STUFFED:: The New Blog

After four years of on again, off again blogging here at I Do . . . What??? I have decided it is time for a change. Life has moved on from the first years of marriage and the hilarity and heartache that go with it. I have moved on too. Maybe you'll join me at STUFFED:: she stuffed her food and her life with delightful things.


On the Ridiculousness of Dreaming Big

(dreamy iPhoto taken on my Mac. not my heart lace curtains in the background.)

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about dreaming big. Putting yourself out there and hoping for the best. Better yet, believing that the best will come. This has gotten hard for me in the past decade. Not because I believed in the best and didn't see it come to pass, but because some hard things happened. Things I wasn't even thinking about - best or worst case scenario. Life just swooped in and took over. My parents divorced. My relationship with my dad all but withered up as a result. I got married only to find that my own marriage experience was extremely difficult. I simply saw how difficult life can be. So, for me, the thought of dreaming big . . . believing big . . . seems crazy. Why would I start to expect great things when I know that at the end of the day, life is just hard?

But the reality is, I have spent the last 10 years living as a skeptic. Expecting the worst. Hunting it down. Pulling it out of people. And it has been hard. I am tired. And in a lot of physical pain. Expecting the worst was my way of protecting myself. I figured that the worst was inevidable, so I might as well be in control and find it before it finds me. In the end, it is wearing me down. Not only that, I do believe that when we look for something, that is what we will find. Well, I have spent too much time looking for the worst. But it is scary to consider my alternative. What if I start looking for and expecting the best and I don't find it? What then?

As I look into the next decade, if I allow myself to dream, I see babies and new career paths, a tight circle of local friends doing life together, and a ridiculously rich, romantic, and even *gasp* easy relationship with my husband. And that, right there, is where I start to recoil. "Who am I to dream of an easy marriage? Marriage isn't easy. Not for anyone. It is hard work. You know this, Cara. You are being ridiculous!" The words start flooding my mind. When I begin to dream of a quick, complication-free conception followed by a dreamy pregnancy, a baby that latches easily and learns to sleep through the night, I hear the same voices. "That is ridiculous! That is not even close to reality! You can't control that stuff! It is going to be incredibly hard. You are just going to have to deal with it! It will be so hard." Well, maybe it will be hard. Maybe I will struggle with fertility. Or maybe I will be sick for nine months. Maybe. Maybe my baby will be colicky like his or her momma was. Maybe. But maybe not. Maybe not. And it is that space, the "maybe not" space, that I want to begin exploring. The space of possibility. The space of hope.

What will happen to me if I begin hoping for the best? Expecting the best? Will it come more easily because my heart is open to it? Or will I be crushed by disappointing realities that come
regardless of my posture towards the future? What then? Will I feel foolish and embarrassed? Will I have a hard time hoping again? Who will protect me if I am not "prepared" or "protected" for the worst? But then I also think, "What if hoping opens you up to all sorts of magical possibilities that you would not have otherwise? Do you really really want to miss that out of your efforts to protect yourself from disappointment?"


one of the few problems with living in denver is our high level of casual

could somebody
throw an event
at which it would be appropriate

thank you


Why We Work

herb got some good news today.
not earth shattering call everyone you know news.
but certainly not the test results came back positive news either.
it was good news.
and frankly, it has been awhile since we have really seen much good news around this joint.
so we'll take it.
i have been sending him love all day over text messages.
little notes and reminders that i think he is the best.
finally, i sent him a smiley pic of myself.
and in return?
he sends me this.
i love this guy.
i really really do.

what good news have you received lately?

To: You Love: Me

happy*happy friday, friends!
last night i created a new playlist on itunes
and i thought it would be fun to share here
since i have never done that before.

so, here's to you
love, me!

Hey Ya! - OutKast
Put it Down - Mike Doughty
Rock & Roll - Eric Hutchinson
Say Hey (I Love You) - Michael Franti & Spearhead
More Bacon Than the Pan Can Handle - Mike Doughty
1234 - Feist
The Little Things - Colbie Caillat
Love Song - Sara Bareilles
Modern Nature - Sondre Lerche
1,2,3,4 - Plain White T's
New Soul - Yael Naim
Many the Miles - Sara Bareilles
Mercy - Duffy
Forevermore - Katie Herzig
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay - Sara Bareilles
To Be Surprised - Sondre Lerche


When Only Living Out of Your Heart Will Do

Back in May, I left my contract position at Foundations Family Counseling, where I did outpatient counseling and ran an internship program for counseling students. It was a great gig and a place I am grateful to be connected to. But it was time for me to step away from counseling and supervising for a few reasons. On the darker side, I just wasn't doing it as well as I wanted to. With my back pain and the ongoing fatigue and moodiness that comes with constant pain, I was distracted at best. On the brighter side, I walked away so that I would have more time and energy to pursue my dreams of writing on a professional level.

I was still leading one therapy group at a residential treatment center in the foothills, once a week. So, in the back of my mind, I had the safety net of being able to say "I am a therapist" when asked at cocktail parties (because, you know, we are big cocktail party people here in Colorado). Then, a few weeks ago, I got notice that they couldn't afford to pay me anymore, and my contract was not renewed. Something started shifting inside, right around this time. I have been working as a nanny since the winter and have been increasingly dissatisfied with it. The family is nice enough, it just wasn't for me. So, I started looking for new jobs. Knowing that I have made a commitment to take time away from counseling, I started looking for a new nanny job. Quickly, I realized that I wanted nothing to do with nannying. I was looking for these jobs out of a sense of fear - a fear that I don't have any other talents or abilities outside of counseling.

Herb was supportive in helping me realize that I needed to wait and come up with something that works a little better for me. So, I took his advice. Things are still being worked out, but it looks like I am going to focus on writing and taking care of my back (and the home). For work, I am planning on teaching some Creative Living Workshops at Vaun Swanson's new Pomegranate Place. The website is not up yet, but it is a women's center where people can go to take classes, workshops, and just find solace in the company of other women. She is renovating a century old mansion in the city as we speak and if all goes well, it will be up and running by the fall. This gives me the entire month of August (at least) to dream and scheme as I pull my ideas for classes together.

As a result of pulling the plug on my nanny job, I have seen what a difference it makes to the heart when you live out of obligation versus your passion. Once I gave my notice to the family I work for, my eyes and heart expanded. I started paying attention to my life again. I came off of auto-pilot and started living the things that are important to me. I have been writing several times a week, working out and cooking healthier meals (and losing weight!), and taking better care of our home. What I am learning from all of this is the importance of doing things that bring us life and give us the chance to pour life out to other people. More than that, I am learning that when we do things that we don't like and don't fit into our value system, it matters.


a glorious invitation

credit: design sponge; apartment of teresa grow
this painting.
OH, this painting.
i love when i see something
or hear something
that stirs so deep
the truest of places
of myself.
of my heart.
of my hope
for what might be true
about myself
and about life
and about god
and love.
i love when this place is nudged,
gently woken up by a warm hand
placed on a shoulder
and a whisper is uttered,
"it is okay to wake up now.
to come out and play again.
there is hot cocoa on the stove
and at least one other person
in the world who is glad you are around.
wake up, will you?
it matters greatly that you do.
oh, how it matters!"


wHaT We'Ve bEEn dOing aRounD hErE

* enjoying cool, sunny colorado summer weather - complete with the afternoon rain we have not seen in 7 or 8 years!
* a great visit with two fun girlies from new mexico
* "driving miss mary, 2009" . . . a nice trip to see my mom and drive her around, post eye surgery
* homemade crab cakes!
* an amazing surprise date that i planned for herb: yummy happy hour on pearl street mall and a great mark cohn concert in boulder
* being introduced to the musical genius that is katie herzig . . . the opening act for mark cohn!
* getting sweet little thank you notes for planning said surprise date in the form of gifted iTunes songs
* looking forward to a week off of work, followed by a girls weekend in boulder with my sister!
* playing in the garden and enjoying fresh herbs in the kitchen!
* riding our bikes

life is pretty nice around these parts.
what have you been up to so far this summer?