Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bouncers & Curve Balls

A friend of mine had this quote a few months back, "When life throws you a curve ball...hit it out of the park!" For my Kiwi friends, Sam makes sure to tell me that "bouncers" are the equivalent but much more dangerous and therefore a better analogy. :) The way he describes what a bouncer is I will stick with a curve ball...these have been trying enough in my life as of late.

It has been a long while since I had the time or the energy to sit down and write. The lessons I have learned over this last 5-6 months have been massive, but they came in such unexpected ways. An old mentor of mine said to me in college once, "these hard and trying moments in your life are gifts, they might not come in the package you want them too, but they are still a gift to you."

Really, some of the gifts in this last few months I wished came with a gift receipt, but nonetheless I think she was right. Part of my lack of writing, too, has come from this crazy inability to not be able to keep up with the circumstances that were out of my control and the lessons I was learning. When I would feel ready to process some of my learning it seemed like a new curve ball was coming.

I remember, ironically sitting in the parking lot of a Taco Bell in Redding, thinking there are always missing pieces to some one's life story that we are unaware of. I was unaware at the time what God was doing in me, but I think that Taco Bell moment was significant. Also, in my time at Mosaic in LA I had a boss that mentored me and challenged me consistently, and the thing I walked away from after working for Eric was "always believe the best in people and give them the benefit of the doubt." Eric is very wise and constantly pushed me to live a life that exuded belief in people and challenged my heart to really give people the benefit of the doubt. Now I have to say this was not an easy or pretty process. He was relentless in his belief that this is how we should treat people. Eric always did that with me and I can remember the feeling of getting off the phone with him or walking out of his office and being aware of my shortcomings and places of growth but somehow at the same time I didn't feel defeated, just the opposite in fact. I felt like I could conqueror the world...and of course deal with the area of character that was pointed out.

I share all that because so many times in this last season of life I have drawn on that wisdom. Not necessarily just finding the good in others in the place I worked in Florida, but just a gentle reminder of that feeling that I so needed in this last few months that God sees us and God believes the best in us and God gives us the "benefit of the doubt." I said to Sam last night, I wonder what God has been doing in me as of late. And as I lay awake at 5:30am (the east to west coast time change has me a little off kilter) I was just quiet allowing God to just be in my heart and thoughts with me. It wasn't easy, I must admit. I was reminded of my good friend Jill who with words and also silently by the way she lived her life taught me that there will be times it will feel like you just can't stop the thoughts and fears that roll through you head...just be still a little longer.

I did lay there a bit longer and allowed the pain and fears of this last week to just be. I tried to not run away from it, but looked for the gift. There was no loud voice speaking to me, or clear thought that seemed to make the circumstances of our life go away, but then gently I felt peace.

It's been a season full of curve balls & bouncers that we just haven't been able to share with all of you, but everyone knows what a curve ball (or bouncer) feels like in their life. For me, I have HATED these, but eventually you have to learn to navigate your way through them. And while this last 2 weeks where we have had to make some huge life decisions that we never expected to have to make, especially in our first year of marriage, this has become the main and gentle lesson that I believe God just might be trying to help me understand at new levels. We have left Florida because of job situations, and now we are heading to NZ to live in October. We have had many other curve balls, unfortunately in this week, but the thing I love is that there really is a gift for us in this. Sam and I have become more of a team in this last season of curve balls and bouncers. We can't control the curve balls, but we are learning to trust that God is for us and we can control our reaction to the curve balls. If we really believe God is for us then it makes a curve ball season that seems to be like a batting cage gone bad, actually becomes a little easier to respond in love and peace.

Life has taken us a few places over this year, thank you for following our journey. It isn't always pretty but I do love sharing the different learnings. One doesn't always need to share the circumstances to be able to communicate the deep lessons that have been learned. I will keep you as posted as I have the energy to do so. We are visiting family and friends this month, then will head on to NZ on October 26th. There are so many unknowns and fears and I am sure even curve balls and bouncers waiting for us there but my prayer and hope is that I will not only continue to experience trust and peace, but also that I would continue to see that there are always unseen things in others lives that we just don't have the privilege of seeing, so in light of that, much like how God has treated us and responded to us, we will respond with grace and love.

Until next is a picture from my Birthday last night. Sam got me this dress for my bday :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Check this out

My husband is an amazing photographer. I LOVE seeing his work and each time I am more and more impressed with his ability to capture a story. We just took some engagement pictures on the beach and I was awed by how he caught Shea & Mitch's story with each picture!

Enjoy looking at the webstie! And a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you goes to our friend Chad at Structured IS. If you EVER need anything done computer-wise (you can see how technical I am by that very official "computer-wise" word) got to Chad! He is one of my dearest friends from Mosaic, and also one of the most talented computer bloke I have ever seen!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Mum

We love you and wanted to celebrate you on your Birthday!!!

We wanted to send you the perfect gift....but couldn't think of anything

Then we had a GREAT idea!

What's better then pictures of your miracle child and his new wife?!?!?!

Happy Birthday!! You will get your CD soon!! We love you!!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Day In The Life of Dana

Okay now really, I know that sometimes my life is sitcomesk but today was ridiculous. I worked all day in a center (9am to 7pm) super long day for sure. But I woke up fairly alert and thought I would finally head down stairs for some quiet morning moments. Those quiet mornings have been few and far between lately. I decided to open my blinds and let the sunshine pour in....mainly because in CRAZY Florida the sunshine is ONLY in the mornings and the rain is EVERY afternoon and night. As I opened my blinds I was surprised to see a little friend on the window...

It actually scared me a bit, but then I smiled HUGE because one of my most favorite memories of my wedding was Lakey and his two best friends..."his fwogs." So I did what any good best friend would do for one of her best friends kids, took a picture and posted it on facebook, pretending like the frog had not only found my house looking for Lakey, but also pretended that the frog was talking. The best part of my day was getting a phone call that I quickly took to say I couldn't talk because I was at work, and then was pleasantly surprised to hear this sweet little 3 year old voice. Lakey had called to ask how the "fwogs knew where to go to find him." I love little things that make you smile in your day.

My day progressed and was SO busy. I have no idea how 2pm rolled. Well, my amazing photographer of a husband has been editing some pictures he took of Shea (my boss) and her fiance. The day he took their pictures he also took this shot....

Shea and Mitch have a dog, Lila, they LOVE. They wanted her in their pictures and of course me and Sam said yes...fully knowing that I would be watching this dog at many moments, I still said yes. I LOVE my husband and his career! I was joking with him and said you should get a picture with me and Lila because Sea Jay (who relentlessly teases me about my lack of love for animals) will LOVE this shot. Well, he did. And he sent it to me at work today. I just laughed out loud when I got it.

A little relief in the craziness and the HORRIFIC migraine I had today. I needed to put something cold on my neck to help ease the pain. I didn't have anything, but I was drinking a cold Diet Coke. Perfect. Or so I thought. I figured that I would put the can on my neck for a few seconds, like the crazy NZ lady taught me, and it would relieve some of the pain. I did that. It felt so good though I left it there and was trying to move it around on my neck...then I felt a little cold, then a little wet. CRAP! I had spilled the Diet Coke down my back...sitting at the front desk of a center and the main head quarters of my company and I was wearing a white shirt. Seriously?! What the heck was I thinking? But it did make me laugh a little and I wondered how I could really be a professional that is working for a very business savvy company....I guess we all need a few laughs and air head moments in our days. If you don't have them, live vicariously through me it is quite fun.

The day was FINALLY over and my neck and migraine were SO bad. I drove home focusing, trying not to throw up I was in so much pain. Three things happened that made me smile though. One: my LOVING husband made me dinner so I walked into a YUMMY dinner, my lunch ready to go for tomorrow and a HUGE hug. Does it get any better than this? Two: I went around a round about that I go around every day, but today it made me smile more than usual. Every time I drive on a round about I hear Mich's voices in her wonderful Kiwi accent saying, "dana indicate! I hate it when people do not indicate!" It makes me smile every time but today I think I was missing Mich more than usual and it made me smile huge in the midst of the migraine pain. Three: I checked my email after seeing Sam's AWESOME pictures he had finished of Mitch and Shea's, and I saw this email that ended my day perfect:
(I had sent Kerri's little boy, Jacob, an old picture of us on vacation making a fun dirt dessert with Oreo's and pudding and gummy worms)

"I love that! I remember... we really are making dirt and worms. I like the picture. I love you Auntie Dana.
Good bye."

Even in the midst of the worst migraine I have had in awhile I had so many things that made me smile. Life is like that...good and bad. Loss and gain. Hurts and joys. Happiness and sadness. I am continuing to learn over and over that life is a journey of coexistence. Today was a VERY fun reminder!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

For Mom....Mum

Sam made us retake it...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wedding Jogger

Here's a fun memory from the wedding that i didn't have when I was posting wedding pictures.

This lady really jogged right behind the wedding, not once, but TWICE. She jogged past...turned around and jogged back. All I remember is looking over and seeing my mom and Sea Jay cracking up....loudly. When I looked towards what they were laughing at this is what I saw. I only could shake my head and laugh and think to myself...only at my wedding. It added to the drama, chaos and adventurous FUN of the day!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Wedding Planner

My new job...Official Wedding Coordinator.

Yep you read that right. I am taking on a new adventure. My friend/boss just got engaged. After planning the little wedding I planned in Florida I thought I might have some good ideas for her, but then she surprised me and asked me if I would officially help her plan her wedding. I was flattered and I have to say it, a little bit excited.

I have helped friends do weddings for years and love helping people discover what they really want. When you mix those things together you get....Jennifer Lopez in the Wedding Planner. Hehehehe...well, maybe not quite, but I did laugh at the idea of being paid to help someone plan a wedding.

We had our first meeting and it made me smile and leave with heaps of energy. It wasn't necessarily fun to research what was out there in service and prices, but it was fun to present it to her and cast a vision for how I will help her make their special day unique to them and a memory. I loved digging deeper and asking her questions and helping her discover what she really wanted, what didn't matter that much to her, what is tradition and not what she really wants and then begin to help her see a vision for creating a day that expresses her and her fiance. It was such a fun moment, mixing so many of my passions together. I can't say I ever thought I would be doing this, but at the same time I wasn't that surprised as I was sitting with her at this small deli in the middle of Florida.

Sam is going to help me...he is already the Wedding Planner Police. I was telling him one of their ideas, but hadn't got the idea out yet and he says to me, "Dana, they can do WHATEVER they want. It's their wedding." I laughed because I was just trying to tell him their unique idea, but my husband who is always challenging me to be open minded kept me in line...and I think will continue to help me keep my vision....helping them create their Big Day, not anyone else's Big Day.

I will definitely keep you posted on this job. The Weight Loss Job is going well still. I can't believe some of the stuff that we are beginning to serve our clients with this month. The company I work for has been in business for over 24 years, yet the latest things they are finding and now making available for our clients are things that are actually helping me. I sat in a seminar on Friday fighting back tears as I listened to one of our Doctors we work with, who is a Hormone Specialist, describe my life in the last 5 years. I didn't feel crazy for the first time about some of the stuff that I have struggled in the past. In fact, I had some doctors want to put me on some crazy medicine because I was a "tad" bit emotional (well...okay I was super emotional). I always said no because in my gut things just didn't add up they were saying. Well sitting in this seminar I was floored at hearing why these doctors had most likely prescribed things for me. They were right about some of the things I was struggling with but were giving me very dangerous and ineffective answers. I called Sam in the middle, during a break, and just cried as I shared with him all this guy was saying. And of course, in true Dana fashion I had to go say Thank You to the doctor. And in even truer Dana fashion I began crying as I told him thank you and shared 2 minutes of my story. He was like a gentle grandpa that seemed like he had heard my story time and time again. Sam laughed when I told him and asked if the doctor definitely need my help once I started crying. I love my husband that always makes me laugh when I take myself too seriously!

We don't know why we are in Florida some days, but on Friday I wondered if I was here not only for me find some resolution and healing on some things, but I had to wonder who else will benefit from the things in life I am learning. Life just never seems to be about us solely....time will tell.

For now I will enjoy these two endeavours Sam and I have and enjoy the beaches of Florida...when it's not POURING every afternoon!!! :(