Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I went to Clairettes with some old friends today. I was in the middle of eating my potato pancakes when I glanced over to a booth that was a couple tables away and to the left. It was there that a woman sat facing me, across from a man in a green scarf and an old mans hat. They were eating and talking in quiet voices. I sat and stared at this woman's face for awhile, probably longer than socially appropriate.

She was maybe in her 50s, but if you looked at her face you could tell that those 50 years or so were not generous. It looked like the weight of a life of hardship had seeped into the skin on her face and dragged everything downward. Her face, just sitting still, was in a permanent frown. Lines. There were so many lines. I imagined looking at the side of her face and seeing a tear track running from the corner of her eye to the side of her jaw, where thousands of tears had run down and left their mark. She laughed once when I was looking at her, and her face lit up, seemingly transforming her into an entirely different person. But then it just went back, her face resuming its position that it had been trained to take for years and years.

I want smile wrinkles when I'm old. No. Laughing wrinkles. Deep ones that reach all the way up into my cheeks. When people look at my face I want them to see a life filled with laughter and joy. I want them to see a woman who embraced life, and took the best from what she was given. When they read the lines on my face I want them to read "lived it, loved it, and laughed all the way through it."

Life can get pretty sucky and messy, and frown wrinkles probably aren't hard to come by. But goodness... I want laughter. Laughter forever.

Sunday, December 27, 2009



Saturday, December 26, 2009

the bar.

I ate a little mandarin orange yesterday. It wasn't very good. I had been craving it for awhile, so when I finally had the chance to eat it I was excited. It looked so nice on the outside, and smelled of citrus goodness. But when I peeled away the layers it wasn't anything like I thought it would be. It was flavorless. Maybe if my expectations had been lower...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

addison rae

(photo by: Janice Northrup)

I held her today, my baby niece. She's beautiful. She's got big blue eyes and thick black hair that doesn't ever lay down. She makes noises that could never be spelled out and can only be defined as "baby noises". She's got ten fingers and ten toes, but they're so small that you wonder how the bones fit in there. She's "mushy", I've decided. Real mushy. Sometimes when I'm holding her and she's real wiggly I have horrible visions of her head snapping back and off. Morbid, I know. Real? Yes, in my brain. So I handle her with care, bouncing up and down and making noises that I don't usually make....because, well, she's a baby, she gets it.

She fell asleep in my arms this afternoon, and I fell asleep too, with a smile on my face and an extra fullness in my heart.

My brother has a "daddy" way about him now. And Vanessa has definitely become a "mama". It's strange, they're different. It's this maturity that I think only comes from being a parent. The world is different, all of a sudden. Things that didn't matter do now, and things that did, just don't. I love it. I love seeing them in parent mode. My brother makes me wash my hands regularly. His are getting cracked because he washes them like 30 times a day. New parents. New parents are preciously careful and loving. They're gonna do good. She's gonna be good. Maybe I can get her first words to be "Auntie Tara."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

blessed beyond reason

15 friends, log(ish?) cabin, sleep over, fireworks, fireplace, elf, christmas carols, crocheting, laughing, a full living room from floor to couches, big breakfasts, record player, christmas cookies, star trek, catch phrase, laughing, praise singing, dancing, futilism, hot drinks, warm socks, how the grinch stole christmas, deep conversations, laughing, silly conversations, bs, backrubs, hair playing, late nights, sleepy mornings, memories, laughing, comfort, acceptance, contentedness, and love.

It was a magical Christmas weekend.

Magical I tell you.

(insert: more awesome people like krista, beth, chris m., zach, kevin, melissa, janessa, alli, nick, tiffany, dustin, jerrod)

Friday, December 11, 2009

make it or break it. but don't make it if you're gonna break it.

go go go go go go go.

This is the beat in my head. And it's not a slow beat either. It's a rapid beat, one of those ones that stresses you out when you hear it in music or when a child is pounding keys on the piano.

How is it possible to live a balanced life in college? Is it possible? Have I just been doing it wrong for the past 4 years? Our best years? Are these our best years? Or do we make each year our best year? Yeah. That's what we do. That's what we do...? Do we do?

I've read two blogs recently with this quote, "God bless the history that doesn't repeat" -david bazan.

There's some wisdom there Mr. Bazan.

ps. Nick is coming to spend Christmas with me and the cool Northwesterners. I'm pretty stoked about that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

she's here.

My brother called at 6:41am yesterday. It was the call I've been eagerly waiting to receive for a little over 9 months. "We're in the hospital," he said. I couldn't scream or anything because my roommate was just below me, sleeping away... so I quickly and awkwardly crawled down from the top of our bunk bed and rushed to the living room so I could talk more animatedly.

I got updated texts throughout the day about what was going on... in terms of how many cm she was and things like that. Labor is gross, by the way. Throughout these months I've had some crash course tutorials about the whole pregnancy process...there are a lot of weird terms with the words "mucus" and "sack" in them...and other gross things like that.

BUT something beautiful is forming throughout all of that's nice.

At 8:45pm I got the text... "She's here!"

My heart exploded. And my eyes got full of liquidy love.

She's here.

There's a new life in the world. My brother tells me that she has big bulging blue eyes "like us" he says. Sorry Addi. Hope you grow into those.

Yesterday... was a beautiful day. In one day my brother and sister-in-law became parents, our parents became grandparents, and I became an aunt.

Emily told me she was going to call me auntie Tara all week long. That's ok by me.

I am an aunt.