Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sarah and Noah

Einstein's bagels complete with shmear. Mocha lights with caramel drizzle hand-crafted by green-aproned baristas. But the common denominator every time? Comfy, oftentimes cushy chairs. Because when I hung out with Sarah, I wanted to take it all in and I never wanted to miss a thing.
I first met Sarah when she was in 8th grade. And she's one of those precious, sometimes reserved, thoughtful, hilarious, deep, cares about others with everything that's in her kind of people. She oozes sweetness and hilarity on a regular basis. And over the following years I had my life sprinkled with Einstein's and Starbucks dates where I got the extreme privilege of listening to her process life around her. And I loved it.
Even though we'd like to press pause, life keeps going. And she graduated. And we changed churches. But one night I checked my facebook and saw in my inbox a little message from my sweet Sarah. I opened it up and instantly knew it was one of the bravest emails I'd ever read. Though the email was beautiful and risky, there were two words that would go on to dramatically change her life: "I'm pregnant."
I read those words and I just desperately wanted to wrap my arms around her and hold her in one of the biggest bear hugs of her life. I couldn't imagine what she was going through. I mean, I was TERRIFIED when I found out I was pregnant with Hannah, but I was married and a little older. But my precious Sarah, was dealing with this alone. And in the context of church - and if we Christians can be honest for a minute - I think we can admit that we don't have the best track record with handling this kind of situation. I just wanted to hold her for a minute and let her know we'd be here. We'd walk through this with her. Heck - if she needed a place to live even - we're here.
Turns out, a lot of people made me really proud to be a Christian. Sarah decided she really wanted to keep this precious baby, even though she knew a lot of thing were going to change. And some of the ladies at our former church put together one of the BEST baby showers I've seen. People bent over backwards to make sure this baby was welcomed into this world with everything he needed. And there was no guilt and no shame - at this moment, there was only support and encouragement. (And birthing stories...)
A few months later, Noah entered the world. A day after he was born I held him in my arms. (with a little Jayden brewing in my belly...) He was perfect and all kinds of precious. I looked at my precious Sarah - sure she had messed up, but because of how she wrestled through it all with God, she could see the extreme miracle she held in her arms.
How she did motherhood at 19 is amazing to me. I know it's been hard, and beautiful. And probably everything else in between. And as a matter of fact, you can read her thoughts and processings here... It's almost as good as in person with a cup of coffee or a bagel.
Today I want to share some pictures of that beautiful boy that Sarah let me take! I think you'll be as smitten as I was. And as blessed. He loves his mommy and she loves him. And it's awe-inspiring. And please join me in saying happy birthday to Sarah today. Sarah, you are a precious lady and I am so glad that you AND Noah were born. I'm so proud of you.

There's so many others to choose from, but there's a start!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My current emotional roller-coaster

Seconds seems like hours. Minutes pass like days. When someone who is so much a part of yourself is hurting, time goes so slowly. My heart aches. Prayers sometimes seem to be the most powerful thing in the world and in the next moment, I feel like they bounce back into my face like a really bad version of Pong. My soul can’t rest. I’ve tried distracting myself. I’ve tried checking my email approximately 72 times in a period of 5 minutes wondering if maybe I’ll get one that makes a difference. Maybe they’ll be okay. Maybe it will be better. Maybe God will have shown up in their lives and they’ll sit there elated with the fact that He loves them so much that He did… But alas, that email hasn’t come. Not even an email with a dancing hamster that could occupy my mind for a good 2 minutes and 43 seconds.
But this is life. I cannot make up anyone else’s mind. And as much as I have exploding volcanoes implanted within me of realizing how much He adores them and could change their life, I can’t choose for them. And in this moment, with no feedback and no indication and a whole bunch of no information, I have no idea if God is doing anything. It hurts. I want desperately to control this situation. And I swear to you my motives are good. Really good. Like coming from “Jesus changed life in this ridiculously awesome way” good. Like “I just found the fact that I don’t have to be a product of my past and I desperately want that for this person” good. Like “I am still messed up, but I don’t live in the constant hell-hole trap of constantly wondering if I’m good enough and trying to be funny yet not succeeding, trying to find meaning in the empty yet never enough approval of others, I’m free now” good. And I could keep going.
But this one’s out of my hands. This is between them and Him. And I hate it.
I totally wish that clever, here’s the perfect thing to say that changes everything and leads to tears and hand holding and kumbayah-ish feelings marinating in the glow of a campfire (and possibly s’mores) would come. But it hasn’t. There’s no script for this. This isn’t up to me.
And you know what? I’m scared. Really brutally scared. Scared He won’t show up. Like I literally want to do God’s job for Him right now because I think I could do it better-scared. And I’m thinking that’s got to be pretty warped. I’m thinking He knows them better than I know them. I’m thinking He had a pretty large-esque role in the formation of their toes and nose and eyebrows. I’m thinking there hasn’t been a moment that He hasn’t been there, watching them, (kind of like how I watch my kids and can’t speak because I’m so in love with them and a mere word would ruin the joy of watching them in all their beauty) loving them, waiting for them. And I’ve only been in the equation for a few years. I’m thinking He loves them more than I do, even though parts of me would want to wrestle for it. (have a feeling I know who would win. I’m just sayin’) And I’m thinking He’s faithful. I mean – I’m not gonna lie – I don’t always get what He’s doing, I sometimes take issue with what life seems to throw in my face or that of my friends, BUT if I look at the WHOLE of life, I see a whole lot of faithfulness going on. And He did say so Himself. A few times. I’m thinking He’s trustworthy.
So I’m still scared. But I’m starting to realize I probably shouldn’t be. And no matter what this friend comes out deciding or not deciding, I’m still gonna love them. There’s no way I can change that. And I’m betting God will still keep waiting for them, no matter what. And that comforts me. After all, He waited on me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Katie and family

I knew he made her swoon. Yes, full-on legitimate, I really can use that word - swoon. She was smitten - from the way he loved God to the way he loved his kids. And I got to watch as the tall coffee had to switch to a venti because of great late night phone conversations. He loved her. But how could you not love Katie? The fiery red-headed, hilarious, bend-over-backwards to help someone, single-handedly outfitted my first child, hardworking, GORGEOUS, dedicated, Jesus-loving, rock awesome colorist/stylist... To know her IS to love her. Watching God bring them and their amazing kids together was so beautiful. And a few months after they were married - a little Addison was on her way.
How do you describe this family? Hilarious, exciting, loving, crazy awesome and the like.
Thank you so much for letting me use you as models! Michael, I love the way you love your kids and our beautiful Katie. Grace, thanks for all the ideas as we took pictures! Caleb - I'm now going to have to research the Nintendo DSi thanks to you. Alexis - I loved the chance to hang out with you. Addison - I've got a potential boyfriend for you down the road because girl, you are all things sweet and cute. And Katie - thanks for letting me join your family. And for making work even better over the past 4 years as you've followed God and shared your life (and your sweet hair-cutting skills) with me. You rock.

And Katie - these aren't necessarily the best photos - but these were the ones that I picked while eating dinner and feeding Jayden his food at the same time. (Definitely now have chicken noodle mush on my floor) So, I'll try to post more later, but at least this is a taste!
And the rest of the world - this family rocked this photoshoot. When we got to our location we were informed they were closing in 30 minutes. We got out and rocked out some fast and furious photos, so be impressed that they made this happen. they're incredible.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chad and Kristen

There are times in our lives where words epically fail us. There's no possible way that a few letters strung together can capture with accuracy the awe, wonder and excitement that is bouncing off the walls of your heart. And that's where I'm at in this moment. A few weeks ago I got news that made me bust out in the happy dance, complete with arms flailing, high-pitched squeals and the like. I found out that my brother-in-law, Chad and his AMAZING girlfriend Kristen were engaged. You may not be able to fully comprehend how great this is. I tear up just thinking about the how wonderful it is that this lady who is such an overwhelming heap of loveliness in our lives is now OFFICIALLY going to be my sister-in-law. That's like Baskin Robbins without calories good. I'm so ridiculously thrilled I could pee my pants. For the time being, we'll just let Jayden do that.
I asked them if they wouldn't mind being models for me as I learn to work with adults who can sit still as opposed to the constantly moving children I chase on a daily basis. For some reason, they graciously agreed. These pictures don't do that beauty of their relationship justice, but it's a start. And there's so many more. I didn't even get all of my favorites... But here's a few.
Thank you Chad and Kristen for being a part of our lives. You guys ooze amazingness.
And just to let anyone else know - I have the BEST sister-in-laws EVER. Hands down. I'm a lucky lady. The men in my life married soooooooo well

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The decision

Okay...side note. I wrote this a few weeks ago as I was processing the whole decision to try ADD medication. (Thus the title of my blog...) I've now started and though it's still a struggle, I realize what a great gift it is. So here's my processing moment from a few weeks ago. There's more, but I'll post that later...

Failure. I feel like I’ve hit it.
We’ve decided that it’s time for me to go on medication. (for ADD) Well…I say “we” but really Ted probably decided it was a good idea a long time ago and I am finally yielding to his superior idea. And though I know in my head this has to be a good idea, my heart is a broken mess of feeling failure, inadequacy, and a whole lot of sadness that I just wasn’t able to live life on my own.
I’m not enough.
But the truth is, I’m tired of this lifestyle. I’m tired of too many ideas becoming like a bouncy ball bonanza in my head. (And yes there is a website with that as a title – google it…) I’m tired of being so overwhelmed by the ridiculously amazing list of things I want to accomplish and sitting there unable to do anything until we’re within hours of the deadline. I’m tired of my inability to respond to email. I’m tired of finding thank you and thinking about you notes from years ago that I just never mailed. (Still have some from my wedding, so if you didn’t get one…I probably have it and I am far too ashamed to send it.) I’m tired of the constant feeling that if I could just sit down and think I could change the world. I’m tired of brilliant ideas that float in and out of my head. I’m tired of having people ask me how my weekend was and the blank stare that habitually overcomes my face because I genuinely cannot remember what I did that weekend. (And that’s without the help of any substances.) I am tired of making my 3 yr. old pray that we can find Mommy’s keys so that we can arrive to our destination a good 20 minutes late. I’m tired of all of my friends realizing that when we set a time to hang out, they can afford to be 5-10 minutes late because there is no way on God’s green earth that I’ll be there on time. I’m tired of the shame that comes when my daughter has to bring me my phone that I lost again and again. I’m tired of taking classes, asking teachers for ridiculously long extensions, sitting blankly in front of a computer screen and then finally (up to a semester or 2 later) turning in the work all to receive what would have been an A.
So I guess it’s time to get help. I guess it’s time to be able to really live my dreams that are vivid and yet uncompleted due to ADD. So here I am, realizing it’s okay. Or maybe not within my soul, but at least in my head. Well, that’s a start, right?

So there's a start. I put it out there. As absolutely terrifying as it was. And so, I'll post a picture. That makes everything better, right?