Monday, September 29, 2008

Cupcakes and sweets. I love them.

I love whipped cream and anything sweet. I don't know why, but I was born with the sweetest of sweet tooths! I used to sneak candy and cookies at every chance possible, when I was a kid and it was limited. Now, I don't have anyone regulating me and I eat sweets SO very much! And I get whipped cream on every possible drink...ahh! it makes the drink exponentially better!

Part of the problem is that I love baking! I have started limiting myself to baking only when I can share with people. So call me, and I'll bake for your event!! Haha. Unluckily, Kevin doesn't have this sweet tooth obsession, so I'm usually stuck eating the majority of my creations. Thankfully, I love sweets enough to burn them off so I can eat more. I run pretty frequently and I'm only 1/5 of the way through life so my metabolism isn't dying yet lol. <-- I really like this blog. I wish I could make my blog look more savvy like this girl's. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually, but when I was reading some cool new blogs today, I came across a picture of some cupcakes that looked so scrumptious and I followed a link someone had responded to and I was just amazed. Check out that cupcake. Fabulous.

Have a good one, and eat lots of cupcakes ;)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Everything is meaningless...

Wow, Justin's sermon last night was powerful. Ecclesiastes chapter 1 seems pretty depressing if you just read it at face value. BUT thanks be to God that it's only the stuff UNDER the sun that's meaningless!!!

2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless."

3 What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.

6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.

7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.

8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.

9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.

11 There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.

12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

The stuff in my life that I need to remember is meaningless without God:
-my Car
-My appearance
-the "stuff" i have
-Shoes...clothes...stuff I fool myself into thinking will make me feel fulfilled
-How successful of a job I can find

...ahh! It's such a relief that chasing "bling" in this world is going to leave us empty and wanting more! Thank God we don't have to chase until we're broke and alone. We already have the answer to a fulfilling life and it's God and His word.
I'm so thankful that I'm HIS!!

Everyone should listen to Shane and Shane's song: "Under the Sun" from their Pages album. It is so incredibly powerful and it is talking about exactly this...and how we need to get OVER the sun!
Here are the lyrics, but listening to the song is really powerful:

Sitting around the fireplace
With a friend who’s been through it all
Soloman, wisest one
Tell me what you have found
Under the sun, under the sun
He answered

Get over the sun
Where life is hidden

Then he put on
A somber face
Talked about how
The rich man will waste
Away in the ground
Where the poor man is found
Painted up, like a clown
Under the sun, under the sun
He answers

Son you’ll soon be done
A life spent on some shiny god
Who leaves you empty

Sunday, September 21, 2008 ode to my grandma

It's the most amazing weather I've ever seen! I want to spend as much time outside this season as I possibly can. It literally just keeps me in an endless good mood! Since this weather and the sweet smell of fall makes me cherish memories from my past (wheaton college and from growing up) I'm going to post a few writings that I did in high school.

This one is a story of one of my grandmas. I have 3 amazing ones, but I just wrote this because I have really strong memories from my grandma's farm. You might get bored if you don't know my grandma and wonder what the heck I'm talking about, but that's okay. Maybe it'll evoke memories of your grandma or grandpa and inspire you to write something to her or him,too.


I’ve finally learned to appreciate the people I love. I’ve realized that its around these people that I can be who I want to be: goofy, serious, comfortable, whatever the heck I feel like. I don’t feel self conscious or fat around them. They love me the way I am. Can a story be an ode? If so, this is a story-ode to my Grandma Bigham, the person who amazes me, intrigues me, and welcomes me. I never have to say anything around her, but I can also say whatever I want. I can just rest knowing she is there. When she is at my house, I know that the dishes will get done, the socks will finally get matched, and my parents won’t fight. It’s like LOVE enters the room when she enters the room. I love her spirit of giving and unbelievable wisdom. She never gets tired of me asking her to tell the same stories over and over. And she is a great cook. When we eat at her house, I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else in the world. The smell of that house brings out who I want to be. I’m carefree, I’m a kid again.

She took my hand after the play and I had a flashback. I remember sitting in her church pew, the one we always sit in when we go to that tiny united Methodist church where everyone is over 4 times my age and the piano has like 87 keys out of tune. So I used to lay in her lap when I was really little and sleep, or eat cheerios, or daydream. Then as I got older, I would have to sit up, and watch my grandma gently whisper to my little brother and sister, “Be quiet and sit still.” But one time when I was holding her hand, sitting by her, (by the way, it was a privilege sit by her because every single cousin wanted to sit there) and I felt her fingers. And I can hardly describe the way they felt, but I will try. The whole top section of each finger was smooth and fingerprint-less. The skin moved back and forth under my soft tiny fingers as I pushed the tough but smooth skin from side to side. I LOVED THAT FEELING. She thought it was funny that I was amused by her fingers, and let me hold her hand and feel all five fingers as long as I wanted. The more I think about it, the more I wonder how they got like that, because my mom’s aren’t quite like that yet. Maybe it’s something that happens to all people over the age of 70, but I think it’s a mixture of other things. I think it’s all the dishes she has done. It has to be over 10,000. And I think it’s all the times she has gripped the handlebars of the 4-wheeler to drive more water bottles out to the field, or a lunch in a red cooler if one of the ‘men’ forgot his, or sunscreen. Or to grasp the rough radio button that I could never hold down to relay an important message to one of the tractor drivers. Perhaps they got rough from squeezing through the ‘Fat Man Squeeze’ at Little Grassy Grandparent’s camp so many times, or from turning the pages of The Fourteen Bears, Brer Rabbit and the Briar Patch, and Goodnight Moon so many times. I think part of the reason they’re fingerprintless is that she has cut up hundreds, thousands of Charlie’s peaches and apples and pumpkins. Also, she has mixed up flour and chicken fat (eww) and other heavenly mystery ingredients for our favorite chicken and dumplings at least 200 times, and undoubtedly knows the recipe by heart. I think it is from the hundreds of kids she has picked up off the ground after they fell off the tire swing or off of the lime pile or trampoline. No doubt the hours she has spent with a comb and brush, fluffing her colored hair into it’s usual fluff ball has contributed to those finger tips. They’re tough and smooth from grasping a pen so tightly to write letters by the hundreds to her lover overseas at war. They’re worn from picking strawberries and blueberries at Charlie’s farm at six in the morning (to get the good ones before everyone else gets there!) They must be like that from making invisible good deed marks on the wall in the kitchen. For a while I thought the marks were real, when I was really little. Then I went through a phase where I thought it was retarded, that the marks didn’t mean anything and I could fight with my sisters and cousins if I wanted. But now, I’m right there with her adding and subtracting behavior marks. Her lack of fingerprints could also be from flipping through the worn pages of her Bible. Her extreme love of the Lord is so apparent-from even a short encounter with her. This is the kind of woman I want to grow up to to be.

I guess I’m growing up, but I’m still really REALLY young in her blue eyes. After all, I’m less than 1/3 of her age. It works to my advantage. A lot of her clothes from the 70s are in style now, and I raid the what used to be ‘dress up closet’ for actual clothes-hats, jackets, shoes, whatever I can find. I think I look pretty sweet and vintage in my grandma’s clothes. Its funny how things come right back around. Like the circle of life. When grandpa died, instead of dwelling on that indescribable loss, she poured herself into baby Luke and baby Grant. Now they’re growing up, and they’re learning the ways of the farm. My Grandma Bigham is the glue holding the Bigham farm together. She unfailingly beats the sunrise up, and I’m always stirred out of my light sleep on the living room floor by the gentle purr of the coffee maker. It’s not much of an issue though, when I groggily walk into the kitchen to find fresh peach and blueberry pancakes on the table.

Gosh, how her years make her wise. I have never heard my grandma yell. She has spoken firmly, but only when one of her grandchildren is doing something hurtful to themselves or someone else. It’s nice there, though, at the farm, to not have to worry about running around without a shirt**this was when I was younger, don’t worry** or in the street because there is hardly any traffic. (And the traffic there is, is usually tractors going an average of 10 miles per hour.) It’s far away from here, Bigham road, but it’s the most wonderful road I know. It leads to the most peaceful place I know. I’ve known her phone number by memory since age seven probably. The number is comforting, it’s comfortable. Just like my grandma’s lap. Just like her hands, just like her bed, her silkies, just like the personalized quilts she makes for us and has all over her house, just like her frail but enthusiastic little voice that could never learn to sing on key because of the out of tune piano at her church. There is a pew in that little Methodist church with their names on it, in Memory of Roy Dean and Irma Dorthea Bigham. They deserve that bench. They have countlessly loaded up children and grandchildren into their purple Lincoln towncar to bring them into that tiny town church so we could learn about Jesus. They have sung thousands of hymns sitting in that pew.

I hope no one who ever knew my grandma ever forgets the zest she had for life and for serving the Lord. I’ll never forget the way she filled up the cow feeding trough with water for our ‘swimming pool’, took us on nature walks, exploration hikes of every sort, let us pick up frogs, go fishing and make any art and craft imaginable. She also never let a good newspaper or readers digest article get past us if we were visiting. And if we weren’t there, she saves it until we come so we can read it. Now I save the good articles for her, too. I love my grandma so much, she represents life to me no matter how old she gets. Most of all she is love. I love you grandma!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chicago has too many suburbs!

When people say they're from chicago, if they mean chicagoland area, which means they could still live an hour apart..if not more lol.  But it's okay, we're here in Wheaton right now!! 

These are the things I want to do while we're here:

Walk with Rainey and CATCH UP! Check.
Eat Bubble Tea at Joy Yee's (AMAZING)
Eat Barone's Chicago pizza in Glen Ellyn (YUMMM)
Drink coffee at La Spiaza with Amanda
Walk/Talk/Eat with JILL my sis! (and our lovely host)
Visit my wonderful little twin flower girls' family 
Shopping and Going downtown are out of the question because there are too many wonderful people to see!!

God is so good. I am so pumped up about Living Dangerously and being BOLD about my faith! Everyone should listen to the podcast or watch the video podcast of Kingdom Youth Church I attached the link...try to watch the one from September 17th 2008!

I gotta to to chapel! Ah, good memories from Wheaton :) 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Confessions of a recent book junkie

APPARENTLY MY BLOG NEEDS TO STAY EXCITING!! So, my needy sisters, I hope I don't disappoint you! Will lots of exclamation points do it?!

So, the day I've been waiting for for a MONTH finally came today!! My books that I've been holding at the library FINALLY came in! Lately, I've become a book junkie. This happened, I think, because I went almost all summer without reading or taking classes. My mind had a total "cleansing fast" and it acutally rocked! I didn't know this had happened until I picked up "The Shack." My mind was SO THIRSTY that it went crazy. (The shack tops my favorite list right now, despite its somewhat controversial theology, and I think everyone should read it at least once. Especially if you have questions or doubts about God, the trinity, and human suffering. It was so good that I bought it after I read it; something I am usually too thrifty to do!) I started devouring pages like I haven't done since Harry Potter. Yes, I admit, I am a Hogwarts student wannabee.

My reading addiction continued with the Twilight series *** wonderful. It makes vampires seem so real and truly existent...and unexplainably attractive! However, I have maybe found some fallacies, or questions. If anyone reads them, which you seriosuly should if you haven't given them a chance, can you answer these questions:
1. Why can Alice see Bella's future if Bella is immune to all their powers?
2. If Edward were able to control himself and marry Bella while she's still a human, if they procreated would their kid be born a vampire?
3. Can vampires even have kids since they're immortal (and they never change ages?) Maybe these questions will be answered by the end of the fourth book. I just started the third, so don't ruin it for me!! I have more questions, too, but I forgot to bring in my journal.

So, in addition to reading about 1500 pages in the last month, I've been dying to get my hands on some of SARK's books and a book called "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop. SARK is the author I mentioned in my first blog, who freed me from my fear of writing FINALLY!, and writes motivational and hilarious books by hand. The one by her that I was waiting for at the library is called "Succlent Wild Woman" -Dancing with your wonder-full self! I'm pretty excited. It's not christian, but I think it'll teach me how to live and love life a little better. It's a national bestseller too, so you don't usually go too wrong with those.

"Escape" is a first hand account of a woman who was born into a radical polygamist cult. At eighteen, she became the fourth wife of a fifty-year old guy and had EIGHT children in FIFTEEN years! When their leader began to preach about the apocalypse, she knew she had to get her kids out...she vowed not to escape without them!! So she calls her brother who snuck out of the cult years earlier to help her. They only give women vans with enough gas to get to the convenient store like 5 miles away, so she meets her brother there in the middle of the night to escape. That's all from the summary thing I read...soo I can't wait to read it.

I'm acutally blogging at the Library right now becuase, as I may have mentioned, we are really stinkin thrifty, it being our first quarter year of marriage! haha so we don't have wireless internet at home, and we don't even have any neighbors to mooch off of! Those darn security-enabled wireless neighbors!

I've offically left each blog entry (a whooping 3!) at a different place! Maybe I should see how long I can go posting at random places. I have the school library, the Moline public library, and Dead Poet's Expresso coffee shop so far on my list. I definitely have more options.

I'll leave you with something I was thinking about today:
Did you know that men can sometimes think about nothing and women can't?! It seems unfair. Sometimes I just want my mind to slow down and stop. It seems hyperactive at most points in the day. If any guys are reading this, I was wondering when exactly in your day you zone out and stop thinking. Does it feel weird or numb, or do you even realize you're doing it?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Things I want to do before I die:

Victory! I figured out how to add a picture. That took me a retardedly long time.

1. Okay: so this picture is from the Walt Disney Half marathon! This is definitely on my list! Next year it happens 2 days before my birthday: on January 12, 2009. It's at 6 AM before the park opens! whoa, that means waking up way before dawn. Notice the darkness of this picture! I'm pretty sure we can't afford it next year, but in the future I'd love to run this with Kevin. ( I also want to run the Nashville Country Music half marathon because Tennessee is just a sweet state, and I'd love to run the one in Springfield just because Abe Lincoln was from there and he's my favorite president. Plus, I grew up around there. I'd be a run down memory lane! I want to run a full marathon once in my life. I think this one should be in Chicago so I can be like my dad. Jill and Jessica (my sisters), you should do it with me!! Probably in like 2 think? I also want to wear a shirt that says "Kick asphalt" for one of the races! Is that inappropriate? lol

2. Become a wonderful cook. I love home cooked meals and I'm not going to become lazy and buy frozen dinners and frozen everything (not that i'm against it) but it's way too convenient and it seems like cheating to me. I admit I've bought frozen stuff...a lot...but I've only been married for 2 months! I need more practice time. I'll put my fav recipies on my blog!

3. Stop my bad habit of being a little late everywhere I go!

4. Be confident!

5. Get at least 1 book published before I die

6. Have kiddies! I love children and I definitely want to have at LEAST 3. But I definitely want 2 girls. Don't worry, this isn't happening anytime soon if we can help it!

Shoot, to make number 3 even slightly possible today, I have to go meet with my adviser now!
I want to do a lot more things before I die, but this list will just have to wait!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I'm pretty excited. I have my own blog! This is going to be the start of something very exciting in my life...writing for the public to see! I'm a compulsive and sporadic journal-er and due to the current technology trends/not that current anymore, I've decided to move up in the writing world.
It's called "no apologies" for a few reasons:
1. My favorite and most inspirational English teacher in High School, Mrs. Baruffi, told us never to apologize for our writing! It's a natural human tendency, when others are about to read something we wrote, to get defensive and make excuses for our work. I've since adopted that as my own policy. If I think something I write might be bad, it obviously needs help from other people. If it's really bad, I'll just write it in my old school journal for only my eyes to read!

---mrs. suzie baruffi taught us to be colorful and creative and make a daybook! she birthed my love of writing, especially with juicy pens!

2. I am such an apologetic person! I am a softie! SO, therefore, as an extension of the first point, I am not going to apologize for myself in life! I'm learning to be less timid and stick up for what I believe. Which leads to my next point...

3. I am an unashamed, unrestrained Christian-"follower of Christ!" I love Jesus Christ with all my heart and believe in the Bible as the inspired word of God. Some other people in this big disastrous world don't believe in God, which can result in TENSION! But especially in this area of my life, I will not apologize for what I believe because we're called to speak the truth boldly.
(This doesn't mean, though, that I dislike or love you any less if you aren't a Christian! Nor does it mean that I'm an aggressive, pushy, judgemental Christian. I'm trying so stinkin' hard to follow Jesus and definitely not be any of those things...ahh, those traits can ruin christianity.)

SOO, as this blog develops into...whatever it happens to become, I hope it can be a place of enlightenment and fun for me and for people who might read it!

The next blog will be more about me and my life dreams!!