Thursday, April 29, 2010

Leaving Texas

Hello from Phoenix, AZ. We are here, visiting my in-laws, and sleeping like logs, and eating some YYYYYUMMMY food (albeit, not without nutritional drawbacks:). Seriously...I'm a food snob, and I rarely like anyone's food, but my own. My mom-in-law's ROCKS! It's no wonder my husband loves my's very close to his mom's. It's been really nice to spend some time with them, and let them experience the joys and mind-blowing exhaustion that is our little boy...HA!

Sunday is the day we left Texas. I was born and raised in Texas, and though there are some tenets I don't subscribe to...I love it. The last time I left was 7 years ago...when we went on our honeymoon. We had a blast on that trip, and I've left the state many times, I wasn't expecting the gut check I had when leaving on Sunday. I could feel it coming on when we saw this...

It was just a small twinge in my belly, just a little uneasy...and I let it pass. I let myself get excited about the whole Route 66 thing, and embraced the wide open road.

Now, let me preface this by reminding you...we sold half our stuff, packed everything else into a storage unit, and are, technically...homeless. I haven't actually felt that, because we were staying with my parents, my grandmother, in a giant hole in the ground that I grew up going to, and treading the ground where generations before me tread. So, when we were making our way to Albuquerque, my husband had me look up some campgrounds for our lodging that night. DREAD. That's all I felt..and it grew stronger the closer we got. We got to the Sandia mountains that overlook Albuquerque.

Now...I'm going to sound like a ridiculous baby, here...and I'm well aware of, laugh if you need to...I get it. If you don't live around mountains, and you haven't seen them in a really long time...when one rises up in front of you, it can be...breathtaking...intimidating...foreboding. Ok, I'll say it...nerve-racking. I have made an internal commitment to just allow whatever feelings come, to wash over me...and, so I did. But, it kept getting stronger the closer to our campsite we got. We stopped to get a bite at a little place on the Turquoise Trail, there in the Sandias. When I got out of the car, and the cold air hit...the lump in my throat started. We sat down...the only patrons in the restaurant, and the tears started flowing.

I've stated before that, when it comes to my emotions, resolution rarely happens until I talk to Brandon about them. I could say the same words to another person...but, if they don't fall on Brandon's ears...they're not real. He looked at me, saw the emotions playing out, and put his hand on mine..."tell me what's wrong". I honestly didn't know until I opened my mouth and said, "I just feel soooo homeless out here!" *Isolated. Disoriented. Alone. Vulnerable.* "And I don't want to sleep in a tent tonight!" (heaving sobs) He would have gotten us a hotel, even though we shouldn't spend the money...he's just like that. But, I didn't want to fail this early in the, I said no. It was pitch black out when we finished eating, and we drove to the campground. When we got there, we found out that they had little cabins for rent...and there was ONE available. We wouldn't have known, except for a man pulled up behind us, that worked there, and just happened to be stopping by. God knew I couldn't deal that, through my husband's sensitivity & some divine orchestration...we slept comfortably and warm that

When I woke up, I felt much better. I had some quiet time in the the crisp mountain air, and felt like I could move forward. I know that my feelings were a result of not having a place to go back to...and not knowing where we will land. I don't know what our future holds...and that's OK. A good friend told me yesterday..."you may end up wanting what you always had. But, at least you'll know you actually WANT it...and you're not just doing it because you didn't know what else to do." Good words.

I will tell you one matter what we do, or where we end up...I know this for sure:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Forging Our Way

OK. First and foremost, YAY!...we have internet. Now...for some specifics. We have working goals on this trip, and I keep promising to tell you. For some reason, the most difficult part of my adjustment, is giving up my own agenda.

I get myself in trouble when I put things out there like "my next post will be about such and such, where I will outline such and such...". Yeah...the thing is, every single minute of this is about stripping away my own agenda. So, I go about on this Journey to Real, and so much of it is about internal struggle for me...and by struggle I mean, me pitching little fits in my head all day (and the occasional ugly outburst) about how things aren't going the way I planned, and feeling upended and disoriented, and dealing with all the head fog that those issues bring to a detoxing ducks-in-a-row-aholic. Seriously...I'm being a brat...and, I'm not entirely sure that I'm done being one, either. How's that for walking out on faith? I'm out here, complaining about how my radical trip for change isn't going how I saw it in my I've walked out on a tightrope with that guy who walked in between the Twin Towers, and I'm all..."you know, I don't like holding this heavy pole...I'm tiiiired, and it's windy, and this is making my feet hurt...maybe we should just go back to the platform...hmpf!" Yeah...awe inspiring portrayal of my radical faith, right? ugh.

Well, in the spirit of doing and not thinking, I'm going to tell you our goals...but, I'm also going write another post, because that's what's really clinking around in my head, right now. And from here on out...I'm not going to foreshadow what my posts are going to be about, because the truth is, that I have no idea what issues are going to be hitting me in the heart, from moment to moment. I have a feeling that a lot of this trip isn't about us, at all...but doing things, and then writing what God wants me to write...because this is about doing HIS will...and not mine. See? Baby steps away from spiritual retardation. (and I don't mean that with any disrespect...I literally mean, a slowed development of my spiritual maturity)....

*Goals for Our Family*

-to learn a little more about farming Real Food
- to reconnect with nature - we want to experience majesty in it's most tangible form. we want to REALLY see stars, and get our hands dirty, and undo the "sterile" brainwashing that our society has been handing us with increasing fervor. (I am learning that I have an rapidly growing distaste for anything "sterile" outside of an operating room. I've had enough of sterility...thank you.)
- to be purposeful in our relationship with eachother - our family is too precious to get lost in the stuff we "have to do"...and so is yours.
- to see the country - we have been wanting to see the northwest region of the U.S for a very long time. we are ready to do the experiencing...because a dream without action, is just a dream...reality is what we're after.
- to deprogram our lifestyle - desperate times call for desperate measures...laziness will only get you dead.
- to meet interesting people
-to eat as little processed food as possible
- to begin the process of reclaiming our health
-to become better and more mindful

*Goals for me, personally*

-gratitude - I really want to BE the woman that I see in my head. I have been waiting for my circumstances to guide me to gratitude...WRONG!
- to fall more in love with my Heavenly Father
- to inhabit praise...daily
- to be the wife and mother that my boys deserve...
- to bring honor to my husband
- to be a vessel
- to find stillness of heart - there are so many levels to that goal, it's indescribable...but, if you don't have a stillness of heart, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
- to stare fear in the face, and defeat it!
- to let the Lord be my portion, my all-sufficient, my "all I need"
- to have my breath taken away
- to cry with joy
- to cry out some old baggage
- to let loose, be amazed...maybe even dance a little
- to get closer to the most authentic parts of me
- to allow life to come in...and to give it back to others
- to say goodbye to who I've been
- to practice more and better self care
- *this one is hard* - to release my loved ones to God, so that I can love them more fully, without fear, and with an unclenched makes me sick to my stomach just to type that. Why?

**It's just not enough to make our own way in this world...we want to FORGE it...hack away at the branches, and make the path to tailor fit our spirits...not tailor our spirits to fit the path well traveled.

Friday, April 23, 2010

How Being OK is Killing Me...

Well, I'm sorry about the delay in my first post. We are trying to figure out the internet solution for being out on the road, so you'll have to bear with us, until we get something that is workable. We got to Lubbock on Tuesday, and we have been here, spending some time with some of my family until we head out on the first "real" leg of the trip. I thought I should probably do some updating for those who have been following, and are probably wondering what in the world has been happening.

A few posts back, I stated that we were at a fork in the road, waiting for the word on an RV or a job. Well, obviously, the job hasn't come up...there is nothing out there. Well, much to my chagrin, the RV didn't materialize, either. Our original plan was to head out on the road, for an extended period of time in an RV, that we had converted to veggie oil. Turns out...our timing was bad. When we seriously started looking for RV's, we were looking specifically for a motorhome. When we finally realized that those were going to be out of our league at this point, we began looking for bumper pulls (that we had been passing up right and left for 3 weeks), and at that point, racing and lake season had begun, and they all got snatched up REALLY fast. Also, they began to get more expensive, so the price range that was really good before, became a spray painted pile of termite riddled junk. So, basically, we missed the boat on the RV.

We thought about it for a while, and decided that we were just ready to get out on the road, no matter what. So, we headed out in our XTerra. Unfortunately, we'll be spending gas, but we have cut our trip way down...what we originally had hoped to be several months, has turned into just a few weeks. But, the thing is, we just needed to get out of where we were.

I think I've made it clear about our position on the food situation in this country, and our subsequent desire to be a part of the movement to change that. However, there are lots of little things that have been eating me alive, personally. For lack of a better way to term this, I have just been buried under a big pile of "O.K."...and it's been killing me. I know I come off as melodramatic when I make statements like that, but even my annoyance at myself for making emotional statements, is a symptom of exactly what I'm talking about. Here's what I mean...

I was born a very passionate person. I was born with an artists soul, a love of literature, a love of wisdom, and a love for people. My passion for loving people and music was actually the catalyst for a social awkwardness, early on in my life. I learned pretty early, that if I wanted other people to like me with the same furvor that I like them...I was going to have to tone it down. It makes me sad just to type that. Seriously, I know part of all this is just growing up...and there's no part of me that believes I'll get anywhere if I run around hugging people with no regard to personal boundary...but, it's gone too far. I have a hard time feeling much of anything. What's left when you prune away unabashed joy, and true sadness when it's appropriate?'s a complacent facade, with an undercurrent of fear. If you're too afraid to feel real joy, and too afraid to let yourself feel really stay home, and you watch TV, and you become j-j-jaded.

So...I've been OK. There's nothing horrible happening in my life, there's nothing I can pinpoint to complain about. But, I think it's sad to settle into "can't complain"...I don't think that's why Christ gave His life for me. I know that most people on the planet live most of their days wondering if there's "more". I don't mean to sound ungrateful, because I really am blessed beyond measure. It's not about what I do or don't's about what I DO, or DON'T DO. It's not that God has failed at giving me a life that I's about my failure to participate fully in that life, to inhabit my experiences, and seek out new ones, because I'm afraid of EVERYTHING. The phrase "what if" is the boss of me. Within the framework of my fears, I have created an unhealthy relationship with food, an unhealthy relationship with my thoughts, and an unhealthy (and serious) weight problem. All of this, is as a result of not doing what I was created to do. A running theme don't you think? We think it's so sad when elephants are put in the circus, and shepherd dogs are kept in houses, and silver back gorillas are kept in a zoo enclosure...but, we're more than willing to do it to ourselves...and worse, our children. As the mother of a boy, I can't let my dis-ease in this area squelch his spirit, as well. So...scared as I am...of bears, snakes, driving over mountain cliffs, or being kidnapped at a roadside rest area (yep, it's all been suffered in my head), we are on our way. One of my favorite teachers says..."If you're it afraid."

To stay accountable, I will be outlining some specific goals and purposes in my next post. I am going to need all I can get...because, I'll be tempted to turn back...and that's the last thing I want to do!

Some photos from the very first miles of our Journey to Real....enjoy:)

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Well, as of today, I have my own domain, and you can now drop the ".blogspot" out of the site address to this blog! It will actually work both ways, but if you prefer, you can now use!'s what's on the menu...

We have just finished moving out of our house. Yesterday, we completed the process, and turned in our keys and garage door opener. *sniff* I was unexpectedly emotional about it, having a small, tearful episode at a sushi restaurant for lunch. I wasn't sure what the whole thing was about, because we've only lived there for about a year and a half...but, I was profoundly sad about walking away from there for the last time. Here's what I think it is...during the 18 1/2 months that I lived there, Brandon was gone for over 12 of them. That was part of what kept me from rooting fully there. However, after I had time to reflect, I realized that a whole lot happened to me there. God and I did a lot of work in that house. Not to mention, as a result of Brandon's absence, Jaxen and I grew a VERY deep bond.

We obviously had a bond already...I mean, we've been through huge things together in his very short life. But, this bond was the "one on one" kind that single mothers get with their children. It becomes more than a mother-child becomes a companionship. When he was the only one I had to talk to, I got to REALLY converse with him, hear him, and understand him in a more real way. I believe in marriage coming before your children, but sometimes I think it's easy for children to be unheard in that dynamic. I got the unique chance to have both...a deeply connected marriage AND a deeper understanding of my son. It's been really wonderful, because in the few weeks since Brandon got home, there have been several instances when we have been engaged in a conversation, and Jaxen tried to interject. Normally, I would make him wait until we were finished, and I think there's room for that...but, since he has had my undivided attention for the last year, I know when he has an insightful thought that needs to be nurtured, or when he's just trying to be the center of attention. As a result...we have learned awesome things about the inner workings of his brilliant mind. That child misses N.O.T.H.I.N.G!!!

Not to mention, that I have learned how to involve him in my tasks. I've always been one to have a system for everything, and anyone's help is more of a burden. That, unfortunately, translated to Jaxen wanting to help, and me begrudging the loss of my very time-efficient way of doing things. But, now I offer that time to him with all my heart. I LOVE his help. I so enjoy the time spent teaching him tangible skills and weaving the fabric of his earliest memories together. I can just hear him in the future saying things like "oh, I've been cooking with my mom since I was 2 1/2 years old" or "I remember being really little sitting on the counter stirring bowls of stuff for my mom, while we made dinner together." I love the thought of him going off to college, and being able to make chicken scallopini and lemon spaghetti for his roommates. That's the stuff that starts NOW...and I might have missed it, had I not experienced the last year without Brandon. Beside all that...when we moved there, he was still in diapers, still had milk at night, and had a binky. During our time in that house, he transformed into the little man I have now...a 3 1/2 year old that one is hard-pressed to see a preschooler in.

So...all that being said...I'm going to miss that house...for it's wonderful kitchen (I'll post pictures soon) and all the richness that we gained. So what's coming up? I will be blogging all weekend about our plans for the trip. (We depart Monday!) I will be outlining where we are going, as well as our purposes and goals for what we hope to gain.

Take a moment today and reflect on the moment you are currently in. Soak it in...the good, the bad...all of it. Take time to really INHABIT where you are in your life RIGHT NOW...because in a few months, you might look back on it, and realize....

it made you a better you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bloggity Blog Blog

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

I've been experiencing a serious lull in readership...I have been told it's because of my dissertations that happened a couple of weeks ago. It may also be that no one is able to recognize it, since I keep changing the format and appearance. Ha! Well, I'm not done experimenting with the look, but I am really excited about what is coming up! Our official trip announcement and outline will be coming soon, and we have so much in store...I can't wait:)!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Scenes From a Life: The Forgotten Asparagus

Well, it turns out that my last post on lemons came with collateral damage. I was so excited about blogging my first photos that I, apparently, forgot that I had asparagus roasting in the oven. We went about eating our lemon spaghetti and chicken with no thought to the lack of green on our plates. Sadly, I didn't even realize it until this evening, when my husband went to put potatoes in to bake. All those nutrients baked to death and lost's tragic. This doesn't speak well for my diligence in getting green veggies on the table every one noticed! Life lessons on better family feeding...and a moment of silence for the forgotten asparagus.

Speaking of family feeding...mine feeds my soul. They also exhaust pretense, here, but they are my most favorite part of life. Sometimes...and this is going to gag you...I can't get much done for sitting around and loving them. We are a trio that CAN'T stand to be apart. Don't get me wrong...I have my moments...but, on a general basis, we're a little obsessed with each other. They are the reason that I do everything, these my boys, and so in light of that...I suppose I ought to show them off! My husband is sleeping right now, and apart from the audio portion (ha!), it is one of my favorite shows:) So, in my new Edwina Camerahands mode...this is what I've done:

Gorgeous isn't he?

Well, this little pack of dyn-o-mite is my son, to whom I'll refer to, on this blog, as Bokie the Barbarian or Mr. Independent. (Bokie is a word he made up, and puts it in front of most words and phrases...i.e. Bokie mom, bokie dad, bokie butt, etc.) Just as I was about to write this paragraph and highlight the cute shots of him making his own chocolate milk...he drove up on his trash truck. It's a big toy...but, it's still no match for my VERY large boy. Little details to notice...he had to rip the cab off in order to steer the truck, and always...and I mean ALWAYS...steers correctly. I have no idea how he knows how to make a 3 point turn, or to back out of a tight spot...but, my husband and I stare at him in amazement (and terror!) while he correctly turns the steering wheel in the opposite direction and knows the precise amount of turns it would take to be straight at that point in his imaginary drive. While we are constantly on our toes, and challenged to the point of mental exhaustion as to how to stay several steps ahead of this can see on his face the stuff that feeds that prowess...unabashed joy, untamed wildness, and discovery...that sweet discovery. He is who God intends him to be...a conqueror, a warrior, an adventurer...and one of the most loving and communal people I have ever met!

I have an embarrassment of riches in my boys. I love being the woman in this little family. I love getting to laugh and stare in bewilderment at the house I JUST CLEANED, as it turns into a disaster area again, and snuggle with the guys who can't get enough of snuggling with me. Perhaps, those are the very reasons why it doesn't seem so daunting to sell most of our stuff, get in a vehicle and take a trek across our nation...adventure, discover, freedom, togetherness, conquering...and freedom from cleaning the house!:)

OH! and LOTS of snuggle time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lemons on Parade

Well, first and foremost...welcome to my first photojournalized blog post! How's that, you say? Well...I got a camera! Now, you will not only get to read my thoughts and experiences, you will also get to see them captured! My mom will be thrilled:) The photo credits for this post....ME!!

Now...that's enough talk about my new passion...let's talk about one that is well established with me...lemons.

Those that know me well, know that me and lemons...we got a thing going on. When people start a sentence of lament with, "well, when life gives you lemons...", I actually take it kind of personally. They are beautiful, they taste delicious, they are unendingly versatile, they make almost any recipe better, and best of all...they smell like the life I want...bright, energetic, straightforward, joyful, crisp, passionate, yummy, and alive! They just reach out and grab they're saying..."hey you! I'm awesome and I want to be your friend!" (They are a very confident citrus.) Needless to say, one of my most favorite recipes is Lemon Spaghetti...

It is one of the simplest, light, and addictive things I make. It's so easy, it's an awesome way to get whole wheat pasta down your kids' throats (it actually tastes infinitely better with whole grain pasta than white), and it's fast! As an added bonus...I get to zest lemon, which is something I try to do as much as's one of my simple pleasures in life:) Besides all that, I also get to freshen my garbage disposal. Now, I totally get that this is no way to earn my green housekeeping badge, but I love to cut the lemons that I just used for dinner into tiny little pieces, and put them down the disposal...

It disinfects the blades and pipes, and also makes your whole kitchen smell like lemons...which, of course I love! I was doing this, tonight during kitchen cleanup, and I started to think about all the things I do with lemons. I have used it for astringent on my face, I have used it on my hair to neutralize oils, I have used it to clean counters, and as always I have it in tons of my household products...homemade and otherwise!
So, I guess it comes down to this...if life gives me lemons, I really appreciate it...because, then I can just take them out of my grocery budget for that month...and that's just a win/win situation, right there! One more added bonus: I share my love of all things lemon with my that's fun, too:)

Lemon Spaghetti

1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 whole lemons
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. basil or parsley
approx. 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I like more)

Cook spaghetti in large pot of salted, boiling water. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil, the juice from 2 whole lemons, lemon zest, parmesan cheese, & herb. Whisk together. When pasta is al dente, drain and add directly to the bowl of sauce. Toss and serve. (add salt & pepper to taste, and more parmesan, if desired).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

Watch This...

Yeah...I know.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

I just...uh...awesome...just sheer awesomeness.

Paging Jimmy Stewart...and could someone find Clarence?

Well, I was re-reading my post from yesterday, and I saw the line when I referred to this world as a cesspool...well, I'm sorry about that. If I really thought this world was a cesspool, I wouldn't care less about what we do to it, and I wouldn't think it was possible that we could change things. I do, however, believe that our country's hub is a cesspool, but D.C. ...well, that is home to one of my very most favorite people in the world, so it can't all be a toxic waste dump. I believe that distinction is localized to a small area of the maybe the size of a mall. *cough*

See now, this is all just more evidence that I need to go cry on the shoulder of a giant redwood, take a nap with a mountain, and have coffee with the ocean. But, trust me...I love the world. It is our greatest and steadiest gift, from the most awesome Creator. I mean it...I love this place. It's easy to get all geared up and pressed down by the weight of the war going on inside. But, beauty still kicks ugly's butt in the point spread, and good just doesn't get the same press as evil. Moral of that story?...say goodbye to the press. One of my soul parachutes...Amos Lee...says it best..."Nothing is more powerful than beauty in a wicked world." Delicious, right?

Some things, right now, are really grotesque. Totally. But...they were when the ceiling was painted in the Sistine Chapel, they were when Ansel Adams was taking his first photos of Yosemite...they were when a Man sacrificed His Life for me, and then beat death by rising again.
You know what?
Wars in Rome started and stopped...the Sistine Chapel remains.
The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression hit, and the Adams' photos still remain...not to mention that Yosemite is the crown jewel of America's National Parks system, which Adams fought to begin.
A couple thousand years later, Jesus sits at the throne of Heaven...the cross and the tomb have long since been reclaimed by the earth...but, I live sanctified and free...right now.

So, you wins. It always has.
It really IS a wonderful life.


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