Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I think the argument, the real shiny argument that i have been waiting for, the one for my thesis, finally but finally materialized in my mind last night. we'll see. but i was up until four a.m. asking the internet if anyone else has ever said what i want to say and so far, it looks like i am singularly genius. at least in this one possible idea.

I had a nightmare last night. judah and his sibling were terminally ill. I also had a brain tumor. nice dream, huh? I woke up to great relief, of course, as we are fine and judah has no sibling. but i did have a little sister who died at age four, when i was nearly twelve, and she was "terminally ill" for two years. That must have been such a f*ing living hell for my parents.

I am trying to lose eight pounds by my birthday.

I am hungry!

I am taking Judah to Fiesta Texas today. He is So excited.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

the 27th of December

It is Saturday but it feels like Monday. I will see my mother's side of the family today, and my father's side tonight. lots of cousins i never see. and then four hours together. awkward.

not that i hate them.

i also have to work a shift somewhere in between and hope to get out early enough to make the wedding.

i got a new camera for Christmas, one i have wanted for a long time and i am jazzed about it.

i sneezed so very hard today, my lower back now feels a pulled muscle.

2009 is shaping up to be such a challenge.

game face.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

boston pics

Judah and i are in Boston visiting Chris.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

a few holiday season pics...with new highlights and a tiny (8yr old) dog named toby. Toby and Judah have been friends since Jujie was three months old and they love each other dearly. I love this last picture of Judah. I hate how big he's getting.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Morning

It's Monday and i think that i am half-way through my time in San Antonio. I got here on the 13th of September, which means I have been here approximately nine weeks. I aim to be back in Boston by the beginning of February and no later, sooner would be lovely.

I am looking forward to the Holiday Season. Last year Judah watched Paula Dean and the Barefoot Contessa make their versions of Thanksgiving dinner. This year I want to include him in the fun, so sometime today, we will be shopping for our ingredients. I think we may make the potatoes and the sweet potato casserole.

We won't be seeing Chris until December 8th. We're spending the 8th through the 16th in Boston. We're all looking forward to it, as this will be the first time Judah sees our place. the 8th is also our seventh wedding anniversary-- it'll be fun to be together for that.

Judah's last soccer game was Saturday afternoon and it was too cute. really, the little Tiger team has come SUCH a long way. To commemorate the end of the season, their coach presented each player with a trophy. Judah LOVES his trophy, carries it around, sometimes even kisses it!

Probably one of the biggest struggles i have is paying attention to the concrete, Real World details of my life. I am almost always distracted by existential questions and/or personal psycho-analysis. Because i am so distracted the following is true: I drive bad, i cook worse, i forget to take vitamins and sometimes even forget to give Judah his morning allergy meds. these are just examples. I am getting better, but it is Such a Struggle. it is hard for me to even be motivated for it, except to think that if I don't pay attention to these details, i will suffer consequences. I don't want to be neglectful.

and, i don't want to be obsessive, either. lately, i notice recurring motifs/thoughts, and the net result is that i have become somewhat bored with my thinking process-- it tends to be angsty, somewhat neurotic/obsessive, unproductive and, now, predictable.

I need to shake that up!

So this blog is an attempt to pay attention to the externalities I usually fail to engage. it reads a little like those posts about what one is having for breakfast, but for me it represents real growth. boring though it may be.=)

Have a good monday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

in San Antonio or, "and never the Twain shall meet"

I am in San Antonio, right now, sort of bunkering down in my life. I am pretty sure i passed my comps, now i am to write the Dreaded Thesis.

I get a lot of Starbucks these days, out of necessity. I have been tired more days than not and the caffeine makes all the difference. I have started associating the lattes with "treating" myself, which i find humorous. I guess in the way of vices and splurges, a latte is a relatively tame choice.

have you had their new hazelnut hot chocolate? it's a revelation and i never call things "revelations."

my life has been profoundly interesting these days, to me anyway. I have become totally free, through some rather complicated experiences, from my father-figure issues. Some of those experiences, you have read about right here and others I am not sure what to do with. My relationships with God, Chris, my dad, and literally every important male friend has changed, in what feels like a short amount of time. but the truth is that is has been long time coming, no?

A former self, a sweet girl, rather dependent, is giving way to some strange current incarnation I hardly know at all. The best thing about this metamorphosis is that i deeply trust myself now.

(i am aware that you are not excited about Obama, but i am. i am not even sure why I am. i think it has more to do with Potential and less to do with my personal investment in Obama. I think he could do great things, and that feeling, that hope, i love it.

Although, i am far from being sure that he will do great things.)

Being away from Chris has been a gift, one that i think he has given me. As a recovering co-dependent (*wink,wink*) I had often envisioned my spending time away from my husband. This time has been one in which i face myself, a rather dark side, and asked myself whether my life was one i truly identified with: not one i believed in, but one i lived in, one which represents the Truth as i am it.

It turns out, mercifully, that it is-- my life is the one I belong in.
And i am so grateful to Chris for his patience and faith in me, which isn't dependent on the answer to those questions being what it SHOULD be. I could be any incarnation of myself and Chris would respect it.

my respect and appreciation for him have grown huge.
it is far from any definition of perfect, but
i love my life.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

in Chicago

and i forgot how big this town is. really, when i stepped on to the train, which i took into the city, i felt provincial and broken down. one thing i noticed was how daunting i found the foreign advertisements. Somehow, the diversity and the ads for companies we don't have in Texas made me feel small.

But now i am in a friend's basement apartment, getting colder by the minute, visiting all my familiar sites on the web, and i feel secure again.

I am here to take my comprehensive examination for the Religion in American Life program. My test is at 9:00 a.m. in the Buswell. I suppose the rattling off of the details, to you, my friends, is my way of dealing with the test anxiety. i hope i pass, but i wouldn't be surprised if i did not. We'll focus on the hope, k?

i have been busy busy and tired. I worked a bit to come up with my per diem for this trip. When i get home i will have to work a good bit to make up for this week. hopefully, it comes together, the financial details. hopefully, i come together.

I have come up with a mission statement for myself, which i have been saying to myself almost everyday, sometimes more than once. the difference it has made! the saying of words i choose to describe the life I am working toward--they have been a talisman and an antiseptic, almost magical in their power to shape me anew, words i wrote and said and memorized are healing to myself.

i will have to tell you sometime what they are... do you have a life statement? a mantra? can i know it?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On track

I have been so busy doing the things i meant to do while i was here.

i have been studying, I have been working, I have been mothering.

and i have been doing little else. I watch precious little TV. I am missing Dexter and I will have to try to catch the finale of Project Runway at another time. Please, let it not be Kenley and please can it please be Leanne.

I have been about my own agenda and it feels really good.

As now Judah is home and i am starving, I'll have to write more later. possibly.

hope all is well. . .

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I am in Texas, as you know, and I am doing well and poorly at the same time. It doesn't even out to okay.

Maybe because this blog has been read by people I don't want reading it before, I am hesitant to explain too much of that sentence. We need a secret blog, where we can share secrets.

I am making efforts. I go to church here, twice a week- Tuesday morning ladies bible studies and Sundays to Christ Episcopal. I don't feel at home in either place but i get something, usually, from each place each time i go.

I try to take care of myself. I am not sure I ever mentioned before that I am particularly bad at this, by nature. I get too locked in my head to think about taking vitamins and exercising. I bite all my fingernails off in deep thought.

I am trying to be mindful of my physical needs. I just made myself lunch, real lunch, though i didn't really want anything at all.

I am headed to work tonight at a restaurant that is just fabulous. It serves chic American Latin Cuisine in an avant-garde atmosphere and tonight is my first full-fledged night on the floor. I am a pretty good waitress. I like to chat people up. I can forget practical items sometimes, not usually, and i think of the whole thing as an opportunity to pay attention to detail (see above) while actually getting paid.

Have you heard of OPI nail polish color "I am not really a waitress."

i feel that! but i don't hate waitressing, I don't. $2o-$30/hour. and little stress.

Jujie has been sick since i got here. he had spasmodic croup and not he has an ear infection.
on the upside, he is loving his swimming lessons.

more later, loves.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

new digs

I can't tell you how much I am going to miss this person.

this is where i live now, when i am not on assignment in texas, as a special student

these are some of the houses in our neighborhood. the picture at the top left is my favorite entryway so far. i love how colorful the houses are, the palette they produce together is just fun to look at.

and lots of people cultivate a shabby-chic looking garden, which i love as well.

The last one, with three houses, is my street.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

For Sandra and Hayden

Dear little Hayden,

You are wanted and loved and blessed already: You have sandra for a mother.
And in life, Hayden, few things matter as much as the disposition of our mothers.
I know your mother to be a courageous and thoughtful woman, full of encouragement and warm in her soul. It may not seem like much right now, when all you want is the warmth of her belly, but it will be everything to you later: that she can nurture a soul is her power for you and your blessing.

Sandra, everytime I picture you, I picture you with light all around you. You shine. You will shine in your role in Hayden's life.

Blessings to you both!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Unfinished Business

I am going to spend the next three months- think in terms of a semester- studying in Texas, away from Chris.
I know, right? What am I thinking?

I am thinking that in Texas I have a job that will replace my IL salary and Judah is back at his old school. He will be in school Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, all day--which in San Antonio only costs $325 for the month. fyi: In Illinois, we paid $500 a month for two days a week & $720/mo for three days a week-- more than twice as much. But the real plus is that Judah's grandparent's are springing for it so that i can just focus on my tasks at hand.

My adviser is afraid, his exact phrasing was "afraid," that i won't finish my thesis and has asked me to take my comprehensive exams in October so that he can sleep knowing that if I do not actually finish my thesis, I will still get my degree. The comprehensive exams are on October 31st which means that I will need to study for approximately five to six hours a day, every day, to be ready for them.

I would be very proud of myself if i did well on them and, in some ways, it would take some pressure off.

on the other hand, my thesis is what i intend to use to recommend me for PhD programs in the strongest possible way in reputable schools. I want to write a fabulous thesis.

I have bad history in San Antonio and I have bad history with this thesis. This weighs heavily on my mind.

But i don't think it is realistic for me to live here in Boston, looking for a good-paying job while sending judah out into a new school which, to be honest, we could not at this point afford. Studying and research seem impossible in that equation.

If i want to do my studying and my thesis, my best chances seem to be in San Antonio.

Why will i succeed now when I have failed so thoroughly before?

There are lots of things that are different now than the first time i went to San Antonio to work on my thesis. The first is that Judah is not now an infant. He is quite big actually. He is in school and soccer and swimming lessons.
I am no longer depressed. I was terribly depressed after Judah was born for many reasons. I was directionless. Now i know I am working on the end of my degree program to apply to PhD programs in the early spring. And i have a real home, in Boston, with Chris. San Antonio is not a end i can not see past. I will be visiting.
I have a fabulous therapist and a best friend who both know my history in San Antonio and who will both be on deck to make sure history does not repeat itself.
I have made peace with my parents-- they have made peace with us. It happened in late spring i guess. apologies were made and accepted. They have been really supportive of our move to Boston-- they helped us pack up our other place and helped us get this nicer place (money).

I would be lying if i said I wasn't crazy- conflicted about all of this.
But i also know that success in this situation, me and them and chris and judah, for me is about interdependence and relationship. I could cut them out of my life and avoid a lot of angst and anxiety but i would be sad about it long-term.

If you are worried about me after reading this, I understand.

But i want to be clear that Chris and I are not secretly separating-- people seem to wonder if we are when they hear this plan. Chris is vehemently for my finishing as strongly as possible. He has high hopes for my PhD goals and more faith in me than I have in myself. He will miss me as I will miss him, but he feels certain that this is the thing for me to do. He has forgiven the past and feels my father has changed. I love that about him. he has faith in people.

And if it doesn't go well, for whatever reason or reasons, then i will come home to Boston after my comp exam.

cross your fingers for me.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Not Kansas.

I have to admit that at several points, and on one day in particular, i would have paid top dollar for ruby slippers that could have transported me home. Any home i have previously known would have been fine by me. The move was really stressful, to say it "plain," and on the day we moved in my nerves were shot. That night i shivered when it wasn't cold and paid to stay in a hotel instead of my new place without sheets. it was too much.

our new place is perfect perfect perfect. it has huge windows, three of which i am looking through as i type this sentence. We get good light, which is a priority of mine. The kitchen is huge and beautiful, with tons of cabinet space and fancy appliances. We have two bathrooms, which was exceptional in this little corner of Boston where lots of apartments are in Victorian homes- three floors with each getting only one restroom. I have walk-in closet space. I have a very civilized entryway and a fireplace. I hit the jackpot.

I also have a new roommate. Matt is our friend from Illinois and was living in Philadelphia when we asked him (three weeks ago) if he would like to move to Boston with us and now he is here. We are both INFPs on the Myers-Briggs, so he and i get along really well. Like brother and sister- soulwise. He also happens to get along swimmingly with Chris. Chris and I only considered the option for two minutes before we talked to Matt about it. so far it has been so very good to have company on this venture.

We walk around our neighborhood together, the three of us, and we take in our new spots. I have a charming bakery, one block from my place, where i have had a fabulous gruyere croissant and bought ciabatta bread for dinner tonight. The guys have found many, shall I say, watering holes and i have found the closest Target. So far, all good.

It is louder here i than i am used to and louder than i like. I am getting earplugs and a loud fan.

I have more to write, but it is so much more that i will write this update in installments... so


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the moon

I am a mess this week in a really quiet and productive way. We are packing. I am running errands. I have done things the last few days that make me deeply proud of myself: things like getting the recalled part on my car door replaced. getting copies of judah's birth certificate. getting mail forwarded.

i have not gotten a job or a place to live and I have a week before i will be leaving the shelter of my townhome-- in which i am quite comfortable.

I am not too worried, but i think i should be. it is a lot for me to deal with. I think of Sandra in her home, i think of Becky in her home and I think that they have made it safely and that so will I.

Judah is with my parents and i miss him. I am, however, grateful for the space to process this move. it deserves processing. It is the continuation of a conversation I am having with God. I want to say my words, I want God to respond and i want to hear it. I do. Whatever is said, I want to hear.

I am not sure i would recommend the path I am on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


i bought two pairs of shoes while i was in texas. they look really good on my feet. better, maybe, than in the pictures. I got them for a song. i wish i meant that literally--because I LOVE to sing. did you know that? once kristen and I led worship together. she played the guitar and i sang. really!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Return of the Native

I've been in Texas.

Interesting things happen in Texas for me, to me--by me. Texas is like that place they sing about in Total Eclipse of the Heart-- we're living in a ... is it pollygag? polliwog? ... I give off SPARKS in Texas.

I always breathe a sigh of relief when i get into Oklahoma or Texas, though I probably should not.

My sister refused to walk the stage at her graduation. I had to convince her to come to her own graduation party scheduled for the next day. I mediated, made peace for them. that is no big surprise, but this time people, like my parents, said thank you to me. that is a positive step forward.

I also made it very clear that I would not ever intervene the way that i did again. I had to kiss my own incredibly spoiled little sister's emotional butt, if you will, to get her to come to the party. It made me angry and I let my parents know it. They said they wouldn't ever ask me again.

at least not for a long time, i am sure.

I also asked them to help me with my move to Boston. My dad is trying to see if he can help us drive from Chicago to Boston.

that is a bunch of steps forward.

He and Chris got along fine.

olympian strides taken there.

I still need a job in Boston.
I am not scared. yet.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I bet you want to know, maybe you do?, how i am feeling about Boston.

(thanks to those of you who asked.)

I feel the anxiety of the butterfly who really wants out of the cocoon but isn't sure she can fly.

I feel relief that I am going to try to do it anyway.

This is where i feel it, the rush, the firing of the synapses, the confidence of a person growing into herself, I feel all of that in the risk-taking. Not fool-hardy risk-taking for the sake of risk... but, like I have tracked down Life, stared it in the face and said, ok, give it to me. I can take it.

If i compare it to the move i made 13 or so months ago, i think this one is less a running away and more of a running toward.

It is true that I just caught my breath. but it is caught. and i wasted quite a bit of time just sitting on the sidelines of my life... i need to keep moving. I tend to fall asleep if i am not moving forward in my life.

feeling good about it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


word on the street is that we are moving again, for the last time ever. boston will be the place i grow old in. just kidding. but i will turn thirty there.

chris got the job he wanted there. that was the news he waited for, what he really needed to hear. it was slow in finalizing, but it is now final.

which means that he will be going to berklee school of music. his dreams are coming true. that is a great place to be, but also strangely like being in the center of a tornado. I feel calm, I feel sure, I feel right but the getting there, it will be a whirlwind and the implications, emotionally, will rearrange my soul.

All Shall Be Well; and All Shall Be Well; and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well.
(Julian of Norwich)

Monday, June 23, 2008

part-time for real

i work part-time and I have been out of school for the last 7 weeks. I love it.
I get to take much better care of my two people, we eat in more often and get buried in laundry less often.

This week i will work a little more but only because last week I worked a little less, twenty three hours to be exact.

I have lost six pounds since school ended. I walk almost every night now, two or three miles, and i count calories. When i started I wanted to lose fourteen pounds. I have eight pounds to go on that, as you can figure out i am sure, and i feel better already. My walks are really challenging and even these six pounds are making all my clothes sit better. I aim for 17oo calories a day, and i aim to burn 300 of them on my walks, give or take a bit everyday.

After all this time, i now feel pretty full after a 500 calorie meal. Today I had something new that was so yum. Do you have Trader Joe's by you? well, if you do, you should definitely try the Roasted Red Pepper soup (sold in a carton). I mixed a dollop of Fage (greek style Yogurt) in and some chives and it was really creamy tasting-- for about 120 calories a cup.

What are your favorite low-fat or low-calorie go-to foods? I really want to know!
I am trying to get used to the idea that i will have to be eating this way for the rest of my life.

Judah has been so much fun lately. I think this will probably be my favoritest year in his life. and it is already half-over. boo!

Chris continues to wait for news that suggests his whole life is meaningful and destined and on-track. That news is hard to wait for and hard to watch him wait for.

I wish i could be friends with you people in the Real World.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Romper Room

if you're reading this, i want you to know

I spent the last thirty minutes reading through old posts and the comments under them and I am feeling so grateful to you all. To all of you
Kristen (yay Alyssa!) and Aola and Cara and Sandra and Becky and Melissa and Liz and Katt and ...well you get it right? YOU.

oh, and you lurkers... you lurking friends: come out, come out wherever you are!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

make it beautiful, make it true.

I decided, sometime now long past, that i would be honest. at least with myself.

My undergrad is in Psych and, as you know, I have had a breakdown experience, and along the way I converted to honesty and away from repression. I would think a thought, I committed, I would acknowledge it, no matter what.

even when my chest tightens, and my mind goes vertiginous at the possible implications of some one of my thoughts
i think it through anyway.
I choose to be brave as i walk through my mind.
i choose to look into corners with shadows and cobwebs, and invite the spider to tell me what it knows. secrets.
this is my path, it is singular at all times because only I can really walk it
everyone else is just hearing about it, second-hand.

after years on this road, i have come to a maze, I have come to Wonderland, I have come to ruin, I have come to despair
I have not often come to Beauty or Rest
I have not ever come to peace.
This is a deprivation.
every moment's repose has been an effort
so large are the questions
so few, and sometimes frightening, are the answers
I seldom think the thoughts I want to think
i rarely feel the way i always think I should
I would if i could.
My mind, it is a landscape unforgiving and too often bare.
And i know
i know that i am meant to paint it, to paint and to
make it,
and true.
I have not yet found my tools.
I am hoping i am on my way.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lars and the Real Girl was good.

There may be something new on Chris' horizon and he is all aglow in the hope of it. It is hard for me to watch. I don't want him to be disappointed.

Judah and I are going to Texas this weekend. My youngest cousin is graduating from highschool and these kinds of celebrations are better attended than traditional holidays. My ninety-ish year old great aunts will probably be there and i want them to see Judah before, well, you know.

I will be buying a flip video camera to take it in.

Do you believe in Luck?

I don't. I always think good things happen because God loves me, though, strangely enough, I also tend to catastrophize the future. I visualize falling on my face in one way or another constantly. I expect to be found out for the fool I am everytime i make a decision which banks on God, banks on good things happening.

Today Chris tells me he thinks I get preferential treatment. He doesn't say by whom exactly but after ten years, it is well enough understood. Chris thinks God favors me, though he won't make any comment, right now, about Who God is or has been or will be, he won't--- he feels vague about all of that.

Most days, i admit, I do feel like God is interested in me, listening to me, helping me, observing. But i don't feel special, per se, like i have been singled out. more like i singled God out, constantly seeking an audience with God when i was younger, now has grow into a sort of continuous investment in the world as I experience it. So, where I used to closet myself in darkness to seek out God's voice, now i venture into the streets to figure out what Life is revealing to me, speaking to me, wanting for or from me. I've matured, but i am still the same girl.

and while i do feel like God pays attention, the special thing about me is only that I realize it.

Friday, May 30, 2008


I hope that one day you read this, and i hope that you know that i love you, no matter how we've passed the last twenty years, no matter what highs or lows govern the landscape between us.

I see you already doing the things i might do myself if I were you and
there are things i want you to know about what you are predisposed to do.

I think you gravitate toward inaccessible people, people whom, for whatever reason, do not actively seek you out. You energetically try to engage people who, for their own reasons, tend to be slower or harder to engage and who, if engaged, tend to disengage faster than others, faster than you would like...
you are so vulnerable and sweet, Judah.

you work hard to connect to me, but i am not the only one. i wouldn't make a generalisation about this if it were only me.

i have never known myself to be so thoroughly limited as when i am with you. you always want me: you want to snuggle, you want to play, you want to sleep in our bed, you want to stay up as late as we do, you want to go to work with me. You can totally overwhelm me.

i feel an enormous need to be alone. I stay up really late to be alone. I can't make a judgment on it right now.

Don't always be trying to connect , Judah. Don't always be trying. You are worth seeking out. You are worth finding.

Though, right now, i don't know how to be as emotionally present to you as i want to be.

I am not a bad mother, not a terrible mother. you are brilliant and chubby, generally smell good, and you show the beginnings of a sturdy self-esteem. recently someone told you that you are handsome. you sighed, looking a bit annoyed, and said " I know."

Hopefully, you will read this and be shocked. you will say--- you, mom? you felt like you weren't "there" enough for me?

But if you aren't, and you feel some sort of emptiness between us. . .please know i have never wanted to be More for anyone more than i have for you.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I never got into Sex and the City, FYI.

This morning i put Judah on a plane with my mother. It wasn't that difficult for me, though I have been walking around in a melancholy state for the whole day and night. IT is quiet here and although I seriously dig that this is a BREAK! it really just feels like the party is someplace else. I miss my little Party.

Ofcourse I shopped all day and went to a movie with Chris tonight. Like I am a single girl with a boyfriend.

Now that the semester is over I feel incredulous. I feel doubtful that i will be able to make much of anything out of myself. I feel deluded, maybe delusional.. I also feel certain something good will come of my efforts, though they may not seem like so very much to anyone else. They have felt monumental to me.

In other more cheerful news: we get to go on a mini-vacation. We'll essentially be going to pick up Judah, but we'll get to spend a night in Dallas. I have lots of fond memories of Dallas, places i still think about haunting, and I am readier than ready to go to La Madeleine.

It'll be the first time Chris and I vacation without Judah.

Chris and i dated in Dallas. we had our first date at La Mad, ate BBQ at Pappas Brothers, shopped for too expensive groceries at EatZis. We strolled Highland Park Mall, I lost my purse in its little movie theater. I fell in love with Maggiano's and PF Chang's and my boyfriend in Dallas.

I'll try to post some pics.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

turn turn turn

new things happen in soil of my soul. Things sprout up that i hoped for, but i don't remember planting.
Last night in our townehome was the night i always hope for but can never generate...

I had the time, energy and mental wherewithall to play outside with Jujie. To throw and catch the yackleball, to chase and play Scooby Doo. He was velma and i was shaggy. When we made it back to our house after having outrun the monster, i told him that he was such a brave and cool girl.

He said, yeah, I am .

Chris made dinner, I vacuumed the living room, I bathed Judah. We went to bed on time.
Like Becky said: satisfying.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Women is Survivor. As a student: Thriver?

i am adopting a hard-hitting journalistic attitude in my blog title. enjoy!
This is how i feel about my paper that i really care about: it had a good concept driving it but...i just didn't have the time dedicated to it to do my concept justice. overall, it was fair. i expect a low B.

i am actually thinking about re-doing it and re-submitting it just for kicks and for some real feedback about the ways i am processing and developing concepts. we'll see.

I felt really good about the Unitarian Universalism paper, but i didn't care quite as much about it. it was shorter and easier.

more later. it'll be busy week.

Monday, April 14, 2008

To answer CV's question

I do think that there are fervent UUers. I am still working this out, on paper, but i suspect that, much like Judaism, UU is a "religion"primarily of practice, or praxis- if you want to get academic about it.

So in both, and there is scholarly research to support this grouping of the two together, the emphasis is on doing Right (v. believing the right thing: doctrine).

of course, Judaism is monotheistic and dogmatic in ways that would make UUers sick.

Still, UUers live by 7 principles and the first is that all beings have worth and should be respected. I feel sure that no UUer worth any salt would convert to a hateful regime.

IN the research i did after i posted, I read that UUers are practicers of a Different Religiosity. They are quite different from traditional religions. For example, UUers as a set value spiritual growth highly, but value "Salvation" so lowly that it almost qualifies as a disvalue.

not your mama's Faithful, now, huh?!

Did i mention i love this stuff?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

and the winner is

i attended the 9 am service of Naperville's fine Universalist Unitarians.

I am about to hammer out the first draft of my paper, which is for psychology of religion. My prof, who happens to be my age, wants to us to evaluate the religion in terms of what it has to offer, psychological appeal.

It is fairly obvious to me that Universalism is appealing in that it allows one to maintain an openness to others and their ideas. Universalists are committed to religious pluralism- and doesn't that sound awesome right now?

Really, wouldn't it be amazing to be able to give everyone and everything the Benefit of your religious and existential doubt? how peaceable, at least in my mind! Without dogmatic commitments, one is free to "learn". the only responsibilities that UUism places on its followers are ones that any mature adult would gladly take on: to care for the earth and for others, to pursue knowledge and spiritual growth. For real, if that is all there is to it, i am practically UU.


there is an exception. I happen to think that choice and commitment mean saying no to somethings while also saying yes to Something Else.

UUism never had this choice! It can be anything to anyone, it can synthesize any religious belief. And i have to say that this strikes me as such:

to be everything and anything to anyone and everyone is to be no thing at all.

but that is just my initial thought....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


today i signed myself up for a long overdue root canal. that i have known that i have needed one for more than three years is balanced out by the fact that i am not in pain yet, so my upcoming surgery is, for all measures and purposes, preemptive and therefore a sign of my developing practicality and good sense.

straws are grasped.

I have a major paper due, two really, but one is so much more major that it eclipses the other, both are due April 16th. Today being the eighth means that i should already be panicked but i can't muster it and panic rarely helps.

future crisis foreseen.

Judah is coming down the stairs to remind me that he has no intention of letting me be on my own for fifteen minutes together.

Blog is abandoned.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

sneaking it in

I have to be at work in tweny-five minutes and my hair is crazy, cray-zay. I am still in my pjs. I am listening to Andrew Bird's Plasticities catching up on bloggies.

I want to send Becks a shout out: I didn't completely understand, maybe even misconstrued, your last post. I didn't mean to, but i know one of the best things about this blog thing is being comprehended. I usually feel i do comprehend you. so, i re-read it all, i think i get it now.

for me, the worst thing about being Pulled, is that in the struggle, in the ways it works out in my head and in my home, i often forget that i am being pulled by things i love and want and need. I need Judah and Chris and i need school, i need to work, for the challenge and i need these moments, in front of the computer, listening to Sarah McLachlan's Blackbird, and generally feeling like myself, in my life. feeling present and feeling forceful for the day ahead. I want to be be myself, a wife, a mother and a student. all of it, but the challenges sometimes get so gnarly they only feel like struggles.

still, still, what else is worth spending all my energy on?

Monday, March 31, 2008

how does your garden grow?

I've been different lately, disconnected and quiet and wistful. i've been restless and bored.

I can't seem to get away from all my roles and my people, I can't seem to be by myself and i think it is what i need, though by this point, it would kind of be unpleasant, i think. it is like a hunger gone too long unfed that you are nauseous. you don't necessarily want food.

i don't feel like doing any one thing. i don't feel like myself and yet there is something pretty familiar about this feeling. i feel fussy and this room is a mess.

But, maybe,

there is more than the blahs to this blah. I have been wondering at myself the past week, wondering where i think this is leading and seeing myself at not too special, not that gifted, not that smart. why do i think i will get into a good Ph.D program? why?

And at the same time, i know i have talent, it is just that i can see that so do many other people. many others, just in my classes, and there must be so many others with better qualifications that i have not ever met.
i have remembered a life before i was trying to make something of myself, a life in which something was made of me, and i have been wistful for the ease and entertainment of it.
i am wanting to hide from my life right now.
but instead, i am going to read two chapters from Invitation to the Psychology of Religion.
Try not to be jealous.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oh Sweet LORD!

Thank God I didn't miss it!

Okay, Kristen, you are becoming a mother everyday! I bet you look so cute.

For your mind, a metaphor. You are visibly pregnant and it becomes more and more defining. You were teensy pregnant, then visibly pregnant, now definingly pregnant. It is probably the first thing that people notice about you now. But what is happening inside you is so much more profound than what can be seen with an eye.

So is motherhood itself. It will change everything about your day and all your decisions. But the change in your heart and soul will be so much more. you will be changed in your fundamentals.
Your very fiber is different, you're blessed. Welcome to it, i am always here if you need...

Kristen, you will be a great mother to Alyssa. On this point, there is no doubt. you will bring your thoughtfulness and consideration to the role to be sure and your practicality. your good sense, not so very common, will be to Alyssa's great benefit.

For your darling girl, a blessing: That her heart would beat strong in her ears, that she would truly know herself, live thoroughly and well, succeed in making wise and good plans which then materialize into a wise and good life. That she would comprehend her blessings, that her struggles would strengthen her, that she would have laughter.

Alyssa: Welcome to the world, our world, your world.

love to you on this becoming...

I got you a couple petit bateau onesies. so yummy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Maybe it is like this right before something cool happens

We spent most of our day, me and Judah, in the city. God, a city has energy to it, for sure, and Chicago's energy is energetic. Yep, i meant that. There is a steady, strong pulse to Chicago. The wind from the lake is its breath, cold and strong. Chicago is alive.

We ventured up to the skydeck of the Sears Tower which is an expensive thing to do, when one considers $21 parking for 65 minutes. I usually cringe about things like that, but i am learning to let go and enjoy the more expensive moments. You don't get anything for them if you fail to enjoy them.

I really enjoyed being with Judah in the city, being with him on the streets. We ran and whooped and hollered about being in Chicago, about being among its people and its crazy tall buildings. It was so nice to do it- to be with Judah and thrill him. To thrill him is pretty thrilling.

We watched the History Channel short on the construction of the Sears Tower and Judah enjoyed it. He also thoroughly appreciated our friend's classical guitar concert last month. Yeah, i am trying to say that he, my offspring, is smart.

Really, it doesn't strike me as smart when i see him do these things-- he strikes me as really old for four years, one month. At 48 lbs and 44 inches i believe that is above 95% -- out of 100 kids his age he is bigger than at least 95 of them. He is big and memorizes lots of things and tells me off sometimes.
A tiny teenager in lots of ways.

Judah, if you ever read this one day, I want you to know that i miss you as a baby. I miss your babyhood. seems a tragedy that it had to end. you are always so beautiful to me though, even now, i am always thinking what a gorgeous little jerk you are. That these days with you are the ones i would buy back at any price, though they are tedious and stressful in many, many ways and i know that it is best for all of us to keep evolving, still you tempt me to stay right where we are. It is a good thing i have no say in the matter...because you might be four forever.

So now that i got that out...

i'm off to bed.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

picture perfect: this is how my mind works

I've just spent more than an hour looking at design sites, featuring homes that are flooded with light and good taste, and i am sitting in my very cold, unstylish, basement.

We've been rolling right along here:working, watching tv, going to classes, judah-- so much demands lots of my attention. especially project runway!

i sometimes think i need to write a letter to my dad, that i need to get my thoughts out on paper. But seriously, would i ever finish that letter? it would be so long!
I have even tried just putting a few thoughts down, but one thought just leads to another and i can't seem to organize my thoughts. i am not satisfied with them when i re-read them.

I know he must be so sad and angry at me. I feel bad about that.

i'm sad we're broken up. i am sad in a way that... if i really think about it. . .i can start to cry and stop breathing and hear my heart beating in my ears.
my life is so f*ing messy- it is. and most of the time i am so frustrated that it is. i haven't come to terms with my life being what it is. I haven't come to terms with myself because, you and i both know, i am the reason that my life is the way that it is. I am profoundly messy- loosest of ends and feeling so threadbare-- i will not be able to cover my wreckage with my best efforts.
and i don't feel that my path is heading anywhere anymore. or, maybe, i feel i have been on this special and trying path to get somewhere but that when i get there, wherever There is, i will not have what i need to make it my There. I do not have the goods. I don't.

i guess i am rethinking the rethinking. What was the question? What i am doing with Chris?!
Chris is the first time i ever knew something didn't add up about me. Before him, everything made enough sense. But my falling for Chris was just weird, from the leftest of fields, he is just Other than anyone would have had for me and even i sometimes still wonder at what he means. Anti-thesis of all my former ideas. Opposite soul-fabric. Suddenly i have married a Dreamer.

Everything happened at night.
I can recall the privacy of my room, i can recall not wanting to be interrupted there. I can remember the retreat into my own world: mirrors and windows. shade and trees. i can remember nights on the picnic bench in front of my house and stars shining through the branches. My night and private self chose her husband. This is not a fictionalization, an enhancement through hyperbolic imagery. This is the closest thing to Truth i can tell about it.
That very private self i barely saw because She was not as yet connected to anyone or anything. Only in my room. only on my own. An un-self-concsious self .But now...
The choice to marry Chris was the first move toward being let out of that tower of privacy.
And sometimes, i just want to go back.

The person i was before Chris had no real hopes or dreams but I didn't have to worry about anything. Now i worry about everything.

i try not to.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And you'd given me up for dead!

okay, so i am back from a visit to Chris's parents. The low light was something i think it wouldn't be fair to print and the highlight was going to have steak where i used to waitress. My word: that is the best steak i've ever had.

The trip afforded me a golden opportunity to be by myself, when the house was sleeping and still. I journaled eight pages, lists and drawings. I made plans, resolutions, maps and schedules. i felt whole for the first time in a long time. I felt unto myself, present and it was so needed. It almost felt like a spell and the saddest part about it is that it will almost certainly be broken.

I know that i do the breaking myself. I "check-out" all the time. I detach, as some sort of defense, but i do it so often i can't begin to guess why. The idea is that if you go back to when you checked out, right before it, then you can identify what triggers the defense mechanism.

My first guess is that my messy townhouse is making me check out. I hate it cluttery and messy. Maybe that is why cleaning it always feels so enlightenting.

Speaking of, i have lots of cleaning to do.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Did you know that i kind of like Mary J Blige?

okay, fyi
1. today judah is sick and home from "school." He is most in touch with the fact that his health is ailing when i ask him to do things like kiss me or take his cup back to the kitchen.
2. Chris is off the next two days. YIP-ee. We're on a good stretch these days.
3. Obama, he is a Barack-ing my world.
4. Tote bags are my new thing. I just bought... three recently and i lurve 'em.
5. Organisation is also my new thing. king of.
6. British spellings come naturally to me and they always have.
7. weird, eh?
8. i just had my six month review and it went well. i am happy about it.
9. i love my classes at Wheaton and got an extension on my thesis.
10. If i could just straighten myself out enough, i could write two books.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sick is not how i pictured it! or I like to think i would be Lucy Liu.

maybe it was the shots. I am sick! i don't get sick, really. I am the last to get sick My sister or roomate can get sick and i won't. Judah and Chris will be laid up with Ebola and i can go for a walk, come make them soup, snuggle them, and i am fine the whole time. I am the last to get sick.


I had another class today and it became apparent to me that i am much much older than lots of college kids. More than age, really, i am older in the sense that i have been around. I have been places. I have had judah and been with Chris for eight years. I have had the struggle of my life, it seems.

They are twenty-ish and look like the places they have been include and are limited to Wet Seal and Forever 21.
I am trying to remember not to be condescending but i am not sure it isn't natural...
in other news, my mom sent me earrings for no reason.
which created a minute but detectable shift of the earth on its axis. Polar bears can tell because they got a little more time to chase those seals we shouldn't be clubbing.
Really, who exactly clubs a baby seal? Why a club?
I digress, i know. The people in latin america noticed because their siestas inexplicably lasted one minute longer, with no effort on anyone's part.

The earrings are pretty and gold and came accompanied by a matching ring that i would like enough if it fit my proper finger.

pretty. i just don't know what it means.

and finally, Kristen, KRISTEN ARE YOU THERE? i am now watching Project Runway which is bound to make us grow oh so close. I like Sweet P.

I also watch a little bit of Cashmere Mafia.

Who is the fallen mighty now? I never get hooked on that stuff: sex and the c. or desperate housesluts. I never get pulled into this stuff. And i never get sick.

well, hardly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

the way up

i generally regard 2008 to be my year of The Climb... I sense i am at the foot of a mountain, the top will be my Actualized Life. I know, God help all his children who took too many psych classes!

I am so glad to be here. I feel like everything i am doing, and i am doing a LOT, is getting me closer to who i want to be. I know it. It is a conviction, my dears. So the work thing, it doesn't bother me. I can deal with my work.

Because it means I can go to my school. I am very very verrrry (roll the R) happy to be back at Wheaton, i love it! i had my first class today and i wanted to cry i felt so happy. But i didn't, i just smiled a lot.

I also got three shots today. I narrowly avoided a pap smear (rescheduled). the school keeps tabs on its students! the shots were mandatory. the physical is too. the pap is cause i am a big girl and know it is best for me... otherwise i would say no thanks.

Judah and i both go to school and he finds this really interesting. he likes to ask me if i get a play time or a nap time and i had to tell him that his school is way better than mine. no naps are scheduled, anyway.

i got an ipod for christmas.
good night.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


i have been a person who loves to make New Year's Resolutions. I love it.

Even when i am making simple changes, i'll wait for a sunday so that the change has a proper commencement.

But the turn of this year is different. I am a little spent on all the changes i have recently made to think that i can make some more changes.

though i would like to think so, but i can't even muster up the energy for a list.

and you know that all real sustaninable change begins with a list- nice penmanship increases the likelihood that it will come to pass, too.

No, I am not feeling change-y. i am not feeling like i can. or will.

i will probably just continue gaining weight.
and not finish my degree.
i will probably still be surrounded by my clutter twelve months from now
i will not have visited the chiropractor
nor the dentist
Judah will probably stay up past ten every night and
we'll eat from the frozen section
when we don't eat out
i won't exercise and then i will drop the ball on going to the Dells this summer because i refuse to get in a bathing suit
i won't save a dime or pay my bills on time.
i'll snack too much and blog too little.
i won't buy the Differin that my poor stressed out skin needs.

eeek! i have so much to do!

That said: some plans!

I will lose ten pounds by Febuary 14th. I will then lose another five by my birthday, March 13th. After i lose fifteen pounds, on my birthday, i will spend money on something nice for myself as a reward and a congratulations!
I will go out on a real date for Valentine's Day.

Judah will start going to bed on time again. On time is nine. NINE!!!
i will learn ten new recipes in five months.

I will visit the chiro and the dentist and, though i could definitely think of much more better ways to spend my time, i need to visit the gyno too. it is time.

i will love myself, trust myself, listen and learn myself.

change can happen even when I don't have the energy of a false sense of invincibility,


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