Thursday, August 18, 2016


Salutations! To that handful of you who have followed, and read my banal little blog posts over the years, you may have noticed I've done a little housework and redecorating here! (I changed the name of my blog and put up some different pictures  and color schemes. I know, SUPER creative of me, right?)

 So it's been a hot minute since I've made a post and I decided on a more relevant blog title.

 For those who may not be aware, I am currently employed at a Starbucks as a real, live barista!
 For those who are REALLY not aware, I was trained as a barista almost 11 years ago, so it's not even a recent development. (which makes the title relevant, even when I am no longer a I am not planning on making a career out of coffee....despite having done so for as long as I have.)

 I am also, a Mormon (check the link on the right over there--------> the one that says "What makes me happy") Many of you may be aware that MORMONS!!!!! Aren't supposed to drink coffee.

It's true.

we aren't.

And to clarify; no, I don't drink coffee.

I make it. I'm pretty decent at making it. I know several things about it. I know and can describe the difference between a cappuccino, latte, macchiato, and flat white, and I'm pretty dang good at making each one of them. (few things are as satisfying as steaming the perfect foam)  I still don't drink it, never touch the stuff.

SO, I am a conundrum, a running joke; the "Mormon Barista". This means that when I ask you what your order is and you say to me, "I'm not sure, what do you like?" (which first of all, is annoying. don't approach the counter at a coffee shop unless you are ready to order. there are frequently customers behind you who already know what they want, and are in a hurry.)
 My answer will be something that has no coffee, espresso, or (non-herbal) tea in it. The hot chocolate is custom made and delicious (try it with a pump of peppermint!) the passion tango tea with lemonade is quite refreshing, and should you have a hankering for something really sweet, the vanilla bean is pretty tasty!

So here I am: your friendly, neighborhood, Mormon Barista.
I have missed blogging and have felt its absence, so I am back; new and (hopefully) improved!

I will still be commenting on my own musings with parenthetical insertions (duh) but I am not worrying about what anyone thinks about me or my cogitations anymore.  "Judge me" if you must "dear reader" I am who I am.

.....And stay tuned! More updates to come very soon!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Struggle is Real.

It may come as a surprise to no on that I struggle with a great many things.
The immediate and true response is, "Well yeah, everyone does. So what?"
I know that I am not alone in having challenges in my life, and that those challenges pale in comparison many others. I  try my level best to keep it in mind when another stress-filled "Thing" comes up, adding itself to my metaphorical 'plate'.
           One of the things I struggle with lately is the upkeep of this blog. I love my blog. I was inspired by an incredibly talented writer friend of mine several years ago to begin this blog. I was so entertained by her fabulous ability that I felt compelled to start my own. It made sense, I had always been "that girl" who wrote notes to everyone to communicate when I was feeling something that felt too challenging for me to communicate. Writing it out was a more effective form of self expression for me.
So I began a blog. I love writing in my blog but I have found myself struggling with its upkeep this year, and I don't want to just give it up yet.
           The problem I am encountering is my desire to keep an element of lightheartedness to my post. If you read one of my posts and find yourself laughing at me, or even smiling a little , I consider it a successful entry. Finding the humor in adversity can make it easier to endure.
This past year has found me struggling to find the humor in a seeming onslaught of adversity. I know it is there, and I feel confident that someday, when I am past it, I will be able to make fun of myself and the situations my family has endured, and are currently still in the process of enduring. Right now though, in the thick of it, I find myself unable to summon that particular ability. It is exceedingly frustrating. For a long while now we have been trying to get to that metaphorical "light" at the end of the tunnel, but when we get to the end of the tunnel all we find is an immediate entrance to yet another tunnel! We have been going through a series of "tunnels" for a very long while now.
      When this year began we had been living in Milwaukee for only five months, but had already made the decision to return to Houston as soon as we could find a way to do so. The reasons behind this decision are not easily condensed into this post so I will ask that if anyone finds themselves with a burning desire to learn of our reasons, contact me privately and I'll be happy to elucidate.
            I knew that the process of returning "home" to Texas would be tricky, but I am not sure I could have anticipated the number of obstacles/stressors/struggles that we encountered. One after another they came. Still they come.
They have come from all directions, at varying velocities:

  • Finding a job in Texas.
  • Finding a place to live in Texas.
  • The entire process of packing and moving across the country with three small children and no place to bring the truck full of our worldly belongings. 
  • Finding a place to stay because we couldn't secure a place to live until the new job would validate employment, which they wouldn't do until after  the first day on the job.
  • Securing a place to live, that would be within our limited budget and also big enough to accommodate a family our size. 
  • Waiting for that place to be available to move into.
  • Realizing that we simply wouldn't be able to afford it if I didn't acquire gainful employment as well. 
  • Balancing full-time motherhood of three amazing, but needy small children, while also trying to be a valuable employee at my job. (and moving into our new/old place at the same time)
  • Trying to figure out how to adequately pay a babysitter without completely negating the income I earn while needing the babysitter. 
  • Helping my husband endure an exceptionally terrible job that embodies the very definition of "overworked" and "underpaid". 
  • Learning that my only living Grandfather is severely ill, requiring my Father to provide nearly all his care. 
  • Trying to help and offer support to my Father and other family members caring for my Grandfather, lacking the time to feel like I am adequately contributing.
  • A recently, very, stressful work environment brought on by circumstances beyond our control. (This is another one that I will be happy to discuss outside of a social media/public setting, due to the delicate nature of the topic in relation to maintaining my job security i.e. I wont talk about it here in case it gets me fired.)
There are so many other things I want to add to that list, but, despite all appearances to the contrary I am actually trying NOT to throw myself a pity party! I have really just felt so walled in by all my stress for the past year and have desperately needed an outlet to purge it.
     I have always been pretty terrible at asking for help, even when it was clear to me that I needed it. I abhor the idea that I might, in any way, shape or form, be a burden to someone else. Indeed my mission in life is to try to be a reliever, rather than a compounder of burdens on others. Sometimes though, it becomes too much and overwhelms me and I need help, and because I am so awful at soliciting it, I end up gritting my teeth and pushing through on my own. It makes me feel a little better knowing I didn't bother anyone, but still very alone. 

I want to be so stoic. 

I fear I am not, At all. 

If someone out there happens upon this post I want to make a small request. ( I say "happens upon" but I am also honest enough with myself to know that most, if not all those who read this will do so because I will post it to my Facebook)
If I open myself up to you and trust you with one or some of my burdens, please do not admonish me with "At least you have better than..." I am very aware that there are billions upon billions out there who have it MUCH worse than me, that I am LUCKY and BLESSED in comparison. I am not ungrateful for what I have. I am not ignorant to the fact that it could be worse. It could ALWAYS be SO MUCH worse. The problem I struggle with, is that in my life, there are so many instances that by all accounts SHOULDN'T be as difficult as they are.  It stings to be met with a guilt trip when I feel like I have trusted someone with something that is so personal. It makes me feel like not sharing with anyone anymore. 
     I promise I am trying. I am trying to shoulder my burdens with grace. I am exhausted, but I am not going to quit.

    This year is rapidly drawing to a close and for the first time, I am not going to be sorry to leave this year behind me.
     I am resolving to "do a little better" in all aspects of my life. To be a little stronger, a little wiser. I am pleading for more patience, wherever I can get it.
      I want to hone my feeble writing ability with this blog as was its original purpose. I promise to find that element of lightness again and incorporate it into future writing. 

As always, but more than ever right now,  'Please Don't judge me too harshly Dear Readers', my patience, my strength, my humility, and my stamina are on trial.

I am weary, but determined, and I guess thats all I can be just now.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Scattered Soliloquy for Mother's Day.

I learned something recently;
           Did you know that the celebration of a 'Mother's day' in the U.S. was pioneered by a woman who died alone,  with no children of her own? Her name was Anna Marie Jarvis, and a quick google search will bring several results describing her life and mission to create a national day to recognize mothers. You can read about it all here and here.
The interesting part was not that she was never a mother herself, but that she wanted to honor her own mother. A woman who had mothered twelve children herself and had subsequently lost eight of them to illness and other tragedies.

Whenever mother's day rolls around each year the controversy stirs up. We should all honor and respect our mother's and those of us who have delivered/adopted children are theoretically supposed to be honored ourselves. But what makes a "mother"? What of those on the outside looking in? The ones grieving the children they can't have, or worse, have had and lost? There is no word in the English language for a mother who has lost a child. It is too horrible a thing to even name.

Let me tell you a story:
Nearly two years ago, when I was about nine weeks pregnant with my third child, I found out that a friend of mine who was nearly full term with HER third baby had discovered that her baby had passed away in the womb. She had to go in and deliver her stillborn baby and plan her funeral. I still hadn't announced publicly that I was expecting again when I received the phone call asking if I would lead the music and sing a song at the funeral for the baby girl.  I remember standing up there, singing the words to "families can be together forever" and focusing on staying in tune without choking up. It was very challenging. I couldn't look at the face of my sweet friend who sat, surrounded by her family, hoping that the words to that song might lift and comfort her even a tiny bit.
The truth was that,  I could not fully understand her pain. I imagine it must have been absolute agony. It caused me to really sit and think about how truly fortunate I was to have my own two, beautiful, healthy, children, and the little life that was inside me, who turned out to be my sweet, number three.

Over the years I have known so many dear women who struggled with the loss of their own children, and those who struggled and even battled mightily with infertility and miscarriages. Mother's day for them, is a dark day. A day for society to rub salt and lemon juice into open, un-healing wounds. I have lost count of the friends and loved ones that I know who have had the misfortune to suffer these injustices of nature. It is far beyond "unfair" and my heart breaks for each of my friends and loved ones who suffer (often silently) each day, and who will undoubtedly  hurt this coming Sunday.

And then of course, on the other hand...

Mother's day has become something of a cynics dream over the years. A holiday seemingly designed to keep greeting card companies, florists and the trinket-laden gift shops in business. Tents go up in the parking lots of grocery stores. Merchants ready to profit off of the procrastinating, slacker children who have forgotten that sunday is 'Mother's day'. 
And then if you DO forget or skim through mother's day, you are a terrible child!
I will be the first to admit that I am not very good at Mother's day. I am sure I did a few things over the years for my mother, and I will post the obligatory picture of my mother on Social media to make sure people know that I have a mom, and that I love her. (And of course, I do. My mom is a rockstar who deserves every, single accolade I can come up with for her and then some!)
Pictured above: a Rockstar.

The thing is, I  try tell my mom I love her every time I talk to her. I try to do special little things for her whenever I can. I love the idea of doing some big, grand thing for mom on mothers day, but more often than not, I am not able to do much at all, which of course, makes me look and feel like an awful kid.
This year my life feels a bit like that scene in "Twister" where they are in the shed, strapped to some pipes with belts, riding out a massive tornado and just holding on for dear life. Except that the "tornado" is lasting several weeks. We recently started the process of moving back to Houston from Greendale Wisconsin. We are technically back in the Motherland (Texas) but I can't say we are officially "moved back" yet because we don't technically have a place to live yet due to some obnoxious catch 22 with Rob's job. All our things are still packed in a U-Pack trailer, waiting in a facility somewhere in Houston until we have an address to send it to. (And no, we don't know when that will be...)  Fortunately we have my parents house to ride out the storm until we can find a place of our own, but that doesn't completely erase the feeling of extreme displacement and stress over the whole dumb, stupid, annoying, frustrating, stressful, exhausting situation.... 
(Can you tell I am handling it really well? Cool as a cucumber, thats me!)

I honestly forgot until just a day or two ago (when my weekend was already booked up with 'stuff' we need to do) that Mother's day was this Sunday! So here is my tribute for mother's day this weekend:

For my mom, Brenda, who really is awesome. Who I've been able to watch these past three weeks while she develops the deep, amazing relationship with my daughter who is now old enough to appreciate her and hearkens me back to the relationship I was able to develop early on with MY grandmother (who is also incredible). Who, despite suffering from, often debilitating depression, is always doing something for someone else. 

For my mom friends, who are in the same position as I am. Taking each day, one at a time. Frustrated with their children each day and yet loving them so fiercely that it is palpable.

For my mom friends who struggle with Mother's day because of infertility, miscarriage, or loss. You are mothers too, if only because of your desire to be so. Don't allow anyone to take that from you! Sunday is for you too!

Happy Mother's day ya'll, and if you see me wandering around aimlessly, with eyes glazed over, it probably means I finally combusted from stress. Just point me towards the nearest corner that I can curl into the fetal position and rock back and forth in.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

So, This is 29...

So, its my birthday. I am now officially, in the last year of my 20's
That's weird.
I mean, its not like its a super big deal really, and goodness knows I have friends older than me who are more than happy to "oh honey..." me about getting older and especially about entering my 30's next year, but this is me and I have never been this old before, and well,    its weird.
It's not necessarily a bad weird, just...weird.
I runned THIS many!
On the surface it's nothing more than a normal birthday. I don't do much for my birthday really since I turned 20. I did go out and buy myself a pair of long running pants (since its getting chilly in Milwaukee and my workout wardrobe is mostly suited for a Texas climate) and proceeded to run 7 miles in them.

So in honor of surviving 29 years on this planet, I have decided to take a personal inventory of sorts. To update and/or inform you (the anonymous readers of this fine interwebz) about my little ole' self. 
Here we go:

 I have returned to my habit of running and trying to get back into/stay in shape. I am happy to say that it is more or less paying off. With the use of Myfitnesspal and the Nike running app, at least I am back to "Pre-Evan" size/weight and energy level, and most of my old clothes fit comfortably. I have a 'personal fitness' goal that I am still well on my way towards, and achievement of that is in sight! Ideally I will have met that goal by the time E has reached nine months. Running has returned as a passion and I am planning on trying my first half marathon, sometime next year. 
     Getting/Staying fit at this point has become a necessity in my life, especially when I consider my family history. Multiple types of cancer, Depression, Type 2 Diabetes, and Heart disease are all things that have affected close family members. I feel like I HAVE to do what I can to keep myself more or less healthy, so I don't die.
And as responsible as that sounds I'd be an absolute LIAR if I said aesthetics had nothing to do with it.... It has a LOT to do with it, like "a lot" a lot.  
Thats why I like my "Jenny Craig side-by-side" pictures.
the gross 'six week postpartem'
"day-I-started-working-out" picture.
the much improved, 'seven months postpartem'
"I-just-ran-seven-miles-which-is-a-personal-best" picture

This is something I have never really addressed directly on my blog. The four or five of you who read may have noticed I have a "What makes me happy" link on the right side over here---------------------->
and maybe you have clicked on it, maybe you haven't. It doesn't really matter because I am about to let you know: I am a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Sometimes we are called Mormons. Mormon is a nickname because of the book of Mormon, which is a companion to the Bible (which we also believe in). I feel that it is important for me to 'declare myself' as it were. There is much more to what I believe, and if any of you, dear readers have questions or concerns in this regard, don't hesitate to ask me! There is a movie that came out this week called "Meet the Mormons" I haven't had a chance to see it yet, but I fully intend to as soon as Rob and I can get out to see it! Check it out, learn about us if you don't know about us. 
There are truths that I have learned being a member of this church that are so very dear to me. They make me a better person, a happier person. I certainly won't ever try to impose them on anyone who isn't interested, but I also wouldn't deny it if asked about it. ^_^

 I have never been the 'social' type. My sisters were better suited at that than me. I have always been more satisfied to curl up with a book or a good movie and a craft project. That isn't to say that I don't have friends, just that the friends I DO have a fewer in numbers, but hold a significant importance to me. It's been harder for me recently. Moving across the country took me physically away from the people I am closest to, including my parents and most of my siblings. It's hard to think about having my birthday so far away from almost everyone who really knows me. It's a good thing I am such a facebook addict, or I'd probably spend a lot of time curled up in fetal position with my kindle or something. (And for those who are "anti e-books, let me just say that I worked in a bookstore for 5 1/2 years and am very 'Pro-book', I have lots, but I also love my kindle and if anyone wants to send me amazon giftcards for my birthday, so I can download more books  I wouldn't say no...but I digress)

My 'social life' has never been extremely active, I think my personality was just too strange and off-putting when I was a teenager, and I cared too much what people thought of me, which made it even more off-putting. One nice thing about getting older, is that I care less and less what others think of me. 
On that same note though, I DO have a lot of friends on facebook and every "like" I get on every "selfie" I post makes me feel better about myself. 
"Please validate me by mindlessly clicking a button."
So maybe I haven't grown up as much as I like to think I have...I guess I still have my thirties to work on that.

My family is by and large, the very best part of my life. I am probably the luckiest girl in the whole wide world because I married my very best friend, and after almost 11 years together, and 9 years of marriage we still enjoy being together, a lot. 
He and I together have our awesome kiddos! They are, as always, cute, and perfect and amazing, and growing up much faster than I bargained for.
*Triple swoon*
I also have my "extended" family, which I am missing a lot up here in the chilly north while they are still down "Deep in the heart of Texas" where it is not chilly. At all. Ever. 
My mom and dad are really some of the greatest people. 
Also we are all adorable. Don't even pretend that, that wasn't your first thought 
So I guess I can go and enjoy the last year of my 20's, because 30 is a comin' for me. And to that I say: Bring it on 29, I can handle it.....I think.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Across the Universe.

Okay so its really just across the country, but it FEELS like we moved across the universe! Three months of no blogging, but with good reason(s). Because there is so much to write about I will have to resort to sub-sections again. Sorry guys but I've got a lot to cover!

On Loss
  Robert drove up to Milwaukee Wisconsin to train for his new job at the end of June. I was prepared to kick myself into high gear and get my house cleaned and packed and ready to move. It wasn't going to be an easy task (particularly since I had barely adjusted from two to three kids) but I was up for it. I was off to a good start but was hit with a massive emotional blow on July 9th. I had spent a productive day packing most of the kids room and had time to make a good dinner for us all (we'd been eating a lot of leftovers and mac and cheese)  the evening news was on in the background and I was in the middle of getting Andy seconds when I received a series of text messages that changed everything. The Stays, a family in our ward, good friends of ours, had all been murdered with the exception of one survivor, a teenage girl that had been one of our favorite babysitters. The story was all over the local and national news. It was like being in a bad dream for the next days and weeks. Memorials, funerals, and fundraisers filled so much of our time. I could write a whole series of blogs about losing the Stays. The whole situation brings up hundreds of topics and talking points, and perhaps I will revisit the subject at a later time, but for now I will just say that I miss my friend Katie. I miss her sweet children that I had the privilege of working with in primary. I miss the family that were such pillars of good in the community.

I just miss my friends.

On Andy's birthday and a cute baby photo dump
After that bit of sadness I have to enhance the happiness of this post before it gets depressing.
 My awesome, adorable little firstborn turned six in July!

I am pretty sure this is the handsomest 6 year old
 in existence. 
It's kind of unfair that he is already so big , because I am pretty sure he was just my little baby and now he is my biggest boy and he is smart and kind and takes care of his little sister and baby brother and, and....okay I'll stop the weepy mom rant.
While Rob was gone for his new job training and it was just me and the kiddos I took a lot of cute pictures of them. Because me kids are the most beautiful of all children alive, I think its only fair that I share some of them with you. So:

You're Welcome.

On packing and preparing to move, single mom style
Moving in general is stressful enough. Add to the mix, a husband who is across the country,
 three small kids, one of them a baby who feels desolate after a half hour of not being held/nursed
though, to be fair
 REALLY happy when he is held.
and you reach a level of stress that makes for a good blog! I had lofty aspirations of writing about the frustration of finding good boxes, stocking up on packing tape, and using pinterest ideas to plan the whole move. Unfortunately, I'd spend my days trying to get a modicum of work done, and never as much as I wanted to, so I could never justify sitting at my computer to write, when I couldn't even manage to get as many boxes packed as I needed to, even as my house turned into something that looked like it should be featured on an episode of "Hoarders"

SOMEHOW I was able to do it. In the end it wasn't without quite a bit of help from some very lovely people, but it got done. We packed up the moving truck and got on our way!

On traveling across the country
And so, we bid our home in Texas farewell (for now) and made our way to Wisconsin!
We started with your classic "Stand in front of the
'welcome to the state' sign" picture and decided it was
a tad on the dangerous side....

So I just started taking pictures of the state signs.

Had to stop in Memphis to take a picture of the house I
grew up in.

On moving in and getting settled in Greendale
So after two LONG days of driving, (and I am pretty sure there was a governor on the truck that slowed us down. That plus the time required at pt stops to feed kids and babies, make bathroom runs and change diapers as well as the necessary refueling, made the trip drag oooonnnnn.) We FINALLY pulled in to our new home in Greendale Wisconsin!

Greendale is seriously one of the cutest little towns you could ask for! Walking around this neighborhood is like stepping back in time. In fact, most of the homes were built in the 30's and 40's. The "newest" ones around don't look any more recent than the late 60's. All the homes are beautifully maintained and have perfectly manicured lawns and flowers EVERYWHERE!


A statue in the town square of Norman Rockwell
painting the town square.

This house was BEGGING to have its picture taken! Isn't
it adorable??
The weather is awesome (thus far) and I have finally gotten the house unpacked and more or less put together!
Welcome to our little home!

A tiny kitchen, in which to eat.

More of the tiny kitchen.

Living room, from the kitchen.

Aubrey's room

Andy and Evan's room.

We have started exploring our new home which is a cute little suburb of Milwaukee Wisconsin and on labor day I got my first look at the beautiful lake Michigan!

I think we will be okay here for a while. But just in case you guys aren't sure, here is a picture I took of an honest to gosh, double rainbow I totally saw outside of my house yesterday!
"What does it MEAN?!?!"