Monday, January 5, 2015

Resolution Day 1

Well, today was the day. 2015 Resolution kick off day.

Here is where I stand so far:

1. Lose 3 lbs a month (or the equivalent by the end of the year) I now know the beginning weight so that's something, eh?

2. Clear all games from my cellphone (except solitaire) They are gone. L was allowed to play one more round of his beloved Subway Surf on the way to church. It was weird. Many time sI would subconsciously reach for my phone and then consiously remember they aren't there. I think I cleaned my phone more in the past 12 hours than I have in the past week. haha. Soon this will not be the case but it may take a few days. I am interested in knowing if my ADD lessens in the next 12 month without the constant stimulation. 

3. Clean out (at least) 2 boxes a month from my room Didn't touch any BUT the Christmas tree is down, packed up, and already back in the garage. 

4. Not let dishes set longer than a week Well...let's just move on. I still need to catch up on the dishes that have filled my kitchen for weeks before I can truly begin this. 

5. Get on a stage again: improv, storytelling, stand up,... Nothing today...

6. Reconnect with friends - find my place and voice again I joined my friends for lunch today! That's the second meal in two days! 

7. Surround myself with positive people and personally stay positive (do 100 Days of Happy three times) 100 Happy Days haven't started yet. I'm waiting for the first baby to set off 100 Happy Days. #babywatch2015 is getting really exciting.

8. Work toward permeance Today at church all I could think about Gladys Aylward. She is totally my hero. Seriously look her up. (For the record, she wasn't mentioned at all during church today.) 

9. Create something every month (sew, cook a big meal, paint, write) Nope. Not today.

10. Travel somewhere new and/or take L to the beach Nope. Not today. Starting to think about places though. :)

11. Spend less money eating out (Go out for lunch no more than 3 times in a week!) Lunch was out today but dinner was home. :) Out on Sundays after church are basically a given though. 

12. Not eat french fries I got a side salad instead! yum!

13. Not get on my laptop until L goes to bed This one was tricky too. I kept thinking of all the things I needed to look up or do. Of course, once he went to sleep, I couldn't think of any of those massively important things. ha. This will be another tough one that will take time to adjust to.

14. Read, study, and consider one minor prophet each month I did not begin this project today. However, L and I did decide his new daily Bible time. We are going to be reading through the Gospel of Luke in his NIV. He is very excited that we are going to be reading out of his "Holy Bible." I'm excited to show him Jesus, not the kid story version, but he actual, flesh & blood Jesus: what he did, how he acted, and how we can emulate Him. It should be great. 

15. Be open to love I wore a dress and boots to church today. I didn't talk to anyone I didn't know but I felt pretty. That's a step, right? 

Alright, so I'm not going to update everyday but I thought Day 1 may be interesting. Even if it isn't for you, it will be for me in June, October, and December 31st. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I resolve.

A few days ago on New Year's Day, I was at a friend's house for brunch. The subject of New Year's Resolutions came up and everyone hemmed and hawed as they looked to their shuffling feet and admitted that they don't make them because they never keep them. Someone asked me and, before I could even really answer, my best friend spoke up and told people I was serious about them. ha! She is not wrong! 

I do take New Year's Resolutions quite seriously. I began this practice maybe...5, 6 year ago now. I used to be the cool kid who would say, "I resolve to to make no more resolution!"  cute. really cute, college kid. Alas, even that one has now been broken. In fact, it's probably easiest to say that I've ended up breaking maybe 75% of the resolutions I've made in the past 6, did we decide on 6?, years. 

So why continue to make them?

Because I am a list maker. I am a goal setter. I am an achiever. 

I create mini goals lists for myself everyday at work. I create monthly goals on my home laptop. Heck, I even created daily goal lists for my 6 year old during his summer break. 

Clearly, creating lists is fun for me. However, the all encompassing New Year's Resolution hold special weight. They plot out my next year. They cause to stop and reflect on the previous year's resolutions. What did we excel at this year? What do I need to improv on in the next year? They cause me to dream. Where can I go from here? What would I like life to look like in 12 months? They cause me to have accountability. Who will see these and spur me on? When will I stumble upon the list again and remember the plans I laid out?

Even if I only complete one goal on my list in a year. I have conquered something that I hadn't in the past. In this life of ever changing, evolving, growing into the best version of myself, shouldn't I be pushing myself to be better at every turn. 

And so, before I completely belabor the point, it is time to look back:

2014 New Year's Resolutions:

1. Respond to all Communications within 24 hours: text, email, phone, etc.  uh, no. nope. sorry. still bad at returning e-communications. In fact, I may have gotten worse. whoops. 

2. Connect with friends and make new ones YES! Though to be fair, not who I expected to reconnect with. My renewed friendships with Sarah, Sarah, & Adele have energized me throughout most of the year. I look forward to monthly meetups more than almost anything else. Also, this year I joined a new small group. It has been an amazing blessing as it is filled with old friends and new ones. Whereas our non-girly girls night is what I look forward to monthly, my small group is what I look forward to weekly. I also had the opportunity this year to grow in some friendships at work, again both with people I've been working with since I began there and some new who have only been there for a couple months and are actually already on their way out. I'd call this one a success. One I hope to continue into 2015. 

3. Games Nights at least 6 times this year well, this one is hard to judge...I live with a 6 year old. If it were up to him, every night would be a game night. We do end up playing games a couple times a week. I should have specified. I believe if I had I would have fallen a bit short. I only remember 4 or 5 games with other adults and they definitely didn't fall into a certain every other month pattern. However, I am going to count this one as a win. I did have game nights with different people. There was laughter. There was bonding. It was beautiful. Actually while typing this several other occasions have popped in my head. I definitely hit 6, just not formally. Yay!

4. Grown up only time at least 6 times a year hmm...I believe this one may take some gymnastics to count. I can only think of maybe 2 times I needed a babysitter for something other than work (where I actually throw grown up only parties for a living...oh, irony) this year...and one was just last week. (One of the many downfalls of single parenthood. The guilt that is felt asking for a babysitter when you don't "need" one.) However, I feel like I hit the spirit of this goal because of the quality grown up time that did occur monthly with my not-so-girly girls. We would watch superhero and heist movies, cheer over the explosions and quick getaways, and eat pizza or some other hang out food. Meanwhile, the kids would fantastically entertain themselves for hours in the downstair playroom. Seriously a thing of beauty. So this one is tricky. It's funny actually because I have a grown up only event tomorrow night that is not for work and is with my friends. I get to dress up, get a fancy dinner, and try my hardest not to be socially awkward. I'm so excited! 

5. Get Mom to Italy YES! YES! YES! She moved to Rome in October. So much of my year (and past couple, honestly) have been so focused on this goal that it has been a large vacuum since she's been gone. Not just her. I do miss her. But it was all the planning and creating and fundraising and social media-ing and ghost writing and editing and everything else that stopped when she left. On one hand a welcome break, on the other...I need a project.

6. Cook at least once a week. Eat at home at least 3 days a week. I think this may have lasted a month maybe. I did try to re-calibrate our lives multiple times through the year to get us to this. It was definitely touch and go but we did do better than the year before. I've already all January's menu and purchased large qualities of meat (okay, let's be honest, 3-5 lbs) that have been repackaged into smaller bags and put in our new (to us) deep freezer that we received when mom left. 

7. Have 35 minutes a week of quiet God time FAIL. I may have had 35 minutes of quiet God time this year. However, as L has grown so has our bedtime Bible readings. We read through a fantastic children's Bible this year. It really covered a lot and would remind me of stories I've known for years but surprise me with stories I'd long forgotten. We are currently reading an odd family devotional. I don't like it. I miss reading the actual Bible stories. L was baptized this year and got his "Holy Bible." It is one of his prized possessions. He wants to just read that. I love the idea but am admittedly stuck so to what book is the safest to start in for a smart 6 year old. 

8. Be laptop free one night a week Be laptop free two night this year? maybe. Well, actually I've probably been laptop free much more than that. However with my cellphone, TV, and now our Kindle Fire, it is VERY hard for me to keep my hands & focus off of technology. 

9. Have 4 no technology days a year I think I hit 2. They definitely weren't planned. My cellphone died and I switched companies this year so I think that's a day. And, perhaps, I had a tech free day at camp. I did have tech free hours. I would forget my phone or let my batteries die. Those were so fantastic hours. However, I always felt naked and would get most frustrated because I couldn't take pictures. Perhaps I need to go back to carrying a real camera...ha. That's so laughable. 1. Dragging a camera? no. 2. I can't instantly send them to Instagram and/or Shutterfly.  3. I'm out of space on my 7+ year old laptop. Actually, that reminds we there may be some technology free days in my near future, simply because I'm too poor to replace my Macbook. 

10. Get healthier: walk more, lose at least 10 lbs, and go to the doctor FAIL! This was the first time since college (2007 or 2008) that I had insurance. I STILL didn't go to the doctor. ugh. I didn't lose 10 lbs. I gained about 15! However, I did walk more in the second half of the year. This is probably the goal that I'm most disappointed in myself about. 

Okay so that sums up 2014:

Goals Achieved: (2, 3, 5)
Goals Better Than Expected: (4)
Goals Could Be Counted: (6)
Goals Definitely Not Good: (8,9)
Goals Failed: 3 (1, 7,10)

Time to move onto 2015 resolution's list.

This list will live on my macbook home screen on a translucent Sticky note all year. It will hopefully spur me on! You will notice this list is longer. There is never a particular reason to the number of resolution. Some years, I just have more life editing that I need to pull together. This year is clearly one of them. 15 for 2015.

In 2015, I resolve to:

1. Lose 3 lbs a month (or the equivalent by the end of the year) Look at 2014 #10. You understand. This is necessary!

2. Clear all games from my cellphone (except solitaire) Also, looking over last year, I need to take away my digital distractions. 

3. Clean out (at least) 2 boxes a month from my room There are a lot of great things my mom left behind. The piles and piles of boxes of stuff in my room is not one of them. My room is suffocating me and spreading. I need to get this place under control before a full depression sets in. seriously. It's gross. 

4. Not let dishes set longer than a week If you know me in real life, you know I HATE dishes. Perhaps if I make this a goal, I will heed the advice of everyone around me. 

5. Get on a stage again: improv, storytelling, stand up,... This has been missing from my life. I miss the stage everyday. I miss my outlet. I miss the energy of the audience. I miss tapping into my truest, though often hidden these days, asset of humor and storytelling. 

6. Reconnect with friends - find my place and my voice again Because so much of 2014 was focused on my moving Mom out, I stopped focusing on my own relationships that I had here in the city. I need to refind my niche among my friends. The few, random times I'm with them now I just feel clumsy, out of place, and incredibly awkward. I find myself quiet, afraid of not being PC enough or simply being an annoyance. I know that that can't possibly me true but I've let too many people make me feel that way over the past couple years. It's time to find my voice again and use it. 

7. Surround myself with positive people and personally stay positive  (do 100 Days of Happy three times) In missing my core friends, I have allowed negativity to become the laughable norm. This needs to end. In 2014, I did the 100 DAys of Happy experiment. It was wonderful. I want to do this again in 2015. Actually I want to do it 3 times. I want to leave breaks to reflect between each. I want to use those break to check in with myself and others. Am I being more positive? Am I embracing the world with gratitude? Hopefully there will be a measurable difference by December 31st. 

8. Work toward legal permeance of L (pray, talk to people in the know pray, repeat) This is easily the most delicate of all the resolutions. However, it's on the list because I need to think of this as a goal. We are coming up on 3 years. What an incredible journey it's been. However, we both need something more permeant. I can feel it. He can feel it. It is my prayer this year that his bio family will also feel it. We love them but this needs to be official. We really want to plan a trip to Italy. I really want to be able to imagine a world past 1st grade. Something changed in 2014. He started calling me "Mom." It has been beautiful. It has been heart wrenching. 

9. Create something every month (sew, cook a big meal, paint, write) Inspired by the Creator, I need to create.

10. Travel somewhere new and/or take L to the beach Traveling is one of my very favorite things. I haven't left the tri-state since I got L. I'm going a bit stir crazy. "The beach" is basically the only thing on my 6 year old's bucket list. He needs sand and he needs the ocean. I don't need either of those things, but I need to make that happen. 

11. Spend less money eating out (Go out for lunch no more than 3 times in a week!) This has contributed a lot this year to my widening waistline and dwindling wallet. I absolutely love my co-workers and we talk a lot of shop at lunch but I can't do it everyday anymore. I need to be strong enough to not fold in this resolution this year. 

12. Not eat french fries This sounds silly but I was reminded lately of fact that I did this about a decade ago. Back then I did it just to see if I could. Now I want to see if I can do it again. Even the fastest of fast food restaurants now offer alternatives. There is no reason to put little grease sticks my mouth. 

13. Not get on my laptop until L goes to bed  Sadly, this one may be the hardest of the whole year. I always whine about the limited amount of time we have together everyday and then find myself on facebook. ridiculous. It has become such a habit. This habit needs to be broken.  

14. Read, study, and consider one minor prophet each month I want to personally tackle the minor prophets this year. There are 12. There are 12 months. I want to read and reread each one for a month. I know there are a few, like Jonah, I've read a lot, but then there ones like, Obadiah, I've skimmed at best. 

15. Be open to love. Okay, this one is admittedly cheesy. I refuse to say "fall in love in 2015." That is not something I can control. Therefore, it is not something I can resolve to do. However, I can resolve to be more open. The older I get, the farther into parenting I go, the more I want a partner at my side. I started last year with hope. Halfway through the year, the hope was dashed. At the end of the year, it is sometimes hard to remember the beginning and so I got mopey. I start this year again with hope. Not the hope of a particular person, like last year, but the hope that there is a person and I that I will find him. 

Okay, if you are still reading this far you are simply amazing. All of these new ones go into a effect on Sunday, January 4th. (Wait, what?) I still have one more family Christmas to attend so I refuse to start any weight loss until after all the cookies are consumed. :)

Thanks friends. I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store. What are your resolutions?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I've been meaning to write here a lot lately. In fact, I've pulled up this screen several times of the past few days.  But it all seems so trite.

I want to write about everything.
I want to savor each funny story and silly saying.
I want to include inside jokes that sadly I've already forgotten.
I want to brag on L to future L and let him know how simply amazing he is.
I want to hide it all and not write a thing and personally, selfishly hold on to every moment.

Today marks the 167th day of our life together.
167 days of silliness, learning, and creating.
167 days of grumpy pants, Farty McFarts, tickle fights, those perfect preschool laughs, and those heart breaking cries.

I hurt him today. His first "serious" injury since moving in and I did it. (Before you get too worried the "serious" pain ended up lasting only about 20 minutes and it is nothing a pack of frozen peas, a band aid, and a caramel apple couldn't fix.)

We were driving home from Aldi around 7:30. It was late but I'd picked up Taco Bell. that should have been an omen.  The sun had gone down and the autumn chill was taking a hold. He had his window down. We had been talking about this off and on for the 15 minute journey home.

"I'm starting to get chilly. Can you please roll up your window?"
"I'm not chilly."
"Yes, but I am. Can you please roll it up?"
"Uh...not yet"

We were about 2 blocks from home, I glanced back and I rolled up his window. Oh, the joys of electric windows. He immediately got mad and started to roll it back down. "Why did you roll it up? I'm not ready for it to be up?"

"We are almost home. Just leave it up. Leave it alone." I shot back as I hit the child window lock (I've learned to do this to protect my window from going on a carousal ride, as this is an argument that is often had) and rolled the window back up.

I didn't look back.

I just rolled up the window.

I didn't know he had stuck his finger out in that split second!

Now, obviously this isn't the worst thing I could do to the poor kid. I didn't shut his fingers in the door. I didn't... I didn't... (I don't even want to think/talk about other options.) I have friends who had terrible things happen to their children. Sadly, sometimes even at their own (accidental) hands. And I know we had nothing close to that.

But we did have blood. And tears. And that silence right before the big wail. And me wondering if I was a bad parent for driving the rest of the block instead of immediately stopping and looking at the damage. And me parking, jumping out of the car, grabbing the freshly bought frozen chicken nuggets and wrapping the package around his precious finger as I quickly escorted him inside.

In 167 days I have not once questioned the existence God. I have thanked Him. I have been amazed by Him. I have praised Him. I have pleaded with Him. But not once have I really wondered if He was there.  (I suppose this now makes you wonder if I did before. Of course, I did. I'm human. I struggled with this particular topic immensely while living in Chicago.) The Lord is my Rock, on which I depend. I cry out and He answers. Our needs have been miraculously met.

On nights like this, I'm left again in awe of God's timing in all of this. Not in the finger smash. that's silly. in ALL of THIS.

I have L at a time when I am surrounded by my friends. I barely see my friends, but they have me surrounded. The best example of that is the family I share my house with. They have the downstairs apartment. We are up. It just so happens I've known them for almost a decade. They are some of my closest friends. They also have a daughter. They also have had a lot of stupid parent errors. They also have had a lot of stupid human errors. In fact, the husband of the family recently smashed his finger. I mean SMASHED his finger. badly. Four months later and he still doesn't have full feeling.

They were home when I crashed through their door this evening with a wailing child. Deryck knew how to make L feel better. "It's going to hurt but you will be okay. Look at mine..." He knew how to make me feel better, "It's not broken. a car window isn't strong enough to break through bone. It's just nerves."

God is good.

He knew what I needed. He knows what I need.

And for 167 days I've had it.
For 167 days I've been a parent.
And I am so glad this adventure gets to continue.

I am so in love with this life.
I am so in love with this boy.
I am so in love with this God.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nomad No More?

I think of this blog quite frequently. (Obviously more than the sporadic posts let on.) However, I must admit that I often get overwhelmed when I think of writing here. This was my blog to allow the world to follow my crazy SuperTrip adventure. It was focus on a life in a 2003 Ford Focus. It focused on a girl seeing as much of the world as she could and then trying to find her place in it. She thought she would find her place during that adventure. When she, I, didn't, it was sort of hard to continue writing here. Who wants to read the daring adventures of the (wo)man-child who lives at her mother's and watching MeTV all day? no one. 

If you've continued to read past the SuperTrip, it becomes pretty evident that I couldn't find my footing after the trip. I don't mean in life (well, of course, I mean in life, but not only in life), but here in the blog. I went from to posting about awesome sights and crazy side trips to getting political to becoming obsessed with Pinterest and trying to create a DIY blog. (For record, my mom is so NOT a fan of the DIY blogs.)

So where does that leave us? 

I considered a name change. But "Nomad No More" was taken by a guy who hasn't written since 2005. bummer. 

I considered shutting down this blog completely. Uh. no. 

And then tonight, after months (and months and months) of consideration, it hit me: I'm still a nomad. 

Though God has blessed me with an incredible city, an incredible apartment, an incredible job, and an incredible, incredible, incredible circle of friends, to the point that I feel stable, secure, and (though it makes this commitaphobe shiver a little) even settled, I've been realizing that my adventure isn't over. 

God has an amazing sense of humor and timing. 

Just when things were getting boring and routine, I got a phone call.

Long story very, very short: I now am the legal guardian of a 4 year old little boy until August 19th. 

The words "boring," "routine," and even "dull" never get used around my charming apartment anymore. Instead I wake up and have no idea what is going to happen each day. And I LOVE it!

God is good.

The nomadic life returns. 

This blog will continue to follow my nomadic journey, it just might be more kid centric for the next few months. :)

After all this world isn't my home anyway, I'm still just a traveler, stopping here and there, following my Leader doing what He tells me to do. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

DIY: Shrunken Head Cider

Welcome, friends, to my first ever DIY blog post.

My favorite treat that I made for my Pinterest inspired Halloween party was Shrunken Head Cider. I'd love to show you all how I made it!

This particular recipe I actually found on Martha It was so easy and fun that I want to create new reasons to serve Shrunken Heads. Ha!

Anyway without further ado, here is my pictorial presentation of this "recipe."

Step 1: Gather your ingredients:

  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 8 large Granny Smith apples

Step 2: preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Yep, you heard me right. 250

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

(Confession: I had never used parchment paper until this weekend and now I'm hooked!)

Step 3: Mix up the salt and lemon juice into a bowl. You'll use it later.

Step 4: take an apple out of the bag and peel it.

Step 5: Core and cut the peeled apple in half.

At this point it's important to stare at the apple.

Go ahead and stare, I'll wait....

Are you staring?


Now ask the apple a simple question. "Apple, what kind of face would you like to have?"
Sure, it seems silly but each apple sort of gives way to different faces.

Step 6: Cut the apple into a face.

I used all kinds of different things to carve the faces: paring knife, mellon baller, cookie dough scoop, etc...

Confession #3: I'm kind of obsessive. Each face had to be different. Each face had to be fun. Each face had to be "perfect." I definitely failed at the last goal, but thankfully there is magic in a little self-forgiveness every now and again.

The key is have fun.

Remember every cut line will show up when they shrink. But as our old friend, Bob Ross, used to say, "We don't have mistakes here, we just have happy accidents."

Step 7: Throw your cut apple into the lemon juice and salt mixture for at least one minute.

This really helps stop/get rid of the browning. It's actually quite magical to watch the brown disappear.

I liked to fill up the core with the lemon juice mix and then flip it and let the other soak for awhile.

Step 8: After they have soaked long enough (normally the time it takes to peel, core, and cut the two faces into the next apple), then let the excess salty lemon juice drip off on some paper towels.

Step 9: Place your apple faces on the parchment paper and place in the oven.

Step 10: Wait.

Perhaps work on your next craft. Or watch an episode or two of Psych, like I did.

Because the temperature is so low, it takes quite awhile. Martha says 90 minutes. Mine were much closer to the 2 hour mark.

They are done when they start to brown up in all the right places. Martha also says they are supposed to be dry. I don't think mine were ever really dry. Perhaps I should have upped the temp a smidge. The oven I was using isn't particularly known for being a stable source of heat.

Step 11: Take them out and enjoy. Marvel at their adorableness.

Step 12: My party wasn't until least 24 hours later so I decided to freeze mine. I just stacked them in a little container and put parchment paper between each layer. They were perfect when they came out the next day. perfect.

Step 13 (!): Float them in your cider! It's so fun and simply spooky. :)

I just mixed a gallon of Kroger cider and one can of frozen lemonade concentrate in a crock pot and set it on low. It was quite a hit at the party!

Delicious & fun = perfection!

I hope you enjoyed my DIY. Next time I'm importing all the pictures first. Ugh...that was a pain. Anyway, see you next time cyber world.

PS. A special shout-out to my friends whole let this nomad use their kitchen: you guys are the best!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Still a Wanderer

It's been quite a well still I last updated the cyber world on my life location.

I suppose in a lot of ways I'm still in the same place. Instead living on my mom's couch, I'm now living on a mattress in my best friend's parents house. Instead of working a temporary job at the local high school, Wednesday I begin temporary work at the local museum. Instead of the flatlands of northcentral Indiana, I'm now in the beautiful hills of southwestern Ohio.

Ah, but life is different.

I'm back in Cincinnati. It may not be my hometown but it is my heart-town.

I chose Cincinnati 10 years ago to be the location where I would start my life when I began attending Cincinnati Christian University as an overconfident freshmen who was set out to take the world by storm.

I returned 10 years later as a barely confident, single, childless woman with no great world domination to speak of, who sees the magical number 30 a little more each day.

However, since my less-than-triumphal return, things have definitely been looking up. It's much easier to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when you are in a constantly bustling city surrounded by good friends and fresh ideas. This is a place where you can feel something is around the corner. There is no room to wallow in self-pity and self-inflicted self-defeat. There is too much "self" in that. Here is about others. There is always a place to pitch in. Help a friend. Help a neighbor. Help a stranger.

I have been focusing on embracing where I am in life:

Am I single? I enjoy it! I can travel and explore and change plans at a second's notice.

Am I childless? I babysit my friends kids. Most of them are happy for the break. And I'm happy for the kid time. I still really miss my boys in Chicago. It's been a over year and they are still forever embedded into my mind and soul. Thankfully there are some adorable distractions here in this community. (I should take a moment here and state the obvious: I know that being childless at 28 does not mean I will be forever or even that I'm weird or whatever. However, at this moment all of my friends, sans one girl, are in committed relationships, married, pregnant, and/or already a parent.)

Am I, for lack of a better phrase, barely-confident? I am starting to put myself out there again. I'm trying to remember what I am good at and focus on that. When did I get so off track? I'm starting to realize that every hero has this downturn part in their story. Where would Joseph have been if he whined about the unfairness about his time in jail and sat pouting in the corner of his cell the entire time instead of interpreting the dreams of his cell mates? Where would Moses have been if he kept grazing sheep when he ran away from Egypt instead of heading over and checking out the burning bush? Where would Peter have been if he hid from Jesus after denying him instead of jumping out the boat and swimming toward land the moment he saw him? Sometimes I forget it's all a part of the ultimate story. I feel like I'm running out of time. That's the biggest lie I keeping believing. I get swept up in the crappy part of the story I'm currently in and forget that even in the dumb parts, there are bright moments of foreshadowing. I can't possibly know yet which part is the foreshadowing. The story isn't over. When I remember these simple truths, my confidence returns and I am ready to face whatever the world throws at me next.

Now that I've realized what's going on/where I am in the story. It's time to move the plot forward. I've been being reprogramming myself to do just that. The number one way to do that is Time management. The hardest thing about being unemployed for a long time is not letting yourself become a vegetable. It's really easy to do nothing but watch tv shows on Hulu, stalk wonderful craft ideas on Pinterest, and play dumb internet games like the Sims on Facebook. (not like I've done any of those, fine, in the past hour...) I'm now trying to create daily schedules for myself to ensure I use this time to enjoy the opportunity I've been given. So I schedule things like "go outside and sit on a blanket for an hour" (seriously, best October weather in years!) or "take your camera and shoot a place you've always wanted to document" (Cincinnati has amazing stuff to capture!) or "create something for someone else." This leads into my second step in moving the plot forward: create!

In the past month, one of my close friends has begun calling me "Martha Stewart" a lot. Ha! Let's not kid ourselves, I'm no where near Martha's level. Nor do I want to be. (that lady scares me) However, I realized if I'm not currently creating on stage, I do still need to be creating somewhere. I am an artist and I need the outlet. It's been crazy. I've made everything from t-shirts to surprise Christmas presents. Last night, I threw a huge halloween party and made everything (aside from the witches' hats) for it! yes, yes, I'm insane. Thankfully, my friends and little sister are amazing and helped where they could. Seriously, the menu: mini mummy dogs, skeleton & coffin dip, pumpkin dip inside a pumpkin, sugar cookies, ghost pretzel rods, witches hats, worms, broken glass cupcakes, shrunken head cider, blood punch and spiders in the ice cubes! I also created over half of the decorations: specimen jars, mummified pumpkin, vampire pumpkins, and skeleton guess jar. Perhaps sitting around on Pinterest is helpful after all. haha!

Well this, per my usual, is getting long. Perhaps I'll post a few how-to blogs. I did take pictures along the way. And then my camera died....just as my party started...d'oh!

See you next time, cyber friends and random internet stalkers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Deliverer Is Coming...

Dear friends,

I began this blog in the fall as a way for all of you to follow my escapades as I drove across America. I loved almost every second that road trip. I loved that I was able to experience America in a whole new way. I was able to take pictures, both with my camera and my mind, that will forever connect me to the spots I had traveled. I read an article about something in Idaho and I see Idaho. I watch a news program about a bomber in Spokane, and my mind takes me to Spokane. I watch TMZ and recognize most of the filming locations as places I've walked around, eaten at, or tried (unsuccessfully, I'll happily admit) to also stalk famous people. Heck, I play Oregon Trail and now know exactly how far it is from Ohio to Oregon. (Thankfully, I never had to caulk my wagon and try to ford a river hoping that little Timmy was rested up enough after the snake bite that we wouldn't lose him but only 2 sets of clothes!)

Mostly, though, I've loved this blog because I was able to take you with me. I know that you don't have all the same tangible memories that I have but maybe I was able to tell you enough about something that you are able to identify more as well. Maybe you now love Washington State a bit more because of my urging. Perhaps, you now want to visit Oregon and shop in their amazing sales-tax-free-ness.Or perhaps, you, like me, can now visualize a real buffalo when hunting on Oregon Trail. (too much Oregon Trail?)

In the same way, during this wintry doom that is upon us ("Snowpocalypse 2011," if you will) my mind instantly goes from worrying about the blizzard in Chicago to the ice fields of Indianapolis and Cincinnati.


Because I've lived there. I know the cities. I know the people. I worry for friends. I worry for strangers. I worry for the homeless. I know what the cities are. I know that, as good ol' Midwestern cities, they are relatively used to and definitely know how to brace themselves for weather such as this. I've received photos from friends and family of inches of ice, feet of snow, and empty store shelves. I'm sure this is not much unlike your experience. (Even if it's not, it now can be...after all, you care about me, right? well, I'm stuck right in the middle of Chicago and Cincinnati with 6 inches of ice, snow, and our friend sleet. ugh.)

We know these places because we've been there. Our hearts break because we care personally about the welfare of the citizens and the land of the places that we have come to love.

I'm writing all this not to remind you of those places that you are attached to, but to tell you, once again, from a personal point of view, of another place that I love, I have seen with my own eyes and that I am heart broken over:


In the fall of 2009, my mom and I had the unlikely opportunity to travel to land of the Pharaohs and stay for 3 weeks. We visited Cairo to marvel at the pyramids, experience the Cairo museum, and have dinner on the Nile. We ran played ultimate, real life Frogger as we ran across lanes of unyielding traffic. We hung out with Bedouins (one even offered my mom camels in exchange for my hand). We got to know Cairo. Now, I cannot say that we fell in love with Cairo. We saw a lot of corruption. We were worried for those we got to know.

After a few days in Cairo, we went to Alexandria. Here was we really got to know Egyptians. Sure, we took in the sites in Alex too, like the Library and the bazaars. But here we got to know Egyptians. We got to go on crazy car rides. We got eat dinner with new friends. We got to pray together and play together. I learned a few silly phrases and even picked up the nickname "magnoona" which translates to "crazy." haha. It was a good time. There were a small group (4-5) of guys I befriended.

Last night, I saw one of those friends on the news. He was carrying a sign protesting. Knowing that it was risky, I sent him a message on the computer last night saying that I saw him and that we are praying.

This morning I got a response:
"yah (my name) plz pray for egypt and for us this is hard days no safe at all at all"

And so, I'm sending that message on to you. Please pray. Please pray for Egypt. Pray for my friends. Pray for the country I have seen and walked on. Pray for the country that you have read about here, online, and in your Bible.

I don't know what is right here. I don't know if the president should step down. I don't know if democracy would be better. I don't know much about this. But I do know the One who does. I do know the One who has heard cries from Egypt before. I know that we need to petition before Him to have His will done.

Egypt can be a scary place. It doesn't have to be. But I can tell you, that Egypt falls to the Brotherhood, it won't just be Egpyt that is a scary place. Egypt will just be a launching pad for much worse things. Please pray. Pray for the Egyptians. Pray for the Coptic Christians in Egypt. Pray that they can bring Light to this dark time.

When I first came back from Egypt, I posted these lyrics from Rich Mullins on my old blog as they resounded with me in a way they never had before. I'm going to post them now, because, hopefully they'll resound the same way with you...

Joseph took his wife and her child and they went to Africa
To escape the rage of a deadly king
There along the banks of the Nile,
Jesus listened to the song
That the captive children used to sing
They were singin'

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

Through a dry and thirsty land, water from the Kenyon heights
Pours itself out of Lake Sangra's broken heart
There in the Sahara winds Jesus heard the whole world cry
For the healing that would flow from His own scars
The world was singing

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

He will never break His promise - He has written it upon the sky

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

I will never doubt His promise though I doubt my heart, I doubt my eyes

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by

He will never break His promise
though the stars should break faith with the sky

My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming.

**I know this isn't my typical lighthearted, silly post. It's a little political. It's a little religious. It calls for drawing lines in the sand and praying to the the God of the Universe who knows and understands. I don't normally do things like this but enough is enough. I can't sit by anymore. Please join me in prayer.