Thursday, April 29, 2010

turtle rescuers!

we stepped off the plane in kauai and drove straight to mama turtle who laid her eggs earlier in the morning... suzanne, queen of kauai, explained that mama turtle was exhausted (naturally; you try laying one hundred ping pong sized eggs) and couldn't get herself back in the water due to the tide. so what did we do? well first we were thankful that we've been lifting weights. and then we pushed her in. and she swam away... happily ever after. see ya later mama turtle. la la la la la la la la la (insert hand gestures by r.c.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

gwen ifill drives me nuts.

driving back from one of the five bay area counties to san francisco, i had to turn her voice off. i can't really put my finger on it, but the three o'clock hour of npr doesn't keep me at ease.

so i sat. in silence. and thought about it when he yelled at me, "why am i in foster care? why is my mom so stupid?" bless his heart. bless my heart. bless the kid who i put an enormous amount of energy into every day: home placement, school, family finding. over and over and over again.

foster kids wonder things differently than kids who aren't part of the system. i need to remind myself of their type of questions: who am i? what happened to me? where am i going? how will i get there? where do i belong? though some of us may have asked these same questions growing up, our answers were generally known.

hoping for change.

Monday, April 26, 2010

friendcrush in five examples.

i'm often friendcrushing on someone: boy, girl, it doesn't matter. it's all about the intrigue and recognition of someone's coolness from afar. a real friendcrush is someone you can eventually become friends with... movie stars don't count. and either does anne lamott's son. but these people count:

kimberly. knew she was rad when her husband made a fool of himself and it didn't even phase her. named the crush, owned it and we've gone from friendcrush to straight friends. boooyah. now i reap the benefits of knowing the best chinese food in the city and having a diet coke partner.

lana. similar life and educational goals and a love for the work we do. anxiety when we can't switch our on-call shift and a girl with impeccable organization and cute file folders. made. for. each. other.

diane. (well, it's in the making.) we've only hung out once but people tell me i'm a younger version of her. i'm hoping she'll wear an oversized hat and drink tea with me soon. she's so cool i would throw my bra at her.

cait. it was friendcrush at first taste- she loves sea salt on her chocolate, too. and her calming personality draws me in; must be that she's from the central valley and knows the biscotti woman herself. i'm hoping hard that she's moving to nopa. and in love with the fact that she loves ira glass.

the boss. he's endearing; his easy going attitude and not-quite-hipster style is charming. maybe it's the same levis every day or the too many pairs of shoes in common with me?

cheers to putting myself out there. here. out here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

happy fiftythird.

to my mother. the woman whom i love more than any other mother.

quick thoughts on mothers:
mothers are a peculiar thing.
i always say "i won't do this like my mother."
and i always forget what i want to do just like my mother.
some mothers are there. present. involved.
some mothers are gone. silent. unattached.
some are in between.
some of us have more than one mother.
step, surrogate, foster, etcetera.
a few of us remind ourselves that we are not a reflection of our mother.
just like she is not a reflection of me.
that's what i keep saying to myself. but i often wonder if it's true.
i wonder if i will repeat my history, the one my mother has created.
or if i will stray from her beliefs, ideals, dreams?
mothers are peculiar. none of ours are the same.
when i grow up, i want to be like my mother in one simple way:
she is good enough.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

advice to my sixteen year old cousin.

who isn't doing so well in ap/ib/honors/whatever math: wear your retainer and don't go to private school, twice.

i've only got ten years on him, but that advice is GOLD.

Monday, April 19, 2010

one nephew says to the other.

uncle carter: okay tell him! go!

nephew samuel (three years old in june) to nephew riley (three years old in may): riley, if you go poop in toilet then get popsicle.

this is helping me start off the week right. hilarious.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

disappearing act.

here for three days and gone for four. a quick trip to arizona to soak up time with the family to celebrate my cousin's wedding. jeremiah married michele (yes, mm, she spells her name JUST LIKE YOU) and it was a fabulous party; the best part was being together with everyone. my grandma is one of eight so in total it makes one hundred and nine family members. ONE HUNDRED AND NINE.

so so fun. love you, love your show.

Monday, April 12, 2010

i always order chai. never coffee.

i sat in a coffee shop the other day and wrote. i intended to write about my hurt, and i suppose i did, it just came out different than expected. everything began with why and how and ended with a question mark. question after question and i didn't stop until i realized my teeth were clenched and the callous was reforming on my middle right finger. and i took a deep breath. i was reminded of the post when anna talked about yoga and breathing and i led cg the week before and we discussed slowing down. and i stopped. and breathed. though i mostly stopped in order to quit writing questions.

and then i realized how hard it is to believe in God. retract. how hard it is to follow God. to follow a God who talks about forgiveness. and to actually live it out. and more than that, to live with compassion and to turn my cheek. and to admit over and over, i've failed. i'm selfish. i'm jealous. i'm judgmental. and i forget, consistently, how to love the people around me.

lesley: this is no cryptic post, just a realization i had some months ago that i suck and need forgiveness. all the time. and yes, i am going to keep calling you out on my could-be-cryptic posts.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

yosemite two thousand and ten.

was cold and wet, but memorable as usual.
though the crowd was smaller, i'm reminded of why i love to camp.
memories. with family. and friends. and time away from honking horns. and cars stolen.
and air so fresh i want to bottle it up. and save it for the times when the city fog and smog make me cough.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

slowing down.

i am leading this month's community group with my friend, the purple loving stephan. when thinking long and hard about a topic, i thought (selfishly) about what i needed to hear: slow down.

stop emily.
stop and look.
and listen.
practice what you teach.
and be present.
remove your phone from your pocket.
and commit to this practice.
listen to the words of your friends.
as they tell you where they've been.
and imagine what it would be to feel their feelings.
and get that iphone out from under the table.
you think they can't see the glare as you're texting?
and while you drive? really?
stop twittering about your job.
or your breakfast.
and stop blogging about yourself.
stop stop stop.

if we all committed to slowing down.
and being present.
we might observe more things.
like depression and suicide.
and sadness and joy.
and maybe we could start.
start to observe. and see what God is doing.
where God is in the earth, on the earth.
in the relationships that are right in front of you.

if only, we could start to breathe.
and feel it in our bellies, deep.
the in and the out, slowly.
and then start again.
remembering to go slow.

for those of you who profess christ, you might enjoy this video's message.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

thoughts on doing "extra" work.

sometimes when i sign up for something "extra" at work (meaning, beyond my general work requirements), i think to myself, "i should be getting paid for this." and whenever that statement shows up, i'm reminded that i am SO part of my generation. and then i think of the below table because in all reality, i want to be a next generation leader instead of just another kid in this generation of tech savvy, twittering, entitled brats. yes, i know i (we) have more to offer than that description, but i've (we've) got a long way to go.

table taken from this article by Nick Tasler and Lac D. Su

Monday, April 5, 2010


i have never met a man who has influenced me more without using his words.

on my first day at martin's i saw jim... and i thought to myself, if he's here, i could definitely stay awhile. and then i spent almost every thursday morning with him for two years and i learned more about the character of God from his silence.

you would think that having a phd in organic chemistry would be a clear calling. but not with jim; monastic life called his name and he left on sunday. oh how i'll miss him...