Friday, May 28, 2010


*written last friday after arriving at the cabin*

they were everywhere today.

one landed in front of me as i walked into the grocery store
pausing every few moments to turn
and look at me
as if he were wondering about what was going through my head
just as i was wondering what was going through his.

then as i sat in traffic, trying to just get out of town
they kept landing in front of my car
taking a moment to splash in a puddle
in the midst of heavy traffic
only flying away when the light would change and traffic
began moving.

it took a few times -- and then i got it.
i'm a sparrow too
and God is watching out for me
just like He is for them

i don't think it coincidence
that my favorite song to play on the piano
when i am stressed or at the end of whatever rope i've been clinging to
"His eye is on the sparrow"

oh -- i know He watches me

and that is why
through death
and whatever else may come
(and it will)

i am ok.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday's Ten: product recommendations

i've been wanting to do this for awhile...why not now?

ten products or items that i would highly recommend for your own use. most of these are VERY cheap :)
(PLEASE play along even if you don't have a full 10 list!)

1. my stacking recycling bins from ikea
2. my can opener. it was a gift from my parents one Christmas, and it's a.m.a.z.i.n.g
(mine is red, but i couldn't find an online image of it. it's the 'one touch' brand and i think you can even buy it at target or walgreens now)
3. my creative memories all purpose scissors. coupon clipping, scrapbooking, photo trimming...fantastic
4. pampered chef kitchen shears (ok, similar to the above, but they are AWESOME on their own and i use them for *everything* around the kitchen)
5. avacado slicer. it makes it so easy to have fresh avacado when i don't have to get so stinkin' messy cutting it up!
(you can buy it wherever you buy kitchen tools)
6. starbucks insulated cup. you knew i'd bring it up again eventually!
7. and on that note, the sigg water bottle. um, i don't know where mine is...someone besides me packed it. must.find.soon!
8. (for pet owners) the mouse laser light. best purchase under $5 i have possibly *ever* made. emi loves it! (i bought mine at target)
9. cfl's (compact fluorescent lamp). not only are they SO much better for the environment, they also last forever and drive down your energy costs!
10. in that whole "green" vibe--reusable grocery bags. trader joe's are quite stylish, and i'm forever taking a reusable bag with me on trips, or to carry stuff back and forth from they're quite versatile for me!

i KNOW you have a similar list. please share!


Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one in Venice

this is one
where the picture can kinda speak for itself
(may 2002, europe tour)


Tuesday, May 18, 2010 incredibly proud...

le boyfriend and i haven't seen a *whole* lot of each other over the last few weeks

not due to my crazy schedule
or the foreclosure, moving, asthma, or flood
(someday i'm going to come up with a catch-phrase for that month.
current top runner is *hell*)

but because something incredible was happening in his life.

you see, he's been a gaming enthusiast all of his life
and has converted me to a few of said games
(i still don't know a fraction of what he knows though)

and he has had a passion/dream of writing about the industry

and a few weeks ago
he got his chance!

he applied for an internship with a website
that is apparently a pretty big deal
and was accepted along with 3 other people

and less than a week after submitting
his very first feature article
he's published!

please go here and check him out
and if you're like me
and have little or NO idea what he's talking about
pass the link on to those people
(boyfriends, husbands, brothers, sisters, roommates, neighbors)
who do understand!

(pardon my gushing...i'm just a little bit proud)


Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one with the suitemates

(this one shall have lots of pictures)
we met during freshman orientation
a weekend when we visited a local waffle house way too late at night
ordered pizza that took 2 hours to arrive
learned a tiny bit about each other
and decided to be suitemates
we paired off with the 2 "l's" in one room (lindsay and lora)
and gwen and beth in the other
a yankee and a southerner as the makeup of each room

you would have thought we wouldn't work
since NONE of us knew the other
but somehow
beautiful friendships were formed

together we celebrated:
first dates

birthdays (on a budget)

and sometimes just dressed up to dress up
thursday nights were "suite nights"
usually they involved going to wal-mart or the mall
stopping by sonic for a meal
or even walking to the scary subway for a sandwich

we would come back and crash
and watch a movie
(in gwen and beth's room. they had the tv. we had the fridge and microwave)

lindsay introduced us to a show called "second noah"
and we would have marathon nights of watching it on her vhs tapes
from the first season to the last

and we sang
to the partridge family's "i think i love you"
to rascal flatt's "prayin' for daylight"
and to dixie chicks...well, anything
("goodbye earl" was a particular favorite, however)

we all had musical taste differences
but THOSE were the songs we could agree on. always.

we argued too
and would have nights where we would just talk and work things out
some of those nights involved some tears
but without fail, we'd end up all piled together on one bed
laughing at something

we had long talks
about what we wanted our lives to look like
about faith
how we wanted to live out God's calling on each of us
(we had no clue how to do that...we just knew we had to)

it was an idyllic 2 years
junior year, only beth and i returned to trevecca

and we had different roommates
(although our apartments were just across from each other for awhile)

we got together often
and still took classes together (mostly music)
it wasn't quite the same

6 years after the last time we'd all seen each other
beth got married
and the 4 of us saw each other again
(although beth was a little busy...
so it was mainly gwen, lindsay and i who were able to reconnect)

that was in 2007
gwen came to visit nashville last year and we were able to spend a few days together
different "pairings" like that have happened
but the 4 of us haven't spent any time together

that's going to change
someone's parents have a cabin
close to gatlinburg

and lindsay, gwen, beth, elijah (beth's toddler) and i
will spend thursday through sunday together

i'm not sure we'll have the same kind of menu
(we're trading ramen noodles for my vodka pasta)
or the same movies
(at least we'll be switching vhs for dvd)
and WE are not the same people

but we still have mad love for each other
and these friendships, i truly treasure
because when we get together
it's like it was 10 years ago when we first met.


Friday, May 14, 2010

30 before I'm 30

originally i had this scheduled for a few days after my birthday. then came the foreclosure...the packing...the hospital stay...the flood. so i'm just a LITTLE late. :)

here's my 30 before i'm 30 list...30 things i want to accomplish and do before i turn 30 next march! none of these are earth-shattering huge things...but if the last few months have taught me anything it's that even the little things count.

truth be told, i hesitated at even posting this. it seems so...frivolous...after all that's happened just in the last few months. but something my smart boyfriend and his father pointed out to me as we were packing my stuff up for storage and moving is that i need "wins" right now. little ways to smile and acknowledge that i've accomplished *something* no matter how small.

so some of these are silly, some are fun, some are serious, and many are modified because at the time i first wrote this list i had no idea i'd be losing my house.

1. actually run an entire 5K (I've run/walked several now)
*modification due to at least HALF a 5K. we'll work on the whole after that.
2. take a trip to Holiday World--i want to introduce A to a place that was fun for me as a kid!
3. visit at least one brand-new-to-me place
4. eat 3 fruits/veggies every day for a full month (0/30)
5. read 20 books (0/20)
6. volunteer at *something* at least 5 hours/month (2/12)
7. take one picture per day of my 29th year
*modification due to foreclosure, moving, hospital and flood...start a 365 photo album on january 1 next year like everyone else...and just attempt to take a picture every day for the remainder of this year to get used to that
8. try 30 new recipes (2/30)
9. fit into the majority of my professional wardrobe. This will require losing another 20ish pounds, but preferably 30-40. (3/20)
10. review 12 books in 12 months for le blog (0/12)
11. find and perfect a mojito recipe
12. grow a container herb garden
13. look into graduate programs and decide what to get my master's in (hopefully to be completed by age 35)
14. play the piano daily for a month (0/30)
15. begin practicing yoga again, up to 3x a week by my 30th birthday
16. have at least one meatless day a week
17. wear more hats because I love them
18. entertain at least once a month, whether that be a big party or another couple (can be at A's place or mine as long as I have at least 1/2 the responsibility) (2/12) * for A's family counts!
19. get my cds organized...oy
20. reorganize kitchen
(uh...does finding all the kitchen boxes and organizing THEM count?
*modification: find some space saving solutions at IKEA and implement them. Atlanta trip coming up in June)
21. go through wardrobe as I lose the weight and toss clothing that no longer fits into a box for clothing exchange/donation
22. have fresh flowers in the house weekly (from my own garden or an inexpensive bouquet from TJ's)
23. find a wreath for the front door that I love
(ok it's now a side door, but still)
24. once I get it, use the WiiFit at least 3x per week (usually more, especially once it gets cold!)
25. put at least 3 new pieces of jewelry in my Etsy shop per month
26. try at least one new ethnic food group
27. visit NYC
28. unless i'm out of town, keep up with the blogs in my google reader...because 300 unread blogs is NOT a good normal
29. take Emi to the vet for a check-up. it's been awhile...
30. complete a 30 in 30 list (because that's an accomplishment in itself--it's hard!)


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday's Ten: Warmer Weather Edition

it's finally getting to be the time of year that makes living in middle tennessee completely worth it.
not yet too humid
(although give it a couple of weeks)
and not over 100 degrees just yet

well, without a beach
THAT would be perfection

here's my list of ten things i love to do around town when it starts warming up :)

1. go for a hike or a walk. besides the greenway, radnor lake is a favorite place. and amazingly enough i have just moved within a few moments of the trails there!
2. visit the zoo. anthony and i joined last year and i'm totally renewing my membership. with my new nanny gig(s) (more about that later...) and friends who love animals as much as we do it's pretty much a necessity. plus the reciprocal membership with zoos around the country is fantastic!
3. lay out. i know, i know, sun cancer...but i CRAVE the sun. i'm never out THAT long...
4. eat. which kind of doesn't seem to fit with the above, but shall i explain? fresh fruits and veggies straight from the garden, avocados sliced up on a sandwich, organic stuff--just anything! i feel like eating so healthily during these summer months--which is probably why i don't have a problem with the diet and exercise routine!
5. garden. i'm excited because this year i'll be planting tomatoes in the ground, plus reviving my herb garden in containers!
6. head to the park--grown-up park with friends, playground park with kids. they're all fun, and everyone feels like a kid when we just play!
7. read. on a rainy or cloudy day, curling up in a chair. when it's nice outside, taking a book and a blanket to the yard and just hanging out with the characters for awhile.
8. take a nap. there's something about coming home on a sunday afternoon...opening the curtains...putting a comfy robe or pj set on...and laying down in the sunlight. it's my inner cat, i suppose--emi and i usually jostle for the most sunny area to sleep in!
9. have a popsicle. those fla-vor-ice pops from when you were a kid? yeah, i totally keep a box on hand at all times. pure sugar...pure fun
10. get a pedicure. ok, so this one is a self-done pedi lately...just can't justify the expense for myself at the moment! but there's something about walking around in flip-flops with pretty feet that makes life a little sunnier :)

what about you? as it warms up, what do you like to do?


Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one with the hike in Malibu

i'm one of those people
who NEEDS to see the ocean once a year or so
unfortunately i've always lived in landlocked states
the first time i saw the ocean? i was 20.
perhaps i need to make up for lost time!

this picture was taken in malibu, california
my first time to sunny ca was in 2008
my friend vera and i took a little hike
up to point dume
it was fun
(although next time i'll wear something besides flip-flops to hike it in...)
and this picture was taken when we came back down

a hike right next to the ocean?


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday's Ten: ways YOU can help

i've had so many people out of town ask "but what can we DO?"

i hope you don't mind that today's 10 is ways to help out nashville. it's honestly written because people have asked for it to be. there are tons of blogs and sites out there with similar lists, but i want to specifically focus on what out-of-towners can do.

this is in no way a comprehensive list, and if you live close to our area other blogs (such as nashvillest) will be good resources for you if you don't know anyone specifically who was affected. chances are you DO know someone though and are already helping in whatever capacity you're able to.

for those of you with a bit of distance between your place and ours, here's a short list of concrete, simple things you can do to help those who are hurting.

1. we need donations of gift cards--home depot, wal-mart, target, lowe's, kroger, etc--for people who are rebuilding/replacing ruined items. gift cards instead of items simply because we NEED people to be able to spend money in our city right now.
i've also seen a few people mention gift cards to local restaurants for people who have a kitchen that is inoperable.
here is one place that i know is taking donations of gift cards:
Otter Creek Church

2. are you affiliated with a church in your city? if so, contact a "sister church" in nashville. ask if they have specific needs in their congregation, or if they have specific ministries that are in need of extra donations/supplies for flood relief. most churches down here are taking care of everyone they can.

if you aren't affiliated with a church try one of these: (independent ministry) (churches of Christ) (Catholic) (non-denom)

3. text for good! the american red cross will receive a $10 donation to disaster relief if you text "REDCROSS" to 90999

4. bottled water is needed right now. no, it's not the environmentally conscious thing to do, and it hurts my eco mind to use bottled water, paper plates and cups, and other disposable items. but the fact is, one of our water reservoirs was flooded and is currently inoperable. nashville residents have been told to cut water usage by at least half. this means most of us, if we're listening to the pleas, are pretty stinky right now since no one is taking good showers. but you know what? i'm happy to take baby wipe baths and rinse out my hair every other day--or two--if it helps my nashville. we're being asked to limit water usage to cooking, drinking, and hand washing and VERY limited other usage. if bottled water is donated, it'll cut down that much more on city water usage.

5. buy a t-shirt. right now all i have is the facebook fan page, but there should be an online store up soon.

6. for those of you concerned about the fate of animals, the nashville humane society and metro animal services are accepting donations that are more pet-friendly. :) there are also several area vets and kennels that are boarding animals for displaced families.

7. one of the coolest things i saw on facebook earlier this week was that students at my alma mater (Trevecca) were given an opportunity to receive credit by volunteering in the flood relief in lieu of their exams in some classes. how amazing is that? trevecca has always been a school of service, and i'm proud to be an alum when i hear things like that.

by the way, trevecca sustained some damage in the electrical/maintenance facilities, print shop, gym, student activity center, and a couple of athletic fields. yet i didn't find out about that until i read a press release on a nazarene church's website informing the greater nazarene community of this. clearly, student efforts are focusing on what they can do off campus...did i mention i love my university?

trevecca's flood relief efforts:
lipscomb's (i should also note that lipscomb is one of four main shelters housing families who were displaced. the others are the gordon jewish community center, al menah shrine center, and people's church in franklin)

i couldn't find any other local universities with flood relief efforts, but i'll keep my eyes open in the next few days.

8. donate monies online
community foundation (in conjunction with the mayor's office)
american red cross
second harvest food bank
salvation army
nashville rescue mission (ok, so this isn't a flood relief specific page, but they serve nashville's homeless population and they were definitely hit a donation would not be out of place for them. another worthy homeless ministry is room in the inn which several area churches participate in. another homeless project which is absolutely amazing and wonderful is the newspaper, the nashville contributor)

9, visit us. we depend heavily on tourism dollars. yes, opryland hotel and downtown are currently under water. yes, some tourist attractions will be closed for a few months. but let us show you the other sides of nashville, the sides tourists typically miss. we'll be glad to have you, and grateful that you remember us.

10. or come down for a weekend and help families clean out their flood-soaked basements or houses. hands on nashville is coordinating all the FEMA volunteers, so that's a great place to look.

and pray. please. i've stopped watching the news--it's so horrible to see places that i love literally in ruins...and then there are the more personal aspects as i help people i dearly love try to sort out what is salvageable and what must be thrown away. we WILL rebuild, and we will be stronger for it...but right now it's just overwhelming and hard. pray that help will be swift and effective, that clean up will be as smooth as possible, that the city and her people will be resilient.

side note: if any of you are from indiana (southern) or the part of kentucky i'll be driving through to get there and want to send anything down with me, i'll be up thursday-saturday for a wedding. i'll have limited times that i can pick stuff up but please email me or call if you have my number and i'll DEFINITELY meet you and get anything you want to the appropriate place.

i'll also be going to the gatlinburg area later in the month, so if any of you are on the way from nashville to there (or close) i can do the same then :)


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Nashville

i love you


(and you can see one reason why here.
i've sat in stunned silence while looking at flood damage
honestly, this is the first thing that has made me tear up. the pictures have left me shocked and heartbroken; seeing damage firsthand has left me speechless. but THIS...this speaks of what we all feel as members of this city--this community.
and this made me cry.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday's Memory: The One With the Small Group Lunch

end of may, 2007

i'd just driven back overnight from a wedding in n carolina
(which will be a monday's memory later this month...more on that later)

when i look at this picture i smile
yes, i look tired
(i was!)

but i was with such good people
(from front to back)

randy and lajuana now live in atlanta
calvin and kathryne i still see regularly
richard and suz took a worship ministry position at another church in town
and michael and jes now has an adorable baby, finnegan (finn)

we seemed to nearly always gather around mexican cuisine
on wednesday nights especially
although this was a sunday afternoon
anytime we gathered
we laughed
and loved

still love each other very much...
but times like the ones in this picture? very rare.