Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I really like acoustic-y covers of really up-beat songs. I usually also like the up-beat originals, but there is something about the covers that I love love. Here are a couple faves:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saving Up

"saving up a bag full of peak moments she's going to have someday if she can ever get away from all the same old stuff that's holding her back & you can pretty well guess how it's going"

Monday, July 27, 2009

So True

My sister's post You Can't Follow Me on Twitter, but You CAN Just Follow Me is so true.

We have this little "talking out loud to ourselves" problem. That is, if you choose to think it's a problem. Which I don't, because otherwise I would probably stop talking out loud to myself.

My sister makes the following points about our version of Twittering:

It was kind of like Twitter (only live and more audible):
1) I was simply making a statement about whatever I was thinking at that very moment.
2) The declaration was aimed at no one in particular. It was presented to the world, generally speaking.
3) People could choose whether or not to respond.
4) Most chose not to respond.

So, if you are ever wondering what I am thinking, just hang around me for a moment or two. I can promise you whatever comes out of my mouth will not be "on topic", but it will be just as if you were following me on Twitter.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

News Flash


CNNMoney released a list of the best places to live a few weeks ago. It's actually a list of the best "small towns" to live in, since one of the criteria was a population of 8,500-50,000. This was news-worthy in MN since the #2 city on the list was Chanhassen (last year a suburb of Minneapolis was #1 on the list....I think it was Hopkins?). The list was then broken down into different categories and, surprise, surprise.......MN had nine of the top 10 coldest cities to live in. No news flash there. Rochester was #1...congrats sis! (?)

In other (somewhat) related news, lately I've been considering relocating (don't worry, Mom, it's not that serious of a thought. Yet). And it wouldn't be only to escape the cold (although explaining how cold it is here to a family moving in from FL last week, as well as getting validation from that coldest cities list, does have me realizing how annoying the cold is). A year ago, I visited a friend who relocated to Seattle for a bit, and ever since then, relocating has been in the back of my mind. There would never be a better time in my life to do so. It's been a more frequent and recent thought thanks to annoyances at work and my BFFs possibly moving to a new city where they would be looking for people to follow. Working on my core values also has the "what am I doing with my life/how am I living these out" thoughts on my mind. Praying for my missionary-sister also gives me the bug to Just Do Something. So. It's a thought, or two.

If I do end up relocating, I think I found a list of top cities to consider. Just sayin'.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

30 Day Challenge

ONE MONTH until our annual PA vacation. SO EXCITED!

In many ways, it feels to me like summer is winding down. It's strange, because July isn't even over yet. But the weather has been mild, kickball is done, remaining cabin trips are limited, and it's only one month until PA - which always marks the end of summer for me, especially since it comes just before Labor Day each year.

Summer has been speeding by, but I have a surprisingly un-busy schedule in the weeks before vacation. So I decided to try I little 30 Day Challenge. It is a three-part challenge that I started on Thursday. So far, so good.

That's all I'll share for now. I'll let you know how it goes when we leave for vacation - the end of the 30 days.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bloggy Birthday

I started blogging one year ago. I did have some reasons for starting a blog, but I wasn't really sure what they were. I'm still not sure what they are, even though I do still have some reasons for continuing this blog. It's not as if I'm adding anything to THE conversation (I'm not as delusional as some bloggers out there), but I do think I add to A conversation - not just the conversation I have with myself (though anyone who knows me will understand that this blog does add to a conversation that I actually do have with myself) but more so with my friends from reality that I like to keep up with online. And with some of you stalkers. I know you're out there. You better start your own blog soon, or I'm going to call you out.

Some of the posts here have been somewhat thoughtful, some much less so. Some have been informative, others not at all. I don’t have a great memory, so this blog has been a nice way for me to record significant days and fun trips. I’ve tried to use this as a way to hold myself accountable on things I want to accomplish, though I don’t know if it is as effective as any other tool I’ve used in the past (which is to say that I can never really find a good way to hold myself accountable). Some posts were light-hearted, some were serious, some were in jest, and some were purposeful. Funny, sad, excited, dreadful. You get the point.

I guess I can't think of a good way to describe my blog other than "random". I tagged posts in 24 categories, and I probably could have tagged more categories than that along the way. I suppose that I am a fairly random person with fairly random and varied interests, so it's only fitting that my blog reflects that. There is no theme or rhyme or reason to the posts, and maybe that's something that should change, but that's the way it is for now. And maybe forever.

Other anniversary facts:

I think overall I am glad that I have a blog. If nothing else, I enjoyed taking some time tonight to peruse the things I've written over the last year. I was reminded of things that made me laugh, things that made me cry, places I've been, thoughts I've had, books I've read, crazy things that have happened to me, etc, etc, etc.

So, Happy Bloggy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Favorite Fast Food Free = Fabulous!

I'm a fast food expert. It's probably not something a twenty-something female should be announcing to the entire internets, but oh well. It's true.

One of my favorite fast food places is Arby's. It's not always my first choice, though, because it tends to be a bit more expensive for me to eat there as opposed to McDonald's or Wendy's.

Until Wednesdays this summer.

For a few weeks (months?) Arby's has been running a promotion on Wednesdays where you get one free item with the purchase of another item. Each Wednesday the promotion is just a bit different: one week you could buy a soft drink and get a free sandwich (total cost: $1.82); one week you could buy a sandwich and get a free orange shake (total cost: around $3.00); one week you could buy a sandwich and get a free 'side kicker' item - I got the mozzarella sticks (total cost: around $3.00). Today you could choose any item on the menu (I bought a soft drink) and get a free roastburger (total cost: $1.82).

I thought I'd let you all know about it since I have been enjoying my favorite fast food for half the cost! I've also tried some items I normally wouldn't have chosen (the orange shake and the roastburger). And I think their promotion is working - each week I have waited in a longer line to get my free item! Worth it, though.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moody Reader

I’m a moody reader.

I was thinking about posting on this topic earlier this summer when I took a trip to see friends at their cabin for literally less than a day, and I took two books and three magazines. I knew we would be reading at some point that day since we all have a thing for reading, but seriously, did I need to bring five things to read for less than 24 hours? YES! Because I am a moody reader. I literally had no idea what I would be in the mood to read.

It’s like that every weekend when I go to the cabin. I take so much to read just in case a certain mood strikes me. I obviously love fiction, and usually I’m just reading one fiction book at a time, but I’m usually in the middle of about three or four non-fiction books at any given time (I have a hard time getting into non-fiction books. I honestly do want to read them, but I can't always weed through them. Maybe it has something to do with my self-diagnosed ADD....). And I have subscriptions to five (extremely topically varied) magazines. Moody reader.

Turns out my roommate is a moody reader, too. She even enlisted my help to weed down her vacation reading selection before she left last week. And I'm sure there are many, many other people with the same issue. So many good books, so many interests, so many moods, so little packing space. So that's probably why "they" (whoever "they" are) came up with this little genius piece of technology:

It's the Amazon Kindle. I'm admittedly late to the party on this one (as with most other things technology related). I heard about it when it came out almost two years ago, but didn't really pay attention because of the cost. However, a friend brought his Kindle to the cabin this weekend and I KINDA THOUGHT IT WAS THE BOMB! He had numerous books and periodicals all in the palm of his hand. It is easy to read, easy to navigate, and such a space saver! The one down-side I can see immediately is that you have to pay for the books you download, as opposed to getting a book for free at the library (I rarely buy books - I'm much more a library person). But my initial reaction to seeing and using the Kindle is OOOOHHHH I LIKEY. So, fellow moody readers, it's something to consider, I suppose.

Final Count

When everyone was settled and tucked in at the cabin this weekend, the final count was nine adults, one seven-month-old, and three dogs. You may think that it was a crazy, insane weekend, but it was actually very relaxing. It was too cold to play on the lake (hello 60 degrees at noon on July 18?!?!? – although the sun did peek through later in the afternoon) so we just enjoyed lazy mornings, yard games, bonfires, a few movies, chatting, and late nights.


I’ve also reached the point in the summer where I can count my remaining trips to the cabin on one hand. BOO.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Here, Here!

My thanks to Becca for her post about our church. I, too, LOVE our church.

In addition to the small-town feel, the small group support, and the great acts of service that Becca mentioned, I loved that I immediately was connected to an awesome (read: godly and fun) peer group. I knew that I could find that at a number of churches in the area, but what I couldn't find above and beyond a supportive peer group that I did find at SGF is instant access to fabulous mentors (who are willing and excited to participate in my life) and opportunities to be directly involved in the lives of children. As a single woman I am more and more struck by the importance of being fed by older, wiser, married women, as well as "expressing the nurturing aspect of [my] femininity" through interacting with children (which is an awfully formal way of saying what I feel, but I can't think of a better way of saying it).

So, thank you, SGFers for being a part of my life, and letting me into yours! And thanks to God for His grace!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Check It Out

Came across a band I like! Let me tell you.

A friend invited me to a free outdoor concert last night. I love summer and I love music, so I planned to go. Unfortunately the weather didn’t look like it would cooperate, so they moved the concert “indoors”. The location where they were “hosting” the concert was a car repair shop. So they opened up the garage doors and set up the band under the hydraulic lifts for the cars (complete with some cars still on the lifts). Pretty much it felt like I was in a music video. Sweetest set-up for a concert.

The concert was pretty impromptu, so there were fewer than 100 people there. It was a word of mouth, bring your own lawn chair event. I was really loving the atmosphere.

And then the band.


Have you heard of Reilly? They are based out of Philly (actually they are from a church just miles from where I lived when I did a summer internship in PA) and they are AWESOME.

Here’s what I liked:
  • Music: they are an alt-rock band with violins. It was an awesome sound. The lead singer has an amazing voice (even live) and they are very talented musicians, switching from guitars to violins to piano to vocals, etc.
  • Lyrics: powerful and based on Truth
  • Personality: the two violinists are married, so their chemistry is obvious and fun to watch. Awesome “dueling violins” and even an “air violin” contest complete with audience volunteers. All members of the band were great performers and really brought the crowd into the experience.
  • Attitude: even with the tiny crowd, the not-ideal atmosphere to play music in (I imagine the sound in a car garage is not ideal for musicians), and the impromptu-ness of the evening, the band had the same energy they would have had if they were playing for 5,000. I so appreciate that their love of the Lord, love of music, and love of performing came through even in that setting.

Here's a little clip

It was a great summer night and I love finding new music that I like!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Me Likey

Today was a really great day:
  • I FINALLY closed on my refinancing. Now I will save money, which makes me happy.
  • I had to go to Brainerd for the closing, so I took the day off work and read on the dock ALL DAY. It was sunny and mild. PERFECT.
  • Went over to the neighbors' and sat in their new hot tub with the girls for awhile.
  • I came up with plans and dreams for the cabin. Most likely none of them will ever happen, but it is fun to dream.
  • Went running for the first time since the 5K in May. I barely ran 2 miles (and I am in a 5K next week....ugh...) but I didn't have a problem with my foot, so that is good news.
  • I love having friends at the cabin, but I also like a day there by myself. It is such a retreat for me.
  • Great time in the car on the way there and back listening to interviews, music, and chatting on the phone.

Today was much needed after a crazy-busy weekend including a wedding, watching a triathlon, playing at the cabin, going to church, a picnic with friends, and only six-seven hours of sleep. Now I feel rested, refreshed, and ready for the week. Now if I only could never work another Monday in my life....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Take Steroids

No, I'm not pursuing a career in professional baseball.

Oh, man. If I had one word to describe this week it would be "itchy".

First it was the chiggers (lake itch/swimmer's itch) I picked up over the Fourth.


Then last night I suddenly got red bumps on my elbows. I thought it was very strange, but assumed I must have set my elbows on something at the outdoor tables at Dairy Queen earlier that evening. I washed my elbows, took some Benadryl, and slept like a baby. Ahhhhh.


The first thing I noticed when I woke up this morning was how I couldn't clench my fists. My hands felt so funny. They were SO SWOLLEN. Hmmm. I glanced at my elbows and saw how they were very bumpy and very hot-feeling. Hmmm. Then the LEGS. Have you seen the movie Hitch? 'Cause my legs looked like Hitch's face after he eats fish. WHOA. I'm not known for being the most alert or perceptive person in my first waking moments, but this chain of events brought me into reality in a hot tick.

I rushed my getting-ready-for-the-day, ran over to pick up my boss (who I had already planned to pick up at 6:40 to run to a meeting together), and quickly got confirmation from her that I should go directly to the doctor - do not pass go. Then I called doctor-sister (and woke her up on her vacation - sorry) to see if she thought I was allergic to almonds. Not sure how I thought she was going to figure that out for me, but it's the only thing I can think of that might have caused a reaction like that. I haven't eaten almonds....ever? I seriously can't think of when I would have eaten almonds. I always pick them out of trail mix, or if I do eat them in trail mix, I only eat a few. But yesterday I had about 30. I couldn't help it. They were covered in Dove Milk Chocolate, ATHANKYOUVERYMUCH.

Four hours after visiting the doctor I had taken steroids, ended the CRAZY ITCHING, and watched my legs turn back to normal. WHEW!

Now I'm headed out to practice my swing. I think the Twins need someone new in left field.