But Mostly, for Help.

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Tonight i journaled for the first time in what feels like months. And it was with a rawness that has been avoided for even longer. I processed a hard conversation I had tonight and got embarrassingly ugly on the pages of my new, pretty, gold and white hard-covered journal.

My immediate thought after journalling tonight was regarding my Ugly. I wish we could decide on the degree of Ugly we wrestle with. I’m not talking about the Ugly we all love to hate and occasionally brag about; the crooked smile, being a clean-freak, being too loyal of a friend, etc.

Crooked smiles and cleaning habits are pretend uglies that we use to try to disguise our deeper issues. Either that, or they’re our lame attempts at small talk. There is Ugly in us that we don’t even want to admit in our own quiet thoughts. Jealousy, anger, incredible impatience, insecurities, comparison, a lack of care for the needy, etc. These are the Uglies that keep us up at night. Maybe I’m only one of a few, so I’ll speak for myself.

Tonight I let some of my Ugly come out as I processed this hard conversation. I’ve always feared admitting such deep Ugly, even inside a private journal because somehow I felt giving it shape would also give it breath to come alive and start taking over my every thought and word and sooner or later it would be some self-fulfilling prophesy that I unleashed. So, I’ve usually only penned the essence of it, never truly letting it out of its dark cage. It’s been more like holding vomit in my mouth, just waiting for the urge to subside until I decide to swallow it again, ignoring the fact that it will burn and rage internally, causing deeper sickness and destruction, prolonging the inevitable purge that comes before peace while attempting to convince myself I never had the vomit so close to the edge of my lips in the first place.

But tonight I thought about shining light on the dark Ugly. Holding it inside has only gotten me stuck and stressed and it tastes bad, so why not try the exact opposite. Before I could change my mind, I admitted all of it. Ugly thoughts, Ugly feelings, Ugly admissions and Ugly accusations. I felt incredibly raw and frighteningly vulnerable. Like, walking-down-a-dark-alley-yelling-loudly-to-scare-away-potential-threats-and-running-faster-than-I-thought-possible vulnerable. But I made it through unscathed. And not only did the honesty NOT give breath to this Ugly, it actually seemed to suffocate it.

I prayed it all out, really. I trust the God who says to cast all my cares upon Him. So casting I did. In my written prayer I yelled, I didn’t hold back the emotional cocktail of anger and sadness, of disappointment and surrender. I wept and I left nothing unsaid. I opened the vaults and went down the list of scary things I always thought were not okay to admit. I remembered the saying,

if you can’t say it out loud, it owns you.

I will not be owned anymore. I laid every bit of it at the feet of Jesus and asked for His wisdom. I asked hard questions. I voiced disappointments and fears, and I acknowledged his goodness, more as a declaration of faith, if I’m keeping things honest.

My brother has clung to the hope: Beauty for the Ugly. And tonight I am clinging to it as well. I asked God to show me the beauty for all this ugly. Asking, in part, to fuel my faith that there actually will be beauty in exchange. I asked for redemption and restoration. I asked for peace in the midst of chaos, confusion and brokenness. I asked for humility where I’m prideful. I asked for breakthrough, for promises, for joy, for triumph and mostly, for help.

So, tonight I lay bare. Slightly embarrassed of the Ugly I unleashed. It’s not the brag-worthy kind of ugly people love to hate about themselves. It’s a train-wreck-why haven’t-you-gone-to-counseling-yet Ugly. But, I’m very ready to sift through it all for the sake of Beauty. My heart feels a mixture of relief and anticipation. Relief for the freedom this admission has granted, knowing I am in trustworthy and productive, kind hands, and anticipation for God to respond.

He can handle my Ugly. He isn’t shocked by it, He isn’t surprised by it and He isn’t shaken by it. I am so thankful that I, too, am not shaken like I thought I’d be. Turns out, this rock on which I stand is very solid.

Cheers to unleashing the Ugly and not letting it own us. To the beauty and hope that lies ahead, and to all the crooked smiles and clean freaks.

-Bee

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matt. 11:28

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” 
Romans 8:26

“Cast your cares on on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

“He will give a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…” Isaiah 61:3

“Call to me and I will answer you, showing you great and mighty things which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

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A Public Display of Gush

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This was originally going to be a short instagram post, this public gush. However, in the days leading up to this November 16th, something was aching in my heart to take it to the blog. I can be louder here. More detailed. Something I feel is necessary today.

So as a pathetic intro, forgive me for my silence as of late; I understand its been quite some time. I do hope, however, that today will spark a new routine that includes this here forum. I sure have missed it.

You may remember our story (here) of our journey together. I love reminiscing in this way. It brings me back to the simplicity of things when life seems to tack on lots of complex nonsense to sift through. The last few days I’ve been lead into this simplicity again. I feel grounded more than before. More sure than before. More aware. That’s what simplicity and truth can do. They ground me. They blow away the muck and I see clearly again. I see not only what had once been seen and became blurry, although yes, that too. I see new things. The next layer deep. The layer that I couldn’t see before because I was busy seeing the previous layer. His timing is so perfect and He brings revelation from such a patient heart. I’m so grateful and humbled.

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This summer when we lived in LA, I distinctly remember an especially difficult day. Well, a bit of a backstory first: we were working alongside each other leading a school of foreign teenagers who had come for weeks at a time to study English and explore California. Long story short, it was a 24/7 gig.

So, this was a difficult day. I felt stretched thin and deflated. Oz and I had spoken and we both found some courage to give each other and made a game plan for the afternoon. I was walking down the hall away from him and onto my destination when clear as day my whole self felt what I had always longed to be true in my own life,

I wish I could go back to find him sooner so I could love him longer…

Except the quote in all of it’s order and execution didn’t come to me quite so clearly.

The longing did.

And don’t be thrown off…this isn’t the first time I felt love for my husband. Not in the slightest. Love seems to be a multifaceted Rubik’s cube of some sort that with each day you learn more how to navigate and experience. There are multiple surfaces to be lead into and explore.

I felt the ache that time together hadn’t started soon enough and my heart was and is full of so much love for him. Sometimes it feels like too much for only now and onwards. Perhaps borrowing from the past, placing our starting marker back a few years would suffice so I could unleash this love sooner and be in this bliss longer with the man who stole my heart in the most courageous way. I couldn’t muster up this quote in the moment, and my flustered state made me laugh. I thought, here it is! Here is what this feels like! And I can’t put my finger on it. It was deeply romantic and not romantic at the same time. Oz wasn’t even in the room anymore. No dim lighting, no candles, no bold heroic movement on my behalf. Except, maybe the latter.

When life is hard and people are mean it is the heroic thing to be present with each other. To know someone so deeply that you know exactly what they need to hear. You know exactly what to do. The kick in the pants, or the extra-long hug. You can read between the lines and call out the brave in each other. Call out the victory and triumph. Even if you can’t fix it or you don’t know how, the effort of holding up each others arms calms many storms. In moments like this one, on that difficult day, I felt our hearts align as one. Functioning together as two individuals who chose to submit to something greater than themselves. To walk together as a unit through it all. This is an inspiring dynamic.

I realize more and more with each married day how incredible it is to live life together. Although we are not perfect at it, we are getting better at being there for each other. And may I remind us all that it has never been just the two of us. Lord knows I’m blind as a bat sometimes with seeing what my husband needs or understanding what he’s really trying to say. Neither of us are mind-readers and we both have thrown our own emotions as darts at the most inappropriate times. Without the humility to go before our Father and pray for wisdom in our marriage, for discernment as we handle each other with care, or being honest enough to go to trusted people in our community when we need a third party to sort through something messy, we would be nowhere near where we are today.

In the midst of my stress and the chaos and fear of our work lives that day, I laughed with relief and joy and resolve that love is much bigger than our circumstances and even our selves. I’d rather go through life as a warrior with this man by my side than to sit in the lap of luxury, ignorant to the beauty that courageous and bold love brings. This love changes us. It transforms us. It gives us a beautiful picture of our Father and how big His love is for us. If I can desire for time to stretch in both directions, forward and backward, simply to love my husband longer and make him mine sooner, how much more is His longing toward us? Afterall, He IS love. And he displayed the greatest of loves when he humbly laid down his life for us. All for the non-complicated fact that He is wanting to spend life together, with us. How much deeper is joy when in we are in alignment with the heart of our Savior. The one who knows us and first loved us. Even when we kicked and screamed and doubted his authenticity. His bravery astounds me and inspires me. He painted us a very clear and simple picture of what love is.

It is with this picture of love, coupled with my own heart’s journey with my husband, that I reminisce on November 16th. Our fifth anniversary of being a thing. We weren’t yet Oz & Bee when we went to breakfast that Monday morning. We were two individuals with a hope of becoming something amazing. There was so much mystery ahead of us. We were a mystery to each other. What’s cool is that there is still mystery. Our first handful of years together isn’t going to look like the next handful. But we are going to enter into it as different people. We’ve got a few tools on our belt now. We have a rhythm together. Still shaky at times, but its there.

In all honesty, I don’t think I need the years we didn’t have together. We weren’t ready yet. We were being primed for a great adventure neither of us knew how to dream about. And although at times I wish I knew then what I know now, I don’t wish that upon me today. I like not having all the answers. I am enjoying learning as we go. I enjoy being present.

And I know I said I’d rather be a warrior than have luxury, but Lord knows I’d never turn down a chance to lounge poolside with a white robe and a cocktail. I could also be very present in that moment. Happily.

Happy High-five years to the making of Oz & Bee. Although November 16th is not our wedding anniversary, I still celebrate it as the incredible first day to the rest of our lives.

You are my favorite human, Oz.

I love you in all of time’s directions,

Bee, your wife.

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A wedding in the summer

Love like there is no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.  -Max Lucado


Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2808-19-12

I just can’t get over the beautiful photos of Jenny and Dave on their wedding day.

 

They were married at Rancho Guajome Adobe Park in Southern California; the same place Oz and I had our wedding. It was so much fun being back there, reminiscing over our own special day. Now it’s their turn. Its a day of calm and nerves all wrapped in one emotion. It’s a day to say goodbye to singlehood and hello to a forever of us. Jenny and Dave are a we now.  I could not be more thrilled for them. Diving into the mysterious and thrilling union of marriage is something quite adventurous.  The depth of what you discover is immeasurable; you discover things about yourself, your spouse, God, love, selfishness, servanthood, family, patience, preference, honor, respect, tidiness, the good, the bad, the ugly and the absolutely beautiful. Never a dull moment and always something to learn.  They are simply gorgeous…inside and out.

Marriage is looking mighty fine on them so far.

Enjoy the photos here and leave a little note for the handsome photographer while you’re there 😉  Here’s a few teasers and some of my favorites.

 

Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2709-57-40Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2711-06-17   Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2711-17-50 Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2711-24-47 Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2805-08-05 Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2805-13-17 Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2805-23-23Soulé Wedding 2013-07-2710-59-43

All photos and editing done by the amazing Aussch Photos.

For contact information, visit his site (link above).

Love always,

Bee

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Her maiden voyage

I am beyond thrilled to be sharing this post today! Oz has put hours and hours into building our boat and with the help of friends we have finished building, coated her in minty-fresh paint (chopped dill to be exact), attached her oar hooks, and taken her out for her first swim! Here is how the last couple of weeks wend down…via iphone pictures.

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We purchased the oars off Craigslist. This was purely for convenience. In hindsight, we probably overpaid, but it was a simple task of picking them up that attracted us to going this route…towards the end of the project we all were getting antsy to get in the water so purchasing the oars instead of making them sped up the process by a few days. ideal.

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Her she is in all her nakedness. A, Oz and I picked out the freshest mint color Home Depot had to offer. We all agreed on Behr’s Chopped Dill.IMG_4181

It was the perfect sunny day to paint a boat. Those coats dried in no time! IMG_4183

IMG_4185 IMG_4186After we minted-up the outside, Oz went straight to work finishing the decking and the seats.

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Here is J and I’s first sit in the boat! Oz had just finished the benches — here they are pre-stained. IMG_4709

Late-night photo sesh // You can’t finish a boat and NOT have an impromptu Titanic photoshoot. Its like a rite-of-passage. Its just necessary for newbie boat-owners.IMG_4746

The day before the maiden voyage, Oz and I went to get a few necessities for the big day. First things first: hat.

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Secondly, some minty-fresh pool noodles! We use three for transporting the boat on top of a car. We also purchased a 4-pack of ratchet clamps to secure the boat once on the roof. Target also provided us with a fancy Styrofoam icechest, a 24 pack of Corona and almost some boat sandals for me, but my indecisiveness got the best of me. Probably a good thing. (( Gold sparkles or classic nude?!?! Why again is BOTH not an option?))IMG_4889

Of course…I don’t know what boy can turn down a good noodle fight. No matter what age he is.IMG_4893

Success!! We’re pretty sure this boat is longer than our baby Scion. But obviously that is no problem for our little peanut of a car. The ride to the bay was quite a nervous one. I’ve never seen Oz drive to cautiously before! Something to note: If you are attaching a row boat to your car using ratchet clamps, be ready to hear a LOUD vibration that puts the rumble of a swarm of bees to shame. Those clamps sure dance in the wind and freak the crap out of you. But, now we know.IMG_4907IMG_4909I suppose I should stop calling her ‘the boat’. We had all agreed to collectively name the boat the day of her maiden voyage. With about 8 of the owners present (couples count as one), we all contributed up to three names to the suggestion board to later vote between. After three rounds of voting and an embarrassing amount of doubting, we accidentally landed on

Mint to Be

We had previously landed on Vitamint Sea (do I need to explain the play on words inspired by Vitamin C?) However, we all felt a hesitance to feel satisfied. I mean, the other options were great too! ((Mint Chocolate Ship, The Open Row’d, Abandonmint…the list literally goes on.)) But we had to accept it and just conclude that it was…Meant to be. Gasping in unison we all in one voice proclaimed: “MINT TO BE!!!”

We had a blast narrowing down the names and have all concluded that we each have terrible commitment issues. We debated changing it a 4th time to Seas the Momint; unfortunately another fabulous boat name that satisfies all our desires for puns, the sea, the color and sense of spontaneous adventure. But, we have somewhat unanimously decided that the this title will be reserved as our hashtag on instragram to document our boat adventures with Mint to Be.

But really, the boat just might have two names.

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Friends bought Oz this lovely Captain’s hat to honor all his hard work and facilitation of getting us our dream row boat!

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Pure bliss right here. Soaking it all in.

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The sweetest family on their first ride! Toddler approved!

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You can’t drink on land, but in a boat is just fine. Technically, he is still in the water…technically.

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This poor windsurfer had hardly any wind in his sail. However the masses of jellyfish below him kept his feet firmly planted on his board. Yep, that’d do it for me!

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The girls and I discovered one of two potential things:

1. Rowing is really hard and requires abnormal amounts of strength

or

2. We are very weak and need to tone.

Either way, it is great exercise.

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Oz put so much heart into the project and went above and beyond to make each owner feel special and honored. He created this incredible certificate and presented it to those present that day!

It reads: To all Rowers wherever ye may be, and to all swabs, land-lubbers, square-knot admirals, gun deckers and all other assorted scavengers of the seven seas: Greetings: and be it known: By all ye earthly mortals and others who be blessed and honored by their presence that ___________ is an honored owner and crew member of the first and most illustrious otter’s point dory gloriously entitled: (Mint to Be)

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Maybe one of Oz’s FAVORITE things about the past two months occurred last night. He has been up late late late trying to figure out the perfect pulley system to get his boat up in the car port. And  after three evenings of trial and error he tasted success! I could not be more proud of him for all his determination not only in the pulley system arena but throughout this whole process. He has not only accomplished so many personal goals and crossed off some bucket list items, but he has persevered and worked hard which has brought so many people joy! We all get to enjoy the fruits of his labor and we all are looking forward to a perfect summer of boat parties!

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Cheers to a summer on the water.

-Bee

((A rower and scavenger of the sea))

[[See more of our adventure through the eyes of the other owners on instragram at #seasthemomint]]

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I used a Word document instead.

 

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I love to write. I know I can’t be the only one who discovers how I actually feel only after reading what I write. I pour out my messy heart to my journal or my, in this case, Word document. Then I read it. Then I hear myself. Then I understand a little bit more whats been making all that racket inside. I don’t start with it all figured out. But I don’t finish with it figured out either. But I do, in the process figure something out. Even if its how to get some relief. Writing is a kind of unique balm that soothes wounds until they can get some proper attention. It even helps show me where the proper attention should come from. It helps me make sense of my mess. It helps me understand how to label my emotions instead of letting them run wild, nameless and unguided. And I can’t say I’m alone in my writing. It’s always been the clearest way I’ve heard God speak to me. I think that’s why I adore keeping journals. Its like a getaway with me and God.

Writing is also a place where I can be brave. I’m learning to be brave, really. I’m not fully there yet. Here’s some background on that…

I used to keep negative things out of my journal and go straight to the hope and a prayer. If I was blaming anyone in my journaling it was probably myself. But even then, I knew that how I was seeing myself in that low moment was not in alignment with the perfect love my God had and still has for me and that my identity was in Him and not in my mistakes and falling short. So self-hatred never had a chance to shine for too long before my Defender came to my rescue and reminded me who I was and even still, who I am. This fear of writing negativity down didn’t come from a fear you may assume…I didn’t fear that someone would find the gossip between my pages and me, read it and be offended or mad at me…I feared that if I let a negative comment be confessed even in the privacy of my locked pages, that I would start to believe it and give a nasty life and power to its existence. And existence that I allowed. Lies are woven in and out of negativity. Lies about people’s worth, about their strengths and gifts.  Lies about their own hurt and their motives behind their actions that cause me pain. Those are lies I am not willing to believe. About myself or others I do life with. At least, I try not to believe. Sometimes I am deceived.

I have known the power of the tongue since a young age. I have clung tightly to writing kindness and truth and declaring God’s promises that are true instead of hashing out gossip and hatred in my secret written confessions. I’ve not done this perfectly, but since I was young I have been convicted to be cautious with what I write down. I have certainly spoken negatively about others….I will be the first to plead guilty of not thinking before I speak and hurting others in the process. But to me, as irrational as it may seem, there has been something more forever about documenting harshness in a journal. It seems more decided. Like an engraving on a stone. I don’t want to record any kind of bashing of another person whom I should be uplifting and praying for. What if archeologists find my journal hundreds of years from now and all I offer them about the identity of so-and-so is how they always failed me and were incompetent and immature and mean or ________?? I see the double-standard here. I see the inconsistency. Writing vs. Speaking…whats the difference. really? I still don’t have it figured out.

But about bravery. I see that in my habit of not writing negatively, I’ve confused it with not writing honestly. And when I don’t write honestly, I don’t get better. And I want to get better at handling hardship and struggle. I’m talking about the hard stuff. Not just the hard stuff within myself, but with others. I am starting to confess the emotions I’ve always been scared to admit in fear that I’d become some kind of anger-monster that only survives off of entitlement and bitterness. But the ironic thing is that I still have the negative things in my head and they have been eating me alive! They are still working to destroy me. I’m still somehow feeding them and they are growing. They’ve gatta go.

I’ve started to be more raw and real in my writing. They outcome is odd. I don’t always feel better about it; whatever the it is at the time. But I do feel like I take steps forward. I start realizing which aches are from which hurts and the pride I have inside wreaking chaos. And in writing honestly about the hurts caused by other people, I’m challenged with loving them in spite of their behavior…I’m confronted with loving them in the midst of their own chaos and it’s manifestations. Yikes. That gets hard. This is my starting point to healing and to abundant relationships. It’s my starting point to understanding more deeply how the Love of the Father stretched out to me when I too was guilty and offensive and in great need of grace. I need grace everyday. I need to realize these things in order to get better. In order to really love someone else from the purest, healthiest place I can. Being brave and admitting the ugly stuff is hard sometimes. I have to submit my emotions to my God and allow Him to discipline me to not dive into a rant-session, but to surrender my aches and frustrations so I don’t have to be weighed down by them anymore. It’s a fine line in journaling between being upset about something and still move towards health and crushing somebody for their responsibility or involvement in an offense which would be a big step backwards. Crushing people is never a step forward. For anyone.

In all of this I am finding more and more that I am in desperate need of my Jesus. He proves himself faithful again and again and again and again and dares me to draw nearer. I can’t figure out life in the big or the small without his guidance and patience and kindness that pulls me into a safe place; without His mighty love that turns my ashes into beauty and my defeated heart into a something strong and courageous. And whole.

 

Perhaps this post is just as messy as my at times nameless and unguided emotions, but perhaps that’s the appropriate layout.

Messy.

  Austin&Britnie-81{{photos via}}

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28, NIV

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” -James 1:2-5, NIV

bee

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Flashback F r i d a y

We have been home for 8 months. C h i n a still feels like yesterday, but at the same time feels like a dream from years ago. In honor of Flashback Friday, here are some snaps from our last days in the beautiful country.

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We had a sweet lunch with these two beauties. It was a bitter-sweet meal knowing that it was our last one together.

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Duo Duo. This silly girl brought us so much laughter. She was a sweet blessing to adopt for the summer. She still has a piece of our hearts. ❤

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All packed and ready to train to Beijing. This is the last shot I took of Oz in our room.

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The overnight train was something like 12 hours. I was so happy to have gotten the bottom bunk this time…those beds stack three high!

IMG_2005Our last meal in Beijing with our buddy. This dish is T H E best food in the whole world. My mouth is literally watering right now.

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Travel in China just wouldn’t be complete without a little mafan. Oz’s bag was “randomly selected” to be searched. Later we were told it had something suspicious in it. There was nothing random about their selection. This is Oz’s expression in response to the love/hate relationship with mafan. [[suspicious item? the camera tripod.]]

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At our gate! Ready to fly to Japan! Behind me is the vending machine full of water and beer. Something we knew we would not be seeing in the States any time soon.

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Our bird. We sat in the wing seats and tried to realize that this was it. Homeward bound. That was a weird day. Lots of excitement to look forward to. Lots of sorrow of leaving our home we grew to love and belong to. Here‘s a flashback to before we left and one here for the first update being home. I can’t begin to tell you how much is still hidden in between the two.

On this flashback Friday I’m grateful for our many memories and thousands of pictures from three months in China. Perhaps I’m ready to start unloading the stories I’ve been keeping in my treasure box. There are so many gems to unpack. Even though its a bit daunting of a task, I feel so honored to have the gems in the first place. We have a lifetime of stories and experiences that I will cherish over and over and over again. It would be wrong to keep them locked away. Hmm…time to figure out where to start?!

Grateful,

Bee

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I’m on a boat and it’s going fast and…

Oz has wanted to build a boat for y e a r s. This year, with a group of friends his dreams are finally coming to life! But its been way cooler than either of us could have ever predicted. Instead of just having a boat for us, this has been something that has knitted our community together in a rad way. With a little help from AlliJo, we have rounded up 8 co-owners who have helped fund the project. Now, with 8 owners (some singles, some couples) not only can we enjoy the fruits of his labor, but so can some of our best friends! Now, to clarify, we totally would have lent the boat out no questions asked…but this way, the whole 8 of us can play a part in funding, building and owning the boat! Who doesn’t want to have the option of saying, Why yes, I do happen to own 1/8 of a boat!

It has been such a fun way to share dreams with friends rather than keep them small in our own imaginations. I love that this little boat will be shared among some of our greatest buddies. It just knits the community together in a fresh, unique and exciting way.

Here’s a glimpse of his days the past month via our iPhone documentation:

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^^first things first: The strongback^^

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^^Good-looking ribs and keelson in place^^

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^^Doing my part…working for my “I own a boat” quotes^^

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^^Brothers and buddies getting in on the action^^

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^^she’s looking like a boat^^

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^^Fiberglassing is finished and we’re almost ready to flip it!^^

Our next fun steps are quickly approaching! We’ll have a boat flipping party with all the boat owners and discuss the important things like naming the boat and when we’ll all take her out for her first swim. I’m so proud of Oz for all his dedication and his mad skills…That boy and wood…a dynamic duo.

Happy Thursday!

Bee

P.S. Do I even have to tell you which song has been in my head everyday? A little T-pain and a little Lonley Island? Yep. Errday.

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The Run or Dye Gremlins

Let me start by saying, I am not a runner. I was the girl who always seemed to have ‘that time of the month’ every time we had to run the mile in high school P.E. class. It’s a miracle they didn’t recommend I see a doctor. Actually, I’m a little offended they didn’t. Now, if you say I can run a 5K without it being timed (pressures off) while getting to throw colorful powder on my friend and myself, that takes the lame and most of the pain out of it and I say…Let’s do this.

Here’s the story via my iPhone pics…

My friend AlliJo is one of the most fun people you will ever meet. When I rallied people to run with me a good two months before the race, she was ALL IN! I knew the race would be that much better with this girl as my side-kick. Or me as hers? Anyhow, we started off in all black. You may notice that most/practically all of the other runners wore white. This would seem like the best decision until your friend of a friend tells you other wise and you do a last minute/night before the race wardrobe change.. Black is the canvas you want. The stars don’t shine against a white sky, folks, and neither does colorful powder. Go black or go back (home).

Without color on your person, life is just dull and you can’t seem to find joy or satisfaction, as shown in these photos below.

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The Run or Dye kit provided us with two super rad tattoos. Obviously, one had to be applied to a cheek. Just a word of wisdom, these tattoos are not your average Fruit Stripe tattoos…they will resist a good scrub down which is not ideal when you have a wedding two days later and there are still bits of mangled color specs on your face and bicep. Thanks hindsight, a little late with the FYI.

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Before the race began we were already covered in dye. We thought we were so cool “covered” in color. Little did we know how little covered we actually were…If you’re planning on running this race, brush up on your bartering skills…Scope out who has colors you don’t have and learn to sell your color because chances are, you are a little too hot pink and you need cobalt blue and golden yellow!

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You’ll notice below there are two other Black canvases…they were the o n l y two other black canvases and this created a bond between the four of us. Minorities stick together, they just get each other. Every time we ran past each other someone would yell, “Black canvas!” Support.

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I LOVE the atmosphere of this race. Everyone is there for a fun time that is also great for your health physically and mentally and emotionally. We somehow started morphing  into gremlins during the race, that should say something about the level of fun we were having. Or the seriousness of our insanity. Note, the claws above?

After the race, groups of friends were taking fun photos. AlliJo and I started asking strangers to take our pics too, because that’s what you have to do.

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Then, we had a brilliant idea.

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PHOTOBOMBING GREMLINS!

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I spy a black canvas in the below pic…can you find her?IMG_3773

Gremlin attack below!IMG_3774

Tribal Rival:IMG_3775

Even I got bombed!

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On the way back to the car we had prime opportunity to take our Gremlinhood to the streets. Vulernable runners stuck in a single lane exit with their windows down were just asking for it. This squat is my landing of a giant gremlin jump and scream to spook the passengers…I’m so glad their reflex was to laugh and not to punch.

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Gremlin stalking:

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All in good fun.

As you can see below, being covered in color is way more fun than not being covered in color. We were stained for days, but it was well-worth it. Three weeks later and I am still Q-tipping red out of my left ear.

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The powder will definitely highlight where you sweat…embrace it.

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So here is the link to the Run or Dye website that will tell you when it comes to your city. I highly recommend signing up (A-Jo and I bought a Groupon and only had to pay half the price!) and invite your best buds to join too. I guarantee this race will find a special place in your heart. And/or your ear.

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Sneaking up on the Desert at night

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Oz and I are really close. So, when we realized a year (ish) ago that our only tent was a “two-person” tent (how small do they think people are?) we didn’t mind having to shimmy into our tent feet first and spooning all night. We aren’t large people, so the tight space had always provided a cozy sleeping environment. However, this size tent wasn’t as practical for two people going camping as other tents would have been. My parents knew of our cocoon-home and last Christmas gifted us with a beautiful four-person tent with windows and everything! Deluxe!

All that to say, last weekend was our first excuse to use our new mansion and my did we enjoy it. It was glorious to have the option of standing, to walk a few paces if we so desired and to have enough room to change without being horizontal! My favorite feature? The mesh ceiling. It allowed me this experience:

This by far was my favorite part. In the middle of the night the desert chill interrupted my sleep and I couldn’t settle back into warmth, even with my bear of a husband next to me. With no sounds around me besides nature’s whisper of a breeze and the trees cracking in their own slumber, I suddenly felt so aware of the stillness around me. I bravely opened my eyes, risking not being able to fall asleep again and was taken aback by the sight. Looking straight up into the night, the stars were my mobile and I was a child mesmerized and captured by their endless glow and patient movement. Take this in, Bee. Breathe. I closed my eyes to feel my body experiencing this moment. I was so aware. The snaps of the tent walls being pushed by the wind, the dry air poking my tired yet grateful eyes and cheeks, icing my nose, the absence of voices that had muffled this beauty. The beauty of being there, being still, being an audience of the desert in the seat of each of my senses. This is when the desert is awakens. So uninterrupted by visitors and sounds. I opened my eyes one last time to see how far the Big Dipper had moved. How far I had moved. Its a new moment. I breathe in deep the cold air. It is drenched with the scent of earth; dirt and Jojoba leaves, but this is clean and fresh. I drew my head under the thin blankets and tried to find sleep again. I was rid of the bitter cold and the tense muscles that fought it. I was calm and giddy to rediscover slumber, this time with the inspiration of the desert night ready to invade my dreams.

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With enough consumption of hot dogs, whiskey’n’coke, and vegan franks to last me till next time, thank you J-Tree for showing us a good time.

Love always,

Bee

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Whad’ya mean its March?

Seriously, I know I can’t be the only one who is still writing 2012 on my checks. I am amazed at how quickly this year is flying by. It has truly been fun though. There have been lots of parties, game nights, family birthday dinners, and crafting. Oz and I are loving living blocks away from Balboa Park and the SD Zoo! If you have not been to either of those places then cross out your next vacation and reroute pronto! Here are a few snippets of our day at the Park.IMG_3127 IMG_3085IMG_1235 IMG_3094IMG_1229DSC_8748 DSC_8782 IMG_3101DSC_8669 IMG_3114 IMG_3133 IMG_3134 IMG_1230

There are so many fun things to do in Balboa. You could easily spend the whole day there exploring the Science museum, going to an IMAX movie, holding a beautiful bird (I’ve come a long way from from fear of birds…), listening to great street music and catching a fun magic show. There are amazing gardens to walk through that will not only romance your eyes but also your nose with their sweet smells. The museums are endless and they always have great attractions coming and going. Thank goodness San Diego is sunny all year long!

Next weekend we’re going to spend time camping in Joshua Tree with some friends. I predict loads of fun will be had. Update to come.

Cheers to Sunshine,

Bee

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