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?"