dishes. they're a funny, yet happy, thing to me. 

when I was little, I hated doing them. I always wondered why the kids had to be on dish duty. "always doing chores." haha. oh the rough life of a child. (thanks, mom and dad, for making me a responsible human being :) 

now, as an adult, I love cleaning. in the last year, I've learned that about myself. it's probably due to the fact that it's instant results, instant gratification. 

two years ago, when I moved to Oregon, our first apartment was itty bitty, with no dishwasher, and a matching itty bitty sink. seriously, the smallest sink I have ever seen. I DREADED doing dishes. I felt like it made more of a mess than helping. 

when we moved into our current house, I was so excited about the dishwasher. I refused to wash anything by hand. as the months pass, that faded. I'm finding myself washing dishes by hand more and more. gasp, is this growing up? ;) 

I recently found this sweet little poem on pinterest. it really helps to put things in perspective. 

Thank heaven for dirty dishes
they have a tale to tell,
while other folks go hungry,
we're eating very well.
With home and health and happiness,
we shouldn't want to fuss
by this stack of evidence
God's very good to us.



It really bothers me when people say, "I know exactly what you're going through."

No you don't.

I recently saw someone say this on facebook, (oh, our online generation.....a whole different topic...) to a friend of mine who changed their status from married to divorce. I can't even imagine what that feels like, to get a divorce, to go through that heartache. And, as silly as it sounds, having to post it on facebook. Just another reminder that you are going through something painful, and you have to share it with the world. 

Anyway, when I saw that phrase, "I know exactly what you are going through," pop up, something defensive stirred within me. Sure, they may have gone through a divorce, too. Their circumstances may have even been the same. But that in now way means they know how that person feels. They do not share the same emotions, the same though process, the same spirit. 

I know when people use this phrase, they are probably offering it as some form of comfort, an outstretched had saying, "you aren't alone." But it rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I'm just over-reacting, but to me it feels like that phrase leads back to their story, to focus back on themselves. It's easy to do. We humans are so self-centered. 

When Josh came home that day, I unloaded my ramblings on him, trying to figure out why it bugged me so much. I never could figure it out. But Josh saw my point, agreed, and we went on with our day.

The next week, my folks came into town. Oh, I love when they are here. It just seems right, being near them. I get to see them about three weeks out of the year. And those weeks always fly by. 

A few days into their stay, my folks and I sat down and began discussing some heavy stuff. You know, about their future, about them getting old eventually, and what will have to happen. I hate thinking about that. I love my parents so dearly, and I honestly well up with tears just thinking about losing them. We finished up the conversation, and I had to go to work. I kept myself distracted, but as soon as I got home, Josh gave me a hug and I started to cry. He took me upstairs and held me silently, confused. The poor guy. He married such an emotional girl. Eventually, I could talk through the tears. "I'm completely overwhelmed right now, with this feeling of loosing them. I miss them, like they're dead, but they're downstairs in my living room. I can't shake this feeling. I don't want to loose them. Ever." 

He said to me that he's felt the same thing, this overbearing emotion of loss, of mourning someone who is still here. He then told me about a time when he was very young. Woken up in the night from a nightmare of his dad dying. For a while he couldn't sort what was real or dream. In part of his psyche for those few moments, his dad really was dead. And that is a dreadful feeling to try to swim out of. Sometimes all of our imagination is captive to horrific scenarios. Josh knew. He'd been there. "I know what you're feeling, sweetie."

And then we both started to laugh, given the conversation we had the previous week. 

"But this is different," I said. "This, whatever I am experiencing, is completely emotion. Not a situation. And you've felt the same emotion before."

Maybe I'm a hypocrite, maybe I was just feeling defensive for my friend. But in my mind, these are truly different. Emotion vs. Experiences. 



It's strange how it can hit you like a ton of bricks.
It's even stranger not exactly to know where to call home.

I've lived in Hood River for over a year, but I still think of Alaska as home. How long does it take for that to change? This is clearly where my life is now, but maybe not my whole heart.

I think Homer will always have a piece of it, like a first love.

It can be triggered by a friend talking about it on facebook. Or it can be a picture. A dream. Or a certain part of town. Josh and I were out on a drive, and I was gazing out the window, my mind not on anything, really. Suddenly, I realized I thought I was in Homer. The hills we were passing looked just like the ones out east end. I teared up. It's been so long since I've been back.

But sometimes the memory of something needs to stay just that.

I'm not saying I'll never go back to Homer. But it's very dangerous to expect the same experiences out of a place you know so well when you revisit it. That happened at school. I went back for a second year, excited to re-live my first year at Ecola. Even if you are in the same place with the same people, you will not have the same experiences. Sounds pretty straight forward, right? It's odd, but I think this has always been a hard concept for me to accept.

I'm changing over all of my identity this week. I procrastinated it for over a year, but I legally got my name changed over, and tomorrow, my car registration, license....stuff like that. I know its silly, but it will be sad to look at my car and not see the Alaska plates anymore. Bittersweet.

But, no matter where I am, I miss someone. It's days like this that make me long for Home. For sweet rest. For no more goodbyes.


plans change.

As many of you know, Josh and I had been planning on becoming business partners with my boss, and be part owners of the shop in White Salmon. Well, we decided against it, for several reasons. The main reason being finances. It would have been a pay cut, and it would have put us into debt for who knows how long. It was a hard decision, because in the long run, it would be beneficial. It just wasn't the right time. I'm sure I'll be kicking myself in 10 years.

I'm also changing shops, going back to the Hood River location. I'm really excited about this, because it's closer to home. So it saves me money, [bridge toll, which just went up January 1st, and gas.] and I will see Josh more...because its on the way to his work. Heehee. I've missed the Hood River shop, too. Going back to where I started.

I had a really hard time deciding to do this. I put so much energy into the White Salmon shop. I became the mom, it felt like. We had a pretty young staff, so I helped train alot of them, and I also knew where everything was. Ha. "Laurel, where's the lids?" Anyways. At first, I felt like I was giving up, going the easy route. And I hate quitting anything. But I think this is the right choice. I was needed there for a time, and that time is up. I'm getting pretty burned out being in charge, which kind of surprised me. I'm great with being organized, but it's the people side of thing that wears me out.

I've been working at 10-Speed for a year now. Crazy to think of all that's happened in that year. January is going to be nuts. There's tons of changes happening with the business. My boss is opening up another location in Hood River. Its going to be amazing. His dream has been to own a building, with more space and a full kitchen. He's finally getting that! It's going to be wonderful. Lots of seating, which the Heights location lacks, and space for more roasting. His clientele has grown so much this year, so he needs that. I'll be working a few shifts in this location as well, but for baking. He's planning on having this store open sometime this month.

Also happening in January is a new manager for the White Salmon store to replace me. Her name is Amber, and she is finishing up culinary school, and a degree in business management. Much more qualified for the job than I am. She is energetic, and originally from the area, so she already knows a large amount of the customers. She is a great fit.

I've been sick so much lately, and I'm curious to see if it is related with the stress of being manager. I'm excited for the changes ahead! Here's to 2012, and the changes ahead.


small bites.

Life has been a bit overwhelming lately. For the whole Taylor clan, it seems. A couple of weeks ago, Grandpa Taylor fell and broke his hip. He has been in The Dalles hospital since then, in recovery. Doctors told Grandma, Janet and John, that Grandpa would need 24 hour care when he was released. The decision was made to have Grandma and Grandpa move into Janet and John's house (my in-law's). But it was only a week away. So, for the last week, its been a mad scramble to get the house ready for a move. Grandma is a realtor, and they've been trying to sell their house already. Looks like it might be selling in a few weeks. Praise God!

While all of this was happening, here's a few more things to add on top of it all.
- my car died. Not a big deal, John is a mechanic! Oh wait. He's slightly overwhelmed. So I've been hitching rides from family for the last week.
- Josh got poison oak again, while installing a window in Mosier. Poor thing. He's so allergic to the nasty stuff.
- Josh's work drill broke. I had been planning on buying him a new drill, one that he had his eye on, for Christmas. Well, merry early Christmas. We went and bought it that day.
- Our cruise in February fell through. I was a mess. Josh couldn't get time off work, because his boss is having shoulder surgery, and won't be able to lift anything for 6 months. At first, I called the cruise company, and tried to get our deposit on the tickets back. They said it wasn't possible. I went to work that evening, and Josh fixed it. He's my hero <3 So, hopefully we can go on a cruise, next year.
- And I got sick. awesome. probably from stress + lots of work + not enough sleep + cold season. duh.
I'm sure there's more, but that's the majority of it all. But really, we've been pretty calm through the whole thing. I believe it's God just giving us peace and clarity of mind, so that we can get stuff done for the family.
Well, I probably had the first freak out. Josh held me and calmed me down. He asked me, "How do you eat a whole elephant?" I didn't know. "One bite at a time." His dad told him that sound advice. I love his family / my new family. So any time that one of us has a freak out moment, we just ask each other that question. Helps put things in perspective.
It's been a rough week, obviously, but I have SO much to be thankful for. And I praise God, that I see those things, because I am normally Negative Nancy.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a blessed day.