Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday ~ What Happened In the Mountains

As you already know, me and my family were on holiday this past weekend. There's this place up in the mountains that we love, affectionately known as the "Mountain House" where we try to spend a few weekends (or longer) during the year. This was our first time to stay during the winter months and so seeing our favorite Paradise with some snow was delightful.

{the Mountain House, picture taken after most of the snow had melted}

{here we are just having arrived at the Mountain House, excited to find snow on the front deck!}

{being the family that we are, we didn't waste much time before food reached our top priority - our favorite pizza and cold bottles of {non-alcoholic) ginger brew!} 

{We're a hearty eating family}

 {the snow beckoned us like the call of the wild and Saturday found us bundled up and heading down the hill to where the best selection of snow was to be found}

{Stuart was brutal with the snowballs - I'm surprised that us girls don't have bruises!}

{boys will be boys - and Scott & Stuart, despite a five year age difference, are fantastic friends and are constantly together. And when I say together, I mean wrestling, ambushing, head-locking, and altogether making each others live very fun and exciting in a very boy kind of way}
 {I even suited up for the snow and got into the snowball fighting, once I handed the camera to someone else}

{we all made "snow figures" - Katheryn made a snow giraffe (her favorite animal), I made a snow cat (my favorite animal), and Karis went traditional and made a very victorious-looking snow man}

 {while Stuart, never the one to be mainstream, made a "snow mushroom," which he lovingly called his "Shroom" and carried up to the house where we watched it melt over the next few days}

 {we believe in the magic of white lights, and so we brought some to decorate "our" porch}

{quite evenings hours snuggled up with a book}

{I drank LOTS of hot chocolate with cinnamon & nutmeg - which is amazing! And of course, there's always lots of laughs when it's my family hanging out together!}
{by the last day there, most of the snow had melted, except for patches in the shade and foresty areas, and the sun was shining brightly again. Here's the Remnant, my affectionate name for those of us still unmarried and living at home}

Anyways, that was some bits of my time away from civilization and cell service. I can't wait til we go again!

Photos taken by mom, Katheryn or me, edited by me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday ~ Signed, Sealed & Tattooed

I’ve gotten back into playing my favorite game lately. You know, that game - the Compare Yourself to Everyone Else one.

Okay, I lied. It’s not my favorite game. But you’d think it was judging by how much I play it and how seriously I take it.

“Her blog is better than mine.”
“This blog has more followers than mine.”
“She has someone special and I don't.”
“She’s skinnier than me.”
“She has more freedoms than me.”
“She’s stronger spiritually.”
“She has a kitchenaid and I don’t.”
(yes, I have though that recently!)

It’s hard to be just me. On the inside of my head looking out, the things I have seem normal and insufficient and everyone else’s lives seem so much more…well, more! And trying to be “content” sometimes feels like having to settle for being the underdog of the fashion/achievement/relationship/Christianity scene.

But perhaps…

As a born-again Christian, the rights to my identity were bought by Christ. Just like the NLTB watermark I put on the left-hand corner of all my pictures, there is a watermark on my heart, soul and body claiming me as the copyright property of Jesus Christ. I’ve been tattooed with the copyrights of Christ and it’s not done in ink – it’s done in His blood.

The only Comparison Game that I should play is the one where I compare myself to Christ.

Am I like Christ?
Am I patient like Christ?
Do I love like Christ?
Do I ache for the lost like Christ?
Do I conduct myself as someone following Christ?



Yah, her blog has more followers…but I don’t have to be the best blog out there because I'm not blogging for popularity stats to begin with.
Yah, she has a relationship/marriage and I don’t…but I don’t have to be in a relationship/marriage to be someone and to enthusiastically live and enjoy life.
Yah, she’s a strong Christian...but I don't have to be the strongest, because simply...I'm not.
Yah, she has a kitchenaid…but really? Where would I put one if I had one?? :)

I'm not the strongest. Or the prettiest. Or the godliest Christian single. I'm not the one with the Most Content award. I'm not the best. I'm not the one with the most enviable blog in the neighborhood.

But I’m owned. Bought up. Marked. Copyrighted. Tattooed. Loved. By God.

I’ll always want to compare myself to others. It’s a temptation I’ll never fully beat, I fear. But when I remember just how loved I am…it doesn’t feel like settling for underdog.

It feels more like taking a magic carpet ride and discovering a whole new world.
*launches into song*


To those of you who read all the way to the bottom of this post just to see if I'm really planning on tattooing that onto my under wrist...I'm not. 

At least not today.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday ~ Beyond the Reach of Mortals

If you need me, you'll find me at this place:
...with this kind of view out my window...
...and this kind of beautiful stuff going on outside...
...while I'm inside this room temporarily and affectionately known as "my room"...
...drinking hot chocolate with cinammon like this...
...and snacking on sour gummy worms like these...
...and reading these books.

Yes, I'm on family holiday this weekend at "our" Mountain House paradise, outside of cell reception although graciously blessed with internet access. Also, doing photos from my laptop which does NOT have Lightroom installed on it, so I'm photo editing from the ol' Picasa, which after using Lightroom, seemed highly inadequate. Even though I edited the photos sitting in a completely dark windowless bathroom (for optimal editing) with "Dancing With You" by Jesse Bonanno on repeat (one of the prettiest songs on the planet) I have no idea if these pictures actually turned out right, since my laptop screen isn't color calibrated correctly. But whatever - I'm on holiday, so I'm not going to fuss about it! *grin*
So, folks, if you need me....haha, too bad. :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

What You May Not Know: About Me

Ten things about myself that you may or may not know 
and may or may not even care about.


1. I'm 5' 6 3/4 '' tall and the tallest female in my family. Whereas 5'6'' may not be exactly tall as an average,
I always feel tall since I'm also taller than all my girl friends.

2. Zebra is my favorite color, although blue and gray are my favorite real colors.

3. I used to suck my thumb when I was younger. Thank God for no overbite.

4. I've considered eloping. :)

5. I do not have a smart phone and you can still hear "click-skritch-click" when I text.

6. When my two older sisters (Kristine & Katheryn) and I were much younger, we created our own version of the chicken dance.
It was truly....disturbingly original. 

7. The only sports I really like are basketball and ultimate Frisbee. 

8. I've been in just about 3/4 of all the forty-eight contiguous states. 

9. I love fishnet stockings and other such patterned tights.

10. I'm a 2nd generation thrifter. Thrift stores and shopping in them is highly therapeutic for me.
90% of my wardrobe is thrifted and I bet you couldn't even tell. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday ~ Conversations from the Closet: My Empty Worth

Yesterday I left work feeling not overwhelmed and depressed, but just sorta needy. That kind of neediness that comes from just needing to talk some things out with God in full honesty.

After getting home, I dropped off my purse, camera bag and lunch bag onto my bed, grabbed my blanket, bible and journal and closed the door behind me in our unheated walk-in closet.

And I talked with God.

I confess to being a little out of practice in the art of full disclosure with God. But talking with God is like peeling back the proverbial onion, done layer by layer. It takes time, but it gets easier and easier. I talk out loud when I pray, it helps me connect my mind more fully with the presence of God in my heart. And so I huddled under my blanket and peeled back the layers on my heart one by one before God.


“For when I kept silent [with God], my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For night and day your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not cover my iniquity.”
(Psalms 32:3-5)

“But when I thought how to understand [overwhelming circumstances], it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God...”
(Psalms  73:16-17)

Sometimes it's hardest to get quiet before the Lord because it's then in His presence that we're faced with just how empty and useless we really are.

 But that's what is so awesome about God. It's only God who makes something out of what is nothing. And my emptiness and uselessness (my nothing) is exactly what God takes in His hands and fashions into something. Something that pleases Him and is the worship He deserves.

I don't like feeling that on my own I amount to nothing. I don't like knowing that without Christ there is nothing of true value about me. Apart from Christ, I truly am nothing and I don't like that. I feel stronger and more in control when I hold onto something of value about myself of my own making...but when I do that, I still have that unquenchable neediness inside me that comes from holding onto those worthless trophies and trinkets.


“...for apart from Me, you [are] nothing.”
(John 15:5)

“Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before You.”
(Psalms 39:5)

But that's another thing about God and that's that He gives me a feeling of worth in my emptiness. It's when I fully let go, emptying myself of all earthly value and credit, that I suddenly feel the worth that I crave to find. My true worth in Christ alone. The full-to-over-flowing kind of worth.

And it fills me up completely.

Something out of nothing?
Worth found in emptiness?
Only in Christ.


“Those who look to Him are radiant...”
(Psalms 34:5)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday ~ Starbucks Tuesday

After a delicious three-day weekend, I'm back in my office as usual.
That's okay. I like my office. We've gotten pretty close over the last 3 1/2 years together. :)

And so, also as usual, it's Tuesday and that, of course, means another weekly edition of Starbucks Tuesday!

Today was a day where all coffee originality died. 

Dead. Gone. Caput.

And so, I went back to Old Faithful, who's been on the back-burner since November at least.
And that is:

There was a strange flavor that smacked of "you've been here before" about it, but other than that, it was as tasty as it always is!

You know, there really is something wonderful about whipped cream...

And of course, you all being the fantastic people that you are, will not even notice or care that I'm wearing the same scarf and sweater-jacket that I wore last Tuesday, right? 


Well, work doth send forth it's indisputable summons, so I'm off.
Really, really, really have a great day!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday ~ In Which My Car Overheats, I Drive a Steep Mountain and Go Ice Skating

I'm telling you what...

I love my people. :)

After church yesterday, a group of about 15 of us went on an adventure. We packed ourselves into three vehicles, one being my trusty  Mazda, and we headed out into the gorgeous sunshine to mini road-trip up into the mountains to go ice skating.

Who are we?

The guys and gals who are just too old for "college group" but for obvious reasons don't fit into the "young marrieds" group. That's us - five guys and five gals. Although we invited Mr. & Mrs. R (that couple I keep taking pictures for!) to join us, because they are still so much one of us at heart. :) We were three cars and a motorcycle caravaning up a mountain.


My car overheated at the base of The Big & Terrible Windy Road (which on this side of driving it, really wasn't all it's cracked up to be). So, we all hung out around the open hood of my car for a little while, discussing just why my water-cap-thing had popped off, and the guys put all my emergency water that I keep in my trunk (which, incidentally, I hadn't been carrying in my trunk for months and just randomly decided to put a jug of water into my trunk yesterday. That was God, people!), all of my bottle of drinking water and half of Michelle's water bottle. Thank God for men, who know everything that I don't know about cars. :) Eventually, after a lovely bonding time, we hit the road again. And eventually made it to our destination:

 {a Very Beautiful Place - that has an outdoor ice rink!}

{Michelle & Colleen suiting up}

{Brian & Liz}

{my very own sister Katheryn}


{the men-folk - Christopher, John, & Sam}

{I roll with the crazies!}

{me and Liz, whom I count amongst the BEST friends a girl could ever have}

{Mrs. R & Baby R - he's so cute!}

{Colleen - yet another bestie!}

{more than "besties" *wink wink*}

{Liz & Brian, the newest couple on the radar screen. You know what I love about these two? They don't act like a super-exclusive couple. They hang with the rest of us and blend in with us all - there's no "we're-together-goodbye-friends" about them. Love 'em.}

{Liz, Chris, Sam, John & Brandon}

{Liz, me, Katheryn, Angie, Mrs & Baby R}

{yah, it's gorgeous. I know. *grin* }

It was a crazy fun adventure that ended with everyone crowded around one table eating pizza and I can honestly say that there are no other people that I'd rather have spent it with!

Lets do it again, ya'll!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday ~ All on a Saturday Bright

As the weather begins to turn into spring once again - yes, our winter only lasts about a month, although when I was younger I would have sworn winter was like nine months - our Saturdays begin to turn into work days.

Cleaning patios of the clutter of winter, tilling the ground for the yearly garden, hanging clean laundry to dry in the fresh air...all part of a local spring-time Saturday at my house.

It was warm and sunny, and despite my laments for more rain, it was quite nice to wear t-shirts and go barefoot again.

It's not fancy, but it's the way I like it.

{very special violets being transplanted (and protected by wire from chickens) from my grandfather's homestead}

{there's just something about clean, fresh laundry...}

{tilled earth}

{there are a few words that strike instant terror into the soul of this poor mortal...and one of those words is "toad." I must confess to an abject terror of toads, and of course, frogs, too - since "Frog & Toad Are Friends"...please tell me you know that book! :) This monstrosity was found in the above tilled earth}

{there is evil to be found within those eyes!}

{a braver soul than I}

{always worth a try....but I would relinquish all thoughts of marriage if that happy event hinged on a lip-lock with one of these horrific things}

{putting up fencing}

{fix-it man}

{my second home - I love my car!}

{my carseats!}

I hope each of you had a fantastic Saturday, too!