long drive home

A friend graciously let us stay at their place in the mountains for Spring Break. My husband loves the mountains and has the facial hair and 4 wheel drive to prove it. I love adventure.  And I like the mountains, but to be honest would pick the fruity drink in my hand and sand in between my toes.
My husband is much happier when he gets to breathe in that low oxygen mountain air at least once a year. So we headed north. The home we stayed at was literally up the mountain. Several winding, icy, muddy unpaved roads up. Not everyone’s vehicle could make it to the house. Since our car had 4 wheel drive I was often the shuttle, from their cars parked near the highway to the few miles up. Straight up. 

I hardly minded, because every time I turned a corner (which was every few seconds) there was a view more majestic than the next.  I mean how could you not be impressed. The snow. The aspens. The mountains. Maybe it was the thin mountain air, but day after day it didn’t fail to take my breath away. Occasionally I even hung my camera out the window and took a few pictures.  (which may not be something I’d recommend doing while you are driving up tight winding mountain roads).
I made that trip several times a day, each time praying I wouldn’t get lost or stuck in the snow or the mud…but I swear…I mostly just rolled down my windows even though it was freezing outside and wondered if the people who live there ever get used to the view. How could they? If I lived here I would never get anything done or watch TV or read books. I’d just drive around staring out my windows.

I wondered if seeing that kind of amazing day after day, on the way home from a long day at work. Or making a run to the store because you forgot the milk. If you stopped seeing it.
If the beauty ever got old. Or so mundane that you stopped noticing.

And then. Just like that.
I felt this nudge. This questioning in my heart that was asking what kind of beauty was I missing every day. What kind of amazing breath taking things have I gotten used to?
The freckles across my daughter’s nose.
The intense brown of my son’s eyes.
The sound of my husband’s light snoring as he sleeps and ability to fix most things broken. Including from time to time my own heart.
My dog barking to be let in. Again.
The pink and purple sky as I get to watch the sun sneak over the horizon on my way too early morning drive on my way to work.
Sometimes I see these things of course, but 90% of the time I look straight past them.

We are headed home as I type this from the front seat.
My daughter has asked to stop at every single McDonalds we have passed and fought with her brother over the ipad. My husband has taken over the radio.
My son has gas that could clear a room in 2 seconds flat.
The mountains have long since left our rear view mirror.
I have spent very little time staring out my windows because the landscape is brown and flat with the occasional windmill. 
The punch of reality hit with each encroaching mile.
The mundane of work, bills, to do lists and forgetting to buy the milk at the grocery store.

It is a long drive from the mountains, with a time change not in our favor. 
So even though we left early in the morning while every one else was still in their pjs scrambling around the kitchen for a cup of coffee or breakfast, we did not exactly make it home before the sun.
Right as we hit the city the sun started to sink just below the horizon.
Pink and orange and all kinds of pretty.
Thankfully I wasn’t driving because all I could do was stare out my window.
Taking in the beauty in front of me. In my own zip code.
Wondering, if the people who live here ever get used to this view.
Deciding right then and there to do my best not to.

up the wallis

I posted this a few year's ago on Father's Day, but today my father turns 70 and I figured it was an appropriate repost. 

My father taught me many things. Some on purpose. Some on accident.
How to tie a tie. How to tie a cleat hitch. How to put away a dozen raw oysters. And that you should only eat them in months that have r in them. That black dress socks pulled up to the knee with white slip on Keds is not a good look for anyone. Bellies and bald heads sun burn first. That change adds up. That nothing is free. That life is anything but fair. That Bs aren’t good enough. How to order a beer in at least a half dozen languages. The way to Eldorado. (gaily bedight this gallant knight in sunshine and in shadow.) How to pour a drink. How to throw a cowpatty. (yes, you read that correctly). How to drive a boat. How to properly taste wine, although it involves something called clucking, and I think looks ridiculous. And should never be tried with whiskey. To tip well. To never run out of gas. To play a mean game of ping pong. That strawberries stain. That you get what you pay for. To let your meat rest. When you play poker to be prepared to lose. Real money. That there is always room for dessert. To two step and jitterbug. (well, techinically, I learned this is cotillion class – but my parents did a much better job in the living room) A few choice words. That people can always tell when you do something half ass. To have good insurance, and a decent retirement, and some emergency cash in your wallet. (in case you need to call a cab, or a wrecker or in my case purchase your first tattoo). The difference between port and starboard. The difference between port and merlot. The name of at last a dozen different cheeses. To appreciate new kinds of food, new people and new places. That a 16 year old doesn't need a new car or name brand jeans. (it is probably true at 36 too). Quality is always better than quantity. To bait my own hook. To make friends with important people: like the guy at the gas station, someone at the bank and anyone who can cook. To sing loudly. Even if you are off key. How to get out a decent wine stain. How to properly pull a weed. To shoot a gun. To tell a joke. Especially, slightly off color ones.

He has tried unsuccessfully to teach me how to do the following: Balance a checkbook. Drive. And pick up the living room or keep my car clean. But I assure you it wasn't for lack of trying.

Over the years my dad has had a myriad of hobbies and interests: sailing, gardening, country and western dancing, golf, photography, Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, Patsy Cline, tobacco and Robert E Lee. But there have been two constant topics of interest: as long as I can remember. Food. And family. And to me they go together. When I go home it isn’t what do you want to do, but what do you want to eat? And we always eat well. We have seconds. And occasionally thirds and the glasses keep getting refilled. On some occasions before a big family meal he prays first. And it is a long rambly mini sermon. But sometimes he sticks to his traditional toast. I’m not even sure exactly what it means except that it is always fitting. And even though it is no longer my name, I know that it is for me too.
"Up the Wallis"

the hard fun

A few weekends ago all four of us got bundled up, laced up our sneaks and headed to a local 5K. All of us run, well almost all of us. One of us doesn’t like to sweat. Or exert effort. Or clean her room. But the last time we left her behind she cried and said she wanted to run too, only because she hates nothing more than being left out.

Race day she was nervous and took a some convincing. She started out strong and started to fade only about two minutes in. I let her take quick breaks then told her to keep running. I passed a few people we knew and felt sorry for her dramatic panting and whining and offered to let her walk with them.  I quickly declined before she grabbed on to their legs and refused to let go.  She was going to run this race wether she wanted to or not. We finished the first mile with lots of sprinting, then walking, attempts at giving up and even a short stretch with me running while she was on my back. I know that lots of people think that running is punishment and not fun. 
But I disagree and have plenty of hardware on my wall to prove it.

I kept trying to encourage my daughter. Give her the right amount of praise, push and to sell this whole event as a good time.  She was not buying, despite taking her picture with the mascot, petting lots of dogs and getting her face painted. I asked her, “Isn’t this fun??” and with the honesty only a small child or a drunk adult can give she said very quickly, “This is not fun! It is hard!”
And I replied that the fact that it was hard was one of the very things that made it fun.
Completing something that is a struggle is rewarding. Especially when someone gives you a cup of gatorade and puts a medal around your neck afterwards. She said she preferred the kind of fun that involved ice cream, barbie dolls and minimal effort. Fun is supposed to be easy she told me.  I shook my head and hoped she would learn sooner rather than later that usually the exact opposite of that is true.

I like to make new friends. I have some great ones but am always a fan of getting to know new people and new perspectives. Sometimes when you get to know someone new they seem so much easier than the old ones you have programmed in your phone. You have no history with them. You have never had to apologize. They haven’t seen you at your worst. They haven’t heard all your best jokes and stories twice. Sometimes new is easy. Just because it is new. My oldest friends are occasionally difficult. There are busy calendars to navigate and they see straight through my cover ups and bad decisions and totally call me on it. So more than once, I have told someone new in my life how glad I am that they are easy. That other people in my life feel like work and they don’t and how refreshing that is. It took me awhile to figure it out but I finally stopped giving that same misdirected speech a few years ago…because I learned that the easy people in your life are never there when things get hard.

We spent the first part of our Spring Break in the mountains with three other families. And guess what living and planning with 16 people is hard. Sharing a bathroom, choosing a meal, attempting to sleep in and trying to get your homework done with a crowd is hard. Guess what isn’t hard -laughing until your stomach hurts, throwing snowballs off the balcony and sipping wine while you sit in front  of the fire.
Like running, community and friendship can be work. 
No one will put a medal around your neck for it, but the people you build it with are often the ones who will save yours.

Tess, is finally learning the lesson.
On our trip she was all about playing in the snow, having a pseudo little sister to boss around and tell the same knock knock joke to 247 times to — but like running she had zero interest in hitting the ski slopes. Owen and his dad could shut down the mountain each day but Tess was content to watch movies and eat fruit snacks by the fire.  On our last day, however, we suited her up and headed up the mountain. She was petrified. I was a little scared as well because it has been over a decade since I have skied, but hate missing out more than I care about my knees making it until I am 80.

Me and Owen took off while my husband carried Tess up and down the mountain at least a dozen times.  Ski school was full, I was on the “green team” in college…meaning of the two of us —he was the only one qualified to given any kind of instruction.  And Tess, takes to being told how to do something about like me…which is terribly. There are times I am reminded of how much I love my husband. It is usually moments where he starts my car on cold mornings or attempts to get my order right at Starbucks. My husband is not usually long in patience, but my heart swelled each time I saw him carry that pink ski jacket (with my six year old intact) a little higher up the slopes.  Me and O would see them at the base after a run and I’d go check on them mostly to see Tess face down and skis all askew.  She did not look happy but was still getting up.  “Pizza” he kept telling her while me and Owen worked on our “french fries” (wedge vs straight skis for those of you that don’t speak mountain).  We met for lunch and Tess broke down into huge tears when she realized that she would have to go back out there after she finished her chicken strips. I had promised to take her home when she was done and let the boys get a few harder runs in….but I wasn’t willing to call it quits yet. Shaun somehow bribed her to get back on the lift while me and Owen took the express all the way to the top. Some kind of miracle occurred while I took one more run and bargained with the orthopedic gods on wether or not I tear something else in my knees on our way down the mountain.  All of  Shaun’s patient work somehow payed off. She went up and down the bunny slope over and over getting faster and more independent each time. I watched her go down the mountain on her own a few times making it further and further each time before eating snow, beaming the entire time.  On the drive back to the house, she kept saying how much fun that she had skiing. 
That it was  really hard, but really fun.
And could she go back tomorrow because it had been so much “hard fun.”

There will be no more lift rides until next season.
But the hard fun, I hope she learns to have that every season.
Especially with hard fun people.

the wine we drink

I love communion. 
Everything about faith is hard for me.
But communion is easy. There is something to hold, smell, do and taste.
I love the physicality of it. Any way you do it.
Plastic thimbles of grape juice. Tasteless wafers.
Hunks of Hawaiian bread. Goblets of wine.
An open table. 
Knees pressed into the cushions at the altar.
Someone saying the words just to me.
On Saturday I waited in line at the front of the chapel.
I ripped off a chunk of bread and someone told me,  “This is my body broken for you."
They had probably said it a hundred times before it was my turn, but they said it just for me anyways.
I stepped to the side and dipped my bread into the juice.
“This is my blood poured out for you.”

Like a lot of things in my life, I can overdo anything. Apparently even communion.
I was a little overzealous with the grape juice.  As I pulled out my bread and aimed it for my mouth the juice dripped down. I tried to catch it with my hand and sweatshirt so it didn’t stain the carpet.
I had literally just spilled the blood of Christ.
And did my best to minimize the damage.
The purple stained my hand and my sweatshirt.

Earlier that week, I made it to the same chapel at some ungodly (<— yes I am aware of the irony) hour on Ash Wednesday before  going to school. He rubbed his thumb in the ashes before saying, “Remember that dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
I lingered at the same altar. 
"Dust you are and to dust you shall return" is not exactly encouraging.
"This is my body broken"
"My blood spilled"
The theme is the same.

That isn’t exactly the gospel I like to remember or paint for others. 
I like to sit in the part with love, kindness, peace, justice, forgiveness and happy endings.
But those things all come at a price.
A cost that I often forget.
I know a lot of people don’t do Lent.  Lent isn’t happy or warm. 
It is messy and real and full of stains.

I got in the car on Wednesday and rubbed the ashes off my forehead on the back of my hand.
I’m not sure why, except that I like that moment to be private.
The ashes and oil didn’t rub off so easily and they stayed on my hand all day.
Reminding me.

Someone asked me earlier this week what Lent was all about and I stumbled through an answer.
I don't follow it as formally as some other denominations do.   Several years ago I even helped write a Lenten devotional book, but on the spot I could hardly give a decent answer on what it was and why I chose to follow even a portion of it.  I don't eat fish on Fridays. I rarely give anything up. And when I do I usually don't even tell anyone. I told her it was a time of preparation for Easter. An awareness of our sin and the sacrifice that was made. 

But maybe it is just a season of noticing the stains.
The mess.
Wednesday my hands were stained with ashes.
Saturday my hands dripped with grape juice.
Death and blood.
Sin and sacrifice.
The stains of Lent.

So I have written almost this exact same post before here and here. So either I really mean it or I am out of ideas.


My husband picked out our first apartment.
It was fine, as far as apartments go. Tiny. Thin walled. Terrible parking.
It was on the first floor, the complex had a hot tub and we had our own tiny washer and dryer that held like 2 pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

So we saved our money, played less ultimate frisbee and drove around looking at houses.
We bought a puppy who peed all over our carpet and completely lost us our cleaning deposit.
We were young, newly married and could fit everything we owned in the back two pick up trucks. The bank offered us a loan with nothing down.  We signed our name no less than four hundred times and a 30 year mortgage felt like a lifetime.
Turns out lifetimes happen faster than you think.

I remember watching Trading Spaces getting my best decorating ideas from Frank, Vern and Genevieve. I spent my paychecks at Hobby Lobby instead of on childcare. Thank God there was no such thing as Pinterest. We painted all the walls any color but white. We shopped Ikea to try and find enough furniture to fill the empty rooms. I had more closets and cabinets than I knew what to do with. My husband ripped out the carpet and put down laminate that was guaranteed to last 10 years. A decade. 
It has been almost 13 years and the floor is still holding up.

The “office” and the “extra bedroom” are the only rooms that we have managed to redecorate. We painted them green and blue and pink and turquoise and added a crib.
Every inch of closet and cabinets are now jam packed with something.
Both the office and the guest bedroom are now the couch in my living room.
The laminate has held up but there is sharpie on the walls and smudges on every imaginable surface.

Our back yard has a new dog. The swing set has gone up and already come down. The deck just got repainted. I have mowed that yard at least three hundred times. And it is a really big yard.

We outgrew this place years ago, but the idea of selling my home seemed like way too much work. Keeping my house clean. Packing. Fixing all the things that need fixing. House hunting. Just thinking about it was enough to give me a rash and not miss any of the square footage that we don’t have. The market right now and the desire to get my kids closer to their schools is making me stop dragging my feet a little. Realtors came over a few weekends ago and walked the place. I was sure to point out all the faults. I got my pen ready to write down all the things that we needed to do to get the house ready. They saw less faults and more potential to sell quickly. 
Their list was short. 
Start packing.
The broker came over Friday.

Our house is not on the market but we are trying to get it ready. Much faster than I had anticipated. My husband scours area real estate on the internet daily.  He has been making lists of things to do the house. I have done almost nothing except call a house cleaner which I was dying for an excuse to do anyways. Today I figured I could not put it off any longer and went to Lowes and helped pick out paint. Boring white and beige paint. And huge tubs to pack my things in. Apparently, before you show a house you are supposed to get rid of half your stuff.

My husband pulled things off the wall. Filled nail holes. And painted over our smudges and stains. I sat on the couch graded papers and picked a fight.

I have been staring at a blank clean white wall all afternoon.
Getting ready to sell this house means it has to become something other than my home. 
The walls be painted white. The books and pictures and things that have made it mine will go in tubs in the shed while other people parade through and talk about floor plans and lighting. Everything that makes it mine will come down or get covered up and that has me unsettled.

I know every inch of this house in the dark and where I am most likely to find loose change. (I still, however, can't find my lost remote or the last place I put my keys.)  I have brought my babies home from the hospital to this address. I have brought home dogs and groceries and new friends. I don’t like to clean, decorate, pull weeds or put away laundry, but I do like to dance in the living room and have more peopled crammed into my kitchen than the fire marshall would care for. I’ve played kickball in the driveway and watched my son wobble down the street after taking off his training wheels. I may not be the best homemaker, but here I have made a home.

Letting go of that is not as easy as putting on a fresh coat of paint.

I’m ready to move on and have somewhere to work besides the couch. I’d love a guest bedroom and a pantry and a faucet that doesn’t leak. I want those things. 
My kids have grown up here. I can see it in sharpie on their door frames. And I have grown here too it just isn't so easily documented. I made my husband buy new door frames today along with neutral paint at Lowes because I refuse to paint white over everything. 
They will come with me. Along with all the other things I love the most. All 3 of them. And a dog. 
Not everything fits in boxes.

through it all

The Sunday after New Year’s I sat in church and sang an old hymn.  I was having trouble paying attention that day. I was singing without much thought to the words. I wondered where we would eat lunch. I hoped my kids would stop squirming. I was tired. I was there, but I wasn’t there.

And suddenly the lyrics caught me.

“All is well with my soul”

I noticed the word soul, but mostly I noticed what it didn’t say.
It didn’t say all is well with my health.  (or bank account, or relationships, or job or kids clean house).

We kept singing it and I kept having to admit that I want a few more promises.
I was ready to have myself a pity party that morning because a health issue had come back. I have a nerve condition that causes chronic pain in my face. Since I was having symptoms again I had done some research online, which we all know is a terrible idea. Let’s just say that the internet was not encouraging. At the time, it wasn’t bothering me too badly…but knowing that there are treatments but no cures, that it is progressive and only going to get worse had me down. Let’s just say that I would have much preferred to sing a song about God fixing everything rather than lyrics promising sorrow and trials. The chorus kept being repeated and had the nerve to remind me that my soul is what should determine my wellness. Not WebMD.

A few days later, my nerve irritation became completely debilitating. It kicked in with a force I was not expecting or ready for regardless of what I read online. The pain literally took my breath away easily a hundred times that day. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t drive. I didn’t want to leave my house because the cold on my face caused electric shocks to jolt through my skull. 
I upped my dosage. I made lots of soup. I wanted to cry, but even that hurt.
I was scared.
I mean, I miss chips and salsa like a long lost lover, but I can’t imagine not talking.
I talk for a living.
I can’t imagine not laughing.
I hate that I involuntarily recoiled when my husband tried to kiss me, or my kids jump on me or a kind friend who showed up with a pot of soup leaned in for a hug.
I sat on my couch without moving my face or changing my shirt or brushing my teeth for exactly a day and half when I had run out of TV to watch.
And I realized something,  I hurt anyways.
Regardless of how much I tried to protect myself from pain — I was still having symptoms. 

Timing for this resurgence could not have been worse. It was finals at school, I had my first meeting for my graduate program and a realtor was coming to look at our house. Kids emailed me questions about grades and a few just asking if I was ok, I worried how I’d make it all the way to A&M and what kind of first impression I’d make in this condition. As usual, I never made it to worrying about the state of my messy house.

I am not great at self pity (although it doesn't stop me from occasionally trying) and know that pain wasn’t something unique to me. I had a friend planning her father’s memorial service. Another going in for a double mastectomy. Earlier in the week I had seen a teenager lying dead face down in the middle of the street.  My pain seemed little compared to those things, but it still hurt like hell.

So much of our life is spent avoiding pain. Being safe. Protecting ourselves and the ones we love. And there are times when it is wise to take unnecessary risks and to protect those that can not protect themselves. But lots of times we are just hiding. We are afraid. Of failing. Of rejection. Of what someone who probably isn’t even paying attention will think.  I decided this pain thing, it is unavoidable. We can’t hide from it. We can however, hide from joy and love and experience and all kinds of other awesome things that are not going to suddenly show up on my couch. Being human, I suppose, is all some kind of lesson in pain management. I am talking about my face, but could just as easily be talking about my heart. Recently I have done some unnecessary pain management  in that area as well. I called the doctor again.  I took more meds, but I also got off the couch. I kissed my daughter good night even though I knew it would hurt and even read her a short story (very short).  I went to work.  I answered my parents questions even though my face got so tired that eventually the nerve shut down and my entire face sagged a little to the left. (temporarily).  I made small talk at my meeting, which is usually painful enough with out any kind of condition. I cleaned the bathroom. (ok, this doesn’t require any nerve pain on my part but I still hate to clean).

I decided that just because something is painful doesn’t mean it might not be worth it.
I tried a new medicine today and it seems to be working but I am still even having to put my soup in the blender before trying to eat it. (On the plus side this may very well be the best diet ever).  I have gotten better at pushing through the pain. It doesn’t seem to paralyze me the way it did a few days ago. I have gotten better at choosing the kinds of things that are worth it.
I have gotten better at focusing on my soul rather than my pain tolerance.
or my body.
or my bank account.
or how my jeans fit.
or how messy my kitchen is.

These last few days have been possibly my most physically painful ever.
But they easily haven’t been the worst days.
I have learned how to make a dang good smoothie and some great soup.
I have laughed and smiled a few times anyways.
I have learned to choose the words I speak with a little more care. (because if it is likely to result in pain your stories suddenly get a lot shorter).

This pain will pass.
And then it will most likely come back again.
But, my soul. 
It will not be damaged. Or managed. Or protected.

It is well.

I'm going to Jackson

If you happen to stop beside me at a red light you might just get lucky to catch a free show.
I sing along in the car. In the shower. In class. Elevators. And occasionally even in the store when they are playing a good song.
Sometimes I even dance.

This is the part where I should tell you that I do NONE of these things well.
I sing off key.
I come in early.
I sometimes make up words when I do not know them.
My dancing could easily be mistaken for a seizure.

But in the car and  the shower and pretty much everywhere else you catch me singing along to the radio….
I think I sound decent.
Not great. But ok.
That is usually because my car speakers are turned up so loud that no one can hear themselves think.

Some of my friends have been trying to get us to karaoke for months now. It sounded fun and terrible to me all at the same time. Every one of my past karaoke experiences were in a packed bar with lots of drunk people who make for an easy crowd to please, plus plenty liquid courage myself and way before people carried around cell phones that could record the evidence.
This was different. 
This was a tiny room. With just 5 of my friends.
And almost completely sober.

I was eager for someone else to go first. But, I also struggle to pass up a microphone.
I butchered the hell out of some Salt N Pepa.
I felt awkward and embarrassed.
Then my husband took the microphone and was absolutely TERRIBLE.
Like one of those bad auditions on American Idol.
He finished the song and some friends who know how to carry a tune grabbed the mic and were the opposite of terrible.
We all kept singing. Even when the waitress came in and could not hide the pain in her face from my voice. Or possibly my dance moves.

Something happened after few Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Beastie Boys and Journey songs. I forgot that I was supposed to feel awkward or embarrassed. It was just fun. Shaun and I even managed to make a pretty great Johnny Cash and June Carter for the duet “Jackson”.
My stomach hurt from laughing.
My voice hurt from singing/rapping/screaming at the top of my lungs.
And we drove home thinking of all the songs we need to sing next time because there will be a next time...and seriously considered having everyone sign a waiver that no video footage would be leaked to social media!

There is something so freeing about doing something that you love even if you suck at it.
Not doing it to please or impress but because something inside just feels good to sing and dance Taylor Swift lyrics like you were born to.

Yesterday, I went to a yoga class.
Now, I love me some sweaty yoga but much like karaoke I am absolutely awful at it. 
Horrible. Terrible. No Good. Very bad.
For multiple reasons, 1) I have the upper body strength of a very weak kitten.
2) I have the flexibility of a brick and  3) It requires being quiet and wearing spandex -- neither of which I am fond of. I am pretty sure everyone else in the crowded room is wondering why the hell I can’t figure out what pose we are supposed to be in. Why my arms feel like noodles after just a few chaturangas.  Noticing that I could not touch my toes if my life depended on it. That my legs are extended as far as I can possibly get them. And praying that I will slip in the pool of sweat accumulating on my mat the next time I try to find my downward facing dog.
"Feel free to pop into a head stand", the instructor says.
Yea… sure….The only way I stand on my head is when there is someone on each side holding me up.

In other words, I was hesitant to go to this class and why I haven't been to a class in almost a year.
Mostly out of fear of  looking stupid. Of Not knowing what to do. Of falling. Of saying or wearing the wrong thing. I was afraid to be the worst one in the room. And I quite possibly was. I breathed in and out anyways. My arms felt flimsy and my legs never got very straight. I seriously doubt anyone noticed or thought all those crazy things about me because they were too busy breathing and standing on their head.

But it also felt kind of like karaoke.
In the dark.
On your mat.
Laying in your own sweat.
The instructors always end class the exact same way.
“Thank you for practicing with me”
Not proving.
Or competing.
Or showing up or off.
Or getting it right.
But showing up.
Getting better.

Singing loudly.
Or breathing loudly.

Look out Jackson town.

and I am loving loving this T.Swift mashup