when i'm happy.
when i'm mad.
when i'm disappointed.
when i'm grieving.
when something is tender.
when something is unjust.

i've cried when i'm hungry.

shoes and i once unexpectedly found ourselves in an immigration rally.  something about the swell of the people and the beauty of their humanness and my intense, surging desire to join when them.  shoes whispered, "you have to quit crying.  they're going to think you don't support them."  so then i tried to smile, but i was still weeping and then i just looked ... unwell.

in supervision the other day, my individual clinical supervisor smiled gently and said softly, "i hope you send me a picture of you on your wedding day."  i cried.

i went to the student bookstore to pick up my cap, gown and master's hood and when the guy handed them over, i felt the all too familiar rush of heat in my face and my eyes and my chest started  moving up and down  rapidly.  i was trying to keep it in -- and i mean really, really trying -- but i just looked like i was having a panic attack.

i cannot believe i only have 5 weeks of classes left.
i cannot believe how tired i am.
i cannot believe how right this life decision was for me.
i cannot believe what a different place i am in my life as opposed to 5 years ago.  5 years?  5 years.
blessed be.

the heading winning should have also read:

getting a text from my friend, B., who was passing along a message from her rogue, independent baker husband, the Mr.,  who wanted to know if it was ok that the macaroons he was making for the wedding were orange (Mango) and blue (Blueberry) (my wedding colors).  gourmet mango and blueberry macaroons?  i should be so lucky.
(er ... it appears i no longer have knowledge about text formatting in blogger.  i tried to publish this once before and it was messed. up.)

not winning

more requests for people we've never met to be invited to the wedding.  (this is, of course after we pared down our own list to the bare bones, making cuts we didn't want to make, wanting to keep things relatively intimate.  setting boundaries is a hard lesson to learn.)  the first 2 moments of being so completely overwhelmed by wedding stress I had to excuse myself to visit the bathroom so I could sit on the floor and cry it out for a few minutes.  for the sake of propriety, i'll keep the details to myself, but the instigating factors to the crying were not.  good.  even shoes cussed, and he's usually unflappable.   having to repeatedly explain to everybody that one of the reasons i'm trying to keep the wedding low key and low detailed is because i'm finishing my master's degree, working and trying to find a job, so no, we will not be having a seated dinner with wait service. no homework completion this weekend.  no time to work on job searching.


a shoes so distressed about my own stress level, he spent 30 minutes finding images of the dog we're buying in june to try to cheer me up.  a very successful meeting with the florist who understood immediately what i was talking about.  a seat partner on the plane back from Spokane who did a fantastic job of talking me off the ledge. a beautiful bridal shower invitation (my own!) that showed up in my inbox.  coming home to Portland.  an 80 degree monday.  sleeping more than 6 hours.

good night.  i guess my first grad. adviser knew what she was talking about when, 3 years ago, she said the one thing -- the one thing! -- we should not do is try to plan a wedding our last term of the program.  shoes abruptly turned to me in the car, as we were driving to drop me off at the airport in spokane, and said, "have you ever been to the mgm?"

not yet.  but maybe soon.
it was just plain creepy.

on the 8 up to my job at the hospital, a man tried to show me his surgery scars, and in doing, so, managed to show me his entire, naked, bare bottom.  i'm a pretty good judge of intent, and i feel fairly comfortable in saying that i was not purposefully flashed, but rather, the view of the moon was a result of a traumatic brain injury (self reported) and subsequent low social awareness.

it was my first incident of nudity on the bus.

this was in the afternoon.  the morning was taken up by a long conversation i was dragged in to and tried for almost a half hour to get out of.  it brought up all sorts of hard, hurtful memories about my former marriage and former husband.

let's just say this: i'm not the best person one could come to (socially) if one is having an extra-marital affair.  i've no sympathy, no patience, no anything.  it hasn't come up yet in my sessions with clients, but because i have such strong reactions to it, i've already done lots and lots and LOTS of reflecting about how to handle it if it does.

of course, all of this lead to a night full of insane dreams (because i'm so GOSH DARNED SUSCEPTIBLE TO SUGGESTION) in which i was re-marrying former husband who now had a traumatic brain injury and kept flashing people on the street.

oy vey.

in other news, the wedding invitations came this week, bringing a flood of Very Happy.

i'm trying to rest in that, as the alternative is the naked rear end of a stranger on the bus.

oy vey, again.
i'm not sure.

but i'll give it anyway and end with something entirely random.

i'm only taking one academic class.  it's my year long counseling class and i've been sitting next to the same cohorts for seven months.  some i know more than others. some i feel pretty connected to.  some i'm going to miss terribly.   (others i just haven't gotten to know at all and barely remember their names.  as long as we're being honest.)  we laugh a lot in this class.  we're fairly brilliant and hilarious and our professor often quips as she reframes and models accurate empathy.  what she has done is bring complex theories of being with people and change processes down to a genuine, human level.  and i am so very appreciative of that.

i've been told by the class next door we're fairly loud.

that's ok by me.

this term we're setting the stage for our theoretical foundations paper and revisiting social work and counseling values, theories, ways of intervening.  it's fine.  it's a lot of reading, but it's fine.


i'm also taking cardio kickboxing.  B. and I have a bet as to when i'm going to fall down during class (because i'm that clumsy and it's that possible).  her bet was the 3rd class and it was a good bet.  but i stayed on my feet.  i did almost fall down today, though.  almost.  something about the combination of a front kick / front jab / left hook / side kick was very confusing to my vertigo.

my vertigo is often easily confused.

it's a small class, which i love.  and it's very active, which i love.  and it's extremely challenging, which i LOVE.   serious exercise love.   i've met a lovely woman from Palestine, who tells me about her plans to stay in this country and to live a life of adventure and passion.  i've met a young double anthropology/photography major who dreams of making a life of photojournalism overseas.  i love this part, too - the part where you unexpectedly meet new, interesting, passionate and inspired people and your own life becomes expanded by them.

and i'm taking a relaxation yoga class, which simply exists of restorative poses and meditation.  i find myself thanking God a lot during this class and am so pleased to meet with Him during those quiet times.  i took this class my very first term at school (fall of 2009) and it set the stage for a deep 3 year journey into what turned out to be, for me, a marriage of prayer and mindfulness.  and that, in turn, has helped much of my work with clients.

so that's school.  work at the lab at OHSU never fails to keep me busy.  i am so lucky to have met the  people there, as well.  brilliant young people obtaining doctorates in clinical psychology and masters degrees and working on getting into PhD programs in research psychology.  i love our conversations about zombies and what to do in a zombie apocalypse.  i love our dinner breaks to the cafeteria.  i love the fact that on any given evening, if struggling with a particular DSM symptom, i can call out to whoever is listening, "if a kid only does (this behavior) at (this time), even if it seems involuntary, that's not a tic, right?"  i love the support we lend each other when we have to cruddy things like call CPS or complete a suicide risk assessment.

let me tell you.  assessing an 8 year old for suicide risk is an experience like no other.

time at internship is drawing to a close, and for that i am grateful.  that deserves it's own post.  working for community outpatient mental health is 10,000 times harder than i thought it would be.  for myself, personally, it has been harder than working in crisis domestic and sexual violence, working with child welfare or working in juvenile detention.

classes, work, internship, what's left?

the wedding.  and this week i'm having a, "let's talk about something else"  week.

so let's talk about my random end for this epically long post.

before i went to bed on tuesday night, i was watching a show on the national geographic channel about the flds church.  and then, because i am so inexplicably sensitive to suggestion, i had a dream that shoes and i were in a plural marriage.  thankfully, i was the first wife.

i understand that's the place to have.

but it was still terrible, because there were a bunch of younger, maybe not so smart other wives and i felt like i was babysitting.  they didn't do laundry, didn't watch after the kids, didn't cook and got the schedules of whose house shoes was staying at all wrong.  in my dream, i put them in a literal time out.

so while i'm not generally in the habit of passing judgment on other people's decisions, i will say that plural marriage is probably not for me.  shoes will have to make do with one wife.

but that's ok.  because i can be a handful of a human being.
... my old school age, that is.

No Monday Portland Image this week.  I didn't even have anything in the hopper.  I briefly thought about taking the camera out last weekend, but I was very busy ...

... getting a massage, writing Mental Health Assessments and spending Easter with Elizabeth, which means, of course, spending Easter with my goddaughter.

I thought about writing a post on Monday during my long break between group supervision and work, but I caught up in making a home made meal, listening to "Talk of the Nation" and feeling the warm Spring air coming through the windows.

And now I have a few minutes before I need to go to class and I'm writing this pointless post.

The almost point of this pointless post is to tell you how supernatural it is when your spirit slows down long enough to appreciate things you miss when you frantically go from activity to activity.  These past 3 years, I wouldn't say that I've had the luxury of slowing down.  But I have a teensy bit of that luxury now and it's clear how much I've been  missing.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to wash a few dishes.

Because I actually have the time to do so.

"The problem with your question," the under 10 years old, somewhat irate client tells me, "is that I don't want to answer it."

"You look angry right now.  Maybe a little frustrated?"

"I am very angry right now."

"You don't want to answer the question?"


"You don't want to be here."



"Do you think the vampire puppet would like to tell me instead?"

"Yes!  I have been WAITING for you to figure that out!!"
a wedding.  or like an antique store had diarrhea in my kitchen. either way.

after last week's heavy family posts, i thought a little merriment might be in order.

(shoes often looks at my love of antiques with bewilderment.  once he asked me if i was trying to turn our future home into a haunted house.  i'm not.  but it's not funny how much i seriously love antiques.  and also.  in driving around portland to look for the following, i saw a woman getting arrested and a drug deal.  it was a very full day.)

the wedding vision is a little difficult to explain, so just a few hints ...

This cutie is going near the guest book.  She'll be a little dolled up with accompanying burlap, lace and other assorted pretties.

I couldn't stomach the thought of paying for all of the bottles and jars for flowers and candles to be antiques, so I bought just a few to mix in with the jars we'll be dying (picture below).  and by "we" i don't mean shoes and i.

This little project involves brown twine, miniature clothespins, and lots of historic pictures (mingled in with pictures of shoes and i.  history tells a story as we're telling our story.)

these are the jars that are waiting to be dyed by myself and my dear friend, b.

i snagged this banner on etsy months ago.  shoes squinted, sighed and said, "girls get all weird about this, huh."

i wish i could hyperlink by dear friend Kylee's blog, but she (wisely) has it set to private;  it turns out, by pure magical coincidence, kylee and i (without consulting each other) have  many similar wedding ideas and hers are beyond adorable.  kylee is getting married july 7th, and i couldn't be more happy for her. kylee, i was just reading in my diary about the day i got that fateful phone call from you years ago ... and i look at the place of restoration God has brought you and your precious son to and i just weep.  what a journey.

happy wedding season!

At about 45th and NE Fremont.