Sunday, November 13, 2016


these are a couple of tamsin's videos of her recent visits. they make me so happy that i have to share.

the old days.

we had a trip into the good old days.

my cousin, mark, came to visit from the east coast. i always thought he was so much older than me, but he's really not.

i remember hiding under the bed and secretly trimming his leg hair with a pair of scissors while he played video games.

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i love that matt is my best friend. i love that i feel as natural as naked around him. i love that when my cousins (who i idolized as older and more mature) come to visit we do the math and realize that matt is older than them. it makes me feel less like a nerdy tag-along.

it feels so good to have a person and to belong to him back.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

the steady, upward course.

what happened here?

how did this fog lift, this flood retreat, this fire burn away?
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you are he, but you have changed. or maybe my eyes see more. or maybe a twofold transformation.
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"mom, can i have a hug?" -the first words he spoke today.

this is ossi now. open and free. trusting and growing.
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i can look back at the last year and see a steady, upward course we've traveled, though at the time it felt like groping for answers in the dark.
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thank you, teachers.

his second grade teacher is one of his forever angels. i doubt she could ever understand the depth of her influence. wow, patient. wow, kind. she got him from the worst of a storm to a place of peace. she lived on faith and hope and passed what she could of that to him.

ossi sobbed when his sunday-school teacher was recently given a different calling. she loved him above and beyond. she thought of him and prayed for him. she sent him letters in the mail and brought his favorite muffins every week. when he needs to draw on memories of what love feels like, what God feels like, he'll have her forever.
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at a special-education review meeting this morning his new (heaven-sent) teacher expressed, "this child i've read about on these papers doesn't exist. it's not who i know. it's not him at school."

she looked at me expectantly, asking in so many terms, how did you find out how to help him?

dumb me. i stumbled out some lame response about researching, blah blah.

what i should have said was this, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths."
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He led us. He led us here. and here. and here. and here. now he is leading us here. and here.

i think he led us because we asked every day, even if we didn't always know we were asking. we asked when we read scriptures. we asked when we went faithfully to church. we asked when we prayed. we asked when we moved forward, fully expecting His help. i know He heard us.

"If any of you lack wisdomlet him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faithnothing wavering." James 1:5-6

we asked and He answered through compassionate friends and family and teachers and doctors. 
that's what happened here.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

my golem.

when the stars align so that we've got a quiet evening at home i'm pretty dumbfounded. i love it, yes, but i almost don't know what to do with myself. that's when i scoop up my camera and try to bottle the moment.
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generally, i feel content about life right now. we don't have any big projects going and our home is pretty orderly. the boys seem to be loving their new school and matt's work is steady and comfortable. he and i have been having weekly planning meetings and weekly date-nights (yes, two separate events. wow, right?).
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my online classes have become more predictable, the volunteer and exercise schedules i've set are sustainable. evy seems to be handling the challenge of having more alone time.
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we've had some recent trouble with ossi's struggles (that deserves a post of its own), but we have been able to retain a sense of purpose and hope.
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so, the real trick is to not self-sabotage. i've been noticing that my contentment leads to staying up a little later to watch shows or neglecting simple tasks. when i let the little things slip i can feel my depression swoop on me. especially when i'm not sleeping well. i also need to watch the little voice in my head that tells me i'm not good enough.
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i recently explained to matt, "when i'm doing one thing i feel like i should be doing something else. when i'm working on a fun project i think i should be doing school. when i'm doing school work i think i should be cleaning the house. when i'm cleaning the house i think i should be reading my scriptures. and when i'm reading scriptures i'm content but i know that there's all the other work still to be done. it's hard to let myself have joy and be present in whatever i'm doing."

one reason i love to talk to matt is that he cuts through that voice with a stronger tone and tells me i'm allowed to be happy.
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i feel like my camera is a breathing-exercise for my spirit. i can stop and just walk around and verify to myself that life is beautiful.  
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the other thing i do lately is listen to this speech, "Joy and Spiritual Survival." unlike many of the videos circulating the internet these days it isn't flashy or calculated to provoke intense emotion. it's just full of truth that sings to my soul, illuminating a path. another is this, "Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?" the same rich power of truth in this speech pulls me to my feet and helps me face my depression.
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because, frankly, my depression isn't limited by how great my life is going. it nips at my heels in the best and worse of times. depression is my golem.

that's one things i've accepted about my journey.