Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Black Swan

Last week I went to see Black Swan.  For some reason I was dying to see this movie.  I heard it got great reviews and who doesn't love a movie about crazy, messed up ballerinas? 

I went through so many emotions watching this movie. 

Enter the theater- Excited and anxious to see what all the fuss is about.  Also starving because I skipped lunch that day.

About 2 minutes in- Ok this might be a little weird

About 10 minutes in- Oooohhh I love her scarf! But why is the camera always so close to the back of her head and so shaky?

About 15 minutes in- Ouch...oohhh stop doing that!  it makes me hurt just watching.

About 20 minutes in- Ok, she is so freaking skinny he is like feeling up her ribcage.

About 25 minutes in?- WTF!  I cannot believe I am watching people really do that?!  Wow, I bet dudes would like this movie better than I would.

The next hour- This chick is crazy!  What the heck am I watching?

The last 20 minutes- Elated...disturbed....confused....elated....proud....sad....I don't even know what just happened.

This movie was weird.  I felt like I had just had a fabulous nightmare.  I was dancing out of the theater kind of wishing I was a ballerina and could fly, skate, and twirl across the stage in beautiful make-up and costumes but at the same time thankful I never got too into dance because I didn't want to be a psychotic anorexic chick. Seriously the last 20 minutes or so I felt the emotions she was going through and it was a whirlwind.  But I was slightly disturbed that there are people that crazy out there to think this stuff up.

You could take your boyfriend to this movie and he would probably like it because of the girl-on-girl and girl-on-herself scenes and the gruesome horror undertones.  I wasn't a big fan of those parts, but I guess you have to appeal to dudes somehow when dealing with a ballerina movie.

I want to see it again just because I want to tie back in things throughout the movie now that I know what it is about and the ending.

I don't know how Natalie Portman didn't lose her mind just playing that role and she definitely deserves a Best Actress award for this movie.

Did you see it yet?  What did you think?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to All!

Thank you all for your kind comments on Bailey's return!!  This week we've been trying to play catch up to Christmas.  Everything was on hold during the Great Kitty Search.  But we've accomplished a lot this week.

We took a gift basket and angel ornament to the neighbor that found Bailey.

We finally put up the Christmas tree.

And even Cam has been thoroughly enjoying having Bailey home.

Losing Bailey was one of the worst things, and I never knew how many people go through having a pet go missing.  My Christmas wish is that those who have a missing pet will find them.  On one of the forums I came across during The Great Kitty Search, a fellow poster, Hannah, wrote a beautiful poem for all the missing kitties out there:

I hope that all the missing cats
Come back home today
My greatest hope is that our furry friends
Shall never go astray

I hope when they see that enticing crack
By a door that's left ajar
They wander back to their favorite spot
And think of it no more

I hope there is no reason
For an unexpected thrash against the screen
That breaks them loose from hearth and home
To make us wonder where they've been

If you let them love the outdoors
I hope they stick close to home
That nothing will ever spook them into going
Where they would never think to roam

I hope there is no open vehicle
That invites a cozy nap
That ends up with your best friend
Miles away from you on the map

I hope that if any of the above
Should eventually happen to you
That others will understand your plight
And support you all the way through

Lastly I hope, that any cat
That finds themselves displaced
Runs into a kind and loving soul
Who will see the specialness of their face

Someone who may understand
How far this baby might have roamed
Someone who will help you
By helping your baby get back home

So on behalf of all the missing pets and pet owners out there, please pay attention if a missing pet poster goes up in your neighborhood.  Keep a watchful eye out or place out a bowl of food.  I only found Bailey because of a wonderful neighbor that didn't turn a blind eye to my flyer.  I am so grateful for her!

It's such a wonderful gift this Christmas to have him home and puts all that much more JOY into celebrating the best gift ever given- our savior Jesus Christ!  Happy Birthday baby Jesus!!

 I just ordered this cute yard sign on sale from DaySpring!

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a Christmas Miracle!!

I have WONDERFUL NEWS! Bailey is home!!  Praise the Lord!!

Friday I was really starting to get down about it and losing hope after my third visit to the animal shelter turned up nothing and not one sighting of him in 2 weeks.

But Saturday I got a call from a woman in the neighborhood behind mine saying she thought my cat might be under her deck. She saw him on the deck eating the food she had left out for him earlier and he was grey with a white patch, but he got spooked and ran under her deck. She wasn't sure how we were going to get him out, but I told her I would be there in 5 minutes.

I took his treats, some tuna, and his cat carrier.  The house wasn't too far from mine- just one street over behind my house and at the end of a cul-de-sac.  I had put up flyers on their mailboxes so that is how she knew to call.  I walked around back and she told me the approximate location under the deck.  The opening to get under there was no more that 6-8" tall and it was so dark under there. All I could see was his eyes! I didn't even know if this was my cat but it was the first real lead so I was going to get that cat out no matter what! I tried treats. I tried tuna. I tried talking to him and he would not budge or make a sound. He could escape from either side and it was hard to watch both sides. You literally had to lie flat on the ground to see what was going on down there.

After about an hour I went and got the cat trap. We set that up on the side he was most likely to go for with some tuna. I tried to block the other side with his cat carrier, my jacket, and a flower box. I asked the neighbor if it was ok if I just sat out there for a while. (She had 2 dogs that were going nuts when she wasn't inside with them and a cat that was very interested in the tuna). I sat on the deck very quietly trying to figure out what I could do. All of a sudden the cat pops his face up and stares at me for a minute (it looked like bailey!) But then he ran right back under the deck. Nothing I tried worked and I was freaking out. I called animal control and they were going to send someone to help. I was kind of losing it by this point though so I called a friend to see if she could come and if nothing else be there for moral support.

I laid on the opposite end as the trap to watch and make sure he didn't bolt before someone else got there. It had been 3 cold dirty hours by this point. I just watched him and all of a sudden he started slowly walking towards me. I backed up far enough that he could get out from under the deck and slowly reached my hand out for him to smell and he reached his head up towards it to be petted. As soon as I got a pet or 2 in I picked him up and put him in the cat carrier. OMG! It was unbelievable but I still wasn't sure it was him!

I thanked the lady and told her if animal control showed up to say sorry we didn't need them anymore and I drove Bailey and I back to my house. Right as I pulled up my friends pulled in and we weren't sure it was Bailey and Scott said Cam (my dog) would know! When I brought him in the house Cam was sniffing his cat carrier and got really excited. I took the cat carrier up to my spare room and opened it and out stepped Bailey! It really was him! He was meowing and super loving. His fur was a little thicker and he was skinny but not emaciated, I gave him food and water but he was more interested in me. He just wanted to cuddle and purr.

I cannot believe it! I am still in shock! He is skinny and his fur was a little thicker at first, but he otherwise seems fine and hasn't stopped purring since he got home.  We are going to the vet this morning to make sure he's ok and talk about getting micro-chipped.

I am so happy!  God did hear all our prayers!  He is my little Christmas miracle!!  Thank you!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Always wanting the one thing you don't have

It's been almost 2 weeks and Bailey still is not home.  That is all I want right now is for Bailey to come home.  I pray and pray and search and call his name but still nothing.  No sightings.  And part of me is like God could part the Red Sea, why can't he just bring home my cat?

But then I think about all the prayers God has answered- I love my job (yes, I finally admit it...I'm in love.  It makes me smile just driving in and seeing the company sign welcoming's sick I know), I'm not in a financial hardship anymore, I was able to go on a mission trip, I was able to run my 5K two weekends ago without taking any walking breaks, tons of prayers for others have been answered- why is it always the things God is silent on that I hold against him?

First it was finding my husband.  Why couldn't God just let me bump into him at the grocery store?  Why did I have to endure all these sucky relationships?  I used to pray for God to send me my husband every day.  But it isn't as urgent now.  I'm lucky if I remember once or twice a week.  (Ryan Reynolds is back on the market though....I think that is why I couldn't find my husband before, but now he's available!  YES!)

Now my constant prayer is for Bailey to come home.  I sometimes ignore everything else and wonder why I can't have this one thing.  Why is it always the one thing you don't have that takes away all the glory of what you do have?

In other news- I haven't put up my tree.  I haven't shopped.  I haven't sent out the gifts I have for people far away.  I didn't do Christmas cards.  I have no idea what to cook for Christmas dinner and Christmas is almost here!  This is my last weekend to catch up!  I'm starting to feel the holiday stress!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lessons Learned from a Lost Cat

There is a lesson to be learned in every experience.  Bailey has not been found.  To say I'm devastated would be under-evaluating the situation.  It's been a week.  I am frantic, exhausted, desperate, sad, empty, tense, drained.  

I have done everything humanly possible to find the cat including- over 100 flyers to neighborhoods around me, vets, Petsmart, the grocery store, an email blast by my HOA to my neighbors, that cost me A LOT and called 525 of my neighbors with a lost cat alert, foot searching everyday (I have worked from home yesterday and today), going door to door (I broke down sobbing at this one poor lady's house), 2 visits to the animal shelter and stalking their website hourly, leaving the back door cracked in case he wanted to sneak back in, spreading his dirty litter box contents around my house to leave a trail to get back, my jacket, his litter box, his favorite hiding tunnel, and a kitty buffet set up on my patio, and the doozy- I got a web cam and have it set up taking pictures of my patio every 2 minutes in an attempt to spot him eating the food.  I also got a humane trap and caught an orange cat the first night, but I have decided to not set it again until I see Bailey eating the kitty buffet on the web cam (if that ever happens).

But as I have processed my feelings throughout this I have learned some important lessons:

1. I now have a glimpse of how God feels about His lost children.  This devastation and frustration is only a shadow of how God feels about His lost children.  Every time I call Bailey and he doesn't respond, that must be how disappointed God feels when we don't respond to His calling.  The desperation I feel for Bailey to just come home is just a small portion of how much God wants us to "come home".  The longing I have for Bailey to be here in my arms is the longing God has to have us within his loving embrace.  He knows "the outside world" is enticing and exciting but He wants you home with Him.  If you don't know God, if you feel "lost",  I am begging, pleading you...God desperately wants you to come home.  He wants to take care of you and love you.  If you want to know God I would be more than happy to introduce Him to you.  I still don't completely know God, but I am getting there.  I would love to share with you what I do know.  Most importantly, the joy I imagine I will feel if Bailey ever comes home is indescribable and would be only a whisper compared to the celebration in heaven when one of God's children "comes home".  Perhaps God is trying to prepare my heart for more missions work?

2. I don't trust God enough.  When Bailey first went missing I searched and searched, but when I didn't find him I turned to prayer.  I asked everyone I knew to pray for Bailey to come home- including the cable guy and other random strangers.  My prayers for him were almost like a constant reel running over and over throughout the day.  But by Monday when Bailey had not come home I turned frantic and felt like God didn't hear me.  I turned into a psycho mommy and bought web cams and traps and only trusted my abilities.  I gave up on God.  I do this in a lot of areas in my life and it almost always leads to heartbreak and pain.  I don't know why my faith is so weak sometimes.

3. Hope is hard and I have no patience.   People always say "don't lose hope" for all kinds of situations.  But "Hope" itself is a hard thing to have.  That longing for the day things will change.  I can imagine the hope cancer patients must have.  I witnessed the hope thousands of missing pet owners have seeing the packed bulletin boards in vets offices, petsmart and the shelters.  And the hope of ALL the animals at the shelters.  There were so many kitties there with nothing but hope.  Hope that someone will take them home and make them happy.  Hope of all the dogs barking anxiously hoping for a home with a yard to run around in and an owner that can be his best friend.  (PSA: If you are thinking about getting a dog or cat, please visit a shelter!)  Hope is one of those things that ebbs and flows.  It gets you up and keeps you going but it is  also so exhausting.   Wikipedia says of Hope "Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best"  When do you give up hope?  I can only think of one instance you should literally NEVER give up hope- Hope in the Lord.  But for these earthly experiences should you ever give up hope?  Hope is frustrating and exhausting.  But if you have ever had to have hope for a long time period over a very uncertain situation, you will know what it means.  The hope builds you up but at the same time wrecks you.

I want to bring the merriment back to Christmas.  I was going to put up my tree and go have fun at all these holiday parties, but I'm just not myself right now.  I am a distracted shadow of myself.  Last weekend I went to a little get-together and my friends could tell and they knew I was not myself.  I have another party to go to Friday.  I am scared because I am not as close to these people and if I am my quiet distracted self, they may think I am a b*tch.  But I need to get out of the house.  I feel like I am losing my mind over this.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where is Bailey?

Bailey is still missing.  I am devastated.  I am frantic.  I am empty.  I am lost.

I have done everything humanly possible.  I cannot concentrate on or think about anything else.

That is all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Missing Kitty!!

I'm going to try to do my #reverb10 post tonight, but I have to tell you, my mind is elsewhere.  Last night my cat Bailey ran away.  He escaped out the back door while I was out.  The door must have not latched well after I came home and let Cam out because when I came home the back door was cracked (still locked, but cracked open) and Bailey was gone.  (incidentally Cam did not run away.  I love that dog!) But I have been so distressed about Bailey.  I walked around the neighborhood shaking treats and calling his name until midnight.  I worked from home today in case he came home and searched the neighborhood again.  Cam has been searching too! I put flyers all around my neighborhood and the neighborhood behind me.  I took one to the local vet.  I posted on Craigslist and the animal shelter's site.  I have cried and cried and prayed and prayed. But I can not find him.

Please say a little prayer that Bailey will come home safe and sound soon!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Free Time? What's that?

So the #reverb prompt for today is:

December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

I don't write for a living.  I have a job.  I have chores to do.  I have a dog to take care of.  I am an adult with bills and never-ending responsibilities.  Seriously- be careful what you wish for kids because being an adult isn't all it's cracked up to be.  I'd love to have long summers of nothing to do except eat popsicles, ride bikes, and go swimming.  Or month long Christmas breaks to get away from everything.  Or even a week long Spring Break. Once you enter the working world your free time will be cut by approximately 80% so enjoy it while you can.

My whole life doesn't revolve around writing and it probably never will.  This is just my hobby, something I enjoy and I don't want to turn it into a second (or third) job.  I try to cram writing into what little free time I have because there are so many other things on my priority list above it- work, sleep, eating, spiritual growth, and exercise to name a few.  If I don't relax and have a little fun and just live I would never have anything to write about anyway!  I'd rather live life than force myself to write any day.  So don't make me feel bad about my lack of writing ok Mr. Prompter?

If you can't tell, I'm not a fan of this prompt...I understand identifying time-sucks and eliminating them, but if I was honest, for me blogging would be a pretty big time-suck- in addition to my obsession with my i-phone.  I eliminated DVR this year (which really was an addiction) and I think that's enough for now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Word: Faith

I’ve joined Reverb 10, an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.  Each day, we get a new prompt and post a blog sharing what the prompt means to us.  You should join in too!

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)


“To take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase: just take the first step.” 
-Martin Luther King Jr.

My life now is very different from when I started this year.   I have a different job.  I have traveled to a different country.  The person I used to talk to everyday, I no longer speak to.  I was stressed and broke and now I am stressed (but in a good way) and not so broke.  I probably couldn’t run a mile or lift more than 20 lbs.  But now I am stronger from weekly weight lifting and am running 3.1 miles this Saturday.  It has been quite a year.

But the most defining theme for me this year has been faith.  I was in no position financially to sign up for a mission trip last January, but I had faith that God would provide a way and He did!  (A lot of it thanks to you readers!  I am still so shocked and humbled by the generosity, love, and faith you guys have!).  And I got to experience God half a world away, saw a different culture and country, overcame my fear of the middle seat and long distance flying, got to get to know some really awesome kids, broke down some of my missionary and middle east stereotypes, and bonded with some awesome members of my church.

Last year I was so broke.  It was worse than paycheck to paycheck kind of broke.  It was to the point of “I’ve cut almost everything that is not an absolute need from my life” kind of broke.  I was so stressed and depressed about it.  I loved my job, but it just did not pay enough to cover the bills.  I didn’t want to leave, but I knew something had to change.  Now I have a job I really, really like.  It is hard for me to admit when I am in love, but I think I might love this job.  Monday we had free massages and smoothies at work!  How cool is that?!  It is stressful and a lot of work, but it is also fun, challenging, and satisfying.  And it literally dropped out of the sky.  I had not applied to this job.  I randomly got a call about it on a Tuesday and less than a week later I had the job!  From being miserable at a job, to being laid off, to being broke, to being happy…it’s been quite a journey over the last 2 years and the whole time I had to have faith that I was right where God wanted me to be.  And now He has put me here and I love it!

But it all hasn’t been good.  The one area my faith has really been tested is in the romance department.  So much so that I have given up on dating for now.  I have been so disappointed in this department.  I used to believe so much in true love and that I would find my prince charming.  But the experiences I have had with guys over the last 12 years have beaten all the hope out of me.  I want it to come back.  I want to believe that God, knowing how important this is to me, would not abandon me in this area, but right now I don’t.  I hope it comes back.  I hope I believe in love again.  I hope I can trust again.  I hope I can have faith that God hears my prayers for a husband and family again.  But it is going to take some time.

The word that I hope encompasses 2011 for me is Unexpected.  I need some surprises.  I need to experience some out-of-the-ordinary events to remind me there are things I don’t know yet about this world and life.

What would be your word for 2010?