Monday, September 20, 2010


My life is good.  It has been a very long time since I've experienced true heartache.  I was lying in bed last night, wide awake at 3:00 in the morning, and literally thought that my heart was going to explode.  I am devasated at the imminent grief and loss that my family will soon experience.  Death lingers in the air and I cannot escape it.  As much as I pray and as much as I hope, I have to accept the fact that my grandma is dying.

As I left her home and traveled back to mine, I stared out the car window at the sunset.  As beautiful and vivid as the colors were, the only thing that I could think about was whether or not I would see her again.  These are the same excrutiating thoughts that I would have every time I drove away from my terminally ill father.  I never knew if the weekend that I had just spent with him would be the last.  I couldn't stay with him and I can't stay with her - I have my own life and my own family that I must take care of.  I understand this, but at the same time, I feel like I am abandoning my family, my past and my dad all over again.  I feel helpless and confused and really, really sad. 

I've been praying a lot more but I don't always know what to ask God for.  Is it that my grandma feels His presence and is comfortable?  Or, is it that my grandpa finds peace during all of this?  Sometimes, I pray that God brings me sleep.  How am I supposed get through a day when I've only slept 4 hours?  How do we get through life when we know that death is waiting for us?  I've been asking these questions and I don't have any answers.  This void, this sadness, makes my heart break.  I know that life is full of wonder and that there are times for love, anger, growth, death, birth, war and peace.  This is my time to miss my grandma.  This is my time for heartache.     

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Beach

I've been feeling really overwhelmed.  I really love my job but it is very challenging.  I have been working extremely hard - harder than I ever have in my entire life.  I'm trying to put things into perspective and accept that I can only do so much.  I haven't been doing a good job, though.  Well, until my husband and I went to the beach yesterday.

I had forgotten how amazing the beach is.  Going to the beach is better than taking anti-depressants.  I sat in my pink beach chair, drank a few beers, squished sand through my toes and thanked God for creating such a beautiful world.  I waded into the ocean intending only to get my feet wet but the water felt so refreshing, I had to jump in.  Diving into waves and completely immersing myself in the cool, teal water washed away all of my stress, anxiety and exhaustion.

My husband and I laid in six inches of water, rubbed sand through our fingers, kissed each other under our cowboy hats and talked about how wonderful our lives are.  The current was so strong that our bodies swayed with the rhythm of the waves - it was one of the most natural feelings ever.  I love going to the beach and I go quite often.  For some reason though, that day at the beach will be a moment I will always remember.  I felt pure and happy and refreshed.  It was the kind of feeling that reminds me of what is important in life - like the scent of the ocean, watching a hawk dive for fish, remembering how salt water turns my husband's eyes a beautiful blue-green color, and eating Twizzlers while the sun warms my skin and absorbs all things negative.  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Scent of Play-Doh

I just love the way Play-Doh smells.  I love it so much that I bought some the other day.  Squishing the purple, pink, and green moulding clay between my fingers brought me back to my childhood - a time when things seemed simple.  Why was that?  Was it because we didn't watch the news as children and had no idea what the world was really like?  Or maybe, because cleaning our rooms and remembering to brush our teeth were our only responsibilities?  I'm not opposed to being aware of what is happening in the world or having responsibilities - I'm just realizing that it isn't easy balancing them with living a simple life. 

I've been thinking a lot about balance and of holding two or more opposing values.  How do you embrace both the essence of adulthood and childhood?  What about responsibility and spontaneity?  How do you hold both life and death?  Though I don't know the answers, I think it is important to ask the questions.  When I first began seeing things from a "both" perspective versus an "or" perspective, I felt a sense of relief.  I didn't feel pressured to choose and I felt like I could just be open.  For example, I hate that people are dying in war.  At the same time, I understand that there are times when we need to fight.  Instead of choosing one side over the other - I am trying to embrace both.  I am trying to hold both the fear that I have for my cousin's life with pride that he is fighting for freedom. 

During times like these, when I become confused and overwhelmed, I've learned to take a few deep breaths.  And now, thanks to my new Play-Doh, I will lay on my sofa, squish it between my fingers and open myself up to what the world wants me to take in.                       

Monday, August 16, 2010

Great Husbands

Here's to great husbands.  The kind who knows exactly what you need after a long day of work.  Somehow, my husband knew that grilled steak and homemade American fries were exactly what I needed this evening.  I rushed home from work, trying so hard not to speed, my mouth watering with a feeling of excitement radiating throughout my entire body.  The freshly poured glass of wine was just a bonus. 

He just doesn't make me dinner either.  My husband also knows me.  The real me.  I don't have to hide my neuroses around him - I wouldn't even know how to.  He understands that I mumble when I don't feel like talking and that I don't like drinking coffee until I've had a chance to wake up.  When I "organize" his things, he is patient when searching through drawers and closets.  On those rare occasions when I feel like eating chips and dip for dinner, he doesn't say anything.  And when I ask if he minds watching a couple of Golden Girls episodes, he sits next to me and laughs along. 

I have the most wonderful husband ever.  He is my best friend and the person who I will spend the rest of my life with - in this world and in the next.  Thanks, God.  Good job!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Zombie Reflections

I have recently made a decision to become fit.  I was watching Zombieland and realized that if a zombie virus ever takes over America, I would really like to stay human.  I have gained a new appreciation for fitness - I really want to be able to run away from a pack of zombies if needed.  The yoga that I practice and the walks that I go one will be really helpful if I ever need to fight off a zombie.  I need to start doing cardio as well and maybe some kickboxing.  I wonder if Darwin ever considered zombies to be a part of his theory of survival of the fittest.  It definitely has become a part of mine.

Why is it so difficult to do what we know is good for us?  I've got the eating healthy part down.  It is the exercise routine that I haven't quite embraced that keeps taunting me, though.  The opposite applies as well.  We allow so many bad things to be a part of our lives - becoming overwhelmed and stressed, worrying about money, fearing death, forgetting the simple things, letting negativity creep its way into our lives.  It seems strange that it is easier to feel guilt and regret than it is to workout.  What really matters anyway?  Isn't life is about living?  In the end, worry and guilt will get us no where.  I'd rather spend my time living a positive and healthy life.  Ultimately, that is what will keep me alive if a zombie virus becomes epidemic.       

Friday, July 30, 2010


Who knew I was homesick?  I sure didn't.  One day while my husband & I were talking about our future, we both realized that we wanted to go home.  We were faced with the ultimate question:  Where is home?  Our home is St. Augustine, FL and we arrived about six weeks ago.  St. Augustine is an amazing city and she welcomed us back with open arms - sort of like how I imagine God welcoming us into heaven.  She's not even upset that we left.

Home is the place where I fell in love with my husband.  It is the place that feels comforting.  Being here feels natural.  The air smells differently, the sun feels warmer, the rain is almost spiritual, and the chirping of crickets at night sounds like the most beautiful music in the world.  I didn't realize how much I missed this place, that I was even longing for it.  I have embarked on a new journey - a journey to happiness.  Not survival, not contentment.  Happiness.  I will take risks here.  I will raise my child here.  I will grow old with my husband here.  I belong here.  I am home and I am happy.             

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming Up for Air

When I applied to graduate school, no one mentioned how difficult it would be to balance coursework, a full-time career, my family, and myself.   The past three years have felt surreal.  I didn't realize how engrossed I was in learning and working until I finished my very last course a few days ago.  I was drowning in busyness and I am finally coming up for air.  I can breathe again.  I can do nothing and I can do anything.

I knew that going back to school would be challenging but I didn't realize how much it would consume me.  I felt like I was crazy at times.  For an entire month I cried every evening before being able to start my statistics homework.  I was trapped by own feelings of incompetence and fear.  Tears were my release - they washed away my stressors and gave me the strength that I needed to work. 

When I was involved in very emotional work, my anxieties revealed themselves in my dreams.  I had extremely violent dreams.  They were the kind of dreams that I will never ever forget.  They still linger in my thoughts.  I am certain that even Rob Zombie could not have written a screenplay as disturbing as the visions that haunted me.

Now, other than completing my exit portfolio, I have finished my graduate work.  I feel as though I am reborn.  I don't know what I want to do with my life or where I will end up in five years.  Who really wants to know?  For the first time, I feel like anything is possible, I am inspired to take risks, and I am excited about the unknown.  The confidence and peace that I feel have made the past three years of sacrifice and struggle worthwhile.  I can breathe again and I finally have the time to take everything in.     

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Slippery When Wet

Nothing makes you put things into perspective than a car accident. My husband was on his way to L.A., driving in the rain, and ran through some standing water on I-5. He lost control of his truck, spun around a few times, and took out someone’s barbed-wire fence. When he called to tell me that he had just gotten into an accident, I immediately thanked God for keeping him alive and safe. After we hung up with each other though, I couldn’t help thinking about what could have happened.

Sometimes, I forget how fragile life is. One minute we are doing the dishes and the next minute the world as we know it gets turned upside down. That is what my husband is to me – he is my world. He is my best friend, my protector, and the person who inspires me to be the best woman I know how to be. I admire his courage, humor, strength, and honesty. Whenever I feel afraid to try something new or that I might give up on my dreams, I think of everything my husband has gone through and all that he has overcome. He is my role model and he encourages me to embrace life.

I never would have guessed that a slippery stretch of I-5 would be such a great reminder of how much God has given me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cheeseburgers & Cabernet

When you have one of those crazy days – the kind that makes your head spin – there isn’t anything as wonderful as coming home, taking your heels off, putting on pajama pants, and eating a comforting meal. If you haven’t tried pairing a cheeseburger and a glass (or two) of cabernet after one of these days, you don’t know what you are missing. It doesn’t even have to be a gourmet, homemade burger. An In & Out double double will work just fine.

While I was meticulously balancing my bites of burger with sips of wine, I began thinking about simple pleasures. At that moment, my cheeseburger and cabernet made me completely content, even happy. The mind-boggling day that I had began fading away, like a dream that you can't remember. I was amazed that the body and mind could be nourished by such simple things as burgers and wine. Aren’t simple pleasures the most wonderful gifts in the world? Here are some of my favorites:

Kissing my dog's ears, walking barefoot in the grass, taking my bra off after a long day, eating pistachios, my feather pillow, feeling my husband’s mustache tickle my nose when he kisses me, taking photos, grilling veggies, listening to Sara McLachlan, wearing flip flops, fresh basil, breathing into my baby blanket, spooning, drinking margaritas, camping, and sitting in the sun.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dreaming of a Simple Life

Last Sunday, my husband & I went to the San Diego Boat Show for a variety of reasons: to play, to get out of the house, to see what kind of boat we’d like to buy when we have money, and to dream of living a simpler life. I left the boat show with that Christmas-morning type of excitement. I felt rejuvenated and I dreamt all night long of our future boat. At first, I felt adventurous. We’ve talked about living on a boat – enjoying the freedom and the fresh ocean air. I pictured myself sitting out in the sun, wind blowing my hair, drinking a margarita. My dreams soon turned to panic. The more I thought about living on a boat, the more anxious I felt. What are we thinking? We don’t even own a house. Is our first home together going to float? How are we going to raise a child on a boat? What will people think?

During the course of a long and vividly dreamy night I realized that I don’t care what people think. I don’t want to succumb to what society tries forcing down our throats – that the things that matter consist of owning a home, having a yard, pictures to hang on the walls, and lots of things to store in closets and garages. I realized that the things that matter to me are being with my family, laughing, fostering creativity, enjoying nature and feeling free. Living on a boat would be a different life. It would be a simple life. 

When we saw it, we both knew it was meant for us. The 34-foot Gemini 105Mc catamaran was whispering our names. The brochure is now hanging on our refrigerator and the dream has become a vision. I envisioned myself living in California and pursuing graduate work. I am now only two units away from graduating with a master’s degree in Leadership Studies. I envisioned my husband leaving the construction industry and finding a new career. He is now an upcoming (and extremely hilarious) comedian. I am envisioning our life together on the water just as vibrantly. I’ve learned that we have the power within us to make anything happen. Anything is possible – as long as we have the courage to take risks.

I don’t know how it will happen and I don’t know the details. However, I am certain that we were meant to live on a boat. Just as certain that my husband is my soul mate and we are destined to live a simple life.