It’s Just Been One of Those Days…

Let me note, that I have a powerpoint I need to make, a 30 page worksheet thing to finish, two papers to write, and worship team practice that all have to get done by tonight… These are not the things I SHOULD be getting done as well.  But I have to write.  I have to get this out.  It’s too much for a tweet or even one of my lengthy facebook statuses.  So alas, if you plan on reading this, you are planning on listening to me vent.

I have so much going on right now.  I can’t think straight.  I feel like I’m behind everywhere although I’m not.  These past couple of weeks have been really taxing.  And I’ve slipped into the classic Kelsey mode of “I can handle it.”  I can DO it with God’s help, but right now, I can’t “handle” it.

I lost my car this week to a lot of unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances.  That’s really tough.  I can’t get a second job off campus like I had wanted.  So now I have to get a job on campus.  I need a minimum of 20 hours a week to make my tuition payments and everywhere on campus pays minimum wage and has really crappy hours.  So, I’m stressing about that.  Plus, being out a car… it’s a huge difference.  I have to ask a friend for a ride if I want to go to target for prescriptions, razors, pantyhose… I can’t drive my friend to the hospital when they break their finger in the intramural football game… I can’t say to my friends “Hey, let’s go to applebees for half price apps tonight!”… I hate that.  I hate this.  I miss my car and to be honest I was really attached to it.  I had a lot of memories in that car.  It’s a serious blow.

The job I do have right now is great.  I love it.  I get to be apart of the major event planning on campus.  Wouldn’t trade it at all.  But it takes unforeseen time out of my schedule.  I’m used to working a for a few hours on two or three specific days of the week.  But with the nature of the events we’re working on right now, I’m finding myself handling work business outside of my work hours.  Welcome to the real world huh?  I just don’t have a lot of schedule consistency right now and I really am not a fan.  It will get better in a week or so.

My worship team is playing an all worship chapel on Friday.  So we have about 9 songs we’ve been preparing, but we’re not quite there yet.  And that’s stressing me out.

Sleep.  I’m not getting enough sleep and my sleep schedule is so whack.  Welcome to the life of a college kid.  I haven’t gone to bed before midnight in I don’t know how long… last night I finally got to sleep around 4am.  It’s like my first semester of college all over again.

Food.  My diet here is a joke.  I live off of starch and fat.   The fruit is always rotten.  The only vegetable that is consistently fresh and actually tasty is the spinach.  I honestly eat mostly rice and beans.   My friends notice it too and like to poke fun at how nasty it looks.  Plus I eat everything with gallons of hot sauce to either mask the weird flavor or make up for the flavor its lacking.  I really don’t know what else to eat.  My cafeteria is NOT vegetarian friendly.  They put meat in everything.  Burrito?  BEEF burrito.  Enchiladas?  CHICKEN enchiladas.  Grilled cheese?  Grilled HAM and cheese.  Pasta bake?  SAUSAGE pasta bake.  Every now and then they have a “vegetarian bar” that has limp celery, carrot sticks, sunflower seeds, beans, and hard boiled eggs that have turned green.   I’m sorry, what?  That’s what vegetarians eat for dinner?  I’ve been a vegetarian almost two years now and that’s not what I eat for a meal.  I don’t want to just fill up on french fries, mac n cheese, and cheese pizza… but sometimes when I’m tired of rice and beans, that’s all there is.  Cereal.  There’s lots of cereal.  But my body is so hungry.  It needs vitamins and minerals and protein.  GIVE ME PROTEIN!  The only protein sources I have here are eggs (when they have them), peanut butter, beans, and cheese.  And cheese does not count as protein.  Thank goodness I have quinoa and chobani in my apartment.

My schedule.  Agh.  Mondays and Tuesdays are horrors for me and Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays are spent catching up with what was put off because of the busy Mon/Tues.   I feel like I’m running like a chicken with its head cut off.

Church.  I miss being at Passion City Church.  I felt like my soul was REALLY fed there and I’m getting a little hungry.

Minnesota.  Gall I miss home.  So many sites my eyes wish to see.  So many places I want to be.  I want to go to Ritter Farm Park, and Indigo tea, and the Mall of America, and to the sculpture garden, and to the top of Buck Hill late at night, and to my back yard.   And the culture.  I miss Minnesota nice.

My friends.  I miss deep friendship.   I have a couple really close friends here, but I’m so busy!  I haven’t seen my best friend since June.  Heck, I haven’t seen most of my closest friends since my family moved from Minnesota.  That’s really taken a toll on me.  I miss feeling like someone was invested in me and I in them.

My family.  I miss my family.  I miss Zach’s sweet affection.  I miss being astounded by Philip’s brilliance.  I miss goofing around with Ruth and hearing her singing in her room.  I miss being a part of Joseph’s life.  I feel like he’s changing and learning so much and I’m not there for it.  I miss I miss having my mom as my friend.  Being the only ones we really knew in the state of Georgia really gave us time together and I miss that.  I miss my dad’s wisdom and peace.  He’s a place of stability for me and I’m really lacking that right now.  and heck, I miss my dog.  That old, fat, ugly thing.  I miss Lewis a lot.

EDIT:  I do not want to make it seem like I do not miss Haley, Cody, or Megan too.  I was listing off my family at home.  My sisters and brother in law are dear to me.  It just didn’t come naturally to list them when I was thinking about stuff I miss from home since they haven’t lived at home in many many years.

Today’s been rough for many reasons.  The lack of sleep certainly doesn’t help.  Oversleeping and missing chapel definitely didn’t help either.  My lunch of white rice, cheese pizza, and fruit loops DEFINITELY is not helping.   The overwhelming work load isn’t so great either, but what’s worse is that it feels really accomplishable, so I feel guilty for not being able to pound it out like I want to.  I also had time to be faced with the reality of one of my friends here leaving, and I don’t like it at all.  Don’t get me wrong  I really think they should go based on the circumstances.  But the selfish side of me doesn’t want to say goodbye.   BUT the big kicker of the day was class.

In one of my classes we’ve been asked to share our testimonies, our life stories, our spiritual journeys thus far.  I haven’t given my testimony in front of a group of more than 2 people in 3 years.  And even then, the big stuff of my testimony has happened in these past 3 years from the last time I shared it.  So, really.  I’ve never shared this part of my life with a large group of people.  God’s really been working on me to open up about my testimony, and I was all “yeah, cool God.  We’ll get to that.”  and God was like “Yes we will, we’ll get to that now.  Here’s your homework for this class!”  Holy buckets.   I am honestly so freaked about sharing my life story.  There’s parts of my story that I’ve only shared with a small handful of people.  There’s even parts that I haven’t talked with my siblings about.   Sharing this takes a huge leap of faith and a huge piece of vulnerability for me and I’m scared.  Every day we get to class and about 2 or 3 people share theirs per class at random.  I’m always freaking out about when it’s going to be my turn.  “Should I share today?”  “Should I go after he’s done?”

Today was awful.  I decided I needed to share mine today.  I was going to do it.  It was time.  I couldn’t keep going through class every MWF feeling so anxious.  I spent the entire class wringing my hands, shaking, breathing fast (which.. actually.. I always do anyways), and having to wipe my hands because my palms were so sweaty, just waiting for my chance to share.  My friend next to me was chuckling because of how nervous I was, and laughter helped… but I was still really anxious about my moment to share . Only guess what.  That moment never showed up.   So I headed back to my apartment frustrated with sweaty palms, a shaking body, a dizzy head, and a stomach ache like no other.  Anxiety blows.   It’s been over an hour since I got back from class and I’m still shaky and sweaty, despite the fact that I’ve just been sitting here doing nothing but drinking my tea.

I have a good life.  I have a good job, a good school, good friends, a good God.  Life is good and pleasant.  But I just feel like crying.  And I don’t mean like the sniffles and tearing up thing I’ve been doing while I’ve written this post.   I mean like a good, long, hard cry.  I feel like sobbing.  But I have no where to go.  Honestly, if I had my car.  I would grab some mascara and cover-up (for the aftermath), get in my car, drive to a park, and have at it.   But right now.  I’ve got no where.  There’s no place that I can go where there isn’t people around.  It’s tiresome keeping it together 24/7.  “But Kelsey, isn’t there someone you can go to?”  Yeah, there are lots of people I can go to, but I don’t want to.  I just want this emotional side of it all to be between me and God right now.  I hate showing emotions like this around people.   Ugh, I should probably be going back to Oasis (the counseling center here on campus).

I’ve spent an hour and a half writing this post that maybe 35 people will read according to my stats for most posts like this.   But whatever.  I needed to get all of this out.  I needed to vent.  And honestly, I do feel a little better now.   Moral of the story, life’s good but life sucks.  and it’s just one of those times when things are really stressful.  Really, I’ve never been so much at peace with where I am at with God, and I’ve never had as much self-esteem as I do now.  Two of the big things that usually eat at me couldn’t be better.  It’s just been a build up of unfortunate circumstances and I needed to get it out.

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My Thoughts On 9/11 – That Have Nothing To Do With Nationalism, Air Planes, or Terrorists.

I remember the day well, as most people do.  I remember the sadness, the fear, and frankly the confusion that I felt.  It’s a hard concept for a 9-year-old to wrap their mind around, but I understood that it was a horrifying tragedy.   Every year on the anniversary of the day I never know how to feel.

I want to jump on the bandwagon and post a status on facebook about today, but I fear that the more “facebook cause” like statuses that get posted, the more this day becomes like the “repost this if you’re against animal cruelty” photos that go around and that does an injustice to this day.  I would tweet something about being proud to be an American or how our nation has pulled together because of this, but let’s be honest, our country today is not what it was 11 years ago.   So then I turn to think about the day…

As the daughter of a pilot, I am reminded of the civilian tragedy side of 9/11.   Families who lost loved ones that were just doing their job or going about their normal lives.  And I think of all the families who’s main provider lost their job due to the airline industry falling apart.

As the daughter/granddaughter of veterans and the sister of an army soldier, I am reminded of the war on terrorism.   I think of the countless soldiers who gave their lives in service and the families who suffered loss, whether it was a life or just time without their loved one.

But this year, a new side of 9/11 sticks out to me that I want you to think about too.   Something else has captured my thoughts.   Last year, I was trying to convince myself it didn’t effect me.  But this year, as someone living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (and acknowledging it), I find myself thinking of those who struggle with PTSD as result of 9/11.

Over 10,000 people are said to have PTSD as a result of 9/11 and that number does not include the soldiers who have fought in the war on terror.  It’s easy to dismiss this, but I want to shed some light on the topic.

Imagine having to relive the worst day of your life over and over in your head.  The thoughts just waiting to be freed any second.  It could be a smell, the tone of someone’s voice, the face of a stranger that remarkably resembles the woman who was standing next to you at the time, the way a branch scrapes across your skin on your morning walk, a certain set of words, or emotions you feel about a completely unrelated event that can set you off.  Suddenly you’re swamped with thoughts. You may be in the middle of the mall, but your mind is back there.  You may be in a meeting at work, and your emotions start running wild.  You could be sitting in the back of a car out with friends, and your body starts sliding into a panic attack.

It’s scary, it’s embarrassing, and it’s just hard.  It’s not something I would wish on anybody, not even my worst enemies.

To think, we’re reminded of the tragedy of 9/11 every now and then, but to those thousands of people 9/11 has become a part of their life.  Those firefighters, witnesses, policemen, and survivors.  They have lived with 9/11 for 11 years.

Beyond the debilitating nature of the disorder, I especially think of the guilt that comes with it.  The “Why did I survive and he didn’t?” guilt.  The “I only witnessed it.  I wasn’t actually in the midst of it.” guilt.  The “My family and friends are tired of me talking about this” guilt.  or the “Why can’t I just get over it?” guilt.  And piling 11 years on top of it… that’s just torture.

I am beyond thankful for the many counselors and therapists who have helped the 9/11 PTSD victims cope with their symptoms.  To be honest, it is debated whether or not PTSD really ever goes away, and I’m sure for a lot of them, being 11 years removed from the event, they can say they no longer struggle with it or that they have come to a place where they find their symptoms quite manageable.  At the same time, there are many who struggle with PTSD who see 11 years as nothing compared to how long they’ve dealt with it.  Even if they have learned to handle the symptoms, keep in mind that memories like that don’t just go away.

So today, as you remember those who have died, those who have lost loved ones, and those who have fought because of the events that took place on September 11th, don’t forget the PTSD victims in your thoughts and prayers as well.

God bless our nation and God help us all.

The Year of Practicality

Well, here I am.  First day of school.  It’s my jophmore year… well, it’s my 3rd year, but I’m 1 credit short of being a junior.   So here I sit with my eggs and hot sauce in the school caf, sipping on some apple juice that tastes more like honey and liquid candy corn than it does apples.

I’ve been here on campus for almost 2 weeks now (has it really been that long!?) working non-stop with the orientation team.  It’s been crazy fun getting to know the new students.  I’m loving the friendships I find myself making.  At the same time, I’m exhausted from the 8am-dinner/8pm days I’ve been working everyday with out any extended down time.    I would love more time to just settle in with my old friends and new… but alas it’s Monday.

Now it’s supposed to be that time where I write about all the inspirational and overreaching things I have planned for myself this year, but honestly, I have nothing. I have goals, but a wise friend once said “I like to set my goals low, so I can actually achieve them.”  (bonus points if you know who said that).  So this year my goals are the practical bare minimum… cuz I have no room for anything else.

This year I’m trying to:
-Cut it with the irregularity in my one on one time with God.
-Not die from working 2 jobs and 2 ministries and doing them with excellence.
-Maintain, if not increase, my current G.P.A.
-Stay out of drama.

Really, that’s all I’m asking of myself this semester.  I have no social goals or expectations outside of that drama piece, because I would rather have a minimal social life than deal with the crap I did last semester.   I know what type of person I don’t mesh well with in the end, and I’ve been working since early this summer to avoid that.  Plus, setting expectations on your social life never seems to work out in a good way.

I’ve gone back and forth on wanting to set health goals for myself like working out everyday, but I’ve found that an inspired “I CAN DO THIS!  THIS WILL BE AWESOME!” Kelsey turns out to be a disappointed Kelsey.  I won’t drop the ball on my health, but I’m not getting fancy about it this year.

I just want to work hard, focus on my relationship with God, keep my head low, and stay afloat.   In all reality, I’m trying to keep it practical.   Practical.   Just a job well done with as few road blocks as possible… that’s not so hard to do right? ….right?

I’m Bringing Sexy Back

Yes sir.  You read that right.  I’m bringing sexy back.  Just like J.T.   Nahh, I’m just kidding.  I’m just bringing “her” back.  Who?  You know.  That one girl.  You’ve  met her before.  Red… Ariel…Raggedy Ann…Pippi Longstocking…Mary Jane…Poison Ivy…Phoenix…Lucy…Weasley…that chick with the red hair.  Unless of course, you find red hair sexy, then yes of course.  I am bringing sexy back.

Before….

After the first dye of Manic Panic’s Rock N Roll Red…

Now that’s Poison Ivy.  Yeah, just too bright red for me.  I needed a darker color with more of a brown/purple undertone to it.

So I got a box of Feria Ruby Fusion and put that on my hair.  I let it sit for about 15-20 minutes after I finish applying it and got this.


Great color.  Just a lot darker than what I was going for.  But I had the right base, so I washed my hair a few times  over a day or two with really hot water and got…


Notice how these pictures are going in a procession from makeup to no make up?  haha.   So I had a lighter color.  It was browner, but it was lighter and that’s what I needed.

THEN, I applied Manic Panic Rock n Roll Red again.  Left it on for 4 hours.. and got….

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about.  I’ll probably use Manic Panic’s Vampire Red to touch up the roots.

But yes, I love it.  I’m back.

I Feel So Crafty! – DIY Colored Jeans and Ombre Shirt

Summer is my best and worst friend.   I hate this heat and humidity, but I LOVE all the free time I’m getting to do DIY’s and recipes from pinterest.   Today I finished two DIY projects!

The first (and most extensive) was a project to refashion your ho-hum jeans into colored jeans.   This process took a couple days due to the amount of bleaching I had to do.  The first round of bleaching I did in my bathtub.

Here they are before…

I filled it up with enough water to cover the jeans, then added a half gallon of bleach.  Then bleached them for 3 hours turning them over every 30-45 minutes.   During this process I discovered that HOT water speeds up the bleaching process, so I was running back and forth from the bathroom to the kitchen with pots of boiling water.  That didn’t lighten the jeans up enough, I was out of bleach, and it was nearing 1am.  So I threw them in the wash alone with no detergent then hung them up to air dry.

The second round of bleaching, I got a big bucket.  Filled it up with boiling water, poured in a (freshly bought) half gallon of bleach, then put the jeans in making sure they were all covered by the water.  I bleached those for 4 hours.  The last hour or so was just bleaching the thighs of the jeans because they were determined to hold onto what little blue they had left.  Ironically the thighs were the lightest part of the jeans when I started out this project.  After 4 hours, I still had this weird baby blue, mint green, pastel yellow pair of jeans.

but I had heard horror stories of bleach eating through the denim.  So, I washed these by themselves in the washing machine with no detergent once and with detergent twice.  And in the morning I had (mostly) white jeans!

In this picture I put a (brand new) white shirt on top so you could compare the colors.


Then I washed out that bleach bucket, filled it with boiling water again, mixed in the dye (and salt) and dyed the jeans for maybe 30 minutes?  I was kind of doing 5 things at once and it was boiling hot outside with a lot of humidity, so I kind of lost track of time.  I used rit dye’s sunshine orange and scarlet mixed together, because according to their website it would produce this lovely peachy coral shade.

and I was really hoping for a pair of coral jeans ala Kate Middleton.  
What I got (after dying them for about 30 minutes in highly concentrated water, then rinsing, washing, and drying them) was….

A little TOO orange… I think I would’ve preferred a mix of the two outside colors.. and this orange is not a mix of those two.   So I ran to the store and bought a box of petal pink RIT dye and dyed the jeans for a few hours.  Then rinsed them and washed them twice and I got….


My little brother Zach thought he’d be funny and make fun of me in my pictures.  It was too precious to not include in here.   One of my biggest concerns was how the back would look because of all the stitching on the pockets (knowing the thread wouldn’t take the bleach or dye) and I’ve heard that peach/coral isn’t a very flattering color for your…ermmm… backside.   AND AS AWKWARD AS THIS PICTURE MAY BE…


And if you think this picture is awkward, try asking your little sister to take the picture for you.    I think the stitching on the pockets is one of my favorite parts.  And the funny thing is.. these pants feel bigger on me than they did when I started this process… hmmm..  I still don’t LOVE the color.  I wish it was a little more pink, but its a DIY.  Beggars can’t be choosers right?  To think… These started out as a regular pair of blue jeans.

The second DIY project I did was an ombre shirt.  By the way, I’m a little confused.. I’ve been saying ombre like ohm-bray.  But I’ve heard some people calling it ahm-bre.  Which is it!?

ANYWAYS, the only difference between how I did my shirt and how the girl in the video did her’s was that I did not section of the shirt with rubber bands.  I didn’t want those white tie-dye lines, but I did section off a part of the shirt (the point where I didn’t want the color to pass).   And when I was dipping my shirt, the first dip was in water with just a little bit of dye and I added more dye with every dip.

So ya, I dyed it then hung it upside down and used a spray bottle to spritz cold water on the lines where the different shades met so they would blend together and not be… well… lines.


The shirt was a brand new shirt from Marshall’s.  And it’s HUGE!  It’s one of those shirts that you definitely need a cute belt and accessories to make it look right.  Seriously, I could be 9 months pregnant and it would still fit… Hmmm… I hope if I ever have kids that ombre will still be in then, I may have just scored myself a fashionable maternity shirt for an entire pregnancy.  Think, it would be a great “hide the baby bump” shirt for when you’re not telling anyone yet, it would fit all the way through the pregnancy, and then it would work as a “hide the baby fat” shirt after you had the baby.   BUT seeing as how I’m no where close to even getting married anytime soon, I should just think of it as a cute shirt… or give it to my sister whenever she decides to make me an Aunt!  (incentive- Get pregnant.  Kelsey gives you an awesome shirt)

DEAR GOODNESS, where have I gone with this!?  ANYWAYS, at the end of the dying, spraying, hanging, and washing.  I came out with this…


I love how it looks in the sunlight.   I guess I should’ve taken off that rubber band before washing the shirt…  I wanted richer color, so I dyed it again, and dyed it in the pink dye for the jeans for a bit.
See what I mean about it being a good maternity shirt?  Hahah, I’m happy with the result.  Might not be my favorite color, I would’ve preferred it to be the red color it was when I dyed it… but I think it would look really good with navy, stripes, maybe black too.

So ya.  There’s my crafty exploits of the past couple days.   Pretty fun huh?

Vows

Being a counseling major and taking a lot of psychology classes, I often run into a concept called “internal vows.”  These are promises we make to ourselves or rules we live our lives by, often used as a coping mechanism or a way of protecting ourselves.  So I wondered what kinds of vows I make to myself.  I discovered that most of my “vows” were refusals.  So I compiled them together into a list.  I am not saying that all of these are healthy, I am not saying that I still live by all of these, and, of those I do live by, I am not saying I do a very good job of it either.   Some of them are very old ones I have grown out of, some are very old ones I still stick by today, and some are very new.

I refuse…

-to stay put
-to not be heard
-to be a doormat
-to be seen as nagging
-to live like life is a formula
-to think I am not important
-to not take control of my life
-to let you see how you’ve hurt me
-to give you the chance to hurt me
-to sit in a cycle of problems I can fix
-to conform to what you want me to be
-to make foolish decisions in order to be “nice”
-to pick at the little problems I should let go of
-to let my anger control my tongue… ˅ or if it does ˅
-to be immature by plastering the internet with my emotions.
(There are SO many blog drafts I’ve deleted because of this rule)
-to EVER have anyone hear me verbally disrespecting my parents
-to make guarantees or ultimate refusals that you can hold against me
-to be sucked into a situation where I am stuck feeling like I’m not myself
-to not step up to a role I have the capability, resources, and desire to fill
-to be an unnecessary problem, annoyance, or hindrance to someone else
-to be disappointed in ways I’ve been before and should have learned from

(yes, I had to structure it into a pyramid… haha)  These are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head, so I know I left some out, but it was interesting to see what makes me tick the way I do.  I wonder what kinds of effects these vows have had on my life… or why some rules could cause me to break another, and yet I choose to follow both.  It’s just all around interesting.

What are some rules that you live YOUR life by?

A Great Romance

There is a man who loves me.
Cherishes me.  Pursues me.
I haven’t always appreciated him.
And still he fights for me.
I was disgraced.  Justice burned in his heart.
I was rebellious.  Sadness welled in his eyes.
I was broken.  Determination set on his face.
He rose up.  Left everything behind.
Disregarding expectations.
He gave up all life had for him.
And he chose to stand by my side.
He romanced me.  Spoke of the life we could have together.
He promised all he had for me.
He told me stories of his home and his dad.
Said he couldn’t wait to take me there.
He was beautiful. He loved without bound.
But there was something wrong.
He knew I wasn’t ready.  He knew I needed help.
I could not just give my heart over in the state it was in.
I was not ready to go home with him.
I was not prepared for his intimate love.
I was not prepared for his father to see me.
He knew what stood in my way.
My enemies.  My past.
And he said “I can handle it.”
I was ready to just give up,
But he knew he could take it on.
He pursued me beyond what any love had done before.
My heart sealed away in chains,
He entered the great romance.
And every assailant attacking me took it out on him.
He beared the pain, the weight, the grief.
His father turned away.
He said, “Give it all to me.” And took it to his death.
And with his blood, my heart flew free.
He stands against every attack on me, his bride to be.
He is the greatest lover who cherishes and delights in me.
He makes me beautiful in my disgrace.
He pursues me to any end.
He is the love of my life.
He wrote our ultimate love story.
He is my comfort, my life, my groom.
He is the King of kings.

My Grandpa

My grandpa passed away today… or technically yesterday since it’s 1am.  I spent the day going through pictures of him.  Then I was reminded of something I wrote one night.  Earlier that day I had visited my grandpa in his nursing home.  This was back at the beginning of January this year.  My dad, mom, and I stopped by to see him on our way from Atlanta to South Carolina.   That night I talked to a friend about it all and took a lot of those thoughts into a journal entry.   This was the last time I saw my grandpa.  I was really helped by reading what I had written that day, and decided I would post it here.

We walked in and my grandpa was sitting on a couch.  We said hello.  Grandma asked if he knew who my dad was.  He simply said “no.”  It didn’t seem to bother him as if he thought my dad was a new person to meet, not someone people were expecting him to remember.  They introduced my dad to his father as “your baby boy.”

My dad was really good with him.  They talked about house repairs, boats, airplanes, cars… stuff he knew my grandpa would just know.  Not things he would have to remember.  He spent the entire time just leaning in listening to whatever my grandpa had to say.  They were so close to each other that my grandpa’s feet were resting on top of my dad’s.  They talked about building fences, how much sleep he’s getting, how his dentist is doing, about the “uptight man from Baldwin.”  Whatever my grandpa could find to say.   He was very quiet… but it did my heart good to hear his voice.

And their eyes.  Their eyes were the same.  The window of the soul and I could see my dad in him.

I almost fell apart, right near the beginning.  He had been staring at the floor, not shifting his gaze.  Then, while my grandma and parents were busy talking to each other…. He looked up, locked eyes with me, and smiled.

It was him and me.  Just for that moment.  I had his attention, I had his eyes, I had his smile.  His eyes that had seemed dulled and vacant just moments before twinkled at me as if he and I had some little secret just between the two of us.   I smiled back at him.

When we left, I hugged him and told him that it was good to see him and that I loved him.  My mom offered to take a picture of us together.  And I said I was ok without it…I figured I would just be a bother.  I wish now I had asked for it though.

When we got back in the car, the mood was very solemn.  Everything was quiet.  Although I was sad and had a feeling that it was the last time I would ever see my grandpa… I had a peace about it all.  There was one thing I was leaving with that brought me comfort.  I was leaving with that moment we locked eyes… that moment he smiled at me.

This is where I stopped writing.

My grandpa was a good man… a God-fearing, hard-working, loving man.

He was the father to my dad and his siblings



He was the grandfather and great-grandfather to  me, my siblings, and my many cousins (first and second) who are not all pictured here.

He was the husband to my amazing grandma

For almost 65 years…  (I actually found a picture of their marriage license the other day and have that saved to my computer… September 13th, 1947)


He was sweet.

And he was funny.  I think one of my favorite stories about my grandpa was the time that he and my grandma were out at the lake together.  My grandma (who’s maiden name is Troutt) got caught on a fishing hook.  When they returned to the group, my grandpa proudly displayed his “catch” and said “Look!  I caught a Troutt!”

My grandpa was a wonderful man…
From his days as little Ronny, the redheaded boy with all the sisters…

To his adulthood

To his days as my loving grandfather


To the last day I saw him

To February 19th, 2012.  The day he peacefully passed away.

I love my Grandpa and I will miss him.
I thank God for the time I had with him,
for the memories,
and for the blessing of being able to leave him that day with that moment we had and telling him I loved him.
So much of who he was has been passed down to make me the way I am.
I am proud to be his granddaughter.

Though this is a very sad and somber time for my family and I,  we are celebrating his entrance into the kingdom.

God bless you Grandpa Harding.
Rest in peace.

Lockdown

I saw a blog the other day that was just pictures and small captions of how the picture represented how the blogger was feeling.  So I thought to myself, what would I be if I was a picture?  But that’s about as far as I got with that thought.

However, with a lot of  new things in my life lately, I’ve been analyzing how I feel and trying to figure out why I feel that way.   I’ve been confusing myself A LOT lately, I can feel great about something one minute… but then apprehensive about it the next and with no reason to feel that way.  I’ve been finding myself worried about things that make me happy.

That’s when my picture popped in my head… only I couldn’t actually take a picture of it… so I drew it.


That’s me.  Steel plated, chained, and locked.   And I like it that way.   Why?  Because it’s safer.   I’ve got Jesus in here with me.  My family has a natural ability to loosen the chains and melt the steel.  I have a friend or two that I unlock it for on occasion.  But someone new?  I don’t think I can let in anyone new.

If there’s anything life has shown me in the past two years, it’s that appearances can be deceiving.  I have too many people in my life who seem to have good intentions that end up being fickle or manipulative.  People I think I can trust, prove themselves otherwise.

I trust people that I’ve known for years, but letting someone new in is just too risky.  I mean yes there are people I feel like I can learn to trust, but they are rare, few and far between, and it will be a long time before that can happen.  I just get this feeling about them.. this feeling that I can trust them.  Like the feeling I got about my friend in my last post.  The problem is, I barely ever meet people I feel like I can trust.

I have made the mistake of trusting people that I haven’t had that feeling about and it hasn’t turned out well.  So until I have a better grasp of how to determine who I can let in, I’m on lock down. God’s got a lot of work to do here…. these are things I should talk about at oasis….

The point being, this hurts me and it hurts those around me.  Because there are people in my life that feel promising, but I just haven’t gotten that “ya, they’re good.”  Connect with them yet.  No confirmation.  I can act like we’ve got that connect, but I can’t actually let the openess and vulnerability happen.  I’m afraid of hurting people, because the longer I’m on this fence of “can I trust them or not?” the closer I get to shut down mode.  I become hypersensitive to their every action, and if they do one little thing to worry me, my mind blows it up out of proportion and I hide from them.

I’ve been in this “I can’t let myself get hurt” mindset for a while now, and was actually getting better at bringing my walls down.  But wouldn’t you know just when I think I can let loose, things just blow up in my face again.  The walls are back up people.

So ya, I may be transparent on here, but I’m not telling you guys everything.  And yes, I can be good friends with people, but there’s a level of comfort and openness missing from a lot of relationships for me on the inside.

People can’t be trusted.  That is a fact.   I’m not naive to think there are people that are ALWAYS trustworthy.  But frankly, I’m only interested in risking that trust on people that I know are important enough in my life to get past the times they let me down.  And I specifically use the phrase “let me down.”  I know my family will let me down, but they will never betray me.  I know my best friends will let me down, but they will never carelessly hurt me.  I trust those who I know want to treat me in love, even in their mistakes.  And if I don’t know whether or not you will betray me or carelessly hurt me, chances are you’re not going to be trusted with very much.

At this point, I’m rambling.  So ya… I’m trying to remember that loving someone does not mean you trust them.  I’m trying to learn who I can let in.  I’m trying to figure out why I’m so apprehensive about things that make me happy and only seem to be good.  I’m trying to be careful while at the same time not hurting people.  And I’m trying to protect myself.   “Above all else guard your heart” (what exactly does that mean????)  I know Satan does a good job of snaring me in anger and holding grudges.  So I’m protecting myself even more than normal, because, yes I don’t want to be hurt, but even more so… I don’t want to get caught up in anymore anger than I have been already.

Ugh… where am I going with this?

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you… the world’s worst ending to a blog post….. pineapples.