Friday, February 29, 2008

Impromptu Date Night

Finally it was a Friday night that John and I had nothing to do. We started out planning on going to Texas Roadhouse and ending up shopping at Kohl's. But, alas, we picked the wrong time for Texas Roadhouse and an hour wait sounded like no fun.

I stood in the parking lot and said "are you up for an adventure?"

Of course he was, so we jumped in the car and drove to Stillwater where the skies were clear and OSU fever was in order for a low-key night at Eskimo Joe's. We devoured bacon cheese fries and talked non-stop. We hadn't had time just to ourselves in a long time to just talk. Talk, talk, talk about was so much fun! Plus on the way home we serenaded each other with some Journey and Maroon Five. And I even got a nice rendition of Michael Buble "Save the Last Dance for Me" to get ready for the big concert with Julia on Tuesday!

Anyway....thanks, honey! For doing something spontaneous. Something fun and and different. Reminds me how much fun we really are together! We should try date night more often....

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Blog!

Well, today is my blog birthday. Or blogiversary. I don't know. Anyway...I've been at this thing for 3 years now, can you believe it?

In three years we've managed to move twice (the blog was originally started to document building our first house, which we promptly move out of 18 months later!). We've had promotions and turned a complete 180 on the whole kid thing. We've made new friends, watched old ones leave. Our families have changed, our pets have changed, we've changed. Kind of crazy to think about what all has happened in three short years.

So Happy Blogiversary Birthday, and thanks for sticking around with me for so long!

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's very cold and my feet are numb

Some random thoughts...

I'm in Rochester, NY today. I fly home tomorrow, amid the predicted 6-12 inches of snow. Let's home for on-time arrivals, because apparently 6-12 inches of snow here is "not a big deal".

My mom had a fun adventure over the weekend. Her best friends own a local funeral home and needed someone to drive a body to Mississippi. Imagine 14 hours on the road with a dead body in the back of an Excursion. That would be a fun story if you got pulled over.

I used to fill in for the funeral home for evening visitations when I was in school. It was a great way to make a couple extra bucks and get homework done. I'd sit there and direct visitors to the visiting rooms, then close down the place in the evening. The worst part was turning lights off in the back, where the embalming rooms were. But the bodies in the caskets never bothered me...

Three months from today we will set sail out of Seattle for Alaska. I wish it was TODAY we were headed there!

I am ashamed to admit it, but I may kind of like American Idol. I've been watching with mild interest the past couple of weeks. It's not something I'm ready to commit valuable DVR space to, but if I'm home and it's on...I'll tune in.

I also think Dancing with the Stars is stupid, but I may tune in because my 80s crush Steve Guttenberg is going to be on there. Who doesn't love Steve Guttenberg? Three Men and a Baby, anyone?

I got my hair cut on Saturday, much shorter than I've had it before. It's a weird feeling...almost like it's not my hair. I keep touching it and messing with it because it feels like I have a wig on or something. Guess it will grow out.

I don't understand different TV schedules for different time zones. How do people on the East Coast live? They have to stay up until 11:00 to watch anything good, and that's well past my bedtime! How did they live before DVR? And what about nightly's practically midnight before you go to bed. Makes no sense to me.

That's about all the interesting I can muster for the day. I need to finish my notes for my all-day presentation tomorrow. Good night and good luck.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's all 1984 up in here

I am quite sure that Pearl's restaurant was tapping into my iPod today. I bet that's possible, with all this big brother stuff happening these days. I imagine it's possible to remotely tap into my iPod tucked into my purse and play my playlists.

Not kidding as I was sitting at lunch the following songs played IN ORDER on the loudspeaker:
Apologize (Timbaland featuring One Republic)
Back Here (BBMak)
Over You (Daughtry)

Those three songs are exactly in order on my Current Faves list on my iPod. It was freaky.

They totally had to have tapped in, because seriously...who else would have BBMak even on their iPod, let alone on their favorites list? Only me...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Perhaps looking back isn't always sentimental

I've been reading a blog for a while now called "Nothing but Bonfires". She is a world traveler, originally from England who has settled in San Francisco. I've gone back and read many of her archives, and she is a fantastic writer. Detailed, for sure.

Anyway, she started a series of posts recently about her life each year since she's been alive. Starting when she was born to age 1 and she's now up to age 11. Her entry at age 11 is heartbreaking, where she describes the lonliness and homesickness she felt as she started boarding school. How she can still feel that pain, and if she had the ability now to change that feeling she would in a heartbeat. It's that painful.

It got me thinking about when I was that age. I had a (not-so-slight) problem with homesickness, and I wasn't the most outgoing of sorts. It was magnified right after my parents separated and I was a teenager, when I basically became debilitated with anxiety attacks at the thought of leaving my home overnight.

However, it was definitely a problem long before that. I can't remember the exact age I was when I was preparing to spend a week with my grandparents in Virginia. I was to fly to Dallas by myself and meet my cousins, and we would then fly out to Virginia. We would spend the week touring the DC-area and even taking sailing lessons on the Potomac River.

I started getting myself all worked up internally several days before I was to leave. And then there was a lot of news coverage on a local TV station about a reporter who had died in a helicopter crash right before I was to leave.

Sidenote: thus began my fear of flying

Anyway, the day came to leave and I started telling my parents I didn't want to go. We packed my suitcase. We loaded up the car. We arrived at the airport. We checked my bags. We got my tickets and met the airline assistant for minors and sat in the terminal waiting to board. All the while I insisted I didn't want to go.

It came time to board and I began to have what I believe was a panic attack. I began crying hysterically and screaming. They tried to load me on the plane and I screamed and begged down the concourse. I was sure I was going to die on that plane, I was sure I couldn't be away from home that long. My senses were on fire. Even as I write this I can feel the sheer panic taking over my little body.

I don't know why, but they relented. Maybe it was the incessant, unbearable, embarassing screaming show I was putting on. But I didn't go. We walked back out to the car and went home. And even though I was only a child, I have regretted not going ever since.

You know how you remember things in small glimpses? I haven't even talked to my parents about it, soI don't know if I'm remembering details correctly. I don't remember what happened after that, or the frustrated phone call they had to make to my grandparents. I just remember screaming in the airport, never more sure that I didn't have the strength to go.

There were several more equally humiliating moments where homesickness and the panic of being away ruined experiences for me. There was at least a year where I couldn't go to slumber parties. There was a very memorable trip to church camp I almost didn't make after screaming and crying in front of my entire youth group before my mom made me get on the van.

I can still remember all those emotions, that pain each time it happened. I wish I could change that part of myself. I wish I'd been adventerous and free-spirited and not bogged down by separation anxiety. I think that's why I am so proud of myself for the travels I go on now. Each time I step off the plane in an unfamiliar city by myself, I smile and my confidence grows a little more. To think about being that little girl who couldn't leave, to doing what I do today is mind-blowing. Who knew?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Charlie Company

What is it about rescued animals that makes me weepy?

This story about a rescued stray from Baghdad, after a "plea" from his adopted company over there will bring tears to your eyes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Changing the Plan

I started my other blog several weeks ago to keep from boring people with our infertility struggles.

So I apologize for breaking that commitment today, but I encourage you guys to check out today's entry at Here's to Hope. We have a major change in our lives, and I've written about it there. You guys want to know what's going in our life these days? Well, things are about to get interesting....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jon and Kate need some Big Love

Lately, I've been staying up entirely too late and putting off getting ready in the morning because I'm caught up in multiple DVR'd episodes of "Jon and Kate Plus 8".

I know I'm watching too much of it, because as I'm watching I start thinking "hey, that looks ok. I think I could raise 8 kids".

Kind of like when I knew I watched too much "Big Love". When I started thinking "hey, that's not a bad idea! It might be kind of fun to have sister wives!" it was time to back up and reevaluate the morals my TV shows are instilling in me.

However, if I lived a "Big Love" lifestyle, it would make living a "Jon and Kate Plus 8" lifestyle much easier. That Kate really needs a couple of sister wives!

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's in the details

Several weeks ago I was shopping with a friend. As we were walking around the mall, she said she had been examining her life, trying to figure out what kind of person she wanted to be. And what she said next was so revealing, so perfect I've been thinking about it since that day.

She said she realized she wanted to be "a person who wears accessories".

Now, at first this struck me as funny. To take a long, hard look at your life and determine you want to wear accessories didn't seem that "revealing" to me. However, she went on to explain further that people who wear accessories seem so put together. They look and feel put together and if she were an accessories person, in some way her life would feel a little more organized and put together.

What a simple revelation. I have been thinking about it for several weeks. I would love to be an accessories person. I love details. I tend to notice people's necklaces, their buttons, their handbags, their hairpins. I love how a yellow bag can jump off a black shirt, how a strand of sparkly thread can make pants seem fancy, how a bobby pin with a rhinestone can make even bed head look purposeful. And I realized I want to be someone who is in the details. Subtle, maybe even things others can't see.

This button is my inspiration. In fact, I bought these pants last year mostly because I was so taken by the button. How many people actually see the button on these pants (it's on the waist)? Very few. But everytime I wear these pants, I feel very put together.

I know it doesn't make much sense. But just know that this is the most beautiful button I've ever seen, and it inspires me to be more put-together, to feel better about myself, and to concentrate on the details.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Commericals that make me cry

Pedigree's Adoption Drive.

You know, the ones that show beautiful dogs in shelters and talk about how "for every dog adopted, there's one that's not" and "imagine your family moving...and not taking you with them".

I can't even think about those stupid commercials without wanting to cry and adopt a thousand dogs. But since I can't do that, please consider shelter dogs when getting a new dog in your family.

I also want to cry every time an Integris commercial comes on, too. But for some reason homeless dogs make me even more sad.

Am I the only one? You don't even have to like dogs to want to cry and adopt them after seeing those commercials...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Shop 'til I Drop

I don't know when in my life I turned into someone cheap. But I did. I wouldn't say I'm extreme, but at some point I forced myself to stop turning to retail therapy. Which then made me pretty much hate shopping. I really don't like to spend a day shopping. Maybe if I had more money I would.

However, today was so beautiful outside I couldn't sit at home. John was golfing, I'd had a tasty lunch at Red Robin and I was ready to do some damage. Or at least enough damage as my blow money would allow.

I started at DSW, couldn't find anything in my price range. So I headed next door to a little accessories shop called Dustee's. If you live in OKC and need fun jewelry, handbags, scarves, wallets, etc. head to Dustee's. Very affordable and really cute stuff. I bought this amazing clasped wallet and sparkly necklace.

Then, something very scary came over me. I felt the need to go to Ross. I HATE ROSS. I really hate any discount stores, because you have to rummage. I don't like to rummage, I like my clothes to be all the same on the same rack where I can grab my size and move along. But I went, and of course found about 1,000 things I wanted. I ended up with the perfect brown purse and brown ballet flats, but talked myself out of everything else.

A customary trip to Old Navy was next, where I talked myself out of more jeans (I have an addiction to jeans) but did buy two shirts with a Christmas gift card. One of the lowest points of the day came when trying on shorts (have to stock up for Hawaii). Believe it or not, I have gained almost 15 pounds since last summer. I'd like to blame it on medical procedures but it's really just loving food too much. Anyway....trying on shorts ended up being incredibly depressing and I didn't buy any that felt OR looked good.

Can't wait to start trying on bathing suits.

I ended my day at Barnes and Noble, where I was looking for a new book club recommendation. I ended up buying a book, but not one for the club. So another book will be in my near future!

It was a great day and everything was made a dent in my blow money, but I still have $32 to last me to next Friday.

But I still hate shopping.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hypocrisy and Hypodermics

Earlier today I posted a parody of song leading and worship styles of the church of Christ, which I proudly attend and have been a member of my entire life. I removed it this afternoon, and I'd like to explain why.

First things first, I still think it's funny. Hilarious, in fact. It's so true, especially in the CofC.

However, as luck would have it, not long after I posted that I came to learn about a disheartening situation my beloved church has been put in by our preference for music in worship.

I don't pretend to be a scriptual star, I don't challenge anyone to a duel about what the Bible says and what it doesn't--although I imagine I know a lot more than I think I do. So that is not what this is about. But what has happened this week because of disagreements over this particular issue of instrumental music versus acapella music is disturbing.

For those of you not familiar with the CofC, we worship without instruments, singing acapella. I won't go into it further than that but e-mail me or comment if you'd like to know more. It's important to understand this before reading further.

There is a church of Christ here in town that made the decision to offer both an instrumental and an acapella worship service for their members. My feelings on this are irrelevant and while I have strong opinions on whether or not this is a salvation issue, I choose not to challenge anyone on it for fear that I will be without the ability to back up my opinion with scripture. It's a gut feeling, a generational observation. So it's irrelevant.

What happened after this church made their announcement was a full-paged ad placed in The Oklahoman denouncing the minister of the church as a "false teacher" and calling him "marked". It also said in a very blatant way that "according to Jesus many religious people will not enter Heaven" and stated that "mechanical instruments of music in worship to God stand in direct opposition to the teachings of the New Testament".

That's not even the worst of it. The ad cost over $11,000. Imagine what good that money could have done for our communities, our missionaries.

The response garnered further media attention with the local NBC affiliate following up with the minister of the changing church, as well as a church leader who wrote part of the ad. The writer of the ad then publicly compared worshiping with instruments to using heroin. "The Bible doesn't say NOT to use heroin...."

It's not the same.

This kind of response is unacceptable. The ad claimed it was placed by "faithful members and area churches of Christ". THIS IS NOT THE CASE. The people that placed this ad were not asked to represent me. I don't know about anyone else, but they do not speak for me or John. It is my understanding they do not speak for my congregation. I am saddened by this spiteful, prideful response, and disgusted that it has been taken to such a public level.

My heart's desire is to see everyone I know and love and everyone they know and love live a moral, Godly life. It is my desire to see everyone of you in Heaven. Plain and simple, that is my prayer. I follow the best path I know to ensure that I get there, and that does not include public berating and excommunication of anyone. I cannot imagine any scenario in which this advertisement would lead someone to follow God's path, let alone step in the doors of their local church of Christ.

My desire is to be loving and accepting in example. I am not always successful, I fail often just as many others do. But my hope is that I'm never this spiteful in my failure. My hope is that no one will judge me, my intentions, my worship on a few ultra-conservative, tradition-ridden church leaders.

In light of this situation and the rage it induced in me, I felt it was hypocritical to leave up the parody. If you'd like the link to the video made in fun, let me know. It's funny. But spiritual living is not a laughing matter, and I truly felt like I had to speak up. There are times that you cannot sit back and let things happen, let things pass. This is one of those times, and I'm prepared to stand up for what I believe in my heart is wrong.

Sorry so serious! But, you know, sometimes things just cut you the wrong way. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sharing a good tune

A while back, I bought Faith Hill's album "Fireflies". I really like Faith Hill, and try to keep up with all her new releases. I discovered the most beautiful, quaint little song which just happens to be the title track. If ever you were a little girl this song will speak to you.

Just felt like sharing as it came up on my playlist this evening!

by Faith Hill

Before you met me I was a fairy princess
I caught frogs and called them prince and made myself a queen
Before you knew me I'd traveled 'round the world
I slept in castles and fell in love
Because I was taught to dream

I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
They were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell

I believe in fairy tales
And dreamer's dreams, like bedsheet sails
And I believe in Peter Pan
And miracles, and anything I can to get by
And fireflies

Now before I grew up I saw you on a cloud
I could bless myself in your name and pat you on your wings
Before I grew up I heard you whisper so loud
"Life is hard and so is love, Child, believe in all these things"

I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
They were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell

I believe in fairy tales
And dreamer's dreams like bedsheet sails
And I believe in Peter Pan
And miracles, and anything I can to get by . . .
And fireflies

Before you met me I was a fairy princess
I caught frogs and called them prince and made myself a queen
Before you knew me I'd traveled 'round the world
I slept in castles and fell in love
Because I was taught to dream

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

God is so good and it's a small world afterall

Thank you, thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for Kevin, my Dad and DeAnna. It is an amazing thing, prayer. Especially those sent up for strangers.

I talked to my dad today, who was thrilled to report that Kevin woke up today. He is talking and laughing and especially pleased to see his fiance, who flew out to be at his side. They removed the breathing tube and hope to take him out of ICU tomorrow. They will also be testing his motor skills tomorrow, so he still needs prayers that everything works right!

By all accounts, he was in a grave situation when he arrived at the hospital. Lungs full of water, unconcious, not responding to tests. Several doctors, nurses, chaplains have told Dad that they are amazed by the "remarkable recovery" and the speed at which it's happening.

Funny....Kevin's a pretty amazing guy. But not THAT amazing to make a recovery like that all on his own. I'm pretty sure the prayers of friends, family, and strangers across the country had a hand in all that--and Kevin would be the very first to say it!

My Dad and DeAnna are also doing well. They felt comfortable enough to head home for some rest after Kevin woke up today. DeAnna even worked a shift at her volunteer job and Dad's going to try and go back to work tomorrow. They are very sore and pretty banged up (their muscles ache today from all the work to stay above water and keep breathing) but doing well. Most healing now will be emotional.

My Dad was amazed with the blog comments, e-mails, calls, and concerns of all my friends. And in a totally weird turn of events it turns out someone else was calling on their blog friends for prayers for MY dad. Someone I don't even know! Turns out my friend Aubrey has a friend (and I think former roommate) named Kara. After Aubrey read about the accident on my blog, she went on to read Kara's update who asked for prayers for "Joe, DeAnna, and Kevin". Turns out it was, in fact, the same people! Kara grew up going to the same church all three went to in Minnesota.

It's such a small world. It's like seven degrees of the church of Christ. Anyway...thanks to Kara for the prayer request and to Aubrey for letting me know. My Dad wants to thank everyone for their concern. He's humbled and a overwhelmed and I'm sure will write about it on his blog as soon as he's up to putting into words. Praise God!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Prayer Request

I'd like to tell you the reason I didn't blog over the weekend because I was busy playing outside in the perfect 72-degree, no-wind weather. But, no. John was pretty sick so we stayed in. And I just didn't feel like logging on. Although I did spend some time with my next-door neighbor, 10-year-old Lexi who has agreed to help me plant a new garden this spring. She also offered to wash my car for free, so I'm pretty sure I've got a good deal going.

I actually had quite a bit to say, but right now I just have a prayer request. I talked to my dad earlier this evening who let me know about a horrible accident this weekend. His best friend, Kevin, flew into Hawaii for a weeklong vacation on Saturday. Sunday, Dad, his wife DeAnna, and Kevin went out to sight-see and hike along the shore.

To the best of my knowledge, what happened next was a wave came up, surprised them and ended up sweeping all three of them out into the ocean. My dad was tossed back onto the rocks, someone threw DeAnna a cooler to hold on to that helped her keep afloat. They were both taken to the hospital, but are OK. Kevin was swept further out and by the time the lifeguards reached him his lungs were full of water and he was unconcious.

Kevin is still in a coma and on a ventilator. His fiance is on her way to be with him, and Kevin has a young daughter as well. My dad says he is responding well to some of the tests they are giving him, but he remains unconcious. Please pray for a full recovery for Kevin. He's a wonderful man, and it's a terrifying situation.