Friday, December 30, 2011

The Beautiful

I’ve often thought that if Colorado was entered in a beauty pageant, she would win it.

She has the sun, she has the mountains, the plains, the foothills, lakes… not to mention indescribable sunsets. 

I managed to catch one of those tonight as I was in the car traveling toward the mountains.  I reached the top of a hill and suddenly the Rockies were spread out before me, like a glorious picture. 

The sun was starting to disappear behind them and a light like sweet honey was being cast upon the frontier.  (I suppose I tend to associate beauty with different tastes.) 

Anyway, it was one of those moments in which I found my breath caught in my throat.  Cliché, but true. 

It was one of those beautiful moments in which, even though I had my camera, I let my eyes take it in instead.    

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Dusty 6-String

I brought my guitar home from Seattle, thinking that I would have plenty of time to sit down, play it, and maybe write a few songs. 

I didn’t take it out of its case until today, which means it sat in my room for three weeks before I bothered to play it.  I don’t understand why I allowed that to happen, since playing music is one of the most important balances in my life.  I constantly listen to music, but a huge part of me loves creating my own. 

If I’m having a bad day, I can sit down on the piano and be calm within minutes.  If I need to release pent up emotions I can write a fitting song on the guitar. 

I fully understand the importance of music therapy. 

When I first pulled my guitar out, I brushed it off (a sign I hadn’t played it in far too long), and I sat upon my bed and ran my fingers across the strings.

Only to be greeted by the horrible noise of 6 strings playing all of the wrong notes. 

I quickly tuned it, then played Blackbird by the Beatles, one of my favorite songs. 

I let out a breath.  I missed this so much, why didn’t I bother to pick it up earlier? 


I let my fingers take control, and before I knew it I had made up half a song.  None of it was written down of course, but it had been waiting all this time to be let out. 

If I remember correctly it had something to do with bringing the sun back to Seattle. 

Fitting for a Colorado girl. 


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When the World is Silent and I am Still

I love watching movies in the theatre late at night.  And I love having a couple of my best friends come along.  The company can make or break a movie, no matter how good or terrible it may be.

One of my closest friends brought some pain meds for me, since I had asked her to.  I came straight from babysitting and had a terrible headache from the dentist appointment I had earlier (which I survived, if you were curious—and my teeth have been decavitized…yes, I just made that word up on the spot). 

The movie, Sherlock Holmes, was highly enjoyable and I found myself captivated by the plot.  My favorite parts were probably the comic relief, because that’s simply the kind of mood I’m in.  I can stand the tension, but I would much rather laugh. 

After the movie was over the three of us split up to go home, one on her own and the other with me.  I had been exceedingly cold before entering the theatre but I was suddenly very content with the temperature of the frigid air and didn’t mind taking my time to get to the car.  (My poor friend was freezing so I quickly turned the heat on for her.) 

On the drive home we discussed friendships and how they’ve changed since we left high school, and how we must decide whom we really want to stay in touch with.  It’s a decision that’s been more prominent since we've been home and something that has been on my mind lately. 

After I dropped her off, and waited to make sure she was safely inside, I drove the 10 seconds down the street to my own house and parked in the same place I have for 2 years.  What Hurts the Most by the Rascal Flatts was playing on the radio and I sat in the car and sang along with it.  It's a song that has nothing to do with my life at the moment—I was surprised to find that I still knew all of the lyrics even though I probably hadn’t heard the song all the way through since sophomore year of high school. 

When it ended I turned the radio off, gathered my belongings, and stepped out into the winter air. 

All was silent. 

I began to walk across the snow but the crunching noise under my boots disturbed the soundless night. 

So I stopped and took my time to breathe and take in my surroundings.

I wasn’t cold.  Not in the least.  I watched as I blew a cloud of my breath into the air—it hovered before me, floated, then dispersed. 

I looked up at the cloudless night (something I’m still amazed by after spending a few month in Seattle).  It was breathtaking and beautiful.  I sought out the constellation Orion, and my eyes settled on the middle star. 

Mine.  I inwardly claimed it in 6th grade. 

It remains constant and I love searching it out.  I love the summer, because it’s warm.  But I love the winter because my star is in the sky.  I’ve begun to notice the subtle tipping of the earth after all these years of looking for it.

So there I was, standing in the freezing cold, looking at the sky, breathing… and not wanting to move a muscle.

I felt as if I could lie down and sleep right there.  (However, my inner reasoning did manage to tell me that idea was anything but wise.)

For minutes, it was just me between the pavement and the stars.  No one else existed.  At one in the morning I doubt many other people were awake in my neighborhood.   

In music library in my head began to sing how great is our God, sing with me how great is our God, and all will see how great, how great, is our God. 

It’s the moments like that when I feel closest to Him.  It’s when I take the time to be still and to soak his creation in.

When I’m there I never want to leave.     

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Day Late

I’ve been taking the past few days off from writing.  There were really so many great things to write about, so I’m not sure why I didn’t write them down.  Now that I’ve decided it’s time to start back up again I almost can’t figure out what to say. 

I think I’ll leave everyone with this:

Merry Christmas! (a day late)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Seattle in my Eyes

Apparently my eyes have changed.

I think I’ve noticed this a little bit.  Some days they seem bluer or greener than they have been in the past.

Two of my friends pointed this out tonight, and agreed together that they are definitely different than they were before.

At first I had no idea why or how they could have changed.  

And then I thought about it a little more. 

My eyes have a bit of Holland in them, because that is where they first opened and took sight of the world.

They have a sprinkle of Ohio in them because I’ve spent more vacation time there than I have anywhere else, and that is where both of my parents are from. 

They obviously posses a lot of Colorado—this is where I've grown up and where most of my heart belongs.  My eyes have seen more wonderful Colorado sunsets than I can begin to count.  

So I told my friends, “I think they have some Seattle in them now.”

That’s why they’ve changed.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Mood the Dentist Puts Me In

I woke up grumpy.

I knew where I was headed. 

It’s the place where they always manage to tell me every single time that something is wrong with me.  My mouth is far from perfect.  My teeth may be straight, but nothing else is how it should be.

The dentist puts me in a mood.  It’s rare that I have a perfect report, and today I definitely didn’t.  It’s not my fault that my teeth are shaped in a way that makes it impossible to brush and floss them correctly. 

These are the things I found out at the dentist today:
My gums are receding… I’m hypersensitive… I have two cavities in the very back… not to mention I have some dentistry cement left on a tooth that has a crown on it.  (Why they didn’t remove it on the same day I had my crown put on, I do not know.)

The gums issue is caused by the fact I clench my teeth when I’m sleeping and the hypersensitivity is nothing new.  You think they would be willing to accept the fact that’s it’s painful when a tool jammed against your gum line to remove plaque.  But no, I’m just hypersensitive. 

During these visits I often find myself thinking I would rather be a caveman and let all my teeth fall out.  But when I told my Mom that she reminded me they only lived until they were 40.  Dang. 

At some point the lady who was cleaning my teeth gave me a mirror and taught me to floss, which I’m pretty sure I knew how to do but maybe I’ve forgotten after the dozens of lessons I’ve been given.  Who knows!

As I was holding the mirror I smiled at my Mom who was sitting nearby.  She came in to see how I was doing since she knows I don’t exactly get along with the people at the dentist.  She actually probably came in to make sure I was being polite.  Believe me, I try…. most of the time. 

Later after I was fully “diagnosed” and my Mom and I were driving home I asked her, “Did you see me smile at you when I was holding the mirror?”

She thought about it.  “Yes, I think so.”

“Well, that’s when I was imagining hitting the lady with it.” (Real mature, right?) 

I got lectured for that one.  I deserved it. 

On a final note, I’m very happy I have wonderful teeth, and a wonderful smile... I'm just not very tolerant of the process it takes to keep it that way.     

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Sound of Snow

This is the kind of weather that I love.
It’s the kind that allows me to drink hot chocolate,
Or build a snowman.
It’s the kind that lets me snowboard
Or sit by a welcoming fireplace.
It’s the kind that lets me catch a snowflake
On my tongue—and it’s the life in me
That makes it melt. 
It’s the kind that gives me the opportunity
To pave a completely fresh path on my own,
And it’s the kind that makes me feel
Anything but alone.
It’s also the kind that takes hardly an effort to paint,
And the kind that doesn’t have much color,
But it’s also the kind that makes the world
Look a little softer. 
It’s the kind that makes it wonderful
To put on a heavy winter coat,
A pair of mittens, boots and snow pants,
(and maybe a scarf)
To take a nice winter walk
Before it’s dark.
And if I’m lucky, and not too cold,
I’ll take some time to sit in the snow
—and listen—
Then on my way home, I’ll hum a few notes
And wish that the world was this peaceful.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Mile High

This morning I attempted (keyword attempted) to work out.

It’s amazing how much your body adapts after living in one spot for 3 months. 

In my case I went from living at 5280ft to living at sea level.  I could run like no ones business when I first moved to Seattle and now I’m back in Denver for a month.

I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to run as well, due to the lack of oxygen, but I had no idea that it would get to me this bad. 

As soon as I entered the gym I headed for the stair climbing machines (I’m not sure if there is an actual name for them or not).  I knew it would be good for my leg muscles, and maybe it would be slightly easier that trying to run.  I set the timer for 40 minutes and I couldn’t breathe by the time I had climbed stairs for 15 minutes at a rate of about 45 per minute.

I was a bit frustrated.

I could have climbed stairs 40 minutes before I had lived in Seattle, no problem.  I made it to 20 minutes and called it quits. 

Apparently my body won’t have time to adjust in the month that it’s here, so it’s going to continue to be like this every time I try to work out.

There’s only one good thing I’ve discovered from this. 

The Broncos are going to be able to breathe tomorrow, while the Patriots struggle.

That’s right, we’re a mile high. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Road and Me

I had the strangest driving experience the other day.

I drove to Fort Collins to visit one of my closest friends and on the way there and back I encountered some of the thickest fog I have ever seen.

On the way there it swelled like a cloud and when I drove into it I couldn’t see a thing but the taillights of the cars in front of me.  It was so thick I thought I was driving through snow.  But no, it was just extremely intense fog.  

However, the drive back proved to be more interesting.  This time the fog was only on the sides of the roads, as if it had tried to creep onto the road but had been pushed back by the rushing flow of cars.  In addition, I could see on top of the layer of fog.  So there were random trees that I could only see the tops of, and in some cases the bottom.  The entire mid section of the trees was cut out by a blanket of fog. 

It gave me the feeling that, if I were to drive off the road, I would have fallen off a cliff like it happens in Mario Cart.  I could see perfectly in front of me, but I couldn’t see anything to the sides. 

It was just the road and me.

If only life was always like that.  Take this path, since it’s the only one you can see.

It’s not though.

Which is why I suppose it’s so interesting, and so dang fun. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Best Punch Lines

I’m trying to get used to babysitting again.  I didn’t interact with kids at all for more than two months, and I suddenly have my normal babysitting job back.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore the boys I babysit, but I was exhausted after I watched them the other night.  (Being tired after I babysit is normal, but I was far beyond tired.)  Apparently babysitting is much like a playing a sport.  If you don’t stay in shape, you’ll be out of breath.  So I was a little overwhelmed the first time I babysat after coming back from Seattle. 

This is because I forgot rule number one about babysitting.

     1.  Let them entertain themselves. 

I tried too hard to find games for them to play, or encourage them to do a certain activity.  To be honest, letting them do their own thing is much more convenient. 

That was the approach I took tonight—I was much happier, and my night passed by more smoothly.  

And I also found myself laughing more.  Since they did their own thing, they were more themselves.  There were several things they said that I feel compelled to share. 

The younger boy is 4.  He was struggling a little with manners at the dinner table so I asked him, “Where are your manners silly boy?” 

He looked at me, tilted his head and smiled, then said, “At church.”

I had to laugh!  I couldn’t lecture him for that response.  Well played, kiddo. 

Later I was singing you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town!  Both of them were watching me and giggling.

Then the 6 year old said, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, and he knows when you talk about bottoms.”  (“Bottoms” happens to be one of the cutting-edge potty words in that household.)

I found myself laughing all over again. 

I’m telling you, the things kids say are absolutely outrageous.

They deliver the best punch lines. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hot Chocolate & Hash Browns

Since I’ve been back I haven’t really known what to write about.

I’m busy crocheting, or babysitting, or sleeping, or watching football (specifically Tim Tebow), which leaves me almost nothing to write about.

Well, that’s not completely true, but it doesn’t leave me enough to really elaborate upon.  Unless you wanted to hear me rant about Tim Tebow, but I figured everyone else on every sports channel and radio talk show is doing that for me already. 


I finally got to see one of my close friends from high school last night and we decided to go on a late night ice cream run, which quickly changed to a hot chocolate run due to the freezing weather.

Both of us agree that Starbucks’ hot chocolate is nothing special so we decided to find a different place instead.  Peet’s Coffee was closed and the coffee shop inside Whole Foods was closed as well.  Caribou Coffee was half an hour away, which didn’t leave us with many other options.

Then she suggested Village Inn and I knew of one right down the road, so we drove for 5 minutes and pulled into the parking lot.

We were both pretty sure that they wouldn’t mind a couple of college students wanting only a cup of hot chocolate.  But as soon as we entered my stomach grumbled.  Nothing surprising I guess.

It was difficult to hear what our waiter was saying since he mumbled a lot.  However, we both ended up with a mug of hot chocolate in hand—it just so happened that her mug matched the color of her fingernails, which we both got a good laugh out of. 

I couldn’t resist.  “Xavia, I really want some hash browns.  Do you think they’ll give me just a side of hash browns?”

This caused both of us to laugh again and receive some funny looks from the waiter when he took our order, but I couldn’t have been happier with hot chocolate, hash browns, and one of my best friends by my side. 

It’s an odd combination, that’s for sure.

But happiness comes in the most unique forms. 

Last night it happened to be something sweet, something salty (with some carbs), and a healthy portion of friendship. 


Friday, December 9, 2011

My Directionally Challenged iPhone

Last night I spent nearly 3 hours curling my sister’s hair.  As I was curling I used lots of moose, lots of patience, and listened to a whole lot of music. 

People think my hair is thick.  My side braid (containing all of my hair) is one of my sister’s pigtail braids.  The thickness of her hair is double mine.  Hence the 3 hours of curling.

This morning she had a choir concert and her hair had to be curled, which is why we did it last night.  We were worried that it wouldn’t stay in during the night when she slept, but when she got up 6 hours later we discovered that it had remained mostly intact.

Granted, I could have fixed a few curls, but I wasn’t exactly willing to remove myself from my bed to do so. 

She sprayed on additional hairspray and called it good.  I decided a little later to actually get up and attend the concert to see her hairdo in action.

After I got ready I pulled out my handy-dandy-iPhone and look up directions to her concert, just to make sure I knew I was going to the right place.

It dutifully gave me directions back to Seattle instead. 

I guess that’s what happens when you have two homes.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Too Quiet

I’m home.

I’m not sure I can actually believe it either.

I apologize for not writing a word the past two days, but I was packing, spending time on an airplane, and reuniting with my family.

When I was first at school, I thought everyone was just really loud and now that I’m home it seems like everyone is really quiet.  There are only three people in the house at the moment and those three people happen to be my Mom, my Dad, and me.  And my Dad just left so now there are only two of us.

I’m excited to be home, and excited to see some of my closest friends from high school, but I’m not excited that I can’t walk down the hallway to see the girls who have practically become my sisters.

It’s a bittersweet thing.  At least I know I’m going back and, for now, I just get to relax and enjoy the holidays. 

I’m going to have to find something to keep me busy, that’s for sure. 

Maybe I’ll go out and build a snowman, or take my dog on a walk, or try to figure out what part of my room I get to claim back.

I’m incredibly happy to be here but it’s also… weird.

And too quiet.   

Monday, December 5, 2011


Finals week brings out weird feelings. 

Everyone tends to be unstable in general. 

Someone asked me how I was doing and I said, “Fine.”

You know what F.I.N.E. stands for right?

Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.
(Thank you Italian Job for the perfect acronym.)

Freaked out because I realized how much I have to study for.

Insecure because I don’t know exactly what to study for the test I'm studying for. 

Neurotic because I don’t know how well I’ll remember what I’ve studied. 

And emotional because… well, because girls always are.

Good news is, I’m done with two finals.

Which means I have one more to go.    

Then I have to pack and say my goodbyes, which is a whole new stress in itself.  

Right now I’m really just F.I.N.E. and not much else.