28 March 2013

A Night in Paris {Krysta's Ballet Recital}

I'm shaking my head and hanging it low in shame. Forgive me, this post has been stuck in my "draft" folder. I wrote it while on the plane to Hawaii, but never clicked published. Through all of the excitement, it remained forgotten until today. So, without further ado, here is Krysta's dance recital from June. *red cheeks*


It’s quiet. The stage is set. Lights of pink, blue, and green descend from overhead to illuminate the stage. Violins strum as the orchestra joins in over the sound system, in a slow sweet opening. As the music increases, thirty little ballerinas dressed in white, prance under the spotlight in sync with one another, as the audience resounds in “awe”. The performance begins, and my girl instinctively moves in graceful spins and pointed toes.

I felt them coming…the tears. I pushed them back and held them off for as long as I could, but as soon as I laid my eyes on Krysta, I waved my white flag and surrendered. I became so overwhelmed with the emotion of seeing my little girl on stage that my eyes swelled, breaking the dam as tears began to roll uncontrollably down my cheeks. Yes, we’ve done many recitals in the past, but the lump-in-the-throat and heart swelling never goes away. It’s usually around this time –the waterworks part- that I look over at Ron to see his eyes glistening as he watches his baby pirouette, but there was just a stranger sitting beside me. This was the first recital that Ron wasn’t able to attend. I was the only one that came to see her performance, but that’s all she needed. She knew daddy was thinking of her and supported her big day from thousands of miles away. 

The tempo changed paced as the group of bouncing bopping girls did high kicks and pom-pom shakes across stage. This was her first year doing Pom, and while she loved doing her number on stage, she decided that Pom wasn’t her thing…she’d rather arabesque in yards to tulle instead of booty shake in sequins. Her exact words were, “ballet is prettier”.

But she did it, and she did it well.  I’m so proud of her.

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautifully, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth, and it is yours for the taking.” –Agnes De Mille


23 March 2013


We shifted gears and headed west to the Rockies for a little R&R with Ron’s family. It was a much needed break—hours of conversation, extra cups of coffee, and exploring breathtaking mountain views. Colorado is in my Top 4 favorite states (Alaska ranking #1 of course) because of the color. Color bursts of purple, gold, and blue fill the landscape like an explosion of fireworks. It’s enchanting really, as if wondering through a dreamy haze where it’s just you and nature.

Just like every trip to Colorado, we began by navigating our way aimless through the city and into smaller towns, all while Ron tells stories of childhood memories. Eventually we pull over to capture a few shots on my camera or we trail off into the woods and over red rocks. It’s always the same, but yet always different, which is very soul-satisfying. We get equal doses of home comforts mixed in with adventure during each trip.  

On this particular trip, God gave us major eye-candy. We witnessed a crisp blue ombre’ sky that dipped into mountains, completely saturated in lavender hues, wispy golden grass that flickered in the sun and rock formations that glisten in tones of red and orange.

The mountains were calling our name, and we joyfully answered.

Weaving between rocks --because of course, we had to go off the trail-- and over small rocky obstacles, we reached the top. Overlooking a bask range of mountains in the distance with evergreens and houses sprinkled throughout, I gained a little perspective. What was once larger than myself, was now so small, so distant; my perspective became clear up on that rocky cliff. As big as my pain is now, it’ll eventually fade, it’ll eventually become smaller, and I will be up on the cliff looking down upon it.

It was right then and there that something clicked. I felt so free with the crisp open air swooping around me. Everything just seemed completely obtainable. Little did I know, a seed was planted. Lost in my own thoughts, my focus and my priorities shifted. I needed to stop dwelling on broken friendships, hurt feelings, and the emotions that came with it- sadness, loneliness, and disappointment, which all came barreling down throughout this last deployment and the loss of dear loved ones- and start focusing on the present and all the blessings that I have in my life—a loving husband, bright kids, supportive friends, and golden dreams. Time heals all wounds, and my time has come.

Throughout this past year’s journey, I’ve constantly reminded myself of this quote-- it goes something like this, “Sometimes things fall apart, so better things can fall together” …or something along those lines. It has given me courage, strength, and the outlook that I’ve needed to push through, to overcome barriers, to remain on the bright-side, and to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  And so with my newly gained perspective, I’m watering that seed by jumping into a new endeavor—an endeavor that we’ve been tossing around for months, so it’s now time to stop thinking and just do. I’m super excited, and once I smooth out the kinks, dot my I’s and cross my T’s, I’ll tell you all about it! But, I will say this, it still involves art—I could never be happy without art in my life. 

I apologize for such a heavy post on a Saturday morning. My intent was to write a lighthearted post about our fun Colorado trip. I got a little sidetracked, but I do feel better unloading hidden emotions from my heart. Thank you so much for listening to me ramble.

That planted seed is sprouting, I must tend to my garden.


16 March 2013

I'm on Bloglovin'

Hey you guys! With the news of Google Reader shutting down, I've added my blog to BlogLovin'. If you follow by gfc, don't worry, come over to BlogLovin', so you don't miss a beat! Feel free to leave your link, so I can follow you back!
I hope you all are having a great weekend!!!

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15 March 2013


Please Note: because I’ve had such a hard time writing about this and since it’s such an emotional, raw topic, I’m just going to flow with it and write wholeheartedly until my chest is lighter. I’m not going to proofread or change anything- whatever comes to my mind, is what you will read, so please excuse the grammatical errors, as I’m sure there will be many.

I’ve written this post over and over in my head, but I’ve never been able to put it down into actual words to where it makes sense. Every time I sit down to write, I draw a blank, lost in a thick layer of hazy fog. You see, death is such shaky subject and it can’t be justified with any amount of words. Everyone has their own opinion on the subject- some say, it’s best to keep it inside, privately in your own heart; others say it helps to talk about it, to let it out. But to tell you the truth, I’m not entirely sure which one is best. However, I do know this—I want to talk optimistically about my loved ones and keep a positive outlook on the future. I don’t want to talk about the hurt and the emptiness and the pain that my family feels losing such a significant family member. No amount of beautifully written quotes, elegantly worded paragraphs, or bible verses can justify what my cousins, Kelly and Ashley, are going through after losing both of their parents.

My aunt passed away from breast cancer two years ago. I’ve held that inside of me—never released my emotions, never went through the grieving process, and never accepted the fact that she’s gone. Now two years later, my uncle passed away due to heart complications. I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. No one imagines these things to happen, and surely no one prepares. In my mind they’re still living in the lake house, going about their everyday life.

I’m not the type that easily shows emotion. I’m very awkward when someone needs comforting-- I’m not sure why that is, because my family is a big group of huggers and embracers, whereas I’m more of an observer. I like to process my surroundings and digest my feelings in the background before I can appropriately react to a situation, which is usually privately done in tears.

With recent news that my grandma’s health (she lives in a nursing home and has been diagnosed with Parkinson's) has taken a turn for the worse, all of these emotions that I haven’t fully dealt with are coming to the surface. I have to accept the fact that my aunt and uncle are no longer with us, and I have to prepare myself that Nana may not be with us much longer. But, like I said earlier, I want to do this in the positive way as much possible because their lives were so beautiful and full of so much love. I want to remember all of the life lessons that they have taught me, the memories that were made, stories that were shared at gatherings…stories are huge in my family. We could talk your ear off around the dinner table and keep you up until the late hours of the night with stories of fishing trips, guess-who-I-ran-into, and back-in-the-day—mainly told through Nana and Jerry because Nana has piles and piles of memories to tell, and Jerry is so energetic and enthusiastic and can keep a conversation going for hours (Jerry was in theater, so he really knows how to tell a good story). And we laugh. We always laugh because when we’re all together, it’s nothing short of a good time.

With the unexpected news of my uncle’s passing, we loaded up the car, boarded Louie at the vet, and traveled 1,095 miles to be with family. It was a weekend that was equal parts mourning and comforting. We celebrated Greg’s life, and continued on in storytelling –because it’s what we do best- with stories of his life, happy memories, funny moments, jokes he would tell. It’s comforting and such a blessing to be able to look back on all the life that was created, and smile. Greg lived full life, to its fullest capacity. He was a comedian in his own right, always laughing, always telling a joke, but most of all, always had you laughing until your sides hurt. He truly loved life, and was loved by everyone.

And so we all came together to honor him, his memory, and the footprint that he has left of all of our hearts.

We had an oyster roast and kept a bonfire burning for days. There’s something comforting about a bonfire- maybe it’s the warmth that it radiates or perhaps it’s because it draws people in, to sit closely together, and again, tell stories.

My hair and clothes continuously smelt of burnt cedar and earth—best smell ever. It’s delicious.

I hated that we all united under such circumstances, but it warms me to no end to see my family, especially since living halfway across the country makes traveling extremely difficult. I have a tight knit family. We get together for all holidays, weekend get-togethers, NC State football games, and regular beach visits, but now our visits are few and far in between. I suppose it’s the one grand flaw of being married to the military—distance. 

But getting back together –the reunion- is oh so sweet. We picked up right where we left off, never skipping a beat.

Saying good-bye to my uncle was so hard for us to do.

“That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it's reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that shocking.”

- Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

my clan (sigh, half of us are blurry. hoping to get a really nice family portrait, one day)

I'm at peace knowing that he's in heaven with my Aunt Deb, his one true love, pa, Aunt Mildred, and everyone else that we've lost the last couple of years. I can't wait to see them all again. I can hear his enthusiastic voice now saying, "Hey Emmie!!!"

my uncle, William Gregory Pittman