And Then The Bear Was Gone

It all happened one cold, winter night – when I climbed up into my bed, Sequoia was missing. After tearing my bed apart looking for the allusive teddy bear, I searched my bedroom, then my sibling’s bedrooms. Most of the family was gone so I knew no one else had taken it, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where I’d left the bear.

After the upstairs had been thoroughly gone through, I went downstairs. And then finally to the basement. In my sleepy state, I’d examined the whole house and STILL couldn’t find my little buddy.

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At last I sat down and worked through the whole day in my head. Wait, had I even seen the bear when I’d gotten up that morning? Eyes wide I rushed back to my room, climbed up on my bunk bed and threw open the window. Because of allergies I always sleep with my windows open – no matter if it’s burning or freezing outside. This particular window was three stories up, with a little roof about three feet below it. The window didn’t have a screen which never bothered me since it was too small to fit through – at least for a human. Leaning my head out the window. I looked down and sure enough, there my loyal teddy bear was, face down the roof. Apparently, I’d kicked her out of the house in the middle of the night.

Sighing with relief I tried to use a broom handle to get her, only to discover that she was frozen solid to the shingles. My sister came to the rescue and a few minutes later I was hugging an iced covered Sequoia.

And that, my friends, is the story of when Sequoia Louise Awkard Honeybear disappeared.

Sequoia Louise Awkward Honeybear

Her name is Sequoia Louise Awkward Honeybear. This month marks six years since she was given to me as a gift and I’ve slept with her every night since then.
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As a child, I rather desperately wanted to become attached to something like a blankie. I’d hear stories of little kids who couldn’t go to sleep unless they had their special blankets or stuffed animal with them, and it sounded so whimsical. I tried to train myself as a little bitty girl to carry a blanket everywhere I went, but hey! I was the active outdoors type and would soon forget the blanket, leave it folded in a corner, and only remember my resolution days later.
Then for my sixteenth birthday, my adopted parents gave me a blanket and I thought “Ah-ha! This is the perfect opportunity to finally fulfill my childhood dream.” So I began taking the blanket with me when I went somewhere overnight. Four years later when I received Sequoia Louise Awkward Honeybear I decided she could join the blanket as my traveling companion.
Over the years Sequoia Louise Awkward Honeybear has endured a lot – being attacked by a puppy (hence the missing eye), being used as a pillow on rather disgusting airport floors, many terrifying moments being tied in a cloth then thrown in the washer, and being stuffed in too many bags to count as she’s toted across the world.
To date the I’ve only not slept with the blanket three nights in the last (soon-to-be) decade, and those missed nights were all within the first year. And Sequoia Louise Awkward Honeybear? Well, I’m happy to announce that I haven’t missed a night of toting her around with me.
That means this bear/blanket duo is rather well-traveled. Together they’ve gone with me to…
– Africa
* Ivory Coast (layover)
*Ghana
– Asia
*Qatar (layover)
*Indonesia
Europe
*Austira
*Germany
*Switzerland (not overnight)
*The Netherlands
*Belgium (not overnight)
*France
*England
– South America
*Columbia (layover, just blanket)
*Peru (just blanket)
– North America
*Mexico
*Aruba
*USA (not all overnight)
-California
-Colorado
-Florida
-Georgia
-Hawaii
-Illinois
-Indiana
-Kentucky
-Michigan
-Minnesota
-Missouri
-Montana
-Nebraska
-Nevada
-North Carolina
-North Dakota
-Ohio
-Pennsylvania
-South Carolina
  -Tennessee
-Virginia
  -West Virginia
Tune in tomorrow for the story of the day Sequoia Louise Awkward Honeybear horrifyingly disappeared and what my frantic search turned up. 😉

Before We Were Yours

This week was a bit of a sporadic one for me. I had an out-of-state funeral to go to and I wasn’t exactly sure when I was going to leave for it. I ended up leaving on Wednesday right after getting home from work so I could travel with my brother – hence the reason why I didn’t end up filming this vlog until today.

In today’s vlog I get to talk about one of my favorite books I’ve read/listened to in 2018. Have you ever read Before We Were Yours? If so, I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts.

And the Days Go On

It’s one of those mornings – fog hangs heavy in the air, out on the roof I see a sprinkling of wayward leaves, and the temperatures give us a blessed relief from the heat by dipping into the 60s.  Everything about my part of the world is dancing and skipping, proclaiming in a loud voice that autumn is just around the corner.

 

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*not from today* 

 

This morning started with me deciding to sleep in a bit, and then finally dragging my eyes awake at 6:30, and turning off my alarm. Next, I read the first few chapters of Mark where I pondered the fact that although I’ve spent a great amount of time in Matthew, Luke, and John, Mark is basically unvisited by me.

In just a few minutes Aaliyah Louie* and I are going to head to work – a drive that consists of 45 minutes of beauty, coffee, and singing loudly as the wind rushes through my open windows.

At work, I’ll take orders and clean tables and stack dishes and make food and take more orders and chat with the regulars and restock and whip up a few drinks.

After work tonight I have a long list of things to accomplish:
-Work on planning a His and Hers Shower
-Pack for an out-of-state funeral I’m going to tomorrow
-Contact several people about various things
– Film a vlog
-Go on a walk/jog
-Cut grass

And the to-do’s just keep coming.

Tonight? Tonight I hope to get to bed early so I can sleep well and check that off my goals list for the month of August.

Life, it keeps coming and going, like the ebb and flow. Sometimes what it really takes is for me to sit down for a few minutes and ponder what I’m doing to realize that I am making a difference. Maybe not the way I thought I would. Maybe not in a huge, history-book-knows-my-name way. Maybe not in a way that will win me any awards. But my life does count, and the small, minute by minute decisions I make are making a difference. And it’s a good difference.

And for that I am thankful.

*Aaliyah Louie is my car

July 2018 in Review

This, my friends, is my attempt to keep July from disappearing from my life in that foggy place titled: “I Don’t Really Remember What Happened For A Whole 31 Days.” (Actually, let’s not kid ourselves, July already lives there and I’m having to pull out photos, Overdrive histories, and emails to try and remember what happened last month.)

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What I Focused on in July:
1. Family time – camping, bridal showers, and making memories
2. VBS!
3. A week at the Creation Museum with my adopted parents

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Reading Update:
Fiction – 13
Nonfiction – 0
Audiobooks – 2

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Traveling:
7 Days. New places? None.

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Goals:
Oops, folks, and I can’t find these. I know I took a vacation from goals for the first and third week of the month, but I had week-long goals for the other two weeks. (And this is the reason I try and write these reviews sooner….)

 

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What I’ve Been Learning:

VBS really is so much more fun when you’ve been able to properly prepare. Three out of the last four years I’ve helped taught or taught VBS, but it’s always been a last minute thing for me. (Oh wait, we need to split this grade cause there are too many kids, can you take half?) But this year I had been assigned my grades (3rd and 4th) six weeks before VBS started, I had my teaching materials, and I was prepared. And goodness folks was it a delightful week! I had two amazing helpers and everything went really well. The first night we had 14 kids, and ever after that, we had 18-21. It was high energy, the kids were all engaged and asked great questions, and we had a delightful time learning (and singing at the top of our lungs) together.

Packing light is my motto and will continue to be, but from now on I might also try and be a bit more prepared for unexpected ventures. I went somewhere for one night and ended up being gone for a week. The week was actually hugely helpful for me to figure out what I really do miss when I don’t have it.

Sometimes letting go of dreams and expectations is hard, but necessary. (You might think I’m being deep and eloquent here, but mostly I’m talking about my garden. Aka the weed patch.)

Crying can actually be very helpful. Staying hydrated is fairly important, too.

Life is a lot more about people than goals. So, when you’re goal-oriented, sometimes you need to have goals that have to do with people.

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Other:

July was a jammed packed month:
-We camped the first week (over the 4th of July), but I was still working at the Coffee Shop so I’d have to leave our campsite really early to go to our house and get ready for work.
-Then came the week of VBS which is glorious and wonderful and so much fun and something I threw all of my energy into.
-VBS ended Friday night and at 3:45 Saturday morning my sisters and I headed to TN for a bridal shower.
-It worked out at the last minute for me to spend the week at the Creation Museum on my way home from TN.
-The last week of July I mostly spent trying to catch up for all I’d missed when I was gone.

What was your favorite part of July? (I mean if you can remember that long ago…)

Change Is Beautiful

Change is not exactly my forte. In fact, it takes me a long time to even decide if I want to change the lock screen on my phone. Rearranging my bedroom? Folks, that takes deep consideration. It was over half a decade ago that I started parting my hair on the side instead of pulling it straight back and that’s the only “major” physical change I’ve chosen in the same amount of time. (Other than braces and glasses – both necessities.)

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So when it comes to changes I can’t control? Changes that are an every-day part of a twenty-somethings life? Those, well, they can be tough. Exciting, fantastic, happy-dance-worthy, but still tough.

And it takes me a while to figure out how to shift and stack and rearrange my life so the changes make sense.

Changes are also rather tiring.

But do you know what? Changes are good. Like, downright, all questions answered, good. Not all of them, but a lot of them. They make me move forward. They make me grow. They add excitement. And, when we really stop to think about it, a huge part of life is about change. What would life be like without change? Well, in all reality it wouldn’t go on very long. Because if there wasn’t change we’d all stay newborns and the world can’t function if everything on the face of the earth is newborn.

This year has been one full of change – and whimsical memories cushioning the change. (Like when my family randomly went into town for supper at Arby’s at midnight and then after getting home we girls played hide-and-seek in my room with the “seeker” having their eyes closed. Yes, a lot of crashing ensued.)

This year has, in many ways, been a year of change for me. But do you know what? Change is healthy. And fairly exhilarating. And freaky and scary and oh-my-lands-what-is-happening-now. But in the end, change is exciting.

And, despite what I sometimes think….

Change is beautiful.

Days Passed, Summer Came, The World Was Alive

And then the sky turned purple and gray and yellow and pink and a dozen shades of blue.

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January slid by as if it were an ice skater gracefully twirling past.
February bounded into the room turning my world topsy-turvy.
March threw me a blanket and begged me to hibernate.
April let out a gleeful laugh and grabbing my hand, pulled me into the busyness.
May coxed me with visions of order until I capitulated and entered the fray of spring cleaning with a vengeance.
June waved once and was gone.
July blew in like a storm, swept me off my feet, surprised me, and was gone as quickly as she arrived.