Wednesday, March 31, 2010

hug o'war.

I will not play at tug o' war
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs....
{Shel Silverstein}

Yesterday was a little peice of reality thrown into the imaginary world I am used to hiding in. I am by no means naive, I have been hurt/dissapointed/abandoned, but I try to move past this and stay optomistic. I work in the city for our Community Services Board, and almost all of our clients recieve Medicaid and live in some form of government funded housing {"the projects"}. I got into one of our vans yesterday afternoon and was prepared to visit a client at home, but noticed a little piece of paper stuck to the windshield. I won't give whoever did this the satisfaction of going into detail, but it was hurtful and screamed at me with hatred.

I quickly removed the paper, and looked around at all the other vans with the same ugly mesasge plastered to their windshields. I took them all down. It was all I could do to hold in my emotions and keep myself from crying.

I think what most upset me was that there are so many people in this world whose hearts have been hardened. Life isn't easy on anyone, but sometimes things happen and people begin to fear those around them - especially those who are different. Fear makes people irrational, often hateful and gives them a desire to lash out.

I wish I could see the people who did this, and hug them. Tell them I love them and I care about them and they are important. They don't need to hate. The world is full of hate, and that is why it is so important that we love. Love those who are different than you, those who have wronged you, abused you, hate you.

Many people do not know that I have PTSD. It doesn't matter what happened, all that matters is that it has left me with intense fear. Maybe this is why I retreate to my imaginary world - so that I can pretend that the world is safe and at peace. But I still try to make an effort to understand the person who nearly destroyed my life. I don't know how he grew up, if his parent's told him they loved him enough or if some one had hurt him and he was just lashing out. Maybe I just got in his way, maybe he was angry and needed a target. I will never know. The exact reason is not important.

My point is this: Every person needs love. Even those who are so hateful and mean and selfish and hurtful. You may know one of these people, and not even realize it. I encourage you to hug them. Make sure those close to your heart are told how much you love them. How they make your life better. Maybe they will turn around and hug some one else.

I will never give up hope that my imaginary world can one day exist. We will all get along, love deeply and sincerely, never feel alone and always cherish our time together.

I have some lyrics from John Lennons song Imagine tattooed on my back, and moments like this are why I chose that verse. People see it, and I hope it empowers them to improve the world in any way that they can. I hope they read it and know that I love them, and that I may only be one person - but I stand for peace.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Romantic Bohemian

As a kid I quite fancied the romantic, Bohemian idea of being an artist. I expect I thought I could escape from the difficulties of maths and spelling. Maybe I thought I would avoid the judgement of the establishment. {Peter Wright}

Today I woke up & felt totally inspired. I love waking up like that. Feeling like you can take on anything life throws at you and still maintain grace. The only problem is.... I felt inspired to sit by the river and read or write in a journal - not so much in the mood to sit at a desk today with no windows.

I have always had this crazy fantacy of living in a forest or on a deserted island with a small tribe... think Fern Gully or The Beach. It may be crazy, but it's sincere. That would be my Utopia. No money. No cars. No individual belongings. Everyone did their part, because that's what it took to survive. Sometimes I think this place is only possible in my imagination, but I still like to dream that it's out there... waiting to be discovered.

What's your Utopia look like?

Monday, March 29, 2010

One Week.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
{Ralph Waldo Emerson}

Today is my last full week before the transplant surgery next Tuesday. I am still waiting for the anxiety to come. So far, no sign of it.

This morning I woke up to the rain pounding on my window, and it was not as comforting as usual. I'm just in a weird space today, and feel a little off. Probably because there has been a leak in my ceiling for the past 4 months and the property manager of our loft hasn't kept his word in fixing it. Some people don't realize how sensitive I can be, and it felt good to leave a nasty voicemail this morning... but afterwards I just felt why bother.

I had the most amazing weekend with two of my very good friends, Stuart and Denise. The weather was perfect and it was nice to share our view of the river with them. I am so looking forward to spending a Saturday afternoon with Pete on a nice rock with a blanket, napping in the sun to the sound of the James moving by. I think the rain this morning has depressed me a little... because it's Monday and sunshine always inspires me.

Things are about to change for me, and I have not taken this opportunity lightly. I am so very honored to share my life with Mitchell by giving him something he so desperatly needs: a healthy kidney. To be able to have that much of an impact on some one's life amazes me... and furthers my hope in humanity as a whole. We are all in this together and capable of so much.

I have also thought of ways to improve myself spiritually. You have read about my dread journey and how excited I am to learn about myself through that experince. I look forward to spending a lot of time in nature while I am recovering - there's a healing power that can only be found when one loses themselves in a spring afternoon. I have decided that I may want to try a part time career in journalism of some sort, because I love writing and feel that a creative outlet is exactly what I need at this moment in my life. Being home for a few weeks will give me an opportunity to see what's out there. I also look forward to some quite time of meditation. Things have been so hectic lately that I have neglected my morning ritual of silence, and I am beginning to realize how important this is to my sanity throughout the day.

My mother is coming into town to stay with me for the first week that I am home, and my husband is also going to take off a few days and spend them with me... which makes me feel very loved and cared for. I don't know what the future will bring, but I do know that after next week I will come home with a new outlook on life. I hope to feel inspired, motivated and at peace.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Enjoy the Moment

I woke up this morning wondering where the week went. It seems like the older I get, the faster life moves forward. Don't you wish there was a "pause" button? or at least a "slow down a little bit" button?

That is why it is so important to cherish every moment. Cherish nature, the beauty of life and those who are easy to love {and also those much harder}.

The more I think about it, when I finally purchase a house {or a condo in the city, depending on my mood} I want to have a fort inside my living room. A place to hide from reality, read a good book & remember what it's like to be young again. A place for my imagination to run to or even just a calm space for an afternoon nap. One day I imagine bringing my children here for a tea party or a time of make-believe.

I hope that as Spring begins to settle in, you take a moment to enjoy life. Really smell the air and feel the warmth of the sun upon your skin. Listen, really listen, to a bird sing. Allow yourself to take an afternoon free of worry - go on an adventure or learn somthing new about yourself.

Life is so beautiful and there will never be another moment like the one before you.

Have a magical weekend :)


{ps - Falcore is my favorite make-believe character... ever!}

Thursday, March 25, 2010

i love y.o.u.

Love is my religion - I could die for it. {John Keats}

When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with the French movie The Red Balloon. I think I was able to connect with the boy in a special way, because he grew to love something that other's would typically take for granted. He loved a red balloon, I loved a tree in my backyard {you've heard about her in other posts}. I think it's interesting that even from a young age, we search for love.

Now that I am older, I have started to realize that I often take things & people for granted. I throw them aside, much like many would do with a red balloon or the tree in my backyard that was eventually cut down. We don't say I love you quite enough, and when we do say it... I wonder if we truly think about what that means. to love.

I am extremely independent and it is often hard for me to admit that I love my husband as much as I do. I don't tell him enough -- but he is honestly the first thing on my mind in the mornings and those thoughts give me the strength to continue my day. I love that I can be comfortable with him, so comfortable that I can forget to put on my make up and I don't even notice. He doesn't even notice! So comfortable that I don't have to lie or hide things. I love that I still get butterflies in my stomach when he's near me.

I guess you could say, this has been on my mind this week.

I love you, Sean -- and hope you never feel like I take our love for granted :) xo

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

inner beauty.

I have decided to take a deep breath, step out of my comfort zone & move forward with my dread journey!
I have been so inspired by Denise, pictured above, and her beautiful locks and calming spirit {click the link above to see her wonderful blog - I am truly addicted to it}.

I have done so much research and wanted this for so long that I do not think I could talk myself out of this decision at this point. Some people do not understand this journey... but there has been an overwhelimg stream of support from my family & friends, for which I am truly grateful. This is an opportunity for me to let my personality shine rather than hide it away in my hair. It's just hair!

I am hoping to learn so much about myself and my inner beauty from this experience. I trust that this will teach me a great deal about patience, and also about the beauty in being unique. I am prepared for those mornings when I wake up, look in the mirror and clench as I see a fuzzy mess - totally untamed and with a life of it's own. I am also looking forward to those moments when I look into the mirror and embrace that I am so much more than what is shown on the outside.

I have made my list. metal comb. shampoo. locking accelerator. rubber bands. beads. I am so ready to dive into this journey. I have decided that I do not want to use wax, because I want them to be able to be whispy, free & alive on their own. I will probably leave a few stray peices in the front to add a little characted, and cannot wait to see how it all turns out. Also, any reccomendations you may have are welcome!

I am also thankful that I have a dear friend to help with the long, terrible task of backcombing for hours. Jessi, you are such an awesome friend!

Keep your blogger eyes open... I am having sugery in 2 weeks and think this will be the perfect project while I am in recovery. Pictures will be sure to follow!

xoxo thanks again for your support :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

No Jackets!

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! {Mark Twain}

This weekend felt like a vacation. I had forgotten just how much I missed the spring, until I woke up Saturday morning and felt that feeling you get only once you realize that winter is over and the sunshine is finally here to stay. We walked to the river and I wore flip flops. The air smelled like cook outs. Birds were chirping. Ahhh... heavenly! It was so nice to leave my jacket at home this morning. Even with the light rain, everything looks magical in the spring.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

to dread or not to dread: a day of pretend :)

So... not they're not "perfect" but this gives me a better idea of what to expect:

What do you think?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Be true to y.o.u.

The modern picture of the artist began to form: The poor, but free spirit, plebeian but aspiring only to be classless, to cut himself forever free from the bonds of the greedy bourgeoisie, to be whatever the fat burghers feared most, to cross the line wherever they drew it, to look at the world in a way they couldn't see, to be high, live low, stay young forever -- in short, to be the bohemian. {Thomas Wolfe}

I feel like I need to be true to myself. Some people criticize me for being too "extreme" and I'm not a stranger to people looking at how I live my life with often friendly, but curious minds.Some days I feel like I am constantly defending myself and my creativity, and yesterday was one of those days. This is not devoted to any particular being in my life, just some venting that I have kept in for some time. Some feelings that need to come to surface, for my own sanity.

I choose to live my life for the moment, and that is something that I don't think many people that know me would argue. I am somewhat of an adrenaline junkie and I get bored easily. Some people admire this, and others think I am a little too much. But I think that because I wear my heart on my sleeve, people tend to see that I love people and have an incredible faith in humanity. I have a good heart, and that is what matters most to me.

Sometimes I think about something and I don't tell others because I am afraid of their reaction. This week I realized that my life is about to change dramatically. I am giving my kidney to my god-brother next month... and there are a lot of complex emotions that have come to surface through this journey. What I have felt the most, is that life is precious and nobody should try and stop another person from being unique. I have felt happiness and love and compassion so strongly that I feel my heart could explode at any moment. In short, I have been on a constant high and feel that this journey will only lead to more journies. This is life.

So I have realized that the way I look and act is a reflection of myself, and that while I value others opinions... they do not get the final say. It is my body. It is my mind. Things that I am talking about are my decision to make the change from being a vegetarian to a vegan, the choice to leave my home church and explore my spirituality in other ways different than I was brought up, the fact that I love the ability to express myself through tattoos and body art, and the reality that I have wanted to dread my hair for a long, long time and have allowed others to keep me from that.

I want the freedom to choose without fear of judgement. Afterall, I try my hardest not to judge others and those I respect most are people that break away from the norm and take time to explore themselves. I don't think that people understand why this is important to me at this time in my life. High school & college were difficult, because I was always trying to fit in and no matter what - I always felt like an outsider looking in. I am so tired of worrying about how I look and speding hundreds of dollars on hair dye and products, and I want to explore my femininity without hiding behind my hair. It's just hair for christ sake, why is this what so many women define their beauty by?

I need to teach myself to be a little stronger in these situations. I cannot let others determine the way that I should look, feel, eat or act. I hate feeling like I am being controlled. I love myself and therefore, I must reach as high as I can and do whatever feels right for myself and humanity.

It's time to let my spirit out of it's cage. Either you are with me or against me.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dream Big.

Dreams are the touchstones of our character.
 {Henry David Thoreau}

I hope that today you will take a moment to dream. Reality is everywhere, and it's good for the soul to reach down deep and lose yourself in a positive image once in a while. Feel empowered that your mind is your own. Allow yourself to explore your imagination and to find peace of mind when things seem hectic and unfair. Without dreams, we would not be able to pick ourselves up and strive for something better. Without dreams, we would not have the courage to stand up for what or who we believe in. Start a revolution. Your dreams are only as big as you allow them to be.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Should I.....

.......get dreads?

Today I have been totally obsessing over dreadlocks. This seems to happen every few months. For the past several years. I think they are so appealing and display a real connection with Mother Earth. Maybe you think I'm just another stupid "hippie"... but you have to admit that it would be nice to wake up and be ready to enjoy the day in under 10 minutes. No more waisting my time straightening my hair & damaging it. I am facinated by the different lengths, sizes, beads... all of it! I really, really want them... especially since I could get away with it in my profession. Also summer is coming up, and I would totally love rocking these out at the beach. <3

ten cool things i bet you didn't know about dreads.

1. they are extremely clean. you have to use a fragrance-free shampoo so that you do not get nasty build-up in your locks. you also wash them every 3 days.
2. you can pick out a ton of cool beads to place in your dreads, for a little extra flair.
3. there's no risk to losing your hair -- it's healthy and will not damage it, and can be brushed out if you change your mind a few years down the road {this does, of course, take 10+ hours to do!}
4. you can dye them just like normal hair.
5. there are a ton of really awesome hairstyles that can be worn with dreads.
6. they have been around for thousands of years, and have been connected to ones spiritual beliefs.
7. they require a lot of maintanence in the beginning so that your hair "locks" correctly. after this period, they are fairly easy to maintain.
8. many professions allow dreads, as long as they are not overly destracting or too big or long.
9. you can dread both straight & curly hair.
10. it's a great way to show off your creativity and stand out in a crowd!

i've done my research. so what do you think?

{photo credit here}

I'm not really sure where this blog is going today. I have been searching for hours for some sense of inspiration, however all I can think about is that this is the last 3 weeks with my kidney. Don't get me wrong, I love Mitchell and it is such an honor to be able to help him find peace throughout all of this. I guess I am trying to figure out how I am supposed to feel. I am not afraid, but one has to admit that the feeling of giving away an organ is more than a little weird. In three weeks, we will be connected forever in a way that I've never connected with another being.

In a sense I am eager to see Mitchell laugh and run and play again. That's all I have been thinking about since June. No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to wrap my mind around the fact that by doing somthing so little will produce such a huge impact. Life even. I try not to get emotional about it and to be strong for Mitchell and for my family, but I worry about Mitchell every single day. I think about the pain that he is in and how he has even been able to make it this long. This surgery is not only going to change Mitchell's life, but mine as well.

I have always loved people. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to help in any way that I can. I am drawn to people who need somthing. The homeless. Teenager's who have been abused. Drug addicts. But this is the first time that I feel I am actually stepping up and sacrificing a part of myself for another person. You always hear people talking about those in our communities who are "bad"... but I have never been able to see that, because there is always a reason for their behavior. In this case, Mitchell has done nothing wrong. He's innocent. He's young and has so much ahead of him.

It's hard to be scared for myself when I think about everything that Mitchell has been going through for the past few years. I think what I am gaining most from this experience is a closer connection to humanity and the belief that there is always some one in need, and we should always try our best to help.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence. {Hal Borland}

It has been a long two weeks. We have only been in our loft for about 2 days before leaving again, and once we returned on Saturday I felt as though I never wanted to leave it again. It feels good to return to you own bed, lay on your own couch, and snuggle for hours with two dogs I have missed terribly. I also feel a little out of touch with my friends, and am ready for us to re-connect. Quickly.

This week I will start preparing for Mitchell & my transplant surgery that will happen the first week in April. I am working long hours to stay caught up, and making a special effort to see each of my clients before I leave. I keep trying to feel the way that others have been telling me I should feel... waiting for the fear to come or the reality that I am giving up one of my organs for another to have life. I don't feel like a hero or that I am doing anything special, and it's hard to explain this to friends and family when they ask. I know that there is good in each of us, and if anyone was in my position - the only living donor available - I think it would be hard for them to keep themselves from giving anything that they could.

I have actually been anticipating the surgery and almost wanting to hurry the process. I continue to strive to be patient and allow myself to fully prepare for this operation, not to rush it. I am thankful that the days have become longer, allowing me more time outside reflecting on this journey. I feel like this experience has brought me so close to myself and humanity. I am so  grateful that I am able to help -- that next month a teenager will have the opportunity to quit dyalisis and live life once again, without pain.

I continue to learn a lot from nature. Every morning I sit outside and feel surrounded by the calmness that only a cool breeze and the moonlight can bring. We are given so much from Mother Earth, that I am eager to give somthing back. I am also in awe of the steady awareness of life and what is really important that has been shown to me throughout all of the tests and meetings. I continue to appreciate the perspective that this opportunity has brought me.

I know that after I leave the hospital, I will return home. I will feel the comfort of being in a familiar place surrounded by people who love me and who are so important to who I have become. Mitchell will also return home, carrying with him a healthy kidney and hopefully a sense of peace. I am so ready for this connection and the serenity it is sure to bring.

Friday, March 12, 2010

our week in north carolina..

{packed in the car like nobody's business!}

Wednesday we left our loft once again for another road trip: this time, NC bound. We dropped our puppies off at my parent's house and needless to say, it was close quarters for the hour drive... we were all ready to stretch our legs and my dogs always have a blast in my mom's giant backyard. {i wish they could've come with us!!!}

So we drove 4 hours and finally arrived in North Carolina... and it is so gorgeous here. We are staying in a "village" and our room is where the old stables used to be. I keep hoping this place is haunted, but so far no ghost sightings.

This place was built in the 1930's and it feels like I am in Europe, especially with this misty weather we've had for most of our trip. I went for a jog yesterday and it felt so good to reconnect with nature and really push myself... I haven't been running outside for a few months and the weather was perfect

After dinner I walked home and it was sprinkling outside, and I enjoyed breathing in the moist air. I keep pretending I'm back in time and can't help but feeling like I'm a character in The End of the Affair. I swear... I was looking for Bendrix yesterday, pretending I was Sarah. I love pretending.

Today we are going on a mansion tour and I am so excited because I looooove history! I am excited to hear all of the stories and mysteries that this old place seems to be hiding.

Tomorrow we'll be here for a few hours before heading home. I love it here, but I miss our loft and am ready to get back to our crazy, everyday lives.

Hope your week has been as pleasant and calming as mine has been! xxoo

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Positively Happy :)

Joel: I can't remember anything without you.
Clementine: That's sweet, but try.
{eternal sunshine of a spotless mind}

I'm in a really corney mood today... and I think it's because I am so happy that my work week is ending on a Tuesday and tomorrow I will be in sunny North Carolina for almost a whole week! I am excited to sleep in a hotel and pretend like Sean & I are on an extravagant vacation {we're going for his work conference - at least the rooms paid for!}. I'm also looking forward to spending the day relaxing and getting some serious exercise in before my transplant surgery next month.... if you didn't already know, I'm a match and Mitchell will get a new chance at a "normal" life very, very soon!!!

I am so thankful that I have had such an incredible ammount of support during this time in my life. I want to be extra healthy before surgery so that things run smoothly. I still can't believe that next month one of my organs will belong to some one else, crazy...

I am certain that this week will be just what I needed: some quality time with myself while Sean is at meetings, and of course some time away from our normal responsibilities to enjoy eachother in a different environment.

life is beautiful right now!

in love with spring!

{i want sean to buy me this kitten!}

It honestly feels and looks amazing outside this morning. I felt so connected to nature the instant I stepped outside and looked up at the sun rising. I must admit, I loved the snow but I am looking forward to the warm weather that appears to be sticking around for a while!

top ten things i love about spring.

1. napping outside on a blanket in the grass
2. warm breezes
3. dipping my toes in the river & enjoying it's comfort
4. the smell of flowers blooming
5. waking up to birds chirping
6. longer days
7. getting out of the gym & running outside
8. sunshine
9. flip flops & pedicures
10. feeling life a little slower.

I can't wait until Spring is here for good... only a few more weeks :)

I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature's rebirth? {Edward Giobbi}

Monday, March 08, 2010

you are my sunshine.

We're more popular than Jesus Christ. {the beatles}

So I just looked at the weather for tomorrow.... and it's going to be darn near 70 degrees!

xoxo I love you, Spring -- I hope you stick around for a while :)

Sleepy Monday.

{i wish i was here.}

{this works, too!}

This weekend was amazing. I honestly didn't realize just how emotional I would be at the last Copeland show Thursday night... but I needed a good cry and it felt good rocking out like I was the only other person in the room!

I am absolutley in love with Alexandria, Va... the place is gorgeous and the weather was perfect! DC was awesome, as usual. I am still plotting ways to convince Sean to move here!

It was so good to see my pups this morning... I have missed their cuddles. It was really really really hard for me to get out of bed for work... we didn't get home until around 11 o'clock and I still wasn't ready to leave knowing my puppies were still snuggled up in our warm bed.

We leave for NC on Wednesday and so it looks like another road trip for me and the hubster. I have a lot of work to catch up on in the meantime.

I miss you, bed.

"Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton / Talking in our bed for a week / The news people said / 'Hey, what you doin' in bed?'/ I said, 'We're only tryin' to get us some peace!'" {John Lennon}

May sleep envelop you as a bed sheet floating gently down, tickling your skin and removing every worry. Reminding you to consider only this moment. {Jeb Dickerson}

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Never Grow Up...

"Pan, who and what art thou?" he [Hook] cried huskily.
"I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg."

I look at myself sometimes and wonder... when did I stop believing in fairies, magic & that my dolls come to life when I'm not looking. When did my thoughts shift to "adult things" like my job, money & the reality that bad things happen to good people.

Today I hope that you will reach deep down into your soul and touch your inner child. Make peace with her and allow her to come out and play every now and then.

Spend an afternoon looking for faires... pretending you can fly... imagining the world as it once was, when you were young.

Just because we get older, doesn't necessarily mean we have to grow up. Always stay connected to the joy you once felt and the excitment that emerged from an afternoon with your imagination.

There is enough pain in the world already, but your joy may inspire others to re-connect with the innocence and purity they felt in youth. Then maybe, when scary things happen we can look at them as an adventure and find comfort that in the end, the good guys always win.

"All children, except one, grow up." {Peter Pan}
Peter Pan: Book by James M. Barrie, Scottish children's writer and dramatist, published 1928. Born 1860. Died 1937.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ode to Copeland:

This Thursday I am making the trek to Maryland to wish one of my favorite bands farewell.
I remember almost 10 years ago, when my husband & I sat in our car and opened their first record Beneath the Medicine Tree. It wasn't long before Copeland became the background music to many important events in my life, both happy and sad.

There have been many summer nights when Sean & I would blast the music from his car radio, while singing along with the warm wind blowing in my hair and across my face. You never really appreciate a band until you find out they're breaking up.

I am so excited to see them this weekend, but also sad because I know it will be the last time they are all together on stage. Their shows are so personal, and I feel like I am losing a dear friend. I know they will each go on to do amazing things in the future, & we will be there to support them as we always have.
{us with aaron marsh... a looong time ago!}

Monday, March 01, 2010


This weekend was spent laughing and playing all day long with my two nephews, Bruce & Thomas. It reminded me of how special these moments are and to cherish them forever. Since they live in South Carolina, I was happy that Sean & his brother were able to spend some time together. We are going to plan a trip soon, because this visit reminded us how much we miss them.

It also reminded me of the warmth that is felt just being around people that you love. I really enjoyed watching Sean play with the boys, and seeing how much they look up to him.

Family is everything.

{Christmas 2009}

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