Friday, January 29, 2010

Hallelujah Part I

We're in the middle of winter, and winter always puts me in a funky mood. Some mornings I wake up and its dark and cloudy and cold and looks like it could rain at any minute and I just feel blah. The strange thing though, is that sometimes I embrace this mood. Sometimes I want to feel depressed and I just want to mope around and know that the world is crazy and life isn't fair and just wallow in that. Is that wierd? Maybe so, but I even listen to depressing music and just go with it. I may be crazy. In fact I'm pretty sure I am, but sometimes I just feel like being sad.

I think this may be because some of the times I have felt closest to God are when I have been sad. When your world falls apart and you lose something precious to you and things that once made you happy no longer do and your just sad and nothing will really make it better and you give up trying to even act like you have it together and just cry to God.  These have been the times when I have been closest to Him, when I have worshiped and really meant every word more than I ever have before. So that was kind of a little detour, but I felt like I should at least explain why I sometimes like to feel sad.

So today I feel like being blah. And I found some music to assist me. On this blog, the writer was talking about the song Halleluja, (ironically as I am writing this I just saw that this song was the #1 download on itunes, apparently justin timberlake and someone else performed a version of it for the haiti relief efforts) which has been a song I have had on ipod for quite a while, but I never knew that it was about King David. Is this common knowledge and I am just not with it? Anyways, she goes on to say that it is more deeply about suffering, love, repentance, doubt and longing (This much I already got,at least I don't totally just listen to music and have no idea what its about - although there are some songs where it is better that way.)

So honestly, suffering, is not something I have experienced a whole lot of in my life, but the doubt and longing is something that I have been feeling for the last couple of months. Probably not a coincidence that this is when the weather started getting bad. But for whatever reason I have just had this unsettling feeling like I am just letting life happen and not really living it to the full. I feel like I am missing something. My problem is, when I feel like this, I try to think of things that I can do so I feel like I am really living life to the full and not missing out on anything. And some of the things that come to mind are things that I could do and they might make me feel a little better. For instance, this is the time of year where I try to figure out how many vacations I can possibly go on this year and think that a vacation may help fix the way I'm feeling. And going on a vacation is something I could do, although I would be surprised if I made it a week from getting back before thinking about where to go next. There are other things that I want to do that I just simply can't. And I think this is where the sadness comes in. Because you have tried lots of other things to get out of your funk and the only things left are the things you can't do, and of course, because you can't do them, it makes you want to all the more. I love this verse of the song:

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew a hallelujah

Its about David seeing Bathsheba and deciding that she was what he needed, but she was already married and she was one of the things that David couldn't (or at least shouldn't) have. But he went ahead anyways and slept with her and it ended up being a huge mess. (If you don't know the whole story you can find it in  2 Samuel 11.) There are some things in life that God doesn't want us to do or have because he knows better than us. But we are so stubborn that we try to fill ourselves up with things that are acceptable to God and when we still feel like we're missing out, the only things that are left are those that we can't do - either God doesn't want us to or it just can't happen. And so sometimes you just ache for things that you can't have, and you feel sad because circumstances in life don't allow for you to have what you think you really want. But its a good sadness, because the truth is, if you could have these things, they wouldn't make you any happier. They might for a little while, but not permanently. You would always end up back where you started looking for something else this time.

And this is why I like this sort of sad feeling, because it brings me back to Jesus and reminds me that He is the only thing that you can really have that can't be taken away, and that one day, when we meet him face to face, that empty feeling of "there has to be more than this" will be filled up and we will truly experience what we were created for. Don't get me wrong, when we are living in the power of the Holy Spirit I think he definitely blesses us with being able to do what we were created for, but because we are humans and because we are sinners we don't feel that way 100% of the time, mostly because we still put our hope in the things of this world and think they will satisfy us. Which I think brings us full circle to the sadness feeling I am talking about. I want things that I can't have, and because I can't have them I want them more, and it makes me feel sad. But I like it because it also makes me realize my need for Jesus.

If you're still reading, I apologize for this. Welcome to the craziness that is my head. Feel free to share any thoughts you might have. Or maybe none of this made any sense. As I have been listening and re-listening to Hallelujah, there is another verse that sticks out in my mind. But as this is bordering on ridiculousness for length, I will save that post for part 2.

Monday, January 25, 2010


My precious nephew Henry has just completed his second full year of life! Crazy because I feel like it wasn't all that long ago we were at the hospital anxiously waiting to lay eyes on him for the first time. And now he is 2 and running around and lots of fun to hang out with. I still think its so cool that he knows who I am, especially because we don't get to see him that often since his family lives up in northern kentucky and we live in lexington. But I love when we get to go hang out with him, and this past sunday we were able to celebrate his birthday with cake and presents and I took a few photos (before my camera ran out of batteries) to document the occasion:

Oh my goodness he is so precious! We got him a little UK basketball jersey but my camera ran out of batteries so I wasn't able to take a picture of him in it, but it was real cute. And, the fun thing was that Kevin and Kayla (brother and sister in law) got him a pair of converse high tops, so it all went together. And we didn't even plan it, just coincidence. And, Henry is going to have a baby brother arriving in May, so lots more fun to look forward to!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Before and After #1

So a couple of posts ago I wrote about how I would like to organize a few areas of our house. I can now officially cross #1 off the list! You may remember a couple of before photos of the drawers in our coffee and end tables:



So here are the after photos:


So I know drawers aren't super exciting, but they are when you can actually find what you are looking for in them, and when you can see the bottom of the drawer.

I can also check #9 off the list, which was to make a young life binder of all my handouts, talks, etc. and they are all nice and organized so when I need to find something I will be able to. So this wasn't the most exciting post, but I do love to be able to check things off the list, even if it was the low hanging fruit. The good news is we went to northern kentucky today to celebrate my nephew's second birthday and I got a couple of cute Henry photos, so I will share those with you soon!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday everyone! So I've been a bit of a blog failure here recently. I've thought about blogging but just haven't really been sure what to blog about, so I haven't done it. It's not that nothing has been going on, lots has been going on, I just haven't felt the need to blog about it. So here is what I have been up to:

Young Life is starting back up. We have spent lots of time with our team of leaders trying to get the semester planned out, and we had our first campaigners and club of the year. Last Wednesday we had an all evening team meeting to plan club for the semester, then again on Friday to finish planning. On Saturday Keith and I spent the better part of the day making "Will it Float?" Videos. Have you all ever seen the "Will it Float?" bit on the Letterman show? Well we decided we would do will it float every week at club, so Keith and I filmed a whole semester's worth of will it floats. On Sunday we had our first campaigners of the year, which was so fun to get everyone back together, and then on Tuesday we had our first club of the year, pirate club. Below is a picture of Derek and I with Annie - the only LCA-er to dress up. We would have thought there would be a lot more participation in pirate club, but apparently its difficult to find pirate attire.

I have been making some progress on my list of places in the house to organize. I still need to take after pictures, hopefully I will do that this weekend and be able to show what has been organized and the before and afters.

I have also been doing a pretty good job of running. Training for the half marathon doesn't start til the middle to end of February, but I have been trying to run 3 times a week, so that I am in the habit and know that I can make time for it, and so I don't get injured when I start training. So, so far, I have been successful. And I can run a whole lot longer now than I could when I first started.

As far as the rest of the new years resolutions, I have been doing a decent job of getting to work on time and devoting 10 minutes of each day to prayer. It's not quite time to start studying for the PE - that is something I don't have to worry about til summer. I still need to try a new recipe this month and I am running out of time, but I think I have an idea of something I want to try next week. Derek and I are talking about where we want to go on vacation, but there are so many places we want to go we don't really know where to start. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. I also need to plan my personal retreat for the semester but I have time for that. Paying off student loans is not starting out so well thanks to a couple of vet visits, and cavities, but we'll rally. Also, I haven't even begun to scrapbook. So the list has some successes and some not so much. (I think I am doing a better job of being intentional in relationships but that is a hard thing to deem a success or failure so I won't classify it as either, but just keep it in mind.)

So, speaking of expensive vet visits - all of the pets went to the vet a couple of weeks ago. And Topanga and Moose need to go on diets. Topanga is real overweight. She used to look like this:

And now she is whopping 17 pounds! So she has a lot of weight to lose. Moose isn't super overweight, but just needs to shed his holiday weight. So the pets are on diets. Poor Mr. Feeny just has to eat less so that Topanga doesn't eat too much.

So that's pretty much the news around here. I realize this post is getting kind of long, but before I go, I would like to give a shout out to these lounge pants from the Gap.

Have mercy these are some of the most wonderful pants my legs have experienced.  And they are plenty long enough, which is key when you are nearly 5'10" like me. They are super soft and I think they make my hiney look cute, which is always good when you are lounging around with your husband.  They are a little pricey at $35, and I was unable to find them on sale. They are the one thing I paid full price for when I bought all that stuff with my left over money from exchanging the Banana Republic dress, but they are worth every penny of the $35 so I highly recommend you get yourself a pair. I am wearing them right now :)

Ok that's all I have. I knew if I started writing things would just come to me. Hopefully I'll have some before and afters of home organization for you this weekend. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Little Organization

Last spring I made a list of areas in my house that needed organizing. When we first moved into our house we had more space than we knew what to do with. So we just put stuff in closets and drawers and didn't really worry about whether or not we needed it, or if we were really utilizing the space well. I realized last spring that while I know where most things in our house are, getting to them is sometimes tricky because they are buried in a closet or hidden in a messy unorganized drawer. The problem with making lists of things to do in your house in the spring is that the weather gets nice. And since I spend 9+ hours inside an office Monday through Friday, I am not one to stay indoors on the weekend if the weather is nice. Needless to say I didn't make much progress on my list.

I attempted to return to it in the fall and that didn't so much happen, so I put the list on my list of new years resolutions in the hopes that I would tackle the list. I took a few before photos of some of the areas of my house that need organized. As I check them off the list, I will show you the after photos. That way I have a little bit of accountability to actually get this stuff done. Also, I am hoping that by posting the photos, if you all have any ideas about how to make my organizing cute and creative, I would love to hear them. One of the things on my list is organizing a whole room, so that could be fun to come up with ideas for. Ok, so here's the list:
1. Organize the drawers of the coffee and end tables in our family room. Here are a few photos:
2. Organize the junk drawer, counter above it and cabinet above that in the kitchen. Heres the drawer and cabinet:
3. Organize the coat closet.
4. Organize the guest bedroom closets. I don't have a good picture of these, but I have one of them done, and need to finish the second closet.

5. Organize the linen closet.

6. Organize the office closet (basically the majority of closets in our house need organizing).
7. Organize my nightstand and fix the bottom of it. For some reason I didn't take a picture of this and now I have begun to do this, so the bad news is no before picture, but the good news is this is on its way to being checked off the list.

8. Organize our office. (These pictures are embarrassing.)
9. Put together a binder of all of my young life club and campaigner talks, papers from leadership, Bible study, etc. This is another that doesn't have pictures, but I got a good start on it. Another one I should be able to check off soon.

So that's the list. As I get done the items that I took before pictures for, I will take some after pictures and show you. And since I had last Thursday off, I am already ahead of the game by having a few of the items on my list on their way to being checked off. Hopefully I can get all of these done before the weather gets nice again!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Moose's Winter Photoshoot

So we've gotten a little bit of snow around here the past couple of days. And the best part about it is that I didn't have to work today or yesterday. So I just got to sit at home and be warm and not on the crazy streets worried about wrecking my car. Also, Moose has loved the snow. Even though he's from Florida, all he wants to do is play in the snow and eat it. So today, I bundled up and went outside and played in the snow with him. And he was so darn cute I just had to take a couple of photos. I posted all of the photos on facebook, but figured I would share a couple of my favorites on the blog.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


It's a new year and a new decade and it started off right with a Buckeye Rose Bowl victory. However, because I was fortunate enough to be watching the game at my parents house up in Columbus and spending the weekend with them, I didn't have much time for reflecting on 2009 and contemplating 2010 and what my resolutions/goals would be. So I spent a little time this week doing just that. I gave myself a few days to look over the list and make sure I liked it before I committed to it and shared it with the world, so here it is:

1. Pass the P.E. This is the professional engineering exam. It is given twice a year, and I will be eligible to take it in October this year. It is basically an 8 hour exam over everything that has to do with civil engineering, and if I pass it I become an officially registered engineer in the state of Kentucky and can sign off on plans, meaning that if anything goes wrong, it is my responsibility. Kind of crazy!

2. Get to work on time in the morning. I am typically 5-10 minutes late every morning, and while no one actually cares and I try to make it up by staying a little later or taking a shorter lunch, I feel like I really need to start getting there at or before 7:30 every day.

3. Run a half marathon. This is one that scares me to put into words because it means I am committing to it. I am worried that I won't have the time to train for it while working full time and doing young life, but I looked up various training schedules on line and it looks like if I can commit to running 3-5 miles 3 times during the week and doing a long run on Saturdays I should be able to do it. So I figure I can do my 3 runs on the days that we don't have young life club, and if I do them right after work, I should still have time to make dinner and do contact work on other nights. I also have no idea how I am going to run for 13 miles...

4. Pay off student loans and be debt free. If you know me you know I love Dave Ramsey and love the idea of being debt free. The goal this year is to get our one final debt paid off (besides our house, we don't make enough money to pay that off in a year). Once we get that paid off the plan is to never have any payments again!

5. Organize my house and get rid of things we don't need. Back in the fall I started a list of places in my house that need organizing. I even took some "before" pictures. I started a blog post about it, but knew that I wouldn't get to it til after the holidays, so I am saving the post, but it will be coming soon. I would like to check off everything on that list, and a big part of organizing will just be getting rid of excess stuff around our house that we really don't need. I am really excited about this one.

6. Cook 1 new meal each month. I have so many cookbooks, and I have also found many blog posts of things I want to try, so while during the week I usually just stick with cooking things that are quick and easy, I figure if I try something new one weekend a month, hopefully I can learn to make some real yummy things. I really want to try this Chinese Beef Broccoli Recipe:

7. Go on a week-long vacation with Derek. I know this seems like an easy one, but we haven't done this since our honeymoon. We have either lacked vacation time or funds, and so this year we are going to make sure that we go on a vacation together, and not just a long weekend kind of thing, but an all week, go somewhere decently far away vacation.

8. Have a personal retreat once a semester. I want to plan a day each semester when I will go somewhere all by myself and just spend the whole day with God, thinking, praying, reading, journaling, and just having time to be with God for a whole day.

9. Devote 10 minutes of each day to prayer. I have always been a pray throughout the day whenever I think of it kind of person, which I don't think is a bad thing and I would like to continue to do. But I think it would be cool if I was intentional about devoting 10 minutes each day to praying about specific things, and to see how God shows up in that.

10. Be more intentional in my relationships. This is the most vague of my resolutions and doesn't really have a quantifiable goal attached with it, but there are so many ways that I want to do this - like having more friends over for dinner, being more encouraging to people, writing notes and doing things to help them out, etc. I just want to spend more time thinking of ways I can love my friends and family and follow through with it.

11. Start and finish my scrapbook. The list was originally a nice neat list of 10 things, and then I thought of this one this morning, and figured I better put it on here. I bought a scrap book last year or maybe even the year before and have done NOTHING with it. I got a ton of scrapbooking stuff for Christmas and I went through all my pictures that were at my parents house, so now I have no excuse. I need to get on this. I feel like a year should be enough time to make a scrapbook. My friend Rachel posted this picture of a scrapbooking station and I love it so much, so I stole it from her blog. I think if I had a scrapbooking station like this, I would scrapbook all the time:

So there they are. I am glad that I have them documented. I'll be revisiting this post at this time next year to see how I did. I think now I need to make the list pretty and put it somewhere that I see it on a regular basis to remind me of all these things :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I'm Puzzled...

Hello blog world - I'm back after a brief hiatus from blogging during the Christmas holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

I just got back from Columbus, where we spent the weekend and celebrated Christmas with my parents. While I always love going up to Columbus to spend time with my folks, there were two things that we did this weekend that are some of my favorite things.

The first, if you couldn't tell from the title of this post, is that we did a puzzle. I love puzzles! Does that make me nerdy? Maybe so, I don't care, I love them. We started it Friday night after Ohio State's glorious victory in the Rose Bowl (definitely a highlight of the weekend) and it kept us busy during a rough Cincinnati game. It was a 1,000 piece orchid puzzle and we finished it Saturday night. Here is a picture of the finished masterpiece.

In addition to working on our puzzle, we also did some after Christmas / New Year's shopping. This is probably my favorite time of year to go shopping because there are the BEST sales. You may remember a few weeks ago I posted a picture of this dress that I wanted from Banana Republic.

Well I have the best mom and she got it for me, but unfortunately when I tried it on it was a bit tight. So I needed to exchange it for another a size bigger. When we went back to Banana Republic, the dress was on sale for $90 cheaper than the original price, and they gave an additional 30% everything on sale. So I was able to exchange the dress for another one, plus 2 new sweaters. But that still didn't make up the difference of the price of the dress, so we went on down to the Gap where they had a ton of stuff on sale, plus an additional 40% off everything on sale. So I got 3 shirts, a sweater, a pair of the most amazing lounge pants ever, and a pair of khaki pants for Derek to spend the rest of the money that I had from exchanging the dress. I'm telling you people, the New Years sales are amazing. I was in heaven.

So I got to celebrate Christmas, watch the Buckeyes win the Rose Bowl, do a puzzle, get a TON of stuff on sale while we were out shopping, and spend time with my family and one of my best friends from home while in Columbus. It was such a fabulous weekend. And I have an extra vacation day that I need to take this week, plus Friday off - so this week is a three day work week for me. My heart is happy.