Thursday, November 18, 2010

Five Months

Tomorrow will mark five months of marriage for my husband and I. It has been bliss. I love it more and more every day. These are some of my favorite photos from our wedding. Our friend Jay Eads did the photography and rocked it. Look him up. He's legit.

For some reason this image captivates me: I'm not girly yet here I am, getting dolled up.
My grandfather: my favorite and a shining example of redemptive love.
Ezra Steven Cantrall: he joined this world a month and nine days before our wedding.
My dad's face breaks my heart. An amazing moment.
Our first moment seeing one another in our wedding clothes. Speechless.
Six of my best friends from high school and the father of another who couldn't be with us. We saved her a seat though.
Prince and Princesse: my two favorite Rwandese kids.
Our good friend Joshua. This picture reminds me of God's perfect protection.
Julia looks up. I love her innocent wonder.
Our version of cutting the cake. Home made 3.5 pound truffle.
Husband and wife.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


For some reason I felt the need to change this blog today. I needed a new look, a fresh slate.
I feel like I'm in a re-defining time in life. I've experienced a few before, and this seems to fit the bill. Figure out what is stirring in my heart, what God is whispering, what I enjoy and am passionate about, and do all of this through massive amounts of prayer and dialogue. The difference with this redefinition is that now I am blessed to have someone to mull things over with. I am very fortunate that my best friend also happens to be my husband, and with that comes the trust, security and patience needed to work through deep questions. It is a process, and sometimes it hurts or brings tears, but the end is worth it.
Cheers to change!


"As he was about to climb another dune, his heart whispered, 'Be aware of the place where you are brought to tears. That's where I am, and that's where your treasure is.'"
(From Paulo Coelho's, The Alchemist)

My sister sent me this quote. The relevance of it in my life right now is immense. Each time I read it, I see something new. To put words to all that is stirring... Impossible right now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The List, Revisted

I needed a refresher on what I said my goals were. So here is an updated 25 before 25 list:
1. Pierce my nose (Done: December 23, 2009)
2. Read all the Chronicles of Narnia books
3. Experience God in another culture
4. Celebrate my Grandpa's 80th birthday with him (Done: January 27, 2010)
5. Run a half marathon (Done: November 6, 2010)
6. Make a quilt
7. Climb Mt Thielsen
8. Learn how to make holiday walnut bread
9. Read Grandpa OJ's book
10. Go to Seattle (Done: with Jodi, February 5, 2010)
11. Introduce Landon to The Cabin
12. Visit the Jenkins in Los Angeles
13. Fly fish with Tyrell
14. Visit Gloria in Coure D'Alene
15. Learn how to ride a motorcycle
16. Visit with Jenny L. face to face (Done: June 16-19, 2010)
17. Learn how to kayak
18. Do something my Grandparents would call 'crazy' (Done: August 28, 2010)
19. Meet all of my second cousins
20. Start a blog and post on it regularly (Done: July, 2010)
21. Mountain bike on the McKenzie Trail (Done: August 21, 2010)
22. Get outside of the United States
23. Go bungee jumping (Done: October 16, 2010)
24. Go backpacking with my husband
25. Get another tattoo (Done: August 19, 2010)

Number 5, complete.

This past Saturday marked an accomplishment in my life. It is number 5 on the 25 before 25 list, and more than that, its a goal I have had for some time and it is finally done. I finished a half-marathon! The Silver Falls Trail Half-Marathon was on November 6th, at 9 am. My sister-in-law invited me to do it with her only two months ago, and reluctantly, I agreed. Mid way through training, I got sick, putting a halt on running. Then I never really regained my desire to run. Well, I'm not sure I had a desire to begin with. I like running, in fact, I love it. But there was something strange that happened when I felt like I had to run. All of a sudden I hated it, resented lacing up my shoes, and felt rather indignant about the race. How one can go from craving a good fall time run to loathing it so much is still a mystery to me, but anyway... With some much needed words of encouragement from my husband and a little stubbornness, I continued training and showed up on Saturday. As I surveyed the runners around me, all I could do was laugh. We ranged from rippled muscles tightly defined by too much spandex to pink tu-tus and goofy grins. Suddenly I felt a little more relaxed. Kelsey and I had unknowingly gone through some of the same emotions leading up to the race, though, like usual when someone else is depending on you, we stuck it out because the other one was running. (Glad I didn't know that before Saturday!) We started out running together but at about mile 2.5 Kelsey started pulling ahead and I just let her go. No use hurting myself trying to keep up with her. So I just settled into my pace, my comfort level, and I mostly enjoyed the rest of the race.

I went through a myriad of emotions, ranging from a sickly/nauseous stomach to sheer joy as I 'fartleked' down leaf covered trails. (Fartlek is a term I learned from my husband, and apparently its the word for letting go and running like a maniac down a hill so you utilize the momentum that is naturally created.) The best miles, by far, were six through nine. Wisely and strategically the race sponsors created the route so that we got to run under and around the Silver Falls waterfalls mid-race. It was a little extra 'umph' that I definitely needed at that point, and goodness, not much can match coming around a the Rim Trail and the waterfall being spotted in the distance. Immediately my thought was "I get to run under that soon!" I totally thought of The Last of the Mohicans and that epic scene under the waterfall... Mile ten was a little less excited, as it held the vertical line on the elevation map. Yes. That's right, we climbed some 200+ stairs in order to get out of the bottom of the valley. Who said trail runs weren't fun?? The last three miles were by far the hardest, as I had only ever ran nine miles at once before the race so my body wasn't used to it, but I got through them, and up that last dang hill, and then jogged across the grass and last bridge before passing under the race clock at 2 hours and 19 minutes. Considering my adventure leading up to the race I was happy just to run across the finish line with my feet underneath me.

All in all, I am stoked I finished it. There was something that got proven to me about myself as I crossed the finish line. Despite never considering myself a runner before (I still wouldn't say I'm one, I just like running) I finished 13.1 miles, on trails, and lived to tell about it. It had seemed like this lofty goal that was possibly not going to be accomplished, but it was and that was worth the sore ankles and tight hip flexors. Number 5, done.

Pre-run smiles, despite the chilly fall air.
A great feeling.
Still smiling, though a little exhausted and sweaty.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I never realized how much I would appreciate someone appreciating my writing. Its never been something I wanted fame from, just a way that I could express my heart more tangibly. A lot of times I feel as though I haven't even scratched the surface of what I want to say and find myself clawing through my intellect in order to find that one treasure of a word that will encompass everything I am trying to express in one delicious bite. It is frustrating, to be honest, and I feel like a small child trying to get out what I am thinking and feeling, when all that seems to be produced is a jumbled gabble of noises and grunts. But I try anyway, possibly naively clinging to the hope that if I continue to try one day it will click. Isn't that how we all learn how to play an instrument or ride a bike? If you sound horrible or fall off and scrape your knee, everyone says to keep practicing. Keep trying, and eventually it'll click. I think I'm in my eventually time... But that really isn't the point of what I'm trying to say right now. (See how this could be frustrating?) What I am saying is that someone very dear to me gave me feedback recently about something I wrote and it was comparable to the best unforeseen gift I have ever received. It was encouraging, inspiring and made me want to try again all the more. My husband loves to cook, and loves mostly when he gets the "Mmm... this is GOOD!" response from people. I guess that is what I enjoy too. Making something not only palatable but tantalizingly delicious that maybe someone will think about later and say, "Mmm... that was good..."