And We’re Back

DEC 27

Bug and I just got back from a bible conference that we try to attend every year. It’s something I did with my parents when I was a kid and now I’m finding myself doing as a parent. It’s a very strange journey I’ve been on to get there. I could go into a lot of back story (and I have in the past in ways I’m not proud of so I won’t be linking) but I don’t really want to dwell on that. Just know that this is a something of a struggle for me. I was very happy to be there though.

I did take notes during the meetings too. No, I was not sketching during meeting! I tried very hard NOT to doodle and to listen instead. I’m glad I opened my ears up, even if my heart was wrapped up in protective duct tape. Because my ears heard a lot of things that my heart needed.

So, what I’m trying to say is what you see here in these illos is everything BUT what the conference was about. Not that I’m trying to keep what conference was about secret. I’m not. I have notes. I will share! I just don’t know if I should share here. I know that Christians should expect to be hated for their faith and I should embrace that but I’m scared. Plus, I don’t think preaching from a blog is exactly the best way to help others, even if it’s just scrawled notes from a moleskin. So I’m keeping it private but if you want to know more email me.

DEC 28

In other notes: I did not know that so many meeting people read my blog. It’s a bit unnerving! I feel like I should clean up my language (even though I hardly cuss) and talk a bit less about drinking alcohol (even though I rarely drink) but I guess if you read this blog it’s a bit late for me to go around cleaning things up now. Besides I’m already trying really hard not to be snarky and hurt people’s feelings so if I get any more wholesome I might just write myself out of existence.

What else…. hmmm. How about some photos?

Sleeping in the car

This is Bug asleep on our way to the conference. It was a two hour drive to Burbank (I think. I didn’t time it) and she just couldn’t stay awake. Which is fine except her hair got mussed up a bit. I tried to do her hair everyday (unlike at home where I let her be a raggamuffin everyday) but her hair is so fine it just slips right out of whatever hair-do I’ve done it in and flies away of it’s own accord. Sort of like our human nature. Anyway!

My Dad Knits

This is my Dad, knitting. He’s a such a sweet old man now. I love how he is aging. I hope I age like him. You know he’s a trucker right? A knitting trucker!!! Ha ha! We all love that about him. He’s working on slippers and trying to perfect the toe that has some problems. If you bought some slippers from him and you have toe-poking-out problems, please contact my Mom so my Dad can fix them! (He doesn’t have internet in his truck yet.)

McDonald's to the rescue

Here is Bug eating McDonald’s. She wasn’t a fan of conference food. She did like the deserts but unfortunately I have a no-desert policy if you don’t eat your dinner so it was a bit of a struggle for both of us. I thought the food was fine. She starved. And then one day I broke down and walked across the street so she could have a happy meal.

drawing

This is me sketching. I love the pictures Bug takes of me. Even if they do capture my bad posture. They give me a glimpse of what I really look like and now I know exactly what my back will look like when I’m 60. I really should straighten up.

I don't match

I really do dress like this. I don’t care what you think, obviously.

in red tights like Mommy

I dress my kid like that too! Actually the only way I got her to wear this cute red dress instead of the thin t-shirt weight pink one that is covered with hearts was to bribe her with matching-mommy tights. Phew! That was a close one. I don’t even know why I packed that silly pink heart dress. I’m so sick of it.

Rapunzel

Here is my niece, Rapunzel, the day after conference. We walked to Starbucks together just her and I. Bug stayed with Grandma and bounced on the bed with her cousin SuperChic. Rapunzel is growing up so fast. I just want to squeeze her before the little girl in her is all gone. But she sort of looks little here. Maybe it’s the angle. She is ONLY eleven after all.

bouncing cousins

Little enough to join in the bouncing when we got back to my mom’s hotel room. What’s the fun in staying in a hotel room if you can’t jump on the bed a little, right?

cousins

They bounced themselves silly and then they plopped down and were quiet for one whole minute.

that bottom picture

Since we’re going through the pictures one by one, I might as well ramble about this one. That picture on the bottom scared me sooo bad. You don’t see a face there on the right do you? Let me explain.

Bug and I had our own room and I slept fitfully because we happened to be on the same floor as a band from Guatemala who were performing in the Rose Parade. They were great kids except for the fact that the guy next door to us didn’t have a key and had to pound on the door every hour all night long. I’m not even kidding. I guess his buddies slept soundly because they never opened the door right away. What he was doing up all night, I have no idea.

Anyway it’s a good thing the meetings were about how the world will persecute us and how we should be thankful for the good things and the bad things because I think I would have gone out there in my pajamas and given those tuba-playing band members a piece of my mind if I hadn’t have recently decided to take up praying more often. So I prayed and I prayed and only broke down and called security twice. Which did nothing, really.

Later on that night I had a terrible nightmare all about werewolves and vampires and friends who turned into red-eyeballed clawed creatures. I woke up in a sweat and right there on the wall was this creepy photo of a theatre staring back at me. Except instead of buildings and palm trees all I could see was a masked man wearing a fedora and a dead body where the street lights hit the road. I stared at it and stared at it and the face would not go away. In fact the face was so strong I didn’t know why I didn’t see it in the day time. It even seemed like the masked guy was smiling at me with a wicked grin. It creeped me out so bad I almost called my Dad on the phone to come over and sit with me until the nightmare would shake itself free from me.

God works in mysterious ways because just then as I sat in my bed shaking with fear over some silly picture on the wall, the guy in the band next door started to bang again. I have never been so thankful for stupid high school kids who like to stay awake at three in the morning. I don’t know if they were on drugs and I should be thankful for that but their banging comforted me. They didn’t speak English but just knowing that they were there and I could scream out if the masked man in the picture suddenly came to life comforted me.

kids

So that’s my story. Let’s just say I was very glad to wake up one last time and see that the sun was finally up. I stared at that photo in the light and I couldn’t for the life of me see that scary face again. I guess I should have taken a photo of it at night. I did think about doing that at the time but I was too afraid to get up and get my camera because everybody knows if you get out of bed when you have a nightmare, the bony hand under the bed will grab your foot!