Saturday, June 28, 2014

On Being An Adult

You guys, life is hard. Being an adult is hard.

Being an adult is hard. I mean, it's fun and awesome and there are definitely perks, but man. It can be rough, too. The month of June {thus far - there are 2 more days left} has been really, really hard. Tough. Difficult. Challenging. Like, pretty sure life used this template:

I'm not skilled sure how to make/edit a meme, but here's what mine would say.


SPEND ALL THE MONEY {on medical bills and procedures and ER bills and haven't I reached my deductible yet?!?!?!!?}



So yeah. Totes supes fun. 

I don't think I can share all the details of this challenging time, a) because it's really personal and b) because it's late and I want to sleep and c) because typing it all out will make it all seem {more} overwhelming. Overwhelming is not what I need, want, or desire. Overwhelming means that I'm not fully trusting God, and that's not where I want to be. I am trying to trust and to listen, and I know that when He answers, I'll obey and it will all work out. But right now I feel bogged down by the logistics of every. single. decision. that must be made, and it's like my spiritual ears are clogged with worry. 

I don't want to not hear God because I'm worrying about what He's saying. I don't want to miss His leading because I'm freaking out over where He's taking me. 

Friends, if you would take a moment and pray for me, I would be most grateful. You can pray for peace, for clarity, for direction, for babysitting jobs to come through, and for God's will to be done. Thank you. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Goals Update {Sneaking in 7QT}

I read this wonderful post by Chelsea about making goals, and I realized that it is almost the end of June, which is a perfect time for a goals update! And since I had 5 goals for 2014, I figured I will expand just a bit and link up with Jen at Conversion Diary - two birds, one stone.

1. First of all, let us applaud the fact that I'm doing a goal update at almost exactly the halfway point of the year. Maybe I'm a few weeks days early, but at least I'm doing it in June. Be happy with what you get, people.

2. Goal 1: Invest time in new friendships. Status: successful thus far. Rebecca and I have become so close {we're planning on buying a cake - she loves cake - for our friend-versary in August} and we regularly make jokes about double dates and maybe even a double wedding, but could all of this happen without actually talking to boys, please? Thank you.
I've also grown relationships with several other people, most notably Notion friends. Also, Laura from A Single Drop in the Ocean and I have been getting to know one another via email {and we've both assured the other that we are not creepy stalker people!}, and that has been so fun. Actually, tune in for a blog swap/interview coming up!

3. Goal 2: Get into a real exercise routine. Status: pretty successful. I've been doing Zumba 2-3 times a week this month {Bradley class cut one from my schedule} and have been actually good at exercising at home when class isn't a possibility. Sugar intake has been down and water intake has been improved. Also, I've started using the MyFitness Pal app {shoutout to AJ who got me started!}, and since starting on May 29th, I've lost 5 pounds. Bam!

4. Goal 3: Continue to blog twice weekly. Status: rocking. I've already posted more in 2014 than I did in 2013, total. So that's cool. Any suggestions for posts can be made in the comments - I'm open to your ideas!

5. Goal 4: Try one new recipe bi-monthly. Status: I mastered one and made it three times - does that count? Ha! I will pick a new recipe for July and give it a whirl. And maybe even a blog post.

6. Goal 5: Goodreads goal of 40 books this year. Status: I updated my challenge to 50 books, and I've read 29 so far. The perfectionist-Type-A part of me would loooove to point out that I'm 5 books ahead of schedule, according to Goodreads, and the overachiever part of me wants to up my challenge again, and the stressed-out-making-life-decisions part of me wants to take a chill pill and just enjoy reading.

7. Just for laughs {and Funny Friday points}:

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Finish This: Week Twenty-five on the Twenty-fifth!

Linking up with the super talented and oh-so-generous hostesses: Nicole at Three 31, Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, and Lisa at Coastlined. These wonderful ladies are giving away $25 gift cards {see all the 25s!} to four participants of today's link-up. What are you waiting for!? Jump on this link-up train!

I have a quarter to use a pay phone. I call either my mom, dad, or sister, depending on the situation. If I'm lost, I'll call Dad. If I'm shopping, I'll call Mom {I don't know why I'd interrupt shopping to use a pay phone, but we relish the hypothetical here, don't we}. And if I'm in trouble that I don't want my parents to know about, I'll call my sister. I'd try to call my bestie, but I only have her home phone number memorized {yep, we've been friends that long} and like most families I know who live in this century, their home phone has been disconnected for a while.

I found $25 in my pocket! I buy a book, a set of stationary, and a chai latte. Half Price Books + coffee shop = perfection.

I have 25 minutes to watch anything on TV. I watch "Say Yes to the Dress" or "The Office" or any rom-com on repeat. I'd say longer shows, but if I can't finish them, I don't want to watch them! It's probably because they're all drama or crime scene and I have to see the conclusion.

A meal I can prepare, from start to finish, in 25 minutes or less isn't really a meal, but let's face it: crack popcorn can be substituted for any meal and has the calories of about 3 meals. It's basically the perfect food....except not. But yeah, two ingredients. I'm all over that.

At the age of 25, I wish I'd known how important it is to be older than 25 when answering this question? Ha! I'll say something I've learned since turning 25. I learned that comparison is not worthwhile, that cooking can be fun when I've planned ahead, and that it's ok not to have my whole life figured out.

If I drive 25 miles from my house, I'd be in the mountains at a waterfall {east}. Close to visiting my sister who lives close to the Canadian border {north}. Headed to Powell's Books {south}. On a ferry {west}.

Thanks for hosting 25 weeks of fun, Nicole, Jen, Becky, and Lisa! And thanks for reading, friends!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Decisions, Decisions

Life is full of decisions. As Jen from Conversion Diary points out {check out Lesson 5}, sometimes we need a break from making decisions. Unfortunately, I'm not in a season where break-taking is an option. The past several days felt like this:

Which doula certification program do I choose? Which doula book should I read next? When should I start the next course? Should I start babysitting more so I can more quickly afford the doula workshop?

Where should I work while I'm getting certified? Do I stay in my current industry or switch? Who is going to be my new flatmate, since Samara is off on a new adventure? Do I stay in this area or move? 

When am I going to do laundry? How often does the floor need vacuumed? Is it time to run the dishwasher yet? How many times in a row can I have cereal for dinner!?

Things have gotten a little crazy in my head, as evidenced by the slew of questions that are taking way more brain power than necessary. Last night, the only decision I wanted to make was "Can I finish another episode of 'The Office' before I have to leave?" 

I'm feeling better today. The decisions are still looming, but the stress level has decreased. I don't know if it was crying {check} or talking with Samara {check} and AJ {check} or simply a good night's sleep {um, not check}, but things are looking better today. God is in control. He already knows my life's story, so I'm going to keep clinging to Him and asking Him for direction.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Creative Process, Or Lack Thereof

Joining Victoria at Victoria's Ramblings for her very first link-up party! Head on over to take part in this spectacular event!

Victoria asked about the creative process of writing, specifically writing blog posts, so here we go.

Part of me wants to say that I plan out all my posts, or at least that I want to plan out all my posts, but it's simply not the truth. Because of various link-ups and habits of posting, I know generally what I'm going to post on Tuesdays {NAS}, Wednesdays {Finish This}, and Fridays {7QT + Funny Friday}, but those are all link-ups/themed; they don't feel as natural as other posts.

For most posts, I'll be thinking about something that happened or a particular subject, and I'll think I should write a blog post about it. So the next time I can, I blog about it. Usually it's the same day I'm thinking about it, because I do forget my own thoughts. Anybody else do that? Anybody??

There are some topics I write about just to get out of my head, but I won't click publish. Sometimes there's polishing to be done; sometimes it's too private to share; sometimes I need to distance myself from whatever I wrote about. Some posts are going to stay in drafts forever, and that's ok. This blog {and writing} are for my process with life, and not everybody needs to know about everything.

One of the things I struggle with when deciding whether or not to hit the big scary PUBLISH button is comparison. I know, shocking that this struggle in life has seeped into blogging. But it's a really tangible battle when I write, especially when responding to a prompt, because the temptation to read others' answers before, or worse, after writing my own response is strong.

But I've decided that I have my own voice and my own thoughts, and people read this blog for this voice and these thoughts, and if they don't like it, they can go hack up a hairball find another blog to read instead.

Well, that really isn't about how I write blog posts, but it is about my process, so there ya go. Thanks for starting the conversation, Victoria!

My Life is a Romantic Comedy...

The theme of this post:
This is also the theme of my life, but that is depressing and beside the point. 

Example One of Bek's Rom Com: on Wednesday night, Samara and I went to a friend's college's portfolio showing. Actually, it was a called a "port-show-lio" which automatically means that we're in a rom-com, right? Renaming things to be cutesy and rhyming? Anyway, we were having a great time, appreciating students' amazing skills and hanging with a couple friends. 
We decide for our last few minutes, we would go and watch a video one of the students created. We stand in the back and are commenting on the soundtrack {kind of a cross between Sleeping At Last and Josh Garrels, in case you were wondering} and then it hit me: we forgot to pay for parking. We had parked in a lot that said "$5 Parking" and we pulled in thinking that five bucks was not bad, and we got out of the car and walked straight into the building. Without paying. And now the $5 that we would have and should have paid could look more like $60 from a parking ticket. 
Wide-eyed, I turned to Samara and panic-whispered, "We didn't pay for parking." Her eyes got as wide as mine and she asked, "Do you think we should leave now?" Still slightly stunned, I nodded, and we both turned and gave our farewells to our friends, and then we power-walked down the street to find....
no parking ticket! Praise be unto the Lord! And Nora Ephron, who is kind to her rom-com heroines.

Example Two of Bek's Rom-Com: Thursday was a second-day-hair day for me, so I got up and grabbed my hairbrush and dry shampoo, intending to hit the trouble spots and call it good. Except that I grabbed hair spray instead of dry shampoo. And I didn't notice until after I had sprayed quite a lot onto the crown of my head. 
I figured that maybe dry shampoo would remove hair spray, so I switched bottles and sprayed again. And then I brushed my hair and braided it and spent the rest of the day hoping no one would look at the crown of my head. And while no one dropped down on one knee like Nora Ephron would have dictated, no one pointed and exclaimed, "What happened to your hair!?" so I'm calling the day a win. 

Example Two reminds me of this:

And on this note, I bid you a happy Friday and wonderful weekend. Peace to the out!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Finish This: Week Twenty-four

Linking up with Jen at The Arizona Russums, Nicole at Three 31, Lisa at Coastlined, and Becky at The Java Mama. There's a special treat happening next week, so tune in and link up!

I could spend all day in my pajamas, taking turns reading and talking with friends. If you've seen me in my pajamas, you've probably come over to my house after work, because basically as soon as I get home, I'm in my pjs. And in case you wondered what I'm reading these days, check out the stack of books that I'm working my way through :)

My primary and most essential goal in life right now is to finish the aforementioned stack of books before they're due back at the library! Also to discern God's will for me... got some ideas and changes and dreams rolling around in my head, and I want to be sure it's God before I act.

You might be surprised to learn that I would pierce my nose in a heartbeat, if it would be appropriate for work. And now that I'm journeying towards a more independent career, I'm thinking that another piercing is in my future... :)

My favorite place in the world is wherever loved ones are. When I'm with my family, that's my favorite. When I'm in Kentucky hanging with the coolest people ever, that's my favorite. When Samara and I are sitting on the floor of the hallway at 11:45pm talking about life and church and redemption, that's my favorite. When I'm at Notion Club listening to the brilliant words of incredible friends, that's my favorite.

I wish I had known sooner that I don't have to be like anybody else. SO many bad habits of comparison could have been broken sooner had I known {or accepted} that no one else can be me.

Thanks for joining! Next week, there is a prize for participating in Finish This, so come on back and link up, yo!

Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Graduation, TFIOS, and Doula Homework

Linking up with Jen's friend Kathryn at Team Whitaker for today's 7 Quick Takes.

1. My sister graduates from college tomorrow!! Woot! She's worked really hard on her degree {creative writing major, Spanish minor}, and I'm so proud of her. Also, did I mention that she's earned her blue belt since starting karate less than 2 years ago? Watch out, world! She's smart, cute, and can kill you 5 different ways.

2. Anyone see "The Fault In Our Stars" last weekend? My friend Rebecca and I went to see it Sunday night, and I used up 1/4 of a box of tissues by myself. Rebecca didn't cry until the end {she hasn't read the book yet, so don't judge!}, but I wept basically the whole time. If you haven't already, go read the book and then go see the movie, and then you can read the book again. Isn't that always the right order for these things? Book first, then the movie, then the book again. Story of my life.

3. The soundtrack to TFIOS is perfection. I generally dislike Ed Sheeran, but his song for the movie was great and I can tolerate listening to it in the soundtrack loop. Anyone else listen to the soundtrack repetitively in an attempt to recreate the movie feels? *raises one hand, wipes eyes with other hand* My three fave songs from the soundtrack are...

4. Birdy, "Not About Angels"

5. M83, "Wait"

6.  {gotta have one happy song, right?} GroupLove, "Let Me In"

7. Finally, my Bradley birth book came in at the library! Perfect timing, too, because my homework from Monday's class was to Get The Book. Check!

Happy Friday, happy weekend, and happy Fathers' Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Finish This: Week Twenty-three

Linking up with Becky at The Java Mama, Lisa at Coastlined, Jen at The Arizona Russums, and Nicole at Three-31. Join the fun!

The best compliment I ever received is the general response when I announced that I'm going to become a doula. The positive feedback and encouragement was so, so lovely, and it made me more excited {if possible} and made me believe in this dream even more.

Wearing red lipstick makes me feel like I'm about to go on stage, or that I'm playing dress-up. The only times I wear lipstick are for performances; any other time, it's a waiting game of "how long can Bek go without smearing/licking/wiping off her lipstick?!" which is a game I prefer not to play.

The best investment I've made is any trip. Traveling is an investment with countless rewards, and I always feel richer after going somewhere, be it near or far, old or new.

My best childhood memory is making "tents" in my basement. My sisters and I used afghan quilts, tv trays, and dictionaries to construct fortresses that took over the entire family room. We'd leave them up there for days, much to my mother's chagrin.
Also, my sisters and I used to make our own paper dolls. We each had a different spot in the living room for our "houses," and Jayna got super intricate and made a family of cats for her paper family. Good times, good times.

Doula Adventures: Bradley Class

Well, I went to my first childbirth class on Monday. It was fantastic! The instructor, Stephanie, just had a baby a month ago, so it's really fresh for her. There are two couples in this class, and they are both pretty cool. They are definitely not Awkward Pregnancy Pictures material. None of this:

The class is for the Bradley method, which you can read all about on the Bradley website. I will be going to class for 12 weeks, which definitely fulfills DONA's requirement. Hooray!

Lesson One was about nutrition, exercise, and relaxation. I think that all the classes are going to include these elements, so bear with! There are also going to be vocabulary lessons each week, so we'll see what gets shared here as time goes on.

In other news, I finished Ina May's Guide to Childbirth! It is an incredible book. If you're at all interested in birth, get a book by Ina May. A review is forthcoming, I promise. I have just a couple books to get through first...

Friday, June 6, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Here and There

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diaries for 7 Quick Takes!

1. First of all, if you didn't catch the announcement of my new adventure, or the first step that starts on Tuesday, you'll be really confused by the rest of this Take. Thank you, thank you, thank you, dear friends, for all your well-wishes and encouragement! I'm very excited to begin this journey to becoming a doula, and I'll definitely be keeping y'all posted along the way.

2. So I guess Grace Patton created a 7QT of blogging tips, and I'd like to share one here. It's more for blog readers, but since most readers are also blog writers, I'm just going to say it applies and to check it out. Here is her tutorial for making sure you're not one of those "no-reply" address commenters. Just say no!

3. Earlier this week I started listening to/reading Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity. Oh. My. Word. Especially with today being D-Day. Oi. It's the story of a captured Allied {spy? solider? not really sure yet, and I don't want to give away spoilers} person in the hands of the Gestapo, and she has two weeks to write down all the crucial information she can. So she writes. And I listen/read. And it's incredible. Still in the first third of the book {don't you love that cds give you easy math!?} and I find myself wondering what's happening to her, even as I sit here at my desk and call people to set up appointments. Sigh.

4. Last night, I was in bed at 8:30pm. I read and texted a bit, and then decided that a) sleep sounded amazing and b) my arms were getting tired of holding up my book. So I texted my friend...

...and that is why we're friends :)

5. Tomorrow I'm going over the mountains to visit Dahlia! Hooray! Since she lives in a rain pocket {she taught me all about it, because she taught her 4th graders}, so she is bound to have lovely weather. Bringing my swimsuit? Why, yes, yes I am!

6. I'm almost halfway done with the second half of my Doctor Who scarf! It's coming along quite nicely. Don't worry; I'll be posting pictures as soon as I can, and when it's done, you can count on a photo shoot with Samara and me modeling both halves.

7. And now to end with Funny Friday, courtesy of Pinterest:

Happy weekend, y'all!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Doula Adventure: Step One

Remember back in January when everyone was saying, "Man, 2013 was hard!" and everyone said "Golly, I think 2014 is going to be a GO year." Since Ash Wednesday, I think, we've been in a season of "suddenlies." As in, "suddenly" I realized that birth is my passion and I want to become a doula. 

The process of becoming DONA-certified is a pretty intense one. There are several books and papers that must be read, classes attended, so many hours must be spent observing, and a multitude of resources must be collected. It is, at best, daunting. DONA gives deadlines of two and four years; obviously, this is not an overnight process.

Six nights, however, can start something new. 

The first step that requires a specific timeframe is a childbirth class. There are a myriad of classes you can choose from, as long as the instructor is certified and there is at least 12 hours of class time. So on Monday, I began frantically enthusiastically emailing some local Bradley, Lamaze, and Birthing From Within instructors. A couple people responded, I'd get really excited and email them back, and then I'd hear nothing; NOTHING. Samara will attest to how frustrated I was getting. So finally I decided to call. And I got in the class. For less than half of what she usually charges. For the class series that starts on Tuesday. 

Let me reiterate: On Wednesday, I enrolled in a childbirth class that starts on Tuesday. 

SUDDENLY, I'm taking the first step to becoming a certified doula. Wow. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Finish This: Week Twenty-two

Hey there! Today I'm linking up with these fabulous link-up hosts: Nicole at Three 31, Jen at The Arizona Russums, Lisa at Coastlined, and Becky at The Java Mama.

I conquer fear by using the extension of the vacuum cleaner to suck up spiders. By reminding myself that as long as the house doesn't catch on fire, it won't kill me to try a new recipe. By laughing at whatever scares me...or laughing at myself being scared. And if I could whistle, I totally would, a la "The King and I."

I follow my heart by volunteering at Care Net as a client advocate. Getting to discuss options with a lady facing a crisis pregnancy is one of the most intimidating and most rewarding conversations I'll ever have. I love it, even when it's challenging. 

I feed my soul by reading wonderful books. By laughing with my bestie. By a phone date with my bosom friend. By babysitting. By watching "Miranda." By baking cookies. By cleaning my room. 

I used to worry about making friends after moving home, but then I found that by letting go of my preconceived ideas of people allowed {and still allows} me to get to know some amazing people. As Yvonne and I shared, and then as I shared for the Not Alone Series, making friends is about making a risk and then sharing the reward. Also, blogging friends can become real friends! :)

Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more Finish This prompts.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Not Alone Series Anniversary

The awesome Jen at Jumping in Puddles and Morgan at Follow and Believe have been hosting the Not Alone Series for one whole year! So today in honor of this anniversary, participants are sharing what we've learned through this series.

Wow. The fact that these ladies have been linking up encouragement for a whole year is pretty amazing. I started participating back in January {read my first post here}, and I have to say, each Tuesday I've looked forward to a new topic and reading others' posts.

I think my favorite part of this link-up is the community, or the "support group," as Morgan jokingly {half-jokingly?} called it at the very beginning. I love that we have each other in this blogging world full of married homemakers and mommy bloggers.

I love that we find a sense of solidarity as we discuss various aspects of singlehood. I love that we can freely say/type, "you know what? I'm sick of ____" or "I really wish ____" or "For the love of Pete, if he would just _____" and we all know what we're all feeling and thinking.

I love our Facebook group and how we get really real and down and dirty and into the nitty gritties. And we find, wonder of wonders, that we are truly not alone. I know that's the name of the series and it should be obvious, but at first, it's strange and I wondered if it was real.

It's meeting someone and a deep topic comes up and you share your fears and this stranger says, "Oh, I know exactly how you feel," and you wonder, do you really? And through this series, I've learned the answer: yes, really. We all really know how we're feeling, what we're facing, and what our brains are thinking. It's not just that we've been there; we are there.

And while we're relating to one another, we're also making friends! We're getting new perspectives on all aspects of life. We're learning more about others and ourselves as we go through this series.  I can't tell you how many times I've sat down to write one of these posts but wanted to read someone else's first, just to make sure, once more, that I'm really not alone in this. And every time, the wonderful ladies in this link-up are tracking right along with me, and it's beautiful.

So what I've learned, really, though this wonderful series, is that there are some fantastic women in this world who are facing the same experiences I am and are handling it with grace, and I know that if they can face their situations with a heart full of trust and peace, then I can, too. Thank you so much, Jen and Morgan, for this community in the blogging world. This is a gift, and I'm grateful.

P.S. Some of my favorite topics from NAS are: Another Engagement, What I Know Now, and Dating Dos and Don'ts.
And in case you get sick of my posts, here are some of my faves from other NAS-ers: Rachel's post on friends, Dahlia's post about marriage, and Laura's post on marriage.    

Monday, June 2, 2014


On Friday, I alluded to a new direction that I'm pursuing. Sorry for all the vagueness there... I wasn't quite ready to announce it to the internet/world. I still don't know how to transition from "telling you that I'm going to tell you" to "actually telling you." Here goes. Gulp.

I'm going to start the certification process to become a doula!!! 

I know, I'm excited, too. 

It all started with an email from Laura at A Drop in the Ocean. She sent me the link to DONA International, which is the standard of doula certification. I looked at the requirements and thought, I could do this. I tried to dismiss the thought, but I couldn't! So I began to wonder if this was a subtle hint.

A couple weeks later, the conversation and lightbulb moment happened. Samara was relaying to a friend how people tell her "you just light up" when discussing one of her passions, and I was in the corner de-fuzzing my clothes and wondering what on earth made me "light up" and then it hit me: birth makes me light up. 

{True confession: when I'm bored, I go to Camp Patton's birth story link-up and read birth stories.}

So when Samara and Cami and I made our way down to the Oregon coast for an extended Memorial Day weekend, and we just so happened to stop in Portland a) for some yummy breakfast and b) for the mother of all used bookstores, and I just so happened to find my way to the childbirth section within 3 minutes of entering the store {seriously, less than 3 minutes!}, I figured that maybe this "subtle" hint was more like "a neon-lit sign with a marching band" hint. 
And I also figured that  purchasing one book on the subject should be thought of as an investment. I joyfully, gleefully purchased Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth

{True confession: I finished the first third of the book that same day.}

Yesterday, I was home alone for the afternoon, and I decided that I should finally watch some videos, because reading can only take you so far, especially when you *cough* have a history of *cough* fainting. Previously in my life, AJ showed me the documentary "The Business of Being Born" and I made it through that one alright. But that was a few years ago, and now I needed to know what all I could visually handle. So yesterday, I watched the first episode of "The Midwives" AND the first episode of "One Born Every Minute." And I didn't faint. I didn't feel woozy. I didn't get dizzy. I didn't see spots. I'm amazed, actually. 

The responses I've received from telling people have been incredible. So many people have encouraged me in this, from "You'd be great at that!" to "Wow, that's really cool." One of my concerns was that I wouldn't be completely qualified since, um, you know, I've never had a baby. But person after person encouraged me that it wouldn't matter and that actually it's easier when you don't have kids because of the crazy "schedule." 

So that's where I'm at. I'm thrilled and nervous and excited and scared and incredulous and awed and delighted. I'm at the very beginning of this journey, and my plans are to keep this little bloggy-blog updated as my journey progresses. I'll be posting useful links, book reviews, and general thoughts as I go, so stay tuned!