Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jumbling a bunch of these together:

Favorite Actor:

This is really hard. It's difficult to choose between all my favorite characters and say "that one's my favorite actor." But if I had to do it, I'd say David Tennant. He really brought a lot of personality and character to the Doctor that his predecessor didn't. He made the Doctor less military and distant, and more friendly and accessible. He brought himself into the role, and really convinced me that he actually could be the real Doctor.

Plus, that hair and boyish face just can't be overlooked.

Least favorite actor:

The guy who played Mickey. Mostly because I didn't like his character. At all.

Favorite Actress:

Karen Gillan, for many of the same reasons as Tennant.

Least favorite actress:

The chick who played Martha. For the same reason as Mickey.

Favorite Writer: No idea.

Favorite couple: Amy and Rory. No matter what happens, they're together. They always find a way to come together, to let their love and commitment to each other override every obstacle that would stand in their way.

Favorite friendship:

Either the Doctor and River or the Doctor and Amy.

Favorite Spin-off: Don't have one.

Most Annoying Character


Mickey left a lot to be desired in a companion - or even in a companion's friend. He was Rose's boyfriend and when she disappeared with The Doctor for months on end, he just waited around and accepted it. He did eventually put his foot down on her time travelling, insisting on coming along. But once he did, he showed nothing but incredible cowardice, stupidity, and an amazing capacity for getting into downright awful messes. Aside from that, his facial acting pretty much sucked, and his voice is not in the least bit nice to listen to.

Character you love that everyone else hates

Actually, I can't think of any. I hated the characters I assume everyone else hated. I hated the characters I'm pretty sure lots of other people liked (like Mickey). But I don't think I loved any of the characters anyone else hated. I mean, who can hate The Doctor, Rose, Amy Pond, Rory, River Song, the TARDIS (AKA: Sexy), or most of the amazing villians?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Favorite Theme Song

I loved The "WoooOOOooo" of Ten's episodes just as much as I loved Amy Pond's intro, I think. Although, Amy Pond has an amazing accent so her intro might have been better.

Episode that scared you the most

It's a toss up between the episodes with the weeping angels and the episode with the Vashta Narada. For weeks after all of them I was a jumpy little skittish thing.

Funniest Episode

All of the episodes are funny in their own way, I think. But the funniest episode, I think, was probably the one where Ten Ten.

Saddest episode

This one! Ten and Rose, after going through so much together and being so connected, they get separated. If they hadn't ended up in different universes, they probably would have had a thing, but then that would have ruined the series altogether so I'm glad it worked out that way. At the same time, I cried. He had to drop her into the different universe to save her life, but then he couldn't reach her. She had faith though, and after years and years and years of searching, she finally finds a holographic projection of him in Bad Wolf Bay. Definitely the most heartbreaking separation of The Doctor and a companion.

Favorite incredibly heartjerking line from this episode: "I'm burning up a sun just to say Goodbye."

Favorite Master

Trick question! There was only one Master. And I didn't like him, but he was all right as a villain.

Least favorite season

The first season I saw was probably my least favorite (the one with Nine). I'm not sure why, maybe it was because I didn't much care for Nine or maybe it was something to do with the plainness of most of the villains, I just think that season was blander than the others. But, for someone just starting with the Doctor, I suppose it was great.

Favorite Season

Despite the fact that Ten is my favorite Doctor, I think the most recent season has been my favorite so far. There have been so many new villians, and cameos of the old ones, and the plot points that were previously scattered are being connected...I think this past season was a really good one. I hear the next season is going to be better, what with the new Companion and all, but we'll see.

Favorite Special Episode

All the Christmas epsiodes!!!

Actually, my favorite one was probably the Charles Dickens one. 'Nuff said.

Favorite villian

Oh gosh, I don't know that I can pick a favorite. Probably these guys, the Silence. It really is hard to pick though, because I also love the Weeping Angels. And the Manticor in the house of fears. And that one spider lady who we only saw for a few minutes. And the water spirit. And so many others, so I think I'll bend the rules on this and not pick one, I'll just feature a few of them.

First up is The Silence. These guys are super neat, they look very similar to your traditional alien except that they wear suits. They are in humongous groups, sometimes 50 or more. The thing that makes these guys so neat is that you only remember them as long as you're looking at them. The second you look away, you forget they were even there. Which means that during that time you're looking at them, they can plant directives and missions in your subconscious and you'd be forced to follow them without knowing why.

Next, the Weeping Angels. These ones also respond to being looked at, but in a different way. When you look at them, they can't move. But if you so much as blink, they can attack you. They don't exactly kill you, they are a creature from another planet that feeds off of potential. And Earth, with all the potential-filled humans, is ripe hunting ground.

The Manticor was another of my favorites. He fed off of faith, whether it was religion level, superstition level, or even just extreme trust in a good friend. I forget why he was put into place, but The Doctor (Eleven) figured out that he didn't want to be there anymore, that he wanted to die and just couldn't. I think the house was originally designed to punish the worst criminals, with a room that contained every person's greatest fear. Once they had faced their greatest fear, their faith started switching. Instead of having faith in luck, or Allah, or even The Doctor, they began to have an almost fanatical faith in the manticor, one that didn't make any sense. His episode broke my heart a little, because in order to save her live The Doctor had to ruin Amy's faith in him. But it was a really good episode anyway.

Of course, we can't forget The Flesh either. They're a substance that can take on the form and personality of anything it touches. They're not real people, but they can sure act like it.

With so many villians, it's pretty much impossible to pick a favorite, I think.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Least favorite companion

This one. I can't even remember her name, that's how much I didn't like her. I don't remember most of the episodes she was in and what I do remember I only enjoy because The Doctor was just so freaking fantastic. She was a well written character who just wasn't brought to life properly by the actress, I think. From what I remember, her time with the doctor was muted, mostly punctuated by fear, and actually kind of annoying. Her last episode fit the character fairly well, her deciding to be part of a military operation, but all in all I was incredibly unimpressed.

To be fair, I also slept through many of her episodes.

Favorite Companion

It's no contest. Amelia Pond is definitely my favorite companion. Rose was great, but, oh man! She's devastatingly gorgeous, has the most beautiful Scottish accent I've ever heard, and is - in my opinion - only matched in bravery by River Song. By the way, does River count as a companion, being so intimate with The Doctor? If so, she's a very close second.

I loved Pond from the first episode she was in, how she prayed to Santa (So awesome!) and then fearlessly met the man who fell out of the sky in a flying blue box. She made him fish and custard, and watched only with curiosity as he ate it, and then she waited for him to return and fix the crack in the wall in her room.

The writers really set Pond's stage well with that episode, that very first episode where they secretly told us "You're going to seriously consider naming your first daughter after this one, because she's the most perfect companion he's ever had." She asks all the right questions and is at least 9 parts curiosity to every 1 part fear.

Plus, seriously, she's gorgeous. And they even gave her the absolute perfect exit episode, which I won't give away but let me tell you that after you fall in love with this companion, you just might cry your eyes out at how wonderful the way she exits The Doctor's life truly is.

From first episode to last, Amy is amazing over and over again. She understands The Doctor better than any of them does and is probably the only one besides Donna to not fall completely in love with him - though she does have a momentary lapse during her pre-wedding jitters. I find myself hoping she does come back at some point in the next season, but at least if she doesn't I know I can be happy with the way that she left.
Kudos to BBC for writing such an amazing character and then finding the absolute perfect actress to bring her to life.

Favorite Doctor

Ten is, and probably always will be, my favorite Doctor. His personality was way over-the-top, and though Eleven is a close second and Nine is definitely third, I thought the last few episodes of the most recent series touched perfectly on the fact that both of them were far too vengeful and violent. Ten was focused on saving. Save the world, save the invaders of the world, keep them both far apart from each other. Plus, how could you NOT love a Doctor who is the oldest being in the world, the last of his kind, and absolutely cannot stand to see a child crying - to the point where he will move heaven and hell themselves to fix whatever is the matter. Eleven also worried too much and frequently mucked with his own time stream. Ten was very strict about that, and I loved the way he interacted with his companions. You can definitely see how he brought his own personality to the role, as well, and I think he really enhanced the Doctor. Ten was a hard act to follow, and I'm wondering if anyone after him will ever match up.

I'm also wondering when Eleven's going to kick it and let Twelve enter the scene.


I am now going to start a blog challenge about Dr Who. For those who don't know, it's an amazing BBC sci-fi series. It's on Netflix, and you really should watch it.


A very wise man whom I admire very much recently told me that success is nothing if there is no successor. Without someone to pass the baton to, any success you may have just amounts to having fun and living a good life, and once you die it ceases to be success.

When I was young, my parents along with a few other ministers taught me about generational curses. These are the negative patterns, the seemingly unbreakable chains, that bind people in certain lineages.

If you've ever been to an AA meeting, you know that they believe in something similar. They believe that their addiction is a genetic disease, something passed down to them through their anscestors that they cannot help and can only hope to ignore.

Many cultures believe in concepts similar to that of the generational curse. For some it's knowledge that somehow gets passed down through bloodlines. For some, it's a god - My parents worshipped this god, this is our family god, and thus I must worship this god.

Over and over again we see this theme: Legacy. Whether it's a burning desire to leave something behind or an overwhelming feeling that the things that are wrong in your life are just the way it has to be, we all are affected by legacy.

So what does legacy mean to you? Is it positive, or negative? What do you feel is the legacy you've been left with, and what legacy will you leave to those who follow after you?

Dearest and I understand how legacy works. You live your life, and - whether intentionally or not - you train someone to follow in your footsteps. Once those footsteps are there, once that trail has been blazed, it's incredibly difficult to vary from it. We know this from personal experience. There is a legacy of poverty, poor anger management, and alcoholism in both sides of our families. My parents, and his sweet mom, have all done a lot to start cutting new paths. But unfortunately they still wrestled with the same issues - and some of them are still issues for them to this day.

We each decided individually that we weren't going to follow those paths. Then, when we met each other, we decided together that we were not only going to stray from the paths that generations of our families have walked (divorce, alcohol and drug addictions, etc.). We decided also that we're going to carve new paths for ourselves and our children, paths they won't have any need or reason to turn from. For us, legacy is a big deal because the legacy has to start with us. Prosperity leading to great generosity, freedom, unwavering integrity, unshakable faith, leadership, and a driving desire to use one's talents for the good of others are all very difficult paths to cut. But not only to we want to leave this legacy for our children, these footsteps for them to follow; we know that we do not honorably have any other choice.

Just to clarify: This is not to say that either of our sets parents are bad people, or bad parents, or that they didn't try to do what was best for us. They did. But I don't think that most people start their marriages or start building their families with an understanding of just how important what you do with every moment of every day is to the future of your kids. And if they do, it's an incredibly overwhelming thought!

We, understanding these things (thanks to our mentors) and what we can do about them, just feel that we have a responsibility to carve these paths. Our legacy will be an entirely new set of generational cycles. Where there was poverty there will be prosperity. Where there was divorce there will instead be marriages that last 70, 80, 100 years - until death does part them.

That's the legacy we are determined to pass on. What legacy are you leaving, and who are you leaving it to?

The Best Thing

Question: The best thing that has ever happened to you?

Ironically enough, the best thing that has ever happened to me was also one of the worst decisions I've ever made. The start of my relationship with Dearest was anything but what it should have been, but he really is the best part of my life aside from God. If it weren't for him, I never would have started going to church again and I certainly wouldn't be where I am today, with the opportunities I have in front of me.


Question: What were you like as a child?

I'm sure my mother could answer this one much better than I could - and she'd probably be much more flattering of me.

As a kid, I was a handful. I was bossy, imaginative, brilliant, and willful. Those four things combined to also make me cunning and manipulative. People played by my rules or I didn't play - and I think they were usually happier if I just didn't play. I had an attitude the size of Canada and an ego that was probably twice as big. I preferred the company of adults, though I don't quite remember why now, and I had a really hard time making friends - for reasons you can probably imagine. I became something of an introvert after a while, taking the frequent rejection from my peers as a sign that either everybody was screwed up or I just wasn't worth anyone's time. It didn't help that I was gullible and other kids frequently used that weakness as a form of revenge. Ultimately it was my own fault, but the end result was the same. I ended up spending most of my time alone and very lonely, fostering my imagination with writing and one-person games of pretend. When I got bored enough I'd make my brothers play with me, but they would eventually tire of my rules and I'd feel the need to beat them up.

All in all, I was an incredibly smart child, but not a very nice one.

An Adventure

Question: "Tell about an adventure you've had."

I don't really consider myself to have had many adventures. Or really, any at all. The closest I usually come to adventure is our quarterly roadtrips or a really good novel.

The only thing in my life that I think could be considered an adventure is my journey after leaving my parents' house.

It started in May the year I turned 18. I had about 30 of those "I can't frikkin stand living here anymore" days in a row and decided to leave. I called Z - one of my long-time online best friends and at the time my boyfriend as well (gals, online boyfriends is kindof a bad idea) - and had him drive down from MI to pick me up. I lived with him for a while, which would have been OK if it wasn't him and his dad and his over-controlling sister and her kid, and her boyfriend. Things went south fast, since we were better as friends than we were as lovers - and probably should have just stayed friends - and I moved back home a little less than two months later. I had another two weeks of "I can't frikkin stand living here anymore" and decided to take off with another online boyfriend ... one I'd only known for two weeks. He sent me a bus ticket and I was on a 3-day journey from IN to WA.

Let me point out that this was also an extremely dumb decision. I'm rather prone to those, as you'll see in this story.

It was an awful 3 days. I spent most of it sleeping, since that's the best way to avoid creeps and hunger pains. At the end of the trip I all but fell out of the bus, gathered my things, and followed this guy who was still mostly a stranger through Seattle - on the verge of passing out the whole time. I'm pretty sure that the only thing that kept me from hitting the cement was my desire not to look like an idiotic child in front of him and all of Seattle.

We finally made it to my new home and after a quick shower and dinner I jumped way too deep and way too fast into a relationship I really didn't understand. He's the one I usually refer to as "my ex." I really had no idea what I was getting myself into but I convinced myself to love him with everything I had and I did my best to be what he was expecting. As you know, it all turned out rather horribly.

Then I met Dearest, made another idiotic decision (our relationship started out as an affair, which I regret) and jumped way too deep and way too fast into another relationship I didn't fully understand. Fortunately, this time it worked out. The past two years have been a crazy adventure, we've gone through hell and high water, but we're a wonderful example of how God can take a series of truly idiotic decisions and turn them into something worthwhile. In a few weeks we'll be celebrating our one year anniversary and honestly, if I had to go back and do it all again I probably wouldn't change a thing for fear that I'd change the end result.

So there it is, my single and greatest adventure thus far.

Deepest Secret

Question: have you told anyone your deepest secret? If so, what was their reaction?

I don't really have any secrets anymore. The closest I come to secrets are the few that I hold for a few people who are close to me - those I have never shared - and the things that I will probably never mention outright, but if I'm asked about it I'll answer...probably in as little detail as possible. The latter used to be secrets, but I got tired of holding secrets, it's too much work.

I have told my Dearest these things, back when they were secrets, and his reaction was always much different from what I expected. Where I expected a freak out or something along those lines, he just took what I told him in stride and then endeavored to help me with it.

For example, one of those used-to-be secrets that I don't mind sharing with others voluntarily is that I used to lie...a lot. To the point where there are portions of my childhood and teen years where I don't remember what the truth actually was. I remember things, but I don't know if they're the stories I made up and convinced myself of - because to be a "good" liar you must convince yourself that what you're saying is true - or if they're what actually happened. I'm talking about huge blocks of time where I just don't remember what the reality of the situation was. I don't want that to ever happen again. Right after I left my ex, I was having a really hard time fighting the old habits. I didn't want to feel like he had destroyed me the way he had and so I tried to convince myself otherwise. When I told Dearest about this, and that I was worried I was slipping back into old habits, he helped me stay honest by prying into the things I said and finding the faults in the story - and then not letting me imagine up a cover. It's actually kind of funny now, but that's just an example of how he's handled these things.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Leadership

This past week was pretty great. We were busy, busy, busy all through the week - right up to the very last second before we left for the conference. Then we had a 4-hour drive to Spokane with a stop in Ellensberg.

Ellensberg is an interesting little town. The weather on that side of the mountains is great, by the way. But the town is just this little place, with two exits from I-90, that I didn't even know existed until we took the same trip last year and I was hungry. What we've seen of the town is a lot of rolling hills and farmland with windmills (except, they aren't milling anything so can they really be called that?) and some train tracks and a strip of restaurants and gas stations. I imagine it's a pretty common stop-over for truckers, though I didn't notice any inns or motels or anything. It's a cute, quaint little town with people who smile, and that's more than good enough for a place to grab a bite in.

The scenery on our trip was amazing. I found myself astounded by the mountain and how beautiful almost every angle looked. Then we got into farm country and I fell asleep - as I inevitably do every time we take a trip in the car - so I don't know if I missed any beautiful scenery there. Dearest woke me up in the pitch black of farm country at 11pm to tell me he needed to know which exit would take us to our hotel, and then we got to the hotel and fell asleep.

The conference we went to, Spring Leadership, was great! It was difficult to sit still and pay attention for blocks of 4 to 7 hours at a time, but I got some good pieces of wisdom from the various speakers. I forgot to pack flats, so I have a few blisters and sore foot and leg muscles from all the walking and climbing stairs and whatnot, but it was worth it.

John Maxwell was, as always, brilliant. On Saturday he spoke on the 5 levels of leadership (which happens to be the title of his last book). He was firm with us, and chastized his favorite organization just a bit. But, as he always does, he finished off his criticisms with the loving reassurance: "My name is John, and I'm your friend."

On Sunday morning, John delivered the message. I was hoping he would, since even listening to him is a treat - not to mention the depths of value and wisdom that come in what he says!

He spoke about our value in God's eyes and preached a message that I honestly haven't heard delivered in that way before. He emphasized that people matter, taking experiences from his own life to illustrate that the people who have the most impact on any person's life are the people who cared about us.

"Jesus never established a pecking order! He never said 'Well, you're more valuable than this one and you're just a little bit less valuable than that one.' ... Jesus knew nothing of excluding people!"

He also pointed out that when you're a religious person, someone who follows a precise (and often lengthy) set of rules and practices, you don't need God. That's why Jesus hung out with the 'sinners' instead of the pharasees. As a side note, Dearest and I discuss this pretty frequently and it's usually some really interesting conversation!

John outlined 3 big reasons God values us:
  • Who we are
    • First off, we're made in his image (Gen 1:27). God cared about us so much, that he put pieces of himself in each one of us, and that makes us incredibly valuable to him. It's probably one of the reasons that he finds it so easy to forgive us instead of just striking us down whenever we sin. If we weren't made in his image, John commented, there would be no emotional attachment when we made him angry. God knew we were going to screw up, so he made us to look like him so that when we did screw up, he could look at us and say "They're a part of me, I have to give them another chance."
    • John gave us this affirmation, which I find pretty cool: "God loves me as I am. Not as who I would like to be, nor as who I seem to be, but as who I am today."
    • One of the things that John emphasized over and over again is that God doesn't love you any more or less because you have come to him or not, because you have sinned or not, because you do great things or not. He just loves. His love doesn't change, and so there's nothing we can do to increase or to decrease the amount of love he has for us.
  • What we cost
    • Just think about it: You place more value on the things you paid a lot for, right? An expensive dinner at a ritzy location is just another dinner if it's free.
    • We all know John 3:16. We all know that God loved us so much that he gave us his son to die for our sins so we could be saved. But because we all know it, we might forget the hugeness of it. God gave up his *child* - his *only* child - so we wouldn't have to live under condemnation anymore. Imagine looking at your baby and saying "kiddo, there are a lot of people who just don't have a chance. But if I let your enemies torture and brutally murder you, those people will have a chance. So that's what we're going to do."
    • The fact that God gave up his only son to have a relationship with us demonstrates 2 things:
      • The unconditional, unmatched, undeserved, unfathomable, and maybe even unreasonable love that God has for us.
        • God is God, and so he could have, realistically, just decided that sin didn't matter and we could all come to heaven anyway. But he refused to cheapen the relationship with us. He refused to make us worthless to him by just waving his hand and making things all better. A huge sacrifice had to be made, to demonstrate just how worthwhile we are to him.
      • Just how big a deal our sin is to him
        • Our sin was such a big deal to God, such a big separator, that there was only one thing that could ever atone for it. Only the death of God's own son could ever reconsile us, could ever wash the stain of that sin away. And because he knew that, God made the sacrifice.
  • Who you can become
    • God created you. He put all those things inside you that are going to stir together and make something incredible. He knows just how AMAZING you can be!  He's the only one who fully knows that, who fully understands your potential, and that potential excites him.
    • God is the master. A guitar is just a guitar until someone who has mastered the art of playing it takes it in hand. And when God, the Master Artist, touches your life...amazing things unfold that you could never have dreamed of. And as the only Master Artist of human life, he is the only one who understand what you're capable of - just as a Master pianist knows better than your average Joe just what that Baby Grand can do.
It was an amazing message that touched so many hearts. Literally hundreds of people came forward at John's invitation to "Let me introduce you to my best friend, to this God who loves you more than you could ever imagine and regardless of what you do." It was the most beautiful thing I saw all weekend: hundreds of people of all ages and all backgrounds, coming from all areas of the arena, some of them even going over the barriers between the seats and the floor instead of bothering with going around, all of them coming forward because the knowledge that God loves them that much compels them to know who he is. I cry just from trying to describe it.

If you haven't been to a Worldwide Dreambuilder's function, you need to get to one. Not because of Amway, not because of the business opportunity, though those are both very very good reasons to come. But because of the *people*. Thousands and thousands of positive, happy, loving people who would be more than happy to hug you the moment they meet you. This year we brought a friend with us who is having some marriage struggles and really needed some encouragement and some positive environment to saturate in. I may never know just how much this event did for him, but I do know that he was touched in a way that may not have happened anywhere else. It's really an experience you can't miss out on.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where have you traveled?

I'm putting this week's question in a separate post because the post(s) about this last week just don't seem to fit in with it at all.

I wouldn't say that I've travelled a lot in my life. I've been to a town in Ohio, a few towns in Michigan. I took a bus across the country when I was 18, from Indiana to Washington. I lived in Hammond (IN), Cadillac (MI), and Seattle, Federal Way, and now Renton (WA). I've driven to Olympia (WA), Portland (OR), and Spokane (WA). With our business I've been all over the place and I work in Puyallup. So I guess you could say that I've travelled a lot, but I don't really think so. Because very few of those trips were for enjoyment, and though I may have moved over a lot of miles, I think if you don't enjoy it then it doesn't count as travelling.

One day, I hope to do a lot of travelling. I'll spend weeks on Peter Island, a month or so in Ireland, a few days in each of the states. I'll visit England and Germany and Italy, probably Switzerland and Russia and the Netherlands, maybe a few parts of Africa and maybe Japan. I like the idea of travel, I love to experience new things and see new beauty, I just haven't had a chance to make the most of that desire yet. But one day, I will.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Last week in recap: Not bad. Not super awesome and amazing, with me working through emotional baggage issues, but not bad.


Day 05: A random funny story:

Today, Dearest lectured me about speeding while I drive. I took his lecture to heart and wanted to prove that to him, so I made sure to drive at a nice, even pace on our way to a friend's house to drop off our car for repairs. Except, we were in different lanes moving at different paces and I kinda lost track of where he was, so he couldn't really see me going at a nice and reasonable pace. So when were were in the car together, It old him what he'd missed.

"Oh really?" he asked, "How long were you waiting for me when you got there?"

I was very confused. He was (seemingly) completely blowing off what a good job I'd done and asking some random question! I asked him what it had to do with anything and he just insisted that I answered. I was really upset. One or two minutes, I told him, guesstimating at what the short time I was sitting there waiting for him actually was.

Then I realized: He drives at a normal, reasonable pace. If I was driving at a normal reasonable pace, and he was driving at a normal reasonable pace, then we'd arrive at about the same time.

Then he said that it was an indication of my honesty with the situation. I felt really dumb, but it was funny.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


When I was a kid, you could have a party for any reason but it always meant the same thing: a bunch of people got together, ate some food, had some cake and maybe some ice cream, played some games, and had fun. There was music sometimes, there was a pool sometimes. If you were lucky, there were presents and if you were *really* lucky they were for you.

Now, party usually means a whole different thing. It means drugs, alcohol, anything people can use to mess with their brains in order to get away with irresponsible decisions. I don't get it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

It's Monday again.

To recap the week, it was pretty good. The weather was springtime-y, which is a nice change. Lots of work got done on the business side of things, which is very good. Dearest bought me some new clothes, which I love (despite hating what size they are). It was a good week.

And then Sunday happened.

Don't get me wrong, Sunday was pretty good for most of the day. We went to mom-in-law's church first because we thought she'd like that - and she did. Then we went to our church and the videos that were part of the Easter production made me cry as they always do, and then we went to hang out with my brother in law for a little while.

But then we went home, and Easter attacked me.

Easter and I haven't gotten along very well for the past five years. There are some old and deep wounds I thought had healed by now but are actually still lingering and just waiting for any sign of instability or loss of control to bring them to the surface. For some reason, moving furniture is enough of a trigger. I didn't know this, so when Dearest decided to move the furniture around into a more efficient and presentable arrangement, I flew off the handle without really knowing why. There was a massive fight that was mostly me not wanting to let him win because it felt like if he won, I had to lose. Then, as usual, my energy was spent and I was okay and just needed to curl up in a ball and cry the rest of the emotion out and be held.

Except, when you spend two hours fighting with your spouse just so you don't have to lose, he doesn't usually come out of it terribly inclined to talk to you, much less do the cuddling thing.

So the week was good, but last night sucked majorly. I'm still recovering from it, as evidenced by the sudden major breakout on my forehead and the fact that all I really feel up to right now is sleep. But, there's work and house cleaning and whatnot so on we go.  Hopefully by the time next Easter comes around I'll be better equipped to handle any surprise attacks it may bring, and it will actually be a good day for us. This year, it just wasn't. But, the up-side of that is that nothing that happens this week could possibly be worse than that, so I'm set up to have a pretty great week.

Day 4 - the most heartbroken you've been. Tell the story.

How ironic.

Heartbreak is a funny thing, in that people always talk about it like it can only happen to you if you break up with a boyfriend or lose a child. But there are many, many things that can break a heart. Especially a fragile one.

At 16, I had a fragile heart, and life at the time shattered it.

When I left J, the pain was so deep that I thought I wouldn't recover. I was dealing with the death of a good friend and the loss of an intimate relationship at the same time and I felt so completely broken that I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to be anything but broken. But at the time, I wasn't thinking about what that pain was as compared to other times in my life.

From Easter the year I turned seventeen to May the year I turned eighteen, my heart was broken. That feels like such an understatement. Life, and the place that other people's choices had brought our family to, were too much for my fragile heart. I don't like to talk about it, because the depth of the pain embarrasses me, and because I know other people involved in those situations have recovered and moved on, and I don't like to drag people back. Suffice to say that Easter that year was the worst weekend of my life, and the worst year of my life followed it, and Easter and I haven't gotten along since. I guess I'm still healing, and I wish I could speed up the process. I wish I could forget the way others can. But for now, it is what it is. Thank God I have another year before I have to deal with the next Easter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cool coffee cups

Because Google Images is awesome:

Thoughts on making friends

For me, making friends has always been hard. I'm told that as a child I leaned toward the antisocial, opting to get out of the sandbox instead of playing with the other kids. I remember being fairly solitary, preferring my own company and imagination to that of others. They simply didn't follow my rules, didn't play the way I wanted to play, and as I think back I seem to remember that most of my interactions with other children ended up with one of us getting proverbially bulldozed. It seems that I decided at an early age that someone had to "lose" and it wasn't going to be me. And on the few occasions I met a stronger personality than myself, and I was the one who "lost" and ended up playing by someone else's rules, I wasn't very happy at all.

I remember having one friend during my homeschool years. She lived down the street and I liked to go to her house and play with her and her toys. She's one of the few people I remember actually wanting to be around as a child, probably because I admired her. She was in softball, and public school. She had a bike, and more barbies than me, and she knew what her favorite color was. She went on interesting trips with her family, and had family members who lived in interesting places. I thought she was really cool, so I latched on to her and for a little while we were pretty close.

Through the years of public school I had one friend or another who I felt close to, sometimes more than one at a time, but I always felt that there was some distance between us. Making friends in the first place wasn't easy for me, and so I ended up trying to become whatever the person who was willing to be my friend was like, and that caused problems of their own. But none of my friendships really bridged that distance and lasted. In fourth and fifth grade it was Raven, but we were different, and I don't think her mom or her other friends liked me, and so no matter how desperately I wanted to be her friend we ended up drifting apart. We talked through the rest of our school years, but not much.

In sixth grade it was a girl named Amanda, but we fought over something I don't even remember and then she moved away. Seventh and eighth grade brought me Molly, Melinda, and Josh, and we became our own little group, but we only really talked while we were at school. The closeness was missing. In eight grade I met Bethany, and we stayed friends for a while. In ninth grade it was another Amanda, and a girl named Alyssa, both of whom I admired for one reason or another. But then Amanda and I grew in different directions and Alyssa went through a hard time at the same time I did and we exploded into hostility toward each other.

The commonality is that I admired all of the people I tried to befriend. Maybe admired isn't the right word, envied is more accurate. They had freedoms I didn't, opportunities I didn't, and I wanted to have what they had. I understood, subconsciously, that you should surround yourself with people who have something you want. However, I didn't understand how to be a friend. I was never very good at it. I tended to overburden the people I befriended, to put too much of my woes on their shoulders and demand too much of their attention without giving much back. I still talk to some of them, but not very often. When you don't form deep, mutual bonds and attachments with someone, it gets really easy to just burn your bridges. When I left Indiana to the tune of so many naysayers, that's exactly what I did. I reacted to my friends' concern for me and attempts to advise me by severing the fragile ties and walking away, convinced that if they couldn't see how my choice was better, I didn't need them anyway.

I did have other friends, people I formed close bonds with, like my first ex and Ryan, who died about a year ago. But those were ties that I didn't have to put a whole lot of effort into maintaining. We were internet buddies, for the most part.

I do blame myself for the loss of so many friendships, for the failure to connect properly. If I could go back to my high school years knowing all the things that I know now about people and connecting and developing relationships, I'd have a lot more fun and so would my friends.

As an adult, I'm better at listening. I'm better at sensing true connections and - especially after all the reading I've done - I'm better at connecting in the first place. I have a better idea of when it's okay to lean on someone else, and when you just need to be an uplifting person and let them know that you care. But it's still hard for me. With so much natural tendency toward isolation, with so much history of friendships gone bad, I'm nervous about making friends now. It means so much more than sleepovers and ice cream now, and if I'm completely honest with myself I know that scares me. However, I also know that it's important. God created us to fundamentally need other people.

That doesn't mean it's any easier. It certainly isn't easy to remember to call someone, to remember that them not initiating all the time doesn't mean they don't like you. It's hard to remember the details that make them see that they're important to you without getting frustrated when they start to tell the same story for the hundredth time. It's hard to remember to reach out across the gap of busy, mismatched schedules and make time for them. But, I'm finding that it's worth it.

Relationships grow at different rates, but most of them grow slowly. You have to get to know one another, learn to trust one another, and develop common experiences that you can draw on for the materials to build that bridge. Close friendships are like a safe haven when life gets crazy, a place you can turn to, take a minute, and just relax. But they take time to get that way, like a castle takes years to build.

I'm glad that I've learned what I've learned about connecting, and relationships, and people. I'm glad that I've learned it now, when I'm just 20, instead of having to learn it when I'm 35 or 60...or worse, never learning at all. Because I've learned these things now, I can start developing friendships. And I must say, even in the beginning of the relationship, there's little in the world that is relaxing and refreshing the same way having a long conversation over a cup of coffee can be.

So here's to you. May your friendships flourish this year, growing strong bonds that will stand the test of time and trials. May you find a companion you can trust, someone you can relax with, and may you be that for them as well.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Post

It's really hard to believe that it's already April. It's also really hard to believe that Easter is just a week away. This month is going to be a busy one for us. In addition to our regular schedule, we also have Spring Leadership - a business conference in Spokane - as well as a knitting bee that I'm going to, our pastor's daughter's wedding, and a business seminar at church!

I'm looking forward to the busy month.

Last week was a good week for us. The work that we billed out for will make paying bills this month much easier than it was last month. The birthday party was pretty fun - I spent most of it playing pool (badly) with Jared's cousins. Overall, it's been a good week. I'm really looking forward to this coming week and what it will bring for us. Hopefully some warmer weather!

Writing topic: The worst injury you got, and how you got it.

I was a pretty fortunate kid and didn't really get *injured* very often. Sure, I got bruised and bumped and had my fair share (probably more than) of emergency room visits. But I don't know if I was actually injured very much at all.

Two do come to mind, though. In the summer before Junior year, I went to some remote farming town in Michigan (I think) with our youth group for a camping thing. We were with another church, and it was a lot of fun. We took a hay ride at one point, and the kid I'd been flirting with all weekend decided to fake like he was going to bite me. I flinched a little too far and fell right off the truck, giving myself a badly sprained ankle in the process. It swelled up pretty bad and when we got back home my parents took me in to have it looked at. They put me in an air cast and on crutches and that pretty much ruined the rest of my summer and part of the beginning of school. To this day, that foot doesn't lay right. I'm pretty convinced I actually broke a few bones in the foot or ankle and they healed at a funny angle because it wasn't properly casted. But, I lived through it.

The second one is a little more embarassing. I was putting my coat on while I was walking down the stairs at school on a day it had snowed, and I ended up sliding down the stairs on my knees. It wasn't so bad the first time, but when I did it again just a day or two later, it was awful. I almost passed out when I tried to stand up and had to get a friend to give me a ride home. Once I was there, I felt like I couldn't move and I was afraid I'd pass out if I tried to get off the couch. I ended up riding to the hospital in an ambulance, and sitting in the waiting room forever so they could tell me I had some severe bruising on my knees and shins, and that I should probably use crutches for a while until they healed.

So there you go, my two worst injuries - as far as I can remember. Both of which were caused by me just being clumsy.