Saturday, December 25, 2010

.blessed are the flexible.

“blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.” this was the mantra of a training i did for a bunch of missionaries last summer. what I’m learning is that it’s a good life rule to live by. you see, i’m not sure if you’ve ever noticed this, but women tend to like to control things. you’ll be shocked to know this is true of me and that I like order. gasp. who knew?

well, the main man in my life turned 29 this week and we had great celebration plans for the day of his birth which began with a weekend in northern california attending a few pro sports games and loving doing life with great friends.
i returned home and went straight to bed - exhausted from the bliss that was our weekend. the next morning i walked into the kitchen only to experience what may have been one of my saddest moments. i had planned ahead and saved some good steaks from my dad and a piece of recently-caught salmon from a friend and was intending on making the “perfect” surf and turf dinner for my guy’s birthday. it was gonna be awesome. i had bought a few things i’d need and was beyond excited to be able to celebrate him with our motley crew of friends on his actual birthday.

i walked into the kitchen and audibly gagged. the smell resembled a meat market in a third world country and the sight was tragic - salmon juice and meat blood on the tile floor. i was close to tears. i opened the freezer and by the pungent smell and the looks of things, the fridge had gone out about friday... it was now monday morning. what’s the first thing you do in the kitchen when you’re uncertain about something? call your mom of course. the worst was confirmed... surf and turf birthday dinner was doomed for the trash can. i plugged my nose and begrudgingly threw away the most beautiful slab of salmon and a few prime steaks. i texted the birthday guy and told him the sad news. It was then that my friend charlie’s mantra began to play in my head... and i remembered to be flexible. i told him that we would certainly celebrate him, even if it meant ordering pizza and it would be a good night.

it’s been almost 2 weeks since the incident and i’m finally not too traumatized to write about it. turns out his roommate came to the rescue and bbqued some ribs and everything else on the menu was do-able, even without a fridge. i was so grateful for lots of helping hands and friends to bail me out. but bigger than that, i think something happened in me. i was given permission to cry and to be sad and to grieve the loss of my “oh-so-perfect-birthday-dinner-for-my-guy.” okay, maybe that's a little dramatic, but... i remembered the mantra and didn’t break down. instead i was flexible and i was not broken. for certain there are times when brokenness is appropriate and healthy, but this was once of those situations where I had a choice. so I chose flexibility over control. and we celebrated and he felt loved and we all went home with full tummies and overflowing hearts.
i’m grateful for charlie and his wisdom. it turns out that when I am flexible and willing to surrender control, i am not broken and i’m way more fun to be around. lesson one of many I’m sure.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

.#24, 25, 26, 27, 28 - the five that got away.

now here is where you say, "you are lame, bree." you committed to 30 before 30 and you only did 25. and here is where i say, "i don't receive your criticism. i've done more than my share of self-criticizing and have landed on 25 before 30 as being 1) pretty darned good and 2) fine with me because it's really how old i feel anyways, so i think it all evens out." yes? yes.

so here they are, in no particular order - the 5 that got away...

#24 - climb halfdome at yosemite. the dealio with this is that i was scheduled to go up there in may. i learned a day or two prior to departure that in order to climb halfdome, you now have to make a reservation. are you kidding? it's not like we're going out for a fancy dinner, we're just trying to beat our out-of-climbing-shape bodies to a pulp, that's all, and you want me to make a reservation? well, naturally that put a damper on the entire trip and so i bailed. or shall i say postponed...

#25 - go to joshua tree - well, there's really not a brilliant excuse for this one besides that i moved two hours FURTHER from joshua tree than i had been living and it's a tough thing to do when you're over 4 hours away. so i just didn't make it a priority. this one also, postponed...

#26 - go to oregon & idaho - clearly i call an epic fail on the travel adventures i had planned for the year, yikes! i never got to these places, they are still on my list, i'd still love to see them both, there just seems to be no way to get it all done with the few weekends i have nothing planned... priorities, priorities. guess what? postponed.

#27 - see george strait in concert - i had one opportunity to do this. in san antonio. may 1. a sweet friend of mine was trying to use his backstage connections to get me tickets and guess what? turns out i couldn't go. bust! i am uber lame, but i had to work that day, it was probably in my 4 top most important days of the year for work. can't back out of that one and if you recall, when i started this 30 before 30 idea, i was jobless, so i'm truly grateful for having to miss this one.

#28 - learn to surf - sore subject. turns out santa barbara never got a summer. it was cold and kinda wet and the water was FRIGID for the entire summer and still is. turns out surfing didn't happen. turns out i got a boyfriend who's an avid surfer and is bummed i didn't learn. turns out i'm not sure i'd like it if i did learn. turns out there's been a few shark attacks lately & that freaks me out. turns out i'm going to new zealand in april & should probably have some basic knowledge by then. turns out i'm not sure when that's gonna happen. hmmm... this one's interesting. stay tuned, you may or may not hear more.

so, here's my public apology. i'm sorry i've failed you and not followed through with 5 of the 30. accept this and let's remain friends.

stay tuned for the last 2... including the epic birthday bash.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

.#23 - dinner party.

you could just throw a dinner party for the sake of throwing a dinner party, sure. who wouldn’t love that? oh wait, me. i’ve got to have a good reason to turn my house upside down, spend a boat load of money on groceries & special treats and stress myself out to the max. so this is one of the ones on my list that i put off as long as possible.

don’t get me wrong, i totes love a good hang out sesh at my house and the party people know they are welcome anytime, but those are night and day different from having a dinner party. well, my reason came. and i wish i could have blogged about it before my birthday, but considering it was a surprise, i couldn’t exactly tell the whole internet, especially since the guest of honor reads my blog.

one of my very best friends was about to get engaged. she had NO CLUE, but a selected few of us did. more like 20 of us that were scheduled to come to my house for a surprise engagement party right after the proposal. jon, the plan man clued me in in september - september people, for a december engagement. my poor boyfriend was doing all he could to not let the cat out of the bag the times he saw her in those 2 months and the rest of us spent at least a month lying through our teeth to the poor girl. but we pulled it off.

on december 4, jon thiele asked my girl erin schoenwald to spend the rest of her life with him. he liked it, he put a ring on it, she said yes. and that was the first shock of the day. imagine what was going through her mind when she pulled up to my house and found 20 of her closest friends & her parents from minnesota standing in the driveway, eager to celebrate. priceless team, this day was priceless. so worth every penny and every second of stress. at one point in the process, my sweet boyfriend called me, “a level 3 hurricane” which is my family’s nickname for my mom because she is absolutely out of control when it comes to entertaining and having things just right. but he was right, i’ll admit it. and he was a patient, selfless champ who did without being asked and let me check out when the day was done.

and it was beautiful. it wasn’t really “dinner” per se because our meal was at about 3pm, but we had a full meal, cheesecake, a champagne toast, decorations, borrowed tables and chairs and the whole shebang. it was great. you can ask my guy how often he’d prefer that i throw those kind of parties, my guess would be about once a year ;) but it was amazing. they are so worth celebrating. our great God answered a ridiculous amount of prayers in uniting their lives and he has great things in store for them. great things. so we celebrated. and we’ll do so again in august, on the day they become husband and wife... thankfully that one’s up to the parents.