Thursday, October 18, 2012

Really hurting.

"I didn't think it would end this way."
"End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one we must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it."
"What, Gandalf? See what?"
"White shores - and beyond - a far green country under a swift sunrise."
"Well that isn't so bad."
"No. No, it isn't."
-Pippin and Gandalf
in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Return of the King movie


I have grown up around grief.
I have grown up around death.
The fear of pain and emotions.
The constant and constricting battle between self pride and the deep need to express emotions.
Death has been a part of my life.
It is never easy.

Some of my most present memories consist of attending funerals.
Friends. Relatives. Family. Grandparents. Family of close friends.
Church family. Children. Pets.

When I was twelve I witnessed a dear church friend die in front of me.
When I was thirteen, my closest grandparents died 2 months apart from one another.
One year later I began work at a small-town animal hospital. Death was a part of my job. Our clinic was fortunate to have a crematorium on site, a luxury in the veterinary world... but this also meant we consistently had bodies and ashes in the back areas of the clinic. I learned what death looked like. What it smelled like. What it sounded like - for the dying individual and the surrounding persons. I remember whispering silent prayers to myself as I circled the back kennels while hot tears streamed down my swollen cheeks. Hoping for justice, mercy, love, and compassion... but mostly for life. I would spend the rest of my time at work fighting to hold back tears for the requirements of "the job."
When I was fifteen my violin teacher and orchestra conductor was rolled out of a concert on a stretcher... she passed away a few weeks later. I cried at every one of my future auditions when asked about my past teachers. I can't open my violin case without thinking of her; wishing she could have seen my college music career, wishing to tell her about my successes at music camp, and learn dramatic and moody German concertos with her.
When I was 16 we put down my 5-year-old Golden Retriever - and best friend. I left the room. The look on his face as I left the room is burned into my memory like a venomous sting. I will never do that again. I realize pets are just animals - but we put them under our wing, make them trust us for all their needs so that they truly become our companions... but when their need is an expensive health bill for "just an animal" we dismiss it with hardly a tearful glance because we are afraid... afraid to feel, to have a heartfelt emotion for the very creature God created to give us unconditional love and affection when we need it most.
A few weeks ago my new family lost a dear loved one. Kyle's aunt lost her battle with cancer. My heart burns for her dedicated husband and three beautiful, talented, and amazing daughters she left behind.
Around the same time, I learned that one of my dear high school students, whom I personally helped and encouraged on a daily basis for months of my student teaching experience died in a car accident - at 18.

I started losing count of funeral attendance when I was 16... after I'd been to well over a dozen.

They were all the same:
Muted colors
Soft music
Familiar faces
Home-cooked food
Chilled air
Dewey grass
Sweet memories
Soft breezes
Hushed voices
Emotional stories
Rushed laughs
Withheld emotions

Being that I was around death so much I had become familiar with the stages of grief. I could see myself go through them. Be it years, months, weeks, days, hours, or minutes. I knew where I was. I learned what it would take for me to move on.
I would rush it.
I would avoid it.
I would go through one and move on to the next only to take three steps backwards and start all over again.


I deal with my pain through music, dancing, warm beverages, kitty snuggles, staring aimlessly outside -or at anything, long hot showers, absorbing myself into aimless television and movie watching, cooking and baking, cleaning and organizing.
But it just dulls it.
Numbs me to the brutal truth that I am really hurting.

Part of this, I believe, is because I'm afraid
to allow myself to feel....
to love....
to have emotional pain...
to consciously provide a way of healing.

I have been told I am a fool for crying.
I have been told I never loved.
I have been told I never cared.
I have been told there was no option.
I have been told that I am ridiculous for getting emotional.

How can we expect anyone to heal if we constantly tell one another (and ourselves) not to care so much? Isn't part of grieving because we do care so much?

The need to heal is different for everyone.
Vastly different.
Some let it right out.
Others keep it hushed and quiet.
Still others are so lost in their pain that they cover it and avoid it at all costs.
Learning to grieve with different people, different friends, different family members has been a journey. A journey that I am continuing on. It is never the same. It is never easy. It is a challenge, but one that cannot be taken lightly or rushed. People are different, but they are all the same: Human. With human needs and desires to love and be loved - people who fear their own pain and emotions.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the perturbations of love is Hell."
- CS Lewis

"People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's [crap]. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a [tangible object]. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It's all in how you carry it. That's what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you're letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain."
- Jim Morrison

Express your fear. Your love. Your pain. Don't hold it in...

"Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it."
- JK Rowling

"And as he spoke he no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read; which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better than the one before."
- CS Lewis, The Last Battle

I honestly don 't have any profound concluding thoughts, which is why this post has been so long in the finalization stage... I know death really isn't the end. Especially for those who know Jesus and follow him. I don't want to end on a cheesy note, and I definitely don't want to come off as Christianese, or super orthodox, because that's not who I am, nor what I represent. All I know is that there is hope. Amid all our grief, all our pain, all our suffering. There is a better world coming, something - someONE - who really has our best in mind. Reasons to not give up are super hard to see, and super hard to understand at times; but simply the lack of ability to see or understand affords no reason to keep fighting, keep living, and keep loving.

How I know I've finally arrived.

I unpacked and put away my entire tea (and mug) collection for the first time... ever.

Currently I have an entire cupboard dedicated to warm drinks and cozy mugs. There was a little extra room so I threw in the collection of adventuring water bottles we have.

Drinking a warm cup of tea just makes days better. When I'm sad, it tends to cheer me up. When I'm frustrated, it soothes me. When I'm awake at bedtime, it calms me. I also cycle through a few of my top favorite mugs. Some of them just make me happier than others, depending on my mood and how the day is going (or how I want it to start going).

I have numerous kinds of tea, my favorites right now are any kind of Rooibos, and Yogi's Egyptian Licorice. Do you have a tea or coffee cupboard? What are your favorite kinds? Do you have a favorite mug? What is the deciding factor for you to know when you've finally arrived somewhere?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Being Married.

The first of the batch of wedding photos has arrived! I am so excited to see the rest!
(i am literally on the edge of my seat itching to see more!! Keely is such an incredibly talented photographer! Everyone looks amazing, and the location is absolutely beautiful!!)

I am in the midst of cleaning/organizing/unpacking the house while tending to our dear puppy, Echo, and the two crazies (Kenobi and Tiberius). I will hopefully catch up a little (in positive retrospect) about how the wedding planning and days leading up to the event went in the near future.... in addition to my housewife attempts and adventures (here's to hoping I finally figure out how to properly use a Silpat mat).

So far, I love being married. Yes, it comes with its own challenges, but I am really enjoying where life has me right now. Although the adventure bug is always itching, I feel at peace right here... for now (perhaps this is because I'm still so excited from our adventures in Kauai and also because I'm really loving the church we are getting involved with).

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A day in the life of the unemployed

For the first time in my life since before high school (when I started becoming insanely busy with activities and work), I can do just about anything I want. I have no idea what to do with myself. This is both daunting and exciting. So much potential, yet so much opportunity to do literally nothing. One thing is for sure, however, I want to ensure that I both take this time to rest, relax and enjoy life, but also to live to the fullest - sure I may not be employed by a job, but I have an endless list of things I can be doing! I might as well get a start on them.

Today I...

...slept in until almost 11am
...made a four-layer German Chocolate Cake
...watched multiple shows on Netflix
....cleaned my house (except my room)
...picked up photos at the store
...made a long list of all the things I can do now that I have limitless free time
...felt like a Homeschooler

I found myself listening to movie soundtracks chastising my housemate for drinking and organizing my embroidery floss - for the first time in my life. For all the years that I was homeschooled I couldn't find the time or the $2 to purchase an organization box? go figure. So here I am, 6 years post-homeschool, doing just that.

Why this seemingly anti-social interaction, you may ask? Kyle is at a bachelor party for a friend.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coerced Resignation

I lost my job.

On one side, this means my finances will be in a tight spot for awhile, but at the same time, I think this is an answer to a prayer that I didn't realize I was screaming out to God at a consistent rate.

I now have all the time in the world to spend on planning my wedding, workout, sleep, read and study God's Word, spend time with friends, and spend time with Kyle. Our relationship was starting to suffer with this job I had, and now it's not a concern. Sure, I feel pretty down on myself about it, but I'm sure it's for the best.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not my fav...

Dress shopping.

In a nutshell, shall we say I'm a tomboy?

Dress shopping is not my forte, it is not my thing, it is not often something I seek out.

I struggle to purchase a dress for myself at Target for $20.

Jeans and a t-shirt, sign me up. Leotard? Well... ok, fine. Professional dress - not really comfortable, but I will deal.

Ask me to look for and purchase a dress that not only costs over $30, but one that is big, heavy, and expensive. Require me to try them on over and over again and ask me in-depth questions on how I feel about them? Please, goodness, is there anything else in the world I can do instead?!?

Is it formal enough for a wedding but not too formal for an outside venue, is it well made, does it look good on you, does the style fit my figure, is it too girly, is there beading or too much bling-bling, is there lace, do I like lace, do I want a train, do I want a veil, does my mother, family, and friends like it on me, what kind of fabric, cut, color, style, shape, what's my budget ----- how much time do we have between now and the wedding?

81 whole days. 81 and insanely-packed and short days.

I dream about dress shopping now. Maybe not dream... I pass out and my conscious thought does not stop thinking about and comparing the dresses I have tried and if there might be something better, and what if I have to settle on something I don't like, and what if so-and-so doesn't like it, and is it too formal/girly/weird for me (will I have second thoughts? It's such a big purchase). I have been to four shops, and found nothing yet....the search (saga) continues.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Wedding related updates (of sorts):

Finally got my ring sized and returned to me after what seemed like an eternally long (and somewhat confusing weekend) to miss it.... so glad to have it back. PS: I don't know if I've ever posted pictures of it?
I found that the flash on my camera was super annoying (I have yet to get accessories for it... dreams), but remembered I could diffuse the flash with a piece of paper. Um, yes, and got the flash in my eyes, but hey! It's all about the pictures, right?

Ordered and got Kyle's wedding band. I literally never though it would be like it is, but it makes sense, and I love it. I am so excited to be his wife. It's not an exact match to mine, but it's perfect, and made out of Tungsten Carbide.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dance is an art (and a drug)

I stand corrected. Dance and music are my drugs of choice; I am an unashamed addict. As such, they prove to be necessary components of my life.

Last night we played Dance Central, and I could not stop. I literally had to keep going. I had to try as many songs and levels as possible. I was exhausted, but I could not pull myself away. What made me stop? The xbox froze - it was most unfortunate. As much as the death plies hurt yesterday, I find myself craving more. I stayed up too late last night because I was on continuous youtube related videos for my favorite artists.

Also: I came across this on my time I spent online recently, and needless to say, I love everything about it:

Day 3 Shred
I slept sore, I woke up sore, I am stiff, sore, and still sore.

Day 4 Shred
Burn. Feel the Burn.

Day 5 Shred...?
So I missed a day due to visiting with the ever lovely and wonderful Kara and her darling and adorable son and her family, driving up to Salem to check out the party rental store, and plant some flowers for the wedding at Kyle's Grandpa's house, then we went back to Corvallis for our friend Matt and Al's wedding, then on to Kyle's surprise plans --- a Greg Laswell concert in Portland! Best surprise since he proposed! It was wonderful. I was so surprised. Greg Laswell is one of my top favorite musicians. 

Actual Shred Day 5
Did today's workout with Kyle. Today seemed a bit better - perhaps because of the short break I was allowed since no workout yesterday?

Day 6 Shred
Did it again with Kyle. It's definitely not nearly as miserably challenging at first, but I still can't do all of everything completely (if that wasn't redundant, I'm not sure what is...).

Day 7 Shred
Missed yesterday, but I'm not beating myself up over it too much. I was way tired. I got to Kyle's and ended up napping with the kittens (pics coming soon, hopefully).
Overall today is going well, shred-wise. I think a neighbor kid saw me from the street (awkward), but none the less fine. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Day 2 of Shred
I woke up incredibly sore. I am sore. My muscles hurt. I cannot rephrase this enough. I am so sore -- but I did it. Day 2, consider yourself done. I really need to work on the whole 90 degree angles and such. I still cannot finish a single strength series. It's pathetic. I'm pathetic!!! I have faith that I can work myself up to the normal amount and not be ashamed of it. Besides, I'm working with 5lb weights here peoples! It's difficult!

After gracing my aching body with another beastly workout, I noticed that my bedroom windowsill is exactly barre height. Lightbulb. I frantically search my iTunes for this one album my ballet instructor gave me as I was departing for college. Upon finding it, I donned my canvas shoes and did a few plies.
Death Plies.
I am horrible at ballet anymore, this is miserable! Curse you grad school for making me sacrifice all the things I have forever been passionate about... and continue to lack any sort of income to pursue. I decided to not go much farther than a few super basic combinations. It is so incredibly humiliating. I am kinda glad I have not signed myself up for an actual dance class just yet. (.....yet) Additionally, Kyle and I are borrowing a friends copy of Dance Central, so I'm hoping that will be fun.

Upon further searching of iTunes for more ballet barre related music, I found that both Sigur Ros and Regina Spektor have a new album out. Yeah. I might own them now. This is why iTunes is a bad thing for me to visit frequently.

I would argue that music and dance are two languages I know how to speak well; but I've lost practice and am not immersed in them anymore, so I have lost my fluency. Time to step it back up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

3 thoughts

These TOMS are on their way to my feet soon! I don't know if I could be any more excited!

One of my good friends really challenged me to pursue my Bible reading unprovoked and without leadership of anyone else.... but also to be open with what God has for me, and what I learn as I read - not to keep it bottled up inside (as is so easy for me). Being open and sharing such things definitely does not come naturally.

If you get a chance at all to do anything this week, grab a copy of this book: Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

I promise, it will change your life. You will think about things in a whole new way, and you may even be inspired. I may have cried and required a solo walk on the beach to ponder it all. It's an easy read, and shouldn't take you longer than an hour or so to complete it. Seriously: Mind. Blown.
A seriously special thank you goes out to Kim for recommending this book to me.

day 1

It came today! I was totally not expecting it to come today at all, but it did! I love little surprise packages like that sometimes (thank you, amazon). I am now the proud (maybe?... we'll see how things go) owner of Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred, 6 week six-pack, and No More Trouble Zones. Ok, maybe I went a bit overboard, but I'll be honest, it's one of the less expensive of the workout videos I've found. Plus, the workout for the shred is only about half an hour, which is where I got hung up with TurboFire (although I do still love it and actually noticed it working for the 2-week segment where I actually kept up with it).

In addition to starting the Shred, I chanced upon the blog, Healthy Tipping Point and another blog by the same author, Operation Beautiful. Somehow the latter blog got me out of my funk and I pulled down my mirror off my (well... rubbermaid container as I have yet to mount it to the wall) and erased the "I am good enough, smart enough, and I'm a teacher/grad student" that had been up there since fall of 2010. Time for newer and more relevant things such as: "You are beautiful - inside and out"

Day 1 - 30-Day Shred
This workout is a beast. I might consider myself in decent shape, but even on my good days I'm in much less shape than I was at one point in my life. Additionally, I never worked my body in the ways these videos do. After finishing the workout, I felt tired and sore, but pumped. Then I tried getting up off the floor and BAM! noodle legs. To be completely honest though... part of me really wants to do a workout like this twice a day... I'll start with once for now though.

Monday, May 28, 2012

...and then there were 2!

Kenobi is in the teenage years. It's quite fun, but at the same time, it is obvious he would benefit from having a friend (or... at least that's what we are thinking).

Kyle went to the Salem shelter to look at kitties and saw a few cuties, sooo we went back together on Sunday. I would be more than happy with just about any kitty they had there, but Kyle became smitten with this little guy:

"Fozzy Bear"

His current name is Fozzy Bear... but knowing us, it's likely to change. There's still a consideration of having the whole: O-B, Juan, and Kenobi, but so far, we're not sure if this sweet little cuddle bug fits into that genre. Any ideas or suggestions? Kyle won't get to bring him home until Thursday, so we won't know more about his personality until then....

110 days to go!!!

Um.... so to have Save the Dates or not to have Save the Dates? That is the question. I love them - they're adorable, but potentially an added Thing to do, and more dinero. Gross.

110 days!!! So crazy!!! This time last year I had NO idea I would be getting married Fall 2012.

I'm hopeful about finishing up the guest list this week. My coworker got a really good deal on her invites through a groupon with vistaprint. I'm following it closely now to see if we can do the same.... if I want to go with non-self-printed ones, that is.

Another updateable tidbit, I suppose, is that I will soon be an owner of the 30-day Shred. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but I'm hopeful here, alright? I want to be in shape again, and look good for my wedding/honeymoon (he says somewhere warm... so I'ma take advantage of the whole swimsuit idea).

Monday, May 7, 2012

18 weeks

18 weeks until the wedding - my wedding.

I have very little motivation to do much of anything, but the good part is that I want motivation. I want to be motivated. I want to do things. I want to feel accomplished. I want to do things with myself and with my life.

I just get so hung up on details and sweat the small things and get frustrated at myself for doing so.

So, in light of such, I decided I should make a list (regardless if I keep to it or not) of things I want to do or have done before I get married.

Read my Bible and really get into my studies every day
Finish any necessary items to get my teaching license
Keep my personal finances organized
Always have something fun to wear (aka: do laundry)
Get proper rest
Exercise to get in better shape for life and wedding
Spend at least one day of the week doing something I'm passionate about for at least one hour.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

big idea...?

Found this post on Relevant Mag the other day... I've been thinking about what it would be like if I actually went into teaching within the next two years...

Your Big Idea is Not Enough

"Vision without action is merely a dream; action without vision just passes time; but vision with action can change the world." - Barker

Monday, January 23, 2012


Sometimes it's that one person, who you never really got to know or spent much time with. That person who sees you entirely from the outside and not really all the insanity of your life. They manage to say something that you might not really notice at the time, but makes a world of a difference when you're gone.

Sorting through my oodles of belongings I came across a comment card from the exec of Azalea. Some were stereotypical: "you rock dude," a few quotes, but one really stuck out -- from a girl I rarely talked to and never really spent the time to get to know.

"Hannah, you are one of the most talented/creative people I have met. You will do great at whatever you do after you graduate" <3

...almost makes me feel like I can conquerer the world now, eh?

Monday, January 16, 2012


I have been hoping that this year would be different, that for once in my life I'd make it an entire week into my year-long adventure through the Bible. But alas, no. Day 6, maybe? ...and here it is, January 16th, and I haven't read in 10 days. I get too frustrated to continue though because I just get distracted beating myself up about my failure.

I actually read that article from Relevant magazine today. (props to self) It has a lot of things that really make me think, and a few others that make me emotional (almost crying here, I suppose you could say). But at the same time, they are good ideas. I think the biggest ones were (other than all being really good ones):
3. Don't Rush Dating and Marriage
11. Don't Get Stuck

More on the first in a few posts... But for now, not getting stuck. I feel like I'm stuck.
I work at Panera
I still haven't acquired my teaching license
I got a degree that gives me a career that I don't know if I really want to pursue
I live in Corvallis... there is no dance in Corvallis
I'm not playing my violin

I'm not moving, I'm not doing anything. I'm stagnating. I work. I make dinner. I watch TV. I Pinterest. Granted, I do the two middle things with my boyfriend. I have a shelf full of books and a list of crafty activities to do, but I'm not doing any of them.

I want to do so much.... become fluent in Spanish, move, go dancing with friends, have friends over frequently, lead a small group, play violin at church, volunteer... go international, dance, orchestra... and generally do crazy adventuring (snowboarding, climbing, biking, road-tripping).

I guess the question becomes: what am I waiting for?
I don't really know. I think part of me is afraid of finances and all the debt I'm holding on to because of the college career I pursued.

I get stuck. I get frustrated. I freak out about doing new things or doing too much, -- I get overwhelmed and... so I do nothing.

How to fix this?
I'm moving (back to my old house, but still, it was better, and I'm hoping it will be better)
I started this blog
I really liked the idea in the article of having a day, once a month to journal, do serious bible studying, relax, have coffee, de-stress. <-- so hopefully with this idea, and moving, and creating a list of adventuring ideas (to be assembled in an easy-access form, yet make it exciting to actually do some of them), hopefully I will stagnate less, get frustrated less, and enjoy life more.

Here we go.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Things to know at 25...ish

Crap, I'm old (no, not really...). Especially finding and reading this (well, stalking friends on Facebook [thank you, social networking]) and finding it poignant. However, I will admit that I found the link, put it here, and fully intend to read it at a later hour.

I am a procrastinator, and yet, I have nothing to procrastinate.

Yup, forgot to put in the link:
Things to know at 25...ish

Did you forget?!?!!

While parusing through my sister's blog the other day, I came across this:

Did You Forget You're Saved?

Such a beautiful and wonderful thing. I do not spend nearly enough time remembering this. Perhaps if I lived it out more I would think on it more, perhaps if I actually read my Bible on a daily basis this would be an easier thing...

I find myself saying "perhaps if..." or "I should write down ___ to remember to do ___" and either forget to write it down, or lose the list of items because I'm too preoccupied doing... well, nothing.

I really want to find a way to become more passionate. As a topic that was presented in grad school over and over again, I don't really know what it even is. What am I passionate about? What things should I be passionate about? What should I try to be less passionate about? In what way could I be a more loving person, honorable, and a trustworthy friend through the things I am passionate about?

If only I were to spend more time actually living these things out, rather than just blogging about them.


I am a long-time ENFP. In graduate school, this changed. However, it is the most popularly identifiable personality type I personify (using big words here). I found a similar post to this on my sister's blog the other day, when I finally was able to read her blog after months of forgetting how to gain access. Figured it wouldn't hurt for me to find one for my personality type and work on it a bit more... plus, good gracious, these are helpful. I thought about them all day at work.

Ten Rules to Live By to Achieve ENFP Success
1.     Feed Your Strengths! Make sure you have opportunities to have new experiences to feel your quest of understanding the world.
2.     Face Your Weaknesses! Realize and accept that some traits are strengths and some are weaknesses. By facing your weaknesses, you can overcome them and they will have less power over you.
3.     Express Your Feelings. Don’t let anger get bottled up inside you.  If you have strong feelings, sort them out and express them, or they may become destructive!
4.     Make Decisions. Don't be afraid to have an opinion. You need to know how you feel about things in order to be effective.
5.     Smile at Criticism. Try to see disagreement and discord as an opportunity for growth, because that’s exactly what it is.  Try not to become overly defensive towards criticism; try to hear it and judge it objectively.
6.     Be Aware of Others. Remember that there are 15 other personality types out there who see things differently than you see them. Most of your problems with other people are easier to deal with if you try to understand the other person's perspective.
7.     Be Aware of Yourself. Don't stint your own needs for the sake of others too much. Realise you are an important focus. If you do not fulfill your own needs, how will continue to be effective and how will others know you are true to your beliefs?
8.     Be Accountable for Yourself. Don’t waste mental energy finding blame in other’s behaviour, or in identifying yourself as a victim.  You have more control over your life than any other person has.
9.     Assume the Best. Don't distress yourself by assuming the worst.  Remember that a positive attitude creates positive situations.
10. When in Doubt, Ask Questions! Don't assume that the lack of feedback is the same thing as negative feedback. If you need feedback and don't have any, ask for it.


First Post.... of yet another one of Hannah's blogs. You might be saying "woohoo...I don't really care..." but at the same time, you are here, and intrigued about what I might say (let's be real people, that's what this is about, you want to stalk my life [as if facebook wasn't enough]).

I haven't blogged in a long time. I attempted to be cool in college, but ended up always being overly emotional and annoying (especially about stupid boy crap... and I had a lot of it in college, oddly enough). I then attempted right after college. Both attempts were a disastrous flop firstly because I never posted often enough (too post-college ADD), and second because I never really thought it was cool enough to share them (see first point).

I've accomplished a lot of things, and done a lot of firsts... first job, first car, first dog, high school diploma (homeschooling: if you can call it that), first chair in orchestra, first concertmaster position, first college, first essay, first final exam, first kiss, first drink, first collegiate transfer, first major change (second, third, fourth, fifth...), first bachelor's degree, first graduate school, first time teaching high school, first master's degree, first post-college career job, first post- college/grad school melt down, first insomnia (thank you, post-grad school insanity), first time running out of gas in my car, first time locking my keys in my car (thank you AAA for coming to my rescue and not allowing me to freeze to death on both occasions)... it's now starting to make me wonder if "first" is even a word... I've typed it so many times I can't even really keep it straight that I'm spelling it correctly (yeah, I totally got up at 5am this morning... I spelled it "spallding" go figure). 

But really? a new blog, Hannah, seriously? Yup. I'm doing it. Really. No! Really! I really and truly am! I want to be a blogger, and I want to do things and be able to write down my thoughts, sure, I have my crappy days, and some obnoxious things are going to happen to me, but that doesn't mean I am not afforded the privilege of informing all of you about them, right?

Reasoning the weblog

Reasoning behind blog name:
Wanting my blog to be centered around a quote, I checked my favorite site, QuoteGardenfor posts on the word "waiting" as somehow, that was the genius (a word, to this day, that I cannot spell... I still remember quite clearly that I wrote my mother a note saying something along the lines of "Do not disturb, genious at work" and posted it on my bedroom door... and yes, I spelled the pivotal word wrong. Obviously not so much, but I was small, and was needing alone time) that came to my mind after a 10 hour day of working (ie: catering coordinator training) at Panera (yeah... panera life! So my next option? Google, of course. First link, no go. Second found me this: It's lengthy, but literally describes pretty much everything I'm thinking about and going through right now... totally completes the thought that I have such a hard time putting together. I'm done with some things (school, college), I have other things (job, car, place to live), and am graced to have yet others (serious boyfriend)...but do I really know what I am doing? Am I really happy with what I'm doing? I keep saying I'm going to "work here for awhile and teach eventually." I always say eventually, or not just yet, or later... what's later? When will my later come? Why am I not doing things now? Why can't I be in my adventure and not just waiting for it to begin....

“I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.
And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.
I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat.
The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.
But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.”
― Shauna NiequistCold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life