31.5.12

Enjoy Project | Children's Books + Front Royal


"Good night, little girls!
Thank the Lord you are well!
And now go to sleep!"
Said Miss Clavel.  
Ludwig Bemelmans - Madeline
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"We'll end up hand in hand, somewhere down on the sand, just me and you."  
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"We'll drive until the city lights, dissolve into a country sky, just me and you."
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For Memorial Saturday we drove over to the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The Skyline Drive starts in Front Royal, Virginia at the Shenandoah National Park.  Caleb smelled good.  He wore his new H&M shirt.
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The roads were winding.  The trees were green.  Me and you.
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Oh, it was "almost Heaven." We love "West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains,  Shenandoah River." "Life is old there, older than the trees!" Older than you and me. 
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We have many nicknames.  I call him Slim Jim, Cowboy, Corn Cob, Short Stack, Mister Mister, Cockatoo, Morrison, Lone Ranger, Stallion (and sometimes Mare... but I'm just teasing.)  He calls me Little, Silly Woman, Rose of Sharon (also teasing),  Red Robin, Sweet Elizabeth Jane, Baby Doll, You. 
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Sometimes I call him Country Roads.  Sometimes he calls me Mountain Mama.  We don't have a lot of money.  And I'm afraid of mice.

(free - zac brown band // country roads - john denver)

30.5.12

Enjoy Pinterest | Prints + Images


I don't think my favorite blog posts on other people's blogs are the "Here are some of my Pinterest pins!" posts.  I'm kind of like "Well, if I wanted to know what is on your Pinterest, I'd look there."  So I don't know why I'm posting this Pinterest post?  I'M A HYPOCRITE? Okay?  ;)
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kris atomic
I actually feel bloody attractive in my giant-to-my-knees-hoodie and giant-past-my-knees-basketball-shorts.  Especially if I haven't shaved in a bit!
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busy bee lauren
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felt & wire shop
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marta writes

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penguin delight
Not to go all rambly about money and careers, but gracious is this true.  I'm learning to love those things in life that cost nearly nothing.  We recently took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course.  Our biggest "change" in lifestyle is the way we spend, especially on food.  Caleb and I don't live together, but practically every night after work, a shower and a change of clothes, he comes over to my house for dinner.  Our goal is about $1.75 per meal per person, making the monthly food budget $150 (each).  It's so much fun to try to meet this goal.  I think the process is even more fun than the results!  It makes eating out a huge treat; one that we feel like we've really earned and are ever-so-blessed by.  It's not for everyone, but it's helped to enjoy simplicity and not be as fearful about "will we be able to afford next month?"
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kitschy living 
Last exciting randomness of the day? I'm Kristen the Facebook Page has 1,000 likes!  That was a nice little milestone to realize yesterday :D  Ah, the simple things. Hannah Kurtz, you made my day!
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Now to the rest of you? No Pinterest posts, okay? ;)  Juuuust kidding.

24.5.12

Enjoy Project | Making Things | Memories + Food + Books

"we ate well and cheaply, 
and drank well and cheaply,
... and loved each other."
ernest hemingway | a moveable feast    
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(I think I need this for our new "married" house, come August.  It's exactly what I hope our marriage will be.)

For our one year anniversary last month I finally became an official girlfriend/fiance'.  I made a memory book. Everyone knows that the sign of true love is a memory book.  And homemade gift certificates (for things like back rubs, long hugs, homemade meals and "one-watch-whatever-movie-you-want!")  But we did gift certificates aaaaaages ago.  One Year of Together seemed liked the perfect time for this book!

The cover was all cool and trendy and modern and "whoa" with our first yellow-pink plastic spoon combo.  The first time we got frozen yogurt we used these spoons.  It's tradition now! 
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Then I had to do a collage.  Because.  Doing 213 of them in middle school just wasn't enough.  
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This page is from December 2010! How has it gone so quickly?Photobucket
I can't wait to tell this part of the story...
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And this part of the story!
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I can't wait to use this idea again!  Wrapping presents in pages from travel magazines? Uuuh, so fun.
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CalebCaleb loved it.  Now we can really get married ;)
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The next three pictures are just for the joy of food.  Go make Smitten Kitchen's Roasted Buttermilk Chicken.  And then eat it on your deck.  Or sidewalk.  Or roof.  Or at least near a window.  It's the good life.
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Last month I made mini-cheesecakes.  I asked Caleb to put the berries on top.  I was expecting maybe a strawberry on one, three black berries on another, something like that?  Or art.  My little Cheescake Angel.  Bless his heart.
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Lastly, a sweet lady named Lori e-mailed a picture of her gorgeous daughter with the cinnamon pull-apart bread I made in March.  (Remember how neat and orderly I was?)  Lori's e-mail made my day!  And I couldn't help but show you all, too!
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So I guess this post can really be all tied together with the above pin: "We ate well and cheaply, and drank well and cheaply... and loved each other." Such a good life.  

22.5.12

Enjoy People | Personal Thank You + Catch-Up

i'll be eighty-seven; you'll be eighty-nine
i'll still look at you like the stars that shine
taylor swift - mary's song  
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My friends.  Thank you.  The six posts of "our story" come with the most supportive as well as scathing words from those reading along.  These Oh My My My posts are easily my most read and viewed posts this year (side from our phenomenal engagement story.)  Turns out y'all like Caleb too! Thank you for reading, thank you for saying something when you read, thank you for encouraging me on in writing.

It might seem silly, but this story is by far the hardest thing I've ever blogged.  It's hard because I couldn't possibly put in words what is in my heart.  It's hard because this is my life - I can feel vulnerable.  It's fairly easy to repeat to you a story I heard about someone else at an engagement shoot, but putting my life "out there" is an entirely different animal.  It's hard because it's Caleb's life.  It's hard because I regret decisions I made during this story.  It's hard because I can't even tell the whole story.  It's hard because you, the readers, will never understand how much God did in us and with us.  Though I am quite looking forward to telling you about our happiest and hardest and then happiest days together, you'll never know exactly what happened.  It's hard because some readers will only think of us as a cutesy-coo little couple and nothing deeper, while others will continue to make assumptions and despise us.  It's hard because I've been somewhat-secretly dreaming of writing a book someday.  Telling this story is a little bit of a trial run to see if my writing is as welcomed as my photography.  It's hard because I make lots of typos.  And each post takes me hours to write.  It's hard because when I push "publish" and let my heart and self out to be seen and scrutinized, I might be misunderstood.  It's hard because I am critical of my writing abilities. It's hard because, as Charlie Brown says,  "You not only can't explain love, actually, you can't even talk about it." I love him so.  I really do.

And truthfully, if the first few posts had had a "blah" response - maybe no one hated the story, but maybe it was "eh, whatever" - I don't think I would have kept blogging it. (I'd like to think I would have kept on writing just for myself and my man, though!) Please know, more than any other time in my entire career, your support and kindness (and occasional mean-ness!) has kept this writing going.  

I was looking for a reaction - good or bad! I don't think our story is boring, but if you all did?  Well, no body likes a boring story!  So thank you: please keep telling me what you think... and you really can be honest.  You don't have to like it!  But if you do, feel free steal or pin that above picture and link back to the Oh My My My series.  I absolutely love when I come across new love stories online - and if any of you are inspired to right yours out, please tell me!  The Enjoy Project is really a desire deep in me to share and connect with people. I want you to know the real me.  I want to know the real you's.  And the real you's have blessed and encouraged me tremendously.  Thank you!

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In other news!  Life has been rich.  If you follow along on instagram, twitter or Facebook, you saw that I was able to be a little bridesmaiden last week!  I'm in awe of how different it is to be in a wedding rather than to shoot a wedding.  Congratulations Stephen and Abbie!



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The wedding was near the Philadelphia area and Caleb had a job starting Monday in New York.  The plan was for me to drive back to Maryland on Sunday, and he'd depart at the same time for Syracuse.  But when the time came, I just couldn't leave him.  So I went with him!  The work was going to take at least 10 days and the little corn-cob was awfully sick.  I only had one pair of pajama's and a few skirts (rehearsal dinner options, of course) and a bridesmaids dress!  But it was pure bliss to scrape wallpaper and just be near my favorite person.  And be called "shmoopy" (from Seinfeld? Anyone?) by the rest of the crew ;)
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I couldn't stay long though.  I left Wednesday morning to make it home in time for a bachelorette weekend starting Thursday!  The second wedding I'll be in this year is for my little Julie and her smart yet daffy James. The bridesmaids whisked Jules away for a weekend of eating, dressing-up, the boardwalk, dancing, movies, sleeping-in and mockery.  It was the best.
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Now I'm home.  Mr. McMuffin gets home from New York today.  We might go to a baseball game.  We might die from happiness.  We might do both.  Oh my my my.

;)

21.5.12

Enjoy Writing | Oh My My My | Part 6

the black clouds i'm hanging
this anchor i'm dragging
the white caps of memory
confusing and violent
josh ritter - change of time



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part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 

After shouting for and whistling at all the fourteen Morris family members, we finally ventured outside to begin the shoot.  I had a brilliant plan to take all the pictures, and then release the oldest boys to carry on with their oh-so-important Saturday plans.  After they left I'd conduct my "interview" with the rest of the children and specifically the Mr. and Mrs.  I wanted to ask questions and pick their brains and hear their story in their owns words.  But the twins didn't need to stick around for that.  I happily leaped across the driveway out to a sunny fence and began positioning faces and checking exposure.  The kids were quiet and responsive.  After I was content with the number of group shots I had taken, I really wanted to spend some alone time with Terry and Cindy.  I took the two of them up near the barn and instructed them like it was an engagement shoot.  "Alright!  The closer and cuddlier you are, the better!  Feel free to touch and kiss and goof around as much as you want!"  Terry kicked his foot into the ground "Man, I like that sound of THAT!"  Cindy smiled with her whole face.  It didn't take long to discover that Terry was infatuated with his bride.  He was staring, caressing, squeezing, smooching and staring more at his girl.  I was fascinated.  Often I find older, long-married couples to have a comfort-level, a rhythm, a unity, a strength that newlyweds just don't have.  But it's marvelous to watch a man literally leaping and wooping with joy over his wife of 24 years.   "Wow.  Not many girls find a guy like that," I thought to myself.  I was taken aback.  For the next thirty minutes they twirled, laughed, sat on straw and smooched.  

When the shoot was finished the dew had melted off the pick-up trucks and wire fences.  The littlest children had play-dates with grasshoppers and chickens.  The mister and missus with whichever children wanted to participate planned on letting me interview them.  That sounds intense.  Planned on letting me talk with them. Ask them questions.  I wanted to hear from the parents about their story.  I wanted to hear from their children about their marriage.  The oldest boys were released to leave at this point.  They had houses waiting to be built.  "Thank you so much for taking pictures!  We're going to do a little interview thing now, so you boys are welcome to leave.  I know you have some work to do," I prompted as we funneled inside. Caleb interjected "Oh! No, it's fine.  We don't have to leave now.  We have plenty of time."  It was the second thing he'd ever said to me.  
The whole family gathered around for a time of sharing and speaking.  I studied Mr. Morris' body language. His hand was on his wife's knee.  His hand around her back.  He scooted as close as he could to her.  His body was turned her direction.  When she perhaps was a little weepy, his thumb rubbed her knuckles.  It was a beautiful time I will never forget.  Once the "interview" was done, and in keeping with all the midwest hospitality I'd heard about, there was an offer to stay for hamburgers.  That didn't work with the schedule, I apologized.  But before I headed to POPS and a day with Dre and Becca, I flew through the wind and red dirt roads on a 4-wheeler.  I almost killed a Morris daughter who rode with me.  No one told me the brakes on the vehicle were BROKEN.  We truly missed a dangerous crash by a hair.  But gracious, it was fun.  My smile was huge.  My heart was full.  I felt strangely close to this whole family.  After a few hours I really, really loved them.  But I had things to do, and it was time to leave.  After a few jokes about the phrase "y'all" and firm hugs, I left the Morris Farm.  The entire afternoon and evening was spent with my favorite funny little couple, eating burgers and wandering downtown Guthrie.  
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See my snazzy thin, wide bangs?
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Within 24 hours I was back in Maryland, but after my trip to Oklahoma I certainly found myself with sweet new friends - even Facebook said so. Mrs. Morris and I kept in touch frequently (she is quite the texter!). Mrs Morris had actually even invited me over for volleyball after church the day I left.  My flight prohibited that get-together from happening.  She insisted that I come back again.  I honestly wanted to.  Happy, large families are rare to come by, but they feel like home to me. 
As the weeks went on I was asked over and over to come visit.  I loved that the Morris' constantly had friends over.  Just a fast look at their blog showed friends (and strangers-turned-friends) at their house nearly weekly.  I didn't find it odd or suspicious; that's just how these people are.  The final hurrah-came when Mrs. Morris invited me to her annual Christmas party (as well as other friends in the area I knew).  This single, adventurous, scheming, spontaneous girl was convinced.  After all, many near-strangers (also known as: blog friends!) had invited me all over the country and I often went.  California, New York, Atlanta, Vancouver, Las Vegas - it was common for me to shell out the dollars and take whirlwind trips to visit people I barely knew.  Accepting this invitation was perfectly normal for me, but looking back it can be hard to believe that I didn't suspect anything.  Looking back, I'll fully admit: this trip was perhaps quite bizarre, ridiculous and schemed.  At the time? It only seemed natural.
Behind the scenes, there was a shy, smitten buckaroo.  Though we barely spoke five sentences to each other, meeting me during that photoshoot stirred something in Caleb.  Because, in fact, I was right.  The day I showed up on his property, he was interested in another girl. Somehow that short morning was enough for him to want the chance to see me again.  Little did I know that those five sentences were much, much more than he usually said to a girl he first met, let alone a girl he "felt" something with.  Whether this was by accident or by design, the strict courtship methods used in his homeschool program looked down on guys walking up to a cute girl and talking to her.  Caleb loves to joke (now) about the years of making eye-contact with girls for days on end, and never speaking a word to them, but thinking he "liked" the girl.  Poor boy.  He didn't know what to do.  Or what to say.  He'd like my Facebook statuses occasionally.  He'd stalk my page daily.  But he had no idea what else to do.  Hence my invitation to the Christmas party.  Mama Morris was going to do everything in her power to get me back to that farm!  
This trip was a few weeks before Christmas.  Friday afternoon I arrived at the same Baltimore airport I had flown out from in October.  I headed to security.  The officer who reviewed my ID and boarding pass signed off his name to prove that he had indeed reviewed my information.  His last name was "Morris."  Ha! Beneath my name, "Kristen Snyder," there was now scribbled in "Morris."  Eerie? Or just kind of funny.  Regardless, again I flew to flat nothing-ness and the land of cows.  Photobucket
I landed in the late afternoon with just enough time to get to the Morris' and get ready for the party.  The boys and men were all still away at work, and the women had the house looking like Miracle on 34th Street.  Desserts were baking, music was singing and the sun was setting.  Eventually the men arrived.  I greeted everyone, but I don't remember seeing or even saying anything to Caleb.  He says he couldn't wait to see me, but when he did he didn't know what to say.  A gaggle of girls crowded into a small bedroom lined with bunkbeds.  We arranged our hairs and painted our faces and smoothed the cloth on our bodies.  Caleb was a few doors down picking out his horrid outfit for the evening.  A pair of light wash jeans with a black Under Armour cropped turtleneck tucked into his jeans with a belt.  He wanted to show off his muscles.
Before long guests were at the door and the party began.  Hello's, hugs, unveiling of treats, prayers and conversation followed.  We played holiday games, sang holiday songs and partook in holiday cheer.  It was a night where time flew and also stood still.  I forgot there was a whole world outside the decorated walls.  I fought in giggles during inappropriate times - I was so amused by it all.  I met some lovely, disgustingly sweet, and adorably accented people.  I won the free-for-all-Spoons-game at the end of the night by tackling one of the guys and grabbing the spoon out of his hands.  As Friday evening turned into Saturday morning I was sent outside to go "snipe hunting."  I knew it was a prank, but I couldn't resist.  That night the nickname "Snipe" was coined.  The Morris' love their nicknames.  I had received a badge of honor.  I thought one of the Morris' friends was cute.  When my dad asked how the trip was going I told him about the friend.  "I think he likes somebody else.  All the cute, good guys do."  Aside from thinking his shirt was just ridiculous, I don't remember much of Caleb at all that night.  Apparently we talked for a little bit, but I couldn't tell you what we said if it would save my grandmother's life.  Caleb felt sparks.
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Some of the dudes with their White Elephant gifts.  Caleb has a lovely neck for a jewelry! ;)
The next morning is a bit of a blur.  By the afternoon we were out in the fields dirt-biking.  Let me elaborate: we were in the COW fields dirt-biking.  Where there were cows.  In the field. With us.  Were the cows.  There were probably ten of us kids out there and I was the first to ride a bike.  I strapped my helmet on and sailed away in clueless but prideful glory.  My heart was racing.  I should have asked more questions.  I'm going to die in a field.  Cows are going to stomp on me. Everyone is going to laugh when I crash.  I want to go faster.  I know I'm breaking this bike.  Turning is scary.  I was as stiff as startled baby while I rode.  Caleb thought it was adorable.  
When I finished my ride (accident free) Caleb wanted to get on and impress me.  I wanted to go inside and check my phone.  Signal wasn't great out there, but maybe a few texts slipped in.  I don't remember watching Caleb ride, but I do remember talking to his brothers while he was gone.  They were much more talkative and charming than he was.  All of a sudden everyone was screaming and running while mud flew and an engine roared! Caleb nearly smashed into us all.  It would have been hilarious if he'd been on roller skates.  But it made my heart tremble.  I am going to die in a field.  Caleb passed off the bike to another brother and tried to make small-talk with me.  He was getting a little desperate.  As we flitted through words and comments an alarming reality approached. 


The cows were all done with the field.  The wanted to kill us dirt-bike-riding-disruptive-hooligans!  They were charging.  All five or size or 12,000 of them.  Cows move quicker than you'd think.  I started yelling for everyone to take shelter behind the face.  The dust behind the cows was building.  Visions of the stampede in The Lion King galloped through my brain and beating heart.  No one was listening to me.  I ran like a banshee past the barn and clumsily crawled over the tall metal fence.  Most of the Morris' just stared back at me.  One of the sweet girls tried to assure me that it was alright.  I needn't worry.  They won't hurt us.  That's probably what everyone says before they're speared to death by cattle.  One of the brothers, Tig, laughed and laughed and laughed.  Lije jumped in.  "If you want to run away from a cow, you have to run in tight circles! Really, really, really tight circles." I practiced behind the fence.  I was spinning like Tara Lipinski's double axle.  "No, Snipe!  You're not moving!  You still have to run!  Just in circles!" They laughed and I decided to take a little break from the cows and machines inside.  It was glorious. And they all thought this worried "city girl" was a hoot.  Caleb thought I was hot.
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The rest of the weekend was filled with meeting more friends, going to the movies with the whole gang, late night McDonald's trips, volleyball, seeing the land and beginnings of homes the twins were building, holding goats on the couch, four-wheeling through wild hog territory, touring a deserted Oklahoma City in the dead of night, Sunday School, Pizza Hut, and ice-skating.  
All the while Caleb was trying desperately to get to know me better.  Why is it that men just adore girls who have no interest in them?  It's quite silly.  The more I kept busy with other people and activities, the harder he tried to be around.  But when he did have me for a moment (say, next to me during a car ride) he couldn't think of one blessed question to ask.  I'd tease him and carry right along, thinking nothing of it. I teased everyone.  I loved everyone.  It was one of the best weekends of my life.
The night before I left (Sunday night) it finally dawned on me.  All weekend I had missed, chosen to ignore, or talked myself out of believing that Caleb had a little thing for me.  But as a caravan of three trucks with nearly a dozen boisterous young adults pulled into a closed McDonalds, everything changed.  We had planned to get one last ice cream for the weekend, but since the Golden Arches had shut down for the night, we decided to go buy some BlueBell and eat back on the farm.  Caleb and his friend were riding in a old-yet-perfect manual-shift pick-up truck.  I was in a different truck.  At McDonalds Caleb got out of the stick-shift truck and headed towards mine.  In a split-second I jumped out of my truck and ran into the stick-shift truck with Caleb's friend.  The friend and I sat there, waiting for everyone else to load up.  I promised the friend I could drive very very carefully and well.  He believed me.  I said something funny, and the friend laughed.  Then all of a sudden the friend was gone, and Caleb was in the passenger seat beside me.  Caleb looked at me with huge, shocked, silent eyes and jumped out of the truck.  I was alone in the driver side of the bench seat.  The friend pushed Caleb back into the truck.  Caleb popped up a second time and I heard multiple "No! No! Nooo!"s.  The friend fought back.  "Dude, GET in the TRUCK."  "I can't, stop it, I can't," Caleb waged.  "Yes you can! Get. In. The. Truck!" in a very Noah-telling-Allie-to-swing-on-the-rope-into-the-swimming-hole voice.  Caleb wasn't going down easy.  He pushed the friend (we'll call this nameless friend "Tyler") into the car next to me and sheepishly sliding in afterwards.  The three of us sat in a split-second of squished, stunned silence.  And then the rest of the trucks started pulling out, so I got into driving-mode.  Keep the brake down.  Turn the key. Put it in reverse. Release clutch. Gah.  Tyler's shoulders were overlapping mine.  His knees were touching the steering wheel.
"Hey Snipe!  I need to get some gas in this ol' thing.  Pull in here!" Tyler was making his move, he had Caleb's back.  As I pulled into the gas station, Tyler got his wallet out.  When I stopped, he made Caleb get out of the car to let himself out.  While Tyler pumped gas, Caleb got back in with me.  We sat in silence.  I knew what was happening.  I knew Tyler knew.  I knew everybody knew.  I knew Caleb knew I knew.  How could I not?  He followed me all weekend.  He somehow managed to hold my hand every time we did chains on the ice-skating rink.  He was never more than one seat away.  Of course, Kristen.  He crashed his dirt bike in front of you!  Tyler inched back into the truck.  A much slimmer, perfect-postured, blonde boy was next to me now.  I was confused on how this happened.  I wear jeans, doesn't he know?!  I watch America's Next Top Model! Because I have cable TV!  I believe in the gift of tongues today - and I argued with his father about it over dinner!  My bathroom is just a mess and I go spray-tanning and I've gone on a handful of dates with other guys!  And I hate live animals! Tyler - loud, funny, obvious Tyler - broke my stream of thoughts.  "Guys!  You have to listen to this song!  I get chills every time I hear it.  No joke, man.  It's good stuff. Good stuff."  
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The song started to play.  It was a long live version, so it played for the remainder of the drive.  We all sat in the dark night, maneuvering through dirt roads.  "Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy."  "I didn't come here for this." "We are His portion and He is our prize!" "He thinks I'm a carnival show. This is nothing.  He thinks I'm literally like a merry-go-round."  "If grace is an ocean we're all sinking."  "I'm not what he's looking for."  "Whoa, how He loves us." "What is he doing? There is no way this is serious. No way."  "Yeah, He loves us! Oh! How He loves us!" "Mmm. Yes, He loves us." Kim Walker started speaking on the track: "Tonight, God wants you to feel His love, His amazing love.  Without it these are just songs, these are just words."  Tears singed my lids.  "Oh, how He loves us. Oh, how He loves. Yeah, He loves us!"  I breathed heavy and hung on every word.  I think I even sang along.  Actually, I know I did.  And I didn't care or even realize I wasn't in the car alone.  I can't really explain it other than to say that I knew God was near to me.  I all of a sudden felt very overwhelmed with fears and impending failure.  "God, please help him not be serious.  He's not serious.  I know he's not serious.  He thinks I'm a carnival show!  Like a sparkly, noisy attraction for children.  Not anything serious."  We made the turn onto their gravel driveway and I was thrilled.  I determined to shut off my mind and dream this little predicament away.  The kids and friends rallied inside, hollering about "Cookies and cream? Or chocolate?" I shuttle myself into the bedroom and texted my dad.  I stayed in bed the rest of the night.  I'd be leaving at 6:30 am in the morning.  I don't have to see Caleb again.  I didn't say good-night or good-bye or even eat any Bluebell Ice Cream.  I vanished from the promising evening, full of worry.
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In Oklahoma City for the afternoon - before I realized Caleb liked me ;)
When I woke up the next morning and headed home to Maryland I drearily told my parents and friends the news.  "I think Caleb likes me."  I was frustrated with myself.  I really didn't want to hurt him - I didn't want to hurt anyone! Like I wrote before, my post-high-school years were almost strangely filled with relational hurt.  Me being hurt by people, and me hurting other people.  I was burnt out.  And I didn't want to even think about "the situation," or even the possibility of there being hurt because of me.  I'm the sort of girl that cries about turning guys down - and I don't cry about anything.  My stomach turns when I think about relationships being ruined.  I hate when relationships are ruined.  My heart aches.  I believe God "makes all things new."  That He "redeems and He restores."  But for the most part, the big friendship fall-outs I've witnessed or been a part of have never been "like the used to be."  That's probably okay, but it's still hard.  And my head, heart and smile had been so free, so full, so genuinely happy all weekend long, without a care in the world.  I was so happy.  And now I was afraid it was going to "all be ruined."
My dad told me that Caleb would get in touch with me within two days.  I lied to myself and said he'd never e-mail.  It was nothing.  Within two hours I had a Facebook message.


(to be continued...)