Life Right Now {#41}

familyrightnow

I don’t mind, really, when people come over.

WHich is good, because that happens rather much.

It’s almost all right, almost great,

when all those people and kids

are coming over all that time,

because they see my family

and that I don’t mind,

because I’m rather proud of it.

You see these people? These are my people.

And I like them.

~Natalia

Bullet Point Post: Saturday Style

• I’m home for the weekend; arrived yesterday afternoon, and I’ll return to school tomorrow evening. I could probably tally up several past posts which I have begun with the exact phrase seen above. I’m rather repetitive sometimes.

• Actually, I’ve been told that before. I wrote a paper last year, and exercised much the same writing techniques that appear in my blog posts, and someone read that paper and told me that I was repetitive. I think about that quite frequently, actually. Think about it frequently, and do almost nothing to alter my writing style.

• So I’m still repetitive.

• I took the two young sisters to the movie theater this evening. We saw The Croods. We’ve built a kind of tradition wherein I take it upon myself to accompany them to the theater once a year. The first time we did this, Larissa was three and Glendy was five, and we saw Despicable Me with Jo and her boys. The fire alarm in the theater went off partway through and I very nearly gave up the whole adventure, but they turned it off midway through our required evacuation and we were permitted back to our seats. Since the girls weren’t too deeply scarred by the whole experience, we did it again the next year.

• My father and I took the girls to see Winnie the Pooh two summers ago. I’ve already told you multiples times before how much I love that movie, and I’ll say it again because I have high standards friends, and that film is witty, creative, humorous, gentle, and quite endearing. So really, I encourage all to obtain and enjoy that great film.

• So The Croods. Having taken it upon my shoulders to bring the small ones to the theater, I of course feel responsible for the type of entertainment I was exposing them to. This explains why I actually read a review for The Croods, something I generally avoid doing. The review (from a Christian website, nonetheless) was surprisingly positive, and I approached this afternoon’s entertainment with eager curiosity. But oh, man, the movie was phenomenal. Deeply interesting from the opening credits, The Croods maintained my rapt attention throughout the film, and even made me cry in the emotional climax in the middle. I cried in a movie theater, friends.

• My father informed the kitchen today that I am becoming more emotive. What this means is that I had the emotional variety of a koala bear as a teenager, and have now grown such that not only do I allow tears to come out of my eyes, but I permit such eye leakage to occur in a movie theater.

• The Roommate is at school right now, while I am at home, and I’m experiencing the phenomenon wherein I feel very removed from what is happening in the realm of school because we work cooperatively to keep each other informed.

• So we Facebook chatted, which is a big deal because I haven’t been “online” on Facebook chat since the first week of January, due to the fact that when you are online, people talk to you, which I generally try to avoid in all areas of my life.

• But The Roommate. I found an image online featuring a zombie drawn in black and white, smiling creepily, captioned, “Running back to your room from the bathroom? I love a good race.” I posted said image on The Roommate’s Facebook wall because I am constantly being teased for the fact that I run so fast from the bathroom, back to our room, that the toilet is still flushing when I burst into the room. I posted the image on her wall and reminded her that this is real life: I must run, and I must run very quickly.

• But I’m home now, of course, and there are no zombies in these hallways. This is probably because there are 2.7 feet between the bathroom and my bedroom door, and that just isn’t enough space for a zombie.

• In closing, I’ve taken to calling the small sisters food items, as a term of endearment. I kissed them an hour ago, after having read them two chapters of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and said goodnight to Taco Sauce and Cheesecake. With that in mind, good night dear French Fries, and we’ll probably talk again rather soon.

~Natalia

School Home Family

I’ve written before about my dorm floor at school. I’ve told you about my dorm. I’ve written about The Neighbor and The Roommate and Nelle and Jen and Mar and Ellie Rose, and the collection of other lovelies that live up and down that carpeted hall. I’ve told you how I want to remember these times, these conversations, these friends.

I’ve told you all that and it’s all been true: I love the school I attend, the floor that I live on, the ladies I live with. But recently, these past weeks, a shift that’s been creeping up quiet came slowly into focus, and I realized that my floor really is a home; these girls really are sisters.

It sounds a little bit redundant, probably, or maybe simplistic and obvious. Of course it’s home- I’ve lived there for almost two school years. Of course they’re sisters- aren’t we all family in Christ anyway?

And yes, I have lived on the floor rather a while (and I have every intention of returning to the same room this fall), and yes, we are all children of God, but these past days, I’ve settled into that floor, that home, like never before. God dropped me onto the floor, pushed me right along with That Roommate, 18 months ago, and I can only believe that He’s the One who’s making it home, making us family, now.

It’s a funny feeling, almost. Funny because I didn’t even think about it, didn’t realize it until later, because it all felt so natural, so settled, so peaceful, so right.

Felt like that when Jenny and I dumped backpacks in rooms, and grabbed jackets and purses for a Tuesday afternoon outing to Target. Maybe you remember that my love for Target is deep and wide, and it’s a long and lengthening list of floor sisters who I’ve accompanied on errands to that wonderful red and white store.

Jen and I rode the train, just a short trip deep under the busy Chicago streets, and it felt even shorter because there’s a bond of mutuality from living, studying, being together on that floor, and we talked about everything. We got to the big Target, the Roosevelt one, and pushed the cart up and down Easter aisles, past the school supplies, upstairs to look at mattress pads, and to survey the cute baby clothes, because we had a little time. Walking back down the hill is easier, and I bought a snack, we took turns dipping miniature crackers into the accompanying frosting all the way back to the underground train.

I study and I work, and my calendar is full of little boxes delineating just what there is to be done, but sometimes those things can be done alongside others; I took my computer into Nelle’s room the next day, to study and socialize. But she wasn’t there, even though she said she’d be, and the opportunity couldn’t be passed up. So I slipped right into that space between the wall and the bed, and knees curled to my chest, that’s where I did homework. And soon enough, the door clicked and swung open, and I waited a moment before raising my head, peeking my eyes over the side of the bed, and what a stroke of luck. Nelle was looking my way, and the silent surprise of a head appearing on the side of the bed made her eyes spread wide and her eyebrows shoot high, and in the moment before she could raise her voice against my creeping, we were already laughing.

We do Target and creeping and homework and laughing, but she comes into my room on Monday night, because the door was open, and I’m on the bed, surrounded by homework, doing not a thing. So she sits on my desk chair and I was right there on the bed, we talked about God and boys and sovereignty and fear, and the verse that she put on my wall.

And really, when you think about it, there’s so much that could go wrong, so much that could get off, that when 24 girls come together to make home, it really can only be the work of God.

~Natalia

Images of Disney

I’ve written, told you about our wonderful day at Magic Kingdom, but I thought it was time to show you some photos of our Disney Day, too.
disney1
Early morning with cousin Catherine and Cinderella’s castle!

disney2
Wonderful aunt, uncle and cousins!

disney3
An image quite accurately capturing our respective feelings regarding roller coasters!

disney4
The mother and little princesses arrived for the parade, which of course meant another view of Cinderella’s castle!

disney5

DSC_0498
The girls try their hand at pulling King Arthur’s sword from the Stone!

disney7
Absolutely worth it to break the No Cameras rule on the Under Sea Adventure ride to capture the look of joy on the mother’s face!

disney8
The long-awaited and much-anticipated Meeting of Ariel!

disney9
Four cousins and Rapunzel’s tower!

disney10
The patience of the little ones stretched far beyond my own in the line to meet Tinkerbell (but, then again, they’re the ones who got to meet her…)!

disney12
And, to cap off a fantastic day: hugs, kisses, and a photo op with Mickey Mouse himself!

~Natalia

To Not

It’s rather late this evening.

This is a result of several factors,

including- but not limited to- the fact that I was doing homework until an hour ago

and that The Roommate is still up.

The Roommate dictates my bedtime.

My mind and body got together and decided that I cannot sleep

until at least thirty minutes after The Roommate has drifted off.

And that I must wake up 1.5 hours earlier than her.

But it’s not morning yet, so we won’t worry about that.

What is more pertinent is that she’s awake now

and therefore so am I.

There were many topics of the day,

topics of the heart,

because I’ve rather much to do before Friday afternoon,

at which point I’m taking the train home

because my brother is having his wisdom teeth out

and I want to witness his pain bring him ice-cream

like he brought me last August.

There are a million other things I’d like to tell you about

because I like writing, like talking with you,

but tonight, let’s not.

Because I was talking with Nelle,

a long talk that started with honest and ended with prayer,

and there are To Do lists and To Be lists

and tonight, there’s a To Not list.

I’m just going to not.

Not stay up too late.

Not stress about things I can’t change anyway.

Not work so hard to earn love that He’s promised isn’t going anywhere.

Just not.

~Natalia

Completely Perfect

It was perfect, really. Absolutely perfect and I’m torn between satisfaction for having witnessed it, and disappointment that no one else saw, no one else held their breath in that split-second instant. But I saw, and the whole scene was perfect.

I could see because I was in the middle seat, in the back row. Shoulders tucked between sisters perched on matching pink booster seats, I saw through our blue-tinted windshield, right to you. In the seats in front of me, the aunt and the mother sat talking; they probably sat like that when they were little, too. In the very front, just behind you, my grandfather drove, grandmother his copilot. They’re all occupied with this driving, this talking, and really, I was, too. But I took a breath and I looked around, and just straight ahead, I saw it.

You are driving. You’re driving and your hair looks dark- maybe like mine- through the rearview window. He’s sitting next to you in that front seat, busy with something else. Is he reading a map? Planning the route? Sending a text? I can only see the back of his short cropped hair, and I really don’t know. But you know, and that’s all that matters, I suppose. After all, you’re the one driving him with. You’re the one who’s his.

We’re all driving, this whole line of cars is headed just the same way. The ocean is on our left, yours and mine, and his and that of my mom and aunt and sisters, grandparents, too. The deep blue stretch, rolling brilliant with long white caps glistening diamond on the crest of every gentle wave. The waves roll splashing up the heavy, wet sand, collide with the chocolate-red rocks, sending white spray everywhere. It’s a beautiful California coast on our left.

The right side is the city side. It’s a funny mix of quaint and modern in this seaside town. We’ve passed old town shops and a wooden sign indicating the wharf. We’re rolling now past apartments, office buildings, a vast park with an intricate playground and paddle boats, too. And soon we’ll roll right down the street and onto the coastline highway. But we’re at a stoplight now.

We’re all right here now, and I can see where you are, and it happens so fast, I almost miss it. But I don’t and I’m glad I don’t. He’s sitting there in the passenger seat, distracted. And we’re at this stoplight; you’ve got just a tick of time before red goes green and we’re moving forward once again. But there’s a pause here, now and you look over, look city side, look at that passenger there.

He’s oblivious for a moment and I see your lips move, but it’s the blink of an eye and you’ve moved on before I can guess what words you spoke. A name- his? Hey? Look at me? I don’t know what you said. But it worked and in the space of a breath, in the click of a light from yellow, red, green, he’s looking up and you’re leaning forward in this pause of a second. We’ve slowed to a stop in the setting sun, and the side of your profile shows sunglasses on you, on him. You’re black outlines against the sinking yellow sun, and he kisses you just a moment, then the light turns and the road bends and someone manuevers between our car and yours. I can’t see you anymore.

But in that evening second, in that snapshot of a life, I watched captivated from the backseat of a minivan. And your stoplight kiss, sandwiched between an ocean of earth shattering blue, and a setting sun city scape, was totally, completely perfect.

~Natalia

Scenes from Spring Break {Act VI}

thebayparents

My father and I flew from California to Chicago this afternoon, and I’m back at my little desk in the middle of the big city. I had a wonderful, wonderful two-week break and you’ll probably be hearing much more about the past 14 days in the weeks to come. But for now, the floor is asleep, classes start again tomorrow, and I have for you a picture of my two phenomenal parents at Monterey Bay, taken yesterday.

We’ll catch up tomorrow, friends.

~Natalia

Previous Older Entries