Wednesday, December 27, 2006

great kisses

never been kissed has been playing on amc tonite. so with that and the fact that new year's eve is only a couple days away, i started thinking about perfect kisses.

it's been ages since i've kissed someone romantically--more than a decade in fact. it just hasn't worked out that there's been someone in my life to kiss. i'm okay with that. as i recall, kissing was fun, but i'm okay with not wasting perfectly good kisses on mr. not-so-right, but i digress. there's nothing like a great perfect kiss in the movies.

the one that ends never been kissed is one of my favorites. but my all time favorite movie kiss is from gone with the wind. it's the scene where rhett tells scarlett she should be "kissed and often and by someone who knows how".

so, what's your favorite movie kiss? post it in the comments and if i get enough responses, i'll post a top ten list of movie kisses.

Friday, December 22, 2006

five things you don't know about me

as mentioned in the previous post, i was tagged for this meme by jay.

so, here goes:

1. the weirdest holiday i've had was thanksgiving in '90. i was opening a chili's restaurant in edmonton, ab, canada and they don't have thanksgiving when we do. i sat with 4 other american trainers and we had cheeseburgers and talked about what we'd be doing if we were home with our families. that evenin
g the franchise owner invited us to his home for dinner and he and his wife put on an american style thanksgiving dinner for the five of us americans. it's a fond memory.

2. i have a reputation in my family for teaching the next generation all kinds of mischevious things like how to lick & stick gummi bears, burping loudly, etc. the latest thing i taught one of the kids was how to floss his nose even though i've never actually flossed my own nose.

3. my selfish wish is to one d
ay wear a beautiful ballgown and be whirled around a dance floor like anna is by the king in the the king & i. if you click on the trailer, you get a glimpse of the scene i'm referring to.

4. i have a 7ft artificial charlie brown christmas tree. seriously, the thing is scraggly and ugly but by the time i get all my ornaments (i have a huge collection) and lights on it, it turns out to be a rather pretty thing. just like charlie brown's.

5. i decided i wanted to follow jesus when i was five because of a poem by christina rosseti i'd memorized for the church christmas program. it's the last stanza of the "in the bleak midwinter" and it goes:

what can i give him
poor as i am?
if i were a shepherd,
i'd give him a lamb.
if i were a wise man,
i'd do my part.
what can i give him?
i give him my heart.

i told my mom and my pastor i wanted to give jesus my heart and that's where my journey with him officially began.

so, enough new info about me. i tag andy, lizzy & jamie (who hasn't posted recently but is missed).

hello again

so, it's been quite awhile since i posted. i was gone for several weeks and then came home sick. and i'm quite terrible at posting while i'm traveling.

but by way of a brief catch up, i was in cincinnati for the 3rd of our 4 national youth workers conventions. following that i headed to tulsa for a week and hung out with the fam for thanksgiving. from there, it was off to charlotte for the last national youth workers convention in 2006. the last day of charlotte, i woke up with a nice case of laryngitis. it was downhill from there. i ended having a sinus infection, the beginnings of an ear infection and an upper respiratory infection which turned into a charming case of bronchitis. it's been this week that i finally have started feeling more like myself and like i'm recovering from all the past weeks have held.

most surprisingly, i've actually had a few emails of people wondering where i'd disappeared to since my little blog was gathering dust. it was nice to know that a) people do read this and b) that i was missed. one of those emails arrived today from jay. he also tagged me for a meme so for that see my next post.

wow! two posts in one day after weeks of silence. oh good heavens!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

i'm not convinced

i'm hearing a lot of excitement about the fact that the democrats are now in control of congress. people are convinced it's a new day and things are going to change for the better.

i'm not convinced. i do think things will change with democrat controlled congress, but i haven't seen a reason to believe that things will change for the better. i haven't heard a clearer plan for figuring out what to do about iraq from the democrats. i haven't heard a clearer plan for strengthening the economy and improving the dollar value against foreign markets. i haven't heard a clearer plan for reducing our national debt

i'm also not assuming that things will change for the worse. the thing is electing a bunch of people just because they're not republicans isn't going to solve anything. i think we need to start looking more closely at the individual than their party affiliation. it seems like we need good, smart, creative people to send to congress--people who can look towards the bigger picture of what's best for the country as a whole more than what's best for their career or their party.

i know i sound naive, but my one vote, for what it's worth, will be cast for the person most likely to do the best job irregardless of their party.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

london on my mind

i've always been a bit of an anglophile, but i'm a bit surprised at the ways in which my london trip is sticking with me. i miss it. it seems strange to write that or even think it since i was only there for four days but i do miss it. i'm trying to process what specifically i miss and what there resonated with me so deeply.

i'm having a hard time finding words for what god began stirring in me there. i can't decide how much my lack of words
has to do with the newness of it and how much has to do with how busy my life is right now.

and my life is quite hectic right now. the day after i flew home from london i flew to austin tx for the first of four national youth workers conventions. after austin i flew to vegas to see elton john and from there to denver for a conference to represent my company. just monday i came home from convention number two in anaheim and tuesday i fly to cincinnati for convention number three. i fly from there to tulsa to spend thanksgiving with family and from there onto charlotte for convention number four before flying home to sd in early december.

for now i'm surfing the web looking for cheap airfares to go back to london after the first of the year, watching movies filmed in england (four weddings & a funeral, bridget jones diary, etc.), and enjoying the photos from my trip. i've shared a couple of my favorites here...the london eye at night and notting hill homes on a rainy afternoon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

why i love lucy

lucille ball is my favorite actress and this month she's the star of the month on turner classic movies.

my love of lucy began my senior year of high school. my parents were going thru a divorce and i spent quite a bit of time with my aunt & uncle. my aunt would watch i love lucy every night on tvland and i'd watch along with her. it didn't matter how hard things were at the moment--lucy and ethel's antics would always crack me up. ever since, no matter how blue i'm feeling, lucy can cheer me up. i also find myself occasionally getting into a pickle that leaves someone saying i have some 'splainin' to do.

i became curious about her as i kept hearing snippets about her life and so i started reading books about her. when her autobiography was released, i received it for christmas and read it in a single setting. i learned not only was she quite beautiful and talented, she was also brilliant and savvy. she created the concept for the i love lucy show. when her marriage to desi ended, she became the first woman to head a studio...desilu productions--which produced star trek and the andy griffith show. she was a trailblazer in her industry.

but the two things i think i admire most about lucille ball is her tenacity and her capacity to love unconditionally. she persevered thru a variety of tough situations, being labeled a communist during the mccarthy hearings and nearly blacklisted not to mention her divorce from desi. and she loved dearly her mother and grandfather who raised her with some very strange and often harsh parenting styles. and despite their divorce, she and desi remained devoted to each other speaking to each other nearly every day until his death.

and so now you know why i love lucy... and in case you're wondering, my favorite episode of i love lucy is episode 113, l.a. at last, original airdate february 7, 1955 featuring guest star william holden. it's the one where lucy catches her fake nose on fire. i have a lucy doll based on this episode, complete with a fake nose with a burnt tip.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

and then a bit of sadness

so i know i did the right thing in not continuing a relationship with someone who had such different beliefs and understandings about what relationships look like and the role of women. there were also a couple other concerns that i had about the relationship that also added to the end of it. these other concerns are things that would have made a relationship hard, but one of the things is some past hurts that are still very present that he needs to work through for his own sake.

there are a lot of great things about the guy...the things that drew me to him in the first place. and a lot of ways in which we were really compatible; we had a lot of similar interests. and i had a lot of fun chatting with him and spending time with him. i have some very fond memories.

so even though i know i made the right choice, i'm still finding i'm a little sad...sad that he's still haunted by the past hurts, sad that our beliefs on some core things were so different, and finally a little sad that it didn't, couldn't work out.

Friday, October 27, 2006

why i'm not married...or back to blogging

apparently i don't understand what it means for two to become one because i want my own identity. really. i was told that. my understanding is that we are to be mutually submissive, that our personalities and gifts are to complement one another, to use our gifts and skills to encourage and build up one another so that together we're better than we would be on our own. for me to do that, to build up a spouse, to complement him with my own gifts, it seems like i'd need to keep my own identity. but i guess my definition doesn't work for everyone. you know what though? i'm really okay with that. i'm okay with holding out for someone who shares my understanding of what two becoming one looks like.

and while i'm holding out, i'll have more time for blogging ;)

Sunday, October 15, 2006


tonite some friends and i had a blessing service for a friend of ours who's pregnant with her first child and due in a few weeks. it was a wonderful evening where we celebrated with food, words and ritual the life passage of becoming a mother. as part of the celebration, my friends--who are all moms--shared storeis and memories of becoming a mother and the birthing process. my home was filled with love, laughter and the intimacy shared between women. now, the house is quiet and i find myself feeling rather melancholy. and i realize it's pretty unlikely i'll ever have a birth story of my own to share. i've known for awhile now that it's pretty unlikely i'll ever be able to become pregnant and in many ways i feel as though i've come to terms with it. but sitting here now, it's hard to not feel a little cheated because i'm missing out on this amazing part of being a woman. it's hard to not feel a little less female, less feminine. this statue is in trafalgar square. i took a picture of it for jeannie. i liked the statue, but i didn't feel particularly connected to it. i think i realize why now.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

my new favorite city

london. london is my new favorite city. two weeks ago today, i was shopping in the market on portobello road in notting hill (yes, like the movie). besides notting hill, my friend jeannie, who went with me, and i spent time at westminster abbey, trafalgar square, covent garden market, tower of london, a musical (avenue q), national gallery, harrods, and windsor castle. we rode the tube and spent quite a bit of time walking around london passing landmarks like big ben, parliament, buckingham palace & hyde park. we walked along the thames and saw the london eye, tate modern, and shakespeare's old globe. we crossed the millenium bridge and saw st paul's cathedral. we ate in pubs and at wagamama (we so need to lobby for these to come to the states). i had fruit beer at belgo--yum! i think my favorites on the food were the panko-crusted sweet potatoes & butternut squash at wagamama, stilton & wild mushroom tart at the pub near our hotel, and a pumpkin & parmesean tart i bought at the market in notting hill. also, the chocolates from harrods were quite yummy.

most of all, i just loved being
there. i loved walking the few minutes from our hotel to the tube stop and passing little mom & pop markets and 3 pubs. i loved that our hotel had a little green park behind it and that it had narrow stairs and tiny halls. i enjoyed taking the tube everywhere and all the walking. it was fun to wander thru leicester square, covent garden and piccadilly circus. just wandering around london was one of my top 3 highlights.

another of the top 3 highlights was my visit to the national gallery. i saw so much in only 3 hours...rubuen, rembrandt, renoir, gainsborough, picasso, monet, manet, vermeer, van gogh, da vinci...i could spend days there. my favorite painting this time turned out to be this renoir titled the umbrellas. there was something so captivating about it, particularly the little girl in the lower right corner with the hoop toy. i can't say how much i loved this museum. i bought half a dozen postcards of art i loved. on my next trip, this will be a main stop.

the final of my top 3 was our visit to windsor castle. the trip is 45 minutes by train and you come around the final bend and there it is--castle! it's quite interesting and there's a ton of history since it's over 900 years old. we visited on a sunday and went to evensong at's chapel. it was the most beautiful service. there was an all male choir and the acoustics were amazing. it was lovely, although a bit hard to stay awake since it was late afternoon, very quiet and we'd just eaten. nevertheless, it was a highlight of my trip.

i can't wait to go back...i'm looking for a deal to go back in the winter and spend my time wandering around museums for a few days. i want to see manet to picasso again at the national gallery and just spend longer there and i want to check out the tate modern's unilever series--giant slides you can go down.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


just a couple pics from sunset friday night. i thought the sky was so cool. and i have a new digital camera to play with so...

Friday, September 15, 2006

instead of blogging, iming

so, my life is in a fairly hectic season right now. it's crazy busy at work as we head into doing 4 conventions and launching the campaign for next year's CORE. (sidebar: next year's CORE has such great stuff...stay tuned!) i'm finishing up a certificate in adolescent spiritual direction. i'm going to london for vacation in less than two weeks and heading to our first convention less than 24 hours after i get home--this seemed like such a good idea several months ago!

and just to add to the craziness, i made a new friend about 6 weeks ago. it's not serious at this point, it's way too soon for that. we are having fun getting to know each other though. instead of blogging, i've been iming during my online time. since we live at opposite ends of the state, iming is a great thing. the friendship is more than an online thing. we'd actually met in person and then started keeping in touch online. i went to visit him over labor day weekend and that weekend we decided to meet in vegas in october to see elton john's red piano and he's coming down here over veteran's day. i don't know what will happen--i'm just having fun and enjoying the growing friendship.

i just thought i'd share where i'd disappeared to.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

how they met

as i was dusting tonite, a book that's been tucked into the back corner of my bookcase caught my eye. it's called how they met by nancy cobb. it's an anthology of how famous couples met and when they knew they were in love. i bought it when i was doing bridal consulting years ago. it just got me to wondering about my friends out here in cyberspace. how did you meet your spouse/significant other? what was the moment like when you realized you'd found that one someone to do life with?

i'm looking forward to hearing your stories.

Monday, August 14, 2006

belay on

belay: To secure (a mountain climber, for example) at the end of a length of rope.

when belaying someone, the belayer when ready says "belay on". this command lets the climber know the belayer is ready to keep them safe. the climber responds "on belay" to let the belayer know they've clipped in and are now depending on them for safety.

i have a friend who's going thru a difficult time. i want to help them but i feel helpless to do so. i've offered my prayers and encouragement as i can and while i know prayer is the most important thing, my prayers feel small and meager.

for some reason, i started thinking about belaying. it's so tangible when you're belaying someone. you feel the tension on the rope, you pull out slack or give the climber slack in the rope as requested. it's a tactile way of helping a friend, of keeping them physically safe.

if there's such a thing as an emotional belay, i say to my friend, belay on. i'm here for you. i only wish such a thing could be as tangible as the rope belay.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

fun aunt mindi

one of my favorite things in life is being aunt mindi to my nephews and godchildren. and i've had fun this week being aunt mindi.

i have a godson who'll be 14 in november and we've been iming. tonight i was also iming with his younger sister who's 10 and her best friend. it's been great to connect with them since i don't see them as often as i'd like because they live in ok and i live in ca. it was also kinda fun that when i told them i was coming for a visit in a couple weeks they were excited.

and speaking of that visit, i'm flying thru denver to meet my cousin's 5 yr old daughter and fly with her to nana's in tulsa. she actually calls me her 'fun aunt mindi' and is very excited about us flying together to nana's. i hope she still is when we go thru security in denver and mom & dad stay behind. i plan to have a few special treats to distract her just in case. either way, it'll still be a good trip.

the badge of busyness

i wrote this article for National Network of Youth Ministries monthly newsletter. i saw a link to it on a friend's blog. it was a little surreal. i've written a couple articles now and i'm still startled when i run across them online.

but this one feels a little more vulnerable. as i relooked at it tonite, i realized how much i still need to pay attention to the level of busyness in my life. one thing i've been doing this week is spending time in my hammock swing. i've taken books with me but i end up just thinking, praying and daydreaming. sitting in the swing is something i'm going to try and do more days than not when i'm home as an intentional way of slowing down and just being. feel free to ask me how i'm doing with that.

so how about you? what's something you can do to be intentional about slowing down for at least a few minutes?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

blogging from my porch

a week or so ago, good friends gave me a great gift--a hammock chair. it's something i'd been wanting for awhile and hadn't gotten around to purchasing for myself. this afternoon i hung it.

it's been ridiculously hot for days but today is overcast and there's a lite drizzle off and on. best of all there's a nice breeze. i'm now swinging ever so gently on my porch with my laptop. really, this is brilliant. i may never leave this spot. okay, maybe for a shower and a snack, but then i'm coming back.

oh, wait, as i'm typing this, there's a hummingbird about 3 feet from me snacking on the flowers. this spot is just perfect!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

DC: faith, idealism and stewardship

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.--Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865.

when i first returned home from dc, i blogged "there's also the bewilderment i felt in visiting monuments and memorials that ascribe to a higher ideal of america and americans than many of our current elected officials seem to be striving towards." i've been really pondering since my trip how my relationship with jesus should impact my role as a citizen. i've always been diligent about voting; but for awhile, i've been sensing that merely voting is just meeting the minimum requirement. our country is a bit of a mess at the moment. jim hancock identifies some of the biggest issues far more eloquently than i can in the "you broke it, you bought it" portion of this post.

quite frankly, it's more than a little easy to be overwhelmed by politics and the process especially when much of the process involves negative campaigning in an effort to either get or keep a job as an elected official. a prime example is our current gubernatorial race here in california. i've yet to see an ad financed by governor schwarzenegger's campaign; however, the california republican party is airing an ad that uses material from democratic primary candidate steve westly's negative ad's towards his opponent phil angelides who won the primary and now faces schwarzenegger in the november election. phil angelides' camp is running an ad touting him as "a leader not an actor". of course, both candidates would say they're for fixing immigration issues, cutting tuition costs, improving public schools, etc. but i haven't ever heard a clear plan that makes sense on how to accomplish these things from either one. it bothers me that campaigns focus more on the candidates than on the details of the issues. i feel like much of the time we focus on the candidates and the politics rather than the end results of the issues. and when we as americans allow candidates and media to focus on anything but the heart of the issue and how it impacts the everyday lives of people, we fail.

in dc, as i visited the lincoln memorial and read the words from his second inaugural address (excerpted at top), i was moved. his words were simple and got right to the heart of the problem: the country was at war, the war needed to end and america needed to heal. now i don't think lincoln was perfect, but it felt as though he was looking beyond himself, his agenda and focusing on the larger issues. in dc, i kept noticing as i visited the different sites that i had a vision, an awareness of being a part of something bigger than myself.

and for me that's where faith, idealism and stewardship come in. i feel like because i want to follow jesus and reflect him to others, i need to be more engaged in being a good steward not just as an american citizen, but as a citizen of the world. when politicians are campaigning on anything but the issues, i should do the research to find out where they stand on the issues. i should email or call my congressional representatives and let them know how they can best represent me. i should get involved in bringing issues that are neglected in the press and the congress to their attention--the genocide in darfur for example. it's also important that when i do contact my representatives, i do so respectfully and graciously even though it may feel futile.

i also need to make lifestyle choices that reflect good stewardship. i need to get involved in my community outside my church bubble. i need to choose to recycle. with curbside recycling, there's no excuse for me not to recycle magazines, newspapers, glass and plastic containers and pressed paper packaging besides the cans and bottles i have been. i'm sure there's more i can do, but for me these are realistic first steps.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

project runway quote of the day

robert to kayne: "she's a beauty queen not a disco ball"

i love robert.

my restless heart and mind

i need to sleep tonite but my heart and mind are restless. the thoughts are bouncing around like a pinball.
  • my heart hurts for a friend suffering. i wonder how best to sit with her in her pain and to hold hope for her when she can't hold it for herself.
  • i'm mulling over my state of singleness, on whether i can or should hold out hope for a relationship and on whether or not doing so distracts me from enjoying all the good things in my life right now.
  • i'm saddened and disturbed by the current state of war in the middle east. on some level it reminds me of siblings in the backseat of the car punching each other and saying with each punch stop, no you stop, no you...
  • the amount of stuff at work that i need to get done this week--the to do list seems endless at the moment
  • concern for a friend whose parents are going through a rough patch
  • excitement for a friend whose newly engaged
  • how to find a rhythm of life that allows me to stay connected and grounded and flow in and out of my routine at home more easily despite upcoming travel
  • what it means for me to be an active citizen and participant in our government (stuff tied to my dc trip and global community stuff that's been rattling around for awhile)
those are the big things. maybe by putting them out there, my head and heart will take a deep breath and drift off to sleep.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

you-had-to-be-there moments pt 3

on the last day of dcla, a couple co-workers and i were the last to leave the center after making sure all of the pallets were properly inventoried and addressed to make the journey to the next event in anaheim. while we were finishing up, a huge thunderstorm blew thru. it was bad enough that all the people who'd already gathered down on the mall had to be cleared off the mall and into the nearby musuems and memorials for safety. for us, we watched the rain through the open dock doors. the rain stopped shortly before we left the convention center to hike back to our hotel. as we're making our way back to the hotel, we're standing on the curb waiting for the light to change. alex comments that we should move to a different part of the curb where there's less of a giant puddle to cross. just as i turn to walk that direction, a car passes too close to the curb, splashing the puddle onto me--one whole side was soaked. my two friends/co-workers laughed and laughed. my lament however was that when it happened to doris day in that touch of mink and renee zellweger in bridget jones the edge of reason, the both ended up kissing gorgeous men, cary grant and colin firth respectively. me, no. just the laughter of friends.

the final odd memorable moment of the trip was the cab ride when we changed hotels for the last night. there were 5 of us making the trip with luggage. i went out and asked the doorman to arrange for a cab that would accomodate us and all our luggage. he motions to the first cab over in the line up and asks if a suburban would work. i glance in the direction he's motioning and see a big vehicle done up as a cab. sure, i tell him and go into to get the rest of my friends and my luggage when we come back out and approach the vehicle, i realize it's not a suburban. it's a ford f350 converted into a cab with a camper top over the bed. it does serve the purpose as it will hold the 5 of us and our luggage. we pile our bags into the back of the truck and climb in. our driver who's wearing a cowboy hat (which fits since it is a big pick up truck he's driving) tells he's 85 and from south carolina. my one friend tells him we're rock stars and that we were thrown out of our hotel so that's why we're going to a different one. after that the driver talked the whole way to the other hotel, but so low we couldn't understand a word he was saying. it was all a little odd.

ah, the little moments that make trips memorable.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

you-had-to-be-there moments pt 2

fast forward to friday night about midnight. normally we do setup for our events in two days but for scheduling reasons we had to do it in one. we'd worked from 7am until a little after 11, stopped off for a late snack and headed to the hotel. to say we were slaphappy is an understatement. we (david, jay, jen & macall) got onto the elevator to head to our rooms shortly after midnight. macall forgot to push her button for 3 and we were laughing about it and jay said she should get out with them on 7 and then go back down. we were laughing and she forgot to get off at 7 so she decided to ride all the way to the top (12) with david and i. we were laughing some more when the elevator jerked to an odd stop and then nothing. the door didn't open. we all look at each other (david, macall and i). david tries his key since 12 is a key access floor. nothing. i try hitting the door open button. again, nothing. i start figuring out the phone and david is telling me not to panic. i'm not panicking, i just want someone to come get us out.

after the call to the hotel operator, she sends up engineering. engineering can't help and calls the elevator repair company at which point i recommend calling the fire department. david tells me to stop telling them how to rescue us. i tell him that hey, if we're getting rescued the chances are way more in favor of cute fireman than in cute elevator repairmen. instead hotel management comes up and tries to pry open the doors with little success. by this time, david, macall and i have discussed whether or not they could get pillows into us, water and snack supply between us and whether or not the elevator car will drop. david begins taking pictures. someone else tries to get the door open and david snaps a pic. when the flash goes off, a stern voice warns david that if we want out of there we need to quit taking pics because he can't see with the flash going off. this person gets the door open about an actual inch--just enough for david to see that he's actually dc metro pd. he can't get the doors further than that and we hear him calling dispatch for fire and rescue. at which point the operator calls us back and tells us the fire department is on the way. a little bit later we're told the fire department is there and we'll be out in another 15-20 minutes. at last the firemen open the door just wide enough for us to climb down and out. the elevator car had overshot the 12th floor by about 2 1/2 feet. 3 of the firemen were holding the door open for us to get through and the fourth one (the only cute one) stood to one side and watched as we climbed through them holding the door open and jumped to the actual floor. finally we were out more than 45 minutes after we went in.

the whole thing was a little surreal. the one hotel manager who was there when we were rescued told us he'd contact us the next day about compensation. he never did. we contacted the manager on duty who called me back but i missed his call. i called him back and left two messages, neither of which were returned. truthfully, i was so happy to be out, compensation wouldn't have occured to me. however, since they brought it up, they could have at least followed through. i think i'll be writing their corporate office.

i'll post the other two moments tomorrow.

you-had-to-be-there moments pt 1

wow...i'm just still wiped from my last week and a half so i'll post about the lighter side of things from my trip.

i should've known it'd be a weird trip based on our flight's landing. just as we were landing a toddler across the aisle from me started throwing up. this didn't phase me--she's little, she can't help it and she hadn't been feeling well the whole flight. what did phase me is a jerk of a guy who started making gagging noises and commenting loudly about controlling the kid. i try to turn off my sense of hearing and start thinking to myself "lalalala i'm not listening" to block out the jerk behind me. finally we touch down and make it to the gate. as we all start standing up to get our stuff from the overheads as the door is being opened (i'm in row 10 and the door is at row 8), this tiny little asian lady heads back and is trying to reach her carryon which is stowed in the overhead across from jerk guy. he starts griping at her loudly and she just looks up at him and keeps repeating "bag, please" and it becomes obvious that she speaks very little english--she doesn't understand a word that jerk guy is yelling at her. finally a couple people get into the aisle between her and jerk guy and get her off the plane along with the couple with the sick kid. and then everyone clears a path for jerk guy to exit. finally i get into the aisle to exit and am behind either the captain or co-captain (i can't tell which) who starts telling the jetway operator to contact the gate agent and stop the boarding process for the planes next flight because "there was a problem with the nose and we had a hard time setting it down correctly. the first officer is on the phone with maintenance and this plane can't leave until it's been thoroughly inspected." okay could have lived without hearing that.

i'll break this segment up into 3 posts instead of doing one really long post.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

my last 9 days

i spent the last nine days in washington dc. it was my first time there. i went for work--dcla. the event was july 1-4 with an additional day on either end for set up and move out. and after move out, i took an extra day and a half to explore dc.

i'm home tonight resting bruised feet and trying to process the last 9 days. when i reflect on dcla, i think about the people i met there--youth workers and students, both of whom stirred up an array of thoughts and emotions. i also have to think about the weird-convention-you-had-to-be-there moments with co-workers which include more than 45 minutes trapped in an elevator and a dousing by a passing car. there's also the bewilderment i felt in visiting monuments and memorials that ascribe to a higher ideal of america and americans than many of our current elected officials seem to be striving towards. and finally, how all of this impacts me who i am and who i want to be.

in the next few days, i'll post more about each of these.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

contented? or afraid?

today one of my co-workers told me she wanted to set me up with a mutual acquaintance whom she'd recently gotten to know a little better. she thinks we'd have fun and that he's a good guy. he's cute, tall (a trait which i love but don't require in a guy) and seems to have a good sense of humor. he seems like he'd be interesting to get to know.

the funny thing is my first reaction wasn't "yippee!" it was more "i don't know" and totally wishy-washy which is weird for me. i usually am a bit shy, but i'm usually at least interested in the idea. and today, all i could think was it sounded like a lot of effort. effort to put my best foot forward, to get to know someone, to invest, to risk. it just sounded like too much. and in my head, i went fast forward to what if we get along, what in my life would have change for us to have a relationship? and do i really want to change my life?

which all led to me thinking wow, am i really that contented with my life? i do love where i live, i love my job (98% of the time), i have great is good. but there's this part of me that has always wanted to be married and a mom and if i'm not careful i can get caught up in envying my married friends who have a family and aren't on their own. so why if i've spent so long dreaming about having that do i not jump at a chance to take the first step towards that life--a date?

am i really that contented in my life? or am i afraid to risk? or am i afraid that finding love will take more work and be less romantic than i hope for?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

new favorite food

yesterday at trader joe's i was looking for some whole wheat pasta when a box of organic brown jasmine rice caught my eye.

i'd never tried organic brown jasmine rice, but i liked jasmine rice so i thought why not? i know brown rice is better for me than white rice and organic has to be even better. i was a little bummed that it takes an hour to make, but that even worked out. it smells wonderful while it's cooking and tastes even better and it's really good for me. no preservatives, no fat, just healthy fiber and a touch of protein. it's my new favorite side dish.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

tulsa and grand rapids

by way of catching up, my vaca in tulsa was really good. i had a great time catching up with friends, hanging with the family. it was the first trip back in a year that didn't involve any drama with one or both of my parents which was a nice change of pace.

i had an especially good time at the lion king which was the main reason for my visit. it is an amazing production. i felt totally add the whole time in that there was so much to see i never really knew where to look. i have a feeling i could see it a couple more times and still not take it all in. i knew it was going to be amazing when the animals paraded in thru the audience. i really wanted a giraffe and a baby elephant...those costumes were especially incredible. the whole production is just genius in costuming and choreography and staging.

i came home from tulsa, spent a couple days in the office and headed out for a whirlwind trip to grand rapids for some software training on a new system. i took off at 6:30 am in san diego and landed in grand rapids at 3:30 pm. i took off again the next day at 6:30 pm. very crazy with a 3 hour time change. it was good. the people at z were completely gracious and helpful. it did make me a little melancholy though. i found myself really missing yac while i was there. it's always at unexpected moments that missing someone sneaks up on you. and while missing someone is hard, it's also a positive reminder of caring for that someone.

romantic comedy

so, i've recently seen two romantic comedies, prime and the break-up. i was so disappointed. while they had funny moments, they just weren't that romantic or really funny. they were more funny because it's that painful irony you recognize from stuff in your own life and it's easier to laugh than cry.

but this afternoon turner classic movies is making up for it showing how to marry a millionaire and pillow talk. they are two of my all-time favorites. i'm spending my afternoon vegging on the couch watching these classics.

i wonder if hollywood has forgotten what makes a truly great romantic comedy, a light-hearted script and a happy ending with everyone living happily ever after. we already get the irony, the pain and a lack of happily ever after in real life, why pay for it at the movies?

Friday, June 16, 2006

my inner european

Your Inner European is Irish!

Sprited and boisterous!
You drink everyone under the table.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


okay, i'm not fond of the usage of all caps. i don't think there's often a need to yell in person much less electronically. but this YUCK! has to be all caps. here's why:

it's a lazy saturday morning and my favorite way to spend it is with some old movies and a yummy brunch. i'd finished brunch and the second movie was just ending when a friend called. we chatted for a while and she asked me what the weather was like so i wandered outside and sat down next to the pool and gave her the weather update. we continued talking and i was sitting there watching the pool and noticed there was a really big odd looking leaf floating in it. i told my friend and walked over next to the pool. it was not a leaf. it was a dead mouse. a really big dead floating mouse. all i could say was ooo, ooo, ooo. and then finally a really big YUCK! now normally this would not be my problem--i'd just knock on my neighbor/landlord's door and he'd take care of the dead mouse in the pool issue. but they're out of town...until tomorrow night. and i have friends coming over tomorrow. my very practical friend on the other end of the phone call agrees that i need to remove the mouse from the pool and with the plan: use the skimmer thing with (thankfully) a really long pole to scoop the mouse out of the pool and fling it off the edge of the hill down towards the fruit trees thinking
that it would land on the ground and a hawk or owl would, well, nature would take its course. i hang up with my friend and go get the skimmer.

i take the skimmer to the edge of the pool and scoop the poor mouse out. i walk the few steps to the edge of the hill and fling. the poor dead mouse goes flying through the air. but no, the plan goes awry. instead of falling to the ground out of my sight, the poor thing lands in the top of an orange tree. note to self: don't eat oranges out of that tree for awhile. and ooo, YUCK!

i think since i already have the skimmer out, maybe i'll scoop out the leaves. having nothing left floating on the top of the pool seems a helpful way to not think about truly icky thing floating in the pool. and then i look down. and there it is. in the deep end of the pool, lying on the bottom, a dead lizard, YUCK! i decide since it's on the bottom of the pool, it can just stay there...the neighbor/landlord is home tomorrow...and maybe my friends won't look at the bottom of the pool... as for me, i think i'll stay inside with computer and tv today.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


i have a love/hate relationship with nbc's show er. tonite's episode is a great example. the build up to the shooting was so stinking knew it was coming but they kept building the tension and building the tension. forget must see tv. this is closer to stress me tv. i love the show so i keep watching, but i hate how they suck me in and stress me out with the storyline.

Monday, May 15, 2006

updated upcoming

  • housesitting for a co-worker who has a couple of cats and a very fun dog: a bernese mountain dog--this was really fun and mostly relaxing. and my friends were great--they did grocery shopping for me which was a total gift since i was on crutches
  • more x-rays--they decided my ankle isn't broken, but it doesn't seem to be healing quickly or well. tomorrow, i go to an orthopedic surgeon.
  • hosting a contemplative retreat at my house on saturday--the retreat was great. it was for the 20-something ministry at my church. we (myself and 3 friends) offered 2 prayer practices--imaginative prayer and lectio divina--followed by silent reflection times and group reflections.
  • the benefit for one life revolution done by our church's student ministry saturday night--the kids raised enough to build a medical clinic in musele. read more about this at marko's blog or josh's (our middle school yp) blog.
  • a few days retreat at mission san luis rey these days were a gift. i read, napped, journaled, prayed, knitted and collaged. i want more of these kinds of days.
  • speaking at middle school services on mother's day--this went okay. a few technical difficulties (no worship leaders showed up) but other than that it was really fun and the actual speaking part went well.
still to come:

ys & the west wing

one of my long-time favorite tv shows ended last night. the west wing ended its run as the bartlett administration transitioned out and the santos administration transitioned in. one of the random details that caught my attention during the show was the chief usher and his moving plan.

i've always been fascinated by social studies and civics. years ago i read a book by a former chief usher at the white house.
it's now out of print, but i still have my copy. it was fascinating. the white house is set up in a manner that the residence and institution continue operating seamlessly regardless of who is running the west wing--the presidency. presidents and administrations changed but the white house has continued operating as national landmark and host home to thousands of tourists and heads of state.

i think at the moment the staff at ys is much like the behind the scenes staff at the white house. we're entrusted with maintaining an ideal--champion the youth worker; be a prophetic voice for youth ministry in the church; train, equip and encourage the youth worker. with the passing of ownership from karla to zondervan, the administration has changed, but the behind the scenes staff at ys will continue to be true to the ideals ys has always stood for.

Monday, May 01, 2006


stuff on the horizon for me that i'm looking forward to:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

random things that make me smile

since i posted about that which annoys me, i thought i'd post about the stuff that gives me reasons to smile:
  • hanging with my nephews and neices and being "auntie mindi" and teaching them how to lick and stick gummy bears to inanimate objects, bake cookies, shop, play board games, and just hang out...
  • the commercial with the baby elephant dancing to singing in the rain
  • the beach on misty, rainy afternoons
  • sunsets from my porch, especially when shared with a good friend and a glass of wine
  • girls nite out
  • watching old movies on a rainy afternoon--esp. ones with cary grant, doris day or lucille ball
  • reading a good book on a sunny afternoon next to the pool
  • an unexpected phone call from a friend just to chat
  • something that goes really right at work
  • watching a middle schooler have an "aha" about their relationship with god
i could list more, but i'll pause here. feel free to add what makes you smile in the comments.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

random observations of the annoying

  • i don't think that pat o'brien and those reporters on the insider realize they're not actually reporting the news. it's just celeb gossip and reports. it's not actual news, even if angelina is a un goodwill ambassador.
  • it seems like the world has forgotten how to drive: on ramps and merge lanes are for speeding up before merging into the flow of traffic; off ramps and lanes are for slowing down after leaving the flow of traffic. you pass on the left not on the right. on freeways, the inside lane is for the fastest traffic and if someone is coming up from behind faster than you're driving, move to the right and let them pass.
  • get a handless set for your cellphone or hang up while you drive.
  • if you don't know what you want when you get to the front of the line, let the next person go while you finish deciding.
  • when there's a long line at the checkout, get your form of payment out and ready before they finish ringing up your items.
  • please, thank you and excuse me should never be out of style.
  • the idea of car stereos and headphones are for you to listen to your own music, not to share it with the rest of the world.
  • the networks wonder why they're losing viewers. since it's a little hard to figure out when new episodes are starting and every series has new episodes at different times or all of sudden there's a month or 6 weeks of reruns between new episodes... i wonder if that would have anything to do with it.

just felt the need to vent. maybe my achy ankle is making me crankier than usual. feel free to commiserate by adding the little things that annoy you in the comments.

Monday, April 24, 2006

my embarrassing moment @ sdi

i mentioned in my previous post that i did manage to embarrass myself at sdi. i should probably tell that story.

i'd gone to the lobby to get myself and a friend a soda during a brief break in the closing session (which was nearly 4 hours long). as i was returning i was walking down a short flight of stairs holding the 20 oz sodas and trying to answer my phone. this was too much multi-tasking for my mind and body. down i went, missing the last three steps, hitting the bottom and rolling my left ankle. i was stunned and i almost busted out with an inappropriate word until i realized a nun had seen me fall and was rushing over to help. it really hurt and i really wanted to cry but i tried to laugh it off instead. another staff member from the event came over to help and offered to call and get an ice pack for my ankle which was obviously beginning to swell. i insisted that i was fine and hobbled off as gracefully as i could.

this morning, my ankle was still swollen after rest, ice, compression and elevation. i ended up in the er for it and i have a bad sprain. they put a lovely boot brace on it and have given me crutches to use since the joint can't bear weight. i have either a bruised bone or a hairline fracture as well. they just won't know for sure which until they can re-x-ray it in a week.

klutz girl has returned. i'm just hoping this is the end of it for awhile.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

my moment as a groupie

this weekend i attended the spiritual directors international conference. it's the first time in years i've attended an event as an attendee. i was mostly excited but a little nervous. i completed my training in spiritual formation and direction last december. it's been an amazing process, but also difficult. although i'm drawn to formation and direction, i'm not the stereotypical contemplative personality. i have a contemplative side that i can usually embrace but it's not uncommon for me to feel a little out of place in a crowd of spiritual directors. the conference and the weekend were amazing. i attended 3 really incredible seminars that all touched me in different ways.

one of those was a seminar on celtic spirituality. what little i knew of it prior to this seminar often touched me deeply. i was really excited about this seminar and it totally lived up to my expectations and then some. it helped me to understand some things i'd been wrestling with. after the seminar, i asked one of the two presenters a couple questions to clarify what i thought i was understanding. after the seminar, i met up with friends who were attending for dinner and as we debriefed our afternoons, i went on and on and on about the seminar. when we returned to the convention, we ended up on the same elevator as the two presenters. one of them noticed the first timer flag on my nametag and asked if i was enjoying the conference. i commented yes, especially their seminar. she replied oh thanks...jeannie (a friend) told her i wasn't being polite...that i'd pretty much talked about it all the way through dinner. we ended up talking from the elevator down the hall to the main session. they'd mentioned in the seminar that they were leading a pilgrimage to egypt this fall. i asked if they ever did any to ireland. she said yes, they were doing a women only pilgrimage to ireland next year. i think i might have actually squealed slightly--at which moment i realized i was rapidly crossing the line from interested fellow spiritual director to groupie. i was mortified and gained back a bit of composure. she was very gracious and we ended our conversation nicely. i passed her a couple more times during the conference (it was pretty small--less than 600) and we smiled and exchanged pleasantries and i managed to not squeal or otherwise embarrass myself with her.

now i did manage to embarrass myself later in the conference but that's a story for another time.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I meme

I was tagged by ianua

I AM: tired...and doing laundry.
I WANT: to feel safe.
I WISH: I were more sure of myself.
I HATE: bad manners.
I LOVE: my friends and family.
I MISS: my nephews and godkids.
I FEAR: rejection.
I HEAR: silence.
I WONDER: why_________ and/or how to_________.
I REGRET: not seizing the moment and kissing___________.
I AM NOT: brave.
I DANCE: to celebrate happy moments.
I SING: off key.
I CRY: too easily.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: motivated.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: yummy things in the kitchen.
I WRITE: for myself.
I CONFUSE: my desire to please with obligation.
I NEED: to feel cherished.
I SHOULD: finish unpacking the boxes in my house.
I START: thoughts but don't always finish them.
I FINISH: cookie dough, usually before I bake all the cookies.
I TAG: andy, lizzy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

the kiss hello

when i posted about kiss, kiss, i was ahead of my time. it was a feature on this morning's today show on nbc. they have a little different take on it than i did though.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

fun with food

today was a day without plans and without a schedule so i took advantage of it to do a few of my favorite things. i slept in. i made brunch...pancakes, fresh melon, ham & eggs. i watched food network. i went for a walk. i did a little shopping, including a run to the grocery store.

that is the joy and the curse of the food network...i love watching it, but it always gives me ideas. last week, i had it on while i was doing some chores. that evening when a friend came up for dinner, both recipes were courtesy of food network chefs. today, a new show premiered on healthy eating with comfort food recipes. i tried the mashed potato recipe tonite.

but the most fun i had today with food was picking my own fruit. there are tangerines, oranges, and lemons growing at the house and terrie invited me to help myself. i decided to take her up on it thinking a little orange zest would perk up a cake recipe i made this evening. the fruit trees still have blossoms so the air around them smells sweet. i'd never picked my own fruit before and it made me smile. there's something fun about choosing the fruit and then tugging it right off the tree, especially when the branches shake and you get a little shower of fruit blossoms.

there is one little bummer about my fun with food day--the dishes.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

alone vs. by myself

in a recent post, i talked about growing old alone. i was asked in the comments if i had any answers yet. i started to reply in the comments, but realized it was turning into a new post.

i don't have answers yet. i still have a deep desire to be married, to be a wife and a mom. i'm trying to figure out what my life could be if those things never happen--how to take my life off 'pause'--to live fully if it never does. in this process, i've realized i've made some choices. one of those has been to not settle for less in a relationship than i think is right for me. i've seen people i know take really flawed dating relationships and turn them into miserable marriages that have ended in painful divorces. my own parents divorced when i was a senior in high school. it was horrible. i decided then that i'd already been through the only divorce i was ever going to go through. i've stuck to that including calling off an engagement. i've thought for a really long time that even though i know i made the right choice in ending the engagement and not settling, i was choosing to be alone, to be somehow isolated. i'm very slowly and tenatively realizing that i'm not choosing to be alone, i'm choosing to be by myself. being alone has a negative connotation in our society--it implies loneliness, isolation--a lack of relationships and not necessarily by choice. being by myself implies choice and it feels more like it has to do with needing space more than lack of relationship. i truly don't lack for relationships--i know i have family and friends who love and cherish me.

so for the forseeable future, i'm by myself. i really hope that i do meet a man that i will love and respect enough to choose to love him everyday for the rest of my life. until then, i'll hang with my friends and fam and try to make sure that the 'play' button is pressed instead of 'pause'.

Monday, April 03, 2006


my life last week had a couple strong themes that kept repeating themselves in random places. i was hoping for this week to have a bit less of that. but tonight, i've watched two different sitcoms--both brought up the saying "life is what happens when you're making other plans". it's a different angle on last week's themes. i've felt like god has been silent for awhile. now it feels like the pendulum has swung the complete opposite direction.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

trying to fly the friendly skies

i have a favorite airline--united. i fly them pretty much anytime i fly. i fly them enough to be a premier level frequent flier. i've enjoyed being premier. united has done a good job of making me feel appreciated as a frequent flier. of course, like all other airlines, united occasionally has challenges with overbooked flights. recently, i've been in the situation twice where the flights were overbooked and my schedule was flexible. the offered free tickets for folks willing to fly later. i took them up on their free ticket offer. on both occasions, by going on the later flight, i was also upgraded to first class. i felt like not only did united value my flexibity (free tix) they also appreciated my loyalty (free upgrades).

when offering to take the later flight, i asked how easy it would be to redeem the free tix. i was told, no problem...very easy. i could redeem them online or by phone. great i think. i specifically made a point of asking about this all important process because of a really terrible experience with southwest in trying to redeem a free flight. and then tonight, i tried to redeem my free flight.

first, i go online. it's about 9p and i realize i need to get booked by 10p because i have to use the tix at least 14 days in advance. i easily find the flights i want and then go to use the voucher. i can't figure out where. i try several different routes and there's no way to use it. i give up the online pursuit because i only have about 30 minutes left. i write down my flight numbers and call their 800 number. after 20 minutes of dealing with mr. automation, i finally get connected to an agent. we get all the way thru the process and it's a few minutes after 10. and then the agent says oh, i can't do this. it's after midnight. after an "arrgh" escaped my mouth, i calmly but firmly explained that i'd been online and on the phone trying to complete this for an hour. and then she responds, "oh, you're premier. i can make this work since you're premier". but no, the process isn't complete. i still have to drive down to the airport and actually complete the process in person. this time i'm able to refrain from the "arrgh" aloud.

if you recall from the beginning of this post, i mentioned i have two of these free tix. to avoid future complications, i researched the flights for which i want to use the second ticket. i'll go ahead and book it tomorrow while i'm at the myself a trip.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

i get by with a little help from my friends

if you want a clue into the friendships of women, check out sex and the city. i really love this show. i totally don't relate to all the casual sex and picking up men (i'm just way too shy to pick up guys and too old fashioned for casual sex), but i do relate to the single angst, relationship woes and friendships. tonite's episode was about carrie's 35th birthday, about feeling alone and growing old. and it was her girlfriends who came along, who celebrated her, who reminded her she really wasn't alone. i get that. those kinds of girlfriends are the ones who make life a little easier and a lot more fun. i'm so grateful to have a few of those kinds of girlfriends in my life.

lately i've been processing the whole growing old alone thing on a really deeply personal level. and in the midst i have a few friends who are sticking by me, reminding me i'm not alone. i'm so grateful for these friends. i couldn't get by without them.

Monday, March 27, 2006

the power of four

the power of four

four jobs i've have had in my life:

1. preschool teacher
2. wedding coordinator
3. youth pastor
4. retail sales

four movies i would watch (and have watched) over and over:

1. gone with the wind
2. notting hill
3. love actually
4. something's gotta give

four places i have lived:

1. tulsa, ok
2. stillwater, ok
3. louisville, ky
4. san diego, ca

four tv shows i love to watch:

1. grey's anatomy
2. project runway (why, oh why don't they do a series for both spring and fall fashion week!)
3. will & grace
4. west wing

four places i have been on vacation:

1. orlando, fl
2. switzerland
3. acapulco
4. denver, co

four websites i visit daily:


four of my favorite foods:

1. chocolate
2. popcorn
3. sushi
4. noodles

four places i would rather be right now:

1. in a hammock on a sunny beach with a cabana boy bringing me foofoo beverages
2. london, england
3. napping
4. shoe shopping

ht to jay; gman

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

kiss, kiss

since i moved to california, i've noticed that i've become a kissier person. you know the kind, the hello or goodbye kiss on the cheek on as part of the hello or goodbye hug. i've noticed that with my oklahoma friends who still live in the midwest that they are often startled if i throw in the kiss, but to california friends, it's perfectly normal.

i was musing on this a few weeks ago when i was on a trip where i saw a friend from here and a friend from ok, neither of whom i'd seen in a while. my friend from here, we greeted each other with the kiss-on-the-cheek-hug. my friend from ok--just the hug. i couldn't figure out what the difference was. both are good friends and oddly enough, the one from ok i've known longer. i finally came to the conclusion that maybe it had to do something with la and hollywood being so close and that it's just a socal thing. then today i came across this article from christianity today. this quote caught my attention: "
Kissing someone shows that she is part of our family. That we're exchanging the Holy Spirit. That we're a reconciled, forgiven community."

you really have to read the whole article for the context, but this sentence rang true for me. my friends here are my faith family, my faith community. they're with me in the day-to-dayness of my faith for good and for bad. so it's not a hollywood thing, it's a family thing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

swept off my feet

i have to say that mikhail baryshnikov's character aleksandr petrovsky on sex and the city is probably one of the most romantic characters since jane austen's mr. darcy. that's all. i just felt the need to say it.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

weekend update

winter camp was way fun, but i came back way tired. i can't decide if it's from being too tired going into the weekend or if i'm just getting old. fortunately, my girls did sleep some--actually a lot for camp--about 5 hours or so both nites.

the event was great; it was well done focusing on the story of zaccheus. i have a new take on it from the weekend. i was really excited that the speaking was shared by katie edwards and kurt johnston. it was SO great to have a woman on stage as the speaker and pastor. i know the girls at our church don't see that enough. and katie is totally awesome. she and kurt did a great job and balanced each other well. they both shared personal stories that illustrated the point and gave a broader spectrum for students to relate to.

i have left the weekend wondering how i as a small group leader can do a better job drawing the best out of the girls, of how i can better affirm and encourage the gifts i see in them and how i can help them learn to navigate the harder things in life. i have four amazing girls and i watched all of them hit those awkward little growing moments that are part of middle school. and maybe because i am older now, i could recognize the moments as those little moments that can one of 3 directions: discourage, indifferent, or encourage. i know my primary focus as a small group leader is to point them to them to Jesus. but i still wonder how i can best help the girls navigate those moments and help them become the women that God has created them to be.

for tonite, i'm going to curl up in my jammies and finish watching grey's anatomy...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

winter camp

it's my own fault. for a couple of months, i've been mocking our middle school winter camp. "we're going to a hotel in the middle of orange county in the middle of march. this is neither winter nor camp--spring retreat, sure, but not winter camp." i've said it a lot. and now my words are coming back to haunt me.

we're in for what in so cal constitutes a big winter storm this weekend. with highs only in the mid 50's (hey, that's cold when you're used to lows in the 50's) and rain the entire weekend, i'm starting to regret that mocking. especially since the forecast means we'll likely be driving in the rain (note: driving in the rain in so cal is like driving in sleet anywhere that has winter--people completely freak out and have very little idea of how to drive on wet pavement). oh and our free time, yup we're scheduled to go to an outdoor mall.

despite the weather woes, it should be a great weekend. i work with sixth grade girls and this will be their first middle school church trip. we'll have a great time. even if we're wet. and cold.

Monday, March 06, 2006

klutz girl strikes again

i wrote about my original klutz streak about a month ago and my fears that i was starting a new one. a couple weeks later, i had the bruised eye that was so attractive. that has healed nicely and fortunately more quickly than anticipated. but this klutz streak might not be over yet.

the day after i went to the doctor for the follow up on my bruised eye, i was attempting to put a box on the top shelf in my closet. to do so, i have to climb on a chair. as i was climbing on the chair, i slipped, fell off the chair and knocked it over, dropping the box and seriously whacking my shin on the chair as i fell on top of it. it hurt bad enough to actually make me cry for a couple minutes and i wasn't really sure i was okay. once i realized i could put weight on my leg, i realized i'd be okay. i went ahead and put the box up. i put the chair back in its place at the dining room table and looked at my shin. in a matter of ten minutes, i had a knot that was turning pretty colors and was swollen. i iced it off and on for a couple days and then i did the heat thing for a couple days following. but i have to share, it's two weeks later and my shin still has pale pretty colors, a little puffiness and hurts like crazy if you bump it.

i think this could be a theme for a much as i love idiot girl's adventures...i think i may have to embrace my inner klutz girl.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


the last few weeks have been hectic schedule wise and in the midst i've found myself wrestling with questions that at the moment have few answers. they somehow all relate to what do i want to do with the next phase of my life.

i'd thought i'd be married by the time i was thru school, then it was 25, then 30, then 35. now i'm staring down 40 (18 months away) and not a wedding in sight. i'm trying to figure out what my life will look like when i completely take marriage and parenting out of the picture. and it's hard. it's something i've always wanted but it just hasn't happened. it could have if i'd chosen to settle, but marriage is too important to just settle. and waiting seems to be blocking me from dreaming. yesterday as i sat thru the core in orange county, we read thru the end of matthew 11 in the message where jesus says he won't lay anything ill-fitting on us. for the first time, i've wondered if marriage would be ill fitting for me and maybe whatever it is that's out there for me to do, i can't do if i'm married or do as well. i don't know but it's something i left the core wondering about specifically.

as i drove home, i ended up stopping at mission san juan capistrano. i'd never been there and often wondered about it when i drove past it and since i had time yesterday i stopped. i wandered around the old mission where, ironically, there was a wedding taking place so you couldn't visit the chapel. i was wrestling with the what else is there question and came across a prayer card in the gift shop of st. teresa of avila. on it there's something she told her nuns, "it is not a matter of thinking much, but of loving much. so do whatever most kindles love in you." marko had posted the questions he worked thru on his sabbatical. i'd been looking at them since he blogged them. but out of the st. teresa quote, i think i've found the question for me to sit with, "what do i do that kindles the most love in me?"

Thursday, February 23, 2006

waiting by...

when i was in high school and dating, i remember that whole waiting by the phone thing. will he call or won't he? it was a literal waiting by the phone, before answering machines or voice mail.

now there's so many more places to wait. most of the waiting is more mental than physical since virtually all of our technology is portable. will he contact via:
  • cell phone?
  • home phone (if different than cell)?
  • office phone?
  • text message?
  • email?
  • instant messenger?
  • internet phone?
the waiting part hasn't changed. the age old question remains: will he call?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

home, headaches, and hibernation

i made it back home from tampa. i'm so happy to be here. it was a good trip despite the travel frustrations (including an extra long flight home from dc thanks to headwinds). the work stuff was good and i had a chance to spend some quality time with some friends who live in the area. one friend and i went to see pink panther which we both liked and he took me to a great discount bookstore. i bought 4 books there. the dance of change by peter senge, a business book i'd heard about and wanted to read. i got it for $12, a deal i was excited about. i also picked up dark night of the soul st john of the cross. it's a classic that i've been curious about since we talked about it in my spiritual direction and formation class. whole prayer by walter wangerin made it into my suitcase. i've liked other things from him and this book intrigued me. and my final book choice was really brain candy called persuading annie i actually finished this one on the plane along with another book i bought in the dc airport which i'll post about later.

tonite i should have been at small group, but i had a migraine coming on so i stayed home to take the medicine that will keep it from becoming full blown. i can't drive when i take the stuff and i'm a little loopy for a bit after i take it. i hate missing my girls but it's been nice to hibernate tonite. to curl up and veg and watch a little tv. i could go for a little more hibernation. one of my orlando friends invited me to use their home to retreat to and i'm seriously considering it. a chance to hibernate--sleep, read and process stuff going on sounds like such a great idea. maybe the bears have the right idea.

Friday, February 17, 2006

forget chocolate, a mimosa makes it better

normally i reserve mimosas for those special occassion brunches. this morning as i sat down at the airport friday's for breakfast, when the waitress offered a mimosa as a beverage option, it was all i could do to restrain myself from leaping up and hugging her. i settled for ordering one rather enthusiastically. i'm rather impressed with this energy burst since i'm currently a woman who's only had about 3 hours sleep and has been wearing the same clothes for about 23 hours.

in the previous post i mentioned i was taking a red eye to tampa. so far this has not been the smoothest of trips. first we had delays in san diego. then in denver, we got to board on time, but had multiple delays once on board including waiting for late luggage and de-icing. when we finally took off, the captain announced that we'd have a good tailwind and be able to 'make up time in the air'. i was personally grateful that he fulfilled his prediction and we arrived only 15 minutes late. he managed to make up a good half hour. my gratitude was geniune as the flight was not one of my better ones. the person next to me, although nice, was a loud talker. never mind that 95% of the plane is trying to sleep including at least one person next to him. my ipod was as loud as i could go and not end up deaf and i could still hear him. when he finally dozed off he did so at an angle and since he was the middle seat, i was either sharing my seat with his shoulders or my legs were dodging his. had we been in coach, i might have been a little more charitable, but we were in economy plus--the plus being 5 more inches of legroom. really, it was all i could do not to push him over.

nevermind that though, we were here, fairly close to ontime. all i had to do now was pick up the rental car, go to my hotel and climb into a nice comfy bed for a few hours. oh how silly i am to think after the delays and sleep-n-sprawl man that those could go smoothly.

after waiting nearly an hour for the shuttle to take me to the offsite car rental place, i find that my reservation is all screwed up and i'll be unable to rent a car from them. okay, so, take the shuttle back to the airport and call other rental car companies on the way. i finally find one that will have a car that i can pick up in the afternoon. no worries, i can work with that. i'll just take the complimentary shuttle to my hotel and come back on it later to pick up the car. i then call the hotel for the shuttle only to discover that they oversold last night and that it will be at least 3-4 more hours before they'll have a room ready for me. they were happy to come get me and i was welcome to wait in the lobby for however long. that was it. i nearly burst into tears on the phone. it was almost 7am here in florida--4am my time and i'd been up for the better part of 23 hours. instead i pulled it together and decided to go find food rather than cry or scream at the poor apologetic man answering the phone at the front desk. i found a bathroom, dug out my makeup and hairspray and made myself look a little less like a walking zombie complete with a red eye.

as i left the bathroom, i saw friday's which brings us back to the mimosa. surely after a little champagne with breakfast, the day will get better, right?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

the red eye girl takes the red eye

tomorrow, i take the red eye to tampa for sylc. it's a cool event that i did a booth at last year. this year, marko is the keynote speaker so we're doing the store. it's a one day event and it'll be great.

the only little thing is that i really am taking the red eye. it was the cheapest way to get there and it does actually work with my schedule. but with the bruised eye this week, i've been getting a lot of jokes about my flight.

fortunately, the guys running the event are great and on sunday i'm looking forward to connecting with several friends who live in the area. it should be a good weekend despite the obvious jokes.

Monday, February 13, 2006

motion sickness

mike yaconelli, who was a co-founder of the company i work for, compared life to a roller coaster ride, "life has been up and down, careening left then right..."

i understand that sense of life as a roller coaster ride. at the moment though, instead of having mike's sense of "woohoo, what a ride!", i'd really like someone to pass me some dramamine and a 7-up....

here's a sample just from today...

yesterday, i had a blood vessel in my eye burst. this morning i felt pressure in my eye and a friend recommended i call my doctor and have it looked at since i'm flying later this week. my doctor's office finally called me back and sent me straight to the er. now in my book, you only go to the er if there are broken bones, uncontrolled bleeding, heart attack, stroke, something major. i was freaked out. fortunately, all i have is a subconjunctival hemotoma, or as the er doc put it in english--a bruised eyeball that is going to be gross looking for a couple weeks. i'm supposed to follow up with my doc next week just to be on the safe side. apparently the major concerns are some sort of eye trauma like detached retina or too much bleeding in the eye or a spike in blood pressure.

in the middle of that, i called my mom who works at an er for some reassurance. she did that well, but when i talked to her on my way home and told her what the dr said, she had the appropriately motherly response but then went onto a bitter tirade about valentine's day. i quickly ended the conversation as i didn't want to rehash my parents divorce at the moment, which can happen easily despite the fact that they've now been divorced for as long as they were married. then she called me back to apologize and then she went into a thing about some gentleman friend that she apparently had some romantic interest in, but they're in their 60's and he died about a month ago. now this was a shock. since the divorce from my dad she's said loud and clear she wanted nothing to do with men or marriage or any of it again. it's also the first anyone in the family had heard about this man being of any romantic interest at all.

i called my dad & stepmom to check in after that and tell them about the eye thing mostly so they wouldn't hear it thru the grapevine from someone else. my dad still isn't really speaking to me since we had a falling out at thanksgiving so as i started telling him i'd been to the er today he said well just tell judy and handed the phone to my stepmother. she, fortunately, is great, but it's still a bit odd that i have a better relationship with my stepmom than i do my dad. and it's been his choice to be this way not mine.

anyway, it just felt like a bit much today. it would've felt significantly worse if it hadn't been for a couple friends who came up to the er to check on me after they left work and my aunt & uncle who tend to be the only family stability i have. if it weren't for these folks, i think i'd want off the ride. but as it is, i just have a case of motion sickness. i'm hoping it'll pass soon.