Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Farm Love

When we moved to "the country," I was admittedly unsure about the situation. There are a lot of things you need in a country setting that you simply take for granted in the city--because where we live there is no sewer system, sidewalks or natural gas, to name a few. Who knew? Answer: not me. I lived in a world where I figured I knew everything and likewise, that everyone had the modern conveniences associated with living in a large city. Turns out, (gasp!) not everyone is exactly like me.

It's been a journey for me, no doubt, but I am reminded every spring and summer how much I love living in a rural area. My little city heart goes pitter patter when the tractors appear some random sunny day in the field behind our house, preparing the land for planting. I'm in some sort of child-like trance: I love watching the tractor maneuver with ease across acre after acre of land, like a choreographed dance. It's magical to think that something is being grown there that will someday land on someone's plate in some random city in America that I don't know about yet. And it all started in my little town, behind my little house, on some summer day. There is nothing more magical than the ability to see the world through a new set of eyes, ones that make you realize all the wonder there is to take in. The world, I think, is much bigger than we think.

You can imagine my giddy excitement as the little green leaves started to sprout from the ground recently. It's corn. I know that because last year it was soy beans. It always makes me smile, for reasons I can only classify as child-like. You see, I have this theory about people. We are intrigued by what we don't know--we are amazed by things we have never experienced--because it's brand new to us. That makes us feel like children, because if you know any child you know that they are genuinely amazed by everything. All the things we as adults take for granted are seen in a new way through a child's eyes, because they haven't had the chance to become jaded yet. It's a beautiful thing. That's how I feel about those fields, even today.

Sure, living out in the country isn't all sunshine and puppy dogs. Most days it's more like breezes that smell like manure and dead skunks at the end of the driveway. I have my moments, where I desperately miss the conveniences of home and the pluses of having neighbors that aren't cows or deer. But, I love having a slice of land to call my own and I treasure my privacy dearly. I'm reminded of this when I visit people who live in a neighborhood and I wonder how they deal with being so close to the house next door. It makes me feel claustrophobic, really. It's a tradeoff, choosing where you want to lay your head at night. But despite all the things I miss, I can't say that I really miss much.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I love on a Wednesday

We recently spent a long weekend at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky with my husband's family. The weather prevented us from ever going out on the Lake, but it was still a great vacation. We enjoyed the scenery, drank and played at least 5 games of Monopoly. It was incredibly relaxing.

Today, I'm wearing these ah-mazing shoes to work. I can't say that they are the most comfortable shoes in the world, but they are totally fabulous. Oh, and they're from Payless. Can you believe it? They are the Lanai Peep Toe Pump from Christian Siriano for Payless. They are what Oprah Winfrey calls "sitting shoes," because they are good for things like getting noticed, receiving compliments and hobbling, but not for walking!

I've been a member of Jewel Mint for some time now, but was a bit shy about pulling the trigger on purchasing a piece of jewelry.  I recently bit the bullet and bought these earrings and they are amazing. These are the 'Rachel Earrings,' designed by actress Rachel Bilson in support of the charity Invisible Children. They are gold plated with purple amethyst stones and are absolutely amazing. I had a coupon code and got them for 1/3 of the usual price and for what I paid (around $10) it was a great deal. They have been sold out several times now, but are back in stock currently. I highly suggest checking them out. If you need an invite to join Jewel Mint, click HERE.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Being Thankful for Brick Walls

Yesterday broke my heart. I cried. I felt pathetic incredibly sorry for myself. I was supremely disappointed, and it really hurt. It's funny how that works--when something devastating happens to us, it washes everything else that's missing in our lives over us in waves. It's stifling. I actually thought it was part of an elaborate scheme to prevent me from attaining anything in this world I want for myself. That's why I cried. Naturally, it seemed completely logical thinking at the time.

However, I'm standing in a different place today. My disappointment wasn't about me--I had no control over the situation and truly, there was nothing more I could have done. Really, the only way to find logic and hope in our disappointment is to realize that what we wanted wasn't ours in the first place. Every cliche saying that exists about disappointment, failure and heartache really is true: it wasn't meant to be, something better is out there, you don't know until you try, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take, so on and so forth. It's all true; every trite saying we know by heart exists because someone else came before us, failed and realized a lesson existed in the midst of their own heartache.

My disappointment, in the grand scheme of my life, is not a big deal. It hurts, but I'm still standing. I don't have the answers and often, I don't understand the logic. But, it's life and pain unfortunately is just part of the deal. For me, disappointment in my life often arrives in such a way that it pulls up my greatest disappointment: my inability to have children. It's the one thing that can't be explained away with a trite saying; it lacks everything I've ever believed about logic, irony and destiny. And all too often, it's waiting to bob up to the surface and smack me across the face.

But that's the beauty about being in a miserable place: it's only temporary. No matter how long you're there or how long you have to wait to move on, it won't last forever. We feel like we're wallowing endlessly in a sea of our own misery sometimes, and it's hard to see the light in what we're waiting and fighting for--because it feels so far away. What are we fighting for? Adoption.

Truthfully,  I realize it would be easier to just forget it, walk away and really work on moving on instead. The allure of not having to wait, or pay large sums of money or go through the paperwork, classes and emotional agony of the adoption process can be tempting--because it would be easier. I sometimes wonder if that's why we have to wait for so long for what we want; perhaps the process is meant to keep out the other people. You know, the ones who have allowed the brick wall to stop them in their tracks. How many people aren't willing to jump through flaming hoops made of barbed wire for their dream?

I don't know what the future brings, but I know this: I cried yesterday because the brick wall was all too real for me. It broke me because I forgot everything else I've learned along the way. Whenever something breaks me, I let the emotions flow and spend some time feeling sorry for myself in the most pathetic way possible with ice cream and red wine. Then, I move on. It's the only way to understand that the world is full of more opportunity, more beauty and something more amazing than I could have possibly imagined. My disappointment is temporary because I don't let it stick around for very long.

Life is a dance. A give and take. An ebb and flow of good and bad. Sometimes, in the depth of our worst moments we forget our good fortune and it's easy to get lost along the way. The brick walls pile up, and we grow tired of fighting so hard for the things we want. But it's worth fighting for---adopting a child, dusting my behind off after I fall on my face and scraping my way over every brick wall that comes my way. It's all worth the pain.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Coral Crush

Coral Crush

Ruched dress
$95 -

Miss Selfridge coral dress
45 GBP -

Dorothy Perkins coral pumps
40 GBP -

Flap bag
$50 -

Kenneth jay lane jewelry
165 GBP -

Kenneth Jay Lane coral jewelry
155 GBP -

Peacock necklace
4.90 GBP -

Gold jewelry

Turquoise teardrop earrings
$110 -

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Final Farewell

I work for a school district and a few days ago, it was the last day of school. Also, it was the final goodbye to one of our aging elementary buildings that will no longer house students. After decades years of educating children, the building will be closed permanently. The thing that always fascinates me about history is the story--and I can only imagine the stories that building could tell us.

That was what struck me as I watched the kids loudly file out of the building, anxious to begin their summer break. You could feel the excitement, paired with a pinch of sadness. The air was thick.

The kids filed under the building's plackard, just like those have for 150 years. After the building was emptied, the old bell--stamped "1865"--rang one last time for good measure.

It was a fitting farewell.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Double Knockout

It's hard not to fall in love with a plant that is created for the sole purpose of being really big, incredibly beautiful and not dying. My mother came up to visit me just after my surgery and when she saw me oogling the double knockout roses outside the grocery store, she bought me one.

Now, just a few weeks later it's blooming like crazy and I find myself going outside just to stare at it for a few minutes each day. It really is beautiful. Best of all, I haven't killed it yet.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Four Week Mark.

Oh hey. Long time no see, eh? Yeah, I have been busy...watching Maury "You are not the father" Povich and healing. It's tough work, you know. All good things must come to an end, which is why I have returned to both the land of the living and also to work today. Based upon all the horrid television I have been watching lately, me thinks it is a good thing. An exhausting thing, but a good thing.

Yesterday was the much anticipated four week mark following surgery. In addition to returning to work, I am also beginning to feel like myself again. It's hard to describe, but I can best compare the feeling to what it might be like to age in reverse. As in, having surgery made me feel like I was 85 and four weeks later, I feel like I'm 35. I'm still working on getting back to my actual age (27 and three quarters) but I anticipate the next few weeks will pick up the slack. Strangely, the last four weeks have both passed quickly and drug on--which likely only makes sense to me in my brain, but it's just how it feels.

As far as how I feel, that is also strange. I've had moments of frustration with my body when it felt like I would never heal or get back to normal again, (hello puffy belly!) mixed with feelings of amazement when I realize how spectacular the human body is at healing itself. It's a mixed bag, really. I find myself literally counting down the days until the magical six week mark, when I can return to exercise again...but am beginning to think I won't make it that long. Some people go to therapy, I exercise--it's how I function. Needless to say, a month without my 'therapy' makes me cranky. Also, snippy. And, slightly bitchy. Not that anyone at my house has noticed, of course.

But at the end of the day, I am thankful my doctor could remove the cysts and likewise, hopefully restore my body to its normal function. Whatever that means, really. It makes me realize that everyone's normal isn't the same, it's whatever seems normal. Being in pain has always been normal for me, which ironically is not normal in the general sense. I guess part of me was hoping that surgery would be a magic wand that removed the pain, but sadly it has not. My doctor says it will take time, maybe, or it won't change anything. There's just no way to know how my body will react to her attempts to fix what has ailed me for so many years. I guess that's just the crazy and amazing part of medicine and science; sometimes, you just don't know. As frustrating as it might seem, I'm happy with whatever my body chooses to do. At this point, I realize it's my only choice.

At the end of the day, though, I can say this: I am at peace. I have found peace in these last few weeks, mostly in the places I had never bothered to look before. It turns out peace is understanding that what is broken isn't always fixable, but it is liveable. Peace is realizing that you always have the ability to choose--but whatever you choose, you have to move on and let it flow into the universe.  More than anything, peace is the willingness to let go of the things you cannot control.

I hate to think that having surgery was the extent to which I had to go in order to realize peace, but I sincerely believe it was the right path. As my body heals, I realize that I'm stronger than I thought and more resilient than I had imagined. It's been a long road back to normal, but I can finally see the light again.


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