ATTENTION: I am now writing over here at wordpress! Please come join me! There is tons of new content I would love for you to read and comment on!

Monday, April 22, 2013

New Digs

I have moved the blog to Wordpress. It's easier to manage over there and it syncs better with other blogs I follow as well as future plans for the business blog. :)

So come on over! Same posts, same me, new location.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A couple weeks ago Raychel fell out of her bed. I have no idea how, but I heard a loud thud followed by a delayed cry. Any mom knows this is one of THE worst sounds to hear. I rushed in and found her, confused and face down on the ground. She immediately reached her chubby little arms out in complete expectation that I would pick her up. I did, of course, and I could not do it fast enough. I wrapped my precious little girl into me and reassured her that she was okay and Momma was here while she sobbed hot, scared tears into my chest.

And for the last few days she's been sick. Very sick. She has been a mess of phlegm and coughs and whiney confusion. She even reached my hippie fever ceiling and got some Tylenol. When I walk into her room in the morning or after a nap instead of her usual sudden rising, she lays there with outstretched arms and a pouty lip for me to pick her up. I hate seeing her so miserable. But you know what I love? I love cuddling with her. I love soothing her and telling her she is doing so well. I love the opportunity to fill this little girl up with reassurances and affection. We have spent a lot of time just sitting together and it has been good.

I am so honored to be her Mommy. {She calls me that sometimes now. Or "Momma." Or just, "Mom."} She knows she can depend on me. When she hurts herself she knows I'll be there and when her body is turning against her she knows where to look for help. So.honored. I always knew I wanted to do this... But how could I have known how rewarding it would be to have a 19 month old rub snot on you for 3 days? ♥

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pitching my Tent

 I am still wrestling. Please, someone, if you have some cure for this in a bottle give me a prescription!

I know that God has forgiven me of all my sin. And that because of this I have no right to hold anything against anyone. Not my friends. Not my family. Not the jerk guy who cut me off. And certainly not my own husband. I know that my life is bought and doesn't belong to me. I get it.

But not really.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ramble | Confession | Hope

For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (from Hebrews 13) 
 I'm wrestling with this. A lot.

Because when I don't feel God I don't know how to love Him. How screwed up is that?

I have had a serious struggle with my attitude lately (cursed irony). This pregnancy has brought a whole host of irritable, overly sensitive emotions which are directed at the bullseye on my husband about 99% of the time. {The remaining 1% aimed at commercials, RJ, programs and occasionally other people} It is not only super frustrating, it's sinful. My heart toward Gabe has been so cold because of my perspective.

This is not to say that I am never warranted by normal standards to be hurt, but that when those warrants come I am already gunning for the guy. Heels dug, fists clenched, gloves off.

I confess these things because recently as my stellar attitude came to a head, I learned that I have been letting my emotions dictate my actions. When I am upset I don't smile. I don't play. I don't get enjoyment out of watching RJ do something new (well, I do get a little). I don't grab his hand or touch his back when I walk by. I don't do those things because in my mind that is called pretending and I am too old for make believe. I come to believe that Gabe no longer cares about me. When I feel like our marriage sucks I act like our marriage sucks.

But does our marriage really suck? I have insecurities (some of which have nothing to do with Gabe's actions, but are totally placed on him), but when I step back and look at our marriage what do I see? I see an incredible man who has loved me through my least lovable phases. I see persistence in his forgiveness and grace. I see provision and affection. I see changes in myself that wouldn't be possible without his influence. I see a good marriage.

This revelation in my marriage is showing me a serious issue in my relationship with God as well. When I don't feel close to God I drown in the same insecurities. I battle with the idea that He is done with me. Usually I don't fight very hard.

But what do I see when I look at my life with God? I see a God who has loved me through my least lovable phases. I see persistence in his forgiveness and grace. I see provision and deep affection. I see changes in myself that are absolutely, completely impossible without Him. I see a good marriage. I see Hope.

So I'm wrestling. As I try to offer a sacrifice of praise whose motive is to please HIM and not get back the feelings I miss. As I acknowledge the name of the God who has loved me, loved my child, loved my husband in intimate, memorable ways. I'm wrestling with what it looks like day-to-day to love and serve and cherish and adore the God I can't make myself feel close to. And I pray - and trust with reason, not with passion - that this God will provide me a rest from my struggle and fulfill the longing I have for intimacy with Him. When it's right. When I'm able to receive it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Night at the Box Office

Last night we saw Anna Karenina at the movies for our 7th year anniversary date. Aside from the fact that it was a visual and artistic masterpiece, we were just completely taken with the story.

This is the part where I admit I haven't read the book. I started it, but like so many potential reads, I did not get far before I put it down for life to happen and never picked it up again.

So I didn't really know what to expect. I knew there was something about adultery in it (and to be honest, that always made me a little weary of watching/reading it; I'm sick of the romanticized whoredom our culture is so obsessed with). And I knew it was set in Imperial Russia. That's pretty much it.

So if you're unfamiliar with it, I won't ruin anything for you (but you should at least go see the movie). Gabe and I were really affected by it. We spent over an hour talking about it after we left the theater and we realized that what was so striking was actually the Gospel covered in 19th century fashion and splattered over salacious dialogue.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beauty for Ashes

I don't know why God doesn't always step in and fix the things that are broken.

I don't know why people who knew the Lord get divorced.

I don't know why children die.

I don't know why prayers go unanswered and mountains aren't moved.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kindness and Severity

The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands,forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.”
And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the Lord, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you."
 (From Exodus 34 (ESV))

I read this passage a while ago and it was at the same time completely amazing and eerily troubling. On the one hand God says plainly that He is exactly who we believe He is. He is forgiving and steadfast and faithful. We know those things are true. We can see it all over the Bible and we can recount our own testifying experiences. 

Yet on the other hand and presented as just as true, God says that He doesn't pardon the guilty. That He will let children and grandchildren suffer for their father's sin. 

This sounds very harsh... But when I consider it further it is a deep comfort. Because He does forgive the guilty who repent and as my husband reminded me, He does allow us to rise above the sin that we inherit from our fathers. But He is also just. And we need a just God.

We need a God who does not let the wicked prevail.

We need a God who defeats His enemies.

We need a God who will defend us from the crooked, who will guard us from sin.

Iniquity travels. It is the natural course of morality (which affects spirituality) that our poor choices negatively impact our children. Our very poor choices impact our grandchildren. Our extremely poor choices can ruin our families for generations. A man who abuses his wife teaches his sons to abuse their wives and so on. A man who abandons his family leaves his children with a lasting scar that carries into all kinds of bad decisions on their parts. A man who squanders the family fortune catapults them into poverty and leaves future generations who would otherwise be taken care of to fend for themselves.

And yet we can rise above our circumstance. God is gracious and mighty and He sees our hearts, not just our heritage. Gabe is a godly man despite the great sins of his father (and at least in part because of the righteousness of his mother). As Gabe also reminded me while we were chewing on this together, a big part of the good news that Jesus brought us is that we are no longer tied to our families, we are adopted into God's family. We who were orphans now have a Father. We who were broken have now been restored. We who were destitute have means beyond means. 

I am so grateful for a God who makes Himself known. I'm grateful for His grace and His justice. 

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you,provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
(Romans 11:22)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

An Attitude Adjustment

On Sunday Brent Harris delivered a great message on love. He even sang a line of the Beatles.

As he talked about what real love looks like he mentioned that while we can't control our feelings toward someone, we need to align our attitudes and our actions with what is true. No matter what kind of person we are dealing with, they are loved by God and deserve from us the same grace we were given undeserved from the Father.

That dichotomy began to itch me: feelings vs. attitude. When I was a kid my dad would warn whiney or pouty me to "Fix the attitude." He would never say, "Fix your feelings," but he seemed to think I had some control over my perception of the situation. Of course I did because the fear of a spanking was, to me, worth what it took to get over myself in the moment.

Trust me, when she's teething, the Gremlin has a terrible attitude.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daughters Grow

There is a simple tension with Mothers and Daughters. It's sweet and complicated. Raychel is at an age of admiration and pushing boundaries, but someday she'll try to break through some of those boundaries and she will probably think I truly don't understand what she is going through as she navigates heavy emotions and scary changes.

She will have fights with her best friends and she won't understand why her sibling's chewing makes her want to scream. She will be scared and feel lonely and sometimes she may even take it out on me. She'll question everything we've taught her and when she learns to disagree she'll wonder what else I'm wrong about. She'll feel confined in a small space as she tries to spread those wings she'll be growing. And as the most prominent woman in her life, she'll both emulate and resent at least some of who I am while she tries to figure out who she is.

And someday when her pudgy little hand becomes slender and coordinated I'll have to let it go and though I'm excited for her to be a Woman, that thought breaks my heart.

But then I remember: after her perspective gets a little broader and she starts to reflect (when she has things to reflect) she'll grab my hand for the parts of Womanhood that require a Mother. 

When she meets the man she wants to serve for the rest of her life or she finds a passion she's meant to pursue and she needs a nudge out of the nest I'll encourage her to take the leap.

When she's newly married and she needs the calm assurance of decades I'll pray over her and remind her who she is in Christ and how that looks as a wife.

When she has children and wrestles with her new role I'll wipe her tears and tell her that she's doing a wonderful job. 

And when I miss her in the everydays I'll remember pots and pans in the living room and surprise kisses in bed. In some sense she'll always be this little girl who lights up our home and in some sense she is already the beautiful woman who will send sparks into the world.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oops, We Did It Again

Yep! We're pregnant! Well.... technically I'm pregnant. And we could not be more excited! We have been waiting and hoping and praying for another little love to join our family and we are so grateful that God chose to give us another this way.

One incredible thing about this pregnancy is how I believe God prepared my heart almost the opposite way he did for RJ. Before Raychel was born I needed to get amped up! The preceding year was full of growing and stretching and relenting to a spirit of motherhood that was awakening in me. Our hearts had to be readied for the next phase in life (especially since we had hardened them). But this time I was more than ready to get pregnant. Now that I know the joy of being a mom I can't imagine not having more children - and lots!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Danger of Encountering God

I'm just going to say it: I'm afraid to meet God.

Those words kind of sting. I was raised a Christian - a real one, not a we-go-to-church-on-Sunday-with-a-hangover Christian. As a kid I knew Jesus. He was my best friend, my hero. As I got older I learned about my own sin and how much I needed His friendship.

And as an adult I crashed into Him in a candle-lit apartment after being raked through my own degenerate mind with merciless brutality. Satan and I had quite the tango going before God cut in. I'm not being cute. I was a pitiful mess and I can say with confidence that God met me on the carpet. He was gentle and He was strong. He gave me hope and light and peace without which I could die. I truly believe that. I could be dead.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Children are brave!"

Yes, I watch The View. Moving on.

I don't know that I have heard such a clear and honest articulation of childhood. Children are brave. Any mother who has watched her baby take those first trepidatious steps can attest to his fortitude. Determined with his shaky, unreliable feet he fixes his attention, puts his fear behind him and walks. Falls. And invariably, at some point, tries again. Adults don't usually have that courage. Children are on their own in a big and mysterious world.

I love watching RJ explore. She takes delight in things that to me have lost their luster. This morning she was dancing and laughing at her wire hanger percussion and I was blessed with a peek into Wonder. That is just one of the gifts she gives me daily. Because she is an Explorer. On par with Lewis & Clark, she is discovering a completely unknown land. She has adventures in kitchen hideaways and toilet bowls. She scales mountains of armchairs and pillows. She boldly approaches the Wild Beast with an unreasonable hope that he will, for the first time, enjoy her company as much as she enjoys his. She is a Pioneer. She is charting territory for her future brothers and sisters (and I think she will be a great Expedition Leader).

And one day she will leave. I also love Jamie Lee's declaration of independence for our children. Our culture is so intent on keeping the young young that so often parents fail to raise adults. And she is so right: if we do our jobs, separation will be mutually beneficial and anticipated. As much as I thoroughly enjoy every second we get to spend with her, RJ is somebody's wife in the making. She is in her education for motherhood.

I expect to be heartbroken when she moves away and starts her family (or does something else as the Lord wills), but in the best possible way. A shifting paradigm is never a smooth ordeal, but I so look forward to watching her use all we are able to teach her and learn from her as she navigates this life with her own RJ flair. I pray and trust {well, working on the trust} that she will not depart from the Truth. That: my children loving God when they are out of my nest, will be my deepest joy in parenthood.

And I will not shield my brave little ones from this: it will take courage.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mom Moments

When RJ is snug in her bed and the night is winding down, I have the honor of putting our well loved home back in order. I pick up her brightly colored toys and stack them neatly near the wall. I clear the sink and sweep the crumbs from the counters. I toss and fluff throw pillows to their homes on the couches and I grab bits of garbage or laundry during my final walk through.

I love the thought of RJ hearing me wash dishes. I can remember my mom doing her gifts of service every night; it made me feel comfortable and safe. I would wake up to a cleared kitchen and folded laundry. The floors would be clean and ready for another day of wear. No matter what transpired the day before, our home was a clean slate every morning. 

It makes me think of that verse:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
 As RJ grows I hope to relay that character trait of God to her. I hope to give her the grace He so generously gives me and let her rest in the home He allows me to make for her. A home of mercy. I hope that my patience and love for my children is new every morning and that I will remember constantly to enjoy these little blessings while they are still young.

And I hope that I will take joy every evening, when my babies are snug and the night is quieting, in picking up the brightly colored reminders of God's favor and wiping off remnants of His abundance from the countertops.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Five Minute Fridays | Change

Five Minute Friday Five Minute Friday is a really fun way to release the preoccupation with propriety and practice sharing our hearts with our words rather than our expertise. Five minutes of writing without overthinking it. That means you get the ooey gooey stuff that usually stays down deep. :) Try it out!! And the biggest rule Lisa-Jo has is that we encourage one another! So click the link, read some of the authors' posts and have a go yourself!


 Because things can't stay the same forever. New opportunities would be foolish to pass up. Tastes shift and the rug I thought was rich and warm is now just the wrong shade of boring. Heating bills are far too high to reasonably stay in the same house. Moving trucks pull away bits of your heart and leave you with a bittersweet - heavy on the bitter when your everydays are emptier.

But it isn't always so bad.

She crashed into our lives like a tidal wave and we will never be the same. She has broken us and glued us into new shapes. Now I lament for the days I didn't know her. Now I am grateful for the ways in which this life is ripped apart. Without those bitter tears would I have ever known my girl? It hurts sometimes, but so did labor.

It isn't always so bad.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Five Minute Fridays | Stretch

Five Minute Friday 5 Minute Fridays are this thing I do with a bunch of other women over at where we write for 5 minutes straight with little to no editing and no overthinking. It's a chance to do some mental yoga and practice writing from the heart without caring too much about how it turns out. Please join in!!


I want another baby. We both do, actually. So the negative pregnancy tests kind of suck. I enjoyed pregnancy and birth (well, birth in retrospect only) and I thoroughly enjoy having RJ here. I waited a long time to be able to conceive again and now that it's here I have to wait some more.


I thought that we could never open our home up and be constantly surrounded by people. I'm somewhat of an introvert and it actually, legitimately scared me to think of an open door. But now we are here and God has used my uncomfortable compromise to enrich our lives more than I can express.

Sometimes I have to wait. I have to let my patience be tried and give up my idea of a perfect life. Because if I'm not content with where I am now, with what we have, with who we know, I won't be content if my ideal is achieved.


Friday, August 17, 2012

RJ's First Birthday

Photos of RJ's First Birthday are here on my photography blog. Oh she is such a joye!!! We have loved being her parents. She is kind of the most awesome child. :D 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Grr! ;)

Earlier today I saw this on facebook:
My apologies: I don't normally post photos without credit (or that aren't copyrighted to me, for that matter),
but I don't know where this came from. It was just on facebook. If you know the owner, let me know so I can
credit him. :) 
I have written here before on beauty and body image and this picture struck such a chord with me. As the mother of a daughter I feel a dense responsibility to combat the lies and distortions that war outside our little bubble of a home. I feel on the defense; armed and angry at the prospect of my sweet girl's innocence being shot with a million poisoned arrows of some stranger's vague preference. 

And these "preferences" are distortions. We can see this as shallowly as the ladies' poses above. The Victoria's Secret women are twisting their bodies in flattering poses, well aware of every inch of their position - make no mistake that their elbows are precisely where they want them to be and their pinky toes are doing just what they want. The women in the Dove photo are still posing, but are much less concerned with their position. I don't know the context of either of these photos (or if they are even actual photos), but I know that the one in which the women are bending to our culture's demands would be considered more beautiful by the vast majority of this society. 

And maybe that is the heart of our issue. We are worshipping the opinion of Them. This culture has become a god unto itself. The way it makes women feel about their bodies is only one very small byproduct of it's disturbing core. There is a latent fear of rejection from Them. A subtle, heavy chain clinking as we shuffle through life hoping to be patted on the head by our master. 

Not in this home. 

Not only will I do all I can to reinforce that true beauty comes from a gentle, loving heart, but in our home Christ is King. And His chains set us free from bondage. In this home we do not measure worth by pant sizes. We do not look to a mirror for our standing before our God. Nor do we take comfort in our bank account or our the things by which we are surrounded. In this home we serve a King worth serving. A proven warrior, a steadfast love, a humble ruler. In this home we fight behind our King the ever-beckoning Them. We push back against the offensive onslaught of the status quo.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Folk Tales | Birth Control

*Folk Tale Disclaimer: These are simply the reasons we chose to do the things we do. We absolutely do not condemn any other parenting decisions as we fully respect that God put specific kids with specific parents and those parents are the only ones fully responsible for their children. These posts are merely meant to be a window into our lives for those who'd like to peer in and to offer some first hand knowledge for people researching these subjects themselves. :) *

I was a teenager when I married Gabe. About a month from my 19th birthday, I was more interested in getting to see my boyfriend every day than having a baby. My new husband was busy in the Army and was even more opposed to the idea. We were young, we had time, we wanted to focus on "us" for a while. And to boot, you know how everyone has an opinion about this stuff (and insists on giving it to you)? Well, almost all of them included some version of "For Heaven's sake don't get pregnant."There was a whole list of various reasons to pick from: education, immaturity, financial insecurity, getting to know each other first... It made sense to us and seemed like wise counsel.

Now we've repented for our foolishness. Let me explain.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Love Story

I read them with indulgent envy. How I would love to dive into their worlds and become a heroic queen in the 1500s or a simple farmer in the 1850s. How I would don the calico and live for harvest season. How I would restore virtue to a desolate land. How I would be painted with colorful language, intimate details recorded with skill and prose. My life made official. Etched in minds and hearts the way only a great story can be.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Goodbye, George


I've said that name in blinding frustration and in sheer affection. If you knew George you knew 2 things.

1. He was a complete pain in the ass.
2. He loved with every single hair on his body.

We got George just a few days before Gabe went to Afghanistan for the second time. I really wanted a puppy and we thought it would be a good distraction. We saw him in the shelter and were drawn to him right away. At first we were going to pass him by because we thought he was a big-dog puppy. When we saw that he was already a year we were hooked. Then only he would do. I don't even remember looking at the other dogs.

Friday, June 8, 2012

5 Minute Fridays | Expectation

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.
I thought it would be challenging, but I didn't know it would be so hard. I didn't think we would ever say the things we've said or feel the way we've felt. I didn't know that he would hurt me so badly or that I would ever close him out.

When we talked about our future we talked about kids, finances, faith. All the things you're supposed to go over before the big day. We didn't talk about what to do when we didn't want to love each other. We didn't talk about how to overcome the pain we'd put each other through.

I thought it would be fulfilling, but I didn't know it would be so huge. I didn't think I could love another person the way I love him now. Now. I didn't know that there was a difference between the kind of affection we shared then and the kind that veterans of love share.

When we talked about our future we talked about having fun, being together, never having to go home at night. We didn't know that 7 years later a trip to the grocery store would still be fun simply because we were together. We didn't talk about how to love, but we've done it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

5 Minute Friday | See

My vision is kind of fuzzy when I first open my eyes. Before the covers pull back, before I wobble to her room, before I rub my eyes. It takes them a while to adjust. They take in a furry ball attached to a chubby body - she looks like a doll I would have played with as a girl. Good thing my feet know where to step in the dimly lit living area as I carry my little gremlin back to my bed to nurse.

I stare at her in the cool light of a morning trying hard to break past my curtains. Every morning: gazing at the most precious sight... Fuzzy and all. She is stubborn (like me) and she holds those heavy eyelids up to look at her mother. We lay there silent, her sucking, me gazing. My eyes never had it so good.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes from Above"

I miss him. That has not changed.

The "rule" I discovered about his departure bringing minor calamities has proven true as well. RJ got splinters all over the bottom of her feet (and she won't let me remove them), a big diaper rash suddenly formed, Gabe's laptop just wouldn't turn on so we couldn't use that to communicate, Raychel has bled for the first time from a fall... and then repeated it twice more...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

5 Minute Fridays | Opportunity

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

I married a dreamer. A daydream believer. He once asked me (quite sincerely) what I would think about breeding chickens. That was within the first few months of our marriage. My first sign of things to come.

He sees the world differently than most people. Where the average man sees a waste of time, he sees a chance to change things. To provide. To rise above the occasion.

We have been in the pit before. We have struggled to make ends meet. We have been in all but hopeless situations. But one thing I know I do not have to concern myself with is whether or not we will be okay. God is always looking out for us and the way He does that is with this incredible man I married. He works hard, he does things other people are scared to do or are too incredulous to try. He has no qualms when it comes to providing.

Do you know what it feels like to have total peace that your daughter will be fed? That your husband is doing everything in his power to provide? 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

5 Minute Fridays | Perspective

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.

 When he packed his things in that old Cat bag and I made sure to fold the clothes over a photo in a frame it felt familiar. When he drove away and my heart couldn't take the burden it was an old feeling. When I sobbed into Samson I felt like I was home again - bitterly.

But when the pain subsided quickly. When I went outside to get the coffee my friend had brought over. When I took my daughter upstairs for a good long visit with her Auntie. When I was checked in on, brought food to (McDonald's. Twice. By separate people.), when I spent the night laughing. Those things are new. Those things are appreciated.

I know what it's like to be alone. I know what it's like to say goodbye. I know what it's like to cherish time together. I'm now learning what it's like to be surrounded. I'm learning what a normal business trip looks like. I'm learning that time apart doesn't mean bombs and fear and isolation.