The Blog

Who Needs a Uterus Anyway?

I had this little procedure done back in April where they removed my uterus and ovaries.  Ya know, a complete hysterectomy.  I’ve put off talking about it or sharing any of the intimate details because I wanted to allow my body time to process and heal and absorb its new reality.  It’s time.  I’ve healed, I’ve processed and I want all you ladies to hear a few key morsels of advice from the other side.  Note, this is advice from MY experience and it’s not going to be true for the rest of the female race.

Not having my reproductive organs means…..

  1. NO PERIODS friends.  Zero bleeding, zero cramps, zero bloating, zero gas build up (as it relates to the flow), zero rage against your life mood swings, zero cravings.  Did I mention zero bleeding?  It’s all gonzo.  Fo-eva.
  2. NO PERIODS friends.  It needs to be stated again for effect.
  3. My risk of ovarian or uteran cancer?  Zero percent.  Take THAT cancer jerk.
  4. No tampons and light days taking up real estate in my purse.  No 14 year light day wrappers in the depths of the pockets either.
  5. No more influx of ibuprofen (3 every 3 hours) entering my body, causing crazy constipation.  Sorry, these are facts ladies.
  6. No more wondering if I might some day, some how, by the grace of God, perhaps, let’s keep hoping, miracles happen, everyone says as soon as you stop trying it’ll happen, get pregnant.  15 years of all THAT nonsense is no longer a thing in my mind or my heart.  No more reproductive organs equals closure.  It really does, which has been a gift wrapped in the prettiest bow from God above.
  7. Less money spent on all the period products equals more money for wine.  That’s how I like to think of it.  It helps with all the wine purchases.
  8. More available days for sex with the hubs.  Who am I kidding, that’s not on my pro’s list, but it’s a big bold check mark in the male column.

I might need to re-visit #6 right quick.  Because it’s a big thing, the whole “infertility” bullet point.  When I sat across from Dr. Johnny (the raddest OB in town), I was very firm on wanting it all out.  Done.  Over with.  Good riddance.  Tim maybe not so exuberant on the matter, but supportive none-the-less.  In my gut, I feared how I would feel about the decision when it was said and done.  I feared the grief that might flood me over the loss of a lifetime of dreams and expectations coming to a surgical end.  I feared the hormonal roller coaster that might define my moods following surgery.  As did Tim, BY the way.  Dr. Johnny explained that the emotional turmoil my body went through since I started my cycle in the southern suburbs of Chicago in 1992 was far worse than anything I would experience following the hysterectomy.  He told us that all the years of doctors putting me on birth control and menopause inducing drugs WRECKED my body’s ability to regulate and know which way was up.  It was poor medicine and he was the first one to recognize it as such.  I had a body that didn’t know what to do with estrogen.  It fought estrogen with fierce internal kickboxing skills.  Turns out my fighting abilities were spot on, but wreaked havoc in my world.  On so many levels.

Image result for pictures of no more uterus

We knew, other than a Mary Mother of Jesus miracle taking place, we couldn’t get pregnant.  It was confirmed over and over and over.  We were spent from it all and I was spent fighting my body’s desire to beat to its own drum.  There’s a place for beating to your own drum, but my uterus no longer deserved that right.  She and I were never friends really.  Maybe frienemies.  I’d consider that title since she did allow me the gift of my children.  So we scheduled the surgery and lined up two weeks of mother-may-I-ask-you-to-cook,-clean-and-take-care-of -my-children-while-I-lie-in-bed-and-sleep-and-not-answer-to-anyone-time.  Dr. Johnny performed his robotic magic, I went home that night (against my better judgement) and spent the next month physically recovering.  Other than a ill-timed UTI, the recovery was seamless and actually quite lovely.  I did nothing, cooked nothing, drove nowhere, read all the things, binged Jane the Virgin, ignored my children because the expectation for being ignored was made very clear from the beginning, drank coffee, gazed at ALL the flowers my people delivered, and ate delicious meals prepared by an amazing community of people who loved on us.  I barely needed pain meds friends.  God blessed the whole removal of my uterus in remarkable ways.  The emotional recovery turned out to be not even a real thing.  I feel better emotionally than I have since, well 1992.  The natural supplements Dr. J has me on fill me with bee pollen and God grown additives that sound very fancy and natural.  They keep the hot flashes to a minimum and my mood stable.  Sleeping was a struggle for the first few months, but even that has evened out.  And did I mention I don’t get my period anymore?  I don’t.  Ever.  Again.  Image result for pictures of no more uterus

All of this to say, ladies and their gents, I’m on Camp Hysterectomy (if it makes sense for your world of course).  I’m willing to pronounce my allegiance publicly and so here I am.  If you live in Colorado and you’re considering the removal of your uterus, call me.  Dr. Johnny is your man.  Happy weekend.  If you would like to stitch (sew, knit, I don’t know what it all means) me the little gem featured, you go RIGHT ahead.  I will hang it in my closet.


Not Cray Cray, Just Highly Sensitive

If I need to prepare food and my kitchen counter is taken hostage by darling 1st grade drawings, Lego ninja characters, oatmeal buggers, orange juice glasses, and Pokemon cards….watch out.  Mama loses her mojo.  Instantly.  Functioning becomes nearly impossible, at least functioning in a reasonable, pleasant manner.  That counter top becomes my number ONE priority and my heart rate soars to frantic measures.  ALL the things become frustrating as I’m tornadoing through my kitchen.  My husband finds tasks that need immediate attention on the other side of the house and the children, naive to the scenario, continue to be themselves, adding to my tornado.  Note…I couldn’t even stand posting a picture of a messy counter top.  

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Until I finished Anne Bogel’s new book, Reading People, I assumed I was all kinds of crazy in situations like this one.  Unreasonable, too focused on order and not at all able to handle it when things weren’t calm and simple.  It bothered me and yet, there it was.  Me.  My husband is NOT me and flows with the ease of a beautiful stream.  Always calm, bubbling, serene, and predictable.  I love streams.  They are a happy happy place for me.  But I am NOT a stream.  Chapter 3 changed my life a bit and I would love to tell you why.  Because if your kitchen counter top drives to a point of no return (or very slow return), there’s hope.

Anne explains, “High sensitivity is a hardwired physiological trait that affects 15-20% of the population, across species, not just humans…..high sensitivity describes people whose nervous systems are more receptive to stimuli than those of the general population.  This means they are more attuned to subtleties in their surroundings and are more easily overwhelmed by highly stimulation environments.  Their internal “radar” for detecting external stimuli is quite good, but it takes energy to keep that radar operational, which can be exhausting.”

BAM. Keep talkin’ Anne.  “The brains of HSP’s process information, such as that brought in through the five senses, more thoroughly than nonsensitive types.  They also process experiences more deeply than those who lack the trait.  They dwell on things more and longer than the rest of the population.  They catch subtle cues that others miss.  Their emotional reaction is stronger – to the positive and negative.”

This is an actual thing.  The need to have a clean counter top is an actual thing.  My dwellyness is an actual thing.  My deep feelings and internal radar for so many things are actual things.  My inability to attend a Fall festival with face painting, carnies hanging from ropes, and a grunge teenage band in training in the 89 degree heat and come home a disaster emotionally? It’s an actual thing.  Turns out, I’m not irrational and crazy, I’m Highly Sensitive.  And I’m not alone.  Other peeps get this and feel it too.  Hallelujah.

We’ve known for quite some time that our 10 year old is a sensitive little human, but we attributed that to his spectrumyness (that’s really the best word I’ve found to describe it).  After Chapter 3 entered my world, I now see that he too is an HSP.  Just like his Mama.  God bless my husband.  My little man is never just a little hungry or tired.  He’s sprawled across the chair, upside down, moaning in tiredness.  On the brink of never  walking again.  And this is at the ripe hour of 8am.  Dramatic?  Yes.  Highly Sensitive?  That too.

Anne says, “HSP’s need white space, both literal and metaphorical.  In a sea of input, HSP’s need some rest from the tidal wave of sensory input.  This is so their brains can sort through the backload to clear those inevitable jam ups.”  Later she explains, “The people, the lights, and the noise combine for a nonstop assault on their senses.”

Our dude is constantly challenged with the backload.  I don’t know that it ever clears for him.  I’m thankful to understand now how he feels in relation to this highly sensitive person reality.  I get so much of it.  He doesn’t get it quite yet, but he feels it.  Now I can get it on his behalf and try to explain to others how it feels.  God made me this way and 38 years later, perhaps I can see why and maybe even be grateful for it.  As often as I want to move to the country side in Tennessee, where there are very few options and choices at my disposal, I can smile internally, knowing just how rational that thought is for an HSP.

Anne ends the chapter highlighting the beauty found in many HSP’s and that left me feeling uplifted and proud of my HSP camp.  “They have laser-like focus and dedicate boatloads of attention to the things they care about.”  Yes I do.  To a fault at times.  “This trait makes you a kind and caring friend, an empathetic and wise counselor, an insightful employee, and a spiritual seeker.”  Thank you very much.  “They’re extremely perceptive, picking up on all sorts of things nonsensitive types miss.  They are really good at deep conversation and are eager to explore meaningful topics.  And they’re creative.”  Sigh.  That’s me in a tightly wrapped paragraph.  Anne explains that she thinks of her HSP child as an orchid, requiring a very specific environment to bloom.  She says that while the idea isn’t new, she never thought it applied to her.  She needs careful mental and physical upkeep in order to stay balanced.   I second all those thoughts.


Thank you Modern Mrs. Darcy for taking the time to explain what it means to be ourselves in so many comprehensive and insightful ways through this book.  Friends, this was just one chapter.  There are nine more where that came from and they’re equally intriguing and enlightening.  And, considering the significance of this Monday for our country and our world, here’s a link to an excellent post Anne shared this morning on managing anxiety.





Pre-order Anne’s book HERE.  Really, order it.  It’s being released on September 19th.  Giddy up!  Every.single.human needs to read this book.  Well, not the humans who can’t read.  Everyone else.





Doing Hard Things

We work pretty hard over here on encouraging our kids to do hard things.  Hard things are really hard when life in general feels really hard.  Does that make sense?  For our son, going to the basement without a sidekick is really hard.  Walking past an ant is hard most days.  Thunder is really hard since it might mean a flood or a hurricane.  Yes, we live in Denver.  Doesn’t matter.  The things we take for granted as being non-issues in our day to day can overwhelm our Dude.  New situations and new environments that are unpredictable and uncomfortable raise his sensitivites to levels that feel physically uncomfortable.  We’ve learned when to push him and when to offer grace and understanding.  Doesn’t mean we’re good at practicing these things, but we’re far better at it now than we were in years past.

Starting 5th grade is a big whompin deal.  For all of us.  We start our year before that first bell rings with teacher meetings, discussions about fears and capabilities and expectations, lots of hugging and deep breath prayers.  We expect bumps, peaks and hope for a lot of flat land.  Flat land is really good land.  Dude’s first days went really well, so much so that his morning teacher called to tell me so.  BLESS.  When I picked him up on that first half day, he got in the front seat and said, “Mom, I decided that I am going to run for student council.”  I pulled over.  I looked at his sea like blue eyes and smiled.  He was calm and collected, like he had just announced a fart.  He does that a lot.  He explained that he wanted to be a leader at his school, plan parties, make speeches, and teach kids with special needs that they can do hard things like run for student council.  Because he has special needs and he can do hard things.”  Can we pause here for a quick sec?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………  I might have stared at him for a hot minute without showing any sort of recognition of his words.  And so he repeated them.  I was so floored and so adrenaline filled at this revelation that we drove home, put that van in park, took a snack to our round kitchen table and started writing his speech.  This moment was NOT going to pass us by.  No sir.  He dictated his speech to me and it went a little something (well, it’s exactly as he wrote it) like this.


Hi, my name is Rylan Vogelzang.  I’m wondering if I can join Student Council!  I have special needs and I’ll tell you more about that at the end of my speech.  Here’s why I want to join Student Council.  I will be highlighting being SAFE, RESPONSIBLE, and RESPECTFUL using characters you might recognize!

Being Safe

I choose Joy and Fear from Inside Out for being safe.  I added Joy because if you have Fear by itself, you would be afraid of everything.  But if you add Joy you can be happy and safe at the same time.  It’s important to be safe at school to not bump into other people, not to fall down the stairs like I did already, keeping your hands to yourself, to not blow your anger top, to use kind greeting words, and not running on the black top or running into trees.  (showed images of Joy and Fear on overhead projector)

Being Responsible

Blazion is a Yokai character who is a lion with a firey mane.  I’m choosing him because he enspirits or possesses you to be MOTIVATED.  Motivation makes you pumped up and ready for the day!  Blazion will make you want to FINISH Math, Science, Reading and all your subjects and be responsible for your work.  Boom, boom, boom!  Without motivation, you might feel lazy and say, “Whatever, I don’t want to do this.”  Blazion’s tribe’s name is BRAVE.  Bravery can help you make new friends, to talk to people if you’re really quiet, to try new things and other stuff like that.  I have to be brave to make new friends because you never know if they’ll like you.   (again, showed image of Blazion on overhead projector)

Being Respectful

I choose Baymax from Big Hero 6 for being Respectful.  He helps people when they’re sick or hurt.  He’s kind, squishy, and I chose him because I love robots.  The owner who made him said he would help a lot of people and he did.  He made sure they were safe and gave his own life in the end of the movie for Hero’s life.  He has to pay attention to the people around them and be respectful to his friends.  As students we have to listen to our teachers and put others first to be respectful.  (showed doll of Baymax)

I want to be on Student Council because I believe Peabody needs to be SAFE, RESPONSIBLE, and RESPECTFUL.  I also want to join student council to teach people about what it means to have special needs.  Special needs are things you were born with or got during life.  Having special needs means it’s hard to control your brain.  I have Tourette Syndrome and I can’t control my noises and ticks.  Other kids with special needs might not read well like Dyslexia, or have seizures like epilepsy or have blood sugar problems like Diabetes.  I want to be an example for kids with special needs because I have special needs.  I’m not contagious and you can be around me and other kids with special needs.  I want to be a part of this because I want everyone to learn about special needs and to be nice to kids like me.  I want to encourage other kids with special needs to do hard things like join Student Council!


FRIENDS, he delivered this speech with confidence and ease.  He did his little motions and ticked away with his squeaky noise ticks the entire time.  I watched from the side of the room and wanted to jump up and down like a cheerleader with ants in her panties.  But I didn’t.  Instead I gave him a thumbs up, a proud Mama Bear smile, and snuck out of the room.  And then I started preparing myself for how I would help him cope with not getting elected.  I know, downer Mom.  But it’s a popularity contest.  I could see that in the room.  They don’t look at him and see what I do.  Bravery, endurance, joy, humor…do they?  I prayed they did, but I suspected they didn’t.


3 days later, I would like to introduce to you the newest member of the P…School Student Council, Ry Guy V.  He got a whole slew of votes and he never doubted it for a second.  No big thing, other than he’s SUPER proud of himself.  As are his parents.  He can do hard things – just not the hard things we think he should be able to do.





How Have I Changed You?

The car (ok, it’s a minivan) is the one place I am guaranteed to engage in reflective, heart clenching, and often swallow my pride conversations with my little people.  In the minivan, none of us are distracted by the 1056 things that cause us to float to opposite ends of the house.  This brings out thoughts and questions that otherwise pass and fade.  I love that about our Honda Odyssey.  She’s a real conversation starter that one.  The most recent reflective Honda talk came from our son.  From the 3rd row he asks, “Mom, how exactly have I changed your life?”  I don’t know that the question itself was all that deep.  If my daughter had asked it, I don’t know that I would have had to catch my breath in quite the same way.  Most moms would likely smile and answer that question quickly with love and perhaps a deep breath or two.  My 3rd row passenger, however, brought different life to that innocent question.

How do our kids change our lives?  Maybe how DON’T they would be an easier question to field?  Mom pants aren’t a product you can purchase.  They can’t be pre-fabbed or marketed or given a product description in advance.  They are a custom tailored experience.  A one size fits one.  They’re elastic for sure.  Mom pants need room to stretch and bend and acclimate.  No buttons or leather.  Being a mom, no matter how your little blessings become yours, changes your world.  Being a mom to a kiddo with special needs does more of a 180.  It doesn’t just shift – it’s more like a tilt-a-whirl.  Those carnival death traps make me vomit just thinking about them, so let’s remove the vomit from that analogy.  When my little buddy asked that question, my mind did an internal tilt-a-whirl and I couldn’t find words quick enough to answer him before he asked it again.

Both our kids have “changed my life.”  Their adoptions and the beauty and brokenness we will continue to experience have altered so much of our lives as parents.  Truth is, our little boy has continued to alter my world in ways no one could have verbalized to me prior to his arrival on planet Earth.  Our son has tilta-whirled who I am, how I respond to the world, the career path I plan on following, the friendships I crave and seek, the Google searches I make, the money we spend, the books I read, the organizations I lean toward, the topics I get fired up about, the prayers I utter, the social activities we choose, the doctors we rely on, the patience I strive for, my relationship with Tim, the goals I set….. he has acted as a catalyst for change that a typical child wouldn’t.  This doesn’t dictate a comparison in my love for each of them.  My girl is as scrumptious of a blessing as her big brother, but the tilt-a-whirl vs. ferris wheel analogy isn’t one they can quite understand yet.

How do I explain that to him?  I don’t for now.  For now I tell both of them that being a parent changes so many things in both wonderful, and really hard ways.  I tell them that God’s plans for us are sometimes hidden until we become parents. Because being their parent isn’t a job we can go to school for or read a book about.  It’s not a job we can go to each morning and leave until morning.  It’s not a job we can turn off or take a break from.  Being their mom has changed the way I think – about myself, about God, and about community.  I can tell both of them those truths. And I can tell them that I adore them and thank God for the little change makers they are.


Strokes of Genius Art Show

Back in April, Rylan and I were discussing entrepreneurship (is that a word?) during home school time.  In an effort for someone else to explain the amount of work that goes into starting a business, we took a field trip to a local cafe to interview Lennon, the founder and head baker extraordinaire.  She talked to him about her journey and he informed her with confidence that he was going to start an art business.  News to me.  She reacted with enthusiasm and offered the use of her cafe if he wanted to do an art show.  When I saw the look on his 10 year old face, I knew this art show was going to be in our future.  After much discussion about why a show featuring Pokemon characters wouldn’t be enticing to the general public, we landed on a theme of artwork depicting what it feels like to live in his brain.  A complex topic to say the very least.  He was game and he began (slowly) creating drawings and descriptions for the many intricacies he lives with.  Midway through our prep, I decided it could be interesting to add the parent perspective to the show and put together short pieces from this blog and photos to match.

We mounted our work to gator boards, hired our favorite art therapist to do some 3d projects with him and Lennon worked out the food, booze and cafe details.  On Friday, July 7th we set up the show and welcomes 80+ people into Charm 3 Cafe to tour the Strokes of Genius Art Show.  It was awesome friends.  Kinda felt like our wedding being surrounded by so many people who support us and love our littles.  My heart was full.  Rylan greeted people (after they wrote their names in chalk outside), Reagan and all our little people guests did art projects outside with our therapist friend, and guests silently toured, read, and learned more about our little man than they possibly could have expected.  People approached me in tears, explaining how moved they were and how overwhelmed they felt by the honesty of what they saw and read.  Again, my heart was full.  People came through the Tourettes Facebook group I belong to, which was incredibly meaningful.  An adult man who lives with Tourettes told me the show was like walking back through his childhood and seeing his feelings put into words.


This experience was a labor of love for both Rylan and me.  As I typed out his verbal descriptions for the artwork, I had to stop a number of times and catch my breath.  I know this little boy better than anyone on planet earth, and I learned nuggets of valuable and heartbreaking info as we worked together.  For him it’s no bigee.  It’s just him and he doesn’t see any of it as a “thing.”  He has no idea the impact of his little art show.  The event itself made his brain feel “depressed” and he kept asking to go home so he could relax.  Not a surprise for anyone who walked through the show. I’m so proud of him and his desire to teach people about his brain.  I hope to continue adding to his show and set it up in places where people can benefit from an insiders peak into the brain of a kiddo living with special needs.  It’s quite a peek if I do say so myself.

Rylan is selling copies of all the pieces below as part of his first effort at being an entrepreneur.  He’d donating 50% of all his sales to the Tourette Syndrome Association.  You can contact us if you’re interested in purchasing one of his prints.  Descriptions for each print are included on the back side of each piece.  One print is $15 and two prints are $25.  Thanks for taking time to understand Rylan and so many other kiddos like him better.  If you live in the Denver area you can tour his show at Charm 3 Cafe in Centennial.  Lennon is leaving his work on display through the summer.  Rylan’s little sis, Reagan, has a canvas for sale too!  




By:  Rylan Vogelzang

I found a painting of waves at therapy that calmed me.  I wanted to buy it, but Mom keeps saying no because I don’t have $50.  She decided I could copy it for my art show.  The painting calmed me because it felt like going to the beach and swimming.  Waves rush toward the shore and have to relax when they break on the ground.  When they hit the shore they stop and the water relaxes and lets it trickle down the the water.  Then the water gets hit by another wave and another and another….. I like it when I know what will happen and when it sounds calm and predictable.

BOSS BRAIN  (not for sale)


By:  Rylan Vogelzang

This brain includes all my joy.  The joy is yellow and it’s all over because joy is my main emotion.  Have you seen Inside Out?  I think I have two Joys living in my brain.  The inside circle includes emotions I don’t really think about like anger, fear, disgust, and sadness.  I don’t feel these emotions a lot.  Like, I do get angry, but not a lot and it goes away fast because all my other thoughts take over like a snap.  God made me to have all that joy inside.  


By:  Rylan Vogelzang

The save key saves things I need to keep in my mind, but I don’t want to use right away.  I save writing, reading, math, music etc.  All the stuff I learn gets saved in the junk file and then I’m able to start a whole new file for things I learn next.  Sometimes there’s too much in my mind and it would fill up way too many Google docs, so the Save button helps me to clear my mind.    Then I can start a new Google doc.  I have SO many Google docs in my brain.  



By:  Rylan Vogelzang

When I get touched it feels like needles or nails poking my skin.  It doesn’t really hurt, but it’s uncomfortable.  When I know someone is going to touch me, it feels like I’m about to get a shot.  I might move my body to get away or bend my back if someone is touching my back.  If someone touches my shoulders I might freak out.  I try to say, “Please don’t touch me,” because I want them to get away, but I don’t want them to get mad.  It works pretty well.  The pokey feelings goes away right away after I get touched.  I like it when people ask to give me hugs because sometimes that’s okay.  

It’s confusing, but I like to touch other people with squeezes.  My body feels so relaxed after I squeeze.  This gets me in trouble a lot because it’s not appropriate to squeeze anything that’s alive.  But do NOT squeeze me please.   



By:  Rylan Vogelzang

When I’m in a loud room, the hearing part of my brain is SO big that I hear ALL the noise, like every sound, like a huge scream.  The only thing I can’t hear is the footprints of a bug.  But if I could, it would sound like a giant stomping on a rug.  The cafeteria at school and the beginning of summer camps are SO loud that it pierces my ear drums like a barking dog.  Loud places make my body feel like there’s a vibrating machine or an earthquake in me.  I want to GET AWAY from those places so my body can feel more calm.



By:  Rylan Vogelzang

If there’s a distraction, my eyes will find it.  My eyes always need exercise and I see EVERYTHING around me.  When I see something that interests me I can’t look away until something loud in my ear (like a mad dog) tells me to stop.  Like my mom saying, “Hey buddy!”  Then I scare out of my distraction.  When I find something to fix my eyes on I feel relaxed.  But when I’m not fixed on something my eyes are always scanning for something interesting.  It’s hard to have this magnet because I stare at so many things. The magnet gets me in trouble because I waste time.



By:  Rylan Vogelzang

So, this is the brain of sleepiness.  It’s where my brain gets tired of having to think so much.  My brain gets tired and dizzy, but I don’t actually fall asleep because it’s SO hard for me to actually fall asleep.  My brain only gets sleepy when I have to think about things I’m NOT interested in.  This happens a lot at school and when I have to learn things.  I actually do hear the words and save them to my junk file, but my body will yawn and I want to rest my head on my desk because the teacher would notice if I put my head on the floor.  I just need to make my body comfortable and that’s hard to do at school.  I get headaches if I have to think too hard because I have so many ideas I need to push aside.


By:  Rylan Vogelzang

This is what I feel like when I need to squeeze something, for example, my dog’s head or other peoples’ heads.  Don’t get scared, I’m learning how to control my squeezing.  The robot squeezing the sponge represents my hands because I don’t draw hands well.  I really like robots.  When that happens my hands feel like when you close a close pin and it has to shut.  The clothespin can’t control when to shut and open, and so it’s like a robot or God controlling my hands to squeeze.  

Like a Sneeze

By:  Rylan Vogelzang

My tics are kind of like a sneeze, a cough, or a hiccup.  You can’t control those things and I can’t control my tics.  I don’t mean to do my tics, but my body feels uncomfortable inside in the spot where I have to do the tic.  The tic makes me feel comfortable again.  Sometimes I have more than one tic at a time.  That just feels even more uncomfortable.  They don’t hurt my brain.  


By:  Rylan Vogelzang

When a bunch of ideas come to my head, I just really have to let them twirl in my head and think about them.  I probably get in trouble because I’m thinking about my ideas while other people are doing math or talking to me.  It feels like I’m mixed up like a tornado.  It’s a bad feeling when my head is so full of ideas taking up room in my brain, but it also feels good because there are so many interesting ideas.  I forget my ideas because there’s so many and that’s why I want to tell people right when I think them.  I lose a lot of my ideas.  The tornado sucks them up.  I say, “Can I please change the subject,” a lot when I have an idea or question that needs to get out.  I confuse people a lot because my words are “off topic.”  


By:  Reagan Vogelzang

The heart that you see by the yellow spot is a friendship bracelet.  The yellow spot is the sun.  The sun makes me feel happy.  The colors on the left are the sunset.  The two orange guys in the water are friends playing.  I like how my friends play with me and how we don’t fight.  



Eyes Closed Tight Dreaming

I feel like if I state my dreams for the whole Internet to read, maybe God will see them bigger and pay more attention?  No.  He won’t.  But maybe I’ll see them bigger and pay more attention. Maybe I’ll have something to look back at in 3 years to compare God’s vision to my own.  And maybe it will look nothing like what I put out there, but maybe it will.  I have dreams that stick, but feel both tangible and incredibly unforeseeable.  But that’s dreaming right?  When we close our eyes and search our heart, we see dreams with clarity and detail.  Colorful, exploding detail.  And when we open our eyes the colors fade a bit, reality seeps in and our dreams dim a bit.  Or they’re put on hold.  But we know, even with our eyes wide open, that if our dreams weren’t so big they wouldn’t scare us so much.  That’s what makes them worth dreaming.

Two dreams I see SO clearly when my eyes are tightly closed and my heart is tuned in….


I envision a space, white on white on white with texture, brightness, softness and warmth.  A space that invites women into a fold of creativity, acceptance, inspiration, andold-stable-converted-for-rent-belgium-gessato-8: community.  A space that offers comfort and calm in the midst of our concrete jungle of hurry and neglecting ourselves and each other.  A space that exists as a resting place for women who want to work, connect, share, communicate, grow, gather, and learn for themselves and from each other.  Beautifully designed work spaces will exist for solo entrepreneurs as well as meetings of the minds.  Rooms where women can drip robin’s egg blue paint on the concrete floor, rooms where podcasts and heart sung melodies can be recorded, rooms where therapists can privately sit knee to knee with clients, a coffewidth=400px: e shop where underprivileged women can find refuge through employment.  This space will include lamp lighting, crInteresting shabby chic dining room. Chalkboard would definitely keep the young…: eamy pillows, and Anthro quilts.  And distressed furniture telling a story and scripty encouragement hung intentionally on the walls.  A space to showcase local talent and educate on topics screa : ming for attention.  A space to pour Pinot and slice cheese on Thursday evenings and talk about books and all the many many things we should be talking about. A place to teach trades and connect people who otherwise wouldn’t find connection.  And whatever else God sees happening in this space.  Because the options would be limitless with that in mind. The beauty of what could be is tingly to my dreaming self and my eyes wide open self.  Being a part of that, in whatever way God sees fit is what’s living in me. I just need the right person/people to come alongside this one.  To dream a little ole’ dream with me.



#2.  THE COUNTRY LIFELove this. . . rustic log fence:

This one isn’t so much an eyes wide o18 Vintage Decorating Ideas From a 1934 Farmhouse: pen dream yet, but it lives so intensely in my depths.  Rather than attempting to call it up into being,  I print photos that speak to it and gaze at them every time I walk up my staircase.  That way I can dream of it with my eyes wide open.  The older and less tolerant I get, which is definitely happening on both fronts, the more I ache to get outta town.  To leave all the options and simplify it all.  The options stifle me most days.  I’m anxious choosing between 726 schools, 7,964 qualified non profits to volunteer with, 13 places that sell paint in a five mile radius, and 467 Pretty table...Saddlerock Ranch Wedding by Yvette Roman + Living Cinema + R. Jack Balthazar | Style Me Pretty: occupational therapists who could do a bang up job.  There are toThe best part, picking veggies for one of our meals, fresh from the garden.....: o many box retailers offering too many lackluster options of everything and anything under the blazing hot sun.  There’s not enough shade from it all.   The lack of trees, rolling hues of green, sheep grazing, and aged wood hurts my insides.  I know, that’s oh so dramatic, but it’s also flat out true.  I’m over the pace and fighting against the pace.  I crave acres where my kids can take off and get in trouble with nature herself.  I envision massive farmhouse tables outside, inviting refuge for people longing for the same things.  Just a simple, beautiful place to call home and to invite others into.  Because community is becoming something we “fit in” rather than something we “live in.”  And I hate that.  We make it so complicated.  So I’ll dream of a country lifestyle, which of course would be made beautiful.  Maybe even a weekend escape into this lifestyle.  Again, this is an eyes closed kind of dream.  For now.


What are you dreamin’ about with your eyes closed tight?  And what have you mustered up the courage to act on and dream about, eyes wide open?  There’s a place for both types of dreaming.  This I’m sure about.  As long as we don’t tidy those dreams up and lock them away.  I just unlocked my dream world……

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