Thursday Three

Thursday Three

It’s been an entire week! How? How?! The week has gone fast but the days have been long and tiring. I hate the overuse of the word “busy”, so recently I’ve taken to saying that we are in a very full season in life right now. It’s a good season with a lot of great things, but full can be overwhelming and stressful just the same.

1. Prep work doesn’t look flashy. A lot of my days and weeks recently have been preparing for the long-term–whether in writing, working, blogging, or relationships. There’s a reason you don’t often buy tickets to watch sports teams practice or attend musical rehearsals. I’m in that hard work behind-the-scenes phase, but don’t have much to show for it.

2. Birthdays are the best (when they aren’t yours). I think most people feel a little weird on their birthdays past the age of 13. There’s a mix of expectation and disappointment and introspective thinking that hit you all at once. Lucky for me, it was the hubby’s birthday so I had a grand ‘ole time inviting people over for a surprise ice cream get-together to celebrate another year of his life.

Scott Loves Ice Cream | Moving Peaces

Birthday Boy | Moving Peaces

3. Summer is for side trips. Most years it seems we take our week-long trips in the fall or spring (it’s so much cheaper that way), but we try to squeeze in a day or two of exploring or rest throughout the summer. After spending one weekend near the mountains and this past weekend at the beach, we’re grateful for the many opportunities to see some natural beauty in our state and glad we got to spend some time with family.

Beach trip | Moving Peaces

Jockey's Ridge | Moving Peaces

Thursday Three

Thursday Three

What a week. One of these days I’ll get around to telling all of the crazy ups and downs and twists and turns, but for now, let’s just focus on all my favorite things.

1. Summer fun. That just about sums it up when I say we were spectators at a soapbox derby last weekend. Other words to describe it: ridiculous, crazy, awesome and bizarre.

Kirby Derby | Moving Peaces

Soapbox Derby | Moving Peaces

2. Celebrations with friends. I’ve got some great people in my life, and I was so thrilled that a few of them joined me in celebrating another year at my favorite neighborhood restaurant. This doesn’t even cover everyone who came or everyone who I consider great in my life. 

Station Crew | Moving Peaces

3. Birthday surprises. Yep, I’m slightly older and had a birthday. I did some writing and ate pizza, but otherwise didn’t expect much else after that gathering with friends earlier in the week. Turns out I was wrong, and there was a bit more sweetness in store from this little friend of mine.

Birthday Cake | Moving Peaces

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me

25 plus 1 | Moving Peaces

It’s my birthday, and I have mixed feelings about it. This cake is even confused and makes you do math: 25 + 1.

Last year, I wrote all about the milestone birthday that was 25. I listed all my contradictions and everything I knew to be true in that moment. I felt like a mess at the time but looking back at that post again, it is beautifully written and full of hope.

This past year has been so incredibly full. It was full of incredible high points and deep lows. In so many ways, last year was everything I could have dreamed of…just no where near the way I saw it happening. For starters, it was really hard. I cried a lot, felt ripped apart the majority of the time and was stripped of my confidence over and over again. I felt like I had something to prove–that one day I might be able to present all my accomplishments to the world and therefore justify the struggle.

To the outside world, I look like I am in the same exact place that I was a year ago. I have nothing to show you, no ribbons or trophies to wave in your face. I did not grow an inch, nor did I graduate to the next grade or life stage. I am still here, floundering about in my twenties.

But if that is all you can see in someone, then you aren’t getting it. Further, if that’s all I can see, then maybe I really need to reevaluate, too. 

There was a lot of life lived in the last year (and in the years prior). I loved with all my heart, pursued my dreams and left my comfort zone. I asked hard questions and stuck up for myself when appropriate. You could even say that I failed, but I did so while fully persevering–committed to learning and growing in the process. I opened my home to strangers and sought community with those around me. I let go of the pursuit of perfection but instead embraced my strengths and weaknesses.

Through all that, I still thought by now that I’d have something tangible to show you. Then I could say, “Look, I did all this. I’ve finally made it. I know what I’m doing now.” But the biggest and best parts of life are lived in intangibles. It’s your integrity and character, your hope and faith, relationships and love that are your biggest achievements. 

I can’t give you many metrics or tout any awards, but I know with certainty that all of those areas in my life have been developed and strengthened in this past year. For that, I could not be more thankful or feel more accomplished.

Thursday Three

This week was a bit like the weather–back and forth, up and down. A few storms, some sun and a fresh new season in the air. Lots going on as has been the case in the weeks prior, but I’m thankful to be right where I am in life.

1. Birthday celebrations are maybe more fun for close friends and family. Birthdays can make you think and ask big questions about your life, where it has been and where it is presumably going. Those around you simply get to celebrate you for the day while you sort through all of these deep thoughts. Everyone responds to that differently and the hubby is one of those people who sorta dreads his day. He feels like he is getting so old and losing his youth as each year passes, which is a bit ridiculous if you ask me. We celebrated his 27th birthday by going to a place called Cowfish where their specialty is hamburgers with sushi. Yep, that’s the thing. I made the mistake best decision ever of ordering his ice cream cake before we went to dinner. Following our incredibly filling and delicious meal, they brought out a ginormous and tasty cheesecake slice to the tune of employees singing along with a cowbell and a gong. So, then we had no choice but to come home and eat ice cream cake. If he didn’t enjoy his birthday, I sure did.

Mini-burger and Sushi

Birthday Man

2. Making music is incredibly vulnerable. I mentioned having no words earlier this week, which resulted in an emotional yet beautiful song. We spent the better part of the weekend playing, discussing* and recording music. Discussing may be code for fighting about music. We both put all of our emotions and hopes and insecurities on the line when we play together. The hubby is significantly better at music and has dedicated so much time and energy into it. I usually lay my heart out whenever we write or sing together. It’s a delicate topic and we don’t seem to know just how best to work with one another. At the same time, we both realize that working together on music has created some of our best work.

Producer at work

Singing...with an accordion

3. Kids say the funniest things. Acted out by adults, those things are even funnier. We’ve spent a considerable amount of time this week giggling over these videos on youtube. Careful…it may take hours.

This particular video hit a little too close to home considering all of my many food allergies.

Thursday Three

This week has felt like the longest shortest week I can imagine. It’s as if time took its own course this week. I kept looking to my calendar thinking it had to be Thursday. It just had to be. For the working world, it was a short week so we can celebrate the nation tomorrow with barbeques, fireworks and red, white and blue summer bliss. For me, time just seemed to go on and on as if I was holding my breath while walking for miles.

1. Birthdays do not have to be a one day event. Over time I’ve found I’m much more of a one-on-one person or a small group person. Big parties aren’t my scene on a regular basis. So, instead of a big party, I had several get-togethers with people throughout the past few days. Nothing major or overdone, but some good people and time well spent. My birthday itself was a rather long day. All of my planned activities happened on other days so I found myself alone for the majority of the day and decided I wouldn’t allow myself to run any errands or search for any jobs. I did do a little cleaning, but I was glad to do it. I got a treat and headed to the art museum. I tried to reflect on everything I thought or felt, but you can only do that for so long. Furthermore, I had a hard time figuring out what it was I actually wanted, be it for lunch or in the next month.

(This painting has mesmerized me the last few times I’ve visited the museum. Is she tired? Upset? Sleeping? Praying? Checking her phone?)

image

2. When there is an interview, everything else is put on hold. I had a few interviews these last two weeks, nothing worth getting into just yet but it’s been good to have. It’s boosted my confidence a bit. But let me tell you, if there’s an interview scheduled for 4:00 PM in the afternoon, there’s a chance I will cancel coffee at 10:00 AM for fear it might run late. Sounds ridiculous, but I think this might have also caused some serious slow-ness to my last week. I get so focused in and try to learn everything and say answer all of the questions well that I end up spending hours at home researching before I realize how stir crazy I am about to get. It’s been overwhelming at times, but good.

3. Timing does not always go as planned. There’s something about the weather that I love. We cannot control it, try as we might. There’s no penciling in a hurricane or counting on clear skies and sunshine. Loss is another thing you can’t always plan for or fit in with your schedule. Somewhat unexpectedly, my grandpa passed away this morning. This, all while my grandma, who he married 56 years ago and should be celebrating an anniversary with tomorrow, is in the hospital awaiting a possible surgery. This, all while my cousin, his granddaughter, prepares to get married this weekend 900 miles away. The timing is tragic. Having another grandparent pass away this summer seems too soon.

image

There’s so much more I feel I could or should say, but nothing else seems fitting at the moment.

Eve of a Milestone

Cloudy Shore

For the past few weeks I have thought a lot about this post. Something about turning 25 seems to matter and tomorrow that’s just what I’ll do. I don’t often put a lot of stock in birthdays and typically don’t even let people know it’s happening. My husband can probably tell you about times when we have gone to hang out with people or been at a party and I forbade him to tell anyone that it was my birthday. I don’t really know why, but I’ve kept it more or less secret for awhile. This year I opened the flood gates and made my birthday visible to the masses on Facebook.

Years ago, while studying abroad in college I remember missing a surprise party for someone back home. He was turning 25, and it felt monumental to me at the time. The quarter century mark. We had a fair amount in common, and I looked up to him and respected him (still do, although I haven’t seen him in years). It just felt like something was really happening in his life at that turning point, and I don’t really know why I felt that way or what it was.

As I sit here eating cold pizza and writing a blog on the eve of my birthday I’ve never felt more like a millennial. Not only do I typically hide my birthday, but I often avoid revealing my age. I’ve felt older than my real age since kindergarten. Looking younger than I am never helps, but my friends are almost all older. My adulthood seemed to start sooner between being financially independent after high school, graduating college early and getting married young. I hate being belittled for my age. Yet, here I am, embodying the status quo of a millennial. No job but plenty educated, no idea where I’m going in life, chasing happiness and freelancing on the side. Being married in this time of unemployment has kept me from retreating to my mother’s basement, thankfully.

In the weeks leading up to tomorrow I had hoped something would come to me—an understanding of what this milestone birthday meant or some pearl of wisdom to share. Alas, I have little to offer there. This birthday still feels big though, like something has to happen or is happening. I almost expect to wake up in the morning and actually feel different.

I’m no longer a teenager and haven’t been one for more years than I spent in high school. I’ve been driving for over a decade yet still panic whenever I see a police car. I live with the man I married but am constantly amazed by the power of love. I leave clothes on the floor more often than not but never go a day without making the bed. I like my hair long and seldom wear makeup. Drinking has lost its luster, but I know which wines I most prefer. I have a good group of friends and like to think I am one in return. Budgeting has allowed me (us) to be debt-free, but I still fall prey to a $20 dress in Target almost every time I’m there. I go to the grocery store weekly, but almost never cook. My watch is worn almost daily, but I always seem to be running at least five minutes late. I love writing but will put it off for days for no good reason other than my own insecurities. I have learned a few things about myself but don’t always recognize the person in the mirror.

The next stage in life is a total mystery, when up until this point I always had some sort of plan. Something is happening, but I guess I will have to tell you what it is later. Welcome to 25.

This Week’s Three

I missed Thursday and broke my streak of Thursday Threes. Next week I’ll hopefully return to my favorite night of blogging. This week has just been so inside out, upside down that I haven’t been able to keep up with anything it seems. It hasn’t exactly been the easiest week but grateful for the weekend. Here’s the three…

1. The hubby had a birthday. It was a great night of friends and food as we had people in our backyard for a “chill out, grill out”. I strung lights from the house to the tree and it was just the most adorable little thing. We had a great night soaking up time with friends and celebrating his years.

2. It’s been a really long week.There were disappointments, stressors and misunderstandings. There was also grace, forgiveness and blessings. I’m grateful for what we have and incredibly eager to move forward.

3. The beach hat is officially on, and it is time to hit some waves! We are driving out to the ocean in T-minus 5 minutes (did I say that correctly?) to spend a day and a half with the hubby’s sister, kids and husband. Looking forward to it. Hoping it will prove to be relaxing.