Sunday, October 24, 2010

really really beautiful life

it's been rainy for the past week here in Long Beach. I love it so much. And I always hesitate when Tim talks about moving to Seattle maybe someday, mostly he loves that they allow goats as pets :), and also all the mountains and green forests to explore. I think I need sunny days, but this rain is bringing out a very introspective, quiet part of me that I've been too busy to entertain since...maybe right before I started dating Tim! I really have been living in crisis mode for a long while now. Working long hours at unsatisfying jobs, unsure of where life will take me, not feeling totally known by any one person....
But this quiet, soft rain, paired with the season of life I find myself in recently is really really beautifully at peace. It's like the world is just as it should be. At least my small corner for the moment. I love my new job. It's not without it's craziness and drama and inefficiencies, but I feel totally happy there. Forever. The weight of these things are sinking in slowly. As I was talking with my mom picking our insurance policy options I was seeing things like "will cover Access transportation" which is for people in wheelchairs and I initially thought, yeah, we don't need that. But then, we might, in 35 years when I retire...from this job. Unless we move, this is exactly where I want to be in 35 years. It's weird! and awesome.
Tim and I have also been really free lately to do the things we love. Climb mountains, work in the garden, ride our bikes to the farmer's market, cook dinner together, enjoy our evenings together, lead a lifegroup at church, spend time with family. It's been so good to relax and enjoy life with him. And realize that everyday I get to know him a little bit more. Marriage doesn't magically enlighten you to know everything about a person the minute you say I do. I knew that before, but I'm realizing it in real life now...and realizing it's up to me to actively pursue that.

life is very very beautiful. it always has been, and always will be.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Road Trippin

I've driven the 13,000+ miles along I-40 between Oklahoma City and California 15 times now. We always say that we'll make the road trip a part of the fun, but every time, as soon as we're behind that wheel, we just want to "get there". This last trip I drove through a torrential rain storm complete with a lightning show in the darkest hour of the night. My mind convinced me there were tornadoes all around so I called my mom at 4:44AM her time and asked her to check weather reports for whatever stretch of nothingness we were in the middle of at the time. No tornadoes, just rain and streaks of light and my fearful imagination. But I have such an awesome mom. She stayed up and chatted with me for a good 1/2 hour while the hubs snoozed in the back so he could take over in Flagstaff. This pic is of a sunrise on the road. I love the sky.

The highlight of the trip was Miss Eleanor Jaquier Ann Earley. Our beautiful niece.
She does this amazing thing when she looks at you. Upon first glance she checks you over, once, maybe twice up and down. Then she locks eyes with you, a grin breaks out on her precious face, and then...her eyes widen and brighten as she's overwhelmed with how adorable she knows she is and she rolls her eyes and turns away with a squeal of happiness. It's the best thing in the world.

My sister has earned super mom of the year award in my opinion for being an amazing matron of honor in our wedding while caring for Elle just 6 weeks after her birth. And now, to top it off, she's recovering from back surgery with so much grace and patience as she also figures out how to take care of a newborn and all the new challenges that brings. But with a baby as awesome as Elle, I bet it is full of joy no matter what the challenge.
P.S. Can't wait for Tim to be a daddy. I mean, yes I can. I can wait 4 more years.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Off the Grid...or on our way

Tim and I talk all the time about someday living off the grid. Solar energy, grow our own food, recycle grey water for watering the garden, raise 2 goats for cheese and milk, get some chickens for eggs, bike everywhere we can....
He was talking about it again last night and I found myself wondering, is this possible in an urban area? I've seen/been a part of really great attempts or steps towards it.

But I found myself thinking, we've got to move to the an open space of land, like the central coast, or washington, or canada.And then my heart drops at the thought of leaving our friends, our church. AND both of our jobs require us to be in the city to an extent. And we love our jobs. SO, we've got to find a happy medium.

For those of you asking, WHY? The reasons are endless. Environmentally: using electricity and water from reserves and non-sustainable sources just isn't going to last. If we have solar power and electric cars, we could also reduce our carbon footprint there. Health reasons: in addition to the healthy nutrients in all vegetables, home grown veggies are uncontaminated by hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modifications. Also the hard work a garden requires gets you out in the sun for your Vit D and it gets your body working. Also, riding a bike is not only exercise but really really fun.
Politically: our government has it's hands so deep in our lives is ridiculous, and when it all comes down to it, money is the driving force. Won't even mention oil. Did you know that when you buy seeds to grow food, you can save the seeds from the tomato you grew and plant again the next year. And this is the way the human race has survived for centuries. But now, Monsanto and the US government has worked very hard to patent those seeds. Seed saving is a crime! It's absolutely ridiculous. Go watch Food Inc.

For me, this lifestyle brings me to life. It brings me closer to God. It makes me more fully human.

Someday we'll have a goat named "Bacon" (that's if Tim has his way). In the meantime, we've grown a pretty killer garden. I can't wait to eat that giant yellow squash tonight with dinner. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bucket List

No surprise that I'm a list person. But I've actually never made a list of things to do before I'm X number of years old. Here goes. I think I can accomplish everything here by age 40.

1. Run a marathon in a beautiful place (like Big Sur)
2. Buy a house
3. Install solar panels on said house
4. Fuel electric car with solar energy collected from panels
5. Start a family (2 kids and 1 husband) :)
6. See the northern lights, preferably from Norway, but Alaska will do
7. Summit all of CAs 14ers
8. Complete a triathalon, just a sprint distance
9. raise chickens and a goat
10. Stand up on a wave for a legitimate period of time
11. See the east coast
12. Go to Canada
13. Go to Portland
14. Learn to play the guitar, better.
15. Plant a vegetable garden

I think that's a good list for now. :)
#s 5, 7, and 15 are well underway.

Monday, July 19, 2010


from Walden
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

I think the beautiful thing about marriage that I'm discovering lately is that I have someone to share this with. And if one of us is more naturally inclined to dream and the other more naturally a worker, then we each get to pull each other towards our life-giving dreams and in the beautiful work of building a foundation for that future. And when your dreams are not merely dreams for worldly success, but dreams that attempt to live as God return to the original order of this creation...then the building of that foundation together is restorative and healing and beautiful.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

art that inspires us....

We had dinner with some friends the other night, and conversation came to our church's renovation project. I was initially on the side of being as frugal as possible, caring less about the aesthetics of the building and more about the amount of food we could buy for the hungry with all that money. It's been a hot topic at our church for a while...with the project being delayed and significantly scaled back from original plans. Our friends who had us over for dinner are very talented artists. She paints, he takes photos. I love just staring at their work, and find myself scrolling through his website fairly often. My husband is an artist, my dad taught art...

Our conversation somehow sunk in and stayed with me for the next week and I found art all around me. And I realized how much it makes me come alive. I still feel a strong tension about how millions of dollars should be spent by the church. And there's much more to the debate than this post is really about. But at the very least, I was opened up to a different way of seeing things this week.

Here's some art that inspires me. Praise God for giving his creatures the gift of creativity. May we be moved by it.Jonathan Anderson:

A friend of a friend makes digital art from mathematical equations, it's trippy, but I like this one.

we went to San Onofre last weekend with friends and made silly sand art.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


so my journal's in the car and i'm lazy bones in bed reading a book on marriage, just left my life group on marriage, drinking a pacifico and thinking about....mawage.

pastor lou and laurie heusman said some good things tonight in our q & a lifegroup time.

from ephesians 4
1. act, don't react. rather than feeling angry and retaliating, chose love, forgiveness and understanding. instead of doing what is most natural (reacting) chose to move toward the other by the power of the spirit.
2. keep it current, never let the sun go down on your wrath...or at least set up an appointment for the next day to discuss it, so you're not forced to settle things when you're tired and emotional late at night.
3. attack the problem, not the person
4. speak the truth in love

closing words:
open yourself up to be changed by your marriage. it is a golden opportunity to be changed.

read paul tripp's words on expectations in marriage.

in marriage, our goal is to see the other flourish. if i'm living my life outside of myself and my (and my spouse's) happiness as the goal, then my purpose and goal is to see flourishing, and when i can be an agent of that flourishing. rather than seeing the personality and character flaws in our spouse and pointing them out, we should study them, learn them and help them to grow in their strengths. catch them being wonderful people and tell them.

also learned his first home with his wife was a motor home he bought in seminary for $5G's. makes my little love shack not seem like such a teeny space for two newlyweds.

about 26 days to go i think....and i'll be a wifey.
nancy and i were carting around costco today grocery shopping while ryan and tim made a commercial for their new business "long beach production company". i couldn't stop giggling at how married i felt. it made me happy. i bet that's a good thing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Count down to I DO=36 days!

I went for a dress fitting yesterday, and the guy asked me, "so you ready to get married???" It seemed like he was used to hearing apprehension in the voice of girls that come in to get their dresses done. It was really fun and just freeing to shock him with a "hell yes!". I'm reading a book right now, Fit to be Tied, by the Hybel's. pretty good. next on the que is a book from the lovely Kim Wilson "Created to be his Help Meet". Also really enjoying our life group at church with newlyweds and start our pre-marital couseling this weekend! It's a good reminder that we're not just planning a party. It feels like we are constantly being reoriented to the reason for marriage. Our officient/friend has also brought us back to that several times in our meetings. It is so good to feel like we've got so much support from such wonderful people.

Here's a sneak peak at some photos from the engagement shoot. you can view more here at

Tim's friends Brian and Brandon did an amazing job. I can't wait to see what they do at the wedding!