Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm here.

Finally.  And I'm ecstatic.  And there will be posts soon enough.  :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Today

Well, say your prayers and cross your fingers, because I'm leaving the states today.  :)  I am pretty much one big bubble of excitement right now.  I can't believe it's finally here!

I hope you all have fabulous Christmases, and I wish you wonderful new years.  :)

And now, the squeal I know you all knew was coming:
EEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Packing

I sit down before my suitcase and wonder how I'll ever manage to stuff enough of my wardrobe into it.  I'm a heavy packer, and I'm only taking one bag.  This could be a problem.  I fold the first sweater, and as I lay it inside I'm suddenly transported back to the day I packed for our Senior Trip.  I was a bundle of nerves that day.  Kyle was still completely oblivious to my existence and I was determined that the next week of time together would change that.  I wish I could go back and tell myself that it would work out.  I spent altogether way too much time worrying and not nearly enough savoring those fleeting moments of tender uncertainty and hope.

A faded grey t-shirt comes next.  I feel its softness, hold it to my cheek, and remember that it is what I was wearing when we shared our first kiss.  God, I was so scared...  I was leaving his house to go to work.  He walked me out to my car and as I turned to go, he caught my hand, pulled me close and whispered that he loved me.  He said it slowly, earnestly, and to this day it is my favorite moment of my entire life.  It wasn't the first time he'd said it.  It was the second, but it was the first time I was convinced it wasn't a dream.  It was the time I believed it.  We'd both had time to think since that first declaration, and both still trusted that it was true.  We broke apart, but he kept both my hands in his. 

"Would it be okay?"  I love that he asked first.

I just nodded my head.  Honestly it was all I was capable of.  And then he kissed me.  And it was soft and sweet and sincere...but most of all it was perfect.

Into the suitcase the shirt goes, and with it a hundred other bits of my life, all trapped between the threads.

I'm digging through my closet, trying to decide if I have a dress that's suitable for winter weather when I find another moment tucked away:  A night just before we started dating.  It was the night after prom, and our entire gang of friends spent the night at Kylie's house because we'd been out so late.  Everyone else was upstairs sleeping, but Kyle and I were still in the living room, me stretched out on one sofa and him on another, staring at the ceiling and talking about anything and everything.  We traded secrets and dreams and fears, and when Kylie's mom came downstairs at six the next morning, we pretended to be asleep, unintentionally drifting off into what was the most peaceful rest I've ever known.

I smile as I tuck this memory away again, and venture downstairs to pick a book for the plane.  Here I find the volumes that kept me company while Kyle was away, the places I escaped to during our separations.  Here are the books I gave him for his birthday two months late when he came home this summer.  Here is the one he purchased for me the day we went shopping and said I didn't need it.  I couldn't justify spending $25 on a book just because it was new, but he wouldn't let me go without it.  He said I should let him do things for me while he was here...soon he'd be away again.  I stopped protesting after that, just like he knew I would.

I pull my robe around myself a bit tighter and select a book for the flight, and as I do so I realize that even this fuzzy pink monstrosity holds a bit of our past.  It was while he was home this summer.  We were at my house, and it was somewhere in the vicinity of 2AM when we both realized we were hungry.  A quick raid of the kitched turned up nothing of interest, and we were stumped.  I thought for a moment.

"What about pancakes?" I proposed.

"Pancakes are good," he said.  So I pulled down the flour and sugar and milk and such and went to work.  I spilled flour on my fluffy pink robe, but those were probably the best pancakes I've ever made.  Later that night, or that morning, rather, just as we were drifting off to sleep he laughed a little and told me he loved me.

"Why?" I asked, smiling.

"Because.  You just made me pancakes at two o'clock in the morning."  And then we both laughed.

I play those precious moments over and over in my mind, and I smile to myself, knowing that these memories are only the prequel to the story we'll share.  I can't wait until next Monday.  I can't wait to see what the next chapters will bring.  You know, if I ever manage to get packed.  :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Blogger of the Month - December 2009

Photobucket

Hello, and welcome to the first announcement ceremony of the highly coveted Blogger of the Month Award!

First, a detailing of the standards of these winners:  The recipient of this award is a blogger who exemplifies the core traits of a good blog.  Their blog must be well written, clear, and must keep readers up to date.  It should exhibit a true story, not something fabricated, and should strive to reach out to its readers.  The  connections made by blogging are invaluable, and the blogger should seem to understand that.  It should be something that makes the audience want to hear more, and should in turn sate that curiosity.

This month I chose to recognize a blogger I have been following for a few months, and one that is highly deserving.  Her blog has really resonated with me lately, and I think there's a good chance you'll love it too.  So with no further fuss, let's give a big "Congratulations" to Whitney from Glamorous Life of a Housewife!

Whitney's blog is the poignantly penned account of the life she has created with her husband and baby son.  She discusses everything from mundane chores to the many stresses of being married to a man in med school, but through her words these things become filled with as much magic for us readers as they surely are through her own eyes.  It has been an absolute delight to accompany her through this precious but sometimes trying time in her life.

When you arrive on Whitney's blog, you are affronted by a quaint, fifties inspired header featuring the cliche pearl-clad housewife, feather duster in hand.  The subtitle makes us the immediate promise that she is going to reveal the "charm in chores and the magic in motherhood."  For anyone who knows anything about the day-to-day of a stay at home mother, those are bold words, but it's a vow she makes good on.   Each of Levi's accomplishments are described with charming adoration that is contagious,  each visit to her family is an adventure, and I've quickly found that Whitney's mother is a force to be reckoned with:  straight out of a...dare I say old-fashioned?...era and firmly set in her good natured ways.  Recently she engaged in a task worthy of my Making a Difference Mondays on overdrive:  hugging a completely unknown homeless man and contributing to his supposed dinner fund in the middle of what sounds like a very shady downtown area.  She is certainly among the bravest and most caring souls I've had the pleasure of knowing (sort of), and she's also the lady that supplied Whitney with her huge amount of housewifey-know-how.

Whitney is quite open with her readers, responding to emails and comments promptly, which is quite a feat as she has more than six hundred twenty followers to date.  Despite her fame, she is down-to-earth and engaging.  She says that the "most rewarding part of blogging for me, is definitely the readers and the relationships I have built with them.  It is so encouraging to know that I can get on here and vent or just talk, and SOMEONE will always be able to relate." 

She stays true to her beliefs, and is a daily source of my inspiration, so, naturally, I was curious as to where she found her own.  When I emailed her to ask if she'd be the first recipient of my award, I asked her what things spurred her blogging, this is what she had to say:  "I draw inspiration for my blog through my day to day life.  Living life as a housewife and new mom is quite interesting as I try to balance being a good mom AND a good wife, all while trying to keep a nice home.  Sometimes that is a struggle, so I wake up every day trying to live as my tag-line states -- finding the charm in chores and the magic in motherhood."  She went on to explain that she had always "journaled and such," so when blogging became popular she decided to give it a go.  It was a more efficient way of documenting, and the reader response was a big plus.   That a statement to which I'd wager we can all relate.

I can only hope I will be able to meet the challenges of keeping a home and starting a family with half as much grace as this young woman, and even more challenging, that I can make it as entertaining for you readers!

Pop on over and give Whitney a congratulatory comment, and while you're there, take a deeper look.  Who knows, her blog might become one of your favorite places to visit as well.

Congrats, dear, and the very best of wishes in all you do.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Bargain

Today I watched a video from my Senior Trip.  My friends and Kyle and I were captured there on the screen, a permanent reminder of the way we were in the time just before our "real lives" began:  before Kyle and I were a couple, before I started on my way to be a librarian, before he chose to join the military, before some of us parted ways, and before we realized how much stress came of preparing for the future.  Sure, it was all looming there on the horizon, but we were 'blissfully unaware.'

My hair was longer then.  I miss it now.  Kylie looked happier than I've saw her in months.  I was still smiling and laughing with high school friends I no longer see.  And Kyle...  Kyle didn't really look alive yet.  There were glimmers of that beautiful, vibrant spirit in him that I already loved, but he spent most of that trip sunk deep in the old depression that took us months to overcome.  And there are even a few shots where you can see the pleading in my eyes, the desperate hope that one day he would look at me and see all the love I was harboring as the potential for another chance at being happy.

Seeing him like that, caught in the phase between longing for a girl from the past and learning to love me, made me remember how I felt in that torturously prolonged in-between.  Those few months were the darkest hell I've ever known.  I cannot count the nights I fell asleep with tears on my cheeks and a pillow hugged to my chest; I cannot begin to fathom the number of my smiles that were only half-felt; and I really don't know how I found the patience and courage to make it to the place I have reached today.

You see, I did not fall in love in any of the usual ways.  When I fell in love with Kyle, it was in one instant during the latter half of our senior year.  It was fast and sharp and without warning.  It took my breath away, and in that moment I knew my life was going to change.  I just didn't know how.  Oddly enough, until that moment, we had hardly spoken, and ever since I have been convinced that there is indeed a form of destiny or fate, perhaps even a "divine plan."

Kyle, however, didn't fall in love so quickly.  He had to fall out of love with an old idea first, and waiting around for that was wretched.  There were times when I would talk to him, and he'd look straight through me, and I would know he was thinking of someone else.  There were days when I could see the pain settling around him, and I'd want nothing more than to hold him and soothe it away, to see the suffering end no matter what it took.  At that point, I didn't really understand my love for him.  I didn't know where it came from, or what it meant.  All I knew was that I wanted to see him smile because that smile...it made the world slow down.  It made things make sense.  It made me feel at peace for the first time in my life.  And so I set out to fix his broken heart, and in the process mine came to life. 

Upon discovering the many trials that Kyle was experiencing, my friends and I brought him into our circle.  The initial goal was just to make sure he had people to lean on:  to let him know he wasn't alone.  However, as they discovered one by one the way I felt, that goal changed.  For the first time in my life, I didn't deny the feelings I was experiencing, not even to myself.  The stakes were too high this time.  I knew that graduation was quickly approaching, and I couldn't bear the possibility of not seeing him again.  (Not even a few weeks in and already life without him seemed impossible to face.  I never stood a chance, really...)  So I made sure that it wasn't an option for me to disappear from his life, and my friends helped push him in the right direction.  (What are they for, eh?)

Within a matter of weeks we'd become close, and I knew that while all I really needed was to see him happy, I'd be a fool to ignore that I ached to be the girl that kept him that way.  Eventually, I reached a breaking point.  Kyle was completely oblivious to the massive-yet-subtle effort at matchmaking, and I am not the blunt type.  I needed him to see me without me throwing myself at him.  I needed to know that if we were to be together it was because he wanted me because I am me, not just because I was the first opportunity to present itself.  I knew that something had to change if we were going to work...but I didn't know what to do.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the part of the story that I am most shocked by, even now, having lived it.  This is the part in which I did something I hadn't resorted to in years.  This is the part where I swallowed my pride, sank to my knees, and prayed that his broken heart would mend.  It may not seem like much to you, but believe me when I say that it is.  (My experience with religion has not been a good one, and I am more than a little reluctant to reimmerse myself in it.  This however, is food for a different post.)  I cried as I pleaded and hoped with the purest and most selfless of intentions I have ever had.  And you know, I honestly think that is what finally made the difference...the fact that my tears weren't only for myself.  You could call it talking with God, or you could simply call it some sort of personal catharsis...whatever you wish it to be, that act, recognizing what my heart really wanted, was what made me realize what defines a love as being true.

I made a sort of bargain that day, whether with God or myself I'm not entirely sure, but either way it stands:  If I could have this one thing, if I could have his love in return, then I would withstand whatever else was thrown at me.  Having him beside me would make me strong enough to face any obstacle.  This change of attitude is the final straw to which I accredit our coming together.  (Well, you know, when you set aside silly, romantic notions like fate and destiny.)  Because of it, I knew I could not give up -- that I was in far too deep to walk away without a real effort.  I think in some of my darker days of lonliness I forget that.  I think I honestly forget that I knew what it was like to really be alone once.  Even now I am not in that horrifying a place.

One day, not long after we first started dating, while I was still basking in the shock of it all and not entirely convinced it was really happening, I remember telling Kyle, "You could break me."  He just kissed my hand as a reply, but I don't think he really knew what I meant.  I didn't only mean that he could break me...I meant that he was the only thing left that could break me.  Life without him was something I had already faced, and something I knew I couldn't survive while still remaining whole.

Eventually, with time, he grew to understand exactly how deep my love ran.  I don't think he quite believed me at first.  I can't really blame him.  I wouldn't have believed it either, given the circumstances.  And now I think we both share a faith in our love that keeps us strong. 

It is miraculous, the way we came together (both so quickly, and after a lifetime of waiting), and at the perfect time:  just as our childhoods closed and the next chapter in our lives began.  Just barely at the point at which we were both prepared for a real commitment.  I honestly believe I am the luckiest woman in the world to have found him, and to love and be loved so deeply.  I know it's a rare thing, a bond like ours, and I don't take it for granted for a second...  I can't.  Not when I know how empty life would be otherwise.  It's a prize worth every bit of its price and more, because with his love I can meet every demand of our sometimes enormously challenging life.  That was, after all, my end of the bargain, and I wouldn't trade what I have for anything.

Typed:  12/15/2009

Welcome to the 1st Annual Blogging Birthday Bash!

I can hardly believe this day has arrived.  When I started this blog, I thought it would be just like any of my other projects:  I thought I'd give it up within a few weeks.  Surprisingly, I didn't.  I commited to it.  I commited to you readers.  ...it was the best decision I ever made.

This blog has changed the way I live my life, and most assuredly for the better.  But lets skip all the sappy mumbo-jumbo for now, shall we? 

Without any further ado, come on in, one and all, and lets have some blog-hoppin' fun. =)

---

I awoke on the morning of my Blogging Birthday with a smile.  It was finally here!  When I descended the stairs, prepared to conduct a last minute clean-up before you lovely people began to arrive, I found that there was nothing to be done.  I nearly fell down the stairs when I saw what used to be my living room.



I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my apartment, I do, but it's no where near this lovely.  Something very strange was going on.  I know how big my downstairs is.  It couldn't possibly hold all this!  I opened the front door and looked around outside.  The building didn't appear any larger...

About the time I started to scratch my head in wonder, a tabby cat with spectacle markings came running around the corner.  Then I realized what was going on. 



"You didn't think I'd really let you host a party in that, did you?" McGonagall said, raising a brow.

"That?" I responded with a scowl.  "What do you mean by 'that'?  I happen to love my living room."

"Yes, well, it's hardly practical for a gathering of this magnitude."  She had a point, so I conceded and she continued to tweek things until the place looked simply smashing.  Meanwhile, I teamed up with some very friendly house elves to do the cooking.

This was the fruit of our labor:



And the glory of the evening, the cake, in carroty colors, of course:



There was just enough time left over to change before everyone started to arrive...



Is this not the most gorgeous dress you've ever seen?  Ever???  It's a vintage 1950's Kathryn Kuhn Gown, and it's an absolute dream come true.  For all intents and purposes, we're saying that this is what I wore.  :)

Within moments of my descending the stairs once again guests began to arrive.  Some came by car, but some came by more conventional means.  Some arrived in a hot air balloon, and one man even arrived in a carriage pulled by alligators.  That one caused a bit of a scene...  We ate, we danced, we laughed, we cut into that marvelous cake...and we celebrated.  And at the end of the night, just before we all went home, I made the following birthday speech:

"First and foremost, I'd like to thank you all for coming.  Your being here...it means the world to me.  To know that so many people actually care astounds me each and every day.  This past year has been full of changes for me.  Some were changes of circumstance, but others were changes within myself, and I am so glad that you all were here to help me through them.

Having this blog has been a blessing I did not expect, but it is one for which I am constantly thankful.  So...here's to one wonderful year of friendship and discovery, and to many more to come."

And I meant every word.  I do owe you all so very much gratitude.  So on with the festivities!  Let's hear from the guests shall we??  Start popping around the guest list on the right to see what they were up to!  :)

---

::NOTE::

The give-away drawing will be conducted on Saturday to give everyone plenty of time to get their posts up.   Only guests who participated are eligible.  Good luck everyone!  :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Patchwork Post:

I have completely checked out of blog-land for the past few days, and below is the reason why.


I gave up my tumblr a while back, but I've fallen in love with it again.
It's so much fun, and such a great way to share beautiful things with a huge audience.
Do any of you guys tumbl?
If so, add me here and I'll return the favor.  :)
Also, I must announce:
I am going on a sort-of-kind-of leave of absense.

I leave for Germany in 13 days,
(eeeeeeeeeeeeeekkk!)
I have finals all this week,
and I have a very busy cookie-baking schedule coming up.
(We poor college kids have to home-make our Christmas gifts. =] )

I'm not saying I won't be popping in,
I'm just saying that I won't be able to give this blog the attention it deserves.

So, I'll be frequenting my tumblr.
And I'll do my best to keep you guys updated here.
It's a very hectic,
and extremely merry,
Holiday Season around these parts.

To keep you occupied until I'm back,
check out my Resolutions guest post over at Novelista Barista!
(Thank you so much, Jennifer!)

Happy Monday, everyone.  =)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nineteen Days

Nineteen days!  I'm not imagining it am I?  You guys can see that number on the countdown, too, right?  I don't know where the days went, but I'm glad they've left the calendar.  I don't think I have ever been this excited for anything.  Not even the last time he came home.  This time is...different.

I mean, I was ecstatic to see him last time, but I was also a little afraid. So much time had passed, and though we did our best to communicate through letters and a phone call each week, it was difficult.  I was terrified that we'd have changed...  But I was worried for nothing, as usual.  We did change, but we did it together somehow.  We managed to stay in perfect balance, maturing and growing together even though we were apart.  This experience has been every bit as much as journey for me as it has been for him...

Anyway, now I have none of those fears.  Now I am completely consumed by excitement and anticipation.  I am not nervous or apprehensive in the least, and in only nineteen short days I will be in the place that is the closest to heaven I have ever known.  And what with the stress of finals and my first ever time on a plane and the fact that Christmas break means a solid month without pay for student workers...  It can't come fast enough.  I need a break from Kentucky problems right about now.

And a little bit closer to home, I've finally caught Christmas fever.  :)  The tree is up, the first presents are underneath, and I'm breaking out the Christmas candy recipes.  It even snowed for the first time a couple days ago.  It was beautiful, and I hope it keeps on coming.  It might be nineteen days until heaven, but it's only sixteen until Christmas, so in honor of both looming dates can we get a holiday themed happy dance over here?  Yes?  Why thank you!

HAPPY DANCE!!! 

PS.  Also, don't forget about my Blogging Birthday Bash on the sixteenth!  There's still time to sign up if you want to be entered for a chance in my giveaway!  :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Blogging Intrigue


I have been doing a lot of thinking about this blog lately, and about what it is that makes me love it so much.  And you know what?  It's so many things.

It's the complete and total freedom.  Here, I am entirely myself, with no mask to cover how I really feel.  When I am sad, I express that.  When I am afraid, I admit it.  When I am happy, I smile, and you all smile with me.  I don't have to worry about seeming strong or mature or prepared.  I can be honest here when I cannot be anywhere else.  It's such a relief sometimes.  There are days when all I want to do is lock myself in my room and just scream at the top of my lungs because of the strain from all the pretending.  Those are the days when I come here with an open heart and let however I'm feeling pour into this little composition box.  When I am worried or terrified or overwhelmed I can tell you, and you don't look at me like I'm weak or judge me because I have a complaint.  I don't have to look at the pity in your eyes, because it isn't there.  Instead I find acceptance and comfort in your words, and that is an exquisit thing for which I cannot thank you enough.

It's about the connections, too.  I have found so many people here, people I couldn't have met otherwise.  People who write beautifully and eloquently.  People who have been through the same kind of separations.  People who have taught me to try and live in the present rather than spend so much time looking ahead.  People who have given me more comfort than my friends ever could, because they can understand exactly how I feel.  People with whom I have so much in common.  People that could have been my best friends had we grown up nearer to one another.  Here, the world doesn't seem so very large.  It is amazing to have bridged such gaps with technology.

There is also a sense of total control here that I love.  So much of my life is dictated by school and work and the Army. So much of it is out of my hands, taken only on faith and hope.  It is quite the comfort to have this one place where I get to call the shots.  I decide what I want to talk about.  I decide that this blog is an honest place.  I decide that I want to do something worthwhile to me, and I act on my decision.  I can't tell you how sweet a satisfaction that is on days when I'm feeling stuck.  Sometimes trying to balance my life and Kyle's makes me feel like I'm involved in an elaborate circus act:  juggling the different and opposing rules by which we live.  Here though, I lay those fears and problems bare, and instead of my issues being up in the air they're spread out on a table before me where I can work them out at my leisure...and usually with some good advice from my readers.

However, this blog is also the one thing I have that is truly mine.  It serves as the place I go to talk about things that have absolutely nothing to do with my impending marriage and move.  Here is where you get to know me.  Here is where I can discuss things like recipes and books and my friends and my opinions and reactions to things happening around me.  Here is where I take my stand against what I consider the problems of the world.  Here is where I talk about the things I want, but know I may never have, or at least have to wait to get...the sacrifices I make for what is more important.  It helps to talk about those things.  Here is where my voice is heard not only as a daughter, sister, friend, fiancee, or student, but as a person:  a human being in my own right.  Sure, it is evident that parts of me belong to those I love, but I like to think that you can also find the sacred parts of me that belong only to myself.

Here I find love and compassion on a monumental scale.  This blog, all of you people, you restore my hope when it is failing.  In a world like ours it is easy to lose faith, but here I can remember that having faith is a part of who I am.  I do believe in the essential inner goodness of mankind.  I do believe that every piece of life has its purpose.  On certain dark days I owe my continued inner-optimism not only to my friends, family, and Kyle.  Sometimes I owe it entirely to you readers.

So thank you.  Thank you for opening your arms and taking me in when I needed a shelter.  Thank you for building me up and teaching me that it is okay to use my voice.  Thank you for simply being yourselves.  You guys will never really know how much you mean to me.  I wish more than anything that there was a way for me to meet you all face to face and give you the hug that you deserve so very much, especially those of you that have been with me since the beginning.

To get to the heart of things, I think that the true intrigue of the blog world is that it can be the polar opposite of networking sites like MySpace or facebook.  There is no need to photoshop your photos to make yourself look more attractive.  You don't have the pressure to spruce up your hobbies or interests lists to be "cool."  You're not trying to fit a mold.  Instead, here you can just let your real self shine, and eventually people with truly similar hearts stumble along and find you.  "Friend requests" here aren't just a button click away.  They're carefully generated bonds that began as just a few random comments.  And the way we are all brought together, the way we help each other...

That is absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fact or Fiction

I was over at Willow's delightful blog today, and she had the wonderful idea to play this Fact or Fiction game with her readers.  It looked like such fun, so I thought I'd give it a whirl and see how well you guys really know me.  Below are ten statements about me.  One of them is fiction and the other nine are facts.  Can you guess which one isn't quite true?
  1. I am allergic to mushrooms and blu cheese dressing.  One decent-sized bite will have me puking like crazy for hours.
  2. I wrote my first short story when I was six years old, during a winter snowstorm that caused a week-long power outage.  I was so engrossed while writing that my hair caught fire in the candle I was using for light and I didn't even notice.
  3. Kyle's sister Courtney and I have become best friends and have almost everything in common, but during our ten years of school together in our tiny hometown we somehow managed to never cross paths until Kyle and I started dating a year and a half ago.
  4. I have fallen down a staircase and acquired a semi-serious injury no less than four times, but have somehow managed to not break a single bone my entire life.
  5. I wrecked my first car by hitting the side of a bridge while the roads were wet and was then rear-ended the day I got it back from the repair shop, totalling it.  Then, after I got my replacement car, the stereo was stolen within the first week.  Both cars were four-door Saturns.
  6. I've had the chicken pox twice, and have a large number of tiny, white scars covering most of my body.  They aren't very noticeable unless you're looking for them.
  7. I left a Post Secret book in a Borders bookstore with an extra secret of my own slipped iside the pages.
  8. My mother named me Carrie after her best friend who moved away to Arkansas when she was sixteen, despite my father's pleas to name me after his great-grandmother Ilene.
  9. When I was a baby, I loved carrots.  In fact, I ate so many that the tips of my fingers and nose turned orange.  However, this has nothing to do with how I got my nickname.
  10. I never learned the "proper" way to swim, to ride a bike, or to do a cartwheel.
  11. (Bonus Fact)  My favorite flowers are dandelions after they've turned white and puffy, and I believe the wishes you make on them come true, one way or another.  :) 
Well?  What do you say?  Which one is not quite the truth?

PS -- If you guys decide to have one of these Fact or Fiction games on your own blog, please let me know by leaving a link in the comments section of this post.  I'd love to try and guess for all of you guys too!

PPS -- People who know me in real life:  No spoiling this for everyone else, pretty please.  :)

[**UPDATE**  Thanks so much for playing along, guys!  This was fun.  :)  The only question that was false was #8.  My great-grandmother's name was Carrie.  The name was also one my mother had picked as a child, and continued to love until she was pregnant with me.  It was a pretty nice coincidence.

Contrary to popular belief, you can contract chicken pox twice.  I had a mild case as a baby, so I wasn't given the vaccine, and then I caught it again in the fifth grade.

And yes, I did write my first short story at the age of six.  It was about a bunch of girls that went on a camping trip and found a cave full of dragons.  My grandmother had it published in the local newpaper.]

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Finally

Finally I have a set date to offer.
Finally my countdown means something.
Finally I know I'll get to leave.
Finally I can really look forward to Christmas break...
in Germany.

If everything goes according to plan, I'll arrive there on the 28th of December for about a week-long visit.  I could not be any happier about this.  It will have been exactly three months since we've seen each other, and while that doesn't really sound like a long time, I assure you that I've felt each day of it with the same impact as I'd feel a year when we're together.

It feels like it's been forever, but it also feels like it flew by.  ...like things were happening without my notice.  Like I'm waking up from the longest, deepest sleep to find that life has gone on without me.  Like I need to catch up fast so that I'll be ready when the time comes to leave.  Like it was yesterday that we had to say goodbye, and yesterday that I began an emotional hibernation.  But it also feels like yesterday was ages ago. 

It is a contradiction, I know, but that's just how it feels.

But that feeling isn't really important.  It's fleeting.  The pain and disorientation is only temporary.  In the end it is replaced by something much greater.  This other feeling is contained in that first glimpse of each other after so long.  It's full of all the smiles and laughs we've missed, saturated with the longing and the love, fueled by faith and patience, and punctuated by sweet, quiet relief.  It comes with the first easy breath in a long time, the first one I don't have to think about, and I'd almost swear that everything else stops for that one glorious moment.

It kind of feels like this:


Or this:


It is an incredible feeling, and it is coming in just 27 more days. :)

[images via sabino]