Friday, June 10, 2016


Hi...sorry about yesterday's gloomy post.  I thought about deleting it, but then changed my mind because I think sometimes I need reminders that days are not always sunny and birds are not always chirpy.  Sometimes I go back and read journal entries or look at IG posts and have the mistaken un-reality that I've only ever loved all the places I've been.  With all those beautiful pictures of Cache Valley hanging all over my walls and posted all over social media, you'd think that I loved that place from the time we drove in there. I didn't.  I hated it for 7 whole years.  It wasn't until we left and went back a few years later that I loved it.  And I think I hated Allen when we first moved there, too.  I'm pretty sure I hated everything in August of 2010.  I think I always assume that just because I've moved so many times that I'm great at it and super adaptable and fine with change, but I'm really not.  I bet I've resisted every change and every new ward and probably every worthwhile person who's ever tried to break through the armadillo exterior I put up around myself when I walk into any new situation.  

I texted a friend on Saturday night and told her I was a little nervous about going to church the next morning, and she said, "Don't worry. Just don't do that thing where you're super unapproachable and aloof, and you'll be fine. They'll love you."  

I tried to be warm and approachable on Sunday, but it was too least not right out of the gate.  I'm cautious and reserved when things are new...and aloof and unapproachable apparently.  I assume people aren't going to bother to learn to say my name correctly, that they won't be interested in me, and that they'll be too busy to stay for very long, so I don't typically invest anything until they make an effort.  Because sometimes they don't.  Too many people have said, "Oh I'll never remember how to pronounce your name. That's way too hard."  And if that's what they want to invest in me, then that's what I'm usually willing to invest in them.  It's not exactly a generous or Christlike way to live, but holy cow has it worked to weed out the fluffy, superficial friends in my life.  I have none of those.  I only know how to make the lifelong kind, and that's only because THEY persist when I give them every indication that I'm not at all interested.  They keep coming back and keep trying and keep chipping away at the armor, and then somehow all that trying magically transforms me from porcupine into golden retriever and I become theirs for life, whether they want me or not.  It's a goofy, dysfunctional way to make friends, but like I texted back to that really good friend on Saturday night, it worked in Allen so maybe it will work in Birmingham, too. :) 

Anyway, yesterday got better, not because I left the house or made any friends.  Um, heck no, it's waaaay too early for that!  But because there were tiny little glimpses of good things in this place, and things that fit in this house, and evidences of potential joy down the road...

This was the most helpful text I got yesterday...

I found these pretty things outside my front's amazing what you can find when you venture outside.  I didn't go very far, just to get the mail. 

There's now a towel rack hanging from the shower door so I don't have to throw my towels on the floor before I get in the shower.  I'm pretty sure the guy who lived here before us was left handed because EVERYTHING in this house opens left or turns left or is on the left side.  

This is what my jewelry looked like when I unpacked it on Saturday.  It's been sitting in that pile all week and it made me irritated every time I walked past it so I couldn't bring myself to do anything with it, and I just kept walking past it.  But yesterday, Craig hung up that tie rack which is now a jewelry holder in my closet, and Megan and I took turns unraveling the heap.   She is infinitely patient with tedious things like heaps of jewelry and her frustrated mother. 
Now they're all individual necklaces again instead of one giant one.  I also decided to get rid of a bunch of them because I realized after two hours of detangling that I don't even wear half those necklaces anyway.  ugh...

My side of the closet is also officially done. Hallelujah!  And I noticed that there are a LOT of empty spaces in that shoe holder, so I mentioned to Craig that I clearly do not own enough shoes and I may need to do something about that.  

And this was the best thing that happened yesterday...THE OFFICE!  Since Craig no longer works from home, he doesn't need this space. So guess what!  It's mine!!  After the internet guy connected me back to my Beloved Mac, and after Craig left for work, Megan and I spent the afternoon thinking a little creatively.  That rug used to live in my entryway in Allen, but it doesn't work in the entryway here, even though I've tried to force it to live there for a week.  So we moved it into the office.  And that console table used to live in the kitchen in Allen, but this office wall is going to be filled with all those pictures and they needed something to "ground" them, so Megan and I dragged that thing into the office.  Now all those baskets are filled with family history stuff and pictures and crafty things.  There is stuff in this space that didn't used to live in the office at our old house, but with a little "out of the box" thinking and some help from Pinterest, Megan and I repurposed our old stuff into this awesome creative space that I'm SO excited about.  

All this stuff is going to be a collage, except not the tissue box...

...Oh, and look at the view from my desk!  Those are French doors that go out to a tiny balcony on the front of the house where I think we'll probably put a couple of rocking chairs and a little table.  Now I just need someone to come sit in one of them and play the guitar while I edit pictures and write blog posts...10 more months until my guitar-playing missionary comes home.  Maybe she'll sit out there.   And...that happens to be a birdbath we also discovered out there!  I had McKay fill it with water yesterday and guess what!  Some birds came this morning to take a bath!!  They're super skittish, though, so every time I even move to try and get a picture they fly away.  But just this morning, I've seen three robins and a cardinal!      

This is the view from that side window...

And this is what that pretty lake has looked like nearly every night this week.  The kids said they feel like they're on vacation at a lake house.  

So while it may not have been my dream to live in a vacation lake house in Alabama for the next 20 years, and while I still can't see what the rest of this ride is going to look like, and the potential church callings looming overhead are still keeping me up at night, all the little things yesterday (and this morning) have at least reminded me that this is way more bearable than it's felt in my head for the last five days.  Some days are still going to be frustrating and lonely and sad.  And I might still miss Allen and resist Birmingham for awhile longer, but I can see that there is potential for joy to sneak in.  
"How often in life do we set our own roots into the soil of life and become root bound?  We may treat ourselves too gently and defy anyone to disturb the soil or trim back our root system.  Under these conditions we too must struggle to make progress.  Oh, change is hard!  Change can be rough.  The Lord does not want (us) to become root bound and stagnant.  There is nothing so unchanging, so inevitable as change itself.  The things we see, touch, and feel are always changing.  There is a tendency to think of change as the enemy.  Many of us are suspect of change and will often fight and resist it before we have even discovered what the actual effects will be.  When change is thought through carefully, it can produce the most rewarding and profound experiences in life."  - Marvin J Ashton

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