Honest, it takes a village, tiny human teacher

fall is coming

Here is the thing: Right now, in this moment, I am choosing to have hope for fall.

Not just for myself but on behalf of those around me.

We all need some hope after a summer of drought and I’m going to find it for us.

When we were kids, the physical seasons meant more.

We waited for summer break, fall meant seeing friends again and the thrill or terror of a new school year. Winter meant Christmas and break. Spring brought sports and school plays and the rounding out of the school year.

And then summer came once more.

Life was built around the actual seasons and it worked. We knew when one thing would end and another begin.

But in adulthood, seasons mean something different.

The ever lovely full of wisdom teacher Victoria has one of my favorite illustrations and reminders to me in regards to tiny humans.

Victoria’s tiny humans are 12-24 months. When they experience things like teething or a diaper rash or a sickness they can’t verbally explain, she likes to remind the other teachers in her classroom of this when a tiny human is incapable of being consoled (the following is as direct of a quote as I could remember)

“They don’t know what’s happening and they don’t know if the pain is ever going to end. All they know is it’s happening now and this is how life is now. They’ve only been around for so many months, so like, this must be how it is now.”

New tiny humans don’t know about seasons, they don’t know the pain is going to go away. They probably think this is just how it is.

And that sucks.

I’ve realized that there are things in my life, seasons in my life that have felt so permanent that I feel that same way.

“This must be how it is now”

And that sucks.

Have you ever thought that? Like you don’t know if something in your life is ever going to end. It just showed up, you don’t know where it came from, but that must be how it’s going to be.

It’s very defeating.

And that’s why, to the best of my ability and strength I am going to fight for hope for myself and on behalf of others.

I’m going to decide that the changing of seasons does change something.

That is does mean something.

Just like when we were kids.

The fall can once again mean something new. Something fresh. Another chapter.

I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt we have the ability to turn our own pages. We can choose to say “all done friends” to something, someone, somewhere.

So, to you my sweet friend reading this, whether or not I’ve ever met you, I want to remind you of something.

This is not how it’s going to be forever.

This is not how your life is now.

This is not a new appendage you have to carry.

This will end.

You can turn the page.

Fall is coming.

Honest

In the midst of it all (a PS)

When I started this blog, now a little over four years ago, I made a commitment to myself to write each week. I wanted to put myself in a state of mind that I was going to write regardless of what I was feeling. Regardless of if I had something to write about.

I wanted to practice being a writer.

Most of the time I can.

But not this week.

It’s 10:45 on Sunday night and I had a part lovely/part anxiety filled day and the last thing I wanted to do is write.

But, here I am, cozy in my bed, with my desk lamp on, typing.

When I was little, like tiny human status, I had my tonsils taken out. When I had my tonsils taken out this one in a million type thing occurred where more air escapes out of my nose and throat then should when I speak. So, after this surgery, I had to learn to place my tongue and slow down in order to be understood.

And I got made fun of a lot. So much so, that I didn’t want to talk.

I retreated a lot and I took to writing things down.

Because if I wrote something down there was no question in what I was saying. But, if I spoke and didn’t enunciate correctly or mumbled at all someone would say “what” and I would stop talking.

(So, like obviously I would pick a profession in which no one understands me and I repeat myself all damn day)

I have felt incredibly inarticulate this week. I haven’t wanted to explain all the things (click this for all the things) and all the things have felt bigger then me. Each day this past week was full of lies and looks and situations that caused me to think less of myself and less of what I’m capable of.

This has been a week where I have wanted to be an island.

Now, I don’t write for pity, because good grief the things going on in my life are just not that bad.

I choose to write, even in the midst of it all, because I find myself to be more articulate in my written words. I write in the midst of it, because I am human. And so are you.

I write in the midst of it, because I’ve come to realize that I am a human who knows her vulnerability boundaries and I am choosing to share the 80%.

I write in the midst of it because I know, beyond a shadow of doubt that what I am looking for is already inside of me. I am already the thing whether I am silent or not.

I write in the midst of it, because I’m still here.

So, I am going to stay in the midst of it, and be where my feet are, and find those things inside that are already there.

Being in the middle, with no clue where you are going is difficult. But choosing to keep moving, choosing to speak, to write, to be, is so important.

You aren’t a mess.

You aren’t less than.

You aren’t broken.

You are human.

And you, my friend, are figuring it out.

Honest

Running from stillness

Other than the Y and random part time jobs that I have had here and there I have always worked at a church or for a Christian organization.

I’ve almost always been on a church property 40+ hrs a week.

From 2007-2012 I worked at a preschool and for some of the time also worked at the church.

(Basically, I lived there.)

But, in that I found myself among families and people that I could talk to and process with and be around.

Around 2010 the Wayman family came to the church.

And it was lovely.

Not only did I get to see their kiddos grow but I got to lean on and reach out and be mentored by Eric and Cathy.

They are two humans that I am so grateful for. I know that I was in the exact place I was supposed to be when they came to Lighthouse. They are two humans who walked me through some of the hardest, ugliest times of my life up to that date.

They’ve always welcomed me back with open arms, even when I wasn’t sure of up and down.

I mention them because I randomly decided to listen to one of Eric’s most recent sermons.

It was about solitude and noise in our lives and essentially how we are surrounded by it. Now, this isn’t new.

We all know this. We know that there is an immense amount of noise in our life. We are engulfed by it. (As I write this I am listening to music and texting two different people).

My mind is full of to do lists and assessments and assignments and 18 different tiny humans (probably more if I’m being honest). I’m thinking about what I can do to show my friends I care. I am trying to be present in people’s lives and present 40 hours a week in my classroom.

I’m trying to make space to be creative and to write and make good choices for my body.

So, today when I decided to sit and listen to Eric speak, I thought of sitting on the couches at Eric and Cathy’s house and I realized I would probably just sit down and burst into tears. It’s one of those few places that I would sit and stop.

Now, I have been stopping here and there. I’ve been learning more and more to saying no and staying in and eating apples.

But…sitting WITH God?

Not as much.

I’m slightly terrified of the quiet right now. Mainly, because quieting all the things would take a lot of work.

Opening my Bible stirs something in me. Praying is a little too close for comfort.

I wrote something for an online magazine a couple years ago. And I know I’ve quoted this exact section before but it resonates once again.

“Everything in me wanted to run.

I couldn’t handle Jesus any more.

He was being silent.

But it was a weird silence.

It was almost like Jesus was playing the part of the man in a horror movie, who just after the power goes out, calls your house phone, so you can hear him breathe and then when the police track the phone call you find that it is coming from inside the house.

Jesus was still in the house, I apparently just needed to go find him.”

Jesus is still in the house. He still lives here. My relationship has morphed and changed even since I wrote this piece. My life is ever evolving. My beliefs and truths are morphing and become more refined.

But, sitting in stillness still terrifies me. It isn’t something I’ve ever done super well.

So, I go back in my thoughts to sitting with Cathy on their couch or walking into Eric’s office on my lunch. My life wasn’t all roses and sunshine then. I was going through depression and sickness in my family. And whenever I stopped with them, I would almost always cry.

And that’s ok. But, I sat. And I stopped.

There are so many things I’m wanting to say right now.

I think what I want you to know that if the silence and the quiet scares you; you aren’t alone.

If sitting with whomever your deity is terrifies you because of the intimacy of it; that’s ok.

If stopping will make you burst into tears-let me pass you the Kleenex.

And if you have something in your mind that is changing, then explore.

Today, I disposed of the shame of feeling far from God. The shame of not being able to hear Him.

Today, I disposed of the shame of running. I didn’t stop running-I just stopped feeling shame.

Today, I disposed of the shame of a changed mind.

Deep breathes to the toes friends. We’ve got this.

Honest, I choose champagne

2016.2017.2018. Let’s just be who we are.

I am sitting in my favorite bar, as it becomes increasingly more crowded than normal on a Sunday early evening. Most are in pairs, or groups. I’m the sole solitary human, sitting at my favorite table tucked in the corner. My back is against the window and I am directly next to an outlet and the exposed brick.

I am pretty comfortable sitting by myself in most places. I am fine shopping by myself, I’ve traveled across an ocean and been alone in the Istanbul airport more than any other airport in the world.

I almost always get slight amounts of anxiety right before going somewhere by myself or to an event with a large amount of people. But here, and a smattering of coffee shops, public transport and airplanes- I am always good.

This year, I believe, has been about being as home as I possible can be in my own skin, in my own identity. It’s been about being where my feet are.

I don’t always do well at this.

But, I am trying.

And now, it’s the end of the year. Now, for me personally, 2017 has been eons better than 2016. But, as my work wife has pointed out, 2017 hasn’t been all confetti, champagne and sunshine.

In reality, I said the F word more times this year than last. I lost more faith in people than I ever have. I have had more anxiety and more moments of being alone.

I haven’t been as constantly exhausted but I for sure have hit more walls of “all done friends”. My schedule has been more busy than I think it has been in a long time.

And that isn’t going change when the clock strikes midnight and turns the year to 2018. Last year, I remember sitting, shortly after midnight, in my sparkly gold dress, barefooted, on the porch of my friend’s house, watching the snow fall with a glass of champagne that slowly became mixed with the tears falling down my cheeks. All I wanted was for the world around me to feel different.

I tried to believe it did- but it didn’t.

So I became busy in 2017. I did a lot of things. I rarely had a week go by that didn’t involve at least 3/5ths of the weekdays being filled with something, be it working at my church, hanging out with someone or having an event or organized group situation.

I think part of my reasoning for becoming busy was that busy equaled full. That my life could be classified as full because it was busy.

I could say that my life was full because my laundry had piled up to overflowing in my closet and didn’t even care that there were dishes in the sink.

Busy meant not being able to stop to hear what I needed to hear.

Back in August, a part time job popped up at a different church. It would have been 10-20 extra hours a week being a children’s director of a local churches smaller downtown campus.

It would mean a lot of things: extra income, no free time, getting paid to do something I know I love (and am good at), having no social life and not getting to go to the church I adore.

But, I had done that exact same thing before so I knew I was capable of that schedule.

I had a random day off in August, the day after the ad had been discovered. I had coffee with a good friend, lunch with my roommate and obviously talked to both about it. I headed for home to work on my cover letter and resume.

Because of applying for this job, I ended up having a very honest conversation with one of the pastors at my church. Through the conversation we had, I realized that I was running from being known. She, of course, called me on all these things, as she should.

I didn’t end up interviewing for the job. In all reality, though I want a job like that, but working 60 hours a week and moving from the two places where I feel like myself in Bellingham was not the best idea.

In reality, most of this year I’ve been running. I’ve been running from stopping, from thinking and from pushing in.

I have in certain places and situations. There are friends in my life with whom I can never run from my problems around. But I have reached that place here in Bellingham where I am known and that’s terrifying.

So, why have I said all of this?

It’s simple actually.

I want to encourage you not to make resolutions.

(What?)

I just want to encourage you to step more into who you are everyday. No matter what.

I spent this year trying to busy everything so far away, in the name of my resolutions that I forgot parts of who I was. When those parts were awakened they felt like hope, when in reality they should have just felt like me.

December 31rst and January 1 are no different from today and tomorrow.

There is symbolism in the changing of the year. It is a new book in your life. But it’s not a separate book. It’s a continuation.

So, as the holidays kick in full force and as my kitchen get covered in flour and coconut sugar. As we celebrate the year, the now and the yet to come, I want to remind you that the changing of a calendar doesn’t change who you are.

I want to encourage you to hope for more, but not put the more on a new year.

Don’t run from who you’ve become in all the things. Grab who all the things have made you.

Right now. Today.

Here, in this bar, where I am the only solitary human, I am being where my feet are more than I have in a long time.

Right now. Today

the recipe series

lemon blueberry cake life lessons

I baked a cake on Saturday.

I had this urge when I woke up early Saturday morning to attempt to bake a cake.

Yes, I said attempt. 

I used to be a from a box cake baker, blasphemy I know, but when I was in Spain and was going to make a wedding cake, obviously I needed to make it from scratch. I found a great recipe and it worked out incredibly well.
But, sadly, that recipe never translated to the states.

So, on Saturday I decided I was going to take it slow. I was going to make sure all of my mise en place was done and that I didn’t deviate from the recipe at all.

I even purchased a flour sifter.


When I was young, a tiny human if you will, I was a straight A student. I was quiet and kind and did my work.

But, I had one issue:

I sometimes did things too fast.

Mainly, art and handwriting. I was notorious for having to redo coloring sheets and the first paper I ever typed blew my mind.

I also talked too fast (which I blame obviously on being a Reeve woman). But, the talking too fast was something that caused me to have to repeat myself a lot because when I talked to fast I couldn’t be understood. It wasn’t necessarily my fault, as a weird medical issue I had growing up hindered my speech slightly. 

It was frustrating.

That constant conscious effort to remember to slow down ALL THE TIME and the terror of speaking in front of class.

Now public speaking and teaching and all that type of stuff is mostly fine (as long as it’s my idea and not an on the fly thing) but slowing down all together isn’t something I’m great at.

There are reasons why I don’t slow down. Part of it is because I’m busy. I need to go, go go and get all the things done. Like on any day of the week at about 1:15 you can find me trying to will tiny humans to sleep because I have 15 things I need to do. I am always at least thirty minutes ahead in my brain transitioning to the next thing and finding the holes.

And sometimes I don’t slow down because I don’t want to pause.

God’s been bringing me back around to things I had long thought were done the last couple weeks. I have been busy doing all the things that I do and attempting to add more to my page and the minute I pause, the thing is there, standing in front of me, reminding me that I still need to deal.

So, I put pausing on my to-do list and keep going.

If I don’t slow down it can’t catch me right?

So, Saturday I slowed down. I juiced lemons and I sifted flour. I mixed slowly and wait for cakes to cool and frosting to thaw back out. I sipped coffee and scrubbed dishes with all the windows in my house open.


I forgot what happens when you allow everything space to do what it needs to do.

My cake turned out beautifully. Tangy with lemon and bursting with blueberries. Moist and spongy and surprisingly light.


I think the next season of my life potentially might involve coming back around to things. Things that go deeper then I thought, and maybe put a mark on my life that I was unaware was still there.

When you over mix cake batter it can get dense and chewy because the gluten will form elastic gluten strands. It ruins the cake.

What happens in our life when we choose to ignore the things that keep coming back because we’ve already dealt with them? What happens when we choose to over mix all the things in our life because we just want to be done?

Slowing down and actually resting is the struggle of my life. I’m going to attempt it more and more and maybe just make the practice of baking when I need to slow down.

So, my encouragement to you is this: find what YOU need to pause. Find the thing that slows your brain and your heart and your whole self. Make that thing a part of your soul work and see what happens.

Honest, washington whimsy

the long game

I am 31 and have no damn clue what I want to be when I grow up.(And I’ve also discovered I’m way too much of an NF to figure out a tangible life job.)

I’ve been in the early childhood world for about ten years and I’ve acquired so many different skills like the ability to communicate with parents and educators, the ability to be have immense amounts of patience. My leadership style has grown and changed. My capability to read a room helped me as the bible teacher at RFKC. 

And obviously I now have the ability to put 14 one year olds to sleep in under thirty minutes ( RIP teacher Meg and teacher Victoria nap time show).

But, that’s not what I want to be when I grow up. I’m thankful for the jobs I have held, and currently have that have caused me to grow and change as a person, but I’m not sure where this all leads me.

Last week, while curled up on my friend Tiffany’s couch, she asked me what the dream job was. 
Ha.

Can I get paid for writing and sitting and listening to people and then telling them their potential?

Because, one of the other skills that I’ve realized I hold is seeing who someone actually is even when they don’t see it. Adults, teenagers and of course, the tiny humans.

(Though most of the time it comes out in the form of “man up or shut up” or reciting the “but was he a man?” dialogue from the mindy project )

Rewind to the past few months in the two year old room.

Two year olds mean business. And I have a few that are more than a handful. 

I was on the phone with a parent a couple weeks ago telling her about something her tiny human did that day that caused teacher Meg to have a heart attack and she began apologizing for the fact that her tiny human is a handful and is always the one to be the first to test the boundaries.

I stopped her apologizing as quickly as it began.

I could easily see her becoming defeated, so, I said that said tiny human wasn’t a handful (and I will never confirm or deny if this is true), but to think about how when the tiny human is older, they will be able to take risks, and push the boundaries. 

She responded that I was thinking positive.

But I mean, what would happen if we looked at tiny humans like that? Saw the things that may look like not great life choices and find ways to turn them positive and frame them in that way. What would happened even if we looked at teenagers, adults like that? What would that change?

I’ve been watching a lot of Girl Meets World lately. (Sidenote if you are caught up PLEASE CALL ME BECAUSE I HAVE FEELINGS).

On GMW they have a lot of lessons and life wisdom and warm fuzzies and a handful of mentions of the “long game”. The long game is just how it sounds. Being in it not for the immediate results but for what will happen at the end. 
I have kids that I had in day camp that are out of college. I have preschoolers that are in junior high and high school. You don’t work in early education for the short game. Sometimes you get those immediate gratifying moments. But for the most part, you have to just know that at the foundation you are and were apart of that tiny humans life. I may never know what happened with them, but I will know that I will live in a little piece of their present in the future.

I want to live whatever I am doing in the long game. Be it working with tiny humans, or writing or sitting across from people or being in leadership or maybe one day being a wife and a mom. 

Living in the long game is being present with who you are today knowing that it will be apart of who you are tomorrow.  Living in the long game is taking care of yourself and your heart and soul and being so that ten years from now when something comes into your being you are prepared for it. 

I’m 31 and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

But I’m choosing (attempting) to be present and honest and living with my whole heart. Because it’s for today, tomorrow, next week and next year. It’s for Bellingham now. It’s for Bellingham later and wherever else I find myself.  I’m choosing to live my life using the pieces of life I’m given and wrapping them into gifts I can give.

I’m living in the long game. 

washington whimsy

A mishmash on showing up

I have been writing a lot about showing up on my Facebook and via Instagram. Wanna know why?

Because writing inspirational captions about why we need to show up each day is much easier then writing a 400 + word blog.

Because it’s hard.

I think I have been doing an ok job at showing up in daily life. I have good days and bad days and all those in between but for the most part I feel capable of walking into a situation and figuring out how to be present.

I don’t like to write about things when I am in the middle of them or when I don’t have a response or when I don’t understand why this or that is happening. I am still figuring out fully why showing up is so hard for me to talk about.

And today was definitely one of those days.

But it’s near the end of today and I think I can fully and truly say that today it was not the greatest.

Today was a day chalk full of memories and phone calls and pain. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I shed a few tears on my way to work. (I shed a few tears at work.)

But I knew, that if I crawled into a hole, if I ignored everything, if I sunk into myself, it wouldn’t be fair to anyone around me. Because I chose to put on my big girl panties and jump into my life, so I was going to do it.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be hard or I can’t have emotions or break. 

Showing up isn’t about being perfect. Showing up is about being present in that moment, with those people, in that situation. It’s about being where you are.

That’s something I have struggled with for a long time. Being present where I am. Not waiting for the next thing, or the next event but choosing today each day. I think that’s why this season of life has been difficult. There isn’t a next thing, or an event. 

I am here.

That’s it.

So, today, after all was said and done, I knew I needed to write more then a caption or status. I needed to admit that it’s hard. That it’s a battle. And that showing up isn’t really a physical thing. It’s mental. Emotional. Bigger then just actually being there.

Showing up is choosing to think of yourself and others at the same time.

We show up for ourselves and then because we show up for ourselves we are more capable to show up for others.

So, please. Don’t just physically be somewhere. Choose to BE there. It isn’t easy. We won’t always get it 100% right. But if we do it, daily, a change will come.

Let’s bring change, shall we?