Thursday, September 8, 2011

The dripping noises...make them stop!!!

It has been raining for four days thanks to Tropical Storm Lee. Hurricane Irene, that caused three days of rain, was only two weeks ago. I am sick and tired of the rain!! I never in all my life thought I would say that. Where I am originally from it rains so infrequently that the rain is a welcome relief. Not here. I have lived here 169 days and I would guess it has rained at least 75 of those days. I cannot recall a single week were it has not rained at least one day.

The fact that these storms have names is strange to me. It gives them a certain humanity that is undeserved. I feel bad for hating a weather system when it has a name. Especially one as unassuming as Irene or Lee. Don't even get me started on Katia, Maria and Nate.

I feel guilty bemoaning the fact that our vegetation is well watered and our temperatures have been in the high 60s and low 70s for the past week. I should be thankful I'm not watching the city burn down around me like the people in Texas are doing. There are places very near to where I live that are floating away but we are not directly impacted by that...yet. If it keeps raining, eventually we might.

I wish there was a way I could gather all these dense, rain-laden storm clouds and drag them across the country to Texas as a present. Of course, I would only leave them there long enough to put out fires and bring relief to those who need it. I wouldn't want to add flooding to the list of woes the Lone Star State has endured. It pains me that my home state has suffered so much in the past few months. Thinking about it, I guess I would rather deal with incessant rain than incessant heat and fire. If, dear reader, you are of a praying persuasion, pray for the people who are affected by the fires and floods happening across this country.

Did the lights just flicker? I think the lights just flickered. I guess, then I should get off of Facebook and Blogger and work on this discussion board about intellectual property laws and globalization before we lose power. As always, friends, thanks for reading.

Friday, August 12, 2011

May I rub your belly?

Today, as I was walking into the grocery store, I noticed a line had formed at the redbox kiosk. This is not unusual, but standing in this line was a young woman, probably early to mid-twenties. There was nothing too extraordinary about her except for her belly. She was probably 6 or 7 months pregnant. Not huge yet but with a large enough baby bump to be cute. And for the first time in my life, I wanted to go up to a pregnant woman, rub her belly and ask when she was due.

Now, I have never had the desire to rub another woman's belly. Not even when I had family members who were pregnant. Not even when a friend at work was pregnant and I was living vicariously through her. But for some reason, I had the very strong urge to do so today. Seeing this woman's extended belly, knowing that a little boy or girl was growing inside, got to me in a way I never knew it could. She was already a pretty woman, but that bulge in her middle made her appear to glow and made her beautiful.

I think about being pregnant often. Not so much so that I want to have a baby right now, but I definitely think about the possibilities. That's not totally true. There are times when I wonder when it will be my turn to smile politely at the elderly lady at the grocery store and tell her when my baby is due. Or when it will be my turn to decorate a nursery or pick out names. It doesn't help that 99.999% of the women I know are pregnant or have recently given birth. (Ok...maybe not that many but sometimes it feels like that many.) And if you are one of those 99.999%, don't get me wrong, I am truly happy for you.

In two weeks, I will be 30. I read somewhere once that women should have babies before they are 35 because the risks increase after that age. But there are women in their late 30s and early 40s giving birth every day. There is so much information out there and it seems to contradict itself most of the time...but I digress.

Perhaps my urge to connect with this pregnant woman is caused by the little biological clock in the back of my mind counting down the child-bearing years I have left. Maybe it is caused by the fact that I am a nanny and care for a cute and adorable 7 month old 40 hours a week. Sometimes, I take him for walks and people will stop to admire him. Usually, I just smile and say thank you, but the voice in my head is usually telling them he's not mine. Or possibly it is from the social pressure that I sometimes feel. Or it could just be the fact that I turn 30 in two weeks and this is just the normal pre-birthday weirdness I encounter before every major milestone.

Whatever the reason, I was able to restrain myself and walk right on by. Having never been pregnant myself I don't know this for a fact, but I think it would be a little unnerving to have a complete stranger walk up to me and put their hands on my stomach. Maybe some of my prego friends can tell me what they think. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The race set before me...

When we moved here, one of the first things I noticed was the joggers. Every time I leave our apartment, I see at least two people out jogging, day or night. For some reason, this inspired me. Then a few weeks ago, my cousin posted something on Facebook about a workout he was doing called the Couch to 5K workout ( It claims that in nine weeks, you can train to run a 5K or for 30 minutes. Again, I was inspired.

I have never been a runner. I have never wanted to be a runner. For years, I claimed an allergy to running. But recently, the thought of running intrigues me, teases me, calls to me even. Why? Umm...not sure. Maybe it is the desire to lose weight and wanting a workout that burns more calories in a shorter time. Maybe it is the display of long, lean bodies trotting past our building everyday. Maybe it is the desire to have something to work for. Maybe it is the desire to push myself in ways I have never pushed myself before. Maybe it is to prove something to myself that I don't even know I need to prove yet.

So three and half weeks ago, I started the C25K workout. Week one and week two weren't too bad. I have been working out so I wasn't really starting from scratch. Week three was challenging but I worked through it. Now I am on week four. It has been a struggle, but I push myself through the aches and the sweat. Sometimes, I actually have to give myself pep talks as I start the last five minute run. Every time I finish a workout, I feel a sense of accomplishment through the haze of fatigue and weakness.

Do I see a difference yet? In some ways. There are parts of me that hurt that I didn't know could hurt. My heart is getting stronger. I am losing weight. My thighs are slimming and my calves are more defined. I have learned that it is possible to sweat more than I ever thought possible and that I need better shoes.

There is a 5K race on November 5th. This is my goal. I will run in this race. Can I do it today? No. But I have a little over four months to get myself in shape. Will it be easy? Not by a long shot. Will I want to quit? Yes, many times I am sure. Will I quit? NO! I want this. I want to be able to say I ran this race and finished. I have alot of hard sweaty work ahead of me. And strangely enough, I relish the thought. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We are moving 1600 miles away. Recently, I realized that I have spent the first 30 years of my life in one spot with brief, months-long excursions to other places. All my memories, good and bad, are in this one city. Today, I am reminded of friends I haven’t talked to in years and people to whom I never apologized. This is where I was born, where I grew up, where I met God and where I met my husband. We were married here and spent the first 18 months of our marriage here.

Being the literary person that I am, I think of my life in chapters. But this feels more like the end of a children’s book and the beginning of a novel. I am moving on to a more complicated story with more advanced vocabulary and a more complex plot. I feel we are starting fresh, heading out to begin our story, a new and completely different story. There may be side stories and brief segues but through it all, we will have each other. As I look around my apartment in various stages of being packed, I think of all the chapters I am closing. It is sad in a nostalgic sense, but in another, it’s exciting to think about all the new beginnings we are about to embark on. It does me no good to dwell on the “has been” or “could have been.” I need to set my eyes forward and look to what God has planned for us. I am so thankful I will not be alone in this but will be standing beside a man of God who is a great leader.

As part of the packing process, I have had to go through several years of mementoes and papers. I have found old letters from friends and crushes. I have found things given to me by smitten boys and people who are now gone. As I have found most of them, I have savored the memories associated with them, maybe shed a tear or two, sat quietly in remembrance…and then either thrown them away or put them in a box to give away. One of the things I have learned in the last year is that there are two relationships in my life that are more important than any others. First, and foremost, is my relationship with my God. Second, only by a little, is my relationship with my husband. If something is not beneficial for either relationship, it has no place in my life.

I have also found some of the notes and letters my husband and I have exchanged in the two years we have been together. I have gathered them all together and they will have a special place in my suitcase, reminders of how far we have come and how far we have yet to go. These are things I will cherish for a long time to come.

It is a little scary for this homegrown Texan to leave the comfort of home, but I am aware that I have done all the growing here that I can. It is time for me to move on and begin yet another new adventure, this time with my love and my best friend. Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 28, 2011

New Poem

Beauty is My Name

The pain echoes off my hollowness,
resounding in the dark.
I am empty, bleak, full of nothing.
My weary body shakes loose.
The lonely agony begins, spreading
further in my soul.
The tearing fibers of disappointment,
rending me in half.
Darkness. That is all I see.
Pain. That is all I feel.
Emptiness. That is all I hear.
Gone. That is all I am.

Brilliant light flashes; darkness flees.
Pain changes into burning heat,
searing me; an ache so deep,
It resounds through my being,
Giving me strength I do not have.
I feel Him lift me up; His arms
around me unbreakable.
His presence; His love seeps through
my skin, repairing damaged parts;
erasing broken hearts.
He whispers my name, the tender
syllables, gentle but indestructible.
The sweetest sound imaginable.
Flawless in His eyes, I am new!
Brand new, shiny new.
Beauty is my name!