... Is escrow!

(I see my post titles getting shorter. I get lazy.)

We accepted the seller's counter offer, handed over our earnest money and we're now.... Waiting again!

But what a good wait this will be. We're projected to close on 12/5 and we feel so ready to be in our own home.

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a big downstairs, a backyard. Privacy. A a great view of campus. It's not over till it's over, but this is what we're trying to come home to at the end of the day:
... Is wait.

And it will probably be "wait" a lot in the next several weeks.

We made our offer and are now waiting out the 48 hours the seller has to respond...

As in, we have a meeting this Friday to make an official offer and I think I'm going to vomit. Is it normal to feel this nervous?

My family was in the military when I was a kid. We didn't own houses. I've never owned a house before. I've never really been committed to one place long enough to justify owning a house before. This is new. Is that what is making me nervous?


Any advice?
Because, alas, I have no shows for right now.

Last week's word of the day: house inspection.

This week's word of the day: radon and radon mitigation system.

My hope for later this week: finalized pre qualification ...
Using the blogger app on my phone means I can't check to see if I spelled existential correctly.

First world problems.

I'm sitting here outside the house Shoes and I are dying to make an offer on, waiting for the house inspector. Why, you ask, are we paying for a house inspection before making an initial offer?

It's a long story. So, I'll skip it.

We really love this house. Big love. I hope it works out. If it doesn't though, what is, is. And we're ok with that.

The main point I have is... In one year how did we go from long distance, me in grad school, to graduating, moving to the same town, getting a dog, getting married ... And now we're trying to buy a house?

Am I old enough to buy a house?

6 months ago I was living in a studio apartment in an area of Portland I loved, working as a research assistant in psychiatry at OHSU, completing a great internship and wondering what in the world my life was going to look like.

So this, for now, is what my life looks like.

What a strange year.

Is it just me or does life seem like it's starting to move very, very quickly?

In other household news, Rosie gave up her womanly parts and is now wearing a cone of shame, which she finds unbearable. If you ask me, she's being just a touch dramatic, trying to kill us with those sad eyes...
So I searched for something lighter for this week.  Something stupid and pointless and lighthearted.  And besides Rosie's weekly (daily) antics, I came up short.  I mean, I laughed a lot this week.  Had lots of lovely client moments.  But couldn't come up with something super amazing to share.

So I decided to do some maintenance on the blog instead.

List to the right - "I visit here often" is about to be updated.  I know.  You were just WAITING for that! Listen up:

1.  Katelyn.  Katelyn has a new blog; the new blog is no longer private.   It's worth your time.  I'm not just saying this because she's been my friend forever and forever; Katelyn has a writer's heart.  The precise word, the exact imagery, the use of irony and metaphor ... I feel comfortable saying (because I'm the expert on everything, obviously) that Katelyn is bound for big things in the writing world.

2.  Gweenbrick. I find Gweenbrick's writing beyond humble and honest and clear and hilarious.  As I'm writing this, I'm having trouble finding a precise way to describe how his blog hits me.  I just appreciate his transparency and the way he knits together his fabulous writing and his creative illustrations.

3.  Andrea at take joy.  Oh my word.  What a loving, sweet, genuine soul.  Her story is beyond inspiring (I kind of wish she could come give inspirational talks to my clients( (I haven't told her that yet, though).  I also adore the lovelies she creates and has available in her etsy shop... I don't have that type of creativity and I'm in awe of her ability ....

4.  socialworkingmom.  There's just something about this lady's writing I find I connect with.  Of course, the obvious connection is the social work.  And how difficult being in a social work agency can be.  But she just does such a fabulous job of committing to Bikram Yoga and seems to understand what balance is for her.  (Do you know how hard it is for counselors, cops, social workers, etc. to find balance?  We have such crisis driven careers.  Some of us (cough - me) are always de facto on call.)

5.  Words From Willow.  Willow is a dear hearted soul and a comrade from my first days in the field.  And now (although she's been doing it for awhile) she's blogging!  Lots of reviews, as well as her love and courage in raising a son with specific needs and details about her travelling adventures.

5.  Dog Shaming.  This is not a blog.  It is a tumblr site that was pointed out to me by one of my dearest friends in my graduate program (who is also a major dog lover; however, his dog training skills are light years ahead of mine).  I swear to goodness, this site helps keep me sane.  I will not admit how many times I briefly check in on it during the day.  I will admit how much better it makes me feel about Rose's behaviors.  It's like ... my own little doggie support group.  It normalizes my feelings.  See?  Therapeutic benefit!!

Now.  Off to get that monthly massage for the shoulder pain and to work on more wedding thank you cards.  Will those ever be complete?  We had a super tiny wedding and I still haven't finished them all....
And that's only when sometimes = all the time.

I'm a planner and an organizer.  My closet is organized by color hue and everything faces the same way.  Workout clothes in one dresser drawer; work slacks in another.  I have an Excel spreadsheet for our dinners for the week.  Part of this is necessity; working four 10 hour days (but seriously, more like 12 hour days with the commute) means I have to be on top of my game.  I don't have time to scramble at the last second.

Part of that is just me.  It just is.  I like The Plan.

When we got Rosie, I made 2 (!) Excel spreadsheets, formulated a daily schedule for our 8 week old ball of fluff and read multiple training books.  Then I got my job, went to a week long training out of town and got married and all of my plans went out the window.  That was hard to swallow.

I digress.

Shoes and I took Rose up to Spring Lake Reservoir for the first time last weekend.  It was a gloriously sunny, crisp fall day.  Rose bounded out of the car and took to the trail like nobody's business.  (Well.  She took to the trail after she took a potty break to poop out my foam ear plugs she had eaten the night before).

And this is where planning gets tricky.  I have all of these ideas of how to do things in a step-wise fashion.  Steady as she goes.  One thing at a time.

Most of my steps are completely unnecessary.

Rose has never been outside of the yard or neighborhood with us before.  She just got all of her big girl shots, though, and one of the reasons we got such an active dog was to ... well, be active with her.

This was me:

"I don't know, hon, let's keep her on the leash.  She might just bolt off.  She doesn't know what she's doing. Let's just she how she does today and maybe next time we can be a little more lax with her."

This was Shoes:

"Wife, she'll be fine.  Calm down."

So we left the leash on her.
And then let go.
That was a scary first 15 minutes for me.

And you know what?
She was an absolute champ.
She walked behind me on the trail, but in front of Shoes, stopping every so often to look back to make sure he was keeping up.  She leaped over fallen logs like it was no big deal, sniffed appropriately at bushes, did not terrorize the ducks and she came when she was called.  (Good night.  She never comes when she's called at home!).

She was fine.
And it was just another example of how all of my best planning just sometimes doesn't make things go any more smoothly.

I gave her a few extra puppy snuggles that night.

She deserved them.

...of gratitude.   And remembered the successes.  And prayed.  And thought about everything in the bigger picture.

I'm still here.

Of course.

In case you hadn't guessed, I'm a little neurotic.  One of those neuroses is I hate (so hate) to be thought of as anything but kind and compassionate.  And I can't, of course, control other people's feelings or thoughts (and they are, so often, entirely separate from me or anything I could have said or done).

I think we might be on the other side of the accusations.  Time will tell.  No formal complaints were filed.  Yet.  I know my character.  There were other therapists and law enforcement present that will attest to my actions.  All of that is pure and logical and, even if a formal (false) complaint was filed, my hope is that  my past work, my current work, and the witnesses that were there would cover the allegation.  (I obviously can't speak about it in detail.)

But still.  It still grieves me a little.

These things have helped:

a therapist team that has stood by me.  a supervisor who essentially told me to get over it.  whispers that i was hired so quickly because the agency couldn't bear to pass me up.  messages of competence.  good (i mean, heart breakingly good and productive) sessions with clients this week.  finding stillness in the storm, and in that, re-finding the love for human beings that drives my work.  text messages from BreAnna and Katelyn (thanks, girlies, you have no idea...) and messages of love from Cherrie.  a husband who snorted and said, "good grief, wife.  why are you even worrying?"  a husband who then said, "Of course you wouldn't do that.  you're more the steal children type of worker"  (said tongue in cheek, dear readers).  a sister who said, "are you joking me right now?"

All of these things help remind me of who I am and what I'm really trying to do. 

Big picture.  I think that's my life lesson of late.  Keep in mind the bigger picture and don't let the worries (of which there might be several) of the minute chain me.  It's funny that I'm focusing on that right now, as this is the same lesson that's being paralled by so many of my clients.    We're all just focusing on being here, right here.  Right now.  Breathing in.  Breathing out.  Figuring out our true selves. 

I adore this poem by Thich Nhat Hanh (1978) and have been meditating on it often.  It's displayed in my office and it often catches the eye of co-therapists and clients alike.  It helps me stay connected - to you, my husband, my co workers, my clients .... and even those who don't yet know what it's like to speak truth.

Call Me By My True Names

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to, my
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh