Thursday, May 31, 2012

on my heart;

the term "friendship" is a hard pill for me to swallow. i grew up with more friends in my pre-school through senior year than i can probably remember. and not in the way of, having so many friends i don't know what to do with myself; but in the way of, a new, different friend every other week. there were lots of fights and tears and parties and events that i didn't get invited to. i spent a lot of time wading very carefully around the term "best friend" because i felt like it was a curse: label your best friend and watch the friendship crumble.

i maybe became sort of anti-friendship after high school. my only friend was evan who had his group of friends who welcomed me with open arms but who i kept at a distance, if only to prevent any possible discontent.

i found friends again. and i lost friends again. gain and loss. gain and loss.

i feel like there has always been this point i reach where friendships plateau and then begin their initial decent into disintegration. i still fear that calling someone my best friend is just asking to end that friendship, because it has never ceased to in my past.

but in no way is friendship a one way street and perhaps this is partially caused by the fact i would choose evan above all else. and it should be that way because he is my husband. but maybe i am just unable to find that balance between him and friendships.  but he is, and always will be my best friend. he will always come first. he is one of the only people i've ever felt comfortable around in complete silence. (which is how i judge you by the way. if our complete silence is awkward to me, it will probably not work out.) he is my person. and that is how it will forever be.

but i've learned that i need that female counterpart. i've done without one in the past, and although my husband will always hold the title of "best friend," i know myself and i know that i need that female spirit. who gets all things girl. who gets the mood swings and the absolute necessity of watching grey's every single week and the chocolate cake and decorating and the shopping. because those are the things evan rolls his eyes at. (chocolate cake? but it was just your birthday and you had chocolate cake then. is it thursday already? how do we have another grey's to watch? shopping? more shopping? you have an entire closet full of clothes and shoes and you do not need another dress. but i like that wallpaper. why can't we just leave it up? why do you need to have curtains and a bed skirt and 60 different pillows on the bed?)

so, when i read a story on amber's blog about the beginning of the relationship between her and her best friend, and how she prayed for a best friend i felt this tug on my heart. to be the other person (jo anna, in her case) and to know that you have this God-ordained place in her life because she has prayed diligently over you and for you. just, wow.  i desired that. how loved i would feel to know that God had chosen me to be someone's friend because they were crying out for that companionship.

so i began on that campaign. asking, praying, seeking for a best friend. this was november. i had friends. i had quite a few friends. but i just felt....empty. there was jealousy and bitterness and anger in some of those relationships. there were unresolved issues that were slowly eating away at the friendship. then there were evan's relationships, where i felt like the tag-a-long because those were his friends and i was "evan's wife." i prayed for all those relationships because no one wants to lose all of their friends and start over.

but i did lose friends and it took a long time to lose them. it happened slowly and painfully and it hurt. my heart broke in ways it hadn't before which caused me to lean close to my husband and our friendship and think, "this is enough." but i steadily remained in prayer for friendships, for healing and redemption in the friendships that i had lost, and strength in the ones that remained.

i am not outgoing. i do not scout for friends in my free time. i have my blog friends, where the relationship is easy and free and commitment-less. i have my real life friends, where the hard part of becoming friends has already taken place. but a lot of things began to happen. God worked. he knows my heart. he knows me. how difficult it would be for me to make new friends and to be the one to initiate those friendships. but he gave me three women, 1, 2, 3, in that order. cara, the sweetest person you'll ever meet who jumped headfirst into a friendship with me and who i feel like i've know forever. talking with her is natural and hilarious and i'm fairly certain she is my twin. amy, who has been my blog friend forever, but who has recently become a deeper friend, who has the biggest heart and the kindest spirit and who has been dealing with so many of the same issues that i have. we have this mutual understanding on so many levels and it's so refreshing. and danielle. who consistently has left me the kindest comments, who opened our friendship with the sweetest e-mail about how much she appreciates me and how we should text like little school girls, which we do (especially after a few drinks ;]] ).

i cannot even begin to grasp the way that these three have blessed me with their friendship. none of whom had any sort of idea of the perils my friendships were and had been standing on. these three who i had prayed so fiercely for, who felt compelled to hold a deeper friendship with me than just a "blog friend." 

and during this time, this new blooming of relationships, my real life relationships began to blossom as well. i felt the relationships i held with my dear friends erin & jess step to the next level. there wasn't some loud display of friendship, like a group hug or slumber party, but more like a silent connection happening. to where i felt a stronger friendship beginning. where God was strengthening those bonds and solidifying that these are good people. these are the people to keep around. these are my friends. erin, because i'm fairly certain that girl is my sister. probably because we fight like sisters and pick up where we left off without missing a beat. this girl just gets me. i've known her the longest and we've been through some ish together. and who also has the best nickname for me. and who sends me the best texts/voicemails [post drinks].  and jess, who started out as my couple friend, who has seen me at every hour of the day and is STILL my friend, who is maybe the only person on this planet that loves board games more than i do, who can insult me and apologize in the same breath, who has a heart of gold to it's core, has become more than just part of the other couple. who has become my friend, on her own, without her other half.

my mama always told me that it's okay to not have the same friends from day one. i read this post the other day, and although she is not talking about friendship, i think the concept still applies. we're constantly growing. it's just a matter of who will grow along side you, and who will turn in the opposite direction.

i'm seeing some answered prayers over here. and not just itty bitty miracles either. prayers answered in ten-fold. that God i serve is mighty and just. and i can honestly say that i went through a lot, and the resulting relationships that were forged were totally and completely worth it.

to all of my friends new and old: know that i have prayed for each one of you and i cherish your friendship and you each hold such a special place inside my heart. thank you for responding to that tug on your hearts. <3 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

number five;

may has just been the best month. so, i had to obviously end it with the best craft.

i saw this, i can't remember where or how i found it but i knew i had to make one when i saw it (because $80? i mean, just please. this cost me less than $5). i had planned on making montana since that's where i live and junk, but then evan was like, "no, we should do africa." and i obviously have a genius for a husband.

the entire reason i know how to do this is because in 7th grade my teacher thought it would be a good idea to give each student in his art class a piece of plywood, a hammer and some nails. then we hammered in some shapes and strung yarn around the nails and made every other student and teacher not in our art class hate us. because hammering nails on a wooden desk is fairly quiet and all.

but back to the shape. i have issues doing art because i have to have things perfect. i started out hammering the nails in and after every few i'd stoop down to eye level to make sure they were perfectly even. and i was doing pretty good until evan decided he needed to man up and hammer. he isn't as much of a perfectionist as i am and the nails were crooked and uneven and spaced further apart and i took a deep breathe and did not rip out all of the nails. when i took the hammer back i tried my best to hammer them in straight and follow the lines and that was all. i didn't care if they were even or perfectly spaced because this is mine and it is OKAY to not be perfect. and it is not perfect and i am totally and unabashedly in love with it.

and the heart on ethiopia. you don't exactly need an explanation for that one. except for how i made the heart too big but you cannot erase pencil on wetish stain and so we left it and we hammered it in last and ended up ripping it out so many times and almost not even doing a heart until i looked at that texas picture again and the heart. so we tried again. with patience and the ability to have mistakes and funky shaped hearts.


pretty sure this could be my favorite piece of art. it was the perfect piece for may. africa has been on my heart a lot. and with those adorable letters from our children it just fits. remember how i made a million of those lyric pictures? (pictured above with the 'home is wherever i'm with you.') i think this is our new that.

Monday, May 28, 2012

days like these;

when your friday night is spent playing a neverending game of risk with your friends and you look outside and IT IS SNOWING the biggest snow flakes you've ever seen, plus it's may, plus it's a 3 day weekend which means snow isn't allowed, plus you already planned a little day trip to the cutest little mountain town....the snow is just a fun sucker.

but. we went anyway. evan was determined to have this trip. this trip to this adorable town we love a lot. with the best brewery in montana that also makes the yummiest chicken salad panini. where evan can talk for hours about their beer (nitro weird.) and i can talk for hours about their sandwiches. we wandered around the candy shop and browsed the rows and rows of baskets of candy and the glass cases full of homemade chocolates and turtles and fudge and truffles.

we went to our favorite book store slash tea bar and drank hot tea (hers: mint, his: chocolate chai mate). we ate too much candy and chocolate and talked about how much fun it would be to own a tea bar. and then we tried to walk around outside but 30 degrees is too cold for people who have been experiencing 80-90 degrees for the past month. so we walked to another coffee shop. where we had even bigger cups of tea (which was made in MT and so, so delicious) and read our books for hours and hours.

i'm not really one for winter. especially when winter shows up in may. but i'm one for day trips that involve A LOT of hot tea. and books. and laughing with my husband. and sloshing through snow. and snow flakes the size of my hand. and forgetting to bring a real jacket thus freezing in my summer dress and jean jacket. and not worrying about things at home, but enjoying our time together. and trying to find the most outlandishly priced item ($450 salt and pepper shakers for the win). and dinner at our favorite steak house (sans prime rib because who is out of prime rib in MT?! we have more cows than people. COME ON.)

i tried to cancel the trip because of the unplanned snow storm. i tried to convince evan to curl up in our bed and watch netflix and sleep all day. i tried to make a million excuses as to why a day trip in the snow would not be fun.

and i was wrong. as i sat in the warm coffee shop, sipping on my tea and watching evan mouth the words he was reading, i was so happy (further proving the point of my previous post). again. my life is so perfect. i'm a rusher. i'm a go-go-goer. always rushing, always running. i cannot remember the last time i sat in a coffee shop and just sat. aside from this weekend BECAUSE I HAD THREE COFFEE SHOP DATES. the answer, probably never. ah. it was perfect. and it's going to become a necessity. to unwind and regroup and relax. because i've never felt more refreshed or ready to tackle my life than i do after this trip and this weekend.

we ended our night with a bottle of sweet red wine and a movie and some foot massages and lots of laughter.
i kind of love that man a lot.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

i am happy.

today i was thinking about my life. and this beautiful place i'm in.

and just, how happy i am.

it's the truth. i could make complaints, but when it all boils down to what's important, when you take away the clothes i don't have and the room in my house that has been unpainted for weeks and weeks that i've been meaning to get to and my car that has too much dog hair in the back seat and doggie nose prints on all the windows and dried leaves on the floor and coffee spills in the cup holders and the floors that should be swept and the grass that should be mowed and the piles of laundry i haven't gotten to.........................................................

i just stopped. i stopped worrying about getting everything done that needed to be done today. i stopped worrying and fretting and fussing and becoming anxious over little things. i didn't rush home to start another load of laundry. i didn't rush home to do the dishes. to clean. to tidy up. to tackle my never ending to do list. i came home and wrote a letter to a friend. i went to dinner with my husband. we wandered around target. we sang music. we enjoyed fresh coffee and pretty music. we enjoyed each other.

and i thought, yes, this. i am happy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

things you should know if we're gonna be BFF

i drink pickle juice like it's part of my religion. like, i'd rather drink the juice than eat a pickle. also, i'm a pickle snob and i will only eat claussen.

i snort when i laugh. which in turn makes me laugh harder.

do not even talk about PB&J around me or i will stab you with a fork.

i will force you to watch grey's anatomy and yes it is real life. also jersey shore. also dexter. also mcdreamy. ALSOCANWETALKABOUTGREY'SSEASONFINALEWTF.

i cannot hold a conversation with you without quoting the office, family guy, arrested development, shit girls say, shit black girls say, shit nobody says, neature adventures, tracy, can i get your number, and any and all youtube sensations (backin up, hide yo kids hide yo wife), etc. and i also have a southern accent. so.

you will never, ever hear me say, "flowers are a stupid gift because they will just die." I. LOVE. FLOWERS. ship away.

you should hear my impersonation of tina fey in date night: UM THAT'S AMAZING, JEREMY, BUT I'M GONNA GO HOME AND FART IN A SHOE BOX.

i am well aware that my kitchen is more of a dance floor than a room to cook in. and music is meant to be listened to at an ear shattering volume. and windows are meant to be open. and curling irons are meant to be microphones. and you are meant to embarrass yourself in front of your neighbors while you dance your night away.

you had better get used to saying to me, "let me fix that part in your bangs." otherwise, we cannot be friends.

you should probably read these books. it will strengthen our friendship: Philippians. The Murderer's Daughters. Up from the Blue. The Fault in Our Stars. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? [and other concerns]. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. No One Belongs Here More Than You.

i love you already, bff.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


tonight i decided that i wanted my blog to have two sidebars. not just the one. OH MAH GOSH. blogger thought i was asking it to perform brain surgery on my blog. it flat out RUINED MAH BLOG.

now i have this mess. THIS MESS!

because i had to completely download a new layout, due to the fact that both my sidebars were on top of my stupid writing and even if i changed the layout back to just one sidebar, it wouldn't move it move it. even if i changed the width to big or little. blogger could.not.compute. MEH.

i swear.

so i downloaded a pugly pixel layout. then all my pictures were too big. then i changed like half of them. then i got brave and went back to blogger's layout to see if i could maybe change the width. then it gave me some ugly sky background. EVEN THOUGH IT SAID "none." sgihoriakdgf. i even tried to find a background that was acceptable. found one: IT WOULDN'T LOAD IT TO MY STUPID BLOG.

like, who came up with this crap?!

once, i may or may not have sent blogger a few nasty e-mails about their new set up and how much i hate it.


soooo blogger hates my stinkin guts and took it out on my poor, poor blog tonight. i finally got it back to a reasonable size, but now i can't have 2 images on the same line. i mean, really.

i am not sure what i want my blog to look like, but i can give you a hint: NOT THIS. because i feel like my myspace once looked like this. AND UM, THIS IS NOT 2006.

tomorrow, tomorrow i conquer the world. and by that i mean HTML and all it's demons.

Monday, May 14, 2012

so this is love

"but i believe in true love, you know? i don't believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

one million wishes

i made one million wishes as i traipsed through a field of dandelions. wishing away every hurt every care every problem. wishing in growth and beauty and love and forgiveness. wishing for my new friends and for my husband. being thankful for the silly things, like millions and millions of dandelions. right now, this place, this is the prettiest place in the world.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

so cute it hurts me.

we got letters from our babies in africa today. i sat at my desk for an hour squealing over how adorable and hilarious these letters are, and then being really, really incredibly sad that i'm not there. because i need to be there. my heart needs to be there. it hurts.

this one's from our rozaa. first of all, we sponsor two girls (soon to be three!) and so the other girl would write the letter and rozaa would sign it. UMNO. so i told her straight up, in my last letter, "listen. write me back before i have to come over there." so she did. they both did. but this is rozaa's. can we dissect this? good. "hi hello how are you" THIS IS MY KID. do i not say that all the time? well, not the how are you part, but HI HELLO? i peed my pants when i saw that (hold on and i'll show you what else she gets from me, besides her great writing skills).
we've got "i'm kissy you kiss xoxox." because yes. this girl kissy me kiss xoxo A LOT. we play games where we kiss each other's cheeks all day long. let me tell you something, not much can compare to to these kids and their hugs and kisses and unending love.
and "you are all the day in my heart." skgoiahsfklgane. LOVE HER.
and "i love you more more more." which she straight up copied out of the letter i wrote her. so now we've got this "who loves who more" game going on. i will win it, i swear to you.
the fact that she calls us mom, excuse me, MUM and dad. i know she's not and will never be my kid, but listen to me. this is my kid. she doesn't call us that to our faces. just in our letters. and is the sweetest thing.
"YOUR BABY SON ROZAA." just please. yet another trait she got from me, her mum, the fact that she's unintentionally hilarious. my favorite is that she crossed out son, then wrote baby, then wrote son again. oh gosh. she's the best thing ever.
"even and larresa" even. hahahahaha. larresaa. hahahahaha. this is actually the closest she's ever come to spelling my name. which is hilarious because she has it on the letter in front of her face when she writes to me. she apparently does not approve of the spelling of my name. from here on out i will spell my name however rozaa says.
except for she got the double a at the end which isn't a real thing in my name but i pretend it is AND THAT'S HOW ROZAA SPELLS HER NAME AND MY NAME. i'm not even kidding you. this kid, is mine.

and now for the big reason we're obviously related::::

 THAT HAIR. #GIRLPROBLEMS. if you know me personally at all, you probably have just seen my hair trauma. it can be epic. that first picture, that's basically how i look when i get up in the morning. when rozaa was running around this day, with her hair all cray, i said to evan, "she obviously gets her hair trouble from me." so that's that. i have this hilarious picture of me after i sanded these metal bars all day and got metal dust in my hair plus it was windy so my hair got all tangly then the sticky sunscreen and bug spray and the sun and the sweat and the dirt. i mean. i look a hot mess. AND, and this last trip (these are from trip #2) i totally got dreads. ON ACCIDENT. and it was horrible. i can't even take care of my hair in america, next time i go to africa i should just shave it all off and not even mess with it. (but then there's that whole, "you go america, you no cut." while they point at my hair. I LOVE MY GIRLS.)

and then this letter from sweet meskerem (i basically remembered her name by thinking 'mascara'). when we got to africa she had just been admitted to the orphanage. she is the sweetest, most loving girl. she has the kindest eyes and such a beautiful face. i've never seen a prettier people than ethiopians. i know i'm slightly biased, but this is real life.

"evan and la||issa" close. so darn close. but she wrote my name with an "r" and not the "||" on the envelop. so i don't know. my name is just a difficult one.
"hello guys?" it's funny without the "?" but with it, it's so great. because she never uses any sort of punctuation besides the question mark. and the fact that she said "hello guys." oh man. i want to know which american is teaching them this and i want to teach them some phrases. you know, throw a couple "that's what she saids" in there....
her hand writing is even pretty. this girl is the real deal.
"how about american?" hahaha
"in america life is good? ethiopia life is good." aw.
"love your sweet love meskerem." sweet love and our baby son.

that's meskerem. i TOLD YOU that she's gorgeous.

and our sweet pea derartu who also wrote me a amharic. all i can read is "i love you" and that's all that is important.

man. i miss these kids.

ps. you're probably going to want to click the africa link on the bottom and find the videos of my children singing my favorite song in the whole world.  it's the cutest thing you will ever see. no offense to anything cute you've already seen in your lifetime.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


/i made THIS for my dinner tonight. this is going to become a regular meal in our house when summer rolls around and we are up to our eyeballs in tomatoes.

other exciting things:
/new friends like the loveliest CARA. who sent me a birthday card and a letter and now we're pen pals. and i haven't had a penpal since like, the 3rd grade. i'm all about making my own envelops out of the piles of martha stewart magazines i've been hoarding for something special (this, obviously) and painting water color hearts all over another envelop because i think it's illegal to not have a cute envelope.
/finishing two book in a week and onto a 3rd.
/tulips from my husband because we forgot about birthday tulips.

/lunch dates with the husband who now has 12:00 lunch. i love these dates.
/forward movement.
/birthday present from my mom: original blue tinted ball jars with solar lights in the lids. let's pause and discuss how amazing this is and how it's basically a night light for grownups. love.

i'm kind of in love with may. it's always the best month. life is good and i'm so happy and so content and so blessed.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


this is my birthday day week month year AND it was a success. i don't know how a year has already gone by since i turned 23, but apparently it has. i refuse to believe it, even thought i've been saying i'm 24 for like 3 months. that's just what i do. i get sick of being my age and i just decide to move on up. buuuut that was probably the last time i'll do that because 25?! TWENTY FIVE!? no. way.

i also look like i'm 19 20, now. so i've got that going for me.

sooooo. yep. i took my birthday off from work because i have never worked my birthday in my life and i don't plan on starting now. so i did and guess what time i got up? guess. .........SEVEN THIRTY.  happy day. maybe it was because ERIN was all up in my grill at 6:58 "RISE AND SHINE IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY emoji emoji emoji". but i loved it. i loved it a whole lot. (i'm blowing you kisses, erin.)

and we went to breakfast at my favorite little restaurant, that's now a tradition because it was where evan took me when i turned 18 and we were at that awkward stage of, are we dating....are we not? so cute. now we go there every year and it's what i most look forward to.

then evan surprised me and took me to our spot and we took a million pictures and i picked some wild flowers, which is probably illegal, but i don't care, plus it's my birthday so i get a pass on anything illegal. PLUS i'm going to go back and dig up an entire plant because i can.

we had the lowest key of an afternoon, and i mean, low. i napped and laid around and did nothing. and it was great. we got ourselves a bottle of wine and had sushi for dinner and that was even better. sushi is my all time favorite. we haven't had sushi since like.....march. i know, who ARE we?

and we had a magnum sized bottle of wine to ourselves and we may have drank the entire thing and we may have been tipsy. so what, it's my birthday. (that's my new excuse for everything.) we tried a spicy tuna roll (which is not pictured) because i always say, "you should get some crazy roll that we've never had! something real." and evan says, "no." and then we get our usual cooked/veggie rolls. so we went adventurous with the spicy tuna because i've heard good things and i have to say that it was amazing. good and spicy. or that may have been the giant piece of wasabi i accidentally dropped in my soy sauce. whatever, it's my birthday. this restaurant is so cute i can't even stand it. evan sneakily told them it was my birthday so they sang to me and gave me a piece of tempura cheesecake, except they sang "happy birsday" and it's a track they put on and it's the cutest thing ever. except i wish evan had snapped a picture because i was so, so, so embarrassed. i think i gave myself a fever i was so red.

my mom got me some delish cupcakes from my favorite bakery (chocolate because if i don't get chocolate cake on my birthday someone will lose an eye. that's a promise. and strawberry white cake with almond frosting and margarita with a sugar lime. to which my mom says, 'it's your favorite drink!' she knows me so well, except i like real margaritas better, mom. for future ref.)

i've been hoarding that dress for months and months to wear on my birthday. it has pockets (which, basically if a dress doesn't, it's not worth it.) and stripes and it's the best length because i have to belt it (which always makes it like an inch shorter, which is a lot for people who may or may not be gifted in certain areas such as......behinds). why do i belt it? IT'S A FREAKING MUMU WITHOUT THE BELT. and it's gap. gap is pretty fashionable so my question is: WHY DOES GAP HAVE A MUMU DRESS? (and why is this mumu dress more than 10 dolla?) evan calls it my nightgown. but, like, how cute is it?! i know. belts will save the world and probably end world hunger and cure aids. (just kidding. but maybe.)

23 was pretty good to me: one year anniversary and house buying and new friends and 52 dates and denver and ethiopia x3 and future planning. 24 is going to be the best year, i have high hopes for the final year before i'm a quarter century. which will then be the best because how can it not?  i'm not going to make any goals for myself before 25 because a) i will have 1 whole minute of free time when september rolls around and b) i don't do long term specific goals, turns out. i'm basically going to love myself, hit rude people more and send more snail mail letters. also spend as much time with evan as possible. i'm not above kidnapping, so. that's that.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

goodbye, april

well, april gets the award for the fastest month in the history of ever. i can't even. how is it already may?! i think i'll probably never stop saying that, so get used to it. this is my april recap of the art projects that i didn't really do did....sort of.

i finally hung up my kelli murray picture that i am just obsessed with. is it not the cutest thing you've ever seen? it is. (click her name for a link to her shop.) and i won't disclose how long i searched for those hangers. or what type of things i called them because did you know they are simply called trouser hangers? well, okay then. and i made that "all you need is love" picture by stealing the idea from target and then putting a piece of burlap into a pretty frame and painting it. which is actually a lot harder than it sounds because you have to make sure the burlap is larger than the frame, you have to make sure you have enough paint or you will have to mix it again and you will probably come up with a completely different color and painting on burlap is not the easiest in the history of mediums. so that's that. i like it. and i'll like it more when i have a million more pictures and one really fun and crazy piece i'm planning for may with the kajillion hours of alone time i have. (boo.)

and that's my pretty little book case. i just rearranged everything and removed all of evan's weird books that weren't pretty enough and added a million little things that otherwise did not have a home. my favorite is that vintage frame i spray pained last month that i re-purposed as the "o." those LOVE letters are from our wedding and this is the first time i really included them in decorating. which is sad. do you like the really pretty black cord and camera charger? i do. the picture on the wall is smashed up rambling lyrics from the song "swing life away" by rise against. love. except i might re-do it. i don't know how i feel about it.

i've never really shared pictures of my house before. maybe because i'm finally get my act together and making it pretty? those are our lime green walls that don't look very lime green. turns out, i love them. i'm happy we tinted it a little darker (not so neon) and stuck with it.