Sunday, June 30, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Love

New Yorker

Without too much editorializing, this week I am happy that we are watching that moral arc of the universe bend a bit..

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Resolution Sunday: This guy

This week I am thankful for this guy.

My right hand man, my partner in crime.

He lets me be me, even when me is harried, nutty, stressed, and sometimes mean. 

And then he lets me be goofy, hyper, strange, and silly. 

In the last ten years he has never once said "that's unacceptable. you need to change." 

And just look how cute he is!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Juju again!

Remember when I told you my sister was going to be a kindergarten teacher in Costa Rica this year? And asked for some good juju for her?

Well this is the last week of school for her and her first job. And she could use some more!

In this past year she has done some remarkable things and met some remarkable people.

She has lived through an earthquake which turned her into The Hulk as she carried several kids out of danger.

She killed scorpions and tamed the waves.


She learned to dance, and found a pretty cute boy to dance with.

She switched classrooms mid-year and wowed parents and kids alike with her stellar skillz.

She choreographed dances and adapted curriculum to suit her students the best.

And she did all this in two languages.

And now its the end of the year! So GO ZAN GO!

I sure hope you know we are all rooting for you.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Resolution Sunday: My Dad

I am thankful for my Dad today. 

You've given me so much that I am thankful for.

Love ya,
Super Chez

Friday, June 14, 2013

Two Tales of my Father: Part One

(I originally wrote this post last year for Father's day and for whatever reason didn't post it)
My Dad is awesome. Now, I realize that is going to be the theme of all today's postings all around the 'blogosphere', but really, my dad is awesome. I think its difficult to understand exactly what we have learned from our parents, but there are a few ways that I try to be like my dad. My dad is always up for an adventure, he's the hardest of workers, generous without hesitation, and humble. He is a poet, a thinker, and a rock star. He showed me the ways of The Boss, and woke me up on my 18th birthday with Alice Cooper. He is a smart ass, in the best way you can be a smart ass.

My dad is also a story teller - and so I thought I would write down two stories about my dad.

The first is when I was small, 7 or 8 years old. I entered a poem into the school art contest. The content is lost to me but I remember struggling with the words, and struggling with peer competition - a new concept. Our artwork and stories hung in the halls of Happy Valley Elementary for a week before they were judged. My poem in my scrawling hand writing (which has not since improved) was placed next to a piece of artwork by a friend, a flower made of paper cut from shiny wrapping paper. I came to school on the day we were to find out the winners hoping for a giant blue 1st place ribbon. Instead, a small green ribbon with no frills and gold writing that simply, but brutally, spelled out "participant" was pinned haphazardly over the last few lines. I had not placed. The purple petals on the flower next to mine matched perfectly with the Grand Prize ribbon attached.

When I came home that day I was upset. This was the first time I remember feeling beat out by my peers, losing confidence in myself (after all, I was the third best poet I knew - after my dad and Shel Silverstein), and feeling very very disappointed. I remember going to my room and crying, my mom sending my dad up to talk with me.

"Dad," I said "I am just so disappointed. I never should have entered. Why did I ever hope that I would ever even win?"

And I am lucky to have a Dad with incomparable insights into this world, and a knowing half smile to accompany the telling of it.

"Ah. But its good to hope. What would be the point if we didn't hope at all? We would try nothing new and we would get nowhere. Keep on with the hope."

Of all the four-letter words I learned from my Dad, this one I use the most. I have seen the igniting capability of hope, and the cruel debilitation of hopelessness, around the world. My Dad's wisdom, even now, is magic.

Another four letter word from my Dad - beer.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


(Linds and I with our sweet tea)

Life lately has been hectic. The slowdown and hurryup of mashing major changes all at once, but still a few months away. As someone who struggles to live in the moment and loves to plan plan plan, I am stressed with the logistics of moving, finding a job, supporting my husband through completing his PhD, while remaining conscious of the fact that this chapter of our lives is almost over so we better soak it up while we can.

The internal battle I am having right now is exemplified by a small red-capped bottle which once held nutmeg. Now, do I buy more of this spice? Knowing that I love a little splash on my saturday morning french toast? Or do I hold off for a couple months til I am settled somewhere (and oh brother, where?!?)? How much nutmeg will I really need for the next two months?

We have been waiting to move back to the PNW since about three days into our Southern adventure. The pull of our families is strong and irresistible. I almost broke down and cried while Skyping with my sister the other day over the prospect of seeing each other more than once a year (what adventures we can have! pedicures! outlet malls! saturday-nights-in! sibling squabbles IN PERSON!). I am ready for random tuesdays with my BFF, Sunday dinners with our favorite couple, like-minded folks who love Jesus and fight for the poor, summers that sustain and rebuild. Trails! Birkenstocks! Sweatshirts! Ferryboats! Island adventures!

But this excitement is coupled with the nagging realization that after five years here I finally feel like I get this southern thing - I know I will get better service if I throw in a few y'alls, I know that I will end up blabbing about Jessica Simpson with the grocery store checker, that things are slow and that's okay, that the veggies are most likely not vegetarian. I know about bluegrass and sweet tea and big floppy hats. I have friends and a job I will miss - two things I thought at one point would never, ever come.

Its a happy, surreal feeling to be planning our move to the place that has occupied our 'golden city on the hill', metaphorically and otherwise.

This place will always be sacred and special to us. This is where we learned how to be married people - and where we learned that will mean different things today than it will a year or ten from now. This is where we made mistakes, made friends, got through school, where we had our first big living-together fight (who wants to dry their dishes on the counter? dish racks are so much better). This is where I learned to live more confidently in the body I was given, learned what I need in a community, in a job. This adventure was sink-or-swim at first, and now is comfortable and affirming.

So I am remaining grateful while I gather it all together - the lessons learned and relearned, two new diplomas to hang on the walls of our someday home, the sundresses destined for a lesser life - and prepare to move ourselves 3000 miles away.

Mama, ima comin home.

(But really, do I buy more nutmeg?)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Skype!

Skype is a game changer for long distance relationships. Having traveled abroad for long periods of time away from those I love the most, Skype has allowed me to talk periodically and see their faces (when the interwebs cooperate). When you are far away and feeling disoriented, seeing a familiar face can really right the world again. I also use Skype at work to communicate with my co-workers all over the world. During my travels, I have met some really awesome people and we are able to keep up with each other this way too.

And now that we have both of our siblings living abroad, we are on Skype all the time. I got the chance to talk with my sister from her bedroom in Costa Rica just this morning. I have no idea who invented this technology, but cheers to you.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Feel Good Friday

Hey Friends!

We made it another week, can you believe it? And this week has been a long one. As I write, the rain is just dumping outside - a result of Tropical Storm Andrea.

(Don't worry Mom, I am staying off the roads and remembering "turn around, don't drown". The nice weather man keeps repeating it at us all day).

Here are a few things that helped me get through the week.

The glow from the weekend at the beach.

This article on how we talk - I simultaneously speak like a Washingtonian, Michigander, and now Southerner. That's right ya'll, doncha-know.

RSVPing to a wedding in Indianapolis. A new city! This activity will make a great pitstop on our (ONE WAY!) trip home. Perhaps the groom will look like this? (Grab the tissues).

A concert at the Duke Gardens. Nothing is better than live music, am I right? Especially live music on a warm summer night.

This video about sad kitties.

This article vindicating my addiction. This makes me feel so much better about my six-year-old self making coffee in the morning before grade school so that I could get my mom out of bed - I am such an enabler.

This video. Ah, relationships. Or am I the only one that things this is funny?

I am going to spend part of the weekend watching arrested development. Anyone else? Marty loves Gob.
(other people who have made a mistake)


Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Once a year I make the same mistake - its almost a tradition. It always happens around this time of year, when I walk into the grocery store and see bright red cherries from Washington sitting there all juicy, just calling my name.

I have a soft spot for eating foods from Washington. I eat an apple from there every day. Somehow it just makes me feel closer to home. I just forget that these cherries are 8 bucks a pound.

I think about picking them from my neighbors yard, making pie with my mom with juice stained fingers, or that one funny story about my dad spitting a pit into his boss's ear on his first day of work (he worked there for nearly thirty years after sending her to the ER on day one).

When I get to the register and check out I am always surprised to find that my purchase is so expensive, having forgot about the 13 dollar a pound cherries somewhere between the spaghetti sauce and the toilet paper.

And I always groan and buy them anyway, and mumble to myself about how I shouldn't have spent 42 dollars on a half a pound of cherries.

But man, they are good.

What produce do you miss from where you are from?

(Another thing I miss from home -good politicians.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Resolution Sunday: The Beach

I love the beach. 

The ocean is the place I go to find calm and inspiration, and to humor God with all the plans I make for our future. 

Oh man, I am pretty sure He was yukkin' it up this weekend when we headed for a quick weekend at the Outer Banks.

A lot of plan making going on at right now.

Where do you go to find inspiration?)
(Picture from the top of the light house at Cape Hattaras)