Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Good Way To End

I love sports. So much real drama, talent, excitement, disappointment, etc. I just saw this video and I think it is a fitting way to end my year of posting. Today on the radio they were talking about their favorite sports moments of the decade. All of the ones I thought of (though I didn't really take a ton of time to think about it) that I saw in real-time are represented in this video: Vince Young single-handedly winning the National Championship, Andre Agassi losing to James Blake in his final match ever, Tyree's catch in the craziest Super Bowl play, Phelps winning by a fingertip.

(HT: Vitamin Z)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Year: By the Numbers

States Visited: 6 (HI, MD, WI, TX, OH, PA)
Weddings Attended: 3
Trips to the Cabin: 13
Triathlons: 0
5Ks: 3
Trips to Green Bay: 3
Football Games (in person): 4 (3 pro, 1 college)
Blog Posts: 142
Half-Marathons: 1
College Reunions: 1
Books Read: 18
Times Pulled Over: 2 (GRRRRRR)
Dates: 1 (an improvement)
Resolutions Kept: 0


For some reason, I have been wanting to learn to beatbox for the last few months. I haven't been extremely successful, especially since the only tip I've ever heard (that my sister heard somewhere) is that if you say "puppets and boots and" over and over, it sorta makes a beat. But not a good one. At all.

So when some friends (friends of my sister?) came over to play games a few weeks ago, I asked a genuine-beatboxer to give me tips. He helped me with three sounds and I have been practicing those. I've also been practicing my facial expression while I "make the beats" (as I refer to them), because apparently my face was looking ridiculous.

During Christmas at home, I was practicing in the shower. I thought I was getting a lot better until my older sister opened the door and asked "Beatboxing or hairball? Because it's hard to tell the difference". (Needless to say, she's not a huge fan of the beatboxing kick I'm on).

I decided to look online to see if I could find any more instruction on beatboxing. The first video I came across taught the very same beats I was working on: classic kick drum, closed hi-hat, and the rim shot. The video gives even more instructions, but I am starting out slowly.

So, if you ever think I have a hairball, you're wrong. I'm making a beat. But it's okay to check on me, just in case it really is a hairball.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I can’t let Christmas come and go with no mention on my blog. I hope you enjoyed the time you spent celebrating our Savior’s birth.

Here are my highlights and lowlights.


  • Jesus came as a baby to live a perfect life and die in our place. Ultimate humility.
  • The FOOD: prime rib, egg nog, rice pudding, pie, pie, and more pie.
  • I got SPOILED with presents.
  • Watched Elf (and stayed awake for the whole thing – a Christmas miracle!)
  • Singing carols with the family – including our tradition of The Twelve Days of Christmas(complete with actions this year, thanks to my uncle’s suggestion)
  • Cards, board games, more cards, more board games….
  • Grandparents’ 67th anniversary. Awesome.
  • Seeing lots of family and friends
  • Relaxing – not working – sleeping – lounging


  • Forgot my little sister’s gifts at my house…oops
  • Fell on my way to my car as I left for the weekend – bruised hip and elbow, but could have been much worse
  • Not seeing some family and friends because of bad weather, changed flights, etc.

Technologically Advanced. Or Not.

I really love end of the year lists - the best of this, the worst of that, etc. I especially am loving lists about the decade, seeing as it is almost over.

I felt so technologically advanced when I read an article on The 20 Best Gadgets of the Decade. I've heard of everything on the list except the Dyson Air Multiplier, and most of the items I've even used at one time or another. I'm truthfully not very technologically advanced at all, so I was pretty impressed with myself.

Until I watched the following video about Google Wave. Now, I love a lot of the features on Gmail (and I'm sure I don't even use many others that are available), but I seriously was SO LOST when I was watching this video! Typically people in my generation are the ones who are showing our parents what to do with email, Facebook, etc, but I don't know if I will ever understand Wave enough to use it. Boo. Anyone else feel this way? I wonder if Wave will be something everyone will be using....or maybe they already are and I am that far behind.

Hide and Seek

"I was never good at hide & seek because I'd always make enough noise so my friends would be sure to find me. I don't have anyone to play those games with any more, but now & then I make enough noise just in case someone is still looking & hasn't found me yet."


Monday, December 21, 2009

In My Excitement... go to Lithuania, I forgot that MY PASSPORT EXPIRED THIS SUMMER.

I have no idea why this crossed my mind last night as I was falling asleep, but THANK GOODNESS it did! You would think that I would have thought of that, oh, say....when I bought a TICKET TO CROSS THE OCEAN, but NO. Seriously, you should try to live as a scatterbrain sometime. It is NEVER BORING.

I headed straight to the Passport Center this morning and was told that it currently only takes four weeks to get a Passport, so all is well. Plus I got a new picture, and if you've ever had the fortune of seeing my old passport picture, you know a new one was much needed.

Twenty Ten

I saw the following sentence on a blog post featuring pictures from the last decade: "Call it what you will, "the noughties", "the two-thousands" or something else, the first decade of the 21st century (2000-2009) is now over."

It reminded me of a discussion my sister and I had while we were skiing about what the year 2010 will be called [like 2009 is usually referred to as "oh nine"].

She said that she might say "two ought one ought" or "one ought"*. I said that "one ought never to be caught calling the year one ought. It shall be called twenty ten".

We also threw around some ways to say the year in Roman numerals, but we weren't sure what the Roman numeral for 1000 was (it is M). So instead, we decided to use the Roman numerals for twenty ten, which would be XX (for twenty) and X (for ten), so it turns out to be Triple X. We may or may not have come up with a hand signal for this, as well. Don't be jealous.

So, what will you call this coming year? Will you say "two thousand ten"? Or "twenty ten"? Maybe just "ten"?

We ponder the most pressing issues in life while we ski, my sister and I.

*Apparently, according to Wikipedia, saying ought (or aught) for 0 is technically incorrect. The proper thing to say is nought. I guess our high school math teacher taught us poorly.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I currently have the best countdowns!

ONE DAY until my first ski of the season, and my first viewing of a Christmas movie for the season (Elf or Christmas Vacation, Christmas Vacation or Elf?!?!?! Decisions, decisions, decisions.......). I have been patiently (OR IMPATIENTLY) waiting for this weekend of fun-with-sister-skiing-movie-slumber-party-tickle-fight-secrets-and-giggles.


ONE MONTH later, I will be on a PLANE TO HAWAII with the crew from last year. Oh, I CAN'T WAIT!!

ONE MONTH after that, I will be on a PLANE TO LITHUANIA! Woo hoo! Baltic states!! Kidding, I'm much more excited about seeing some Favorites than I am about being in a Baltic state, though I think it will be neat-o to say I've been to a Baltic state.

Okay, I had to get that out of my system. But seriously. Favorite countdowns ever. **excited fists**

Neighborhood Debate

I love my neighborhood. It is tucked into the city, close to a nice lake, not far from downtown, and just blocks away from easy public transportation to the biggest mall in America, the Dome, the airport, or the heart of downtown. There are chain restaurants within ten minutes, but I prefer the fact that there are many non-chain restaurants within two minutes. Add in a cute neighborhood coffee shop and a beautiful bike trail and I am just as happy as a clam.
My AP is convinced my neighborhood is.....scary? Not safe? I don't know...but she doesn't really like it. Partly she is teasing me because she is very much a suburbs-girl, but she flatly refuses to consider a move into the city. And that's fine with me - to each their own.

When she had to leave her car at my house on Saturday night due to losing her keys, she said "Will my car be safe there overnight?!" to which I replied "You mean right where I park my car every night? Yeah, I think you're fine." [Again, she is mostly kidding.]

So when she picked her car up on Sunday, she drove a few blocks and snapped a picture and sent it to me on my phone. I started laughing SO hard when I saw the following:

The caption read: "just a quaint safe corner cafe in minneapolis"
Now, while this doesn't prove her point, it may help her case.
I have probably driven past this cafe everyday for three years and I have never given a second thought to the name. I guess it's all about perspective. And now my AP has changed mine. Only about the name of the cafe, though. Not about anything else in the 'hood.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Weekend of Little Kiddos

This past weekend was pretty unexpected, but very good. I had the opportunity to go to four Christmas parities, but I had decided that I would limit myself to one per weekend. For future reference for myself: THIS IS A GREAT DECISION! I always want to be able to do it all, but then none of it is fun – it all ends up being too rushed. So I just stuck with the basics and really enjoyed better quality time at the things I chose, saved myself stress, and had the availability for unexpected situations that came up.

Friday was low-key: had an AMAZING dinner on my sister’s dime, laid in her bed watching Law and Order while I crocheted, said hi to my parents (and Happy Birthday to Dad) as they came to her house, then headed home. Nice.

Saturday I had plans to watch one of my FAVORITE BABIES while his mom had a meeting and then we were going to have lunch together and go sledding! I was excited….but then (unexpected event #1) his mom got VERY sick VERY quickly, so plans changed. I had SO much fun giggling with the baby (well, 15 months old now) all morning….he is at SUCH a fun age. He likes to run around kicking balls and jumping into your lap while you hold out his blanket. He was SO EXCITED when he saw his dad come home early from work, and I ran to the store to get fluids for his mom (who ended up with an IV @ the hospital anyway). I had to take off to get ready for the Christmas party I was going to, but I was a little worried about my friend and the baby in her belly all night. I was admittedly not my usual self at the party, partly because I thought I was also getting sick, partly because I was overly tired, and partly because I wanted to know how my friend was doing. But my small group is very gracious (especially my accountability partner [AP]) and they put up with my mood, because I was certainly in one. On the drive home from the party, (unexpected event #2) my AP realized that she didn't have her keys (we found out later that they fell out of her bag when I dropped her off next to a bank of snow and she tripped as she stepped out of the car) so I ended up driving her back to her southern suburb, but thankfully she was able to track down her keys via people who were still in the northern suburb where the party was.

Sunday morning was Welcome Team where (unexpected event #3) I hurt my foot. Sunday afternoon was a major improvement: we had a game day with some of my favorites from LP after we watched the Vikings game. We laughed SO MUCH and I almost forgot about my foot. Almost.

I didn't have plans for Sunday night until (unexpected event #4) some friends called for me to watch their two oldest girls because their baby is in the hospital with meningitis (pray for her!). I ended up having one of the best babysitting experiences I've ever had. It started off with an abbreviated dance show which somehow led into talking about the Christmas story. I found a Bible and we read the story in Luke 2 a few times. I taught the older sister some actions to go along with the verses (thanks to my kindergarten-teaching-AP who showed me actions she taught her class) while the younger sister stomped around the living room in every boot, scarf, and hat she could find. I think my favorite part of the evening was when their mom called to talk to the girls - the older sister chatted while the younger sister sat on my lap waiting her turn. The questions that were asked were precious: what is the baby wearing, what are they doing to her, what are the doctors' names, is she awake, what is she doing now......etc......when it was the younger sister's turn to chat, it turned into tears, so we quickly cut off the conversation and settled down by reading stories for an hour (LOVED snuggling with them on the couch). Just before bedtime, a tickle fight erupted (during which I was accused of being Nellie ("the mean one" on Little House on the Prairie) for breaking it up - which made me laugh really hard and I rewarded them with five more minutes for their tickle fight). After I got them into bed, we said our prayers, which definitely brought tears to my eyes as the girls prayed for their little sister to feel better. These girls are seriously just the best: sweet, creative, silly, smart. Please keep their little sister in your prayers!

It was definitely an unexpected weekend spent with great kiddos, and I really loved every second of it. Except for that whole foot thing.

A Weekend of Little Blessings

The first weekend of December was full of little blessings and was a wonderful way to start the Christmas season.

Friday night was a wedding shower. It was a great group of women that I love to learn from and laugh with, and we accomplished both that evening. I was so happy to hear the kind words that were shared about the bride-to-be, and then the bride-to-be shared kind words about each person at the shower. I left feeling incredibly blessed by the amazing hospitality of the host who set up such a nice evening with the perfect atmosphere and by the fellowship we all enjoyed. Friday nights are usually hard for me (in terms of energy and “want to”) but I was refreshed from our time together.

Saturday morning was the Reindeer Run. I was SO glad that my running at LTF has paid off: even though it was COLD and EARLY (my two LEAST FAVORITE THINGS), I was able to run at a good clip the whole time. A big improvement over the last few races. Seeing and feeling that difference motivated me to stick with my training.

Then it was brunch with one of my Favorites at Perkins, where I, of course, enjoyed a HEARTLAND OMELET. Need I say more?

The aforementioned Favorite and I then headed back to her house to “study”. She did for-real studying and I caught up on my reading for small group. It was nice to have a focused time for reading, otherwise I simply never get it done, even though I really want to.

That night I headed over to the same house I was at on Friday to teach crocheting, have dinner, and just catch up on life. I seriously love this family and I was so thankful for them to spend more time in their weekend with me. We talked and talked and talked and ate yummy twice-baked potatoes, so it doesn’t get much better than that.

Sunday morning I was on Welcome Team, one of my favorite things, and Sunday afternoon I had small group, another favorite thing. MRL made the YUMMIEST dessert for small group time and we had a very encouraging time together.

Then Sunday night I went over to watch the Vikings with another one of my favorite families. I was so glad I could finally stop by for the game – they have been so gracious to invite me over many times this season, even with very busy lives and a brand new baby, but I hadn’t been able to make it yet. So it was nice to see the game on a huge screen, even though we lost, and also spend some time teaching more crocheting. I also got to hold the sweet baby, which always, always makes my day.

It was such a busy and blessed weekend, and I was full of encouragement that got me through a strange week at work where the weather (our first legit storm) and a flat tire could have sent me over the edge, but thankfully didn’t. While other friends and family got a day off from work thanks to the storm, I was reminded to be thankful that my evenings that week were wonderfully not-busy, allowing me flexibility in my week to make up for the lost time at work due to the storm, whereas my friends and family who were given the unexpected day off from work needed that time much more than I did last week. So it all works out in the end.

Face Matches Foot

My foot is swollen from a very strange injury I inflicted upon myself at church on Sunday. During set up time, I was wheeling a seven-foot-tall cart that weighs a couple hundred pounds. I stopped short, but the cart did not (note to self: carts that weigh hundreds of pounds have a lot more inertia than I do) and it rolled up on the back of my heel. I fell down and immediately felt very nauseous and lightheaded. I tried to stand up and nearly fainted, so I laid on the ground and breathed deeply until I could stand up. Long story short, I finished set up, iced my foot, and left church during the sermon due to my still-light-headedness and upset stomach. I went to see doctor-sister and after I got some food, some Advil, and left my foot up for the entire Vikings game, I was feeling much better. I had terrible visions of crutching around in the snow today carrying bags of food and samples to my clinics, but I was able to get a shoe on and I only had a slight limp throughout the day. So that is an answer to prayer, to be sure. I will attempt to be less clumsy in the future, without much success, I’m sure, because that’s how I roll. Literally ROLL over my own foot. Annoying.


My face matches my foot today – it is swollen as well. I cried myself to sleep last night with a mixture of happy, sad, anxious, hopeful, thankful, and anticipatory tears (if that mixture of tears exists). I have had the best and most strange weekends lately, and it all bubbled over last night. So as I was being my emotional self, I thought about my lack of blogging and how I really want to remember weekends like the last few, so I need to catch up on my blogging before I forget it all (which is bound to happen very shortly). In the past I have not wanted to simply blog about lists of things that are going on in my life, but I decided that remembering these little things is more important to me than having huge insights on every blog. It will definitely benefit myself more than any of my readers, so if you choose to skim or not read those blogs at all, I fully support your decision. And I have a feeling that my next few posts will be very verbose, so I am telling you in advance that there is no reason for you to read them all. So. That's that.

Part of the emotions I had last night were tied up in my favorite time of year: Christmas. The cards pour in, the parties are in full swing, the house is cozy with great decorations, the music is amazing, and the real meaning of the season strikes me afresh each year. I simply LOVE it. Someone reminded me that all of those same things might make a single person feel very lonely and sad at this time of year: no family card to send out, no gifts from significant others, feeling misplaced as others travel around to multiple family gatherings… I feel overly blessed across the last few weeks that my life is full of people that I love and who love me like family, even though we aren’t…..and in spite of the fact that we are (because sometimes you just treat your family poorly, ya know?!).

So I will get at the blogging this evening to hang onto some of these memories, as I ice my foot and face.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Snow!

Since I've started skiing (two years ago), there is a switch that goes off inside of me at Thanksgiving. I IMMEDIATELY want to start skiing....but there's no snow!! We have had such a wonderfully mild November, but I am now having to remind myself to not wish so badly that it would snow and just ENJOY the lack of shoveling, scraping, coldness, etc. as long as possible. I am sure to be sick of all that winter entails within a few weeks of the first snowfall (except for when I'm skiing...). But I hear we will have snow by the end of the week. Probably not enough to ski, though. Boo.

The BEST thing about a mild November: I had dinner with friends last night and they GRILLED! Don't think I've ever grilled on the last day of November before!!

One Single Sermon

I listened to a sermon on singleness this weekend, and after reading through my notes again, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite sermons on singleness. It was titled "Courtship Shmourtship" and it was given by the man who literally "wrote the book" on courting.

I think it is good to listen to many (wise) points of view on dating and courtship because I am certain that there is no ONE "right" way to go about dating, but there are also things to be aware of in order to avoid many of the "wrong" things there are about dating...does that make sense? I like to hear what people think about this whole dating and relationship thing.

And the first thing that caught my attention about this sermon was that he was preaching from the set of verses I chose for my core values. [Remember months ago (it was so long ago I can't even find my own post on it) when I was going to get around to telling you what my core values are.....yeah.....I'll get to it......]

If you are single, I would recommend you listen to the sermon (and possibly the second sermon in the series, which I have yet to listen to). If you aren't single, I will just share some of my favorite things I took away from the sermon (paraphrased).

A better problem for men to have is to adjust the context of pursuing someone than to pursue no one at all. Women: let men be your brothers and don’t assume there is more than friendship unless he actually STATES IT with his ENGLISH.........TO YOU. Not “he sorta kinda told me in winky language that he liked me”. This is not the place to get a word from the Lord, a word from him is more helpful.

Let the men in the church be brothers to the women in the church. If you feel that there is a lack of forthrightness and communication, women don’t have to keep entertaining that time – there is a point when a certain level of time and attention makes it hard to understand where that interest comes from, and women can let the men know that. Don’t read into it – and that’s for everyone in the church, too. If you see a friendship growing, don’t ask the girl where it is going – she is trying to let the guy lead in the relationship and it isn’t helpful to ask her about it! Let friendship grow naturally.

A single woman should not have to have a boyfriend to feel cherished and cared for in the family of God. (walking to car, drawing her out in conversation, etc) But what about guarding heart? Men’s care should be consistent for all single women so there won't be confusion. Sisters in your life should have total confidence that if you have interest, you will make that clear and there won’t be a vague relationship for an extended period of time.

We do need to guard our heart from sinful desires and being led astray. We don’t accept what the world says to follow our hearts. This shouldn’t become a self focused attempt to avoid EVER being disappointed. Don’t run away from relationships the moment you feel attraction – God can help you process that in a healthy way. Don’t cut yourself off from the good gifts of fellowship and friendship that God has for us. Don’t flee any disappointment: we don't need a life free of disappointment, but a life filled with faith. God will help us in those moments.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Stomach Full; Heart Even More So

Going home for Thanksgiving always leaves me with a FULL stomach and an even more FULL heart.

My stomach was full of all the greatest things ever: mashed potatoes, dressing, scalloped corn, green bean casserole, wild rice, pumpkin pie, pecan pie with ice cream, chocolate walnut pie (YES, I didn't eat any turkey (no room for it) and I HAD THREE PIECES OF PIE - DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?!). Then it was on to the next house where I did actually eat turkey and almond pie, snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies, crackers and dip, seven layer bars.....the list literally goes ON AND ON AND ON. I also had leftover dressing for breakfast on Friday because THAT'S HOW I ROLL and IT WAS SO DELICIOUS (next year I will try this awesome idea so that my dressing is actually a little bit breakfasty).

My heart was also full of all the greatest things ever: playing cards at 1 AM, catching up with friends, singing in the car with my sister, talking wedding with my cousin's betrothed, watching football with the fam, playing trucks with little boys, looking through bridal magazines with my "brother's" fiance, catching up on life with all of the "Moms" in my life, helping my actual Mom with her work-filled Friday, eating all kinds of cookies on Christmas cookie baking day, seeing far-away friends on Skype, getting random gifts just because someone thought of me, having time to myself to think and write and pray, having dinner with my cutie grandparents and aunt and uncle and Dad, watching the Gophers with Grandpa and Dad, seeing tons of "old teachers" (I was instructed to call them "former teachers") while in town, chatting with my cousin while working at the concession stand on Saturday, listening to great and encouraging sermons in the car, enjoying the wonderful weather while I drove......this list could also go ON AND ON AND ON.

I am SO THANKFUL for the reminders of the many things I have to be thankful for whenever I go home for Thanksgiving. I am so blessed and my heart is SO FULL.

Hope your Thanksgiving was blessed, as well.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just A Picture

No, not of my haircut (I'm currently feeling very much less confident in it than I was last night....oy).....of my quilt! Forgot that I hadn't posted anything from Quilt Retreat this year, and since this blog semi-serves as journaling for me, I wanted to put a picture here.

I don't like how the colors come across in this picture (they are greens and purples), but I do like how I fit the boy into the picture :) I heart him.

Anyway, this is just the finished top. I still need to find a backing and I think I will actually quilt this one myself. EXCITED! I kinda wish I had a place in my house to set up my sewing machine (once it is fixed) so that I could sew here and there when I want, but oh well. I might need to just dive in for a weekend sometime again.

I think I'll give this as a gift sometime in the future, depending on when it is done, and depending on when my besties finally pop out some girl babies!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


If you live in the cities, it's possible you've passed the following sign, as I did today:

If ANYONE knows what a sexy, Asian, farmhouse antique get 1,000 points.

This sign is a perfect example of why I always carry a camera with me.

In other somewhat-but-not-really related news, I was thrilled that I had my camera with me last Friday when I met a girl with the exact haircut I've been dreaming of. I had scheduled an appointment for a trim, but I started to get the itch to chop. I convinced myself that I would be mad if I chopped, but I still wanted to do something different. Color doesn't get me very excited anymore ever since my hair was nearly every color of the rainbow during my college years. And when I saw this girl's hair, I just KNEW it was the cut I wanted. So (good thing I'm not shy....and I hope she isn't either, come to think of it.....) I took a picture of her and showed it to my stylist tonight, and........voila! Cutest haircut EVER!

Now I just have to recreate it tomorrow.....which is where it all goes downhill.............


"I don't really have any secrets, she told me once. I just forget a lot of stuff."

(this really could be the StoryofmylifePeople!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More On Obedience

From Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon, entry of August 14 (Evening):

He is the Master, and His knowledge is to serve us instead of our own; we are to obey, not to judge: "The servant knoweth not what his lord doeth." Shall the architect explain his plans to every hodman on the works? If he knows his own intent, is it not enough? The vessel on the wheel cannot guess to what pattern it shall be conformed, but if the potter understands his art, what matters the ignorance of the clay? My Lord must not be cross-questioned any more by one so ignorant as I am.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Every Time

My new territory for work has parts of Anoka and Coon Rapids in it. Seriously, every time I start driving on Hwy 10 West I want to merge onto Hwy 169 North and KEEP GOING UNTIL I GET TO THE CABIN.

Every time.

And then I remember that someone else is living there right now, so I just get back to work and think about next summer. CAN'T WAIT.

Part of my itch to go to the cabin was because it had been so long since I had been on a road trip (and let me tell you - I LOVE ROAD TRIPS), but going to Green Bay for the Vikings game last weekend helped to quench that thirst a little bit. Mostly because I had my little sister laughing the HARDEST I have ever seen her laugh EVER on the ride over there.....she had tears dripping off her chin. It was AWESOME. And so fun. ........ ......... and now I want to do it again! That's the problem with road trips.....they are so fun that I just want to do them all the time! Especially when the weather is SO PERFECTLY FALLISH like it has been for the last few days.

I got another little fix this weekend as I drove to camp for a perfect fall weekend at Quilt Retreat. I felt accomplished, even though my sewing machine broke halfway through, and we had a great time of catching up with friends and relaxing. It's not the cabin, but it definitely ranks up there as one of my most favoriteist places on earth ever. ever. Loved it.

Hope you were all able to enjoy the weekend, as well! (can you tell it is bloggy catch-up night for me?!.....)

Less About Dreams and More About Obedience

I listened to a very interesting interview today with the creator of VeggieTales, Phil Vischer. Maybe I'm way out of the loop, but I did not realize that Big Idea Productions was sued and went bankrupt. Thus, VeggieTales is now owned by another entity, and Phil Vischer lost everything he had ever worked for and created with VeggieTales. If you want to read more specifics, you can go here (disclaimer: I haven't personally read this entire article -written by Mr. Vischer - but from skimming it, I assume it lines up closely with the interview I heard).

The first thing that struck me about the interview was the humility Mr. Vischer displayed in talking frankly about the mistakes he made and the condition of his heart in regard to success. He admitted to having an attitude of saying to God: "Here is my big plan, I just need You to show up and bless it." This is something I do so much, and I'm sure many of us do. We desire things, we pursue things, we make plans and set goals....and we really want that to be what God does for us. Or we just want to do it and have God bless it. When talking about making plans, Mr. Vischer said "As a Christian, where I am in 20 years is none of my business. If I've given Christ lordship of my life, where I am in 5 years is none of my business. My business is: what has God given me to do today and am I doing it?!"

He really focused on making life less dreams and more about obedience. He said "dreams" are very American things. You need to achieve and succeed to matter. You need to be reaching for the very, very best or you aren't trying hard enough. Dreams give you energy, purpose, And that is what is so wrong - because Christ is Life! What gives us energy and purpose should be obedience to Him.

I think this interview struck me because a) I am a person who sets goals b) I have "dreams" for my life c) my life is not currently what my "dream" was at this age and d) Christ is my life. And that's what it keeps coming back to: Christ is my life. I don't think it's bad to make plans and set goals and have dreams, as long as they don't become an idol and they don't take precedent over Christ in my life. Even though my life isn't what I would have planned, I know that Christ has taught me things and blessed me in ways that were only possible to do with the way He has directed my life. So I cling to Him for life, and I'm thankful that where I am in life continues to direct me back to Him.

I'm pretty sure that's the point, after all.

Gift Idea

I want to pass on a gift idea to you all, you know, since three weeks from now THANKSGIVING WILL BE OVER (WHAT?!?!) and we all will be racking our brains with what to do about Christmas gifts. I'm fully aware that my readers can be counted on one hand, but nonetheless, I want to pass this along, and you should too!

I've mentioned before that friends of mine are adopting from Ethiopia. They have set up an Etsy shop in an effort to raise the money necessary for the process. Their shop is cool for a few reasons:
  1. They are selling letter magnets, so you can pretty much customize whatever word or saying you would like. A great gift for anyone on your list.
  2. The letters are pictures my friend has taken of random stuff that looks like letters. She gave me magnets that spelled "welcome" many years ago, and I think most of those letters came from playgrounds, sidewalks, etc. I thought it was pretty cool. Example:
  3. It is affordable and the money is being used for a wonderful reason!

So, again, check it out!! And spread the word!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Plus One

[sidenote: I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged......]

Apparently things got a bit out of control at Lambeau Field yesterday. 43 people were ejected from the game and 13 were arrested. And that doesn't even count the guy sitting in front of me.

I have been to MANY professional football games, most of those being Viking/Packers games, and I have never been so offended by another fan. It's one thing to cheer for your team, yell for a flag, etc. (as I everyone was.....) but it is an entirely different thing to say something horrible directed at another person. There's no way I could repeat what he said to me, and had I told security, he would have been ejected in a second. But I didn't tell anyone (though many people around me also heard him), and I still kinda wonder if I should have. Oh well. It's over now, but it stinks that it sorta ruined my enjoyment of the game. So I'll just add a plus one to that total, knowing that he would absolutely have been hittin' the streets if I would have spoke up.

I expected Favre to get booed at first, but it lasted the entire game. It was kinda crazy how everyone was so worked up, more so than other games, because of Favre's return. And it didn't help that the game was moved to 3:00, so there was a lot more alcohol consumed by that time than a noon game. Overall it was fun to be there, and I am just so happy the Vikings won!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Brick Testament

Have you heard of The Brick Testament?

As a review at Bible Study last night, our instructor showed pictures from this website. We were all laughing so hard - our previous lesson had been from Judges 3 and here are just a few of the pictures she showed:

This is where God "raised up" Ehud in Judges 3:15:

This is where Ehud kills King Eglon:

This is where the Israelites begin their massacre of the Moabites:

Not only are the lego creations amazing and creative, the picture quality is also great. Check it out! Might make you chuckle.

The Singleness Cliche

[Disclaimer: This post is a bit more….snarky….than most I post, so I hesitate, but I think I will post it anyway and I hope it comes across with the same humor I mean it to, and not bitterness, because that is not what I intend….is that disclaimer enough?........]

Let me introduce myself: I’m the singleness cliché. I come in many versions, but one thing is consistent: I’m annoying. Whether it’s “Have you prayed about it?” or “As soon as you stop wanting a relationship, you will get one” or “God will give you a husband when you are ready” or “I can’t believe you haven’t been snatched up yet”, I’m not particularly helpful.

I’m pretty sure I’m mostly uttered by married people who have no idea what to say to a single person who is really struggling, so they just say something that they heard when they were single and they’ve forgotten how exasperating I am. The worst thing about me is that behind the annoying sayings, there’s probably something truthful in what I’m saying. But ultimately I become like that song on the radio that’s played so many times you just can’t stand it and turn the station whenever it comes on. Even if there is good meaning behind the lyrics, you are so fed up with the beat and the presentation that you don’t stick around to glean anything from me.

So instead of asking “Have you prayed about it?” [because, YES, they have prayed about it. Plus, this question comes from “The Big Book of DUH Questions” which also includes the question “Do you love your kids?”], ask “How can I pray for you?” or “What are you struggling with this week?” Instead of saying “God will give you a husband when you are ready”, you might ask what areas that single person is working on to develop more holiness (while keeping in mind that there is certainly no “ready” or particular checklist to accomplish before marriage is possible or ordained). And PLEASE STOP saying that as soon as you stop wanting a relationship, you will get one. A desire for a relationship is not wrong, but you might want to help that single person to make sure a relationship is not becoming an idol. But really – don’t tell them to suppress a desire of their heart!

Because it’s more than just loneliness with those singles. There’s laziness, worry, lust, lack of trust, discontentment, and anger. Not everyone struggles with everything on this list, and this list is also not comprehensive, but it’s a start. And these issues can’t really be addressed with just a cliché. There are singles out there who want to learn from people who are married. They want to play with your kids. They want you to proactively seek out and evaluate potential mates for them, but they do not want to hear any more from me: the singleness cliché!

So, as the singleness cliché, I encourage you to reach out to a single person this week. Try not to use me. This might take a little extra effort on your part. That single person might not have as much in common with your life circumstances as your other friends at MOPS, but I bet there are things you can connect on other than the stage of life you are in. My guess is that singles really look up to you and would love the chance to learn from you, be prayed for by you, and pray for you as well. Just a guess.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Feeling Old

Nothing makes me feel more old than the fact that I was completely looking forward to spending the night in my house by myself to clean and unpack and go to bed by 9 on a Friday. That’s borderline elderly, people.

But I have good cause. I do enjoy time to myself, especially after many, many nights in a row of activity. I got home last night at midnight from spending the week in Dallas for work, and before that trip was a busy week of baby birthday party, adult birthday party, going to a Vikings Game, going to the So You Think You Can Dance Tour (thanks, sisters, for the great bday present!), running a 5K, Welcome Team @ church, basketball league, tennis league, makeover party at the MOA……WHEW! No wonder I am exhausted! It also explains my lack of blogging.....

Plus, I forgot to mention I’ve been sick. It all started last Friday when I left work early (this was a good way for me to take care of myself) and went to bed at 4pm, where I listened to the Twins lose on the radio and got some rest so that I could run a 5k with a friend on Saturday. When I got up on Saturday, I admittedly didn’t feel great, but I also didn’t feel awful, so I went to run the 5k (which I ended up walking, thanks to a combination of the sickness, COLD weather, a dusting of snow on October 10, part trail run [bad ankles do NOT like trail runs], and very icy paths), and I had a good time with my favorite 5k friend. I went home and really didn’t feel that great after a nap, but still went over to a friend’s house for dinner before a makeover party that another friend won @ the MOA. The best part of the party was that is was pajama themed, so I was comfortable, albeit a bit under the weather. My friend made me take my temperature at dinner, and indeed, I had a fever, but proceeded to attend the makeover party anyway (this is not a good way for me to take care of myself). I had to get up early on Sunday to do Welcome Team, so I didn’t stay late for the appetizers (my first good decision of Saturday!) and I went to bed early. Then I proceeded to have the nastiest cold and cough for the entire week in Dallas. Not fun to be sick, very not fun to be sick away from home, and very, very not fun to be sick when you are supposed to be “on” for work meetings everyday. But my new favorite thing I bought is Puffs with the scent of Vicks because A) I LOVE THE SMELL OF VICKS, B) they SERIOUSLY feel so soothing on an aching, red, overblown nose, and C) that scent of Vicks really clears out your sinuses! Anyway, all of this is to say that I wonder if I would have felt better all week if I just would have taken care of myself on Saturday. Problem is, even when I am sick, I still hate missing out on stuff and I REALLY hate letting my friends down, so I don’t want to back out on stuff I promised to be at. And so, combined with the busy schedule, I was under-the-weather, which makes everything more hectic and tiring.

(10 points if you are still reading about my boring life. My apologies)

Toss in just one last factor: I got a new job. Not an entirely new job as in working for a new company, but I picked up a brand new territory on October 5, and I’m desperately trying to forget how extremely busy this experience was when I went through it in January. SO BUSY AT WORK. But I’m thankful for a job, and it’s not like I’m directly responsible for saving peoples’ lives (like my sister is), so things are fine. Just busy. And sick. And socially jam-packed. AND tomorrow is a rare Saturday conference that I have to work, plus a wedding tomorrow night. WHERE IS THE PAUSE BUTTON FOR MY LIFE?!?!?

Friday night in. I NEED IT. You can guarantee I will be screening phone calls, or turning my phone off altogether (that’s how I roll – especially after a week of sales meetings).

(20 points if you read this whole post. You must be a good friend. Or staying in on a Friday night. Or both.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Metrodome Magic

I realize the blog has been a bit sports-heavy as of late, but I just had to post something about the greatest 54 hours in recent Metrodome history.

Sunday was the final regular season game ever for the Twins in the dome. Not only was that historic, but it also marked the end of a three-week run of the Twins coming back from seven games down to tie for the lead in the division. Pretty awesome. I wasn't there, but I heard there was a nice tribute to stars of the Twins after the game as well.

Last night was the much-anticipated Vikings/Packers game with Favre facing his old team for the first time ever. Plus it was Monday Night Football, which is always exciting. I was lucky enough to be there and the DOME WAS SO LOUD. My dad and I figured that we've gone to the Vikes/Pack game at the dome for the last twenty years, and last night was by far the best one yet. We had tickets in the lower deck and we stood for the entire game. I'm not kidding. Everyone in the lower deck stood the whole time! There was so much energy and excitement! Favre managed to become the first quarterback in NFL history to get a win against all 32 teams in the NFL. Pretty amazing.

And today will be the Twins/Tigers play-in/playoff/tie-breaker game. There have only been nine of these kinds of games in baseball history (and the Twins have had one in back-to-back seasons now). I'm really hoping the Metrodome Magic will hold out for a few more hours to help our boys of summer pull off a big October win!

A topic on a radio show yesterday got me thinking about my own favorite Metrodome moment. Since it's just the Twins that are leaving the Metrodome, we'll stick with baseball. I was very-much-so NOT a baseball fan for the years following the strike (mostly because my dad talked so poorly of baseball because of the strike - though he follows the scores again now), but in recent years I have definitely picked up on my fan-ship, especially with the Twins. I enjoy going to the games and many of my friends are fans, so it is fun to follow the team with them. Most importantly, though, I don't think my Grandpa has EVER missed a Twins game, so it is the best reason for me to follow the team closely: I love talking baseball with my Grandpa.

Anyway, back to the Metrodome moment. My dad and sister were at Game 6 when Puckett hit that famous HR, and I distinctly remember watching that game out at Camp Lebanon. Such a great memory, and, even though I wasn't there in person, it is a great Metrodome moment. I think my favorite moments in person were the following:
  • Sept 25th, 2008: The Twins complete a sweep of the Sox to take the lead in the division with only three games left. The dome went crazy and it definitely felt like playoff baseball. (The Twins then went on to self-destruct vs. KC and lose in a play-in/playoff/tie-breaker game vs. the Sox. Boo.)
  • The day I played the Dodgeball game. I was SO excited to have a chance to win a truck, and that translated into me COMPLETELY over-throwing the truck as everyone in the Metrodome watched (my depth perception from the upper deck to right field was terribly flawed). I will say that my next two throws were much closer to winning, but the group of us couldn't stop laughing for the rest of the game. Such a good memory.

I realize that I don't have a TON of readers, but if you'd like to share your favorite (Twins) Metrodome memory, please do so!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


My basketball team is undefeated so far this season (.....we've only played two games so far......) and a girl from my team sent out this video to us today. Maybe we can pull off some miracle season.

Friday, September 25, 2009

One More Sports Thought...

While I'm thinking sports, I thought I would link to this excellent article about Micheal Jordan and David Robinson's recent inductions to the Hall of Fame. I listen to a lot of sports radio and I guess I never realized this induction happened recently, but I was very glad to run across this article about it. Baucham makes great points about humility, legacy, and self-centeredness (and more). If you are a sports fan and have a few minutes, it is worth your time.

I Heart Tennis

I REALLY REALLY REALLY love the US Open. I know it happened a few weeks ago now, but I had to post this shot by Federer because it was AMAZING. When he was asked about the shot after the match, he said he even shocked himself.

Federer was playing Novak Djokovic in that match - who I think is the funniest guy in professional tennis. I seriously wish I could go to one of his matches at the US Open just to see the impressions he does afterword.

My favorite moment of the Open this year had to be when Djokovic called McEnroe down from the announcing booth to hit some balls after a match. First he does an impression of McEnroe (@ about the 4 min mark of this video) and then they play some points (from about 5:30 on in this video). Love it.


A few pictures from the best of National Geographic for the year:

(view the rest here)

...and from the British Wildlife Photography Awards:

(view the rest here)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reunion Reminder

My five year college reunion is tomorrow night.


It's been five years? Really doesn't seem like it.

I know that once I get there, I'll enjoy myself (at least I assume I will), but I have really not been looking forward it. Partly it's because I think it's kinda obnoxious to do the obligatory update with people I won't see until the 10 year reunion, but if I'm honest with myself, I also don't want to update anyone on my life because there aren't any of those "major" updates to give. No kids. No husband. Heck, I've only been on (maybe) five dates since college! (But don't tell anyone at the reunion.....)

So it was good for come across a blog about the "deadly game" of comparison.

A good reminder for me as I head to my reunion tomorrow:
"The danger of comparison is we find ourselves looking to other people for
our value and determining our value by how we compare with other people."

Love This Map

LOOK! It's a map of McDonald's locations!

On Repeat

I made a playlist of songs that I have loved from So You Think You Can Dance and I've had it on REPEAT for the last few weeks. Some of the songs are really made better by knowing the dance that went with them, but mostly the music is pretty great by itself. That is, if you're not an uber-music-snob. Gravity (the video above) is one of my favorite new songs, and here is the rest of the playlist:

  1. Already Gone, Kelly Clarkson
  2. Gravity, Sara Bareilles
  3. No Air, Jordin Sparks
  4. Ruby Blue, Ruby Blue
  5. Dreaming With a Broken Heart, John Mayer
  6. Lost, Anouk
  7. Mercy, Duffy
  8. Heads Will Roll, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  9. If It Kills Me, Jason Mraz
  10. Mad, Ne-Yo
  11. Bleeding Love, Leona Lewis
  12. This Woman's Work, Kate Bush
  13. Battlefield, Jordin Sparks
  14. Let the Drummer Kick, Citizen Cope
  15. Alone, Heart
  16. Heartless, Kris Allen
  17. Let It Rock, Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne
  18. Halo, Beyonce
  19. Forever, Chris Brown

Monday, September 21, 2009

Had To Be There

My sister wrote a recap of our vacation, and I laughed until I cried at the quotes. Mostly you "had to be there", but still - I need to put them here to remember how funny they were.

Top 8 quotes:
1) "I want to be a gmail ninja." -Hannah
2) MB: Our church just got a new drama director.
Ang: Hannah is our drama director.
3) "If you're going to fall off the bandwagon you might as well roll around a while." -Me, to Eric after he ate 7 cookies and 4 pieces of chocolate.
4) "Harrison Ford lost his mojo in the '70s." -Cory, when asked if he wanted to watch a Harrison Ford movie with us.
5) "Novels and movies are crafted in the minds of creative people." -Me, in a defense to Hannah as to how stories can appear to be feasible (or, in certain cases, not-feasible-yet-strangely-realistic) while not actually being true.
6) "These chips are so HOT! I can feel the pepper burning my tongue!!" My Scandinavian mother, trying Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt chips for the first time.
7) "They don't need to know my real plans, it just needs to sound good." -Ryan, sharing his campaign strategy for his 8th grade class officer elections.
8) "I automatically fall asleep at midnight or when anyone starts a movie, whichever comes first." -Hannah

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tear Jerker

Good friends of mine are currently on a list (or however that all works) to adopt a baby from Ethiopia, so of course I cried through this whole video.

I CAN'T WAIT for them to have their baby! I am so happy for them to take this step!

HT: Vitamin Z

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Too Many Drafts

Tonight I organized my kitchen and basement. Next on the list is my closet.

I guess I should organize my blogger, as well. I currently have TOO MANY DRAFTS sitting in my blog. Some of the titles of these drafts are: Supplemental Income, Shopping For Time, Mastering 5 Worst First-Date Dishes, Palindromes, Five Years, Love-Hate Relationships, Lots of Bags, Bigger Than, Friendships, Why I Don’t Ask Guys Out, and Partners.

Some are almost ready to be published, and some never will be published. Some are very old news and some are thoughts that are just now occurring to me. Some are about serious topics and some are very much not serious.

We'll see what I actually end up doing about these drafts. Maybe I'll have some time to edit them while I'm ON MY WAY TO WATCH THE VIKINGS IN CLEVELAND THIS WEEKEND. Can't wait.


I don’t like making big decisions. I’m just not that good at it. I’m decidedly lacking in wisdom and discernment.

It’s ironic that I posted this paragraph about making decisions a few weeks back, because now I am in two situations (one work-related and one housing-related) where I have semi-significant decisions to be made and I am completely at a loss. Especially coming off of a weekend where I finalized everything with renting my cabin out (which has left me utterly exhausted – even more so mentally than physically), I just don’t want to make any huge decisions, and in fact, feel like I am incapable of doing so.

That’s why it is great to hear verses like this one (James 1:5): “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” YAY! There is wisdom available for those of us who lack it.

When I read that verse I think: “How nice. We can ask God for wisdom.” But then I hear… “Except for you, HB. I’ve given you more task-oriented gifts. Why don’t you organize a game, set stuff up, clean up messes, and generally make sure everyone feels included. That’s what you do well. Leave the think-y things to pastors and people who keep going back to school.” And then I feel like “wah-wah”. So I have to rely on the fact that the verse is true no matter how I feel. So I've been asking. And asking.

I think the hardest part for me is that I grew up being fairly book smart, but that doesn't translate into wisdom. School and learning always came easily to me, but making decisions doesn't. So I am stuck thinking things over and over and over and still left in the same position, unable to make a final decision.

I'm currently leaning heavily on people who are more wise and discerning than I am, and I am praying a lot. This whole decision-making-process is a good stretch for me, and helpful for me to apply to all areas of my life: to rely more heavily on God and his strengths, because in my weakness He is seen more clearly.

2 Cor 12:9: "But [the Lord] said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

And the Winner Is....

.....the Old Fashioned Ice Cream (Cookies and Cream flavor)!!

I did end up eating mostly new foods while I was at the Fair last week, and the best new food was Old Fashioned Ice Cream (at Machinery Hill, churned by antique John Deere tractors). In addition to the ice cream, I had my standard favorites of CHEESE CURDS and THE BEST LEMONADE EVER. I also had a nacho on a stick and white chocolate gelati. Add in a bite or two of my sisters' chocolate covered bacon and deep-fried candy bar, and I was STUFFED. And not a single bite disappointed.

None of us saw anyone we knew (which has never happened) so no one won The State Fair Game. I was disappointed.

We did have some AMAZING people watching (the picture is on my sister's camera, or I would post it here) and I saw a new favorite T-shirt: it said "Imagine a World Without Wisconsin". I WANT THAT SHIRT!

That was about all. Pretty low-key year at the Fair, but it was still wonderful. Love the Fair. Love.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

FAIRy Excited!

Tomorrow night my sisters and I will spend our annual 2-3 hours at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. I plan on winning The State Fair Game again this year.

I also plan to stuff my face with every bit of food possible in 2-3 hours. Although, I think I may make a drastic change this year. I have my tried-and-true list of regular things I eat, but after much consideration and many conversations with friends who have already been to the fair this year, I think I need to start my list from scratch and branch out. I will only keep the cheese curds, and everything else I eat will be new to me. Should be fun. And I hope not disappointing. I'm always that person who gets food regret at restaurants after you get your food and everyone else looks like they made better ordering choices than you. I HATE that. So. Fingers crossed.

I'm pretty sure nothing will top my live performance on the radio from last year, but we will definitely manage to have an awesome time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Picture This

This picture makes me a little EXCITED for next season!!

(I wish the TWINS on the left was a little more clear, but you get the idea - it's AWESOME)

And I wish I was here right now:

I've never made a list of "things to do before I die", but I would like to go to the U.S. Open so badly that I think I need to make one of those lists just to put that on it.

But mostly, at this moment, I am excited for this:

End zone celebration, baby! BRING ON FOOTBALL!!

Lifetime Knows What's Up

I pretty much LOVE the show PROJECT RUNWAY and I could WATCH IT FOR A DAY STRAIGHT. Which is possibly what I did when it was rainy last Friday on vacation. Maybe.

I think it is just the best show with wonderful creativity and it is so interesting to watch. So needless to say, I was very grateful that the Lifetime Network saved the show when it was on the verge of cancellation after it became deeply entangled in problems with the Bravo Network after five seasons there. The new season on Lifetime started two weeks ago, so I was able to catch the newest episodes while we were in PA. And not only do I love Lifetime for saving the show, I love them because they play the full episodes ONLINE - something that Bravo did NOT do. See, I DON'T HAVE CABLE, PEOPLE! Don't look at me like that. A lot of normal people (who love TV too much) don't have cable, right?! Anyway, I am PUMPED to watch this season of Project Runway online so that I don't have to wait until a rainy day on vacation next summer to watch a marathon of the show.

Also, in Lifetime related news, I joined Lifetime Fitness. I have friends who workout there, so I visited a few weeks ago and I was all like "Look how SHINY! And SPACIOUS! And CLEAN! And CONVENIENT everything is!" In that moment I realized how much I was slummin' it at the gym where I had a membership (that I hadn't set foot into since...April? May?) and how much I would love to workout at Lifetime. I had my free fitness assessment tonight (which was HUMBLING) and I signed myself on for a few things that will have me waking up WAY TOO EARLY, but will hopefully shrink my booty. I hope.

And once again I've managed to write a post where I use entirely TOO MANY CAPS.

I guess I'm just in one of THOSE moods.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I’ve always been on the skeptical side of chiropractic medicine, but I am now a believer.

Thanks to the painful neck spasm I had last week (which I also experienced about four years ago), I thought it was time for me to check out a chiropractor. Thankfully I didn’t have to go into the experience blindly, since my boss has a chiropractor she loves and says is wonderful.

So, off I went to see the chiropractor. We had a consultation and then he sent me to get x-rays. Turns out I do have some issues going on in my neck (which I have known about for quite awhile – like always having to crack my neck, having soreness every morning when I wake up, and very limited range of motion each morning thanks to that soreness). He explained everything to me and then I got an adjustment. We also talked about the knots in my shoulders (which have never not been there – it’s a family trait, I think) and the sneaky knot I get under my shoulder blade after tennis and discus (which I haven’t done in years, but Dad used to always have to give me a shoulder blade massage before and after track meets thanks to that bugger).

I was extremely anxious about the adjustment, but it actually felt really great and went well. Then I started to get anxious about any soreness I might have today as a result of the adjustment.

Well…..let’s just say I AM SOLD.

When I woke up this morning, I had no soreness. Especially after this last week, it was a HUGE relief. I was almost giddy. Then when I put my head back in the shower to wash my hair I was almost SHOCKED at the lack of stiffness and soreness. My neck is ALWAYS stiff in the morning. I started to turn my head in all different directions and I could not believe the amazing range of motion I had just after getting out of bed. I even slept really well. Needless to say, I am pleased as punch.

Of course, at the chiropractor they ask if you suffer from headaches. I told him that I do get headaches almost daily, but they are just a dull pain that I am used to and they are from my TMJ. He told me that they just might be from the issues in my neck (which at this point wouldn’t surprise me) so we’ll see what happens with that.

This post isn’t meant to recommend chiropractic work for everyone, but I will say that I am much less skeptical and very happy with my results, even after just one day!

What I Read on Vacation

Here is a list of what I read on vacation:
  • Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn
  • Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
  • Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and Not Be Overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahayney
  • TONS of magazines (oh, how I heart magazines. heart heart heart)

I basically enjoyed all of them. It was a good mix of fiction and non-fiction. I didn't think that I had ever read Curious Incident, but after about five pages I remembered I had (although I couldn't remember how the book went, so I continued to read). I had forgotten how great the book is - a very unique perspective from the main character and a very quick read. Transfer of Power was a very long read, but it was a good political thriller. I definitely recommend Just Do Something, and Shopping for Time was a good read with practical tips to prioritize and organize busy lives. Overall, a successful trip-worth of reading.

Vacation Synopsis

Well, I’m back from vacation to PA. You know that you’ve been out of touch with reality for a good length of time when putting on makeup and wearing shoes that aren’t flip flops feels very strange. I’ve come back fully freckled and….ready to take on the fall, I guess. I suppose I have to be ready for it since I saw my breath when I was walking to my car this morning!!

There were many excellent parts of the week: relaxing, reading, eating, chatting, movies, games, and RITA’S (the flavors I consumed include: Mango, Mint Chocolate Chip, Key Lime, Green Apple, and more MANGO. I sampled the Swedish Fish flavor, but honestly it was too sweet for me to have an entire Misto of it).

Unfortunately, there were also some not so great parts this year: at literally the eleventh hour, Dad found out he was unable to come with us (long story) so that was a huge bummer. Also, on Monday morning I woke up and was literally paralyzed in my neck (scariest thing). I think I scared everyone that I had to wake up that morning – the first of whom was the sister sleeping beside me who was woken up by me crying and not being able to move. She told me later that at first she wasn’t scared because she thought I was having a nightmare/night terror (which would be legit since I have scared her before with my sleeping habits) but then she realized I was actually awake and actually in a lot of pain. Next was my mom who I woke up by standing at the foot of her bed crying and saying her name. If I could have laughed, I would have been hysterical about how quickly she FLEW out of bed. Lastly, I woke up the doctor-sister (who also has neck and back issues) to help me ease my pain. The bummer ended up being that although the pain went down a bit, my week was spent with a neck spasm. I only took one (very tame) jet ski ride (where the only thing that got my pulse going was almost running out of gas) because of it, so that was my biggest bummer. I also only slept thanks to pain killers (so I was VERY thankful I was able to get a prescription filled in PA). Anyway, enough of my pain in the neck. But seriously. It was the worst.

I think what I love the most about our PA vacation is that it seems like I am in Waterworld (minus the aquatic human mutants) when we are there. I managed to never get in a car the entire time we were at the cabin. I only went back and forth from the cabin to the dock to the boat. One night I volunteered to take my cousin to sleepover at her friend’s house, but we got there by jet ski (that tame ride I mentioned earlier). I simply love being on the water. I think if I lived on a lake I would be the happiest person in the world. Wait a minute…..don’t I own a house on a lake……?????? Hmm.

So that’s the vacation synopsis. To put it simply: WONDERFUL.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Less Excitement Than Originally Stated

I've previously raved about the pilot for the TV show Glee and have been all shades of excitement about the upcoming full season on Fox, but I ran into two things recently that made me a bit less excited about it all (insert gasps of shock from my friends here).

The first was something I read: The first 13 episodes feature more than 70 songs.

The second was this clip:

These two things combined make me less excited for the show because it would seem that what the show may turn into is some kind of Broadway-musical-TV-show where every thought and emotion of the characters is acted out in songs, rather than a show about a campy high school glee club that shows their rehearsed numbers now and then during the episodes (which is what the pilot was). All I want is for Glee to be everything the pilot showed it would be (minus the strange and strained marital relationship of the director of the glee club): sweet, funny, quirky, with a bit of musical production on the side. I seriously don't want them breaking out in irrelevant songs every two minutes.


I can only hope my assumptions are wrong.

In good Glee news, it looks like Kristen Chenoweth is going to be in the show! I've been a fan of hers for a long time; most notably because she played my FAVORITE BROADWAY CHARACTER EVER - Glinda in Wicked. I also have a funny "old school" connection with seeing her perform at Miss Oklahoma when I was just nine years old in 1991. A friend of our family was competing (and won!) so we had gone down to see the pageant and Kristin was in it (she ended up as second runner-up). Not sure what role she will be playing in the show, but I'm hoping it will be completely adorable with some singing, because that is what she is and that is what she does.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hand Ad

I saw a cool ad in the airport today for AT&T. This is my favorite one:

and another one I like:

You can see more (and read about them) here.

I Love This Week

We go on a family vacation to Pennsylvania every year and I. LOVE. IT.

I'm basically excited for many of the same things my sister is. Reading, not working, family, Rita's, cards, jet skiing, etc. SO AWESOME!

I'll fill you in on my reading list and the many flavors of Rita's [including Swedish Fish flavor (!)] I ate this week when my trip is done!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For Making Decisions

"...the conventional approach to discovering God's will focuses almost all of our attention on nonmoral decisions. Scripture does not tell us whether we should live in Minnesota or Maine. It does not tell us whether we should go to Michigan State University or Wheaton College. It does not tell us whether we should buy a house or rent an apartment. It does not tell us whether we should marry a wonderful Christian named Tim or some other wonderful Christian guy. Scripture does not tell us what to do this summer or what job to take or where to go to grad school...The most important issues for God are moral purity, theological fidelity, compassion, joy, our witness, faithfulness, hospitality, love, worship, and faith. These are His big concerns. The problem is that we ten to focus most of our attention on everything else. We obsess over the things God has not mentioned and may never mention, while, by contrast, we spend little time on all the things God has already revealed to us in the Bible."

from Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung, pg. 44


Hosted a jewelry party last night. It was fun to plan; I decided on a Mexican theme - i had the BEST SALSA EVER at a friend's bday party a few weekends ago, so I came up with the menu surrounding that. Not as many people came as I wanted/hoped for, but we still had a good time!
This was the menu:

  • Texas Caviar (that YUMMY salsa which was the inspiration for the theme. I'll share the recipe below since you will want to make it)
  • Chips and Salsa
  • Cinnamon Crisps (easy flour tortillas covered in butter and cinnamon sugar and baked for 10 min)
  • Cream Cheese Rolls (with LOTS of olives - YUM)
  • Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies (I honestly didn't know what to make for something sweet-ish to fit with the theme, so I googled Mexican treats and this recipe came up and it looked easy. Turns out they are Russian Tea Cakes - which I love - so that was a pleasant surprise)
  • Lime Punch

So here is the recipe for Texas Caviar:

1 can pinto beans

1 can black beans

1 can black eyed peas

1 can shoe peg corn

1 small jar pimentos

1 cup celery (chopped)

1 cup diced yellow/red/orange peppers

1 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 cup cilantro

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Rinse and drain pinto beans, black beans, black eyed peas, shoe peg corn, pimentos. Combine pinto beans, black beans, black eyed peas, shoe peg corn, pimentos, celery, peppers, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl. In a sauce pan, combine olive oil, canola oil, sugar, cider vinegar, and salt. Boil until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Add the liquid to the bean mix and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Drain oil and serve.

And here is a picture of the finished (leftover) product:

I will say that mine didn't turn out as "pretty" as my friend's because I used a food chopper instead of doing it by hand - so my chunks are a bit smaller and that makes it look less colorful. FYI.

Anyway, that's it. I'm headed to the kitchen to finish off the Mexican Wedding Cake. MMMM

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Got My Tickets

Well, I'm glad that I already had my tickets to the three Vikings games I will be attending this year before today happened. Now EVERYONE wants to go to Vikings games, apparently. I guess the site for tickets crashed today after the news......

So. Favre is a Viking. That's all I will say about it, cause I'm not even really sure how I feel about it.

But I do know that, Favre or not, I am SO EXCITED to go to the first game of the season in Cleveland (I was fortunate enough to get a free ticket to the game from Dad and a free flight thanks to NWA points, so it was like the perfect-football-storm)!!!!!!! Dad and big sis and I will go, and though we will miss little sis, we will have AN AWESOME TIME!!!!

We are also going to the Vikings/Packer game in the dome (like we have every year since like third grade) and the Vikings/Packer game at Lambeau. Should be long as Favre helps us WIN!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Extreme Makeover: To-Do List Edition

Well, I leave for vacation in...four days? five? I don't know. I leave on Saturday.


I had a nice list of all kinds of things I wanted to accomplish before I left, but it looks like I will be taking a moment tomorrow to have a makeover on my to-do list and choosing some things that will certainly never get accomplished. They will have to wait until September (isn't it crazy that when I come back from vacation it will be SEPTEMBER?!).

A few pieces of good news, though. September means STATE FAIR. CAN'T WAIT.


Also, my evening was dominated by preparations for having friends over tomorrow night, and I never mind having that kind of busy. It is a fun kind of busy.

So, here's to crossing my fingers everything goes well at work tomorrow (I have a lunch appointment that has been in the works since January - a very big account of mine - could have a big impact on my business....I'm hoping......) and that I have a nice relaxing evening with my besties.

Poke My Eye Out

I should know better.

But I watched Oprah anyway.

In my defense, it was 1:30 AM on Friday night and I was just home from a night at the Saints game and fun downtown with friends. I was dog-sitting for my boss, so I turned on the TV in the guest room to help lull me to sleep after a rambunctious evening.

And Oprah was on. It was a show about attraction or something like that. They were doing surveys on how attractive people are and what that attraction is based on. They showed pictures of men who had been given certain scores of attractiveness on a scale of 1-10. Those same men were scored again, this time their level of income was also thrown into the mix. As I expected, the attractiveness score went up if the salary was higher, even if the men were initially rated rather low.

Oprah's guest (Dr. Laura Berman) was explaining that women are looking for provision, just like in the cavemen days. Women need a man who brings home meat. The more meat the better.

This is where I go crazy.

Oprah says (paraphrased) that this is why she thinks the purpose of marriage has changed so much. Women can "bring home the meat" for themselves and don't need the men to "bring home the meat" anymore...

....and her guest chimed in that in many cases men aren't even needed for women to have babies anymore. Oprah agreed heartily.



But I brought it on myself.

Needless to say, this did not help me sleep. But I did make an extra effort to have sweet dreams of the man I do want to provide for me and that I need in order to have babies. So there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Roundy's Reward Program

I have a new favorite reward program!

I've been known to be a member of every reward program known to man, but my two favorites are at Super America (I get iTunes cards after I accumulate enough points from buying gas, that way I don't ever spend money for music) and CVS (I've mentioned the Extra Bucks program before, and even though I'm not as diligent about it as I once was, I still save money there pretty consistently buying things I need - mostly toiletries).

My new favorite reward program is through Rainbow and BP. You can sign up for the program at Rainbow (it's called the Roundy's Reward Program because Roundy's is Rainbow's generic brand line). For every $50 of groceries you buy, you get $.10/gallon savings at BP. One great thing is that you don't have to carry your reward card with you, you just punch in your phone number at the checkout. Also, the money you spend is tracked, so you don't have to spend $50 each time you are at the store - it accumulates as you go. Then, whenever you like, you can use your card at participating BP stations to save on gas. Right now I'm at a savings of $.70/gallon, so I filled up a full tank for $20 (it would have cost me $30).

Thought I would pass on the info - especially if you already shop at Rainbow or live near one. I always love saving money, especially when it's on something (groceries and gas) that I have to buy anyway.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Reading List

I'm busy making and narrowing down lists of books I'd like to read on vacation in less than two weeks (!). Then I saw this note on Facebook (called "The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?"), and I normally wouldn’t post something that I saw on the FB, but this caught my attention for a few reasons:
  • The person who posted this list had read 46 of the books!
  • I just had a conversation with a friend who said he wanted to read more classics. He had just finished The Count of Monte Cristo and LOVED it, so it moved to the top of my list (as soon as I’m in the mood to read a 1500 pager, that is) and it is on this list as well.
  • In this same conversation about reading classics, I admitted to this friend that I’ve tried and tried to read Austen and I’ve never been able to get interested enough to finish a book of her’s (::gasp::). Four of her novels are on this list. :/
  • The best book I’ve read in 2009 is The Life of Pi (based on LH’s recommendation) and it is on this list.
  • The main character of the series I am currently reading makes a few references to Wuthering Heights, so it sparked my interest in reading that book, and it is on this list.
  • I think I’m correctly remembering that the title of my sister’s blog comes from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night. It’s always been on my list of books to read, and it is on this list, too.
  • I JUST asked my sister to try and get The Time Traveler's Wife for our vacation. I've been on my library's waiting list for three weeks and it doesn't look like I'll get it in time. And it's on this list.

So, anyway, I think this list is rather random, and by no means comprehensive, but since it seemed like I had a lot of recent encounters with books on this list, I posted it here. That way I can refer to it as time goes on.

I've only read 23 of them, FYI.

Here's the list with my Yes or No behind each book.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - No
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - No
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - No
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling – No
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - Yes
6 The Bible – Most of it, obviously, but sadly, I think I have never read every word of it.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - No
8 1984 - George Orwell - Yes
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman – No
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - Yes
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - No
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy - No
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - No
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - No
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - No
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien – No
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk - No
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - No
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - No
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot - No
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - No
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - Yes
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens - No
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - No
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - Yes
26 Wicked - Gregory Maguire - No
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - No
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - Yes
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - No
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - No
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - No
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - No
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis – Yes
34 Emma - Jane Austen - No
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - No
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - Yes
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein - Yes
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres - No
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - Yes
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne – No
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - Yes
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - Yes
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Yes
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving – No
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins - No
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - No
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - No
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood - No
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding – Yes
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - No
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel – Yes
52 Dune - Frank Herbert - No
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons - No
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - No
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth - No
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - No
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - No
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - Yes
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon - No
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - No
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - Yes
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - No
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt - No
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold – Yes
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas – No
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - No
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - No
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - No
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie - No
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - No
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - No
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - No
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett – Yes
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson - No
75 Ulysses - James Joyce - No
76 The Inferno - Dante – Yes
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - No
78 Germinal - Emile Zola - No
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray - No
80 Possession - AS Byatt - No
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - No
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell - No
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - No
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - No
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - No
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry - No
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - Yes
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom - Yes
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – No
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton - No
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - No
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - No
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks - No
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - No
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole - No
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute - No
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - No
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare – No
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - No
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo - Yes