Friday, December 11, 2009

Peace, Joy, Love, and Writing


Moments of Bliss, Happiness, and Christmas

I am once again going to chicken out on the Blog I've been wanting to complete about my theology of suffering. What do I think God wants? Where does the Bible stand on this topic? Well, I just DON'T stinking know. So for now I'll defer to a much more pleasant topic: The moments of bliss that have arisen from my afternoon on this sunny, white winter day!!

This time of year generally brings people a lot of strong feelings: hope, peace, love, joy, fear, depression, anxiety, etc. But mostly good Christmassy feelings!

Can I just tell you how wonderful this afternoon has been?!?

1) I took the afternoon off of work, because it is December 11th and I still have 2 whole vacation days left!
2) I had Noodles and Company's Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken for lunch! (A perfect Zone-Diet meal, I might add ;)
3) I came straight to Barnes N' Noble. It smells of book and coffee.
4) I stacked my tiny table high with delicious books, getting all sorts of stares from onlookers and employees.
5) I bought a cherry pastry and carmel machiatto that the barista screwed up, but it was still good!
6) I have been here more than 2 hours, and I haven't had to go to the bathroom and lug my computer and all
7) A hold a really amazing secret that brings me underlying happiness. (No need to get any crazy ideas. It's probably not what you're thinking.)

Those are the "Rising action" moments that made my afternoon so Glorious. Now I'll tell you about the treasures that I have found in my last hour and 1/2 reading!

A) "The Highly Sensitive Person: How to thrive when the world overwhelms you" by Elaine Aron. I found out that i am a pretty definite HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)! This explains my intense personality, my animosity toward loud or repetitive noise, my stressed reaction when I'm in a big crowd for a long period of time, etc etc! Family, do you hear that? This is why I am a light sleeper! This is why I am an artist and think more with the right side of my brain! And it's genetic. You can learn a little bit by visiting: I don't have super-sonic powers, as once thought, but I just need my time alone and in quiet. I can't be too bored or too overstimulated! This is what makes babies colicky. I'm not as extreme as some of the quacky people the book describes, but wow. Intriguing.

B) "How to make people like you in 90 seconds: Make instant, meaningful connections: for Interviewing, etc)" Perfect for my job as a recruiter. The main thing I took from this book was FACE YOUR HEART, open towards the person you're talking to. Give an assertive, energetic smile and greeting. You will immediately notice their interest in you and they will trust you more! Don't cover your heart, turn your shoulders away, or leave your coat buttoned or zipped. This open body language is 60% of how you communicate. Verbal words only account for 7% of communication, and tone is 33%. Fascinating.

C) "The Pocket Muse" (I can't figure out how to underline something on this writing format. Book titles should be underlined, not in quotes, sorry picky people.) By Monica Wood. This book is brilliant. I wrote a lot of her writing ideas and quotes down in my notebook. The pauper's book store...copying the best parts of books into my own writing. =)

D) The fourth book was the gem of my afternoon. "Eat mangoes naked: Finding pleasure everywhere and dancing with the pits!" by SARK. She handwrites her pages. She is full of wacky and inspired ideas. She makes me smile and laugh out loud! She makes me feel this intense love for the unique person that I am! She is so completely deviant and unprecedented in her writing. She even has an inspiration hotline! I dare you to call it and listen to her awesome self for the 3 minute recording. The number is 415.546.3742. Visit and you'll see what I mean.

I get this welled up feeling of happiness that makes me want to explode sometimes, and it's rare. I hope you all get to experience that every once in awhile. I did today, 2 times! And yesterday once. I never want to stop getting that feeling. It's like a little glimpse of God's love for us, I think. SARK's books make me feel that way. What gives you that feeling?

Be blessed this weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

In a sinful world...

Wow it's been a long time since I blogged. I apologize to all 10 of my followers...and I hope that I can still gain your readership back. ;o)

We're loving our house and this wonderful season of life before kids. But the one area right now that's essentially tearing our hearts out is about our church family. A lot of changes have been going on in the last 6 weeks and it has taken a lot of us on a complete roller coaster of feelings and situations. I'd like to address some of the things Kevin and I are experiencing:

1) Fear: Fear that some of the relationships and friendships that were critical in our coming to and growing in faith will cease to remain strong. Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loves at all times."

Fear that we won't be able to please everyone. Galatians 1:10 "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Fear that unbeliving friends, family, and onlookers will be disgusted at the lack of forgiveness and mercy within the body of Christ and have no desire to partake in anything of the sort.

2) Relief: Relief because two different visions were preventing the church from growing in harmony.

Relief because so many questions we've had about the Bible and theology are being searched out and discussed passionately.

Relief because our desperate seeking of God through trials is bringing a fresh revelation and hunger for the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

3) Anger: Anger at Satan for causing dissention.

Anger at Satan for causing people to close their minds and hearts, even to people they love.

Ephesians 4: 31 "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Col 3:13 " Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." The word of God has more power than our enemy.

Anger at Satan for trying to use this situation for his Glory.

4) Passion and Joy: Passion because a new season invokes all sorts of opportunity.

Passion because we feel God's voice and guidance more clearly than ever before.

Joy because God is in control and he wants to use us in a fresh way.

Things were handled how they were handled, and both "sides" feel that they were handled wrongly by the other side. People were hurt. But when the situation is discussed, it seems as though there's no hint of GRACE and MERCY and FORGIVENESS--even if they were handled in a sinful way. Do we not each sin against our Creator and Savior every single day?

The word speaks repeatedly of "one body." ie. "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace." Colossians 3:15. My study notes say, "The attitude of peace that Christ alone gives replaces the attitude of bitterness and quarrelsomeness. The attitude is to "rule" in all human relationships.

Can we not let go of this desire to "rule" and "be great?" "Humble like that of your servant Christ Jesus...who gave himself up even to the point of death on a cross."

In America do we even know what it means to be humble anymore?

In my next blog, I want to address some of the topics that are being discussed and get your feedback.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Best Pumpkin Bars EVER!!

I love the fall...and the food is half the reason!!

I'm posting my favorite recipe for pumpkin bars, and you will freak out if you make them right. MMMMMMM. So good. The recipie comes from my mom, which comes from my grandma Heaton. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bars Recipe

Photo by: Taste of Home

1 c. oil.

2 c. sugar. 4 eggs. 1 can pumpkin (regular size).

2 tsp cinnamon. ½ tsp. salt. 1 tsp. baking soda. 2 tsp. baking powder. 2 c. flour

1 c. nuts(optional)

Cream wet ingredients, gradually add dry ingredients. Pour into greased and floured jelly roll pan. Bake 20 – 25 minutes at 350 degrees.


3 – 5 oz cream cheese

6 T. oleo or softened butter

1 tsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 ¾ - 2 cups powdered sugar

Spread over pumpkin bars when cool.

Enjoy with no guilt!~!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Girl power

My friend emailed me this awesome article. After reading this, I seriously have no desire to read magazines that have the same advice over and over about how to "walk off weight" or "lose those extra 5 pounds." Our bodies are made to run and climb and live. And I'm so happy that I have peace about my body, just the way it is.

By the way, this article was written by a Crossfit MAN. Props to Amanda Morgan from my work trip to Milwaukee for sending this to me:

If I were feeling a little more lawless, I’d gather all the copies of Cosmo and Seventeen, douse them in kerosene, and strike a match. I’d throw in reams of print ads from Calvin Klein and watch with delight as Kate Moss’ stick-thin image was reduced to carbon. I’d add copies of Shape and Runner’s World until the flames reached toward the heavens, and then I’d crank call the editorial desk at Muscle and Fitness until they stopped publishing pictures of women on steroids.

I’d get the master tapes of America’s Next Top Model and dub over them with “ Nasty Girls”, broadcasting the results on every television station in America. I’d skywrite “” across the Boston skyline, and gently admonish the hoards of long distance runners trotting along the Charles River—with a bullhorn.

I’d take every woman with mass media-induced ideals of beauty, and I’d show them what it really means to be beautiful.

Beautiful women are strong and powerful. They are athletes, capable of every feat under the sun. They have muscles, borne of hard work and sweat. They gauge their self-worth through accomplishments, not by the numbers on the bathroom scale. They understand that muscle weighs more than fat, and they love the fact that designer jeans don’t fit over their well-developed quads.

They know that high repetitions using light weights is a path to mediocrity, and “toning” is a complete and utter myth. They refuse to succumb to the marketers that prey on insecurity, leaving the pre-packaged diet dinners and fat-burning pills on the shelf to pass their expiration date.

Beautiful women train with intensity. The derive self-image from the quality of their work and their ability to excel. They don’t wear makeup to the gym, and they wouldn’t be caught dead with a vinyl pink dumbbell. They move0Airon, they do pull-ups, they jump, sprint, punch, and kick, and they use the elliptical machine—as a place to hang their jump rope.

They spend their weekends in sport, climbing walls, winning races, and running rivers. They laugh as they sprint circles around the unschooled, turning the image-obsessed into benchwarmers. Beautiful women don’t care if they’re soaked in sweat and covered in dirt, if their nails are chipped or their hair out of place. They care only about quality of life.

Beautiful women are happy, healthy, and strong, and they’re right there beside me, tossing conventional beauty on the ever-IMG_0787.JPGgrowing flames of what used to be.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Haircut

So this is the story I submitted tonight for a writing contest...mostly for fun and to get myself writing. Leave me some comments/advice/feedback!

Story Title: The Haircut

I lay in bed a little longer than usual this morning, practicing the breathing techniques that Dr. Bolin told me not to neglect anymore. My stress levels can get out of control faster than I can my sedan can get me to yoga class. But this morning I was more excited than stressed. I had been looking forward to this day all week. Getting my hair cut was my favorite way to pamper myself, something I rarely had time to do. I piled the kids in the car, dropped them off at their respective schools and headed off to “Glow,” my salon of choice.

What made this trip so special was that I was thinking about getting layers, something I rarely dared myself to do. I never did anything drastic to my wavy auburn hair because my husband loved it long. But my monotonous routine was tempting me to pull it all out, and the headline from the checkout aisle magazine had plastered itself in my head since I saw it two weeks ago. “Freshen up! Chop it, layer it, lighten it! The cheapest face lift around.” Oh that is exactly what I needed today, a breath of fresh air in my life of endless activities. Nothing too drastic but I could use some layers above my chin in the front. I thought about how I would precisely describe the look I wanted to Cindi.

As I pulled into the parking lot at Glow, I noticed that the license plate of my hairdresser “Chop 82” was no longer on the usual jeep. It was now being sported by a white 2009 BMW. “Are you serious? My 27-year-old hairdresser is driving my dream car? Unreal.” I silently vowed not to hold it against her. Maybe her husband was doing really well in his new construction business, or maybe she had a rich relative, or…I put on a smile as the door swung open and my adorable hairdresser, trendy locks and all, welcomed me into what was to be an hour of relaxation.


“Hello, Janie! How are you?” I said, trying to appear genuinely happy to see one of my favorite clients.

“Oh I’m hanging in there, as usual. It always smells so good in here! It’s good to see you, honey. How are you?”

I wish I knew. Deflect the question. “Oh, same.” I gave what was probably a very lame looking smile. I felt like I was in a daze as I led Janie and her long red braid through the Friday morning bustle at the city’s best salon (no bias here) to my chair in the back room. Despite my mental battle against the images, I couldn’t shake the frightening picture of my bald mother from my head. I did it to her. I shaved the last few sections of weak hair from her pale head. Stage three...recovery is possible...not likely...breast cancer. The words grabbed my throat and constricted it.

“Are you okay, honey?” Dang it. Janie could sense my distraction, my disconnect. This wasn’t like me, but yesterday was the worst I’ve seen her. She has lost most of her hair, like the doctor said she would. I’ve never seen her look so awful. Mom’s hair had always been a mass of gorgeous, chestnut waves. She loved the way I cut her layers.

“Oh, yeah. I’ll be fine.” Another forced smile. “Actually, things are just getting really busy at home for Keith and I’m just a little overwhelmed,” I kind of lied. Why is it so hard to open my heart to others?

“Overwhelmed? Are you kidding? That’s so natural! It’s okay. You can tell me about it.” She was so great at listening. Usually I was the one getting an earful from my clients, but today I didn’t feel much like talking.

“Thanks, Janie. That’s sweet of you.” I hesitated, “I really will be fine.” So same old trim today?”

“Well, …” her voice trailed on as I fumbled through my cabinet for my scissors and combs. I wasn’t exactly a morning person and had hardly beat Janie to the salon that morning. I thought I heard her say something about layers.

“Did you say layers, Janie? I’m sorry. I’m just not on top of things this morning.” I genuinely smiled as I pictured the framed image of mom from dad’s dresser-top. Her layers were framing her face so perfectly.


“Yes, lots above…uhh…” I gestured to my chin, and then went on to describe the magazine article that I had seen and asked her if she thought that would look fresh on me. She looked a little distant for a moment, but then her enthusiasm was overwhelming!

“Oh really, Janie? That is so wonderful! I think you would look gorgeous.” Her smile was contagious, and I relaxed a little bit. Cindi snapped the cape around my neck and walked me over to the sinks. As she shampooed and conditioned my hair, I felt the weight of it in the sink. I felt myself shedding tension as she massaged my scalp; I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. It was the best feeling I’ve had in awhile.

I think Cindi went through two towels to dry my long hair before she twisted it up on top of my head and led me back to her comfy styling station. She clicked through her ipod and selected a feel-good, girly mix before she swirled my chair around for me to face the flower mural on the opposite wall. Cindi, liked to cut, color, and style her clients’ hair without them facing her vanity. She felt that it gave her a creative license and I more than trusted her consistent skills. She started humming harmony aloud to a Colbie Callet song I didn’t know.


Snip. I started chopping away. Janie’s hair really needed this, and I was thrilled. The image of a young girl who had lost her hair from chemotherapy opening a pink box with a beautiful wavy red wig inside almost brought tears to my eyes. My mind darted back to my bald mom. Snip. Shoulder length would be all it took for Janie since her hair was already so far down her back. Snip snip. I carefully caught the pieces of the wet hair in my left hand and placed them on my small counter.

I thought Janie was enjoying the “Girls just want to have fun” mix by tapping her foot quickly, but I sensed some apprehension. I snipped the final clean cut before I was going to start the layering and styling, when she blurted out “um, Cindi, how much are you cutting? It just feels like quite a bit.”

“Well, the Locks of Love foundation requires 11 inches, Janie. You knew that right?”

“Oh my God.” Janie wiggled her hand out of the black drape and reached for her hair.

“Oh Gosh, Janie?” My face had turned bright red. What happened? Had she changed her mind and I hadn’t even heard her tell me? She looked over her shoulder into the mirror and saw her gorgeous hair laying dead on my vanity. The look on her face let me know that my mind’s vacation over the past 15 minutes had cost me more than I even realized.

Janie started running her fingers through her hair and sobbing. I just stood there, tears rolling down my bony cheeks. We were two emotional women, crying for so many different reasons.


A hundred emotions charged through my body. Anger, fear, happiness, confusion, relief, curiosity. I finally composed myself.

“Um, what happened Cindi?” I stared into the confused eyes of my broken hairdresser, and she just stared back at me while her tears fell harder.

“I thought you said you wanted to donate your hair to locks of love,” she said through her tears.

She was crying for some other reason than my haircut, I could tell from my twelve years of mothering experience. What had I said that would have made her think that I wanted to donate my beautiful red hair? I tried to remember the exact word choices I had chosen so carefully just minutes earlier. “Oh my God. I said that I wanted lots above my chin. Referring to some new layers.” Cindi cupped her face in her hands and cried again.

I forced myself, with all the courage a mother can muster in a situation of high stress and emotion, to calm down about my botched hair. I thought of my husband and what his reaction would be. In those few moments, I gulped a few well-practiced deep breaths.

“Honey, why don’t you tell me what is wrong?” At that point, she spilled everything. Her mother’s battle with breast cancer. Her aunt she had lost just weeks earlier to the deadly disease. She told me about the car accident, and the SUV that her aunt had given her in the will. I cried much harder than I should have that morning at Glow. And I cried again when she described the pain in shaving the last of her mother’s hair. I cried not only because of her painful situation and my gross inability to see past myself earlier, but because I, too, had lost a dear friend to cancer just months earlier.

And to top it all off, we cried a different kind of tears as Cindy told me about her project. Cindi’s eyes sparkled through her runny makeup as she explained her plan to donate enough hair from her clients to make 10 wigs for the Locks of Love foundation. My heart, which had grown much faster in those few moments than the Grinch’s on Christmas morning, would be big enough to compensate for my loss of hair that Spring morning.

I took a deep breath. “All right, little lady. Let’s do this thing right, then.”

“I think you look gorgeous. You look 10 years younger,” Cindi said timidly. “What do you think?”

“I love it.”

Needless to say, I walked out of “Glow” a new woman.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

So, I have this weird feeling that God has me right where he wants me and something big is about to happen.

Everyday, when I'm driving or just thinking, I can't help but just think about new ideas for the books I want to write. Last night, God totally provided like 10 new girls to be in my small group, and I was worried that no one would want to be in it. My small group is going to focus on "broken families" as well as other stuff, but that's what God has been laying on my heart big time. I really feel like He has taken me to a new level in my healing process, in my relationships, in my body's health, and the one that excites me the most is that I just feel like writing ALL THE TIME. I have so much I want to pour out onto paper!! Spending time in the word just excites me to share what he's teaching me, and it hasn't always been that way. It used to just be a "me" mindset. What can I get out of this today? Rather than "God, what do you have for me to learn so I can teach? What can I do for you?" me...I'm not finished learning this.

I'm going to submit a short story to Jodi Picult's contest in Good Housekeeping magazine and see what happens. That one has to be about something that relates to women today. I'm thinking broken families would probably apply to a lot of people. Jodi Picoult's stuff is really raw and real, so since she is judging I don't want a mushy gushy topic. I don't even care if I win, but I just love that GOd is bringing things to my attention and pushing me out of my comfort zone. I really needed to have an explosion of ideas, because writing isn't just the easiest thing to start doing on your few hours off each week.

I also need to get memorizing...because on my goals for 2009, memorizing a book of the Bible was one of them!! It's going to be either James, Ephesians, or Galations. I've already started Galations and Ephesians, but James has so much stuff that just speaks right to me!! I'll keep it updated.
Check this out. Olivia Ryan is already an acclaimed British author!!...but do you want to know the biggest BS of this story? Her real name is SHEILA NORTON!!! DON'T take my real name for your pen name, you jerk. I guess I'll just have to be Liv Ryan. No bitterness

Have a great day everyone. Any ideas for the women's article is appreciated!! Here's the link:

Peace out..

Saturday, August 15, 2009

You know what's hilarious?

I went to Google today (as I do every day) to ask about how you know how much furniture is worth.

So as you type in words, or a phrase, google feeds you what the rest of your query might be, based on the searches of highest quantity.

Here are some of the ones I thought were HILARIOUS:

I typed in "How to know"....and here's what popped up:

...if a guy likes you
...if a girl likes you
...if your pregnant (spelled this way)
...if you are in love
...if he loves you
( a couple more pregnancy ones)
...if a guy likes you quiz

OKAY, so the young people of today are asking GOOGLE if a guy likes them, and what it means to be in love. What are we going to do!

So needed to figure out how long it was going to take for a part on our car to get fixed. I typed "how long does ..." and here's what we got:
#1, ...weed stay in your system. (Awesome. this is the number one search when started with how long.)
2. take to get a passport (related to the first one?)
3. ...alcohol stay in your system. (some classy people are using Google).
4.... it take to get pregnant.
5 ....sperm last
6....implantation bleeding last
7. ...THC stay in your system
8. ...nicotine stay in your system.

WOW. Can I say druggies?! I just think that our world is a little bit crazy. That reminds me of my favorite song from age 11-13. It's called "This world" by Cademon's call.

Oh that we could "Live in the world and not of it."

Here are the lyrics:

There's tarnish on the golden rule
And I wanna jump from this ship of fools
Show me a place where hope is young
And a people who aren't afraid to love

This world has nothing for me and this world has everything
All that I could want and nothing that
I need

This world is making me drunk on the spirits of fear.
So when he says who will go, I am nowhere near.

And the least of these look like criminals to me
So I leave Christ on the street

This world has held my hand and has led me into intolerance
But now I'm waking up, but now I'm breaking up
But now I'm making up for lost time

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sitting in your car to _________

I'm at work right now...feeling oh-so-far-from-bored....ok that's a lie. Usually I'm so busy at the office. Today however, I reorganized. Being someone who isn't good at stuff like that, it totally zapped my energy. Then I looked online through thousands...well...tens of resumes to seek good people who could work at Northwestern. Then I called them all. LOTS of phone time today. Add in a few stressful house conversations and decisions and it has left me in an afternoon slump.

So you know how you can feel somone looking at you...Almost as if they are sending "I'm looking-at-you" rays through ESP? Well I definitely can. So I'm sitting here at my desk, back to the window, when I got that feeling. That particular feeling at work is rare because behind my office is a medical center parking lot that is rarely occupied.

I swivel my chair around to see a girl with a high curly bun, summer dress on, feet up, windows down, and "reading her book" with big sunglasses on...facing my office. The big sunglasses are the obnoxious part because everytime I turn around, (just now again) it seems as though she's staring right at me. She is parked in the spot closest to my window, and it's freaky. At least it's not a creepy man.

I'm going to stop looking and worrying about it, becuase maybe she fell asleep in that position. BUT i'm not going to lie. I don't like it! In the grocery store or wherever you are, it's kinda fun to stare back and pretend it's a contest to see who will look away first.

And...I shouldn't judge because sometimes I sleep in my car in random parking lots when I don't have time to drive home between things and I'm simply exhausted. That's when you know you're too busy :o) .

Do you spend a lot of time in your car? What do you do to pass the time?
I had to include this creepy tiny car...that I don't know who would drive! LOL.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A month of Love

So there it is ladies and gents!! the new house!

August 1, 2009

Things I love.

1. August is the start of the season that I love. Autumn. It’s not ‘officially’ fall yet, but the trees can tell it’s right around the corner, and sometimes they help but put off fallish scents *~~mmm. Those cooler days are the ones that I just LOVE going on walks or playing tennis…or maybe running on the bike path by our new house…which I’ll get to in a sec. J

The smell of fall is FULL of memories for me. Memories of family pictures in the park, in our jeans and flannel T-shirts (we’re so mid-westerners). Memories of “back to school” shopping and tennis practice. Memories of bonfires and football games. Sometimes I like being nostalgic, and sometimes there’s so much baggage that comes with memories. Like…a family that used to be together. But it’s okay, we’re coping…moving on…getting stronger. It’s just not easy. Anyone who says it is…well, I’d love to know their secret.

I ALSO can't wait to see lots of my long lost friends and family when they come see my play! we'll celebrate my mom's birthday and just hang out. It's gonna rock.

2. I love the feeling of a job well done. I had a big presentation at work this week that I put a lot of time and planning into, and it went SO well. I wore my new black suit, and pretended I was like the mom from the movie “Cheaper by the Dozen.” (except she’s an author which is my total dream job. J Which is definitely NOT to say that the one I have now I don’t absolutely love.) I recruit potential super-star financial representatives and interns for the most stable financial company in America. It doesn’t get much better than that. I talk about it a lot, but it is the thing that consumes 1/3 of my life! (Other parts of life are accounted for by: Sleep for 1/3, Seussical the Musical & friends for 1/6, and Kevin for 1/6.)

3. I love my new French press coffee maker. I have been too scared to try it yet…it’s only 2 days old…well I actually JUST got my beans ground “French press style” so they’re big enough not to ruin the filter…but yeah. Any tips would be great. It’s scary looking.

4. I love online bill pay. I am such a disorganized person. WHen there are medical and dental bills that come in the mail, I usually am late not because we don't have the money, but because I don't even open my mail until 2 weeks after I get it. I am so busy...and just scattered. What the heck would I do if i were living in the 80s or 90s and had no automatic withdrawls?! We have every single bill we can taken out automatically, and it's so wonderful! If only you could an automatic gas fill-up with the click of a mouse...and automatic food pickup...etc etc. Does anyone else love this as much as I do?

5. I love looking through the IKEA and Pottery Barn catalogs because WE BOUGHT A NEW HOUSE! We agreed on a price a couple days ago, and they just asked us if we would move the closing date up to August 30th ! HECK YES we will. I’m going to look at paint samples today, as well as buy some storage boxes and Tupperware so we can start packing! I’ll post a couple pics on here. If you’ve never bought a first house, you probably don’t know how exciting it can be. But just wait…it rocks. Even if you’re paying a little bit or a lot more than you wanted to ;o) . We got one that doesn’t need much but painting done, which obviously isn’t the smartest equity move, but our lifestyles just aren’t conducive to new projects. Haha J Do I feel a bonfire coming on!???!

6. Although buying a new house is probably the most exciting thing we’ve done since we got married, I love something even more than I love the feeling about our house. Last night our church praise band…SURRENDER…did a live recording at the Red Stone Room. Corporate worship is probably the most moving, most powerful atmosphere I have ever experienced. I am always touched by the Holy Spirit, even when I arrive 2 hours late due to rehearsal. I made it for the last song and for the prayer time, but it’s okay. I know that God is using the talented artists in our church for HUGE things in the Kingdom of heaven and I’m so blessed to be a part of the movement.

SO…sorry for the novel-of-a-blog-entry, but just so much has happened lately! I can’t wait for even greater things in the future to happen. God is so good…and so faithful…and though there are many things in my life that I’m confused about and that seem like unanswered prayers, I’m standing in faith that God will provide. “His mercy endures FOREVER.”

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Busy nonsense...

Why is it that I choose to live this overwhelming life? As the days FLY by, I have had countless moments where I think "ooh, I should write a blog/story about that," but the busy wind behind me refuses to subside for even a moment to allow me to write a thought down.

I get busy to the point where my head is throbbing, my neck and upper back are in huge knots, and I can't breathe deep enough. I paint my nails and do my makeup in the car. I drink too much coffee.

Here are parts of my problem:
I love people...but I forget to give myself time alone to relax. I probably don't even give myself 1 hour a week to just sit or read for fun.
I love my life...but I don't want it to go this fast without stopping to enjoy it. I'm only 22.
I love being busy...but when I go go go go go, there's always a day where I break down and can't do it anymore. Is this kind of stress avoidable?
I love coffee...the whole experience that comes with a freshly brewed cup of coffee...but when I am too busy to sleep quite enough, I become addicted to this poison called caffeine and my headaches plan their schedule around it.

How do you slow down? How do people EVER have time to garden? To lay out in the sun? To paint or write or sew? To eat a popsicle outside on a hot summer day?

This is a bit of a vent...and it's not as bad as I'm making it sound. I just need help incorporating fun, relaxing things into my life. I just let it get out of control sometimes. I'm also adjusting to my first full time job, and it'll just take time. I'm trying...but I really need God's help. I want to live a peaceful life!!

I did get a chance yesterday to lay out by our friend's pool. It was SO AMAZING to get some freaking Vitamin D into my body. I'm thankful for my summer trips being almost over. My weekends exist now!

A partial contributor to my life of stress is Seussical the Musical that I'm in, which has been taking 3 hours of every evening for the last couple weeks. Our performances start in about 2 weeks: August 7-9 and 13-16 at the Quad City Music Guild, if anyone wants to come! It's going to be realllllly good, coming from a completely non-biased source :o) It's a ton of fun, just very time consuming. if anyone has any relaxation tips...bring them my way please!!

Thank you...I love you guys for reading my blogs. Please say hi to me on here so I don't feel "Alone in the [blogging] universe." (<-seussical reference life is a musical).

Peace out...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Costa Rica, An anniversary, and a week without internet

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

So click on that link to watch because my blog is all messed up.  That song "God bless the USA" ALWAYS makes me cry. I'm such a girl! I absolutely LOVE this time of year! On this day last year, I was pretty flipping excited because it was the day before our WEDDING!

 SO Alas, the time of year has come that we will be celebrating our VERY FIRST anniversary. And what a wonderful year it has been! 

We'll be departing on Sunday afternoon for San Ramon, Costa Rica. You might be thinking, "wow, what an amazing anniversary trip for your first anniversary."'s not exactly that picturesque. We'll be staying in the slums. haha. It's a mission trip, and we were asked to lead the trip. SO, this long weekend has been spent cleaning out the refrigerator, packing our bags, and shopping for some last minute craft supplies for the trip!

It should be a wonderful time. I'll get over the fact that I won't even be sleeping in the same bed as my husband for our anniversary (July 5th), being that the boys and girls sleep in separate rooms. We went on this same mission trip 2 years ago and it really was amazing. 

Any prayers you want to send our way would be very much appreciated! It will be quite a long day at the airport/driving tomorrow, but then we'll spend the week playing with kids and bringing them the Gospel. I've been trying to brush on my espanol, but it's still pretty sad sounding :) If there were one skill I could magically acquire, I would want it to be the ability to speak other languages quickly and fluently!

So anyway, here we are, it's the 4th of July and I'm about to leave the country for a week and leave my precious new Mac. My writing time will be spent in my old notebook, but it will be refreshing. And I bet I'll come home feeling MUCH more thankful than I have been in a while. If you believe in God, please pray that I will get better. I came down with this horrible achy/flu-like/swollen throat sickness yesterday, and it's even worse today. I want to go to Costa Rica healthy!

Happy 4th everyone. I love this country.

Updates from Costa Rica when I get back...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Superpower Friday

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed with life that you just are on the brink of breaking down? I really mean this today when I say TGIF!! (Even though tomorrow is a 12 hour conference at church and Sunday is all booked up too.)

I'm not about to go jump-overboard-crazy, but it could be in the near future. (And I don't mean that in a literal way.) I'm just curious and kind of nervous for what will happen when I start having kids. I do not want to have nervous breakdowns, be an energy vampire, a complainer, or a stressed person in life, and the way things are headed doesn't look good. I need to change something because I'm a frazzled and tired person 65% of the time. 

If I had one magical power, it would be that I could fly. I think that could be the most exhilarating thing, and maybe it would be relaxing and theraputic.  I was going to say that I wish I could make more hours in the day, but that would be screwing with God's divine plan for time. I mean, don't we all practically beg for Fridays to roll around?

Maybe I would wish for the secret power of never needing the vampires in the Twilight saga. But I love naps, and I love cuddling up under the covers to sleep next to the love of my life during rainstorms and cold winter nights. 

How about the secret power of never being tired when you wake up in the morning? Yes, that sounds SO LOVELY!!  I would just wake up at 4am everyday! I would DEFINITELY do my hour of yoga that I've been neglecting, maybe go for a run, and spend some time writing until 7 when I needed to get ready for work!  

Okay, I just thought of another SWEET superpower. I know people who have this one. I would like to be inherently NEAT. just never messy or sloppy in life (handwriting, dishes, desk, kitchen, bedroom, living room) I just would be so pulled-together and organized. What a PEACEFUL LIFE!!! 

I guess I'm just going to need a few! ;o)

What would your super power be?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Atmosphere and People make it all happen

Have you ever tried to sit down and enjoy your morning cup of coffee, but there is just stress in the air? Some coffee shops (a few Starbucks in this area have earned this reputation in my mind)  just hold an aura of stress and distress. People rushing in to get their coffee hardly take a moment to smile or pause. Another coffee shop that I LOVE the atmosphere in has really awkward people working there...Therefore I can't enjoy my coffee in peace. (Not to mention their lack of wireless ;)

I'm in a new coffee shop today "Cup A Joe" and can I just say, it's the perfect little spot! 
All the chairs have armrests, first of all. 
Second, they're playing Michael Buble music and oldies.
Third, their coffee of the day was called "Fudge Brownie" and it's delightful.
Fourth, There are pictures under glass on each table.
Fifth, the coffee was only 1.30 so I gave the guy 2 bucks and got an amazing cup of coffee with a free refill.
Sixth, the ceilings are high and it's the perfect temperature: not too hot, not too cold. 

I'm in heaven. I could sit in a coffee shop on my Mac all day long (especially since the battery lasts literally 4 hours longer than my Dell!) However, I do have to go to my lovely job. I enjoy my job, but not as much as I would enjoy the job of an author/journaler/blogger all day long. Maybe I should be a coffee-shop reviewer for a local newspaper (since they're hiring and

What is your favorite coffee shop like? Or maybe it's just your living room?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stuffed to the brim

Okay, so I think a hot dog eating contest is the grossest thing to ever be invented (perhaps??) but I feel like I just competed in one!!

I don't know why I do it, but every few months I forget how horrible it feels to eat too much. I did it today. It wasn't all at once either...but good things kept coming into my usual in the corporate world. Sadly, today, I didn't turn anything away. Then, when Kevin and I went out for date night tonight, I ate a stuffed baked potato and frozen yogurt with a freshly baked waffle cone (probably my very biggest weakness). Even after dumping out a big scoop so I could get to the cone, I was hardly able to move. 

You gotta hate those days where you just use little to no discernment :(

If I could eat guilt free for a day, this is what I would eat lots of:
1) Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
2) Waffle cones
3) Pizza

Here are my healthy pleasures:
1) Salads...almost any kind!
2) Strawberries, peaches, and blueberries
3) Orange Juice
4) Milk
5) Oatmeal
6) Cereal
7) Lettuce Wraps
8) Turkey
9) String Cheese
10) Cottage Cheese (still gotta get my cheese).

I really do love healthy food! I just don't always do a good job of making it!

What are your favorite guilty and unguilty food pleasures?

Friday, June 12, 2009

I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart

I think this picture is beautiful. I typed in "Emotional" in an image search, and this is what came up. But sometimes emotions aren't beautiful.  I've had a really hard week. Work has been tough...people keep quitting the internship and no one wants to interview with me. We have a top 10 internship in the country and the #3 best company to sell for in the UNITED STATES but no one even wants an interview. They're scared of commission. I understand, but in a market like this, you'd think we'd have people groveling at our door for an interview.

I've had nightmares almost every night and have been on the verge of tears at one point each day this week. Being a woman and handling emotions carefully is pretty stinking hard. And to top it all off, I think about how much I want a baby at least 10 times a day. WHY DO I WANT A BABY SO BAD?!

I wish I could say that the reason I haven't blogged much this week was because I've been steadily and busily writing my novel...but oh how far that is from the truth! I just kept saying, "oh I'll take a day off" "I'll take a week off..." and so on.  Therefore, I have to start again. And once rehersals start for Seussical the Musical, my free time is going down the drain! ...(Speaking of Seussical, though, it's going to be a really good time. My next entry will be all about it!)

But yes, it's been a crappy week. I felt like I was on a mountain top for a long time, and when I went out of town for the weekend and didn't get rested up at all/didn't get our house clean at all, it just all started sliding downhill. And here I am at the bottom, looking up, wishing I didn't have to climb so hard to get back up.  Lord, I need you to pick me up...

This is my favorite love poem. Just something to pick me up on a day/week like this one.
i carry your heart with me by E. E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A pirate? A bell boy?

This hilarious bell man at our hotel was actually wearing a pirate hat! So I had to get a picture. I don't think he knew what was going on though, when I held up my computer to his face! haha. I just said, "SMILE!!" and caught this classic moment. Probably not hotel policy ;o)

The Burnam

Staying at a hotel right now that's right out of a stinkin book.  It makes me think of's very old school and GORGEOUS! but I could see it being ultra-creepy. Not to mention, the name itself is pronounced "Burn-em." It's cool though.  I had a wonderful time at dinner last night with my little brother and sisters! We were celebrating my older sister, Jill's,  birthday, and it's been since CHRISTMAS that we've all been together! 

Funniest moment from dinner last night: I wanted to show off my new crossfit muscles to my siblings, right? So at one point in the meal, I whipped my arm into a flexed position and said, "I'm freakin swoll, ok?" At that VERY moment, the man working at Cosi walked up and said, "Can I take any of your dishes?" as he unsuccessfully tried to stifle his grin. It was embarrassing but its okay, because I'm used to making a fool out of myself. 

Then the younger ones and I took the train downtown late last night and it was Jessica's first Metra ride, so that was quite fun.  

Can I just share with you all how I have been so blessed this week.

I have been praying for God to use me, and to show up big in my life-even though I'm not specifically working in the ministry. I kinda wanted to go into the ministry after college, but I didn't feel a specific call just yet besides my writing (Which I hope will soon flourish into a wonderful ministry).  

Here's how God answered my prayers: 
In the last week I've just gotten a rediculous amount of opportunities to share the love of Christ with people. It sounds cliche, but my heart has just been so ful, almost to the point of explosion with Joy. Just hearing these people's stories and their struggles has really encouraged me to ask more people their stories. 

You, people of the world, have fascinating stories to share. What I'm learning, that I was timid about asking before, is that you're dying to tell your story to someone who is willing to listen!  

I CANNOT wait to see what kind of huge things God is about to do. We have to expect and ask big to receive big. I'm just BLOWN away, really. Getting away from home for a night has been really nice. I've had a few minutes this morning, before everyone got up, to just "be still and know that God is God." and the scripture "Taste and see that the Lord is good" has become SO vivid to me over the last year. I just can't help but be SO FREAKIN JOYFUL! I would go dance on the roof-west-side-story style right now if I could, but I'd rather not go to jail or heaven this morning, because it's a beautiful day. And we all know I want babies before I die, (and before Jesus comes back lol).

PS1. Just to let you all know, I'm blogging on my new MACBOOK RIGHT NOW!!!!! It's freakin awesome. I haven't figured it all out yet, but wow. It's crazy. I think I need a real mouse, because this clicker pad is weird and kinda inaccurate. Any tips? Do Macs not have a delete button that deletes from the right side? Because that will drive me freakin insane when I'm writing like a freak all the time. :o( 

Ps2. My mom went to a writer's conference this weekend and I had her buy me a bunch of CDs from previous years...PLUS she got tons of tips. So inspiring. I'll report soon...

BE Blessed!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A life WITH God

Okay people. I'm done with not making time for God in my daily life. And so are many Christians. Maybe you've hit a plateau and just can't seem to break through. Well, the 60-60 experiment is a wonderful option for you.

For the next 60 days, we are going to walk in unity with God. We will form the habit of talking to God and sharing our every moment with Him.

I'm in this group on facebook, and I think it's an amazing idea. Here are the directions:

The 60 60 Experiment

God wants to do life with you moment by moment. As you are willing, he will guide you into an amazing experience of life. Not where everything goes as you wish on the outside, but where God produces what you've longed for on the inside. This 60-60 Experiment can start you down that path as you learn to connect with God in a continuous conversation, using reminders every 60 minutes to reorient. The goal is a moment-by-moment connection, but this takes practice. Don't worry if you get sidetracked or off course along the way; just begin again.

1. Be aware of God's presence. With every beep of the watch or every reminder you see, stop and simply acknowledge God's presence with you, and thank him that he cares about you and wants to help you through your day. You may want to memorize 1 Peter 5:7 to remind yourself that he cares: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

2. Converse with God about everything. The goal is to be mindful all the time. Open your mind to talk over with God all your thoughts, worries, work challenges, decisions, temptations, and failures throughout your day. Instead of just talking to yourself about them, talk it over with God. He will honor this as you stay diligent.

Think of it this way, you can't control the future, you can't change the past, but if you can have a good moment right now by living faithfully with God, followed by another and another, you'll have a good day - a faith-filled, fruitful day. And if you have a fruiful tomorrow, and the next day and the next, you'll end up becoming all God intended!

I hear people complain all the time about not feeling close to God, not sure they can trust him, not sure God cares. But they never committed to staying connected to God in their daily life, and when they do take time to communicate, the communication is 'one-sided'. Rather then doing life with God, it's all a religious, formal, ritualistic meeting for them. I'm convinced God desires an unrehearsed, gut-level, rigorously honest conversation throughout the moments of the day.

So you're getting cranked up at work, your stress level starts to red-line, and the beeper goes off--or you see the sticker on your computer, "Re:60-60". Are you aware? God's here! Open the conversation in the midst: "Lord, I'm getting wound up here. I'm feeling burdened. Jesus said, the life you want for me isn't burdensome (Matt. 11:28-29)--so help me. Show me how to do this your way."
Or maybe you're right in the middle of some thought or action you know is wrong. The temptation is to hide from God, but do you really think that's possible? No--it's just detrimental. So instead, you open up communication and ask, "God, what am I doing? I know this is not your will. Thank you that because of Christ, you forgive me for this too, so I don't have to hide from you. Come help me. Help me do the next thing right."
Lets do this thang and see how God MOVES!! I'll be posting my updates. Accountability is KEY to living a life in the spirit! Let me know what you're doing to grow.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We got too much stuff!

Here's the deal people: We have too much stuff.

I am not obsessed with fashion, nor am I a shopaholic. (Well, maybe only a 25% shopaholic.)
HOWEVER, my closet and dresser are busting at the seams. If we have all of our laundry clean and put away *which I'm pretty sure has NEVER happened* it simply does not fit.

I heard once that for every new thing you buy, you should get rid of something old that you don't wear. I think that's an AWESOME idea because there are people who need clothes really bad.

Therefore, I'm instituting a "No Apologies" challenge for who can get rid of the most stuff. I took 3 pairs of shoes and a huge bag of clothes to Salvation Army yesterday but I still have much more to go through

I'm sick of being a materialistic American who has a closet full of things that I haven't worn in a long time. I KNOW it's hard to get rid of stuff that you think you just might wear someday. I want to bust that myth right now. If you haven't worn it in a year, you WILL NOT WEAR IT (unless it's an evening gown/tux). Toss it. Unless it's super cute, then sell it to Ritzy Reruns or a resale shop where you can get some moolah out of it! Clean out every drawer. Throw out the ratty, pit-stained, too small, or too big. You will feel SO much better!

Here's the criteria for stuff that needs thrown away, taken from another blog (
20. You use the word “someday” to describe it—as in “someday I may want to practice make-up application using that mannequin head I found in my aunt’s attic.”
19. You forgot you owned it for more than a month, and remembering doesn’t evoke any type of emotional response (beyond generic statements, such as “I like it” or “I need it.”)
18. If you had a yard sale and someone offered $20 for it, you’d hand it over in a heartbeat.
17. If your friend gave it to you as a Christmas gift you’d make a mental note along the lines of “Give Lisa alphabet magnets and socks next year.”
16. If your friends asked you why you have it you’d turn into Deepak Chopra, saying something like, “We are all connected. You, me, that orange hobby horse.”
15. Its broken or, even worse, obsolete (i.e.: your old car phone).
14. If you decided to spend a year traveling you wouldn’t consider bringing it with you.
13. If you had to spend $20 every month maintaining it, you’d decide it isn’t worth it.
12. You’d admit it may be someone else’s trash, but have no justification for it being your treasure.
11. You cannot complete this sentence with an action verb: “I will use this to…”
10. If your child accidentally damaged it, your knee jerk reaction would be “I didn’t really need it anyway.”
9. It hurts to think about it: Your ex-boyfriend gave it to you. Your mother-in-law said you need it, but you disagree. You fit in it before your love affair with curly fries.
8. You got it from someone else and admit you’d never spend money your own money on it.
7. The Salvation Army might say no if you tried to donate it.
6. If you asked your mother’s opinion about keeping it, she might say something like, “Well, what do you think? That’s all that really matters!”
5. It smells like moth balls because it rarely sees the light of day.
4. Learning how to use it would take more time than you will ever devote. (And be honest—do you really think metal casting is your thing?)
3. You’re keeping it out of guilt—it’s still new in the box; it looks like something a smart person would appreciate; it’s a classic 500-page book you should have read freshman year in college.
2. You keep saying it could be valuable one day—but who are you kidding. You never want anyone else to have it!
1. You would never clutch it and say “My precious” in a gesture of playful self-mocking. (Assume you’re the kind of person who goes to medieval fairs and quotes Lord of the Rings.)
If it’s not valuable, meaningful, or important to your life, either trash it give it away. You’re likely only attached to the memory it holds, so why not just take a picture? Make a photo album of the things you loved but didn’t need and then reclaim your space.
Know any other signs? Add them to the list! Or if you have something that doesn’t pass the 20-signs-test but you still want to keep it, let me know. I’m fascinated by the way we attach to things.

June 2 still is considered Spring. So let's get our spring clean on and breathe a little easier!!

Now excuse me while I go try on 10 outfits before I got to work this morning ;o)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mac time

So, a sad update today.

I lost the last 500 words I had saved on my story that I wrote at work yesterday because I carelessly pressed the DISK picture meaning "Save" on the old version with my USB in the computer, when I meant to hit the OPEN folder. I HATE those shortcuts. That is not the first time that has happened to me :(

I don't remember what they were. But hey, it could've been worse.

I'm back up to 2701 words. I need a Mac and one of those things that automatically backs up your files as you go! (A time machine, I think?)

Good news is, we're getting a mac soon!!! I think just a Macbook. Any suggestions on Scrivner vs. Microsoft Word??