Sunday, November 24, 2013

"The Moment"

Yes, I watched Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary yesterday. Yes, I'm going over to a friend's house to watch it again tonight. Yes, Samara and I have tickets for another viewing in a downtown theater tomorrow night. Yes, I know that I am beyond nerding out at this.

In somewhat other news, I finished the TARDIS purse! Here it is last night with the letters sewn on. For a refresher course, here it is in process. And for those of you who crochet, here is the pattern I followed for the bag; I made the Purse-Sized Tardis. I didn't like her version/couldn't follow the pattern to save my life for the strap, so I didn't follow it. Raise your hands, those who crochet, if you've ever just made up your own pattern. If you don't have your hand up, you must not crochet yet, because duh.

The strap was obviously not too complicated-make straight line for desired length-ha! I followed {roughly} this pattern for the letters on the strap and then I just sewed them on with a yarn needle. Shout out to Catherine for telling me of this magic tool I needed.

Pictures of tonight and tomorrow's costumes will come....after they are taken, obviously. I may be a fan of Doctor Who, but I definitely haven't figured out time travel. Yet.

Anyone have a good suggestion for my next crochet project? Paige, if you want your birthday scarf before your next birthday, I suggest you speak now or find a new way to keep your neck warm. ;)


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Real Live Grown-Up

We all that those things, I'm sure, that we told our younger selves "You'll be able to do this when you're older/more mature/an adult." And some of those things have happened {I trust}. For example, when I was younger, I told myself that I would one day be able to fix my hair into something not resembling an alien trying to be beamed back up into its mother-ship.  And some days I actually told the truth. Other days... well, Dahlia told me that I don't have used-Barbie-hair, so I feel like I've accomplished something in my life.

But really, there are some things that you can only do when you're an adult. Like drive a car or wear make-up without looking like a drag queen {ahem, Miranda!}.

Well, I've compiled a list of things that I should be able to accomplish as I approach a quarter-of-a-century years old, but no cigar for this old lady. Please laugh and groan along with me as I lament the possibility of ever growing up into a fully mature adult.
  1. Painting just fingernails...and not the surrounding finger. Or fingers. Sigh.
  2. Using scissors to cut a straight line. Straight lines are the bane of my existence. Also, as #2.1, paper cutters are also quite intimidating; they should be available to help with the problem of crooked lines, but this has not been my experience.
  3. Cooking. Are more words necessary? In case they are, here's a poem I wrote about the whole situation.
Well, fortunately I can only remember think of three tasks that I've not matured into yet. If you think of more, please don't remind me. Ignorance is bliss, you know. Just let me pretend I'm an adult. Pleaseandthankyou.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas is Coming!

But the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary will be here first!!! People.... Saturday....this Saturday.

I love my church and meetings and stuff, but when I heard that our congregation meeting was cancelled this week, I almost jumped out of my seat with joy. We will surely finish Season 7 was my first and unholy thought. {I regret nothing.} EDIT: Just got an email prompting me to buy tickets for the showing on Monday. Done and done; like a true fangirl, I got up early the morning tickets went on sale.

But to stick with the topic suggested from the title, Christmas is fast approaching. It seems especially fast this year, and while I know that part of it is that I'm getting old {depending on who you ask, of course}, I think a big part of the seemingly rapid pace towards Christmas is the fact that I'm not counting down the days to going home before the holiday. You guys, this is the first time in 3 years that I don't have to get on an airplane before I can be home for Christmas. If the angels weren't already singing, I would tell them to start!

The challenging aspect is that Christmas shopping has yet to happen. I take that back. I've bought one gift. Yikes.

After reading Jen Hatmaker's book 7, I've been thinking about Christmas in a different light. I mean, we all know that Christmas is not about gifts or stuff, but about God's story of redemption unfolding on earth. Yet...we still buy each other gifts. I think reading 7 messed with me more than I admitted to myself, because I can't think of Christmas in terms of stuff anymore.

It's hard, because I don't want to be a Scrooge at Christmas. But I don't want to just be a consumer {purchaser} of stuff. If I'm going to buy something, I want it to be meaningful, and not just in the "how did you know this was what I wanted!?" way.

So what I'm considering for gifts this year is buying from organizations who are doing something for the least among us, organizations that {the majority} are non-profit and that need donations or purchases from people whose basic needs are met. Um, that would be me. So here are a few that I would like to present to you.

Jen writes about Open Arms, an organization in Austin that employs refugees at a living wage.

Davi writes about that provides clean water to countries that suffer diseased water.

Love146 works to end child trafficking; Not4Sale also fights human trafficking and slavery.

Save the Storks offers free ultrasounds to women planning an abortion.

I'm sure there are hundreds of other organizations that are also accomplishing great things for those in need; these are just a few that are either recommended by trustworthy people and/or work for causes that are on my heart. If you know of other organizations that are employing people so they can be free {like Amazima - store here} or if the organization is working for a cause {like Bound4Life - store here}, please let me know.

And because she's amazing, Jen Rossum shared this guest post regarding budgeting and planning for Christmas shopping. Please ignore the fact that I ignored the third step about not starting in November. Ahem. At least you've got several weeks to go. {Fangirl comment: But there are only FOUR DAYS until Doctor Who!}

Friday, November 15, 2013

Feeling Accomplished Friday

Samara will testify that today did not start out feeling accomplished. Last night we had some fan and light challenges, and I woke up this morning mad at the world in general and Samara's bathroom in particular. But Samara gave me some encouragement and perspective {thank you, dear friend} and I left the office at 2pm determined to cross at least a few things off my to-do list and feel like a conqueror. So here's what I did in just a few hours:

  • bought and replaced florescent light bulbs
  • washed dishes and ran the dishwasher
  • made laundry detergent! I followed this recipe and am excited to try it.
  • vacuumed the living room {where I made the laundry detergent...don't judge}
  • listened to this song about 1 million love love!
  • am writing this blog post - totes counts
  • am about to start working on a blog post as a contractor - yes, I sometimes get paid to blog, but my identity must remain a secret!
Tonight I'm heading to Notions, a writing group that Samara is a part of and that her lovely {albeit insane} compadres invited me to....kinda to replace her since she's outtie this weekend, but I also like to think that my charming personality alone warranted an invitation... I guess we'll see if I get invited back- the true judge. 

Well, that's all folks. Here, enjoy some humor just so Funny Friday doesn't feel completely left out in the cold. 

Happy Friday, homies!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Thanks for letting me verbally vomit yesterday. You know how when you actually throw up, right before feels way worse than during, and then after feels so much better? You know also when Bek makes a vomit analogy it really is worse than anything involving physical vomit because then you're just stuck thinking about vomit? But the worstest part of this whole thing is actually typing the word: v o m i t. Bleck. Moving on...if a recovery is even possible...

Let's get down to business {to defeat the Huns}!
  1. Update on the TARDIS purse: the purse part is done! The strap is done! I'm starting the letters to go on the strap today. {"Strap" is also a gross word to type-aren't you glad I used it two times in a row!?} If you want to make your own purse, here's the pattern. If you want a TARDIS purse but are unwilling to sacrifice blood, sweat, and tears not a crochet-er, you can talk to me about my mad skillz. :D
  2. 7 by Jen Hatmaker.... just finished it last night. Don't you love books that make you think? This one does, and weep and laugh. It's pretty wonderful and I highly recommend it. Jen also has a blog full of wonderful convicting posts.
  3. This one's a bit heavy, but so so encouraging. Read these two posts {first and second} about Bound4Life's vision for this coming season, and pray for God's Spirit to move in ways we can't even imagine.
  4. Also recommended by Jen Hatmaker, this company is really quite amazing and I'm thinking that Christmas is coming, y'all.
  5. Um, Doctor Who... good friends Samara, Ashley, and Kayla each composed a glorious homage to our favorite threesome the Ponds.
  6. This song is amazing. My friend Eric shared it with AJ's sister Steph, and somehow I got hooked into listening to this song quite frequently. Anyway...enjoy!
  7. This video is incredible! Please invest 1 minute and 19 seconds to watch some guy do at age 53 what I have never been able to do ever in my whole life.
  8. BONUS! The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary is in 9 days...repeat, NINE DAYS!!!! Try not to freak out ;)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Brace yourself. This is a long drawn-out gushing from the heart of Bek.

Right now I feel like all I'm doing with my life is watching Doctor Who instead of doing anything with my life, and it's gnawing at me. I feel like there are so many more things that I should be doing but am avoiding or am completely incapable of doing. Part of this feeling is that my life is a pathetic little pile of things I have done, and right next to this pathetic little pile is a huge, ever-growing pile of things that I "should" do. You know, things like learn to cook for crying out loud and read the Word more and read more books and be nicer and stop being selfish and why don't you write more and stop thinking about Doctor Who all. the. time. and discover your life plan and calling and every step in the journey and then go and do it for Pete's sake and have you exercised in the past forty weeks and why haven't you finished all those projects yet just goes on and on.

The temptation and tendency is to focus either entirely on the pathetic-ness of my little pile and then curl into the fetal position with my eyes closed OR to become overwhelmed by the sheer greatness of all the things I've yet to accomplish or master...and it still results in the fetal position with eyes closed scene.

However, Jesus speaks to girls curled up in the fetal position. It's fairly easy to listen to Him, because I don't really want to listen to the voices in my head pointing out allllll my failures and inadequacies. Jesus tells me that I don't have to do anything to be successful, that He loves me for me and not what I have or haven't done. Then He pulls me up out of the fetal position and opens my eyes and shows me how He sees my pathetic little pile - not so pathetic from His point of view! - and then shows me the things He has really called me to be and do - totes doable with His strength - and then I realize that the piles should not be the focus of my life but rather HE is the focus.

That's the nice ending, but sometimes it feels like even when Jesus says, "Look at Me" the piles are still screaming for my attention and my reaction is to point helplessly at the piles and tell Jesus to look at them. I struggle with focusing on "let Jesus change me" thing because I just want to do things and I want to be able to do them in my own strength and then point at my accomplishments and pat myself on the back. But that cycle ends with me back in the fetal position, which accomplishes nothing, which keeps me in the fetal position...vicious, eh?

So today I'm forcing myself out of the fetal position and rolling/slumping into the kneeling position, begging God to forgive my pride and my immature "I do it!" toddler-like beliefs. I'm asking for freedom from the piles and I'm admitting I can do nothing without His strength. And then I'm going to ask Him to please please remind me of this fact, no matter how painful or embarrassing the reminder is.

Today I'm broken and hopefully He gets some glory from my piles.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fantastic Friday

As I've mentioned before, Thursday is my day to volunteer at my local crisis pregnancy center. Because of HIPAA and other privacy laws, I can't share too many details, but I think I can tell you this: a few weeks ago I saw my first client by myself.

I was nervous about it, because previously I had only shadowed my director with clients. But the appointment went well, and afterwards I added this client on my mental prayer list. Every time I thought about this lady, I prayed for her. She came to a follow-up appointment {on a different day at the clinic, so I didn't see her} and then that seemed to be it. I called her every couple of weeks and left a message just to check in.

Last night I left what I thought would be my last message; we can't leave too many or we cross the line from checking in to bothering, and we don't want to cross that line. So I called her and left a message and said another prayer and went back to my other duties.

Just a few minutes later, the phone rang. My director answered it and then, "Bek, it's for you!" My immediate thought was, "It's either {this client} or my mom, and I don't think my mom even has this number!"

It was my client! She was calling back to let me know how things are progressing and everything is going really well. We talked for a few minutes and then she had to go, but I was ecstatic that she had called! To know that God answered my prayers, my specific prayers for this girl, and that He had used me just a little bit to help this gal in a time of My mind was completely boggled.

I told Samara last night that as cliche as it sounds, I feel like my life has meaning because God used me to help this client. Not that I'm so insecure about the point of my life, but that I'm getting to the point - my goal is to be used by the Lord in whatever way He deems the most awesome, and now I can point to this specific instance as a time He used me.

From my selfish, one-sided perspective, this is something I can hang on to as a tangible "Look at what God does with useless pathetic me; if He can do that with me to work with, He can do anything!" This testimony, even though it's mine, increases my faith each time I think of it.

The Lord didn't have to use me, and He didn't have to let me know any more of her story, but He did! I'm so grateful and thrilled and in awe of how He works.

I hope that this encourages you, and if you would like to get involved in a crisis pregnancy center, allow me to encourage you to jump on board! There are tons of ways to bless these clinics, so don't think you're limited strictly to volunteering your time. If you need ideas, hit me up :)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

On Being a Grown Up

First off, the inspiration for this post is coming from two places: Miranda Hart's book Is It Just Me? for the humorous parts and the beginning of this post from Samara. Hat tip to both of you ladies.

Or bow-tie-in-hair tip to you...whatever works.

Let's be real. Being an adult has its perks. For example, you can stay up as late as you want reading awesome books {like the aforementioned, hint hint} or you can put vodka in the fridge and not worry about a) your sisters drinking it {ha!} or b) your grandma finding it. You can also have people over when it works for the both of you, without having to check with the rest of the household {or you do check with the rest of the household and since it's only one other person, it's really fast}.

But there are some...shall we say challenges. When you're making your own decisions, you have to actually make your own decisions. Ironic, isn't it? Or is it just reality? Anyway. There's no one making decisions for you; you have to determine what's a priority, and then you have to make it happen.

This can be a plus. For example, I made the very mature decision to not listen to Christmas music until November 1. Now that it's November, I have executed that decision by selecting the Christmas station on Pandora. Grown up points abounding here.

But sometimes this can be a negative {or minus, if I were to continue the literary devices consistently}. For example, I'm dying to go visit Kentucky again. It doesn't help that I just missed a dear friend's wedding, nor does the fact that my dear family in Nicaragua are in the States this month. So the question is, do I visit now while they're not abroad and while it's been 7 months since I've been in the Bluegrass State? Or do I wait and visit Kentucky in May for AJ's son's 2nd birthday {I was there at birth and his first birthday-good tradition!} and also go to Nicaragua in July? Can I even afford that? Will I be able to get the time off work?

These are grown-up decisions that need to be made, and like Samara's post discusses, priorities have to be made and then acted upon. The challenge is prioritizing and making decisions that will keep you moving in the grown-up direction you want to be going. Which of course presupposes that you know the direction you want to go. Sigh.

But that's why we have Jesus and parents and disciplers and friends... and Miranda. :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wind, IKEA, and Bookshelves

This weekend was really full and really great. I had two babysitting jobs scheduled, but both of them were cancelled due to family issues and power outages, so Friday night consisted of a nap and Doctor Who. That's the best way to start the weekend, in my opinion.

Saturday was IKEA day! Samara and I planned on going pretty close to opening time, and we did ok on this front. Car inspections sometimes take longer than planned, so no big. We were on the road at 11 AM, and that's when the real adventure started.

The wind had been blowing strongly all morning {a lovely sound to wake up to whilst still snuggled under blankets}, and so driving was pretty exciting by itself. There were leaves dancing all over the road - as Samara put it, "the artist in me is delighted, but the driving part of me is terrified!" So true!

Once we were on the freeway, the wind wasn't that bad; or rather, we couldn't feel the wind as much. But we were not the only ones on the road. There is construction in the left lane of the freeway, and the giant round traffic not-cones-more-like-barrels were left in between the lane and the concrete barrier. Well, in between is a generous expression. Some of them were actually on the yellow line. As we continued on our merry way, one of these traffic barrels was blown into our lane, directly in front of us! I swerved, but keep in mind we were going 60 mph and there was a car in the lane next to us. Right next to us.

Mercifully, the barrel stopped moving and I was able to avoid hitting it, the car next to us, or being hit by the car behind us. Phew! Our heart rates were definitely elevated. Samara called DOT to report the road hazard and I continued to drive carefully. Thankfully, the construction zone ended shortly after that incident so we didn't have any repeat occurrences.

We made it to IKEA and headed inside, joining the herds of couples, families, and friends winding their way through the store. Everything was wonderful until we came to the very end: the boxes of furniture. Samara was purchasing another bookshelf for her room and wanted one of the shelves to become a drawer. This is a simple process: buy the bookshelf and buy a drawer to go inside it. Assemble at home like a boss. Done.

However, the process of finding said bookshelf and drawer proved to be quite challenging.

After locating the bookshelf, we went in search of the drawer accessory...and found the front of the drawer. Um, what? Non comprendo. So then we went in search of an associate. He found us a much smaller box that claimed to contain the rest of the drawer. Now, I know geometry and I didn't always cooperate in high school, but I do know that if something is going to fill the same space as something else, the box will probably be close to the same size. But this was not the case. Confusion abounded, including in the mind of the associate assisting us. 

After more venturing between the aisle and the computer and the associate's phone, Samara decided that a drawer is not worth all this trouble, so we headed to check-out. 5 hours later {almost} we exited the parking garage. 

It was after 1pm and lunch was on the forefront of our minds. Taco Del Mar struck our fancy, so we hopped off the freeway and up the hill to the closest one. Or so we thought. 

I don't know if you guys have heard Miley Cyrus's song "Wreaking Ball" but it describes our TDM saga quite well. We found the restaurant after much anticipation...and then we saw the darkened windows, the locked door, the deceitful operating hours that claimed to be open at that moment, and the realization hit us like a wreaking ball. TDM was closed without explanation, rhyme, or reason. 

Sadly, hangrily, defeated we got back on the freeway and made our way to the trusty, open TDM near home. Mexican food has never tasted so good!

Bellies full, we went home to assemble the bookshelf. I think a good summary of that experience is this: two of my blisters have popped already. Yep. {Side note: if anyone has a normal-sized screwdriver, Samara and I are in the market.}

After the cussing bookshelf was assembled, my sis came over and we finished Season Two of Sherlock. Augh, Reichenbach!!! Moving on, because January 19th is coming!

All in all, it was a good weekend. Full of goals that were accomplished, although not in the way we envisioned. We were not injured on the freeway; we didn't injure anyone {fellow shoppers or inadequate associate} at IKEA, and the Taco Del Mar near our house has gone up several notches on the "best things that have ever happened to us" list. 

Happy Monday, yo. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Funny Friday & How Is It November Already?

Ok, guys, I know that I basically counted every single day of October via 31 Days of Writing, but still... I can't believe it's November already!?!? Because you know what happens in November? Christmas music. Which leads to Christmas, which leads to a new year....meaning November 2014 is like in 2 weeks, basically.

Speaking of 31 Days of Writing, I think I may have forgotten how to write a Funny Friday post. Does that count as its own deep twisted version of humor? No? I know, it's more sad than funny.

Well, while I scramble to think of something funny for Friday, allow me to entertain you with weekend plans. Samara and I are going to IKEA! Woot. We are fortunate to live within 30 minutes {weekend-only traffic times} from one of the blessed places, so tomorrow morning, bright and early, off we go! Just kidding. It'll be like bright and middling... after last night's adventures, there will be much sleep on the morrow.

Speaking of last night, wanna see some pictures?! Of course you do, and even if you don't, too bad, because I promised you pictures and I keep my promises...eventually. But today is the day after, so we're not gonna ruin a good thing, k?

The Fantastic Fox Family

Totes adorbs, right!? Yes I did ride the bus downtown looking like that. Yes I did walk over a mile to the theater dressed like that. Yes I did take off the mask to watch Frankenstein. Ain't nobody get time to let anything get in the way of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch!

The show was even better than last time. {I guess I haven't formally reviewed Frankenstein yet, so add that to my list of promises to keep.} I found that since I knew what was going to happen, I could appreciate the parallels and contrasts better. Plus, the acting....always, always superb. Can't praise them enough.

Right. Funny Friday. Last night at the theater, I was sitting next to Samara's friend Sammy. There's a scene where the Creature reaches for a pot that's just been taken off the fire, so of course he burns his hand. 

Since we had just watched the film/play, Sammy whispered, "Don't touch it!" And of course the Creature touches it and burns himself. 

I whispered "They never listen, do they" and Sammy replied "He didn't hear me." 

And then they guy in front of us turns around and whispers, "I did." Oops! 

Sammy and I couldn't look at each other because we would have laughed too loudly. It was funny. Such fun. 

Happy weekend, all!