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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Decisions....

I can be indecisive when it comes to things....like my hair. Which is probably why I've let it grow to my waist in the last 3 years. (Yes - my hair grows AMAZINGLY fast - in 2008 it was bobbed to my chin, now it brushes my belt-line).

However, I've decided it's time for the lengths of locks to come off. I just can't decide which cut to choose. Appointment is in three hours. Vote fast:

Hair A
Hair B
Of Course - remember I'm not as photo-shopped perfect as either of these models, and my face looks like this:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Tree Recycle

I love Christmas for a million reasons. But one very serious reason is for the Christmas Tree.

See - every year of my entire life my family has made an annual trek here:to cut down a Christmas tree. We own some property in the area, and harvesting a holiday tree from it each year is a special tradition to me. We usually go up the weekend following Thanksgiving, and then enjoy the tree throughout all of December. Here is a shot of Little i this year a'Christmas-treeing. (Totally a word I just made up)BUT - December alone is never enough for me. I love the tree so much I've been known to leave it up for weeks after Christmas passes. These trees last forever - and I've actually even had them begin growing before, they develop these delightful neon green tips of new growth after a few weeks.

Trev has always given me a hard time about this...sooooo....this year I decided to justify the tree's ongoing presence in my living room by turning it into a New Year's Eve tree.15$ at the dollar store and I LOVE it. Trev was actually pretty impressed too. I told him I'd cover the tree in hearts and red lights come February. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Where did the last year go?

Remember last year when Trev and I took Ivie's Fall pictures and she looked like this?

I simply cannot believe how much she has grown and how fast the last year has gone. More often than not lately I find myself wishing I could somehow turn back the clock, or press the pause button on her little-ness. My baby is growing up, and even though I am so excited to watch her grow into herself, I am saddened by how fast this time flies. And I often find myself wishing I had written more down, videoed more. But there are things I am sure I'll always hold in my heart. I hope her tiny voice saying "gobblegobblegobble" when she wears this "Turkey" dress is one of them.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas this year is to NOT sit on your lap. I'd rather quickly snatch your offered candy cane and glare at you. I do NOT believe my mother when she tells me you are "jolly." You have jingle bells all over you, and--quite frankly--you freak me out. However, Santa, I would like to...play jingle bell songs with my daddy,and make Christmas-ornament faces with my mama.
Maybe I'll consider sitting on your lap next year.
Love,
Ivie T.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cheers!

Ivie's favorite thing about dinner? "Cheers" with Daddy

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just me, myself and I....

It's funny, after becoming a mother, you are virtually never alone again. I am either at work, home with Ivie, with Trevor or with other moms and kids.

And while I still get together with friends when time allows, even that has changed somewhat. After all, we all have kids and have to hang out/chase them. Or, if I am meeting up with a childless friend, it is usually for lunch in the thick of the day when all of my resident babysitters are still studying history in their fourth period at the local high school. So I have Ivie in tow. It is pretty rare when I work things out to get out without my two-foot-tall side kick.

So I was really excited for this Saturday. I invited a girl I haven't done anything with as a friend in a really long time to go and hit up a pottery painting session. But then Saturday morning came and she called to cancel. Which was fine. Things happen.

I was disappointed though. So I put out some other feelers, but -- like me--most of my mom friends were strapped down and unable to escape at a moment's notice, and my non-mom friends were out of town or busy with other commitments.

I thought about trying to find a babysitter and dragging Trevor along with me. But he wasn't really feeling it. I waffled on keeping the pottery date at all, but finally decide to go.

Just with me, myself and I.

And, surprisingly, it was wonderful.

Before Ivie, I used to do things by myself all the time. I've always treasured my independence. One pf the things I am most grateful to my husband for always honoring.

Oddly though, when that independence is sort of stripped from you by force of nature, it takes a while to rediscover it.

And, to be honest, if I wasn't planning on gifting some folks with pottery pieces come Christmas, I probably wouldn't have gone. I really didn't want to go by myself. I had really been looking forward to visiting with another adult in a space where I didn't have someone constantly asking me to lift them up or get them a drink of water.

However, the three hours that were entirely mine, to myself, in the pottery studio were LOVELY.

Sure - there are times when I'm "alone" at home while Ivie is napping. But it isn't the same. She's still on my brain and at least 80% of my human capacity for hearing is dedicated to listening for the inevitable squawks coming from her room.

I was the only person working at all on Saturday, aside from the studio owner. It was quiet. It was nice to let all my thoughts just float away and sit by myself in my own silence. Truth is, I've forgotten how good that can feel.

So - I have a date with myself to go back soon. And yes, I'll post pictures of my masterpieces when they are through. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Unmasking.....

Alright, well - the title seemed to go with the only recent picture I have on my computer at the moment, a shot from this year's Halloween party.It also has to do with the idea of making my blog public again for a little while.

I've taken a hiatus from blogging for the past 6 months. I've been wrapped up in my privacy for the last few months, but miss the connections of this online community. I've been quietly following many of you, but not making too many comments. Of course, I know that in online communities you only get what you give, so I'm ready to start giving a little more.

Prepare yourself to be updated.(Just to throw another Halloween Party Pic out there for good measure! We had our annual murder mystery group again this year, and the theme was a masquerade, with every couple assigned to come in a particular color.Obviously, we were Mr. & Mrs. White...and, yes, that is my real hair.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Photo Shoot

It is always surprising to Trevor and I the pictures that we end up loving after every photo shoot with Ivie. I always get her all ready for pictures thinking that we are going to capture the most perfect, beautiful still life of our little girl, where she will look sweet and innocent and like she belongs on the pages of a baby magazine.

And we do get some like that...but it is the sort of stuff like this that I end up loving.Because when she takes her shoe off in the middle of the camera snapping because she loves the buckle on the strap it is just so her.Or when she decides to check out just how her prop tastes it makes me laugh.And the little smirks that replace stellar, magazine spread smiles melt my heart.
And the teeny scratches across noses from fingernails I have let get too long, remind me that we are our own kind of perfect. And it just doesn't get better than that. PS - Remember the Spring pictures we took of her exactly a year ago? My how she has changed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quack, Quack, Quack!

I haven't been as good as I wanted to be about writing down sweet memories I want of my Ivie bird. This is one that I am determined to get down though. Ivie loves ducks recently.

It all started with Pandora's toddler radio and the song "Six Little Ducks." Trev and I began to notice that whenever this song came through Pandora's rotation Ivie really danced, sang and paid attention.

We started to sing it to her outside of Pandora and she would just get so excited. So Trevor learned how to play it on his guitar and we also discovered this link.

So the guy is a bit creepy and YouTube certainly violates our "No screen time for the baby policy", but Ivie absolutely adores him, so we watch it occasionally. She flips out when we play her this video, and in the last week she has even started to use her little hands like duck bills.

I love the new hand action - she will start off by raising her hand toward the computer and making her fingers quack, but then she almost gets distracted by the movement and brings her quacking fingers right back down in front of her face for closer study of the movements. It is so funny. Meanwhile she keeps bopping and babbling to the beat of the song.

She loves this song so much that we had a "Six Little Ducks" Birthday Party - she loved singing the song, but HATED her little duck cake. She refused to touch, sit by or eat it all night long.
We love, love, love our silly little duck.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Death Valley - Spring Break 2011

We loved our little get away - and Death Valley National Park is certainly a very interesting place to visit.

Highlights of the trip:
  1. Coyotes - I am normally not a fan of coyotes, given my farm-girl roots, but the coyotes in Death Valley sang all night and I loved it.
  2. We got to spend a day with Trev's sister and her husband
  3. Crazy interesting scenery - yes Ivie is eating a piece of rock salt in this picture. No parenting judgments.
  4. WILD salt flats and fields
  5. Hiking with my family
  6. Reading out loud by the camp-fire at night (we read Fareinheit 451 on this trip)
  7. Visiting the lowest point in the country
  8. Ivie had her first CAMPING BATH
I really love visiting new places with Trevor. Death Valley is definitely not among my very favorite National Parks so far, but it was a really interesting place and I enjoyed our visit. The desert is gorgeous in its own crazy and lonely way.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Getting out of town

Trevor and I need a vacation like nobody else. We have hardly seen each other in the last month, I have been sick for a good portion of the month (complete with puking all over my shoes, jeans and hair in a parking lot this morning) and to put it simply, I AM DONE.

I need to check out for a few days. Trev needs a break too, and we need to be in the same place for more than 30 minutes together when we are both conscious. Spring break could not come at a more perfect time.

In our family, there is one place that offers respite and, literally, a breath of fresh air. So we are off to the great outdoors - some serious camping with no cell, internet or cable service for miles. Nothing but the three of us, good food, a great read-aloud book and long days.

I can't wait. Oh, and we are going HERE! The hottest, driest and lowest place you can go in the continental US.

And - it marks one park closer to our goal of seeing every national park over our lifetime together!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sadness


I got an email today from someone I care about very much.

It explained that she and her husband are separating. She will be moving far away with their two little girls.

I have hardly been able to think about anything else all morning.

This past year:
1 - My brother in law got divorced. At then end of his marriage, I was the only one in the Linderman family she was speaking to. She emailed me at Christmas. It made me cry. Thankfully, they had no kids.

2 - My college roomate, girls state alumni and all around dear friend, who was married a month before I was, called me from Texas to ask what St. George was like because she was getting divorced and thinking of moving with their 2 year old son.

3 - A close family friend - her parents live a half hour from us - left her husband, taking their 5 children with her. It has been devastating for her kids and her mother.

4 - This morning.

This is an average of a divorce every 3 months that has had anywhere from a peripheral impact to a direct impact on me and my little family.

I know every situation is different, and I am not judging any of those situations and the difficulty that they entail. And sometimes I think a divorce may be the only answer for some people. Nobody knows what it is like standing in anyone else's shoes - no matter how good we might think we are at empathy.

But my heart hurts.

I HATE divorce. My parents' divorce had a very big and lasting impact on me. And even though I feel Trev and I are more secure than ever before, the knowledge that there are so many marriages out there that end this way still frightens me.

It just all makes me so sad.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Contentment

is a hard thing for me.

I am not sure why, but I have a personality that looks around and sees everything that I am NOT doing, rather than the things I am doing.

I worry a lot about the future.

And sometimes I think that I am always "waiting" for our life to start. Like, our life will really start "after Trevor has a 'real' job"..."after I am finally done with school"..."after we buy our own house someday."

Even though I KNOW that this sort of thinking is making me miss the life that is happening right now.

I am trying really hard to work on this part of myself, to unwire whatever hard-wiring makes my brain view things this way.

Trevor is so wonderful, especially when I get grumpy about feeling like we aren't where we should be in life right now and especially when those crazy feelings get the better of me and I say really mean or hurtful things. He keeps telling me that whatever I need to do to be happy we can do. If I need to not work and just stay with Ivie we will make it work. If I want to work more we can make it work. If I want to die my hair purple and wear only blue plaid we will make it work.

Trouble is, that I KNOW my issues have maybe 10% to do with my situation and 90% to do with my attitude and how I see things.

Trevor always looks at our life and sees all we have and all the good. He is a total "count your blessings" kind of guy. He says that he thinks the way we should always feel is "content, but not complacent." And that makes good sense. I have been repeating it to myself a lot.

And he is right - we are MASSIVELY blessed. We have been given so much.

So I am really trying to work on this. Trying to go to bed at night thinking of all the things I did well, instead of the things I didn't get done or cannot do right now. I have a little book on my nightstand and all week I have made myself write down ten things that I did well or enjoyed that day. It has really helped actually.

Does anyone else struggle with this? I feel like it is amplified a million times now that I am a mom. How do you cope?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

See this cute little Valentine?Our amazing neighbor and adopted grandma, Darci, offered to tend her for us on Friday so we can go to our Ward's Adults only Valentine Dinner...AND since it will be after Ivie's bedtime before the dinner is over Darci wants to just keep Ivie overnight!

So I am trying to come up with something surprising to do with the rest of our night off. I am sort of thinking I might have our camping stuff all together and a bed made in the back of our car (we can fit a queen air mattress in there), and that we will drive up on the BLM after the dinner and spend the night to watch the sunrise early in the morning. We have a little DVD player and I could pick up a good movie (suggestions? I don't even know what is out..) But I want it to be special and could use any other little thoughts you all might have. Ideas?

And no - I am not worried about Trev reading this...he rarely checks it and he is way too busy. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sick day

I have been really sick. Apparently when I got the flu last month I never took the time to really get over it, which results in the original flu making way for a mean and nasty bacteria called "second sickness flu" which is what I have. Apparently the best way to get over this is to sleep, for like 36 hours. All according to my doctor who sent me home yesterday with a cough syrup with a sedative in it that I wasn't to take unless I could sleep at least 8 hours. Hard to do with a baby right?

Not if you have an awesome husband and wonderful neighbors. Trev has cared for Ivie the last three nights, so I could sleep - lucky dog, she has actually slept through the last two nights completely from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM

Then this morning at 9:00 AM my wonderful neighbor, an adopted grandma of sorts for Ivie, came and picked up the baby and kept her until Trevor came home at 7:00 tonight. She brought Ivie home bathed, with a hair cut and also brought some delicious chicken noodle soup.

I spent the day sleeping. I woke up at 6:00 and missed my family so much! I was so grateful for the day off, and I do feel better tonight. But I was so happy to have everyone come home, even if it was just in time for stories and bed. The best part of my sick day was listening to a happy baby goo as her daddy read "Ten Apples Up On Top."
I am so grateful for good neighbors, good husbands, and hopefully the soon-to-return good health.


Monday, January 24, 2011

weirdness

When I was little my father coached Ririe High School's boy's basketball team. There was one team that was pretty special. They won state. The only time Ririe has ever taken State in men's basketball. One member of the team was a boy named Corey Radford. He was killed the same year in a car accident. My father kept his funeral program on a shelf in our house for a long, long time.

The event effected both of my parents a lot.

Corey's father was killed in a snow mobile accident on Saturday.

My mom ran into Lynn and his wife Cindy on Thursday at the grocery store. She showed them pictures of Ivie and her cousin Bodee. They showed her pictures of their 12 grandchildren.

On Saturday some girl that I don't know posted "Prayers for Cindy" on facebook, and my little sister, following the thread saw someone write"WHY?" to which the poster replied, "Lynn died."

Another girl's blog that I read talked about her weekend. I went to high school with her and her husband. She talked about how her husband was called out on Saturday for a search and rescue mission to retrieve a body.

It is weird to me that I knew Lynn. That I know this other man - but that Lynn had no way of knowing this man who would retrieve his body. Something, that seems like it should be a personal thing.

Sometimes it seems we are all so connected. Our lives are full of these messy little threads that cris-cross one another in ways we can never understand and never imagine. Even in the completely artificial environments of isolation we create for ourselves - sitting behind a cubicle or in a single office for 8 hours a day - we really are just one big, messy tribe.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quirks, Pizza and Silliness

I love my husband.

He is so fun - he loves to do things outdoors, and in that space has no issue with dirt or grease or grime. He won't shower for days, he happily hikes through streams and mud bogs.

But, given the option to be clean, he is a little OCD.

Last night we were laying in bed watching The Big Bang Theory on his laptop. It's been a long week. We have all been sick - Ivie is on round two of really sick and we were tired. In the
episode we were watching the characters were eating pizza. And we both started to get hungry.

After discovering our favorite pizza joint up the street was open for another 20 minutes, we placed a take-out order and had this conversation as I was pulling on clothes to make the very unhealthy midnight meal run.

ME: Yes! Pizza in the bed. I am so excited.
TREV: We are not eating it in the bed.
ME: Yes we are. We are eating it in the bed and watching more big bang theory.
TREV: It is greasy and will get crumbs in our bed.
ME: Put a tablecloth on the bed.
TREV: The grease will soak through the tablecloth and get on our bed.
ME - slightly exasperated: Well, hon, it is 10:00 PM and I am eating this pizza in the bed and watching crappy TV, so you had better figure it out by the time I get back.

This is what I came home to.
Apparently, the box is to hold the pizza that is already in another box. This way the grease would have to try and make it through 3 layers of cardboard and a tarp. I love this silly, silly, silly boy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In a couple of months

Last week we were over to some friends for dinner. Their cute little seven year old was praying over the meal, and among his humble petitions he included the following:

"Please bless baby Ivie to have a good birthday in a couple of months."

We all had a good chuckle when the prayer was over and I made the comment, "Her birthday is still a little while away."

My girlfriend looked at me and said, "Well, March is only a couple of months away."

I was shocked. Then, and even now, I have been counting the months off on my fingers...waiting for there to be some big mathematical mistake somewhere. It seems impossible that Ivie will be turning 1 in only a little over a month.

But then I start to look at her, and remember how tiny she was. She is growing up so quickly. I love these pictures and how big - but still little- she looks in them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Christmas Horror

There is a small sadistic part of me that gets a kick out of the way that Christmas is so exciting, and yet so horrifying for some little kids. How many pictures have you seen of children screaming on Santa's lap and not laughed?

He is fairly terrifying after all, he is a huge man in a red suit who is going to slither down your chimney, poke around your house and eat all your cookies. PLUS he magically knows everything about your behavior over the past year. Kinda like a stalker.

I didn't get to place Ivie on Santa's lap and see her scream this year. We were never around a Santa. My little sister wanted to drive to the neighboring town where she had heard there was a Santa, but it didn't seem worth it to me. I am kind of sad now that I don't have that memory.

But I do have this. And I get a kick out of this tiny moment of Christmas confusion for Ivie.

I am really starting to figure this out. I open a package or tear up some paper and everyone looks at me and claps. Awesome.
Almost have it.
HOLY CRAP! What is that creepy thing?
Doesn't matter....it has a cool tag to play with. Don't look it in the eye...just play with its tag.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Writing

I have to share - because I sort of like this. I had a regional literary journal solicit some of my poetry for publication. I sent them off 5 poems this morning. I am not sure yet which pieces they will pick - but this is one of my favorites from the batch:

Omen

There are frogs here
like nowhere I have lived before.
It surprised me that in the desert,
where water glints like liquid gold
that deep, throaty croaks
vibrate the air around
the complex, down by the river
and along the bike path that hugs its bank.

Where one week after we moved
in I careened around a corner
and nearly crushed one large,
genderless amphibian,
and a smaller one beside it where
they were basking in the blacktop heat.

We stopped to scoot them off
the path with the tip of a tennis shoed toe,
and I told my husband
it must be a mother and her child.

Though I know frogs aren't familial.

But the Egyptians thought they were.
And the Hindus, where frogs
represent fertility, childbirth,
the creation of the universe.

Even in early Christian imagery
the green river croakers
signal resurrection, restoration,
a spiritual awakening.

I didn't know then that you had begun to grow inside of me,
couldn't imagine that your tiny tadpole form would swim
in the watery warm beneath my heart.

A woman told she would never cradle a child,
I didn't see the frogs for what they were that day,
what they are, those shining amphibious prophets
that croon and call from the tamarisk and Russian olives,
promising that in this place
of red sand and cholla cacti
there will be life.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Faithful Friends...pain and perspective

***A really long post - just some stuff I have been going through and some thoughts

This holiday season brought many wonderful moments...Ivie's first Christmas and snowmobile trip. A sweet surprise gift (or two) from Trevor, and lots of time with our families who we simply do not get to see enough.

It also brought the end of a friendship that was very dear to me, and a lot of struggles associated with that. It has been a good cause for some serious introspection and behavior adjusting. But it has been sad and hurtful and hard.

I met C during school. She was there for some of the most pivotal times in my life, and was a crucial shoulder to lean on, lean with and match in shaking with uncontrollable laughter. We shared many moments that were vulnerable and important to both of us. I have always thought that we would remain this close.

When I moved to St. George things were different. It is always expected that they will be to some degree when you move away. It was hard to know that C still met up regularly with our old friends while I was feeling far and away down south. I knew it changed some things, but I didn't realize how much it was changing. I have had many close friends in the past. Inevitably either they or we have moved away. We don't see each other as often as we like, most of the time we only even talk a handful of times a year, but we have stayed close. Since this was how most of my other friendships have been, I assumed this is how all would be. But things and people change.

In July as I was riding to Idaho with my sister in law for her wedding. C called. I answered the phone and after a few short minutes of chit-chat she said, "So I think I am leaving the church." I didn't really know what to say. It took me by surprise. I told her that I wanted to talk with her more, but that I was with my sister in law and would call her again after the wedding. Our phones cut out - we didn't really even get to say goodbye.

I thought about C and her situation throughout all of the wedding craziness in Idaho. I have lots of friends both in and outside of the church I belong to. I have friends who are catholic, atheist and even one who believes in a polytheistic system. I have always been okay with this. I think that spirituality is deeply personal and have always tried to accept everyone. But, something about the brief conversation with C made me massively uncomfortable. I thought in our brief conversation that it had felt like she wanted validation for her decision - and while I believe all men and women can and should worship how, where and what they may - I couldn't possibly feel good about telling her that I was happy for her decision. So I never called. I didn't know what to say. When I finally made it back to St. George, I sent the following email:


You!!!
I have meant to call you back....the road to hell is paved right?
Anyhow - as to the crossroad you mentioned, between the church and you. I have always thought that spirituality is a very deeply personal issue. I don't think that any individual has the same relationship with whatever faith they practice as other members of that same group.
So - if you are disengaging because your basic spiritual beliefs (there is a God, there is a Saviour, life after death, plan of salvation, etc.) are completely different, that is one thing. If you are disengaging because you have issue with how the church is run or people in the church who tick you off, I think that is another issue that has less to do with religion and spirituality.
Everyone's interior landscape is entirely different and no one can judge what is right for anyone aside from themselves.
For me, I do believe in the basic doctrinal principals on the church. I believe in a God, Savior and Holy Spirit that are separate beings. I believe in the process of the creation, atonement, fall and restoration. I believe that beings must make a conscious choice to accept the atonement and be held accountable for any action that hurts others and is not rectified. I believe the Bible and the BOM to be inspired spiritual works, written by enlightened and poetic individuals. I believe in modern day personal revelation and I accept the idea that one such enlightened individual who generally leads people in a pretty good direction can act as a voice for group revelation. I believe there is a destiny and path for this earth and its inhabitants. I believe that the relationships we create here among family and friends - lds or not - have a place and are maintained in that destinal journey. I believe the knowledge and experience we gain here stays with us in the next place we go. I believe in a personal, human and natural eternal progression of things. And I believe that if you try to live a good life, are honest, respect everyone and mostly focus on just improving yourself in any way rather than worrying about controlling other people then you are on a good path. Above all, I believe in free agency.
Of course, I also believe in a lot of naturalistic elements to Eastern Buddhism. I believe in literal and emotional meditation. I believe in karma. And I believe a lot in the natural world.
And I also believe that there have been stunning individuals throughout this human history that some call saints, I share my birthday with Saint Bertilla's feast day.
I believe there is truth in all things.
I like the lifestyle of the LDS faith - I think no drugs, drinking, promiscuous sex and following word of wisdom etc. works pretty well. I love the sense of community. I like the familial focus. And I would donate 10% of my income to another charity if I wasn't a member - so I believe in the tithe. I don't feel like I am giving anything up in order to be a part of this religion.
Most of all, I really believe those words in Moses - Men are that they might have joy. I have found joy in this lifestyle because of my relationship with it - I don't see it as a burden, I don't see it as a hypocrisy, I don't see it as a zealot. I am simply happy.
And I think you have to follow your own heart and your own joy. Folks who stay in any religion or worldview for the wrong reasons aren't happy. But nor are those who leave for fashionable or simplistic reasons.
That's my two cents - I love and respect and support you in whatever way you go. And I trust that you love and respect me for my views. If you want to walk through anything you are thinking I am happy to listen. Know I am not trying to persuade you in any direction. Like I said earlier, I am really working to just focus on my own life and path. Thomas Jefferson said that "the only men who will ever agree with you are those that already do." And I think there is a lot of truth to that statement. So I am not here to convince or advise. But I am here to listen, 'cause along with all of the above, I also believe in you!
Love,
C

I received an icy two line reply "I'm glad you are so happy in your membership. You're right. Spirituality is a very personal thing." No signature.

Again, I didn't know how to react. For reasons I can't even really describe, I was terrified to send the email in the first place. I have had other friends who have left the church. I have had these conversations before, and never was it so hostile. So I decided maybe that time and space were the best things.

Six months later I tried to contact C. I had a Christmas card and gift to send. Call after call, email and email there was no answer. I was blocked from her facebook wall.

Finally I caught her on-line chat one night. I asked if she was there, told her that I felt that something weird was going on, that I'd been trying to reach her. She didn't reply in the time that I was at my computer. And after leaving and returning I found a large open chat bubble with a response that said I was right to feel there was distance. She no longer felt that I was a good friend. I had not been there for her enough. I was too busy and selfish. When she tried to tell me about her struggle with faith I made it all about me. She no longer thought we were close. She did not feel she could talk to me about important things, or that I would be available to talk about casual things. She loved the good memories, and was happy to remain casual friends. But didn't feel we were close and didn't think a detailed conversation would change anything.

We had a couple of email exchanges from here. I repeatedly asked for her address for her Christmas stuff in every note. She only finally gave it in our last correspondence after I had already been to the Post Office and due to the crazy weather at the time, just after the roads in and out of our post office were shut down for flooding. So I never did send her a card. I donated her gift to the homeless shelter in town. And I feel badly about this, mostly because I assume that she will consider it another snub - when it was really just crappy timing.

I cannot even begin to describe how hurt all of this made me feel. I raged for days to Trevor. Why would she not say anything sooner? If we were ever really close how come she never bothered to tell me when she started to feel differently? Even if she won't admit it, don't you think it has more to do with my choice to explain why I do believe in the church and less to do with all the perceived snubs she thought I dealt out? And really, how many times did she call me when I had major things going on? How often was she there for me?

And because he is so wise. And because I am so lucky I married him. Trevor told me I had no control over C. He suggested I be grateful for the good friend I had for several years and then consider how I might move on.

So I started to think.

Maybe C had some valid points. How often did I think about emailing or calling an old friend only to decide I was too busy? And how many times do I read someone's blog or FB status and imagine that just because I know the published internet details of their lives I am still connected to them? I think sometimes the internet gives us a false sense of closeness.

And then there was this:

A while back I had a very dear friend get married. Getting married is something that drastically changes a person. I know this is true - still I was SHOCKED at how much my relationship with this girl changed. I thought that she became incredibly selfish and judgmental. I knew I wasn't on her fiance's list of favorite people, and I felt that significantly altered our interaction. I felt like she only called when she needed something. I felt used. I tried to talk to her about it several times, I even talked with her fiance about it and nothing changed. It just stayed awful. Somehow in a matter of three months her engagement literally erased years of bonds and trust.

To make a long story short...I felt like C felt.

Only, now on the other end of that coin, I knew that I never meant to hurt C. In the six months that she thought I destroyed our friendship I was simply busy learning how to juggle a new life that was made up of being a mom. I had experienced a huge life shift - the birth of my daughter, and it would be foolish to think that didn't change me. But I never meant to hurt C.

All of these thoughts made me see that my other friend probably didn't mean to hurt me either.

So, at the end of a lot of sleepless nights, many conversations with Trevor and loads of introspection, I came to this conclusion:

I do need to change the way I handle my friendships:

1- I need to forgive quickly. This isn't something that is easy for me to do. Remember this post? I wrote it while going through everything with my engaged friend this summer. I am working to truly let hurts I perceive go...after all, as I learned with C, the other person likely didn't intend them...and even if they did, who wants to hold onto sadness.

2- I do need to stay in touch with old friends better. Just before Christmas I promised myself that I would call two old friends during the week. I have done this, and continue to do this. And I LOVE it.

Honestly, I am really scared about half the time I dial a number. Some of these are people I have not talked to in literally years. And I am scared that one will answer the phone and rip into parroting all of C's comments about what a terrible friend I have been.

BUT - so far, I have had only lovely, reconnecting conversations. It makes my heart so happy when after about a minute and half of awkwardness, I realize that few things have changed. I am suddenly simply once more talking with D about how we both LOVE cats. It only takes moments on the phone before L - even after a year and a half - is spilling all the dirt on her sex life. A can't believe I called and was just thinking about me the other day. CB mentions Newsies just like when we were in high school.

So I want to say thank you. I want to thank these old friends for answering and for talking. I want to thank you for the friendships we shared in the past and the recent and promised more frequent chats. I also want to thank C - because even in the ending of our relationship, she has again managed to give me something that means a great deal to me. A fresh pair of eyes to look at the world around me and some motivation to adjust my behavior, and adjustment that has had the most wonderful consequences.