It’s the Wyoming state of mind.

Racing Trains

Racing Trains

Fifteen minutes, that’s when she’s due at my next photo shoot. And somewhere between the sign that read “Pavement Ends” and the lyrics from Miranda Lambert’s first album throwing lyrics gorgeously through my gold SUV’s factory speakers, that’s where she remembered to breathe for the first time in weeks.

In all the busyness of her hectic lifestyle, she forgets how to to slow down. The opportunity to come home, to drive windows down at 65, Wyoming wind throwing her hair back at County Road 215 and Railroad Road, that’s where she finds herself drawn to her deep roots of this incredible state. State of Wyoming; state of mind.

Ready for a slow down

Ready for a slow down

Somewhere, amidst the gravel crunching under her tires she realized she slowed down while driving faster. Breathing deep, finding the answers in the gusts of the plains. Puppy dog tails chasing her dust, amidst overgrown fields and cows shaking their ears at her passing annoyance, a pasture holding her retired gelding, tumbleweeds chasing lonely hills. That’s where reality came to a screeching halt and gave her a sense of peace of been longing so deeply for. At the yield sign of intersection 215 & 148, she pulled off to cry, listening to the quiet urge of “pull over and write”, answering the beckoning to leap at the opportunity to just be.

Clear skies, clearly Wyoming.

Clear skies, clearly Wyoming.

Be me; find that inner peace that comes only on dirt roads, mangled fence lines and billowy winds. Find the me that no matter how busy we get, how cemented I am in my new, exciting directions, remembering that her roots are firmly grounded in this place.

You leave home & change; you grow. But the memories of the places that healed you before, strong enough to heal that same exhausted spirit again.

Renewed, rejuvenated and absolutely blessed, she drives on. Flipping off sign 154 for good measure, southbound to her new home and newfound roots and nowhere to grow but up and fabulous; it’s the state of Wyoming state of mind. ❤

Upward,
Nomz

Let It Go

Amidst a storm of things this week, I’ve found myself in this horribly, wallowy place of bitterness and anger and resentment. I was driving to work today with this goal in mind to punch those storms in the face with big fancy words to make myself feel better, uncaring of what it might do to the people on the other side BUT I WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE WAY I FELT AND THEREFORE I NEED TO SAY IT.

For whatever reason, while plotting my emails and texts and phone calls to clear out my head (gosh I sound like a drama llama don’t I?), I looked to the west and saw the moon going down as the sun was coming up. And I realized that it could be that simple. I mean, I could just let it go.

The thing about anger and guilty and resentment and bitterness, is that unless you do choose to explode…it only hurts you. The longer you let it settle in to your bones, the more havoc it creates. The more it feeds your need to feel all of those things, and the more it empowers you to hurt somebody else. Has throwing stones based on any of those emotions ever made any situation better? Here’s what it does do: It sits in your insides and builds this warm cozy fire and prepares a bottle gasoline, and no matter who comes along next with a little bit of pain to throw at you, the fire gets bigger. Your resentment and bitterness for one person is now fueled by two or three or fourteen…and instead of making peace with what is ACTUALLY causing any of those feelings, we let it simmer until we pick one or two to take it out on.

The bitterness that you’re holding onto because of:
That person that hurt you years ago? let it go.
That email you’ve been meaning to send to confront your demons with somebody that has obviously moved on without you? let it go.
The man that chose to walk away from your marriage or relationship or child? let  it go.
The way you don’t feel loved enough by the right people? let it go.
The way you feel when he or she doesn’t believe your truth? let it go.
That person that hates your success and incredible life because THEY’RE cooking a resentment fire? let it go.

As the moon goes down in the morning and lets the sun come up with a clean slate of a day, let it go.
Pull up those cute galoshes and bust out that pink polkadotted umbrella. Storms are going to come and go, but how you choose to react to those storms is what makes you.

“Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control.
We can love and care for others, but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends.
We can assist then, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, NOT on our wishes.”

Love,
Nomz

“Does God have TV’s for us in Heaven?”

Just a simple question from the inquiring minds in the backseat.

Windows down, Sugarland playing, a breezy; carefree drive home from our day. The girls in the backseat, 5 & 7, discussing their favorite cartoons, wondering if God, in all of his preparations, remembered the TV.

I responded with, “no babes, God has so much in store for us that we don’t NEED TV’s! And besides, it’d be REALLY hard to carry all of those big TV’s up there, right?!”*commence epic upward sky gazing*

After a few minutes, my oldest says, “mom, do you know FOR SURE that He doesn’t have TV’s? You’ve BEEN there before.”, to which I said, “No, I’ve never been there baby, you only go there once you’ve died.”
“Nuuuh Uhhhhhh MOM, you said God makes babies and puts them in mommy’s tummy, so you were in heaven before you got THERE. If that’s not what really happens, than that’s not how babies are made. How are babies MADE, mom?!”

*commence OHGODOHGODOHGODPANICAHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

As a bit of a backstory, I put on Twitter this week that I was feeling all emotional and pissy and RAWRy and while most females SHOULD assume the opposite, a handful and a half of people were like OMGZ CONGRATULATIONS YOU’RE PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So when I put a panicky status on my Facebook about my child asking where babies are made, PEOPLE ASKED ME FOR MORE BABIES.

I’m hoping blogging this adora-story helps people realize that:

#1. I’m not ready to be faced with how babies are made, and simply told them that I’ll explain things when they’re older, and cranked up their latest favorite Carrie Underwood tune.
#2. I’m not having ANY MORE GRANDBABIES. Or ok, at least for a few more years. Okaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy? THEY COME WITH TOO MANY QUESTIONS YOU GUYS.
#3. I love my family and friends with all of their hilarity and support.

Unpregnant,

Nomz

Rootbeer Floats & Cribbage

Nomz at age FIVEish

“They” say that a child starts remembering things around the age of 6. But I disagree. I remember being terrified of being smothered under a blanket in a room with green shag carpet. I remember having to wear gloves to bed so I wouldn’t suck my fingers, and taking them off when I thought they weren’t looking (under the blankets, where I probably developed my claustrophobia and fear of blanket smothering). And I remember the sound of my daddy coming home from the pipeline.

When I was four, my dad worked for the oilfield, something to do with the pipeline. I was too young to remember exactly what that meant, but I do remember what that meant to me. That meant that he got home late, exhausted, dirty, smelly, and in the right mood to wake up his four year old to spoil her at wee hours of the morning over rootbeer floats, teaching her cribbage, and hugging her back to sleep on his chest to the sound of the tv.

He used to let me wear his hats, carry a toothpick in my teeth, and taught me the music of The Oak Ridge Boys (especially Elvira, because he nailed the base line!), and Styx, especially the extremely important piano introduction to his favorite Styx song, which I can STILL do by heart on my air piano. and still think it’s the longest song in history, especially if you get too loud in the car while it’s playing and mess him up and it has to start all over….

He quit the pipeline about a year later, and we moved from our green shagged carpeted home. It’s funny how back then all of my memories were sensory. The way the carpet looked, the smell that the skunks made from under the house, the cold; frozen rootbeer float mugs. And while I was cared for and adored by both my mom and dad (a blog soon to come about the pony my mom got me before we moved away from good ol’ Glendo! …and her ability to look the other direction when I made and swallowed actual mud pies. *twitch*), I remember the creative punishment that came from that house too, indirectly. Like how the dirt clung to it when I threw rocks at the neighbors horse trailer and had to wash it.

Sigh.

He’s still the strongest (less dirty and smelly, and now a leader for an amazing agency) man I know. And while I’ve grown up some, and we’ve graduated to the occasional stiff drink and cigar, we still do rootbeer floats quite well, my math skills sometimes outdo his in a game of Cribbage or Texas Hold’m.

Even on his worst days, he’s my hero, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Memories sometimes, are your greatest strength. What are some of YOUR fondest?

Nomz

Oh Junior High.

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ~Elisabeth Foley

It’s crazy to think that it was 1997 when these girls came into my life and changed it for the better. It seems so long ago, doesn’t it? I was in sixth grade, I was new to Cody, Wyoming…and the first day of school, at a new school, terrified, shaking, crying, and doing my best to conquer junior high with little under my belt. Everybody there was close-knit because Cody is a small town, very few people move there unless they’re retiring so new students are an object for observation. The hallways smelled like salt, and there was a rumor that the principle was an ex-Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader slash Playboy Bunny, and for whatever reason, I was scared scatless that she’d be as tall as an Amazon woman and equally scary (and I was right). The red lockers were SO tall (hi, I was from an even smaller town, and had left an elementary school behind…not a junior high with real lockers). And Jozie had seen me within five minutes and already pulled my hair. Wenchface.

Admittedly, they grew the boys cuter in Cody, Wyoming. Whoooooweeee!

A group of girls approached me in Mr Demming’s Social Studies class (swoooon, that guy was swoooooon), and invited me to be part of them.

Ashley was one of those girls. Her hair was gorgeous, and she smelled like incense and reminded me of home, and to this day I can’t tell you why.

Ashley was different. Ashley was the girl that could make me laugh. She made me realize that I could just eat Nutty Bars for lunch. She wasn’t entirely boy crazy, but enough to make me feel sane. She went to church camp with me and rebelled with me over it. She let me cry, showed me how to ski, squealed over 98 degrees and N’Sync, and protected me from her dogs. We called in to a radio show on our “friendship anniversary” and got made fun of by the DJ, but definitely jammed out to “Lean On Me” when he played it for us. We cried over Armageddon on her couch, and discovered the majestic MTV. We were fascinated by AOL chat. We ate foccasia bread and ranch dressing, we rode 20+ miles to work everyday to work at the same hotel cleaning rooms, taking our tips to the parking lot coffee shop like we were 45 or something. We were a pretty big deal, her & I. If we ever disagreed, I don’t remember it. She’s one of the two friends from Cody that started in 1997 that I am still close to, talk with regularly, and can pick up from where we left off when I moved from there. She’s taking life by storm still, raising three gorgeous kids and a husband, and continuing to be one of the bestest best friends I’ve ever had. LYLAS.
Happy almost birthday, woman!

I think, as girls especially, we get very few in our life that are so close to you that they don’t hurt you. That they stay forever. They’re the kind of people that you never lose, because they know too much TOO let them escape. I can count on one hand, the girls in my life that I’d consider “soul sisters“, and I’m pretty sure they know who they are (I’ll eventually blog about every single one of you). I think, even, that finding genuine girls is so hard that some are middle aged and still have yet to have that kind of relationship. Women are evil, we hurt intentionally, we get stabby and jealous and insecure and crazy.

Tonight, I’m hanging out with my latest gaggle of girls, that took me almost 10 years of living in Cheyenne to find. Another group that I’ve had to move away from in order to get closer to’m. They’re another group that’s out to change the world, they’re completely different than anything I’ve ever seen. Soul chargers, we call ourselves. Or kick ass bitches, even. Goodness, I’m insanely blessed.

What did your Junior High smell like?

Reminiscing,
Nomz