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.