yellow belter

Last night was our third karate belt test. The first two tests were for stripes to put on our white beginner belts. Last night we graduated to a yellow belt. Finally, a color! Next is orange, then blue, green, purple, brown, and of course black. It takes most people at least three years to get a black belt. Chad feels positive we will get that far. Ha! Not me. But we will see. I am enjoying it more. It is excited to work hard and acheive something. I feel like a kid again. Everyone watched me do my kada last night and then critiqued it. It was fun. I've always thrived on being critiqued. I loved my design classes in college for this reason. Some would dread it and cry in class. Not me. I am tough in that sense. Bring it on!


butter & tears

This morning my brain is full of vivid memories from childhood. I was a sensitive little girl. Too sensitive. I was also an only child until age 11. I was lonely and bored a lot of the time.

When I was about 7 we lived with some family friends for three months. The family had four girls, all of whom I loved. Two were older than me, two were younger. Although we got along well, I felt like the odd-ball with them. Their father was sweet and tender with them, but rather cold and abrasive with me. One evening we were all at the dinner table. I had been chastised in the past for taking too long with the butter. The dad said something like, "Rebekah, you're such an artist. Just take a glob and pass the butter." He said it loudly. I was embarrassed. Tears sprang to my eyes. I looked down, hoping to avoid crying. Instead gravity pulled the tears out of the eyes. I fought for composure and lost. Gross snot accompanied the tears. Everyone at the table was watching me. My embarrassment grew. I think I remember the dad rolling his eyes. (That could be my imagination. Either way, his attitude toward me was one of annoyance.)

I don't remember what happened after that. I wonder what my own parents were thinking. Were they annoyed with me? Sad for me? Sympathetic? I cannot remember their response. I wish they had stood up for me.

An interesting twist to this story is that I chose my career based on inspiration from the man who made me cry over butter. He was a commercial artist. He made signs. I watched with wonder and fascination as he painted bold, perfectly straight letters in the garage.

In fourth grade I declared, "I'm going to be a Commercial Artist like L." And here I am a graphic designer.



I had a good lunch with Shelley and Ellen today. Ellen and I got small McDonalds meals on the way to Shelley's house. Sadie was down for a nap the whole time we ate and chatted. Shelley's home felt crisp and comfy today. I was relaxed. We recounted the months following Sadie's arrival and how hard it was for Shelley. It seems she is "Finding Normal" after all this time.

My new Designer III position is kicking in. I've been given more assignments and responsibility lately. It's going pretty well, but I feel tired out. It's good though. I feel like I have purpose and recognition now. I'm happy about that. I found out today there are new decisions to make on the horizen regarding work. I could end up doing something entirely different soon. It is a scary, exciting, unsettling possibility. Just when I am finally happy with my job... things might change again. Maybe it'll be even better.

Sorry for all the sketchiness. I will elaborate more later.



Chad and I have been going to karate classes for several months. It is something he has wanted to do since he was five. I, on the other hand, have never enjoyed Kung Fu movies. I always laugh when Patrick Swayze or Tom Cruise are pictured in a field under a tree moving their muscled arms through the air with an intense expression on their face as they practice their martial art moves.

We decided to do karate/kickboxing together. I've enjoyed the kickboxing very much. I feel better and am starting to look better, too. The karate is a struggle though. I have this problem with left & right. I've always struggled when giving people directions. I pause and think to myself, "Do they turn left or right?" The harder I think about it, the more clueless I am. I use my wedding ring for left reference daily. One time when I was in 6th grade my dad and I went for a bike ride together. We were flying down a large hill and he was behind me. He yelled, "Passing on the right!!" and promptly crashed into me as I swirved the wrong direction in order to get out of his way. We tumbled down the asphalt road scraping up our elbows, knees, and hips. He must have been angry, but he did yell or anything. He was a good dad like that.

Back to karate; Mr. Sensei/Teacher Man is very patient and kind, but I can tell it grates on him when I repeated use the wrong hand or leg for a move. It is embarrassing. I've always been a tall, lanky, uncoordinated, non-athletic, embarrassed sort of sport. It takes intense mental concentration to learn the foreign motions and ideas. I am not very good at it.

At the same time I enjoy the things I've learned. The 10 basic breaks, sparring, and stick fighting are fun now that I have the hang of it. I am divided about whether to stick with it. Part of me wants to quit and take up a artsy painting or pottery class instead. The other part of me enjoys learning something new with Chad. I am torn about which path to take.


feeling anxious

Two people at my company had babies over the weekend. Both are boys. Both are healthy, perfect, and excitedly received into this world. There has been a joyful buzz around the office all day because of the news. I have mixed emotions inside. Part of me is happy happy happy. The other part is sad and anxious. When will it be my turn?

I try to enjoy these baby-free times. I know someday I'll be pulling my hair out while I remember the golden days of working, playing, and being free. But the tug on my heart is so strong. So deep and real.

Every task I do is connected to thoughts of family, children, and babies. I made my first beef stew on Saturday. It turned out wonderful. As I stirred the thick soup I daydreamed about making soups, cookies, breads & everything else for a housefull of kids. I dreamed of the kids not even realizing how yummy their mommy's food was until they went away to college.

Am I crazy?


orphans, singing, imagination

Saturday night I dreamed about the orphans in Africa. In the dream I brought a little girl home with me. I woke with vivid imagery of this child in my head. In church a couple hours later we sang a song I love. The chorus goes:

This is the One we have waited for.
This is the One we have waited for.
This is the One we have waited for.
This is our God.

It is talking about God, of course, but I sang it with different thoughts in mind. First I thought of the orphans singing it, regarding us adopting them. They were singing, "This is the family we have waited for." Then I thought of my own long-standing desire for a child. Someday I'll be able to say, "This is the one I have waited for." Tears streamed down my face as I had these thoughts about children, the future, and God. It was a sweet experience.


my thoughts on the american dream

The United States is an amazing and wonderful place to live. I know this after visiting South America and Africa. We have so much here. Roads. Schools. Libraries. Hospitals. National Parks. Public Transportation. Postal System. Drinkable water. Technology in general. The list goes on and on. The question remains: The why are Americans unhappy? Why are we discontent? To others in the world we have everything we could ever ask for. When l look around at my friends, coworkers, & acquaintaces I see everyone striving for The American Dream. But what is this ambiguous thing? Some say it's being rich. (Which is a relative concept in itself.) Others think it's living in the mountains with a pond and a pet. And to some it's reaching the top of the corporate latter.

Most Christians reading an paragraph like this have an easy answer. God. God is what satisfies. Chad's former youth pastor answers questions like these the same way every time: Pray. Read your bible. Go to church. But what is the answer for those who pray, read the bible, go to church, but are still unhappy, unfulfilled, and discontent? Anyone?


american dream

Tell me your definition of the "American Dream."


conversations all around

It is 8:45am.

There are three simotaneous conversations happening within 15 feet of my desk. I want to scream.

"Be quiet!"

"Wait until 10:00 to talk!"

"What's so funny?"

Sometimes I am the loud, happy one in the morning. Today I am tired. I worked all weekend; Saturday and Sunday. Today feels like a perpetual Thursday instead of a new Tuesday. I'm not happy. I'm not funny. I'm not silly. I'm irritable, sleepy, foggy-brained, annoyed and apathetic.

On a more positive note, my plants are doing well. The weather has warmed up and they are soaking up the sunlight from my office window. The sunlight is bouncing off the bright leaves of ivy. When I stare at the different colors of green, the surrounding conversations seem less abrasive. I will be looking at my plants a lot today.


the package is on it's way

I am a procrastinator. I dislike this fact but it is true.

In October (5 months ago) I went to Vancouver. I was there with two friends. One friend, Brian, accidently left one of his purchases in my backpack. He had bought two cool wooden stamps for his wife, Anna. Upon returning home he asked me to mail them to him. I said, "Sure!" And then I put it off. I'd think about it every few days and kick myself. But then I'd put it off again. And again. A couple months passed. Brian emailed me and nicely asked if I'd mailed them yet. I felt lame. I said no, but that I'd do it immediately. Then I put it off again. What is my deal?! I don't know. I finally mailed the blasted trinkets today. They are on their way to Alaska as I type.

Brian, I am incredibly sorry for my dumbness. I cannot explain the reason for my delayed action. I hope Anna loves the stamps. :) I have not used my yet. Are you surprised?


contentment = blessing

This morning I had a breakthrough with my continual displeasure of making less than my coworkers. (See previous post.) This afternoon I met with my manager and guess what? I got a promotion and a raise!! I think God's timing is really interesting. I've been wrestling with comparing myself to others. The day I finally let go, it was taken care of. I keep smiling because of the irony.

I feel like celebrating! Maybe we'll go out to dinner. Or maybe we'll skip karate class. (I've been struggling with karate lately. My husband, on the other hand, is loving every second of it. I'll save this topic for a different day.) It is mildly difficult to be so happy about something that I can't TELL everyone about.


What makes a person content?

I don't make as much money as a lot of my coworkers. I struggle with this on a regular basis. Yesterday I had a realization that money doens't make people content. This idea is everywhere, but it really hit me. I looked around at the people I work with and realized the ones who make more are not happier. Their lives aren't easier. They feel underpaid like I do. In a lot of cases they are MORE stressed out with their finances.

I want to defy this standard. I want to be content with what I have now. I feel motivated to tackle this obstacle whole-heartedly. How do I keep myself from sliding back down into the I-deserve-more-mode? Any suggestions?