Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm Just Readin'

Matt Green decided to take a walk. He started in New York, and as of today he is in Montana, still heading for Oregon. He's "just walkin'"- he's not raising awareness for a cause or trying to set a record or anything like that. He's just in it for the experience. And reading his blog really makes a person wish sometimes that they could do the same thing. Ha! Okay, maybe not, because that is A LOT of walking. Like, thousands of miles walking. Which is why I’m so glad he also posts pictures of his adventures and I can walk vicariously through him!

Matt posts pictures of the beautiful views, the odd/quirky things he comes across, and the kind people who offer him a home-cooked meal or a place to stay. This guy is always going to have some incredible stories to share!

Montana mountains:
"We're Doing Things!"

The Lincoln, Montana welcoming committee!

Visit to check out Matt's progress and some of his fun pictures.

Friday, July 30, 2010

This week in history... personal, that is.

Ten years ago this week I was in Mexico on a missions trip. My family had moved from Plano to Houston in May and I had spent a good portion of the summer counting down to seeing my church friends on this trip and packing up for my freshman year at ACU.

What's a missions trip without a crush? I personally love going back through my prayer journals to discover what I was learning at the time... only to find myself lamenting over a guy situation. (Usually I was interested in a guy and reading into EVERYTHING that he said or did. I felt the need to give God the full 4-1-1.)

For example:

July 22, 2000
Why does it have to be so hard? Kind words help and yet I dwell on them so much. Thank you for the wonderful service last night, and all of the beautiful children. May many lives be changed this day because of the joy they see in our lives. Why is life so confusing? Show me my sin. Was that of you? Just let your will take over the whole situation because I don't trust myself right now. Just let your will be done.

I wasn't distracted at all.

Fast forward to the summer of 2006. I was a college graduate and a grown up with a job and a lease. I was contemplating a transition and ended up applying for the job in Arizona just a few weeks after this entry. I had turned down a great job offer in Dallas that day.

July 23, 2006
So, I'm here for at least part of this year. I told the church "no." Am I crazy? So many things looked right! What is my problem? I'm here... in Tyler - working, going to a church. Lord, I want to do something outside of myself. Help! What have I learned this summer?
-You do move in spite of me.
-You do speak to me.
-You know the plans you have for me.
-I don't want you to sign off on my plans - I want to accept whatever you have for me.
-I must face life with my hands open.
-Life on earth is not about life on earth.
-I must leave people wanting more of you.
-Being vulnerable is a good thing.
-I need to go after IT. (what is it?)
-I am not a servant, but I would like to be one.
-Change brings grief.
-I don't know anything.
-I need You.

It's amazing to think about how much change has taken place since writing those words. I'm still working on those lessons.

And finally - one year ago.

One year ago this week I was contemplating a move back to Texas... but not really. The prospect of going home was exciting, as was a new job prospect... but I just felt there was more to be done in Arizona.

July 28,2009
...Sheesh! Lord, I don't even feel like I have time to think - I want what you want. If I have a choice - then I think I would stay here... but that's just a thought - not a thought out or prayed out solution. Moving back to Texas in October... that idea makes me... sad... more than excited. Lord, hit me with a frying pan if I should go...

Within three weeks of writing this I moved from children's ministry to youth ministry and had countless changes in my life. Change brings what? Grief. Exactly. September was a grieving month but October... October was the start of something new.

July 29, 2010
Look how far you have brought this worried girl! Thank you, Father... for the guidance even when I didn't see or feel it. Thank you for another year of challenges and changes. Continue to guide!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Your Little Heart Is About To Grow Multiple Sizes

Get ready to watch the CUTEST thing you have seen all day.

This is Ryan Reynolds, who is the new Green Lantern superhero, speaking to a crowd (and one tiny fan in particular) at this year's Comic Con. And I have no idea why, but this video is just so darling, it absolutely makes me tear up.

Sigh... This is just like... the best thing ever.

Chewing for a living

"He who risks and fails can be forgiven. He who never risks and never fails is a failure in his whole being." - Paul Tillich

"I think life is staggering and we're just used to it." - Donald Miller

"Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes -
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware." - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"We don't have to search for God. God is surrounding us, drenching us to the bone with His presence. Once we understand that, we can work on how to make ourselves aware of it always. God is here in the best moments and our worst moments." - Steve Case

"Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." - Romans 8:24-25

I'm still chewing on all of this. 2010 is bigger and deeper than I'd imagined and I can't wait to see where this is headed.

"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." - Mark 10:51

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thanks For Breaking My Cow Lamp

This evening I:

Described and sang exerpts from not one, not two, but THREE Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen songs from their critically acclaimed* “Our First Video.”

Had to be reminded that “we’re in public!” when I (plus two friends) started singing “Jolly Holiday” (apparently not so quietly) at Little Italy. WHAT? I am sure the rest of the restaurant patrons LOVED US.

Described, in detail, just how crazy Crazy Kasey from The Bachelorette actually is. This may have included a quick recap of his helicopter song, complete with the finishing line of "Yeah. It's pretty intense stuff."

Was awarded cool points for quoting this Homestarrunner short.

I clearly deserve MANY MORE cool points. Right?!?

*Not at all critically-acclaimed.


Confession: I drive to work like this about once a week. I take the rollers out before I walk into the building. I wear sunglasses... it makes me feel invisible in the car.

I really enjoy spending time with this couple. They just celebrated 10 years together and they give me something to aim for: laughter. Even in the most challenging times, Jon & Erin always seem to find something to smile about.

These are the many new faces being added to my family tree. The dogs wanted nothing to do with the photos... until we set the timer.

When I moved to the valley almost four years ago I was afraid I would never find community to rival the one that I left in Texas. My prayer the first year here was for lasting and true friendships. God is greater than our hearts and he seems to love to exceed our expectations... time and again! I am so blessed by these women.

And finally... 12 weeks from "I do." (But who's counting?)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The One Who is Going to Break the Spell

I am a big fan of bloopers. I am also a big fan of my sister Ginger. Put those two things together and I'm ready to never stop laughing. Have you seen this yet? If not... get ready to be entertained.

(I so wish I could watch you watch it.)

PS: My favorite moment (besides all of it) comes at 1:12. And then another at 1:55. Okay I'll stop now.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Don't fail me now...

I am running out of time and I need some serious music help. You were so wonderful to provide me with music for my 10K race that I determined to make another plea.

Needed: suggestions for a contemporary processional song for the wedding party. This will be played by a string quartet. The prelude will be classical, seating of the g'parents and mom "Time to Say Good-Bye" and then... (insert your amazing suggestion here). Right now it's a toss up... U2, Coldplay, Eric Clapton, West Side Story... we'd prefer this not be a toss up. (The bridal processional has already been selected.)


Also needed: a song for the bouquet toss that is not sung by Beyonce.

Thanks much.
Muchas Gracias! (85 days) *photo by

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What I'm [Double Stealing]

Dani stole this idea from Annie Blogs. Now I've stolen from the thief.

What I’m [reading] = At the moment I’m listening to Mary Higgins Clark’s “Where Are You Now?” I’ve never read anything by her, and it’s been an interesting experience thusfar.

What I’m [also reading] = Entertainment Weekly, per usual. One of the many reasons I look forward to Fridays!

What I’m [eating] = Eggs and toast. I keep having a craving for breakfast foods, and continue to fry up or omlette up some eggs and a piece of toast for dinners or weekend lunches.

What I’m [hearing] = The original Broadway cast recording of “Ragtime.” Heartwrenching, gorgeous, rich, full… I could go on and on. If you ask nicely, I’ll totally make you a copy.

What I’m [writing] = Uhh…this blog?

What I’m [missing] = My brother. Clay is in Houston for the summer and I am seriously missing having him around in Tyler. Without him I have no one to watch mindless videos with (“What is wrong with your FACE?!”), go eat dinner at the drop of a hat, or see the countless movies that no one else I know will see with me. He and I can also watch through seasons of television like champs- I never had more fun watching “Heroes” or “Freaks and Geeks.”

What I’m [loving] = Laughing so hard that I can neither see nor breathe at dinner with Stephen and Kyle, due to our endless quotations of “Arrested Development.” (Her?)

What I’m [googling] = More info about this guy’s incredible story. He worked with Invisible Children and was killed in the terrorist attacks in Uganda earlier this month.

What I’m [watching] = “Inception.” Okay, maybe not right now, but I saw it over the weekend and loved it and can’t stop thinking about it. Best movie I’ve seen this year, hands down. If you also dug it and are looking for more solid movies, I have two recommendations. “Brick,” which also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is a fascinating take on a film noir set in a present day high school. “The Prestige,” also by Christopher Nolan, if you somehow missed it when it first came out, is an astounding movie full of twists and mind tricks galore. I can’t recommend any of those three movies enough.

What I’m [surprised about] = How much I truly enjoy this song from Crazy/Heart. I'm not usually into country music (unless it's something by someone like Hank Williams that I've heard my dad play a hundred times), but "Fallin' & Flyin'" is just a great song! There’s something about the chorus that makes my heart swoop around a bit.

What I’m [wondering] = Why there was a lady yelling, “Help! My baby’s stuck in the pool!!!” outside my apartment the other morning, making me think I was hearing her in my dreams. Somehow she had ended up on one side of the gate to the pool, her toddler on the other side. Luckily someone came by and unlocked it for her so crisis averted, but still…. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN??

Nothing fancy, but really lovely.

We are back to blogging on a regular basis... as of tonight. It's 10:45pm and I've been home for about an hour today. I would apologize for having nothing remarkable to share... except that my mom sent me this last week. I think it's lovely. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Cream Gravy of Reality

I was all set to write a normal, this is about something, grown-up-like blog. But my mind was not really cooperating.

Then I started talking to Joey. (We decided that we were going to buy a big hotel or some sort of building and we’re going to live there with all our friends and cool people.) And then I never stopped laughing and my mind REALLY turned off. It ended up being more like Joey doing stand-up and me being the laughing audience member and less of an actual conversation.

So forgive me, but I am now resorting to list format.

1. Saw “Despicable Me” over the weekend- loved it. My friends and I were the only ones laughing at the witty references to "Annie" and "The Godfather." Why is that?

2. Glee is in reruns right now. Man that show used to be SO good and funny and witty. What happened, Mr. Shue??

3. Community is in reruns right now. How did that show not get a SINGLE Emmy nomination? RUDE.

4. My cousins and I have been plotting our appearance on “Family Feud” for a while now. We’re talking about who in the family gets to play and who is out. Because let’s be honest: there’s only so many buzzers, people. We’re pretty cut-throat.

5. I’ve recently been DVR-ing “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and watching it while I get ready for work in the mornings. I had forgotten how HILARIOUS that show is. And you probably have too. It’s airs late on ABC Family, people. Look into it.

6. Joey just said that someone we know is “the cream gravy of reality.” Am I sure I know what that means? No. Did I laugh anyway? Yes.

7. I spent a good portion of this evening baking and preparing snacks for the media summer staff at work. Last time I told them there was unicorn eyelashes in their dessert, and this time it’s going to be fairy tears. Man, people will believe ANYTHING!

8. I hadn't been sleeping very well recently and I think I managed to trace it back to watching some pretty dark episodes of Veronica Mars as I was falling asleep. I’m back to Gilmore Girls now, though, and resting easy. Murder before bed? No thanks. A thousand yellow daisies? Yes please!

9. I’ve been going down to my pool nearly every day for the past few weeks. Okay maybe not THAT often, if you’re going to be all ACCURATE about it, but… a lot. And I love it. It’s what you have to do to survive the summers in Texas!

10.Tomorrow is FRIDAY. Wait… do you hear that? Is that… Why yes, I do believe it IS the hallelujah chorus.

Friday, July 9, 2010

P.S. Being normal = win.

Ok, so let me clarify what I mean by normal.

I've had the amazing opportunity to work in ministry for the past six years. But working in ministry generally comes with a really odd schedule. D and I currently do not have a day off together. My day off is Monday, he has regular weekends.

This week we experienced Monday AND Tuesday off together. I loved it. We tried to make the most of our time - not wanting to spend it all on wedding planning. We spent the days listening to classical music for the ceremony, going through our DJ packet, choosing paint samples, purchasing paint, watching the original Karate Kid, cooking together, viewing Toy Story 3 (I think I'm still crying) and just enjoying running errands together... in the same city... in the same car.

Here are some photos from our cooking escapades. (P.S. You can see the paint samples on the walls if you look closely enough!)

And yes. That meal was less than 300 calories.

Ok. So maybe it was more like 3,000 calories... but it was worth it. (p.p.s. I also get this look when I start dancing in Home Depot, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn... you get the idea.)

100 days people. 100 days.
*engagement photo by the ridiculously talented Carrie Fay Photography.