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Julie Writes Words.

The product of an overly active mind and underly active mouth.

On May 3, 1988 I was born, and on Decemeber 31, 2010 I found out I was pregnant.

In between these dates, I lived the majority of my life holding baby dolls, playing with children, driving the nursery workers at church insane, babysitting, dreaming of motherhood, falling in love, and getting married… and dreaming of motherhood a little more.  I was the child who couldn’t stand being in a room with a baby while not approaching that baby.  When a mom held her child, I would befriend either the mom or the child (whichever appeared less of a challenge) with the sole intention of getting that child into my arms.  My childish habit that lacked little restraint — and was probably slightly annoying to parents — was a habit I never outgrew.  As an adult, I recognized my creepy ability to sense a baby in the room, and always tried to resist the temptation of abandoning my group of friends in order to befriend a little person.  But resisting was hard, and I can’t honestly say I ever broke my habit.

One day, I met my husband… he just wasn’t my husband yet.  He was a tall, pretty skinny, broad-shouldered, handsome guy with a deep voice and joviality that was irresistible.  He was the best.  Also, he loved kids.  A few days after we met, we were talking about kids and, in his attractively open manner, he said, “I want to have six kids.”  Six kids?  Six kids just happened to be how many I wanted one day.  Two long years later, in the month of June, we got married.

Life after June 11, 2010 could not have been better.  Life is a game, and winning is always on our side!  We can’t buy hubby new shoes when they’re falling apart?  Ah, who needs ’em!  Can’t go on a date?  Pizza at the park is the best!  Out of groceries?  Hey, I found some frozen broth in the freezer!  We are super-people… unstoppable.  Because life is just that fun.  We even started going to a new church that is 1 hour away from where we live, and God has provided us the ability to somehow load up with gas to get there.  We marvel at His providence, and the vivacious joy of being newly married has been a grand vessel in overlooking what could seem a burden.

Still, in all of our newly married adventures, we couldn’t help but long for a little squirming bean (wearing onesie pajamas — the kind with the little footies attached) in our arms.

The Holidays arrived, our families were in town, Christmas songs were dancing through the air, and life was as sweet as ever.  My hopes of a baby grew into a suspicion that perhaps there WAS a baby, and on the morning of December 31, while Caleb was at work, I got a “positive.”  I was pregnant.  I whaaaaaa?  No way.  Did it really say that?  Yes.  It’s positive.  I cried and cried — in fact, I’ve never bawled my eyes out as I did in those moments.  Life was literally too good to be true.  I was flooded with every memory of desire I once had for a little baby, and was so overwhelmed, only tears could take me.  Caleb came home and I told him the good news.  A baby!  We are thrilled and so grateful.

Needless to say, this blog might turn into “Hey, I’m pregnant — watch me grow” blog.  I’m too excited to keep all of this happiness to myself.

On another note, I’m honored to almost be that mom in the room holding the baby.  And when a little girl runs up with pleading arms, I will gladly — and with full understanding — hand over my sweetie.

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After snapping shut a book given to me by my in-laws (a Christmas gift, “Pioneer Woman Cooks”), I determined that, not only did I need to get home and pull out my big red bowl and get cookin’, I needed a slotted spoon/spatula.  In fact, I’m not quite sure if I need a slotted spoon or a nifty spatula, but when I closed that book, I knew I needed it.  The Pioneer woman had it on her list of “needs” in the kitchen.  Normally, I don’t apply the needs of others to myself, but there was something about the way this woman wrote — the lay-out of the pictures on the page — that made me want to not only enjoy the Kitchen Aid, big pot, and cookie sheets I already have, but to enjoy this slotted spoon/spatula I didn’t have.  The Pioneer Women had secretly caught my heart, and made me inspired by the mere thought of owning something whose identity and purpose I wasn’t even sure of.

I was inspired.  I wanted her spoon-spatula, not because I’m a hoarder, but because I love being inspired into action.  I began to think of what made me inspired — what made me enjoy life, what spurred me to urge others into my little bowl of joy?  The following are my thoughts:

My sister loves pink — anything pink.  Sometimes strawberry ice cream is more enjoyable to eat because of the color and the color alone.

My younger sister loves stars and the color blue — “sky blue,” as she calls it.  She can never seem to find the EXACT shade that her mind tells her is THE shade, but she collects blue things nonetheless.

My brother likes books, wine, beer, and witty sentences.  My mom loves dishes.  My husband loves all things well-made — such as the pipe he is puffing at now.  My dad loves books, black licorice, and my mom’s food (especially the sweet kind).  I love fabric and sewing, endearing creatures, dark chocolate, and I am a sucker for a spacious purse or a condensed box that just begs to give you an organized closet.

We love these things.  We have allowed these things to not only define us, but to show us that life is worth living.  Life is worth living surrounded by the things you love.  God could have placed us on this earth without having these “impractical”, “pointless” passions. But he didn’t.  Praise the Lord, we can glorify Him by loving the things He has given us.

I want everyone to have a pointless passion.  I love people who collect hand-sewn dolls, exotic cheeses, and the old lady who can’t say no to a sweet, embroidered handkerchief to add to her stash of treasures.  We are made to be people of passion.  So get out there and find the delicious joy that can be taken from loving a good slotted-spatula-spoon.

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“Kids just aren’t kids these days.”  I can’t count how many times I’ve heard — from multiple generations of people — that phrase.  It seems that every generation, besides the kids themselves, recognizes that children simply don’t act childish (immature, yes, but not child-like).  I, having lived 22 little years, would like to present some of my own speculation.  

This post goes out to parents… plural.  Not specific parents… just parents.

Here it goes.

1.  Facebook.  Why allow your child a facebook?  Would you allow your 9-year-old son to hang out at your 15-year-old daughter’s birthday party of BFFs?  Better yet, are you okay with a child getting a good peek — an all-inclusive package of photos, notes, thoughts, etc. — into a perverted college kid’s life? 

This is something that baffles me.  I’ve known parents who will shut the TV off if they hear “hell” come out of The Bad Guy’s mouth, but don’t think twice when they find out their child has entered the extraordinarly uncensored world called the “facebook status.”  If facebook is not a child’s world, it is inherently a grown-up’s world.  If you have to log onto your kid’s friend list to make sure that all their friends are “good” people, you are not only avoiding teaching your child discretion, you are trying to make facebook something it is not: child-friendly. 

2.  In reference to the above point, why must there be “child-opportunity” versions of everything.  And, yes, I do mean everything.  If big sister gets to wear makeup, it’s probably the same moment that little sister will get a small tube of lipgloss (or maybe a new Bratz doll).  If big sister can watch a “big girl” chick flick — how about Highschool Musical for you, little one.  If mommy and daddy have cell phones, here, take our old one.  If parents go on dates, find a classmate and call her your girlfriend.  If mom and dad take the family to eat Mexican, here’s a “Lil’ Chicos” menu with PBJ and hotdogs. 

It’s all either substitution or replication, making nothing off-limits.  There is nothing the “big kids” can do that you can’t do, when there is always something similar that makes you feel just as privileged.  When every activity becomes a version of the real thing, that kid will not reach satisfaction until everything “cool” has been given to him — and by then, he’s an over-weight college kid who doesn’t know how to stop playing video games.

3.  “You can’t.  You’re little.  You are a child.”  Children who have heard this learn to love being children.  They look back on their childhood and yearn for the sweet days, when their parents were literal super heroes, their brothers and sisters their best friends, and life could not have made more sense (if you don’t believe me, allow me to be a living testimony).  And when adult life comes, it is everything that “privilege” is.  Not a burden.  Not confusing.  A privilege. 

4.  “Oh, texting is just a phase.  Someday he’ll learn that all that time on the X-box is just wasteful!  Her tastebuds just haven’t matured.”  Kids don’t learn from their mistakes, when their parents are too scared of telling their kids what mistakes are.  These parents are not looked back on with fond memories of, “My parents were so open-minded.  They included me in everything.”  They loath them.  I know too many people my own age who admittedly “hate” their parents, or simply “strive to be unlike them.”  It’s sad.  What’s sadder is that it’s usually the parent’s fault.

Only recently have I begun to notice how extreme this “adult kid” trend is, and even more recently have I begun to think about why it even exists.  To summarize my points: the more boundless a kid’s territory is, the more he will resent his life.  Kids are not meant to be included in every aspect of life — that’s why they’re kids.  And when they’re treated as such, they are a pleasant joy.  Kids, simply put, are not adults.

What do you know on the subject, you’re not a parent.  No, I’m not.  But I’ve been a kid, I’ve grown up with kids, and I’ve babysat more kid-adults than I can recall.   All that to say:

Kids: be kids — it’s totally cool.
Adults: be adults — it’s totally cool.
Hannah Montana: grow up — it’s totally cool.

I can hear whispers on bookshelves, in Holy churches, and out the mouths of my brothers and sisters. The bookshelves tell me how to think and who to believe. The Holy churches only hum of their thoughts — some, however, shout. My brothers and sisters argue and mumble inklings of distrust toward this Holy church and that Holy church, however, they are apart of the One Holy church. They all are apart of the One Holy Church. Whether we think this or not, the fact remains: we are a part of it.

I heard voices echo in the Holy church this Sunday. In the world, these voices are whispers, but in my ears, in that church, on my pew, next to my husband, they were loud voices, and they sang to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes He is called the Holy Ghost — either way, He is who He is.

On the center aisle beside me, the voices of robed men and women sang strongly, and my spirit joined in a hymn of praise as the choir took their places in the pews before us. I knew what song came next, and we praised Him, we blessed Him, we worshipped Him, we glorified Him, we gave thanks to Him for His great glory. When it was done, my right hand went from forehead, to chest, to left and right shoulders, that I might be reminded of who He is and who I am. Sometimes we bow our heads to remind ourselves of similar things — either way, it is what it is.

We kneeled, we prayed, we received the scriptures, we were taught the scriptures, we sought His mercy, and we received Him through bread and wine. We sang unto Him who saved us sinners, and we stepped out of our pews, kneeling to Him, and we left the Holy church with bells ringing and ringing, and joyfully ringing throughout the city. In another city, these bells whispered — but in this city, they resounded.

Down the street, up that hill, around that house, our brother’s and sister’s bells ring. Some Holy churches do not have bells, some have doors of which they burst out with laughter and joy, some exit with somber hearts and guilty spirits, and even the Holy church that I live in has whispers of perverted souls, disguised with smiling faces and a kiss on the cheek. Sometimes people think the perversion only happens in that Holy church up the street, or in the other Holy church up that hill — whether they think this or not, the fact remains: each Holy church has fallen followers.

I am learning to listen to the whispers of my brothers and sisters, and sometimes I wish they would speak louder, resounding like the bells. I disagree with their mumblings, but it is my duty to trust that, if they sing in the Holy church to God the father, I must trust that they are my brothers and sisters. Sometimes I don’t believe that they are, but the fact remains: they are my family.

If you can hear their whispers, do not doubt them.

1. If you can’t comprehend… I’m sorry.  Puzzle it out for yourself.

2. I am working 9-5, five days a week, for the first time in my life.  It is weird and wonderful.   Weird, because I have never experienced a full-time job –wonderful, because I’ have never experienced a full-time job.  Also because, for the first time in my life, I am being paid to work, rather than paying to work (AKA, education — however, I was blessed with my parents paying for my education.  So maybe I have no point).

3. I am getting married.  I plan things, I think over things, I search the internet for… things.  Money is a strange thing when planning a wedding.  It flies through fingers and into happy hands… the hands that aren’t planning the wedding are the happy ones.

4. I think about flowers, dresses, napkins, plates, bows, colors, and wishful fantasies 23-7.  1 hour of each day is spent watching two episodes of The Office.  Sometimes.

4. Sometimes I think about how my fiance and I will pay rent when we’re married.  It doesn’t bother me.  I just wonder about it. Without having to pay for groceries, we’d make it just fine. I figure that grass, sticks, weeds, and wild flowers are free, and perhaps eatable.

5. My fiance is wonderful.  There are times when I forget this — when we have time to be with each other, it floods my brain with vivid reality.  And then I stop forgetting.

6. There are times when I receive texts that only require a two-word response.  And I don’t have time to respond.

7. Lately when I talk to people, I use fragments, incomplete thoughts, repetition, repetitiveness, scattered thinking, and fragments.  I am 98% certain that every stranger I have spoken a word to, knows that I am getting married.  When?  June 11th.  Wow!  We’re excited!  Congratulations!  Thanks.

5. I often wonder if my friends know I even like them.

6. I can read something for about 5 minutes, before my legs start bouncing and my feet spring up.  The clock never stops ticking.

7. I still love books, writing, reading, talking, thinking, children, my fiance, my friends, my family, flowers, bows, dresses, colors, hats, shoes, cameras, malls, stores, food, walking, people, and scrabble.  Only sometimes, I don’t believe it.

8. That’s it.

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My new favorite word:

languor \LANG-guhr; LANG-uhr\, noun:

1. Mental or physical weariness or fatigue.
2. Listless indolence, especially the indolence of one who is satiated by a life of luxury or pleasure.
3. A heaviness or oppressive stillness of the air.

Isn’t it beautiful? It so perfectly encompasses the feelings of a rainy Monday, whose drops of moisture are confusion, frustration, desired contentment, love, and languor.

Languor. Its sound sits perfectly on the tongue. Even its definition is poetic.

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Remember Gak?  If you don’t, maybe this will help you:

Childhood memories have been visiting me lately.  I’ve credited this to being engaged — there must be something in the pits of my psyche that is more aware than I am that I will soon become a wife with a changed name, making a salary, beginning my own family, etc., etc., et-overwhelming-cetera.  And so, Gak has paid me a visit.

As it happens, I have a defining childhood memory about Gak — a memory that was recently revelatory.  And, as all revelations must be expressed, it is now a poem.  This poem is fresh off the press, so any suggestions to enhance it are more than welcome.  Have fun.

Brother’s Blue Gak

It was best because
It was not neon orange
Or highlighter yellow,
But, beautiful gooey blue.

It would plop on the table
And stick to my fingers
Like it was choking from touch.
I folded it and the blob bubbled
A bluey kind of gooey bubble.

And then I’d say,
“Here, brother, thank you
For letting me
Watch your blue gak gloop.”

At Christmas there was a present
From brother to little me.
I cried at what was inside:
A pack of blue gak.
“I don’t want it,” I said,
And watched his face sink.

I cried to watch him sad,
But I didn’t know that
Blue gak was at its best
When brother let me
Borrow it.

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