27 October 2014

This weekend, I went to Boise with Ryan for my brother's homecoming.  He got home this last week from his two year mission in Japan.

(post from when he left here - email me if you do not yet have access ;) )

Missionaries are so common, but when I stop to think about TWO YEARS in a foreign place with SO many parts of your life sacrificed for service to the Gospel - man, what brave and incredible people.  So amazing.  This is the same conclusion when I stop to think about my friends giving birth to live humans.   MIND-BLOWING.  .

Trevor came home, and I had forgotten that this kid loves peanut butter.  Peanut butter had to be on the table at every meal growing up.  Take a dinner of spaghetti, for example.  Because why would he put marinara sauce on his noodles when he could put PEANUT BUTTER???  So when he pulled out the peanut butter jar and started licking the lid, that's when I knew he was the real Trevor Shawn.

So, my favorite parts of the weekend:

  • Football game with my whole family.  LOVED going to this game with Ryan and my family.  On our way out, shuffling through mobs of people, I kept asking Ryan what we would do if there was a bomb or a fire, and what would be the most effective way to FREAK OUT.  Because paranoia.
  • Sleeping in until 9:30 with Ryan.  Eating breakfast.  And then going back to sleep until 2.  So glad I found someone who can sleep as much as I can.
  • Shopping with Devin, Trevor, Ryan, and Kara - because the boys needed new clothes, and Kara and I had way too much fun throwing clothes over the dressing room doors, changing sizes, switching colors, and making them come out to model for us while we gave honest opinions.  "That shirt makes you look like you have jaundice."  "Ooooooh yeah.  Black was meant for you." Let's just say, those boys all left JCPenny looking studly.
  • Driving home from the mall and hearing about Devin almost getting in a fight with this old dude at a basketball game, because the old dude was super mad at how bad Trevor was playing, and Devin wasn't going to tolerate it.  Funny because one time this dude in high school was making fun of Devin playing dodgeball when we would all play as neighborhood kids in the streets, and I was up in his face so fast.  And one time my sister loudly chewed out this dude in the high school hallway because he wouldn't quit stalking me.   The Ockerman family might be really introverted, but we don't let people mess with each other.  I like that.
  • Pumpkin pie and watching World War Z with Ryan and my brothers.
  • Putting on all these Japanese clothes and taking family pictures.  Because that's tradition, as we put on Brazilian soccer jerseys and took photos out in the yard when Devin came home. 
  • Going to church with my whole family and listening to Trevor bear his testimony in Japanese.  He never spoke Japanese to us his whole mission because it would make him so nervous.  So this was our first time hearing him speak it, and it was SO cool!

Hashtag families are forever.

Upward and onward,


A whole hand

23 October 2014


I finally cleaned out my inboxes today.  business and personal.  And what started out slow, got going pretty quick.  Hours later, I'd sifted, organized, replied - hundreds of emails down.  And all that is left are the ones to reply to my closest friends - those will be full of grit and heart.

And going so fast - I saw my life in a flood.  It's beautiful.  so full of people that matter very much to me.  and memories that are so powerful and come together to create such a story.  and sometimes the emails were more of a dark beauty - really hard questions, confiding in my closest friends what couldn't be easily understood.

And I don't want to put that black backdrop of healing from my betrayal behind every scene of my life.  But, a lot of all my good is largely because of.  My Sisters.  My closest friends.  My relationship with Christ.  My massively grown heart.  My brave travels around the world. 

Life here on Earth can really bruise someone.  really hurt.  And around us, we feel we can only flash the cards we have polished and glossed.  But when you keep the right people close, you can show your whole hand, anytime you need.  Especially the cards that are most painfully stained.  And they'll hold you so tightly; they'll speak so lovingly.  Every card is meaningful. 

We become nearer.  nearer to each other.  nearer to God.  nearer to all that really matters. And I believe that's all we're expected to do here - take whatever life hands us and get closer together.

Upward and onward,

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I like my people

21 October 2014

Having a Best Friend and a Man Friend with red personalities is a benefit. 

Case 1 - Today.

7:33 am

Wake up so that I can think about sleep.
My mind, for some reason, likes to do this every day at this time.  STOP IT.

7:47 am

I roll off my bed and onto the floor.  Trying to reach for my bra, but I'm too tired to roll any farther.  I pause to take a break and do something else for awhile.

Text Leslie from the floor:  Morning! What's the address and phone number of your new parentos?  Ryan's gonna pick up the washer I'm storing at their house and bring it up to me.  Time to sell that thing.

Leslie texts me back immediately with all the information.  Because no doubt she's been up since 5 anyways.  Forward information to Ryan with lots of nonsensical emoticons.  Like a picture of a pig's snout.

8:15 am

By this point, bra is successfully on my body, and now I stand in front of the kitchen window like a zombie.

Leslie:  When do you think Ryan will be by their place to pick it up?

Me:  Not for sure - probably Friday.  He should reply to me soon though.  Japanese flag.

8:25 am

Ryan calls me:  Hey, I'm at Ted's house now, and the washer is loaded up in the back of my truck.  Want the dryer too?

Text Leslie and Ryan:  YOU PEOPLE!

Case 2 - Yesterday.

5:20 pm 

Come out of work and car won't start.  Normal lately because my battery is dying and needs to be replaced.

Call Julie and she agrees to come get me.

While sitting on a bench outside my work, call dad and notify him, because I still believe my father - 400 miles away - is my only solution to car problems.  Buying a car battery and screwing it in myself, or even driving to my mechanic, is sooooooo out of my time frame.  Walking three hours to work every day is a much more practical resolution I believe.

Dad tells me to call Ryan, as he is much closer, and would certainly know what to do.

Yeah, good point.

Take some selfies.

6:00 pm 

Julie and I arrive home, call Ryan. 

Me:  So, you know that thing under the hood of your car that's shaped like a box that gives juice to your car so then it can go?  Well, mine doesn't do that anymore, so I was just thinking that since you live near a store that sells juice boxes for cars and humans in bulk, which I know you have a special cult card for, and I know you were probably going to go at some point in the next year anyways anyways, so if you could just get me a car juice box when you go..... that would be really cool.
(Brian Regan anyone?) 

Ryan:  You're very good at explaining things completely clear--


Ryan:  Yah, so just to repeat back what you plainly said - you want me to go to Costco and get you a car battery?

Me:  Exactly!  Ya know, in the next year or so, whenever is most convenient for you.

Ryan:  Okay, I'll bring one up tomorrow and put it in your car.


Text him a selfie from earlier.

Conclusion:  red personalities do things for you.
and yellow personalities are good at being kitchen zombies.

Upward and onward,

A red rock weekend

20 October 2014

Ryan and I went to Moab this weekend for his sister's homecoming.

Ryan has 9 kids in his family.  Which I made sure to count repeatedly all weekend long.  Everywhere we went - I'd find each sibling and count them.  Count them in birth order, or by hair color, or by groups of who looks like who, and everytime, it was always 9.  And this game was at a higher experience level than it seems because the siblings were intermixed between their spouses, some children, and even an aunt and uncle and one cousin.  (which the aunt basically became my best friend, and I have full intentions of getting her phone number to stay friends).

And every time, I'd count them up to 9, and then feel that same sense of surprise each time.  9!  That's a lot of people to keep track of.  I mean, there's five kids in my family, which is a fair number.  But one time for a group photo at my sister's wedding of my family + my dad's side, of which I only have THREE cousins, I was not tracked down.  So still to this day, the picture hangs in our upstairs hallway with everyone but me.  Not that I really care because I thought of adding a sticky note drawing of myself and a trombone.  That would lead people to believe that I wasn't featured because I was on a world orchestra tour.  And that is true.  Because one could say that for a trip to the bathroom.

But anyway, all of us went to Tusher Tunnel the day before Saren's homecoming.  We explored the tunnels, climbed on the rocks, then made sandwiches and ate on the red sand.  It was really cool!  On the way out, with as many people as could fit in the back of Ryan's truck, he cruised through the rocky terrain, and everyone bounced around and laughed and winced.  Then we stopped to observe a rattlesnake that Roger spotted.  And through every adventure, I really liked observing all the personalities, and the role each person takes on to balance the family energy, and how each role interplays with all the other roles.  The musician, the wild child, the comedian, the leader, the peacekeeper.  Every family has a cadence.  Like it's one big play, and they all know their part and their lines, and I must quickly pick a role and jump in.  So I picked the opera singer, which made for a very interesting weekend for all of them...  Just kidding - I picked the prop holder.  Which explains why I kept picking up their house plants and standing very still in the corner.  Really though, stepping in as the datee, instead of just a regular friend, always induces a mild sense of panic and a forgotten capability of speaking in large groups.  I think The Doctors are calling it shyness.  I call it Ryan-hold-my-hand-and-spoonfeed-me-Rocky-Road-ice-cream.  Which he did exceptionally well.

But really, I very much liked being with Ryan's family - I like all of them a lot, and his parents are incredible people.  I really believe someone should write a book series about them because it would be a lot like The Boxcar Children.  I'll do it.  Starting with the adventure of eating Natalie's homemade carrot spice cake with hidden plastic babies in some pieces to help decipher the gender of her baby.

World, I'd like to be an accountant social psychologist writer, please.  Where can I apply?

Also, I need to go back and run all over those red rocks. 

Upward and onward,

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The moments we stand.... or sit on the floor

16 October 2014

The limits of being a human.

Sometimes I think everyone has found the secret to handling intense amounts of sustained pressure far better than I can.  Or the secret to always avoiding it.  I'm also certain that everyone has found the fountain of living waters, gathering in some lush forest every night to drink life away into immortality and get the finest secrets of living.  And the walls of the well are made with flecks of gold that they rub on their face to erase all wrinkles.  And also black babies run wild and free and are up for grabs if anyone wants to bring one home, and buy him a bed, and watch him become a national football star.  Because how else did Blindside come to be??

But anyway, I think that people are probably laughing at me on the side.  Because I don't have gold on my face.  I have dirt.  Oh wait, no, freckles.  And because they can see that I don't share in life's finest secrets. Obviously, because look--

That's me in the corner of a bathroom stall at work.

Which is no place that a person who has found the glorified fountain of harmony would be.

I'm highlighting the watch that my friend Hannah mailed me a couple weeks ago to remind me of my "zen" place - because she knows I like it there.  And also because it's important for me to maintain my stance on never being a product placement blogger, or else I WILL highlight every item on the floor of a bathroom stall.

No actually I'm really here because I needed to water the freckles on my face.  And that's not some code phrase for other bathroom purposes.  It means I needed to CRY.  Because after a long day yesterday, a long week, a loooooong many months of intensely compiled pressure at work, I woke up this morning with my choice yet again to stand and produce a beautiful day.  Putting on this shield watch as a reminder.  And a pretty accessory.

Except then my morning meeting starting drawing water out of my eyeballs.  Because there are no breaks here.  And is my work email being mass distributed somewhere?  And also, tired.  And then people would try to talk to me, and the water would well up more.  So I tried to rectify by smiling reeeeally big so my cheeks would hide my eyes.  But smiling really big for no reason was certainly creeping people out, so instead I just got up, walked really fast passed the looooooooong conference table of people to the exit door.  Finally landing safely on the floor here.  And then I thought, PICTURE TIME!!  And also BLOGGING TIME!!  Because notice how a couple other posts are formed after I've had a bathroom floor moment?  Because I feel inspired after I sit down on people's nasty germs for a moment...  or something. 

The thing is, I have 8,000 posts in my drafts, opening up about what I'm experiencing right now in my professional life.  But details of work?  blegh.  And mostly I just try to be positive and forward-moving about it all.  But in moments more and moreso lately, it really weighs on me.  So I tuck my head, and I work harder.  Go again.  And keep showing up.  And I've gotten a lot better at going easy on myself.  Because I know there's so much we experience that is unknown.  Even as we bustle by each other every day, we don't know just how deep the glacier goes for anybody else.  And "adult" just means we're higher from the ground wo we have more height for layers to build.  And a longer stride for our legs to carry.  And how do you explain all those added stacks and steps with ease?  So take one down and pass it around.

Anyway, then a person enters the bathroom, and I peer through the crack of the stall.  Though I am aware that there is no worse place to make eye contact with someone.  I see the one female director in our department.  She is the calmest, and most composed woman in the entire world.  I wonder, "Did she once have overwhelming moments in her early career like me?  Possibly on the bathroom floor - to make the setting of my "human" moments seem more reasonable.  Did she once peek through the stall at some other, older woman who had already walked the path and found her "zen?"  Also, did she have a pretty watch?"  Then I bust through the doors of the bathroom and grab onto her shrieking, "Show me where the fountain is!  TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!!"

Okay not really.  Instead I come out and wash my hands, going back upstairs to my desk, deciding to smile and show up again.  And then one of my favorite co-workers stops me by the copy machine, gives me a hug, and whispers, "you're up against a lot.  and everyone hits a limit at some point."


And then I check his suit coat for remnants of gold.  Just in case.  I just don't want to be the last mortal left.   But in the meantime, I will be the most freckly mortal who always gets back up and stands again. 

Upward and onward,

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