Pushing Up

“You owe me ten, Jess.” Katie punches my arm and laughs as we finish our last round of Combination 1, or the clueless newbie attempts at Combination 1

I step to the side and start my push-ups. Stupid s-words. C-words.
“Women, especially, y’all apologize for too much and sell yourselves short. For every time I hear you drop one of those words it’s 10 push-ups.”
This post isn’t really about about women belittling themselves. Or the super awesome MMA class Katie and I punch out our feelings with. It’s about you, dear client. 
Maui Thai meets four times a week. If we are lucky, on Tuesday evening we pull into the Y parking lot and hurry our way inside right as class begins. Notes might be left unwritten, our desk unorganized, and still half in work clothes. But by golly we are going to go at least once a week.
Orry-say and an’t-cay (sound it out. 5th grade will come back to you in a minute) are forbidden words, even as we rush in late, guilt ridden on our faces. He has to pause and start ove…

Changes: Thanksgiving Reflections

The Wednesdays before Thanksgiving: Cat, Robert, and Matilda and I would get off the bus around 12 to find mom's multi-page chore list. We would fight over who does what while I blast Cher on my little stereo and chase Robert around the house with knives (like the loving sister I was). Once mom was home from work it was go-time and like a mad wave our family would hustle through the grocery store, surely to forget something. Poor mom, hauling 4 kids. Now I get why she would make 1-2 of us wait in the van (with the windows cracked, don't worry). Room was made in the fridge and snow packed on the porch for when we would run out of fridge space and resorted to Wisconsin November air to chill food. Somehow in the middle of it all we trekked to Madison for a pre-Thanksgiving swim practice where I'd fall asleep on the way home, thankful to get tomorrow off, only to be back at it on Friday. Mom rose before dawn to begin the turkey, every year muttering under her breath about how…

That Thing Above All

“You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw -- but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. 

Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of -- something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-cl…

Because It Has Come Up Again

My hair has always strategically covered the backs of my ears so that my ‪#‎hearing‬‪#‎aids‬ remained as inconspicuous as possible. I'm starting to care less now and have a few things that I would like to share. If you're still reading, below you'll find the confessions & thoughts from 2 Deaf 23-24 year olds. Feel free to share and add more. 1. Email. Email. Email. This is the 21st century people! Phone calls are efficient, but when wanting to communicate important information and you beg between voice cracks to, "pleeeaase, I don't know what you said. I'm sorry. Can you email me whatever it is you are wanting me to answer for your security purposes?" how hard does it need to be to email? I promise, I'm not scamming you, and for legal purposes, isn't it better to have records in writing anyways? 2. Online appointment scheduling, bill pay, and ordering is FANTASTIC . We can read. I applaud all who have invested the time and money for web devel…

Dear Gpa

Dear Grampa,

Over the past few weeks I have written and rewritten this letter in my mind, unsure of how best to say all that I want to. Here is what I can fit in a limited space. 
Please know that you mean more to me than any letter I could ever write. You may not know this, but you and grandma are one of the biggest reasons I started to study the bible when I was ten years old. And for that I have more thanks than there are stars in the sky as that impact on my life extends beyond this earthly one.
As for this earthly life, you have shown me what hard work looks like and how sometimes we don’t do things for the money, but for the satisfaction of doing something well. There are many projects that you helped me with when my dad was working and it was beyond mom’s expertise. I remember days in the garage making a model airplane out of cardboard. I was satisfied with the mediocre job I had done but you got on to me to be patient and that I was not finished - that we would stay out there …

Georgia on My Mind P2

Jim Elliot famously penned, "wherever you are, be all there" and it became my motto those first few weeks and months after moving to Georgia when
My funding fell through Mom had a serious accident My hearing aids quit working  I couldn't find a job I was slow to find a church family A business school elsewhere offered me tuition I wasn't so sure social work was for me
I had to remember the decision I made in faith to move here. Despite all of this though, Georgia became the wilderness I needed to explore who I am and what I know and believe. This growth is a continual process, but looking back on the last year has shown me how each moment prepares us for where we are going. Our responses to these moments are what matter.
And I see that now. This August I began a year long internship with a mental health hospital. I work on an adolescent crisis stabilization unit where no day is the same. Not only has my interest in psychiatric clinical work grown, but my understandin…

Georgia on My Mind P1

August 6. A year ago I sat in the sand at Tybee Island enjoying occasional sprints to the water where the salt would wash through my hair, leaving it sticky and grainy, soothing the jellyfish sting. It was my first time to the warm water of the East Coast. It was my first time to Georgia too. Here I was, freshly 22 and enjoying the next few days with my mom and grandma before starting grad school.

It all kind of happened on a "methodical-whim". Georgia was an option in a sea of choices that would eventually lead me 1000 miles east on I-20 away from the small Texas city I'd called home for the last four years. Transitions happen. I was ready. It would be an new adventure, just as fantastic as the last with community, friends, and memories to shape me into the person I am and will be. It had to be, right?
As my mom drove off for Wisconsin that morning, sadness mixed with excitement as I planned to learn the bus system that day. I'd mapped out stops and routes, determined…