It's odd that I posted my final Things I Love: Letterboxing and then promptly fell off the face of the blog planet. 

I can't really explain why, other than feeling a mixture of a few things:
-a dry season personally as a late-30's single gal

-dealing with death (family members, dreams, plans, budget)
-the realization that only my mom and close friends seem to read my blog, so why am I writing it all out when I can just say it out loud?
-lots of 'unrelated' health issues with big question marks from doctors
-putting feet and action to some bucket list items {#38ventures}
-the fact that I wanted to focus on my fictional book writing and other writing projects instead
-putting all my energy into my M-street fixer upper

Well, what can I say? I didn't do ANY of those last few really.

I'm coming out of the dry season but I still feel like I'm perpetually grieving. Is that a personality disorder in me? Is that everyone? I long for a season of FAVOR, but I seem to keep getting a life of ALMOSTS. Maybe everyone identifies, but I feel alone at times in this near-miss of blessings and almost-but-not-quite-yet dream delay. And though I'm usually a joyful person, hope deferred has made my heart pretty darn sick. {Proverbs 13:12}

I'm not really focusing on my book writing as I'd hoped, and I wish it was because I was rockin' the crap out of DIY land. I'm not. I still have Frog tape on my baseboards from 6+ months ago. You think I exaggerate, but I cannot tell a lie.

I didn't complete ANY of my #38ventures (birthday bucket list for my 38th year) due to a partially dislocated shoulder. Oh, did I mention I finally have answers about why my joints routinely pop out of place while sleeping or putting on a dadgum jacket?? It's called Ehler's Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and I'll file that little pain nugget away into: another post, another time.

Welp, now you know what I DIDN'T do. Here's the upside on what-the-hey I actually DID do: 
-I did the Whole30 elimination diet to figure out what is making me feel so bad (done!)
-I joined a gym to stop pretending like I was going to run/walk outside in Texas (let's get real; no excuses now!)
-Started attending D-Group Bible study and joined the prayer group #theFives to battle my unbelief and lackluster faith in the goodness of God (on the mend! My faith/belief is stronger than ever.)
-I read...a lot! And now, I'm ready to stop reading only and start writing. Start doing. (We'll see how it pans out.)
-I gathered supplies and knowledge for my house stuff and stopped waiting for others to help me. It is all smokescreens & excuses to not get crap done. I mean, somebody's got to scrape those poopy-droopy half-stripped kitchen cabinets...and that somebody is ME.

I can't judge myself for the last few years (or decades if I'm being real.) But what I can do is move forward from here in HOPE. In decisiveness. In trust; that even though I'm doing this stuff alone, I don't have to feel lonely. I've got more to say on all of this but for now, this is my springboard to break the blog silence.
Consider it my confessional.


{T.I.L. #27}

I'm pretty much a big nerd...I've even got t-shirts with Nerd logos on them. No lie. So this next Thing I Love will only add to *that* character trait I've got goin' on.

I happen to think it is nerdy in a super awesome, unique way (much like my chamberstick usage...I mean, come on). It is a hobby I picked up randomly and I kinda fell in love with it.

It combines all the things I really adore: handwritten letters, rubber stamps/ink, treasure hunting, riddles, geography, history, the outdoors, photography, and friendship (or solo time when I feel like it).


Further posting will be delayed due to inclement weather

Since that's all we are hearing right now and since I was snowed in at a friend's house after work all day yesterday and today (see why we want snow days? You try to teach 7 year olds while parents are coming every 5 minutes to pick one up. We had like, 80 kids leave early from 1st grade alone.), I'm going to postpone my last TIL posts until tomorrow or Monday.

I finally retrieved my car today from its frozen bed in the school parking lot:

I was doing so well posting the Things I Love daily and only have 2 more to go. With my grandmother passing and having a Texas-style snowstorm, etc, I will just finish out in a few days and break the rules by posting those last 2 in March. 

It's my blog and I'll do what I want.


{T.I.L. #26}

I had planned a post for tonight that detailed all about how

But to be honest, I just can't write it right now. 

Tonight I watched the series finale of Parks & Rec and got a little choked up. I've been feeling verklempt lately and the littlest things have made me tear up. 

My post yesterday about friends almost did me in and I had cried earlier that night several times while discussing my heart's desires with my friend. 

But as I came home tonight, I found out that my last living grandparent--my GrammaJane--had passed away earlier this evening. 

I am sad obviously, but so thankful that we got to see her last month on our trip to California. My post originally was going to detail that trip and highlight all my lovely family members, but I'd rather just leave that post for a later date. 

Tonight I just want to honor my beautiful grandmother...she fought her whole life to take up space and live to the fullest and I believe she accomplished that. She was strong and funny; even after recovering in ICU, she managed to crack a joke about her raspy voice. I have more to say, and I'm sure I will when I can really do it justice. 

We love our GrammaJane. Our time together was really short but really sweet. And I thank God for it and for her.


{T.I.L. #25}

I'm pretty tired today after making my way to work this morning and having only half my class there to teach. Did I mention that I woke up all through the night because I thought we'd have another snow day for sure? Welp, we didn't. So I armed myself with coffee AND Starbucks Chai and white-knuckled through my morning commute, dodging old ice piles and tiny sleet pellets.

The powdery snow started falling quickly after I arrived and I went ahead and opened our blinds for the kids to watch it cling to the ground. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! We went out and played in the melt-as-quick-as-it-came snowfall, making mischief with the tee-niniest snowballs you've ever seen.

As I walked through the hallways of my school, I stole quick glances and longing sighs with my awesome co-workers...each one of us dragging through the day because of restless, anticipatory sleep. As a teacher friend said on Facebook, "We were all secretly hoping for THE call." Teachers can be a greedy bunch when it comes to snow days in February. 

I was thinking through these co-workers and how many have become close friends...the kind who go to see Bieber movies because they know you want to go and don't want you to look like an old creep.

...reminiscing about a wedding from a few weeks back; praying that his marriage is blessed and feeling excited to go to lunch soon with his new bride.

...reading on Facebook and looking forward to the event that my church homegroup girls are having this weekend, just to get together for homegirl time and catching up. 

...sharing a text message convo later with a best friend who gives me great news, but urging me to continue to pray for God's goodness in her life. 

...thinking about another friend who had a horrific event strike her family this weekend and praying as her family member fights for breath. 

...hanging out with the friend who knows me so well that I don't have to censor myself around her; we can jump from serious to tears to silly stories, all in one breath. 

...missing my best friend, my sister, who is half a world away right now, ministering to others' hearts the way she often ministers to mine.

Today was a good day. Today made me realize that I am blessed. I don't mean blessed in the Southern, sure way that feels proud to be American. I mean a life touched by the Lord Himself. I wouldn't have the close-knit friendships that keep me sane without His hand. And I know it. 

I know how rare it is that many of these friendships were found in adulthood. I still have incredibly close friendships from middle school and high school that I cherish deeply as well. I hope I am as good of a friend to all these people as they are to me. I can only thank God for them in my life and promise to steward them like a treasure, pouring out for others with the joy they pour into me.

So tonight, I guess I'd point out what I feel every day: