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.