I am not ... I am.

It's been a year since I posted anything on here. There have been a few moments when I had something typed but did not post because ... I didn't. But I have something to talk about right now and I don't think that I'm going to filter myself. I'm not as frustrated as I was earlier this evening (thank you people on the West Coast for answering and then just sitting quietly as I used my words) or a few Sundays ago or a few months ago but I have feelings and this is my blog so ... I'm done justifying myself in my own space. I may not understand my ramblings when Nephew and Niece are reading them back to me when early onset Alzheimer's sets in (thank you anxiety and Greys for that nagging thought that motivates me to hit PUBLISH on this and every Instagram post) but I hope those two and their cousins will catch a glimpse of the woman I am today and not ... well, read on.

I am me. And that is an ever evolving person that is trying her hardest on most days to make this life one I am proud to live. I am far from perfect but I am also far from the worst human to exist on this planet. I am a 33 year old woman who loves her dog, her Nephew and Niece, most of the rest of her family on most days, a Midwestern sky, Last Week Tonight, Chicago sport franchises, an human shield, an endless sentence (sorry about that Editor), quiet moments along any large body of water, tights, days when the windows can be rolled down, scruffy faces, winning, being someone's right hand, laughing until my sides ache, a wink from across the room, Coke, a one-word answer with a nine-thousand word undertone, rambling messages, understanding 'natural 20', all things #KrasinskiandKas, a walk after the rain, and someone else putting away my laundry.

I was raised in a home where a love of God, family, and country was the foundation. I am grateful, without exception, for the life that was mine as I grew up. I am still, again my imperfections may distract from this oft times but ... I am still someone who tries to make decisions and course correct with that foundation. But I do not fit the mold that my high school friends put me in all those years ago as 'the Mormon'.

I am am not married. I am not a mom. I am not crying on my pillow that my bed is my own each night. I am not conservative. I am not docile. I am not demure. I am not ready to follow the fold. I am not abiding by principles simple because I was told to. I am not an extremist. I am not a member of the PTA. I am not a gun owner. I have not been pregnant. I have not fought about something important with a spouse. I have not parented one child without hesitation while another one causes questions at every turn. I have not run for office. I have not signed petitions for GOP causes. I have not done so many of the things that the 17 year old me would have expected me to have done, I have not done so many of the things that many humans that know my name would expect me to be aching to do.

And I think that makes many humans in the church that I still call my own uncomfortable. I am the human without a husband, without a herd of children. But I am still a human! I am not defined by what I do not have nor what I have not done. Please do not look at me with eyes of pity or wonder as to how I managed to live for so long without doing the things that are most important, the things that you define as the most important things.

I am a woman who loves fiercely. I love my family, my God, my Savior, my country. I am a woman who has made mistakes, some large and near to unforgivable, but who has overcome obstacles and stands tall when the odds are against me. I am a woman who has her own thoughts and opinions and works very hard to understand the other side of the coin while holding tight to what I have fought to know. I am a woman who sees injustices and tries to right them. I am a woman who still gleans from the wisdom of her parents while paving a path that is her own. I am a woman who can see the difficulty and confusion that I cause for some and laugh about it while trying to explain myself. I am a woman who will make someone work to be a part of her life but once they have done that will remain loyal no matter the circumstance or differences that arise. I am a woman who stands when her nation's anthem is being sung but that respects the right others have not to. I am a woman who gets a tattoo while discussing her parent's mission in South Africa and the joy that such service brings with the artist putting that needle to my wrist (see picture below of me and Little Joe doing just that). I am a woman who relies on a man who loves men to be the lighthouse when I've lost my way. I am a woman who loves God and will continue to attend my worship service while being looked at by so many as the the 'woman who is not'. I am the woman who would love for that to change but will not allow others' opinions to derail my faith and hope. I am the woman who hopes to be a small influence for good and change in the world I live in.

Miles died two months ago now. I was by myself when Dies called to tell me that the world had lost that little boy who brought so much light and love to us. I ached and I cried and I screamed at the heavens and I wondered how this could happen. Surely if I had been married in that moment the feelings would have been the same. There are still so many moments when I stop in my own tracks and find myself on my knees in wonder and frustration about this loss that happened to two of my people who had already been through so much. I think of his Jaxon who goes to school without his Miles. I think of Chels who wakes to three boys instead of four and JR who has now enough arms to wrestle with his mobile boys and I wonder ... But I am a woman who can, when she slows down and asks, know without question that there is an outpouring of love upon her friends, a Father mindful of the endless ache, and a Savior near. My 'not being' someone that fits the common mold has no bearing on that knowledge. The heavens do not look at me for what I lack but rather for what I am trying to be.

I am not seeking attention here, that's not the purpose of this rant. If you were to be with Uncle Mike and Aunt Shelia, watching from a few rows up, you'd see me just beyond the light of center stage. My arms are probably full of books or tools to be ready for a question or when something breaks. My eyes are counting my people out there in the bright lights, absolutely literally but mostly figuratively. I have not been using my energy to find my own light. I have not been tearing down others in the light so that the light can shift and find me primped and primed for a surprise number. I am not the next Sherri Dew or Barbara Thompson, mercy. I am the woman who takes her glasses off if she stands at the pulpit, my faith does not require grand declarations. I am the woman who believes in God firmly and shares that belief often but in a quiet and personal voice. I am the woman who, sitting on her own during worship, can know that Father is mindful of her hopes to publish one day and invite people to know aspects of her as she allows.

My love for Vice President Biden and disdain for former Governor Pence does not disqualify me from being able to teach and love my 12 Sunday School students. I am a woman who can love them and teach them and be a part of their lives for 48 minutes (if the speaker isn't as long winded as I am in this post) each week.

If it were my birthday or I had an eyelash or it were 2:22 I would wish that the unnecessary and unwelcome judgments the humans make would cease completely. But it's not my birthday nor do I have an eyelash and the clock does not read all the same numbers. So I'm going to post this and hope that I will be looked at as a 'woman who is ...' rather than defined as a 'woman who is not ...'. And I would venture to say that I'm not alone in this wish. Live your life, find your happiness, and love when others are doing the same. Away We Go ...


Long night. Big Day. My Life.

I didn't sleep much last night. My heart was racing and my mind was keeping pace. #3 and I were lying on a bed, she heated the entire room with her core temp hitting near nine hundred degrees it seemed. Normally a cold person, I'm simply speaking literally here folks, I love cuddling in close with any human at night. But the children that ask for a bed buddy to keep the bad guys away who in return for safety offer to melt my skin off ... well, I keep them safe from the couch on the other side of the room. Every few hours she would stir, sit up as if we had just laid down, and verify my presence ... and I completely understood that. I do the same thing, 28 years later in life. I normally would call someone, a person of mine, but I needed to remain quiet for her and I really was not sure who to call. Which caused an even further uneasiness within me.

So I prayed. I do this, the prayer thing, often. Daily. More than once a day. More than a few times a day. My petitions to the Heavens are oft times perhaps more informal than a clergyman would approve of but my God and I have a simple relationship, that of Father and Daughter. And if the hour had not been so absolutely early where Papa was and had I not known he had been up late playing games with friends, I would have likely called him. But God, as my Father, and I talk. So I talked. I do that. I do that with people that I trust. And I trust Him. I'm uncertain His trust in me on occasion but my trust in Him is, to me, tangible. I listed things. I vented about things. I argued about things. I ached about things. I questioned things. I stated things. I wondered about things. I laughed about things. And all the while my emotions remained steady. Do you do that? Do you have nine hundred and thirty-three emotions but the second you are speaking to someone you trust implicitly the winning emotion is usually just relief and breathing. The remaining emotions can be looked at and discussed without fear of further emotion ... am I making sense at all? Regardless, to me the reader of this in 50 years when dementia has set in, it is exactly how it works. Not exactly, sometimes the tears need a minute or two to settle but they settle quickly or don't come at all when after I've placed the 'SOS' text or phone call or shown up at the house where I know the trusted person is residing. I've certainly digressed. I talked to God for a long time.

And when #3 started to stir, her stirring is a show, literally she begins her day by singing and asking the crowd of 1 to join her, I was only certain of one thing I was not six hour before. I need to start saying things out loud to more than just ... well, I need to say things out loud. I'm excellent (toot toot) at writing things, and fixing my writing, and perfecting it in my own unique way until I'm ready for it to be put out there. And let's define something here, my current 'out there' is the receiver of the Hallmark or text message or email or any other format in which I can write it down rather than discussing it. The 'out there' is not the world. Deep breaths. Further clarification, I am more than capable of stating my principles and my frustrations with another human's lack of principles. It's the feelings and the vulnerable state I find myself in when I go even an inch beyond those very concrete and founded conversations that cause me to become the 'quiet one'.

So I prayed again. I'm in Logan Utah for crying out loud. And my world here is consistent of humans that ... well, they've received Hallmarks and those that haven't aren't my people. So, who was I to speak aloud to? Even as I spoke the words to Him, in the cadence of Julie as she prays on that fluffy olive green comforter that match the drapes she uses later because that offers more credibility in my mind I guess, I told Him I'd do it but I wasn't quiet sure how or where or when. I played with the girls, boy games of steam roller and monkey in the middle, curled the hair on my head and #3's head, and claimed the baby for worship, three full hours of it.

And it was as easy as that. Approaching the single 32 year old with RBF, though not actually bitter, in a family congregation of my faith is not done, at least not in Utah. I'm an anomaly here. So family wards are safe hideouts for me. Until it looks like I'm a single mother or a mother who left husband and remaining children behind while I come to Logan to look for a home with the breast feeding child, then everyone approaches and I'm very glad I have the ability to pinch the baby who did this to get out of the conversation. (Relax, I did not actually do that. I thought about it, more than once, but I did not) But everyone wanted to know my story. Which is scary to me. A normal way to say hello to some, my Papa's calling card in fact, but so scary to me. I have my world, my people, and I'm set. But I'm not. Or I would not have had so many things said to the Heavens only hours before as sleep eluded me. So I responded. Initially, to the first three humans, I was curt, at best. I may have hid in the mother's lounge for a minute (picture below negates the second word of that sentence).

But I asked for His help again and the fourth human actually got out of me that I was not the mother to the child I was holding. And the fifth human, the sweet man who could not have been more like Papa (thank You), got a bit of my story. And I said for the first time, aloud to a complete stranger, that I am a writer. I am writer about to publish her first book. If Uncle, Aunt, and GAunt Em weren't there doing cartwheels I'd be very surprised. The baby started to fuss and I was able to excuse myself to the final hour of meetings but my RBF was nowhere to be found as I was laughing as I walked down that hallway. This is what normal humans do? Why? It's not comfortable. It's not my favorite. But apparently, it's now on my TODO list, to share a bit more with humans that aren't my people. But also humans that are my people, using my vocal chords rather than my fingers to type or hands to write. I'm not sure why that's something ... that's a lie. I'm a publishing a book. And that is a world so far from my world that I live so happily in. An editor, who I desperately needed, so many things he's said and my response was in an email because I didn't have the ability to immediately respond regarding something so dear to me, my writing and my world that could be altered for the a bit of time (there's a chance my book sits on my Papa's nightstand proudly and every library in the greater Chicago-land area due to the lack of sales). So, as I sit here laughing and speaking as I type (because practicing makes permanence, not perfect ... thank you Jen), I do the laughing because I'm writing about talking, talking about talking. But that's what happened today. And that is what was suppose to because I believe in not only Father, God, but I believe in my own life and my own ability to figure it out, slow but steady.

Two weeks from Tuesday I move to the other side of the Mississippi to do this. I'm sorting through a contract and trying to find what is best for me and for my potential reader. It's not as easy as I'd like it to be but I'm glad for the chance and the patience of those working with me. Kate French is who you'll see on the back of the book but she's me, not every intimate detail but I can share parts of my story as I tell a story. I can do that. Deep breaths and long drives, literally and figuratively. Here we go. Adventure awaits the courageous and I've seemed to have found a bit of that courage today and hopefully a bit more tomorrow and so on and so forth. Keep going.

I'll keep you posted on it all, apparently I'm doing that now in a very direct manner.  


Make Someone Happy

My thoughts at two am ...

I was raised by Jeff and Marcia. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to spend more than thirty-eight seconds with my parents, I'm sorry. You have not witnessed love until you've seen these two together. You may think I'm biased or exaggerating here to make my point but I am not. I am the product of two people who are madly in love with one another. I am the product of 33 years 7 months and 6 days of marriage. And I am convinced, this evening more than ever, that the world would be a better place if every person had a Someone to love like Jeff loves Marcia and Marcia loves Jeff.

You see as a kid I knew, always, that Papa loved Mom first and the most. Yes, I knew that if I cried in the middle of the night Papa would come down stairs and sooth away the fears and tears. Yes, I knew that Mom would help with the project I waited until the very last minute to complete. Yes, I knew they both would be in the audience for performances, games, concerts, or debates. Yes, I know that today they will pick up their phones if I call in the middle of the night. Yes, I know that today they will send texts to check in on their single 31 year old daughter. Yes, I know that Papa will forever be incredibly concerned for the consequences of my political affiliations. Yes, I know that Mom will forever be my advocate with myself when I'm unsure or scrutinizing my decisions. Yes, I know that I'm a topic as they petition the heavens for things. But in every instant listed and all of the moments between, they love one another first.

Papa lives to make Mom happy. Mom lives to make Papa happy. Yes, I'm no longer the naive 17 year old convinced that marriage of my parental unit is bliss every minute of the day. My parents are not perfect. But they choose one another first, above all of the other things in this life. They choose each day to kneel in prayer together. They choose each day to laugh together. They choose each day to be annoyed at the driver in the car that cut them off together. They choose each day to watch the Hallmark film while the fire burns together. They choose one another. And because of the choices they make each day, to be not only together still after all of these years, but to be happy together ... they as individuals are happy.

There are four kids, two in-laws, and one perfect grandson that have been painted into their picture over 12273 days together. And we are cared for and loved to the moon and back but we know, without doubt, that they are one another's partners in this life. We are tasked to find our own partners. Until we do/did, we were theirs but we were secondary. I wish that there were a word that defined this secondary-but-still-feeling-top-priority-while-knowing-the-foundation-which-brought-you-into-this-world-remains-steady-and-committed-to-being-a-steady-foundation-for-you-until-you-create-your-own-foundation ... but that word doesn't exist.

I look at some of my friends, more than a few into the second decade of their marriages. And some of them didn't do as my parents did. Kids have taken priority or a career or a hobby or idleness. It makes me sad, not for those couples as they made their choices and therefore have chosen the consequences that will follow, but for those kids. Yes, kids are demanding of your time. Yes, your career needs more than 8 hours a day more often than not. Yes, fishing is easier than sorting through your spouses ridiculous emotional escapades. Yes, Netflix has every season of West Wing. Yes, kids are sometimes so much easier to love. Yes, work often provides more immediate rewards. Yes, Netflix has Blue Bloods (I know, a blatantly right winged show but I have a secret crush on Tom Selleck, that mustache does me in). But to not know that Mom and Papa love one enough to sacrifice for one another ... I can't imagine my world without that foundation.

When I took a moment to be home after the not-wedding I found a couple similar to Mom and Papa. One night I was over at their house, I gravitated to their home because of that foundation of love they had cultivated. Sitting across from them, discussing my choices and their choices and how we were where we were, Annette said to me, "Kas, we still stay up late into the night talking to one another, laughing." Now, four and a half years later, I still remember my exact thought after hearing those words, "Like Mom and Papa." She went on to tell me the conversation was rarely about the four kiddos, now a few more, for more than a bit. They still wanted to laugh and tell stories, to discuss books and scriptures, to watch movies together ... they were first and foremost a couple, then parents.

Buba is married. Remember when that happened? I wigged a little bit. My baby brother ran off and did that without me, without my stamp of approval. I was his person and he was mine and now I was not and she was and ... ect. But some months later (more than nine, although the rumors flew ... bless us judgey Mormons) they had Captain and the world was made right. I made it to hold that baby for his 1 month birthday. And while I sat there for three days loving Nephew, I saw Buba loving his wife like Papa loves my Mom. I looked down at that tiny, skinny, most perfect little one in my arms and knew that no matter what comes, he has the foundation I have ... that his Papa has. He has parents that love one another first.

My most favorite film is Burt and Verona trying to find a place to create that foundation. They know that the new role of parent they are about to take on is a huge thing. They want to do it right. In the 98 minutes you watch them though you see that they are choosing to make one another happy. He yells because she wants him to (I promise, it makes sense). She smiles because he's goofy. They are doing the groundwork. Verona had exactly what I have. She wants to give that to her child. And Burt, because he's chosen Verona and loves her as only he can, is supporting each Away (they) Go adventure. They don't care what everyone around them is saying or directing them to do. He wants her to be happy. She wants him to be happy. Everyone else is white noise to them. I love every minute of it.

Why am I saying this? Yes, I know so many without a Jeff and Marcia foundation. Yes, I know so many that have become amazingly remarkable humans, changing the world and blazing trails of greatness without parents that picked each other first. So, perhaps disregard all of my words. But me, Kate (did you know I referred to myself as Kate? I do ... me and Gams are the only humans who understand that someone with the real name Kathryn should actually be called Kate but I've digressed), I think you need Someone. One Someone. And you need to make that one Someone happy.

Coke told me that today when I went to the store ... it was right there staring me in the face. (Coke knows what I need) If you spend your life making Someone happy and they spend their life making you happy ... and you stay up late into the night laughing ... and you wake up early to kiss their face off ... and you call them in the middle of the day to whine about your coworker ... and you hold their hand as you drive to get that $4 breakfast burrito that is going to make you happy for a moment but not so happy in a few hours ... and you ponder your crazy kids together ... and you support one another in hopes and dreams and aspirations ... and if you have real talk together about how sometimes choosing one another is not your favorite thing but you get to the next day and it gets better ... and your Someone is your Someone ... well, it just makes the world seem a bit less scary, right?

Tall One said to me a bit ago as I sat perched on his chair, anxious about it all, "It's my job now to make her happy. I took the leap, I'm trying." He said some days he fails but he tries again. And he's happy doing that. The rest of the pieces that make his life seem to be in a better place because that is his number one priority. Tall One, the one that for years I was certain wouldn't ever get past a plate of busy and being sure the 19 humans he took on his plate as his responsibility were cared for ... he is happy making her happy. One person making one Someone happy.

I'm not saying that we should silo our service to one human. I'm not saying offspring shouldn't be cherished and adored. I'm not saying ...

I'm saying you get to choose to make one person happy. If you are making her happy, if she is making you happy everything else, eventually, falls into its place ... at least according to my model. So make one human, not 4 or 9 or 17, your person. And make that one Someone happy. I'm pretty sure it will make your Monday better, your week better, your holiday better ... it will make life better. And if everyone had one Someone to make happy and that Someone was simultaneously working to make their happiness maker happy ... well, it would be a whole world of happy.

See, I just fixed the world. You're welcome.


Friday's French Facts

Fact 1 - If you* had asked me ten years ago my plan, I would have simply said, "I'm leaving on my mission in 10 days!" with delight. If you had asked me my plan five years ago, I would have simply said, "Moving back to California here shortly probably," with a bit of hesitation and a prayer you wouldn't ask anything more. If you had asked me one year ago my plan, I would have said, "It's an adventure, I'm sorting through." If you ask me my plan right this moment, I would look at you with tired eyes and cry, "I have absolutely no idea." And that's okay, it's honest. Give me my 17 and I'll have an answer sans tears.

Fact 2 - I'm not a sleeper at current time. I wish I was. I get into bed. I try for night time sleeping. I try for day time sleeping. I try sleep helpers. I try window open sleeping (I am Jeff's daughter). I try the sound maker Grandfather sent me while I was Sister French. I try no noise at all. But most of the time, I Netflix (is that a verb yet?) Josh or Jim. I will usually fall asleep for a bit, I know the story lines and find comfort in knowing it won't change if I don't pay attention for a minute ... and sometimes I sleep as much as an hour ... but more than that isn't my reality right now. It makes me the perfect person for holding the babies in the middle of the night or doing the 5am drives to the airport (as I did this morning, picture below ... thank you red light glow for saving me from having to filter the heck out of it). 

Fact 3 - I'm an anxious person. I hate that this word is so common ... schizophrenia, another thing people can have, is not used to describe our day to day. You don't hear someone saying, "I was just a bit schizophrenic about my morning routine." But people use the word anxious all of the time about things, "I was anxious about losing that game," or "I'm anxious to have you come see the new house!" And that use is not wrong. But as someone that has an anxiety ... I hate it's common use in our vernacular, it makes me anxious, my kind of anxious. Because you see, my kind of anxious is debilitating. It's not simply an unexpected rush of adrenaline or sweet butterflies. It's an increased heart rate, to the point where I feel like it's going to beat right out of my body. It's difficulty breathing, not simply a count to 17 and all will be fine but a I'm-losing-all-ability-to-move-because-there-is-no-oxygen-getting-into-my-blood-stream-in-order-to-move-anything and then the uncontrollable shaking begins. It's ringing in my ears. It's dizziness that makes me want to, and on occasion actually, vomit. It's the most uncomfortable feeling I've ever felt and I've had 6 kidney stones, one failed kidney (twice), migraines, a broken back, and a broken middle toe (that last one was just for good measure, I was 11 and don't remember it hurting very much but I was a bit of a hypochondriac at that point in my life). I don't love large groups of humans that I don't know. I don't love large groups of humans I do know without a plan. I don't love public speaking. I don't love talking, verbally, about things that I'm uncertain about, my uncertainty or the party I'm speaking with's uncertainty. I don't love passive aggressive behavior. I don't love hospitals. I don't love days 23-28 after someone I love has died. I have medication that I can take and I do when it is necessary. However, at 31, I've also found that not putting myself in situations is the much easier (for all involved) and much more logical. Some of you* don't understand this ... I don't understand you in totality either, and that's okay. But it's a real thing, a difficult thing. Yes, I'm Marcia's daughter ... we look almost identical and have mirroring mannerisms and only Papa can tell the difference over the phone ... but I did not inherit her love and comfort in all situations, teaching a hundred people how to manage in a crisis is her idea of a fun Saturday afternoon and makes me want to hide in the closet. I'm complicated and on occasion ridiculous. But I am trying to not inconvenience you*. I am trying not to cause a scene. I am trying very hard not to be the person you don't understand. Yes, there are humans (I can count them on two hands, if I'm including family members) that work to calm the anxiety, that see it before I feel it and know the tricks to Kasi. I'll ask them what they are and share with the world ... but for them, as I see it, it's instinctual. They know me that well, they are my people.

Fact 4 - I know that I am an excellent person to have in your corner. I believe in you* and in your dreams. I fight for you with you if necessary. I think about you and pray for you, not a blanket blessing list of humans but I've got the time (I'm not a sleeper, remember?) and so Father gets an ear full about you. If I'm in Hallmark, I likely find a card that fits you. I push you. I appreciate you. I love your kids. I take a pill and come to the hospital. I find time to be there when the guy is a punk, the girl is heartless, or the kids are running you into the ground. And I know that this is great, it's the best thing I am right now. 

Fact 5 - I know that although Fact 4 is lovely ... it's not what I would like to be best at. I would like to be best at being 1 human's person. WHAT?!?!!?!? You (general population, not my nicknamed humans) are thinking that I have my 'people' not simply a 'person'. And that is the current fact. But here's the new bottom line ... My 'people' are my favorite and it's caused some issues ('some' being a very under-exaggeration) as I've tried to have a 'person'. You* are likely reading this and can site a time you saw me ruin something because of you* without even realizing it. And I'm not loving that. Because sometimes life happens, and the duration of 17 of a rant/cry/mope/scream that is necessary is necessary to live with someone, someone that is just mine in that moment. Please understand, you*/my people are there and I know it, I love it. But sometimes, when it feels like it's Kasi vs. the entire world, I'd like to have one 'person' feel responsible for me, to be in my corner ... with no other obligations above me. Writing that seems selfish? No, no. 

These are just the facts.

*you being my nicknamed humans


My People

Lots of things happen in life. Cars break down or keep running. Shows get cancelled or renewed. Songs get discovered or forgotten. Laundry gets put away or piled neatly on the bed. Cancer gets beaten or maybe it doesn't. People stay or people go. Words get said or they don't. And it all just keeps going.

I was sitting on K's bed as the night turned to morning, using words I didn't realize I had. I said something and caught myself off guard as K and A just looked at me, smiling. I did not return their smiles but rather had a moment of frustration. They kept smiling. My frustration at myself grew and their smiles stayed the same, "Welcome to the party, we've known for a very long time!" one said as I sat perched on my knees ... both of their faces were full of ... well, it seemed to be relief, as if this secret they'd kept from me was finally out in the open and they didn't have to lie to me any longer. Mercy, I laughed so hard.

I was talking (but really he was listening to me be complete mess) to CA a few Sundays ago.  I didn't have to use a lot of words as over the years he's come to know what is behind each heavy sigh or sniffle. He knew a distraction would be best so a ridiculous and likely 98% false story was told.  As his audience listened and her eyes stopped watering he wrapped up the antics. And then, as only he could, he said, "Well dagnabit (not actually 'dagnabit' but tender eyes may be reading) Kasi Jean, at least the rumors can be put to rest that you can't love." I laughed so hard.

I was lying on A's bed being ridiculous.  "At least you cry pretty." I laughed so hard.

Bintz and Doc sat with me that hour, flanking my sides. I wanted to be anywhere but where I was but there I was. Doc distracted me with comments on Paul vs Saul. Bintz sided with me as every move was made. At one point she said something about a clean shaven face. I laughed so hard.

I called Buba as I sat in my car, trying to sort through it all.  I let it all out, all of it. He gets to know everything. And then when I was done, he swore for me.  I laughed so hard.

Boy and I talk about homemade mayonnaise. We did Whole30, we can basically do anything. No laughing folks, I'm serious (I say with a Coke in my hand ;) ).

And then reality hits. I take a minute and go stand outside, the Lake in my line of sight. Deep breaths, count to 17. I mentally make a list of the Hallmarks that should probably be written to every friend that's been where I am that I've rolled my eyes at and said without empathy, "Mercy, get over it. Adventure is right around the corner but you've got to get there!" Juanito Bandito's guns go off, rapping happens behind the curtain and little kiddos laughter makes it better. And before the night ends in my hands is a shirt and a card, I laughed so hard!

My people really are my favorite.