Sunday Sweetness: The Dirty Dishes Edition

I took a lot of pictures today. I took some of the walk Anthony and I took around Meadow Vista. I took some of the berry bushes along the side of the road and the sunlight. I screenshot the homepage of the YouTube channel I subscribed to earlier today. I took a selfie of us on our walk. I took a picture of Ant working on homework.

But my camera roll does not accurately represent our day.

We finished our Romans Study this morning in class. We listened to a family share their story of the missionary work they’re doing in Indonesia. No pictures taken.

At 4 o’clock a friend came over to talk video games with Anthony and cook dinner. All three of us were in the kitchen, cooking steak, sauteing asparagus, boiling broccoli, and washing dishes. We sat around the table together. We laughed, we talked. No pictures taken.

The above mentioned friend left and Anthony I took a walk through the neighborhood and through town.

We walked back up our driveway with a gallon carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream. I went inside to freeze it and Anthony headed up towards the main house to invite our friends down for ice cream. We sat around our dining room table, talking about cats and their upcoming move. No pictures.

We walked back up to the main house to look at their dining room table. Then we sat in the corner of their front deck, catching up and chatting with our friend, in the glow of the porch light.

The sky got darker, the night got cooler, the mosquitoes were laying low.

No pictures taken.

No pictures taken of faces or smiles or laughter.

On the one hand, this is fine. And I might be overthinking it because it could mean I was caught up in the moment. I was present. I was fully there with our people. Not everything has to be documented, right?

On the other hand–I know that’s not the reason.

There are no pictures because I’m too self-conscious to stick my camera up while people are talking and have them notice to snap a picture. I overthink taking a picture. When, instead, a couple clicks and the moment would be captured.

This time in faces and bodies and smiles.

Pretty, styled Instagram accounts would argue in favor of that 7 o’clock evening sunlight and the way the way the berry vines creep out onto the dusty road or that little cluster of blackberries.

But tonight you get dirty dishes.

16 (41)

Because those dirty dishes, and the clean ones drying in the sink next to them, represent the people we spent most of our Sunday with. They represent a part of the people who have become Our People in the four years we’ve been married and living in the Auburn area.

It’s the people who matter. The ones who choose to hang out on a hot afternoon in your house with no AC and cook dinner with you. The ones who accept your invitation to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream. The ones you can stay late into the after-hours of Magic Nights and Devo Nights and talk about books and watch home videos with. The ones you stand in a bathroom with to watch an almost 18-month old brush her teeth. The ones who laugh at your jokes (What do you call an underwater dog?). The ones who hang out at the laundromat with you on a Saturday (Here’s lookin’ at you, Mom and Dad). The ones who tell you the crazy laundromat stories.

I need to be better about taking pictures of the people in our lives because while a single moment can be captured, the feelings and emotions and the stories and the jokes are as well. It’s all right there in a tiny square. A piece of your story and theirs, a memory, your people.

So, let’s work on loving our people this week. In whatever way that looks like to you and to them–a picture, a card, a bowl of ice cream, pizza, a car ride, a video game, just chatting, the joke of the day.

I’m going to work on taking pictures of the people in our life and us taking pictures with the people in our life. Because the days we spend with our people are some of my favorites and I want to remember those days for years to come.

Word.

Last Wednesday I posted this photo on Instagram and Facebook:

26 (5)

With these words typed below it:

This semester Wednesday nights look like this. Anthony works after Program so we meet at the Senior Center early before Bible Study. I bring him food and usually coffee (this week it was orange juice) and we talk about our days. Some days it wears on me getting home and turning back around right after, driving two separate cars, but some days (like tonight) I remember to laugh and smile (and document) and remember it’s just the season we’re in right now. It’s always so good to see him after 11 1/2 hours.

And then the next morning, when I went on Facebook for the first time, I saw this comment:

Continue reading

On Short Stories and Old Facebook Notes

26-3

I have been thinking a lot lately of writing short stories and putting them Out There — either on this blog or, more recently, Wattpad.

In Chapter 6 of DIY MFA, Gabriela Pereira writes about ideas and how do you know if this idea is The One. For book-length projects she suggests writing short stories to give yourself the chance to hang out with your characters in the world they live in.

Continue reading

Blog-tember Challenge // Day 6: What I’m Listening To

Music is powerful. You can hear songs that were so important and meaningful to you from childhood and high school again in your 20s and know 99.9% of the music and lyrics and, at the same time, be transported back to a memory that you associate with those lyrics and tune.

At my parents’ house a couple Saturdays ago, I visited my old room to wake Anthony up from his nap and then I got lost in my shelves, particularly the very bottom one where I lined up mine and my sister’s CDs from long ago. Skillet, Hawk Nelson, Yellowcard, the numerous acoustic mix CDs, Superchick, Eli Young Band, All Time Low, and Thousand Foot Krutch were greeted with smiles similar to the ones I give books I’ve read over and over again.

This is the reason why I won’t delete the songs off of my first-ever iPod because it’s like a time capsule of high school. The songs I chose to buy and the playlists I made were a reflection of who I was at 15.

Continue reading

Blog-tember Challenge // Day 5: A Memorable Birthday

I have enjoyed many memorable birthdays. For my 18th birthday, my parents and sister threw me a surprise party (my cousin wrote me a song!).

When I turned 19 (or 20), I was working at McDonalds and some of my church family from Rescue showed up at the end of my shift. (That was a surprise, too).

One year Kady, our cousin Kalani, and I went and saw How to Train Your Dragon.

During our engagement, Kady, Anthony, and I went shopping at thrift stores in Shingle Springs and then to Starbucks (where I reconnected with a friend from high school who reconnected me with my friend Monica from high school!).

During our first year of marriage when pocket money didn’t exist yet, we went to the Sunrise Mall for banana juliuses from Orange Julius and photo booth photos.

This year, though, has been my favorite so far. My birthday is at the end of March, but the story starts all the way back at the beginning of February.

Continue reading

Blog-tember Challenge // Day 3: Summer Favorites

I first heard about Blog-tember on the Chasing Creative podcast (Episode 4 with Leah Van Ert) and that was like last month. Well because it’s September now it popped up in my Instagram feed and I have been wanting to blog more, so I’m jumping in a couple days late—and now a day behind—to the party, but I’m learning that it’s okay to do that (says the girl who still hasn’t read The Hunger Games). So here’s me jumping in feet first, no looking back, no second thoughts.

—–

I just made a list of my favorite events of the summer, going back all the way to June (and one event from the end of May—it totally counts!) Yeah…there are 36 of them. This was a good summer, a great one, one for the books—er, blog. So, here we go:

Day 3 Summer Favorites

Continue reading