friday present: writing a map of love.

Today, I'm feeling thankful for so many things, I might just be all over the map. 

I love maps.

Though I don't love opening them up on street corners, which is how I end up finding myself lost / so often wandering. Which is how I ended up lost at the end of the world and eventually into the arms of my ever loving husband. Then with a baby already the size of a large banana somersaulting in my belly. (OK, This maps was a digression I truly didn't expect when I sat down to write this post.)

I love writing. 

{typewriter by squidart}
Because of where it leads the writer: surprising journeys. A lucky reader experiences reading as a journey, if the author has indeed traveled during the writing. I planned to write about family and friends and packages in some tied-together, perhaps meaningful, way. But here I am writing (rather self-consciously) about maps in the act / about maps and the act of writing. How writing is a map / the wanderings of a map in creation. In process.

I love synchronicity. 

{yarn by apryl lowe}
Even the smallest in-tune moments make my heart hop. For some reason, Serkan and I consistently sniffle at the same time. I don't know if it's the dry air, but I almost never breathe clearly here (yes, it's much worse during the pregnancy). So what used to be the happy sighs of a deep breath have turned into intermittent deep sniffle-like inhales. Ours coordinate several times per day (even more noticeably during an Uruguyan roadtrip)

Sometimes synchronicity happens over greater expanses of space and time. Namely, a girl called Jen. The story can go way back to high school days. But she started reading my blog recently through another one of our high school friends: Elena. Let's just say, quickly, that most of high school was a traumatic dance through a landscape of mourning for me, so I remember shockingly little from those years. Memory is a fickle yet endlessly fascinating experience (and non-experience), no? I had few friends during high school, but I am pretty much still in touch with that small circle of people today, my beautiful amiga Elena, for example. One day through the surreal powers of Facebook, Jen contacted me. We've been writing ever since, and I look forward to each of our correspondences. We can feel how much we share in common, even without talking about it to each other. Sparkling kismet.

So, back to synchronicity. I just received an amazing little package of goodies from Jen: complete with dried cherries (yum!), a perfect coffeecake recipe, a congrats card addressed to Serkan and I, and our first baby onesies! I cannot stop looking at them. I haven't put them away yet, and every once in a while Serkan walks by them, smiles, unfolds the top one, embroidered with handsome, and we both muse over how small it is. 

{jen, thank you for the beautifulness, i'm so happy we re-found each other!}
Jen also sent me a lovely hand-crocheted scarf along with a beautiful letter about what crochet means to her. How her grandma taught her to crochet, and that after many starts and many years, she finished her first project (This part echoes my crochet story exactly, but I have yet to finish a project.) That creating pieces for others is her way of sharing her grandma's gift. Apparently, she started crocheting me a scarf the same day I posted about my most recent foray into crochet. How cool is that? I'm so thankful for our friendship, such moments of synchronicity and warmth.

I love friends. 

One might be tempted to say: I love my friends. But the truth is I love friendship. And I enjoy witnessing other people's beautiful bonds just as much as I cherish my own. It can be like watching a couple in love. You may be a satellite around one side of that love, but you don't have to be in the middle of it. I love reading about other people's friendships, even people I only know virtually in blogland. Faiza's big-hearted adventures with her beloveds comes to mind, as does the true love my dear friend Claire has found with beautiful Micaela

I do love my friends, too, of course. Each friendship has a different history, a different length, a different way of discovering one another, and all ways are wonderful. I've received a few care packaged from my loving and beautiful friend Nicole over the years. Way back in the day, when I first stepped foot outside of the U.S. to study in England, she used to send me handmade post cards and letters. The most recent care package is this lighthearted approach to pregnancy.

{thank you so much, sweet nicole!}
We giggled our way through Knocked Up last night. And I'm going to get started in on this book today. So far, the only pregnancy book I've actually finished is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I've dabbled in a couple of others, but feel ready to (and like I should) start reading books with more of a focus on baby nursing and sleeping.

I love family.

{tulips by ronaldo f cabuhat}
That is my family and the idea of family. I love how my friends and family always send their love and wishes to the both of us (and now to the two and a half of us). They have never met Serkan, yet they include him in all correspondence. For someone who has surreptitiously sought approval all her life (and often climbed all the wrong mountains to find it), I must say I get the family warm fuzzies to feel so accepted. Unconditionally accepted, which I now (experientially) understand. 

The huge package in yesterday's mail love picture was an anniversary gift from my dad and Carol in Wisconsin. The box weighed 21 pounds, so I was ordered to let hubby do the lifting. And oh my goodness, there was just a little bit of about everything in the realm of made in the USA food in that box...

{thank you!!!}
Coffee to last us till we return to the States; dried mangos, blueberries and mixed berries; real maple syrup; Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix, instant pudding mixes and loads of other staples. Let's just say we're now prepared should a natural disaster head our way. This morning we ate fluffy American-style pancakes with real maple syrup for breakfast. And since I waited way too long to eat lunch, I whipped up some quick chocolate pudding afterward, because I needed something sweet to stop the shakes. (Don't worry, I don't normally let that type of hunger happen, especially not in this preggo state.)

I love you. 

Need I say more? Still quite a few emails and blogs to catch up on, but happily catching up this weekend, I am. 

And sometimes I love sevens.

{7 by jack vade}
These Friday thankfulness posts are typically 5-item lists, but I'm brimming this week! 

What are you thankful for this September?

{unattributed photos : unknown : please let me know if they are yours}


Claire Kiefer said...

I love all those things too. :) And I hope you especially love the mac & cheese your dad sent, cause that's something I would totally crave if I were living apart from American food, haha! I can't wait to cook together again when you get home . . . I'll make you my mama's squash casserole that's so delicious. <3

Micaela said...

you are just tooooo cute!!! this list just made me all kinds of happy!

i do so love your friend claire ;) what you said about friendship was pure perfection!

you'll have to email me your address because i was at my favorite craft market downtown and they sell THE CUTEST yarn made booties! let me know if you have a preference in color ;)


Anna Walker said...

I love love love your list!

That movie Knocked Up is the funniest thing EVER! :) So great! I am glad that you're doing well!

Kerry said...

I'm so glad you love to write because you have an absolute talent for it. I read and took in every word :)

Mariska Meijers said...

You sound so wonderfully in balance. Have a great weekend! x

Jen said...

Just such a fabulous, happy post! I love it! And I love your packages too!

DolceDreams said...

What an absolutely delightful post :)It is so important to be thankful, and sometimes so easy to forget. I am very thankful for my family and health, friends too...
What a wonderful box of goodies, enjoy!

Poppies and Sunshine said...

These posts are so wonderful. I think it is such a great weekly exercise to sit down and contemplate what you are thankful for!

Indie.Tea said...

What a lovely post :)
I love almost everything you mention in this post. I'm not sure how I feel about writing though: I do write a lot, but it frustrates me...trying to capture feelings and thoughts and not having them 'come out' right. But I do love reading what you write, its always lovely and inspirational.
Hope you are well :)

Abby said...

You have an awesome list! Like you, I love writing, and also because I feel like I'm taking journeys in my mind. I wish I had one of those typewriters, ha.

Faiza said...

so sweet to hear of the sparkling kismet between you and jen. (of course it is the type of thing i would draw out of all the love that is overflowing from this post.)

wishing you continued love up to the brim this week.

hearts to you my friend.

yours truly dear said...

i'm really grateful for family and friends too. idk what i'd do without them. i'm glad you like writing because i like your blog :] happy september! xoxo

Gracie said...

What a completely fantastic list!! I love the way you write. It's very soothing :)

What a wonderful package of things!! Care packages, letters and mail are all kinds of lovely I think. x

Josie said...

What an absolutely wonderful post! So touching and really cute. I love maps as well!
xo Josie

Krystal said...

It's funny how happy you can be for someone that you've never met - but I'm so glad that you have all of this love in your life!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Heather dear, what a clever and wonderful post you have here....isn't this whole blogging thing so much fun for those of us who love to write and create????And the friendships that develop along the way...for some interesting reason, writing demands that we THINK, CHOSE OUR WORDS CAREFULLY and PLAN and be DELIBERATE. So, the friendships that are sustained through blogging, some might say is SAFE because you don't ever meet the other people. Perhaps. HOWEVER, for all the reasons mentioned about, it does teach us to reflect upon things that we may take for granted in relationships where it is easier to SEE the person, but maybe not HEAR them or be as deliberate in choosing the right words. I thank you for your kind message of encouragement and I am sure that my net will be busting at the seams....the unknown that is gnawing at me is that I have 50 students this year and I am teaching English, a subject I have never taught. I am a French teacher, and I know that all I have to do is transfer my knowledge of language arts, but the English curriculum is even more dense with benchmarks and activities I know nothing about. HERE I COME ALL OF YOU, ALL 50 OF YOU!!!!


jules @ The Diversion Project said...

i love these posts, makes me remember to play the greatful game too!

i'm greatful for warm sunny late winter days right now : )

Kellie Collis said...

Love my friends too! Kellie xx

daisymay aka Chantele said...

Awww you are so sweet. This is all so true and very heartfelt. Your friends are very lucky to have you too! That map is beautiful too.

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Felicity said...

Hi Heather,
Thank you for visiting my blog. What a beautiful post this is, I really enjoyed reading it. Your gratitude and positivity is contagious. : )


Lady Grey said...

I love your blog!

koralee said...

I so love all your loves...what a sweet dad you have!! The USA food box is such a great idea. You know what I love...maps...what is it about them???

Have a great week...I am thankful that the new school year is starting...I so love the first day of school...that is one of my loves. xoxox

and flowers pick themselves said...

such a heartwarming post. right now i am thankful for the wonder of netflix, 60 degree weather, mad men, homemade mashed potatoes, the smell of fresh laundry, and my mother's health.


xo Alison

Sarah Klassen said...

I love this post! I couldn't agree more about writing... it's amazing how it can lead to discovery -- and sometimes things we never could have imagined. You made my day with this post :)


rachel! said...

i appreciate thankfulness. such a good list, i quite enjoyed it, especially the maps picture. good luck with the banana in your stomach!

Phoenix Peacock said...

thanks for stopping by my blog and I am LOVING the list!

Bromeliad said...

That map is so neat/unusual. And a nice list of things to love, too.

Jen said...

I'm so glad we re-found each other too! Sparkling kismet indeed! : )

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Oh I love those things too!

its simple love said...

I also dislike opening maps in the middle of the streets. I always want to pretend I am not a tourist, or lost in my own city for that matter.


kelli g. { bug miscellany } said...

this post is so sweet! :)

this september i am thankful my parents, kittens and my silly hubbers.


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