I, on the other hand, have that chance more often than not, and that time showed me I should take advantage of it more often than I do.
I visited my dear friend Kae, who is just a fantastic hostess, among many other things. I love to pop in on her from time to time, and just be a part of her life - we don't make big plans for our time together. She just has a peaceful, quiet, intentional way of life that I, in all my rushing, overly-social, never-take-a-breath, unpredictable intensity, need to soak up every once in a while.
I mean, the first night I was there, we finished dinner, and sat around talking for a minute, then, when I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water, I glanced over at the tabletop and realized it was a perfect still-life:
Kae and her husband James have a little baby girl, Rose, and they like to carefully preserve and cultivate "Adult" things in their life after she's in bed by lighting candles and having long conversations over dinner. They've done a good job of that from what I saw.
One night, Kae and I had a little tea party and read together - it was such a perfect re-set time and a reminder that this quiet little life is exactly where I want to be.
And one night, we made homemade pasta, because if we don't cook together at least once a visit, something has gone terribly wrong.
It's our happy place. Can't you tell?
One of my favorite moments of the whole trip, though, was one afternoon when Kae was washing dishes and I was in the living room (probably having just finished my 14,973,587th reading of Rose's favorite "Mary Had a Little Lamb" finger puppet book) and Rose was just floating back and forth between us - she went into the kitchen with Kae, and Kae began singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to her in Chinese.
Just a normal moment in their day, but so incredibly poignant for me.
Yeah, there's something about music in languages other than English that gets me every time, but this was different.
When Kae and I first met, neither of us would ever have imagined we would be in that moment right then. But somehow it was exactly right - exactly the way things were supposed to be from the very beginning.
I don't think either of us would trade to be where we pictured ourselves 7 years ago.
So, today was my first "cooking club," which I'm trying to model off of Shauna Niequist's concept (at least my understanding thereof). By the way, if you've never read any of Shauna's books, double-time it to the nearest bookstore now, and get both Cold Tangerines and Bread and Wine.
Go ahead! I'll wait here til you get back...
Or if you don't go buy her books immediately, at least please follow her on instagram. She is a really awesome human.
She's done this thing called cooking club for years now, where the same basic group of women gathers once a month in a different person's house each time on a steady rotation, and each person brings ingredients for parts of a meal, centering around a theme (Mediterranean food, for example, or miniature food). Then they all cook and eat together. It's a great purposeful way to cultivate vulnerability and community and also to learn how to cook new things from each other, and not get stuck in a food rut.
So a friend of mine hosted cooking club tonight, and there were about 5 of us, and most folks brought already prepared things, so it didn't quite go as planned, but it was a really good group, so I'd say all in all it was a good start.
Next time it's making homemade pasta and sauces at my house!
Tonight, I went to a performance of excerpts from Handel's Messiah.
It is simply awe-inspiring.
Every year that I can, for at least the past 8 years, I've gone to this same performance, and for 3 of those years, I performed in it. There is nothing like that music.
It kind of accidentally became a birthday tradition for me, because it happens either the weekend before or after my birthday every year - one of those years, I even got to sing in it on my actual birthday!
Now I hope that, wherever I live for the rest of my life, there will be a production not-too-far-to-travel-to, because I honestly can't imagine the Holidays without it.
Confession: most of the last month, I thought my birthday was this Wednesday (as in today), but no. It was Tuesday...
Last week (on Cyber Monday, no less), I found a really great deal on a curling iron I've been wanting, but I wanted to do a little more research before actually committing, so I sat down and studied up on it, and decided that, yes. I wanted it.
Then, for some unknown reason, I decided I should get ready for bed before actually making the purchase, so I did. And, as I was brushing my teeth, I decided I needed an electric toothbrush, then and there, so instead of the well-researched curling iron, I bought myself an electric toothbrush.
It came today, and I'm interested to see if it was indeed a good decision.
I guess maybe this means I'm a real adult now? That I bought myself an electric toothbrush instead of a curling iron for my birthday?
You guys, really wonderful things happen when you choose to put people in a higher place of priority than blogs, and that's about all I have to say about my recent absence.
Just kidding - stay tuned in the next few days for further thoughts from my time beyond the screen.
However, since it is my birthday, and I made a resolution to post every day in my 28th year, here I am...
with another resolution. I'd say this is going quite well so far, wouldn't you? How about I just introduce you to another resolution every few weeks for the next year?
Nope, sorry - these are the only two you get.
Oh, you actually want to know what the resolution is? (I think it's a pretty good one!)
I am resolved to spend 28 Saturdays this year outdoors. This doesn't necessarily mean I'll be doing great big enormous things like camping every weekend, though I do intend to do that some. It just means that I'm trying to get myself outside more to remind myself why I used to love being out in nature so much. It may just mean I explore some new trails or state parks near my home on day trips, or it may mean I make a weekend trip and stay with friends near Austin and hike up Enchanted Rock, or it may mean I go ride horses in a friend's pasture.
Whatever it means, I'm looking forward to sharing it with you!
I am a believer in Jesus Christ, a seeker of Beauty and Truth, a lover of life, a reveller in music of almost any kind, a writer who explores life triumphant, a dancer who stumbles frequently, and a hopelessly girly girl.