Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year!

New Year's is one of my favorite days of the year. You notice I say New Year's, NOT New Year's Eve. I'm not a fan of the whole staying up really late and watching the BORING ball drop and then being exhausted and sick the next day. I like the following day when everyone else is sleeping off the night before. Its a holiday when nobody does much, which is perfect for this homebody, especially after all the busyness that happens in the preceding month.

It just feels so NEW. And since I'm always making mistakes throughout the year, its nice to turn over a new leaf. New Year's resolution blog posts are lame so I'll just talk about... "things I hope to do/am looking forward to this year."

-My sister in laws wedding! Yay. Weddings are so awesome. And of course, gotta find stuff for it on Etsy! Here's one I LOVE.

-My other sister in law graduating and starting a bakery. And she wants me to experiment with her in the kitchen the summer/fall. So excited for this. Baking is fun, but even more fun with a friend.

-Along those lines, I really want to get in the habit of bread baking this year. I want to perfect a few basic bread recipes. Don't you love the holes in this one? Yum.

-Another kitchen goal I have is raising the number of vegetarian dinners we eat a month from 4-5 to 6-7. Cheaper, healthier, and oh so much fun to play around with. Hoping to draw a lot of from two of my most unique cookbooks: More with Less and The Brilliant Bean.

-I'm looking forward to moving this summer. Our lease will be up and I am so OVER this apartment.

-The BeefyGeek and I have decided that in order to prevent me from growing old before my time, I will be changing occupations this summer. Either cutting my hours, finding a new job, or going back to school. I will have been three years nannying in August, and as much as I love it, its getting to be time I moved on.

-Doing some yoga! Last January I started walking 5 days a week, and I've kept it up, with a few interruptions. Go me! This year I want to add more stretching/resistance training, partly in preparation for babies... the better shape I'm in beforehand, the easier pregnancy and labor will be.

-Getting more organized. No joke. Every time I have even a little feeling of "I may be pregnant," one of the first things I do is check my bathroom closet. Somewhere in my mind there is a voice that says, "if you can't keep this is order now, you won't after a baby's in the picture." I recently got rid of a lot of stuff, but I know there is more to cleanse. I also want to figure out a better system for bill paying/paper organization. Here's an inspiration photo of some nicely stacked sheets from a beautiful website, well worth checking out if you've never seen it.

-I want to do more art this year. I haven't really made time to create lately. I miss it. Such as... basket weaving? I love these baskets. I'd love to be able to make them for myself. Or maybe just buy one. I love the bassinet.

-Read through the Bible with BeefyGeek. This is our year! Hopefully posting updates on our progress here will keep me motivated.

Probably more, but that's it for now. I hope this post is too horrible. I'm super sleepy and my fingers are cold. Not a good writing combo. Plus BeefyGeek is playing Arkham Asylum and its so cool its distracting...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wouldn't that Save you?

Christmas is about a superhero. And its not me. I wish I could save you. But I can't

I wanna rock-n-roll
I wanna give my soul
I'm wanting to believe
I'm not too old
Don't want to make it up
Don't want to let you down
I want to fly away
But i'm stuck on the ground

So, help me decide
Help me to make up
Make up my mind
Wouldn't that save you
Wouldn't that save you
Wouldn't that save you

Watched it all go by
Was it really true
Is that what it was?
Was that really you?

I'm looking back again
Tracing back the threads
You said i was a mess
Or was it just in my head

So, help me decide
Help me to make up
Make up my mind
Wouldn't that save you
Wouldn't that save you
Wouldn't that save you

Something's gotta break
You gotta swing the bat
Too many years of dying
Why is that?

So, help me decide
Help me to make up
Make up my mind
Wouldn't that save you
Wouldn't that save you
Wouldn't that save you?

Matthew Perryman Jones

Monday, December 14, 2009

Two Paychecks

OK, so. For the first two years of our marriage Jon was in school. And I could not wait for him to finish. Mostly for selfish reasons. I didn't want to be the sole bread winner anymore. I wanted to be able to cut my hours, finish school, have babies!

However, now that he is done and working. There are whole new problems arising that I, in naivety, did not anticipate. For instance, if I drive off to take care of baby Lana and forget to soak the beans. There is no one here "studying" who can soak them for me. Logical conclusion of the matter: no chili for dinner.

And as for the whole cutting back my hours thing? Not happening. You have a couple of giant car repairs and you realize two good size paychecks might be nice for a while. On top of that, full time work is pretty impossible to find these days.

But... there are good things. Beefygeek feels a lot better now that he has a job that he loves. A job that pays, no longer an extended unpaid, uncredited internship. Its so good to see him excited about what he's doing. I never realized just how much not working was weighing him down. Another big plus, education no longer takes up 65% of our budget pie chart.

Another big change came when my Nannying family that I've been with for the past two years had to cut my hours in July. (Due to unemployment) So... I had to find more kids to follow around.

And I did. The most prominent of which is the before mentioned baby Lana. She's 7 months. She's chubby and dimply and almond-eyed, and altogether munch-able! I tell ya, she's so adorable I have fleeting notions of "borrowing her," not that I ever would of course. I wouldn't be able to feed her, in my milk-less state. But still. She THAT cute.

It makes me seriously consider skipping the whole "finishing school" thing and jumping right to the "babies!" Because really, I'll always have a brain. But this whole childbearing age thing doesn't last forever. I know. I'm only 22. But that means if I get pregnant now, I'll have the baby at 23, which is pretty close to 30, which is only ten years til 30, which is awful close to 50, when my womb may just dry up!

Irrational, I know. But come on, I'm practicing for the pregnancy. ;-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

A few pretty things I've found in my ramblings:

so many blogs, so little time.

I've been so busy reading everyone else's blogs I've neglected my own.

I'm trying to decide whether to put out the Christmas decorations yet. Usually I wait a while, but last year I wait to long and felt jipped. Also a little bummed that I don't think we're going to have the cash to get a real tree again this year. We were doing really well until that whole car-getting-towed-and-twice-repaired-thing.

Aren't you glad that Christmas is more than a pretty tree?

O Come O Come Emmanuel :Lyrics

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

But I do love a tree!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


So I'm sitting here smelling the stew that I have simmering in the kitchen and feeling oh so excited to eat it. And it occurs to me, "it's awesome to love your own cooking."

I dunno if its great cooking. You might not like it. For instance, I know a lot of people don't like their food as spicy as I like it. I put cayenne pepper in everything I cook. And lots of aromatics. Garlic, onions, celery and carrots in practically everything...

But I love it.

And that's a really good feeling.

Now, if only it would cook faster.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

something fun

So Rocky told me to go home and blog about something fun, and since Jon is hooked on his new game... I think I'll give it a go.

My apartment right now is made up of whatever we have gotten for free. Seriously. We bought: our bed, a small entertainment center, and a microwave cart...and recently a 35 dollar loveseat from craigslist. That's it. We're cheap, poor, and we have super generous friends and family... so it works for us for the time being. But.

A girl can dream can't she?

One of my current favorites is to look at all the amazingly creative ways to make a home homey.
I've bookmarked a ton of fun blogs/websites so I can start to visualize what I want the feel of my home to be; and little by little add things that will make it a reality.

I like things to be open and airy, cozy but not cluttered. I really want my home to be fun. I want people to feel like they can be just as chill or as crazy as they feel like being. I also want to introduce my children (whether my own or foster or adopted or daycare...) to beauty early on. CS Lewis talks about the first time he remembers experiencing something as beautiful... apparently most of his childhood was drab. I want my children to learn to love all things beautiful, both because they'll be more joyful life-livers and because beauty is one of my favorite shadows of heaven and the Author of all beauty.

As for color... i dunno. I've always been a neutrals-woodsy tones kinda gal, but I'm beginning to be a color-convert. The other day when I was eating an absurd amount of clementines, I smelled my cuticles and thought..."I want to paint something orange!" Maybe just a shelf. Definitely not a whole wall... but something.

Anywho. Here's a few of my favorite inspirations:

I love the simplicity of this kitchen. The antique-y looking barnwood counter especially. I would add more plants (my herbs of course!) and perhaps paint a few of the bricks.

I love the dark green and cream with splashes of magenta here. The french door frames painted green makes me feel so cheerful.

I like the idea of unique throw pillows. Its cheaper than an awesome couch and easily replacable if a little one sneaks grape juice out of the kitchen.

I don't know how well you can see these but they're super delicate ceramic leaves that hang from the ceiling. So beautiful. Along these same lines: wind chimes. Love 'em.

This just came to me but what about picture frames painted different colors instead of just black, gold, or wood? Maybe all in the same color but different shades?

So, that's a few of my ideas that I'll be trying to improvise for super cheap... Now I gotta go 'cause Bones is on and then THE OFFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ba ba ba da ba da ba BA!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

So, I've been feeling pretty blue the past few days. I'm so frustrated with Washington and all the incredible things that they've been doing. I love this country and I love this country's constitution, and I hate that our elected officials have been deciding little by little that the constitution is "more like guidelines, anyway." The economy is a mess, the troops are hung out to dry, our president doesn't believe in evil, they are one bill away from controlling 49% of our economy, there are no jobs, taxes keep going up, everything in Fort hood... so on and so on...
And then other stuff. People that I know who are suffering unjustly. Or justly. Broken lives.


The words of the Lord are pure words;
as silver tried in the furnace on the earth, refined seven times.


(He) will arise...will set him in the safety for which he longs.

...when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

ps. 12

Its times like this when I can relate to Ps. 119, and feel like singing about the Word. There's nothing like it. It cleans me up when I'm stuck in the muck. It gives me hope when I've none.

Its times like this when I shake my head at myself and wonder how on earth He puts up with me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

favorite things

So... for those of you who don't know me personally, (You like how I write this like there's actually someone reading?) I'm a bit of an obsessive kinda gal. Not stressed or anal, just temporarily very, very enthusiastic. New books are usually finished within a day or two, new movies watched over again immediately, new discoveries raved about until all my acquaintances are so sick of hearing about it that they wouldn't like it even if they DID listen to me and experience the awesomeness.

Here are the latest things that I love.

-this blog/HTML... yep, that's right, I'm learning code. So that I can widen my margins. Its crazy. There are some brilliant people out there. Who comes up with this stuff?

-Locally grown apples. Particularly "Gingergold" yum.

-Etsy... already posted about this. Its so, so much fun... just to peruse and dream and plot gifts that I'll never be able to afford. And most importantly, to figure out cheap ways to replicate the more expensive things.

-Worst Week. A show that only got one season, but that one season is on Netflix Watch it Now... and it is HILARIOUS. Seriously... gut wrenching... side splitting... ridiculous weeping funny. Also the new NBC show Community, Soooooo good. May steal 30 Rock's thunder. (30 Rock's new season sucks...)

-Walking. This has been going on since like february or so. I've been walking everyday, listening to books on tape, through the beautiful Roland Park Neighborhood. I feel SO good. Seriously. I used to be a adament anti-exerciser. But I love it. Its beautiful, and it makes me feel so CS Lewis-y.

-Along the same lines...crispy leaves. How amazing are they?!

-Food Blogs. They are sooooo much fun. I feel so inspired and delighted to be alive and enjoying simple things like... lunch.

- Borderlands. I get to snipe. And yell things like "Take that, Pyscho Fire Midget!" Pretty sweet.

-Tebow. A college Quarterback who's AMAZING. Almost as good at running as he is at passing. And a Christian. Can't wait to see what happens with the draft.

-MacClaren strollers. Baby Lana has one and it's like a dream come true. So easy to use and push... and Lana hasn't told me this but it looks Darn comfy.

So... there's a few of my favorite things... and now I'm pretending to be Julie Andrews, luckily Jon's not home to be tormented.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Favorite photos from flickr

I stole this idea from this girl's awesome blog. I think I'm gonna do it a lot. :-)

11 12 13 14 15 16
21 22 23 24 25 26
31 32 33 34 35 36

Friday, October 30, 2009

extra hours

When I was in third grade, I read the book The BFG, in which a Big Friendly Giant tells a little girl that she is only half her age because she has slept half of the time she's been alive. I thought, even then, "Not me!" I'm a lot closer to my real age than most people, going by the BFG's standard.

Ever since I can remember, I've had insomnia. Some of my earliest memories are of lying awake, hours after the rest of my family was asleep.

Looking back on my life... well, the short 22 years of it that I've lived so far... I think I may agree with the BFG. I think that the time I spent awake when I aught to have been asleep my well have changed me almost as much as living a few extra years would have. Not that it's necessarily matured me. But I don't think that years necessarily do that either. Its just changed me.

First of all, it taught me to function, work, and learn while operating at much less than peak capacity. I can get up and go do what I have to do even when I'm totally exhausted or sick or.. whatever. And that helps life. A lot.

For another thing, I don't think I would love books have as much as I do if it weren't for those years of nights when books were my only way to while away the hours. I probably would still love reading, but my love for the physical books around me would definitely not be the same. My most worn out copies of old favorites hold a place in my heart akin to an old stuffed animal or blankie or even a childhood friend. When I pick up my copy of Anne of Green Gables and smell its pages and feel its rough, cracked binding... memories flood over me. Many of books have wrinkled pages, wet with tears of frustration as my exhaustion refused to put me to sleep.

But I didn't always read. For one thing, my mom would knock on my wall and tell me to turn my light out. For another, my eyes gave out. Most of the time, I would just think. Sometimes I would imagine the most delightful things, so wonderful I wouldn't even want to sleep. Other times I would scare myself so badly that I would have to get up and go down to the kitchen and be comforted by the commonplace sound of the dishwasher and the sight of the fluorescent light over the sink. I would not have been half as caught up in my own world if I hadn't been forced to go there night after night.

There were times though, when my eyes gave out long hours before and my mind wandered aimlessly, fitfully, unable to focus on anything at all. I don't know if I can describe the severe discomfort to anyone who has not gone without sleep for long periods of time. I think I have had a small taste of what sleep deprivation torture must be like. To feel that your mind is out of your control is a terrible feeling.

What has done for me is hard to say. I suppose one thing that has arisen from these nights is a desire to have a disciplined mind. It is pleasant to let the mind wander, it is terrible to be unable to recall it at will.

The best thing that has come from this quirk of mine is this: I learned to talk with God. When you're all alone and everyone you know is asleep, and you have a million thoughts with no one to tell them to... you find Someone to tell them. I learned to have a long close, confidential conversation with Someone I can't see. I look back on the long lonely nights, and they don't seem so lonely anymore. I remember Him being there. And that is... oh so sweet.

Now that I'm married and much more emotionally healthy than I used to be, I only have an occasional night of sleeplessness... like last night for instance when I probably only got 3 hours total. Blah....

I'm still oh so tired, but I feel better. Thanks for remembering with me.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ships at sea

Another writing exercise. Man, I'm rusty.

"Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board."(2) And as Gent watched the harbour he wished with all of his heart, not for the treasure that may or may not be on board one of the ships, but to be aboard the ship himself.

'If only they would take me. Not likely. The Screit men who owned all of the shipping companies here would never hire a barbarian like me.' Gent could taste the bitterness. This colony was beautiful but there was a price to be paid. Marma never seemed to notice, she was just glad to be away from the constant filthy human traffic of Allorin. The transporter that brought them had been filled with the Screit upper class. The caste system had technically been abolished a century ago; but out here, so far from the up and coming capital, old bloodlines still ran true. And the upper class all looked related to Gent. Their pinched noses always suggested foul surroundings... like they were born to be the snooty aristocrats that they grew up to be.

'I wonder if there are any uninhabited places on this world... All I've seen so far are established Screit communities or overrun tourist hot spots. Or maybe I could join a farming community and live among the lowest Difeen... where I belong.'

He slung the string of Haitun over his shoulder and made his way past the other fisherman his footsteps loud on the hollow metal tubes that made up the swaying dock. Trying to ignore the open stares at his foreign features. He looked up and saw Sewl rising in the west, and quickened his step. Marma would be ready to go to market and would want the fish to sell. Most of the fishing done on Screitla was highly comercialized, but the Haitun were so soft bodied that the large, broad casting nets of the big fishing boats tore them beyond hope. And so, until an applied scientist solved the problem, independent fishermen still were in demand by the wealthiest of the city. They considered line-caught fish a delecacy left-over from a simpler time. It didn't pay well, but it helped.

"Hurry UP! GENT!!" The stars climb high!"

"I'm coming Marma!"

He ran up the stairs, Marma was waiting for him. He handed her the string.

"Good catch today?" Marma didn't have very much imagination... he could just see the days stretching out before them...the same questions again and again week after week.

"Yes Marma, and before you ask, no I didn't see anyone we know on the way."

Marma laughed her sweet laugh. "Ok, ok. I'll be back in a little while. Here." She handed him one of the fish,"It is a good catch."

Gent took the fish eagerly. He was hungry, and it wasn't very often he got to taste his own catch.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes." Marma smiled, "I'll be back."

Gent cleaned the fish carefully, not losing any of the precious, tender meat. He carefully placed it in a pan with a tiny amount of yerthia, his favorite of the local herbs that Marma tended in their window. He cooked it for only a moment or two and then put it on a plate and knelt at the table. He ate half and saved the rest for Marma, and then left the flat before she could get back and make him eat the rest. She was so thin, but he knew that she would want him to eat it, if he was there. Older sisters were like that. But he also knew that she wouldn't let the delicate fish go bad by leaving it for him to eat that night.

The Haitun wouldn't be biting anymore and the docks should be pretty empty by now.

2. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston, 1937

Owl City

'Cause they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance


I love Etsy! I've always hated spending money and now I know that
one of the reasons is that I hate buying things that are cheap and
run-of-the-mill. On Etsy I can buy things that are one of kind.
Art. :-) I ordered Christmas presents this morning and can't
wait to give them! Here's a couple pics of some things I love:

I'm kinda glad that I didn't know about this awesome website
before my wedding, 'cause I probably would have spent a fortune.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A new beginning

I'm not really sure how I'm going to use this blog. I used to blog all the time. I'd write mysterious, personal, poetical sounding things and let people guess what I was talking about. One of the things I look back on and laugh at. But I'll probably end up doing the same thing on here. Its been a while though, so I thought I'd just start out with a few of the fiction exercises I've been doing lately, trying to be an "obedient servant" like Madeleine L'engle told me to be. Not me, specifically... although, in all my arrogant artsy-Anneishness, I'm convinced that she would have found me a kindred spirit if only we had met. Oh gosh. This already sounds ridiculous.

Okay here's the first one. A new beginning to a story I've tried to tell over and over. The one that always gets away.

in the land of goshen... where the four rivers meet.

In my name I am prosperous and no where else. Shen looked at the the paper before him. Unacceptable.

Reject if received in such and such condition.

Instead of starting AGAIN the assignment that he has completed twice already Shen typed those words into the empty space:

"in the land of goshen, where the four rivers meet, the grain waves like the sea. The Blue sky meets the golden sea just out of my reach. then I look and see a road. A earth-brown road, firm and smooth, making its way through the sea. A road through the sea all the way to the blue, blue sky. The wheat rubs against my legs as I make my way through it, pushing it aside gently, trying not the break the stalks. I get closer and closer. But before I can reach the road the sky darkens and black clouds roll in, more quickly than seems possible. They burst forth and flood the land.

I can't see. It pours and pours until I can't breath without choking. And then, right as I start to suffocate, the clouds roll back and the rain stops. Leaving behind broken stalks without heads and mud knee deep.

The sun comes out and beats down on me as I try to make my way through the muck. Even as I walk, I hear the grain crackle and dry in the heat. The mud hardens. I can't get me feet out. They are stuck fast, and I whither in the sun like the wheat.

So much for the land of Goshen."

It was a dream. Only a dream. Born of his parents strange choice for their fistborn. "We're not even Jewish."

Perhaps they thought naming him after a prosperous place would bode well for their his future.

But they were wrong.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Night

Fridays nights with Jon and Amy are either really lame or really awesome depending on your taste. We usually turn on the xbox and watch The Office. Sometimes we will go out... no we don't. we watch a ton of Office.

So... whats been on my mind lately... Halloween.

The boys that I nanny love Halloween. Monster Mash, Frankenstein, black cats... the whole nine yards. I took them to Party City to see all the costumes... Its so creepy. Like super, super creepy. Severed heads.... smoke.... I dreamt last night about some really scary looking dragons and I think its from all the Halloween stuff. It was actually a pretty cool dream... Bean and Ender were there... we were tight. Bean was dying and I gave a truly wonderful my-friend-is-dying speech. But I digress....

My original point was about Halloween. Now... since knowing some people that have been terribly hurt by Satanism... and knowing that Halloween is their biggest day... and knowing that they do horrible things on that day... my family doesn't do Halloween. I think that's the main reason why I get so creeped out by it. I remember enjoying it as a kid.

I've been thinking about the purpose of Halloween... lots of cultures have holidays like it. Day of the dead and such. The psycologists tell us that we have to mock our fears and so we dress up like demons to scare away the ghosts, or like ghosts to scare away the demons... or whatever. I think this is semi-legit. It makes sense to me, and it would explain why children get so into it. They have very little control over their world. Life happens to them. It makes sense that they would feel empowered as the scary guy for one night.

Halloween is just one example of this fear fettish that we have... horror movies and books, haunted houses, ghost stories...
What is it that draws people, grown people to revel in these things? Especially since they know that some of it at least, is real. We tell kids... there is such thing as monsters. And some of them believe us... some of the time. But we know that there are real monsters. Real witches. Real demons. Maybe not red ones, with pitchforks and horns... but there is scary stuff in the world. People who kill people. People who do things much worse than kill people. I'm listening to Paralandra on my walks this week and am once again shivering at Lewis' depiction of Satan. If you haven't already, read both that one and Screwtape Letters to get a vision that will get you on your knees fighting off these powers of darkness... until human apathy sets back in... soon enough.

Okay... I'm home alone and I'm kinda giving myself the heeby geebies... so I'll get to the point. My point is this: human beings are starved for awesomeness. We have this need to break out of the common place into something huge and
terrifying and totally unlike us. A spine-tingling otherness. Something powerful and overwhemling.

In the end I guess it comes down to what it always comes down to... people trying to replace God, in all of His glory and wonder and magnificence, with something else... anything else. There is nothing so great and awesome, but nothing so frightening to we mortals as the Immortal. We try to fill that need with anything and everything... as long as it isn't the real thing. What a twisted way to replace God only wise, who dwells in unapproachable light!

Thanks be to God that we can have this spine tingling awesome experience which we hunger for with Hannibal Lector or mucus covered creatures ever coming into play.

Okay... thats it for now... cause this keeps not getting published...