Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Following Up

So yeah, I'm moving into a totes adorbs condo with my bestie :)

Samara wants to be the giraffe, mainly because of its cute accessories...idk. All I know is that means I'm the cat? monkey? creature partying it up in the back, totally unsupervised as usual. Such is my lot.

So let me share some deets with y'all. Because you have nothing better to do than read about my life. I know.

Details That I Will Share With You:

  • We're moving into a seriously awesome condo- first floor, 2 bathrooms, sliding door, and our own little patio!
  • Our place is about 2 minutes from church! And like 1.5 minutes from the freeway! And like a stroll down the block to water! Praise the Lord!
  • Since we are so close to said water and because we are nerds, we came up with a name for our little homey-home: Bright Shores... it's got a reference to Austen and all the named estates, "Bright Star" our favorite movie about John Keats, and of course it starts with a B... as in, 221B Baker Street. Gotta bring Sherlock in there somehow :)
  • We wanted to share {oh my gracious, how badly we wanted to share!} the news with you all sooner, but we also wanted to make sure all the legalities were taken care of first. Gotta stay legal.
  • I'm pretty sure that Samara and I lived on Pinterest for a few months.... gotta love private, shared boards.
  • As soon as we are settled, we will be taking pictures and sharing them with you! Something to look forward to, because, as noted above, you have nothing better to do... ;)
I'm serious about those pictures. Actually, it will be wonderful when I can post pictures, because that will mean that we're both unpacked and getting settled, and that will be a wonderful moment. 

Alright, I'm off on an adventure across the mountains to pick up my grandmother's dishes from my cousins. Long story. The short version is, my grandma is giving me dishes! And I'm getting them tonight, so peace out, yo. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Little Announcement

Yes. It's true. It's finally happening. My bff and I are getting a place together and going to be real, live grown-ups.
This is us together...Watch out, world!

We started talking about getting a place together in January. We plotted and schemed and chatted and talked and emailed and discussed and watched Doctor Who and researched and budgeted and plotted some more, and now it's finally happening. As in, my stuff was moved in on Sunday, and Samara's stuff is coming on Saturday, and WE WILL BE MOVED.

I know that this is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter, one that will bring a lot of maturity and responsibility and wisdom {hopefully!}.

Look at how responsible this person is. Grocery shopping: nailed it.
{To read the full story of my life comic, including some profane language -consider yourself warned- check it out here}

And then sometimes I still feel like I'm pretending to do this whole "grown up" thing...


And I'm pretty sure that this will happen at some point.


Anyway, the point is, Samara and Beks are setting off on an adventure that will change their lives might even change the world. And it's already changed something... one white wall is now Frolic Green :)

P.S. Check out Samara's point of view on our excitement!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Trying 7 Quick Takes

Ok, friends, this is something that I see on a lot of {Catholic} blogs... is this a Catholic thing or an East Coast thing or an experienced blogger thing or what? 7 Quick Takes is when you post about 7 things that you're thinking or seeing or whatever. It seems like it was invented by someone on a Monday, when there are tons of thoughts but no cohesive flow. I would be friends with this person.

Anyway, I'm going to try it, but I may or may not make it to seven things... consider yourself warned.

  1. Today is one of those hair days where I feel awesome and fresh and wild....and the mirror says, "HA! Good one!"
    Here I am, feeling like Hilary Duff as she rocks the windblown look...

    ...when in reality I look like a Barbie doll ten minutes after the toddler played with her...

    Yep. One of those days.
  2. There are some musical artists that you have to be in a certain mood to listen to, and then there are those gifted ones, the classic ones, that you can listen to anytime, all the time. Judge me {and guess my age} if you want, but I think dc Talk is one of the latter. Maybe I'm slightly biased because a) they were my first concert or b) they formed the year I was born {oops, there goes age!} or c) their albums helped me survive Dance Camp when I was 12 {darn, age again!}, but I think that dc Talk is a seriously talented group, and I always enjoy their music. There, I said it. Go ahead and judge.
  3. Ok, if you have not read my bestie's post about travelling, you need to. I'm proud and grateful to call Samara my long-time BFF, and you NEED to read her post, like, right now. Read it. Go. I've linked it like three times already.
  4. Thank you all for your sweet comments regarding my Nicaraguan adventure! I'm so glad that technology allows us to share these small pieces of travels and experiences. I should note, since a couple of you encouraged me that being with children is one of my strengths, that my struggle was not whether or not I was good at playing with the kids but if I was using that strength at an appropriate time. And my leaders encouraged me that I was, so I was totally free! Thank you for caring enough to say something, and thanks for encouraging me in this area! I'm feeling the love :)
  5. Speaking of Nicaragua, wanna see some progress??? I was thrilled when I saw this update. Here's the progression:
    Beginning: look behind the movers of rocks :)

                                       courtesy of Melissa


                        courtesy of Caleb G.

    When we left:

                                 courtesy of Levi

    Update from last week!!!! Isn't that amazing!?!?!

                                  courtesy of Jessica
  6. Because no post is complete until there is a reference to something that is British or Benedictine Benedict Cumberbatch...
    Yes. Just yes.
  7. Here is a recent decision I made... 6703. No, I'm not going to prison. No, it's not how many times I've watched "Return to Me." No, it's not the number of children I'm going to have. It's a color. I'm thinking Frolic-y thoughts...I'll fill you in tomorrow :)
What do you think of these 7 Quick Takes? Another round next Monday, or come up with something else? 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Funny Friday...Not

I'm sitting here working on a mind-numbing task, searching in my brain for something funny I can share on Friday, and sometimes you just gotta give up the goat. Don't ask me where the goat comes from or where it's going once you give it up, but just give it up. Let that goat go.

and now we're into awkwardness....

In other news, I've had two phone dates with two different friends this week, and as usual, it's so great to talk to my friends! AJ and I got to chat this past weekend, and golly do I miss her! While it was good to see my Kentucky friends in Nicaragua, it made me miss her even more!!!

Last night, Laurie, my friend from the Frozen Tundra, and I had a great talk. She's going to Colorado this week, so I got to tease her about smoking weed. Payback for all those references to Washington's pot laws! But all pot aside, Laurie is a great friend, and I'm so grateful for her. Hopefully she can come out for a visit in a few months, which will be magnificent and awesome.

Didn't I promise you a review of "Warm Bodies"? I've been listening to the soundtrack for a few days {really, a great soundtrack!} and am feeling inspired both to watch it again and to write about it. So here goes, with full disclosure: it's been a while since I've seen this film.


I like that this film is pretty clean. There's maybe two gruesome scenes, and they don't last that long. And then for the *ahem* scenes, I think the previews showed the most graphic part, and it wasn't bad.

Again, the soundtrack was pretty awesome. There are a few songs that I just keep listening to over and over, because they're just fun. Oh, and did I mention that R has a record player? Totes awesome.

The sarcasm and humor in this film is so perfect. My sisters and I were cracking up basically the whole movie.

I don't do zombies, and this was not a zombie movie. They explained things pretty well for us non-fans-of-zombies {not like there was a ton to explain}.

Love story? Check. Humor? Check. Cute actors? Check {this one varies depending on which sister you ask, but hey, I'm writing this!}.

Anyway, this was a cute movie. If you're not convinced, come over after 9pm some night and watch it with my sisters and me.

Speaking of movies, November is shaping up to be pretty awesome, entertainment-wise! Let's review:

Pretty hopping!

I wish I had an appropriate conclusion, but I don't. Approaching drop-off zone. Ready. Go.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Tales from Nicaragua

Happy Thursday!

I have no transition here... basically, here are some more adventures from Nicaragua.

People have asked me what was my favorite part of the trip, and no contest, it was doing VBS and then playing with the kids. 
Here are some pictures from our VBS time:

The first two pictures are the kids leading the songs. We had papers with both words and pictures, hoping this would help them learn the songs.
From left: Carlos, Maria, Jose Lois, Fabian

From left: Alexandra, Larry, me, Calloway, Elena, Nadaling, Fabian

On the last day, we had a party. Paula brought face paint materials, and after every kid had one painting, several came back for seconds...or thirds. Here is Stella and me each painting an arm for Carlos.

We had crafts each day, usually involving coloring. Here are a couple of the kids with their artwork.

This is Noel. Check out those dimples!!!

This is Jose Lois, one of the sweetest boys there.

And here's some of the gang working on their pictures.

Here is Mauricio with his finished art. The story was of Jesus multiplying the fish and loaves.

Now that everyone is on cuteness overload... :)

One of my favorite things was playing cards with the kids after VBS was officially over. There were a lot of kids who would jump rope with me for about an hour after VBS ended, and then there were two kids who usually stayed until after our lunch and would play cards until their moms were ready to leave. {There were a handful of ladies who came every day and cooked lunch for us- such a blessing! And the food was delicious, every single day.} 

Playing with these kids was the highlight of my trip. It was amazing how quickly the group grew. I originally taught Go Fish to two kids; the next day, there were 5, and the day after, half of VBS was asking to play! I was so grateful that Stella had brought two decks of cards so everyone could play, and I was so impressed with how well the kids all played together.

Here's what blew my socks off: I was feeling guilty or weird about playing cards with the kids in the shade for most of the day while my team was outside in the sun sweating it out and moving boulders. I mentioned this to Stella, who mentioned it to Bill and Gina {my Kentucky parents and Nicaraguan missionaries}, and they both told me that I needed to keep doing what I was doing and that building relationships was more important than building the houses. They told me that being with the children was obviously a strength of mine, so use it! That really blessed me, and it freed me to be able to wholly give myself to the kids, because I wasn't distracted by thinking I should be outside laboring. God is so cool like that!

I count this trip as one of the best things that I've ever been a part of. Can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nicaragua Trip

It's been a week since returning to the States, and most of me feels very normal. There is a part of me, however, that is forever altered. I don't know how to describe this part of me, except to say that a new dimension of consciousness has been awakened.

It's like making friends with someone from another part of the country: you return home and everything is the same, but there's a part of your mind and heart that keep thinking about that faraway friend, and you hope that that friend is going on with their life and maybe thinking of you, too.

That's how I feel, except about a country. Maybe that's why this feeling is bigger and more persistent than when I moved back from Kentucky. In Kentucky, there is a church and there are families that I call home. In Nicaragua, there is an island that beckons.

When considering how to best describe the trip and fully capture the depth of God's goodness, I was struck by how easy it is to describe what the team did on the trip, but how hard it is to describe what changed in us as a result of the trip. On the one hand, it's frustrating, because I want to be able to point to this trip and say, "That was when God did *this* in me and my life was never the same!" On the other hand, however, I know that God's works are good and deep and sometimes too deep to be articulated properly. And I'm ok with that.

Here's the gist of our trip: we flew down, spent the night in a hotel in Managua,  took a 3 hour bus to the ferry, rode an hour+ ferry to Ometepe, then drove 45 minutes to our hosts' home. That week we worked on 2 different sites: one was the foundation for a big house, and the other was a small house that was almost completed when we left. A few of us also led a Vacation Bible School for the local kids. In the evenings, we drove 40 minutes to the orphanage+school where two other teams were working, and we had dinner and devotions all together.

When a ten-day trip can be summarized into a paragraph, it seems insignificant. But I know we accomplished a lot physically. For example, to build the foundation, we moved rocks. Literally.

                         photo courtesy of Stella

And we made re bar. Lots and lots and lots of re bar.

                              photo courtesy of Stella

Aaaaand we mixed a crap-ton of cement.

                                photo courtesy of Caleb G.

When all is said and done, we helped the construction team a lot. We did for them in a week what would have taken them alone probably two or three weeks.

For VBS {pictures in a future post!}, we had kids come, memorize a verse of Scripture, sing some songs, color pictures, and jump rope. Oh, and eat snack. Really simple. But the kids welcomed us into their hearts joyfully, and I know my heart will never be the same.

One of the little boys made me a card before I left. Sadly, water got on it and it's slightly less readable {and his name is erased- so sad!}. But I will take a picture and share it with you eventually. It's so sweet. Definitely teared up when he gave it to me.

What more can I say? We went and served where God had us serve. We built and loved and were used by God, and even in this I don't understand what all transpired. I just know that I'm a different person, and that I can't wait to go back next year.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Funny Friday, First Nicaraguan Edition

You know how you go on a trip with a group and when you come back you have all these inside jokes? Well, today I'm going to let you in on some of our Nicaraguan inside jokes. You're welcome or I'm sorry, whichever you deem appropriate.

One of the big ones was "Make wise decisions." Whenever we ran an idea past our leader, we made sure to add "...and we will make wise decisions!"
Whenever someone did something stupid, we would scold, "That was not a wise decision."
When someone did something awesome, we would gush, "Look at that wise decision."

Yeah, we kinda beat the horse dead. But we made wise decisions while doing so.

Another funny line came from the leaders' three-year-old daughter. She is in the stage of identifying humor, so several times adults would say something funny and laugh, and she would pipe up with, "That's a joke!" and then join in the laughter.
Her best timing was after her dad threatened warned us about being prepared to share.
Leader: "If I call on you and you have nothing to share, you will have to run up the {incredibly steep} driveway three times."
Daughter: "That's a joke!"

Finally, remember that frog in our room? Yeah, that's a story in and of itself. Here goes.

Heidi had been sleeping in her bed next to the wall, but she sat up and said calmly, "Something fell on my head." We were about to investigate when Stella started screaming and we found the scorpion visitor/intruder. Attention diverted.

We Stella killed the scorpion and we were recovering from the adrenaline rush when Heidi {again, perfectly calm and more tired than freaked out} comments: "Guys....there's a frog on my pillow."
Re-enter chaos.

When all eyes were in Heidi's direction, we also noticed that there was a cockroach on her bed.  We killed that without a picture, and then fixed our eyes on the teensy frog making its way up the wall.
How to dispose of such an innocent creature? This was not a vicious beast we could justify killing, unlike the scorpion. Also, how to capture the thing? It kept jumping higher and higher, and soon would be beyond our reach.

Stella again saved the night. She grabbed the lid of a shaving cream bottle and trapped the frog under it, then was able to transport it outside. Phew! No unnecessary deaths, and no unwelcome visitors to Heidi's bed.

For the rest of the trip, Heidi's calm words were a sense of joy and comedic relief to us: "Guys, there's a frog on my pillow." If Heidi could handle a frog on her pillow, we could certainly make wise decisions.

In case you missed it, check out the frog after it left the pillow.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Back Home....Cue Craziness

Home again, home again, jiggety jig!

Friends, you deserve a post {or six} about my little trip to Nicaragua. We are in agreement about this. But right now, the introverted part of me {gasp! Introvert!?!?!?} wants to process the trip a bit more before sharing all about it. Right now I feel like I'm going through the motions of being home while my internal conversation is stuck on an island in Central America. Gotta do some thinking, this girl does.

I will tell you that the trip was way more incredible than I had anticipated, that I would go back for another week in a heartbeat, that I want to go back next year, and that the wildlife there is pretty, um, exciting. Yep, we'll go with exciting.
Here is a short, incomplete list of the wildlife that we found in our room alone. Oh, and let us also mention that the first three invaded our room within the space of 5 minutes one night. Did we sleep well? Eh...

  • scorpion {see picture, post mortem}

                                           courtesy of Stella
  • frog {in Heidi's bed, no less}

                        courtesy of Stella
  • cockroach {also in Heidi's bed. It did not warrant a picture, because we killed it too quickly and we were more focused on the above-mentioned frog.}
  • gecko {there were several outside, but one came in for our last night}
  • another scorpion {we thought it was dead, but then it ran away outside-eek!}

I promise, more details and pictures of the trip will be shared! Have patience :)

Now that I'm home, it is Go Time! I may have alluded to some upcoming changes, and I still can't say everything that I'm dying to, but let's just say that next week I may be able to share! Which means that this week is...cray cray. That's crazy for those of you who don't speak abreve ;)

Anyway, things are moving quickly, and I'm both excited and overwhelmed! I'm excited that things are moving forward, and I'm overwhelmed by the reality of how fast things are moving and by the amount of work needed. But it will all come together wonderfully, I'm sure, and when it does, you will know!

I leave you with one last picture from Nicaragua. Say hello to our friendly neighborhood volcano!

                                                            courtesy of Levi

Seriously, Nicaragua is one of the most beautiful places, and I can't wait to share more of my adventures with you!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Funny Friday on Tuesday...just isn't happening

Blame my dad for this...or my mom...or the stove. That's a lot easier, to blame inanimate objects. Blame the darn stove.

I'm trying to think of something funny I can share today instead of Friday, but my brain won't work. Alas, I got to work at 5:30 this morning because Dad trains at 6:00am today {thanks, Dad}. But Bek, why didn't you just ride in with Mom? Good question! Because Mom isn't coming in until later {thanks, Mom} because the stove is being replaced {thanks, stove}. Sigh.

Although I couldn't think of anything funny, I was able to come up with some "true confessions" type things. Again, re-read the above paragraph and recognize that I got 6.5 hours of sleep...on a couch. Yep. Anywho, here are some true, maybe funny, definitely weird confessions/ramblings/talking points from Bek:

  1. The Oxford comma is where it's at. {You know it's early when the first thing that comes to mind is grammar!} Sorry, Samara, but it's the truth. {You also know you're best friends with someone when you know their opposite position on the Oxford comma and you still love them.}
  2. Pet peeve: fingernails, particularly my own. I hate how frequently they need trimmed, and how shapeless they are...actually, they have shape, very distinct shapes...they're just un-named shapes. Actually, my friends and I went to get manicures, and when the guy came over, he said, "What are you here for? Oh, shaping." Yeah, thanks, that's just what I was going to say...not.
  3. I totally have radio ADD. You know, when you're listening to the radio and you keep changing the channel because there's nothing good playing? Yeah, I do that all day, every day. Well, I knew it was bad when I was driving home the other night and actually found a station that was playing some good tunes, and they played three good songs in a row, but I still felt the itch to change the channel after 1.5 songs.
  4. Ya know how bloggers have link-up parties and stuff? I don't know how to do that! Thanks to Ash I now know how to put a video in a blog post, and thanks to a kind lady who commented I learned about Bloglovin', but the link-up thing kinda baffles me. How am I supposed to put something on someone else's blog? Weirds me out.
  5. Sometimes I wish I could email people and offer to correct their website typos. How's this sound: Hi, you don't know me, and you obviously don't care about your website enough to proofread it, but I care about proofreading, so if you could just fix this thing right here... Yeah, probably not too well, but it happens way too often for me to be comfortable raising children in the next few years. These websites threaten the very existence of grammar! What if things get so bad that I am unable to communicate with my grandchildren!? Guys, this is serious...bologna. And speaking of dangerous, bologna is the dumbest word ever and even dumber spelling, and bee-tee-dubs, what kind of meat is it anyway??? 
Things have gotten too out of control for me.  I better go sit down. Please laugh at this post; don't shed tears.  Everything will all be better after a nap...

Also, I just realized that two of my five confessions involved grammar. You'd never guess I majored in business, would you? In my defense, my mom, sister, and bff are all English majors. I'm surrounded. Oh, and I was a teacher's assistant, and I care about our nation's future. Happy 4th of July!  :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Steal of the Weekend, and Boys with Hair

Ok folks, I had one goal for this weekend: buy a bookshelf. My bestie and I are in the "accumulate piles and piles so we drive our mothers mad furniture" stage, and a bookshelf was the last big piece I needed. My plan was to go thrifting and see what I could find for my budget of $50. My hope was to find something of decent quality, nothing too fancy, but just something sturdy that wouldn't collapse after I put Team of Rivals on it {that book is heavy!}.

I called the local Goodwill to see what they had, and they informed me that they had one, count em ONE, bookshelf. Well, it wouldn't hurt to look. But before that, I decided to look on Craigslist. Sometimes there's crap, and sometimes it's gold but way outside my budget, but I thought that it couldn't hurt.

Lo and behold, I found a gorgeous bookshelf nearby for $40!! The challenge: picking it up. The guy needed it gone an hour ago, so I made some phone calls, but they were to no avail. U-haul was out {figures- it's the last weekend of the month} and all my friends with trucks were a ways away. So, I did the noble thing and called my mom. She gave me a few ideas, and when nothing came of those, I decided to comb my hair, go across the street, knock on a door, and ask my nice neighbor if he and his truck would drive me to pick up a bookshelf.

He said "sure."
I said "Praise be unto the Lord on high!!!"

So off we went, and this bookshelf is incredible. The guy must have taken down the listing; otherwise I would totes show you my new treasure right away. Patience, my young pad wan learners.

The thing was a beast to carry and move, but we got it loaded and unloaded and settled into my garage without a hitch. I was amazed. How awesome that God would look out for me like that, providing a quality bookshelf for exactly my budget: the guy sold the bookshelf for $40, and I gave my neighbor $10 for gas. Shut the front door. So when I eventually get the thing moved out of the garage, I will take pictures and show you all. Just wait for it :)

Oh, and guys with hair. The gals in Film Club were talking about boys {what else? JUST KIDDING!} and somehow C and I discovered that we both love Matthew Gray Gubler...

What's not to love!?

Anyway, it was revealed that I appreciate a bit longer hair in men...and here's the number one example:

Poor deceased Heath Ledger...may those locks live forever and ever, amen.

Oh, and in case you didn't know, I'm heading to Nicaragua this week for a mission and work trip. We'll be gone the 4th through the 15th, so no blogging. Pray for us, please! It will be hotter than blazes, we're rather a large group, and there are tons of logistics to take care of. Oh, and tons of pictures when we get back! :)

Happy Monday!