Monday, November 28, 2011
"One of the things that still surprises me this far along in life is how and when and with what power my longing stirs. Certain times are fairly predictable - times when I am tired from travel and missing home and family, seasons when I have been overly busy and long to be with God for God's own sake, certain moments in the holiday season when I hunger for a deeper experience of the meaning of things. To some extent I have grown accustomed to these longings and know what to do with them. But there are other times when longing ambushes me with a ferocity that seems all out of proportion to what is going on at the moment; it catches me up short with the awareness that something here warrants my attention. Although the experience of longing and desire is often bittersweet, it reminds me that I am alive in ways that I want to be alive."
I could not have summed it up better myself. At times, I become very frustrated at the status quo or the way other people decide to operate. I recall getting all worked up a few months ago because I didn't want to celebrate the pagan holiday of Christmas with all its commercial, wishwashy schemes. I love taking the time to be with family, sharing in a meal together, playing games, and just relaxing. More than this, I love helping other people who have nothing. I would much rather spend my $400 in gifts on someone who doesn't receive much throughout the rest of the year or feed someone whose belly is in knots. I would love for our little family some year (meaning myself, Cameron, and our future children) to forgo the 'pleasures' of 'Christmas' to serve others. That has been my dream for awhile. Cameron doesn't disagree with me, but when I brought the idea up to his mother, she started crying and telling me I was abandoning family. Sort of besides the point (we'll do whatever we're called to do), but it does make it more difficult.
I believe in this section of her book, Ruth is more highlighting the longing of her heart to spend time with the Lord, but I read it differently at first. And, through service, I am following the example of my Lord and I ALWAYS feel closer to Him when I humble myself and give sacrificially.
Friday, September 30, 2011
I vow to make the most of this season of our lives, though. It has been a very good time of drawing close to my Savior! And I have been involved in a food bank ministry of sorts. Our church is searching for a new place to meet while the school we lease gets renovated - this means that I can't dive in fully, yet. But, once we know what we're doing, perhaps this passion of mine will take off. Wednesday was the last day I could glean from the Kirkland Farmer's Market, bringing fresh fruits and veggies to the church office on Thursday morning. That has benefitted many people and it's a huge blessing to see God work in that way - produce that could have easily been thrown away. God speaks through satisfied bellies.
On a totally different note, I picked up an old Bible that I brought to PCC (Pensacola Christian College) with me in '06. Inside, I had scribbled a few quotes from one of the men who would speak on Sundays (a required church - no, I could not go into the community to choose a church).
1) "MySpace - You should hang a sign saying, 'Dirt for Sale', because that's what it is."
2) "Television is a sewage pipe from hell right in your own living room."
3) We choose to hang out with lousy friends and listen to garbage music - it's a choice."
In case you hadn't noticed, I don't really agree with anything he said. I'm not such a huge TV fan, but not because I believe it's a sewage pipe STRAIGHT FROM HELL. It just doesn't have much shininess to me. I'd rather be exercising, cooking, or in community. Just in case you were wondering what in the HECK I do all day long, as one of my patients asked me when I told them I don't watch TV. Shocking, I know.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Colosseum at night
Courtyard at Musei Vaticani
Saint Peter's Basilica
Our dinner table on the cruise: Me, Cameron, Cindy, Chris, Sabrina, and Geoff
Saint John's church and burial site
Grand Theater at Ephesus
Reading Ephesians in Ephesus
The house of the virgin Mary
Inside the courtyard of Sultan's Palace, Istanbul
Rhodes (where I first swam in the Mediterranean)
Istanbul - Topkapki (the Sultan's Palace)
The Blue Mosque
Inside Hagia Sophia
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
- exploring the little towns along Highway 29,
- eating fresh herb bread, soppressata, pecorino cheese, and delicious caesar salad at a vineyard,
- Cameron bought me a beautiful little black summer dress,
- we had a fancy Italian dinner complete with a bottle of red wine (mmmm),
- I crossed off 'mud bath' from my bucket list (yep - clay, peat moss, and hot mineral water - watch out for those 'hot spots'!),
- Cameron mud-bathed with me,
- we had a very pleasant night's sleep in Calistoga, CA,
- and we woke up to the hot SUN and lounged by the pool reading our Bibles.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I'm loving this nursery. Beautiful textures and neutral colors. I'm thinking of a few splashes of color, depending on the gender. Also, the idea of some vintage bicycles (found some miniature wall hangings on Craigslist) and maybe an old rotary phone sounds magnificent. It's fun to dream!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I had a very frustrating encounter with another free ad on Craigslist today. This gentleman (or jerk, not sure which) was giving away some furniture, as he had to move today. I replied to a listing on a free solid Mahogany entertainment center. He replied back courteously, and I enlisted the help of our friend, Logan, to heave it down 3 flights of stairs in Capitol Hill. Except this gentleman never gave me his address in the various emails we sent back and forth. So, there I was, waiting with Logan to get his address so we could actually head SOMEWHERE. I told him I had to be at work at a certain time and he totally disrespected that. I haven't heard from him all day. Big PROPS to Logan, though, for being so willing to help at the drop of a hat! It is wonderful to have friends that I can rely on - that's something silly, but it meant a lot to me.
So, no free Mahogany entertainment center. But a very good day at work. I've got myself some fun girl dates scheduled this week. Tomorrow, Jill and I will make lattes at Dad's work to fundraise for her upcoming trip (http://www.wix.com/jillian_rose/photography). The organization she's going with is called PhotogenX (http://photogenx.net/). I'm very excited to help in this small way - I wish we were doing more fundraising, but it's tough coming up with good ideas that will be worth our time and effort (and bring in more profit than our expenditure). Any ideas?
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It looks like they'll have to replace the hardwoods which cover about 50-70% of the downstairs square footage. That means hotel stay for us! I have no idea when they'll kick us out or for how long we'll be out, but they pay for "an equivalent lifestyle to your home life." I told Debbie that meant I needed a full kitchen - that's all I'm worried about!
It's really hard to fall back asleep knowing there's a strange man downstairs, however, so I'll think I'm up for the day. Missing my hubby today. The thing I miss the most, so far, is having him to come home to after a hard night at work. He doesn't even know how much of a calm he creates for me. The best part is that I don't have to complain for hours; I can just look at him and he knows. He also tells me when I just need to shut it. :)
Here's to another rainy work day!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Today was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Not because "Oh, it just happened to be a good day." 100% because God strategically placed loving, supportive family and friends (some of whom ARE family) in our lives.
Today, I had a thought - one that has occurred to me before. "Plenty of women have given up their husbands for noble causes - even more noble than what I am giving my husband up for. For ages, women have sent their men to war, hoping against all hope that they will come back alive. Women have cried in agony without communication from their men, longing to know HOW they are doing, WHAT they are doing, WHO they are with."
Well, I am not plenty of women. I have feelings. I have never given up my husband before and just because some have does not make it any easier or less painful for me. Today was difficult. Certain things about it were harder than I expected. Kissing Cameron and telling him, "I'll see you in 2 weeks" was not as hard. I'm looking forward to getting dressed up for him and agonizing over the 4 hours it takes me to get to him. I'm looking forward to the planning I have to do for his birthday gift (Yes, it's in July, but I've been planning since February and he's not gonna have a clue).
Cameron, I can't wait to look into your eyes again. We're coming up on 5 years of relationship and I have not grown tired of getting lost in your gaze. You are my love, and I am meant to be by your side. Thank you for trusting me with your heart - I know you've been hurt before. I will love you forever.
LORD, thank you for dying for my sins. Thank you for the freedom you have given me in your name, Christ. I long to live my life for you in all boldness, wherever that takes me. Thank you for our church family at ECF - we are blessed in abundance. You have opened our hearts to your deep love and grace - especially for my husband's growth, I am grateful. Thank you that I can call my good friends anytime to open up and ask for prayer - thank you that they know me. In your peace I rest.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
July of last year began a great adventure. Cameron and I had begun seriously considering investing in real estate (IE buying our first home) last spring. After having some discussions with real estate agents and our bank, we quickly realized how unprepared we were, especially in the way of a down payment. So, long story short, we made an agreement with Debbie to move in for a maximum of 2 years, all while trying to save around 70% of our income.
Logistics aside, we have saved quite a bit (probably less than we would have liked) and my attitude has turned quite sour lately. It takes a near-genius to help me realize when I'm in a bad mood, but I found my stubborn match in Cameron. One snowy night, we took a walk through the streets around midnight and I shared with him for the hundredth time all the things that bothered me about living with Debbie (these always tend to include undone dishes, unwashed counters, clutter, and dog hair). He politely suggested we have a discussion with her that night.
It went about like this: Me - complaining about dishes, small talk when I don't feel like talking, talking about the same things all the time, talking about politics, etc. Debbie - wondering aloud why I cared so much what we talked about as long as we were still talking and on good terms. Me - trying to explain myself in a way everyone could understand (I'm not eloquent with words). Debbie - still hurt and trying to understand. Me - suddenly realizing I needed to be quiet about those stupid, little things and CARE about my Mother-In-Law as a person.
I needed to get over my selfishness and wake up every day WANTING to be friendly and kind. Part of our agreement was that if I was not doing well living here, Cameron would move us back into an apartment until we moved to go to school. We talked about that option and I decided that I wanted to try to make it work. When we moved in here, I saw such an incredible opportunity that I know I'll never have again once we move. I needed to get back to that place, those desires.
One of the things that stood out from that conversation - Debbie pointed out that while the kids were growing up, she wanted a clean kitchen, too, but she had to decide what was more important: clean kitchen or happy family. This helped me realize something I treasure: TO ME a clean kitchen helps me be a better wife/mother (someday)/cook/provider because I am cooking on a surface that will not poison or harm my family. I'm reading a book right now called 'Organic Housekeeping' by Ellen Sandbeck.
Did you know that you can sanitize your counters/breadboards/sinks/stoves/ovens with VINEGAR and HYDROGEN PEROXIDE? It's true - just scrub the nasties off with a clean, wet washcloth and some dish liquid, then spray a thin layer or vinegar quickly followed by hydrogen peroxide. Let it air dry and your countertops will be naturally disinfected. It doesn't even cost a fraction of what 409 costs and you are saving your precious family the toxins of commercial cleaners. This works on fruits and veggies, too - just make sure you use lots of hydrogen peroxide, which helps wash the nasty vinegar away.
All in all, I've realized that I can give up a lot of things that I used to consider important in order to further my relationships. Some things, though, like dishes will just never stop bothering me!
Friday, February 25, 2011
Our Italy trip may just be coming together. Cameron met a woman named Nancy at the hospital who has taken him under her wing. She is a 30-year practicing travel agent and as a big thank you for his taking care of her husband, she wants to help us book our tickets and plan our trip. I am so grateful for her help - she is a sweetie pie. Now, to get the time off work!
Friday, February 18, 2011
Jill and I have been doing some of Jillian Michael's workout DVDs. That lady is good for me. Somehow, I've never been able to get into any other workout series, but she is inspiring. Cameron even bought me a very expensive set of DVDs called Insanity a couple of months ago. I did them diligently every morning for 2 1/2 months, until I hurt my back. I owed my injury to the fact that I was NOT having a good time. I think one should enjoy whatever cruelty they are imposing upon their body. And Jillian Michaels makes it pretty fun.
Making oatmeal cookies for an experiment. I'm trying to recreate Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Cinnamon Ice Cream. I WILL be posting pics - YUM!
Friday, February 11, 2011
Learn to cook in an Italian home.
Deliver a baby naturally at home.
Serve on a medical mission in India.
Soak in a mud bath.
Travel to all 48 continental US States by car.
Build our own home.
Have a farm (chickens, goats, vegetable plot, herb garden).
Be a mentor to a young lady.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Last night, we snuggled up on the couch and watched CARS on the tube (he watched, I laughed at the funny parts, and started a new book on Italy, 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Visit ). I kept stumbling across these romantic passages about sipping espresso in a cafe, walking along cobblestone streets, and romantic sunsets over the Adriatic, oohing and aahing and looking up from Cameron's lap to get a good chuckle out of him (he rolls his eyes, but, secretly, really wants to experience these things with me). I love my husband. He is my greatest source of joy here on Earth.
Right now, he's a sicky boy. With a fever, he has to stay home from work tonight. It's so hard for me to see him without any energy, coughing up thick secretions. But, I do love kissing him on the forehead and playing nurse at home. PS - Pho does wonders for the soul, especially the sick one!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
If you are interested, check out Bountiful Baskets (http://www.bountifulbaskets.org - my hyperlink won't work). I found them a few months ago, but didn't try it until today. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to be this much of a morning gal, but I might try it once a month or so.
Happy Produce Day to me!
Friday, February 4, 2011
Trying on my 1st wedding dress with the help of Jill (I didn't actually the wear the dress I wanted to for our wedding, so I'm going to do a 'redo' shoot with Jill when the weather turns for the better). I wanted to sit down and have tea and read a book in my wedding dress, but Jill had to go and I needed her in order to 'get out'. :)
Antique shopping (yes, I made some purchases... yes, I told Cameron).
Reading about Italy. This is my kind of reading.
Being sad because he's not here.
Being happy because it's not everyday my husband is having a good time without me and I'm having a good time without him. It's good not to be completely dependent on each other.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
A few days ago, Jill and I made a delicious Tiramisu! Here's some pics...
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Cameron also picked up some zip-away pants for traveling. Which brings me to a very exciting point: we have decided to go to Europe this summer! We have been talking and it and DREAMING away pretty much since we were married. Cameron brought up the other day, "You'd really like to go this year, wouldn't you?"
I continue to feel that if we don't just go now, we'll start our family and we'll wake up and be 60 years old. We won't be able to travel as fast or live quite as vicariously as we could now. We both really want to buy property and build our home, start having children, and settle down. So, this will be one of our last celebrations of life without kiddos. And we're gonna make it a good one!
We've looked at travel between Dublin, Stockholm, London, Paris, Barcelona, Florence, and Athens. I borrowed a load of books from the library - they're currently stacked as high as our desk right now. After researching and discussing it some more, we both keep coming back to Greece and Italy as the main places we want to see. We would rather spend a few weeks traveling through the Italian countryside, gnoshing on yummy food and meeting locals, and the Greek Islands and mainland, experiencing the ferry system and getting tanned on the beach.
It is cheaper, we find, to fly to Paris or London, so perhaps we'll fly in and travel by train part of the way. It would be interesting to see some of the mainland by train. We would be open to any travel suggestions or recommendations on places to stay. I'm not keen on the idea of sleeping in the park (Cameron's choice) or sleeping with complete strangers in my room (though some hostels have private bedrooms with shared bathrooms, which I don't care anything about). We'd like to travel for approximately $100 per person per day.
I'm dreaming of this right now:
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Near my birthday, Jill and I drove out Union Hill Road on a dark, rainy evening to pick up some FREE old cabinet doors and window frames from a post on Craigslist. When we finally found the narrow driveway, after turning the car around 4 times, I hopped out and purveyed the goods. Behind the stuff we had come for was a gorgeous King Louis IV-style chair, tattered and torn from years of use and sopping wet from time spent outdoors. It was mine. Absolutely, I can refinish this.
I dragged the chair over to our vehicle and enlisted Jill's help, as I had recently hurt my back. We took that chair home and I beamed as I showed it off to my parents, and later, to Cameron. There is so much beauty in something so old. Not the old, stinky straw or the hundreds of bugs I would later find as I ripped the chair apart, but the idea of something that has been through so much. I think of the families who have shared memories in this chair and the fun that ladies of the house must have had rearranging their living rooms to find the perfect spot for such a lovely antiquity.
And so, it is with great joy today that I announce I have safely removed every upholstery nail and staple from my chair. And all the stinky straw is gone, as well as the bug-infested batting and the hole-y fabric. All that stands of my chair is the elegant wooden frame. Oh, have I got some work ahead of me!
I spent the afternoon chillin' with my sis, making more Valentine's cupid cards. Pics soon... camera battery is charging.