Tuesday, June 29, 2010

black and white...or gray?

seems like a lot of my favorite things are black and/or white

which carry my weekly coupons
white house, black market
which carries clothing that i love
the little black dress
my macbook

but so many things are just not.

and i find myself frustrated with those who try to make gray (or orange...or purple) things black and white.

like women's roles in the church
which i don't even think should be a discussion
like handing out condoms in schools
which i may not like, but i still support--as long as proper education is there as well
like whether alcohol is evil
i don't think it is...but i understand for some people it is, and i do respect that

(i sense longer blog posts for every one of those little categories in my near future!)

there are so many things in life that fall into that gray area
i like gray
what i don't like is people trying to explain away the gray
trying to dilute it into white or darken it to black
not all things are purely good
or purely evil

and i wonder
why we seem to find ourselves focusing on gray so often

here's what i know to be black and white

God loves me
He sent his Son
to save the world
john 3:16
my job now
is to help out however i can
...go into all the world...
to show people that love
to take care of the earth
not to be eco-chic, but to truly care about God's creation
to make my divine appointments
(or rather, to make my appointments divine)

that looks different for everyone
sometimes i'm not sure what it looks like for me
but that's what matters.

why focus on the gray?


Thursday, June 24, 2010


it just doesn't make sense to people
and i KNOW that
and sometimes it's frustrating to attempt to explain to people
even some of my Christian friends who aren't called to the same life of exuberant faith that i have been
(and there is nothing wrong with that--they are called to other things that i'm not)

but money?
i'm not worried about it
which makes NO sense
to anyone who knows my circumstances

God is teaching me that HE and He alone provides my every need
under the best and worst of circumstances

yes, i "lost" my house
but i truly felt that it was a release
a hurtful one at moments
but a release, nonetheless.

i have bills to pay
that i have no earthly idea how they will be paid
but that's just it--earthly ideas don't get me very far
He knows how it will happen

and while sometimes i wonder it people think i'm just sitting around on my butt
(and in a sense, that's what i'm doing--the waiting part at least
i work my butt off doing all kinds of odd jobs)

*i* know
that every time something is due that is crucial
some way
the funds come through

and yeah,
dave ramsey would not be thrilled with my approach
(or maybe he would--
i have a feeling that he understands what it is to live in faith that God will provide)
and it doesn't follow his "program"
which i very much respect
and have many friends who have used it to eliminate debt from their lives

that program
that mindset
is not what i'm called to right now

i don't know why
i don't know for how long
but i know
trusting in Jehovah Jireh--the God who provides
is what i am called to
and especially right now

complete and utter faith that HE will work things out?
it's an amazing place to be

i don't know why He chose me to live this way
but i am so, so grateful
because the pure, unadulterated JOY that is a part of this?
is absolutely intoxicating.


Thursday's Ten: contemplation

if you're anything like me, you spend a bit of time "wondering" every day. it's not really worrying...just contemplating. trying to figure out how things work, what's going on. here are a few things i'm wondering about lately.

1. whether or not i should drop my health insurance coverage and put the money i would be spending on it in savings for emergencies of all sorts
(if it only pays 20% of my hospital bill and my premiums for a year would nearly pay that bill...is it really worth it? especially knowing that most places give a discount to uninsured patients?)
2. why i sneeze so dang much
3. whether my rosebush is salvageable
4. how to find a good vet for my baby girl
5. whether to bother buying some summer clothing right now--it's SO hot, but i plan to be in smaller clothing pretty soon, so i can suffer through the first 10 pounds in yoga pants and stretchy shorts, right?!
6. whether or not i care about soccer
7. when i can squeeze in my atlanta trip. it's happening, i just keep having other things come up! argh.
8. how to jump on the coupon queen bandwagon. i mean, i do it...casually. time to get serious!
9. when i get to see penguins again...
10. where on earth i put the plug to my computer adaptor...i mean, seriously...there are only a very few square feet to choose from here...ugh.

join me, won't you? i need to know i'm not the only crazy "wonderer" out there!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Recipe of the Week: LB Connection Fruit Pizza

a couple of weeks ago i was in delaware. my friend laura and i were trying to make a healthy dessert, and did a 3-layer deal with strawberries, honey and cinnamon being one of the layers. i loved the combination...and i love how when we put our heads together we come up with this kind of stuff!

* "lb connection" is because not only do our first and last names sound alike...we also both go by "lb" (elle bee) on occasion. so we often have "lb moments" when we get together--and we create some pretty fun things (often food) together! *

i've made this twice now, and it's gone over really well both times...it was kind of a made up recipe based loosely on several fruit pizzas that i found on other blogs and websites, mixed with the aforementioned layer in the dessert we made a week prior to me creating this recipe.

so without further ado:

lb connection fruit pizza

1 package of refrigerator sugar cookie dough (i use pillsbury)
1 package of low-fat cream cheese (you could use 2 if you want it to be less liquid-y, but then you're adding unnecessary fat and calories...in my mind at least)
3/4 - 1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 package of fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp (ish) cinnamon
2 tbsp (ish) honey

first, combine the fresh strawberries with the sugar, cinnamon and honey in a bowl. refrigerate for at least an hour, but up to 24 to let the juices flow. it sounds like an odd combination, but i promise you it's good :)

approximately an hour before you want to serve the pizza, spread the cookie dough over a pizza pan. i haven't tried this with a pizza stone. i assume you could use that as well...but the 'lip' on the pan helps with the next few steps.

bake the dough at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes. let the cookie crust cool completely.

with a mixer, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until it's creamy. then add the strawberries.
* warning: this gets rather messy...because it'll basically be a liquid. i don't mind, and neither have the people who i've shared this dessert with...but as previously mentioned, you can add a bit of whipping cream or cream cheese to make the consistency a bit thicker if you like.

pour strawberry goodness mixture over the cookie crust, and chill in the refrigerator until it's ready to serve. be prepared to run out :)

(in fact, that's why the pics are the quality they are--i snapped them with my phone when i noticed there were only 2 slices left!)


Monday, June 21, 2010

weight goes down and it's rewards

i'm adding to my little sidebar "weight goes down" button
you see, i have this big goal of approximately 50 pounds lost in total
but even though that's not THAT much
it's easy to get discouraged along the way when i see a pound lost at a time

i've also tried to reward myself in the past with different things...but they more often than not include food. uh, that's not helping.

so. here's my official weight loss reward system:

10 pounds lost = the "eat this, not that" book to go along with my "cook this, not that" cookbook
15 pounds lost = trip to storage to get clothing from my next size down :)
20 pounds lost = new book of piano music (possibly the Les Mis book)
25 pounds lost = one new piece of clothing from a favorite store
30 pounds lost = a pair of killer shoes
35 pounds lost = a new pic of a and i, in a frame
40 pounds lost = wii sports resort
45 pounds lost = private yoga session with my favorite teacher
50 pounds lost = new bathing suit, even if it's not swimsuit season anymore ;)

this could obviously change a bit, but i'm committed to a "reward" every 5 pounds. some are obviously more exciting than others, but i'll look forward to each one.

oh, and the only reason i didn't do a 5 pound one is because i've lost 5 pounds and gained 2 and lost 5 and gained 3 for the past month and a half. soooo, i'm starting rewards at 10 pounds down from my starting weight--which i'm approximately 5 pounds away from right now.


monday's memory: the one with the sweet couple rerun

i originally posted this back in july of '08. anthony and i went to the same swing dancing thing a couple of weeks ago, and i told him about this couple that i saw way back then...it made me want to share it with all you as well :) and yes, the picture at the end is of the couple i wrote about.

This is an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote after swing dancing this weekend. Enjoy :0)

In the corner near us and the band was a beautiful young girl, her flowing brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. Her partner was a tall and dashing man with thick wavy hair. They were so obviously in love--they never once seemed to notice the swirling dancers around them or the fact that I can't stop watching them. I took note of their simple matching rings. I envied them--their obvious deep love, their lives just beginning...and then I blinked. Sunddenly I saw his snow white hair, her gently wrinkled face. Instead of living on the brink of a life together they are closer to the end of their time. I can imagine that the days they have lived have brought many sorrows as well as joys, pain as well as promise. Yet, they are so full of love and hope that I simply cannot take my eyes away.

She smiles coyly as he spins her out and back, and they sway together in the way that only those that truly know their partners can, looking deeply into each other's eyes. This is their story, their beautiful legacy, and I find myself wanting to continue it.

I'll probably never know their names. But I hope one day, when I have hair streaked with gray and I am nearing the end of my journey, that someone will see me dancing with my soulmate and be as inspired by our story as I have been tonight.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday's Ten: promises

i feel like it's important (for me at least) to do this every once in awhile. so here are the promises i'm making myself as of right now, in this moment.

1. i will not worry about money and where this or that payment will come from. thus far, God has provided my every NEED...why would i think that would change?
2. i will enjoy each moment instead of focusing on what's "wrong" with my life/finances. in the grand scheme of things, i'm so incredibly blessed...and it's only when people outside of myself start wondering aloud how i'm handling things or what's going on that i start questioning. i need to remember something my dad always quoted: "there's nothing that will happen today that God and i can't handle together"
(erm, i may have gotten a huge hospital bill last night since my insurance is crappy and been doing a bit of concerned thinking...)
3. i will enjoy time spent with children...even if they are whiney and argumentative with each other. it's tennessee, it's summer, and it's hot...we're all whiney.
4. i will continue getting active, continue my routine with WiiFit, and finally get up the nerve to go for a walk/run even though i'm afraid of an asthma flare-up. guess what? that's what my inhalor is FOR!
5. i will learn to can foods, specifically tomatoes. i read not too long ago that eating canned tomatoes from the store is awful for you and that if you must buy them you should look for glass jars instead. i figure if i preserve the ones i grow myself in glass jars i'll be one step better :)
(and yay for money saved...i use a LOT of canned tomatoes when i cook italian foods!)
6. i will take a hard look at composting. now that i live in a neighborhood where curbside recycling is available, it's much easier to be green in that regard...next steps would be compost and rain barrel...perhaps not this summer, but soon.
7. i will take a few moments each day to be intentionally grateful
8. i will continue 'settling in' at a reasonable pace
9. i will take emi to the vet for a check up
10. i will spend more time with those i love


Tuesday, June 15, 2010


when i have a little girl
i shall build her a dollhouse
not a plastic pink barbie shack
but a real, wooden, quality house
with stairs
because it never made sense to me
how dollhouses could have so many floors with no way to get up and down them.

and when i have a little boy
i'll build him a train track
with interconnecting railroads
and streets going through it all
so that he can play to his heart's content
with trains and cars
(and so can i)

and i'll go fishing with them
(and make their daddy bait the hook)
and my little girl will climb trees
and my little boy will learn to nurture baby dolls
and we'll camp in the living room
and have picnics in the playroom

there will be dancing and singing
swimming and sports
taking them to ball games
and concerts
and church

that's what i'll do with my children...
what about you?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday's Memory: the one with the musical

in june, 2008, i accepted a friend's request to join the cast of a musical she was producing at a neighboring church

i hadn't done ANY acting since i was in school...and i kind of enjoyed being on stage for a moment

i played 2 characters: nane, one of the handmaidens of the egyptian princesses (the one who found moses in the water)
that's me on the right
and flora, one of jethro's daughters, but not the one who marries moses
(hey, that's me on the right again)

we sang, danced, told a Biblical story, and struck a few poses

and i met quite a few friends along the way.
strangely enough, this musical was the way i finally figured out that anthony liked me :)

he came to the first performance and was literally among the last 3 people to leave
(it was the director Jean, me and him locking up)

he called me to say "break a leg" for sunday's performance
(he had NEVER called me before, only texted)

and when people started posting pics on facebook and tagging me in them, he sent me a text telling me that this picture (of me doing my makeup pre-show) was a great picture of me.

if it hadn't been for that musical...it would have taken me a LOT longer to figure out how he felt

(and you thought it was all about the singing and dancing)


Friday, June 11, 2010

planes, trains and cars...oh my

after a nightmare-ish trip back to nashville (first plane being delayed over an hour, second plane being delayed over an hour and full of CMA attendees followed by the second plane sitting on the tarmac for 45 minutes before heading back to the gate because there was a mechanical failure and the plane to replace it was on it's way...in 2.5 hours...) and subsequently getting in after midnight when it was *supposed* to be before 8 pm, i realized something.

i still love to travel.

and i've done quite a bit of it in the last few months.

from the wedding in indiana
(of which i like exactly one professional picture of myself...but it's ok because it wasn't MY wedding, and by the time i'm the bride i'll be down to my goal weight :D)
*but i do like this picture of myself...in a dress that wouldn't zip up when i bought it but i had NO problem zipping at the rehearsal dinner!*
to the trip to cosby, tn (next to gatlinburg)
where we laughed, prayed and generally forgot that it had been nearly 10 years since we'd all been together
where beth announced the arrival of her second child, come january
where i cooked my famous vodka pasta for us all (alchi cooked out for my preggo friend)
and where we got exactly one picture together.
and then to delaware
where i hung out with laura, israel, and israel's daddy ryan
where we cruised the bay in a speedboat
watched izzy get cuter
lay out on the beach
stayed up watching tv at all hours
and shopped til we (at least izzy) dropped

and there are a couple of more summer excursions planned

i'm seriously considering
attempting to get training
to be a flight attendant

i mean, i love to fly
love people
love to see new things

the only thing that's kept me from doing this in the past
(yes, i've wanted to do it for years)
has been that the pay scale was lower than what i was used to
and i was concerned about keeping up with the mortgage and other bills.

in case you haven't heard
i no longer have a mortgage
which right now i'm looking at as a big 'ol blessing

and while it's quite a bit different from anything i've done
wouldn't it be a BLAST?!
and what's stopping me from pursuing something that would just plain be fun?
not a thing, that's what.

so perhaps next summer
i'll start flying the friendly skies
a bit more often

(anyone have any tips about best ways to get started in this? i'm assuming i'll just go through an airline and go through their training...but insight would be awesome :)


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

page from my journal (2)

the seagulls are teasing me,
elusively avoiding my camera angles
yet coming close to beckon me
when i lay the instrument down

like so many dreams of life
which seem to taunt me
laughing as i raise my interest
as i try to capture them
only coming closer when i give up
i will chase my dreams

and today
i will capture
a picture
of a seagull

(i'm in delaware with a couple of friends...this was written yesterday as we boated around the bay...and yes, these pictures were taken...that day)


Friday, June 4, 2010

things that made me smile today

(erm...yesterday? and early today?)

the drive to work--gorgeous country roads (and only 15 minutes away from my house...perfect)
upon arrival to work, hearing P yell "hi! hi! hi!" before i could even see him
(he's SO precious!)
my voice student's smile when i told her the song she's been working on is nearly performance ready
babysitting tonight for children i go to church with but don't see on a truly regular basis...and hearing the oldest (a 4 year old little girl) say "i love you miss lora" out of the blue.
modern family reruns after the kids went to bed
extra money for next week's excursion because i took this job tonight.
emi being happy to see me when i finally got home
the tomato plants i planted yesterday still standing :) -- in fact, perked up quite a bit because of the slight shower they got this evening.

so even though i left my house at 7:45 am, and i just walked in the door at 12:26 am the following day ...

i'm blessed
i truly enjoyed all 3 of my jobs today
and even though i'm wiped out
i'd do it again
(not just to earn the money)...but because right now? i get to LOVE my job.
yeah, i'm not rolling in money
i still wonder about what's in my financial future
but i love what i do
and right now
in this moment
that's where i'm supposed to be.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday's Ten: photos

so seriously? i started to write a blog full of 10 potty training tips. i wish i were kidding. this is NOT going to turn into a mom blog, especially before i'm a mom for pete's sake...but can you tell what i'm doing this week?
(btw, boys are much different to train than girls. just sayin')

instead, i think it's time to pull out a few favorite photos. mine will be from the past few months since i do this particular thursday's ten on a semi-regular basis.

share pics--caption if needed, stories if you wish!
here's mine:

1. emi loving me :)
2. a and i with my valentine's day flowers
3. the doggies i "sat" for (a's parents dog, a dog each from his 2 aunts and his grandparents 2 dogs) while they were in kentucky for the second memorial service for his granddaddy.
(yep, that's f-i-v-e itty bitty poodles!)
4. my friend laura's little girl being quite pleased with herself
5. emi's glamour shot
6. a pic our friend natasha took of a and i at the pub
7. at a friend's wedding

8. indiana field--i was a little obsessed and took a few pics :)9. my friend beth and her little boy "e". i have a couple of him that are adorable, but don't want to show them here without her permission! so you'll have to settle for his cute back :)
10. a self portrait i took at the rehearsal dinner for the wedding i was in almost a month ago (i'll post pics of that weekend with the professional ones come in). i just like this one because the dress is fun...and it zipped up with NO problem when it wouldn't even close a month before :D