Friday, April 29, 2011


in 2007 i wrote this bit of a memory.  in 1990 my hometown was flattened by a tornado, devastated.  in my own way, i share this as a tribute to those affected by the storms all over the south this week.  may you find strength and hope that there is "another side" and you will come out stronger.

in the meantime, my prayers are with you.
as are the prayers of thousands.

i will never forget a few years after our tornado when we went on vacation to nashville (ironic) and stopped at a restaurant.  the waitress, upon finding out where we were from, immediatedly sobered up and said "petersburg...that's where that awful tornado was a few years ago, right?"
when we confirmed she told us with tears in her eyes that her family had prayed for us all.
and somehow, that meant a lot.

so i hope 5 years from now a waitress is moved to tears when she finds out where you were this week.  i hope a teacher is able to comfort your children, and a pastor is able to shine God's love into your lives.  and most of all, i hope you find out something about yourself that you would have never known otherwise.  and i hope you forget -- but not really.

It’s on Wikipedia now. An article entitled “Lower Ohio Valley Tornado Outbreak”.3 sentences that are supposed to sum up that time in my life.

“Petersburg, Indiana was the hardest hit town affected by the outbreak. It was one of two towns in Indiana that were hit by an F4 tornado. Six of the 12 people killed in Indiana were in Petersburg.”

It’s a rather simplistic answer to the questions we all asked in 1990. I was 9. Mercifully, I remember little about those weeks, months, years after the storm hit us. The images I do have in my mind are vivid though, and have not faded with time. My next door neighbor and I crouching underneath her staircase, crying and holding on to each other sure that we were going to die. Walking out of her house after the freight train had sounded and long gone, and seeing the debris that covered our yard—like snow, in June. There was wallpaper from the nursing home that was flattened—we recognized it right away.We moved slowly through the next few hours—finally getting our power back after 3 days. We couldn’t leave the house for the longest time. My father was a police officer and when we finally left the house on Sunday to go to church, he was going to drive us through the worst-hit part of town on the way back home so we could see. The roadblocks wouldn’t let us through, even with his badge, because I was in the car. When we finally were allowed to drive through downtown, weeks later, I didn’t recognize it. The historic buildings—gone. Only a very few were left standing, and those were in pretty bad shape.

Slowly, but surely, our town was rebuilt. The Red Cross was a visible presence for months. Construction became a way of life. People cried a lot, but they soon shook off the tears, got on their feet and began trying to put the pieces back together.

I watched all of this, baffled. And then I forgot.
But I never did, really.

The next year we moved closer to town and I changed elementary schools. Only--this school had been destroyed by the tornado, so the temporary school was a system of portables connected by a covered walkway. I was reminded of the Storm every day at dismissal as we stood on those walkways.

And then I went to middle school, and I forgot.
But I never did, really.

A couple of years later we began attending another church. This one was brand new—because the original building had been flattened by the tornado. Every week as I walked through the front doors I saw the sign that said “Dedicated to the glory of God, June 1991” and remembered that it was because in June of 1990 their other church collapsed.

And then I went to college, and I forgot.
But I never did, really.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

thursday's ten: things that make me go "huh?"

today's ten list

is one of those not-so-rare glimpses into my mind
where i'm a little baffled by the environment around me. for example

1. the royal wedding is not only trending on twitter, it's a promoted trend. do they NEED any more promotion? and who exactly is getting the proceeds there?!
2. on my least favorite kids show that finn likes: teacher suzie never comes up with her own lesson plans. she always waits for a 3 year old to do it. AND she's clearly a failed singer. she must live in nashville. the "big thing" she does for her kids every day is perform a song for them. i'm sorry, but most 3 year olds wouldn't sit still for half those songs.
3. storms have devastated the southeast, yet we're more concerned with a royal wedding. it's not that i don't wish them well, and it's not that i may not tune in to see the dress at least, but let's give a little bit of recognition to those suffering in georgia and alabama (among others). the death toll is over 200 as of right now.
(and it totally reminds me of last year when nashville flooded and the only news was that of a bomb threat in nyc that turned out not to be for real after all. is it any wonder i get irritated with media priority?!)
4. why are people so fascinated by trash tv? i'll just leave it at that...because i don't want to give any more recognition than these shows already have.
5. is it just me or are allergies WAY worse this year than most here in mid-TN? i want to chop my sinuses out on a daily basis.
6. why on earth do people participate in those copy and paste statuses on facebook?  you know the ones.  "it's CAT week!  if you have a cat who makes your life better, please post this in your status."
and people DO.
7.  on the facebook/twitter people not read what they write?  like, ever?  i so often want to bring my red correction pen to facebook with me...
(and yes i know i type without capital letters, but at least i KNOW i'm doing it.  i know how to type correctly.  and i apologize if it drives any of you crazy :-)
8.  i know, i know, i KNOW that whole wheat pasta is better for you.  but i don't get it.  how can you all stand eating cardboard?!  gimme my white pasta and i'll just eat less of it.
9.  the "end of the world" billboards.  if you haven't seen them, you don't live in the south. ;)
10. fast food restaurants that serve way too many options.  like fish at a burger place.  i don't trust mcdonalds to do a good fish sandwich, sorry.  and i heart mcdonalds, for real.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

what i'm loving wednesday .3

necan you believe i wrote the majority of this post last night?  and 8:40 pm on wednesday it's finally almost ready to publish.  sigh.  that's how this day has gone people :)  can you tell i need to focus on the good stuff?

i'm loving the way anthony gets so cutely intense while playing a game like angry birds

i'm loving monday nights at emanate

i'm loving strawberry milkshake flavored pop-tarts.  i'm not even kidding.

i'm loving this sweet snuggly (under protest) kitty

i'm loving that it's finally time for planting!  i got my herbs in their planters on saturday (and currently am playing the game of hide and seek with them and the storms!) and as soon as we get a nice dry day i'll be planting tomatoes, cucumbers and squash!

i'm loving the commercial with the man and beaver.  haven't seen it? ya go

i'm loving how crazy and fun God is :-)  i'm currently sitting at the 2nd of at least 3 unplanned babysitting jobs for the week.  it's goooood people, it's good.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

hey, it's ok (tuesday) .11

hey, it's ok consider your bed and couch a kleenex wasteland when allergies hit hard randomly sing/hum songs from musicals while driving/getting dressed and realize it 5 minutes into "surry with the fringe on top" not get that at ALL.  i mean, when's the last time i watched a musical?? be a little proud that your dvr is currently under 20 percent really really really dig your new tervis tumbler
(it has cherry blossoms on it and a pouring a diet coke into it before getting into the car makes spills much less likely.  and with me, that's important!) be way.too.excited about an idea you've come up with to organize and keep track of what's in your pantry, freezer and fridge at all times.  because you like to coupon but you don't want to hoard.
(and yes, that idea involves a constantly updated spreadsheet.  and yes, that squeal you just heard was me geeking out at the thought) geek out over spreadsheets be really really excited about the 5 bags full of clothes that you FINALLY found in storage.  and to be REALLY excited that some of the clothing in them is (a) in season and (b) looks good have hit the borders store closing sale HARD last weekend.  i ended up getting several berenstein bear books (LOVE them) and a couple of other kids books for under $20. (often) just want a nap.  

(visit amber for the original of this!)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

'i've just seen Jesus
and i'll never be the same again!'

-song video here
you should watch it :)

happy resurrection sunday all!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

it's a great day to cook a lot!

today i'm in the kitchen quite a bit
first making a potato salad for a gathering tonight
then putting together my angel food cake for easter tomorrow

before (or between) these two i'm also meeting with a family to discuss a summer position with them.  if it works out i'll be working 33 hours/week spread over 3 days.  between that, the fact that another family has asked about 1 day per week and my piano lessons i can stay pretty busy all summer long!  which is good...because hellooooo wedding money!

speaking of weddings, we've selected our photographer.  i'll post her website here once we've signed the contract...but we're WAY excited about her.  and i'll tell you more about her when the time comes :D

hope you all have a lovely weekend, celebrating God's great LOVE for us.



Friday, April 22, 2011


today is good friday
it's also earth day

i'm not unaware of the beautiful collision of these two days.

one celebrating the new life we are called to
the other celebrating life on this earth

each having their dark moments -- the death and burial of Jesus
the pollution, global environmental injustices and ignorance

it seems fitting to me that they both happen today

and i will celebrate
by stopping at starbucks for my free coffee
by going to buy herbs to plant in my garden this year
(and perhaps tomatoes as well :)
by dancing with my fiance

all of these things celebrating life
the down and dirty literally
and the joy of spinning around for hours

it's good
it's right
and i'm thankful
for today

(even if i did wake up with allergies raging and don't feel like doing anything...)


Thursday, April 21, 2011

thursday's ten: if i were gonna buy an easter dress...

(which i'm not)...
but IF i were

here are 10 options that i would most definitely consider :)

1-4 from anthropologie

5 - 6
from victorias secret

7. from j crew
8. from ann taylor
9. from ann taylor loft
10. from new york & co

what about you?  what's on your dress wish list?
(i'm not getting one...because a wedding dress is on the horizon.  and a rehearsal dinner dress.  and a party dress for the girls night before.  no need for an easter dress too...)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

what i'm loving wednesday .2

i'm loving that the people i nanny and babysit for often watch the same shows that i do...yay for cleaning out my dvr without even being at my house!
i'm loving snuggles with sweet children, and the fact that so many people trust me with their most prized possessions.  so.blessed.
i'm loving the WEATHER these days. (ok, except for all the crazy tornado things.)
i'm loving a couple of new (to-me) wedding websites that friends have recommended to me: and
i'm loving chances to get active by pushing a stoller, jumping around with a kinect, doing wiifit, or just hiking up a small mountain.
i'm loving cozy blankets and couches.
i'm loving naps in the hammock on a sunny spring afternoon.  just because i've only done it once so far doesn't mean i won't be doing it a whole lot more!
i'm loving that my fiancĂ© made plans for us to go dancing this friday.  not necessarily his favorite thing to do, but he wants to dance with me and that makes me smile.  a lot. (of course, i'm loving him a lot too!)



sometimes when i sit down
the words pour out of my fingers
like a melody

at other times
they are stilted and stammering

but they're still mine

i find this writing therapeutic
even if i can't share my deepest hurts
i can share where i am
even if the woundings are fresh
i can bleed all over the page
all over the screen
and find my healing

writing is powerful
it brings life to dead situations
it brings peace to me
when things look stormy


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

hey, it's ok (tuesday) .10

hey, it's ok stay in your pj's past noon on your day off play your babysitting client's xbox kinect for nearly 2 hours have possibly injured your foot while playing xbox kinect and jumping still kind of be in love with trader joe look forward to couponing trips. unfortunately, not to trader joe's. have enjoyed the marriage prep session on finances much more than you thought you would. wonder how on earth you're going to pay for a wedding remember that God has provided every need i've had for the past year...why would i expect anything less for a wedding? ask you to weigh in on my decision. which toms should i get?
(this isn't happening tomorrow, but i've decided to take a few bucks from the next few babysitting jobs and set it aside for them)

red canvas


red twill


Friday, April 15, 2011

it's a great day to try an authentic indian restaurant

my friend natasha and i like to eat
mmm, a lot
and this week she told me that she's discovered a new authentic indian restaurant a few miles away
so, to the lunch buffet we shall head :)

tonight i shall babysit for some regular clients
and then collapse into bed
(if the last couple of nights are any indication, that is!)

may you all have a wonderful weekend...
especially brooke as she kicks her husband's butt in their race ;)
(go #teambrooke!)

may you have many adventures to tell us on monday
if that's what you desire
or many moments of peace and calm
if that's what you crave
and many moments to live in awe
of the life you've been given.



Thursday, April 14, 2011

thursday's ten: in your car

i don't know about you, but i totally struggle with either not having what i need in my car...or it looking like a tornado has swirled around the interior.
please tell me you have these issues!
however, i'm determined to spend a little time this weekend organizing the space
and making it functional.
(i'll be back to post pictures if it works out well!)

so.  based on what i already know as well as a couple of tips i've seen on the rachael ray show this week, here's my list of 10 things that will stay in my car. (note * for items already in the car)

1.  first aid kit*  (my car actually has shelf space in the trunk for this.  nope, not kidding.)
2.  a blanket* (i'm a good indiana girl, and know to keep a blanket in the car in case of stalling in winter weather.  plus it comes in handy for the impromptu picnic)
3.  a catch-all basket, small* (in this i keep an extra pair of sunglasses, my coupon book for nashville, an umbrella, extra feminine products, ipod charger when not in use, packing tape for trips to the PO,  sleeves for coffee, baby wipes for cleaning spills or people ;-) and a few other random things)
4.  yoga mat* and workout clothes (the first is a given.  the second is something i've meant to do several times, but after seeing it on the RR show the other day am determined to do.  i'll just keep my tennis shoes in the trunk and have a bag with extra clothes in it for a quick hike, run, etc.)
5.  an emergency toiletries kit (i saw this on the show and LOVED the idea.  deoderant, makeup, tweezers, razors, maybe even shampoo/conditioner and an extra toothbrush. if i ever find myself spending the night at a friends house i'm good to go!  plus i have TONS of random cosmetic bags.  it would be nice to put some of them to use!)
6.  my green bags* (i do keep them in the car when i think about it, but i need to make more of an effort to make sure i have a few before i go shopping anywhere!)
7.  cds.  (i have a few in the car now, and i love listening to pandora on my phone while driving.  however, i have these great cd books that need to be put to good use!)
8.  a sigg bottle* (for those extra runs, or just to keep hydrated.  the only problem with this is summer heat in tn...gotta figure out a way to keep a bottle in the car and keep it from boiling, ha.)
9.  a kid-friendly tote (i love to do random art projects or baking with kids when i babysit, so it would be nice to carry a few extra beads for necklace making, cookie cutters, or other things that parents wouldn't necessarily have on hand)
10.  some sort of (very small) trash/recycling system. (currently i use plastic shopping bags...but i can't STAND how trashy that looks.  even getting a couple of those cheap little "cubes" you use for storage would be better!)

so.  what would you add in your car?  or subtract for that matter?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

hey, it's ok (tuesday) .9

hey, it's ok not get a fabulous time on a 5k when you (a) didn't run because your knee was bothering you and (b) hadn't actually DONE a 5k in months and months and months already be looking for the next 5k.  because i totally have the bug again. love ical because you get to color code *everything* eat a cheeseburger (or quarter pounder) now and then be completely overwhelmed by financial "stuff" all the while knowing and trusting that God will provide need a (free or extremely cheap) getaway.  stat. have way.too.many recipes in your "to try" folder love twitter feel accomplished because the dvr percentage is down to 50ish.  and all that was watched while getting other things done, so it's not like i've been a *complete* couch potato!

(amber is the one who started this and you should totally visit her)


Sunday, April 10, 2011

right now i need the ocean

i need to plant my feet in the sand
knowing that at any moment one of the lapping waves could throw me off balance

i need to pick up the smoothest shell i see
caressing it and realizing that it went through many turbulent waters to become so polished

i need to close my eyes
smelling and feeling the salty wind
that will leave reminders on my hair and skin long after i have left the ocean shore

i need to stare out at the great expanse of sea
and remember that my God is bigger than this...and bigger than any problem i face

i need majesty to overwhelm me
i need splendor to overcome
i need that feeling of being a part of something so much greater than myself

just for a moment
if that's all i get
but for as long as possible

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 8, 2011

unpack those bags

ahhh, baggage.

sometimes it presents itself in streamlined matching suitcases, shiny and new
other times it looks more like cardboard boxes barely held together with duct tape

both equally dangerous.

people who look so put together but are hiding carefully packed issues right under the pristine surface.

others who let their issues seep into every fabric of their lives, so that it's obvious to even the person beside them in traffic or behind them in the checkout line, much less the people they call friends.

and we all have it. like it or not, accept it or not, we're all carrying it.

which is all fine and good...until it starts leaking.

leaking into our relationships
our personal lives
our friendships
our encounters with strangers even

hopefully our response is to face it head-on
to unpack each layer of hurt and shame
or bitterness
or sin
or mistake

but DANG
it's hard

i just have to keep reminding myself
that it's worth it.

because i'm in this forever

(give it a listen.  worth it.)

He's worth it
all that painful "stuff"
it's worth it
because i'm in this forever


Thursday, April 7, 2011

thursday's ten: about spring

the skies are blue today and sunshine abundant
flip flops and sunglasses weren't even a question
and i drove to work with the sunroof open and music blaring

seems a perfect day to write about my favorite season


i'm a transplant to tennessee, even though i've been here over 1/3 of my life now.  craaaaazy.  but there are definitely differences between here and where i grew up when it comes to season changes.

here's 10 things about my experiences

1.  bradford pear trees line every secondary road in my (new) neighborhood.  they are stunningly beautiful.  unfortunately about 60% of people who live in mid-tn suffer allergies because of them.  sneezing abounds.
2.  faux spring happens here sometime during mid - late february through mid-march.  then it drops to freezing again (maybe even snow!) and everyone gets sick.  then the real spring comes, right about now.
3.  springing forward may mean that we "lose" an hour of sleep one night, and that we have a spring forward hangover for a week or so afterward.  but it also means that there's no more driving home in the dark at 4 pm!
4.  lots of events (festivals, craft fairs) begin popping up as natives crave walking around centennial park and the like for hours.  it's awesome!
5.  flowers in abundance.  my birthday flower (jonquils) are the first to peep out, but so many others follow quickly.
6.  tv is still good.  :)  which means i do a lot of evening tv watching with a breeze coming in the screen door and the soft sounds of wind chimes in the background
7.  at home, the farmers start moving.  around here i'm sure they do too but since i live in the city i miss those tractors and smell of plowed earth.  of course, i DON'T miss being stuck behind them for 3 miles on a 2 lane road with no passing possible.
8.  i do a lot of tanning while walking this time of year :)  finn's parents have moved to a house that's approximately 2 blocks from one of the several entrances to the greenway, so it's perfect for that!  plus, i live 10 minutes away from a couple of gorgeous spots to hike. (one i just discovered last week -- so excited!)
9.   signs of new life are everywhere, which is such a great reminder of spiritual things.  making all things new isn't such an abstract concept when you see it repeated at every season change!  but seriously, the baby bunnies, budding trees, and peeping plants are fun :-)
10.  as much as i want to be active and OUT this time of year, rest beckons too.  and i love that.  i try to log a few hours in the hammock each week, i enjoy my God time all the more when i'm surrounded by such beauty, and on a practical note my allergies force me to rest a little more this time of year than others.  and i don't think that's an accident ;-)

so what do you notice or love at this time of year?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

what i'm loving wednesday .1

i'm finally jumping on the bandwagon of this one. i've loved reading everyone else's for so long!

so, here's what i'm loving today!

i'm loving that it's supposed to get upwards of 80゜ today.  hellooooo walk & tan!
i'm loving that so many of my favorite shows are on on demand.  more dvr space for me.
i'm loving kid pajamas.  you know, the zip-up footie pj's.  so.stinkin.cute.
i'm loving baileys coffee creamer. 
i'm loving my cute little car.
i'm loving the new cell group members who we got to meet last night!  spiritual community is just growing by leaps and bounds :-) (and it doesn't hurt that they all have blogs...)
i'm loving my weekly lunch making dates with natasha.  today on the menu: pasta caprese
i'm loving my amazing fiance.  which goes without saying, but i still wanted to say it :D


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

hey, it's ok (tuesday) .8

hey, it's ok! love law & order: uk because of the accents and wigs plan out menus every week often scrap said menus on day 2ish because you totally underestimated your level of busyness heart fruit roll-ups at the age of 30 still get a little giddy when looking at my ring finger hide from status updates on certain nights, until you've watched the show that everyone else is talking about (helloooo grey's last week that i still haven't watched!) be a few days into tornado season and beyond ready for it to be over. the sirens make it hard to take a decent nap!

(visit amber for the original)


Sunday, April 3, 2011

but i choose love

this morning i awoke
to one of my absolute least favorite things


in the form of facebook
and things being revealed in a hurtful way
someone choosing to air grievances publically
choosing to act out of anger
out of hurt
out of shame

not caring
(or perhaps caring in the wrong way)
in the moment they hit "post"
how their words would impact a pretty large group of people.

i was alerted to the situation by a text from my love
and spent the first few waking moments of my day in a state of surprise and a bit of anger

and then i paused for a moment
and remembered

i get to choose the way i react to this situation
just as the person who created the situation got to chose how they handled it
and just because i don't like their choice
doesn't mean that i have to make an equally wrong choice.

ah, what freedom.

i choose to love
i choose to remember that this person is acting out of a place of deep woundedness.
i choose to reflect on the days when i would have chosen similarly
i choose to love

does making this choice make the situation go away?
does it make that person stop feeling the hurt they so obviously are in?
does it change any of the words that were hurled out so publically?

but that's ok.

i choose to love
when it's inconvenient
i choose to love
when it's unfair
i choose to love
when it has to be a deliberate decision
i choose to love
with the best of me, not the leftovers

i choose to love
whether or not i feel in the moment that you are deserving of it

i get to choose
and i choose love


Saturday, April 2, 2011

it's a great day to register for stuffs!

we're heading out at 7:30 am.  on a saturday.
doing breakfast with A's parents and aunt at pfunky griddle
and then heading to williams-sonoma
after that, target
and bed bath and beyond.

i have a feeling it's gonna be a looooooong day
but i'm looking forward to it :D

hope you all have a wonderful saturday!