Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Twins!


So I have a new babysitting job. It's FABULOUS. Here's my haiku about it:

Twin one-year-old boys.
Vishnu and Anju are cute.
They are sleeping now.

I can get online/write when they're sleeping and they take 2 naps per day! This afternoon they're going to the doctor to get their 1 year old shots, so it may not be the most fun afternoon. But a typical day in the life is pretty fun.

I get here in the morning, where usually they're still asleep. When they wake up, I change their diapers, give them their bottles and feed them breakfast. Then onto bath time. It gets a little bit crazy when I give them both a bath at the same time, but usually their mom is here helping me watch one while I bathe the other one.

One can walk, and the other is pretty wobbly so he crawls most of the time. Then they take their morning naps before lunch and some afternoon play time. It's so cool to get to know another culture (Indian) and really feel welcome in their home.

I'll have to post a picture of them when I get one on my camera. But for now...here's to twins!! (and the hope that they sprinkle lots of baby dust over me everyday.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Prayer


My mom just gave me some articles that she found while cleaning out her office that she thought I'd find useful.

One magazine was from 1996, which is awesome. The pictures in it are classic.

There was an awesome article in it on prayer that struck a chord with me. In the article, Becka Tirabassi talks about how she went to a conference and the speaker said something that completely spoke to her heart and called her to the plate. He said, "Prayerlessness in the life of a believer is sin." She realized that that calls her and other Christians to decide if they're going to live in sin or not.

Even though all her life she had said "I'm too busy" I'm too tired" "It doesn't do anything" "It takes too much time" "It's boring" and "Prayer is for old people," she decided to challenge herself. She would pray for an hour everyday because it was the least she could do after everything God had done for her.

It was just an awesome article about how God showed up and she learned to cherish that time with Him. She has a my PART, and God's PART. Her part has four sections : Praise, Admit, Request, and Thanks. She prayed in a journal so as to keep track. His part consists of LMNOP (no acronym apparently lol) Listening, Messages (going through sermon notes), New and Old Testaments, and Proverbs. She also has a "to do" section in the binder where she makes notes of what she feels God is calling her to do (write a note to someone, etc.)

I was hugely convicted while reading this 14 year old article, because now more than ever...since I'm working more part-time, I should be able to make this time with God. If I can't do it now, when I'm not holding a full time job, I obviously don't care enough to make prayer a huge part of my life. (Because I somehow never cease to find the time to workout, get on facebook, or watch a TV show.) I'm going to try this method, probably more like 30 or 45 minutes at first, but I think I'm going to love it. I'm going to make a commitment to God, and then set the timer and keep it. (as recommended by the article.)

The Test: I did this last night, and right when I set the timer and set my phone to the side...I got a call from Kevin reminding me that I was supposed to be at his office for a work function I had committed to. I raced off to the event, frustrated as ever. But later last night I got a chance to spend time in the word and writing my prayers out to God. It was so refreshing and so needed. It's been way too long since I made it a huge priority in my life.

I pray that you guys would think about prayer more as "the heartthrob of the believer's life" -Dr. Ole Hallesby

~Future prayer warrior

Monday, May 17, 2010

Friends


If you knew that you were hurting people, would you stop

or get up and move?


If you knew that you were living exclusively,

would you invite more to your banquet table?

If you knew that your friends were alone

would you step out of the world of you?

If you asked me these questions, I don't know what my answer would be.

I know it's a harsh world. I know it's hard to love others as you love yourself. I DO NOT profess to be perfect or close.

But if you would have asked me a year ago, would I ever have written this with you in mind?

That answer I know. I would have said no.

But now we question everything. What are your grounds for friendship? Do you have criteria? What was our friendship based on? And questioning those you thought loved you unconditionally hurts.

What is a friend? Someone who hangs out with you for a time because it's convenient and fun? Maybe it goes a big deeper than that. Perhaps people become friends because they have a lot in common and they make each other laugh. Maybe those people feel like they can be themselves, flaws and all, with a friend. Vulnerability. Loyalty.

I would hope that among Christians, it's deeper than all of those things. Christian friendship is a bond of brotherhood or sisterhood that should unite us in our struggle against flesh and blood. It's an eternal partnership. It should be a relationship where we can be flawed and confess to one another. Accountability. Strength. Biblical. Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."

Are there boundary lines for Christian friendship? Yes. There are times in the Bible were Jesus explains that friends can be cut off. We are to confront a Christian brother if he is living in sin. If he doesn't change, we are instructed to bring another Christian friend to confront him with. If he still doesn't respond, bring him in front of the Church. Only after a triple try and a triple refusal of that friend to live out the will of God should we cut our friendship short. It takes a bold Christian friend to confront this intentionally, and I think it's awesome that we have Biblical mandates that are this bold.

Whether you are a Christian or not, siblings are usually great friends because you're united by flesh and blood. You are family. That's why Jesus' friendship to humanity is described as stronger than even this bond. "there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." And for the first time in my life, this verse means something substantial to me. Some of our friends have left us. Our very closest friends live far away. We feel lonely in the friendship sense for the first time in our very social lives. Praise GOD that he is a friend when we need that. He can be a loving father, but he can also be a best friend. I used to say that Jesus was my friend. But I didn't get it, nor do I think I truly meant it. I didn't get it because I thought I didn't need it. Shame on me for not realizing this sooner!!

But oh nellie. =) When your friends in Christ stop including you in their lives because of a difference in theological beliefs, you need Jesus more than ever. It's a freakin lonely world down here without a loving, forgiving community around you. And this is NOT to say that we don't have wonderful friends who have been with us. Thank you to everyone who has surrounded us in prayer and physically in this dark season of our lives. It's just the idea of being forgotten by old friends. Frienships that we thought ran much deeper.

I would love to say that I never have or never will wrongfully abandon or fail my friends or family. I'm writing this to my selfish self too. I would love to say that I will never cease to be there for people when they most need me. But I can't promise that. I'm asking for forgiveness if I have failed you as a friend or sister in Christ. and I'm deeply sorry if I have ever hurt you the way we are hurting right now.

We are all failures and broken and human. Thank God for redemption.


(and we're getting a dog. I heard they're pretty rockin at the whole friendship thing.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Writing


Being a writer is being persistent and consistent in your blogging efforts, even if you don't even have 2 followers (see: my other blog).

Being a writer is writing because you love it, even when no one ever comments on your blogs.

Being a writer is sometimes hard in "this economy" because instead of writing what you want to, you waste hours online trying to make money writing freelance articles, and reading freelance articles about how to write freelance articles.

Writing is hard sometimes because you feel like your thoughts and work is less valid somehow if it isn't somehow available to the public via: internet.

Writing is cool because you can write how you feel. It just becomes harder when your feelings are a jumbled pile of crazy-ness that is hard to transfer into letters and sentences. (as difficult as untangling a tiny necklace chain that has been knotted up --> Can be EXTREMELY tedious and frustrating at times.)

Writing is...what I love. And I'm excited to write to change the world. I bet if you're over the age of 25, you're thinking, "aww, that's cute. She wants to change the world. Good luck with that." But you'll see...it's all about luck, talent, and persistence. If you have 2 out of those 3, you WILL make it. And Persistence I have control over.

Good night friends. I hope you are living with the purpose of accomplishing all of your dreams and hopes. EVEN and especially when people don't think you can.

And if you aren't, I sure hope you love the life you've fallen into anyway. We only live once. We might as well be doing what we love.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Million Dollar Mouth


This grill was the most expensive one I could find, and it listed for 10,000 dollars.

Let me tell you something that totally disgusts me. My mouth is worth more than that!!! And I am and have always been a brush-and-floss-and-rinse-a-haulic. (not kidding!)

I like to say, it all started when I was the second born child. I heard a mother's nutrients are depleted so the subsequent children's bones and teeth may not be as strong. Or it could be hereditary; my dad's mouth is worth robbing too.

Thank GOD they use white fillings and crowns now. I had my first filling probably around age 6. I had silver fillings back then, which were cool for about a day. I continued to have cavities filled as I grew out of my baby teeth and into my adult teeth. It was no better a situation. I have probably had 15+ (at least 1800 dollars worth) fillings in my lifetime. Do we even have that many molars?!

We started to think that my dentist was making them up because I was the only one in my family getting these outrageously unclean bills of dental health. So, we switched dentists and my mouth was surprisingly uneventful for a few years. :D

Then, I went to college and decided that I should get braces. I had a couple minor issues (we're talking, one bottom tooth out of line, and a top tooth that stuck out about 2 milimeters in front of its neighbor). BUT, since I was still owned and paid for by my parents, I decided to whine about getting braces. I only had them on for 10 months, and when I got them off (3,000 dollars later), of course more cavities had developed in the areas that are virtually impossible to brush with braces.

Since that point in college, I have had another 7 fillings and a root canal. Sadly, in just 8 days I'll be getting my second root canal/crown (1600 dollars). What a sad joke, that fails to make me laugh. This American life is EXPENSIVE!! Can I get an amen?

Thank goodness for dental insurance, and parents who taught me to brush, floss and rinse.

At least I still have all of my teeth, and thanks to cosmetic dentistry, you probably couldn't even tell by looking in my mouth. (See last picture of me on my last blog...)

Brush your teeth, children. And lay off of the soda and candy. Like me =)

PS. Don't forget to check out my new writer's blog: www.keepyourbuttinchair.blogspot.com

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jamaica Pictures and A new blog!

Kevin was a true stud on the trapeze in Jamaica! We have some videos of us doing it too. Pretty flipping exhilarating! --haha no pun intendedWe got up early on our last morning (5:30) and went out to see the sunrise over the ocean. It was beautiful, except for the mosquitos who loved our white-person blood. We wrote each other messages in the sand, and had the whole beach to ourselves.
This tree would have taken like 10 people's arms stretched out to hug it completely. It was sweet. The golf course was a little dry, but Jamaica is still a cool (well hot, but neat) place to make my debut on the golf course. =)
I got a Par 3!! Then I got really tired and bored, and the $25 cart sounded really good right around the 5th hole.
We had fun photo shoots in our room, as usual. I selected this one because we actually have a little tan, and you can't see our wet swimming suits in the background, and we're just goofy like this. (Speaking of swimsuits (plural), props to Tina for letting me borrow 8 swimsuits and look totally stylish/diversify my tan lines the whole time! Girlfriends rock!)

So today concludes my first week of writing full-time! Let me just say: it was a blast. I got to spring-clean our house, blog more than 2 times in a week, read LOTS of chapters in other books, go to the library (and check out 20 books that I cannot forget to return on time), and type type type away on my little laptop!

I also started a blog called "Butt in Chair" to relate to my writing career. This blog will remain as my personal blog. =) the domain name is http://www.keepyourbuttinchair.blogspot.com. Every professional writer will tell you that it's one of their biggest challenges, keeping their butt in the chair and actually writing. So...here's to the future...and lots of hours with my butt spent in a chair!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Credit vs. Debit



So today I went to Wal-greens to get some of our disposable pictures that we took while snorkeling developed. They turned out great (although some of them of us with our masks on were HILARIOUS. Our faces were all smushy. Maybe I'll post one soon.) Anyway, I paid with my debit card, but I always select "Credit." And here's why:

I get REWARDS! I get 4 points to each dollar I spend because I pay 25 dollars a year to be a part of the Chase Rewards program. I'm definitely buying into their scheme to spend more, but I really have accumulated lots of points over the last year or two. (We RARELY redeem them...which is what they probably hope you will continue doing...haha)

Anyway, stores desperately want you to enter your "pin number" because they actually have to pay 1.8% of the transaction amount to the credit card company when you select Credit. That's why they make it very difficult for you to get away from a debit transaction. They have you hit some random button that you don't know about until you ask, then the cashier has to select "credit," etc. This whole scenario that usually happens at least once a day makes me assume that I'm being judged. This is what I assume is going on inside the head of the store clerk when I push or say "credit." :

"This stupid young girl is probably in so much credit card debt that she doesn't know how to stop. She even buys her groceries on credit?/She is buying a pop at the gas station with CREDIT? Get a hold of yourself. Did you know you have to pay those back?!" ...etc etc.

I always want to say, "this is actually going to be taken from my bank account just like a debit transaction would, but I'm trying to get rewards." lol. I care too much what other people think.

Has anyone else ever felt this way? or am I a total weirdo?

PS. I completed one of my bucket list tasks on our Jamaica vacation! Can anyone guess what it was?!? (see posting from a long time ago)

PS2. I'm going to be developing a second blog as more of a way to develop myself as a writer...a more professional blog! Updates to come

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jamaica 2010




Jamaica 2010

Have you ever had a set of plans that seemed flawless? Maybe you spent months toiling over your plan, studying it and perfecting it only to have something come along that shatters the entire plan. That seems to be what has happened to Kevin and me multiple times in the last three weeks.

From my last posting, you will understand part of our humbling experience.

The second part is related to our vacation. We had been planning what we thought was to be an amazing trip through Europe! We booked the vacation last October, and paid for the whole entire trip in full four months ago. The trip was to London, Paris, Switzerland, the French Riviera, Monaco, Florence, and Rome. Hours were spent at Borders studying books on these places, mapping out our top stops and eats in each city, and getting ridiculously excited. We even spent the day I had to get surgery thinking about how wonderful 'next week' would be as we ventured through the streets of Paris, toured the Coliseum where Paul preached, overlooked the Swiss Alps, and on and on.

The night before we were to fly out of Chicago into London, we got a 1-800 call in the middle of the night. I was pissed that some salesperson was calling at 2am...but in the morning we listened to the message. It was American Airlines letting us know that our flight had been cancelled due to the volcanic ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano that had been erupting for days. We found out later that over 100,000 flights had/have been cancelled because of this natural disaster. HOLY SMOKES!!

Once again, we were humbled at our small-ness and God's big-ness. Sometimes I pray, "God, make me small in my life and make yourself BIGGER." And oh man, has God been answering that prayer.

We spent a day toiling over where to go on our 2 weeks off of work. We looked at driving up the coast of California, we thought about Disney World, and we tried to find a cheap flight to Hawaii. We looked at probably as many websites as we had when we were looking for our Honeymoon destination. After literally 5 hours of searching on our own, we decided to call a travel agent. She helped us find a wonderful all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. It turned out to be a great trip with a lot of opportunities to share God's love. It was no Europe, but definitely a great place to enjoy our relationship, spend time with God on the beach, and get some good tan lines.

This last month has just gone to show that we are so much less in-control of our lives than we thought we were. This is a sinful, broken world that we live in, and even though we are Bible-believing Christians, we are not promised a life without struggle or pain. We have a new understanding of Grace, and we have a renewed closeness to the Lord.

He is a God of comfort, and Kevin and I both have never needed the arms of God around us like we do right now. It's a powerful thing, God's love. Phillipians 4 spoke straight to our hearts yesterday at church. "

What a crazy life this is. Praise God for his peace that surpasses our understanding.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And then sometimes life hurts


I'm having trouble sleeping for the third night in a row. But tonight is a little different than the last two nights.

Today when we went into the doctor for our first prenatal "check-up," they couldn't find the baby's heartbeat. So we were actually excited, because we knew this meant we could go get an ultrasound and actually see our baby!

However, when we went in later to have this done, the technician couldn't detect any movement. She did another form of ultrasound that is more sensitive, and we could see the baby but there was no blood flow to the little body. It was probably the worst moment I've ever remembered in my short life so far. And I can't stop replaying it in my head. We were in a dark room, and I just can't bring myself to lay in our dark bedroom right now. Nothing else will stay in my head. And so we're just coping as best we can.

God is good, and I know he has a plan. In fact, the Word has been our biggest hope over the last 16 hours. This is what I read tonight:

"Life up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.

...

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable (and this line is about where I lost it. This is the GOd we cling to!!)

He GIVES POWER TO THE FAINT,
AND TO HIM WHO HAS NO MIGHT HE INCREASES STRENGTH.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint."

Oh, God I just pray that we would have renewed strength. We are so thankful for friends and family who have surrounded us in prayer right now, and we definitely want this to be something we look back on and Glorify God all the more for. This life is such a refining process...and it just hurts really bad sometimes.

Thanks for your prayers. Especially on Friday when I'll be undergoing a DNC surgery.

Thank you GOD for dying so we don't have to shoulder the pain of this world. You know how we feel. you are a God of understanding, and peace, and grace. You draw near to the weary and the brokenhearted. If I could have one thing, it would be your presence.

Love you all.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Baby characteristics




So, I guess I can't help but blog about the baby growing inside of me "with our DNA" as our husband says. It's going to be so cool to see how he/she/they turn out!! haha. It's not declared multiples yet, so we'll just have to wait until our first appointment next Wednesday to find out all that fun stuff. I've inserted my thoughts in parenthesis. (Lame that I'm reading these things so early. But hey, it's the first one. What else can fill my nauseous life but reading weird internet articles?)

This is what the hokey internet quizzes/finder-outers say:

Congratulations! It's a boy! (The "necklace test", however, said GIRL!) According to the Chinese fertility calendar, you're expecting a son. Time to brush up on those baby boy names. (Are you kidding...brush up on our names? We have a list of 5 boy names and 5 girl names that we LOVE. It's going to be a difficult decision. I think we're going to wait until we see the baby to name him/her. Surprises are more fun!)

There's almost always a connection between genetics and environment. Musical talent is a classic example. People who have perfect pitch are four times more likely than those with only average singing voices to say that a relative has this natural gift. (I'm hoping for a future broadway star/worship leader... I'm just being honest. I love music/chorus/choir/madrigals/etc!). Yet research has also found that most people with perfect pitch started taking music lessons before age 6, and that only 3 percent of people who started voice lessons after age 9 have perfect pitch -- suggesting that both genetics and training affect one's singing voice. "It's simplistic to say that artistic and intelligence traits are determined by genetics, because even a gifted child needs the right environment to thrive," says Dr. Garber. Average IQ scores have gone up in the past 50 years thanks to changes such as better early-childhood education, experts say, not because we're innately smarter. And intelligence may run in families partly because bright parents tend to provide a richer learning environment -- by having more books, for example. In fact, two recent studies found that the IQ of firstborn children is slightly higher than that of their younger siblings -- possibly because they received more undivided attention. (this explains your ridiculous ACT score and valedictorian tendencies, and chemistry gifts Jill!)

"Almost all talents need to be practiced," says Dr. Carey. "Even if you're genetically predisposed to be a great basketball player, you still need to shoot a lot of free throws." The environment a child grows up in can also affect other genetic traits. "The impact of genes for height can be modified by the foods you eat," says Dr. Bodurtha. "And environment is enormously important during development and early childhood. For example, your child could have genetic potential for a high IQ, but if you drank alcohol during pregnancy, it may be lower." (good thing I didn't drink that apple martini that I wanted so bad the day before we found out. Our kids will need to get full rides for college since we're having like 5...or 3...or we'll see haha)

Sometimes, our children pick up traits we don't intend to teach -- just by living with us. Nora Flanagan's 1-year-old son, Kevin, was adopted but has definitely taken on some family traits. "My two brothers and I have the same up-to-something smirk, and Kevin's got it down to the last detail," says Flanagan, of Chicago. He also has a boisterous laugh that leaves him out of breath, just like both of his adoptive parents. "We keep in touch with Kevin's birth mother, who is more reserved, and it's been eye-opening to see how he's a combination of all of us," says Flanagan. (Babies laughing sounds are probably the cutest sounds I've ever heard.)

I'm hoping the kids get Kevin's laidback-ness, his sports abilites, his muscles, his hair, maybe my eyes or fingernails...ok I just love my hubby. I'm okay if they're just like him! Seriously, God has blessed me with such a leader and man of God in Kevin and I'm so excited to see how our little one turns out. More updates to come (like the actual gender in until June.)

We're off to Europe in 13 days....Itinerary to come...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Are you ready for a good laugh?!

So I definitely nodded my head and literally belly laughed at a lot of these. Everybody needs a good laugh here and there. So here it goes: (excuse the cuss words, I didn't write these :)

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - ever.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. I sometimes rename them…..okay MOST of the time I rename them. Usually something really snarky.

18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

21. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

22. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

23. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

25. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent an A-hole from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?

29. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

30. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

31. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

32. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my ass everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

March Madness and a baby!




So I'm back. Contrary to what you may be presupposing, I do NOT enjoy my sabbaticals from blogging. But hey, life happens. LIFE REALLY DOES HAPPEN...because we're having a baby!

Here is the biggest news on the books this month:
1) Kevin and I are having a BABY! A real life bluberry sized child is growing in-utero. Pretty insane if you ask me.
2) Related to #1: the morning sickness has surfaced over the last few days. It seems to be trying to gain lost ground, as I had been experiencing no sickness/nausea for the last month. Dang.
3) Related to #2: Although I haven't thrown up or anything yucky like that, I sleep like an infant. I can't get enough! This kinda depressing activity VERY MUCH infringes on my productivity in life, and I don't like that. I'm a GO GO GO person.
4) I am officially un-addicted to caffiene. This in itself is a true miracle! I have made it a week or two at points in my college and post-college life, but never any more than that! You better appreciate it, little one.
4) It's MARCH MADNESS! and we love it. I thought the pic was fitting, with my belly on its way to basketball size over the next 7.5 months =)

So I have 2 brackets out there, one with Kansas winning and one with Duke winning (even though people have been saying they don't have what it takes. But hey, you never know. I always wish I was a psychic when this time of year comes around!) I'm doing pretty good on my first rounds! It's pretty awesome when I want both teams to win because I don't know which of my brackets is going to bring home the victory yet :)

So basketball is in the background here at my mom's house. I'm back here in good ol' Rochester on a mini "vacation" before a couple crazy weeks of work and then I'll be done recruiting and onto writing full time! So I've spent most of my "vaca" sleeping and feeling sick. A little bit of cooking, reading and writing as well.

It's funny when I tell people we're preggo. They always have lots of interesting things to say about having a baby...like "oh, good luck. I had 3 miscarriages!" and "Eat lots of graham crackers and ginger ale" and "DON'T DYE YOUR HAIR!" lol. Lots of good advice and some that is just weird! If you have any wisdom, feel free to add to the library. I'm writing down what people tell me, and I'm also writing notes to the little one. I found the cutest notebook and it was called the "songbird notebook" on the bar code sticker. So I've decided to nickname our baby "my little songbird" when I write to him/her/it. It's pretty fun and very inspiring. It doesn't feel too real yet though. Jeans are still zipping/buttoning at 7 weeks and 2 days.

More updates to come!

PS. My netflix Queue is empty. What are some good movies for us to rent?! what is your fav? (not scary ones...the little songbird doesn't like those.) Thanks.





Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm the starving artist type


Hey! So big news since I last posted. I'm going to go for it...I'm going to be a starving artist when April rolls around! (but hopefully not starving for long; Kevin intends to feed me I think.=) I talked my boss last week about my decision to pursue writing full-time. He was all smiles! (strangely enough? haha) I think he could tell I was scared, because after he said "You need to do what's right for you" and I thanked him for understanding, he said, "What, did you think I was going to get mad at you or something?" haha. I said, "umm, no? I was just nervous because I care a lot about this job too." He was so understanding and he know's I'll be an all star trainer before I hand the baton off to the next person.

So bottom line, it went extremely well. God's hand seemed to be all over that decision, for so many reasons. The number one was my heart that wouldn't just let go of the idea. When you pray, HE WILL ANSWER. But man, taking the step to actually be obedient and give up a salary and just a great job is difficult when it comes down to knocking on the boss's door!

We've been talking about our "inner GPS" device in my setting goals class. The thinking behind this is that when you repeatedly visualize a goal (being a published, best-selling author, handing out your books and signing them...etc. etc) your mind does whatever it takes to get you there. Now it may not be in a plan or fashion that you created, but it will find a way to create that awareness and make actions that move you closer to your goal.

So when the career fair season (busiest recruiting time) is over, I will be waking up each morning at 6am to go for a walk and get inspired, and spend a few hours at my desk pouring over some masterpieces ;o) (ideal scenario). I'll also be able to keep the house nicer/cleaner and I already have so much peace!! I also am on the hunt for an awesome recruiter to replace myself with...so if you know of anyone who needs a job and is a rock star, let me know.

Man, God is so good. And I'm completely stoked for our writing group that started on Saturday at Panera. Some talented writers there ;o) feel free to come out, it's at Panera at 2pm in Davenport. Bring some stuff you've written and we'll critique each other's work in a professional and loving way. Or email it to me Oliviaishere2@aol.com and we'll add it to the mix.

Now, if God would just answer my prayers about the snow stopping. I'm looking out the window from Dunkin Doughnuts (where I left my debit card last weekend, and they saved it for me!) and looking at the mass of cars trying to drive through the messy, snowy roads. They're overlooked by the brightest white sky that hasn't changed in 36 hours. I can't run in this mess and I have a bad case of cabin fever that only 40+ temps and some blooms can solve (or a tropical vaca? lol). Only so many cups of tea can make the winter cozy, and then it's time for Spring. Freakin' Groundhog.

So what is God and your heart telling you to do?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Amazing Race Baby


So the time has come for us to apply to the most amazing reality show on earth. THE AMAZING RACE. You know it's gotta be good when you have to sign a waiver with this clause in it:

All applicants must be in good physical and mental health and must be aware that, and

sign releases attesting that, the activities in the Program may involve risks and hazards,

and that participating in the Program may expose applicant and other participants to,

among other things, the risk of death, serious injury, illness and property damage

caused by the risks associated with their participation in the Program, including,

without limitation, the following: latent or apparent defects or conditions in any

equipment used in the Program; the use or operation by applicant or others of said

equipment; acts of other people including, without limitation, acts of the Producers or

other participants; accommodations; weather or other natural conditions; the nature of

travel including, without limitation, latent defects and human error; applicant’s

physical condition; applicant’s own acts or omissions; sleep deprivation; first-aid,

medical or emergency treatment or other services rendered to applicant or others;

exposure to illness; consumption of food or drink; acts of God (e.g. earthquakes and

floods); laws or local ordinances; war or riots; terrorism; strikes; and/or no reason at

all. Applicants must understand and acknowledge that the above list of reasons is not

complete or exhaustive. Applicants must accept and assume all risks of injury, death,

illness or disease, or other damage to themselves, to others, or to their property, which

arise in any way from their participation in this Program.


HOLY MOLY. We might die, people. But man would it be amazing. This is assuming that we get chosen for the season that will film in late spring/early summer. February 14th kicks off season 16 so we are going to be watching and studying ;o)

We see ourselves as the next Megan and Cheyne (season 15 winners) but with more experience together and cooler names ;o)

Here's the deal, though. It seems pretty difficult to become the 1 white couple hat isn't inherently cool. They like to pick people who are like 70 year old with 22 year old, or Harlem Globetrotters, or former Miss Americas, or minorities. They haven't had a token Christian couple, so I'm not sure if we can play that card. We'll just have to trust that if we get picked, it was God's will. But we do get to make a 3 minute video, so we have to make that FREAKIN AWESOME.

For our video, we have a few ideas but not a ton. We're going to start out with us doing pullups and other crazy things in the gym, and then I think we're going to tell our top 5 ideas of why we want to be on the amazing race. Anyone have any other crazy-cool ideas we could add?

We're going to have the song "Remember the name" in the background (obviously the clean version). Here are the top 5 reasons that we'll discuss in the video and then I'll post it later this week when we complete it. It will be my fist go at video-editing, so if anyone wants to help let us know...We might pay you a portion of our million dollar winnings... ;o) But we need it done by Friday.

Reason #1: A Physical Challenge

Reason #2: A thirst for competition

Reason #3 We want to see the world

Reason #4 We love people

Reason#5 We want a BIG family

So I wrote out like a little script/screenplay...and here goes nothing!!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rated "R" experience at Starbucks


I'm sitting on Michigan avenue on a rainy Saturday morning because no other stores or fun coffee shops are open. The city is a bit slower on the weekends I guess. Hope the ice skating rink is equally slow when we go later this afternoon! If it's not cold enough to skate and re-live our engagement (haha) we'll go Shedd Aquarium! How fun!

So to start my day off on the right foot, a couple homeless guys who initially appeared to be getting along got into an F-word fest-fight as I stood waiting for my double skinny vanilla latte to come up on the bar. Needless to say, they were told to remove themselves from the store. Wow, exciting. (I heard it only takes 3 F-words to make a movie Rated "R." Hence, the title of my blog today =)

I'm totally pumped to meet Aubrey at Cosi for lunch, also to get bubble tea and dinner from Joy Yees in Naperville tonight with my sis and see her new crib!

We have been in Chicago for four days now for a big Central Regional meeting for work and it has totally been a blast. We had a couple big dinner/dance parties and I borrowed a couple dresses so I could feel fancy. Fancy is one of my favorite feelings. It makes me feel glamorous and lovely, and maybe a little sexy and fun. ;o)

Being in Chicago just brings back so many memories, big sibs, college friends, modeling stuff (blehh), and being here also invokes my inner shopaholic. I love it!

I'll be heading home in style. Peace out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

To self-publish or to fight your way into a big publisher?


Writing+Reading+drinking coffee and tea=The life I want to live in 2010!

In terms of goals for this year, I guess I have a few. Health and fitness: I'd like to improve even more than I have over this last year. I'd like to get pretty "clean" with the way I eat. but I'm not sure how likely those are to happen, since I made a lot of changes in this area in 2009. I'd also like to get rid of my Shop-aholic tendencies ;o/ I'd like to read the Bible, 20 books, etc...BUT

The goals that are trying to skydive out of my brain into reality this year are the ones that relate to career choice and passion-pursuit. I have this intense desire to WRITE and PUBLISH books. I read once that 90% of the population in America wants to write a book at some point in their life. But SO few do it. Maybe 5% of those? And how many of those get published...I think it was something crazy like 20% of the 5%. I really would like to think that ONE of my TEN ideas could become a real book. How do I break out of the wannabe zone?

I set some goals in 2009 to get my books done or submit them for publishing, but it has only been over the last couple months that I've really taken to reading some serious publishing books. I get more and more excited with each page I read (good sign, I think) but the major problem lies in my current lifestyle: I work full time. I am exhausted and spent at the end of each day, and I am usually only able to squeeze 4-5 hours of SERIOUS writing each week. I could do more on the weekends, but I want to spend as much quality time with my husband as I can.

So, I had coffee with a wonderful contact through work yesterday. He challenged me to do some writing/publishing and just run with it. Even if I have to self-publish. And he challenged me to do it NOW/SOON/IMMEDIATELY/BEFORE WE HAVE KIDS/WHEN I'M YOUNG AND FULL OF IDEAS!

So I have been in a sort of dazed stupor as I face the decision of what to do. Do I just jump off the cliff and pursue my dream? All the books I read tell me that I should. "Just go for it. Make the sacrifice of income vs. passion and happiness. What better time to be poor than when you're young?" But...then the voice of reason and logic pops in. Plus it's not that I don't enjoy what I do as a recruiter, but it's just not as much as I would love writing for a living.

I can't wait until the only question I am debating over is whether I should submit proposals like a crazy woman to get into a publisher, or self-publish.

God, please give me guidance and strength to make the right decision!

Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Recap and 2010 Goals!


Well 2009 was quite a year, and I can say that it probably topped 2008 in eventfulness!
A little recap:

January-went to Florida with Ash Redman to visit a friend. Ran a 10K down there..got tan...avoided the negative 40 windchills that were happening back home!

April-Started Crossfit. The workout extraordinaire that has revolutionized both my husband and my bodies! (Now I can do at least 75 pull-ups...not in a row, but in a period of about 20-30 min, which means I can check "pull-up" off of my bucket list!)

May-Graduated from College and started my first "real" full time job at Northwestern Mutual as a Recruiter. Getting a paycheck and awesome benefits for working just as hard as you worked in college is GLORIOUS!

August-Went to Wisconsin with the work group to go skiing, boating, relax for a few days because Kev qualified for the "summer contest" at work

We also bought our house August, and we absolutely LOVE IT. It's perfect for us. This was a huge step! We were in a bidding war for it, and we definitely ended up spending more than we had planned. But it's one of those things that's worth it...and so much more!

October-Let's just say that RIGHT when you feel comfortable and like you know exactly what God is up to, you just might find out that he has another plan. Our church family has gone through a lot, with the result of two churches coming out of one. I think this is a good thing! The church Sacred City was born and has caused/allowed us a ton of room for spiritual growth as God prepares us for what is to come. Kev and I open our home for church on Sunday mornings now and it has been really exciting to see people grow and people come to church who would never have come with us before. There's been a LOT of growing pains/friendships that we aren't sure what's happening in/changes but God is faithful and we are confident that He will supply all our needs according to HIS glorious riches. (Phil 4:19)

Wow, so, but we'll leave it at that. Graduating from college, getting a house, the church (and maybe the pull-ups) are milestones in my life, and I don't want to forget to thank God for providing in abundance this last year! Whatever 2010 has to bring...we're ready!

2010 Goals to come...

What happened big for you in 09?? I'd love to know!!