Request

Got a request for a letter today, so this goes out to you Caleigh, the girl who nicely demanded a letter at least once a week. You’re on girl.

I showed up to church early to focus on lesson planning for summer school and Caleigh had the same idea. She’s like a platonic soul mate. I think she’s pretty cool.

I’m writing her letter now while watching the Big Bang Theory which I know she would approve of and I am surrounded by my giant man-eating dogs which she wouldn’t approve of.

I wrote this letter as a poem, with rhyming words and all. I would write more fluently but I’m exhausted and falling asleep while typing.

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Memorial Day

I was up late last night talking with friends. I wouldn’t have done differently for the world, but I’m fortifying myself with a seriously large Diet Coke as I’m writing.

Last night I wrote to Jessica. Jessica led a women’s small group I was involved in and when my brother was released from the hospital she emailed me a series of verses, including some from the book of Joshua. It was the kind of email that I have to read in pieces because of how emotional it makes me. I shared it with my parents and we all stood there, rereading it over and over again, welling up. Sometimes we need people in our lives that can step up and approach situations head on, without sugar coating things. We need people who live so honestly that they glow with it, people who truly live what they speak. I am thankful to have met a person like that.

Today I wrote to Danielle. Danielle has a recent Master’s degree in speech pathology which I find so interesting and overwhelming. Speech impacts so much of your life, how you communicate, how you feel about yourself, and speech pathologists are intensely underrated. I appreciate this girl. I appreciate her wit and humor and the way she tells a story. She always has a smile for the people around her and she brightens a room. I like that she says awkward things but refuses to be embarrassed. I think that’s endearing. And kind of brave.

I like that this blog has turned into a celebration of people and life. I think that’s what letters are, ways to communicate and show your love tangibly and time-consumingly. You write letters to people you like, and in that act you recognize what is worthwhile about them. I think that’s beautiful and something worth celebrating.

Fear

I have found recently that the moments that I dread and fear and give me that feeling in the pit of my stomach and make me feel small, those moments sometimes lead to the most fulfilling, most uplifting, and most joyful outcomes.

I’ve learned that I have to take the plunge and be brave. That tears are ok. That when I share  my heart with people they share their heart with me.

Today I wrote to Katie. I had a full day of moments. A day full of experiences that pushed me and stretched me and forced me to be uncomfortable but ultimately led to some pretty spectacular, joyful, pinpoints of light. I wanted to share some of these with my friend that is so dear to me and who I know would celebrate with me.

I wish, on days like today, to have Katie with me, to bake brownies and eat only the centers, and to just have time to process with someone that I love.

Today, like most days, I am blown away by the capacity of the world and the people in it.

Vegetarians

On Friday, we told the kids that unless I find a full-time job I’ll be back with them again next year. It has never been so touching to hear people wish I won’t find employment before. “Please don’t find a job!” they all said, and some blocked the door so I couldn’t leave and I was tackled in this giant class-sized hug. Kids are wonderful.

Right after that a student raised her hand and asked, “Will you write us postcards this summer?” And they all cheered when I told her, of course.

This summer I will be sending 17 postcards to 17 special kids that I have grown to respect and love so much. I am so lucky to have this job.

Today, I realized this is my last postcard stamp, so I’ve got to make it count until I have time to get to the post office.

I wrote to Tami. Tami is an incredible euchre player and friend. She laughs uproariously and will sometimes lay back on the floor just to laugh harder. She believes in running outside and spending quality time together. She will look me straight in the eye and call me awkward, which I appreciate. She makes fun of me because every time I eat something vegetarian I email her to let her know (Tami! I ate something vegetarian tonight! I’m just like you!).

I love this girl dearly and I believe she will do great things in this world. People who love this hard make an impact.

Last Summer

I babysat a seventh grader.

Yeah, probably babysitting isn’t the right term… hung out with? But got paid for it?

One day we came to my house and tie dyed. I love to tie dye and she pretended to be too cool for it, but as she saw all the colors she slowly got more pumped. She ended up letting go and just enjoyed herself, and we laughed and it was so fun. She presented her shirt to her mom as a gift and there was pride in the way she did it, just that she made something on her own.

Another day we went to the mall to see that new Selena Gomez movie, Monte Carlo. We went to Subway and bought cookies to sneak in and we sat in the empty theater, making jokes and laughing and putting our feet up on the seats in front of us.

I liked those moments when she could let go of pretension and let go of trying to be something she wasn’t. I like the person she is.

Today I wrote to this girl. We still keep in touch and I know she misses the chance to hang out and talk. I wrote to her and told her I miss her and tie dye and Monte Carlo and chocolate chip cookies. I think this is a pretty cool girl in the making.

9 days

There are only nine days left until the end of the school year, and I’m SAD.

I adore my kids. I love going to work every day and listening to their stories and reading their essays and helping them learn.

Today I got a package from a little girl from my class. A letter was on top.

This little girl is so adorable. She crouches like a bird and always seems to wrap herself around chairs and swing sets. She knows wiggly teeth freak me out and will chase me around the classroom pushing her tooth into unnatural angles. She is a gifted writer and wrote a story this year about a moose looking for the lady moose of his dreams that cracked me up. She is bright and engaging and full of smiles and I’m so glad to have met her.

If I don’t find a full-time job next year, I’ve been asked to move up to third grade with my kids and teacher. I’d be ok with that.

I wrote to Susie when I got home. Susie is the person I turn to when I need to laugh until my stomach hurts or when I need to get into a little bit of trouble. I feel like the girl in this picture is Susie’s future child, and I hope I know her too.

Castles

Today I am filled with joy. It feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders now that my brother is home and I am doing much better at “chilling,” so thanks for the reminder 🙂

I found this postcard with this photo of a castle and it just sparked a story for me. I imagine someone like Nick could live there, with his head full of strange creativity and that particular brand of weirdness. I imagine he would build sculptures in his yard of gargoyles snarling at visitors and then furnish with bright, neon ridiculousness. I feel that only people who know how to live big and loud should have a castle.

I had good phone calls today (growth for me there). My dogs have just been washed and are followed by that wet dog smell that sometimes feels like home to me. I interviewed for a small group leader position with the junior high ministry. Camp Rock is on tv, which is a guilty pleasure I’m sharing with you all now. I had a performance review that went well. I did my best to live well, to love well, and to appreciate what I have. I am thankful for days like today, when things go right. I am blessed in my every moment.

Sometimes

I’m kind of a mess.

I haven’t been sleeping well. One night I had a dream that there was a person standing over my bed, then I opened my eyes and he was still there. That was some unfair dream inception there and I woke up screaming.

Then I dreamt that I couldn’t breathe and almost gave myself an asthma attack. THEN I freaked out about all this work I have to do and haven’t done.

I think too much. I run scenarios over and over until I freak myself out completely. I need people in my life who can look me in the eye and say, “Chill.”

I need to remember that there are so many blessings around me. Today my brother came home from the hospital. Ecstatic. I can’t stand it when my little brother is sick- it completely wears me out emotionally.

I have a wonderful job. I have friends who love me. I have a house and food on the table and a car that works. I have clean water to drink, plus Diet Coke. I have a computer to write this post on and internet access that’s reliable. I have more than I could ask for, and yet I always ask for more. Isn’t that strange?

Today I wrote to Jen. She was my roommate freshman year and heard me say some strange things in my sleep. When we went to Ireland together I apparently held an entire conversation with her and Katie while unconscious.  I knew she would understand my weirdness- she’s seen it before.

Jen always has a way of surprising me. She is so thoughtful and heartfelt and I really appreciate her.

I really could not have asked for a better person to live with freshman year. I randomly was placed with someone who was willing to get to know me through my awkwardness and potential prickliness and continue to be my friend for years. This is a girl who makes an effort.

Unfortunately we need to change the space-time continuum to see each other again. What’s that all about?

I appreciate

planning things. I get that from my mother.

I appreciate moments of rest and calm and quiet.

I appreciate this 66 degree weather.

I appreciate s’mores and good books and the idea of a camping trip in a couple of months.

 

 

Today I wrote to Scott, the planner of camping trips. This is someone with vision. I like how Scott welcomes everyone around him. I like how he smiles often and listens to good music. I appreciate that he didn’t make fun of me when I revealed my Nicolas Cage fandom.

 

This Weekend

My computer took a trip.

My brother is still stuck in the hospital so the computer went with him. He watched Con Air on it, which I call a success.

Friday’s letter went to Sara. I met Sara when I was sobbing on the steps and she gave me a hug. She loves people and explodes with joy constantly. She is passionate about coffee and her faith and is always interesting to talk to and be with.

Saturday’s letter goes to Kelsey. I talked a lot about Step Up this weekend and I have this vivid memory of Kelsey dancing in the streets after seeing the movie, playing music loudly in our friend’s car and just jamming. I am always amazed at her ability to live her life like nobody is watching- she does the things she loves without embarrassment.

Today’s letter goes to Betsy. We had a bit of an adventure this weekend involving a super-creepy cellar and there’s nobody I’d rather have back me up. Our group is planning a camping trip and now she’ll be prepared to see me when I’m afraid of the dark, which I guarantee will happen. I have an overactive imagination and Betsy is the kind of person that can handle my weirdness. I appreciate this girl.