Thursday, September 29, 2011

magic dress

There's this dress I have....a cute summer dress.
There's really nothing fancy about it-a sleeveless cream-colored dress with flowers on it..

Except. EXCEPT's magical.

Once upon a time I was dating a boy-a boy perfect for me (SPOILER ALERT:I eventually married him). And then I broke up with him. But then...maybe a week or one day later, I realized I had made the BIGGEST mistake of my life. So I started to scheme ways to "bump" into him...give us a chance to rekindle our love.

So...I put on my dress (at this point I was not aware of its magical-ness), curled my hair up all pretts...and planted myself daintily in front of La Plata to "do homework" (right at the time my lost love may or may not have had class).

And....sure enough, he had to walk right by me. And even though we hadn't spoken since the break up, he stopped (cause he's polite) and we made small talk. And then. oh THEN, the magic began to happen...he told me I looked pretty.

"you look pretty", he said.

And hope, what wondrous HOPE. My heart swelled (three sizes at least, the Grinch got nothing on me!) I am positive that as soon as he turned the corner I gathered my "homework" and ran to my apartment. The roomies had to know I still had a chance.

This dress..well, I can't be positive, but I'm pretty sure it's what sparked the "campaign" idea.

(And, I'll have all of you know, my dress is still magical, to this day. When I wear that dress, people hold elevators for me, open doors, smile, say hello. All is right in the world when I am in that dress. I use it's powers wisely and only break it out a few times a year....can't let the magic wear out of that baby!)
sometimes theresa scratches the coat closet next to the front door.

stands and paws it for minutes at a time. Obviously, he wants it to be opened.

My debate is whether I have been right when I suggest he has a "thing" about closed doors( also windows)-must meow at and paw all of them, or if he is simply confused by the closet and front doors proximity and just desperately needs to go outside....

The latter explanation wouldn't explain his behavior with the bathroom, or Elder bedroom door.

His meow sounds just like a certain student of mine's whine.

walk it out

It began with a walk. Well, weekly one's really. Dark, gritty, busy, talkative, interruptive walks, often saddening and hilarious.

And once we started dating we kept it up. To that little park-Addenbrook (right ccu'ers). Long talks, hand holding, lots of tears, lots of laugh, escapes from chaplain kids and nosey roommates. Eventually we photographed our engagement pictures there.

That first year of marriage it was the walks that kept me sane. An escape, a time to reconnect, re-center ourselves in a busy life. Loved our silent "blizzard " walks, not even our feet crunching in the soft thick snow.

It's something I've missed this last year. We just haven't taken walks much. We did last night...well a walk/run. And it was nice, Belleview Park is nice. Kissing under the stars is nice.

Marriage advice-take walks together. =)


I got to know my husband walking Colfax street. Yes, it's true.

I guess it all started before then, the semester before (my first at CCU). I transferred in mid-year. I had one friend already attending CCU, and I guess we hung out...I really don't remember. She was doing her thing, I was trying to figure out my thing (whilst working full time and being a full time student. I think my thing was energy drinks, coffee, and diet coke and barely making it to anything I needed to be at).

The other half of "my thing" was figuring myself out. I fell in with a crowd of people that weren't the most positive influence, and by the end of my first semester I was disgusted with who I was.

I left that year hoping for and pursuing change. I asked myself what kind of person I wanted to be. And then I asked myself "how do I become the person I want to be?".

I spent a lot of time reading-the bible (the whole thing that summer!), and other books. And that was helpful-purified my heart and mind. But I also, more, or at least as importantly, realized that a person becomes who they hang out with (what your parents say is true!), and I needed to surround myself with people that had the qualities I desired to possess.

That's where Mark came in. Really and truly.
With the start of the year my mission began.
By chance,I was blessed with a fantastic group of roommates.
I also began my internship in the missions department of CCU, and there encountered an incredible woman/co-intern/ccu student named Lauren. Her heart was (and still is!)a heart of gold. Oh, I learned so much from her.

Beyond those people, as I surveyed the student body, the only other person that came to mind, that possessed unquestionable character, was Mark.

I watched him. I noticed his ways... I got involved in the things he was involved in. I re-learned joy, loving the unloveable, the power of a smile, to bask in the simple things, innocence.

Those things were so important for me-so life-giving and life changing. And then I re-learned some other things funny I could be, how interesting some people may think I am, how other people can share my heart for the poorest of the poor, how a gentle man can command my attention, and so much more...

And, boy howdy, it was those second things I learned that really did me in. I was smitten.

I loved getting to know Mark. I started volunteering with a homeless ministry called Fatboys on Thursday nights (not JUST because of Mark), and although there were multiple "routes", I eventually ended up working the one Mark led-Colfax to Day Labor. So ya....that's where I got to know him...walking down Colfax on Thursday evenings. I loved it. (and, side note, I love that we started our "friend" relationship serving alongside each other. Ministry with Mark is my absolute favorite thing to do with him.)


This Sunday I will be celebrating my two year wedding anniversary with my beloved Mark.

Wow-2 years! In so many ways time has flown by, I can't believe it's been two years since we read our vows together, danced it up to Over the Rhine, shared that first married garlic kiss,(since my dad and I's infamous Jai Ho performance), just...since.

In other ways I can't believe it's just been two years. I don't remember doing life without a husband. I don't remember how I planned dinner, planned my weekend, planned my's as if he was always apart of my life, my thoughts, my decision making.

I like that.

In honor of my swoos, my babe, my husband, spoon, shwees....WHATEVER you wanna call him (and no, none of those names are for you, except maybe spoon...if you were there way back when that was used) I am going to be writing some posts about him. us. our beginning, our now, our whatever.

Enjoy. (and congratulate us!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A wise friend just told me

"Too many options are better then no options".

And that is true, boy how I know that's true (cus I've sure been in the "no options" camp quite a lot the last few years)...


I'm a worrier. And I like to have a plan. And I was really fine with just the one option....

Praying. Trusting. Leaning.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Today a new student joined the 3 year old class.

Only thing is...he'd been coming to school since the start-about a month ago now.

Where oh where had that sweet three year old been all this time? a first grade classroom.

Absolute madness.

Between he and I....

Sooo on Monday we went to the clinic to get a few immunizations, and oh boy, my husband...we are quite the pair, he and I. He was wearing a long sleeve button up shirt, and asked the nurse if he needed to take it off to get his shots. The nurse said, "no, you don't HAVE to take it off" -meaning, the other option was he could roll his sleeves up. Mark replies "cool-then I'll just have the shots through my shirt then". I died. Could not contain my laughter for the next 5 minutes. I love that man of mine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Hey friends! Check this out!

The Story

A few months ago I went to a "Digital Storytelling Workshop". Here is the result-can't wait to get to do this again!

House Sitting-House Spying

Mark's uncle lives in the Denver area, and we have been house sitting for him for the last 3ish weeks. (He's been getting MARRIED in Mazatlan and honeymooning... everywhere-congrats Joe & Claudia!).

THe neighborhood he lives in is in the thick of Suburbia, and there are a few houses being built down the street from him.

Over one weekend we spent there, we went on a walk to pick up the mail. During our walk, we passed one of the houses under construction. This brought on a flood of childhood memories...

We moved to Mustang, Oklahoma when I was in the 1st grade. After living in a rent house (in which my sole memory involves my beloved Lassie Dog, a heat vent, an ugly burn on my stuffed animal, and a fear of house fires) we bought property in a developing neighborhood and built a house. Half of our neighborhood was older houses, but the other half, the street we lived on, were houses under construction. Ohhh we kids and our neighbors-Kim and Erica-had a HAYDAY! We would leave out our backyard (our backyard backed up to a barbed wire fence and cow pasture)and wreak havoc on the construction crews.
Because of the cow pasture, most of our neighbors didn't build fences in the back of their yards, just the sides. We could enter/exit anyones yard by slipping through the barbed wire. We were suprisingly skilled at moving in and out and through that fence at top speeds.
Our favorite past time that first year, was to play in the houses as they were being built. We started out cautiously-we played in the houses the crews weren't working on that particular day-dolls, games, hide and seek, house, whatever.

But that soon got boring.

So somehow, the game changed that we would play in the houses WHILE the construction crews were working on them. We would sneak through the barbed wire, enter the house through a door/window, and then quietly tiptoe through the house-giggling at our sneakiness, spying on the workers. I have a vivid memory of
playing in a room,
hearing someone coming,
hiding in a closet (one with the sliding doors),
and a construction man opening the doors and finding me.

So what did I do?

Ran to the window and jumped out of it. =)

We got yelled at everytime, but it was addicting-hiding from our unknowing seekers.

Best year ever. (maybe tied with the one that Dominique Moceanu had that AWESOME floor routine during the olympics...that inspired daily olympic practice on the beam (a long wooden board used to distinguish the flower bed from the rest of the yard), a floor routine practiced on the trampoline, and lots of ponytails and instrumental music.

my girls

"Do you know what my favorite song is?"

ME: "Soe Paw, of course I know what your favorite song is." Dear girl, I know ALL your favorites. (Justin Biebs Eenie Meenie)

"Whoa! Look at that city!!!"

ME:"Oh Girls, that's not a city, that's a hospital."

"Is that where they hurt kids?"

ME:"Hurt kids? No...that's where kids who are already hurt or sick go, so they can feel better."

"I wish you were my mom".

ME: "I love you all so much, and you have the BEST mom that loves you the most."

"Justin Bieber died"

ME: "hmmmm, interesting. I'm not sure he did."

"Can we go to the puddles after ChuckECheese?"

ME: Nooo...remember how you get cold in the puddles (a creek at a park by our house) when it's really warm outside, well today it's cold and rainy, so I don't think you'd like the puddles."

"I want to work a store"

"I want to be a doctor...because I wanna help not be died".

ME: quiet smile. =)

Gosh, they've grown up. I'll never forget their first day here. I was waiting in their apartment for my friends to bring them home from the airport. They stepped through the door and stood to the left of it, right against the wall. It seemed they were too overwhelmed to come in even a foot more. They carried two bags with them-all they had from their whole life. And the girls....haha, their hair cut so short I was convinced the paperwork was incorrect, and they were in fact boys. (I actually wondered their gender for multiple months, honest truth.)
There were sooo many car rides of ABSOLUTE silence.So much silence in general... Soe Paw didn't smile in my presence for 2 and a half years.

Wow how they've changed. They want to tell me everything, and they do. I love the way their minds work, love watching them try to piece together this world, American culture. I have an honored role in their lifes. It is I, not Mom or Dad, that can answer their questions about life here. Sometimes I worry, fret about the inability for their parents to fulfill typical parental roles in their new lifes here. But in the meantime, I do what I can.

My girls. Soe Paw and YeYe Nwet. Their cousins La Ku Paw, Eh Law, Eh Ler Soe, Eh Ler Say. The Boys. Saw A K, Eh Ta Ba, Eh Nar Do, Eh Dor Htoo, Eh Ka Tha.

So blessed to know these people.

Monday, September 19, 2011


It all began a number of years ago. We both worked at SB, and one particularly slow night a conversation about Hoods was initiated by the one, and the other....had to engage.

And then shortly after, there was a realization that a certain STEPHEN KING had become something of a mystical creature, a god almost, in some circles. To us, added competition.

After these two occurrences we decided we really must hang out outside of Starbucks, must try and get to know each other a little better.

And...well. Her dad was a pastor, like mine. And, wasn't your mom a piano teacher like mine had been? And we'd both moved during our teen years. And we'd both had some hard times, and some dumb "boyfriends", and had needed a little extra help sometimes.

And we were both Global Studies majors, and both so passionate about some things we just might explode sometimes. And she'd broken up with a boy, and then dated him again in the hopes of marrying him (and that was my curent campaign).

And so...well, that was that. Friends, instantly.

And after the campaign was won, 2009 the Year of Marriage, was initiated.
And then there were the plans for the SWITCHEROO.
And then we got married a few weeks apart. We became neighbors. We each bought our first "babies". We threw Christmas parties, fought squirrels, walked through blizzards to get to Snooze....we did it all.

And then we joked...what if we moved in together?
And then we did do that....for 15 months now.
And now there are plans for 2014?5? year of babes!

AND....all that to say. I love my friend Beth! (and her husband Nick!). And I love coming home to people, eating dinner with friends, having traditions and jokes, games and words, conversations and laughs about all that we share in life right now.

And when the time comes that this part of our life is over...I will be truly sad not to live with our best friends. (even though sometimes sharing is hard).

And when the times comes...whether it's next year or 4 years or 20 years from now, that Mark and I are looking for an apartment here in the states...I know I will wish we could all be neighbors (and maybe even roommates) once more.