear drop door hanging will eventually have mistletoe. Right now it's just pine cones and ribbon.
Our amazingly comfy and warm bed! We didn't have a headboard and some of the walls in our apartment are not nail friendly, so we kind of had to work around that to get a little Christmas in our bedroom.

I'm pretty sure I will keep these lights up forever. The Noel pillow was a birthday gift from my sister--and I LOVE IT!


Looking from the bedroom towards the front.

I added a little Christmas to the lampshade by hanging my Grandmother's crocheted snowflakes to the rim. Perfect touch, methinks!

Is this real life? 



Tomorrow. is first day. of the rest of my life. I'm turning 24. I can hardly believe it. Sometimes I feel like I just got home from school on the last day of my eighth grade year at Moultrie ready to burn my uniform in the backyard and excited about *high school* (and a hush goes over the crowd).

Getting older is weird. Everyone's getting married. Some are already having babies. Buying big stuff we always thought was for boring, old, financially stable people (like cars, houses, computers, etc.), but not for people like moi. What like we're supposed to have babies next??? As Kent said at Steph's wedding last weekend, "kids is a cuss word in our house." Just kidding. But am I? In these last few hours of 23, my youth and zeal waning with every tick tock, I wonder, what's to become of me.

Will I have 2.1 kids and a house with a picket fence? God forbid a mini-van? Will I work for 35 years as a nurse and spend the majority of my life at my job? Will I aspire to so many exciting and admirable things but never get farther than a google search or a daydream? I don't know.

I like kids. And I like picket fences. And I think it's perfectly admirable and exciting to want those things. I definitely want them. But right now? I know that I don't just want to do what I'm supposed to do next just because I don't know what else to do. Supposed to says who? Who's blueprint am I following? My parents? My friends? My colleagues?

Listen, y'all. I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer, I'm just in a funky place right now. News flash, things don't just fall in to place. You have to decide (with Divine guidance, of course) what you want. And what I want is a teensy bit elusive right now. I just got what I spent the last year praying for, (a job, for all you newcomers or those with slight amnesia), and now I'm kind of looking around wondering what just happened. Confession, I'm also trying not to just push through to May when Andrew's done with school and we can be together again (baby lambs and rose petals...roll credits...NOT). Because come May, then what? And I can't really answer that question right now. Neither of us can. And honestly, I think we're precisely where God wants us. Not a little to the left or the right, but right here, exactly. In an odd little cattywampus place, like when you've realized you miscounted the steps in the dark. Because. Last year we learned a slew of very, very hard lessons. And now, it's Friday before midterms and guess what? There's a test. Lesson...test. Duh. Why didn't I think of that? And the first and only question on this test:

1. Trust Me? (Check yes or no).


I didn't have to pee in the woods. But I would have if it came down to it.

My life is straight-up bananas right now. So sorry if my lack of blogging has messed up your morning routine. But I'm not going to tell you a sob story about how busy I am. 'Cuz I don't have time for that.

So. Andrew and I both grew up camping every summer and sometimes fall. Ironically enough, my family went from the beach to the mountains, just minutes from Andrew's parents' house and Andrew's family went from the mountains to the beach, a few hours north of my parents' house. We probably passed each other on the highway. Good thing we didn't meet back then though. I was pretty squirrely. Like I'm not now. Right.

Anyway, Andrew and I decided to take our first fledgling camper steps as newlyweds last weekend, at a state park only a half hour from our apartment. We kept it simple--tent, stove, sleeping bags--got everything in the car and headed out Friday afternoon to spend the night in the woods. (Which has always been kind of been an enigma to me. But whatever.)

Plastic bins always get the job done.
We got to the campground just as the sun was setting--we tried and tried to get there before dark, but Ranger Rick and his Girlscout assistant gave us a site that already had someone in it so we had to go back to their little hut and switch sites. We ended up pitching our tent and starting the fire during the wee twilight hours of the evening. (This has nothing to do with vampires, for those of you who's hearts just skipped a beat).

I built the fire, Andrew pitched the tent. Contraptions are not my thing.
We decided to be super low maintenance in the grub department: hot dogs, baked beans, and s'mores for dinner and coffee and biscuits on a stick for breakfast, granola bars while we were ABSOLUTELY DYING for our biscuits to get done. Easy peasy lemon squeesy. I can't say much for the nutritional value of these meals, but who counts calories while they're camping? You look like a swamp creature anyway, (remember you forsook your nice warm bed to sleep on a leaky air mattress in the middle of the woods that happens to be less than two miles from the highway. And BONUS, it's frickin' freezing Mr. Bigglesworth.), so who cares if you feel a bit squidgy around the middle, too. Right? Right. I love camping.

I know what you must be asking yourself: what on earth is a biscuit on a stick??? Well, Reader, they are only the most delightful, if just a hair troublesome, camping breakfast foodstuff that will ever cross your lips in the pale blush hours of the morning.

What you need:

Critical Thinking Skills

Acute hunger makes men do crazy things.

We filled ours with grape jelly, but you could use honey, butter, strawberry jam, chocolate...oh, the possibilities!
Our first solo camping trip was a great success--we enjoyed ourselves immensely and might even do it again sometime. Heh, heh. Although if I had to choose camping or Christmas, I'd choose Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas!...I started decorating this weekend. I KNOW! My obsession is out of control. But I just love it. Pictures will follow forthwith!