Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crafty. Crap?

I'm sitting here with a pile of ideas for gifts to my left. They're projects that have been in the works--some of them--for years but I've never 'had' the time to finish them. Somehow this Christmas seems the right time. I keep thinking that the things sewn and crafted (in the literal sense) with love are usually the most appreciated, even if The Olympic Committee says they'll be eschewed.

Today, much to my chagrin, will start with a trip to the fabric store to find the rest of the things I need. The sewing machine will find a home on a table directly between the television and the couch and I'll finally be able to finish my Netflix queue.

Want to know a secret? I think the Utahans are converting me because I'm something bordering on excited about the whole thing.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

All quiet on this western front

The last of the family left this morning. It's always a bittersweet time for me. In many ways I'm ready to have the 'alone' time I adore so much. And have my kitchen in just the way I left it. But on the other, much weightier, hand I miss them terribly when they go. There is so much personality and opinion in my family. We're always offering our view of the world to each other, trying to help and inform. We're a productive bunch, prone to be a touch too intense. We love fiercely and intensely and it shows. I miss that when it's absent and in the first few days after such togetherness, it's very noticeably absent.

I think that I did far better this year than I usually do at maintaining the calm I wanted. I did have moments of sliding back into my control freak ways but the house is messy, there is laundry and I still managed to relax and have some fun. Next year we're doing Christmas with my side of the family. I think that if I get the chance to host I'll be even better at this calm and loving thing!

Pictures of food to come.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I love the night of Thanksgiving. Everyone has retreated to their beds. They're full, happy and resting. The kitchen, in the aftermath of the feast, sits quiet for the first time in days. Clean but far less organized, it's a sign that we're together, that we have more than so many and there is love here.

I think I could get very used to this.

Monday, November 22, 2010

And, they're here.

I do love having family here after all. Last night as we were getting ready for dinner I looked out the window and saw the most delicious, buttery light. I just had to share.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Olympic Committee

This weekend I heard a great deal about how other people interact with their mind. Quite different than the brain when I say that, I'm talking about The Voices Inside Your Head. And not in a 'needs medication' kind of way.

Well, maybe that way.

On girl I met this weekend has basically one voice in her head and sometimes says her mind is completely blank. I was stunned. One?! Who has *one* voice in their head?

I had a boyfriend once say to me, "Arguing with you isn't fair. I'm only one guy and you have, like, a dozen women in there all thinking of the next thing they'll say."

It was kind of a revelation for me. But it stuck! I'd found a metaphor for the chaos of my mind. I started to picture them and, over time, I decided on a cheap basement room kind of like for an AA meeting or something. Seventies linoleum, plastic chairs that kind of match the floor but not each other, bad cookies and coffee (sinners!) in the back corner to keep them fueled--that kind of thing. What's their job, you ask? Well, basically it's to let me know instantly about what I've just done. If I say something that they think may be silly, they tell me so. But not in a unified voice. I have some allies in there. So it goes something like this:

"God lord that was dumb! I can't believe you said that!"
"Hey! Be nice to her. It wasn't totally dumb. But it was probably irresponsible."
"Is this really positive self talk? Come now, it was fine. No one noticed."
"Seriously!? What are we, all new age up in here? Self talk? Who let that one in?"

And on and on and on. Sometimes they're quiet. But I'm asleep.

So, anyway, this weekend with the help of Phyllis (one of our awesome hosts) I was able to suss out more of some of their roles. There's a Risk Manager in there. She knits and doesn't say much. She's tired of being ignored. And so on. Lots of little different roles and voices that I see for myself. One of the points of this weekend was to learn how to integrate all the roles and desires so that they don't act out and start behaving badly. You can see why I needed this retreat.

As I'm working through all this, trying to dismiss some that were unnecessary and find positive roles for who remained the girls present got to know me some. And on Saturday morning, and I don't remember who exactly said it, I was dissecting a thought and someone piped in, "You don't just have women up there, you have a whole Olympic Committee!"

I laughed and laughed but I think it's one of the more profound things I took away from the weekend.

What does this have to do with today? Well, today started off with a broken car needing a tow to the garage. I didn't take time to put on anything matching or do my hair when I went to swap the working car out for that one with Mike. Then I had to dogs with me so they got hair on the car of the nice woman who gave me a ride home from the shop. Then I was behind schedule for my cleaning and my shopping and then, and then and then.

The Ukraine is in with a 2.0.

Instead of letting the O.C. win the day, I'm blogging out my anxiety. I'm owning that it happened but that it's not going to win today. I have a couple more hours and I'm going to rock out the progress. Basically, I'm saying "To hell with the Ukraine."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From this weekend.

Featured above are Katie, Grace and JenLee. They are just a few of the faces that made last weekend extraordinary. I've been home three days and it's a struggle to remain present and centered but the images I captured remind me what it feels like. It was the perfect way to turn 33.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why is there a llama in my collage?

I spent this weekend turning 33 at this retreat. Basically, I spent a long weekend with ten new, dear, amazing friends. The retreat was an idea broached by my friend Katie. She basically said, "I'm doing this an you should come too!" I agreed. That was months ago and I hadn't thought about it much more until just a couple of days before we were leaving. I started to wonder what we'd talk about, what kind of people I'd meet there and if it would be worth spending the second birthday I've shared with Michael away from him.

Turns out? It was.

There were heartfelt conversations, art projects, a movie, more conversation and lots of stories.

As Katie and I were talking on drive home yesterday we both decided that it would be difficult at best to talk about the retreat because it was such an intense few days of introspection. I will say this, however--I make a great collage! And all of it makes pretty good sense to me but right in the middle there is this picture of a llama. For the life of me, I can't figure out what that means. Any hints?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010