Monday, January 31, 2011

Yes! We HAVE Always Been This Cool!

Mondays are always "Blast from the Past" days on the Facebook page I run for work. I find old photos from past decades and share them with our followers, always enjoying the crazy hairstyles and rather, uh... interesting facial hair. But why should they have all the fun?

Today, Blast from the Past happens here... MORBY STYLE.
First up, Ginger lookin' like a boss. Val lookin' like a veg (etable.)

Time for an afternoon of rollerblading with Uncle Ken. See? G's skillz with a pair of rollerblades go way back. My skillz with a dorky pink helmet ALSO have a history. (AND: the t-shirt tucked into the cotton shorts? Seriously- looking good, Morby.) (ALTHOUGH: Ginger's black shortalls are kind of giving me a run for my money.) (Let's be honest.) (On second look, no. No one looks worse than Val here.)

Sorry this picture is a little cut off, but it had to be shared. This was our Christmas card circa 1999, I believe. I remember selecting our clothes for the artistic comment of simplicity converging on to more complex patterns, in the form of solids followed by stripes followed by plaid. That's just the sort of intentional, creative statement my family is famous for making!*

Just after Ginger's performance in the Homecoming musical "Guys and Dolls" in 2003. This is back when my hair wanted to be Chloe Sullivan's hair. (It didn't really work.) It was all my hair's idea! On the right is Cousin Shanni, not a long-lost third Morby sister.

So I'm sorry, but no, this blog is not about to get more interesting with the addition of another sister. It's still just us.

*Not true but at all.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Snapshots

My husband received a Home Depot gift card for Christmas. This was his purchase.
In preparation for the 5lbs of meat currently smoking, he has made five different kinds of bbq sauce. That's right. FIVE.
I just had a meeting with Valerie over Skype. Did you know Val is an excellent editor?
It's gonna be a good Sunday.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spell real good.

There's a box that's been sitting in my basement since my parents brought all my treasures (trophies, papers, childhood pizazz) out to Arizona in August.

I've recently started letting myself comb through the contents of the purple plastic container. Today's selection is apparently circa 2nd grade, but I'm not going to let that orange marker actually tell me my spelling and handwriting were that bad in 2nd grade. Maybe this is the summer between 1st and 2nd grade. Regardless... I'm thankful for this informative Sunday School worksheet from Lutherans for Life.

Hi. I'm Ginger. I spell real good.
Please note that while my family is very fun and loving...
...they are also apparently mucicule (musical), inresponsibil (irresponsible?), lazzy (lazy), and yeilingly (YELLING!). This summary is amazing.

Now let's see how many words we can make from my name. O look. Robart, chilly and poon. That totally makes sense from the letters provided.
Let's take it a step further and meet my parents.
I like that my dad makes malts and is mucicle. But mom buys my favorite foods... sometimes.
Note that while I cannot spell, I am getting all the questions about Jesus correct. Yess.

Finally, let's talk about all the members of my family. Perhaps my brother wasn't old enough to actually be considered a member of the family. :)
Oh and also, I'm a really fast runner.
I'm Ginger. I spell real good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Close your eyes and picture this. Actually don’t close your eyes, because then you can’t read. BUT. Dust out the cobwebs and fire up the old imagination.

You’re in a room. Some sort of tribal/African music is playing. People are yelling out Russian-style “HEY!”s. A Hispanic man is cheerfully yelling out instructions to you. You are sweating, surrounded by mirrors, and don’t know how you got yourself into this. The Hispanic man cups his hands to his ears and the Pavolvian response of everyone in the room is to yell out “WOO!”, thereby completing the entire room’s transformation into a series of Woo Girls.

Welcome to Zumba.

It’s true: last week, inspired by Annie’s foray into the world of dance fitness, I casually wandered into the group fitness room at my gym, trying to act like I TOTALLY BELONG HERE, and stuff, and oh what’s that? We bring water in here? I knew that, totally knew that, let me just loop my way back out to fetch mine and nonchalantly rejoin the group. Look around, we are stretching and chatting. Okay, I don’t have anyone to chat with, but I can stretch. I’ll just… there, yep. That arm is done. Feelin' good!

Then the most glorious thing happened: our instructor entered the room. His name?


Again: IT'S TRUE. In my tiny Texas town, there exists a short Latin gentleman named Javier, sporting white dance pants and a tiny black tank top that spells out ZUMBA on the front and INSTRUCTOR on the back. This man, with Demitri Martin’s face and Bob Dylan’s hair, is going to teach my Zumba class.


The first song that plays is a super hip hop-y dance version of… something Latin. Javier demonstrates a few slightly complicated dance steps in quick succession, and luckily I am not the only one who is already lost, thanks to sister girl standing in the back row with me, my sarcastic counterpart who is AWESOME for not wasting any time in commenting, “Yeah, I totally got all of that.” Me: “Right? I’ve memorized every step already. I’m ready to teach.” LET ME LEAD, PEOPLE.

In between songs, Javier yells out reminders to the group of what steps we learned last week (!!!!) and what we’ll be doing for the next number. “Remember, nex is rye, leff, rye, leff, then one two three, one two three. Yes?”

Of course, the only response that is acceptable for Javier is of the “WOO!” variety, and the whole room cannot help but indulge him.

After a few songs I start noticing a super tiny, SUPER skinny girl with a delightfully perky ponytail a few rows in front of me, who performs each movement with the kind of energy and pep and super loud and high pitched WOOs! that makes you want to smack a person inspires the whole room. Seriously though, isn’t there always one in every class like that? Whenever I started to get tired I would fantasize about marching up to her, grabbing her by the shoulders, and yelling “YOU’RE NOT BEING GRADED! YOU ARE NOT JAVIER’S FAVORITE! CALM YOURSELF, WOMAN!”

If I were one to do that sort of thing.

The whole experience was like something out of a sitcom, not to mention insanely energetic, totally over the top, and completely ridiculous.

I loved it.

Sidenote to Javier: I am a white girl with zero dance skills. My shoulders do not shimmy like that, and my hips DON'T MOVE LIKE YOURS. Stop asking.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Giant Metaphor (let's be honest)

When we came home from our honeymoon, we found the most wonderful gift. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law had filled our fridge with essentials, cleaned the house, and organized our countless piles. My sister-in-law had also left a gift for us to find on both the front and back porches.

The six pots were filled with basil, oregano, dill, heirloom tomatoes, sweet tomatoes, and flowers. I could hardly contain my excitement... and my dread.

I kill things. I don't want to kill them, but I have this horrible habit of over-watering, over-exposing, and smothering my plants. But I determined to see these plants through. The temperatures here since October 31 have been as high as 100 and as low as 25. By Christmas I worried that the plants would all have perished. We left them indoors as we traveled for both of the holidays. After lamenting their pitiful state, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend gave us "worm tea" (home grown - the stuff left at the bottom of the bucket of worms) in hopes that some fertilizer might do the trick. They still look peaked. So then we tried placing the plants in different locations thinking the sun might have something to do with the problem. The plants were hanging on at the first of the year, but barely.

But this week, although the leaves are droopy, something new is happening. The flowers are budding, the tomatoes are sprouting and it looks like my little band of brothers just might make it.

I have an incredible season of life right now. We decided, as a family, that I would take time to work on a personal project that has been years in the making. I've talked about it with gusto, started it hundreds of times, and placed it on every bucket list I've owned since college. I over-watered it... and I over-exposed it.

So I scaled back, way back. I've held it close and tried to refrain from watering... I tried so hard that it just about dried up. Bribery, gadgets, and schedules had little effect on my own personal drive. It's a problem when your least favorite part about writing is writing. I doubted myself and have feared rejection in the worst way. If I don't actually have a finished product then no one can turn me down! No one can critique my creative work if no one can ever see my work.

In the midst of this creative project I started searching for additional employment and kept feeling as though every door was closed to me. When my last ditch effort came to nothing, it was my husband who was there to remind me: "You have bigger things to do."

Somtimes, bigger means smaller. Working out what I feel is God's calling on my life - that work he prepared in advance for me to do (Eph. 2:10) - sometimes feels tedious. I'm closed up in my house or wearing earphones in a coffee shop and I often wish I was just finished. To be honest, the prideful part of me really wants to have a concrete answer to give people who ask, "So what do you do?"

But what I've learned over the past few months is that I am not doing this to have something to do. I am doing this because it's something that's burning inside of me. Even if this never brings in a penny of income, I'm deepening my roots and coaching every bit of life that I can from this little plant.

That's a lot of metaphor. But the point of all of this really is just to say...

If you feel like your dreams were choked out, or dried up this winter, or this past year... take heart. We serve a God who has mercies that are new for us every day. Move the pots around, add some water, and let the sun do its thing.

"But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Night

I'm re-learning how to type. I recently stumbled on an article that basically said that people who double space after every sentence are doing it wrong. We're from the Mesozoic Era. It's all about the single space, APPARENTLY. Now my day is filled with a lot more back spacing to correct this evidently egregious error. Are you a double spacer? Or are you a single spacer and are now SHOCKED at my ignorance??


I told Kyle that I was already getting tired of the cold. He asked if I would rather have the 100 degree temperatures back.

Umm... yes. Because I have a pool.


My friends and I have been going through different series of television, including "Arrested Development," "Veronica Mars," and "The Mole." We actually just finished up "Celebrity Mole" (about 40 minutes ago!) and are on the hunt for the next show. Suggestions that have been thrown out include "Mad Men," "Freaks and Geeks," "Friday Night Lights," "Alias" and "Extras," but everyone seems relatively lukewarm about most of those ideas.

What do YOU suggest?


"The Bachelor" this season is just as deliciously awful as always. I can't stand Brad or most of the girls, but I don't know what would happen if I actually stopped watching the show. Is... that even an option??? If I stopped watching, I wouldn't be able to hear such gems from Senor Bachelor as, "...all the women gave it their all... but Chantel gave the most." (H/T to Dani for transcribing that one!)

I mean, really. This enormous Texas boy is incredibly bland and surprisingly without a functioning brain. How are so many women fighting over him? Over HIM!? He's just a chest!

(No, there is not more to him than this.)


Whew, all those sentences separated by only one space. Here are all the remaining spaces that I would have used otherwise, because I just don't want them to feel left out:


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Same difference

I resolved in my last post to make more cake... among other things. So I made a coffee cake. I thought that I might be able to bribe neighbors into more readily coming to their doors IF I had sugar in hand. Turns out - we've already moved past cake.
I handed out cookies to nine houses on my street prior to Christmas. The response was favorable (even if still a little awkward.) In return we received brownie bites, homemade salsa, and an invitation from THREE houses to have dinner in the future. I assumed those invitations might never come to fruition and I would continue to walk the empty ghost-town street that I'm trying to love.

But just when I thought our culdesac was destined to remain quiet, the neighbor directly across from me finally surfaced. She not only stuck her head out of her garage and waved, but she walked up to me, shook my hand and thanked me for the cookies from Christmas. L and her family moved to Arizona from China just three years ago. It gets better. Then, on Friday, as I was walking back from checking the mail I saw the neighbor from across the street. A is super friendly. She and her husband moved here from India a decade ago. We were talking about actually getting together soon when my next door neighbor, L, came out and chatted with us on the street. She's mom to two of the cutest looking little girls I have ever seen in my life. They usually have crowns or tutus on when I catch a glimpse.

All that to say: L, A and I are going to dinner on Monday. Yes and yes.

Making cake/cookies = almost as good as making friends. Almost.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow Walk

After church today I sat on my couch enjoying my lunch of soup and crackers and nectarines while staring out the window. Everyone few minutes I would stand and go over and peer out to check that YES- it is still snowing.

Finally it wasn't enough to simply gaze out the window. I thought, "Why am I not out there? I love next door TO A PARK." So I bundled up in my coat, hat and scarf, grabbed my camera, and hit the sidewalk.

I was gone for an hour and a half.

Most of the time the only sound I heard was the crunch of the snow under my own feet. It was glorious, and fun, and peaceful, and magical, and everything you would hope a snow walk would be.
Come walk with me!

Such a fun afternoon. I can't wait to do it again next time!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Following the lead of several blogging friends and advisors, D and I set out to make our family goals for the year. Making goals was such a different experience than last year. After a few tears and three nights of really good discussion we finally declared our personal and family goals. I was then all set to then publish my top 11 for the entire blog world to see… and then I read this post about NOT sharing your resolutions and goals. This left me confused. So I headed to a different source.

"So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't." 2 Cor 8:10-12 Msg

So right here and now I officially resolve that in 2011 I will:

Love Jesus, love others and make more cake. [And not let these intentions grow stale.]

I started off 2011 by making a cake. I think the recipients were feeling the love. It's one of my favorite recipes [with tons of memories] and it is easy. (And I made it for my husband on our 4th date.)

Carrie's Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

(Recipe endorsed by ol' crazy eyes.)

Here's my treasured recipe from circa 2003.

Start by gathering the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
-Yellow Cake Mix
-Small instant chocolate pudding
-1/2 cup of sugar
*stir all together*

-Add 3/4 cup of oil
-3/4 cup of water
-4 eggs
-8 oz of sour cream (softened)
*stir all together*

-Stir in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
-Spray bunt pan with non-stick Baker's Joy (don't skimp - your cake will thank you.)

-Pour batter into the bunt cake pan

-Bake the cake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour
-Watch for the cake to pull away from the pan at the sides

-Allow the cake to rest 15-20 minutes and then flip onto a cake plate.
-Once the cake has cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
-Strawberries make a nice touch - so does ice cream. :)
-(I added chocolate chips to cover the cracks that were a result of NOT
using enough spray to the pan.)

Mmmm. Love Jesus. Love others. Make cake.

Here's to 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Maybe This Christmas

I know this is a little out of date now, but I just wanted to share a few quick moments of my Christmas this year. If I didn't already physically come to you and tape your eyelids open and make you watch this video when it was posted on Facebook, here. Watch:

Merry Belated Christmas, Happy (Late) New Year, and hope you had a wonderful Monday! (At least that one's on time)