Friday, December 28, 2012

Dare I Voice Thoughts About Les Mis?

Do I dare? You bet!

If you haven't seen Les Miserables, you don't have to read this. You could go watch the trailer instead. Don't ever say I didn't give you options.

I'd like to break this down by character and comment on both the person development and the musical ability in one fell swoop. If you don't like the way I do it, then do it yourself...unless you haven't seen the movie, because that would just be futile. So in that case, you can read someone else's opinion. Options.

Jean Valjean: Hugh Jackman did a GREAT job. I think the adjusted lyrics and the added songs really helped portray the depth of his transformation, his fear of Javert, and his love for Cosette. His singing was good...not as good as a theater performance, but for an actor who sings, very satisfying.
The final scene when he dies {oops, spoiler alert!} was beautiful. Perfection.

Javert: Ugh. First of all, I am a Russell Crowe fan. Most of the time. But not here. He seemed really stiff, which I guess is a part of Javert's character, but he just fell short of showing any depth. It seemed that Crowe had recently had Botox and could not move his face. Also, the singing was so disappointing. Javert usually has the best voice of the entire cast, but Crowe's was weak. His two solos were very weak and airy, instead of deep, strong, and intense. In terms of character, there were two distinct moments where I thought the moviemakers did it wrong. First, after the barricade has fallen and the bodies are lying out, Javert bends down and puts his badge on Gavroche. Totally out of character! Javert loves the law; there is no mercy or sympathy in the law. Bad form. Secondly, when Javert catches Valjean exiting the sewer with Marius and Javert threatens to shoot and then doesn't, that scene is weak and doesn't fully portray what's happening in either character.

Fantine: Hello. If you haven't heard yet, Anne Hathaway stole the show. Wow. Amazing. Everything about her performance was incredible. I love that what we watched and what we heard so complemented and completed each other. We see her being thrown out onto the streets, we see her sell herself in order to aid her child, and we hear her regret and still her love for her child. Wow. It was all incredible.

The Thenardiers: The fact that these two made me uncomfortable whenever they were on screen tells me that they did a marvelous job. The Master of the House song made me cringe several times, and I must commend the cinematography for adding things that are simply impossible to add in an on-stage performance. Well done. Singing was great, characters were great, make-up and costumes were perfect, and the details were right.

Cosette: Cosette didn't have as much screen-time as I thought she would have, but it was alright. We didn't see her too much or too little. I think her character development assumed just a little that you were familiar with the story, but I liked how she kept asking Valjean about his past because she had never been told. Her voice was very warbley {nice word, eh?} but since it was consistently warbley, I'm going to give the film makers the benefit of the doubt that they wanted it that way.

Marius: Let's go visual then audio. DANG. Attractive. British. Moving on.
Singing was iffy until his solo after the barricades. That sealed the deal for me; well done! In earlier songs, I was disappointed that Marius sang and would usually end with a high note, or he would sing in a higher octave than the theater actors. But Empty Chairs at Empty Tables completely transformed the way I thought of his singing, because he got that song right. I really liked the scene between Marius and Valjean when the latter tells the former of his criminal past and then leaves to protect Cosette. That scene was well done; Marius matured in that scene.

Eponine: My favorite character. The actress is the same Eponine on stage, so the singing was of course fabulous. I thought they did a great job showing her infatuation with Marius and how she loved him and he took it as friendship or teasing. During Eponine's solo On My Own, I thought the music overtook her voice, which was not necessary for her. It helped Javert's solos, but the music should enhance, not overwhelm Eponine's voice. However, the scenery was great during that song, and other times it was nice to have a movie set instead of the limited theater set.

Other items: This film encompassed many more details than either film or theater productions have done in the past, and as someone who has read the unabridged book, I really appreciated those!
The sets were incredible. There is so much more you can do with a movie set, and they went all out, but they still managed to keep the feel of theater. I don't know if that's cinematography or the sets themselves, but I loved it.
Costumes were gorgeous. Make-up was fabulous.
The minor characters were all perfect. The priest who initiated the change in Valjean was wonderful in both voice and character. The revolutionary boys were perfect; they acted and sang beautifully. The women in the factory with Fantine allowed more depth into the scene, which was fantastic. The common people who sang At the End of the Day really portrayed to a new level what they were living in, in such a way that can only be done in the movies.

This is a stand-alone comment: it was interesting how during several of the solos, the camera would stay on the character's face for almost the duration of the song, sometimes with only short breaks or different angles. At first I thought it was for intensity, which is definitely true in I Dreamed a Dream, but then I thought it might be for a more theater-like experience; when the camera is continuously on the singer, there is more of a stage feel to it than a movie feel, simply because your focus is the character and the song and little else. If that's what the director was going for, cool. If not, well that's what happened, so yeah.

Alright, I'm done geeking out. I don't consider myself to be either a movie buff or a theater buff, but I do consider myself a Les Miserables fan{atic?} and I had to process these thoughts somehow. And I'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you agree with me or not? What would you change if you were making the film? Do you like the stage or the film version{s} better {and what have you seen before this?}?

Happy Friday!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Funny Friday

Tonight my family is going out to our favorite downtown area. We will enjoy a dinner of tapas {Spain's dinner style} and then ride the merry-go-round. There might also be shopping involved; it depends on Dad's tolerance for all things female :)

Anyway, my sisters and I usually ask "how fancy is it?" and then we ask "what time do we have to leave?" and then we go and try on several outfits and raid each others' closets and take turns with the straightener and things like that. Sometimes we like to get Dad's opinion or advice on an outfit. This afternoon witnessed the following exchange:

Sister: Dad, what should I wear?
Dad: Clothes.
Sister: No, really, what should I wear?
Dad: I don't care.
Sister: Dad, really. Should I wear pants or a skirt?
Dad: Pants. I always wear pants. 


In the midst of all these going-ons, sometimes an article of clothing is misplaced. Voices are raised, fingers are pointed, drawers and closets are rummaged through, and Dad makes hysterical comments without even looking up from his book. He's been doing this father-daughters thing a long time. But I digress.

Sister: Guys! I'm missing my nice black shirt! Has anyone seen it?
*general silence reigns*
Sister {more urgently}: Sisters! This is my nice, long-sleeved, soft black shirt. Has anyone seen it?
Dad: Oh yeah, I think I wore that shirt for pajamas last night. 

Anyway, that's my Funny Friday. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What to Say, What to Say

For my fellow bloggers out there, do you ever struggle with deciding what gets written and what stays private? I'm not talking about names and locations and things like that; security is important! I'm talking about  topics. What do you ponder in your heart and what do you process on the world wide web? What do you keep between you and God and what do you share with others? I'd love to hear ideas.

Today my lovely discipler and I met for coffee. Sarah disciples me, and it is the most incredible thing ever. She is so, so lovely and discerning, and her heart for the Lord just teems from her every word! When we meet, I catch her up on life and then sit back and listen; she is so wise and insightful, and she knows how to speak exactly to the core of a matter. I love her, and I love hearing the Lord's heart from her. So good.

She told me about love and how love is a sacrifice and love is sacrificial. Wow. Emotions and feelings are fine, but love is higher. Love cannot be wasted; love is an eternal investment.
let's just sit here and let that sink in...


Saturday, December 15, 2012

You Thought I Forgot...

Well, ladies and gentlemen, in the space of 12 days, I've lived in 3 states. Left my Midwest home with the grandparents and went to my Other Home in the South, spent a fabulous 10 days there, and then flew to my Home in the Northwest. Oh, and in case my body's time zones wasn't completely screwed up yet, I went to see the midnight showing of the Hobbit. Yup. Totes awesome.

At home, 3 of the 4 of us offspring are reunited under one roof. And we are raising said roof with laughter. Can I just say that I'm super grateful that my family likes each other and that we enjoy being together? This is not always true for everyone, and I'm glad it's true for my family most of the time. What's better than laughing with your sisters? So anyway, here are a few examples of the hysterical antics going on around here:

Scene: J is going to braid my hair. I'm in a text conversation but the phone is plugged in and is just out of reach.
Phone: *ring!*
Me: I've got a text.
J: Leave it and hold still.
Me: What if it's a marriage proposal?
J: Say no. Anyone who proposes over text is not worthy.

Scene: I'm working on a craft; it's a canvas with letters and glittery paper.
J: you should make that into confetti.
Me: that's weird...but let me try it.
*a few minutes later, I have made it into confetti.*
Me: J, come and look at this!
J: that's not what I was going for.
Me: I didn't ask for your opinion; I told you to look at it.
J: *raises her eyebrows* oooooh, ahhhh.

There will be more antics as soon as Sister E gets home tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Beyond Freaking Excited

Well, dear readers, tomorrow I take a little plane ride {two, actually} and arrive in my Other Home. Heck to the yeah. I'll be there tomorrow through Tuesday the 11th, so I don't think you should expect anything from me. Not here, not facebook. Probably tons of pictures on insta.gram, so watch out! :)
In the spirit of Christmas and giving and keeping resolutions, I will try to post extra once I'm in my Original Home. Also, I will try to post some pictures from life in the past few months.
Anyhow, it is now time to focus on work and not how freaking excited I am to go to my Other Home. Holy smokes. Been counting down basically since I left. Bought the ticket about 3 months ago. Counted down days for about a month. Started counting hours with AJ last night {LESS THAN 36!!!}. Yeah. I'm excited. But I'm not getting paid to be excited. I'm paid to work. So hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go. Peace out!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Variety

My friend L and I played Hand and Foot earlier this evening, and now I am thinking about how variety really is the spice of life. I know, this is random, but stay with me! I personally enjoy my Other Home’s version of Hand and Foot {speaking of, AJ, add that to the list! almost 5 days!!!} while my bio family plays their version. L plays Kanasta, another variation. Any my friend Jessie plays an extreme version of H&F.
But think if we all played the same version. What if all the rules were the same? There would be no laughter, no dialogue about “this is how we do it”, no hmm, I like my way better but I’ll be nice and play your way moments. There would be no give and take. Granted, there would also be a more level playing field {sorry, L!}, but even when L hesitated to ask me a question in the first round, she still beat me at the end of Round 3. So there. The point is moot.

In other news, I get to see my dad tomorrow!! He’s actually probably at the airport right now, and in the morning I will be picking him up. The company I work for asked him to come and be a part of their company SWOT, which I think is super cool. So in less than 12 hours, Hello Dad!
Also in other news, I’ll be in my Other Home in practically 5 days!!! Right now it’s 5 days and 90 minutes, but if you count my flight landing at close to 7pm, then it’s…less than that! It’s after 10pm; please don’t expect the mathematical part of my brain to be on right now.
And more other news: BBC’s show “Miranda” is hysterical. I literally laugh out loud multiple times every single episode. There can be some innuendos and some not-so-veiled innuendos, but other than that, it’s a hoot. I love it. My family first discovered it when we were in Spain, because there were only 10 English-speaking channels and you gotta do what you gotta do. But we loved it, and I think it is, as the mother character always says, “such fun!”
Final news: it is time for Bek to say goodnight. Peace out, homeboys.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Back! Or, a crazy crafty week

Anyone catch that line from “You’ve Got Mail”? Anyone? AJ, I know you did. That’s why we’re bosom friends and why I’m going to see you in 8 days! :)
Anywho, it is officially the start of the holiday season! Ok, technically yesterday was the start since it was the first holiday of the season, so let me rephrase. It’s officially Christmastime!!!!!! Holla!
I don’t know about you, but even before this week I’ve been shopping a bit with my shopoholic grandmother, and I’ve actually purchased or made quite a few gifts already this year. So many that I needed to make a list so that I didn’t miss anyone or double up unintentionally.
Does anyone else have that one friend that you never know what to get them, but you know you should get them something because they need to know you love and appreciate them even if you disagree on the fundamentals of life?? Well, I have that friend, and I decided that I would make her something funny…something unusual…something that is slightly awkward but I think her sense of humor is just right for it. I made her a beard. Yes.  A beard. I crocheted it; I did not grow one myself and then give it to her. Yuck times two {one for me growing a beard and one for me giving her that beard}. So I crocheted it, and found that it is like the easiest pattern EVER, and that’s saying a lot because I only pretend to know how to follow patterns, but this one I actually did follow. Phew!
the moral of the story is, since I liked making one beard so much, I wanted to make more. But for whom??? I can’t walk around wearing a crocheted beard-I have a normal-person job. {I should have discovered this pattern while I was in school, like I dyed my hair pink while in school.} But then I thought, boys!!! My friend has a few sons who are not old enough to grow beards; how cute and fun would that be to make beards for her sons! Score!
Ladies and gentlemen, I crocheted 6 beards in less than a week. Bam. That’s a) how easy the pattern is and b) how obsessed I was this week.
Two items of business follow: one the link to the pattern: right here!!! two: a picture. well, as soon as my friend(s) try on their beards and let me take a picture, you’ll see that picture. So gimme a couple weeks. :)

Well, now I only have 2 more gifts that I want to make; however, the vast majority of my yarn is at home-home, so I will have to whip some things out when I get there… speaking of which, THE HOBBIT will be in theaters in 4 weeks. Actually, 3 weeks, 6 days, and just enough hours to get to the midnight showing :D In case you’ve been living under a stupid rock {Harvard Sailing Team reference-for you, stalker sis}, you.tube the trailer and start living your life! Augh!!
Well, it’s lunchtime the day after Thanksgiving- cold turkey, here I come!
PS- I’m grateful for YOU, readers! I know you’re reading this because a) you like me or b) you’re incredibly bored, but either way, I’m happy you’re here!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday’s Travels

Alright, just to bring everyone up to speed- the office I work at most days of the week is in the Big City {relative to its surroundings, I must note}. One day of the week, however, I venture on a 50-mile journey to the office that is affectionately known as “the Farm.” It really is a farm, and a home, and offices to like 3 different companies. Tuesday is usually the day I go to the Farm, hence the title, Tuesday’s Travels.
So today I drove myself out there {usually my boss and I carpool} and while on this lovely little trip, I started to think about all the funny and wonderful and odd things that occur along the way.
For instance, at least once each direction, I smell money. And by this, I mean that I smell cow poo. told you it was wonderful.
Something else that’s wonderful is that I found a station that is playing Christmas music already!!!! AND it doesn’t get static-y way out on the Farm! Have to say, I can’t stand a radio with static. So this is a double blessing.
Another wonderful thing is the view. Now, y’all know that I love my mountains, and the Midwest isn’t exactly known for its mountainous terrain, but these sunrises and sunsets out here are pretty magnificent. I’m biased and think that the only thing that could make it better is a snow-capped mountain nearby, but for a flat-ish countryside, the view is spectacular. If you follow me on insta.gram, you saw the pic I shared this evening, although the picture looks kinda yellow-ish and the sky was really a glorious pink-purple. Alas, technology.
Finally, what is better at the end of a long trip and a long day at the Farm? Grandpa’s waffles. Oh yes. With peanut butter. and strawberries. mmmmhmmm.
on that happy note, I bid you goodnight. it’s ok to dream about waffles. Grandpa doesn’t mind.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday’s Post on Tuesday

Ok, I’m a day late. Yesterday was my day of rest. I apologize for all the hurt feelings out there. Which I’m sure total up to like 2. Including mine. So yeah.
Enough of self-deprecating humor and slams on this blog! Get on with Monday’s post on Tuesday!
Ok, as promised:
  • our butler: Lewis was our office’s butler, and he was awesome. He is from Porto Rico and used to play volleyball. Now he walks around a hotel in a suit and makes sure that guests are taken care of.
  • book signing: another gal and I worked a booth at the expo hall handing out books to the attendees, and hysterically we offered to sign the books. So a couple people took us up on our offers. The best was a guy who was picking up a book for his friend and he asked us to sign it to “baby daddy” or something like that. I signed it “Happy reading, Studmuffin!” and called it good.
  • fruit leathers and their imposters: I asked Lewis for some fruit leathers. You know, the natural fruit that is squished together and looks like a tongue or something else that’s gross? Well, Lewis had never heard of it, so I tried to describe it to him and said “it’s grown-up fruit roll-ups!” So the next day, he brought me a box of variety: gushers, fruit rollups, and some other fruit-sugar-squished creation. Oh well. Good effort, Lewis!
And that was my week. SO glad to be home with my grandparents again!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Post for the Week

In an effort to post this week in keeping with my resolution, I am posting to tell you that I will be posting more on Monday. I know, it's lame. But I've been working an event all week in the Sunshine State {at least, I think this is the Sunshine State. Sister who knows everything would know. Or I could google it, I suppose. But like I said, I've been working...}. The moral of the story is, I will tell you all about this event as soon as it's over. As in, on Monday, when I'm home. So hold tight.

Just to make this an actual post, here are some topic teasers:
  • our butler
  • book signings
  • fruit leathers and their imposters
See, this will be a good post! Just wait for it :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Funny Friday

Just to spice up life, here is a great snippet of a conversation between me and Dad. We are discussing airlines and he wants to see if he can give me some status. That's what we've just been talking about...

Dad: Well, I'll see if I can figure that out before you get back from Podunk.

Me: Podunk? Orlando? {I leave tomorrow for a business trip there}

Dad: Yeah, Orlando.

Me: Dad, Orlando isn't Podunk. Mickey Mouse lives there.

Dad: Mickey lives in California and he visits Florida when there aren't hurricanes.



Thanks, Dad, for that heart-warming conversation. Right after Hurricane Sandy. I love my dad.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday’s Somethings

Well, here are the random thoughts going through my head this weekend…

1. going to Target makes me want to get my own house and buy out the store.
2. I want to see if I can crochet a square on the diagonal. it just might work, but first I have to finish a graduation scarf for my roomie! read her blog right here Did I mention she’s graduating!?!?!? holla!
3. my bff and her family are quickly losing their grandfather, her dad’s dad. It’s super hard, and I feel bad because I’m not there with her right now. but I’m praying for her, and I’m sure she’d appreciate it you prayed too! read about her awesome grandparents here
4. um oh yeah, this is my 250th post. woot! this means that I’ve been blogging for…quite some time. I was gonna say however many years, but I think that it’s only this year that I started consistently posting. but still, 250 is a big one, so yay words! :)
5. the other night I got to talk to my bosom friend AJ, and golly talking to her fills me with joy! I get to see her almost next month, which means in a little over 30 days, which means I can hardly stand the month of november! and while we were talking, her hubby and son came home from men’s meeting, and she handed the phone to her son {who happens to be one of my FAVORITE kids ever} and omg he sounded like a little man!!! when I left just a few months ago, he was a little boy; I feel like he’s already hit puberty or something! haha.

oh, btw, I think that “puberty” is one of the UGLIEST words ever. I mean, come on. it means something awkward, is only used in uncomfortable situations, and what good word starts with the “pyou” sound!?!?!? none. there. I said it.

but anyhow, I adore AJ and her whole fam, and I am totes excited to see everyone SOON!!!!!

6. my grandparents continue to crack me up. grandpa is always talking about how his next wife is going to be a 27 year old red-head. Grammie is always saying “see what I have to put up with?” and Grandpa replies “hey, I’m a nice guy. if you don’t believe me, just ask me.” too cute.
7. at work, I am becoming fast friends with Laurie. she’s pretty awesome, if you ask me. she just got back from 2 years in China, studying and sharing the love of Jesus, and now she’s involved in a ministry to international…people {I’d say students, but not all of them are students, so they’re people} and I've gone with her twice now, and it’s amazing and I’m super glad to be friends with her. plus she has a sweet apartment and we watched Downton Abbey there, so you know we’re practically soul mates :)
8. when I came out to live with my grandparents, I left my nail polish at home, and since I've been here {and because Grammie only has pink polish….as in, everything is a shade of light pink. ev. ery. thing. } I've bought 4 nails polishes. the first was NYC brand, and it’s royal purple and it was fab. the paint doesn't go on super smoothly, but it stays on, and the color is great. I just took that off this morning after a week. tomorrow I’m going to try one of my Sinful Colors polishes- $0.99 each! score! if you follow me on insta.gram, you saw that happy purchase. if not, well, wait till I’m home and then come over and we’ll paint our nails!

I hope everyone is proud of me for making myself wait a day to paint my nails, because nails need to breathe {although I thought that’s what lungs were for!} and so I gave my nails Saturday off. but with those awesome new colors, it was real hard. real hard.

9. since 9 is a multiple of 3, I thought I’d do a shout-out here to my 3rd-born sis who stalks me keeps up on my life by stalking reading this blog. Hey soul sister! Make good choices, don’t do drugs, just say no, don’t talk to strangers, and stay sober. the last one is courtesy of {drumroll!} you guess it: Grandpa. what a great life this is.

well, I’m off to watch Game Three of the World Series. Go baseball! :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Funny Friday

So I’m living with my grandparents, right? And let me tell you, they are hysterical. First of all, their love language is this weird, yelling, verbal obnoxious-ness but not really thing. Like Grammie bumps into Grandpa and he goes, “Hey! Hey! Excuse me, I didn’t mean to bump you.” Random, right? Only a couple who’s been married for almost 60 years can do that.

Grandpa is also the king of corny jokes. I think my best memory of him during my childhood is him telling my sisters and me this joke series:

Q: what does Batman do first thing in the morning?
A: He goes to the batroom.

Q: What’s the second thing Batman does in the morning?
A: He puts on his batrobe.

The other funny thing about Grandpa is that he does all the cooking and food prep in the house. As in, I come upstairs in the morning and he’s poured my cereal for me. Yup. I’m spoiled rotten. :)

Hope you enjoy this tidbit from my grandpa! :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weird and Awkward and What I’m Thinking About

Soooo in case the title doesn't give me away, the things I've been thinking about recently are weird and awkward, and if you don’t like personal hygiene issues, I suggest you come back tomorrow for Funny Friday :)

A friend wrote a blog post about natural deodorant, and it got me thinking. As most of you probably know by now, my grandpa has Alzheimer's and it’s awful. When I think about my generation growing old and wanting to kill themselves, this disease makes me understand {but this is another blog post forthcoming, so I won’t go there.} Anywho, I hope and pray that I don’t have to go through this disease, either with another loved one or with myself.

So when this blog post reminded me of the potential link between Alzheimer’s and the aluminum in antiperspirants, it got me thinking. Her post lists a lot of different options for aluminum-free deodorants, so I decided to try some.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not really into the “crunchy granola” stuff; natural is great and fine, but I figure I've been putting crap into and onto my body for a while and we all have to die eventually, so yeah. It’s not something I've been convicted on, but I can understand those who have that conviction. However, I do not want to mess with Alzheimer’s. No sir-ee-bob.

I know the studies aren't conclusive, and I’m getting in touch with some people who know more than me and/or who know people who know more than me, but I just thought that I would share the topic that has literally been consuming my thoughts for a while. I don’t want to sweat {or glisten, as ladies do} but I sure as hell don’t want Alzheimer’s a zillion times more. So I’m willing to experiment and give a few different products a whirl and see what works for me, for the sake of…peace of mind? my mind? the future?

am I giving into fear here? because if God is really in control, and He is, He can allow Alzheimer’s even if I never wear deodorant again, and He can prevent Alzheimer’s even if I drank aluminum from an aluminum can. but what about being smart and being a good steward and taking care of what God has given you and me?

I wear a seatbelt while in a vehicle, because it can help protect me. I’ve been in two car accidents while wearing one.

I take vitamins because they’re good for me and help protect my immune system {or rather help my immune system protect me!}. I still get sick sometimes.

What’s right here? is there a right or wrong? is it personal conviction? does the Word say anything about this?
****************************UPDATED 10-27-12*******************
I tried Tom’s of Maine natural deodorant for about a week and was totally not happy. ps I looked for a way to comment on the product on their website, but no luck. so just read this and know that it is ineffective.
Tom’s of Maine went away {back to Wal-Mart, lol} and I bought Arm & Hammer’s natural deo. Listen! do you hear the angelic chorus? because my pits do! wait, that’s gross…and impossible-armpits don’t have ears. moving on. I love it. so if you’re into stuff like this, give A & H a whirl.

oh, and a friend of a friend gave me a recipe for a natural deo, but it involved a) cooking your own and b) using your fingers to apply, neither of which did I look forward to with joy in my heart, so good ol Wally World came to the rescue again. yay deodorant! :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Questions

Lately I've been questioning my character. Internally, my thoughts turn to am I good enough? and do I obey God fully? and how do I make changes that last and re-do habits that are bad and how do I make myself obey God and live life fully?

These are questions that have no answers. I’m feeling desperate, like I've been held under water and my lungs are burning for oxygen. My life has been good so far, in terms of my behavior. It’s hard to explain what I feel and think. There are things that I know I should be doing, but instead I do the opposite. There are things I know I should stop doing, but instead I keep on doing them. What’s the verse where Paul basically describes my struggle? I know there’s one out there.

Going to start this internship and live with my grandparents could be a new start, but I’m discouraged and keep thinking that things will be just the same. My inside is not changing; only my environment will be different, so why would that motivate change? I guess there’s the hope of forming new habits as I form a new normal out there, but the negative voice in my head keeps discouraging me.

What do I do?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Busy, busy week!

So um wow! This week is super busy and it’s only Tuesday! Let’s review, and I’ll try to insert pictures when appropriate and available.

Sunday was good. Dad and I went to BLS {that’s Business Leadership School, based in Santa Rosa and carried out all over by facilitators} and then church service. Dad actually went home because he wasn’t feeling good {he has shingles! :-p } but Mom and Remaining Sister At Home came to church. The sermon was amazing. And then we came home, had some lunch, and then cleaned the downstairs. As in, took a huge box of books to HPB, moved furniture around, took a load to Goodwill, swept, threw stuff in the dump pile, rearranged more furniture, and then sat back and enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

Monday, I started training for my volunteer position at CareNet. This is a national network of crisis pregnancy clinics, and they just opened one less than 5 miles from my house! So I’m going through their training before I leave for my internship.

It was fun, and when it was over, I went to see my little Master’s Commission sister. That was great, and we went to TCBY, otherwise known as The Country’s Best Yogurt, and it was really good.

Then I met my bestie at the P & R and we took the bus downtown to go to a MLB game! What!?!? Bek going to a sporting event? Hey, the tickets were free and it was with friends. I’m not gonna say no to that! Enjoy the picture…

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There we are, enjoying our TWELFTH row seats!!! Yay, Samara’s job!

Today was more training and then a discipleship meeting. I love discipleship meetings. My discipler is incredible. She listens with such enthusiasm, and then responds with totally the heart of the Lord. She’s marvelous. And she’s gorgeous, a talented chef, a great mom, a fourth-grade teacher, and a wonderful friend. Oh, and she’s married to like the coolest British dude ever! Yeah, I’m blessed.

After dinner, phone date with AJ! Score! We caught up on life and news and stuff, and definitely plotted to change my plane ticket so I don’t end up leaving my Other Home…just kidding, Mom and Dad!

Tomorrow, another date with the bestie! We’re going to the “the-uh-tah” otherwise known as the theater. We’re going to see Memphis and this is supposed to be the best showing of it ever. I’m excited!

Thursday is another little date with Samara-Chinese food before carpooling to homegroup. This will be our last homegroup since some things in church are shifting, so it will be a bittersweet celebration.

Friday, my friend B and I are getting together to craft! We did it last weekend, and next week I’ll do a post on the fruits of our labor. Let’s just say, though, that I’m stocking up on canvases…

Saturday, I don’t know what is planned, but I’m sure it will be great.

Oh yeah, and I leave for my internship next Thursday, so that’s kinda why all these dates have been happening-because I’m leaving! But don’t worry~ I’m coming home for Christmas, and then will be done in February or March. So it’s not as long as college, and it’s not as far, and I’ll be living with my grandparents! So exciting. If you think of me, please pray that I find a church body that I can be transplanted into for this short time, and that my vehicle situation is worked out. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Message

I love the way the Message Bible puts things into phrases that most of us have never heard in Scripture. It feels like “street” Scripture to me, that any unchurched person off the streets could understand it. And I love that. As someone who has grown up in the Church, it’s refreshing to hear familiar verses in a new way, and to gain a deeper revelation from that same verse, just because it’s said in a different way.

All that being said, SheReadsTruth is going through Galatians. Here are a few of my favorite verses in the
Message translation.

2:16~ Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed the Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good.

2:19-21~ My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me.

3:11-12~ The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him.

Isn’t that great!? I heart the Message

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Belated Funny Friday

Today is Move-Out Day for one sister {and tomorrow is Move-Out Day for another} so here is just a couple quick laughs from this week.

The family went over to our grandparents’ and Grandma gave us all hankies that she used to use. She showed us a very pretty lace one and Grandpa looks at it and then at us with a confused yet witty grin:”Blow your nose with that, and then you have to wash your hand!”

Later at dinner, Grandma is making sure everyone has the drink they want, and Grandpa quips:”Water is good for bathing and for putting out fires, not for drinking.”

This morning before we leave for Move-Out Day, Dad is heading out the door.Nayn: “Dad, where are you going?”
Dad: “I’m going to the store to get you some wipes.”
Nayn: “Why?”
Dad: “Because you’re going to college.”

Alright, I have to go help my sisters move. Peace out!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Home again, home again

Wow. What a trip. What adventures, what family bonding, what shopping expeditions, what sights, what monuments, what sore feet, what stuffed suitcases, what long plane rides, and what jet lag. All so wonderful.
I don’t remember if I gave y’all the itinerary before, so let me show you some pictures in some semblance of order. I’ll probably have to go into much more detail {with more pictures} in a later post, but for now, we’ll do an overview.
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Sister Nayn and I flew to Amsterdam, then to Berlin on Monday-Tuesday. Amsterdam is where I first got out my camera, so ta-da!
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Here we are on the plane, about to land in Berlin!
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Prepare for landing!

We landed about 10:30am Berlin-time on Tuesday. We. were. wiped. But after only a short nap and a shower, our lovely hostess J was taking us out to see some of Berlin’s sights. We spent the week exploring this lovely, huge city. I’ll do a Berlin post soon!

On Saturday, we flew to Barcelona to meet the family. Unfortunately, my camera battery pooped out on me halfway through the week, and the charger did not fit into the converter J’s family had. So I had to wait until Sunday morning to charge up the battery; hence, the next picture I have is of Sunday’s sunset at sea.
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We had a day at sea, during which we slept in {lovely time change-grr!} and relaxed in our swimsuits. The next day we were in Napoli, and my family took a two-hour tour of Pompeii. Behold.
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Then we went back to Napoli to a) try an authentic Margarita pizza and b) shop.
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Our next stop was Rome. Sadly, there was a problem with our driver {as in, he never showed} and we ended up joining the masses on a bus tour. But we had good attitudes and were glad to be going somehow.
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Here we are waiting for our driver.

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Almost to Rome!

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My favorite part of Rome

The next day we were in Florence, and I confess: I did not bring my camera to Florence because I knew that a sister and I would be shopping for the majority of our visit, and that even when we were in the museum to see David, we couldn't take pictures. But to recompense, I will take pictures of my purchases from Florence :)

After Italy, we went to Cannes, France. My family decided to head a little bit away to Saint Paul de Vence, a medieval village on the top of a cliff. It was a really cute, artsy little town, and we got a lot of shopping done, much to my dad’s chagrin. But he really has no choice, with 5 women in the fam.

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Isn’t it quant?

After Saint Paul and Cannes, we went to Marseilles. My sister and I were really hoping to purchase a chess piece. Not a set, but just a piece. From The Count of Monte Cristo. Yeah, we didn't find any chess kings for sale. But my other sister bought a ton of clothes! Didn't take my camera that day either, because who needs a camera to go shopping? Not this chick.

That was our last stop with the cruise; the next day we were back in Barcelona. And then we toured Barcelona! It was really fun; the two main highlights for me was the Church of the Holy Family that has been being built for 140 years! The following pictures just don’t do it justice.
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This is one fa├žade of the church.

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Coming around to the other side.

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The side depicting the Nativity-note the Christmas tree above and the manger scene below.

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La Sagrada Familia- the Holy Family

After this extensive tour, we checked into our hotel, took showers, and attempted to get to sleep sharing a bed. As in, the 4 of us “children” were sharing a bed. Yup. Guess how much sleep we all got.

But it didn't matter, because the next day we got on an airplane to Malaga {southern Spain} and we arrived at our condo and got into our swimsuits and relaxed by the pool. All week. Well, we went to Gibraltar one day, but other than that, I took no pictures. We were at the beach, the pool, or inside choosing from the 10 English channels on the t.v. It was delightful, and I am so glad to have ended with the relaxing week.

It was a marvelous vacation, and I’m so, so grateful. My parents and sisters and I worked hard to be able to do this together, and I’m so glad we did. We had our window of opportunity and we took it. Yesterday, the day we woke up in our own beds, one sister started college. This Saturday is the baby sister’s orientation into the Master’s Commission AND the second sister’s move-in day at her new college, two-and-a-half hours north of home. I’m so glad all I have to do is move across the hall. :)

It’s good to be home!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Funny Monday

Well, there’s a long explanation but the story is funny, especially if you even remotely know my family.

We’re sitting around the dinner table, all 6 of us, which is rare and awesome. Mom wants to examine the new MC ring of our just-graduated sister. They redesigned the rings this year, and it looks more like a signet than….than what they looked like before. So someone joked “don’t want to meet you in a dark alley with that ring on!” and the youngest sister responds, “you’re supposed to hit people with your knuckles, not with the flat part of your hands, because that doesn’t hurt as much.”

Dad joins in, “actually, you’re not supposed to use your fists to hit someone…”

Mom jumps in “yeah, just use a baseball bat!”

Oh, Mother…. you can always count on her to be both wise and witty in any situation.

Oh yeah, I’m leaving today. AUGHSLDJV;NLSFV;LSADKDJF;AKHJ;ALKFJ;SOADF that was my excitement typing. And on that note, I bid you adieu.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Week

In one week, my sister and I will be in Berlin, Germany. WHAT!?!!? Crazy, right?? We leave on Monday and arrive on Tuesday- yay, long international flights! But hey, the journey is part of the destination, right? Or something corny like that. Oh, ps, this trip means I probably won’t be able to keep up posting, so please forgive me in advance, and I’ll a) see if I can schedule posts ahead of time, and b) show you lots of pictures afterwards.

Before we leave, our other sister graduates from Master’s Commission. Woot! This weekend is filled with festivities for her class, which means we need to pack beforehand!

After we get back, all 3 of my sisters will be moving! One will be moving up to college; one will be moving back home; and one will be moving somewhere in our church community to start Master’s Commission.

Thank God the only moving I have to do is across the hallway!

So I’ll be getting my own room and it has built-in bookshelves on the top half of one wall…what should I do with them?? I was thinking of painting the vertical part of them, so there’s something fun to look at when I take a book off the shelf… I was also thinking of putting contact paper (am I thinking of the right thing?) down on the horizontal part of the shelf just so there’s something funky there. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

Also, I told you a while ago that I bought a frame from Goodwill. Well, what should I do with it??? I was thinking  of combining a couple craft ideas and putting magazine pieces inside the frame, with or without paint on it, and then using the glass as a note-writing board. Or maybe using chalk paint? Or making a magnetic frame… let me see if I can find pictures to show you…


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               source

The first one is what I’m leaning towards doing, only inside a frame instead of on a canvas, and I’m not sure if I would put the stencil over it or not. Thoughts? Votes?

In closing, I’m going to go to bed and re-read Persuasion. Again. Because I love it. Sigh. Captain Wentworth is my man.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Restless

Tonight I want to go for a run, and rearrange my room, and paint something, and maybe crochet something, and still finish my book, and practice my piano, and paint my nails, and it’s almost 10pm for the love of Pete!
But I’m restless… do you ever get that way, where you feel like you have to do something in order to not go crazy? Or is that just me?

It might be related to having sugar after dinner-crack popcorn gets me every time. And it might be related to the fact that today was such a beautiful day that I wanted to read in my swimsuit instead of sweat and run around the track. It is probably related to the fact that I’m going to an arbitration on Thursday for the lovely MVA a couple years ago. And it is definitely related to Family Camp starting tomorrow.

I’ll tell you what I am going to do tonight: I am going to listen to this song on repeat and write a cover letter for an internship I’m applying for. Shoot, maybe I will paint my nails. That is multi-tasking, my friends.
Alright. I’m off. Thanks for listening to my restless ramblings.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Draft


Like many Americans, I have a few television shows that I watch regularly. And like most Americans, that means that I make these shows a priority. I wouldn’t call myself an addict or obsessed or anything too extreme, but I make sure that the family is done with dinner and dishes in time for the show.
My family’s top show is The Closer produced by TNT. The show stars Kyra Sedgwick as Chief Brenda Johnson of the LAPD. Like most crime shows, there are dead bodies and bad guys and guns and general excitement, excitement that has made this show a highly-rated one.
While watching, with many other Americans, the highly-anticipated last six episodes of The Closer, I was struck by how fiercely the characters fought for life. These fictitious law enforcers made every effort to not kill bad guys, to make deals with them so that victims could be saved and death row could be avoided. Now, I recognize that these are made-up stories written by people who want their show to succeed, but they also have an agenda; they are promoting their ideals whether we are aware of it or not.
Let me bring in something seemingly unrelated, and I promise to tie them together. I am taking a business course right now from a Christian organization. The book we are reading is explaining the single-generation mindset of our economic system’s founder, John Maynard Keynes. Keynes was a homosexual who had no thought of the next generation; hence, our “have it now, pay for it later” generation and ensuing economic struggles. The author of the book points out the connection between our economic situation and our morals. Abortion is the epitome of single-generation living. Abortion thinks only of the here and now, not of the future. No wonder our economy is so bad and our nation is on its knees.
So let’s go back to The Closer and let’s tie these two concepts together. Ironically, like the ultimate problem is solved, this connection was made most clear to me in the finale of the show and in the premiere of the follow-up show. As Chief Johnson moves positions and Captain Raydar steps up, my conclusion was revealed. Capt. Raydar focuses on getting criminals sentenced, and the first sentencing she does puts a prisoner away for life instead of the death penalty. But one of her subordinates complains that she settled for his conviction instead of his execution because it saved the city money. Let’s think about the parallels in this fictional television show and the very real state of our nation: life and death come down to economics. What saves us money now? Putting criminals in jail instead of executing them. What else saves us money now? Aborting our children instead of raising them. What is more expensive long-term? The caring for of life-long prisoners. What else is more expensive long-term? Depression, breast cancer, difficulty carrying a full-term pregnancy, suicide, and all the other risks increased by abortion; this is not to mention a diminished work force, and let’s not even get into the culture of death pervading this nation.
**EDIT: What really gets to me is the fact that in today's society, life and death are decided by economics. How has it come to this, that we value life based on revenue? In a sad, sardonic way, our society is consistent: we abort our young and euthanize our old because it is more "economically feasible" to have them die. Have morals become so far removed? Or is our deception that complete?**
If you’ve read a few Bound4Life posts, I’m sure you’re familiar with all the ways Planned Parenthood deceives and bullies organizations into continual funding. I am not ignorant of the link between our nation’s moral compass, the nation’s largest abortion provider, and our national economic crisis. I would simply like to point out yet another connection, drawing from our entertainment sector, and I would like to encourage you to pray, even more fervently, for our nation.
Jesus, I plead Your Blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America!


please tell me what you think of this post! Give me everything-grammatical, content, point, details. Was I clear? Do I need more? Less? Please, tell me your thoughts! Thank you!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fail Blog

I know, I know. Fail. Oh well. I figure, this is what, the third time in this whole year? Sometimes a girl just has to live her life without technology, ok?
Speaking of which, I just went a week without a phone. Gasp. Lurch. Faint. Yup. My little phon-o kicked the bucket, so I had to send for a new one. Hopefully this will be the one that lasts. Third time’s the charm, right?
So I got a camera for graduation, right? Wanna see some of the b-e-a-utiful pictures that it takes!? Of course you do!
Feast your eyes…
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Aren’t these fab??? I totes feel like a tourist, much to the embarrassment of my sisters, walking around our home city with a camera around my neck. But hey, this is a gorgeous camera and it takes gorgeous pictures and we live in a gorgeous city- what’s not to like?
So there you have it!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Total Trust

Yesterday my sister and I visited the library of our childhood. It is uniquely situated over a river, and my family has many fond memories of walking (or biking or stroller-ing) along the river walk to the library. The joke in the family is that my sister J always, always ended up in the river, no matter what. In fact, she ended up in any body of water nearby, be it a puddle, lake, or river. {Later she joined swim team and excelled- we know why!}

While my sis and I looked at the river yesterday, I noted how fast the current was, and I considered how my mom willingly, regularly, took her 4 daughters on a walk next to this river, knowing that at least one of them was going in, and I wondered if I would let my children in or near the river. Then the thought came to me, well, It trust God… and I wondered if I trusted God to not let anything bad happen….or if I trusted Him no matter what happened. See the difference? One thought says that nothing bad will happen because I trust God, and the other thought says that no matter what happens, good or bad, I will continue to trust God.
Like in the river. Will I let my kids play in the river because I trust that nothing bad will happen to them, or do I let them play in the river because no matter what happens, I’m choosing to trust God?

Just a thought as I get closer to the heart of God.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

All Across the Board in August

Wow. It’s the second day of August already. Dang!

Ok, so we’re gonna go crazy on this post. Just kidding. Actually not. I’m just going to hit you with a bunch of stuff and you can recover and read it later. Ha. Sorta.

First off, I ordered 2 swimsuits tonight! Woot! One of them is my favorite; I think I've had the same cut for the past 5 years. I love it. Come on, girls, how many swimsuits are there that are flattering, modest, and fabulous? Not that many, so let’s stick with a good thing, eh? And on that note, I actually ordered one that was a different cut. Oh, irony, there you are!

Best part? S-A-L-E! Score! Ok, pictures aren't working right now, but I’m sure I’ll have some once they get here.

Secondly, I am in love with this song. Ohhhhemgeeeee!
Steffany Frizzell, anyone? I hadn't heard of her that much, only through Bethel Music, but this morning, discovery! Really loving this song!

Thirdly, and warning, we’re switching gears into serious, how do I bond with my introvert, private, different-than-me-like-night-is-day sister??? Especially when we haven’t lived together (besides the 2-month summer breaks) for the past 3 years, and won’t for another 2 years (she’s going off to college in the fall)?? We’ll be good, and then suddenly we’re not. I don’t know how to prove that I've matured, and we have different schedules so we don’t have a lot of hang-out time. Plus, quality time is my main love language {proof in this post} and she is definitely more introverted and has a limit to the amount of time she can spend with people. Sigh. What to do, what to do.

Fourthly, less serious now, I’m making slippers! What! That’s right; I’m crocheting slippers for my friend E {she’s the hysterical one talking about Downton Abbey on Funny Friday}and if I do say so myself, they look fabulous. Well, it looks fabulous. I’m only done with one. But I’m working on the second one. Check out the pic!

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You can check out the website for instructions, but hers are kind of confusing if you don’t know the stitch {ahem, like me} and I personally you.tubed it and that made a lot more sense. Also, she sews, and I was like, um, I crochet. I hate needles. I will find a way around the sewing! and I did. So that’s my soapbox/pat on the back.

Oh, and if you would like me to make a pair for you, 1) get in line! :) and 2) just leave a comment and we’ll chat.

Alright. First post of August = done. Hope you can recover ;)
peace out, yo

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hesitating

Some of you may know that I was praying about going to DC to work with Bound4Life and pray to end abortion. Well, I emailed several times with a gal there, and basically they are cementing their full-time staff this year and are praying about starting an internship of sorts in the next few years. This means that right now, they don’t have a place for me. But when I mentioned to the gal that I’m interested in writing for their blog, she told me to write a post and send it, and we’ll see from there.

I've been hesitating to write a blog post for them, and although I tell myself it’s because I’m waiting to articulate my thoughts on a topic that hasn't been recently written about, it’s really because I’m scared to write something and send it to them. I don’t even know if I’m scared of being rejected; I think it’s more scared of putting myself out there. Which is ridiculous, if you know me, because I’m pretty out there. Maybe it’s because I won’t be there to “defend” my work, or because you guys know my voice and are like, “yeah that’s totes what Bek sounds like” but these guys won’t know what I sound like and might think “this chick is a nut case!”

So what do I do? I feel like I should write something, and I have the ideas of a post swirling…
I was going to end that sentence with “fear is holding me back” but that’s not true. As this cool p.interest picture says, fear is a liar.



So I’m going to write a post, and send it in, and I’ll let you know how it goes. Shoot, I might even post it here and let you all comment on it before I send it in. But I think admitting that I’m afraid and then realizing that I have no reason to be afraid {and realizing how stupid my fears are!} has made me determined to write something. It doesn't have to be a freaking 25 page expose. It just needs to be me writing from my heart and my passion, and not being afraid to share it. Bam. Watch out, world!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Heaven is rejoicing

…and on earth we celebrate God’s victory.

Yesterday, Pastor Dennis Trout went to be with Jesus. How sweet for him! And yet here we can only say that we wish we had more time with him.

His legacy is immense-just look at the Facebook page set up for family and friends. 9 out of 10 posts I see are to that page, and this morning it was almost every single post focused on his life, legacy, and eternal life with Jesus.

Pastor Dennis and his lovely wife Linda

But I’m not going to look at Facebook to determine this great man’s legacy. I look to the fruit of his life.

Pastor Dennis was {what an awful word-was…so final and past-tense} our Marriage and Family pastor, basketball coach, Biblical Ethics teacher, and those are just some of his official titles. So to examine his legacy, I look at the fruit.

  • practically everyone who has been married at our church has gone through PT’s courtship questions and premarital counseling, and many many people have had him tell their story during their wedding.
  • it amazes me how many young men he coached on and off the basketball court! On the facebook page for him, most of the young men addressed him as Coach, and they thanked him for coaching them in life; basketball was only a small aspect of what he trained these men in.
  • ahh, 11th grade Ethics class. I remember feeling trepidation on my first day of 11th grade, because I did not know what to expect from PT’s class, and I had heard that he was a hard teacher! But that class ended up being my favorite class {it’s everyone’s favorite, I think!} and Pastor Trout is so endearing. 

He wrote a “Passion Prayer” that each student in the class had to “perform” with all their hearts-yelling, dancing, jumping, etc- and preferably in an accent. Oh, the humiliation. But afterwards, I think we all realized that we as a class were more closely bonded {who wouldn’t be after that experience!?}, and Pastor Trout taught us more seriously about the passion we all should have in our lives.



Pastor Dennis, I know you’re dancing with Jesus right now, and I’m so happy for you, that you are healed and that you are seeing the face of God, the face that you represented so well to us. I’m sad for myself, that I won’t hear you call me Deborah for a while. I’m so, so thankful for everything you are and for your passion. It was not in vain, and I pray that the coming generations can live up to your example. I love you, PT!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday’s Torture

I’m trying to exercise every day. Already you know about my running endeavors. Well, I decided that I should also strengthen my arms and my abs {what girl doesn't think she needs this?!} so I've been actually doing exercises from P.interest. Wait, you didn't know you could do those? Yup. It’s true.

sorry for the sarcasm. I guess endorphins make me a smart-aleck… actually not. that’s natural.

So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite exercises. And by favorites, I mean the ones that I hate the most but know they’re good for me. Oh, paradox.

So for abs, here’s what I've been doing.



this is not me, and I don’t think it’s the blog author either… just some random chick who guides us through the exercises. whatevs. the full work out is here for your viewing pleasure. wow I really am a smart aleck when I exercise.

Also for your abs, pick your 5 favorite songs and burn the butter!



I did this one today, and literally broke a sweat. I know, ladies don’t sweat; they glisten, but I was working out like a beast and I actually sweated. What. Now.

Finally, for your arms, anyone ever heard of Tracy Anderson? Me neither, but after today I would not want to meet her in a dark alley. Here is her under-8-minute arm workout. I’d cuss, but this blog is supposed to be like PG or whatever, so I’ll just say dang. Here's the video of torture.

I have nothing else to say. It hurts to type. And I have to go for a run, because ya gotta get your cardio in! Oh, speaking of cardio, here’s on more regime that I think would be awesome but am too scared to attempt.
Here is a dare for you. Let me know how it turns out. I wish you luck.

And just for fun, here’s some motivation (also from P.interest).



sometimes I feel like this….



my new motto :)

And with that, I’m choosing to feel sore tomorrow…or today…more likely both. Anyway, cheers!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Follow-Through Post

Ok, my first left-ya-hanging item is from this post in January. I said I would tell you what Jesus had been speaking to me at that time.

Well, I’m looking back in my journal as we speak, folks. Let’s see: Jesus was speaking a lot of vision and destiny into my heart at that time, because I was wondering if I was meant to make my Other Home my permanent Home, and Jesus told me that “there will be goodbyes and see-you-laters and hello-agains.”
Wow. God told me all that, months before I would even need it! Thank You, Jesus!!!

Second: this post in March. Sacrifice, especially regarding the products we purchase and what companies do with their revenue. Please check out this and this site {you might have to click something at the bottom of the second link to continue to the correct page}, and please consider this letter to businesses that support Planned Parenthood. Also, if you really want, I can post my last research paper on the subject of de-funding Planned Parenthood. Maybe I’ll do that if someone requests it. Now it’s all you, readers! But seriously, let us consider where our money goes and what products go into us. There are some vaccines and other household, consumable products that have aborted babies in them. What!? I’d say “yuck” but that doesn't even begin to describe my disgust and sadness. Check out this website for more information on things like that.

I actually think that I've been ok with following through on things. Pictures are the only things that are really lacking here. So, my next post will {hopefully} include pictures of 1- my dulcimer and 2- my craft that I made with my friend and finished and brought home today!!!

Oh, speaking of crafts, this same friend and I went to Good.will and brought home some treasures. Like a wooden picture frame for $0.50 and a vase for $0.69 and a cheese grater!!! for $0.69!!!! Shut up shut up I spent less than $3 on these treasures! Pictures coming soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ok, more details

I think I can do this without crying. So here goes.

During the last week of June, my dog Sugar kinda collapsed on her way out the door with my sister. She lay on the porch for a couple minutes, and then was fine and went on the walk. {we found out later that was Heart Attack #1}

On July 2nd, my mom and sis were out on the back porch and Sugar was in the back yard. Another dog jumped into my neighbor’s yard {Sugar has very few doggie friends, I should add} and Sugar went craaaazy barking ferociously and scaring the strange dog away. Mom went out to shoo the other dog away, and when she turned back to our own yard, Sugar was lying belly-up on the ground. She was able to roll over, but couldn't lift her head for like 5 minutes. {Heart Attack #2}

Before I go on, let me say that Sugar was still jumping the back fence like a month ago. Yes, my 14-year-old dog was jumping the fence and roaming the neighborhood like she was in her right mind. A couple years ago, it was a common occurrence for a neighbor/co-worker who lives down the street to call and say “Sugar’s at my house. Want me to bring her back?” and one of us would walk the 3 blocks and go bring her back. We almost expected her to be waiting for us on the front porch even though we left her on a leash in the backyard. It was a family joke that the neighbor kids would come over and ask “Can Sugar come out and play?” because she knew them better than we did.

So the fact that Sugar couldn't lift her head clued us in that something was wrong.

I went to Florida with my friend, and one night when I called home, I noticed my mom sounded like she had a stuffy nose. I asked her if she was sick, and she told me that she had been crying. I was like, uh-oh. what’s up? and she told me that Sugar had been coughing and wheezing and the vet said she had fluid in her lungs. Poor baby.

When I got home, she wasn't coughing anymore, but the medicine the vet had given her to get the fluid out of her lungs was basically a dehydrator and she had lost like 5lbs of water-weight. She was skiiiiinny! Like, homeless skinny. And then Mom tells me she hadn't eaten in 4 days. So the dog was drinking a ton and eating nothing, and not moving very much. {note: I refer to her as “the dog” as a term of endearment. I called her that to her face, just so you know.}

Oh yeah, before the coughing thing, we didn't know if she would survive the 4th of July, because she hates fireworks. Now, some dogs hate fireworks and go hide from them. Sugar hates fireworks and tries to out-volume them with her barking. Yeah. That kind of hate.

So after the two heart incidents, Mom and J took her to the vet 1- to check her out and 2- to get basically tranquilizer drugs for her. The vet told them that Sugar had a heart murmur and basically the two “episodes” were heart attacks, and only half her heart was working. So, the tranquilizers might kill her if we gave them to her, or the barking and excitement from the fireworks might kill her if we didn't give them to her, or she could be fine and last another year. awesome.

We ended up giving her half of a pill and she survived. {I wasn't there for this, so this is second-hand.} But she was really, really mellow after that.

The weekend after the 4th, we wanted to go to our beach cabin. Dad and J literally put Sugar on her rug and carried the rug to the back of the van where her kennel was. This kind of freaked me out, because when Sugar was healthy, she hated being carried or lifted or anything. So when she just looked and Dad and J as they precariously carried her to the van, I knew that something was really, really wrong.

My sis P was in Toronto at the time, working for good old Microsoft. My mom told me that Friday we were hoping Sugar lasted until Sunday so P could say goodbye, and then we were going to put her down on Monday. The end really was near. But it was nearer than we thought.

Saturday, Mom, Dad, J and I are at the beach cabin. Sugar had done pretty well; she had walked around with one of her few doggie friends Grappa {he’s Italian-it’s pronounced “GRAW-puh”} and then she basically lay around. We had guests over, and Mom took them out in the kayaks. I was helping put the last kayak away when I saw J and Dad looking under the front porch, Sugar’s favorite spot where she had been the past couple hours, and then I heard J start to cry, hard, and Dad got up and hugged her. That was when I knew.

Our guests graciously offered to leave, so Mom took them to the ferry while Dad, J, our neighbor and I started to dig a grave for Sugar. Grappa is the second dog our neighbors had; Bailey was their first, and he is buried in their field. Bailey and Sugar basically were best doggie friends; Sugar was the only dog Bailey liked. So our neighbors graciously offered to let us bury Sugar next to Bailey. It took us a couple hours to mow and weed wack and dig, but we got it done, and then the 4 of us buried Sugar and thanked God for the good life she had spent with us.

It was so, so hard to realize that she was dead, and it was harder to think about telling my other 2 sisters.

But on Sunday, we went home and sat down as a family and told them, and we cried together and are good.

It’s hard, and weird sometimes to think that we don’t have a dog anymore, but we are grateful for many things involving this whole situation.

  1. She died naturally, in her favorite spot, at home. Because of this, we were able to bury her and will be able to go see her grave if we want.
  2. She wasn't in any pain; it was her heart that went, and that was that. 
  3. It was a very short time between her first heart attack and her death. She didn't suffer and she was herself up until the very end. We literally would get asked “how old is your puppy?” when we took her on walks. So, so grateful for all the time she had with us.
  4. I’m especially glad we didn't have to put her down because a, we would have continually wondered if she had more time left, and b, Sugar hated going to the vet! I’m glad she was comfortable when she died.
This may be really weird for some of my readers, that I’m detailing all this here. Well, first let me say that I am not one of those yay-animals people that is a fan of the animal shelter commercials with the sappy music. Please. Animals are animals, and humans are humans. Check out the Bible for more details on that.

I wanted to document this for a couple reasons. One, it’s cathartic for me to write it all out. It’s helped me get it out of my head, in a sense. My favorite math teacher always told me to get stuff out of my head and “let the paper do the thinking.” So that’s basically what I’m doing with this story.   Two, typing is way faster than me handwriting it. There, that’s the selfish reason. But it relates to my third reason, which is that I do want to remember what happened and how it happened, and I want to remember all the things I’m grateful for involving Sugar’s death. Four, it helped me put things in perspective. Sugar was our family pet and it is sad that we lost her. But at the same time, she’s a dog. I sometimes felt stupid for crying so much over a dog- how do I justify that? It’s not like she’s a person in my immediate family who died, but that’s what it felt like.
So I’m writing about this to get my feelings out.

It kinda seems like I’m contradicting myself, that “she was just a dog” so I wrote a whole blog post about her? What??? It doesn't make sense, I admit. I don’t even understand myself. But I know that this post has helped me, just in writing it, and that in a way I’m getting closure. When I first told you that Sugar had died, I alluded to more details to come. And for the rest of the week, from writing that to writing this, I would think of Sugar or blogging, and I would feel like I needed to finish this story. So now that it’s written out, I have fulfilled my obligations to you, my readers, and to myself, because the tale {terrible timing for a pun, right?} has been told.
Here’s a picture of Sugar just a few weeks before her first heart attack. She was being lazy this time, so I got her lying down. Isn’t she totes adorbs? IMG_20120604_130720
so awkward just lying there. silly dog.

Anyway, so I kinda segued into this: I mentioned last post that I want to make sure I've kept my word and actually told you about the things that I didn't finish telling you about. Like the secret project I was working on, or stuff like that. So today I’ll be going through my posts from this year and making sure I followed through. Look for Follow-Through Posts next week!

Monday, July 16, 2012

the post that I don’t want to write

Alright, I’ll be honest. I've been putting of this post all day. Writing this post means accepting the truth, and the truth right now is painful.

My dog died on Saturday.

There, I said it. It’s real.

I mean, it’s been real since it happened, because she’s not there anymore. It was real this morning when I came back from my run and she wasn't lying in the living room waiting for me. It was real when I left for work and didn't have to leave the back door open so she could come in or go out. It was real this evening when I got home and she wasn't there. It was real when the family watched tv downstairs, and she wasn’t behind the tv sleeping and snoring.

But it doesn't feel real when I think of burying her. It feels…surreal. Imagined. Made up. It feels not real.
I want to do a little post for her, sharing my favorite memories about her, but it’s too raw right now.

Oh, speaking of things {on a lighter note} of what I want to do, I’m going to go re-read my previous blog posts from this past year, and if I've ever mentioned something but not gone back to explain it, or referenced something and said “I’ll come back to this” but haven’t, I’ll clear that up. Don’t want to leave you hanging!

And with that, I bid you goodnight.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

It’s Always Darkest Before the Dawn

Well, yesterday felt pretty dark, eh? True that. But you know what? God is still good, and He’s still the One in control, so why fret? {ps I think that “fret” is probably one of my favorite words to use.}

I found this lovely image yesterday and it is now my desktop.

surrender

It’s from the Kim Walker song {called I Surrender –shocking, ain’t it} off the album Here Is My Song. Check it out. It’s amazing. In fact, it’s so amazing that I’ll include a link to the youtube version. Be sure to check out the Spontaneous Song that goes with this one… more incredible, if that’s even possible.

So, in terms of life and stuff….

I’ve emailed some people at Bound4Life & JHOP-DC, and am waiting to hear back from them. Ironically, or not, the #shereadstruth for today was about Psalm 27 and waiting on the Lord. Why yes, that does seem to be a theme for me! God is so cool and funny and witty, even. Go, God!

Another happy note: I have a phone date with AJ!!!!!!!! Woot woot! I was so excited when I woke up this morning, and I get to talk to her in less than an hour! With the time difference, we had to coordinate around nap time and my work time, but we’re gonna do it and talk on the phone, but for realz!!! Ah. So excited.
Because of that phone call, I need to get dressed. No, she won’t be able to see me when we talk, but I have to leave for work right after our conversation, so I need to get ready now. Capice? Good. Peace out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What a Week

Thank God for those brief respites where you can sit back and think, a heck of a lot just happened in {however many days} and I’m just gonna sit her for a second…

As you know, I went on a road trip with my bestie last weekend. Then on Tuesday, another friend and I left for Orlando. It was a red-eye flight, but something made it better- at our layover, we got to see a friend! He’s in the Army and was on his way home! It was sooooo good to see him; I had been bummed that we were missing him by a day. But God is good, and we got to hang out for almost an hour while we waited for our connections. Thank You Jesus for surprise encounters!

So I just got back from Florida Monday night (as in, Tuesday morning) and yesterday went to work. For an hour. Then I came home and took a nap. :)

Some of you may know that I was working on my application for a job in Wash. D.C. Well, I found out yesterday that the position has been filled. Yup. No job there. So my dad and I were talking about it, and I started crying and I was like, Dad, I just don’t know what I’m doing anymore!  And Dad, being the wise, amazing dad that he is, said, you miss the structure of school. That’s all. You’ll get into the structure of home pretty soon. That was reassuring, a bit. But at the same time, I’m still disappointed that the position filled before I even had a chance. And then I’m mad at myself, because my original goal was to apply by the end of June, and I wonder if I had actually done that if I would have had a chance. But oh well. Those are “what-ifs” and I try not to play that game any more.

Yesterday, in my depression and upset-ed-ness, I kept thinking, I want to move back to my Other Home!!! and while part of that is true, I know that it’s really just me wanting to run away from tough situations here, and that moving is not for right now. But friends in my Other Home, know that I miss you all like craaaaazy and am praying about the right time to come back. Because oh yeah, that internship nearby? Not a guarantee. And I’m the type of person who likes to write things on my Life Calendar in permanent marker, not pencil, so hearing that was like, really? is nothing for sure??? And that makes me nervous and frustrated, and sad, because I don’t know when I’m going to see my Other Families again, and I’d love to curl up into a ball right now and sob my eyes out. But I have to go to work today, so I shouldn't. But you understand, I’m sure. Everyone’s been here, or is going to be here in this position, so I know I’m not alone.

Thank You Jesus for my parents and their wisdom.

Well, I don’t really have a strong conclusion to this post. Pray for me if you think of it, please. I appreciate it.
Hopefully I’ll have news by the next post. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#shereadstruth

I need to read the Word more. Let me be more explicit. I need to read the Word, period. And unfortunately, but hey, we’re gettin' real here, I think the best way for me to consistently get into the Word is by joining other people who are also getting into the Word. Some may say that’s accountability, but I look at my lack of motivation and think, something is wrong with my heart if I have to be able to instagram my Bible readings.

There’s nothing wrong with sharing your readings. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. But for me, that’s my motivation to read the Word, and that has my priorities messed up.

But still, a sermon comes to mind about this kind of thing. My pastor was speaking about worship and how sometimes we don’t  feel like worshiping, so we don’t. That’s disobedience, because the Lord commands us to worship Him, even when we don’t feel like it. Some would argue that “my heart’s not in it, so I shouldn't be fake,” but my pastor argues that the heart will follow; obedience is the immediate issue here. So my thought is to get on board with a daily reading plan, and yes, share journals and pictures, and yes, let the Word of God change my heart! Because obedience trumps motivation, even though it’s so so sad when my motivation is external. And selfish, because how lame am I, reading the Word so that my heart changes. That is a result of reading the Word, but that shouldn't be my motivation either! I need to read the Word because God tells me to!

This is where I’m at, friends. This is the honest state of Bek’s heart. And it’s ugly and shameful and gross, and you can now read all about it.

I’m not going to let pride get in the way of me encountering the Living God. So if I have to sign up for email reminders and post pictures on instagram to get me into the Word, then so be it, because I need God and nothing, not even my own stupid, circular arguments, is going to stand in my way.

whew.

So, on that note, I’ve joined #shereadstruth and if you follow me on the aforementioned instagram, you’ll begin to notice some hashtags.

And hopefully, no matter where we interact, you’ll also begin to notice some changes of heart. The Word of God has a tendency to do that…change lives and hearts.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wonderful Weekend!!!

This weekend was awesome. Wonderful, if you read the post title. Magnificent, if you want to go with an alliteration for Monday.

What was so awesome, wonderful, and magnificent about it? Let me tell you!

It started with Friday {as most weekends usually do}. I got to work from home in the morning, thus allowing me to accomplish several tasks at once {yay, laundry = multi-tasking!}. Around noon, my dear friend Dahlia {whom you met in our blog switch thingy here} arrived and what a reunion we had! We went shopping, shoe shopping specifically, and though we went to 4 different shoe stores, we purchased no shoes. But we did find some yummy-smelling body wash at Bath & Body Works, and I got a cute shirt from another store.

Anyway. We finished our shopping adventures and came home to get ready for a wedding! Our friend got married Friday evening, and it was a lovely ceremony and reception time. Dahlia had to go home {sad!} but my friends Jess and Katie went out to a late dinner with me afterwards, and that was so good to hang with them.

Saturday morning, my bff arrived at my house, and she and I and another of her friends drove south. for 3 hours. in a drizzle. It was quite fun. I had my new camera to play with, and play I did! The backseat is so great for creeper shots. hehehe.

We arrived at our destination, and first stop: a book store! Of course. My friends are literary nerds {self-admitted!} and English majors and British fanatics and of course we would go to a bookstore before checking into our hotel!

We did in fact check into our hotel, after a little adventure with the rooms and keys. I’m saving that for a Funny Friday post, so you’ll get it in a few days. Then we had another adventure, which you will also get on Friday, because they are just too great when you consider they happened in the space of an hour!

Anyway.

The whole reason we went on this little journey was to see our favorite and beloved Benedict Cumberbatch {aka Sherlock} in “Frankenstein.” Now, I must explain, this was not live. No, that would make too much sense for these three recent college grads. We went on this trip to see a filmed stage production that he was in last year. Yes, I accept the fact that we are indeed hardcore nerds, fans, and other obsessive names that are appropriate here. Anywho.

Here is a trailer you can watch to see a bit of what we did. Because we did watch it twice, once for each role. Ahhh. So glorious.

And then we drove home for 3 hours and I went to bed and slept in and it was lovely.

So that was my wonderful weekend. Hope yours was just as nice!